Friday, January 28, 2011




Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:




Today! Support the Egyptian People!

There will be another emergency demonstration in solidarity with the Egyptian people on SATURDAY, JAN. 29, 12 NOON gathering at Market & Montgomery Streets in San Francisco

Urgent Call from Egyptian National Coalition (Please circulate)
From: nachoua
Date: 2011/1/27
via email

Please circulate as wide as possible

A Call to the People and Governments of the Free World

We call upon all of you to support the Egyptian people's demands for a good life, liberty and an end of despotism. We call upon you to urge this dictatorial regime to stop its bloodshed of the Egyptian people, exercised throughout the Egyptian cities, on top of which comes the city of Suez. We believe that the material and moral support offered to the Egyptian regime, by the American government and European governments, has helped to suppress the Egyptian people.

We hereby call upon the people of the free world to support the Egyptian people's non-violent revolution against corruption and tyranny. We also call upon civil society organisations in America, Europe and the whole world to express their solidarity with Egypt, through holding public demonstrations, particularly on People's Anger Day (28/01/2011), and by denouncing the use of violence against the people.

We hope that you will all support our demands for freedom, justice and peaceful change.

Egyptian National Coalition


- Please forward widely -
Back to the Streets! Call to Action!

Dear antiwar and social justice activists,

You are invited/urged to attend the general meeting of the United National Antiwar Committee (UNAC).

The meeting is set for Sunday, January 30 at 1:00 pm, Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia Street, SF (between 15th and 16th Streets, upstairs in the rear).

Last summer's UNAC national antiwar conference of 800 activists from 35 states in Albany, NY voted unanimously to initiate and sponsor bi-coastal SF/NY antiwar and social justice demonstrations. The call for these actions is below along with the initial list of endorsers. The Western Regional San Francisco demonstration is set for Sunday, April 10 at Dolores Park. The NYC counterpart is set for April 9. You are urgently requested to join in the organization and planning of this national protest as well as the many other building activities that UNAC will be organizing. Everyone welcome! UNAC operates with an open steering committee. All groups are welcome to participate.

Proposed UNAC agenda, Sunday, January 30, 2011

Part I
1) Brief reports/discussion
a) Developments in North Africa/Tunisia/Egypt/Blanca
b) FBI raids/protests/ Update/Masao

2) Brief break out for committee meetings. (Volunteers needed for all committees including
Outreach, Media, Logistics, Finances, Program, etc.)

Part II
3) Logistics report/ assembly point, march route, sound, etc./Bonnie
4) New leaflet preparation/Jeremy
5) Speakers Bureau/Cristina
6) Building West Coast/western region participation in April 10/Dave/Jeremy
7) February 12 East Bay conference/Committee to Stop FBI Repression/Monadel/Masao
8) Preparation/speakers for March 5 UNAC Antiwar/Civil Liberties rally at Iglesias Presbiteriana Mission (23red St. and Capp, SF)/Jeff
8) Expanding UNAC Steering Committee/Building UNAC/Cristina
9) Status of ANSWER endorsement of April 10/Bill
10) Endorsement/support of April 9 Malalai Joya meeting/Jeremy
11) Next meeting time, place and date
12) Brief Steering Committee mtg.
13) Other

Call to Action
And Request for Endorsement
April 9-10, 2011
New York & San Francisco
from the
United National Antiwar Committee


THEY are the government, corporate, and financial powers that wage war, ravage the environment and the economy and trample on our democratic rights and liberties.


WE are the vast majority of humanity who want peace, a healthy planet and a society that prioritizes human needs, democracy and civil liberties for all.

The Warmakers spend trillions of dollars yearly on endless wars in pursuit of global domination and profit while murdering millions of innocent people, installing corrupt and hated governments and funding occupations that displace millions from their homelands - trampling on the right of oppressed people to self-determination.

THEY send our youth - victims of the economic draft - to fight over the very fossil fuels whose unrestrained use threatens the future of the planet while corrupt and virtually unregulated oil giants dump billions of gallons of death into our rivers and oceans.

THEY wage a fake "war on terrorism" at home - the new McCarthyism - that promotes racism and Islamophobia aimed at destroying civil liberties and democratic rights.

THEY grant repeated and untold trillions in bailouts to banks, corporations and financial institutions while breaking unions, robbing pensions, destroying jobs, foreclosing homes, de-funding education and vital social services and are once again threatening Social Security and Medicare.

THEY offer no solutions to the current crises other than more of the same.

THE PEACEMAKERS DEMAND a better world. Only a massive, united, inclusive and independent movement has the power to bring it into being.

WE DEMAND Bring U.S. Troops, Mercenaries and War Contractors Home Now: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan! End the sanctions and stop the threats of war against the people of Iran, North Korea and Yemen. No to war and plunder of the people of Latin America, the Caribbean,Africa and Native People! End U.S. Aid to Israel! End U.S. Support to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and the Siege of Gaza!

WE DEMAND trillions for jobs, education, social services, an end to all foreclosures, quality single-payer healthcare for all, a massive conversion to sustainable and planet-saving energy systems and public transportation and reparations to the victims of U.S. terror at home and abroad.

WE DEMAND an end to FBI raids on antiwar, social justice, and international solidarity activists, an end to the racist persecution and prosecutions that ravage Muslim communities, an end to police terror in Black and Latino communities, full rights and legality for immigrants and an end to all efforts to repress and punish Wikileaks and its contributors and founders.

WE DEMAND the immediate end to torture, rendition, secret trials, drone bombings and death squads.


Committee to Stop FBI Repression
to Fitzpatrick, Holder and Obama
Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Over 50 cities, hundreds of groups, and thousands of people protested against FBI and U.S. Grand Jury repression on Tuesday January 25. The protests are a response to ongoing and expanding repression originating from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office in Chicago. On September 24th, the FBI raided anti-war and solidarity activists' homes and subpoenaed fourteen in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Michigan. All fourteen decided to not appear before the Grand Jury in October. The Grand Jury is a secret and closed inquisition, where the U.S. Attorney controls the entire proceedings, hand picks the jurors, there is no judge, and the activists are not allowed a lawyer.

The following month, three Minneapolis women had their subpoenas reactivated and they are still waiting in limbo. Then nine more Palestine solidarity activists, most Arab-Americans, were subpoenaed to appear at the Grand Jury on January 25, 2011, launching renewed protests.

Now we are asking you to call those in charge of the repression aimed against anti-war leaders and the growing Palestine solidarity movement.
We want your help in promoting the national call in day to demand:
-- Call Off the Grand Jury Witch-hunt Against International Solidarity Activists!
-- Support Free Speech!
-- Support the Right to Organize!
-- Stop FBI Repression!
-- International Solidarity Is Not a Crime!

Three calls:
1. Call U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald at 312-353-5300. Then dial 0 (zero) for operator and ask to leave a message with the Duty Clerk.
2. Call U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder 202-353-1555
3. Call President Obama at 202-456-1111

Suggested text: ?My name is __________, I am from _______(city), in ______(state). I am calling U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (Eric Holder, President Obama) to demand he call off the Grand Jury and stop FBI repression against the anti-war and Palestine solidarity movements. I oppose U.S. government political repression and support the right to free speech and the right to assembly of the 23 activists subpoenaed. We will not be criminalized. Tell him to stop this McCarthy-type witch hunt against international solidarity activists!

**Please sign and circulate our new petition at

Visit or write or call 612-379-3585.

Thank you,
Tom Burke,
for the Committee to Stop FBI Repression
_______________________________________________ StopFBI mailing list
_______________________________________________ StopFBI mailing list



Thursday, February 3, 2011, 6:00 P.M.
Grace Tabernacle Community Church
1121 Oakdale Ave. (at Ingalls), San Francisco

Saturday, February 5 - 2:00 pm
Rivertown Resource Center
301 W 10th Street, #16, Antioch

* Hear people's attorney Jerry Goldberg tell about how they've been fighting foreclosures in Detroit.

Jerry is a founder of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions & Utility Shutoffs.

* Community speak-out - Come and share your ideas on how to fight back and protect our homes.

Today the vast majority of home loans are owned or backed up by the federal government. This means when your home is foreclosed, the government pays off the bank for the full value of the inflated loan, evicts you from your home, and then sells off your home to some investor for peanuts. This is a silent bail-out of the banks.

Instead of evicting us from our homes, the government should declare a moratorium on foreclosures - just like they did in 25 states during the 1930's. Then people could stay in their homes with affordable payments, based on the real value of their property.

Sponsored by Bail Out the People Movement, Moratorium NOW! Coalition, and Nuestra Casa Community Services, with many thanks to Bishop Ernest L. Jackson and the Grace Tabernacle Community Church. For information call 415-738-4739 or 925-597-0008

Let People Stay in their Homes - Housing is a Human Right!

Bail Out the People, Not the Banks!

Demand a National Moratorium to Stop All Foreclosures and Evictions!


Bay Area Supporters of International Friends of the Leon Trotsky Museum invite you to:

"Honoring Revolutionary Continuity: An Afternoon Public Forum & Fundraiser for the Leon Trotsky Museum in Mexico City"

Sunday, February 13 @ 2:30 p.m.
Alameda Public Library
1550 Oak Street (@ Lincoln Ave.)
Alameda, Calif.


Presentation by ESTEBAN VOLKOV, Leon Trotsky's grandson and president of the Leon Trotsky Museum Foundation, and

Preview of "A Planet Without A Visa: The Movie" -- a film by DAVID WEISS, with presentations by LINDY LAUB, director of the documentary film, and SUZI WEISSMAN, historian of the revolutionary and socialist movements

Also: Honoring founding members of the American Trotskyist movement ESTAR BAUR, ERWIN BAUR & RUTH HARER

Sliding Scale $10 to $20

For more information, call Frank Fried at 510-459-0328

[If you are not able to make the event but would like to make a tax-deductible donation to International Friends of the Leon Trotsky Museum, please send your check, payable to Global Exchange (our fiscal sponsor), to International Friends, PO Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140.]


US President Barack Obama may soon announce plans to expand Afghan security forces by roughly 70,000 over current targets by year's end. The plan is expensive: It would cost the United States another $6 billion next year -- nearly twice as much as previously planned.

The United States needs JOBS and a full-employment economy. NOT MORE WARS OR MILITARY SPENDING!

Please join us in demonstrating for Peace on February 18 at 2 PM., corner of University at Acton. Wheelchair accessible.

Strawberry Creek Tenants Association
Fran Rachael

Phone: (510)548-9696 FAX: (510)548-9697


Saturday, March 19, 2011:
Day of Action to Resist the War Machine!
8th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq
Scores of organizations coming together for worldwide protests

In San Francisco, the theme of the March 19 march and rally will be "No to War & Colonial Occupation - Fund Jobs, Healthcare & Education - Solidarity with SF Hotel Workers!" 12,000 SF hotel workers, members of UNITE-HERE Local 2, have been fighting for a new contract that protects their healthcare, wages and working conditions. The SF action will include a march to boycotted hotels in solidarity with the Lo. 2 workers. The first organizing meeting for the SF March 19 march and rally will be on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2pm at the Local 2 union hall, 209 Golden Gate Ave.

In Los Angeles, the March 19 rally and march will gather at 12 noon at Hollywood and Vine.

March 19 is the 8th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Iraq today remains occupied by 50,000 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of foreign mercenaries.

The war in Afghanistan is raging. The U.S. is invading and bombing Pakistan. The U.S. is financing endless atrocities against the people of Palestine, relentlessly threatening Iran and bringing Korea to the brink of a new war.

While the United States will spend $1 trillion for war, occupation and weapons in 2011, 30 million people in the United States remain unemployed or severely underemployed, and cuts in education, housing and healthcare are imposing a huge toll on the people.

Actions of civil resistance are spreading.

On Dec. 16, 2010, a veterans-led civil resistance at the White House played an important role in bringing the anti-war movement from protest to resistance. Enduring hours of heavy snow, 131 veterans and other anti-war activists lined the White House fence and were arrested. Some of those arrested will be going to trial, which will be scheduled soon in Washington, D.C.

Saturday, March 19, 2011, the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, will be an international day of action against the war machine.

Protest and resistance actions will take place in cities and towns across the United States. Scores of organizations are coming together. Demonstrations are scheduled for San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and more.

Click this link to endorse the March 19, 2011, Call to Action:

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
National Office in Washington DC: 202-265-1948
Boston: 857-334-5084 | New York City: 212-694-8720 | Chicago: 773-463-0311
San Francisco: 415-821-6545| Los Angeles: 213-251-1025 | Albuquerque: 505-268-2488


Are you joining us on April 8 at the Pentagon in a climate chaos protest codenamed "Operation Disarmageddon?" It has been decided that affinity groups will engage in nonviolent autonomous actions. Do you have an affinity group? Do you have an idea for an action?

So far these are some of the suggested actions:

Send a letter to Sec. of War Robert Gates demanding a meeting to disclose the Pentagon's role in destroying the planet. He will ignore the letter, so a delegation would then go to the Metro Entrance to demand a meeting.

Use crime tape around some area of the Pentagon. The idea of crime/danger taping off the building could be done just outside the main Pentagon reservation entrance (intersection of Army/Navy) making the Alexandria PD the arresting authority (if needed) and where there is no ban on photography. Hazmat suits, a 'converted' truck (or other vehicle) could be part of the street theater. The area where I am thinking is also almost directly below I-95 and there is a bridge over the intersection - making a banner drop possible. Perhaps with the hazmat/street closure at ground level with a banner from above. If possible a coordinated action could be done at other Pentagon entrances and / or other war making institutions.

A procession onto the Pentagon reservation, without reservations, and set up a camp on one of the lawns surrounding The Pentagon. This contingent would reclaim the space in the name of peace and Mother Earth. This contingent would plan to stay there until The Pentagon is turned into a 100% green building using sustainable energy employing people who work for peace and the abolishment of war and life-affirming endeavors.

Bring a potted tree to be placed on the Pentagon's property to symbolize the need to radically reduce its environmental destructiveness.

Since the Pentagon is failing to return to the taxpayers the money it has misappropriated, "Foreclose on the Pentagon."

Banner hanging from a bridge.

Hand out copies of David Swanson's book WAR IS A LIE. Try to deliver a copy to Secretary of War Robert Gates.

Have short speeches in park between Pentagon and river; nice photo with Pentagon in background.

Die-in and chalk or paint outlines of victim's bodies everywhere that remain after the arrest to point to where real crimes are really being committed.

Establish command center, Peacecom? Paxcom? Put several people in white shirts and ties plus a few generals directing their armies for "Operation Disarmageddon."

Make the linkage between the tax dollars going to the Pentagon and war tax resistance. Use the WRL pie chart and carry banners "foreclose on war" and "money for green jobs not war jobs."

Hold a rally with representative speakers before going to the Pentagon Reservation. This would be an opportunity to speak out against warmongering and the Pentagon's role in destroying the environment.

As part of "Operation Disarmageddon," we will take a tree and plant it on the reservation. Our sign reads, "Plant trees not landmines."

Use crime tape on Army/Navy Drive to declare the Pentagon a crime scene. Do street theater there as well. Other affinity groups could go to selected entrances.

Establish a Peace Command Center at the Pentagon. Hold solidarity actions at federal buildings and corporate offices.

What groups have you contacted to suggest joining us at the Pentagon? See below for those who plan to be at the Pentagon on April 8 and for what groups have been contacted.



April 8, 2011 participants

Beth Adams
Ellen Barfield
Tim Chadwick
Joy First
Jeffrey Halperin
Malachy Kilbride
Max Obuszewski
David Swanson

April 8 Outreach

Beth Adams -- Earth First, Puppet Underground, Emma's Revolution, Joe Gerson-AFSC Cambridge, Code Pink(national via Lisa Savage in Maine), Vets for Peace, FOR, UCC Justice & Witness Ministries, Traprock, Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Order, (National-INt'l) Vets for Peace and WILPF, Pace e Bene, Christian Peace Witness & UCC Justice & Witness (Cleveland).

Tim Chadwick -- Brandywine, Lepoco, Witness against Torture, Vets for Peace (Thomas Paine Chapter Lehigh Valley PA), and Witness for Peace DC.

Jeffrey Halperin -- peace groups in Saratoga Spring, NY

Jack Lombardo - UNAC will add April 8 2011 to the Future Actions page on our blog, and make note in upcoming E-bulletins, but would appreciate a bit of descriptive text from the organizers and contact point to include when we do - so please advise ASAP! Also, we'll want to have such an announcement for our next print newsletter, which will be coming out in mid-December.

Max Obuszewski - Jonah House & Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore

Bonnie Urfer notified 351 individuals and groups on the Nukewatch list


Endorse the call to action from the United National Antiwar Committee (UNAC)

Bring the Troops Home Now!

March and Rally

Sunday, April 10th* in San Francisco, assemble at Dolores Park (18th and Dolores Streets) at 11:00 A.M.

*This date was changed because of the Annual Cesar Chavez Parade scheduled in San Francisco April 9. This is a huge community event that we can't conflict with.

Saturday, April 9th New York City (Union Sq. at noon)

--Bring U.S. Troops Now: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan! End the sanctions and stop the threats of war against the people of Iran, North Korea and Yemen. No to war and plunder of the people of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa! End U.S. Aid to Israel! End U.S. Support to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and the Siege of Gaza!

--Trillions for jobs, education, social services, an end to all foreclosures, quality single-payer healthcare for all, a massive conversion to sustainable and planet-saving energy systems and public transportation and reparations to the victims of U.S. terror at home and abroad.

