Friday, February 28, 2014

Reminder: Vigil this Saturday to END the ISRAELI & EGYPTIAN SIEGE on GAZA! March 1, noon-2pm@ Westlake

Join Voices for Palestine this Saturday to demand an END to the ISRAELI & EGYPTIAN SIEGE on Gaza!

Where: Westlake, 4th & Pine
When: Saturday March 1, Noon-2pm
To learn more about the suffering in Gaza under Siege, please click on the link below;
Gaza children with terminal illness spend their final years under the siege

Amin Odeh
"Stand up for what is right,even if you are standing alone"

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lively Picket at Wendy's in Lake City Today! Tons of Support from Truckers and Other Traffic

Wish I had more pics, but it's hard to walk a picket line and take pictures too!!  :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

From "Are Palestinians Allowed to Resist"? After Answering w/a Hearty "Yes," I Ask for Consideration of My Point Below

This article is primarily about the right of Palestinians to resist the Israeli Occupation.  But the excerpt below is mostly about the distortion of the historical record regarding Gandhi and his tactics.  The whole article (by Dina Jadallah-Taschleris important, but having tried before to raise the issue of Gandhi's imperfect record on non-violence, I am posting this part here:
Gandhi in Context: Was the Indian National Liberation Struggle Entirely Non-Violent? The name Gandhi and non-violent resistance (satyagraha) are almost synonymous in most people’s minds. Satyagraha’s aim is not just to defeat the opponent, but aims to convert the adversary as well. And yet there are important nuances and definite progression in Gandhi’s approach to war and colonialism. On the subject of whether it is better to be a coward or to resist violently, he said: “I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence… I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonour…” (2:  Eds. R. K. Rabhu & U. R. Rao, “Between Cowardice and Violence,” The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, Ahemadabad, India, 1967, p. 3) He also said: “Though violence is not lawful, when it is offered in self-defence or for the defence of the defenseless, it is an act of bravery far better than cowardly submission. The latter befits neither man nor woman. Under violence, there are many stages and varieties of bravery.  Every man must judge this for himself. No other person can or has the right. (3: Ibid, pp. 369-70) Applied to the Palestinian context, this would indicate that Palestinians have the duty to fight back against their own annihilation. However, he would have probably qualified that by saying that non-violence could cause the same changes with lower loss in life.
Historically, too Gandhi’s attitudes to war evolved.  While still in South Africa, and in reaction to the Bambatha (Zulu) Rebellion of 1906 against a new British poll-tax, to which Britain responded by declaring a war, Gandhi encouraged the British to recruit Indians. He wanted to advance Indian claims as full citizens of the Empire.  He also encouraged Indians to join the war through his columns in Indian Opinion.
Gandhi’s statecraft and thought did not happen in a vacuum. Likewise, India’s independence was not the work of only one man or one concept or one strategy.  In fact, India’s nationalist feelings pre-existed Gandhi and the Congress Party, and evidence of it can be found as early as 1857.  The first group to call for complete independence was the uncompromisingly secular Ghadar Party, organized in 1913 by Indian immigrants in California. (3: See here) The party actively pursued violent resistance and revolution (rejecting caste as well) and predictably, their actions were labeled as “terrorism” by Britain. Operating mainly in the first two decades of the 20th Century, the Ghadarites were successful in recruiting Indian soldiers in the British Army (in Hong Kong, Singapore, Rangoon, and Basra) and urging them to revolt.
As for Gandhi, once in India, he progressed to advocating non-violent resistance as a “weapon.” His political views on Indian independence evolved as well. Consider that at the age of 45, Gandhi still held some esteem for the British empire, calling it a “spiritual foundation,” in contrast to the views of most Indian revolutionaries. (4: See here) It wasn’t until after the Amritsar Massacre of civilians by British troops in the Punjab, that Gandhi advocated complete self-government  maturing into independence (swaraj). In the intervening years there was a constant push and pull between Gandhi’s satyagraha policy and other political personalities and groups pursuing independence — not always non-violently.
A massive wave of revolutionary unrest swept India in 1919.  British violent retaliation was unable to quell it. For example, there were more than 200 strikes in the first six months of 1920 alone. And yet in 1921, when Muslim leader Hasrat Mohani wrote a resolution asking for complete independence, Gandhi led the opposition against it and secured its rejection. Likewise, he supported Britain in WWI by trying to recruit Indians for the war effort. He himself volunteered twice for it, in present-day Iraq and in France, reasoning that he “owed” this to the empire in return for military protection. (5: Ibid) This led to deep divisions within the Congress party and also caused a dramatic drop in the popularity of Congress. Young revolutionaries like Rash Behari Bose, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, and revolutionary groups like the Workers and Peasant Party (Kirti Kisan Party) and militant unions like the Bombay textile workers were frequently at odds with Congress. Armed revolutionary groups that emerged in this period included the Hindustan Republican Army and the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army in northern India, as well as the “Revolt Groups” in Bengal (e.g. Chittagong group led by Surya Sen).  Working class and union resistance continued throughout the 1930s. Eventually, it was in response to this revolutionary tide, that the Congress Party became less conservative and more supportive of the more militant attitude. As for Gandhi, he returned to advocating non-violent struggle and launched the salt satyagraha (1930-31) and the boycott campaigns. He has been criticized by some for not taking advantage of this revolutionary tide, thereby delaying independence.
Even at the time of World War II, Gandhi prevaricated on non-violence: first offering “non-violent moral support” to the British effort, and only later rescinding that decision when members of the Congress Party objected to the inclusion of India in the war effort without her consultation. In 1939-40, strikes and uprisings in the countryside swelled dramatically. Afterwards, the Congress party was compelled by grassroots pressure to launch the Quit India movement in August of 1942. It is important to note that this period in the struggle was one of extreme violence, mass arrests, and so forth. And yet, Quit India’s success in contributing to independence is controversial.  Those arguing that it failed say that it fizzled out after five months (largely due to the army’s loyalty) and didn’t topple the Raj or bring it to the negotiating table for independence. In contrast, those who see it as a success, focus on how it sapped colonial energy and resources and on its success at mobilizing masses of people.(5: See here)  Importantly, it inspired the final phase of the fight for independence, which witnessed increasingly militant peasant uprisings, sometimes joined by some of the landlords.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bring Leonard Out!


