Tuesday, July 30, 2013

War Profiteer of the Month: Combined Systems Inc. (CSI)

Published in War Profiteers' News, August 2013, No. 39
Headquartered in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, United States, Combined Systems Inc. (CSI)—often manufacturing under the brand name Combined Tactical Systems (CTS)—supplies Tunisia, Yemen, Germany, Netherlands, India, East Timor, Hong Kong, Argentina, Chile, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Cameroon, and Sierra Leone, as well as its most high-profile clients as of late— Egypt and Israel. They are owned by Point Lookout Capital and the Carlyle Group, with the former, whose offices are located in New York City, holding the controlling shares. On Point Lookout’s portfolio page, the section on CSI reads: “The company’s CTS branded product line is the premiere less-lethal line in the industry today.”
Until recently, Combined Systems used to fly the Israeli flag at its headquarters. According to its own advertising, its "OC Vapor System is ideal for forcing subjects from small rooms, attics, crawl spaces, prison cells," and is used against prisoners in the US. CSI is owned by Point Lookout Capital and the Carlye Group. Point lookout Capitol, which holds a controlling number of shares, says glowingly of CSI: “The company’s CTS branded product line is the premiere less-lethal line in the industry today.” Point Lookout Capital is headquartered in New York City. Nearly every week Combined Systems Inc. holds trainings across the US for law enforcement and security personnel, in using their “chemical munitions” and other weaponry.
CSI is the primary supplier of tear gas to the Israeli military as well as a provider to Israel’s police (and border police) for use in occupied Palestine. There is extensive written documentation of CSI sales and shipments to Israel; moreover CTS-brand canisters are ubiquitous at Palestinian protests, including the regularly recurrent nonviolent demonstrations at Bil’in, Ni’lin and Nabi Saleh.
Palestinian protesters recently killed by tear gas include Mustafa Tamimi, from the small village Nabi Saleh, on December 9, 2011. An Israeli soldier inside an armored jeep fired a tear gas canister at close range directly into his face. Jawaher Abu Rahma of Bil’in suffocated on tear gas at a protest in January of last year. His brother, Bassem Abu Rahma, died in April 2009 when an Israeli soldier fired a tear gas canister directly into his chest.
There have also been countless injuries. The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, a coordinating body for unarmed demonstrations in the West Bank, noted in a 2010 report: “According to Palestinian Red Crescent records in Bil’in and Ni’ilin, 18 people have been directly shot at and hit by the high velocity projectiles since their introduction, in these two villages alone.”
Photos and news reports have shown that CSI is a major tear gas provider for the Tunisian military. A Tunisian protester and a photographer from France were recently killed by impacts from tear gas canisters fired at close range.
The company’s tear gas is the primary one used by the Egyptian security forces in its attempt to crush demonstrations there, which still continue. Amnesty International documented three shipments of tear gas from CSI (in the U.S.) to Egypt in 2011 that were approved by the U.S. State Department, despite the Egyptian security forces’ record of using of tear gas to kill and injure protesters. In the months following Mubarak’s ouster, Human Rights Watch also reported excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrations, including illegally shooting tear gas into the crowd at shoulder height, on February 25, March 9, April 9, June 28 and 29, August 1 and October 9.
Combined Systems has aggressively propagandized its products. On May 18, 2011, the Chilean government announced— in the wake of a study by the University of Chile which demonstrated that CS exposure may lead to miscarriages— that they would temporarily suspend the use of tear gas throughout the country. Latin America News Dispatch quotes then-Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter as saying: “[I]t seems reasonable to suspend the use of tear gas until new medical reports dispel any doubts about the appropriateness of employing these gases to confront situations of public disorder and vandalism.” Fortunately for the Chilean government— and unfortunately for Chilean protesters, such as the 30,000 protesters who, a week earlier, had gathered to demonstrate against the HidroAysén hydroelectric project and been faced with tear gas— the Chilean government was able to put together a report, three days later, citing Combined Systems, arguing that tear gas was safe. The report, and the lifting of the ban on tear gas, came just in time for the state to use tear gas against the next round of HidroAysén protests.

Killing With Canisters -
In the West Bank, many protesters have died or been seriously injured as a result of being shot at close range by Combined Systems tear gas canisters, including 28 year old Mustafa Tamimi of Nabi Saleh who died in 2011 after half of his face was shot off by a Combined Systems tear gas canister. In 2009 Bassem Abu Rahmah, from Bil'in, was killed by a Combined Systems canister, and in 2010, his sister Jawaher was as well. The number of deaths as well as serious injuries as a result of teargas cannisters has drastically increased since 2008, when Israel began using Combined Systems’ “extended range” 40mm cartridges, sold under the brand name “Indoor Barricade Penetrator,” and which travel at a velocity of 122 meters per second and are designed to penetrate buildings.  Although the manufacturers’ labels clearly indicate that the teargas grenades are not to be used at short range and are not to be fired people, this has not stopped the Israeli military from doing so— effectively turning these canisters into large bullets. (For more info, check out the B'Tselem report, page 8. To see the manufacturer’s website for the Indoor Barricade Penetrator, click here.) Combined Systems canisters have also been used to kill protesters in Guatemala.

For more information:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Perception Management by Bohemian Grove's loyal constiuents

"San Francisco Chronicle" newspaper is published for the benefit of informing upper middle-class readers, and corporate investors (as seen by their business section, as opposed to a worker's section). The newspaper is available for free at expensive hotels, and at private clubs like the Bohemian Grove itself. The owners of the newspaper, the Hearst Corporation, are loyal to the members of Bohemian Grove, and members rely on the Hearst Corporation to censor and distort the message regarding critiques of capitalism, generally, and especially to censor information critical of the values of the wealthy, including members of Bohemian Grove. So, when the "San Francisco Chronicle" publishes a story about Bohemian Grove, it is certain that the story will not offer information critical of the  Bohemian Grove, but instead offer a "perception management" that makes the protesters seem ridiculous. For example, today's story about the protests at Bohemien Grove was given the following headline at the newspaper's main website:

2013-07-26 "Bohemian protest brouhaha — burning babies or just kicking back?"
A clash between self-described hippies and libertarians has thrown the traditional protest against the annual Bohemian Grove encampment into turmoil.
Mary Moore, the 78-year-old leader of the “old hippy” activist group Bohemian Grove Action Network, is boycotting the protest of the retreat in the redwoods near Monte Rio for the first time in 33 years because, she said, paranoid, foaming-at-the-mouth radicals have horned in on the demonstration.
The object of her scorn is “libertarian” Sean Ackley, 44, of Brentwood, who held a protest at the gates this year in an attempt to spread the word about what he believes are baby burning rituals, sex slavery and other satanic schemes, which Moore — and the club, for that matter – called “nonsense.”
The kerfuffle is no laughing matter for the club, which denies all evil doing. Representatives say the guys are merely attempting to enjoy music, art and good company until the camp closes Sunday. Read more about the fabled Bohemian encampment here.

Photo by The Chronicle.
In her Camp Meeker home, Mary Moore stops to pet her dog Cota Wednesday July 24, 2013 surrounded by memorabilia from the 1960s. Mary Moore, the longtime leader of the Bohemian Grove Action Network, is boycotting her own protests because another group run by a Tea Party advocate is horning in on her territory. Moore plans to continue to attack the rich and powerful men using writings.

Activist Sean Ackley poses for a portrait in his home in Brentwood, Calif. on July 24, 2013. Ackley is protesting the Bohemian Grove, a gathering place for powerful men.

2013-07-26 "Protest conflict outside Bohemian Grove; Evildoers or empire builders? Opponents disagree over intent of secretive gentlemen's club" 
by Peter Fimrite from "San Francisco Chronicle" [http://www.sfchronicle.com/science/article/Evildoers-or-empire-builders-Opponents-disagree-4688047.php]:
Mary Moore, longtime Bohemian Grove Action Network leader, doesn't think participants in the annual gathering are evil, but she objects to the idea that powerful men hole up in the woods to discuss policy. (Photo by Brant Ward, The Chronicle)

There are mysterious dark happenings going on these days outside the Bohemian Grove, where the traditional hectoring of bigwigs and luminaries who attend the annual encampment has been thrown into turmoil. A protest group is boycotting the protest against the annual clandestine frolic in the Sonoma County redwoods because of what its members view as the unsavory antics of a rival group of protesters. It's the first time in 33 years that Mary Moore and the Bohemian Grove Action Network have not picketed, or at least worn ironic costumes denigrating the gentlemen's club retreat.
The "old hippies," as Moore describes her group, refuse to take up the cause this year because they disagree with a group of libertarian Johnny-come-latelies over the relative evilness of the gathering in the woods around Monte Rio.
The boycott of the protest has left things troublingly calm for the 2,000 or so businessmen, entrepreneurs, musicians and artists who make up San Francisco's Bohemian Club and who have been arriving for the all-male campouts at the famous Russian River retreat since July 11.
Moore, 78, of nearby Camp Meeker, says the leader of the new group is a paranoid, foaming-at-the-mouth radical who deliberately misled people into believing the two groups have the same philosophy.
"I just think he's a misguided man who wants to believe in satanic worship," said Moore, who canceled her planned protest this year for the first time since 1980, when the group held an antinukes protest outside the gates. "We've never subscribed to this nonsense that they are burning babies and that there are underground sex chambers and it's all a satanic thing. That's just silly stuff and it confuses the hell out of people."

Reasonable guy?
Her rival, Sean Ackley, 44, of Brentwood, says he is a perfectly reasonable guy. Just because he believes the club takes part in homosexual prostitution, sex slavery and nefarious take-over-the-world type schemes does not mean the two groups cannot join forces, he said.
The protest is important, he maintains, because more people need to know about the Grove's owl idol - which he likened to the Old Testament story of Molech and heathens sacrificing their first-born sons - and the opening night symbolic "cremation of care" ceremony that he contends is actually a baby-burning ritual.
"I believe it is a ritual that represents something dark, and that's where Mary and I don't see eye to eye," Ackley said. "Representatives of our government and corporations are participating in this."
Despite purported chuckling over scotches around the campfire, the kerfuffle is no laughing matter for the club, which has for years been fodder for conspiracy theorists and the target of attacks by women's groups. Activities during the fabled encampment, which ends Sunday, are generally kept secret, but gumshoe reporting and eyewitness accounts over the years have uncovered instances of boozing, bad piano playing, off-color jokes, off-key campfire singing and the unregulated, often indiscriminate, watering of trees.
Club representatives insist that the nonprofit organization - founded in 1872 by five newspapermen, a Shakespearean actor, a vintner and a couple of local merchants - is dedicated to the simple enjoyment of music, literature, drama and the arts. Networking, job-seeking, and discussions about business and policy are strictly prohibited by the club, whose motto is "weaving spiders, come not here."
Grainy photos
Sam Singer, the Bohemian Club spokesman, said false depictions of club activities have put people in danger in the past, most notably in 2002 when a bumbling, hooded commando who called himself the "Phantom Patriot" invaded the grove.
The man, Richard McCaslin, of Carson City, Nev., was dressed in an outlandish superhero-style costume and carrying guns, knives and bomb launchers when he was arrested in the empty camp. He claimed he was inspired by stories about "bizarre, Luciferian ceremonies" at the club by Austin, Texas, radio personality Alex Jones.
Ackley has said he, too, was inspired by Jones, who snuck into the Grove once and took grainy pictures of fire during the cremation of care ceremony. He posted these on his website and in a book accompanied by drawings he added of pentagrams and creepy-sounding phrases about "dark secrets" and the "order of death."
The ritual, say club officials, is a harmless ceremonial burning away of the burdensome cares of business and civilization that campers are supposed to leave behind. Singer, the president of Singer Associates in San Francisco, said insinuations that the ceremony is some kind of pernicious baby-burning ritual are dangerously irresponsible in addition to being patently ridiculous.

'Hard to fathom' -
Jones, Ackley and the other conspiracy theorists "say things that are libelous, defamatory, dishonest and misleading," Singer said. "They make up these things that are simply hard to fathom."
Singer was less critical of Moore, who contends that the problem is not that evil is occurring, but that powerful men are holing up behind closed gates and discussing policy, particularly at what are called Lakeside Talks held next to the grove's picturesque lily-covered pond.
"I don't care if they wear pink tutus or what they do in there," she said. "It's a place for decision makers to gather and do these policy talks."
"We disagree with Mary Moore and her organization, but we are supportive of their right to protest," said Singer, who claims Moore is wrong about the policy talks, but at least depicts the club honestly. "She has been an able and honest opponent from day one, and we value her opinion."
While Moore and her cohorts were not there to greet the captains of industry at the Bohemian Grove this year, she said there is still hope for next year.
"We're doing research on fracking as a theme next year," she said. That's assuming Ackley and his group don't come back.

Filipino community challenges USA-sponsored fascism in the Philippine Republic!

2013-07-26 "BAYAN USA-The People Have Spoken: Filipinos in the U.S. Challenge President Aquino on the Real State of the Philippine Nation!"
BAYAN USA- Northern California Contact: Jessica Antonio [SecGen@bayanusa.org].
BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 15 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing youth, students, women, workers, artists, and human rights advocates. As the oldest and largest overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S. For more information, visit www.bayanusa.org

San Francisco, CA- Over 200 Filipino Americans and community supporters gathered at Union Square Plaza on July 23rd in reaction to the false claims of progress by Philippine President Aquino in his annual State of the Nation Address.
“This is the true SONA ng BAYAN,” asserts Princess Bustos of the Filipino women’s organization BABAE, “We join the 12,000 Filipinos in the Philippines and the actions in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Canada to tell the world that nothing has changed since Aquino stepped into office!”
On the stage of Union Square, BAYAN USA organizations opened with a street theatre performance depicting a “marriage” or union between the U.S. and the Philippines, exchanging vows such as- U.S. military aid for Aquino’s maintenance of the U.S.’s Visiting Forces Agreement, which allows thousands of U.S. troops to occupy areas of the Philippines while protecting them from prosecution.
“Aquino turns his back to the violence committed by Philippine and US troops upon entire communities,” declares Jessica Antonio, Secretary General of BAYAN USA, “The ‘accidental’ killings of civilians, displacement of 1,000’s of people, and rape of women and children is a BIG price to pay for meager table scraps!”
In the forefront of the stage pictures of recent human rights victims, such as Willem Geertman, a Dutch missionary who was executed in the public street in front of his office in the Philippines on July 3rd. Blindfolded activists told the crowd the life stories of Willem, Arman Albarillo, and Melissa Roxas to address the continuance of human rights violations and extrajudicial killings under the Aquino regime. On the eve of his State of the Nation Address the 100th victim, Marilou Valle, an urban poor community leader, was found shot dead in Tondo. Justice has yet to be found for the over 1,200 plus victims committed under the Arroyo regime, especially with former Gen. Jovito Palparan and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo walking free from any charges.
BAYAN USA organizations in the Bay Area along with local groups in the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), Workers Union Local 2, Chinese Progressive Association, Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor, and Filipino caregivers from the Filipino Community Center’s CARE Project marched the streets to the Philippine Consulate calling for President Aquino to uphold national sovereignty, implement genuine agrarian reform, and to create more jobs in the Philippines instead of pushing Filipinos to become Overseas Filipino Workers(OFWs).
 Valerie Francisco, Chairperson of GABRIELA USA- an alliance of Filipino women, exclaims, “Filipino women are being exported as PNoy’s most lucrative industry. Instead of selling them to the world, GABRIELAs all over the world demand that he provide work in our homeland, provide social services for the health and education of women and children.”
Aquino’s claims in his speech that there has been extraordinary increases in the budget for education and asserts that it will only get better for students in the coming years. However, Noemi Teppang of ANAKBAYAN USA-representing Filipino youth and students, states that Aquino has yet to solve the education crisis for the youth. “Currently, 50% of children age 11-15 are out-of-school. Aquino’s conversion to a K-12 educational system only serves the demands of the foreign labor market by producing more semi-skilled workers to be exploited in low-paying jobs overseas. Where is the future for Filipino youth if they are to continue to vicious cycle experienced by OFWs all over the world?”

2013-07-26 "BAYAN-USA Rejects US-Aquino Regime! Filipino Americans Hold Country-wide Protests Against Philippine President’s State of the Nation Address"
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III delivered the annual State of the Nation Address, or SONA, at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City, Philippines on Monday July 23rd. In the span of two years as president, he has yet to fulfill his promises and has continuously been faced with widespread criticism from a broad spectrum of people across the nation. In the streets outside the President’s air-conditioned venue, the SONA met with one of the largest protests of the year organized by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) with participants from all walks of life ranging from youth and students, workers, peasants and women’s organizations. The People’s State of the Nation Address exposes the true state of the Philippine nation, which has not changed from the time of Aquino’s predecessor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Aquino has followed in her footsteps with the continuation of human rights violations, an increasingly worse economic crisis, and compromising national sovereignty in exchange for money.

Actions all across the United States also held People’s SONA Actions, as Filipinos in the United States also share their plight by exposing the negative effects of the economic crisis through forced migration upheld in old labor export policies that have resulted in numerous overseas workers grievances. Filipino Americans join the Philippines SONA ng Bayan with People’s SONAs held in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle to oppose Aquino’s inadequate and oppressive regime. They showed the stark difference between what the Aquino administration reports of progress and the dark reality that shows the true nature of the regime and its anti-people policies.

Since the beginning of his campaign for presidency, Aquino has promised the Filipino people that they are his “boss,” and that he will implement policies and programs that will alleviate poverty and improve the overall condition of the people. However, in the two years Aquino has been in office the country has suffered an even worse economic situation. Poverty levels have skyrocketed with more than 11.1 million families experiencing poverty and hunger.

“He can no longer fool the people with his empty promises. We know where his interests lie,” said Jessica Antonio, Secretary General of BAYAN-USA. “It is past the time to be asking for change. We must now demand and fight for the basic rights of the Filipino people.” Despite these facts, Aquino asserted that the Philippine economy has improved after he came into office. Aquino’s support of neoliberal economic policies and programs, such as the Public-Private Partnership (PPP), in fact dramatically worsen the conditions of the Filipino people, and the so-called improvement of the economy only reflects the economic growth of foreign investors, U.S. imperialists, and the ruling local class.

The worsening crisis has led to massive unemployment totalling to 24% of the population, or 9.7 million people. Instead of facing this challenge by creating jobs at home through national industrialization and infrastructure, Aquino has continued to promote the exploitative Labor Export Policy launched by the Marcos dictatorship in the 1970s. This policy proliferates the idea that the export of human labor is a viable option to alleviate poverty and lessen the country’s foreign debt. In the two years Aquino has been in office the number of Overseas Filipinos has increased to an estimated 1.4 million OFWs leaving annually. This is a direct result of the true economic state of the Philippines. Historically, the number of OFWs seeking work abroad to avoid the rampant joblessness in the Philippines has amounted to much more than the rate of each previous president, including Corazon Aquino, his mother. The people are demanding that jobs be created in the Philippines to end the Philippine government’s dependence on foreign remittances from OFWs.

On the eve of Aquino’s SONA, Marilou Valle, an urban poor leader, was found shot dead in Tondo marking the 100th extrajudicial killing in his first two years in office. Despite the name change to Oplan Bayanihan, the results are the same as its predecessors, Oplan Bantay Laya I & II, in targeting civilians through enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings. The recent killing of Dutch missionary worker, Willem Geertman, on July 3rd has drawn international attention to the ongoing impunity of the Philippines government on human rights violations. Articles released by New York’s Human Rights Watch urges Aquino to stop the killing of environmental advocates who stand against foreign mining investments in the Philippines. The Aquino administration, in line with previous regimes, claim that legal pro-people organizations fighting for national democracy are recruiters for the New People’s Army (NPA), when in actuality the government itself is the biggest recruiter to the rebel army through its direct attacks on everyday citizens.

With the U.S. announcement of redirecting its military might towards the rebalancing of the Asia Pacific combined with the promotion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the people of the Philippines and neighboring countries must be vigilant in exposing the extremely detrimental effects of U.S. military occupation of our land and the incursion upon the sovereignty of our countries. Aquino has bent over backwards to comply with the demands of the U.S. at the expense of the Filipino people. This includes the everlasting Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) that protect U.S. military personnel from prosecution of crimes committed in the Philippines such as collateral damage-or the accidental killings of innocent citizens, displacement of thousands of communities and the rape and abuse of Filipina women and children. Filipino politicians are once again pushing for Charter change, known as Cha-Cha, that would remove the protectionist provision in the Philippine Constitution in order to open up Philippine land and resources to wholesale plunder by foreign corporations. “It doesn’t make any sense!” declares Chera Almag, Finance Officer of BAYAN USA, “How can the Philippine government believe that by allowing foreign corporations to own 100% of land, utilities, and other services will benefit the country and its people? The only ones who will benefit from these types of agreements are the foreign corporations and the 1% of the population who own the land and big businesses!”

Aquino’s empty promises to the people of the Philippines and revealed his true colors of corruption and deceit in order to maintain the status quo and cater to his U.S. imperialist masters. BAYAN USA joins Filipinos all over the world in the fight for true independence from foreign domination and for national democracy in the Philippines! We urge Filipinos to take a firm stance against the anti-people policies of the Aquino regime and its positioning to liberalize the Philippine economy. We demand that the culprits of more than 1,000 politically motivated killings such as Jovito Palparan and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo be prosecuted and jailed in order for justice to be upheld for all the victims of human rights violations over the years and justice and freedom to extend to the more than 200+ political prisoners who were placed in jail on trumped up charges or whom have been sitting in jail awaiting trial without being convicted. Their only crime was providing communities of people with basic needs that the government has chosen to ignore. We declare that the Philippines is not for sale and belongs to the Filipino people and until there is genuine land reform, national industrialization free from foreign rule, and policies that benefit the majority of the country, we will continue to struggle together for a Philippines that is truly for Filipinos!


Monday, July 22, 2013

"Bringing Down the New Jim Crow" campaign materials

from the "Chico Peace and Justice Center (CPJC)":
This program represents CPJC's contribution to the national movement to end the racialized system of mass incarceration. This includes production, promotion, and distribution of the Bringing Down the New Jim Crow radio documentary series (www.prx.org/series/32471-bringing-down-the-new-jim-crow), distribution of The New Jim Crow Study Guide and Call to Action (newjimcrow.com/take-action/study-guides) to classrooms, faith communities, book groups, and re-entry centers throughout the United States, and collaboration with key movement leaders and organizations across the nation. [chico-peace.org/bringdownjimcrow]
Order the study guide (pdf copies only) here [chico-peace.org/orderstudyguide]

"Trayvon Martin: Our Emmett Till"
message from "Chico Peace and Justice Center (CPJC)":
"It is the Zimmerman mindset that must be found guilty – far more than the man himself. It is a mindset that views black men and boys as nothing but a threat, good for nothing, up to no good no matter who they are or what they are doing. It is the Zimmerman mindset that has birthed a penal system unprecedented in world history, and relegated millions to a permanent undercaste." -Michelle Alexander
The ruthless murder of Emmett Till in August 1955, and the acquittal of his killers – who only months later, in a magazine interview, openly admitted to and described the murder – is viewed as one of those most pivotal events catalyzing the African-American Freedom Movement. That movement, that community of committed changemakers, responded to the Emmett Till nightmare and all that it symbolized by demanding that our nation turn to face itself.
The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of 17-year old Trayvon Martin challenges us to consider whether we as changemakers today are committed enough and prepared enough to respond in like manner. Are we ready to do our part to demand again that our nation face into the cancerous racism which infects our collective heart? Are we ready to do our part to dismantle the twisted psychology and utterly broken systems that perpetuate this racism?
Up from the usual 2 or 3 daily requests, since the Zimmerman verdict, CPJC has been receiving an average of 10-15 daily requests for the New Jim Crow Study Guide and Call to Action. These requests are coming in from every corner of the nation. As We the People wrestle with the meaning of the death of Trayvon Martin and of the Zimmerman acquittal, Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow will continue to hold its place at the center of our work. We are deeply grateful to be the distributor of the companion guide to Alexander's historic book, and to know that it is being used by book groups, congregations, re-entry centers, and organizations across the country.
The deep consideration and study of The New Jim Crow is far from a heady, academic undertaking; it takes us into the heart of the matter before us, the nature of the “Zimmerman mindset” - a mindset that did not only kill an innocent boy, but which gave rise to the most punitive, most racist criminal justice system the world has ever known. The groups that are diving in to this work are laying the groundwork for national mobilization to end mass incarceration. The transformation we usually call the Civil Rights Movement is the legacy of the Emmett Till tragedy; if we rise to the challenge that this moment presents, the dismantling of mass incarceration will be the legacy of the Trayvon Martin tragedy.
May it be so.
[signed] Chris Moore-Backman

And please consider joining CPJC's first New Jim Crow study circle, called together now in honor of Trayvon Martin and all whom he represents. The study circle will be convened in late September – for an initial series of four sessions. We will be using of The New Jim Crow Study Guide and Call to Action as a springboard for deciding what we are called to do in service to the movement to end mass incarceration. If interested please contact CPJC at 530 893 9078 or chico-peace@sbcglobal.net.

Please also read this excerpt from a New York Times op-ed by Charles Blow
“As a parent, particularly a parent of black teenage boys, I am left with the question, 'Now, what do I tell my boys?'
We used to say not to run in public because that might be seen as suspicious, like they’d stolen something. But according to Zimmerman, Martin drew his suspicion at least in part because he was walking too slowly.
So what do I tell my boys now? At what precise pace should a black man walk to avoid suspicion? And can they ever stop walking away, or running away, and simply stand their ground? Can they become righteously indignant without being fatally wounded? Is there any place safe enough, or any cargo innocent enough, for a black man in this country?”

Monday, July 8, 2013

Occupy Beal AFB! July, 2013, Non-violent direct action to Stop the Drones

[www.occupybealeafb.org], news archive for the Peace vigil and Occupy action at Beale AFB! [solanopeacejustice.blogspot.com/2013/12/occupy-beale-afb.html].
Contact information:
* Bay Area: Toby [510-215-5974] [ratherbenyckeling@comcast.net]
* Nevada County: Shirley [941-320-0291] [slogood481@hotmail.com]

See this man on the left? FBI agent? "Protect U.S. terrorism agent"? CIA agent? We don't know for sure, but what we do know is that he showed up at our July encampment and convinced 2 law officers to tell us that the owner of the land where we hold our monthly encampments DOES NOT want us on his land. We investigated....IT WAS A LIE!!! But it is also complex.... There is much more to this story......