Thursday, March 17, 2005

Indy Media VI: Peace events in Fayetteville (NC) and Portland; Remembering Rachel Corrie (David Stein); Kissinger Sued (Ryme Katkhouda) . . .

At North Carolina Independent Media Center, Andrew Pearson has "Major Mobilization in NC to End the War:"

Historic March and Rally Against Iraq War Led by Military Families and Veterans, Fayetteville, NC, March 19 2005
On Saturday, March 19, thousands of people of conscience from around the Southeast and beyond will join hundreds of military families and veterans in Fayetteville, North Carolina, for a historic march and rally against the war on Iraq. The events in Fayetteville are organized and endorsed by over 100 organizations, including United for Peace and Justice and Iraq Veterans Against the War, and will be the main component of the nation's anti-war movement on March 19. Fayetteville is the home of Ft. Bragg, one of the largest military bases in the country. Nearly 1 in 5 soldiers deployed in Iraq is from North Carolina. We are at the center of the American military enterprise. Nearly 50 soldiers from Fayetteville has died in Iraq. Thousands more have been repeatedly separated from their families for long periods of time. Soldiers and veterans push to piece their lives back together.
Organizations, congregations, and individuals who are not in the military nevertheless care deeply about deaths and injuries to our own military as well as to the Iraqi people, the economy, the lands.
Last year 1400 people gathered in Fayetteville on March 20 to bring the troops home. This year, over 100 organizations are mobilizing, and at least 50 cities are sending buses, from New York to Atlanta, Knoxville to Wilmington, Norfolk to Columbia. This year's weekend of events will focus on the voices and experiences of soldiers, veterans, their families, and those closest to the war and its ravaging effects. Our aim is to stand with and amplify the voices of those veterans and military families who are brave enough to speak out and tell their truths, as against the triumphalist versions of the Administration and mainstream media.
Main sponsors of the 2005 actions are: Veterans For Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Quaker House, Fayetteville Peace with Justice, Military Families Speak Out, Bring Them Home Now, NC Peace and Justice Coalition, NC Council of Churches, and United for Peace With Justice. Please see for more information.
Over the past three years, North Carolina has been home to one of the South's most vibrant anti-war movements. We organized an 8,000-person-strong demonstration in Raleigh before the invasion of Iraq on February 15, 2003. We pushed Republican Congressman Howard Coble to announce that he is calling for a return of the troops home. We North Carolinians have resisted the war along with tens of millions of people worldwide.
Last year's mobilization was the largest peace demonstration in Fayetteville since the Vietnam War and was a huge success. It drew media attention from around the country and the world. It gave many service men and women a chance to speak out. This year promises to be even more significant as the American public is increasingly weary with the arrogance, lies, and coercion that are used to keep us in this war.
This year, we're upping the ante. Already, we have been contacted by grandparents who are driving from Texas with their three grandchildren to help end the war. Parents of soldiers killed in Iraq will come for comfort and resistance. Buses will come from New York and beyond. Energy is high, and the commitment is strong to:
"Show REAL Support for the Troops: Bring Them Home Now!"
"Money for Jobs and Education, NOT for War and Occupations!"
"The world STILL says No to War in Iraq."
Schedule of Events: Fayetteville, March 18, 19, 20
WELCOME CENTER Open Friday March 18, 4:00 pm - Sunday March 20, 5:00 pm. Rainbow Room, 223 Hay St, Fayetteville, NC
FRIDAY, MARCH 18: Hip Hop Against Racist War Concert. Featuring nationally recognized artists, Little Brother and Ricanstruction. Seabrook Park Resource Center, 706 Langdon St, Fayetteville, NC, 28301, Doors open at 8:00 pm, Performance from 9:00 - 11:45 pm. $5-10 Entry
SATURDAY, MARCH 19: Rally and March to End the War in Iraq and Bring the Troops Home Now. A permitted, safe and empowering march and rally to Rowan St. Park, from 11:00 - 4:00 p.m.
a.. Bus drop-off and Gathering at: Amtrak Station in Downtown Fayetteville, and Cumberland County Health Center, 227 Fountainhead Lane, Fayetteville, North Carolina 28301 b.. Buses and marchers arrive starting at 10:00 am. c.. A brief rally will occur at 11:00 am d.. The march will leave at 12:00 noon. e.. The Rally lasts from 1:00 - 4:00 pm
