Saturday, September 23, 2006



Before You Enlist
Excellent flash film that should be shown to all students. com/watch? v=ZFsaGv6cefw




By Bonnie Weinstein

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

Dear City Government Officials and Interested Parties:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


Bonnie Weinstein

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Date: Thursday, September 21st

Place: 474 Valencia St.

Time: 7pM



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


Harvest Time
By Bonnie Weinstein

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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






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

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

SEPTEMBER 12, 2006

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

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


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


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

Brian Murphy O'Flynn     415-867-4370




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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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


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


Mass March & Rally

Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2006

the 40th anniversary of the

1966 Hunters Point Uprising

On Sept. 27, 1966, Matthew Johnson, 16, was fatally shot in the back
by SFPD, and the people rose up in rage only to be put down by National
Guard troops and tanks called in by City Hall.

On Sept. 27, 1966, we demand that City Hall reinstate our referendum
petition signed by over 33,000 San Franciscans to stop the Redevelopment
land grab and "re-peopling" of Bayview Hunters Point.

For 40 years, we've demanded

no more police brutality
living wage jobs, especially on City construction
the right to develop our own community
Don't let City Hall shoot us in the back again!

Gather 3:30 Third St. & Williams

March to Rally at Third & Palou

Tell City Hall

Hands off Hunters Point!

We shall not be moved!

Sponsored by Defend Bayview Hunters Point Coalition:
San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper,
POWER, ACORN, Environmental Justice Advocacy & many more.


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

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

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

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



Dear Health Care Activist,

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

About Brian Ashley:

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

A collection will be taken to support South African Solidarity Work

Frank Fried


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!

Interested in furthering your knowledge about Palestine
and its people?

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

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

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

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

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

Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!

Visit for these great items, and more!

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

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


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


Stand in solidarity with all immigrants, documented and undocumented

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

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

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

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

The case of Elvira Arellano is a just case

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

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

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

How you can help Elvira:

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

For Senator Durbin visit:
For Senator Obama:

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

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



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

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

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


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

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


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

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

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein


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


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


To contact KPFA PROGRAM COUNCIL email:

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

You can thank her by writing her at:

In solidarity,
Bonnie Weinstein

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


Re: "Taking Aim"

Dear Council Members,

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

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

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

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

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

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

KPFA is also supposed to express that public voice.

Now is not the time to silence it!

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


Bonnie Weinstein,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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




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


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


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

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

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


Great Counter-Recruitment Website



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

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

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

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


According to "Minimum Wage History" at "

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

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




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


The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies


Bill of Rights


1) Hezbollah Chief Leads Huge Rally
September 22, 2006

2) Insurance Horror Stories
September 22, 2006

3) Hugo Chavez Speech at United Nations Wires
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2006
SEPTEMBER 20, 2006

4) Mariela Castro: "I am proud of my father "
Fernán González
BBC Mundo, Havana
Edited by Walter Lippmann

United Nations website
Text covnersion by NY Transfer News
315 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-689-7215 * Fax: 212-689-9073

6) AP Propaganda About Iraq
By Dahr Jamail
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Friday 22 September 2006

7) Pickers Are Few, and Growers Blame Congress
September 22, 2006

8) Billionaires Only Occupy Forbes 400 List
Filed at 6:30 a.m. ET

9) America's 400 Richest
Edited by Matthew Miller and Tatiana Serafin
09.21.06, 6:00 PM ET

10) Off the Charts
What’s a Couple of Hundred Trillion When You’re Talking Derivatives?
September 23, 2006

11) Solidarity in New York with
Cuban delegation
Havana. September 22, 2006

12) Line drawn on immigration legislation
Newsom, Yee slam federal attempts as discriminatory
Leslie Fulbright, Chronicle Staff Writer
[NOTE: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is actively at
work in San Francisco deporting hundreds of undocumented
workers--perhaps not with the help of city employees but,
right under their noses. I send this out as a reminder of what
was promised noting that the city government only promised
not to aid ICE in it's assault against the basic human rights
of undocumented workers, not to stop it. Currently, the City
Government is standing by and not saying a word about it.
We have received many personal reports of such deportations,
firings, evictions, etc., happening in San Francisco. There
have been incidents of workers, upon going to collect
their pay, instead get ICE brought down upon them.
What is the City Government going to do about this?]
Saturday, April 8, 2006

13) Turning Back the Clock on Rape
New York Times Editorial
September 23, 2006


1) Hezbollah Chief Leads Huge Rally
September 22, 2006

[Photo with the article shows what looks like over a million people
waving the yellow flag of Hezbollah in the midst of ruined]
The leader of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, told the crowd
at a giant open-air rally in Beirut today that the militant group had
more than 20,000 rockets, and made clear that it would not disarm,
despite the requirements of a United Nations cease-fire accord.

Mr. Nasrallah declared that the group “has recovered all its
organizational and military capabilities,” and “is stronger than
it was before July 12,” the day the war with Israel began, according
to Reuters.

The rally was the first time Mr. Nasrallah has appeared in public
since before the war.

He also called for replacing Lebanon’s current pro-Western
government with a new government of national unity,
as Hezbollah seeks to capitalize on what he described
today as “a divine, historic and strategic victory over Israel
and the United States.”

Mr. Nasrallah told the crowd, which filled a vast space cleared
from the rubble left by Israel’s bombing raids, that he had
decided to appear in person only half an hour before the
start of the rally. “Standing here before you,” he said,
“incurs dangers on you and me.”

Israeli officials have made clear that they consider Mr. Nasrallah
a legitimate target. Some 4,000 rockets fired over the border
into Israel by Hezbollah during the 34-day war killed
43 civilians and wounded more than 2,000.

Asked on Thursday by Israel’s Channel 10 television if
Mr. Nasrallah would be a target if he appeared at the rally,
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert replied: “And you think,
that if he was, I would tell you — and tell him?”

But Mr. Nasrallah directed as much or more of his wrath
today at the United States as at Israel, and declared that
“your resistance and steadfastness” has “opened the
eyes of the world.”

The United Nations ceasefire that halted the fighting
on Aug. 14th called for, among other things, the
disarmament of Hezbollah to give the fragile Lebanese
government a monopoly on armed force within the country.
Secretary General Kofi Annan has made it clear since then
that he expects the disarmament to come only as part of
a political settlement within Lebanon, saying that disarming
Hezbollah would not be part of the mandate of the
international force being deployed along the border
with Israel.

Israeli officials said after the fighting ended that Hezbollah’s
stockpile of long-range weapons had been diminished,
and that the danger posed by its remaining short-range
Katyusha rockets was limited by the clearing of a zone
south of the Litani River, about 15 miles from the border.
Since the ceasefire, the Israelis have focused on trying
to make sure that Hezbollah does not receive new
shipments of smuggled arms from Iran and Syria,
considered by Israel and the United States to be the
militant group’s prime sponsors.

But Mr. Nasrallah’s declaration of the group’s renewed
strength seemed to leave little prospect of any voluntary

In contrast to the understated tone he took in his
appearances on Hezbollah television during the war,
his speech today, portions of which were broadcast by
CNN, was an angry declaration of victory. It met with
prolonged cheers from the crowd, with many people
waving the militant group’s yellow flag.

Since the fighting ended on Aug. 14th, Hezbollah has tried
to build on the increase in popular support that was
a side-effect of Israel’s widespread bombing campaign,
which killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians.

Its leaders recently called for a government of national
unity to replace the mainly pro-Western, anti-Syrian
March 14 coalition now in power. The coalition, which
gave Hezbollah a share in government, won a slim
majority in elections last spring.

Some Lebanese have criticized Hezbollah for its role
in the start of the war, which was touched off by
a cross-border raid in which militants seized two
Israeli soldiers. Shortly after the war’s end, Mr. Nasrallah
said in a televised address that the raid a miscalculation,
and that he would not have ordered the raid if he had
known how fierce the response from Israel would be.

But today he said that part of the Israeli and American
plan had been to set the rest of Lebanon against
Hezbollah by inflicting widespread punishment.

“They thought that we would be divided,” he said.
“It’s not a victory for a party or a group, it’s a victory
for the people of Lebanon.”

Mr. Nasrallah called the conflict “an American war,” saying
that the United States had made Israel’s attacks possible
by providing arms, planning and diplomatic support.

He said the war came to and end not because of the
suffering of the Lebanese or any weakness on the part
of Hezbollah, but because “the Zionists realized that
if it continued it would be a catastrophe.”

“The Americans agreed to stop the war, not for the women,
not for the children of the Lebanese — they stopped the war
for Israel,” he said.

He said the Bush administration had allowed the war to go
forward as part of the plan to create “a new Middle East.”

“This Middle East was illegitimate,” he said, and its defeat
has become an inspiration “for people who fight for their
freedom and dignity” around the world.


2) Insurance Horror Stories
September 22, 2006

“When Steve and Leslie Shaeffer’s daughter, Selah, was diagnosed
at age 4 with a potentially fatal tumor in her jaw, they figured their
health insurance would cover the bulk of her treatment costs.” But
“shortly after Selah’s medical bills hit $20,000, Blue Cross stopped
covering them and eventually canceled her coverage retroactively.”

So begins a recent report in The Los Angeles Times titled “Sick
but Insured? Think Again,” which offers a series of similar horror
stories, and suggests that these stories represent a growing trend:
more and more health insurers are finding ways to yank your
insurance when you get sick.

