|Progressive Calendar 06.26.12 /2||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 14:01:20 -0700 (PDT)|
*P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 06.26.12* 1. End drone wars 6.26 4:30pm 2. Torture 6.26 5:30pm 3. Collins/1v99 6.26 7pm 4. Right vs kids 6.26 7pm 5. Israel lobby 6.26 7pm Northfield MN 6. Shamus Cooke - Machinations in Paraguay: Obama’s second Latin American coup? [Just like him - ed] --------1 of 6-------- From: WAMM wamm [at] mtn.org via riseup.net End drone wars 6.26 4:30pm Protest: No New Wars! No war in Iran and Syria! End the Drone Wars! Tuesday, June 26 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Minneapolis Federal Building, 4th Avenue and 4th Street, Minneapolis Recent weeks have seen an explosion of U.S. militarism, with nearly daily threats of new U.S. wars and interventions in Iran and Syria, an escalating number of Drone attacks, especially in Pakistan, as well as in Yemen and other countries. And, we have now learned that the president has a "kill list." We say enough is enough! No more wars. No more blood shed. We demand money for human needs not war. We don't want another Iraq or another Afghanistan. Initiated by: the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition Torture 6.26 5:30pm --------2 of 6-------- From: WAMM Torture 6.26 5:30pm International Day in Support of Victims of Torture Tuesday, June 26, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), 717 East River Parkway, Minneapolis. Please join CVT for a program at 6:00 p.m. and light refreshments. Meet CVT’s new executive director and join others in support of torture survivors. Organized by: CVT. FFI: Call Nora at 612-436-4820 or email nradtke [at] cvt.org. --------3 of 6-------- Collins/1v99 6.26 7pm 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It with author Chuck Collins Tuesday, June 26 7 p.m. Open Book Center - Target Performance Hall 1011 Washington Avenue South, Mpls. Join author Chuck Collins and Growth & Justice, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, On the Commons and Wealth for the Common Good as we address many of the central questions of our time: Who are the 99 percent? Who are the 1 percent? How extensive and systemic is inequality in different areas of society? How is inequality changing our world? Do we dare be hopeful about changing it? Chuck will share the hard truths of what inequality has done and is doing to our society and to others around the globe. But he will also share signs of hope: The promise of an American Spring: "Followers" lead the "Elites" Allies in the 1%: Stepping forward, making a difference Global Awakening: Leveraging the power of personal transformation. Join the dialogue as panel members Julie Ristau of On the Commons, Maureen Ramirez of Growth & Justice, Trista Harris of Headwaters Foundation for Justice, and moderator Ann Manning of Wealth for the Common Good explore with Chuck and you, the audience, how we can work together to shift the dominant paradigms we now live with to those of caring for each other and the planet. About the author: Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and directs IPS's Program on Inequality and the Common Good and co-edits www.inequality.org, the premier research and commentary web portal on inequality issues. He is co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good, a network of business leaders, high-income households and other partners working together to promote shared prosperity and fair taxation, as well as co-founder of United for a Fair Economy (UFE). He lives in Boston, MA. --------4 of 6-------- From: AWE Right vs kids 6.26 7pm Tuesday, June 26, 7:00 pm Katherine Stewart Reading Common Good Books, 38 Snelling Ave. S., Saint Paul, MN 55105 Author Katherine Stewart will discuss her new book “The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children.” Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. For additional information contact: minnesotaau [at] gmail.com --------5 of 6-------- Israel lobby 6.26 7pm Northfield MN Holy Land Film Festival, sponsored by Northfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel, Tuesdays at 7pm, Bethel Lutheran, 1050 Cedar Av., Northfield. Free and open to public. More info: Bill McGrath at 507-645-7660. The films: • Tuesday, June 26: “The Israel Lobby,” based on a 2006 article of the same name, this documentary sheds light on the strong governmental ties between the US and Israel. It examines the powerful pro-Israel lobby, and the lengths to which the lobby goes to stifle any criticism of Israel by those in public office. Also at this event: Chris Cowan Chris Cowan, who served 3 months in Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine/Israel late last year, speaks at 4 Minnesota venues in late June: “Razing Human Rights: Demolition and Dispossession in the West Bank.” She’ll share her experience in the South Hebron Hills among Bedouins being uprooted by Israelii occupying military. A resident of Ames, Iowa, Chris is a student at Luther Seminary, St. Paul. --------6 of 6-------- Machinations in Paraguay Obama’s Second Latin American Coup? by SHAMUS COOKE CounterPunch June 25, 2012 The recent coup against Paraguay’s democratically elected president is not only a blow to democracy, but an attack against the working and poor population that supported and elected President Fernando Lugo, whom they see as a bulwark against the wealthy elite who’ve dominated the country for decades. The U.S. mainstream media and politicians are not calling the events in Paraguay a coup, since the president is being “legally impeached” by the elite-dominated Paraguayan Congress. But as economist Mark Weisbrot explained in the Guardian: “The Congress of Paraguay is trying to oust the president, Fernando Lugo, by means of an impeachment proceeding for which he was given less than 24 hours to prepare and only two hours to present a defense. It appears that a decision to convict him has already been written…The main trigger for the impeachment is an armed clash between peasants fighting for land rights with police…But this violent confrontation is merely a pretext, as it is clear that the president had no responsibility for what happened. Nor have Lugo’s opponents presented any evidence for their charges in today’s ‘trial.’ President Lugo proposed an investigation into the incident; the opposition was not interested, preferring their rigged judicial proceedings.” What was the real reason the right-wing Paraguay Senate wanted to expel their democratically elected president? Another article by the Guardian makes this clear: “The president was also tried on four other charges: that he improperly allowed leftist parties to hold a political meeting in an army base in 2009; that he allowed about 3,000 squatters [landless peasants] to illegally invade a large Brazilian-owned soybean farm; that his government failed to capture members of a [leftist] guerrilla group, the Paraguayan People’s Army… and that he signed an international [leftist] protocol without properly submitting it to congress for approval.” The article adds that the president’s former political allies were “…upset after he gave a majority of cabinet ministry posts to leftist allies, and handed a minority to the moderates…The political split had become sharply clear as Lugo publicly acknowledged recently that he would support leftist candidates in future elections.” It’s obvious that the President’s real crimes are that he chose to ally himself more closely with Paraguay’s left, which in reality means the working and poor masses of the country, who, like other Latin American countries, choose socialism as their form of political expression. Although Paraguay’s elite lost control of the presidency when Lugo was elected, they used their stranglehold over the Senate to reverse the gains made by Paraguay’s poor. This is similar to the situation in Egypt: when the old regime of the wealthy elite lost their president/dictator, they used their control of the judiciary in an attempt to reverse the gains of the revolution. Is it fair to blame the Obama administration for the recent coup in Paraguay? Yes, but it takes an introductory lesson on U.S. – Latin American relations to understand why. Paraguay’s right wing – a tiny wealthy elite – has a long-standing relationship with the United States, which has backed dictatorships for decades in the country – a common pattern in most Latin American countries. The United States promotes the interests of the wealthy of these mostly-poor countries, and in turn, these elite-run countries are obedient to the pro-corporate foreign policy of the United States (The Open Veins of Latin America is an excellent book that outlines the history). Paraguay’s elite is incapable of acting so boldly without first consulting the United States, since neighboring countries are overwhelmingly hostile to such an act because they fear a U.S.-backed coup in their own countries. Paraguay’s elite has only the military for internal support, which for decades has been funded and trained by the United States. President Lugo did not fully sever the U.S. military’s links to his country. According to Wikipedia, ”The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) provides technical assistance and training to help modernize and professionalize the [Paraguay]military…” In short, it is not remotely possible for Paraguay’s elite to act without assurance from the United States that it would continue to receive U.S. political and financial support; the elite now needs a steady flow of guns and tanks to defend itself from the poor of Paraguay. The Latin American countries surrounding Paraguay denounced the events as they unfolded and made an emergency trip to the country in an attempt to stop them. What was the Obama administration’s response? Business Week explains: “As Paraguay’s Senate conducted the impeachment trial, the U.S. State Department had said that it was watching the situation closely.” “We understand that Paraguay’s Senate has voted to impeach President Lugo,” said Darla Jordan, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs…“We urge all Paraguayans to act peacefully, with calm and responsibility, in the spirit of Paraguay’s democratic principles.” Obama might as well have said: “We support the right-wing coup against the elected president of Paraguay.” Watching a crime against democracy happen – even if it is “watched closely” – and failing to denounce it makes one complicit in the act. The State Department’s carefully crafted words are meant to give implicit support to the new illegal regime in Paraguay. Obama acted as he did because Lugo turned left, away from corporate interests, towards Paraguay’s poor. Lugo had also more closely aligned himself with regional governments which had worked towards economic independence from the United States. Most importantly perhaps is that, in 2009, President Lugo forbid the building of a planned U.S. military base in Paraguay. What was the response of Paraguay’s working and poor people to their new dictatorship? They amassed outside of the Congress and were attacked by riot police and water cannons. It is unlikely that they will sit on their hands during this episode, since President Lugo had raised their hopes of having a more humane existence. President Lugo has unfortunately given his opponents an advantage by accepting the rulings that he himself called a coup, allowing himself to be replaced by a Senate-appointed president. But Paraguay’s working and poor people will act with more boldness, in line with the social movements across Latin America that have struck heavy blows against the power of their wealthy elite. President Obama’s devious actions towards Paraguay reaffirm which side of the wealth divide he stands on. His first coup in Honduras sparked the outrage of the entire hemisphere; this one will confirm to Latin Americans that neither Republicans nor Democrats care anything about democracy. [Not with their noses stuck in ruling class butts - ed] Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org) He can be reached at shamuscooke [at] gmail.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Shove Trove
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