Progressive Calendar 07.09.10
From: David Shove (
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]>
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

--------2 of 17--------

From: jtmiller jtmiller <jtmiller [at]>
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]>
From:    "Ryan Virden" <rvirden20 [at]>
Subject: Vs racist verdict 7.09 8pm


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

Oscar Grant murder

From: Dave Bicking <dave [at]>

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

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:

See also the brief commentary from the National Lawyers Guild:

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

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]>
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]>
Subject: Nicaragua 7.10 10am

Coffee Hour: Fair trade and artisan empowerment in Nicaragua - July 10
Saturday, July 10
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

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]

--------6 of 17--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: CUAPB 7.10 1:30pm

Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue

Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)

--------7 of 17--------

From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 7.10 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday

--------8 of 17--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
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]>
Subject: RNC 8 townhall 7.10 4:30pm

Defense & Resistance: RNC 8 Town Hall Forum, Saturday July 10
WALKER CHURCH (3104 16th Ave S.)

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:

--------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:

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
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

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]

1. The roll call vote on the war funding bill which passed by 215-210 is
here; check to see how your representative voted: .

--------12 of 17--------

The Toronto Sixteen
Supporting the Prisoners of the G20 Police State
July 7, 2010

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

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

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

"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

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

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
July 8, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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] 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
July 8, 2010

"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
 -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

*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


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