--End FBI raids on antiwar, social justice, and international solidarity activists, an end to the racist persecution and prosecutions that ravage Muslim communities, an end to police terror in Black and Latino communities, full rights and legality for immigrants and an end to all efforts to repress and punish Wikileaks and its contributors and founders.
--Immediate end to torture, rendition, secret trials, drone bombings and death squads

To add your group's name to the endorser list, local, state or national, please contact:

United National Antiwar Committee
P.O. Box 123 Delmar, New York 12054

email you endorsement to: and cc:

Initial List of Endorsers (List in formation)
* = For Identification only

United National Antiwar Committee (UNAC)
Center for Constitutional Rights
Muslim Peace Coalition, USA
Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Veterans for Peace
International Action Center
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Black Agenda Report
Code Pink
National Assembly to End U.S. Wars and Occupations
World Can't Wait
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
Project Salam
Canadian Peace Alliance
Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
Office of the Americas
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Middle East Children's Alliance
Tariq Ali
Dr. Margaret Flowers PNHP *
Ramsey Clark
Ambassador Syed Ahsani, Former Ambassador from Pakistan
Ahmed Shawki, editor, International Socialist Review
Ali Abunimah, Palestinian American Journalist
Alice Sturn Sutter, Washington Heights Women in Black *
Al-Awda NY: the Palestine Right to Return Coalition
American Iranian Friendship Committee
American Muslim Task Force, Dallas/Ft. Worth
Ana Edwards, Chair, Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project - Richmond, Va.
Anthony Arnove, Author, "Iraq: The logic of Withdrawal"
Andy Griggs, Co-chair, California Teachers Association, Peace and Justice Caucus/UTLA-retired*
B. Ross Ashley, NDP Socialist Caucus, Canada *
Bail Out the People Movement
Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Barrio Unido, San Francisco
Bashir Abu-Manneh
Baltimore Job Is a Right Campaign
Baltimore-Washington Area Peace Council, US Peace Council Chapter
Battered Mother's Custody Conference
Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace
Blanca Misse, Student Worker Action Team/UC Berkeley, Academic Workers for Democratic Union - UAW 2865 *
Blauvelt Dominican sisters Social Justice Ministry
Bob Hernandez, Chapter President, SEIU Local 1021*
Bonnie Weinstein - Bay Area United Against Wars Newsletter
Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights
Boston UNAC
Boston University Anti-War Coalition
Café Intifada - Los Angeles
Camilo E. Mejia, Iraq war veteran and resister
Campaign for a Mass Party of Labor
Carole Seligman - Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal *
Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War
Chesapeake Citizens
Howard Terry Adcock, Colombia Support Network, Austin (TX) , Center for Peace and Justice *
Coalition for Justice - Blacksburg, Va.
Colombian Front for Socialism (FECOPES)
Columbus Campaign for Arms Control
Committee for Justice to Defend the Los Angeles 8
Dave Welsh, Delegate, San Francisco Labor Council
David Swanson,
David Keil - Metro West Peace Action (MWPA) *
Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality - Virginia
Derrick O'Keefe, Co-chair (Vancouver)
Detroit Committee to Stop FBI/Grand Jury Repression.
Doug Bullock, Albany County Legislator
Dr. Andy Coates PNHP *
DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving) - New York
Elaine Brower - national steering committee of World Can't Wait and anti-war military mom
Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST)
Freedom Road Socialist Organization
Freedom Socialist Party
Gilbert Achcar - Lebanese academic and writer
Guilderland Neighbors for Peace
Haiti Action Committee
Haiti Liberte
Hands off Venezuela
Howie Hawkins, Co-Chair, Green Party of New York State *
IIan Pappe, Director Exeter University, European Centre for Palestine Studies
International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
International Socialist Organization
International support Haiti Network (ISHN)
Iraq Peace Action Coalition - Minneapolis
Italo-American Progressive Fraternal Society
Janata Dal (United), India
Jersey City Peace Movement
Jimmy Massey, Founding member of IVAW
John Pilger, Journalist and Documentary film maker
Journal Square Homeless Coalition
Justice for Fallujah Project
Karen Schieve, United Educators of San Francisco *
Kim Nguyen, Metrowest Peace Action (MWPA)*
Kwame Binta, The November Coalition
Larry Pinkvey, Black Activist Writers Guild
Lillie "Ms. K" Branch-Kennedy - Director, Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged (R.I.H.D.), Virginia
Lisa Savage, CODEPINK Maine, Bring Our War $$ Home Coalition *
Los Angeles - Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee
Maggie Zhou - ClimateSOS *
Maine Veterans for Peace
Malu Aina, Hawaii
Maria Cristina Gutierrez, Exec. Director, Companeros del Barrio
Mark Roman, Waterville Area Bridges for Peace & Justice
Marlena Santoyo, Germantown Friends Meeting, Philadelphia, PA
Mary Flanagan, United Teachers of Richmond *
Masjid As-Salam Mosque, Albany, NY
Mazin Qumsiyeh
Michigan Emergency Committee Against Wars and Injustice
Mike Alewitz, Central Ct. State University *
Middle East Crisis Committee
Mobilization Against War and Occupation - Vancouver, Canada
Mobilization to Free Mumia
Moratorium NOW Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shut-offs
Muslim Solidarity Committee
Nancy Murray, Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights*
Nancy Parten, Witness For Peace *
Nellie Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council *
New Abolitionist Movement
New England United
New Jersey Labor Against War
New Socialist Project
New York City Labor Against the War
New York Collective of Radical Educators
No More Victims
Nodutdol for Korean Community Development
Northeast Peace and Justice Action Coalition
Northern California Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism
Northwest Greens
Nuestro Norte Es El Sur ((NUNO-SUR) Our North is the South
Omar Barghouti, Human rights activist (Palestine)
Pakistan USA Freedom Forum
Pakistani Trade Union Defense Campaign
Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People
Peace Action Maine
Peace Action Montgomery
Peacemakers of Schoharie County, New York
Peace and Freedom Party
People of Faith, Connecticut
Peninsula Peace & Justice, Blue Hill, Maine
Peninsula Peace and Justice Center - Palo Alto, Ca.
Peoples Video Network
Phil Wilayto, Editor, The Virginia Defender
Philadelphia Against War
Progressive Peace Coalition, Columbus Ohio
Queen Zakia Shabazz - Director, United Parents Against Lead National, Inc.
Radio Free Maine
Ralph Poynter, Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
Revolutionary Workers Group
Rhode Island Mobilization Committee
Roland Sheppard, Retired Business Agent Painters Local #4, San Francisco *
Rochester Against War
Ron Jacobs, writer
Saladin Muhammad - Founding Member, Black Workers for Justice
Sarah Roche-Mahdi, Code Pink Boston*
Saratoga Peace Alliance
Senior Action Network
Seth Farber, PhD., Institute of Mind and Behavior *
Sherry Wolf - International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Author Sexuality and Socialism
Siege Busters Working Group
Socialist Action
Socialist Organizer
Socialist Viewpoint
Solidarity Committee of the Capital District
Staten Island Council for Peace & Justice
Steve Scher, Breen Party of NYC 26 AD *
Stewart Robinson, Stop Targeting Ohio Poor *
Stop the Wars Coalition, Boston
Tarak Kauff, Veterans for Peace
The Campaign Against Sanctions & Military Intervention in Iran
The Thomas Merton Center Antiwar Committee
Twin Cities Peace Campaign
Upper Hudson Peace Action
Virginia Defender
West Hartford Citizens for Peace and Justice
WESPAC Foundation
Women against Military Madness
Women in Black, Westchester
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Pittsburgh
Workers International League
Workers World Party
Youth for International Socialism

To add yourself to the UNAC listserv, please send an email to:


[Some of these videos are embeded on the BAUAW website: or]


WikiLeaks Mirrors

Wikileaks is currently under heavy attack.

In order to make it impossible to ever fully remove Wikileaks from the Internet, you will find below a list of mirrors of Wikileaks website and CableGate pages.

Go to


Streaming TV from Egypt

Mr. ElBaradei, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for his work as the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said on Friday: "The Egyptian people will take care of themselves. The Egyptian people will be the ones who will make the change. We are not waiting for help or assistance from the outside world, but what I expect from the outside world is to practice what you preach, is to defend the rights of the Egyptian to their universal values."


Labor Beat: Labor Stands with Subpoenaed Activists Against FBI Raids and Grand Jury Investigation of antiwar and social justice activists.
"If trouble is not at your door. It's on it's way, or it just left."
"Investigate the Billionaires...Full investigation into Wall Street..." Jesse Sharkey, Vice President, Chicago Teachers Union


Michelle Alexander | January 7, 2011
The New Jim Crow/ The Drug War/ Mass Incarceration of Blacks


Georgia Man Fined $5000 for Growing Too Many Vegetables

kiss my taxed ass! Georgia Man Fined $5000 for Growing Vegetables


Oil Spill Commission Final Report: Catfish Responds


New antiwar song that's bound to be a classic:


by tommi avicolli mecca
(c) 2009
Credits are:
Tommi Avicolli Mecca, guitar/vocals
John Radogno, lead guitar
Diana Hartman, vocals, kazoo
Chris Weir, upright bass
Produced and recorded by Khalil Sullivan

I'm the recruiter and if truth be told/ I can lure the young and old

what I do you won't see/ til your kid's in JROTC

CHO ooh, put them in a box drape it with a flag and send them off to mom and dad

send them with a card from good ol' uncle sam, gee it's really just so sad

I'm the general and what I do/ is to teach them to be true

to god and country flag and oil/ by shedding their blood on foreign soil


I'm the corporate boss and well I know/ war is lots of dough dough dough

you won't find me over there/ they just ship the money right back here


last of all it's me the holy priest/ my part is not the least

I assure them it's god's will/ to go on out and kill kill kill


it's really just so sad


You might enjoy a bit of history:

William Buckley Show with Socialist Workers Party Presidential Candidates

William Buckley Show with Socialist Workers Party Presidential Candidates from asi somburu on Vimeo.


'CIA-created Frankenstein': US turns blind eye on terrorist?


Cathie Black Meets With Downtown Parents

Solution to Crowded Schools? How About Birth Control?
January 14, 2011, 4:55 pm


Wall Street Fat-Cats Flip Public Service Workers the Bird


Free Bradley Manning

Song for Bradley Manning


Supermax Prison Cell Extraction - Maine

Warning, this is an extremely brutal video. What do you think? Is this torture?


Rachel Maddow- New GOP scapegoat- public workers


Did You Know?


These videos refer to what happened at the G-20 Summit in Toronto June 26-27 of this year. The importance of this is that police were caught on tape and later confirmed that they sent police into the demonstration dressed as "rioting" protesters. One cop was caught with a large rock in his hand. Clearly, this is proof of police acting as agent provocatours. And we should expect this to continue and escalate. That's why everyone should be aware of these

police accused of attempting to incite violence at G20 summ
Protestors at Montebello are accusing police of trying to incite violence. Video on YouTube shows union officials confronting three men that were police officers dressing up as demonstrators. The union is demanding to know if the Prime Minister's Office was involved in trying to discredit the demonstrators.

quebec police admit going undercover at montebello protests


The Wars in "Vietnamistan!" (The name Daniel Ellsberg gave to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as quoted from the
Veterans for Peace White House Civil Disobedience to End War


John Pilger: Global Support for WikiLeaks is "Rebellion" Against U.S. Militarism, Secrecy
December 15, 2010


WikiLeaks founder concern for Manning


Newsnight: Bailed Julian Assange live interview (16Dec10)


Julian Assange: 'ongoing attempts to extradite me'


Published on Thursday, December 16, 2010 by Countdown With Keith Olbermann
Quantico, the New Gitmo


Domestic Espionage Alert - Houston PD to use surveillance drone in America!


15 year old Tells Establishment to Stick-it.




Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks




Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale


Flashmob: Cape Town Opera say NO


Video of massive French protest -- inspiring!


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




MECA Middle East Children's Alliance
Howard & Roslyn Zinn Presente! Honor Their Legacy By Providing Clean Water for Children in Gaza

Howard Zinn supported the work of the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) from the beginning. Over the years, he lent his name and his time countless times to support our work. Howard and Roz were both personal friends of mine and Howard helped MECA raise funds for our projects for children in Palestine by coming to the Bay Area and doing events for us.

On the first anniversary of Howard's passing, I hope you will join MECA in celebrating these two extraordinary individuals.

- Barbara Lubin, Executive Director
YES! I want to help MECA build a water purification and desalination unit at the Khan Younis Co-ed Elementary School for 1,400 students in Gaza in honor of Howard & Roslyn Zinn.


Lucasville Hunger Strike Ended, Some Demands Met
From: Freedom Archives
Denis O'Hearn 4:33pm Jan 15
Facebook Questions and comments may be sent to

Folks, I have a short report on today's rally at OSP in support of the three men on hunger strike. But, first, I can now report to you the wonderful news that all three have resumed eating because they achieved a victory. The prison authorities have provided, in writing, a set of conditions that virtually meets the demands set out by Bomani Shakur in his letter to Warden Bobby, provided elsewhere on this site.

The hunger strikers send you all thanks for your support and state that they couldn‚t have won their demands without support from people from around the world. But they add to their statement the following: this time they were fighting about their conditions of confinement but now they begin the fight for their lives. They were wrongfully convicted of complicity in 1993 murders in Lucasville prison and have faced retribution because they refused to provide snitch testimony against others who actually committed those murders. Now, because of Ohio's (and other states') application of the death penalty, they still face execution at a future date. Ohio is today exceeded only by Texas in its enthusiasm for applying the death penalty. We need to take some of this energy that was created around the hunger strike to help these men fight for their lives.

So, we may celebrate a great victory for now. Common sense has prevailed in a dark place where there appeared to be no light. But watch this space for further news on their ongoing campaign.

I hope to share a copy of the Ohio prison authorities' written statement that ended this hunger strike in a short time.

As Bomani has told me many times,
It ain't over...

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977 Questions and comments may be sent to


Call for EMERGENCY RESPONSE Action if Assange Indicted,

Dear Friends:

We write in haste, trying to reach as many of you as possible although the holiday break has begun.......This plan for an urgent "The Day After" demonstration is one we hope you and many, many more organizations will take up as your own, and mobilize for. World Can't Wait asks you to do all you can to spread it through list serves, Facebook, twitter, holiday gatherings.

Our proposal is very very simple, and you can use the following announcement to mobilize - or write your own....


An emergency public demonstration THE DAY AFTER any U.S. criminal indictment is announced against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Spread the word and call people to come out, across the whole range of movements and groups: anti-war, human rights, freedom of information/freedom of the press, peace, anti-torture, environmental, students and youth, radicals and revolutionaries, religious, civil liberties, teachers and educators, journalists, anti-imperialists, anti-censorship, anti-police state......

At the Federal Building in San Francisco, we'll form ourselves into a human chain "surrounding" the government that meets the Wikileaked truth with repression and wants to imprison and silence leakers, whistleblowers and truthtellers - when, in fact, these people are heroes. We'll say:


New Federal Building, 7th and Mission, San Francisco (nearest BART: Civic Center)
4:00-6:00 PM on The Day FOLLOWING U.S. indictment of Assange

Bring all your friends - signs and banners - bullhorns.

Those who dare at great risk to themselves to put the truth in the hands of the people - and others who might at this moment be thinking about doing more of this themselves -- need to see how much they are supported, and that despite harsh repression from the government and total spin by the mainstream media, the people do want the truth told.

Brad Manning's Christmas Eve statement was just released by his lawyer: "Pvt. Bradley Manning, the lone soldier who stands accused of stealing millions of pages secret US government documents and handing them over to secrets outlet WikiLeaks, wants his supporters to know that they've meant a lot to him. 'I greatly appreciate everyone's support and well wishes during this time,' he said in a Christmas Eve statement released by his lawyer...." Read more here:

Demonstrations defending Wikileaks and Assange, and Brad Manning, have already been flowering around the world. Make it happen here too.
Especially here . . .

To join into this action plan, or with questions, contact World Can't Wait or whichever organization or listserve you received this message from.

World Can't Wait, SF Bay


Email received from Lynne Stewart:
12/19/10; 12:03pm

Dear Folks:
Some nuts and bolts and trivia,

1. New Address
Lynne Stewart #53504 - 054
Unit 2N
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TEXAS 76127

2. Visiting is very liberal but first I have to get people on my visiting list Wait til I or the lawyers let you know. The visits are FRI, SAT, SUN AND MON for 4 hours and on weekends 8 to 3. Bring clear plastic change purse with lots of change to buy from the machines. Brief Kiss upon arrival and departure, no touching or holding during visit (!!) On visiting forms it may be required that you knew me before I came to prison. Not a problem for most of you.

3. One hour time difference

4. Commissary Money is always welcome It is how I pay for the phone and for email. Also need it for a lot that prison doesn't supply in terms of food and "sundries" (pens!) A very big list that includes Raisins, Salad Dressing , ankle sox, mozzarella (definitely not from Antonys--more like a white cheddar, Sanitas Corn Chips but no Salsa etc. To add money, you do this by using Western Union and a credit card by phone or you can send a USPO money order or Business or Govt Check. The negotiable instruments (PAPER!) need to be sent to Federal Bureau of Prisons , 53504-054, Lynne Stewart, PO Box 474701, Des Moines Iowa 50947-001 (Payable to Lynne Stewart, 53504-054) They hold the mo or checks for 15 days. Western Union costs $10 but is within 2 hours. If you mail, your return address must be on the envelope. Unnecessarily complicated ? Of course, it's the BOP !)

5. Food is vastly improved. Just had Sunday Brunch real scrambled eggs, PORK sausage, Baked or home fried potatoes, Butter(sweet whipped M'God !!) Grapefruit juice Toast , orange. I will probably regain the weight I lost at MCC! Weighing against that is the fact that to eat we need to walk to another building (about at far as from my house to the F Train) Also included is 3 flights of stairs up and down. May try to get an elevator pass and try NOT to use it.

6. In a room with 4 bunks(small) about two tiers of rooms with same with "atrium" in middle with tv sets and tables and chairs. Estimate about 500 on Unit 2N and there are 4 units. Population Black, Mexicano and other spanish speaking (all of whom iron their underwear, Marta), White, Native Americans (few), no orientals or foreign speaking caucasians--lots are doing long bits, victims of drugs (meth etc) and boyfriends. We wear army style (khaki) pants with pockets tee shirts and dress shirts long sleeved and short sleeved. When one of the women heard that I hadn't ironed in 40 years, they offered to do the shirts for me. (This is typical of the help I get--escorted to meals and every other protection, explanations, supplies, etc. Mostly from white women.) One drawback is not having a bathroom in the room---have to go about 75 yards at all hours of the day and night --clean though.

7. Final Note--the sunsets and sunrises are gorgeous, the place is very open and outdoors there are pecan trees and birds galore (I need books for trees and birds (west) The full moon last night gladdened my heart as I realized it was shining on all of you I hold dear.

Love Struggle

The address of her Defense Committee is:

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York 11216
For further information:
718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759

Please make a generous contribution to her defense.


Help end the inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning!

Bradley Manning Support Network. December 22, 2010

The Marine Brig at Quantico, Virginia is using "injury prevention" as a vehicle to inflict extreme pre-trial punishment on accused Wikileaks whistleblower Army PFC Bradley Manning (photo right). These "maximum conditions" are not unheard-of during an inmate's first week at a military confinement facility, but when applied continuously for months and with no end in sight they amount to a form of torture. Bradley, who just turned 23-years-old last week, has been held in solitary confinement since his arrest in late May. We're now turning to Bradley's supporters worldwide to directly protest, and help bring a halt to, the extremely punitive conditions of Bradley's pre-trial detention.

We need your help in pressing the following demands:

End the inhumane, degrading conditions of pre-trial confinement and respect Bradley's human rights. Specifically, lift the "Prevention of Injury (POI) watch order". This would allow Bradley meaningful physical exercise, uninterrupted sleep during the night, and a release from isolation. We are not asking for "special treatment". In fact, we are demanding an immediate end to the special treatment.

Quantico Base Commander
Colonel Daniel Choike
3250 Catlin Ave, Quantico VA 22134
+1-703-784-2707 (phone)

Quantico Brig Commanding Officer
CWO4 James Averhart
3247 Elrod Ave, Quantico VA 22134
+1-703-784-4242 (fax)


In the wake of an investigative report last week by Glenn Greenwald of giving evidence that Bradley Manning was subject to "detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries", Bradley's attorney, David Coombs, published an article at his website on Saturday entitled "A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning". Mr. Coombs details the maximum custody conditions that Bradley is subject to at the Quantico Confinement Facility and highlights an additional set of restrictions imposed upon him under a Prevention of Injury (POI) watch order.

Usually enforced only through a detainee's first week at a confinement facility, or in cases of violent and/or suicidal inmates, the standing POI order has severely limited Manning's access to exercise, daylight and human contact for the past five months. The military's own psychologists assigned to Quantico have recommended that the POI order and the extra restrictions imposed on Bradley be lifted.

