The campus and community-based group Anti-Racist Action (ARA) held a rally on Thursday, March 29th, in commemoration of Land Day in Palestine. The rally was small, but very energetic. We chanted "Free Palestine" and held up posters showing our solidarity with Palestinians. ARA members spoke about the significance of Land Day when Palestinians rose up against Israeli confiscation of their land, and the continuation of the Palestinian struggle today, 31 years later. We also spoke about the attacks that ARA members have encountered from Zionists on and off campus, since the beginning of our campaign, exposing the racist anti-Arab overtones that these attacks contain.
The rally has since brought about a lot of media attention.Read More....
On March 16th, more than 175 students, parents, teachers, community leaders and local citizens occupied Gov. Joe Manchin's offices in downtown Charleston, West Virginia. Eleven of them were arrested while sitting peacefully in the office.
Massey Energy Corporation wants to build a second coal silo 400 yards from Marsh Fork Elementary School. Massey researchers have found that the coal silos release chemical-laden coal dust into the air which is poisoning the air that school kids have to breathe. Some independent studies have found coal dust throughout the school.
While the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection turned down Massey's request to build the second silo back in 2005, the state Surface Mine Board overturned that ruling this past Tuesday.
For more info, go to http://understory.ran.org/
Today's action to shut down Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center was a success.
Today was to be another day of engineering as usual at CMU's National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) developing robotic vehicles and weapons delivery systems for the U.S. Army and Marines. Since NREC receives most of its funding from the Pentagon, anti-war and peace activists in Pittsburgh decided that it was time to pay them a visit.
At about 5 am Friday March 2, twenty people locked themselves to each other and/or the gate at NREC. These protesters meant to hold their ground. Using pvc piping, chicken wire, U-locks and chains, activists linked themselves together in front of two entrances to NREC.Read More...
ABC news recently disclosed a breaking story about a US Intelligence plan called Opperation Northwoods, that fabricated terror attacks against the US by Cuba in order to justify taking out the Cuban government and removing Fidel Castro from power. Recent declassified government documents reveal that in 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed a detailed plan to be carried out by the military. In the Declassified top secret document, there is an outline of how to go about the plan and what steps to use. This quote is taken directly from the document which can be found online. http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/
"A series of well coordinated incidents will be planned to take place in and around Guantanamo to give genuine appearance as being done by hostile Cuban forces." The plan went on to list ten or so ideas on how to fabricate what looked like militant Cubans attacking Guantamo Bay, blowing up US Naval Ships and other provoking acts. Read More....
Houston Independent Media Center
Hasan Shakur’s Last Words Were of the Struggle
by Walidah Imarisha Sunday, Sep. 03, 2006 at 11:18 PM
Another name sadly has to be added to the litany of conscious prisoners sent to their death by this government. In the tradition of Shaka Sankofa, Tookie Williams and many others, Hasan Shakur was murdered by the state of Texas Aug. 31, and pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m. The execution came less than an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected three appeals and requests for reprieves, based on affidavits stating evidence that Shakur’s co-defendant Jermain Herron was the one to commit the actual murder, and an affidavit detailing jury misconduct during his original trial. Read More....
Last week in Ontario Canada was a massive continental gathering of environmental activists, indigenous people supporters, and human rights groups. The gathering was called by Grassy Narrows, a First Nations tribe in Canada that has been fighting the Canadian government and major logging companies for years for their illegal logging on their territory and destruction of precious forest that cannot be replaced and for disturbing the delicate eco-balance of our earth.
The Grassy Narrows original territory granted them in a treaty in the late 1800's, occupies close to 4,000 square kilometers within an area known as the Boreal Forest. The Boreal Forest is roughly thirteen times the size of California and stretches from Alaska to Western Canada in the northern part of the country. It forms part of the "green halo" of forest directly below the artic tundra that helps to buffer global warming, regulate the earth's climate, provides the richest most abundant source of organic carbon in the world, and the Boreal wetlands filter much of the water that empties into the northern lakes and rivers.
Their territory consists of many lakes and rivers with the water flowing into the Arctic watershed. The forest is abundant with different types of wildlife: moose, deer, martens, rabbits, beaver, foxes, wolves, bears, eagles, and various birds. Local medicinal plants are known and used by the Grassy Narrows’ people, including treatments for diabetes, heart, sterility and skin problems.
Because of unsustainable logging practices of two major companies, Weyerhaeuser and Abitibi, the Boreal forest is under threat: Using highly mechanized industrial techniques, their logging creates massive clear-cuts virtually overnight. These clear-cuts destroy trap lines, eliminate berry and medicine patches, damage the soils, and disrupt wildlife populations and game animals, including woodland caribou and pine martin. Rather than allowing natural regeneration, Abitibi and Weyerhaeuser scar the land, aerially spraying herbicides, and re-planting ecologically barren monoculture tree plantations. Weyerhaeuser is one of the world's largest logging companies with a history of stealing resources and devastating local communities. Abitibi company removes 13.6 million cubic meters of wood from the forest every year. Much of this wood goes to junk mail, catalogues, magazines, newspapers, and toilet paper. The US is the number one consumer of wood coming from the Boreal forest. Approximately 50% of their land has been destroyed thus far.
A blockade on a logging road was organized in December of 2002 by Grassy Narrows activists to stop these companies from going into their land and destroying it: sparking the longest standing and highest profile indigenous logging blockade in Canadian history.
