Saturday, October 25, 2008



Coming Events:

for outreach, tabling, distributing window signs and precinct walks.
Please contact our campaign coordinator, Marko Matillano,
at, or at 415-565-0201 ext. 14.

A Joint Statement from United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and the ANSWER Coalition


"We're watching the San Francisco situation very closely," said Curtis Gillroy, an official in the Defense Department's office for personnel and military readiness, according to a recent Associated Press report.

The peace and justice movement in San Francisco is engaged in an historic struggle that demands the attention of antiwar activists everywhere.

In 2006, the San Francisco Unified School District became the first major school district in the country to eliminate an existing Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program from its high schools. JROTC is one of the military's primary recruitment tools, aimed at students as young as 14 and 15.

The Pentagon and its allies immediately launched their counterattack. Now they have placed Proposition V on the November ballot, asking San Franciscans to support the military program. In 2005, nearly 60% of San Franciscans voted to eliminate military recruiters from their schools. But the proponents of Proposition V are telling the Big Lie, denying that JROTC is a military recruitment program-and they have already collected over $85,000 for their campaign of lies from the likes of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the San Francisco Police Officers Association, and various military organizations around the country.

The peace and justice movement cannot let the JROTC military recruiters back into our schools. If we do, then our movement will be set back immeasurably-not just in San Francisco, but throughout the country.

This is not a mere symbolic battle. If we can keep JROTC out of our schools, it will materially affect the ability of the warmakers to conduct their ongoing wars of aggression, and save the lives of many young men and women.

Many people in the LGBT community are in this fight as well because we know that the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is just one facet of the homophobia rampant in the military.

You can help us today. We need to raise thousands more dollars to pay for our campaign coordinator, for literature, for window signs, and, if possible, for mail to San Francisco voters.

Donations can be made on-line, right now, at,
or by mail to: No on V, 2467 28th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94116.

In addition, if you live in the Bay Area, and can put in some volunteer time to hold a sign, staff a table, or to distribute our literature, please immediately contact our campaign coordinator, Marko Matillano, at, or at (415) 565-0201, ext. 14.

In gratitude and peace,
Siri Margerin, United for Peace and Justice, Bay Area
Richard Becker, ANSWER Coalition-Act Now to Stop War & End Racism, Bay Area

P.S. Time is of the essence, so please consider how you can support the No on V campaign NOW.


October 23, 2008
For more information please contact: or call 216-736-4704

The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations welcomes the ANSWER Coalition's call for UNITED mass mobilizations in Washington , D.C. and other cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Miami, on March 21, 2009 to mark six years of war and occupation and to Bring the Troops Home Now! We also welcome UFPJ's call for a week of Washington, D.C. mobilizations during the same period to demand an end to the war in Iraq now.

These actions are necessary and need not be contradictory as long as there is unity in supporting them. However, a divided movement is a weakened movement. At this time, more than ever, the movements for peace and social justice must work in concert to bring the full force of opposition to the government's criminal and destructive policies into the streets. It would be a tragic setback if all organizations and constituencies do not come together to act in a unified show of strength and determination in March.

The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations was formed to promote a united, democratic, independent and mass action antiwar movement to bring the troops home now. Our objective was to do all in our power to achieve this by the Spring of 2009. It now appears that this critical objective is within reach.

We strongly urge and will participate in the formation of an ad hoc national coalition to make the March 21 actions a true expression of the opposition of this country's majority to U.S. wars and occupations. The National Assembly will make every effort to bring such a coalition into fruition and to urge all Assembly supporters to actively participate in the process.


Mass Actions on the 6th Anniversary of the Iraq War -- March 21, 2009
Bring All the Troops Home Now -- End All Colonial Occupations!
Fund People's Needs, Not Militarism & Bank Bailouts!

Marking the sixth anniversary of the criminal invasion of Iraq, thousands will take to the streets of Washington D.C. and other cities across the U.S. and around the world in March 2009 to say, "Bring the Troops Home NOW!" We will also demand "End Colonial Occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Everywhere," and "Fund Peoples' Needs Not Militarism and Bank Bailouts." We also insist on an end to the war threats and economic sanctions against Iran.

The ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is organizing for unified mass marches and rallies in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and other cities on Saturday, March 21, 2009. Months ago we obtained permits for sixth anniversary demonstrations. ANSWER has been actively involved with other coalitions, organizations, and networks to organize unified anti-war demonstrations in the spring of 2009. ANSWER participated in the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations that was held in Cleveland, Ohio on June 28th-29th and attended by 450 people, including many national and local anti-war coalitions. The National Assembly gathering agreed to promote national, unified anti-war demonstrations in the Spring of 2009.

The war in Iraq has killed, wounded or displaced nearly a third of Iraq's 26 million people. Thousands of U.S. soldiers have been killed and hundreds of thousands more have suffered severe physical and psychological wounds. The cost of the war is now running at $700 million dollars per day, over $7,000 per second. The U.S. leaders who have initiated and conducted this criminal war should be tried and jailed for war crimes.

The war in Afghanistan is expanding, and both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates and Congressional leaders have promised to send in more troops. Both have promised to increase the size of the U. S. military. Both have promised to increase military aid to Israel to continue its oppression of the Palestinian people, including the denial of the right of return.

While millions of families are losing their homes, jobs and healthcare, the real military budget next year will top one trillion dollars, $1,000,000,000,000. If used to meet people's needs, that amount could create 10 million new jobs at $60,000 per year, provide healthcare for everyone who does not have it now, rebuild New Orleans and repair much of the damage done in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Federal bailouts of the biggest banks and investors many of whom have also made billions in profits from militarism, are already up to an astounding $2.5 trillion this year. None of that money is earmarked for keeping millions of foreclosed and evicted families in their homes.

Coming just two months after the inauguration of the next president, March 21, 2009 will be a critical opportunity to let the new administration in Washington hear the voice of the people demanding justice.

