Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Other Items

Nicholas Spangler and Mohammed al Dulaimy's "Suicide bomber attacks coming-home party in Iraq" (McClatchy Newspapers) reports on the woman who "blew herself up" yesterday and where -- "at a coming-home party for an Iraqi police sergeant detained by U.S. forces for almost a year" after having been accused of collaboration with militias backed/funded by Iran. They list the death toll as 22 (plus bomber) and the number wounded at thirty-three. Ned Parker asserts "Iraq's Nouri Maliki breaking free of U.S." (Los Angeles Times):

The Maliki government's assertion of power has brought an end to the aggressive approach of the U.S. during its troop buildup last year. American forces frequently intervened in warfare between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. They even challenged Maliki's Shiite-led government by striking alliances with former Sunni insurgents and arresting Shiite police and army commanders implicated in sectarian violence. Since enhancing his strength in a successful spring offensive against a rival Shiite militia, Maliki has insisted that all American troops leave by 2011, unless Iraq requests otherwise. Shiite officials give mixed signals on whether they would ask U.S. military advisors to stay.
During the summer, the prime minister shuttered a joint committee and demanded the U.S. military hand him jurisdiction over dealings with Sunni-dominated paramilitary units.
U.S. officials here acknowledge that their leverage is diminished. Active Iraqi army units came to outnumber U.S. troops in 2007 and started reporting back to Maliki directly through newly established regional command centers.
"They have more capability, so they don't have to listen to us as much as they used to," said a U.S. Embassy official who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

This is David Solnit's "WILL THE REAL 'BATTLE IN SEATTLE' PLEASE STAND UP?" (and click here for a schedule of screenings)

On September 19, Battle in Seattle, the new fictionalized movie about the mass direct action shutdown of and week-long street resistance to the World Trade Organization in Seattle in 1999, will open in theaters across the US. Some global justice and anti-capitalist activists will intervene on the opening day of the movie to urge moviegoers to get the real story and make some history themselves.

Can you help us get out "Real Battle in Seattle" invites (see downloadable resources below) to moviegoers on Friday September 19 in San Francisco, San Rafael, Seattle, Minneapolis and Washington DC (later on in Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Detroit, LA, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, OH, Irvine, Santa Barbara, Philadelphia and Plano, Texas, San Diego, San Jose, Denver, Charlotte, Cleveland, Portland, Philadelphia, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Sant Antonio, Madison, Milwaukee and Olympia), and out to our communities? Some folks will make guerrilla announcements (masking up optional) before or at the end of each screening (Get as many folks as you can up front before and/or after screenings and announce the site and tell people what they can do to take action in your community). Send us a report!

For the last two years, since before the Battle in Seattle was filmed, we have struggled with how we and the movements we are part of should relate to the movie. Some of us have also engaged with and struggled with the film's director Stuart Townsend and fought to intervene in and improve the film, with a small bit of success. Out of these discussions we have created the Seattle WTO Peoples History Project, an indymedia-style, participatory peoples' history website of our movements' own accounts, photos, videos and reflections from the Seattle WTO shutdown and resistance.

We are a small collective of global justice, anti-capitalist, community and independent media organizers and activists--most of whom were involved in organizing to shut down the WTO and many of whom live or lived in Seattle. This website project, at RealBattleInSeattle.org, is an experiment that has the potential to popularize the "Battle of Seattle" in our own voices and from our movements. This potential can only be realized if friends from the movements step up, participate, post their accounts and reflections and get the world out widely! We aim to create a culture of memory and peoples' history within today's movements to take seriously documenting, popularizing and fighting for our histories and our victories.

At the US Social Forum in Atlanta in the summer of 2007 a couple dozen of us participated in a forum to discuss how to relate to the Battle in Seattle movie and to our own Seattle WTO history. At the time we wrote up a statement signed-on by over 100 Social Forum participants from many parts of the movements. In part, it reads:

"In the fall of 2008, a major motion picture called "Battle in Seattle" will come out in cities across the country. The movie is a docu-drama—a fictional story based on real events—that features extensive archival footage. It alone may shape what most people in the US and around the world think happened for decades to come—unless we speak up. We call for social movements to take action: to reclaim our history, our stories, and our future.

"The story of popular resistance to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle in 1999 is a story of how people power can change the world. It is a dangerous example for the global elite, and a powerful one for movements. For eight years, the US corporate media, global elites, and their police have been twisting and marginalizing the truth, in order to invent their own story of Seattle 1999 and the stories of social movements' resistance and victories. These lies and revisions of history have been used in an attempt to criminalize and repress our protests, movements, and mobilizations."

It's time that we in the social movements tell our own stories, reclaim our own histories, and publicly fight damaging myths of our movements past and present. We must intervene in the public understanding of what happened, what is happening, and what it all means. Stories are how we understand the world and thus shape the future—they are part of our fight against corporate power, empire, war, and social and environmental injustice and for the alternatives that will make a better world.

Let's link the 1999 resistance to the WTO in Seattle and globally with building support for today's 2007 resistance that is continuing the fight for global justice on many fronts: against war and occupation for environmental and climate justice; for workers, immigrants, women, and farmers rights, etc. We call for commemorations, public events, performances, media, interventions, interruptions, educational events, performances, screenings, gatherings, and celebrations."

Please circulate this email, and check out and participate in the RealBattleInSeattle.org.


Heather Day, Jeremy Simer, David Solnit, John Dudas, Kate Khatib

of the Seattle WTO Peoples History Collective



KPFK airs the KPFK Evening News Monday through Friday (starting at six p.m. PST, ending at seven) and they are attempting to offer a variety of viewpoints:

This week’s panel features Democrat Sarah Leonard, Republican Evan Sayet, and Donna Warren of the Green Party. Co-News Director Patrick Burke moderates. Topics include humor and falsehood in new campaign ads, social issues in the presidential election, and financial bedlam.

Zach notes this from Team Nader:

Bleak Sunday, Momentous Monday, and Nader/Gonzalez


Bleak Sunday, Momentous Monday, and Nader/Gonzalez .

On this momentous Monday, September 15, 2008, we make a simple request.

Donate $15 to Nader/Gonzalez.

The prudential choice for 2008.

We woke up this morning early.

Turned on C-Span radio.

And heard Brian Lamb quoting Ralph Nader.

From years ago.

With Ralph warning about extravagance, recklessness, and excessive compensation on Wall Street.

Warning years ago about the undue influence of Fannie and Freddie on Democrats and Republicans alike.

Warning about the failure of our government to protect small investors.

Throughout his career, Nader has strong been a strong advocate for due diligence.

For protecting shareholder rights.

For prudential regulation.

And strict oversight of the markets.

While the Democrats and Republicans have bent to the whims of their corporate masters and Wall Street's bottom line imperatives.

Nader has been steadfast in his advocacy for safety, regulation, and protecting the little guy.

Unfortunately for the nation and for investors, his warnings have gone largely unheeded.

On this momentous Monday, as we watch the fallout from the failed policies, greed and extravagance of the corporate political class unfold, we make this simple note.

Due diligence, prudential regulation, and strict oversight of the markets -- Nader-style -- would have gone a long way to averting the disaster currently hitting Wall Street.

Instead, it was short-term fast and dirty profits, muzzled politicians, and throw caution to the wind.

And so now, the American people are learning the hard way about the consequences of a reckless corporate dominated political economy.

But thanks to your hard work, we are in a position to give America a choice in November.

For prudence.

For strict oversight.

For regulation.

Right now, we're in the stretch drive of our $80,000 fundraiser -- to help fund our get out the vote drive.

To get Ralph Nader into the presidential debates.

To let the American people know that they don't have to settle for corporate rule.

There will be a choice in November.

But first, we need to reach $80,000 by September 17th.

We're at $50,000.

We have three days to reach $80,000.

We haven't missed one fundraising goal yet.

And we don't plan to start now.

So, please, drop $15 now on Nader/Gonzalez.

Help shift the power.

From Wall Street and the corporate giants.

Back into the hands of the American people.

Together, we are making a difference.

Onward to November

The Nader Team


The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.