Thursday, April 13, 2006

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

I have been convicted and sentenced, a very distressing experience. But I still believe I was right to make the stand that I did and refuse to follow orders to deploy to Iraq -- orders I believe were illegal. I am resigned to what may happen to me in the next few months. I shall remain resilient and true to my beliefs which, I believe, are shared by so many others.
Iraq was the only reason I could not follow the order to deploy. As a commissioned officer, I am required to consider every order given to me. Further, I am required to consider the legality of such an order not only as to its effect on domestic but also international law. I was subjected, as was the entire population, to propaganda depicting force against Iraq to be lawful. I have studied in very great depth the various commentaries and briefing notes, including one prepared by the Attorney General, and in particular the main note to the PM dated 7 March 2003. I have satisfied myself that the actions of the armed forces with the deployment of troops were an illegal act -- as indeed was the conflict. To comply with an order that I believe unlawful places me in breach of domestic and international law, something I am not prepared to do.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq is a campaign of imperial military conquest and falls into the category of criminal acts. I would have had criminal responsibility vicariously if I had gone to Iraq. I still have two great loves in life -- medicine and the RAF. To take the decision that I did caused great sadness, but I had no other choice.

The above are the words of Malcolm Kendall-Smith who has been sentenced to eight months in prison as his three day court martial concluded. James in Brighton steers us to Kim Sengupta's "Prisoner of conscience: RAF doctor who refused Iraq service is jailed" (Independent of London) for the story. Statements on the sentencing from the article:

Kate Hudson, chairwoman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said: "Many people believe the war in Iraq was an illegal war and therefore we would consider he was quite within his rights and it was indeed commendable he believed it was right to stand up to what he considered to be an illegal instruction to engage in an illegal war. We have full sympathy for him and he has our full support. We consider it to be a commendable and moral act."
Lindsey German, convener for the Stop the War Coalition, said: "The majority of public opinion agree this war was not based on international law."

Thursday's KPFA Evening News also contains a lengthy report, from Lonon, on the trial. Some battles are lost, some are won. Zach notes a victory and steers us to Students Against War's "Students Kick Military Recruiters Off UC Santa Cruz: Military Prevented from Recruiting for Third Straight Job Fair" (Santa Cruz Indymedia):

SANTA CRUZ, CA -- It's been over a year and a half since the military has been able to effectively recruit on this UC campus as all their attempts have been met by mass student actions. Today, in spite of the pouring rain and administrative attempts to stifle students' free speech, Students Against War (SAW) organized over 150 students to march from the center of campus to the job fair, where they nonviolently prevented access to military recruiters through sit-ins and other measures. After about an hour and a half of negotiations and students’ refusal to back down, military recruiters left the job fair.
The students' first victory appeared early in the day, as administrators separated military recruiters from other employers, allowing the protesters to block access to the military, while the remainder of the job fair continued. This separation was the only one of SAW's proposals for protecting free speech to be adopted by administrators, who still banned media from the event. The successful protest was also significant in light of the fact that University administrators hired, at great cost to the school, a number of police from other UC campuses. These police, local officers, and a top local official, physically assaulted multiple students without provocation and repeatedly refused to provide identification when requested.
Students were pushed, punched, choked, and a student's hand was slammed in a door. One student, acting as a legal observer, was pushed and arrested for documenting police surveillance, but was released after an immediate display of student support. The student may face charges in the future, which SAW intends to vehemently resist. In the face of administrative and police repression the students remained remarkably peaceful.

More information can be found at

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)

Thursday, indymedia roundup, focus on the war. Last Thursday, the American military fatality count stood at 2345. Right now? 2369 with forty-one for the month of April. And those aren't the only fatalities. We've been over this before, we'll go over it again (I'm sure) but at some point, a visitor e-mails and says, "Why don't you give the number of the Iraqis who are dead?"
I'd guess it's easily half a million. That's my guess. (Conservative guess.) Show me a reliable figure and we'll highlight it. Which is the perfect introduction to Ned's highlight, Dahr Jamail's
"Learning to Count: The Dead in Iraq" ( via Iraq Dispatches):

I would say 30,000, more or less, have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis.
-- George W. Bush, December 12, 2005, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Does it count?
How many Iraqis have died as the result of the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of their country remains an unresolved question in the anti-war movement. It is a question the pro-war camp avoids. Yet what more important question is there?
The above quote made by the "compassionate conservative" shows a disturbing trend in the corporate media and amongst the spokespersons of the current powers that be, to camouflage the true cost of the illegal occupation of Iraq - the cost in blood paid by Iraqis. It is a trend that ensures that the enormity of the atrocity goes unnoticed.
Mr. Bush has cited a figure which is obviously taken from the popular anti-war web site
Iraq Body Count (IBC), which proudly refers to its work on its home page as "The worldwide update of reported civilian deaths in the Iraq war and occupation." This project estimates a minimum and maximum death count, which as of April 12 had the minimum number of Iraqi dead at 34,030 and the maximum at 38,164. We shall provide a brief description of their biased and flawed methodology after looking at the true level of casualties in Iraq.
We begin with a more accurate number provided by the British medical journal
The Lancet on October 29, 2004. The published results of their survey "Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey" stated, "Making conservative assumptions, we think about 100,000 excess deaths, or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air strikes from coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths." The report also added that "Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children," and that "Eighty-four percent of the deaths were reported to be caused by the actions of Coalition forces."
The report, whose findings have been strongly criticized, not surprisingly, by pro-war camps as well as, surprisingly, by researchers at Iraq Body Count, has been backed by established, credible sources.

Know who keeps a count? The administration. That was obvious when they gave out a number of fatalties that they stated had died from "insurgents." They've got a number. The claim that they don't "do body counts" is a false one. They do them. They will partially release them when they hope to manipulate public opinion. When Bully Boy used the figure, we noted that the mainstream press would run with it (from Iraqi Body Count). They have. As Dahr Jamail notes, in the must read article, it's an undercount (to put it mildly) that Iraqi Body Count puts out. Here, we have refrained from noting their figure for that reason. It gives a "things aren't that bad" spin.

Whatever the motives for compiling as they do, the war drags on and they are now assisting it. During Vietnam, when the body counts were altered, there was outrage (rightly) and people were very vocal. The fact that IBC is not an arm of the government doesn't mean it's correct or that it should be applauded.

Those who want to justify the occuaption can flip over to IBC and feel that it's not that bad because the number's only X and the war has gone on for over three years. See, they can tell themselves, it is possible for a "win." I can be wrong (and often am) but I would not link to government propaganda if this were the sixites and we were in Vietnam, I won't link to non-governmental propaganda. Whether they inted to be propaganda or not, as Dahr Jamail points out, that's what they've become.

While we're talking figures, we'll note (again) that the fatality count we use is based upon those who died in Iraq. If a soldier is airlifted out and dies after that, it's not counted. These are only deaths that take place on Iraq soil.

What takes place on Iraq soil? Death and dying, wounds and invasions, fear and a cycle of violence that won't stop while the illegal occupation continues. Which is why we need independent media. Voices like Dahr Jamail have been out there truth-telling from the beginning. "Embedded in our heart" was the title the community gave to him in our 2004 end of the year entry. That's because he didn't need a change in perception or a poll to report what was going on. He didn't need courage to be handed to him to practice honest journalism.

But honest journalism is under attack -- always. And one example of the latest attempts to gut independent journalism? Micah notes Democracy Now!'s "Village Voice Shakeup: Top Investigative Journalist Fired, Prize-Winning Writers Resign Following Merger with New Times Media:"

AMY GOODMAN: We are also joined on the telephone by Tim Redmond. He is the executive editor at the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Tim, why is this a story that you feel is a national story? We’re talking to you from New York.
TIM REDMOND: I’ll tell you why it's a national story. It's a national story, because the alternative press has always been kind of feisty, independent, challenging the status quo, and the alternative press has always been about independent media, has been about independent voices. And, you know, it sounds kind of hokey, but I got into this business 25 years ago, because, you know, I thought I could help change the world. And I’m not saying the alternative press has changed the world, but I think the Village Voice has made a huge difference in New York, and the Bay Guardian, where I work, has made a huge difference in San Francisco, and that's something.
And what the folks from New Times, now known as Village Voice Media, want to do, they want to buy up alternative papers all around the country and make them all the same. You know, I don't think anyone should own 17 alternative papers. And I particularly don't think a company run by people who despise activism, who are not activists and don't think of themselves journalistically as activists, who don't endorse candidates, who don't take stands on issues, who haven't even come out against the war, should be taking over the Village Voice. It's really sad. I mean, the Voice was always part of the activist tradition of the alternative press. And, you know, in the same way that a few big chains like Gannett have bought up and control most of the daily newspapers in the United States and a few big corporations like Clear Channel control an awful lot of the radio, a few big corporations control most of the TV, if we go that way in the alternative press, it's going to be very sad, particularly, as I say, when it is an operation that doesn't believe in activist politics. That's not what the alternative press has been about.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Tim, a question. New Times has a reputation, supposedly, for hard-hitting local investigative stories in many of their other chains. How do you reconcile that "reputation" with their current moves, in terms of the Village Voice?
TIM REDMOND: New Times has some good journalists, and they have done some good stories. I’ve never doubted that. But they don't believe in providing progressive community leadership on issues. They'll do some investigative reporting, and there's nothing wrong with that. But when it comes to the role the alternative press has always taken, which is to provide activist leadership, they don't believe in it.
Besides, you know, I don't care if Mike Lacey wants to run a kind of neo-libertarian paper down in Phoenix and say whatever he wants to say and do whatever he wants to do. But once he tries to take papers all over the country and make them all the same, you know, it's kind of like the Borg. They sweep into town, they take over a paper, and they remold it in their own image so it's exactly like all of the other New Times papers. If you go from city to city to city, you know, Denver, Phoenix, you go around, Houston and Miami, they all look the same. They all have the same voice. They all have the same tone. And that's not good for the alternative press, and I would say that's not good for the United States. It's not good for progressive politics. This is not what the alternative press is about.

Micah says that the above and the remark about a 'weekly shopper" sum up his feelings on the death of The Village Voice. A visitor pointed out that we had highlighted them. We have. We probably still will (New Times Media). We highlighted an article that appeared in the East Bay Express and that did become a huge story (trading photos of porn for shots of the dead in Iraq was the subject of the article). That's one article. With all their "resources," that's one article.

Prior to the takeover, members were highlighting from the Voice repeatedly. New Times Media is all that is wrong with the alternative weekly scene.

High school drug pusher back in town five years later! Get the scoop on the X-epidemic! Then it's this long winded portrayal of a kid from the suburbs, with what many would see as "breaks," and how he and his peers (also having what many would see as "breaks") ended up on the path they were on. Ladies' Home Journal wouldn't run some of those bad fluffed out features.

Eddie points out that the Dallas Observer used to seriously look at the shortcomings of Belo but that happens "rarely now" and the columnist responsible for those articles has to compete with "boner jokes, 'tude and this week's crisis out of Highland Park for a little space." Eddie also notes that the call made here a few weeks back was correct: "They love their sports stories. They love their drug stories. When they can combine sports and drugs, they are in hog heaven while the readers re left in the pig stye." Will we highlight the Voice again? If they rehire James Ridgeway. If they don't, screw 'em, there's more than enough other things to highlight. As for their other holdings, if, for instance, a member highlights The OC Weekly, and it's a strong highlight, we'll note it. (I believe we've highlighted at least one editorial from it before -- I could be wrong because most New Times publications do not feature editorials -- might offend a shopper, I guess, or interfere with the company's fondness for fence sitting. )

New Times it tabloid journalism (with plenty of 'tude). Can we find sex? Then we can flesh it out into a multi-page feature! And we'll call it "investigative journalism!"

Which only demonstrates how little they know about journalism. (Very little if they don't even know what category their stories fall into.) As for Ridgeway, it's not "about one person." (Visitor's assertion.) It is about the lack of respect for what he did and their need to play it like they're a really crappy cartoon put out by by people who have wrongly been applauded by far too many on the left. Nihilism isn't progressive. And coming off like the last aged, drunken, frat boy hollering out "Hootie!" at the kegger doesn't make for insight.

There are many other things we can highlight and if that's the new direction of The Village Voice, possibly it can be shared between the wanna-so-badly-to-be-bad Docker set and the Soccer Mommas? But not here.

Instead, we'll focus on more worthy outlets. Such as Walter's highlight. From Michael de Yoanna's "Mind Game: Post-traumatic stress disorder is crippling thousands of soldiers, but Fort Carson officials aren't ready to talk about it" (Colorado Springs Indymedia):

In a behind-the-lines job in Mosul, Iraq, former Staff Sgt. Jeff Peskoff hadn't conceived he'd be cleaning up burned-out troop vehicles splattered with blood and skin. But those memories have stuck with him.
Similarly, Mike Lemke, a former National Guard sergeant, will never forget watching dogs scavenge fingers from corpses as he helped secure Abu Ghraib prison for coalition forces.

Former Army Sgt. Jeana Torgerson can't escape the images of the prisoners of war she saw trying to hang themselves from their own sheets and clothing.
And in a prison cell in Washington state, Army Pvt. Adam Kaplan is haunted by hallucinations of the sergeant killed by shrapnel from Kaplan's own grenade launch.
Although now far from Iraq, these one-time Fort Carson soldiers still haven't retreated from the war. All are grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly known as PTSD. Those afflicted with the anxiety disorder compare it to losing a limb, yet the army does not acknowledge it with a Purple Heart.
For its sufferers, PTSD can be crippling.
"I wake up in the middle of the night with cold sweats," Torgerson says. "I can't have walls next to me because I wake up with bloody fists. I talk in my sleep, violently. I have flashbacks of memories, sound. Any moment I can go into crying episodes, and I don't know why."
Of the 505,366 troops who have left the military after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past four years, 144,424 have sought health care through Veterans Affairs. Of that number, 46,571 received preliminary diagnoses of mental disorders, including 20,638 with PTSD, according to the VA.
The numbers don't capture the full scope of the nation's growing PTSD caseload, however. Many former troops seek psychological help from private practices or other sources. Neither does the number account for PTSD sufferers currently enlisted in the military.

That's reality. It may not have a sports angle or a drug angle, but it is reality. We made our feelings known on the weeklies who waste space weeks ago. I read the Jacobson article and thought, "Oh, that's what it would have read like if Kenneth Tomlinson had gotten good press." Probably a feel good piece about him and his Harly. We are at war, as Bully Boy loves to say, but you couldn't tell that from the 'tude writing that New Times Media prefers. (It's doubtful they would have run the article on the photos of the Iraqi dead if the porn angle hadn't been there.) The war drags on and the likes of Lacey rush to assure you that it need not interfere with your night on the town. Sacrifice, the apparent message tells you, is for the suckers.

what good is a man
who won't take a stand
what good is a cynic
with no better plan
-- "Better Way" written by Ben Harper, on the album Both Sides of the Gun

Bully Boy's plan appears to repeat in 2006 what he did in 2002. It's not a "new" plan and it's certainly not a "better" plan but when independent voices are silenced, he stands a "better" chance of deceiving the public again.

Not everyone's all puff and no politics. Sierra notes Judith Scherr's "Protest Condemns UC Berkeley Law Professor" (Berkeley Daily Planet):

A crowd gathered Thursday on Bancroft Way outside UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law to denounce the United States' role in torture, the centralization of federal power in the executive branch and Boalt Hall Professor John Yoo, the man protesters condemn as the author of these policies.
[. . .]
Few students stopped to listen to the speakers or view the images of torture victims. Ima Davis, with The World Can't Wait organization, said she was demoralized "passing out flyers and people just passing by. I've been noticing that these people, who are my peers--because they're just about my age--are not taking flyers and just walking by, or even acknowledging that torturing is going on or stopping to find out what is happening right now.
"It will keep on happening if people don't come out and speak out against it. That's what I'm trying to do," Davis said.
The Thursday protests continue through May. On April 14 Andres Contera, on the staff of the radio news magazine "Democracy Now!," and whose family was tortured in Uruguay, will speak at 4:30 p.m. about United States' torture in Latin American and the relevance to Bush's torture policy today. Information can be found on the Buddhist Peace Fellowship web site.

Well maybe the ones who couldn't be bothered to stop and watch the demonsration or look at a flier did pick up a freebie East Bay Express and figured out what to do that weekend? The mainstream media never followed up on their Sept. 12th promise to get serious (prime example of the sewer that is broadcast mainstream media: Diane Sawyer's much publicized interview with Tom Cruise tomorrow night -- thank God for the "news" magazine Prime Time Live and for Sawyer!). Alternative weeklies shouldn't have to be goaded into covering the events that matter. The protest against Yoo is far larger than a protest in the early nineties that Murdoch publicized and gave national attention to. The Berkeley Daily Planet is covering it. If others were, this might be national news.

Fortunately some do cover the Yoo issue. Last week, Zach noted Erin Podlipnik's "Protesting Yoo" (San Francisco Bay Guardian) and tonight Tori notes Stephen Holmes' "John Yoo's Tortured Logic" (The Nation):

At the Justice Department between 2001 and 2003, Berkeley law professor John Yoo crafted a series of now notorious legal opinions. In them, he spelled out the fundamentals of a secret emergency Constitution under which the President's inherent powers in the "war on terror" are essentially unlimited. In the wake of 9/11, Yoo argued, the United States was at war in a constitutional sense, and consequently Congress and the courts could no longer purport to second-guess or interfere with or even learn about the President's national-security decisions, however momentous. Supposedly vital for fighting mass-casualty terrorism, Yoo's presidential Constitution was never publicly discussed or debated. Instead, it began to leak out, one memo at a time, only after important policy choices had been made on the basis of its presumed authority. The memos claimed to provide legal grounds for a whole range of now hotly contested decisions concerning indefinite executive detention without access to counsel, harsh interrogation techniques, rendition to countries known for torture, the establishment of clandestine prisons for "ghost detainees," the assassination of terrorist suspects by US hit squads worldwide and (we have learned) warrantless surveillance of telephone and e-mail communications between the United States and overseas.
Many and perhaps most constitutional scholars viewed these policies, to the extent that they knew about them, as legally dubious acts of executive-branch overreaching. But Yoo's carte blanche constitutionalism suited the ambitions of Dick Cheney and the other architects of Bush's gloves-off response to 9/11. Adherence to legal principles or procedural requirements, they believed, would have forced them to fight ruthless terrorists with one arm tied behind their backs. Legalistic niceties--such as the presumption of innocence and squeamishness about mistaken identity--only played into the hands of the enemy.
Addressing himself to impatient officials bridling at statutory and other restrictions, the 35-year-old government lawyer proved obliging. Laws that cramp the executive, including requirements of transparency and oversight associated with checks and balances, are unconstitutional infringements of the President's authority, he made clear. The Commander in Chief can confidently dispense with rules that had previously governed the intelligence community. Indeed, he should be freed from all constraints that might conceivably cripple the US side in the battle against transnational terror. The President's ultimate duty to protect and defend the nation, the memos collectively advised, gives him the right, if he so wishes, not only to ignore Congress and the courts but also deliberately to deceive them, and the public at large, for the sake of national security.

Another topic that was under-reported was the March for Peace. Did NPR not cover it? (Laura Flanders did.) If you see something, we're still noting it. Heath asked about that in his e-mail highlighting Jeff Paterson's "241 mile 'March for Peace' report" (Not In Our Name):

I enlisted in the "coalition of the willing" gathered by Gold Star father for peace Fernando Suarez del Solar and Iraq War military resister Pablo Paredes in Fresno, California. By that point they were already nearing the 200 mile mark of their 241 mile "March for Peace" ("Peregrinacion Por la Paz") from Tijuana, Mexico, to San Francisco, California.
From Fresno youth marching and chanting for eight hours straight, to thousands joining our ranks in Watsonville and Salinas, to being met by and speaking to hundreds of students at a half dozen Oakland schools, to finally arriving in San Francisco as thousands of youth had taken over downtown to demand respect for immigrants, everyday was simply amazing.

The link takes you to photos, videos, you name it. And if you come off across coverage that we missed or that is just emerging on the March for Peace, please e-mail to note it. Who would've thought it would be turned into hidden history in real time? With few exceptions that's what's happened.

On the topic of hidden history, a movie that shines a light on reality is working its way across the country. Sir! No! Sir! plays in NYC next week. Judy notes Wanda Sabir's "An interview with David Zeiger, director of 'Sir! No Sir!'" (San Francisco Bay View):

Wanda Sabir: You cover so much in just under two hours. Talk about the way you frame the story with such powerful narratives. How did you locate these people? Were they people you'd met in your own anti-war work?
David Zeiger: It's a big story, (the director states modestly).
WS: It's a huge story! I concur.
I was wondering, since you are in Southern California, if you knew of the art exhibition at the Oakland Museum last year on the Vietnam War and California as a military industrial complex, staging ground, launching pad and resettlement camp for returning GIs and Vietnamese refugees.
DZ: Absolutely! That exhibit is now at the African American Museum in LA.
WS: Many of the artifacts I saw were unclear, with regards to their significance, like the war newspapers, the leaflets dropped on the military bases and much of the unrest, turmoil, especially in 1968. Missed completely were the connections between GIs as aggressors in Asia and GIs as aggressors at home in response to civil unrest after King's murder and the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
I was a kid, so I missed all of this. When the war was ending I was about 10 or 11. I didn't know what any of this meant when I went to the exhibit. I didn't know about the newspapers. When I saw the anti-war leaflets dropped on the military bases, Jane Fonda's involvement - I didn't know the huge impact of any of this or the consequences to celebrities' careers.
I wasn't aware of the extent of organization present in the anti-war movement or the war against the war inside the military industrial complex on all levels and all branches -- officers, noncommissioned officers and enlisted soldiers -- a fact covered so well in "Sir! No Sir!"
Then there's the pivotal year of 1968 and the "Tet Offensive" (, the year America lost the most soldiers. "Sir! No Sir!" would have given a much broader dimension to "What's Going On? California and the Vietnam War." However, you said that 9/11 made the story you tell with the film more relevant.
DZ: It was the impetus for making the film, yes.
WS: Do you want to talk about that?
DZ: Yeah, you know that's interesting. By the way, you're right that that exhibit doesn't have anything about the GI Movement in it. I think that's reflective of how thoroughly that whole reality has been eliminated from public consciousness in all spectrums -- it's not there. Since I have been making films in the '90s, I know this story because I was a part of it. Again, I think it was a reflection of what I'm talking about, the fact that that time, the '90s, it wasn't the story that I felt would have any resonance that people would pay attention to. Vietnam and that era had been so caricatured and stereotyped, and everyone was kind of sick of it.
Sept. 11 really was on the whole essentially the declaration of war on the world by George (W.) Bush. Particularly the invasion of Afghanistan and the build-up to the invasion of Iraq literally compelled me to make the film. (I thought,) "OK, now this story has to be told!" (The director laughs) You know what I mean?
WS: Right.
DZ: And now the story will not be about the old days; it will be about today as well. That has definitely been the response we have gotten so far, even before its opening in theatres, at festivals and limited screenings we've been doing.

NYC dates for Sir! No! Sir! are:

April 17 -- Preview Screening
New York, NY,
IFC Center
327 6TH AVE.
(212) 924-7771
Click here for more details
April 19 --
327 6TH AVE.
(212) 924-7771

We'll close with Charlie's highlight, Fil-Am Students for Justice's "IN MEMORY OF ANTHONY SOLTERO" (LA Indymedia):

We in the Coalition of Filipino-American Students for Justice and Peace condemn the persecution to death of the eighth-grade student Anthony Soltero, urge that his tormentor be brought to justice, and call for a stop to the fascist intimidation, inquisition and repression by authorities of student protesters for immigrant rights. We express our deepest bereavement to his parents, relatives, friends, classmates, and the hundreds of thousands of fellow student protesters he left behind.
Anthony Soltero, a leader of the heroic April 28 student walk-outs, committed suicide reportedly in direct response to threats by the De Danza Middle School vice-principal to jail him for his leadership in the protest actions.
In a previous statement, we had already denounced the narrow-minded medieval policy of locking down schools and preventing student street protests as effective imprisonment of the students and as a denial of their right to the wider, real-life education in genuine democracy and civic citizenship that the pro-immigrant protests provide. In that statement, we also had registered our opposition to the police-state tactics of sowing fear among students through acts of physical brutality, a policy paralleled by the psychological harassment of Anthony.
Anthony's suicide in a sense was a form of protest against and rejection of this policy. His life has been short in years but long in meaning and depth. Anthony's life and death illustrate that someone as young as he can acquire not merely the education, but more importantly the wisdom and integrity to believe in and join the struggle for social justice.
We enjoin all freedom-loving students and parents to act to ensure that Anthony's martyrdom will be not in vain. Let us turn our grief into courage to carry forward Anthony’s principled fight for full immigrant rights to its just and adequate conclusion. Inspired by Anthony’s legacy of conviction and leadership, let us struggle for anti-racist, anti-fascist and anti-imperialist justice for immigrants and students.

The e-mail address for this site is I will be up in less than three hours. Translation, do not expect much from the moring entries (or possibly entry) tomorrow (actually today).

Oh. Rebecca's "flashpoints and indymedia" and Cedric's "2005's honor (Marian Anderson) v. 2006's shame" and Seth's "Family Tradition" are recommended by Dona. (I've been working on this and haven't read anything but e-mails but I'll second Dona's recommendation.)