Click this link to endorse the March 21 Actions

If you're planning a local March 21 anti-war action, let us know 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



March 19, 2009 will mark the 6th anniversary of the "Shock and Awe" campaign that launched the US war and occupation in Iraq . Six long years of a war based on lies, a war that never should have happened. Six long years of death and destruction, of human suffering and economic waste.

United For Peace and Justice calls on people throughout this nation to join us in a national mobilization against this war. On the occasion of this horrendous anniversary next March, we will gather in massive numbers in Washington , DC to say enough is enough, this war must end, it must end now and completely!

We issue this call now, before the critically important election in just a few weeks, because it is vital that the antiwar movement make it clear that our work is far from over and we are not going away. We issue this call now as a way to send a strong message to all those who seek to represent us in Washington : the people of this nation want our troops to come home now -- not in 16 months and not in 100 years!

The war in Iraq has taken too many lives - Iraqi and US - and has taken a tremendous toll on our economy. While we are glad to see some candidates saying they want the war to end, we know this will only happen because the people of this country keep raising their voices, keep taking action, keep pressuring their government to end this nightmare.

Between now and next March much will happen here at home and around the world. We will have elected a new President and a new Congress and the political landscape the antiwar movement works in will have been altered. No one knows where our economic crisis is headed or how exactly it will affect the lives of millions of people in our communities. At the same time, there is danger of escalation of military action in Afghanistan , Pakistan , Iran and other places - and the possibility of a dangerous new arms race with Russia .

As we plan for the March mobilization we will take these critically important issues into account. We know that all of the issues our nation needs to address are impacted by the continued war and occupation in Iraq , and that no real progress will be made on anything else until we end this war.

In the coming weeks and months, United For Peace and Justice will be discussing the plans for the 6th anniversary national mobilization with our partners and allies in the peace and justice movements around the country. As the details of our activities in Washington , DC come together we will get word out far and wide. Now, we ask you to take note of this call, mark your calendars for the whole week, and start making plans for your community's participation in what will surely be a timely and necessary mobilization.

From the UFPJ National Steering Committee
Issued on October 18, 2008


Bring the Anti-War Movement to Inauguration Day in D.C.

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

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 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!

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


Real Time with Bill Maher - 10/17/08 - SOCIALISM

"As in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped." Marriner S. Eccles (FDRs Fed Chairman) 1951




1) Rise in Jobless Claims Exceeds Forecast
October 24, 2008

2) Subject: Prepare Now for Our Post-Election Strategy
From: "Global Network"
Date: Thu, October 23, 2008 9:32 pm
Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502

3) Crises on Many Fronts
Op-Ed Columnist
October 25, 2008

4) The California Prison Disaster
"...the state’s corrections costs have grown by about 50 percent in less than a decade and now account for about 10 percent of state spending — nearly the same amount as higher education."
October 25, 2008

5) Execution of Georgia Man in Killing of Officer Is Stayed a Third Time
[Danger not over for Troy Anthony]
October 25, 2008

6) As Yard Sales Boom, Sentiment First Thing to Go
October 25, 2008

7) Women Targeted for Prosecution in Non-Violent Port Protests
October 26, 2008


1) Rise in Jobless Claims Exceeds Forecast
October 24, 2008

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of American workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose by a larger than expected 15,000 last week, government data showed on Thursday, reinforcing evidence that the labor market is weak.

Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits increased to a seasonally adjusted 478,000 in the week ended Oct. 18, from a revised 463,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 470,000 new claims versus a previously reported count of 461,000 the week before. The Labor Department said that the effects of Hurricane Ike in Texas added roughly 12,000 claims to the total.

"The story is that the underlying trend is moving up pretty strongly and job losses are clearly getting worse," said Nigel Gault, chief United States economist at Global Insight in Lexington, Mass.

The four-week average of new jobless claims, a better gauge of underlying labor trends because it irons out week-to-week volatility, declined to 480,250 from 484,750 the week before. This was the lowest reading since late September, but remained at a high level.

This measure has mounted steadily as the United States housing slump chills growth and crimps hiring.

The number of people remaining on the benefits roll after drawing an initial week of aid decreased 6,000 to 3.72 million in the week ended Oct. 11, the most recent week for which data is available.

Analysts estimated that so-called continued claims would be 3.72 million. It was the 26th consecutive week that claims were above 3 million in a sign that the slowing economy was making it harder for workers to find jobs.


2) Subject: Prepare Now for Our Post-Election Strategy
From: "Global Network"
Date: Thu, October 23, 2008 9:32 pm
Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502

Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502

As we approach the November elections it has become difficult to separate
large portions of the peace movement from the daily operations of the
Democratic party. In many places across the nation regular peace vigils,
in many cases held throughout the Iraq occupation, have become Obama for
president rallies. Many activists use the "we" word when talking about
the Democrats as if the party is an extension of the movement.

Don't we wish it could be so. Or maybe I should say, be careful what you
wish for.

In a recent article entitled "The Idiots Who Rule America" Pulitzer prize
winning journalist Chris Hedges writes, "Our oligarchic class is
incompetent at governing, managing the economy, coping with natural
disasters, educating our young, handling foreign affairs, providing basic
services like health care, and safeguarding individual rights. That it is
still in power, and will remain in power after this election, is a
testament to our inability to separate illusion from reality."

"The democratic system, they think, is a secondary product of the free
market. And they slavishly serve the market."

"The working class, which has desperately borrowed money to stay afloat as
real wages have dropped, now face years, maybe decades, of stagnant or
declining incomes without access to new credit.....We, as individuals in
this system, are irrelevant."

We are largely irrelevant because most of us are no longer needed. Due to
computerization, mechanization, robotization, and outsourcing of our jobs,
we have superfluous populations in the U.S. and around the world. The time
has come to thin us out.

No matter who takes office in early 2009, they will face massive budget
and trade deficits. The U.S., now a debtor nation, will be told by its
creditors that it must do like all Third World nations have long been told
to do - cut back on social spending in order to balance the budget.

The final stage in the Karl Rovian plan is in place. Once asked who his
favorite president was Rove replied, "William McKinley." Not usually
thought of as one of our greater presidents, Rove had to explain that
McKinley ruled before we had social progress in America. McKinley was
president before we had public education, public health, Social Security,
unemployment insurance, the 40-hour workweek, child labor laws, and a
whole lot more. Rove dreams of a return to feudalism - the 21st century
corporate variety.

Despite public claims that they disagree on U.S. strategy in Iraq,
Senators John McCain and Barack Obama would both keep some level of U.S.
troops there on permanent bases and both want to send more American troops
to Afghanistan. They both also support expanding the size of the military.
They both agree that the Congress must "rebuild the military" after eight
years of Bush-Cheney abuse. Where will the funds come from to do these

Pentagon spending has doubled during the past eight years. By 2010
military program managers are going to be scrambling to get their
expensive high-tech programs funded. There is already intense competition
between the services for new funding for their endless military appetites.
This Pentagon dysfunction can already be witnessed by the recent public
relations campaign called "Air Force Above All" that attempted to posture
that branch of service as most deserving of high levels of funding as we
hit the economic wall. Base commanders were sent out into their local
communities to begin lobbying business leaders to support cuts in
"entitlement programs" which translates to Social Security, Medicare,
Medicaid, and what remains of the severely diminished welfare program. The
final shots of the war against social progress are now being fired.

So not only do we face the greed and excess of Wall Street, and are paying
for their mistakes, but next we will be asked to continue to fund the
crumbling military empire as it collapses around us with no regard for who
suffers as it falls.

We will have one serious opportunity at hand to counter this spiraling
downfall. No matter who you vote for in November, we must begin now to
plan to utilize this potential opening because the elite will be working
overtime to close the door as quickly as possible, not wanting to allow
the slightest ray of light to pass through the crack. Already the talking
heads on TV are telling the American people that if the Democrats win they
must "moderate" their message.

As the new president attempts to formulate his budget plan during these
trying times it would seem natural that in a real democracy there would be
local public meetings so that the citizenry could give their best advice
on how the nation should proceed. After all, following eight long hard
years of endless war and cuts in social spending, the people will have
their own thoughts on what direction the nation should go. This is even
more true should Obama, as it now appears he will, win the election.

Local peace, social justice, environmental, women's, and labor
organizations should form coalitions to host large public hearings to
discuss the guns or butter issue. It is highly likely that the Democrats,
who will fully control Congress, will tell us that we can still have both.
We can continue some semblance of an occupation of Iraq, expand the war in
Afghanistan, build Star Wars, surround Russia and China, and still have
enough money to fund health care for all. They will urge us to just give
them some time, say two years, to clean up the mess left by the
Bush-Cheney cabal. If we listen to them, and step back even for a moment,
we would be making a foolish mistake.

We must from the outset mount vigorous pressure on the new administration
and the new Congress to overturn the anti-human budget cuts of the past
eight years. We must demand major cuts in military spending and an end to
corporate subsidies. We must articulate a vision that calls for the
conversion of the military industrial complex in order that our tax
dollars be used for peaceful and sustainable technology production - not
the continued industrial production for war without end.

Only a narrow window of opportunity will await us. We must prepare now to
stick our collective feet in the door to ensure that democracy and social
progress are not destroyed as the oligarchy attempts to slam the door in
our face.


3) Crises on Many Fronts
Op-Ed Columnist
October 25, 2008

The closer you look at the current economic crisis, the more harrowing it becomes.

The focus in the presidential campaign has been almost entirely on the struggles faced by the middle class — on families worried about their jobs, their mortgages, their retirement accounts and how to pay for college for their kids.

Each nauseating plunge in the Dow heightens their anxiety. Each company that goes under and each government report showing joblessness on the rise intensifies their fear.

No one knows how to quell the uncertainty. And no one is even talking about the poor.

Alan Greenspan, uncharacteristically befuddled, went up to Capitol Hill on Thursday and lamented that some sort of fissure had erupted in his previously impregnable worldview. For Mr. Greenspan (“I still do not understand exactly how it happened”), this is a moment of intellectual anxiety.

But if we are indeed caught up in the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression, the ones who will fare the worst are those who already are poor or near-poor. There are millions of them, and yet they remain essentially invisible. A step down for them is a step into destitution.

Listen to Dr. Irwin Redlener, president of the Children’s Health Fund, which he founded with the singer-songwriter Paul Simon to bring health services to poor and homeless children:

“First of all, at least in the short term, we can expect more families will become homeless as foreclosures continue to mount and jobs become harder to hold and more difficult to find. As jobs disappear and employers begin trimming expenses, we can foresee people losing health insurance, swelling the ranks of the medically uninsured.

“I don’t think the health care system can bear another five million or more people uninsured and economically fragile. More people without insurance will crowd into the nation’s hospital emergency rooms when medical problems become too severe to ignore or there is no other access to basic health services. Such a trend will have a seismic impact on our health care system.”

Few Americans have noticed, but a tremendous number of hospitals, from Boston to Los Angeles, are in serious, even dire, financial trouble. A survey of 4,500 hospitals by the New York consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal found that more than half were technically insolvent or at risk of insolvency.

The current economic downturn, combined with an anticipated surge in patients without health insurance, will only worsen what is already a crisis.

The nation’s financial system was all-but-overwhelmed by the mortgage crisis because none of the nation’s leaders paid serious enough attention to the widespread symptoms of what turned out to be a metastasizing disease.

A similar situation exists on a number of important fronts right now: the deteriorating national infrastructure, the woefully inadequate public school system, our self-defeating energy policies, health care. Symptoms of serious trouble are staring us in the face, but no one is mounting an adequate response.

