Submitted by tnjp on December 20, 2007 - 5:29pm.

Protesters clash with police over New Orleans demolitions
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Thursday December 20, 2007

Violence broke out in New Orleans on Thursday after police shut the gates of City Hall against protesters who were attempting to enter a City Council meeting that was expected to approve the demolition of 4500 units of public housing. When about 100 protesters broke through, police began using pepper spray and tasers and even engaging in fistfights with the demonstrators.

MSNBC spoke to Judith Brown-Dianis of the Advancement Project, an organizer of the demonstration, who explained that the City Council normally allows people to stand in the aisles and at the back but had arbitrarily set a strict limit on the seating capacity in order to exclude the protesters. She said the violence could have been avoided if the police had just let people in.

"What's behind this is a new vision for the city," Brown-Dianis told MSNBC. "That means fewer poor people in the city. There's a lot of money going into this.".... (video below the fold)

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on December 19, 2007 - 1:18pm.

C. Rosenberg's latest story about Adel Hamad #940 with a picture & paragraph about Lydia participating in last year's protest at SouthCom:

YouTube-aided detainee released, sent home to Sudan
Posted on Thu, Dec. 13, 2007 BY CAROL ROSENBERG
The military has sent home from Guantánamo Bay a Sudanese hospital worker whose lawyers campaigned in cyberspace for his freedom, in part by enlisting television's West Wing president to make a YouTube video.

Adel Hamad, 49, was among 15 long-held detainees whose release was announced by the Defense Department Wednesday night. Thirteen captives went to lockups in Afghanistan and two were set free in Sudan.

The transfer lowered the prison camp population at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba to ''approximately 290,'' or below 300 for the first time since an airlift filled the crude open-air compound called Camp X-Ray on Feb. 15, 2002.

Hamad, a charity worker in Peshawar, Pakistan, claims he was wrongly captured by Pakistani security forces and handed over to U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2002. Thursday, he took part in a government-sponsored news conference in Khartoum, Sudan, to protest his five-year confinement....

Submitted by tnjp on December 16, 2007 - 4:23pm.

A Home for the Holidays

What would you do if you lived in one of Henry Kravis' mansions for a day during the holidays?

Would you feed the homeless? Throw a huge party? Sell everything on eBay?

Submitted by tnjp on December 15, 2007 - 4:45am.

So far, the run up to the 2008 presidential election has shown that the power still lies with the people, as individuals have donated more in this election than ever before.

The first amendment gave the people the right to free speech and political donations are an integral form of free speech.

Let's show that our voice is louder than the PACs and $2,300 maxed-out, bundled donations of corporations.

Our goal is to get 100,000 people to commit to donate $100 each to Dennis Kucinich on December 15, 2007, for a total one-day contribution of $10 million...

Submitted by tnjp on December 12, 2007 - 4:50am.

Beyond Justice: Bush Administration's Labor Department Abuses Labor Union Regulatory Authorities
By Scott Lilly
December 10, 2007

Read the full report (pdf)

The State Department Web site explains American democracy to the rest of the world as follows:

"The rule of law is a fundamental component of democratic society in the United States, the rule of law is based primarily on the U.S. Constitution and on the assurance that U.S. laws—in conjunction with the Constitution—are fair and are applied equally to all members of society."

How closely the United States actually adheres to those principles, however, has been increasingly drawn into question—particularly over the course of the past year. Revelations about the firing of U.S. attorneys because they were not sensitive enough to the Bush administration’s political priorities almost turns the State Department claims on their head...

Submitted by tnjp on December 11, 2007 - 9:30pm.

CodePINK Protest Torture at the White House on International Human Rights Day.

bonus video below the fold, Col. Ann Wright interview...

Submitted by tnjp on December 9, 2007 - 10:23pm.

How to Vote in Primaries and Not Be an Idiot - A Short Instructions Manual
By David Swanson

1. Virtually nobody votes in primaries (or caucuses) compared to general elections. Therefore, each individual primary vote is worth many times what it is in the general election. And, it's more likely to be counted, since there's typically less fraud and abuse of the system in primaries. So, if you vote in general elections, you pretty much have to vote in primaries in order to not be an idiot. Bring a few friends to vote too, and you're practically a genius.

2. If you have to join a party that you don't support in order to vote in a primary, you can always unjoin again immediately after the primary. In the meantime, maybe you'll have helped to create a party you can support. You can even vote in a primary without planning to vote in the general election. If the 50% of Americans who don't vote at all (or even a small fraction of them) voted in primaries, they would determine the candidates in the general elections, in which they might then choose to vote as well...

Submitted by tnjp on December 9, 2007 - 8:53pm.

Penn endorses Kucinich, challenges 'conventional wisdom' on electability by Jason Rhyne Published: Friday December 7, 2007

Actor Sean Penn endorsed dark horse Democratic presidential contender Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) in what was billed as a "major political address" given by the actor Friday in San Francisco.

Lambasting Democrats in Congress for their refusal to pursue the impeachment of President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other members of the current administration, Penn praised Kucinich for his "moral courage," according to an advance copy of the speech provided to RAW STORY.

"[O]ur cowardly Democratically dominated House and Senate can barely find one voice willing to propose so much as an impeachment. That one voice of a true American," said the actor. "That one voice of Congressman Dennis Kucinich."...

Submitted by tnjp on December 9, 2007 - 9:47am.

Deported at Gunpoint by Pakistani Government
By Medea Benjamin
December 7, 2007

On our tenth day in Pakistan, my colleague Tighe Barry and I, both human rights activists with CODEPINK and Global Exchange, were arrested at gunpoint by agents of the Pakistani government. We had just left a student rally and were driving down the streets of Lahore with a car full of Pakistani journalists and lawyers. Two cars and six motorbikes came screeching up, blocked our car, piled out with guns drawn, dragged the journalists and lawyers out of the car, beat the bystanders, and hijacked the car. With the two of us huddled in the back surrounded by shouting police, our captors raced at breakneck speed through the crowded streets of Lahore. We had no idea why we were being abducted or where we were headed...

Submitted by tnjp on December 9, 2007 - 8:44am.

Art meets protest at the Peace Crane installation that Tallahasseeans Who Believe It’s Time to Come Home have set up at Tallahassee's Railroad Square. Nearly 4200 origami peace cranes have been displayed and strung up lining the street and winding through the trees. On Friday evening Dec. 7th hundreds and hundreds of folks passed through the display during visits to the local arts enclave.

The local CBS affiliate graced the event with a 22 second report on Friday...

more pics below the fold...

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on December 7, 2007 - 8:03pm.

Dear All,
Col. Ann Wright is out of jail - they gave her credit for her 1st court date and for yesterday and today was 3 days - we all cried (seriously).

Medea is on the way to the house and we are all going to the Pakistan hearing - NO MONEY FOR PAKISTAN (just in case you want something to call about :-D)

Lastly, check out Democracy NOW today - Sally Newman, our new CP law student was interviewed and she was eloquent. I'm in the black hood (too funny, we're alllll in black hoods) but I have a sign that says Adel Hamad. His lawyer sent me a thank you note today...

Submitted by Lydia Vickers on December 7, 2007 - 8:02pm.

Dear All,
What an amazing day. Got settled in last night and up and at 'em at 6:15 am.

One bummmmmmmmmer! Col. Ann Wright was sentenced to 6 months probation (the strictest kind you've ever heard of - she can't even raise her voice near the Hill) - it was a jury trial and just blew everyone's' mind in the room. Check out the video interview with Bill O'Reilly that Deidra posted for the group not too long ago.

When Gen Petraeus spoke in the Senate in September (not the House where I stood on a chair), Ann said "I am a diplomat for peace". She knows Crocker, didn't interrupt anyone..... it was profiling for sure.

The jury was selected in the morning. They found her guilty! (the judge was the same one who recently let Midge off with a $500 fine - Midge was back on the Hill the next day and the judge (a woman) mentioned that when sentencing Ann. "I gave your friend some leniency and she was back here the next day" (Midge didn't do anything but go up there, don't even know how the judge knew that????)

WORST OF ALL, she also got 3 days in jail and they took her away, right there. She looked freaked out, had tears in her eyes. Her sciatic nerve has been so painful it's hard to walk at times. I wasn't there but the group that was came home bummed, bummed, bummed...

Submitted by tnjp on December 4, 2007 - 7:17am.

Williston, VT: High School Students Shut Down Military Recruitment Offices
06:00 PM Nov 30, 2007
In collaboration with Iraq Veterans Against the War, students from Mount Mansfield Union High School shut down 2 military recruitment offices, encompassing all 5 branches of the military, on Friday. Approximately 75 people united under the banner, “Out of Our Schools – Out of Iraq." ...

Submitted by tnjp on December 1, 2007 - 10:14pm.

More videos below the fold....

Submitted by tnjp on November 28, 2007 - 10:05pm.

Report to UFPJ Member Groups on the 10/27 Regional Demonstrations - Nov. 28, 2007 - Below is a summary report on the October 27th regional mobilization effort.

At the end, you'll see brief reports from each of the 11 regional sites, which come from a wrap-up conference call held about 10 days after 10/27. Many of the regional coalitions have by now had de-briefing sessions -- either in-person meetings and/or conference calls -- and have posted more in-depth reports on their regional page within, or linked to that site. To find those reports, please visit

The first part of this report is based on discussions within the national staff, the administrative committee and the national steering committee of UFPJ, as well as with many of the local/regional organizers. Hopefully, it is a pretty accurate reflection of what happened and some of the challenges that were dealt with. The report also tries to raise some of the issues and concerns that came out of this experience -- things we need to think about as we move ahead...

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