Thursday, March 02, 2006

And the war drags on . . . (Indymedia Roundup)

The national day of local media protest announced last week on has received such a positive response that the organizers of United For Peace And Justice, the country's largest anti-war coalition, decided to change the date from March 21st to March 15th. The media protest will now kickoff this years week-long "spring offensive" against the war, just before the third anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.
Organizers were so excited about the prospect of bringing media activists and anti-war activists together, to challenge media outlets to tell the truth about the war and report on the anti-war movement, that they decided it should begin the week and not end it.
"The media helped make the war possible," charges UFPJ National Coordinator Leslie Cagan. "It's time to call for more coverage and better coverage."
The protests will also pay tribute to journalists and media workers killed in the line of fire, kidnapped, or jailed without charges. Most recently, on February 23rd an Al-Arabiya media team was gunned down in Iraq. We have to honor those who have lost their lives to get the story out. is taking the lead in reaching out to media and peace groups to encourage a series of media actions on March 15th.
"All of us are media consumers,” says MediaChannel editor Danny Schechter, "
The News Dissector." "We can all take part by monitoring media coverage, writing letters and emails to media decision makers, and protesting against a pro-war media tilt in much of the coverage. If you have ever complained about the coverage, now’s the time to do something by speaking up."

The above is from "MediaChannel, UFPJ and Partners Call For National Media Action" ( and for more on these events click on the link. It's Thursday, it's indymedia roundup where we look at news from independent sources and, for this entry (the only one tonight), we focus on the wars.

While it's important to support indymedia, sometimes you come across something that's just too good to let pass by. Going through the e-mails, I noticed Billie had something. It came in a newsletter, so does that count? How about the fact that the newsletter is "self-published"? Sometimes, to have the really big scoop for an entry like this, we have to bend the rules. And it may help lighten these entries which can get "a little heavy" (as Billie reminds in her e-mail). So before we dive in any further, here's a joke for the week:

Of course, we also have a Texan in the White House today: our 43rd and current president, former Texas governor George W. Bush. Our president has valiantly kept his word to defend America in the war on terror.

The stand up comedian? Kay Bailey Hutshison. You might think that serving in the Senate doesn't allow the time to pursue alternative careers but obviously KBH is well on her way out of the stodgy halls of DC and into the world of comedy clubs -- many of our Texas members would gladly work hard to book her club engagements if it would aid in her departing from the Senate.
Billie reminds us that "Corny doesn't stand alone, he has KBH." So Cornyn and KBH as a kind of low-rent, K-Mart blue light special version of Nichols & May? (Note, if I've again mispelled her name, it stands as spelled her. We only are supposed to make an effort to spell writers' names correctly, as Eddie pointed out when I "wasted time" correcting KBH's name last time.)

Now an event:

FRIDAY, MARCH 3RD, NOON: Student Anti-war Protest at UCSD.
Student leaders from UCSD are organizing a massive anti-war protest at the school on March 3 on La Jolla Village Drive, at the edge of the campus. La Jolla Village Drive and Gilman Dr. FRIDAY, MARCH 3,
Featuring Cindy Sheehan, Ann Wright and more at UCSD's Price Center Theater.
UCSD Planning Massive Anti-war Demonstration Student leaders from UCSD are organizing a massive anti-war protest at the school on March 3 on La Jolla Village Drive, at the edge of the campus. The leaders are co-ordinating with, which is documenting the effort on film.

"We will make this rally a beacon of youthful mass dissent," stated Dylan Seaton, student leader in the planning.
"It's time that this generation, the one that's dying every day in Iraq and Afghanistan, voice their opposition to this criminal war" Seaton added. "I am tired of UCSD's status as a portrait of student apathy."
Other students reinforced Seaton's message, uniting in what is shaping up as a major event in Southern California. The organizers affirmed that the tide of student opinion has turned sharply against the war and the unlawful acts of the president.
The action is part of a fast erupting student anti-war campus activity all across the nation.
"We will be networking with progressive student and non-student organizations from all over Southern California" student organizers stated.
Details on protest hours, signage, music and candle-light vigil for the fallen are being studied. contact ucsddems At ucsd d0t edu

The above is from San Diego Indymedia's "Friday at UCSD: 3 years is enough! End the war!" in full -- and in full for a number of reasons. First of all, I support colleges (and am on campuses more these days then when I was getting my degrees). More importantly, there was a really bad article (members all know in what and by whom -- we've addressed it). The DLC-ing of American campuses? Not what I see. Not what members on campus see. Not reality.

Reality is that there is so much passion, spirit and desire on campus these days that is being ignored by the mainstream press (which is why it's all the more sad when that sort of junk appears in an alternative magazine). I don't know where their reporter was looking but it's not what I see. I've been speaking at colleges for three years now (three years last month) against the invasion (which became the occupation) and that article didn't reflect reality. The UCSD students? They are reality.

Don't you know
They're talkin' bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Don't you know
They're talkin' about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
-- "Talkin' Bout A Revolution" words and music by Tracey Chapman, off her self-titled debut.

That's what I've seen happening. Small numbers questioning the war (sometimes in soft voices) that become large numbers questioning the war in loud voices. That's what's been going on and, no surprise, the mainstream could care less. (They and their readers may care when the suprise is staring them in the face.) Highlighting a bunch of would be spin-meisters (and bad ones at that -- would be bean counters of the future take note: you don't give your "how I spun/stretched/fibbed/lied to get support for the measure" speech until after it passes) when very real, very passionate young activists are all over any campus. We didn't like that article (as a community) we found it offensive across the board. But for students I spoke to while that article, a cover story, was on the newsstands? They were even more vocal. They felt that the story and the cover photo (comparing an activist of today with one of yester-year, remember) airburshed out reality.

But the reality is that students were vocal, have continued to be vocal and active and their numbers are multiplying every day. We have members who are college students and we have members with college students in their families. If you know of an action that some students have planned (this goes for high school as well -- and middle school/junior high, I met five very active middle school students last month who could teach us all a few lessons), make a point to support their action. Not just with words, but with your presence. They get very little reinforcement from any media, so this month, with all the activities planned, if you know of a student action, try to show support and show up.

Though support might not be there for activism, hostility certainly is in Bully Boy's Long War on Our Liberites. Micah notes Jarrett Murphy's "Libertad? Maybe: Puerto Rican independencee activists rally 'round an FBI crackdown" (The Village Voice):

On September 23, 1868, a gutsy band of Puerto Rican nationalists launched a revolt against their Spanish rulers. The uprising failed within 24 hours. On September 23, 2005, FBI agents shot and killed a fugitive Puerto Rican independence leader. Now New York's independista community is hoping that anger over that death ends Puerto Rico's 100-plus years as a U.S. possession.
It's not just the killing of Filiberto Ojeda Ríos that has outraged many Puerto Ricans. On February 10, heavily armed FBI agents with search warrants raided six locations on Puerto Rico, citing a terrorist threat from an independence group; at one site, the feds pepper-sprayed reporters. The commonwealth's elected government got no advance warning of what the feds were planning. It's hard to imagine that happening in, say, Montana with so little hubbub.
Washington dubs Puerto Rico, seized by the U.S. during the Spanish-American War in 1898, a "commonwealth," but some activists call it a colony. Puerto Ricans pay no federal taxes, cannot vote for president, and have no voting representative in Congress. For years, a minority of Puerto Ricans has argued the case for independence but found few takers.
But the furor over the FBI's moves seems to have spread beyond New York's small, dogged band of independence activists. Now, says assemblyman and Bronx Democratic chairman Jose Rivera, speaking at a meeting last week about the events in the Caribbean, "because of what happened on February 10, everyone on Puerto Rico is angry." At his side at the Burgos Center in East Harlem is Congressman Charles Rangel, who calls the FBI crackdown "the only thing in recent history to unite the people of this island."

Occupations, to riff on Carl Sandburg, unlike the fog, march in on heavy feet. How else would they be so plentiful? Or so ugly? Gareth notes Qassim Abdulzahra's "New leadership crisis as Iraq descends into anarchy" (The Independent of London):

A bomb ripped through a vegetable market in a Shia section of Baghdad and a senior Sunni leader escaped assassination as at least 36 people were killed yesterday in a surge of violence that pushed Iraq closer still to sectarian civil war.
An aide to Ibrahim al- Jaafari, the Prime Minister, meanwhile, lashed out at Sunni, Kurdish and secular political leaders who have mounted a campaign to deny him another term, saying the Shia United Iraqi alliance will not change its candidate.
Haider al-Ibadi accused Mr Jaafari's critics of trying to delay the formation of a new government. "There are some elements who have personal differences with Mr Jaafari. The Alliance is still sticking to its candidate," he said.
Leaders of three parties, including Sunnis, Kurds and the secularists of the former prime minister Iyad Allawi, agreed on Wednesday to ask the main Shia bloc to withdraw Mr Jaafari's nomination for prime minister. Shia officials confirmed receiving a letter asking them to put forward a new candidate.

How did the occupation (the illegal occupation) get to that point? A number of factors. Ned steers us to Ewa Jasiewicz's "Iraq -- Beyond Sectarianism" (Left Turn):

Beyond daily bombings, incursions, and illegitimate governance--there are spaces of resistance, social power, and reconciliation in Iraq. Ewa Jasiewicz explains how the US occupation has helped institute structures of repression, sectarianism, social violence and alienation that exist in occupied Iraq today; but she also explores the spaces of hope and self-determination.
Contact with the grassroots of Iraqi society is harder now then it ever has been. Trying to fathom who really has power in Iraq and where spaces exist for grassroots power to emerge can be confusing. Furthermore assessing which progressive forces on the ground we can ally ourselves with as an anti-war movement is a difficult task. Understanding the dynamics and ever-present economic and social legacies of the Baath regime remain crucial to understanding the resistance and the future in Iraq.
At the beginning of the occupation in May 2003, when anybody could have their own political party, militia, or NGO, many Baathists who profited from the previous regime and had the capital to form their own NGOs did so. They ended up reproducing the old Baath class system of privilege and social power in the process. Regime loyalists were rewarded with the freedom to organise under the occupation, to run and participate in regime-approved ‘civil society’ organisations. This became a source of gnawing injustice for many poorer, excluded working class onlookers. The former Baathist officials were regaining privilege and power in the social sphere and in civil society.
With this perpetuation of privilege and influence came a revisionism and justification of the old regime and its crimes. This process re-affirmed for many Iraqis the blindness and ignorance of the west and even the anti-war movement in relation to the previous dictatorship and its dynamics. This revisionism perpetuated the invisibility of the effects of the regime--the social psychosis it entrenched, the daily theatre for survival, collective punishment, Saddam TV, false history, denial, silence, the rainstorm in the living room.
For US imperialism, the Baath dictatorship has been one of its most potent weapons for the past 40 years in Iraq. Its current use by the occupation is evident in the employment of occupation government ministers, civil servants, and managers for the sake of business as usual. To meet the requirements of repression-as-usual, the occupation has employed former high-ranking Baathists as death squad leaders, military commanders, torturers, expert interrogators and agents. The dictatorship’s apparatus of repression has been key to the occupation’s military and economic survival. The occupation-run media portray the armed resistance as solidly Saddamist, playing on and re-generating the trauma of the population in order to discredit and alienate the resistance.

Time to sing it:

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

We sang it last on Sunday. Then, the American military fatality count in Iraq was 49 for the month of February. Now? Well February ended with 54 and so far for March we have 2, so that's seven since Sunday. (Check my math.) Total since the illegal invasion/occupation began?
It was 2291 Sunday and now it's at 2298.

The next item, noted by Cindy, could have gone at the top when we were noting capmus activism. But, as we turn to the United States, this seemed a realistic but hopeful point to start on. Camilo Mejia was speaking to a group of students this week. From Laura Norton's "War protester, deserter draws crowds along Central Coast"(Register-Pajaronian):

At Cabrillo College Watsonville Center on Tuesday, the 24-year-old discharged Navy veteran said he takes it all with a grain of salt, promising he will stay on the lecture circuit talking about military recruitment for as long as his funds hold out and do what he can to support the troops.
On the Central Coast Tuesday, he spoke to high school and college students as well as the general public in a variety of forums hosted by the Resource Center for Nonviolence GI Rights and Draft Alternatives Program, the Watsonville Brown Berets and Cabrillo College’s MECha.
About 100 students at California State University, Monterey Bay, several classes of Renaissance High School students and about two dozen people at Cabrillo College Watsonville Center attended his lectures.
Paredes has earned headlines in newspapers across the United States since he publicly refused to board an Iraq-bound Navy ship in December 2004. He was court marshaled, sentenced and discharged. Since then, he has traveled the lecture circuit and spoken about the war and his experience as an objector.
He is currently seeking conscientious objector status in the courts so he can receive his GI Bill education funds and have a better chance of gaining employment.
But his biggest goal, he told a group gathered at Cabrillo College Watsonville Center, is opening the door to conscientious objector status for more people.

What else is happening in the United States? Brad notes Simon Maxwell Apter's "Corvallis Calls the Troops Home" (The Nation):

Two years later, citizens of medium-sized towns across the West are starting to believe that it is their place to ask questions. Citizens are beginning to feel the oppression of war in their own downtowns, including my neighbors in Corvallis, Oregon.
When San Francisco, New Paltz, New York, and Portland, Oregon, opened their courthouses to same-sex marriages in 2004, my hometown was right behind them. Rather than discriminate against same-sex couples seeking legal marriages, the city decided to ban all marriages, heterosexual or otherwise, until word from the state's Attorney General came down from Salem. And while few understood that so-called "discrimination against everyone" was not discrimination at all, the cultural billboard had gone up. Progressives--and their zany schemes--were welcome in the Willamette Valley.
In February, a new battle has rocked the Corvallis City Council concerning the war in Iraq. On February 21, the nine-member council voted to adopt a
"Troops Home" resolution based on a similar edict passed in Davis, California, last month.

Zach notes activism on the 18th, from LA Indymedia's "March 18 Mass Anti-War Protest in Los Angeles:"

Stop the War! Bring the Troops Home Now!
Gather Hollywood and Vine March to Hollywood and Highland
For more info call 323-464-1636 or e-mail
On Saturday, March 18 at 12 noon, thousands of people will gather at the corner of Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles for a mass march and rally against the war on Iraq. This protest will commemorate the third anniversary of the criminal U.S. "shock and awe" invasion of Iraq, in which more than 100,000 Iraqis and 2,200 U.S. troops have died.
Now is the time to speak out loudly against imperialist war and repressive, racist policies at home. Popular opinion in the U.S. has turned dramatically against the war. Let's channel the popular outrage against Bush and the war into a powerful people's movement for peace and social justice. Get involved today!
SEE A LIST OF ORGANIZING CENTERS (where you can pick up leaflets and find out about transportation):
Initiated by A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition: Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines, Free Palestine Alliance, Palestinian American Women's Association, Haiti Support Network, Party for Socialism and Liberation, GABRIELA Network, Latino Movement USA and MINDULLAE. Media sponsor: Air America Radio, Progressive Talk AM 1150 Co-sponsors and endorsers include Coalition for World Peace, Global Resistance Network, Global Women's Strike, International Socialist Organization, Iraq Veterans Against War, KMB Pro-People Youth, Korean Americans for Peace, National Council of Arab Americans, U.S. Labor Against War, Veterans for Peace, Youth & Student ANSWER, Office of the Americas, Out Against War, MSA-West, Riverside Area Peace and Justice Action; Gloria Romero, California Senate Majority Leader; Ron Kovic, Vietnam War veteran; Dolores Huerta, Co-founder United Farm Workers; Paul Haggis, Academy Award nominated writer/director ("Crash"); Laura Dern, Film star (“Jurassic Park”); Maria Bello, Golden Globe nominated actress ("A History of Violence"); Mia St. John, IFBA Lightweight Boxing Champion; Ed Begley Jr., Film and TV star ("Six Feet Under"); Amy Brenneman, Film and TV star ("Judging Amy"); Tom Ortenborg, President of Lion’s Gate Films Releasing; Shiva Rose, Film star (“David & Layla”); Travis Wilkerson, Award winning director (“An Injury to One”); Peter Horton, TV star and producer (“Grey’s Anatomy”); Jeffrey Tambor, Film and TV star (“Arrested Development”) and more.
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition-LA Act Now to Stop War and End Racism 323-464-1636
1800 Argyle Ave, #410 Los Angeles, CA 90028 Join us each Tues at 7 pm for A.N.S.W.E.R. Activists Meetings.

Nicole found some activism that I'd missed hearing of. Maybe you have to? (Doubtful, the community's usally way ahead of me.) From Scott Blackburn's "There Are Lives in the Balance" (DC Indymedia):

Washington – 2/22/06. Today is day eight of our 34-day fast for peace at the U.S. Capitol, the Washington component of the Winter of Our Discontent campaign organized by Voices for Creative Nonviolence.
The four of us in D.C., Maureen Foltz, Jeff Leys, Ed Kinane, and I are doing a liquids-only fast. Maureen and Ed are drinking juice; Jeff and I are trying the water route. So far, everyone reports they’re in good shape and not feeling any serious side effects.
Each day between 11:30am and 2pm, we take our banners and signs to the sidewalk bordering the Capitol Building, near the corner of Independence and First St. We distribute flyers explaining what we're doing, and try to engage anyone we can in conversation. Here is the reaction I've observed so far.
- To the overwhelming percentage of people, maybe 80%, we rate a quick glance or are completely invisible.
- The nattering nabobs of negativity, actually quite a small portion of the total, shake their heads, or glare, or protectively pull their children quickly toward them, or try to come up with some snappy remark to let us know our presence is not appreciated.
- Greater in number than the nabobs, although still a small part of the total, actually take a flyer if their path happens to intersect our location, or give us a "thumbs-up" from a distance, or blessedly, actually make a point of stopping, reading our banner, and come over to chat.
I shudder to estimate what percent of total passers-by are in that last category -- and keep in mind that not a small number of those good souls are tourists from other nations. Lest you think our spirit is overwhelmed by apathy and nabobbery, let me reassure you it is not. We are veteran activists, accustomed to such responses and used to keeping up our morale with conversation and camaraderie.

More activism is found in the next highlight. Melissa notes Carol Estes' "Active Nonviolence: Heroes for an Unheroic Time" (Yes! magazine):

A not-so funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century. We got scared. We Americans used to believe we were a brave, big-hearted people committed to freedom and justice for all.
When did we lose our nerve?
When did we start believing that the world is one big war zone peopled by terrorists, gang bangers and drive-by shooters, serial killers, sociopaths, sexual predators, and people who hate freedom? At what point did we settle for living as though we were under siege, locked in gated communities, holed up in front of the television? When did America stop saying to the world, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free" and start drawing up blueprints for a 2000-mile-long wall between us and Mexico?
"These are unheroic times," writes John Graham of the Giraffe Project in his book Stick Your Neck Out. "After more than two centuries of being free, this nation is far from brave."
And that is a big problem, not just for Americans, but for the world. Because scared people are dangerous people. So Graham's goal, and that of his organization, is to help our nation get its nerve back. He trains people to stick their necks out for what they believe in.

Also on activism, Bonnie notes Teresa Grady's "Greetings & Gratitude" (Binghamton IMC):

February 9th 2006
Broome County Sheriff's Correctional Facility
Greetings & Gratitude
For all the support and attention given to the St. Patrick's Four during any of or throughout these last three years. Without this incredible support community our journey would never have been so rich!
To start, I would like to correct an editorial oversight which occurred in the document of my statement to Judge McAvoy at sentencing, January 27, 2006. I finished typing my thoughts for sentencing on my laptop at the Lost Dog Cafe. Peter DeMott had just received his sentence that morning, and my thoughts were flowing freely. I made footnotes to myself in the margins in case I wanted to revise or add anything. As I was about to close down the computer, a friend came in and called to me, "Whenever you have done the right thing, you have won." So as to remember what she said, I typed it into the computer on the same document--but not to be part of my statement. I did not speak those words to the judge, as it was never my intention. The hard copy I read from in court had all the footnotes and that last sentence, "Whenever you have done the right thing, you have won." Jim Moran, my advising lawyer, suggested at the end of sentencing that I hand it into the court for the record. In the flurry of being whisked away, taking my jewelry off, and crossing out certain footnotes, I completely overlooked that last sentence on the document.
In jail, I asked my brother to accept the Tompkins County Human Rights Award (to SP4) for my part and to read my statement. He did and intuitively knew not to read the last sentence as part of my statement. Thank you, John. I've since heard that this particular sentence has been quoted as if it were my words. Though I resonate with this sentence in the context from which it came ("You have made the most valuable investment and are already reaping its rewards. You've already won" and "That you stood up for what you believe is a victory in itself, as your concerns are finally coming to be realized by the American people"), I feel it is important to give credit to where credit is due. So, thank you, Bird's sister.
On Wednesday, January 25, we were blessed to have Dahr Jamail come to speak at Holy Trinity Church in Binghamton. Unfortunately, Danny, Peter, and, by that very afternoon, Clare were all in jail, beginning their respective six- month, eight-month, and six-month sentences.
Dahr spoke of the perils our country is facing as President Bush has most recently made a "presidential sign." As I remember, Dahr heard constitutional rights lawyer Michael Ratner articulate the dangers of this "signing" as giving President Bush powers to negate all stop-gap measures which might impede his actions--that is, he can nullify the Constitution of the United States as he likes; he can nullify the powers of Congress, whose members are one of the checks and balances to his office; and he is not bound to the treaties signed by our nation, which include international laws.
Dahr went on to list violations of various articles of the Geneva Conventions (one piece of international law) that have been committed by our heads of state, our military, and our media/journalists in the preparations and the rallying of popular support for the invasion and now illegal occupation of Iraq. As an unembedded journalist in Iraq, he has witnessed these violations first-hand. He gave me his list of violations but I left them with my files, because I wasn't sure if they'd allow me to bring them to jail. It would be so nice to have them here in jail to become more familiar with them.
The last part of Dahr's presentation was a film, Caught in the Crossfire, which is footage of the October 2004 invasion/offensive on the people and city of Fallujah. Though Danny and Peter witnessed Iraq under occupation in December 2003, andClare witnessed the lasting devastation resulting from the first "Gulf War" and then from the heinous policy of sanctions on the Iraqi people in April 1999, I had never taken such a long look at what we have done there.
Fallujah was and is familiar to me because the first offensive against that city, to my knowledge, was in April 2004 during the week of the first trial in Tompkins County Court (April 5-10), which also happened to be Holy Week (The Passion of Christ). Cathy Breen was present at our trial as a potential witness. She is the author of the Letters from Iraq, which we read during our St. Patrick's Day Action (3/17/03). each night after court she would update me on what her emails from friends in Fallujah were saying. It was nightmarish! People were staying in their homes with no food, electricity, and, sometimes, water in order to avoid the sniper shooting in the streets. Bodies would be lying in the streets and no one felt safe enough to go out and help. The film Dahr showed spoke louder than words. It chilled me to the bone right to my core. The shame and the sorrow of what has been done in my name weighs deeply on my heart. The tears shed and reappear as I remember the images. God forgive us.
If sounding an alarm to warn our nation before going in, if saying no to that horror means being labeled criminal and going to jail, then open the gates wide! I am so ready. I have been blessed to have witnessed this film and Dahr's presentation before my sentencing (I was only wishing Danny, Peter, and Clare could have been present too). It shored up my conviction of the rightness of our action. For this I am grateful.I would like to thank Dahr for stretching himself after such a long week of presenting and traveling. It felt like the concluding paragraph to these past three years, bringing us back around to the illegal war and occupation.
I'd like to thank Maureen ____________, John Amadon, and Colleen from Albany, who brought Dahr to us after many full days of speaking engagements in the Albany area. I'd also like to thank Cris McConkey and Francis Carver for coming down from Trumansburg, NY, to help with the incredible Binghamton Indymedia group (Stephen Schweitzer, Fumiwo Iwamoto, Bill and Diane Huston, and of course Tarik Abdelazim) who at the last minute put it all together for a wonderful evening. I'd like to also recognize the media who showed up in time to actually report Dahr's message. Especially Fox News and the amount of coverage they gave on the evening news for the rest of that week.
To Fr. Kevin Bunger for making it possible to meet at Holy Trinity Church in Binghamton and running out to find a screen with two hours to go. To all the folks who came out to witness about this war. To those who continue to vigil against this war in front of the Federal Building Court House on Henry Street every Monday at 4 p.m. For all who continue to vigil everywhere. May we strengthen each other with a passion for Justice, Mercy and Love, and continue to resist war making in all its forms.
In Peace,
P.S. Clare and I are still here in the Broome County Jail where we are cellmates in the "IPOD" minimum security area. Broome County has a contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to house federal inmates. My spirits are good and Clare says, "She is grateful to be here." I'd say the war on terror is improperly directed, as we women, mostly poor and with drug addictions, are at the mercy of the random officers. Some of them have beautiful and kind natures, towing the illogical rules with grace, and then there are the drill sergeant want-ta-bes, who scream orders at us, which frequently are not very clear and then lock you into your cell for 24 hours because you looked in the wrong direction, or asked a question. I feel like the log is very big in our collective eye. More on that later.... [heart symbol] T.2/10/06
P.P.S. Mary Anne tells me Clare and Peter are on transit lists on the (federal prison website?). So I suppose we'll be separated soon. Maybe tonight.

Falluja? Dallas (thankfully) reminds me that we were supposed to note Danny Schechter on Dexter Filkins. From "Why Protest Media Coverage Mar 15?" (News Dissector):

New York Times Baghdad correspondent Dexter Filkins reviews Paul Bremer’s book "My Year in Iraq." He faults him and General Sanchez for not demanding more troops. He PRAISES him for organizing elections saying "HE DESERVES OUR GRATITUDE FOR BRINGING THEM OFF." Our gratitude? Who is talking about, the NY Times, The US Government, or his readers?
This just underscores the continuing identification of a major media outlet's top correspondent with the military mission which lost because it just wasn't big enough, Never mind that most Iraqis who did vote said they were doing so not to endorse some Bushian or Bremerian view of democracy but to give the the Americans the ritual they insisted on so that they would leave. There is no mention in the review of how Bremer's "energetic" CPA countenanced BILLIONS of dollars in corruption.
In contrast to Fikins mild and qualified rebuke, I ran into an Iraqi American now working for the Times who quipped that Bremer should be on trial alongside Saddam.
Two journalists. Two views. Guess which one gets ink in the NY Times?

And we'll go out on that. Whispers become shouts, thoughts become action. Realities are exposed. The war drags on but the Bully Boy and others are having to pull us along twice as hard. Even the "award winning" Dexy has to face reality. (Supposedly, the review is an attempt by Filkins to "pull a [George] Packer" and walk away from his past -- a sort of non-mea culpa his paper's quite familiar with. I prefer to see it as the sort of phoney "I take responsibility" posturing Henry Kissinger perfected following Watergate.) Even Dexy.

The e-mail address for this site is