|Progressive Calendar 07.09.10||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2010 14:27:07 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 07.09.10 1. Palestine vigil 7.09 4:15pm 2. Reform/revolution 7.09 7pm 3. Vs racist verdict 7.09 8pm 4. Peace walk 7.10 9am Cambridge MN 5. Nicaragua 7.10 10am 6. CUAPB 7.10 1:30pm 7. Northtown vigil 7.10 2pm 8. Peace picnic 7.10 4pm 9. RNC 8 townhall 7.10 4:30pm 10. Watchdog $raiser 7.10 7pm 11. Gregory Vickrey - Why did anti-war Dems vote to fund the war? 12. Peter Gelderloos - The Toronto 16 - prisoners of the G20 police state 13. Doug Draper - Toronto: Cops rip off amputee's artificial leg 14. Jayne Lyn Stahl - First amendment: one step forward, two steps back 15. M Shahid Alam - Israel: a failing colonial project 16. Robert Bloom - When you visit Israel (formerly Palestine) ... 17. ed - Name change (haiku) --------1 of 17-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Palestine vigil 7.09 4:15pm The weekly vigil for the liberation of Palestine continues at the intersection of Snelling and Summit Aves in St. Paul. The Friday demo starts at 4:15 and ends around 5:30. There are usually extra signs available. --------2 of 17-------- From: jtmiller jtmiller <jtmiller [at] minn.net> Subject: Reform/revolution 7.09 7pm Friday July 9, 7:00 pm Working Democracy Book Club "Reform or Revolution," by Daniel De Leon MayDay Bookstore 301 Cedar, West Bank Saturday, July 19, 7:00 pm Working Democracy Discussion Forum "The Real Cause of the Financial Crisis" Greedy Wall Street bankers. Crooked mortgage lenders. Irresponsible borrowers. Lax government regulators. Alan Greenspan. All have been blamed for the financial crisis that sent global capitalism to the brink of collapse - where it remains today. But none of the pundits, economists or politicians dare suggest that the capitalist system itself produces the conditions and crises that threaten its own existence. At this Discussion Forum we will examinine the inner workings of the system to uncover The Real Cause of the Financial Crisis. MayDay Bookstore 301 Cedar, West Bank --------3 of 17-------- From: Farheen Hakeem <farheen [at] farheenhakeem.org> From: "Ryan Virden" <rvirden20 [at] gmail.com> Subject: Vs racist verdict 7.09 8pm URGENT RALLY TONIGHT 8PM CHICAGO AND LAKE TRANSIT CENTER! Oscar Grant was executed on New Years Day 2009 and despite this horrendous act being caught on tape was only found guilty of involuntary manslaughter a conviction that carries a sentence max of 4 years. This is egregious and we must not allow it to go unchallenged. Come out tonight and show your support. Please spread the word as it is critical that there be a good turnout! Oscar Grant murder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZTbJH6BNaU&feature=related -- From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com> Oscar Grant is the young man who was shot and killed by a BART officer on a station platform in Oakland, CA, on New Years Day, 2009. He was shot in the back while face down on the ground. Yesterday, the verdict was announced. Involuntary manslaughter was the least serious option for a verdict, short of outright acquittal. There was a large demonstration last night in Oakland following the verdict - perhaps 2000 people from what I've seen. The demonstration started late in the afternoon, right after the verdict, and lasted through the evening. After dark, there was a fairly small riot with some property damage and small fires in the street. Over 100 were arrested, some at the demonstration, and some afterward. Demonstrations were also held last night in some other cities. Probably the best coverage so far comes from the San Francisco Bay Indymedia site: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/07/08/18653052.php See also the brief commentary from the National Lawyers Guild: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/07/08/18653093.php I do not see any story in the StarTribune. So far, the only corporate media coverage I have seen has been from foreign press. This is not an accident. In the late sixties, an agreement was reached that the media in this country would not cover rioting. The "riots of the sixties" continued, but were hardly ever covered outside the city in which they occurred. I encourage people to come tonight, not to riot, but to show our outrage at yet another example of racist injustice. 8pm, Transit Station at Chicago and Lake, in south Mpls. Justice for Oscar Grant and all victims of police violence and racism! --------4 of 17-------- From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Peace walk 7.10 9am Cambridge MN every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street --------5 of 17-------- From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Nicaragua 7.10 10am Coffee Hour: Fair trade and artisan empowerment in Nicaragua - July 10 Saturday, July 10 10:00am-11:45am At the Resource Center of the Americas Presented in English Due to lack of education, poor local resources and severe poverty many Nicaraguan artisans find themselves struggling to support themselves and their family through the sale of their artwork. If these businesses fail many artisans are forced to immigrate away from their families, their homes and their countries. Esperanza en Accis a non-profit organization working to empower Nicaraguan artisans to better manage their small businesses in order to provide sustainable employment for themselves and their families. Come hear Executive Director, Emily Hewes, talk about the work of Esperanza en Accin Nicaragua and how you can become involved in this important work. Speaker: Emily Hewes Originally from Blue Hill, Maine, Emily graduated from Earlham College with a degree in Peace and Global Studies in 2003 and has been working for social justice through her career choices since that time. Upon graduating, Emily interned for a year at a Quaker school in Cambridge, MA. The following year she worked as a manager of 10 staff members and support staff for over 150 individuals with an organization that supports the vocational aspirations of adults with disabilities. Emily has been living in Nicaragua since October of 2005 when she came to volunteer with an international organization that works in sustainable economic development just outside of the capital of Managua. She has been Executive Director of Esperanza en Acciince August of 2008. CONTACT Emily Hewes: emilymarieh [at] gmail.com --------6 of 17-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com> Subject: CUAPB 7.10 1:30pm Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South http://www.CUAPB.org Communities United Against Police Brutality 3100 16th Avenue S Minneapolis, MN 55407 Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867) --------7 of 17-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 7.10 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------8 of 17-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Peace picnic 7.10 4pm Picnic for Peace Saturday July 10, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Backyard Garden of Jim and Diane Steinhagen, 3300 Edmund Avenue (just off West River Road), Minneapolis. Enjoy food, drink, conversation and help build the peace movement. Event will be held rain or shine. Funds raised will go to support local anti- war organizing against the escalating war in Afghanistan and the continued occupation of Iraq and also to support the National Conference to Bring the Troops Home Now set to be held in Albany, NY July 23-25. Bring your checkbook to help keep the anti-war movement speaking out in the streets! Suggested Donation: $5.00 to $10.00. Sponsored by: Iraq Peace Action Coalition (IPAC). WAMM is a member of IPAC. FFI: Call 612-522-1861. --------9 of 17-------- From: Melissa Hill <smilyus [at] msn.com> Subject: RNC 8 townhall 7.10 4:30pm Defense & Resistance: RNC 8 Town Hall Forum, Saturday July 10 SATURDAY, JULY 10TH, 4:30 PM WALKER CHURCH (3104 16th Ave S.) REFRESHMENTS PROVIDED With the trial coming up fast, join the RNC 8 Defense Committee for a discussion on resistance and state repression, historically, as well as the current state of cases against the RNC 8 and others. Speakers include: CARRIE FELDMAN - Grand Jury resister DAVID PELLOW - U of M professor NEALA SCHLEUNING - Long-time community activist JORDAN KUSHNER - from the RNC 8 defense team And don't miss the *satirical* skit about the investigation! (Yes, Officer, those asterisks were for you) Melissa Hill St. Anthony East, Minneapolis Info about Melissa Hill: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/6JzNsxnExytdYnDPXomeat --------10 of 17-------- From: Paul Busch <pobusch [at] MSN.COM> Subject: Watchdog $raiser 7.10 7pm We're having a fundraiser for the Metro Watchdog project on Sat. July 10th from 7-9pm at Mary Petrie's house. 852 Mound St., St. Paul. Directions: http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Saint+Paul&state=MN&address=852+Mound+St&zipcode=55106-6319&country=US&latitude=44.95003&longitude=-93.06179&geocode=ADDRESS Please invite everyone you know who supports better democracy on a local level. See you there! Paul Busch, Earth Citizen 651-646-4656 --------11 of 17-------- Why Did Anti-War Democrats Vote For to Fund the War? For the Want of Three Votes By GREGORY VICKREY CounterPunch July 9 - 11, 2010 The vote in the House of Representatives last Thursday (July 1, 2010) approved $33 billion more for Barack Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan. Most accounts of the vote in the progressive media viewed the vote positively, focusing on the various anti-war amendments that failed, but got sizable votes. The one with broadest support (162 "Yes" votes) would have required Obama to produce an exit plan. Its sponsors included Democrats David Obey (WI) and Jim McGovern (MA). Another would have funded the exit of the troops. It was sponsored by Democrat Barbara Lee (CA) and got 100 "Yes" votes. An even stronger anti-war amendment, however, got only 25 "Yes" votes. But these progressive media accounts looking primarily at the breadth of support for the exit plan amendment have overlooked a couple of key numbers that reveal an entirely new view of the votes on the bill and its amendments. The first key number is the vote on the main bill itself. Because all of the GOP voted against it in order to reject the domestic spending sweetners added by Nancy Pelosi, this vote was much closer. It passed by 215 to 210. If only 3 more "Yes" voters would have voted "No", the funding bill would have failed (by 212 "Yes" vs. 213 "No"). Failure of the bill to pass would have been an earthquake in US politics. The other key number overlooked by most progressive media accounts of the vote was this: enough leading anti-war Democrats voted for the actual funding bill that they could have defeated it had they voted "No". Among leading anti-war Democrats, which ones voted for the war funding? First, Barbara Lee voted for the war funds. She represents Berkeley, California, and part of Oakland. Being from this heavily anti-war district, many anti-war activists assume she votes against all war funding bills. She has been a heroine-of-sorts of the anti-war movement for years. Next, we have the Out of Afghanistan Caucus, started in May 2010 by John Conyers. In the morning on the day of the vote, the caucus held a press conference to urge a NO vote on the war funding. Five of the eight Democrats conducting this press conference actually voted for the war funding that evening, after participating in the press conference about voting "No"! Conyers, Bob Filner (CA), and Alan Grayson (FL) voted "No"; voting "Yes" were Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Maxine