Archive for May, 2011

From Arab to Global Spring!

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Resistance Within the U.S. Empire!

Over Two Thousand Six Hundred Activists Arrested in US Protests

Since President Obama was inaugurated, there have been over two thousand six hundred arrests of activists protesting in the US.   Research shows over 670 people have been arrested in protests inside the US already in 2011, over 1290 were arrested in 2010, and 665 arrested in 2009.   These figures are certainly underestimate the number actually arrested as arrests in US protests are rarely covered by the mainstream media outlets which focus so intently on arrests of protesters in other countries.

Arrests at protest have been increasing each year since 2009.  Those arrested include people protesting US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Guantanamo, strip mining, home foreclosures, nuclear weapons, immigration policies, police brutality, mistreatment of hotel workers, budget cutbacks, Blackwater, the mistreatment of Bradley Manning, and right wing efforts to cut back collective bargaining.

These arrests illustrate that resistance to the injustices in and committed by the US is alive and well.  Certainly there could and should be more, but it is important to recognize that people are fighting back against injustice.

Information on these arrests has been taken primarily from the newsletter The Nuclear Resister, which has been publishing reports of anti-nuclear resistance arrests since 1980, and anti-war actions since 1990.

Jack Cohen-Joppa, who with his partner Felice, edits The Nuclear Resister, told me “Over the last three decades, in the course of chronicling more than 100,000 arrests for nonviolent protest and resistance to nuclear power, nuclear weapons, torture, and war, we’ve noted a quadrennial decline as support for protest and resistance gets swallowed up by Presidential politicking. It has taken a couple of years, but the Hopeium addicts of 2008 are finally getting into recovery. We’re again reporting a steady if slow rise in the numbers willing to risk arrest and imprisonment for acts of civil resistance. Today, for instance, there are more Americans serving time in prison for nuclear weapons protest than at any time in more than a decade.”

The above is an edited article by Bill Quigley, a law professor and Director of the Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University New Orleans.  See the complete article and list of arrests at http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/over-two-thousand-activists

Remember, they can jail the resisters

but they cannot jail the resistance!

Silence means consent & death!  Resistance Means Life!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622.  Email ja@interpac.net   http://www.malu-aina.org
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (May 27, 2011, – 506th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

A Poem by Terry McNeely

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

500 Weeks and Counting

for Jim Albertini and all the Dedicated Ones

From Kilauea, lava flows
towards the ocean
across the lower slopes
of the high mountain
destroying vegetation and man-made structures
along the way.

Five hundred weeks, people have stood here in Hilo
against the country’s war machine. Five hundred
weeks and ever growing, it is hard to imagine
the dedication, the extra-ordinary perseverance
and patience displayed weekly by a few, here, in
the front of the Hilo Post Office. A lot happens
in 500 weeks, a first war which few protest, a second war,
useless and predatory, while talking heads gloat and preen
tracking the fall of the bombs and the missiles on USA TV screens,
and the country
accepts the deaths
accepts the massive waste in lives
lost and hospitalized, countless children exposed to mutating
doses of radioactivity and our country slowly becoming
one massive head wound as our spiritual life flows
down Baghdad drains and Afghani sands
and our indebtedness climbs by the trillions
the country accepts the perverted logic that these actions
somehow are protective, somehow are necessary
even after the justifications are exposed as lies.

A lot happens in 500 and one weeks
millions lose their jobs
and millions more now work for sub-par minimum wages
middle class wages on a decade-long shrink
and still the country accepts the losses
with little protest, save a few scattered here and there
breadcrumbs that soften the edges of the collective
consciousness, yes, a lot happens in 500 and two weeks
millions lose their homes
and millions more apply for food stamps
living on the edges now
and still the country accepts the losses
engineered by financial geniuses freed of conscience
by high priests Reagan, Friedman, and Greenspan
and the acolytes Bernanke and Geithner
and still the wars continue, wars on sanity, wars on drugs
wars on conscience and humanity, on nature and ourselves
a lot happens in 500 and three weeks
and still the country accepts the losses, continues to trust
the vote           and a new president promises change
we can believe in, yet he reappoints the over-worked thieves
the worn-out bankers and the left-over generals…

On the burned over  slopes of the volcano
the wind brings offerings of seeds

And still the country accepts the losses
with only a solid few standing in protest
all over the land, people from many areas of expertise
and concern, standing for us all, so many citizens now afraid
and just hustling dollars for the mortgage or the doctor
but opposition is edited out and politicians bought
is it hopeless?
the days run into years
and the angry truths
fail to ignite indignation
for we live in a bubble of fear
a self-induced media re-enforced mass hallucination
a pyramid scheme of righteous consumption
called the “american way-of-life”
we can only wonder
as the people here
bear a quiet witness
few sow seeds
in the face
of historyʻs heat
yet history is a poor substitute for the power of story.
love is a process   where the days run into years
and slowly a truer story
is re-discovered
five hundred and four weeks
and counting

A lot happens in 500
and five weeks
in the lava field
scattered seeds of ‘ohia lehua
begin to take root
healing the land.

What Wars Are Made Of –

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Appalling Greed

and corporate war profiteering

Richest 400 Americans

Average $270.5 Million Incomes,

Pay Almost Nothing in Taxes

http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/150956

In 2008, with millions of Americans out of work, losing their homes and health care, and schools, libraries, and other government services being cut, IRS data show, the top 400 paid only 18.1 percent of their total incomes in federal income tax. The top 400 in 1955 paid 51.2 percent of their total incomes in tax.

The top 400 today, after taking inflation into account, make more than 20 times the incomes of America’s top 400 a half-century ago.

Where is the Shame?

Stop the Wars!  Tax the Rich!

Fund Human Needs!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc.
5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622.  Email ja@interpac.net   http://www.malu-aina.org
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (May 20, 2011, – 505th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

U.S. Targeted Assassinations

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

The Targeted Assassination

of Osama Bin Laden

by Marjorie Cohn

…Targeted assassinations violate well-established principles of international law. Also called political assassinations, they are extrajudicial executions. These are unlawful and deliberate killings carried out by order of, or with the acquiescence of, a government, outside any judicial framework.

Extrajudicial executions are unlawful, even in armed conflict. In a 1998 report, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions noted that “extrajudicial executions can never be justified under any circumstances, not even in time of war.” The U.N. General Assembly and Human Rights Commission, as well as Amnesty International, have all condemned extrajudicial executions.

In spite of its illegality, the Obama administration frequently uses targeted assassinations to accomplish its goals. Five days after executing Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama tried to bring “justice” to U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who has not been charged with any crime in the United States. The unmanned drone attack in Yemen missed al-Awlaki and killed two people “believed to be al Qaeda militants,” according to a CBS/AP bulletin.

Two days before the Yemen attack, U.S. drones killed 15 people in Pakistan and wounded four. Since the March 17 drone attack that killed 44 people, also in Pakistan, there have been four drone strikes. In 2010, American drones carried out 111 strikes. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says that 957 civilians were killed in 2010…  (Military drone training takes place at the Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii Island.)

After the Holocaust, Winston Churchill wanted to execute the Nazi leaders without trials. But the U.S. government opposed the extrajudicial executions of Nazi officials who had committed genocide against millions of people. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, who served as chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, told President Harry Truman: “We could execute or otherwise punish [the Nazi leaders] without a hearing. But undiscriminating executions or punishments without definite findings of guilt, fairly arrived at, would … not set easily on the American conscience or be remembered by children with pride.”

Osama bin Laden and the “suspected militants” targeted in drone attacks should have been arrested and tried in U.S. courts or an international tribunal. Obama cannot serve as judge, jury and executioner. These assassinations are not only illegal; they create a dangerous precedent, which could be used to justify the targeted killings of U.S. leaders.

Marjorie Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and past President of the National Lawyers Guild.   See the complete article at http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/05/10

Killing will lead only to more killing!

End All the Wars!  Bring the Troops Home Now!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc.
5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622.  Email ja@interpac.net   http://www.malu-aina.org
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (May 13, 2011, – 504th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

Peace Meeting Monday, Save Democracy Rally Tuesday

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Aloha Peace Ohana,
There will be a peace organizing meeting on Monday, May 9th from 7-9PM at the Keaau Community center. Among items for discussion are:
1.  NRC 9AM phone conference on Tuesday, May 10th over DU at Pohakuloa on Hawaii Island, Schofield Barracks on Oahu, and other sites throughout the U.S.
2.  The Osama Bin Laden alleged assassination and its implications
3.  The ongoing and expanding wars.

4.  The latest on Fukushima radiation

Come with your ideas for discussion and action.

UHH Global H.O.P.E.  is sponsoring a “Save Democracy” Rally in support of Public Funded Clean Elections.  Tuesday, May 10th 3 – 4:30PM

Kamehameha Ave by Bayfront Chevron.  Park by the King Kamehameha Statue.  They have asked for support and to spread the word.

This is an important action for solidarity so please kokua by joining the rally and passing the word.  Mahalo.

Jim Albertini