Friday, September 30, 2005


Tuesday, Oct. 4, 7pm
An ANSWER Coalition Special Event
Women’s Building, 3543 18th St (btwn
Valencia and Guerrero) San Francisco
Malik Rahim, a longtime community activist in
New Orleans (and San Francisco), will talk about
the situation in New Orleans today in the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina and the disastrous response
by the Bush administration and other government
agencies. Malik, who lives in the Algiers section of
New Orleans, will discuss the grassroots community
relief and rebuilding efforts underway through the
Common Ground Relief organization.
Other participants in the program will include Maurice
Campbell, Community First Coalition; Gloria La Riva
and Bill Hackwell of ANSWER who traveled to New Orleans,
Baton Rouge and Houston in the days following the disaster.
A new 14-minutes video, “Heroes Not Looters: Eyewitness
New Orleans and Houston,” will be shown.
Donation of $3-10 requested. No one turned away
for lack of funds.
This event will be a fundraiser for Common Ground
Relief in New Orleans.


The BBC program website still has details of this vote
and can be found at:
The results were:
1. Karl Marx, 27.93%
2. David Hume, 12.67%
3. Ludwig Wittgenstein, 6.80%
4. Friedrich Nietzsche, 6.49%
5. Plato, 5.65%
6. Immanuel Kant, 5.61
7. St. Thomas Aquinas, 4.83%
8. Socrates, 4.82%
9. Aristotle, 4.52%
10. Karl Popper, 4.20%
Check out the program that held the vote - Melvyn
Bragg's "In Our Time". You can get
the latest program on MP3 and can
listen again to older programs in
RealAudio. The one discussing Marx
and the Greatest Philosopher debate can be found at:


Get the military out of our schools!
Money for education not war!
College Not Combat
Planning Meeting
Saturday, Oct. 1, 2:00 P.M.
110 Capp Street (Buzz #202)
San Francisco
For more information:
(415) 248-1701


Are You a Survivor of Police Brutality?
Free Legal Clinic
Thursday October 6, 2005 5:30-7:30pm
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
344 40th Street (at Broadway Oakland, CA 94609
(6 blocks from MacArthur BART)
Find out:
* Remedies to Police Misconduct
* Your rights when it comes to the police
* How to report incidents of police misconduct
For more information: 510.428.3939 ext 224
or e-mail:
organized by Bay Area PoliceWatch


If you fall on the side that is pro-George and pro-war,
you get your ... (self) over to Iraq, and take the
place of somebody who wants to come home. And if
you fall on the side that is against this war and
against George Bush, stand up and speak out.
- Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Mother for Peace
Join Gold Star Families for Peace, Global Exchange,
CODE PINK, Vets for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against
the War, Iraqi American community and many others
Wednesday, Oct 5, 2005 7:00pm
Welcome Home Event
Grand Lake Theater
3200 Grand Ave.
Oakland, California
Cindy Sheehan and others will speak.
$20 suggested donation / Benefit
For advance tickets call 415-255-7296 ext. 253


A national counter-recruitment conference co-sponsored
by the Campus Antiwar Network (CAN) and Military Out
of Our Schools - Bay Area (MOOS)
October 22-23, 2005
University of California, Berkeley
For more information on the ON THE FRONTLINES conference,
or to register or suggest a workshop, email
or visit .


From: Peter Goldberger
Date: September 22, 2005 8:16:59 PM PDT


I thought people might want to know
that on Friday, September 16, 2005,
the Family Policy Compliance Office
of the United States Department of
Education (FPCO), which administers
the military recruiter provisions of
the No Child Left Behind Act, confirmed
that students are permitted to exercise
opt out rights under No Child Left Behind.
This was done in an email message responding
to an inquiry to that office which also
administers FERPA. FPCO said:
Under the military recruiter
provisions, a school is required
to notify parents and provide
them with an opportunity to opt
out. However, because the statute
also mentions that students may opt
out, we have determined that a school
must honor a request made by a student
who took the initiative to tell a school
not to disclose his or her name, address,
& telephone number to military recruiters.
The confusion over this issue is due to
the fact that the question has only
recently been raised to us and we have
not issued any guidance on this matter
(emphasis supplied).
This is consistent with the information
we provided in materials we sent to all
Massachusetts high school principals in
late August. We urge people to make
sure that high schools are giving students
a form which would allow them to opt out
of having their directory information
given to military recruiters, as well
as notifying parents of the right to opt out.
Sarah Wunsch, Staff Attorney
ACLU of Massachusetts
211 Congress St.
Boston, MA 02110
617-482-3170, ext. 323
(fax) 617-451-0009


The Pentagon has been compiling
sensitive data on 30 million
youth ages 16-to-25 using a private
marketing firm, without the
knowledge or consent of individuals
or their families. You can
opt-out of this database by
following instructions at


one sentence on the school
registration form only with
no explanation of consequences
if you do not opt out and no mention
of a student's right to opt-out on their


Brava Theater Center and The Dance Brigade Presents:
Truthsayers: A Cultural Marathon on the Crisis in the
Gulf with Community Leaders and Art Activists
Sunday, October 2, 5-8 p.m.
Brava Theater Center
2789 24th St. (at York), S.F.
415-647-2822 or
A Benefit for Grassroots Katrina Hurricane Relief
Co-sponsored by the San Francisco BayView Newspapers


West Hills Fall Fest--Military infiltrating
Canoga Park Chamber of Commerce!
From: Tonia Young []
Dear Friends,
Did you know that the Fallbrook Trader Joes (in the
San Fernando Valley) and other merchants are holding
a family oriented festival, AND GET THIS, THE
The flyer reads: "Venture into the world of the
military by testing your skills at the virtual
shooting range. Challenge your buddy to the
climbing wall and see who gets to fist to the top.
Let your kids run wild . . ."
Virtual Shooting Range & Climbing Wall"
FAMILY FESTIVITY!! Let's hold these business
owner's feet to the fire for associating with
the military. They need to be told that they
are supporting an institution that is training
our kids to become killers! If they do this
again, we will stage a massive boycott.Sunday, Oct 2
West Hills Center
Saticoy & Woodlake
10am - 6pm
We need counter recruitment literature, video
cameras, and audio recorders.
I'd appreciate it if you could join me at 2 PM!
I'll be wearing a brown cowboy hat.
Tonia Young
Topanga Peace Alliance
Arlington West Volunteer


Save the date: The End Police Brutality
Network Presents:
A community discussion on
Perspectives on Community Based Justice
Popular Justice, Restorative Justice and other
alternatives to the current Justice system
Saturday October 8, 2005 12-3 pm
Andrea Prichett, of Cop Watch and Mesha Irizarry,
of the Idriss Stelley Foundation, will lead an
interactive workshop on the community based justice
movement as it relates to the end police brutality
movement. This workshop will help community
organizations and activists identify alternatives
that can benefit the communities most plagued
with abusive policing and over incarceration.
The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
344 40th Street Oakland, CA
Andrea Prichett, of Cop Watch and Mesha Irizarry,
of the Idriss Stelley Foundation, will lead an
interactive workshop on the community based
justice movement as it relates to the end police
brutality movement. This workshop will help
community organizations and activists identify
alternatives that can benefit the communities most
plagued with abusive policing and over incarceration.
* Visit your group "Justice4Gus" on the web.


