Saturday, July 30, 2011



Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:




Demonstrating against the Mega-Violent and Mega-Toxic Nuclear Industry on the 66th Anniversaries of the US Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Sat. August 6th, 2011 6-9 p.m. Livermore Lab
Gather at Bill Payne Park, Vasco Road and Patterson Pass Rd., Livermore.

Tues., Aug. 9, 8 a.m., ceremony and non-violent direct action. Gather at the Livermore lab West Gate on Vasco Rd.

Sponsor: Livermore Conversion Project, Tri Valley Cares


Redstone Bldg, 3rd floor conference room, 16th Street and Capp, San Francisco (wheelchair accessible).

Please make every effort to attend. Bring your friends! Reach out to new constituencies. JOIN US on AUGUST 13!

In solidarity,

Steering Committee, Northern California UNAC


Millions March In Harlem
Against the Attack on African People

the Bombing of Libya
the Illegal Sanctions in Zimbabwe
Bloomberg's Destruction
of Education, Housing, Health Care, Jobs and more!

Saturday, August 13, 2011
Pan Africanism Rising Against Imperialism!

Assemble at 10 AM
110th Street and Malcolm X Blvd
Harlem New York

Pan Africanism or Perish!
For more information and participation call (718) 398-1766
Forward to all your contacts and let us know how many will be attending!


Saturday, August 20 at 2:00pm
Location: In front of SF City Hall, Polk Street side, between Grove & McAllister

On the 34th Birthday of Idriss Stelley, Killed by SFPD on 6-12-01 at the Sony Metreon Complex,

The event is meant to launch a citywide police accountability and transparency COLLECTIVE comprised of socially mindful grassroots entities , social/racial Justice activists, and "progressive "city officials, as well as mayoral candidates, HOLD THEM TO THEIR PROMISES!

Performances, music, spoken word, and speakers.

If you would like to speak or perform,
please contact Jeremy Miller at 415-595-2894,,
or mesha Monge-Irizarry at 415-595-8251

Please join our facebook group at
Idriss Stelley Foundation !


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

Upcoming Actions:

August 20--Local actions or educational events on Other Wars
August 28--Organizing meeting for NATO/G-8 protests in Chicago
September 15 --Rally - Palestine is Coming to the UN!
October 6--Stop the Machine demonstration in Washington, DC
October 15--Local Afghanistan demonstrations or teach-ins
November11-13 --National UNAC Conference, Stamford, CT
May 15-22--Protest actions and educational events during NATO/G-8 Summits in Chicago

NEW YORK CITY, 6-18-11

A lively and hugely productive all-day meeting of the national UNAC Coordinating Committee and invited observers was attended by 69 people representing 46 organizations. The first leadership gathering since UNAC's formation at the national conference held in Albany last July was organized to review the current period and UNAC's first 10 months, and to project actions for the coming period.

Joe Lombardo, UNAC Co-Coordinator, began with an overview of the unprecedented events of the past year based on the US expansion of never-ending war along with a global economic crisis and attacks on workers and the poor at home. At the same time, conditions have worsened, the popular uprisings in North Africa and fightbacks in Madison, inspire new opportunities for organizing.

He started with the launch of UNAC in July, 2010 in Albany at the largest gathering of movement activists since 9/11 and the historic actions taken there that permanently changed the nature of the movement. One was the recognition of the monstrous growth of Islamophobia. The new alliance in defense of this community inspired the formation of the Muslim Peace Coalition and a broad coalition of organizations defending civil liberties. The second was the long overdue stand in solidarity with the Palestinians by demanding "End All US Aid to Israel". This unequivocal position has ended the marginalization of Palestinian rights and brought the antiwar and the Palestine solidarity movements together for the strengthening of both.

A highlight of the past year was the success of the April 9-10 national mobilizations, the largest in many years. These demonstrations were also the most diverse with a large number of Muslim families marching with students, Palestine solidarity activists, and thousands of others in NYC and SF.

Co-Coordinator, Marilyn Levin, addressed The Way Forward and Building UNAC. She outlined the challenge we face in this difficult period as we enter an election cycle and stressed that maintaining our basic principles of independence from political parties, unity of purpose and action in a broad, inclusive movement, defense of all individuals and constituencies under attack, and a commitment to mass action as the major strategy for movement building is the way to build the movement and strengthen UNAC.

Although the majority of the American people are with us re: ending the wars and redirecting the economy to maintain social services, the antiwar movement is still fragmented and the major constituencies do not act in a unified way, weakening all. There is even a discussion of whether we need an independent antiwar movement and the efficacy of mass action as counter to small acts of civil resistance. Given the current stresses, it seems inevitable that fight backs will increase and the need for a unified opposition will grow in spite of attempts to bring the movement into quiescence in the Democratic Party juggernaut.

Malik Mujahid of the Muslim Peace Coalition pointed out the growth of hate groups and violence with many states passing Islamopohobic, anti-immigrant and anti-union laws. He stressed outreach to faith groups and labor and ensuring the peace movement reflects the diversity of America, especially groups that are solidly against the war like students, Latinos, immigrants, African American, Muslims, and Native Americans. He emphasized the importance of using personal 1:1 communication to counter the din of electronic communication, while also using social and news media effectively. He also raised the issue of reframing the 9/11 message for the 10th anniversary when we can expect to see increased Islamophobia and repression of civil liberties. We can't appear to be anti-American or anti-religious. We must identify with America's future based on growing diversity.

Nellie Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council & Black Agenda Report introduced a motion that stressed that our outreach and public statements must be broadened to include all oppressed nationalities, not only Muslims. This passed unanimously.

A discussion of upcoming UNAC actions followed.

Chris Gauvreau, CT United for Peace, addressed the fall actions marking the 10th year of war on Afghanistan. UNAC has endorsed and will build the October 6 actions in Washington, DC that will include nonviolent civil resistance actions and a plan to stay on. UNAC has also called for peaceful, legal national local demonstrations or other actions on Sat., Oct. 15 so that thousands will be visible in the streets in October.

A call for a second large, authoritative movement conference November 11-13, in Stamford, CT, was approved. Ashley Smith of the ISO outlined the plans and motivated the importance of bringing the entire movement together for education, training, bringing in new forces, and voting on action proposals for the coming period. A committee is already working on inviting prominent speakers and organizing workshops. The Coordinating Committee will formulate an Action Program to bring to the conference.

The escalation, brutality, and continuation of the UN/US war on Libya calls for vigorous action to defend the Libyan people and demand immediate withdrawal of all military forces. UNAC calls for demonstrations on Monday, June 27, the date that NATO has decided to extend hostilities for 90 more days. Regardless of different political views on the Qaddafi regime and the nature of the opposition in Libya, we all agree that foreign military forces, funding, and manipulation must cease and we support self-determination for the Libyans.

Sara Flounders from the International Action Center reported that NATO is coming to the US in the spring of 2012 for an international summit. UNAC will issue an international call for massive actions and a gathering of all sectors of the movement wherever and whenever this takes places. This will be the definitive spring action to galvanize the movement and demonstrate widespread opposition to US wars for domination and resources. (It is now known that this will be a NATO and G-8 gathering in Chicago May 15-22, 2012 and a broad call has been issued nationally.)

The gathering addressed proposals for ongoing work and actions.

There was a panel on fighting Islamophobia, attacks on civil liberties and targeting activists. Imam Latif described his experience with American Airlines not allowing he and his son to fly with no basis other than anti-Muslim/anti-Black profiling and bias, which they are legally challenging. Steve Downs from Project SALAM put the current attacks on Muslims (700,000 have been approached by the FBI) and activists in an historical perspective from the 1960's and 1970's attacks on black activists and civil rights workers and COINTELPRO tactics using agent provocateurs and frame-ups, resurrected with a vengeance. Attacks today include environmentalists and many groups of dissenters, whistle blowers, scapegoated communities. There are many political prisoners from the past that we mustn't forget. He also stressed the abuse prisoners suffer.

Jess Sundin, one of the targeted activists from the Twin Cities described the FBI targeting Latino activist Carlos Montes with trumped up criminal charges. His next court date is July 6 and actions will be organized in support. Carlos is available to speak and this is an opportunity to forge connections with the Latino community. Debra Sweet, World Can't Wait, reported on defense of Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks and the dangerous introduction of espionage charges and the death penalty. We are also approaching the ten year anniversary of opening Guantanamo prison. UNAC has played a leading role in calling for unified defense of all under attack.

Chris Hutchinson, from the CT Bring Our War $$ Home campaign, spoke of the exciting opportunities opening with the Bring Our War $$ Home campaign. This national effort connects the war and the economy and is a natural vehicle for outreach and involvement with all the constituencies impacted by the economic crisis, particularly with workers, the poor, and youth. Creative use of petitions, resolutions, referenda, town meetings can be effectively used for outreach, education, and publicity. This outreach campaign is exciting to young activists and also to those who are engaged. It gives people who are never asked for their opinion a sense of ownership - this is "our" money.

Kathy Kelly, Voices of Creative Nonviolence, urged that we try to impact the electoral conversation by calling candidates to be accountable for their positions on the wars and other issues and pursue getting answers and to support actions like the veterans riding from Ground Zero to the Pentagon and the October 6 actions, and raising antiwar resolutions at Democratic Party caucuses.

The Other Wars have often been neglected by the antiwar movement. Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report explained that Black is Back was formed to expose Obama and call attention to US wars at home and abroad. These include US-proxy wars in Africa where the death tolls are far higher than in the acknowledged wars, particularly in Congo and Somalia. Haiti has lost its sovereignty and has the status of a protectorate, the fate awaiting Libya.

The evidence that there is a war going on at home is the number of prisoners, particularly young men of color. Other aspects of other wars discussed included the so-called "War on Drugs" and its devastating impact on Mexico, Colombia, and minorities and the poor in the US. Black youth do not use drugs disproportionately; however, the amount of surveillance and harsh penalties are disproportionate resulting in the alarming rates of incarceration. Iran and other countries that the US demonizes and threatens were highlighted; it is important that we take a firm position of non-intervention in sovereign countries. A resolution passed to condemn the role of the International Criminal Court in subverting its legal mandate through selective indictments of Africans.

Nellie Bailey of the Harlem Tenants Union and Black Agenda Report emphasized that the issue of mass incarceration is a burning issue with 2.3 million in prison and a disproportion of prisoners are African-American and Latino young men. UNAC needs to expand its base into the Black community by recognizing the crisis and supporting a national movement to end this assault on the youth and combat the prison industry, beginning with a statement.

UNAC has endorsed the Black is Back August 20 call for actions re: the Other Wars. A resource list of books, articles and speakers will be distributed.

There were several actions generated by panelists re: Palestine solidarity. Jenna Bittar from Hampshire College represented Students for Justice in Palestine. She pointed out that antiwar groups are scarce on college campuses and that SJP's have been the most politically active, particularly in BDS campaigns. She speculated that students have felt fairly powerless but the youth involvement and leadership in Egypt has raised awareness of student power and students might be more open to actions put forth by UNAC. Kathy Kelly will be on the U.S. boat to Gaza and spoke of plans to hold a memorial service for all those who have died on the boat. Stan Heller from the Middle East Crisis Committee brought a resolution from Stan, Medea Benjamin (Code PINK), and Kathy Kelly in solidarity with the flotilla. Actions included forming committees of boat watch volunteers to spread information; rallies, vigils, and meetings during the sailing; and demos the day after any attack. This resolution passed unanimously along with a resolution to denounce the U.S. tax dollar-financed murders of demonstrators for the right of return and to hold solidarity demonstrations with the third Nakba Right of Return demonstrations.

Judy Bello, Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, spoke to the use of drones becoming the preferred weapons and surveillance tools for targeted assassinations. Demonstrators were arrested for protests at the Hancock AF drone base in Syracuse and expect trials this fall.

Bernadette Ellorin, Chair of BAYAN USA, spoke of the movement to close U.S. bases abroad. She described the Philippines as the "first Vietnam" where torture techniques and counterinsurgency tactics were developed and exported. UNAC voted to endorse a day of action to oppose military exercises on February 4, 2012, the anniversary of the Philippine-American war. She stressed the importance of recognizing the scope of U.S. military hegemony around the world. A motion was passed to oppose U.S. military bases, trainings, and funding and to support an educational campaign on U.S. counterinsurgency.

It was pointed out that Pakistan is the least understood country among the U.S. wars. Workshops were encouraged for the fall.

The following organizations were represented at the UNAC leadership meeting on June 18, 2011 in New York City

Action for a Progressive Pakistan; Al-Awda Palestine Right to ReturnCoalition - NY; Bayan-USA; Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace; Bail Out the People Movement; Black Agenda Report; Black is Back; Boston Stop the Wars; Code Pink; Committee to Stop FBI Repression; Ct. United for Peace; Fellowship of Reconciliation; Green Party; Haiti Liberte'; Hampshire Students for Justice in Palestine; Honduras Resistencia- USA; International Action Center; International Support Haiti Network; International League of People'sStruggle; International Socialist Organization; Islamic Leadership Council ofMetropolitan NY; Jersey City Peace Movement; May 1st Workers and Immigrant Rights Coalition; Mobilization Against War and Occupation - Canada; Metro West Peace Action; Middle East Crisis Committee; Muslim Peace Coalition; New England United; Nodutdol Korean Community Development; Pakistan Solidarity Network; Philly Against War; Project Salam; Rhode Island Mobilization Committee; Rochester Against War; SI - Solidarity with Iran; Socialist Action; Socialist Party USA; Thomas MertonCenter Pittsburgh; United for Justice and Peace; Veterans for Peace; Voices for Creative Nonviolence; West Hartford Citizens for Peace; WESPAC; Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; Workers World; World Can't Wait


please forward widely)

National Call to Action!
Organizing Meeting!
For Jobs, Healthcare, Education, Pensions,
Housing and the Environment, Not War!
No to NATO/G-8 Warmakers!
No to War and Austerity!
You are invited to attend a Chicago/National Organizing Meeting:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Kent College of Law, Room C50

565 West Adams Street


At the invitation of the White House, military and civilian representatives of the 28-nation U.S.-commanded and largely U.S.-financed North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and heads of state and finance ministers of the G-8 world economic powers are convening to Chicago, May 15-22, 2012.

The U.S./NATO military behemoth enforces the interests of the global great power elites. $Trillions are expended for never-ending wars and occupations while $trillions in austerity programs are extracted from working people the world over.

The G-8 nations, the richest on earth, will assemble to plan ever new draconian measures seeking to resolve the problems created by their crisis-ridden and profit-driven social order at the expense of working people and the poor everywhere.

Theirs is the agenda of the heads of state of the world's richest nations and their imperial military-industrial establishments - the agenda of the banks and corporations - the agenda for austerity, unprecedented social cutbacks, union-busting, environmental destruction, global warming/climate crisis, racism, sexism, homophobia, deepening attacks on civil liberties, democratic rights and never-ending war.

Ours is the agenda for humanity's future. We will mobilize in the tens of thousands from cities across the U.S. and around the world. On Tuesday, May 15, the opening day of the NATO/G-8 deliberations, we will announce our agenda with a press conference, rally and peaceful march. On Saturday, May 19 we will mobilize for a massive march and rally - exercising our democratic rights to peaceful assembly to demand:

• Bring All U.S./NATO Troops, Mercenaries & War Contractors Home Now! Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, the Middle East and Elsewhere.
• End U.S. Aid to Israel! End U.S. Aid to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine! End the Siege of Gaza! No to Threats of War Against Iran! End the Sanctions Now!
• Trillions for Jobs, Housing, Education, Health Care, Pensions and the Environment! No to Attacks on Unions, Cutbacks, Layoffs, Mortgage Foreclosures and Austerity! Bring the War Dollars Home!
• Tax the Rich, Not Working People! No to Corporate and Bank Bailouts!
• Civil liberties for All! End Racist Attacks on Muslim and Arab Communities! End Racist Attacks on Blacks, Latinos and Immigrants! Full Legal Rights for All! No to FBI Repression and Grand Jury Subpoenas to Antiwar and Social Justice Activists!

