A Letter from California

November 20, 2011

Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Posted on November 19, 2011 by

18 November 2011

Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Linda P.B. Katehi,

I am a junior faculty member at UC Davis. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, and I teach in the Program in Critical Theory and in Science & Technology Studies. I have a strong record of research, teaching, and service. I am currently a Board Member of the Davis Faculty Association. I have also taken an active role in supporting the student movement to defend public education on our campus and throughout the UC system. In a word: I am the sort of young faculty member, like many of my colleagues, this campus needs. I am an asset to the University of California at Davis.

You are not.

I write to you and to my colleagues for three reasons:

1) to express my outrage at the police brutality which occurred against students engaged in peaceful protest on the UC Davis campus today

2) to hold you accountable for this police brutality

3) to demand your immediate resignation

Today you ordered police onto our campus to clear student protesters from the quad. These were protesters who participated in a rally speaking out against tuition increases and police brutality on UC campuses on Tuesday—a rally that I organized, and which was endorsed by the Davis Faculty Association. These students attended that rally in response to a call for solidarity from students and faculty who were bludgeoned with batons, hospitalized, and arrested at UC Berkeley last week. In the highest tradition of non-violent civil disobedience, those protesters had linked arms and held their ground in defense of tents they set up beside Sproul Hall. In a gesture of solidarity with those students and faculty, and in solidarity with the national Occupy movement, students at UC Davis set up tents on the main quad. When you ordered police outfitted with riot helmets, brandishing batons and teargas guns to remove their tents today, those students sat down on the ground in a circle and linked arms to protect them.

What happened next?

Without any provocation whatsoever, other than the bodies of these students sitting where they were on the ground, with their arms linked, police pepper-sprayed students. Students remained on the ground, now writhing in pain, with their arms linked.

What happened next?

Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

This is what happened. You are responsible for it.

You are responsible for it because this is what happens when UC Chancellors order police onto our campuses to disperse peaceful protesters through the use of force: students get hurt. Faculty get hurt. One of the most inspiring things (inspiring for those of us who care about students who assert their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly) about the demonstration in Berkeley on November 9 is that UC Berkeley faculty stood together with students, their arms linked together. Associate Professor of English Celeste Langan was grabbed by her hair, thrown on the ground, and arrested. Associate Professor Geoffrey O’Brien was injured by baton blows. Professor Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, was also struck with a baton. These faculty stood together with students in solidarity, and they too were beaten and arrested by the police. In writing this letter, I stand together with those faculty and with the students they supported.

One week after this happened at UC Berkeley, you ordered police to clear tents from the quad at UC Davis. When students responded in the same way—linking arms and holding their ground—police also responded in the same way: with violent force. The fact is: the administration of UC campuses systematically uses police brutality to terrorize students and faculty, to crush political dissent on our campuses, and to suppress free speech and peaceful assembly. Many people know this. Many more people are learning it very quickly.

You are responsible for the police violence directed against students on the UC Davis quad on November 18, 2011. As I said, I am writing to hold you responsible and to demand your immediate resignation on these grounds.

On Wednesday November 16, you issued a letter by email to the campus community. In this letter, you discussed a hate crime which occurred at UC Davis on Sunday November 13. In this letter, you express concern about the safety of our students. You write, “it is particularly disturbing that such an act of intolerance should occur at a time when the campus community is working to create a safe and inviting space for all our students.” You write, “while these are turbulent economic times, as a campus community, we must all be committed to a safe, welcoming environment that advances our efforts to diversity and excellence at UC Davis.”

I will leave it to my colleagues and every reader of this letter to decide what poses a greater threat to “a safe and inviting space for all our students” or “a safe, welcoming environment” at UC Davis: 1) Setting up tents on the quad in solidarity with faculty and students brutalized by police at UC Berkeley? or 2) Sending in riot police to disperse students with batons, pepper-spray, and tear-gas guns, while those students sit peacefully on the ground with their arms linked? Is this what you have in mind when you refer to creating “a safe and inviting space?” Is this what you have in mind when you express commitment to “a safe, welcoming environment?”

I am writing to tell you in no uncertain terms that there must be space for protest on our campus. There must be space for political dissent on our campus. There must be space for civil disobedience on our campus. There must be space for students to assert their right to decide on the form of their protest, their dissent, and their civil disobedience—including the simple act of setting up tents in solidarity with other students who have done so. There must be space for protest and dissent, especially, when the object of protest and dissent is police brutality itself. You may not order police to forcefully disperse student protesters peacefully protesting police brutality. You may not do so. It is not an option available to you as the Chancellor of a UC campus. That is why I am calling for your immediate resignation.