Dear Justice for New Americans (J4NA) supporters,
(Please forward to two other friends of yous)
Remembered in January of this year we brought you
the story of two Dallas Chinese American engineers
Freddie Kwong and Andy Yuan who were arrested because
what appeared to be a wrongful accusation of computer
sabotage by their ex-employer- after they complained
about racial discrimination at workplace. With the
early intervention of J4NA and the help of friends
and families of Freddie and Andy they were released
after a few days and the case is now going in front
of the judge on October 3rd.
To ensure their rights and due process are guaranteed
we are starting a letter writing advocacy campaign
on behalf of Freddie and Andy. Here is what you can
do to help. Attached please find a sample letter to
the US Attorney General. All you have to do is to
cut and paste into a email letter and email it to so
we can keep track of the number of email sent.
Enclosed is an attached file you can download,
sign and fax if you wish.
"Dear Ms. Hagan,
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is -----
I live at------My phone number is---------.
I have been following the Freddie Kwong and Andy Yuan
case and I understand that your office is currently
prosecuting this case against Freddie and Andy for
Computer Sabotage and Conspiracy.
I understand that Freddie and Andy had accused their
employer of discrimination just prior to the
allegations of computer sabotage against them by
that same employer.
I have heard that Freddie and Andy have declared that
- They are innocent in the accused Computer Sabotage
and Conspiracy;
- This prosecution is a result of their complaint
of discrimination against their employer.
From what we know, they are good honest people,
with no prior criminal history, and, for the last
three years, have used up all their meager resources
to air their claim of injustice and discrimination
against their accusers. I want to make sure that
they are afforded due process under the law.
I urge you to manage this case with the up most
care and sensitivity and look at the totality
of the situation.
Thank you very much for your attention.
Best Regards,
Please cc: J4na mailing list


The 2nd Annual George Bush Going Away Party:
An Evening of Political Comedy
Sat, Oct 15th @ 8pm
Herbst Theatre
401 Van Ness Ave @ McAllister,
San Francisco
Partial proceeds benefit CCCO's "Military Out of Our
Schools" program Featuring a multicultural variety of
political comedians from both New York and San Francisco:
-Bill Santiago (The Latino Laugh Festival; Comedy
Central's Premium Blend)
-Diane Amos (The Pine Sol Lady; film actress)
-Lisa Geduldig (Producer of Kung Pao
Kosher Comedy, Funny Girlz, Charo)
-Scott Blakeman (New Yorks premier political comic)
-Alana Devich (Semi-finalist in Comedy Centrals Laugh Riots
-Ross Turner (Veteran of several Bush Bash political
comedy shows)
-Aundre the Wonderwoman (Death penalty advocate by
day; comic by night)
Last years sold out show, on the eve of the presidential
elections, was a success but failed to send Bush back to
Crawford so we're trying again. With his approval rating
sinking to a new low of 38%, coupled with his record on
Iraq, and his slow and bungling response to Hurricane
Katrina, we figured we'd try once more to usher Bush out
and send him back home while continuing to provide needed
political comic relief to the citizens of the Bay Area.
Medical studies show that laughter IS the best medicine;
endorphins will be handed out in the aisles.
Tix: $25, $30, & $35
City Box Office:
or (415) 392-4400
More info:
or (415) 522-3737


Sacred Site/Shellmound Peace Walk
Sponsored by Indian People Organizing for Change
November 7-November 25, 2005
Beginning at Glen Cove in Vallejo, CA going through
the Bay Area and ending at Emeryville Shellmound
(Bay Street Mall)
Indian People Organizing for Change along with Vallejo
Intertribal/SSP&RT invite all to join in a journey
of walk and prayer to remember our ancestors that lived
on this land for thousands of years. Led by traditional
Native American leaders and Buddhist Monk's, we will
attempt to walk the areas where shellmounds and
sacred sites have been desecrated by development.
Each day we will walk to sites and pray for our
For more information contact:
Corrina Gould at 510-453-9002
Or email:


On the 50thAnniversary of Dec. 1, 1955,
the day in Montgomery Alabama that Rosa Parks
sparked the modern Civil Rights Movement -- A Call for
Now Coalition, Million Worker March
Movement, Teamsters National Black
Caucus, Michigan Emergency Committee
Against War & Injustice.



2) The Way It Is
September 30, 2005

3) Blood on Their Hands
Published: September 29, 2005

4) Federal Prosecutor to Appeal Atlanta Court Ruling on
the Cuban Five

5) From her Atlanta home, former Gulf Coast resident Latosha
Brown and a few friends watched the man-made catastrophe
unfold in the wake Hurricane Katrina.

6) The Mysteries of New Orleans
Twenty-five Questions about the Murder of the Big Easy
By Mike Davis and Anthony Fontenot


8) GMU student Tariq Khan was brutalized, arrested, and taken to the Fairfax
County jail for passing out anti-military-recruitment flyers on George
Mason University campus



Dear Readers:

After receiving the following news alert, I
received a call from Charles T. Peterson, the
student who was maced while defending another
student that was being attacked by police
for simply holding a counter-recruitment
sign at Holyoke Community College (HCC) in
Massachusetts yesterday, September 29th, 2005.

Charles reported that Officer Scott Landry
(HCC Badge Number 4), the officer that maced
him, showed up at his house this morning
with a State Trooper to inform him that
he was banned from campus for an indefinite
period of time. This same campus police officer,
Officer Landry, is an Advisor to the College
Republican Club at HCC who stood aside and
cheered with their fists clenched in the air
as police attacked the group.

I am waiting for a written report from Charles
which I will post immediately.

-Bonnie Weinstein

Please note: Charles T. Peterson is the student
contact at the HCC Anti-War Coalition.



To Friends and Supporters,

We have just learned that Charles
Peterson, the student who was maced and
assaulted by police at yesterday's
counter recruitment protest at Holyoke
Community College, has received a
letter from the HCC campus police,
informing him that due to "his conduct"
he is indefinitely banned from
campus. If he steps foot on the
property he will be arrested for

In other words, without any due
process, or the opportunity to even speak to
administrators, Charles has been
banned from campus for the "crime" of being
maced in the face by police officers.

It is important to say that Charles
Peterson, who witnesses described as
playing a moderating role at yesterday's
protest, is an upstanding member of
the HCC community. He is the recipient
of the David James Taylor Excellence
in Philosophy Award. He is Vice
President for Academic Affairs on the
Student Senate. He is a member of
the College’s Learning Communities
Committee, and is a frequent
contributor to the student newspaper.

Furthermore, Officer Scott Landry,
the officer who sprayed mace in Charles's
face yesterday, is also an advisor
to the College Republican Club. The
College Republicans were present
during the protest yesterday, cheering on
the police as they attacked students.

Where is due process for Charles Peterson?


HCC Main Number 1-413-552-2600

President Messner 1-413-552-2222

**Please Forward Widely**
From: Elizabeth Wrigley-Field
< >
Date: September 30, 2005 12:43:49 AM EDT To:
Subject: [CampusAntiwarNetwork] Statement from
Holyoke Community College Anti-War Coalition Reply-To:
September 29, 2005

To Dr. William Messner, President of Holyoke
Community College:

We are writing to express our deep outrage at the events
of September 29, when campus police assaulted peaceful
student protesters and sprayed one student with mace.

Approximately thirty activists, many of them members of
Holyoke Community College's Anti War Coalition, exercising
their First Amendment rights to "assemble and petition
government for redress of grievances," participated in
a planned, peaceful picket of Army National Guard
recruiters in the lobby of the college cafeteria. This
was a diverse group of students, black, white, latino,
gay, straight, men and women, united in peaceful and
vocal opposition to US policy in Iraq, the spending
priorities of the US political system, and the college's
hypocrisy in giving preferential, and we believe illegal,
access to military recruiters whose enlistment policies bar
gays and lesbians-- in violation of the college's own anti-
discrimination policies. Furthermore, we believe that the
college's policies violate Massachusetts's laws that prohibit
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Students at HCC are encouraged to voice their opinions, and
yet in this case, when students did exactly that, they
became the victims of police brutality. Students who had
passed through the cafeteria at 7:30AM noted then that
the police were already present -even though recruiters
were not scheduled to begin tabling until 10AM.