Despite not having been convicted of any crime or even yet formally indicted, the confinement regime Bradley lives under includes pronounced social isolation and a complete lack of opportunities for meaningful exercise. Additionally, Bradley's sleep is regularly interrupted. Coombs writes: "The guards are required to check on Manning every five minutes [...] At night, if the guards cannot see PFC Manning clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure he is okay."

Denver Nicks writes in The Daily Beast that "[Bradley Manning's] attorney [...] says the extended isolation - now more than seven months of solitary confinement - is weighing on his client's psyche. [...] Both Coombs and Manning's psychologist, Coombs says, are sure Manning is mentally healthy, that there is no evidence he's a threat to himself, and shouldn't be held in such severe conditions under the artifice of his own protection."

In an article to be published at later today, David House, a friend of Bradley's who visits him regularly at Quantico, says that Bradley "has not been outside or into the brig yard for either recreation or exercise in four full weeks. He related that visits to the outdoors have been infrequent and sporadic for the past several months."

In an average military court martial situation, a defense attorney would be able to bring these issues of pre-trial punishment to the military judge assigned to the case (known as an Article 13 hearing). However, the military is unlikely to assign a judge to Bradley's case until the pre-trial Article 32 hearing is held (similar to an arraignment in civilian court), and that is not expected until February, March, or later-followed by the actual court martial trial months after that. In short, you are Bradley's best and most immediate hope.

What can you do?

Contact the Marine Corps officers above and respectfully, but firmly, ask that they lift the extreme pre-trial confinement conditions against Army PFC Bradley Manning.
Forward this urgent appeal for action widely.
Sign the "Stand with Brad" public petition and letter campaign at - Sign online, and we'll mail out two letters on your behalf to Army officials.

Donate to Bradley's defense fund at

"The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention", by Glenn Greenwald for, 15 December 2010

"A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning", by attorney David E. Coombs, 18 December 2010

"Bradley Manning's Life Behind Bars", by Denver Nicks for the Daily Beast, 17 December 2010

Bradley Manning Support Network

Courage To Resist
484 Lake Park Ave. #41
Oakland, CA 94610


KOREA: Emergency Response Actions Needed

The United National Antiwar Committee urges the antiwar movement to begin to plan now for Emergency 5pm Day-of or Day-after demonstrations, should fighting break out on the Korean Peninsula or its surrounding waters.

As in past war crisis and U.S. attacks we propose:
NYC -- Times Square, Washington, D.C. -- the White House
In Many Cities - Federal Buildings

Many tens of thousands of U.S., Japanese and South Korean troops are mobilized on land and on hundreds of warships and aircraft carriers. The danger of a general war in Asia is acute.

China and Russia have made it clear that the scheduled military maneuvers and live-fire war "exercises" from an island right off the coast of north Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) by South Korea are very dangerous. The DPRK has made it clear that they consider these live-fire war exercises to be an act of war and they will again respond if they are again fired on.

The U.S. deployment of thousands of troops, ships, and aircraft in the area while South Korea is firing thousands of rounds of live ammunition and missiles is an enormously dangerous provocation, not only to the DPRK but to China. The Yellow Sea also borders China. The island and the waters where the war maneuvers are taking place are north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone and only eight miles from the coast of the DPRK.

On Sunday, December 19 in a day-long emergency session, the U.S. blocked in the UN Security Council any actions to resolve the crisis.

UNAC action program passed in Albany at the United National Antiwar Conference, July 2010 of over 800 antiwar, social justice and community organizations included the following Resolution on Korea:

15. In solidarity with the antiwar movements of Japan and Korea, each calling for U.S. Troops to Get Out Now, and given the great increase in U.S. military preparations against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, National Peace Conference participants will organize immediate protests following any attack by the U.S. on Korea. U.S. war preparations include stockpiling hundreds of bunker-busters and conducting major war games near the territorial waters of China and Korea. In keeping with our stand for the right of self-determination and our demand of Out Now, the National Peace Conference calls for Bringing All U.S. Troops Home Now!

UNAC urges the whole antiwar movement to begin to circulate messages alerts now in preparation. Together let's join together and demand: Bring all U.S. Troops Home Now! Stop the Wars and the Threats of War.

The United National Antiwar Committee,


In earnest support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange:

We here undersigned express our support for the work and integrity of Julian Assange. We express concern that the charges against the WikiLeaks founder appear too convenient both in terms of timing and the novelty of their nature.

We call for this modern media innovator, and fighter for human rights extraordinaire, to be afforded the same rights to defend himself before Swedish justice that all others similarly charged might expect, and that his liberty not be compromised as a courtesy to those governments whose truths he has revealed have embarrassed.


GAP Inc: End Your Relationship with Supplier that Allows Workers to be Burned Alive



A handful of East Bay organizations have put together an open letter to the strikers. If your organization would like to become a signatory, you can email me to put you on it you and can do so here.

A Letter to the Prisoners on Strike in Georgia,

We, as members of activist and community organizations in the Bay Area of California, send our support for your strike against the terrible conditions you face in Georgia's prisons. We salute you for making history as your strike has become the largest prison strike in the history of this nation. As steadfast defenders of human and civil rights, we recognize the potential that your action has to improve the lives of millions subject to inhumane treatment in correctional facilities across this country.

Every single day, prisoners face the same deplorable and unnecessarily punitive conditions that you have courageously decided to stand up against. For too long, this nation has chosen silence in the face of the gross injustices that our brothers and sisters in prison are subjected to. Your fight against these injustices is a necessary and righteous struggle that must be carried out to victory.

We have heard about the brutal acts that Georgia Department of Corrections officers have been resorting to as a means of breaking your protest and we denounce them. In order to put a stop to the violence to which you have been subjected, we are in the process of contacting personnel at the different prison facilities and circulating petitions addressed to the governor and the Georgia DOC. We will continue to expose the DOC's shameless physical attacks on you and use our influence to call for an immediate end to the violence.

Here, in the Bay Area, we are all too familiar with the violence that this system is known to unleash upon our people. Recently, our community erupted in protest over the killing of an unarmed innocent black man named Oscar Grant by transit police in Oakland. We forced the authorities to arrest and convict the police officer responsible for Grant's murder by building up a mass movement. We intend to win justice with you and stop the violent repression of your peaceful protest in the same way-by appealing to the power and influence of the masses.

We fully support all of your demands. We strongly identify with your demand for expanded educational opportunities. In recent years, our state government has been initiating a series of massive cuts to our system of public education that continue to endanger our right to a quality, affordable education; in response, students all across our state have stood up and fought back just as you are doing now. In fact, students and workers across the globe have begun to organize and fight back against austerity measures and the corresponding violence of the state. Just in the past few weeks in Greece, Ireland, Spain, England, Italy, Haiti, Puerto Rico - tens and hundreds of thousands of students and workers have taken to the streets. We, as a movement, are gaining momentum and we do so even more as our struggles are unified and seen as interdependent. At times we are discouraged; it may seem insurmountable, but in the words of Malcolm X, "Power in defense of freedom is greater than power on behalf of tyranny and oppression."

You have inspired us. News of your strike, from day one, has served to inspire and invigorate hundreds of students and community organizers here in Berkeley and Oakland alone. We are especially inspired by your ability to organize across color lines and are interested in hearing an account from the inside of how this process developed and was accomplished. You have also encouraged us to take more direct actions toward radical prison reform in our own communities, namely Santa Rita County Jail and San Quentin Prison. We are now beginning the process of developing a similar set of demands regarding expediting processing (can take 20-30 hours to get a bed, they call it "bullpen therapy"), nutrition, visiting and phone calls, educational services, legal support, compensation for labor and humane treatment in general. We will also seek to unify the education and prison justice movements by collaborating with existing organizations that have been engaging in this work.

We echo your call: No more Slavery! Injustice to one is injustice to all!

In us, students, activists, the community members and people of the Bay Area, you have an ally. We will continue to spread the news about your cause all over the Bay Area and California, the country and world. We pledge to do everything in our power to make sure your demands are met.

In solidarity,
UC-Berkeley Student Worker Action Team (SWAT) _ Community Action Project (CAP) _ La Voz de los Trabajadores _ Laney College Student Unity & Power (SUP) _ Laney College Black Student Union (BSU)


In Solidarity
By Kevin Cooper

On Thursday, December 9, 2010, the inmates in the state of Georgia sat down in unity and peace in order to stand up for their human rights.

African American, White, and Latino inmates put aside their differences, if they had any, and came together as a 'People' fighting for their humanity in a system that dehumanizes all of them.

For this they have my utmost respect and appreciation and support. I am in true solidarity with them all!

For further information about Kevin Cooper:

Reasonable doubts about executing Kevin Cooper
Chronicle Editorial
Monday, December 13, 2010

Death penalty -- Kevin Cooper is Innocent! Help save his life from San Quentin's death row!
- From Amnesty International USA
17 December 2010
Click here to take action online:

To learn about recent Urgent Action successes and updates, go to

For a print-friendly version of this Urgent Action (PDF):

Kevin Cooper, who has been on death row in California for 25 years, is asking the outgoing state governor to commute his death sentence before leaving office on 2 January 2011. Kevin Cooper has consistently maintained his innocence of the four murders for which he was sentenced to death. Since 2004, a dozen federal appellate judges have indicated their doubts about his guilt.

On the night of 4 June 1983, Douglas and Peggy Ryen were hacked and stabbed to death in their home in Chino Hills, California, along with their 10-year-old daughter Jessica and 11-year-old houseguest Christopher Hughes. The couple's eight-year-old son, Joshua Ryen, was seriously wounded, but survived. He told investigators that the attackers were three or four white men. In hospital, he saw a picture of Kevin Cooper on television and said that Cooper, who is black, was not the attacker. However, the boy's later testimony - that he only saw one attacker - was introduced at the 1985 trial. The case has many other troubling aspects which call into question the reliability of the state's case and its conduct in obtaining this conviction (see

Kevin Cooper was less than eight hours from execution in 2004 when the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted a stay and sent the case back to the District Court for testing on blood and hair evidence, including to establish if the police had planted evidence. The District Court ruled in 2005 that the testing had not proved Kevin Cooper's innocence - his lawyers (and five Ninth Circuit judges) maintain that it did not do the testing as ordered. Nevertheless, in 2007, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit upheld the District Court's ruling. One of the judges described the result as "wholly discomforting" because of evidence tampering and destruction, but noted that she was constrained by US law, which places substantial obstacles in the way of successful appeals.

In 2009, the Ninth Circuit refused to have the whole court rehear the case. Eleven of its judges dissented. One of the dissenting opinions, running to more than 80 pages and signed by five judges, warned that "the State of California may be about to execute an innocent man". On the question of the evidence testing, they said: "There is no way to say this politely. The district court failed to provide Cooper a fair hearing and...imposed unreasonable conditions on the testing" ordered by the Ninth Circuit. They pointed to a test result that, if valid, indicated that evidence had been planted, and they asserted that the district court had blocked further scrutiny of this issue.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had already denied clemency in 2004 when the Ninth Circuit issued its stay. At the time, he had said that the "courts have reviewed this case for more than eighteen years. Evidence establishing his guilt is overwhelming". Clearly, a notable number of federal judges disagree. The five judges in the Ninth Circuit's lengthy dissent in 2009 stated that the evidence of Kevin Cooper's guilt at his trial was "quite weak" and concluded that he "is probably innocent of the crimes for which the State of California is about to execute him".

On 2 June 1983, two days before the Chino Hills murders, Kevin Cooper had escaped from a minimum security prison, where he was serving a four-year term for burglary, and had hidden in an empty house near the Ryen home for two nights. After his arrest, he became the focus of public hatred. Outside the venue of his preliminary hearing, for example, people hung an effigy of a monkey in a noose with a sign reading "Hang the Nigger!!" At the time of the trial, jurors were confronted by graffiti declaring "Die Kevin Cooper" and "Kevin Cooper Must Be Hanged". Kevin Cooper pleaded not guilty - the jury deliberated for seven days before convicting him - and he has maintained his innocence since then. Since Governor Schwarzenegger denied clemency in 2004, more evidence supporting Kevin Cooper's claim of innocence has emerged, including for example, testimony from three witnesses who say they saw three white men near the crime scene on the night of the murders with blood on them.

In 2007, Judge Margaret McKeown was the member of the Ninth Circuit's three-judge panel who indicated that she was upholding the District Court's 2005 ruling despite her serious concerns. She wrote: "Significant evidence bearing on Cooper's guilt has been lost, destroyed or left unpursued, including, for example, blood-covered coveralls belonging to a potential suspect who was a convicted murderer, and a bloody t-shirt, discovered alongside the road near the crime scene. The managing criminologist in charge of the evidence used to establish Cooper's guilt at trial was, as it turns out, a heroin addict, and was fired for stealing drugs seized by the police. Countless other alleged problems with the handling and disclosure of evidence and the integrity of the forensic testing and investigation undermine confidence in the evidence". She continued that "despite the presence of serious questions as to the integrity of the investigation and evidence supporting the conviction, we are constrained by the requirements of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA)". Judge McKeown wrote that "the habeas process does not account for lingering doubt or new evidence that cannot leap the clear and convincing hurdle of AEDPA. Instead, we are left with a situation in which confidence in the blood sample is murky at best, and lost, destroyed or tampered evidence cannot be factored into the final analysis of doubt. The result is wholly discomforting, but one that the law demands".

Even if it is correct that the AEDPA demands this result, the power of executive clemency is not so confined. Last September, for example, the governor of Ohio commuted Kevin Keith's death sentence because of doubts about his guilt even though his death sentence had been upheld on appeal (see Governor Ted Strickland said that despite circumstantial evidence linking the condemned man to the crime, "many legitimate questions have been raised regarding the evidence in support of the conviction and the investigation which led to it. In particular, Mr Keith's conviction relied upon the linking of certain eyewitness testimony with certain forensic evidence about which important questions have been raised. I also find the absence of a full investigation of other credible suspects troubling." The same could be said in the case of Kevin Cooper, whose lawyer is asking Governor Schwarzenegger to commute the death sentence before he leaves office on 2 January 2011. While Kevin Cooper does not yet have an execution date, it is likely that one will be set, perhaps early in 2011.

More than 130 people have been released from death rows on grounds of innocence in the USA since 1976. At the original trial in each case, the defendant had been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It is clear beyond any dispute that the USA's criminal justice system is capable of making mistakes. International safeguards require that the death penalty not be imposed if guilt is not "based upon clear and convincing evidence leaving no room for an alternative explanation of the facts". Amnesty International opposes all executions regardless of the seriousness of the crime or the guilt or innocence of the condemned.

California has the largest death row in the USA, with more than 700 prisoners under sentence of death out of a national total of some 3,200. California accounts for 13 of the 1,234 executions in the USA since judicial killing resumed there in 1977. There have been 46 executions in the USA this year. The last execution in California was in January 2006.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:
- Acknowledging the seriousness of the crime for which Kevin Cooper was sentenced to death;
- Urging Governor Schwarzenegger to take account of the continuing doubts about Kevin Cooper's guilt, including as expressed by more than 10 federal judges since 2004, when executive clemency was last requested;
- Urging the Governor to commute Kevin Cooper's death sentence.


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA 95814, USA
Fax: 1 916-558-3160
Email: or via
Salutation : Dear Governor

Check with the AIUSA Urgent Action office if sending appeals after 2 January 2011.

Tip of the Month:
Write as soon as you can. Try to write as close as possible to the date a case is issued.

Within the United States:
$0.28 - Postcards
$0.44 - Letters and Cards (up to 1 oz.)
To Canada:
$0.75 - Postcards
$0.75 - Airmail Letters and Cards (up to 1 oz.)
To Mexico:
$0.79 - Postcards
$0.79 - Airmail Letters and Cards (up to 1 oz.)
To all other destination countries:
$0.98 - Postcards
$0.98 - Airmail Letters and Cards (up to 1 oz.)

Amnesty International is a worldwide grassroots movement that promotes and defends human rights.

This Urgent Action may be reposted if kept intact, including contact information and stop action date (if applicable). Thank you for your help with this appeal.

Urgent Action Network
Amnesty International USA
600 Pennsylvania Ave SE 5th fl
Washington DC 20003
Phone: 202.509.8193
Fax: 202.675.8566


Free the Children of Palestine!
Sign Petition:

Published by Al-Awda, Palestine Right to Return Coalition on Dec 16, 2010
Category: Children's Rights
Region: GLOBAL
Target: President Obama
Web site:

Background (Preamble):

According to Israeli police, 1200 Palestinian children have been arrested, interrogated and imprisoned in the occupied city of Jerusalem alone this year. The youngest of these children was seven-years old.

Children and teen-agers were often dragged out of their beds in the middle of the night, taken in handcuffs for questioning, threatened, humiliated and many were subjected to physical violence while under arrest as part of an ongoing campaign against the children of Palestine. Since the year 2000, more than 8000 have been arrested by Israel, and reports of mistreatment are commonplace.

Further, based on sworn affidavits collected in 2009 from 100 of these children, lawyers working in the occupied West Bank with Defense Children International, a Geneva-based non governmental organization, found that 69% were beaten and kicked, 49% were threatened, 14% were held in solitary confinement, 12% were threatened with sexual assault, including rape, and 32% were forced to sign confessions written in Hebrew, a language they do not understand.

Minors were often asked to give names and incriminate friends and relatives as a condition of their release. Such institutionalized and systematic mistreatment of Palestinian children by the state of Israel is a violation international law and specifically contravenes the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Israel is supposedly a signatory.


We, the undersigned call on US President Obama to direct Israel to

1. Stop all the night raids and arrests of Palestinian Children forthwith.

2. Immediately release all Palestinian children detained in its prisons and detention centers.

3. End all forms of systematic and institutionalized abuse against all Palestinian children.

4. Implement the full restoration of Palestinian children's rights in accordance with international law including, but not limited to, their right to return to their homes of origin, to education, to medical and psychological care, and to freedom of movement and expression.

The US government, which supports Israel to the tune of billions of taxpayer dollars a year while most ordinary Americans are suffering in a very bad economy, is bound by its laws and international conventions to cut off all aid to Israel until it ends all of its violations of human rights and basic freedoms in a verifiable manner.


"Secret diplomacy is a necessary tool for a propertied minority, which is compelled to deceive the majority in order to subject it to its interests."..."Publishing State Secrets" By Leon Trotsky
Documents on Soviet Policy, Trotsky, iii, 2 p. 64
November 22, 1917


To understand how much a trillion dollars is, consider looking at it in terms of time:

A million seconds would be about eleven-and-one-half days; a billion seconds would be 31 years; and a trillion seconds would be 31,000 years!

From the novel "A Dark Tide," by Andrew Gross

Now think of it in terms of U.S. war dollars and bankster bailouts!


Your Year-End Gift for the Children
Double your impact with this matching gift opportunity!

Dear Friend of the Children,

You may have recently received a letter from me via regular mail with a review of the important things you helped MECA accomplish for the children in 2010, along with a special Maia Project decal.

My letter to you also included an announcement of MECA's first ever matching gift offer. One of our most generous supporters will match all gifts received by December 31. 2010 to a total of $35,000.

