Saturday, October 31, 2015

"Outspoken Guantanamo Detainee Finally Walks Free, Years After Being Cleared Of Any Wrongdoing"-- by Kevin Gosztola



In 2012, Aamer likened his treatment to the torture in George Orwell’s “1984,” which became a favorite book of his while at Guantanamo.
“There is so much to say about the evil they do in this place, specially the small things that no one pay attention to it but one thing you need to know,” Aamer stated. “They control the air we breathe. Control the light, control the noise, control the food, control the water. They control everything and they use it against me any time they want. All that you need to know about this place you just need to read ‘1984’ by George Orwell.”
What the U.S. did to Aamer was deeply inhumane. He was robbed of the opportunity to see his children grow up. His children were robbed of an opportunity to have a father while they grew up. And yet now he is better off than dozens of Guantanamo prisoners who remain at the facility.
There are 112 prisoners, about half who face no charges and are cleared for release. They continue to “live to die,” as Aamer put it, while Aamer and his family fortunately get into share in each other’s warmth for the first time in over thirteen years.

"Iran Agrees to Political Transition Where Assad is Not the Main Focus" -- @VijayPrashad on @therealnews

Friday, October 23, 2015

"Feeding Everyone No Matter What"

So humans can survive an agricultural collapse. I wonder if capitalism will still accrete the benefits of these ideas to the elites?  No doubt.  But at least the playing field will more level.  Will you worry about arming yourself or feeding yourself?  Feeding yourself,  is my guess.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Single-State Solution is Already Here -- Gideon Levy


Here is irrefutable proof that the one-state solution should not even be considered: the bloodshed, hatred and fear currently washing over the country. Advocates of the two-state solution and, especially, those who seek no solution, those Israelis who saw the one-state solution as treason and heresy, are now proclaiming victory. “There, that’s what the binational state will look like,” they are saying. “It will be a bloody, endless civil war.”
The same intimidatory arguments that were used for years against the two-state solution (the “Auschwitz borders”) are now being enlisted against the one-state solution. Now, as then, everything is judged according to the contours of the current, depressing reality, and it doesn’t occur to anyone that another reality is possible.
The nationalists say, “An agreement will never be possible with those bloodthirsty people.” The center-left says, “There’s no way to live together.” The common denominator is racism, and the assumption that the hatred will last forever. To this we must add the arguments over the Jewish state’s sanctity and the end of the Zionist project. In short, one state means the end of the world.
And now to the facts. One state already exists here, and has done so for 48 years. The Green Line faded long ago; the settlements are in Israel, and Israel is also the settlers’ land. The fate of the two million Palestinians who live in the West Bank is decided by the government in Jerusalem and the defense establishment in Tel Aviv, not by Ramallah. Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, is their ruler far more than Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is. They are clearly part of the binational state and have been its subjects, forcibly, for some three generations. This state has three regimes: democracy for the Jews; discrimination for the Israeli Arabs; and apartheid for the Palestinians. But everyone lives in one inseparable state.
The binational state that was born in 1967 is not democratic. In fact, it’s one of the worst states in the world, because of the military dictatorship it upholds in part of its territory – one of the most brutal, totalitarian regimes in existence today. It is also one of the most racist states, since it determines its residents’ rights based solely on their nationality. This is the one state that is washed in blood right now, and will continue to be washed in blood as long as it remains in its malicious, nondemocratic format.
Those who say the current bloodbath is proof that Arabs and Jews can’t live together base this on the current state of injustice. And they’re right. If Israel continues to be a state of iniquity, Jews and Arabs will never be able to live together in peace. But the growing few advocating the one-state solution are not thinking of this state – quite the opposite. They wish to undermine it and establish a different, more just and egalitarian regime. When that is established, the hatred and despair will most likely be forgotten.
One may not want to believe this, of course, but one must not deceive. You cannot deny the possibility of life together with arguments based on the existing conditions. Blood is being spilt because of the injustice, and stems from it. How can you rule out in advance the possibility that in a democratic, egalitarian state, different relations will be formed? There are quite a few historic precedents of hatred and horror that dissipated when the injustice dissipated.
We could go back to the two-state solution, of course. Not a bad idea, perhaps, but one that has been missed. Those who wanted a Jewish state should have implemented it while it was still possible. Those who set it on fire, deliberately or by doing nothing, must now look directly and honestly at the new reality: 600,000 settlers will not be evacuated. Without evacuation, there will not be two states. And without two states, only the one-state solution remains.
Now, of all times, out of the fire and despair, we must start talking about the last way out: equal rights for all. For Jews and Arabs. One state is already here, and has been for a long time. All it needs is to be just and do the right thing. Who’s against it? Why? And, most important, what’s the alternative?

