Friday, September 15, 2006





The City and County of San Francisco has denied a permit to
immigrants that was originally applied for May 10 for a Rally,
September 16, in solidarity with Mexican and Latin American
Independence Day. The permit was denied September 14th, just
two days before the planned event based upon lies told
by the representative of the Mission Police Station to the
Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation
(ISCOTT) who issue such permits.


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

SATURDAY, 9/16-1:00 P.M.


At a meeting that same evening parents, teachers and friends
of People United for General and Unconditional
Amnesty for All voted to go to 24th and Mission Streets
on Saturday, at 1:00 p.m., at the time the rally
was to begin, with signs and a bullhorn, and hand out flyers
and announce to people who may show up expecting the rally,
that the permits for this rally were unconstitutionally denied.
We will then march on the sidewalk to the Mission Police
Station on 17th and Valencia Streets and picket the
Police Station that recommended the denial of our
permits based upon lies they told to the Interdepartmental
Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT)
who issue such permits.


--that major arteries of The Mission would have to be disrupted
for three hours. THAT IS NOT TRUE!: only the bus going up 24th Street
would have to be re-routed only around one block for the two
hours of the rally.

--that our group lied about our estimation of the number of
people that would turn out for a demonstration we called
April 10, 2006. THAT IS NOT TRUE! We can't see the future,
and, the outpouring of protest during April and May of this year
was spontaneous. No one could have or did predict it!

--that to prove of our dishonestly, the representative from the
Mission Police Department said that we set up a sixty-foot,
flatbed truck with giant speakers across Mission Street on April 10th.
THAT IS NOT TRUE: We had half of a 100-watt, battery operated,
portable speaker held up by two men who helped to balance
it on a broomstick, and we stood on a rickety, old wooden chair.
We came totally unprepared for the number of people who turned out.



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


Barrio Unido ha solicitado desde el diez de mayo un permiso
para celebrar las fiestas patrias organizándonos en busca de
una solución verdadera a nuestra problemática como emigrantes
en general y en particular para los emigrantes indocumentados.
La Policía ha bloqueado todos los esfuerzos que hemos hecho
para llevar acabo esta asamblea en nuestro barrio. No hubo
negociación posible, encima de todo mintieron para negarnos
el permiso.


Porque Barrio Unido es la única organización en San Francisco
dirigida por emigrantes! No por los hijos de emigrantes. No por
los partidos democráticos ni republicanos. No por las organizaciones
o partidos supuestamente de izquierda que nos quieren salvar pero
no escuchan nuestras demandas. No por organizaciones que reciben
dinero del gobierno y reciben sueldos para supuestamente ayudarnos
a los emigrantes a conseguir papeles. No por partidos democráticos
o republicanos que nos ven como sus futuros votantes.


Nosotros somos emigrantes que demandamos una amnistía
para todos, no hablamos de utilizar a nuestra gente para votar
y elegir personas que nunca cumplen lo que prometen.

Nosotros denunciamos a nuestros gobiernos México, Guatemala,
Nicaragua, Colombia, Perú, etc., por no proveer fuente de trabajo
en nuestros países y forzarnos a salir de allí.

Nosotros denunciamos al gobierno de los estados unidos
por ser cómplice con los gobiernos de nuestros países, ellos
trabajan en conjunto para traernos aquí como mano de obra
barata y convertimos muchas veces en esquiroles rompe huelgas.

Denunciamos a nuestro gobierno de los estados unidos
por planificar nuestro empobrecimiento y deshumanización
manteniéndonos como una ejercito de desempleados sin
ningún derecho a la salud, a la educación, y la dignidad.

Denunciamos a todos los partidos y organizaciones que nos
miran como objetos para lograr sus propósitos políticos y
económicos y nos niegan el derecho a organizarnos y a nuestra
propia representación.

Denunciamos a la policía por sus constantes abusos a nuestro
pueblo del cual la negación de permiso para esta asamblea
es solo uno más.

Hermanos y hermanas emigrantes, únete a la lucha por nuestros
derechos y por una amnistía general e incondicional.


Día: jueves Septiembre 21

Lugar: 474 Valencia St.

Hora: 7pm

The following is a detailed report:

September 16th, 2006 Amnesty for All Rally Permit Denied

A Report by Bonnie Weinstein

September 14, 2006 Interdepartmental Staff Committee
on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT) Hearing denied a Permit for
Rally Saturday, September 16, 2006, on 24th Street between Mission
and Bartlett Streets between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. sponsored by
People United for General and Unconditional Amnesty for All!

I have just come from the ISCOTT hearing where, with the help and
assistance of the ACLU--who agreed with the S. F. Police department
that, although we had the right to free speech, the Police and this
committee had the right to determine where and when we can
exercise it--we were denied a permit to hold a rally in the Mission
on September 16th, in celebration and solidarity with Mexican and
Latin American Independence Day and for general and unconditional
amnesty for all immigrants.

Further, the permits were denied based on blatant and outright lies
told by the Mission Police Department representative to the ISCOTT
committee. First, that we lied to them about our estimation of the
number of people who would turn out for a demonstration we
sponsored on April 10th, 2006 in order to avoid the permit process
and, second, that we are lying now about our estimate of the number
that may turn out on September 16th. Of course, since this hearing
was part of this permit process they could not accuse us of trying
to avoid it this time.

To understand what is going on a little background information is

Parents and teachers from the Compañeros Del Barrio Children's
Center in the heart of the Mission District organized themselves into
a group to fight for general amnesty for all immigrants. Our first action
was to be a procession, called by the 40 families who came together
to form this group-around 90 people all-together from the children's
center and other friends, such as myself who have committed themselves
to help immigrants in their struggle-to plan a procession April 10th
at 5:00 p.m. from 16th and Mission Street to 24th and Mission Street.
It was organized to be a procession of the 40 families with children
(90 or so people) up Mission Street for a small rally at 24th Street.
Having no resources or funding, we set our first goals very small.
A successful procession of families up Mission Street would be
a good beginning.

In-between the time our group called for the April 10th demonstration
several weeks earlier, and the day of the march, there occurred a giant
upsurge in the Immigrant Rights movement. Literally millions of people
spontaneously demonstrated in the streets across the country during
those weeks in April and May-a half-a-million in Chicago and over
a million in Los Angeles just to name two.

We had no way to estimate how many people would turn out April 10
to our little procession--even though we sent out announcements
and distributed flyers in the days before the action. On April 10th
the Children's center proceeded to 16th and Mission Street-children
and parents with candles and handmade signs and banners-to the
BART Plaza, with nothing more than bullhorns-obviously unprepared
for thousands of people. I was waiting at 24th and Mission Street with
our little portable speaker that I brought myself in expectation for
the procession to arrive up the sidewalk to our rallying point on 24th
and Mission. We didn't have a permit for this speaker so we were
prepared not to use it if the police told us not to.

To my wonder, I saw thousands stretched clear across Mission Street
from sidewalk to sidewalk. I was amazed when they finally came into
view, which took quite some time! The bullhorn we had would have
been useless and even our little speaker was ineffectual in reaching
the numbers of people who showed up. Obviously we had not planned
on this number of people turning out!

At the hearing today, the officer representing the Mission Police
Department stated that we "deceived them" about the numbers that
were expected April 10th. Further, as proof of his claim, he told the
committee hearing that we had a "60-foot flatbed truck with giant
speakers" that we had to have arranged for ahead of time and
therefore, we, indeed, did expect a large turnout April 10th and
we lied to him about it.

But, as a matter of fact, we had no flatbed truck April 10th. We only
had that half of a 100-watt, battery operated, portable speaker that
I brought--barely louder than a bullhorn--and an old wooden chair
to stand on. We had a priest and six parents scheduled to speak but
politicians miraculously appeared and asked to address the crowd
that turned out in the thousands.

The A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition, active members of the community, seeing
that we were, in fact, totally unprepared for such a gathering dashed
off to their office a few blocks away and came back with around nine
or ten volunteer monitors and extra monitor-vests to help aid the
orderliness of the rally. We welcomed their help, as did the police
at the time.

We appointed monitors that cooperated with the police in all they
asked of us at the time. The police did not ask us not to use the
speaker. Two men held the speaker up for the length of the rally
by balancing it on a broomstick. It ran out of juice toward the end
of the rally and we ended the rally with the use of our bullhorn.

All of this evidence points to the truth of the matter-we were totally
unprepared for the turnout-very pleasantly surprised and inspired
as were with the turnout and the politicians that clambered to
speak-but certainly, we were totally unprepared because it was
unexpected. And that's the truth!

Inconsistent rights

We called another rally on May 1, 2006 at 5:00 p.m. and secured
a sound permit from the Entertainment Commission. We were
directed to cooperate with the Northern Police Station about the
street-closure and the specifics for the rally. We planned to and
did rent a flatbed truck that day and a 2000-watt speaker system
all of which was outlined in our sound permit application. The
Northern Police Station felt that it was our free-speech right to
have the street closure and did not require us to apply for the
ISCOTT permit through Department of Parking and Traffic (DPT).

The officers from Northern Police Station were waiting for our
truck May 1st when we arrived at McAllister and Golden Gate at
5:00 p.m. and quickly and efficiently closed the street off to traffic.
In fact, both the police of the Northern Police Station and our
volunteer monitors (again, the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition and
volunteers from those present at the rally recruited on the
spot) worked as a team in complete cooperation with each
other. The rally went off smoothly, within the time limits of
our permit and without incident.

After applying for a sound permit through the Entertainment
Commission for September 16th, we were directed to the Mission
Police Station to coordinate with them. When I called the station
for the first time we were immediately met with hostility. We were
told that since we had deceived them about the April 10th rally
that we had to go through the DPT permit procedure and, further,
that they would recommend to the ISCOTT hearing that our permit
for a street closure in the Mission be denied. When I asked Captain
Goldberg whether the commission ever went against the police
department recommendation he said, "No."

In preparation for September 16th, after a few weeks of negotiations
in which every configuration or street we requested was turned
down by Captain Goldberg, he sent us a letter. He put his
accusations in writing and threatened us with criminal charges
if we underestimated the number we expected to turn out
September 16th and insisted that we go through DPT.

We were in a predicament. We are not clairvoyant and have no
idea how many people may or may not turn out on Sept. 16th.
In my search for some location that the police department would
approve of, I called Sandy Lee of the Recreation and Parks Department
about a recommendation for a suitable park location in The Mission
for a crowd the police estimated, for April 10th, to be 7,000 people-
an estimate we were warned not to go under. Even Dolores Park has
a cap of 5,000 although many demonstrations in that park had many
more than that in attendance, technically, we were told we could not
apply for that park if our estimate was above 5,000 people.

And, we did not want to have a demonstration at Dolores Park anyway.
That park really is on the outskirts of the Mission. We wanted to have
a venue in the community most affected by immigration issues. Our
reasoning was that many undocumented workers do not feel secure
coming to a rally on the outskirts of their community-many believe
that it could expose them to persecution or deportation if they were
seen to consciously go to such a demonstration. Having a rally in
the community itself, where they already are, there is much less
of perceived risk of being singled out as an "agitator" or an "illegal

We decided to go through the DPT process after all, in the hopes
that we could come to some kind of compromise at the hearing itself.
We drastically scaled down our request for space. We secured toilet
facilities and tried to comply with all the requirements of the
ISCOTT 17-page application, in addition to paying all the permit
application fees totaling over $700.00. We also scaled back on our
speaker system deciding not to rent a truck or powerful speakers
such as we had May 1st and use the same small system we used
April 10th. (Part of the reason for this is that, as an immigrant
group, we have no more money.)

At the hearing this morning I stated that our estimation of the
number of people that would actually come out on Sept. 16th
was far fewer than the numbers that did turn out either April 10th
or May 1st. I stated to the committee that the numbers at that time
were spurred on by that huge outpouring "of the moment" and that
we are not in that same situation now. In fact, we went through
the process for May 1st because we did, indeed, expect larger
crowds that evening-especially since another immigrant rights
rally held during the day on May 1 just a block away would be
letting out at about the same time as our rally began and our
rally had been announced to those people in attendance at the
earlier event.

We repeated this identical process for the Sept. 16th rally
because we wanted to abide by all the requirements necessary
to have a legal and peaceful rally. This morning I stated that we
did not expect anywhere near those numbers-perhaps one or
two hundred people at the most--and we don't even know if
we will need a street closure for this rally.

Then the officer representing the Mission Police Station, again,
stated we were being deceitful, and that thousands could turn
out! Then, within the same breath, he stated that we could have
held the rally at Justin Herman Plaza or at Horace Mann Middle
School. I stated that Justin Herman Plaza, certainly, can't be
considered "The Mission" and that, by the Police Department's
own admonition, we couldn't have estimated our crowd small
enough to even get use of Horace Mann Middle School or Delores
Park or any park or plaza in the area, and, that in any case, the
school would have cost several hundred dollars more than the
$700.00 we have already paid and, would have taken even
longer to apply for.

Our permit was denied without a single dissenting voice or
vote from the ISCOTT committee.

I regret also to say that we had no legal support at the hearing
what so ever and that was extremely disappointing since the
police did blatantly lie to the committee and now there is only
me as a witness to it.



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
or 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


The fees for permits have skyrocketed and the 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

URGENT: Messages of Solidarity with Mexican Activists Needed


Dear Friends,

As you know, there are revolutionary events developing in Mexico.
The national movement against the electoral fraud has shaken the
country from top to bottom. The formation of the Popular Assembly
of the People of Oaxaca (APPO), which has for all intents and purposes
replaced the "official" state government, is just a taste of what is to
come in the weeks and months ahead. The Mexican people have
had enough of poverty, misery, repression, fraud, and corruption.
This movement threatens not only the current government, but the
entire profit system on which it is based. The state and its media
have therefore launched an all-out camapaign to prepare public
opinion for repression.

On August 22, Oaxaca State Attorney Lizbeth Caña, described the
APPO as an "urban guerrilla" rather than a "social organization".
This was a clear sign that the state apparatus had decided to fight
against the APPO with the methods of counter-insurgency. In the
course of the struggle of the teachers and workers in Oaxaca,
a number of leading activists have already been assassinated,
and groups of masked, well armed men have been used against
the movement (in some cases, later to be found to be police officers).
These are therefore not empty threats.

The Marxist Tendency "Militante"
which has been involved in these struggles from the very beginning,
is now also being targeted for repression by the state.

On August 25th, in his regular column in El Universal (one of the
main Mexican newspapers), Raymundo Riva Palacio signed
an article called "Guerrillas", in which he backed the slanderous
allegations about the "guerrilla" character of the APPO, accusing
it of being infiltrated by the Revolutionary Army of the People (EPR).
He then added the Marxist Tendency "Militante" in his amalgam:

"Reality, however, backs up the accusation of the Oaxaca government
that the problem they are facing is one of urban guerrillaism.
The EPR has been joined by a number of tactical allies, like the
revolutionary Trotskyist current which, through its mouthpiece
El Militante, published on August 17th a text about 'The struggle
against fraud and the road of Oaxaca' where it denounces the 'electoral fraud'
allegedly commited by president Vicente Fox, and while supporting
the resistance started by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, raises the
need to increase the contradictions and the creation of 'one, two,
three Oaxacas'. This support for Lopez Obrador cannot be seen as
passengers on the same boat, but rather as a tactical device by the
guerrillas, taking advantage of the political conditions created
by the candidate of the coalition For the Wellbeing of All [Lopez Obrador]"

The article then goes on to describe the alleged activities of the
EPR in Mexico City where Riva Palacio claims that it has infiltrated
the massive tent camp organised to fight electoral fraud. He also
makes the outlandish claim that the EPR "organized the failed road
blockades around the University City". This is a well-targeted attack
that should not be taken lightly. Only two organizations are mentioned
in the article as being infiltrated or linked to the EPR and "urban
guerrilla", the teachers' union in Oaxaca and Militante.

