Thursday, September 21, 2006




By Bonnie Weinstein

Gavin Newsom
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Sandy Lee
Cindy Shamban;
Crystal Stewart
Heather Fong

Dear City Government Officials and Interested Parties:

The World Can't Wait group,, has
applied for permits to rally at Justin Herman Plaza at noon,
OCT 5 to march on Market Street to a main rally with prominent
speakers at 4PM in Union Square, and then to march back to
Justin Herman Plaza for the all-night vigil to to demonstrate
as part of the national day of mass resistance against the war
called with actions across the country.

The San Francisco Police Department has denied the march
permit. The SF Recreation and Parks Department is responsible
for permits at the sites and has not yet granted them.

Again, the San Francisco City Government has denied the right
to free speech and assembly to voices of resistance and
opposition to the policies of this government.

The bloodbath in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon, Haiti--
in nations around the world is continuing thanks to this hideous
and corrupt government, the government of the United States,
responsible for terror around the world. I do not support this
government. It is corrupt, vicious and out to defend the wealthy
at the expense of the planet itself--anything for the almighty
dollar and the power it buys.

I do not agree with everything that The World Can't Wait group
has to say --we have friendly debates frequently--but I insist
that they have the right to say it!

The right to free speech and assembly is meaningless if the
government at any level--city, state or federal--has the right
to deny permits for no reason or dictate when and where we
are allowed to demonstrate.

Our group, People United for General and Unconditional Amnesty
for All, was also denied our right to free speech and assembly--
based upon false statements made by the Police Department.
I got an apology about one of the false statements but still, we
were denied our permits and were subject to police intimidation.
A large number of police were present at the time and location
of our planned event last Saturday, Sept. 16th prepared to stop
us if we attempted to use amplified sound or take to the street.

With our permit denied we knew we would endanger many
people if we tried to go ahead with our plans so we altered
them to comply with the law. Which is why we tried to get
permits in the first place. So that we could advertise
a peaceful and legal rally.

We arrive the day of our planned rally with a bullhorn to
inform the community that the rally permits were denied and
why. We handed out explanatory flyers to those who would
take them and went ahead with our modest list of speakers.
We then peacefully marched on the sidewalk to the Mission
Police Station--the location of the source of the false statements
--where we formed an orderly picket line for about an hour.

We are very proud that we did this. And, we will not let this

FOR PERMITS (We had to come up with over $700.00 just for
the permits. We found we couldn't afford to rent a flatbed
truck or any speakers so decided to just use our own speaker
and speak from a milk-carton-type platform. The City couldn't
even allow this!)


The news of this and the city's insistence that A.N.S.W.E.R. pay
tens of thousands of dollars in fines for posting information
up in the community--a centuries-long practice of free speech
and mass communication among the poor--among those without
the billions of advertising dollars to spend--is already spreading
shockwaves throughout the community.

News of these permit denials and the harassment of A.N.S.W.E.R.
Will serve to expose the real nature of the city government.

What do we call a state that allows the Police to determine when,
where, how and if an opposition demonstration can take place?
We call that a Police State! What do we call those who do not
stand up against this injustice? I can think of a few choice words.

Why is it that the Zionists are afforded a location directly in front
of antiwar protests? Why do the Right to Lifers get a police escort
in a solidly pro-choice city? Why are mainstream politicians
or even corporations catered to routinely with street closures,
giant stages, sound systems, etc. when a small group of immigrants
who wanted to use a small sound system and a very short street
closure from Mission to Bartlett Streets on 24th Street for a total
of two hours on one day was met with a show of force at both the
ISCOTT hearing and at the location the demonstration was to take
place--to see to it that it would not take place. How much money
in Police overtime did we, the taxpayers, have to pay in order
to squelch this small expression of free speech and assembly?
How much to harass A.N.S.W.E.R.?

The whole community witnessed what happened to the People
United for General and Unconditional Amnesty for All on
September 16th at 24th and Mission Street. The whole
community notice the police show of force! The community
also noticed a small but brave group of people who carried
on as best we could with our rally. Standing on the lamp post
on the corner and having our rally anyway with an ineffective
bullhorn. The flyers, signs, posters and banners we carried
and handed out said it all! The whole community also watched
as this same small, gutsy group of about 50 people march
to the Mission Police Station at 17th and Valencia and picketed
them in protest of their denial of our permits.


You can't pick and choose who can demonstrate. That is not your
prerogative if we are to claim to have freedom of speech and assembly.


Bonnie Weinstein

People United For a General and Unconditional Amnesty
Barrio Unido Por una Amnistia General e Incondicional
474 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Contact Persons:
Cristina Gutierrez: 415-431-9925
Bonnie Weinstein: 415-824-8730

Text of flyer handed out Sept. 15th to the community:


The People United has been engaged in the application
process since May 10th in order to celebrate our national
holidays and find a real solution to our problems as immigrants
and specifically for undocumented immigrants. The police
have completely blocked all of the attempts we have made
in having an assembly in our own neighborhood. There has
been no possible negotiation, and furthermore the police
had lied at the public hearing in order to deny us our permits.


Because The People United is the only organization in San
Francisco led by immigrants! Not by the sons of immigrants.
Not by any democratic nor republican parties. Not by any so
called left organizations or parties who claim they want to
save us but won't listen to our demands. Not by organizations
that receive governmental monies or who receive salaries
in order to supposedly help us immigrants get papers.
Not by democratic or republican parties who see us as
their future votes.


We are a group of immigrants who demand a general
and unconditional amnesty for all, we are not talking
about using our people to go vote and elect people who
never fulfill their promises.

We denounce our governments of Mexico, Guatemala,
Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, etc., for not providing jobs
in our countries and forcing us to leave them.
We denounce the government of the United States for
being an accomplice with the government of our countries.
They work together to bring us here as a cheap source
of labor and many times we are forced to become scabs.

We denounce the government of the United States for planning
disenfranchisement and dehumanization keeping us as an
army of unemployed with no rights to health, education,
or dignity.

We denounce all the political parties and organizations that
look at us as objects in order to achieve their political and
economic needs and they deny us the right to organize
ourselves and represent our own struggle.

We denounce the police for the constant abuse of our people
of which the negation of this permit of this assembly
is just one more.

Immigrant brothers and sisters, unite in the struggle for
our rights and the general and unconditional amnesty for all!!!!


Date: Thursday, September 21st

Place: 474 Valencia St.

Time: 7pM



In an interview in March 1995 entitled, "Jesse Helms: Setting the
Record Straight" that appeared in the Middle East Quarterly, Helms
said, "I have long believed that if the United States is going to give
money to Israel, it should be paid out of the Department of Defense
budget. My question is this: If Israel did not exist, what would
U.S. defense costs in the Middle East be? Israel is at least the
equivalent of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Middle East. Without
Israel promoting its and America's common interests, we would
be badly off indeed."
(Jesse Helms was the senior senator from North Carolina and the
chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time.)


Harvest Time
By Bonnie Weinstein

Congress is postponing decisions about immigrant rights legislation
until after the elections. They say they don't want to antagonize
the Latino community before elections. But there is another reason.
It's harvest time! They need thousands of immigrant workers
to harvest the nations crops. They are not worried about antagonizing
Latino's-it's America's agribusiness they don't want to upset. Clearly
they don't want to deport all immigrants, they just want to be able
to terrorize them into submission.

What many American-born workers don't realize is that this threat
will be extended to them as well-not deportation, of course-but
the threat of being out of a job if they stand up for their rights.

What are the common dangers that we face? At the stroke of
a bosses pen we can be fired and find ourselves without a livelihood.
Throughout America factories are being closed down and re-built
in countries that force workers to live as slaves while a bonanza
of U.S, tax-free, corporate profits flows freely across all borders
and into the bosses' pockets.

An even more sinister danger is the lure of U.S. Military service.
All of our children and especially the children of undocumented
workers are in danger of being used as cannon fodder to maintain
the power and wealth of America's corporations. The Military
is entrenched in our public schools. They don't go to the schools
of the wealthy. To the children of immigrants they promise
citizenship and to the children of poor, American workers they
promise college and a career. But it does no good to become
a citizen after you are dead and it's hard to have a career with
half of your brain or body missing in action!

On Tuesday, November 14th at 7:00 P.M., the San Francisco Board
of Education will vote on whether to phase out the Junior Reserve
Officers Training Corps-a military recruitment program for the
High Schools. We must be there in force to see that they do
so immediately, and that they rid the schools of all military
recruiters! It is up to us so please come! That's Tuesday,
November 14, 7:00 P.M., at 555 Franklin Street, First Floor.
You can call the day before and the day of the meeting
to get on the speakers list: 415-241-6427.



Paid advertising in the mass media is prohibitive. Only those with millions
of dollars to spend for advertising are allowed a public voice.
Right here in San Francisco the fees for permits have skyrocketed
and the permit process is long and complicated. The permit
application for DPT is 17 pages long and full of rules and regulations
that must be followed. And both the City and County and the ACLU
have agreed that while we have the right to free speech, the City and
County does, indeed, have the right to say when and where we may
or may not exercise it.


IS GUARANTEED! We must be able to post public events,
and hold public events where the people are. The San Francisco
Police Department routinely protects the rights of the Zionists
when they want to hold counter-demonstrations to our
Antiwar actions. They also protect the "Right to Lifers" when
they want to march down San Francisco's Embarcadero--HERE
The San Francisco Police Department goes all out to
accommodate them! WHY NOT US!

RESCHEDULED: ANSWER Postering Case Hearing
We are appealing for your support as our free speech lawsuit
against the San Francisco Department of Public Works (DPW)
reaches a critical stage. As you may be aware from articles that
have recently appeared in the Bay Guardian, the SF Weekly and
elsewhere, the DPW is attempting to impose fines that now total
more than $45,000 against the local ANSWER Coalition for
postering violations.

We just received word that the hearing for the ANSWER postering
case has been put off for 2 weeks. The new date of the hearing is
Thurs. Sept. 28, 9:30am at Superior Court, 400 McAllister St. (corner
Polk St., SF), 3rd Floor, Dept. 302. If you can, please join us at the
hearing two weeks from today to show your support.

If you would like to read a copy of attorney Ben Rosenfeld’s reply
to the city's response to our lawsuit, which summarizes the main
points of our position, please contact us at 415-821-6545 or






The Democratic Party's redevelopment plan is stopped by Petition
campaign until 2000! House Speaker Pelosi's, the Board of Supervisor's,
and the Mayor's plans to help the housing profiteers is stopped.

"The Bayview Hunters Point Redevelopment Area, passed on by the
Board of Supervisors 7-4 , and signed into law by the Mayor on
June 1, 2006, is now officially suspended pending an election at
which the voters will be given the opportunity to decide.  The election
will most likely take place during a normally scheduled general
election in 2007."

SEPTEMBER 12, 2006

Just before 5 pm today, Tuesday, September 12, 2006, John Arntz,
Director of Elections for the City and County of San Francisco officially
certified that the  REFERENDUM PETITION opposing the creation
of a Bayview Hunters Point Redevelopment Area as successful.

The Department of Elections found that more than the minimum
number of 21,615 valid signatures were submitted by Petition
sponsors.  Sponsors had submitted in excess of  33,000 signatures 
on August 30th, 2006 after a 90 day signature gathering drive. 
San Francisco has not seen a successful referendum petition drive
in decades.  A referendum allows San Francisco  voters to decide
on the merits of legislation passed by the Board of Supervisors.


The Bayview Hunters Point Redevelopment Area, passed on by the
Board of Supervisors 7-4 , and signed into law by the Mayor on
June 1, 2006, is now officially suspended pending an election
at which the voters will be given the opportunity to decide. 
The election will most likely take place during a normally
scheduled general election in 2007.


Petition supporters hailed the results as a victory for democracy
and echoed their campaign slogan "Let the Voters Decide!  
Petition supporter , Willie Ratcliff,publisher of the Bayview Newspaper
said "This special interest legislation was never about the benefiting
the community. Now ,finally,  the will of the voters can be expressed
democratically, at the ballot."

Brian Murphy O'Flynn     415-867-4370





4pm, Powell & Market, San Francisco
Commemoration of 34th Anniversary of the Declaration
of Martial Law & Candle-light March for 750 Killed & Over 100
Disappeared Under US-Arroyo Regime
4:00 pm meet at Powell and Market (North side
of Market near Cable Car stop)
4:30 pm March to Philippine Consulate (447 Sutter St. @ Powell)
5:00 pm Speak out and commemorate victims of political
killings at Consulate
5:30 pm March to Civic Center to join the Interfaith Candle Light
Vigil A Declaration of Peace activity on the occasion
of International Peace Day

7:00 PM, Ecumenical Service
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 959-12th St. Oakland, California
“Commemorative Night for the victims of political killings
and martial law.”


Celebrate International Peace Day
Sep 21 2006 - 7:30am
Organization: CodePINK: Women For Peace
Contact Name: Sam Joi
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 510-524-2776

We will celebrate International Peace Day by beginning with a march
across the Golden Gate Bridge during early morning rush hour.

We will have banners "DECLARE PEACE" and "RISE, WOMEN, RISE" as
we march. Wear hot pink, bring noise makers, signs, dress warm!

We will meet in both parking lots at the north & south end of the
bridge around 7:30a.m. and begin to march at 8:00a.m.

We would like this to be a women-led march with our allies joining us.

North & South Vista Points Parking Lots, Golden Gate Bridge
Highway 101 South Parkig lot last SF exit San Francisco
& Marin, CA, 94112


Free the Cuban Five!
September 23, 2006
Washington, DC
Breaking News...
On Aug. 9, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its en banc
decision denying a new trial to the Cuban Five. On August 10,
the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, together with
the National Lawyers Guild, sponsored an emergency press
conference in Washington in response to the decision.
A partial transcript to that press conference, in English
and Spanish, is here.
A March on the White House will be held on September 23
to continue to press forward with efforts to free the Five.
We urge all supporters to make every effort to join us on
that march. A public demonstration of support for the Five,
and outrage at their continued imprisonment, has never
been more vital. Details of the march are found at the
website below.
Join us in Washington on Sept. 23! Free the Cuban Five!



The "threat" from Iran: Are mushroom clouds ahead?
Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, addresses
that issue at 12:45 p.m. Sunday, September 24, in the
First Unitarian Universalist Church (Starr King Room),
Franklin and Geary Streets, San Francisco.

McGovern will touch on Iraq too: "How we got in and
how we get out." Last May in Atlanta, national TV
networks showed him accusing Defense Secretary
Rumsfeld of prewar lying about supposed Iraqi weapons
of mass destruction.

McGovern founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals
for Sanity. He served the Central Intelligence Agency
from the Kennedy Administration to that of George H.
W. Bush. Awarded an Intelligence Commendation Medal,
he returned it following the revelations of torture.

There will be a question period until about 2 p.m.
Optional lunch (bring it or buy it) precedes the
program at 12:15. Cosponsors are the church’s World
Community Advocates and the War and Law League (WALL).

Following the program, WALL conducts its biennial
meeting. It is a nonpartisan, all-volunteer, San
Francisco-based group that opposes presidential wars
and aims at the rule of law in U.S. foreign affairs.

Public transit to the Unitarian Church includes
Muni's 47 and 49 bus lines on Van Ness Avenue, one
block east of Franklin, and the 38-Geary bus(which
connects with BART at the Montgomery Street Station).

For further information: (415) 738-8298 or (415)



Meet at Military Recruiting Office
Monday, September 25, 2006, 4:00 P.M.-6:00 P.M.
Stonestown Ocean Recruiting Station
561 Buckingham Way
(Across the street from the mall.)

Eyes Wide Open Boots and Shoes Exhibit: The Numbers Increase
The Declaration of Peace

The Declaration of Peace ( is
a nationwide campaign to establish a concrete and rapid
plan for peace in Iraq. In August and September Congressional
visits have urged our Members of Congress to sign on to end
this militaristic adventure in Iraq.


September 23, Saturday 1-5 p.m. Non-Violence Training,
San Francisco First Unitarian Universalist Society,
1187 Franklin Street at Geary
Get information as it develops.
Contact Sandra Schwartz at (415) 565-0201 x 24
or email


"No Thanks Bechtel!"
...for the Iraq war
...for undermining democracy
...for sick Iraqi children
...for destruction of the environment
...for nuclear weapons

Join us! Wednesday, Sept 27, 4:00 PM
Bechtel Corporate Headquaters, 50 Beale St, San Francisco
Half a block east from Embarcadero BART

DECLARE Peace - an end to war and war profiteering!
For more info on this event, please contact Lacy MacAuley at

For more info on Declaration of Peace, including a full calendar of events,
please visit:



Dear Health Care Activist,

Parents care most about keeping their teenagers safe.
That means always safe, even if they feel they can’t talk
to their parents about an unplanned pregnancy.

Parental notification laws cause young women to delay
seeking medical care.

When desperate teenagers turn to back-alley abortions
many will suffer serious injuries and some will die.

You are invited to our Saturday, September 30 health care meeting
on "Why Proposition 85 is bad for our health." The 3pm meeting
will be 4760 Mission in San Francisco, between Ocean and Geneva
at Russia. It is 5 blocks from the Balboa BART station.
Proposition is 85 is a re-run of the 2004 ballot initiative,
Proposition 73.

Groups in opposition to prop 85 include:
The California Federation of Labor, The California Medical
Association, The California Academy of Family Physicians,
The California Nurses Association, American Academy
of Pediatrics-California District, The Adolescent Health
Collaborative, Health Care of All, The League of Women
Voters, and Planned Parenthood. The State AFL-CIO at its
July convention voted to oppose this attack on reproductive rights.
Don Bechler
Chair - California Universal Health Care Organizing Project
Chair - Health Care for All - San Francisco chapter


Brian Ashley will report
on the new stage
of the struggle
for liberation in South Africa

October 1, 2006
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Refreshments @ 2:00 PM
Brian to speak @ 3:00 PM
Q & A to follow

Hosted By Alice & Frank Fried
742 Palmera Court
Alameda, CA 94501

About Brian Ashley:

Brian Ashley has been an activist in the South African liberation
struggle having gone into exile in Zimbabwe in 1984. He is the
founder and director of the Alternative Information and
Development Centre, AIDC, a radical advocacy NGO mobilising
against neoliberal globalisation and its impact in South Africa
and Southern Africa. He helped form the Jubilee 2000 anti-
debt movement in South Africa and the global Jubilee South
movement that fights against debt domination by the International
Financial Institutions and the G8 countries. He is active in the
World Social Forum representing AIDC on the WSF International
Council and the African Social Forum Council. He is also a leading
member of the Palestinian Solidarity Committee. Apart from being
active in a number of social movements in SA he is a board member
of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, COSATU led Working
Partnerships Research and Education Agency.

A collection will be taken to support South African Solidarity Work

Frank Fried


Urgent call from October 22 Coalition against Police Brutality, SF
October 22 Coalition against Police Brutality, Repression
and Criinalization of a generation
National Day of Protest, March and Rally in SF, Planning
mesha Monge-Irizarry
Idriss Stelley Foundation
(415) 595-8251 24HR Bilingual Spa. Crisis line
iolmisha@cs. com
How: Already involved are : October 22 Bay Area, Idriss
Stelley Foundation, SF CEDP (Campaign to End the Death
Penalty, ISO (International Socialist Organization, Bay Area),
Bay Area Families of Victims and Survivors of Police brutality,
Code Pink
GET INVOLVED: To join our mailing list, please write to:


U.S. Out of Iraq Now! We Are the Majority!
End Colonial Occupation from Iraq,
to Palestine, Haiti, and Everywhere!
October 28 National Day of Action
Locally Coordinated Anti-War Protests from Coast to Coast
Vote With Your Feet … and Your Voices, and Banners, and Signs!
Let Every Politician Feel the Power of the People!


October 28 National Day of Action
Locally Coordinated Anti-War Protests from Coast to Coast
Vote With Your Feet … and Your Voices, and Banners, and Signs!
Let Every Politician Feel the Power of the People!


End Canada's Occupation of Afghanistan!
Call for action on October 28, 2006

This call for a pan-Canadian day of action, co-signed by the
Canadian Peace Alliance, the Canadian Islamic Congress, the
Canadian Labour Congress and the Montreal coalition Echec
a la Guerre, is being distributed and discussed at the World Peace
Forum now taking place in Vancouver. -SV The Collectif Échec
à la guerre, Canadian Peace Alliance, the Canadian Labour Congress,
and the Canadian Islamic Congress are jointly calling for a pan-
Canadian day of protest this October 28th, 2006, to bring Canadian
troops home from Afghanistan.

On that day, people all across the country will unite to tell
Stephen Harper that we are opposed to
his wholehearted support for Canadian and U.S. militarism.
This October marks the fifth anniversary of the invasion and
occupation of Afghanistan, and the people of that country are
still suffering from the ravages of war. Reconstruction in the
country is at a standstill and the needs of the Afghan people
are not being met. The rule of the new Afghan State, made
up largely of drug running warlords, will not realize the
democratic aspirations of the people there. In fact, according
to Human Rights Watch reports, the human rights record
of those warlords in recent years has not been better than
the Taliban.

We are told that the purpose of this war is to root out terrorism
and protect our societies, yet the heavy-handed approach of
a military occupation trying to impose a US-friendly
government on the Afghan people will force more Afghans
to become part of the resistance movement. It will also
make our societies more -- not less -- likely to see terrorist

No discussion on military tactics in the House of Commons
will change that reality. Indeed, violence is increasing with
more attacks on both coalition troops and on Afghan civilians.
While individual Canadian soldiers may have gone to Afghanistan
with the best of intentions, they are operating under the
auspices of a US-led state building project that cares little
or the needs of the Afghan people. US and Canadian interests
rest with the massive $3.2 billion Trans Afghan Pipeline (TAP)
project, which will bring oil from the Caspian region through
southern Afghanistan (where Canada is stationed) and onto the
ports of Pakistan.

It has been no secret that the TAP has dominated US foreign
policy towards Afghanistan for the last decade. Now Canadian
oil and gas corporations have their own interests in the TAP.
Over the last decade, the role of the Canadian Armed Forces
abroad has changed, and Canadian foreign policy has become
a replica of the US empire-building rhetoric. The end result
of this process is now plain to see with the role of our troops
in Southern Afghanistan, with the enormous budget increases
for war expenditures and "security," with the Bush-style speeches
of Stephen Harper, and with the fear campaigns around
"homegrown terrorism" to foster support for those nefarious

It is this very course that will get young Canadian soldiers killed,
that will endanger our society and consume more and more
of its resources for destruction and death in Afghanistan.
We demand a freeze in defense and security budgets until
an in-depth public discussion is held on those issues across
Canada. The mission in Afghanistan has already cost Canadians
more than $4 billion. That money could have been used to fund
human needs in Canada or abroad. Instead it is being used
to kill civilians in Afghanistan and advance the interests
of corporations.

On October 28th, stand up and be counted.
Canadian Troops Out of Afghanistan Now!


San Francisco Board of Education Meeting
Tuesday, November 14th, 7PM
555 Franklin Street, 1st Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
The Board will vote on a resolution to phase out JROTC.


Close the SOA and Change Oppressive U.S. Foreign Policy
Nov. 17-19, 2006 - Converge on Fort Benning, Georgia

People's Movements across the Americas are becoming increasingly more
powerful. Military "solutions" to social problems as supported by
institutions like the School of the Americas were unable to squash their
voices, and the call for justice and accountability is getting louder each

Add your voice to the chorus, demand justice for all the people of the
Americas and engage in nonviolent direct action to close the SOA and
change oppressive U.S. foreign policy.

With former SOA graduates being unmasked in Chile, Argentina, Colombia,
Paraguay, Honduras, and Peru for their crimes against humanity, and with
the blatant similarities between the interrogation methods and torture
methods used at Abu Ghraib and those described in human rights abuse cases
in Latin America, the SOA/WHINSEC must be held accountable!

Visit to learn more about the November Vigil, hotel
and travel information, the November Organizing Packet, and more.


Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!

Interested in furthering your knowledge about Palestine
and its people?

Want to help make the Palestinian Right to Return a reality?

Looking for ways to show your support for Palestine and
Palestinian refugees?

Why not shop for a donation at Al-Awda
and help support a great organization and cause!!

Al-Awda offers a variety of educational materials including interesting
and unique books on everything from oral histories, photo books
on Palestinian refugees, to autobiographies, narratives, political
analysis, and culture. We also have historical maps of Palestine
(in Arabic and English), educational films, flags of various sizes,
and colorful greeting cards created by Palestinian children.

You can also show your support for a Free Palestine, and wear with
pride, great looking T-shirts, pendants, and a variety of Palestine pins.

Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!

Visit for these great items, and more!

The Educational Supplies Division
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Tel: 760-685-3243
Fax: 360-933-3568

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC), is a broad-
based, non-partisan, democratic, and charitable organization of
grassroots activists and students committed to comprehensive public
education about the rights of all Palestinian refugees to return to their
homes and lands of origin, and to full restitution for all their confiscated
and destroyed property in accordance with the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, International law and the numerous United Nations
Resolutions upholding such rights (see FactSheet). Al-Awda, PRRC
is a not for profit tax-exempt educational and charitable 501(c)(3)
organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the
United States of America. Under IRS guidelines, your donations
to Al-Awda, PRRC are tax-deductible.


Unspeakably grotesque, This spread was so galling I felt a primal
scream rising inside me. And it was not because I am a woman.
The link is
http://www.voguevan 060hvg/default. asp
The wounds of "western civilization" inflict themselves over
and over...unapologetic , shameless...ditto BW


Stand in solidarity with all immigrants, documented and undocumented

The IAC urges you to support the case of Elvira Arellano. Elvira is
an undocumented worker who is taking a heroic stand against
deportations and fighting for her rights. She is a native of Michoacán,
Mexico who came to the U.S. like many of the other 12 million
undocumented in this country, in search of work and a better life.

In 2002, Elvira was detained by Homeland Security agents in an
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sweep at O’Hare Airport
in Chicago under the guise of allegedly looking for “terrorists”. She
was detained by the Department of Homeland Security for using
a false social security number on her job at O’Hare.

On August 18, 2006 Elvira Arellano and her seven year old son,
Saul who is a US citizen, took sanctuary in Adalberto United Methodist
Church in Chicago instead of reporting for deportation, primarily
because Saul has health problems. She has pledged to live indefinitely
in the church until granted a reprieve.

Elvira is a well known activist, representing many families in
Congressional hearings and speaking on behalf of immigrant rights.
She worked to organize in July 2005 a march of 50,000 for immigrant
rights in Chicago, and went on a hunger strike to support workers who
were picked up by ICE prior to the historic May 1st boycott in 2006.
Arellano was a founder of both La Familia Latina Unida and the
Coalition of African Arab Asian European and Latino Immigrants
of Illinois (CAAAELII).

The case of Elvira Arellano is a just case

Elvira Arellano has become the symbol of resistance to the heartless
and callous deportations that are sweeping the country. Despite
a legislative standstill in Congress, not only are deportations
escalating, local officials around the nation are implementing
de facto immigration policy that amount to a witch-hunt against
immigrants. A case in point is the anti-immigrant ordinance that
passed in July in Hazelton, PA.

Due to her heroic stand, a group of Black ministers spoke last
week at Adalberto Methodist of the comparisons of Arellano
to Rosa Parks. Reverend Albert Tyson said he hopes “their
support would increase the bonds between Latinos and African-
Americans.” At the meeting Arellano said, “I don’t only speak
for me and my son, but for millions of families like mine.”
Supporters from the predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood
chanted, “Luchando mano y mano, Boriqua y Mexicano!”
(“Fighting hand in hand, Puerto Rican and Mexican!”)

Elvira Arellano is the perfect example that the anti-immigrant
hysteria sweeping the country is an inhumane situation that
has become intolerable. The human rights of immigrants are
being cruelly violated under the guise of fighting terrorism
or stopping “illegal” immigration. In fact, no human being
is illegal and whether in the U.S. documented or undocumented,
immigrants have a right to live in peace, without fear of evictions
from their homes or the country.

How you can help Elvira:

1. Write letters to Illinois Senators Richard Durbin and Barack
Obama as well as your own legislator urging them to prevent
her deportation.

For Senator Durbin visit:
For Senator Obama:

2. Send Letters to the Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune
asking them to stop demonizing Elvira as well as all immigrants.
Their emails are and

3. Send letters of support directly to Elvira at the organization she works
with and who has been spearheading her support, Sin Fronteras
at Centro Sin Fronteras 2300 S. Blue Island Ave., Chicago IL 60608
or visit the website: .
For Spanish speakers visit:



These pdf files can be found on Michael Schiffmann's web site at:

The first brief is from the National Lawyers Guild.
The second brief is from the NAACP Legal Defense
and Educational Fund, Inc.

Howard Keylor
For the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal


I urge everyone to get a copy of "Sir! No Sir!" at:
It is an extremely informative and powerful film
of utmost importance today. I was a participant
in the anti-Vietnam war movement. What a
powerful thing it was to see troops in uniform
leading the march against the war! If you would
like to read more here are two very good

Out Now!: A Participant's Account of the Movement
in the United States Against the Vietnam War
by Fred Halstead (Hardcover - Jun 1978)


GIs speak out against the war;: The case of the
Ft. Jackson 8; by Fred Halstead (Unknown Binding - 1970).

Both available at:,-proj-total-margin&field-author=Fred%20Halstead

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein


Endorse the following petition:
Don't Let Idaho Kill Endangered Wolves
Target: Fish and Wildlife Service
Sponsor: Defenders of Wildlife<l=1155834550


SUPPORT "TAKING AIM" produced by Ralph Schoenman and
Mya Shone.


To contact KPFA PROGRAM COUNCIL email:

KPFA's Tracy Rosenberg voted to air "Taking Aim" and we
commend her for it.

You can thank her by writing her at:

In solidarity,
Bonnie Weinstein

Here's my letter to the KPFA Program Council::


Re: "Taking Aim"

Dear Council Members,

We are very disappointed that KPFA decided not to air the extremely
important show, "Taking Aim" produced by Ralph Schoenman and
Mya Shone.

Of course, we are also disappointed by your reluctance
to air a PSA for a rally to defend death row inmate, renowned
commentator, leader and writer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, because the
group that sponsored the rally was not a 501c3, non-profit,

I am happy to say that I did hear it announced in the Community
Calendar during Denis Bernstein's "Flashpoints," Thursday evening,
9/14, the day before the rally. But I'm sorry to say that I did not
hear the PSA.

God only knows, the downtrodden need a public voice more
than ever.

Organizers are not even allowed to post up posters and
announcements anymore in San Francisco. A.N.S.W.E.R. is currently
in a battle over the right to practice this centuries-old custom of
"posting up" for meetings, marches and rallies--historically one
of the only venues of mass communication freely available to the poor.

"Taking Aim" is a program that express that public voice.

KPFA is also supposed to express that public voice.

Now is not the time to silence it!

Please reconsider your decision not to air "Taking Aim." And end
the prohibition against airing the PSAs of non-501c3 groups and
organizations--after all, aren't they the grass roots of the matter?


Bonnie Weinstein,


Stop funding Israel's war against Palestine
Complete the form at the website listed below with your information.
Personalize the message text on the right with
your own words, if you wish.
Click the Next Step button to send your letter
to these decision makers:
President George W. Bush
Vice President Richard 'Dick' B. Cheney
Your Senators
Your Representative
Go here to register your outrage:


Idriss Stelley Foundation is in critical financial crisis, please help !
ISF is in critical financial crisis, and might be forced to close
its doors in a couple of months due to lack of funds to cover
DSL, SBC and utilities, which is a disaster for our numerous
clients, since the are the only CBO providing direct services
to Victims (as well as extended failies) of police misconduct
for the whole city of SF. Any donation, big or small will help
us stay alive until we obtain our 501-c3 nonprofit Federal
Status! Checks can me made out to
ISF, ( 4921 3rd St , SF CA 94124 ). Please consider to volunteer
or apply for internship to help covering our 24HR Crisis line,
provide one on one couseling and co facilitate our support
groups, M.C a show on SF Village Voice, insure a 2hr block
of time at ISF, moderate one of our 26 websites for ISF clients !
Report Police Brutality
24HR Bilingual hotline
(415) 595-8251


Appeal for funds:
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website
Request for Support
Dahr Jamail will soon return to the Middle East to continue his
independent reporting. As usual, reporting independently is a costly
enterprise; for example, an average hotel room is $50, a fixer runs $50
per day, and phone/food average $25 per day. Dahr will report from the
Middle East for one month, and thus needs to raise $5,750 in order to
cover his plane ticket and daily operating expenses.
A rare opportunity has arisen for Dahr to cover several stories
regarding the occupation of Iraq, as well as U.S. policy in the region,
which have been entirely absent from mainstream media.
With the need for independent, unfiltered information greater than ever,
your financial support is deeply appreciated. Without donations from
readers, ongoing independent reports from Dahr are simply not possible.
All donations go directly towards covering Dahr's on the ground
operating expenses.
(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


New Flash Film
From Young Ava Over At 'Peace Takes Courage'


Save the Lebanese Civilians Petition
To The Concerned Citizen of The World:


Legal update on Mumia Abu-Jamal’s case
Excerpts from a letter written by Robert R. Bryan, the lead attorney
for death row political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
...On July 20, 2006, we filed the Brief of Appellee and Cross
Appellant, Mumia Abu-Jamal, in the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia.


Today in Palestine!
For up to date information on Israeli's brutal attack on
human rights and freedom in Palestine and Lebanon go to:


For a great car magnet--a black ribbon with the words, "Bring
the troops home now!" written in red, and it also comes in a
lapel pin!--go to:
(Put out by A.N.S.W.E.R.)


Essential reading for understanding the development of Zionism
and Israel in the service of British and USA imperialism.
The full text of the book can be found for free at:


For those of you who don't know who Lynne Stewart is, go to and get acquainted with Lynne and her
cause. Lynne is a criminal defense attorney who is being persecuted
for representing people charged with heinous crimes. It is a bedrock
of our legal system that every criminal defendant has a right to a
lawyer. Persecuting Lynne is an attempt to terrorize and intimidate
all criminal defense attorneys in this country so they will stop
representing unpopular people. If this happens, the fascist takeover
of this nation will be complete. We urge you all to go the website,
familiarize yourselves with Lynne and her battle for justice


Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos
Who are the Cuban Five?
The Cuban Five are five Cuban men who are in U.S. prison, serving
four life sentences and 75 years collectively, after being wrongly
convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami, on June 8, 2001.
They are Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero,
Fernando González and René González.
The Five were falsely accused by the U.S. government of committing
espionage conspiracy against the United States, and other related
But the Five pointed out vigorously in their defense that they were
involved in monitoring the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups,
in order to prevent terrorist attacks on their country of Cuba.
The Five’s actions were never directed at the U.S. government.
They never harmed anyone nor ever possessed nor used any
weapons while in the United States.
The Cuban Five’s mission was to stop terrorism
For more than 40 years, anti-Cuba terrorist organizations based
in Miami have engaged in countless terrorist activities against
Cuba, and against anyone who advocates a normalization
of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. More than 3,000 Cubans
have died as a result of these terrorists’ attacks.

Gerardo Hernández, 2 Life Sentences
Antonio Guerrero, Life Sentence
Ramon Labañino, Life Sentence
Fernando González, 19 Years
René González, 15 Years

Free The Cuban Five Held Unjustly In The U.S.!


Eyewitness Account from Oaxaca
A website is now being circulated that has up-to-date info
and video that can be downloaded of the police action and
developments in Oaxaca. For those who have not seen it
elsewhere, the website is:




Iraq Body Count
For current totals, see our database page.


The Cost of War
[Over three-hundred-billion so]


"The Democrats always promise to help workers, and the don't!
The Republicans always promise to help business, and the do!"
- Mort Sahl

"It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."
- Emilano Zapata

Join the Campaign to
Shut Down the Guantanamo Torture Center
Go to:
to send a letter to Congress and the White House:
Shut Down Guantanamo and all torture centers and prisons.
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545


Great Counter-Recruitment Website



Last summer the U.S. Border Patrol arrested Shanti Sellz and
Daniel Strauss, both 23-year-old volunteers assisting immigrants
on the border, for medically evacuating 3 people in critical
condition from the Arizona desert.

Criminalization for aiding undocumented immigrants already
exists on the books in the state of Arizona. Daniel and Shanti
are targeted to be its first victims. Their arrest and subsequent
prosecution for providing humanitarian aid could result in
a 15-year prison sentence. Any Congressional compromise
with the Sensenbrenner bill (HR 4437) may include these
harmful criminalization provisions. Fight back NOW!

Help stop the criminalization of undocumented immigrants
and those who support them!

For more information call 415-821- 9683.
For information on the Daniel and Shanti Defense Campaign,


According to "Minimum Wage History" at "

"Calculated in real 2005 dollars, the 1968 minimum wage was the
highest at $9.12. "The 8 dollar per hour Whole Foods employees
are being paid $1.12 less than the 1968 minimum wage.

"A federal minimum wage was first set in 1938. The graph shows
both nominal (red) and real (blue) minimum wage values. Nominal
values range from 25 cents per hour in 1938 to the current $5.15/hr.
The greatest percentage jump in the minimum wage was in 1950,
when it nearly doubled. The graph adjusts these wages to 2005
dollars (blue line) to show the real value of the minimum wage.
Calculated in real 2005 dollars, the 1968 minimum wage was the
highest at $9.12. Note how the real dollar minimum wage rises and
falls. This is because it gets periodically adjusted by Congress.
The period 1997-2006, is the longest period during which the
minimum wage has not been adjusted. States have departed from
the federal minimum wage. Washington has the highest minimum
wage in the country at $7.63 as of January 1, 2006. Oregon is next
at $7.50. Cities, too, have set minimum wages. Santa Fe, New
Mexico has a minimum wage of $9.50, which is more than double
the state minimum wage at $4.35."




Public Law print of PL 107-110, the No Child Left Behind
Act of 2001 [1.8 MB]
Also, the law is up before Congress again in 2007.
See this article from USA Today:
Bipartisan panel to study No Child Left Behind
By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY
February 13, 2006


The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies


Bill of Rights


1) Raúl Castro Speaks Out Against U.S. at Summit Talks
September 16, 2006

2) Immigration raid cripples Ga. town
By RUSS BYNUM, Associated Press Writer
Fri Sep 15, 2:13 PM ET

3) Mexico: 1 million strong Convention elects “legitimate government”
By Jorge Martin   
Monday, 18 September 2006

4) U.S. to Maintain Iraq Force Levels
Filed at 12:37 p.m. ET
September 19, 2006

5) Thai Prime Minister Declares State of Emergency
Filed at 12:43 p.m. ET
September 19, 2006

6) Seeing Huge Losses, Chrysler Slashes Production
September 19, 2006

7) U.S. Resorting to 'Collective Punishment'
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches

8) Rules for the Real World
New York Times Editorial
September 20, 2006

9) Canadian Man Tortured in Syria Wants Explanation From U.S.

10) Border Fence Must Skirt Objections From Arizona Tribe
September 20, 2006

11) Update on Suzanne Swift
September 19th, 2006. 101 days since her arrest.

12) City Hall declares war on the people of Bayview Hunters Point
by Willie Ratcliff

13) President Chavez's Speech to the United Nations
By: President Hugo Chavez
Friday, Sep 16, 2005

14) Home Raids Provoke Increased Unrest
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches

15) G.O.P. in Senate Narrows Immigration Focus to 700-Mile Fence
September 21, 2006

16) Many Theories on Income Inequality,
but One Answer Lies in Just a Few Places
September 21, 2006

17) IOF Kill 5 Civilians in the Gaza Strip, including 3 Children,
& Injures 7 others; Two of the Victims Bled to Death when
IOF Prevented Ambulances from Rescuing them
September 21, 2006


1) Raúl Castro Speaks Out Against U.S. at Summit Talks
September 16, 2006

MEXICO CITY, Sept. 15 — Raúl Castro, who is standing in as Cuba’s
leader while his brother, Fidel, recuperates from surgery, railed at
the United States during a summit meeting in Havana of nonaligned
nations on Friday, urging them to unite against “unacceptable acts
of aggression essentially motivated by insatiable appetite for strategic

Mr. Castro’s first public speech since taking power in July was just as
stridently anti-Washington as those offered by his elder brother.
He spoke of the Bush administration’s “irrational pretensions for
world dominance” and called “absurd” its aggressive military spending
now that the cold war is over.

“With regard to international relations, we are not the decisive force
that we could be,” Mr. Castro, 75, told members of the 118-member
group of developing nations. “The Non-Aligned Movement now has
to wage courageous battles against unilateralism, double standards
and the impunity granted to those in power, for a fairer and more
equal international order.”

The United States declined observer status at the summit meeting.
In Miami, however, the Bush administration’s top Cuban-American
official, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, delivered his own
rebuke to Cuba’s government.

Condemning repression on the island and calling Raúl Castro “simply
another military dictator,” Mr. Gutierrez called on Cuba to hold
a referendum on its future leadership, a proposal that the
Communist government would surely dismiss.

“Why not ask the people?” Mr. Gutierrez said at conference on Latin
America’s economic future, which attracted leaders from throughout
the region. “Let the Cuban people speak. Let the Cuban people
determine their own destiny.”

Noticeably absent from the fray in Havana was Fidel Castro, 80,
who continued his recuperation. Cuban newspaper photographs
showed him clad in pajamas while meeting with Secretary General
Kofi Annan of the United Nations, and President Hugo Chávez
of Venezuela.

“Despite the rigor and will with which he pursues his treatment and
physical therapy, the doctors have insisted that he continue to rest,”
Felipe Pérez Roque, Cuba’s foreign minister, told reporters on Friday.

The Non-Aligned Movement began during the cold war, when many
nations were firmly allied with either the United States or the Soviet
Union. The group has lived on, and now has 118 members that see
themselves as the voice for the developing world.


2) Immigration raid cripples Ga. town
By RUSS BYNUM, Associated Press Writer
Fri Sep 15, 2:13 PM ET

Trailer parks lie abandoned. The poultry plant is scrambling to
replace more than half its workforce. Business has dried up at
stores where Mexican laborers once lined up to buy food, beer
and cigarettes just weeks ago.

This Georgia community of about 1,000 people has become little
more than a ghost town since Sept. 1, when federal agents began
rounding up illegal immigrants.

The sweep has had the unintended effect of underscoring just
how vital the illegal immigrants were to the local economy.

More than 120 illegal immigrants have been loaded onto buses
bound for immigration courts in Atlanta, 189 miles away. Hundreds
more fled Emanuel County. Residents say many scattered into the
woods, camping out for days. They worry some are still hiding
without food.

At least one child, born a U.S. citizen, was left behind by his
Mexican parents: 2-year-old Victor Perez-Lopez. The toddler's
mother, Rosa Lopez, left her son with Julie Rodas when the raids
began and fled the state. The boy's father was deported to Mexico.

"When his momma brought this baby here and left him, tears
rolled down her face and mine too," Rodas said. "She said, `Julie,
will you please take care of my son because I have no money,
no way of paying rent?'"

For five years, Rodas has made a living watching the children
of workers at the Crider Inc. poultry plant, where the vast majority
of employees were Mexican immigrants. She learned Spanish,
and considered many immigrants among her closest friends.
She threw parties for their children's birthdays and baptisms.

The only child in Rodas' care now, besides her own son, is Victor.
Her customers have disappeared.

Federal agents also swarmed into a trailer park operated by
David Robinson. Illegal immigrants were handcuffed and taken
away. Almost none have returned. Robinson bought an American
flag and posted it by the pond out front — upside down, in protest.

"These people might not have American rights, but they've damn
sure got human rights," Robinson said. "There ain't no reason
to treat them like animals."

The raids came during a fall election season in which immigration
is a top issue.

Last month, the federal government reported that Georgia had
the fastest-growing illegal immigrant population in the country.
The number more than doubled from an estimated 220,000 in
2000 to 470,000 last year. This year, state lawmakers passed
some of the nation's toughest measures targeting illegal immigrants,
and Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue last week vowed a statewide
crackdown on document fraud.

Other than the Crider plant, there isn't much in Stillmore. Four
small stores, a coin laundry and a Baptist church share downtown
with City Hall, the fire department and a post office. "We're poor
but proud," Mayor Marilyn Slater said, as if that is the town motto.

The 2000 Census put Stillmore's population at 730, but Slater
said uncounted immigrants probably made it more than 1,000.
Not anymore, with so many homes abandoned and the streets
practically empty.

"This reminds me of what I read about Nazi Germany, the Gestapo
coming in and yanking people up," Slater said.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Marc Raimondi
would not discuss details of the raids. "We can't lose sight
of the fact that these people were here illegally," Raimondi said.

At Sucursal Salina No. 2, a store stocked with Mexican fruit sodas
and snacks, cashier Alberto Gonzalez said Wednesday that the
owner may shutter the place. By midday, Gonzalez has had only
six customers. Normally, he would see 100.

The B&S convenience store, owned by Keith and Regan Slater,
the mayor's son and grandson, has lost about 80 percent
of its business.

"These people come over here to make a better way of life,
not to blow us up," complained Keith Slater, who keeps a portrait
of Ronald Reagan on the wall. "I'm a die-hard Republican,
but I think we missed the boat with this one."

Since the mid-1990s, Stillmore has grown dependent on the
paychecks of Mexican workers who originally came for seasonal
farm labor, picking the area's famous Vidalia onions. Many then
took year-round jobs at the Crider plant, with a workforce
of about 900.

Crider President David Purtle said the agents began inspecting
the company's employment records in May. They found 700
suspected illegal immigrants, and supervisors handed out letters
over the summer ordering them to prove they came to the U.S.
legally or be fired. Only about 100 kept their jobs.

The arrests started at the plant Sept. 1. Over the Labor Day
weekend, agents with guns and bulletproof vests converged
on workers' homes after getting the addresses from Crider's files.

Antonio Lopez, who came here two years ago from Chiapas,
Mexico, and worked at the Crider plant, said agents kicked
in his front door. Lopez, 32, and his 15-year-old son were
handcuffed and taken by bus to Atlanta with 30 others. Because
of the boy, Lopez said, both were allowed to return. In his back
pocket, he carries an order to return to Atlanta for a court
hearing Feb. 2.

But now, "there's no people here and I don't have any work,"
he said.

The poultry plant has limped along with half its normal workforce.
Crider increased its starting wages by $1 an hour to help recruit
new workers.

Stacie Bell, 23, started work canning chicken at Crider a week ago.
She said the pay, $7.75 an hour, led her to leave her $5.60-an-hour
job as a Wal-Mart cashier in nearby Statesboro. Still, Bell said she
felt bad about the raids.

"If they knew eventually that they were going to have to do that, they
should have never let them come over here," she said.


3) Mexico: 1 million strong Convention elects “legitimate government”
By Jorge Martin   
Monday, 18 September 2006

A massive National Democratic Convention (CND) met in the centre
of Mexico City on Saturday, September 16 and decided to elect "a
legitimate government" with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (the
candidate of the left-wing PRD in the July 2nd elections) as its
president. This was the culmination of a struggle of more than
2 months against electoral fraud which has put into question all
the institutions of Mexico's bourgeois democracy. For 48 days,
in the run up to the CND, tens of thousands of AMLO supporters
had organised a tent city in the centre of Mexico City, paralysing
its main thoroughfares, and millions had participated in massive
rallies and daily assemblies (the largest on July 31 with 3 million).

The CND was attended by 1,025,724 delegates from all over the
country and by tens of thousands of others who had not been
officially registered. It is difficult to estimate the size of this massive
rally, but it contained anything between 1.5 and 2 million people.

In the week prior to the assembly, the Mexican government had
tried to prevent it from taking place. September 15 is the traditional
day of the "Grito de Dolores" (the shout from Dolores), when the first
call for the struggle for independence of Mexico was made by Hidalgo
in 1810. Traditionally this is celebrated by the president giving an
address from the National Palace in Zocalo Square at midnight on
September 15. This is then followed by a military parade on Mexico's
Independence day on the 16. The government was threatening to
use the army to remove the protesters.

Finally, the movement decided to withdraw from the square to allow
the military parade to go through, but only after they had taken over
the Grito de Dolores. The movement decided to reassemble on the
afternoon of the16 for the CND. Showing the weakness of the
government, president Fox had to abandon (for the first time in nearly
100 years) any idea of delivering the Grito de Dolores from the Zocalo
and fleed to Guanajuato. The official excuse that was given was that
intelligences services had information that "groups of PRD radicals
were going to kill people". Now even high-ranking officials in the
intelligence service are refuting the official government version. The
truth is that in Mexico we have quite an unprecedented situation in
which the legitimate government of Fox cannot impose its will on the
mass movement. Hundreds of thousands rightly saw it as a victory
when left-wing Senator Dolores Ibarra and other representatives
of the movement celebrated the Grito de Dolores from the Zocalo.