So, whether you are a long time supporter, or giving for the first-time... Whether you can give $10 or $1,000... This is a unique opportunity to double the impact of your year-end gift!
Your contribution will be matched dollar for dollar, making it go twice as far so that MECA can:

* Install twenty more permanent drinking water units in Gaza schools though our Maia Project
* Continue our work with Playgrounds for Palestine to complete a community park in the besieged East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, where violent Israeli settlers attack children and adults, Israeli police arrest the victims, and the city conducts "administrative demolitions" of Palestinian homes.
* Send a large medical aid shipment to Gaza.
* Renew support for "Let the Children Play and Heal," a program in Gaza to help children cope with trauma and grief through arts programs, referrals to therapists, educational materials for families and training for mothers.

Your support for the Middle East Children's Alliance's delivers real, often life-saving, help. And it does more than that. It sends a message of hope and solidarity to Palestine-showing the people that we are standing beside them as they struggle to bring about a better life for their children.

With warm regards,
Barbara Lubin
Founder and Director

P.S. Please give as much as you possible can, and please make your contribution now, so it will be doubled. Thank you so much.

P.S.S. If you didn't receive a MAIA Project decal in the mail or if you would like another one, please send an email message to with "MAIA Project decal" in the subject line when you make your contribution.

To make a gift by mail send to:
MECA, 1101 8th Street, Berkley, CA 94710

To make a gift by phone, please call MECA's off at: 510-548-0542

To "GO PAPERLESS" and receive all your MECA communications by email, send a message to with "Paperless" in the subject line.


For Immediate Release
Antiwar movement supports Wikileaks and calls for and independent, international investigation of the crimes that have been exposed. We call for the release of Bradley Manning and the end to the harassment of Julian Assange.
For more information: Joe Lombardo, 518-281-1968,,

Antiwar movement supports Wikileaks and calls for and independent, international investigation of the crimes that have been exposed. We call for the release of Bradley Manning and the end to the harassment of Julian Assange.

The United National Antiwar Committee (UNAC) calls for the release of Bradley Manning who is awaiting trial accused of leaking the material to Wikileaks that has been released over the past several months. We also call for an end to the harassment of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks and we call for an independent, international investigation of the illegal activity exposed through the material released by Wikileaks.

Before sending the material to Wikileaks, Bradley Manning tried to get his superiors in the military to do something about what he understood to be clear violations of international law. His superiors told him to keep quiet so Manning did the right thing; he exposed the illegal activity to the world.

The Afghan material leaked earlier shows military higher-ups telling soldiers to kill enemy combatants who were trying to surrender. The Iraq Wikileaks video from 2007 shows the US military killing civilians and news reporters from a helicopter while laughing about it. The widespread corruption among U.S. allies has been exposed by the most recent leaks of diplomatic cables. Yet, instead of calling for change in these policies, we hear only a call to suppress further leaks.

At the national antiwar conference held in Albany in July, 2010, at which UNAC was founded, we heard from Ethan McCord, one of the soldiers on the ground during the helicopter attack on the civilians in Iraq exposed by Wikileaks (see: ). He talked about removing wounded children from a civilian vehicle that the US military had shot up. It affected him so powerfully that he and another soldier who witnessed the massacre wrote a letter of apology to the families of the civilians who were killed.

We ask why this material was classified in the first place. There were no state secrets in the material, only evidence of illegal and immoral activity by the US military, the US government and its allies. To try to cover this up by classifying the material is a violation of our right to know the truth about these wars. In this respect, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange should be held up as heroes, not hounded for exposing the truth.

UNAC calls for an end to the illegal and immoral policies exposed by Wikileaks and an immediate end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and an end to threats against Iran and North Korea.


Courage to Resist needs your support
By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist.

It's been quite a ride the last four months since we took up the defense of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower Bradley Manning. Since then, we helped form the Bradley Manning Support Network, established a defense fund, and have already paid over half of Bradley's total $100,000 in estimated legal expenses.

Now, I'm asking for your support of Courage to Resist so that we can continue to support not only Bradley, but the scores of other troops who are coming into conflict with military authorities due to reasons of conscience.

Please donate today:

"Soldiers sworn oath is to defend and support the Constitution. Bradley Manning has been defending and supporting our Constitution."
-Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower

Iraq War over? Afghanistan occupation winding down? Not from what we see. Please take a look at, "Soldier Jeff Hanks refuses deployment, seeks PTSD help" in our December newsletter. Jeff's situation is not isolated. Actually, his story is only unique in that he has chosen to share it with us in the hopes that it may result in some change. Jeff's case also illustrates the importance of Iraq Veterans Against the War's new "Operation Recovery" campaign which calls for an end to the deployment of traumatized troops.

Most of the folks who call us for help continue to be effected by Stoploss, a program that involuntarily extends enlistments (despite Army promises of its demise), or the Individual Ready Reserve which recalls thousands of former Soldiers and Marines quarterly from civilian life.

Another example of our efforts is Kyle Wesolowski. After returning from Iraq, Kyle submitted an application for a conscientious objector discharge based on his Buddhist faith. Kyle explains, "My experience of physical threats, religious persecution, and general abuse seems to speak of a system that appears to be broken.... It appears that I have no other recourse but to now refuse all duties that prepare myself for war or aid in any way shape or form to other soldiers in conditioning them to go to war." We believe he shouldn't have to walk this path alone.

Jeff Paterson
Project Director, Courage to Resist
First US military service member to refuse to fight in Iraq
Please donate today.

P.S. I'm asking that you consider a contribution of $50 or more, or possibly becoming a sustainer at $15 a month. Of course, now is also a perfect time to make a end of year tax-deductible donation. Thanks again for your support!

Please click here to forward this to a friend who might
also be interested in supporting GI resisters.


Add your name! We stand with Bradley Manning.

"We stand for truth, for government transparency, and for an end to our tax-dollars funding endless occupation abroad... We stand with accused whistle-blower US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning."

Dear All,

The Bradley Manning Support Network and Courage to Resist are launching a new campaign, and we wanted to give you a chance to be among the first to add your name to this international effort. If you sign the letter online, we'll print out and mail two letters to Army officials on your behalf. With your permission, we may also use your name on the online petition and in upcoming media ads.

Read the complete public letter and add your name at:

Courage to Resist (
on behalf of the Bradley Manning Support Network (
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610


Committee to Stop FBI Repression
P.O. Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Dear Friend,

On Friday, September 24th, the FBI raided homes in Chicago and Minneapolis, and turned the Anti-War Committee office upside down. We were shocked. Our response was strong however and we jumped into action holding emergency protests. When the FBI seized activists' personal computers, cell phones, and papers claiming they were investigating "material support for terrorism", they had no idea there would be such an outpouring of support from the anti-war movement across this country! Over 61 cities protested, with crowds of 500 in Minneapolis and Chicago. Activists distributed 12,000 leaflets at the One Nation Rally in Washington D.C. Supporters made thousands of calls to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. Solidarity statements from community organizations, unions, and other groups come in every day. By organizing against the attacks, the movement grows stronger.

At the same time, trusted lawyers stepped up to form a legal team and mount a defense. All fourteen activists signed letters refusing to testify. So Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Fox withdrew the subpoenas, but this is far from over. In fact, the repression is just starting. The FBI continues to question activists at their homes and work places. The U.S. government is trying to put people in jail for anti-war and international solidarity activism and there is no indication they are backing off. The U.S. Attorney has many options and a lot of power-he may re-issue subpoenas, attempt to force people to testify under threat of imprisonment, or make arrests.

To be successful in pushing back this attack, we need your donation. We need you to make substantial contributions like $1000, $500, and $200. We understand many of you are like us, and can only afford $50, $20, or $10, but we ask you to dig deep. The legal bills can easily run into the hundreds of thousands. We are all united to defend a movement for peace and justice that seeks friendship with people in other countries. These fourteen anti-war activists have done nothing wrong, yet their freedom is at stake.

It is essential that we defend our sisters and brothers who are facing FBI repression and the Grand Jury process. With each of your contributions, the movement grows stronger.

Please make a donation today at (PayPal) on the right side of your screen. Also you can write to:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
P.O. Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414

This is a critical time for us to stand together, defend free speech, and defend those who help to organize for peace and justice, both at home and abroad!

Thank you for your generosity! Tom Burke


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Thank you for your generosity!


Support the troops who refuse to fight!


D. ARTICLES IN FULL (Unless otherwise noted)


1) Egyptians' Fury Has Raged Beneath the Surface for Decades
"Nearly half of all Egyptians live on $2 a day, or less. Last spring, the United Nations' Children's Fund reported that the number of children living in poor households was increasing. The report said that despite the economic growth, which took place before the global economic crisis, by 2009, 'the number of poor households with children exceeded 1996 levels.' The report added that 23 percent of children under the age of 15 years in Egypt were living in poverty. In Upper Egypt, the report said that 45.3 percent of the children were living in poverty."
January 28, 2011

2) Wall Street Indexes Fall on Concerns About Egypt
January 28, 2011

3) In Tunisia, luxurious lifestyles of a corrupt government
By Sudarsan Raghavan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, January 28, 2011; 7:50 AM

4) "Creech 14" found guilty of trespassing, judge says "go in peace"
by Dave Toplikar
The Las Vegas Sun

5) Egypt Leaves the Internet
"Not an automated system that takes all providers down at once; instead, the incumbent leads and other providers follow meekly one by one until Egypt is silenced."
By James Cowie

6) Revealed: story of Israeli troops told to 'cleanse' Gaza
Exclusive: Israeli soldiers tell Channel 4 News they were ordered to "cleanse" Palestinian neighbourhoods, as filmmaker Nurit Kedar says "the atmosphere was that nobody should talk about this war."
Wednesday 26 January 2011

7) Egypt Calls In Army as Protesters Rage
January 28, 2011

8) Egyptian Hopes Converged in Fight for Cairo Bridge
January 28, 2011

9) Egypt Protests Continue as Military Stands By
January 29, 2011

10) Washington and Mr. Mubarak
NYT Editorial
January 28, 2011

11) Egyptian Revolution. WikiLeaks. 1917. What’s the Connection?
By Chris Kinder
January 28, 2011
Via Email

12) FBI! Memphis SWAT unit! All for 20 people at a meeting!!
posted by T. Sheldon
January 26, 2011

13) The military and the media: Holding the cards in Egypt?
By Moni Basu, CNN
January 29, 2011 1:18 a.m. EST

14) Goldstone's Legacy for Israel
Naomi Klein
January 27, 2011

No More US Support to the Mubarak Dictatorship!
Hands off Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen!
For more information:,

16) New Bradley Manning public statement for New York Times full page ad.
The Bradley Manning Support Network ( ) has responded in part with with a new public statement, "We Stand with Bradley Manning." It will soon become a full page New York Times ad.


1) Egyptians' Fury Has Raged Beneath the Surface for Decades
"Nearly half of all Egyptians live on $2 a day, or less. Last spring, the United Nations' Children's Fund reported that the number of children living in poor households was increasing. The report said that despite the economic growth, which took place before the global economic crisis, by 2009, 'the number of poor households with children exceeded 1996 levels.' The report added that 23 percent of children under the age of 15 years in Egypt were living in poverty. In Upper Egypt, the report said that 45.3 percent of the children were living in poverty."
January 28, 2011

Events in Tunisia may have inspired the largest street protests ever to challenge President Hosni Mubarak's nearly three decades in power. But the anger fueling those protests is not new. It has been seething beneath the surface for many years, exploding at times, but never before in such widespread, sustained fury.

The grievances are economic, social, historic and deeply personal. Egyptians, like Tunisians, often speak of their dignity, which many said has been wounded by Mr. Mubarak's monopoly on power, his iron-fisted approach to security, and corruption that has been allowed to fester.

Even government allies and insiders have been quick to acknowledge that the protesters have legitimate grievances that need to be addressed.

"A portion of their demands are recognized as valid," said Abdel Moneim Said, a member of Mr. Mubarak's party and chairman of the Al-Ahram publishing house. "There is a problem, we don't know how to define it or deal with it, but that is something that should happen only through political means."

The protesters have demanded that Mr. Mubarak step down, that he dissolve parliament and hold free and fair elections, and that there be an end to corruption, demands flowing from years of pent-up frustration, Egyptians said.

"Egyptians are sick and tired of being corrupted and when you live on 300 pounds a month, you have one of two options, you either become a beggar or a thief," said Ghada Shabandar, a longtime human rights activist. (Three hundred Egyptian pounds is about $51.) "The people sent a message: 'We are not beggars and we do not want to become thieves.' "

All that anger has been focused on Mr. Mubarak, who has been in power for nearly three decades, and had appeared to be positioning his son, Gamal, a businessman and political leader, to inherit power.

"They hate Mubarak," said Steven Cook, an expert at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. "It has become this clogged police state. I think what has happened is that Tunisia has created this hope and possibility in people's minds, that with enough determination you can unseat an Arab dictator."

Over the years, Egyptians have demonstrated or complained publicly over multiple issues. These include:

Emergency Law

The government has maintained what it calls an Emergency Law, passed first in 1981 to combat terrorism after former President Anwar el-Sadat was assassinated. The law allows police to arrest people without charge, detain prisoners indefinitely, limit freedom of expression and assembly, and maintain a special security court. Last year the government promised that it would only use the law to combat terrorism and drug trafficking, but terrorism was defined so broadly as to render that promise largely meaningless, according to human rights activists and political prisoners.


The Egyptian police have a long and notorious track record of torture and cruelty to average citizens. One case that drew widespread international condemnation involved a cellphone video of the police sodomizing a driver with a broomstick. In June 2010, Alexandria erupted in protests over the fatal beating by police of beating Khaled Said, 28. The authorities said he died choking on a clump of marijuana, until a photograph emerged of his bloodied face. Just last month, a suspect being questioned in connection with a bombing was beaten to death while in police custody.


Nearly every day last year, workers of nearly every sector staged protests, chanting demands outside Parliament during daylight and laying out bedrolls along the pavement at night. The government and its allies have been unable to silence the workers, who are angry about a range of issues, including low salaries. From 2004 to 2008 alone, about 1.7 million workers have engaged in 1,900 strikes and other forms of protest, demanding everything from wage increases to job security in state-owned industries that were privatized.


President Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party has held a monopoly on power for decades, but allowed token opposition to exist in the form of small opposition parties and blocs in parliament. But the parliamentary elections staged last November were widely seen as fixed when Mr. Mubarak's party claimed to win about 500 of the 518 seats. The president's party allies insisted the election was free and fair, but the loss of nearly all opposition seats - including independents aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood - closed off the one institutional outlet for challenging the government.

In local council elections in 2008 there were 52,000 open seats. Government decisions to disqualify candidates meant that 43,600 seats were uncontested and awarded to the ruling party. Out of a total of 51,546 seats, the ruling party won 99.13 percent. In midterm elections for one-third of the Shura Council, the upper house of Parliament, held in 2007, the first elections to be held after the constitutional amendments removed judges from supervising the electoral process. A total of 88 seats were open. The results: 84 seats for the ruling N.D.P., 1 seat for Tagammu, a small opposition party, and 3 seats for N.D.P. members who ran as independent candidates.


Egypt's economic policies have won it plaudits in the last few years for expanding the economy and attracting foreign investment. Indeed, there is more money flowing into Cairo - which has exacerbated growing tensions between the majority, which is poor, and the minority, which has grown increasingly wealthy. Nearly half of all Egyptians live on $2 a day, or less. Last spring, the United Nations' Children's Fund reported that the number of children living in poor households was increasing. The report said that despite the economic growth, which took place before the global economic crisis, by 2009, "the number of poor households with children exceeded 1996 levels." The report added that 23 percent of children under the age of 15 years in Egypt were living in poverty. In Upper Egypt, the report said that 45.3 percent of the children were living in poverty.

Natural Disasters

A series of disasters in recent years have left many people dead, often as a result of negligence, indifference or incompetence. Hundreds on a train to Luxor in 2002 died in a fire on a third-class car that was decoupled from the engine while it was burning, so that the lead cars could continue to their destination. After a fire in Beni Suef in 2005 left a whole class of college students dead, their grieving relatives were beaten by riot police as they families tried to retrieve bodies from a morgue. About 1,000 people were lost at sea in 2006 after a ferry sank; more than 100 died and a neighborhood was crushed when a ledge on the Moqqutam hills crashed down in 2008.


Egyptians accepted peace with Israel - while never losing the view that Israel remained the enemy - because they were promised a so-called peace dividend of economic growth. They were also told that Egypt's peace treaty would give it a seat at the negotiating table to help promote the interest of Palestinians. In both cases, they largely feel betrayed.


2) Wall Street Indexes Fall on Concerns About Egypt
January 28, 2011

Shares on Wall Street fell sharply Friday, sent lower by some disappointing economic news and concerns about the growing street protests in Egypt.

Investors have begun to worry about what could happen over the weekend in Egypt. With President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt imposing a night curfew and the military ordered out onto the streets, the tensions across the Arab world's most populous state remain high.

Following the upheavals that saw Tunisia's longtime president flee the country Jan. 14., nerves are frayed about how the uprising in Egypt will end and which regional government could be next to face the wrath of its people.

At afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 166.20 points, or 1.39 percent. The broader Standard and Poor's 500-stock index declined 21.85 points, or 1.68 percent. The technology heavy Nasdaq lost 67.13, or 2.44 percent.

In European trading, the DAX in Frankfurt dropped 0.74 percent, while the CAC 40 in Paris and the FTSE 100 in London lost 1.4 percent.

There is nothing like uncertainty to get investors fidgety especially as the weekend approaches when trades are hanging for longer. Uncertainty can breed a flight out of riskier assets into supposedly safer ones. For now the losers tend to be stocks and the euro, the winners the dollar, the yen and gold.

Prices of the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond rose as the yields fell to 3.32 percent from 3.39 percent.

Simon Derrick, a senior analyst at Bank of New York Mellon, said investors are aware that in a crisis, events can move faster than anticipated.

"This was true, for example, in September and October of 2008 in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and it was true in April and May of last year during the height of the Greek crisis," Mr. Derrick said. "It therefore appears sensible to note quite how swiftly the Tunisian revolt built and equally, how rapidly street protests emerged in the cities of Egypt."

Fitch Ratings lowered the outlook for the country's credit rating to negative and warned of a possible downgrade to the credit rating itself if the unrest intensifies. Richard Fox, the head of the Middle East and Africa desk at Fitch said the move to a negative outlook was the result of the "recent upsurge in political protests and the uncertainty this adds to the political and economic outlook ahead of September's elections."

Markets on Wall Street were already tentative after taking in some disappointing earnings and a economic report that was slightly less than expectations.

The Commerce Department said that gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy, grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter. That was up from the 2.6 percent growth in the previous quarter, but less than the 3.5 percent that many economists had expected.

The Ford Motor Company reported fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts' expectations. Ford, however, said that it earned $6.6 billion in 2010, its largest profit in 11 years. Ford's shares were down 11.65 percent.

Two giant technology companies reported earnings after the market closed Thursday. missed Wall Street's revenue forecast in its latest quarter after the company said that higher costs cut down profit margins. Its shares fell 8.4 percent. Microsoft shares dropped 4.5 percent after it said that the profitability of its Windows division was falling.

The Sara Lee announced a plan to split into two companies. One company, a food and retail business, will retain the Sara Lee name and will include brands Sara Lee, Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farms. The other has yet to be named and will retain the current company's beverages and baked goods lines. Sara Lee fell 2.6 percent.


