Monday, September 28, 2015


I guess youtube and google aren't playing well together.  Cannot embed videos anymore.  Please copy link below and watch a good barnburner by Chris Hedges.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Local World Council of Churches Groups Display in Seattle Demands: "Netanyahu, Take Down This Wall"

Israel's Apartheid Wall replica in Westlake Park

Passers by Stop At Information Table
More messaging for people passing by Westlake Park

Lloyd Johnson who built the portable wall (which will be used at other events this week)

Ed & Amin from Voices for Palestine help assemble the wall.

Lloyd & Amin working on the wall.

It is the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, called for by the World Council of Churches.  More info here:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"Obama's Response to the Refugee Crisis: Regime Change in Syria" - [Obama's Newest War]

Shamus Cooke at


"...Barack Obama for the first time portrayed his plans for US military action [in Syria] as part of a broader strategy to topple [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad, as the White House's campaign to win over skeptics in Congress gained momentum."

The resolution would allow a a 90 day window for U.S. military attack in Syria, where both ISIS and the Syrian government would be targeted; with regime change in Syria being the ultimate objective.

The U.S. public has virtually no knowledge of these new developments. A field of candidates campaigning for President haven't mentioned the subject. The U.S. media's silence on the issue is deafening. 


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Albert Woodbox Fighting for his Freedom in Two Courts -- Free #AlbertWoodfox


Though it is an incredibly unusual, and often confusing situation, the legal reality is that Albert is fighting for permanent, unconditional release concurrently on two separate legal tracks - one in federal and the other in state court.  As we all wait to hear whether the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold federal Judge Brady's June 8th "unconditional Writ," a third attempt to prosecute Albert in state court for the crime he continues to maintain he's innocent of is already, simultaneously, underway.

Next Monday, September 21st at 9:30am at the Courthouse in St. Francisville, the state court track will take a huge leap forward as Judge Carmichael of West Feliciana Parish's 20th Judicial District Court decides what a new playing field will look like after each side presents what they believe to be the key ingredients needed to ensure a just potential third trial.

Over the summer, Albert's state court legal team (Rob McDuff and Billy Sothern) filed a slate of 16 motions that began this process of defining the evidentiary and procedural ground rules for a potential retrial.  In addition to a comprehensive and convincingly argued request for change of venue, the bulk of the filings seek to construct a legal landscape where Albert has at least a chance of being fairly retried--where all of the now impeached, debunked, and discredited testimony, statements, and evidence presented at previous trials is excluded.

Albert's team also asks the court compel the State to allow modern DNA testing of all remaining physical evidence and to compare the potentially exculpatory fingerprints from the crime scene, already proven not to be Albert's, against the prison's own inmate fingerprint archives from the 1970s and the FBI's recently expanded AFIS fingerprint identification system.  Though it seems obvious that these simple tests could have long ago helped to identify the real culprit, the Attorney General told NPR as recently as 2008 he didn't see a need.  "A fingerprint can come from anywhere," Caldwell explains. "We're not going to be fooled by that."

Most fundamentally though, Albert's legal team argues that the 2015 indictment should itself be quashed and the case dismissed because all the key prosecution witnesses have passed away, as have all the key witnesses for the defense and the leaders of the initial investigation, making it impossible for Albert to exercise his constitutional right to confront and cross-examine them about the many inconsistencies, obfuscations, and procedural missteps later uncovered.  His attorneys conclude:

"Albert Woodfox is 68 years old, less than two years away from turning 70. He has been severely punished for the last 43 years for a crime in which none of the physical evidence implicates him and the State's proof is highly questionable. The circumstances of this case are such that he cannot receive a fair trial 43 years after the fact. The motion to quash should be granted and this case should be dismissed."

We will keep you updated as to how these issues play out if you are unable to attend on the 21st and won't stop fighting until justice for our friend is finally realized.

