Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
About Time Some Common Sense & Decency is Afforded to us Citizens
Mood:  amorous
Now Playing: White House "tries" to block "public records" - Sorry Boys!
Topic: CONSPIRACY

Judge Rules

White House

Visitor Log is

Public Information




12/18/07 -- Posted by Catherine Morgan

http://www.care2.com/politics/judge-rules-wh-visitor-log-public.html



Federal Judge

Smacks Down on

White House Log Secrecy



Why in the world do White House visitor logs need to be a national secret? Well, when all else fails the Bush administration usually plays the "Threat to National Security" card. No surprise here, that is exactly what they did. However, on Monday, a federal judge rejected the Bush administration argument for secrecy, and ruled that the visitor logs are subject to the Freedom of Information Act and are
public information. This is from The Carpetbagger Report...

For several years now, White House visitor logs have been a major point of contention with the Bush gang.

About a year ago, for example, when Dick Cheney insisted that his visitor logs remain classified, the WaPo sued the administration for access. A federal judge eventually ruled that the logs were public information, prompting Cheney to direct the Justice Department to
block the decision on national security grounds.

But that’s just the start of the Bush gang’s log problem. In June, Cheney instructed the Secret Service to
destroy copies of visitor logs. A few months prior, the White House told the Secret Service that while it maintains the visitor logs, the logs don’t actually belong to the Secret Service, which means FOIA doesn’t apply.

Other bloggers are talking about this latest triumph over secrecy... The FOI Advocate

Blue Girl, Red State

Jason Daley has
a post on what the secret service log looked like on one particular day.



So, what do you think about this? Should the White House visitor log be public? Do you think it's a threat to national security? Would you vote for a presidential candidate that intended to maintain such a high level of secrecy?

Z3 Readers click here to go to the original post and to read the comments that have been posted there.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 7:10 PM PST
Monday, 17 December 2007
YouTube suspends Egyptian blog activists account
Mood:  smelly
Now Playing: Egyptian blogger exposes torture, now his video blog site is closed
Topic: MEDIA

YouTube suspends

Egyptian blog activist's account

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/news/2007/11/youtube_suspends_egyptian_blog.html

Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas has been using YouTube to expose torture in his country, but now his account has been suspended. Bloggers accuse YouTube of double standards.

YouTube has suspended the account of Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas, who has been posting videos of cases of torture in his country. One of the videos he posted, of a Cairo man being beating and sexually assaulting, was credited with helping bring pressure on Egyptian authorities. That pressure led to three-year jail sentences for two of the policeman involved in the assault. Abbas has called the suspension of his YouTube account "by far the biggest blow to the anti-torture movement in Egypt", according to Amira Al Hussaini on Global Voices.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Amira has collected a good sample of reaction by Egyptian bloggers. Blogger Hossam El Hamalawy called the move by YouTube "un-bloody-believable" and said:

Wael's videos have been central in the fight against police brutality, and YouTube should be proud the Egyptian anti-torture activists have been using its channels in the current War on Torture

He predicted that activists would move the videos to other sites. The move has already started. A video showing scenes of torture in Egypt on the Global Voices post is hosted on the popular French video sharing site, DailyMotion.

But in a comment on Hamalawy's post, Mostafa Hussein said that YouTube's terms of service prevent the posting of such videos:

Well, the message from youtube is that waelabbas violated their terms of use.

This is actually true if you take a look at it. It states that content should follow the community guidelines[1]. In these community guidelines, there is this statement saying "Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone getting hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don't post it."

He suggested that activists use other sites, not just commercial sites like DailyMotion but "activist friendly" sites like IndyMedia.

Well-known Egyptian blogger Big Pharaoh has called on readers of his blog to protest YouTube's decision.

These videos are the only mean to expose what happens in our police stations, without them the cry of people who were subjected to torture will go unheard.

Outside of Egypt, Stan Schroeder writing on Mashable, a site which covers social networking, questioned why Abbas' account was suspended when other videos of violence are on the site:

OK, why then can I find dozens of videos of people getting tasered by the police? If you ask me, a video of someone getting shocked with a high voltage weapon can definitely be described as graphic violence. And many will argue that the violence in such videos cannot be qualified as gratuitous. ... This is an ongoing problem with practically all sites which aggregate user-submitted content: double (or simply unclear) standards.

The question for Schroeder was whether showing police brutality qualified as 'gratuitous' violence. One of the commenters pointed out the Witness' Hub was created specifically to host videos of human rights abuses. But another commenter said that the audience at the Hub is much less than YouTube, and many of the videos on the Hub are in fact hosted elsewhere on sites like YouTube.