We will demand that our guaranteed civil liberties and democratic rights be respected - that our right to peaceful assembly and political protest be honored - that the voices of the people not be stifled!

The following organizations/individuals are among the initial Chicago-area endorsers:

Hatem Abudayyeh, *US Palestinian Community Network, Chicago • Dave Bernt, Shop Stewart, Teamsters Local 705 •_Bill Chambers, Committee Against Political Repression • _Sarah Chambers, Executive Board Member, Chicago Teachers Union • _Mark Clements, Campaign to End the Death Penalty • _Vince Emmanuelle, *Iraq Veterans Against the War_ • Randy Evans, Global Reach, Inc. • Chris Geovanis, Hammerhard Media Works • _PatHunt, Chicago Area Code Pink, Chicago Area Peace Action • _Joe Isobaker, Committee to Stop FBI Repression • Dennis Kosuth, *National Nurses United, union steward • Kait McIntyre, Students for a Democratic Society, University of Illinois - Chicago_ • Jorge Mujica, March 10th Immigrant Rights Activist_ • Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence • _Eric Ruder, Chicago Network to Send US Boat to Gaza • _Adam Shills, *Illinois Educational Association • Newland Smith, Episcopalian Peace Fellowship • _Sarah Smith, Committee to Stop FBI Repression • _Students for Justice in Palestine at School of the Art Institute of Chicago • Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, *Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign • _Andy Thayer, Gay Liberation Network and Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism_ *Organization for identification purposes only.

The May 15 and 19, 2012 mobilizations were initiated by the United National Antiwar Committee (UNAC) in partnership with antiwar and social justice groups in Chicago, across the U.S. and internationally. At the June 18, NYC National Coordinating Committee meeting of UNAC the 49 groups present unanimously adopted a resolution to protest the NATO/G8 meetings. They are listed as follows:

Action for a Progressive Pakistan • Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition - NY • BAYAN-USA • Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace • Bail Out the People Movement • Black Agenda Report • Black is Back • Boston Stop the Wars • Boston UNAC • Code Pink • Committee to Stop FBI Repression • Ct. United for Peace • Fellowship of Reconciliation • Green Party • Haiti Liberte' • Hampshire Students for Justice in Palestine • Honduras Resistencia - USA • International Action Center •_International Support Haiti Network • International League of People's Struggle_• International Socialist Organization • Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan NY • Jersey City Peace Movement_• May 1st Workers and Immigrant Rights Coalition • Mobilization Against War and Occupation - Canada • Metro West Peace Action • Middle East Crisis Committee • Muslim Peace Coalition • New England United • Nodutdol Korean Community Development • Pakistan Solidarity Network • Philly Against War • Project Salam • Rhode Island Mobilization Committee • Rochester Against War • SI - Solidarity with Iran • Socialist Action • Socialist Party USA • Thomas Merton Center Pittsburgh • Veterans for Peace • Voices for Creative Nonviolence • West Hartford Citizens for Peace • WESPAC • Women's International League for Peace and Freedom • Workers World • World Can't Wait

A national coordinating committee and its Chicago counterpart, open to and inclusive of the direct and democratic participation of all antiwar and social justice organizations is in formation. Join us! Endorse the May 15 and May 19, 2012 Chicago mobilizations against the NATO-G-8 warmakers.

Contact: No to NATO/G-8 Warmakers: A National Network Opposing War and Austerity


Chicago: 773-301-0109 or 773-209-1187
National: 518-227-6947


Palestine Is Coming to the U.N.!
Rally, Thursday, September 15, 5 pm: Gather at Times Square
6 pm: March to Grand Central and then over to the U.N. to demand:

Palestine: Sovereignty Now!

Palestine: Enforce the Right of Return!

Palestine: Full Equality for All!

5 pm: Gather at Times Square

6 pm: March to Grand Central and then over to the U.N., as we say:

End All U.S. Aid to Israel!

End the Occupation!

Support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions!

For more information, email

Sponsored by the Palestine U.N. Solidarity Coalition


Protest, March & Die-In on 10th Anniversary of Afghanistan War
Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, 4:30-6:30pm
New Federal Building, 7th & Mission Sts, SF

End All the Wars & Occupations-Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Libya, Haiti . . .
Money for Jobs, Healthcare & Schools-Not for the Pentagon

Friday, October 7, 2011 will be the exact 10th anniversary of the U.S./NATO war on the people of Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of Afghani people have been killed, wounded and displaced, and thousands of U.S. and NATO forces killed and wounded. The war costs more than $126 billion per year at a time when social programs are being slashed.

The true and brutal character of the U.S. strategy to "win hearts and minds" of the Afghani population was described by a Marine officer, quoted in a recent ANSWER Coalition statement:

"You can't just convince them [Afghani people] through projects and goodwill," another Marine officer said. "You have to show up at their door with two companies of Marines and start killing people. That's how you start convincing them." (To read the entire ANSWER statement, click here)

Mark your calendar now and help organize for the October 7 march and die-in in downtown San Francisco. There are several things you can do:

1. Reply to this email to endorse the protest and die-in.
2. Spread the word and help organize in your community, union, workplace and campus.
3. Make a donation to help with organizing expenses.

Only the people can stop the war!

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
2969 Mission St.


(Please forward widely)
Save the dates of October 6, 15 to protest wars; and May 15-22, 2012--Northern California UNAC will be discussing plans for solidarity actions around the Chicago G-8 here.

United National Antiwar Committee or UNAC at P.O. Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054


On June 22, the White House defied the majority of Americans who want an end to the war in Afghanistan. Instead of announcing the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops, contractors, bases, and war dollars, Obama committed to removing only one twentieth of the US forces on the ground in Afghanistan over the next eight months. Another 23,000 will supposedly be withdrawn just in time to influence the 2012 elections. Even if the President follows thru on this plan, nearly 170,000 US soldiers and contractors will remain in Afghanistan. All veterans and soldiers will be raising the question, "Who will be the last U.S. combatant to die in Afghanistan?"

In truth, the President's plan is not a plan to end the war in Afghanistan. It was, instead, an announcement that the U.S. was changing strategy. As the New York Times reported, the US will be replacing the "counterinsurgency strategy" adopted 18 months ago with the kind of campaign of drone attacks, assassinations, and covert actions that the US has employed in Pakistan.

At a meeting of the United National Antiwar Committee's National Coordinating Committee, held in NYC on June 18, representatives of 47 groups voted to endorse the nonviolent civil resistance activities beginning on October 6 in Washington, D.C. and to call for nationally coordinated local actions on October 15 to protest the tenth anniversary of the US war in Afghanistan. UNAC urges activists in as many cities as possible to hold marches, picket lines, teach-ins, and other events to say:

· Withdraw ALL US/NATO Military Forces, Contractors, and Bases out of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya NOW!
· End drone attacks on defenseless populations in Pakistan and Yemen!
· End US Aid to Israel! Hands Off Iran!
· Bring Our War Dollars Home Now! Money for Jobs and Education, Not for War and Incarceration!

Note these dates of upcoming significant events:
· November 11-13 UNAC National Conference - a gathering of all movement activists to learn, share, plan future actions.
· May 15-22, 2012 International Protest Actions against war criminals attending NATO meeting and G-8 summit in Chicago.

Challenge the NATO War Makers in Chicago May 15-22, 2012
NATO and the G8 are coming to Chicago - so are we!

The White House has just announced that the U.S. will host a major international meeting of NATO, the US-commanded and financed 28-nation military alliance, in Chicago from May 15 to May 22, 2012. It was further announced that at the same time and place, there will be a summit of the G-8 world powers. The meetings are expected to draw heads of state, generals and countless others.

At a day-long meeting in New York City on Saturday, June 18, the United National Antiwar Committee's national coordinating committee of 69 participants, representing, 47 organizations, unanimously passed a resolution to call for action at the upcoming NATO meeting.

UNAC is determined to mount a massive united outpouring in Chicago during the NATO gathering to put forth demands opposing endless wars and calling for billions spent on war and destruction be spent instead on people's needs for jobs, health care, housing and education.


Whereas, the U.S. is the major and pre-eminent military, economic and political power behind NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), and

Whereas, the U.S. will be hosting a major NATO gathering in the spring of 2012, and

Whereas, U.S. and NATO-allied forces are actively engaged in the monstrous wars, occupations and military attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, the Middle East and elsewhere,

Be it resolved that:

1) UNAC, in conjunction with a broad range of groups and organizations that share general agreement with the major demands adopted at our 2010 Albany, NY national conference, initiate a mass demonstration at the site of the NATO gathering, and

2) UNAC welcomes and encourages the participation of all groups interested in mobilizing against war and for social justice in planning a broad range of other NATO meeting protests including teach-ins, alternative conferences and activities organized on the basis of direct action/civil resistance, and

3) UNAC will seek to make the NATO conference the occasion for internationally coordinated protests, and

4) UNAC will convene a meeting of all of the above forces to discuss and prepare initial plans to begin work on this spring action.

Resolution passed unanimously by the National Coordinating Committee of UNAC on Saturday, June 18, 2011

click here to donate to UNAC:

Click here for the Facebook UNAC group.


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


One World One Revolution -- MUST SEE VIDEO -- Powerful and

"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." Thomas Jefferson


Support the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike!

This video explains what the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike is all about, with former prisoners detailing why prisoners are protesting, how this action relates to a history of prisoner-led resistance, and what people outside prison can do to support the hunger strike.

This video was made by a coalition called Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity. For updates on the hunger strike, check out:

[The footage near the end of the video is of youth in Oakland organizing to stop gang injunctions, another struggle you should definitely stay informed on. Visit:]


Hayes Carll performs his new song "KMAG YOYO" (a military acronym for "Kiss My Ass Guys, You're On Your Own") from his new album also called KMAG YOYO on SiriusXM Outlaw Country.


Jon Stewart Takes On Obama's Debt Ceiling Address: 'Did The President Just Quit?' (VIDEO)



Very reminiscent of Obama's address last night (July 25, 2011)

Pat Paulsen 1968


Japan: angry Fukushima citizens confront government (video)
Posted by Xeni Jardin on Monday, Jul 25th at 11:36am

The video above documents what I am told is a meeting between Fukushima residents and government officials from Tokyo, said to have taken place on 19 July 2011. The citizens are demanding their government evacuate people from a broader area around the Fukushima nuclear plant, because of ever-increasing fears about the still-spreading radiation. They are demanding that their government provide financial and logistical support to get out. In the video above, you can see that some participants actually brought samples of their children's urine to the meeting, and they demanded that the government test it for radioactivity.

When asked by one person at the meeting about citizens' right to live a healthy and radioactive-free life, Local Nuclear Emergency Response Team Director Akira Satoh replies "I don't know if they have that right."


Roseanne Grills Politician About Taxes, Wages, Unions, Etc.


Japanese Nuclear Reactors Still A Major Problem


BART protest

Uploaded by TheBayCitizen on Jul 11, 2011

Protesters heckled deputy BART police chief Daniel Hartwig as he tries to get them to close the door on the BART train. About 50 gathered at Civic Center Station to protest the BART police shooting of Charles Hill.


Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class [Full Film]

Narrated by Ed Asner

Based on the book by Pepi Leistyna, Class Dismissed navigates the steady stream of narrow working class representations from American television's beginnings to today's sitcoms, reality shows, police dramas, and daytime talk shows.

Featuring interviews with media analysts and cultural historians, this documentary examines the patterns inherent in TV's disturbing depictions of working class people as either clowns or social deviants -- stereotypical portrayals that reinforce the myth of meritocracy.

Class Dismissed breaks important new ground in exploring the ways in which race, gender, and sexuality intersect with class, offering a more complex reading of television's often one-dimensional representations. The video also links television portrayals to negative cultural attitudes and public policies that directly affect the lives of working class people.

Featuring interviews with Stanley Aronowitz, (City University of New York); Nickel and Dimed author, Barbara Ehrenreich; Herman Gray (University of California-Santa Cruz); Robin Kelley (Columbia University); Pepi Leistyna (University of Massachusetts-Boston) and Michael Zweig (State University of New York-Stony Brook). Also with Arlene Davila, Susan Douglas, Bambi Haggins, Lisa Henderson, and Andrea Press.

Sections: Class Matters | The American Dream Machine | From the Margins to the Middle | Women Have Class | Class Clowns | No Class | Class Action


Let's torture the truth out of suicide bombers says new CIA chief Petraeus


Stop Police Brutality: Justice for Eric Radcliff

22 year old Eric Radcliff was shot and killed by police officers from the 35th district on the morning of Saturday May 21st, 2011. According to witnesses he was unarmed. The incident took place on the 5800 Block of Mascher Street in the 5th and Olney Section.

1. Open An Investigation Into the May 21st Shooting Death of 22 year old Eric Radcliff by officers of the Philadelphia Police Department's 35th District.
2. End Police Brutality! Serve and Protect, Not Disrespect and Victimize!
3. LETS GET OUR HOUSE IN ORDER. Let's Unite for Real Security and To Build a Better Future for Ourselves

Please come Join in UNITY AND LOVE! God is Good, We ARE winning!
215-954-2272 for more information
VIA Justice for Eric Radcliff


Stop Police Brutality: Justice for Albert Pernell Jr.


Autopsy Released in Police Shooting of Man Holding Nozzle
Douglas Zerby was shot 12 times, in the chest, arms and lower legs.
Watch Mary Beth McDade's report,0,2471345.story



I Wanna Be A Pirate


Kim Ives & Dan Coughlin on WikiLeaks Cables that Reveal "Secret History" of U.S. Bullying in Haiti


Operation Empire State Rebellion


20 Facts About U.S. Inequality that Everyone Should Know
Click an image to learn more about a fact!


Licensed to Kill Video

Gundersen Gives Testimony to NRC ACRS from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.


Guy on wheelchair taken down by officers


Paradise Gray Speaks At Jordan Miles Emergency Rally 05/06/2011

Police Reassigned While CAPA Student's Beatdown Investigated

Pittsburgh Student Claims Police Brutality; Shows Hospital Photos

Justice For Jordan Miles
By jasiri x

Monday, May 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Even though Pittsburgh Police beat Jordan Miles until he looked like this: (Photo at website)

And even though Jordan Miles, an honor student who plays the viola, broke no laws and committed no crimes, the Federal Government decided not to prosecute the 3 undercover Pittsburgh Police officers who savagely beat him.

To add insult to injury, Pittsburgh's Mayor and Police Chief immediately reinstated the 3 officers without so much as a apology. An outraged Pittsburgh community called for an emergency protest to pressure the local District Attorney to prosecute these officers to the fullest extent of the law.

Below is my good friend, and fellow One Hood founding member Paradise Gray (also a founding member of the Blackwatch Movement and the legendary rap group X-Clan) passionately demanding Justice for Jordan Miles and speaking on the futility of a war of terror overseas while black men are terrorized in their own neighborhoods.

For more information on how you can help get Justice For Jordan Miles go to


Tier Systems Cripple Middle Class Dreams for Young Workers


Union Town by Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman



"He broke the law!" says Obama about Bradley Manning who has yet to even be charged, let alone, gone to trial and found guilty. How horrendous is it for the President to declare someone guilty before going to trial or being charged with a crime! Justice in the U.S.A.!

Obama on FREE BRADLEY MANNING protest... San Francisco, CA. April 21, 2011-Presidential remarks on interrupt/interaction/performance art happening at fundraiser. Logan Price queries Barack after org. FRESH JUICE PARTY political action.


Max Romeo - Socialism Is Love


Cuba: The Accidental Eden

[This is a stunningly beautiful portrait of the Cuban natural environment as it is today. However, several times throughout, the narrator tends to imply that if it werent for the U.S. embargo against Cuba, Cuba's natural environment would be destroyed by the influx of tourism, ergo, the embargo is saving nature. But the Cuban scientists and naturalists tell a slightly different story. But I don't want to spoil the delightfully surprising ending. It's a beautiful film of a beautiful country full of beautiful, articulate and well-educated]

Watch the full episode. See more Nature.