SUNDAY, MARCH 20: Southern Organizers' Gathering: Building Our Communities, Sharpening Our Skills 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Rainbow Room, 223 Hay St, Fayetteville, NC. Register online. Cost is $30 by March 1, $35 until March 15. Lodging is $30. Register Online.
The Organizers Gathering is being held in conjunction with the first national conference of Iraq Veterans Against the War and meetings of Military Families Speak Out and Goldstar Families for Peace. These events are not open to the public.
Originating Sponsors of March 19 in Fayetteville:
Bring Them Home Now Fayetteville Peace With Justice Iraq Veterans Against the War Military Families Speak Out NC Council of Churches NC Peace & Justice Coalition Quaker House, Fayetteville United for Peace and Justice Veterans For Peace
While we are gathering in Fayetteville, the community will take careful note of how we act. Hundreds of military families, vets, and soldiers who are looking for support in speaking out will take their cues from the character of our event. In fact, The whole world will be watching our actions in Fayetteville.
We are determined to make our events in Fayetteville peaceful, respectful, diverse, safe, family-friendly, creative, and empowering. There will be children, grandparents, disabled vets, community organizers, military families, members of many congregations and religions, young activists, anarchists, socialists, patriots, pacifists, revolutionaries, and poets.
The March 19 Planning Committee has been working together since November, spending countless hours coming to consensus on the most appropriate and strategic messages, themes, tactics and strategy for our work. We adopted our core messages because of their broad appeal to a wide range of constituencies opposed to the war on Iraq. We also understand that stopping the war on Iraq requires a united effort, solidarity between many movements, and a determination to build broader alliances. We have adopted 5 additional themes which will be included in our messages, publications, and program:
Self Determination for All Peoples: (Iraq for Iraqis, Palestinian Statehood, etc.)
Stop US Aggression Abroad (Iran, Venezuela, N Korea, Syria, etc..) - No war on the world.
Educate the Youth, don't Recruit Them!
Support GI resistance
No to Torture, Secret Prisons, Unconstitutional Immigrant Detentions
Our goal is to end the war and occupation of Iraq, by showing REAL support for the troops: Bring them home now! The war on Iraq represents the weakest link in the Bush administration's pattern of deceit, corporate favors, and empire-building. To that end, we seek to bring a wide array of forces together around our basic message to end the war on Iraq.
We see the events in Fayetteville as particular, important, and necessary steps towards this goal, and recognize that the nature of the event calls for specific tactics and commitments from all who wish to participate. We understand the risks that many in the military take by speaking out, and the importance of creating a safe and empowering space to encourage others to join our movements.
We ask that anyone coming to share in this historic event pledge to uphold the following guidelines.
In Fayetteville, we will gather in the diverse traditions of nonviolence, with respect for the right to self-determination of oppressed peoples and communities. Together we envision a day in which a culture of peace with justice will prevail, where all people will live together free from oppression.
This weekend, in the tradition of nonviolence:
We will gather together in a manner that reflects the world we choose to create.
We will promote an alternative to domination systems by acting with love, respect, mutuality, compassion, and acceptance for the interdependence of all life.
We will struggle for a world free from violence and we will use actions, words and symbols consistent with this struggle.
We will not use or instigate violence against any person, nor vandalize property or burn any flags or other emotive symbols.
We will act with respect for the people and property of the local community.
We will promote the safety of ourselves and others through our actions and interactions.
We commit to recognize and to work to dismantle all forms of oppression in our personal relationships, local neighborhoods, and globally.
North Carolina Peace & Justice Coalition March 19 Steering Committee
Contact: March 19 Staff, Andrew Pearson, 919 286 5057

Seattle Indymedia Center has David Stein's "Remembering Rachel and Recognizing Oppression:"

Rachel was an intense young activist who was deeply concerned with the demolition of Palestinian homes, and the growing violence directed toward Palestinian civilians, many of them children. The policy of the (IDF) Israeli Defense Forces of destroying the homes of Palestinian civilians has been held responsible for rendering whole families homeless and contributing to high infant mortality rates and other consequences.
Rachel paid with her life for her concern, and thereby joins the ranks of Mohandas Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and Chico Mendes in the ranks of martyrs to the cause of non-violence and justice. Her parents have announced that they are now suing Caterpillar, manufacturer of the deadly armored bulldozer, and the State of Israel.
On her nationally syndicated Democracy Now radio program, available at, Goodman features this litigation and speaks with Rachel's family and a US Congressman about the suit and a transcript is posted on the website.
While Rachel's tragic death has been almost universally met with grief and anger, a small coterie of individuals, who some would characterize as extremists, have taunted the mourners with suggestions that Rachel somehow deserved her fate. Sadly, some otherwise peaceful and progressive individuals seems to have generated often furious and even vituperative debate over the matter. Often this is part of a pattern of highly emotional defense of virtually every act of the Israeli government as essential to the safety and security of Israelis and even of Jewish people in general. Parties espousing those emotionally-charged defenses of IDF actions often ignore harm done to Palestinian civilians and peace activists, choosing to focus single-mindedly on that small fraction of the Palestinian population which engages in armed struggle.
That minority viewpoint is that the incident was entirely accidental and that contributory negligence on Rachel's part is as much to blame as any callousness on the part of the Israeli Defense Forces. But the majority of discussants in informed forums point out that the Israeli government never adequately investigated the incident, and the mainstream media has quietly swept the matter under the rug. Others allege that the killing was deliberate and authorized at the highest levels of the Israeli government, to "teach a lesson" to international activists. Such persons point to the pattern wherein other international activists from nominally nuetral countries have been beaten, shot and even killed by IDF forces.

The Democracy Now! segments referred to are:

Family of Rachel Corrie Sues Israeli Government and Caterpillar Inc. Two Years After She Was Crushed by Military Bulldozer
Today is the second anniversary of the death of Rachel Corrie - the American peace activist killed by an Israel military bulldozer when she attempted to block the demolition of a Palestinian home in Gaza. Now, her family is suing the State of Israel and Caterpillar - the U.S. firm that manufactured the bulldozer that crushed her. We speak with Rachel Corrie's father and older sister and the attorney representing them in the suit against Caterpillar. [includes rush transcript]

Rep. Adam Smith: "The Israeli Government Did Not Do a Satisfactory Investigation" Into Rachel Corrie's Death
We speak with Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), who delivered a letter from the Corrie family to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, calling for an independent investigation into Rachel Corrie's death. [includes rush transcript]

DC Indymedia has two stories we'll note. First, "Getting Kissinger" by Ryme Katkhouda:

On Friday, March 11, 2005, at 9:30 a.m., the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear arguments in the case of Schneider v. Kissinger. The case was brought by the sons of Chilean General René Schneider, who was killed in 1970 because he opposed the violent coup that brought Pinochet to power. The complaint, based on declassified government documents, alleges that National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger secretly conspired with right-wing military officials in Chile to kill General Schneider. Dr. Kissinger worked closely with the co-conspirators and sent them money and arms.
A year ago, a lower court dismissed the case, granting Dr. Kissinger immunity for his actions. D.C. law students argued the appeal on behalf of the Schneider family.
In Chile in 1970, Salvador Allende was posed to become the world’s first democratically-elected Socialist head of state. Convinced that he could not "stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its people," then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger ordered a covert campaign to oppose Allende's presidency and foment a military-led coup. This campaign included a secret plan to "neutralize" the Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army, General René Schneider, because his opposition to the military's involvement in Chilean politics stood in the way of a coup.
Dr. Kissinger's plan succeeded on October 22, 1970, when a group of men armed with guns provided by Dr. Kissinger surrounded General Schneider's car in Santiago and fatally shot him. General Schneider's death indeed paved the way for the military coup that installed General Augusto Pinochet, during whose 20-year regime thousands of innocent civilians were tortured, disappeared, and murdered.

