Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Monday, 12 April 2010
Obama - This Must Stop
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: The things that were crimes under Bush are crimes under Obama
Topic: WAR

The things that were crimes under Bush are crimes under Obama.
Outrages under Bush are outrages under Obama.
All this MUST STOP.
And all this MUST BE RESISTED by anyone who claims a shred of conscience or integrity.

Collateral Murder

 

 

 

 

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In the past few weeks, it has become common knowledge that Barack Obama has openly ordered the assassination of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, because he is suspected of participating in plots by Al Qaeda. Al-Awlaki denies these charges. No matter. Without trial or other judicial proceeding, the administration has simply put him on the to-be-killed list.

During this same period, a video leaked by whistleblowers in the military showing U.S. troops firing on an unarmed party of Iraqis in 2007, including two journalists, and then firing on those who attempted to rescue them – including two children – became public. As ugly as this video of the killing of 12 Iraqis was, the chatter recorded from the helicopter cockpit was even more chilling and monstrous. Yet the Pentagon said that there would be no charges against these soldiers; and the media focused on absolving them of blame – “they were under stress,” the story went, “and after all our brave men and women must be supported.” Meanwhile, those who leaked and publicized the video came under government surveillance and are targeted as “national security” threats.

Also during this period, the Pentagon acknowledged, after denials, a massacre near the city of Gardez, Afghanistan, on February 12, 2010, in which 5 people were killed, including two pregnant women, leaving 16 children motherless.  The U.S. military first said the two men killed were insurgents, and the women, victims of a family “honor killing.”  The Afghan government has accepted the eyewitness reports that U.S. Special Forces killed the men, (a police officer and lawyer) and the women, and then dug their own bullets out of the women’s bodies to destroy evidence. Top U.S. military officials have now admitted that U.S. soldiers killed the family in their house.

Just weeks earlier, a story broken in Harper’s by Scott Horton carried news that three supposed suicides of detainees in Guantánamo in 2006 were not actual suicides, but homicides carried out by American personnel. This passed almost without comment.

In some respects, this is worse than Bush. First, because Obama has claimed the right to assassinate American citizens whom he suspects of “terrorism,” merely on the grounds of his own suspicion or that of the CIA, something Bush never claimed publicly. Second, Obama says that the government can detain you indefinitely, even if you have been exonerated in a trial, and he has publicly floated the idea of “preventive detention." Third, the Obama administration, in expanding the use of unmanned drone attacks, argues that the U.S. has the authority under international law to use such lethal force and extrajudicial killing in sovereign countries with which it is not at war.

Such measures by Bush were widely considered by liberals and progressives to be outrages and were roundly, and correctly, protested.  But those acts which may have been construed (wishfully or not) as anomalies under the Bush regime, have now been consecrated into “standard operating procedure” by Obama, who claims, as did Bush, executive privilege and state secrecy in defending the crime of aggressive war.

Unsurprisingly, the Obama administration has refused to prosecute any members of the Bush regime who are responsible for war crimes, including some who admitted to waterboarding and other forms of torture, thereby making their actions acceptable for him or any future president, Democrat or Republican.

We must end the complicity of silence and say loud and clear:

The things that were crimes under Bush are crimes under Obama.
Outrages under Bush are outrages under Obama.
All this MUST STOP.
And all this MUST BE RESISTED by anyone who claims a shred of conscience or integrity.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 7:49 PM PDT
Sunday, 11 April 2010
An interesting perspective on Ruins and change
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: The Ruins - And Building It Up -
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT

Buenaventura Durruti:

“I do not expect any help for a libertarian revolution from any Government in the world. . . . We expect no help, not even from our own Government, in the last analysis.”

“But”, interjected van Paasen, “You will be sitting on a pile of ruins.”

Durruti answered: “We have always lived in slums and holes in the wall. We will know how to accommodate ourselves for a time. For, you must not forget, we can also build.

It is we the workers who built these palaces and cities here in Spain and in America and everywhere. We, the workers, can build others to take their place. And better ones! We are not in the least afraid of ruins.

We are going to inherit the earth; there is not the slightest doubt about that. The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world here, in our hearts. That world is growing this minute.”


Posted by Joe Anybody at 2:33 PM PDT
Destroyed Iraq - insight by Dahr Jamail posted in April 2010
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Cultural Cleansing in Iraq - Independent Journalism & Archaeological
Topic: WAR

Cultural Cleansing in Iraq: Why Museums Were Looted, Libraries Burned and Academics Murdered

1 April 2010

http://dahrjamailiraq.com/cultural-cleansing-in-iraq-why-museums-were-looted-libraries-burned-and-academics-murdered#more-1762

 

Battle to destroy hearts and minds

The dismantling of Iraqi intellectual life may have been a deliberate strategy, Roger Matthews learns

(Dahr Jamail contributed a chapter to this book.)

I first went to Iraq in 1984 to work on archaeological excavations near Mosul. Our workers were Yezidis from the neighbouring villages and together we worked long hours in the hot sun. Over the following few years I lived in Iraq as resident director of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq and worked on projects all over the country. We suspected then that we might be living the last years of a golden age of Mesopotamian discovery, uncovering Iraq’s uniquely rich and important cultural heritage in collaboration with colleagues from Iraq and many other countries.

Today, the discipline of Mesopotamian archaeology lies in tatters; Iraq’s universities and its antiquities service face an uncertain future in the midst of a harrowing present; standards of education, literacy and international engagement have plummeted to levels unknown in the history of Iraq; and the world continues largely to turn its back on calls for assistance from our Iraqi friends and colleagues. All this in a country renowned throughout the Arab world and beyond for its sophistication and open-mindedness, epitomised in the Arabic saying “Cairo writes, Beirut publishes, Baghdad reads”.

The editors and authors of this book believe that the planners of the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq were not simply grossly negligent in allowing Iraq to descend into this hell. Their argument is that the planners consciously facilitated the dismantling of Iraq’s intellectual, academic and cultural apparatus in order to wipe the slate clean as a prelude to the rebirth of the country as a neo-capitalist secular democracy that would serve as a model for change across the Middle East. “To be remade, a state must be rendered malleable”, as the editors of this volume observe. Hulagu and his Mongol hordes doubtless understood this when they ransacked Baghdad in AD1258.

In pursuit of this argument, the authors evaluate the impact of the invasion and regime change on multiple aspects of life in Iraq since 2003. Chapters deal in turn with the ideology of neoconservatism, cultural cleansing as state policy, the destruction of Iraq’s archaeological, historical, cultural and archive resources and memories, and the terrible impact of the invasion and the subsequent chaos on Iraq’s many minority groups, of whom the Yezidis are but one. The core of the book concerns the fate of Iraq’s academics, who have suffered dreadfully in the past seven years. A sombre appendix to this book states that at least 432 scholars (and probably many more) from across all disciplines have been murdered. No Iraqi academic is safe from the threat of kidnap, torture, death or all three.

Later this month, the Seventh International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (www.7icaane.org) will take place in London. Many papers will deal with the archaeology of Iraq/Mesopotamia. But they will be heard by pitifully few Iraqi ears. Iraqi academics wishing to attend cannot obtain visas in Baghdad: they must make the expensive and sometimes dangerous journey to Amman, where they may or may not succeed in obtaining their papers. Of a predicted 1,000 participants from around the world, we expect fewer than six Iraqi scholars - a shameful reflection on Britain’s treatment of its academic colleagues in Iraq.