This trend helps explain something that has been puzzling me:
why is the health insurance industry growing rapidly, even as
it covers fewer Americans?

Between 2000 and 2005, the number of Americans with private
health insurance coverage fell by 1 percent. But over the same
period, employment at health insurance companies rose
a remarkable 32 percent. What are all those extra employees

Now we know at least part of the answer: they’re working
harder than ever at identifying people who really need medical
care, and ensuring that they don’t get it. In the past, they
mainly concentrated on screening out applicants likely to
get sick. Now, it seems, they’re also devoting a lot of effort
to finding pretexts for revoking insurance after they’ve already
granted it. They typically do this by claiming that they weren’t
notified about some pre-existing condition, even if the insured
wasn’t aware of that condition when he or she bought the policy.

Welcome to the ugly world of American health care economics.

Health care is poised to become America’s largest industry.
Employment in manufacturing, which once dominated the
economy, has fallen 18 percent since 2000, to 14.2 million.
Meanwhile, employment in the private health services industry
has risen 16 percent, to 12.6 million. Another 1.3 million
people are employed at government hospitals. So we’re
quickly approaching the point at which more Americans
will be employed delivering health care than are employed
producing manufactured goods.

Yet even as health care becomes the core of the American
economy, our system of paying for health care remains
sick, and is getting sicker.

Because everyone faces some risk of incurring huge medical
costs, only the superrich can afford to be without health
insurance. Yet private insurers try to refuse coverage
to those most likely to need it, and deny payment whenever
they can get away with it.

The point isn’t that they’re evil or greedy (although you
do wonder how the people who cut off the Schaeffers can
look themselves in the mirror). The fact is that cruelty
and injustice are the inevitable result of the current rules
of the game. Blue Shield of California is a nonprofit insurance
provider, yet as a spokesman put it, if his organization doesn’t
follow the for-profit practice of selectively covering only the
healthiest people, “we will end up with all the high-risk people.”

Now, before you panic about the state of your own coverage,
you should know that the horror stories in The Los Angeles
Times article all involve individual insurance; if your coverage
comes via your employer, you’re reasonably secure against
sudden cancellation.

But employment-based insurance is in rapid decline,
as employers balk at the cost and more and more companies
adopt Wal-Mart-style minimal-benefit policies. That’s why
many people are turning to individual insurance — only to find
out, in some cases, that they didn’t get what they thought
they paid for.

And here’s the thing: it’s all unnecessary.

Every other wealthy nation manages to provide almost all its
citizens with guaranteed health insurance, while spending
less on health care than we do. And there’s no mystery why:
we’re paying the price for pointless, destructive reliance on
private insurers. Medicare, which is a universal health insurance
program for older Americans, spends less than 2 cents of every
dollar on administrative costs, leaving 98 cents to pay for medical
care. By contrast, private insurance companies spend only around
80 cents of each dollar in premiums on medical care; much
of the remaining 20 cents is spent denying insurance to those
who need it.

If we had a universal system — Medicare for everyone — there
would be no more horror stories like those reported by The Los
Angeles Times. And we’d almost certainly spend less on health
care than we do now.


3) Hugo Chavez Speech at United Nations Wires
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2006
SEPTEMBER 20, 2006

"Representatives of the governments of the world, good morning
to all of you. First of all, I would like to invite you, very respectfully,
to those who have not read this book, to read it.

Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious American and world
intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, and this is one of his most recent
books, 'Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United
States.'" [Holds up book, waves it in front of General Assembly.]
"It's an excellent book to help us understand what has been
happening in the world throughout the 20th century, and what's
happening now, and the greatest threat looming over our planet.

The hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are placing
at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn
you about this danger and we appeal to the people of the United
States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword
hanging over our heads. I had considered reading from this book,
but, for the sake of time," [flips through the pages, which are
numerous] "I will just leave it as a recommendation.

It reads easily, it is a very good book, I'm sure Madame [President]
you are familiar with it. It appears in English, in Russian, in Arabic,
in German. I think that the first people who should read this book
are our brothers and sisters in the United States, because their
threat is right in their own house.

The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right
in the house.

"And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here.
Right here." [crosses himself] "And it smells of sulfur still today."

Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president
of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil,
came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner
of the world.

I think we could call a psychiatrist to analyze yesterday's
statement made by the president of the United States. As the
spokesman of imperialism, he came to share his nostrums,
to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation
and pillage of the peoples of the world.

An Alfred Hitchcock movie could use it as a scenario.
I would even propose a title: "The Devil's Recipe."

As Chomsky says here, clearly and in depth, the American
empire is doing all it can to consolidate its system of domination.
And we cannot allow them to do that. We cannot allow world
dictatorship to be consolidated.

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): The world parent's statement
-- cynical, hypocritical, full of this imperial hypocrisy from the
need they have to control everything.

They say they want to impose a democratic model. But that's
their democratic model. It's the false democracy of elites, and,
I would say, a very original democracy that's imposed by weapons
and bombs and firing weapons.

What a strange democracy. Aristotle might not recognize
it or others who are at the root of democracy.

What type of democracy do you impose with marines
and bombs?

The president of the United States, yesterday, said to us,
right here, in this room, and I'm quoting, "Anywhere you
look, you hear extremists telling you can escape from
poverty and recover your dignity through violence,
terror and martyrdom."

Wherever he looks, he sees extremists. And you, my brother
-- he looks at your color, and he says, oh, there's an extremist.
Evo Morales, the worthy president of Bolivia, looks like
an extremist to him.

The imperialists see extremists everywhere. It's not that we
are extremists. It's that the world is waking up. It's waking
up all over. And people are standing up.

I have the feeling, dear world dictator, that you are going
to live the rest of your days as a nightmare because the rest
of us are standing up, all those who are rising up against
American imperialism, who are shouting for equality,
for respect, for the sovereignty of nations.

us extremists, but we are rising up against the empire,
against the model of domination.

The president then -- and this he said himself, he said:
"I have come to speak directly to the populations in the
Middle East, to tell them that my country wants peace."

That's true. If we walk in the streets of the Bronx, if we
walk around New York, Washington, San Diego, in any city,
San Antonio, San Francisco, and we ask individuals, the citizens
of the United States, what does this country want?
Does it want peace? They'll say yes.

But the government doesn't want peace. The government
of the United States doesn't want peace. It wants to exploit
its system of exploitation, of pillage, of hegemony through war.

It wants peace. But what's happening in Iraq? What happened
in Lebanon? In Palestine? What's happening? What's happened
over the last 100 years in Latin America and in the world?
And now threatening Venezuela -- new threats against
Venezuela, against Iran?

He spoke to the people of Lebanon. Many of you, he said,
have seen how your homes and communities were caught
in the crossfire. How cynical can you get? What a capacity
to lie shamefacedly. The bombs in Beirut with millimetric

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): This is crossfire? He's
thinking of a western, when people would shoot from
the hip and somebody would be caught in the crossfire.

This is imperialist, fascist, assassin, genocidal, the empire
and Israel firing on the people of Palestine and Lebanon.
That is what happened. And now we hear, "We're suffering
because we see homes destroyed.'

The president of the United States came to talk to the peoples
-- to the peoples of the world. He came to say -- I brought
some documents with me, because this morning I was reading
some statements, and I see that he talked to the people
of Afghanistan, the people of Lebanon, the people of Iran.
And he addressed all these peoples directly.

And you can wonder, just as the president of the United States
addresses those peoples of the world, what would those peoples
of the world tell him if they were given the floor? What would
they have to say?

And I think I have some inkling of what the peoples of the
south, the oppressed people think. They would say, "Yankee
imperialist, go home." I think that is what those people would
say if they were given the microphone and if they could speak
with one voice to the American imperialists.

And that is why, Madam President, my colleagues, my friends,
last year we came here to this same hall as we have been doing
for the past eight years, and we said something that has now
been confirmed -- fully, fully confirmed.

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I don't think anybody in this
room could defend the system. Let's accept -- let's be honest.
The U.N. system, born after the Second World War, collapsed.
It's worthless.

Oh, yes, it's good to bring us together once a year, see each
other, make statements and prepare all kinds of long documents,
and listen to good speeches, like Abel's (ph) yesterday,
or President Mullah's (ph). Yes, it's good for that.

And there are a lot of speeches, and we've heard lots from
the president of Sri Lanka, for instance, and the president of Chile.

But we, the assembly, have been turned into a merely deliberative
organ. We have no power, no power to make any impact on the
terrible situation in the world. And that is why Venezuela once
again proposes, here, today, 20 September, that we re-establish
the United Nations.

Last year, Madam, we made four modest proposals that we felt
to be crucially important. We have to assume the responsibility
our heads of state, our ambassadors, our representatives,
and we have to discuss it.

The first is expansion, and Mullah (ph) talked about this yesterday
right here. The Security Council, both as it has permanent
and non-permanent categories, (inaudible) developing countries
and LDCs must be given access as new permanent members.
That's step one.

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Second, effective methods
to address and resolve world conflicts, transparent decisions.

Point three, the immediate suppression -- and that is something
everyone's calling for -- of the anti-democratic mechanism known
as the veto, the veto on decisions of the Security Council.

