Progressive Calendar 06.29.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2010 02:13:06 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   06.29.10

1. Erlinder/CTV        6.29 5pm
2. Keep the DNC out!   6.29 6pm
3. Salon evaluation    6.29 6:30pm

4. Alliant vigil       6.30 7am
5. Organizing/equity   6.30 12noon
6. Erlinder/Rwanda now 6.30 3pm
7. Protest AIPAC       6.30 6pm

8. Naomi Klein - Sticking the public with the bill for the bankers' crisis
9. DK Thomson  - Seeing it all in Toronto/ still free, barely holding on
10. Bill Quigley - The coup Year One/ Honduras, After Democracy
11. Millet/Toussaint - Neither G8 nor G20! Vain and void in Toronto
12. ed         - Obamboozlement

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From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Erlinder/CTV 6.29 5pm

St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on SPNN Channel 15 on Tuesdays at 5pm,
midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am, after DemocracyNow!  Households
with basic cable may watch.

Tues, 6/29 @ 5pm & midnight + Wed, 6/30, 10am
"Peter Erlinder: Behind the Scenes at the Hotel Rwanda"

On May 28 of this year William Mitchell College of Law prof. Peter
Erlinder, intending to represent his client, opposition leader Victoire
Ingabire, was jailed and is being held by the Kagame regime in Rwanda.
In this extensive 2008 interview of the long time human rights advocate
and Lead Defense Counsel for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for
Rwanda (ICTR), we explore critical background about Erlinder and Rwanda's
complex history.

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From: luce <luce [at]>
Subject: Keep the DNC out! 6.29 6pm

Keep the DNC out! Meeting on 6/29

The City of Minneapolis has put in a bid to get the 2012 Democratic
National Convention. If this sounds like a horrible idea to you, come to
the second meeting of folks trying to lose the bid and spare our city the
pain of another convention.

Meeting to lose Mpls the 2012 DNC bid
Tuesday, June 29th, 6-8pm
PPNA building (821 E 35th St), Minneapolis

They say they're "Resourceful, Ready and Reliable," but we are too!

[RT Rybak and most of the Mpls city council have voted to bid for this
police-state horror to come to Mpls in 2012. Remember St Paul last year.
Remember Toronto this month. Police totally out of control, and local
officials smiling as freedoms are stolen for a week, and more and
permanent fancy spy-military hardware come to town to BigBrotherize us
into cowering silent submission to out-of-control corruption. Just say NO!
NOW!  -ed]

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From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Salon evaluation 6.29 6:30pm

Hi, Since there are 5 Tuesdays in June, we will take next Tuesday for an
evaluation of how the salon have been so far and ideas for the future.
Please come w/your thoughts about the salons.

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

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From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at]>
Subject: Alliant vigil 6.30 7am

Join us Wednesday morning, 7-8 am
Now in our 14th year of consecutive Wednesday
morning vigils outside Alliant Techsystems,
7480 Flying Cloud Drive Eden Prairie.
We ask Who Profit$? Who Dies?
directions and lots of info:

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From: Joan Vanhala <joan [at]>
Subject: Organizing/equity 6.30 12noon

Alliance for Metropolitan Stability
Organizer Roundtable: Organizing for Equity in the Twin Cities Suburbs

Everyone deserves to live in a community of opportunity - with access
to good schools, quality jobs, affordable places to live and access to
public transportation. Organizing in the suburbs of the Twin Cities metro
region has its own specific sets of challenges and rewards. Join us to
hear how these regional leaders are organizing for equity in the Twin
Cities suburbs.

Organizing for Equity in the Twin Cities Suburbs
NOON to 1:30pm
Wednesday, June 30th
Rondo Community Outreach Library
461 N. Dale Street, St. Paul, MN,  55103
(free parking available on the lower level of the building, enter on
University Ave.)

 Tyree Lawrence, African American Action Council Equalizing Opportunity
Campaign in Brooklyn Park
 Ladan Yusuf, Crossing Barriers organizing immigrant students for systemic
change in Eden Prairie
 Alvaro Rivera, Blake Road Corridor organizing communities of color in

This is an opportunity to learn about the growing equity movement outside
of our urban core. PolicyLink, a national institute, defines equity as
"Just and fair inclusion. An equitable society is one in which all can
participate and prosper. The goals of equity must be to create conditions
that allow all to reach their full potential." Come join in the discussion
about these exciting suburban organizing campaigns.

Organizer Roundtables are free but registration is required. Please
register at

Light snacks will be provided. Feel free to bring your lunch!

See you there! Please contact me with any questions.  Joan Vanhala
Coalition Organizer 612-332-4471 joan [at]

Joan Vanhala Phillips, Minneapolis Info about Joan Vanhala:

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From: David Shove <shove001 [at]>
Subject: Erlinder/Rwanda now 6.30 3pm

3-5 pm
Special briefing on current events in Rwanda
Blue Moon Coffee Shop
39th & EAST Lake Mpls
About 1.5 miles west of the river
Lots of free on-street parking

Contact: Gena Berglund gena [at] 651-208-7964

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From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Protest AIPAC 6.30 6pm

Protest AIPAC at AIPAC's 2010 Minnesota Annual Event
Wednesday, June 30, 6:00 p.m. McNamara Alumni Center, University of
Minnesota, East Bank, 300 Oak Street Southeast, Minneapolis.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), describes itself as
the most important organization affecting the U.S. relationship with
Israel. AIPAC has only one objective: strengthening American support for
the state of Israel through creation of a "special relationship" between
the two countries. Because Congress and the White House are fearful of
confronting AIPAC, they give in to AIPAC's demands no matter what the
impact on the U.S. or the Mideast might be, enabling Israel to commit
flagrant human rights abuses and violations of international law.

AIPAC supports endless conflict in the Middle East by lobbying for
billions of dollars in U.S. Military Aid to Israel and continued
occupation of Palestinian land. AIPAC works to insure that Israel is
provided with U.S. military aid and weapons at the cost of more than $3
billion each year. Our helicopters, bullets and bombs are killing
Palestinians. Israel's "Operation Cast Lead" attack on Gaza, which killed
1400 civilians including 352 children, was carried out with U.S.-funded
and manufactured helicopters, tanks, rockets and phosphorus bombs. AIPAC
also regularly provides a platform for Christian Zionist extremists to
foment their anti-Muslim/Arab racism and their call to unbridled

If you would like to be a peace marshal, please arrive at 5:15 p.m.
Sponsored by: The Coalition for Palestinian Rights (CPR). WAMM is a member
of CPR.

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Sticking the Public With the Bill for the Bankers' Crisis
by Naomi Klein
Monday, June 28, 2010

My city feels like a crime scene and the criminals are all melting into
the night, fleeing the scene. No, I'm not talking about the kids in black
who smashed windows and burned cop cars on Saturday.

I'm talking about the heads of state who, on Sunday night, smashed social
safety nets and burned good jobs in the middle of a recession. Faced with
the effects of a crisis created by the world's wealthiest and most
privileged [and evilest -ed] strata, they decided to stick the poorest and
most vulnerable people in their countries with the bill.

How else can we interpret the G20's final communiqu, which includes not
even a measly tax on banks or financial transactions, yet instructs
governments to slash their deficits in half by 2013. This is a huge and
shocking cut, and we should be very clear who will pay the price: students
who will see their public educations further deteriorate as their fees go
up; pensioners who will lose hard earned benefits; public sector workers
whose jobs will be eliminated. And the list goes on. These types of cuts
have already begun in many G20 countries including Canada, and they are
about to get a lot worse. For instance, reducing the projected 2010
deficit in the U.S. by half, in the absence of a sizeable tax increase,
would mean a whopping $780-billion cut.

They are happening for a simple reason. When the G20 met in the London in
2009, at the height of the financial crisis, the leaders failed to band
together to regulate the financial sector so that this type of crisis
would never happen again. All we got was empty rhetoric, and an agreement
to put trillions of dollars in public monies on the table to shore up the
banks around the world. Meanwhile the U.S. government did little to keep
people in their homes and jobs, so in addition to hemorrhaging public
money to save the banks, the tax base collapsed, creating an entirely
predictable debt and deficit crisis.

At this weekend's summit, Prime Minister Stephen Harper convinced his
fellow leaders that it simply wouldn't be fair to punish those banks that
behaved well and did not create the crisis (despite the fact that Canada's
highly protected banks are consistently profitable and could easily absorb
a tax). Yet, somehow, these leaders had no such concerns about fairness
when they decided to punish blameless individuals for a crisis created by
derivative traders and absentee regulators.

Last week, the Globe and Mail ran a fascinating article about the origins
of the G20. It turns out the entire concept was conceived in a meeting
back in 1999 between then Finance Minister Paul Martin and his U.S.
counterpart Lawrence Summers (itself interesting since Summers was, at
that time playing a central role in creating the conditions for this
financial crisis, allowing a wave of bank consolidation and refusing to
regulate derivatives).

The two men wanted to expand the G7, but only to countries they considered
strategic and safe. They needed to make a list but apparently they didn't
have paper handy. So, according to reporters John Ibbitson and Tara
Perkins, "the two men grabbed a brown manila envelope, put it on the table
between them, and began sketching the framework of a new world order".
Thus was born the G20.

The story is a good reminder that history is shaped by human decisions,
not natural laws. Summers and Martin changed the world with the decisions
they scrawled on the back on that envelope. But there is nothing to say
that citizens of G20 countries need to take orders from this handpicked

Already, workers, pensioners and students have taken to the streets
against austerity measures in Italy, Germany, France, Spain and Greece,
often marching under the slogan "We won't pay for your crisis". And they
have plenty of suggestions for how to raise revenues to meet their
respective budget shortfalls.

Many are calling for a financial transaction tax that would slow down hot
money and raise new money for social programs and climate change. Others
are calling for steep taxes on polluters that would underwrite the cost of
dealing with the effects of climate change and moving away from fossil
fuels. And ending losing wars is always a good cost saver.

The G20 is an ad-hoc institution with none of the legitimacy of the United
Nations. Since it just tried to stick us with a huge bill for a crisis
most of us had no hand in creating, I say we take a cue from Martin and
Summers. Flip it over, and write on the back of the envelope: Return to

(Note: This article was updated at 15:33 on 6/28/10.)

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and syndicated columnist and
the author of the international and New York Times bestseller The Shock
Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, now out in paperback. Her
earlier books include the international best-seller, No Logo: Taking Aim
at the Brand Bullies (which has just been re-published in a special 10th
Anniversary Edition); and the collection Fences and Windows: Dispatches
from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate (2002). To read all her
latest writing visit

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Seeing It All in Toronto
Still Free, Barely Holding On
June 28, 2010

Synopsis:  Not all of us who are fighting in the streets here in Toronto
are despondent, but a great many of us are.  I am.  We are experiencing in
our neighborhoods what brown people have experienced for centuries around
the world at our hands.  It has come home to roost.  I woke this morning
from a dream of Kanada, and I was weeping uncontrollably.  Our children
are attacked by troops openly in the streets, openly in so-called "free
speech zones".  We chant, "the world is watching," but as we are beaten
back from the neighborhoods in which we have lived for two hundred years
by troops who may not even be Canadian, we see football on the TV's.  Is
anyone watching us?  My ten-year-old was almost fucking killed when he was
attacked by police in a free-speech zone.  My fourteen-year-old and I were
chased for two hours.  Does anyone out there care?  My friend in
California recommends TOSCA-style action.  Could we have TOCA here - take
over Canada?  I feel nothing but despair.  My friends are being dragged
off to left and right, and the world watches football.  I began the
weekend juggling for the troops, holding out flowers, but I end hunted and
in tears, paranoid and sad.  It feels like the end.  We are still free,
but barely holding on.  Why do they hate us so much?

I include no paragraph breaks or aids for the reader.  If you can't be
bothered to read this sort of thing because it's too long, go back to your
pictures.  As an English teacher, I hate typos, but I'm too tired to
polish this.  All I can say is, we were there, we've seen it all.

Toronto, June 26, Saturday:  We've done family protests in Washington and
London, amongst other places, and even mingled with some serious ruckus in
Buenos Aires.  Never have we experienced anything as terrible as in
Toronto today, Saturday, a mile from the G20 perimeter walls.  The
Canadians - if these police/soldiers are even Canadian - are far and away
the most vicious of any military we've ever experienced.  My wife had
scolded me for the risks I took yesterday (Friday) when I was on my own
without the boys (at 6 o'clock today Sebastian typed in a simple google
search:  "G20 Toronto" and got a picture of me juggling as the number one
entry - more on that some other time, together with my "I'm not a brave
man but". speech involving a red flower and me alone against a double-wall
of riot police) and it was Eva-Lynn's idea that we would take the children
to the protests to experience the peaceful strong energy we always get at
peace rallies.  Though I have been a drifter much of my life, my people
have lived in this neighborhood for two hundred years and been protestants
the whole time.  This is our home. By the time we got to Queen's Park and
walked between my wife's two offices at the university, everything
appeared to be over.  People were walking away.  It was very peaceful,
with the sun coming out after a day's rain.  Like so many places downtown,
there was a long line of police in riot gear here.  They were stretched
across Queen's Park Crescent so that no one could go south.  Queen's Park
Crescent is the university part of the big thoroughfare that becomes
Avenue to the north and University to the south.  It splits around the
Ontario Legislative Building.  My mother used to talk about this place
since the Lieutenant Governor had a cottage near my grandmother's in
Georgian Bay and we thought it was funny that they rented the building
from the university for a dollar a year.  Pictures of my ancestors back in
the early 1800's hang in a wealthy church (the wealth comes from renting
land to the Bay company) started by my great great great grandfather
Robert Burns just a few hundred meters from here. "Fort Knox," Liam says
now reading this, meaning Knox Church.  Despite signed protests from the
faculty last week, the university was closed at great expense on Wednesday
by a president highly sympathetic to the current government (he has
responded by attempting to close down all modern language departments at
the university - more on that elsewhere). I saw my cousin Russ as we
walked onto the main south lawn at the front of the building.  He was
coming out and he said it was boring and that nothing had happened. We
didn't pay the police much heed.  The line of police was several men
thick, and many more were in serried ranks behind.  I don't watch TV, but
maybe you've seen the new generation of thick, absolutely impenetrable
body armour these men wear.  They sweat profusely and have little sucking
tubes with liquid, which makes them seem cuddly and vulnerable, like vast
suckling babes.  They were eerily quiet always.  For two weeks before
this, police had been moving through the city making lots of military
noises with voice commands and whistles to intimidate protestants before
they even thought of protesting.  But during everything I am about to
relate, these police remained absolutely silent.  Very spooky.  There were
just a few hundred protesters - far fewer than I'd been with yesterday.
I was holding little Liam's right hand and Eva-Lynn was holding his left.
He'd been reluctant to come, and we were feeling pleased that he got to
see something like this.  People didn't seem to be paying any particular
attention to the police, though at one point there was a short spontaneous
round of rhythmic clapping from our side.  Just another good-vibe time on
the peace lines like in any of the countries in which we've had long-term
residence - Argentina, the U.S., England.  Now Canada, we figured. A
skinny little man in front of us had a small sign that said "Free Hugs".
I asked Eva-Lynn if it would be okay if I went over and gave the man a
hug.  What happened in the next three seconds was like something out of a
horror movie.  I dropped Liam's hand and took one step toward the free-hug
man.  There was a confused pounding sound like elephants running, and it
took me a moment to figure out where it was coming from.  I caught a quick
glimpse of the hug man being struck and dragged, then in the next
micro-second realized that the police had exploded at us without warning.
Not the whole line, but a stout group of police came at full speed towards
us.  My wife thinks fifty or a hundred but I think it was less.  The point
is that the posse was several men thick and thus the men behind couldn't
have possibly known there was a small ten-year-old child in front of them,
though the police in front certainly did.  Once in motion, the men in back
can't alter direction based on sight lines.  Luckily Liam is fast, and we
just made it - I mean, just made it without being run over.  With their
huge exoskeletons, the men couldn't run far.  They paused for a moment,
and then came at us again.  But this time a cluster of cavalry broke in
from our left.  Have you ever been hunted by horsemen?  Pretty primal,
I'll tell you.  There are women on the beasts, too, like trussed
valkyries.  The policemen in the front had clearly seen that they were
attacking a small child and they came on at full speed anyway without the
slightest warning.  I just couldn't get this out of my head.  They had
looked right at my little boy and attacked him.  Seconds later a man went
down under a horse and I thought he was killed but he came up staggering
on his feet. I know for sure he will have two paw prints on his back
because I saw the horse double-touch him.  I think the horses were not as
vicious as their masters and this one was just trying to get off the man
while the other riders shoved the poor beast from behind.  The horse
probably saved this guy's life.  Many people went down with injuries, but
many of the people who were struck kept running and were not dragged off.
The injuries tended to be blunt compression type from shields and
truncheons, not open bloody wounds, which I guess would be bad publicity.
Lots of people were hit.  We got Liam out to safety north through the
campus but he is in serious shock.  He was very nearly trampled and
possibly killed by the police having lulled us into complacency. In London
or in Washington, the police will form lines to protect certain areas.
You can go up and talk to them.  Some will talk, some will ignore you.
But we've never been attacked as a family in any country without warning
before.  My wife left to get Liam back to safety, and then - incredibly -
agreed to let me stay with Sebastian, our firstborn.  Life had changed in
an instant.  New rules, a new era.  Sebastian and I remained absolutely
focused from this point on.  Now that we understood the pattern - [effing
bastard -ed] police attack without warning, we were able to stay and
protest for our right to stay peacefully in our neighborhood as our people
have for two centuries. Until July I am still a professor at the
university.  This is surely my land, perhaps less surely my campus, but
these are my people and this is my family.  Who are these outside
agitators coming into our space?  Do we even know if these are Canadian
troops?  Are they police or troops?  They might be from any of the G20
countries.  Despite the fact that we were all unarmed and each [effing
bastard] police officer - if that's what they are - had thousands of
dollars in protective padding presumably paid for by the exceptionally
onerous Canadian taxes we are forced to pay, they had trouble getting us
because they were afraid to leave their groups.  Even with my bad knee, I
could outrun the foot posses, and most of us could dodge the cavalry
behind trees and shrubs because the dark riders were afraid to leave their
group. We had medical people with us who were tending the wounded, but no
doctors. One of my students, not from the university but from a private
high school called The Dragon Academy, came up in a kerchief holding eggs
and said hi. I told him to remind me which class I'd taught him at the
school.  "Law," he said.  We both grinned at the irony and bolted for
cover.  We fell gradually back past the legislative building.  Sebastian
and I penguined to the center of the group while we learned the strategy.
Every three or four minutes a foot posse would attack from the front and
the cavalry would flank us.  They got us back past the bridge after an
hour.  In the first run I'd bolted with Liam.  But I gradually figured out
how dangerous it was to everyone else if you ran, and I was able to help
the more experienced people calm and slow the faster runners so we weren't
all killed in a stampede.  I kept calling, "they can't run as fast as us.
Just fall back at a medium pace".  But the strategy was complex, because
you had to do something different with the dark riders.  I suspect they
weren't using tear gas because of the horses, which were making runs
through the middle of our group.  Word came back that they were using some
kind of bean bullet, and there were popping noises, but I didn't see this.
With my fourteen-year-old kid and fifty-year-old right knee, I kept back
from the front lines.  Some of our people had worse legs than me, and it
was perilous for such folk.  Some people were saying that this was
supposed to have been a thing called a "free speech zone," but we all
laughed at that.  In Queen's Park the [effing bastard] police got around
and came running at us from the east across the park near the London Plane
Tree under which I've held many a class to discuss Plato and Socrates.  I
think the police hadn't got their horses around to that side quick enough,
or maybe the horses were jittery in amongst the trees, because it was
mostly foot soldiers now doing their longest run.  Bet that made them heat
up in those suits.  We tried to sprint up to Harbord but saw we weren't
going to make it.  Sebastian and I chickened out to the left down some
arches of the university.  At that point, a lot of people were following
me.  I felt bad leading so many into retreat, but after we went west
through the long tunnel of arches in back campus we turned right, to the
north, and came out again on Harbord.  The bravest of us must have held
them off at that critical point where Harbord meets the park.  I wonder
how many we lost at that pass, which will henceforth be a sacred space for
me.  Feeling bad that I'd led a retreat, I helped slow us down and a few
of us got the rest who were fleeing toward Robarts Library (not to mention
the pictures of my ancestors at Spadina and Harbord!) and we turned back.
This bunched us up protectively on Harbord, then when we were all together
we headed north yelling to each other to get to safety on Bloor.  We went
up Devonshire near the Munk Centre, past the meteorological building where
during the war my mother did work to help England fight the Nazis (Munk
people have recently taken it over and this week hastily taken down their
signs about "continuing the global conversation" - Munk is a famous
polluter and supporter of the university) and we spilled onto Bloor.
Hundreds of police piled up from the south, but once we got to Bloor and
the plain light of the setting sun and people could see police attacking
unarmed citizens, the police slunk off and hid.  I never saw them again.
They're all too afraid to show themselves in small groups, and between
here and Dundas Square not a single one showed his face, though for a
fortnight we've seen nothing but them roving the city in gangs.  We were
nice to all the individual security guards keeping watch over their little
buildings all the way to Yonge.  With just sidearms and sticks, they
seemed by this point sort of cute and picturesque.  We bantered with them
as we walked (or limped, in my case).  After brief uncertainty about
whether we'd take over Yonge and Bloor and make our last stand there, we
moved south down Yonge, following a trail of smashed windows from much
earlier in the day (not smashed by our group - though I don't judge the
people who did it;  there was a method to their madness I'll comment on
elsewhere).  I wanted to hold up at Dundas Square, but the front of the
group had moved on.  I could no longer walk, and I had to get my
fourteen-year-old home, or maybe he had to get me home.  Believe me, he
will never be the same.

Even if you're a law-and-order person who believes that safety is more
important than freedom and that every protestant should be locked up, I
want to stress that we were in a place far from where we thought there
would be any problems, precisely because my wife wanted to make sure our
children were in a safe place.  We had not the slightest warning that a
group of armed men would attack our ten-year-old.  How can you continue to
believe in the government when this can happen?

David Ker Thomson filed from Toronto.  dave.thomson [at]

--------10 of 12--------

The Coup Year One
Honduras, After Democracy
June 28, 2010

One year ago, on June 28, 2009, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was
awakened by gunfire.  A coup was carried out by US-trained military
officers, including graduates of the infamous US Army School of the
Americas (WHINSEC) in Georgia.  President Zelaya was illegally taken to
Costa Rica.

Democracy in Honduras ended as a de facto government of the rich and
powerful seized control.  A sham election backed by the US confirmed the
leadership of the coup powers.  The US and powerful lobbyists continue to
roam the hemisphere trying to convince other Latin American countries to
normalize relations with the coup government.

The media has ignored the revival of US hard power in the Americas and the
widespread resistance which challenges it.

A pro-democracy movement, the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular
(FNRP) formed in the coup's aftermath.  Despite horrendous repression, it
has organized the anger and passion of a multitude of mass-based popular
movements - landless workers, farmers, women, LGBTQ folks, unions, youth
and others - and spread a palpable energy of possibility and hope
throughout the country.

These forces of democracy have been subjected to police killings,
arbitrary detentions, beatings, rape and other sexual abuse of women and
girls, torture and harassment of journalists, judges and activists.
Prominent LGBTQ activists, labor organizers, campesinos and youth working
with the resistance have been assassinated.  Leaders have been driven into

Four judges, including the president of Honduran Judges for Democracy,
were fired in May 2010 for criticizing the illegality of the coup. Two of
them went on a widely-supported hunger strike in the nation's capital.
Judges who participated in public demonstrations in favor of the de facto
government remain in power.

In 2010 alone, seven journalists have been murdered.  Many others have
been threatened.  Reporters without Borders calls Honduras the most
dangerous country in the world for journalists.

Why was there a coup?  Honduras was planning to hold a June 28 poll on
whether or not a referendum for forming a constituent assembly to rewrite
the constitution should be on the November ballot.  Many among the poor
correctly view the current constitution as favoring corporations and
wealthy landowners.  As a result of the constitutional preference for the
rich and powerful, Honduras has one of the largest wealth gaps between the
rich and poor in Latin America. Washington and the Honduran elite were
also angered that President Zelaya signed an agreement to join the
Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA).  ALBA is a regional trade
agreement that provides an alternative to the free trade agreements such
as CAFTA that have been pushed by Washington yet opposed by many popular
movements through the Americas.  Zelaya's proposal to transform Soto Cano
Air Base, historically important to the US military, into a much-needed
civilian airport was unpopular in Washington as was his lack of support
for the privatization of the telecommunications industry.

Forces in the US provided critical support for the coup.  As members of
the resistance have explained, coups do not happen in Latin America
without the support of those with power in the US.  Right wing ideologues
and shell NGOs based out of Washington played a critical role in the coup
and since.  A leadership vacuum in the Obama Administration regarding
Honduras has led to extreme right-wing ideologues directing US policy
there. These people are hell bent on stopping the growing populist
movements throughout Latin America from gaining more influence and power.
Some, such as Otto Reich and Roger Noriega, have moved from positions in
the State Department and United Nations into private lobbying firms or
conservative think tanks.  Others, such as Robert Carmona-Borjas, who was
granted asylum in the US after his involvement in the attempted coup
against Hugo Chavez, are working for so-called NGOs that use vague
missions such as "anti-corruption" to mask the foreign policy work they

In the past year, the business elite in Honduras have spent hundreds of
thousands of dollars on Washington-based lobbying and PR firms to get the
U.S. Democratic and Republican parties in line.  For example, the
Asociacin Hondurea de Maquiladoras (Honduran Association of Maquiladoras)
hired the Cormac Group to lobby the US government regarding "foreign
relations" just days after the coup.  Close Clinton confidant Lanny Davis
lobbied for the coup powers in DC.  A delegation of Republican Senators
travelled to Honduras in the fall to support the coup government and
organized for wider Congressional support upon their return.

Despite initially condemning the coup, the {Emperor -ed] Obama
Administration has completely shifted its position. It provided critical,
life-giving approval to the widely denounced elections that were boycotted
by much of the Honduran population.  The military that was killing people
in the streets was also guarding the ballot boxes.  Major candidates such
as Carlos H. Reyes, now a leader of the resistance, refused to run. The
Carter Center, the United Nations, and other respected election observers
refused to observe. The FNRP called on people to stay home.

The Organization of American States suspended Honduras and has continued
to resist efforts of Secretary of State Clinton to pressure them into
readmitting Honduras. However, the [Imperial -ed] US pushed for and was
able to secure the formation of a high-level OAS panel to "study" the
re-entry of Honduras at its recent meeting in Peru. We may well start to
see the international community beginning to normalize relations with this
illegitimate government.

As it stands now the coup government of Honduras' biggest ally is the
United States.

A year after the coup, US activists and pro-democracy supporters need to
increase their knowledge about what is going on with our neighbors in
Honduras and stand in solidarity with the resistance.  For democracy to
mean anything, it has to mean that plans for a national referendum to
rewrite a Constitution to better serve a nation's people should not be met
with a US-supported military coup.

Once again the US is on the wrong side in Latin America.  [Gosh not from
our dear ole hope and change Obama? Vote him in and he and a good chunk of
his puppet party sells us all out. American national government is a
mildewed blot on the planet. -ed]

Once again, the US government is undermining democracy and actively
supporting a government that is murdering its own people.  [Thanks Obama.
Thanks capitalism. -ed]

Once again, the US has sided with anti-democracy forces and is trying to
bully the world into rubber-stamp approval of our mistakes. [Thanks Obama.
Thanks capitalism. -ed]

Moving forward from this unfortunate anniversary, one thing is certain -
the people's movement in Honduras is only growing.  The resistance has
gone ahead with organizing for a constituent assembly to rewrite the
constitution.  Today there will be massive demonstrations throughout
Honduras. We must stand with this dramatic and powerful social movement
and challenge our own government to support the forces of democracy, not
destroy them.

CCR will be hosting the NYC premiere of a film about the Resistance on
July 7, 7pm at Tribeca Cinemas in lower Manhattan. It will also premiere
in DC and Berkeley.

For more information about the Honduran resistance, please see their
website (and click on the .English. tab):

Bill Quigley is legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and
a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans.  His email is
quigley77 [at]

--------11 of 12--------

Neither G8 Nor G20!
Vain and Void in Toronto
June 28, 2010

As at previous meetings, the Toronto summit of the exclusive G20 club to
which the world's richest countries invited the heads of state of the
major emerging countries once again raised great expectations only to
conclude with an empty bubble. As in London in 2008, then Pittsburgh in
2009, the Toronto G20 discussions focused on a way out of the crisis. But
a capitalist way out, favouring creditors and great powers.

For the last two years global financial regulation has been an elusive sea
serpent, unsurprisingly resulting in no concrete measures. To appease
their citizens who pay a high price for the consequences of the present
crisis although they bear no responsibility for it, governments pretend
they are trying to redefine the rules in the global financial game whereas
for decades they have promoted the cancellation of any rules that would
protect the world's peoples.

Regulation of the derivatives market, i.e. purely speculative financial
innovations with no social utility, capital requirements for banks, limits
on the new surge in bonuses for executive officers in major banks,
taxation of major banks and financial transactions are issues that brought
out sharp divergences within the G20. This is a very convenient way of not
deciding on anything. This agenda won't be discussed until the next G20
summit in Seoul in November 2010. This is an effective means of making no
progress on this essential issue.

Each media show is sure to feature the same harping against protectionism.
All over the world, the World Trade Organization (WTC), backed by the
World Bank and the International Monetary Funds (IMF), pursues its mission
of doing away with national protections viewed as obstacles to free trade.
This means people's fundamental rights, such as the right to food
sovereignty, are sacrificed on the altar of growth and TNC profits.

However, the various crises that have shaken the world in recent decades
have their origin in this very liberalization of trade and of the flow of
essential speculative capital. The major financial deregulation in the
1990s, destructuring complete sectors of national economies, and
dismantling the State set the stage for the sudden offensive of capital
holders against populations all over the world, first in the South but now
also in the North.

The current crisis and bank bailout plans have hugely increased the public
debts of countries in the North. The hurricane of austerity measures
unleashed on European countries has led to drastic public spending cuts
while preserving returns on capital. The G20 thus committed itself to
fiscal plans that will at least halve deficits by 2013 and stabilize or
reduce government debt-to-GDP ratios by 2016.[1] The cuts needed to
achieve this will put the burden on working-class people and favour
affluent classes. The toxic remedies first applied in the 1980s are back:
wage cuts or freezes, higher VAT, deregulating the labour market,
privatizing public companies, retirement pension system "reforms". The
first victims of all these austerity measures will be found among the
people whose situations are most precarious. Since 2008, IMF has opened
credit lines to some ten European countries. In Iceland the people have
made clear that they would not pay for the financial and banking sector's
mistakes. In Romania the 15% cut in retirement pensions was ruled
unconstitutional despite IMF pressure. In Ukraine, relations between IMF
and the government have been stalled since the latter's unilateral
decision to raise minimum wages by 20%. Several major demonstrations have
taken place in countries hit by these policies, as well as in Toronto
where anti-G20 demonstrations were brutally repressed.

The G20 summit was thus merely one more building block in a capitalist way
out of the crisis. For everyone struggling for social justice, this G20 is
an empty shell: it relentlessly makes the same unjustifiable demands and
comes up with the same old phoney "solutions". Leaving aside the
illegitimate G8 and G20, the very root of these crises must be tackled, by
expropriating banks and transferring them to the public sector under
citizens' control, by a citizen's audit of the public debt to cancel
illegitimate debts, by establishing genuine tax justice and a fairer
distribution of wealth, by fighting massive tax fraud and evasion, by
regulating financial markets through a register of shareholders and the
prohibition of short sales, by a radical cut in working hours to create
jobs while safeguarding wages and increasing retirement pensions. To
achieve this we have to build a vast popular mobilization to unite local
struggles on an international level and do away with socially regressive

Damien Millet and Eric Toussaint are vice-president of CADTM France and
president of CADTM Belgium respectively ( )

Translated by Christine Pagnoulle in collaboration with Marie Lagatta

[1] The G-20 Toronto Summit Declaration

--------12 of 12--------


 Many were looking for change.
 Some said "Yes we can", some said "Change".

 Well, ain't no change goin' down.
 No way Aunt Fay. Not happenin'.
 It's bait and switch.

 Our masters say, "No you can't!" and
 "Change, hell no!"

 We the people have been Obamboozled.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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