Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Iraq snapshot

Wednesday, August 29, 2012.  Chaos and violence continue, Ibrahim al-Jaafari makes an idiotic statement, 400 Camp Ashraf residents move to Camp Liberty, Osama al-Nujaifi and Massoud Barzani meet up, two prisons in Iraq are now on a hunger-strike for an amnesty law to be passed, Roseanne Barr's campaign releases its first ad, Mitt Romney talks to the American Legion and offers a great proposal for veterans who go to college, and more.

In the land of orphans and widows, Al Mada reports, the poor -- including the widows and the orphans -- labor in the heat in places such as the brick plant where their faces are saturated with smoke and they're exposed to harsh conditions, verbal abuse and worse.  Jmria Ali explains that he starts working at six a.m. and continues to four p.m. with only 30 minutes for lunch.  He says he works alongside children and that he makes 15,000 dinars to the 10,000 the children are paid.  With so many living in poverty, unemployment so high and with inflation hitting Iraq, there are serious money issues in Iraq.  Thus far, Nouri's refused to share money from the oil surplus -- share that money with the people and his Cabinet recently insisted there wasn't any money to share leading Moqtada al-Sadr to politely call that assertion a lie.   Al Mada notes a meeting of political parties and blocs in Basra yesterday in which the consensus was that 25% of the proceeds from oil should be going to the Iraqi people.  This proposal would be popular throughout Iraq. 

While Nouri clutches tightly to the money, he freely orders people to the knoose.  AFP notes Iraq has executed 5 more people today which, when combined with Monday's 21, makes for 26 executions so far this week and "at least 96 the number of people executed so far this year."  The five today were not just Iraqi, they were also foreign nationals.  Alsumaria reports 1 Syrian and 1 Saudi were among those executed and that there are approximately 50 crimes which can result in the death penatly in Iraq.  Yesterday, Human Rights Watch's Joe Stork told Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN), "Our main concern is what were these people actually convicted of?  Terrorism does not tell us very much."  Dar Addustour adds that there are at least 200 executions still to be carried out.  The news outlet notes that an Iraqiya youth leader is calling for Iraq to stop the executions at least until the much talked of amnesty bill is passed into law.  The student accused the government of rushing to carry out executions for sectarian reasons.  Al Rafidayn notes that MP Haider Mulla is stating that they will vote on the amnesty last this Monday.

The claims of voting on an amnesty bill have been put forward repeatedly leading some to doubt that it will happen which is why prisoners in Mosul began a protest yesterday.  Dar Addustour notes that hunger strike continues, with all prisoners also doing a sit-in and stating that they will continue it until the amnesty bill becomes an amnest law -- in addition, the outlet notes that the hunger strike has now spread to the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad as well and is expected to spread to other prisons. 

 Al Rafidayn notes that Brigadier General Nazim Tayeh, with the Interior Ministry, was shot dead in Baghdad as his car passed the airport and they note that a Kirkuk roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer and left another injured, a Riyadh bombing killed 3 security forces and left four more injured and another Kirkuk roadside bombing left two Peshmerga injured.   Bahrain News Agency adds that Brigadier-General Sardqader survived an attempted assassination in Kirkuk which left 3 police officers dead and another three injured.  AFP notes 1 Sunni sheikh was shot dead in Baghdad.

In addition, Dar Addustour reports that thieves dressed as police and driving apparent police vehicles robbed a car of 600 million dinars.  In a security addition, Daughters of Iraq are being brought into the system.  Al Shora reports:

"A decision was made to integrate members of the Banat al-Iraq organisation, the women's armed wing of the Sahwa forces that fought al-Qaeda in Diyala, into the local police force," said Amer al-Khuzaie, the Iraqi government's national reconciliation advisor.

Daughters of the Iraq were the female counterparts of the Sons of Iraq or Sahwa, also known as "Awakening."  From violence to weapons, All Iraq News reports that the US Embassy in Baghdad announced Monday that they had transferred the last 9 Abrams tanks to the Iraqi government -- making 140 US tanks (worth over $815 million) transferred to Iraq.  In related news, AKnews reports that Monday saw NGOs protesting in Erbil to register their opposition to the US government's plan to sell Baghdad F-16s and that the NGO's issued a statement which included:

The US is selling F-16 fighters to the Iraqi government while the majority of the Middle East regimes who used heavy weapons against their peoples are being pressed on to leave power and to get stripped of their heavy weapons.  The Iraqi government is not under any external threats from the air or the ground from borders.  The purchase of these fighters is not necessary.  Each of these planes have been purchased with a huge amoung of money which the Iraqi government could use on providing services to the people and reconstructing the country.  The government could buy passenger planes instead of F-16s.  Our concern and fear of the Iraqi government's purchase of those planes stems from our experience with the former Iraqi governments that used heavy weapons against their people.

On the political crisis front, Al Mada reports that Ibrahim al-Jaafari has declared that there's an open door for reconciliation between Baghdad and Erbil.  At one point, that might have meant something.  Maybe not.  But the reality is that the Kurds don't trust Ibrahim, didn't trust him in 2005, don't trust him today.  And since 2005, they've gotten additional reasons not to trust him.  So the idea that he can reach out with an olive branch is rather laughable.  After the US government, the Kurds were the biggest objection to Ibrahim getting a second term as prime minister following the 2005 elections.  AFP's Prashant Rao re-Tweeted this today:

(Would you support 3rd term for PM?) Jafari: Personally I think 2 terms are enough. However, constitution places no limit on number of terms

And it's those sort of stupid comments by Ibrahim that guarantee no one outside of a small segment of the National Alliance will take him seriously. 

For the record, the press went crazy, in early 2011, over Nouri's 'promise' not to seek a third term.  They were silent for the most part when Nouri walked that promise back the next day.  The promise was made mainly because protests were taking place throughout Iraq and leaders in surrounding countries were at risk of being overthrown.  Iraqis weren't pleased that they went to the trouble of holding an election and ended up with the exact same prime minister, the exact same president and the exact same two vice presidents.  (A third vice president would be added.  At the time of Nouri's promise, there were two.) 

For months now, many have attempted to pass a law limiting people to two terms.  State of Law has very vocally opposed this; however, many Shi'ite politicians have issued public remarks indicating they supported it.  Sunnis and Kurds are opposed to Nouri having a third term.  And now Ibrahim issues his stupid remarks today which make him seem out of touch with the bulk of Iraq's political blocs.

Jalal Talabani may have a little bit more credibility than Ibrahim with the Kurds, Jalal is, after all, Kurdish;  however, he fled to Germany for a reason and remains there for a reason so maybe not.  Dar Addustour reports that Jalal is saying he'll return to Iraq in September and that he's agreed to meet with Osama al-Nujaifi, Speaker of Parliament, when he returns to Iraq.   He is also scheduled to meet with KRG President Massoud Barzani and there are rumors of a meet-up with Barzani, al-Nujaifi, Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi and Moqtada al-Sadr.

Karwan Yusuf (AKnews) reports al-Nujaifi and Barzani met today and the two addressed the issue of Nouri al-Maliki and "also discussed the repercussions of the crisis in Syria and the seriousness of it moving into Iraq due to escalating violence in neighboring country."

The UN News Centre notes that another 400 Camp Ashraf residents were moved to Camp Liberty (also known as Camp Hurriya) today and quotes Martin Kobler, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Iraq, stating, "Three-fourths of the residents, 2,400 persons, have now moved to Camp Hurriya.  I thank them for their cooperation, and call on those remaining in Camp Ashraf to act in the same spirit and start preparations for additional moves without delay, in order to peacefully complete the process."

Kobler made no mention of Monday's violence (see yesterday's snapshot) when approximately 20 residents of Camp Ashraf were left injured by Nouri al-Maliki's forces. 

Despite that legal status and the the legal obligation on the part of the US government to protect the residents, since Barack Obama has been sworn in as US president, Nouri has ordered not one but two attacks on Camp Ashraf resulting in multiple deaths.  Let's recap.  July 28, 2009 Nouri launched an attack (while then-US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was on the ground in Iraq). In a report released this summer entitled "Iraqi government must respect and protect rights of Camp Ashraf residents," Amnesty International described this assault, "Barely a month later, on 28-29 July 2009, Iraqi security forces stormed into the camp; at least nine residents were killed and many more were injured. Thirty-six residents who were detained were allegedly tortured and beaten. They were eventually released on 7 October 2009; by then they were in poor health after going on hunger strike." April 8, 2011, Nouri again ordered an assault on Camp Ashraf (then-US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was again on the ground in Iraq when the assault took place). Amnesty International described the assault this way, "Earlier this year, on 8 April, Iraqi troops took up positions within the camp using excessive, including lethal, force against residents who tried to resist them. Troops used live ammunition and by the end of the operation some 36 residents, including eight women, were dead and more than 300 others had been wounded. Following international and other protests, the Iraqi government announced that it had appointed a committee to investigate the attack and the killings; however, as on other occasions when the government has announced investigations into allegations of serious human rights violations by its forces, the authorities have yet to disclose the outcome, prompting questions whether any investigation was, in fact, carried out." Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) observes that "since 2004, the United States has considered the residents of Camp Ashraf 'noncombatants' and 'protected persons' under the Geneva Conventions."

The residents are trapped in a kind of purgatory.  Unable to leave Iraq, they're being moved to former US military base Camp Liberty.  Approximately 2,000 have been moved so far with 400 more scheduled to be moved this week.  Why can't they leave Iraq?  During Bill Clinton's administration the MEK was delcared a terrorist organization.  Ignoring a federal court order for over two years to re-examine that classification, the Obama administration has kept the MEK labeled "terrorists."  As a result of that label, countries are reluctant to take in the residents.

AP reports that the residents are saying they were beaten and Nouri's adviser Gorges Bakoos is insisting that "we needed to search some of them by hand" -- and apparently a pat down is now done with a clenched first and possibly billy clubs?

Also avoiding mention of Monday's violence is the US State Dept.  The department's spokesperson Victoria Nuland issued the following statement this afternoon:

The United States welcomes today's safe arrival of the sixth convoy of approximately 400 
Ashraf residents to Camp Hurriya, the first such convoy in over three months. We welcome 
and are encouraged by this resumption of cooperation by the Ashraf residents in the 
relocation process as set forth in the December 25, 2011 Memorandum of Understanding 
(MOU) between the Government of Iraq and the United Nations. We call on the Camp Ashraf leadership to continue this progress by cooperating with the expeditious relocation of the approximately 800 remaining residents at Camp Ashraf.
The Government of Iraq has made considerable efforts to achieve a peaceful and secure resolution for the residents of Camp Ashraf, and we urge continued steps to address humanitarian concerns raised at Camp Hurriya by the residents. Recent progress includes 
the commencement of construction on a water purification station linked to an outside water source. The United States encourages these efforts and reiterates its commitment to work towards resolution of humanitarian issues at Hurriya, including sustainable means for the continued supply of water and electricity. The United States also reiterates its commitment to support the safety and security of the residents throughout the process of their relocation outside of Iraq.
As the Secretary of State said on February 29, 2012, "given the ongoing efforts to relocate the residents, the Mujahedin-e Khalq's (MEK's) cooperation in the successful and peaceful 
closure of Camp Ashraf, the MEK's main paramilitary base, will be a key factor in any 
decision regarding the MEK's [Foreign Terrorist Organization] status."

Camp Ashraf residents aren't the only targeted population in Nouri's Iraq.  Success Ucime (Ground Report) observes:

The exodus of the Christian population in Iraq has continued unstopped with the escalation of violence in the country.
This indication is contained in a report by the Open Doors ( a United Kingdom (UK) Registered Charity adding that July 2012 was one of the deadliest months in Iraq since US troops withdrew in December 2011.
Quoting AFP news agency, it observed that attacks took place on at least 27 of the 31 days in July, leaving at least 325 people dead adding that in May, 20 Christian families living in Mosul received threatening letters.

As noted in yesterday's snapshot, Independent High Electoral Commission Chair Faraj al-Haidari and Commission members Karim al-Tamimi and Osama al-Ani "were found guilty of graft" and received a "suspended one-year prison" term.  Prashant Rao (AFP) obeserved, "There is bad blood between Haidari, a Shiite Kurd, and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law list over the aftermath of 2010 parliamentary elections, in which the premier's list came in second to the mainly Sunni-backed Iraqiya list of Iyad Allawi."  Alsumaria recaps the long campaign State of Law has waged against the commission since April.  They leave out the fact that a new election law was supposed to have been approved by now for the Electoral Commission and that provincial elections are supposed to take place early next year.  Among the disputes is how many commissioners should be on the board.  All Iraq News reports that Iraqiya declared today that they do not support increasing the number of commissioners and believe it should be left at its present number of 15.

July 19th, Martin Kobler, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Iraq, appeared before the UN Security Council and stated:

As we speak, my political deputy, Mr. [Gyorgy Busztin], is engaged in facilitation efforts to bring about the formation of a new, Independent High Election Commission which is representative of the main components of Iraq -- including women and children and minorities.  The urgent selection of the commissioners is essential for ensuring that the provincial council elections due to take place in March 2013 can be conducted on time. I'm concerned that the ongoing political stalemate is hindering the process however.  In recent days, I have discussed with political leaders -- including Prime Minister al-Maliki -- the need for a swfit conclusion of this political process and the need for an adequate representation of women and minorities in the commission. Today, I would like to re-iterate my appeal to all political blocs to expedite the selection of professional commissioners.  UNAMI stands here ready to actively assist.  

Earlier this month came news that Parliament thought they'd arrived at a stop-gap measure: they'd tack on 35 days to the current Electoral Commission.  AK News quoted the Chair of the Electoral Commission Faraj al-Haidari stating, "A new board of commissioners was supposed to be formed because the delay creates confusion.  The required period to complete the commission's procedures after the ratification of the election law and the budget according to international standards is six months."   Ayad al-Tamimi (Al Mada) reports a new problem today: Test on applicants for the next commission find them confused as to whether Iraq is a royal monarchy or a republic.  Prashant Rao (AFP) speaks to a variety of MPs who see the future commission as neither fair nor independent and an unnamed "Western diplomat" states, "This is no longer about an independependent electoral commission.  You cannot look at the IHEC issue in isolation . . . The consequences could be bigger."

Turning to veterans issues,  Sherry Mitchell (Hendersonville Star News) reports that Henderson, TN is holding a bass fishing tournament on September 15th and "[a]ll the proceeds from the tournament will be used to support veterans, returning military and their families."  Vietnam Veterans for America has (PDF format warning) the rules and entry form hereSabrina Wu (Patch) reports on the Walk All Our Soldiers Home parade planned for September 22nd in Darien, Illinois.  The Darien Chamber of Commerce notes that the "parade will honor our local military heroes.  Community involvement will be the cornerstrone of the event and we have invited all Darien families to participate in supporting the event by gathering pledges for marching in the parade.  A post parade fun celebration will be held at Darien Community Park." Meanwhile antiMusic notes  country music artist "Tim McGraw just wrapped his HomeFront program this past weekend in Boston, capping off a summer long campaign to award mortgage-free homes to veterans in need at each stop of his summer tour."  At the start of his tour last spring, Tim McGraw announced he'd present a veteran with mortgage-free home on each of his tour's 25 stops.  ABC News Radio reports he kept that promise and states, "Each family had touching stories and made an indelible mark on me.  From the Delucia family's amazing story of recovery and strength through physical injuries the first night in Tampa to the Connor family, who we suprised this past weekend at their new home with a puppy for their daughter Molly. . . I will never foget any of them."  The Call notes the homes were "part of a three-way partnership to recognize the sacrifices of military veterans involving McGraw, Chase Bank and San Antonio, Texas-based Operation Homefront, a non-profit program that provides mortgage-free homes to wounded soldiers. "  Country music artist Faith Hill joins her husband Tim  from December through April when the two of them headline at the Venetian  in Las Vegas.
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead notes Suicide Prevention Month is next month and among the events in North Dakota:

Resource fair, 8:30 a.m. to noon, Sept. 10. Programs will include caregiver support, health care for homeless veterans, female veterans, health promotion, disease prevention, minority veterans, suicide prevention and more.• Sept. 9, First Link Walk of Hope for Suicide Awareness and Remembrance, Fargo Civic Center courtyard, 207 4th St. N. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. For more information, call (701) 293-6462 or email
• Sept. 23, Out of the Darkness Fargo-Moorhead Community Walk, Lindenwood Park, Fargo. Registration begins at 1 p.m. and the walk begins at 2 p.m. To register or for more information, visit

And Out of the Darkness notes:

In the United States, a person dies by suicide every 15 minutes, claiming more than 36,000 lives each year. It is estimated that an attempt is made every minute, with close to one million people attempting suicide annually. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. among adults 18-65, the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults, and individuals ages 65 and older account for 16 percent of all suicide deaths. This is a public health issue that does not discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. Walk to save lives, find an event near you and register today!

Lonny Shavelson (Center for Investigave Reporting -- link is text and video) speaks to Iraq War veteran, Marine Cpl David Smith:

Smith: When I got out of the Marine Corps, I chalked everything that I was feeling up to just being normal. And I met a friend, and he happened to be a Marine. And we just kind of started talking about Iraq and stuff like that, and he could tell that I had some things that I was dealing with.
[On-screen text: That friend was Clay Hunt.]
[He also was waiting for disability benefits.]
Smith: He was the first person who I'd ever really talked to about Iraq, about, you know, some of the more tragic events or some of the more frightening things that happened.
The only way that it was going to happen is if another veteran came and got me and said, "Hey,   I've been there, too, and I know what you're going through."
Clay was just an amazing dude, but definitely had some other issues that he was dealing with.    We became extremely good friends. We'd literally go mountain biking, like, every single weekend – I guess try and clear our heads a little bit.
In March, 31st, I was asleep and my girlfriend came in, and she said, "Clay killed himself."
Clay? My Clay?
It's just kind of wild. Clay was also working on getting a claim through the VA. It's kind of     ironic – I think it was a week or two after he passed that, you know, his approved disability    rating showed up at his house.
From the time that I applied for disability to the time that my disability was finalized, it was        414 days.

Access to medical care -- and timely medical care -- is an important issue for veterans.  Karen Jeffrey (Cape Cod Online) reports:

Veterans on Martha's Vineyard are one step closer to having local medical services restored -- services that will enable them to get treated on the island rather than having to travel to the Providence VA Medical Center in Rhode Island.
U.S. Rep. William Keating, D-Mass., announced this week that a contract for veterans services on Martha's Vineyard has cleared one major hurdle: approval by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The contract must now be approved by the Providence VA Medical Center and Martha's Vineyard Hospital, where many of the services would be provided.

Over the weekend, Iraq War veteran Joshua Casteel passed away and IVAW's Jose Vasquez noted, "Joshua believed his illness was a result of his service in Iraq where he was exposed to the toxic fumes from burn pits and had submitted a compensation claim with the Veterans Administration." Across the country, hundreds of thousands of veterans -- nearly one million per the numbers the VA provided to Congress in July -- are waiting for their claims adjudicated.   Aaron Glantz (Center for Investigative Reporting via the San Diego Union-Tribune) reports:

California veterans who file with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for a war-related disability claim are waiting more than nine months on average for a decision, according to a review of VA data.
The review by the Center for Investigative Reporting found that San Diego performs better than the state's other two regional offices in terms of pending claims that have languished longer than the agency goal of 125 days.
In San Diego, the rate of such delayed cases is 66 percent, compared to 94 percent in Oakland and 96 percent in Los Angeles. San Diego claimants are waiting 291 days on average, compared to 363 days in Los Angeles and 346 in Oakland.

In the US,  the presidential election is underway.  Tom Brokaw offered (link goes to video at Huffington Post) that last night at the Republican convention, neither Iraq nor Afghanistan was mentioned despite the fact that both wars were "started by the Republican party and promoted by them in the early stages, with the assent of the Democratic Congress and Democratic Senate."  This morning, Kasie Hunt (AP) reported GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will speak to the American Legion in Indianapolis today, face-to-face, while appearing at the Republican National Convention in Tampa via satellite to take part in a discussion of veterans' issues with Senator John McCain.  Sarah Huisenga (CBS News) reports, "Romney reiterated his desire to modify the post-9/11 GI bill so that veterans are eligible for in-state college tuition regardless of residency. He also promised to make reforming the Department of Veterans' Affairs 'a personal priority,' citing the 'reproachable failures' in swiftly processing claims, and vowed not to raise rates for Tricare, the military's health care program."  The in-state residency for veterans is a smart idea and something all the candidates for president should support.  It's so obvious now that Romney's suggested it that you wonder why it wasn't part of the original bill.  Huisenga and Hunt are two women covering the campaigns and women reporters are in the minority this election cycle.  Rachel Larris (Women's Medica Center) reported yesterday:

On Monday the Women's Media Center released the shocking statistic, calculated by The 4th Estate Project, that from the presidential primary period (January 1 to April 15) to the general election (April 15 to August 25), 72 to 76 percent of newspaper stories covering the 2012 presidential election were written by men.
The numbers come from a selection of 35 influential newspapers from across the country. Today we wanted to share some of the byline breakdowns for individual newspapers. The numbers reflect only news reports and excludes blogs and opinion columns. For any article with two bylines, the gender of the first name was coded for the entire article.

Though women appear to be fewer in the presidential election press corps, as candidates, they're making real strides.  For example, the vice presidential candidate for the Socialist Equality Party is Phyllis Scherrer (Jerry White is the presidential candidate)  and this election year there are two presidential campaigns made up of four women.  The four: Jill Stein has the Green Party's presidential nomination and her running mate is Cheri Honkala and Roseanne Barr has the nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party and her running mate is Cindy Sheehan. Click here to sign a petition calling on Ms. magazine and Women's Media Center to cover her campaign and the other female candidate for president Roseanne Barr's campaignOver 250 people have signed onto the petition so far.  Some sign and leave comments and we noted some of the comments in Sunday's "Women Win When Women Run: The conversation Roseanne and Jill are inspiring" at Third -- and "women win when women run" is a theme that repeats in the comments with several people signing noting that theme or expanding on it.

Johnny Green (The Weed Blog) notes and posts Roseanne's first campaign video.  Here's a transcript.

OBAMA On Medical Marijuana

[Footage of Barack speaking at a Minnesota Town Hall in August 2011, via CSPAN]

Barack Obama:  You know a lot of states are making decisions about medical marijuana, uh, [long pause] as a controlled substance.  The issue then is is it being prescribed by a doctor as opposed to, uh, [pause] you know, well -- I'll - I'll - I'll leave it at that.

ROMNEY On Medical Marijuana

[Romney speaking to a man at a campaign event]

Mitt Romney:  And you have syntheic marijuana that is available.

Man:  Makes me sick.  I have tried it and it makes me throw up.  I have tried all the medications there are and all the forms that come in [inaudible] stimulators or steroids.  I have muscular dystrophy, that's completely against my DNA

Mitt Romney:  I'm sorry to hear that.

Man:  My question for you is would you arrest me and my doctors if I get medical marijuana?

Mitt Romney:  I'm not -- I'm not in favor of medical marijuana being legal.

Man:  So would you have me arrested?

Mitt Romney:  I'm sorry --

ROSEANNE On Medical Marijuana

Roseanne Barr: Dave, you know one thing I want to say is Obama is trying to take our medical marijuana  over there in California and trying to send in federal troops to get our medical marijuana and I'll tell you this, Obama, you'll get my joint when you pry it ouf of my cold, dead fingers.  That's when.  And I know -- I don't want to get Obama's kill list.  You know, I got to look out for drones on my way home now I know.

Supports your right to medical marijuana

The only serious comedian running for President.

Show your support
SEPT 27th, 2012
Oakland, Ca.

Montclair Womens Cultural Arts Club
1650 Mountain Blvd
Oakland, CA 94611-2258 US

6-30 - 8:30 pm
Thursday, 27 September

Roseanne Barr: I'm Roseanne Barr and I approved this message.

Barr/Sheehan 2012

Announcer: Paid for by Rosanne for President 2012

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Attend the 27 September event in Oakland

On Labor Day, this coming Monday, September 3rd, we recognize the past sacrifices of working people in their struggles for emancipation, and rededicate ourselves to the movement for workers power in the year ahead. Please join Jill Stein, Cheri Honkala, and the rest of the campaign team in marking this holiday by taking part in your local Labor Day events. 
We know that many of you already have Labor Day plans for tabling, marching, and flyering. Check out our revised our flyer (CLICK HERE), and also have a special Labor Day editorial (CLICK HERE) by Jill Stein which you can print out and distribute.
Please be sure to contact to let us know how much you spent on copies.
If you have not already made plans, and don't know where to start, here are three easy steps:
  1. What to do: Round up a few other volunteers (friends, family, coworkers, you name it) ready to help get the word out on Labor Day.
  2. Where to go: Find your local Labor Day events here:
  3. What to bring: Plenty of copies of our halfsheet flyers (CLICK HERE TO PRINT OUT) and of our special Labor Day editorial (CLICK HERE), as well as other campaign materials you have on hand. Please be sure to contact to let us know how much you spent on copies.
Let's get the word out that while the bosses may own two political parties, working people finally have at least one: The Greens.

Another place women are visible in the presidential election this year is in the protest segment.  CODEPINK is currently protesting at the RNC.  Hopefully, they'll have the guts and courage to do as they did in 2004 and protest at the DNC as well.  Jean MacKenzie (Global Post) reports on last night, inside the convention hall:

But as Santorum wound down his speech, a commotion could be heard in the upper reaches of the cavernous hall. A young woman was screaming at the top of her lungs, although her words were indistinguishable to many down below.
It was Alli McCracken, coordinator for the Washington, D.C. office of CODEPINK, a women's organization dedicated to "working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into health care, education and other life-affirming activities."
McCracken, just 23, created quite a commotion.
"I got to speak for three or four minutes before they escorted me out," she said.
Her message was simple: If you claim to be pro-life, then do things that strengthen life. Stop the wars, help women get access to quality health care. Make education affordable.
"I don't think Rick Santorum is any worse than the rest of them," said McCracken. "They are all egregiously offensive in their own way."