Thursday, October 01, 2009

Nouri's slate

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Thursday announced a broad new electoral coalition, made up of more than 40 parties, that will contest parliamentary elections next year.
The slate, which Mr. Maliki, a Shiite, will lead, includes Sunni tribal leaders and politicians. The new coalition follows Mr. Maliki's relative success in local elections earlier this year, in which he campaigned for a slate of non-sectarian politicians.

The above is from Gina Chon's "Iraq Premier Announces Broad New Coalition Ahead of Polls" (Wall St. Journal). The 'included' actually are rather disappointing when you consider the hype Nouri put out Friday when he announced he was starting his own slate and that the 'big news' of who was in it would come in a few days. The 'big news' came and it underwhelmed. Steven Lee Myers' "Unity Is Rallying Cry Ahead of Iraq Elections" (New York Times) offers an overview of the current state in Iraqi electoral politics:

Across the political spectrum -- Sunni and Shiite, secular and Islamic -- party leaders have jettisoned explicit appeals to their traditional followers and are now scrambling to reach across ethnic or sectarian lines. In some cases, the shift is nothing less than extraordinary.

Following the January elections held in 14 provinces, the take-away has been that the sectarian parties were hurting themselves and that voters were seeing squabbles and obstruction and wanted to see more unity.

Whether that was a misreading or not will emerge in the upcoming elections currently scheduled for this January. Also true is that it might have been an accurate reading . . . of the pulse at that time and the mood could shift. Myers explores the landscape and the only fault is that he thinks there are concrete predictors when the reality is the landscape remains shifting and the biggest influence is ignored: How many will participate and how many will choose to boycott? 2005 saw one group boycott, 2009 saw another. (And that's not even getting into the disenfranchised.)

With Aimee Allison, David Solnit authored the seminal Army Of None -- a must read and, sadly, one of the few books of this era you can say that about. (It's a wonderful book.) David Solnit notes an action taking place later this month:

Here are five things you can do to make the October 24th Global Climate Action Day rock the Bay.

It's shaping up to be amazing-- bikes, surfers, localized BART actions and a spoken word/poets/writers read out. But we really need your help and the world really needs the US climate justice movement to turn the "street heat" way up!

1) Email your groups, networks and friends. See email below-- add a personal/organizational note.

2) Get out postcards and put up posters. We have lots of cool postcards and posters by the end of the week. Get postcards at the Global Exchange office or at any Mob. for Climate Justice West/Oct 24th Meet or call David 510 967-7377.

3) Attend a mobilizing meeting. The schedule of open planning meetings is below and we need YOU!

4) Plan to participate. Can you take on doing Public Education/Action at your BART Station/transit hub? Sign up to be one of 350 bikers or surfers (BYOB)? Can you volunteer on the day of to take on one of many needed tasks--come to a meeting or send an email to

5) Form a climate action affinity group with 5-25 of your friends, neighbors, folks from you organization or union, etc to participate in Oct 24 together, and plan to participate in the Nov 30 Global Day of Nonviolent Climate Justice Civil Disobedience and Protest. Sign up online at:


Thursday, October 1 6pm outreach, 7pm general

Global Exchange 2017 Mission St. at 16th(16th St BART), 2nd Floor, SF

Tuesday October 6 6:30-8:30

2211 Mission St Apt C., San Francisco

near SE corner of Mission and 18th, towards 19th (16th St BART)

Wednesday October 14 6:30

Global Exchange 2017 Mission St. at 16th(16th St BART), 2nd Floor, SF

Wednesday October 21 6:30

Global Exchange 2017 Mission St. at 16th(16th St BART), 2nd Floor, SF

Tuesday October 27 Debrief/November 30/Next Steps

Global Exchange 2017 Mission St. at 16th(16th St BART), 2nd Floor, SF



On Saturday October 24th join thousands around the world, at over 1500 actions in 125 countries, in calling for climate justice at the Copenhagen climate talks for the International Day of Climate Action. There are many great actions around the Bay being planned – follow the links below to sign up for a local event. And join us as the Bay Area converges at Justin Herman Plaza / the Ferry Building at 3pm to tell our leaders that the world needs just climate action now!:

Public Education Actions at

Bay Area BART stations and transit hubs

Morning/Early Afternoon

Sign up to plan an action or event at your local station! Pass out flyers on climate justice, plan a guerrilla poetry reading, plan an art build…the ideas are endless.

Surfer Action at Ocean Beach: 11am

Be a part of 350 surfers paddling out, spelling 350 with our boards, help with a beach cleanup, mark the future post climate changes sea level and then join the 3pm Mass Convergence. Sponsored by Surfrider Foundation SF

SF Bike Action: 2pm

Bike the SF Shoreline! Get your bikes ready for underwater pedalling! Pull out your floaties and snorkel masks! Sign up to be one of 350 bicyclists to ride along SF’s future post-climate-changed shoreline as part of this Global Day of Climate Action. When you sign up, you will be assigned a number and you will be contacted soon with more information. At the ride you’ll also receive a colorful flag for your bike which you will get to keep. This action will start at 2pm from Justin Herman Plaza (SF).

Including these actions, there will also a 350 mile bike ride from Arcata to San Francisco, and more! All of which will culminate at Justin Herman Plaza at 3pm!

Bay Area Mass Convergence: 3pm

Justin Herman Plaza (Embarcadero BART),

near foot of Market St., San Francisco.

Be part of the Human Billboard Climate Justice message to the world and to the US government!

Hear Bay Area Spoken word performers, poet and writers Read Out for Climate Justice!

Action Station: send a loud message to your representatives and sign up for nonviolent civil disobedience and legal protest on Nov. 30!

Tired of hearing about climate change and global warming?

Then do something.

 December 7-18, 2009, the world’s leaders will meet in Copenhagen to decide what to do about climate change. Sadly, if these leaders reached an agreement today, it wouldn’t be strong enough to do much good.

Scientists tell us that the maximum level of CO2 our atmosphere can safely bear is 350 parts per million. Beyond that, our earth and its species are at imminent risk of catastrophic changes we’ll never be able to stop — meaning billions of people will die. Today, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is already at 390 worldwide — and it’s rising at 2 parts per million per year. In order to bring our climate back to the safe zone and avoid catastrophic consequences, we need a global agreement to make massive emissions cuts now. But we can’t wait for politicians to do the right thing. There’s only one way we can achieve that: we need to turn the political heat way up — and push back the corporate and big business lobbyists pushing false solutions (like clean coal, and carbon trading) so they can keep polluting and keep profiting. Climate change is so serious, we can’t afford half measures or anything less than addressing the root causes. Climate Justice means that those most responsible for climate change (rich countries and climate polluting industries) must be made to take responsibility and those least responsible (developing countries and low income communities and communities of color) must not be the most impacted.

The good news is “street heat”—public pressure and protest– works. There are over 1500 action planned in over 110 countries on Oct 24th. Join the growing global movement creating “street heat” for climate justice in the lead up to the Copenhagen climate talks.

Global Action Day:

Bay Area Events:

The following community sites updated last night:

The e-mail address for this site is

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends