Saturday, August 16, 2008



12 year old Ossetian girl tells the truth about Georgia.




Bay Area United Against War Presents a Benefit Performance of:

Howard Zinn's MARX IN SOHO

Saturday, August 30, 2:00 P.M.
Brava Studio Theater
2781 24th Street (at York Street)
San Francisco, CA 94110

Author of “A People’s History of the United States,” Howard Zinn, humanizes the man behind the ideas in his one-man play. The premise of the play is that Marx dies in 1883 but is able to see what happens on Earth for the next 100 years and then comes back to talk about it. Imagine what Karl Marx would have to say after 100 years of just being able to watch...

Starring Veteran Actor: Jerry Levy

Charged with a mighty talent and a bottomless love of the play, Levy has been teaching sociology at Marlboro College and has been acting with the Actors’ Theater of Brattleboro since he moved there from Chicago in 1975.

A special benefit for Bay Area United Against War's
Military counter-recruitment campaign.
P.O. Box 318021
S.F., CA 94131-8021

You can watch a short clip of the play with Jerry Levy at:

And for more fun you can watch "The Manifesto of the Communist Party"--the cartoon at:


Marx in Soho, Zinn at Brandeis
by Noah Klinger
March 11, 2005



NEXT Meeting to defeat PROP. V, the pro-JROTC referendum set for November Ballot in SF
TUESDAY, AUGUST 19, 7:15-9:00 pm
Friends Meeting House
65 9th St, San Francisco (between Mission and Market Sts)
To RSVP or for additional information, please contact Alan Lessik at AFSC at 565.0201, x11 or

Ten Reasons to Vote NO ON PROPOSITION V

1) JROTC is one of the Pentagon's primary military recruitment programs. That is why it was created, that is what it has always been, and that is what it will always be.

2) The military openly brags that 40-50% of JROTC cadets go on to join the military at some point after graduating. The San Francisco school district has stated, in writing, that they do not have any statistics about JROTC cadets and enlistment rates. Only the Pentagon knows how many San Francisco JROTC cadets enlist. No one else can honestly claim to know.

3) The military is a homophobic institution. JROTC is a program of the military and must uphold its rules. While local JROTC claims it is gay-friendly, the reality is that once students leave the confines of the local program and go on to a military career, they must remain closeted or face discharge under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." JROTC instructors are either active or retired military officers, who also can not be openly lesbian or gay while in the service. JROTC instructors are selected by the military, not by the school district.

4) The school district pays almost $1 million per year to support the program, over and above the military subsidy. It is NOT free. We can find better ways to spend our school-district tax dollars.

5 ) International law says that children should be not be recruited by the military. JROTC recruits students as young as 14. Most JROTC cadets are high school freshmen or sophomores.

6) The military targets working-class kids and youth of color. People of color are dying disproportionately in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military recruiters go into working-class and non-white neighborhoods and schools and put pressure on youth to join, including calling them at home and sending them information in the mail.

7) One of the primary backers of this measure is the San Francisco Republican Party, along with the Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Realtors.

8) Proponents talk about JROTC teaching leadership skills, but there are alternative leadership programs that are not connected to the military. The school district already has a "Service Learning" program that has been piloted in several schools. Next year Lincoln and Balboa will be piloting a ninth grade "Ethnic Studies and Leadership Development" course. Instead of teaching military protocol, students need to learn about real leadership.

9) There is a precedent at the school board for ousting programs of institutions that discriminate against LGBT folks. Ten years ago, the school board denied the Boy Scouts the right to use school property for free, based on that organization's stated discriminatory policy against gays and atheists. The local Boy Scouts also claimed that it did not adhere to its national organization's policies.

10) Listen to the testimony of JROTC youth such as Denisha Williams who told the City Paper in Philadelphia that in her senior year in high school, "I have received phone calls, e-mail, three letters and a 15-minute videotape," she says. "I even received a phone call from a female recruiter asking if I was still interested in the Navy. I told her I wasn't and hung up. A week later, I received another letter and the tape. I threw them in the trash." Pressuring youth to join the military is wrong. You better bet the recruiters have the names of the cadets who were in JROTC.

VOTE NO on V, No JROTC, No military in our schools!

No Military Recruitment in Our Schools
65 Ninth Street, Sun Francisco, CA 94103
415-565-0201, Extension 14


Iraq Veterans Against the War presents
Bay Area Winter Soldier Iraq & Afghanistan

Wednesday, August 20, 7 pm
Station 40, 3030B 16th Street (at Mission Street), San Francisco

Join the newly formed San Francisco chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) as they gather to hold a Winter Solder for the public. This event will feature testimony from local Iraq and Afghan vets as well as screenings of testimonies from the Winter Soldier in DC. $5 - $10 suggested donation, no one turned away. A benefit for IVAW travel costs to protest 2008 DNC, and to attend the IVAW national convention.



9th Annual "Power-to-the-Peaceful Festival"

Annual 9/11 Rally / March from the Panhandle through Golden Gate Park to
the "Power-to-the- Peaceful Festival"

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Speedway Meadows
Golden Gate Park

Following the attacks of September 11th, the first "9/11 Truth Rally and March" took place in the Panhandle, marching up Haight Street and through Golden Gate Park to the "Power-to-the-Peaceful" Concert

Our rally begins at 10:00 am @ the Panhandle (between Oak and Fell at Ashbury)
11:00 am we begin our march up Ashbury to Haight, through Golden Gate Park to Speedway Meadows and to the Concert which lasts until 5:00 pm.

To endorse, speak, volunteer --- Contact Carol Brouillet @ 650-857-0927. We welcome all who are for 9/11 Truth, Impeachment, Peace, an End to War, Repeal of the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act. Bring banners, signs, costumes, musical instruments, your humor, energy, messages. The Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance will have a booth at the Concert and pass out literature to the thousands who come to the concert and support peace.

(Go to:
Here's our 9-11 Truth Rally / March webpage with photos and reports from years ago.)


Labor Beat: National Assembly to End the War in Iraq and Afghanistan:
Highlights from the June 28-29, 2008 meeting in Cleveland, OH. In this 26-minute video, Labor Beat presents a sampling of the speeches and floor discussions from this important conference. Attended by over 400 people, the Assembly's main objective was to urge united and massive mobilizations in the spring to “Bring the Troops Home Now,” as well as supporting actions that build towards that date. To read the final action proposal and to learn other details, visit Produced by Labor Beat. Labor Beat is a CAN TV Community Partner. Labor Beat is affiliated with IBEW 1220. Views expressed are those of the producer, not necessarily of IBEW. For info:, 312-226-3330. For other Labor Beat videos, visit Google Video or YouTube and search "Labor Beat".

Open Letter to the U.S. Antiwar Movement

The following “Open letter to the U.S. Antiwar Movement” was adopted by the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations on July 13, 2008. We urge antiwar organizations around the country to endorse the letter. Please send notice of endorsements to

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

In the coming months, there will be a number of major actions mobilizing opponents of U.S. wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan to demand “Bring the Troops Home Now!” These will include demonstrations at the Democratic and Republican Party conventions, pre-election mobilizations like those on October 11 in a number of cities and states, and the December 9-14 protest activities. All of these can and should be springboards for very large bi-coastal demonstrations in the spring.

Our movement faces this challenge: Will the spring actions be unified with all sections of the movement joining together to mobilize the largest possible outpouring on a given date? Or will different antiwar coalitions set different dates for actions that would be inherently competitive, the result being smaller and less powerful expressions of support for the movement’s “Out Now!” demand?

We appeal to all sections of the movement to speak up now and be heard on this critical question. We must not replicate the experience of recent years during which the divisions in the movement severely weakened it to the benefit of the warmakers and the detriment of the millions of victims of U.S. aggressions, interventions and occupations.

Send a message. Urge – the times demand it! – united action in the spring to ensure a turnout which will reflect the majority’s sentiments for peace. Ideally, all major forces in the antiwar movement would announce jointly, or at least on the same day, an agreed upon date for the spring demonstrations.

The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations will be glad to participate in the process of selecting a date for spring actions that the entire movement can unite around. One way or another, let us make sure that comes spring we will march in the streets together, demanding that the occupations be ended, that all the troops and contractors be withdrawn immediately, and that all U.S. military bases be closed.

In solidarity and peace,

National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations


OCTOBER 11, 2008 End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Now!

Dear Readers,

The date of October 11, 2008 was designated as a day of localized national actions against the war at the National Assembly to End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this past June. Demonstrations are already being planned. Here is the call from the Greater Boston area--hopefully we can pull something together for October ll here in San Francisco.

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War

Hi all,

Below is an outreach letter that will be going out to various organizational lists
and individuals all over the Greater Boston area. Please feel free to circulate
this letter as an example of what is happening in Boston as you seek support
for October 11 in your various localities.

Adelante (forward),
John Harris
Greater Boston Stop the Wars Coalition

Dear Friends,

March, 2008 ushered in the sixth year of war and occu pati on “without end” on Iraq . In an act of arrogance and impunity, Congress in a bipartisan vote approved another
$162 billion in funding for the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan . Stepped up threats against Iran and the increased likelihood of a U.S. troop “surge” into Afghanistan point to an imperative for action and an independent voice from the peace and justice movement.

In light of these developments, grass roots forces from around the country gathered together at the end of June for the National Assembly to End the Iraq War and Occupation in Cleveland, Ohio. At the conference an action plan for the months ahead was discussed and approved in a democratic vote. As part of this plan, over 95 percent voted in favor of supporting pre-election protests being organized in cities and localities around the country on October 11, 2008.

It was on October 11, 2002 that Congress approved the “ Iraq War Resolution” granting the Bush administration authorization to invade Iraq . The weeks ahead promise to be filled with debate as the election campaigns gear up. Instead of being spectators who watch the media pundits put their spin on the political pronouncements of the candidates, the October 11 protests present us with an opportunity to be engaged in injecting our agenda, the antiwar agenda, into the intensifying debate.