The police assault on the students began when one student
standing in front of Officer Landry held aloft with both
hands a hand-lettered, poster board sign reading "Cops
are hypocrites." The sign had no stick attached to it.
At that point, Peter Mascaro, head of Campus Security,
reached over Officer Landry's head, snatched the sign
from the student's hands, saying "That is inappropriate!"
In surprise the student tried to reach for his sign.
At this point the campus police, led by Officer Landry,
assaulted the student. Mr. Mascaro ordered Officer Landry,
"Let him go." Officer Landry heatedly replied "Are you
serious?" The police officer's inappropriate grabbing of
the sign constituted the battery.

Three other officers joined Officer Landry in grabbing each
of the student's limbs and hoisted him off the ground.
Other students instinctively tried to protect the student
being assaulted. When the officers lost their grip on
the student, he backed away and raised his hands in the
air indicating his non-violent posture. At approximately
that moment, Officer Landry maced a different student,
one who was not doing anything or making any gestures
to do anything at the time.

Both of the students who were battered by campus police
are upstanding members of the HCC community. One is
a tutor in the CAPS Center. The other received the David
James Taylor Excellence in Philosophy Award, is Vice
President for Academic Affairs on the Student Senate,
is a member of the College's Learning Communities
Committee, and is a frequent contributor to the
student newspaper. Several of the activists involved
observed that the student who was maced had consistently
played a moderating role in the protest.

As the assault was taking place, approximately a dozen
College Republicans were moving forward, pumping their
fists in the air, shouting and encouraging the Officers
on. It should be noted that the Officer Scott Landry
(HCC Badge Number 4), the officer who used mace on the
student, is also an Advisor to the College Republican
Club at HCC. Throughout the morning, the campus police
force ignored the activities of the College Republicans
and were only deployed against the protesters.

At approximately this time college officials appear to
have called local and State Police, and at least twenty
state police arrived in riot gear and gas masks. Officer
Landry looked at one of the protesters and, observing that
he was wearing a button reading "Lesbian and Gay Liberation,"
loudly uttered an obviously homophobic taunt: "He'll have
fun in jail." As Officer Landry is an employee of the
college, we believe that his taunt constituted illegal
and actionable discrimination under Massachusetts laws.

By this time, the protesting students were trying to
peacefully disperse and attend to the traumatized students
who had been battered by campus police. Riot police
amassed in the cafeteria with boxes labeled "gas masks."

We want to know the if the police were preparing to
deploy gas in the cafeteria-a place where there were
many students, cafeteria workers, and some children present.

With riot police threateningly lined up in the stairwell,
groups of students hostile to the protesters surrounded
and came close to rioting against the small crowd who
had left the building and were trapped in the courtyard

During this time, one student reports that he went to get
a drink of water in the student lounge and ten to fifteen
police in full riot gear pointed their guns at the student
and said "we're not letting anyone in or out of here."

We demand 1) an immediate, unconditional public apology
from the college; 2) a pledge of non-retaliation against
the activists involved; 3) a thorough and impartial
investigation into these incidents; and finally, 4) that
the military recruiters not be allowed back to our college,
as their actions and those of the military discriminate
against people based on their sexual orientation, in
violation of Massachusetts law and college policy.
Furthermore, the military is engaging in an economic
draft against working class and poor people in an attempt
to buttress this nation's illegal war against Iraq.

Thank You,

Members of the Anti War Coalition
at Holyoke Community College

Please call Holyoke Community College
to register your concerns.

HCC Main Number 1-413-552-2600

President Messner 1-413-552-2222


Open Letter to Dr. William Messner, President
of Holyoke Community College, from Bonnie Weinstein,
Bay Area United Against War:

Dear Dr. William Messner,

I called your office yesterday morning (San Francisco time)
to strongly object to the treatment of counter-recruitment
protesters by your college as they exercised their right to
protest the attempt by the military to grab young people to
fight an illegal, immoral and inhuman war.

This government has attacked a country without any
provocation so it is not surprising that these kinds
of attacks are happening on college campuses here in
this country. It is not surprising, but it is still
horrifying and will not be tolerated!

When I called your office, Dr. Messner, your secretary
answered. I felt sorry for her because she was noticeably
disturbed by the reports she was hearing from those of
us who called about how students were being attacked at
her school. But she had no way of even knowing what was
actually happening. I quickly informed her that the whole
country is being informed about what was taking place
that day at Holyoke Community College.

To read the report this morning of what happened in detail
brings shame to you, Dr. Messner and to the College. You
should be fired for your handling of this incident.

The military has billions of dollars to spend hunting down
it's prey of human cannon fodder. You can be sure, even
though we may not have the billions to spend, the
recruiters will not visit campuses without there being
counter-protest opposition from us! We will not go away!
And, we will not let the military loose on our schools
without consequences. This is a life or death situation!

Every time the military comes to Holyoke or any campus
they will not be left to carry out their crimes (lying
to students about the supposed advantages of military
service--lies which could cost students their life)
without vigorous objection being voiced by those of
us opposed to military recruitment in our schools and
to this government's war objectives!

Further, there is every reason to ban the military from
the campuses since they openly practice discrimination
against gay people. Our campuses are supposed to be free
of discriminatory practices!

The counter-recruitment movement is growing as quickly
as opposition to the war is growing. Military recruiters
will face opposition every where they go! And we have
every right to organize these protests on school
campuses, in front of recruitment offices--anywhere
the military has a presence!

After all, they are carrying out an illegal war based
upon lies. They demand that gay people keep silent
about their own identity. They lie about every aspect
of military life to dupe young people into joining.
They even lie about how long new recruits will have
to stay in the Armed Services.

There is nothing in campus rules that says you have
to allow such lying, corrupt, homophobic organizations
to contact students. In fact, schools are supposed
to be places where students are protected from such

It is clear that his bi-partisan government has every
intention of continuing their path of war, death and
destruction to protect American big business interests.
We have every intention to put a stop to their plunder!

The military has become entrenched in our schools from
kindergarten to graduate school. They focus their
attentions on the most disadvantaged students. This
is an economic draft of the poorest of the poor and
is unconscionable! We want them out of our schools
and away from our children! We want money for schools
not for war! If our kids want to go to college let
them go! Why should they have to fight and take
a chance of being killed in a war because they are
too poor to go to school?

If the military wants to hunt for cannon fodder let
them go to the children of the Congress and the Senate
to get their bootie of recruits! Make the Bush twins
sign up! Schools are no place for the military!

We will continue our protests against military
recruiting, you can count on it!

Which side are you on Dr. Messner? You are supposed
to be on the side of students!


Bonnie Weinstein, San Francisco
Bay Area United Against War

Another letter in response to new developments:

Dear Dr. Messner,

I have just learned from Charles T. Peterson that he
and another student have been banned from the school
indefinitely! This is totally unacceptable! The world
is watching what you are doing!

Students have the right to oppose--vehemently--the
presence of liars, cheaters, bigots and kidnappers on
the campus. The military promises anything to get young
people to sign up and when they do all bets are off
and you know it. It is common knowledge. Those who
join become another piece of military property that
can be squandered any way they wish, as the war against
Iraq can attest to.

They are kidnappers because they lure with promises
of careers and success-- school and housing, healthcare
and jobs--things currently unavailable to our most
venerable youth. Those who are underprivileged and
economically handicapped are lured by lies into
servitude in a far away country where every one hates
them! How else can they recruit young people to
participate in such hellish deeds! How else can they
get the cannon fodder needed to carry out a continued
and unprovoked attack against an unarmed nation on
behalf of U.S. oil interests?

No one would go if they knew the truth! That is why
the students were protesting! To reveal the truth!

How dare you ban them from school?

Reinstate them immediately! Get the military out
of your school! And get back to the work of
educating students not attacking them when they
take a courageous stand against horrendous injustice!

Shame on you!


Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War
P.O. Box 318021
San Francisco, Ca 94131-8021


2) The Way It Is
September 30, 2005

Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, is under investigation
by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He sold all his
stock in HCA, which his father helped found, just days before
the stock plunged. Two years ago, Mr. Frist claimed that he
did not even know if he owned HCA stock.

According to a new U.S. government index, the effect of
greenhouse gases is up 20 percent since 1990.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a 33-year-old Wall Street insider with
little experience in regulation but close ties to drug firms,
was made a deputy commissioner at the F.D.A. in July. (This
story, picked up by Time magazine, was originally reported
by Alicia Mundy of The Seattle Times.)

The Arctic ice cap is shrinking at an alarming rate.

Two of the three senior positions at the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration are vacant. The third is
held by Jonathan Snare, a former lobbyist. Texans for Public
Justice, a watchdog group, reports that he worked on efforts
to keep ephedra, a dietary supplement that was banned by the
F.D.A., legal.

According to France's finance minister, Alan Greenspan told
him that the United States had "lost control" of its budget

David Safavian is a former associate of Jack Abramoff, the
recently indicted lobbyist. Mr. Safavian oversaw U.S.
government procurement policy at the White House Office
of Management and Budget until his recent arrest.

When Senator James Inhofe, who has called scientific research
on global warming "a gigantic hoax," called a hearing to
attack that research, his star witness was Michael Crichton,
the novelist.

Mr. Safavian is charged with misrepresenting his connections
with lobbyists - specifically, Mr. Abramoff - while working
at the General Services Administration. A key event was
a lavish golfing trip to Scotland in 2002, mostly paid for
by a charity Mr. Abramoff controlled. Among those who went
on the trip was Representative Bob Ney of Ohio.

It's not possible to attribute any one weather event to
global warming. But climate models show that global warming
will lead to increased hurricane intensity, and some research
indicates that this is already occurring.

Tyco paid $2 million, most going to firms controlled by Mr.
Abramoff, as part of its successful effort to preserve tax
advantages it got from shifting its legal home to Bermuda.
Timothy Flanigan, a general counsel at Tyco, has been
nominated for the second-ranking Justice Department post.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is
awash in soldiers and police. Nonetheless, the Federal
Emergency Management Agency has hired Blackwater USA,
a private security firm with strong political connections,
to provide armed guards.

Mr. Abramoff was indicted last month on charges of fraud
relating to his purchase of SunCruz, a casino boat
operation. Mr. Ney inserted comments in the Congressional
Record attacking SunCruz's original owner, Konstantinos
"Gus" Boulis, placing pressure on him to sell to Mr.
Abramoff and his partner, Adam Kidan, and praised Mr.
Kidan's character.

James Schmitz, who resigned as the Pentagon's inspector
general amid questions about his performance, has been
hired as Blackwater's chief operating officer.

Last week three men were arrested in connection with
the gangland-style murder of Mr. Boulis. SunCruz, after
it was controlled by Mr. Kidan and Mr. Abramoff, paid
a company controlled by one of the men arrested, Anthony
"Big Tony" Moscatiello, and his daughter $145,000 for
catering and other work. In court documents, questions
are raised about whether food and drink were ever
provided. SunCruz paid $95,000 to a company in which
one of the other men arrested, Anthony "Little Tony"
Ferrari, is a principal.

Iraq's oil production remains below prewar levels. The
Los Angeles Times reports that mistakes by U.S.
officials and a Halliburton subsidiary, which was
given large no-bid reconstruction contracts, may
have permanently damaged Iraq's oilfields.

Tom DeLay, who stepped down as House majority leader
after his indictment, once called Mr. Abramoff "one
of my closest and dearest friends." Mr. Abramoff
funneled funds from clients to conservative institutions
and causes. The Washington Post reported that
associates of Mr. DeLay claim that he severed
the relationship after Mr. Boulis's murder.

Public health experts warn that the U.S. would be
dangerously unprepared for an avian flu pandemic.

As Walter Cronkite used to say, That's the way it is.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company


3) Blood on Their Hands
Published: September 29, 2005

The special House committee investigating the government's
response to the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe (sometimes
known as the Committee to Keep the Heat Off Bush) gave
a good thrashing on Tuesday to Michael Brown, the
terminally hapless former head of the Federal Emergency
Management Agency.

At the moment, nothing's safer politically in the U.S.
than pounding the heck out of Brownie. But pummeling a
scapegoat, even one as mouthwateringly tempting as the
spectacularly clueless Mr. Brown, will not get us closer
to understanding the monumental breakdown of government
that contributed mightily to one of the greatest tragedies
in American history.

For that we need a highly respected and truly independent
commission that is willing to root out all the facts, no
matter how embarrassing to the people in power, and lay
out a reasonable plan for the future. The Bush administration
wants no part of that.

On this issue, the American people should take a stand.
Government at all levels failed the city of New Orleans
and other parts of the Gulf Coast, and many died as a
result. This was a widely predicted tragedy, and still
it was allowed to happen. The mayor of New Orleans, a
Democrat by the name of Ray Nagin, should have known better
than anyone else in the country that a large portion of his
city's population would be unable to evacuate on their own
because they didn't have money, or they didn't have cars,
or they didn't have a place to go, or they were just too
ill to move. He failed in his obligation to them.

Make no mistake: government officials have blood on their
hands. Men, women and children - some of them handicapped,
some of them elderly or already desperately ill - were
condemned to horrible suffering and, in many cases, agonizing
deaths. Human beings were left to drown in their flooded homes,
in hospitals, in nursing homes and in the street. The American
people deserve to know why.

Even as the tragedy was unfolding, carried live on television
screens across the U.S. and around the world, President
Bush declined to intervene in a timely and effective way.
Had he acted promptly, he no doubt could have saved some
lives. But he didn't. His inaction seemed both inexplicable
and unforgivable, and would certainly be a main focus of
an independent investigation.

The Times reported yesterday that even the Louisiana National
Guard was unprepared to carry out its Hurricane Katrina
mission. Hampered from the start by a shortage of troops
and crucial equipment because of the deployment of Guard
members in Iraq, commanders saw the situation go from bad
to much, much worse when floodwaters overwhelmed their
Jackson Barracks headquarters, which is in a low-lying
section of New Orleans, downriver from the French Quarter.

Despite clear warnings that the hurricane might be
disastrous, the Guard's commanders had not considered
moving their vulnerable headquarters. When the flooding
hit, chaos ensued. Commanders became preoccupied with
salvaging what they could and rescuing soldiers who could
not swim. Operations were then moved by boat and helicopter
to the Superdome.

Televised hearings on matters of great national interest
can bring out the worst in Congressional committee members.
They tend to behave like actors at a casting call. It's all
about them. This is a matter too grave and too complex to
be investigated by the perpetually partisan, hey-look-at-
me crowd on Capitol Hill. (The special House committee is
primarily a Republican show. The Democrats, with a couple
of exceptions, are boycotting it.)

President Bush, whose poor judgment gave us Mr. Brown as
the head of FEMA, wants nothing more than a whitewash of
his administration's role in the debacle. Back on Sept. 6,
with criticism coming at him from all directions, he said,
"What I intend to do is lead a - to lead an investigation
to find out what went right and what went wrong."

We already know what went right. Very little. What is
needed now are the findings and the learned counsel of
a bipartisan group of distinguished, sincere and dedicated
individuals who are capable of keeping the best interests
of the people of the United States in mind.

Terrorism remains an enormous threat - the No. 1 threat
- to the U.S. The tragically inept response to Hurricane
Katrina and its aftermath (and the enormous difficulties
encountered in the evacuation ahead of Hurricane Rita)
tells us the nation is far from prepared to successfully
meet that threat.


4) Federal Prosecutor to Appeal Atlanta Court Ruling on
the Cuban Five
Amazingly, it's necessary for US readers to follow the Cuban
media such as this to find out what the US government is doing
withing the US as far as continued legal moves against Cuba!

Read the decision which the prosecutors wants to reconsider:

Federal Prosecutor to Appeal Atlanta Court Ruling on the Cuban Five

Havana, Sept 29 ( AIN ) The federal prosecutor's office in Miami
requested on Wednesday that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals of
Atlanta reconsider -with the participation of all the Court's
judges- its ruling in favor of the five Cuban political
prisoners held in the US.

Last August, a panel of three judges appointed by the Atlanta
Court of Appeals accepted the defense's case that the five
Cubans did not receive a fair and impartial trial in Miami -a
city notorious for its anti-Cuban fervor and highly influenced
by ultra-rightwing Cuban-American groups.

According to the Cubadebate website-a space devoted to the
exchange of information about terrorism and mass media campaigns
against Cuba-, Alexander Acosta, the Chief Federal Prosecutor of
Miami, requested that the Atlanta court reconsider the case with
the full panel of twelve judges, because he believes that the
decision contradicts other decisions by the Supreme Court and
the Court of Appeals itself.

According to a statement made public by the Miami Federal
Prosecutors Office, "a full panel review is necessary to
maintain uniformity," though it did not offer any other details
about the basis for the request.

Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando
Gonzales and Rene Gonzalez were declared guilty in a trial that
was considered by legal experts, a UN panel and the Atlanta
Court of Appeals as significantly irregular and prejudiced.

The trial ended in December of 2001, handing out harsh sentences
to the five Cubans: three received life imprisonment; one, 19
years; and the other, 15 years.

The five Cubans admitted to being in Miami to investigate
terrorist activities organized and financed by extremist groups
based there, whose activities have been tolerated by the US

In a thoroughly documented, 93-page decision handed down in
August, the Atlanta Court of Appeals overturned the sentence
and ordered a new trial, based on the venue where the trial had
took place.

The Miami trial was profoundly influenced by an extensive and
aggressive media campaign -from the first day of the arrest-
that labeled the five Cubans as spies. Several potential jury
members testified that they could not comply with their duties
as they could not be impartial in a Miami court where it would
be the Cuban government on trial.

Since their detainment in September of 1998, the five Cubans
have been subjected to inhumane conditions; their treatment was
heavily criticized in a May 27th report by the UN Human Rights
Commission's Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions.

Both the Atlanta Court of Appeals and the UN group stated that
the trial didn't take place in the required climate of
objectivity and impartiality, and declared the city of Miami not
an adequate venue for a trial, as it has been proven that it is
nearly impossible to select an impartial jury in this city in
any case related to Cuba.

Furthermore, the defense attorneys had very limited access to
evidence, as the US government had resorted to classifying much
of the material involved, something that undermined the
necessary balance between the prosecution and the defense, and
seriously hampered the defense's case.

An additional factor that affected the fairness of the trial was
that the five Cubans were placed in solitary confinement for 17
months, during which time their contact with their defense
attorneys was greatly limited.

p/rsl rsl 05 20:39


5) From her Atlanta home, former Gulf Coast resident Latosha
Brown and a few friends watched the man-made catastrophe
unfold in the wake Hurricane Katrina.

"We kept expecting to see the National Guard, the government,
the Red Cross, somebody to do something. The idea that our
leaders would allow people to fend for themselves two, three,
five days with no food, water, medicine or help from outside
- we just couldn't get our minds around it.

"People were dying by the hundreds in New Orleans, and more
folks we knew in Mississippi, in Alabama were hurt, missing
and homeless or hungry. You've got two choices when you
see something like that. Choice one is to feel defeated.
Choice two is to be pro-active and do something about it.
There were about six of us in my living room at that moment,
all movement vets. We called around to see what we could
make happen ourselves.

"The first folks to send a couple of vans of food and
supplies was TOPS, The Ordinary Peoples Society, a prison
ministry in Dothan AL founded and staffed by ex-offenders.
They organized food from a food bank, pooled their money to
get additional goods and moved it to Mobile where they
connected with a second organization of formerly incarcerated
brothers down there to distribute it while they went back to
Dothan for more. That's why we tell everybody now that it
was felons who were the first to feed, the first to respond
to need, the first to get up and do something. They didn't
wait for permission or for a contract. That's real leadership."

The Real Leaders

Rev. Kenneth Glasgow of Dothan Alabama and Paul Jackson of
Mobile each spent a decade in prison. Both are part of
a network of black civic and religious organizations that
have fought for years to restore the right to vote to over
200,000 former prisoners in Alabama, most of them African
American men. Glasgow and his organization hustled food and
got the first vans on the road southbound to the gulf.
Jackson and his organization met the vans and guided them
to where the need was greatest. "We started going into
the projects," said Glasgow. "We went to Orange Grove and
other places, somewhere the water had reached second floor
windows, but nobody had seen FEMA or the Red Cross.
We just started targeting areas where nobody else was coming."

The former prisoners found small and medium sized black
churches in the affected area who also hadn't been contacted
by the Red Cross or any government agency but who'd mobilized
their own members to begin feeding their neighborhoods.
The ex-offenders began sharing their supplies, their contacts
and their information about unmet needs with these community
partners. By the second food and water trip south, the former
prisoners were bringing families out of flooded and devastated
areas back to safety and temporary housing, and soon the ex-
felons were driving in shifts with vans moving both ways
around the clock.

Abandoned by the Government

Brown and her friends imagined that by their second or third
trip south, local or federal officials, the National Guard or
someone in authority would be on the scene to feed people, to
evacuate the sick, homeless and injured, restore essential
services, assess the damage and generally do what governments
of modern and civilized societies are expected to do. But
in Gulf Coast Alabama and Mississippi, just as in New Orleans,
it didn't happen.

"When we realized this wouldn't be over in a couple days, we
hit the phones again," Latosha Brown told BC. "We asked for
help from community and civic organizations we'd worked with,
from churches we knew, from businesses and individuals and
doors just flew open. It was amazing. One friend was able
to get $10,000 worth of food donated, but it sat there all
morning because we had no way to move it. A brother in the
community, a truck driver stepped up and volunteered to get
it down to the Gulf Coast for gas money. Paul Jackson down
in Mobile got us a warehouse to receive goods being sent,
and somebody's supervisor on the job lent a forklift and
driver. We found more vans in other places, and on the
fourth day our group in Selma working with a local church
opened up a shelter for a hundred people. Every truck and
van that carried supplies down brought families out on the
way back, including a number of Cambodian and Vietnamese

"The black churches tapped their own networks," said Paul
Jackson of One For Life in Mobile. "Donations, supplies
and volunteers came from churches all over Mississippi
and Alabama. We got help from churches in Minnesota,
Maryland and Virginia that arrived in black neighborhoods
before anybody from FEMA or the Red Cross. Still, even
after the arrival of official help we kept finding pockets
of mostly black people bypassed or ignored by FEMA and the
Red Cross.

This should have been no surprise. Much of the National
Guard was in Iraq. FEMA never demanded that Red Cross
officials leaders expand their personal network of contacts
across the tracks into Black Biloxi, Black Mobile, Black
Gulfport and Black Pascagoula. So well stocked and well-
supplied Red Cross operations sat in white churches only
a short distance from predominantly black areas which had
not been reached by any private or government relief agency
before black churches and black ex-offenders and black
grassroots organizations took matters into their own hands.

Ex-Offenders are First Responders

"We didn't get as much help from the Red Cross as we
expected," Latosha Brown told BC, "and at first we put
it down to them just being overwhelmed. But the pattern
we saw of them failing to notice the needs in our community
when they were just so close, failing to partner with those
on the ground doing work in those areas when they have no
problem accepting donations from black people was really

"I flew down to Gulfport on my own dime, partly to meet
with local Red Cross officials. It was a real disappointment
to be in a place where all these supplies and resources
were concentrated, and see them make very little effort
to partner with their own neighbors, with black churches,
with the formerly incarcerated brothers and others who
were on the ground serving the neighborhoods where we
knew the need was so great.

