My 82 year old mother can’t take it anymore. She comes upstairs to ask me what she can do. She asked me to watch TV with her because she is to depressed to see it alone. We flip through the few channels that are not bought and paid for by racists. We watch as victims form the latest Israeli massacre in Gaza piled into one hospital. Hundreds of people are around the hospital grounds in shock at the scene. I ask her not to watch TV too much and I reassure her that we are doing things. We donated, we had demonstrations here in Bethlehem, we speak out, we encourage boycotts, divestment, and sanctions. She said “but Israel continues its massacres and they have been doing it for decades”. (my mother’s friend in school in Jerusalem was murdered in Deir Yassin).
Our next step is to demand that the FCC commissioners come out of their federal building that is infected with corporate lobbyists and actually listen to the people. How do they do that? They hold hearings around the country where people have an opportunity to fully talk to the commissioners. It’s been more than five years since all five FCC commissioners left Washington to meet with the public in an official capacity. Net Neutrality is the hottest issue the agency has dealt with in almost a decade. People like you and me have a lot to say about the open Internet and the FCC needs to hear it. Join us in calling the FCC to hold hearings outside of Washington, DC where they hear from the people. Tell the FCC to get out of Washington and hold a public hearing in your community. Click hear to join our call for public hearings.
Aware that President Obama was hitting congressional fundraisers that day in Silicon Valley and L.A. net neutrality activists held protests at both events. The mission: to push the president to live up to his 2007 campaign promise of taking a “back seat to no one” in his commitment to Net Neutrality. On Wednesday morning, more than 100 activists rallied in Los Altos — the heart of the Silicon Valley. In the afternoon another crowd gathered in Los Angeles, where Free Press’ Mary Alice Crim led a rally of close to 150 activists in Hancock Park — directly across the street from where 10 helicopters bearing the presidential entourage landed in the parking lot of L.A. High School…speakers who urged Obama to stand up for the open Internet.
Several thousand people marched from Cobo Hall to Detroit’s Hart Plaza on July 18, decrying the destruction of democracy in Detroit. The rally, organized in part by theMoratorium Now! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs, took place after a week of actions against the disconnection of water service to households unable to pay their bills. People previously blockaded to keep Homrich, a private contractor employed by the city, from shutting off people’s water on July 10. Another blockade took place the day of the rally, lasting six hours before police arrested a pastor, a veteran journalist in her 70s, welfare rights organizers and others. . . . Acts of resistance and the creation of forward-looking alternatives are in their embryonic stages, and the various forms both take have implications for what democracy will mean in Detroit and elsewhere in the future. “So we have to restore democracy in order for us to be in a position where we can really control our own destiny,” she said.
Last week saw California adopt mandatory restrictions on civilian water use. People caught watering their lawns to the point of runoff, hosing off sidewalks or driveways or washing cars without a shut-off nozzle can face fines of up to $500 a day. The Golden State is in the third year of record drought, and while these consumer restrictions are not expected to make a sizeable dent in state water usage on their own, officials hope the fines, which go into effect August 1, will send a message to Californians who apparently have yet to grasp the severity of the situation. That message, however, has not, it seems, reached Nestlé Waters North America, makers of a variety of bottled waters, including Arrowhead brand.
Thousands of human rights activists have gathered every November for the demonstration since the first anniversary of the 1989 SOA graduate-led massacre of 16-year-old Celina Ramos, her mother Elba Ramos and six Jesuit priests at the University of Central America in El Salvador. The November Vigil commemorates those who have been killed by SOA/WHINSEC graduates, and calls for the closure of the institute, which perpetuates coups, torture, extrajudicial killings, and human rights abuses in the face of social and political problems. The SOA/WHINSEC made headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released SOA training manuals that advocated torture, extortion and execution. Among its graduates are at least 11 dictators as well as leaders of infamous Central American death squads. Currently, SOA graduates are linked to the Honduran military coup and the repression campaign against social movements there, among other humanitarian crises.