They do this, not only because it is their land but because the practices of these companies are ruining the precious life blood of the earth. Four years later, logging is still taking place on remote sections of their land where the community does not have the resources to block all of the logging roads in their territory. Weyerhaeuser and Abitibi refuse to stop the logging, leave the land and respect the community’s right to self-determination within their traditional territory.
The Earth Justice Gathering last week at the grassy narrows blockade was organized by ForestEthics and the Rainforest Action Network who were invited to work with the Indigenous people in their struggle. In a letter written by a Grassy Nations' council, they said, "..As well, we invite all supporters of social and ecological justice to come stay on our land at the Slant Lake Blockade for the Earth Justice Gathering July 10-16. Come show your support for our common fight to protect the forest and our Indigenous rights. Come meet us, see our reality first hand, train, learn, share your knowledge, swim in the lakes, walk in the forest, and prepare to bring this struggle into the cities, offices, legislatures and retailers of your area. We are all accountable to the earth. Take responsibility, join with us and do your part in the fight to protect the earth and our common future. "
The week was filled with workshops, info sharing, networking, and solidarity. On Thursday, July 13th, the gathering of folks from all over North America took to the streets, shutting down traffic on the Trans Canada highway, blocking off a major interstate in protest at the government's lack of acknowledgement of their plight and to let their cause be known. They had a massive banner that said, "Save the Boreal Forest". On Friday, Canadian police illegally entered Grassy Narrows territory and arrested 9 members of the Six Nations tribe who had come to the gathering in solidarity with their brothers.
Brian Skye, a citizen of the Cayuga Nation Wolf Clan of the Six Nations Confederacy, said,
"This is a clear act of police intimidation -an attempt to suppress legitimate dissent and stifle the growing movement for indigenous rights through force without addressing the serious grievances at the root of this issue, nor their political implications, ". David Stone, an organizer for the Rainforest Action Network said, "..arresting Native people as they assert their rights is a clear act of racism. The government must deal with the root issue of fundamental human rights in a honorable way, on a Nation to Nation basis, not with force. Police should not be used to suppress the inherent rights of First Nations or to interfere in legitimate political disputes."
For more information, go to http://www.friendsofgrassynarrows.com
Iraq: 2 Years After the Second War Waged local / international
It's been 15 years since the United States invaded Iraq for the first time. Since then the US government has been responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent lives, through two wars intermixed with a decade of bombings and economic sanctions that crippled Iraq's water and power supplies. In March of 2003 the United States invaded Iraq for the second time, claiming the invasion was necessary to "ensure compliance with UN Security Resolutions." Well, the WMDs were never found, and links between Sadaam and Al Qaida have been dismissed as fiction by the congressional 911 commission.
The US government is bent on destroying the spirit of what was once the nation most resilient to US imperialism, and it is vital to the success of the world that we oppose folding control of Iraq into the dominant global hegemony. On the second anniversary of the second time the United States has invaded Iraq, people around the world are taking to the streets to demand an end to the occupation, an end to the torture, and an end to the violence.
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\Related: Reports Back and Photos from M18-M20 area events
Related: Brief Annotated History of Iraq (Commentary)
of the War in Iraq
Unembedded in Iraq
This exclusive interview with un-embedded journalist Dahr Jamail reveals an almost unrecognizable picture of Iraq and its people.
Editor's note: After covering post-9/11 politics and the run-up to the Iraq War for a weekly in Alaska, Dahr Jamail saved his money to cover the war from the front lines.
How long have you been reporting on Iraq, and what brought you there?
DJ: I have spent 6 of the last 12 months in Iraq. As I mentioned, what brought me here was the nearly total failure of the US 'mainstream' media to show the truth of this illegal invasion and occupation. How it affected the Iraqis, as well as US soldiers. Overall, they just weren't doing their job, and this has grown even worse.
I had done all the usual actions of attempting to speak up and effect change at home-calling and writing Senators/Congresspeople, attending teach-ins, spreading information. After watching the worldwide demonstrations on February 15, 2003 be brushed aside as a "focus group," I knew then that the minds of the American public had been misled by the corporate media who mindlessly supported the objectives of the Bush regime, and reporting the true effects of the invasion/occupation on the Iraqi people and US soldiers was what I needed to do.
Read Complete Interview
Fallujah Refugees Tell of Life and Death in the Kill Zone
and residents who have fled Fallujah share accounts of US troops
killing unarmed and wounded people; Dahr Jamail continues interviewing
survivors as images of a city under US assault further emerge.
by Dahr Jamail
Baghdad Dec 3 -
Men now seeking refuge in the Baghdad area are telling horrific stories
of indiscriminate killings by US forces during the peak of fighting
last month in the largely annihilated city of Fallujah.
In an interview with The NewStandard, Burhan Fasa’a, an Iraqi
journalist who works for the popular Lebanese satellite TV station,
LBC, said he witnessed US crimes up close. Burhan Fasa’a, who was in
Fallujah for nine days during the most intense combat, said Americans
grew easily frustrated with Iraqis who could not speak English.
"Americans did not have interpreters with them," Fasa’a said, "so
they entered houses and killed people because they didn’t speak
English. They entered the house where I was with 26 people, and [they]
shot people because [the people] didn’t obey [the soldiers’] orders,
even just because the people couldn’t understand a word of English."
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