"Correa Sells Ecuador To Gold Mining, Indigenous Vow Fight To Death" -- Popular Resistance

Shuar leader Patricio Tiwiram sits below a waterfall along the Rio Kupiamias.

 This is a sacred spot for the Shuar and one threatened by nearby mining concessions.

To help him grab these shiny metals, Correa has invited foreign mining firms to deforest and drill much of the country’s remaining pristine forests. Not far from where Ankuash and I are sitting, a Chinese joint venture led by the China Railway Corp. is building infrastructure for an open-sky copper mine with the “Lord of the Rings”-sounding name of Mirador. To the north and east of the Chinese concession, the Canadian gold giant Kinross is prepping its 39 lots, including the envy of the industry, Fruta del Norte, believed to be Latin America’s largest deposit of high-grade gold. These projects are merely the first wave; others wait in the wings. Together they threaten more than the Shuar way of life and the sustainable agricultural and tourist economies of Ecuador’s southern provinces. The Condor is a hot spot of singular ecological wealth and a major source of water for the wider Amazon watershed to the east. What happens there is of global consequence.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

In Photos: Palestinians Take Back Jordan Valley Village -- from Electronic Intifada

To See More of the Story, go to

Palestinians Around A Campfire in Ein Hijleh Village

Palestinians Chanting in Slogans of Protest In Their Village

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

From #15Now: Vast Majority Of Seattle Voters Support $15 Minimum Wage [New Polls!]

If minimum-wage opponents weren’t already shitting bricks, they’re in for an awfully uncomfortable bowel movement: A new poll finds a stunning 68 percent of Seattle voters support a straight-up hike in the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. No exemptions, no phase-ins, no strings attached.
The news for opponents only gets worse the further you delve into the details: 35 percent of voters “strongly support” the proposal, compared to only 14 percent who “strongly oppose,” while support holds fast throughout the city and in every demographic subgroup except Republicans.
And in case opponents were hoping to console themselves with the thought that this is just some shoddy pro-labor propaganda (the poll was funded by a coalition that includes Working Washington, UFCW 21, Nick Hanauer, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, the Teamsters, and the MLK County Labor Council), well, no luck there. The survey of 805 likely Seattle voters—an unusually large and robust sample—was conducted January 14 through January 22 by the reputable polling firm EMC Research, with a margin of error of ± 3.5 percentage points.
These numbers may be off the charts, but they’re rock solid.
“We were certainly surprised,” admits EMC Research principal Andrew Thibault about the unexpectedly positive results, “but it seems that there is a tipping point.” Thibault believes that the $15 campaign in SeaTac, the fast-food strikes, and the embrace of the issue by winning candidates like Council Member Kshama Sawant and Mayor Ed Murray last year have all increased awareness and support for the issue.
But Thibault suspects another factor may have come into play, one beyond the control of either side of the debate: Seattle’s surging sense of self-confidence. According to the survey, 63 percent of Seattle voters believe the city is “going in the right direction,” up from 53 percent in September and 43 percent in 2011. “That’s a crazy number,” says Thibault.
But perhaps more impressive is the “wrong track” number, which has plummeted to just 19 percent. “There’s a tremendous amount of optimism in the city,” says Thibault.
And that optimism may help explain why even when a narrow majority agree with one of the leading talking points against raising the minimum wage, it doesn’t move the dial very far. For example, 51 percent of voters actually agree that “increasing the minimum wage will hurt local small, minority owned, and family owned businesses.” But at the same time, 71 percent of voters also agree that a higher minimum wage would “help” local businesses “because more workers making more money means they will have money to spend at local businesses.”
Seattle voters aren’t ignoring the concerns of small businesses; they have simply determined that the benefits of a higher minimum wage outweigh the costs: 82 percent agree that raising the minimum wage “ensures more families can make ends meet and get ahead,” while only 40 percent call it a “job killer.” Seattle voters simply aren’t moved by the classic argument that a higher minimum wage would shutter businesses and destroy jobs. “People right now aren’t buying it,” says Thibault.
And neither are they buying efforts to water down the ordinance. The survey tested tip credits, small-business exemptions, and applying the wage only to certain industries, none of which increased voter support. A three-year phase-in does bump up support to 73 percent, but stretch the phase-in to five years, and both overall support (67 percent) and intensity (28 percent “strongly”) begin to erode.
By contrast, provisions that strengthen worker protections consistently increase support: all the way up to 88 percent support for requiring that all tips go to workers.
All of this means that if the city council and the mayor ultimately back a compromise measure that’s too weak (phased in too slowly or containing too many exemptions), activists can feel confident taking a more aggressive measure to the ballot this fall knowing that voters are resoundingly behind them.
That is the sound of bricks hitting porcelain in executive washrooms citywide.

Ariel Sharon: Another War Crime Surfaces -- Jonathan Cook

Forty-two years late, another Israeli war crime emerges from the shadows. In this case, dozens, and more probably hundreds, of Israeli soldiers kept a decades-long vow of secrecy. One of them is Shlomo Gazit, today a respected (in Israel, at least) academic at Tel Aviv University.

In January 1972, Ariel Sharon decided that 3,000 Bedouin were in the way of a massive military exercise he wanted to conduct in the southern Negev and northern Sinai. So he summarily expelled two tribes in the el-Arish area of the Sinai from their homes, during a deep winter spell. At least 40 people died, mostly babies, children and the elderly.
A young army researcher, Clinton Bailey, heard from other Bedouin of the expulsion and went to meet the families. He photographed 28 small graves at their new makeshift location.

He then brought the expulsion to the attention of the head of the army, David Elazar. Although Elazar ordered the tribes to be returned to their land, it was too late for the dozens who had died. No action was taken against Sharon or anyone else. In fact, Sharon’s military and later political career prospered on such “exploits”.

Bailey and everyone else covered up the crime for four decades, fearful of the damage it would do to Israel’s reputation. The silence has been broken now because Bailey divulged the incident to journalist David Landau, who was preparing a new biography of Ariel Sharon.

Haaretz coyly admits that its military correspondent of the time knew of the war crime too but kept quiet. The paper has published the story now, but one cannot but ponder its motives. This revelation should help book sales, and Landau is a former senior editor at the paper.

No one is denying that these events took place. The Israeli army even comments that the “case is known”, though it wishes to say nothing more. Gazit has no recollection of being told about it at the time.

What other such crimes do we still not know about because Israelis consider their loyalty to their state more important than their responsibility as human beings to the truth and justice?

And although Haaretz, and most of those involved in the cover-up, treat this as some footnote in the historical record, or another aberration to lay at the feet of Sharon, the reality is that Israel is still driving Arabs – Palestinians – off their land. The people of the Jordan Valley, Sussiya and East Jerusalem know this only too well.

- See more at:

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Wednesday, February 05, 2014


As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together we make a mighty fist. -- Sitting Bull



12:00 NOON: MARCH FOR JUSTICE Portland Ave. Park (on Portland Ave. between E. 35th & E. Fairbanks. Take Portland Ave. exit off I-5 and head east)

1:00 PM: RALLY FOR JUSTICE U.S. Federal Court House, 1717-Pacific Ave.

FACEBOOK EVENTS PAGE: Please invite your friends.

