Tuesday, October 05, 2010



Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:




This message was sent out earlier today be Local 2. Please distribute widely.

Wed. Oct. 6, 2010, 5pm @ Market and Powell
6:15pm @ Hilton (Mason and O'Farrell)

9 years of unjust U.S. war on Afghanistan! Billions of dollars per week spent on the occupation to enrich the military contractors! All while workers at home die for lack of healthcare, go homelesses for lack of work, while students can no longer afford an education.

Join us to demand "End the Wars Now! Money for Jobs, Schools, Healthcare and Housing, Not War! Stand up and Fight Back" on Wed. Oct. 6, 5pm, gather at Powell and Market Sts., SF, for a march and rally. At 6pm we will march to the Hilton Hotel (Mason and O'Farrell) in solidarity with the hotel workers fighting for healthcare and a contract.

Volunteers Needed! Call 415-821-6545 to help.

Protest U.S./NATO War in Afghanistan
on 9th Anniversary of Invasion

End colonial occupation-Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and everywhere
Fund Jobs, Schools, Healthcare and Housing-Not the Pentagon
Fight Islamophobia, anti-immigrant attacks and all forms of racism

Wednesday, October 6, 5pm
Powell & Markets Sts., SF

As the U.S./NATO war in Afghanistan enters its tenth year, casualties on both sides are at an all-time high. Spending on the war in Afghanistan alone is over $2.5 billion per week-that's $2,500,000,000 every week-at a time when tens of millions of people have lost their jobs, housing, healthcare and pensions here, and most Afghani people live in extreme poverty. Regardless of public relations proclamations from the White House, the Iraq occupation is far from over, and the U.S.-backed Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people is intensifying.

The real military budget this year is over $1,000,000,000,000-or more than $32,000 per second. The biggest banks, military industries and other corporations are reaping vast profits from the suffering of working people in the war zones and here. At the same time as they sit atop mountains of cash, corporations like the Blackstone Group (owners of the Hilton Hotel) are attacking the health benefits of thousands of union hotel workers in San Francisco who are struggling to win a new contract. Politicians and the right-wing corporate media constantly seek to divide working people by fomenting Islamophobia, anti-Arab and anti-immigrant racism.

Join us on Oct. 6 to say NO to war, racism and all bigotry, and YES to meeting the needs of the people!

Call 415-821-6545 for more info or to get involved.

Initiated by A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition-Act Now to Stop War & End Racism. Endorsed by: Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Justice for Filipino American Veterans, Unitarian Universalists for Peace-S.F., National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, Bay Area United Against War, United National Antiwar Committee, Party for Socialism and Liberation, World Can't Wait, Free Palestine Alliance, Code Pink Women for Peace, Alliance for a Just & Lasting Peace in the Philippines, March Forward!, Socialist Viewpoint, FMLN-Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (list in formation-call or reply to add your organization, 415-821-6545)

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

Make a tax-deductible donation to A.N.S.W.E.R. by credit card over a secure server,
learn how to donate by check.


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.


* Group home page: http://groups.google.com/group/fallconferencesfsu


The Most Dangerous Man in America:
Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
*Academy Award nominee available on DVD for community organizations
*Broadcast premiere on PBS Tuesday, October 5
Dear Michael ,

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a high-level Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist, concluded that the war was based on decades of lies and leaked 7,000 pages of top secret documents to The New York Times, making headlines around the world.

The story of how one man's profound change of heart created a landmark struggle involving America's newspapers, president and Supreme Court, and whose events led directly to Watergate, Nixon's resignation and the end of the Vietnam War is depicted in a new Academy-Award-nominated documentary film and political thriller, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.

The saga of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers resonates powerfully today. Organizations and activists that address issues of freedom of speech, war and peace, whistle blowing, the First Amendment, civil liberties, government secrecy, and much, much more are able to connect to, and be inspired by, the events surrounding Ellsberg and the publication of the Pentagon Papers.
"[The film] dramatizes a kind of secular spiritual journey-from warrior to anti-warrior, from analyst to activist, from patriot to "traitor." Ellsberg describes the stages of this transformation with his usual precision and ardor." -- David Denby, The New Yorker

I want to alert you to one upcoming event and one important opportunity for you and you organization.

1. On Tuesday, October 5, following a 5-month run in more than 140 theaters nationwide, The Most Dangerous Man in America has its broadcast premiere on the POV series on PBS, at 9pm (check local listings). A special videotaped panel discussion with Daniel Ellsberg, former Times editor Max Frankel, and current editors of The New York Times, will immediately follow the film as part of the broadcast.

2. A new educational DVD of The Most Dangerous Man in America has just been produced, for use in colleges, high schools and community organizations. Among its "extras" will be a Spanish-subtitled version; 30 minutes of "secret" Nixon White House audiotapes (conversations between the President and (among others) Henry Kissinger, John Ehrlichman, J. Edgar Hoover and John Dean (from his notorious "cancer on the presidency" discussion with Nixon), excerpts from Ellsberg's memoir Secrets, biographies of the filmmakers, and more.

Community organizations are authorized to use this "educational use only" dvd for their own non-admission screenings, to raise donations for their organizations, to use as an organizing tool, for outreach, inspiration, information and instruction.

The Most Dangerous Man in America is co-directed by award-winning documentarians Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith.
"Detailed, clearly told, persuasive" - Mike Hale, The New York Times

I would like you to consider use of The Most Dangerous Man in America for your organization. You can learn more about the film and see a trailer at www.mostdangerousman.org, where a dvd of the film can be ordered for your use. CLICK HERE TO ORDER DVD. To obtain a 10% discount, use the discount code UCQ4YJ. Please contact me directly with any questions.

Sincerely yours,

Rick Goldsmith, co-producer/co-director, rgoldfilm@aol.com.


Free all Palestinian Authority Political Prisoners! Rally for Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli Jails Oct. 5-15!

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat + www.freeahmadsaadat.org + info@freeahmadsaadat.org

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat demands the release of all Palestinian Authority political prisoners and an end to the policy of security cooperation

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat demands that the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and its security services to end its policy of political arrests and persecution, free all political prisoners from its jails, and respect the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian Authority continues to adhere to the policy of security cooperation with the occupier, and still continues its violations of human rights, further violating the rights of our people already suffering under Zionist occupation, facing systematic starvation, oppression, impoverishment and siege.

Ahmad Sa'adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and his comrades were victims of the policy of security coordination between the Authority and the Zionist occupier. Therefore, we must naturally reject and oppose the policies of the government of Salam Fayyad and the repressive practices of the security services which only further divide Palestinians, disintegrate the Palestinian national movement, and harm the image of the Palestinian cause and our national struggle.

The policy of political arrests is clearly deeply linked to the policy of security cooperation with the occupier. These attacks on the freedom of the Palestinian people serve the interests only of the occupation and the settlers. Instead of protecting the Palestinian people's resistance and its cadres and supporters in the West Bank, protecting the Palestinian people's civil institutions and charities, the Palestinian Authority chooses to breach all ties with the Palestinian national movement, violate the law, engage in arbitrary arrests and human rights violations, and harm the security of Palestinian citizens, violating their rights and dignity.

It is clear that the people of the world, as well as the people of Palestine, must stand to defend and protect the rights of Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian people. We call for the widest public participation in Palestine and around the world for the freedom of prisoners in Israeli prisons and to confront the policy of isolation. Join with us on October 5-15 on the International Days of Action for Ahmad Sa'adat and all Palestinian prisoners, demanding an end to isolation and the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners!

Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat
September 20, 2010



The Berkeley Says No to Torture Week Oct 10-16 has a new website, go to:


and then from there, go to the Facebook page. Let this be your "go-to" site for all things regarding the Berkeley Says "No To Torture" Week. The Events Calendar is growing quickly (many not yet posted pending venue confirmation, etc.) We aim to have the best possible local week in Berkeley, AND to encourage and inspire even more resolutions like this all around the country -- any community could pull together around taking this stand, as people are doing here -- so could you please widely forward this new site and Facebook to all your friends and contacts?

TUESDAY Sept. 21, 7 PM: Be There!

Berkeley City Council will vote this week to declare "Berkeley Says No To Torture" Week an official civic week.

This will take our message to a whole new level, and Council needs to know they have wide public support in Berkeley -- and beyond -- to vote YES. Come to the meeting -- look for our contingent -- to show your support. (If you'd like to speak during Public Comment in support of the Resolution, please let us know here ahead of time -- we need a "wide representation" show of support especially speakers.)

And please take a few minutes to SEND City Council members and Mayor Tom Bates your personal or organizational support for the Resolution. (Please copy us here if you send emails). Here is the link:

Please forward this info widely, we hope to see a strong turnout at the Council meeting: Tuesday Sept. 21 7 PM, and please arrive early if you can, at Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704.

sf@worldcantwait.org (415) 864-5153 sfbaycantwait.org www.myspace.com/sfbaycantwait
World Can't Wait SF
2940-16th St., Rm. 200-6
San Francisco CA 94103


The next meeting of the Bay Area United National Antiwar Committee will take place Sunday, October 17, 2010 at 1:00 P.M.
Location to be announced.


Justice for Oscar Grant Rally
Saturday, October 23, 12:00 Noon
Frank Ogawa Plaza
(Oakland City Hall near 14th and Broadway)

Join family and friends of Oscar Grant, Labor and Community to demand:

--Maximum sentence for Johannes Mehserle!
--Stop police brutality! Jail racist killer cops!
--Expand jobs and education, not war and repression!

Stand up and make your voice heard! Johannes Mehserle was only arrested after people took to the streets to express their outrage. Without continuous labor and community action, Mehserle might have been acquitted. Together we can make sure that the killer cop gets the maximum sentence so other cops don't think they can get away with murder.

Sponsored by:

ILWU Local 10

Endorsed by other labor and community organizations.

For more information please contact:
Farless Dailey, Secretary Treasurer, 415-776-8100


Media/Publicity: Jack Heyman 510-531-4717, jackheyman@comcast.net


[SEND ENDORSEMENTS TO: jackheyman@comcast.net]

Resolution in Support of October 23 ILWU Rally for Justice for Oscar Grant

Whereas, Oscar Grant's killer, BART police officer Johannes Mehserle received a verdict of involuntary manslaughter on July 8, 2010 and will be sentenced on November 5; and

Whereas, video tapes show clearly that Oscar Grant was lying face down on the Fruitvale BART platform, waiting to be handcuffed with another cop's boot on his neck posing no threat when he was shot in the back and killed in cold blood by Mehserle; and

Whereas, wherever employers try to break a strike, police are there to protect the scabs and attack workers, as we know from the 1934 West Coast Maritime Strike, to the Charleston Five longshore struggle in 2000; and

Whereas, black and brown racial minorities, and especially immigrant workers today, struggling for equal rights have borne the brunt of police violence; and

Whereas , Oscar Grant's killing is another manifestation of the same unjust system where the message for the poor, the working class, and people of color is submission or death; and

Whereas, ILWU Local 10 has initiated the call for a mass labor and community protest rally on Saturday October 23, 2010 in Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza calling for justice for Oscar Grant in the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle,

Therefore be it Resolved, that (name of organization) endorses this rally along with other labor unions, community groups, civil rights organizations, civil liberties organizations and will help to mobilize for this rally for justice for Oscar Grant;

An Injury To One Is An Injury To All.




