Monday, November 06, 2006

They’d rather die: brief lives of the Afghan slave wives

The Sunday Times November 05, 2006

They’d rather die: brief lives of the Afghan slave wives

Christina Lamb

THE first thing one notices about 16-year-old Gul Zam is her eyes, pretty and dark yet as watchful as a hunted animal’s. But then the scarf covering her head shifts slightly, exposing a livid red scar on her neck. The hands that play nervously in her lap are ridged with pink burns that reach up her arms, across her chest and down her legs.

Three months ago Gul Zam poured petrol over her body and set herself alight. To her it was the only way out of a marriage so abusive that her husband Abdul had beaten her until her clothes were soaked in blood.

“I felt all other ways were blocked,” she whispered. “My husband and his family treated me like a slave. But I could not go back to my family because of the shame that would bring. So I crawled into the yard, poured a can of petrol over me and lit a match.”

Five years after the Taliban were ousted from Kabul, the number of Afghan women setting fire to themselves because they cannot bear their lives has risen dramatically.

Gul Zam’s husband and in-laws watched her burning and did nothing. She was saved by a neighbour who poured a bucket of water over her, wrapped her in a sheet and rushed her to hospital. After the doctors removed the sheet, tearing the blisters, she spent 10 days in a coma. Her head had been fused to her chest by the burns. She has endured several operations and will need at least six more before she can move her arms.

“This is a society where being born a woman is not a gift,” said Alberto Cairo, an Italian doctor who runs the Red Cross clinic in Kabul where Gul Zam is being treated. His room is full of fairy lights and a laughing Christmas tree that he has kept up all year because “there didn’t seem to be much happiness”.

A report last week by the UK-based charity Womankind Worldwide said cases like Gul Zam’s were becoming more common because between 60% and 80% of all marriages in Afghanistan were forced. More than half of all girls are married off before the age of 16, some as young as six. Many of these marriages are to settle debts or feuds between tribes. The women are regarded as commodities rather than wives and are often treated like slave workers by their new families.

Those who try to escape often end up in prison like 13-year-old Shabano, jailed in Kandahar for running away from the 50-year-old man to whom her father had sold her. “We don’t have democracy in this country if someone wants a love marriage,” she said, nibbling at grimy nails in the dark, dirty cell. “My father exchanged me for a teenage bride for himself.”

Gul Zam was lucky. Not only was she saved, but unusually her family have decided to support her and her father demanded a divorce. But her story is an indictment of the international community’s failure to improve the lives of Afghan women.

In 2001 the West’s most-cited criticism of the Taliban regime was its oppression of women. Not only did the Taliban forbid women from working and girls from being educated, they also beat them for wearing lipstick or shoes that clicked on the ground. The all-encompassing burqa, with its ugly shape and cage-like grille over the eyes, became a symbol for a heartless regime.

Laura Bush, America’s first lady, took over her husband’s weekly radio address to highlight the plight of Afghan women. Cherie Blair made an impassioned speech at 10 Downing Street, saying: “Women could have their nails torn out for wearing nail polish.”

“The recovery of Afghanistan must entail the restoration of rights of Afghan women,” insisted Colin Powell, then the US secretary of state.

Five years on there is just one woman in government — the minister for women’s affairs. Symbolic photographs of women throwing off their burqas after the Taliban had fled were no more than that. Apart from a small educated elite in Kabul, the overwhelming majority of women are still forced to cover their entire bodies and faces. The United Nations recently circulated a memo to all staff in Afghanistan, advising women to cover their heads even in Kabul.

Watching boys flying kites over the Bala Hissar fort or chattering girls streaming to school, white scarves over heads and rucksacks on backs, to say there have been no improvements since November 13, 2001, when the Taliban fled the capital, would be wrong. Millions of Afghans voted for a new president in 2004 and a parliament in 2005 in which 25% of the MPs are women. Five million children, of whom 1.5m are girls, are enrolled in school.

But there is a huge gap between the reality on the ground and the “remarkable progress” claimed by western diplomats who sit in fortified compounds behind guards and concrete blocks and who never leave Kabul. The only area in which the country could really be said to have made remarkable progress is in growing the poppy. Under British supervision, Afghanistan has become the world’s biggest opium producer. Last year it produced 6,100 tons — 92% of world supply.

Afghanistan is engulfed in its bloodiest violence for 10 years. At least 3,000 people have been killed this year — more than twice last year’s total.

For all the talk of girls’ education, only 5% of those of secondary school age are enrolled. More than 300 schools have been burnt down this year or shut after threats from militants, leaving 200,000 pupils with nowhere to go.

There have been no significant water or power projects and two highways built with western aid have become almost no-go areas. The Kabul to Kandahar road is plagued by Taliban militants setting up fake checkpoints, killing Afghans accused of collaborating.

Two weeks ago I drove on the other new road from Jalalabad to Kabul, wearing a burqa because of warnings of foreigners being kidnapped. I was stopped at three checkpoints set up by police to extract bribes. As for the much-heralded parliament, it has more warlords and people charged with human rights abuses than women MPs. It has yet to create any legislation, though it has voted in pay rises for its members.

“Parliament is just a showpiece for the West,” complains Malalai Joya, one of the female MPs. “Women do not have liberation at all. People in power, whether in government, parliament or governors, are warlords and jihadis who are no different in their outlook from Taliban.”

The 27-year-old MP has received so many death threats for her outspokenness that she has to sleep in a different place every night. To meet her involves going to a spot, then following an old man on a motorbike. She will not give out her address. The house is surrounded by sandbags and guards who search visitors before they can enter.

Inside Joya sits in a room that is bare of decoration apart from a black and white photograph of King Amanullah, under whose reign in the 1920s women were given equal rights and strict dress codes were abolished. She tells me she has just returned from visiting a five-year-old girl who had been kidnapped and raped in Kabul by a local commander. “The killing of women is like killing a bird for these men,” she said. “We have no value.” When she tries to speak in parliament, she is physically attacked by fellow MPs. “When I speak, they pelt me with water bottles,” she said. “One shouted, ‘Take and rape her!’ “The West talks of Afghan women having freedom and going outside without a burqa but I tell you the burqa was not the main problem for women. Look at the high rate of suicide among our women. The real problem is security and more and more are returning to the burqa.”

In the south, Nato forces seem hell-bent on proving the alliance can fight at least as well as the Americans. What was supposed to be a reconstruction mission has morphed into combat producing high casualties.

But the violence is no longer confined to the southern and eastern provinces. Somehow the Taliban, who were driven out of Afghanistan by US-led forces and B-52 bombers in just 60 days, are creeping nearer the capital. According to a US military official, nine of the 21 districts in Ghazni, which is less than 60 miles south of Kabul, now have “significant Taliban influence”.

Even Kabul, which was an oasis of calm, has become a jumpy place where people live behind high walls and sandbags after suicide bombs rocked the capital.

Although the number of foreign troops has risen to 37,000, it is generally accepted that it was too little too late and the distraction of the war in Iraq allowed the Taliban to regroup. Neighbouring Pakistan, from where the Taliban emerged, has proved an ideal haven and training ground.

“The desire for a quick, cheap war followed by a quick, cheap peace is what has brought Afghanistan to the present, increasingly dangerous situation,” says the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.

David Richards, the British general who commands the Nato forces, admits he was shocked by the lack of basic development when he arrived in Afghanistan in April.

He has created a Policy Action Group, a kind of war cabinet chaired by President Hamid Karzai, bringing together ministers and international donors to “bump-start” development. “If we don’t act soon, we risk more and more people turning to the Taliban,” he warns.

Aside from such grievances and the worsening security, the other main problem is corruption. Public institutions are weak or nonexistent. Where institutions do exist, they are so corrupt that people wish they were not there.

In the ante-room to Karzai’s office, it is common to see people offering bribes to get relatives lucrative posts or arrange for them to be let off crimes. Karzai has refused to act against senior government officials or his own relatives, whom the international community says are involved in the narcotics trade.

“I am very unhappy,” complained Younus Qanuni, speaker of the parliament. “The past five years we’ve had a golden opportunity in Afghanistan. Instead I feel once again terrorism is returning: narcotics, increasing daily corruption while in people’s lives there are no changes. Things are moving in the wrong direction.”

For girls like Gul Zam facing years of operations and stigma as a divorcee, the end of the Taliban was never meant to be like this.


Discovered this article by reading

Friday, November 03, 2006

"Raytheon Six² Defendants Get Community Service; Four of Five Charges Dismissed.

"Raytheon Six² Defendants Get Community Service; Four of Five
Charges Dismissed.

by Jack and Felice Cohen-Joppa

Four Tucson residents were each sentenced November 2 to eight
hours of community service for their part in a nonviolent protest at
the Raytheon Missile Systems Plant south of Tucson last March 20, the
third anniversary of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Pima
County Justice Court judge Maria Felix accepted their pleas of no
contest to a charge of obstructing a highway, a class 3 misdemeanor.
Two co-defendants who could not be in court today will be sentenced
at a later date.
The sentences came as a result of a plea agreement that
included dismissal of four of the five original charges laid against
each the anti-war activists: unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct,
being a public nuisance and being a pedestrian on a roadway.
Before the formal hearing, the court invited Tucson¹s Raging
Grannies to sing. The Grannies were among nearly two dozen
supporters who had rallied outside the court house prior to the
hearing, and now filled the small courtroom. They obliged with one
of their trademark anti-war parodies, ³God Help America.²
The four sentenced today were Gretchen Nielson, age 73,
Bill Moeller, age 52, Pat Birnie, age 76, and Jack McPherson, age 61.
Before pronouncing sentence, Judge Felix invited the defendants to
address the court. The statements of Pat Birnie and Jack McPherson
follow, along with a poem by Gretchen Nielsen that concluded her own
brief statement. Bill Moeller chose not to address the court.

Poem read as part of sentencing statement of Gretchen Nielsen

to be lit with missiles
built by robots
programmed with misconceptions
(while ridiculed into silence
the wise watch wordless)
bombs are bought and sold
by parents
still not knowing what they're doing
'til the children they have nurtured
scream in fiery beds

Hell's getting ready
to be lit by leaders
proud and vengeful
still not knowing what they're doing
'til they're judged as they've been judging
watch their children's children burn
(while the merciful moan in madness
anguished with compassion)
wealthy preachers mock the truth
the pope parades in a funny hat:
prophecy fulfilled

(wise and ridiculed
merciful and mad)
Where is the leader of the meek?

Gretchen Nielsen (1980)

Sentencing statement of Pat Birnie

I strongly oppose the U.S. invasion and continuing violent occupation
of Iraq, a sovereign country that threatened no provocation to our
Because I consider the U.S. military actions in Iraq to be immoral
and illegal by U.S. law as well as International law, I am ashamed
and distraught that a local business, Raytheon Missiles Systems, is
participating in and profiting from the human suffering their
products cause in Iraq.

I have tried to communicate my angst via direct correspondence with
Raytheon management, letters and phone calls to our elected
officials, letters to the editor (unpublished!) of our local
newspapers, and regular legal protests at Raytheon Missiles Systems
Because these efforts have failed, I had to resort to my least
-favored form of free-speech, to put my body on the line.
I will not willingly allow, by my silence, these atrocities to continue.

Sentencing statement of Jack McPherson

My participation in the blockade of the Raytheon munitions plant was
done to express solidarity with the tens of thousand innocent
civilian victims in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I do believe it is my moral obligation:
To speak out against - war crimes
To speak out against - war profiteering
And to speak out against - weapon contracts emanating from huge
political contributions.
Raytheon is not as they would have you believe a defender of freedom
and democracy, but rather are in the business of killing for profit.

U.S. DU Death Toll Tops 11,000

U.S. DU Death Toll Tops 11,000

Nationwide Media Blackout Keeps U.S. Public Ignorant About This Important Story

By James P. Tucker Jr.
The death toll from the highly toxic weapons component known as depleted uranium (DU) has reached 11,000 US soldiers and the growing scandal may be the reason behind Anthony Principi’s departure as secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department.

This view was expressed by Arthur Bernklau, executive director of Veterans for Constitutional Law in New York, writing in Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter.

“The real reason for Mr. Principi’s departure was really never given,” Bernklau said. “However, a special report published by eminent scientist Leuren Moret naming depleted uranium as the definitive cause of ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ has fed a growing scandal about the continued use of uranium munitions by the U.S. military.”

The “malady [from DU] that thousands of our military have suffered and died from has finally been identified as the cause of this sickness, eliminating the guessing. . . . The terrible truth is now being revealed,” Bernklau said.

Of the 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are now dead, he said. By the year 2000, there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. More than a decade later, more than half (56 percent) who served in Gulf War I have permanent medical problems. The disability rate for veterans of the world wars of the last century was 5 percent, rising to 10 percent in Vietnam.

“The VA secretary was aware of this fact as far back as 2000,” Bernklau said. “He and the Bush administration have been hiding these facts, but now, thanks to Moret’s report, it is far too big to hide or to cover up.”

Terry Johnson, public affairs specialist at the VA, recently reported that veterans of both Persian Gulf wars now on disability total 518,739, Bernklau said.

“The long-term effect of DU is a virtual death sentence,” Bernklau said. “Marion Fulk, a nuclear chemist, who retired from the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, and was also involved in the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in the soldiers [from the second war] as ‘spectacular’—and a matter of concern.’ ”

While this important story appeared in a Washington newspaper and the wire services, it did not receive national exposure—a compelling sign that the American public is being kept in the dark about the terrible effects of this toxic weapon. (Veterans for Constitutional Law can be reached at (516) 474-4261.)

Not Copyrighted. Readers can reprint and are free to redistribute - as long as full credit is given to American Free Press - 645 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Suite 100 Washington, D.C. 20003

Thursday, November 02, 2006

So What Happens The Day After The Election?

I haven’t blogged in a while. I had to take a break so I could turn on the old wisdom crock pot and attend to healing after a year of ill health, personal loss, family upheaval, and near constant political action. So I ruminated and allowed myself the utter luxury of doing whatever the hell I felt like for a few months so I could have the energy and inspiration to face whatever situation presented itself the after the election.

This is basically the same thing I did before the 2004 election. I just started gearing up for the long haul of what would be needed AFTER the 2004 election so I could jump in with whatever was needed when most folks were burned out from putting all their energy into the election.

Here I am again.

So what are we going to do if votes actually cast next Tuesday have no relationship with who “wins” in these U.S. elections?

What are we going to do if token Democrats win but no Progressive voice travels with them to D.C.?

So what are we going to do if U.S. people start being “disappeared?”

We must not lose high-level, integrated focus and descend into a mire of liberal bickering over petty details.

Last week’s approval of the use of military force against our own citizens just before the most critical elections in our country for almost a century is a very dark cloud on the horizon. We have to work together.

The following is from an email I received this morning from The People’s Email Network:

If there were ever a more urgent reason to replace each and every member of Congress virtually without exception, one need only look at the breathtaking new martial law powers granted to the Bush administration this month. It has always been a sacred tenet of our Democracy that the U.S. military should not be deployed AGAINST American citizens. But literally in the dead of night and almost without comment, an amendment to the Insurrection Act was slipped into the just passed Defense Authorization bill stating, and get this:

"the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when . . . the President determines that domestic violence has occurred"

So let's just say for example that the electronic election results in 8 days are so far out of line with pre-election and exit polling data so as to defy credulity. And let's just say that people organized massive peaceful protests of the theft of their elections. And let's just say that the Bush administration provoked "police" riots, or even had their own provocateurs commit violent acts so as to justify a military crackdown. Voila . . . now you have American soldiers shooting at otherwise peaceful political protesters. And you thought Kent State was a party!

And if you don't think that could ever happen, then why the hell have they pushed for such changes, which are now the law of the land?

The whole concept of the president as an unaccountable determiner, or "decider", insulated from any kind of oversight by Congress or the Courts has been the hallmark of the Cheney/Bush executive coup, which just keeps steamrollering along while our presumptive protectors in Congress are asleep at the switch, or cowering in their cloakrooms.

Some of you will who know me personally will remember when I spent several years on a project in which I attempted to salt our cultural milleau with real information about the various cohorts that comprised the boom in births that occurred after WWII. (Yes, I’m digressing, but stay with me…) I coined and forwarded the term Late Boomers to describe the last half of the Baby Boom Generation. Another person, Jonathan Pontel (sp?) forwarded the term Generation Jones to describe this same group. I felt that Jonathan (a child-roofing safety latch tycoon) was doing this, I felt, for some sort of financial gain or personal aggrandizement. This morning I became certain of it when I saw him on FOX. He was spouting about how a surprise win by the Republicans next week will show the power and conservatism of Generation Jones. My disgust meter went haywire. I suspect he is making these statements so that he will be credited with foresight if the elections are stolen again. But it reminded me of how important the Late Boomers, who have really never shown their strength, will be in the next few months.

How history remembers the various cohorts within the Baby Boomers will probably hinge around this election. That much is true. My take on this is totally different from Jonathan’s. I happen to believe that THE test of the moral fiber (not to be confused with religious faith) of the Woodstock Generation, the Late Blooming Late Boomers, and Generation X sll will be tested in these next few months. How history remembers us will be determined by next summer. In these next few months I need to be writing on my blog about how to undermine the DLC death grip on the Democratic Party but I fear I will be writing about the manifestation of fascistic Bushist doctrine into military coercion and the use of military force against our own people.

The activist community has been abuzz about detention centers being built by KBR for almost a year now. It is quite likely that if force is used against our own people those forced and fired upon by our own military in our own streets will be sent to detention centers that have supposedly been built to house “illegal aliens.”

That is right, the“Detention Centers” are ready. (Built by KBR.)

This of course can only be achieved if the People of the United States allow and enable it. But
collaborators are already proudly wearing their brown shirts and acting as though they were military police. Remember when folks in a taxpayer funded event in Denver last year were removed from the gathering because of some printed slogans? They were removed by some political hacks masquerading as secret service agents under the direction of event organizers (The White House).
“Leslie Weise and Alex Young, two of the three people removed from the taxpayer-funded event, are suing two Denver men for actually ousting them. But they believe a White House official gave the order.”
These are the type of cases that must be pursued. Only by establishing locally grown and based enclaves of sanity and justice will democratic principles survive when and if elections are stolen again. These enclaves must be able to stand up to being labeled as "Fifth Columnists."

Just a reminder. I’m not a Marxist. I’m not a Communist. I’m not a Terrorist. I’m a life-long registered Democrat whose ancestors met the Puritans (who comprise another part of my ancestral tree) as they arrived in this land almost 400 years ago. I oppose not only this goon squad of a Republican Congress, but also the DLC’s usurping the guidance of Democratic Party and the lame response by the DNC. The Republican Party that is largely composed of honest, albeit misguided, folks. Same can be said of most Democrats.

My own take on why this is happening (which I like to think of as network theory, not conspiracy theory) is that Al Gore wasn’t the only politician aware of global warming and the dramatic changes our human culture will experience in the next few decades. Policy makers, scientists and social theorists have known about the degradation of Earth’s current biosphere for decades. We discussed, diagramed and debated aspects of it in my university classes in the late 1970s. The powers that be have been incorporating it into planning strategies for decades. Remember when Jimmy Carter promoted the use of solar energy and energy conservation? That was right before Papa Bush negotiated with terrorists in Paris (arms for hostages) and thus insured the hostages would not be released during the Carter term of office.

Those with the money and position to shape society (real political power) who understood this coming time of global change seem to have a couple different strategies dependent upon whether they are good or evil. (Sorry, but it does boil down to that.) Gore represents one group, and Bush represents another. (Remember --- Grandaddy Bush traded with the Nazis during WWII -- a treasonous offense.) We can work with each other to create the best response we can to environmental degradation and political instability in our vastly over-populated and divisive world (Gore’s strategy); or, those with power and global network access can consolidate their power and wealth within their very small clan before the “apocalypse” (the Bush Cheney Rumsfeld Rove response.)

I have come to classify this dichotomy as Gaia versus God. Friends tell me not to use the word Gaia as it is a parochial concept. I vehemently disagree with many of the assumptions required to make that statement. Gaia is a semiotic concept of the process that is reality, life, and the World as we know it. The time for preoccupation with things is coming to an end. Being and Becoming as it was called by one great mind (Dr. Earl Count) by which I was fortunate enough to be given undergraduate instruction, is what we do. Focus on “what we are” is based in illusion as “are” implies orientation from a static point in time that does not and never has existed. We can accept our growing understanding of interconnection and simultaneity or we can focus on “things” which are no more than deathly slices of being.

Acceptance of Gaia is acceptance of the Earth, our Mater Terra, as a living system. It says nothing of worship, or omniscience, benevolent or otherwise. It also alludes to a feminine wisdom. In my mind we could use a little bit more of that… no matter what the outcome of next week’s U.S. election.

So what do I suggest we do with all this? I have to Laugh Out Loud, as this is what we always face in planning for any future. We can be Luke and Leahs, or we can align with their father. (Sorry but I had to put in some popular culture reference and it was either Star Wars or a John Water’s reference, so I chose Star Wars.) We can be pie eyed optimists backed by fierce, righteous knowledge, or we can submit to evil. Doesn’t really matter how you do it, the thing is that you do it. It is much better if we don’t all do the same thing.

So I will keep on doing my more or less independent, silly little metaphoric actions and writing. That is what I’ve always done and I doubt I will change at this point.

I’ve endowed Pederson with the balls to stand up against the Iraq War (Pink Balls of Courage) – and I’ve told Gabby Giffords, in person, on more than one occasion that we need her to stand up against the war and gett our troops out of Iraq now even if that means withdrawing all funding for the war. All I’ve gotten are mushy canned responses in return. I’ve given Pink Balls to Gabby’s staff too.

I’m just an iconoclast. I’m also an intelligent woman and a fairly good researcher who is well-trained in social theory as well as several methodologies for evaluating (not measuring—I really don’t give a rat’s ass about quantification) patterns of behavior. I’m relatively harmless… just like the man in the following story:

Steve Howards says he used to fantasize about what he’d say to President Bush or Vice President Cheney if he ever got the chance. That opportunity arrived on June 16, the same day he says he read about U.S. fatalities in Iraq reaching 2,500......... “I didn’t even know he was in town,” Howards says. “He was walking through the area shaking hands. Initially, I walked past him. Then I said to myself, ‘I can’t in good conscience let this opportunity pass by.’ So I approached him, I got about two feet away, and I said in a very calm tone of voice, ‘Your policies in Iraq are reprehensible.’ And then I walked away. Howards says he knew the Administration has a_ “history of making problems” for people who protest its policies, so he wanted to leave off at that. But the Secret Service did not take kindly to his comment. “About ten minutes later, I came back through the mall with my eight-year-old son in tow,” Howards recalls, “and this Secret Service man came out of the shadows, and his exact words were, ‘Did you assault the Vice President?’ ” Here’s how Howards says he responded: “No, but I did tell Mr. Cheney the way I felt about the war in Iraq, and if Mr. Cheney wants to be shielded from public criticism, he should avoid public places. If exercising my constitutional rights to free speech is against the law, then you should arrest me.” Which is just what the agent, Virgil D. “Gus” Reichle Jr, proceeded to do.

I guess we should keep on exercising our rights to free speech after the election next week. Loudly. Publicly. That is the best and most important thing we can do. (But you may want to wear your best running sneakers and have a vinegar dampened cloth to put over your face when the pepper spray comes out.

Peace my friends, I bid you peace.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Performance of "I Am Rachel Corrie" in the Heartland

I attendeded a performance of " I am Rachel Corrie" last evening at Purdue University. The Semiotic Society of America is having their annual meeting at this fairly conservative university so I was quite heartened to see an organizer of the SSA encouraging attendance at Katherine Burke's solo production of this play by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner (produced with permission of Rachel's family) about a young woman's life (and death).

This play is not about Palestine and Israel - it about a young woman's maturation as chronicled through her writings from age twelve through 23 when when her young life ceased was crushed under an Israeli tank in front of a Palestinian home she was attempting to protect as an ISM member. Youth, self-awareness, recognition of mortality, the sadness that comes with wisdom, family, desire for some modicum of fairness in a world that has none -- these are all themes, strings, and tendrils of meaning that regularly wander in and out of her expressed thoughts as depicted in her journals, emails, and miscellaneous writings through this amazingly aware and articulate young woman explored more deeply, broadly and with more passion in her short life than do most people who live 4 times longer than she did.

This play is not about all the things the hoopla about it imply. It is about a life. See it if you can. Put on your own production of it. Read it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A soldier's dilemma and honorable action.

Justin Watts is an honorable man. A local Tucson man showed a strength of character that few possess and fewer still can maintain when confronted with horrific knowledge that if disclosed will permanently alter untold numbers of lives and indeed the course of a nation.

Justin is the man who voiced his concern about what his brothers in arms appeared to have done -- raped a young teenage girl and then killed her and her family. The story is here in the Arizona Daily Star.

What amazed me is comment 63 on this story.

I'm very happy this man [Justin] was so brave to come forward. He is a hero to me and to my kids now. He will never know how much he helped my family alone. One of the soldiers he told on is my husband. He used to beat me and make me sleep on the floor while pregnant. In april he was home on a leave and he wanted me to be alone with him but i said no. I've been trying to divorce him for more than 2 years now and i had a restraining order against him. He violated it so many times that I had to move. I told the army what was going on and they did not help at all. they left me with no option but to run and hide. Now thanks to Justin watt, my children are safe and so am I. God bless him and I hope things get better for him.
This is a neglected aspect of the horrific situation our country faces. Violence begets violence. Allowing violence upon women is symptomatic of a cultural suppression of morality. Thank you Justin for keeping the tiny spark of belief in the essense of good alive within me. This heinous war is creating a generation of military vets who have been wounded in unimaginable ways -- scars unlike anything ever before seen are forming.

Thank you Justin for showing me that although our troops are being asked to ignore international law and conventions, and because of this evil cultivation are having their darkest sides emerge that men and womenof character are refusing to go along with an immoral status quo. Justin and those others who will now step forward because of his bravery, along the folks who are refusing to go back to fight in this immoral attrocity, are showing that Americans still have among them the best, the brightest, and the most honorable citizens who serve because they believe in justice and what Americans hold in their hearts as the essence of what our country is and can be.

Let us all send safe energies to him, pray for his safety, and for this shining example of courage to be followed and to inspire other soldiers to do what is right and just.

Breathe in courage. Breathe out action.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Two Must See Videos

Two must see shorts:

Allegory - above most heads?

If you didn't see V for Vindetta, or didn't "get" it -- watch this clip.

I am NOT a "9/11 Truth" type, but V for Vindetta wasn't created as a narrow conspiracy awareness tool but as a broad-based allegory.

Straight shooting commentary

Keith Olbermann's now historic speaking truth to power commentary.

I'm ba-aack -- without guilt.

Yep, I took a long vacation and relaxed for several weeks. Shame on me, right? How could a progressive blogger take a vacation before a critical election? Well, I am in this for the long haul and I am living a relatively new approach to U.S. politics but a millenia old approach to life. I call it the sane woman's approach to life. I do it all-- but unlike the male-mimicking old order 70s superwoman clad in a gray flannel suit, when I begin to stress out and am unable to live with joy and creative energy, I step back to doing only personal life essential tasks.

That beleif, that we have to bring about whole life work life integration and do what preserves our sanity, is what got our species through several extinction level events --- and that is what we have to do to get us through this BRC (bush rumsfeld cheney) extinction level event. I'm not joking. This is about species survival and approaches to life itself. We have to do what keeps us alive. For me I cannot live without creative joy. That is what drew me to CODEPINK in February of 2003 and what has made me step back from it a bit too. I live from my heart and go to where my spirit tells me to go. I live by women's rules.

I will be talking about what i did during this this vacation, eventually. It is too long and divergent a topic for right now. For right now just let me say...

Jeff Latas is still the best AZ CD 8 Democratic Candidate. I stilll think Gabbie Giffords is a Republican in Democratic clothing who left the Republican Party only because of her support for the pro-woman's right to control her own body. There are Pro-choice Republicans. Why didn't she stick with her life-long political affiliation and fight for truth and justice within her network. She jumped ship and went with what she thought was the easy route to power. If she had been all about representing beliefs she would have fought for women's rights within the Republican Party. What turn will she take next?

Pima County Supervisors are corporatist pigs -- they will not stop the destruction one of the most beautiful natural spots left in the world -- the Santa Ritas -- by letting a Canadian Company strip mine the Santa Ritas that is one of the premier birding spots in the world that still is part of a complex functioning ecosystem.

Oh... oh the places we'll go. (That is a paraphrase of one of my favorite authors."

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Terror Storm --The Full Length Movie Exploring Government False Flag Ops

This morning a friend sent me a link to this full length Alex Jones video that I watched, then put up a link to on I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but the several things I doubled checked for accuracy were easily verified. Some of the people interviewed are extremely competent and widely respected people who have credible stories. This is a very recent release. I recommend watching it if you have access to broadband internet. I'm not an Alex Jones fan... I really can't stand "talk" personalities of any persuasion, but I recommend just ignoring his irritating voice and presentation style and watching and listening for facts that can be proven or disproven. Then do your own research.

This is what I posted on digg with the link:

The full film, not just a clip from it, but a full 1:52:21 of web broadcast documentation that builds an eerily Orwellian case for False Flag Ops being used to control public sentiment so as to support diminished civil liberties. The wealth of historical film clips and easily verified references make this a must watch film.

read more | digg story

Friday, July 07, 2006

NH Phone Jammer To Argue Entrapment,Saying Bush Admin. Approved Scheme

Why isn't this a bigger story?

The fourth man indicted in a New Hampshire phone-jamming scheme -- in which Republican operatives jammed the phone lines of Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts in a 2002 Senate race -- will argue at trial that the Bush Administration and the national Republican Party gave their approval to the plan according to a motion filed by his attorney.

read more | digg story

US government studying ways it can limit the Freedom of Information Act

Why do I find it difficult to believe limiting the FOIA is not to suppress terrorist info gathering but regular old citizen's access to information? If protecting water sources was in the forefront of concern Tucson wouldn't be drinking openly transported sludge they call CAP delivered water.

from digg:
The Defense Department is sending St. Mary's University School of Law 'Center for Terrorism Law' $1 million to 'help fight terrorism' by studying ways to limit the scope of the Freedom of Information Act.

read more | digg story

Robert Sawyer wins best sci-fi novel aware for Mindscan

(From review:) With this win, Sawyer, of Mississauga, Ont., becomes one of just seven writers - and the only Canadian - to have won all three of the top science fiction awards for novel of the year.
Other authors with the hat trick are David Brin, Arthur C. Clarke, Joe Haldeman, Frederik Pohl, Kim Stanley Robinson and Connie Willis. (topic: books)

read more | digg story

Robert Sawyer wins best sci-fi novel aware for Mindscan

With this win, Sawyer, of Mississauga, Ont., becomes one of just seven writers - and the only Canadian - to have won all three of the top science fiction awards for novel of the year.
Other authors with the hat trick are David Brin, Arthur C. Clarke, Joe Haldeman, Frederik Pohl, Kim Stanley Robinson and Connie Willis. (topic: books)

read more | digg story

FBI plans new Net-tapping Legislation Push

This was just "dugg" today.... We have to raise hell about this before they can slip it through!

The FBI has drafted sweeping legislation that would require Internet service providers to create wiretapping hubs for police surveillance and force makers of networking gear to build in backdoors for eavesdropping, CNET has learned.

read more | digg story

Fascist Goon Squads Go Mainstream

Glenn Greenwald, author of How Would A Patriot Act?, discusses the teetering stance we in America have as we dance on the top of a pivot point of unfathomable importance between liberty and oppression in a recent post The thug and intimidation tactics of the Far Right go mainstream.

I've been beating this drum for well over a year. The storm trooper-esque para-military tactics of intimidation of individuals is coming to a street near you... (They are called Goon Sqauds in case you don't know.) In fact it may be coming to your house if you don't support Horowitz, White supremacist, extremist pro-life groups and other people in America masquerading as mainstream folks who want to force everyone to live by their rules that are in strict conflict with the intent and letter of our constitutional rule.

I've had police intimidate my family when I'm not home. "We can arrest her if anyone presses charges," announced cops who showed up at my door last year apparently just to f*ck with my family. Rather senior friends of mine, elderly ladies who reside together, have had men show up at their door asking why they aren't patriotic and why they don't support the troops... A man dressed head to toe in full desert fatigues, who I could name but refuse to as I will not sink to their level, has insinuated that I should be executed as a traitor (hung actually) when I've held the sign "Bring the Troops Home Now" at Wednesday morning counter-recruiting protests here in Tucson. Another man insults me about body odor, of all the ridiculous things, for having raised arms as I hold up a sign. He yells in my face, steps into my space (within an inch of touching me) as the underage teens who do his bidding come to stand behind me and effectively "surround" me. The pro-war folks, who proudly "report back" on Free Republic also call the women peace folks by first name in a clear intimidation tactic to let us they know exactly who we are.

It is interesting to note that this surround and intimidate tactic is the very same tactic that was used on me by the recruiters the first time I interacted with them. I naively went to them to find out how to get my at that time 15 yr. old kid's name off an Army mailing list that was trying to get more information through freebie offers.

That horrible experience convinced me I had to start protesting recruiting tactics. I was distraught when I went in and was very angry but the recruiters only intentionally fed on my anxiety and revved up my anger. All I wanted was a phone number, which one recruiter had started to find for me, when another one signaled his buddies to gather round and encircle me. I sat down in a chair and said I would wait for the number to get my kid off the list. They called the cops on me. I left. These jokers are the lowest rung on Donald Rumsfeld's fascist ladder and seem to immediately choose intimidation tactics whenever dealing with any situation that isn't their control. I wasn't a counter-recruiting activist at that point - I had mixed feelings about "supporting our troops." But after that horrible treatment and intimidation I began to attend the protest occasionally but kept clear of the recruiters.

I became even more convinced that I had to be there in protest after I was arrested almost a year ago along with five Raging Grannies. I was not protesting that day and was just taking pics for this blog of what turned out to be the first attempt by any group of Raging Grannies to enlist in the U.S. Army when the same recruiter who had decided to intimidate a mother coming in to get some info from them singled me out from all the press there to call onto private property and have arrested. (The cops later decided to arrest other journalists to cover their asses when I asked why I was the only non-granny being arrested. I still feel bad about that.)

It is just a suspicion, based on observation, and I can't prove it, but I think the recruiters are training these supposed counter-protesters in military tactics "appropriate" to use on the peace protesters. I also cannot prove it, but neighbors in the area who have to remain anonymous for fear of eviction or retaliation have stated that the extremist owner of the property that houses the recruiting center offices actually pays at least some of the pro-war people to protest. It is interesting that so many middle aged right wing folks and families can afford to protest during the work day. Most of the peace folks are retired and that is why they can afford to be there every week.

We have to stop this emergent police state and militarization of the entire border region... NOW. It may take a while to get to the heartland, and for middle America to wake up-- unless this gets coverage and massive grassroots email awareness campaigns --and by then it will be too late.

Cindy Sheehan Uses Jedi Mind Tricks on Conservative MSNBC Reporter (VIDEO)

Cindy is a remarkably calm and articulate woman. Even when facing one of those "leftist" talking heads. A entrry phrases it this way:

"It is amazing how Cindy Sheehan maintains her composure, position and intelligence in this interview with an obviously conservative lapdog reporter on the dark side. The reporter really just ends up embarrassing herself... seriously, is this chick trying to land a job at Fox?"

read more | digg story

2 American Officials Apologize for Crime Against Iraqi People

This from the NYT via a digg entry:

"The United States ambassador and the top American military commander here together issued an unusual apology on Thursday for the rape and murder of a young Iraqi woman and the killing of her family, saying that the crime, in which at least four soldiers are suspects, had injured the "Iraqi people as a whole." "

read more | digg story

The Ghost of Vice President Wallace Speaks to American Fascism (Are We Training a Fascist Army?)

This 2004 Common Dreams article by Thom Harmann deserves a re-read as more people in 2006 are catching on to what he knew in 2004.

I do recommend reading the entire piece, follow the link above, and review what the Republican Party is NOW about and has been about for the last few years. Fascism is not a liberal buzzword -- this is a real threat to the America that valued constitutional liberty just as it was when it arose last century. With the army recruiting Neo-Nazis and Gangstas you have to wonder what Rumsfeld wants to do once he has these thugs under his control. Don't laugh. We have been warned.

Excerpt from the Common Dreams article:

"The really dangerous American fascists," Wallace wrote, "are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power."

In this, Wallace was using the classic definition of the word "fascist" - the definition Mussolini had in mind when he claimed to have invented the word. (It was actually Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile who wrote the entry in the Encyclopedia Italiana that said: "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Mussolini, however, affixed his name to th entry, and claimed credit for it.)

As the 1983 American Heritage Dictionary noted, fascism is: "A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."

Mussolini was quite straightforward about all this. In a 1923 pamphlet titled "The Doctrine of Fascism" he wrote, "If classical liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government." But not a government of, by, and for We The People - instead, it would be a government of, by, and for the most powerful corporate interests in the nation.

In 1938, Mussolini brought his vision of fascism into full reality when he dissolved Parliament and replaced it with the "Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni" - the Chamber of the Fascist Corporations. Corporations were still privately owned, but now instead of having to sneak their money to folks like Tom DeLay and covertly write legislation, they were openly in charge of the government.

Vice President Wallace bluntly laid out in his 1944 Times article his concern about the same happening here in America:

"If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. ... They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead."
Nonetheless, at that time there were few corporate heads who had run for political office, and, in Wallace's view, most politicians still felt it was their obligation to represent We The People instead of corporate cartels. "American fascism will not be really dangerous," he added in the next paragraph, "until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information..."

Noting that, "Fascism is a worldwide disease," Wallace further suggest that fascism's "greatest threat to the United States will come after the war" and will manifest "within the United States itself."

Excerpt from New York Time article by John Kifner:

A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed "large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists" to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist and right-wing militia groups, estimated that the numbers could run into the thousands, citing interviews with Defense Department investigators and reports and postings on racist Web sites and magazines.

"We've got Aryan Nations graffiti in Baghdad," the group quoted a Defense Department
investigator as saying in a report to be posted today on its Web site, "That's a problem."

Army Recruits Neo-Nazis

A New York Times article cites a 'report that quotes Scott Barfield, a Defense Department investigator, saying, "Recruiters are knowingly allowing neo-Nazis and white supremacists to join the armed forces, and commanders don't remove them from the military even after we positively identify them as extremists or gang members."'

Somehow this doesn't suprise me. Paramilitary goon squads are already operating as extensions of recruiting efforts in Tucson (you can read about this at the end of this blog entry.) The freepers even issue "reports" along military lines although this freeper-writer can't seem to decide whether he wants to be a creative writer, propagandist, para -military leader.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bush Transportation Secretary Resigns: Had Revealed Cheney's 9/11 Role

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta recently resigned, the day after his 9/11 Commission testimony was exposed by a guest on FOX News.

This above snippet refers to a "" post.

Or you can go directly to the blog that my friend Doug told me had been dugg on digg, dig?

Or just go to the source video.

read more | digg story

Wikipedia founder launches political site

"Wikipedia founder Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales this week announced the opening of a wiki devoted to hot-button political topics such as gay marriage and environmental protection."

read more | digg story

Raging Grannies To Mark One Year Anniversary Of Their Arrest!

This out today from the Grannies:

You are invited to the


8:30 am Thursday July 13, 2006
at DiConcini Federal Courthouse Plaza
405 W Congress St.,
Tucson, Arizona



Grannies in mourning will Rage…plus other Street Theater


Molly McKasson, former City Council Member just returned from Iraq

Carolyn Trowbridge, Grannie & Community Activist

On July 13, 2005
five Tucson Raging Grannies were arrested trying to enlist in the U.S. Army
so enlistedpersonnel could return home safely;
the Grannies would resolve the problems in Iraq non-violently

In the intervening year, casualties on both sides continue to mount
as reports reveal the illegality of the Iraq occupation
and the erosion of U.S. citizens’ constitutional rights.
The Grannies grieve this senseless, tragic loss of lives
and the destruction of an independent nation.
The Grannies advocate an end of this illegal, immoral occupation,
and the return of U.S. citizens’ rights.

The Tucson Raging Grannies is a project of the Tucson Branch of the
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

For further information,
contact Pat Birnie or Betty Schroeder 520-908-9269

Green Zone vs the Steven Green Zone

Violence undercuts the processes and issues for which it is waged. Pouring energy into a system you hope to dismantle is one of the classic acts of stupidity engaged in by those people who understand platitudes but not nuance. Information, however, is a whole different game than energy. The processes of life are very different than the processes of matter. Information does change behavior. The trick is to relay information without reinforcing structure that sustains the lies you are combatting by pumping in sustaining and expanding energy into that structure. I believe it was Mark Twain who said, "History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes." Someone who calls him or herself Noah Vail sent me a bit of writing that pointed out the horrific rhyme scheme that exists between a turning point in our own revolution and a similar event in Iraq. We need to change the meter and restructure the rhyme scheme.

In any case, here is the guest blog for this week:

Green Zone vs the Steven Green Zone
by Noah Vail

I just read Andy McSmith’s report for Reuters of the 15-year old girl in Mahmudiya, who was apparently raped and murdered on March 12th, along with her parents and her 7-year old sister. According to CNN, the 101st airborne soldier who was mostly responsible is a guy named Steven Green, who was arrested for the crime on Monday. It was impossible not to think of how these sort of atrocities played an important role in the birth of our own democracy back in 1776-77. Of course Rove and his gang of thugs would like to compare the struggle in Iraq to the American Revolution. So let’s compare…

The war never went very well for the colonials- they mostly got their asses kicked by the better equipped redcoats, and they almost froze to death at Valley Forge. We lost Boston, we lost New York, we lost Philadelphia- we would have lost Chicago, too- but there was no Chicago then. Many of the colonists had not yet decided to opt for revolution. Many thought we just needed a better deal from King George III. Of course, if our King George (Dubya) had been around then, he would have been a Tory, but I digress… One of the things that convinced many colonists to support the revolutionaries was the way the redcoats treated their prisoners. The revolutionaries unlucky enough to be captured were tossed into the prison ships to rot. Hmmm…. does this remind anyone of more recent prison abuses? Abu Ghraib sure has stirred up a lot of resentment among the colonists… er… I mean the Iraqis. When General Gates and Benedict Arnold were fighting against the 101st… er… I mean the British, their ranks were swelled by pissed off colonists who were upset by the murder of Jane McCrea, who was scalped by Iroquois that had been hired by the British General Burgoyne. Most of us colonists probably do not know the girl's name. No doubt, Abeer Qasim Hamza, the girl who complained about the soldier’s advances before being raped, murdered and burned, is already well known amongst the Iraqis- probably just as well known as Jane McCrea’s name was in New York back in 1777.

This latest atrocity, along with some 500 lb bombs is not apt to win a lot of hearts and minds back in occupied Iraq. How long will it be before our King George decides that this occupation is just not worth the trouble?

UPDATE: Police now lying about the Marine Recruiter attack on peaceful protesters with a baseball bat.

I'm reposting a press release distributed on the UFPJ Counter-Recruiting List. I'm not sure what the updates discussed at the press conference were -- the p.c. mentioned below happened yesterday afternoon, 5 July 2006. I am pleased that support from around the country is being shown to the counter-recruiting group. Keep the pressure on the police who have changed their story. The police complicity in the attack on peaceful protesters is the most disturbing element of this course of events for me. Outrage must be expressed from every area in the nation about the situation in New Haven, as well as my own dear Old Pueblo, toward the unconstitutional behavior of officials in these anomolous municipalities if this sort of police state is to be dismantled and stopped from spreading even further throughout our Constitutional Republic.

If you know of this sort of police and military suppression of counter-recruiting communication that is happening elsewhere in the U.S., I would appreciate receiving links to where the events and actions are described -or- if anyone would like to document other as yet under or unreported instances of military and police suppression of free speech about counter-recruiting efforts and events in the U.S. and email them to me at: artpax (at) I will probably post any such information received to Build Peace so be sure to include whether you want your name or nom de bot (a la nom de plume) listed with a post. I cannot print anonymous info. I have to know how to contact you, for real, although I will not release that information.

****Please Forward Widely****

*Press Conference - Wednesday, July 5th 2006 - 5PM*
*157 Orange St. New Haven, CT 06511*


Thanks to all of you who have called in to make complaints against the New Haven Police Department and the Marine Corps. Momentum is building here in New Haven and nationwide to stand up and defend free speech! Many of you have sent us reports of your phone calls to the police and although the police initially were taken off guard by the outpouring of support, they have since developed their own version of the events of June 28th. People have reported that police now claim that protesters were blocking the doors, that they were never assaulted and that the phone "fell" out of the protester's hand and was not taken.


1. The protesters never blocked the entrances to the recruiting station.
2. The marine absolutely did assault several protesters with a baseball bat.
3. The cell phone was taken by the marine and returned by the police a full 45 minutes later without the photos.
4. Even if our presence or message angered the marine, this does not give him the right to assault unarmed citizens.

This situation represents a severe infringement of free speech rights in the city of New Haven and just another example of many instances of repression around the country. While activists consult a lawyer as to their legal options, the political implications are clear. This is a stunning example of the use of violence and intimidation to silence opposition to an unjust and unpopular war in which hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have perished as well as over 2500 US soldiers. We must organize to defend our right to dissent and challenge the lies of military recruiters. We look to the brave heros who have resisted deployment to Iraq to inspire our struggle. What does it say about a system in which soldiers and citizens who dissent are punished and those who silence dissent are protected? Fight back tomorrow by signing the petition, calling in and coming to the press conference!



*1. **Sign the Online Petition! Demand Free Speech!*

*2. * *Participate in the National Call-In Action!*
Call the New Haven Mayor's Office
Mayor John DeStefano Jr.
Office of the Mayor - 203-946-7672 or 203-947-7673
DeStefano for Governor - 203-752-0545
DeStefano's Home Number - 203-389-9431

Call the US Marine Corps Recruiting Command
Orange St, New Haven, CT - 203-789-4484
Regional Office, Springfield, MA - 413-594-4623 or 2033
-- Major Lawrence Coleman, Sergeant Major Cevet Adams

Call the New Haven Police Department
Chief Francisco Ortiz - 203-946-6333
General - 203-946-6316 or 6120
"Internal Values and Ethics" - 203-946-6249 or 6250
--Officers Ratti (#463), Hartnett (#4), Knickerbocker (#80)

*3. Come to the Press Conference and Rally*
Wednesday, July 5 - 5PM
157 Orange St. New Haven, CT 06511
Speakers include: Two Eye-Witnesses, National Lawyer's Guild Lawyer and Connecticut United for Peace Representative. Statements of support from Sara Rich (Suzanne Swift's Mom), Iraq Veterans Against the War and the Campus Anti-War Network. For More Info/ directions/ get involved call Todd 203-506-2414.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ex-Soldier Charged in Raping 15-Year Old Girl and Killing of Iraqi Family

Fifteen-year-old Abeer Qasim Hamza apparently attracted the unwelcome attention of U.S. soldiers. Later, she, her 7-year old sister and her parents were found dead. Steven Green, recently discharged from the 101st Airborne for 'a personality disorder' was charged with killing her parents and sister, raping her, and then burning the body.

read more | digg story

John Edwards to be at Upcoming Rally in Support of Raising the Mimimum Wage in AZ

Arizona Welcomes
Senator John Edwards
with Congressman Raúl Grijalva

Come show your support for Raising the Minimum Wage in Arizona!

Tucson Rally
Date: Monday, July 10
Time: 12:00pm
Location: IBEW Hall
750 S. Tucson Blvd.
(between 22nd St. & Broadway)

Phoenix Rally
Date: Monday, July 10th, 2006
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: IBEW #387
Address: 5818 N. 7th Street (SW Corner of 7th Street and Bethany Home)

Of course, parking is limited at both sites, and it's standing room only - please come prepared!

got this in the email....
from grijalva's office....

Ex-Soldier Charged in Raping 15-Year Old Girl and Killing of Iraqi Family

Fifteen-year-old Abeer Qasim Hamza apparently attracted the unwelcome attention of U.S. soldiers. Later, she, her 7-year old sister and her parents were found dead. Steven Green, recently discharged from the 101st Airborne for 'a personality disorder' was charged with killing her parents and sister, raping her, and then burning the body.

read more | digg story

Marine To Return Service Medal To Bush In Protest.

A Marine who service in Iraq earned several medals for serving his country, but he's giving back one of the medals to the White House. Sgt. Matthew Bee received six medals of commendation, but one of them he will give back to President George W. Bush, calling the medal political.

read more | digg story

Privacy & Undesirables

Just a couple things I stumbled across:

Pure and simple privacy & patriotism

Elegant in its simplicity and truth.


Similarities between Neocon's undesirables and Nazi's undesireables? This from Dean Hartwell's piece on Poltical Gateway:

One might ask: how did the Nazis know who was Jewish and who was not?

The answer is that the Nazis had been listening in on telephone calls
and had been spying on the Germans to find out who went to temple, who
sympathized with Jews, etc. They spied on other groups of people that
the Nazi ideology found undesirable. The following is a list of some of
these groups:









Jehovah’s Witnesses




Political Opponents

They used a punch card system developed by the company, Dehomag. This
company was a subdivision of a famous United States corporation,
International Business Machines (IBM). Once they discovered a person’s
status, the employees of Dehomag simply punched in holes corresponding
to the undesirable group and kept the card on record.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Veteran arrested at VA Hospital for wearing a Veterans for Peace T-shirt.

Found this on Information Liberation. 
Hope this is a fraudulent story, but I doubt it is. 

Has This Country Gone Completely Insane?: Getting Busted for Wearing a Peace T-Shirt


afternoon, drinking a cup of coffee while sitting in the Jesse Brown
V.A. Medical Center on Chicago's south side, a Veterans Administration
cop walked up to me and said, "OK, you've had your 15 minutes, it's
time to go."

"Huh?", I asked intelligently, not quite sure what he was talking about.

"You can't be in here protesting," Officer Adkins said, pointing to my Veterans For Peace shirt.

"Well, I'm not protesting, I'm having a cup of coffee," I returned,
thinking that logic would convince Adkins to go back to his earlier
duties of guarding against serious terrorists.

Flipping his badge open, he said, "No, not with that shirt. You're protesting and you have to go."

Beginning to get his drift, I said firmly, "Not before I finish my coffee."

He insisted that I leave, but still not quite believing my ears, I tried one more approach to reason.

"Hey, listen. I'm a veteran. This is a V.A. facility. I'm sitting here
not talking to anybody, having a cup of coffee. I'm not protesting and
you can't kick me out."

"You'll either go or we'll arrest you," Adkins threatened.

"Well, you'll just have to arrest me," I said, wondering what strange land I was now living in.

You know the rest. Handcuffed, led away to the facility's security
office past people with surprised looks on their faces, read my rights,
searched, and written up.

The officer who did the formalities, Eric Ousley, was professional in
his duties. When I asked him if he was a vet, it turned out he had been
a hospital corpsman in the Navy. We exchanged a couple sea stories. He
uncuffed me early. And he allowed as to how he would only charge me
with disorderly conduct, letting me go on charges of criminal trespass
and weapons possession -- a pocket knife -- which he said would have to
be destroyed (something I rather doubt since it was a nifty Swiss Army
knife with not only a bottle opener, but a tweezers and a toothpick).

After informing me I could either pay the $275 fine on the citation or
appear in court, Ousley escorted me off the premises, warning me if I
returned with "that shirt" on, I'd be arrested and booked into jail.

I'm sure I could go back to officers Adkins' and Ousleys' fiefdom with
a shirt that said, "Nuke all the hajis," or "Show us your tits," or any
number of truly obscene things and no one would care. Just so it's not
"that shirt" again.

And just for the record? I'm not paying the fine. I'll see Adkins and
Ousley and Dubya's Director of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, if he
wants to show up, in United States District Court on the appointed
date. And if there's a Chicago area attorney who'd like to take the
case, I'd really like to sue them -- from Dubya on down. I have to
believe that this whole country has not yet gone insane, just the
government. This kind of behavior can't be tolerated. It must be

Mike Ferner served as a Navy corpsman during Vietnam and is obviously a
member of Veterans For Peace. He can be reached at:

Anti-War Protesters Launch 24 Hour FAST-Others AN Open-ended Hunger Strike

Not Dogs instead of Hot Dogs for actors Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, novelist Alice Walker & 2700 other activists who are refusing food for at least 24 hrs. Other activists - Cindy Sheehan, comic/activist/diet-guy Dick Gregory, retired Col. Ann Wright, environmentalist Diane Wilson begin an indefinite Troops Home Fast hunger-strike .

read more | digg story

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Recruiter Loses It and Assaults Peaceful Protesters

The incident in CT that is described below is from an email from a UFPJ list. It resembles the harassment and assault that has occurred for the last 3/4 year to 1 year on Wednesday mornings at the recruiting center on Speedway here in Tucson. Read more about the Tucson action at the end of this post.


URGENT: Two peaceful anti-war protesters were assaulted by a baseball-bat wielding Marine at the Orange St. recruiting station in New Haven, CT on Wed. June 28th. They were attending a non-violent demonstration in support of war resisters Lt. Ehren Watada and Suzanne Swift. We will not take this sitting down. Read below under "Take Action" for how you can help!


On June 27th at 5pm five anti-war activists heeded the National Call to Action in support of Lt. Ehren Watada ( and Suzanne Swift ( who are soldiers who are facing punishment for refusing to deploy to Iraq. They peacefully chanted and held signs while passing out information on the resisting soldiers and counter-recruitment literature. Although an officer called the police, they engaged in civil discussions with various soldiers and pedestrians and were invited back for the next day when the colonel would be in town. They left chanting "We'll be back! See you tomorrow!

The activists kept their word and returned the following day with four times as many people. Things started out peacefully but that quickly changed when an aggravated marine *officer* began yelling and sent a young recruit to retrieve a baseball bat. He lunged wildly at the protesters with the bat in their faces while threatening physical violence. The activists did not respond in any way and tried to diffuse the situation peacefully. One activist pulled out their cell phone to take a picture. The marine pushed two activists off the curb into the street and knocked the phone out of the other activists hand. He picked up the phone, erased the picture and only after police arrived at the scene did he back down. Meanwhile his fellow soldiers stood back and did nothing.

When the police arrived, the marine was still holding the bat. Yet the police approached the *protesters* immediately. The marine was allowed to leave the scene with the phone he had taken and returned to his duties, training the Junior Marine Corps. Meanwhile the police insisted that protesters had provoked this reaction from the marine by exercising their free speech rights. He insisted that they move their protest to the opposite side of the street. When asked politely by protesters why they were required to do this, pointing out that they were on a public sidewalk, he declared "This is MY sidewalk." He implied that if they did not move they would be arrested when he said "You can do whatever you want, but in the end I'll win." He then proceeded to call in police paddy wagons to intimidate. After 45 minutes, the phone was returned but the police refused to divulge the identity of the marine.

Throughout this outrageous incident, the activists maintained composure and did absolutely nothing to aggravate the situation. They immediately called a member of the National Lawyers Guild and other allies. Upon some discussion and legal advice, the protesters moved to the opposite side of the street to avoid escalating the situation. At this point the news cameras arrived and the protesters continued to chant loudly until the soldiers went home and their offices closed.

This is not over. They are holding a press conference this Wednesday July 5th at 5pm in front of the Orange St. recruiting station. We can't let the government intimidate us!!

1. A public apology from both the US Marine Corps and the New Haven Police Department.

2. That the officer that assaulted us be removed from his duties and provided appropriate counseling but NOT jail time.

3. That our free speech rights are guaranteed in all public places including in front of the recruiting station.

4. Free Lt. Ehren Watada, Specialist Suzanne Swift and all other jailed war resisters!

5. Fund GI healthcare! (,0,6150281.story)

6. Bring the TROOPS HOME NOW!


Call the US Marine Corps Recruiting Command Orange St, New Haven, CT - 203-789-4484
Regional Office, Springfield, MA - 413-594-4623 or 2033 Major Lawrence Coleman, Sergeant Major Cevet Adams

Call the New Haven Police Department Chief Francisco Ortiz - 203-946-6333
General - 203-946-6316 or 6120
"Internal Values and Ethics" - 203-946-6249 or 6250
Officers Ratti (#463), Hartnett (#4), Knickerbocker (#80)

Come to the Press Conference and Rally
Wednesday, July 5 - 5PM 157 Orange St. New Haven, CT 06511
For More Info/directions/get involved call Todd 203-506-2414

For every emotionaly disturbed Marine desperately in need of treatment, and hypocrite thug of a cop we meet, we meet ten people who are glad we're there. Now it's time to get those supporters into the streets with us for next time.


The following is a statement that is being circulated regarding an incident at the military recruiting station on Orange Street in New Haven on Wednesday, June 28. A baseball bat-wielding Marine recruiter engaged in an unprovoked assault on two demonstrators outside the recruiting center and then seized the cellphone belonging to another demonstrator who had witnessed and photographed the assault. There are plans for a rally and press conference outside the recruiting center for July 5 at 5PM.

The National Lawyers Guild was contacted immediately after the incident by organizers who were looking for legal assistance because, among other things, the New Haven police were trying to discourage the victims from making a complaint against the recruiter -- apparently at least one officer expressed the opinion that having an anti-war demonstration outside a military recruiting center was a "provocation."

The question that this incident must raise is this: if a US Marine recruiter, while safely ensconced behind a desk in an air-conditioned
office in New Haven, working in a position that plainly keeps him in the public eye, feels free to use a baseball bat to beat a protester . . .then how much restraint do we imagine that his compatriots use against Iraqis?

I would strongly urge people to participate in the rally on July 5. The movement needs to respond in a strong and clear voice to violence against demonstrators, and all the more so when it comes from government personnel and is calculated to discourage political opposition.

Peter Goselin


"Yesterday, five of us heeded the call to action in support of Lt. Ehren Watada who is the first officer to refuse deployment to Iraq by
staging a peaceful protest outside the Orange St. recruiting station in downtown New Haven. Chanting "They're our brothers, they're our
sisters, we support war resisters" we stood on the sidewalk out front holding signs and receiving positive support from pedestrians and drivers. We had civil conversation with soldiers in the office, distributed literature and fliers and raised the profile of some of the first true heros of the Iraq war - those refusing to fight. Although they called the police (who left us alone) the protest was completed peacefully and we were invited back to protest today when the Colonel would be in town.

Today, however, the protest was NOT entirely peaceful from the part of one US Marine. When about 10-15 of us returned today to continue
our non-violent expression of our free speech rights, we were confronted with an imposing marine with a baseball bat. He screamed
in our faces, trying to intimidate us and after hitting []'s phone out of his hands with the bat he shoved me with the end of it off the
sidewalk into the street. Not only did he assault two of us, he took the cell phone, erased the picture that had been taken of him
with the bat and kept it. Other, more level headed soldiers arrived to try and defuse the situation and sent the enraged officer to lead
a training session of fresh recruits - canon fodder for the illegal imperial war in Iraq. When the police arrived they did nothing.
They did not care that we were assaulted. They did not care that something had been stolen. They want this to go away quietly. We
MUST NOT let that happen. A police report has been filed and we are discussion possible legal and certainly political responses to this.
Eventually the phone was recovered and we continued our chanting with renewed energy "This is what democracy looks like...THAT is what hypocrisy looks like!" The police were threatening, saying "this is my street" and "no matter what you do, I will win." We decided it was in our best interest to listen to the officer and we moved our protest to the opposite side of the street. The police officers refused to give us the name of the Marine who attacked us and called in paddy wagons to bring us away. Fortunately the news media showed up shortly and filmed us chanting and interviewed some of us. We want all of the news stations to cover this and they will be getting calls in the morning.


This event is an outrage! Not only were we INVITED back to protest by the military recruiters but were subsequently lectured by the soldiers about how they fight "to defend our freedom and liberty". After about 15 minutes, this raging Marine threatened to beat us, he was promptly thrown a metal bat from inside by another Marine, and he got in our faces and started yelling about how we were "distrubing his place of work". We immediately tried to defuse the situation by telling him to calm down and asking him to put down the bat while HIS FELLOW SOLDIERS DID NOTHING. In response, the angry Marine violently waved the handle of the bat in several people's faces, touching my nose with it, and then assaulting [] and [] and stealing []'s cell phone. [] got out her camera and the Marine then threatened to steal and destroy her camera and beat her. As the situation escalated, I threatened to and did call the police, but the Marine said that he had already called them! The police showed up right then and the soldiers quickly moved to push the Marine back while he still had the phone. The police immediately confronted us as though we were the instigators. The Marine was allowed to freely walk back and forth and eventully led a "training session" in the park with JROTC students. The police, for no legal reason, told us to move across the street because it was "their" sidewalk and they "would win no matter what." Throughout all of this, while we were trying to maintain our compsure and discipline, we continued to chant loudly. Many bystanders stopped to watch and most showed their support for us, although one told us that we were "scum" and that he "would kill us if he had the chance" (he said this at least twice and stayed around until the very end). We also immediately called lawyers that we knew who gave us guidance over the phone and we called media. We continued to protest across the street until the scene was cleared and the recruiting offices were closed.

On the positive side, we engaged a solider in very calm, civil debate and he largely agreed with us on our anger over this assault and the immorality of the war. A female soldier talked to me and took our information until her officer told her that she wasn't allowed to do that and that she had to get inside.

The really scary parts:
1. The rank hypocrisy and brainwashing that goes on in the military.
2. This Marine is training potential soldiers.
3. It gave us all a very small sense of what Iraqis face everyday -- outraged, uncontrollable soldiers who have big rifles instead of metal bats and who are not in anyway considering laws, norms, or holding back because they're dealing with Americans. 4. The arrogance of the soliders who knew they could depend on cops to defend them and the arrogance of cops who thought they could get away with anything through intimidation and the use of the "law" (ie, batons and paddy wagons).

They clearly don't know who they're dealing with. We're going to turn up the heat and make this into a campaign. This is a free speech fight and an antiwar fight. No soldiers should be put into a position where they turn out raging like this. That Marine needs counseling for anger management and PTSD. His officers, the police, and the government need to be held accountable for these crimes -- from the streets of New Haven to the streets of Haditha. Press conference a week from today -- July 5, 5pm, in front of the recruiting stations. It's time to jump-start the antiwar movement in New Haven and continue building so that we can the US out of the Middle East! "


It started really by 2 soldiers and one local worker legitimately asking me, "why don't you support us [the troops] --which we certainly do-- yet they were too impatient to wait for a response even though I was giving it to them. Quickly three got in my face in a somewhat aggressive manner. [] turned and saw three soldiers encroaching into my PZ and asked them, "why are there three of you crowding one of us [or something to that affect]?" In turn they saw this as confrontational because they quickly got in his face. Then [] stood up only to be chased with a bat. And on it went, down the line of successive activists being unwarrantably threatened, provoked, and assaulted until the police arrive as the Army's arbiter. The rest is as laid out below.


Today's events revealed for me and everyone present the heartbreaking and gutwrenching reality of the
domestic face of U.S. imperialism. Our project, after all was to defend war resisters Ehren Watada and Suzanne Swift. Ehren has refused to deploy to Iraq, and is facing a jail sentence for refusing orders, and Suzanne has already been to jail and been forced to return to her unit after being sexually harassed by her commanding officer and others and refusing to return to Iraq for a second tour of duty. When we returned to the recruiting station today, joking with some of the soldiers there, and preparing our materials, none of us expected to be assaulted by a U.S. Marine Wielding a baseball bat. Especially since yesterday we had been invited back by the recruiters, and filed out of the park next door chanting "We'll be back, seee you tommorrow!", to which staff in the office responded by smilling and waving. The police yesterday, in fact assured us the we had a right to be there, and after responding to a complaint from a commanding officer at the recruitment center, told us to "have a good afternoon". However, the police today arrived on the scene having somehow come to the counterintuitive conclusion that we, the unarmed, peacefull protesters were somehow the cause of the violence committed against us by a Marine wielding a baseball bat. This recruter was then allowed to continue with his duties, including the "training" of several minors from the Junior Marines program, while still holding stolen property which belonged to one of the demonstrators. That's right, it's hard for me to believe too, but we were assaulted and threatened by a member of the U.S. military while he was on the clock and he was allowed to stay at work with teens and young adults in his care. This was of course after being told countless times by his coworkers that they were "defending our right to be there protesting". Well, I know I certainly don't feel protected with the business end of a baseball bat in my face. The absurdity is abundantly clear if you immagine just for a second of what would have happened if the situation were reversed and a protester had threatened a recruiter with a bat. In the blink of an eye, this individual would have been beaten bloody, dragged away, and sent to jail. This is the hypocrisy of a system which when it's not actively rewarding soldiers for committing attrocious violence against unarmed civilians, turns a blind eye to these incidents, and sicks the police on their victims.

But, as brutal and nakedly one sided as this experience was, I wanted to generalize some positive aspects of our work, because we did a kick ass job today! Not only were we able to get counter recruitment literature to some potential recruits, and supportive literature to some GIs who might be against the war, but we were able to conduct ourselves in a well organized and disciplined manner which avoided any injuries, and maintained our presence at the demonstration.
These are the things we did right:
1) We stuck together, never letting anyone be isolated for very long.
2) We called the press.
3) We recognized our limits in terms of numbers and complied with the cop's order to move across the street.
4) We contacted an NLG lawyer who was able to advise us on how to deal with the cops.
5) We gathered information about the incident including names and badge numbers for all the cops on the scene.
6) We didn't back down or become disorganized, but moved across the street, chanting even louder, and didn't leave untill the office closed.

For every emotionaly disturbed Marine desperately in need of treatment, and hypocrit thug of a cop we meet, we meet ten people who are glad we're there. Now it's time to get those supporters into the streets with us for next time.

These guys don't know who they're messing with. We've already sent out a press release to seventy media outlets and begun calling through our allies to put together a free speech campaign. In other words, we are a force to be reckoned with! Next Wed. same time, same place, we'll be back!


The past day's events were an eye-opening experience for a good bulk of us, although some had already been witness to the brutality of the NHPD, SCSU Police, and the CT State Troopers, and today, compared to other times, we emerged relatively unscathed, as opposed to arrests, and physical harm in the past. If we play our cards right, and make our experiences of today known to a wider audience, we have a real potential of strengthening the antiwar movement, at least in New Haven.

A few things. First, we need to develop clear goals about what we want to, and can expect to gain from this. As others noted, this for us is going to be both a legal, and a political battle. On the legal front, our goals should be (but not limited to):

1. A full apology, not only from the marine who assaulted members, but also from the officer, and the New Haven Police Department and even Mayor DeStefano.
2. A prosecution of the Marine that assaulted us, and threatened the rest. However, we should tie this in to our political battle, and should
DEMAND that he NOT be jailed, but receive counseling, which can bring to attention that what he did is a result of his experiences and environment, and of the fact that the ENTIRE blame for this lies at the top, not only of the military brass, but at the highest levels of government, which locally includes Dodd, Lieberman, DeLauro, and DeStefano. And 3. A full public recognition of our legal right to demonstrate outside the recruiting office and other public property (which isn't the cops' property) in the future, as our constitutional rights entitles us to.

Our political tasks in the near future should more broadly be, a full campaign around this, including press, phone blasts, petitions, but more
importantly bringing others into this struggle, and not just the usual suspects, but the broader working people who are most affected by this sort of thing daily. At every step, we need to bridge the connection between the war at home (Marine and Police threats in New Haven with baseball bats and paddywagons), and the war abroad (Army, Marines, and National Guard actual use of guns and F-16's in Iraq and
Afghanistan). Through this, we can definitely hope, if not expect, to solidify, and expand the antiwar left in New Haven.


First of all, I think that given the unexpected situation we were confronted with, we did an excellent job of handling ourselves and working as a team. As we all know if takes very little for a protester to be harrassed and assaulted by the police and it was important to keep our cool, especially given our small numbers. That said, I think for future actions we can certainly be more prepared. This means: 1) having a legal observer present; 2) having media present if possible and our own means of recording things if not (for instance it would have been great to have that cop on tape saying things like you better listen to me or else)--- although being aware that merely recording something is likely to be seen as a provocation; 3) bringing out as many people as possible and sticking together -- for a larger demonstration marshalls are a necessity.

In terms of next steps, I agree for the most part with what others put out. However, if possible we should avoid pressing charges against the individual marine and try to move it further up the chain of command. Hell, we should press charges on the entire US government for waging this illegal and immoral war. After all, we have plenty of information about how the military treats its soldiers like crap, recruits and retains mentally imbalanced people whose conditions are only worsened by the horrors of being in Iraq. The military explicitly trains people to harrass and torture innocent civilians and these are the results. The point of a legal campaign, in my opinion, is not necessarily to "win" but to raise awareness and rally a grassroots mobilization. We also need to be crystal clear on the point that we don't think this is an issue of one "bad apple" but of the war and the military as a whole.

The anger about this war is palable, both on the part of ordinary people who showed their support for us (a waitress from the nearby coffeeshop brought us free coffee and cookies!) as well as a genuine interest on the part of active soldiers and recruits. While the antiwar movement has hit a slump, mainly to due to liberal leaders' bankrupt plan of supporting the democrats, anger has only increased and deepened. We have a potential right now to turn this anger into action and we must sieze the moment! All out for July 5!


Yesterday was a clear example of what we have been saying for some time; awar abroad means at the same time a war at home. The US government in Iraq through its military arm is the same state here at home, in the way it conducts its affairs against those seen as "enemies". There is little difference between "enemies" in Baghadad and "enemies" at home. Some of the brutality of the war was seen on Orange St. in New Haven, CT. The way soldiers are trained to handle citizens, police disregard for constitutional rights, etc.

The predom. ideas of protecting Americans through the "war on terror" has led to a significant curtailment of our civil liberties. The USA Patriot Act has been used against Arabs, Muslims, Latinos (border wall) anitwar activists and many others to accomplish some goal for US capital. While making US corporations happy through increased profits the majority of the US pop. and the world pop. have grown poorer and their freedoms have diminished.

People in the US have also seen funding for their social programs cut while the military budget has shot through the roof. Funding has even been cut for all GIs, even those who have come back from active duty in Iraq or Afg. Its sad but no surprise that soldiers aren't getting the help that they need. There have been many well documented cases of suicide, violence, etc.that GIs have experienced after coming home from combat.

The war in Iraq has become quite upopular amongst most people in the US and around the world, to say the least. The Republican party and especially GW are facing all time lows in approval ratings, and the military is having a hard time recruiting new soldiers. All of this has come from scandal after scandal regarding the handling of the Iraq war. the Iraqi resistance, Lies, civilian casualties, escalating number of US GIs dead, killed or wounded, torture scandals, Haditha massacres, etc.

No challenge has been put forward to the "war on terror" and its logical consequences by the Dems. they have accepted the logic of the "war on terror" and say that they want to be stronger than Rep. on the "war on terror"

At the same time the antiwar movement has been struggling with political weakness that can be somewhat attributed to their support for the Dem. party. You can't support the Dems. while they are supporting the "war on terror" if you do support them than you also accept their logic and baggage which is tied to corporate america and the "war on terror"

We need to organize and call out these issues on the ground, build a hearing for our ideas amongst ordinary working people who also disagree with the war, put pressure on any or either pol. party in DC from outside of their institutions to end the war, bring our troops home now, fund GI healthcare and all other social programs, and uphold our right to organize, speak, demonstrate, so on and so on.

Defend our civil liberties!

End the war, bring our troops home now!

Fund GI healthcare!



Interaction with the protesters by recruiters used to happen here too, but after last year's response of having the recruiters call the cops on the Raging Grannies who were just trying to enlist, reading a statement and singing a song and who peacefully left the recruiting station. The recruiters insistied that the police arrest them even though the Grannies were all off the
property when the police arrived (thus following the request to leave the recruiters made, even though the recruiters refused to respond at all to the Grannies request to enlist.) They also requested that bloggers, independent videographers, Indy Media, and the neighboring small town reporter (but not network affiliate media) also be arrested and the cops complied! The complicity between the recruiters, police and mainstream media was evident that day. This harassment is just the visible companion strategy to the spying on protestors has been aided by other state and city governments.

The recruiters there were apparently dressed down by higher ups for over-reacting to the Grannies and instructed to have no further interaction with protesters. That is when the recruiters apparently engaged the services of grieving families and freepers to continue the harassment
of the protesters. This abuse of already grieving families is a heinous use of fallen soldiers families by the military for political purposes.

After making police reports about the pro-war folks (who miraculously appeared to replace the recruitment officers even though they were never there in the previous three years) the police refused to respond. The people assaulted filed complaints and the "review" process found against the peace folks. The police then began to completely ignore peace folks requests for protection or to respond hours later. The thugs were emboldened by these actions and then escalated their extremely aggressive and lewd harassment that has escalated to screaming of insults and obscenities within inches of the faces of protesters, swinging the metal studded poles of the flags they carry within an inch of the peace folks eyes, stomping on feet, assaulting a peacefully protesting man who was still in his car with a flag pole, calling elderly ladies "F****** C****, ugly old bags, *ucking Yellow Faggots, pushing elderly men over by "accidentally" shoving them with their signs and placards, accusing the propeace folks of assaulting them when they back up into peace protesters repeatedly in an attempt to force them from in front of the recruiting center, yelling and screaming assault or pedophile when the peace folks ask them to move away or stop touching them with their flags, poles, or placards.

They have their underage teenage children verbally abuse people (yes with the bleeped out previous words) and if the peace folk respond the goons and thugs start screaming that the peacefolks are pedofiles and child abusers for asking them to refrain or attempting to document the illegal and abusive behavior. If child abuse is occuring it is be purpetrated by the pro-war folks who teach their children hate speech, intimidation and assault. It is horribly sad that these folks have lost children in this war, but continuing the war and piling up even more deaths of soldiers and civilians does not give our already fallen soldier's deaths any more meaning, in fact their behavior detracts from it. Perhaps counseling should be offered by the US Gov't to the families of the soldiers it has had killed in its corporate war. Of course it goes without say, I think, that the soldiers should be receiving counseling and not just a quick debriefing.

G'Luck New Haven protesters, keep on keeping on, but welcome to the fascist police state that we here along the border to El Norte for a while now as have the good citizens of color in New Haven. I don't like to use these canned phrases but what else can you call it when the police, army and media all act in concert to support the suppression of constitutionally guaranteed rights in order to further a corporate agenda that requires more docile, cowed workers to continue for the next couple decades while they squeeze every drop of oil and profit out of a failed system that is killing our biosphere. And if you don't think this is all one issue, just go see An Inconvenient Truth -- you should see it anyway especially if you have children or grandchildren.