Please join us in an initial planning meeting as we prepare a Boston protest demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all occupation forces from Iraq and the closing of all military bases. All are invited. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, August 9, 3:00 PM
Encuentro 5
33 Harrison Avenue, 5th Floor
Boston (in Chinatown )

In Peace and Solidarity,

Marilyn Levin
*Arlington/Lexington United for Justice with Peace, New England United

Liam Madden
*IVAW – Boston Chapter

Suren Moodliar
Mass Global Action

Ann Glick
Newton Dialogues for Peace

Nate Goldshlag
Smedley D. Butler Brigade, Chapter 9 Veterans for Peace

Paul Shannon
American Friends Service Committee

John Harris
Greater Boston Stop the Wars Coalition

* Organization for identification purposes only


A.N.S.W.E.R.Calendar of Upcoming Anti-war Events
-- August 16 in Los Angeles: End the War Now! Click this link for information.
-- August 25-28 in Denver: Protest the Democratic National Convention
-- September 1-4 in St. Paul: Protest the Republican Convention
-- January 20, 2009: Bring the Anti-War Movement to Inauguration Day in D.C.

Aug. 16 in Los Angeles: Demand immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq!
Protest at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions

January 20, 2009: Join thousands to demand "Bring the troops home now!"

The ANSWER Coalition will be in the streets on Saturday August 16 in Los Angeles to demand an immediate withdrawal of all occupation forces from Irag and Afghanistan and end to all threats and sanctions against Iran.

The Aug. 16 demonstration will coincide with a presidential forum at Saddleback Church in Orange County. Both McCain and Obama will be speaking there.

This important mobilization marks the start of an intense 5-month period of mass action. After Los Angeles this Saturday, there will be important demonstrations at the Republican and Democratic Party Conventions.

On January 20, 2009, when the next president proceeds up Pennsylvania Avenue he will see thousands of people carrying signs that say US Out of Iraq Now!, US Out of Afghanistan Now!, and Stop the Threats Against Iran! As in Vietnam it will be the people in the streets and not the politicians who can make the difference.

On March 20, 2008, in response to a civil rights lawsuit brought against the National Park Service by the Partnership for Civil Justice on behalf of the ANSWER Coalition, a Federal Court ruled for ANSWER and determined that the government had discriminated against those who brought an anti-war message to the 2005 Inauguration. The court barred the government from continuing its illegal practices on Inauguration Day.

The Democratic and Republican Parties have made it clear that they intend to maintain the occupation of Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and threaten a new war against Iran.

Both Parties are completely committed to fund Israel’s on-going war against the Palestinian people. Both are committed to spending $600 billion each year so that the Pentagon can maintain 700 military bases in 130 countries.

On this the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we are helping to build a nationwide movement to support working-class communities that are being devastated while the country’s resources are devoted to war and empire for for the sake of transnational banks and corporations.

Join us in Los Angeles on August 16, in Denver on Aug. 25-28 at the Democratic Convention, in St. Paul at the Republican Convention between Sept. 1 and Sept. 4. And help organize bus and car caravans for January 20, 2009, Inauguration Day, so that whoever is elected president will see on Pennsylvania Avenue that the people want an immediate end to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and to halt the threats against Iran.

From Iraq to New Orleans, Fund Peoples Needs Not the War Machine!

Calendar of Events:

-- August 16 in Los Angeles: End the War Now! Click this link for information.
-- August 25-28 in Denver: Protest the Democratic National Convention
-- September 1-4 in St. Paul: Protest the Republican Convention
-- January 20, 2009: Bring the Anti-War Movement to Inauguration Day in D.C.

We cannot carry out these actions withour your help. Please take a moment right now to make an urgently needed donation by clicking this link:

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-694-8720
Los Angeles: 213-251-1025
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
Chicago: 773-463-0311



Despite calling itself a "sanctuary city", S.F. politicians are permitting the harrassment of undocumented immigrants and allowing the MIGRA-ICE police to enter the jail facilities.

We will picket any store that cooperates with the MIGRA or reports undocumented brothers and sisters. We demand AMNESTY without conditions!

project of BARRIO UNIDO


Canada: American Deserter Must Leave
August 14, 2008
World Briefing | Americas
Jeremy Hinzman, a deserter from the United States Army, was ordered Wednesday to leave Canada by Sept. 23. Mr. Hinzman, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, left the Army for Canada in January 2004 and later became the first deserter to formally seek refuge there from the war in Iraq. He has been unable to obtain permanent immigrant status, and in November, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear an appeal of his case. Vanessa Barrasa, a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency, said Mr. Hinzman, above, had been ordered to leave voluntarily. In July, another American deserter was removed from Canada by border officials after being arrested. Although the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has not backed the Iraq war, it has shown little sympathy for American deserters, a significant change from the Vietnam War era.

Iraq War resister Robin Long jailed, facing three years in Army stockade

Free Robin Long now!
Support GI resistance!

* Donate to Robin's defense
* Write to Robin in jail

By Courage to Resist
August 7, 2008

Last month 25-year-old U.S. Army PFC Robin Long became the first war resister since the Vietnam War to be forcefully deported from Canadian soil and handed over to military authorities. Robin is currently being held in the El Paso County Jail, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, awaiting a military court martial for resisting the unjust and illegal war against and occupation of Iraq. Robin will be court martialed for desertion “with intent to remain away permanently”—Article 85 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice—in early September. The maximum allowable penalty for a guilty verdict on this charge is three years confinement, forfeiture of pay, and a dishonorable discharge from the Army.

In order to expedite Robin’s trial, it appears that his unit command, the Fourth Brigade Combat Team, Fourth Infantry Division is opting to not charge Robin with speech-related violations of military discipline; opting to try and convict Robin as fast as possible.

Jennifer Johnson, Ryan Johnson, and Dale Landry rally for Robin Long in Toronto, Canada

Robin went absent without leave (AWOL) from the Army in 2005, realizing that he had significant moral opposition to the war and the lies he had been told regarding the reason for invasion and occupation of Iraq. After being transferred to an Iraq bound combat unit, Robin went to Boise, Id. (his home town) where he stayed for several months, before traveling to Canada.

Robin recently talked to Courage to Resist about why he enlisted. “When the U.S. first attacked Iraq, I was told by my president that it was because of direct ties to Al-Qaida and weapons of mass destruction.” Robin explained that while he was uneasy about his personal role in fighting, the Iraq War seemed justified. So when his recruiter promised him a non-combat position within the U.S., he took it. Regarding his decision to resist later, Robin explained, “I made the best decision. Regardless of what hardships I go through, I could have put Iraqi families through more hardships. I have no regrets.” When asked by the Boise Weekly, in May of 2006, if he was prepared to go to jail, Robin replied, “Yeah if it came down to that, I'd be willing to go to prison because I know I did the right thing and I can sleep at night and my conscience is still good.”

Garrett Reppenhagen of IVAW speaks to a reporter about Robin Long, Pioneer Park, Colorado Springs 7/27/08

On July 27th, 2008 Garrett Reppenhagen of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Lee Zaslofsky of the War Resisters Support Campaign (Canada), members of the Springs Action Alliance and more joined James Branum, Robin Long’s civilian lawyer in Pioneer Park to demand Robin Long’s freedom. Garrett praised Robin, declaring “I support Robin Long because he is a Soldier of Conscience. There is a huge propaganda campaign in this country to get young men to join the military. He bought the hype. He signed up for a promised [non-combat] job, but it turned out not to be so. He decided to go to Canada and follow his conscience instead.”

As Robin awaits trial by military tribunal, a general court martial, he sits in the El Paso County Jail – surrounded by other military inmates, as well as civilians serving time on convictions or awaiting criminal prosecution. In the past Robin would have been held in pretrial confinement in an Army stockade, but with rising troop level needs, the Army has chosen to shut down many stockades and outsource confinement of soldiers to civilian authorities. With the exception of Robin’s Lawyer, James Branum, all of Robin’s visitors must communicate with him via a camera and real time video screen. Robin is allowed out of doors for only one hour a day, and even then cannot see anything but a thin strip of sky, directly overhead.

Robin's lawyer James Branum (right) rallies for his client., Pioneer Park, Colorado Springs. 7/27/08

Despite the deprivations of the El Paso county jail, Mr. Branum reports that Robin is “…in considerably good spirits, especially considering all that he is going through.” In a recent phone interview with Courage to Resist Robin reported that he was very happy with Mr. Branum calling him “awesome” as well as his military assigned defense lawyer “a smart cookie” in Robin’s words. He has received many visitors – pastors and members of local congregations, members of the IVAW among them. He wants everyone to know that the cards and the letters of support he receives are most welcome and give him of true sense of the support that is swelling for him, outside the confines of his cell. Lee Zaslofsky, of the Canadian WRSC reports that Robin is “..aware of what he might have to face, and is prepared to face it with courage and without bitterness.”

The fact remains, however, that the Iraq War is unjust and illegal. The U.N. Charter, the Geneva Convention and the Nuremberg principles all bar wars of aggression. The U.S. Constitution makes such treaties part of American law as well. Robin Long is a hero for not only recognizing these truths, but putting his future on the line to courageously resist participating in an immoral occupation. The least we can do is support Robin, and demand his immediate freedom.

What you can do now to support Robin

1. Donate to Robin's legal defense


By mail: Make checks out to “Courage to Resist / IHC” and note “Robin Long” in the memo field. Mail to:

Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave #41
Oakland CA 94610

Courage to Resist is committed to covering Robin’s legal and related defense expenses. Thank you for helping make that possible.

Also: You are also welcome to contribute directly to Robin’s legal expenses via his civilian lawyer James Branum. Visit, select "Pay Online via PayPal" (lower left), and in the comments field note “Robin Long”. Note that this type of donation is not tax-deductible.

