Friday, March 29, 2013

2013 Good Friday witness actions against un-ending war!

The Solano Peace & Justice Coalition is affiliated with the "Northbay UpRising" morning radio show! Tuesdays, 6 to 9am.
Tune-in live on your phone or computer! []
On-air across the northeast San Pablo Bay at 89.5fm, courtesy of!

Tuesday, March 26th, 7:30 to 9am, on the Northbay UpRising morning show [], we'll speak with Bob Hanson, and Carl, about the upcoming "Walk from the PEACE CENTER to the WAR CENTER" in connection with the Good Friday Protest at the Livermore Labs!

Thursday, March 28th, 5:15pm, on the Northbay Uprising radio news (part of the Northbay Uprising radio showcase []), we'll speak with the Rev. Phil Lawson (Pastor Emeritus Easter Hill United Methodist Church, co-founder of the National Council of Elders, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, & former Interfaith Program Director of East Bay Housing Organizations) about the Good Friday Protest at the Livermore Labs!
More information about the upcoming peace actions:

2013-03-27 to 2013-03-29 "WALK TOWARDS PEACE"

"Walk from the PEACE CENTER to the WAR CENTER"
The Peace Advocacy Committee of the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center is sponsoring an action in connection with the annual Good Friday Protest at the Livermore Labs.
We hope to find a couple dozen or more folks who will walk to the labs from the Peace Center in Walnut Creek...theme will be Peace Center to War Center Walk.
Walkers will carry signs related to the abolition of nuclear weapons and conversion of the labs to peaceful uses such as fighting climate change.  We think this will be a good way to get some publicity for the Good Friday event and the anti-nuclear movement in general.
If you aren't up to the entire 30 miles, perhaps you could walk part of the way with us.
The route will involve a 12 mile walk on Wed., March 27 from Walnut Creek to the Peace Lutheran Church in Danville, where we will spend the night. On Thursday, March 28, we will trek 16 miles  from there to  spend a night at a Livermore church.  On Friday morning we will walk the remaining mile or so to the labs to take part in the 7:00 a.m. demonstration.  Participants will have the option of peaceful disobedience and getting arrested.
Contact: Bob Hanson [doctoroutdoors (]. 

A Peaceful Pro-Life gathering... against nuclear weapons:

March 29, 6:45 a.m.
"Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?" with Rev. Phil Lawson (Pastor Emeritus Easter Hill United Methodist Church, co-founder of the National Council of Elders, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, & former Interfaith Program Director of East Bay Housing Organizations) with a Liturgical Dance led by Carla DeSola.
Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory [Vasco Road & Patterson Pass Road, Livermore]
Livermore Lab was founded to develop the hydrogen bomb and new weapons of mass destruction are still designed there.  For more than 25 years, people of faith and others concerned about the proliferation of nuclear weapons have gathered on Good Friday outside the Livermore Laboratory.
This year the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King is particularly on our minds.  Our speaker Phil Lawson, who was deeply involved with King’s movement in the 1960’s will reflect on Dr. King’s last book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? Considering drone strikes and continued nuclear threats, his words are still relevant today:
We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation.
When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men. . . .
After the service we will walk about one-quarter mile to the main gate, where there will be liturgical dance followed by an opportunity for nonviolent acts of witness.  Along the way Stations of the Cross will remind us of the extent of suffering at home and abroad resulting from the system of domination enforced by our military and its weapons.
Community gathering after the action will be held at Asbury United Methodist Church, 4743 East Avenue, Livermore.
For driving directions, transit info and further information contact the Ecumenical Peace Institute [] [510-655-1162] [510-654-4983] [PO Box 9334, Berkeley, CA 94709] []
The event is Wheelchair accessible

2013-03-29 "Good Friday at Lockheed" vigil
Friday,  @ 10 AM
Lockheed Missiles Entrance, at Mathilda & Java Drs. in Sunnyvale 
 We encourage you to bring friends and family and to spread the news to other groups. Print up this email and make copies to get the word out. Bring flags, posters, drums, and musical instruments. If you have any questions call Peggy [408-221-3424] or Ed & Mary Jane [650-326-7988]
 This event is sponsored by Pacific Life Community

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Solidarity with the People of Papua

Support the campaign, buy t-shirts, flags, and more at [].

News about the campaign for human rights in the Occupied State of West Papua. 
* The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) [], and see the website for ULMWP Leader [].

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* "WEST PAPUA SHOUD RE-APPLY FOR MEMBERSHIP in Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG)" (2014-07-01) [] []

International Labour Organisation, 1989 Convention concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries []

NEW YORK AGREEMENT AUGUST 15 1962, archived at []:
The New York Agreement is a document brokered by the United States on behalf of the Indonesian government in 1962 to transfer sovereignty of Western New Guinea from the Netherlands to Indonesia. The document was orchestrated by the USA in secret and without consent of the peoples of western New Guinea, after the Indonesian invasion commenced in December 1961.
At the insistence of the Dutch government, the document also included a guarantee that the Papuan people would be allowed an "Act of Free Choice". In violation to Articles 15 to 18, Indonesia instead undertook a program to dismantle the Papuan education and government systems; removed personal liberties and in 1969 orchestrated a corrupt "Act of Free Choice", in which representatives were chosen by Jakarta and forced, under threat of execution, to vote for integration.
Although Indonesia had in January 1962 pledged support for a west Papuan plebiscite which it then reaffirmed in the New York Agreement; Lieut. Gen. Basuki Rahmat in December 1966 announced Indonesia did not intend to allow such a plebiscite. By 1968 refugees fleeing Indonesian maladministration from were flowing from western to eastern Papua, disappointed that even freedoms expressed in Article 22 Section 1 of the New York Agreement were not being honored.
"Indonesia will make arrangements, with the assistance and participation of the United Nation Representative and his staff, to give the people of the territory the opportunity to exercise freedom of choice. Such arrangements will include: (a) Consultations (Musyawarah) with the representative councils on procedures l and appropriate methods to be followed for ascertaining the freely expressed will of the population; (d) The eligibility of all adults, male and female, not foreign nationals, to participate in the act of self-determination to be carried out in accordance with international practice, who are resident at the time of the signing of the present Agreement and at the time of the act of self-determination, including those residents who departed after 1945 and who return to the territory to resume residence after the termination of Netherlands administration."
The New York Agreement of 1962 was followed by the Rome Agreement of 1962 [], signed by Indonesia, USA, and Nederland Kingdom, that said, among other things, "Referendum or the Act of Free Choice set for 1969 in the New York Agreement of August, 1962. To be delayed or possible cancelled. Indonesia to rule West Papua for the next twenty - five years (25) effective from the first of May, 1963." By 1969, the United Nations agreed to allow for this agreement without the participation with the Papua peoples [].

April 2, 1962
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
I have been intimately concerned in recent weeks with the problems facing your Government in arranging an honorable solution to your dispute with Indonesia over the disposition of Netherlands New Guinea. I was disturbed by the cessation of the secret talks between your representatives and those of Indonesia. However, I am convinced that a peaceful solution is still possible provided the two parties are prepared to resume negotiations in good faith.
The Netherlands Government has made a statesmanlike effort to meet this pr problem first through the United Nations and, when that failed, through direct secret negotiations with the Indonesians. I am appreciative of the heavy responsibilities which the Dutch Government supports in protecting its citizens in New Guinea and understand why you felt it necessary to reinforce your defense establishment in that area. However, we face a danger that increasing concentrations of military forces will result in a clash which will be a prelude to active warfare in the area. Such a conflict would have adverse consequences out of all proportion to the issue at stake.
This would be a war in which neither The Netherlands nor the West could win in any real sense. Whatever the outcome of particular military encounters, the entire free world position in Asia would be seriously damaged. Only the communists would benefit from such a conflict. If the Indonesian Army were committed to all out war against The Netherlands, the moderate elements within the Army and the country would be quickly eliminated, leaving a clear field for communist intervention. If Indonesia were to succumb to communism in these circumstances, the whole non-communist position in Viet-Nam, Thailand, and Malaya would be in grave peril, and as you know these are areas in which we in the United States have heavy commitments and burdens.
The Netherlands position, as we understand it, is that you wish to withdraw from the territory of West New Guinea and that you have no objection to this territory eventually passing to the control of Indonesia. However, The Netherlands Government has committed itself to the Papuan leadership to assure those Papuans of the right to determine their future political status. The Indonesians, on the other hand, have informed us that they desire direct transfer of administration to them but they are willing to arrange for the Papuan people to express their political desires at some future time. Clearly the positions are not so far apart that reasonable men cannot find a solution.
Mr. Ellsworth Bunker, who has undertaken the task of moderator in the secret talks between The Netherlands and Indonesia, has prepared a formula which would permit The Netherlands to turn over administrative control of the territory to a UN administrator. The UN, in turn, would relinquish control to the Indonesians within a specified period. These arrangements would include provisions whereby the Papuan people would, within a certain period, be granted the right of self-determination. The UN would be involved in the preparations for the exercise of self-determination.
My Government has interested itself greatly in this matter and you can be assured that the United States is prepared to render all appropriate assistance to the United Nations when the Papuan people exercise their right of self-determination. In these circumstances and in light of our responsibilities to the free world, I strongly urge that The Netherlands Government agree to meet on the basis of the formula presented to your representative by Mr. Bunker.
We are of course pressing the Indonesian Government as strongly as we can for its agreement to further negotiations on the basis of this same formula.
I have written to you in the spirit of frankness and trust which I hope is appropriate to the relation of our countries as friends and allies. What moves me is my conviction that in our common interest the present opportunities for peaceful settlement in this painful matter must not be lost.
/s/ John F. Kennedy
His Excellency Dr. J. E. de Quay Prime Minister of the Netherlands, THE HAGUE

adapted from []:
OPERATION MANDALA was command by Major General Soeharto at year 1961. It's the first operation in West Papua because Dutch still there. Indonesia Military came and put the logos "Welcome Indonesia" but they was caught  by Papuan Indigenous and give them to Dutch Military. So Indonesia Military angry and shoot Papuan house and kill them also.

OPERATION 'TUMPAS' (Operation 'Crush') during the time of General Kartidjo and General Bintoro (1964-1968). The aim of this operation is to kill Papuan who reject Indonesia Government before Self Determination or Referendum (Act of Free Choice) at year 1969.

OPERATION 'SADAR' (Operation 'Awareness') under General Sarwo Edhie (1969). This Operastion after Referendum, so that Papuan must received Indonesia Government.

OPERATION 'WIBAWA' (Operation 'Authority') under General Acub Zainul, (1970-1974) also known as the 'open-hand policy'. It's also to killed Papuan who not received Indonesia government and they understood about Indonesia.

OPERATION 'KIKIS' (Operation 'Chipping Away') under General Imam Munandar, (1977). It was done only in Wamena region, Military came to killed, burned, bomb, etc.

OPERATION 'GALANG' (Operation 'Support') of 1981, under General Santoso, also known as the 'smiling policy'.  Only in Jayapura. This operation was held in Jayapura city because so many Papuan reject the Act of Free Choice 1969

OPERATION 'SAPU-BERSIH' (Operation 'Clean-Sweep') under Generals Santoso and Sembiring (1981 to 1984)

In February 1984, the number of people who fled to Papua New Guinea amounted to: 5,000 Peoples but the number who arrived not more then 3,000. The total number who disappeared: 2,000 Peoples. Now they so poor in refugees camp in PNG.