November 18-21, 2010: Close the SOA and take a stand for justice in the Americas.

The November Vigil to Close the School of the Americas at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia will be held from November 18-21, 2010. The annual vigil is always held close to the anniversary of the 1989 murders of Celina Ramos, her mother Elba and six Jesuit priests at a the University of Central America in El Salvador.


November 2010 will mark the 20th anniversary of the vigil that brings together religious communities, students, teachers, veterans, community organizers, musicians, puppetistas and many others. New layers of activists are joining the movement to close the SOA in large numbers, including numerous youth and students from multinational, working-class communities. The movement is strong thanks to the committed work of thousands of organizers and volunteers around the country. They raise funds, spread the word through posters and flyers, organize buses and other transportation to Georgia, and carry out all the work that is needed to make the November vigil a success. Together, we are strong!


There will be exciting additions to this year's vigil program. Besides the rally at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia with inspiring speakers and amazing musicians from across the Americas, the four day convergence will also include an educational teach-in at the Columbus Convention Center, several evening concerts, workshops and for the first time, the Latin America Solidarity Coalition will stage a one-day Anti-Militarization Organizers Conference on Thursday, November 18, 2010.


Our work has unfortunately not gotten any easier and U.S. militarization in Latin America is accelerating. The SOA graduate led military coup in Honduras, the continuing repression against the Honduran pro-democracy resistance and the expansion of U.S. military bases in Colombia and Panama are grim examples of the ongoing threats of a U.S. foreign policy that is relying on the military to exert control over the people and the resources in the Americas. Join the people who are struggling for justice in Honduras, Colombia and throughout the Americas as we organize to push back.

Spread the word - Tell a friend about the November Vigil:

For more information, visit:

See you at the gates of Fort Benning in November 2010




NOAA investigating husband & wife that were sprayed with dispersant while sleeping on boat


Dangers Lurk Beneath the Surface of Gulf of Mexico
September 29th, 2010
In spite of what you might have read in the news, the oil in the Gulf of Mexico has not just disappeared. It's lurking on the bottom, destroying marine life and entire ecosystems. On top of that, we are now starting to see adverse health effects from BP's use of the toxic oil dispersant known as Corexit, which is being dumped into the Gulf as we speak. Mike Papantonio talks about some of the effects that we're now seeing as a result of BP's dispersant chemicals with Dr. Riki Ott, one of the leading experts on the impact of oil spills on human health.


Soldier Describes Murder of Afghan for Sport in Leaked Tape
September 27, 2010, 6:43 pm


"Don't F*** With Our Activists" - Mobilizing Against FBI Raid


Stephen Colbert's statement before Congress


PcolaGregg Answers VisitPensacola.com With Truth And Reality




Dear all,

As you know, I publish the Bay Area United Against War (BAUAW) newsletter that goes out to over 380 groups and individuals in the Bay Area (mostly individuals). While BAUAW used to be an activist group and is no longer a group, the newsletter remains active and, in fact has grown. I was able to give a similar, but much shorter message to the demonstration September 28 as the publisher of the BAUAW Newsletter and blog at bauaw.org
Clearly, and unfortunately, this will be an ongoing campaign.

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein


About one- to two-hundred people showed up at the Federal Building in San Francisco at 7th and Mission Streets, on barely 24 hour's notice, to protest Obama's FBI raids against peace and social justice activists. It was broadly attended by the major antiwar, social justice groups and the labor movement. Speaker after speaker spoke against the raids as a threat to all who protest injustice carried out by the U.S. government here and abroad.

But the raids have not stopped! The only way to stop them is to stand united behind all those who have and will be persecuted by Obama's administration. We have a right to protest injustice wherever we perceive it--especially if the crimes are being funded by the U.S. government (our tax dollars) as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Colombia and Palestine and numerous other places around the globe. An injury to one is an injury to all! We are only as strong as our weakest link. That is why we must stand together. Together, the weakest link becomes unbreakable.

The antiwar movement is obviously central to the defense of civil liberties and civil rights. That's why it's more important than ever for us to unite and call national and international actions against the wars, occupations and illegal military and police actions by our government here and everywhere--including these raids!

It's important first, to let the Obama administration know that this will not stop us from protesting, and second, to let this government know that we, the majority of people against the wars, being in the majority, have the right to dictate to them how our tax dollars should be spent.

We have the right to demand money for jobs, housing, healthcare, education and to life, liberty and peace of mind and body, not never-ending wars, occupations and prisons to preserve the wealth of the power elite. All human beings everywhere have these inalienable rights! We are citizens of the world and we all have these same common interests, human needs and wants.

If we don't stand together and demand them, we will not have them. More importantly, they are within our grasp if we stand united.

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein, Publisher of Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, bauaw.org

--- On Tue, 9/28/10, Women Against Military Madness wrote:

From: Women Against Military Madness
Subject: [WAMM] WAMM Board Co-Chair Subpoenaed to Appear Before Grand Jury

The witch-hunt continues! I know you have heard that Freedom Road and the Anti-War Committee are being investigated by the FBI.

Yesterday, WAMM board co-chair and long time peace activist, Sarah Martin was also served with a subpoena. She is to appear before a grand Jury, in Chicago, on October 12, as part of the FBI investigation that is trying to tie local peace groups to terrorism.

Sarah is innocent of terrorism or connection to organizations that condone terrorism.

This is part of a nationally coordinated action, surely approved by the director of the FBI and probably at higher levels than that. There has been considerable national media attention. It appears that our Twin Cities peace community has been thrust into the middle of something much larger. The affected activists will need a lot of our support as they resist increasing repression and "terrorism" hype from the Obama Administration.

The people targeted have several things in common which give an insight to the nature of this investigation. Locally, all have been connected to the Anti-War Committee and/or WAMM. I believe all are connected to Freedom Road Socialist Organization. All were deeply involved in organizing the mass marches at the RNC in 2008. I believe all have been involved in the efforts to stop the DNC from coming to Minneapolis in 2012. All or nearly all have traveled to Colombia and/or Palestine for international solidarity work.

Please join us at the first meeting of a new solidarity and defense committee, Thursday, September 30, 7:00 p.m. at Walker Methodist Church, 3104 16th Avenue South, Minneapolis. Feel free to invite friends, neighbors, lawyers, church members and leaders so that we can organize to keep this malignant FBI investigation from spreading further through out our community.

Democracy is indeed under a terrifying assault! Sadly enough, it is coming from the hands of our own government, directed at some of the best, brightest, and most conscientious of our own citizens. For those of us who hold the constitution and the Bill of Rights near and dear to our hearts, we must stand up to this new assault on American freedom.

Kim Doss-Smith, Executive Director, Woman Against Military Madness (WAMM), 612-827-5364.

Women Against Military Madness (WAMM)
310 East 38th Street, Suite 222
Minneapolis, MN 55409
612-827-5364 (phone)
612-827-6433 (fax)
wamm@mtn.org (email)
www.worldwidewamm.org (web site)


Protest the Raids
By Gregg Shotwell, Soldiers of Solidarity, UAW


Read or listen to the article linked above about raids on the homes of anti war activists.

Of course, most of us may say, "First they came for the anti war activists, but since I am not an anti war activist........" But you know where the story ends:
with you and me.

I know three of the people whose homes were raided.

I know them through my activism in the UAW.

All three are soldiers of solidarity, by that I mean, people who show up on the picket lines and who support solidarity wherever and whenever it is called for.

I attest to these allegiances without qualification.

All three are workers, parents, and people committed to peace, equality, solidarity, and justice.

They are friends not terrorists.

They are men and women of conscience and commitment.

If the feds can terrorize them, they can terrorize you and me as well.

Note in the interview the connection to Columbia, the most dangerous
country in the world FOR TRADE UNIONISTS. They don't fire union supporters in Columbia, they murder them.

Now the FBI is raiding the homes of people who work for the union movement
in the USA and who advocate for peace rather than war.

Pick up the phone or email Obama, go straight to the top and demand the feds stop terrorizing workers who are campaigning for peace, solidarity, and justice. Don't wait. Don't think for a minute that you can hide from the thought police. The intimidation won't stop at your door. What's to stop them? Your silence?

The only thing that can stop harassment is solidarity.

sos, Gregg Shotwell

To contact Obama:



San Francisco Labor Council Resolution

[Note: The following resolution -- submitted by David Welsh, NALC 214, and Alan Benjamin, OPEIU 3 -- was adopted unanimously by the SFLC Delegates' Meeting on Sept. 27, 2010.]

Condemn FBI Raids on Trade Union, Anti-War and Solidarity Activists

Whereas, early morning Sept. 24 in coordinated raids, FBI agents entered eight homes and offices of trade union and anti-war activists in Minneapolis and Chicago, confiscating crates full of computers, books, documents, notebooks, cell phones, passports, children's drawings, photos of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, videos and personal belongings. The FBI also raided offices of the Twin Cities Anti-war Committee, seizing computers; handed out subpoenas to testify before a federal Grand Jury to 11 activists in Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan; and paid harassment visits to others in Wisconsin, California and North Carolina; and

Whereas, one target of the raid was the home of Joe Iosbaker, chief steward and executive board member of SEIU Local 73 in Chicago, where he has led struggles at the University of Illinois for employee rights and pay equity. Brother Iosbaker told the Democracy Now radio/TV program that FBI agents "systematically [went] through every room, our basement, our attic, our children's rooms, and pored through not just all of our papers, but our music collection, our children's artwork, my son's poetry journal from high school -- everything." He and his wife, a Palestine solidarity activist, were both issued subpoenas. The earliest subpoena dates are October 5 and 7; and

Whereas, the majority of those targeted by the FBI raids had participated in anti-war protests at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul MN, which resulted in hundreds of beatings and arrests [with almost all charges subsequently dropped]. Many of those targeted in the 9/24 raids were involved in humanitarian solidarity work with labor and popular movements in Colombia -- "the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade unionist"-- whose US-funded government has been condemned by the AFL-CIO and internationally for the systematic assassination of hundreds of trade unionists; and

Whereas, the nationally coordinated dawn raids and fishing expedition marks a new and dangerous chapter in the protracted assault on the First Amendment rights of every union fighter, solidarity activist or anti-war campaigner, which began with 9/11 and the USA Patriot Act. The raids came only 4 days after a scathing report by the Department of Justice Inspector General that soundly criticized the FBI for targeting domestic groups such as Greenpeace and the Thomas Merton Center from 2002-06. In 2008, according to a 300-page report obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI trailed a group of students in Iowa City to parks, libraries, bars and restaurants, and went through their trash. This time the FBI is using the pretext of investigating "terrorism" in an attempt to intimidate activists.

Therefore be it resolved, that the San Francisco Labor Council denounce the Sept. 24th FBI raids on the homes and offices of trade union, solidarity and anti-war activists in Minneapolis, Chicago and elsewhere; the confiscation of computers and personal belongings; and the issuance of Grand Jury subpoenas. This has all the earmarks of a fishing expedition. The FBI raids are reminiscent of the Palmer Raids, McCarthy hearings, J. Edgar Hoover, and COINTELPRO, and mark a new and dangerous chapter in the protracted assault on the First Amendment rights of every union fighter, international solidarity activist or anti-war campaigner, which began with 9/11 and the USA Patriot Act;

And be it further resolved, that this Council make the following demands:

1. Stop the repression against trade union, anti-war and international solidarity activists.

2. Immediately return all confiscated materials: computers, cell phones, papers, documents, personal belongings, etc.

3. End the Grand Jury proceedings and FBI raids against trade union, anti-war and international solidarity activists;

And be it further resolved, that this Council participate in the ongoing movement to defend our civil rights and civil liberties from FBI infringement; forward this resolution to Bay Area labor councils, California Labor Federation, Change to Win and AFL-CIO; and call on these organizations at all levels to similarly condemn the witch hunt;

And be it finally resolved, that this Council urge the AFL-CIO to ensure that denunciation of the FBI raids is featured from the speakers' platform at the October 2, 2010 One Nation march in Washington, DC, possibly by inviting one of those targeted by the raids, for example the SEIU chief steward whose home was raided, to speak at the rally.


More Thoughts on the Division within the Antiwar Movement in the Bay Area
By Bonnie Weinstein and Carole Seligman

We agree with the demands adopted by the UNAC conference but disagree with organizing separately as is now the case [And now, especially, because of the horrendous assault on our civil liberties by the ongoing Obama/FBI raids.]

A way we can still work together would be to agree to accept all the demands and allow organizing under all of them. It is also clear to us that UNAC (United National Antiwar Committee) does not have the base on the West Coast as it seems to have East of the Mississippi. We don't think we could have organized such a conference out here. Not now. Not yet. It is also clear--as it has been for many years--that ANSWER is firmly established as the leadership of the antiwar movement here in San Francisco, at least, and probably in LA and DC. So, we can't build a separate and competing coalition nor do we want to if we want the movement to keep strong and united and to grow.

Unfortunately, it is clear that local labor organizations here in the Bay Area are focusing on getting out the vote for the Democratic Party this November and have rejected any other type of action here on the West Coast on October 2. This rejection of taking action has nothing what-so-ever to do with the demands voted upon by the 800 people at the UNAC conference and has everything to do with keeping the labor movement tied to the Democratic Party.

We have to be realistic when trying to work with organized labors' "leaders." They are failing miserably to protect jobs and working conditions in San Francisco, in the Bay Area and throughout California and, for that matter, across the country. They are selling their own workers down the river lock, stock and barrel! But we do need to organize working people who, we believe, are far to the left of organized labors' "misleaders." That's why a united antiwar movement with strong demands of its own that ties the war spending and banker bailouts to the miseries working people are facing today--here and in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine--is imperative now!

Our belief is that no matter what demands were voted on at the UNAC conference, it makes no difference to these "labor misleaders." They are fully entrenched in the Democratic Party and are doing what they always do in spite of the continual wars and the drastic assault on the living conditions of workers across the country. They have proven themselves incapable of doing anything else in recent history except for giving workers false hope that voting Democratic will make a difference--i.e., "bringing the change we want"--by voting for Democrats.

They failed to push for the Employee Free Choice Act or single-payer healthcare; they make no mention of the fantastic costs of the wars and how they are impacting the living standards of working people; and again, offered only a vote for Democrats as the answer.

It is just not realistic to think that the demands adopted by UNAC are what's keeping organized labor from the antiwar movement. It's the labor misleaders themselves that are keeping organized labor from the antiwar movement no matter what the demands.

It is very strange to us that one minute the San Francisco Labor Council will pass an antiwar resolution and the next minute hold an honorary banquet for the mass murderer and war monger, Nancy Pelosi. Or to continue their ongoing support to Obama who has escalated the wars and the attacks on the living standards of working people, undocumented workers, students, youth--especially Black youth--etc. Has massively bailed out the wealthy with trillions of our tax dollars. That in the middle of a horrific oil spill sent thousands of National Guard troops--not to clean up the spill--but to patrol the borders between Mexico and the U.S. while deploying other National Guard troops to help hide the effects of the BP spill in the Gulf by chasing away scientists who are trying to gather data about the spill and the dispersants being poured into the oceans we all depend upon.

We haven't the slightest hope that electing Democrats will will improve any of these conditions. Only mass action in the streets demanding the things we want--an end to the wars NOW; an end to the bailout of the wealthy NOW; and an end to the billions spent on defending Israeli Apartheid and the massacre of the Palestinian people--all to protect U.S. interests in Middle East oil and other natural resources throughout the world. This is what the Democratic and Republican parties are all about and what their military is all about.

Working people are doomed if they continue to support the lesser of two evils--the Democratic party. It only leads to more evil as is evident if one's eyes are open.

We can't convince working people to see the truth if we don't tell the truth. And supporting the Democratic Party as a way to resolve the problems of working people, or to end these murderous wars, is NOT the truth!

We can't raise the consciousness of working people if we water down our demands to agree with the labor fakers and the Democratic Party.

In all sincerity,

Bonnie Weinstein
Carole Seligman

Report on September 19th Antiwar Meetings and an Open Letter to the Antiwar Movement

Dear peace activist:

We went to both antiwar meetings Sunday, September 19th -- ANSWER and Bay Area UNAC (United National Antiwar Committee). Both were approximately equal in size, and not very large. Both were attended by several groups who are active in the antiwar movement. Together we would have had a good size meeting of about 80. Actually, together we would have had a much more substantial meeting, because several people stayed away when they learned that there were two meetings at the same time, 1/2 a block away from each other.

People want the antiwar forces to work together to struggle to end these wars. People are disgusted at the great unity shown by the war parties, the Republicans and Democrats--in carrying out these wars. We must demand that the antiwar organizers--ourselves--work together in greater unity than the war parties do. Where we disagree with demands or slogans, let's find a way to include all.

The UNAC meeting scheduled a follow up meeting for Sunday, October 17th. Let's make this meeting one that is co-sponsored with ANSWER and invite all to participate in planning the next series of educational events and actions. Let's create the broadest possible structure for involving the whole movement and inviting people who have not participated before. Let's find a way to organize together! The situation demands it.

Carole Seligman
Bonnie Weinstein


Deafening Silence, Chuck Africa (MOVE 9)

Peace People,
This poem is from Chuck Africa, one of the MOVE 9, who is currently serving 30-100 years on trump up charges of killing a police officer. After 32 years in prison, the MOVE 9 are repeatly denied parole, after serving their minimum sentence. Chuck wanted me to share this with the people, so that we can see how our silence in demanding the MOVE 9's freedom is inherently an invitation to their death behind prison walls.

Deafening Silence
Don't ya'll hear cries of anguish?
In the climate of pain come joining voices?
But voices become unheard and strained by inactions
Of dead brains
How long will thou Philly soul remain in the pit of agonizing apathy?
Indifference seems to greet you like the morning mirror
Look closely in the mirror and realize it's a period of mourning....
My Sistas, mothers, daughters, wives and warriors
Languish in prisons obscurity like a distant star in the galaxies as does their brothers
We need to be free....
How loud can you stay silence?
Have the courage to stand up and have a say,
Choose resistance and let go of your fears.
The history of injustice to MOVE; we all know so well
But your deafening silence could be my DEATH KNELL.
Chuck Africa

Please share, inform people and get involve in demanding the MOVE 9's freedom! www.MOVE9parole.blogspot.com


Say No to Islamophobia!
Defend Mosques and Community Centers!
The Fight for Peace and Social Justice Requires Defense of All Under Attack!


Kevin Keith Update: Good News! Death sentence commuted!

Ohio may execute an innocent man unless you take action.

Ohio's Governor Spares Life of a Death Row Inmate Kevin Keith


Please sign the petition to release Bradley Manning

http://www.petitiononline.com/manning1/petition.html (Click to sign here)

To: US Department of Defense; US Department of Justice
We, the Undersigned, call for justice for US Army PFC Bradley Manning, incarcerated without charge (as of 18 June 2010) at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Media accounts state that Mr. Manning was arrested in late May for leaking the video of US Apache helicopter pilots killing innocent people and seriously wounding two children in Baghdad, including those who arrived to help the wounded, as well as potentially other material. The video was released by WikiLeaks under the name "Collateral Murder".

If these allegations are untrue, we call upon the US Department of Defense to release Mr. Manning immediately.

If these allegations ARE true, we ALSO call upon the US Department of Defense to release Mr. Manning immediately.

Simultaneously, we express our support for Mr. Manning in any case, and our admiration for his courage if he is, in fact, the person who disclosed the video. Like in the cases of Daniel Ellsberg, W. Mark Felt, Frank Serpico and countless other whistleblowers before, government demands for secrecy must yield to public knowledge and justice when government crime and corruption are being kept hidden.

Justice for Bradley Manning!


The Undersigned:

Zaineb Alani
"Yesterday I lost a country. / I was in a hurry, / and didn't notice when it fell from me / like a broken branch from a forgetful tree. / Please, if anyone passes by / and stumbles across it, / perhaps in a suitcase / open to the sky, / or engraved on a rock / like a gaping wound, / ... / If anyone stumbles across it, / return it to me please. / Please return it, sir. / Please return it, madam. / It is my country . . . / I was in a hurry / when I lost it yesterday." -Dunya Mikhail, Iraqi poet


Please forward widely...


These two bills are now in Congress and need your support. Either or both bills would drastically decrease Lynne's and other federal sentences substantially.

H.R. 1475 "Federal Prison Work Incentive Act Amended 2009," Congressman Danny Davis, Democrat, Illinois

This bill will restore and amend the former federal B.O.P. good time allowances. It will let all federal prisoners, except lifers, earn significant reductions to their sentences. Second, earn monthly good time days by working prison jobs. Third, allowances for performing outstanding services or duties in connection with institutional operations. In addition, part of this bill is to bring back parole to federal long term prisoners.

Go to: www.FedCURE.org and www.FAMM.org

At this time, federal prisoners only earn 47 days per year good time. If H.R. 1475 passes, Lynne Stewart would earn 120-180 days per year good time!

H.R. 61 "45 And Older," Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (18th Congressional District, Texas)

This bill provides early release from federal prison after serving half of a violent crime or violent conduct in prison.

Please write, call, email your Representatives and Senators. Demand their votes!

This information is brought to you by Diane E. Schindelwig, a federal prisoner #36582-177 and friend and supporter of Lynne Stewart.

Write to Lynne at:

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

For further information call Lynne's husband, Ralph Poynter, leader of the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759

Send contributions payable to:

Lynne Stewart Organization
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York, 11216


Listen to Lynne Stewart event, that took place July 8, 2010 at Judson Memorial Church
Excerpts include: Mumia Abu Jamal, Ralph Poynter, Ramsey Clark, Juanita
Young, Fred Hampton Jr., Raging Grannies, Ralph Schoenman

And check out this article (link) too!


"Judge William T. Moore, Jr. ruled that while executing an innocent person would violate the United States Constitution, Davis didn't meet the extraordinarily high legal bar to prove his innocence."
Amnesty International Press Release
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Contact: Wende Gozan Brown at 212-633-4247, wgozan@aiusa.org.

(Washington, D.C.) - Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) today expressed deep concern that a federal district court decision puts Georgia death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis back on track for execution, despite doubts about his guilt that were raised during a June evidentiary hearing. Judge William T. Moore, Jr. ruled that while executing an innocent person would violate the United States Constitution, Davis didn't meet the extraordinarily high legal bar to prove his innocence.

"Nobody walking out of that hearing could view this as an open-and-shut case," said Larry Cox, executive director of AIUSA. "The testimony that came to light demonstrates that doubt still exists, but the legal bar for proving innocence was set so high it was virtually insurmountable. It would be utterly unconscionable to proceed with this execution, plain and simple."

Amnesty International representatives, including Cox, attended the hearing in Savannah, Ga. The organization noted that evidence continues to cast doubt over the case:

· Four witnesses admitted in court that they lied at trial when they implicated Troy Davis and that they did not know who shot Officer Mark MacPhail.

· Four witnesses implicated another man as the one who killed the officer - including a man who says he saw the shooting and could clearly identify the alternative suspect, who is a family member.

· Three original state witnesses described police coercion during questioning, including one man who was 16 years old at the time of the murder and was questioned by several police officers without his parents or other adults present.

"The Troy Davis case is emblematic of everything that is wrong with capital punishment," said Laura Moye, director of AIUSA's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign. "In a system rife with error, mistakes can be made. There are no do-overs when it comes to death. Lawmakers across the country should scrutinize this case carefully, not only because of its unprecedented nature, but because it clearly indicates the need to abolish the death penalty in the United States."

Since the launch of its February 2007 report, Where Is the Justice for Me? The Case of Troy Davis, Facing Execution in Georgia, Amnesty International has campaigned intensively for a new evidentiary hearing or trial and clemency for Davis, collecting hundreds of thousands of clemency petition signatures and letters from across the United States and around the world. To date, internationally known figures such as Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter have all joined the call for clemency, as well as lawmakers from within and outside of Georgia.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more than 150 countries. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

# # #

For more information visit www.amnestyusa.org/troydavis.

Wende Gozan Brown
Media Relations Director
Amnesty International USA
212/633-4247 (o)
347/526-5520 (c)


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. Amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/001/2000.)

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

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


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.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTiAkbB5uC0&eurl
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
http://www.al-awda.org/donate.html 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) Liberal Groups Rally in Washington, Offering a Challenge to the Tea Party
October 2, 2010

2) U.S. Drone Attacks Kill 17 Militants in Pakistan
October 2, 2010

3) UK Cuts Child Benefit Payments in Austerity Drive
October 4, 2010

4) Case of Accused Soldiers May Be Worst of 2 Wars
October 3, 2010

5) When Home Has No Place to Park
October 3, 2010

6) Imam's Wife Tells of Death Threats
October 3, 2010

7) Lab Evidence Refutes BP's and Fed's Deceptions - They Are Risking America's Health
By Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld
t r u t h o u t | Report
Monday 04 October 2010

8) Mehserle Defense Asks For New Trial
Posted: 12:30 pm PDT October 4, 2010Updated: 12:34 am PDT October 5, 2010

9) Gulf Oil Spill: Researchers say levels of harmful oil compounds jumped in gulf waters
By Bettina Boxall
October 1, 2010 | 5:04 pm

10) U.S. Military Orders Less Dependence on Fossil Fuels
"The Marines are exploring solar-powered water purification systems and looking into the possibility of building a small-scale, truck-based biofuel plant that could transform local crops - like illegal poppies - into fuel."
October 4, 2010

11) Relatives Tell of Civilians Killed by U.S. Soldiers
October 4, 2010

12) Drones Kill Westerners in Pakistan
October 4, 2010

13) In Haiti, Rising Call for Displaced to Go Away
October 4, 2010

14) Chilean Miners' Rescue May Happen Within Weeks, President Says
October 4, 2010


1) Liberal Groups Rally in Washington, Offering a Challenge to the Tea Party
October 2, 2010

WASHINGTON - Tens of thousands of union members, environmentalists and peace activists rallied at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, seeking to carry on the message of jobs and justice that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. trumpeted at a rally at the same site 47 years ago.

More than 300 groups organized Saturday's march on Washington to build momentum for progressive causes like increased job-creation programs and to mobilize liberal voters to flock to the polls next month.

The rally's sponsors, including the N.A.A.C.P., the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the Sierra Club and the National Council of La Raza, said they also hoped to demonstrate that they, not the Tea Party, represented the nation's majority.

The rally's organizers called the Saturday march "One Nation Working Together," saying they hoped it would be an answer and antidote to what they called the divisiveness of the Tea Party.

"We believe that by working together we can build abundance to lift up everyone," said Bob King, president of the United Auto Workers. "We can't do that through divisiveness. We believe that we have to rebuild a social movement in America."

As the spirited crowd spread out along both sides of the reflecting pool, demonstrators shouted "Yes, we can" and carried signs saying, "We March for Hope not Hate," and "N.A.A.C.P. Says Tell the Senate More (Good) Jobs Now."

Demonstrators flew in from Los Angeles and Denver, took buses from Oklahoma and Tennessee, and carpooled from New York and Massachusetts.

The rally was held on a clear, cloudless day, with American flags atop the Lincoln Memorial's stairs and a sea of yellow, red, blue and purple T-shirts stretching out below, worn by members of various civil rights, peace and union groups.

"I think we're all here because we want our voices heard in Washington," said Beverly Webber, a recently retired accounting specialist for Alaska Airlines who flew in from Seattle. "I want less defense spending and more spending on infrastructure and green jobs."

Jerry Richards, a worker at a Chrysler assembly plant, was carrying a sign saying "Good Jobs Now," after having grabbed a seat on a caravan of nine buses that left Warren, Mich., at 9 p.m. Friday.

"Our forefathers fought against the English, and if you're not fighting for something, you're just sitting on your couch," Mr. Richards said. Standing alongside a close friend who has been unemployed for two years, he said his top issue was job creation.

Noting that planning for the rally began in April, organizers said they were in no way responding to a march organized by Glenn Beck, which drew enormous crowds to the front of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28. But they acknowledged that their hope was to draw an even larger crowd to Saturday's event.

In broadcasts last week, Mr. Beck mocked the liberals' march, saying that his supporters paid their own way to drive to Washington, while labor unions chartered hundreds of buses to ferry demonstrators to Saturday's rally.

Considerably more than just one week ago, the organizers of the march were emphasizing that they were seeking to energize voters to elect candidates they believed would do more to reduce unemployment and raise taxes on the richest Americans.

"We want to send folks the message to get your friends and neighbors out to vote," said Benjamin T. Jealous, president of the N.A.A.C.P. He said "10-2-10," the shorthand for the Saturday march, "is very much connected to 11-2-10," which is Election Day.

"We've come too far to turn back now," he said. "We have to build momentum to create prosperity. Right now a lot of Tea Party folks are pushing for tax cuts for the top 1 percent. We have to focus on jobs for the other 99 percent."

In deriding the march, Mr. Beck in recent days said it included Marxist, Communist and revolutionary groups. Among the organizations endorsing the march were the Communist Party USA, the United Church of Christ, Jewish Funds for Justice, the National Urban League, the National Baptist Convention, People for the American Way and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

"This is a big tent," Mr. Jealous said. "Anyone who wants to stand up to create jobs and defend the jobs of teachers, police officers, nurses, firefighters - I say come on and join us."

He said the rally's sponsors welcomed groups that endorsed its goals, including a higher minimum wage, immigration reform, improved public education and an end to the wave of home foreclosures. But that, he said, did not mean rally organizers agreed with all the policies of every group that endorsed the rally.

Sponsors said the rally was not vying with the "Rally to Restore Sanity" that Jon Stewart, the host of "The Daily Show" has scheduled for Oct. 30 in Washington.

The Rev. Leah Daughtry, the coordinator of Saturday's march, said the rallies shared many goals. "We want to help make sure there is an energized and educated electorate," she said.


2) U.S. Drone Attacks Kill 17 Militants in Pakistan
October 2, 2010

Two attacks by United States drones killed 17 militants and wounded three in northern Pakistan on Saturday, a Pakistani intelligence official said, after recent NATO helicopter strikes raised tensions with Pakistan, a country that is crucial to Washington's war effort in Afghanistan.

Repeated attacks by NATO helicopters last week angered Pakistan, which says the strikes undermine efforts to deal with militants because civilian casualties inflame public anger and bolster support for the insurgents.

Pakistan responded to a helicopter strike on Thursday that killed three Pakistani soldiers in the northwestern Kurram region by blocking a route in southern Pakistan used by convoys carrying fuel and other supplies for coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Three dozen vehicles in a fuel convoy stopped along the route were set on fire on Friday. A Taliban spokesman, Azam Tariq, said the Taliban carried out the attack to avenge NATO raids. The insurgents will attack more tankers on all roads used to transport NATO supplies, Mr. Tariq said.

Border attacks and disruptions in NATO supplies underline growing strains in the relationship between the United States and Pakistan, a crucial ally as American forces struggle to contain the Taliban in Afghanistan before the scheduled start of their withdrawal in July 2011.

Saturday's first drone attack, which occurred at 10 a.m. in the town of Datta Khel in the critical North Waziristan tribal region along the Afghan border, killed nine militants from the Badar Mansur group, which is closely affiliated with Al Qaeda. Four were foreigners. The second attack, at 2:45 p.m., was in the same area and killed eight militants, the Pakistani official said.

Datta Khel is a stronghold of local and foreign insurgents who use it to stage attacks against NATO forces in Afghanistan. The area is controlled by Hafiz Gul Bhadar, who is affiliated with the militant Haqqani network. The Pakistani government and Mr. Bhadar have agreed not to attack each other's forces, despite American pressure on the Pakistanis to begin an offensive there.


3) UK Cuts Child Benefit Payments in Austerity Drive
October 4, 2010

Filed at 10:41 a.m. ET

LONDON (AP) - Britain will cap payments to jobless families and scrap child benefits for high earners in a sweeping overhaul of the country's welfare system, Treasury chief George Osborne said Monday.

Osborne, who is seeking to save about 86 billion pounds ($135 billion) in government spending over the next five years, said the cost of welfare payments was out of control - and rewarding some people for staying out of work.

At an annual rally of his Conservative Party, Osborne said Britain's coalition government would introduce a new welfare cap to make sure families in which both parents are unemployed do not receive more in benefits than an average family earn in wages.

Osborne also announced parents who earn more than 44,000 pounds ($70,000) per year will lose child benefit payments from 2013. Currently, all families are paid 20 pounds ($32) a week for their eldest child and about 13 pounds ($20) for other children. The benefits continue until the children are 19, if they stay in full-time education.

There would be welfare payments "to families who need it - but not more money than families who go out to work," Osborne told activists at the rally in Birmingham, central England.

"That is what the British people mean by fair - and we will be the first Government in history to bring it about," he said.

Since the coalition took office in May, Osborne has already announced a multibillion pound package of spending reductions and tax hikes, including a two-year pay freeze for most public sector workers, a new levy on banks and a rise in a tax on goods and services.

He will set out detailed plans for spending cuts over the next five years in an address to Parliament on Oct. 20, aiming to all but clear Britain's deficit by 2015.

Osborne said the government's austerity measures would bring prosperity in the future. He dismissed plans from the main opposition Labour Party to cut the deficit at a slower rate, saying that would only prolong the period of budget restraint.

"The hard economic choices we make are but a means to an end, and that end is prosperity for all," he said.

On Sunday, about 7,000 labor union members - including teachers and health service workers - staged a march outside the Conservative convention, to protest at planned spending cuts. Labor unions plan further protests to coincide with Osborne's announcement to Parliament.

"Everyone can agree that we need a fairer economy built on higher, better balanced growth. But the spending and benefit cuts will do the opposite - pushing many people into poverty, hitting middle income Britain hard and threatening growth," said Brendan Barber, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress.

Yvette Cooper, a Labour lawmaker and the party's spokeswoman on work and pensions, said the government should increase its levy on banks, rather than cut child benefit payments.

Osborne said the Conservative-led government would prioritize spending on education and improvements to Britain's infrastructure - including a new high-speed railway network.

"Britain has no divine right to be one of the richest countries in the world. As economic power is shifting to the east, there is nothing automatic about our prosperity," he told the rally. "If our skill base continues to decline, there will be no growth. If our infrastructure remains poor, there will be no growth."


4) Case of Accused Soldiers May Be Worst of 2 Wars
October 3, 2010

WASHINGTON - Over the last nine years, as the Army has cycled hundreds of thousands of soldiers through combat duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, it has also court-martialed 34 on murder or manslaughter charges in the killings of civilians in those conflict zones. Twenty-two were convicted, and 12 acquitted.

Some cases gained a measure of notoriety, including a rape and multiple killing in Iraq in 2006 that resulted in lengthy sentences for several soldiers. The Marine Corps, too, has dealt with high-profile cases, like the killing by Marines in 2005 of 24 Iraqis in Haditha - though prosecution efforts in that case largely collapsed.

But a case being heard before a military court at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Seattle could surpass all that have come before in the two wars: an investigation into accusations that a drug-addled Army unit formed a secret self-described "kill team" that repeatedly killed Afghan civilians for sport, posing for pictures with victims and taking body parts as trophies.

The particularly chilling and gruesome details of the accusations make the case different in many ways from the broader universe of publicly known civilian killings in Iraq and Afghanistan, said military law specialists and human rights advocates who track such killings.

"This is a magnitude escalation above anything that has ever happened before" in Afghanistan or Iraq, said Thomas J. Romig, a retired major general who oversaw the Army's court-martial system as judge advocate general from 2001 to 2005.

The majority of civilian-killing cases that have arisen until now have been connected to combat in some way: soldiers accused of using excessive force or firing indiscriminately when responding to an attack, or who killed prisoners shortly after a bombing or a firefight, when emotions were still raging.

The Haditha killings, for example, followed a bombing that killed one Marine and severely injured two others. Several defendants later claimed that they were shot at after the blast. (Though most of the case collapsed, one defendant still faces a trial on manslaughter charges.)

Similarly, in 2008, the military decided not to bring charges against two Marines who commanded a unit accused of indiscriminately firing on vehicles and pedestrians along a 10-mile stretch of road in Afghanistan. The shootings began after a suicide bomber attacked the unit's convoy.

An Army investigation later concluded that 19 people were killed and 50 were injured. But the Marines said they had taken hostile gunfire after the explosion and had fired to defend themselves from perceived threats. The case was closed without any prosecution.

It can be difficult to win a conviction, specialists in military law said, when defendants can make a plausible claim that they believed, in the confusion of the "fog of war," that their lives were in danger and they needed to defend themselves.

"You often see cases of kids who just make dumb decisions," said Gary Solis, who teaches the laws of war at Georgetown University. "But killings in the heat of the moment, they don't usually try those guys. The guys you try are the ones who have an opportunity to consider what they are doing."

Last year, for example, five Army soldiers were convicted or pleaded guilty to charges related to the killings of four blindfolded and handcuffed detainees. The victims were shot in the back of the head and dumped into a Baghdad canal in 2007.

In that case, the soldiers had captured the prisoners shortly after somebody had shot at the soldiers. They were frustrated because they believed their prisoners were insurgents who would be released because the evidence against them was deemed to be too weak.

The accusations in the most recent case are even further removed from the high emotions of combat. In a videotaped interrogation that was leaked to the news media, one defendant said that they would kill civilians without provocation after making it seem as if they were under attack.

Military investigators and prosecutors have faced challenges in assembling evidence in conflict zones, said Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military law at Yale Law School. In many cases, he said, months have passed by the time an accusation surfaces, and so units have rotated back from the tour of duty, records are poor, and it is difficult to find witnesses.

Moreover, in the Muslim world investigators are deeply reluctant, for cultural reasons, to exhume bodies and perform autopsies. Still, he noted, in some cases troops have taken digital photographs recording their deeds. (Both factors are present in the most recent case.)

Several military lawyers and human rights groups said that of all the known cases that have previously arisen in Iraq and Afghanistan, the current matter most closely resembles a gang-rape and murder in Mahmudiya, Iraq, in 2006.

In that case, soldiers raped a 14-year-old girl and killed her and her family, then set their house on fire. Like the accusations in the current Afghan case, that incident was unconnected to combat: the family lived near a checkpoint staffed by the unit, which conspired ahead of time to undertake the assault and blame insurgents, the trial showed.

By the time that rape and killings came to light, one of the soldiers had already been discharged from the Army. He was tried in civilian court and received life without parole, while several others were convicted in a court-martial and received sentences of 90 and 100 years.

Still, the ability to compare and contrast the present case with others has limits, Mr. Romig and several human rights groups said. It cannot be known whether other questionable civilian killings failed to come to light. Moreover, because the military justice system is decentralized, there is little comprehensive information available about its investigations.

The Marine Corps, for example, was unable to provide numbers about prosecutions and acquittals of its service members for killing civilians in the two wars. The numbers supplied by the Army for its murder and manslaughter cases do not cover other incidents that were labeled with a lesser charge, like negligent homicide or aggravated assault - nor those punished administratively with reprimands.

And many civilian deaths have arisen in contexts - like shootings of cars that failed to stop as they approached checkpoints - that rarely result in criminal charges or any public records.

"The large majority of civilian harm in both Iraq and Afghanistan takes place during legitimate military operations," said Sarah Holewinksi, executive director of the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict. "But because of very poor record keeping on the part of all the warring parties, we really don't know who has been harmed, how many have been harmed and how they have been harmed."


5) When Home Has No Place to Park
October 3, 2010

LOS ANGELES - Every day, Diane Butler and her husband park their two hand-painted R.V.'s in a lot at the edge of Venice Beach here, alongside dozens of other rickety, rusted campers from the 1970s and '80s. During the day, she sells her artwork on the boardwalk. When the parking lot closes at sunset, she and the other R.V.-dwellers drive a quarter-mile inland to find somewhere on the street to park for the night.

Their nomadic existence might be ending, though. The Venice section of Los Angeles has become the latest California community to enact strict new regulations limiting street parking and banning R.V.'s from beach lots - regulations that could soon force Ms. Butler, 58, to leave the community where she has lived for four decades.

"They're making it hard for people in vehicles to remain in Venice," she said.

Southern California, with its forgiving weather, has long been a popular destination for those living in vehicles and other homeless people. And for decades, people living in R.V.'s, vans and cars have settled in Venice, the beachfront Los Angeles community once known as the "Slum by the Sea" and famous for its offbeat, artistic culture.

Yet even as the economic downturn has forced more people out of their homes and into their cars, vehicle-dwellers are facing fewer options, with more communities trying to push them out.

As nearby neighborhoods and municipalities passed laws restricting overnight parking in recent years, Venice became the center of vehicle dwelling in the region. More than 250 vehicles now serve as shelter on Venice streets, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

"The only place between Santa Barbara and San Diego where campers can park seven blocks from the beach is this little piece of land," said City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes Venice. "Over the years, it's only gotten worse, as every other community along the coast has adopted restrictions."

In the past, bohemian Venice was tolerant of vehicle-dwellers, but, increasingly, the proliferation of R.V.'s in this gentrifying neighborhood has prompted efforts to remove them.

"The status quo is unacceptable," said Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association, a group of residents devoted to removing R.V.'s from the area. "It's time to give us some relief from R.V.'s parking on our doorsteps."

A bitter debate has raged between residents who want to get rid of R.V.'s and those who want to combat the problems of homelessness in the community by offering safe places to park and access to public bathrooms. Last year, residents voted to establish overnight parking restrictions, but the California Coastal Commission twice vetoed the plan.

However, a recent incident involving an R.V. owner's arrest on charges of dumping sewage into the street has accelerated efforts to remove vehicle-dwellers. Starting this week, oversize vehicles will be banned from the beach parking lots; an ordinance banning them from parking on the street overnight could take effect within a month.

While Mr. Rosendahl supported parking restrictions, he has also secured $750,000 from the city to pay for a pilot program to house R.V.-dwellers. Modeled after efforts in Santa Barbara and Eugene, Ore., the Vehicles to Homes program will offer overnight parking for vehicle-dwellers who agree to meet certain conditions, with the goal of moving participants into permanent housing.

"For people who want help, we'll support them," Mr. Rosendahl said. "The others can take their wheels and go up the coast or somewhere else, God bless them. It's not our responsibility to be the only spot where near-homelessness is dealt with in the state of California."

While some have expressed interest in the program, many said they did not want to subject themselves to curfews and oversight or had no means or desire to return to renting. Mr. Ryavec believes few will participate.

"I will not debate that some people are mentally ill, indigent or drugged out," Mr. Ryavec said. "But my stance is that the bulk of these people are making a lifestyle choice."

Still, according to Gary L. Blasi, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an activist on homeless issues, most people choose to live in vehicles only when the alternative is sleeping in a shelter or on the street.

"The idea of carefree vagabonds is statistically false," Professor Blasi said. "More often, these are people who lived in apartments in Venice before they lived in R.V.'s. The reason for losing housing is usually the loss of a job or some health care crisis."

Even if all the vehicle-dwellers in Venice wanted to participate, the pilot program will accommodate only a small fraction of them. In Southern California, though, there may not be anywhere else R.V.'s can legally park. According to Neil Donovan, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, ordinances banning R.V.'s have spread from metropolitan areas into the suburbs as vehicle-dwellers venture farther afield in search of somewhere to sleep.

"Communities are now forming a patchwork of ordinances, which virtually prohibits a geographic cure to the situation," Mr. Donovan said. "If you're in a community and they tell you to leave, you can't just go to the next community, because they establish similar ordinances, especially in California."

Mr. Donovan said vehicle-dwellers often end up on the street after their vehicles are towed or become inoperable. When his organization surveyed tent camps in California, they found that many residents had come from R.V.'s.

Vehicle-dwellers in Venice are now considering their options, but few expressed any intention of leaving.

"They can keep throwing more laws at us, but we're not just going to go away," said Mario Manti-Gualtiero, who lost his job as an audio engineer and now lives in an R.V. "We can't just evaporate."


6) Imam's Wife Tells of Death Threats
October 3, 2010

One of the people behind the proposal to build a Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan said on Sunday that death threats had been made against her and her husband.

Daisy Khan, the wife of the center's imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, mentioned the threats during a heated town hall discussion on the ABC News television program "This Week."

The plans of Ms. Khan and Mr. Abdul Rauf to build the center, Park51, blocks from ground zero have drawn vituperation and ignited national debate.

"For the record, my life is under threat," Ms. Khan said in the discussion, hosted by Christiane Amanpour.

"My husband's life is under threat. We do not walk around with bodyguards because we love this country. We don't walk around with big bodyguards because we don't want to use taxpayers' money."

Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the Police Department's chief spokesman, confirmed that the couple had alerted the police to telephone threats, which he said had been investigated by the hate crimes task force.

Organizers of a summit of Islamic groups held in New York two weeks ago said Mr. Abdul Rauf did not attend because of security concerns.


7) Some 175,000 union members and human rights, faith and workers' rights activists rallied in Washington, D.C., as One Nation Working Together for jobs, education and economic justice. Speaking from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, "We come together today because America needs jobs. Good jobs, jobs that support families-all families."
From: aflcioblognews@aflcio.org
Subject: We Are One Nation
Date: October 4, 2010 8:55:24 AM PDT
'America Is One Nation and We Signify that Nation'
by Mike Hall
October 2, 2010

Karen Bright got on a bus a little after midnight in Syracuse, N.Y., and rolled down the East Coast for seven hours because she had a message she wanted to deliver to America.

Standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall as tens of thousands of union members and our allies in the human rights, faith and workers' rights communities began filling up the wide banks of the Reflecting Pool, Bright said:

"It's important that we make jobs the priority in this country and not all of the other issues that are dividing us. I think that's the one issue that's important to all of us."

On an absolutely gorgeous fall afternoon Bright, a member of CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000, and all of the nearly 200,000-strong crowd at the One Nation Working Together march and rally, were a living example of what one sign seen throughout the crowd said.

"We March for Hope, Not Hate!"

Speaking to the crowd that spread from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the World War II Memorial, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka surveyed the vast crowd of women, men, people of color and white, gay and straight, all ages and creeds and ethnicities, and told marchers that

"America is here today. America is One Nation and we signify that nation."

Behind the voices of fear and hatred that have risen to dominate our national conversation, Trumka said, are the forces of

"greed, the moneyed powers that put us in the economic mess we're in today. And we've got a lot of work to do to repair the damage that greed did to our country.

"Sisters and bothers we come together today because America needs jobs. Good jobs, jobs that support families-all families. Jobs that give our young people paths of opportunity, not obstacles. Jobs that allow people to retire with dignity."

While the Republican/Chamber of Commerce/Tea Party forces claim the mantle of small business advocates, small business owner Diana Ortiz, who introduced Trumka, said it's the progressive principles of the union movement and One Nation that will help revive small business. The owner of a Pueblo Colorado catering company said "small business create jobs. Period."

"We need help to create those jobs. Wall Street got help. We need help for Main Street. I believe our movement here today will help lead America to a better future."

Not only do we have to create jobs to rebuild the economy, those jobs must be good jobs, and jobs where workers have a voice, said Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Larry Cohen. But today, workers face aggressive and intimidating anti-union campaigns from management.

"Workers' rights have been all but crushed since Dr. Martin Luther King spoke here 47 years ago...Workers should not need courage to have a union in America. It should not be a fight. It should be a right."

Jobs were on the minds of hundreds of the members of the Machinists' UCubed network for unemployed workers. At a pre-rally gathering in an RFK stadium parking lot, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler said that One Nation was not a partisan event or political rally.

But I have to speak the truth here. What we've been seeing recently on Capitol Hill has been partisan-partisanship at its very worst. One party-the minority-has formed a solid bloc to fight and stop every attempt by President Obama and the Democratic leadership to create jobs...to stop outsourcing...to help unemployed workers like you...and to get America back on track.

Carlos Grcia, a member of the New York State Public Employees Federation, an AFT affiliate, said he was moved to take part in the One Nation march because the pillars of today's event-jobs, education and immigration-"are critical for this nation's future prosperity."

America has got to wake up and realize without real education reform we as nation will not prosper.

As AFT President Randi Weingarten told the crowd:

A good education is the foundation for everything else we seek today. Excellent public schools are the cornerstone of our democracy.

Delta flight attendants Sherry Eubanks, Simone Cerasa and Josh Zivick are fighting for a voice at work with Flight Attendants/CWA (AFA/CWA). At a young workers' rally headed by Shuler on Freedom Plaza along Pennsylvania Ave., Eubanks said Delta was notorious for its unilateral changes in work rules. Without a contract, Eubanks said, workers have no say.

While the company claims to have an "open door" policy for worker input, Eubanks, an AFA member from her days at Northwest before the merger with Delta, said Delta management has created a climate of fear and flight attendants are afraid to speak out. She says it's a "fake door."

We are fighting to win representation, to have a voice with management and win a collective bargaining agreement.

Shuler told the young workers crowd:

While everyone has suffered in the economic disaster Wall Street brought us, young workers are facing outrageous odds. And I'm not talking about the problems every generation of young people has getting a foot in the door. I'm talking about long-term, structural economic problems that can lower your living standards for decades.

She congratulated the crowd being motivated and mobilized to travel to the nation's Capitol on 10-2-10.

I hope you'll pledge to march again on 11-2-10-to the voting booths-and take your friends. And cast your ballots for the economic patriots who believe America's best days are ahead, not behind us. Who believe in you. Who will invest in good jobs, in your future. Who will fight for you. For us.


7) Lab Evidence Refutes BP's and Fed's Deceptions - They Are Risking America's Health
By Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld
t r u t h o u t | Report
Monday 04 October 2010

In August, Truthout conducted soil and water sampling in Pass Christian Harbor, Mississippi; on Grand Isle, Louisiana; and around barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana, in order to test for the presence of oil from BP's Macondo Well.

Laboratory test results from the samples taken in these areas show extremely high concentrations of oil in both the soil and water.

These results contradict consistent claims made by the federal government and BP since early August that much of the Gulf of Mexico is now free of oil and safe for fishing and recreational use.

The samples taken were tested in a private laboratory via gas chromatography.

The environmental analyst who worked with this writer did so on condition of anonymity and performed a micro extraction that tests for total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH). The lower reporting limit the analyst is able to detect from a solid sample is 50 parts per million (ppm).

Pass Christian, Mississippi

A water sample from inside Pass Christian Harbor, Mississippi, taken on August 13, contained 611 ppm of TPH. Seawater that is free of oil would test at zero ppm of TPH.

A soil sample containing tar balls from the beach on Grand Isle, Louisiana, taken on August 16, contained 39,364 ppm of TPH.

Casse-Tete Island, Louisiana

A water sample taken on August 16 from a pool of water on Casse-Tete Isle contained 57 ppm of TPH. The GPS coordinates for this and the following samples are 2907.603N, 9020.395 W.

Several soil samples were tested from an oil-covered beach on the island.

A sample of soil taken from this area contained 40,099 ppm of TPH. Much of the marsh grass was stained black and brown with oil.

A sample of marsh grass in this area of Casse-Tete Isle contained 144,700 ppm of TPH.

West Timbalier Isle, Louisiana

A water sample taken from a tide pool on West Timbalier Isle on August 16 contained 11 ppm of TPH. The GPS coordinates for this and the following samples are 2903.389N, 927.033W.

Disturbingly, despite these results and a continuance of fish kills along the Louisiana coast, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has recently partnered up with BP to send personnel into middle schools in Louisiana in order to convince school children that Gulf seafood is safe.

Meanwhile, several recent massive fish kills continue to occur in other areas of Louisiana.

A water sample taken from an inland lagoon on West Timbalier Isle contained 521 ppm of TPH.

Sampling was also conducted on beach areas of West Timbalier Isle on the same day.

A soil sample containing tar balls contained 40,834 ppm of TPH.

A soil sample taken near a layer of tar on the beach of West Timbalier Isle contained 60,068 ppm of TPH.

A soil sample taken from another inland lagoon on West Timbalier Isle contained 4,506 ppm of TPH.

Open Water in Gulf of Mexico

After leaving the area, Truthout came across a large area out in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately five miles from shore, where emulsified white foam covered the surface.

Fishermen and other journalists across the Gulf have reported to Truthout that this phenomenon is what is left after dispersants have been used to sink surface oil.

A water sample from surface of this area contained 11ppm of TPH. It was taken from an open water area between Timbalier Isle and Port Fourchon at 3:00 PM, on August 16 and the GPS coordinates for the sample are 2902.871N, 9017.421W.

The US Coast Guard claims that no dispersants have been used since mid-July.

Jonathan Henderson, with the nonprofit environmental group Gulf Restoration Network, was on board to witness the sampling, as well as to conduct his own sampling and document what he found.

The hydrocarbon tests conducted on the samples taken by this writer only represent a tiny part of the Gulf compared to the massive area that has been affected by BP's oil catastrophe. A comprehensive sampling regime across the Gulf, taken regularly over the years ahead, is clearly required in order to implement appropriate cleanup responses and take public safety precautions.


8) Mehserle Defense Asks For New Trial
Posted: 12:30 pm PDT October 4, 2010Updated: 12:34 am PDT October 5, 2010

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, convicted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant III, has asked the court for a new trial, according to papers filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Mehserle's defense team claimed during his trial that he mistook his revolver for his yellow X-26 Taser moments before fatally shooting Grant has he laid on the Fruitvale BART station platform in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2009.

In his closing argument and during cross-examination of Taser experts, prosecutor David Stein repeatedly told the jurors there had never been such a mishap in the millions of times Tasers had been discharged by police officers nationwide.

The 100-page document, filed by Mehserle's attorney Michael Raines late Friday, the defense claims the prosecution was convincing but incorrect when telling jurors that such an accident had ever happened.

Raines cited the case of Kentucky police Lt. Billy Jones who mistook his revolver for his Taser and accidentally shot a suspect in 2008.

"Five times Mr. Stein told the jury that in a million Taser draws, an accident like the on Mehserle claimed had occurred here had never happened.

The DA placed particular emphasis on the color, asking the jurors why the manufacturer made the Taser yellow, and then answered his own question: 'They make it this color so that the officers can distinguish between the two," the filing claimed.

Raines called Stein's argument extremely convincing and added that he did not believe the prosecution knew about the Kentucky case.

The defense claimed if the jurors had known of the case at least one may have voted for an acquittal.

Deputy District Attorney David Stein, who is prosecuting the case, did not return calls seeking comment Monday.

Mehserle is set to appear in court for sentencing on Nov. 5 and could face between two and 14 years in prison, Rains said. He said the judge would likely rule then on the motion for a new trial.

Mehserle was convicted by the jury of involuntary manslaughter in Grant's fatal shooting. The jurors had rejected the prosecution's claim that the slaying was murder. He is currently being held without bail pending his sentencing.

Perry has a tremendous amount of discretion in handing down punishment against Mehserle anywhere from probation to 14 years. There's also the possibility he could get probation for time served.

Involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of two to four years, but since jurors found guilty on an extra gun charge, three to ten years could be added to the sentence.


9) Gulf Oil Spill: Researchers say levels of harmful oil compounds jumped in gulf waters
By Bettina Boxall
October 1, 2010 | 5:04 pm

Levels of some cancer-causing oil compounds rose significantly in the waters off the Louisiana coast during the BP spill, according to Oregon State University researchers.

"It's an incredibly huge jump in concentration in a natural environment," said OSU environmental toxicology professor Kim Anderson, who found a 40-fold increase in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, from May to June.

Anderson and her research team started testing for the contaminants a few weeks after the April 20 well blowout, taking water samples at four near-shore locations along the gulf coast. Results from early August, after the BP well was capped and stopped leaking, continued to show elevated levels in the water.

The amount of PAHs in crude oil varies, as does does the toxicity of the compounds, which constitute a large class of chemicals. Some are carcinogenic, some are not and some are not toxic, Anderson said. Her gulf samples included PAHs of all three types.
Her team is using a sampling technique that involves suspension of a long, thin strip in the water for three to four weeks. The device mimics an organism and measures biologically available concentrations of PAHs that can be absorbed by marine life and make their way into the food chain.

Anderson is still anaylzing the results and was not prepared to say what, if any, threat the elevated levels posed to the gulf environment. "It's a huge increase that folks that deal with the more biologic side of it will have to address."

Lisa Faust, communications director for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, said her agency did not have enough information on the research to comment. But she added that state testing of seafood harvest areas had not detected harmful levels of the pollutant.

"In all our samples of water we tested, at the most there were trace levels of PAHs -- and nothing at the level that poses risks to human health," Faust said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, continues to reopen federal waters in the gulf to commercial fishing. Last week Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft, who is taking over management ofthe federal spill response, said the government's extensive testing of gulf seafood has had "no detects whatsoever of any" PAHs.

In an e-mail, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the agency has "analyzed over 1,600 water and sediment samples alone" as part of its response to the BP spill "and found very few samples with chemicals at levels above concerns to aquatic life and no samples with chemicals at levels of concern to human health."


10) U.S. Military Orders Less Dependence on Fossil Fuels
"The Marines are exploring solar-powered water purification systems and looking into the possibility of building a small-scale, truck-based biofuel plant that could transform local crops - like illegal poppies - into fuel."
October 4, 2010

With insurgents increasingly attacking the American fuel supply convoys that lumber across the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan, the military is pushing aggressively to develop, test and deploy renewable energy to decrease its need to transport fossil fuels.

Last week, a Marine company from California arrived in the rugged outback of Helmand Province bearing novel equipment: portable solar panels that fold up into boxes; energy-conserving lights; solar tent shields that provide shade and electricity; solar chargers for computers and communications equipment.

The 150 Marines of Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, will be the first to take renewable technology into a battle zone, where the new equipment will replace diesel and kerosene-based fuels that would ordinarily generate power to run their encampment.

Even as Congress has struggled unsuccessfully to pass an energy bill and many states have put renewable energy on hold because of the recession, the military this year has pushed rapidly forward. After a decade of waging wars in remote corners of the globe where fuel is not readily available, senior commanders have come to see overdependence on fossil fuel as a big liability, and renewable technologies - which have become more reliable and less expensive over the past few years - as providing a potential answer. These new types of renewable energy now account for only a small percentage of the power used by the armed forces, but military leaders plan to rapidly expand their use over the next decade.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the huge truck convoys that haul fuel to bases have been sitting ducks for enemy fighters - in the latest attack, oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan were set on fire in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, early Monday. In Iraq and Afghanistan, one Army study found, for every 24 fuel convoys that set out, one soldier or civilian engaged in fuel transport was killed. In the past three months, six Marines have been wounded guarding fuel runs in Afghanistan.

"There are a lot of profound reasons for doing this, but for us at the core it's practical," said Ray Mabus, the Navy secretary and a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who has said he wants 50 percent of the power for the Navy and Marines to come from renewable energy sources by 2020. That figure includes energy for bases as well as fuel for cars and ships.

"Fossil fuel is the No. 1 thing we import to Afghanistan," Mr. Mabus said, "and guarding that fuel is keeping the troops from doing what they were sent there to do, to fight or engage local people."

He and other experts also said that greater reliance on renewable energy improved national security, because fossil fuels often came from unstable regions and scarce supplies were a potential source of international conflict.

Fossil fuel accounts for 30 to 80 percent of the load in convoys into Afghanistan, bringing costs as well as risk. While the military buys gas for just over $1 a gallon, getting that gallon to some forward operating bases costs $400.

"We had a couple of tenuous supply lines across Pakistan that are costing us a heck of a lot, and they're very dangerous," said Gen. James T. Conway, the commandant of the Marine Corps.

Col. Robert Charette Jr., director of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office, said he was "cautiously optimistic" that Company I's equipment would prove reliable and durable enough for military use, and that other Marine companies would be adopting renewable technology in the coming months, although there would probably always be a need to import fuel for some purposes.

While setting national energy policy requires Congressional debates, military leaders can simply order the adoption of renewable energy. And the military has the buying power to create products and markets. That, in turn, may make renewable energy more practical and affordable for everyday uses, experts say.

Last year, the Navy introduced its first hybrid vessel, a Wasp class amphibious assault ship called the U.S.S. Makin Island, which at speeds under 10 knots runs on electricity rather than on fossil fuel, a shift resulting in greater efficiency that saved 900,000 gallons of fuel on its maiden voyage from Mississippi to San Diego, compared with a conventional ship its size, the Navy said.

The Air Force will have its entire fleet certified to fly on biofuels by 2011 and has already flown test flights using a 50-50 mix of plant-based biofuel and jet fuel; the Navy took its first delivery of fuel made from algae this summer. Biofuels can in theory be produced wherever the raw materials, like plants, are available, and could ultimately be made near battlefields.

Concerns about the military's dependence on fossil fuels in far-flung battlefields began in 2006 in Iraq, where Richard Zilmer, then a major general and the top American commander in western Iraq, sent an urgent cable to Washington suggesting that renewable technology could prevent loss of life. That request catalyzed new research, but the pressure for immediate results magnified as the military shifted its focus to Afghanistan, a country with little available native fossil fuel and scarce electricity outside cities.

Fuel destined for American troops in landlocked Afghanistan is shipped to Karachi, Pakistan, where it is loaded on convoys of 50 to 70 vehicles for transport to central bases. Smaller convoys branch out to the forward lines. The Marines' new goal is to make the more peripheral sites sustain themselves with the kind of renewable technology carried by Company I, since solar electricity can be generated right on the battlefield.

There are similar tactical advantages to using renewable fuel for planes and building hybrid ships. "Every time you cut a ship away from the need to visit an oiler - a fuel supply ship - you create an advantage," said Mr. Mabus, noting that the Navy had pioneered previous energy transformations in the United States, from sail power to coal power in the 19th century, as well as from coal to oil and oil to nuclear power in the 20th century.

The cost calculation is also favorable. The renewable technology that will power Company I costs about $50,000 to $70,000; a single diesel generator costs several thousand dollars. But when it costs hundreds of dollars to get each gallon of traditional fuel to base camps in Afghanistan, the investment is quickly defrayed.

Because the military has moved into renewable energy so rapidly, much of the technology currently being used is commercially available or has been adapted for the battlefield from readily available civilian models.

This spring, the military invited commercial manufacturers to demonstrate products that might be useful on the battlefield. A small number were selected for further testing. The goal was to see, for example, if cooling systems could handle the 120 degree temperatures often seen in current war zones or if embedded solar panels would make tents more visible to enemy radar.

This summer, renewable technologies proved capable of powering computers, residences and most equipment for more than a week at a test base in the Mojave Desert - though not enough to operate the most sophisticated surveillance systems.

Much more is in the testing stages: one experimental cooling system uses a pipe burrowed into the cool earth eight feet underground that vents into tents; a solar fan on the tent roof evacuates the hot air and draws cool air from underground. The Marines are exploring solar-powered water purification systems and looking into the possibility of building a small-scale, truck-based biofuel plant that could transform local crops - like illegal poppies - into fuel.

"If the Navy comes knocking, they will build it," Mr. Mabus said. "The price will come down and the infrastructure will be created."


11) Relatives Tell of Civilians Killed by U.S. Soldiers
October 4, 2010

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - It was difficult enough for the people of western Kandahar Province. They are beleaguered both by the Taliban, who control the roads, demand taxes and execute anyone suspected of disloyalty, and by the American military, who often show little regard for people and whose demands that locals stand up to the insurgents seem unreasonable.

Still, there was no reason to anticipate something far worse: American soldiers suspected of being a sadistic rogue band led by Sgt. Calvin Gibbs.

For Mullah Allah Dad, a poppy farmer and the mullah of a hamlet of just 15 homes in Kandahar Province, the end came quickly. He was sipping tea when he heard screams, and several of his children ran in. American soldiers in tanks were coming, they told him. Moments later, two young soldiers came in and grabbed him, his wife, Mora, said.

"In a minute I heard shooting," she said. "I saw my husband face down, and a black American stood next to him. Another soldier pushed me away. They pushed me back into the house and the interpreter made me go inside one of the rooms.

"Minutes after that I heard an explosion," she said. "I rushed out of that inner room and out the gate and the translator was telling me to stop, but I did not pay any attention, and then I saw my husband, my husband was burning."

According to court papers filed by the military, Mullah Allah Dad, 45, of the Kalagi hamlet, was the third victim of soldiers who killed Afghan civilians for no apparent reason.

Five of the platoon soldiers have been charged in at least three murders, one of them Mullah Allah Dad's, and seven other soldiers have been charged with crimes including assault, the use of hashish and attempts to impede the investigation.

The New York Times sent an emissary to Maiwand, the western district of Kandahar where the killings took place, to find the families of the three who were killed. Mullah Allah Dad's family was afraid to come to the provincial capital to meet with a Times reporter because they feared that coalition troops might again attack them or that the Taliban would stop them. They agreed to come only as far as a nearby village that had cellphone coverage, and they were interviewed by phone.

Mrs. Dad described how the soldiers searched the family's house, apparently trying to justify the killing. "They tore and broke everything," she said. "But they did not find a single bullet in my home."

Later, Mrs. Dad's father, Abdullah Jan, and two tribal elders listened in disbelief to an Afghan intelligence agent at the district governor's office as he related his conversation with American soldiers when they handed over Mullah Allah Dad's body.

"He told me that the Americans claimed that Allah Dad had a grenade and was going to attack them, and then the grenade went off and he was killed," said Mr. Jan. "I tried to explain his background, that he was a mullah in his village mosque, he had no link with the Taliban and he didn't want one.

"They put the grenade under his body," he said.

An hour later, Mr. Jan said, he picked up his son-in-law's body and was shocked to find that it was wrapped in a black plastic bag. "It was treated like garbage," he said.

Just a mile or two from Kalagi, near the village of Karez, another man died in almost the same way.

Gulbaddin, 37, was moving into his new home on a chilly January day when American soldiers came in several armored vehicles to the village, said Haji Abdul Qayoum, a neighbor and tribal elder there. "His son was crying, but the soldiers did not care," he said. "He was shot right before his home and with his son there."

Mr. Qayoum, at the request of The New York Times, went to ask Gulbaddin's father if he would discuss his son's death. His response was the cry of every father who has lost his child.

"Don't talk about my son," said Gulbaddin's father. "My mind is not ready even to hear his name. Even you mentioning his name makes me angry and puts my heart in pain. Please, please don't hurt my heart."

Local elders estimate that in the past eight months at least 42 civilians have been killed in Maiwand during American operations. The Taliban have also killed civilians in the district, but it is the 42 whose deaths are etched in local memory.

"I am from the area, and my family has been living here for centuries," said Haji Hayatullah, an elder from Maiwand District. "I know the people who are supporting the Taliban and the people who are not. But the Americans have killed many people who did not support the Taliban, which is painful for us and actually creates hatred toward Americans. And that is why there is little or no help to the Americans from the civilians here."

