Friday, January 21, 2005

BAUAW NEWSLETTER - FRIDAY, JANUARY 21, 2005


1) We ain't gonna study war no more!
(Killing and being killed is not a career choice!)
Come to an organizing meeting to get the
military out of our schools!
Saturday, 11:00 a.m., February 5, 2005
Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia Street (near 16th St. in S.F.)

Our children are being recruited to military service right out of High
School. They are being offered Junior ROTC for class credit as an
alternative to Physical Education. Junior ROTC advocates the military
as a career choice. Every day we hear of schools and hospitals closing.
Our children have fewer job opportunities available to them with far
fewer benefits. And they are finding it increasingly more difficult to
go to college because of increased college costs and the general
increase in the cost of living. Junior ROTC makes the military attractive
to them. But these are not the job opportunities we want for our
children-or that our children want for themselves!

Meanwhile, due to an ever-increasing war budget, all of our tax
dollars are being spent on a war with no end in sight; and on
overall defense spending that dwarfs even the war budget! And
while corporations are raking in billions, two-thirds of them pay
no taxes at all. This puts a severe strain on the taxes left
over-after military and defense expenditures-for all social
services and human needs-taxes that come from the poor and
all working people. We want our children to have an opportunity
to learn and thrive to the best of their potential not to kill and
be killed. Stop the war. Bring all our troops home now. End all
military recruitment in public schools and institutions of higher
learning. Use our tax dollars for schools, healthcare, housing,
jobs-all human needs not war!

Number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq as of Jan 11: 1,357
http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/USfatalities.html

Number of U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq: over 10,000
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0104-12.ht

Number of Iraqis killed: est. over 100,000
http://www.iraqbodycount.net/press/

Number of Iraqis wounded: Untold.
Not counted but estimated in the millions.

Cost of the war: $149.5 billion spent as of Jan. 12, 2005
http://costofwar.com/index.html

With the money spent so far on the war we could have
hired over 2,600,566 public schoolteachers for one year.
http://costofwar.com/index-public-education.html

Total U.S. Defense spending: nearly $754 billion
as of fiscal year 2004.
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1253

The people of San Francisco voted last November 2004
by a 63 percent majority to bring all our troops home now.
We haven't changed our minds!

Bay Area United Against War (www.bauaw.org) (415) 824-8730
P.O. Box 318021, S. F., CA 94131-8021
Labor Donated...BW


2) Let's Hit the Streets
On the 32nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
To Defend Abortion Rights!
Saturday, January 22
* 10 am - Rally at Powell and Market Streets, San Francisco
(Powell Street BART)
* 11 am - March up Market Street, along the Embarcadero
to Aquatic Park
www.indybay.org/womyn .
Driving? Need a ride? Visit
http://drivingvotes.org/rides/sfprochoice.php

3) ITALIAN.QUEER.DANGEROUS
a one-man show featuring Tommi Avicolli Mecca
directed by Francesca Prada, Jan. 14-19, 8:00pm,
JON SIMS CENTER
1519 Mission, Between Van Ness and 11th Sts., SF
[Come to the special antiwar presentation of
ITALIAN.QUEER.DANGEROUS this Friday evening,
Jan. 14th, 8:00 p.m.]
The reviews are in for "Italian. Queer. Dangerous."
Peace activists be there tonight!

4) CRITICAL Hearing Friday January 28, 2005 for
SHEILA DETOY17-Year-Old Girl Shot In Head By
Rogue Cop In 1998 ...

5) Officer who beat boy gets $1.6m
A US policeman who was filmed punching a black youth and
slamming him against a car has been awarded
$1.6m (£890,000) in a race discrimination case.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4190965.stm

6) Protesters Target Bush's Inauguration
by Jeannine Aversa
Published on Thursday, January 20, 2005 by the Associated Press
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0120-09.htm

7) Mock Coffins and Jeers as Bush Sworn In
By Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON (Reuters)
Fri Jan 21, 2005 08:29 AM ET
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7394050&src=eD
ialog/
GetContent§ion=news

8) STATEMENT FROM THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Cuba calls on the United States to stop
the torture of prisoners in Guantánamo
Havana, January 19, 2005
http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2005/enero/juev20/05declar.html

9) Manifest Destiny, an introduction
http://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/dialogues/prelude/manifest/d2aeng.html

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

1) We ain't gonna study war no more!
(Killing and being killed is not a career choice!)
Come to an organizing meeting to get the military out of our schools!
Saturday, 11:00 a.m., February 5, 2005
Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia Street (near 16th St. in S.F.)

Our children are being recruited to military service right out of High
School. They are being offered Junior ROTC for class credit as an
alternative to Physical Education. Junior ROTC advocates the military
as a career choice. Every day we hear of schools and hospitals closing.
Our children have fewer job opportunities available to them with far
fewer benefits. And they are finding it increasingly more difficult to
go to college because of increased college costs and the general
increase in the cost of living. Junior ROTC makes the military attractive
to them. But these are not the job opportunities we want for our
children-or that our children want for themselves!

Meanwhile, due to an ever-increasing war budget, all of our tax
dollars are being spent on a war with no end in sight; and on
overall defense spending that dwarfs even the war budget! And
while corporations are raking in billions, two-thirds of them pay
no taxes at all. This puts a severe strain on the taxes left
over-after military and defense expenditures-for all social
services and human needs-taxes that come from the poor and
all working people. We want our children to have an opportunity
to learn and thrive to the best of their potential not to kill and
be killed. Stop the war. Bring all our troops home now. End all
military recruitment in public schools and institutions of higher
learning. Use our tax dollars for schools, healthcare, housing,
jobs-all human needs not war!

Number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq as of Jan 11: 1,357
http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/USfatalities.html

Number of U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq: over 10,000
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0104-12.ht

Number of Iraqis killed: est. over 100,000
http://www.iraqbodycount.net/press/

Number of Iraqis wounded: Untold.
Not counted but estimated in the millions.

Cost of the war: $149.5 billion spent as of Jan. 12, 2005
http://costofwar.com/index.html

With the money spent so far on the war we could have
hired over 2,600,566 public schoolteachers for one year.
http://costofwar.com/index-public-education.html

Total U.S. Defense spending: nearly $754 billion
as of fiscal year 2004.
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1253

The people of San Francisco voted last November 2004
by a 63 percent majority to bring all our troops home now.
We haven't changed our minds!

Bay Area United Against War (www.bauaw.org) (415) 824-8730
P.O. Box 318021, S. F., CA 94131-8021
Labor Donated...BW

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

2) Let's Hit the Streets
On the 32nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
To Defend Abortion Rights!
Saturday, January 22
* 10 am - Rally at Powell and Market Streets, San Francisco
(Powell Street BART)
* 11 am - March up Market Street, along the Embarcadero
to Aquatic Park
www.indybay.org/womyn .
Driving? Need a ride? Visit
http://drivingvotes.org/rides/sfprochoice.php

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

3) ITALIAN.QUEER.DANGEROUS
a one-man show featuring Tommi Avicolli Mecca
directed by Francesca Prada, Jan. 14-19, 8:00pm,
JON SIMS CENTER
1519 Mission, Between Van Ness and 11th Sts., SF
[Come to the special antiwar presentation of
ITALIAN.QUEER.DANGEROUS this Friday evening,
Jan. 14th, 8:00 p.m.]

The reviews are in for "Italian. Queer. Dangerous." We got raves
in the Bay Area Reporter and the SF Bay Times today. Both papers
gave the show a solid thumbs up. Even the Examiner's PJ Corkery
told the SF Sentinel online paper that the show was "profound."
Wow.

This weekend's performances are Friday and Saturday night, 8pm,
Jon Sims Center, 1519 Mission/11th, $5-10 (no one turned
away)...for those who need it, there is an elevator, merely come
in and call up the steps to the ticket collector. Any MUNI
bus/train that goes to Van Ness and Market will take you
within a block, and the #14 goes right past and stops at Mission
and 11th. For those who can't make this weekend, the show
runs again next weekend, with Friday Jan. 28 as a benefit for
the AIDS Housing Alliance (a great organization that helps
people with AIDS secure housing). The ticket price that night
is slightly higher, still with no one turned away. It's $5-25.
Closing night is Sat. Jan. 29 though the show may be extended.

Below are some quotes from the critics and for those who want
a sneak preview of the show, there's a link to either a real video
or windows media at
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/id274.htm

BAR
"Every solo show since Spalding Gray swam to Cambodia has
begged the question: "Is this person's life substantial enough
to hold our attention for an hour or more?" In Mecca's case,
the asnwer is yes--and not because of his queer activism. In
fact, gratefully, we were spared the stories of activism, which
after all is but a byproduct of his character, as solid as the
south of Italy where he traces his lineage, the source of his
beloved famiglia."

"Dangerous? Maybe, like Eugene O'Neill, or Tennessee
Williams, or Edward Albee. Mecca confronts us with a mirror
in which we see ourselves, and we're all a little Italian, queer
and dangerous."

BAY TIMES:
"Writer Mecca suffuses intensely personal information in an
economical style, transporting his audience quickly and
completely."

"The oral history in Italian. Queer. Dangerous is the chronicle
of a gay activist who managed to survive inner demons, the
struggle for gay liberation and AIDS as well as ignorance,
prejudice, and homophobia. He lived to tell. Listen."

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

4) CRITICAL Hearing Friday January 28, 2005 for
SHEILA DETOY17-Year-Old Girl Shot In Head By
Rogue Cop In 1998 ...

LAST CHANCE FOR JUSTICE!

The San Francisco Police Department is trying to get away
with MURDER!!!

If the cops get their way, the Superior Court will DISMISS THE
CASE against killer cop GREGORY BRESLIN !!!

With no punishment for Breslin - or anyone - in the 1998
cold-blooded police shooting of Sheila Detoy !!!

Don't let police murder go unpunished !!!

January 28, 2005
9:30 AM
Superior Court
CIVIC CENTER COURTHOUSE
400 McAllister Street Dept. 301
San Francisco, CA 94102
CASE # CPF04-504029

SIX YEARS - NO JUSTICE FOR SHEILA DETOY

* May 13, 1998: San Francisco police officers shot up a car
full of unarmed teenagers and killed 17-year-old Sheila Detoy.
SFPD then blamed her friends for her death.

* The Office of Citizen Complaints found that Officer Gregory
Breslin is responsible for her death. The OCC also sustained
complaints against the other officers involved in Sheila's killing.

* In 2003 the San Francisco Police Commission decided they
wanted to file charges against the officers, but the Police
Officers Association is trying to get Breslin off on a technicality
but we say: THERE IS NO TIME LIMIT ON PUNISHING KILLER COPS!!!

for more information call (510)428-3939

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

5) Officer who beat boy gets $1.6m
A US policeman who was filmed punching a black youth and
slamming him against a car has been awarded
$1.6m (£890,000) in a race discrimination case.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4190965.stm

Jeremy Morse, who was sacked by the Los Angeles police over the
incident, said he had been treated more harshly than a black
officer who was also there.

A second white officer was awarded $811,000 (£450,000)
damages.

Inglewood Police Chief Ronald Banks, who had disciplined the
officers, called the awards "ridiculous".

Mr Morse was caught on camera in July 2002 as he arrested
16-year-old Donovan Jackson at a petrol station in Inglewood.