3) In Tunisia, luxurious lifestyles of a corrupt government
By Sudarsan Raghavan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, January 28, 2011; 7:50 AM

HAMMAMET, TUNISIA - They arrive every day at this white mansion overlooking the Mediterranean, parents with their children, old men with canes, young men in leather jackets, among the many Tunisians on a pilgrimage to vent their anger at a corrupt government.

It's been two weeks since mobs overran this opulent house, amid protests that have spread across the Arab world. Neighbors said it was occupied by a nephew of former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

Today, the infinity pool is filled with debris. The 30-foot floor-to-ceiling windows are shattered. The smell of charred wood wafts through the air as scores of visitors see the luxurious lifestyles of their former elites for the first time.

"The smell of fire is also the smell of freedom and happiness," declared Sami Soukah, a retired driver, as he looked up at the carcass of a crystal chandelier. "They stole the people's money. We are not sorry that this happened."

No matter what happens next in this tense North African nation - free and fair elections? Military rule? Dictatorship or democracy? - Tunisians appear certain they have rid themselves of Ben Ali and his family. Just as high unemployment and low wages triggered their rebellion, many say, so too did the government's blatant corruption and excesses. Tunisia's government issued an international arrest warrant for Ben Ali and his family this week, asking Interpol to apprehend them on allegations of theft and taking money out of the country illegally.

The graffiti scrawled on the walls of the mansion spoke the fury of a long neglected population.

"The Rich got Richer. The Poor got Poorer," someone wrote on a wall in a marble-tiled bedroom, which once had a Jacuzzi.

"You killed the people, Ben Ali," someone else wrote in the hallway overlooking the landscaped garden, with palm trees and a fountain.

During his 23-year rule, Ben Ali and his wife, Leila Trabelsi, were often referred to as the "Ceausescus," the Romanian dictator and his wife who were executed as their repressive and corrupt regime collapsed. The Ben Ali and Trabelsi families controlled a vast number of companies and real estate, sometimes taken by force. Even distant relatives seemed above the law.

Tunisia was their personal treasure chest. On the Internet, rumors abounded of Leila Trabelsi trying to sell a Tunisian island, or seeking to shut down a highly regarded private school so that she could promote her own school. Ben Ali's son-in-law, Mohammad Sakher el-Materi, was said to own many of the nation's luxury car dealerships, among other lucrative businesses.

The family got whatever it coveted - cash, services, land, even a yacht that someone else owned - according to the anti-corruption watchdog group Transparency International and U.S. Embassy cables released by WikiLeaks last year.

In a cable from 2009, then-U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec noted that members of Ben Ali's family "are disliked and even hated by some Tunisians" because of their extravagant lifestyles.

"The excesses of the Ben Ali family are growing," warned Godec.
Unrestrained excess

This whitewashed resort town was an epicenter of such excesses. In interviews, residents spoke of Ben Ali relatives throwing lavish parties and driving Ferraris and other luxury cars.

Others described how relatives refused to pay to enter nightclubs or for restaurant bills. In one story circulating around town, a Trabelsi relative started a brawl in a nightclub. The next morning, the policemen who arrested him were fired.

Neighbors of a villa belonging to Leila Trabelsi's brother, Belhassen, said they once received his electricity bill by mistake. The bill for that huge house? Zero dinars.

According to another cable, Godec witnessed a night of excess at Materi's spacious house nestled along a public beach in Hammamet. The house was filled with ancient artifacts, including Roman columns, frescoes and a lion's head from which water poured into the pool, Godec wrote.

In the compound, Materi kept a large tiger in a cage. Godec wrote that the scene reminded him of Saddam Hussein's son Uday's lion cage in Baghdad.

That night they feasted on a lavish dinner of a dozen dishes; desert included ice cream and frozen yogurt flown in from Saint Tropez on Materi's private jet. During dinner, Materi expressed interest in owning a McDonald's franchise in Tunisia.

"Throughout the evening, El Materi often struck the Ambassador as demanding, vain and difficult. He is clearly aware of his wealth and power, and his actions reflected little finesse," the cable read. "He repeatedly pointed out the lovely view from his home and frequently corrected his staff, issued orders and barked reprimands."

Some residents said that after Ben Ali fled on Jan. 14, mobs entered Materi's house. Among their first acts: They killed the tiger.
'Like a piece of the Berlin Wall'

Despite the stories and the rumors, most residents did not know how lavishly Ben Ali's family lived. So on a recent day at the ransacked mansion of Ben Ali's nephew, Kais Ben Ali, the gasps were audible.

"Unbelievable," said Fathi Gdara, a plumber, as he entered the large bedroom with a view of the pool and the Mediterranean. He shook his head, then added: "It's the money of the people."

Some of the visitors picked up a piece of glass or marble to keep.

"It's a souvenir to remind us the dark days are over," said Sadok Khayati. "For us, it's like a piece of the Berlin Wall."

Fawzia Ouji came with her 7-year-old daughter, Maram. They walked up the spiral staircase, its railing ripped out, and went from room to room. Ouji, too, picked up a piece of marble.

When they get home, she said, she will tell her daughter "that the people were blind, that we didn't know the real situation. She has to learn from this, to have an idea about the past in order to avoid it again in the future."

As they walked down the staircase, they passed another piece of graffiti on the wall. "Power to the People," it read.


4) "Creech 14" found guilty of trespassing, judge says "go in peace"
by Dave Toplikar
The Las Vegas Sun

A Las Vegas judge on Thursday handed down a decision that got a mixed reaction from protesters of drone warfare who were arrested for trespassing nearly two years ago at Creech Air Force Base in Southern Nevada.

Judge William Jansen, in a 20-page decision, ruled that the "Creech 14" who protested April 9, 2009, at the base, were guilty of the crime of trespassing.

But the judge also decided that the defendants, who stood trial for the misdemeanor offense last September in his courtroom, would be given credit for the time they served in jail and would be free to go.

"Go in peace," were Jansen's final words to the defendants after an hour-long court proceeding this morning in Las Vegas Justice Court.

The judge also urged them to use diplomacy, rather than trespassing, in their attempts to get U.S. drone warfare policy changed.

There was some scattered applause in the crowded courtroom upon hearing the defendants wouldn't get jail time - but the defendants weren't pleased about the jjudge's guilty verdict.

The protesters had argued there was "necessity" that compelled them to act. As someone might trespass onto private property to save a child from a burning building, they said they were trying to stop drone warfare from killing civilians thousands of miles away in Afghanistan.

However, in his conclusion, Jansen said that "Defendants' motivation for why they committed the offense is irrelevant and does not constitute a defense to the charge. Moreover, defendants are unable to show that their conduct was compelled by true 'necessity' as that doctrine has been defined by various courts."

Those found guilty of the misdemeanor charge are the Rev. John Dear, a Jesuit priest; Dennis DuVall; Renee Espeland; Judy Homanich; Kathy Kelly; the Rev. Steve Kelly, a Jesuit priest; Mariah Klusmire; Brad Lyttle; Libby Pappalardo; Sister Megan Rice, a member of the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus; Brian Terrell; Eve Tetaz; and the Revs. Louie Vitali and Jerry Zawada, both Franciscan priests.

Vitali, a friar who at one time worked in a Las Vegas Catholic parish, was not at the hearing because he is currently serving a six-month sentence in the federal prison in Lompoc, Calif., for protesting at the Ft. Benning, Ga., 'School of the Americas," which peace activists say has taught foreign military leaders interrogation techniques they use in torturing political prisoners in their home countries.

Thursday's hearing drew about 40 supporters for the defendants from around the country, who filled the courtroom.

Jansen gave each of the defendants a copy of his decision and asked them if they could also give copies to former Johnson Administration Attorney General Ramsey Clark, retired Air Force Col. Ann Wright, and Bill Quigley, a Loyal University professor. Those three had provided testimony for the defendants at the September trial. Jansen said after reviewing the transcript of that trial, he and law clerk spent four months analyzing the case in federal and state law regarding the use of the defense of "necessity."

Before Jansen sentenced them, he allowed them to make statements. Each of those who spoke said they disagreed that what they were doing wasn't out of necessity.

Sister Megan Rice told the judge that the protesters entered Creech on April 9, 2009, intending to speak to and advise the commanding officer.

"I had to speak then and I do now," Rice said. "The evil of killing and destroying people in lands 8,000 miles away, of using bombs targeted by Air Force technicians who control computer-programmed joysticks was and is emblazoned upon my awareness. I see this form of warfare as an evolution toward human execution fostered in the psyche of a nation by immoral, addictive, excessive and illegal practice of developing more and more nuclear weapons."

Rice said Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu has said "to remain neutral in situations of injustice is to be complicit in that injustice."

Rice said she had written letters and sought meetings with the base commander to warn him about the need to disobey orders that conflict with U.S. and international laws. She said she had to enter the base in order to obey "higher orders."

"I have listened to the victims of drone warfare," she said. Lebanon victims told her they had been treated like insects.

"My non-violent resistance was an is an absolute necessity," she said.

Brian Terrel, a defendant from Maloy, Iowa, said he "respectfully disagreed" with the judge there was no imminent harm occurring at Creech Air Force Base. Terrel said that after the September trial he had spent three weeks in December in Afghanistan and saw the victims of the drone attacks, including a 9-year-old child who lost an arm in an air attack.

He also said he had read an article about post-traumatic distress being suffered by soldiers carrying out drone attacks on computer screens at Creech.

"One thing that really is haunting me is that one operator said 'I am 7,000 miles away from the killing. I am 18 inches away from the killing.' One, being the distance between Creech Air Force Base and Afghanistan and the other the distance between his nose and the computer screen and the video he was seeing of human beings being dismembered," Terrel said.

He said the drones "are giving an illusion of distance. The 7,000 miles between Creech Air Force Base and Kandahar (the second largest city of Afghanistan) is an illusion. We are very, very close. The harm is imminent. The harm is real. "

Terrel said the analogy that was first mentioned by Ramsey Clark in September about disregarding a no-trespassing sign to enter into a burning building to save a child "is so close to the reality, it is the reality. "

Dennis DuVall criticized the judge's decision that the trespassing didn't fall under the argument of necessity, calling it "outrageous."

DuVall also said drones don't prevent or eliminate terrorism, but instead incite more hatred, revenge and retaliation against American military.

Every time there's a drone strike and innocent people are killed, more IEDs are built to try to harm U.S. soldiers, he said.

DuVall said a year after the protesters were arrested for trespassing at Creech, he was in New York City at a nuclear disarmament march on Times Square where a car bomb was almost detonated.

"The builder of the car bomb, this young man, Faisal Shahzad, in the New York Post the next day says why he did it: revenge for drone attacks in Pakistan," DuVall said, pointing out that those attacks originated at Creech, where the defendants trespassed. "If that isn't necessity, then what the hell is?"


5) Egypt Leaves the Internet
"Not an automated system that takes all providers down at once; instead, the incumbent leads and other providers follow meekly one by one until Egypt is silenced."
By James Cowie

January 27, 2011 7:56 PM

Thanks to all for great comments and questions. Please see below for latest updates on the ongoing Egyptian Internet blackout. --jim

Confirming what a few have reported this evening: in an action unprecedented in Internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the Internet. Critical European-Asian fiber-optic routes through Egypt appear to be unaffected for now. But every Egyptian provider, every business, bank, Internet cafe, website, school, embassy, and government office that relied on the big four Egyptian ISPs for their Internet connectivity is now cut off from the rest of the world. Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt, Etisalat Misr, and all their customers and partners are, for the moment, off the air.

At 22:34 UTC (00:34am local time), Renesys observed the virtually simultaneous withdrawal of all routes to Egyptian networks in the Internet's global routing table. Approximately 3,500 individual BGP routes were withdrawn, leaving no valid paths by which the rest of the world could continue to exchange Internet traffic with Egypt's service providers. Virtually all of Egypt's Internet addresses are now unreachable, worldwide.

This is a completely different situation from the modest Internet manipulation that took place in Tunisia, where specific routes were blocked, or Iran, where the Internet stayed up in a rate-limited form designed to make Internet connectivity painfully slow. The Egyptian government's actions tonight have essentially wiped their country from the global map.

What happens when you disconnect a modern economy and 80,000,000 people from the Internet? What will happen tomorrow, on the streets and in the credit markets? This has never happened before, and the unknowns are piling up. We will continue to dig into the event, and will update this story as we learn more. As Friday dawns in Cairo under this unprecedented communications blackout, keep the Egyptian people in your thoughts.

Update (3:06 UTC Friday)

One of the very few exceptions to this block has been Noor Group (AS20928), which still has 83 out of 83 live routes to its Egyptian customers, with inbound transit from Telecom Italia as usual. Why was Noor Group apparently unaffected by the countrywide takedown order? Unknown at this point, but we observe that the Egyptian Stock Exchange ( is still alive at a Noor address.

Its DNS A records indicate that it's normally reachable at 4 different IP addresses, only one of which belongs to Noor. Internet transit path diversity is a sign of good planning by the Stock Exchange IT staff, and it appears to have paid off in this case. Did the Egyptian government leave Noor standing so that the markets could open next week?

Update (17:30 UTC Friday)

The Internet routing situation for Egypt continues to be bleak, with an estimated 93% of Egyptian networks currently unreachable. Renesys saw no significant improvements or changes in Egyptian international Internet routing overnight.

We have examined the takedown event more closely, looking at the sequence in which Egyptian service providers removed themselves from the Internet. The following plot shows the number of available networks for each of the significant providers, between 22:00 and 23:00 UTC last night (midnight to 1am Cairo time).

Our new observation is that this was not an instantaneous event on the front end; each service provider approached the task of shutting down its part of the Egyptian Internet separately.

* Telecom Egypt (AS8452), the national incumbent, starts the process at 22:12:43.
* Raya joins in a minute later, at 22:13:26.
* Link Egypt (AS24863) begins taking themselves down 4 minutes later, at 22:17:10.
* Etisalat Misr (AS32992) goes two minutes later, at 22:19:02
* Internet Egypt (AS5536) goes six minutes later, at 22:25:10.

First impressions: this sequencing looks like people getting phone calls, one at a time, telling them to take themselves off the air. Not an automated system that takes all providers down at once; instead, the incumbent leads and other providers follow meekly one by one until Egypt is silenced.

6) Revealed: story of Israeli troops told to 'cleanse' Gaza
Exclusive: Israeli soldiers tell Channel 4 News they were ordered to "cleanse" Palestinian neighbourhoods, as filmmaker Nurit Kedar says "the atmosphere was that nobody should talk about this war."
Wednesday 26 January 2011

Nurit Kedar's film, Concrete, hears from Israeli soldiers who blame their military leaders for encouraging a "disproportionate" response to Hamas's rockets.

They claim their commanders used to "psych up" soldiers before an operation so they were ready to shoot indiscriminately.

This is the first time Israeli soldiers have come forward publicly with claims which counter those of their bosses.

In a report first aired on Channel 4 News on Wednesday, 24-year-old tank commander Ohad remembers being told the night before the operation that the entry into Gaza was to be "disproportionate".

It sounds really terrible to say 'cleanse' but those were the orders. Israeli tank commander

Once into Gaza, he says his orders were unambiguous: "We needed to cleanse the neighbourhoods, the buildings, the area. It sounds really terrible to say "cleanse", but those were the orders....I don't want to make a mistake with the words."

The IDF [Israel Defence Forces] has said its operational orders during the war emphasised "proportionality" and "humanity".

The importance of minimising harm to civilians was made clear to soldiers, the IDF said at the time. By the end of the 22 day long operation some 1,400 Palestinians had been killed and large areas of Gaza razed. Ten Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians also died.
Gaza during the 2009 conflict with Israel (Reuters)

Challenging Israeli views

The woman behind the film is Nurit Kedar. Speaking to Channel 4 News she said it took some time to gain the soldiers' trust: "It was months of telling them I wasn't interested in if they shot somebody, I was interested in their insight, their point of view.

"I was very much interested in their emotional feelings so that's how I persuaded them. I really didn't threaten them."

Nurit continued: "I feel for them, what can I tell you. It's very sad what our society is doing to youngsters."

She told Channel 4 News the Israeli people did not like to see themselves in the mirror.

Nurit said: "The atmosphere in Israel was nobody should talk about this war.

People in Israel don't like to see themselves in the mirror. Nurit Kedar

"There was only one narrative. The narrative was the Palestinians fired for eight years and that's why we came in and that's it. Why didn't the IDF let any journalists inside, any cameramen? Nobody knows what happened."

There are currently no plans for the film to be shown in Israel, Nurit hopes this will change: "Right now I don't have any broadcaster..people in Israel don't like to see themselves in the mirror.

"Usually the Israeli people don't like to see this kind of film. I made a lot of films about wars and it's not easy, they don't like it."

Israel's response

Responding to the allegations made in the film an Israeli embassy spokesperson told Channel 4 News: "Unlike much of the region, the open society within Israel allows for all allegations such as these to be aired and investigated.

"Israel has already authorised over 100 separate investigations into the operation, five broader investigations, and close to 50 criminal investigations are also taking place.

"All this in the context of having to respond to over 12,000 missiles raining on our citizens - such an operation could unfortunately never be flawless given these circumstances.

"Our judicial process is renowned across the world for its independence. This is a country after all, which holds even the very top of society to account, as has been proven in recent days. This is Israel in the 21st Century, a flourishing democracy, thriving amongst a desert of tyranny in the Middle East."


7) Egypt Calls In Army as Protesters Rage
January 28, 2011

CAIRO - After a day of increasingly violent protests throughout Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak ordered the military into the streets to reinforce police struggling to contain one of the most serious challenges to his long and autocratic rule.

The president also imposed an overnight curfew nationwide, but fighting continued on the streets of Cairo, the capital, and smoke from fires blanketed one of the city's main streets along the Nile. The ruling party's offices were in flames at nightfall and Reuters reported looting at the burning complex.

News reports said that Mr. Mubarak was expected to deliver a televised address, though it was unclear when that would happen.

Demonstrations began earlier in the day as thousands poured from mosques after noon prayers, growing increasingly violent as protesters clashed with police who fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons. The demonstrations, on what protesters called a "day of wrath," were on a scale far beyond anything in the memory of most residents and struck several cities besides the capital, including Suez, Alexandria and Port Said.

The unrest in Egypt - fueled by frustrations over government corruption, economic stagnation and a decided lack of political freedom - came after weeks of turmoil across the Arab world that toppled one leader in Tunisia and encouraged protesters to overcome deep-rooted fears of their autocratic leaders and take to the streets. But Egypt is a special case: a heavyweight in Middle East diplomacy, in part because of its peace treaty with Israel, and a key ally of the United States. The country, often the fulcrum on which currents in the region turn, also has one of the largest and most sophisticated security forces in the Middle East.

Calling out the military is a signal of how dramatically the situation had spiraled out of control after four days of demonstrations. The army, one of the country's most powerful and respected institutions, prefers to remain behind the scenes and has not been sent into the streets since 1986.

But the police, a much reviled force prone to violent retribution against anyone who publicly defies the state, appeared unable to quell the unrest despite a heavy-handed response that included beatings of protesting and the firing of a water cannon at Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei. In several cases in the capital and elsewhere, the police were forced to back down by throngs of protesters.

In one of the most arresting scenes of the day, in Alexandria, protesters snatched batons, shields and helmets from the police. Honking cars drove up and down a main street, holding police riot shields and truncheons out the windows as trophies.

In both Cairo and Alexandria, some army patrols were greeted with applause and waves from the crowds - a seemingly incongruous response from demonstrators who say they want to bring down the president. But many people support the army for its success in shocking the Israeli Army with a surprise attack in 1973 and for its perceived reluctance, at least in the past, to get involved in politics.

As the chaos continued, it appeared some Egyptians might be taking steps on their own to stop destruction. An Al Jazeera correspondent, who had spoken by phone to eye witnesses at the National Museum, said that thousands of protesters had formed a "human shield" around the museum to defend from possible looting of antiquities, though there were no confirmed reports that such looting had begun.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, reading a prepared statement, called Friday on Egypt's government to "restrain the security forces" and said that "reform is absolutely critical to the well-being of Egypt." "We urge the Egyptian authorities to allow peaceful protest and to reverse the unprecedented steps it has take to cut off communications," she said, apparently referring to interruptions in Internet and cellphone connections in some cities. She also urged that protesters "refrain from violence and express themselves peacefully." After her comments, the State Department issued a travel alert cautioning Americans against all nonessential trips to Egypt in the next month.

The unrest in Egypt poses unique challenges for the Obama administration, which has publicly supported Mr. Mubarak but privately pushed him to reform after decades in power. President Obama had not spoken with the Egyptian leader about Friday's unrest, the White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said in an afternoon news conference. He added that the Egyptian people's "legitimate grievances" need to be addressed "immediately."

At least one person appeared to have been killed in the rioting, in Suez, east of Cairo and the site of some of the most violent clashes. Reuters reported that protesters were carrying a man's body through the streets as one demonstrator shouted, "They have killed my brother." Details of his death were not immediately clear. Jazeera reported that at least three buildings were on fire in the city, including a liquor store and a building belonging to a particularly unpopular member of the ruling party.

News agencies reported that more than 100 people had been injured nationwide in the mayhem.

According to the Associated Press, Egyptian security officials said they had placed Mr. ElBaradei, the country's most prominent opposition figure, under house arrest, but that could not be independently confirmed and reports throughout the day had been contradictory.

After being doused by the water cannon, Mr. ElBaradei took shelter in a nearby mosque. "This is an indication of a barbaric regime," said Mr. ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. "By doing this they are ensuring their destruction is at hand."

Early in the day in Cairo, protesters set fire to a police truck as police lobbed tear gas to try to block to a key bridge across the Nile from the island of Zamalek, After battling for hours, protesters succeeding in driving the police from the bridge.

Some demonstrators stamped on photographs of the president and others chanted "Down, down with Mubarak." The acrid stench of tear gas spread across the capital reaching up to the windows of high-rise buildings. Television images showed plainclothes security policemen beating protesters, and dramatic video footage on Al Jazeera showed a crowd pushing what they identified as a burning police car off a bridge.

At Al Azhar in old Cairo, thousands of people poured from one of the most iconic mosques of Sunni Islam, chanting "The people want to bring down the regime." The police fired tear gas and protesters hurled rocks as they sought to break though police lines. From balconies above the street, residents threw water and lemons to protesters whose eyes were streaming from tear gas.


In a stunning turn of events during the day in Alexandria, one pitched battle ended with protesters and police shaking hands and sharing water bottles on the same street corner where minutes before they were exchanging hails of stones and tear-gas canisters were arcing through the sky. Thousands stood on the six-lane coastal road then sank to their knees and prayed.

Internet and cellphone connections have been disrupted or restricted in Cairo, Alexandria and other places, cutting off social-media Web sites that had been used to organize protests and complicating efforts by the news media to report on events on the ground. Some reports said journalists had been singled out by police who used batons to beat and charge protesters.

One cellphone operator, Vodafone, said on Friday that Egypt had told all mobile operators to suspend services in selected areas of the country. Vodafone, a British company, said it would comply with the order, Reuters reported.

In Alexandria, as soon as Friday prayers ended, a crowd of protesters streamed out of one mosque, chanting "Wake up, wake up son of my country. Come down Egyptians."

Police there closed on the crowd, firing tear gas as the demonstrators pelted them with stones. A stone struck the officer firing the gas from the top of the truck and the truck pulled back, but reinforcements quickly arrived and officers marshaled a new offensive.

The protest in Alexandria turned into a block-by-block battle. The riot police managed to push the demonstrators one block back from the mosque, sealing it off from both sides and slowly advancing behind the tear-gas truck.

Several women shouted "dirty government," leaning from the balconies of their high-rise apartments to hurl bottles down on the police. Officers pounded their clear shields with their billy clubs and chanted in unison.

"We wanted this to be a peaceful demonstration, but we are all Egyptians," said Ahmed Mohammed Saleh, 26, a protester in Alexandria who had been struck by a rubber bullet.

In Cairo, too, an eerie silence fell in one section of the city at midafternoon, as hundreds of protesters began a prayer session in the middle of the street, according to live images from Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based satellite channel. Protesters bowed their heads as smoke billowed into the air behind them from the skirmishes between demonstrators and riot police.

Despite predictions otherwise, there were only sporadic protests elsewhere in the region. The Yemeni capital of Sana, where thousands had gathered a day before, was quiet Friday. In Jordan, thousands also took to the streets after Friday prayers but the demonstrations were peaceful. Across the Middle East, attention seemed focused on Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country. Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, the most influential Arab satellite channels, broadcast nonstop coverage of the demonstrations in Cairo.

"It has blown up in Egypt," read the front page of Al Akhbar, an influential leftist daily newspaper in Beirut. "Today all eyes are focused on the mosques in the land of Egypt, where the protests are expected to reach their peak."

The protests across Egypt have underscored the blistering pace of events that have transformed the Arab world, particularly among regimes that have traditionally enjoyed the support of successive administrations in Washington.

Earlier this month, entrenched autocracies seemed confident of their ability to ride out the protests. But, just two weeks ago, on Jan. 14, President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia fled abruptly into exile after weeks of protest, and his departure emboldened demonstrators to take to the streets in other countries.

Images of the lowly challenging the mighty have been relayed from one capital to the next, partly through the aggressive coverage of Al Jazeera. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have given the protesters a potent weapon, enabling them to elude the traditional police measures to monitor and curb dissent. But various regimes have fallen back on a more traditional playbook, relying on security forces to face angry demonstrators on the streets.

On Thursday, the Muslim Brotherhood, which had remained formally aloof from the earlier protests, seemed to be seeking to align itself with the youthful and apparently secular demonstrators, saying it would support Friday's protests. But it was unclear what role the Brotherhood had played in Friday's protests, which seemed to be spearheaded by angry young people and to include a cross-section of Egyptians. Even some of the capital's wealthiest neighborhoods such as Zamalek and Maddi were caught up in the turmoil.

David D. Kirkpatrick reported from Cairo and Alan Cowell from Paris. Reporting was contributed by, Kareem Fahim, Mona El-Naggar, Liam Stack, Dawlat Magdy and Stephen Farrell in Cairo; Nicholas Kulish and Souad Mekhennet in Alexandria, Egypt; Anthony Shadid and Nada Bakri in Beirut, Lebanon; J. David Goodman in New York; and Mark Landler and Andrew W. Lehren in Washington.


8) Egyptian Hopes Converged in Fight for Cairo Bridge
January 28, 2011

CAIRO — The battle had gone on for hours on Friday, and the end of the bridge was in sight. Somewhere past the green armored cars and through the smoke was Liberation Square. For miles the protesters had marched peacefully, shouting at balconies for their neighbors to join them.

But water cannons and tear gas halted the march, for a time. Atef Badr, 28, turned to the retreating protesters with tears stirred by the moment, not the gas. “I’m begging you,” he screamed. “All of you in the back, come forward!”

A few tear gas canisters got caught in the wind and drifted away toward the river: an opportunity. The protesters surged forward, chanting, “Overthrow Mubarak!” They gained ground and then lost it, when the dull metal gas canisters started falling again.

So it went all Friday afternoon on the Kasr al-Nil Bridge, as thousands of protesters tried again and again to get past the riot police, who were just as determined to keep them at bay: first with gas and water cannons, and then by beating them with truncheons.

The long struggle for the bridge set the tone for the momentous events throughout the country on Friday. Egyptians slowly shed their fear of President Hosni Mubarak’s police state and confronted its power, a few halting steps at a time.

The protesters came from every social class and included even wealthy Egyptians, who are often dismissed as apolitical, or too comfortable to mobilize. For some of them in the crowd on Friday, the brutality of the security forces was a revelation. “Dogs!” they yelled at the riot police, as they saw bloodied protesters dragged away. “These people are Egyptians!”

The protests started around noon, miles from the bridge, with prayer at the Mustafa Mahmoud Mosque west of downtown and a sermon praising the protesters. Anticipating the clashes, a police officer adjusted his riot helmet. A restaurant shuttered its doors.

Everyone seemed nervous. Nasser al-Sherif, 24, looked for his friends, who were late. It was his first protest in Egypt. “I’m just here to say no,” he said. “Once things get rough and violent, I might leave.”

Ibrahim al-Missiri, 36, looked at the crowd, which included two famous actors. “This is the class that never spoke out before,” he said. “I want the right to vote.”

The prayer ended, and the protesters, herded by a ring of riot police officers, started walking away down a side street and then stopped, turning back for their first confrontation of the day.

The police let them pass.

On a broad avenue, hundreds swelled to thousands. Three young men, old school friends, marched among them. Two of them worked at a call center for the Expedia Web site, earning a little more than $400 a month. They had all been intending to leave Egypt. The protests were changing their minds.

“We’ve had enough time stolen,” said Ali Bilal, 23. “We want to take control of the situation.”

Friends pushed a man in a wheelchair. A fruit vendor begged off calls to join the protests, pointing out that he would have to leave his donkey. On a balcony, an elderly woman looked at the crowd and threw her hands in the air. On other balconies, there was applause.

“Peaceful,” the marchers shouted. At the foot of the bridge, the security services were waiting, with other plans.

When the first tear gas canisters landed, Ziad Ali wondered whether the march would go on. “I’m 35; he’s been the president since I was 5,” he said of Mr. Mubarak. “I hope we can make it this time.”

At key moments young men inspired the marchers. A man with a red scarf wrapped around his face stood on a statue near the foot of the bridge, defiantly, as the tear gas clouds swirled around him.

Another man yelled into a bullhorn, telling protesters it was fine to fall back but not to retreat. A third managed to climb on top of one of the four green personnel carriers blocking the bridge, as the riot police fell back. The crowd cheered and advanced, as the first hurdle fell.

Abandoned by their comrades, the officers still in the transport trucks, no longer fearsome, sobbed as the protesters occupied the bridge for the first time. A local police chief was carried off the bridge bleeding from the head, joined by many people wounded by the falling canisters. When the bursts from the tear gas launchers quickened, the protesters retreated, until the young men at the front told them to come back.

The nearby 6 October Bridge filled with people, and the marchers on Kasr al-Nil cheered. The plan was to march to Tahrir, or Liberation, Square in downtown Cairo, to link up with other groups of protesters. In the distance, a building burned.

“This is the first time I’ve seen collective action,” said Omar Barazi, 44, pondering the future. “I think there will be chaos and losses.”

That moment came quickly. Police officers watched the assault from boats. Hundreds of riot officers stormed the bridge, throwing benches and a police hut into the Nile and beating anyone who did not run. By late afternoon, they had retaken Kasr al-Nil and penned in a group of protesters next to a park.

Officers fired tear gas toward an opera house as the young men ran away, and for the protesters, everything seemed to be lost. Nadine Sherif walked among badly wounded comrades, despondent. “I hope he gets the message,” she said of Mr. Mubarak. “He’s not wanted.”

A few officers lit cigarettes, relaxed and chatted with the protesters, thinking they were done.

They were not. Night fell, and the protesters finally took the bridge.


9) Egypt Protests Continue as Military Stands By
January 29, 2011

CAIRO — Egypt was engulfed in a fifth day of protests on Saturday, but an attempt by President Hosni Mubarak to salvage his 30-year rule by firing his cabinet and calling out the army appeared to backfire as troops and demonstrators fraternized and called for the president himself to resign.

While some protesters clashed with police, army tanks expected to disperse the crowds in central Cairo and in the northern city of Alexandria instead became rest points and even, on occasion, part of the protests as anti-Mubarak graffiti were scrawled on them without interference from soldiers.

“Leave Hosni, you, your son and your corrupted party!” declared the graffiti on one tank as soldiers invited demonstrators to climb aboard and have their photographs taken with them.

“This is the revolution of all the people,” declared the side of a second tank in downtown Cairo. Egyptian men all serve in the army, giving it a very different relationship to the people from that of the police.

The feared security police had largely withdrawn from central Cairo to take up positions around the presidential palace, with their places taken up by the army.

Following Mr. Mubarak’s demand in his speech just after midnight, the Egyptian cabinet officially resigned on Saturday. But there was no sign of letup in the tumult, with thousands of protesters defying a new curfew and remaining in the streets late Saturday afternoon. In TV footage broadcast by Al Jazeera, protesters appeared jubilant, chanting slogans, pumping their fists and waving Egytian flags.

At the Interior Ministry, according to the Associated Press, the police shot at a large crowd trying to storm the building, wounding several. It was not immediately clear if they were using rubber bullets or live ammunition.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mubarak began to name new members of his cabinet. Citing state media, wires reports said that Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s intelligence chief, had been sworn in as the country’s new vice president.

Reports from morgues and hospitals suggested that at least 50 people had been killed so far in the upheaval.

In Ramses Square in central Cairo at midday, protesters commandeered a flatbed army truck. One protester was driving the truck around the square while a dozen others on the back were chanting for President Mubarak to leave office. Nearby, soldiers relaxed around their tanks and armored vehicles and chatted with protesters. There were no policemen in sight.

In another central Cairo square on Saturday a soldier in camouflage addressed a crowd through a bullhorn declaring that the army would stand with the people.

“I don’t care what happens,” the soldier said. “You are the ones who are going to make the change.” The crowd responded, “The army and the people will purify the country.”

Workers at the Alexandria morgue said they had counted more than 20 bodies from the last 24 hours of violence. Meanwhile, protests had started up again in the city. But there too, the demonstrators and the soldiers showed sympathy for one another. Demonstrators brought tea to the troops and had their pictures taken with them. Protesters walked by armored carriers unmolested.

People gathered outside the morgue looking for their relatives. In the main hospital, there were a number of people lying wounded from live fire.

Nationwide cellphone service, cut off by the government on Friday, was partially restored although the Internet appeared to be blocked. .

The army moved to secure the Cairo International Airport on Saturday as the Associated Press reported that as many as 2,000 people flocked there in a frantic attempt to leave the country. International carriers reported delays and cancellations.

Television images showed slow-moving traffic returning to Cairo’s bridges, where pitched battles occurred the day before. Young men directed cars in places — filling a void left by the departure of nearly all police from the streets — as the sound of honking replaced the pop of rubber bullets and tear gas.

But the city remained on edge as tens of thousands of protesters gathered in central Cairo and army vehicles rolled through the streets. It remained unclear what new orders the army might receive as the government declared a new curfew for 4 p.m. on Saturday, or how its soldiers and officers might respond.

And with police off most streets, there were scattered reports of lawlessness from various parts of the city, with groups of young men smashing windows, stealing cars and looting.

On Friday, with much of the nation in open revolt, Mr. Mubarak had deployed the nation’s military, instituted an overnight curfew and imposed a near-total blackout on communications to save his authoritarian government.

But protesters defied the nationwide curfew as Mr. Mubarak, 82, breaking days of silence, appeared on national television, promising to replace the ministers in his government, but calling popular protests “part of bigger plot to shake the stability” of Egypt. He refused calls, shouted by huge, angry crowds on Friday in the central squares of Cairo, the northern port of Alexandria and the canal city of Suez, for him to resign.

“I will not shy away from taking any decision that maintains the security of every Egyptian,” he vowed.

Whether his infamously efficient security apparatus and well-financed but politicized military could enforce that order — and whether it would stay loyal to him even if it came to shedding blood — was the main question for many Egyptians.

It was also a pressing concern for the White House, where President Obama called Mr. Mubarak and then, in his own Friday television appearance, urged him to take “concrete steps” toward the political and economic reform that the stalwart American ally had repeatedly failed to deliver.

Whatever the fallout from the protests — be it change that comes suddenly or unfolds over years — the upheaval at the heart of the Arab world has vast repercussions for the status quo in the region, including tolerance for secular dictators by a new generation of frustrated youth, the viability of opposition that had been kept mute or locked up for years and the orientation of regional governments toward the United States and Israel, which had long counted Egypt as its most important friend in the region.

Many regional experts were still predicting that the wily Mr. Mubarak, who has outmaneuvered domestic political rivals and Egypt’s Islamic movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, for decades, would find a way to suppress dissent and restore control. But the apparently spontaneous, nonideological and youthful protesters also posed a new kind of challenge to a state security system focused on more traditional threats from organized religious groups and terrorists.

Friday’s protests were the largest and most diverse yet, including young and old, women with Louis Vuitton bags and men in galabeyas, factory workers and film stars. All came surging out of mosques after midday prayers headed for Tahrir Square, and their clashes with the police left clouds of tear gas wafting through empty streets.

For the first time since the 1980s, Mr. Mubarak felt compelled to call the military into the streets of the major cities to restore order and enforce a national 6 p.m. curfew. He also ordered that Egypt be essentially severed from the global Internet and telecommunications systems. Even so, videos from Cairo and other major cities showed protesters openly defying the curfew and few efforts being made to enforce it.

Street battles unfolded throughout the day Friday, as hundreds of thousands of people streamed out of mosques after noon prayers on Friday in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and other cities around the country.

By nightfall, the protesters had burned down the ruling party’s headquarters in Cairo, and looters marched away with computers, briefcases and other equipment emblazoned with the party’s logo. Other groups assaulted the Interior Ministry and the state television headquarters, until after dark when the military occupied both buildings and regained control. At one point, the American Embassy came under attack.

Six Cairo police stations and several police cars were in flames, and stations in Suez and other cities were burning as well. Office equipment and police vehicles burned, and the police seemed to have retreated from Cairo’s main streets. Brigades of riot police officers deployed at mosques, bridges and intersections, and they battered the protesters with tear gas, water, rubber-coated bullets and, by day’s end, live ammunition.

With the help of five armored trucks and at least two fire trucks, more than a thousand riot police officers fought most of the day to hold the central Kasr al-Nil bridge. But, after hours of advances and retreats, by nightfall a crowd of at least twice as many protesters broke through. The Interior Ministry said nearly 900 were injured there and in the neighboring Giza area, with more than 400 hospitalized with critical injuries. State television said 13 were killed in Suez and 75 injured; a total of at least six were dead in Cairo and Giza.

The uprising here was also the biggest outbreak yet in a wave of youth-led revolts around the region since the Jan. 14 ouster of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia — a country with just half Cairo’s population of 20 million. “Tunis, Tunis, Tunis,” protesters chanted outside the Tunisian Embassy here.

“Egyptians right now are not afraid at all,” said Walid Rachid, a student taking refuge from tear gas inside a Giza mosque. “It may take time, but our goal will come, an end to this regime. I want to say to this regime: 30 years is more than enough. Our country is going down and down because of your policies.”

