Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Thursday, 6 May 2010
Oil Spill - Iran Offers to Help - Wait we are Sanctioning You?
Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Iran offers to help contain US oil spill
Topic: POLITICS
 
Iran offers to help contain US oil spill
Mon, 03 May 2010 13:29:49 GMT
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A dead fish is seen on the Mississippi beach on May 2, 2010. While the death has not been linked to the vast oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, concerns over wildlife continue.
The National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) has offered to assist the US in efforts to prevent an ecological disaster caused by the spreading oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Following an explosion on a BP-operated oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico last month, at least 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of crude oil are thought to be spilling into the water every day.

NIDC managing director Heidar Bahmani announced the firm's readiness to use its decades-long expertise to fight the oil slick, the company's public relations office told Press TV.

"Our oil industry experts in the field of drilling can contain the rig leakage in the Gulf of Mexico and prevent an ecological disaster in that part of the world," Bahmani said.

Overlooking the new US drive for slapping more UN sanctions on Iran over its civilian nuclear program, the company said that there is an urgent need for action to protect the nearby coasts from the advancing oil spill.

The governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Florida have reportedly called a state of emergency for fear of the oil slick's environmental and economic damages.

The disaster has also prompted the White House to ban oil drillings in new areas of the US coast until the British company explains the cause of the explosion that killed 11 employees and resulted in the oil spill.


 

Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:14 PM PDT
Friday, 23 April 2010
Whose Side Are You On Son?
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: Pogue Colonel: Don't you love your country? - Private Joker: Yes, sir.
Topic: WAR

 

Pogue Colonel: Marine, what is that button on your body armor?

Private Joker: A peace symbol, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Where'd you get it?

Private Joker: I don't remember, sir.

Pogue Colonel: What is that you've got written on your helmet?

Private Joker: "Born to Kill", sir.

Pogue Colonel: You write "Born to Kill" on your helmet and you wear a peace button. What's that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?

Private Joker: No, sir.

Pogue Colonel: You'd better get your head and your ass wired together, or I will take a giant shit on you.

Private Joker: Yes, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Now answer my question or you'll be standing tall before the man.

Private Joker: I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, sir.

Pogue Colonel: The what?

Private Joker: The duality of man. The Jungian thing, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Whose side are you on, son?

Private Joker: Our side, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Don't you love your country?

Private Joker: Yes, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Then how about getting with the program? Why don't you jump on the team and come on in for the big win?

Private Joker: Yes, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Son, all I've ever asked of my marines is that they obey my orders as they would the word of God. We are here to help the Vietnamese, because inside every gook there is an American trying to get out. It's a hardball world, son. We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over.

Private Joker: Aye-aye, sir.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 10:02 AM PDT
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Congressman, member of the House of Representatives, Duncan Blasts "Useless" Air Marshal Service
Now Playing: TSA Air Marshal are more trouble - then they are help

Duncan Blasts "Useless" Air Marshal Service


VIDEO

Washington, DC -- Mr. DUNCAN:  Madam Speaker, probably the most needless, useless agency in the entire Federal Government is the Air Marshal Service.

In the Homeland Security Appropriations bill we will take up next week, we will appropriate $860 million for this needless, useless agency. This money is a total waste: $860 million for people to sit on airplanes and simply fly back and forth, back and forth. What a cushy, easy job. 

And listen to this paragraph from a front-page story in the USA Today last November: “Since 9/11, more than three dozen Federal air marshals have been charged with crimes, and hundreds more have been accused of misconduct. Cases range from drunken driving and domestic violence to aiding a human-trafficking ring and trying to smuggle explosives from Afghanistan.''

Actually, there have been many more arrests of Federal air marshals than that story reported, quite a few for felony offenses. In fact, more air marshals have been arrested than the number of people arrested by air marshals.

We now have approximately 4,000 in the Federal Air Marshals Service, yet they have made an average of just 4.2 arrests a year since 2001. This comes out to an average of about one arrest a year per 1,000 employees.

Now, let me make that clear. Their thousands of employees are not making one arrest per year each. They are averaging slightly over four arrests each year by the entire agency. In other words, we are spending approximately $200 million per arrest. Let me repeat that: we are spending approximately $200 million per arrest.

Professor Ian Lustick of the University of Pennsylvania wrote last year about the money feeding frenzy of the war on terror. And he wrote this: “Nearly 7 years after September 11, 2001,'' he wrote this last year, “what accounts for the vast discrepancy between the terrorist threat facing America and the scale of our response? Why, absent any evidence of a serious terror threat, is a war to on terror so enormous, so all-encompassing, and still expanding?  The fundamental answer is that al Qaeda's most important accomplishment was not to hijack our planes but to hijack our political system.”

“For a multitude of politicians, interest groups and professional associations, corporations, media organizations, universities, local and State governments and Federal agency officials, the war on terror is now a major profit center, a funding bonanza, and a set of slogans and sound bites to be inserted into budget, grant, and contract proposals.''

And finally, Professor Lustick wrote: “For the country as a whole, however, it has become maelstrom of waste.'' And there is no agency for which those words are more applicable than the Federal Air Marshal Service.

In case anyone is wondering, the Air Marshal Service has done nothing to me, and I know none of its employees. But I do know with absolute certainty that this $860 million we are about to give them could be better spent on thousands of other things.

As far as I'm concerned, it is just money going down a drain for the little good it will do. When we are so many trillions of dollars in debt, a national debt of over $13 trillion, we simply cannot afford to waste money in this way.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 8:18 AM PDT
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

 

 

 

 

To sign your name to the list click this link:
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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

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