The CND started about an hour late, delayed by torrential rain. But
more than 1 million delegates who filled the Zocalo and the nearby
streets of Pino Suárez, 20 de Noviembre, 16 de Septiembre, Madero
and 5 de Mayo, did not move and stood there waiting. They had come
to the Zocalo for a reason and they would not be moved by the rain.

When the meeting started the first speaker was left-wing writer Elena
Poniatowska. She started by mentioning a letter she had received
from Cuahtémoc Cárdenas, a former leader of the PRD, in which he
advises the movement "not to break the framework of the institutions"
by electing Obrador as a "legitimate president". This was received by
a roar of disapproval, with the multitude shouting "Traitor! Traitor!".
Cárdenas, and many others in the PRD leadership, have openly
disassociated themselves from the resistance movement against
electoral fraud. As a result, they have gone from being respected
leaders (Cárdenas furthermore is related to president Cárdenas
who in 1938 nationalised oil), to being widely despised and rightly
considered as traitors.

Another organisation which has been put to the test by this massive
movement is the "Otra Campaña" (the Other Campaign) set up by
Subcomandante Marcos and the leaders of the EZLN. By openly
advocating abstention from the election campaign which the masses
saw as an opportunity to change their lives, they have squandered the
support and respect they had amongst the workers and peasants
throughout Mexico. The leader of the EZLN is now commonly
referred to as Subcomediante Marcos ("subcomedian" instead
of "subcommander"). Revolutionary events put all organisations
and tendencies to the test, and mistakes are paid dearly
by those who fail it.

The CND passed a number of resolutions, declaring PAN presidential
candidate (who has been declared elected president by the electoral
tribunal) as a "usurper" and refusing "to recognise him as a legitimate
president of the Republic. A "plan of resistance" was also passed
with massive support. This includes a national day of action against
the privatisation of energy sources (electricity and oil), a national week
of action in defence of free state education in October, and so on.
This shows clearly that the character of the movement has gone
beyond the question of electoral fraud and the defence of democracy.
In fact, this is clearly linked to a rejection of the policies of the right-
wing PAN which include the privatisation of Mexico's oil company
PEMEX, of the electricity company, the creation of a two-tier higher
education system, the destruction of the social security system and
the elimination of basic workers' rights enshrined in the Constitution
of 1917 during the Mexican Revolution.

But the culmination of the CND was when the issue of recognising
AMLO as legitimate president was put to the massive meeting. There
was a proposal to declare him as "head of the resistance" instead,
thus making a concession to the established institutions, but this
was rejected out of hand, with a massive majority declaring him
"president of the Republic". Crushed against the barriers that created
a space for the media in the Zocalo, 84 year old Rafael Pérez Vázqued
shouted as loud as he could: "President, he is the president! We have
been fighting since the fraud! He was elected and should be president!"

It was then decided that AMLO would form a legitimate government
and that this would be installed in Mexico City on November 20,
Mexico's Revolution Day. After, it was agreed that the highest point
of the movement will be a massive mobilisation on December the 1,
to "prevent the installation of Calderón as president".

Lopez Obrador, in his speech accepting the presidential position,
made clear the challenge to the institutions of the ruling class which
he described as an "elite block openly composed of the leaders
of the PAN and the PRI, the political arm of a small rapacious
minority which has caused so much damage to our country".
He added that he was proud to be at the head of a "government
of the people."

Another issue which has fuelled the anger of the masses is the
media blockade imposed by the mass media in Mexico (and we
should add, also internationally) on the resistance movement.
A commission of "journalists in resistance" was set up which
immediately demanded the "expropriation of the TV channels",
in order to restore "truthful information, free from the interests
of the oligarchy".

Leaving the meeting of the CND, the masses were jubilant and
the mood was one of victory. Thousands left in columns with
raised clenched fists shouting "se siente, se siente, tenemos
presidente" (you can hear, you can hear, we have a president").
Undoubtedly this movement has strengthened the confidence
of the masses in their own strength, particularly after a period
in which a series of mass movements against the Fox government
had ended up in either victories or at least in a draw. The idea
has conquered the imagination of the masses that with direct
action in the streets they can fundamentally alter the course
of events. Even more than that, the way AMLO has conducted
the "information assemblies", has given the mass movement the
idea that they are the ones who decide and democratically vote
on the proposals for action. However imperfect the democracy
of a meeting of 1 million delegates might be (and in effect it
became a mass rally rather than a proper convention with
delegates and resolutions), the movement feels that they have
the power to decide. They will be closely watching what their
leaders do, and if they do not do what they expect from them,
they will be branded traitors, and the masses will try to replace
them with others that reflect more closely their aspirations.

A clear challenge to the ruling class and its institutions has been
made, and they are clearly afraid of it. Even if they were able
to diffuse the movement (and this is not ruled out), the ruling
class in Mexico (and its mentors in Washington) are in a very
difficult situation. The right-wing government of Fox, which
was elected with a sizeable majority, was unable to carry out
any of the counter-reforms that the ruling class and US imperialism
were asking for. Every single time it was stopped in its tracks
by a mass movement of the workers and peasants. The last one
was when it attempted to prevent AMLO from standing in the
elections. Two million came out onto the streets and Fox had
to publicly withdraw the measure.

If the Fox government was weak in the face of the mass movement,
just imagine how much weaker would be an eventual Calderón
government, assuming it can be installed.

The ruling class has already started a carefully organised campaign
to re-establish the legitimacy of its institutions and to brand AMLO
and the movement as dangerous outlaws and radicals. The first ones
to come out, and it could not be otherwise, were the Cardinals
Sandoval and Rivera, who at Sunday mass appealed for Lopez
Obrador to recognise Calderón and appealed to him to "accept the
rules of the democratic game". They know very well that the
movement that has been unleashed as a result of the electoral fraud
against AMLO, regardless of his intentions, is challenging not only
Calderon but the institutions of "democracy" (capitalist democracy
that is) as a whole.

Former left-wing intellectuals, international governments, the business
organisations, the media (in Mexico and abroad), have all joined the
chorus, in defence of democracy and the institutions of government.
While Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has expressed himself
in the strongest possible terms and said he "will not recognise the
elected government", Evo Morales in Bolivia took the opposite approach
saying that "even if there have been tricks, within the framework
of the norms, the winner must be recognised". On Thursday September
14, Bolivia's Foreign Affairs Minister Choquehuanca sent an official letter
of recognition to Calderón, in direct contradiction to Bolivia's ambassador
to Mexico who had declared that Bolivia would wait until December
1 to take a decision.

Meanwhile in Oaxaca, where the Popular Assembly of the People of
Oaxaca has declared itself to be the legitimate government of the
state and started to take over government functions (public order,
transport, etc), the movement continues to challenge the governor.
Last week there was an attempt by some leaders of the APPO, from
the teachers' union (section 22 of the SNTE), to put an end to the
teachers' strike which has been the backbone of the movement so
far. The deal that was proposed included a sizeable wage increase
for the teachers (the demand that sparked the movement), but when
leading members of the APPO and of SNTE 22 tried to explain the
agreement to the rank and file and advocated the end of the strike,
this was rejected and the leaders expelled from the assemblies,
showing the mood that exists in Oaxaca as well as that the struggle
goes beyond the mere struggle for economic demands.

Peoples' Assemblies, or similar bodies of dual power under other
names have been spreading throughout Oaxaca. The Popular Mixtec
Assembly and the APPO announced that these bodies had now spread
to Santa Catarina Ticua, Yuxia, San Andrés Chicahuaxtla, Yolomécatl,
La Laguna Guadalupe, Río Las Peñas, Siniyuvi, and were in the process
to be established in San Juan Mixtepec, Santo Domingo del Estado,
Teposcolula and San Agustín Tlacotepec. The APPO also reported
that Peoples' Assemblies were also being set up in other states
outside of Oaxaca, like in Guerrero, Michoacán and even in the
northern state of Baja California.

It is clear that the strategy of the state is to combine repression
with concessions that might force the teachers to abandon the
movement, thus weakening it significantly. The nationwide
Secretaria de Gobernacion (Ministry of the Interior) has revealed
that they are considering sending federal police and even the army
to Oaxaca, to re-establish legality. It is not ruled out that they could
even find an "institutional" way to remove the hated governor of
Oaxaca in order to put an end to the insurrectionary movement.

There is the danger that the declaration of AMLO as a president
will remain just words. For this new "government" to become
a real government it must, at a certain point, clash head on and
replace the Calderon government. A situation of dual power (the
elements of which exist today in Mexico) cannot last for a long
period of time without one replacing the other.

The main task now for the revolutionary movement in Mexico
is for this government elected at the CND to become a real
government. This should be done by creating local committees
of struggle, in every neighbourhood, factory, school and military
barrack, and for these to be linked up by elected representatives
at the local, regional, state and national level. These committees
should start by struggling for the immediate demands of the masses
(for clean water, food, housing, trade union democracy, decent wages,
against privatisation, etc), so that the struggle for genuine democracy
(workers' democracy) becomes inseparable from the struggle for
the improvement of the living conditions of the masses. Then these
committees, like in Oaxaca, could start taking over power at the
local level, running their own police force accountable to the
assemblies, transportation, provision of food, etc. The calling of
a general strike, which has been advocated by the Marxist Tendency
Militante since the beginning of the movement, would galvanise
the movement and put forward clearly the question of who rules.
A general strike demonstrates clearly that it is actually the workers
who make the country work and it brings to the fore not only the
power they have to paralyse society, but also that they have the
power to run it.

What will happen in the next weeks and months in Oaxaca and in
Mexico as a whole is difficult to predict. This is a struggle of living
forces and there are many factors involved: the quality and the
actions of the leadership of the movement, the tiredness of the
masses, the manoeuvres of the ruling class and its more or less
skilful management of the situation etc., and to this we have to
add accidental elements which might propel the movement even

But one thing is clear: this is not just a "normal" movement against
electoral fraud. It has much deeper roots going back over the last
15 years of attacks on the living conditions of the masses, on their
acquired rights, the implementation of the NAFTA agreement which
destroyed Mexican agriculture and forced millions of Mexicans
to emigrate to the US, the widespread feeling that the institutions
of bourgeois democracy (the government, the judges, the governors,
the media) do not serve the people but only a small minority of the
rich and powerful, etc. Because of this, the movement will not go
away. It will develop in ebbs and flows, and through these the masses
will learn valuable lessons. The best and most advanced activists
amongst the workers, the peasants, the indigenous peoples, the
youth, must gather around a genuine revolutionary tendency
which can put forward a programme that can take the movement

The revolutionary events in Mexico, part of a continent wide
movement, are an inspiration for all of us.


4) U.S. to Maintain Iraq Force Levels
Filed at 12:37 p.m. ET
September 19, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. military will likely maintain or possibly
even increase the current force levels of more than 140,000 troops
in Iraq through next spring, the top US. commander in the Middle
East said Tuesday in one of the gloomiest assessments yet of how
quickly American forces can be brought home.

Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command, said military
leaders would consider adding troops or extending the Iraq deployments
of other units if needed.

''If it's necessary to do that because the military situation on the ground
requires that, we'll do it,'' he said. ''If we have to call in more forces
because it's our military judgment that we need more forces, we'll do it.''

Abizaid said that right now the current number of troops ''are prudent
force levels'' that are achieving the needed military effect.

His comments came as U.S. political leaders continue to face declining
public support for the war in Iraq, as they head into the coming
congressional elections. Abizaid, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld
and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace are expected
to meet with members of Congress later this week.

Late last year, military leaders had said they hoped to reduce troop
levels to about 100,000 by the end of this year. But Abizaid said Tuesday
that the rising sectarian violence and slow progress of the Iraqi
government made that impossible.

''I think that this level probably will have to be sustained through the
spring,'' he told military reporters. ''I think that we'll do whatever we
have to do to stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan and use the military
power of the U.S. to do that.''

Abizaid cautioned that the solution to much of Iraq's violence --
both sectarian and insurgents -- is not necessarily ''throwing more
American units at the problem.''

Instead, he said it is vital that the Iraqi government improve the political
and economic conditions in the embattled country, as part of an effort
to get the ''angry young men'' off the streets. And he said there will
be more emphasis on the U.S. military teams that are training the
Iraqi army and police forces.

There are currently 147,000 U.S. forces in Iraq -- up more than
20,000 from the troop levels in late June. Rumsfeld extended the
one-year deployment of an Alaska-based brigade in July, as part
of the effort to stem the escalating violence in Baghdad.

Abizaid said Tuesday that there are no plans to further extend
the deployment of the Alaska Stryker brigade.

On the Net:

Defense Department:


5) Thai Prime Minister Declares State of Emergency
Filed at 12:43 p.m. ET
September 19, 2006

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- The Thai military launched a coup against
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday night, circling his offices
with tanks, seizing control of TV stations and declaring a provisional
authority pledging loyalty to the king.

An announcement on Thai television declared that a ''Council of
Administrative Reform'' with King Bhumibol Adulyadej as head of state
had seized power in Bangkok and nearby provinces without any resistance.

At least 14 tanks surrounded Government House, Thaksin's office. Thaksin
was in New York at the U.N. General Assembly and declared a state of
emergency via a government-owned TV station.

A convoy of four tanks rigged with loudspeakers and sirens rolled through
a busy commercial district warning people to get off the street for their
own safety.

A senior military official, speaking on condition of anonymity because
of the sensitivity of the situation, said army Commander-in-Chief Gen.
Sondhi Boonyaratkalin had used the military to take over power from
the prime minister.

Thaksin has faced calls to step down amid allegations of corruption
and abuse of power.

Massive rallies earlier this year forced Thaksin to dissolve Parliament
and call an election in April, three years ahead of schedule. The poll
was boycotted by opposition parties and later annulled by Thailand's
top courts, leaving the country without a working legislature.

Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai Party twice won landslide election victories, in
2001 and 2005 and had been expected to win the next vote on Oct. 15,
bolstered by its widespread support in the country's rural areas.

Thaksin, who had been scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly
on Wednesday night, switched his speech to Tuesday at 7 p.m. EDT.

On Monday, Thaksin had said he may step down as leader of Thailand
after the upcoming elections but would remain at the helm of his party,
despite calls for him to give up the post.

In Bangkok, several hundred soldiers were deployed at government
installations and major intersections, according to an Associated
Press reporter.

Army-owned TV channel 5 interrupted regular broadcasts with patriotic
music and showed pictures of the king. At least some radio and television
stations monitored in Bangkok suspended programming.

The cable television station of the Nation newspaper reported that tanks
were parked at the Rachadamnoen Road and royal plaza close to the
royal palace and government offices.

''The prime minister with the approval of the cabinet declares serious
emergency law in Bangkok from now on'' Thaksin said by television
from New York. He said he was ordering the transfer of the nation's
army chief to work in the prime minister's office, effectively suspending
him from his military duties.

Thaksin's critics want to jettison his policies promoting privatization, free
trade agreements and CEO-style administration.

Opposition to Thaksin gained momentum in January when his family
announced it had sold its controlling stake in telecommunications
company Shin Corp. to Singapore's state-owned Temasek Holdings
for a tax-free $1.9 billion. Critics allege the sale involved insider
trading and complain a key national asset is now in foreign hands.

Thaksin also has been accused of stifling the media and mishandling
a Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand that flared under his rule.

In Thailand's mostly Muslim south, separatist insurgents have waged
a bloody campaign that has left at least 1,700 dead, mostly civilians,
since 2004. Citizens there have complained of rights abuses by
soldiers and discrimination by the country's Buddhist majority.

Bhumibol, a 78-year-old constitutional monarch with limited powers,
has used his high prestige to pressure opposing parties to compromise
during political crises. He is credited with helping keep Thailand more
stable than many of its Southeast Asian neighbors.

He is the world's longest-serving monarch, celebrated his 60th year
on the throne with lavish festivities in mid-June that were attended
by royalty from around the world.

Many Thais are counting on him to pull the country through its current
political crisis, which has left it with no functioning legislature and
only a caretaker government after a divisive, inconclusive election.

Bhumibol was born in Cambridge, Mass. He became the ninth king
of Thailand's Chakri dynasty on June 9, 1946, succeeding his older
brother, Ananda, killed by an unexplained shooting.

Since then, the beloved king has reigned through a score of governments,
democratic and dictatorial. He has taken an especially active role
in rural development.

In 1992, demonstrators against a military strongman were gunned
down before the king stepped in to end the fighting and usher
in a period of stability.


6) Seeing Huge Losses, Chrysler Slashes Production
September 19, 2006

DETROIT, Sept. 19 — Dogged by slumping sales of sport utility
vehicles, the Chrysler Group said today that it would cut production
by 16 percent the rest of this year, and it confirmed that it expected
to lose $1.26 billion on operations in 2006.

DaimlerChrysler’s chief executive, Dieter Zetsche, also said the company
would continue to press the United Automobile Workers union to agree
to concessions on health care benefits, even though the union said
earlier this month that it would not reach a deal with the automaker.

At a briefing with industry analysts, Chrysler said it would cut third-
quarter production by 90,000 vehicles, double its original plan to cut
45,000 vehicles out of its production schedules. Chrysler said it would
cut another 35,000 vehicles from its production plans during the
fourth quarter.

Over all, Chrysler said it planned to build 705,000 cars and trucks
during the second half of the year, down 16 percent from its original
second-half projection.

Mr. Zetsche, who ran Chrysler from 2000 until last year, declined
to estimate how big a charge against earnings the company might take.
No decision has yet been made on whether the company will cut jobs
or take other steps.

But Mr. Zetsche said Chrysler was examining its structural costs from
its factories to its purchasing operations. He said the company would
act on those costs if necessary, but he was not specific.

“We have to clearly dig deeper into the top of Chrysler to make sure
we further can accelerate the process of increased competitiveness,”
Mr. Zetsche said.

In the presentation to analysts, Chrysler forecast that its share of the
American car market would be 10.6 percent during the third quarter,
down from its original plan to hold 11.2 percent. That puts
it in fourth place, behind General Motors, the Ford Motor Company
and Toyota, and just slightly ahead of Honda.

But in July, Honda outsold Chrysler, bumping it down to fifth place
in the American market. Honda recently announced plans to build
a new factory in Indiana, raising the likelihood that it could overtake
Chrysler permanently at some point.

Chrysler depends more heavily on sales of minivans, sport utility
vehicles and pickup trucks than any of its Detroit competitors.

But sales of S.U.V.’s and pickups have declined this year in the wake
of gasoline prices that reached $3 a gallon this summer. Consumers
have shifted away from larger vehicles to cars and crossover vehicles.

As a result, Chrysler has been dogged all year by big inventories
of unsold Jeeps and pickups, some of which are parked on lots
across the Detroit area and in Toledo, Ohio, home to much
of its Jeep production.

Nonetheless, the company had doggedly insisted that it had no plans
for deeper cuts in production like those at G.M. and Ford, and that
its business would pick up in the second half of 2006.

Indeed, Chrysler plans to introduce a number of new vehicles,
including more S.U.V.s, crossover vehicles and the Sebring sedan
during the rest of the year, a reason why its fourth-quarter
production cuts were more modest than those in the third quarter.

But DaimlerChrysler stunned analysts last week when it said Chrysler
would lose $1.5 billion during the third quarter, more than double
its previous forecast that it would lose $600 million during the quarter.

That disclosure, coupled with Chrysler’s announcement today,
drew criticism from analysts, who asked Mr. Zetsche why the
company had stayed so long with its forecast that it would break
even, only to suddenly acknowledge that it expected a significant loss.

“There is no way around saying we were optimistic,” Mr. Zetsche
said. “We saw things developing not in the way we planned for them.”

Rather than change the company’s forecast, Mr. Zetsche said,
managers insisted that “next month, we will make it” until the
time came to “face the music.”

“Obviously, our communication was miserable in this regard,”
he said.

He declined to blame either American or German managers for
the company’s problems, saying that the responsibility lay with
management in general. “You can blame anybody of us — that
is fair, absolutely,” Mr. Zetsche said.

Mr. Zetsche laid some blame, in fact, on the U.A.W. for resisting
a health care deal. Last year, U.A.W. members at G.M. and Ford,
who had previously received fully paid health care benefits, agreed
to pay for part of their medical coverage.

Earlier this month, however, the U.A.W.’s president, Ron Gettelfinger,
said there would not be a similar deal at Chrysler because a union
analysis showed that the company was not in as dire financial
shape as G.M. and Ford.

Mr. Zetsche said he was “extremely dissatisfied” at the union’s
stand. “It is a very strange position that we should have to lose
$10 billion before we can have the same as at G.M. and Ford,”
he said, referring to G.M.’s $10.6 billion loss last year.

The U.A.W. had no immediate comment today.


7) U.S. Resorting to 'Collective Punishment'
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches

RAMADI, Sep 18 (IPS) - U.S. forces are taking to collective punishment
of civilians in several cities across the al-Anabar province west of
Baghdad, residents and officials say.*

"Ramadi, the capital of al-Anbar province, is still living with the
daily terror of its people getting killed by snipers and its
infrastructure being destroyed," Ahmad, a local doctor who withheld his
last name for security purposes told IPS. "This city has been facing the
worst of the American terror and destruction for more than two years
now, and the world is silent."

Destroying infrastructure and cutting water and electricity "for days
and even weeks is routine reaction to the resistance," he said. "Guys of
the resistance do not need water and electricity, it's the families that
are being harmed, and their lives which are at stake."

Students and professors at the University of al-Anbar told IPS that
their campus is under frequent attack.

"Nearly every week we face raids by the Americans or their Iraqi
colleagues," a professor speaking on condition of anonymity told IPS.
Students said that U.S. troops occupied their school last week..

"We've been under great pressure from the Americans since the very first
days of their occupation of Iraq," a student told IPS.

Such raids are being reported all over Ramadi. "The infrastructure
destruction is huge around the governorate building in downtown Ramadi,"
said a 24-year-old student who gave his name as Ali al-Ani. "And they
are destroying the market too."

IPS reported Sep. 5 that the U.S. military was bulldozing entire blocks
of buildings near the governorate to dampen resistance attacks on
government offices.

Such U.S. action seems most severe in al-Anabar province, where
resistance is strongest, and which has seen the highest U.S. casualties.

The city of Hit 80km west of Ramadi was surrounded by U.S. troops for
several days earlier this week. Several civilians were killed and at
least five were detained by U.S. forces. Checkpoints are in place at
each entrance to the city after the U.S. military lifted the cordon
around it. This has stifled movement and damaged local businesses.

"There was an attack on a U.S. convoy, and three vehicles were
destroyed," a local tribal chief who gave his name as Nawaf told IPS.
"It wasn't the civilians who did it, but they are the ones punished.
These Americans have the bad habit of cutting all of the essential
services after every attack. They said they came to liberate us, but
look at the slow death they are giving us every day."

In Haditha, a city of 75,000 on the banks of the Euphrates River in
western al-Anbar, collective punishment is ongoing, residents say. This
was the site of the massacre of 24 civilians by U.S. marines in November

"The Americans continue to raid our houses and threaten us with more
violence," a local tribal leader who gave his name as Abu Juma'a told
IPS. "But if they think they will make us kneel by these criminal acts,
they are wrong. If they increase the pressure, the resistance will
increase the reaction. We see this pattern repeated so often now."

Abu Juma'a added: "I pray that the Americans return to their senses
before they lose everything in the Iraqi fire."

In Fallujah, local police say residents have turned against them due to
the collective punishment tactics used by U.S. forces.

"The Americans started pushing us to fight the resistance despite our
contracts that clearly assigned us the duties of civil protection
against normal crimes such as theft and tribal quarrels," a police
lieutenant told IPS. "Now 90 percent of the force has decided to quit
rather than kill our brothers or get killed by them for the wishes of
the Americans."

At least one U.S. vehicle is reported destroyed every day on average in
the face of mounting U.S. raids and a daily curfew. The scene is one of
destruction of the city, not rebuilding.

"Infrastructure rebuilding is just a joke that nobody laughs at," Fayiq
al-Dilaimy, an engineer in Fallujah told IPS. He was on the rebuilding
committee set up after the November 2004 U.S.-led operation which
destroyed approximately 75 percent of the city..

"People of this city could rebuild their city in six months if given a
real chance. Now look at it and how sorrowful it looks under the boots
of the 'liberators'."

Many of the smaller towns have been badly hit. "Khaldiyah (near
Fallujah) and the area around it have faced the worst collective
punishments for over two years now," said a government official in
Ramadi. "But of course most cities in al-Anbar are being constantly
punished by the Americans."

Samarra and Dhululiyah towns, both north of Baghdad, have also been
facing collective punishment from the U.S. military, according to residents.

"Curfews and concrete walls are permanent in both cities, which makes
life impossible," Ali al-Bazi, a lawyer who lives in Dhululiyah and
works in Samarra told IPS. "There are so many killings by American
snipers. So many families have lost loved ones trying to visit relatives
or even just stepping outside of their house."

While Baghdad is not in al-Anbar province, occupation forces have used
similar tactics there. In January 2005 IPS reported that the military
used bulldozers to level palm groves, cut electricity, destroy a fuel
station and block access roads in response to attacks from resistance

A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad did not comment on specific cases,
but told IPS that the U.S. military "does its best to protect civilians
from the terrorists."

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


8) Rules for the Real World
New York Times Editorial
September 20, 2006

The White House has been acting lately as though the struggle over
the proper way to handle prisoners is a debate about how tough
to get with Osama bin Laden if he’s ever actually caught. This week,
we’ve had two powerful reminders of the real issue: when
a government puts itself above the law, innocent people
are put at risk.

On Monday, Canada issued a scathing report about the story
of a Canadian citizen, Maher Arar, who was abducted by American
agents in late 2002 and turned over to Syrian authorities, who
obligingly tortured him for 10 months until he signed a transparently
false confession. The report said Mr. Arar never had any connection
to terrorism. But the United States stonewalled Canada’s investigation,
which concluded that the Americans misled Canada about their plans
for Mr. Arar. Sending him to Syria, where he would certainly be tortured,
was not just immoral and un-American, it was a violation
of international law.

In Iraq, American authorities have been holding an Iraqi-born
photographer for The Associated Press for five months without
charging him with any crime. Military officials say they have evidence
that Bilal Hussein has “strong ties” to insurgents, but refuse to show
it to Mr. Hussein, his lawyers, The A.P. or even to the Iraqi courts.
We don’t know the truth. But we know how to get at it: If the
Americans have evidence against Mr. Hussein, they should present
it. If he committed a crime, he should be charged. If not, he should
be set free.

These two cases illustrate vividly why Congress needs to pass an
effective law on the handling of prisoners that not only provides
for legal military tribunals to try dangerous men like Khalid Shaikh
Mohammed, who is believed to have organized the 9/11 attacks,
but also deals with the other men, perhaps hundreds, wrongly
imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay, and sets rules for the future.

The bills now before Congress don’t meet the test. The White
House’s measure endorses the practice of picking up any foreign
citizens the United States wants, abusing and even torturing them,
and then trying them on the basis of secret evidence. It effectively
repudiates the Geneva Conventions, putting American soldiers at risk.

The other bill, written by the only three Republican senators who
were willing to defy the White House, preserves the conventions
and creates a respectable trial process. But it defines “illegal enemy
combatant” so broadly that the administration could apply it to almost
any foreigner it chose, including legal United States residents. Both
bills choke off judicial review and allow even those acquitted by
a military tribunal to be held indefinitely.

Either bill might be acceptable if the United States government were
infallible. As it is, they would legalize the sorts of abuses of power
that the United States fought against in other countries for most
of the 20th century.


9) Canadian Man Tortured in Syria Wants Explanation From U.S.

OTTAWA, Sept. 19 — A software engineer who was exonerated
of any involvement in terrorism by a Canadian government inquiry
said Tuesday that he wanted the United States to explain why
he was sent to Syria, where he was jailed and tortured.

And in addition to compensation and an apology from the
Canadian authorities, whose inaccurate information contributed
to his deportation to Syria, Maher Arar, 37, said he also wanted
Prime Minister Stephen Harper to contact President Bush to
demand that his name, as well as those of his family members,
be formally cleared in the United States.

“It is my hope that the U.S. government provides the people with
a valid explanation of what happened,” Mr. Arar said in an interview.
“What does this do for the credibility of the U.S. government when
it talks about protecting human rights?”

In its report, released Monday, the commission of inquiry said the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police had supplied American authorities
with false information, including the claim that the Syrian-born
Mr. Arar and his wife were “suspected of being linked to the
Al Qaeda movement.”

That, it said, led to the American decision to detain him in October 2002,
while he was changing planes in New York. Mr. Arar was then flown
to Jordan in an American government plane to Jordan and taken overland
to Syria. There, the report said, Mr. Arar was repeatedly beaten and forced
to make a false confession. He was freed in 2003.

Mr. Arar said he had been shocked to learn that not only he but
his wife and his two children had been on terrorist watch lists used
by border officials in the United States and Canada. “Thank God
I didn’t know about this when I was in Syria,” he said. “Knowing
that would have made my situation worse.”

Prime Minister Harper told the House of Commons on Tuesday that
Mr. Arar had “been done a tremendous injustice,” adding, “We all
know this took place during the period of the previous government.”

However, Mr. Harper, who has been in office since January, previously
led a party known as the Canadian Alliance, which had called
Mr. Arar a dangerous terrorist and attacked efforts by the earlier
Liberal government to secure his release. Mr. Arar filed a suit against
the American officials he said were responsible for sending him to
Syria, but a federal judge in New York dismissed the case after deciding
he did not have jurisdiction. That decision is now on appeal.

In Washington, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he had not
read the report, but said, “We were not responsible for his removal
to Syria,” adding, “I’m not aware that he was tortured.”

Mr. Arar acknowledged that years might pass before he received any
action in the United States. Still, he said, “The fact that I have yet to
get answers from the American government doesn’t mean that the
American people aren’t interested.”


10) Border Fence Must Skirt Objections From Arizona Tribe
September 20, 2006

TOHONO O’ODHAM NATION, Ariz., Sept. 14 — The Senate is expected
to vote Wednesday on legislation to build a double-layered 700-mile-
long fence on the Mexican border, a proposal already approved
by the House.

If the fence is built, however, it could have a long gap — about 75 miles
— at one of the border’s most vulnerable points because of opposition
from the Indian tribe here.

More illegal immigrants are caught — and die trying to cross into the
United States — in and around the Tohono O’odham Indian territory,
which straddles the Arizona border, than any other spot in the state.

Tribal leaders have cooperated with Border Patrol enforcement, but
they promised to fight the building of a fence out of environmental
and cultural concerns.

For the Tohono O’odham, which means “desert people,” the reason
is fairly simple. For generations, their people and the wildlife they
revere have freely crossed the border. For years, an existing four-
foot-high cattle fence has had several openings — essentially cattle
gates — that tribal members use to visit relatives and friends, take
children to school and perform rites on the other side.

“I am O’odham first, and American or Mexican second or third,” said
Ramon Valenzuela, as he walked his two children to school through
one gate two miles from his O’odham village in Mexico.

But the pushed-up bottom strands of the cattle fence and the
surrounding desert littered with clothing, water jugs and discarded
backpacks testify to the growth in illegal immigrant traffic, which
surged here after a Border Patrol enforcement squeeze in California
and Texas in the mid-1990’s.

Crossers take advantage of a remote network of washes and trails —
and sometimes Indian guides — to reach nearby highways bound
for cities across the country.

Tribal members, who once gave water and food to the occasional
passing migrant, say they have become fed up with groups of illegal
immigrants breaking into homes and stealing food, water and clothing,
and even using indoor and outdoor electrical outlets to charge cellphones.

With tribal police, health and other services overwhelmed by illegal
immigration, the Indians welcomed National Guard members this summer
to assist the Border Patrol here. The tribe, after negotiations with the
Department of Homeland Security, also agreed to a plan for concrete
vehicle barriers at the fence and the grading of the dirt road parallel
to it for speedier Border Patrol and tribal police access. The Indians
also donated a parcel this year for a small Border Patrol substation
and holding pen.

Tribal members, however, fearing the symbolism of a solid wall and
concern about the free range of deer, wild horses, coyotes, jackrabbits
and other animals they regard as kin, said they would fight the kind
of steel-plated fencing that Congress had in mind and that has
slackened the crossing flow in previous hot spots like San Diego.

“Animals and our people need to cross freely,” said Verlon Jose,
a member of the tribal council representing border villages. “In our
tradition we are taught to be concerned about every living thing as
if they were people. We don’t want that wall.”

The federal government, the trustee of all Indian lands, could
build the fence here without tribal permission, but that option
is not being pressed because officials said it might jeopardize
the tribe’s cooperation on smuggling and other border crimes.

“We rely on them for cooperation and intelligence and phone calls
about illegal activity as much as they depend on us to respond to
calls,” said Chuy Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Border Patrol in
Tucson, who described overall relations as “getting better and better.”

The Tohono number more than 30,000, including 14,000 on the
Arizona tribal territory and 1,400 in Mexico. Building a fence would
impose many challenges, apart from the political difficulties.

When steel fencing and other resources went up in California and
Texas, migrant traffic shifted to the rugged terrain here, and critics
say more fencing will simply force crossers to other areas without
the fence. Or under it, as evidenced by the growth in the number
of tunnels discovered near San Diego.

The shift in traffic to more remote, treacherous terrain has also led
to hundreds of deaths of crossers, including scores on tribal land here.

The effort to curtail illegal immigration has proved especially difficult
on the Tohono O’odham Nation, whose 2.8 million acres, about the size
of Connecticut, make it the second largest in area.

Faced with poverty and unemployment, an increasing number of tribal
members are turning to the smuggling of migrants and drugs,
tribal officials say.

Just this year, the tribal council adopted a law barring the harboring
of illegal immigrants in homes, a gesture to show it is taking a “zero
tolerance” stand, said the tribal chairwoman, Vivian Juan-Saunders.

Two members of Ms. Juan-Saunders’s family have been convicted
of drug smuggling in the past several years, and she said virtually
every family had been touched by drug abuse, smuggling or both.

Sgt. Ed Perez of the tribal police said members had been offered
$400 per person to transport illegal immigrants from the tribal territory
to Tucson, a 90-minute drive, and much more to carry drugs.

The Border Patrol and tribal authorities say the increase in manpower
and technology is yielding results. Deaths are down slightly, 55 this year
compared with 62 last year, and arrests of illegal immigrants in the
Border Patrol sectors covering the tribal land are up about 10 percent.

But the influx of agents, many of whom are unfamiliar with the territory
or Tohono ways, has brought complaints that the agents have interfered
with tribal ceremonies, entered property uninvited and tried to block
members crossing back and forth.

Ms. Juan-Saunders said helicopters swooped low and agents descended
on a recent ceremony, apparently suspicious of a large gathering near
the border, and she has complained to supervisors about agents speeding
and damaging plants used for medicine and food.

Some traditional and activist tribal members later this month are organizing
a conference among eight Indian nations on or near the border to address
concerns here and elsewhere.

“We are in a police state,” said Michael Flores, a tribal member helping
to organize the conference. “It is not a tranquil place anymore.”

Mr. Rodriguez acknowledged the concerns but said agents operated in
a murky world where a rush of pickups from a border village just might
be tribal members attending an all-night wake, or something else.

“Agents make stops based on what they see,” he said. “Sometimes an
agent sees something different from what tribal members or others see.”

Agents, he added, are receiving more cultural training, including a new
cultural awareness video just shot with the help of tribal members.

“Our relations have come a long way” in the past decade, he said.

Mr. Valenzuela said several agents knew him and waved as he traveled
across the border, but others have stopped him, demanding identification.
Once, he said, he left at home a card that identifies him as a tribal member
and an agent demanded that he go back into Mexico and cross at the
official port of entry in Sasabe, 20 miles away.

“I told him this is my land, not his,” said Mr. Valenzuela, who was finally
allowed to proceed after the agent radioed supervisors.

Mr. Valenzuela said he would not be surprised if a big fence eventually
went up, but Ms. Juan-Saunders said she would affirm the tribe’s concerns
to Congress and the Homeland Security department. She said she would
await final word on the fence and its design before taking action.

Members of Congress she has met, she said, “recognize we pose some
unique issues to them, and that was really what we are attempting to do,
to educate them to our unique situation.”

The House last week approved a Republican-backed bill 238 to 138
calling for double-layer fencing along a third of the 2,000-mile-long
border, roughly from Calexico, Calif., to Douglas, Ariz.

There is considerable support for the idea in the Senate, although
President Bush’s position on the proposal remains uncertain. The
Homeland Security secretary, Michael Chertoff, has expressed doubts
about sealing the border with fences.


11) Update on Suzanne Swift
September 19th, 2006. 101 days since her arrest.

I do not even know where to start. So much has happened so fast
that our heads are spinning. First about Suzanne. Her mental health
is declining. She has had two write-ups (counseling/official reprimands)
in the past few weeks for being late in the mornings for formation.
She is having a hard time waking up because her anxiety and depression
are getting so bad. She is having trouble sleeping and bad dreams when
she does sleep, so waking up early is just brutal for her. She is still
doing office work filing police reports in an office. She is being allowed
to come to Eugene every other week to meet with Dr. Schwartz, her
psychologist. She has seen him only 6 times in the past 101 days.
It is really hard for her to go back to Ft. Lewis and it breaks my heart
every time she leaves, because I know she is beyond miserable up
here and being re-traumatized by them daily. With the increasing
media attention, Suzanne has been getting more and more silent,
yet solid, support form other active women in the military. This gives
us great hope that we are helping effect change for them as well as
for validating women veteran's experiences and working to create
new hope for the future safety for young women who hope to serve
their country without fear of harassment and abuse someday.

Suzanne has given 7 interviews now and they have really taken their
toll on her. She has spoken to : The San Francisco Chronicle, New York
Times Magazine, Washington Post, Democracy Now, The Register Guard,
ABC Nightline, and Fox news. These were very hard on her and her
attorney, Keith Scherer, and I decided along with Suzanne that there
would be no more interviews until she is either charged or freed.
If she is charged her mental state will most likely deteriorate so that
is very much up in the air. We appreciate the thoughtful way that the
press has been working with us and we appreciate your professionalism.

The Iraq Veterans Against the War and Vets for Peace took matters
into their own hands and staged a sit-in on the 97th day in Congressman
Peter DeFazio's Washington DC office. They would not leave until
Congressman DeFazio agreed to take some serious action on behalf
of Suzanne. The Congressman's office called me and we agreed that
a congressional investigation into Suzanne's case would be beneficial
and, within 24 hours, on Wednesday the 13th of September, Suzanne
was signing a release of information for the Congressional investigation
to proceed. On Friday, September 15th, Suzanne was on the cover
of the San Francisco Chronicle and it has been major media ever since.
I am flying to Washington DC this week to meet with Congressman
DeFazio and talk to him about military sexual violence and the
treatment Suzanne has received from the military to date and the
future unknown plans for her.

Our attorney came out to Eugene to meet with us. Keith Scherer,, is a wonderful man and
a very aggressive, intelligent attorney. We are so impressed with him
and feel complete trust in his legal wisdom and ability. We are financially
and emotionally preparing for a court martial so, please, if you have
not done so already either make a financial contribution to Suzanne's
legal defense fund or get some type of fundraising activity planned
in your community. I am going to be doing some traveling around the
country to talk about Suzanne's case, raise awareness and fundraise.
Also, please set Suzanne's website as your home page,, until she is free. It is a very interactive and
alive site full of new things almost daily. HUGE thanks to Stacy Hafely,
MFSO Missouri, for being the web goddess supreme. Suzanne's
petition has reached 6,000 signatures, which is AMAZING!

Please continue to make calls and write letters on Suzanne's behalf.
There are easy forms and all the numbers and addresses on the website.
It is very easy to use. Also, please feel free to post or forward this email
to other sites/lists. I want to spread the word so we can increase the
numbers of supporters for Suzanne. Thank you!!!

Most of all please visualize Suzanne's case being resolved with integrity
and justice . . . Suzanne deserves a timely resolution to this nightmare
that they have created for her and many other women in the military.
Once again, do something everyday, no matter how big or small......

Sara Rich, M.S.W


12) City Hall declares war on the people of Bayview Hunters Point
by Willie Ratcliff

“This is a last-ditch effort to deny the people the right to take part
in their government.” That’s what I’m telling the press who are
calling in response to news received just this morning that the San
Francisco City Attorney has issued a 13-page opinion claiming
to invalidate the referendum petition on the Bayview Hunters Point
Redevelopment Plan. According to City Attorney Dennis Herrera,
the opinion was requested by Mayor Gavin Newsom, Board of
Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, District 10 Supervisor Sophie
Maxwell (BVHP is in District 10) and the San Francisco Redevelopment
Agency. The City Attorney’s press release (at the bottom of this
message) and the full opinion are posted front and center on his

With the 40th anniversary of the Hunters Point Uprising of Sept. 27,
1966, only days away, this sounds like a declaration of war against
the same people who protested then and are protesting still against
police brutality and for jobs, economic equity and the right to develop
our own community and control our own destiny. In 1966, when
Hunters Point youngsters, furious when police shot 16-year-old
Matthew Johnson and killed him, blocked the cops from entering
their neighborhood east of Third Street, the mayor called in police
sharpshooters to line up on Third Street execution style and fire
into the Bayview Opera House, where terrified children had sought
refuge, and called in the National Guard, which sent tanks – yes,
tanks! – lumbering up and down Third Street.

In 1966, the mayor was trying to drive Blacks out of San Francisco.
In 2006, the mayor is still trying to drive Blacks out of San Francisco.
Our answer 40 years ago or 40 years in the future is clear: “We shall
not be moved!”
Our referendum petition was signed, according to the San Francisco
Department of Elections’ official certification letter issued Sept. 12,
by 33,056 San Francisco voters. People all over the city understood
that the Bayview Hunters Point Redevelopment Plan, which proposed
to add 1,361 acres to the 800-plus acres of our neighborhood that
the Redevelopment Agency already controls, is nothing but a land
grab. People all over the city knew that in California, redevelopment
is officially described as “repeopling” and that by signing the petition,
they were saying, in effect, “Not in my name!”
Our petition was drafted with the advice of several attorneys who
specialize in the law governing referendums and redevelopment.
And it was thoroughly examined prior to circulation by the Clerk
of the Board of Supervisors, who in turn consulted with the City
Attorney, and by the Director of Elections. On the petition form
that people in our neighborhood and all over the city eagerly
signed is printed the entire text of the Redevelopment Plan
Ordinance passed 7-4 by the Board of Supervisors.
That’s what the law requires.
But in his “Opinion No. 2006-01,” apparently the first formal
opinion he has issued this year, the City Attorney takes 13 pages
to answer the question whether our petition should also have
reprinted “documents incorporated by reference in the Ordinance,
including the Redevelopment Plan.” He lists 10 documents –
motions and resolutions and the CEQA findings as well as the
62-page Redevelopment Plan – that he says should have been
reprinted as a part of each petition form and lugged around
by the hundreds of people who gathered those 33,056 signatures.
If that’s what the law governing referendums really requires,
the people have as a practical matter no right to petition their
government. It was hard enough for us – poor people in San
Francisco’s poorest neighborhood – to pay the printing bill for
tens of thousands of four-page, legal size petitions. If each
form had been the size of a large book as the City Attorney’s
opinion would require, not only their cost but their weight and
bulk would have made circulating them economically and
physically impossible.
I also want to correct a misleading statement in Section A
of the City Attorney’s opinion. He writes, “[W]e understand that
here the circulators did not at any time on or before filing the
Petition on August 30, 2006 ask the Clerk of the Board or the
Director of Elections to review the sample Petition or to provide
advice regarding the required form of the referendum petition
against the Ordinance.” Well, not only did we most definitely
consult with both the Clerk of the Board – who was very helpful
– and the Director of Elections, but I still have an email from
the Clerk containing some of her advice.
This sudden reversal by City Hall is a pure power play – an
attempt by the powerful to crush the powerless. But even the
so-called founding fathers admitted that governments derive
“their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed,” and
we do not give our consent.
Is City Hall the only powerful player trying to roll over us?
No, I think it’s the big developers who are drooling to take
a big bite out of Bayview Hunters Point, the neighborhood
with the most sunshine and the most spectacular views in
San Francisco. Those developers donated over $40,000 to
the re-election campaign of our so-called representative,
District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, according to her
latest campaign finance report. She is the prime sponsor
and champion of the land-grabbing Redevelopment Plan.
If the big developers and their puppets, the mayor and his
minions, win this war, they’ll have made what may be the
largest urban renewal land grab in the nation’s history:
some 2,200 acres of San Francisco, the city with the
highest priced land on earth.
But this is our home. Our roots run deep. Many who live
here today – and their parents and grandparents – were
driven out of the Fillmore, world famous as “Harlem of
the West,” decades ago by Redevelopment Agency bulldozers
that destroyed the homes of over 5,000 Black families
and more than 200 Black-owned businesses. This time,
we shall not be moved.
How you can help
The City and County of San Francisco has declared war on
us, and we will need a war chest to fight back. I’m looking
to hear from attorneys who want to help – call me at the
Bay View, (415) 671-0789 – and contributions to pay for
this new battle and the remaining bills and loans from the
petition drive. Please make checks payable to Defend
Bayview Hunters Point and mail them to P.O. Box 470156,
San Francisco CA 94147.
We believe the power of the people will ultimately prevail,
and we are counting on your help to confirm the truth
of last week’s editorial headline, “People power stops
Redevelopment land grab.”
Many of you have not seen the editorial in last week’s printed
Bay View because our website, , which
used to get 2 million hits a month, is not yet back online.
It was badly hacked the week of July 7, and our webmaster,
Terone Ward, with the collaboration of a team of experts from
South America, has been working feverishly to rebuild it.
Meanwhile, here is the editorial from the Bay View
of Sept. 13, 2006:
People power stops Redevelopment land grab
Editorial by Willie Ratcliff
Just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, San Francisco Director
of Elections John Arntz officially certified that the referendum
petition opposing the Bayview Hunters Point Redevelopment
Plan is successful! According to the certification letter, Elections
counted 33,056 signatures after we turned them in on Aug. 30.
After sampling them according to law, Elections found that many
more than the required 21,615 are valid.
While shouts of joy greeted the news here at the Bay View and
throughout our neighborhood and beyond, the major media were
shocked into total silence – a paragraph by our friends at Beyond
Chron the only coverage so far. Give the big media a minute
to huddle with the mayor and Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, sponsor
of the Redevelopment Plan, and they’ll come out telling us how
stupid we are to want to control our own land and determine our
own destiny. Yeah, just like Black New Orleanians are stupid
to want to reclaim their homes and control their reconstruction.
The powers that be are paying attention. They call all the time.
Often they ask, “How can you fix up your neighborhood without
the help of the Redevelopment Agency?” Well, first of all, Redevelopment
has never helped Black people – except out of our homes and
out of town. Consider their catastrophic ethnic cleansing of the
Fillmore, our “Harlem of the West.”
And also consider what Redevelopment, the mayor and Sophie
Maxwell are doing to us today – approving $85 million in City
bond funds for AIMCO, self-described as “the nation’s largest
owner/ operator of apartment homes,” so as to deny cooperative
ownership to the 604 families of Shoreview, Bayview, LaSalle and
All Hallows, apartment complexes in the existing Hunters
Point Redevelopment Area.
But the best answer is, “We have all the talent and expertise,
the mind and muscle, to develop our own community. All we
need is the money, which means no more redlining, i.e., racism
in lending.” Redlining is illegal – and unconstitutional – and the
City can help us break down that barrier.
Last week, in an interview by Art Bruzzone, former chair of the
local Republican Party, on his show, San Francisco Unscripted,
shown repeatedly on Channel 11, I told Art a little about my
own development experience. That’s a 20-unit apartment
building in the picture at the top of this column that my family
and I built; it’s by far the largest residential building in Valdez,
Alaska – see the mountain rising behind it? – and the largest
building ever built and owned by Blacks in Alaska. I was able
to get the loan for it when Alaska was awash in oil money
in the late ‘70s.
Imagine a Third Street where buildings that we have lovingly
restored to their original glory are interspersed with handsome
new buildings that we build with our own hands – our own
contractors hiring and training our own people who are hungry
for work. All who were denied the right to build the light rail
when the City was in charge will prize the right to rebuild
Third Street when we are in charge.
We can get started right away if the Board of Supervisors votes
to reject the Bayview Hunters Point Redevelopment Plan. That’s
the next step in the referendum process: the Supervisors’
reconsideration of their earlier approval of the Plan. If they
check the addresses on the petitions and see that voters
in their districts – in every district – eagerly signed, they’ll
vote unanimously to reject the plan.
All we need, though, are two more votes to win and the four
we had to stay the course – they are Chris Daly, Ross Mirkarimi,
Tom Ammiano and Gerardo Sandoval. Please thank those four and
call all the Supervisors. Their numbers are in the phone book and
on the web at
We’ve proven we’re a powerful people now; I think they’ll
be ready to listen.
If the Supervisors make the mistake of voting again to approve
the Redevelopment Plan, we’re still all right. Then the Plan goes
to the next available ballot – probably in November 2007 – for
all San Francisco voters to decide. We’ll win. Every time a plan
like this has appeared on ballots around the country, voters
defeat it by 85-98 percent. And meanwhile, the City is prohibited
by law from implementing the Plan.
So celebrate and congratulate yourself! This is our victory, yours
and mine. If you donated a dollar – and we still have some big
bills and loans to pay – or circulated a petition or signed one
or even thought about it, you are a winner today!
Now our job is to replace Supervisor Sophie Maxwell this
November. An activist who checked her latest campaign
contributions report was amazed to see she’s amassed over
$40,000 from developers – donors with names like Build Inc.,
Martin Union Property Capitalist, Nibbi Bros. Construction, Robin
Chiang Architect, Steven Kaufman Realtor, Sandra Steinmetz
Property Manager and Zanello Properties.
Sophie and her staff were on their job Tuesday defending those
developers with a press release attacking the referendum, specifically
naming Brian Murphy O’Flynn, whose support was invaluable to us.
I’m told Sophie was overheard the other day telling someone who
asked that the reason she has no Black aides in her office is that
she doesn’t know of anyone who’s qualified.
Six years of suffering under Sophie is enough. If you, like me, know
and like more than one of the candidates running against her,
that’s ok. You have three votes and will be ranking your choices 1, 2, 3.
My first choice this year – as it was in 2000 when she first ran – is Marie
Harrison. She lives right around the corner from me now on Quesada,
with that beautiful garden just outside her front door, in a big, lovingly
restored house with a spectacular view of nearly the whole district.
She led the fight to shut down PG&E’s killer power plant, and she can
lead us to victory after victory. Imagine what we’d have accomplished
if she’d been our Supervisor for the last six years!
Three cheers for our team. Let’s keep on winning.
Contact Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff at
or (415) 671-0789. Contribute to the referendum campaign by sending
your check or money order to Defend Bayview Hunters Point,
P.O. Box 470156, San Francisco Ca 94147.


