Reports on Protest & Resistance

“Isn’t the Taliban a horror for women? So shouldn’t the U.S. stay in Afghanistan?”

by Larry Everest

This article originally was published on the web site of Revolution newspaper.

U.S. attacks in Afghanistan and in Pakistan are escalating. Recently the Obama administration announced it will send another 17,000 US troops (joining 36,000 already there) to Afghanistan with perhaps more to come later.
 
Afghanistan WomenYet there’s been far too little outrage and protest over U.S. crimes in Afghanistan, especially since Obama became President. I have run into a lot of different questions (and misunderstandings) about what the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan are really all about, and will be addressing them in the pages of Revolution. Readers no doubt have—or hear—others. Send those questions to Revolution so we can learn from and address them.
Here’s the first series of questions:
 
1) I don’t like the U.S. invading countries, and I know that those who make these decisions have their own agenda. But the Taliban are totally brutal toward women and enshrine it in law. So even if the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan isn’t perfect and innocent people get killed, isn’t the U.S. improving things at least a little bit for women in Afghanistan?
 

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Political Persecution of the RNC 8

[WCW Ed. Note: Please see also, and sign petition, at "Political Protesters are Not Criminals!"]
 
by Leslie Rose
 
Introduction to the Series:

A very important case is unfolding in Minnesota—eight people are being singled out by the government for their role in the political protests at the 2008 Republican National Convention (RNC).
 
At the September ’08 RNC in St. Paul, war criminal John McCain and right-wing religious fundamentalist Sarah Palin were being selected as the Republican ticket for the presidential race. 
 
The national media spent endless hours on things like Palin’s unmarried pregnant daughter. Meanwhile, the streets of St. Paul were turned into a militarized zone with massive police mobilization. Over the course of four days, thousands defied the armed clampdown to make known their opposition to U.S. wars-torture-spying and the imperialist globalization that has brought suffering to a huge section of humanity and caused catastrophic environmental damage. Over 800 people were arrested and scores were brutalized by the police.

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Joel Kovel fired from Bard College for anti-Zionism

 

STATEMENT OF JOEL KOVEL REGARDING HIS TERMINATION BY BARD COLLEGE

Introduction

In January, 1988, I was appointed to the
Alger Hiss Chair of Social Studies at Bard College. As this was a Presidential appointment outside the tenure system, I have served under a series of contracts. The last of these was half-time (one semester on, one off, with half salary and full benefits year-round), effective from July 1, 2004, to June 30, 2009. On February 7 I received a letter from Michèle Dominy, Dean of the College, informing me that my contract would not be renewed this July 1 and that I would be moved to emeritus status as of that day. She wrote that this decision was made by President Botstein, Executive Vice-President Papadimitriou and herself, in consultation with members of the Faculty Senate.

This document argues that this termination of service is prejudicial and motivated neither by intellectual nor pedagogic considerations, but by political values, principally stemming from differences between myself and the Bard administration on the issue of Zionism. There is of course much more to my years at Bard than this, including another controversial subject, my work on ecosocialism (The Enemy of Nature).

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Obama’s Justice Department Defends, Continues Bush Police State Program

By Kenneth J. Theisen

 

George W. Bush must be proud of his successor, Barack Obama, for following in his footsteps. In a three day period, Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has twice echoed the legal arguments of the Bush regime in defending the police state created under Bush. In the latest court case, DOJ defended Bush regime wiretapping. While a candidate, Obama condemned the wiretapping program, but now when his administration is in charge of the massive surveillance programs either initiated or expanded under Bush, apparently his views have changed. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!
 
DOJ filed a legal brief on February 11th requesting that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco suspend action on a lawsuit that challenged the legality of one of Bush’s wiretapping programs. Just like it did in court on Monday in a case suing a private contractor that was heavily involved in the illegal CIA rendition/kidnapping program, DOJ argued that allowing such a suit would jeopardize national security. DOJ also argued that only the executive branch of the government could control access to the classified material in this case. The DOJ challenged the judge and threatened to go to the federal appellate court unless Walker suspended the case no later than three P.M. Friday, February 13, 2009.
 

 

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Cop Who Shot Oscar Grant Arrested – Culture of Bigotry Persists

By Jamilah Hoffman

 
Johannes Mehserle, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer filmed shooting Oscar Grant in the back on New Year's Day, was arrested on January 13th, one day before a planned protest in Oakland. Mehserle was arrested in Nevada and charged with murder. He currently is being held without bail.
 
Mehserle’s cold blooded execution of Oscar Grant at a BART station in Oakland was captured by several people on video, and quickly spread over the internet. Throughout this country, and the world, countless people were outraged at the murder of yet another young Black man at the hands of the police. People in Oakland and throughout the San Francisco area have rallied almost daily demanding justice for Oscar Grant. And finally, more than two weeks after a cop shot a man to death in full view of numerous witnesses, the District Attorney in Oakland charged Mehserle.
 

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The Lynching of Oscar Grant III: Our Emmett Till Moment?

By Malcolm Shore

On New Year’s Eve, this nation may well have witnessed its most horrific police murder ever.
 
That is obviously quite a statement, given the long, blood-soaked history of police brutality and murder in this country—the vast majority directed against persons of color. Furthermore, the execution I am about to discuss involved a single bullet, not the 41 sprayed at Amadou Diallo or the 50 spewed at Sean Bell. And the victim was not 13 years old, like Devin Brown was when the LAPD killed him in 2005, or 12 years old, as DeAunta Farrow was when West Memphis police gunned him down in 2007.
 
 

However, as absolutely shocking to the conscience as each of those instances of police murder were, none were committed in plain view of hundreds of people, with the perpetrators presumably fully aware that they were being videotaped. And in each of the above-mentioned cases, police at least invented a pretext for their actions, as absurd, fraudulent, and morally reprehensible as that pretext might have been: “We thought Amadou Diallo was reaching for a gun”; “We thought someone in Sean Bell’s car had a gun”; “Devin Brown tried to ram us with his car;” “We thought DeAunta Farrow’s toy gun was a real gun.”

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“Freedom of Information 2008”: An Artistic Expression of Solidarity, Anguish, Resistance

 

An extraordinary artistic event is underway as the year draws to an end. In each of the 50 states, plus Washington D.C., each starting at a different hour, a dancer will begin a performance aimed at "underscoring a solidarity with the thousands of people who have been affected by these horrible wars (in Iraq and Afghanistan) and solidarity with the community of people who still resist and reject the U.S.' interventionist tactics abroad." Titled "Freedom of Information 2008," the series of dance was initiated by Miguel Gutierrez of Brooklyn, who will represent New York at the Barn in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

 
Seven years ago, at the beginning of the Bush years, Gutierrez undertook a similar performance - except he did it himself, in his apartment, moving continuously for 24 hours, wearing blindfolds and earplugs, to make a statement against "this Bush thing of just creating a state of terror."
 
The performances will take place in venues as diverse as a bookstore in Birmingham, Alabama, an apartment in Chicago, and a center for the Arts and Culture in Bozeman, Montana. The performers come from a wide range of political viewpoints and perspectives, and bring different experiences in and approaches to dance into their contributions. In a recent New York Times article, Mr. Gutierrez spoke to what he and the other dancers are trying to achieve: "What I can be direct about is a sense of solidarity with the other artists who are doing this, and, at least, a shared commitment to saying, 'we will take these 24 hours together to go through some intense state of contemplation. I'm inviting people to consider displacement and war. I am sure a ton of other things will enter people’s thought processes: about their lives, about death, about life, about all kinds of things. And that's exciting to me".
 
Much of this event can be viewed by going to http://freedomofinformation2008.blogspot.com/.
 

 

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Banks Making Off Like Thieves in Bailout

By Kenneth J. Theisen

Imagine going to a bank and asking for a few billion dollars. When the banker asks what you are going to do with it, you tell him to go screw himself. He then gives you the money anyway. Yes, that is hard to imagine. But if you are the bank, and the institution giving you the bucks is Congress, it is perfectly plausible. 

 

A recent article written by the Associated Press (AP) indicates that the tax payers were given the royal screwing by the banks. (original story here)
 
The AP contacted 21 banks that were beneficiaries of the recent government bailout. Each of the banks received at least $1 billion from our taxpayer dollars. Four questions were asked and the answers, in effect, were “go screw yourself.” The questions were, “How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what's the plan for the rest?
 
 

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Cheney Throws Down Gauntlet, Defies Prosecution for War Crimes

 

By Marjorie Cohn 

 
Vice President Dick Cheney has admitted to authorizing torture.
 
Dick Cheney has publicly confessed to ordering war crimes. Asked about waterboarding in an ABC News interview, Cheney replied, "I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared." He also said he still believes waterboarding was an appropriate method to use on terrorism suspects. CIA Director Michael Hayden confirmed that the agency waterboarded three al-Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003.
 
US courts have long held that waterboarding, where water is poured into someone's nose and mouth until he nearly drowns, constitutes torture. Our federal War Crimes Act defines torture as a war crime punishable by life imprisonment or even the death penalty if the victim dies.
 
Under the doctrine of command responsibility, enshrined in US law, commanders all the way up the chain of command to the commander in chief can be held liable for war crimes if they knew or should have known their subordinates would commit them and they did nothing to stop or prevent it.
 
Why is Cheney so sanguine about admitting he is a war criminal? Because he's confident that either President Bush will preemptively pardon him or President-elect Obama won't prosecute him.
 

 

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Additional Felony Charges Against 8 Arrested Protesting Republicans in St. Paul

 

Lawyers for 8 people arrested at the Republican National Convention last September were recently informed that the Ramsey County (Minnesota) District Attorney's office has added three additional felony charges to the case. The amended charges brought by D.S. Susan Gaertner contain 4 felony counts of conspiracy: conspiracy to riot in the second degree in furtherance of terrorism (the original charge); conspiracy to riot in the second degree (without terrorism enhancement); conspiracy to damage property in furtherance of terrorism: conspiracy to damage property (without terrorism enhancement).
 
If convicted, the 8 people face over 2 decades in prison.
 

 

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Iraqi Reporter Throws Shoes at Bush, Calls Him ‘Dog'

By Reuters

BAGHDAD - An Iraqi reporter called visiting U.S. President George W. Bush a "dog" in Arabic on Sunday and threw his shoes at him during a news conference in Baghdad.
 
Iraqi security officers and U.S. secret service agents leapt at the man and dragged him struggling and screaming out of the room where Bush was giving a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
 
The shoes missed their target about 15 feet (4.5 metres) away. One sailed over Bush's head as he stood next to Maliki and smacked into the wall behind him. Bush smiled uncomfortably and Maliki looked strained.
 
"It doesn't bother me," Bush said, urging everyone to calm down as a ruckus broke out in the conference room.
 
When asked about the incident shortly after, Bush made light of it. "I didn't feel the least threatened by it," he said.
 
Other Iraqi journalists apologised on behalf of their colleague, a television journalist.
Bush arrived in Baghdad earlier on Sunday on a farewell visit before he leaves office in January. The U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein triggered years of sectarian bloodshed and insurgency in Iraq, killing tens of thousands
Main Reports on Protest & Resistance

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.