"For us, death is inevitable, but not in the way they have been killing."

The family of Mullah Allah Dad has received no apology and no compensation for his death, his father-in-law said.

A spokeswoman for the Army, Maj. Kathleen Turner, said she could not answer any questions about the case because of the continuing investigation.

Taimoor Shah reported from Kandahar, and Alissa J. Rubin from Kabul, Afghanistan.


12) Drones Kill Westerners in Pakistan
October 4, 2010

WASHINGTON - Drone aircraft operated by the Central Intelligence Agency killed several militants with German citizenship in the mountains of Pakistan on Monday, according to Pakistani and American officials.

The missile strikes were part of an escalating barrage of attacks by the C.I.A. over the past month, and come amid tension in European capitals over the possibility that operatives of Al Qaeda who are based in Pakistan and North Africa might be planning terrorist attacks somewhere on the continent.

A small stream of German Muslims has traveled to Pakistan's mountainous tribal areas in recent years, part of what some European counterterrorism officials see as Al Qaeda's effort to recruit young Westerners who might be able to return to Europe or the United States to carry out attacks.

It was unclear whether the drone strikes on Monday were related to the suspected terrorist plots in Europe. News organizations in Pakistan reported that missiles struck a mosque in Mir Ali, a town in North Waziristan, the region where most of the drone strikes have occurred this year.

American officials offered few details about the strikes on Monday, and there were conflicting reports about the number of German militants killed in the attacks. A Pakistani official said 10 to 12 people were killed, at least four of them German.

Usually, it takes the C.I.A several days to analyze communication intercepts and other information to confirm the identities of those killed in airstrikes.

On Sunday, the State Department issued a vague travel alert to Americans in Europe, warning of threats to "tourist infrastructure," but not mentioning any specific countries that might be at risk. Over the past week, American officials have said they were gathering intelligence about multiple plots that could involve attacks in France, Germany and Britain like those two years ago in Mumbai, India.

Germany's top security official, Thomas de Maizière, on Monday played down concern that Al Qaeda was plotting attacks against some of Berlin's landmarks. "There is no concrete indication of impending attacks," Mr. de Maizière said in a short news conference in Berlin.

Mr. de Maizière, the interior minister, spoke Sunday night with Janet Napolitano, the United States secretary of homeland security, to discuss the American travel alert.

Security in Berlin has increased around government ministry buildings and political parties' headquarters and at the airport and major railway stations.

In recent years American and European intelligence officials have grown concerned about groups of young men from Germany and Britain who have been training in militant camps in Pakistan's tribal areas.

German security officials think this trend has been inspired in part by a proliferation of radical German-language videos on the Internet, including some made by a group called the German Taliban Mujahedeen.

Officials have said that the exact number of Germans traveling to Pakistan is hard to determine because of the route that many Germans take: leaving the country by car to elude airport security and then traveling to Turkey and ultimately Iran, where smugglers take them to Pakistan.

The C.I.A. carried out 21 drone strikes in September, the most in one month, and has already carried out several strikes in October. American officials said the escalation was the result of two factors: an attempt to disrupt militant networks that attacked American troops in Afghanistan, and efforts to strike militant cells in Pakistan that might be coordinating terrorist plots in Europe.

Most of the strikes have occurred in North Waziristan, a region abutting the Afghan border that has become a safe haven for Qaeda militants and operatives of the Haqqani network, a group responsible for a wave of violence in Afghanistan.

American officials have tried to press Pakistan's military to begin an offensive in North Waziristan, but the government has resisted, citing strained resources from military operations elsewhere in the tribal areas.

Mark Mazzetti reported from Washington, and Souad Mekhennet from Frankfurt. Judy Dempsey contributed reporting from Berlin, and Eric Schmitt from Washington


13) In Haiti, Rising Call for Displaced to Go Away
October 4, 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - As tent camps go, the one on the 28-acre Church of God property overlooking the Valley of Bourdon is almost bucolic, with hundreds of canvas-draped shelters under leafy shade trees and a cohesiveness among residents. But panic is building there.

The Church of God is planning to evict the encampment in the near future. While the church relented on a Sept. 30 deadline under pressure from humanitarian officials, it still wants its Haitian headquarters rid of a population that church officials have come to see as a freeloading nuisance.

"This used to be a beautiful place, but these people are tearing up the property," said Jim Hudson, a Church of God missionary living at the site. "They're urinating on it. They're bathing out in public. They're stealing electricity. And they don't work. They sit around all day, waiting for handouts."

Increasingly, property owners here are seeking to dislodge tent camps, saying they are tired of waiting for the government to resettle the people or for the people to resettle themselves.

Almost nine months after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, eviction threats have increased markedly and have become an urgent humanitarian concern, international groups say. Some 144,175 individuals have been subject to threats of eviction since March, and 28,065 have been actually evicted, according to data collected by shelter experts here.

Humanitarian officials have asked the government to consider a moratorium on evictions and to address the issue publicly, urging compassion. They worry that the evictions could increase conflict, lead to the mushrooming of smaller sites without services and force people into locations that are unsafe.

"It's a huge problem that could exacerbate lots of other problems," said Lilianne Fan, the housing, land and property coordinator for the multiagency shelter cluster. "The bottom line is that the vulnerable become more vulnerable, and you get into a situation of continual displacement without a long-term solution."

Many landowners, fearing that the tent cities will become entrenched slums, say that they need to reclaim their properties sooner rather than later for their intended uses.

Their eviction practices vary, from sudden and violent to mediated and planned. In some cases, landowners have sent thugs to slash or burn tents; in others they have offered cash payoffs to expedite expulsions.

But whatever the method, the evictions increase the instability of the displaced population for whom few alternatives exist, given the slow pace of the cleanup and reconstruction effort.

Humanitarian officials are working with the government to develop a comprehensive strategy for handling camp closings based on the now scattershot efforts to help people clean up and move back into their neighborhoods.

At the same time, they are mediating these tense situations case by case, seeking to buy time from landowners while they look for solutions for each family. Sometimes an inducement works - for example, the construction of permanent latrines on a property. Other times, a multipronged approach is needed - negotiations, cash and peacekeeping troops.

That was the case at the Palais de l'Art compound in the Delmas municipality this summer after a conflict between the landowner and a leader of the tent camp there built to a peak with mutual threats and reports to the police.

The owner, Joseph St. Fort, said hundreds of families had fled to his land on the day of the earthquake: "I said to myself right then, 'Uh-oh. You're in trouble.' I started feeling panic because I knew it would be very difficult to get rid of them."

Before the earthquake, Mr. St. Fort had rented out his large property for events. After, he himself moved into a tent inside the compound with the other displaced people. But by March, it was time to restart his business, he said, so he wrote the first of many letters to the government.

"Mr. Minister," he wrote to the interior minister, "the leadership of the Palais has to notify you that we will be obliged to evict the 320 families who have occupied this terrain since Jan. 12. The leadership regrets that it will not have the assistance of state authorities in evacuating the disaster victims."

The minister, writing back, requested Mr. St. Fort's patience - "knowing you are aware of the risks to public security of a premature expulsion."

Mr. St. Fort waited months, but tensions built with camp residents, who knew he wanted them gone, and especially with one man, a camp leader. In June, Mr. St. Fort ordered the man to leave, and the man refused. So Mr. St. Fort cut off water and sanitation services for the camp and locked the gates, shutting in - or out - the hundreds living there, including amputees and elderly people.

"We feel like prisoners," Jean Robenson, 17, said at the time as he tended to his grandmother in her wheelchair.

For weeks, AMI, a Portuguese humanitarian group, struggled to mediate. Finally, with the help of Haitian officials, the International Organization for Migration and United Nations troops, they persuaded Mr. St. Fort to let the tent camp remain if the leader was escorted to another site. In a tense meeting, a Haitian humanitarian official urged the camp residents to reject the leader, Reynald.

"Raise your hand if you don't want Reynald," the official said.

The crisis was averted, or deferred.

Interviewed in September, Mr. St. Fort said that the Haitian government had paid him $25,000 to let the people stay until December. But, he said, that was not enough. He maintained that he could have earned $150,000 over the same period from evangelical conventions and political party assemblies. "I don't intend to keep this arrangement going at the price the government is offering," he said.

At the Church of God site, church officials are also impatient. Where the people go next should be the government's concern, they say. The church's land - with a school, Bible college and air-conditioned houses under construction for the missionaries rebuilding churches in the disaster zone - is private property. The homeless are in the way.

Edner Villard, 33, a camp leader, knows that church officials feel that way, and he resents it. He said that he was shocked when he overheard a pastor, his voice raised in anger, tell United Nations officials about the camp residents: "They give me nothing but trouble!" Mr. Villard said his heart starting beating quickly. "We are so peaceful here!" he said. "I didn't challenge him, and say, 'You lie,' because he is the national representative of the Church of God in Haiti. Who am I? But he should have more compassion. He's a man of God, and a Haitian."

After the disaster, the church was providing meals to its neighbors, which drew thousands of people to the site. When the rainy season began, humanitarian officials moved those camping on the church site's steep slopes where landslides were a risk. Other families left of their own accord, renting new homes if they could afford it, or migrating to the countryside. "The people who are left here now are those who have no options," Mr. Villard said.

Mr. Villard, a former supermarket supervisor, was the only person to survive when the market collapsed in the earthquake, killing dozens. The two-story house he owns in the Valley of Bourdon crumbled, too, and he moved his family to a grassy hillock on the church estate because it was "the closest and most logical place." He would love to move back home, he said, but his house has been stamped red by government inspectors, meaning it is unsafe. He has no means to demolish it himself, and no materials with which to rebuild it.

"Can't they provide tools or some kind of assistance?" he asked. "What are we supposed to do? Move into the debris with our raggedy tents?"


14) Chilean Miners' Rescue May Happen Within Weeks, President Says
October 4, 2010

SANTIAGO, Chile - The 33 miners trapped nearly half a mile underground in northern Chile may be rescued by Oct. 17, weeks before the government's original predictions, President Sebastián Piñera announced in a nationally broadcast radio interview Monday.

"I hope to rescue them before leaving for Europe," he said, referring to a trip scheduled for Oct. 17. "It is very important for me to share that moment not only with the 33 miners, with whom I have spoken many times, but also with their families."

If they are not freed before then, Mr. Piñera is considering postponing his trip to make sure he is at the gold and copper mine where the men are trapped on the day of the rescue. "Obviously, the trip will be adjusted to the rescue," he said.

The government is evaluating whether to fortify the shaft through which the miners will be lifted in a capsule that is already on location, said the mining minister, Laurence Golborne. Not casing the shaft would save several extra days of work.

When the men were first discovered to be alive in August, having survived a cave-in, the government said it could take more than three months to rescue them but vowed to get them out before Christmas. That timeline has been steadily compressed, and last week Mr. Golborne said the rescue would most likely take place during the latter half of October.

The 33 miners, who as of Tuesday have been underground for 60 days, have been working in shifts around the clock to remove the earth and rocks that fall as a drill widens the narrow shaft through which rescue workers first made contact with them on Aug. 22.

Health treatment units, where the miners will be immediately taken after the rescue, are being assembled at the site, while the miners are being coached on how to deal with the hundreds of reporters expected to cover the event.


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