Saturday, July 03, 2010





Kid with oil stuck on her! Destin Beach, Fl. June 23rd, 2010


G20 Police Accused of Rape Threats, Strip-Searches
29 June 2010


I Read Some Marx (And I Liked It)


BP Slick Covers Dolphins and


Licence to Spill
Posted on 06.30.10


Is it raining oil
in Metro New Orleans?
River Ridge, LA
Just south of the airport
[The question mark isn't appropriate in this title. The video clearly shows that it's raining oil in River Ridge--no question about]


Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:




BAMN -- Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Intergration and Immigrant Rights And Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary -- E-MAIL - 06/27/2010
Closing Arguments in the Trial of Ex-BART Officer Mehserle for the Murder of Oscar Grant Expected Early This Week

Depending on how much the jury deliberates --- there could be a decision as early as this week! The call for a mass demonstration on the day of the verdict has gone out. Join BAMN and other community groups, organizations, and civil rights activists in downtown Oakland at 6:00pm on the day of the decision.

Mass Community Gathering in Downtown Oakland
On the Day of the Mehserle Verdict
** 6:00 pm ** 14th St. and Broadway **

For updates, as well as a recap of the trial and links to news coverage:

Contact BAMN at 510-502-9072 for more info

Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration & Immigrant Rights,
and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN)
(313) 438-3748


Workshop and Political Analysis on Latin America
Saturday, July 3
At Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia St., SF

11:00 AM - Presentations about Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Honduras
12:00 PM - Lunch Break
01:00 PM - Workshops to brainstorm tactics
02:00 PM - Assembly where each group will present the results of their workshops

Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Honduras have become key chess pieces for the control and the destabilization of the continent by the United States, the military coup in Honduras, the militarization of the border by the governments of Mexico and U.S.A, and the military bases in Colombia are only part of a situation that is more complex and profound. We will present a political analysis and workshops in order to plan solidarity actions in accordance to what the people that are struggling for sovereignty for a just society and against United States imperialist ask us to do.

Contact: Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition,
Free Event (Donations are Welcome)

Sábado, 03 de Julio
En el Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia St., SF

Taller y Análisis Políticos Sobre América Latina

11:00 AM - Presentaciones sobre Colombia, México, Perú y Honduras
12:00 PM - Almuerzo
01:00 PM - Talleres para crear tácticas
02:00 PM - Assemblea en la que cada grupo presentará los resultados

Colombia, México, Perú y Honduras se han convertido en las piezas de ajedrez claves para el control y la desestabilización del continente por los Estados Unidos; el golpe militar en Honduras, la militarización de la frontera por parte del gobierno Mexicano y Estadunidense y las bases militares en Colombia son solo parte de una situación mucho más profunda y compleja que se presentara con análisis políticos y con talleres para planificar nuestro accionar en solidaridad de acuerdo a lo que nos piden los pueblos que aun luchan por su soberanía por una sociedad más justa y contra el imperio norteamericano.

Contacto: Coalición en Solidaridad con Latinoamérica de la Área de la Bahía,
Evento Grauito (Donaciones son Bienvenidas)

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545


After the historic Oakland port victory, time to intensify the struggle
Netanyahu in U.S.-Protest in the Streets!
at Israeli Consulate, 456 Montgomery St., SF
Tuesday, July 6, 4:30-6:30pm

Bring down the blockade of Gaza and Israel's apartheid wall!
Free Palestine-End colonial occupation!
Justice for the victims of Israel's attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla!
End U.S. aid to Israel-Boycott Israeli Ships and Goods!

The 24-hour shutdown of the SSA terminal at the Port of Oakland where an Israeli Zim lines ship docked on June 20 was an historic victory. More than 1,000 people joined the morning and afternoon mass picket lines, which were honored by members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 10. June 20 was the first time ever that an Israeli ship was boycotted in a U.S. port. Norwegian, Swedish and South African dock workers have called protests refusing to handle Israeli cargo.

The worldwide BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement against Israeli apartheid is rapidly gaining momentum. Just last week, the largest British public workers union, UNISON, which has more than 1.4 million members passed a motion at it's national conference reading, in part: "Conference reaffirms the support for an economic, cultural and sporting boycott of Israel and call on Unison to join the scores of unions around the world who have endorsed the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Further to that as an immediate sanction for the illegal attack on the flotilla, we call on the government to expel the Israeli ambassador."

Demonstrations are planned in Washington DC, San Francisco and other cities on July 6.
Join the protest at the Israeli consulate on July 6 and bring your friends, neighbors, fellow workers and students.

Initiated by: A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition-Act Now to Stop War and End Racism. Please reply to this email if your organization would like to be listed as a co-sponsor.

Volunteers and donations needed!
Call 415-821-6545 to volunteer or come by the ANSWER office to pick up leaflets and posters, 2489 Mission St. #24, SF. Volunteers are needed to help hand out leaflets, put up posters for the action and make alert phone calls to other activists. Click here to make a much-needed donation:

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545


JOIN US to Support Lynne Stewart

Save these Dates !!!!

July 8, 2010 - 6pm - 10pm
Voicing Suport for Lynne will be:
Ramsey Clark
Ward Churchill
Fred Hampton Jr.
Ralph Schoenman
and many more !!!!!!!
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square So.
NY, NY 10012
This is a fundraiser, suggested donation is $20.00

July 14, 2010
5:30pm March from Tom Paine Park (Worth St. between Centre & Lafayette Streets) three blocks to Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC- where Lynne is detained)
7-9pm Vigil in Support of Lynne at Metropolitan Correctional Center 150 Park Row, NY NY

July 15, 2010 : SENTENCING DAY
Sentencing is at 2:30pm, we will be there at 11am
Federal Courthouse
500 Pearl Street
Doors will open at 2pm

And check out this article (link) too!


We are 50,000 strong!
We are Hotel Workers Rising!

JULY 22, Thursday, 4:00pm
Local 2 Plaza, San Francisco
(Market and 4th Streets, next to Four Seasons Hotel)

On July 22, UNITE HERE! Local 2 and our supporters will join locals from 13 cities nationwide and in Canada in a historic coordinated protest to fight for dignity and respect for nearly 50,000 hotel workers. Some are engaged in contract campaigns and others are organizing non-union hotels.

We are at a crucial moment in our struggle against big greedy multi-national hotel corporations, and standing together with our locals across the country and Canada will bring us victory. Like the wealthy Pritzker family who run Hyatt, these corporations are taking unfair advantage, but we shall not be moved! Join us in this historic rally!


Click here for details and figures showing why these corporations have no excuse not to provide hotel workers affordable quality health care:

UNITE HERE! Local 2 - Hotel Workers Struggle for a Contract in San Francisco:

Check our Websites:

We are always on the look out for committed volunteers to drive the hotel boycotts and reach out to the community. Let us learn together, and fight together. Join Local 2's awesome Boycott Team.
For volunteer opportunities, please contact:
Powell DeGange,
415-864-8770 ext. 759


United National
Peace Conference
July 23 - 25, 2010, Albany, NY or UNAC at P.O. Box 21675, Cleveland, OH 44121

Call to Action!
United National Antiwar Conference (UNAC)
Join us in Albany, New York!
July 23-25, 2010

The National Conference to Bring the Troops Home Now will take place against the backdrop of major developments in the U.S. and throughout the world.

Our planet is aflame with unending wars, threats of new wars and horrendous sanctions against Iran, atrocious attacks on innocent Freedom Flotillas bringing humanitarian aid to the beleaguered Palestinians of Gaza, and with an unprecedented corporate-driven environmental catastrophe.

With U.S. acquiescence, a humanitarian flotilla in international waters, carrying 10,000 tons of food, medical, construction and educational supplies and toys for children, has been brutally attacked by the Israeli military - nine killed and six others missing and/or presumed dead. The 750 peace activists aboard, including NGO members, pacifists, journalists, and members of the European Parliament, were kidnapped, then arrested - their cargo seized. As we write, Iranian and Turkish ships, also loaded with humanitarian supplies, have announced plans to head for beleaguered Gaza to challenge the illegal blockade and Israeli siege. Will the Israeli government once again attack with deadly force bringing the world closer to yet another war?

We are witness to seven years of war against Iraq, a war whose every pretext has been discredited and whose people demand U.S. withdrawal. War for oil, occupation and plunder does not sit well with Iraqis who have suffered 1.4 million dead. "Phased withdrawal" is designed to assuage the U.S. public, and Iraqi majority opposition notwithstanding, there is no end in sight.

Meanwhile, 60,000 barrels of oil daily for the past two months, barely impeded, pour into the Gulf of Mexico, wreaking death, destruction and massive loss of income in adjacent states and north to the Atlantic and beyond. Corporate greed and the absence of a semblance of serious government regulation threaten long-term destruction of the ocean's ecosystem. British Petroleum, the Transocean corporation, and subcontractor Halliburton Industries demonstrate once again that oil profits, whether in the Persian Gulf or the Gulf of Mexico, trump human life and indeed life on earth in all forms. The insatiable drive for "black gold," the very resource that with continued use threatens all life, has brought us to the brink of what Mother Earth and its inhabitants can endure.

At the same time, our movement has registered some impressive gains while the government is registering important setbacks.

• Public opposition to the Afghanistan War is on the rise!
• The "victory" in Marja has proven ephemeral!
• The economic and political crises have awakened millions to the government's twisted priorities!
• Congressional debates reflect doubts about the war's objectives and costs!
• 24 Guantanamo torture protesters have been acquitted!