Let me give you a recent example. The immoral veto of the United
States allowed the Israelis, with impunity, to destroy Lebanon.
Right in front of all of us as we stood there watching, a resolution
in the council was prevented.

Fourthly, we have to strengthen, as we've always said, the role
and the powers of the secretary general of the United Nations.

Yesterday, the secretary general practically gave us his speech
of farewell. And he recognized that over the last 10 years, things
have just gotten more complicated; hunger, poverty, violence,
human rights violations have just worsened. That is the tremendous
consequence of the collapse of the United Nations system
and American hegemonistic pretensions.

Madam, Venezuela a few years ago decided to wage this battle
within the United Nations by recognizing the United Nations,
as members of it that we are, and lending it our voice, our thinking.

Our voice is an independent voice to represent the dignity and the
search for peace and the reformulation of the international system;
to denounce persecution and aggression of hegemonistic
forces on the planet.

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): This is how Venezuela has
presented itself. Bolivar's home has sought a nonpermanent
seat on the Security Council.

Let's see. Well, there's been an open attack by the U.S. government,
an immoral attack, to try and prevent Venezuela from being freely
elected to a post in the Security Council.

The imperium is afraid of truth, is afraid of independent voices.
It calls us extremists, but they are the extremists.

And I would like to thank all the countries that have kindly
announced their support for Venezuela, even though the ballot
is a secret one and there's no need to announce things.

But since the imperium has attacked, openly, they strengthened
the convictions of many countries. And their support strengthens us.

Mercosur, as a bloc, has expressed its support, our brothers
in Mercosur. Venezuela, with Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay,
is a full member of Mercosur.

And many other Latin American countries, CARICOM, Bolivia
have expressed their support for Venezuela. The Arab League,
the full Arab League has voiced its support. And I am immensely
grateful to the Arab world, to our Arab brothers, our Caribbean
brothers, the African Union. Almost all of Africa has expressed
its support for Venezuela and countries such as Russia
or China and many others.

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I thank you all warmly
on behalf of Venezuela, on behalf of our people, and on behalf
of the truth, because Venezuela, with a seat on the Security Council,
will be expressing not only Venezuela's thoughts, but it will also
be the voice of all the peoples of the world, and we will defend
dignity and truth.

Over and above all of this, Madam President, I think there
are reasons to be optimistic. A poet would have said "helplessly
optimistic," because over and above the wars and the bombs
and the aggressive and the preventive war and the destruction
of entire peoples, one can see that a new era is dawning.

As Sylvia Rodriguez (ph) says, the era is giving birth to a heart.
There are alternative ways of thinking. There are young people
who think differently. And this has already been seen within
the space of a mere decade. It was shown that the end of history
was a totally false assumption, and the same was shown about
Pax Americana and the establishment of the capitalist neo-liberal
world. It has been shown, this system, to generate mere poverty.
Who believes in it now?

What we now have to do is define the future of the world. Dawn
is breaking out all over. You can see it in Africa and Europe and
Latin America and Oceanea. I want to emphasize that optimistic

We have to strengthen ourselves, our will to do battle,
our awareness. We have to build a new and better world.

Venezuela joins that struggle, and that's why we are
threatened. The U.S. has already planned, financed and
set in motion a coup in Venezuela, and it continues
to support coup attempts in Venezuela and elsewhere.

Bachelet reminded us just a moment ago of the horrendous
assassination of the former foreign minister, Orlando Letelier.

And I would just add one thing: Those who perpetrated
this crime are free. And that other event where an American
citizen also died were American themselves. They were CIA
killers, terrorists.

And we must recall in this room that in just a few days there
will be another anniversary. Thirty years will have passed
from this other horrendous terrorist attack on the Cuban
plane, where 73 innocents died, a Cubana de Aviacion airliner.

And where is the biggest terrorist of this continent who took
the responsibility for blowing up the plane? He spent a few
years in jail in Venezuela. Thanks to CIA and then government
officials, he was allowed to escape, and he lives here in this
country, protected by the government.

And he was convicted. He has confessed to his crime. But the
U.S. government has double standards. It protects terrorism
when it wants to.

And this is to say that Venezuela is fully committed to combating
terrorism and violence. And we are one of the people
who are fighting for peace.

Luis Posada Carriles is the name of that terrorist who is protected
here. And other tremendously corrupt people who escaped from
Venezuela are also living here under protection: a group that
bombed various embassies, that assassinated people during
the coup. They kidnapped me and they were going to kill me,
but I think God reached down and our people came out into
the streets and the army was too, and so I'm here today.

But these people who led that coup are here today in this
country protected by the American government. And I accuse
the American government of protecting terrorists and of having
a completely cynical discourse.

Yes, we were just there a few days ago. We just came from
there happily.

And there you see another era born. The Summit of the 15,
the Summit of the Nonaligned, adopted a historic resolution.
This is the outcome document. Don't worry, I'm not going to read it.

But you have a whole set of resolutions here that were adopted
after open debate in a transparent matter -- more than 50 heads
of state. Havana was the capital of the south for a few weeks,
and we have now launched, once again, the group of the
nonaligned with new momentum.

And if there is anything I could ask all of you here, my companions,
my brothers and sisters, it is to please lend your good will to lend
momentum to the Nonaligned Movement for the birth of the new
era, to prevent hegemony and prevent further advances of imperialism.

And as you know, Fidel Castro is the president of the nonaligned
for the next three years, and we can trust him to lead the charge
very efficiently.

Unfortunately they thought, "Oh, Fidel was going to die." But
they're going to be disappointed because he didn't. And he's
not only alive, he's back in his green fatigues, and he's now
presiding the nonaligned.

So, my dear colleagues, Madam President, a new, strong movement
has been born, a movement of the south.
We are men and women of the south.

With this document, with these ideas, with these criticisms,
I'm now closing my file. I'm taking the book with me. And,
don't forget, I'm recommending it very warmly and very humbly
to all of you.

CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We want ideas to save our
planet, to save the planet from the imperialist threat. And hopefully
in this very century, in not too long a time, we will see this, we will
see this new era, and for our children and our grandchildren a world
of peace based on the fundamental principles of the United Nations,
but a renewed United Nations.

And maybe we have to change location. Maybe we have to put
the United Nations somewhere else; maybe a city of the south.
We've proposed Venezuela.

You know that my personal doctor had to stay in the plane.
The chief of security had to be left in a locked plane. Neither
of these gentlemen was allowed to arrive and attend
the U.N. meeting. This is another abuse and another abuse
of power on the part of the Devil. It smells of sulfur here,
but God is with us and I embrace you all.

May God bless us all. Good day to you.


4) Mariela Castro: "I am proud of my father "
Fernán González
BBC Mundo, Havana
Edited by Walter Lippmann

Mariela Castro is the daughter of the interim Cuban president, Raul
Castro and director of the National Center for Sexual Education in
this country. For the past few years she has been noted for defending
the rights of sexual minorities.

In an interview with BBC Mundo, in her office of Havana, in an old
house in the Vedado neighborhood, she talks of her relationship with
her father, of her family life and work she does, which is not always

What is your father like?

My Dad, not Raúl Castro, is marvelous (she smiles), he is very
active, very caring, always interested in us.

I remember, when I was little, that I managed to be taken to school
holding his hand, like other parents, walking the six blocks and
waiting for the morning formation (with all the teachers and students
before classes that almost always had an ideological teaching).

He is a father that always has surprises. One thing that I liked very
much is that my father is a very loving, very romantic and passionate
person with my Mom (Vilma Espín, president of the Cuban Women‚s

They have transmitted a great stability. They taught us to love, to
be romantic, to believe in people, even if they may disappoint us.
They taught us many important values.

Often we said that we didn‚t want him to continue with his public
responsibilities because we wanted him closer. We wanted to be with
him. We understood the responsibility he had to assume because, once
you take a revolutionary course, you can‚t say "well, I'm going home.
So long. That's your problem."

That is also a great responsibility. Like Garibaldi. He forged
Italian unity and then said, "chao, it yours now" and left. That was
a great lack of historical responsibility. They were not like that.
That must be admired but it means that we will not be with him as
often that we want.

But we are also proud of how he is, as a human being, of how he as
assumed his public responsibility and how he has had the honesty to
assume his errors when he identifies them, which is the majority of

He has a great experience in collective work, in boosting collective
creation in leading because he does not feel omnipotent, because he
is not self-satisfied. The Cuban people have confidence in him, not
because he has a magic wand, something no one has.

It is a great effort, a great exercise in creativity, of a
collective will to create a more just and fairer society in such a
poor country such as Cuba with so few material resources, under the
hostility of the most powerful empire in all of history.

History fascinates him. He is very well versed in universal and Cuban
history. It helps him to understand Cuban reality and tries to push
forward. He will follow the strategy of the Revolution which will,
collectively, continue to strengthen and actions will be identified
for Cuban society to advance, like a sovereign state.

What do you remember most about your father?

His joy, his congeniality, his jokes and his affection. He has been
very affectionate with all of us. He is very reserved in his public
life but, privately, he is fascinating.

Let‚s talk about your work as director of the Cuban Center of Sexual
Education. What made you decide to work for the rights of
transvestites, the transsexuals, and homosexuals in Cuba?

I was working here as the director of the center. I think it was
about 2004 when a group of transvestites, transsexuals came. Some
were patients, others collaborators here in the center, in
educational work.

