Episode # 69

March 22, 2023

Mike Klonsky sez:

March 22, 2023

With two weeks to go until election day and both candidates running neck-and-neck with a big undecided, Chicago mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson finally offered up some light in an otherwise dreary, all-about-policingTV debate with school privatizer, Paul Vallas.

It happened when Johnson was asked whether teachers should be blamed for steep declines in math test scores among Black and Latino students that occurred during the pandemic. A question that should have answered itself.

Johnson’s response:

“You’re asking me whether or not we should hold teachers responsible for poverty? … We have 20,000 students who are homeless. The vast majority of our students are living in poverty. If we’re not addressing the living conditions and the working conditions of our communities, then we’re not serious about improving the lives of our children.”

“A standardized test that has roots in eugenics to prove the inferiority of Black people should not be the measurement. … Thirty-five percent of families on the North Side of Chicago make $100,000-a-year or more. Half of the West Siders and South Siders make less than $25,000 a year. That is the way we improve public education. By improving the lives of people who are raising children.”

Isn’t it odd that the debate moderators never suggest that teachers should be credited with those scores being high in the first place? Scoundrels like Vallas, who never taught a day in their lives, like to credit themselves for math score gains.

More cops … Fewer cops … More detectives … Bring back old retired cops… What has all this got to do with violence prevention? Not much.

Up to that point, the moderators’ questions were all about cops, cops, and more cops with the unstated assumption being that the city’s escalating rate of crime and violence during the heart of the pandemic, was all about policing or the lack thereof. There was hardly a mention of concentrated poverty or the easy flow of guns into the city.

Jim Mellen, PRESENTE!!

March 18, 2023


March 15, 2023

Julian Assange’s father and brother, John and Gabriel Shipton, will be in Chicago from Wednesday, April 5th to Friday April 7th. Press release and flyer are attached.

The commercial screening of the documentary movie ithaka is at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Wrigleyville. The screening theatre is not very large but we still have seats left. It is important we have a full house to show that Chicago supports the campaign to free Julian Assange.

Trailer Buy tickets

Peace and solidarity,

Frank Lawrence

Chicago Area Peace Action



March 15, 2023


Episode # 68 UNDER the TREE

March 8, 2023

From Dungeons to Revolutionary Focos

March 8, 2023



March 8, 2023


Bread And Roses

As we go marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!
As we go marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses.
As we go marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses too.
As we go marching, marching, we bring the greater days,
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and roses, bread and roses.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; bread and roses, bread and roses.

Remembering 3 Revolutionaries

March 6, 2023

53 years ago…
We just walked along Lake Michigan remembering our Beloveds: Diana Oughton, Terry Robbins, Ted Gold, three Freedom Fighters who died fifty-three years ago today. We floated flowers in the water, and we embraced their brilliant, loving spirits. We spoke of their fierce dedication to peace and justice, their struggles to end imperialism and racial capitalism—this brutal, cruel system.
Say their names.
Never forget.
Rise up!

Dan Ellsberg

March 2, 2023

A moving note from Dan Ellsberg, a courageous and brilliant peace and freedom fighter:

Dear friends and supporters,
I have difficult news to impart. On February 17, without much warning, I was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer on the basis of a CT scan and an MRI. (As is usual with pancreatic cancer–which has no early symptoms–it was found while looking for something else, relatively minor). I’m sorry to report to you that my doctors have given me three to six months to live. Of course, they emphasize that everyone’s case is individual; it might be more, or less.
I have chosen not to do chemotherapy (which offers no promise) and I have assurance of great hospice care when needed. Please know: right now, I am not in any physical pain, and in fact, after my hip replacement surgery in late 2021, I feel better physically than I have in years! Moreover, my cardiologist has given me license to abandon my salt-free diet of the last six years. This has improved my quality of life dramatically: the pleasure of eating my former favorite foods! And my energy level is high. Since my diagnosis, I’ve done several interviews and webinars on Ukraine, nuclear weapons, and first amendment issues, and I have two more scheduled this week.
As I just told my son Robert: he’s long known (as my editor) that I work better under a deadline. It turns out that I live better under a deadline!
I feel lucky and grateful that I’ve had a wonderful life far beyond the proverbial three-score years and ten. ( I’ll be ninety-two on April 7th.) I feel the very same way about having a few months more to enjoy life with my wife and family, and in which to continue to pursue the urgent goal of working with others to avert nuclear war in Ukraine or Taiwan (or anywhere else).
When I copied the Pentagon Papers in 1969, I had every reason to think I would be spending the rest of my life behind bars. It was a fate I would gladly have accepted if it meant hastening the end of the Vietnam War, unlikely as that seemed (and was). Yet in the end, that action—in ways I could not have foreseen, due to Nixon’s illegal responses—did have an impact on shortening the war. In addition, thanks to Nixon’s crimes, I was spared the imprisonment I expected, and I was able to spend the last fifty years with Patricia and my family, and with you, my friends.
What’s more, I was able to devote those years to doing everything I could think of to alert the world to the perils of nuclear war and wrongful interventions: lobbying, lecturing, writing and joining with others in acts of protest and non-violent resistance.
I wish I could report greater success for our efforts. As I write, “modernization” of nuclear weapons is ongoing in all nine states that possess them (the US most of all). Russia is making monstrous threats to initiate nuclear war to maintain its control over Crimea and the Donbas–like the dozens of equally illegitimate first-use threats that the US government has made in the past to maintain its military presence in South Korea, Taiwan, South Vietnam, and (with the complicity of every member state then in NATO ) West Berlin. The current risk of nuclear war, over Ukraine, is as great as the world has ever seen.
China and India are alone in declaring no-first-use policies. Leadership in the US, Russia, other nuclear weapons states, NATO and other US allies have yet to recognize that such threats of initiating nuclear war–let alone the plans, deployments and exercises meant to make them credible and more ready to be carried out–are and always have been immoral and insane: under any circumstances, for any reasons, by anyone or anywhere.
It is long past time–but not too late!–for the world’s publics at last to challenge and resist the willed moral blindness of their past and current leaders. I will continue, as long as I’m able, to help these efforts. There’s tons more to say about Ukraine and nuclear policy, of course, and you’ll be hearing from me as long as I’m here.
As I look back on the last sixty years of my life, I think there is no greater cause to which I could have dedicated my efforts. For the last forty years we have known that nuclear war between the US and Russia would mean nuclear winter: more than a hundred million tons of smoke and soot from firestorms in cities set ablaze by either side, striking either first or second, would be lofted into the stratosphere where it would not rain out and would envelope the globe within days. That pall would block up to 70% of sunlight for years, destroying all harvests worldwide and causing death by starvation for most of the humans and other vertebrates on earth.
So far as I can find out, this scientific near-consensus has had virtually no effect on the Pentagon’s nuclear war plans or US/NATO (or Russian) nuclear threats. (In a like case of disastrous willful denial by many officials, corporations and other Americans, scientists have known for over three decades that the catastrophic climate change now underway–mainly but not only from burning fossil fuels–is fully comparable to US-Russian nuclear war as another existential risk.)
I’m happy to know that millions of people–including all those friends and comrades to whom I address this message!–have the wisdom, the dedication and the moral courage to carry on with these causes, and to work unceasingly for the survival of our planet and its creatures.
I’m enormously grateful to have had the privilege of knowing and working with such people, past and present. That’s among the most treasured aspects of my very privileged and very lucky life. I want to thank you all for the love and support you have given me in so many ways. Your dedication, courage, and determination to act have inspired and sustained my own efforts.
My wish for you is that at the end of your days you will feel as much joy and gratitude as I do now.