Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

October 10 – World Day Against the Death Penalty

On Monday, October 10 — World Day against the Death Penalty — continue the fight for all the Troy Davises of the world.

The state of Georgia shocked the world when it ended Troy Davis’ life on September 21, 2011. In the face of significant doubts, Georgia proceeded with the execution of someone who may well have been innocent.

But in the midst of this horrible tragedy, we have seen an unprecedented surge of energy to end the death penalty. Troy Davis put a face on the death penalty in the U.S. — making it painfully clear why this flawed and horrific system must be abolished at once.

It was Troy’s final wish for us to keep fighting for all of the other Troy Davises on death row. And on Monday, October 10 — World Day against the Death Penalty — we’ll use our renewed energy and passion to take aim at doing just that.

No Death Penalty!

We believe the next Troy Davis could be Reggie Clemons in Missouri.

Elements of Reggie’s case may sound familiar:

  • No physical evidence linking Clemons to the crime
  • Two highly questionable witnesses – both of whom were suspects in the crime
  • Alleged police coercion
  • Racial bias – evidenced by the jury selection where blacks were disproportionately dismissed

But the biggest similarity between the cases of Troy Davis and Reggie Clemons — overwhelming doubt! .

Call on Missouri to stop the execution of Reggie Clemons now!

Supporters worldwide will mark World Day against the Death Penalty by holding events, teach-ins, rallies, demonstrations and taking other powerful actions to call attention to the case of Reggie Clemons and advance the ever-growing movement against the death penalty. You can also bring the fight to end the death penalty home to your community by hosting a teach-in on the death penalty through the lens of the Davis and Clemons cases. Download our teach-in kit for valuable information and organizing tips.

The state of Georgia may have taken the life of Troy Davis, but it did not stop our struggle to create a country and world where human dignity and human life are respected.

Thank you for being part of this movement for human rights!

In Solidarity,

Laura Moye
Death Penalty Abolition Campaign Director
Amnesty International USA

On Monday, October 10 — World Day against the Death Penalty — continue the fight for all the Troy Davises of the world.

 

Occupy Wallstreet Protest Still Going!

Over the last two weeks, an amazing wave of protest against Wall Street and the big banks has erupted across the country.

In Seattle, San Francisco, Ohio, and Boston (where 3,000 people rallied),1 grassroots groups have shut down banks and held sit-ins to demand that giant banks pay their fair share of taxes, end the foreclosure crisis, and create jobs.

In financial centers like Chicago and Atlanta, hundreds of people have set up encampments in front of major financial institutions for round-the-clock demonstrations.

Top 1 Percent: Pays No Taxes!!! Join Occupy Wallstreet

Outside Los Angeles, community members have been running a 24-hour vigil around the home of Rose Gudiel, who faces eviction after getting foreclosed on for being two weeks late on a mortgage payment after her younger brother was murdered.2

But the biggest protests are on Wall Street itself. “Occupy Wall Street,” which began with a brave group of young people, has swelled to thousands of students, unemployed folks, union members, and others who have persevered through intense police harassment and mass arrests to sustain a rolling 24-hour-a-day protest against the bankers who’ve wrecked our economy and undermined our democracy.3

On Wednesday, MoveOn members will join labor and community groups in New York City for a huge march down to the protest site—the biggest yet.

And because we can’t all be in New York, we’re going to stage a massive “Virtual March on Wall Street” online with our friends at Rebuild the Dream. Together, we’ll add hundreds of thousands of voices of solidarity from the American Dream Movement for the protests across the country and show just how widespread outrage at the Wall Street banks really is.

Click here to sign up to join the Virtual March on Wall Street this Wednesday

The protests on Wall Street have been running for two weeks straight and are only getting bigger every day. The signs, placards, and chants focus on standing up for what the protesters are calling “the 99%” of us who are suffering while Wall Street bankers grow richer by the day.

Join the March on Wall Street this Wednesday, October 5, to show your support for the Occupy Wall Street movement!