As for the Yezidis I worked with a quarter of a century ago, they are clinging to their lands and their holy places in the face of repeated shootings, bombings and persistent persecution. Let them stand as an emblem of today’s Iraq, of a friendly, outgoing, clever people whose injustices and sufferings are laid bare in this angry, articulate book. For now, the emphasis and energies must shift to assisting Iraq and all its people in reclaiming their rightful place in the world. All of us, in academe and beyond, can help with that.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 2:19 PM PDT
Monday, 5 April 2010
Kulongoski on these wars and the recession
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: The Oregon Governor speaks about the rleationship of war, GITMO, and our economy
Topic: WAR

Kulongoski links recessions, tough political atmosphere to wars

By Harry Esteve, The Oregonian

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2010/04/kulongoski_links_recessions_to.html 

April 02, 2010, 4:18PM
Gov. Ted Kulongoski met briefly with reporters after his "State of the State" address this morning, and he had a curious answer to my question of whether he was "relieved" to have given his last such speech. Here's his answer, edited lightly for brevity:

"Governors, I don't care who they are, you have to look at them and what has happened in life and in the environment this has occurred in. This nation has been at war for eight years. Most of the press walks right by it. But I'm telling you it has a deep vein in this state and this country. I think it seriously impacts the economic stability of this country, the delivery of services by government because of more money going into the wars.

"I think it challenges people and their view of this country...After you watch all these things about Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. People used to think this happened in other parts of the world but not here. I mean we never thought that our government would ever say that waterboarding was a reasonable interrogation technique.

"I think those issues strike deep into the hearts of people, and how they feel about their country. And then you lay over this the last eight years of recession...You've got a mix that I think there's a great deal of insecurity and uncertainty with the American people...

"There's something amiss about all of this. The best antidote to this whole thing is an economic recovery that puts people back to work."

-- Harry Esteve

Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:20 AM PDT
Sunday, 4 April 2010
DRONES - CIA use - Questions Not Answered 4.3.10
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: DRONE - LAWS - QUESTIONS - ALL HERE
Topic: WAR

Legality of Drone Strikes Still in Question

by Jim Lobe

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/04/03-2

WASHINGTON - While welcoming an initial effort by the administration of President Barack Obama to offer a legal justification for drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists overseas, human rights groups say critical questions remain unanswered.

 

[File picture shows supporters of Pakistan's fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami party during a protest against US drone strikes in Pakistan. The US government for the first time has offered a legal justification of its drone strikes against Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, citing the right to "self-defense" under international law.  (AFP/File/Tariq Mahmood) ]File picture shows supporters of Pakistan's fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami party during a protest against US drone strikes in Pakistan. The US government for the first time has offered a legal justification of its drone strikes against Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, citing the right to "self-defense" under international law.(AFP/File/Tariq Mahmood)
In an address to an international law group last week, State Department Legal Adviser Harold Koh insisted that such operations were being conducted in full compliance with international law.

 

"The U.S. is in armed conflict with al Qaeda as well as the Taliban and associated forces in response to the horrific acts of 9/11 and may use force consistent with its right to self-defence under international law," he said. "...(I)ndividuals who are part of such armed groups are belligerents and, therefore, lawful targets under international law."

Moreover, he went on, "U.S. targeting practices, including lethal operations conducted with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, comply with all applicable law, including the laws of war," which require limiting attacks to military objectives and that the damage caused to civilians by those attacks would not be excessive.

While right-wing commentators expressed satisfaction with Koh's evocation of the "right to self-defence" - the same justification used by President George W. Bush - human rights groups were circumspect.

"We are encouraged that the administration has taken the legal surrounding drone strikes seriously," said Jonathan Manes of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). "While this was an important and positive first step, a number of controversial questions were left unanswered."

"We still don't know what criteria the government uses to determine that a civilian is acting like a fighter, and can therefore be killed, and... whether there are any geographical limits on where drone strikes can be used to target and kill individuals," he told IPS.

"He didn't really say anything that we took issue with," said Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), who also complained about the lack of details.

"But it still leaves unanswered the question of how far the war paradigm he's talking about extends. Will it extend beyond, say, ungoverned areas of Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen? Because you don't want to leave a legal theory out there that could be exploited by a country like Russia or China to knock off its political enemies on the streets of a foreign city," he added.

Drone attacks, which have increased significantly under Obama, are widely considered to have become the single-most effective weapon in Washington's campaign disrupt al Qaeda and affiliated groups, especially in the frontier areas of western Pakistan.

In Obama's first year in office, more strikes were carried out than in the previous eight years under his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), they reportedly killed "several hundred" al Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban militants since Obama in 2009, forcing many of them to flee their border hideouts for large cities where precision attacks would be much harder to carry out without causing heavy civilian casualties.

But the strikes - as well as cruise-missile attacks carried out by the U.S. military against suspected terrorist targets in Yemen and Somalia - have drawn growing criticism from some human rights groups and legal scholars, notably the U.N.'s Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings, Philip Alston, who have argued that several aspects of these operations may violate international law.

Their focus has been less on the use of drones in Iraq and Afghanistan, where Washington's forces are engaged in active hostilities and the Pentagon has implemented relatively transparent procedures to maximize compliance with the laws of war, than on the frontier areas of Pakistan and other "ungoverned" areas where al Qaeda and Taliban militants have gained refuge. The CIA, whose procedures remain secret, is in charge of drone operations.

The weapon itself "is one of the least problematic from a civilian-protection standpoint, because drones can hover over their targets and observe whether civilians are present before delivering a payload, and because they carry relatively small and precisely guided munitions," noted Malinowski.

"The question is a legal one: under what circumstances can you use lethal force at all? Our view has always been that it should be limited to zones of active armed conflict where normal arrest operations are not feasible."

A related question involves who may be targeted. While many authorities insist lethal force can be used under the laws of war against those who are actively participating in armed conflict, the U.S. has used defined participation in very broad terms, including membership in - or even financial support of - an armed group.

In his remarks to the American Society for International Law, Koh, who was one of the harshest and most outspoken critics of the Bush administration's legal tactics in its "global war on terror", acknowledged some of these concerns, noting that his speech "is obviously not the occasion for a detailed legal opinion."

"(W)hether a particular individual will be targeted in a particular location will depend upon considerations specific to each case, including those related to the imminence of the threat, the sovereignty of the other states involved, and the willingness and ability of those states to suppress the threat the target poses," he said.

Koh added that Washington will ensure the application of the principles of "distinction" and "proportionality" in the laws of war.

While noting criticism that the use of lethal force against some individuals far removed from the battlefield could amount to an "unlawful extra-judicial killing", he insisted that "a state that is engaged in an armed conflict or in legitimate self-defence is not required to provide targets with legal process before the state may use lethal force."

"Our procedures and practices for identifying lawful targets are extremely robust, and advanced technologies have helped to make our targeting even more precise," he said.

Alston, the U.N. rapporteur, was far from satisfied with these assurances, however, calling Koh's statement "evasive".

He "was essentially arguing that 'You've got to trust us. I've looked at this very carefully. I'm very sensitive to these issues. And all is well,'" he told an interviewer on 'Democracy Now' Thursday.

"The speech did not provide essential information about the drone/targeted killing program, including the number and rate of civilian casualties, and the internal oversight and controls on targeted killing, especially within the CIA," said Manes of the ACLU, which has filed a lawsuit to acquire that information.

Tom Parker of Amnesty International was more scathing about Koh's position, suggesting that it was one more concession - along with indefinite detention and special military tribunals for suspected terrorists - to the framework created by Bush's "global war on terror".

"The big issue is where the war is and whether it's a war, and we couldn't disagree more strongly as to the tenor of Koh's comments," he said. "It goes back to the idea of an unbounded global war on terror where terror is hardly defined at all."

Jim Lobe's blog on U.S. foreign policy can be read at http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 4:03 PM PDT
Friday, 2 April 2010
NYC Videographer makes 20 Grand filming the cops / After being arrested
Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Cops arrest videographer in NYC - 20,000 $ Lawsuit is result
Topic: MEDIA

 

Ah, it's a classic scenario: Citizen videotapes cop, cop gets mad and arrests citizen. But in this case, videographer Robert Carnevale's 22 hour tour through the Tombs earned him $20,001 in taxpayer money after a settlement with NYC. It all happened one night in May 2007, when officers from the 9th precinct confiscated a number of bikes locked to parking meters and signposts on 6th Street near First Avenue. As you may recall, the NYPD maintained that the bikes were abandoned, and they allowed some people to take the loose bikes without showing any proof of ownership.