Mr. Mubarak, in his televised address, said he was working to open up democracy and to fight “corruption,” and he said he understood the hardships facing the Egyptian people. But, he said, “a very thin line separates freedom from chaos.”

His offer to replace his cabinet is unlikely to be viewed as a major concession; Mr. Mubarak often changes ministers without undertaking fundamental reforms.

A crowd of young men who had gathered around car radios on a bridge in downtown Cairo to listen to the speech said they were enraged by it, saying that they had heard it before and wanted him to go. “Leave, leave,” they chanted, vowing to return to the streets the next day. “Down, down with Mubarak.”

A bonfire of office furniture from the ruling party headquarters was burning nearby, and the carcasses of police vehicles were still smoldering. The police appeared to have retreated from large parts of the city.

Protesters throughout the day on Friday spoke of the military’s eventual deployment as a foregone conclusion, given the scale of the uprising and Egyptian history. The military remains one of Egypt’s most esteemed institutions, a source of nationalist pride.

It was military officers who led the coup that toppled the British-backed monarch here in 1952, and all four of Egypt’s presidents, including Mr. Mubarak, a former air force commander, have risen to power through the ranks of the military. It has historically been a decisive factor in Egyptian politics and has become a major player — a business owner — in the economy as well.

Some protesters seemed to welcome the soldiers, even expressing hopes that the military would somehow take over and potentially oust Mr. Mubarak. Others said they despaired that, unlike the relatively small and apolitical army in Tunisia, the Egyptian military was loyal first of all to its own institutions and alumni, including Mr. Mubarak.

“Will they stage a coup?” asked Hosam Sowilan, a retired general and a former director of a military research center here. “This will never happen.” He added: “The army in Tunisia put pressure on Ben Ali to leave. We are not going to do that here. The army here is loyal to this country and to the regime.”

One of the protesters leaving a mosque near Cairo was Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the International Atomic Energy Agency and has since emerged as a leading critic of the government.

“This is the work of a barbaric regime that is in my view doomed,” he said after being sprayed by a water cannon.

Now, he said, “it is the people versus the thugs.”

David D. Kirkpatrick and Kareem Fahim reported from Cairo and Ethan Bronner from Jerusalem. Reporting was contributed by Mona El-Naggar, Liam Stack and Dawlat Magdy and Anthony Shadid from Cairo, Alan Cowell from Paris, and J. David Goodman, Maria Newman and Christine Hauser from New York.


10) Washington and Mr. Mubarak
NYT Editorial
January 28, 2011

Both President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, in power for three decades, and Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, in power for 23 years, should have seen this coming. They didn’t — or didn’t care. Both countries share similar pressures: huge numbers of young people without jobs, growing outrage over abusive security forces, corrupt leaders, repressive political systems.

Their people are right to demand more from their governments. The status quo is unsustainable and the result, perhaps inevitable, has been an explosion of protests and rioting in the streets of both countries.

Egypt, with Mr. Mubarak in charge, is an American ally and a recipient of nearly $1.5 billion in aid annually. It is the biggest country in the Arab world and was the first to make peace with Israel. Yemen is home to a dangerous Al Qaeda affiliate and has given the United States pretty much free rein to go after the extremists.

All of which leaves Washington in a quandary, trying to balance national security concerns and its moral responsibility to stand with those who have the courage to oppose authoritarian rulers. American officials must already be wondering what will happen to the fight against Al Qaeda if Mr. Saleh is deposed. And what will happen to efforts to counter Iran and promote Arab-Israeli peace if Mr. Mubarak is suddenly gone?

We won’t try to game Yemen’s politics. Even in Egypt, it’s impossible to know who might succeed Mr. Mubarak. He has made sure that there is no loyal opposition and little in the way of democratic institutions.

In the past, Washington has often pulled its punches on human rights and democracy to protect unholy security alliances with dictators, like Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines. There came a time when it was obvious that the Marcos tie was damaging American security interests and President Ronald Reagan — along with a people power revolution — played a role in easing him peacefully out of power.

Whether that point comes with Mr. Mubarak is now up to him. So far, he has shown arrogance and tone-deafness. He has met the spiraling protests with spiraling levels of force and repression. On Friday, in a sign more of weakness than strength, the government shut down Internet access and cellphone service. The protestors were undeterred.

Early Saturday, Mr. Mubarak ordered all of his ministers to resign and said his new government would accelerate reforms. He would be far more persuasive if he lifted the communications blackout, reeled in his security forces, allowed credible candidates to compete for president this year, and ensured a free and fair election.

Cables released by WikiLeaks show that the Obama administration has been privately pushing Mr. Mubarak to wake up, release jailed dissidents and pursue reforms. Unfortunately, those private exhortations did not get very far.

The administration struggled to get its public message right this week. On Thursday, it made clear that while Mr. Mubarak is a valuable ally, it is not taking sides but is trying to work with both the government and the protesters. By Friday, the White House said it was ready to “review” aid to Egypt — after Mr. Mubarak cut most communications, called out the army and effectively put Mohamed ElBaradei, a leading opposition figure and former leader of the International Atomic Energy Agency, under house arrest.

Mr. Obama will have to be willing to actually cut that aid if Mr. Mubarak turns the protests into a bloodbath and fails to open up Egypt’s political system.


11) Egyptian Revolution. WikiLeaks. 1917. What’s the Connection?
By Chris Kinder
January 28, 2011
Via Email

As the interior ministry and government party headquarters in Cairo burn, and determined masses continue to protest in Egypt against the repressive, U.S.-imperialist connected Mubarak regime, the world waits to see what the latest Arab revolution can achieve. So far, relatively leaderless protests have caused autocratic Arab regimes to quake with fear in several countries; and in one case (Tunisia), caused the “leader” to flee for his life. More such flights could be in store, including in Egypt. The aim of these protests, according to bourgeois commentators, many of the protesters, and others, is democratic reforms and new governments.

WikiLeaks revelations have played a role here, by exposing U.S. diplomatic cables, which discuss the corruption of the regimes, which the U.S. supports, the sell-out tactics of the Palestinian (PLO) leadership toward the Israelis, and many other things. But WikiLeaks has some important antecedents.

The original source of exposure of imperialist secrets goes back to the Russian Revolution of 1917! See below for the most succinct evidence of the Bolsheviks’ determination to expose the truth. Trotsky’s statement on the publication of secret treaties.

“Democratic” revolution?

But the Bolsheviks who led the Revolution of 1917 to completion had something to say not just about the exposure of imperialist secrets, but also about “democracy” as the goal of revolution in the imperialist age. The Russian Revolution of 1917 was based on the concept of “permanent revolution,” developed by Trotsky and supported by Lenin, which made clear that success depended on going beyond democracy, which fails to solve the economic questions, and toward workers rule (and eventually to the abolition of classes). In Russia, the bourgeois government of the February revolution had maintained the imperialist war, and had been unable to resolve the land question or the class question. The Bolsheviks called for bread, land and peace, and delivered these (not without the difficulties of the civil war) by overthrowing capitalism.

This principle holds true today: the masses of Tunisia, Jordan, Yemen and Egypt, cannot solve their problems simply by installing democratic rule. Nor are they likely to institute fundamental change without a revolutionary leadership, which is committed to an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist program. Without this, any new regime will be at the mercy of the same capitalist market forces and imperialist control as the previous regime. An overthrow of capitalism, such as happened in October of 1917 in Russia, is necessary in order for these masses to be finally rid of the international capitalist market, as well as the local agents of the imperialists, and able to determine their own destiny.

“Democracy” as we know it is inherently fraudulent, since minorities (however well-intentioned at first) inevitably rule over the majority, through economic control, repression, censorship, purchase of elections, and outright rigging of the vote, to mention just some of the ways. True democracy must be economic democracy, based on rule by the working people themselves, through their own councils. Although workers’ rule was sold out by the Stalinist bureaucracy that later took charge in Russia, the Revolution of 1917 pointed the way to the future of workers power that we all must look forward to now if we are to head off the exploitation, imperialism and global environmental destruction that capitalism has in store for us.

The Bolshevik regime set an example, which first of all, was one of honesty. One of this government’s first acts was to expose the imperialists’ secret alliances:

Secret alliances

Secret alliances were the purported cause of the first worldwide mass slaughter of the industrial age, known as World War I. The real cause of the war was the inter-imperialist rivalries, of which the secret treaties were a mere reflection. Yet the secret treaties were important to the ruling classes as one (of many) ways in which they hoodwinked millions to go to their deaths by machine gun and bayonet, in the “war to end all wars.”

The fact that the Bolsheviks, leaders of the historic 1917 Russian Revolution and creators of the world’s first workers state, revealed the imperialists’ war secrets, showed that they wanted to guide humanity away from the exploitation and wars of capitalist imperialism, and toward a society which abolished classes altogether, including the need for secret plots and plans to maintain their illicit power. This revolutionary program represents the kind of leadership we need today.

The statement below, written by Leon Trotsky, a key leader of the Russian Revolution together with VI Lenin, documents’ the Bolsheviks’ determination to eliminate capitalist/imperialist exploitation in all its forms. This statement shows the need for revolutionists to expose the crimes of big capital for all to see, and it continues to ring true today. Trotsky demonstrates for us now that the work of WikiLeaks, valuable though it is for today’s revolutionaries, is nothing new.

WikiLeaks shows the power of the Internet to expose plots and crimes committed behind the scenes... for now. But the power of the world’s working classes is still needed to overthrow the exploiters and institute a society free of the oppression and exploitation that gives rise to the need for dirty tricks and secrets. The capitalists, if left in power, will find a way to control/destroy the Internet. We must overthrow these exploiters to abolish racism, war, oppression, exploitation—and the dirty secrets that inevitably go along with them.

A final note: While Julian Assange is the WikiLeaks hero of the moment, let us not forget that Bradley Manning, the alleged source of the WikiLeaks documents, already languishes in jail. Both WikiLeaks and its sources must be defended! Free Bradley Manning! No charges against Assange or other WikiLeaks operatives! Hands off WikiLeaks! For full, unedited, exposure of all imperialist secrets now!

Publishing State Secrets

By Leon Trotsky, 1917

At the time of this publication exposing the lies of Tsarist Russia by the newly formed Bolshevik-dominated Soviet republic, Leon Trotsky was People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs. —The Editors

In publishing the secret diplomatic documents from the foreign policy archives of Tsarism and of the bourgeois coalition Governments of the first seven months of the revolution, we are carrying out the undertaking, which we made when our party was in opposition. Secret diplomacy is a necessary tool for a propertied minority, which is compelled to deceive the majority in order to subject it to its interests. Imperialism, with its dark plans of conquest and its robber alliances and deals, developed the system of secret diplomacy to the highest level. The struggle against imperialism, which is exhausting and destroying the peoples of Europe, is at the same time a struggle against capitalist diplomacy, which has cause enough to fear the light of day. The Russian people, and the peoples of Europe and the whole world, should learn the documentary truth about the plans forged in secret by the financiers and industrialists together with their parliamentary and diplomatic agents. The peoples of Europe have paid for the right to this truth with countless sacrifices and universal economic desolation.

The abolition of secret diplomacy is the primary condition for an honest, popular, truly democratic foreign policy. The Soviet Government regards it as its duty to carry out such a policy in practice. That is precisely why, while openly proposing an immediate armistice to all the belligerent peoples and their Governments, we are at the same time publishing these treaties and agreements, which have lost all binding force for the Russian workers, soldiers, and peasants who have taken power into their own hands.

The bourgeois politicians and journalists of Germany and Austria-Hungary1 may try to make use of the documents published in order to present the diplomacy of the Central Empires in a more advantageous light. But any such attempt would be doomed to pitiful failure, and that for two reasons. In the first place, we intend quickly to place before the tribunal of public opinion secret documents, which treat sufficiently clearly of the diplomacy of the Central Empires. Secondly, and more important, the methods of secret diplomacy are as universal as imperialist robbery. When the German proletariat enters the revolutionary path leading to the secrets of their chancelleries, they will extract documents no whit inferior to those, which we are about to publish. It only remains to hope that this will take place quickly.

The workers' and peasants' Government abolishes secret diplomacy and its intrigues, codes, and lies. We have nothing to hide. Our program, expresses the ardent wishes of millions of workers, soldiers, and peasants. We want the rule of capital to be overthrown as possible. In exposing to the entire world the work of the ruling classes, as expressed in the secret diplomatic documents, we address the workers with the call which forms the unchangeable foundation of our foreign policy: “Proletarians of all countries, unite.”

—Documents on Soviet Policy, Trotsky, iii, 2 p. 64 November 22, 1917

—January 28, 2011


12) FBI! Memphis SWAT unit! All for 20 people at a meeting!!
posted by T. Sheldon
January 26, 2011

Yesterday, January 25, was a national day of action to protest the ongoing FBI/Grand Jury witch-hunt against anti-war and solidarity activists in the Midwest.

We in Memphis, like people in nearly 50 cities around the country, felt it important to do our part. We had no idea we ourselves would wind up in the middle of what appears to have been a surreal exercise in state overkill directed at free speech and political activism.

We had planned an indoor event at the offices of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center (MSPJC, long housed at the First Congregational Church) from 4 until 6 PM. The featured activity was to be folks present filling out official Freedom of Information Act forms requesting copies of any FBI reports on them.

Things started getting strange around 2:30. Three men in suits identifying themselves as FBI agents dropped by the MSPJC offices. MSPJC's organizing coordinator posted to Facebook: "Just had a visit from the FBI.......they claimed that they wanted to alert me that some Anti War activist were planning something around my building....I paused and tried not to laugh..when i said..."Uh..yes sir..these are the offices of the Mid-South PEACE and Justice Center." They promptly left...."

At 3:00, organizers, notified of the FBI drop-in, showed up an hour early for set up. It was kind of hard to miss the marked Memphis Police Department cruisers patrolling the area, to say nothing of the six identical Black SUVs with heavily tinted windows parked in a perimeter around the church.

At 5:00 a dozen or so of us armed with phone cameras and two flip cams headed out to face down th' popo. We were joined by veteran Memphis newsman Marc Parrasquia, who knows a little something about police spying--his stories for the Memphis Commercial Appeal last year exposed Earnest Withers, a beloved Civil Rights Movement photographer, as an FBI snitch.

We confronted the commanding officer on the scene. He informed us that they were "a support unit" sent to "protect us" and mentioned something about "traffic." We told him it was an indoor event, needed neither security nor traffic direction, and asked him to leave. He refused, while denying any knowledge of the earlier FBI visit. All the cops had the Cobra insignia of the MPD Tact Unit [sic]! Described on MPD’s website, the Tact Unit is an “elite unit, specially trained to respond to various emergency situations, is responsible for handling barricade situations, hostage rescues, counter terrorism, and high risk felony apprehensions.”

We demanded that his supervisor come down. The tactical team supervisor scurried down to the scene, claiming to be unaware of the FBI visit and said "a concerned citizen" had made some sort of call to the Union Avenue station and they had been dispatched to "protect" the action. MSPJC staff made calls to the mayor's office, and ultimately spoke at length to the assistant police chief, who admitted having given the order to dispatch the small-arms carrying unit. He also claimed to know nothing about the FBI visit and gave the same story about the call into the precinct.

While all this was unfolding we learned that Shelby County sheriffs had pushed into least two homes of progressive Memphis area activists earlier that day, citing (but not showing) warrants for individuals. In one case not only had the individual not lived there in years, the cops felt it necessary to go room to room with guns drawn for a “failure to appear” charge in traffic court.

One very good result was broad media coverage. Right from the start of the madness, we began re-calling press outlets which had responded to our earlier generic notifications and followup calls about the event along the lines of "Ho-hum. Well, maybe, but don't you know there's a snow emergency on?" The magic letters FBI turned out not only the Commercial Appeal but also the local ABC and Fox affiliates, all of which ran stories on the confrontation. And more media calls are coming in today.

The problem ain’t a mis-use of law enforcement

At the moment, we are demanding further information about the nature of the mystery phone call (which raises the interesting question of what exactly does one say in a phone call to a precinct cop that turns out the Tact Unit normally reserved for scenes out of a Die Hard movie) and contacts between the FBI, the MPD and the Shelby County Sheriffs Office. We are also collecting further information on the raids and other actions law enforcement made or may have made at other Memphis area activists and exploring our legal options.

We are also beginning deeper investigation of the daily actions of the Tact Team and local law enforcement generally. When they aren’t staked outside a church to provide surveillance on a group of mostly white anti-war activists, which communities in our city are they harassing? Are these psycho-drama style tactics their usual MO? In the end, the issue isn’t if these cops could have been better used elsewhere in the city during a rare snowfall, but if the resources that get spent equipping these paramilitary thugs could be better used by our communities.

Until and unless we learn something different, the progressive community in Memphis is taking this as one more example of the ramped-up repression of free speech and assembly in this country. And a challenge to unite in earnest with struggles in our city against wide-spread police brutality and daily police oppression. We are determined not to be intimidated.


13) The military and the media: Holding the cards in Egypt?
By Moni Basu, CNN
January 29, 2011 1:18 a.m. EST

(CNN) -- As mass protests swept Egypt on Friday, the actions of two key institutions served as indicators for what lies ahead for the embattled regime: the military and the media.

President Hosni Mubarak deployed the Egyptian army for the first time to the streets to quell angry demonstrations against his authoritarian regime. That's a sure sign of the government's desperation, according to experts on the region.

And for the first time, the state-run media didn't ignore the unrest or dump on the demonstrations as acts of terrorism in its usual manner. That, too, say experts, was a key indicator that Mubarak could be facing trouble.

It's a given that the military, a pillar of Egyptian authority since a 1952 coup toppled the monarchy, holds the keys at this critical juncture.

Many feared that the army will silence the protesters with its firepower and tanks that are now out on the streets of Cairo and Alexandria.

But Edward Walker, a former U.S. ambassador to Egypt, said that a military crackdown would be a "death knell not only to the military but the regime." Such a crackdown didn't happen in nearby Tunisia, where the authoritarian ruler fled the nation, and it was hardly what happened in Egypt on Friday.

On the contrary, Egypt's 450,000-strong armed forces are well-established and respected by the people. Journalists reported seeing protesters cheer army convoys as they drove into Cairo and Alexandria. Some embraced the soldiers on the ground; they were seen as saviors from excessive police brutality.

To Mohammed el-Nawawy, a professor at Queens University in North Carolina, the fact that the military was called out Friday showed that Mubarak was desperate. The all-important question is how loyal the armed forces will remain to the aging leader who has ruled Egypt with an iron fist for three decades.

Meanwhile, the state-controlled television network walked a tightrope Friday.

Early in the day, Nile TV began showing footage of the demonstrations of "tens of thousands of people" and reported the use of police tear gas. It aired opposition leaders criticizing the government for shutting down the lines of communication.

Shawn Powers, a Georgia State University assistant professor who studies international media, said it was unusual for an arm of the government to even cover these events or portray them as anything but acts initiated by unsavory elements of society.

"I'm amazed," Powers said of the coverage.

Even with social media and mobile phone messaging blocked, Egyptians could see events unfolding live on international networks including CNN. The Egyptian media may have felt that they would lose all credibility with the people if they were to completely distort the story.

Ultimately, Powers said, he suspected fissures within Mubarak's ranks and said some in the government may be thinking of their own future in a nation barely holding back from the brink.

"What we're seeing today is parts of the government feeling increasingly isolated from Mubarak or intentionally doing so to hold on to power after Mubarak goes," he said.

By the end of the day, however, Nile TV's coverage shifted, reverting to words like "hooliganism" and "lawlessness" to describe the demonstrations.

El-Nawawy, who has studied Egyptian media in depth, said Friday's media coverage could mean that Mubarak has no one left to blame, so he gave the protesters, many of whom are young people, a little wiggle room.

"The state media is walking a fine line to give credit to the young people, but in the meantime, it has to justify intervention and crackdown," el-Nawawy said.

El-Nawawy said things will get really thorny if Egypt's impoverished masses join hands with the protesters -- believed to be largely from the educated middle classes -- and the demonstrations grow to even more chaotic proportions.

That's when the military and the state-run media will both have to come to terms with events in their country.

That's when Mubarak, el-Nawawy said, may realize that he can shut down Facebook but not the People's Book.


14) Goldstone's Legacy for Israel
Naomi Klein
January 27, 2011

This essay is adapted from the introduction to The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict (Nation Books).

A sprawling crime scene. That is what Gaza felt like when I visited in the summer of 2009, six months after the Israeli attack. Evidence of criminality was everywhere—the homes and schools that lay in rubble, the walls burned pitch black by white phosphorus, the children’s bodies still unhealed for lack of medical care. But where were the police? Who was documenting these crimes, interviewing the witnesses, protecting the evidence from tampering?

For months it seemed that there would be no investigation. Many Gazans I met on that trip appeared as traumatized by the absence of an international investigation as by the attacks. They explained that even in the darkest days of the Israeli onslaught, they had comforted themselves with the belief that, this time, Israel had gone too far. Mona al-Shawa, head of the Women’s Unit at the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, told me that Gazans took great solace from news of pro-Palestinian protesters filling the streets of London and Toronto. “People called it war crimes,” she recalled. “We felt we were not alone in the world.” It seemed to follow from these expressions of outrage that there would be serious consequences for the attacks—criminal trials for the perpetrators, sentences. And under the glare of international investigation, Israel would surely have to lift the brutal embargo that had kept Gaza sealed off from the world since Hamas came to power. Those who really dared to dream convinced themselves that, out of the lawlessness and carnage, a just peace would emerge at last.

But six months later, an almost unbearable realization had set in: the cavalry wasn’t coming. Despite all the righteous indignation, Israel had not been forced to change its behavior in any way. Gaza’s borders were still sealed, only now the blockade was keeping out desperately needed rebuilding supplies in addition to many necessities of life. (It would take Israel’s lethal attack last year on a humanitarian aid flotilla for a debate about the siege to begin in earnest.) Even worse, the people I met were acutely aware that they could find themselves trapped under Israeli air bombardment again tomorrow, for any arbitrary excuse of Israel’s choosing. The message sent by the paralysis of the international legal system was terrifying: Israel enjoyed complete impunity. There was no recourse.

Then, out of nowhere, a representative of the law showed up. His name was Justice Richard Goldstone, and he was leading a fact-finding mission for the United Nations. His mandate was to assess whether war crimes had been committed in the context of the attack. I happened to be in Gaza City when Justice Goldstone was wrapping up his public hearings and met several people who had testified before him, as well as others who had opened their homes to the mission, showing the scars left by Israeli weapons and sharing photographs of family members killed in the attacks. Finally some light seemed to be shining on this rubble-choked strip of land. But it was faint, and many Gazans remained skeptical that justice would follow. If the attacks had failed to provoke action, they reasoned, what hope was there that words in a report would awaken the world? This caution, it turns out, was a wise form of self-preservation.

The attempts to block, then sabotage, then bury the Goldstone Report began before a single word had been written. The Israeli government rejected the original decision by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate allegations of war crimes during the Gaza attack. The council was hopelessly biased, Israel claimed, and the January 12, 2009, resolution creating the fact-finding mission was, according to Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs, “one-sided and irrelevant.” It is true that the original mandate of the mission called only for an investigation of violations committed “by the occupying Power, Israel, against the Palestinian people.” But when Justice Goldstone took the top job and announced that the mandate had been expanded to include possible crimes committed by Palestinians “whether before, during or after” the attacks, Israel flatly refused to acknowledge this new reality. “There is no formal expansion of the mandate,” foreign ministry spokesman Yossi Levy insisted, against abundant evidence to the contrary. He added, “We will not cooperate with the mission, because its duty is not to find the truth but to find semi-judicial ways to attack Israel.”

When it became clear that the mission would proceed despite this obstructionism, the Israeli government switched to a new strategy: doing almost everything in its considerable power to sabotage Goldstone’s work. To this end, the Israeli government refused to allow the UN team to travel inside Israel. That meant that to get into Gaza, members had to go through Egypt. It also meant that Goldstone’s investigators could not travel to Sderot and Ashkelon to hear from Israeli victims of Qassam rocket attacks—critical testimony if the mission was to fulfill its mandate to investigate crimes on all sides. Israel’s strategy was transparent enough: it would force Goldstone to produce a one-sided report, which it would then enthusiastically dismiss for being one-sided.

It didn’t work. To get around the government roadblocks, Goldstone flew Israelis to Geneva so he could hear their testimony in person. When the report came out, it reflected the scale of the crimes committed by each side, concentrating mostly on Israel’s actions, including attacks on houses, hospitals and mosques that together killed scores of people, as well as attacks on civilian infrastructure such as water installations, agricultural facilities and factories. But the report did not give Hamas a pass. Goldstone concluded that the launching of rockets and mortars into populated areas “where there is no intended military target”—a practice used by Hamas’s military wing as well as by other armed Palestinian groups—“indicates the commission of an indiscriminate attack on the civilian population of southern Israel, a war crime, and may amount to crimes against humanity.” He also accused Hamas of “extrajudicial executions” in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority of repression and possibly torture in the West Bank.

The Goldstone Report is a serious, fair-minded and extremely disturbing document—which is precisely why the Israeli strategy since its publication has been to talk about pretty much everything except the substance of the report. Distractions have ranged from further posturing about the UN’s bias, to smear campaigns about Justice Goldstone’s personal history, to claims that the report is an integral part of a grand conspiracy to deny Israel’s right to exist. Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador and top political adviser, said the report was “the most serious and vicious indictment of the State of Israel bearing the seal of the United Nations” since the UN equated Zionism with racism in 1975 and “an assault on Israeli society as a whole,” while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained that “there are three primary threats facing us today: the nuclear threat, the missile threat and what I call the Goldstone threat.” The phrase “blood libel” was thrown around with great promiscuity, disgracefully equating the Goldstone Report with the anti-Semitic trials of the Middle Ages in which Jews were accused of drinking the blood of Christian children. (For some reason this seems to be a problem only when Sarah Palin abuses the term.)

Given this kind of incitement from the top, it’s little wonder that the 72-year-old judge was very nearly prevented from attending his grandson’s bar mitzvah in a Johannesburg suburb, with the synagogue worried about violence breaking out. “I could not believe that political anger against him—which people had every right to express—had evolved into an uncontrolled and unconscionable rage that sought to violate the spirit of one of the most sacred aspects of formal Jewish tradition,” observed noted South African judge Albie Sachs.

Israel has no shortage of critics, many of them Jewish. So what was it about Goldstone that ignited this conflagration? The likeliest answer lies in the particular rhetorical techniques Israel’s leaders reliably employ to defend their actions. For decades, Israeli officials have deflected any and all human rights criticisms by claiming that Israel was being unfairly “singled out” by those who claim to care about international law but who look the other way when equally serious crimes are committed by other states. The problem posed by Goldstone was that his record as a judge on the world stage made it impossible for Israel to make this claim with any credibility.

Goldstone began his judicial career as one of a handful of liberal judges serving on the South African bench during the apartheid era. Though required to enforce the country’s brutal discriminatory laws, these judges were also able to chip away at the system from within, helping to loosen the grip of apartheid in its final years. A 1982 ruling by Goldstone, for instance, blocked judges from evicting blacks and “coloreds” from their homes to make way for whites-only neighborhoods without considering whether suitable alternative accommodations could be found, a requirement that made it virtually impossible to enforce the much-hated Group Areas Act. As apartheid weakened, Goldstone began playing a more activist role, exposing a system of extrajudicial death squads within South Africa’s police and military—crimes that eventually came before the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Goldstone’s contribution to building South Africa’s first multiracial democracy eventually took him to the international arena, where he sought justice for war crimes, ethnic cleansing and genocide as chief prosecutor of the UN’s International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. It was here that Goldstone began to dedicate his life to the post-Holocaust pledge of “never again”—never again to anyone. “If future perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and serious war crimes are brought to justice and appropriately punished,” he wrote in a 2001 essay, “then the millions of innocent victims who perished in the Holocaust will not have died in vain. Their memory will remain alive and they will be remembered when future war criminals are brought to justice. And, it is certainly not too much to hope that efficient justice will also serve to deter war crimes in the future and so protect the untold numbers of potential victims.” The judge was always clear that this quest for justice was deeply informed by his Jewishness. “Because of our history, I find it difficult to understand how any Jew wouldn’t instinctively be against any form of discrimination,” he told the Jerusalem Report in 2000.

It is this theory of justice—a direct response to the Nazi Holocaust—that Justice Goldstone brought to his work in Gaza in 2009, insisting that his fact-finding mission would examine the crimes committed both by Israelis and Palestinians. For Israel’s leaders it was terrifying when Goldstone took on the Gaza assignment precisely because there was absolutely no way to claim that the judge was “singling out Israel” for special condemnation. Clearly and indisputably, Goldstone was applying the same principles to Israel that he had systematically applied to other countries for decades. The only thing left for Israel and its allies to do was to make sure the report’s recommendations never came before a judicial body with any teeth. In the United States the job was easy: pro-Israel lobbyists handily persuaded the House of Representatives to declare the report “irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy,” with an anti-Goldstone resolution passing by a vote of 344 to 36. In the occupied territories, the job of burying Goldstone required some very ugly tactics. According to a January 17, 2010, report in Haaretz, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was informed that “if he did not ask for a deferral of the vote [at the Human Rights Council] on the critical report on last year’s military operation, Israel would turn the West Bank into a ‘second Gaza.’”

But while Western governments continue to protect Israel from accountability, insisting that economic sanctions are off the table, even welcoming Israel into the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, civil society around the world is filling the gap. The findings of the Goldstone Report have become a powerful tool in the hands of the growing movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, which is attempting to pressure Israel to comply with international law by using the same nonviolent pressure tactics that helped put an end to apartheid in South Africa. A new book, The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict, will allow many more people to read the text of the report, along with contextualizing analysis. And they will be free to make their own judgments about whether Israel has been unfairly “singled out”—or whether, on the contrary, it is finally being held to account.

One of the most remarkable responses to the report came in January 2010, when a coalition of eleven leading Palestinian human rights groups called on Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to investigate Goldstone’s allegations that they were complicit in war crimes—despite the fact that the Israeli government had refused to launch an independent investigation of the far more numerous allegations leveled against it in the report. Theirs was a deeply courageous position, one that points to what may prove to be the Goldstone Report’s most enduring legacy. Although most of us profess to believe in universal human rights and oppose all crimes of war, for too long those principles have been applied in ways that are far from universal. Too often we make apologies for the crimes of “our” side; too often our empathy is selectively deployed. To cite just one relevant example, the Human Rights Council has frequently failed to live up to its duty to investigate all major human rights abuses, regardless of their state origins. So while the council boldly created the Goldstone mission to investigate crimes in Gaza, it stayed scandalously silent about the massacres and mass incarcerations of Tamils in Sri Lanka, which were alleged to have taken place within months of the Gaza attack.

This kind of selectivity is a gift to defiantly lawless governments like Israel’s, since it allows states to hide behind their critics’ hypocrisy. (“They should call us the day the Human Rights Council decides on a human rights inquiry on some other place around the globe,” Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, explaining away his government’s refusal to cooperate with Goldstone.) But a new standard has been set. The Goldstone Report, with its uncompromising moral consistency, has revived the old-fashioned principles of universal human rights and international law—enshrined in a system that, flawed as it is, remains our best protection against barbarism. When we rally around Goldstone, insisting that this report be read and acted upon, it is this system that we are defending. When Israel and its supporters respond to Goldstone by waging war on international law, characterizing any possible legal challenge to Israeli politicians and military officials as “lawfare,” they are doing nothing less than recklessly endangering the human rights architecture that was forged in the fires of the Holocaust.

One of the people I met in Gaza was Ibrahim Moammar, chair of the National Society for Democracy and Law. He could barely contain his disbelief that the crimes he had witnessed had not sparked an international legal response. “Israel needs to face war crimes trials,” he said. He is right, of course. In a just world, the testimonies collected by Richard Goldstone and now published in book form would not merely raise our consciousness; they would be submitted as evidence. But for now, in the absence of official justice, we will have to settle for what the survivors of Argentina’s most recent dictatorship have called “popular justice”—the kind of justice that rises up from the streets, educating friends, neighbors and family, until the momentum of its truth-telling eventually forces the courts to open their doors.

It starts with reading the report.


No More US Support to the Mubarak Dictatorship!
Hands off Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen!
For more information:,

The Egyptian people, inspired by the victory in Tunisia and building on their own heroic rallies and strikes in recent years, have now taken the lead in the regional revolt against US-backed dictatorships. Today, Friday, January 28th, masses have poured into the streets for the third straight day of protest, and are once again fighting valiantly against cops and troops armed with US made and paid for weapons.
It is the US government which has created and STILL supports the Mubarak regime to the tune of $1.5 billion a year as part of its regional military apparatus, and it is US banks and corporations that have imposed the neoliberal austerity regime of unemployment, poverty and malnutrition against which Egyptian workers have been rebelling for decades.

The US Department of Defense is meeting this very week with Egyptian military officials to discuss how to maintain this oppression. A DoD press briefing reports: "With regards to Egypt:… we actually this week are hosting senior Egyptian military leaders at the Pentagon for our annual bilateral defense talks… So that's just an example of how engaged we are with the Egyptians, even as these developments have taken place on the streets in Cairo and elsewhere…”

And it is the US State Department which has already begun maneuvers throughout the region to ensure that any governments that fall are replaced with equally compliant regimes -- maneuvers such as the visit by the head of “Near East Affairs” in the State Department this week to Tunisia, and by their “National Democratic Institute” to Yemen, to “advise” on “clean elections” – i.e. to plot how to subvert the goals of the masses in the streets.

It is therefore OUR responsibility as US antiwar activists to mobilize all our supporters to demand: Hands Off Egypt! End US aid to murdering, exploitative and corrupt governments!

The other regimes against which the Arab masses are now in revolt -- Tunisia, Yemen and Jordan -- are all likewise subservient to Washington's dictates in matters of war and economics, including especially in their toadying to Washington's main watchdog, Israel.

Similarly inspired by the regional upsurge, Palestinian activists have stepped up action against the corrupt, US-financed and armed Palestine Authority. A sit-in at the Palestinian embassy in London by Palestinian students was launched this week, and a worldwide petition demanding the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas and the democratization of Palestinian governing and movement structures has been launched:


Every revolt -- in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria -- has featured prominently demands for jobs for the huge numbers of unemployed youth who are at the core of the revolt. UNAC has made clear the link between the fight against war and for jobs, and by standing with the Arab masses at this time we are also saying we hope that workers in the US will fight with every bit as much determination for jobs for all, and for solidarity with workers fighting the same fight in every country.

We encourage all supporters organizing for the national antiwar marches on April 9th in New York City and April 10th in San Francisco to work closely with Arab activists in the US to make sure our marches feature prominently their members and demands.

A victory for the Arab masses is a victory for the cause of peace throughout the world!

Details on demonstrations can be found here:


Call the White House and State Department and demand, No More Support to the Mubarak Dictatorship! Hands off Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen!

Email: Tel: Switchboard: 202-456-1414 Fax: 202-456-2461

U.S. Department of State: Main Switchboard: 202-647-4000

Your Senators and congressperson:

The main Capitol switchboard 202-224-3121, and the Congressional switchboard 800-828-0498



16) New Bradley Manning public statement for New York Times full page ad.
The Bradley Manning Support Network ( ) has responded in part with with a new public statement, "We Stand with Bradley Manning." It will soon become a full page New York Times ad.

"We stand for truth, for government transparency, and for an end to our tax-dollars funding endless occupation abroad... We stand with accused whistle-blower US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning" begins a new statement already signed by a thousand folks like yourself. The entire statement, and the current 7,000 signers of the statement are at:

If you have not already signed this new statement, we are very eager for you to consider doing so.

We'll add your name online, and mail actual letters on your behalf to both Army officials Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh and Chief of Staff of the Army General George W. Casey, Jr. as a statement signer. If your able to make a donation to help cover printing and postage of these letters, that is awesome. If not, we still want to send these letters on your behalf to support Bradley!

Please visit to sign the statement.

Jeff Paterson
Courage to Resist, Project Director
Bradley Manning Support Network, Steering Committee member

We stand for truth, for government transparency, and for an end to our tax-dollars funding endless occupation abroad...
We stand with accused whistle-blower
US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning

A 23-year-old Army intelligence analyst, Pfc. Manning faces decades in prison for allegedly leaking a video of a US helicopter attack that killed at least eleven Iraqi civilians to the website Wikileaks. Among the dead were two working Reuters reporters. Two children were also severely wounded in the attack.

In addition to this "Collateral Murder" video, Pfc. Manning is suspected of leaking the "Afghan War Diaries" – tens of thousands of battlefield reports that explicitly describe civilian deaths and cover-ups, corrupt officials, collusion with warlords, and a failing US/NATO war effort.

"We only know these crimes took place because insiders blew the whistle at great personal risk ... Government whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal," noted Barack Obama while on the campaign trail in 2008. While the President was referring to the Bush Administration's use of phone companies to illegally spy on Americans, Pfc. Manning's alleged actions are just as noteworthy. If the military charges against him are accurate, they show that he had a reasonable belief that war crimes were being covered up, and that he took action based on a crisis of conscience.

After nearly a decade of war and occupation waged in our name, it is odd that it apparently fell on a young Army private to provide critical answers to the questions, "What have we purchased with well over a trillion tax dollars and the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan?” However, history is replete with unlikely heroes.

If Bradley Manning is indeed the source of these materials, the nation owes him our gratitude. We ask Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John M. McHugh, and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General George W. Casey, Jr., to release Pfc. Manning from pre-trial confinement and drop the charges against him.


Bradley Manning Support Network Advisory Board members:

* Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink: Women for Peace
* Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, board member for the National Whistleblower Center
* Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistle blower
* Kathleen Gilberd, co-chair of the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild
* Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and activist
* Michael Moore, documentary filmmaker
* Jose Vasquez, executive director of Iraq Veterans against the War
* US Army Colonel Ann Wright (ret.), former US State Department official

Bradley Manning Support Network Steering Committee members:

* Gerry Condon, national co-chair of the Veterans for Peace GI Resistance Working Group
* Mike Gogulski, founder of
* Bob Meola, member of War Resisters League National Committee
* Jeff Paterson, project director of Courage to Resist
* Loraine Reitman, privacy advocate
* Kevin Zeese, co-founder and executive director, Voters for Peace