Waters (CA), Mike Honda (CA), Judy Chu (CA), and Barbara Lee. Next, we can look at the Democratic sponsors of the various anti-war amendments to the bill. We would expect these Democrats to not only sponsor their anti-war amendments, but to also vote against the final war funding bill itself. But all three of the Democrat anti-war amendment co-sponsors mentioned above voted for the final war funding bill: David Obey (WI), Jim McGovern (MA), and Barbara Lee (CA). Finally, we should mention Pete Stark, another San Francisco Bay Area Democrat. While he tends to keep a low profile, he often actually casts more progressive votes than Barbara Lee. (For example, he was one of the few "No" votes in the House vote on heavier sanctions against Iran, which passed by 408-8 on June 24. Barbara Lee voted for those sanctions.) Even Pete Stark voted FOR the Afghan war funding last week. If just three of these leading anti-war Democrats had switched their vote to "No" on the Afghan war funding bill, it would have failed. This would have given the anti-war movement a huge boost, even if war-funder-in-chief Nancy Pelosi had organized another vote and courted Republican support to guarantee its passage. Such a scenario would have exposed the Democratic leadership as co-equal pillars of the war (which they are), along with the GOP and the Democrat in the White House. Instead, when they had a golden opportunity to defeat the war funding bill, our leading "anti-war" Democrats betrayed us. [One wonders what they got for selling us out. Whenever it gets close, just enough Dems are rounded up to switch. One more reason to LEAVE the Dem Party and NEVER COME BACK. -ed] Gregory Vickrey is a consultant in the nonprofit and political arenas and may be reached at gregory [at] gregoryvickrey.com. Notes: 1. The roll call vote on the war funding bill which passed by 215-210 is here; check to see how your representative voted: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll428.xml . --------12 of 17-------- The Toronto Sixteen Supporting the Prisoners of the G20 Police State By PETER GELDERLOOS July 7, 2010 CounterPunch This week, my mind is with the sixteen Canadians who will be transported between their maximum security jail cells and the court to determine whether they will be held in prison until trial or released on extremely restrictive bail conditions. They are accused of organizing the protests against the elite G20 summit of world leaders that took place in Toronto at the end of June. At these protests, thousands of people took to the streets in opposition to specific policies of these twenty leading world governments or in negation of the global political and economic system in its entirety. Protestors enacted their disagreement and outrage in a variety of ways that included protest, counterinformation, and property destruction targeting the summit security forces and several major corporations. In all, over 1000 people were arrested during three days of protest, many of them detained based on their appearance, put in cages, sexually harassed or assaulted, injured, denied food, water, legal and medical attention, and otherwise abused. Of those thousand plus detainees, these sixteen are facing the heaviest charges, accused of conspiracy as the supposed ringleaders of the mayhem. Some of them were arrested in early morning raids, forced half-naked out of bed at gunpoint, assembled on their lawns and handcuffed in the pre-dawn darkness, and hauled off to jail. Others were picked up while biking or walking around town, sometimes by plainclothes cops making lightning grabs, a tactic perfected by the Stalinist police (the cops are internationalists, you see, and their methods for control travel across borders with much greater ease than they allow the rest of us). None of this should be surprising. Powerful men in suits convening to discuss world problems; heavily armed police kicking down a door and sticking a gun in your face - this is the most ordinary juxtaposition imaginable in a democratic society. The G20, just like the G8 and just like the International Monetary Fund or World Trade Organization and just like capitalism as a whole, is an act of exclusion, and when the stakes are this high, exclusion is always a violent thing. The governments that compose the G20, like all governments everywhere, base their power on forcibly excluding anyone else from making decisions that affect their lives. When the G20 convene to talk about global warming or financial crises- problems which they largely created, which they profit from immensely, and which they will escape the worst effects of - they are not making decisions in any positive sense, so much as preventing all the rest of us from addressing these problems. Unfortunately, the policies of the G20, and the tactical question of the protests against it, generally appear as separate issues in the progressive alternative media. But in reality, it is impossible to draw a line between the harmful consequences of governmental and corporate policy, the elitist way in which they determine that policy, and the extreme level of police control that accompany their summits. The fact that the global economy functions simply to keep capital moving, regardless of who is harmed in the process, the fact that elite institutions and politicians can respond to capitalist crisis by funneling billions to the banks and kicking normal people out of their houses, and the fact that people who protest this are surveilled and brutalized through a program of counterterrorism, are all aspects of the same truth: being robbed of our ability to live with health and dignity and being prohibited from intervening in our own lives are the same thing. The gun in the face and the televised speech are two motions in the same process. Because this kind