According to Time's Up, police seized about 15 bikes, even ones locked to D.O.T. bike racks. Carnevale arrived in time to recover his bike, and he started videotaping the scene, asking officers for their badge numbers. Some cops don't like that (a few even went so far as to conceal their badges on another controversial night in East Village history). Plainclothes officer Lt. Robert Corcoran took a special interest in Carnevale, and anyone who's ever had a run-in with a bullying, power-drunk cop will recognize the scene that unfolds at the 1:10 minute mark:

Carnevale got sent through "the system," emerging 22 hours later, which is standard. A bystander, Carole Dale, 59, was also after she started questioning Carnevale's arrest. Both were charged with disorderly conduct for refusing a lawful order to disperse and blocking the sidewalk, and accepted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD). Then they sued the city.

According to the suit, "Neither plaintiff interfered in any way with the police operation under Defendant Lieutenant Corcoran’s supervision; both simply observed and questioned the officers." "These were First Amendment retaliatory arrests," their lawyer told City Room after the settlement was announced Wednesday. "They had every right to object."

NYPD spokesman Paul J. Browne, reached for comment in Upside Down Land, counters, "It was not retaliation. Period." After legal fees and expenses, the total payout from taxpayers was expected to be about $72,000, all because Officer Dim didn't like anybody questioning his authority

http://gothamist.com/2010/04/01/video_man_taping_cops_bike_removal.php


Posted by Joe Anybody at 9:23 AM PDT
Friday, 26 March 2010
3.26.10 Camp Out Now / POTA - is Gone, but not for Long! by Cindy Sheehan
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Camp Out Now - Officially Over - see you all in June 2010
Topic: PROTEST!

Camp is Gone, but not for Long! by Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Featured Writer


Dandelion Salad
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Blog
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox

March 26, 2010

Activists Set Up Anti-War Protest Tent Outside Washington   Monument

Well, our great experiment didn’t go as well as we planned here in DC. My vision was a Peace Camp that would serve the needs of the campers as far as housing and food were concerned (that part worked) and the campers would then commit aggressive acts of civil resistance (that part didn’t) in the nation’s capital to shut down the violent military-corporate empire that we live in. In the opinion of members of Peace of the Action, living here in the US gives us special responsibilities for stopping it.

Anyway, we had hundreds of people come through camp over the week that we were allowed to keep it up. Dozens were college students that worked very hard while they were here and we were sorry to see them go back to their schools after break. The thing that we were hoping that would happen and never did—was that hundreds of people would stay and help us claim the camp as a permanent presence on the mall.

It’s true that the Park Police thwarted us and watched (and photographed) every move we made. However, if we had the numbers, we could have taken a more credible stand against the repression of our rights. When the Park Police came out and shut down camping on the first day—part of our name “Camp” was shut down, too.

We have wonderful organizers and I know I worked as much as is possible for one person, but we had to face facts that the will is just not in our fellow Americans to sacrifice a few creature comforts to create true and lasting change. It’s so much easier to vote for a smooth-talking snake oil salesman than to roll up ones sleeves and do the dirty, hard, yet gratifying work of empire change.

Even though we had some rough times in DC with the Police State and Camp OUT NOW is physically gone (for the time being), we are not giving up the spirit of shutting down this town for Peace.

Congress is once again taking up war supplemental funding. We can’t just make phone calls and write petitions—we must organize and be in their faces here and in our home districts demanding that not one more penny be spent on killing and maiming people.

By the way, not only was our demand to meet with President Obama not granted—three of our Camp OUT NOW volunteers (including myself) have been given stay away orders from the White House.