The Total of murders and disappearances: More then 100,000 Indigenous Papuan

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ten Years After the Iraq Invasion, Protest Drones in April

It is now 10 years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq.  Iraq is in shambles with perhaps over 1 million dead due to the war and the sectarian violence instigated by the U.S.   The war continues in Afghanistan. The war on Libya destabilized the entire region.  Mali has been invaded as the U.S. builds a new drone base in Niger and has moved troops into 35 African countries.  The threat of direct military intervention in Syria and Iran is increasing.
At home,  the government's "national security" scare tactics and its promotion of Islamophobia, hate and intolerance are designed to justify ever-increasing attacks on civil liberties and democratic rights. These include frame-up prosecutions and harassment of the Muslim community, subpoenas for antiwar activists, attacks on communities of color and undocumented workers and new laws that allow for people to be arrested without charges and held indefinitely without a trial. Targeted assassination, and government-approved presidential "kill lists" of American citizens and all others "suspected" of "terrorism" are the new norm in the growing arsenal of murder and oppression.      
The wars have changed in the past 10 years.  President George W. Bush sent U.S. troops to Afghanistan and Iraq.  President Obama did the same with his failed  “surge” in Afghanistan.  Since then, the Obama administration has used special operations forces (the code words for death squads), drones, military forces from other NATO countries and regional regimes to pursue their endless wars of conquest, occupation and plunder.  This tactical "change," aimed at lowering the interventionist profile of the U.S. war makers, is a response to the growing antiwar sentiment in the U.S.  The Obama administration fears that its austerity measures and attacks on civil liberties may well combine to bring forth an explosive mass movement in the streets that begins to challenge the policies of a government whose only solution to the deepening economic crisis is to bail out the corporate elite at the expense of the great majority. The Arab Spring and occupy has put fear into the hearts of the 1%.
During the month of April, antiwar forces will take to the streets again, this time with a focus on challenging the drone war politics increasingly utilized across the globe to advance the interests of the corporate elite and the associated military-industrial complex. This form of robotic mass killings allows for the spread of wars everywhere as U.S. troops no longer have to cross borders to crush resistance to imperial rule. This twisted logic is based on the notion that fewer U.S. casualties will lessen the resistance at home to mass murder abroad.  Please see the actions listed below. Join an action or build one in your community.
For more information and to volunteer, contact  617-383-4857
And around the country: [] or []
San Diego, Ca. (drone production capital of the world)
National Anti-drone Days of Action
April 4 – 7, 2013
April 4 – Veterans for Peace demonstration at General Atomics predator drones production site.
April 5 – morning, demo at General Atomics Headquarters, coordinated by CodePink.  Afternoon, demo at Northrup Grumman site coordinated by CodePink. Evening socializing.
April 6 – Afternoon demo at Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, Evening Speaker’s Forum
April 7 – General Assembly – Workshops, next Steps
For more information: [] or on Facebook at: []
Syracuse, NY (Hancock drone base)
April 26 – 28, Resisting Drones, Global War and Empire: demonstration and convergence to action.  Three days of resistance.
April 26 – Welcome & Introductions, Music with Charley King
April 27 -  All day conference and workshops with Kathy Kelly, Gruce Gagnon, Chris Hedges, Ann Wright, Nick Moltern, Debra Sweet, Joe Lombardo, Kevin Zeese, Dr. Margaret Flowers and others.
For more information: (315)308-0048, []
Protest Against Drone Warfare, protest Boeing research and development
Saturday, April 6th, 12:30 pm
Washington & Wacker,  Chicago
For more information: Anti War Committee – Chicago []
Forum, Stop the Drone Attacks on Pakistan, April 3rd 8:30 p.m., Sprague Carlton Room, Student Center, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT. Will the US drone attacks on Waziristan bring Peace, Democracy, Women’s rights and Economic well-being to the working people of Pakistan?
* Shahram Azhar is a Pakistani Marxian economist, activist and singer, who is pursuing a PH.D. in Ecomonics at UMass Amherst.
* Waqas Mirza is a graduate in Political Science from UMass Amherst who lectures on drones and the “War on  Terror.” He is a member of Occupy Boston.
* Usman Khan Yusufzai is a radical economist pursuing his doctorate who recently spent six months in Pakistan researching the impact of drone attacks.
For more information: 860-478-5300
Minneapolis, MN
Protest Against Drone Warfare, April 6, 1 – 3 PM, Lake Street & Hiawatha Ave.
For more information: 612-522-1861 or 612-827-5364
Dayton, OH
Demonstrate at Congressman Mike Turner’s Office – 120 W. 3rd St, April 5 1 – 3 PM
For more information:
Baltimore, MD
The New Faces of War: A conference, April 5 - 7, St. John's United Methodist Church, 2640 St. Paul St, Starts 7 PM April 5.  Speakers include: Col. Ann Wright, Rashid Khalidi, Phyllis Bennis, Nick Turse Vinay Lal John Prados and other.
For more information and to register: [].
Washington, DC
Saturday, April 13, Assemble at 12 noon at Lafayette Park – 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition,  For more information: [].
San Francisco, CA
Saturday, April 13, Sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition. 
For more information, 415-821-6545.
Boston, MA
Sat., April 13  -- march/rally/die-in downtown Boston, starting at 1:00 PM Park St. 
April 26-28 -- E. Mass. contingent will go to Syracuse for the anti-drone conference and actions at the Hancock AFB

Monday, March 18, 2013

2013-03-18 "Living Graveyard and vigil" (Oakland)

Monday, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Oakland Federal Building [1301 Clay Street, two blocks from 12th Street BART]