When a new president takes office in January, the temptation will be to delay bold action on these fronts until the overall economic situation improves. That is the kind of mistake (like ignoring the housing and credit bubbles until it was too late or refusing to heed the pre-Katrina warnings in New Orleans) that opens the door to additional crises.

The Alvarez & Marsal study noted that at many community hospitals the physical plant itself is in bad shape because capital funding had to be curtailed because of budget shortfalls. “There are scores of hospitals that are slowly asphyxiating and slipping into insolvency,” the report said, “as they divert capital dollars to fund operations.

“For most of these hospitals, it is only a matter of time before they hit a ‘sudden’ liquidity crisis and cannot make payroll without entering insolvency and being forced into restructuring their finances and operations.”

Dr. Redlener, who is also a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said: “The federal government currently strains to pay hospitals more than $35 billion each year to cover the costs of the uninsured. That money comes from general tax revenue, and it is a budget line that will need to be increased if we don’t want to see an epidemic of hospital closures.”

Most important, of course, is a revamping (in a sane way) of the health insurance system.

There are no good scenarios in the offing. The markets are in turmoil. Banks are being nationalized. The U.S. auto industry has the look of a jalopy with four flat tires.

The evidence of decline and decay is everywhere around us. There has never been a time since World War II when the nation was more in need of a presidential administration with a comprehensive vision and the ability to lead on several fronts at once.


4) The California Prison Disaster
"...the state’s corrections costs have grown by about 50 percent in less than a decade and now account for about 10 percent of state spending — nearly the same amount as higher education."
October 25, 2008

The mass imprisonment philosophy that has packed prisons and sent corrections costs through the roof around the country has hit especially hard in California, which has the largest prison population, the highest recidivism rate and a prison budget raging out of control.

According to a new federally backed study conducted at the University of California, Irvine, the state’s corrections costs have grown by about 50 percent in less than a decade and now account for about 10 percent of state spending — nearly the same amount as higher education. The costs could rise substantially given that a federal lawsuit may require the state to spend $8 billion to bring the prison system’s woefully inadequate medical services up to constitutional standards.

The solution for California is to shrink its vastly overcrowded prison system. To do so, it would need to move away from mandatory sentencing laws that have proved to be disastrous across the country — locking up more people than protecting public safety requires.

In addition, the state also has perhaps the most counterproductive and ill-conceived parole system in the United States. More people are sent to prison in California by parole officers than by the courts. In addition, about 66 percent of California’s parolees land back in prison after three years, compared with about 40 percent nationally. Four in 10 are sent back for technical violations like missed appointments or failed drug tests.

Later this year, the state is expected to begin testing a new system that redirects the lowest-risk drug addicts to treatment. But that will only work if the state and the counties dramatically expand treatment slots.

The heart of the problem is that California’s parole system is simply too big. Most states keep dangerous people behind bars or reserve parole supervision for the most serious offenders. California puts virtually everyone on parole, typically for three years.

Under this setup, about 80 percent of the parolees have fewer than two 15-minute meetings with a parole officer per month. That might be adequate for low-risk offenders, but it’s clearly too little time for serious offenders who present a risk to public safety.

A good first step would be to place fewer people on parole. The second step would be to reserve the most intensive supervision for offenders who present the greatest risk.

State lawmakers, some of whom are fearful of being seen as soft on crime, have failed to make perfectly reasonable sentencing modifications and other changes that the prisons desperately need. Unless they muster some courage soon, Californians will find themselves swamped by prison costs and unable to afford just about anything else.


5) Execution of Georgia Man in Killing of Officer Is Stayed a Third Time
[Danger not over for Troy Anthony]
October 25, 2008

ATLANTA — A federal appeals court on Friday halted the execution of a Georgia inmate convicted in the 1989 killing of a police officer, the third time in 16 months that a stay of execution has been ordered in the case.

The inmate, Troy A. Davis, 40, was scheduled to die by lethal injection on Monday for the murder of Mark A. MacPhail, a Savannah police officer.

In deciding to consider a new hearing for Mr. Davis, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, asked his lawyers to prove that no reasonable person today would find him guilty.

Since Mr. Davis’s conviction in 1991, seven witnesses have recanted their testimony, including two who said they had felt pressure by the police to testify against Mr. Davis and three who said a different man had admitted to the killing. Prosecutors presented no DNA evidence or murder weapon, although they linked bullet casings found at the scene to a gun they said Mr. Davis had used in an earlier shooting.

The case has bounced around the judicial system, appearing before at least 29 judges in seven types of reviews. The Georgia Supreme Court twice denied Mr. Davis a new hearing, and the United States Supreme Court and the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles have issued stays of execution before rejecting his appeal.

“It’s extraordinary for three stays to be issued in one case,” said Stephen B. Bright, a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School and president of the Southern Center for Human Rights. “Clearly, the case has been very troubling to each of the courts that examined it.”

Mr. Davis’s lawyers have asked the appeals court to decide whether the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment prohibits the execution of the innocent, the same question that the Supreme Court declined to consider.

If the appeals court agrees to hear the case, the stay of execution will continue until a decision is reached. If not, Georgia may proceed with the execution.

The outcome is difficult to predict, Mr. Bright said, because previous decisions in the case have been so close.

The Georgia Supreme Court voted 4 to 3 in March against a new trial, and the United States Supreme Court made the unusual decision to meet in conference twice before declining the case.

Officer MacPhail was shot to death early on Aug. 19, 1989, while moonlighting as a security guard. He was breaking up a fight between two men over a beer in a Burger King parking lot when, prosecutors say, Mr. Davis fired three shots from a pistol into his leg, chest and face. Mr. Davis says he left the scene before the shooting.

Mr. Davis has received an outpouring of publicity and support, including demonstrations against his execution on Thursday in 35 cities around the world.