VIDEO: SWAT Team Evicts Grandmother

Take Back the Land- Rochester Eviction Defense March 28, 2011


B. D. S. [Boycott, Divest, Sanction against Israel]
(Jackson 5) Chicago Flashmob


The Kill Team
How U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered innocent civilians and mutilated their corpses - and how their officers failed to stop them. Plus: An exclusive look at the war crime photos censored by the Pentagon
Rolling Stone
March 27, 3011

Afghans respond to "Kill Team"


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


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


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


Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks


Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale


Flashmob: Cape Town Opera say NO


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




Statement by Angela Davis regarding Troy Davis

I urgently appeal to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and to the members of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole - L. Gale Buckner , Robert E. Keller, James E. Donald, Albert Murray, and Terry Barnard - to spare the life of Troy Davis, a young African American citizen of your state.

I hope everyone within sight or sound of my words or my voice will likewise urgently call and fax Gov. Neal and the members of the Board. Under Georgia law, only they can stop the execution of Troy Davis.

First of all, there is very compelling evidence that Troy Davis may be innocent of the murder of Police Officer Mark MacPhail in 1989 in Savannah. The case against Davis has all but collapsed: seven of nine witnesses against him have recanted their testimony and said that they were pressured by police to lie; and nine other witnesses have implicated one of the remaining two as the actual killer. No weapon or physical evidence linking Davis to the murder was ever found. No jury has ever heard this new information, and four of the jurors who originally found him guilty have signed statements in support of Mr. Davis.

More importantly, the planned execution of a likely innocent young Black man in the state of Georgia has become a terrible blot on the status of the United States in the international community of nations. All modern industrial and democratic nations and 16 states within the United States have abolished capital punishment. The fact that the overwhelming majority of the men and women on death rows across the country are Black and other people of color, and are universally poor, severely undermines our country's standing in the eyes of the people of the world.

Most importantly, the execution of Troy Davis will contribute to an atmosphere of violence and racism and a devaluation of life itself within our country. If we can execute anyone, especially a man who may be innocent of any crime, it fosters disrespect for the law and life itself. This exacerbates every social problem at a time when the people of our country face some of the most difficult challenges regarding our economic security and future.

I urge everyone to join with me in urging Governor Neal and the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole to stay the execution of Troy Davis and commute his death sentence. Give this young man a life, and an opportunity to prove his innocence.

Please, call or fax today. Stop the execution of Troy Davis!

Gov. Nathan Deal
Tel: (404)651-1776
Fax: (404)657-7332

Web contact form: web:

Georgia Board of Parsons and Parole
L. Gale Buckner
Robert E. Keller
James E. Donald
Albert Murray
Terry Barnard

Tel: (404) 656-5651
Fax: (404) 651-8502

Angela Y. Davis
July 14, 2011


Say No to Police Repression of NATO/G8 Protests

The CSFR Signs Letter to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

The CSFR is working with the United National Antiwar Committee and many other anti-war groups to organize mass rallies and protests on May 15 and May 19, 2012. We will protest the powerful and wealthy war-makers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Group of 8. Mobilize your groups, unions, and houses of worship. Bring your children, friends, and community. Demand jobs, healthcare, housing and education, not war!

Office of the Mayor
City of Chicago
To: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

We, the undersigned, demand that your administration grant us permits for protests on May 15 and 19, 2012, including appropriate rally gathering locations and march routes to the venue for the NATO/G8 summit taking place that week. We come to you because your administration has already spoken to us through Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. He has threatened mass arrests and violence against protestors.

[Read the full text of the letter here:]

For the 10s of thousands of people from Chicago, around the country and across the world who will gather here to protest against NATO and the G8, we demand that the City of Chicago:

1. Grant us permits to rally and march to the NATO/G8 summit
2. Guarantee our civil liberties
3. Guarantee us there will be no spying, infiltration of organizations or other attacks by the FBI or partner law enforcement agencies.



On June 27, Leonard Peltier was removed from the general population at USP-Lewisburg and thrown in the hole. Little else is known at this time. Due to his age and health status, please join us in demanding his immediate return to general population.

Thomas Kane, Acting Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Web Site:
Phone: (202) 307-3198
Fax: (202) 514-6620
Address: 320 1st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534

Launched into cyberspace by the
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106


(Please post widely)

-- Introduction
-- Campaign to End the Death Penalty Solidarity Statement
-- CEDP Statement of Solidarity with Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers
-- Solidarity Statement from Corcoran State Prisoners
-- Take Action!


Prisoners in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) of California's Pelican Bay state prison have announced that they will begin an indefinite hunger strike on July 1. Although prison officials aim to keep prisoners silenced and divided, the hunger strike has shown solidarity across racial, ethnic and religious lines and demands improvements in cruel and inhumane prison conditions.

In his statement "Why Prisoners are Protesting", prisoner Mutop DuGuya states, "Effective July 1st we are initiating a peaceful protest by way of an indefinite hunger strike in which we will not eat until our core demands are met.....we have decided to put our fate in our own hands. Some of us have already suffered a slow, agonizing death in which the state has shown no compassion toward these dying prisoners. Rather than compassion they turn up their ruthlessness. No one wants to die. Yet under this current system of what amounts to intense torture, what choice do we have? If one is to die, it will be on our own terms."

Prisons in this country stand as silent tombs. Millions are warehoused in "correctional" facilities that serve only to punish and dehumanize. These prisoners in Pelican Bay are standing bravely against tortuous conditions and those of us on the outside must stand with them and shine a light into the dark cages that politicians want us to forget.


The Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP) stands in solidarity with the prisoners of Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) who will be engaged in a hunger strike on July 1 in protest of their deplorable conditions.

The prisoners at Pelican Bay prison in California live in a world in which collective punishment is common, sunlight is rare, and food is used as a tool of coercion. They live in a world that is so unlike the world that most of us take for granted that it strains our comprehension. The world of the prisoners has one goal, to create passive, compliant prisoners; prisoners who will not clamor for more; prisoners who will not rock the boat; prisoners who will not threaten to expose just how rotten the prison system is.

This world has failed. While these demands show us a world turned upside down, they also show us a prison population that is fighting back against their appalling conditions. The prisoners have stated that their hunger strike will be indefinite until their demands are met. This means they could face serious health issues or even death. For them, a fighting death is preferable to the hell they are living.

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty supports the Pelican Bay hunger strikers and stand with all prisoners who seek to better their lives. We stand in solidarity with these brave fighters in their quest for justice and humanity.

The demands of the prisoners clearly show the capricious and dehumanizing conditions in which they the prisoners are calling for:

1. Eliminate group punishments. Instead, practice individual accountability. When an individual prisoner breaks a rule, the prison often punishes a whole group of prisoners of the same race. This policy has been applied to keep prisoners in the SHU indefinitely and to make conditions increasingly harsh.

2. Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria.
Debriefing produces false information - wrongly landing other prisoners in SHU, and can endanger the lives of debriefing prisoners and their families.

3. End long-term solitary confinement. Segregation should be used as a last resort and prisoners require access to adequate healthcare and natural sunlight.

4. Provide wholesome, nutritious meals and access to vitamins.

5. Expand and provide constructive programming such as photos of loved ones, weekly phone calls, extension of visitation time, calendars, and radios, etc.

You can read the prisoner's full text of their demands here:


Statement of Solidarity with the Pelican Bay Collective Hunger Strike on July 1st.
From: the N.C.T.T. Corcoran SHU

Greetings to all who support freedom, justice, and equality. We here of the N.C.T.T. SHU stand in solidarity with, and in full support of the July 1st hunger strike and the 5 major action points and sub-points as laid out by the Pelican Bay Collective in the Policy Statements (See, "Archives", P.B.S.P.-SHU-D corridor hunger strike).

What many are unaware of is that facility 4B here in Corcoran SHU is designated to house validated prisoners in indefinite SHU confinement and have an identical ultra-super max isolation unit short corridor modeled after corridor D in Pelican Bay, complete with blacked out windows a mirror tinted glass on the towers so no one but the gun tower can see in [into our cells], and none of us can see out; flaps welded to the base of the doors and sandbags on the tiers to prevent "fishing" [a means of passing notes, etc. between cells using lengths of string]; IGI [Institutional Gang Investigators] transports us all to A.C.H. [?] medical appointments and we have no contact with any prisoners or staff outside of this section here in 4B/1C C Section the "short corridor" of the Corcoran SHU. All of the deprivations (save access to sunlight); outlines in the 5-point hunger strike statement are mirrored, and in some instances intensified here in the Corcoran SHU 4B/1C C Section isolation gang unit.

Medical care here, in a facility allegedly designed to house chronic care and prisoners with psychological problems, is so woefully inadequate that it borders on intentional disdain for the health of prisoners, especially where diabetics and cancer are an issue. Access to the law library is denied for the most mundane reasons, or, most often, no reason at all. Yet these things and more are outlined in the P.B.S.P.-SHU five core demands.

What is of note here, and something that should concern all U.S. citizens, is the increasing use of behavioral control (torture units) and human experimental techniques against prisoners not only in California but across the nation. Indefinite confinement, sensory deprivation, withholding food, constant illumination, use of unsubstantiated lies from informants are the psychological billy clubs being used in these torture units. The purpose of this "treatment" is to stop prisoners from standing in opposition to inhumane prison conditions and prevent them from exercising their basic human rights.

Many lawsuits have been filed in opposition to the conditions in these conditions ... [unreadable] yet the courts have repeatedly re-interpreted and misinterpreted their own constitutional law ... [unreadable] to support the state's continued use of these torture units. When approved means of protest and redress of rights are prove meaningless and are fully exhausted, then the pursuit of those ends through other means is necessary.

It is important for all to know the Pelican Bay Collective is not (emphasis in original) alone in this struggle and the broader the participation and support for this hunger strike, the other such efforts, the greater the potential that our sacrifice now will mean a more humane world for us in the future. We urge all who reads these words to support us in this effort with your participation or your voices call your local news agencies, notify your friends on social networks, contact your legislators, tell your fellow faithful at church, mosques, temple or synagogues. Decades before Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Pelican Bay and Corcoran SHUs were described by Congressman Ralph Metcalfe as "the control unit treatment program is long-term punishment under the guise of what is, in fact, pseudo-scientific experimentation."

Our indefinite isolation here is both inhumane and illegal and the proponents of the prison industrial complex are hoping that their campaign to dehumanize us has succeeded to the degree that you don't care and will allow the torture to continue in your name. It is our belief that they have woefully underestimated the decency, principles, and humanity of the people. Join us in opposing this injustice without end. Thank you for your time and support.

In Solidarity,
N.C.T.T. Corcoran - SHU
4B/1C - C Section
Super-max isolation Unit


Pelican Bay Prisoners Go On Hunger Strike to Protest Grave Conditions July 1, 2011

Lawyers, Advocates, Organizations Hold Press Conference, Voice Prisoner Demand

Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros
Communications Director, Critical Resistance
Office: 510 444 0484; Cell: 510 517 6612

The Hunger Strikers need support from outside of prison bars. Here are a few things you can do:

Sign the Petition.

Get the word out about the hunger strike and the prisoner's demands to your family, friends, church, community groups, and over social networking sites.

Attend protests in solidarity. Rallies planned in San Francisco, Eureka, CA, Montreal, Toronto and New York. Send protest info to: to be listed!
Stay informed. Check the blog regularly for updates


Keep the Arboretum Free
Dear Arboretum Supporter,

It's been a few months since the Board of Supervisors extended the non-resident fee at the Arboretum until September 30th, 2013. Such policy and ongoing decisions are continuing to greatly impact our neighborhoods and city resources and out of this widespread concern a new coalition has formed - Take Back Our Parks. Community and park advocates have joined together from across the city, including representatives from Keep Arboretum Free, with the common goals of keeping parks and recreation facilities open and accessible to all, stopping privatization of public park properties, protecting the natural character of our parklands and ensuring inclusive community input in planning and decision-making.

This past week a key effort was made towards some of these goals when four City Supervisors placed a measure on the November ballot to put a moratorium on fees for park resources and the long-term leasing of club-houses to private organizations. The Parks For The Public measure can be an important step towards ending the loss of access and growing privatization that is a fallout of the Recreation and Park Department's strategy of using parks as a revenue source and which has imposed policies such as the Arboretum fee.

Please visit the TBOP website to learn more about the Parks For The Public ordinance available for voters on the ballot this fall:

It is vital that the public have a chance to shape the issues regarding our parks. We encourage you to write to the four sponsoring Supervisors (Avalos, Campos, Mar and Mirkarimi) to thank them for introducing Parks For The Public and let them know that you support limiting the privatization and unwarranted commercialization of our parks.

Please help spread the news about this measure to your community in the city and thank you very much for your continued support.


The Campaign to Keep The Arboretum Free


Supporter of Leak Suspect Is Called Before Grand Jury
June 15, 2011

A supporter of Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, who is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, was called before a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday, but he said he declined to answer any questions. The supporter, David M. House, a freelance computer scientist, said he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, because he believes the Justice Department is "creating a climate of fear around WikiLeaks and the Bradley Manning support network." The grand jury inquiry is separate from the military prosecution of Private Manning and is believed to be exploring whether the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, or others in the group violated the law by acquiring and publishing military and State Department documents.


Justice for Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace: Decades of isolation in Louisiana state prisons must end
Take Action -- Sign Petition Here:

For nearly four decades, 64-year-old Albert Woodfox and 69-year-old Herman Wallace have been held in solitary confinement, mostly in the Louisiana State Penitentiary (known as Angola prison). Throughout their prolonged incarceration in Closed Cell Restriction (CCR) Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace have endured very restrictive conditions including 23 hour cellular confinement. They have limited access to books, newspapers and TV and throughout the years of imprisonment they have been deprived of opportunities for mental stimulation and access to work and education. Social interaction has been restricted to occasional visits from friends and family and limited telephone calls.

Louisiana prison authorities have over the course of 39 years failed to provide a meaningful review of the men's continued isolation as they continue to rubberstamp the original decision to confine the men in CCR. Decades of solitary confinement have had a clear psychological effect on the men. Lawyers report that they are both suffering from serious health problems caused or exacerbated by their years of close confinement.

After being held together in the same prison for nearly 40 years, the men are now held in seperate institutions where they continue to be subjected to conditions that can only be described as cruel, inhuman and degrading.
Take action now to demand that Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace be immediately removed from solitary confinement

Sign our petition which will be sent to the Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, calling on him to:

* take immediate steps to remove Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace from close confinement
* ensure that their treatment complies with the USA's obligations under international standards and the US Constitution.




Stop Coal Companies From Erasing Labor Union History


One year after Bradley's detainment, we need your support more than ever.

Dear Friends,

One year ago, on May 26, 2010, the U.S. government quietly arrested a humble young American intelligence analyst in Iraq and imprisoned him in a military camp in Kuwait. Over the coming weeks, the facts of the arrest and charges against this shy soldier would come to light. And across the world, people like you and I would step forward to help defend him.

Bradley Manning, now 23 years old, has never been to court but has already served a year in prison- including 10 months in conditions of confinement that were clear violation of the international conventions against torture. Bradley has been informally charged with releasing to the world documents that have revealed corruption by world leaders, widespread civilian deaths at the hands of U.S. forces, the true face of Guantanamo, an unvarnished view of the U.S.'s imperialistic foreign negotiations, and the murder of two employees of Reuters News Agency by American soldiers. These documents released by WikiLeaks have spurred democratic revolutions across the Arab world and have changed the face of journalism forever.

For his act of courage, Bradley Manning now faces life in prison-or even death.

But you can help save him-and we've already seen our collective power. Working together with concerned citizens around the world, the Bradley Manning Support Network has helped raise worldwide awareness about Manning's torturous confinement conditions. Through the collective actions of well over a half million people and scores of organizations, we successfully pressured the U.S. government to end the tortuous conditions of pre-trial confinement that Bradley was subjected to at the Marine Base at Quantico, Virginia. Today, Bradley is being treated humanely at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. T hanks to your support, Bradley is given leeway to interact with other pre-trial prisoners, read books, write letters, and even has a window in his cell.