Gideon Levy
Haaretz Correspondent
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"Civil action Filed in US Against Former Israeli PM Barak over Gaza Flotilla Death"


Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak is being sued in a US federal court for his involvement in the Israeli army's raid on the Gaza flotilla in 2010, a team of lawyers announced on Wednesday.
The lawsuit is being brought by the family of Furkan Dogan, a 19-year-old American citizen, who was on board the flotilla filming when he was shot five times, including once at point blank range in the head, the lawyers said.
The complaint accuses Barak of "international terrorism".
"This is a case brought by the parents Furkon Dagan," Dan Stormer, one the lawyers representing the Dogan family, told reporters in a news conference on Wednesday evening.
Stormer added that case will be brought under a host of different US laws, including Alien Tort Claims Act, the Torture Victims Protection Act, and the Anti-Terrorism Act.
On 31 May 2010, Israeli security forces raided the flotilla in international waters. According to lawyers representing the Dogan family, these soldiers were led and commanded by Ehud Barak, the minister of defence at the time. The attack killed 10 activists on the Mavi Mamara, one of the flotilla's ships.
The lawyers also stressed that the soldiers took command of the floatilla and towed every ship to the port of Israel, where they arrested the activists for illegally being in an Israeli port. The lawyers added that activists were tortured during that time.
"They left people in stress positions for as long as 12 hours, they prevented them from having access to family members. They prevented them from having toilet facilities, they beat them they tortured them, they gave them no medical treatment, and they treated them in a way that can only be described as torture," said Stormer.

Unprecedented lawsuit

Barak was giving a speech in southern California on Tuesday night when he was served with legal papers, according to a press release from the lawyers involved in the case.
This marks the first time in which an Israeli and former prime minister has been sued in the US.
Rodney Dixon, another lawyer representing the Dogan family, said: "We have for a number of years since the attack in 2010 been pursuing every possible legal avenue to obtain justice for the victims on the floatilla. We have gone to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, the ICC, and we have gone to several national jurisdictions to seek to launch criminal proceedings."
"Our legal work has been based on the long line of international precedents based on Nuremburg and Tokyo and recently Ugoslavia and Rwanda tribunals, which have all consistently held military and political leaders are not beyond the law. They can be held accountable for their actions. They are not entitled to indiscriminately target civilians as occurred that night on the flotilla," he added.
However, this suit does not necessarily mean Barak will be arrested. If he is charged guilty in court, he will most likely have to pay some sort of compensation, said Haydee Dijkscal, an American lawyer who works at the Hague and is part of the international team representing the Dogan family.
"There is not a long history of these types of cases. I can’t imagine that this will be anything less than tens of millions. It will be a massive reward," added Stormer.

Barak knew floatilla was solely humanitarian

As part of the flotilla, more than 700 human rights activists travelled on six ships in an attempt to bring humanitarian supplies to Gaza. The complaint argues that Barak planned and commanded the attack and interception of the flotilla. 
"Barak is responsible and liable of the common plan, design and scheme unlawfully to attack the six vessels of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and the civilian passengers on board which constituted ascts of international terrorism and result in extrajudicial killings, torture and cruel inhuman and other degrading treatment in violation of customary international law," the complaint filed in a US Federal Court in Central California says. 
Stormer believes that Israel deliberately knew that the floatilla was a humanitarian effort prior to the attack.
"They had every reason to believe that there are unarmed civilians who were there solely for purposes of humanitarian aid. They had every reason to believe that there are approximately 700 unarmed people solely for humanitarian purposes. Did they know that this particular young man was there? Not only did they not know, they did not care who they shot. They did not care who they killed, they did not care who they tortured. They did it to everyone on that flotilla," he told MEE.
According to Hakan Camuz, a spokesperson for the Dogan family, the stuff confiscated by Israeli soldiers during was "all humanitarian aid, including toys for children as well as pharmaceutical materials".
Barak has admitted responsibility for the attack.

- See more at:

Long-time Friend of Stand Up Seattle Ivy Williams on Cover of Real Change Newsletter -- Ivy Is Fighting Against Slumlords

I didn't happen to pick this one up so it was a surprise!  I met Ivy at the Demo mentioned in the article.  Slumlord Carl Haglund was greeted with outrage!

There are few such great fighters for the working class than Ivy!

She works with

Friday, October 16, 2015

"Violence In Israel And The Palestinian Territories: It's The Occupation"--Seattle Vigil Against Occupation, Saturday, 10/17, Noon-2pm

Saturday, Noon-2pm
4th & Pine St. Seattle

H/T Mai Odeh

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

"Reproducing State Violence: Planned Parenthood, the Hyde Amendment and Indigenous Struggle" -- Kelly Hayes -- BRILLIANT!