“It’s another small victory in a big war,” said Mr. Davis’s sister, Martina Correia. But the officer’s mother, Anneliese MacPhail, called the ruling the latest episode in a recurring nightmare. “Why in the world do we have to go through this again?” she asked. “I thought when the Supreme Court in Washington ruled, it would be over.”


6) As Yard Sales Boom, Sentiment First Thing to Go
October 25, 2008

MANTECA, Calif. — As the classified ads put it, everything must go. Socks. Christmas ornaments. Microwave ovens. Three-year-old Marita Duarte’s tricycle was sold by her mother, Beatriz, to a stranger for $3 even as her daughter was riding it.

On Mission Ridge Drive and other avenues, lanes and ways in this formerly booming community, even birthday celebrations must go. “It was no money, no birthday,” said Ms. Duarte, who lost her job as a floral designer two months ago. The family commemorated Marita’s third birthday without presents last week, the occasion marked by a small cake with Cinderella on the vanilla frosting. They will move into a rental apartment next month.

An eternity ago, people in this city in northern San Joaquin County braved four-hour round-trip commutes to the San Francisco Bay Area for a toehold on the dream. Today, Manteca’s lawns and driveways are storefronts of the new garage-sale economy — the telltale yellow signs plastered in the rear windows of parked cars Friday through Sunday directing traffic to yet another sale, yet another family.

“You can get great deals,” said Sharrell Johnson, 32, who was scouting for toys in the Indian summer heat last Friday amid boxes of tools and DVDs and forests of little skirts and shirts dangling from plastic hangers on suspended rope. “Sad to say, you’re finding really good things. Because everybody’s losing their homes.”

The garage-sale economy is flourishing here and in many other regions of the country, so much so that some cities have begun cracking down. With more residents trying to increase their income, the city of Weymouth, Mass., limited yard sales to just three a year per address. Detective Sgt. Richard Fuller said it was now common to see 15 cars parked in front of a house.

Richmond, Ind., has had such an onslaught of garage sale signs posted in the right of way that the city has placed stickers on prominent light poles warning of violations and fines.

But it is a Sisyphean task: Manteca’s ordinance, restricting residents to two sales a year, is widely ignored.

The sales are part of the once-underground “thrift economy,” as a team of Brigham Young University sociologists have called it, which includes thrift stores, pawn shops and so-called recessionistas name-brand shopping at Goodwill.

“This is the perfect storm for garage sales,” said Gregg Kettles, a visiting professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles who studies outdoor commerce. “We’re coming off a 20-year boom in which consumers filled ever-bigger houses. Now people need cash because of the bust.”

And so the garages and yards of Manteca, some tinder-dry from neglect, offer a crash course in kitchen-table economics each weekend. On Klondike Way: “Tools, various household items, & much more!” On Virginia Street: “Moving Sale! Fridge, washer & dryer, men’s clothing, bike, BBQ, dinette, dresser, fans, microwaves, recliner, DVD player. Everything must go!”

When life’s daily trappings and keepsakes are laid out for sale on a collapsible table, sentiment is the first thing to go. “The cash helps a lot,” Constantino Gonzalez, Ms. Duarte’s neighbor, said of the family’s second sale in two weeks, in which he and his wife, Julia, were reluctantly selling their children’s inflatable bounce house for $650, with pump.

Since losing his construction job, Mr. Gonzalez, 43, has been economizing, disconnecting the family’s Internet and long-distance telephone service, and barely using his truck and the Jeep, strewn with leaves in the driveway. He has taken to picking up his children from school on his bicycle, with 6-year-old Daniel on the handlebars, cushioned by a terry-cloth towel.

The inflatable bounce house is the children’s favorite toy, but the family’s $1,800 mortgage payment is coming. So it sits propped up in its bright blue case, awaiting customers, many of them desperate themselves. Customers are searching for bargains on necessities so they might chip away at the rent, the truck payment, the remodeling bill on the credit card.

“We need to eat,” Mr. Gonzalez tells his children about selling off their toys. “I can’t cover the sun with my finger. So why lie?”

As he spoke, he watched his neighbor across the street pull out of her driveway with her family for the last time, their pickup truck piled high with chairs, firewood and other belongings, like modern Joads from Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath.” “Bad loan,” explained the neighbor, Alex Martinez, who works nights at an automobile assembly plant in faraway Fremont. The garage sale she had held the week earlier barely made a dent.

As the family drove off, a woman with frosted hair wearing high heels got out of a parked car and placed a sign in the window of the former Martinez place: “Coming Soon: Innovative Realty.”

This is McCain-Palin placard country, where signs for the anti-gay-marriage state ballot measure, “Yes on 8,” pepper the landscape and billboards advertising “Buy Now/Low Rates" seem like grim fossils of a bygone age. Manteca lies at an epicenter of the foreclosure crisis, with median home values having fallen by nearly half since 2006, from $440,000 to the current $225,000. In San Joaquin County, Moody’s has estimated that more than 1 in 10 houses with mortgages have a payment that is more than 30 days late. Unemployment rates have increased by a third, from 7.6 percent in September 2007 to 10.2 percent this fall, said Hans Johnson, a demographer at the Public Policy Institute of California.

Before the downturn, Manteca, population 67,700, and other towns in the northern San Joaquin Valley were on the leading edge of growth, with stucco subdivisions carved out of almond orchards. Today some 1,500 to 2,000 homes in Manteca, which is 32.7 percent Hispanic, are in various stages of foreclosure.

Paul Farnsworth’s garage on Widgeon Way was a latter-day five and dime, his driveway an eclectic assortment of artificial flowers, cookie jars, decanters, spotlights, radar detectors, Hot Wheels miniature cars, a Dirt Devil. Mr. Farnsworth’s recent garage sales supplement his income as a manager for a beverage distributor, which pays about half of what he made as an apricot and cherry farmer in nearby Tracy. (He was laid off when the farm was sold.) Neither he nor his wife Ann, a beautician, can afford to retire.