Eight Atlantic Life Community activists joined with Upstate Drone Action at the main gate of Hancock Air Base, in Syracuse, New York. Hancock is the home of the 174th Attack Wing of the New York State Air National Guard. The 174th Attack Wing pilots weaponized MQ9 Reaper drones over Afghanistan – killing and terrorizing an uncountable number of civilians. The eight delivered a People’s War Crimes Indictment to the Hancock chain of command by affixing it to the fence after being refused by the base personnel. Also delivered was an Order of Protection on behalf of the children of the world who are subject to U.S. drone surveillance and attack.
Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said he was pleased that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will have an important role during the investigation and welcomed that fact that the Netherlands will take on the leading role as well. Ukraine will have to answer a lot of questions during the international investigation, Churkin said during his speech at the UN Security Council, adding that Kiev spread fake information allegedly connecting the self-defense forces to the downing of the plane. “Throughout the investigation Ukraine would have to answer many questions: about the actions of its air traffic controllers, the reasons for the movement of one of the Ukrainian Buk missile systems on July 17 right next to the area controlled by the militias. Why this missile defense system was moved immediately after the airplane crash? Why on July 17 Ukrainian air defense radar worked at the maximum intensity?” Churkin said.
The Project On Government Oversight wrote to President Barack Obama asking that he seek Commissioner William Magwood’s immediate resignation from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Magwood has already accepted the position of Director-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). The letter highlighted Magwood’s unacceptable conflict of interest created by his accepting that position while still holding his position as an NRC commissioner. POGO has also learned that a motion has been filed by Beyond Nuclear and others asking the NRC to recuse Magwood from participating in the ongoing Fermi Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 3 licensing proceedings. Magwood has refused to resign or recuse himself in all calls for him to do so.
All nonviolent struggles are conducted simultaneously in the political and strategic spheres, and these spheres, which are distinct, interact throughout. I have discussed this at length elsewhere.1 Despite this, only rarely have nonviolent struggles been conducted with a conscious awareness of this vitally important relationship. Gandhi’s campaigns were very effective partly because he understood the distinction and relationship between politics and strategy in nonviolent struggle. And the failure of many campaigns can be attributed, in part, to the fact that most activists do not. To illustrate the distinction and the relationship between these two spheres, and to highlight their vital importance, this article discusses them within the simpler context of nonviolent actions.
At the annual White House Iftar dinner commemorating the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, President Barack Obama endorsed Israel’s ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip and defended government spying on Muslim-Americans. Alongside dozens of Muslim-American community activists and Muslim diplomats, the White House welcomed Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, an outspoken advocate of Israel’s settlement enterprise who has claimed Muslim and Arab culture is endemically violent. . . . Obama launched into a defense of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip. . . Obama was unusually candid with those seated at his table. They confronted him on the issue of domestic spying, . . . Obama attempted to remind them that the spying had begun under his predecessor, Bush, but defended the practice nonetheless, denying that the NSA had violated any laws.
We were soldiers in a wide variety of units and positions in the Israeli military—a fact we now regret, because, in our service, we found that troops who operate in the occupied territories aren’t the only ones enforcing the mechanisms of control over Palestinian lives. In truth, the entire military is implicated. For that reason, we now refuse to participate in our reserve duties, and we support all those who resist being called to service. The Israeli Army, a fundamental part of Israelis’ lives, is also the power that rules over the Palestinians living in the territories occupied in 1967. As long as it exists in its current structure, its language and mindset control us: We divide the world into good and evil according to the military’s categories; the military serves as the leading authority on who is valued more and who less in society — who is more responsible for the occupation, who is allowed to vocalize their resistance to it and who isn’t, and how they are allowed to do it. The military plays a central role in every action plan and proposal discussed in the national conversation, which explains the absence of any real argument about non-military solutions to the conflicts Israel has been locked in with its neighbors.
On Monday, July 23, 2014, a confrontation between police and environmental activists protesting tar sands development at PR Springs in Utah resulted in two people being injured and 21 people arrested. Between 70 and 80 protesters gathered at the sight of U.S. Oil Sands processing plant where the Canada-based company has started construction of its processing plant. Activists chained themselves to equipment inside a chain link fence where it was being stored. They also locked themselves to the outside of the fence or sat down in the road. Their actions stopped work for between five and six hours according to spokesperson Jessica Lee.