The reason for these accusations is very clear: to try to prepare
public opinion for state or paramilitary repression against known
leaders of these organizations, something with which the Mexican
state has a long history.

The comrades of Militante have argued within the movement against
electoral fraud, for the need to call a 24-hour general strike and
to make the National Democratic Convention called for September 16th
into a genuine body of workers' power, and for the need to spread the
insurrection in Oaxaca nationwide. All this work has been conducted
openly, in mass meetings, at the tent camps, in the Zocalo square,
in the neighbourhoods, in the schools and universities, in workplaces
and trade union branches. These slogans are getting a wide echo amongst
the hundreds of thousands and millions who are participating in the mass
mobilizations of the last couple of months. A small indication of this
is the massive increase in the circulation and regularity of "Militante",
their paper, of which tens of thousands of copies have been distributed.

This is the real reason why they have been singled out for attack. And
the attack does not come from one or two right wing journalists. El Universal
is a serious organ of the ruling class in Mexico, which is at present
extremely worried about the explosive revolutionary situation they
are facing. If they attack "Militante" in its pages, then they are either
doing so under instructions from the state or are giving the state
instructions on whom to target.

We appeal to all revolutionary activists and organizations around
the world to support the comrades of the Marxist Tendency Militante
by doing the following:

discussing the issue in their organizations and in the labor and trade
union movement, passing resolutions in support of the struggle
of thepeople of Oaxacaand the comrades of "Militante"
protesting to the Mexican embassies around the world,making
the Mexican government responsible for the well-being of the
members ofthe APPO and of Militante.

On September 15 and 16 a mass mobilization has been called
in Mexico to declare a National Democratic Convention that would
decide over the futureof the country's political life. To show support
we are appealing for the organisation of pickets of the Mexican
embassies worldwide on either of thesetwo days. Click here for
a list of MexicanEmbassies around the world:

We urgently need messages of solidarity and protest sent to the
following addresses:
Raymundo Riva Palacio, author of the El Universal article:
This email address is being protected from spam bots, you
need Javascript enabled to view it.
The Marxist Tendency "Militante":

Section 22 of theNational Education Workers' Union in Oaxaca:



Dear Brothers and Sisters:

We send greetings of solidarity to your struggle for true
democracy--democratic decision-making by the people
and for the people. We say NO! to the tyranny of the U.S.
and its allies that have striped freedom from all people
and plunged the world further into poverty and war.

We say NO! to the "democracy" of "Big Business!" A
"democracy" that allows the profits of big business to
cross all borders freely while those driven from their
homeland by starvation and unemployment brought
about by these very business practices, are deemed

Both war and poverty soar worldwide while the pockets
of the wealthy elite bulge with the stolen wealth from
oil, war and big-business, free-trade agreements.

The "War on Terror"--this war without end--goes hand
and hand with a general assault on the poor--it is
responsible for the deaths of tens-of-thousands of
Afghan, Iraqi, Palestinian and Lebanese innocents who,
by example, stand as a warning, from the powerful U.S.
wealthy elite, to the masses of the world, of what will
await us if we try to fight back.

We, the people throughout the world--subjugated under
this "democracy"--get to choose between one powerful,
wealthy, elite politician over another. In all countries
today, save Cuba and Venezuela, this is the extent of
the "democratic" norms of Capital.

The overwhelming majority of us have no say in decisions
that affect our lives and the good and welfare of our family
and friends. Not only have we no say on whether or not
to declare war on another country, it is we who are sent
to fight in the war.

The ruling, wealthy elite rarely earn their own keep or
fight their own battles. Their children are jet-setting
around the world and do not risk their lives in bloody
battle--that is what the ignorant masses are for--to be
mere drones, beasts of burden or cannon fodder--thus
saving the ruling elite from the trouble and expense!

This so-called "democracy" that the U.S. and its allies-
in-crime constantly claim to be "defending" with the use
of torture, terror and weapons of mass destruction certainly
does not allow democratic decision-making by the people
over such life-altering issues such as whether or not to
go to war, or to make any collective decisions affecting
the good and welfare of the majority.

The "democracy" they speak of represents only the interests
of these despotic rulers themselves who rule through the
threat of death and destruction of the entire planet. This
is how they maintain their control over the wealth and
resources they have stolen from toiling multitudes
across all borders!

This is not democracy! It is the simple tyranny of the
wealthy over the poor--a truly incomprehensible balance
of power of an infinitesimal, tiny minority over a vast
majority--a power that depends on our own alienation
from each other.

They have been able to convince us of our own inferiority;
of having fundamental differences that can never be
overcome; and in believing in the inevitability of a "dog-
eat-dog" world that will forever render us powerless
to act in the interests of the common good when, in
reality, together, we are the most powerful force on earth.
In fact, we are able to achieve whatever we put our minds to.

Their massive campaign of divide and conquer has temporarily
(albeit for quite a number of centuries now) blinded us to our
common interests and to our inherent power. Their goal
to turn brother against brother seems to be working still.

Only through our unity and solidarity across all borders in
this, the final conflict of humanity--a battle between true
human democracy and freedom versus the rule and tyranny
of private Capital and their weapons of mass destruction--
will the continued future of humanity be determined.

Together in unity and solidarity we do have the power to
disarm these thieves and murderers. They maintain
their power and wealth through their perceived ability
to destroy the world at the flick of a switch! But this is
but an illusion. They have no real power to act without
our cooperation. They are trained to push buttons and
give orders only--not how to actually carry out such acts
by themselves. On their own they are the greatest and
most inept cowards on Earth.

Our strength lies in our numbers and in our ability to
do, build, grow, raise, design, manufacture, service, install,
maintain, and operate all things human beings want,
need and desire. Contrary to the wealthy elite, we do have
the ability to act in the interests of the masses of humanity.
Together we can disconnect that button and free the world
from the threat of death and destruction that hangs over us.

The future of humanity and the planet depends on our
ability to take these weapons out of their hands, to disarm
them, and rid the world of this ultimate terrorist threat.
To intercept the button and the trigger. To do this, we
must gain control over our own, collective destiny.

Democracy is our most powerful tool

Our strength and power is in our ability to unify. To stand
in solidarity with one another and against the rule of the
wealthy elite. Our success or failure in this is wholly
dependent on whether we can create a free and open
decision-making process involving the overwhelming
majority of the masses of people on the planet--each
person having a voice and a vote. And, while insuring
that the rights of all minority voices are protected,
insuring that the majority will finally have the power
to democratically rule over all the decisions that will
affect all of our lives--including whether or not to go
to war.

I am confident that we, the people, will decide that war
is never the answer. We will put our collective resources,
instead, toward ending all hunger, poverty, homelessness,
illiteracy, ignorance, bigotry and hatred toward one another.

We will make the interests of the wealthy completely
subordinate to the basic human rights and interests
of the masses of people. We will let the interests of the
majority guide all of are actions. We will divert war
expenditures toward healing the sick and taking care
of the infirm. We will make the world an oyster for every
child, unconditionally and equally across all borders!
We will use all of our material, creative and intellectual
resources to build a world where equality, freedom,
justice and the right of all to life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness is paramount.

Collectively and in democratic cooperation with one
another we can create a paradise on Earth for all who
inhabit it. Working together in this way--with the
interests of all in mind--there is no problem we
cannot solve.

We believe that masses of people who have
democratic control over their collective destiny
will make decisions in the best interests of all of
humanity. Together we have the power not only
to endure but to flourish!

Here are our plans in solidarity on Saturday,
September 16, 2006:

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


Assembly: 24TH and Mission
When: Saturday, September 16th 2006
Time: 1 pm
For more information call 415-431-9925

We make a call to all the immigrant community to continue our
struggle and celebrate the independence of our countries demanding
a general and unconditional amnesty for all NOW!

All of our liberators, Simon Bolivar, Benito Juarez, San Martin, etc.,
struggled for a big, free American continent without borders. The rich
are the ones who have created borders so they can exploit and deny
us our right to education, health, housing, and jobs. Immigrant
Brothers and Sisters let us unite and celebrate our independence
demanding to be treated as human beings.


Assembly: 24TH and Mission
When: Saturday, September 16th 2006
Time: 1 pm
For more information call 415-431-9925



Asamblea: 24 y Misión
Dia: Sábado, 16 de Septiembre 2006
Hora: 1 PM
Para más información 415-431-9925

Hace un llamado a toda la población emigrante a continuar
nuestra lucha y celebrar la independencia de nuestros países
demandando una amnistía general e incondicional para
todos AHORA.

Todos nuestros libertadores, Simón Bolívar, Benito Juárez,
San Martín, etc. lucharon por una patria americana grande y sin
fronteras. Los ricos son los que han creado fronteras para así
poder explotarnos y negarnos el derecho a la educación salud,
vivienda, y trabajo.

Hermanos emigrantes unámonos y celebremos nuestra
independencia demandando ser tratados como seres humanos.

Asamblea: 24 y Misión
Dia: Sábado, 16 de Septiembre 2006
Hora: 1 PM
Para más información 415-431-9925

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein,
For People United for a General Amnesty
(415) 431-9925




Mumia Abu-Jamal Is In Danger
Rally In Oakland To FREE MUMIA!
4 PM Friday September 15th 2006,
Alameda County Courthouse, 12th and Fallon Sts, south side
Mumia Abu-Jamal Is Innocent!
For Labor Action To Free Mumia! End the Racist Death Penalty!
Rally initiated by the Labor Action Committee
To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (LAC),
PO Box 16222, Oakland CA 94610.
510 763-2347 or,,,

- Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal


Assembly: 24TH and Mission
When: Saturday, September 16th 2006
Time: 1 pm
For more information call 415-431-9925

We make a call to all the immigrant community to continue our
struggle and celebrate the independence of our countries demanding
a general and unconditional amnesty for all NOW!

All of our liberators, Simon Bolivar, Benito Juarez, San Martin, etc.,
struggled for a big, free American continent without borders. The rich
are the ones who have created borders so they can exploit and deny
us our right to education, health, housing, and jobs. Immigrant
Brothers and Sisters let us unite and celebrate our independence
demanding to be treated as human beings.



Asamblea: 24 y Misión
Dia: Sábado, 16 de Septiembre 2006
Hora: 1 PM
Para más información 415-431-9925

Hace un llamado a toda la población emigrante a continuar
nuestra lucha y celebrar la independencia de nuestros países
demandando una amnistía general e incondicional para
todos AHORA.

Todos nuestros libertadores, Simón Bolívar, Benito Juárez,
San Martín, etc. lucharon por una patria americana grande y sin
fronteras. Los ricos son los que han creado fronteras para así
poder explotarnos y negarnos el derecho a la educación salud,
vivienda, y trabajo.

Hermanos emigrantes unámonos y celebremos nuestra
independencia demandando ser tratados como seres humanos.


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)


"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:


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.


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:


"The Ground Truth" opens Friday, September 15

Host a "Ground Truth Gathering"

From October 4th - 11th, join 1000's as we gather across America
in churches, universities, community centers, town halls, coffee
houses and living rooms to screen THE GROUND TRUTH, engage
in conversation, and listen to Iraq veterans.

THE GROUND TRUTH depicts with ferocious honesty the terrible
conflict in Iraq, a prelude to the even more challenging battles
fought by soldiers when they return home to personal demons,
an uncomprehending public, and an indifferent government.

Theatrical opening Friday, September 15, 2006
at Landmark Theaters in the following cities:
Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Austin,
Washington, D.C., San Francisco

*Additional screening nationwide -
For details, go to: www.thegroundtruth. net

Purchase a DVD through this link and VFP recieves
a portion of the proceeds. Price is $14.98


Global Chalk4Peace
Sept 16/17th
WE have TOTAL access
We CAN Make THE Difference
ON THE WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 16 & 17th Chalk4Peace!
On the pavements and sidewalks of our towns and cities
You are invited to Take Action!
To Participate in this GLOBAL outpouring of public art. Where we make
our personal statements for peace on the pavements and sidewalks of
our cities all over our world.



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


My Only Son: United States Marine

American Service Men and Women Dead - 2,656*

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments
leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess
and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."

George W. Bush
President of the United States
State of the Union Address
January 28, 2003

Six years old
I wait for sound of car motor,
for light beams splashing across my blue walls,
for footsteps thumping across front porch,
in a few moments for my bedroom lamp snapped on.
My Dad fills the diameter of my door.
"There's my good boy," he booms.
I prop myself up for his offering,
bowl heaped with strawberry ice cream

I turn my car into driveway,
see headlights splash across window
of my six-year-old son's bedroom,
wonder if he hears thumping of my footsteps.
In a few moments
I fill diameter of his door.
"There's my good boy," I laugh.
He props himself up,
his hands reach for my offering,
bowl heaped with strawberry ice cream

I can't sleep tonight,
flip on television for Jay Leno's wisdom,
flick dials for rest of Ted Kopell's "Night Line,"
find something engrossing on Public Broadcasting.
Irritable from multitudes of sound, I turn it off,
slip off, wake up, doze, sit up.
I hear car coming slowly up the road
I lie still. . .
"Keep going. . . . . . . Keep Going!" It does
I lie back. Toss, tangle myself in sheet, blankets

A little after three
I hear car coming slowly up the road.
"Keep going. . . . . . . Keep going!"
Car turns into driveway,
lights splash across my blue walls,
thumping of steps on front porch.
I run down downstairs.
In crisply pressed dress blues
they fill diameter of my door.
Three United States Marines

*September 5, 2006

Maxwell Corydon Wheat, Jr. ©
Permission Given to Use Poem with Author Credit


When Your Soldier Comes Back Home
by Martha Ann Brooks, wife of an OIF Veteran with PTSD
Click here to listen

When your soldier comes back home
You will be happy
You want things to be like they were before
But your soldier has been forged through trial by fire
After all he lived through war
Be patient when you see he’s not the same
Your soldier’s changed
When your soldier comes back home
He will be different
He’ll think about those that gave their lives
He might be feelin guilty that he’s living
He will keep that guilt inside
It may show sometimes in things he’ll say and do
Please help him through
War is never over
For the ones who fought side by side
They are bruised and battered
The deepest wounds don’t show outside
You may think that time will heal
There is no healing
The days are like sandbags around him
But ghosts will not be held back by a wall
Bad memories always win
If you love him you must be the one who stays
You must be strong
When your soldier comes back home
War is never over
For the ones who fought side by side
They are bruised and battered
The deepest wounds don’t show outside

Story Behind the Song

Veterans often come home from war to family members
who expect them to pick up where they left off. For the
combat vet, that is not always possible. I wrote this song
in the hope that it will help families and friends of returning
veterans embrace them with understanding.
The song is currently #2 on Neil Young's website.


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


KPFA RADIO is considering airing the very informative program,
"Taking Aim," produced by Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone. We
encourage everyone who has heard and appreciated this show
to contact KPFA's Tracy Rosenberg and let her know you want the
show to air:

Here's my letter:

In solidarity,
Bonnie Weinstein

Dear Tracy,

The program, "Taking Aim", with Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone
is a one-of-a-kind, powerfully informative program. Schoenman
and Shone are leading experts in the history of the Middle East with
years of experience living in the region. They are both important
reporters for news that the mainstream media tries to hide or
distort. "Taking Aim" would be a very valuable addition to the fine
programing already on KPFA.

More importantly, the information disseminating from this program
and the serious work of Schoenman and Shone, provide invaluable facts
that KPFA listeners need to hear--truth that is told nowhere else.

The more in-depth information that is made available to the general
public--your listeners--from "Taking Aim" will help to further
educate your well-informed audience.

I strongly urge you to add this program to your broadcasts.

In my opinion, "Taking Aim" and the work of Schoenman and Shone
compares well with Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now." I wish it could
be on every day.


Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War


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


Update on the petition to save Bayview Hunters Point:
No more Fillmore!
Editorial by Willie Ratcliff,

In a message dated 9/2/06 11:25:12 AM, writes:
Redevelopment referendum update: Claiming the victory: Mirroring
New Orleans’ protests against ethnic cleansing, a second line-style
funeral procession arrived at San Francisco City Hall Wednesday,
the band playing “St. James Infirmary,” the hearse containing
a coffin marked “Redevelopment RIP” to mark the death of the
Bayview Hunters Point Redevelopment Plan. During a rally and
press conference on the steps of City Hall, all the leading
candidates for District 10 Supervisor opposing incumbent
Sophie Maxwell – Marie Harrison, Espanola Jackson and Charlie
Walker – spoke out strongly against the Plan.

On Aug. 30, the deadline for the referendum petition drive
against the Plan to turn in the required 20,972 signatures
of San Francisco voters, petition drive supporters are turning
in 32,820 signatures, demonstrating the overwhelming
opposition to the Plan in Bayview Hunters Point and throughout
the City. Within 30 days, City Hall will validate the signatures,
then send the referendum to the Board of Supervisors
for reconsideration, where the Plan will either be killed
or placed on the ballot in November 2007. At that point,
the Chronicle wrote in its lead editorial Wednesday, “San
Francisco voters may well choose to side with them
(the referendum organizers).” The mood at the rally was
jubilant, with everyone dancing as the band played, “When
the Saints Go Marching In” to City Hall for a new era
of Black and Brown Power!

Website update: What's happening with SFBayView?
The Bay View’s website,
Give us a call at
(415) 671-0789 or an email at
Now for what we’re up against: The Bay View newspaper
has been too broke to help finance the petition campaign,
very few contributions have come in and bills are overdue.
So the petition drive needs financial help … and so does
the Bay View newspaper, desperately.
The Bay View has faced many crises in the over 14 years
we’ve published it – eviction, death threats, never enough
money – yet readers have always come through, enabling
us to bounce back, tackle bigger issues and fight harder
than ever. We hate to beg, but WE NEED YOU NOW.
BAY VIEW CANNOT CONTINUE. To discuss a loan, which
we can amply collateralize, please call us at (415) 671-0789;
we’re here 24/7. Tax-deductible contributions to our
nonprofit arm, the Hurricane Relief Information Network,
are also a big help to save the hopes and the lives
of survivors who depend on the Bay View for news and resources.


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:


Note: Thanks to Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh for sharing this information. writes:

"My awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a
Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no
matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain -
especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own
ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a
Jewish state." Albert Einstein

"Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our time is the
emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the "Freedom Party"
(Tnuat Haherut, precursor to the Likud-MQ), a political party closely
akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social
appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the
membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi,
a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.
The current visit of Menahem Begin, leader of
this party to the United States is obviously calculated to give the
impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli
elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements
in the United States." From a letter signed by prominent Jews including
Einstein published in the NY Times Dec. 2, 1948

When approached to sign a petition to condemn the Arab revolt
in Palestine and to support the settlement of Jews Sigmund
Freud wrote in response: "I cannot do as you wish. I am unable
to overcome my aversion to burdening the public with my name,
and even the present critical time does not seem to me to warrant
it. Whoever wants to influence the masses must give them
something rousing and inflammatory and my sober judgment
of Zionism does not permit this. I concede with sorrow that
the baseless fanaticism of our people is in part to be blamed
for the awakening of Arab distrust. I can raise no sympathy
at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece
of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of
the natives. Now judge for yourself whether I, with such
a critical point of view, am the right person to come forward as the
solace of a people deluded by unjustified hope."
Freud's Letter to Dr. Chaim Koffler Keren HaYassod, Vienna: 26 February
1930; posted at the Freud Institute in UK website:


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.

2 Life Sentences

Life Sentence

Life Sentence

19 Years

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) Many Entry-Level Workers Find a Rough Market
September 4, 2006

2) Fidel Castro Says He's Lost 41 Pounds
Filed at 12:17 p.m. ET
September 5, 2006

3) A Lone Man’s Stunt Raises Broader Issues
September 5, 2006

4) Rallies Sound the Drumbeat on Immigration
September 5, 2006

5) Rep. John Murtha
To Surge or Not To Surge [Murtha suggests the]
September 5, 2006

6) Lawyers Warn Against Evidence Limits
Filed at 12:27 p.m. ET
September 7, 2006

7) U.S. Losing Control Fast
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website
Website by

8) Immigration Overhaul Takes a Back Seat
as Campaign Season Begins

9) Migrant Workers to Get Overtime for Storm Cleanup, Ending Suit
September 8, 2006

10) Wal-Mart Finds an Ally in Conservatives
September 8, 2006

11) U.A.W. Head Rules Out Concessions
September 8, 2006

12) In the Defense of Basic Rights, an Official Led a City’s Defiance
September 8, 2006

13) The Cuban revolution and formal logic
By Manuel Alberto Ramy

14) U.S. Paid 10 Journalists for Anti-Castro Reports
September 9, 2006

15) Fallujah Under Threat Yet Again
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website

16) Chevron Could Avoid Huge Royalties on New Field
September 12, 2006

17) The Stranger in the Mirror
September 14, 2006

18) Interior Official Assails Agency for Ethics Slide
September 14, 2006

19) Overhauls Proposed in Benefits for Jobless
September 14, 2006

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


1) Many Entry-Level Workers Find a Rough Market
September 4, 2006

This Labor Day, the 45 million young people in the nation’s work
force face a choppy job market in which entry-level wages have often
trailed inflation, making it hard for many to cope with high housing
costs and rising college debt loads.

Entry-level wages for college and high school graduates fell by more
than 4 percent from 2001 to 2005, after factoring in inflation,
according to an analysis of Labor Department data by the Economic
Policy Institute. In addition, the percentage of college graduates
receiving health and pension benefits in their entry-level jobs has
dropped sharply.

Some labor experts say wage stagnation and the sharp increase
in housing costs over the past decade have delayed workers ages
20 to 35 from buying their first homes.

“People are getting married later, they’re having children later,
and they’re buying houses later,” said Cecilia E. Rouse, an economist
at Princeton University and a co-editor of a forthcoming book
on the economics of early adulthood. “There’s been a lengthening
of the transition to adulthood, and it is very possible that what
has happened in the economy is leading to some of these changes.”

Census Bureau data released last week underlined the difficulties
for young workers, showing that median income for families with
at least one parent age 25 to 34 fell $3,009 from 2000 to 2005,
sliding to $48,405, a 5.9 percent drop, after having jumped
12 percent in the late 1990’s.

Worsening the financial crunch, far more college graduates are
borrowing to pay for their education, and the amount borrowed
has jumped by more than 50 percent in recent years, largely
because of soaring tuition.

In 2004, 50 percent of graduating seniors borrowed some
money for college, with their debt load averaging $19,000,
Dr. Rouse said. That was a sharp increase from 1993, when
35 percent of seniors borrowed for college and their debt
averaged $12,500, in today’s dollars.

Even though the economy has grown strongly in recent years,
wages for young workers, especially college graduates, have
been depressed by several factors, including the end of the
high-tech boom and the trend of sending jobs overseas. From
2001 to 2005, entry-level wages for male college graduates
fell by 7.3 percent, to $19.72 an hour, while wages for female
graduates declined 3.5 percent, to $17.08, according to the
Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research group.

“In a weak labor market, younger workers do the worst,” said
Lawrence Mishel, the institute’s president. “Young workers are
on the cutting edge of experiencing all the changes in the economy.”

Lawrence F. Katz, a labor economist at Harvard, said plenty of
slack remained in the job market for young workers.

The percentage of young adults who are working has dropped
since 2000 largely because many have grown discouraged and
stopped looking for work. This has happened even though the
unemployment rate, which counts only people looking for work,
has fallen to 4.4 percent for those ages 25 to 34. It is 8.2 percent
for workers ages 20 to 24.

“Any way you slice the data, the labor market has been pretty
weak the past five years,” Dr. Katz said. “But hotshot young
people coming out of top universities have done fine, just like
top-notch executives have.”

In a steep drop over a short time, 64 percent of college graduates
received health coverage in entry-level jobs in 2005, down from
71 percent five years earlier. As employers grapple with fast-rising
health costs, many companies have reduced health coverage,
with those cutbacks sharpest among young workers.

Partly because of the decline in manufacturing jobs that were
a ticket to middle-class life, just one-third of workers with high
school diplomas receive health coverage in entry-level jobs,
down from two-thirds in 1979.

After an extensive job search, Katey Rich, who graduated from
Wesleyan University in June, landed a part-time, $14-an-hour
job in Manhattan as an editorial assistant at Film Journal International.
With one-bedroom apartments often renting for $2,000 a month,
Ms. Rich is looking to share an apartment but is staying with
a friend’s parents for now. And while she is excited about her
new job, she said she was concerned that it did not come with
health insurance.

“I’ll have to fend for myself,” said Ms. Rich, who is from Aiken,
S.C. “I have parents who will back me up if things get really rough.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, said it was
surprising how deeply young workers were going into debt
to maintain the living standards they want.

The nation’s personal savings sank below zero last year for the
first time since the Depression, meaning Americans spent more
than they earned. But for households under 35, the saving rate
has plunged to minus 16 percent, which means they are spending
16 percent more than they are earning.

“The post-boomer generation feels very cavalier about saving,”
Mr. Zandi said. “They’ve been very aggressively dis-saving and
have borrowed significantly.”

John Arnold, 28, a materials-handling specialist at a Caterpillar
factory in Morton, Ill., said he was having a hard time making
ends meet. At his factory, Caterpillar has pressured the union
to accept a two-tier contract in which newer workers like him
will earn a maximum of $13.26 an hour — $27,000 a year for
a full-time worker — no matter how long they work. For longtime
Caterpillar workers in the upper tier, the wage ceiling is often
$20 or more an hour.

“A few people I work with are living at home with their parents;
some are even on food stamps,” said Mr. Arnold, a Caterpillar
worker for seven years. “I was hoping to buy a house this year,
but there’s just no way I can swing it.” With just a high school
diploma, he said it was hard to find jobs that paid more.

For men with high school diplomas, entry-level pay fell by
3.3 percent, to $10.93, from 2001 to 2005, according to the
Economic Policy Institute. For female high school graduates,
entry-level pay fell by 4.9 percent, to $9.08 an hour.

Labor Department officials voiced optimism for young workers,
noting that the Bureau of Labor Statistics had projected that
18.9 million net new jobs would be created by 2014.

“The future is bright for young people because the opportunities
are out there,” said Mason Bishop, deputy assistant labor secretary
for employment and training. “We want to help them get access
to the postsecondary education that enables them to take
advantage of the opportunities.”

The wage gap between college-educated and high-school-educated
workers has widened greatly, with college graduates earning
45 percent more than high school graduates, up from 23 percent
in 1979.

Professor Rouse of Princeton said a college degree added $402,000
to a graduate’s lifetime earnings.

Alex Shayevsky, who graduated from New York University last year,
said majoring in business had paid off. Mr. Shayevsky got a job in
the bond department of a major investment bank in New York. He
earns $65,000, not including a bonus that could be at least half his salary.

“Getting my degree was very valuable,” said Mr. Shayevsky, a 23-year-
old from Buffalo Grove, Ill.

Martin Regalia, chief economist for the United States Chamber of
Commerce, said young workers would be helped greatly if strong
economic growth continued and the labor market tightened further,
as happened in the late 1990’s.

Sheldon H. Danziger, a professor of public policy at the University
of Michigan, sees a bifurcated labor market for young workers.

“You’re much better off as a young worker today if you’re the child
of the well-to-do and you get a good education,” Professor Danziger
said, “and you’re much worse off if you’re a child of a blue-collar worker
and you don’t go to college. There’s increasing inequality among young
people just as there is increasing inequality among their parents.”


2) Fidel Castro Says He's Lost 41 Pounds
Filed at 12:17 p.m. ET
September 5, 2006

HAVANA (AP) -- Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro said in a statement
released Tuesday that he's lost more than 41 pounds in more than
a month since his intestinal surgery, but that the ''most critical
moment'' is already behind him.

''Today I am recovering at a satisfactory rhythm,'' said the statement
published in the Communist Party daily Granma, which was
accompanied by new photographs of a gaunt-looking Castro.

The 80-year-old Castro is easily over 6 feet tall and in recent
years has been on the thin side. He looked especially thin
at his last public appearance before he fell ill, at a July 26
speech in eastern Cuba marking the start of his revolution.

He said he just recently had the last stitches from his surgery
removed, following 34 days of convalescence. ''I can affirm
that the most critical moment has been left behind,'' his
statement said.

It was accompanied by seven different photographs of Castro
during his convalescence, several of them repeated on Granma
newspaper's Web site in larger versions. In all of them, Castro
is seated and wearing either short-sleeved navy blue
or light-blue pajamas. In several of the photos, he
is reading or writing.

Most of the pictures show him from the waist up, although
one shows his whole body as he sits in a rocking chair,
wearing slippers and reading.

In another, Castro holds up a broadsheet proof of a book
written from a series of interviews he gave to French journalist
Ignacio Ramonet, which he said he was reviewing during
his recovery.

''But because of that, I have not failed to strictly follow my
duties as a disciplined patient,'' he added.

''In the coming days, I will be receiving distinguished visitors,''
Castro said, apparently referring to some of the heads of state
and government who will be traveling to the summit
of nonaligned nations next week.

The government has not announced whether Castro,
or his younger brother Raul -- who is serving as Cuba's
provisional president during the elder sibling's recovery
-- will represent the country during the Sept. 11-16 gathering.

''This doesn't mean that every activity will be immediately
accompanied by video or photographic images, although
news will be provided of every one,'' the statement said.

''All of us must understand that it is not convenient to
systematically offer information, nor give out images
of my health situation,'' Castro added. ''All of us must
also understand realistically that the complete recovery
time, whether we like it or not, will be prolonged.

''At this moment I am not in a hurry, and no one should
be in a hurry. The country is marching and moving
ahead,'' he said.

Castro said July 31 that he had undergone an emergency
intestinal operation and was temporarily ceding his
powers as head of the government and the Communist
Party to his 75-year-old brother, Raul, the defense minister.

The nature of his surgery and his specific ailment have
been treated as a state secret. It is the first time
in 47 years of rule that Castro has stepped aside, even


3) A Lone Man’s Stunt Raises Broader Issues
September 5, 2006

LEWISTON, Me. — On a hot July night, a few dozen Somali men
were kneeling shoulder to shoulder in prayer at a storefront mosque
here when the door opened and the frozen head of a pig, an animal
considered unclean in Islam, rolled across the floor.

Men fled in fear. A child fainted. Some called the police and ran
after the person who had rolled the head in. A suspect, Brent
Matthews, was quickly apprehended and charged with desecrating
a place of worship. Mr. Matthews, 33, said that the incident was
a prank and that he did not know the significance of a pig’s head.

Now, weeks later, Somali leaders say the incident has left a scar
on their community of about 3,000 immigrants.

While they admit the act was the work of one man, it has
heightened simmering tensions in this overwhelmingly white,
working-class city of 35,000, where Somali refugees started
flocking about five years ago, after first settling in more urban
areas of the United States. Many said they came here because
housing was inexpensive and Lewiston seemed a safe place
to raise their families.

While much of Lewiston has been welcoming, some Somalis
here believe the head incident reveals an undercurrent of
suspicion and lack of understanding about their culture.
According to the Census Bureau, Maine is 96 percent white.

“We’re not saying all of Lewiston is part of this,” said Imam
Nuh Iman, leader of the mosque, the Lewiston-Auburn Islamic
Center. “But this is the biggest impact you can have on a mosque,
in the time of praying, to put in a pig’s head. It could have been
a goat’s head, or a cow’s head. But it was a pig’s head.”

Phil Nadeau, the assistant city administrator, believes the
incident was isolated but underscored the growing pains
this city — whose mills and shoe factories, now closed,
welcomed French-Canadian workers a century ago —
is now going through.

“I think it’s a reflection of where we are right now. There’s
a small group of people that will never accept this type of
change in their community, ever,” said Mr. Nadeau, whose
French-Canadian grandmother spoke only five words of English.
“The second wave of non-English speakers to Lewiston is now
the Somali population.”

Hussein Ahmed, 31, said the mosque incident came as Somalis
here felt that they had finally started to move on from a 2002
open letter written by Laurier Raymond, then the mayor,
which asked them to stop other Somalis from coming to
the city. Mr. Raymond contended in his letter that the city
was “maxed-out financially, physically and emotionally.”

Somali leaders quickly condemned Mr. Raymond after the
letter, saying he was “bent toward bigotry.” Mr. Raymond
met with Somali leaders but did not apologize. Three months
later, a white supremacist group held a rally in Lewiston but
was overshadowed by a counter-rally that drew 4,500 people.

The incident with the pig’s head brought a similar response.
About 150 people, including Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat,
and leaders of other faiths, gathered at a park shortly after
the incident to condemn it and to support the Somali community.

“After we heard about what happened at the mosque, many
of us in the local interfaith clergy group felt that an attack on
anybody’s house of worship is an attack on all houses of worship,”
said Rabbi Hillel Katzir of Temple Shalom Synagogue Center
in nearby Auburn. “This is not O.K. This is not approved of
by the majority of the community. He might think it’s funny,
but the rest of us don’t, and it’s not acceptable.”

Mr. Ahmed, who spoke at the rally, said it affirmed his trust
in residents of Lewiston. “The message was clear: they don’t
tolerate hate,” he said.

Mr. Nadeau said that Somalis continued to flock to Lewiston,
about 30 miles north of Portland, and that the city was struggling
to find jobs for them. The city is also trying to educate residents
about the Somali culture and Islam.

“There’s still a kind of unknown element relative to people’s
familiarity with their culture and religion that is still being felt,
even to this day,” Mr. Nadeau said.

Mr. Matthews’s lawyer, James Howaniec, said his client had
intended to play a prank. Mr. Howaniec said Mr. Matthews got
the head from a pig roast in June and had originally planned to
use it for target practice. Mr. Matthews then decided to plant
it outside the center, thinking it was simply a gathering place,
the lawyer said.

“He did not know it was a place of worship,” Mr. Howaniec said.
“There’s certainly nothing in the exterior of the dilapidated
storefront that would lead anyone to believe it was a place
of worship. He is insistent that he did not know the significance
of a pig’s head to the Muslim community.”

Mr. Howaniec said that Mr. Matthews was trying to create
a disruption at the center, but that it was not a crime.

“It’s our position that while it was an act of stupidity, it did
not rise to the level of any sort of crime, let alone a hate crime,”
Mr. Howaniec said. “It’s clearly not something he’s proud of, but
as an attorney looking at criminal statutes, I don’t think it rises
to the level of desecration of a place of worship.”

Judge Ellen Gorman of Androscoggin County Superior Court on
Aug. 31. granted the state’s request for a temporary injunction,
ordering Mr. Matthews to stay 150 feet from the mosque.

At the hearing Mr. Matthews said that he had planned to put the
head outside “where the dark people congregate” as a joke, and
that it had slipped from his hand and rolled inside. He said he
felt bad about the incident and wished he “could turn back time.”

Mr. Matthews will be indicted on criminal charges Sept. 6, and
Mr. Howaniec said he was expecting a jury trial. If convicted,
Mr. Matthews could face up to a year in jail on the desecration
charge and up to $5,000 in fines.

Imam Iman said he wanted his worshippers to feel comfortable
where they lived.

“Most people feel welcome,” the imam said, “but after these
incidents, not at all. Mainers have to understand that this
is the new Maine.”


4) Rallies Sound the Drumbeat on Immigration
September 5, 2006

BATAVIA, Ill., Sept. 4 — Spirited groups of immigrant rights
supporters rallied in Illinois and Arizona on Monday in marches
intended to keep the drumbeat going for changes in immigration law.

In both places, counterdemonstrators heckled from the sidelines
and called on the federal government to enforce its border laws.

Organizers of a rally in Phoenix, outside Arizona’s copper-domed
Capitol, estimated their numbers at 4,000, though the police
said the event drew about 1,000 people.

In Batavia, a flag-waving crowd, estimated by the police at about
2,500, chanted “Sí, se puede” — “Yes, we can” — and converged
on the district office of Speaker J. Dennis Hastert. In a counterrally
sponsored by the Chicago Minuteman Project, some 200 men,
women and a few children jeered the larger crowd.

Neither Mr. Hastert nor his staff was on hand, and he could not
be reached for comment.

Organizers hoped to pressure Mr. Hastert to push legislation
favorable to immigrants through Congress.

“We’re here because we need to keep this issue alive,” said
Jorge Mujica, 50, a Mexican immigrant who helped organize
the rally and who lives in Berwyn, Ill.

“We want to show that we didn’t disappear after May 1,” Mr. Mujica
said, referring to the hundreds of thousands who demonstrated
nationwide that day on the issue. “We’re still marching.
We’re not going away.”

Alfredo Gutierrez, at the rally in Phoenix, said that he was
disappointed it had not attracted more marchers but that he
thought the debate had changed in recent months. Immigrant
rights activists who were initially so optimistic have begun
to lose hope, he said.

“That feeling that something would be accomplished has
diminished almost daily with every report of every negative
thing that goes on with Congress,” Mr. Gutierrez said.

The Arizona chapter of the Association of Community
Organizations for Reform Now set up three tents, at which
volunteers registered people to vote and distributed postcards
urging members of Arizona’s Congressional delegation
to support a path for citizenship for illegal immigrants.
Counterprotesters gathered behind the main stage and
shouted at the crowd, but security personnel and the police
generally kept the sides apart.

Fran Garrett, a volunteer with the anti-immigration group
United for a Sovereign America, based in Phoenix, said she
was fed up with the authorities who refused to arrest and
deport illegal immigrants.

“They try to get the message out that they’re here to do jobs
and all that,” Ms. Garrett said. “That’s not true. They are here
to take over eight states of the United States, and they are
going to do it by sheer numbers alone, when they get
enough people where they are the majority in a state.”

In Batavia, 30 Chinese-Americans joined the mostly Latino
crowd. One of them, Man Li Wu, said through an interpreter
that she had a daughter in China who had tried for eight
years to enter the United States.

“I’m 70 and I don’t know how long I’ll be able to wait,” she
said. “I want to see my grandchildren.” Members of the
Chicago Minutemen say that living in the United States
is a privilege and should not be an easy process.

“Immigration laws aren’t broken,” said Evert Evertsen, 61,
from Harvard, Ill. “The problem is they’re just not being enforced.”


5) Rep. John Murtha
To Surge or Not To Surge [Murtha suggests the]
September 5, 2006

The President, Vice President, Secretaries of Defense and State
have been blitzing the media lately in attempts to shore up
support for the War in Iraq. They assert that today's wars must
be fought with the same fervor and intensity as when we fought
Nazism during WWII and then Communism until its celebrated fall.

While an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that
terrorism is a significant threat worth fighting against, the
Bush Administration attempts to confuse the Iraq War with
the larger war on terrorism and continues to fight a war
of rhetoric and political slogans instead of one of action.

When several military experts called for the addition of
hundreds of thousands of troops early in the Iraq War, the
Bush Administration rejected the call, and instead chose
to fight with a minimal force. And now, when our troops have
been deployed over and over again; when almost all of our
combat units at our bases at home are at the lowest state
of combat readiness; and with this Administration' s continued
insistence to stay a failed course; it is now more obvious than
ever that we can not sustain this war on its current course
and we must change direction.

The burden of the Iraq War has fallen squarely on our
all-volunteer military and their families. They have performed
remarkably well, particularly in light of the unclear and ever-
changing mission dictated to them by Pentagon civilians
of the Bush Administration. But they are overstretched and
overextended. They deserve fresh reinforcements so that
they can return home to rebuild their units, their psyche
and their family and community relationships.

While the Administration stresses that we are a country
at war, they refuse to spread the burden proportionately.
Instead, they pursue tax incentives for the rich, run up our
federal deficit, and spend astronomical sums in Iraq with
little or no control over wasteful and fraudulent spending.
This is not the picture of a country at war. Consider the

The current war in Iraq has lasted longer than the Korean
War, World War I and World War II in Europe. This war is the
first protracted conflict in modern times in which our nation
has not utilized a draft for additional support. If the President
is genuinely serious in his comparison with communism and
fascism, perhaps he should reconsider a call to reinstate the

The selective service provided:
2.8 million U.S. Servicemen in WWI,
10 million U.S. Servicemen in WWII,
1.5 million U.S. Servicemen in the Korean War, and
1.8 million U.S. Servicemen during the Vietnam Conflict

The facts are that in 1950, the United States had about 1.5
million active duty personnel under arms and by 1952 they
surged to 3.6 million. In Vietnam the U.S. had 2.7 million
in 1964 and by 1968 we had over 3.5 million.

In 2006, the overall active end-strength of our nation's
military was 1,367,500. The President's 2007 budget
request reduces that end-strength to 1,332,300. This
means that there is projected to be 35,200 fewer troops
on our nation's active duty rolls this year as compared
to last year.

We cannot sustain the President's open-ended, vague
and bankrupting war policies indefinitely. He should
try less rhetoric and more action.

If we are to fight this war with the same sense of dedication
and vigor as we did prior wars, we cannot do it without
a surge in force.

It is unlikely that the President will call for a draft. A draft
is politically unpopular. But we cannot continue to allow
the President to pursue open-ended and vague military
missions without a change in direction.

Two years ago, I was one of only two in the House of
Representatives who voted for a draft, because I believe
if we are a country truly at war, the burden should be
shared proportionately and fairly. So Mr. President, you
have two options, either change the course in Iraq and
reduce the burden on our overstretched active force
or reinstitute the draft. We cannot sustain the current course.


6) Lawyers Warn Against Evidence Limits
Filed at 12:27 p.m. ET
September 7, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon's top uniformed lawyers took
issue Thursday with a key part of a White House plan to prosecute
terrorism detainees, telling Congress that limiting the suspects'
access to evidence could violate treaty obligations.

Their testimony to a House committee marked the latest time that
military lawyers have publicly challenged Bush administration
proposals to keep some evidence -- such as classified information
-- from accused terrorists. In the past, some military officials have
expressed concerns that if the U.S. adopts such standards, captured
American troops might be treated the same way.

The lawyers' testimony contrasted with the panel chairman's
assertion that the United States must take a harder line when
prosecuting terrorists.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, who heads the House Armed Services Committee,
said at the hearing that any military commission established
to prosecute terrorists must allow the government to protect
intelligence sources. In saying so, the California Republican
aligned himself with the White House position.

''While we need to provide basic fairness in our prosecutions,
we must preserve the ability of our war fighters to operate
effectively on the battlefield,'' Hunter said.

Hunter presented the military lawyers with various scenarios
in which it might be necessary to withhold evidence from the
accused if it would expose classified information. But the service's
top lawyers said other alternatives must be explored -- or the
case dropped.

''I believe the accused should see that evidence,'' said
Maj. Gen. Scott Black, the Army's Judge Advocate General.

Black and the other lawyers said such an allowance was
a fundamental right in other court systems and would meet
requirements under the Geneva Conventions.

But Hunter suggested that such a requirement could hamper

''Some of these acts of complicity in terrorist acts are very
small pieces . . . and you don't have a lot of evidence,'' he
said. The chairman repeated a scenario where the only piece
of evidence would expose the identity of a secret agent and
asked whether it would make sense to drop the case entirely.

''You get to the end of the trail, then yes sir, you do,'' Black

The hearing came a day after Bush acknowledged for the
first time that the CIA had secret prisons overseas and
defended the practice of tough interrogations to force
terrorists to reveal plots to attack the United States and
its allies.

He revealed that 14 suspects, including the alleged mastermind
of the Sept. 11 attacks, had been turned over to the Defense
Department and moved to the U.S. detention center
at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for trial.

Separately, State Department legal adviser John Bellinger III told
foreign reporters Thursday that if additional members of the
al-Qaida terror network were captured, ''We reserve the right
to have those people questioned by the CIA.''

Bellinger said foreign governments were free to decide whether
to look for the locations of any CIA prisons on their territory,
but ''we are not going to talk about that.'' European lawmakers
on Thursday demanded to know the exact location of the prisons.

The president proposed legislation Wednesday that would aid
the government in prosecuting terrorists using secret military
tribunals. The proposal left Republicans again divided over
how the nation should treat its most dangerous terror suspects,
setting up a showdown in Congress just weeks away from
elections when all members will try to sell themselves as
tough on terror.

Bush's announcement was immediately praised by those who
said his policies were necessary to win the war on terror.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said he would like
to take up the bill on the Senate floor as soon as possible,
leaving open the door for a vote on the measure before
lawmakers break at the end of the month for election

But some GOP moderates are challenging the proposal. They
include three senators with hefty credentials: Sen. John McCain
of Arizona, who spent more than five years as a prisoner
of war in North Vietnam; Sen. Lindsey Graham of South
Carolina, a former military lawyer who still serves in the
Air Force Reserves as a reserve judge; and Sen. John Warner
of Virginia, chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Bush's decision
to prosecute the terrorists held by the CIA was long overdue.
But, he added, the military commission system should
be properly vetted through the Armed Services Committee.

''The last thing we need is a repeat of the arrogant,
go-it-alone behavior that has jeopardized and delayed
efforts to bring these terrorists to justice for five years,'' Reid said.

Eds: AP Diplomatic Writer Barry Schweid contributed to this report.


7) U.S. Losing Control Fast
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website
Website by

*RAMADI, Sep 5 (IPS) - The U.S. military has lost control over the
volatile al-Anbar province, Iraqi police and residents say.*

The area to the west of Baghdad includes Fallujah, Ramadi and other
towns that have seen the worst of military occupation, and the strongest

Despite massive military operations which destroyed most of Fallujah and
much of cities like Haditha and al-Qa'im in Ramadi, real control of the
city now seems to be in the hands of local resistance.

In losing control of this province, the U.S. would have lost control
over much of Iraq.

"We are talking about nearly a third of the area of Iraq," Ahmed Salman,
a historian from Fallujah told IPS. "Al-Anbar borders Jordan, Syria and
Saudi Arabia, and the resistance there will never stop as long as there
are American soldiers on the ground."

Salman said the U.S. military is working against itself. "Their actions
ruin their goal because they use these huge, violent military operations
which kill so many civilians, and make it impossible to calm down the
people of al-Anbar."

The resistance seems in control of the province now. "No government
official can do anything without contacting the resistance first," Abu
Ghalib, a government official in Ramadi told IPS.

"Even the governor used to take their approval for everything. When he
stopped doing so, they issued a death sentence against him, and now he
cannot move without American protection."