2. Send letters of support to Robin

Robin Long, CJC
2739 East Las Vegas
Colorado Springs CO 80906

Robin’s pre-trial confinement has been outsourced by Fort Carson military authorities to the local county jail.

Robin is allowed to receive hand-written or typed letters only. Do NOT include postage stamps, drawings, stickers, copied photos or print articles. Robin cannot receive packages of any type (with the book exception as described below).

3. Send Robin a money order for commissary items

Anything Robin gets (postage stamps, toothbrush, shirts, paper, snacks, supplements, etc.) must be ordered through the commissary. Each inmate has an account to which friends may make deposits. To do so, a money order in U.S. funds must be sent to the address above made out to "Robin Long, EPSO". The sender’s name must be written on the money order.

4. Send Robin a book

Robin is allowed to receive books which are ordered online and sent directly to him at the county jail from or Barnes and Noble. These two companies know the procedure to follow for delivering books for inmates.


Yet Another Insult: Mumia Abu-Jamal Denied Full-Court Hearing by 3rd Circuit
& Other News on Mumia

This mailing sent by the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal


1. Mumia Abu-Jamal Denied Full-Court Hearing by 3rd Circuit
2. Upcoming Events for Mumia
3. New Book on the framing of Mumia

1. MUMIA DENIED AGAIN -- Adding to its already rigged, discriminatory record with yet another insult to the world's most famous political prisoner, the federal court for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia has refused to give Mumia Abu-Jamal an en banc, or full court, hearing. This follows the rejection last March by a 3-judge panel of the court, of what is likely Mumia's last federal appeal.

The denial of an en banc hearing by the 3rd Circuit, upholding it's denial of the appeal, is just the latest episode in an incredible year of shoving the overwhelming evidence of Mumia's innocence under a rock. Earlier in the year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court also rejected Jamal's most recent state appeal. Taken together, state and federal courts in 2008 have rejected or refused to hear all the following points raised by Mumia's defense:

1. The state's key witness, Cynthia White, was pressured by police to lie on the stand in order to convict Mumia, according to her own admission to a confidant (other witnesses agreed she wasn't on the scene at all)
2. A hospital "confession" supposedly made by Mumia was manufactured by police. The false confession was another key part of the state's wholly-manufactured "case."
3. The 1995 appeals court judge, Albert Sabo--the same racist who presided at Mumia's original trial in 1982, where he said, "I'm gonna help 'em fry the n....r"--was prejudiced against him. This fact was affirmed even by Philadelphia's conservative newspapers at the time.
4. The prosecutor prejudiced the jury against inn ocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, by using a slimy tactic already rejected by the courts. But the prosecutor was upheld in Mumia's case!
5. The jury was racially skewed when the prosecution excluded most blacks from the jury, a practice banned by law, but, again, upheld against Mumia!

All of these defense claims were proven and true. But for the courts, these denials were just this year’s trampling on the evidence! Other evidence dismissed or ignored over the years include: hit-man Arnold Beverly said back in the 1990s that he, not Mumia, killed the slain police officer (Faulkner). Beverly passed a lie detector test and was willing to testify, but he got no hearing in US courts! Also, Veronica Jones, who saw two men run from the scene just after the shooting, was coerced by police to lie at the 1982 trial, helping to convict Mumia. But when she admitted this lie and told the truth on appeal in 1996, she was dismissed by prosecutor-in-robes Albert Sabo in 1996 as "not credible!" (She continues to support Mumia, and is writing a book on her experiences.) And William Singletary, the one witness who saw the whole thing and had no reason to lie, and who affirmed that someone else did the shooting, said that Mumia only arriv ed on the scene AFTER the officer was shot. His testimony has been rejected by the courts on flimsy grounds. And the list goes on.

FOR THE COURTS, INNOCENCE IS NO DEFENSE! And if you're a black revolutionary like Mumia the fix is in big-time. Illusions in Mumia getting a "new trial" out of this racist, rigged, kangaroo-court system have been dealt a harsh blow by the 3rd Circuit. We need to build a mass movement, and labor action, to free Mumia now!


NEW YORK CITY & PHILADELPHIA -- Join the Free Mumia Coalition NYC and International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, organizing to free Mumia, and remembering the August 8, 1978 military style attack on MOVE. Free Mumia! Free the MOVE 9! Saturday, August 9, 12 Noon, at the AFSCME 1199 union hall, 1319 Locust (near Juniper) in Philadelphia. Arrange group transport, or reserve a set on the bus, from NYC by calling 212 330-8029, or email

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA -- Speaking Tour by J Patrick O'Connor, the author of THE FRAMING OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL, in the first week of October 2008, sponsored by the Mobilization To Free Mumia. Contributing to this tour, the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia will hold a public meeting with O'Connor on Friday October 3rd, place to be announced. San Francisco, South Bay and other East Bay venues to be announced. Contact the Mobilization at 510 268-9429, or the LAC at 510 763-2347, for more information.


Efficiently and Methodically Framed--Mumia is innocent! That is the conclusion of THE FRAMING OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL, by J Patrick O'Connor (Lawrence Hill Books), published earlier this year. The author is a former UPI reporter who took an interest in Mumia's case. He is now the editor of Crime Magazine (

O'Connor offers a fresh perspective, and delivers a clear and convincing breakdown on perhaps the most notorious frame-up since Sacco and Vanzetti. THE FRAMING OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL is based on a thorough analysis of the 1982 trial and the 1995-97 appeals hearings, as well as previous writings on this case, and research on the MOVE organization (with which Mumia identifies), and the history of racist police brutality in Philadelphia.

While leaving some of the evidence of Mumia's innocence unconsidered or disregarded, this book nevertheless makes clear that there is a veritable mountain of evidence--most of it deliberately squashed by the courts--that shows that Mumia was blatantly and deliberately framed by corrupt cops and courts, who "fixed" this case against him from the beginning. This is a case not just of police corruption, or a racist lynching, though it is both. The courts are in this just as deep as the cops, and it reaches to the top of the equally corrupt political system.

"This book is the first to convincingly show how the Philadelphia Police Department and District Attorney's Office efficiently and methodically framed [Mumia Abu-Jamal]." (from the book jacket)

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal has a limited number of THE FRAMING ordered from the publisher at a discount. We sold our first order of this book, and are now able to offer it at a lower price. $12 covers shipping. Send payment to us at our address below:

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610 • 510.763.2347 •


Sami Al-Arian Subjected to Worst Prison Conditions since Florida
Despite grant of bail, government continues to hold him
Dr. Al-Arian handcuffed

Hanover, VA - July 27, 2008 -

More than two weeks after being granted bond by a federal judge, Sami Al-Arian is still being held in prison. In fact, Dr. Al-Arian is now being subjected to the worst treatment by prison officials since his stay in Coleman Federal Penitentiary in Florida three years ago.

On July 12th, Judge Leonie Brinkema pronounced that Dr. Al-Arian was not a danger to the community nor a flight risk, and accordingly granted him bail before his scheduled August 13th trial. Nevertheless, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) invoked the jurisdiction it has held over Dr. Al-Arian since his official sentence ended last April to keep him from leaving prison. The ICE is ostensibly holding Dr. Al-Arian to complete deportation procedures but, given that Dr. Al-Arian's trial will take place in less than three weeks, it would seem somewhat unlikely that the ICE will follow through with such procedures in the near future.

Not content to merely keep Dr. Al-Arian from enjoying even a very limited stint of freedom, the government is using all available means to try to psychologically break him. Instead of keeping him in a prison close to the Washington DC area where his two oldest children live, the ICE has moved him to Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover, VA, more than one hundred miles from the capital. Regardless, even when Dr. Al-Arian was relatively close to his children, they were repeatedly denied visitation requests.

More critically, this distance makes it extremely difficult for Dr. Al-Arian to meet with his attorneys in the final weeks before his upcoming trial. This is the same tactic employed by the government in 2005 to try to prevent Dr. Al-Arian from being able to prepare a full defense.

Pamunkey Regional Jail has imposed a 23-hour lock-down on Dr. Al-Arian and has placed him in complete isolation, despite promises from the ICE that he would be kept with the general inmate population. Furthermore, the guards who transported him were abusive, shackling and handcuffing him behind his back for the 2.5-hour drive, callously disregarding the fact that his wrist had been badly injured only a few days ago. Although he was in great pain throughout the trip, guards refused to loosen the handcuffs.

At the very moment when Dr. Al-Arian should be enjoying a brief interlude of freedom after five grueling years of imprisonment, the government has once again brazenly manipulated the justice system to deliver this cruel slap in the face of not only Dr. Al-Arian, but of all people of conscience.

Make a Difference! Call Today!

Call Now!

Last April, your calls to the Hampton Roads Regional Jail pressured prison officials to stop their abuse of Dr. Al-Arian after only a few days.
Friends, we are asking you to make a difference again by calling:

Pamunkey Regional Jail: (804) 365-6400 (press 0 then ask to speak to the Superintendent's office). Ask why Dr. Al-Arian has been put under a 23-hour lockdown, despite the fact that a federal judge has clearly and unambiguously pronounced that he is not a danger to anyone and that, on the contrary, he should be allowed bail before his trial.

- If you do not reach the superintendent personally, leave a message on the answering machine. Call back every day until you do speak to the superintendent directly.
- Be polite but firm.

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1) Why Soldiers Rape
Culture of misogyny, illegal occupation, fuel sexual violence in military
By Helen Benedict
August 13, 2008

2) The Great Illusion
Op-Ed Columnist
August 15, 2008

3) Less Than Golden Years
August 15, 2008

4) S.F. Democrats take a sharp turn to the left
"The San Francisco Democratic Party has veered dramatically to the left, telling voters that on Nov. 4 they should elect a raft of ultra-liberal supervisorial candidates, decriminalize prostitution, boot JROTC from public schools, embrace public power and reject Mayor Gavin Newsom's special court in the Tenderloin."
Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, August 15, 2008

5) U.S. Appeals Court to Rehear Case of Deported Canadian
August 15, 2008

6) Supervisor at Iowa Meat Plant Asks That Judge Step Aside
August 15, 2008

7) Rapid Growth Found in Oxygen-Starved Ocean ‘Dead Zones’
August 15, 2008

8) Living Costs Rising Fast, and Wages Are Trailing
"But inflation is causing pain for businesses, too, as many companies are forced to pay more for fuel and transportation costs for goods. To keep making money, firms may try to pass those costs on to their customers."
August 15, 2008

9) "Award-Winning Sand Creek Massacre Film To Smithsonian "

10) How About the Home Front?
Op-Ed Columnist
August 16, 2008


1) Why Soldiers Rape
Culture of misogyny, illegal occupation, fuel sexual violence in military
By Helen Benedict
August 13, 2008

An alarming number of women soldiers are being sexually abused by their comrades-in-arms, both at war and at home. This fact has received a fair amount of attention lately from researchers and the press — and deservedly so.

But the attention always focuses on the women: where they were when assaulted, their relations with the assailant, the effects on their mental health and careers, whether they are being adequately helped, and so on. That discussion, as valuable as it is, misses a fundamental point. To understand military sexual assault, let alone know how to stop it, we must focus on the perpetrators. We need to ask: Why do soldiers rape?

Rape in civilian life is already unacceptably common. One in six women is raped or sexually assaulted in her lifetime, according to the National Institute of Justice, a number so high it should be considered an epidemic.

In the military, however, the situation is even worse. Rape is almost twice as frequent as it is among civilians, especially in wartime. Soldiers are taught to regard one another as family, so military rape resembles incest. And most of the soldiers who rape are older and of higher rank than their victims, so are taking advantage of their authority to attack the very people they are supposed to protect.

Department of Defense reports show that nearly 90 percent of rape victims in the Army are junior-ranking women, whose average age is 21, while most of the assailants are non-commissioned officers or junior men, whose average age is 28.

This sexual violence persists in spite of strict laws against rape in the military and a concerted Pentagon effort in 2005 to reform procedures for reporting the crime. Unfortunately, neither the press nor the many teams of psychologists and sociologists who study veterans ever seem to ask why.

The answer appears to lie in a confluence of military culture, the psychology of the assailants and the nature of war.

Two seminal studies have examined military culture and its attitudes toward women: one by Duke University Law Professor Madeline Morris in 1996, which was presented in the paper “By Force of Arms: Rape, War, and Military Culture” and published in Duke Law Journal; and the other by University of California professor and folklorist Carol Burke in 2004 and explained in her book, Camp All-American, Hanoi Jane and the High-And-Tight: Gender, Folklore and Changing Military Culture (Beacon Press). Both authors found that military culture is more misogynistic than even many critics of the military would suspect. Sometimes this misogyny stems from competition and sometimes from resentment, but it lies at the root of why soldiers rape.

One recent Iraq War veteran reflected this misogyny when he described his Marine Corp training for a collection of soldiers’ works called Warrior Writers, published by Iraq Veterans Against the War in 2008:

The [Drill Instructor’s] nightly homiletic speeches, full of an unabashed hatred of women, were part of the second phase of boot camp: the process of rebuilding recruits into Marines.

Morris and Burke both show that military language reveals this “unabashed hatred of women” all the time. Even with a force that is now 14 percent female, and with rules that prohibit drill instructors from using racial epithets and curses, those same instructors still routinely denigrate recruits by calling them “pussy,” “girl,” “bitch,” “lady” and “dyke.” The everyday speech of soldiers is still riddled with sexist insults.

Soldiers still openly peruse pornography that humiliates women. (Pornography is officially banned in the military, but is easily available to soldiers through the mail and from civilian sources, and there is a significant correlation between pornography circulation and rape rates, according to Duke’s Morris. And military men still sing the misogynist rhymes that have been around for decades. For example, Burke’s book cites this Naval Academy chant:

Who can take a chainsaw
Cut the bitch in two
Fuck the bottom half
And give the upper half to you…

The message in all these insults is that women have no business trying to be soldiers. In 2007, Sgt. Sarah Scully of the Army’s 8th Military Police Brigade wrote to me in an e-mail from Kuwait, where she was serving: “In the Army, any sign that you are a woman means you are automatically ridiculed and treated as inferior.”

Army Spc. Mickiela Montoya, who was in Iraq for 11 months from 2005-2006, put it another way: “There are only three things the guys let you be if you’re a girl in the military: a bitch, a ho or a dyke. One guy told me he thinks the military sends women over to give the guys eye candy to keep them sane. He told me in Vietnam they had prostitutes, but they don’t have those in Iraq, so they have women soldiers instead.”

The view of women as sexual prey has always been present in military culture. Indeed, civilian women have been seen as sexual booty for conquering soldiers since the beginning of human history. So, it should come as no surprise that the sexual persecution of female soldiers has been going on in the armed forces for decades.

• A 2004 study of veterans from Vietnam and all wars since, conducted by psychotherapist Maureen Murdoch and published in the journal Military Medicine, found that 71 percent of the women said they were sexually assaulted or raped while serving.

• In 2003, a survey of female veterans from Vietnam through the first Gulf War by psychologist Anne Sadler and her colleagues, published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, found that 30 percent said they were raped in the military.

• And a 1995 study of female veterans of the Gulf and earlier wars, also conducted by Murdoch and published in Archives of Family Medicine, reported that 90 percent had been sexually harassed, which means anything from being pressured for sex to being relentlessly teased and stared at.

• A 2007 survey by the Department of Veterans Affairs found that homelessness among female veterans is rapidly increasing as women soldiers come back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Forty percent of these homeless female veterans say they were sexually abused while in the service.

Defense Department numbers are much lower. In Fiscal Year 2007, the Pentagon reported 2,085 sexual assaults among military women, which given that there are about 200,000 active-duty women in the armed forces, is a mere fraction of what the veterans studies indicate. The discrepancy can be explained by the fact that the Pentagon counts only those rapes that soldiers have officially reported.

Having the courage to report a rape is hard enough for civilians, where unsympathetic police, victim-blaming myths, and the fear of reprisal prevent some 60 percent of rapes from being brought to light, according to a 2005 Department of Justice study.

But within the military, reporting is much riskier. Platoons are enclosed, hierarchical societies, riddled with gossip, so any woman who reports a sexual assault has little chance of remaining anonymous. She will probably have to face her assailant day after day and put up with resentment and blame from other soldiers who see her as a snitch. She risks being persecuted by her assailant if he is her superior, and punished by any commanders who consider her a troublemaker. And because military culture demands that all soldiers keep their pain and distress to themselves, reporting an assault will make her look weak and cowardly.

For all these reasons, some 80 percent of military rapes are never reported, as the Pentagon itself acknowledges.

This widespread misogyny in the military actively encourages a rape culture. It sends the message to men that, no matter how they feel about women, they won’t fit in as soldiers unless they prove themselves a “brother” by demeaning and persecuting women at every opportunity. So even though most soldiers are not rapists, and most men do not hate women, in the military even the nicest guys succumb to the pressure to act as if they do.

Of the 40 or so female veterans I have interviewed over the past two years, all but two said they were constantly sexually harassed by their comrades while they were serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, and many told me that the men were worse in groups than they were individually. Air Force Sgt. Marti Ribeiro, for example, told me that she was relentlessly harassed for all eight years of her service, both in training and during her deployments in 2003 and 2006:

I ended up waging my own war against an enemy dressed in the same uniform as mine. I had a senior non-commissioned officer harass me on a regular basis. He would constantly quiz me about my sex life, show up at the barracks at odd hours of the night and ask personal questions that no supervisor has a right to ask. I had a colonel sexually harass me in ways I’m too embarrassed to explain. Once my sergeant sat with me at lunch in the chow hall, and he said, ‘I feel like I’m in a fish bowl, the way all the men’s eyes are boring into your back.’ I told him, ‘That’s what my life is like.’

Misogyny has always been at the root of sexual violence in the military, but two other factors contribute to it, as well: the type of man who chooses to enter the all-volunteer force and the nature of the Iraq War.

The economic reasons behind enlistment are well understood. The military is the primary path out of poverty and dead-end jobs for many of the poor in America. What is less discussed is that many soldiers enlist as teenagers to escape troubled or violent homes.

Two studies of Army and Marine recruits, one conducted in 1996 by psychologists L.N. Rosen and L. Martin, and the other in 2005 by Jessica Wolfe and her colleagues of the Boston Veterans Affairs Health Center, both of which were published in the journal Military Medicine, found that half the male enlistees had been physically abused in childhood, one-sixth had been sexually abused, and 11 percent had experienced both. This is significant because, as psychologists have long known, childhood abuse often turns men into abusers.

In the ’70s, when the women’s movement brought general awareness of rape to a peak, three men — criminologist Menachim Amir and psychologists Nicholas Groth and Gene Abel — conducted separate but groundbreaking studies of imprisoned rapists. They found that rapists are not motivated by out-of-control lust, as is widely thought, but by a mix of anger, sexual sadism and the need to dominate — urges that are usually formed in childhood. Therefore, the best way to understand a rapist is to think of him as a torturer who uses sex as a weapon to degrade and destroy his victims. This is just as true of a soldier rapist as it is of a civilian who rapes.

Nobody has yet proven that abusive men like this seek out the military — attracted by its violent culture — but several scholars suspect that this is so, including the aforementioned Morris and Rutgers University law professor Elizabeth L. Hillman, author of a forthcoming paper on sexual violence in the military. Hillman writes, “There is … the possibility that the demographics of the all-volunteer force draw more rape-prone men into uniform as compared to civil society.”

