Archive for December, 2006

3000

December 31, 2006

    

the rain seems more this year over here,
perhaps, the heavens is crying also

over the wars and rumor of wars
and over the pains, not just those
in the war front, overseas, but also
them at the home front,

of what kind of armor will they have
against weapons of different kind,
since their wounds is not as visible.
of what kind of protection will they have?

them in the frontline, came back whole,
in the body, only, but not in the soul,
of what armor will they have
against the attack of a different order?

as one of the ground truth clips indicates,
one of the soldiers, made it back,
as them who, few decades ago, returned
from Viet Nam, but
have not made it home,

tears flow as i was standing in the rain
in front of the Viet Nam memorial in Oly, Wa
and reading the names of them on the war,
with a Viet Nam Viet, Undrie, perhaps you remember,
skinny guy with long hair, drink quite often.

as we saw on the other side facing the wall, there
was a little memorial for the living, it reads,
next to the flowers for them,

these flowers, are, for them that made it back,
but , has not made it home,

tears, flowing down the cheek with the rain,
i am standing with one who has only
made it back,

O, when, shall he be able to make it home?
i could help but hugged him.

my mind can only imagine what wounds
he might have in his mind and heart
that i can not see, nor understand,

O i wish to have an armor
that i might offer him to
shield him from these attacks,
of a different order,

O the soldiers might all have not just armor of body,
but also shields for their hearts

O i wish that i can make a chinese dumplings
of your like and send a little cheer your way,

perhaps this little attachment will in some way,
be a dumpling for the mind.

may peace be unto you, and yours.

Action in Crawford

December 28, 2006

Below are links to articles about the action today in Crawford at Bush’s back door.  I wanted to be there but just can’t go this time. 

http://www.kwtx.com/breakingnews/5028446.html

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061229/ap_on_re_us/peace_mom

 

Inspiration

December 15, 2006

I am so moved by the pictures and Nancy’s story of this protest.  And I am so moved by the people who verbally supported you there on the sidewalk.  Patriots indeed.

From Paula England

We all have Human Rights

December 14, 2006

tor2.jpg  tor3.jpg

NEW YORK CITY
December 10, 2006

I got into a sort of meditative state on my knees on the sidewalk in the orange jumpsuit with the black hood on.  The particular arrangement of Oh, Christmas Tree, repeated over and over, that Macy’s was piping out onto the crowds who looked at the windows and bustled along Broadway, somehow contributed. 

My fellow patriots and I were showing Macy’s holiday shoppers what the 14,000 persons detained in US concentration camps not only in Guantanamo but in other places around the world were doing on that day, International Human Rights Day.

As my legs grew numb, I thought about those people, who must be in dreadful pain and were not going to be able, as I was, to get up in a little while and go about my life.  The best of their life may just be kneeling for long periods hooded and shackled.  They suffer beatings and electric shock, simulated drowning, horrors I cannot even really imagine.  They are now “legally” held without recourse of any kind.  I felt connected to those human beings, at least some of whom we know have nothing to do with any attacks on the US or on anyone.  And even those who have perpetrated violence against others are still human beings. A sign of civilized behaviour is certainly how one treats every human being. 

The United States used to subscribe to human rights for all.  We used to aspire to being a beacon in the world for the respect of human rights.  We are now among the worst offenders in the world on this issue. 

Some people who passed by us cursed us.  “Burn in hell!”  I heard one man say.  Marcia remarked when I told her this that she certainly doesn’t want that man’s next life.  I do not want his current life.  I do not want to be filled with fear and rage and hatred.

But many people also blessed us.  “Bless you!”  “Thank you!”  “God bless you!”  were also called out to us. 

We were a group of men and women about equally mixed, African American, Asian, and Caucasian.  We ranged in age from teenagers through the seventies.  In our orange jumpsuits and hoods, we were, of course, indistinguishable.  I told George I would know myself in the photographs, but I don’t.  We all were there because we cannot stand by as our country founders deeper and deeper into this morass of evil, for I cannot call torture anything else. 

Eventually, I decided to stand.  I had been kneeling with my head toward the Macy’s building and my back toward Broadway.  I realized that the sign pinned to my back that said TORTURE would not be visible while I stood, so I turned around and found myself facing the NYPD.  They had been there all along, but I had not seen them. 

A huge percentage of the US population is against the Bush regime, the war, the torture, all of it.  That means that some percentage of the members of the NYPD is, too.  In previous actions and demonstrations I have participated in, I have sensed solidarity of many of them with us.  Still, they have to do their job.

I was wary when a police “honcho” with a lot of stripes and decorations arrived on the scene, but he just interacted with the other agents and left us alone. 

We were fortunate to have an official Legal Observer on the scene.  These wonderful patriots are lawyers, members of the National Lawyers Guild, who show up for protests wearing recognizable insignia.  They certainly help to keep the police aware of the rights of citizens to speak out against the government. 

Also helping us were the professional photographers on the scene chronicling the vivid juxtaposition of the holiday decorations at Macy’s and the prisoners. 

Not the least of the support for us came from the countless shoppers and tourists who whipped out their cameras and cell phones that can make video and photographs and recorded the event also. 

Our peaceful, still, quiet protest was not challenged by the police nor by Macy’s.  We stayed for about an hour.  Eventually, a police officer did speak to one of our number who was in civilian dress handing out flyers.  He suggested we might want to move on, so we did shortly.  We had decided not to engage in any kind of confrontation with the police or Macy’s officials, this time.

David tells me that, in fact, we had the right to stay there as long as we wanted to, that such actions are protected by the First Amendment.  Still, if the police arrest you, that must be proven in courts.  Cindy Sheehan and the others were convicted this week for “trespassing” when in fact they were within their rights to be on the sidewalk.  They were never on private property.  Worse, with the new Military Commissions Act, anyone deemed by the administration to be aiding the “enemy” (both what aid is and who the enemy is to be determined by the administration) have no rights, just like the people we were representing.  No protest of this administration such as ours has led to anyone being “detained” but such detention would now be legal.  Chilling thought. 

I agree with my fellow patriots who were there that it would be difficult for anyone who passed by to fail to be moved.  One young woman remarked “Intense” to her companion as she passed.  It was intense, a vivid intense image.  It was also intense for me.  It felt very powerful to assume that position of my own free will and to show the world that not everyone in this country is in favor of torture.  Among other things, I am glad to have made the statement we did to the numerous foreigner shoppers there, to prove to them that all Americans are not behind the egregious abuses of human rights of the Bush regime. 

For further account of this and other actions across the country click on the address below

http://www.worldcantwait.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3530&Itemid=223

Results of Code Pink trial

December 12, 2006

 Here is a link to a response by Medea Benjamin to the events: Medea Benjamin:
Peace Women, Convicted of Trespassing, Teach the US Government a Lesson in Diplomacy
and an article.  All this thanks to Barbara. 

Iraq Protester Sheehan Cleared of Most NY Charges
by Jeanne King
NEW YORK – Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan and three co-defendants were found guilty of a minor violation and cleared of more serious charges on Monday for blocking the entrance to the U.S. mission to the United Nations during a protest in March.

The four women, who were fined and told to stay out of trouble with the law, said they would return to the New York City building to deliver a petition calling for an end to the Iraq war.

Sheehan became famous for protesting the Iraq war outside President George W. Bush’s Texas ranch in 2005 after her soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004, and has become one of the country’s most recognizable anti-war protesters.

A six-member jury at Manhattan Criminal Court found Sheehan and three other women innocent of resisting arrest, obstruction of government administration and disorderly conduct for a protest at the U.S. mission, which is housed in a privately owned building in Manhattan.

But the jury found the four women guilty of trespassing, a violation.

Prosecutors had sought sentences of five days of community service.

Instead, Judge Kirke Bartley fined them $95 each for court costs and imposed no further sentence on the condition that the women stay out of trouble with the law, saying the night they spent in jail was punishment enough.

“My client does community service every single day and the prosecution just doesn’t get it. She spends every day trying to the end war … in a righteous way, fighting for social justice,” said Robert Gottlieb, Sheehan’s attorney.

The women had claimed their arrest was an abuse of police power.

“We were not trespassing and we had to spend a night in jail,” Sheehan said after the verdict, which the jury reached after deliberating for four hours over two days.

At the trial, police and security officers testified that on March 6, the four women sat down in front of the building and refused to leave when ordered to do so by police.

The women were trying to deliver a petition demanding an end to the war. After being ordered to leave, the women linked arms and legs making it difficult for police to move them.

Prosecutor William Beesch said the women “were not arrested because of their message. It was their refusal to recognize the rights of others that got them arrested.”

Immediately after the verdict, the women said they would return to the mission to deliver the petition.

Verdict for Cindy

December 11, 2006

When I left today for rehearsal, there was no news about Cindy’s trial in New York, but when I got home Patrice had emailed about it.  Thanks to Patrice.   

Below is a link to an article about the resolution to the trial of Cindy and the four others, including Medea Benjamin, one of the founders of Code Pink, Women for Peace.

Sheehan Among Four
Convicted of Trespassing

Below are photographs of Cindy and Medea.

  

 

Trial in New York for Cindy and others

December 6, 2006

Patrice alerted us to this article about Cindy’s court appearance in New York on Tuesday. 

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=157&sid=702548

Here is another site where the trial is covered as well.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/06/nyregion/06mbrfs-trial.html

 

Treatment of Reservists

December 5, 2006

Patrice forwarded the following information about how one company is treating our military reserves well, which is not universal. 

Have you seen the reports about how Sears
is treating its reservist employees who are called up
?
By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and
available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a
big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being
called up…Sears is voluntarily paying the difference
in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including
medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called
up reservist employees for up to two years. I submit
that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and
should be recognized for its contribution.
Suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a
manager to tell them why we are there so the company
gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves. Pass
it on.
So I, decided to check it out before I sent it
forward. I sent the following email to the Sears
Customer Service Department:

I received this email and I would like to know if it
is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become
one very good source of advertisement for your store.
I know I would go out of my way to buy products from
Sears instead of another store for a like item even if
it was cheaper at the other store.

Here is their answer to my
email……

Dear Customer:
Thank you for contacting Sears.
The information is factual. We appreciate your
positive feedback. Sears regards service to our
country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men
and women can make. We are happy to do our part to
lessen the burden they bear at this time.

Bill Thorn
Sears Customer Care
webcenter@sears.com
1-800-349-4358
Please pass this on to all your friends, Sears needs
to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and
we need to show them as Americans, we do appreciate
what they are doing for our military!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s Verified By Snopes.com
(
http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/sears.asp ) 
 

 

Dissent Sells

December 5, 2006

We owe this article to Barbara.  George has loaded links to a number of Olbermann’s broadcasts.  Scroll down to them or search for him and the blog will take you to those entries.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061218/eviatar

Questionable and growing practice

December 5, 2006

Here is a link to an article about the huge number of private persons in Iraq, whose companies are making billions of dollars though the actual people there may not be.  There has been virtually no supervision of these private contractors by Congress.  You can let your representatives know you want this stopped.

Nearly as Many Contractors
as Soldiers in Iraq