Some were not, but many were prostitutes and wanted support of our
institution because they had problems with the police here in Havana,
not in other parts of the country.

There was an event here in Havana, around La Rampa, the Malecon
(seaside walk) where many people with different sexual preferences
met and engaged in prostitution. But they disturbed the neighbors. If
they had exercised prostitution without disturbing the neighbors...That
implied harassment of tourists who complained.

There was a meeting of the Young Communist League in Havana who
complained to the government. They said that measures had to be taken
because the families felt infringed upon and tourists also.

Instead of taking a more logical measure, the decision of the
police was to arrest anyone who looked like a transvestite,
transsexual or anything that looked strange, arbitrary, absurd.

Of course, they came to demand their rights because I don't know if
you have noticed, we Cubans have a strong sense of justice and fight
when we have to and we accept when we feel that we must accept.

That's why I say, Why is Fidel here? Why do people want him here...
because the day that the people don't want him here he won't be. That
happened with this subject. They spoke of everything bothering them.
I asked if I could tape what they had said to prepare a report. And
that's what I did, a short report so they could read it over rapidly
and then a longer one with many annexes.

That is how a national strategy came about for attention to
transsexuals with an integral vision since 1979 which was created by
my mother, Vilma Espín, president of the Cuban Women's Federation.
What we did was to broaden this work, to enrich it. Since the
transvestites and transsexuals asked my help I got seriously involved
in this. I have studied these subjects to have background then, in
the end, I am doing my PhD on the subject.

How long will it be in Cuba to achieve total respect for the rights
of homosexuals?

I don't know, I don't know how long and I would like to know. At
first I was very passionate about it and understood that I was
killing myself and that everything had a process, that it took time;
it has to be moved, to boost it. It is, precisely, what I am doing to
prevent this process from taking too long but to make it shorter.

Do you think these problems are institutional or about machismo in
society or a combination of both?

A combination of both. They are socio-cultural and historical and, of
course; they are visible because human beings with the same
conditioning make institutions. That is why it has an educational,
massive and very important component.

We are even carrying out a very important study on representations of
transexuality; to carry out educational campaigns to teach society to
respect these people and respect their rights.

Of course, everyone is going to compare what happens now with what
happened in the sixties when homosexuals were sent to work camps or
the UMAP. Why do you think this happened?

It was like what happened in other places only that Cuba is more
visible because it was during the Cold War and war had to be waged
against Cuba, on anything where Cuba made a mistake. This was
happening everywhere in different ways and continues to happen, even
in developed countries. What happens is that it doesn't transcend.

I know about it because that is my work and I know groups in Europe
who denounce the violation of the rights of these people.

I know of parents of transsexuals in England who call for the respect
of the rights of transsexuals because their sons have been physically
beaten. There are hate crimes that are sexually orientated.

This doesn't exist in Cuba. The Cuban population is much more
respectful of differences than in other places, I don't know why. I
don't know if it's the "conga" (always willing to have a party),
that's the way we are. When I'm afraid I will find a very strong
resistance, I find a high degree of sensibility in the Cuban

Do you think that perception about homosexuals in Cuban society has
changed, lately?

I think so; it has changed very much. Also, because there is no
longer a hostile policy, because we also talk of those subjects in
social communication media.

This makes people think, to reflect upon and that homosexuals and
lesbians express their sexual orientation like everyone else in the
world, without fears although this does not mean that there may be
persons who are afraid because it very difficult to feel different.

I think that it is the same thing that happens with Blacks in a
racist society or to women in a society that discriminates against


United Nations website
Text covnersion by NY Transfer News
315 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-689-7215 * Fax: 212-689-9073

Madame President, Mr. Secretary General, Your Excellencies:

A mere four days ago, the 14th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in
Cuba was concluded. Today, I speak on behalf of the Movement's Chairman,
President Fidel Castro, fulfilling our obligation to inform this Assembly of
the main decisions agreed on at the Summit Conference held in Havana.

As First Vice-President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the
Republic of Cuba, Razl Castro said in his opening speech:

"The current international situation, characterised by the one superpower's
irrational attempts to control the world, aided by its allies, shows that we
need to be increasingly united In defence of the principles and purposes
upon which the Non-Aligned Movement was established, which are those
enshrined In the international law and the Charter of the United Nations."

While the founding of the Movement was necessary more than four decades ago,
its continued relevance in today's world is beyond doubt.

The NAM Summit held in Cuba was an indisputable success, in spite of the
threats and pressures of those who oppose the unity and common efforts of
the countries of the South.

The Summit saw high levels of participation, both in terms of the number of
countries which attended the conference and that of Heads of State or

Profound and fruitful debates were held, in an atmosphere of true
understanding, unity and cohesion, which allowed for the adoption of
documents of crucial importance to the future of the Non-Aligned Movement.
As the new Chairman, Cuba was given clear mandates and an action program
which shall govern its activities as head of the Movement.

As a result of the Summit, the Non-Aligned Movement has been strengthened
and, consequently, so has the political unity of the countries of the South.
The diverse and heterogeneous nature of the Movement's membership, far from
weakening it, constitutes its essential strength. These features have
allowed for the creation of solid consensuses that are a positive
contribution to our efforts to overcome the many and serious challenges
humanity faces today.

The commendable work of Malaysia as the Movement's Chairman over the last
three years was acknowledged at the Summit.

There was no cause of or demand by a South country which was not duly
considered by or which did not meet with the support of the Movement.

The urgent need to make progress in the defense of multilateralism, to
demand respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States
and ensure the full realization of our peoples' right to development and
peace were ratified at the Summit as the Movement's principles.

The Heads of State or Government decided to work to suppress acts of
aggression and other actions contrary to the preservation of peace and to
encourage the peaceful settlement of international conflicts.

The Summit called on all nations to abstain from the use of force or from
threatening to use force against the territorial integrity or independence
of any State. Participating nations promoted the development of relations of
friendship based on respect towards the principle of equal rights and the
will of all peoples to struggle against foreign occupation.

They urged nations to extend international cooperation with a view to
overcoming the serious economic, social, cultural and humanitarian
challenges that face the world and to promote respect towards the human
rights and fundamental liberties of all and for the benefit of all.

The fundamental and inalienable right of all peoples to self-determination
was reaffirmed in Havana.

Non-Aligned countries agreed that world peace and security are today more
imperiled than ever as a result, among other factors, of the growing trend
of the most powerful States to resort to unilateral measures and to the
threat of preemptive wars.

The Movement's commitment to general and complete disarmament and nuclear
disarmament in particular, under strict and efficient international
monitoring, was underscored. The Summit also reaffirmed the basic and
inalienable right of all States to research, development, production and the
use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and to be free from any kind of
discrimination in this connection, in conformity with their respective
international obligations.

In addition to this, the Summit clearly and firmly pronounced itself against
terrorism, double standards in international relations, coercive unilateral
measures against any nation, "regime change" policies and the failure of
developed countries to fulfill their commitments in economic and social

The Heads of State or Government of the Movement reaffirmed their hope to
live in a peaceful world in which all nations have the right to a better
future and a fair and equitable world order based on the sustainable
development of all nations.

They affirmed that, in its current form, globalization perpetuates and even
exacerbates the marginalization of the countries of the South, and demanded
that it be radically transformed into a positive force for change, for the
benefit of all peoples.

Participants reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to have their
own State and condemned the government of Israel for the new wave of crimes
and massacres in Gaza and other occupied territories. They also vigorously
condemned Israel's merciless acts of aggression against Lebanon and the
serious violations of this nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The people and government of Bolivia, facing attempts aimed at destabilizing
the country instigated by external forces, met with a gesture of support and
solidarity from the Summit. The process which is underway in that sister
nation, aimed at guaranteeing the real rights of all Bolivians and at
securing full national control over the country's natural resources, was
offered solid support.

The Movement considered, with great concern, the aggressive policies and the
intensification of actions aimed at undermining the stability of the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and expressed support for the inalienable
right of the Venezuelan people to determine its form of government and
choose its economic, political and social system, free from foreign
intervention, subversion, coercion or restrictions of any kind.

Non-Aligned countries undertook to promote and participate in a true process
of democratization and reform of the United Nations to put behind the
anti-democratic impositions and practices of the Security Council and to
give the General Assembly its due decisive role, in conformity with the
roles and powers described in the UN Charter.

I have mentioned only a few examples of the positions adopted at the Summit
held in Havana, with respect to the most diverse issues on the international
agenda. The documents adopted shall be offcially distributed to all UN
member States. A number of the decisions adopted at the Summit shall soon be
put into practice in this Session of the General Assembly.

Madame President:

Cuba is aware of the immense responsibility inherent in presiding over the
Non-Aligned Movement in one of the most difficult times In human history,
when we face more inequality and injustice than ever before.

We shall not rest in our efforts to have the Movement occupy the place it
can and must occupy in the international arena, in keeping not only with its
broad membership of 118 countries, nearly two-thirds of the UN membership,
but also of its history on behalf of the loftiest causes.

On inaugurating the 6th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement 27 years ago,
President Fidel Castro expressed:

"The struggle for peace and for a just economic order, and a workable
solution to the pressing problems that weigh on our peoples is, in our
opinion, increasingly becoming the main question posed to Movement of
Non-Aligned Countries.

"Peace, and the immense risks that threaten it, are not something that
should be left exclusively in the hands of the big military Powers. Peace is
possible, but world peace can only be assured to the extent that all
countries are consciously determined to fight for it -- peace, not just for
a part of the world, but for all peoples."

Days later, in this same hall, on reporting on that Summit, President Fidel
Castro expressed:

"The sounds of weapons, of threatening language, and of prepotent behavior
in the international arena must cease.

"Enough of the illusion that the problems of the world can be solved by
nuclear weapons. Bombs may kill the hungry, the sick, and the ignorant, but
they cannot kill hunger, disease, and ignorance. Nor can they kill the
righteous rebellion of the peoples."

The countries of the South shall work, united, for justice, peace and the
development of our nations and the entire World, convinced that a better
world is possible if we all struggle for it.

Madame President:

I would now like to say a few words on behalf of the people and government
of Cuba.

Our people's exercise of its right to self-determination faces new threats.
The Bush administration has stepped up its brutally hostile measures against
Cuba with new economic sanctions which further intensify the longest
blockade human history has known. More severe reprisals are also being taken
against those who have business dealings with Cuba from other nations, and
financial transactions with our country are viciously persecuted. The very
government of the United States recognizes that it is spending more, today,
in persecuting and punishing those who have business dealings with Cuba than
in monitoring the finances of those who attacked the Twin Towers.

This past June, the Bush administration approved the second version of its
most recent plan of aggression and domination against our country, aimed not
only at overthrowing the Revolution but also at destroying the Cuban nation.

In violation of international norms and laws, an unprecedented build-up in
the financial and material support to subversive actions aimed at
overthrowing the constitutional order freely chosen by the Cuban people is
being promoted.

The abovementioned anti-Cuban plan contains a chapter, which is being held
in secret. The antecedents of these decisions are the covert actions
undertaken against the Cuban revolution, which include mercenary invasions,
terrorists actions, the introduction of plagues and epidemics into the
country and over 600 plots to assassinate Fidel. Thousands of Cubans have
lost their lives or have been maimed for life as a result of this criminal

At the height of hypocrisy and irresponsibility, the government of the
United States tolerates the presence of and protects the terrorists who plan
new actions against our people on US soil. While maneuvering to free the
murderers responsible for monstrous crimes, such as the notorious
international terrorist and CIA agent Luis Posada Carriles, whom they refuse
to extradite to Venezuela, it illegally and unjustly keeps five courageous
anti-terrorist Cuban activists in prison.

But, in spite of these acts of aggression and the criminal blockade, the
Cuban people shall never be defeated. Cuba's internationalist efforts
continue unhindered. More than 30,000 Cuban doctors and other health
professionals are saving lives in 68 different countries today; we are
participating in the struggle against illiteracy in several continents; we
are developing a plan to train 100,000 doctors for the Third World and we
are helping hundreds of thousands of people in many countries regain their
sight through Operation Miracle. With these efforts, we are but fulfilling
our fundamental duty to aid all of the peoples of the world.

Your Excellencies:

Cuba is making progress and shall continue to face the future with optimism
and unity. Its educated and hard-working people, to whom the homeland is
humanity, shall struggle hand in hand with the peoples you represent for the
right to live in peace, justice and dignity for all.

Thank you, very much.


6) AP Propaganda About Iraq
By Dahr Jamail
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Friday 22 September 2006

"But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."
-George Orwell

On Monday, September 18, Associated Press (AP) ran a story titled,
"Iraqi tribes fight Insurgency"

At first glance, the average reader cannot be blamed for thinking that this
is a story about how tribes in Iraq have decided to take up arms against
the "insurgency."

The reader certainly cannot be blamed for thinking this, because the
first paragraph in the AP story reads, "Tribes in one of Iraq's most
volatile provinces have joined together to fight the insurgency there,
and they have called on the government and the US-led military coalition
for weapons, a prominent tribal leader said Monday."

Allow me to pause here and address the use of the word "insurgent."
According to Webster's Third New International Dictionary, an insurgent
is "a person who rises in revolt against civil authority or an
established government: [a] rebel." This of course begs the existence of
a legitimately elected government that the "insurgent" rises in revolt
against, which in Iraq we do not have. How is it possible to have a
legitimate government in a country that was first illegally invaded and
today is illegally occupied?

Yet, AP uses the word unquestioningly.

The story continues: "Tribal leaders and clerics in Ramadi, the capital
of violent Anbar province, met last week and have set up a force of
about 20,000 men 'ready to purge the city of these infidels,' Sheik
Fassal al-Guood, a prominent tribal leader from Ramadi, told the
Associated Press, referring to the insurgents. 'People are fed up with
the acts of those criminals who take Islam as a cover for their crimes,'
he said. 'The situation in the province is unbearable, the city is
abandoned, most of the families have fled the city and all services are
poor.' Al-Guood said 15 of the 18 tribes in Ramadi 'have sworn to fight
those who are killing Sunnis and Shiites and they established an armed
force of about 20,000 young men ready to purge the city from those

At this point, either the author of this AP story, or the editor, or
both, rightly assume that the reader is not aware that Sheik Fassal
al-Guood tried to lead the local resistance against the occupation in
Ramadi, but turned against the same resistance group when its members
rejected him as a leader because they considered him a corrupt thief.
Nor is the reader aware that today, Sheikh Fassal al-Guood lives in the
"Green Zone" and happily talks to reporters from behind the concrete
blast walls, and that his power in Al-Anbar now equals exactly nothing.

I contacted author and media critic Norman Solomon and asked him what he
thought of this AP story. "The holes in this story beg for questions
that it does not raise, much less answer," he wrote. "For instance: What
are the past, present and hoped-for financial relationships between the
quoted 'tribal leader' on the one hand and the US and Iraqi governments
on the other? Are there any indications that money has changed hands? Is
a mercenary arrangement being set up? Is this part of the Bush
administration's strategy to get more Iraqis to kill each other rather
than have Iraqis killing American troops - aka 'As the Iraqis stand up,
we'll stand down?' Isn't there a good chance that such arrangements will
actually fuel civil war in Iraq rather than douse its already horrific

He continued, "So, this AP story agreeably paraphrases an official from
the US-backed Iraqi government's Defense Ministry as saying that 'Iraqi
security forces had met with tribal leaders and had agreed to cooperate
in combating violence.' But how will they be 'combating violence?' With
massive violence, of course, although the article doesn't say so. Many
sources are available to make such a point, but in this story AP availed
itself of none of them."

Solomon, a nationally-syndicated columnist on media and politics who is
also the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public
Accuracy, a national consortium of policy researchers and analysts, had
this to say about why AP might get away with this type of "reportage" as
consistently as it does: "AP is providing the kind of coverage that it
and other mainstream US media outlets have provided in the past. The
coverage does not seem conspicuously shoddy to most readers because it
fits in with previous shoddy reportage. From all appearances, this AP
article is based on statements from four sources - and each of them is
in line with US government policies. There's one tribal leader from
Ramadi who is seeking large quantities of material aid from the US and
the Iraqi government; there are two spokespeople for that Iraqi
government; and there's a general from the US military. That all four
would present a similar picture of events is not surprising. But for an
article to rely on only those sources is stenography for one side of the
conflict - which should not be confused with journalism."

It is also important for the reader to note that, according to an August
US Defense Intelligence Agency assessment, of 1,666 bombs exploded in
Iraq in July, 90% were aimed at US-led forces. Along with this fact,
attacks against US forces have increased dramatically in recent months,
and the US military itself has admitted that less than 6% of the attacks
against them are from foreign fighters (i.e., "terrorists"). Thus, at
least 94% of all attacks against US forces in Iraq are from the Iraqi
Resistance, as opposed to "terrorists."

It is time, too, that readers of mainstream news knew that any "tribal
meeting" that discusses fighting "the insurgents" is currently being
held secretly inside American military bases or inside the "green zone."
Iraqi people who are trying to lead that operation are well known to
Al-Anbar citizens. These leaders did succeed in some cases in recruiting
certain groups to fight resistance fighters by paying considerable sums
of money, but it was only temporary success.

A case in point would be Al-Qa'im last spring. A tribal fight occurred
between local resistance fighters. Sheik Osama al-Jadaan was involved in
engineering it by paying members of his tribe to take up arms against
local resistance groups. Yet this conflict was settled, and when it was,
al-Jadaan had to flee to the "green zone." He lived there for a short
time before his work as a collaborator with occupation forces caught up
with him, and he was killed in Baghdad.

Yet the AP story has this to say about al-Jadaan: "In late May, a
prominent Sunni Arab tribal leader, Sheik Osama al-Jadaan, who provided
fighters to help battle al-Qaeda in Anbar, was assassinated in Baghdad."

There are the usual token scraps of truth in the AP story, lending it a
hue of credibility. The story quotes a US military spokesperson who goes
out on a limb to say that tribal leaders in Anbar "very much want to see
security brought back to that area."

Another scrap of truth came earlier in the story where Al-Guood is
quoted as saying that most of the tribes of Ramadi "have sworn to fight
those who are killing Sunnis and Shiites and they established an armed
force of about 20,000 young men ready to purge the city from those

This is true throughout Iraq, where even the US military has documented
several cases of resistance groups fighting foreign terror groups that
have infiltrated Iraq's porous borders in order to carry out attacks
against Iraqi civilians.