On the blog Mideast Youth, Esra'a from Bahrain says that this is pattern of YouTube and parent company Google giving into state pressure, saying that it recently gave into pressure from Turkish authorities.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 5:45 PM PST
Updated: Monday, 17 December 2007 5:47 PM PST
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Government blocks search engines from their websites
Mood:  surprised
Now Playing: Cover up-ed & non transparent... welcome to the Bush Regime
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT

Report:

 

Govt Info at Your Fingertips?

Not Quite !

 

December 11, 2007 1:13 PM

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/12/report-govt-inf.html

Justin Rood Reports:

Reportgovtinf_mn Looking for information on grandparents' visitation rights? Wondering how to obtain a farm loan? Want to know more about federal radiation monitoring in New York City?

The U.S. government has the answers to questions like these, and they are mostly online. But you won't find them using Google, Yahoo or other major search engines, according to an Internet-age Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group.

By accident or by design, millions of pages of potentially useful, publicly-funded information are blocked from major search engines, the Center for Democracy and Technology says in a new report.

Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage.

In many cases, government agencies fail to take basic steps to ensure their Web sites can be indexed by search engines, the group found.

"It's really trivial," said CDT spokesman Brock Meeks. The process "takes maybe half an hour," he said. "It's a well-known, commonly-used standard...something you could find in the 'Dummies Book to the Internet.'"

In some cases, government employees have written files to bar Web surfers from finding particular pages on their sites through Google or other search engines. Until recently, the White House made it impossible for U.S. taxpayers and others to find information about Iraq on the whitehouse.gov Web site without searching at the site itself. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence also blocked search engines' access to its public site.

Following reports of the blocks on cNet.com in September, both the White House and ODNI said the blocks were written in error and removed them.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:19 AM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 12 December 2007 11:22 AM PST
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Desmond Tutu tells USA is pursuing an apartheid-era type of government
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Tutu speaks about USA Torture policies
Topic: TORTURE

Terror detentions

'like apartheid-era' 

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22903680-23109,00.html

ARCHBISHOP Desmond Tutu has accused the United States and Britain of pursuing policies like those of South Africa's apartheid-era government by detaining terrorism suspects without trial.

At an event to commemorate the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDR) today, the Nobel laureate said the detention of suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban members at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was a "huge blot on a democracy".

"Whoever imagined that you would hear from the United States and from Britain the same arguments for detention without trial that were used by the apartheid government," Archbishop Tutu said.

Archbishop Tutu is chairman of the Elders, a group of prominent international statesmen that includes former US president Jimmy Carter, anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela and his Mozambican-born wife, Graca Machel.

The group is spearheading a campaign to get one billion people to sign a pledge reaffirming the principles of the UNDR, passed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948.

Archbishop Tutu, who helped lead the struggle to overthrow white minority rule in South Africa, said he was surprised so many Americans had accepted the argument that the Guantanamo detentions were necessary because of national security.

"It is exactly what the apartheid government used to say here," the Anglican cleric said.

His remarks come amid a growing outcry over alleged abuses at Guantanamo, which was used as a mass detention centre for suspected violent Islamic radicals in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US.

Critics have said the US is circumventing international law by holding detainees without charge, often for years, and violated their human rights with forced confessions and torture tactics.

President George W. Bush said the detentions are lawful, humane and necessary as part of its fight against extremists in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world.

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a legal challenge by Guantanamo inmates who are contesting their detention.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:28 PM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007 11:31 PM PST
Monday, 10 December 2007
Justices: Judges can slash crack sentences
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: Finally justice in Crack Alley - The Supreme Court finally balances the law
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT

Cool 

CRACK COCAINE

& THE SUPREME COURT

NEW [JUSTICE] LAW

 http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/law/12/10/scotus.crack.cocaine/

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal judges have the discretion to give "reasonably" shorter prison terms for crack-cocaine crimes to reduce the disparity with crimes involving cocaine powder.

art.crack.dea.jpg

Lawyers argue that crack-cocaine offenders were unfairly targeted.

The 7-2 ruling represents a victory for lawyers who argued that crack-cocaine offenders were unfairly targeted under U.S. sentencing guidelines.

Current federal penalties for selling 5 grams of crack cocaine can warrant the same prison sentence as dealing 500 grams of the powdered variety.

The Supreme Court case centered around Derrick Kimbrough of Norfolk, Virginia, who according to court records, pleaded guilty to distributing more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. Federal sentencing guidelines called for 19 to 22.5 years behind bars. But Judge Raymond Jackson instead gave the defendant a 15-year sentence, calling the case "another example of how crack-cocaine guidelines are driving the offense level to a point higher than is necessary to do justice."