In a telling moment last week, a group of bankers even went so far as to mock the protests while sipping champagne from balconies overlooking thousands of people marching down Wall Street.4

But adding mockery to the callous disregard for our country that we’ve seen from the big banks isn’t slowing down the Occupy Wall Street movement one bit. The protests on Wall Street are set to grow even more this week and solidarity actions are already planned in dozens more cities.

You can see what’s planned in your area by visiting the solidarity site Occupy Together: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=264645&id=31654-7178688-lsGBLPx&t=3

And you can sign up to add your voice to the national “Virtual March on Wall Street” online here: http://www.civic.moveon.org/joinvirtualwallstreet/?id=31654-7178688-lsGBLPx&t=4

Thanks for all you do.

–Justin, Robin, Peter, Elena, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “BofA’s Boston Building Draws Protesters; 21 Arrests Are Made,” bloomberg.com, September 30, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=264642&id=31654-7178688-lsGBLPx&t=5

2. “La Puente Family Fights Eviction from Foreclosed Home,” KTLA.com, September 29, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=264643&id=31654-7178688-lsGBLPx&t=6

3. “Anti-Wall Street Protestors Vow to Keep Up Fight,” Reuters, October 2, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=264644&id=31654-7178688-lsGBLPx&t=7

4. “Occupy Wall Street Protestors Meet Champagne Sippers,” abcnews.com, September 30, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=264649&id=31654-7178688-lsGBLPx&t=8

 

 

A Decade After 9/11: We Are What We Loathe

Chris Hedges’ Columns
A Decade After 9/11: We Are What We Loathe

I arrived in Times Square around 9:30 on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. A large crowd was transfixed by the huge Jumbotron screens. Billows of smoke could be seen on the screens above us, pouring out of the two World Trade towers. Two planes, I was told by people in the crowd, had plowed into the towers. I walked quickly into the New York Times newsroom at 229 W. 43rd St., grabbed a handful of reporter’s notebooks, slipped my NYPD press card, which would let me through police roadblocks, around my neck, and started down the West Side Highway to the World Trade Center. The highway was closed to traffic. I walked through knots of emergency workers, police and firemen. Fire trucks, emergency vehicles, ambulances, police cars and rescue trucks idled on the asphalt.

The south tower went down around 10 a.m. with a guttural roar. Huge rolling gray clouds of noxious smoke, dust, gas, pulverized concrete, gypsum and the grit of human remains enveloped lower Manhattan. The sun was obscured. The north tower collapsed about 30 minutes later. The dust hung like a shroud over Manhattan.

I headed toward the spot where the towers once stood, passing dazed, ashen and speechless groups of police officers and firefighters. I would pull out a notebook to ask questions and no sounds would come out of their mouths. They forlornly shook their heads and warded me away gently with their hands. By the time I arrived at Ground Zero it was a moonscape; whole floors of the towers had collapsed like an accordion. I pulled out pieces of paper from one floor, and a few feet below were papers from 30 floors away. Small bits of human bodies—a foot in a woman’s shoe, a bit of a leg, part of a torso—lay scattered amid the wreckage. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Insurrection of the Masses. Darcus Howe on the British Riots

Darcus Howe, was part of the the first acknowledgment from a British judge that there was racial hatred in the Metropolitan Police Service, which came after a 1970 protest got out of hand. Now, 40 years later, Howe brings us the point “Mark Dugan – he has parents, he has brothers, he has sisters. A police officer blew his head off.” He talks of recent UK police actions “They have been stopping and searching young blacks for no reason at all.” Including his grandson who has been pulled over and searched so many times he can’t remember them all.

This is a wake up call to the deep distrust between black communities and the police in many cities. It’s not so easy to explain the violence of the past few days. It began in the north London neighborhood of Tottenham, the catalyst was the killing by police of a black man. The questions are uncomfortable. Is this just mindless violence? or has London failed to address deep social problems that it thought belonged to the past?

The key issue here is the mixture of policies that have combined to make an explosive community in N. London. Firstly most rioters are young males – they are suffering disproportionate unemployment and things like abolishing EMA and student fees has alienated them from the economy. Secondly cuts in housing benefits in particular amount of “social cleansing” of inner cities of the poor, plus other benefits cuts. Thirdly the devaluation of the £ has driven up inflation for food, energy and petrol, so there is a big squeeze on most people who are really feeling the pinch. Many living in these areas are also public sector workers, who are bearing a disproportionate share of spending cuts and job loses.

The following is a post by a graphic designer at Haiz Design firm from London:
Living in London, UK, and very close to the scene of the start of the riots, I have been very aware of the events unfolding around us recently, so I am taking a small diversion from the usual content to share my thoughts on the matter. The last few days of rioting and looting really have been shocking, and one of the first televised scenes that made it all the more disturbing was the building in Tottenham, right next to my partner’s workplace up in flames! This is 10 minutes away from our house and the Wood Green riots and looting that followed are right on our doorstep, so the helicopters were very low and flying over continually. People have lost their homes and livelihoods and in some cases, lives. It has been utterly tragic.

Seeing it unfold on subsequent nights and spill over to other parts of the country has been quite alarming – like some surreal movie playing out on the streets. Everyone I speak to is anxious that this is not over, in spite of the very public naming and shaming and large-scale arrests taking place. We have had extra police units drafted in to London, with16,000 police on patrol over the last couple of nights. They must be exhausted and naturally, we wonder how much longer they will be there and what happens when they relax their presence… Communities, particularly Sikh and Muslim, are coming out in force and taking charge of their streets, so we are not far from a vigilante culture. Interestingly, the press have been saying how the faith-based communities, in particular the Muslims, are modelling the behaviour we want to see. What a turnabout, as only a very short while ago they were seen as potential terrorists and a race to be feared!

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Hiroshima 2011 — The People Became Nothing

by Vincent Scotti Eirene
on behalf of the Pittsburgh Catholic Worker

Thomas Merton and the Nuclear Era

On Sunday afternoon “Little Boy” was brought out in procession and devoutly tucked away in the womb of Enola Gay. That evening few were able to sleep. They were as excited as little boys on Christmas Eve. At 3:09 they reached Hiroshima and started the bomb run. The city was full of sun. The fliers could see the green grass in the gardens. No fighters rose up to meet them. There was no flack. No one in the city bothered to take cover. The bomb exploded within 100 feet of the aiming point. The fireball was 18,000 feet across. The temperature at the center of the fireball was 100,000,000 degrees. The people who were near the center became nothing. The whole city was blown to bits and the ruins all caught fire instantly everywhere, burning briskly. 70,000 people were killed right away or died within a few hours. Those who did not die at once suffered great pain. Few of them were soldiers. —from “the original child bomb” a poem by Thomas Merton

COLD WAR PILGRIMAGE 1986

I started my  two mile trek thru farm with a home made ladder spray painted black so as not to reflect the light. a herd of cows came racing up to me, looked at me with curiosity and  I whispered to them “I am doing this for you too”. Realizing I had no food for them, the cows ran away sounding like thunder. I nervously looked up at the guard tower and noticed the search light had stopped strafing the field, aha the guard had fallen asleep. I moved quickly now, but steady. I hit the first fence, leaned up the ladder gently, and felt like I flew up and over the fence and razor wire. Once I hit the ground the motion detectors set of the alarms and the sleepy facility came to life.

 

Out of nowhere came 36 marines screaming, “do not move, just give me an excuse boy”. Out the dark a voice ordered me to remove my coat, to knell down, to put my hands behind my back and to cross my legs behind me. The last odd order caused a painful cramp in my leg and I fell onto my coat. The voice from the dark night screamed, “away from your coat, away from your coat”. I scurried backwards like a hermit crab. It was January 1st 1986, the cold war seemed endless and I had trespassed on our nations only nuclear bomb factory, Pantex nuclear bomb factory  in Amarillo, Texas. My punishment for this intrusion was a year in prison. I served 10 months. The cold war ended but a sense of futurelessness did not…

1986 to 2011
Decades would go by. Anti-nuclear resisters migrated to anti-iraq war activities and the environment, but nuclear weapons never sleep, nor do they need an enemy. So under the START treaty the “rehabbing” of aging nuclear weapons was allowed (read making new weapons). The new Pantex, the new nuclear bomb factory in Kansas City, Missouri, did not come out of nowhere, but is part of decades of research about the improving of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, including unmanned flying vehicle—drones developed at CMU.

Today the new Pantex is secretly preparing the produce new nuclear weapons

the thousands of nuclear weapons sitting in world arsenals are the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War.

As this goes to press several new nuclear resisters have been released at their trial for crossing the line at hell’s new kitchen. The judge stated, “I agree with you go and do more”! The Kansas City Plant is responsible for the production and assembly of approximately 85 percent of the non-nuclear components for the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The plant is due to be relocated starting in 2012. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Energy, has said the new facility will carry an estimated price tag of $673 million for construction. The city government has subsidized the facility’s construction with $815 million in municipal bonds. Once completed, it is thought the new Kansas City Plant will be the first nuclear weapons complex in the world to be owned by a city government. The new Kansas City facility is one of several where new nuclear weapons projects are underway. The new Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project at Los Alamos, N.M., is also under construction, and a new uranium processing facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn. is in the final stages before approval.

RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan—In the quiet hours just after dawn, Yasumori Matsuzaka drives through the ruins of his hometown, past the gutted hospital and the mounds of splintered wood and shattered concrete.The object of his pilgrimage: a tree. The solitary pine, which towers 100 feet above this pulverized city’s waterfront, is all that’s left of a grove of roughly 70,000 trees that once lined the beach here, and which his ancestors helped plant more than two centuries ago.
It has become a national symbol of Japan’s tenacity, clinging to life amid the destruction of the March 11 tsunami, which killed more than 20,000 people and laid waste to entire communities along the country’s northeast coast.
July 9, 2011 wall street journal
The lone pine, to me,  symbolizes the peace movement. With the US involved in four wars, the movement is exhausted— the drones bombing pakistan, the continuing wars in iraq and afganistan, the “humanitarian bomb” of lybia, now the revealing of new nuclear weapons production. To what end? For what enemy? But we rush in to save the lone pine…
 

Stop the Machine: The Government is not For the People.

The Government is for Corporations not for People.
Capitalism is organized crime. Congress is not for the people.
Stop the Machine! Create a New World. October2011.org, comehomeamerica.us

Freedom Plaza: October 6 2011, Washington DC

Civil Disobedience is the only option we have left to save not only the ecosystem that sustains life, but the nation itself. Corporate forces, unregulated, unfettered corporate forces exploit everything, human beings, the natural world, until exhaustion or collapse. Karl Marx was right. unregulated unfettered capitalism is a revolution force and it is the radicals that have seized control and know no limits. The only thing, the only word, corporations know is MORE. And they have seized all of the formal traditional mechanisms of power – the legislative branch, the judicial branch, the executive branch, as well as the attendant institutions that once made participatory democracy possible including the press, including a destruction of labor a diminishing and degradation of a public education system that once made it possible for citizens to discern and articulate their own interests. It is imperitive that all of us now stand up because we have very little time left.

We Stand With the Majority of Americans: Human Needs, Not Corporate Greed

The ecosystem itself is being ravaged at a rate that was not even predicted a few years ago by the best climate scientist. We don’t have much time left. The internal reconfiguration of the United States into a form of neo-feudalism a world of masters and serfs – a world were 2/3 of the country will live at a level of subsistence where they will struggle to provide enough food for their families to eat is the inevitable result of the corporate state and globalization. It is imperitive upon all of us to begin to realize that the institutions that we once trusted including the democratic party to watch out for our interests have become nothing more than puppets – appendages of the corporate state. We are the last thin line of defense between the disintegration of our country, between corporate forces which in theological terms are systems of death who will snuff out any possibility of a sustainable and livable future for our children. It is only by standing up, using our bodies, in acts of civil disobedience that we have any hope of thwarting the freight train of destruction that is now barreling towards up driven by the engine of corporatism and so I call on all of you please, it’s not about us anymore, it’s about our kids, it’s about our kids kids, it’s about our failure to stand up and protect the earth and protect the nation from forces that will inevitably, if we don not stop them, make life for millions and millions of people a nightmare. Sign the pledge October 2011.

 

Run Your Car on Tap Water? Yes you Can!

The History of Science is the History of the Suppression of Great Inventions

Right now we have energy monopolies and cartels that will do anything to keep their pockets full and supress the technology that already exists to supply everyone with free energy.

We have opec and the 7 sister oil companies that control all the oil and energy
the people who run the energy business in this world, which is the biggest business
on the planet, turning over 4-5 trillion dollars a year, it’s bigger than guns and drugs, it’s bigger than defense – they control the newspapers, they control the governments, these companies are so big that they regulate the goverment which regulates them…

Run Your Car on Tap Water? Yes you Can!
US inventor Stan Meyers released his water powered engine in the us in 1988. the pentagon flew in a colonel to check it out. meyers invention.

Bruce De Palma (Inventor of the N-Machine) talks about one of the pivotal people he encounted in his career was Edgar J. Mitchell, a former apollo mission astronaut who founded founded the neuretics___ institute in southern california. the institutes charter was supposedly to develop alternative energy systems by attratcting inventors from all over the country. Mitchell became extremely interested in DePalma’s N Machine. He made De Palma a paltry offer to buy out the invention which De Palma naturally refused. DePalma recollects that Mitchell said to him “that if I ever tried anything on my own in California that I would get my head blown off. So I was scared to death. The CIA operates through various innocent looking fronts to find out what people are thinking and what they are inventing. ” There is no progressive science in a world where every scientific idea is evaluated for its military potential.

What’s more innocent than a denying institute founded on transendental principles to help new age inventors bring free energy to the world.

Tom Brown (former director borderland science foundation) If you invent a free energy machine…. That situation still exists in the United States today where a person who really understands what’s going on just can’t get their idea out because the alternative science and medical fields have been coopted by the intelligence services.

Les Banki (australian inventor water fuel appliances). For over a decade there have been private individuals running their cars on water. Somehow the news got out and one day he got visitors and he was told to dump the engine or else. 3 weeks later the man was dead and the corinors finding was that he fell off a train that we was drunk – but it just happens that he didn’t drink.

Stan DEYO (former FBI Operative/Author) Power, our energy and control of energy, equals power in the new world order which is emerging. If you control energy ( the way we get around, the way we get our electricity, the way we have our tvs and video cameras and stuff ) then you’ve got control of the people.

Everything in this universe is free energy. tesla –

 

Global War on Drugs a Total Failure –

The Real Cost of the Drug War

The Real Cost of the Drug War

In the New York Times a couple days ago, Jimmy Carter, the 39th president and the winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, wrote an opinion op “Call Off the Global Drug War”. He speaks out that we have filled our prisons with young people who are no threat to society and that efforts to control drug imports from foreign countries are futile. The war on drug has resulted in a terrible escalation of drug-related violence, corruption and gross violations of human rights.

In an extraordinary new initiative announced earlier this month, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has made some courageous and profoundly important recommendations in a report on how to bring more effective control over the illicit drug trade. It recommends that governments be encouraged to experiment “with models of legal regulation of drugs … that are designed to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens.”

Two and a Half Million American Citizens are in Prison Today!
Prison is big business. The single greatest cause of prison population growth has been the war on drugs. Not only has this excessive punishment destroyed the lives of millions of young people and their families (disproportionately minorities), but it is wreaking havoc on state and local budgets. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pointed out that, in 1980, 10 percent of his state’s budget went to higher education and 3 percent to prisons; in 2010, almost 11 percent went to prisons and only 7.5 percent to higher education.

To help such men remain valuable members of society, and to make drug policies more humane and more effective, the American government should support and enact the reforms laid out by the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

 

Drones Killing Civilians – Including Many Children

Remote Control Killing Like Sport
by Stephen Lendman
Tuesday Jun 14th, 2011 1:16 AM

Defense contractor giants like Boeing, Lockeed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and others, as well as smaller rivals compete for growing demand for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They include remote control operated killer drones, also called unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs).

Children Killed by Drone Attack

Children Killed by Drone Attack

It’s America’s newest sport. From distant command centers, far from target sights, sounds, and smells, operators dismissively ignore human carnage showing up as computer screen blips little different from video game images. The difference, of course, is people die, mostly noncombatants. More on that below.

On March 10, 2010, Der Spiegel writer Marc Pitzke headlined, “How Drone Pilots Wage War,” saying:

They “sit in air-conditioned rooms far away from (America’s wars). They guide their weapons with joysticks and monitors. The remote warriors work with a high degree of precision – at a fraction of the cost of a fighter jet,” but just as deadly.

Operators use computer keyboards and five monitors. One says “I’ve got eight missiles and two bombs on two Predators. Weapons ready.”

The main monitor shows a target’s aerial view “from a considerable height….Three, two, one. Impact,” after pushing a red button. “Excellent job,” the man says after a destructive explosion. The entire mission lasted two minutes “against a faceless enemy” attacked by remote control half a world away.

“The whole thing looks like a computer game,” virtual war “that doesn’t require combatants to get their hands dirty” or perhaps souls compromised for mindlessly slaughtering civilians lawlessly – what America’s media never explain or why Washington wages war.
Read the rest of this entry »

 

Too Many Civilian Casualties: Drones to blame.

The US government, and mainstream media, are making sure the public remains ignorant of civilian casualties in Afghanistan

During his eight years in office, Bush ordered a total of 45 drone strikes in Pakistan; in fewer than three years, Obama has ordered more than 200. On his third day in office the president ordered two drone strikes, one of which incinerated a pro-government tribal leader along with his whole family, including three children. Obama has since also expanded the drone war in Afghanistan.

Injured Afghan Child from Drone Attack

Injured Afghan Child from Drone Attack

The new tactic has many sceptics, and not all of them are antiwar activists. Criticism has also been voiced from within the CIA and the military. Yet drones have been embraced with remarkable warmth by Obama and the US intelligentsia. This partly has to do with an existing US tendency to see technology as a panacea for all problems, including military ones. But the tactic is also made palatable by a routine exaggeration of its accuracy and a downplaying of its human cost.

At the end of 2009, the Pakistani daily Dawn calculated that, of the 708 people killed in 44 drone attacks that year, only 5 were known militants. Earlier that year, The News, Pakistan’s other major English-language daily, had calculated that between January 14, 2006, and April 8, 2009, 60 drone attacks killed 701 people – of whom only 14 were known militants.
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Besides the tendency to exaggerate success and downplay failure in order to avoid adverse public reaction, neither the US nor the Pakistan government has a mechanism in place to verify the identity of those killed. There is also a concern that the drones are no longer targeting only high value suspects; under expanded authority granted by Bush and continued under Obama the agency can target all suspected militants based on “pattern of life” analysis collected from surveillance cameras. In the tribal areas, where traditionally most adult males carry guns and ammunition, this makes everybody a potential target. A year before Osama bin Laden was killed, a CIA officer told Jane Mayer of the New Yorker, that because of the drone surveillance, “no tall man with a beard is safe anywhere in Southwest Asia”.

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