The most disconcerting portion of this AP story, however, is the melding
of the word "insurgent" with the word "terrorist." Clearly there is a
flippancy, and I believe a malicious intent in this misuse. I have
witnessed this melding repeated in AP stories from Iraq in which
"insurgent" replaces "terrorist."

We can see the melding in a recent AP story
which states: "Attacks against US troops have increased following a call
earlier this month from al-Qaeda in Iraq's leader to target American
forces, the top US military spokesman said Wednesday."

Another example of this melding is in an AP story from September 17th
about Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi citizen of Fallujah who has been held by
the US military without charges for five months. Part of the story
reads, "The military said Hussein was captured with two insurgents,
including Hamid Hamad Motib, an alleged leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq."

Regarding the reference to al-Qaeda (read "terrorism"), Solomon had this
to say: "The word 'terrorism' is clearly a pejorative. And it's an
unwritten rule of US media coverage that the 'terrorism' label can only
be used, or quoted with credence being given to the sources, if
'terrorism' applies to murderous violence opposed by the US government -
in contrast to murderous violence inflicted or otherwise supported by
the US government, in which case that violence is routinely presumed to
be positive."

It is a melding that has the power to change minds.

A melding that may have prompted Orwell to say, "... language can also
corrupt thought."

It is important to note that the board of directors of AP is composed of
22 newspaper and media executives that include the CEOs and presidents
of ABC, McClatchy, Hearst, Tribune and the Washington Post. Two of the
directors are members of very conservative policy councils that include
the Hoover Institute. The Hoover Institute is a Republican policy
research center that has been referred to as "Bush's brain trust." Its
fellows include Condoleezza Rice and Newt Gingrich, a Distinguished
Visiting Fellow, along with George Shultz.

Douglas McCorkindale, also on the board of directors at AP, is on the
board of Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defense contract company.
One does not require crystals to see that the board of AP displays a
clear tilt toward right-wing conservative views, and comprises
representatives of a huge corporate media network of the largest
publishers in the US.

It is not difficult to demolish the myth of the liberal media and its
prominent arms like AP.

*Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and
murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
*- George Orwell

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


7) Pickers Are Few, and Growers Blame Congress
September 22, 2006

LAKEPORT, Calif. — The pear growers here in Lake County waited
decades for a crop of shapely fruit like the one that adorned their
orchards last month.

“I felt like I went to heaven,” said Nick Ivicevich, recalling the
perfection of his most abundant crop in 45 years of tending trees.

Now harvest time has passed and tons of pears have ripened
to mush on their branches, while the ground of Mr. Ivicevich’s
orchard reeks with rotting fruit. He and other growers in Lake
County, about 90 miles north of San Francisco, could not find
enough pickers.

Stepped-up border enforcement kept many illegal Mexican
migrant workers out of California this year, farmers and labor
contractors said, putting new strains on the state’s shrinking
seasonal farm labor force.

Labor shortages have also been reported by apple growers
in Washington and upstate New York. Growers have gone
from frustrated to furious with Congress, which has all but
given up on passing legislation this year to create an
agricultural guest-worker program.

Last week, 300 growers representing every major agricultural
state rallied on the front lawn of the Capitol carrying baskets
of fruit to express their ire.

This year’s shortages are compounding a flight from the
fields by Mexican workers already in the United States. As
it has become harder to get into this country, many illegal
immigrants have been reluctant to return to Mexico in the
off-season. Remaining here year-round, they have gravitated
toward more stable jobs.

“When you’re having to pay housing costs, it’s very difficult
to survive and wait for the next agricultural season to come
around,” said Jack King, head of national affairs for the
California Farm Bureau Federation.

California farms employ at least 450,000 people at the peak
of the harvest, with farm workers progressing from one crop
to the next, stringing together as much as seven months of work.
Growers estimate the state fell short this harvest season
by 70,000 workers. Joe Bautista, a labor contractor from
Stockton who brings crews to Lake County, said about one-third
of his regular workers stayed home in Mexico this year, while
others were caught by the Border Patrol trying to enter
the United States.

With fewer workers, Mr. Bautista fell behind in harvests near
Sacramento and arrived weeks late in Lake County. “There was
a lot of pressure on the contractors,” he said. “But there is only
so much we can do. There wasn’t enough labor.”

For years, economists say, California farmers have been losing
their pickers to less strenuous, more stable and sometimes
higher-paying jobs in construction, landscaping and tourism.

“If you want another low-wage job, you can work in a hotel
and not die in the heat,” said Marc Grossman, the spokesman
for the United Farm Workers of America. The union calculates
that up to 15 percent of California’s farm labor force leaves
agriculture each year.

As they sum up this season’s losses, estimated to be at least
$10 million for California pear farmers alone, growers in the
state mainly blame Republican lawmakers in Washington for
stalling immigration legislation that would have addressed
the shortage by authorizing a guest-worker program for
agriculture. Many growers, a dependably Republican group,
said they felt betrayed.

“After a while, you get done being sad and start being really
angry,” said Toni Scully, a lifelong Republican whose family
owns a pear-packing operation in Lake County. “The Republicans
have given us a lot of lip service, and our crops are hanging
on the trees rotting.”

Tons more pears that were harvested were rejected by
Mrs. Scully’s packing plant because they were picked too
late. The rejects were dumped in a farm lot, mounds
of pungent fruit swarming with bees, left to be eaten
by deer. “The anthem about the fruited plain,” Mrs. Scully
said sadly, “I don’t think this is what they had in mind.”

Some economists and advocates for farm workers say the
labor shortages would ease if farmers would pay more.
Lake County growers said that pickers’ pay was not low —
up to $150 a day — and that they had been ready to pay
even more to save their crops. “I would have raised my wages,”
said Steve Winant, a pear grower whose 14-acre orchard
is still laden with overripe fruit. “But there weren’t any
people to pay.”

The tightening of the border with Mexico, begun more than
a decade ago but reinforced since May with the deployment
of 6,000 National Guard troops, has forced California growers
to acknowledge that most of their workers are illegal Mexican
migrants. The U.F.W. estimates that more than 90 percent
of the state’s farm workers are illegal.

Most California growers gave up years ago on recruiting workers
through the seasonal guest-worker program currently in place.
Known as H-2A, the program requires employers to prove they
tried to find American workers and to apply well in advance
for relatively small contingents of foreign workers for fixed
time periods.

“Our experience with the current H-2A program has been
a nightmare,” said Luawanna Hallstrom, general manager
of Harry Singh & Sons, a vine-ripe tomato grower based
in Oceanside, near San Diego.

Ms. Hallstrom said her company tried to use the program
in the months after the Sept. 11 attacks, when security checks
forced it to fire illegal migrant employees who were working
in tomato fields on a military base. Her company lost
$2.5 million on that 2001 crop, she said.

Over the years, occasional programs to draw American
workers to the harvests have failed. “Americans do not raise
their children to be farm workers,” Ms. Hallstrom said.

The failure of Congress to approve a new guest-worker
program surprised California growers because a proposal
that the Senate passed stemmed from a rare agreement
between growers’ organizations, the U.F.W. and other
advocates for farm workers, and legislators ranging
from conservative Republicans to liberal Democrats.

Known as AgJobs, the proposal would create a new
temporary-resident status for seasonal farm workers
and give them the chance to become permanent residents
if they work intensively in agriculture for at least three years.
It was included in a bill that passed the Senate in May.
The House has passed several bills focused on border security,
and has avoided negotiations with the Senate on a broader
immigration overhaul. [Three of the House bills were
passed Thursday.]

Mr. Ivicevich, a 69-year-old family farmer, is not given
to displays of emotion. But he paused for a moment,
overwhelmed, as he stood among trees sagging with pears
that oozed when he squeezed them. His nighttime sleep,
in his cottage among his 122 acres of orchards, is disrupted
by the thud of dropping fruit and the cracking of branches.

For decades, Mr. Ivicevich said, migrant pickers would knock
on his door asking for work climbing his picking ladders.
Then about five years ago they stopped knocking, and he
turned to a labor contractor to muster harvest crews.
This year, elated, he called the contractor in early August.
Pears must be picked green and quickly packed and chilled,
or they go soft in shipping.

“Then I called and I called and I called,” Mr. Ivicevich said.

The picking crew, which he needed on Aug. 12, arrived two
weeks late and 15 workers short. He lost about 1.8 million
pounds of pears.

His neighbor, Mr. Winant, standing in his drooping orchard
with his hands sunk in his jeans pockets, said he would rather
bulldoze the pear trees than start preparing them for a new season.

“It’s like a death, like a son died,” said Mr. Winant, 45, who cares
for the small orchard himself during the winter. “You work all year
and then see your work go to ground. I want to pull them
out because of the agony. It’s just too hard to take.”


8) Billionaires Only Occupy Forbes 400 List
Filed at 6:30 a.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- For the first time, Forbes magazine's list of the
400 richest Americans consists exclusively of people worth
$1 billion or more. As a group, the people who made the rankings
released Thursday are worth a record $1.25 trillion, compared
with $1.13 trillion last year.

In the billionaire-athon, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson pole-
vaulted to No. 3 from 15 in last year's ranking, finishing behind
the mainstays at Nos. 1 and 2: Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates
and Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Adelson is now estimated to have $20.5 billion, Buffett $46 billion
and Gates $53 billion. Gates has held the No. 1 spot for the last
13 years while Buffett has been No. 2 every year since 1994
except 2000, when Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp. held that spot.

Adelson's expanding net worth is related in no small part to his
decision to open a casino two years ago on the island of Macau,
an emerging gambling haven off the southeastern coast of China.
Profits are growing rapidly thanks to the Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s
Macau casino. Adelson personally and through family trusts
controls 70 percent of the company, Las Vegas Sands spokesman
Ron Reese said.

Forbes estimates Adelson earned about $1 million an hour over
the past two years. In the second quarter alone, the Sands Macau
property saw net revenue jump to $310.4 million, up from $205.1
million a year ago. To tap the demand from gamblers in Asia going
forward, the Sands Corp. plans a second property on Macau and
a casino in Singapore.

The two Google Inc. founders were also big earners. Sergey Brin
and Larry Page gained about $13 million a day over the last two
years, according to Forbes. That puts them in 12th and 13th place,
up from a tie at 16th place last year.

Page and Brin also share the distinction of being, at 33 years old,
the two youngest people on the list and two of only eight who
are younger than 40.

The list was led off by technologists, such as Gates, Microsoft
co-founder Paul Allen, Dell Inc.'s Michael Dell and Ellison, and
rounded out by five members of the Walton clan who have fortunes
amassed from sales by the world's largest retailer.

Ellison, with $19.5 billion, moved to fourth place from fifth,
while Allen, last year's No. 3, was fifth this year with $16 billion.
Dell fell to a tie at ninth place from fourth in last year's list;
he is worth $15.5 billion

Adelson's ascension knocks Helen Walton, the wife of Wal-Mart
Stores Inc. founder Sam Walton, into 11th place with a net worth
of $15.3 billion. Her children, Jim, S. Robson and Alice, and Christy
Walton, the widow of her son John, ranked in the bottom half
of the top 10 this year. Each was worth between $15.5 billion
and $15.7 billion, Forbes reported.

Martha Stewart, founder of the eponymous Martha Stewart Living
Omnimedia Inc., fell off the list completely, as she lost
$395 million over the past year.

The biggest number of people on the list live in California, which
houses 90 of the 400, and another 44 live in New York City.

On the Net: list of 400 richest Americans:


9) America's 400 Richest
Edited by Matthew Miller and Tatiana Serafin
09.21.06, 6:00 PM ET

A nine-figure fortune won’t get you much mention these days,
at least not on these pages. This year, for the first time, everyone
in The Forbes 400 has at least $1 billion. The collective net worth
of the nation’s wealthiest climbed $120 billion, to $1.25 trillion.

Surging real estate, oil and other asset prices paved the way for
28 new members. Developer John P. Manning used political savvy
to build a $1.1 billion fortune in part by brokering low-income
housing projects. Chesapeake Energy founders Aubrey McClendon
and Tom L. Ward are two of the oil fortunes added to the list.

Pouring 40 million caffeinated drinks a week landed Starbucks
honcho Howard Schultz on our list of America’s 400 richest.
Manny Mashouf placed his skimpy women’s wear on TV shows
like Party of Five and Ally McBeal; today he has a $1.5 billion
fortune in Bebe clothing stores.

Also gracing our list for the first time are Lehman Brothers Chief
Richard Fuld ($1 billion), hedge fund manager David E. Shaw
($1 billion), mutual fund guru Jonathan Lovelace Jr. ($1.1 billion),
Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander ($1.2 billion), leveraged
buyout tycoon Leon Black ($2 billion), Google veteran Omid
Kordestani ($1.9 billion), Colony Capital’s Thomas Barrack
($1 billion), New York City real estate moguls Stephen Ross
($2.5 billion) and Tamir Sapir ($2 billion), and the husband-and-
wife computer chip team of Weili Dai ($1 billion) and
Sehat Sutardja ($1 billion).

Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson, who
rebuilt his fortune with investments in real estate and restaurants,
is among the 14 returnees to this year’s list. Netscape pioneer
James Clark is another retread; he reinvested his tech proceeds
into Miami condos and construction outfit Hyperion Development
Group following the burst of the tech bubble six years ago.
Also returning is Little Caesar’s founder Michael Ilitch ($1.5 billion),
car dealership owner Robert Friedkin ($1.2 billion),
investors J. Christopher Flowers ($1.2 billion) and Alfred P. West
($1.2 billion), and banking and real estate maven
Paul M. Milstein ($3.5 billion).

Once again the biggest gainer is casino mogul Sheldon Adelson,
with a net worth up $9 billion. Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands stock
is up 125% since its public offering in December 2004. He has
made almost $1 million an hour since the 2004 Forbes
400 list was published.

Another big gainer is Warren Buffett, who added $6 billion.
That wealth, and the rest of what he has accumulated as
a value investor, will be given away, mostly to the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation.

Eight members of last year’s list died, including investor
Preston Tisch, Grey Goose vodka creator Sidney Frank, and
James and Margaret Cargill, two cousins who inherited
a stake in the world’s largest commodities company
from William W. Cargill.

Thirty-four people couldn’t keep up or gave their money
away. They include leveraged buyout tycoon Theodore
Forstmann, poultryman Donald Tyson, real estate investors
John Arrillaga and Richard Peery, and fashionista Richard
Hayne. Husband-and-wife banking team Herbert and Marion
Sandler dropped from our rankings after giving away more
than $1 billion combined to charity.

Reported by: Emily Douglas, Elyse Graham and Duncan
Greenberg with Christopher Helman and Adam Kemezis.
Additional reporting by: David Armstrong, Victoria Murphy
Barret, William P. Barrett, _Erika Brown, Monte Burke, Kerry A.
Dolan, Tim Doyle, Jonathan Fahey, Allison Fass, Stephane Fitch,
Elizabeth Gregory, Miriam Gottfried, Emily Lambert, Michael
Maiello, Peter Newcomb, Deborah Orr, Matthew Rand, Amanda
Schupak, Matthew Swibel, Mark Tatge and David Whelan, Art
direction: Charles A. Brucaliere_Photo Editor: Gail Toivanen,
Database: Mitchel Rand


10) Off the Charts
What’s a Couple of Hundred Trillion When You’re Talking Derivatives?
September 23, 2006

Everett McKinley Dirksen, the Senate Republican leader in the
1950’s, is supposed to have said, “A billion here and a billion
there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.” What would
he have thought of derivatives today?

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, a trade
group, reported this week that the outstanding nominal value
of swaps and derivatives at the end of June was $283.2 trillion.

Compare that with the combined gross domestic product of the
United States, the European Union, Canada, Japan and China,
which is about $34 trillion. The total value of all homes in the
United States is about the same amount.

To be sure, notional value is an exaggerated term as it greatly
overstates the amount at risk in many contracts. But the growth
rate is real, and in the fastest-growing area of swaps — credit
default swaps — notional value is closer to the amount at risk,
because such swaps promise to make up the losses if a borrower
defaults on the notional amount.

The value of outstanding credit default swaps doubles every year
— a trend that must eventually stop — and now equals $26 trillion.
That is about the same as the total amount of bond debt in the
United States, and corporate debt, on which most credit swaps
are traded, comes to just $5.2 trillion.

The credit derivatives cover the risks of default by individual
companies, and offer insurance against default for bond indexes
and specified bond portfolios.

The growth of the market has forced the swaps and derivatives
association to change the way its credit swaps work. It used to
be that if a company defaulted, the writer of a credit swap would
have to pay par value for the bond he had guaranteed, and could
then sell the bond to reduce his losses.

But in some cases defaults led to bond rallies, as those who had
purchased credit swaps scrambled to get bonds to deliver. Now
traders can choose cash settlements, with the amounts to be
paid determined through auctions.

Until 1997, the association provided separate numbers on currency
and interest rate contracts, but innovations blurred the distinction
between those categories, and now it publishes a combined total.
At the end of June, the figure was $250.8 trillion, up 25 percent
over the previous 12 months.

Growth in that market slowed markedly early in this decade,
as worldwide markets cooled, and there was even one annual
decline, from mid-2000 to mid-2001. But growth picked up in
2002 as economies began to recover.

The volume outstanding of equity derivatives is rising by about
30 percent a year, and now totals $5.6 trillion. It could go farther,
with world stock market capitalization now about $41 trillion,
according to Standard & Poor’s.

Robert Pickel, the chief executive of the association, said that the
growth in derivatives enables “more and more firms to benefit
from these risk management tools.” On the other hand, the
situation allows more and more traders to load up on risk
if they choose, and hedge funds have become major derivatives

The combination of large unregulated hedge funds trading ever
larger amounts of unregulated derivatives in nontransparent
markets makes some people nervous. But so far, anyway, little
is being done to change the situation, and nothing devastating
has happened to markets.


11) Solidarity in New York with
Cuban delegation
Havana. September 22, 2006

NEW YORK, September 21—The Cuban delegation participating
in the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly, led by Vice President
of the Council of State Esteban Lazo Hernández, was warmly received
with messages of solidarity in an enthusiastic public welcome
in the historically Black community of Harlem.

“We know that this neighborhood is the cradle of solidarity with
the Cuban revolution,” said Lazo, who is also a member of the
Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba, referring to the
welcome that the people of Harlem gave President Fidel Castro
in September 1960 in response to the hostility surrounding
his first visit to the United Nations.