13) President Chavez's Speech to the United Nations
By: President Hugo Chavez
Friday, Sep 16, 2005

Your Excellencies, friends, good afternoon:

The original purpose of this meeting has been completely distorted.
The imposed center of debate has been a so-called reform process
that overshadows the most urgent issues, what the peoples of the
world claim with urgency: the adoption of measures that deal with
the real problems that block and sabotage the efforts made by our
countries for real development and life.

Five years after the Millennium Summit, the harsh reality is that the
great majority of estimated goals- which were very modest indeed-
will not be met.

We pretended reducing by half the 842 million hungry people by the
year 2015. At the current rate that goal will be achieved by the year
2215. Who in this audience will be there to celebrate it? That is only
if the human race is able to survive the destruction that threats our
natural environment.

We had claimed the aspiration of achieving universal primary education
by the year 2015. At the current rate that goal will be reached after
the year 2100. Let us prepare, then, to celebrate it.

Friends of the world, this takes us to a sad conclusion: The United
Nations has exhausted its model, and it is not all about reform.
The XXI century claims deep changes that will only be possible if
a new organization is founded. This UN does not work. We have
to say it. It is the truth. These transformations – the ones Venezuela
is referring to- have, according to us, two phases: The immediate
phase and the aspiration phase, a utopia. The first is framed by the
agreements that were signed in the old system. We do not run away
from them. We even bring concrete proposals in that model for the
short term. But the dream of an ever-lasting world peace, the dream
of a world not ashamed by hunger, disease, illiteracy, extreme necessity,
needs-apart from roots- to spread its wings to fly. We need to spread
our wings and fly. We are aware of a frightening neoliberal globalization,
but there is also the reality of an interconnected world that we have
to face not as a problem but as a challenge. We could, on the basis
of national realities, exchange knowledge, integrate markets, interconnect,
but at the same time we must understand that there are problems that
do not have a national solution: radioactive clouds, world oil prices,
diseases, warming of the planet or the hole in the ozone layer. These
are not domestic problems. As we stride toward a new United Nations
model that includes all of us when they talk about the people, we are
bringing four indispensable and urgent reform proposals to this
Assembly: the first; the expansion of the Security Council in its
permanent categories as well as the non permanent categories, thus
allowing new developed and developing countries as new permanent
and non permanent categories. The second; we need to assure the
necessary improvement of the work methodology in order to increase
transparency, not to diminish it. The third; we need to immediately
suppress- we have said this repeatedly in Venezuela for the past
six years- the veto in the decisions taken by the Security Council,
that elitist trace is incompatible with democracy, incompatible with
the principles of equality and democracy.

And the fourth; we need to strengthen the role of the Secretary
General; his/her political functions regarding preventive diplomacy,
that role must be consolidated. The seriousness of all problems calls
for deep transformations. Mere reforms are not enough to recover
that “we” all the peoples of the world are waiting for. More than just
reforms we in Venezuela call for the foundation of a new United
Nations, or as the teacher of Simón Bolívar, Simón Rodríguez said:
“Either we invent or we err.”

At the Porto Alegre World Social Forum last January different
personalities asked for the United Nations to move outside the
United States if the repeated violations to international rule of law
continue. Today we know that there were never any weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq. The people of the United States have always been
very rigorous in demanding the truth to their leaders; the people of
the world demand the same thing. There were never any weapons
of mass destruction; however, Iraq was bombed, occupied and it is
still occupied. All this happened over the United Nations. That is why
we propose this Assembly that the United Nations should leave
a country that does not respect the resolutions taken by this same
Assembly. Some proposals have pointed out to Jerusalem as an
international city as an alternative. The proposal is generous enough
to propose an answer to the current conflict affecting Palestine.
Nonetheless, it may have some characteristics that could make
it very difficult to become a reality. That is why we are bringing
a proposal made by Simón Bolívar, the great Liberator of the South,
in 1815. Bolívar proposed then the creation of an international city
that would host the idea of unity.

We believe it is time to think about the creation of an international
city with its own sovereignty, with its own strength and morality to
represent all nations of the world. Such international city has to balance
five centuries of unbalance. The headquarters of the United Nations
must be in the South.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are facing an unprecedented energy crisis
in which an unstoppable increase of energy is perilously reaching
record highs, as well as the incapacity of increase oil supply and the
perspective of a decline in the proven reserves of fuel worldwide.
Oil is starting to become exhausted.

For the year 2020 the daily demand for oil will be 120 million barrels.
Such demand, even without counting future increments- would
consume in 20 years what humanity has used up to now. This
means that more carbon dioxide will inevitably be increased,
thus warming our planet even more.

Hurricane Katrina has been a painful example of the cost
of ignoring such realities. The warming of the oceans is the
fundamental factor behind the demolishing increase in the strength
of the hurricanes we have witnessed in the last years. Let this
occasion be an outlet to send our deepest condolences to the
people of the United States. Their people are brothers and sisters
of all of us in the Americas and the rest of the world.

It is unpractical and unethical to sacrifice the human race by appealing
in an insane manner the validity of a socioeconomic model that has
a galloping destructive capacity. It would be suicidal to spread
it and impose it as an infallible remedy for the evils which are
caused precisely by them.

Not too long ago the President of the United States went to an
Organization of American States’ meeting to propose Latin America
and the Caribbean to increase market-oriented policies, open market
policies-that is neoliberalism- when it is precisely the fundamental
cause of the great evils and the great tragedies currently suffered
by our people. : The neoliberal capitalism, the Washington Consensus.
All this has generated is a high degree of misery, inequality and
infinite tragedy for all the peoples on his continent.

What we need now more than ever Mr. President is a new international
order. Let us recall the United Nations General assembly in its sixth
extraordinary session period in 1974, 31 years ago, where a new
International Economic Order action plan was adopted, as well as the
States Economic Rights and Duties Charter by an overwhelming majority,
120 votes for the motion, 6 against and 10 abstentions. This was the
period when voting was possible at the United Nations. Now it is
impossible to vote. Now they approve documents such as this one
which I denounce on behalf of Venezuela as null, void and illegitimate.
This document was approved violating the current laws of the United
Nations. This document is invalid! This document should be discussed;
the Venezuelan government will make it public. We cannot accept an open
and shameless dictatorship in the United Nations. These matters should
be discussed and that is why I petition my colleagues, heads of states
and heads of governments, to discuss it.

I just came from a meeting with President Néstor Kirchner and well,
I was pulling this document out; this document was handed out five
minutes before- and only in English- to our delegation. This document
was approved by a dictatorial hammer which I am here denouncing
as illegal, null, void and illegitimate.

Hear this, Mr. President: if we accept this, we are indeed lost. Let us
turn off the lights, close all doors and windows! That would be
unbelievable: us accepting a dictatorship here in this hall.

Now more than ever- we were saying- we need to retake ideas that
were left on the road such as the proposal approved at this Assembly
in 1974 regarding a New Economic International Order. Article 2 of that
text confirms the right of states to nationalizing the property and natural
resources that belonged to foreign investors. It also proposed to create
cartels of raw material producers. In the Resolution 3021, May, 1974,
the Assembly expressed its will to work with utmost urgency in the
creation of a New Economic International Order based on- listen
carefully, please- “the equity, sovereign equality, interdependence,
common interest and cooperation among all states regardless of their
economic and social systems, correcting the inequalities and repairing
the injustices among developed and developing countries, thus assuring
present and future generations, peace, justice and a social and economic
development that grows at a sustainable rate.”

The main goal of the New Economic International Order was
to modify the old economic order conceived at Breton Woods.

We the people now claim- this is the case of Venezuela- a new
international economic order. But it is also urgent a new international
political order. Let us not permit that a few countries try to reinterpret
the principles of International Law in order to impose new doctrines such
as “pre-emptive warfare.” Oh do they threaten us with that pre-emptive
war! And what about the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine? We need
to ask ourselves. Who is going to protect us? How are they going
to protect us?

I believe one of the countries that require protection is precisely the
United States. That was shown painfully with the tragedy caused
by Hurricane Katrina; they do not have a government that protects
them from the announced nature disasters, if we are going to talk
about protecting each other; these are very dangerous concepts that
shape imperialism, interventionism as they try to legalize the violation
of the national sovereignty. The full respect towards the principles
of International Law and the United Nations Charter must be,
Mr. President, the keystone for international relations in today’s
world and the base for the new order we are currently proposing.

It is urgent to fight, in an efficient manner, international terrorism.
Nonetheless, we must not use it as an excuse to launch unjustified
military aggressions which violate international law. Such has been
the doctrine following September 11. Only a true and close
cooperation and the end of the double discourse that some
countries of the North apply regarding terrorism, could end
this terrible calamity.

In just seven years of Bolivarian Revolution, the people of Venezuela
can claim important social and economic advances.

One million four hundred and six thousand Venezuelans learned
to read and write. We are 25 million total. And the country will-in
a few days- be declared illiteracy-free territory. And three million
Venezuelans, who had always been excluded because of poverty,
are now part of primary, secondary and higher studies.

Seventeen million Venezuelans-almost 70% of the population- are
receiving, and for the first time, universal healthcare, including the
medicine, and in a few years, all Venezuelans will have free access
to an excellent healthcare service. More thatn a million seven hundred
tons of food are channeled to over 12 million people at subsidized
prices, almost half the population. One million gets them completely
free, as they are in a transition period. More than 700 thousand new
jobs have been created, thus reducing unemployment by 9 points.
All of this amid internal and external aggressions, including a coup
d’etat and an oil industry shutdown organized by Washington.
Regardless of the conspiracies, the lies spread by powerful media
outlets, and the permanent threat of the empire and its allies, they
even call for the assassination of a president. The only country where
a person is able to call for the assassination of a head of state is the
United States. Such was the case of a Reverend called Pat Robertson,
very close to the White House: He called for my assassination and
he is a free person. That is international terrorism!

We will fight for Venezuela, for Latin American integration and the
world. We reaffirm our infinite faith in humankind. We are thirsty
for peace and justice in order to survive as species. Simón Bolívar,
founding father of our country and guide of our revolution swore
to never allow his hands to be idle or his soul to rest until he had
broken the shackles which bound us to the empire. Now is the time
to not allow our hands to be idle or our souls to rest until
we save humanity.

Translated by Néstor Sánchez


14) Home Raids Provoke Increased Unrest
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches

BAGHDAD, Sep 20 (IPS) - Renewed raids at Iraqi homes by joint
U.S.-Iraqi security forces are angering Iraqis -- while failing to
improve the worsening security situation.*

"Operation Forward Together should be called 'To Hell Together',"
53-year-old Hamid Fassal, an estate broker from the Dora region of
Baghdad told IPS, referring to the major U.S.-Iraqi joint security
campaign launched in June. "They should be ashamed of what's going on
after four years of plans and such huge expenditure. The result is only
more deaths and more agony for all Iraqis."

U.S. troops accompanied by Iraqi soldiers have conducted raids across
much of the Sunni region of Iraq in search of death squads. Several
Iraqis say they are surprised about the areas searched because they say
U.S. forces know that the majority of death squads are located in the
Shia areas.

"I do not understand what they are really looking for and whether they
are doing it right," Salim al-Juboori of the Sherq Journal in Baghdad
told IPS. "They searched Amiriya, Adhamiyah, Dora and other places in
Baghdad where citizens are the victims of gangs who come from other
places under government flags, and during curfew hours."

Residents of the Amiriya neighbourhood of Baghdad recently faced a
week-long blockade after U..S. troops raided more than 6,000 houses.
Residents had to face checkpoints and body searches.

"They detained many innocent people and robbed lightweight valuable
materials from the houses they raided," a member of the Amiriya local
council told IPS. "It seems they were searching for gold, cash and
expensive mobile devices. They know very well where to search for
criminals, so why destroy Amiriya?"

Similar complaints have come from Dora, Adhamiya and other Sunni areas
of Baghdad, and other cities throughout the primarily Sunni province of
al-Anbar west of Baghdad.

"Hasn't Fallujah had enough," said Mansoor al-Kubaissi of the Fallujah
Youth Centre. "Those Americans are raiding our houses, looting our
savings and business capital and detaining our sons again and again, as
if there were a feud between us. Look at the result of their doings:
they are being attacked several times a day and their soldiers are
falling dead every day."

Kubaissi was referring to joint U.S.-Iraqi security force raids in
central Fallujah over this past weekend.

On Sunday Sep. 17, five car bombs and another tied to a bicycle exploded
in Fallujah. The bomb attacks targeted U.S. and Iraqi troops during
their routine patrols and home raids.

U.S. forces have detained many people, including Reuters/BBC/al-Jazeera
correspondent Fadhil al-Bedrani. Bedrani is well known to people in
Fallujah for his professional reporting during more than three years of
U.S. occupation.

Associated Press (AP) photographer Bilal Hussein, who is also from
Fallujah, has been detained for five months by the U.S. military.
Hussein was accused by U.S. forces of being a "security threat", but
they have never filed charges or permitted a public hearing.

Executives from AP say they did not find any sign of inappropriate
contact with resistance fighters. Bedrani and Hussein are only two among
an estimated 14,000 people detained by the U.S. military across the
world.. At least 13,000 of these are in Iraq.

Most have been held without charge, and have been given no date for a
court appearance or tribunal hearing where they might argue for their

The home raids and neighbourhood searches that are leading to more such
detentions meanwhile continue to anger Iraqis. Many say the raids are
only worsening the already chaotic and violent situation.

