Saturday, April 26, 2008

 

Arab-American "Courage"

How much courage does it take to provide translation and psychological services to Arab immigrants? "Courage" in light of two Arab countries' occupations, I imagine, would involve politically organizing Arabs to express their outrage and end the occupations. This Florence Nightingale-type work of dispensing social services is called "generous" or "sweet" or "socially dedicated" not "courageous".

Today "Arab-American courage" means having the bravery to check "Arab" on the census, buying hummus using a credit card and hanging an Arab flag from your rearview mirror.

That's what happens when you reduce our cause, our pain and our struggle to a cultural circus. I went to a Kathim Al-Sahir concert in 2006 and saw dozens of Iraqi flags in the audience. I was like, why didn't I see you people and your flags protesting when over a million of our people were massacred, when soldiers defiled our humanity in Abu Ghraib, when the world's only superpower demolished our children's dreams, when the uncivilized terrorized the cradle of civilization. At best, Arab-Americans were watching aljazeera and at worst they were holding wedding-like celebrations in the streets. That's what Arab-Americans were doing while the Arab world was mourning the occupation of Baghdad on April 9, 2003 and flattened Falluja in April and November 2004 and ... you know the rest of the list.

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Israeli Foreign Ministry Hosted Leading Wikipedia Editor

From the Jerusalem Post of December 8, 2007:
In an acknowledgement of the importance that the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia has in shaping opinion, the Foreign Ministry is bringing one of its leading editors, David Shankbone, to Israel next week.

According to a communiqué put out by the ministry, Shankbone has carried out dozens of interviews of US personalities for Wikipedia, including presidential candidates, religious leaders, rock stars and journalists. Shankbone will be visiting within the framework of a delegation of technology writers being brought to Israel by the Foreign Ministry and the America-Israel Friendship League.

Explaining the rationale for bringing Shankbone to Israel, David Saranga, the spokesman at the consulate in New York, said: "More than once we have faced editors connected to Israel that appear on Wikipedia in English that do not represent the reality in Israel. We decided to initiate a visit by Shankbone to describe Israeli reality as it is."

Wikipedia, according to the Foreign Ministry, is the eighth largest web site in the world, with some 60 million visitors a day, or some 14,000 hits a second.
See also:

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

 

Hasbara Ops on Wikipedia Revealed

Last year, I did two short posts on Zionist hasbara operations on Wikipedia. On Monday, Electronic Intifada did a great expose of CAMERA's concerted campaign to spread Zionist propaganda via Wikipedia. Have a look at it here.

See also:
(Illustration by EI)

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

 

Why won't anyone say they are Jewish?

Click on each of the two images below for a larger, clearer image.

See also: "They are Jewish"

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9/11--Good for the Jewish State says Netanyahu

For at least the second time, former Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spells it out:
The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv on Wednesday [4/16/08] reported that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.

"We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq," Ma'ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events "swung American public opinion in our favor."

Netanyahu reportedly made the comments during a conference at Bar-Ilan University on the division of Jerusalem as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.
On 9/12/01, the New York Times reported:
Asked tonight what the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, replied, "It's very good." Then he edited himself: "Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy." He predicted that the attack would "strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we've experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.''
on 9/20/01, Netanyahu told a US House Committee:
We have received a wake up call from hell. Now the question is simple: Do we rally to defeat this evil, while there is still time, or do we press a collective snooze button and go back to business as usual?

The time for action is now.
And he was already starting to wag the American dog to attack Iraq and Iran:
... Nor can we completely dismiss the possibility that a militant regime, like its terrorist proxies, will commit collective suicide for the sake of its fanatical ideology.

In this case, we might face not thousands of dead, but hundreds of thousands and possibly millions. This is why the US must do everything in its power to prevent regimes like Iran and Iraq from developing nuclear weapons, and disarm them of their weapons of mass destruction.
Of course, war on Iraq and Iran was on Netanyahu's wish list long before 9/11.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

 

What is a Troop?


A Troop

A troop is an invention of the military,
A battlefield commodity to be used and discarded
Like a spent shell casing.
A troop obeys without question,
It does not ponder the significance
Of the Nuremburg Principles.

A troop is an invention of the military.
It may be given a nerve gas "antidote"
Which will allow it to fight a while longer,
But will not keep it from dying.
It may be given experimental drugs
Without its permission.

A troop is an invention of the military.
It may be sent home in an HRP
(Human Remains Pouch),
Or wheeled away on a gurney
To fill a bed recently cleared
Of troops from the previous war.

A troop is an invention of the military.
A dead troop is a "casuality" if from the U.S.,
Or "collateral damage" if from Iraq.
It may be male or female
(the war is an equal opportunity killer).
A troop is the property of the military.

Source: Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist. StormWarning. No. 34. Winter 1996-97.

See also:

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

 

Jews Could Decide Dems Presidential Nominee


Two months I posted a piece on Barack Obama and his problems with Jewish voters. A recent article in the Jewish Daily Forward, source of the graphic above, sheds light on another dimension of the Democratic presidential primary. Here are some excerpts from "Dozens of Jewish Super-Delegates May Hold Key to Democratic Race" by Jennifer Siegel (all emphasis is mine):
According to a new survey conducted by the Forward, a disproportionately large share of the Democratic party’s super-delegates are Jewish. Many of them have declared their support for Hillary Clinton, accounting for more than 15% of her current backers.

Like the general population of super-delegates, whose support remains fluid, several Jewish supporters of the New York senator said in interviews that their votes still remain up for grabs. All told, more than 70 Jewish super-delegates will make the trip to Denver this summer for the Democrats’ nominating convention. They account for nearly one-tenth of the party’s nearly 800 so-called super-delegates, the informal term for elected and party officials whose status as delegates to the convention does not depend on state primaries and caucuses.

VFPD: According to the American Jewish Year Book, Jews comprised only 1.78% of the US population in 2006 as opposed to almost or more than 10% of the Democratic Party's super-delegates.

If the Democratic presidential primary comes down to a photo finish, these Jewish insiders could play an outsized role in anointing a nominee at the party’s August convention. And it would be a history-making experience: Although Jews have long been considered a formidable voting bloc and have been overrepresented among the country’s cadre of liberal activists and thinkers, they have only more recently become common as Democratic establishment insiders, with unprecedented numbers of both Jewish elected officials and party leaders.

Politics in America has become a Jewish profession, just like arts and the law,” said Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council and the author of a book about Jews and American politics. “We now are overrepresented in all these areas.”

The relatively high number of Jews among super-delegates highlights a larger political shift that has occurred in recent decades, according to Forman. Although Jews have always been well represented on the American left, he said, historically they have tended to gravitate toward causes, such as the labor and civil rights movements, rather than active participation in party politics.

In the years since World War II, however, the number of Jewish politicians has grown significantly, with 33 Jewish members elected to Congress in 2006, up from 13 in 1950. In addition, over the past 15 years, the DNC has been led by three Jewish chairs — Americans for Peace Now head Debra DeLee; Massachusetts-based party activist Steve Grossman, and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, all now backing Clinton — while the current chairman, former Vermont governor Howard Dean, is married to a Jewish woman and has raised his children as Jews. Of the DNC’s nine national officers, three are currently Jewish.

Susan Turnbull, who became a vice chair of the DNC in 2005, told the Forward that she has begun organizing get-togethers for Jewish DNC members at the party’s national meetings in recent years, and occasionally communicates via e-mail on issues of mutual concern, as when, several years ago, she was helping to pass a DNC resolution against divestment from Israel.

To compile a list of Jewish super-delegates, the Forward included elected officials and DNC members known by the paper to be Jewish. Turnbull identified additional Jewish DNC members, and the Forward’s list was vetted by the Clinton and Obama campaigns. This list may omit Jewish super-delegates whose religious affiliation is not widely known.
Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada has an interesting editorial on Obama and the controversy over Jeremiah Wright entitled "The senator, his pastor and the Israel lobby". Here are some excerpts:
US senator Barack Obama was widely hailed for his 18 March speech calming the media furor about the sermons of his pastor for twenty years Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Wright's remarks, Obama said, "expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country -- a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam."

