Thursday, November 24, 2011

"What The Hell Does An Indian Do On Thanksgiving?"

Occupy Seattle Picnic on Day Formerly Known as Thanksgiving

UPDATE: Wish I had taken a picture of Tony, the guitar player who was there today. He reminded me so much of my brother, Roger, who passed away Nov. 4th. Thanks, Tony.

Desserts occupying a table at the picnic

Notorious Doug & Dorli occupying space at picnic.

Courtney, who read The Real Thanksgiving Story, to the listeners at left.

Reminder to folks at picnic about The International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier, February 4, 2012, in Tacoma.

Global Recession Looms As Euro Crisis Deepens - Real News

More at The Real News

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Palestine Freedom Riders -- Sana Kassem

"The problem with ‘Occupation’ in the Occupy Movement" -- Josina Manu Maltzman

EXCERPT: from mondoweiss via code pink:

It’s easy to draw the connections between the occupation of Palestine and the colonization of lands on this continent, and the parallels seem endless. Likewise, the continuity is strong when we respond to the 2005 BDS call from Palestinian civil society in conjunction with the demands for justice here. Because of this, I urge those of us in the Palestine liberation and “Occupy” movements to take this stand:

Just as we call on Israel to end its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantle the Wall, we too must call for Indigenous sovereignty over ancestral lands of this continent.

Just as we call on Israel to recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality, we must demand, and work for, the end of institutionalized racism in the U.S. and the end to continued acts of genocide towards indigenous people here.

Just as we call for the Palestinian Right of Return, we call for the end to the reservation system on this continent - with the acknowledgement of and reparations for the hundreds of treaties broken by the United States government against indigenous nations.

This moment in time holds the potential for real, systemic change. With so many peoples’ struggles interconnected, the possibilities are great. By broadening our scope to include everyone, we are able to hone-in more clearly on our targets: the end of imperialism, the return of lands to sovereign indigenous nations, and a life of health and dignity for all human beings and the planet.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Portland Police: Who Do You Serve?!/OccupyOregon/status/137807665781948416/photo/1

Occupy Seattle Community Dinner, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2 pm

from Occupy Seattle calendar

Thu, November 24, 2pm – 6pm

Where: Gasworks Park (map)

Description: We are gathering as a community, to share [Holiday formerly known as Thanksgiving] dinner in solidarity with Occupy Seattle and Occupy Wall Street. Please join us!

Sign up to bring a dish here:

Ideas with accompanying implementers welcome! Would you like to organize transportation for the Occupiers? Connect us with musicians who would like to give their time and talents to this event? We will soon be posting a registry for people who would like to provide a cooked dish or hook up with supplies to prepare some food for this meal.

If you'd like to be an organiser for this event, please message me here. If you can't make it, but would like to support in other ways, we can use your help: You can run a food drive among your friends and co-workers, donate Sterno setups/tablecloths/candles/lighting, or loan tables and chairs for the event. If you can think of it, it will probably be helpful. If you'd like to be a donor/supporter, please email me at:

Most importantly, please invite everyone you know. There's room for everybody at this Thanksgiving table!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Occupy Will Not Collaborate w/the 1% & Their Enablers!

from Glenn Greenwald's Salon column:

National Student Support for Stanford and Cal!!! Yay!

Occupy Seattle Foretells Repossession of Abandoned Homes

, temporary occupation of abandoned building to plant seed for future of movement -- from #occupyseattle twitter feed

Thrilling Pictures of the New Tahrir Uprising -- Mosa'ab Elshamy

from twitter:
Mosa'ab Elshamy
My photos of the uprising in Tahrir today:

"War Criminals Not Welcome in Halifax" [Important Report on What U.S./NATO Up To]]


In order to deal with the deepening crisis within NATO, Panetta is demanding the Anglo-U.S. “allies” absorb US military and Pentagon spending and foreign troop deployment. This is being done in the name of spending cuts demanded by the U.S. Congress and against the so-called “two-tiered NATO”, whereby the U.S. alleges it produces “security” while Europe “consumes” it. This demand has been embraced by the Harper government, with its so-called “transformation” of the Canadian Forces featuring boosting the number of combat-ready troops, the warship shipbuilding program and stealth jet fighters, and the establishment of military bases around the world.

CIA director Panetta continued Guantanamo, which was not shut down. In little-noticed testimony at his nomination hearing, Panetta said that if the approved techniques of torture were “not sufficient” to get a detainee to divulge details he was suspected of knowing about an imminent attack, he would ask for “additional authority.” In an internal memo issued April 9 2009 Panetta announced a blanket amnesty for all Bush officials, torturers and war criminals.

Panetta is committed to America’s “long war” including global warfare under the pretext of the “war on terrorism.”

Reminder: Vigil for a Free Palestine; End the Siege of Gaza- This Saturday at Westlake

Join us this Saturday to call for an end to the Israeli & Egyptian siege on Gaza. Come support the Palestinian people in their struggle for Justice.
Saturday, Nov.19
12:00 - 2:00pm
Westlake Plaza, 4th & Pine downtown Seattle
"Stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Journalist Suspended from National Press Club for Asking Saudi Prince Uncomfortable Question!


Journalist Sam Husseini was suspended from The National Press Club for asking a Saudi Prince a tough question. His punishment indicates precisely what is wrong with journalism in this country.

At his blog, Husseini offers the transcript of the exchange [1]. His part may be difficult to hear so here it is:

Husseini: There’s been a lot of talk about the legitimacy of the Syrian regime, I want to know what legitimacy your regime has sir. You come before us, representative of one of the most autocratic, misogynistic regimes on the face of the earth. Human Rights Watch and other reports of torture detention of activist, you squelched the democratic uprising in Bahrain [2], you tried to overturn the [3]democratic uprising in Egypt [4] and indeed you continue to oppress your own people. What legitimacy does you regime have — other than billions of dollars and weapons [5]?

Husseini writes:

Later that afternoon, I got an email with the notice of suspension signed by McCarren. The letter states: “We are suspending your membership for two weeks, effective immediately, due to your conduct at a news conference held at the National Press Club on Tuesday, November 15, 2011. Your action was in direct violation of House Rule 4 and grounds for immediate suspension.

“House Rule No. 4 states: ‘Boisterous and unseemly conduct or language in or about the Club premises or in connection with any Club-sponsored event is prohibited. Any member so offending shall be liable for immediate suspension by any Member of the board or the manager or his designee pending investigation by the board, which shall render final action.’

“This matter will be review ed by the Club’s Ethics Committee. A meeting will be scheduled prior to the end of your two week suspension to discuss your conduct and the violation. The Chairperson of the Ethics Committee will contact you to schedule the meeting.

“In the meantime, you should not come to the Club or use its facilities for any reason.”

The charge is false. I did not engage in “boisterous and unseemly conduct or language” — I engaged in tough journalism with a powerful government official from an autocratic regime that is allied with the U.S. government. This apparently warrants suspension from the National Press Club in Executive Director McCarren’s view.

If U.S. Land Were Divided Like U.S. Wealth -- thanks Marion

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Jewish Voice for Peace Solidarity with Palestinian Freedom Riders -- Super!

Dorli Sez "Screw Us and We Multiply"!

Dorli's quote in many stories, including this at Raw Story:

This pic was taken on the trip Dorli, George Hickey and I and many Vets for Peace from Washington took to DC for the Stop the Machine occupation on Oct. 6.

"Israeli bystanders react to Freedom Rides" -- By Mya Guarnieri for the Alternative Information Center (AIC) 16 November 2011

An off-duty Israeli soldier looks out the window, choosing to ignore the act of civil disobedience. When the Alternative Information Center asks her how she is feeling, she replies that she doesn’t have the energy to discuss it. While many Jewish Israelis were angered by the action–openly cursing the activists–a few said they were okay with it. Others stayed quiet, looking away, and refusing interviews.


As Palestinian activists stood at a bus stop in the Occupied West Bank yesterday, Jewish settlers made racist remarks. While the Israeli reaction to the Freedom Rides was overwhelmingly negative, the Freedom Riders presence on the bus sparked a debate between two young girls.

After a short press conference in Ramallah early Tuesday afternoon, journalists followed a van of six Palestinian Freedom Riders to a bus stop in the Jewish settlement of Psagot, which is located in the West Bank.

There, activists—who included Dr. Mazin Qumisyeh, a professor and the author of Popular Resistance in Palestine and Huwaida Arraf, a founder of the Free Gaza Movement—waited for a Jerusalem-bound bus. The Egged line they hoped to ride, 148, would pass through the Hizma checkpoint, entering the Jewish settlement of Pisgat Zeev, which is located in East Jerusalem, outside of the Green Line.

The Jewish Israelis who had been standing at the bus stop—a middle aged woman and an off-duty soldier—quickly distanced themselves from the activists, who were wearing keffiyeh and t-shirts bearing the words Freedom, Justice, and Dignity in Arabic and English.

Magi Amir, a resident of Rimonim, explained to the Alternative Information Center (AIC) that she moved away from the crowd because she heard people speaking Arabic.

“I don’t think they need to be here,” Amir continued. “They can be in their villages and their houses, why are they in our area? Can we go to Ramallah? If we go into Ramallah, they’ll kill us. Can we go into their villages or their areas? We can’t enter.”

Amir added that, in her opinion, Jewish Israelis can’t trust Palestinians or believe in them. “They’ll do terror attacks,” she said.

Other Jewish settlers who came and waited for the bus echoed Amir’s sentiment, remarking that they feared for their safety.

A 16-year-old Jewish Israeli, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the Freedom Riders shouldn’t be able to board the bus because, “It’s an Israeli bus.”

“We live here, this is our land,” he said.

When asked about those who feel differently, the boy replied, “Those who say this is Palestinian land don’t have proof.”

He added that Palestinians enjoy a lot of freedom. “We give them identity cards and they can do whatever they want.”

AIC asked the boy, a resident of Maale Adumim who wished to remain anonymous, if Palestinians can do whatever they want, then why can’t they ride a bus to Jerusalem?

“Okay,” he said. “They can do what they need to… I don’t want them boarding the bus.”

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests -- Matt Taibbi


We're a nation that was built on a thousand different utopian ideas, from the Shakers to the Mormons to New Harmony, Indiana. It was possible, once, for communities to experiment with everything from free love to an end to private property. But nowadays even the palest federalism is swiftly crushed. If your state tries to place tariffs on companies doing business with some notorious human-rights-violator state – like Massachusetts did, when it sought to bar state contracts to firms doing business with Myanmar – the decision will be overturned by some distant global bureaucracy like the WTO. Even if 40 million Californians vote tomorrow to allow themselves to smoke a joint, the federal government will never permit it. And the economy is run almost entirely by an unaccountable oligarchy in Lower Manhattan that absolutely will not sanction any innovations in banking or debt forgiveness or anything else that might lessen its predatory influence.

And here's one more thing I was wrong about: I originally was very uncomfortable with the way the protesters were focusing on the NYPD as symbols of the system. After all, I thought, these are just working-class guys from the Bronx and Staten Island who have never seen the inside of a Wall Street investment firm, much less had anything to do with the corruption of our financial system.

But I was wrong. The police in their own way are symbols of the problem. All over the country, thousands of armed cops have been deployed to stand around and surveil and even assault the polite crowds of Occupy protesters. This deployment of law-enforcement resources already dwarfs the amount of money and manpower that the government "committed" to fighting crime and corruption during the financial crisis. One OWS protester steps in the wrong place, and she immediately has police roping her off like wayward cattle. But in the skyscrapers above the protests, anything goes.

This is a profound statement about who law enforcement works for in this country. What happened on Wall Street over the past decade was an unparalleled crime wave. Yet at most, maybe 1,500 federal agents were policing that beat – and that little group of financial cops barely made any cases at all. Yet when thousands of ordinary people hit the streets with the express purpose of obeying the law and demonstrating their patriotism through peaceful protest, the police response is immediate and massive. There have already been hundreds of arrests, which is hundreds more than we ever saw during the years when Wall Street bankers were stealing billions of dollars from retirees and mutual-fund holders and carpenters unions through the mass sales of fraudulent mortgage-backed securities.

It's not that the cops outside the protests are doing wrong, per se, by patrolling the parks and sidewalks. It's that they should be somewhere else. They should be heading up into those skyscrapers and going through the file cabinets to figure out who stole what, and from whom. They should be helping people get their money back. Instead, they're out on the street, helping the Blankfeins of the world avoid having to answer to the people they ripped off.