A federal appeals court overturned the case and sent it to a higher court, saying Jackson's discretion was "unreasonable when it is based on a disagreement with the sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine offenses."

Said Kimbrough's attorney, Michael Nachmanoff in October, "A sentence of 19 years for a man with no felony convictions who served his country honorably, who had never spent a night in jail ... that was ridiculous."

Kimbrough is a veteran of the 1991 Persian Gulf War and is African-American.

African-Americans were nearly 82 percent of defendants sentenced in federal court for dealing crack, but only 27 percent of those sentenced for dealing powder cocaine, according to 2006 federal statistics. Each year, federal courts handle about 11,000 cocaine sentences, which are roughly evenly divided between crack and cocaine cases.

The issue long has been a source of contention between government prosecutors and civil rights advocates, who argue crack dealers are often targeted for longer prison terms because that drug is prevalent in urban and minority communities, while the powdered version is more commonly associated with higher-income users.

Writing for the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg took a practical approach, saying it is important to preserve judicial discretion, while ensuring most sentences remain within federal guidelines established two decades ago to ensure a measure of uniformity.

Ginsburg said a federal judge was right to give a crack offender a lesser prison term than the guidelines called for, since federal law "mandates only maximum and minimum sentences," she wrote. "It says nothing about appropriate sentences within those statutory guidelines."

Ginsburg noted the trial judge "honed in on the particular circumstances of Kimbrough's case and accorded weight to" reports by the U.S. Sentencing Commission that show "the crack/powder disparity yields unjustifiably harsh sentences for crack offenders."

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented in the Kimbrough case. Thomas said it will now be up to courts "to assume the legislative role of devising a new sentencing scheme," something Congress never intended.

The government had no immediate reaction to the high court's ruling.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission -- an independent federal agency that advises all three branches of government on sentences -- recently cut the gap in recommended prison time for crack-cocaine offenses. The guidelines took effect November 1 after Congress decided not to overturn the changes.

The commission is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to make those guidelines retroactive for prisoners convicted in the past of crack dealing.

Almost 20,000 inmates could be eligible for shorter sentences under the proposed changes.

Congress recently has introduced at least four bills that would reduce the current disparity in cocaine sentences. One widely circulated proposal led by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, would revise the cocaine ratio downward to 20-to-1. That ratio is also supported by the Sentencing Commission.

Harsher sentences for crack offenses came after a social epidemic of crack cocaine began destroying many urban areas in the 1980s.

"The crack-cocaine guidelines were put in place because crack was fueling crime waves across the country, in particular with respect to street violence," said Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. attorney in Miami who comments on legal matters for CNN. "And it is clear that crack cocaine and white powder cocaine had a very different impact in terms of not only the lives of the users but the impact on the community."

The case is Kimbrough v. U.S. (06-6330).


Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:10 PM PST
Thursday, 6 December 2007
JOE ANYBODY - TUKWILA SIX videos
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: SIX VIDEOS - THE TUKWILA SIX
Topic: PROTEST!

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=zebra334

 

*****************************

 


http://www.joe-anybody.com/id106.html

 

 


Posted by Joe Anybody at 5:04 AM PST
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
GITMO - and the Judge
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: Here comes the Judge
Topic: TORTURE

Guantanamo: The Prequel

A Judge Discusses His Experiences
With Guantanamo Bay Litigation
 By BRANDT GOLDSTEIN
December 4, 2007 1:08 p.m.

 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119672508133812403.html?mod=googlenews_wsj 

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will consider whether detainees at the naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, can go to U.S. courts to challenge their confinement. More than 300 foreigners branded enemy combatants by the Bush administration are being held there. Three detainees are currently facing charges, according to the

Associated Press.Judge Sterling Johnson Jr.1 of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., may know more about Guantanamo Bay's history than anyone else on the federal bench. Now 73 years old, he served there as a young Marine in 1953, carrying a shotgun on night-guard duty in the hills. As a judge decades later, he heard the first case challenging the detention of foreigners at Guantanamo. Judge Johnson readily recalls the government's position: Guantanamo is beyond the reach of American law; foreigners held there have no constitutional rights. "Been there," said Judge Johnson. "Done that."

 

 

 

But as familiar as the U.S.'s argument has become in recent years, the case Judge Johnson heard has no direct tie to the Guantanamo litigation that returns again to the Supreme Court this week. In fact, Judge Johnson's case dates back to 1992. The detainees at the time weren't alleged terrorists, but Haitians who had fled a military coup in Port-au-Prince. On orders from the George H.W. Bush administration, Coast Guard cutters intercepted their boats and took everyone aboard to Guantanamo. Judge Johnson, an appointee of the first President Bush, ordered the Justice Department to release the Haitians in 1993. The judge recently spoke at Albany Law School about the first Guantanamo camp, offering some historical context for the controversy over detentions there today.