Worse, according to the Defense Department’s own reports, the military has been exacerbating the problem by granting an increasing number of “moral waivers” to its recruits since 9/11, which means enlisting men with records of domestic and sexual violence.

Furthermore, the military has an abysmal record when it comes to catching, prosecuting and punishing its rapists. The Pentagon’s 2007 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military found that 47 percent of the reported sexual assaults in 2007 were dismissed as unworthy of investigation, and only about 8 percent of the cases went to court-martial, reflecting the difficulty female soldiers have in making themselves heard or believed when they report sexual assault within the military. The majority of assailants were given what the Pentagon calls “nonjudicial punishments, administrative actions and discharges.” By contrast, in civilian life, 40 percent of those accused of sex crimes are prosecuted.

Which brings us to the question: Do the reasons soldiers rape have anything to do with the nature of the wars we are waging today, particularly in Iraq?

Robert Jay Lifton, a professor of psychiatry who studies war crimes, theorizes that soldiers are particularly prone to commit atrocities in a war of brutal occupation, where the enemy is civilian resistance, the command sanctions torture, and the war is justified by distorted reasoning and obvious lies.

Thus, many American troops in Iraq have deliberately shot children, raped civilian women and teenagers, tortured prisoners of war, and abused their own comrades because they see no moral justification for the war, and are reduced to nothing but self-loathing, anger, fear and hatred.

Although these explanations for why soldiers rape are dispiriting, they do at least suggest that the military could institute the following reforms:

• Promote and honor more women soldiers. The more respect women are shown by the command, the less abuse they will get from their comrades.

• Teach officers and enlistees that rape is torture and a war crime.

• Expel men from the military who attack their female comrades.

• Ban the consumption of pornography.

• Prohibit the use of sexist language by drill instructors.

• Educate officers to insist that women be treated with respect.

• Train military counselors to help male and female soldiers not only with war trauma, but also with childhood abuse and sexual assault.

• Cease admitting soldiers with backgrounds of domestic or sexual violence.

And last — but far from least — end the war in Iraq.

[Editor’s note: This article is adapted from The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, to be published by Beacon Press in April 2009.]
Helen Benedict, a professor of journalism at Columbia University, is author of several books concerning social justice and women. Her writings on women soldiers won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism in 2008.


2) The Great Illusion
Op-Ed Columnist
August 15, 2008

So far, the international economic consequences of the war in the Caucasus have been fairly minor, despite Georgia’s role as a major corridor for oil shipments. But as I was reading the latest bad news, I found myself wondering whether this war is an omen — a sign that the second great age of globalization may share the fate of the first.

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, here’s what you need to know: our grandfathers lived in a world of largely self-sufficient, inward-looking national economies — but our great-great grandfathers lived, as we do, in a world of large-scale international trade and investment, a world destroyed by nationalism.

Writing in 1919, the great British economist John Maynard Keynes described the world economy as it was on the eve of World War I. “The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth ... he could at the same moment and by the same means adventure his wealth in the natural resources and new enterprises of any quarter of the world.”

And Keynes’s Londoner “regarded this state of affairs as normal, certain, and permanent, except in the direction of further improvement ... The projects and politics of militarism and imperialism, of racial and cultural rivalries, of monopolies, restrictions, and exclusion ... appeared to exercise almost no influence at all on the ordinary course of social and economic life, the internationalization of which was nearly complete in practice.”

But then came three decades of war, revolution, political instability, depression and more war. By the end of World War II, the world was fragmented economically as well as politically. And it took a couple of generations to put it back together.

So, can things fall apart again? Yes, they can.

Consider how things have played out in the current food crisis. For years we were told that self-sufficiency was an outmoded concept, and that it was safe to rely on world markets for food supplies. But when the prices of wheat, rice and corn soared, Keynes’s “projects and politics” of “restrictions and exclusion” made a comeback: many governments rushed to protect domestic consumers by banning or limiting exports, leaving food-importing countries in dire straits.

And now comes “militarism and imperialism.” By itself, as I said, the war in Georgia isn’t that big a deal economically. But it does mark the end of the Pax Americana — the era in which the United States more or less maintained a monopoly on the use of military force. And that raises some real questions about the future of globalization.

Most obviously, Europe’s dependence on Russian energy, especially natural gas, now looks very dangerous — more dangerous, arguably, than its dependence on Middle Eastern oil. After all, Russia has already used gas as a weapon: in 2006, it cut off supplies to Ukraine amid a dispute over prices.

And if Russia is willing and able to use force to assert control over its self-declared sphere of influence, won’t others do the same? Just think about the global economic disruption that would follow if China — which is about to surpass the United States as the world’s largest manufacturing nation — were to forcibly assert its claim to Taiwan.

Some analysts tell us not to worry: global economic integration itself protects us against war, they argue, because successful trading economies won’t risk their prosperity by engaging in military adventurism. But this, too, raises unpleasant historical memories.

Shortly before World War I another British author, Norman Angell, published a famous book titled “The Great Illusion,” in which he argued that war had become obsolete, that in the modern industrial era even military victors lose far more than they gain. He was right — but wars kept happening anyway.

So are the foundations of the second global economy any more solid than those of the first? In some ways, yes. For example, war among the nations of Western Europe really does seem inconceivable now, not so much because of economic ties as because of shared democratic values.

Much of the world, however, including nations that play a key role in the global economy, doesn’t share those values. Most of us have proceeded on the belief that, at least as far as economics goes, this doesn’t matter — that we can count on world trade continuing to flow freely simply because it’s so profitable. But that’s not a safe assumption.

Angell was right to describe the belief that conquest pays as a great illusion. But the belief that economic rationality always prevents war is an equally great illusion. And today’s high degree of global economic interdependence, which can be sustained only if all major governments act sensibly, is more fragile than we imagine.


3) Less Than Golden Years
August 15, 2008

Even before the housing bubble, the country was facing a retirement crisis, with most Americans saving too little, if anything, for their post-working years. The housing bubble — and subsequent bust — have made that bad situation worse.

As house prices surged through the middle of this decade, the already low savings rate turned negative. Many Americans were living beyond their means, in part, because swelling home values created an illusion of wealth. Now, with house prices falling, nearly 10 million people have lost all of their home equity. Millions more have given up all of the gains of the boom years — a wipeout totaling $3.5 trillion, so far.

Millions of Americans will not be able to recover their equity or build their savings in time to have a secure retirement. The sooner lawmakers and employers respond to this crisis — with legislation and education — the better the chances for limiting the damage.

The first goal should be to keep the bleak savings picture from getting much worse, and for that education is crucial. Studies show that employees — unable to borrow against their homes — are increasingly taking loans or withdrawals from their 401(k)’s, often to cover medical bills or mortgage payments. They may have no choice, but tapping a retirement plan early can be costly.

When employees borrow from their 401(k)’s, they are borrowing from themselves. They pay themselves back through payroll deductions, at an interest rate that is set by the plan. Even with full repayment, however, 401(k) borrowers still tend to end up with less because the interest they pay is usually less than what they would have earned if the money had remained invested. Employees that can’t pay are charged tax and, in most cases, a 10 percent penalty on the unpaid balance.

Early withdrawals do even more damage. Employees owe tax and, usually, the 10 percent penalty, and are barred from contributing to the plan for six months. Years of savings and compounded growth are lost.

In tough times, employees must have access to their 401(k). But employers should ensure that workers understand the true cost of tapping those accounts.

Congress, for its part, needs to guard against undue leakage from retirement accounts. A case in point is the 401(k) debit card, a new form of plastic that lets plan participants borrow from their 401(k) with every swipe. Congress should move quickly to ban the cards. Daily access to one’s 401(k) violates the whole point of government-encouraged retirement savings.

Lawmakers should also institute automatic rollovers, in which 401(k)’s are automatically transferred to a new retirement account when workers change employers. Currently, employees can take the money when they leave, and many do, despite having to pay taxes and a penalty. Automatic rollovers would temper the urge for early spending.

Congress must do a lot more to help Americans have more secure retirements. Modest tax increases and modest benefit cuts, phased in over decades, could put Social Security on a firm financial footing, if only Congress would act. A modernized system of unemployment compensation and universal health care coverage would allay the potentially devastating financial setbacks of joblessness and illness. Both would help to ensure that money that is put in a retirement account stays there.

Even if all these issues were addressed right away, some people would still come up short — unable to rebound from years of undersaving and the bursting of the bubble. Timely repair work could go a long way to averting a wider disaster.


4) S.F. Democrats take a sharp turn to the left
"The San Francisco Democratic Party has veered dramatically to the left, telling voters that on Nov. 4 they should elect a raft of ultra-liberal supervisorial candidates, decriminalize prostitution, boot JROTC from public schools, embrace public power and reject Mayor Gavin Newsom's special court in the Tenderloin."
Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, August 15, 2008

The San Francisco Democratic Party has veered dramatically to the left, telling voters that on Nov. 4 they should elect a raft of ultra-liberal supervisorial candidates, decriminalize prostitution, boot JROTC from public schools, embrace public power and reject Mayor Gavin Newsom's special court in the Tenderloin.

That's just what some party members feared after Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Chris Daly and Jake McGoldrick along with others who billed themselves as "The Hope Slate" were elected to the Democratic County Central Committee in June.

The powerful, 34-member panel worked late into Wednesday night deciding endorsements that could play a big role in how the overwhelmingly Democratic city votes this fall.

Peskin, the group's chairman, said Thursday that the progressive endorsements are in step with the priorities of San Francisco's voters and are geared toward making the party bigger and stronger after some left-wing members broke off to join the Green Party.

"We saw over the last many years disenchantment by Democratic Party activists who felt the past policies of the local party were out of step with San Francisco's Democratic values," he said. "We're reaching out to people who were turned off, but we're not alienating people who have been party stalwarts for decades."

