April 30, 2013

Los Inmigrantes Merecen Legalización Sin Ataduras


Por LISA LUINENBURG
Socialist Action

Millones de inmigrantes indocumentados y sus familias, amigos y aliados esperaron con esperanza la revelación, el martes 16 de abril, de la nueva propuesta de Reforma Migratoria Comprensiva. A pesar de las altas esperanzas, la nueva legislación incluye muchas provisiones represivas, por ejemplo más militarización de la frontera EEUU-México, nuevos programas braceros y verificación biométrica de empleo, y una “vía a la ciudadanía” muy larga, difícil y cara.
Una parte principal de la legislación incluye un aumento enorme en la militarización de la frontera EEUU-México y la criminalización de los inmigrantes. La propuesta dedica $4.5 billones para gastos en el uso de nuevas tecnologías de vigilancia desarrolladas por el Departamento de Defensa, más agentes de la Patrulla Fronteriza, el uso de aviones no tribulados, la instalación de nuevos muros de múltiples capas, y el despliegue de la Guardia Nacional para apoyar toda esta nueva infraestructura.
Otras estipulaciones incluyen $50 millones de dólares para permitir la “operación Streamline” en Tucson, Ariz., para procesar a 210 detenidos todos los días para la deportación (con un aumento de 70 por día), la instalación de más sitios de inspección en la frontera, y permitiendo a los oficiales del Seguridad Nacional acceso a todas las tierras protegidas por el gobierno federal. Pero la peor parte de todo esto es que el gobierno no regalará estatus legal a nadie hasta que las metas de la militarización y un nuevo sistema expandido de E-Verify hayan sido implementados y logrados. Éste básicamente permite que el gobierno pueda retrasar el proceso de legalización hasta cuando quieran.
Aumentando la seguridad y violencia en la frontera no detendrá a los inmigrantes de seguir cruzando la frontera—como en el pasado, solamente obligará a los migrantes a cruzar por lugares más peligrosos, resultando en más muertes. Ha sido estimado por el Centro de Política Migratoria que el número de cuerpos de migrantes encontrados en la frontera ha aumentado, desde 14 cada año en el 1995 hasta más de 160 cada año en el 2005—un resultado concreto del aumento en la militarización.
La estrategia de militarización también juega un rol político. Es un intercambio—el gobierno regala a los elementos más conservadores lo que quieren, y ellos darán su aprobación a la legislación. De esta manera el gobierno también puede influenciar la opinión del público—lo pueden hacer parecer que están tomando medidas duras en contra de los inmigrantes, mientras que en realidad no paren el flujo de obreros indocumentados en lo que depende la economía estadounidense.
Todo es parte de la estrategia llamado “desgaste a través de la imposición.” La idea es hacer la vida lo más difícil posible para los inmigrantes indocumentados y sus familias, que tienen demasiado miedo de tomar las calles y utilizar su poder de clase para luchar por sus derechos. Esto permite que ideas como: la seguridad nacional, la integridad cultural y la criminalización—segmentos principales del sistema de inmigración en los EEUU— florezcan.
¿Y quién se beneficia de todo ésto? Sin mucha novedad, son las compañías con contratos militares muy grandes. Incluso Charles Schumer (D-NY), uno de los autores principales de la nueva propuesta, recibirá su dinero. Él ha sido criticado recientemente por aceptar más de $100,000 dólares en contribuciones a su campaña del GEO y el Corrections Corporation of America —dos de las corporaciones privadas de detenciones que ganan millones de dólares en beneficios ($269.9 millones en beneficios combinados en el 2012) de la detención de inmigrantes esperando la deportación en centros de detención de muy baja calidad.
Junto con todas estas medidas de seguridad en la frontera, la nueva propuesta de ley también hace obligatorio dentro de cinco años el nuevo sistema de verificación del empleo llamado E-Verify. El E-Verify es un banco de datos que permite que los empleadores chequen el estatus migratorio de los trabajadores cuando aplican para un empleo. Ahora, su uso sólo esta requerido para ciertas compañías con contratos con el gobierno. Pero la nueva propuesta expandiría el programa a todo el país y requerirá que todos los trabajadores, ciudadanos o no, muestran tarjetas biométricas de identificación (tarjetas que contienen información personal para identificar a una persona, como fotos o huellas digitales) cuando están aplicando para un trabajo nuevo.