Due Process

A native of Brooklyn's tough Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, Judge Johnson worked as a police officer while in law school and later served as New York City's special narcotics prosecutor before ascending to the bench in late 1991. He had been a judge just six months when human-rights lawyers and law students representing the Haitians appeared in his courtroom, demanding that the Justice Department grant them access to Guantanamo. A government lawyer told the judge that Kenneth Starr, then U.S. solicitor general, was coming in to argue the politically charged case. "You go right ahead and bring the solicitor general in here," Judge Johnson shot back. "I'm from Bed-Stuy, and I am not going to be intimidated."During the lawsuit's early stages, the government hurriedly returned thousands of the Guantanamo refugees to Haiti, narrowing the case into a battle over a few hundred men, women and children. American immigration officials had identified them as potential political refugees to be flown to the U.S. -- but they had tested positive for HIV. With AIDS fears gripping America, the Bush administration kept the Haitians on Guantanamo in plywood barracks, surrounded by razor wire and guard towers. The refugees were barred from speaking with their lawyers and given no timetable for their release."I remember the government telling me, 'You have to dismiss this case,'" Judge Johnson told his audience. "[The government] said, 'You cannot hear the plaintiffs' claims. We can do whatever we want to these Haitians. We can hold them as long as we want. We can be arbitrary or capricious or cruel.'" Foreshadowing the current legal battle, the Justice Department argued that it should have a free hand on Guantanamo because the naval base there wasn't on U.S. territory, even though it was under American jurisdiction and control.The judge saw things differently, ruling after trial that the refugees' indefinite detention violated the U.S. Constitution. "The Due Process Clause is phrased in universal terms, protecting any 'person,'" Judge Johnson wrote, contrasting it with rights, such as protection against unreasonable searches, that are granted only to "the people" -- roughly meaning those in the U.S. "If the Due Process Clause does not apply to the detainees at Guantanamo, Defendants would have discretion deliberately to starve or beat them [or] to deprive them of medical attention," the judge wrote in his decision.Judge Johnson said he never second-guessed himself during the case.

 "We have three coequal branches of government," he said. "The executive branch was trying to take powers away from the judiciary. So I did what I had to do."But there is one thing he would have done differently: "I wish I'd gone down [to Guantanamo]," he told the law-school audience. "I should have had a first-hand look at the conditions. The government was calling it a 'humanitarian camp.' If that's what it was, why did they need armed guards? Why all the fences and the barbed wire?"

No Legal Precedent

While Judge Johnson was the first to rule that the Constitution applies at Guantanamo, the case doesn't survive as legal precedent. To prevent an appeal that might have reversed the decision, lawyers for the refugees agreed to a settlement deal with the Justice Department. The Haitians went free, but the judge's decision was "vacated" -- technically erased from the books and stripped of any authority. Ironically, it was the Justice Department under President Clinton that brokered the deal.

Eight years later, after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the George W. Bush White House began searching for a place to hold suspected terrorists rounded up in Afghanistan and Pakistan. To Judge Johnson's surprise, administration officials fastened on Guantanamo -- and asked the Justice Department if prisoners could be held there without judicial review.

 

The answer in a December 2001 memo2 by Patrick Philbin and John Yoo of the Office of Legal Counsel: Yes, in all likelihood. As part of their analysis, Messrs. Philbin and Yoo noted that the Haitian case had been vacated and was thus irrelevant.

 

The first lawsuit on behalf of the current Guantanamo detainees was filed in early 2002, with help from lawyers involved in the Haitian litigation. Whatever the similarities of the two cases, Judge Johnson observed that the detainees are different this time around. They aren't the democracy activists that many of the Haitians were, though enough evidence has emerged to suggest that many of today's detainees aren't what then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called the "worst of the worst." Many of the legal questions have been different as well, including the significance of designating detainees as "unlawful enemy combatants" and the legality of the new military tribunal system.

But one bitterly contested issue from the Haitian case remains at the forefront: the Constitution's application to Guantanamo Bay. Does due process forbid the government from detaining foreigners there indefinitely without recourse to the courts? Some observers think the Supreme Court signaled "yes" in a footnote7 in the 2004 Rasul v. Bush decision. And it is possible, though not certain, that the justices will finally address the issue head-on when they hear the Boumediene v. Bush case on Dec. 5.

Judge Johnson, who has now taken senior status and hears cases on a limited basis, remained careful not to comment on the Guantanamo suit currently pending before the court. "I only know about that case from what I read in the papers," he told the Albany audience. He paused. "But from what I can tell, the government's making some of the same arguments they made to me."

Brandt Goldstein, a visiting professor at New York Law School, is author of "Storming the Court" (Scribner 2005), a narrative account of the 1992 Guantanamo case.

See a review8 of the book by Wall Street Journal Supreme Court reporter Jess Bravin, as published in the San Francisco Chronicle.

 

 

Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:47 AM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007 1:43 PM PST
Monday, 3 December 2007
Hey - Dumb n Dumber ...read this! ....Iran has NO NUKES!
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: NOW READ THIS - ALERT - "NUKE UPDATE"
Topic: WAR

U.S. report:

 

Iran stopped

 

nuclear weapons

 

work in 2003

 

 

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/03/iran.nuclear/?iref=mpstoryview

  • Story Highlights
  • Declassified summary of intelligence estimate on Iran's nuclear work released
  • Estimate says Tehran is "less determined to develop nuclear weapons"
  • Report: Iran unlikely to have enough material for nuclear bomb until 2010
  • But White House official says Iran remains a threat

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Iran halted work toward a nuclear weapon under international scrutiny in 2003 and is unlikely to be able to produce enough enriched uranium for a bomb until 2010 to 2015, a U.S. intelligence report says.

A declassified summary of the latest National Intelligence Estimate found with "high confidence" that the Islamic republic stopped an effort to develop nuclear weapons in the fall of 2003.

The estimate is less severe than a 2005 report that judged the Iranian leadership was "determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure."

But the latest report says Iran -- which declared its ability to produced enriched uranium for a civilian energy program in 2006 -- could reverse that decision and eventually produce a nuclear weapon if it wanted to do so.

Enriched uranium at low concentrations can be used to fuel nuclear power plants, but much higher concentrations are needed to yield a nuclear explosion.

"We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon is late 2009, but that this is very unlikely," the report says. A more likely time frame for that production is between 2010 and 2015, it concludes.

Iran has insisted its nuclear program is strictly aimed at producing electricity, and the country has refused the U.N. Security Council's demand to halt its enrichment program.

Monday's report represents the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies. It suggests that a combination of "threats of intensified international scrutiny and pressures, along with opportunities for Iran to achieve its security, prestige and goals for regional influence in other ways," could persuade the Iranian leadership to continue its suspension of nuclear weapons research.

Available intelligence suggests the Iranian leadership is guided "by a cost-benefit approach," not a headlong rush to develop a bomb, the report concludes.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, has reported that Iran is cooperating with inspectors by providing access to declared nuclear material, documents and facilities. However, the agency also said Iran is withholding information in other areas, and as a result, the IAEA's knowledge about the status of the program is "diminishing."

Iran says its uranium enrichment work is allowed under the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Security Council has passed two rounds of sanctions against Tehran, but Washington missed its goal of reaching consensus on tighter restrictions by the end of November, the State Department said last week.

U.S. National Security adviser Stephen Hadley expressed hope after Monday's announcement, but he said Iran remains a serious threat.

"The estimate offers grounds for hope that the problem can be solved diplomatically -- without the use of force -- as the administration has been trying to do," Hadley said in a statement.

"But the intelligence also tells us that the risk of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon remains a very serious problem."

The report comes amid widespread accusations that the Bush administration is attempting to maneuver the United States into a conflict with Iran, which it accuses of meddling in the war in Iraq. In October, the United States designated elements of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as supporters of terrorism.

NIEs examine current capabilities and vulnerabilities and, perhaps more importantly, consider future developments. Policymakers usually request the estimates, but the intelligence community also can initiate them.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:27 AM PST
Thursday, 29 November 2007
Tukwila Six Update on Thursday (note Wednesdays report) Principle still on "war path"
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Principle is on the War Path in Tukwila Washington
Topic: PROTEST!

UPDATE--Teachers Threatened with Termination for Anti-war Student Walkout

PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY!!!

(new information on the principle being on the warpath)

READ -->  text below -->

on how student peace activist had the cops called on them

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

***URGENT CALL FOR SOLIDARITY***      

***CAMPAIGN UPDATES*** 

11/29/07

***CALL OR EMAIL TUKWILA SCHOOL DISTRICT***

 

On November 16th, more than 125 students  from Foster High School in Tukwila, WA answered a nation-wide call for a student walk out protesting the war and military recruiters in schools. (See student-made video below) In response, the Tukwila School District threatened students with suspension, but their main target was teachers. Disciplinary investigations threaten the firing of SIX teachers and administration placed one of the six, Brett Rogers, on administrative leave. We put out a call for support for the Tukwila Six and students.

Hundreds of emails and phone calls of solidarity have had a MAJOR IMPACT on the Tukwila School Board.

At a Tukwila School Board meeting Tuesday the 25th, students and community members jam-packed the room, passionately demanding NO repression of students and DROP ALL DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING AGAINST THE TUKWILA SIX! (See below for video clip)

 

Media coverage has brought a spotlight to Principal Ilgenfritz’s REPRESSIVE instincts to the DEMOCRATIC EXPRESSION of students and against ACADEMIC FREEDOM of teachers.

Because of PUBLIC PRESSURE, the solidarity campaign has won a partial victory—popular teacher Brett Rogers was been TEMPORARILY REINSTATED Tuesday. However, the disciplinary investigations continue and some of the teachers are still in their probationary period, so pressure must be put on the school district to retain the Tukwila Six this year AND next. (See Seattle Times article below)

______________________________________________________

 

***WEDNESDAY UPDATE***

 

"Principle Ilgenfritz calls cops on peace activist students"

 

***WEDNESDAY UPDATE***

______________________________________________________

 

Also Wednesday, when students tried to meet at the Foster commons after school to discuss the crisis, the principal brought in eight police to break up and disperse the meeting.  Student posters were torn down by the principal, and students were told that they are not allowed to hang up posters. Teachers have been told that they may not discuss the crisis with colleagues or students. One girl talking about teacher Brett Roger’s situation was loudly threatened by Principal Ilgenfritz with suspension. All these incidents are blatant violations of students' and teachers' constitutional rights to free speach, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly!

 

The phone calls and emails must continue- this is not over. These teachers' livelihoods are still at stake and the students' rights are clearly under attack.

(More detailed information at bottom of this email/post)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The Tukwila Teachers and Students Solidarity Committee URGENTLY requests that you again FLOOD the administration with phone calls and emails with the following DEMANDS

1.  Fire NO teachers!

2.  Drop all disciplinary investigations against teachers NOW!

3.  KEEP ALL THE TEACHERS THE REST OF THIS YEAR AND NEXT YEAR!

 

4.  When politicians lie to us and continue their oil-driven war against the people's will, student walkouts and other forms of civil disobedience are justified and necessary. SUPPORT THE STUDENTS' INITIATE. No discipline for any students who walked out and took a stand against this war!

5. End attacks on Foster Student Rights to Free Speech and Assembly.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please call or email NOW!

  

Foster HS Principal George Ilgenfritz:  1 (206) 901-7905

ilgenfritzg@tukwila.wednet.edu

 

And Interim Superintendent Ethelda Burke:  1 (206) 901-8000, (206) 901-8006,

 

burkee@tukwila.wednet.edu

 

Please CC these Tukwila School Board:

 

mfertakis@comcast.net

pmaltsberger2000@yahoo.com

jasminkakujundzic@yahoo.com

wahlsea@yahoo.com

 

 

Please send a copy of protest emails to us at

 

tukwila.teachers.solidarity@hotmail.com so we can count how many protest emails have been sent in.

 

If they refuse to answer your call,

phone Foster HS Assistant Principal Daryl Wright 1 (206) 901-7902 and Foster HS Office Manager Darlene Aguiluz 1 (206) 901-7915.

 

VIDEOS:

Student-made Walkout Film:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGSDzDF7xoY

Footage on Foster Walkout, Tukwila Six and After School Board meeting:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrhRplEvW4w

KIRO 7:

http://www.kirotv.com/education/14714796/detail.html (click where it says "video")

 

NorthWest Cable News:

http://www.nwcn.com/video/news-index.html?nvid=196453

 

NEWS ARTICLES:

Seattle Times Article: "Protesting teacher back at Tukwila school"   Thursday, November 29th

seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2004041566_tukwila29m.html

Seattle Post-Intelligence Nov. 16th Walkout Article:

seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/340003_peace17.html

FOUR articles on walkouts at:

socialistalternative.org

 

Further background information:

On Friday, November 16th, more than a 1,000 students in Washington State participated in a nation-wide student walkout to protest the war and military recruiters in schools. This included around 125+ students at Foster High School , just south of Seattle .  Foster is part of the Tukwila School District , of which 71% of the student body is low-income and eligible for the free and reduced-cost school meals. Since the beginning of the Iraq War, the U.S. military has been assigning ever greater numbers of recruiters to lure young people into signing up for this bloody, costly and illegal quagmire in Iraq, especially in marginalized schools like Foster High School.

·       With a “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001 provision forcing principals to give up the private contact information of young people to military recruiters, students and teachers have the natural right to protest.

·       With a bloody and illegal war, where the soldiers that are killed and maimed are disproportionately minorities and victims of the “poverty draft,” students and teachers of Tukwila have the natural right to protest.

·       With more than $500 billion dollars and the lives of more than a million Iraqis having been utterly wasted on a failed war, with schools in marginalized areas falling apart, we should all be protesting with the slogan: “Money for Schools—Not For War!"

·       With 75% of the American people polling against the war according to the latest Washington Post poll, and a Democratic Congress still making excuses for why it can’t cut off funding to bring the troops home, we must support the young people who speak out against their future being bombed away.

·       And we MUST support their teachers whose only misconduct was making their lesson plans truly relevant to the lives of their students

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

For further background on walkouts organized by Youth Against War and Racism, go to:

 

www.YAWR.org

 

To contact the Tukwila Teachers & Students Solidarity Committee

 

Email: tukwilateachers@yahoo.com

 

Call: 253-573-9252

 

(Please leave a brief message and we will respond as soon as we are able).

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 MORE BACKGROUND INFO:

 

Foster is part of the Tukwila School District, of which 71% of the student body is low-income and eligible for the free and reduced-cost school meals. Since the beginning of the Iraq War, the U.S. military has been assigning ever greater numbers of recruiters to lure young people into signing up for this bloody, costly and illegal quagmire in Iraq, especially in marginalized schools like Foster High School.

 

The memo from Interim Superintendent to at least 6 teachers essentially says:

In the next couple days, we will summon you to a meeting because we are “investigating reports of possible misconduct relating to you in connection with the student walk-out.”  There could be disciplinary consequences pending completion of this investigation.

You are not to discuss “this matter with any District students or staff,” or else you could be terminated.

You have the right to have a union representative present with you during the investigative interview in case you feel your rights might be violated.

The administration is clearly trying to isolate the teachers and students from one another to try to divide them and weaken them.  They are trying to use the tactic of divide and rule.  They are also blatantly violating the teachers’ right to free speech.

 

The teachers have been careful to abide by the Interim Superintendent’s directive not to talk with any District students or staff about these matters.  But nothing in the Superintendent’s letter said teachers could not talk with their union representatives or community supporters.  In fact, the letter explicitly says they could talk with the union.

Some teachers who received letters were simply on their lesson planning hour and therefore were not scheduled to teach class when the student walkout happened.  These teachers went outside just to see what was going on when the students walked out, but they did not walk out or promote the walkout.  So the school has no evidence against some teachers who received the threatening letters.

It appears the administration is targeting these teachers in a political with-hunt because they have spoken their minds in the past over other issues.  For example, two of these teachers were banned in the past from sending out school-wide emails because they spoke their minds in school-wide emails that the administrators did not like.

Iraq Veteran

The husband of one of the teachers who received the threatening letters is an Iraq veteran.  He went to Foster High School on November 16th and spoke to the students from first-hand experience about the truth of the Iraq War that the government and corporate media are actively hiding from the American people, and he walked out with the students.

As the Iraq veteran left the building, he was confronted by a security guard who identified himself as a police officer/veteran/federal marshall who said: “Don't even start with me, I'm a veteran.”

The school administration is disciplining a teacher whose husband is a veteran whose life was put at serious risk in Iraq and who has now turned against the war.  This is very disrespectful to the veteran, his family, and the working-class students who are being forced to shoulder the burdens of this war.  The school administrators are more concerned with trying to having power over teachers and students than letting the communities who have been hit the hardest by the war speak out against the war and the predatory military recruiters in their schools.  This—after the American people voted the Democrats into Congress to end the war, but the Democrats are still making excuses about why they cannot cut off funds for the war and direct those funds toward education and other desperately needed social services.  When the leaders of our country will not end this unjust war, then it becomes up to ordinary workers, parents, students, and soldiers to end the war.

 

The attendance secretary at the school also refused to excuse the absences of students who had permission slips signed by their parents to miss school, which is a flagrant violation of parent and student rights. 

Principal George Ilgenfritz also told one student that she didn’t know anything about war.  (Ironically, the student is from an immigrant Somali family who has family in the war-torn country of Somalia.)

On the Tukwila School District’s website, the following message has been posted by Interim Superintendent Ethelda Burke: “We believe in the historic mission of public education within our democracy…  Our schools are expected to encourage and prepare students to be productive citizens.   We believe the challenge is to transform every child – to give every student a chance to become an autonomous, thinking person and a self-governing citizen.  We are all here to work together to provide the best education for the most prized commodity of our fine city – the students of the Tukwila School District.”

Yet when the students participate in an act of peaceful civil disobedience in the best traditions of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement who challenged unjust segregation laws, now the Superintendent is hypocritically trying to discourage students from being “self-governing citizens” and standing up for what is right.

We need to match the determination of these courageous teachers, students and the Iraq veteran with all the support we can!  Please take a few minutes now to call and email the Principal and Superintendent at the numbers and emails at the top of this email!

 

YouTube video of Foster High School student rally for peace: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOuLz3kKExI

 

Report on Washington State Nov. 16th student walkouts against the war:  http://yawr.org/nov16/seattle.html

 

Articles on Youth Against War and Racism student victories against military recruiters in schools:

http://yawr.org/victory/victory.htm#tacoma

 

http://yawr.org/victory/victory.htm#kennedy

 

http://www.socialistalternative.org/news/article13.php?id=611

 

Please forward this email widely to supportive organizations and individuals who might be able to help!

  

SAMPLE PROTEST LETTER:

 

Dear Principal Ilgenfritz,

I am writing to demand that the Tukwila School District support the initiative and moral fortitude

of students who took a stand against the effects of the Iraq war on their communities.  The student

march and rally on November 16th were student-generated and entirely peaceful.

 

With a “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001 provision forcing principals to give up the private

contact information of young people to military recruiters, students and teachers have the

natural right to protest.

 

With a bloody and illegal war, where the soldiers that are killed and maimed are

disproportionately minorities and victims of the “poverty draft,” students and

teachers of Tukwila have the natural right to protest.

 

With more than $500 billion dollars and the lives of more than a million Iraqis

having been utterly wasted on a failed war, with schools in marginalized areas

falling apart, we should all be protesting with the slogan: “Money for Schools—Not For War!"

 

With 75% of the American people polling against the war according to the latest Washington

Post poll, and a Democratic Congress still making excuses for why it can’t cut off funding

to bring the troops home, we must support the young people who speak out against their

future being bombed away.

 

These teachers only misconduct was making their lesson plans truly relevant to the lives

of their students.

 

On the Tukwila School District’s website, the Interim Superintedent posted the following message:

“We believe in the historic mission of public education within our democracy…  Our schools are

expected to encourage and prepare students to be productive citizens.   We believe the challenge

is to transform every child – to give every student a chance to become an autonomous, thinking

person and a self-governing citizen.  We are all here to work together to provide the best

education for the most prized commodity of our fine city – the students of the Tukwila School

District.”

 

Yet when the students participate in an act of peaceful civil disobedience in the best traditions

of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement who challenged unjust segregation

laws, now the school district is hypocritically trying to discourage students from being

“self-governing citizens” and standing up for what is right?

You should immediately:

       1. Reinstate the teacher Brett Rogers who has been put on administrative leave!

       2. Drop the disciplinary hearings against all six teachers who face investigations!

       3. Take no disciplinary action against students who participated in the walkout!

 

Please write me back saying that upon further investigation you realize that there is no

need for disciplinary action against these students or teachers.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ramy Khalil

Youth Against War and Racism

Member of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 587

Committee for a Workers' International

(206)293-8389

 

This movement is being "tracked by www.joe-anybody.com

To keep the peace community informed and to show my "solidarity" ...I will be archiving all "Tukwila Six" Information on my website to the best of my ability

 

~joe


Posted by Joe Anybody at 4:35 PM PST
Updated: Thursday, 29 November 2007 4:39 PM PST
Friday, 23 November 2007
CIA - ran off of campus at University of California
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: Waterboarding-Demo & clowns put a halt to CIA recruiters
Topic: TORTURE

CIA Expelled from UCSB Campus
by Richard McChesney Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007 at 9:46 PM 
ucsbsaw@gmail.com

Antiwar activists from the University of California, Santa Barbara and the surrounding community kicked CIA recruiters off of their campus today in a nonviolent direct action.

 The CIA was scheduled to hold an “infosession” for students interested in jobs with the agency. Right as the session began, four activists entered the room and began to demonstrate waterboarding, a torture technique used by the CIA. After only one minute of the waterboarding demonstration the room was plunged into chaos by a group calling itself the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army. The Rebel Clowns, joined by several dozen antiwar organizers took over the meeting room and began passing out information on the CIA’s use of illegal torture techniques and literature related to the agency’s long history of subverting foreign governments, assassinating foreign leaders and subverting democracy.  
 
 The CIA agents fled the room but were pursued by a crowd of protestors chanting, “C-I-A, Go Away!” The agents were caught totally off-guard by the direct action. Protestors were overheard shouting to the escaping agents never to come back to UCSB.

Student protesters dressed as clowns follow a CIA representative from the UCen conference room to his car near Pardall Tunnel on Wednesday evening. The group interrupted the event to perform imaginary torture methods in order to deter recruitment at UCSB.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 1:02 PM PST

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