The central committee rejected just about every candidate and measure endorsed by Newsom, who enjoyed support of the committee up until June. Nathan Ballard, the mayor's press secretary, said the committee's endorsements are out of whack with Democratic values.

"Democrats in San Francisco care about health care, education and public safety - they don't care about these lunatic fringe issues," Ballard said. "People in San Francisco are smart, and they know better than to follow Chris Daly's advice."

The meeting stretched over five hours, including two hours of public comment - mostly from high school students wanting JROTC to remain in their schools and sex workers who were divided on whether to decriminalize their trade.

"That's the beauty of the Democratic Party," laughed Scott Wiener, the former central committee chairman. Wiener is a part of the group's more moderate faction and lost the chairman post to Peskin last month.

But the meeting turned contentious when the group took up endorsements for seven supervisorial races.

The group endorsed incumbents Carmen Chu and Sean Elsbernd and made no endorsement in District Five where Ross Mirkarimi faces no real challenge, but is a member of the Green Party.

In the four wide-open races, the group picked ultra-liberal candidates Eric Mar in District One, David Chiu in District Three, David Campos in District Nine and John Avalos in District Eleven.

Many of the progressive central committee members support the city's new system of ranked-choice voting, in which voters can pick their first, second and third choices to avoid a costly runoff. Yet, in all but one case - District Three, where Denise McCarthy got a second-choice endorsement - the group declined to back a second or third candidate.

Selecting additional candidates in the other districts would have meant choosing a member of the moderate wing of the party, and Peskin said there simply weren't good candidates to choose as backups in most districts.

Wiener said Peskin and his allies displayed tribal politics at its worst.

"There's a litmus test that some people try to apply that if you don't agree with us on every single issue, you're not progressive," he said.

Sue Lee, a candidate in District One, sat in the audience as she failed to get any nod from the group. She later motioned to her back and asked, "Am I bleeding?" - implying she'd been stabbed by fellow Democrats.

The group also took a position on 22 ballot measures, voting most controversially to support the decriminalization of prostitution. Supporters say the measure would protect prostitutes from assault and rape because they could report the abuse without being prosecuted themselves; opponents say it would make it harder to investigate and prosecute sex trafficking, a major problem in the city.

The central committee also voted against an advisory measure to keep JROTC in the public schools because of the program's military connections and for measures to spend $2.7 billion over the next 15 years on affordable housing and set the city on the path toward public power.

The committee at first couldn't reach a majority on what to do about Newsom's measure to fund the Community Justice Center, which would prosecute misdemeanor and nonviolent felonies in the Tenderloin and South of Market.

It appeared the group would make no endorsement until Daly pushed for another vote at 11:30 p.m. after some pro-court members had left. With smaller numbers, the group chose to endorse a vote against the measure. Daly didn't return a call for comment.

E-mail Heather Knight at

This article appeared on page B - 1


5) U.S. Appeals Court to Rehear Case of Deported Canadian
August 15, 2008

A federal appeals court in New York will take the unusual step of rehearing a case it decided in June, when it dismissed a lawsuit filed by a telecommunications engineer from Canada who was detained at Kennedy Airport in 2002, flown to Jordan and expelled to Syria, where he said he was tortured.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in Manhattan, notified lawyers for the man, Maher Arar, that arguments would be heard on Dec. 9 in an en banc session, meaning in front of all 12 appeals judges. The June decision was made by three of the judges.

The court routinely assigns a three-judge panel to hear each case. One of Mr. Arar’s lawyers, Maria LaHood, of the Center for Constitutional Rights in Manhattan, said it was unusual for the full court to take up a case that had already been decided.

“It’s even more unusual for the Second Circuit to hear a case en banc without being asked,” she said, noting that neither she nor the Justice Department had requested the rehearing. The court offered no explanation in its three-paragraph order, but said that a majority of the judges had voted to rehear the case.

Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, in Virginia, said the implication was that one of the judges had asked for the vote. He said it was unusual for the full court to hear a case under such circumstances.

“It just isn’t done very often,” he said, and almost never in New York. Referring to en banc hearings, he added: “The percentage is tiny, minuscule. I think nationwide, there aren’t more than 100 a year in the 12 circuits.”

Mr. Arar’s lawsuit sought civil damages from a number of federal officials, including John Ashcroft, who was attorney general when Mr. Arar was stopped at the airport on his way home to Canada from a vacation in Switzerland because immigration officers found his name on a terrorist watch list. Mr. Arar had accused Mr. Ashcroft and other Bush administration officials at the time — among them Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Tom Ridge, the director of homeland security — of violating federal law and his civil rights.

The three judges, affirming a lower-court decision, ruled 2 to 1 that the federal courts lacked jurisdiction to hear Mr. Arar’s complaint. The reason, they said, was that technically, Mr. Arar was never in the United States.

One of the three judges, though, dissented, blasting as “a legal fiction” the idea that Mr. Arar was not in this country when he was apprehended at Kennedy. That judge, Robert D. Sack, said that Mr. Arar’s case should continue because Mr. Arar “was, in effect, abducted while attempting to transit at J.F.K. Airport.”

Ms. LaHood said that Mr. Arar was held for nearly two weeks and not allowed to call a lawyer or go before a court. Then he was flown to Jordan and turned over to Syrian intelligence officials. He was held in Syria for a year, and says he was beaten.

Mr. Arar, who is in his 30s, immigrated to Canada from Syria as a teenager and became a naturalized Canadian citizen. In 2003, he was taken to Canada, where a high-level commission concluded that the Canadian police and intelligence officials had erroneously linked Mr. Arar to Al Qaeda.

The commission found that the Canadians had provided American officials with the misinformation. The commission also concluded that Canadian officials had been behind a campaign to discredit Mr. Arar after he was released from Syria and arrived in Canada in October 2003.

The Canadian government issued a formal apology in January 2007 and paid Mr. Arar $9.75 million.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said last year that the matter had not been “handled as it should have been.” In June, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general said at a Congressional hearing that the Justice Department’s ethics office was reviewing the decision to send Mr. Arar to Syria.


6) Supervisor at Iowa Meat Plant Asks That Judge Step Aside
August 15, 2008

A packing house floor supervisor who is facing criminal immigration charges stemming from his work at a meat plant in Iowa has asked the federal judge hearing his case to recuse herself, claiming she is not impartial.

The supervisor, Martin de la Rosa Loera, worked at the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, where 389 illegal immigrant workers were detained in a raid on May 12, the largest immigration enforcement operation at a single workplace.

In a motion filed late Wednesday, Mr. de la Rosa called on Linda R. Reade, chief judge for the Northern District of Iowa, to step aside from the case, arguing that “a reasonable person might harbor doubts” that she would be neutral.

The motion echoed criticism from criminal defense and immigration lawyers and some Congressional lawmakers about hearings, conducted after the Agriprocessors raid, that Judge Reade worked to organize and then presided over. In rapid prosecutions in temporary courts at a cattle fairground, 297 illegal immigrant workers were convicted and sentenced in four days. Most of them pleaded guilty to using fraudulent documents to hire on at the plant and were sentenced to five months in prison.

Mr. de la Rosa’s motion argues that Judge Reade engaged in “extensive involvement and apparent cooperation with the government in developing a process which, by all appearances, was designed to produce conveyor belt justice.”

Another Agriprocessors floor supervisor, Juan Carlos Guerrero Espinoza, filed a motion on Thursday seeking a change of venue for his trial.

Mr. de la Rosa and Mr. Guerrero were arrested on July 3, charged with helping illegal immigrants obtain false documents to hire on at the Postville plant. Both men, the highest-level Agriprocessors managers to be arrested so far, have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors declined to comment on the motions.


7) Rapid Growth Found in Oxygen-Starved Ocean ‘Dead Zones’
August 15, 2008

Many coastal areas of the world’s oceans are being starved of oxygen at an alarming rate, with vast stretches along the seafloor depleted of it to the point that they can barely sustain marine life, researchers are reporting.

The main culprit, scientists say, is nitrogen-rich nutrients from crop fertilizers that spill into coastal waters by way of rivers and streams.

A study to be published Friday in the journal Science says the number of these marine “dead zones” around the world has doubled about every 10 years since the 1960s. About 400 coastal areas now have periodically or perpetually oxygen-starved bottom waters, many of them growing in size and intensity. Combined, the zones are larger than Oregon.

“What’s happened in the last 40, 50 years is that human activity has made the water quality conditions worse,” the study’s leader author, Robert J. Diaz, said in an interview.

The trend portends nothing good for many fisheries, said Dr. Diaz, a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary. “Dead zones,” he said, “tend to occur in areas that are historically prime fishing grounds.”

Indeed, while the size of dead zones is small relative to the total surface of the oceans, scientists say they account for a significant part of ocean waters that support commercial fish and shellfish species.

Seasonally, low oxygen levels wipe out fish and crustaceans from dead-zone bottom waters in places like the Gulf of Mexico, Chesapeake Bay and the Baltic Sea, leaving little life other than microbes. Among places where dead zones have grown in recent years are coastal China and the Kattegat Sea, where the Norway lobster fishery collapsed. The zones have also cropped up unexpectedly in pockets off the coast of South Carolina and the Pacific Northwest.

The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico this summer covers a swath nearly the size of Massachusetts. That zone has more than doubled in size in the last 20 years.

“There are large areas of the gulf where you can’t catch any shrimp,” said Nancy N. Rabalais, executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, who has studied the dead zone there for more than two decades. “It’s sort of a losing battle.”

Scientists attribute dead zones to a process that begins when nitrogen from agricultural runoff and sewage stimulates the growth of photosynthetic plankton on the surface of coastal waters. As the organisms decay and sink to the bottom, they are decomposed by microbes that consume large amounts of oxygen. As oxygen levels drop, most animals that live at the bottom cannot survive.