Your words express concern for the safety of our students. Your actions express no concern whatsoever for the safety of our students. I deduce from this discrepancy that you are not, in fact, concerned about the safety of our students. Your actions directly threaten the safety of our students. And I want you to know that this is clear. It is clear to anyone who reads your campus emails concerning our “Principles of Community” and who also takes the time to inform themselves about your actions. You should bear in mind that when you send emails to the UC Davis community, you address a body of faculty and students who are well trained to see through rhetoric that evinces care for students while implicitly threatening them. I see through your rhetoric very clearly. You also write to a campus community that knows how to speak truth to power. That is what I am doing.

I call for your resignation because you are unfit to do your job. You are unfit to ensure the safety of students at UC Davis. In fact: you are the primary threat to the safety of students at UC Davis. As such, I call upon you to resign immediately.

Sincerely,

Nathan Brown
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Program in Critical Theory
University of California at Davis


Education Radio!!! Have a listen…

November 15, 2011

http://education-radio.blogspot.com/2011/11/on-road-with-patricia-williams-and-bill.html


This Concerns Everyone by Vijay Prashad.

November 10, 2011

[Talk at the National Association for Multicultural Education – NAME --
Conference, Chicago, November 4, 2011]
CopyLeft: Vijay Prashad
{Copyleft means that you are permitted to make as many copies of this as you’d
like, you can publish it in a magazine or journal, or even on the web. Whatever
you do with it, please let me know: vijay.prashad@trincoll.edu}

My heart makes my head swim.
Franz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks.

Part I: Bare Life.
Reports and rumors filter out of government documents and family distress
signals to locate precisely the ongoing devastation of social life in the United
States. Unemployment rates linger at perilously high levels, with the effective
rate in some cities, such as Detroit, stumbling on with half the population without
waged work. Home foreclosures fail to slow-down, and sheriffs and debtrecovery
para-militaries scour the landscape for the delinquents. Personal debt
has escalated as ordinary people with uneven means of earning livings turn to
banks and to the shady world of personal loan agencies to take them to the other
side of starvation. Researchers at the RAND corporation tell us that absent
family support, poverty rates among the elderly will be about double what they
are now: economist Nancy Folbre’s “invisible heart” is trying its best to hold back
the noxious effects of the “invisible hand.”
Swathes of the American landscape are now given over to desolation: abandoned
factories make room for chimney swallows and the heroin trade, as old
farmhouses become homes for meth-amphetamine labs and the sorrows of broken,
rural dreams. Returning to his native Indiana, Jeffrey St. Clair writes, “My
grandfather’s farm is now a shopping mall. The black soil, milled to such fine
fertility by the Wisconsin glaciation, is now buried under a black sea of asphalt.
The old Boatenwright pig farm is now a quick lube, specializing in servicing
SUVs.” Into this bleak landscape, St. Clair moans, “We are a hollow nation, a
poisonous shell of our former selves.”
What growth comes to the Economy is premised upon the inventions and
discoveries of a fortunate few, those who were either raised with all the
advantages of the modern world or who were too gifted to be held back by
centuries of hierarchies. Bio-chemists and computer engineers, as well as musical
impresarios and film producers – they devise a product, patent it, and then mass
produce it elsewhere, in Mexico or China, Malaysia or India. These few collect
rent off their inventions, and hire lawyers and bankers to protect their patents,
and to grow their money. Around them, in their gated communities, exist a ring
of service providers, from those who tend to their lawns to those who teach their
children, from those who cook their food to those who protect them.
Those many who would once have been employed in mass industrial production
to actually make the commodities that are invented by the few are now no longer
needed. They have been rendered disposable – unnecessary to the political
economy of accumulation. These many survive in the interstices of the economy,
either with part time jobs, or crowded into family shops, either with off the books
legal activity or off the books illegal activity: the struggle for survival is acute.
Only 37% of unemployed Americans received jobless benefits, which amounts to
$293 per week, and only 40% of very poor families who qualify for public
assistance actually are able to claim it. Strikingly, the new recession has hit hard
against low-wage service jobs with no benefits, which are mainly held by women.
In recession times, these women, with those jobs, stretched their invisible hearts
across their families; now, even this love-fueled glue is no longer available.
The few luxuriate, the many vegetate: this is the social effect of high rates of
inequality, the trick of jobless growth.
The political class has no effective answer to this malaise. It has drawn the
country in the opposite direction from a solution. Rather than raise the funds to
build a foundation for the vast mass, it continues to offer tax cuts to the wealthy:
the average tax cut this year to the top 1% of the population was larger than the
average income of the bottom 99%. Furthermore, the political class has diverted
$7.6 trillion to the military for the wars, the overseas bases, the homeland
security ensemble, and for the healthcare to the veterans of these endless wars.
There is no attempt to draw-down the personal debt that now stands at $2.4
trillion, and none whatsoever to tend to the $1 trillion in student debt that
remains even if after a declaration of bankruptcy. Our students are headed into
the wilderness, carrying debt that constrains their imagination.

Part 2: Dates.
By 2042, the country is going to become majority minority, or, to put it bluntly,
more people who claim their descent from outside Europe would populate the
country. This worried Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington, who wrote
in an influential Foreign Policy article in 2004, “The persistent inflow of Hispanic
immigrants threatens to divide the United States into two peoples, two cultures,
and two languages. Unlike past immigrant groups, Mexicans and other Latinos
have not assimilated into mainstream U.S. culture, forming instead their own
political and linguistic enclaves — from Los Angeles to Miami — and rejecting the
Anglo-Protestant values that built the American dream. The United States
ignores this challenge at its peril.”
Globalization hollows out the core of the nation’s manufacturing, devastates the
social basis of its culture, and threatens the integrity of its people, and yet, it is
the Migrant who bears the cross. Illusions about the social glue of Anglo-
Protestantism, which whips between the Declaration of Independence and
Chattel Slavery, provide the only outlet for Huntington’s frustrations. There is no
authentic cultural project to attract the new migrants, to encourage them to find
shelter in these Anglo-Protestant values. Huntington knows that these have run
their course, or were never such strong magnets in the first place. Huntington’s
fearful panic can only be mollified by the prison-house of border walls, the
Minutemen, the Border Patrol agents, SB-170, English Only ordinances, and so
on. Force alone can govern Huntington’s vision. It no longer can breed mass
consent.
2042 is far off. Closer still is 2016. It is the date chosen by the International
Monetary Fund in its World Economic Outlook report from 2011 to signal the shift
for the world’s largest economy: from the United States to China. We are within
a decade of that monumental turn, with the U. S. having to surrender its
dominant place for the first time since the 1920s. The collapse of the U. S.
economy is a “sign of autumn,” as the historian Ferdinand Braudel put it; our
autumn is China’s springtime. Linked to this 2016 date is yet another: 2034. The
U. S. governmental data shows that by 2034 the United States will have a rate of
inequality that matches Mexico. The United States today is more unequal than
Pakistan and Iran. The rate of inequality has risen steadily since 1967; it is going
to become catastrophic by 2034.
By 2042, the country will be minority majority. By 2034, it will be as unequal as
Mexico, with an economy shrinking and formal unemployment steadily rising.
By 2042, people of color will inherit a broken country, one that is ready to be
turned around for good, not ill.

Part 3: Conservatism.
In his new book, Suicide of a Superpower, Pat Buchanan bemoans the decline of the
United States and of white, Christian culture. What is left to conserve, asks the
old warrior for the Right? Not much. He calls for a decline in the nation’s debt
and an end to its imperial postures (including an end to its bases and its wars).
These are important gestures. Then he falls to his knees, begging for a return of
the United States to Christianity and Whiteness. Buchanan knows this is
ridiculous. He makes no attempt to say how this return must take place. His is an
exhortation.
But Buchanan is not so far from the general tenor of the entire political class,
whether putatively liberal or conservative. It is not capable of dealing with the
transformation. It is deluded into the belief that the United States can enjoy
another “American Century,” and that if only the Chinese revalue their currency,
everything would be back to the Golden Age. It is also deluded into the belief
that the toxic rhetoric about “taking back the country” is going to silence the
darker bodies, who have tasted freedom since 1965 and want more of it.
The idea of “taking back the country” produces what Aijaz Ahmad calls “cultures
of cruelty.” By “cultures of cruelty,” Aijaz means the “wider web of social
sanctions in which one kind of violence can be tolerated all the more because
many other kinds of violence are tolerated anyway.” Police brutality and
domestic violence, ICE raids against undocumented workers and comical
mimicry of the foreign accent, aerial bombardment in the borderlands of
Afghanistan and sanctified misogyny in our cinema – these forms of routine
violence set the stage for the “a more generalized ethnical numbness toward
cruelty.” It is on this prepared terrain of cruelty that the forces of the Far Right,
the Tea Party for instance, can make its hallowed appearance – ready to dance on the misfortunes and struggles of the Migrants, the Workers and the Disposed.
The pre-existing cultures of cruelty sustain the Far Right, and allow it to appear
increasingly normal, taking back the country from you know who.
The Right’s menagerie sniffs at all the opportunities. It is prepared, exerting itself,
feeding off a culture that has delivered a disarmed population into its fangs. They
are ready for 2034 and 2042, but only in the most harmful way.

Part 4: Multiculturalism.
Obviously multiculturalism is the antithesis of Buchananism. But
multiculturalism too is inadequate, if not anachronistic. Convulsed by the fierce
struggles from below for recognition and redistribution, the powers that be
settled on a far more palatable social theory than full equality: bourgeois
multiculturalism. Rather than annul the social basis of discrimination, the powers
that be cracked open the doors to privilege, like Noah on the ark, letting in
specimens of each of the colors to enter into the inner sanctum – the rest were to
be damned in the flood. Color came into the upper reaches of the Military and
the Corporate Boardroom, to the College Campus and to the Supreme Court,
and eventually to the Oval Office. Order recognized that old apartheid was
anachronistic. It was now going to be necessary to incorporate the most talented
amongst the populations of color into the hallways of money and power. Those
who would be anointed might then stand in for their fellows, left out in the cold
night of despair.
The same politicians, such as Bill Clinton, who favored multicultural
advancement for the few strengthened the social polices to throttle the
multitudinous lives of color: the end of welfare, the increase in police and prisons
and the free pass given to Wall Street shackled large sections of our cities to the
chains of starvation, incarceration and indebtedness. Meanwhile, in ones and
twos, people of color attained the mantle of success. Their success was both a
false beacon for populations that could not hope for such attainment, and a
standing rebuke for not having made it. There is a cruelty in the posture of
multiculturalism.
When Barack Obama ascended the podium at Grant Park in Chicago on
November 4, 2010 to declare himself the victor in the presidential election,
multiculturalism’s promise was fulfilled. For decades, people of color had moved
to the highest reaches of corporate and military life, of the State and of society.
The only post unoccupied till November 4 was the presidency. No wonder that
even Jesse Jackson, Sr., wept when Obama accepted victory. That night,
multiculturalism ended. It is now exhausted itself as a progressive force.
Obama has completed his historical mission, to slay the bugbear of social
distinction: in the higher offices, all colors can come. Obama’s minor mission,
also completed, was to provide the hard-core racists with a daily dose of acid
reflux when he appears on television.
What did not end of course was racism. That remains. When the economy
tanked in 2007-08, the victims of the harshest asset stripping were African
Americans and Latinos. They lost more than half their assets, which amounts to
loss of a generation’s savings. As of 2009, the typical white household had wealth
(assets minus debts) worth $113,149, while Black households only had $5,677
and Hispanic households $6,325. Black and Latino households, in other words,
hold only about 5% of the wealth in the hands of white households. The myth of
the post-racial society should be buried under this data.
Even Obama knew that it was silly to speak of post-racism. Before he won the
presidential election Obama told journalist Gwen Ifill for her 2009 book The
Breakthrough, “Race is a factor in this society. The legacy of Jim Crow and
slavery has not gone away. It is not an accident that the African Americans
experience high crime rates, are poor, and have less wealth. It is a direct result of
our racial history. We have never fully come to grips with that history.” What
was meant in the jubilation of Obama’s victory was that we are in a postmulticultural era. Racism is alive and well.
Multiculturalism is no longer a pertinent ideology against the old granite block.

Part 5: Occupy.
In 1968, just before he was killed, Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Only when it is
dark enough, can you see the stars.”
It is now dark enough.
Out of the social woodwork emerged the many fragments of the American people
to occupy space that is often no longer public. It began in New York, and then
has spread outward. The demand of the Occupy Wall Street movement is simple:
society has been sundered into two halves, the 1% and the 99%, with the voice of
the latter utterly smothered, and the needs of the former tended to by bipartisan
courtesy. Why there is no list of concrete demands is equal to the broad strategy
of the movement: (1) it has paused to produce concrete demands because it is
first to welcome the immense amount of grievances that circle around the
American Town Square; (2) it has refused to allow the political class to engage
with it, largely because it does not believe that this political class will be capable
of understanding the predicament of the 99%.
Two more reasons to discount the ideology of multiculturalism: Oakland Mayor
Jean Quan, one of the founders of Asian American Studies; San Francisco
Mayor Ed Lee, one of the main fighters in the I-Hotel struggle in 1977. One sent
in the police to run riot through Occupy Oakland, and the other threatened the
same in San Francisco. The passion that is pretended is only to obtain
advancement.
Occupy is not a panacea, but an opening. It will help us clear the way to a more
mature political landscape. It has begun to breathe in the many currents of
dissatisfaction and breathe out a new radical imagination. In Dreams of My Father,
Obama relates how he was motivated by the culture of the civil rights movement.
From it he learnt that “communities had to be created, fought for, tended like
gardens.” Social life does not automatically emerge. It has to be worked for. The
social condition of “commute-work-commute-sleep” or of utter disposability does
not help forge social bonds. Communities, Obama writes, “expanded or
contracted with the dreams of men – and in the civil rights movement those
dreams had been large.” Out of the many struggles over the past several decades
– from anti-prison to anti-sexual violence, from anti-starvation to anti-police
brutality – has emerged the Occupy dynamic. It has broken the chain of
despondency and allowed us to imagine new communities. It has broken the idea
of American exceptionalism and linked U. S. social distress and protest to the
pink tide in Latin America, the Arab Spring and the pre-revolutionary strivings
of the indignados of Club Med.
This new radical imagination forces us to break with the liberal desires for reform
of a structure that can no longer be plastered over, as termites have already eaten
into its foundation. It forces us to break with multicultural upward mobility that
has both succeeded in breaking the glass ceiling, and at the same time
demonstrated its inability to operate on behalf of the multitudes. Neither liberal
reform nor multiculturalism. We require something much deeper, something
more radical. The answers to our questions and to the condition of bare life are
not to be found in being cautious.
Two years ago I spoke to some middle school teachers from Springfield, MA., a
town with the highest number of foreclosures in New England and with a
powerful anti-foreclosure movement called No One Leaves. One of the teachers
said that it had become almost cruel to teach the curriculum, which assumed that
every student had equal access to upward mobility. Little in the study plans
addressed the actual condition of life. No point training for a system that is on life
support by our own thankless efforts. To tell the youth that they could do
anything with their lives seemed like a lie; to tell them the truth would be too
harsh. What was the way forward? What about a curriculum that emphasizes the
history of community making, that offers a laboratory on community organizing,
that protects the dignity of each student by galvanizing the bonds between
students? What about learning skills to help re-fashion convulsed communities,
bringing our intelligence to bear on the revitalization of our lifeworld? We need
to cultivate the imagination, for those who lack an imagination cannot know what
lacks.


Latest Congressional attack on free speech and justice in Palestine:

November 7, 2011

http://ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/gaza-bound-humanitarian-flotilla-reaches-international-waters


Freedom Waves to Gaza Boats November 6, 2011

November 7, 2011

The take over of the Tahrir and the Saoirse was violent and dangerous. Despite very clear protests from the occupants of the two boats that they did not want to be taken to Israel, they were forcibly removed from the boats in a violent manner. The whole take over took about 3 hours. Many of those on the Canadian boat were beaten.

It began with Israeli forces hosing down the boats with high pressure hoses and pointing guns at the passengers through the windows. Fintan Lane, on the Saoirse, was hosed down the stairs of the boat. Windows where smashed and the bridge of that boat nearly caught fire. The boats were corralled to such an extent that the two boats, the Saoirse and the Tahrir collided with each and were damaged, with most of the damage happening to the MV Saoirse. The boats nearly sunk, the method used in the take over was very dangerous.

The Israeli forces initially wanted to leave the boats at sea but the abductees demanded that they not be left to float unmanned at sea, for they would have been lost and possibly sunk. David Heap, a Canadian delegate, was tasered and beaten. All belongings of the passengers were taken off them and crew and they still do not know if and what they will get back. 6 prisoners were released-both of the Greek Captains, 2 of the journalists and 2 delegates. The passengers remain in Givon detention center and many, including Kit Kittredge of the U.S., have not been able to make phone calls.

Those remaining are being asked to sign deportation papers which state that they came into Israel illegally and that they will not attempt another effort to break the Gaza blockade. If they sign they will not be allowed into Palestine, through Israel, for 10 years. Obviously their goal was to go to Gaza not Israel, and a signature could validate Israel’s right to blockade Gaza, so they refuse to sign. This will mean longer detention. Their continued detention is designed to force them to agree to abandon their legal rights and has nothing to do with the security of Israeli civilians – just like the blockade of Gaza’s civilians is clearly punitive and has nothing to do with the security of Israeli civilians

Our State Department has not been an advocate for its citizens. They would rather join Israel in stating that we are terrorists. Obama on Thursday said the passengers on these boats are defying Israeli and American law. He must have been confused. It’s the other way around. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. was renewing its call to Americans “not to involve themselves in this activity,” and warned of possible consequences.

WE NEED ALL OF YOU TO GET ON THE PHONE TODAY AND CALL:

U.S. Emergency Consular Services 202-647-4000
and the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv 011-972-3-519-7575

Tell them you want them to insist Israel free the prisoners immediately and end its siege of Gaza.

Just a few phone calls can make a difference.

Thanks for all you do.

Jane Hirschmann and Felice Gelman

Please distribute this press release:

November 6, 2011

Contact: Felice Gelman 917-912-2597

Passengers on boats to Gaza beaten, denied visits by lawyers and access to families; misled by U.S. consular authorities

Although Freedom Waves to Gaza organizers have not yet had direct communication with the people taken into custody by Israeli armed forces as they tried to peacefully sail to Gaza last week, information is emerging that Israeli armed forces tactics in confronting the non-violent activists have been violent and dangerous. This despite claims from the IDF spokesperson that “every precaution will be taken for the safety of the activists.”

Prisoners include U.S. citizen Kit Kittredge, a delegate on the Tahrir from Quilcene, WA, and Jihan Hafiz, a U.S. citizen and journalist from Democracy Now, the national news program. Both have been advised by the U.S. consul in Israel to sign an Israeli deportation agreement. Both have refused because the statement says they came into Israel illegally and will not attempt another effort to break the Gaza blockade. Both statements are untrue.

A letter from Canadian David Heap, smuggled from the Givon prison, states that he was tasered and beaten when the Israeli Navy attacked the Tahrir. Irish prisoner, Fintan Lane, in a telephone call from Givon prison, reported that the takeover of the Saoirse was also violent. The Tahrir and the Saoirse were forced by Israeli warships to crash into each other, crippling both ships.

Palestinian Israeli Mad Kayal, a delegate aboard the Tahrir, who was arrested and released confirms these reports. “As a Palestinian, I was not surprised at how the IDF treated us,” said Kayal, after his release, noting this kind of abuse is a daily reality for the 1.5 million people of Gaza, who are indefinitely detained in an open-air prison. “However, for the Canadians and other Westerners onboard, it was a complete shock.”

“Israeli brutality and the unnecessary use of force against non-violent protests are well documented. What has happened to the passengers on the Tahrir and the Saoirse is just a tiny fraction of the daily abuse directed at Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank as part of Israel’s occupation policy,” said U.S. coordinator Jane Hirschmann. “Nonetheless, all people – Palestinians under occupation and peace activists kidnapped and imprisoned – have human rights under international law that civilized governments must respect. The purpose of the boats’ voyage to Gaza was to demonstrate that Israel continually violates those laws, and that the U.S. government cares more about Israel than about its own citizens.”


Occupy Wall Street…NOW!!!

November 2, 2011

Iraq war veterans, who had earlier marched along the sidewalks of Lower Manhattan to Zuccotti Park, have been addressing crowds at the Occupy Wall Street camp. Ryan Devereaux writes:

Gathered at the east end of the park a young man in an Iraq Veterans Against the War t-shirt and fatigues kicked off a press conference for the demonstrators occupying the plaza.

“My name is Joesph Carter,” he said through the human mic, “I am a two-time Iraq war veteran and this is the only occupation that I believe in.

“For too long our voices have been silenced, suppressed and ignored in favour of the voices of Wall Street and the banks and the corporations. Their money buys them disproportionate influence over the decision-makers in Congress.

“For ten years we’ve been engaged in wars that have enriched the wealthiest one percent, decimated our economy and left our nation with a generation of traumatized and wounded veterans that will require care for years to come.”

END the WARS!
Bring the Troops Home Now!


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