This is not the first time police officers have been trapped in
race situations where they suffered unfairly
Lawyer for Jeremy Morse

He claimed Mr Jackson had grabbed his testicles - though that
was not visible on the videotape.

The tape was repeatedly played on US TV stations and caused
an uproar.

Mr Morse was sacked and his partner, Bijan Darvish, who
is also white, was suspended for 10 days for filing a police
report that failed to mention his partner's conduct.

Mr Morse was twice tried for assault but the case was
dismissed after juries failed to reach a verdict. Mr Darvish
was acquitted of filing a false report.

'Nationwide impact'

The men filed "reverse discrimination" lawsuits, claiming
a third officer, Willie Crook, who also allegedly hit Mr Jackson
with a torch and failed to report the incident, received only
four days' suspension because he is black.

"This is not the first time police officers have been trapped
in race situations where they suffered unfairly," said
Mr Morse's lawyer, Gregory Smith.

"This will have an impact in police departments across
the country."

Police Chief Banks, who is black, denied race was a factor.

"I based my decision on their actions and what I thought
their responsibility was. It was based purely on the facts,"
he said after hearing news of the award.

"I was shocked at not only the verdict but the size of the
awards. It was somewhat ridiculous."
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/4190965.stm

Published: 2005/01/20 11:48:22 GMT

(c) BBC MMV

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

6) Protesters Target Bush's Inauguration
by Jeannine Aversa
Published on Thursday, January 20, 2005 by the Associated Press
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0120-09.htm

WASHINGTON - Anti-war protesters, including some who carried
coffin-like cardboard boxes to signify the deaths of U.S. troops in
Iraq , descended on the capital Thursday. Some of their chants
could be heard as President Bush delivered his inaugural address.


Coffins draped with U.S. flags line Malcolm X park in Washington
as part of protest to memorialize the more than 1366 American
soldiers who have died in the war with Iraq before the United States
presidential inauguration January 20, 2005. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Protesters mocking the administration of U.S. President George W.
Bush cheer during an organized protest at Washington's
Malcolm X Park before the United States presidential inauguration
January 20, 2005. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Protesters are arrested during the swearing-in ceremony for
President Bush at the US Capitol in Washington, Thursday,
Jan. 20, 2005. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

The chants came toward the end of Bush's speech, and
the president continued his address without interruption
or any sign that he heard them.

On Capitol Hill, some protesters were briefly detained by police,
and then released after Bush finished speaking, said Andrea Buffa,
spokeswoman for CodePink: Women for Peace, a social justice
peace movement.

CodePink member Jodie Evans said she and other protesters
got tickets to the ceremony from members of Congress
representing New York and California.

Michael Lauer, a Capitol Police spokesman, said police had
arrested five people for protesting during Bush's inaugural
speech. He did not know whether they were men or women,
or whether they were the people caught on television trying
to unfurl a protest banner.

Earlier in the day, about 500 people rallied in a park several
miles from the Capitol.

"Worst President Ever" and "Four more years: God HELP America"
were on some of the signs. Protesters covered hundreds of
cardboard boxes with black cloth and American flags to
symbolize U.S. troops and others killed in Iraq.

"It's important to show that when Bush's second inauguration
goes into the record books, there was healthy dissent,"
said Jared Maslin, 19 of Hanover, N.H.

Aidan Delgado, 23, of Sarasota, Fla., returned to the United
States last April after his military service. He said he was
a mechanic at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, which gained
notoriety as a place of torture during Saddam Hussein's rule
and was the scene of alleged prisoner abuse by U.S. troops.

"What I experienced in Iraq fills me with remorse," Delgado
told the crowd of protesters. "If we are going to preserve our
nation at all, we need to criticize what we did wrong and
we have to criticize ourselves."

Several police cars lined the perimeter of the park, but the
event remained mostly peaceful.

At one demonstration, supporters of the president engaged
in a shouting and shoving match with some opponents
of the war.

An anti-war group called the Rhythm Workers Union banged
on steel drums and danced in mud-caked boots.

Elsewhere in the city, more than 300 anti-war protesters -
organized by CodePink - sported beauty pageant style
banners with "resist!" scrawled in black.

"We're against the war mostly," said Shannon Fell, 22, of
Detroit, who wore a bright pink wig and feather boa.

Some protesters carried signs advocating abortion rights.
Others urged people to donate money to tsunami relief efforts.
Some took issue with Bush's environmental and economic policies.

Associated Press writers Genaro Armas and Libby Quaid
contributed to this report.

(c) 2005 The Associated Press

###

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

7) Mock Coffins and Jeers as Bush Sworn In
By Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON (Reuters)
Fri Jan 21, 2005 08:29 AM ET
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7394050&src=eD
ialog/GetContent§ion=news

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Flag-draped coffins and jeering anti-war
protesters competed with pomp and circumstance on Thursday at
the inauguration of President Bush along the snow-dusted,
barricaded streets of central Washington.

As the president's motorcade made its way down Pennsylvania
Avenue from the Capitol to the White House amid the tightest
security in inaugural history, thousands of protesters along
the parade route and nearby downtown streets booed, chanted
slogans and carried placards condemning Bush's policies at home
and abroad.

Some turned their back as the president drove slowly past.
Others yelled, "George Bush, you can't hide. We charge you with
genocide." Among the forest of protest signs, some read "Blood
is on your hands" and "Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam." Others
called for electoral reform, gay rights, abortion rights and
the use of renewable energy.

"There are a lot of people dying overseas for nothing and
I'm here to get my voice heard," said Bill Coffelt, 40, an
engineer from Fairfax, Va.

Protesters also traded insults with the more numerous,
cheering Bush supporters, many of whom wore fur coats and paid
for the best viewing spots at the first inaugural parade since
the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In one area, police briefly sought to disperse with pepper
spray demonstrators who hurled bottles, trash and snowballs at
officers while trying to break through a security fence holding
them back from the parade.

At least one snowball hit Vice President Dick Cheney's
limousine, and Bush's limousine sped up to get past the
commotion.

One group of protesters carried hundreds of mock coffins
along 16th Street, a downtown thoroughfare leading to the White
House, to remind Americans of the mounting casualties in Iraq.

And an American flag was set alight just outside a security
checkpoint at 13th and Pennsylvania.

"It's beyond comprehension the damage this man has done,"
said Meredith Lair, 32, who just completed a doctorate in
history at Pennsylvania State University. "I think it's
horrifying what we're doing to Iraq," said Lair, who was
carrying a sign that read, "Mr. Bush, under my mittens I'm
giving you the finger."

ISOLATED SCUFFLES

Police said there were at least 13 arrests, two for
assaulting an officer and the rest for disorderly conduct or
other violations. One was a man who embarrassed police four
years ago by sneaking past security to get a handshake from
Bush. He did not get a chance for another grip this inauguration.

Police also scuffled with about 30 protesters two streets
away from the parade route, using pepper spray and batons to
disperse the group of self-styled anarchists, who wore
bandannas to hide their faces.

"He (Bush) says he's bringing freedom to the world, and
we're getting pepper-sprayed for our First Amendment rights.
That's kind of ironic," said 22-year-old Dustin, who works for
the National Institutes of Health and did not want to give his
full name.

Just outside the White House grounds, 17 protesters staged
a "die-in." After shouting a chant of "Stop the killing, stop
the war," they dropped to the pavement one by one as one of
them began reading a list of those killed in Iraq.

One spectator apparently found the act so credible that he
began administering CPR. Others were less sympathetic.

"I hope you don't get up. I hope you freeze your ass off,"
said another, who was among a group heading toward the
parade-viewing grandstands nearest the White House.

Throughout the city, thousands of police and military
troops were on patrol with bomb-sniffing dogs, and spectators
had to pass through metal detectors before attending any
inaugural events or heading to the parade.

Police sealed off 100 blocks around the White House and
parade route, barring all traffic except official security and
police cars.

Demonstration organizers had complained they were not being
given adequate access to protest, while Bush supporters were
granted prime locations along the parade route. (additional
reporting by Deborah Zabarenko, Randy Fabi, Susan Heavey and
JoAnne Allen)

(c) Reuters 2005

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

8) STATEMENT FROM THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Cuba calls on the United States to stop
the torture of prisoners in Guantánamo
Havana, January 19, 2005
http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2005/enero/juev20/05declar.html

For a comprehensive file of Cuban position papers on
Guantanamo, the Cuban foreign ministry (MINREX) has
created a page with numerous important documents like
the one last year for the UN Human Rights Commission
in Geneva which called on the UN to investigate the
crimes being carried out there. That motion wasn't
adopted due to US pressure, but this year it may be
harder to resist after all of what's been learned
about US torture, which has come out of US sources
as significant at the FBI, the Taguba report, and
so much, much more.
http://makeashorterlink.com/?R13251448

GRANMA INTERNATIONAL
Havana. January 20, 2005

STATEMENT FROM THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Cuba calls on the United States to stop
the torture of prisoners in Guantánamo

On January 19, 2005, reflecting the indignation of our
people at the atrocities committed on prisoners held at the
US Naval Base in Guantánamo, the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs presented the US governmental authorities in Havana
and Washington with a diplomatic note denouncing the
flagrant violations of human rights that the said
government is daily committing on Cuban territory illegally
occupied by the above-mentioned naval base. This
communication called for an immediate end to that
inhuman and criminal conduct.

The note reminds the US government that the atrocities
being committed on the base and the very fact of utilizing
that illegally occupied Cuban territory as a prison, is in
violation of numerous instruments of international law and
international humanitarian law, and moreover, violates the
Coal and Naval Stations Agreement signed in February 1903
by the government of the United States and the Cuban
government of that period, in conditions of inequality and
disadvantage for our country, whose independence was
circumscribed via the Platt Agreement.

According to Article II of that agreement, the US
government committed itself to doing everything necessary
to ensure that those locations should be exclusively used
as coal or naval stations and for no other objective.

It is also important to recall that when the Cuban
authorities were informed – although not consulted – of the
US government decision to transfer a group of prisoners
from the war in Afghanistan to this US military enclave in
Guantánamo, the government of the Republic of Cuba informed
national and internal opinion in a statement dated January
11, 2002, that "although the transfer of foreign prisoners
of war on the part of the government of the United States
to one of its military installations located on part of our
national territory over which we have been deprived of the
right to exercise jurisdiction is not in line with the
regulations that gave rise to that installation, we shall
not create any obstacles to the development of the
operation." Moreover, the statement highlighted that our
government had "taken note with satisfaction of public
statements from the US authorities in the context of the
prisoners receiving adequate and humane treatment."

The dramatic reality of the prisoners detained on the
Guantánamo Naval Base, reported by the media to total 550
at the present time, likewise reveals the double standards
of the US government in its hackneyed and manipulative
campaigning on behalf of human rights.

The arbitrary detention of these foreign prisoners without
the mediation of a legal trial, as well as the torture and
degrading treatment to which they are being subjected,
constitute a gross violation of human rights and numerous
international treaties and conventions, in particular, the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on
torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment.

With this hypocritical conduct, the government of the
United States has demonstrated the falsity of its own
public statements and once again has lied to the government
of the Republic of Cuba, to its own people and to the
international community by concealing the horrific acts of
torture, cruelty and humiliating and denigratory treatment
committed on prisoners detained on the Guantánamo Naval
Base, only comparable with the torture inflicted on inmates
in the prison of Abu Ghraib and other penitential
establishments in occupied Iraqi territory.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs adds its voice to the
calls and demands of the international community that the
government of the United States instantly end these
flagrant violations of prisoners that, moreover, are
being committed on illegally occupied Cuban territory.