“The overwhelming response of the organisms in our coastal areas is to migrate or to die,” Dr. Diaz said. “To adapt to low oxygen water, it has to be a part of your evolutionary history. It’s not something you can develop in a 40- or 50-year time period.”

Many dead zones are cyclical, recurring each year in the summer months. But over time, they can permanently kill off entire species within the zone. They have also prevented the rebounding of species that are under protection after overfishing, like the Baltic Sea’s cod.

Low oxygen levels also kill off annelid worms and other sources of food for fish and crustaceans.

Once dead zones recur, “they are very hard to reverse,” said Donald F. Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, adding that “they have major consequences for the ability of fish populations to renew themselves.”

Dr. Boesch, who like Dr. Rabalais was not affiliated with the study, said that “the global proliferation” of dead zones, once mainly a problem of the developed world, had been fueled by industrialization, changing eating habits and population growth, which have led to more fertilizer use and more waste in the world’s watersheds.

Dead zones pose a serious threat to coastal ecosystems, said James N. Galloway, a professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia. “But the challenge is, How do you manage fertilizer use without compromising the ability of the world to feed people?” Dr. Galloway said.

Robert W. Howarth, a professor of ecology and environmental biology at Cornell, said methods to reduce nitrogen-rich runoff existed, including the planting of winter rye or winter wheat rather than leaving fields fallow after fall harvest. Such planting would cause much fertilizer to be absorbed by the winter crops rather than being leached into waterways by spring rains.


8) Living Costs Rising Fast, and Wages Are Trailing
"But inflation is causing pain for businesses, too, as many companies are forced to pay more for fuel and transportation costs for goods. To keep making money, firms may try to pass those costs on to their customers."
August 15, 2008

The cost of living, led by the soaring cost of gasoline and food, is rising at the fastest rate since the recession of the early 1990s, the government said on Thursday, handing a de facto pay cut to the American worker.

The report, from the Labor Department, offered quantitative proof of what Americans have been feeling for months: almost everything costs more, even as they have less money to pay for it.

Prices of a wide range of common products in the Consumer Price Index were 5.6 percent higher last month than they were in July 2007, the sharpest annual increase since January 1991.

Much of the increase has been driven by the immense run-up in gasoline prices. But food, beverage and transportation costs are also significantly higher than they were a year ago.

The higher prices have made many workers’ wages effectively worth less.

In July, rank-and-file workers — those in production or nonsupervisory roles — earned 3.1 percent less than they did a year ago, after adjusting for the rising cost of living.

“Any way you slice it, incomes aren’t keeping up with the inflation rate,” said Michael T. Darda, chief economist at the trading and research firm MKM Partners.

It was the 10th consecutive month that the weekly average salary had failed to keep pace with inflation, according to statistics from the Labor Department.

Employers are doling out modest wage increases, but not nearly enough to compensate for more expensive food and fuel.

“People see it and they feel it on a daily basis,” Mr. Darda said. “If it’s gasoline or food, that’s visible inflation, and the stuff that households need the most and depend on.”

Prices have not risen at the speed they did during the oil crises of the 1970s, and financial policy makers have said they do not expect a repeat of the so-called wage-price spiral that led to double-digit inflation rates during that decade.

But with home values falling and the stock market in a slump, Americans are finding it more and more difficult to pay for basic purchases. Credit card debt has spiraled upward, home foreclosures are rising, and banks have become more guarded in giving out loans and mortgages.

Social Security recipients are now on track to receive the highest cost-of-living increase since 1982.

The Federal Reserve can try to choke off inflation by raising its benchmark interest rate. But such a move would also make it harder for businesses, banks and households to obtain loans, which could cause a further slowdown in the economy. Investors now expect the Fed to hold rates steady until at least the end of the year.

Some economists have argued that as Americans cut back their spending, demand for products and services will drop, forcing businesses to lower their prices.

But inflation is causing pain for businesses, too, as many companies are forced to pay more for fuel and transportation costs for goods. To keep making money, firms may try to pass those costs on to their customers.

Recent weeks have shown a few indications of relief in fuel prices, as oil prices declined steeply. On Thursday, crude oil futures dropped about a dollar to just over $115 a barrel, down 11 percent from a month ago.

Gasoline prices rose 4 percent in July, but that was less than half the 10 percent increase in May. Transportation costs also decelerated. And the dollar has waged a comeback against foreign currencies; on Thursday, it reached a six-month high against the euro.

But while some economists predicted that inflation would start to ease, they said that process could take several months. Many reserved the right to modify their forecasts if the price of oil rebounded.

Over all, the Consumer Price Index, considered the benchmark gauge of domestic inflation, rose 0.8 percent in July. Economists had predicted an increase of half that rate. In June, prices rose 1.1 percent, the second highest monthly pace in 26 years.

The C.P.I. surveys the prices of a basket of common goods and services, from toothpaste and prescription drugs to airline fares and restaurant menus.

Because food and energy prices can be highly volatile from month to month, the Labor Department also calculates a so-called core price index, which strips out those costs. In July, core C.P.I. rose 0.3 percent, reaching a 2.5 percent annual rate.

That is higher than the Fed and other economic policy makers would prefer. Central bankers use core C.P.I. to see whether price increases are becoming entrenched in the broader economy; Fed officials are said to prefer to keep the annual inflation rate at or below 2 percent.


9) "Award-Winning Sand Creek Massacre Film To Smithsonian "

August 15, 2008 -- CENTENNIAL, CO -- The Film and Video Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian has requested that the award- winning "The Sand Creek Massacre" documentary film be entered in its 14th Native American Film + Video Festival to be held in New York City, March 26— 29, 2009. The Festival features films and video productions of all genres from North, Central and South America, and Hawai’i. It showcases productions by Native media makers, as well as community projects, broadcast productions, and other works reflecting Native perspectives, and brings together participants from the four directions for screenings, workshops and special events. All programs are free to the public.

Award-winning writer/filmmaker, Donald L. Vasicek, who wrote, directed, and produced "The Sand Creek Massacre" said, "Since "The Sand Creek Massacre" documentary film project was made to inform, educate and create awareness of American native people and the genocide of them, this invitation enhances the exposure of the Cheyenne and Arapaho cultures to all people, and, in turn, helps insure that they will never leave this earth."

Vasicek is presently working on "Ghosts of Sand Creek", a feature film he also plans on making into a two-hour, six episode mini-series/documentary film.

Vasicek's provides detailed information about the Sand Creek Massacre including witness accounts, still images, "The Sand Creek Massacre" award-winning trailer and documentary short, etc.



Donald L. Vasicek Olympus Films+, LLC Writing/Filmmaking/Consulting 303-903-2103


10) How About the Home Front?
Op-Ed Columnist
August 16, 2008

It’s fair to say that America’s mayors are not thrilled with the way the presidential campaign has unfolded so far.

Domestic issues? An urban agenda? Rebuilding the nation’s aging infrastructure?

They haven’t drawn nearly as much attention as the two favorite topics in this campaign: foolishness and foreign affairs. We’ve had dueling ads over which candidate is the bigger celebrity; an obsession with a New Yorker magazine cover; in-depth analyses of the Obamas’ fist-bumping moment; the requisite introduction of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton into a conversation that should be geared toward adults, and so on.

We’ve also had a more or less serious focus on the war in Iraq and a handful of other international matters.

What we haven’t had is a deep exploration of problems here at home that are threatening the very vibrancy of the nation, including: the dismal employment picture (there are many more Americans out of work than the official statistics show); the terrible toll that the housing and mortgage crisis is taking on families from one coast to the other; the tens of millions of Americans who are without health insurance coverage; the stunning high school dropout numbers; and a demoralizing problem with violent crime in several parts of the country.

(City officials in Hartford have become so frustrated with the violence plaguing their city that they’ve imposed a 30-day 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for everyone 18 and under. Curfews are constitutionally dubious and unlikely to work, but when nothing seems to stop the gunfire, and you end up with a 17-month-old girl and a 7-year-old boy among the wounded, a sense of desperation sets in.)

This was the campaign that was supposed to chart a dramatic new direction for the U.S., away from the disastrous policies of the past several years — at home as well as abroad.

We’re still waiting.

Manny Diaz, the mayor of Miami and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, has been harshly critical of the federal government’s failure to address the most serious needs of the nation’s cities and metropolitan areas. In a talk at the National Press Club early this month, he said that Washington had “lost its values, lost its principles,” and given up on investing in the cities and their people.

“Washington,” he said, “has abandoned us.”

I sat in on a meeting Thursday as Mr. Diaz and several other mayors, including Michael Bloomberg of New York, met in Manhattan to discuss ways of getting the federal government involved in large-scale infrastructure and transportation initiatives. The mayors are trying to spread the message that investing in a sound infrastructure is essential for continued economic development.

This may seem obvious, but infrastructure proponents are having a terrible time getting traction on this issue. Infrastructure initiatives are expensive, and not sexy. But there are powerful returns on these investments. They tend to pay for themselves many times over (can you imagine New York City without the subways?) and the projects are job creators.

With President Bush on the way out, the burden of leading an effort to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure would fall on either Barack Obama or John McCain. Representatives of each candidate attended Thursday’s meeting but did not participate.

The mayors talked about clogged highways, the high price of gasoline and an air transportation system that seems to get more pitiful by the day. Mayor John Robert Smith of Meridian, Miss., called on the presidential candidates to take a bold, creative approach to the nation’s transportation needs, including substantial investments in railroad infrastructure.

Mr. Smith believes the nation should devote the same level of commitment to developing a first-rate passenger rail system as was marshaled for the interstate highway system in the Eisenhower era.