Recent weeks have brought countless attacks on U.S. troops in Haditha,
Ramadi, Fallujah and on the Baghdad-Amman highway. Several armoured
vehicles have been destroyed, and dozens of U.S. soldiers killed in the
al-Anbar province, according to both Iraqi witnesses and the U.S.
Department of Defence.

Long stretches of the 550km Baghdad-Amman highway which crosses al-Anbar
are now controlled by resistance groups. Other parts are targeted by
highway looters.

"If we import any supplies for the U.S. Army or Iraqi government, the
fighters will take it from us and sell it in the local market," trader
Hayder al-Mussawi said. "And if we import for the local market, the
robbers will take it."

Eyewitnesses in Ramadi say many of the attacks are taking place within
their city. They say that the U.S. military recently asked citizens in
al-Anbar to stop targeting them, and promised to withdraw to their bases
in Haditha and Habaniyah (near Fallujah) soon, leaving the cities for
Iraqi security forces to patrol.

"I do not think that is possible," retired Iraqi police
Brigadier-General Kahtan al-Dulaimi from Ramadi told IPS. "I believe no
local unit could stand the severe resistance of al-Anbar, and it will be
the last province to be handed over to Iraqi security forces."

According to the group Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, 964 coalition
soldiers have been killed in al-Anbar, more than in any other Iraqi
province.. Baghdad is second, with 665 coalition deaths.

Residents of Ramadi told IPS that the U.S. military has knocked down
several buildings near the government centre in the city, the capital of
the province.

In an apparent move to secure their offices, U.S. Army and Marine
engineers have started to level a half-kilometre stretch of low-rise
buildings opposite the centre. Abandoned buildings in this area have
been used repeatedly to launch attacks on the government complex.

"They are trying to create a separation area between the offices of the
puppet government and the buildings the resistance are using to attack
them," a Ramadi resident said. "But now the Americans are making us all
angry because they are destroying our city."

U.S. troops have acknowledged their own difficulties in doing this.
"We're used to taking down walls, doors and windows, but eight city
blocks is something new to us," Marine 1st Lt. Ben Klay, 24, said in the
U.S. Department of Defence newspaper Stars and Stripes.

In nearby Fallujah, residents are reporting daily clashes between
Iraqi-U.S. security forces and the resistance.

"The local police force which used to be out of the conflict are now
being attacked," said a resident who gave his name as Abu Mohammed.
"Hundreds of local policemen have quit the force after seeing that they
are considered a legitimate target by fighters.."

The U.S. forces seem to have no clear policy in the face of the
sustained resistance.

"The U.S. Army seems so confused in handling the security situation in
Anbar," said historian Salman. "Attacks are conducted from al-Qa'im on
the Syrian border to Abu Ghraib west of Baghdad, all the way through
Haditha, Hit, Ramadi and Fallujah on a daily basis."

He added: "A contributing factor to the instability of the province is
the endless misery of the civilians who live with no services, no
infrastructure, random shootings and so many wrongful detentions."

According to the new Pentagon quarterly report on Measuring Security and
Stability in Iraq, Iraqi casualties rose 51 percent in recent months.
The report says Sunni-based insurgency is "potent and viable."

The report says that in a period since the establishment of the new
Iraqi government, between May 20 and Aug. 11 this year, the average
number of weekly attacks rose to nearly 800, almost double the number of
the attacks in early 2004.

Casualties among Iraqi civilians and security forces averaged nearly 120
a day during the period, up from 80 a day reported in the previous
quarterly report. Two years ago they were averaging roughly 30 a day.

On Aug. 31 the Pentagon announced that it is increasing the number of
U.S. troops in Iraq to 140,000, which is 13,000 more than the number
five weeks ago.

At least 65 U.S. soldiers were killed in August, with 36 of the deaths
reported in al-Anbar. That brought the total number killed to at least

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


8) Immigration Overhaul Takes a Back Seat
as Campaign Season Begins

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 — House Republicans vowed Thursday
to move swiftly to pass a series of border security measures
by the end of September. But they made it clear they would
not heed President Bush’s call to create a guest worker plan
or grant legal status to the nation’s illegal immigrants before
the November midterm elections.

The House speaker, Representative J. Dennis Hastert,
Republican of Illinois, and others said House leaders would
hold a hearing — scheduled for Tuesday — to discuss
strategies to secure the border and then present a package
of legislation, perhaps as early as Wednesday.

Mr. Hastert said House Republicans would continue their
discussions with the Senate in an effort to come to
a consensus about overhauling immigration laws, but
he emphasized that they would focus first on what could
be accomplished this month before Congress recesses.
He said the initiatives would emerge from hearings held
around the country in August.

“Before you have a guest worker program or any other
program, you need to heal the wound or stop the bleeding,”
Mr. Hastert said at a news conference. “We need to solve
the first problems first.”

“We’re at war,” he added. “Our borders are a sieve. We need
to stop the bleeding.”

After he spoke, hundreds of immigrants rallied outside
the Capitol, waving American flags and warning lawmakers
that they would be held accountable at the polls if they did
not take steps to legalize the more than 11 million illegal
immigrants in the United States.

But the political potency of such marches, which drew
hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the spring, seemed
to be waning. Organizers here had predicted hundreds
of thousands of demonstrators on Thursday, but it appeared
that only several thousand showed up. Rallies in Phoenix
and Batavia, Ill., this week also drew smaller crowds than
had been predicted.

Lily Najera, a 19-year-old community college student from
El Salvador, said she was surprised by the low turnout.

“I don’t know if people are losing hope because they don’t
see any progress,” said Ms. Najera, who attended the
rallies in the spring.

The prospects for passage of the House border security
package in the Senate remained uncertain. Senate leaders
have acknowledged that their bill, which would put the
majority of illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship
in addition to tightening the border, will probably not
become law before November.

Senator Bill Frist, Republican of Tennessee, the majority
leader, said this week that it would be “next to impossible”
for Congress to pass such a bill in the next three weeks.
Amy Call, a spokeswoman for Mr. Frist, said Senate
Republicans would be willing to consider the border security
initiatives proposed by the House.

“Securing the border is a key responsibility,” Ms. Call said
Thursday. “We’ll be interested to see what they bring forward.”

Senator Mel Martinez of Florida, a Republican champion
of the Senate legislation, argued, however, that border security
by itself was not enough. He said a mechanism like a guest
worker program to create a legal pathway into the country
was an essential component of any plan intended to deter
immigrants from illegally crossing from Mexico into the
United States.

“That may sound good politically speaking,” Mr. Martinez
said of the House plan. “But I think we need a sincere,
comprehensive approach to the problem. That’s what
I would be insisting on, that we do provide for some legal
pathway to enter the country.”

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts,
assailed the House plan as little more than political posturing
on the part of House Republicans.

“Secretary Chertoff, White House officials responsible for
homeland security and every expert agree that you can’t
secure our borders without breaking the cycle of illegality
for the millions who are already here,” said Mr. Kennedy,
referring to Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland

“The president understands this,” Mr. Kennedy said, “and
should step in to help his colleagues see the shortsightedness
of their actions.”

Lakiesha R. Carr contributed reporting from Washington.


9) Migrant Workers to Get Overtime for Storm Cleanup, Ending Suit
September 8, 2006

In what appears to be the first resolution of a legal case involving
charges of mistreatment of migrant workers cleaning up after
Hurricane Katrina, the Belfor USA Group has agreed to pay more
than $200,000 in overtime to workers hired by its subcontractors
along the Gulf Coast.

Belfor, one of the biggest disaster recovery companies in the
country, settled a lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law
Center on behalf of 175 workers who lawyers said had worked
as many as 80 hours a week on the cleanup of Tulane University
and other projects. The settlement was announced yesterday,
after it was approved by a federal judge in New Orleans.

The company also set up a toll-free number so workers could
call to complain about mistreatment by subcontractors, and
it agreed to increase monitoring of their practices.

“These new policies and practices, companywide, will make
sure subs stay in line, which we expected them to do before,”
said Steven F. Griffith Jr., a lawyer for Belfor.

Migrant workers, many of them Hispanic and some in the
United States illegally, flocked to the gulf after the storms
to do cleanup work. Almost immediately, complaints surfaced
that workers were not being paid what they had been promised,
and in some cases were not paid at all. Multiple layers
of subcontractors made it difficult to figure out who was
responsible for the problems.

Belfor decided to make sure that the workers were paid
first and to work the financial questions out with subcontractors
later, Mr. Griffith said.

Jennifer J. Rosenbaum, a lawyer at the law center, in
Montgomery, Ala., said the group hoped that the settlement
would set a precedent. “We applaud Belfor,” Ms. Rosenbaum
said, “and encourage other contractors to do the right thing.”


10) Wal-Mart Finds an Ally in Conservatives
September 8, 2006

As Wal-Mart Stores struggles to rebut criticism from unions and
Democratic leaders, the company has discovered a reliable ally:
prominent conservative research groups like the American Enterprise
Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Manhattan Institute.

Top policy analysts at these groups have written newspaper opinion
pieces around the country supporting Wal-Mart, defended the company
in interviews with reporters and testified on its behalf before government
committees in Washington.

But the groups — and their employees — have consistently failed
to disclose a tie to the giant discount retailer: financing from the
Walton Family Foundation, which is run by the Wal-Mart founder
Sam Walton’s three children, who have a controlling stake in the

The groups said the donations from the foundation have no
influence over their research, which is deliberately kept separate
from their fund-raising activities. What’s more, the pro-business
philosophies of these groups often dovetail with the interests
of Wal-Mart.

But the financing, which totaled more than $2.5 million over the
last six years, according to data compiled by GuideStar, a research
organization, raises questions about what the research groups
should disclose to newspaper editors, reporters or government
officials. The Walton Family Foundation must disclose its annual
donations in forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service,
but research groups are under no such obligation.

Companies and such groups have long courted one another
— one seeking influence, the other donations — and liberal
policy groups receive significant financing from unions and
left-leaning organizations without disclosing their financing.

But the Walton donations could prove risky for Wal-Mart,
given its escalating public relations campaign. The company’s
quiet outreach to bloggers, beginning last year, touched off
a debate about what online writers should disclose to readers,
and its financing to policy groups could do the same.

Asked about the donations yesterday, Mona Williams,
a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, said, “The fact is that editorial
pages and prominent columnists of all stripes write favorably
about our company because they recognize the value we provide
to working families, the job opportunities we create and the
contributions we make to the community we serve.”

At least five research and advocacy groups that have received
Walton Family Foundation donations are vocal advocates
of the company.

The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research,
for example, has received more than $100,000 from the
foundation in the last three years, a fraction of the more
than $24 million it raised in 2004 alone.

Richard Vedder, a visiting scholar at the institute, wrote an
opinion article for The Washington Times last month, extolling
Wal-Mart’s benefits to the American economy. “There is
enormous economic evidence that Wal-Mart has helped poor
and middle-class consumers, in fact more than anyone else,”
Mr. Vedder wrote in the article, which prominently identified
his ties to institute.

But neither Mr. Vedder nor the newspaper mentioned American
Enterprise Institute’s financial links to the Waltons. Mr. Vedder,
a professor at Ohio University, said he might have disclosed
the relationship had the American Enterprise Institute told
him of it. “I always assumed that A.E.I. had no relationship
or a modest, distant relationship with the company,” said
Mr. Vedder, who has written a forthcoming book about the
company. The book, he said in an interview yesterday, would
eventually contain a disclosure about the Walton donations
to the institute.

A spokesman for the Walton Family Foundation, Jay Allen,
said there was no organized campaign to build support for
Wal-Mart among research groups. All of the foundation’s
giving, he said, is directed toward a handful of philanthropic
issues, including school reform, the environment and the
economy in Northwest Arkansas, where Wal-Mart is based.
“That is the spirit and purpose of their giving,” Mr. Allen said.

Mr. Allen said the foundation, which had assets of $608.7
million in 2004, the last year for which data is available, has
never asked the research groups to disclose the donations
because “the family leaves it up to the individual organization
to decide.”

Those groups, for the most part, say they have decided not
to share the information with their analysts or the public.

For example, Sally C. Pipes, the president of the Pacific
Research Institute, a free-market policy advocate, has written
several opinion articles defending Wal-Mart in The Miami
Herald and The San Francisco Examiner.

A month after a federal judge in California certified a sex
discrimination lawsuit against the company as a class action
in 2004, Ms. Pipes wrote an article in The Examiner criticizing
the lawyers and the women behind the suit. “The case against
Wal-Mart,” she wrote, “follows the standard feminist stereotype
of women as victims, men as villains and large corporations
as inherently evil.”

The article did not disclose that the Walton Family Foundation
gave Pacific Research $175,000 from 1999 to 2004. Ms. Pipes
was aware of the contributions, but said the money was earmarked
for an education reform project and did not influence her thinking
about the lawsuit. Asked why she typically did not disclose the
donations to newspapers, she said: “It never occurs to me to
put that out front unless I am asked. If newspapers ask, I am
completely open about it.”

The lack of disclosure highlights the absence of a consistent policy
at the nation’s newspapers about whether contributors must tell
editors of potential conflicts of interest.

Juan M. Vasquez, the deputy editorial page editor of The Miami
Herald, which ran an opinion article praising Wal-Mart by
Ms. Pipes of Pacific Research, said his staff researches
organizations that write opinion articles, including their
financing. But that does not always require asking if the
organization has received money from the subject of an
article, he said.

The New York Times has a policy of asking outside contributors
to disclose any potential conflicts of interest, including
the financing for research groups.

Several of the research groups noted that their mission
is to be an advocate for free market policies and less government
intrusion in business. “Those aims are pro-business, so it’s not
surprising that companies would be supporters of our work,”
said Khristine Brookes, a spokeswoman for the Heritage Foundation.

Last year, for instance, The Baltimore Sun published an op-ed
article by Tim Kane, a research fellow at Heritage, in which he
criticized Maryland’s efforts to require Wal-Mart to spend more
on health care. He objected to the move on the grounds that it
was undue government interference in the free market, a traditional
concern of Heritage.

“The existence of Wal-Mart dented the rise in overall inflation
so much that Jerry Hausman, an economist from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, is calling on the federal government
to change the way it measures prices,” Mr. Kane wrote. “Translation:
Wal-Mart is fighting poverty faster than government accountants
can keep track.”

Ms. Brookes pointed out that the $20,000 Heritage has received
from the Walton Family Foundation since 2000 amounts to less
than 1 percent of its $40 million budget.

Ms. Brookes said it was unlikely that researchers and analysts
at Heritage were even aware of the foundation’s contributions.
“Nobody here would know that unless they walked upstairs and
asked someone in development,” she said. “It’s just never discussed.”

She said Heritage did not accept money for specific research.
“The money from the Walton Family Foundation has always been
earmarked for our general operations,” she said. “They’ve never
given us any funds saying do this paper or that paper.”

A spokeswoman for the American Enterprise Institute said
the group did not comment on its donors. The group’s focus
on Wal-Mart has been notable. In June, the editor in chief then
of the group’s magazine, The American Enterprise, wrote a long
essay defending Wal-Mart against critics. The editor, Karl Zinsmeister,
now the chief domestic policy adviser at the White House, said
the campaign against the company was “run by a clutch of political

Conservative groups are not the only ones weighing in on the
Wal-Mart debate. Ms. Williams of Wal-Mart noted labor unions
have financed organizations that have been critical of Wal-Mart,
like the Economic Policy Institute, which received $2.5 million
from unions in 2005.

In response, Chris Kofinis, communications director for,
an arm of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union that gives
money to liberal research groups, said: "While we openly support the
mission of economic justice, Wal-Mart and the Waltons put on a smiley
face, hide the truth, all while supporting right-wing causes who
are paid to defend Wal-Mart’s exploitative practices.”