Of course we didn't mount this campaign to just improve Bradley's conditions in jail. Our goal is to ensure that he can receive a fair and open trial. Our goal is to win Bradley's freedom so that he can be reunited with his family and fulfill his dream of going to college. Today, to commemorate Bradley's one year anniversary in prison, will you join me in making a donation to help support Bradley's defense?

We'll be facing incredible challenges in the coming months, and your tax-deductible donation today will help pay for Bradley's civilian legal counsel and the growing international grassroots campaign on his behalf. The U.S. government has already spent a year building its case against Bradley, and is now calling its witnesses to Virginia to testify before a grand jury.

What happens to Bradley may ripple through history - he is already considered by many to be the single most important person of his generation. Please show your commitment to Bradley and your support for whistle-blowers and the truth by making a donation today.

With your help, I hope we will come to remember May 26th as a day to commemorate all those who risk their lives and freedom to promote informed democracy - and as the birth of a movement that successfully defended one courageous whistle-blower against the full fury of the U.S. government.

Donate now:

In solidarity,

Jeff Paterson and Loraine Reitman,
On behalf of the Bradley Manning Support Network Steering Committee

P.S. After you have donated, please help us by forwarding this email to your closest friends. Ask them to stand with you to support Bradley Manning, and the rights of all whistleblowers.

View the new 90 second "I am Bradley Manning" video:

I am Bradley Manning

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


Drop the Charges Against Carlos Montes, Stop the FBI Attack on the Chicano and Immigrant Rights Movement, and Stop FBI Repression of Anti-War Activists NOW!Call Off the Expanding Grand Jury Witchhunt and FBI Repression of Anti-War Activists NOW!

Cancel the Subpoenas! Cancel the Grand Juries!
Condemn the FBI Raids and Harassment of Chicano, Immigrant Rights, Anti-War and International Solidarity Activists!

Initiated by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Contact the Committee to Stop FBI Repression


Mumia Wins Decision Against Re-Imposition Of Death Sentence, But...
The Battle Is Still On To
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610


Abolish the Death Penalty Blog

Abolish the Death Penalty is a blog dedicated to...well, you know. The purpose of Abolish is to tell the personal stories of crime victims and their loved ones, people on death row and their loved ones and those activists who are working toward abolition. You may, from time to time, see news articles or press releases here, but that is not the primary mission of Abolish the Death Penalty. Our mission is to put a human face on the debate over capital punishment.
You can also follow death penalty news by reading our News page and by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

1 Million Tweets for Troy!

Take Action! Tweet for Troy!

When in doubt, don't execute!! Sign the petition for #TroyDavis!

Too much doubt! Stop the execution! #TroyDavis needs us!

No room for doubt! Stop the execution of #TroyDavis . Retweet, sign petition

Case not "ironclad", yet Georgiacould execute #TroyDavis ! Not on our watch! Petition:

No murder weapon. No physical evidence. Stop the execution! #TroyDavis petition:

7 out of 9 eyewitnesses recanted. No physical evidence. Stop the execution of Troy Davis #TroyDavis


Exonerated Death Row Survivors Urge Georgia to:
Stop the Execution of Troy Davis
Chairman James E. Donald
Georgia State Board of Pardons & Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE
Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
May 1, 2011

Dear Chairperson Donald and Members of the Board:

We, the undersigned, are alive today because some individual or small group of individuals decided that our insistent and persistent proclamations of innocence warranted one more look before we were sent to our death by execution. We are among the 138 individuals who have been legally exonerated and released from death rows in the United States since 1973. We are alive because a few thoughtful persons-attorneys, journalists, judges, jurists, etc.-had lingering doubts about our cases that caused them to say "stop" at a critical moment and halt the march to the execution chamber. When our innocence was ultimately revealed, when our lives were saved, and when our freedom was won, we thanked God and those individuals of conscience who took actions that allowed the truth to eventually come to light.

We are America's exonerated death row survivors. We are living proof that a system operated by human beings is capable of making an irreversible mistake. And while we have had our wrongful convictions overturned and have been freed from death row, we know that we are extremely fortunate to have been able to establish our innocence. We also know that many innocent people who have been executed or who face execution have not been so fortunate. Not all those with innocence claims have had access to the kinds of physical evidence, like DNA, that our courts accept as most reliable. However, we strongly believe that the examples of our cases are reason enough for those with power over life and death to choose life. We also believe that those in authority have a unique moral consideration when encountering individuals with cases where doubt still lingers about innocence or guilt.

One such case is the case of Troy Anthony Davis, whose 1991 conviction for killing Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail rested almost solely on witness testimony. We know that today, 20 years later, witness evidence is considered much less reliable than it was then. This has meant that, even though most of the witnesses who testified against him have now recanted, Troy Davis has been unable to convince the courts to overturn his conviction, or even his death sentence.

Troy Davis has been able to raise serious doubts about his guilt, however. Several witnesses testified at the evidentiary hearing last summer that they had been coerced by police into making false statements against Troy Davis. This courtroom testimony reinforced previous statements in sworn affidavits. Also at this hearing, one witness testified for the first time that he saw an alternative suspect, and not Troy Davis, commit the crime. We don't know if Troy Davis is in fact innocent, but, as people who were wrongfully sentenced to death (and in some cases scheduled for execution), we believe it is vitally important that no execution go forward when there are doubts about guilt. It is absolutely essential to ensuring that the innocent are not executed.

When you issued a temporary stay for Troy Davis in 2007, you stated that the Board "will not allow an execution to proceed in this State unless and until its members are convinced that there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused." This standard is a welcome development, and we urge you to apply it again now. Doubts persist in the case of Troy Davis, and commuting his sentence will reassure the people of Georgia that you will never permit an innocent person to be put to death in their name.

Freddie Lee Pitts, an exonerated death row survivor who faced execution by the state of Florida for a crime he didn't commit, once said, "You can release an innocent man from prison, but you can't release him from the grave."

Thank you for considering our request.

Kirk Bloodsworth, Exonerated and freed from death row Maryland; Clarence Brandley, Exonerated and freed from death row in Texas; Dan Bright, Exonerated and freed from death row in Louisiana; Albert Burrell, Exonerated and freed from death row in Louisiana; Perry Cobb, Exonerated and freed from death row in Illinois; Gary Drinkard, Exonerated and freed from death row in Alabama; Nathson Fields, Exonerated and freed from death row in Illinois; Gary Gauger, Exonerated and freed from death row in Illinois; Michael Graham, Exonerated and freed from death row in Louisiana; Shujaa Graham, Exonerated and freed from death row in California; Paul House, Exonerated and freed from death row in Tennessee; Derrick Jamison, Exonerated and freed from death row in Ohio; Dale Johnston, Exonerated and freed from death row in Ohio; Ron Keine, Exonerated and freed from death row in New Mexico; Ron Kitchen, Exonerated and freed from death row in Illinois; Ray Krone, Exonerated and freed from death row in Arizona; Herman Lindsey, Exonerated and freed from death row in Florida; Juan Melendez, Exonerated and freed from death row in Florida; Randal Padgett, Exonerated and freed from death row in Alabama; Freddie Lee Pitts, Exonerated and freed from death row in Florida; Randy Steidl, Exonerated and freed from death row in Illinois; John Thompson, Exonerated and freed from death row in Louisiana; Delbert Tibbs, Exonerated and freed from death row in Florida; David Keaton, Exonerated and freed from death row in Florida; Greg Wilhoit, Exonerated and freed from death row in Oklahoma; Harold Wilson, Exonerated and freed from death row in Pennsylvania.
-Witness to Innocence, May 11, 2011


"A Fort Leavenworth mailing address has been released for Bradley Manning:

Bradley Manning 89289
830 Sabalu Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

The receptionist at the military barracks confirmed that if someone sends Bradley Manning a letter to that address, it will be delivered to him."

This is also a Facebook event!/event.php?eid=207100509321891


Committee to Stop FBI Repression
to Fitzgerald, Holder and Obama

The Grand Jury is still on its witch hunt and the FBI is still
harassing activists. This must stop.
Please make these 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 _____ 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!"

If your call doesn't go through, try again later.

Update: 800 anti-war and international solidarity activists
participated in four regional conferences, in Chicago, IL; Oakland,
CA; Chapel Hill, NC and New York City to stop U.S. Attorney Patrick
Fitzgerald's Grand Jury repression.

Still, in the last few weeks, the FBI has continued to call and harass
anti-war organizers, repressing free speech and the right to organize.
However, all of their intimidation tactics are bringing a movement
closer together to stop war and demand peace.

We demand:
-- Call Off the Grand Jury Witch-hunt Against International Solidarity
-- Support Free Speech!
-- Support the Right to Organize!
-- Stop FBI Repression!
-- International Solidarity Is Not a Crime!
-- Stop the Criminalization of Arab and Muslim Communities!

Background: Fitzgerald ordered FBI raids on anti-war and solidarity
activists' homes and subpoenaed fourteen activists in Chicago,
Minneapolis, and Michigan on September 24, 2010. All 14 refused to
speak before the Grand Jury in October. Then, 9 more Palestine
solidarity activists, most Arab-Americans, were subpoenaed to appear
at the Grand Jury on January 25, 2011, launching renewed protests.
There are now 23 who assert their right to not participate in
Fitzgerald's witch-hunt.

The Grand Jury is a secret and closed inquisition, with no judge, and
no press. The U.S. Attorney controls the entire proceedings and hand
picks the jurors, and the solidarity activists are not allowed a
lawyer. Even the date when the Grand Jury ends is a secret.

So please make these calls to those in charge of the repression aimed
against anti-war leaders and the growing Palestine solidarity
Email us to let us know your results. Send to

**Please sign and circulate our 2011 petition at

In Struggle,
Tom Burke,
for the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

FFI: Visit or email or call
612-379-3585 .
Copyright (c) 2011 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights

Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55415


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



Write to Lynne Stewart at:

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

Visiting Lynne:

Visiting is very liberal but first she has to get people on her visiting list; wait til she 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.

Commissary Money:

Commissary Money is always welcome It is how Lynne pay for the phone and for email. Also 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 !)

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.


In earnest support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange:



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):


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:



"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!


Courage to Resist needs your support

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

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

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


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) Glenn Greenwald: Why Do We Harass Muslims But Not White, Nordic Males?
By Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald, Democracy Now!
Posted on July 26, 2011, Printed on July 27, 2011

2) Anonymous Promotes Legal Boycott of PayPal
July 27, 2011, 11:08 am

3) Where Politics Are Complex, Simple Joys at the Beach
July 26, 2011

4) America's Credibility Is at Risk
New York Times Editorial
July 27, 2011

5) Ford to Increase Its Plant Capacity in India
July 27, 2011

6) Cost of Treating Veterans Will Rise Long Past Wars
July 27, 2011

7) At Ikea's Only U.S. Factory, Workers Vote to Join Union
July 27, 2011

8) Exxon and Shell Post Strong Profits
July 28, 2011

9) Verizon Workers Vote to Support Strike
"...the company is proposing to make it easier to fire workers, tie raises more closely to job performance and require workers to contribute to their health insurance premiums. Union officials say Verizon has also demanded more freedom to contract out work, a pension freeze for current workers and eliminating traditional pensions for future workers. 'Verizon has put on the table the most aggressive set of contract demands we've ever seen,' said Robert Master, legislative and political director for the communications workers in the Northeast. 'From our perspective, this hugely profitable company that made $20 billion over the last four years, despite the worst economy in 75 years, seems determined to turn tens of thousands of secure middle-class jobs into lower-wage, much less secure jobs.'"
July 28, 2011

10) Farmers, Evacuees, and Student of Fukushima University demand;
"Give back Fukushima! Give back rice fields! Give back our future and human beings!"
Doro-Chiba Quake Report No.27
1,510 marches in Fukushima on June 19
Speakers from Fukushima Prefecture Teachers Union,
National Railways Workers Union Koriyama Factory Branch,
Sendai City Municipal Workers Union

11) Significant court ruling in free speech postering case
Judge will allow First Amendment challenge to rules governing political posters in Washington
By Associated Press, Published: July 21
D.C. lamppost sign regulations may be unconstitutional, judge says
By Del Quentin Wilber
Posted at 05:32 PM ET, 07/21/2011
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

12) 10 TV Shows That Changed the World
By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, AlterNet
Posted on July 28, 2011, Printed on July 29, 2011

13) NATO Strikes at Libyan State TV
July 30, 2011

14) N.R.C. Lowers Estimate of How Many Would Die in Meltdown
[Or, "Don't worry. Be happy. Not too many of us will die"]
"Big releases of radioactive material would not be immediate, and people within a 10-mile radius would have enough time to evacuate, the study found. The chance of a death from acute radiation exposure within 10 miles is therefore near zero, the study projects, although some people would receive doses high enough to cause fatal cancers in decades to come. ... One person in every 4,348 living within 10 miles would be expected to develop a 'latent cancer' as a result of radiation exposure, compared with one in 167 in previous estimates."
July 29, 2011

15) Enjoy Park Greenery, City Says, but Not as Salad
July 29, 2011


1) Glenn Greenwald: Why Do We Harass Muslims But Not White, Nordic Males?
By Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald, Democracy Now!
Posted on July 26, 2011, Printed on July 27, 2011

Numerous news outlets and commentators initially blamed the attack on Islamic militants. Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper, The Sun, ran a front-page headline titled "'Al-Qaeda' Massacre: Norway's 9/11." Here in the U.S., Murdoch's Wall Street Journal also initially blamed jihadists, reporting that, quote, "Norway is targeted for being true to Western norms."

But it was not just the Murdoch empire. On the Washington Post website, Jennifer Rubin wrote, quote, "This is a sobering reminder for those who think it's too expensive to wage a war against jihadists," unquote. Once it was revealed that the alleged perpetrator was not a Muslim militant, but a right-wing, anti-Muslim Norwegian nationalist, the New York Times still cited experts as saying, quote, "Even if the authorities ultimately ruled out Islamic terrorism as the cause of Friday's assaults, other kinds of groups or individuals were mimicking Al Qaeda's brutality and multiple attacks," unquote.

To discuss the media coverage of the attacks, we're joined from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by Glenn Greenwald, constitutional lawyer and political and legal blogger, who has written extensively about the media coverage of the attacks in Norway for

Glenn, welcome. Your thoughts as you saw this story unfold through the media?

GLENN GREENWALD: My first reaction was to be pretty surprised about how-or not really surprised, but just struck by how intense the media coverage was and the media interest was in this attack. Obviously, it was a heinous attack. When a government building blows up, when someone goes on an indiscriminate shooting rampage aimed at teenagers, it's horrific. And yet, at the same time, the United States and its allies have brought killing like this, violence like this, to numerous countries around the world that receives a tiny fraction of the attention that this attack received, a tiny-it prompts a tiny fraction of the interest in denouncing it and in declaring it to be evil. And it just struck me that when we think that Muslims are responsible for violence aimed at Western nations, it receives a huge amount of attention in the American media, and yet when the United States brings violence on that level to Muslim countries, kills an equal number of civilians, dozens of people killed by drone attacks and the like, and tons of people killed that way over Afghanistan over the past decade, it barely registers. I mean, an attack like this, this level of death in Iraq, for example, or Afghanistan, would barely register on the media scale.

The other aspect of it, though, is what you referenced in your question, which is, when it was widely assumed, based on basically nothing, that Muslims had been responsible for this attack and that a radical Muslim group likely perpetrated it, it was widely declared to be a "terrorist" attack. That was the word that was continuously used. And yet, when it became apparent that Muslims were not involved and that, in reality, it was a right-wing nationalist with extremely anti-Muslim, strident anti-Muslim bigotry as part of his worldview, the word "terrorism" almost completely disappeared from establishment media discourse. Instead, he began to be referred to as a "madman" or an "extremist." And it really underscores, for me, the fact that this word "terrorism," that plays such a central role in our political discourse and our law, really has no objective meaning. It's come to mean nothing more than Muslims who engage in violence, especially when they're Muslims whom the West dislikes.

GOODMAN: Or the term "lone wolf." Glenn, I wanted to play for you a former Bush administration State Department official, Christian Whiton, who acknowledged the case in Norway wasn't Islamic terrorism, but he quickly downplayed violent acts committed by those such as Breivik, saying it's the first of its kind since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Whiton then attacked Norway for its approach to terrorism, claimed European countries are susceptible to terrorism because they're, quote, "neutral in the war on terror." He was interviewed on Fox.

CHRISTIAN WHITON: This wasn't Islamic terrorism. It was-it's one of the first instances since Oklahoma City when terrorism on this scale was not Islamic. But steps you could take to defend your people and your government and your society against Islamic terrorism would also come in handy against lone wolves, as this is turning out to be. It just looks like the Norwegians didn't happen to take them, nor do they approach terrorism in what, frankly, is a serious manner, I'd say.

GREGG JARRETT: Yet, Islamic terrorism is a problem in the Scandinavian countries. Were they just sort of turning a blind eye to it?

CHRISTIAN WHITON: Yeah. You know, at the end of the Bush administration, George W. Bush went up to the U.N. His final speech there was on the critical threat from Islamic terrorism. And the current prime minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, actually took the occasion to criticize Bush for going up and said, "Gee, you mentioned Islamic terrorism all these times, but you didn't talk about climate change," as if there was some sort of equivalence. You know, a problem in a lot of European countries is they think by being neutral in the war on terror, as if any civilized society can be, that they won't face the threats that we face. But, you know, that's just not true. We do know al-Qaeda and the Islamic-


CHRISTIAN WHITON: -terrorist movements are targeting Scandinavian countries just like the rest of us.

GOODMAN: That was Christian Whiton, questioned by Fox's Gregg Jarrett. Glenn Greenwald, your response?

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, unsurprisingly, if you combine a Bush terrorism official with Fox News, you're going to get what you got there, which is too many factually false statements to even count. But I'll just highlight a couple of them.

One is the idea that Norway is neutral in the war on terror. This was part of the reaction, as well, when people thought that Muslims had been responsible for the attack, which is, why would Norway, such a peaceful, neutral country, possibly be targeted? And the reality is that Norway is part of the war in Afghanistan, and has been for many years. They have a contingent of 500 troops, have been involved in a variety of instances where civilians have been killed. They're also heavily involved in the war in Libya, having dropped more sorties and-or participated in more sorties, dropped more bombs than even, according to the Norway Post, what they dropped during all of World War II. And so, the idea that they're neutral is simply a myth. They're actually engaged in active warfare in at least two different Muslim countries where civilians are being killed and bombs are being dropped.

But more to the point, I think, is this idea that Islamic terrorism is some kind of a unique problem in Europe. There are reports issued each year by the E.U. that count the number of terrorist attacks, both successfully executed and attempted but failed. And each year, for the past five years, the number of attacks perpetrated, in general, exceeds several hundred, 200 or 300, sometimes 400. The number that are perpetrated or attempted by, quote-unquote, "Islamists," as the report calls it, people driven by Islamic ideology, religion or political grievances, is minute, something like one out of 294 in 2009, zero out of several hundred in 2007. This is the statistic that the E.U. documents every year. There are terrorist attacks in Europe. Sometimes left-wing groups perpetrate them. Sometimes right-wing groups perpetrate them. Sometimes people with domestic grievances, that don't really fit into the left-right spectrum, attempt them or perpetrate them. But the idea that Islamic terrorism is some sort of unique threat is completely belied by the E.U.'s own statistic. This idea of equating Muslims with terrorism is an incredibly propagandistic and deceitful term. The idea is to suggest that, as several of your guests were saying, that Islam is some sort of existential threat to Western civilization, to Europe and the like, and it's propagated with this myth that terrorism is an Islamic problem. And that's why the idea that the establishment media in the United States and in political circles equates terrorism, as a matter of definition, with violence by Muslims is so problematic, because it promotes this lie that terrorism is a function of Islamic ideology.

GOODMAN: Glenn, on Wednesday, House Homeland Security Committee chair Peter King, the New York Republican Congress member, will hold his third hearing on Muslim radicalization, focusing on radicalization within the Muslim-American community and the threat to the homeland.

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, that's one of the interesting things, is you would think that-you would think that in response to this attack, we would end up doing things like, for example, profiling Nordic males or tall, blond Americans, tall, blond, Nordic-looking people at airports, or would start to, for example, engage in surveillance on the communications of people who belong to right-wing groups in Europe, or you look at the people who inspire these attacks, people like Robert Spencer or Pamela Geller, people who engage in this sort of strident anti-Muslim commentary who inspired this individual. You know, we look at Islamic radicals who we allege inspire violence, such as Anwar al-Awlaki, and we target them for assassination-due-process-free killing-even though they're American citizens. Of course, none of these measures are going to be invoked against right-wing ideologues who are anti-Muslim in nature. And you would expect that Peter King's hearings, if he were really interested in the threat of violence or terrorism, would be expanded to include what we now know is a very real threat, and yet it isn't, which simply underscores that those hearings, like so many of these measures done in the name of terrorism, is really just a vehicle for demonizing Muslims, restricting their rights, subjecting them to increased scrutiny. It's about Islamophobia and not about terrorism.

GOODMAN: Finally, the lack of coverage over the weekend in the United States was stunning, from Friday night, Saturday, Sunday, this story where so many young people were killed, massive terror attack, hugest terror attack in Norway in its history. Yet in this country, when you go to the networks, cable networks, known for covering a story for many hours at a time, this one almost fell from all the networks except the occasional headline.

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, that was completely predictable. I mean, on Friday, when the attack actually took place, there was quite substantial and intense interest in what had taken place. Everybody was talking about it. There were complaints that-on Friday, that CNN wasn't running continuous coverage. But in general, there was a lot of media interest, because at the time people thought, based on what the New York Timesand other media outlets had said, based on nothing, that this was the work of an Islamic-a radical Islamic group. And at the time, I wrote, when I wrote about the unfolding story, that if it turns out to be something other than an Islamic group that was responsible, especially if it turns out to be a right-wing nationalist who's anti-Muslim in his views, that interest in this story was going to evaporate to virtual non-existence.

And what's really amazing is, you know, every time there's an act of violence undertaken by someone who's Muslim, the commentary across the spectrum links his Muslim religion or political beliefs to the violence and tries to draw meaning from it, broader meaning. And yet, the minute that it turned out that the perpetrator wasn't Muslim, but instead was this right-wing figure, the exact opposite view arose, which is, "Oh, his views and associations aren't relevant. It's not fair to attribute or to blame people who share his views or who inspired him with these acts." And it got depicted as being this sort of individual crazy person with no broader political meaning, and media interest disappeared. It's exactly the opposite of how it's treated when violence is undertaken by someone who's Muslim.

GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, I want to thank you for being with us, constitutional law attorney, political and legal blogger for

Amy Goodman is the host of the nationally syndicated radio news program, Democracy Now!.

Glenn Greenwald is a Constitutional law attorney and chief blogger at Unclaimed Territory. His forthcoming book, How Would a Patriot Act: Defending American Values from a President Run Amok will be released by Working Assets Publishing next month.


2) Anonymous Promotes Legal Boycott of PayPal
July 27, 2011, 11:08 am

AnonymousLast year the hacker group Anonymous promoted attacks on PayPal's Web site, which led to the arrests of 14 people last week.

12:03 p.m. | Updated to correct a statement about how long Anonymous took PayPal's Web site offline.

The hacker group Anonymous took an unusual approach to its online activism on Wednesday, asking its thousands of members and supporters to publicly boycott PayPal, the payment Web site that it has criticized in response to the WikiLeaks incidents. The boycott was announced after 14 Anonymous members were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week.

Anonymous outlined its grievances against PayPal in a joint letter that was signed by Anonymous and Lulz Security, another hacking group that has been responsible for dozens of attacks on companies and government Web sites over the past several months. The letter said the boycott was meant to show both of the groups' displeasure with the latest actions by PayPal and the F.B.I.

"We encourage anyone using PayPal to immediately close their accounts and consider an alternative," the letter said, adding that PayPal's apparent willingness to work with the F.B.I. "should be proof enough that they don't deserve the customers they get." The letter continued, "They do not deserve your business, and they do not deserve your respect."

During December 2010 last year, Anonymous members performed a distributed denial of service attack against PayPal over a four-day period, sporadically taking the company's Web site offline. Anonymous said the attacks were in retaliation for PayPal's refusal to process credit card payments supporting WikiLeaks.

In Wednesday's letter, Anonymous maintained its frustration with PayPal and its handling of WikiLeaks payments. "PayPal continues to withhold funds from WikiLeaks, a beacon of truth in these dark times," the group wrote in the letter.

Anonymous and LulzSec also asked people who join the boycott to share pictures of their account closures on Twitter and other Web sites.

A previous version of this post misstated how long Anonymous took PayPal's Web site offline. It was offline sporadically over four days, not for four days.


3) Where Politics Are Complex, Simple Joys at the Beach
July 26, 2011

TEL AVIV - Skittish at first, then wide-eyed with delight, the women and girls entered the sea, smiling, splashing and then joining hands, getting knocked over by the waves, throwing back their heads and ultimately laughing with joy.

Most had never seen the sea before.

The women were Palestinians from the southern part of the West Bank, which is landlocked, and Israel does not allow them in. They risked criminal prosecution, along with the dozen Israeli women who took them to the beach. And that, in fact, was part of the point: to protest what they and their hosts consider unjust laws.

In the grinding rut of Israeli-Palestinian relations - no negotiations, mutual recriminations, growing distance and dehumanization - the illicit trip was a rare event that joined the simplest of pleasures with the most complex of politics. It showed why coexistence here is hard, but also why there are, on both sides, people who refuse to give up on it.

"What we are doing here will not change the situation," said Hanna Rubinstein, who traveled to Tel Aviv from Haifa to take part. "But it is one more activity to oppose the occupation. One day in the future, people will ask, like they did of the Germans: 'Did you know?' And I will be able to say, 'I knew. And I acted.' "

Such visits began a year ago as the idea of one Israeli, and have blossomed into a small, determined movement of civil disobedience.

Ilana Hammerman, a writer, translator and editor, had been spending time in the West Bank learning Arabic when a girl there told her she was desperate to get out, even for a day. Ms. Hammerman, 66, a widow with a grown son, decided to smuggle her to the beach. The resulting trip, described in an article she wrote for the weekend magazine of the newspaper Haaretz, prompted other Israeli women to invite her to speak, and led to the creation of a group they call We Will Not Obey. It also led a right-wing organization to report her to the police, who summoned her for questioning.

In a newspaper advertisement, the group of women declared: "We cannot assent to the legality of the Law of Entry into Israel, which allows every Israeli and every Jew to move freely in all regions between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River while depriving Palestinians of this same right. They are not permitted free movement within the occupied territories nor are they allowed into the towns and cities across the green line, where their families, their nation, and their traditions are deeply rooted.

"They and we, all ordinary citizens, took this step with a clear and resolute mind. In this way we were privileged to experience one of the most beautiful and exciting days of our lives, to meet and befriend our brave Palestinian neighbors, and together with them, to be free women, if only for one day."

The police have questioned 28 Israeli women; their cases are pending. So far, none of the Palestinian women and girls have been caught or questioned by the police.

The beach trip last week followed a pattern: the Palestinian women went in disguise, which meant removing clothes rather than covering up. They sat in the back seats of Israeli cars driven by middle-aged Jewish women and took off headscarves and long gowns. As the cars drove through an Israeli Army checkpoint, everyone just waved.

Earlier, the Israelis had dropped off toys and equipment at the home of one of the Palestinian women, who is setting up a kindergarten. The Israelis also help the Palestinian women with medical and legal troubles.

Israel's military, which began limiting Palestinian movement into Israel two decades ago to prevent terrorism at a time of violent uprisings, is in charge of issuing permits for Palestinian visits to Israel. About 60,000 will be issued this year, twice the number for 2010 but still a token amount for a population of 2.5 million. Ms. Hammerman views the permits as the paperwork of colonialist bureaucrats - to be resisted, not indulged. Others have attacked her for picking and choosing which laws she will and will not obey.

The Palestinian visitors came with complicated histories. In most of their families the men have been locked up at some point. For example, Manal, who had never been to the sea before, is 36, the mother of three and pregnant; five of her brothers are in Israeli prisons, and another was killed when he entered a settler religious academy armed with a knife.

She brought with her an unsurprising stridency. "This is all ours," she said in Tel Aviv. She did not go home a Zionist, but in the course of the day her views seemed to grow more textured - or less certain - as she found comfort in the company of Israeli women who said that they, too, had a home on this land.

Another visitor lives in a refugee camp with her husband and children. Her husband's family does not approve of her visits (" 'How can you be with the Jews?' they ask me. 'Are you a collaborator?' ") but she did not hide the relief she felt at leaving her overcrowded camp for a day of friends and fun.

The beach trips - seven so far - have produced some tense moments. An effort to generate interest in a university library fell flat. An invitation to spend the night met with rejection by Palestinian husbands and fathers. Home-cooked Israeli food did not make a big impression. And at a predominantly Jewish beach, a policeman made everyone nervous.

So, on this latest visit, the selected beach was one in Jaffa that is frequented by Israeli Arabs. Nobody noticed the visitors.

Dinner was a surprise. Hagit Aharoni, a psychotherapist and the wife of the celebrity chef Yisrael Aharoni, is a member of the organizing group, so the beachgoers dined on the roof of the Aharonis' home, five floors above stylish Rothschild Boulevard, where hundreds of tents are currently pitched by Israelis angry with the high cost of housing. The guests loved Mr. Aharoni's cooking. They lighted cigarettes - something they cannot do in public at home - and put on joyous Palestinian music. As the pink sun set over the Mediterranean, they danced with their Israeli friends.

Ms. Aharoni was asked her thoughts. She replied: "For 44 years, we have occupied another country. I am 53, which means most of my life I have been an occupier. I don't want to be an occupier. I am engaged in an illegal act of disobedience. I am not Rosa Parks, but I admire her, because she had the courage to break a law that was not right."


4) America's Credibility Is at Risk
New York Times Editorial
July 27, 2011

Until this week, Wall Street has shrugged off each new low in the debt-limit debate, confident - in a whistling-past-the-graveyard kind of way - that Washington would raise the debt limit on time.

Many Republican politicians have insisted that the economy and the country could shrug off a default. Up to Wednesday, the most conservative members of the House seemed to be welcoming a default. They refused to support a plan to raise the limit - and impose overly harsh spending cuts - put forward by Speaker John Boehner.

The cost of this fecklessness should now be clear to everyone. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped nearly 200 points on Wednesday and is down 421 points since Friday when Mr. Boehner left President Obama waiting for a phone call that never came about a deal that never closed.

With bond-rating agencies issuing dire warnings, investors have begun to demand higher rates on Treasury bills that come due in August. Prices have surged on credit default swaps, which are used by investors to protect against default and by speculators to bet on the likelihood of default.

On Wednesday, with Mr. Boehner warning his troops to "get your ass in line" to keep things from getting worse, several hard-line members began switching their votes and chances increased that his plan would pass the House. Whether that gets Washington any closer to a tolerable deal isn't clear.

It would be reassuring to chalk up the market volatility to endgame tension. Even if default is avoided, the prolonged stalemate has left the United States vulnerable to losing its AAA credit rating. For credit raters, the issue is political risk - the danger of dysfunctional politics leading to continued fiscal disarray. The risk is especially high if any deal only raises the debt limit until early next year, as called for in the speaker's plan. The potential repercussions of a downgrade include an even larger deficit, as higher interest rates raise borrowing costs for the government, as well as higher borrowing costs for businesses and consumers. As money that might have been spent or invested is instead used to pay debt, the slowing economy would slow even more and joblessness would rise.

The contractionary impact would be amplified because higher interest costs could hit at the same time as stimulus payments wane: Federal unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut for employees expire at the end of this year. Deep spending cuts that may accompany a deal would add to the distress.

Financial markets could also be roiled by a downgrade, in part, because a drop in the nation's credit rating might trigger payouts on derivatives bets that counterparties would not necessarily be able to meet.

Not least, a downgrade would be a blow to American credibility and prestige, made all the worse for coming so shortly after the made-in-America global financial crisis. As a correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt wrote a few days ago, "Out of the American 21st-century crisis could come the downfall of the dominant power of the 20th century." That may be overheated. But no one can shrug it off. The markets and the rest of the world are worried, and they should be. We all should be.


5) Ford to Increase Its Plant Capacity in India
July 27, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Ford Motor Company plans to invest almost $1 billion in northwest India, building factories to make nearly a quarter of a million cars a year, company executives said on Wednesday.

The investment is Ford's latest push into fast-growing markets in Asia and Africa, where it lags other big automakers.

The company's chief executive, Alan R. Mulally, said this year that Ford aimed to get a third of its sales from these two regions, about double what it was getting now. Ford has been adding factories, rolling out new models and opening dealerships in countries including South Africa and Thailand.

India, where passenger car sales grew 29 percent in the last fiscal year, to 2.5 million, is expected to become a critical market over the next decade, Ford executives said Wednesday. Ford expects a "dramatic spike up in India" by the middle of the decade as incomes increase, said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, during a meeting with reporters in Delhi.

Ford is investing in the state of Gujarat, whose chief minister, Narendra Modi, has drawn international attention for his business-friendly attitude. But Mr. Modi, a longtime Hindu nationalist, also remains one of India's most polarizing politicians because of allegations that he played a role in 2002 riots that left more than 1,000 dead, mostly Muslims.

Ford executives said they had chosen Gujarat because of its probusiness environment and because it had ports, which could allow the company to export from India in the future and to diversify from its existing Indian operations in the south.

"These are long-term investments," said Mr. Hinrichs. Ford is "trying to make the right long-term business decisions for multidecade investments, which will last far beyond any one political career."

Ford plans to build two new factories in Sanand, Gujarat, by 2014 that will employ 5,000 and have the capacity to assemble 240,000 cars and build 270,000 engines. Ford already has operations in the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu that employ 5,000 in manufacturing and 5,000 in back-office work and information technology.

Growth in India's booming passenger car market may outstrip that of China's this year, as the Chinese government tries to slow its sector's growth, removing subsidies and incentives for new car purchases.

Ford is not alone in channeling more capital into India. The Toyota Motor Corporation said on Wednesday that it would invest an additional $220 million in the country, to double production capacity to 310,000 units by 2013.

Ford's performance in India has lagged its performance in other markets. The company sells only 3 percent of all passenger cars in India, compared, for example, with 10 percent of Brazil's cars.

Ford was the only Detroit automaker to emerge from the 2009 recession without going into bankruptcy. And on Tuesday it reported its ninth consecutive quarterly profit, although its rebound was showing signs of slowing.

"Because we came out of the crisis much stronger financially, we now can make long-term investments, and that is what we are doing," Mr. Hinrichs said.


6) Cost of Treating Veterans Will Rise Long Past Wars
July 27, 2011

WASHINGTON - Though the withdrawal of American military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan will save the nation billions of dollars a year, another cost of war is projected to continue rising for decades to come: caring for the veterans.

By one measure, the cost of health care and disability compensation for veterans from those conflicts and all previous American wars ranks among the largest for the federal government - less than the military, Social Security and health care programs including Medicare, but nearly the same as paying interest on the national debt, the Treasury Department says.

Ending the current wars will not lower those veterans costs; indeed, they will rise ever more steeply for decades to come as the population of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan expands, ages and becomes more infirm. To date, more than 2.2 million troops have served in those wars.

Studies show that the peak years for government health care and disability compensation costs for veterans from past wars came 30 to 40 years after those wars ended. For Vietnam, that peak has not been reached.

In Washington, the partisan stalemate over cutting federal spending is now raising alarms among veterans groups and some lawmakers that the seemingly inexorable costs of veterans benefits will spur a backlash against those programs.

Though there is currently strong bipartisan support for veterans programs, some budget proposals, including from Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, and Representative Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, have called for trimming benefits for veterans and military retirees.

"Those proposals have been batted back so far," said David Autry of the Disabled American Veterans. "But we've got more vigorous budget hawks today. If they are willing to bring the nation to the brink of insolvency, who knows what else they might do?"

Even if cuts to veterans programs do not occur, the current mood of budgetary constraint seems likely to force the Department of Veterans Affairs to make do without the large spending increases it has received from Congress in the recent past.

That means efforts by veterans groups to expand existing health care programs, provide additional benefits to Vietnam veterans or institute new research into things like traumatic brain injury or hearing loss will face difficult uphill battles, lawmakers and veterans advocates say.

"No one is thinking about the lifetime costs this country is responsible for," said Senator Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat who is chairwoman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. "I'm really worried."

In a hearing before the panel on Wednesday, Heidi Golding, an analyst with the Congressional Budget Office, testified that the annual cost of caring for veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars would nearly triple or more in the next decade, rising to $5.5 billion to $8.4 billion in 2020, from $1.9 billion in 2010.

In that hearing, Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, also raised concerns that veterans' disability checks might not be paid if Congress fails to raise the debt limit next week.

With an annual budget of more than $125 billion, the Department of Veterans Affairs runs a nationwide health care system that cares for more than eight million people who have left military service, of which about 700,000 are from the current wars. The agency also administers disability compensation for millions of veterans wounded in service.

Estimating the long-term costs of those programs is a complex, contentious art, and no one inside the government does it beyond 10 years. But independent and government experts agree that for a variety of reasons the costs are just about certain to continue rising, even though large numbers of World War II and Korean War veterans are dying.

The reasons have much to do with improvements in battlefield medicine and equipment. More troops today are surviving injuries - 90 percent, up from 86 percent in Vietnam, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But that also means that more troops are coming home with complex and severe wounds.

Moreover, nearly one in five service members returning from deployment are thought to have symptoms of post-traumatic stress or major depression, according to a study by the RAND Corporation. A similar number are thought to have sustained traumatic brain injury. Though not all seek help, a significant percentage are expected to receive care from the veterans system, in part because of efforts to reduce the stigma of mental health problems in the military.

Further adding to strains on the department, more young veterans have been seeking care from the system than had been anticipated, possibly because they do not have private health insurance. Outreach efforts by the veterans department and veterans groups may have also increased enrollment, experts say.

Linda Bilmes, a Harvard academic who has done extensive research on the impact of the wars, said all those factors together suggested that "the actual cost over 30, 40 or 50 years will be even higher than we projected."

"And with life expectancy getting longer," she said, "the cost will probably peak later than in past wars."

Ms. Bilmes, a senior lecturer in public finance at the Kennedy School of Government, has estimated that the total cost of health care and disability compensation to veterans of the current wars will be nearly $1 trillion over the next 40 years.

Some academics and government officials say her projections are too high. But there is broad agreement on her larger point, that the costs will keep going up for decades to come.

"Because we have saved more peoples' lives," said Gordon Adams, a senior budget official in the Clinton administration, "we're going to be paying that bill for some time to come."

Mr. Adams, a professor of international relations at American University, said he considered it highly unlikely that Congress would ever cut veterans benefits. But Ms. Bilmes disagrees.

"I think when times are tough, there are no sacred cows," she said. "There was a time when it would be unthinkable that we would be talking about cutting pensions for teachers, firemen and policemen. Yet all over the country that's what we're looking at today."


7) At Ikea's Only U.S. Factory, Workers Vote to Join Union
July 27, 2011

Workers in southern Virginia at Ikea's only factory in the United States voted Wednesday to belong to a union.

Employees at the Swedwood plant in Danville, Va., voted 221-69 to have the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers represent them in collective bargaining, union and plant officials said. The National Labor Relations Board, which oversaw the vote, has not officially released the results.

Bill Street, a union organizer and director of the international's woodworkers unit, said he was surprised by the margin of victory. He said "everything's on the table" when union officials sit down with the company once the vote is certified. Ken Brown, site plant manager, said in a statement that the company officials "fully support the right of our co-workers to make this decision."

The union described working conditions at the Danville plant as akin to those in a developing nation. The 312 workers assemble the utilitarian bookshelves and coffee tables that the Swedish furniture giant sells. Union officials say they have complained of low wages, unsafe working conditions and erratic scheduling.

Ikea said the Virginia plant, in an economically depressed region, operates by the same principles as its 26 Swedwood plants in Europe.


8) Exxon and Shell Post Strong Profits
July 28, 2011

HOUSTON - Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell reported strong second-quarter earnings on Thursday, taking advantage of higher oil and gasoline prices while investing heavily in new energy projects.

Exxon's earnings were a bit lower than analysts had expected, despite strong revenue growth, reflecting a record $10.3 billion in capital and exploration expenditures in new oil and gas projects, up 58 percent from the second quarter of 2010. Its stock fell $1.25 a share in early trading to $82.06.

It was the strongest quarter for Exxon since it set a corporate quarterly earnings record of $14.8 billion in 2008, when crude oil prices approached $150 a barrel before collapsing as the world economy slowed.

The strong profits reported by the largest oil companies of the United States and Europe followed the strong results posted by ConocoPhillips and a number of other independent oil companies and oil service companies in recent days.

The industry is investing heavily in the United States in oil and gas projects in shale fields, gradually shifting to oil because of the high price of crude and lagging price of gas. Oil prices rose more than 30 percent during the quarter due mainly to political disruptions in North Africa and the Middle East, while natural gas prices rose less than 1 percent.

But even with low gas prices, Exxon, Shell and other energy companies are continuing to buy prospective fields in the United States, Europe, Argentina and elsewhere, and overall gas production is still rising after a decade of strong increases in output.

Shell started two projects in the first half of the year in Qatar and expanded its Canadian oil sands operation. The Qatargas 4 liquified natural gas project is now at full capacity and the new Pearl gas-to-liquids operation has started producing, Shell said. The projects are expected to contribute more than 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in peak production, the company said.

"We have made important progress with new production in 2011, and the ramp-up of our new projects should drive our financial performance in the coming quarters," said the Shell chief executive, Peter Voser, in a statement.

Oil and gas production at Shell dropped slightly because of its sale of a stake in a deep-water Brazilian project earlier this month. This year, it has sold assets in Britain, Canada and the United States. It completed a sale of a group of gas fields in South Texas to Occidental Petroleum for $1.8 billion in January.

Exxon reported earnings of $10.7 billion for the quarter, up from $7.56 billion and revenue of $125.49 billion, up from $92.47 billion. Shell profit rose to $8.7 billion from $4.4 billion.

Julie Werdigier reported from London.


9) Verizon Workers Vote to Support Strike
"...the company is proposing to make it easier to fire workers, tie raises more closely to job performance and require workers to contribute to their health insurance premiums. Union officials say Verizon has also demanded more freedom to contract out work, a pension freeze for current workers and eliminating traditional pensions for future workers. 'Verizon has put on the table the most aggressive set of contract demands we've ever seen,' said Robert Master, legislative and political director for the communications workers in the Northeast. 'From our perspective, this hugely profitable company that made $20 billion over the last four years, despite the worst economy in 75 years, seems determined to turn tens of thousands of secure middle-class jobs into lower-wage, much less secure jobs.'"
July 28, 2011

The main union representing Verizon's workers announced Thursday that its 35,000 members at Verizon had voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike once their three-year contract expires on Aug. 6.

Officials with the union, the Communications Workers of America, said the vote was no surprise because, in their view, Verizon is seeking the largest concessions ever from its unionized workers.

Candice Johnson, a spokeswoman for the union, said 91 percent of the workers who voted approved the strike authorization. Such a strike vote does not necessarily mean there will be a strike - negotiators usually settle the contract dispute before the contract expires.

The Verizon contracts that expire on Aug. 6 cover nearly 45,000 workers stretching from Massachusetts to Virginia, including thousands of Verizon employees in another union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. That union is holding a separate strike authorization vote.

Verizon officials say they need to have more flexibility and to hold down costs as customers move increasingly from landline to mobile phones. To achieve those goals, the company is proposing to make it easier to fire workers, tie raises more closely to job performance and require workers to contribute to their health insurance premiums.

Union officials say Verizon has also demanded more freedom to contract out work, a pension freeze for current workers and eliminating traditional pensions for future workers.

"Verizon has put on the table the most aggressive set of contract demands we've ever seen," said Robert Master, legislative and political director for the communications workers in the Northeast. "From our perspective, this hugely profitable company that made $20 billion over the last four years, despite the worst economy in 75 years, seems determined to turn tens of thousands of secure middle-class jobs into lower-wage, much less secure jobs."

Nearly one-third of Verizon's 200,000 workers are unionized and many of them are linesmen, phone installers and call center workers.

Verizon officials say they need concessions because the industry is changing so rapidly and because they are competing against some nonunion rivals.

Verizon's landline businesses had revenue of $41.2 billion last year, down 2.9 percent from the previous year. At Verizon Wireless, a joint venture with Vodafone Group, a British company, revenue was $63.4 billion, a 5.1 increase over the previous year.


10) Farmers, Evacuees, and Student of Fukushima University demand;
"Give back Fukushima! Give back rice fields! Give back our future and human beings!"
Doro-Chiba Quake Report No.27
1,510 marches in Fukushima on June 19
Speakers from Fukushima Prefecture Teachers Union,
National Railways Workers Union Koriyama Factory Branch,
Sendai City Municipal Workers Union

As many as 1500 participants of June 19 Fukushima Rally declared to pursue responsibility of TEPCO and Kan administration till the end and rushed to the task force center of TEPCO and the state to demonstrate their fierce protest. Fukushima Prefecture Teachers Union joined the rally in order to express their determination to fulfill their duty as labor union in front of this disaster. Appeals were made to rise up for struggle to defend children and their families by all means against any difficulty. Expropriate the expropriators! A fresh fight has begun.

Don't restart Nuke Plants now shut for routine maintenance!
We demand immediate stoppage and decommissioning of all nuke plants!
TEPCO and the State should take full responsibility for all disasters!

What is developing actually in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant is: a complete meltdown of the first reactor-thee nuclear fuel has melted through the base of the pressure vessels and the outer containment vessels causing destruction of concrete-made foundation. Thus all the facilities are now sinking down onto the ground. Though the facts are completely and maliciously concealed by the TEPCO, similar dangerous developments are suspected also for the second and third reactors.

The only effective measure to control the present critical situation of the nuclear plants seems to be a construction of a thick retaining wall of concrete reaching to deep underground ("underground dam") to stop contamination of groundwater and to prevent leaking of contaminated water into the ocean. Quite outrageously, TEPCO flatly refuses to take this measure, insisting that this operation would cost 100 billion Yen, causing the increase of utilities' debt and that it would work on stockholders negatively who fear lowering stock price! They explain that contamination of the ocean will take place only after a year because the speed of the groundwater is estimated 5~10cm per day. Kan administration supports this absurd view of the TEPCO and clings to its discredited Road Map for the Disaster Control.

The TEPCO recently checked the degree of internal exposure of a part of the workers who were involved in the emergency operation to put down the hydrogen explosion. Upon the request of the workers to let them know the result of the measurement, TEPCO answered: "We can't tell it to you now. For the publication of the result in future, we can't promise you". Evidently the result of the measurement must have shown a high level of radioactive exposure exceeding the official limit recently raised for an emergency situation by the nuclear authority.

On the other hand, ISHIHARA Shintaro, Tokyo Governor, shamelessly insists, "What happened in Three Mile and Chernobyl were man-made accidents, but Fukushima is totally beyond expectation", "Japanese people must restrain selfish interest in order to achieve restoration". ISHIHARA Nobuteru, Liberal-Democratic secretary general and Shintaro's son, expressed his fear at people's mounting anger, "It is quite understandable that they have been driven into a mass hysteria after the tremendous accident".

The most outrageous and astonishing example is offered by KAIEDA Banri, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, who urged the restart of the operation of 21 nuclear reactors which have been shut for routine maintenance, under the pretext that the following five nonsense requirements have already been met: installation of large type drill for boring of the reactor building in order to prevent hydrogen explosion and introduction of heavy machinery to get rid of debris etc. He proposed this just at the precise moment, in which Fukushima Daiichi accident is developing into the world worst disaster ever in the history.

"If only there had been no nuke plant, --- ", with these last words, farmers commit suicide one after another, fishermen look up the sky with a sore heart and numerous workers are thrown on the street due to the closure of stricken factories. 300,000 school children in Fukushima are forced to radioactive exposure by the administrative judgment and instruction that their circumstances are "free from dangerous radiation."

TEPCO and Kan administration deserve death. Is 100 billion Yen too expensive to save human lives? Are the stock price and the general meeting of TEPCO shareholders more important than human future?

Let's crush a drive of outsourcing, casualization and mass dismissal of workers in pretext of the Earthquake!

We call on workers of the whole world to make a big step forward for the abolition of nuclear plants and nuclear energy!

June 24th, 2011
International Labor Solidarity Committee of Doro-Chiba


11) Significant court ruling in free speech postering case
Judge will allow First Amendment challenge to rules governing political posters in Washington
By Associated Press, Published: July 21
D.C. lamppost sign regulations may be unconstitutional, judge says
By Del Quentin Wilber
Posted at 05:32 PM ET, 07/21/2011
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

Four years ago, in the summer of 2007, the ANSWER Coalition was organizing for a national demonstration on Sept. 15, 2007, to show mass opposition Bush's decision to "surge" 30,000 more troops into Iraq.

The occupation of Iraq had stimulated a huge armed resistance movement in Iraq and the people of the United States had turned completely against Bush's policy and wanted the war to end rather than expand.

The government engaged in unprecedented actions to block that mobilization.

We were hit with over $50,000 in fines for posters that announced the Sept. 15 demonstration. No other organization had ever been targeted like that for posters.

People rallied to our defense, and tens of thousands of letters were sent by people to the D.C. government demanding an end to this unconstitutional effort.

When we held a press conference in Lafayette Park right in front of the White House to oppose the fines, the speakers and the assembled media were dispersed by police on horseback. Over 100,000 people viewed this episode on a YouTube video that went viral.

Instead of halting the mobilization, the government's repressive tactics stimulated more people to organize. One hundred thousand people came out for a dramatic action on Sept. 15, and 200 were arrested when they attempted to deliver a letter from anti-war veterans to Congress.

As they have in the past, attorneys from the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund came into the fray in August 2007 and filed another constitutional rights lawsuit, this time challenging D.C.'s unconstitutional permitting regulations. The plaintiffs were the ANSWER Coalition and Muslim American Society Freedom.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund has carried this hard-fought litigation for the last four years. They did this work entirely pro bono. They have not received any payment for this work. The entire progressive movement continues to benefit from their self-sacrificing efforts and their well recognized legal expertise.

Last week, a U.S. District Court issued a significant ruling in the case that rejected the government's effort to dismiss the case. Again, the outcome here has far-reaching implications for Free Speech Rights in the nation's capital.

Please read and share with your friends on Facebook and elsewhere the email below from the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund about this important ruling.

I want to also urge you to make a tax-deductible donation to the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund that helps sustain their all important and expanding work in defense of civil rights and civil liberties.

Brian Becker
ANSWER Coalition, national coordinator


Federal Court Ruling on Constitutional Challenge
to Postering Regulations in Washington, D.C.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund's four-year-long battle to overturn the District of Columbia's unconstitutional postering regulations has resulted in a significant ruling today for free speech. "District regulations governing how long signs can remain affixed to city lampposts are unconstitutional and need to be rewritten, a federal judge signaled in a court opinion Thursday," wrote the Washington Post in an article about today's ruling.

The lawsuit stems from an unprecedented campaign of illegal and unconstitutional fines levied against the ANSWER Coalition for anti-war posters, which now total over $70,000. The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) brought a constitutional rights challenge on behalf of ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) and the MASF (Muslim American Society Freedom) to strike down the regulations which favor politicians' campaign posters and penalize grassroots political speech.

"The reality is that government officials who run for office and make the rules in D.C. give special treatment to their political speech, while fining grassroots speech," stated Carl Messineo, Legal Director of the PCJF.

"The District has employed an illegal system that creates a hierarchy of speech, favoring the speech of politicians and punishing grassroots outreach," stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the PCJF. "It's time for that system to end, and it will."

The Court's Ruling

Rejecting the District's efforts to have the case dismissed, U.S. District Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth instead wrote in his opinion that District officials "can revise the regulations to include a single, across-the-board durational restriction that applies equally to all viewpoints and subject matters. This would address the problem of litter, remove the suspicion that politicians are carving out exceptions to benefit their own campaigns, and uphold the tradition of vibrant free expression in the national's capital."

The case will now go forward with the plaintiffs efforts to strike down the unconstitutional postering regulations, and at the same time the ANSWER Coalition continues to battle the $70,000 in outrageous and improper fines it has been assessed in another court proceeding. The attorneys at the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund are providing representation in both cases.

The PCJF is litigating and providing legal support and consultation to grassroots activists in cities around the country who are challenging the growing trend of government and law enforcement to criminalize and monetarily fine the distribution of leaflets and posters.

We can't do this work without your help. We are defending the anti-war and civil rights movements as they resist paying one penny in illegal fines to the government. Please make a generous donation to help carry out this work in defense of free speech rights.


Judge will allow First Amendment challenge to rules governing political posters in Washington
By Associated Press, Published: July 21

WASHINGTON - Time limits on how long posters can hang to announce rallies, trumpet issues or plug candidates in Washington are the subject of a lawsuit a judge allowed to go forward Thursday while strongly suggesting current regulations are improper.

Two anti-war and anti-racism groups sued the District of Columbia four years ago over the poster regulations. The groups argued that city law unfairly allows posters promoting candidates to be affixed to city lampposts longer than posters with general messages like "Stop War." The rules are unconstitutional and violate the First Amendment because they give one kind of message preference over another, the groups said.

On Thursday, a federal judge said he would allow the groups' challenge to go forward.

The city revised its postering rules in late 2009 while the lawsuit was going on, but the new rules still create two categories of signs. Signs with generic messages can hang on city lampposts for 60 days. Signs tied to a specific event, like a rally or an election, can hang longer because they can be posted any time prior to the event. They just have to be removed within 30 days after the event is over.

That means signs are treated differently based on their content, explained U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in a 29-page ruling issued Thursday. A sign that reads "Bring our troops home" could hang for 60 days, but a sign that says "Bring our troops home: Vote the Peace Party candidate in 2016" would presumably be allowed to hang for five years until the election, he wrote.

A lawyer for the groups that filed the lawsuit - the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition and the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation - said Thursday she believes the city will have to change its rules. Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the Partnership for Civil Justice said officials "give special treatment for their own political speech while they punish grassroots anti-war speech."

"They don't want to have an even playing field," she said.

Lawyers for the city have previously argued that the regulations help officials combat litter. Attorneys for the city were reviewing the opinion, said Ariel Waldman, a spokesman for the D.C. Office of the Attorney General. Both sides have to confer within the next two weeks.

Lamberth said that going forward he would view arguments from the city with an open mind, but he said that the different treatment of signs without explanation presented serious concerns.

"There is, of course, another alternative available to the District's officials," the judge wrote, saying the city could change its policy so that all posters can be displayed for the same amount of time. "This would address the problem of litter, remove the suspicion that politicians are carving out exceptions to benefit their own campaigns, and uphold the tradition of vibrant free expression in the nation's capital."

Jessica Gresko can be reached at


D.C. lamppost sign regulations may be unconstitutional, judge says
By Del Quentin Wilber
Posted at 05:32 PM ET, 07/21/2011

District regulations governing how long signs can remain affixed to city lampposts are unconstitutional and need to be rewritten, a federal judge signaled in a court opinion Thursday.

In a 29-page ruling, U.S. District Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth said city rules may not be fair because they have different time constraints for posters tied to a specific events and those promoting general political speech.

Posters that promote an event - such as the election of a candidate - must be taken down within 30 days of the the event. But that time period can also be open-ended because the event may not be for years. For example, if someone posted a sign advocating the election of a candidate in November 2016, the poster could remain on the lamppost until December of that year.

Posters promoting general political views may only remain on lampposts for 60 total days.

An anti-war group, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, and th e Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation sued the District, calling the regulations unconstitutional. They argued that the rules drew unfair distinctions between different types of speech and would tend to favor speech promoting an event or the election of an official.

In his ruling, Lamberth tossed aside the District's efforts to have the case dismissed and wrote that it could proceed.

At the end of the opinion, Lamberth took the unusual step of suggesting a fix to cut short further legal proceedings: rewrite the rules.

"The court harbors no preconceived view and will consider the District's arguments with an open mind," he wrote. "But if the Court finds that the regulations restrict expression based on content without furthering a content-neutral purpose, it will have little choice but to conclude that they favor election-related communications over general political advocacy in violation of the First Amendment.

"There is, of course, another alternative to the District's officials. They can revise the regulations to include a single, across-the-board durational restriction that applies equally to all viewpoints and subject matters."

"This is a great victory for free speech in the District of Columbia," said Carl Messineo, Legal Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice, which represented the two groups in the lawsuit. "The reality is that government officials who run for office and make and enforce the rules give special treatment to their own political speech while punishing grassroots speech."

Ariel Waldman, senior counsel in the D.C. attorney general's office, said said officials were reviewing the ruling but declined to comment further.

This item has been updated.


12) 10 TV Shows That Changed the World
By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, AlterNet
Posted on July 28, 2011, Printed on July 29, 2011

Constantly derided as the "boob tube," television is often seen as a brain cell killer-or, as this vintage Disposable Heroes of Hip-Hoprisy song quaintly put it, a "cathode ray nipple" and "the drug of the nation."

Certainly, sometimes the wide selection of humanity-degrading reality shows can make TV seem like some kind of cynical government propaganda project, crafted to dumb us down until we attain a real-life Idiocracy. But as any media analyst will tell you, TV is still one of America's most important mediums for mass communication.

Since it really took off in the 1950s, lots of directors, writers and producers have used the scripted format to push progressive ideas and help mold the country into a better, more accepting place-game-changing television. So while you might be concerned at the preponderance of programming that panders to our basest instincts for ratings and ad dollars, here are 10 really good reasons for progressives to flick on the set-or at least the DVD player.

1. Star Trek

In 1966, Gene Roddenberry's popular sci-fi novels were developed into a television show that would translate its promise to "boldly go where no man had gone before" into a mission to make cultural inroads. "Star Trek" used its themes of alien life to reflect the civil rights movement, and at times, the burgeoning feminist movement, all through one of the first-ever multicultural casts on television (along with a Vulcan or two). Captain Kirk and his other-planetary sidekick Spock helmed the Starship Enterprise's fealty coalition, including Sulu (played by Japanese-American activist George Takei) and Uhura (African American Nichelle Nichols), plus two strong white women (Janice Rand as Grace Whitney and Christine Chapel as Majel Barrett). There was also the Russian, Chekov (Walter Koenig), and the infamous Scottish Scotty (James Doohan), who were not of color but were allowed to kept their native accents (it was 1966, throw them a bone). Together, they were fearless, facing grave dangers and unknown worlds.

But they were not just space explorers. As Gene Roddenberry once said, "I have no belief that 'Star Trek' depicts the actual future. It depicts us, now, things we need to understand about that." Its presumably far-fetched sci-fi tales were actually allegories for the struggles of the time, but it did envision a better future. Uhura was black and a woman but respected as an equal; Sulu was one of the bravest fighters on the ship, and the helmsman of the USS Enterprise. In one oft-cited, groundbreaking episode aired in 1969, "Star Trek" tried to examine the nature of racism by depicting an alien race with half-black, half-white faces (literally split down the middle) that discriminated against those whose color sides were reversed, and vice versa. Committed to their discrimination, engaged in endless race war, they led Kirk to muse that "all that mattered to them was their hate."

"Star Trek" also boasts the first-ever interracial kiss on national television, between William Shatner's Captain Kirk and Nichelle Nichols' Uhura. That was in November 1967-five months after the United States Supreme Court struck down all 16 anti-miscegenation laws in the country.

2. Ellen

Ellen Degeneres is now known as a popular talk show host whose ratings approached Oprah's by the end of Winfrey's run. But in 1997, she was a former standup comedian turned sitcom star (in "Ellen") who still hadn't emerged from the closet. That all changed, in a Februrary '97 episode of Oprah, in which Ellen the person revealed her sexual orientation and set the climate for Ellen's eponymous character to come out, too.

Degeneres' personal confession was instrumental in the cultural shift that the '90s wrought-her portrait was splashed across the cover of Time with the jovial headline, "Yep, I'm Gay"-but her character's moment broke TV ground, too. In "The Puppy Episode," Degeneres' character came out to her therapist (played, of course, by Winfrey), after being sexually attracted (and in denial) to another lesbian (played by Laura Dern). The show was canceled in 1998-but two months after its last episode, "Will and Grace," a show about a gay male lawyer and his straight woman best friend, debuted. It hasn't been gay-straight utopia in TV-land since then, but inroads have been made in the form of "thirtysomething" (the first TV program to show two men in bed together), "My So-Called Life" (featuring a semi-out high schooler), and "Ugly Betty." Speaking of which....

3. Ugly Betty

The American remake of a wildly popular Colombian telenovela, "Ugly Betty" was the first television show to tackle modern immigration issues in prime-time. Centered around a modest Mexican-American family in Queens, the show followed first-generation American Betty Suarez as she worked her way up through a snooty fashion magazine, hoping to attain her dream of becoming a real journalist. As a low-level employee at Mode, she's treated poorly because she has "no fashion sense" (she wears ponchos and bright colors) and is not thin (she eats regularly). But her integrity and spirit win out over her saboteurs every time-even when her father, portrayed by beloved actor Tony Plana, is deported back to Mexico after having lived in New York for 30 years. Though the style of "Ugly Betty" is modeled after novelas-soapy, campy and blown-up-it had a great heart, and the immigration storyline was excellent in showing the pain families go through when their loved ones who've made this country their home are suddenly taken away. (Enact DREAM, people!)

"Ugly Betty" was progressive in other ways, too. Not only was it the first show to (hyper-)realistically portray a normal Mexican-American family, it had several gay characters (including Betty's 14-year-old nephew Justin, portrayed fearlessly by Mark Indelicato), and dealt extensively with coming out. The series even featured a transgender lead played by Rebecca Romijn, whose character was said to have undergone a sex reassignment. Sadly, "Ugly Betty" was canceled in April 2010.

4. East Side West Side

Cicely Tyson was not only the first black character to star in a primetime show (in 1963), she also broke hair boundaries: she wore her hair in cornrows to portray the secretary of a New York City social worker. "East Side West Side" portrayed urban blight before it hit rock bottom in the Big Apple, airing stories about poverty, statutory rape and prostitution. It was considered a well-written, hard-hitting show, which is ultimately what got it canceled-advertisers were wary of being associated with it, while stations in some Southern states wouldn't air it. Still, though it only lasted a year, it garnered eight Emmy nominations.

5. Roseanne

Before poor and working-class whites were retooled in the media as Nascar-loving rednecks, there was "Roseanne," a brilliant show about a lovable family in Illinois who made up for their lack of wealth with a preponderance of wit. Not only did it air primetime's first-ever lesbian kiss (which Roseanne talks about here), it tackled political disenfranchisement and the importance of unions. Plus, Roseanne was the best feminist role model, a strong, take-no-shit beflanneled mom who ran her household with love and, of course, acerbic wit.

6. Murphy Brown

Speaking of feminism, what was in the air in the 1990s? Candace Bergen's Murphy Brown was the epitome of that decade's feminist acheivements, when women were making strides as the third wave was roiling. A savvy, hyper-intelligent news anchor, Brown was also a recovering alcoholic whose only male life partner was the housepainter who never seemed to finish his renovations. That didn't stop her from becoming a mother, though, and the episode in which she gave birth not only included a choice line that referenced the political goings-on of the day ("Several people do not want me to have the baby. Pat Robertson, Phyllis Schlafly, half of Utah!"), it actually sparked real-life national debate, when then Vice-President Dan Quayle criticized the show for making it seem okay for single women to be mothers. Luckily, it is, and Dan Quayle is presently keeping himself out of the limelight somewhere in Arizona.

7. The Simpsons

Bugs Bunny had a lot of war references during the '40s (some of which were verging on propaganda and presently hard to find), but the idea of a political cartoon didn't really hit its stride until Matt Groening's brilliant "Simpsons," which combined Homer's id with Lisa's politically aware screeds and the everpresent commentary on politics and culture. One of its most notable acheivements: early in its run, in 1992, it made an appearance in a presidential re-election speech made by George Bush I, who said America needed to be "more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons." (Sidebar: barf.) The Simpsons' retort? An opening sequence featuring a chalkboard with the phrase, "Hey, we're just like the Waltons. We want the depression to end, too." Touche!

8. The Mary Tyler Moore Show

You're gonna make it after all! Even if you're a single career woman in her 30s in 1970, or so Mary Tyler Moore showed us. Airing at the height of second-wave feminism, the show portrayed the first-ever character of that type, and allowed her a high position at her job, too-she was an associate producer for a television station in Minneapolis. The show dealt with premarital sex, homosexuality, divorce, and other issues in an era that was just starting to open up to such things, and most wonderfully, Betty White played a wild swinger! (As swinging as she could be on TV in 1970, anyway.)

9. The Cosby Show

No, its greatest progressive achievement wasn't Bill Cosby's sweaters (although we remain impressed by them). "The Cosby Show" showed a black family in a way that had never before been seen: they were normal, upper-middle-class, stable, occasionally bumbling, and full of love. In the same way "Roseanne" exposed the working class with heart, "The Cosbys" showed America that its stereotypes about African Americans were ridiculous, while at the same time giving all families a structure they could aspire to. And while sometimes Bill's jokes were corny, that was the point: he was everydad.

10. The Wire

A lot of TV lovers consider this HBO series the greatest show ever made. Not only did it push the artistic format of the series by blurring the line between serialized novel, 13-hour movie and Greek tragedy, it changed the way people conceive of progressive television. It's completely life-changing, but don't feel bad if you haven't seen it; promotion for the show remains woefully word-of-mouth even now, while the Emmys proved their screwed-up priorities by never giving the show a nod during its acclaimed run from 2002-2008.

Based on the real-life experiences of former Baltimore Sun police reporter David Simon and ex-homicide detective Ed Burns, "The Wire" chronicled the disastrous effects of the war on drugs on the streets of Baltimore, mostly through the eyes of cops, drug dealers, politicians, addicts, kingpins, and kids. Through five seasons and interlocking storylines, "The Wire" tackled the corruption of institutions, the decay of journalism and the failure of the school system in unimaginably complex ways. Through it all, it offered a critique and the occasional solution (nearly all of season four deals with harm reduction) that depicts the death of the American dream at the hands of greed and corruption. It sounds depressing, and it is, but it remains as close as we'll ever get to social truths through the medium.

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd is an associate editor at AlterNet and a Brooklyn-based freelance writer and editor. Formerly the executive editor of The FADER, her work has appeared in VIBE, SPIN, New York Times and various other magazines and websites.


13) NATO Strikes at Libyan State TV
July 30, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya - NATO said Saturday that it had disabled three Libyan state television transmission dishes in Tripoli with airstrikes overnight, as the alliance took steps to remove the main instrument of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi's propaganda from the airwaves.

Although the broadcasts continued on Saturday, silencing state television would be a psychological blow to Colonel Qaddafi's forces as well as a boon to his opponents. The rebels challenging his rule have urged NATO for months to take out the channel, and both NATO and the rebels now face a deadline in September, when the United Nations resolution authorizing the airstrikes expires.

The strikes are also the latest reminder of how far NATO has stretched its United Nations mandate to protect civilians, removing a purely political tool that only directly threatened civilians perhaps by boring them. A campaign initially billed as the imposition of a no-fly zone now consists mainly of providing air support for the rebels, who with NATO's help have expanded from their base in the east to control the coastal city of Misurata and the western mountains while operating an underground resistance within Tripoli, the capital.

In a statement justifying the strikes, NATO said: "Our intervention was necessary as TV was being used as an integral component of the regime apparatus designed to systematically oppress and threaten civilians and to incite attacks against them. Qaddafi's increasing practice of inflammatory broadcasts illustrates his regime's policy to instill hatred amongst Libyans, to mobilize its supporters against civilians and to trigger bloodshed."

In recent weeks, recorded addresses by Colonel Qaddafi on state television and radio have urged Libyans to resist NATO and march against the rebels. Colonel Qaddafi himself has gone underground, speaking from undisclosed locations as he moves from place to place in an effort to dodge potential airstrikes. The addresses remind Libyans that he is alive and in charge.


14) N.R.C. Lowers Estimate of How Many Would Die in Meltdown
[Or, "Don't worry. Be happy. Not too many of us will die"]
"Big releases of radioactive material would not be immediate, and people within a 10-mile radius would have enough time to evacuate, the study found. The chance of a death from acute radiation exposure within 10 miles is therefore near zero, the study projects, although some people would receive doses high enough to cause fatal cancers in decades to come. ... One person in every 4,348 living within 10 miles would be expected to develop a 'latent cancer' as a result of radiation exposure, compared with one in 167 in previous estimates."
July 29, 2011

ROCKVILLE, Md. - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is approaching completion of an ambitious study that concludes that a meltdown at a typical American reactor would lead to far fewer deaths than previously assumed.

The conclusion, to be published in April after six years of work, is based largely on a radical revision of projections of how much and how quickly cesium 137, a radioactive material that is created when uranium is split, could escape from a nuclear plant after a core meltdown. In past studies, researchers estimated that 60 percent of a reactor core's cesium inventory could escape; the new estimate is only 1 to 2 percent.

A draft version of the report was provided to The New York Times by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nuclear watchdog group that has long been critical of the commission's risk assessments and obtained it through a Freedom of Information Act request. Since the recent triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, such groups have been arguing that the commission urgently needs to tighten safeguards for new and aging plants in the United States.

The report is a synthesis of 20 years of computer studies and engineering analyses, stated in complex mathematical terms. In essence, it states that if a prolonged loss of electric power caused a typical American reactor core to melt down, the great bulk of the radioactive material released would remain inside the building even when the reactor's containment shell was breached.

Big releases of radioactive material would not be immediate, and people within a 10-mile radius would have enough time to evacuate, the study found. The chance of a death from acute radiation exposure within 10 miles is therefore near zero, the study projects, although some people would receive doses high enough to cause fatal cancers in decades to come.

One person in every 4,348 living within 10 miles would be expected to develop a "latent cancer" as a result of radiation exposure, compared with one in 167 in previous estimates.

"Accidents progress more slowly, in some cases much more slowly, than previously assumed," Charles G. Tinkler, a senior adviser for research on severe accidents and one of the study's authors, said in an interview at a commission office building here. "Releases are smaller, and in some cases much smaller, of certain key radioactive materials."

The N.R.C. did not intend to release the report until next spring and said its conclusions were still being adjusted after a peer review.

The health effects of a catastrophic meltdown were hypothetical until the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island. That destroyed a billion-dollar reactor but caused no apparent physical harm to nearby residents, immediately or over time. Debate has persisted over whether the United States skirted a disaster or whether that accident was about as bad as it could get.

Edwin Lyman, a nuclear physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, contends that the nuclear commission has consistently painted an overly rosy picture and that its latest study does as well. He noted that the study assumed a successful evacuation of 99.5 percent of the people within 10 miles, for example. The report also assumes "average" weather conditions, he noted.

But if a rainstorm were under way during a release of radioactive materials, he said, it could wash contaminants out of the air into a small area, producing a high dose there.

Jennifer L. Uhle, the deputy director of the commission's office of nuclear regulatory research, said the report was intended to present the "best estimate" and not the worst case.

Dr. Lyman said the earlier estimate was of a different accident, a major pipe break. The new study considered that accident too unlikely to analyze.

Dr. Lyman suggested that in projections of fatal cancer cases, the focus should be on people who live within 50 miles. The average population within 10 miles of an American nuclear plant is 62,000; within 50 miles, it is about five million.

The commission's old projection of eventual cancer deaths was one for every 2,128 people exposed within 50 miles; the new study projects one cancer death for every 6,250 people exposed, which still comes to hundreds of cancer deaths within the 50-mile circle, in addition to the hundreds of thousands who would be expected to die of cancer from other causes.

Dr. Lyman countered that when dealing with estimates based on so many variables - including more than 100 reactors of different designs and vintage, in areas with disparate population densities - a difference of a factor of three is not important. In his view, the study reconfirms that reactors pose serious risks.

The commission's shift in thinking about how much radioactive cesium 137 would escape after a core meltdown is based on a conclusion that most of it would either dissolve in water that stays put or adhere to surfaces within the plant. The authors said previous analyses had made "conservative assumptions" that most of the cesium and other materials would escape. But laboratory studies and computer modeling have not borne out that hypothesis, they said.

Commission experts have said that a total blackout would be extremely rare at an American plant and that backup generators and other machinery would fill the breach until grid power was restored. Nonetheless, the study focused on what would happen in the event of a nuclear station blackout, meaning a complete loss of power from the grid and from backup diesel generators, and then an exhaustion of batteries that supply power, leading to a meltdown. That is what happened at Fukushima.

The study focused on two common reactor types in this country: boiling-water reactors at the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, similar to those at Fukushima, and pressurized-water reactors at the Surry Power Station in Virginia.

The study gives a highly detailed prediction of which equipment would stop operating; what temperatures, steam pressures and flows of water and steam would result; and where and when leaks would begin after a meltdown.

It concluded that Peach Bottom would not release enough radioactive material to kill anyone immediately, although it could increase the rate of cancer deaths over future decades. At Surry, the probability was so low and the number of people living within 10 miles so small that the death toll would be a fraction of a person.

The report was prepared by staff members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Sandia National Laboratories, a Department of Energy lab. Beyond the revisions to be made as a result of the peer review, the report could undergo further changes after public comments are received next year.

Once completed, it might be used by the commission when it analyzes proposed safety improvements in terms of costs and benefits, or decides where reactors should be located.

"Once we think we know what the best estimate is, we think we can start thinking about applications," said Jason H. Schaperow, a senior reactor systems engineer and one of the authors.


15) Enjoy Park Greenery, City Says, but Not as Salad
July 29, 2011

Maybe it is the spiraling cost of food in a tough economy or the logical next step in the movement to eat locally. Whatever the reason, New Yorkers are increasingly fanning out across the city's parks to hunt and gather edible wild plants, like mushrooms, American ginger and elderberries.

Now parks officials want them to stop. New York's public lands are not a communal pantry, they say. In recent months, the city has stepped up training of park rangers and enforcement-patrol officers, directing them to keep an eye out for foragers and chase them off.

"If people decide that they want to make their salads out of our plants, then we're not going to have any chipmunks," said Maria Hernandez, director of horticulture for the Central Park Conservancy, the nonprofit group that manages Central Park.

Plants are not the only things people are taking. In Prospect Park in Brooklyn last week, park rangers issued four summonses to two people for illegal fishing. Although officials say such poaching is not widespread, park advocates say taking fish and turtles for food is not uncommon, and some have reported evidence of traps designed to snare wildfowl.

Foraging used to be a quirky niche, filled most notably by "Wildman" Steve Brill, who for years has led foraging tours in the Northeast, including in Central Park. (He now sells a foraging app, too.) But foragers today are an eclectic bunch, including downtown hipsters, recent immigrants, vegans and people who do not believe in paying for food.

Even those who would never dream of plucking sassafras during a walk in the park can read about it. The magazine Edible Manhattan has an "Urban Forager" column (as does The New York Times's City Room blog). And the current issue of Martha Stewart Living features a colorful spread about foraging on Ms. Stewart's property in Maine - but at least all those plants belong to her.

While it has long been against the rules to collect or destroy plants in the city's parks, with potential fines of $250, the city has preferred education to enforcement. "It's listed in the prohibited uses of the parks, and the simple reason is that if everyone went out and collected whatever it is - a blackberry or wildflower - the parks couldn't sustain that," said Sarah Aucoin, director of urban park rangers for the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Officials have not gone as far as posting signs in Central Park that foraging is prohibited, for fear they would serve as arrows pointing to the most delectable areas. Ms. Hernandez of the park conservancy would take a reporter on a tour of edible plants only on the condition that their locations not be revealed.

For their part, regular foragers - especially those who write and teach about the practice - say that they are sensitive to the environment and that they focus on renewable items like leaves and berries. Besides, they say, much of their quarry comes from invasive species that squeeze out native plants.

"You're almost doing the ecosystem in the park a favor by harvesting them," said Leda Meredith, who wrote "The Locavore's Handbook: The Busy Person's Guide to Eating Local on a Budget," which includes a chapter on foraging. Ms. Meredith, who leads tours in Prospect Park, says 70 percent of the plants she collects are nonnative and invasive.

"Japanese knotweed is very invasive, and it's in season in April," she said. It can be used like rhubarb, she added.

Marie Viljoen, a garden designer who writes the foraging column for Edible Manhattan, argued that parks officials were overstating the problem. "It's a little alarmist to think that a park is going to be mowed down like a herd of deer went through," she said.

Parks officials counter that they are more worried about the novices and say that certain plants, like American ginger and ramps, are especially vulnerable since they are yanked out, root and all. Park managers point out, too, that there are programs to weed out invasive plants.

Then there is the danger of poisonous and toxic plants. "Not everyone knows how to use these herbs and spices," Ms. Hernandez said.

Some natural areas outside New York City accommodate foragers. Sandy Hook in New Jersey, which is part of the federal Gateway National Recreation Area, limits the harvesting of beach plum fruit, berries and mushrooms to "one quart container per person, per day," said John Harlan Warren, a spokesman for the recreation area.

In New York's state parks, the attitude seems more relaxed as well. "It's illegal, but the occasional blueberry picker is not hauled away in handcuffs," said Tom Alworth, deputy commissioner for natural resources for the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Aside from issuing summonses, the city has not taken any recent legal action. It did go after Mr. Brill for foraging in Central Park once before: he was arrested in the mid-1980s, and it turned into a public relations debacle for the parks department. The charges were later dropped.

After appearing on television talk shows and receiving sympathetic news coverage, Mr. Brill was actually hired by the department as a naturalist and led foraging tours for a few years. He has since continued his tours privately, and says he is tolerated by Central Park's rangers. "They usually wave at me," he said.

Even some fellow foragers look askance at Mr. Brill. One of his tours in 2009 attracted 78 people, an all-time high. "I see him as the vaudeville showman of foraging," Ms. Viljoen said. "I get nervous when I see that many people storming the park."

Just what gets taken can vary from park to park, often depending on the ethnic makeup of the surrounding neighborhood.

"There are groups going around and collecting things that they recognize from their home countries," said Gary Lincoff, an instructor at the New York Botanical Garden, who admitted foraging in the parks for juneberries. "The Chinese gather gingko, and I've talked to Koreans who are gathering white wood aster."

Beverly McDermott, director of Friends of Kissena Park in Flushing, Queens, has confronted foragers directly when she has seen them hauling away everything from plants to top soil to turtles. A garden in the 242-acre park that Mrs. McDermott helped revive a decade ago has been repeatedly pillaged, with herbs, flowers and a whole weeping cherry tree disappearing.

"I have caught them leaving the park with coolers full of fish and turtles," she said. "You need signs throughout the park. I find the rangers to be totally useless. They're walking around like Boy Scouts."