of authority always provokes resistance, another fundamental process of authority is not to beat down resistance so much as to discipline it to follow the rules. So, RBC can fund gentrification and oil drilling, British Petroleum can kill their workers and destroy the Gulf of Mexico, border guards can murder immigrants, cops can torture youths, the normal functioning of the Canadian economy can murder over three times as many people through workplace "accidents" as are claimed by homicides, but if protestors smash a bank window or light a cop car on fire, they are denounced as violent. [It's showing disrespect of and disobedience to Our Masters. They can't allow that if they want to keep all they've stolen from us and then go on to steal from us whatever we've got left. They want it all. They intend to get it ASAP. Then they can die happy with all the goodies. -ed] And above all, this operation is carried out by fellow protestors, who echo the media and Canadian politicians in describing the property destruction that occurred in downtown Toronto as a tragedy. But downtown Toronto already was a tragedy. What more human response could there be to a financial district - an urban space devoid of life, deprived of affordable rents, scoured of autonomous livelihoods, subordinated to the needs of traffic and commerce, held under the eye of surveillance cameras, occupied by police, and plagued with corporate outlets and banks - than to destroy it? Yet curiously, a chorus of liberals are reproducing the tired lie that only agent provocateurs could possibly be audacious enough to attack the system, that the Black Bloc is comprised partially or entirely of infiltrators. I can assure these liberals that there are thousands of anarchists in North America who would love to trash a police car or a bank. There are millions of other people who would love to do these things as well. The fact that so many liberals denounced these actions would suggest that liberals, along with rich people, are one of the few demographics who don't harbor any rancor for cops or banks, or that they are the political equivalent of Victorians, suppressing their appreciation of something that is both healthy and necessary. This level of denial reminds me of the hacks who decried the violence in the Canadian newspapers, speaking of provocations by an irresponsible minority, while the accompanying photographs, careful to always to show only individuals or small groups damaging property, could not hide the huge crowds gathering around the delinquents, composed of unmasked, normally dressed people, taking pictures and smiling as they watched the destruction. Those bystanders knew what anyone who is still human knows well: that a burning cop car is a beautiful thing. Anarchists are great organizers: some of us participate in the community groups you admire, set up the alternative media you rely on, arrange housing and logistics for the protests you attend, carry out the direct actions that revitalize the campaigns that are important to you. It should be safe to assume that at least sometimes we could manage to commit a little property destruction without the help of police infiltrators. It might also be safe to suggest that those dissidents who mirror the police and politicians in their sycophantic denunciation of "violence" share some other points in common with the authorities. Namely, they assist in the same project of democratic government, which is to convince people to participate in their own exploitation, whether through elections or profit-sharing or whatever other gimmick, and to insist on the validity of rules that will always be applied more harshly to us than to the elite. The pragmatic justification is that the violence distracts from the real issues, but it is long past the point where we have to recognize that the media will never talk about the issues, except to allow them to be reframed for the benefit of the economy and the government. This police operation only works if dissidents participate. If we continue to focus on the reasons for fighting back against the system by whatever means, and there will always be an uncontrollable diversity of means in a diverse struggle, then there will be no distraction, except for the distraction of the corporate media, which is ever present. Either the media will pull their hair out about our violence, or they will turn the spotlight on the latest celebrity news, the latest politician's speech. To talk about anything else, anything real, is up to us. To talk about broken windows when the G20 come to town is to participate in a policing operation that has our doors broken in and guns pointed in our faces, regardless of whether we justify this collaboration with a discourse of nonviolence or one of security. It is to contradict even that most tepid of progressive cliches: people over profit. To consider questions of guilt or innocence in the case of these sixteen people facing conspiracy charges is to indulge in all the hypocrisy of a judge, a prosecutor, or a cop. It doesn't matter that most of these people were already arrested when the property destruction occurred, and it doesn't matter that they didn't lead any conspiracies because we anarchists don't have leaders, and we certainly don't need them to carry out a little bit of vandalism. What matters is that when all those workers died, when all those people were evicted, when all that money was taken from us by the banks, when all those bombs fell, when all that air and water were poisoned, no one in power was punished and it didn't matter whether rules were broken or followed. To speak of rules and laws is to perpetuate one of the greatest lies of our society. What matters is that a great many more banks and cop cars will have to be thrown on the trash fire of history before we can talk about a new