Link to original (written by Kelly Hayes):

Reproductive care has always been a complex topic for people of color in the United States. Since the beginnings of colonization - through the horrors of slavery and the forced sterilization efforts of the last century - our ability to control whether or not we bring life into the world and how we are allowed to interact with our offspring once they are born has been either challenged or completely wrenched from our grasp. It is not surprising that this set of varied experiences, tied together by a thread of oppression, would yield different responses by those affected. Some of us reject any effort to impose any further control of our bodies, and some view abortion as being inextricably connected to this country's long-term efforts to control the number of Black and Brown children born into it.
I know that some view all life - including the unborn - as sacred, and oppose abortion on such grounds. I am further aware that some fervently debate when life actually begins. So to simplify what I am trying to convey, I will plainly offer that, in my opinion, life does begin at conception, and that this does not alter my position on abortion in the least. I am pro-choice. I do not believe that all life is sacred, or that we live in a world in which such a principle is treated as fact in any instance outside of societal efforts to control what happens inside the bodies of those who are able to bear children.
As an Indigenous woman, I view any state control of my body as an act of colonial violence. I see restrictions on abortion access no differently than the forcible sterilization of Native women or the mass theft of our children. When the same force that has occupied our land and raped and ravaged our communities - the very force that has robbed us of our heritage and made a mockery of our culture - attempts to control any aspect of our bodies, that act is nothing short of state violence. It is the oppressive will of a power structure that would occupy both our land and our bodies.
Reproductive domination is the theft of Native agency, which has always been at the heart of our experiences as Native people living the grotesque realities that this society masks with its myth of US greatness. As Nicolle Gonzales, a Diné midwife and health-care advocate recently reminded us, the government's efforts to annihilate us through forced sterilization continued through the 1970s, when "the Indian Health Service oversaw the nonconsensual sterilization of approximately 40 percent of women of childbearing age."
This theft of Native reproductive agency is a culturally and historically embedded aspect of the colonial experience.
Last week, Pope Francis captivated much of the country with his visit to the United States. Like many liberals who are enthusiastic about topics like combating climate change, the pope established during his visit that he is unwilling to do anything more than pay lip service to Native struggle. His canonization of Junípero Serra was an insult to Native people everywhere, and proved that any claims the pontiff might make about regretting the crimes committed against Indigenous people are utterly hollow. It's important to note, however, that the Catholic Church's position on reproductive rights and care also reflect that same reality.
From the doctrine of discovery's influence of manifest destiny, to the Church's present support of legal measures that would control how and when women - especially Brown and Black women - bring life into the world, or choose not to, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church has been representative of oppression and social control grounded in supremacy. Acknowledging as much is not a condemnation of Catholics as individuals. It is merely a statement of fact conveyed by one whose people have been subject to that oppression and control, and its horrific consequences, ever since colonialism and Christianity reached our shores.
The fact is, the Catholic Church's relationship with Native peoples has both fed and mirrored that of the US government. Just as Serra's missions perpetuated the enslavement, torture, rape and murder of Native people, so too, has the power structure of this society.
And now, the issue is forced birth and access to reproductive health care. Both conservatives within this government and a pope celebrated by a liberal fandom the world over are demanding that those who can bear children - including those whose ability to do so has already been historically twisted, controlled and stolen - submit to the will of a hierarchy of white men who would decide what happens to our bodies.
This is colonial violence. It is domination. It is the suppression of our liberation. And it cannot be permitted.
If Native people who are able to bear children embrace faiths or ideologies that steer them away from abortion, that is their right - a right that should be protected by any means necessary. But the same is true for all aspects of reproductive choice. We must reclaim our bodies from the state. We must defend ourselves against the further infliction of colonial violence.
We must not allow any aspect of our humanity to be the province of this government.
Every Native life is a victory against colonialism, but so is every act that affirms our self-determination. We are freedom fighters, born in resistance, and this government continues to make battlefields of our bodies. We must repel their invasion. We must do this because the survival of our people is not enough. We must have the freedom to choose how we live and what we bring into this world.
As a Native woman, my liberation demands that the Hyde Amendment be abolished, and that efforts to defund Planned Parenthood be thwarted. Native people must be free to decide the course of our own destinies because our freedom will never be realized as long as the state-sanctioned control of our bodies is allowed to continue.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Roger Waters to Jon Bon Jovi: “You stand shoulder to shoulder with the settler who burned the baby”

Letter to the pop group Bon Jovi:
Dear Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, and Tico Torres,
Often in the past I have written detailed, and sometimes even persuasive, letters to colleagues in the music business, encouraging them not to give succor to the Israeli government’s apartheid policies by performing in Israel. Having read Jon’s comments last week in Yedioth Ahronoth, I won’t waste my time drawing parallels with Apartheid South Africa and the moral stand that so many artists took then and that thousands are taking now in the face of decades of Israeli oppression of Palestinians.
So the die is cast, you are determined to proceed with your gig in Tel Aviv on October 3. You are making your stand.
You stand shoulder to shoulder
With the settler who burned the baby
With the bulldozer driver who crushed Rachel Corrie
With the sailor who shelled the boys on the beach
With the sniper who killed the kid in the green shirt
And the Minister of Justice who called for genocide 
You had a chance to stand
On the side of justice
With the pilot who refused to bomb refugee camps
With the farmer who was cut down marching to the wall
With the legless child growing up in the rubble
And the 550 others who won’t grow up at all
The dead can’t remind you of the crimes you’ve ignored. But, lest we forget, “To stand by silent and indifferent is the greatest crime of all.”
Roger Waters