Write Albert:

Albert Woodfox #72148             
West Feliciana Parish Detention Center
PO Box 2727
St. Francisville, LA 70775

With Regard to Alison Weir: Letter from Ann Arbor Friends Meeting Palestine Israel Action Group to U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation & Jewish Voice for Peace

Palestine Israel Action Group    
A Subcommittee of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting 
1420 Hill Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104-3106

                                                                                                            August 4, 2015

To:       Yousef Munayyer, Director, US Campaign 
Anna Baltzer, National Organizer, US Campaign  
Josh Ruebner, Policy Director, US Campaign
            Felicia Eaves, US Campaign Steering Committee Co-Chair
            Andrew Kadi, US Campaign Steering Committee Co-Chair
            Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace
            Alison Weir, If Americans Knew

Dear Friends,
We Ann Arbor Quakers in the Palestine-Israel Action Group (PIAG) support the pro-Palestinian work of the US Campaign, Jewish Voice for Peace, and If Americans Knew. Their quest for Palestinian human rights and freedom is our quest, as well. We hope to remain working within all three organizations for that good cause – in solidarity, rather than in perfect agreement.  

We fully agree with USC’s Common Principles, standing “opposed to Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, all forms of racism, and any other expressions of bigotry directed at any person or group."  We are troubled, however, when pro-Palestinian organizations spend time and energy investigating their coalition members for possible instances of deviation from these principles. This effort can be divisive and diversionary, undermining our movement's ability to achieve the goal of Palestinian human rights and freedom.

We urge that USC and JVP’s investigations of coalition members will end. Can you give us assurance in this regard?

In peace,

Helen Fox, PIAG Convener
Marilyn Churchill
Karen Deslierres
Ed Morin
Anne Remley
Ruth Zweifler

PIAG is sad to report that US Campaign is unable to give the assurance they requested in the final line above.  Policy Director Josh Ruebner stated in a conference call with PIAG that if any further group were to request the ousting of another member, US Campaign’s standard procedures would mandate that such a request be duly considered.

As someone who has signed a defense of Alison Weir 
along with many other Palestine solidarity activists, I applaud the efforts of the Ann Arbor Friends Pal/Israel group to bring a halt to this witch hunt.  I echo their concern that this habit the solidarity community has of picking fights with those in the movement who do not share the same tactics will inevitably hobble our work unnecessarily by fear-mongering people interested in supporting Palestine liberation.  I urge the U.S. Campaign and JVP to reconsider their exile of Alison Weir (and If Americans Knew).
Linda Jansen, Seattle, WA

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

"Dozens Of Palestinians, Including Children, Injured In Jerusalem" IMEMC

Dozens of Palestinians, including children, have been injured on Friday evening and early night hours, in Silwan town, in occupied East Jerusalem, during clashes that took place after Israeli fanatics assaulted an 8-year-old child, while Israeli soldiers invaded homes and fired gas bombs, concussion grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets.
Image By Wadi Hilweh Information Center - Silwanic
Image By Wadi Hilweh Information Center - Silwanic
The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) said the assailants attacked Zeid Abu Qweider, 8 years of age, in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood, repeatedly beating and kicking him, before a young man noticed the attacked and intervened.

It added that approximately twenty Israeli extremists then assaulted a group of Palestinian children, 5-14 years of age, and sprayed their faces with pepper-spray.

Eyewitnesses told Silwanic that several guards of illegal colonies in Silwan also invaded the neighborhood, and hurled gas bombs and concussion grenades.

Medical sources said resident Abdullah Abu Naab, 60, and Mahdi Rajabi, 14, suffered burns in their faces and were unable to breathe, before medics arrived at the scene, provided first aid and moved them to the al-Makassed Hospital.

The attack also led scores of injuries, especially among the children, while a pregnant woman was also wounded.

Some of the wounded have been identified as Zeid Abu Qweider, 8, Adam Rajabi, 9, Rahaf Abu Qweider, 5, Odai Rajabi, 12, Hamza Rajabi, 12, Yazan Rajabi 12, Walid ash-Sha’er, 16, Asma’ Rajabi (pregnant in her ninth month), 29, and ‘Adel Tawfiq Gheith, 75 years of age.

In addition, five children and their parents suffered severe effects of gas inhalation after the Israeli guards hurled a gas bomb into their homme.

The oldest of the wounded children is 13, and the youngest is only seven months of age.

Another family, including an infant, also suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation, medical sources said.

In addition, clashes took place in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, after a number of Israeli fanatics invaded it, while Israeli soldiers later invaded the area, and declared it a closed military zone.

Furthermore, soldiers attacked dozens of Palestinians in the protest tent in the neighborhood, and hurled gas and concussion grenades on them, before attacking the tent and smashing many chairs.

Many teenagers and children were injured after the soldiers attacked them in Batn al-Hawa; the army also fired several gas bombs at a number of homes, while many soldiers started banging on doors causing anxiety attacks among families, especially the children.

A young man, identified as Saleh Kash’am, suffered various cuts and bruises after the soldiers repeatedly kicked him in the neighborhood.

Clashes also took place in the at-Tour town, after dozens of soldiers invaded it; media sources said local youths hurled a Molotov cocktail that struck one of the invading police vehicles, and that one officer was injured.

The police fired gas bombs, concussion grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets at random, Silwanic said.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

"Invisible War Crimes – The Corporate Media On Yemen" -- Media Lens


As Daniel Larison, senior editor of The American Conservativewrites:
'After more than five months of depriving the civilian population of basic necessities and preventing their access to humanitarian aid, I don't think this needs to be qualified by saying that this "may" be a war crime. It seems clear at this point that the blockade is a deliberate and sustained effort to inflict punishment on the civilian population in violation of international law. I have said this before, but it bears repeating that U.S. participation in this cruel and unnecessary campaign is indefensible and disgraceful.'
Tom Engelhardt, founder and editor of, notes that 'though no viewer would know it from' television coverage, 'all across the region -- from Yemen to Syria to Iraq -- U.S. arms are fueling conflicts and turning the living into the dead.'
In an article titled 'Total War in Yemen Totally Ignored by Western Media', Tony Cartalucci observes:
'After NATO's attempt to invoke the "responsibility to protect" (R2P) as justification for the destruction of Libya, it became clear that NATO was merely hiding behind the principles of humanitarian concern, not upholding them.'
He continues:
'However, R2P is conveniently absent amid what little talk of Yemen that does take place in the Western media. US-backed blockades and months of aerial bombardments have tipped Yemen toward a humanitarian catastrophe.'
Iona Craig explains why the US is especially keen to keep Saudi Arabia amenable at this particular moment:
'America's continued support of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen comes as Saudi-U.S. relations have been strained by President Obama's pursuit of a nuclear deal with the Kingdom's regional nemesis, Iran.'
Craig quotes Adam Baron, a visiting fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations, who suggests that the US has been more eager than usual to appease Saudi Arabia, 'because they want them and the other Gulf States to at least not actively oppose the Iran deal.'
Despite the nuclear deal, the West still regards a stable and strong Iran as a threat to its hegemony in the region. Why? Noam Chomsky says:
'The answer is plain: the rogue states that rampage in the region and do not want to tolerate any impediment to their reliance on aggression and violence. In the lead in this regard are the U.S. and Israel, with Saudi Arabia trying its best to join the club with its invasion of Bahrain (to support the crushing of a reform movement there) and now its murderous assault on Yemen, accelerating a growing humanitarian catastrophe in that country.'

The overarching framework, Chomsky points out, is the so-called Clinton Doctrine, named after former US president Bill Clinton. The doctrine asserts that United States is entitled to the 'unilateral use of military power' to ensure 'uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources'. This entitlement is dressed up as alleged 'security' or 'humanitarian' concerns.