We tried to get into the Senate Appropriation’s Committee meeting today at the Capitol and we were followed and harassed the entire time and in the transparent age of Obama, the hearing was closed to us citizens, anyway. I was able to watch the rerun on C-SPAN 3 and I can tell you all one thing, these wars are planned to continue indefinitely. I am not okay with that.

To take advantage of the energy and enthusiasm of our young people, we are planning on returning in June to set up Camp and start our actions again.

So we will be keeping the spirit of the Camp alive until the students get out of school and, hopefully, we can make a go of it in the summer.

It’s really up to you—we have laid the foundation, now it’s your turn to be the builders.

As always, go to www.PeaceoftheAction.org for more info.

see

Whose Streets? (Our Streets between 1pm and 4pm With a Permit) by Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan’s Speech at the Anti-war Protest + More videos of her arrest + Going over the barricade!

Cindy Sheehan Arrested At War Protest In D.C.

Scott Horton Interviews Cindy Sheehan on the anti-war movement in the age

Democracy Now!: Cindy Sheehan Sets Up “Camp OUT NOW” in Antiwar Protest


Posted by Joe Anybody at 6:39 AM PDT
Updated: Friday, 2 April 2010 9:25 AM PDT
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
DRONES and Leagality - AP article 3.24.10
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: Insane USA KILLING MACHINES
Topic: WAR

Legality of US Drones Questioned

by John Terrett

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/03/24

 

Missiles fired from US drones killed at least six people on Tuesday in a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan, according to security officials.  

It's the latest in a wave of attacks that have been used to target alleged enemy combatants but which frequently kill innocent civilians.  

The latest strike came as a congressional committee in Washington DC heard evidence that legal issues surrounding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones have not been fully worked out.   A lone protester was told by the chairman: "You're going to have an opportunity to sit down or be asked to leave - it's your choice." 

[There have been multiple civilian deaths as a result of the use of such drones and the committee heard there are concerns inside and outside the US government that drone attacks violate human rights standards and may constitute extra judicial execution.  (AFP/HO/US AIR FORCE/File)]There have been multiple civilian deaths as a result of the use of such drones and the committee heard there are concerns inside and outside the US government that drone attacks violate human rights standards and may constitute extra judicial execution. (AFP/HO/US AIR FORCE/File)
She sat down but soon left the room, allowing the door to slam behind her.   The committee went on to hear that while the US has more than 7,000 UAVs and more on order, there is still no legal framework for the operation of this new technology.   It's widely suspected the CIA operates a fleet of drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan which they use for targeting Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders. 

There have been multiple civilian deaths as a result of the use of such drones and the committee heard there are concerns inside and outside the US government that drone attacks violate human rights standards and may constitute extra judicial execution. 

Professor Kenneth Anderson from the Washington College of Law at American University told the hearing:

The long-term effect of that, given that there are not necessarily statutes of limitations, could be the problem of CIA officers or for that matter military officers or their lawyers, being called up in front of international tribunals or courts in Spain or some place that say you've engaged in extra judicial execution or simple murder and we're going to investigate and indict. 

The problem, says Professor Anderson, is that administration lawyers haven't justified publically the use of drones, because the administration itself is reluctant to admit drone attacks in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Although nobody in the world doubts what's going on in Pakistan, it's kind of hard for the lawyer to step up and say 'by the way what we're doing is legal and here's why' and give a whole series of reasons and say, 'by the way, we're not admitting that we're actually doing any of this stuff'. It's very hard for the lawyer to get out in front of the client when the client itself has not actually formally stood up and said 'this is what we're doing'.

He says what makes it more difficult is that though the CIA has taken on drone attacks on the Afghan/Pakistan border, it's not doing it as a genuinely covert operation but as an operation that is denied by the administration.

Tuesday's gathering was the opening session of congress's investigation into the use of UAVs.

There will be other meetings like this on Capitol Hill and at them the debate into the use of such drones is likely to continue.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 3:37 PM PDT
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Cindy SheehanReports Back about Fascist US Goverment Lockup
Mood:  crushed out
Now Playing: Cindy Sheehans report back after being jailed like a terrorist
Topic: PROTEST!

