Monday, March 21, 2011

We will never give up, we will never give in

During the rally, eleven anti-war activists were arrested in an act of civil disobedience. Sitting in front of the entrance to the Chinese Theatre, protesters held photos of soldiers killed in the wars. A reluctant LAPD arrested the activists for trespassing due to a complaint made by the theatre's management.
Ed Garza, the Orange County chapter leader of Military Families Speak Out, was one of those arrested. Garza is a Vietnam War veteran who was awarded the Purple Heart. He spoke last week at the Mothers March rally in MacArthur Park.
In his speech, Garza spoke of his two friends and fellow veterans, Max and Felix, who both died from complications arising from Agent Orange exposure. Max had died only a few weeks prior.

That's from Dan Bluemel's "Activists, veterans speak out against wars, 11 arrested" (LA Activist) on the protest in LA Saturday and, on the Albuquerque protest the same day, this is from M.E. Broderick's "Albuquerque Marchers Demand End to US Wars: Photos and Video" (Democracy for New Mexico):

About three hundred demonstrators against the U.S. wars/occupations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere turned out on Saturday to march from Central and University in Nob Hill to Albuquerque's Civic Plaza downtown. The protest, one of hundreds held around the country on the 8th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, was organized by the Answer Coalition, Stop the War Machine and the March 19 Coalition.

The main theme: bring the troops home now. Start using the $2 BILLION a week and more we spend on the wars to create jobs and support community and human needs. The American economy is still suffering from high unemployment rates, sagging worker paychecks and rising food and energy prices. Start dealing with our needs instead of shoveling money to defense contractors, mercenaries and corrupt Afghani and Iraqi officials.

For an audio report of one of the protests click on this page and scroll down to the audio option for Sophia Hall's WCBS report on the New York City protest. For video, you can check War Is A Crime for this and this and this -- all video reports of the DC protest filed by BillyClub. And we noted other protests last night in this entry. In addition, World Can't Wait is posting numerous reports to their Facebook Page.

Again, the protests took place in spite of the 'independent' media (I'm not referring to MSM or corporate media, or whatever you want to call it, I'm talking about The Nation, ZNet, The Progressive, Democracy Now!, WBAI, etc, etc -- only KPFK promoted the events -- two minutes of air time the day before is not promoting the events). Congratulations are in order for all who showed up across the country. You did so with no hype, no attempt to build up excitement. You did so because you cared about ending the wars and you sent a message.

I am asking everything you have to give
I am asking everything you have to give
We will never give up
We will never give up
We will never give in
We will never give in
We will never give up
We will never give up
We will never give in
We will never give in
You will lose your youth, your sleep, your arches, your strength, your patience, your sense of humor
And occasionally, the love and support of people you love very much.

But we will never give up
We will never give up
We will never give in
We will never give in
-- "We Will Never Give In" music and lyrics by Kristin Lem appears on her Equality Road album and I think it first appeared on a Broadside Magazine recording.

Above I'm using it to apply to the peace movement but she wrote the song for the women's movement and it's a wonderful song -- one of many she's written. You can see her at the start of next month, Saturday April 2nd, performing:

Kristin Lems unplugged! - 7 - 9 pm
4116 Dempster St. (at Karlov)
Skokie Illinois 60076
Price: freewill donation

Enjoy Kristin without a p.a. system ~ singing your favorites and hers too, whilst you sip on coffee and whatever else Starbucks offers. Tip jar pays the fees!

I really think the peace movement should consider adopting "We Will Never Give Up." Click here for a video of Kristin performing Malvina Reynolds "We Hate to See Them Go" (in which the bankers and the diplomats and others are inducted into the army to fight in the wars they agitate for -- key line: "They don't need propaganda, they know what they're fighting for"). And click here for her performing a song she wrote about the Iraq War.

Again, applause for everyone who participated in an action on Saturday. Dominic Dezzutti has a think piece for Denver's CBS entitled "Do Anti-War Democrats Feel Duped?"

David Bacon's latest book is Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press) which won the CLR James Award. We'll close with this from Bacon's "UTAH'S IMMIGRATION BILLS - A BLAST FROM THE PAST" (In These Times):

Last week the Utah legislature passed three new laws that have been hailed in the media as a new, more reasonable, approach to immigration policy. Reasonable, that is, compared to Arizona's SB1070, which would allow police to stop anyone, demand immigration papers, and hold her or him for deportation. The Utah bills were signed by Republican Governor Gary Herbert on Tuesday, March 15. Arizona's SB 1070 is currently being challenged in court.
Utah's bills were called "the anti-Arizona" by Frank Sharry, head of America's Voice, a Washington DC immigration lobbying firm. According to Lee Hockstader, on the Washington Post's editorial staff, the laws are "the nation's most liberal - and most reality-based - policy on illegal immigration."
The Utah laws, however, are not new. And they're certainly not liberal, at least towards immigrants and workers. Labor supply programs for employers, with deportations and diminished rights for immigrants, have marked U.S. immigration policy for more than a hundred years.
One bill would establish a state system to allow employers to bring people from the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon as "guest workers." Under this program, workers would have to remain employed to stay in the country. They would not have the same set of labor and social rights as people living in the communities around them. Another bill would give undocumented workers now living in Utah a similar guest worker status, lasting two years. The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) says the third bill, the Arizona look-alike, "requires police to interrogate individuals and verify their immigration status in a wide array of situations, promoting harmful and costly incentives for law enforcement to racially profile."
Utah, like most states in the west and Midwest, has been down this road before.
From 1930 to 1935, 345,839 Mexicans were deported from the U.S. Last year alone, the Federal government deported almost 400,000. Even given the growth in population, this is greater than that Depression-era wave.
In those years "the climate of scathing anti-Mexican sentiment created intense polarization, producing a sweeping suspicion of foreigners ... which linked housing congestion, strained relief services and social ills to the large presence of Mexicans," recounts Zaragosa Vargas, professor at the University of North Carolina. Most immigrants in Utah were farm workers, many laboring in sugar beet fields for the Mormon-backed Utah-Idaho Sugar Company. Their wages were so low that families went hungry even when they were working. When beet workers in nearby Colorado tried to organize a union and went on strike, Vargas says their communities were targeted with deportations.
Then World War Two created a labor shortage. To supply workers to growers at low wages, the government started the bracero contract labor program, bringing immigrants first into the beet fields of Stockton, California, and then into the rest of the country in 1942.
Braceros were treated as disposable, dirty and cheap. Herminio Quezada Durán, who came to Utah from Chihuahua, says ranchers often had agreements between each other to exchange or trade braceros as necessary for work. Jose Ezequiel Acevedo Perez, who came from Jerez, Zacatecas, remembers the humiliation of physical exams that treated Mexicans as louse-ridden. "We were stripped naked in front of everyone," he remembers, and sprayed with DDT, now an outlawed pesticide. Men in some camps were victims of criminals and pimps. Juan Contreras, from Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, tactfully recalls that "in Utah, women often went to the camps, and they were rumored to be especially fond of Mexican men."

Bonnie notes Isaiah did "a slew of comics" over the weekend Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "She Hulk Wants", "Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Ego Tripper's Workout", Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Grim Peace Resister" and The World Today Just Nuts "The Hot Topics Dumpster".

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