History demonstrates time and again that united, democratic and principled mass movements open the door to fundamental social change. That is the lesson of the fight against the Vietnam War, the broad civil rights movements, the struggles for equal rights for women and gays, and labor's struggle to unionize and advance the well-being of tens of millions.

And that's why the Albany conference is so timely. One hundred and twenty-five plenary and workshop speakers are scheduled! They include national and international leaders in the fight against war and for social justice. Twenty-nine national organizations are equal co-sponsors. (See For the first time in many years, a broad and diverse range of U.S. antiwar forces will be in the same room. Joined by social activists across the country and from around the world, they will lay plans to mobilize the American people to Bring the Troops and War Dollars Home Now! and to Fund Human Needs Not War!

The time to act is now! All antiwar and social justice activists welcome! One person one vote! See Draft Action Program online. Related amendments and resolutions are welcome.

The need now is to find common ground in the fight for life itself. The crisis-ridden system cries out for a challenge the world over. Let us be among the first to chart a winning course for the U.S. and for all humanity.

We say, "Massive funds for jobs, education, housing, pensions, the environment and health care! Bring the Troops, Mercenaries, War Profiteers and War Dollars Home Now! Close the 860 Military Bases! Bail Out the People, Not the Banks!"

United we can change the world!


For more information: or call 518-227-6947. A registration form is attached. Brochures announcing the conference can be ordered by writing


Education 4 the People!
October 7 Day of Action in Defense of Public Education - California

MORE THAN 100 activists from across California gathered in Los Angeles April 24 to debate next steps for the fight against the devastating cutbacks facing public education.

The main achievements of the conference were to set a date and location for the next statewide mass action-October 7-and for the next anti-cuts conference, which will happen October 16 at San Francisco State University. The other key outcome was the first steps toward the formation of an ad hoc volunteer coordinating committee to plan for the fall conference.

These decisions were a crucial step toward deepening and broadening the movement. For example, the fall conference will be the key venue for uniting activists from all sectors of public education, and especially from those schools and campuses which saw action on March 4, but which have yet to plug into the broader movement.

This will be crucial for extending the scope and increasing the strength of our movement, as well as for helping us strategize and prepare for what is certain to be a tough year ahead. Similarly, the fall mass action will be crucial to re-igniting the movement following the summer months.

Organizing for the next Statewide Public Education Mobilization Conference at SFSU on OCT 16th
Posted on May 24, 2010 by ooofireballooo
Organizing for the next Statewide Public Education Mobilization Conference
@ San Francisco State University on October 16th

MORE THAN 100 activists from across California gathered in Los Angeles April 24 to debate next steps for the fight against the devastating cutbacks facing public education.

The main achievements of the conference were to set a date and location for the next statewide mass action-October 7-and for the next anti-cuts conference, which will happen October 16 at San Francisco State University. The other key outcome was the first steps toward the formation of an ad hoc volunteer coordinating committee to plan for the fall conference.

These decisions were a crucial step toward deepening and broadening the movement. For example, the fall conference will be the key venue for uniting activists from all sectors of public education, and especially from those schools and campuses which saw action on March 4, but which have yet to plug into the broader movement.

This will be crucial for extending the scope and increasing the strength of our movement, as well as for helping us strategize and prepare for what is certain to be a tough year ahead. Similarly, the fall mass action will be crucial to re-igniting the movement following the summer months.

Proposal: Form a conference organizing listserve immediately!

Please join the google group today.

* Group home page:





Georgia: Witnesses in Murder Case Recant
June 23, 2010

In an unusual hearing ordered by the Supreme Court that began in Savannah on Wednesday, several witnesses said they had concocted testimony that Troy Anthony Davis killed a police officer, Mark MacPhail, in 1989. Last August, the Supreme Court ordered a federal district court to determine if new evidence "clearly establishes" Mr. Davis's innocence, its first order in an "actual innocence" petition from a state prisoner in nearly 50 years, according to Justice Antonin Scalia, who dissented. Seven of the witnesses who testified against Mr. Davis at his trial have recanted, and some have implicated the chief informer in the case. Mr. Davis's execution has been stayed three times.
Troy Davis Hearing Week of Action Schedule of Activities Hour of Prayer:
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 12 noon Call Number: (712) 432-1000 Access Code: 481005918# Join NAACP leaders for an hour of prayer. Community Mass Meeting - Tuesday, June 22 at 6:30pm New Life Apostolic Temple, 2120 West Bay Street, Savannah, GA 31415 Join National leaders of Amnesty International, Larry Cox, the NAACP, Benjamin Todd Jealous, Martina Correia (sister of Troy Davis), death row exonerees and other dynamic leaders. Wednesday & Thursday, June 23 & 24 Wright Square Vigil for Restorative Justice, 9am - 5pm Show your support by joining with others in Wright Square, across from the courthouse during the hearing. Drop by all day, or at the beginning, middle or end for prayer and meditation, opportunity for artistic expression, learning about restorative justice, stories from former death row prisoners who were innocent and exonerated, and more information about human rights. Evidentiary Hearing - Wednesday, June 23 at 10am Tomochichi Federal Courthouse (125 Bull St. in Savannah) Open to the public on a first come-first served basis. Please follow the courthouse rules and dress formally. Note: the hearing could last one or more days. During your weekly prayer and Bible study, please keep the Davis and MacPhail families in your prayers. JOIN US ON THE EVE OF HIS HISTORIC HEARING TO PRAY THAT JUSTICE IS FINALLY SERVED
For more info: | | Savannah Branch NAACP: 912-233-4161


Two Pensacola Beach Scenes: Dying Baby Dolphin and Ocean "Water Bubbling "...Like It's Got Acid In It. God Help Us All"
For OpEdNews: theWeb - Writer
Two scenes from Pensacola--one of a dying baby dolphin, the other of water bubbling like there's acid in it.
A dying, oil-covered baby dolphin is taken from Pensacola waters. It died shortly after being discovered.




ROV films oil leak coming from rock cracks on seafloor.


Oil Spill Threatens Native American "Water" Village
The town of Grand Bayou, Louisiana, has no streets and no cars, just water and boats. And now the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico threatens the very existence of the Atakapa-Ishak Indians who live there. "We're facing the potential for cultural genocide," says one tribe member.
(c) 2010 National Geographic; videographer and field producer: Fritz Faerber


Mumia Abu-Jamal - Legal Update
June 9, 2010
Robert R. Bryan, Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal
Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan
2088 Union Street, Suite 4
San Francisco, California 94123-4117

Dear All:

There are significant developments on various fronts in the coordinated legal campaign to save & free Mumia Abu-Jamal. The complex court proceedings are moving forward at a fast pace. Mumia's life is on the line.

Court Developments: We are engaged in pivotal litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia. At stake is whether Mumia will be executed or granted a new jury trial on the question of the death penalty. Two years ago we won on that issue, with the federal court finding that the trial judge misled the jury thereby rendering the proceedings constitutionally unfair. Then in January 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court vacated that ruling based upon its decision in another case, & ordered that the case be again reviewed by the Court of Appeals.

The prosecution continues its obsession to kill my client, regardless of the truth as to what happened at the time of the 1981 police shooting. Its opening brief was filed April 26. Our initial brief will be submitted on July 28. At issue is the death penalty.

In separate litigation, we are awaiting a decision in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on prosecutorial abuses, having completed all briefing in April. The focus is on ballistics.

Petition for President Barack Obama: It is crucial for people to sign the petition for President Barack Obama, Mumia Abu-Jamal & the Global Abolition of the Death Penalty, which was initially in 10 languages (Swahili & Turkish have since been added). This is the only petition approved by Mumia & me, & is a vital part of the legal effort to save his life. Please sign the petition & circulate its link:

Nearly 22,000 people from around the globe have signed. These include: Bishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa (Nobel Peace Prize); Günter Grass, Germany (Nobel Prize in Literature); Danielle Mitterrand, Paris (former First Lady of France); Fatima Bhutto, Pakistan (writer); Colin Firth (Academy Award Best-Actor nominee), Noam Chomsky, MIT (philosopher & author); Ed Asner (actor); Mike Farrell (actor); & Michael Radford (director of the Oscar winning film Il Postino); Robert Meeropol (son of Julius & Ethel Rosenberg, executed in 1953); Fatima Bhutto, Pakistan (writer); Noam Chomsky, MIT (philosopher & author); Ed Asner (actor); Mike Farrell (actor); Michael Radford (director of the Oscar winning film Il Postino); members of the European Parliament; members of the German Bundestag; European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights; Reporters Without Borders, Paris.

European Parliament; Rosa Luxemburg Conference; World Congress Against the Death Penalty; Geneva Human Rights Film Festival: We began the year with a major address to the annual Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Berlin, Germany, sponsored by the newspaper junge Welt. The large auditorium was filled with a standing-room audience. Mumia joined me by telephone. We announced the launching of the online petition, Mumia Abu-Jamal & the Global Abolition of the Death Penalty.

A large audience on the concluding night of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Geneva, Switzerland, February 25, heard Mumia by telephone. He spoke as a symbolic representative of the over 20,000 men, women & children on death rows around the world. The call came as a surprise, since we thought it had been canceled. Mumia's comments from inside his death-row cell brought to reality the horror of daily life in which death is a common denominator. During an earlier panel discussion I spoke of racism in capital cases around the globe with the case of Mumia as a prime example. A day before the Congress on February 23, I talked at the Geneva Human Rights Film Festival on the power of films in fighting the death penalty & saving Mumia.