During the solidarity event at the Church of the Intercession that
attracted an overflow crowd, Reverend Lucius Walker, executive
director of the Pastors for Peace organization, said that Cuba
deserves gratitude.

“We thank Cuba for the doctors and specialists that it was willing
to send to the aid of the victims of Hurricane Katrina, an offer that
the Bush government did not accept,” he said.

Walker also expressed his thanks for the 110 young medical
students from the United States studying in Cuba without charge.

In her turn, Heidi Bogosian, executive director of the National Lawyers
Guild, highlighted the case of the Cuban Five, unjustly incarcerated
in U.S. prisons because of their activities to prevent acts of terrorism.

The crowd of supporters burst into cheers when Cuban Foreign
Minister Felipe Pérez Roque said that President Fidel Castro was
in full recovery.

In his turn, Vice President Esteban Lazo qualified as immoral the
prison terms handed down to the five Cuban patriots and noted that
it is further evidence of the U.S. imperialist government’s hatred
of the Cuban Revolution.

During the solidarity event, Lazo was approached by a group
of young people who wanted to send greetings to Fidel for
his 80th birthday.

The occasion was an opportunity for the member of the Political
Bureau to recount the political trajectory of President Fidel Castro.
“The first to be in the trenches is Fidel,” Lazo said to applause,
PL reported.


12) Line drawn on immigration legislation
Newsom, Yee slam federal attempts as discriminatory
Leslie Fulbright, Chronicle Staff Writer
[NOTE: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is actively at
work in San Francisco deporting hundreds of undocumented
workers--perhaps not with the help of city employees but,
right under their noses. I send this out as a reminder of what
was promised noting that the city government only promised
not to aid ICE in it's assault against the basic human rights
of undocumented workers, not to stop it. Currently, the City
Government is standing by and not saying a word about it.
We have received many personal reports of such deportations,
firings, evictions, etc., happening in San Francisco. There
have been incidents of workers, upon going to collect
their pay, instead get ICE brought down upon them.
What is the City Government going to do about this?]
Saturday, April 8, 2006

A cross-section of elected officials, religious leaders and immigrant
-rights advocates in San Francisco is vowing not to comply with
proposed legislation that would criminalize living in the United
States illegally and make helping undocumented immigrants
a felony.

Mayor Gavin Newsom said the city will not cooperate with any
federal attempt to criminalize illegal immigration. "This is a city
of refuge," Newsom said at a press conference Thursday. "San
Francisco stands in strong opposition of the rhetoric coming
out of Washington, D.C."

San Francisco's 17-year-old status as a "city of refuge" remains
in effect, the mayor said, meaning that city employees cannot
work with federal authorities to enforce U.S. immigration law.
The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution this month that
expands the city's position, barring any assistance in enforcing
proposed criminal provisions in federal immigration law.

Assemblyman Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, on Friday announced
a new multifaith delegation of Bay Area religious leaders to protest
the proposed legislation, which, he said, "not only unfairly
discriminates against many people in our community, but
it criminalizes churches, mosques and temples for the good
work they are doing."

Yee said he has drafted a state resolution to declare California's
opposition to "such anti-immigrant, anti-worker federal legislation."

The bill drawing fire, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives
in December, criminalizes "illegal presence" in the United States
and the provision of any kind of aid to illegal immigrants. It also
proposes building new fences along 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico
border, requiring businesses to verify the status of workers,
restricting court review of immigration decisions to a single
jurisdiction and deputizing local sheriffs along the border
to arrest illegal immigrants.

A big concern is the section that would make it criminal to aid
undocumented immigrants, which some immigrant rights groups
say could be translated into handing out groceries at a food bank,
providing medical care or babysitting.

Immigration reform has been the subject of intense debate over
the past two weeks as the U.S. Senate considers its own proposal.
The Senate's bill, which didn't pass before a recess Friday, is much
less punitive and provides a path to legal residency for many
illegal immigrants.

While the two drastically different approaches are debated, fear
remains in immigrant communities that undocumented residents
could be considered felons, as well as the people who help them.

"The way the House bill is written, doctors providing medical care
could be put in jail," said Philip Hwang, an attorney with San
Francisco's Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. "This is of tremendous
concern to our office, to the community and throughout California."

Cities throughout the state -- including San Francisco, Los Angeles
and San Diego -- instituted sanctuary laws in the 1980s that prevent
city employees from asking immigration status or cooperating
with federal officials attempting to enforce federal laws.

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris recently signed
a newspaper ad denouncing "anti-immigrant proposals."

"The D.A. opposes any measure that would criminalize assisting
immigrants," said Bilen Mesfin, a spokeswoman for the district a
ttorney's office. "We are a sanctuary city, a city of refuge,
and we always will be."

Eileen Hurst, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Sheriff's
Department, said her office is currently bound by the sanctuary
ordinance, but that could change with new legislation.

"It is highly speculative at this point," Hurst said. "If it passed,
we would seek the advice of the city attorney in implementing it."

Some church leaders who provide services to immigrants have
been vocal in their opposition as well.

The Rev. Kay Jorgensen of the First Unitarian Universalist Society
of San Francisco said, "Immigrants are contributing to the health
and well-being of our communities, while living under the pressures
of immigration laws that threaten their own well-being.

"People of faith must break down the barriers that cause poverty
and suffering, not to help build them through harsh legislation."
Staff writer Rachel Gordon contributed to this story. E-mail Leslie
Fulbright at


13) Turning Back the Clock on Rape
New York Times Editorial
September 23, 2006

In recent decades, women’s advocates and human rights
activists have made huge progress on the issues of rape and
sexual assault — in the United States and globally. Both crimes
are now more powerfully defined in state and federal laws.
In international law, where rape and sexual assault have long
been classified as torture and war crimes, the world has begun
to accept the importance of enforcement. In 1998, a tribunal
convicted a paramilitary chief for watching one of his men
rape a woman in Serbia. A year ago, the world rose up
in outrage when United Nations peacekeepers raped
women in Congo.

You’d think this was a settled issue. But it’s been opened
up again in the bill on jailing, interrogating and trying terror
suspects that President Bush is trying to ram through Congress
in a pre-election rush. Both the White House and Senate versions
contain provisions on rape and sexual assault that turn back
the clock alarmingly. They are among the many flaws that must
be fixed before Congress can responsibly pass this legislation.

Rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse are mentioned twice
in the bill — once as crimes that could be prosecuted before
military tribunals if committed by an “illegal enemy combatant,”
and once as “grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions that
could be prosecuted as war crimes if committed by an American
against a detainee. But in each case, the wording creates
new and disturbing loopholes.

In the bill, rape is narrowly defined as forced or coerced genital
or anal penetration. It utterly leaves out other acts, as well as the
notion that sex without consent is also rape, as defined
by numerous state laws and federal law. That is the more
likely case in a prison, where a helpless inmate would be
unlikely to resist the sexual overtures of a guard or interrogator.

The section on sexual abuse requires that the act include
physical contact. Thus it might not include ordering a terrified
female prisoner to strip and dance, which happened in Rwanda,
or compelling a male prisoner to strip and wear women’s
underwear on his head, or photographing naked prisoners
piled together, both of which happened at Abu Ghraib.

Rhonda Copelon, a professor of law at the City University
of New York who was an author of the international law on rape
as a war crime, says the bill also could make it impossible
to prosecute rape or sexual assault as torture, because the
definition of torture in the legislation requires proof of specific
intent to commit the crime. Motive is very hard to prove in cases
of rape or sexual assault.

Experts on sexual violence fear that the intent is to absolve
American soldiers and their commanders from prosecution
for deeds that have occurred since Sept. 11. Ms. Copelon also
points out that the United States has been trying for years
to write a specific intent requirement into international law
on torture. The co-authors of the bill, Senators John McCain
and Lindsey Graham, did not respond to questions about
the section.

But it does not really matter. This language simply needs
to be changed, and Senators McCain and Graham should
do it. If not, Democrats should insist on this among many
other changes they should be demanding before agreeing
to a vote on the prison measure.


Detainee Deal Comes With Contradictions
September 23, 2006

Decline in Gas Prices Isn’t Buoying Detroit
September 23, 2006

Capital Punishment: DNA Tests Prove Justice Has Failed

Toxic Shock: How Western Rubbish is Destroying Africa

Restraining Order against Bush Denied

60 Years to Restore the Ozone Layer Over Antarctica

UN Finds Baghdad Toll Far Higher Than Cited

Arctic Thaw Opens Passage to Pole

Army on Pace to Meet Year's Recruiting Goal
By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 9, 2006; Page A09

FOCUS | US Threatened to Bomb Pakistan Back to Stone Age

FOCUS | US Threatened to Bomb Pakistan Back to Stone Age
Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf said the US threatened to bomb his
country back to the Stone Age if he did not assist the administration's
war on terrorism. The threat was delivered after the attacks of
September 11, 2001, by Richard L. Armitage, then deputy secretary of state, to
Musharraf's intelligence director, the Pakistani leader told CBS's "60
Minutes" for Sunday's broadcast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Is Thin Too Thin?
September 21, 2006

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

FOCUS | Senate Bill on Torture and Detention Faces GOP Filibuster

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

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

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

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

Sarah Olson | Lieutenant Watada Faces New Charges

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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