Friday, September 04, 2015

"Regime Change Refugees: On the Shores of Europe" -- Vijay Prashad

Original is at:
"Terrible pictures arrive onto social media of refugees from Syria and elsewhere, washed up on the shores of Europe. One in particular is particularly ghastly – the body of young Aylan Kurdi. He was only three. He was from the Syrian town of Kobane, now made famous as the frontline of the battle between ISIS and the Kurdish militias (largely the YPG and PKK). Aylan Kurdi’s body lay in a fetal position. Few dry eyes could turn away from that photograph.
The Jordanian cartoonist Rafat Alkhateeb drew an image of Aylan Kurdi. The infant’s body lies on the other side of a barbed wire fence that separates him from the continents of the world.
Rafat Alkhateeb
Cartoon by Rafat Alkhateeb.
Children like Aylan Kurdi are disposable in the world’s imagination. Untold thousands of Syrian children have died in this conflict. Tens of thousands of children die in conflicts around the world. The United Nations estimates that half of all deaths in conflict zones are of children. In 1995, UNICEF reported that two million children had died in conflicts over the previous decade. The rate has not decreased. The statistic harms the consciousness. But it is the picture of Aylan Kurdi that has unsettled our ethics – does the world really care about the damage done to children as a result of war and diabolical trade policies? The evidence suggests that the world does not care at all. What care there is comes in the brief instance when we glance at a photograph such as that of the dead body of Aylan Kurdi. He breaks our heart. But he will do little to change our politics.
The West believes that it is acceptable for it to intervene to influence the political economy of the Third World – to force IMF-driven “reforms” on these states. Capital is allowed be borderless. That freedom does not apply to labour – to people. Migration is forbidden. It is hateful. Racist ideas allow fortresses to be built against the natural movement of people. Barbed wire fences and concentration camp towers outline the US-Mexico border, just as such fences and the Mediterranean Moat block the passage into Europe. If Capital destroys the society here, its people cannot be allowed to migrate there.
The West believes that it is acceptable for it to overthrow governments and bomb its enemies in the lands of the Third World. It sees this as the limit of its humanitarianism. It calls this humanitarian interventionism or, in the language of the UN, “responsibility to protect” (R2P). When it breaks states, as it did in Libya, the West takes no responsibility for the broken lives of the people in those zones. Bombs are borderless. But war refugees must stand in queues and be held in concentration camps. They are not allowed freedom of movement.
Hypocrisy is central to elite Western ethics. It uses words like “freedom” and “equality” but mostly means its opposite. The freedom of human beings and equality between human beings is not relevant. More important is the freedom of Money. It is Money that cannot have its liberty impinged.
Both Europe and the United States want to build walls to prevent the free movement of people. The Statue of Liberty in New York harbor bears the words, “Give me your tired, your poor; your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This is Emma Lazarus’ poem from 1883. No longer do these words make sense. There is no exhortation to send the tired, the poor, the huddled masses to safety. There is mostly the State-led jingoism that sets up barriers and threatens deportations. The more appropriate song is by Woody Guthrie, Deportee, from 1961: “They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves. We died in your hills, we died in your deserts, we died in your valleys and died on your plains.” He would have added, we died on your shores.
Such toxic lineages are not alone. There is also the people’s ethics – banners in Germany unfurled at football games to welcome refugees, convoys of ordinary British nations to Calais (France) to help feed and clothe the refugees, demonstrations of radical internationalists in Eastern Europe against the neo-fascists and the racists. There are also, in the United States, the Dream Defenders and United We Dream who fight for undocumented residents, who formed part of the massive pro-immigrant rallies that have now adopted May Day as their day. These indications of the good side of history are often ignored by the press, which has a tendency to hype up the bad side to boost ratings. Such gestures of solidarity tell us what is possible in the West. [Emphasis added]
Aylan Kurdi is dead. Many other Aylan Kurdis remain. Our outrage at this callous death should drive us deeper into a politics that calls for a drawdown of the violence in Syria and for a serious peace process in Libya, that forces us to be resolute in our fight against IMF and NATO destruction of societies and states. In essence, this is a call for a resolute anti-imperialism. Imperialism, after all, is extra-economic force such as war or the unequal drafting of trade rules to allow a small capitalist minority to sequester the largest share of globally produced social wealth. Refugees such as Aylan Kurdis are “climate change refugees,” “regime change refugees” and “IMF refugees.”
The West’s managers will only talk about tragedies and security. For them people are migrants and deportees, those whose mobility must be constrained. This is a limited imagination. They will not want to talk about the causes of the problem – the wars and economic policies that throw millions of people into the status of refugee. That is our job. In the name of Aylan Kurdi."

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

"Give All Refugees A Free Ticket To Brussels" -- Automatic Earth

from Automatic Earth

A few days ago, I joked to Nicole that Paddypower should by now have a bet open on how much longer the Schengen open border treaty will be valid in Europe. Didn’t check if they actually had one, mind you. 
But it can’t be long anymore, so it wouldn’t be a big money maker even if it existed. I give it a few days at most. Italy just announced it wants guards at Brennero, one of its main border posts with Austria. One down, a few hundred to go, and they may go at a rapid clip. 
Europe’s countries are not each other’s enemies yet, but they will shut borders. Germany pulled a fast one yesterday by telling Hungary to stop the trains from rolling west, but now Budapest has a big problem. They should have just allowed the refugees to board the trains and leave. Put them on a train, give them food and drink and make them first Austria’s and then Germany’s problem. 
And Germany’s a fine place for the refugees to go, since Berlin is sort of the de facto capital of the EU, at least when that seems a profitable position to be in, but it’s not the perfect place to go, because Merkel and her ilk will denounce their leadership claims whenever that looks more beneficial in the polls.
Merkel and Schäuble can screw over Greece three ways to Sunday, but they’re like this Bill Pesek headline on Bloomberg two weeks ago about the Chinese leadership that said something to the effect that they like the power but not the responsibility. That’s at least as true for Europe as it is for Beijing. 
And that makes it hard to call any supposed leaders on any of their responsibilities. It’s also why thousands of refugees have drowned and not one of the ‘leaders’ have lifted a finger. They’re there for the power, not the other stuff. 
And that, as I’ve said a hundred times before, is embedded in the EU model, in its design, its regulations, its laws, the whole shebang. When I read that Yanis Varoufakis wants a pan-European anti-austerity movement, I’m thinking he doesn’t understand how it’s set up. The whole bureaucracy was made to resist change, democracy, and any challenges to its ‘belief’ system.
It’s no use saying the EU should do something or another in the refugee crisis, because it won’t. And what it may do will always be way too late and way too little. It’s how it was structured. The EU is geared towards accumulating more power, not solving its own problems. 
But at the same time, Brussels is still the only capital the EU has. And that’s why all refugees, wherever they are at the moment, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Macedonia, should be allowed to board trains, with enough humane facilities and provisions, bound for Brussels. 
They should all be directed towards the European Parliament and/or other posh buildings – they recently opened a €1.2 billion one, that should facilitate a few refugees -, and stay there until the EU is forced to solve the issue. 
And every single cameraman on the planet should be there to register what happens. How long they will be allowed to go without food, water and shelter. How long they will go without proper medical treatment. 
Let’s see how Brussels deals with 50,000 -100,000 people in its streets and parks, with more coming every day, while the whole world is watching live on a hundred news channels.
And I know Strasbourg will want to dispute the claim that Brussels is the capital, and you know what?, I’m willing to send half of the refugees there too. Just so the French don’t feel left out or insultée or have their pride hurt. 
And something tells me that the citizens of Belgium and France, like their Greek peers, will have the decency to feed and shelter the Syrian and Libyan mothers and children on their doorsteps while the ivory towers diddle. 
It looks to me to be the only way to expose the EU for what it is, and then put an end to the macabre monstrosity it has become. 
We would need to convince the refugees that by doing things this way, they would open the way for those who come after them, of which there will undoubtedly be many. 
The Italian, Hungarian, Greek etc. governments should issue rail tickets from their countries to Brussels and tell the refugees that that’s where the European capital is, and to apply there for visas, asylum, and everything else.
Brussels lives by the adage of divide and rule. And that serves only the bureaucrats that inhabit the institution. Not the refugees, and not the people of Europe.