On March 2 in the European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium, members Søren Søndergaard (Denmark) & Sabine Lösing (Germany) announced the beginning of a campaign to save Mumia & end executions. They were joined by Sabine Kebir, the noted German author & PEN member, Nicole Bryan, & me. We discussed the online petition which helps not only Mumia, but all the condemned around the globe.

Donations for Mumia's Legal Defense & Online Petition: The complex litigation & investigation that is being pursued on behalf of Mumia is enormously expensive. We are in both the federal & state courts on the issue of the death penalty, prosecutorial wrongdoing, etc. Mumia's life is on the line.

How to Help: For information on how to help, both through donations & signing the Obama petition, please go to Mumia's legal defense website: .

Conclusion: Mumia remains on death row under a death judgment. He is in greater danger than at any time since his arrest 28 years ago. The prosecution is pursuing his execution. I win cases, & will not let them kill my client. He must be free.

Yours very truly,

Robert R. Bryan
Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan
2088 Union Street, Suite 4
San Francisco, California 94123-4117

Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal


Please forward widely

Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,

Forgive this hasty note updating Lynne's situation. I am off to Brazil shortly and must catch a plane soon.

I just spoke with Lynne's husband Ralph Poynter last night and learned the following.

A regularly scheduled follow up test to check on whether Lynne's breast cancel had reappeared revealed that Lynne now had a spot on her liver. Lynne struggled with prison authorities to have a required biopsy and related tests conducted at her regular, that is, non-prison, Roosevelt Hospital. Her requests were denied and she was compelled to have the biopsy done in a notoriously inferior facility where the results could not be determined for a week as compared to the almost immediate lab tests available at Roosevelt.

During Lynne's prison hospital stay she was shackled and handcuffed making rest and sleep virtually impossible. A horrified doctor ordered the shackles removed but immediately following his departure they were fastened on Lynne's feet and hands once again.

She is now back in her New York City prison cell. Her attorneys have filed for a postponement of her scheduled July 15 court appearance where Federal District Court sentencing Judge John Koeltl is to review the original 28-month jail sentence that he imposed last year.

This sentence was appealed by government prosecutors, who sought to order Koelt to impose a 30-year sentence. The U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, was sympathetic to the government's position and essentially stated that Koeltl's 28-month sentence exceeded the bounds of "reasonableness." Koeltl was ordered to reconsider. A relatively recent Supreme Court decision granted federal district court judges wide discretion in determining the length of internment. Koeltl's decision took into consideration many factors that the court system allows in determining Lynne's sentence. These included Lynne's character, her service to the community, her health and financial history and more. He ruled, among other things that Lynne's service to the community was indeed a "credit to her profession and to the nation."

Contrariwise, the government and prison authorities see Lynne as a convicted terrorist. Lynne was the victim of a frame-up trial held in the post-911 context. She was convicted on four counts of "aiding and abetting terrorism" stemming from a single act, Lynne's issuance of a press release on behalf of her client, the "blind" Egyptian Shreik Omar Abdel Rachman. The press release, that the government claimed violated a Special Administrative Order (SAM), was originally ignored as essentially trivial by the Clinton administration and then Attorney General Janet Reno. But the Bush administration's Attorney General John Ashcroft decided to go after Lynne with a sledge hammer.

A monstrous trial saw government attorney's pulling out all the stops to convince an intimidated jury that Lynne was associated in some way with terrorist acts across the globe, not to mention with Osama bin Laden. Both the judge and government were compelled to admit in court that there were no such "associations," but press clippings found in Lynne's office were nevertheless admitted as "hearsay" evidence even though they were given to Lynne by the government under the rules of discovery.

It is likely that Lynne's request for a postponement will be granted, assuming the government holds to the law that a prisoner has the right to partake in her/his own defense. Lynne's illness has certainly prevented her from doing so.

In the meantime, Lynne would like nothing more than to hear from her friends and associates. Down the road her defense team will also be looking for appropriate letters to the judge on Lynne's behalf. More later on the suggested content of these letters.

Please write Lynne to express your love and solidarity:

Lynne Stewart 53504-054
150 Park Row
New York, New York 10007

In Solidarity,

Jeff Mackler, West Coast Coordinator
Lynne Stewart Defense Committee


Lynne Stewart and the Guantanamo Lawyers: Same Fact Patterns, Same Opponent, Different Endings?
Lynne Stewart will be re-sentenced sometime in July, in NYC.
By Ralph Poynter
(Ralph Poynter is the Life partner of Lynne Stewart. He is presently dedicated 24/7 to her defense, as well as other causes.)

In the Spring of 2002, Lynne Stewart was arrested by the FBI, at her home in Brooklyn, for materially aiding terrorism by virtue of making a public press release to Reuters on behalf of her client, Sheik Abdel Omar Rahman of Egypt. This was done after she had signed a Special Administrative Measure issued by the Bureau of Prisons not permitting her to communicate with the media, on his behalf.

In 2006, a number of attorneys appointed and working pro bono for detainees at Guantanamo were discovered to be acting in a manner that disobeyed a Federal Judge's protective court order. The adversary in both cases was the United States Department of Justice. The results in each case were very different.

In March of 2010, a right wing group "Keep America Safe" led by Lynne Cheney, hoping to dilute Guantanamo representation and impugn the reputations and careers of the volunteer lawyers, launched a campaign. Initially they attacked the right of the detainees to be represented at all. This was met with a massive denouncement by Press, other media, Civil rights organizations ,and rightly so, as being a threat to the Constitution and particularly the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

A second attack on the Gitmo lawyers was made in the Wall Street Journal of March 16. This has been totally ignored in the media and by civil and human rights groups. This latter revelation about the violations, by these lawyers, of the Judge's protective orders and was revealed via litigation and the Freedom of Information Act. These pro bono lawyers serving clients assigned to them at Gitmo used privileged attorney client mail to send banned materials. They carried in news report of US failures in Afghanistan and Iraq . One lawyer drew a map of the prison. Another delivered lists to his client of all the suspects held there. They placed on the internet a facsimile of the badges worn by the Guards. Some lawyers "provided news outlets with 'interviews' of their clients using questions provided in advance by the news organizations." When a partner at one of the large Wall Street law firms sent in multiple copies of an Amnesty International brochure, which her client was to distribute to other prisoners, she was relieved from her representation and barred by the Military Commander from visiting her client.

This case is significant to interpret not because of the right wing line to punish these lawyers and manipulate their corporate clients to stop patronizing such "wayward" firms. Instead it is significant because, Lynne Stewart, a left wing progressive lawyer who had dedicated her thirty year career to defending the poor, the despised, the political prisoner and those ensnared by reason of race, gender, ethnicity, religion , who was dealt with by the same Department of Justice, in such a draconian fashion, confirms our deepest suspicions that she was targeted for prosecution and punishment because of who she is and who she represented so ably and not because of any misdeed.

Let me be very clear, I am not saying that the Gitmo lawyers acted in any "criminal" manner. The great tradition of the defense bar is to be able to make crucial decisions for and with the client without interference by the adversary Government.

I believe that they were acting as zealous attorneys trying to establish rapport and trust with their clients. That said, the moment the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice tried to remove Julia Tarver Mason from her client, the playing field tilted. Ms Tarver Mason was not led out of her home in handcuffs to the full glare of publicity. There was no press conference. The Attorney General did not go on the David Letterman show to gloat about the latest strike in the War on Terror, the purge of the Gitmo lawyer...NO.

Instead an "armada" of corporate lawyers went to Court against the Government. They, in the terms of the litigation trade, papered the US District Courthouse in Washington D.C. They brought to bear the full force of their Money and Power-- derived from the corporate world--and in 2006 "settled" the case with the government, restoring their clients to Guantanamo without any punishment at all, not to say any Indictment. Lynne Stewart, without corporate connections and coming from a working class background, was tried and convicted for issuing, on behalf of her client, a public press release to Reuters. There was no injury, no harm, no attacks, no deaths.

Yet that same Department of Justice that dealt so favorably and capitulated to the Gitmo corporate lawyers, wants to sentence Lynne Stewart to thirty (30) YEARS in prison. It is the equivalent of asking for a death sentence since she is 70 years old.

This vast disparity in treatment between Lynne and the Gitmo lawyers reveals the deep contradictions of the system ---those who derive power from rich and potent corporations, those whose day to day work maintains and increases that power--are treated differently. Is it because the Corporate Power is intertwined with Government Power???

Lynne Stewart deserves Justice... equal justice under law. Her present sentence of 28 months incarceration (she is in Federal Prison) should at least be maintained, if not made equal to the punishment that was meted out to the Gitmo lawyers. The thirty year sentence, assiduously pursued by DOJ under both Bush and Obama, is an obscenity and an affront to fundamental fairness. They wanted to make her career and dedication to individual clients, a warning, to the defense bar that the Government can arrest any lawyer on any pretext. The sharp contrasts between the cases of Lynne and the Gitmo lawyers just confirm that she is getting a raw deal--one that should be protested actively, visibly and with the full force of our righteous resistance.


Roger Waters - "We Shall Overcome" for Gaza


Bernadette McAliskey Quote on Zionists:

"The root cause of conflict in the Middle East is the very nature of the state of Israel. It is a facist state. It is a international bully, which exists not to protect the rights of the Jewish people but to perpetuate a belief of Zionist supremacy. It debases the victims of the holocaust by its own strategy for extermination of Palestine and Palestinians and has become the image and likeness of its own worst enemy, the Third Reich.

"Anyone challenging their position, their crazed self-image is entitled, in the fascist construction of their thinking, to be wiped out. Every humanitarian becomes a terrorist? How long is the reality of the danger Israel poses to world peace going to be denied by the Western powers who created this monster?"


Rachel Maddow: Disgraceful response to the oil itself


It Ain't My Fault by Mos Def & Lenny Kravitz |


Gulf Oil Spill?

Dear Readers,

If you are wondering why an antiwar newsletter is giving full coverage to the oil spill, it's because:

(1) "Supplying the US army with oil is one of BP's biggest markets, and further exploration in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico is part of its long-term strategy."*
(2) "The Senate on Thursday, [May 27, 2010] approved a nearly $60 billion measure to pay for continuing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq..."**

The two are inextricably entwined and interdependent.

--Bonnie Weinstein

*The black hole at the bottom of the Gulf
No one seems to know the extent of the BP disaster
By David Randall and Margareta Pagano
Sunday, 23 May 2010

**Senate Approves Nearly $60 Billion for Wars
May 27, 2010

Watch BP Live Video Webcam Camera Feed of Gulf Oil Spill Here! (Update 7)

What BP does not want you to see:
ABC News went underwater in the Gulf with Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of famous explorer Jacques Cousteau, and he described what he saw as "one of the most horrible things I've ever seen underwater."

Check out what BP does not want you to see. And please share this widely -- every American should see what's happening under the surface in the Gulf.

Live BP Gulf Oil Spill Webcam Video Reveals 5 Leaks

Stop Shell Oil's Offshore Drilling Plans in the Arctic

Sign the Petition to Ban Offshore Drilling Now!



[ The poem does not mention that the popular herb cardamom is banned from importation into Gaza. Israel probably fears that cardamom can be used as a biological weapon. Rockets with cardamom filled projectiles landing in Israel could cause Israeli soldiers 'guarding' the border to succumb to pangs of hunger, leave their posts to go get something eat, and leave Israel defenseless. - Howard Keylor]

Richard Tillinghast is an American poet who lives in Co Tipperary. He is the author of eight books of poetry, the latest of which is Selected Poems (Dedalus Press, 2010 ), as well as several works of non-fiction


No tinned meat is allowed, no tomato paste,
no clothing, no shoes, no notebooks.
These will be stored in our warehouses at Kerem Shalom
until further notice.
Bananas, apples, and persimmons are allowed into Gaza,
peaches and dates, and now macaroni
(after the American Senator's visit).
These are vital for daily sustenance.

But no apricots, no plums, no grapes, no avocados, no jam.
These are luxuries and are not allowed.
Paper for textbooks is not allowed.
The terrorists could use it to print seditious material.
And why do you need textbooks
now that your schools are rubble?
No steel is allowed, no building supplies, no plastic pipe.
These the terrorists could use to launch rockets
against us.

Pumpkins and carrots you may have, but no delicacies,
no cherries, no pomegranates, no watermelon, no onions,
no chocolate.

We have a list of three dozen items that are allowed,
but we are not obliged to disclose its contents.
This is the decision arrived at
by Colonel Levi, Colonel Rosenzweig, and Colonel Segal.

Our motto:
'No prosperity, no development, no humanitarian crisis.'
You may fish in the Mediterranean,
but only as far as three km from shore.
Beyond that and we open fire.
It is a great pity the waters are polluted
twenty million gallons of raw sewage dumped into the sea every day
is the figure given.

Our rockets struck the sewage treatments plants,
and at this point spare parts to repair them are not allowed.
As long as Hamas threatens us,
no cement is allowed, no glass, no medical equipment.
We are watching you from our pilotless drones
as you cook your sparse meals over open fires
and bed down
in the ruins of houses destroyed by tank shells.

And if your children can't sleep,
missing the ones who were killed in our incursion,
or cry out in the night, or wet their beds
in your makeshift refugee tents,
or scream, feeling pain in their amputated limbs -
that's the price you pay for harbouring terrorists.

God gave us this land.
A land without a people for a people without a land.
Greta Berlin, Co-Founder
+357 99 18 72 75


This is just inspiring! You have to watch it!
Don't Get Caught in a Bad Hotel



[While this is a good beginning to a fight to put safety first--for workers and the planet--we must recognize that the whole thrust of capitalism is to get the job done quicker and cheaper, workers and the world be damned!

It is workers who are intimately aware of the dangers of production and the ways those dangers could be eliminated. And, if, say, a particular mine, factory, industry can't be made to be safe, then it should be abandoned. Those workers effected should simply be "retired" with full pay and benefits. They have already been subjected to the toxins, dangers, etc., on the job.

Basically, safety must be under worker's control. Workers must have first dibs on profits to insure safety first.

It not only means nationalizing industry--but internationalizing industry--and placing it under the control and operation of the workers themselves. Governmental controls of safety regulations are notoriously ineffectual because the politicians themselves are the corporation's paid defenders. It only makes sense that corporate profits should be utilized--under the worker's control--to put safety first or stop production altogether. Safety first has to be interpreted as "safety before profits and profits for safety first!" We can only hope it is not too late!]


The government of the United States must seize BP and freeze its assets, and place those funds in trust to begin providing immediate relief to the working people throughout the Gulf states whose jobs, communities, homes and businesses are being harmed or destroyed by the criminally negligent actions of the CEO, Board of Directors and senior management of BP.

Take action now! Sign the Seize BP petition to demand the seizure of BP!

200,000 gallons of oil a day, or more, are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico with the flow of oil growing. The poisonous devastation to human beings, wildlife, natural habitat and fragile ecosystems will go on for decades. It constitutes an act of environmental violence, the consequences of which will be catastrophic.

BP's Unmitigated Greed

This was a manufactured disaster. It was neither an "Act of God" nor Nature that caused this devastation, but rather the unmitigated greed of Big Oil's most powerful executives in their reckless search for ever-greater profits.

Under BP's CEO Tony Hayward's aggressive leadership, BP made a record $5.6 billion in pure profits just in the first three months of 2010. BP made $163 billion in profits from 2001-09. It has a long history of safety violations and slap-on-the-wrist fines.

BP's Materially False and Misleading Statements

BP filed a 52-page exploration plan and environmental impact analysis with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service for the Deepwater Horizon well, dated February 2009, which repeatedly assured the government that it was "unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed activities." In the filing, BP stated over and over that it was unlikely for an accident to occur that would lead to a giant crude oil spill causing serious damage to beaches, mammals and fisheries and that as such it did not require a response plan for such an event.

BP's executives are thus either guilty of making materially false statements to the government to obtain the license, of consciously misleading a government that was all too ready to be misled, and/or they are guilty of criminal negligence. At a bare minimum, their representations constitute gross negligence. Whichever the case, BP must be held accountable for its criminal actions that have harmed so many.

Protecting BP's Super-Profits

BP executives are banking that they can ride out the storm of bad publicity and still come out far ahead in terms of the billions in profit that BP will pocket. In 1990, in response to the Exxon Valdez disaster, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the Oil Pollution Act, which immunizes oil companies for the damages they cause beyond immediate cleanup costs.

Under the Oil Pollution Act, oil companies are responsible for oil removal and cleanup costs for massive spills, and their liability for all other forms of damages is capped at $75 million-a pittance for a company that made $5.6 billion in profits in just the last three months, and is expected to make $23 billion in pure profit this year. Some in Congress suggest the cap should be set at $10 billion, still less than the potential cost of this devastation-but why should the oil companies have any immunity from responsibility for the damage they cause?

The Oil Pollution Act is an outrage, and it will be used by BP to keep on doing business as usual.

People are up in arms because thousands of workers who have lost their jobs and livelihoods as a result of BP's actions have to wait in line to compete for lower wage and hazardous clean-up jobs from BP. BP's multi-millionaire executives are not asked to sacrifice one penny while working people have to plead for clean-up jobs.

Take Action Now

It is imperative that the government seize BP's assets now for their criminal negligence and begin providing immediate relief for the immense suffering and harm they have caused.

Seize BP Petition button*:


Rachel Carson's Warnings in "The Sea Around Us":
"It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself. . ."


Operation Small Axe - Trailer


Please sign the petition to stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal and
and forward it to all your lists.

"Mumia Abu-Jamal and The Global Abolition of the Death Penalty"

(A Life In the Balance - The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, at 34, Amnesty Int'l, 2000; www.

[Note: This petition is approved by Mumia Abu-Jamal and his lead attorney, Robert R. Bryan, San Francisco (E-mail:; Website:]

Committee To Save Mumia Abu-Jamal
P.O. Box 2012
New York, NY 10159-2012


Donations for Mumia's Legal Defense in the U.S. Our legal effort is the front line of the battle for Mumia's freedom and life. His legal defense needs help. The costs are substantial for our litigation in the U.S. Supreme Court and at the state level. To help, please make your checks payable to the National Lawyers Guild Foundation indicate "Mumia" on the bottom left). All donations are tax deductible under the Internal Revenue Code, section 501c)3), and should be mailed to:

It is outrageous and a violation of human rights that Mumia remains in prison and on death row. His life hangs in the balance. My career has been marked by successfully representing people facing death in murder cases. I will not rest until we win Mumia's case. Justice requires no less.

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal



Lynne Stewart in Jail!

Mail tax free contributions payable to National Lawyers Guild Foundation. Write in memo box: "Lynne Stewart Defense." Mail to: Lynne Stewart Defense, P.O. Box 10328, Oakland, CA 94610.



U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Department of Justice Main Switchboard - 202-514-2000
Office of the Attorney General Public Comment Line - 202-353-1555

To send Lynne a letter, write:
Lynne Stewart
150 Park Row
New York, NY 10007

Lynne Stewart speaks in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal


On June 30, an innocent man will be given a second chance.

In 1991, Troy Davis was sentenced to death for allegedly killing a police officer in Savannah, Georgia. There was no physical evidence tying him to the crime, and seven out of nine witnesses recanted or contradicted their testimony.

He was sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit. But it's not too late to change Troy's fate.

We just learned today that Troy has been granted an evidentiary hearing -- an opportunity to right this wrong. Help give him a second chance by telling your friends to pledge their support for Troy:

Troy Davis may just be one man, but his situation represents an injustice experienced by thousands. And suffering this kind of injustice, by even one man, is one person too many.

Thanks to you and 35,000 other NAACP members and supporters who spoke out last August, the U.S. Supreme Court is granting Troy Davis his day in court--and a chance to make his case after 19 years on death row.

This hearing is the first step.

We appreciate your continued support of Troy. If you have not yet done so, please visit our website, sign the petition, then tell your friends to do the same.

I will be in touch soon to let you know how else you can help.


Benjamin Todd Jealous
President and CEO


Short Video About Al-Awda's Work
The following link is to a short video which provides an overview of Al-Awda's work since the founding of our organization in 2000. This video was first shown on Saturday May 23, 2009 at the fundraising banquet of the 7th Annual Int'l Al-Awda Convention in Anaheim California. It was produced from footage collected over the past nine years.
Support Al-Awda, a Great Organization and Cause!

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, depends on your financial support to carry out its work.

To submit your tax-deductible donation to support our work, go to and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!


FLASHPOINTS Interview with Innocent San Quentin Death Row Inmate
Kevin Cooper -- Aired Monday, May 18,2009
To learn more about Kevin Cooper go to:
San Francisco Chronicle article on the recent ruling:
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling and dissent:


Support the troops who refuse to fight!




1) Biologists find 'dead zones' around BP oil spill in Gulf
Methane at 100,000 times normal levels have been creating oxygen-depleted areas devoid of life near BP's Deepwater Horizon spill, according to two independent scientists
By Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent
Wednesday 30 June 2010 19.49 BST

2) House Passes $80 Billion War Spending Bill
July 1, 2010

3) For Lynne Stewart: FREEDOM!
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
[col. writ. 6/26/10

4) And It's One, Two, Three, What Are We Fighting For?
by Randall Amster J.D., Ph.D., t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed
Thursday 01 July 2010

5) Is BP rejecting skimmers to save money on Gulf oil cleanup?
Anita Lee | Biloxi Sun-Herald
last updated: July 02, 2010 07:40:29 PM

6) Oil found in Gulf crabs raises new food chain fears
Geoff Pender | Biloxi Sun Herald
last updated: July 01, 2010 07:49:58 PM

7) BP's New Cover-Up Revealed
Posted By Shannyn Moore
July 1, 2010

8) War in Iraq Defies U.S. Timetable for End of Combat
July 2, 2010

9) In a Refuge Haunted by Katrina, BP Swirls In
July 2, 2010


1) Biologists find 'dead zones' around BP oil spill in Gulf
Methane at 100,000 times normal levels have been creating oxygen-depleted areas devoid of life near BP's Deepwater Horizon spill, according to two independent scientists
By Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent
Wednesday 30 June 2010 19.49 BST

Scientists are confronting growing evidence that BP's ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico is creating oxygen-depleted "dead zones" where fish and other marine life cannot survive.

In two separate research voyages, independent scientists have detected what were described as "astonishingly high" levels of methane, or natural gas, bubbling from the well site, setting off a chain of reactions that suck the oxygen out of the water. In some cases, methane concentrations are 100,000 times normal levels.

Other scientists as well as sport fishermen are reporting unusual movements of fish, shrimp, crab and other marine life, including increased shark sightings closer to the Alabama coast.

Larry Crowder, a marine biologist at Duke University, said there were already signs that fish were being driven from their habitat.

"The animals are already voting with their fins to get away from where the oil spill is and where potentially there is oxygen depletion," he said. "When you begin to see animals changing their distribution that is telling you about the quality of water further offshore. Basically, the fish are moving closer to shore to try to get to better water."

Such sightings - and an accumulation of data from the site of the ruptured well and from the ocean depths miles away - have deepened concerns that the enormity of the environmental disaster in the Gulf has yet to be fully understood. It could also jeopardise the Gulf's billion-dollar fishing and shrimping industry.

In a conference call with reporters, Samantha Joye, a scientist at the University of Georgia who has been studying the effects of the spill at depth, said the ruptured well was producing up to 50% as much methane and other gases as oil.

The finding presents a new challenge to scientists who so far have been focused on studying the effects on the Gulf of crude oil, and the 5.7m litres of chemical dispersants used to break up the slick.

Joye said her preliminary findings suggested the high volume of methane coming out of the well could upset the ocean food chain. Such high concentrations, it is feared, would trigger the growth of microbes, which break up the methane, but also gobble up oxygen needed by marine life to survive, driving out other living things.

Joye said the methane was settling in a 200-metre layer of the water column, between depths of 1,000 to 1,300 metres in concentrations that were already threatening oxygen levels.

"That water can go completely anoxic [extremely low oxygen] and that is a pretty serious situation for any oxygen-requiring organism. We haven't seen zero-oxygen water but there is certainly enough gas in the water to draw oxygen down to zero," she said.

"It could wreak havoc with those communities that require oxygen," Joye said, wiping out plankton and other organisms at the bottom of the food chain.

A Texas A&M University oceanographer issued a similar warning last week on his return from a 10-day research voyage in the Gulf. John Kessler recorded "astonishingly high" methane levels in surface and deep water within a five-mile radius of the ruptured well. His team also recorded 30% depletion of oxygen in some locations.

Even without the gusher, the Gulf was afflicted by 6,000 to 7,000 square miles of dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi river, caused by run-off from animal waste and farm fertiliser.

The run-off sets off a chain reaction. Algae bloom and quickly die, and are eaten up by microbes that also consume oxygen needed by marine life.

But the huge quantities of methane, or natural gas, being released from the well in addition to crude presents an entirely new danger to marine life and to the Gulf's lucrative fishing and shrimping industry.

"Things are changing, and what impacts there are on the food web are not going to be clear until we go out and measure that," said Joye.


2) House Passes $80 Billion War Spending Bill
July 1, 2010

The House approved a war spending bill on Thursday with a provision that would include $10 billion to help school districts avoid educator layoffs, paying for the effort, in part, with $800 million in cuts to several of President Obama's key education initiatives.

The $80 billion bill would pay for the 30,000 additional troops ordered to Afghanistan.

The education measure provoked fierce debate, especially because it would reduce by $500 million the award money available to three dozen states that have submitted proposals in Round 2 of the Obama initiative, the Race to the Top competition.

To become law, the legislation needs Senate approval. The White House said in a statement that if the final bill included cuts to education reforms, Mr. Obama would most likely veto it.

"It would be short-sighted to weaken funding for these reforms," the White House said.

Using stimulus money voted on last year, the Department of Education awarded $500 million to Tennessee and $100 million to Delaware in March, and has promised to distribute the $3.4 billion that remains among additional winning states this year. The House bill would reduce the money available to $2.9 billion.

Teachers' unions lobbied for weeks for federal money to avert what the administration estimates could be hundreds of thousands of teacher layoffs.

Several dozen charter school and other advocacy groups lobbied fiercely against cutting Race to the Top, which rewards states promising to overhaul teacher evaluation systems and shake up school systems in other ways.

Representative David R. Obey, Democrat of Wisconsin and chairman of the Appropriations Committee, a longtime ally of the teachers' unions, unveiled the school jobs provision late Tuesday. In Thursday's debate, he called Education Secretary Arne Duncan's objections to trimming Race to the Top "a joke."

Even with the proposed $500 million cut, Mr. Duncan still has about $3 billion left that "he can spend any way he wants," Mr. Obey said.


3) For Lynne Stewart: FREEDOM!
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
[col. writ. 6/26/10

Lynne Stewart, targeted by the Bush-era Justice Dept. for daring to forcefully advocate for her client, is in danger - and only immense popular support can save her.

She's in danger not just of a recent cancer diagnosis, but of the cancerous decision of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to re-sentence her to a longer, harsher term than the trial court decided.

Stewart has had an exemplary career as a defense lawyer for the poor, the oppressed and those deemed unpopular by the establishment. It was in this context that she was targeted by the state and unjustly convicted of providing material support to an alleged terrorist conspiracy, for speaking out on behalf of her client, the blind, Egyptian cleric.

The late William Kunstler, a radical lawyer who represented similar clients, said recently that defense attorneys should be "officers of their clients", instead of "officers of the court." *

Lynne Stewart was, like Kunstler, an "officer of [her] client", which is another reason she was targeted.

She violated what was essentially a prison regulation (called a SAM - for Special Administrative Measure), one that she probably rightly thought couldn't possibly supersede her constitutional and professional duty to defend her client. But she underestimated the base opportunism of government and the subservience of the courts, even at the costs of constitutional rights and alleged "guarantees."

On the evening of July 6th, at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South (in NYC), friends, admirers and supporters of Lynne Stewart will gather together to express their solidarity with an extraordinary woman, a gifted lawyer and a person convicted for her political ideas and affiliations.

Show your love!

--(c) '10 maj

[*Source: Kunstler, William M., The Emerging Police State, (Melbourne/New York: Ocean Press, 2004, p. 41]

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

Audio of most of Mumia's essays are at:

Mumia's got a podcast! Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays - Subscribe at the website or on iTunes and get Mumia's radio commentaries online.

Mumia Abu-Jamal's new book -- JAILHOUSE LAWYERS: PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V. THE USA, featuring an introduction by Angela Y. Davis -- has been released! It is available from City Lights Books:

Please make a contribution to help free Mumia. Donations to the grassroots work will go to both INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL and the FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION (NYC).


Please mail donations/ checks to:
NY 10030

215 476-8812

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:

Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370


Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing!


4) And It's One, Two, Three, What Are We Fighting For?
by Randall Amster J.D., Ph.D., t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed
Thursday 01 July 2010

It was 1967, and the world was on fire. War at home and abroad demonstrably began to rear its head, and long-held American values of moral exceptionalism and widespread prosperity were rapidly destabilizing. A Democratic president escalated warfare half a world away, and the generals offered red-herring rationales about resource control and the necessity of finishing the job in order to defeat evil.

Also that year, a large petroleum company named BP positioned itself as a global leader in overseas oil production, with its national sponsors
specifically taking measures "to inhibit undue governmental interference in the international oil trade." Meanwhile, Israel exerted its control over Gaza following the Six-Day War, with its actions being endorsed by the US even as many others decried them as violating international law.

BP, Israel and the war machine all operating with impunity: what year were we talking about, again? Indeed, the more things change ... and the rest, as they say, is history. Or actually, the rest is the present, and - unless we work to break the cycle - likely the future as well. As George Santayana once said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." To which we might add, "quite literally."

In that fateful year of 1967, Country Joe and the Fish immortalized the utility of the anti-war rag with a song that barely needs updating to fit today's news cycle:

Yeah, come on all of you, big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in [Afghanistan]
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun.
And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop [Afghanistan.]

Speculating on possible answers to their own musical query about the reasons for war, Joe, et al. continued their ditty by casting a gaze upon certain likely suspects:

Well, come on generals, let's move fast;
Your big chance has come at last....
Well, come on Wall Street, don't move slow,
Why man, this is war au-go-go.
There's plenty good money to be made
By supplying the Army with the tools of the trade.

Today, it gets even better than that. In addition to greasing the skids of military contracting, it turns out that Afghanistan is potentially resource-rich to the tune of up to one, two, three trillion dollars, including certain minerals that are mostly precious to the workings of the digital age and that could render Afghanistan "the Saudi Arabia of lithium" according to intentionally leaked Pentagon memos. As David Sirota notes, there's nothing new about this knowledge of Afghan treasures, but the more important point is the naked assertion of "resource control" as an unabashed national interest sufficient to legitimately deploy the armed forces apparatus. In this lexicon, "war for oil" moves from being a peace placard to becoming a military mantra.

Still, there's nothing new about this turn of events, either. Upon invading Iraq, we were told that the exploitation of oil resources there could make the war essentially "pay for itself" - as if that would somehow overcome objections and justify the bloodbath. In 2008, as documented by Dr. Tom Clonan in The Irish Times, the US Army published a document outlining its modernization strategy, boldly asserting a vision of "perpetual warfare over dwindling resources" for the foreseeable future:

"We have entered an era of persistent conflict ... a security environment much more ambiguous and unpredictable than that faced during the cold war .... We face a potential return to traditional security threats posed by emerging near-peers as we compete globally for depleting natural resources and overseas markets."

Regarding Afghanistan, the revisionist invocation of "resource control" as a justification for the necessity of war actually utters a truth long understood by analysts and scholars. At root, warfare is always about resources despite oftentimes being couched in terms of human liberation or national defense. The baseline economic function of militarism is apparent in our federal budgeting process and the sheer scope of the enterprise. It is often said that "war is a continuation of politics by other means," yet, perhaps more to the point is that it serves as a continuation of the economy by similar means, as Thomas Friedman observed in "The Lexus and the Olive Tree":

"The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas.... And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps."

It is of no moment if we spend more to wage a war than the potential resource return on our investment might yield, since the same basic interests make out just fine on both the expenditure and recompense side of the equation. Capitalism and militarism are inextricably intertwined, as Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler famously wrote in 1935:

"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.... I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism."

Butler's exegesis of war is remarkably prescient and unfortunately still spot on. Could you imagine the implications if General Petraeus were to offer such remarks today? Then again, the Pentagon basically admits as much in its protean rationale for continuing the Afghan war on the basis of "hidden treasures untold" and "resource control as essential to national security." Yes, war and the economy are inherently linked - and both are shrilly performing about as well these days. When Butler described war as a "racket," he, thus, might also have used that word in another sense, namely as a cacophony that drowns out good sense and meaningful discussion alike.

Alas, from 1935 to 1967 to 2010, it's one, two, three "war au-go-go" ... and the song (more like a dirge at this point) sadly remains the same.


5) Is BP rejecting skimmers to save money on Gulf oil cleanup?
Anita Lee | Biloxi Sun-Herald
last updated: July 02, 2010 07:40:29 PM

BILOXI, Miss. - From Washington to the Gulf, politicians and residents wonder why so few skimming vessels have been put to work soaking up oil from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.

Investment banker Fred D. McCallister of Dallas believes he has the answer. McCallister, vice president of Allegiance Capital Corp. in Dallas, has been trying since June 5 to offer a dozen Greek skimming vessels from a client for the cleanup.

"By sinking and dispersing the oil, BP can amortize the cost of the cleanup over the next 15 years or so, as tar balls continue to roll up on the beaches, rather than dealing with the issue now by removing the oil from the water with the proper equipment," McCallister testified earlier this week before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. "As a financial adviser, I understand financial engineering and BP's desire to stretch out its costs of remediating the oil spill in the Gulf. By managing the cleanup over a period of many years, BP is able to minimize the financial damage as opposed to a huge expenditure in a period of a few years."

A BP spokesman from Houston, Daren Beaudo, denied the allegation emphatically. He said, "Our goal throughout has been to minimize the amount of oil entering the environment and impacting the shoreline."

A report released Thursday by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform included a photo depicting "a massive swath of oil" in the Gulf with no skimming equipment in sight. The report concluded: "The lack of equipment at the scene of the spill is shocking, and appears to reflect what some describe as a strategy of cleaning up oil once it comes ashore versus containing the spill and cleaning it up in the ocean."

McCallister's experience in trying to win approval for the Greek vessels, along with the frustrations others have expressed in offering specialized equipment, contradicts the official pronouncements from BP and the federal government about the approval process. For foreign vessels, that process is complicated by a 1920 maritime law known as the Jones Act.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. James Watson, who oversees the Unified Command catastrophe response in New Orleans, determined in mid-June an insufficient number of U.S. skimming vessels is available to clean up oil, essentially exempting from the federal Jones Act foreign vessels that could be used in the response, said Capt. Ron LaBrec, a spokesman at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington.

The Jones Act allows only vessels that are U.S. flagged and owned to carry goods between U.S. ports.

To further clarify, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander, promised expedited Jones Act waivers for any essential spill-response activities. "Should any waivers be needed," Allen said at the time, "we are prepared to process them as quickly as possible to allow vital spill response activities being undertaken by foreign-flagged vessels to continue without delay."

LaBrec said 24 foreign vessels, two of them skimming vessels, have operated around the catastrophe site, in federal waters with no need for Jones Act waivers. He also said Watson has the authority to approve operation of foreign-flagged vessels near shore, where the Jones Act comes into play because of the port restrictions.

Fred D. McCallister, Vice President, Allegiance Capital Corporation

"If the unified area commander (Watson) decides that it's a piece of equipment he needs, either BP would contract for it or he can do that himself," LaBrec said. "If it's something he decides is absolutely needed, he can get it in here without BP approval.

"The equipment that has been offered - the foreign equipment that has been offered that is useful for the response - has either been accepted or is in the group of offers that is currently in the process of being accepted. That has been occurring since early in the response and will continue to occur."

Dealing with BP

McCallister said none of his dealings have been with the Coast Guard. He submitted requests for Jones Act waivers to Unified Command, but said questions about the skimming vessels have come from BP.

BP spokesman Beaudo said McCallister was notified his offer of skimming vessels has been declined because the vessels will not pick up heavy oil near shore. Beaudo said he did not know when McCallister was informed. McCallister said he received communications from BP on Thursday that indicated his proposal was still under review. In fact, he sent supplemental material Thursday, which was accepted, to show the skimming vessels will pick up heavy oil like that bombarding Mississippi's coastline. The 60-foot vessels, he said, can skim high-density crude up to 20 miles offshore. Equipment on board separates the oil from water.

Desperate for skimmers

All the Gulf states dealing with oil have pleaded for more skimming vessels. The Deepwater Horizon Web site indicates 550 "skimmers" were at work before bad weather suspended operations.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's office has ordered private shipyards to build skimming vessels because so few have been working in state waters. George Malvaney, who heads the Mississippi Coast cleanup effort for BP subcontractor U.S. Environmental Services, said offers of skimming vessels and other equipment take time to review. He believes Mississippi will have a "substantial skimming effort" by late next week.

"Just because it's a skimmer doesn't mean it's effective," Malvaney said. "There's a lot of people out there saying, 'We've got skimmers.' Some are effective, some are not. That's what we're trying to wade through right now."

More than meets the eye?

As the catastrophe reaches Day 73, McCallister, who grew up in Mississippi and has family on the Coast, believes there is just more to it.

"Looking at it from a businessman's perspective," he said, "if I am BP, assuming I don't have a conscience that would steer me otherwise, the best thing I can do for my shareholders, my pensioners, and everybody else, is to try to spread the cost of this remediation out as long as I can.