world, so we'd better stop getting so upset by such a modest show of resistance. What matters is that the $1.3 billion security budget that accompanied the G20 summit is not a concern of the past. The police still have all that new crowd control weaponry and training, and they still have yet another experience of grinding their boot in our face and getting rewarded for it, while we have yet another experience of putting up with total surveillance and control, of being disciplined to get used to it. This is their vision of the future: cops and security cameras everywhere, preemptive arrests for simply planning or talking about resistance, people with masks or spraypaint or eye wash for the teargas being treated as terrorists. We can either get used to this future, and continue to believe in the validity of their rules, or we can fight back. For just as there is no difference between dispossession and disempowerment, there can be no line between opposing what the G20 stand for and showing solidarity to those who have been arrested for fighting against it. One of the best ways to keep up the pressure on the banks, the oil companies, the war profiteers, the media, and the politicians, is to support those who are facing charges for organizing resistance. Because none of us are free until all of us are free. Peter Gelderloos is the author of How Nonviolence Protects the State. --------13 of 17-------- Amputee Has His Artificial Leg Ripped off by Police and Is Slammed in Makeshift Cell during G20 Summit by Doug Draper July 7th, 2010 Dissident Voice John Pruyn wasn't much in the mood for celebrating Canada Day this year. How could he be after the way he was treated a few days earlier in Toronto by figures of authority most of us were brought up to respect, our publicly paid-for police forces who are supposed to be there to serve and protect peaceful, law-abiding citizens like him. The 57-year-old Thorold, Ontario resident - an employee with Revenue Canada and a part-time farmer who lost a leg above his knee following a farming accident 17 years ago - was sitting on the grass at Queen's Park with his daughter Sarah and two other young people this June 26, during the G20 summit, where he assumed it would be safe. As it turned out, it was a bad assumption because in came a line of armoured police, into an area the city had promised would be safe for peaceful demonstrations during the summit. They closed right in on John and his daughter and the two others and ordered them to move. Pruyn tried getting up and he fell, and it was all too slow for the police. As Sarah began pleading with them to give her father a little time and space to get up because he is an amputee, they began kicking and hitting him. One of the police officers used his knee to press Pruyn's head down so hard on the ground, said Pruyn in an interview this July 4 with Niagara At Large, that his head was still hurting a week later. Accusing him of resisting arrest, they pulled his walking sticks away from him, tied his hands behind his back and ripped off his prosthetic leg. Then they told him to get up and hop, and when he said he couldn't, they dragged him across the pavement, tearing skin off his elbows, with his hands still tied behind his back. His glasses were knocked off as they continued to accuse him of resisting arrest and of being a "spitter," something he said he did not do. They took him to a warehouse and locked him in a steel-mesh cage where his nightmare continued for another 27 hours. "John's story is one of the most shocking of the whole (G20 summit) weekend," said the Ontario New Democratic Party's justice critic and Niagara area representative Peter Kormos, who has called for a public inquiry into the conduct of security forces during the summit. "He is not a young man and he is an amputee. .. John is not a troublemaker. He is a peacemaker and like most of the people who were arrested, he was never charged with anything, which raises questions about why they were arrested in the first place". Pruyn told Niagara At Large that he never was given a reason for his arrest. When he was being kicked and hand-tied, police yelled at him that he was resisting arrest. Then a court officer approached him two hours before his release on Sunday evening, June 27, and told him he should not still be there in that steel-mesh cage. So why were Pruyn and his daughter Sarah, a University of Guelph student, who was locked up somewhere else, detained in a makeshift jails for more than 24 hours, along with many other mostly young people who, so far as he could hear and see, had nothing to do with the smashing of windows and torching of a few police cars by a few hundred so-called "Black Bloc" hooligans that weekend? Why was Pruyn slammed in a cell without his glasses and artificial limb, with no water to drink in the heat for five hours and only a cement floor to sit and sleep on before his captors finally gave him a wheelchair? Why was he never read his rights or even granted the opportunity to make one phone call to a lawyer or his family - the same rights that would be granted to a notorious criminal like Clifford Olsen or Paul Bernardo? He never received an answer to these questions and, he said, "I was never told I was charged with anything". Neither were many of the others who were penned up in that warehouse with him, including one person who was bound to a wheelchair because he was paralyzed on one side and begging, over and over again, to go to the washroom before finally wetting his pants. Pruyn said others in the warehouse begged for a drink of water and younger people made futile pleas to call their parents to at least let them know where they were. In the meantime, Pruyn's wife, Susan, was frantically trying to find out from the police and others what happened to her husband and daughter. She found out