It might seem odd for Obama to mention Israel and "radical Islam" in a speech focused on US race relations, especially since Wright's most widely reported comments were about America's historic and ongoing oppression of its black citizens.

But for months, even before most Americans had heard of Wright, prominent pro-Israel activists were hounding Obama over Wright's views on Israel and ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. In January, Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), demanded that Obama denounce Farrakhan as an anti-Semite. The senator duly did so, but that was not enough. "[Obama has] distanced himself from his pastor's decision to honor Farrakhan," Foxman said, but "He has not distanced himself from his pastor. I think that's the next step." Foxman labeled Wright "a black racist," adding in the same breath, "Certainly he has very strong anti-Israel views" (Larry Cohler-Esses, "ADL Chief To Obama: 'Confront Your Pastor' On Minister Farrakhan," The Jewish Week, 16 January 2008). Criticism of Israel, one suspects, is Wright's truly unforgivable crime and Foxman's vitriol has echoed through dozens of pro-Israel blogs.

Since his early political life in Chicago, Barack Obama was well-informed about the Middle East and had expressed nuanced views conveying an understanding that justice and fairness, not blinkered support for Israel, are the keys to peace and the right way to combat extremism. Yet for months he has been fighting the charge that he is less rabidly pro-Israel than other candidates -- which means now adhering to the same simplistic formulas and unconditional support for Israeli policies that have helped to escalate conflict and worsen America's standing in the Middle East. Hence Obama's assertion at his 26 February debate with Senator Hillary Clinton that he is "a stalwart friend of Israel."

But Obama stressed that his appeal to Jewish voters also stems from his desire "to rebuild what I consider to be a historic relationship between the African American community and the Jewish community."

Obama has not addressed to a national audience why that relationship might have frayed. He was much more candid when speaking to Jewish leaders in Cleveland just one day before the debate. In a little-noticed comment, reported on 25 February by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Obama tried to contextualize Wright's critical views of Israel. Wright, Obama explained, "was very active in the South Africa divestment movement and you will recall that there was a tension that arose between the African American and the Jewish communities during that period when we were dealing with apartheid in South Africa, because Israel and South Africa had a relationship at that time. And that cause -- that was a source of tension."

Obama implicitly admitted that Wright's views were rooted in opposition to Israel's deep ties to apartheid South Africa, and thus entirely reasonable even if Obama himself did "not necessarily," as he put it, share them. Israel supplied South Africa with hundreds of millions of dollars of weaponry despite an international embargo. Even the water cannons that South African forces used to attack anti-apartheid demonstrators in the townships were manufactured at Kibbutz Beit Alfa, a "socialist" settlement in northern Israel. Until the late 1980s, South Africa often relied on Israel to lobby Western governments not to impose sanctions.

... For many African Americans, it was intolerable hypocrisy that so many Jewish leaders who staunchly supported Civil Rights and the anti-apartheid movement would be tolerant of Israel's complicity.

Thus, Reverend Wright, who has sought a broader understanding of the Middle East than one that blames Islam and Arabs for all the region's problems or endorses unconditional support for Israel, stood in the mainstream of African American opinion, not on some extremist fringe. ...
See also "Barack Obama: The War in Iraq and the Jewish Vote"

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

 

Seventeen students and elders arrested in overwhelming police assault on DQ University



Reposted from the Indy Bay IMC.

March 31, 2008
8:06 p.m.

By Steve Jerome-Wyatt, one of the people arrested today, and the Acknowledged Spokesman for the SPECTRE Group Affiliated Obsidian Nation.

Davis, CA
Special to the A.O.N. KINDRED SPIRIT ARCHIVES


Brothers and Sisters:

At 9:45 a.m. this morning, a large force of Yolo County Sheriffs stormed the buildings at DQ University, battering their way into the Hallway of the large dorm -backing each other with guns drawn, and arrested 17 students, community supporters, and elders.

Since last Friday, the students were aware of a looming police action on campus; but no one thought that the cops would come in so quickly and in such overwhelming numbers.

The first notice that the students received of the cops' presence was a flying squad of three white sheriff's cars that sped into the main parking lot at high speed. At the same time, an equal number of other police cars rushed into the area next to the fire circle from the north.

In the resulting confusion, the police didn't give anyone a chance to either leave the grounds or face imminent arrest. The cops immediately began grabbing men and women; - EVEN A SKINNY BLACK CAT- and putting handcuffs on them. The cops shouted, "get on your knees, you're under arrest for trespassing!"

As this was taking place on the east side of the Large Dorm, a large group of visiting community supporters (about ten people) slipped out the front door of the Dining Room. They made a break for freedom by running through the farm fields to the west. They were successful in their exodus; the cops knew that they were running away, but the cops didn't make a move to stop them.

Instead, the cops concentrated on forcing The People into a large kneeling circle on the grass and open area next to the Sacred Fire Circle -which burned brightly through the entire raid. Overhead, a Sheriff's airplane circled DQ University, again and again.

There were cop cars ALL OVER DQ University this morning. They swept past the barricade of hay bales that had been placed across the entrance of the school. Some of them sealed off the main entrance gate on County Road 31. Others gathered in the driveway between the Large Dorm and the Maintenance Building.

The cops that came for us came prepared: they brought along a huge paddy wagon, into which they eventually herded seventeen of our people. Soon afterward, we could see the cops sweeping the buildings for anyone who might be trying to hide from them. The cops even got onto the roofs of the buildings, walking around, searching for more people to arrest. Our friend the skinny black cat was stuffed into an animal-control pickup, specially called for this purpose.

As the arrests were unfolding, members of the DQ University Board of Trustees were parked close by in a mini-van, laughing. The boards "consultant," -a woman named Susan Reece- used the occasion to take photographs of the cops leading us around in handcuffs.

A TV News van from KCRA Channel 3 (Sacramento) arrived at the entrance of DQ University as the arrests were taking place. But the cops barred the TV people from coming onto school property, insisting that the area was "a crime scene" and for that reason Channel 3 had to stay out.

After going through "pre-booking" in the big parking just west of the Administration building, the cops drove us to Woodland jail, where they took over three hours to book us.

When we were were finally released from jail, at about 4:30 p.m, we were greeted in the jail parking lot by a large group of jubilant supporters.

We were interviewed live on KPFA Radio, as we stood in the jail parking lo. Our wrists were still red and sore from the handcuffs that we'd been forced to wear for hours. We described how the DQ University Board of trustees had asked the Yolo County Sheriff's Department Woodland commit this armed aggression against the sixteen peaceful people who -until today- had dared to call California's Only Tribal College (DQ University) "home."

This message is being written in the middle of an emergency meeting about today's arrests, called by M.E.Ch.A group of UC Davis. We are going to talk about what we're going to do to respond the challenge that the corrupt Board of Trustees of DQ University has issued to the American Indian and Mexica world today.

This is all for now. Write back for a complete list of the names of the people who were arrested today.

IN ADDITION: The first three students who were arrested for 'trespassing' at DQ on February 20th are scheduled to appear in Woodland Superior Court this Wednesday, April 2, at 8:30 a.m. The students are sending out an urgent appeal for assistance to the community; Please attend the student's court hearing.

This is all for now. Write back for a complete list of the names of the people who were arrested today. And remember:

THE REAL DQ WILL NEVER DIE

for the Affiliated Obsidian Nation,
Steve Jerome-Wyatt

For more photos go here or here. For background on Steve Jerome-Wyatt and the Affiliated Obsidian Nation see "An Open Intercultural Conflict" by Robert Capriccioso in Cultural Survival Quarterly. See also "Struggling to reopen California's only tribal college" in Indian Country Today.

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The Holy Name 6: The Young People Are Our Only Hope

Below is an e-mail message from Jeri L. Reed, mother of anti-war Iraq veteran Cody Camacho. She has some insightful things to say about the anti-war movement, the upcoming presidential elections, and she supports Holy Name 6. I wrote to Jeri and she confirmed that this was her work and gave me permission to repost it. To see my earlier post on the Holy Name 6 featuring photos of the Holy Name 6 and a video click here.

I stood out on the street Monday night with about fifteen others. Two members of the Oklahoma National Guard, one a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, both about to deploy to Iraq. Another mother whose two sons have been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan, one son is in the Green Zone right now. Safer? She worries that he is in the middle of Baghdad, in the middle of Iraq, surrounded by millions of Iraqis who could one day get sick and tired of the American occupation once and for all. A big supporter of IVAW who distributes their newsletter in his small Oklahoma town drove up from his farm to join us, his Marine son was killed in Iraq on September 6 last year, my birthday, he is my birthday soldier, which probably all of us have by now. We were supposed to be commemorating the death of the 4000th soldier in Iraq. But people weren't even honking any more like they used to. I'm sure a lot of people drove by thinking we were just foolish for even bothering. What’s another dead soldier in a sea of so many? What's another dead Iraqi?

We keep standing out there even though it really does not do much to end the occupations. I wouldn't know what else to do, when my son rolled across the Iraq border five years ago on March 21, 2003, it became my eternal responsibility to do something, even if it seemed hopeless, which it does. But maybe that is what a lot of people think—why bother? We are powerless to end this war, so why try? Better to just ignore it and keep our minds elsewhere. A lot of people have turned their attention to electoral politics, putting their faith into one of the dismal presidential candidates. At the same time, I have not talked to anyone who really believes that any of the candidates will actually end the war in Iraq, and of course, few people think to consider Afghanistan at all.

But some small events have given me hope, actions that have been criticized by others as rash and disruptive. Actions by young people guided by their passion and certainty that the occupation of Iraq is a crime against humanity that needs to stop immediately, by their youthful disbelief that such things could take place and no one would do anything to stop them. On Easter Sunday, six young people, members of a street theater group called Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War, entered the services at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago and staged a die-in, they spread fake blood around, right in the aisle in the middle of respectable parishioners there to quietly hear the mass, not be reminded of the atrocities happening thousands of miles away. They yelled out "Even the Pope calls for peace!" and lay down in the aisles as if dead. They vocally objected to the priest, Cardinal George, meeting with a known war criminal, George W. Bush. They were arrested, and face felony charges for their actions, bail was set at $25,000 for five of them, $35,000 for Donte Smith allegedly due to a previous arrest at the School of the Americas, they are presently all free after putting up $16,000 of borrowed money. It made me so glad; it gave me so much hope. I was so proud of them.

Angela Haban
Mercedes Phiniah

Reagan Maher
Ryane Ziemba

Donte Smith
Ephron Ramirez, Jr.

Because if anyone thinks, after five years of this outrage, after one horrible year of my son invading another country and helping to wreak havoc and death and destruction, after a year of him being mortared almost daily, wading through depleted uranium which is like the ticking time bomb of our lives, after two years of trying to help him deal with the after effects to no avail, which of course we are supposed to keep to ourselves so as not to disturb others and simply smile and go about our normal lives which are not normal, after filing for bankruptcy the first year and continuing to sink money I don’t have into fighting this war, we all do, those of us affected, our cards if we still have them are maxed out, we don’t pay our bills. After sharing the pain of hundreds of other families and soldiers for five years, of all of those friends whose kids did not return from Iraq or Afghanistan, of all of those members of Iraq Veterans Against the War who despite the fact that they must deal with their own deep injuries physical and mental are courageously willing to put themselves on the line, even if they are active duty, even if they are in Iraq. Saying nothing of course about the tens of thousands of dead and wounded Iraqis and Afghanis or the lives they must lead in devastated nations, the fear that they live with daily, the sorrow and anguish they face daily. If anyone thinks that after all of this pain and death and disruption and destruction of our lives and the lives of all the people in Iraq and Afghanistan I care if Easter Mass at Mayor Daley’s church was disrupted by six young people with fake blood and cries for an end to this atrocity, they would be wrong. Good. I hope they do it some more. They are our hope.

I’m just saying that because I was looking for updates on the Holy Name 6, the name they have acquired, and ran across a message board, a generally anti-war message board made up of “progressive” Democrats, where opinion seems to be running against them, how dare they, on Easter Sunday yet, disrupt a church service. The innocent parishioners should have been allowed to enjoy their Easter in peace, to think of peace, perhaps to pray for it, then head to their homes for nice Easter dinners with their families. There were children present after all. They were scared.

There are children in Iraq. They are scared. They are wounded. They die. They have needed us to end this occupation for five years. They needed us to stop the invasion before it began. We failed. None of us are innocent. If our young people are willing to take risks to try to shock some compassion and concern into the American public who would rather look the other way and spend their time on football scores rather than thinking about the number of dead Americans and Iraqis and Afghanis, we need to support them. This is our hope, sedate crowds of marching old people have failed, devoted prayers of peace have failed, polite conversations with spineless and lying politicians have failed.

The action at Holy Name last Sunday is not the only sign of hope. Earlier this month at the University of Alabama, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Students for a Democratic Society were arrested for staging a mock incident between soldiers and Iraqis in one of the university’s buildings. Recreating the day-to-day behavior of soldiers in Iraq towards Iraqi citizens was simply too alarming for those nearby, or in the words of the dean of students, it was disruptive and wrong because it was “mimicking a true emergency.” This IS a true emergency.

Students at the University of Iowa recently made Karl Rove very unwelcome after he was paid $40, 000 to speak there. Not only did a couple hundred students disrupt the speaking event, they surrounded the restaurant where Rove ate dinner later, calling for him to “come out with his hands up” over a bullhorn, attempting to make a citizens' arrest of this notorious war criminal, causing him to delay his exit for quite a while.

At a “teach in” near the University of North Texas a few weeks ago, I listened to students talk about ideas for actions, much of it taken from the pages of history. Members of a new SDS chapter like those springing up on campuses around the country were present. I found myself wanting to interrupt; some of the ideas sounded too much like the ideas of 20-year-old college students for me, because they were. I stopped myself from criticizing. It is all right for us to share wisdom. It is not all right to stifle our young people in this hopeless situation. We cannot tell them what to do. We have no grounds. We have failed.

Two weeks ago, Tina Richards spent the evening waiting at the juvenile facility in Washington DC for the release of her fourteen year old daughter who had been arrested blocking a street while chanting "Arrest Bush, not kids!" as part of the Stop-Loss Congress actions, along with many young people who descended on our nation’s capitol for what they called Our Spring Break. This was Chrissy’s second arrest. With two other young women, she was held for hours in a cell smeared with human feces and male bodily fluids, while the arresting officer kept trying to intimidate them, trying to scare them. They sang instead, they emerged with shining eyes and smiling faces, these three girls. They were proud of themselves and they should have been. And Chrissy was ready to do it again. This is personal to Chrissy, along with her mother she has had to deal with the problems of her brother Cloy, a former Marine, now disabled with PTSD. She has had to stand by her mother as Cloy collapsed further and further after returning from Iraq, to the point where he called Tina and told her he was holding a gun to his mouth. Chrissy’s life is permanently disrupted; I don’t think she cares whether the rest of the country feels her pain.

I can remember how I felt when I was young, just realizing how the world really worked, I remember my shock and disbelief, my anger and my passion, and my belief that I could help change things. I think of things that I did that I would not do now, things that seem rash and dangerous. It is easy to look at the alleged excesses of the 60s and 70s with a critical eye, looking at the actions of so many young people then, the actions of ourselves. Some of them were misguided; some of them just did not work out the way they were planned. These were not things done by people who worried about their personal safety or the long-term repercussions of their actions. But then again, the Vietnam War ended and people of color in this country got more rights. None of this happened because people quietly prayed it away or went to the polls and elected the “right” people. Nothing has ever really changed in this country because people followed the rules and did the right thing and did not disturb others.

