Peace & Justice

Submitted by tnjp on August 16, 2013 - 7:39pm.

View slideshow on Flickr

A NEW CAMPAIGN: THANK YOU, EDWARD SNOWDEN

The U.S. government threatens to put Edward Snowden behind bars for life for having dared to reveal to the American people that the government has been secretly spying on each one of us.

The politicians are trying to whip up hatred against Mr. Snowden.

"He's a traitor," stated Republican leader John Boehner on ABC. Not to be outdone, Diane Feinstein, Democratic chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called Snowden's truth-telling revelations "an act of treason."

We need to send a different message from the People of the United States to Edward Snowden and to the world at large: We thank you and we oppose the surveillance state.

Because of Edward Snowden's heroic action to tell the truth, a nationwide debate has finally opened up on the massive covert spying operation against the American people.

The American people have not given their consent to the government's mass dragnet operation to collect, store and analyze their emails and their telephone calls.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund has initiated a new advocacy campaign, www.ThankYouEdSnowden.org. The ThankYouEdSnowden.org website allows you to post your thanks, upload a photo of yourself with a handwritten message of thanks, download posters and petitions that you can circulate and collect signatures, or simply sign and click to sign on to the simple campaign message: #ThankYouEdSnowden....

Submitted by tnjp on August 4, 2013 - 8:38pm.

PJ Harvey releases Guantánamo song for Shaker Aamer


Shaker Aamer

No water for three days.
I cannot sleep, or stay awake.

Four months hunger strike.
Am I dead, or am I alive?

With metal tubes we are force fed.
I honestly wish I was dead.

Strapped in the restraining chair.
Shaker Aamer, your friend.

In camp 5, eleven years.
Never Charged. Six years cleared.

They took away my one note pad,
and then refused to give it back.

I can't think straight, I write, then stop.
Your friend, Shaker Aamer. Lost.

The guards just do what they're told,
the doctors just do what they're told.

Like an old car I'm rusting away.
Your friend, Shaker, Guantanamo Bay.

Don't forget.

Submitted by tnjp on July 11, 2013 - 4:37pm.

Oliver Stone on NSA Spying

Some have claimed that Americans don't care about the revelations that the NSA is conducting massive surveillance on our private communications. But Oliver Stone isn't buying it.

In a video produced with the ACLU, Director Oliver Stone shares some of his reflections on the NSA spying program and the disastrous legacy of unchecked government abuse of power. All Americans should stand up for our civil liberties at this critical moment in history, he says-- by asking our representatives in Congress to roll back the surveillance state.

Sign the petition to Congress

Submitted by tnjp on July 8, 2013 - 3:07pm.


Yasiin Bey appears in a video launched today demonstrating the Standard Operating Procedure for force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay.

Made by human rights charity Reprieve and Bafta-award winning director Asif Kapadia, the film shows US actor and rapper formerly known as Mos Def experiencing the procedure. You can watch it above, or online, here.

The video launches a campaign to rally support for Guantanamo prisoners who are on hunger-strike in protest against their detention without charge or trial. The campaign asks members of the public to undertake their own short-term hunger-strikes in solidarity with the prisoners, and donate the time to support them, while also raising the issue with their political representatives. The website [http://www.standfastforjustice.org/] consolidates the total number of hours of hunger-striking undertaken in this way.

Prisoners in Guantanamo have been hunger-striking since February this year, with the total number involved now well over 100. The strike is in protest against their ongoing detention, despite the vast majority of prisoners never having been charged or tried, and over half the remaining population having even been cleared for release by the US Government. However, their peaceful protest has met with an increasingly aggressive response from camp authorities, including force-feeding and violent procedures known as 'forcible cell extractions’ (FCEs).

Commenting, Reprieve's Director and attorney for Guantanamo prisoners Clive Stafford Smith, said: "President Obama could take the steps needed to release cleared prisoners from Guantanamo any time he likes, but so far has lacked the political courage to do so. We hope that public solidarity with the hunger-strikers in Guantanamo will persuade him to change his mind."

Submitted by tnjp on June 10, 2013 - 8:08pm.


Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA's history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows

Q&A with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I do not expect to see home again'

Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras in Hong Kong
The Guardian, Saturday 8 June 2013

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world's most secretive organisations – the NSA.

In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."...

Submitted by tnjp on June 1, 2013 - 2:34pm.

Bradley Manning Support – Tallahassee

Tallahassee will join international demonstrations in support of Bradley Manning, Whistle-blower accused of exposing US war crimes every Sunday until Bradley is free, along with decade long Tallahassee’s Eternal Peace Vigil at the corner of Apalachee Parkway and South Monroe.

No demonstration in event of hurricane, snow, blizzard, or rain.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/123603944347093/

When: 06/02/2013, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Location
Old Capital Steps
400 S Monroe St
Tallahassee, Fl 32301

Submitted by tnjp on June 1, 2013 - 2:22pm.

Thanking Bradley Manning
By Kathy Kelly
May 29, 2013
A few evenings ago, as the sky began to darken here in Kabul, Afghanistan, a small group of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, (APVs), gathered for an informal presentation about WikiLeaks, its chief editor Julian Assange, and its most prominent contributor, Bradley Manning. Basir Bita, a regular visitor to the APV household, began the evening’s discussion noting that June 1st will mark the beginning of Bradley Manning’s fourth year in prison. Two days later his trial will begin, a trial which could sadly result in his imprisonment for a life sentence. June 1st also begins an international week of support and solidarity, aimed at thanking Bradley Manning. #ThankManning!

Basir believes that the vast majority of Afghans are among myriads world-wide who have Manning to thank for information they will need in struggles for freedom, security, and peace. He wishes that more people would find the courage to stand up to military and government forces, especially their own, and act as “whistle-blowers.”

Submitted by tnjp on May 26, 2013 - 3:52pm.

Why I Spoke Out at Obama's Foreign Policy Speech
On topics from Guantánamo to drone strikes, I couldn’t let the president act as if he were some helpless official at the mercy of Congress.
Medea Benjamin
May 24, 2013

Having worked for years on the issues of drones and Guantánamo, I was delighted to get a pass (the source will remain anonymous) to attend President Obama’s speech at the National Defense University. I had read many press reports anticipating what the president might say. There was much talk about major policy shifts that would include transparency with the public, new guidelines for the use of drones, taking lethal drones out of the purview of the CIA, and in the case of Guantánamo, invoking the “waiver system” to begin the transfer of prisoners already cleared for release.

Sitting at the back of the auditorium, I hung on every word the president said. I kept waiting to hear an announcement about changes that would represent a significant shift in policy. Unfortunately, I heard nice words, not the resetting of failed policies.

Instead of announcing the transfer of drone strikes from the CIA to the exclusive domain of the military, Obama never even mentioned the CIA—much less acknowledge the killing spree that the CIA has been carrying out in Pakistan during his administration. While there were predictions that he would declare an end to signature strikes, strikes based merely on suspicious behavior that have been responsible for so many civilian casualties, no such announcement was made.

The bulk of the president’s speech was devoted to justifying drone strikes. I was shocked when the president claimed that his administration did everything it could to capture suspects instead of killing them. That is just not true.

Submitted by tnjp on May 25, 2013 - 2:39pm.

You Gotta Love Medea Benjamin

If you're an advocate for Peace and Justice you just gotta love Medea Benjamin. She consistently speaks out when the rest of us only wish we could. As co-founder of CodePink she's been at it for over a decade, repeatedly speaking truth to power at the risk of losing personal freedom and physical harm. She may be diminutive in size but posses a gargantuan spirit.

Her latest exploit? Speaking out against President Obama's policies during his counter-terrorism policy speech at the National Defense University. As Obama said himself - "The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to..."

Witness it yourself in the below videos, reports, and interviews...

President Obama Heckled By Code Pink Leader Madea Benjamin. Guantanamo Gitmo Speech

Medea Benjamin v. President Obama: CodePink Founder Disrupts Speech, Criticizing Drone, Gitmo Policy

Submitted by tnjp on May 15, 2013 - 8:33pm.

From Bill McKibben at www.350.org

For the last two years, all across the country, people have said the same thing to us: “We’re ready to fight.”

And as the planet lurches past 400 parts per million concentrations of CO2, the moment has come, the moment to ask you to do hard, important, powerful things. The last two weeks of July are, statistically, the hottest stretch of the year. This year we want to make them politically hot too. Which means we need you, out on the front line. We need some of you to risk going to jail, and all of you to show up and speak out. And since it’s a hard thing to ask, this letter is going to be a little longer than usual. (If you want to cut to the chase, though, the list of actions can be found here.)

We’re calling this next phase of the fight “Summer Heat.” Over the course of the final weeks of July, from the Pacific Northwest to the coast of Maine, from the Keystone pipeline route to the White House where the administration has broken its promise to put solar on the roof, to the Utah desert where they’re getting ready for the first tar sands mine in the US, we’re going to try and get across the essential message: it’s time to stand up – peacefully but firmly — to the industry that is wrecking our future. Click here to make your stand: www.joinsummerheat.org/map

We believe that mass action can breathe life into even the most hardened political fights, and so these actions will all aim to bring together thousands of people to stand together -- perhaps sometimes on the wrong side of the law...

Submitted by tnjp on April 21, 2013 - 5:58pm.

Illegality of War Acknowledged in Congressional Record

By davidswanson - Posted on 20 April 2013

Printer Friendly Display

RECOGNIZING THE KELLOGG-BRIAND PACT -- HON. KEITH ELLISON (Extensions of Remarks - April 18, 2013)

GPO's PDF[Page: E491]

---

HON. KEITH ELLISON

OF MINNESOTA

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Thursday, April 18, 2013

  • Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

  • One of the busiest streets in Minnesota's state capital of St. Paul is Kellogg Boulevard. This street runs along the Mississippi River and was named after the only person from Minnesota to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize. Frank B. Kellogg was a Department of Justice prosecutor who was elected President of the American Bar Association and then served as a U.S. Republican Senator from Minnesota, followed by an appointment as U.S. Secretary of State for President Calvin Coolidge from 1925 to 1929.

  • Kellogg was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1929 for his work in co-authoring the Kellogg-Briand Pact that made war illegal, renounced the use of war, and committed nations to the peaceful settlement of disputes. The Kellogg-Briand Pact--also called the Pact of Paris, or the General Treaty for the Renunciation of War--was signed on August 27, 1928 by the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan, and several other countries.

  • The Pact prohibited the use of war as ``an instrument of national policy'' except in matters of self-defense. President Coolidge signed the Pact on January 27, 1929 and the U.S. Senate passed it by a vote of 85 to 1. On July 24, 1929 President Herbert Hoover declared the Pact in force. The Kellogg-Briand Pact provided the legal basis for prosecuting Nazi officials at Nuremburg and is still U.S. and international law, with 84 state signatories.

  • Mr. Speaker, some of my own constituents are currently planning a commemoration of the Kellogg-Briand Pact to mark its 85th anniversary and to recognize Frank B. Kellogg. The Minneapolis-St. Paul chapter of Veterans for Peace is taking part in a peace essay competition organized by the West Suburban Faith-based Peace Coalition. The competition asks the question, ``How can we obey the law against war?'' The best essays will be sent to members of Congress. I urge this body to welcome these essays and give them due attention. Everyone must do their part to help eliminate war and promote the cause of peace.

Submitted by tnjp on April 18, 2013 - 11:33pm.

Peace Activist Carlos Arredondo Hailed as Hero for Aid to Boston Marathon Bombing Victims -
"the man in the hat".

Peace activist Carlos Arredondo has come to be known as "the man in the hat" and widely described as a hero for a viral image of him in a cowboy hat pinching the severed artery of a bloodied, wheelchair-bound victim in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. Arredondo is no stranger to tragedy: He became a prominent opponent of the Iraq War after his son, Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo, was killed in Iraq in 2004. His surviving son, Brian, committed suicide in 2011. Carlos and his wife Mélida, join us to describe witnessing the Boston Marathon bombings and the immediate response to aid the victims....

Submitted by tnjp on April 7, 2013 - 7:36pm.

A Pledge to Iraq Veteran Tomas Young
By John Bruhns

I never met Tomas Young. However, I strongly identify with his story as he and I joined the military for the same reason -- to fight those responsible for 9/11 . However, I was far luckier than Tomas Young as I never had to endure the crippling, and ultimately fatal wounds, he received in Sadr City in 2004. There is no real way for me to put myself in such a situation as it would be surreal to anyone who will never face such hardships. Tomas Young has now reached a point where his pain is too unbearable to continue living. Before he goes, we should all show him a bit of recognition. It is crucial that we let him know that his voice was heard and his message will echo on for long after he is gone.

From what I have read, Tomas Young is a patriotic man who loves the United States. His outrage with the 9/11 attacks motivated him to join the military to pursue the real culprits.

After all, it was our generation's Pearl Harbor. After the attacks, many brave Americans were standing in military recruiting lines ready and eager to seek retribution for their fellow citizens who died on that fateful day. Tomas Young was one of them.

I enlisted for active duty in the U.S. Army in an effort to deploy to Afghanistan and fight those who actually attacked us on 9/11. Like Tomas Young, I found my patriotism used for an unrelated and unnecessary military conflict -- the Iraq War.

In a recent letter written to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Iraq veteran Young clarifies the misuse of his patriotism.

Young writes:

"I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love."

When I returned home from Iraq, I spoke out strongly against the war. I was able to do so without any handicaps or bodily limitations. Tomas Young fought the same fight while being confined to a wheelchair. Even with his extreme physical limitations, Tomas Young was able to convey the true, harsh realities of the Iraq war to the American people.

The power of his message came from his experience, vision, and, sadly, his crippling and now mortal injuries. His testimony is unimpeachable, as he gave his body to a needless agenda-driven war that left most of us concluding 10 years later that the Iraq war was a mistake...

Submitted by tnjp on March 20, 2013 - 11:25pm.

10 Years Later and I’m Still Protesting War
Posted on Mar 19, 2013
By Col. Ann Wright

Ten years ago, I resigned my post in opposition to President George W. Bush’s war on Iraq. I had worked in the U.S. government for most of my life, first in the Army and Army Reserves, retiring as a colonel, and then as a diplomat. I served in U.S. embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone and Micronesia. I helped reopen the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in December 2001.

Yet after serving in eight presidential administrations, beginning under Lyndon Johnson during the war on Vietnam, I ended my career in the U.S. government in opposition to another conflict—the war on Iraq.

A decade after I stepped down as the deputy ambassador in the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia, the war in Iraq is over for Americans, but continues for Iraqis. The whirlwind of sectarian violence brought on by the U.S. invasion and occupation continues to blow there.

The war on Afghanistan is now in its 13th year and as the anniversary of my resignation day approaches, I find myself outside the gates of Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, protesting war and, in particular, President Obama’s killer drone programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Although Obama’s kill list, the CIA drone attacks in the undeclared war on Pakistan and the assassination of three American citizens by drone in Yemen receive most of the media and congressional attention, the incredibly large number of drone strikes in Afghanistan has gotten scant coverage—and that is why I am at Creech...

Submitted by tnjp on March 12, 2013 - 5:13pm.


St. Pete for Peace 10 year anniversary video, edited by Tyler Pridemore.

We've participated in hundreds of actions (rallies, marches, demonstrations, protests, cornerings, banner drops, etc.) surrounding these topics:

Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Palestine, Lebanon, Iran, Haiti, Egypt, Quran burning, BP oil spill, bailouts, homeless issues (tent city, Food Not Bombs feedings), gay rights, immigrant rights, police killings, torture photos, weapon manufacturers, Wikileaks, and of course free speech.

We've also shown over 300 free-of-charge socially conscious movies, hosted concerts (David Rovics and Evan Greer), guest speakers (Medea Benjamin and Cindy Sheehan), and hosted a musical radio show on WMNF.

St. Pete for Peace publishes and maintains an array of fact sheets, one of which was published in a college text book. We've also developed and maintained the www.OccupyArrests.com and www.USinAfrica.com websites.

It's because of the efforts of a wide range of people including you, who fight the good fight for others, that we can celebrate 10 years of resistance!!...

Syndicate content