"I am concerned it is seen by BP as being the most pragmatic financial approach. But they're playing Russian roulette with the Gulf, the marine life in the Gulf and the people in the Gulf region."


6) Oil found in Gulf crabs raises new food chain fears
Geoff Pender | Biloxi Sun Herald
last updated: July 01, 2010 07:49:58 PM

BILOXI, Miss. - University scientists have spotted the first indications oil is entering the Gulf seafood chain - in crab larvae - and one expert warns the effect on fisheries could last "years, probably not a matter of months" and affect many species.

Scientists with the University of Southern Mississippi and Tulane University in New Orleans have found droplets of oil in the larvae of blue crabs and fiddler crabs sampled from Louisiana to Pensacola, Fla. The news comes as blobs of oil and tar continue to wash ashore in Mississippi in patches, with crews in chartreuse vests out cleaning beaches all along the coast on Thursday, and as state and federal fisheries from Louisiana to Florida are closed by the BP oil disaster.

"I think we will see this enter the food chain in a lot of ways - for plankton feeders, like menhaden, they are going to just actively take it in," said Harriet Perry, director of the Center for Fisheries Research and Development at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. "Fish are going to feed on (crab larvae). We have also just started seeing it on the fins of small, larval fish - their fins were encased in oil. That limits their mobility, so that makes them easy prey for other species. The oil's going to get into the food chain in a lot of ways."

Perry said researchers have not yet linked the hydrocarbons found in the crab larvae to the BP disaster, but she has little doubt it's the source. She said she has never seen such contamination in her 42 years of studying blue crab.

Richard Gollott is Mississippi's Department of Marine Resources commissioner for the commercial seafood industry and a seafood processing-plant owner from a family that's been in the business for generations. He said closure of Gulf fisheries "appears to have been the right thing to do."

"We are taking a beating with this," Gollott said. "But we would rather have our industry have a season closed down for a year or even two years rather than get a bad name. We have to take the long-term view. The worst thing in the world would be to take a short-term look at this and not be worried about the public, the consumers."

Gollott said he is still hopeful Gulf seafood can make a quick recovery, in "months instead of years," and be safe and plentiful. He said right now the only Gulf seafood he's supplying is coming from Texas, where fisheries are still clear and open.

"You've got to be optimistic to be a fisherman," Gollott said. "As quick as we can get our scientific facts and ducks in order, get FDA to check everything from Florida to Texas and make sure it's OK, I think we will get our market share back. But that will take some marketing and some work."

DMR Director Bill Walker said Thursday he was unaware of the USM-Tulane findings. He said DMR biologists continue to test the meat of shrimp and other edible species and have "not gotten any positive hits" for oil.

"But we are just testing the edible tissue, for public health," Walker said. "The more-academic research is looking at other parts of these critters. Sometimes materials will concentrate in the more oily tissue, but not make its way to the edible tissue."

Perry said the oil found in the crab larvae appears to be trapped between the hard outer shell and the inner skin. Perry said, "Shrimp, crab and oysters have a tough time with hydrocarbon metabolism." She said fish that eat these smaller species can metabolize the oil, but their bodies also accumulate it with continued exposure and they can suffer reproductive problems "added to a long list of other problems."

BP-contracted crews cleaned tar balls and patches from mainland beaches on Thursday. Walker said there are reports of oil or tar on or near all the barrier islands, although still in relatively small, isolated patches - "small in the sense of up to several hundred yards at a stretch," Walker said.

Harrison County Emergency Manager Rupert Lacy said storms the last few days "shook (tar pieces) up, shifted them around," but cleanup workers "are doing what they need to do," and getting beaches cleaned.

"Until they can get that well capped off and they get those big skimmers out there and really get into the skimming operations, we're going to see the remnants of this," Lacy said. "This is not a sprint; it's a marathon."

Perry said scientists are having to learn as they go along with the BP oil disaster.

"We can go to literature and get information on other spills," Perry said. "But this is not the same oil, this is not the same spill, this is not the same area and these are not the same species. Plus, the use of dispersant in the amounts they've used is totally unprecedented. So this is taking scientists a while to get up to speed and realize the enormity of it."

As not only a marine scientist but a longtime Coast resident, Perry said the enormity of the disaster gets to her personally sometimes.

"I had a sort of breakdown last week," Perry said. "I've driven down the same road on East Beach in Ocean Springs for 42 years. As I was going to work, I saw the shrimp fleet going out, all going to try to work on the oil, and I realized the utter futility of that, and I just lost it for a minute and had to gather myself.

"When you think about it all, how this has changed everybody's life and how life here revolves around the water and the beach and the seafood - just even going to get a shrimp po-boy - it's just overwhelming. I think a hurricane is easy compared to this.

"Let's just hope and pray first that they get the well capped, then secondly that they keep it from getting inshore into our marshes."


7) BP's New Cover-Up Revealed
Posted By Shannyn Moore
July 1, 2010

Cross-posted from Shannyn Moore's website and via The Mudflats.

We're getting reports from the gulf that BP is involved in another cover-up - in the literal meaning.

BP is trucking in sand to cover up the oil. Let me repeat that - instead of cleaning up the oil they are just bringing in sand from other beaches and covering it up. In the photos and the video you can see the layering of Grand Isle, LA sand, oil and then a sand of a different type. Photo-journalists have four independent confirmations by local Sheriff's in Grand Isle, Louisiana.

CS Muncy, a freelance photo-journalist from New York has gone down to report the story on his own dime. He's a friend of The Mudflats and has sent us these photos to get the word out. We're asking you to support his work, you can donate through PayPal to - Click the link here.

Video by Save Our Shores's Judson Parker

In an interview Wednesday with journalist Allison Kilkenny, Muncy said he "went down onto the beaches, and we started inspecting them. There were tar balls, tar residue, and there was some oil on the beach. Apparently, the day before there was a lot of tar balls, and BP was working in the area pretty heavily, and we started noticing there was a different consistency in the sand."

Muncy added:

Closer to shore, there was this grainy, very rough shell-filled sand, and then you could see almost like a border where it just spilled over onto the beach sand, which is a very fine-grained sand. And it looked as if it was dumped. I mean, you could dig a few inches down, and you could see that it was a different type of sand beneath that, you know, without all the shell and grit, and what not. It looked very much like that. Our first assumption was, yeah, that they were dumping sand to cover up the tar balls.

You know, when I first said me, it sounded conspiratorial - more so than I usually think. But then, soon after, we were stopped by some local sheriffs - actually, scratch that, they weren't local sheriff - they were working for the local sheriff, but these guys were bussed in from... (C.S. asks Judson if he remembers where they were bussed in from) ...from Jefferson Parish - from way up north - he was a city guy, and there were two of them that stopped us, and they weren't unpleasant about it - they weren't mean - but we could hear them talking on the radio, and their job was to run us off. So they told us, no more pictures - at least no more pictures of them. In fact, they stopped me from going out onto the beach a little bit further, and taking more pictures. But, you know, we got to talking with the guy, one of them, and he said, 'Yeah, they came here, and just dumped a bunch of sand on the beach.' They were just shoveling it on.

We could see the erosion and where the tar still was, and there was a total separate point from where the sand was dumped on.

UPDATE: The Times-Picayune reported Thursday that the Coast Guard "has put new restrictions in place across the Gulf Coast that prevent the public - including news photographers and reporters covering the BP oil spill - from coming within 65 feet of any response vessels or booms on the water or on beaches.

According to a news release from the Unified Command, violation of the "safety zone" rules can result in a civil penalty of up to $40,000, and could be classified as a Class D felony. Because booms are often placed more than 40 feet on the outside of islands or marsh grasses, the 65-foot rule could make it difficult to photograph and document the impacts of oil on land and wildlife, media representatives said.


8) War in Iraq Defies U.S. Timetable for End of Combat
July 2, 2010

NEAR TULUL AL-BAQ, Iraq - President Obama has set an August deadline for the end of the combat mission in Iraq. Here at this makeshift desert camp in the insurgent badlands of northern Iraq, a mission is under way that is not going to stop then: American soldiers hunting terrorists and covertly watching an Iraqi checkpoint staffed by police officers whom the soldiers say they do not trust.

"They're not checking anybody, and they're wondering why I.E.D.'s are getting in to town," said Staff Sgt. Kelly E. Young, 39, from Albertville, Ala., as he watched the major roadway that connects Baghdad with Mosul, regarded as the country's most dangerous city. He referred to improvised explosive devices, the military term for homemade bombs.

The August deadline might be seen back home as a milestone in the fulfillment of President Obama's promise to end the war in Iraq, but here it is more complex. American soldiers still find and kill enemy fighters, on their own and in partnership with Iraqi security forces, and will continue to do so after the official end of combat operations. More Americans are certain to die, if significantly fewer than in the height of fighting here.

The withdrawal, which will reduce the number of American troops to 50,000 - from 112,000 earlier this year and close to 165,000 at the height of the surge - is a feat of logistics that has been called the biggest movement of matériel since World War II. It is also an exercise in semantics.

What soldiers today would call combat operations - hunting insurgents, joint raids between Iraqi security forces and United States Special Forces to kill or arrest militants - will be called "stability operations." Post-reduction, the United States military says the focus will be on advising and training Iraqi soldiers, providing security for civilian reconstruction teams and joint counterterrorism missions.