"Their searches always end up with terrible failures," Col. Kathum Jawad
of the previous Saddam security directorate told IPS in Baghdad. "Two
days after their search in Adhamiya, 14 roadside bombs exploded within a
quarter an hour, killing soldiers. This failure only means the Iraqi
problem is not coming to an end as long as those people are in power."

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


15) G.O.P. in Senate Narrows Immigration Focus to 700-Mile Fence
September 21, 2006

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 — Senate Republicans formally put aside
a broad immigration overhaul sought by President Bush on Wednesday
and decided instead to press ahead with narrower bills to require
building 700 miles of fence on the southwestern border.

Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, said the fate
of millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States had
become a “fundamental sticking point” in trying to reach agreement
with the House on a broad bill.

Mr. Frist said the fence proposal, which the House has passed,
was the best alternative if lawmakers wanted to salvage some
immigration changes before the Nov. 7 elections.

“Let’s focus on a problem the American people understand,’’ the
senator said, “and that is, we have hundreds of thousands of people
coming across our border every year into our country.”

He added that the broad measure could be considered when
Congress returned in mid-November or next year.

The Senate voted, 94 to 0, to debate the measure on fencing
and other border barriers at the cost of billions of dollars. But the
fate of even that measure is unclear, because members of both
parties have reservations, and Mr. Frist may need to block any
amendments if he wants to deliver it to Mr. Bush before Congress
adjourns next week.

The fence represents one element of the broad bipartisan measure
that the Senate approved in May after Mr. Bush had delivered
a prime-time address calling for sweeping changes in immigration
law, including allowing some illegal immigrants to earn citizenship.
House Republicans, fearing a backlash from the right, refused
to consider any bill that could be called amnesty for illegal

The two chambers never formally opened negotiations to reconcile
the Senate bill with a strict border enforcement measure that
the House approved in December.

Republican backers of the broad Senate approach suggested
that the party could be penalized at the polls for not pursuing
a comprehensive solution.

“It is one of the greatest problems facing the country today,”
Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who
is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said. “For
the Republicans not to produce is not good. Perhaps we
will find a little better mood in the lame-duck session.”

Other Republicans said constituents were demanding that
the government do a much better job of sealing borders
before considering other aspects of an immigration overhaul
like a temporary-worker program, new penalties for businesses
that employ illegal immigrants and possible citizenship.

“This is putting the horse before the cart,” Senator Rick
Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania, said about moving
ahead with just the fence proposal.

The House passed its fence bill last week and is considering
other enforcement measures this week in an effort to show
that lawmakers are making progress on immigration.
On Wednesday, the House voted, 228 to 196, to require
voters to show proof of citizenship, a step that Republicans
said would limit illegal immigrants’ voting.

Democratic critics said requiring government-issued
identification would amount to a modern poll tax that would
discourage minorities and older Americans from voting. The
House and Senate have previously voted in favor of building
barriers along the border with Mexico. The proposal calls
for two strips of concrete separated by a road along with
cameras and other surveillance equipment at five locations.
“I’m convinced that physical barriers at the border, fencing
in particular, are important,” said Senator Jeff Sessions,
Republican of Alabama.

Mr. Sessions said he was worried that Congress might approve
the fence but not provide the money to build it. The Senate
had previously added $1.8 billion to a Pentagon spending
measure for the fence, a bill that is pending.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, said
the fence could cost $7 billion or more.

“We can build the tallest fence in the world, and it won’t fix
our broken immigration system,” Mr. Reid said. “To do that,
we need the kind of comprehensive reform that the Senate
passed earlier this year.”

The fence measure, which may not come to a vote in the
Senate until next week, is drawing scrutiny from some
border-state Republicans who worry that it would impose
too many requirements on local governments involving
locating the fence.

Senator Larry E. Craig, Republican of Idaho, is considering
offering a plan to allow more agricultural workers to enter
the country. Mr. Craig said a continuing crackdown on illegal
immigrants along the Mexican border was leaving growers
in the West short of workers.

“Fruit is not being picked; vegetables are not being harvested,”
Mr. Craig said.

A bipartisan group recommended on Wednesday overhauling
the immigration system to make it more responsive to the
demands of the labor market. After more than a year of research,
the group recommended creating expedited visas for workers
of all skill levels who have legal employment offers.

The group was led by former Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham,
a Republican who is also a former senator from Michigan,
and former Representative Lee H. Hamilton, the Indiana
Democrat who was vice chairman of the Sept. 11 Commission.

The director of the bipartisan group was Doris M. Meissner,
who was commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization
Service under President Bill Clinton.

Throwing its support behind proposals passed by the Senate,
the group called for “an earned path to permanent legal status”
for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants now living
in the United States as “an essential element” of reform.

The panel called for federal aid to states to allay the costs
of the legalization program, and it called on the White House
to name an immigration coordinator and to focus
on disrupting terrorists’ travel with the same vigor
it had brought to tracking terrorists’ communications
and finances.

Julia Preston contributed reporting.


16) Many Theories on Income Inequality,
but One Answer Lies in Just a Few Places
September 21, 2006

It is widely recognized that income inequality increased in the
1990’s, but nobody knows quite why. Despite the lack of hard
evidence, there are plenty of theories.

One says the culprit was declining unionization. Another ties
it to immigration and outsourcing. A third theory is that the
demand for high-level cognitive skills has increased, while
other explanations range from changes in executive
compensation to the lack of policy initiatives directed
toward the working poor.

All these factors may have contributed to the increase
in income inequality, but there is little solid evidence
about their relative importance.

Two University of Texas researchers, James K. Galbraith
and Travis Hale, added an interesting twist to this debate
in a paper, “Income Distribution and the Information
Technology Bubble” (

According to Mr. Galbraith and Mr. Hale, much of the increase
in income inequality in the late 1990’s resulted from large
income changes in just a handful of locations around the
country — precisely those areas that were heavily involved
in the information technology boom.

Their study used data on average income and population
by county available from the Bureau of Economic Analysis,
available at Unlike most other
studies, their work does not examine inequality among
individuals, but rather differences in average income across

The authors compute a measure of inequality known as the
Theil index, named for the econometrician Henri Theil. They
present their results in two ways. The most visually arresting
is an animated map at, which shows how
per capita income by county has changed over time. The other
depiction is a simple plot of the Theil index from 1990 to 2000.

The Theil index exhibits the standard shape found in other
income inequality studies: income inequality was flat in the first
half of the 1990’s, then rose sharply in the second half. After
2000, the inequality index declined again.

A big advantage of looking at county data is that it is possible
to identify counties that contributed the most to the increase
in income inequality from 1994 to 2000. It turns out that the
five biggest winners in this period were New York; King County,
Wash. (with both Seattle and Redmond); and Santa Clara, San
Mateo and San Francisco, Calif., the counties that make up
Silicon Valley. The five biggest losers were Los Angeles;
Queens; Honolulu; Broward, Fla.; and Cuyahoga, Ohio.

What do the counties in the first list have in common? Their
economies were all heavily driven by information technology
in the late 90’s. This is true for the rest of the list of winners
as well. Harris, Tex. (home to Houston and Enron); Middlesex,
Mass. (home to Harvard and M.I.T.); Fairfield, Conn.; Alameda,
Calif.; and Westchester, N.Y., were also among the top
10 income gainers in this period.

The authors point out that half the 80 American companies
in the CNET Tech Index are in those top 10 counties. Furthermore,
when income inequality decreased after 2000, the income drop
in the high-tech counties contributed most to the decline.

New York, interestingly enough, showed large increases in per
capita income both during the Internet boom and the Internet
winter that followed.

The implication is that the income gains of the 1990’s associated
with the technology bubble not only accrued to a relatively small
number of people but also occurred in a relatively small number
of geographic areas.

To drive this point home, the authors asked what would have
happened to the index if just 4 of the 3,100 counties in the
United States exhibited average income growth in the technology
boom years. The four are Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco
(all associated with Silicon Valley) and King County, Wash.
(home of Microsoft).

Note the remarkable difference in the Theil index computed
with the adjusted growth rates for these four counties: If the
per capita income in just these four counties had grown at the
same rate as the average in the United States, income inequality
across counties would have changed little in the late 1990’s.
In other words, only four counties drove most of the change
across the 3,100 counties.

The findings by Mr. Galbraith and Mr. Hale offer something
to all sides in the debate. Perhaps options grants and initial
public stock offerings had a lot to do with income inequality.
Changing compensation patterns for technology-related skills
could also be significant.

But the biggest point that I take away is a simple one: there’s
no substitute for being in the right place at the right time.

Hal R. Varian is a professor of business, economics and
information management at the University of California, Berkeley.


17) IOF Kill 5 Civilians in the Gaza Strip, including 3 Children,
& Injures 7 others; Two of the Victims Bled to Death when
IOF Prevented Ambulances from Rescuing them
September 21, 2006

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) has used excessive force in the
north and south of the Gaza Strip during a 9-hour span today,
Thursday, 21 September 2006, resulting in the death of 5 Palestinian
civilians and the injury of 7 others, including a father and 2 of his
children. Two of the victims including a woman were killed in cold
blood in Rafah. They were left to bleed to death inside their houses.
The other 3 victims were children from the town of Jabalia who
were killed by a surface-to-surface rocket as they were herding sheep.

PCHR seriously views this latest escalation by IOF, which comes
within the context of the open ongoing aggression on the Gaza
Strip for the past three months, which inflicted hundreds
of casualties among the civilian population. In addition, the
IOF attacks have inflicted great material damage on civilian
property and infrastructure.

PCHR's preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately
1:20 on Thursday, 21 September 2006, IOF armored vehicles
moved approximately 3 kilometers into the village of Um El-Naser,
northeast of Rafah. The forces cut off the Khan Yunis-Rafah section
of Salah El-Deen Road in the area. The force surrounded the house
of Nathmi Hussein Zo'rob, a Hamas activist. IOF also fired
indiscriminately at houses in the area. At approximately 2:00,
IOF chased a number of youth who gathered in the area. The youth
fled into a house; and IOF stormed the house, and beat the house
owner who is deaf. When the man's wife, Itemad Ismail Abu Mo'ammar
(35), protested the attack, one of the soldiers fired directly at her.
She was hit by multiple bullets in different parts of the body. She
was left to bleed death in the house, and died at 6:00. IOF
prevented a Palestinian ambulance from reaching the area
to save the woman. Eight civilians were injured by the
indiscriminate firing in the area, including a father and
2 of his children. At approximately 10:00, one of the injured,
Mohammad Suliman Abu Mo'ammar (28), bled to death from
gunshot wounds in the left thigh and right hand.

Palestinian medical sources informed PCHR's fieldworker that
IOF prevented Palestinian ambulances from entering the area
of operations. In addition, IOF refused to coordinate the entry
of emergency services with the Red Cross. Thus, two of the
injured bled for more than four hours, leading to their death.

At approximately 12:30, IOF left the area after completely
destroying 13 houses and the infrastructure in the area.
In addition, IOF detained 5 civilians, including a 13-year
old boy and the wife of the Hamas activist.

In another incident at approximately 8:50, IOF stationed
along the Gaza Strip border to the east of Jabalia fired
a surface-to-surface rocket at three children herding
sheep in the Abu Safeyya area, east of Jabalia town.
The area is located about 2 kilometers away from the
border. The children were killed and their bodies torn
to pieces. They are:

- Ala Saqer Dahrouj Abu Dahrouj (15);

- Zeidan Rafiq Mohammad Abu Rashid (16); and

- Mohammad Selmi Mohammad Masalha (17).

PCHR's preliminary investigation indicates that, while
herding, the children had come near an abandoned rocket
stand used earlier by Palestinian gunmen to fire a homemade
rocket. It is noted that another civilian was killed yesterday
in similar circumstances. Thus, the number of Palestinian
civilians killed under similar circumstances over the past
3 months has reached 15 victims.

PCHR strongly condemns IOF killing of Palestinian civilians,
and considers these actions to be a form of reprisal and
collective punishment, which violate article 33 of the
Fourth Geneva Convention. PCHR condemns today's crimes, and:

- Expresses serious concern over the lives of Palestinian
civilians due to the escalating use of force by IOF against civilians;

- Reminds of the past IOF crimes against civilians,
and the continued failure to discriminate between civilians
and combatants by IOF during operations; and

- Calls upon the international community and High
Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention
to intervene immediately and effectively to protect Palestinian civilians.




The 'King Coal' 'Robber Barons' are Decapitating Mountains!

British Science Group Says Exxon Misrepresents Climate Issues
September 21, 2006

House Panel Approves Wiretapping Bill
The House Intelligence Committee approved by voice vote
a bill that would put into law the Bush administration’s
program of wiretapping without warrants. The sponsor,
Representative Heather A. Wilson, Repubican of New Mexico,
had rewritten the measure to make it more to Mr. Bush’s
liking. The Judiciary Committee later endorsed a similar
version, by 20 to 16. But Ms. Wilson’s revision, likely
to draw Mr. Bush’s support, is the bill that probably
will make it to the full House. Under her bill, the president
may conduct the secret surveillance only under specific
conditions. For example, the president must notify Congress
within five days of authorizing the surveillance, name
the entity that poses the threat and state the reason
for believing the attack is imminent.
September 21, 2006

More Small Women’s Colleges Opening Doors to Men
(On a lamp post next to Ginger Worden, interim president of Randolph-
Macon Woman's College (now including men,) was a hand-made sign
that read, "Well behaved women rarely make history." The sign was
a remnant from a student protest of the college's decision to let men
September 21, 2006

Over the Roar of Protesters, Hungary’s Leader Tries to Talk Politics
International Herald Tribune
September 21, 2006

Measures Seek to Restrict Detainees’ Access to Courts
September 21, 2006

Suits Say U.S. Impeded Audits for Oil Leases
September 21, 2006

Only 25% in Poll Approve of the Congress
September 21, 2006

When Is Thin Too Thin?
September 21, 2006

At U.N., Chavez Calls Bush 'The Devil'
Filed at 1:45 p.m. ET
September 20, 2006

FOCUS | Senate Bill on Torture and Detention Faces GOP Filibuster

Pension Fund Tallies Losses and Rethinks Its Strategy
September 20, 2006

Gaza: The children killed in a war the world doesn't want to know about
By Donald Macintyre In Rafah
Published: 19 September 2006

G.M. Talked With Ford About Merger, Report Says
September 19, 2006

States Await Ruling on Use of Lethal Injection
September 19, 2006

Sarah Olson | Lieutenant Watada Faces New Charges

Canadians Fault U.S. for Its Role in Torture Case
September 19, 2006

On India’s Farms, a Plague of Suicide
September 19, 2006

Deadly harvest: The Lebanese fields sown with cluster bombs
Lebanese villagers must risk death in fields 'flooded' with more than
a million Israeli cluster bombs - or leave crops to rot
By Patrick Cockburn in Nabatiyeh
Published: 18 September 2006

U.S.-Mexico border fencing passes House - again
Republican Congress votes to build wall of shame
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday (9/14) voted in
favor of building a fence along portions of the border with Mexico,
the Secure Fence Act (H.R. 6061), this is no doubt a racist anti-
immigrant bill, the vote had more to do with election year politics
than solving immigration issues.
September 15, 2006

Iraq to Seal Off Baghdad Next Month
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 15 — The Iraqi government plans to seal
off Baghdad next month by ringing it with a series of trenches
and setting up dozens of traffic checkpoints to control movement
in and out of the city of seven million people, an Interior Ministry
spokesman said today.
September 15, 2006

Ford Takes New Steps to Cut Costs
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 15 — The Ford Motor Company said
today that it would cut 10,000 more salaried jobs, close two
more factories and eliminate its stock dividend, as the latest
steps in a broad overhaul of its business that it calls the Way
September 15, 2006

Ford to Offer Buyouts
Filed at 1:25 a.m. ET
DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co. will offer buyout packages
of up to $140,000 to all of the more than 75,000 workers at its
U.S. plants, the United Auto Workers union said on Thursday,
a day before the automaker details a revised turnaround plan
in response to slumping sales.
September 15, 2006

Daimler Seeks Partners in China to Build Cars
BEIJING, Sept. 15 — DaimlerChrysler is in talks with companies
in China and elsewhere for the export of subcompact cars to
North America, the company chairman, Dieter Zetsche,
said here today.
The company has concluded that it cannot build its own
subcompact cars in North America cheaply enough
to make money on them, and must import them instead,
Mr. Zetsche said.
September 15, 2006

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