“People want things for half, and I don’t blame them,” observed Mr. Farnsworth, 65, adding that only one couple that morning had not dickered on the price. His own house, appraised at $375,000 three years ago, is worth $200,000 today. He has resorted to holding garage sales “to help make payments on a house that’s worth less than what I owe,” he said, the irony not lost on him.

Ebi Yeri’s yard held big-ticket items: beds, a smoked-glass and black lacquer dinette set and — the pièce de résistance — a 51-inch Hitachi projection television that he had replaced with a plasma flat screen. Still, it pained Mr. Yeri to sell. He had it set thematically to the HGTV channel, figuring that “a judge show might offend somebody.”

Mr. Yeri, 35, was decluttering to offset losses in his 401(k), which he described as “in the tank.” He said he also cut costs by being “lighter on the foot,” driving 10 miles an hour slower than the speed limit on his 156-mile commute to and from his software job in San Jose.

On Chenin Blanc Drive, Robert Dadey, a car salesman, was holding his 20th garage sale. “I need money,” he said simply about selling the Oakland Raiders memorabilia, teddy bears and $40 brown ultrasuede recliner in his midst on the lawn. “It’s bad times.”


7) Women Targeted for Prosecution in Non-Violent Port Protests
October 26, 2008

(Olympia, WA 10/25/08) Prosecutors have brought charges against twenty-
six people arrested during a non-violent women's protest in November,

Thoughtful, Moral Demonstrations

For two weeks in November, hundreds of demonstrators blocked military
equipment from moving through their publicly owned port. On November
13th, 39 women were arrested during a non-violent demonstration in
solidarity with each other, women nationally, and the women in Iraq.

Patty Imani, one of those charged, said Friday: "Thousands of women
have been killed in Iraq. It's obscene that the city's response is to
jail those of us who were only trying to stop more from dying."

The women in Olympia saw the suffering that the United States'
occupation of Iraq was causing, to the Iraqi people and particularly
to the women of Iraq. The protest was carefully planned to bring
attention to how the war has effected the lives of women in Iraq and
the United States.

Inappropriate Prosecution

The City has waited nearly a year to bring these charges, and has
suspiciously brought these new charges less than a week after their
other cases against port protesters were dismissed. Also, prosecutors
have a history of targeting women and people of color in protest
cases. Twenty-six demonstrators have been singled out for
prosecution, 25 of whom are women.

A Call for Solidarity

Those being prosecuted are calling for solidarity and support from all
those who are concerned that women and people of color are being
targeted for carrying out their constitutionally protected right to
non-violently dissent.

Defendants are available to speak to the press.

Press Contacts:

Anna Marie Murano (360) 878-1401

Noah Sochet (510) 325-8138

Patty Imani (360) 866-6983


8) Syria and Iran Condemn U.S. in Blast on Iraq Border
October 28, 2008

BAGHDAD — Iran joined Syria on Monday in condemning what they described as an attack by four United States helicopters on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq that they said killed eight people.

The United States confirmed that a Special Operations mission took place in the area on Sunday, but a senior military official gave no more details for now.

The United States is trying to negotiate a strategic agreement with Iraq that would allow American troops to remain in the country and carry out military operations. The pact faces strenuous opposition from neighboring countries, especially Syria and Iran, because of concerns that the United States might use Iraqi territory to carry out attacks on them.

Syria’s state-run news channel reported that United States helicopters on Sunday attacked an area within Syria near the town of Abu Kamal. The official news agency, SANA, cited an anonymous official as saying that four American helicopters had “launched aggression on a civilian building under construction,” killing eight people, giving the details of those it said were killed, and that the Syrian deputy foreign minister had summoned the chargé d’affaires from the American and Iraqi Embassies in protest.

Syria also said that United States soldiers on the ground had stormed a building in the area, Reuters reported.

In Tehran, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hassan Qashqavi, condemned the attack, saying a violation of the territorial integrity of any sovereign state was unacceptable.

“Iran condemns in strongest terms any form of aggression or violation of the states’ territorial integrity which leads to the death of innocent civilians,” he told reporters, according to the official news agency IRNA.

Syria’s state-run media also intensified its criticism of the United States on Monday, with the government newspaper Tishrin accusing American forces of committing “a war crime,” Agence France-Presse said.

The Iraqi government found itself in an awkward position, at once needing to remain on friendly terms with Syria — which is a neighbor and now home to more than a million Iraqi refugees — but also wanting to bolster the United States, which has said that the border area is used by people believed to be fomenting antigovernment unrest in Iraq.

In a statement, Ali al-Dabbagh, the Iraqi government’s spokesman, tried to give something to each country. In support of the United States’ position he said, “This area was a staging ground for activities by terrorist organizations hostile to Iraq.”

In the most recent action, militants killed 13 Interior Ministry employees in a border village, he said, adding, “At the time, Iraq requested that the Syrian authorities hand over the personnel from this group which uses Syria as a base for its terrorist activities.”

At the same time, Mr. Dabbagh emphasized that Iraq wanted good relations with Syria. But he said that “the presence in Syria of groups that are hostile to Iraq and who contribute to terrorist activity against Iraqis hinders the progress of our relationship.”

On Sunday, the police in Anbar Province in Iraq said an explosion on the border of Iraq and Syria had killed nine construction workers and wounded 19 others.

Local witnesses said they believed that the blast was caused by American shelling, but Maj. Gen. Tariq al-Youssef, the provincial police chief in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, which borders Syria, said that could not be immediately confirmed at the time.

The police statement did not indicate on which side of the border the blast had taken place. The United States has no diplomatic relations with Iran and has withdrawn its ambassador to Syria.

Also late Sunday, an Iraqi lawmaker announced that the country’s oil and gas draft law had been sent on to Parliament. It had been stalled in Iraq’s cabinet since February 2007 because of disputes over control of Iraq’s oil fields, and it has gone through several revisions.

Abdul-Hadi al-Hasani, deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee on oil, gas and natural resources, said the latest draft of the law had been received by his committee on Thursday and was undergoing careful review before being presented to the full legislature.

“The draft still needs more discussion and the opinion of experts in this field before it really goes to the Parliament,” Mr. Hasani said in a telephone interview. “We wish to activate the law very soon, and we’re serious about it. We talked today with the parliamentary leadership and went through some points concerning the draft of the law.”

Also Sunday, the chief of the Wasit provincial council announced that he had refused to sign a memorandum of understanding with United States forces that was intended to formalize Wasit’s transfer to the control of Iraq’s own security forces. Wasit, a province that borders Iran, was due this week to become the 13th of Iraq’s 18 provinces to be handed over to full Iraqi control.

The council chief, Muhammad Hassan Jasem, said he had rejected the memorandum because its first article gave the United States permission to continue military operations in Wasit.

Reporting was contributed by Eric Schmitt from Washington, Alan Cowell from Paris, Graham Bowley from New York, Mudhafer al-Husaini from Baghdad, and Iraqi employees of The New York Times from Ramadi and Wasit Province.




Wider Disparity in Life Expectancy Is Found Between Rich and Poor
World Briefing
The gap in life expectancy between rich and poor has increased to as much as 40 years within some countries, according to a new report by the World Health Organization. The disparity can be found not just within and between nations, but even within cities. In measurements of infant mortality, for example, the number of children who died in the wealthiest area of Nairobi, Kenya, was less than 15 per 1,000. On the other hand, in a poor neighborhood the death rate was 254 per 1,000, according to the report, which was released on Tuesday. Worldwide, average life expectancy was 81 years for people in the richest 10 percent of the population, while it was 46 years for people in the poorest 10 percent.
October 17, 2008

Zimbabwe: Inflation Rate Spirals Higher Still
World Briefing | Africa
Zimbabwe's inflation rate, already one of the highest in world history, rose from an annual rate of 11 million percent in June to 231 million percent in July, according to official statistics reported by the state media. Rising prices for staple foods are driving the price increases, making it increasingly difficult for people to afford food. Talks on details of a power-sharing deal involving the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai that might halt the economic decline are deadlocked, Mr. Tsvangirai said.
October 10, 2008

Germany Seeks Wider Role for Army
BERLIN - The German government said Monday that it would seek to change the Constitution to give a larger domestic role to the army in the fight against terrorism, including powers to shoot down hijacked passenger planes as a last resort.
Two years ago, the nation's top court threw out a law that permitted the shooting down of hijacked planes, and the issue has set off a heated debate within the governing coalition over the role of the military in defending Germany against terrorism.
The government is proposing a constitutional change that would allow the German Army to be deployed at home "if police measures do not suffice for protection against very serious disasters," a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry said.
Asked whether such circumstances could also imply that the army would have to fend off an attack from the air, the spokeswoman said, "That's what this is about."
October 7, 2008

Louisiana: FEMA Not Immune From Trailer Suits
National Briefing | South
A federal judge in New Orleans says the government is not immune from lawsuits claiming that many Gulf Coast hurricane victims were exposed to potentially dangerous fumes while living in trailers it had provided. The ruling says there is evidence that the Federal Emergency Management Agency delayed its response to concerns about formaldehyde levels in its trailers because of liability concerns.
October 4, 2008

Army Unit to Deploy in October for Domestic Operations
Beginning in October, the Army plans to station an active unit inside the United States for the first time to serve as an on-call federal response in times of emergency. The 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent thirty-five of the last sixty months in Iraq, but now the unit is training for domestic operations. The unit will soon be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. The Army Times reports this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The paper says the Army unit may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control. The soldiers are learning to use so-called nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals and crowds.

Wisconsin: A Gloomy Assessment for Milwaukee Public Schools
National Briefing | Midwest
Members of the Milwaukee Public Schools board passed a resolution to explore dissolving the school system, but state education officials said the board did not have the authority to actually do so. The board's 6-to-3 vote to research the possibility came after Superintendent William G. Andrekopoulos described the city's school financing structure as "broken," painting a bleak picture of steep property tax increases and deep budget cuts. But dissolving the public school system would require action in the Legislature, or else the City Council would have to change Milwaukee's city classification, sparking other changes in governance, said Patrick Gasper of the Wisconsin Department of Education. While the full nine-member school board voted, it was a committee vote, and the proposal faces a final vote on Thursday.
September 20, 2008





The NO on Proposition V website:


"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."
- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)
Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)"


Where we are at. An appeal for support
Jeff Paterson
Courage to Resist Project Director
October 15, 2008

I'm proud to report that we have more than doubled the number of military objectors advised or directly supported since last year. To do this, our organizing collective has stepped up to the challenge in major ways, and we increased our staffing as well.

We're now attempting to do this work in the context of an unprecedented economic meltdown that financially affects every one of us in some way. Even prior to that, we were competing with a historic presidential election campaign for your donation. Of course we hold out hope for a new foreign policy not based on brutal occupations, but we're not holding our breath. If change does happen, it will take time for any new foreign policy to trickle down to the courageous men and women who are refusing to fight today.

Quick facts about our budget:

--86 percent of our entire budget has come directly from folks such as you.
--We currently rely on approximately 2,000 contributors across the U.S.
--The average donation we receive is just over $40.
--About half of our budget goes directly to supporting individual resisters.
--The remaining 14 percent of our budget comes from small grants made by progressive foundations.

Recently, we brought on board Sarah Lazare as Project Coordinator who has hit the ground running working with resisters, publishing articles, and collaborating with our allies in the justice and peace movement. Sarah is a former union organizer, Democracy Now! intern, and volunteer at a refugee camp in Lebanon.

Also new to our staff is our Office Manager Adam Seibert, who like me is a former Marine. Adam served in Somalia prior to going UA / AWOL under threat of another combat deployment.

I've never felt better about our staff and organizing collective. We're undertaking urgent and unique work that directly contributes to ending war. However, we are currently running a $4,000 monthly deficit. Whether we can move forward with our work to support the troops who refuse to fight is in large part based on your shared commitment to this project.

For a review of our current work with resisters Tony Anderson, Blake Ivy, Robin Long, and our women and men fighting to remain in Canada, please check our homepage. We have also posted an organizational timeline of action that details our work since 2003.

Today I'm asking that you consider a contribution of $100 or more, or become a sustainer at $20 or more a month. With your direct assistance, I'm confident we'll be able to move forward together in challenging our government's policies of empire. Together we have the power to end the war.

Jeff Paterson
Courage to Resist Project Director
First U.S. military serviceperson to refuse to fight in Iraq


San Francisco Proposition U is on the November ballot.

Shall it be City policy to advocate that its elected representatives in the
United States Senate and House of Representatives vote against any further
funding for the deployment of United States Armed Forces in Iraq, with the
exception of funds specifically earmarked to provide for their safe and
orderly withdrawal.

If you'd like to help us out please contact me. Donations would be wonderful, we need them for signs and buttons. Please see the link on our web site.

Thank you.

Rick Hauptman
Prop U Steering Commiittee

tel 415-861-7425



The Battle Of Sadr City

Weaponry so advanced that it spots the enemy and destroys it from nearly two miles above the battlefield made the difference in the fight for Sadr City last spring. Lesley Stahl's report shows rare footage of the weaponry in action.

October 13, 2008


"Meditating on the current U.S. public debt-$10,266 trillions-that President Bush is laying on the shoulders of the new generations in that country, I took to calculating how long it would take a man to count the debt that he has doubled in eight years.

"A man working eight hours a day, without missing a second, and counting one hundred one-dollar bills per minute, during 300 days in the year, would need 710 billion years to count that amount of money." -Fidel Castro Ruz, October 11, 2008


Check out this video of the Oct. 11 protest in Boston:

Video: Peace Rally in Providence
October 11th, 2008
Rhode Island Community Coalition for Peace held an anti-war and pro immigration rally at Dexter Training Grounds, beside the Cranston Armory, followed by a march that ended up at Burnside Park around 4:30 p.m. There were 200 people at the rally and more joined the march along the way. Providence Journal video by Kathy Borchers


"These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel."

- Abraham Lincoln, speech to Illinois legislature, January 1837


Subprime crisis explanation by The Long Johns

Wanda Sykes on Jay Leno: Bailout and Palin


Stop the Carnage, Ban the Cluster Bomb!

Only 20 percent of the hundreds of thousands of unexploded cluster munitions that Israel launched into Lebanon in the summer of 2006 have been cleared. You can help!

1. See the list of more than thirty organizations that have signed a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calling for Israel to release the list of cluster bomb target sites to the UN team in charge of clearing the sites in Lebanon:

2. You can Learn more about the American Task Force for Lebanon at their website:

3. Send a message to President Bush, the Secretary of State, and your Members of Congress to stop the carnage and ban the cluster bomb by clicking on the link below:

Take action now at:



U.S. Supreme Court stays Georgia execution
"The U.S. Supreme Court granted a last-minute reprieve to a Georgia man fewer than two hours before he was to be executed for the 1989 slaying of an off-duty police officer.
"Troy Anthony Davis learned that his execution had been stayed when he saw it on television, he told CNN via telephone in his first interview after the stay was announced."
September 23, 2008

Dear friend,

Please check out and sign this petition to stay the illegal 9-23-08 execution of innocent Brother Mr. Troy Davis.

Thanks again, we'll continue keep you posted.

The Death Penalty Abolition Campaign
Amnesty International, USA

Read NYT Op-Ed columnist Bob Herbert's plea on behalf of Troy Davis:

What's the Rush?
Op-Ed Columnist
September 20, 2008


New on the Taking Aim Program Archive:

"9/11: Blueprint for Truth: The Architecture of Destruction" part 2 is
available on the Taking Aim Program Archive at


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".


12 year old Ossetian girl tells the truth about Georgia.



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!

Soldier Who Deserted to Canada Draws 15-Month Term
August 23, 2008

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!


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.

- After calling, click here to let us know you called.

Don't forget: your calls DO make a difference.


Write to Dr. Al-Arian

For those of you interested in sending personal letters of support to Dr. Al-Arian:

If you would like to write to Dr. Al-Arian, his new
address is:

Dr. Sami Al-Arian
Pamunkey Regional Jail
P.O. Box 485
Hanover, VA 23069

Email Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace:


Video: The Carbon Connection -- The human impact of carbon trading

[This is an eye-opening and important video for all who are interested in our]

Two communities affected by one new global market - the trade in carbon
dioxide. In Scotland, a town has been polluted by oil and chemical
companies since the 1940s. In Brazil, local people's water and land is
being swallowed up by destructive monoculture eucalyptus tree
plantations. Both communities now share a new threat.

As part of the deal to reduce greenhouse gases that cause dangerous
climate change, major polluters can now buy carbon credits that allow
them to pay someone else to reduce emissions instead of cutting their
own pollution. What this means for those living next to the oil industry
in Scotland is the continuation of pollution caused by their toxic
neighbours. Meanwhile in Brazil, the schemes that generate carbon
credits give an injection of cash for more planting of the damaging
eucalyptus plantations.

40 minutes | PAL/NTSC | English/Spanish/Portuguese subtitles.The Carbon Connection is a Fenceline Films presentation in partnership with the Transnational Institute Environmental Justice Project and Carbon Trade Watch, the Alert Against the Green Desert Movement, FASE-ES, and the Community Training and Development Unit.

Watch at


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