Whose Streets?

(Our Streets between One and Four When we have a Permit)

Report of our arrest and 50 hours detainment

Whose Streets? (Our Streets between 1pm and 4pm With a Permit)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


On the 7th commemoration of the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, there was a rally and march in DC sponsored by the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition that was attended by about eight thousand people.

 


For quite awhile, I have been having problems with marches on Saturday, anyway. It seems like we march past empty buildings and shake our fists at them and promise that if those empty buildings don't change their ways, we will be back next year to do the same thing. The arrests are symbolic and don't shut down anything, except in the case of large arrests, where the police stations are busy for a few hours.

 


As far as I know, there were no large civil disobediences scheduled for last Saturday's rally, but some coffins were built on the sidewalk in front of the White House and four protesters decided to lie down near them and not move. Two of these protesters were good friends of mine: Elaine Brower of Military Families Speak Out and Matthis Chiroux of Iraq Vets Against the War. When I went over to check the action out, the four were begging the hundreds of others surrounding the protest to join them. The four were cordoned off with barriers and crime scene tape.

 


I began to plan a way to join Matthis and Elaine when I went to the front of the barrier and saw my dear friends, who have always been there for me, lying on the sidewalk by themselves. Just as I was figuring out how to get over the barriers, the section I was at collapsed onto the sidewalk and I took the opportunity to step over hoping that dozens, if not hundreds, would follow.

 


As soon as I crossed the barrier, I was slammed by a couple of cops, handcuffed and then actually run around the front of the White House while the cops tried to find a paddy wagon to stick me in-about 50 people were running with the cop and I, yelling: "Let her go, let her go." When the officer and I finally got to the paddy wagon, I was surprised to find that only two others had followed me. One other crossed the line to bring our detained numbers up to eight.

 


During my speech at the rally, I iterated the importance of "throwing our bodies upon the gears" of the machine, as well as marching-I got a huge cheer and during the march the participants chanted: "Whose streets, our streets." Eight detainees? Apparently the streets are only "ours" when we have a permit--god forbid we take them when the event is not permitted by the Police State!

 


Why, when the barrier was compromised, did more people not follow us to actually put their beliefs into higher relief than merely marching in a circle on Saturday? While we were being (tightly) handcuffed and loaded onto the hot paddy wagon, the crowd of on-lookers chanted, "This is what hypocrisy looks like."

 

I was, to say the least, very disheartened that hundreds of people didn't join us. Watching the video of my "crossing over," you can see a couple of people go over and then run back when the police come-but most of the people step back like the downed barrier is a livewire.

 


After a bumpy and sweaty ride, we eight arrive at the Park Police Station in Anacostia. As we were being processed, it started to become very clear that some of us were going to be detained until Monday. Ultimately, two of us were released and six of us were held. The two that were released were from DC and those of us held were out-of-towners. Immediately, we knew this explanation was total b.s. because I have been arrested in DC about 13 times now and I have always been from "out-of-town," and have never even been held overnight, let alone two nights.


Was it a coincidence that Camp OUT NOW had two major actions over the weekend to try and hold our campsite that I missed due to being jailed? I don't think so

 


Well, those two days were some of the most miserable days of my life! We were taken to a lock-up and Elaine and I were put into a freezing room and I had a t-shirt and flip-flops on, being unprepared to be arrested. For four women, our cell had one cement block bench that was about 7-8 feet long, so at least one of us always had to be on the stone-cold floor. Sleeping was fitful as it was very chilly all night-and very noisy!

 


Thirty-six hours, and eight bologna-like and cheese-substitute sandwiches later, we were taken to the court for our arraignment and stayed in that cell for seven hours and were finally released at 5pm after we all pled "not-guilty" and were scheduled for a trial on June 9th.