nothing until they were finally released 27 hours after she was supposed to meet back with them at a subway station near Queen.s Park. So what was this all about and why were John and Sue Pruyn arrested if they were part of the gathering of peaceful demonstrators in the Queen's Park area? Was their crime to dare to come to Toronto in the first place and join with those who express concerns about the G20 and whether it has any concern at all for the environment, for people living in poverty, for fair access to health care and other issues important to people around the world who fall into the category of "have nots"? Pruyn wonders if the idea of the crackdown was to send a message to the public at large that gatherings of opposition to government policies won't be tolerated. "That is (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper's attitude," he said. "He doesn't like dissent in his own (party) ranks". Kormos said some might respond to the crackdown against the G20 summit demonstrators by saying that they should have stayed home or they should not have been there, or that if they were swept up by the police, they should have nothing to worry about if they did nothing wrong. But that misses the point, he said. It misses the possibility that this was another example of the province and country sliding down a path of clamping down on citizens' right to gather together and express views that may not be popular with the government of the day. Kormos stressed again that a public inquiry is needed, not only for those demonstrators arrested and roughed up during the summit, but for those shop owners in Toronto that had their stores vandalized by a horde of hooligans with little apparent presence of police officers to prevent it. Asked if there was any possibility a few hundred black-clad vandals were allowed to run wild to make the thousands of people there to demonstrate peacefully look badly, Kormos responded; "That's why we need a public inquiry". Susan Pruyn agreed. "We need a public inquiry for all of the people who went (to Toronto) with good intentions and who ended up suffering that weekend," she said. -First published at at Niagara at Large. Doug Draper is the publisher of Niagara At Large. --------14 of 17-------- One Step Forward, Two Steps Back Jump Starting the First Amendment By JAYNE LYN STAHL July 8, 2010 CounterPunch In February, 2009, the Pentagon allowed the International Red Cross to photograph detainees at Guantanamo Bay for the first time. They had been barred from doing so for eight years prior to that. Photographers with the Miami Herald went with the Red Cross, and said that it was nearly impossible to distinguish so-called "high value" detainees from those who have been since released. The photos are disturbingly happy, and relaxed, given what we now know about detainee abuse. Some of the men were smiling, and holding up pictures of their young children, children they had not seen since birth. Clearly, it is not in the interest of national security to show the human face of war. Granting the Red Cross this kind of access was one small step for the Pentagon, but one big step for the war on illegal incarceration. Yet, again, it is one step forward, and two steps back. And, what the Pentagon giveth, the Pentagon taketh away. In May, four reporters were banned from covering military commissions at Gitmo, and now, in an effort to jump start the First Amendment, McClatchy reports that major news organizations are organizing to challenge the ban as illegal in that it "bars publication of information considered 'protected' even if the information is already widely known and publicly available." The groups argue that the Supreme Court has, in the past, denied to validate this restriction. McClatchy, parent company of the Miami Herald and more than two dozen newspapers, is joined by The Associated Press, The New York Times, Reuters, The Washington Post, and Dow Jones. While the Pentagon has acquiesced and said they'd lift the ban next month, the four reporters in question will still be denied access to the hearing they were covering which will resume mid-July. But, it's not just the Pentagon. The Coast Guard just issued a ruling that denies reporters from coming within 65 feet of oil booms, and response vessels at the site of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As CNN's Anderson Cooper reports, failure to comply with this new rule will result in felony charges, and fines as high as $40,000. Compliance will result in less coverage of the tragic effects of the spill on wildlife - birds that have been soaked and suffocated by oil. Doubtless the Defense Department would want to suppress images that might interfere with what is reported to be their more than $980 million in contracts with BP. The First Amendment, which has been in the Intensive Care Unit for more than eight years, is now, like many pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico, in critical condition. The tired argument that the suspension of a free press and/or free speech is sometimes necessary in the name of national security is quickly exposed as little more than a mask for the true underlying motive which is not national security, but national greed. The pablum about "keeping us safe" is a ruse for a grand scale money laundering campaign which involves big business and big corporations. This is nothing new, but it is alarming nonetheless that even transparency now comes with an expiration date. --------15 of 17-------- Israel: A Failing Colonial Project by M. Shahid Alam July 7th, 2010 Dissident Voice Increasingly, despite its early military and political successes, it appears that Israel cannot for long endure as a colonial project. It must choose between wars - and destruction - or transition to a state for all its peoples. In order to firmly secure its existence - as firmly as that is possible for any state - a settler state has to overcome three challenges. It has to solve the native problem; break away from its mother country; and gain the recognition of neighboring states and peoples. It can be shown that Israel has not met any of these conditions. Consider Israel's native problem. In 1948, in the months before and after its creation, Israel appeared to have solved its native problem in one fell swoop. It had expelled 80 percent of the Palestinians from the territories it had conquered. In addition, with the rapid influx of Arab Jews, Palestinians were soon reduced to less than ten percent of Israel's population. So, had Israel licked its native problem for good? Not really. The Palestinians inside Israel pushed back with a high natural rate of growth in their numbers. As a result, despite the continuing influx of Jewish immigrants, the Palestinian share in Israel's population has grown to above 20 percent. Increasingly, Jews in Israel see Israeli Arabs as a threat to their Jewish state. Some are advocating a fresh round of ethnic cleansing. Others are calling for a new partition to exclude areas with Arab majorities. The Palestinians expelled from Israel in 1948 did not go away either. Most of them set up camp in areas around Israel - the West Bank, Gaza, southern Lebanon and Jordan. In 1967, when Israel conquered Gaza and the West Bank, it could expel a much smaller fraction of the Palestinians from these territories. In consequence, with more than a million additional Palestinians under its control, Israeli had recreated its native problem. Israel's native problem has grown worse since 1967. Already, the Palestinians equal or outnumber Israeli Jews between the Sea and the Jordan River. In the years ahead, moreover, the Palestinian share will continue to rise. Having run out of solutions - such as rising net immigration of Jews and ethnic cleansing - Israel has been implementing draconian measures to handle its native problem. With Egyptian collaboration, it maintains a medieval siege over Gaza; it neutralizes the Palestinians in the West Bank with the apartheid wall, expansion of settlements, settler-only roads, intimidation and humiliation of Palestinians, and military control over the Jordan Valley. However, these remedies are creating new problems. They lend support to charges that Israel is an apartheid society not a democracy. As a result, slowly but steadily, Western publics are throwing their support behind the campaign to divest from, boycott and impose sanctions on Israel. Has Israel broken away from dependence on its mother country/countries? In the absence of a natural mother country, Zionism worked with surrogates. Quite a few of them. Indeed, there is not a Western country - including Russia in its previous incarnation as Soviet Union - that has not served as a surrogate mother country to the Jewish colonial project. The Jewish settlers in Palestine lost the support of Britain - their leading surrogate mother - in the early years of World War II, but retained it long enough to create their own state. Over the next few years Israel took on several new surrogates, not counting the Jewish diaspora: including the Soviet Union, France, Germany and the United States. Starting in the late 1950s, however, the United States became the leading mother country to Israel. This was the result of a powerful dynamic largely directed by Israel and the Jewish lobby in the United States. Over the years, the United States has subsidized Israel, armed it, allowed it to acquire nuclear weapons, and gave it immunity from the sanction of international laws. Under the protection of the United States, Israel quickly gained hegemony over the Middle East: it became a law unto itself. Still Israel is not an autonomous state. It could not sustain its current military posture without the annual military grant of some three billion dollars from the United States and the tax-free donations from American Jews. More importantly, without the US veto at the United Nations, Israel could not continue its occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights, its siege of Gaza, its pre-emptive wars against its neighbors, and its policy of assassinations against Arabs. In short, without US-backed immunity, Israel would become a pariah state. Arguably, this dependence does not place Israel at risk, since it is primarily an artifact of the Israel lobby in the United States. Over time, however, as the damage that Israel causes to US interests filters to the American electorate, unqualified US support for Israel may be in jeopardy. [I support it not at all. -ed] Finally, there is the question of gaining the recognition of its neighbors. Israeli gains on this front are more apparent than real. The Arab regimes that have recognized Israel, or are eager and ready to recognize it, have little legitimacy. Should these regimes collapse, their replacements are likely to resume their early confrontational posture towards Israel. This is not mere speculation. Under the despotic Shah Iran was friendly to Israel, but after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 Iran became an ideologically committed adversary of Israel. As the powers of the secular generals in Turkey have been clipped, Turkey too has been revising its friendly ties with Israel. In recent years, Israel has been running into a new problem: the loss of legitimacy with growing segments of civil society in the Western countries. Driven by the contradictions of an exclusionary settler-state, as Israel has ratcheted its violence against Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, as it has tightened its siege of Gaza, as it deepens its apartheid regime in the West bank, as it threatens to strips Arab Israelis of their rights, it has slowly called forth a new form opposition to its policies. Angry at the complicity of their governments in Israeli crimes, segments of civil society in Europe, Canada and the United States have been moving forward with calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Increasingly, despite vigorous opposition from the Jewish establishment, this movement has been spreading among academics, students, trade unions, church groups, dissenting Jewish organizations, and human rights activists. Some of them have been organizing convoys, over land and sea, to break the blockade of Gaza. As the failure of Israel's colonial project looms larger, its nervous leaders will increasingly seek security in new and more dangerous wars. Increasingly, Israel will become an intolerable threat - if it isn't already - to the Middle East, the world, and no less to Jews everywhere. Zionism was founded overwhelmingly by secular Jews, but, in order to succeed, it created a new religious myth [ie BS -ed] of Jewish restoration, galvanized messianic tendencies among Western Christians, and created the myth that Israel alone shields the West from a resurgent Islam and Islamicate. It will not be easy putting these genies back in the bottle. Perhaps, the best chance of unwinding the Zionist colonial project lies with the Jews themselves. Only when liberal segments of the Jewish diaspora are convinced that Zionism endangers Jewish lives, only when they act to countervail the power of the Jewish lobby in leading Western societies, will Israel finally be moved to dismantled its apartheid regime. In the end, the alternative to this orderly dismantling of Zionism is a destructive war in the Middle East that may not be limited to the region. Whatever else happens, it is unlikely that Israel or US interests in the Middle East will survive such a war. M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University. His latest book is Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism (Palgrave Macmillan, November 2009). He may be contacted at: alqalam02760 [at] yahoo.com. Read other articles by M. Shahid, or visit M. Shahid's website. This article was posted on Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 at 8:01am and is filed under Colonialism, Israel/Palestine, Racism, Zionism. ShareThis --------16 of 17-------- When You Visit Israel (Formerly Palestine) ... A Presidential Tour Guide to Israel By ROBERT BLOOM July 8, 2010 CounterPunch "The reports about the demise of the special relationship aren't just premature, they're just flat wrong," the [Israeli] prime minister said. He publicly invited Mr. Obama to visit Israel, and the president said, "I'm ready". -From the NY Times, July 6, 2010 Dear Mr. Obama, When you travel to Israel (formerly known as Palestine), be sure to visit some of the great tourist sites in Israel (formerly Palestine): *The countless checkpoints, where Palestinians are humiliated and mistreated every hour of every day (and don't forget to ask to see the several locations where Palestinian women have lost their children and/or died in childbirth at these places because the Israelis wouldn't process them through); *The handsome and loving wall that keeps families apart and prevents Palestinians from getting to work. As an added benefit, this could be the model for the ever-expanding wall that many americans would like to see at the Mexican border; *The illegal settlements - illegal under international law, and in clear violation of those sacred U.N. sanctions that american presidents always cite when it comes to Iran, Cuba, etc, but ignore when the resolutions relate to Israel; *The secret facilities where the Israelis have created nuclear weapons (and where they are stored this very day). Just ask. They'll show you. I think one of the sites is in a town called Vanunu. Don't miss it; *The interrogation centers where Palestinians are tortured every day, all day, all night. In fact, the Israelis taught the americans quite a bit about these endeavors, and there's still lots to learn from Israel; * The wonderful prisons to which the Israelis send Palestinians, including children who, gasp, threw rocks at soldiers; *The place where the Israelis murdered Rachel Corrie (and don't fail to speak to the colonels and other Israeli officials who whitewashed the murder); *The storage area for the (illegal) white phosphorus weaponry the Israeli's used on civilians in their unspeakable genocide (known in some circles as a holocaust(tm) on Gaza: *The site where the Isrealis entered into a chillingly evil deal with the chillingly corrupt government of Egypt to enforce the disgraceful blockade of food and medical supplies and building materials on 1.5 million human beings in Gaza; *The site of the decision to escalate the assault on Palestinians by desecrating Temple Mount; *Be sure to go to one of the trials that are conducted in military tribunals, where Palestinians are NEVER acquitted, NEVER. (You can learn how to conduct trials in the secret courts at Bagram, in the secret prison [torture center] at Bagram, (the new and improved Guantanimo). I may have omitted some of the special sites you should see in Israel when you visit. Be sure to consult some Palestinian victims of Israeli Apartheid before you go - just in case I missed something. Robert Bloom lives in Berkeley, CA. --------17 of 17-------- To make us love them again, Israel changed its name to Oy Vey Land --------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments vote third party for president for congress for governor now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 Research almost any topic raised here at: CounterPunch http://counterpunch.org Dissident Voice http://dissidentvoice.org Common Dreams http://commondreams.org Once you're there, do a search on your topic, eg obama drones
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