Cuba has the total moral right afforded by an
irreproachable history in this context and the right
conferred on it to exercise sovereignty over all parts of
Cuban territory to denounce these abuses and violations
that the US government is daily committing on the detainees
on the Guantánamo Naval Base and to demand the end of these
practices that violate international law.

Havana, January 19, 2005
http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2005/enero/juev20/05declar.html

Marxism mailing list
Marxism@lists.econ.utah.edu
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

9) Manifest Destiny, an introduction
http://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/dialogues/prelude/manifest/d2aeng.html

[From: Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director
Western States Legal Foundation
1504 Franklin Street, Suite #202
Oakland, California USA 94612
Tel: (510) 839-5877 Fax: (510) 839-5397
E-mail: wslf@earthlink.net
Web site: www.wslfweb.org
part of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate
Nuclear Weapons]

I would like to add to Phyllis Bennis' excellent analysis of today's
imperial coronation speech. My candidate for the single most
important line in the speech is: "My most solemn duty it to
protect this nation and its people against further attacks and
emerging threats. Some have unwisely chosen to test American's
resolve, and have found it firm."

Compare this to the September 2002 National Security Strategy
of the United States which states: "America will act against...
emerging threats before they are fully formed. This was
elaborated in the December 2002 National Strategy to Combat
Weapons of Mass Destruction, which states that the U.S.
"reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force - including
through resort to all of our options - to the use of WMD [weapons
of mass destruction] against the United States, our forces abroad,
and friends and allies." "All of our options" includes both
"conventional and nuclear response and defense capabilities,"
employed in appropriate cases through preemptive measures."
While I was listening to the speech, I had the eerie feeling that
it was written about 150 years ago, and the phrase "manifest
destiny" came to mind. Sure enough, a Google search turned
this up:

Manifest Destiny
an introduction
http://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/dialogues/prelude/manifest/d2aeng.html

No nation ever existed without some sense of national destiny
or purpose.

Manifest Destiny -- a phrase used by leaders and politicians in
the 1840s to explain continental expansion by the United States
-- revitalized a sense of "mission" or national destiny for Americans.

The people of the United States felt it was their mission to extend
the "boundaries of freedom" to others by imparting their idealism
and belief in democratic institutions to those who were capable of
self-government. It excluded those people who were perceived as
being incapable of self-government, such as Native American
people and those of non-European origin.

But there were other forces and political agendas at work as well.
As the population of the original 13 Colonies grew and the U.S.
economy developed, the desire and attempts to expand into new
land increased. For many colonists, land represented potential
income, wealth, self-sufficiency and freedom. Expansion into the
western frontiers offered opportunities for self-advancement.

To understand Manifest Destiny, it's important to understand
the United States' need and desire to expand. The following points
illustrate some of the economic, social and political pressures
promoting U.S. expansion:

The United States was experiencing a periodic high birth rate and
increases in population due to immigration. And because
agriculture provided the primary economic structure, large
families to work the farms were considered an asset. The U.S.
population grew from more than five millon in 1800 to more
than 23 million by mid-century. Thus, there was a need to expand
into new territories to accommodate this rapid growth. It's estimated
that nearly 4,000,000 Americans moved to westernterritories
between 1820 and 1850.

The United States suffered two economic depressions -- one
in 1818 and a second in 1839. These crises drove some people
to seek their living in frontier areas.

Frontier land was inexpensive or, in some cases, free.

Expansion into frontier areas opened opportunities for new
commerce and individual self-advancement.

Land ownership was associated with wealth and tied to
self-sufficiency, political power and independent "self-rule."

Maritime merchants saw an opportunity to expand and promote
new commerce by building West Coast ports leading to increased
trade with countries in the Pacific.

Sometimes you just hate to be right! -- Jackie Cabasso

"Your imagination is your preview
of life's coming attractions." - Albert Einstein

Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director
Western States Legal Foundation
1504 Franklin Street, Suite #202
Oakland, California USA 94612
Tel: (510) 839-5877 Fax: (510) 839-5397
E-mail: wslf@earthlink.net
Web site: www.wslfweb.org
part of the Abolition 2000 Global Network
to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

UNITED FOR PEACE & JUSTICE | 212-868-5545

Join our news list by sending a blank email to
ufpj-news-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Yahoo! Groups Links

* To visit your group on the web, go to:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ufpj-disc/



Thursday, January 20, 2005

BAUAW NEWSLETTER-THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2005

1) MANHATTAN: JURY DELIBERATES IN TERROR TRIAL (Lynne Stewart)
January 13, 2005
METRO BRIEFING
NEW YORK
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/13/nyregion/13mbrf.html
(For more information about the case go to: www.lynnestewart.org
Or call: 212-625-9696)

2) NEXT BAUAW MEETING:
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 11:00 a.m.
CENTRO DEL PUEBLO
474 VALENCIA STREET
(NEAR 16TH ST. IN S.F.)
HELP GET THE MILITARY OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS!
KILLING AND BEING KILLED
IS NOT A CAREER CHOICE!

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
MARCH AND RALLY JANUARY 20, 5 P.M.
CIVIC CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO

3) * VOLUNTEERS NEEDED on January 20th
* To volunteer, contact answer@actionsf.org or 415-821-6545.
THURSDAY, January 20th - Stop the War! Fight the Right!
PROTEST BUSH on his Inauguration Day
Volunteers are needed for the Thursday, January 20th protest
against Bush's inauguration. Help make the march a success!
No sign-in on the day of the protest starts at
4pm at Civic Center.
** March gathers at 5pm at Civic Center (corner of Grove
The Palestine Contingent will be meeting at
Grove and Larkin at 5pm
and we will be marching at the front of
the Rally
(We need help with security and logistics so come
early and make this an historic day
for more info call 415 861 7444 or
info@justiceinpalestine.org
All trade unionists and labor allies who plan to participate in the
Counter-Inaugural protest demonstration on Thursday, January 20
in San Francisco are urged to meet at the corner of Polk and
Grove (SE corner of Civic Center Plaza) at 5:00 p.m. to form
a labor contingent for the march down Market Street to Justin
Herman Plaza. The march is expected to begin sometime
around or shortly after 6:00 p.m.

4) Let's Hit the Streets
On the 32nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
To Defend Abortion Rights!
Saturday, January 22
* 10 am - Rally at Powell and Market Streets, San Francisco
(Powell Street BART)
* 11 am - March up Market Street, along the Embarcadero
to Aquatic Park
www.indybay.org/womyn .
Driving? Need a ride? Visit
http://drivingvotes.org/rides/sfprochoice.php
ALSO: Join the Women‚s Rights Contingent in the
San Francisco Counter-Inaugural Protest on January 20th.
Meet at 5 pm at the corner of Grove and Polk in
Civic Center Plaza.

5) ITALIAN.QUEER.DANGEROUS
a one-man show featuring Tommi Avicolli Mecca
directed by Francesca Prada, Jan. 14-19, 8:00pm,
JON SIMS CENTER
1519 Mission, Between Van Ness and 11th Sts., SF
[Come to the special antiwar presentation of
ITALIAN.QUEER.DANGEROUS this Friday evening,
Jan. 14th, 8:00 p.m.]

6) CRITICAL Hearing Friday January 28, 2005 for
SHEILA DETOY17-Year-Old Girl Shot In Head By
Rogue Cop In 1998 ...

LAST CHANCE FOR JUSTICE!

The San Francisco Police Department is trying to get away
with MURDER!!!

If the cops get their way, the Superior
Court will DISMISS THE CASE against
killer cop GREGORY BRESLIN !!!

With no punishment for Breslin - or anyone -
in the 1998 cold-blooded police shooting of Sheila Detoy !!!

Don't let police murder go unpunished !!!

January 28, 2005
9:30 AM
Superior Court
CIVIC CENTER COURTHOUSE
400 McAllister Street Dept. 301
San Francisco, CA 94102
CASE # CPF04-504029

SIX YEARS - NO JUSTICE FOR SHEILA DETOY

* May 13, 1998: San Francisco police officers shot up a car full
of unarmed teenagers and killed 17-year-old Sheila Detoy.
SFPD then blamed her friends for her death.

* The Office of Citizen Complaints found that Officer Gregory
Breslin is responsible for her death. The OCC also sustained
complaints against the other officers involved in Sheila's killing.

* In 2003 the San Francisco Police Commission decided they
wanted to file charges against the officers, but the Police
Officers Association is trying to get Breslin off on a technicality
but we say: THERE IS NO TIME LIMIT ON PUNISHING KILLER COPS!!!

for more information call (510)428-3939

---------*---------*-----links only-----*---------*---------*

US official confirms Allawi shot six dead
January 19, 2005
http://smh.com.au/articles/2005/01/18/1105810916006.html?oneclick=true#

Bush Tells Troops 'Much More
Will Be Asked of You'
By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters)
Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:33 PM ET
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7362922&src=eD
ialog/GetContent§ion=news

Four More Years of Bush Makes the World Anxious
By Timothy Heritage
PARIS (Reuters)
Wed Jan 19, 2005 08:51 AM ET
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7368896&src=eD
ialog/GetContent§ion=news

Message from Grocery Workers:
http://www.unionvoice.org/wfn/join.html

Israel to kill in U.S., allied nations
By Richard Sale
UPI Intelligence Correspondent
Published 1/15/2003 7:14 PM
http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030115-035849-6156r

At Hunters Point Shipyard, cyclotron smashed atoms
where Lennar wants to build homes
By Dennis Kyne
http://www.sfbayview.com/011205/shipyard011205.shtml



Tuesday, January 18, 2005

BAUAW NEWSLETTER-TUESDAY, JAN. 18, 2005


1) MANHATTAN: JURY DELIBERATES IN TERROR TRIAL (Lynne Stewart)
January 13, 2005
METRO BRIEFING
NEW YORK
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/13/nyregion/13mbrf.html
(For more information about the case go to: www.lynnestewart.org
Or call: 212-625-9696)

2) NEXT BAUAW MEETING:
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 11:00 a.m.
CENTRO DEL PUEBLO
474 VALENCIA STREET
(NEAR 16TH ST. IN S.F.)
HELP GET THE MILITARY OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS!
KILLING AND BEING KILLED
IS NOT A CAREER CHOICE!

BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
MARCH AND RALLY JANUARY 20, 5 P.M.
CIVIC CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO

3) * VOLUNTEERS NEEDED on January 20th
* To volunteer, contact answer@actionsf.org or 415-821-6545.
THURSDAY, January 20th - Stop the War! Fight the Right!
PROTEST BUSH on his Inauguration Day
Volunteers are needed for the Thursday, January 20th protest
against Bush's inauguration. Help make the march a success!
No experience necessary...
** Volunteer sign-in on the day of the protest starts at
4pm at Civic Center.
** March gathers at 5pm at Civic Center (corner of Grove
Larkin, near Civic Center BART, in San Francisco)
Volunteers are needed to help set-up, take-down, do outreach,
be legal observers, be medical volunteers, carry banners,
be drummers, do security, staff tables, and clean up.
Come to this week’s ANSWER activist meeting for a volunteer
orientation and to help organize:
Tuesday January 18th, 7pm at 2489 Mission Street, Room #30
(near 21st St. in San Francisco)
Contact us and let us know if you can help:
answer@actionsf.org or call 415-821-6545.
To subscribe to the list, send a message to:


[Alerts] Fw: Antiwar bleachers at 4th &
Pennsylvania Ave. (north side) for
Jan. 20 CounterInaugural alerts at
lists.iww.org alerts at lists.iww.org
Wed Jan 12 16:54:34 PST 2005
-----Forwarded Message-----
From: "VoteNoWar.org" < Action at VoteNoWar.org >
Sent: Jan 12, 2005 4:45 PM
WE HAVE WON THE RIGHT
TO SET UP ANTIWAR BLEACHERS
AND HOLD A RALLY ON THE NORTH SIDE OF
4TH ST. & PENNSYLVANIA AVE. NW!
http://lists.iww.org/pipermail/alerts/2005-January/001354.html


4) Let's Hit the Streets
On the 32nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
To Defend Abortion Rights!
Saturday, January 22
* 10 am - Rally at Powell and Market Streets, San Francisco
(Powell Street BART)
* 11 am - March up Market Street, along the Embarcadero
to Aquatic Park
www.indybay.org/womyn .
Driving? Need a ride? Visit
http://drivingvotes.org/rides/sfprochoice.php
ALSO: Join the Women‚s Rights Contingent in the
San Francisco Counter-Inaugural Protest on January 20th.
Meet at 5 pm at the corner of Grove and Polk in
Civic Center Plaza.

5) ITALIAN.QUEER.DANGEROUS
a one-man show featuring Tommi Avicolli Mecca
directed by Francesca Prada, Jan. 14-19, 8:00pm,
JON SIMS CENTER
1519 Mission, Between Van Ness and 11th Sts., SF
[Come to the special antiwar presentation of
ITALIAN.QUEER.DANGEROUS this Friday evening,
Jan. 14th, 8:00 p.m.]

6) The Sister of Mercy: Helen Prejean
To the men she tries to save from execution, Helen Prejean
is nothing short of a saint. But when Katherine Butler
caught up with America's best-known nun in New Orleans,
she found an impatient crusader who's only too aware of
her human frailties
by Katherine Butler

7) JUDGES OF DEATH
[Col. Writ. 12/14/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

8) MALCOLM X'S RAP OF DEMOCRATS
[Col. Writ. 12/17/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

9) THE WATER WARS
[Col. Writ. 12/30/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

10) GARY WEBB: SUICIDE OR EXAMPLE?
[Col. Writ. 1/2/05] Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

11) Pentagon Spurned Plan to Initiate Enemy Homosexuality
By Jim Wolf
WASHINGTON (Reuters)
Mon Jan 17, 2005 07:23 AM ET
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7343855&src=eD
ialog/GetContent§ion=news

12) Asia Tsunami Death Toll Tops 175,000 (Link only)
By Simon Gardner
GALLE, Sri Lanka (Reuters)
Mon Jan 17, 2005 07:53 AM ET
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7343999&src=eD
ialog/GetContent§ion=news

13) Ain't Gonna Study War No More (Link only)
Sgt. Kevin Benderman, a veteran of a tour in Iraq,
refused to return. Why did a 10-year military man become
a conscientious objector?
By Phillip Babich
Jan. 17, 2005
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/01/17/objector/print.html

14) **On January 11, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors,
in a 9-2 vote,approved a strong resolution supporting
justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal. The resolution proceeded through
a series of technical hurdles, including a formal posting,
a public hearing at which three members of the Mobilization
to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal spoke and finally, a full meeting
of the Board. See text of resolution below...

15) Destroying Babylon (Link only)
Dahr Jamal's Iraq Dispatches
January 17, 2005
http://dahrjamailiraq.com/weblog/archives/dispatches/000171.php#more

16) Le Monde diplomatique
January 2005
Iran: target zone
Iraq's defence minister accuses Iran and Syria of provoking
violence in Iraq. His complaints echo the claims of the
Bush administration and the neo-conservatives in the United
States, who still plan to remodel the Middle East and to
start by overthrowing the regime in Iran.
By Walid Charara
http://MondeDiplo.com/2005/01/05iran

17) Iran Says It Has Military Might to
Deter Any Attack (link only)
By Paul Hughes
TEHRAN (Reuters)
Tue Jan 18, 2005 08:39 AM ET
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7355372&src=eD
ialog/GetContent§ion=news

18) THE COMING WARS (link only)
By SEYMOUR M. HERSH
What the Pentagon can now do in secret.
Issue of 2005-01-24 and 31
Posted 2005-01-17
January 18, 2005
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?050124fa_fact

19) Odd Happenings in Fallujah
** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** http://dahrjamailiraq.com **
January 18, 2005

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

1) MANHATTAN: JURY DELIBERATES IN TERROR TRIAL(Lynne Stewart)
January 13, 2005
METRO BRIEFING
NEW YORK
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/13/nyregion/13mbrf.html
(For more information about the case go to: www.lynnestewart.org
Or call: 212-625-9696)

MANHATTAN: JURY DELIBERATES IN TERROR TRIAL
The jurors in the trial of Lynne F. Stewart, a lawyer accused of aiding
terrorism, began to deliberate yesterday [Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2005],
after the judge cautioned that they could not convict on the basis of
her political views. The decisions must be unanimous on 16 questions
concerning Ms. Stewart and two co-defendants, Ahmed Abdel Sattar
and Mohamed Yousry, who are charged with conspiring to lie to the
government and to help terrorists in Egypt. Judge John G. Koeltl,
who read 139 pages of instructions, told them that "expression of
opinion alone, even an opinion advocating violence, is not a crime
in this country." Julia Preston (NYT)

Compiled by Anthony Ramirez

Copyright 2005 The New York Times

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

2) NEXT BAUAW MEETING:
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 11:00 a.m.
CENTRO DEL PUEBLO
474 VALENCIA STREET
(NEAR 16TH ST. IN S.F.)
HELP GET THE MILITARY OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS!
KILLING AND BEING KILLED
IS NOT A CAREER CHOICE!
BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
MARCH AND RALLY JANUARY 20, 5 P.M.
CIVIC CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO

Help work on a campaign to get the military off our school
campuses. The recent passing of Proposition N, to Bring our
troops home now, by a 63% majority of San Francisco voters,
mandates that the military should keep their hands off our
kids. Killing and being killed is not the career choice we
want for our kids or anyone's kids. We want them to have an
education so that they can make things better, not training
in the art of killing. We want our tax dollars to go for
schools, housing, healthcare and good jobs instead of war.

Don't forget to protest on Jan. 20th. If you can take a day
off, join Not In Our Name's outreach campaign. We want to
hold banners near freeway on/off ramps, and in other public
locations to encourage everyone to protest in some way that
day-even if you can only wear a button on your job or honk
your horn in solidarity. For more information go to:
http://www.notinourname.net/~bayarea/

Jan. 20th is not a happy day for us. It's a day of protest!

Don't forget to show up at 5 p.m., Jan. 20, at the
Civic Center for a March and rally.

Bay Area United Against War

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

3) In this email:
* VOLUNTEERS NEEDED on January 20th
* To volunteer, contact answer@actionsf.org or 415-821-6545.


THURSDAY, January 20th - Stop the War! Fight the Right!
PROTEST BUSH on his Inauguration Day
Volunteers are needed for the Thursday, January 20th protest
against Bush's inauguration. Help make the march a success!
No experience necessary...

** Volunteer sign-in on the day of the protest starts at
4pm at Civic Center.

** March gathers at 5pm at Civic Center (corner of Grove
Larkin, near Civic Center BART, in San Francisco)

Volunteers are needed to help set-up, take-down, do
outreach, be legal observers, be medical volunteers, carry
banners, be drummers, do security, staff tables, and clean up.

Come to this week’s ANSWER activist meeting for a volunteer
orientation and to help organize:
Tuesday January 18th, 7pm at 2489 Mission Street,
Room #30 (near 21st St. in San Francisco)

Contact us and let us know if you can help:
answer@actionsf.org or call 415-821-6545.

To subscribe to the list, send a message to:


[Alerts] Fw: Antiwar bleachers at 4th & Pennsylvania Ave.
(north side) for Jan. 20 CounterInaugural
alerts at lists.iww.org alerts at lists.iww.org
Wed Jan 12 16:54:34 PST 2005
-----Forwarded Message-----
From: "VoteNoWar.org" < Action at VoteNoWar.org >
Sent: Jan 12, 2005 4:45 PM
WE HAVE WON THE RIGHT
TO SET UP ANTIWAR BLEACHERS
AND HOLD A RALLY ON THE NORTH SIDE OF
4TH ST. & PENNSYLVANIA AVE. NW!
http://lists.iww.org/pipermail/alerts/2005-January/001354.html

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

4) Let's Hit the Streets
On the 32nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
To Defend Abortion Rights!
Saturday, January 22
* 10 am - Rally at Powell & Market Streets, San Francisco
(Powell Street BART)
* 11 am - March up Market Street, along the Embarcadero
to Aquatic Park

Jan. 22 is the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court
decision that established the constitutional right to reproductive freedom.
On the same day, anti-choice extremists plan to march in San Francisco
against women‚s health and rights. The anti-choice minority might be
emboldened by the climate in Washington, DC but they are not
welcome here!

Join the San Francisco Area Pro-Choice Coalition to Stand Up for
Reproductive Freedom and Demonstrate that San Francisco is PRO-CHOICE!

Sponsored by the San Francisco Area Pro-Choice Coalition. For more
information or to get involved, visit www.indybay.org/womyn www.indybay.org/womyn> .
Driving? Need a ride? Visit http://drivingvotes.org/rides/sfprochoice.php

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

5) ITALIAN.QUEER.DANGEROUS
a one-man show featuring Tommi Avicolli Mecca
directed by Francesca Prada, Jan. 14-19, 8:00pm,
JON SIMS CENTER
1519 Mission, Between Van Ness and 11th Sts., SF
JANUARY 14-29 (Friday and Saturday nights
only: 14, 15; 21, 22; 28, 29)
[Come to the special antiwar presentation of
ITALIAN.QUEER.DANGEROUS this coming Friday evening,
Jan. 14th, 8:00 p.m.]


JON SIMS CENTER, 1519 Mission/between Van Ness and 11th
8pm, $5-10 sliding scale (no one turned away)
Seating is limited, for reservations: 415-554-0402
To volunteer to help with the show, call 415-552-6031

Published on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 by the Independent/UK

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

6) The Sister of Mercy: Helen Prejean
To the men she tries to save from execution, Helen Prejean
is nothing short of a saint. But when Katherine Butler
caught up with America's best-known nun in New Orleans,
she found an impatient crusader who's only too aware of
her human frailties
by Katherine Butler

I am running after a nun. In 80-degree heat, through the backstreets
of a Louisiana suburb. She had warned me to lead the way. "Because
when I'm talking," she'd said, "I don't know where I am." But I have led
her astray. She's not happy, she's galloped off in the opposite direction,
leaving me to give chase, feeling as shamed as I did when the nuns at
my convent school would quiver with rage over some sinful
transgression, like being late for assembly.


Sister Helen Prejean moved beyond the petty restrictions of convent
life years ago. As anyone who saw Susan Sarandon's Oscar-winning
portrayal of this nun in the 1995 film of her book Dead Man Walking
knows, she has her mind on a bigger mission. And being late is
not an option.


"It's OK," she forgives me, when I catch up. "I just want to be
there for Manuel."


Ten years after the film shocked US audiences, elevating her
lonely campaign into nationwide debate, Sister Helen's new book
has just been published in the US. This, she hopes, will deliver
another miracle: helping to achieve the abolition of the death
penalty in America altogether. A book-promotion tour will take
her on the chatshow circuit. But, for today, her focus is on the
unglamorous reality of death-row justice in a dingy Louisiana
courtroom. Manuel Ortiz is a condemned prisoner to whom
she has acted as spiritual adviser for five years. Sister Helen
is convinced that he is innocent of the murder for which he
was convicted. Today he has been granted a hearing that
could determine his fate.


I have arrived at 9.30am, on Sister Helen's instructions, outside
Jefferson Parish courthouse, across the Mississippi from New
Orleans. She wants me to see American justice in action.
Sweating para-legals are heaving towers of box-files into
the courthouse, and a long line of mostly young men in
T-shirts and baseball caps are queuing to be screened for
weapons under a large "No Firearms" notice.


I go up to the fourth floor. There's no sign of Sister Helen,
but peering through the open door of Judge Jerome Winsberg's
courtroom, I see a man seated at a table in a bright-orange prison
jumpsuit. His legs are shackled with chains. He looks up
expectantly. This is Manuel.


Deliberations are already under way when two women squeeze
past the armed officers at the door. Here are the nuns. Sister
Helen is dressed in a dark pinafore and cream blouse, a silver
crucifix around her neck. Sister Margaret Maggio, who runs
her office, follows behind. "You, sir, are a gentleman," Sister
Helen whispers loudly to a man who vacates his seat, "but
I want Manuel to be able to see me", and heads purposefully
for the front row, where she takes a notebook out of her bag.


She needs all the ammunition she can get. This is the deep
south, where prosecutors routinely seek the death penalty in
murder cases because it goes down well with the public. The
climate is such that until a story in the national media about
it caused outrage, prosecution attorneys wore ties in court
adorned with motifs of a hangman's noose. Most people
here accept capital punishment, Sister Helen says, "with the
air they breathe and the mosquitoes they swat".


Last night, when I phoned Sister Helen at her New Orleans
apartment she was just off a plane from Texas. She travels
ceaselessly. But hearing the raucous cajun music from the
French quarter outside my hotel, she said brightly: "Sounds
like y'all are having some party!". I got the impression that
even at 65 she might have been up for a night on the town.
At our only previous meeting, she was at a dinner in her
honour in an expensive London restaurant. She soaked up
attention, drinking champagne and telling stories late into
the night.


Now, in court, she leans forward in her chair, listening
intently to every word. I have no idea if the man in the
orange suit is a murderer. But even to my legally untrained
ear the details of his original trial sound far-fetched; the
cast of characters might have come straight out of the
mind of Elmore Leonard or Quentin Tarantino. The chief
prosecutor is now in jail for corruption and bribery. The
star witness for the prosecution (a former member of
a Honduran death squad) had a string of convictions
unknown to the jury at the time.


Every month, Sister Helen drives three hours to the Louisiana
State Penitentiary. In a booth separated by a plastic screen,
she and Manuel talk about the case, or pray, anything to
"give him a little courage" as Sister Margaret says.


Now his attorneys are demanding that the crooked prosecutor
be summoned. The state opposes it. The man will take the
Fifth Amendment and say nothing. As the procedural impasse
continues, the judge takes a call on his mobile phone. My
heart sinks on the prisoner's behalf. At the recess, Sister
Helen rushes forward to greet the prisoner. "Good to see you
Manuel," she beams, showing him a copy of the new book.
He raises his manacled wrists and looks apologetic. Death-
row prisoners are not allowed to have hardback books.


When Dead Man Walking was being adapted by Tim Robbins
for the screen, Sister Helen's order, the Sisters of St Joseph
of Medaille, were worried that Hollywood studio bosses would
add a cheap love interest or cast the nun as a Whoopi Goldberg
type. In many ways such a casting might have been
understandable. I can well imagine her scampering over
a wall, or taking part in a high-speed car chase if she
thought it would help her crusade. It's an image that is
reinforced, later, when she tells of how during a visit to
the Vatican she once performed a most un-nun like change
from trousers into a skirt in an ante room even as the Holy
Father was shuffling down the corridor to grant her a private
audience.


But, make no mistake, Sister Helen may mix with the great
and the good, but her commitment to her cause should never
be underestimated. The first time she witnessed a man being
put to death in the electric chair she had to stop on the drive
home to vomit. After six journeys to the death chamber, she
is resigned to living with the nightmares. "They always come
in the form of I'm being executed. But I can't afford to let it
overcome me.

As her latest book, The Death of Innocents, makes clear, she
considers all of the six state-sponsored killings she has
witnessed to be wrongful, even that of Robert Lee Willie who
tortured a woman in a gravel pit for hours before murdering
her. Written while she was staying at a Cheyenne reservation
in Montana, she returns like a detective to the scenes of the
capital crimes of two men she believes were innocent. Her
aim is to shock Americans into seeing that the US criminal
justice system is so flawed, and the death penalty so
randomly applied to the weakest, that it is unconstitutional.


But Sister Helen also takes the reader on the final journey
into the death chamber with the condemned men, supplying
the kind of detail that is as surreal as it is horrifying. The
polished floors, the secretary typing up forms. The guard
watching Jerry Springer on television in the corner as the
prisoner and the nun have their conversation and a last
bowl of chocolate ice-cream. Then the diapers and the
strap-down teams arrive before the needles are inserted.


On the way, the book excoriates George Bush and his conservative
Catholic ally on the US Supreme Court, Justice Antonino Scalia.
Thirty-eight American states still operate the death penalty, of
which Texas is the crucible. As governor of Texas, Bush signed
more death warrants than any governor in recent history and
systematically denied clemency. His habit was never to devote
more than 30 minutes to a review. Sister Helen regards his
compassionate conservatism as a sham, and thinks people
in Britain should be awake to the dangerous parallels between
his "war on crime" and his "war on terror", both of which
rely on violence and retribution.


"Don't underestimate what is beginning to happen in Britain
where you have suspected terrorists," she warns. "British
people may say 'we are so beyond this', but you watch what
your courts are doing."


The court breaks for lunch and I join the nuns as they rush
out to queue at a branch of Subway for tuna wraps and
Coca-Cola. Sister Helen talks non-stop the entire way there.
Outside on the pavement, it is hot and noisy, but this nun is
as practical as she is spiritual; one moment she is quoting
the prophet Isaiah in her big, resonant voice, the next she's
pushing on the nearest door, which happens to be a bail-
bonds office, and asking for a quiet corner in which to sit.


The receptionist looks puzzled at first, but as soon as her
boss recognises the nun, we are sitting around the kitchen
at the back of the office, eating our sandwiches. Sister Helen,
still in full flight about religion, right-wing politics and how
America is barely a functioning democracy, pauses only to
shout thanks to the bail-bonds man with the unlikely
suggestion: "I'll know where to come if I ever need a bail bond".


She tells me how Christianity in America has been hijacked to
support a right-wing ideology which fights crime with retribution
instead of rehabilitation. "We have so much Christianity-lite in
this country, and George Bush is the embodiment of that.
People are abysmally ignorant about the Bible and about the
gospel of Jesus because all they hear is this stuff they get
at the pulpit."


If those she accuses of "manipulating God" are to be found
running the government and filling the ranks of America's
Christian right, then she is one of the few outspoken voices
on the Christian left. She rejects the label, but in her version
of Christianity, everyone has an inviolable human dignity.
"When you are walking with someone to their death, even
when they have done terrible crimes, and they are saying
'sister, please hold on to my life', there is no dignity in this.
It is cruel and unnecessary. It involves torture. They are
defenseless, and then we kill them."


It is difficult for liberal Europeans to understand the scale of
her task in changing attitudes in the red states of America.
Conservative websites are filled with references to "frying"
convicts and accusing "prissy" campaigners like Sister Helen
of "glorifying" murderers. Her answer is uncompromising.
"What did Jesus say? 'The least of these.' People considered
monsters, throwaways. They deserve full human dignity and
the compassion of Christ."


It is on the way back from the bail-bonds office that we lose
the way and have to break into a run. Somehow we are back
in our seats when a mystery witness takes the stand, an
answer perhaps to the nun's prayers. The woman testifies
that her husband, the chief witness in the original trial,
confessed on his death bed to the murders. It feels like
made-for-TV court drama, but there are gasps from the
public gallery.


Manuel looks around and searches for Sister Helen's face.
She smiles and gives him a thumbs-up. "Poor Manuel,"
Sister Helen whispers to me, "he knows that this day could
decide whether he lives or dies."


She knows that even explosive testimony doesn't always buy
you your life back once the door to America's machinery
of death has closed behind you.


As I leave her, Sister Helen is speeding off back to New
Orleans to meet Sean Penn and Jude Law. They, and Kate
Winslet, are in town shooting a new movie. For Sister Helen,
the hope must be that life does not imitate art too closely.
Sean Penn played the prisoner in the orange suit in Dead Man
Walking. And he died strapped to the black padded gurney,
his arms outstretched in the shape of a cross.


'The Death of Innocents' by Sister Helen Prejean is
published by Random House. Available from Amazon for £12.22


(c) 2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

7) JUDGES OF DEATH
[Col. Writ. 12/14/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal


As the nation ponders the fate of a young

California man being sentenced to death, the case of

another man, one lesser-known, one without wealth

or whiteness, comes back before the nation's highest

court, after having been shunted through a series of

killing courts in Texas.


Thomas Miller-El, 53, was just before the U.S.

Supreme Court about 2 years ago, when 8 of the 9

justices determined that the "Court of Appeals erred

in denying a certificate of appealability" (COA) on

Miller-El's claim of racial discrimination in his jury

selection.


Back before the Texas state and federal courts,

Miller-El expected them to respect the decision

of the U.S. Supreme Court. But, as the saying

goes, he 'had another think coming.' Both the

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (sort of a

Texas Supreme Court for criminal cases), and

the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, promptly

denied Miller-El's claims, by virtually ignoring

what the majority of the Supreme Court said,

and glomming onto what was written by the

lone dissenter in the case, Associate Justice

Clarence Thomas, to support their denials.


In legal circles, this is almost unheard of.

One former chief judge, John J. Gibbons,

who sat on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals

(in Philadelphia), said, "The idea that the system

can tolerate open defiance by an inferior court

just cannot stand" (*The New York Times*,

12/5/04; www.nytimes.com).


We shall see.


A dissenting opinion, in legal opinions, have

some, if limited value. They demonstrate

that courts were split on various issues. They

speak down through the pages of history of

errors made by the present court, that will

hopefully be seen later. But, in a strictly legal

sense, they mean nothing. It is a fundamental

legal principle that majority opinions carry the

deciding weight of which way cases are

decided. Dissenting opinions have,

comparatively speaking, no weight.


So, if that is so, why did a majority of the

Texas Criminal Court of Appeals, and the 5th

Circuit Court of Appeals, essentially ignore

the determination of the majority opinion, and

deign to abide by the dissenting opinion? Why

would learned, experienced judges dare do such

a thing?


The answer (or at least part of it) may lie in

the fact that 80% of the Texas appellate court are

composed of ex-prosecutors, who have learned,

from their former jobs, to give short shrift to

arguments by defendants. Many of them

probably worked their way up onto the bench

by doing the very things that the Supreme Court

has criticized, so they simply don't want to agree

that their own professional actions (like striking

Blacks off juries) were unconstitutional. But,

what of the 5th Circuit, where federal judges,

not state judges, hold sway?


The answer may lie, not in the law, but in

the realm of politics. For judges, though they

wear black robes, are yet political creatures. Even

in the federal system, they are appointed by, and in,

the political system. Senators submit them, and

presidents nominate them. And how do they

come to the attention of national political figures?

By demonstrating their 'conservative' credentials.

Judges, in the Miller-El case, dared to violate

fundamental rules of judicial procedure because

they were *auditioning* for higher seats in the

judicial hierarchy. Mr. Miller-El was nothing

more than a Black, living stepping stone of the

Stairway of Ambition.


Moreover, Texas is infamous for its taste for

death, as amply demonstrated by the bloody reign

of George W. Bush, who presided over the

executions of over 150 men, and several women.

While Texas Governor, Bush undoubtedly appointed

at least some of the judges to the state's appeals

court, and surely (as president) looked kindly to

those nominations to the 5th Circuit federal

bench of jurists who shared his penchant for

cutting judicial corners when it came to the death

penalty.


It is only in that fractured, political light that

their actions begin to make sense.


Another saying: "Law is but politics, by

other means.'


Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

8) MALCOLM X'S RAP OF DEMOCRATS
[Col. Writ. 12/17/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal


Recently, this writer referenced the little-known and

suppressed speech prepared by then-SNCC (Student

Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) leader, (now U.S.

Congressman) John Lewis. Lewis was urged by civil

rights leaders to 'tone down' his speech, and he did so.


At around the same time, another Black leader,

fiery Black nationalist (and former Nation of Islam

Minister), Malcolm X, was giving his own biting analysis

and commentary on the duplicity of Democrats when

it came to Blacks.


In his historic 1964 "The Ballot or the Bullet" speech,

Malcolm made crystal clear his view of Democratic

betrayal of Black interests:


In the present administration they have in the House

of Representatives 257 Democrats to only 177

Republicans. They control two-thirds of the House

vote ... In the Senate there are 67 Senators who are

of the Democratic Party. Only 33 of them are

Republicans. Why, the Democrats have got the

government sewed up, and you're the one who sewed

it up for them. And what have they given you for it?

Four years in office, and just now getting around to

some civil-rights legislation. Just now, after everything

else is gone, out of the way, they're going to sit down

and play with you all summer long -- the same old giant

con game that they call filibuster.

... They get all the Negro vote, and after they get it,

the Negro gets nothing in return. All they did when

they got to Washington was give a few big Negroes

big jobs. Those big Negroes didn't need big jobs, they

already had jobs. That's camouflage, that's trickery,

that's treachery, window-dressing. I'm not trying to

knock out the Democrats for the Republicans, we'll

get to them in a minute. But it's true -- you put the

Democrats first and the Democrats put you last.

...The Democrats have never kicked the Dixiecrats

out of the party. The Dixiecrats bolted themselves once

[in 1948], but the Democrats didn't get them out.

Imagine, these lowdown Southern segregationists

put the Northern Democrats down... They have got

a con game going on, a political con game, and you and

I are in the middle. It's time for you and me to wake

up and start looking at it like it is.


Malcolm X reminds us all, of the ongoing war at home.


He reminds us that voting is but one (and that a minor)

part of politics. That it is important to speak truth to power.

That is important, indeed vital, to dissent. That it is

necessary, sometimes, to step outside of a thing to see it

clearly. And that political organizations have different

interests from those who vote for them.


It has been exactly 40 years since Malcolm delivered

his powerful speech, and, if it be admitted that -- yes --

things *have* changed, we must also admit that some

things have stood the test of time.


The present Democratic party 'tolerates' Blacks, but

is virtually racing to the right. It tried to out-Bush Bush,

by posing as the 'real war' party. This despite the fact

that, according to polls, Blacks were the most anti-war

segment of the population. It wasn't anti-war because

of any soft, cottony reasons, but knew that young

people would bear the brunt of a war, for a cause that

certainly is questionable.


It's been 40 years. How well have we learned

Malcolm's lessons? Or have we been conned, once

again, into thinking that the ballot box is the doorway to

our true freedom?


How long have we voted for people who have not

voted for us?


In virtually every state of the so-called Union, there

are tens (if not hundreds!) of thousands of folks who

have had their votes disregarded, trashed, uncounted,

'lost', and even stolen! What kind of 'democracy'

tolerates such a thing?


In truth, this isn't a democracy -- it's a kleptocracy:

a government of thieves. For who else profits from

stolen items? In truth, democracy itself has been

stolen by computerized paper-less voting machines;

by ambitious party functionaries; by a political process

that has grown fat by feeding on social discontent.


Let us learn from Malcolm's insights, and build

political power independent of the two, major

corporate parties.


Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

9) THE WATER WARS
[Col. Writ. 12/30/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal


The recent visions of the tsunami rushing, raging,

tearing through the Asian coasts has given us all some

interesting insights into the truly stunning, and indeed

awesome power of water, and how nature's fury is

virtually boundless when unleashed.


Yet there is another watery war that is being waged,

that may affect the lives of millions, but it garners

neither the concern, nor really the attention of the world's

media. The electronic media, especially, thrives on drama

and conflict, and seeks pictures and stories which reflect

these features.


It also affirms the positions of the privileged, as

opposed to the plight of the poor, and powerless. Yet all

across the globe, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America --

and even here -- in North America-- people are living

under the very real threat of the corporatization of water

and water systems. The waters of the earth, which have

been, since the dawn of human civilization, for the collective

usage of the community, is fast becoming just another

commodity -- something to sell. If you can afford it, cool.

If not, tough.


Michael Stark, a senior executive at US Filter, a

subsidiary of the multinational corporation, Vivendi, put

it this way: "Water is a critical and necessary ingredient to

the daily life of every human being, and it is also an

equally powerful ingredient for powerful manufacturing

companies."*


Veronica Lake, a Michigan-based environmental activist,

has noted that corporations acquire the world's water by three

major methods: a) by "water mining" the underground

aquifers, or deep sources of many of the world's streams

or rivers; b) by leasing state and government water systems

and collecting revenues; and c) by "managing" city water

systems.


In short, there's money in water, and where money is,

there too are corporations, trying to get paid.


That's the dark, unforeseen and treacherous side of the

globalization movement among western governments and

corporations.


That's also what privatization really means -- taking the

common inheritance of nature, and making it into someone else's

private property.


In South Africa, this movement has resulted in more misery

for the poor. Indeed, cholera rates are higher now there, than in

the days of apartheid. It's often the result of tough austerity

measures imposed by the World Bank or the International

Monetary Fund, where governments are privatizing essential

services, and the costs of living now means the right to buy

water, to live.


Nor is this merely a story for the distant Third World.


In Detroit, Michigan, today, some 40,000 people on the

southwest side have had their water shut off for non-payment.

In many older buildings, water isn't just the stuff that's

supposed to run through faucets; it also provides steam heat

through old radiators. So no water means, no heat. In Detroit.


Scholars say that the next world wars will be fought, not for

oil, but for water, for it is infinitely more precious.


Thankfully, people, all over the world, in South Africa, in

Plachimada, India, in Bolivia, in Brazil, in France, Ghana, and

Canada, are fighting both their sell-out governments and the

corporations for the human right of free access to water.


Those of you who have read my earlier pieces may remember

my piece on the Bolivian water wars in a place called Cochabamba.

There, a popular group calling itself La Coordinadora de Defensa

del Agua y la Vida (Defense Committee in Defense of Water

and Life), organized the poor, the homeless, the street walkers,

and everyone they could to oppose the corporatization of their

water. They ran out the Bechtel corporation. It must spread.


Or else water will become as rare as gold; and as expensive.


[Source: *Veronica Lake, "Corporations Corner Market on Life,

Offer Buy-Back: The New World War: Water," *Against

the Current 108* (Jan./Feb. '04), pp. 26-31.]


Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

10) GARY WEBB: SUICIDE OR EXAMPLE?
[Col. Writ. 1/2/05] Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal


Gary Webb, former investigative reporter for the

*Mercury News* newspaper, and award-winning journalist

who uncovered the nefarious CIA links to the burgeoning

cocaine and crack epidemics of the '90s, was found

dead in his suburban Sacramento home recently,

reportedly of a suicide. Webb, 49, also wrote the

best-selling book, *Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras

and the Crack Cocaine Explosion*, which told the

sordid story of how the U.S. government, through the

CIA, allowed its assets in the Nicaraguan Contras

to smuggle in cocaine to Los Angeles, to fund the

Contra wars against the Sandanista government in

Managua.


Webb's body was found on Friday, Dec. 10th,

2004, about 8:20 a.m., when a moving company arrived

at his home. According to published reports, a note

was posted on the front door reading: "Please do not

enter. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance."


Webb's expose of the CIA-crack connection, which

began as a *Mercury News* exclusive, resulted in a

flood of criticisms from the nation's major papers,

including the *New York Times*, the *L.A. Times*,

and the *Washington Post*. Indeed, after a time,

even the editors of the *Mercury News* critiqued

some parts of the story, but, over time, many, if not

most of the facts brought to light by his earth-

shattering series have been either admitted by the

CIA itself, or supported by other sources.


Webb's resignation from the newspaper about a

year and a half later, marked the power of the press

to discipline one of its own for committing an

unpardonable sin: uncovering the actions of the

powerful, in this case, the nation's intelligence

agencies.


Once again, the media ate its own, to protect

power and privilege.


It may very well be true that Webb committed

suicide: but it seems, at the very least, odd to post

a note on one's door before doing so.


Recently, in a book sharing the contributions

of a wide range of American reporters, Webb

penned an essay sharply critical of what he called,

the "Mighty Wurlitzer", or the media machine that

serves as an accompaniment to those of means

or power. His words give a stark picture of the

so-called 'free press':


Do we have a free press today? Sure we

do. It's free to report all the sex scandals

it wants, all the stock market news we can

handle, every new health fad that comes down

the pike, and every celebrity marriage or

divorce that happens. But when it comes

to the real down and dirty stuff -- stories

like Tailwind, the October Surprise, the

El Mozote massacre, corporate corruption,

or CIA involvement in drug trafficking --

that's where we begin to see the limits of

our freedoms. In today's media

environment, sadly, such stories are

not even open for discussion.

Back in 1938, when fascism was sweeping

Europe, legendary investigative reporter

George Seldes observed (in his book, *The

Lords of the Press*) that "it *is* possible

to fool all the people all the time -- when

government and press cooperate."

Unfortunately, we have reached that point.

[From: Gary Webb, "The Mighty

Wurlitzer Plays On", in Borjesson, Kristina,

ed., *Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists

Expose the Myth of a Free Press* (Amherst,

N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2002), pp. 309-310.]


We haven't the faintest idea whether Webb died

through suicide or intrigue. We don't pretend to know.