What struck me as I listened to the mayors’ earnest conversations was how infrequently the public gets to hear the nitty gritty of serious public policy issues. Most voters go into the booth woefully uninformed. Presidential campaigns are largely a compilation of 30-second television ads, endlessly speculating talking heads and nationally televised debates featuring gotcha questions and rigidly enforced time limits that preclude truly thoughtful answers.

At a press conference after the meeting, Mayor Bloomberg said, “We’ve got to make infrastructure investment a national priority,” and he took the federal government to task for “walking away from its responsibility in this area.”

But just like the continuing slaughter of young people in tough neighborhoods across the country, very little attention is being given to the nation’s neglected infrastructure needs.

The mayors met in Philadelphia recently to talk about crime, and they will be meeting in Los Angeles soon to talk about poverty.

Who knows if anyone is listening.




Texas: Militant Ordered to Stand Trial
A federal appeals court ordered a Cuban militant, Luis Posada Carriles, to stand trial in El Paso on immigration fraud charges. A three-judge panel of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, ruled that Mr. Posada, 80, an anti-Castro militant, should stand trial on charges that he lied to federal authorities in his 2005 bid to become an American citizen. The criminal case had been dismissed last year when a federal district judge in El Paso, Kathleen Cardone, ruled that the government engaged in trickery and deceit by using a naturalization interview to build its case against Mr. Posada. Felipe Millan, one of Mr. Posada’s lawyers in El Paso, said Mr. Posada’s legal team was reviewing the decision and would decide on a course of action afterward.
August 15, 2008

Canada: Rioting in Montreal
World Briefing | The Americas
Three police officers were injured, one shot in the leg, during rioting in Montreal that erupted late Sunday in response to the killing of an 18-year-old by the police the day before. A fire station, fire trucks, cars and about 20 shops were vandalized or set ablaze. An ambulance worker was also injured. About 500 riot police officers quelled the violence.
August 12, 2008

Arizona: Court Allows Fake Snow Opposed by Tribes
National Briefing | Southwest
A federal appeals court has ruled that a ski resort’s plan to use recycled wastewater for making snow would not violate the religious freedom of Indian groups who had claimed that the practice would be blasphemous to a mountain they hold sacred. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, ruling in a lawsuit against the Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff that was filed by 13 tribes and the Sierra Club, overturned a ruling by a smaller panel of the court that said the plan would violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The 1993 act is intended to ensure that government actions do not infringe on religious freedom. Lawyers for the tribes and the Sierra Club said they expected to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
August 9, 2008

Bolivia: Tin Miners Die in Clashes
World Briefing | The Americas
At least two miners were killed and many more were injured Tuesday in clashes between the police and workers at the country’s largest tin mine, Huanuni, local radio reported. The violence erupted when police officers clashed with groups of striking miners who had blocked a road, Interior Minister Alfredo Rada said. The strike is in support of a drive by a labor federation for higher pensions and a lowering of the retirement age to 55.
August 6, 2008

Proposed Kosher Certification Rules
Conservative Jewish leaders are seeking to protect workers and the environment at kosher food plants like the one raided this spring in Iowa. They issued draft guidelines for a kosher certification program meant as a supplement to the traditional certification process that measures compliance with Jewish dietary law. The proposed “hekhsher tzedek,” or “certificate of righteousness,” would be awarded to companies that pay fair wages, ensure workplace safety, follow government environmental regulations and treat animals humanely, among other proposed criteria. Support for the idea has been fueled by controversies at Agriprocessors Inc. in Postville, Iowa, the nation’s largest kosher meatpacking plant. In May, immigration officials raided the plant, arresting nearly 400 workers.
August 1, 2008
National Briefing | Immigration




On the Waterboard
How does it feel to be “aggressively interrogated”? Christopher Hitchens found out for himself, submitting to a brutal waterboarding session in an effort to understand the human cost of America’s use of harsh tactics at Guantánamo and elsewhere. has the footage. Related: “Believe Me, It’s Torture,” from the August 2008 issue.


Alison Bodine defense Committee
Lift the Two-year Ban

Watch the Sept 28 Video on Alison's Case!


The Girl Who Silenced the World at the UN!
Born and raised in Vancouver, Severn Suzuki has been working on environmental and social justice issues since kindergarten. At age 9, she and some friends started the Environmental Children's Organization (ECO), a small group of children committed to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. They traveled to 1992's UN Earth Summit, where 12 year-old Severn gave this powerful speech that deeply affected (and silenced) some of the most prominent world leaders. The speech had such an impact that she has become a frequent invitee to many U.N. conferences.
[Note: the text of her speech is also available at this]




"Dear Canada: Let U.S. war resisters stay!"

Russell Means Speaking at the Transform Columbus Day Rally
"If voting could do anything it would be illegal!"


Stop the Termination or the Cherokee Nation


We Didn't Start the Fire

I Can't Take it No More

The Art of Mental Warfare

http://video. videoplay? docid=-905047436 2583451279




Port of Olympia Anti-Militarization Action Nov. 2007


"They have a new gimmick every year. They're going to take one of their boys, black boys, and put him in the cabinet so he can walk around Washington with a cigar. Fire on one end and fool on the other end. And because his immediate personal problem will have been solved he will be the one to tell our people: 'Look how much progress we're making. I'm in Washington, D.C., I can have tea in the White House. I'm your spokesman, I'm your leader.' While our people are still living in Harlem in the slums. Still receiving the worst form of education.

"But how many sitting here right now feel that they could [laughs] truly identify with a struggle that was designed to eliminate the basic causes that create the conditions that exist? Not very many. They can jive, but when it comes to identifying yourself with a struggle that is not endorsed by the power structure, that is not acceptable, that the ground rules are not laid down by the society in which you live, in which you are struggling against, you can't identify with that, you step back.

"It's easy to become a satellite today without even realizing it. This country can seduce God. Yes, it has that seductive power of economic dollarism. You can cut out colonialism, imperialism and all other kind of ism, but it's hard for you to cut that dollarism. When they drop those dollars on you, you'll fold though."

—MALCOLM X, 1965


A little gem:
Michael Moore Faces Off With Stephen Colbert [VIDEO]


LAPD vs. Immigrants (Video)


Dr. Julia Hare at the SOBA 2007


"We are far from that stage today in our era of the absolute
lie; the complete and totalitarian lie, spread by the
monopolies of press and radio to imprison social
consciousness." December 1936, "In 'Socialist' Norway,"
by Leon Trotsky: “Leon Trotsky in Norway” was transcribed
for the Internet by Per I. Matheson [References from
original translation removed]


Wealth Inequality Charts


MALCOLM X: Oxford University Debate


"There comes a times when silence is betrayal."
--Martin Luther King


YouTube clip of Che before the UN in 1964


The Wealthiest Americans Ever
NYT Interactive chart
JULY 15, 2007


New Orleans After the Flood -- A Photo Gallery
This email was sent to you as a service, by Roland Sheppard.
Visit my website at:


[For some levity...Hans Groiner plays Monk]


Which country should we invade next?


My Favorite Mutiny, The Coup


Michael Moore- The Awful Truth


Morse v. Frederick Supreme Court arguments


Free Speech 4 Students Rally - Media Montage


'My son lived a worthwhile life'
In April 2003, 21-year old Tom Hurndall was shot in the head
in Gaza by an Israeli soldier as he tried to save the lives of three
small children. Nine months later, he died, having never
recovered consciousness. Emine Saner talks to his mother
Jocelyn about her grief, her fight to make the Israeli army
accountable for his death and the book she has written
in his memory.
Monday March 26, 2007
The Guardian,,2042968,00.html


Introducing...................the Apple iRack


"A War Budget Leaves Every Child Behind."
[A T-shirt worn by some teachers at Roosevelt High School
in L.A. as part of their campaign to rid the school of military
recruiters and JROTC--see Article in Full item number 4,]


"200 million children in the world sleep in the streets today.
Not one of them is Cuban."
(A sign in Havana)
View sign at bottom of page at:
[Thanks to Norma Harrison for sending]


FIGHTBACK! A Collection of Socialist Essays
By Sylvia Weinstein


[The Scab
"After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad,
and the vampire, he had some awful substance left with
which he made a scab."
"A scab is a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul,
a water brain, a combination backbone of jelly and glue.
Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten
principles." "When a scab comes down the street,
men turn their backs and angels weep in heaven, and
the devil shuts the gates of hell to keep him out."
"No man (or woman) has a right to scab so long as there
is a pool of water to drown his carcass in,
or a rope long enough to hang his body with.
Judas was a gentleman compared with a scab.
For betraying his master, he had character enough
to hang himself." A scab has not.
"Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage.
Judas sold his Savior for thirty pieces of silver.
Benedict Arnold sold his country for a promise of
a commision in the british army."
The scab sells his birthright, country, his wife,
his children and his fellowmen for an unfulfilled
promise from his employer.
Esau was a traitor to himself; Judas was a traitor
to his God; Benedict Arnold was a traitor to his country;
a scab is a traitor to his God, his country,
his family and his class."
Author --- Jack London (1876-1916)...Roland Sheppard]



"Award-Winning Writer/Filmmaker Donald L. Vasicek Launches New Sand
Creek Massacre Website"

May 21, 2008 -- CENTENNIAL, CO -- Award-winning filmmaker, Donald L.
Vasicek, has launched a new Sand Creek Massacre website. Titled,
"The Sand Creek Massacre", the site contains in depth witness
accounts of the massacre, the award-winning Sand Creek Massacre
trailer for viewing, the award-winning Sand Creek Massacre
documentary short for viewing, the story of the Sand Creek Massacre,
and a Shop to purchase Sand Creek Massacre DVD's and lesson
plans including the award-winning documentary film/educational DVD.

Vasicek, a board member of The American Indian Genocide Museum
( Houston, Texas, said, "The website was launched
to inform, to educate, and to provide educators, historians, students
and all others the accessibility to the Sand Creek Massacre story."

The link/URL to the website is

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC