Posts Tagged war on terror

How & Why We Worked to Drive Out the Bush Regime

The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime

NYC, November 2005 - Photo by Fred Askew

In the summer of 2005, people were starting to come out of their 6 month long depression over the outcome of the 2004 election.  It was somewhat of a struggle to get people to stop blaming Bush voters, and grasp and grapple with the depravity of the Bush program, and the fact that two aggressive wars had been launched on the basis of lies.

Some of us already working to end the wars, torture, and in many other causes wrangled with the problem that, “fighting against each outrage and winning on important fronts — from immigrants rights to defending the right to due process, to defending abortion, evolution, against discrimination or to defend critical thinking on campus — is invaluable to making real change in a world that desperately needs it.  But we are fighting each and every one of these battles on losing ground – ground that is rapidly disappearing under our feet.”

The future is unwritten…

A better outcome for the world required a mass movement of people united in acting to drive George Bush, “Dick” Cheney, and their illegitimate regime from office, and repudiating and reversing the program which had become to be identified with them, especially after 9/11/01.  That movement needed to act independently and stop looking for a savior from the Democratic Party.  It needed a spirit, call, and direction, which World Can’t Wait supplied in the Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime.

The Call was quickly distributed hand to hand in about a million copies nationwide starting that summer, and published in several full page newspaper ads in The New York Times, many local papers, and USA Today, with 40,000 people ultimately signing it. While it aggravated some, the points outlined in it captured what was coming down from the heights of power in a belligerent way, and moved many to act:

Reading the Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime

Reading the Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime, Los Angeles 2005

YOUR GOVERNMENT, on the basis of outrageous lies, is waging a murderous and utterly illegitimate war in Iraq, with other countries in their sights.

YOUR GOVERNMENT is openly torturing people, and justifying it.

YOUR GOVERNMENT puts people in jail on the merest suspicion, refusing them lawyers, and either holding them indefinitely or deporting them in the dead of night.

YOUR GOVERNMENT is moving each day closer to a theocracy, where a narrow and hateful brand of Christian fundamentalism will rule.

YOUR GOVERNMENT suppresses the science that doesn’t fit its religious, political and economic agenda, forcing present and future generations to pay a terrible price.

YOUR GOVERNMENT is moving to deny women here, and all over the world, the right to birth control and abortion.

YOUR GOVERNMENT enforces a culture of greed, bigotry, intolerance and ignorance.

Protesting the government inaction in response to Katrina

Chicago, Fall 2005: Rescue Not Repression!

Over Labor Day weekend in 2005, as the waters of Katrina were covering New Orleans, 250 people gathered in New York City to found The World Can’t Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime.  Sunsara Taylor and I chaired the discussions.  We took time out to march, with about 150 more joining us, around midtown, demanding, “rescue, not repression!” for New Orleans, which set a basic approach of immediate response to government action – or inaction.

Don’t Go to Work! Walk Out of School!

It was a bold call, and thousands followed it. On Thursday, November 2, 2005, on the year-anniversary of Bush’s re-election, tens of thousands marched around the U.S., inaugurating the effort to drive out Bush and Cheney, and reverse and repudiate the Bush program.  Older people heeded a message from Gore Vidal to:

“join together in a popular movement dedicated to ending pre-emptive wars and restoring the nation to its traditional tax base which repaired levees, educated the citizenry and at regular intervals repaired the wall that Thomas Jefferson wisely put in place to separate church from state.”

Youth protesting to drive out the Bush Regime
NYC November 2005 – Photo by Fred Askew

Howard Zinn issued a call to students.  High school students at more than 200 schools across the country left school and walked out, sometimes for miles, to join organized political protest in unprecedented ways.  Protests took place in more than 60  cities, and involved at least 40 college campuses, in addition to the high schools. The outpourings of people all over the country had many faces. Local office holders came out and spoke at New York, Chicago and San Francisco rallies with mothers of soldiers who died in Iraq. Prominent public intellectuals and Hollywood celebrities gave their support to this effort to actually drive out the Bush regime.

In San Francisco, Latino day laborers joined with thousands at the Civic Center as Cindy Sheehan, California State Senator Carol Midgden, and others spoke from the stage. Statements of support came from artists and figures such as Jane Fonda, Harold Pinter and Gore Vidal, who signed on to the Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime.

Drivers Wanted

Bush Step Down

NYC January 2006 - Photo by Fred Askew

In the dead of winter, as 2006 broke, and Bush gave his State of the Union address, people gathered in 68 cities to “drown out” the lies with street protests – then traveled to Washington, DC to protest in cold rain February 4, 2006, demanding Bush step down. The Bush Crimes Commission held hearings with testimony from people like former Brigadier General Janis Karpinsky and former UK ambassador Craig Murray on the crimes that the Bush regime was actively carrying out. In October of 2006 more than 200 cities across the country held mass protests of thousands. With heart and courage, thousands of us came together to make a powerful and precious political statement against a truly dangerous and repressive government. More on driving out a regime.

Next week: stopping torture as a key expression of the Bush program – spreading a culture of resistance through the Declare It Now: Wear Orange campaign and wearing orange jumpsuits.

The world still can’t wait for people in this country to take responsibility and STOP the crimes of your government.  World Can’t Wait, and its projects War Criminals Watch, Fire John Yoo, and We Are Not Your Soldiers, deserve and need your support.  Become a sustaining supporter here.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Why I Oppose a Grand Jury Investigation of Anti-War Activists

A contradiction to ponder:

  1. A three-year investigation by the Department of Justice into the CIA operatives who carried out waterboarding, filmed the acts on 2 men, and then destroyed the tapes, ended this past November – with the government deciding not to prosecute anyone. Jason Leopold, in Special Prosecutor Declines to File Criminal Charges Over Destruction of CIA Torture Tapes wrote:It is widely believed that the videotapes were destroyed to cover up torture. It is also believed that the tapes were destroyed because Democratic members of Congress who were briefed about the tapes began asking questions about whether the interrogations were illegal, according to Jane Mayer, author of the book, “The Dark Side” and a reporter for The New Yorker magazine.
  2. A two-year secret federal investigation of the U.S. anti-war movement has been conducted by the Obama administration, apparently with a federal grand jury in Chicago hearing evidence from Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, looking into “possible links between U.S. anti-war groups and foreign terrorist organizations,” according to the Chicago Tribune.  Fitzgerald issued subpoenas beginning in September 2010, delivered via FBI raids to their homes, for activists to appear before the grand jury.  With all the records sealed by court order, it is impossible to know about the scope and intent of the probe.

But knowing what we know about how the “war on terror” has been conducted, one can be suspicious that the aim of the first investigation was to find no crimes, while the aim of the second is to manufacture crimes.

23 anti-war activists have now been targeted by the FBI, many through September raids that confiscated a wide range of personal material. In FBI Raids Anti-War Activists Homes in Midwest, Revolution newspaper reported after the initial raids:

The FBI spokesman in Minneapolis was quoted in the Chicago Tribune, “The warrants are seeking evidence in support of an ongoing Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation into activities concerning the material support of terrorism.” This was a charge which activists immediately dismissed as illegitimate and unjustified. No arrests have been made and the FBI admitted that there was no “imminent danger” to the public.

9 of the 23 activists have subpoenas compelling them to appear before the grand jury on Tuesday, January 25.  Their profiles and background are posted by The Committee to Stop FBI Repression.  According to the site:

These activists are involved in many groups, including the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee, the Palestine Solidarity Group, the Colombia Action Network, Students for a Democratic Society, and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. These activists and many others came together to organize the 2008 anti-war marches during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

The Committee’s site continues in a section on Grand Juries:

Some of those targeted have traveled to other countries to understand our government’s role in places like Palestine and Colombia. While there, they met with people to learn about their experience facing brutal repression from U.S. sponsored regimes, and brought their stories back to people in the U.S. Hearing about the reality of U.S. military aid is not a crime, and yet this appears to be the target of this investigation.

The Committee’s demands are:

  • Stop the repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists.
  • Immediately return all confiscated materials: computers, cell phones, papers, documents, etc.
  • End the grand jury proceedings against anti-war activists.

Grand Juries as Politically Repressive Tools

It’s important to know how grand juries are used in political investigations in this country.  Glen Ford, in President Barack “Midnight Raid” Obama: End Your Wars at Home and Abroad writes

Grand juries are places where rights are butchered, and we can clearly see the broad outlines of a mass prosecution strategy unfolding, in which grand juries are the engines of political destruction.

Revolution newspaper gathered resources from the Center for Constitutional Rights in The Grand Jury – The Grand Inquisition and summarizes:

The person who has refused to testify [before a grand jury] can be brought back before the judge and held in what is known as “civil contempt” of the court. Without a trial, the judge can imprison the person for whatever is the length of the grand jury. Grand juries are normally 18 months, but there are special federal grand juries that are empanelled for 36 months, and this can be extended because it is “special.”

Historically, the Justice Department and the FBI have used the subpoena power of the federal grand jury, coupled with compulsory immunity, to jail activists who refuse to cooperate with government investigations. In the 1960s and well into the ’80s, there were many instances of courageous people who refused to testify before grand juries.

Joe Iosbaker, one of those originally subpoenaed said in October,

“We have nothing to say to a Grand Jury. Most people do not understand how secretive and undemocratic the Grand Jury is. I am not allowed to have my lawyer with me. There isn’t even a judge. How strange is that? It is the U.S. prosecutor with 23 people they hand picked to pretty much rubber stamp whatever the prosecutor says. A person is defenseless in that situation.”

Maureen Murphy received a subpoena on December 21 to appear on January 25.  In explaining why she will not testify, she cites the danger not only to the activists in the United States by giving legitimacy to the investigation, but principally to those they could be forced to testify about in other countries

I have no intention to participate in the government’s witch hunt. It is very clear that no crime has been committed and that the government’s motivation in issuing these subpoenas is to have us name the names of other activists not only here in the United States, but also in places like Palestine and Colombia, where many of us have traveled to learn about the human rights situations in those places. We can only assume that the US government shares intelligence with the governments of Israel and Colombia, whose repressive military rule the US bankrolls at the US taxpayer’s expense. And it is essentially a prison sentence or worse for human rights activists in Palestine and Colombia to be singled out and identified in this way. And I have no intention in playing any role in that.

Jess Sundlin, another whose home was raided, said

“If our friends choose not to testify, they could be imprisoned. It could be for months or even years, like in the case of Professor Abdelhaleem Ashqar, who faced the same prosecutor we face and who was investigated of violating the same law we are confronting. Before he was acquitted of the charges against him, Dr. Ashqar was sentenced to criminal contempt for refusing to testify before Fitzgerald’s grand jury in Chicago. The punitive sentence against him was more than 11 years. Again, he was acquitted of the crimes the grand jury was investigating.”

Needed: A Wave of Support for Antiwar Resisters

On Tuesday, January 25, The Committee to Stop FBI Repression, and affiliated organizations are holding protests of the grand jury investigation in dozens of cities.  I’ll be in Chicago that day, outside the Federal Building, in support of those refusing to testify.

Jill McLaughlin, in Reality And Morality: Standing Up To Repressive Forces While Standing Up For Humanity expressed the mission of World Can’t Wait in opposing this dangerous and repressive investigation.

We cannot allow these repressive attacks to deter us from righteously opposing and resisting the crimes of our government. We must have courage.

, , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments

Going on 9 Guantanamo Years

Lost in the flurry of bills passed as Congress ended was the inclusion in the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act of language that forbids any Pentagon funds being used to transport any detainee from Guantánamo to the U.S. for any reason.   There’s no evidence that the Obama administration really opposed this language; they’ve accepted that detainees such as Khalid Sheik Mohammed won’t be tried in federal courts.  They’ve delineated a group of detainess for indefinite detention for the reason that they’ve been tortured, and such information, from the government’s standpoint, can’t be made public.

Guantanamo protestSo still, 174 men sit in Guantánamo, including the large group of Yemenis who are caught between denunciations by the U.S. authorities of the anti-government forces in Yemen, and U.S. support for same.  The hope many felt two years ago, in anticipation of an end to the Bush torture regime is dead.  Yet courageous lawyers, writers, and activists still struggle for humanity to know the truth about the illegal prison Bush built in Guantánamo, and the need for the wider complex of Bush-era torture, indefinite detention, rendition, and secret prisons to really end.

Andy Worthington, who will be in the States next week to participate in protests of Guantanamo, wrote today, in Christmas at Guantánamo:

I thought I’d take this opportunity to remind readers who may be searching the Internet because they need a break from eating and drinking, or because they want to get away from their families for a while, or because the TV is so relentlessly pointless, or because they don’t celebrate Christmas, about some of the 174 men still held in Guantánamo, for whom concern is particularly appropriate right now, as, between them, the Obama administration and Congress seem to have ensured that the majority of them will be spending many more Christmases at Guantánamo…”

It’s not only that Guantánamo should have been closed, and isn’t, but that the virulent Islamophobia, the illegitimate “war on terror;” the secret renditions begun under Bill Clinton; the covering for torture by the allies in Iraq and Afghanistan continue.  I thank Glenn Greenwald for pulling our attention yet again to Wikileaks, for what they revealed this year on the crimes of our government, past and current, as regards torture, rendition, and detention, in What Wikileaks Revealed to the World in 2010 – a pattern of utter suppression of peoples’ rights, outside the law.

In two weeks, we’ll be in Washington with Witness Against Torture, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and activists who won’t let this issue go, no matter who the president, or what the promises are.

Please join us in Washington, or where you are, in making visible resistance and protest.  Guantánamo, and the whole torture regime that brought it, must be ended!

Rally and “prisoner procession” to the Department of Justice, followed by non-violent direct action.
Date and Time: Tues, Jan. 11, beginning at 11 am
Location: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON — The prison at Guantanamo will enter its 10th year of operation on Tuesday, January 11. Witness Against Torture is working to make sure this second decade never begins.

Starting at 11am that morning at the White House, Witness Against Torture launches a Daily Vigil and Fast for Justice that will continue for 11 days and include demonstrations throughout Washington. The days of action will begin on January 11th with a rally of a coalition of human rights and grassroots groups, including the Center for Constitutional Rights and Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition, followed by a “prisoner procession” to the Department of Justice, where members of Witness Against Torture will engage in nonviolent direct action…

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

12/3/1970: Confronting Nixon 40 Years Ago

There’s a longer story to be written here, but for now I’m glad to put this off because there are contemporary heroes making immediate contributions to stopping the current wars, and we are busy defending them and digging into what’s coming out every day in the leaked US cables from Wikileaks.  So, today– the brief version of what happened to me 40 years ago, tomorrow…

Nixon Told to Get Out of War by Madison Girl

Face to face with Nixon in 1970

I was an activist in my high school years, for which I got a series of awards, leading up to receiving the Young American Medal for Service of 1970, annually given by the US President.  I learned of that in June, 1970, while I was at The Hague in Holland, attending the World Food Conference, as part of a rag-tag US youth delegation. We had just disrupted a US event there with an anti-Vietnam war protest, “embarrassing” the ambassador and getting us nearly booted.  At first I thought the letter from The White House must be a joke, but no, the Department of Justice had called my parents, and was trying to set up a date for the family to come to Washington.