 


Basically, six of us stayed in jail for 50 hours for an offense that ends up to be the equivalent of a traffic ticket and we even had to go to traffic court to be arraigned. I am positive that everyone in DC who gets a traffic ticket and is from "out-of-town" does not have to stay over night. Then, I found out that the penalty for my charge "Crossing a police line" doesn't even carry any jail time. I spent two nights in jail on an offense with no jail time! The maximum penalty is $300! Boy, I will be even more pissed if I go through a trial and have to pay $300 dollars after I have already spent two nights in jail.

 


To make matters even worse, I was the only one who was forced to come back for a trial even though Elaine has more DC arrests than I do. The other seven have chosen to go to trial with me, but they were given the option to "pay and forfeit" which means to pay the fine and forfeit your right to a trial.

 

The icing on the entire crappy cake came when the eight of us were given a "stay away order" from the White House-I asked the Judge how could that be legal because we weren't convicted of anything, but the Judge assured me that conditions could be placed on our release. I also think this is very suspicious considering our Camp OUT NOW actions were focusing on the White House.

 


Many times during the 50 hour ordeal, Elaine and I were asked if we thought it was "worth it," to go through so much hardship for so little gain.

 


My answer is, first of all, if more people crossed the line with me, we wouldn't have had to stay 50 hours in jail and I was very upset that we were left to hang out to dry like that. Secondly, the war didn't end while we were suffering-but knowing how awful it is to spend so much time in jail and be treated like one is a serial killer and not a protester-I would do it again and again, as I have.

 


There are literally billions of people suffering all over this planet due to my nation's militarism and greed and I know many people would have traded places with me in a heartbeat and think the conditions were pretty damn good.

 


AND this never happened to me when Bush was president.

 


UPDATE: Three of us went to pick up our property this morning at the Park Police station and as we were being jacked around, an officer named Thomas (Badge number 628) told me that if I "stopped getting arrested" I wouldn't have to go through all of this.

 

I said: "when the wars stop, I will stop." He actually then told me: "The wars will stop when we nuke them and take their oil."

 

I wonder why they are called "pigs."

VIDEO OF THE ARREST

CLICK ON DOVE TO DONATE

 


Posted by Joe Anybody at 10:16 PM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 14 April 2010 7:21 AM PDT
Monday, 22 March 2010
Solidarity Call Out for Camp Out Now in DC - Police force camp out on Monday 12 noon
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: The Peace Of The Action Camp is being forced to move (no permit)
Topic: PROTEST!

March 21 Report Back

I went to the Camp Out Now around 9PM on Sunday Night. The popo was there earlier, and informed the activist that the little tents they put up the day before had to be down …as I was arriving all smaller tents were in fact down, they told the group they would be back at 10 pm ..…They never did come back. They also said all of the Camp has to be removed by Noon on Monday.

The Camp Out Now is asking for solidarity at their peace camp on the Washington Monument lawn for the anticipated Monday 3.22. for the 12 noon arrival of the "ENFORCERS"

The camp will "not" be evaporating if and when the popo shows up. Some will risk arrest. some will not. The group is not going to be silenced. If forced to move, a predetermined spot is already in the mix. When forced and arrested out of that new spot another predetermined spot will be used.

As I said Peace Of The Action is not going to leave until the Occupation is called off. Cindy Sheehan (who is still in jail) has requested a conversation with the President. He has ignored her, as he has done with the whole peace Community.

I have posted a dozen tweets from Sunday night on DC My Opinion Page

Help spread the word about Camp Out Now and the White Hose trying to shut it down
Help Spread the news about coming down to show solidarity at 12oclock Monday (or anytime)
Help Peace Of The Action by telling everyone that activists are here in Washington DC on the White House Lawns, demanding peace and holding their ground for peace and justice.

USA is in an aggressive War.... Peace of The Action is in an aggressive Peace mission
Tell everyone to write the President and Congress.... or come to Washington to be a cog in the wheel of the murder machine.
Do what you can in solidarity against the killing machine

From Portland Oregon - In solidarity - Covering the news the Corporate Media Wont Cover
~peace from www.Joe-Anybody.com




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Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:52 AM PDT

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