We live in the most powerful nation in the world with the biggest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, run by people who are murderers and torturers and thieves. Most of us acknowledge that we are ruled by murderers and torturers and thieves, mainly because they don’t even bother to keep it from us. You could not bring enough buttons reading “Arrest Bush and Cheney” or the ever popular t-shirt “Arrest Cheney First” into the state of Oklahoma to satisfy demand. Yet no one seems willing to do anything about it. They don’t want to disrupt their lives. When the bombs started dropping on Baghdad on March 19, 2003, then my son drove into Iraq two days later, I knew we had failed. We had not been willing to disrupt our lives to stop this; I had not been willing to disrupt my own life enough even to prevent my own son from participating in these atrocities. I have always thought, what we should have done was shut down the whole country to stop it, no matter what.

None of the actions listed involved any kind of violence; they merely caused a lot of disruption and inconvenience for surrounding people, watch the video if you want to see what the Holy Name 6 actually did. None of these small incidents by themselves did much to end the war. But one can only hope that they are sparks. One can only hope. And if our young people decide that they simply do not want a future like this, that they do not want to give their silent assent to war crimes and war criminals as most of the country is doing, if they decide to disrupt the whole country to end this, to do what we have not been willing to do, we don’t need to criticize them, we need to support them. Or join them.

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Support the Holy Name 6



Like most American churches, at best, the US Roman Catholic church has done almost nothing concrete to oppose the bloody US invasion and occupation of Iraq. In an attempt to shake the faithful out of there complacency six young people staged a brief nonviolent protest at the Easter services at Chicago's Roman Catholic Holy Name Cathedral. Here's an excerpt from a Chicago Tribune report:
Prosecutors said the six were charged with felony charges because the damaged property belonged to a religious entity and the church will have to spend about $3,000 to replace chairs and carpeting.

A $400 cleaning failed to remove stains left by the fake blood, they said.

Prosecutors identified the six arrested as Donte D. Smith, 18; Ephran Ramirez Jr., 22; Ryne Ziemba, 25; and Regan Maher, 25, all of Chicago; Angela Haban, 20, of Prospect Heights; and Mercedes Phinaih, 18, of Downstate Bloomington.

The protesters, part of a group called Catholic School Girls Against the War despite their male and female membership, could each face up to 5 years in prison if convicted.
Below and here is a video of the protest:

From CommonDreams.org, here's part of an essay by a supporter:
Don’t fracture the peace.

I repeat: Do not fracture the peace — even though the silence of that peace masks the violence of war.

Do not fracture the peace of a peaceful Sunday — even though during that peace thousands of U.S. service members and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are being killed.

Do not fracture the peace — even though the resurrection being celebrated on Easter Sunday is the resurrection of the one who in the Christian faith is the ultimate fracturer of the peace, a peace that masks overwhelming violence.

Don’t fracture the peace.

The Holy Name 6 became fracturers of the peace on Easter Sunday at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Interrupting the homily of Cardinal George and dramatizing the blood being spilt in Iraq, they poured staged blood upon themselves with spatters damaging the carpet (and, quite unintentionally and inadvertently, the clothing of nearby parishioners.) The six now face up to 5 years in prison on a felony charge of property damage.

Their action invites us into deeper consideration and contemplation of what our response ought to be to challenge and end the war in and occupation of Iraq. It is a challenge and invitation to all of us — and to each of us — to deepen and intensify our nonviolent resistance to the Iraq - Afghanistan war, for their action was deeply rooted in nonviolence.

The Holy Name 6 are enduring great criticism for their action. Property was damaged. People were disturbed. Sensibilities were challenged. And those engaged in the action are all so young.
You can help the Holy Name 6 by making a donation or signing this petition.

See here for another video related to the protest wherein Cardinal George accuses the Holy Name 6 of an "act of violence" for disrupting church services.

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