"In practical terms, nothing will change," said Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, the top American military spokesman in Iraq. "We are already doing stability operations." Americans ceased major combat in Iraq long ago, and that has been reflected in the number of casualties. So far this year, 14 soldiers have been killed by hostile fire, and 27 more from accidents, suicides and other noncombat causes, according to

As fighting involving Americans tapered off, thousands of items of Iraq war matériel were packed and shipped to Afghanistan. The complex and flexible mission of cutting down forces while simultaneously keeping up the fight with a festering insurgency could prove a model for Afghanistan, where withdrawal is scheduled to begin next year. Next summer, the Americans will begin to leave Afghanistan, too, and they probably won't be able to halt fighting completely as they do so.

Beyond August the next Iraq deadline is the end of 2011, when all American troops are supposed to be gone. But few believe that America's military involvement in Iraq will end then. The conventional wisdom among military officers, diplomats and Iraqi officials is that after a new government is formed, talks will begin about a longer-term American troop presence.

"I like to say that in Iraq, the only thing Americans know for certain, is that we know nothing for certain," said Brett H. McGurk, a former National Security Council official in Iraq and current fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "The exception is what's coming once there's a new government: they will ask to amend the Security Agreement and extend the 2011 date. We should take that request seriously. "

The mission here in the desert, a temporary base of armored vehicles and one tent for two platoons, provided a vivid example of what American forces still do on the ground and, military officers said, would be able to do after the reduction.

"They needed someone killed, so they sent us," said Maj. Bryan L. Logan, squadron operations officer for the Third Squadron, Seventh Cavalry Regiment, referring to an insurgent cell that had been planting bombs near the highway.

Iraqi security forces were not present or informed of the mission, a seeming contravention of the emphasis from commanders that operations be conducted jointly, and at the request of the Iraqis. Lt. Col. Michael Jason, the brigade operations officer for the Third Infantry Division's Second Brigade, said that the operation was unusual because it didn't "have an Iraqi face."

The operation was justified by a liberal interpretation of the security agreement that allows unilateral operations to protect American forces, or, in Colonel Jason's words, to address "unique American problem sets."

"That's what they are doing," he said, referring to his soldiers.

For the troops living in the desert, it was a return to the soldiering life many hadn't experienced since earlier in the war or during training back home: eating Meals Ready to Eat, or M.R.E.'s; sleeping on top of vehicles or on the ground; firing artillery, albeit nonlethal, illuminated rounds to remind insurgents that Americans are still here.

The legacy of the United States' seven-year war here will partly pivot on how well the Iraqi police and army secure the country after the Americans are gone. American military officers praise the rising capability of the Iraqi security forces - especially in securing the country for the parliamentary elections in March. But questions of loyalty that arose during the sectarian warfare of 2006 and 2007 remain.

So as some soldiers in the desert hunted for insurgents, others felt they needed make sure that Iraqis at the checkpoint to Mosul were actually doing their jobs and stopping and searching vehicles. In Mosul, suicide attacks still regularly inflict damage.

The unit did not find the insurgents. But another unit close by found three of them laying a bomb. Days later, officers watched a video taken from the gunsight of an attack helicopter that killed the insurgents with a Hellfire missile.

In the closing window of the American war here, commanders are still trying to kill as many militants as possible, because they say it keeps American forces and Iraqis safer. But in doing so, the United States military command sometimes plays down the American role in the killing.

Almost daily, press releases are issued that announce the killing or capture of terrorists by the Iraqi security forces, usually noting the involvement of "U.S. advisers." Sometimes credit is not given when American soldiers kill militants.

In April, the third-ranking member of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia was killed by Iraqi forces, according to a press release. But officers on the ground said he was killed by fire from an American Bradley Fighting Vehicle. And no press release has been issued about the three insurgents who were recently killed by the American Hellfire missile.

As the soldiers were packing up the desert camp, Major Logan, who saw combat in Iraq in 2003, stood watching and quoted Robert Duvall from a movie about another American war, Vietnam, one that ended badly: "Someday this war is going to end."


9) In a Refuge Haunted by Katrina, BP Swirls In
July 2, 2010

There stands a building on Aycock Street through which the recent troubles of St. Bernard Parish continue to flow. All the grief and all the hope and all the miseries borne by water run through this unassuming rectangle of window and brick.

The two-story structure was once a parochial school, and the touchstone for a neighborhood boy, long ago. Then Hurricane Katrina filled it halfway with water. Then it became a time-frozen reflection of the surrounding emptiness. Then it became Camp Hope, where volunteers spent their nights after working to restore pockets of St. Bernard, as much as could be done with lawnmowers and drywall.

Now the building has a new purpose. BP, the energy behemoth, is spending an estimated $600,000 to renovate it into a carpeted, air-conditioned dormitory where more than 300 workers can sleep after long days of helping to clean up BP's catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - a spill that has tainted the waters of this coastal parish, still grappling with its last calamity.

As a result, an air of premature transference has filled the building on Aycock Street. In its cafeteria, BP-hired construction workers have been eating lunch beside Hurricane Katrina volunteers. Then the BP workers have gone back to their renovations, while the volunteers have returned to toil in vacated, damaged houses, often just down the street.

All the while, a heavyset white-haired man with bad knees has taken in the awkwardness unfolding on the terrazzo floors. His name is Mark Madary, and he has many titles and functions: acting director of Camp Hope; real estate investor; former councilman; champion of the community; graduate of this parochial school; child of Arabi.

Mr. Madary, 58, can look across the cafeteria and remember his grammar school crushes, and he can look across the street and imagine the houses that once stood on those grassy lots. Now here comes BP to renovate his old school, motivated more by guilt and necessity than by charity, but promising to leave behind an asset to the community.

"I have mixed feelings," says Mr. Madary, whose eyes well if he lingers too long on certain subjects. "I am a realist when it comes to the damage. I am living proof that anything floats."

Mr. Madary was a young boy when he first walked into this building. Back then it was the brand-new parochial school for St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church in Arabi, a community on the eastern banks of the Mississippi River that was shedding its colorful past as a slaughterhouse center and gambling town.

He remembers when the church and school were renamed St. Louise de Marillac. He remembers every teacher, from Miss Chastant to Sister Angelina. He remembers the girls he admired from afar, Ramona and Thais. On that cafeteria stage, he sang "You Are My Sunshine." Down those steps, he carried a girl who was having an epileptic seizure, while a nun followed behind, warning him not to drop her.

He remembers Hurricane Betsy in 1965, when hundreds of people were rescued from the roof of this building by boat and helicopter. Most of all, he remembers the vibrancy of the neighborhood. "A glut of people, of first-time homeowners," he says. "Your playgrounds and schools were bursting at the time."

Mr. Madary grew up, ran restaurants, bought and sold property, and became a councilman in St. Bernard Parish, just in time for the 2005 hurricane and flood that spared only five of the parish's 27,000 homes. Arabi was all but destroyed; if you look up in the corner of the building's cafeteria, maybe 14 feet up, you will see the flood line.

Like so many people here, he has nightmarish stories of the hurricane and its aftermath, stories made no less horrifying by their familiarity: from praying on a rooftop as the waters rose to seeing the fear in the eyes of the old and infirm as they were evacuated to who knows where. His voice trembles in the telling, nearly five years later.

And, like so many people here in St. Bernard - which has about two-thirds of its pre-Katrina population of 66,000 - Mr. Madary has dedicated himself to rebuilding his neighborhood. Since losing a race for state representative, he has bought, rehabilitated and sold several buildings in Arabi, and is working on another.

Still, the sense of absence pervades. The Archdiocese of New Orleans canonically closed St. Louise de Marillac Church two years ago, then tore it down last year, along with a portion of the old parochial school. Sarah McDonald, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, says that after the hurricane, "there were not enough people to support the parish."

The archdiocese eventually leased this remaining building to St. Bernard Parish, which opened it in January as a volunteer base called Camp Hope 3, the successor to two other facilities that sheltered volunteers who came to the region to help rebuild. Since it opened, more than 3,000 volunteers from colleges, church groups and nonprofit organizations have paid $25 a day for the privilege of eating and sleeping in an old school building with spare amenities.

Two months ago, Mr. Madary assumed the unpaid position of interim camp director, and he has slept some nights in a glorified storage room next to the old custodian's office. He becomes emotional when talking of the sacrifices made by these visitors, the young and the not-so, who will be housed in a local motel while BP is in town. He points to ceiling tiles in the cafeteria that some volunteer groups have painted to commemorate their time together. "HOODAT!" one reads, from a group of University of Virginia students. "Katie, Rachel, Kevin, Derek...."

Now, beneath the artwork of those who bonded over the Hurricane Katrina recovery, BP workers prepare to move in. They have installed a gleaming chain-link fence around the property, lugged in new washers and dryers and made headway on a separate dormitory for women.

Upstairs, in the old classroom - once the domain of Sister Angelina and others - hundreds of new bunk beds have been assembled, all with just-unwrapped linens and blankets and pillows. Some stand a few inches from chalkboards that bear no chalk marks.

The first wave of BP workers, as many as 120, are expected to move in this weekend. Most will be working on land, loading boom and decontaminating boom. All will be required to follow strict house rules: lights out at 10 p.m.; no pedestrian traffic to and from camp; random drug testing; zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol.

Someday, BP will return to Arabi a building that is newly restored and available again to house Katrina volunteers, or even to serve as an evacuation site for the next emergency. "It's going to be a very positive leave-behind for the community," says Hank Garcia, a BP spokesman.

When that will be, no one knows. Three months? Six? The only certainty is that when BP finally does leave the building on Aycock Street, Katrina will still be waiting.


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