What we do know is that the media elites in the nation's

big cities, pointed their big guns at a colleague, and

blew away his career, for what now seems to be little

more than professional jealousy. For years, scholars

have shown how intelligence agencies (especially

the CIA!) have planted people *within* the U.S.

media to protect their agencies. Many an 'editor'

in New York and Washington began his 'career'

in Langley, Virginia, and not at journalism school.

We know that Webb got it mostly right; a) the CIA-

created Contras *had* been selling cocaine to finance

their 'dirty war' against the Sandanistas; b) the

Contras *had* sold coke in L.A. ghettoes, and

they supplied the area's biggest crack dealer;

c) people in the U.S. government knew about it

at the time, and did nothing; d) these sales fueled

and powered the first major crack cocaine market

in the U.S.; and, finally e) this crack explosion

fueled the growth and national expansion of the Crips

and the Bloods, as crews, to push the crack game

across the nation. In Webb's words: "It wasn't

so much a conspiracy that I had outlined as it

was a chain-reaction--bad ideas compounded

by stupid political decisions and rotten historical

timing." [id., 298].


Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

11) Pentagon Spurned Plan to Initiate Enemy Homosexuality
By Jim Wolf
WASHINGTON (Reuters)
Mon Jan 17, 2005 07:23 AM ET
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7343855&src=eD
ialog/GetContent§ion=news

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military rejected a 1994
proposal to develop an "aphrodisiac" to spur homosexual
activity among enemy troops but is hard at work on other
less-than-lethal weapons, defense officials said Sunday.

The idea of fostering homosexuality among the enemy figured
in a declassified six-year, $7.5 million request from a
laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio for
funding of non-lethal chemical weapon research.

The proposal, disclosed in response to a Freedom of
Information request, called for developing chemicals affecting
human behavior "so that discipline and morale in enemy units is
adversely affected."

"One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be
strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused
homosexual behavior," said the document, obtained by the
Sunshine Project. The watchdog group posted the partly
blacked-out, three-page document on its Web site.

Lt. Col. Barry Venable of the Army, a Defense Department
spokesman, said: "This suggestion arose essentially from a
brainstorming session, and it was rejected out of hand."

The Air Force Research Laboratory also suggested using
chemicals that could be sprayed on enemy positions to attract
stinging and biting bugs, rodents and larger animals.

Another idea involved creating "severe and lasting
halitosis" to help sniff out fighters trying to blend with
civilians.

The U.S. military remains committed to developing
less-than-lethal weapons that pass stringent legal reviews and
are consistent with international treaties, said Captain Dan
McSweeny of the Marine Corps, a spokesman for the Pentagon unit
spearheading their introduction.

"We feel it's very important to offer our deployed service
members and their commanders a greater range of options in
dealing with increasingly complex operational environments,"
said McSweeny, of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate.

(c) Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

12) Asia Tsunami Death Toll Tops 175,000 (Link only)
By Simon Gardner
GALLE, Sri Lanka (Reuters)
Mon Jan 17, 2005 07:53 AM ET
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7343999&src=eD
ialog/GetContent§ion=news

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

13) Ain't Gonna Study War No More (Link only)
Sgt. Kevin Benderman, a veteran of a tour in Iraq,
refused to return. Why did a 10-year military man become
a conscientious objector?
By Phillip Babich
Jan. 17, 2005
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/01/17/objector/print.html

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

14) **On January 11, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors,
in a 9-2 vote,approved a strong resolution supporting
justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal. The resolution proceeded through
a series of technical hurdles, including a formal posting,
a public hearing at which three members of the Mobilization
to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal spoke and finally, a full meeting
of the Board. See text of resolution below...

**THIS Monday, January 17 -- Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Rally
in SF on -- help pass out Mumia fact sheets, carry signs and banners at the
March. Meet at the Train Station at 4th & Townsend at 10:30am on Jan.
17th...followed by indoor rally at Civic Center.

**SF organizing meeting of the Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal:
Saturday, January 29, 2005, 10:30am, Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia
Street, at 16th Street, in San Francisco to work on the following:

- The National Task Force for Mumia Abu-Jamal and the International
Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal has set the date of Mumia's
Birthday -- Saturday, April, 23, 2005, for a day of coordinated mass public
events in San Francisco and New York City to demand Justice and Freedom for
Mumia!

If you can't participate in the SF (415-255-1085) and New York actions
(ICFFMAJ: 215-476-8812), organize in your own town!

- Update on the resolutions projects (obtaining resolutions of support for
Justice for Mumia from local governments, unions, community organizations,
etc.), including the SF resolution and those passed by the National Black
Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), and the NAACP.


!!FREE MUMIA!!

In solidarity,

Jeff Mackler and Laura Herrera, Co-coordinators
The Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
298 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
415-255-1085
http://www.freemumia.org

JUSTICE FOR MUMIA ABU-JAMAL

Resolution approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
January 11, 2005

Whereas, Mumia Abu-Jamal, an award-winning African-American journalist,
author of nine books and internationally known social critic and opponent
of the death penalty, has been on Pennsylvania's death row for the past 22
years, and,

Whereas, Amnesty International has pointed to serious flaws in the conduct
of his 1982 trial that raise critical constitutional issues that demand a
new trial for Mr. Jamal, and,

Whereas, among the issues that Amnesty International raised are:
suppression of critical evidence pointing to Mr. Jamal's innocence, the
illegal exclusion of African-American jurors, the denial of the right to
self-representation and the intimidation of witnesses, and,

Whereas, prominent organizations including the California Labor Federation,
AFL-CIO, the Episcopal Church of the United States, the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the European
Parliament, the San Francisco Labor Council, the Detroit City Council, the
National Lawyers Guild, the ILWU, AFSCME and SEIU national unions and many
others, have called for justice and a new trial for Mr. Jamal, and,

Whereas, San Francisco's former Mayor Willie Lewis Brown, Jr. declared
August 16, 1997 as "Justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal Day in San Francisco."

Therefore, Be It Resolved that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
affirm its support for justice and a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal, and,

Be It Further Resolved that this resolution be communicated to the
Governor's office of the State of Pennsylvania for his information.

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

15) Destroying Babylon (Link only)
Dahr Jamal's Iraq Dispatches
January 17, 2005
http://dahrjamailiraq.com/weblog/archives/dispatches/000171.php#more

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

16) Le Monde diplomatique
January 2005
Iran: target zone

Iraq's defence minister accuses Iran and Syria of provoking
violence in Iraq. His complaints echo the claims of the
Bush administration and the neo-conservatives in the United
States, who still plan to remodel the Middle East and to
start by overthrowing the regime in Iran.

By Walid Charara



THE United States occupation of Iraq has turned into a
disaster, but so far this does not seem to have undermined
the determination of the Bush administration to pursue its
grand purpose, which is to remodel the Middle East (1).
With this in mind, the US has called Iran the new threat
and published a series of charges against it - the
manufacture of weapons of mass destruction, support for
terrorism, links with al-Qaida - almost identical to those
made against Saddam Hussein two years ago.

Unlike the former Iraqi regime, Iran has actually developed
a nuclear programme and the US is proclaiming its potential
military use as proof of Iran's warlike intentions. For
some time President Bush's national security adviser and
now secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, has been warning
that the US would do everything necessary to force Iran to
abandon its nuclear ambitions. Israeli officials have
issued similar warnings against the Iranian programme,
which the director of Mossad, Meir Dagan, has described as
"the greatest threat to the existence of Israel since its
creation".

Early in 2003, before the invasion of Iraq, Israel's
military leaders insisted that Iran should be designated a
priority target. In June 2002 Jane's, the British
publication on military issues, announced that Israel had
outlined a plan for a "preventive" strike against Iran's
nuclear research and development facilities, but that the
US had so far refused to allow it to go ahead.

Since then the situation has changed. Although the US's
immediate ambition is still to contain Iran's nuclear
ambitions, the principal long-term goal of its regional
strategy remains the same as it was in 1979, which is to
overthrow the Islamic Republic.

Despite changes in intensity provoked by immediate events,
hostility to Iran has been one of the constants of US
foreign policy for 25 years. A perceptible shift in the
Iranian position has done nothing to change this. Since the
early 1990s Iran has accelerated the normalisation of
relations with its neighbours (in particular Saudi Arabia),
and, as a number of experts have pointed out, has
strengthened political, economic and commercial ties with
the European Union, Russia, China and India. One expert
remarked that Iran, another "obsessional target" of the US,
may be strategically important, but the country has clearly
embarked upon a process of reducing internal and external
tensions (2).

On some policy issues, Iran's desire for an accommodation
with the US has led it to take steps that would once have
been unimaginable. In 2001 it backed the US war against
Afghanistan; and in 2003 it demonstrated its willingness to
cooperate by encouraging some Shia groups in Iraq to
support the US invasion. Unfortunately these overtures did
not significantly soften US hostility. During and after the
invasion of Iraq, leading US neo-conservatives and the
secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld, proclaimed that
"democratic contagion" must soon overwhelm Iran and
precipitate the fall of its regime.

The US, convinced that it can hasten this process by
encircling Iran, is currently deploying troops in
neighbouring states. At the same time it is striving to
limit the external influence of the Islamic Republic, to
isolate Iran politically and diplomatically and to conduct
a strategy of direct and indirect destabilisation.

Behind the ideological window-dressing of the new
"democratic messianism", there are two main reasons for the
Bush administration's uncompromising determination. First
there is Iran's geostrategic status. It is an independent
and middle-ranking regional power that has engaged in
military cooperation with Russia and China. With a
population of 70 million, it has enormous human and
economic potential. All this makes it the last bastion
still to be holding out against a permanent US takeover of
the Middle East. The fear in the Pentagon is that future
"equal rivals" to the US -Europe, China, India or Russia -
might actually court a nuclear Iran.

Iran is the last surviving ally in the region of those
states and organisations still opposed to Israel. Without
its backing, Lebanon, Syria, Hizbullah and Palestinian
armed groups, deprived of any alternative regional or
international support, would be left helpless in the face
of Israel's military superiority.

Iran, which is in an increasingly dangerous situation and
determined to preserve the inviolability of its territory
against a possible attack by the US or Israel, has sought
to develop its nuclear capability. Some analysts believe
that this is purely deterrent. According to the US writer
Michael Mann: "These are not offensive weapons. Anyone who
fired off their warheads against the US would invite total
obliteration, so they cannot possibly threaten the US. Nor
can they be used against neighbouring states for most of
the reasons that usually start wars - territorial disputes
or protection of one's co-ethnics abroad - for
radioactivity would also effect [sic] one's own side. But
any country fearing a much stronger neighbour or the US has
a strong incentive to acquire them in self-defence" (3).

The emerging strategic consensus between the US and the
European Union, opposing Iran's admission to the nuclear
club, is strikingly reminiscent of their reaction to Iraq's
invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The object in both cases was to
prevent the emergence of a leading Islamic player involved
in the conflict with Israel and capable of partially
readjusting a regional balance of power strongly weighted
in favour of Israel.

But despite this convergence of opinion, Europe and the US
differ significantly on goals. If Iran gave up its military
nuclear ambitions, Europe would be prepared to normalise
relations. The US believes that such a climbdown should
actually strengthen the determination of the international
community to hasten the fall of the current regime in
Tehran.

Intense diplomatic pressure might be enough to persuade
Iran to renounce its nuclear ambitions. The alternative
would be to destroy them. Israel and the US would have no
qualms about this - just as the Israeli air force bombed
Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981. But such a course
would entail serious risks. Technically, the problem is
that Iran has dispersed its installations, reducing the
chances of destroying them in their entirety. Iran would
certainly not hesitate to react militarily to an Israeli or
American attack, either directly, by firing long-range
missiles from its own territory into Israel; or indirectly,
by encouraging its ally Hizbullah to launch an attack from
South Lebanon, thus regionalising the conflict by dragging
in Lebanon and Syria, at the least. Iran might also
persuade its many Shia allies in Iraq and Afghanistan to
attack US troops there.

These risks make political, diplomatic and economic options
look more attractive. But whether Iran is to be made more
vulnerable to pressure or whether brute force is to be
applied, Iran must first be isolated from its regional
allies. To achieve this, the US has developed a strategy
across three fronts.

The first takes in Lebanon and Syria. France has helped the
US to lean on Syria. The pressure was intensified in
September 2004 with UN Security Council resolution 1559,
which demands the withdrawal of the Syrian army from
Lebanon, the disarming of the Lebanese and Palestinian
wings of Hizbullah and the deployment of Lebanon's army
along its border with Israel. The UN resolution sends a
coded message to Syria: that it must renounce its alliance
with Iran and distance itself from Iran's ally, Hizbullah,
without whose support Syria would be forced to pull out of
Lebanon.

The implications of resolution 1559 for the entire region
help explain France's unexpected adoption of a position
that is entirely out of step with its previous Middle
Eastern policy. It is true that France and Syria have
disagreed over trade and on the Lebanese question, and that
the French president, Jacques Chirac, has developed a
special relationship with the former Lebanese prime
minister, Rafiq Hariri, who is now hostile to Syria. But
neither of these is enough to explain the French reversal
of policy. The only possible explanation is a view shared
with the US about the necessity of dismantling the Syrian
alliance with Iran.

The second front against Iranian influence has been opened
in Iraq where, since April 2004, US and British forces have
been fighting supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr. It is not
simply a question of crushing any resistance to the
occupation, but also of neutralising a faction that enjoys
close relations with Iran. The same priority underpins the
US attitude towards two other Iraqi Shia groups, the
Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution and the al-Da'wa
party, both members of Ayad Allawi's interim provisional
government. The US has attempted to co-opt specific
elements within these organisations while simultaneously
pressuring other elements that it perceives as irreducibly
pro-Iranian.

There is the question of the apparent rapprochement with
the People's Mujahideen of Iran. Despite classifying this
as a terrorist organisation, the US has granted 4,000 of
its members the status of political refugees in Iraq and
has used the group as a source of intelligence on Iran's
"secret" nuclear programme. It is probable that the US will
use the People's Mujahideen against the Islamic revolution,
rather as it employed Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National
Congress before the invasion of Iraq.

The third front is Afghanistan, where, under the pretext of
restoring the authority of the state over the warlords, the
US has encouraged its ally Hamid Karzai in an attempt to
remove the pro-Iranian Ismael Khan, the historic leader of
the mujahideen in the Herat region. Unfortunately there is
enormous support for Iran among the various political
factions that make up Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, and
the US will find it very difficult to reduce Khan's
influence.

So far, the US has managed to avoid any direct
confrontation with Iran. But the Bush administration's
determination to remodel the Middle East is bound to
conflict with the interests of the region's key states and
must eventually affect Iran. If the US persists in seeking
a confrontation, it will provoke a regional conflict that
will set the entire Middle East ablaze.

(1) See Gilbert Achcar, "Les masques de la politique
américaine", Manière de voir, n° 78, December 2004-January
2005.

(2) Emmanuel Todd, After the Empire: The Breakdown of the
American Order, Columbia University Press, New York, 2003.

(3) Michael Mann, Incoherent Empire, Verso, London/New
York, 2003.

Translated by Donald Hounam


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (c) 1997-2005 Le Monde diplomatique

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17) Iran Says It Has Military Might to
Deter Any Attack (Link only)
By Paul Hughes
TEHRAN (Reuters)
Tue Jan 18, 2005 08:39 AM ET
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7355372&src=eD
ialog/GetContent§ion=news

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18) THE COMING WARS (link only)
By SEYMOUR M. HERSH
What the Pentagon can now do in secret.
Issue of 2005-01-24 and 31
Posted 2005-01-17
January 18, 2005
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?050124fa_fact

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19) U.S. Military Resorting To Collective Punishment
** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** http://dahrjamailiraq.com **
Inter Press Service

Dahr Jamail

*
BAGHDAD, Jan 18 (IPS) - The U.S. military is resorting to collective
punishment tactics in Iraq similar to those used by Israeli troops in
the occupied territories of Palestine, residents say.*

Military bulldozers have mown down palm groves in the rural al-Dora
farming area on the outskirts of Baghdad, residents say. Electricity has
been cut, the local fuel station destroyed and the access road blocked.

The U.S. action comes after resistance fighters attacked soldiers from
this area several weeks back.

"The Americans were attacked from this field, then they returned and
started cutting down all the trees," says Kareem, a local mechanic,
pointing to a pile of burnt date palms in a bulldozed field. "None of us
knows any fighters, we all know they are coming here from other areas to
attack the Americans, but we are the people who suffer from this."

The military action follows a similar round of attacks and retaliation
earlier this month.

U.S. Army Brigadier-General Mark Kimmit told reporters then that the
military had launched 'Operation Iron Grip' in the area to send "a very
clear message to anybody who thinks that they can run around Baghdad
without worrying about the consequences of firing RPGs (rocket propelled
grenades), firing mortars."

Gen. Kimmit said "there is a capability in the air that can quickly
respond against anybody who would want to harm Iraqi citizens or
coalition forces." Then as now, local people denied any knowledge of
harbouring resistance fighters.

And now, as then, they say they have to pay the price.

"They destroyed our fences, and now there are wolves attacking our
animals," said Mohammed, a schoolboy. "They destroyed much of our
farming equipment, and the worst is they cut our electricity. They come
by here every night and fire their weapons to frighten us."

People need electricity to run pumps to irrigate the farms, he said.
"Now we are carrying water in buckets from the river, and this is very
difficult for us," Mohammed said. "They say they are going to make
things better for us, but they are worse."

Going into fields littered with unexploded mortar shells after the U.S.
retaliation has become hazardous now. "We asked them the first time and
they said okay, we'll come take care of it," said a farmer who called
himself Sharkr. "But they never came."

Other residents say soldiers beat them up during random home raids. "I
was beaten by the Americans," said Ihsan, a 17 year-old secondary school
student. "They asked me who attacked them, but I do not know. My home
was raided, our furniture destroyed, and one of my uncles was arrested."

People in Abu Hishma village in the area spoke of similar experiences
earlier. After U.S.. soldiers were attacked, the entire village was
encircled with razor wire. Residents were forced to acquire military
identity badges and enter through a military controlled checkpoint.

The main farm road was blocked by four large concrete slabs after
attacks several weeks ago. Residents used tractors to remove the blocks,
but last week they say the military installed four larger blocks.

"They humiliate us when we talk to them," said Hamoud Abid, a
50-year-old farmer. "They would not tell us when they will remove these
blocks, so we are all walking now."

A military spokesperson in Baghdad declined to comment on the statements
by the people in al-Dora, and declined a request for his name. But he
said there were ongoing security operations in al-Dora.


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19) Odd Happenings in Fallujah
** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** http://dahrjamailiraq.com **
January 18, 2005

"The soldiers are doing strange things in Fallujah," said one of my
contacts in Fallujah who just returned. He was in his city checking on
his home and just returned to Baghdad this evening.

Speaking on condition of anonymity he continued, "In the center of the
Julan Quarter they are removing entire homes which have been bombed,
meanwhile most of the homes that were bombed are left as they were. Why
are they doing this?"

According to him, this was also done in the Nazal, Mualmeen, Jubail and
Shuhada'a districts, and the military began to do this after Eid, which
was after November 20th.

He told me he has watched the military use bulldozers to push the soil
into piles and load it onto trucks to carry away. This was done in the
Julan and Jimouriya quarters of the city, which is of course where the
heaviest fighting occurred during the siege, as this was where
resistance was the fiercest.

"At least two kilometers of soil were removed," he explained, "Exactly
as they did at Baghdad Airport after the heavy battles there during the
invasion and the Americans used their special weapons."

He explained that in certain areas where the military used "special
munitions" 200 square meters of soil was being removed from each blast site.

In addition, many of his friends have told him that the military brought
in water tanker trucks to power blast the streets, although he hadn't
seen this himself.

"They went around to every house and have shot the water tanks," he
continued, "As if they are trying to hide the evidence of chemical
weapons in the water, but they only did this in some areas, such as
Julan and in the souk (market) there as well."

He first saw this having been done after December 20th.

Again, this is reflective of stories I've been told by several refugees
from Fallujah.

Just last December, a 35 year-old merchant from Fallujah, Abu Hammad,
told me what he'd experienced when he was still in the city during the
siege.

"The American warplanes came continuously through the night and bombed
everywhere in Fallujah! It did not stop even for a moment! If the
American forces did not find a target to bomb, they used sound bombs
just to terrorize the people and children. The city stayed in fear; I
cannot give a picture of how panicked everyone was."

"In the mornings I found Fallujah empty, as if nobody lives in it," he'd
said, "Even poisonous gases have been used in Fallujah-they used
everything-tanks, artillery, infantry, poison gas. Fallujah has been
bombed to the ground. Nothing is left."

In Amiriyat al-Fallujah, a small city just outside Fallujah where many
doctors from Fallujah have been practicing since they were unable to do
so at Fallujah General Hospital, similar stories are being told.

Last month one refugee who had just arrived at the hospital in the small
city explained that he'd watched the military bring in water tanker
trucks to power blast some of the streets in Fallujah.

"Why are they doing this," explained Ahmed (name changed for his
protection), "To beautify Fallujah? No! They are covering their tracks
from the horrible weapons they used in my city."

Also last November, another Fallujah refugee from the Julan area, Abu
Sabah told me, "They (US military) used these weird bombs that put up
smoke like a mushroom cloud. Then small pieces feel from the air with
long tails of smoke behind them."

He explained that pieces of these bombs exploded into large fires that
burnt peoples skin even when water was dumped on their bodies, which is
the effect of phosphorous weapons, as well as napalm. "People suffered
so much from these, both civilians and fighters alike," he said.

My friend Suthir (name changed to protect identity) was a member of one
of the Iraqi Red Crescent relief convoys that was allowed into Fallujah
at the end of November.

"I'm sure the Americans committed bad things there, but who can discover
and say this," she said when speaking of what she saw of the devastated
city, "They didn't allow us to go to the Julan area or any of the others
where there was heavy fighting, and I'm sure that is where the horrible
things took place."

"The Americans didn't let us in the places where everyone said there was
napalm used," she added, "Julan and those places where the heaviest
fighting was, nobody is allowed to go there."

On 30 November the US military prevented an aid convoy from reaching
Fallujah. This aid convoy was sent by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, but
was told by soldiers at a checkpoint to return in "8 or 9 days,"
reported AP.

Dr. Ibrahim al-Kubaisi who was with the relief team told reporters at
that time, "There is a terrible crime going in Fallujah and they do not
want anybody to know."

With the military maintaining strict control over who enters Fallujah,
the truth of what weapons were used remains difficult to find.

Meanwhile, people who lived in different districts of Fallujah continue
to tell the same stories.


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