The lack of a clear quid pro quo between research groups and
corporations like Wal-Mart makes the issue murky, said Diana Aviv,
chief executive of the Independent Sector, a trade organization
representing nonprofits and foundations. “I don’t know how one
proves what’s the chicken and what’s the egg,” she said.

Last year, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy,
a research and watchdog group, published a report, “The Waltons
and Wal-Mart: Self-Interested Philanthropy,” that warned of the
potential influence their vast wealth gives them.

But Rick Cohen, executive director of the group, said he was more
concerned about the role the Walton foundation’s money might
play in shaping public policy in areas like public education, where
it has supported charter schools and voucher systems.

“These are certainly not organizations created and controlled by
the corporation or the family and promoted as somehow authentic
when they aren’t,” Mr. Cohen said. “More important, I think, is the
disclosure of the funding in whatever’s written, a sort of disclaimer.”


11) U.A.W. Head Rules Out Concessions
September 8, 2006

DETROIT, Sept. 7 — The president of the United Automobile Workers,
Ron Gettelfinger, said Thursday that the Chrysler Group was strong
enough financially that its call for cuts in workers’ health care coverage,
like those approved by union members at General Motors and Ford
last year, was not warranted.

Mr. Gettelfinger, speaking to reporters after a speech to the Detroit
Economic Club, also said the union was not willing to do more
to help the Delphi Corporation, the auto parts supplier, and could
call a strike if a bankruptcy court judge agrees with Delphi’s
request to void the union’s contracts.

The U.A.W. and Delphi have been negotiating for months on
wage and benefit concessions sought by Delphi, which sought
bankruptcy protection nearly a year ago.

“The membership really wants a leader in there who is willing
to draw a line,” said Gary N. Chaison, a professor of industrial
relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. “Right now
they fear that there’s no quid pro quo. There have been job
cuts despite the concessions. And at the same time it just
continues and continues.”

Workers at G.M. and Ford approved landmark deals last
year that require them to pay for a portion of their health
care coverage, which the auto companies had previously
paid for. Both companies lost billions of dollars on their
North American operations last year, and have continued
to lose money in 2006, although G.M.’s losses have been
significantly reduced.

Chrysler, the division of DaimlerChrysler based in Auburn
Hills, Mich., has been talking to the U.A.W. for months
about a deal to reduce its health care costs. But an audit
commissioned by the union indicated that such concessions
were not needed, Mr. Gettelfinger said.

“It’s a different situation at DaimlerChrysler than it’s been
at Ford and G.M.,” he said.

Chrysler, which expects to spend $2.3 billion this year
on health care for employees and their families, was
profitable in the first half of 2006 but is predicting a loss
of more than $600 million during the current quarter.

A Chrysler spokesman, David Elshoff, said the company
remained optimistic it would reach an agreement with
the union.

He said that both sides were “still talking” and that the
union’s refusal to deal would put Chrysler in an unfair

“Failure to reach an agreement with the U.A.W. on health
care, which is DaimlerChrysler’s biggest fixed cost, certainly
puts us at an economic disadvantage compared to all of the
other automakers in the U.S.,” Mr. Elshoff said.

Last year, 61 percent of G.M.’s unionized workers and 51
percent of Ford’s approved paying more of their health
care costs.

The deals are projected to save G.M. about $1 billion
a year and Ford $850 million.

In standing firm against Chrysler, the union is breaking
from its tradition of pattern bargaining, in which it seeks
nearly identical deals with all three Detroit automakers.

With the union’s labor agreements set to expire next year,
it is “sending a message not only to DaimlerChrysler but
to Ford and General Motors, too,” Mr. Chaison said.
“They’re saying if there’s going to be a turnaround, it’s
going to have to be done by management.”

Mr. Gettelfinger and a union vice president, Cal Rapson,
said on Thursday that they had the same message for
Delphi, criticizing the company’s approval of multimillion
-dollar bonuses for top management as it cuts workers’
pay to as low as $12 an hour from $27.

“We’ve done enough, as far as we’re concerned,” Mr. Rapson
said. “It’s now a matter of greed.”

Asked whether the U.A.W. could strike the company,
Mr. Gettelfinger replied, “If the judge voids the contract,
you give me a call and I’ll have an answer for you real quick.”


12) In the Defense of Basic Rights, an Official Led a City’s Defiance
September 8, 2006

Jeffrey L. Rogers remembers the letters, the e-mail messages and the taunts.

“You’re a disgrace,” one said. “When the terrorists blow up the Rose
Garden, you’ll be responsible,” said another, referring to the
20,000-seat sports arena in Portland, Ore.

Two months after the attacks of Sept. 11, Attorney General John
Ashcroft asked local police forces across the country to help federal
agents interview 5,000 young Middle Eastern men as part of
a nationwide antiterrorism effort.

Portland, which has long marched to a distinctive civic drummer,
was the first city to refuse, citing an Oregon law that forbids such
questioning if the subject is not a suspect in a crime.

Mr. Rogers, a Vietnam veteran from a prominent Republican family,
was the city attorney here, making him an instant face of Portland’s

“It’s common sense in a less emotionally charged atmosphere,” he
said. “Let’s say the same thing came up now. I think the reaction
would be much more muted. I mean, the wounds were really fresh.
It was really raw, and people were really scared.”

Nearly five years later, nonetheless, the tension between protecting
civil liberties and preventing another terrorist attack remains
at the center of post-9/11 American life, with the disclosure that
the federal Education Department shared personal information
on hundreds of student loan applicants with the Federal Bureau
of Investigation.

In 2005, Portland formally withdrew its Police Department from
the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the F.B.I. Mr. Rogers approves
of that position, though not necessarily with how civil liberties
are protected elsewhere.

“We should be very worried that the way Bush and his handlers
are going about ‘defending the country’ is eroding the essence
of our country,” he said. “Fortunately, history has shown that
sooner of later Americans catch on to those who exploit fear,
and we return to our true values.”

Mr. Rogers grew up in what he called a “progressive Republican”
household. His father, William P. Rogers, was attorney general
in President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s second term and the first
secretary of state under President Richard M. Nixon.

When Nixon, as a congressman in the late 1940’s, pursued
espionage accusations against Alger Hiss, he did so based
on advice from William Rogers, then a committee counsel
on Capitol Hill.

“J. Edgar Hoover and Dad were pretty close, and I used to
go to the firing range at the F.B.I. and all that stuff,” Jeffrey
Rogers said. “I had a lot of respect for the F.B.I.”

He graduated from Yale Law School in the same class as
Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton. There are pictures of them
all clowning around after moot court.

He campaigned for Mr. Clinton and has jogged with him
in Oregon. Mr. Rogers is a Democrat and calls himself
“pretty liberal.”

Yet neither his Republican upbringing nor his Democratic
views affected his actions in Portland in 2001, he said.

All that mattered was the law, which a deputy first pointed
out conflicted with Mr. Ashcroft’s request.

“And I believe with no question that we were right in our
interpretation,” he said. After 19 years in the city attorney’s
office, Mr. Rogers left in 2004 to pursue a second career.

He soon completed a master’s in counseling psychology
and now spends his days listening to the troubles of others.
His specialty, according to his business card, is “lawyers,
clients of lawyers and others affected by the legal system.”

In some circles, Mr. Rogers is bitterly recalled as the city
attorney who fought the American government rather than
the terrorists. To many others, his stance was heroic.

“My favorite,” he said as he recalled one note, “was that
I was ‘the Gandhi of Portland.’ I kept that.”


13) The Cuban revolution and formal logic
By Manuel Alberto Ramy

Since July 31, when Fidel Castro transferred all powers to Army Gen.
Raúl Castro, just as the Cuban Constitution of 1976 provides, numerous
articles have been published in the main media worldwide. It is logical
that such an important event should cause such proliferation, but,
regrettably, most of the works published are viewed from a distance,
from a point of view in the periphery. And when they try to explore
Cuba's complex reality they crash loudly to the ground.

Many of those approaches depart from formal logic, ignoring that
the history of the Cuban Revolution is, to a great degree, the product
of a combination of realities that made it possible, bold strokes,
imperial clumsiness, and an incredible and determining presence
of what is, in fact, illogical. Let's look closely at the facts.

In 1953, a dozen men armed with shotguns and 22-caliber rifles
attempted to seize the Moncada Barracks, the island's second-largest
military fortress, situated in Santiago de Cuba, where they hoped
to rally the people and overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista. Was
there any logic in the correlation of forces and means of combat?

Later, in 1956, aboard a touring yacht, 82 expeditionists departed
from Tuxpan, Mexico, planning to land in Cuba's eastern region
and begin a guerrilla war. During the trip, they ran into a storm;
they didn't land at the appointed spot or on the date arranged
with the urban guerrillas of the then-capital of Oriente Province.
After a surprise encounter with troops of the Batista dictatorship,
several raiders died, others were captured and others fled.
All that remained were 12 men with seven rifles.

Fidel Castro said at the time that he would win the war with
that contingent. His brother Raúl has confessed that, when he
heard that, he thought Fidel had gone mad.

What could 12 men do with half a rifle each, while Batista had
about 60,000 soldiers, plus an air force, a war navy and the
logistics and advice of the United States armed forces and
government? In which direction would formal logic tilt? Would
a movement defined at the time as nationalist and with
a minimal program of social demands defeat Batista's
government on the military front? Did that fit in formal logic?

Two years later, Fidel Castro and the guerrillas entered Havana
atop tanks. Illogicality -- or a different kind of logic --
had prevailed. But it didn't stop there.

The invalidity of formal logic reached incredible heights in the
decisive years from 1959 to 1961. In its first stage, the
revolutionary project decreed the lowering of 50 percent of
all home rentals, a similar decrease in telephone and electrical
rates, and signed the First Agrarian Reform Law, which had
been included in the Constitution of 1940 but had never been
put into effect in 19 years. It had been a dead language.

Thus began the first volley of pressures from the U.S. government
and the return fire from the revolutionary government. You take
away the sugar quota -- until a few years earlier Cuba's principal
economic resource -- and forbid the U.S. refineries to process
crude oil on the island, and I nationalize your industries, sugar
mills and the oil refineries themselves.

According to formal logic, in this dynamics of push-me-pull-you
the winner should be the one with the greatest strength. Who
could withstand the Yankee blows when they were accompanied
by bombs, sabotage in the cities and guerrillas on the mountains?

In April 1961, an expeditionary force of 1,400 men trained and
supplied by the Central Intelligence Agency and protected
by ships of the U.S. Navy landed on Girón Beach (Bay of Pigs).
Castro and his regime were finished, formal logic stated. But
the government declared itself socialist and defeated the invaders
in less than 72 hours. Could a government bearing the name of
"socialist" survive only 90 miles from the United States?

Then came an economic siege, international political isolation,
campaigns of terrorism inside and outside Cuba. The worst
occurrence: in 1991, the Soviet Union and the socialist bloc
in Europe collapsed noisily, plunging Cubans into their worst
economic crisis of the 20th Century.

Faced with this appalling picture, formal logic made two bets.
First, that Cuba -- like the domino pieces that, if stood in line,
topple at the slightest breeze -- would inexorably topple. Could
a little island in the Caribbean be stronger than the Eastern European
communists? Second, society would explode like a pressure cooker
over the heat stoked by the Miami ultrarightists and the Washington
government with pressures and laws. None of that happened.
Formal logic lost both bets.

In the face of so much evidence, the only possible conclusion
is this: formal logic -- as a magnifying glass or microscope to
study and analyze Cuba's reality -- does not work. It failed. Cuba
is the result of dialectical logic, of a dynamics between leadership/
people; rationality/ emotionality; disagreements/reencounters;
pressures/adhesions; benefits and failures and the will to overcome
them. The other essential component in this dynamics has been the
relentless aggressiveness and exclusion maintained by almost
10 U.S. administrations.

Now there is a provisional president, Raúl Castro, who in recent
statements to the daily Granma challenged the U.S. administration
when he reiterated Cuba's willingness to dialogue under equal
conditions. (Fidel Castro did it before, in 1986.) Sensible voices --
which include former U.S. military officers and former high-ranking
officials of tough administrations, such as former Under Secretary
of State William Rogers -- urge the current administration to consider
steps toward rapprochement. But the White House spokesman calls
Raúl Castro "a Fidel lite," dismissing him unless he opens a process
of political pluralism and democracy in the style of the U.S.A.

Notwithstanding ideological differences and historical context, that
description -- "Fidel lite" -- reminds me of past history.

During the period 1960-1965, the groups that confronted the
revolutionary government exceeded 200, but no more than three
or four were capable of bringing together a decent number of
Cubans and acting with some efficacy in cities and mountains.
One of these movements, formed mostly by former combatants
who opposed the Batista dictatorship, was called "Fidelism Without
Fidel," because its differences with the revolutionary government
were not over changes in themselves but over the direction and
depth of those changes.

It was a reformist alternative that had no place in the political project
or in the war strategy planned, directed and controlled by the
Eisenhower administration and later inherited by John F. Kennedy.
Washington then decided to exclude the reformists and, in the
event the Bay of Pigs invasion worked, to neutralize them (an
aseptic word with terrorist meaning) and the Cuban government
leaders, both in the outlying regions and in the central government.
In charge of this would be Operation 40, an elite and secret
organization inside the invasion force.

In other words, both reformists and revolutionaries would
share the same grave.

Between Fidelism Without Fidel, the reformist group within the
initial process of the Revolution, and Fidelism Lite, the hypothetical
reformist process within the already established process, there are
essential differences but they both have a common meaning to the
enemy: zero reforms. Washington persists in its policy of punishment
and refuses to accept any variant that prevents its control over the island.

To the Washingtonians and their allies in Miami -- who are a very
important factor in U.S. domestic policy -- Cuba must remain frozen
in time. Not a day beyond Dec. 31, 1958. Everything the U.S.
functionaries and the Cuban-American acolytes say is just
political show; as in the fashion industry, the past, although
retouched, remains the past.

But in the Raúl Castro scenario, now labeled as "reformist," there
is an underlying current of doubt and fear that the acting president
-- a communist, a magnificent and pragmatic organizer -- may
be capable of tackling the challenge of solving the problems that
weigh upon the Cuban society (food, transportation, housing
are the most urgent), and further consolidating the Revolution's
political and social base to continue to resist Washington's hostility.

Many friends have written to me, and others have asked me in
person: "Is this a likely outcome?" I don't know, but an economic
response must definitely be given to the population, to a society
composed mostly of people born after 1959, generations many
of whom use as their motto a song by Habana Abierta that says:
"All I want is a little something to live on."

Will the regime follow the Chinese model or the Vietnamese model?
they insist on asking me. Among other important factors, such as
levels of economic and industrial development, those countries
are thousands of miles away from the empire, so in the Cuban
case any reform must take into account the geographical factor
and the political context. Above all, I think that the measures --
if they are taken -- will be Cuban-style.

To replace the charismatic Fidel Castro is impossible. A long
time ago, a president said that Castro had the ability to travel
to the future, come back and talk about it. Perhaps when, with
only 12 men, he said he would win the war, he had returned
from the accurate vision of Jan. 1, 1959. Indisputably, he is
a great leader and an example of the role of man in history.

For the time being, Raúl Castro, who made it clear that Fidel's
heir was the party, must deal with the task of leading the
government, distributing tasks, delegating responsibilities
and demanding their execution, because he's dealing with
a machinery that Fidel Castro's indisputable leadership and
extraordinary talent set up to cover every eventuality. I think
this is Raúl's first task -- and it's not at all simple.

His other task is to be a bridge between several generations
of leaders, some of whom stand at the bottom rungs of
government and party. He can open the way for them "to
defend these and other ideas and measures that may be
necessary to safeguard this historical process," as Fidel
Castro wrote in his proclamation to the people on July 31.

Above all, whatever happens in Cuba will be the product of
dialectical logic, of creative imagination, and the unexpected
or illogical nature of the native-born Cuban, a nature that
imperial arrogance feeds and nurtures with its eagerness
to absorb us as a nation.

Manuel Alberto Ramy is chief correspondent of Radio
Progreso Alternativa in Havana and editor of Progreso
Semanal, the Spanish-language version of Progreso Weekly.

Copyright 2006© Progreso Weekly, Inc.


14) U.S. Paid 10 Journalists for Anti-Castro Reports
September 9, 2006

MIAMI, Sept. 8 ˜ The Bush administration‚s Office of Cuba
Broadcasting paid 10 journalists here to provide commentary on Radio
and TV Martí, which transmit to Cuba government broadcasts critical
of Fidel Castro, a spokesman for the office said Friday.

The group included three journalists at El Nuevo Herald, the
Spanish-language sister newspaper of The Miami Herald, which fired
them Thursday after learning of the relationship. Pablo Alfonso, who
reports on Cuba for El Nuevo Herald, received the largest payment,
almost $175,000 since 2001.

Other journalists have been found to accept money from the Bush
administration, including Armstrong Williams, a commentator and
talk-show host who received $240,000 to promote its education
initiatives. But while the Castro regime has long alleged that some
Cuban-American reporters in Miami were paid by the government, the
revelation on Friday, reported in The Miami Herald, was the first
evidence of that.

In addition to Mr. Alfonso, the journalists who received payment
include Wilfredo Cancio Isla, who writes for El Nuevo Herald and
received about $15,000 since 2001; Olga Connor, a freelance reporter
for the newspaper who received about $71,000; and Juan Manuel Cao, a
reporter for Channel 41 who got $11,000 this year from TV Martí,
according to The Miami Herald, which learned of the payments through
a Freedom of Information Request.

When Mr. Cao followed Mr. Castro to Argentina this summer and asked
him why Cuba was not letting one of its political dissidents leave,
Mr. Castro called him a „mercenary‰ and asked who was paying him.

Mr. Cao refused to comment Friday except to say on Channel 41 that he
believed the Cuban government knew in advance about the article in
The Miami Herald. Most of the other journalists could not be reached.
Ninoska Perez-Castellón, a commentator on the popular Radio Mambí
station here, said she had received a total of $1,550 from the
government to do 10 episodes of a documentary-style show on TV Martí
called „Atrévete a Soñar,‰ or „Dare to Dream,‰ and saw nothing wrong
with it. Her employer has always known about the arrangement, she

„Being Cuban,‰ Ms. Perez-Castellón said, „there‚s nothing wrong with
working on programs that are on a mission to inform the people of
Cuba. It‚s no secret we do that. My face has always been on the

But Al Tompkins, who teaches ethics at the Poynter Institute for
Media Studies in St. Petersburg, called it a conflict of interest for
journalists to accept payment from any government agency.

„It‚s all about credibility and independence,‰ Mr. Tompkins said. „If
you consider yourself a journalist, then it seems to me it‚s an
obvious conflict of interest to take government dollars.‰

Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a Republican congressman and one of Miami‚s most
stridently anti-Castro voices, said he believed editors at El Nuevo
Herald and The Miami Herald had known that the three writers for El
Nuevo had worked for the Office of Cuba Broadcasting. He pointed to
articles from both papers in 2002 that describe Mr. Alfonso as a
moderator for a program on Radio Martí and Ms. Connor as a paid
commentator for the station.

But Robert Beatty, vice president for public affairs at the Miami
Herald Media Company, said the editor of El Nuevo, Humberto Castello,
learned only on Thursday. The Herald, long owned by Knight Ridder,
was acquired in March by the McClatchy Company.

Mr. Beatty said that Jesús Diaz, publisher of The Miami Herald and El
Nuevo Herald, had decided to fire Mr. Alfonso and Mr. Cancio and to
sever ties with Ms. Connor, a freelance journalist who wrote about
Cuban culture.

„Journalism‚s ethical guidelines are neither subjective nor
selectively enforced,‰ Mr. Beatty said. „Where conduct of this sort
is brought to our attention, we act decisively.‰

Mr. Cancio said Friday evening that his supervisors had known and
approved of his appearances on Radio and TV Mambí, during which he
said he always expressed his own opinions and not the government‚s.

„It is for these reasons that I deny any conflict of interest in my
professional behavior,‰ he said, „and I believe my termination to be
an unfair and disproportionate decision made in bad faith.‰

Pedro Roig, director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, could not be
reached for comment. But he told The Miami Herald that hiring
Cuban-American journalists was part of a broader mission to improve
the stations‚ quality.

Joe O‚Connell, a spokesman for the government‚s International
Broadcasting Bureau, which oversees the Office of Cuba Broadcasting
as well as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, said the bureau
did background checks on journalists who contributed to its
programming but had no ethics code for them.

After Mr. Williams admitted in 2005 to accepting money from the
Federal Education Department through a public relations company,
federal auditors said the Bush administration had violated the law by
disseminating „covert propaganda.‰

A few months later, The Los Angeles Times reported that the Pentagon
had paid millions of dollars to another public relations firm to
plant propaganda in the Iraqi news media and pay friendly Iraqi
journalists monthly stipends.

Government spending on Radio and TV Martí ˜ $37 million this year ˜
has long been the subject of criticism because the broadcasts appear
to reach only a minute number of Cubans. The Cuban government jams
the signals. This year, the Bush administration spent $10 million on
a new plane designed to transmit TV Martí more effectively.

Terry Aguayo contributed reporting from Miami.


15) Fallujah Under Threat Yet Again
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website

FALLUJAH, Sep 11 (IPS) - After enduring two major assaults, Fallujah is
under threat from U.S. forces again, residents say.

"They destroyed our city twice and they are threatening us a third
time," 52-year-old Ahmed Dhahy told IPS in Fallujah, the Sunni-dominated
city 50km west of Baghdad.

"They want us to do their job for them and turn in those who target
them," he said.

Dhahy, who lost 32 relatives when his father's house was bombed by a
U.S. aircraft during the April 2004 attack on the city, said the U.S.
military had threatened it would destroy the city if resistance fighters
were not handed over to them.

"Last week the Americans used loudspeakers on the backs of their tanks
and Humvees to threaten us," Dhahy said. Residents said the U.S. forces
warned of a "large military operation" if fighters were not handed over.

A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said he had no reports of such action.

Fallujah was heavily bombed in April 2004 and again in November that
year. The attacks destroyed 75 percent of city infrastructure and left
more than 5,000 dead, according to local non-governmental groups.

But following the heavy assaults, resistance fighters have continued to
launch attacks against U.S. and official Iraqi forces in the city.
Fallujah remains under tight security, with the U.S. military using
biometric identification, full body searches and bar-coded ID's for
residents to enter and leave their city.

"The Iraqi resistance has not stopped for a single day despite the huge
U.S. army activities," a city police captain speaking on condition of
anonymity told IPS.

"The wise men of the city explained to U.S. officials that it is
impossible to stop the resistance by military operations, but it seems
the Americans prefer to do it the hard way."

The police captain said anti-occupation fighters had increased their
activities in the face of sectarian violence in which Shia death squads
have killed thousands of Sunnis in Baghdad. Many residents of Fallujah
have relatives in the capital city.

Lack of reconstruction, and the U.S. military's failure to pay due
compensation to victims' families have added to the unrest, the captain

"There used to be resistance attacks against the U.S. and Iraqi forces
in Fallujah daily," added the captain. "But now they have increased to
several per day. Many soldiers have been killed and their vehicles
destroyed. So it is clear that the security measures they have taken in
Fallujah have failed."

Several residents told IPS that all sorts of killings have been taking
place over the past eight months. Religious leaders have been targeted
regularly, with no group claiming responsibility.

On Sunday Sep. 10, former chief of traffic police Brigadier Ahmed Diraa
was shot dead in his car. Residents in Fallujah told IPS that Diraa had
quit his post a month earlier.

In the face of killings, and now threats of a new attack, residents
remain defiant of the occupation forces. The hardships that people have
endured seem to have strengthened rather than weakened them.

"There are so many arrests and killings, and collective punishments such
as random shootings, violent inspection raids, repeated curfews and
deliberate cutting of water and electricity," Mohammed al-Darraji, head
of an Iraqi human rights group in Fallujah called The Iraqi Centre for
Human Rights Observation told IPS.

"What is going on in this city requires international intervention to
protect civilians and to punish those who seriously damaged Fallujah
society and committed serious crimes against humanity," al-Darraji
added. His group has been monitoring breaches of the Geneva Conventions
in the city since the April 2004 siege.

"There is a long list of collective punishments that have turned the
city into a frightful detention camp," he said.

Another human rights campaigner in Fallujah who asked to be referred to
as Khalid said human rights activists in Iraq felt betrayed by the
United Nations.

The UN had played ignorant "by leaving U.S. troops to act alone in the
city," Khalid, who works with Raya Human Rights, a non-governmental
organisation in the city told IPS. "This was after the media exposed the
enormity of the violence and human rights violations during the last
three years."

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


16) Chevron Could Avoid Huge Royalties on New Field
September 12, 2006

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 — A group of oil companies led by Chevron,
which said last week that they had discovered a huge new oil field
in the Gulf of Mexico, could avoid more than $1 billion in royalty
payments to the federal government for the oil.

The potential bonus to Chevron and its partners stems from
a mistake the Interior Department made in signing offshore leases
in the late 1990’s for drilling in federal waters. The magnitude
of the oil discovery — estimated in a range of 3 billion to 15 billion
barrels — is likely to intensify a battle in Congress over incentives
for drilling in publicly owned waters.

Under pressure from lawmakers, Chevron and other big producers
have said that they would renegotiate their leases. But they have
not said how much they are willing to give up, and the Interior
Department has virtually no bargaining power under current law.

Chevron and its partners, Devon Energy and Statoil ASA of Norway,
have six leases in the Jack oil field, about 175 miles off the coast
of Louisiana. Two of the leases allow the companies to avoid
royalties on as much as 87.5 million barrels of oil per lease.

The benefit, known as royalty relief, was supposed to be halted
if the price of oil climbed above $36 a barrel. But that restriction
was omitted on all leases signed in 1998 and 1999, including
the two held by Chevron and its partners.

The exact value of the potential break on federal payments will
depend both on the price of oil and how much of it comes from
the two leases. At $70 a barrel, the Chevron group could save
about $1.5 billion in royalties if the government agreed that
both leases were contributing to Chevron’s production.

But the actual savings would be much lower if oil prices slumped
to $40 a barrel. And the savings would disappear if the government
insisted that none of Chevron’s output was coming from the two
leases, but from the four not eligible for the break.

A spokesman for Chevron, Don Campbell, said Monday that “any
conjecture about forgone royalties” would be “pure speculation
and an academic exercise.”

The Chevron leases are the biggest, but hardly the only leases
that allow oil companies to avoid royalties regardless of how high
energy prices climb.

Even before Chevron and its partners confirmed the discovery last
week, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm
of Congress, had estimated that the Treasury could lose as much
as $20 billion over the next 25 years.

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Government Reform will
begin two days of hearings on how the original calculation came
to be. Republicans have been eager to blame the Clinton administration,
which was in office when the leases were signed.

But the Interior Department’s inspector general is expected
to testify that the Bush administration may be in danger
of making exactly the same move on new leases.

According to Congressional aides, the inspector general has uncovered
evidence that midlevel Interior Department officials warned as recently
as July that a new batch of leases could cost the government billions
of dollars beyond the original misstep.

Republican lawmakers are also angry about the Interior Department’s
response to the problem, which was first disclosed by The New York
Times in March.

Representative Thomas M. Davis III of Virginia, chairman of the
Committee on Government Reform, complained of “systematic delays”
and said the Interior Department had withheld large volumes of “critical
information” from Congressional investigators.

Chevron’s huge potential savings highlight a dispute about how
to remedy the leases signed in the late 1990’s. The Bush administration
and many Republican leaders argue that those leases are binding
contracts that cannot be changed except through an agreement
by the companies.

Democrats acknowledge that the contracts are binding, but support
a measure that would punish companies that refuse to renegotiate
their contracts by prohibiting them from acquiring additional oil
and gas leases.

The House passed the Democratic proposal, over objections from
Republican leaders, as an amendment to the Interior Department’s
spending bill. The Senate Appropriations Committee attached
a similar measure to its bill, but the overall measure has been
stalled for months.

The hearings this week are expected to focus on how the Interior
Department blundered on the leases. The inspector general, Earl E.
Devaney, has concluded that the leases were a mistake rather than
a result of any collusion with industry.

But Mr. Devaney is also expected to say that the Interior Department
continues to suffer from a “lack of accountability.” Investigators have
combed through 5,000 e-mail messages and are believed to have
found some written as recently as this summer in which frustrated
midlevel officials warned that the Interior Department had not fixed
the bureaucratic and procedural problems that led to the original mistake.

Representative Davis and Representative Darrell Issa, Republican
of California and chairman of the Government Reform energy and
resources subcommittee, accused the Interior Department in August
of deliberately obstructing their investigation.

“We are deeply concerned that the department may have intentionally
withheld critical information from the subcommittee,” the two lawmakers
wrote in a letter on Aug. 3 to Dirk Kempthorne, the new Interior secretary.
“If this is the case, then it has intentionally impeded this duly authorized
Congressional investigation.”


17) The Stranger in the Mirror
September 14, 2006

We had elections in New York and around the country on Tuesday.
But it seems to me that the biggest issue of our time is getting very
short shrift from the politicians, and that’s the fact that the very
character of the United States is changing, and not for the better.

One of the things that stands out in my mind amid the memories
of the carnage and chaos of Sept. 11, 2001, is the eerie quiet —
an almost prayerful quiet — that hovered over a scene on the
western edge of Manhattan that afternoon.

I stood for a long time outside the triage center that had been
set up at the Chelsea Piers sports and entertainment complex.
Sunlight glistened off the roofs of ambulances lined up in military
fashion on the West Side Highway. Doctors, nurses and other medical
personnel were standing by, waiting for what they thought would
be the arrival of legions of seriously wounded victims in need
of emergency care.

There seemed to be very little talking. As I recall, most of the
people maintained a kind of stunned, awed silence.

The expected onslaught of victims never came. As the afternoon
faded, I headed east, along with others, toward the morgue
at Bellevue Hospital.

What I thought was the greatest expression of the American
character in my lifetime occurred in the immediate aftermath
of those catastrophic attacks. The country came together in the
kind of resolute unity that I imagined was similar to the feeling
most Americans felt after Pearl Harbor. We soon knew who the
enemy was, and there was remarkable agreement on what needed
to be done. Americans were united and the world was with us.

For a brief moment.

The invasion of Iraq marked the beginning of the change in the
American character. During the Cuban missile crisis, when the
hawks were hot for bombing — or an invasion — Robert Kennedy
counseled against a U.S. first strike. That’s not something the
U.S. would do, he said.

Fast-forward 40 years or so and not only does the U.S. launch
an unprovoked invasion and occupation of a small nation — Iraq
— but it does so in response to an attack inside the U.S. that the
small nation had nothing to do with.

Who are we?

Another example: There was a time, I thought, when there was
general agreement among Americans that torture was beyond
the pale. But when people are frightened enough, nothing is
beyond the pale. And we’re in an era in which the highest leaders
in the land stoke — rather than attempt to allay — the fears of
ordinary citizens. Islamic terrorists are equated with Nazi Germany.
We’re told that we’re in a clash of civilizations.

If, as President Bush says, we’re engaged in “the decisive ideological
struggle of the 21st century,” why isn’t the entire nation mobilizing
to meet this dire threat?

The president put us on this path away from the better angels of
our nature, and he has shown no inclination to turn back. Lately he
has touted legislation to try terror suspects in a way that would make
a mockery of the American ideals of justice and fairness. To get
a sense of just how far out the administration’s approach has been,
consider the comments of Brig. Gen. James Walker, the top uniformed
lawyer for the Marines. Speaking at a Congressional hearing last week,
he said no civilized country denies defendants the right to see the
evidence against them. The United States, he said, “should not be
the first.”

And Senator Lindsey Graham, a conservative South Carolina
Republican who is a former military judge, said, “It would be
unacceptable, legally, in my opinion, to give someone the death
penalty in a trial where they never heard the evidence against them.”

How weird is it that this possibility could even be considered?

The character of the U.S. has changed. We’re in danger of being
completely ruled by fear. Most Americans have not shared the
burden of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Very few Americans
are aware, as the Center for Constitutional Rights tells us, that
of the hundreds of men held by the U.S. in Guantánamo Bay,
Cuba, many “have never been charged and will never be charged
because there is no evidence justifying their detention.”

Even fewer care.

We could benefit from looking in a mirror, and absorbing the
shock of not recognizing what we’ve become.


18) Interior Official Assails Agency for Ethics Slide
September 14, 2006

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 — The Interior Department’s chief official
responsible for investigating abuses and overseeing operations
accused the top officials at the agency on Wednesday of tolerating
widespread ethical failures, from cronyism to cover-ups of incompetence.

“Simply stated, short of a crime, anything goes at the highest levels
of the Department of the Interior,” charged Earl E. Devaney, the Interior
Department’s inspector general, at a hearing of the House Government
Reform subcommittee on energy.

“I have observed one instance after another when the good work of my
office has been disregarded by the department,” he continued. “Ethics
failures on the part of senior department officials — taking the form
of appearances of impropriety, favoritism and bias — have been
routinely dismissed with a promise ‘not to do it again.’ ”

The blistering attack was part of Mr. Devaney’s report on what he
called the Interior Department’s “bureaucratic bungling” of oil and
gas leases signed in the late 1990’s, mistakes that are now expected
to cost the government billions of dollars but were covered up for
six years.

While these leases were the specific focus of the hearing, Mr. Devaney
directed most of his criticism at what he called a broader organizational
culture at the Interior Department of denial and “defending the indefensible.”

He expressed particular fury at the willingness to dismiss two dozen
potential ethical lapses by J. Steven Griles, a former industry lobbyist
who served as deputy secretary of the interior during President Bush’s
first term.

Mr. Griles resigned after allegations surfaced that he pushed policy
decisions that favored some of his former oil and gas industry clients
and that he tried to steer a $2 million contract to a technology firm
that had also been one of his clients.

In a 145-page report in 2004, the inspector general described Mr. Griles
as a “train wreck waiting to happen.” But on Wednesday, Mr. Devaney said
he was appalled that the Interior Department’s office of ethics dismissed
23 out of 25 potential ethical breaches against Mr. Griles and that
Gale A. Norton, then secretary of the interior, decided not to act on
the two remaining allegations.

Mr. Griles is once again a lobbyist in Washington. Efforts to reach
Mr. Griles on Wednesday evening at his lobbying firm, Lundquist,
Nethercutt & Griles, were unsuccessful.

Mr. Devaney said that case was typical of a much broader “culture
of managerial irresponsibility and lack of accountability” in the top
reaches of the Interior Department.

“I have unfortunately watched a number of high-level Interior officials
leave the department under the cloud of O.I.G. investigations,”
Mr. Devaney said, referring to the Office of Inspector General.

“Absent criminal charges, however, they are sent off in the usual
fashion, with a party paying tribute to their good service and the
secretary wishing them well, to spend more time with their family
or seek new opportunities.”

That was almost exactly what happened to Mr. Griles, who was
never charged with any wrongdoing, though he admitted to using
bad judgment in some cases.

Dirk Kempthorne, who succeeded Ms. Norton as interior secretary
earlier this year, said Wednesday that he took the inspector general’s
allegations “very seriously” and had sent a letter to all employees
on his first day at the department on the need to follow ethical

Mr. Kempthorne declined to say what additional actions he might
take until he saw Mr. Devaney’s final report.

Mr. Devaney, a burly man who began his career as a police officer
in Massachusetts, is no stranger to combative investigations or
confrontations with top officials.

He spent more than 20 years as a special agent in the Secret Service,
specializing in white-collar crime, eventually being put in charge
of the service’s fraud division. In the 1990’s, he became director
of criminal enforcement at the Environmental Protection Agency.

He was named inspector general at the Interior Department in 1999,
just as whistle-blowers outside the government were pressing huge
lawsuits alleging that oil companies were fraudulently underpaying

Three years ago, Mr. Devaney scathingly criticized the Interior
Department’s auditing program for oil and gas royalties.

Beyond finding that investigators had missed millions of dollars in
underpayments, his office uncovered evidence that agency auditors
had lost key files, then tried to fool investigators by forging and
backdating the missing documents. In an acid rebuke of the agency,
Mr. Devaney noted that the agency gave a bonus to the official who
came up with the false papers.

Mr. Devaney’s broadside against the Interior Department’s culture
dovetailed with his tentative conclusions in his most recent investigation,
into how the department had managed to sign 1,100 leases for offshore
drilling that inadvertently let energy companies escape billions of dollars
in royalties on gas and oil produced in the Gulf of Mexico.

The leases, signed in 1998 and 1999 during the Clinton administration,
allow companies to escape normal federal royalties — usually 12.5
percent of sales — on the tens of millions of barrels of oil on each lease.

The royalty break was intended as an incentive for deepwater drilling,
but it was also supposed to end if oil prices climbed above a “threshold”
level of about $34 a barrel. The leases at issue omitted that restriction,
and department officials kept quiet about their mistake for six years
after they discovered it.

The problem was first disclosed by The New York Times in March.
Government officials now estimate that the mistake could cost the
Treasury as much as $10 billion over the next decade.

“The Interior Department holds our natural resources in trust for
the American people,’’ said Representative Darrell Issa, Republican
of California and chairman of the House Government Reform
subcommittee on energy and resources. “It squandered billions

Mr. Devaney said the error, a result of compartmentalized thinking
within the department, might have remained buried if senior officials
had had their way.

“We do not have a ‘smoking gun,’ ’’ Mr. Devaney said. “We do,
however, have a very costly mistake which might never have been
aired publicly absent The New York Times, the interest of this
committee, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
and several other interested members of Congress.”

Felicity Barringer contributed reporting.


19) Overhauls Proposed in Benefits for Jobless
September 14, 2006

The nation’s unemployment insurance system, which has hardly
changed since its inception in 1935, should be revamped to aid
more workers displaced by a transforming economy, economists
said this week as they released overhaul proposals.

Currently, because of tight state eligibility requirements and because
a growing number of workers do not have long-term, full-time jobs,
unemployment insurance is paid to just over a third of those who are
laid off, government data show, and coverage is less likely among
the lower-income workers who most need it.

“The nation’s unemployment insurance program is seriously out of
date, given the changes over the last 70 years in the U.S. labor market,”
said Lori G. Kletzer, an economist at the University of California, Santa
Cruz. Dr. Kletzer and Howard Rosen of the Institute for International
Economics in Washington are the authors of one of two proposals for
revamping the system that were released on Tuesday by the Brookings
Institution in Washington.

The system was intended to provide workers with half their former
wages during temporary periods between jobs, though it seldom
reaches that level today. In 2004, some 8.8 million workers who
qualified received an average weekly benefit of $262, often for up
to 26 weeks, though benefits varied by state. The costs, which
totaled $41 billion that year, are paid by federal and state payroll
taxes paid mainly by employers.

Benefits are seldom available to the self-employed, to those working
intermittently or to many of the lowest-paid workers.

At the same time, Dr. Kletzer and Dr. Rosen said, the nature of
unemployment is changing. In the last six years, despite lower overall
rates of unemployment, the average period of joblessness for laid-off
workers was 16 weeks, compared with 12 weeks in the 1970’s.

Because of globalization and changes in the economic structure, more
workers are forced to change industries and a significant minority take
jobs paying less than before, indicating a trend “from temporary layoff
to permanent displacement,” according to the paper by Dr. Kletzer
and Dr. Rosen.

They propose stronger federal guidelines to end the wide disparities
in eligibility and benefit rules among the states and to extend coverage
to a broader group of workers.

They call for a new system of personal accounts for self-employed workers,
allowing them to contribute pretax money, with matching grants from the
federal government up to $200 a year, to help cushion income drops
or pay for job training and searches.

They also propose a wage insurance program to help offset declines
in income for a period of years when workers switch to jobs paying less
than they had been making. This would apply only to workers making
$15 an hour or less.

To help pay some $13 billion in added costs for these programs, Dr. Kletzer
and Dr. Rosen suggest raising the federal unemployment tax, which for
22 years has been levied on only the first $7,000 of each worker’s income.
After tax credits are counted, employers now pay a maximum of $56 a year
for each covered worker, the scholars said.

In the second paper, Jeffrey R. Kling, an economist at the Brookings
Institution, proposed a more radical overhaul. Dr. Kling would scrap the
existing unemployment insurance system and replace it with personal
accounts and loans to help people through short-term joblessness and
a large program of wage-loss insurance to help low- and moderate-
income workers when they are forced to take new jobs at lower salaries.

By curbing government payments to those who experience only short-
term joblessness, he said, this new plan could operate with the same
total money as the current system but would provide more help
to the neediest.


20) 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 resources.”

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.


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

NASA Scientists See New Signs of Global Warming
Scientists have long suspected that the recent melting of Arctic Ocean
ice in the summer might be a result of heat-trapping gases building
up in the atmosphere. But yesterday NASA scientists reported that
higher temperatures and a retreat of the sea ice over the last two
winters offered new evidence that the gases were influencing the
region’s climate.
While the summer melting could be a result of a number of
phenomena like the flow of warm water, the scientists said, the
reduction of winter ice two seasons in a row is harder to explain
without invoking the heat-trapping effects of gases like carbon
Such gases block the escape of some heat radiating from the ocean
or earth, like an insulating blanket, even in the depths of the dark
Arctic winter, said Josefino C. Comiso, a senior scientist at NASA’s
Goddard Space Flight Center who uses satellites to study Earth’s
frozen zones.
In the past two winters, the peak of sea ice growth in the Arctic
has been 6 percent below the average peak since the satellite
observations began, Dr. Comiso said. His findings are to be
published this month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
The observed winter changes occur after a string of years in which
the amount of sea ice around the Arctic Ocean has steadily shrunk.
Last year saw what some Arctic experts said was probably the most
open water in the Arctic in a century, and the most since the satellite
observations began in 1978.
Mark Serreze, a scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center,
said that this summer’s ice retreat was not quite as great as that
in 2005, but that there was still time, before the long Arctic night
begins this month, to see more melting.
Over all, Dr. Serreze said, it was hard to find an explanation for
the shifts other than human-caused warming.

Gay Groups Renew Drive Against ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
September 14, 2006

Most Mideast Leaders Are Angry About U.S. in Iraq, Annan Says
September 14, 2006

Cut Off, Gazan Economy Nears Collapse
September 14, 2006

The Battle for Guantánamo
Note: This article will appear in the Sept. 17 issue of The Times Magazine.
September 17, 2006

Florida: Cuban Exiles Avoid Trial With Plea
Two Cuban exiles who have vehemently opposed Fidel Castro
will avoid a trial on weapons charges after each pleaded guilty
to a single criminal conspiracy charge. The men, Santiago
Alvarez, 65, and Osvaldo Mitat, 64, were scheduled for trial
this week and would have faced up to 20 years in prison
if convicted. But prosecutors reduced the charges in a last-minute
plea deal, and the men now face a maximum sentence of five years.
The men were arrested last year after the Federal Bureau of Investigation
seized machine guns, a grenade launcher and thousands of rounds
of ammunition. They are scheduled for sentencing Nov. 14.
September 12, 2006

President Bush’s Address to the Nation
[Warning: Only for those with a strong]
September 11, 2006

Florida: Shackling of Juveniles Is Opposed
The Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office filed motions
in juvenile court seeking to stop the practice of shackling
detained juveniles with handcuffs and leg irons in court.
Juveniles in the state appear in court wearing shackles
and handcuffs regardless of the alleged offense, said
Carlos Martinez, Miami-Dade’s chief assistant public
defender. “By allowing children to appear before them
in chains, judges are conveying a message to the children
that they are dangerous animals,” Mr. Martinez said.
September 12, 2006

Chicago Mayor Vetoes Big-Store Minimum Wage
September 12, 2006

Harvard Ends Early Admission
September 12, 2006

In Unpredictable District, Some Say Bush Is Politicizing Terrorism
September 12, 2006

Protesters in Lebanon Drown Out Blair’s Offers of Aid and Support
September 12, 2006

Interrogation Methods Rejected by Military Win Bush’s Support

'Gaza is a jail. Nobody is allowed to leave. We are all starving now'

US Army Contemplates Redrawing Middle East Map to Stave-off Looming Global Meltdown
by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
August 31, 2006 at 08:09:08

FOCUS | FBI Protests CIA Interrogation Tactics

Cheney and Rice Defend U.S. Wars
By BRIAN KNOWLTON International Herald Tribune
September 10, 2006

At a Secret Interrogation, Dispute Flared Over Tactics
September 10, 2006

We have become rich countries of poor people
By Joseph Stiglitz
Published: September 8 2006 03:00
Last updated: September 8 2006 03:00


Venezuelan Steelworkers' Protest Wins Freedom
of 5 Arrested Co-workers
By: Steven Mather -
Thursday, Sep 07, 2006

UAW Local 292 Suspends Democratic Union Elections

Russian Autoworkers Fight For Recognition

Vote No At Ford Rouge

UAW Ends Health Talks With DCX

Meatpacking & Delphi

Lou Dobbs On Delphi

Snakes In Our Halls


IEB Decision In Appeal Of Ford Contract

The Legal Debate
Interrogation Methods Rejected by Military Win Bush’s Support
September 8, 2006

Political Crime and Incompetence
The Fraud in Mexico
September 7, 2006

Army Tries Private Pitch For Recruits
By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 6, 2006; A01

US police chief says sorry after officers joked about shot woman
by Richard Luscombe in Miami
Aug 11, 2006,,1842163,00.html

U.S. Threatens to Revoke Trade Preferences from Left-Leaning
South American Countries

NYC Children Struggle with Hunger, Obesity

Afghanistan: Campaign against Taliban 'Causes Misery and Hunger'

A Top Cuban Leader Thinks Out Loud
Posted on Aug 29, 2006
By Tom Hayden
Veteran social activist Tom Hayden interviews Cuban National
Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon.

Tireless on the Left,
The Great I.F. Stone
By Geoffrey Wheatcroft

All Governments Lie! The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I.F. Stone, by
Myra MacPherson. Scribner, 564 pages, $35.

The New York Times | A Sudden Sense of Urgency

Shares Retreat as Labor Costs Rekindle Inflation Fears
September 7, 2006

Labor Costs Shake a Pillar of Fed Policy
September 7, 2006

Gene Called Link Between Life Span and Cancers
September 7, 2006

British Leader Announces Plans to Resign in Next Year
September 7, 2006

Bush confirms use of CIA secret prisons
By Mark Silva, Washington Bureau. Stephen J. Hedges, Cam Simpson
and Andrew Zajac of the Tribune's Washington Bureau
contributed to this report
September 7, 2006,1,5717693.story?coll=chi-news-hed