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When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead —Revelation 1:17It may be that, like the apostle John, you know Jesus Christ intimately. Yet when He suddenly appears to you with totally unfamiliar characteristics, the …
Peace activist Cindy Sheehan discusses plans for continuous civil disobedience in Washington D.C. until the Iraq and Afghanistan wars end, lessons learned from the Pittsburgh G-20 protests, how Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded soon after he refused to meet with peace groups and why much of the Left can’t wrap their heads around a pro-war Democratic Party.
Barack Obama, winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, is planning another war to add to his impressive record. In Afghanistan, his agents routinely extinguish wedding parties, farmers and construction workers with weapons such as the innovative Hellfire missile, which sucks the air out of your lungs. According to the UN, 338,000 Afghan infants are dying under the Obama-led alliance, which permits only $29 per head annually to be spent on medical care.
Within weeks of his inauguration, Obama started a new war in Pakistan, causing more than a million people to flee their homes. In threatening Iran – which his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said she was prepared to “obliterate” – Obama lied that the Iranians were covering up a “secret nuclear facility”, knowing that it had already been reported to the International Atomic Energy Authority. In colluding with the only nuclear-armed power in the Middle East, he bribed the Palestinian Authority to suppress a UN judgment that Israel had committed crimes against humanity in its assault on Gaza – crimes made possible with US weapons whose shipment Obama secretly approved before his inauguration.
As social networking becomes a dominant feature of daily life, the secret state is increasingly surveilling electronic media for what it euphemistically calls “actionable intelligence.”
Take the case of Elliot Madison. The 41-year-old anarchist was arrested in Pittsburgh September 24 at the height of G20 protests.
Madison, a social worker and volunteer with The People’s Law Collective in New York City, was busted by a combined task force led by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and Pittsburgh’s “finest.” The activist was charged with “hindering apprehension or prosecution, criminal use of a communication facility and possession of instruments of crime,” according to The New York Times.
Version 1 of a documentary about the recent Pittsburgh G20 Protests, and the Police Occupation of the University of Pittsburgh. This film is a collaboration between Pittsburgh Indymedia, Chicago Indymedia, Twin Cities Indymedia, and the Glass Bead Collective. Expect a future version with even more footage, and more analysis about the G20 and the Occupation of Pitt.
Ralph Nader on the G-20, Healthcare Reform, Mideast Talks and His First Work of Fiction, “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!”
As the United States prepares to host the Group of Twenty nations summit in Pittsburgh later this week, we speak with longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic, author and presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Nader discusses Congress’s failure to pass any meaningful financial reform on Wall Street over the past year and critiques Obama’s healthcare reform proposal. Ralph Nader also talks about his first work of fiction, “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!” Nader describes the book in terms of a practical utopia, a fictional vision that could become a new reality. [includes rush transcript]
Pittsburgh Police Challenged over Use of Sound Cannons During G-20 and for Wrongfully Arresting Dozens of University of Pittsburgh Students
Dozens of University of Pittsburgh students who say they were wrongfully arrested and subject to heavy-handed police tactics during the G-20 meeting last week are calling for an investigation into the police actions. Nearly 200 people were arrested during the protests last weekend. The vast majority of the arrests occurred last Friday night in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, where the University of Pittsburgh is located. [includes rush transcript]
I went out with some friends today and spent the entire day following the protests throughout the city. I used my Canon G10 to shoot photos and videos. i just want to say, i support and enjoy the right to assembly, but i also saw many childish acts today that overstep that right. i just want to share a different point of view.
I have been to dozens of protests, large and small, since my son was killed in Iraq, but I have never seen anything like today and the only term I can use is: Profound Overkill. There were easily two cops/soldiers for every one of us protesters…or maybe even 3 to 1.
About two thousand of us gathered in Arsenal Park in Pittsburgh to try and march downtown. We were all peaceful and had no weapons. We had only traveled a few blocks when cops dressed like they were in full combat with heavily armed opponents stopped us and blocked our way with a new weapon called “LRAD:” A new “crowd control” device. LRAD stands for: “Long Range Acoustical Device.” I was, unfortunately near it when the cops turned it on. It’s painful.
I still get a thrill whenever I get my hands on a confidential memo with “The White House, Washington” appearing on the letterhead. Even when—like the one I’m looking at now—it’s about a snoozy topic: This week’s G-20 summit.
But the letter’s content shook me awake, and may keep me up the rest of the night.
The 6-page letter from the White House, dated September 3, was sent to the 20 heads of state that will meet this Thursday in Pittsburgh. After some initial diplo-blather, our President’s “sherpa” for the summit, Michael Froman, does a little victory dance, announcing that the recession has been defeated. “Global equity markets have risen 35 percent since the end of March,” writes Froman. In other words, the stock market is up and all’s well.
The rage of the disposed is fracturing the country, dividing it into camps that are unmoored from the political mainstream. Movements are building on the ends of the political spectrum that have lost faith in the mechanisms of democratic change. You can’t blame them. But unless we on the left move quickly, this rage will be captured by a virulent and racist right wing, one that seeks a disturbing proto-fascism.
Every day counts. Every deferral of protest hurts. We should, if we have the time and the ability, make our way to Pittsburgh for the meeting of the G-20 this week rather than do what the power elite is hoping we will do—stay home. Complacency comes at a horrible price.
“The leaders of the G-20 are meeting to try and salvage their power and money after everything that has gone wrong,” said Benedicto Martinez Orozco, co-president of the Mexican Frente Autentico del Trabajo (FAT), who is in Pittsburgh for the protests. “This is what this meeting is about.”
“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part; and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers and all the apparatus and you’ve got to make it stop; and you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free the machine will be prevented from working at all.”
Mario Savio, Sproul Hall, Berkeley, 1964
If John McCain were president, we can never be exactly sure what would be happening right now, but I think we can have a little inkling.
First of all, the banksters would be receiving their TARP money and Bernanke would have been re-appointed Fed Chairman.
Robert Gates would probably still be the Secretary of Defense and Sarah Palin would be offering late night comedians endless fodder for their monologues.
Globalization and unfettered capitalism have been swept into the history books along with the open-market theory of the 1920s, the experiments of fascism, communism and the New Deal. It is time for a new economic and political paradigm. It is time for a new language to address our reality. The voices of change, those who speak in powerful and yet unfamiliar words, will cry out Sept. 25 and 26 in Pittsburgh when protesters from around the country gather to defy the heads of state, bankers and finance ministers from the world’s 22 largest economies who are convening for a meeting of the G-20. If we heed these dissident voices we have a future. If we do not we will commit collective suicide.