The second story is also by Ryme Katkhouda and is entitled "Carriers of a 1000 US Soldiers coffins." From the article:

Away from the spotlights, 21 war protestors face trial, some five and a half month after being arrested for trying to deliver to the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue many names and some 100 coffins draped in the US flag representingto mark the 1000+ US soldiers killed in Iraq and demand an end to the war. Wednesday, March 16 starting in the US District Court for the District of Columbia at 3rd and Constitution NW, near the Judiciary Square metro (red line). Courtroom #4 on the second floor.
WASHINGTON DC, Tuesday March 15th, 2005:
On Oct 2nd 2004, during an anti-war memorial service and protest military family speak out who's loved ones were killed in Iraq, Iraq veterans and others carried more than a 100 coffins draped in the US flag to mark the publication of a 1000 US soldiers death in Iraq...
They intended to deliver them to the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, to remind the US president who is asking for more $$ to send more soldiers to Iraq, when already more than a 1000 died...
They could not get near the white house: a police barricade erected to stop the anti-globalization protests against the International Monetary Fund stopped their procession. So 28 of them decided to cross the police line. They calmly crossed the barricades, sat on the Ellipse lawn and chanted, carrying the names of fallen US soldiers in Iraq.
Away from the news, discretely like a dirty secret, they are on trial tomorrow, 5 and a 1/2 month after their arrest. They chose to represent themselves to take back their power from a government who no longer listens to them.

Portland IMC has "Details on March 19 Rally/March" by PPRC author: a PPRC list subscriber

DETAILS RELEASED ON TEACH-IN AND MARCH TWO YEARS AFTER IRAQ INVASION Panelists/Discussions will focus on US Foreign Policy and Local Peace Activism
DATE: Saturday, March 19, 2005
TIME: 10 AM (Teach-in), 2 PM (March)
LOCATION: PSU Campus Ministry/Koinonia House,
633 SW Montgomery
Portland area peace and social justice groups presenting a "teach-in" and a march to mark two years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq on Saturday, March 19, 2005 today released details of Saturday's events.
The teach-in will begin at 10 AM at PSU Campus Ministry/Koinonia House, 633 SW Montgomery.
The march will begin at 2 PM at the Urban Center Plaza, 1800 SW 6th, just a half block away. The title of the event is "Saying No to War and Occupation: Teach-in and Peace March, Two Years Later." Topics of discussion will include US foreign policy, particularly in the "Middle East."
Speakers at the 10 AM morning session will include:
.Johanna Brenner of the Women's Studies Department at PSU on Iraq,
.Goudarz Eghdetari, host of KBOO's "Voice of the Middle East" on Iran,
.Amin Wahab, who moved to Portland from Afghanistan in 1980, on US Policy in Afghanistan, .Mazen Malik, of Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, on Israel/Palestine,
.Adele Kubein, mother of a guardsmember, of Military Families Speak Out, on families' perspective on US policy,
.Grant Remington, Vietnam veteran, of Veterans for Peace Chapter 72, on a veteran's perspective.

In the afternoon, a 12:15 PM panel on activism will go into breakout sessions after brief introductions:
.Marvin Simmons of Northwest Veterans for Peace on the campaign to bring Oregon's troops home,
.John Greschow of War Resisters League-Portland on opposition to the draft and "stop-loss" programs,
.Lila Zucker, student at Lincoln High, joined by a high school teacher, on organizing in schools, .Andrea Cano of the National Justice and Peace Action Network, United Church of Christ on media activism, and
.Alice Dale of SEIU 49 on labor against the war.

Volunteers will provide vegetarian, Middle Eastern cuisine for an 11:30 AM meal. Following the teach-in, the march will leave PSU at about 2 PM and return close to 3:00 where information and literature will still be available. The march will head north up 6th avenue, east on Columbia, north on 4th avenue, west on Washington, and south on Broadway.
Note: The Great Hall in the Campus Ministry building is not wheelchair accessible, so please call ahead if you have any concerns.
The event is being cosponsored by Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group, Portland Peaceful Response Coalition, PSU Students United for Nonviolence, Portland Campus Christian Ministry and a number of other organizations.
It is endorsed by Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), War Resisters League-Portland, Jews for Global Justice, the Peace and Social Concerns of the Multnomah Monthly Meeting of Friends (Quakers), Vancouver for Peace, Portland Jobs with Justice, and others.
The teach-in is funded in part by the Jan Bone Memorial Fund for Public Forums.
For more information or to get involved contact Peace and Justice Works at 503-236-3065.

[FYI, Shirley's e-mailed that she's not seeing the site e-mail up today, my apologies. It's and I'll try to include in other posts tonight.]