Covered with sheets to represent the dead of the war of occupation on Iraq, people lie down on the city sidewalk in front of the Federal Building, This is legal, non-violent witness.  People stop, look and think.
Participants lie at least three feet apart and do not block entry to the building.The names of some of the Californians who have died in Iraq and the names of some of the Iraqi dead will be read.  A gong is sounded after each name.   People will hand out flyers, as we do each week at the Tuesday noon vigil.
Please bring a white sheet to cover yourself with.  A pad to lie on is recommended.
sponsors include:
Berkeley Women in Black • East Bay Coalition to Support Self-Rule for Iraqis • Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace and Justice • Peace & Freedom Party • BFUU Social Justice Committee • Gray Panthers • Mustardseed Affinity Group • Father Bill Social Justice Committee, St Joseph Church • Middle East Children’s Alliance • Trinity United Methodist Church • East Bay Peace Action • Southern Alameda County Peace & Justice Coalition • Ecumenical Peace Institute,, (510) 655-1162  
* Iraqi Civilian Deaths: 1,690,816
* U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq: 4,486  
* Coalition Military Deaths in Iraq: 4,804
* Afghan & Pakistani Civilian Deaths: 2 million plus
* U.S. Military Deaths in Afghanistan: 2,187
* Coalition Military Deaths in Afghanistan: 3,267
"Former UN Weapons Inspector: Don’t Repeat in Iran the ‘Tragic and Terrible’ Mistakes of Iraq; 10 years after Iraq invasion, Hans Blix warns against those pushing false arguments for attacking Iran" article from "Common Dreams":
As the ten year anniversary of the US-led invasion on Iraq approaches, the former UN weapons inspector from Norway Hans Blix said this week that world powers should heed history’s lessons by not repeating the same mistakes with Iran.  “Memories of the failure and tragic mistakes in Iraq are not taken sufficiently seriously,” the 82-year-old Blix told a group of reporters in Dubai.
“In the case of Iraq, there was an attempt made by some states to eradicate weapons of mass destruction that did not exist, and today there is talk of going on Iran to eradicate intentions that may not exist,” he said. “I hope that will not happen.”  Blix was the chief of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission that led the UN weapons inspection team in Iraq from March 2000 to June 2003, charged with finding evidence of Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. Such weapons, of course, were never found.
 “So far Iran has not violated NPT (the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and there is no evidence right now that suggests that Iran is producing nuclear weapons,” Blix said about the current events surrounding Iran.

Guantanamo Hunger Strike! Solidarity Vigil and Fast (Berkeley)

Monday, March 18, 6:30-7:30 PM 
MLK Park, Corner of MLK Jr. Way @ Allston Way, Berkeley
across the street from Old City Hall
CONTACT: Cynthia Papermaster, Berkeley No More Guantanamos, 510-333-6097,

On February 6, Guantanamo detainees began a hunger strike. Some of the detainees have lost 20-30 pounds, some are near death, some are being force fed. They are calling for humane treatment and for freedom for the over 80 detainees who've been cleared by the U.S. government for release, but who are still being held at Gitmo, some for over 10 years now.
Berkeley No More Guantanamos and Codepink Women for Peace have called for a one-day fast in solidarity with the hunger strikers, and will hold a candlelight vigil in downtown Berkeley on Monday at 6:30 pm to show their support for the hunger strike and humane treatment for the detainees. People are invited to come with poems, songs, prayers, or heartfelt wishes for the Guantanamo hunger strikers' liberty and safety.
In October 2011 the Berkeley City Council passed Resolution No. 65,491 calling for the closure of Guantanamo Prison and welcoming cleared Guantanamo detainees to settle in Berkeley with the financial support of private citizens. The text of the City Council Resolution is below.
Cynthia Papermaster, of Berkeley No More Guantanamos, points out that "some 86 Guantanamo prisoners were cleared for release years ago, by both the Bush and Obama administrations, but they continue to be held, deprived of their liberty, families, livelihoods, and peace. They're so desperate for their freedom that they are starving themselves and risking their lives to call attention to their situation. Everyone with a sense of justice and compassion should contact Attorney General Eric Holder and demand that the cleared detainees be released."
Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison, reports that "Fayiz al-Kandari’s (one of the last two Kuwaitis in the prison) team of military lawyers arrived at the prison on February 25, and the day after announced, 'Fayiz has lost more than twenty pounds and lacks the ability to concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time due to a camp wide hunger strike. Apparently there is a dispute over searches and the confiscations. We believe there is a desperation setting amongst the prisoners whereby GTMO is forgotten and its condemned men will never get an opportunity to prove their innocence or be free.'
A March 14 Agence France report said "Lawyers representing Guantanamo prisoners wrote an open letter to US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday to highlight the "mass hunger strike" at the facility. Forty-five lawyers wrote to Hagel to warn of the "serious threat to the health and life of detainees". The lawyers noted that as a Republican senator, Hagel had in 2005 warned that Guantanamo's existence meant the United States was "losing the image war around the world." The lawyers said the majority of detainees in Guantanamo's Camp 6 division, some 166 prisoners, had been on hunger strike since February 6, a fact corroborated by attorneys who had visited the camp.  We have also received alarming reports of detainees' deteriorating health, including that men have lost over 20 and 30 pounds (nine and 13 kilos), and that at least two dozen men have lost consciousness due to low blood glucose levels, which have dropped to life-threatening levels," the letter to Hagel said. Lawyers for the prisoners say the hunger strike was triggered by widespread searches of detainees' Korans that had been "perceived as desecration."

Berkeley City Council Resolution No. 65,491, passed October 25, 2011
“…NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Berkeley that the Berkeley City Council:1) Supports and reaffirms President Obama’s call for the closure of Guantánamo in furtherance of our country’s national security interests; and 2) Reaffirms Council’s moral and humanitarian concerns expressed in earlier resolutions; asserts Council’s unwillingness to turn its back on cleared detainees still being held at Guantánamo; and urges that Congress remove bans on the movement of cleared Guantánamo detainees to the U.S.; and 3) Makes known that upon the lifting of Congressional bans and approval by the Department of Homeland Security, one or more cleared detainees would be welcome into the Berkeley community which has offered private support such as the American Friends Service Committee and the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant….”

Please see media articles/videos below for information about the Guantanamo hunger strike.
* 03/17  / Carol Rosenberg  / McClatchy Newspapers  / US Acknowledges 14 on Hunger Strike at Guantanamo Prison []
* 03/14  / Andy Worthington  / A Huge Hunger Strike at Guantánamo []
* Gitmo Hunger Strike: 'Prisoners put their lives on the line in a medieval torture []
* 03/16  / Andy Worthington  / Video: On Guantánamo Hunger Strike, Andy Worthington Tells RT that Prisoners “Feel They’re in a Living Tomb” []
* 03/16  / Deborah Dupree  / Examiner  / Media ignores military forcing tubes into Gitmo hunger strikers Day 39 []
* 03/15  / Agence France Presse  /  Lawyers lobby Hagel over Guantanamo hunger strike []
* 03/17  / Michael Kirkland  / UPI  / Gitmo or the U.S. courts for terror suspects? []
* 03/17  / Peter Finn and Julie Tate  / Washington Post  / Guantanamo Bay detainees’ frustrations simmering, lawyers and others say []

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Solidarity with the People of Afghanistan!

"UN representative Samantha Power: U.S. has ‘nothing to apologize’ to Afghanistan for" 
2013-11-21 from "Agence France-Presse" []:
Washington’s UN representative Samantha Power said Thursday Afghanistan is owed no apology for US actions in the country since the overthrow of the Taliban 12 years ago.
“We have nothing to apologize for. Our soldiers have sacrificed a great deal,” Power told CNN, as Washington hammered out the details of a new security agreement between Afghanistan and the United States.
The issue of whether or not the United State would offer an apology for mistakes made during the Afghan conflict had emerged as a possible sticking point in the final stages of long drawn out negotiations with Kabul.
A draft text of the agreement released Wednesday by Kabul said US forces remaining in Afghanistan after combat troops are withdrawn next year would be subject to American justice rather than local courts.
Power said the accord shows the strength of bilateral relations, and lays a strong foundation for future cooperation.
“What we’re seeking to do is to secure an agreement that enables us to continue to work together beyond the end of the combat role in Afghanistan,” Power said.
“Proof of how we’re getting along is how much they want us to stay and continue to assist in the train/equipment/assist role,” she said.
She added that a letter sent on Wednesday from President Barack Obama to his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, saying he was “pleased” with the agreement, and calling it a “strong agreement for both our countries” underscores those solid ties.
“I think what the letter does, is (it)tries to offer the reassurance that the United States in whatever role it stays in — and we’re negotiating that, of course, training, equipping, assisting on counterterrorism — will respect the rights and the privacy of the Afghan people. That’s something that mattered to Karzai,” Power said.
Power added: “We, of course always respect the Afghan people and try to avoid civilian casualties and have done that from the time we’ve been there.”

2013-03-14 "UK Ministry of Defense admits campaign in Afghanistan is 'an unwinnable war'"

by Richard Cookson   []: British soldiers fighting in Afghanistan are part of a campaign that attempted to “impose an ideology foreign to the Afghan people” and was “unwinnable in military terms”, according to a damning report by the Ministry of Defence.
The internal study says that Nato forces have been unable to “establish control over the insurgents’ safe havens” or “protect the rural population”, and warns the “conditions do not exist” to guarantee the survival of the Afghan government after combat troops withdraw next year.
The report, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, says that when troops leave, Afghanistan “will be left with a severely damaged and very weak economic base”, which means that the West will have to continue to fund “large-scale support programmes” for many years to come.
Even if the internal situation were stable, the Afghan government may not survive the destabilising activities of its neighbours. “Regional players do not have a vested interest in the success of the Kabul government”, states the document in a clear reference to Pakistan.
The report, Lessons from the Soviet Transition in Afghanistan, is an internal research project produced in November last year by the MoD’s think-tank, the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC). Based in Shrivenham, Wiltshire, the DCDC’s reports “help inform decisions in defence strategy, capability development and operations” across all three branches of the armed forces.
The study examines the “extraordinary number of similar factors that surround both the Soviet and Nato campaigns in Afghanistan” and highlights lessons that military commanders could learn.
“The highest-level parallel is that both campaigns were conceived with the aim of imposing an ideology foreign to the Afghan people: the Soviets hoped to establish a Communist state while Nato wished to build a democracy,” it says. “Equally striking is that both abandoned their central aim once they realised that the war was unwinnable in military terms and that support of the population was essential.”
It continues: “Both interventions have been portrayed as foreign invasions attempting to support a corrupt and unpopular central government against a local insurgent movement which has popular support, strong religious motivation and safe havens abroad. In addition, the country will again be left with a severely damaged and very weak economic base, heavily dependent upon external aid.”
In unusually frank terms, it goes on: “The international setting for both campaigns has significant similarities with world opinion judging both as failed interventions. Both faced a loss of confidence in their strategic world leadership and increasing domestic and financial pressure to abandon the enterprise.”
Turning to lessons for the armed forces, it says: “The military parallels are equally striking; the 40th Army [of the Soviet Union] was unable decisively to defeat the mujahedin while facing no existential threat itself, a situation that precisely echoes the predicament of Isaf [the Nato-led security mission]. Neither campaign established control over the country’s borders and the insurgents’ safe havens; both were unable to protect the rural population.”
The report states that the Soviet withdrawal plan was handicapped by a publicly announced timetable. Western commanders have blamed the British and American governments for publicly presenting just such a timetable.
It adds that the success of the withdrawal in Afghanistan “is likely to be judged on the same criteria as those used to objectively judge the Soviet transition”, which includes “the longevity and effectiveness of the incumbent central government”.
An MoD spokesman said: “We are in Afghanistan to protect our national security by helping Afghans to take control of their own. We are not trying to build a perfect Afghanistan – rather one that does not again provide safe haven for international terrorists.
“A key purpose of the DCDC is to produce research which tests and challenges established doctrine and its papers are designed to stimulate internal debate, not outline government positions.”

No More Drones (Doo-Occupy, 2013)


Solidarity with the People of the Philippines

2013-03-12 "End U.S. Support for the Death Squad Government of the Philippines! U.S. Troops Out of the Philippines Now!"
by Steven Argue from "Liberation News (RT-SP) [] (subscribe free to Liberation News []):
[Photo: General Jovito Palparan, known as the butcher of Mindoro.  He “served” under the U.S. backed capitalist government of the Philippines. Under his military command, in Central Luzon, government assassinations of political opponents of the Filipino government averaged 52 people per month.  According to Human Rights Watch, mass murder by the Filipino government continues.  In 2012, the Obama Administration tripled U.S. military aid to the Filipino government while also dramatically increasing the number of U.S. troops rotated to the Philippines.  U.S. troops are fighting directly in the Filipino Civil War to prop-up its capitalist death squad government.]

Filipino General Jovito Palparan took part in the U.S. occupation of Iraq.  When he returned to the Philippines in 2005 he was assigned to command counter-insurgency efforts in Central Luzon by the government of President Gloria Arroyo.  Under General Palparan’s command, government assassinations of political opponents of the Filipino government averaged 52 people per month. Now, General Palparan has retired and is in hiding, wanted for his crimes of torture and mass murder.  Yet, the reign of terror suffered by the Filipino people continues.
In 2012, President Benigno Aquino doubled the reward for information leading to the capture of General Palparan.  Human rights lawyer Edre Olalia, counsel for the parents of abducted and disappeared University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño, missing since 2006, points out that this doubling of the reward means little:
“At first blush, it seems to be a positive step and should be welcomed by everyone desperate to see that justice is done. But ultimately, it is not key or decisive.  The amount and the move are still too little and too late and are empty tokenism especially with the continuing killings, disappearances and other rights violations and impunity.”
The families of Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño agree that the increase in bounty was useless; pointing out that the government isn’t looking for General Palparan in a legitimate way. 
Human rights organizations confirm continued abuses under the government of President Benigno Aquino.  Human Rights Watch reported in 2012 that the Filipino government continues to murder, carrying out extra-judicial killings that make “leftist activists, journalists and clergy” disappear.  Since Barack Obama first took office, he has given the murderous Filipino government $700 million in aid.  The Obama Administration tripled military aid to the Philippines in 2012.
The supposed attempts to bring General Jovito Palparan to justice are simply part of an age old ruse of capitalist governments.  General Palparan’s crimes are admitted and an insincere attempt to bring him to justice is made, all the better to pretend that the crimes of General Palparan and former President Gloria Arroyo are a thing of the past.
It is the duty of all anti-imperialists to oppose the reign of terror being carried out by the U.S. backed government in the Philippines.  The Filipino capitalist government, with its brutal police, military, and death squads has targeted leftists, labor and peasant activists, as well as women's rights activists.  Capitalist repression includes assassinations, abductions, torture, and disappearances.  Poverty and grinding capitalist exploitation are the norm.  Women's activists are also targeted by a sexist Catholic government that prohibits abortion and divorce. 
On January 28, 2013, Carlos Caldron was convicted by a Filipino court for “offending religious feelings”. The conviction was for a peaceful protest by Calderon in 2010 demanding reproductive rights for women.  He is facing up to 13 months in prison.  Free Carlos Caldron!
Besides lacking access to safe legal abortions, backwards Catholic morality and the lack of socialized medicine in the Philippines restricts women’s access to contraception and sex education.  As a result, unwanted pregnancies are common, deaths due to induced pregnancies are high, and the prevention of the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, is murderously hindered.
The number of people officially below the poverty line in the Philippines is 26.5%, a rate equivalent to capitalist Haiti and far worse than China (at 8.5%) and Vietnam (at 13.5%).  Falling below the official poverty line in the Philippines are 94 million people living on less than a $1.25 a day.
For the Filipino government, brutal repression is the name of the game in protecting extreme capitalist exploitation.  The Filipino government’s war on the working class included the November 2004 Hacienda Luisita massacre of striking workers of the Kilusang Mayo Uno labor federation (KMU).  At the massacre, heavily armed soldiers and cops, equipped with armored personnel carriers, attacked striking workers killing seven people, including a child.  For Americans, this was your tax dollars at work.
In 2012, the Filipino government built temporary walls around slums in Manila during the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank Board of Governors which was discussing poverty.  The walls were put up so that attendees could not see the slums.  In response to criticisms, President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman argued in defense of the walls saying "any country will do a little fixing up before a guest comes."
The Philippine Communist Party (CPP), political wing of the New People’s Army (NPA), compared the actions of President Benigno Aquino to the U.S. backed Marcos dictatorship in 1974 that erected similar walls to hide Filipino squalor during the 1974 Miss Universe pageant held in Manila.  
The U.S. government supports the injustices of the Filipino government; both through military aid and through keeping troops on the ground that participate in direct combat with the New People’s Army.  One known example of U.S. combat was in 2009 when a joint military operation of the Filipino Army and U.S. Army attacked members of the NPA.  The NPA fought back, killing three soldiers of the Filipino Army and wounding one U.S. soldier.  One member of the NPA was martyred in the clash.  In response to this battle, more U.S. soldiers were then sent into the area as part of the Philippine Army’s rapid “quick reaction force”; a force with U.S. soldiers integrated into the Filipino military.
The CPP responded to this direct military attack saying: "This incident shatters US and Philippine officials' lies that their military forces in the ongoing joint Balikatan exercises in the Bicol region, Panay, Central Luzon, Mindanao and elsewhere are merely involved in humanitarian operations. The recent incident in Esperanza, Masbate proves that the Balikatan exercises are laying the groundwork and raising the level of involvement of US soldiers integrated within government forces of the Arroyo government's counterrevolutionary war. The US military has long been involved in the AFP's [Filapino Army’s] counter-guerrilla operations. Their troops have served as consultants, advisers, trainers and providers of intelligence information to the local fascist troops. They have been providing aerial reconnaissance and satellite and electronic intelligence information and have gone to the extent of participating directly in counter-guerrilla operations on many occasions. As more and more US troops are embedded in the combat units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and participate in armed encounters with the NPA, more and more US soldiers are bound to either get killed or wounded. The CPP and the Filipino people trust that given the tremendous loss of American lives in Vietnam and Iraq, the vast majority of the American people oppose US participation in foreign civil wars and an escalation of US involvement in the Philippine civil war. We call on the American people not to allow their government to continue with military interventionism, waste millions of taxpayers' money and risk the lives of US soldiers in the Philippine civil war.”
In 2012, under the imperial presidency of Barrack Obama, the United States increased the number of U.S. troops being sent to the Philippines.  In addition, Obama tripled U.S. military aid to the repressive capitalist government of the Philippines.  Increased military aid went from $11.9 million in 2011 to $30 million in 2012. 
An additional purpose for increased U.S. troops in the Philippines today is part of Obama’s stated goal of an increasingly aggressive stance towards the People’s Republic of China.  U.S. bases in the Philippines were used as a launching site of U.S. imperialist attacks on Vietnam (murdering 3 million people) as well as more recently on Iraq and Afghanistan (killing over a million people).  The Chinese government has denounced the increased U.S. military presence in the Philippines and, in apparent response to the increasingly aggressive stance of the United States government, Chinese Communist Party Chief Xi Jinping told the 2.3 million member Chinese People’s Liberation Army to “Push forward preparations for a military struggle.”
Besides the current U.S. war in the Philippines, U.S. intervention has a long and bloody record that goes back to the Philippine-American War (1899—1902).  This was a war that turned the Philippines into a U.S. colony against the will of the Filipino people.  To accomplish this goal, the United States was forced to murder about a million Filipinos.  Mark Twain denounced this brutal war and openly campaigned against it as a member of the Anti-Imperialist League. 
Today, from direct U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of the Philippines (protecting U.S. imperialist investments) to the aggressive stance of the United States towards China, anti-imperialists oppose all of these goals of the U.S. government, demanding: U.S Troops Out of the Philippines!  End U.S. Military Aid to the Filipino government!
[article edited. for complete version, please visit the link underneath the headline]

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Solidarity with Bradley Manning

Call in and protest! Call General Linnington.
DOD: (703) 571-3343 - press "5"
This week the Bradley Manning Support Network is joining with FireDogLake in a call-in action to protest the government's decision to move ahead with all its charges against Bradley Manning. Call Maj. General Linnington, the presiding authority over the trial, and demand he step in to free Bradley. Call 202-685-2807.
“I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within [the releases] this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as well as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.” - Bradley Manning, February 28, 2013.
Last week, Pfc. Bradley Manning delivered a historic, personal testimony to his motivation behind passing diplomatic cables and battlefield data to Wikileaks.
Manning explained that he had become deeply troubled by the reality of our asymmetric warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the cover-up of horrific battlefield crimes; he felt similar events could only be prevented by vigorous public debate.
It is more clear than ever that Bradley Manning was aiding Americans, not the enemy.

Maj. General Linnington is the presiding authority who will be asked to approve the outcome of Bradley's trial.
Call Maj. Gen. Linnington and tell him the "aiding the enemy" charge is an outrage and Bradley deserves to be free!
Maj. Gen. Linnington: 202-685-2807

Once Maj. Gen. Linnington's voicemail box is full - you can also leave a message at the DOD: (703) 571-3343 - press "5" to leave a comment.
*If this mailbox is also full, leave the Department of Defense a written message.
One of the most moving aspect of Manning’s testimony was his explanation as to why he released the so-called “Collateral Murder” video, which shows the gunning down of two Reuters journalists and bystanders by apparently bloodthirsty and remorseless American soldiers in a US aircraft.
Manning described being deeply troubled by the video, especially the crew’s “lack of concern for human life” and lack of “concern for injured children at the scene.” Manning directly stated that he wanted the American public “to know that not all people were targets that needed to be neutralized” but “people living in the pressure cooker environment of asymmetrical warfare.”
Statements like these solidify what many of us had assumed for some time now: Pfc. Bradley Manning is an American hero who wanted to aid the public, not a traitor looking to 'aid the enemy.' That he risked his life to courageously expose this information and provoke a public debate to bring greater transparency to our foreign policy actions makes the insinuation that he ‘aided the enemy’ all the more absurd.
It is clear that Pfc. Manning exposed these documents at great personal risk for our benefit. The least we can do is continue to support him in any way we can. Thank you for continuing to do so.
Help us continue to cover 100% of Bradley's legal fees! Donate today [].

2013-03-12 "Audio recording of Bradley Manning’s statement leaked; The Freedom of the Press Foundation published a full audio recording of Bradley Manning’s statement to the court taking responsibility for WikiLeaks’ releases"
by the "Bradley Manning Support Network" []:
The transparency group Freedom of the Press Foundation has published an illicit audio recording of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s full statement on releasing classified documents to WikiLeaks as an act of conscience [].
Despite this being among the most important trials in America today, journalists are not allowed to record any audio or video of the proceedings.
In the statement, Bradley describes joining the Army as an intelligence analyst, discovering and investigating grave abuses like the ‘Collateral Murder’ video and Garani air strike, and concluding that the American public deserved to know about how their government operates abroad.
He details his decisions to release the Iraq and Afghan war databases, the Collateral Murder video, Department of State diplomatic cables. He said he hoped these releases would “spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.” Glenn Greenwald breaks down the statement in several audio segments here [].
Upon hearing the audio recording, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg said, “I believe Bradley Manning is the personification of the word whistleblower.”
Prior to this release, the public and press at large have never been able to hear Bradley Manning’s voice. They’ve also been unable to see basic rulings, transcripts of the proceedings, and legal motions, as the military withholds all of these documents, severely hampering the press’ ability to follow and cover this case. The Center for Constitutional Rights, along with several media organizations, has sued the military to make documents in Manning’s proceedings public.
The Department of Defense just last month finally began releasing judicial notices and rulings, but most are several months old and don’t provide the press with contemporaneous access to the case. Reporters have become increasingly frustrated with their access to these proceedings.
As the Freedom of the Press’s announcement reads, "Freedom of the Press Foundation is dedicated to supporting journalism that combats overreaching government secrecy. We have been disturbed that Manning’s pre-trial hearings have been hampered by the kind of extreme government secrecy that his releases to WikiLeaks were intended to protest. While reporters are allowed in the courtroom, no audio or visual recordings are permitted by the judge, no transcripts of the proceedings or any motions by the prosecution have been released, and lengthy court orders read on the stand by the judge have not been published for public review."
The press and public should be allowed full access to Bradley’s proceedings. This recording is a welcome development toward that end, as it finally broadcasts Bradley’s voice and whistle-blowing motivations to the world.
Filmmaker made a five-minute documentary using Bradley’s own words describing the Collateral Murder video here:

2013-03-11 "Rep. Lee Demands Administration’s Full Response on Drones"