The Seattle Car Pool will leave the Red Apple parking lot (23rd & Jackson) at 10:30am.
Olympia: A bus and cars will leave from Grocery Outlet Parking Lot on Harrison Ave. near Division on the Westside of Olympia at 11 A.M. this Saturday and return to Olympia after the march and rally. It will also stop to pick up people at Media Island, 816 Adams after leaving Grocery Outlet Parking Lot.

Matilaja: Yu’Pik: Eskimo from Mountain Village Alaska. Member of N.W. AIM since 1973, Friend of Leonard Peltier for 40 odd years and member of Tacoma Chapter LPDOC
Ramona Bennett: Puyallup Tribal Elder, Life long friend of Leonard Peltier, Grand Mother, Great Grand Mother
Chauncy Peltier: Leonard Peltier's son
David Bean: Puyallup Tribal Council Member and child of the movement (mother Gloria Bean)
Olivia One Feather: Hunkpapa Lakota, Standing Rock Sioux member, Native and Idle No More activist
Deeahop Conway, Puyallup Tribal member, Tacoma Chapter LPDOC
James OldCoyote: Sacred Water Canoe Family
Jimbo Simmons: AIM West
Peter Bohmer: long-term activist, member of Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace, and faculty at the Evergreen State College
Wakinyan Waanatan (Matt Remle): Hunkpapa Lakota. Last Real Indians
Father Bill Bichsel: Jesuit Priest, Catholic Worker Movement
Gary Wessels-Galbreath: Host View From The Shore on KAOS Radio.
Steve Hapy: Long time Leonard Peltier and Native struggles activist, Tacoma Chapter LPDOC
Arthur J. Miller: Northwest Regional Organizer LPDOC

  Our work for freedom for Leonard Peltier has always been a grassroots struggle involving many different community activists. Each NW regional march and rally in Tacoma is the direct efforts of the Tacoma Chapter LPDOC and Leonard Peltier supporters throughout our region. This up-coming regional march will be the 18th held in Tacoma. COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS, we really need your help this time.
  The awareness of Leonard's case has grown in the NW, as have our events grown also. But members of our group have grown old, poor and in bad health. We are not able to do all that we once were able to. But we cannot back down now. Important support for Leonard has in recent times increased greatly. Thousands upon thousands of phone calls, e-mails, petitions and letters have gone to the White House, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) unanimously passed a resolution in support of freedom for Leonard Peltier, the great concert for Leonard hosted by Pete Seeger and Harry Belafonte, the renewed campaign for Leonard by Amnesty International and much more. We here in the NW do our part by organizing marches for Leonard out in the pubic.
  We need your help getting the word out for the up-coming march on Feb. 8th. Please forward this statement to to others, groups and organizations.  Please share and like our appeals on facebook, please down load our fliers and get them out, please go to our facebook events page and sign-on if you can go and please invite your friends.
  Together we have made the NW and Tacoma known across the land as a strong region of Leonard support, as people have watched videos of our events or heard about them. We need to continue in that spirit and tradition and build the best possible march as possible. With your help that can be done. Thank you.
Leonard Peltier (of the Anishinabe, Dakota, and Lakota Nations), long time Native Activist and member of the American Indian Movement. Leonard Peltier, an innocent man who was convicted for the 1975 shooting deaths of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. U.S. prosecutors have repeatedly admitted that they did not and cannot prove Peltier's guilt, and the appellate courts have cited numerous instances of investigative and prosecutorial misconduct in this case. As late as November 2003, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged that "…Much of the government’s behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and its prosecution of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It intimidated witnesses. These facts are not disputed." The trial of the first two AIM members in this case were found not guilty for reason of self-defense. Amesty International has renewed their campaign to free Leonard. For more information go to:

“I have no doubt whatsoever that the real motivation behind both Wounded Knee II and the Oglala firefight, and much of the turmoil throughout Indian Country since the early 1970s, was—and is—the mining companies’ desire to muffle AIM and all traditional Indian people, who sought—and still seek—to protect the land, water, and air from their thefts and depredations. In this sad and tragic age we live in, to come to the defense of Mother Earth is to be branded a criminal.”
--Leonard Peltier, Prison Writings –

Please call and or send e-mails in support of clemency for Leonard Peltier:
White House Comments Line - 202-456-1111202-456-1112
Message: I support clemency for Leonard Peltier 

    It is important to keep phone calls, e-mails, and letters going to the White House during the clemency campaign.

Tacoma Chapter LPDOC,
P.O. BOX 5464
Tacoma, WA 98415-0464
on facebook at:  
Subscribe to: Northwest Peltier Support at: