Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Walk Across America for the ERA, Week One

"Walking Across the USA for the ERA"
2014-03-13 update from Helene Swanson [], Founder []:
Dear Friends and Family,
This past March 8th, 2014 I started my pilgrimage across the USA for the Equal Rights Amendment.  It was a great day.  Many were in attendance. Please see the below Press Release. I am truly blessed by the outpour of love and support God is sending in my direction. 
Here is a Facebook page showing the event. []

You can also join in spirit on the following two Facebook pages. 
or if you prefer

The event was covered by ABC and NBC here in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Please see []
I was interviewed by Sarah Rohrs at the Times Herald a Vallejo newspaper. And I met with Congressman Mike Thompson's staff at the Vallejo District office.  They are 100% on board.  Here is a link to Sarah's article []
I am asking that everyone sign and circulate our petition, as I will be delivering this petition to the White House when I arrive in DC. Please go to []. And don't forget to call your Congressperson and Senator and demand that they support the ERA.  Here is a link which shows the unratified states as well as the status of the Three State Strategy [] just click on the state
Your continue prayers and support comes most appreciated.  I ask that you visit the Katrina's Dream website from time to time to read up on this social justice ministry 
Thank you so much for helping to Pass the Equal Rights Amendment, we can do this!

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Stanford Students, CODEPINK, and World Can't Wait unite to Give Petraeus an Unwelcome Greeting at Stanford University"

Report Back from Toby Blome of CODEPINK, with photos by Curt Wechsler of World Can't Wait:
Friday, March 14, Stanford University -

We live in a very surreal world, where a 4 Star General, David Petraeus, who is responsible for some of the bloodiest and most brutal human rights violations against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan is invited to speak at one of our most prestigious universities.  Gen. Petraeus helped train, orchestrate and protect the brutal paramilitary death squads that did America's worst crimes in those countries, including the torture and killing of thousands.  Oh, and he also helped expand President Obama's secret drone wars, including popularizing the "double tapping" tactic of sending secondary drone strikes into an area already hit, killing anyone that happens to be trying to give aid to the injured survivors of our murderous hellfire missiles.  Oh, and let us not forget that he was head of the CIA at the time when the bodies of 16 year old Tariq Aziz and his 12 year old cousin were turned to ash by a U.S. drone hellfire missile while they were driving on a highway by themselves on the way to play soccer.  Why were they targeted by the CIA?  Tariq had the courage to vow to use a camera to photograph the civilian victims of our drone war in Pakistan.  Mr. Petraeus was also in charge when Abdulrahman Al-awlaki, a 16 year old U.S. citizen and non-combatant was killed in Yemen by U.S. drone while sitting in a cafe with 5 or 6 other youth who were also killed in the attack that day.
(Photo showing Stanford anti-war students invited CodePink and World Can't Wait in a protest outside the event location)

Activists brought great visual displays and signage to break the silence and deliver the truth to the public entering, reminding them of the real horrors and crimes that bloody the General's hands.
"Dear Petraeus,  Funerals, weddings, parties, and tribal council meetings are NOT terrorists cells.  Stop Bombing Them!"

Four CODEPINK activists, Diana, Charlotte, Fred and myself (Toby Blome), participated. I chose to cover up my "PINK" in order to indiscreetly get inside, which didn't look like it was going to happen, as they were giving priority to all SU students, even though many of the rest of us had been waiting in line for 45 minutes longer!  We did ultimately get in, but were kept "isolated" in an upper tier balcony, with the very watchful eyes of the campus police officer nearby, yet still close enough to be heard by Petraeus on the stage below, if one chose to speak their mind.  There was about 50 minutes of joking and camaraderie between the general and his host, a former military academy student of Petraeus', and much misinformation and lies discussed about the success of THE SURGE and the "Counter-insurgency" effort.  The most difficult moment was hearing the disingenuous general speak about "truth" and "integrity".  At that point I needed to get my emesis basin nearby (vomit bucket).  But it also helped me prepare for what I came for:  speaking truth to power.
As I indiscreetly pulled off my green cover to expose my prideful pink,  the watchful gaze of the campus police looked over.
I stood up tall, and spoke in the loudest voice I could muster, without screaming:
"General Petreaus,  You are a 4 Star War Criminal.
You should be arrested for the torture and killing of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan people.
Your drone machines are terror in the sky.
Your death squads and special forces are terror on the ground.
Stop killing so that the 1% can profit from stolen resources.
War Criminals stay off our campuses.
Stanford Students Wake Up and learn the truth.
Fortunately the campus police officer was very gentle, as he slowly escorted me out of the building.  There still remains a little bit of democracy in our country.  I wasn't manhandled and brutalized as our dear Medea was recently in Cairo, or worse, I wasn't killed on the streets as activists are in many of the countries we give military aid to.  Maybe, just maybe, the officer himself was pleased that a little bit of truth was told that afternoon. 

- Always Marching Forward, [signed] Toby Blome, S.F. CODEPINK
P.S.: "Always marching forward.....,"  thank you Emma's Revolution [] and Laura Zweig for providing a joyful and inspiring evening of music and dance performance later that evening, that helped us to detoxify from the Petraeus propaganda machine. I feel very blessed to be surrounded by the love and commitment to peace exuded by my CODEPINK sisters and brothers! Speaking of blessed, Petraeus said in a Meet the Press interview [] (THIS IS NO LIE): "Afghanistan is blessed with the presence of what are trillions of dollars, with an 's' on the end, trillions of dollars of minerals, if and only if,... to enable you to get it out of the country."
WAR for $$$! Dear Petraeus: I feel blessed to be standing on the side of peace and justice!

Telling it like it is, through point-by-point visual aids!

Telling it like it is, within earshot of Petreaus' supporters!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Peace in the Ukraine! Stop the attacks on the Russian People, and Jewish communities, and against an undemocratic dictatorship !

Across the U.S., anti-war activists, low-wage workers and community members are beginning to mobilize to counter the latest U.S. war moves against Russia and express outrage at the campaign of disinformation emanating from Washington and corporate media outlets about recent events in Ukraine.
In response to a call to action from the International Action Center, actions are planned in more than a dozen cities, and we are learning about new events every day (see list below).
Many of these actions will also oppose the dangerous U.S. support and funding for extreme right-wing attacks and economic destabilization against elected governments in Venezuela and Syria. These are violations of international law and crimes against peace.
But more is urgently needed – informational picket lines, leafleting, visits to congressional offices, protests at media centers against war propaganda, vigils and challenges to government officials. Let's make our voices heard!
As the 15th anniversary of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and occupation of Kosovo approaches, there is growing anger that the U.S. government is giving $10 billion in loans to an unelected, right-wing regime in Kiev, while hungry children and families here are being told to get by with $8.9 billion in cuts to SNAP food assistance.
The provocative U.S. war moves against the people of Eastern Ukraine, Crimea and Russia include sanctions, sending warships with guided missiles to the Black Sea, and war games with F15 fighters on Russia's border. This, too, will cost billions of dollars that should be spent to bail out the city of Detroit, create jobs and fund schools.
Corporate media outlets such as CNN, Fox News and the New York Times have colluded with leaders in Washington to whip up a new Cold War sentiment against Russia, while covering up the U.S. role in the recent violent events in Ukraine.
Unmentioned by corporate media are the enormous U.S. financial and military interests at stake – from control of Ukraine's oil and gas pipelines connecting Russia with Western Europe, to the prospect of NATO military bases on Russia's western border.
The U.S. hand is clear in the opposition protests that unseated the elected government of Ukraine. Washington has trained, funded and given political support to an undemocratic movement rooted in the wealthy oligarchy, just as it is doing today in Venezuela. State Department officials were caught on tape plotting the February coup and bragging that the U.S. had already spent $5 billion to make it happen
Also censored from mainstream media coverage is the real character of the junta in Kiev, which is dominated by outright neo-Nazi movements such as the Svoboda party and Right Sector. Today these fascists are carrying out violent repression against leftists and other opponents of the coup. Their continued rule not only endangers Jewish, immigrant, LGBTQ and minority-language communities throughout Ukraine, but threatens to plunge the world into war.
WE NEED YOU! Join one of the protests below. If there's no activity yet in your area, call one and send the details to It can be as simple as distributing informational leaflets in your neighborhood or having a soapbox speak-out with a few friends on a busy street corner.
Join us! Educate, organize and protest. Let's stop the next U.S. war before it starts.
List of actions (as of 3/12/14)
* NEW YORK CITY: Fri, March 14, 5 pm rally at CNN, 10 Columbus Circle (Broadway & 59th St) 6 pm March down Broadway to FOX News, 49th St. & 6th Ave. []
* ATLANTA: No new U.S. war! Stop media lies about Ukraine - march on CNN Center. Details to come
* BALTIMORE: Sat ►March 15, 12 noon at McKeldin Square (Pratt and Light streets), downtown Baltimore. For more info call [443-221-3775] []
* BUFFALO, NY: Sat, March 15, 1:00 pm at Elmwood & Bidwell []
* DURHAM, NC: Fri, March 14, 5-6 pm at Brightleaf Square (corner of Gregson & Main Sts).
* HOUSTON, TEXAS: Thurs, March 13, 4-6 pm at Mickey Leland Federal Bldg (Smith Street at St. Joseph Parkway due to construction – 1919 Smith St.). Endorse / more info: [713-503-2633] []. For daily updates: []
* LOS ANGELES: Fri, March 14, 5:30 pm at corner of Echo Park Ave & Sunset Blvd []
* MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.: Sat, March 15, 12 noon at Mayday Plaza (3rd Street & Cedar Ave), West Bank, Minneapolis. More info, contact [612 522-1861] or [612 827-5364]
* OAKLAND, CALIF.: Mon, March 17, 4:30 pm at Oscar Grant Plaza  (14th & Broadway) []
* PHILADELPHIA: Tues, March 11, 4:30 pm at 15th & Market
* TUCSON, ARIZONA: Fri, March 14, 5:30 pm at the Federal Building downtown, then march to John McCain's office
* SAN DIEGO, CALIF.: Mon, March 17, 5-6:30 pm rally, at NBC Building
* BOSTON: Details to come soon! 
* ROCKFORD, IL: Details to come soon!

PLUS: Protest on Mon, March 24, 5 pm at United Nations (43 St & 1st Ave, NYC)
15th Anniversary of the U.S./NATO 78 day bombing of Yugoslavia! Demand ‘Not Another War! U.S. out of Ukraine & Balkans'!

Resources -
* Stay informed! Find more information on Ukraine and upcoming actions at []
* Variety of downloadable signs helpful for demonstrations: []
* UKRAINE: What the media isn't telling you []
* United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) demands ‘U.S. hands off Ukraine and Venezuela’ []
* Veterans for Peace - San Diego: ‘Preparing for war with Russia’ []
* Sara Flounders: ‘Why are Nazi & Confederate flags on display in Kiev?’ []
* Glen Ford: ‘Hillary and other assorted barbarians at Russia’s gate’ ['s-gate]
* Fred Goldstein: ‘U.S. whips up crisis over Crimea’ []
* Ajamu Baraka: ‘Ukraine and the Pathology of the Liberal Worldview: An African American Perspective’ []
* Transcript of leaked Victoria Nuland-Geoffrey Pyatt call []
* Leak: Estonian FM says Maidan snipers were not Yanukovich's []

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Clergy, Veterans occupy Beale AFB, with 5 arrests

Occupy Beale AFB! [link]

"ALERT: Five arrested at Beale AFB today protesting drone warfare"
2014-03-05 message from Toby Blomé:
A beautiful Ash Wednesday action at Beale AFB today organized by Rev. Sharon Delgado. Nearly 40 activists attended the Ash Wednesday service and drone resistance event just outside the base during early morning rush hour. A longer report to follow soon... Also see [].

"Clergy, Veterans Among Five Arrested Ash Wednesday at U.S. Killer Drone Protest at Beale Air Base; Ashes Spread Memorializing Children Killed by Drones"
2014-03-05 from Veterans for Peace, also see video []:
MARYSVILLE/BEALE AFB (8:31 a.m.) – Five people – including three members of the clergy, and two veterans/one from World War II – were arrested during an Ash Wednesday service around 8 a.m. today at the gates of  Beale Air Force Base, site of the surveillance drone Global Hawk.
Participants, who were charged with trespassing, said they were risked arrested to "memorialize" the children killed by the U.S. government's fleet of killer drones. Beale's drones perform reconnaissance work for U.S. Predator Drones.
The demonstrators spread ashes memorializing those of children killed by U.S. drones overseas.
The five arrested included: Rev. Sharon Delgado, Nevada City; Rev. Elizabeth Griswold, Davis/Sacramento; Reverend Dr. Gerald O. (Jerry) Pedersen, an 89-year-old WW II  U.S. Marine, retired Lutheran pastor, Sacramento; Flora Rogers, Marysville and Michael Kerr, a veteran, Bay Point.
Rev. Pedersen was on the Battleship USS Missouri that accepted the Japanese surrender Sept. 2, 1945.
It is the fourth arrest at Beale AFB in about a year. Nine people have been convicted in U.S. Federal Court, and another trial is set for next month.
Wednesday's Ash Wednesday service included a call to faithfulness and action, songs, prayers, scripture, Holy Communion (open to all), and the use of ashes to symbolize repentance and to acknowledge our mortality and interrelatedness with the whole web of life.
Some carried white crosses with drawings memorializing children killed by US drones.  
"We issued a call to repentance for: the harm done to the Indigenous people who used to live where Beale is now, the harm being done to Mother Earth by our building and deploying high-tech weapons and weapons of mass destruction, the harm done to families and communities who suffer cutbacks in public services while billions are spent for the military, the overall harm caused by the global reach of US military power," said Sharon Delgado, one of the clergy arrested. She was also arrested last year at a protest at Beale.