Tag: protest

I hereby make a commitment

that, on the Third Friday and/or Third Weekend of every month, I will break my daily routine and take some action, by myself or with others, to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That’s the pledge that is at the heart of the Iraq Moratorium, whose 20th iteration is observed today (and tomorrow and Sunday). This no-budget, locally-based, grassroots-up initiative has had over 2000 listed organized events and tens of thousands of individual participants since it began on September 15, 2007.

Please do something today or over the weekend–call your congresscritter, wear a button or armband, put a sign in your window, join a vigil, pray.

We’d love you to check out the Iraq Moratorium website, newly revamped, and report what you did.

But do something!

“We showed the world today that the people can win”

Crossposted from Antemedius

How much more will Americans take from Wall Street and the US Government before we start to see people rise up the way they are in Thailand?

ASEAN Summit Called Off As Thai Protesters Storm Site

by Charles McDermid, Los Angeles Times, via truthout.org
Saturday, 11 April 2009

   Pattaya, Thailand – Thousands of protesters smashed through a glass entrance and stormed a hotel complex today during a key meeting of regional heads of state.

   Thailand has declared a state of emergency in the summit’s host city Pattaya and the annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has been called off. Other protests have now been reported in the northern city of Chaing Mai, where protesters have blocked a road, and in Udon Thani, where demonstrators have surrounded City Hall.

   The widespread turmoil caps a week of anti-government protests that have paralyzed Bangkok and raised new fears about Thailand’s political stability.

   Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiv apologized to his regional counterparts and lifted the state of emergency in an impromptu press conference held in the abandoned venue seven hours after the protesters’ assault.

   “Anyone who declares this a victory is an enemy of the country,” said Abhisit.

   The demonstrators swarmed past police barricades and riot police in Pattaya for the second day to demand Abhisit step down and dissolve the government.

   Protest leader Kerk Somsan said the group overran the hotel in retaliation for one of their members allegedly being shot dead and others injured by gunfire in a clash with rival protesters earlier that day. They carried through on a vow to occupy the hotel if the government failed to make an arrest in the case within one hour. A Thai government spokesman said authorities are investigating the incident.

   The red-shirted protesters pushed police lines up the hotel’s steps and trapped them against the entrance. After several moments, the heaving glass shattered and protesters stormed the hotel. Many were waving flags, blowing whistles and horns and chanting “Thaksin,” the name of their exiled leader and benefactor, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

   The unarmed group raged through several adjacent buildings in the sprawling Pattaya Exhibition and Conference Center before gathering outside the meeting hall where nine leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, were inside having lunch. The leaders were later evacuated by helicopter from the resort’s rooftop, according to reports.

5 Days. 5 Protests.

Since the passage of Prop 8 on Tuesday, thousands of people have been protesting in California every single day of the week.  

Here are my photos from protests around the Los Angeles area…

The incident at Hofstra was a SET UP!

With more time to process what happened at Hofstra, and with what I already know about the relative motivations and effectiveness of the Nassau County Executive, I have come to the realization that the incident between the local police and Iraq Veterans Against the War was a setup. The objective was to put veteran anti-war groups like IVAW and Veterans For Peace at odds with local DEMOCRATIC politicians who must bear the brunt of the bad PR and possibly (at the County level) punitive damages.

So I got a reply from the Nassau County Executive…

Because I am lazy I didn’t feel like typing it all in, so here it is in all it’s quasi-original glory instead, with my address covered up to protect what shreds of privacy I may still have.

Letter to Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi

It has taken me some time to process my emotional reaction to the events of October 15th. On that day, a complete atrocity occurred. American blood was shed on American soil once more – not by foreign terrorists but by the soulless, brainwashed agents of Bush’s police state, acting against the very veterans who define this country’s freedom and swore to defend the US Constitution with their lives. US combat veterans returned from service in Iraq and Afghanistan came to petition their presidential candidates with legitimate and valid questions concerning the ending of the Iraq war and the treatment of veterans at home, only to experience disrespect and physical injury at the hands of Nassau County police officers and their shadowy, unidentified, badgeless Department of Hopeless Insecurity supporters.

Ay Berlusconi! Dig my Tronolone!

I’ll bet you thought I was gonna be spending another one of those boring suburban Mondays at home.

Well you’re wrong. I’m in DC right now. Surprise. 🙂

Here’s Desiree, myself and Liz of CodePink protesting outside the White House while Bush and Italian President Berlusconi were having a press conference. We brought megaphones and my “Yessongs” drum to protest the building of a US military base at Dal Molin. Over 25,000 people – 95% of the people living in Vincenza – do not want the base.

We were told that they could hear our protests in the Rose Garden. I was yelling funny stuff like “AY PAESAN, WHADDAYA DOIN’ IN THERE WITH THAT STUNARD BUSH!” Some of our chants were in Italian: “BASTA LA GUERRA!” and “NO ALLA BASE, SI ALLA PACE!” Eventually the Italian version of the Associated Press, ANSA, came out and interviewed us. We are also now frontpaged on the “No Dal Molin” web site.

One of the things I was yelling for my own amusement was “Ay Berlusconi! Dig my Tronolone!” My maiden name, Tronolone, means “thunder”. The family name is not exactly as common as “Smith” on this side of the pond, but it is a prominent one in northern Italy where they are trying to build the base. I mentioned to the ANSA people what my maiden name is and snarked that I come from a proud family tradition of fighting against Emperors. (In the 1110 AD, the Tronolone family stood with three other Milanese baronies against a forced assimilation into the Holy Roman Empire by Frederick Barbarossa.) The ANSA reporters were amused.

A Riotous Time?

** Now as a consideration for my dear friend OPOL as well..whose excellent essay “They Better Hope We Don’t Wake Up” also burns as truth in my soul.

Cross-posted from the Wild Wild Left

(…this started as a response to Gottlieb’s reply to Proximity1 in Ed’s PROMIS essay but grew beyond what I had to say to him into a general essay on the subject…)

I was going to ask first, somewhat glibly, “Would you then come back & help?

Then as thoughts of Pandora’s Box came into my mind, it grew into ponderings too large to be ignored, not a subject for glibness or levity.

This may be the biggest decision America has had to face in light of our current conditions and the available technology in which they will be dealt.

So, this isn’t just a reply to his comment anymore, but a thought to those who would say “riot” lightly.

It is also a question for those who are ready, and say “riot” not lightly, but with full intent.

Read on for my thinking. Consider well before you leap my friends, for when we leap there really is no going back. And most of us would not live to see the fruits of our actions.

Do We Feel Safer Now?

A chilling report from Glen Greenwald today (Sunday 8/31/08) documents his visit to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.  He reports that as a part of the security apparatus, the local police with the help of the FBI have raided various headquarters, private homes, and meeting places of activist groups with plans to protest at the Convention.  The raids were carried out using warrants to search for “fire and code violations.”  Never mind that the Fire Marshall was never notified, the fact that ONLY the protest groups that were legally planning to demonstrations were raided highlights the real intent.  A description of one of the raids with more commentary and details below the fold:

Wise Up and Rise Up – or Kiss It All Goodbye

I find myself, on some level, torn between my highly strained faith in American democracy and a perception that it no longer exists.  I applaud and encourage political activism and cherish the activists that I know, but for all their heroism, commitment and hard work, I see us sliding steadily backwards.  This has been my observation for the past 40 years.  We progressives have faced unremitting defeat at the hands of the ultra-conservative ‘system’, which clearly serves our super-wealthy overlords – not us.  


NN08 – Part I – Old Friends/New Friends

NN08 was everything I hoped it would be and considerably more.  I saw many old friends from last year, met face-to-face many old friends whom I had not met before and made many new ones as well.  There is something totally amazing about meeting an online friend in meat space for the first time.  In the Paradise restaurant on 6th Street in Austin on the first night of the conference I witnessed it happen five times back-to-back one right after another.  It was pure magic.


“Ignorance, Not Iran, Is the Enemy”

       Last weekend, June 28 and 29, 2008, over 300 people representing anti-war groups including A.N.S.W.E.R, Troops Out Now Coalition, United for Peace and Justice, U.S. Labor Against the War, StopWarOnIran, American Friends Service Committee, and CASMII, the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran, met in Cleveland, Ohio, under the auspices of the National Assembly to End the Iraq War and Occupation.

The main goal of the National Assembly Conference was to unify the various coalition members around common Resolutions and coordinated plans for Actions throughout the nation to demand the immediate withdrawal of all US forces from Iraq.

Concerned that the ongoing drumbeat urging war against Iran might not be appropriately countered by anti-war activists, CASMII-USA President Rostam Pourzal and Phil Wilayto, publisher of the Richmond Defender drafted a Resolution urging that National Assembly include in its goals that of preventing an attack on Iran.

Behind the banner, Ignorance, Not Iran, Is the Enemy, Pourzal and Wilayto, who are both members of VAWN, Virginia Anti-War Network, conducted a workshop laying out arguments why a military attack on Iran, Sanctions on Iran, and interference in Iran’s internal affairs should be opposed by anti-war activists.

Rostam Pourzal answered the main U.S. lies – that Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons, that it is a military threat to the United States and Israel, that it sponsors terrorism, and that it is a source of instability in Iraq.

Wilayto discussed the urgency of including the Iran Resolution in the actions of the National Assembly, since it is

the only major anti-war planning event taking place this election year…{and it} brought together representatives of national coalitions that seldom work together.

Pourzal, Wilayto, and this diarist attended the Conference motivated by

concern that the Bush administration might misread the conference’s focus on bringing troops back from Iraq as indifference in the anti-war movement regarding an attack on Iran. There was no lack of concern among the conference participants or organizers about aggression against Iran.

Pourzal presented the Iran Resolution to the Conferees on Sunday morning.   The CASMII/Defenders Iran Resolution was one of several Iran resolutions put before the body; others were less desirable in that they called for      acts of protest onlyafter harmful actions had been initiated against Iran. Advocates for those Resolutions graciously agreed to cede their draft resolution and support the CASMII/Defenders Iran Resolution, namely:

demand that the National Assembly declare its unequivocal opposition to:

(1) any military attack on Iran, by the U.S., Israel, or any other country acting at the behest of the U.S.;

(2) the imposition or continuation of sanctions, whether economic or military, against Iran; and

(3) any attempt by the U.S. government or any of its agencies to interfere with or influence the internal political process in Iran

In a floor debate Iran Resolution advocates requested that the National Assembly

incorporate these demands into any future protests…and officially agree that copies of the resolution on Iran be included with any press release about the results of the conference.

Consistent with the finding that

some 70 percent of the people of the United States favor withdrawal from Iraq,

National Assembly conferees voted overwhelmingly to adopt the Iran Resolution as proposed by CASMII/Defenders.

Close observers of the U.S.–Israel–Iran debacle reflect that,

George Bush has less than seven months before he leaves the White House. So the window of opportunity for an attack on Iran by the US or Israel is closing. Some in the anti-war movement may feel that the threat of a new war is remote. But the month of August has in the past presented an attractive time frame for the U.S. government to implement unpopular policies. Congress is not in session in August and students are dispersed, as are many working people. The anti-war movement itself is in a less active mode in mid to late summer, with many of activists taking time off for needed rest.


Yesterday, in a diary titled,  Stop War On Iran, Aug. 2 An Emergency Call to Actionactioncenter brought to the attention of the DailyKos community one of many Stop War on Iran Mass Marches planned for August 2, 2008.

We believe that the possibility of an attack on Iran is credible and serious. Please strengthen opposition to war with your participation

in actions already organized in your community, or contact CASMII USA, or StopWarOnIran or your local Obama Campaign headquarters for assistance in organizing your own march on August 2, 2008.

IGNORANCE IS THE ENEMY. Educate yourself.

But if you CAN’T participate in a protest march to Stop War on Iran on August 2, at least seek to inform yourself and your friends and neighbors of the history of U.S.–Iran relations, find out what Iran is really like, and prepare yourself to talk back to the campaign of demonization that is being foisted on the American people, just like the campaign of lies and fearmongering that preceded our invasion of Iraq.  

One invaluable source of sound information about the Iran–U.S. relationship can be found in The Teaching Company’s lecture series, The United States and the Middle East: 1914 to 9/11, taught by Professor Salim Yaqub of the University of Chicago.  If your local library does not have the series, request them to acquire it; if your book club chooses to purchase it, find it here.  I found it worthwhile to pay the extra money for the DVD version, because it was helpful to follow the action on maps that Prof. Yaqub displayed.

And to get a flavor of the Iranian heart and soul, read Dr. Fatemeh Keshavarz’s Jasmine and Stars: Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran

Can we the people stop war on Iran?

Yes, We Can

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