My immediate response was “hell no…I won’t go!  Why would anyone take an award from a war-monger like Richard Nixon?”  I was conflicted, ambivalent, and irritated to be put in that position.  As the months went by, and the event kept being re-scheduled, I thought I might get to skip it.  But suddenly, on December 3, 1970, me, my family and friends were flown to Washington.  We were escorted into the office of the Attorney General John Mitchell where there was small talk.  In shuffled J. Edgar Hoover, and the whole strange experience got very real, very quickly.

Back into the limo and up to the door of the White House, into the Blue Room with what seemed to be the entire world press corps and a million cameras.  For the kids getting the awards?  No, because this was the first time the press had gotten to see the (well-hated) Nixon in months.   I still didn’t know what to say.  Then Richard Nixon made it easy.  He went on a rant about how these kids are the “good” ones, they’re not out protesting, they’re for America.  I thought, with my 19-year-old brain, “Oh no, you just slandered my generation.  We are about changing the world, and taking it away from people like you.”

The drill was a simple hand shake with Nixon, present the medal, pat the kid on the arm, smile for the cameras.  I was the last of 4 recipients, and it was almost over, when he grabbed my hand.  What came out of my mouth: “I can’t believe you’re sincere in giving this award for service, when you’re killing millions of people in Vietnam.”  We weren’t miked, and I spoke quietly.  Nixon, despite make-up, turned completely white, and stammered, “We’re doing the best we can.”  Then he pivoted, looked at his watch, muttered something about an appointment, and walked out.

J. Edgar Hoover, standing right behind me (another factor that oddly made me more bold than I knew), patted me on the arm, and said — I swear — “that was lovely, dear.”  Everywhere else in the room there was chaos.  The press saw Nixon’s reaction, and some caught the word, “Vietnam.”  I was interviewed for hours, the planned White House tour was cut short and we were hustled out.  Being back in the day when there was no 24-hour news cycle, this was front page and main story on the networks.

The fact that someone got right to Nixon (before he was Tricky) and, however naively, confronted the leader of the “Free World” was a confirmation that the system was vulnerable.  We got lots of mail, some just addressed to “Debra, Madison, Wisconsin” from people who were truly moved, and in a world hostile to the U.S., some of it was thanks from people in other countries.  We also got death threats, and attention from not very undercover agents who immediately rented the hotel room next door, followed us around D.C., and later investigated my wonderful, supportive, parents.

The back story: I went to high school in Madison, Wisconsin, about a mile from the University of Wisconsin, close enough that during the students’ 1967 Dow Chemical protests against the use of napalm in Vietnam, tear gas drifted into the windows.  I sought out that story, and wrote a paper at 15 against the war.  Because Freedom Riders came back to the UW from the South and built an organization, Measure for Measure, to support Fannie Lou Hamer and the struggle against Jim Crow, I had a range of freedom fighter “movement” role models, including Mrs. Hamer, who stayed at our house.  Because I knew them, and was in college near Chicago, I heeded the call to tour the shot-up apartment of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, the Black Panther leaders who were killed in their beds December 4, 1969 by Hoover’s FBI and Chicago police.  A few months later, I was part of the largest student strike ever, in response to Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia and the killing of students by the National Guard at Kent State and by the state police at Jackson State.

All these experiences taught me about who had power, and who was oppressed, exploited, lynched and killed, and formed me further into someone who was “for the underdog.”   I sought more, and began to shape a life focused around a different future for humanity.

Nixon and J Edgar Hoover Hear the Truth

My favorite photo of J. Edgar Hoover!

Right after the Nixon experience, honestly, I was embarrassed for not having seized the moment with a brilliant speech, and for not really having risked a thing in my protest.  But as a few decades have gone by, I’ve come to realize that, through an accident of history, it was good thing that I was part of puncturing the legitimacy of the Nixon presidency, as Dan Ellsberg, Vietnam veterans and student protests, and the Watergate scandal would continue to do.

In writing this, I looked up Nixon’s daily schedule for 12/3/70, and found that immediately afterward, he met with his press secretary; then called Hoover and Mitchell.  There was turmoil in the Oval Office. The next day Hoover wrote Mitchell, saying essentially, “why the hell didn’t we investigate more carefully? She was from Madison! This will never happen again.”

Unfortunately, that kind of protest hasn’t happened enough since then. Cindy Sheehan, a TIME magazine Face of the Decade this week, stands out for challenging Emperor Bush, leaving him naked, and I don’t want to leave out the couple who streaked through the 2004 inaugural with anti-war messages; thousands have been arrested trying to deliver the antiwar political messages.

In the wake of four major WikiLeaks this year, all instructive as to the rules of engagement of these imperialist occupations, the basic injustice of the so-called “war on terror,” and all completely against the interests of humanity — provided you stop looking at everything through “American” eyes — there is no better time than now for mass, visible, protest against all this.

I so know the world can’t wait, and am so glad to be involved with the World Can’t Wait.  This is all really needed, now!

, , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Army “Killing Club” Uncovered But No Justice for Aafia Siddiqui

A federal judge in New York sentenced Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to 86 years in prison today.  Her trial earlier in  2010, on charges of assault against U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, was a travesty.  Obviously mentally distraught, having suffered isolation and alleging torture at the hands of her American captors, but remarkably perceptive and witty, Dr. Siddiqui was convicted of attempting to shoot U.S. special forces who were interrogating her.

Convicted murderers in the U.S. get 25 years, sometimes life.   People who shoot others get years in prison.   Those who commit war crimes generally don’t even get prosecuted, but that’s another story.  Aafia gets 86 years, but was not even charged with actually harming anyone, and certainly did not, as the defense showed in the trial.  She was shot in the stomach, and brought to the U.S. while still recovering form her wounds.  She is a victim of the Bush regime’s so-called “war on terror, ” as I wrote at the time in Victim of the War of Terror: Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.

There were mass protests in Pakistan, Siddiqui’s country of origin, at her prosecution, forcing the Pakistani government to pay for her defense in U.S. courts.  We probably will never know the intrigues behind the scenes, as the U.S. dominates and threatens Pakistan, while it’s also dependent on Pakistan’s ISI to contain the Islamic fundamentalist movement along the border with Afghanistan.  The U.S. bombs civilians in Pakistan — a country with which it’s not at war, but supplying huge amounts of weapons to — while, according to Seymour Hersh, important sections of the Pakistani military support the Taliban.

In the midst of all this, thousands of Pakistanis are disappeared, and a woman like Dr. Siddiqui, herself disappeared for several years, has no chance of justice from either government.

Dr. Siddiqui asked supporters not to raise funds for an appeal.  The Guardian reports

Before the sentencing, Siddiqui repeated her claim that she had been abducted and held at a “secret prison” for several years. She said she only wanted peace in the world. “I do not want any bloodshed. I do not want any misunderstanding. I really want to make peace and end the wars.”

“Killing Club” in Afghanistan

While Dr. Siddiqui’s trial went on in New York, with the prosecution bringing in her military interrogators to say how traumatized they were by her actions, their compatriots back in Afghanistan were preparing the “surge.”   Civilian and US military deaths began increasing; indeed 2010 already has more military deaths than any year of the U.S.’ longest war.

Part of that story is beginning to come out with the prosecution of U.S. Army Stryker Brigade members for targeted murders of Afghani civilians.  Real News interviews the Seattle Times reporter Hal Bernton who is following the case.

U.S. Soldiers Charged with Targeting Afghan Civilians: Did U.S. Soldiers Create Afghan Killing Club?

Only because one soldier had misgivings about what his unit was doing, the military started a criminal investigation in May 2010.  5 soldiers are charged with killing civilians, and 7 with covering up the killings.  The Washington Post reported earlier this month, Members of Stryker Combat Brigade in Afghanistan accused of killing civilians for sport.

BBC reported in US troops ‘murdered Afghan civilians and kept body parts’:

In charge sheets obtained from the US Army, Staff Sgt Calvin Gibbs, Cpl Jeremy Morlock, Pte First Class Andrew Holmes, Specialist Michael Wagnon and Specialist Adam Winfield are accused of murdering male Afghan civilians with grenades and firearms.

Other soldiers were accused of stabbing an Afghan corpse, taking or possessing photographs of casualties and beating other men in an effort to keep them from talking to investigators.

The soldiers were attached to the Army’s Fifth Stryker brigade, which deployed to Afghanistan last year and has seen heavy fighting around Kandahar. They were based in Washington state.

The reports get worse.   The Army Times, in a candid piece on September 13, describes rampant hashish consumption and alcohol binges in the unit, while writing these crimes off essentially as “isolated incidents”.

The charges only came about because a member of the unit complained to his father that he was being threatened because he opposed the killings.  In the New York Times blog today, his father, Chris Winfield, charges that the Army ignored his warnings, made before some of the later killings in May 2010, just as General McChrystal was being replaced. Father: Army Ignored Complaints Of Afghan Slayings

Emma and Christopher Winfield at their home in Cape Coral, Fla., on Sept. 3. Their son, U.S. Army Spc. Adam Winfield reported the "killing club," and is now himself accused of murdering civilians during his deployment to Afghanistan, a charge he and his family firmly refute.

The whole U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is illegitimate, unjust, and immoral.  The U.S. military is being led to commit war crimes.

The population of the United States is being directed to fear Muslims, who face political targeting and prosecution.  See Project SALAM.

As the anniversary of the U.S. attack on Afghanistan approaches, October 6, we should step up the loud and visible protest, demanding that the U.S. get out now.

, , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Marching for Gaza Freedom, Stuck in Cairo

Many World Can’t Wait friends and supporters are on the Gaza Freedom March.  An offer by parts of the Egyptian government to let only 100 of the 1300 marchers into Gaza was ultimately rejected earlier today, so the March is still in Cairo.  For days the riot police have not allowed them to gather, meet, and get organized.  A hunger strike started Tuesday by some of the marchers began to break through into mainstream US media, including the NY Times today.

Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada was interviewed this morning on Democracy Now, describing the difficulties the March encountered from the Egyptian government.

Revolution writer Alan Goodman is blogging from the revolutionary communist perspective, bringing us inside a tense gathering of the Egyptian Journalist Syndicate, a kind of protest rally as press conference, and introducing us to the police-state conditions the opposition faces there.  Alan made NYC news a year ago when, during the Israeli attack “Cast Lead” on Gaza, he went in front of the Holocaust Museum here with a banner saying “”After the Holocaust, the worst thing that has happened to Jewish people is the state of Israel.”

Veterans for Peace members Bill Perry (posting photos) and Mike Hearington (posting updates) are there, my longtime friend Sarah Roche-Mahdi of Cambridge; Laurie Arbeiter, Sarah Wellington and Tarak Kauff brought banners and the “We Will Not be Silent” shirts in Arabic.  And friend Ann Wright is one of the principal organizers of the Gaza Freedom March.

Sami Abdul-Shafi writes in the Guardian (UK) yesterday, This is not humane. We need dignity, about the conditions facing the people of Gaza under siege.

We had wood-fired coffee next to the rubble of my friend’s family’s former homes – all levelled during Israel’s three-week war on Gaza that started one year ago. His only source of income, a taxi, was crushed by Israeli tanks during the assault. He agonises about how his children no longer respect him as their father. He is unable to provide them with the security of a house and an independent family life; they lost everything.

The US “war on terror” is modeled on the Israeli war on the Palestinians.  The whole of it is illegitimate, immoral, unjust.

Salute to the Gaza Freedom Marchers!

, , , ,

No Comments