Contact: Carrie Adams (202) 225-2661
Washington, D.C.— Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, along with several members of Congress, sent a letter to White House requesting the full, unclassified release of information surrounding the Administration’s done policy.
Signed by Reps. Conyers, Ellison, Grijalva, Edwards, Honda, Holt, and McGovern, the letter seeks a full response and formal report to Congress outlining the architecture of the drone program going forward and reads, “The executive branch’s claim of authority to deprive citizens of life, and to do so without explaining the legal bases for doing so, sets a dangerous precedent and is a model of behavior that the United States would not want other nations to emulate.”
Rep. Lee, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace and Security Task Force said of the letter, “It is far past time that the White House openly discuss the drones program. The President has full reign to protect the United States as Commander in Chief, but Congress has a vital oversight role in this issue, and we cannot shy away from those responsibilities. We have to protect the checks and balances that are at the heart of our democracy.”
The letter cites several concerning factors of the Administration’s drone policy including, “An unbounded geographic scope; unidentified ‘high-level; officials with authority to approve kill-lists; a vaguely defined definition of whether a capture is “feasible,” an overly broad definition of the phrase “imminent threat,” which re-defines the word in a way that strays significantly from its traditional and legal meaning.”
Full text of the letter can be found here [].
Follow Barbara Lee on Facebook and Twitter @RepBarbaraLee. To learn more, visit
Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a former Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and currently serves as CPC Whip and Chair of the Taskforce on Global Peace and Security.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Solidarity with victims of anti-Umma militants in the Bay Area

2013-03-05 "FBI, Bay Area Muslims have fragile ties" from "New York Times", re-published by "San Francisco Chronicle" []:
Members of the Islamic Center of East Bay gather after arson gutted the center in Antioch in 2007. Earlier attacks on the center had been reported to the FBI. Photo: Jim Wilson, New York Times

Early one morning in 2007, Muhammad Chaudhry showed up at the Islamic Center of East Bay in Antioch, and found seven bullet holes in one of the building's front windows.
Soon, agents from the San Francisco office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrived and documented it and previous incidents at the center. In 2005, someone had left messages including "racial slurs" on the center's answering machine, the agents wrote. In 2006, a single shot had damaged a window; a few months later, the same window was destroyed with a brick.
In a report written three weeks after the shots were fired, and obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, an agent wrote that no investigation would continue "since there is no current evidence to show this incident as being a hate crime."
Six months later, arson gutted the center. FBI agents opened an investigation, but members of the center wondered whether the fire could have been prevented if the agency had pursued the fusillade that preceded it.
All of the episodes at the center "were consistent in targeting us," and an investigation into the shooting "would have been helpful," Abdul Rahman, the chairman of the center's board of trustees, said recently. "Now we'll never know if these involved the same people."
The FBI did not respond to specific questions about the things that happened at the center and another case from the same year, because some of the agents that worked in the San Francisco office in 2007 have since left, said Julianne Sohn, a bureau spokeswoman there.
She added that it was also hard to comment on individual reports without knowing if there were other related documents, but said the FBI was dedicated to looking into any hate crimes that were reported.
"Here in the Bay Area, we take hate crimes very seriously," Sohn said. "Whenever we get any kind of allegation or complaint, we look at it thoroughly."

Delicate relationship -
Reservations over how the situation at the center in Antioch was handled underscore a sometimes delicate relationship between the FBI and the Muslim population near San Francisco.
About a year ago, a Freedom of Information Act request by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and other groups yielded about 15,000 documents detailing interactions between FBI agents and Muslims in this part of the state.
Lawyers and activists said the documents showed the FBI had used a mosque outreach program, meant to combat hate crimes directed at Muslims, to gather information about people engaged in lawful activities. News reports followed, along with debates over how the FBI should approach the Muslim population. At the time, FBI officials said those operations were appropriate.
But most of the thousands of pages the FBI turned over received little or no attention. Among them were reports that documented a handful of instances in which agents declined to pursue possible hate crimes.
Although the FBI requires that agents examine all such claims, not all result in a full investigation. Some lack dependable evidence, and agents may determine that others do not include hate-crime components as defined by federal law. Sohn said it could be hard to find proof of intent, a key element in demonstrating that a hate crime took place.

Probing questioned -
But Michael German, a former FBI agent and now a senior policy counsel for the ACLU in Washington, said two instances in which the San Francisco office did not pursue investigations stood out.
One involved a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, who told agents in 2007 that he had received threatening calls from blocked numbers after including his phone number on flyers promoting an antiwar protest.
One caller told the student to be "very, very careful," an FBI report stated and added, "You wouldn't want an accident to happen to you."
The second used a racial epithet, the agents wrote, and told the caller to blow himself up "before we do it for you."
The report went on to note that FBI records indicated that a person whose name was redacted, apparently the student, had previously written e-mails that "conveyed hatred toward the United States and Israel and support for the Palestinian cause."
A man named Snehal Shingavi said he was the one who had received the threats and spoken with the FBI. He said that the agency had not accurately characterized the views he had expressed in e-mails and added that it was improper to catalog political opinions attributed to him.
"The linking of my political activity with the decision not to fully investigate the death threats is very troubling," Shingavi said.
Also troubling, German said, was the decision not to start a hate-crime investigation after shots were fired at the Islamic Center of East Bay, given the escalating nature of the attacks there. An investigation, he said, could have solved or deterred crimes and helped foster trust between the FBI and the center.
"Here was an opportunity to do something to protect the community," German said. "There is concern in the community that the FBI is viewing them through only one lens, as potential suspects."
Rahman, from the center in Antioch, said agents began contacting him regularly after the arson there, sometimes taking him to lunch. He was eager to establish a rapport, he said, but became uncomfortable when questions about the fire seemed to give way to questions about the center's members.
"After you've been victimized, that is not something you want to hear," Rahman said, adding that he cautioned the agents that their work in general would not benefit from such an approach, telling them: "You're not going to build a relationship this way."

Peace and Justice Vigil in Santa Cruz

Resource Center for Nonviolence (Santa Cruz Peace and Justice Center) []

On April 5th, we will be holding our third anti-drone vigil in Santa Cruz.
One of our members, Mike, made the coffin and all the individual children's placards that folks are holding up.