People want out of this fiendish system, rigged to inexorably circumvent every hope we have for a more balanced world. They want major changes. I think I understand now that this is what the Occupy movement is all about. It's about dropping out, if only for a moment, and trying something new, the same way that the civil rights movement of the 1960s strived to create a "beloved community" free of racial segregation. Eventually the Occupy movement will need to be specific about how it wants to change the world. But for right now, it just needs to grow. And if it wants to sleep on the streets for a while and not structure itself into a traditional campaign of grassroots organizing, it should. It doesn't need to tell the world what it wants. It is succeeding, for now, just by being something different.

The Many - Makana

Amazing story of how this song was sung to world leaders, including Obama:

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Palestinian Freedom Riders to Challenge Segregation By Riding Settler Buses to Jerusalem: November 15, 2011

Palestinian activists will reenact the US Civil Rights Movement’s Freedom Rides to the American South by boarding segregated Israeli public transportation in the West Bank to travel to occupied East Jerusalem.

Palestinian activists will attempt to board segregated Israeli public transportation headed from inside the West Bank to occupied East Jerusalem in an act of civil disobedience inspired by the Freedom Riders of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in the 60′s.

Fifty years after the U.S. Freedom Riders staged mixed-race bus rides through the roads of the segregated American South, Palestinian Freedom Riders will be asserting their right for liberty and dignity by disrupting the military regime of the Occupation through peaceful civil disobedience.

The Freedom Riders seek to highlight Israel’s attempts to illegally sever occupied East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, and the apartheid system that Israel has imposed on Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Several Israeli companies, among them Egged and Veolia, operate dozens of lines that run through the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, many of them subsidized by the state. They run between different Israeli settlements, connecting them to each other and cities inside Israel. Some lines connecting Jerusalem to other cities inside Israel, such as Eilat and Beit She’an, are also routed to pass through the West Bank.

Israelis suffer almost no limitations on their freedom of movement in the occupied Palestinian territory, and are even allowed to settle in it, contrary to international law. Palestinians, in contrast, are not allowed to enter Israel without procuring a special permit from Israeli authorities. Even Palestinian movement inside the Occupied Territories is heavily restricted, with access to occupied East Jerusalem and some 8% of the West Bank in the border area also forbidden without a similar permit.

While it is not officially forbidden for Palestinians to use Israeli public transportation in the West Bank, these lines are effectively segregated, since many of them pass through Jewish-only settlements, to which Palestinian entry is prohibited by a military decree.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Wayne State University Students Hold Israel Accountable

I do love the beginning with the Pop Goes the Weasel reference.

Thanks, Wayne State Students, for not standing idly by!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

From A Freedom Wave Prisoner: I write to you from cell 9,of the Apartheid State of Israel

Dear sisters and brothers, friends and loved ones,

I write to you from cell 9, block 59 Givon Prison near Ramla in Occupied Palestine. Although I was tasered during the assault on the Tahrir, and bruised during forcible removal dockside (I am limping slightly as a result) I am basically ok. We, Ehab, Michael, Karen from Tahrir, as well as Karen, Kit (US) and Jihan who we saw briefly this morning. We are most concerned about our Tahrir shipmate, Palestinian Majd Kayyal from Haifa, last seen by us at Ashdod being photographed and put in a police car.*

Although Michael and I (among others) were transported in handcuffs and leg shackles, let me stress that we are neither criminals nor illegal immigrants but rather political prisoners of the apartheid state of Israel. Four from the Tahrir are imprisoned with 12 Irish comrades from the Saoirse, who have more experience with such issues. The four of us, Ehab and I (Cdn), Michael (Aus) and Hassan (UK) have joined with the Irish in their political prisoners' committee in order to press our collective demands:

association in the block - i.e. open cells
adequate writing and reading material
free communication with outside world - i.e. regular phone calls
information about shipmate women held at same prison

We add one Tahrir-specific demand: that Israeli state recognize the professional status of Democracy Now journalist Jihan Hafiz in accordance with her credentials from the US government. All political incarceration is unjust but let me stress that in duration and conditions, our situation pales in comparison to the plight of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners and to the open air prison of Gaza.

If you have energy to devote to solidarity actions in the coming days, please concentrate on them. We must get Tahrir back and hope Freedom Waves continue.

Free Majd Kayyal! Free all political prisoners! Free Gaza! Free Palestine!

Anishnabe-debuewin, restons humaine, stay human, in love and struggle,

David Heap of London, Ontario

* Majd Kayyal was released, but it appears the other political prisoners weren't told where he was taken.