"I never answer my cell phone during meetings, but somehow
the spirit told me I should answer it during this particular
meeting, this one time. It was some of our people driving
the vans. Three of our vans on the way north out of the
flooded areas were loaded with evacuees, but no cash and
about to run out of gas somewhere in Mississippi. They
were calling me because they knew I might have a credit
card. I was in a meeting with several Red Cross bigwigs
but I couldn't get any of them to help gas up our guys
on the road, not a one. We got next to no help from the
Red Cross that day. On the way out they offered us
a couple cases of juicy juice and some overripe bananas.
I wanted to cry."

Whether Brown cried that day or not, the coalition of
churches, community organizations, business people,
former prisoners and others engaged in grassroots relief
effort soldiered on. By September 15th they had moved
$100,000 worth of food and supplies to affected areas,
gained access to eight buses, had evacuated over
a thousand people and were helping supply and run four
shelters. Through contacts with realtors and builders
they were arranging temporary and permanent housing
for families, and funneling volunteers from dozens of
churches to affected areas to assist in cleanup.
A week later, just before this article's press time,
SOS After Katrina had secured the cooperation of the
National Medical Association, the premiere organization
of African American physicians to provide medical
services to some evacuees and persons in affected areas.

"We call ourselves SOS After Katrina" said Latosha
Brown. "That stands for Saving Our Selves, cause if
we don't who will?"

What is a Government for?

Brown and the coalition of organizations that make up
SOS Katrina know that taking care of citizens is still
the responsibility of government, and they vow to stick
around for the political fight to make that happen. But
since it did not happen this time, they stepped up. The
Red Cross did not fulfill its responsibility to serve the
whole community. SOS After Katrina and the black church
will continue to struggle with them - not against them,
but with them, to help fix this too. Again, if we don't
fight to save ourselves, who will?

The same Thursday night that BC interviewed Latosha Brown
President Bush spoke to the nation from New Orleans. The
president's hypocritical lip service to the right of the
city's evacuated residents to return and to remain, was
followed by a $50 billion dollar pledge and a wage of
cost-plus, no-bid contracts to corrupt military contractors
that included Halliburton and Bechtel. This, and the
suspension of the 70 year old Davis-Bacon Act, allowing
federal contractors to further lower the already low
prevailing wages in the region are just the beginning.
The good people at OMB Watch put it like this:

"The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank,
has unveiled a vast plan for using the reconstruction
of the Gulf Coast as an excuse for broad rollbacks of
federal protections, including environmental, worker
health and safety, and minimum wage standards....

"The president's recent speech announcing the White
House's plan for reconstruction of the region included
reference to a "Gulf Coast Opportunity Zone." Though Bush
gave little detail of what such an opportunity zone would
entail, the Heritage Foundation report using the same
language details a vast give-away to corporate special
interests and a full-scale repeal of health and safety

If the Heritage Foundation and the Bush Administration
have their way the Gulf states will be the scene of more
crimes against public safety, health and prosperity in
the months and years to come. They are not the least bit
ashamed to tell us so, and some of the first legislative
proposals along this line were submitted September 15.

We have seen grassroots black leaders in our churches and
community organizations answer the call to pull together
a people's relief effort in response to the government's
failure to plan and provide for its citizens in crisis.

The question now is whether members of our established
black political leadership are willing to relentlessly
expose the root causes of these failures and make sure
they never happen again. What will black political
leadership do to protect us and the nation from Bush's
cynical "Gulf Coast Opportunity Zone"? What good are
institutions like the Congressional Black Caucus if they
do not offer real alternative visions, hold public hearings,
educate the public, and campaign for concrete remedies.
Unity of the caucus would be nice, but clarity and an
opposing vision of what the Gulf coast must look like,
what America must look like are far more important at
this time.

The grassroots leadership has stepped up. Now it's time
for members of the Congressional Black Caucus to find
their voices. So far, the contrast between the can-do
spirit of our churches and community organizations, and
yes, our organized ex-offenders and what we hear from most
of our black faces in high places is glaring, obvious and
a little sad.

The web site of SOS After Katrina is

Some of the organizations included in SOS After Katrina are:

Alabama Coalition on Black Civic Participation,

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

The Ordinary Peoples Society

One For Life

Southern Christian Leadership Council

Black Leadership Forum

The Hip Hop Caucus

Clergy Who Care, Birmingham AL

Circle of Love Fellowship Minstries

The Hip Hop UN

NAACP, Mississippi Chapter

National Medical Association, Jackson MS chapter

Center for Pan Asian Community Service

Students and student leaders at the Atlanta
University Center

Congregations of dozens of large and small churches
in several states

Bruce Dixon can be reached at


6) The Mysteries of New Orleans
Twenty-five Questions about the Murder of the Big Easy
By Mike Davis and Anthony Fontenot

We recently spent a week in New Orleans and Southern Louisiana
interviewing relief workers, community activists, urban planners,
artists, and neighborhood folks. Even as the latest flood waters
from Hurricane Rita recede, the city remains submerged in anger
and frustration.

Indeed, the most toxic debris in New Orleans isn't the sinister
gray sludge that coats the streets of the historic Creole
neighborhood of Treme or the Lower Ninth Ward, but all the
unanswered questions that have accumulated in the wake
of so much official betrayal and hypocrisy. Where outsiders
see simple "incompetence" or "failure of leadership," locals
are more inclined to discern deliberate design and planned
neglect -- the murder, not the accidental death, of a great city.

In almost random order, here are twenty-five of the urgent
questions that deeply trouble the local people we spoke with.
Until a grand jury or congressional committee begins
to uncover the answers, the moral (as opposed to simply
physical) reconstruction of the New Orleans region will
remain impossible.

1. Why did the floodwalls along the 17th Street Canal
only break on the New Orleans (majority Black) side and
not on the Metairie (largely white) side? Was this the result
of neglect and poor maintenance by New Orleans authorities?

2. Who owned the huge barge that was catapulted
through the wall of the Industrial Canal, killing hundreds
in the Lower Ninth Ward -- the most deadly hit-and-run
accident in U.S. history?

3. All of New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish east of
the Industrial Canal were drowned, except for the
Almonaster-Michoud Industrial District along Chef
Menteur Highway. Why was industrial land apparently
protected by stronger levees than nearby residential

4. Why did Mayor Ray Nagin, in defiance of his own
official disaster plan, delay twelve to twenty-four hours
in ordering a mandatory evacuation of the city?

5. Why did Secretary of Homeland Security Michael
Chertoff not declare Katrina an "Incident of National
Significance" until August 31 -- thus preventing the
full deployment of urgently needed federal resources?

6. Why wasn't the nearby U.S.S. Bataan immediately
sent to the aid of New Orleans? The huge amphibious-
landing ship had a state-of-the-art, 600-bed hospital,
water and power plants, helicopters, food supplies,
and 1,200 sailors eager to join the rescue effort.

7. Similarly, why wasn't the Baltimore-based hospital
ship USS Comfort ordered to sea until August 31, or the
82nd Airborne Division deployed in New Orleans until
September 5?

8. Why does Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
balk at making public his "severe weather execution
order" that established the ground rules for the military
response to Katrina? Did the Pentagon, as a recent
report by the Congressional Research Service suggests,
fail to take initiatives within already authorized powers,
then attempt to transfer the blame to state and local

9. Why were the more than 350 buses of the New
Orleans Regional Transportation Authority -- eventually
flooded where they were parked -- not mobilized to
evacuate infirm, poor, and car-less residents?

10. What significance attaches to the fact that the
chair of the Transportation Authority, appointed by
Mayor Nagin, is Jimmy Reiss, the wealthy leader of
the New Orleans Business Council which has long
advocated a thorough redevelopment of (and
cleanup of crime in) the city?

11. Under what authority did Mayor Nagin meet
confidentially in Dallas with the "forty thieves" --
white business leaders led by Reiss -- reportedly
to discuss the triaging of poorer Black areas and
a corporate-led master plan for rebuilding the city?

12. Everyone knows about a famous train
called "the City of New Orleans." Why was there
no evacuation by rail? Was Amtrak part of the
disaster planning? If not, why not?

13. Why were patients at private hospitals like
Tulane evacuated by helicopter while their
counterparts at the Charity Hospital were left
to suffer and die?

14. Was the failure to adequately stock food,
water, potable toilets, cots, and medicine at the
Louisiana Superdome a deliberate decision --
as many believe -- to force poorer residents
to leave the city?

15. The French Quarter has one of the highest
densities of restaurants in the nation. Once the acute
shortages of food and water at the Superdome and
the Convention Center were known, why didn't officials
requisition supplies from hotels and restaurants located
just a few blocks away? (As it happened, vast quantities
of food were simply left to spoil.)

16. City Hall's emergency command center had
to be abandoned early in the crisis because its
generator supposedly ran out of diesel fuel. Likewise
many critical-care patients died from heat or
equipment failure after hospital backup generators
failed. Why were supplies of diesel fuel so inadequate?
Why were so many hospital generators located
in basements that would obviously flood?

17. Why didn't the Navy or Coast Guard immediately
airdrop life preservers and rubber rafts in flooded
districts? Why wasn't such life-saving equipment
stocked in schools and hospitals?

18. Why weren't evacuee centers established
in Audubon Park and other unflooded parts of
Uptown, where locals could be employed as
cleanup crews?

19. Is the Justice Department investigating the Jim
Crow-like response of the suburban Gretna police
who turned back hundreds of desperate New Orleans
citizens trying to walk across the Mississippi River
bridge -- an image reminiscent of Selma in 1965?
New Orleans, meanwhile, abounds in eyewitness
accounts of police looting and illegal shootings:
Will any of this ever be investigated?

20. Who is responsible for the suspicious fires
that have swept the city? Why have so many fires
occurred in blue-collar areas that have long been
targets of proposed gentrification, such as the
Section 8 homes on Constance Street in the
Lower Garden District or the wharfs along the
river in Bywater?

21. Where were FEMA's several dozen vaunted
urban search-and-rescue teams? Aside from some
courageous work by Coast Guard helicopter crews,
the early rescue effort was largely mounted by
volunteers who towed their own boats into the
city after hearing an appeal on television.

22. We found a massive Red Cross presence in
Baton Rouge but none in some of the smaller
Louisiana towns that have mounted the most
impressive relief efforts. The poor Cajun community
of Ville Platte, for instance, has at one time or another
fed and housed more than 5,000 evacuees; but the
Red Cross, along with FEMA, has refused almost
daily appeals by local volunteers to send professional
personnel and aid. Why then give money to the Red Cross?

23. Why isn't FEMA scrambling to create a central
registry of everyone evacuated from the greater
New Orleans region? Will evacuees receive absentee
ballots and be allowed to vote in the crucial February
municipal elections that will partly decide the fate
of the city?

24. As politicians talk about "disaster czars" and
elite-appointed reconstruction commissions, and
as architects and developers advance utopian designs
for an ethnically cleansed "new urbanism" in New
Orleans, where is any plan for the substantive
participation of the city's ordinary citizens in their
own future?

25. Indeed, on the fortieth anniversary of the
1965 Voting Rights Act, what has happened
to democracy?

Mike Davis is the author of many books including
City of Quartz, Dead Cities and Other Tales, and
the just published Monster at our Door, The Global
Threat of Avian Flu (The New Press) as well as the
forthcoming Planet of Slums (Verso).

Anthony Fontenot is a New Orleans architect
and community-design activist, currently working
at Princeton University.

Copyright 2005 Mike Davis and Anthony Fontenot



MIAMI (USA), September 28˜Federal prosecutors in Florida's southern
district have asked the full 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to
reconsider the decision overturning the arbitrary and illegal trial
of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters in 2001 in Miami.
According to an EFE dispatch, U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta
presented a petition to the Atlanta court requesting that "all 12
justices" reconsider the case, after the August 9 ruling by a panel
of three of that Court's judges with broad support that is very
difficult to refute.

The judges annulled the trial of Cubans Gerardo Hernández, René
González, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrerro and Fernando González
because they believed that the defendants did not have a "fair and
impartial trial" in Miami, where the anti-Cuban ultra-right
dominates the media and created an atmosphere contrary to justice,
committed wholesale irregularities and violated basic procedures.

The prosecutor added, without explaining why, that the Appeals Court
ruling "runs contrary" to Supreme Court decisions in similar cases
and to the 11th Circuit Court.

The three-judge panel agreed with arguments presented by the
defendants in which they affirmed that prejudice by the Miami ultra-
right against the Cuban Revolution created a situation that
prevented a fair and impartial trial and ordered, in an
unprecedented 93-page decision, the revocation of the sentences
against the Five and a retrial, but the Washington government, in
its commitment to the Miami mafia, is persisting, with this new
step, in its maneuvering to punish those who were fighting against
the terrorism that was threatening Cuban and U.S. citizens.

This appeal once again prolongs the imprisonment of the Five heroes,
whose release is being demanded worldwide by thousands and thousands
of people who already know the truth.


Working Group Against Terrorism, September 30, 2005, Courtesy of

On September 28, 2005, the U.S. Attorney General appealed to the
11th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision issued last
August 9 by a panel of 3 judges that overturned the convictions
imposed on the Cuban Five and ordered a new trial.
The appeal, conducted by the U.S. Attorney in Florida, was first
approved in Washington by the Justice Department, asking for
reconsideration by the 12 active judges of the Atlanta court. In a
statement that was defiant and ignored the multiple legal precedents
that the decision is based on, the U.S. attorney states that the
decision contradicts previous decisions of the Supreme Court and the
very 11th Circuit itself, without explaining why. It simply
affirms, "Consideration by the en banc panel is necessary to assure
and maintain uniformity in the decisions of the 11th Circuit."

Leonard Weinglass, an attorney for the defense, said that the appeal
by the U.S. attorney is an action that "has no adequate basis in
legal practice." He added, "The opinion that they [the prosecution]
are trying to challenge is the most extensive decision written on
the theme of venue in the history of the United States. They don't
consider the decision adequate, obviously for political reasons."

For their part, legal experts have recognized that the 3-judge
decision cites such an overwhelming amount of evidence, that there
is nothing that the prosecution can challenge factually. The
evidence includes a survey carried out before the trial, approved by
the Miami court. Those results showed the deep-rooted prejudice in
the community against Cuba and the five accused Cubans.

The court stated that in this case the prejudice of the Miami
community against Cuba and its government, the publicity before and
during the trial, and the improper conduct of the prosecution
combined to create a situation in which it was not possible for the
Five Cubans to obtain a fair trial.

Before the Atlanta Court decision, the Working Group on Arbitrary
Detentions of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations, had
determined that the detention of the Cuban Five was arbitrary and
illegal, in considering that "1) the trial did not take place in an
impartial and objective climate, as is required to assure a fair
trial;" 2) "the defense attorneys had a very limited access to
evidence that was classified secret by the government for national
security reasons, and 3) the communication with their attorneys,
access to the evidence, and consequently, the possibility of an
adequate defense were weakened."


8) GMU student Tariq Khan was brutalized, arrested, and taken to the Fairfax
County jail for passing out anti-military-recruitment flyers on George
Mason University campus.

Early afternoon today [Thursday], GMU student Tariq Khan was beaten and
arrested for doing counter-recruitment work.

A marine recruiter set up a table in the Johnson Center at GMU, so Tariq
stood next to the table wearing a small sign taped to his chest which
read, "Recruiters Lie. Don't be decieved." He also had another sign which
read, "U.S. out of Iraq. Israel out of Palestine. U.S. out of North
America." And of course it was finished off with the anarchist circle-A
and the words, "Resist Tyranny". He also had anti-military-recruitment
flyers to give to those who were interested.

T.L. Reynolds #38, a GMU police officer told him he had to leave. Tariq
responded that he is allowed to be there and that he isn't doing anything
wrong, "I'm just standing here", he said. Officer Reynolds told Tariq that
he must have university permission to table, but Tariq was not tabling, he
was just standing there with a sign.

When it became clear that Tariq refused to acquiesce to the officer's
arbitrary order, officer Reynolds ordered Tariq to turn around (for
handcuffing). Tariq again refused to turn around and started to walk away
when officer Reynolds got angry and started using physical force to take
Tariq down and handcuff him. Tariq continually squirmed away stating in a
loud voice, "I am not using violence, He is using physical force against
me, yet I committed no crime", and other similar words.

Many students started crowding around to see what the commotion was about.
Officer Reynolds violently took Tariq down as other cops showed up on the
scene. One man, who wasn't even a cop, but was an ultra-right wing student
who had been harrassing Tariq prior to officer Reynolds showing up,
suddenly joined in with the cops in keeping Tariq, still non-violent but
not passive, down on the ground. Eventually the cops handcuffed Tariq and
dragged him by his handcuffs out to the car.

When Tariq refused to get into the police car, and demanded that the
police unhandcuff him and let him free, a fat white cop threatened to
pepper spray Tariq. Tariq then announced loudly for the surrounding
students to hear, "he's going to pepper spray me while I'm non-violent. If
you have a camera, get pictures of it."

Immediately a student took out her camera and pointed it at the officers.
Just as immediately as the camera came out, the fat white cop put the
pepper spray away and said in an ashamed tone, I'm not pepper spraying
anyone. Then the cops blocked off the way so that no one with a camera
could get a good shot in.

One cop said to Tariq, "hey, I'm just trying to help you out." To which
Tariq replied, "Hey everyone, this cop just wants to help me out! Hey
officer, if you want to help me out, then get these handcuffs off of me
and let me go." Then the cops picked Tariq up and forced him into the back
of the police car.

He was taken to the police station on campus where the police asked him if
he needed any medical treatment (as a result of their brutal handling of
Tariq). He replied that yes he did, and officer Reynolds said he'd get him
some, but never did.

Officer Reynolds also asked Tariq if he wanted a lawyer present, to which
Tariq replied that yes, he did want a lawyer present. Reynolds said he'd
get one, but never did.

After enduring much insults from two police at the police station, Tariq
was then taken to the Fairfax county jail, and officer Reynolds instructed
Tariq to keep his mouth shut and not even look at anyone at the jail,
because if he even so much as looks at an officer wrong, they will "hang
you from the cieling by your feet".

Tariq thought to himself, "where are they taking me, Abu Ghraib?
Guantanamo? What kind of people hang a person from the ceiling upside down
simply for looking at them?"

Eventually they let Tariq go, but charged him with trespassing (on his own
campus), resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. GMU students are now
organizing to fight against this injustice and to assert their right to
protest recruiters on their campus.

Call and write:

Robert F. Horan, Jr., Commonwealth's Attorney
Fairfax County
4110 Chain Bridge Rd., Rm 123
Fairfax, VA 22030-4009
Tel: 703-246-2776

Michael F. Lynch, Chief of Police
George Mason University
4400 University Dr., # 3D3
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444

Alan G. Merten, President
George Mason University
4400 University Dr., # 3A1
Fairfax, VA 22030-4422

We are going to hold a rally and protest at GMU's Fairfax campus on
Monday, October 3rd at noon. It will be at the clock tower, which is like
the center of campus. There are several demands that will be made at the
protest, but one of them is that GMU and Fairfax County drop the charges
against Tariq. Please stay tuned, though, as more actions and campaigns
are currently being planned.

To visit your group on the web, go to:


The Slave Master and the Devil, By Brooks Berndt, Guest
The Black Commentator


Fear Exceeded Crime's
Reality in New Orleans
Published: September 29, 2005
What became clear is that the rumor of crime,
as much as the reality of the public disorder,
often played a powerful role in the emergency
response. A team of paramedics was barred from
entering Slidell, across Lake Pontchartrain from
New Orleans, for nearly 10 hours based on
a state trooper's report that a mob of armed,
marauding people had commandeered boats.
It turned out to be two men escaping from their
flooded streets, said Farol Champlin, a paramedic
with the Acadian Ambulance Company.


A Mogul Who Would
Rebuild New Orleans
Published: September 29, 2005
BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 28 - Many of the business elite
of New Orleans seem preoccupied these days by what some
here simply call The List - the chosen few Mayor C. Ray
Nagin is expected to name on Friday to a commission to
advise him on the rebuilding of the stricken city. Almost
certain to make the grade is the real estate mogul Joseph
C. Canizaro, the man best known for bringing high-rises
to the New Orleans skyline.


Cut-Rate Homes For
Middle Class Are
Catching On
Published: September 29, 2005


Jobless Claims Related
to Katrina Continue
to Climb
Published: September 29, 2005
Filed at 10:27 a.m. ET


In a Melting Trend,
Less Arctic Ice to
Go Around
Published: September 29, 2005


Judge Upholds Lawsuit
by Two Muslim Men
Published: September 29, 2005
Filed at 10:06 a.m. ET


Gen.: Troop Withdrawal
Hinges on Iraq Vote
Published: September 29, 2005
Filed at 11:22 a.m. ET


Stocks Slide on
Continuing Job Losses
Published: September 29, 2005
Filed at 11:26 a.m. ET


Roberts Overwhelmingly
Approved as Next
Chief Justice
Published: September 29, 2005


FOCUS | Pentagon May Be Spying with No Oversight


Catastrophic economics
The predators of New Orleans
After the criticism of his disastrous handling the Katrina
disaster, President George Bush promises a reconstruction
programme of $200bn for areas destroyed by the hurricane.
But the first and biggest beneficiaries will be businesses
that specialise in profiting from disaster, and have already
had lucrative contracts in Iraq; they will gentrify New
Orleans at the expense of its poor, black citizens.


Left to Die in a New Orleans Prison
By Amy Goodman ,Democracy Now! . Posted September 28, 2005 .


The Wrong-Way Congress
Published: September 30, 2005

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*-------- What's behind Israel's savage bombardment of Gaza?
Interviewer: Dennis Bernstein,, 29 September 2005


Shooting Palestinians Like Fish in a Barrel
September 27th, 2005


For More Inmates, Sentence Is Death in All but Name
Published: October 2, 2005


Stumbling Storm-Aid Effort Put Tons of Ice on Trips to Nowhere
Published: October 2, 2005


New Orleans's Black Colleges Hit Hard
Schools Worry About Losing Faculty to Host Institutions
While They Rebuild
By Lois Romano
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 1, 2005; Page A01


Guantánamo inmate says US told him to spy on al-Jazeera
Vikram Dodd
Monday September 26, 2005
The Guardian,,1578134,00.html


New York Times’ Friedman proposes “endgame” bloodbath in Iraq
By Bill Van Auken
1 October 2005


Fixing roofs on Gulf Coast proves costly for taxpayers
By Aaron C. Davis, Jay Root and Seth Borenstein
Knight Ridder Newspapers


Proposed Legislation Would Starkly Limit Federal Review
of Death Penalty Appeals
A bill proposed by Rep. Daniel Lungren of California and
Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona would strip the federal courts of
much of their power to decide whether death row inmates
have been given a fair trial and could result in the execution
of innocent defendants. The bill is entitled the Streamlined
Procedures Act of 2005. The Washington Post editorialized
about the measure:
Stop This Bill
Sunday, July 10, 2005; Page B06







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