Esto es solamente el primer paso en sistemas que el gobierno está desarrollando para vigilar a todas las personas viviendo en los Estados Unidos. Y porque no todos los inmigrantes indocumentados calificarán para el nuevo estatus y muchos más seguirán viniendo a los Estados Unidos, el sistema expandido de E-Verify obligará a los trabajadores sin papeles a una situación aún más extrema, forzándoles a vivir más clandestinamente—trabajando para empleadores pocos escrupulosos y afuera de la sistema que no tienen un problema abusando a sus trabajadores y pagándoles salarios muy bajos. Los inmigrantes en esta situación se quedarán casi sin opciones cuando sus derechos sean violentados.
Entonces, ¿qué exactamente recibirán los inmigrantes cuando por fin logren cambiar su estatus? En vez de conceder la legalización rápida, justa y sin condiciones, que la comunidad inmigrante ha exigido por tanto tiempo, la nueva propuesta creará un proceso de legalización complicado y caro, que llevará más de 13 años. Para calificar para el nuevo estatus de “Inmigrante Registrado Provisional,” los inmigrantes tendrán que probar que han vivido en los Estados Unidos continuamente desde el 31 de diciembre del 2011, y pagar una multa de $500 dólares, impuestos no declarados y otros pagos sin definición, para aplicar. Los inmigrantes que hayan sido declarados culpables de ciertos crímenes o que el gobierno percibe como “amenaza a la seguridad nacional” no calificarán.
Este estatus provisional durará por seis años, después de que pueda ser renovado (junto con otra multa de $500 dólares). Después de vivir en la incertidumbre por 10 años, inmigrantes con el estatus provisional podrán aplicar para una tarjeta verde, pero solamente después de pagar otra multa de $1000 dólares, y demonstrar que han vivido en los EEUU continuamente, su historia de trabajo y un conocimiento de civismo e inglés. Nadie recibirá una tarjeta verde hasta que hayan sido procesadas todas las solicitudes pendientes (algunas personas han estado esperando por décadas sus visas de reunificación familiar). Y después de esto, el proceso para aplicar para la ciudadanía lleva unos años más. El hecho de que la mayoría de los inmigrantes tengan que utilizar los servicios de un abogado para ayudarles con todo el papeleo, aumentará el costo a miles de dólares, volviendo el proceso entero una pesadilla de solicitudes, largas esperas, y pagos caros.
El nuevo estatus provisional será esencialmente un estatus de segunda clase, con poca garantía. Mientras los inmigrantes que lo tienen serán protegidos de la deportación y tendrán permiso para trabajar y para viajar fuera de los EEUU, estarán obligados a vivir por años sin contar con los derechos básicos acordados a los ciudadanos estadounidenses. A los inmigrantes con el estatus provisional les será prohibido el acceso a cualquier beneficio del gobierno, como beneficios de comida u otros programas de asistencia. Y aunque las parejas y padres de ciudadanos estadounidenses, inmigrantes ya en proceso de deportación y algunos inmigrantes que han sido deportados les será permitido solicitar, la propuesta de ley no contiene provisiones para las parejas de personas de la comunidad LGBTQ—una injusticia que ha sido condenada por la comunidad gay.
Mientras, los inmigrantes indocumentados que ya se encuentran en los EEUU, estarán navegando el nuevo proceso de ciudadanía, el gobierno y las corporaciones grandes han arreglado un proceso para traer nuevos trabajadores inmigrantes a los Estados Unidos bajo un sistema de explotación legalizada. Bajo el nuevo sistema, ciertos tipos de visas familiares (por ejemplo visas para hermanos de ciudadanos estadounidenses) serán eliminadas, junto con la Visa de Diversidad, con la cual muchos africanos han migrado a los EEUU.
En su lugar, el gobierno implementará un nuevo sistema basado en los méritos de una persona, con lo cual, los inmigrantes ganarán “puntos” para su nivel de educación, su tipo de empleo, y el tiempo que han radicado en los Estados Unidos. Los que tengan más puntos se “ganarán” las visas—garantizando a los inmigrantes con mucha educación y trabajos de salarios buenos, ser los que ganen las visas, mientras los trabajadores más pobres otra vez se quedarán sin nada. El gobierno también aumentará el número de visas tipo H-1B, que son para inmigrantes con muchos habilidades (como doctores, científicos, gerentes de corporaciones, y trabajadores con empleos en el campo de la tecnología), 40% del total.
Al mismo tiempo, la legislación creará la “W-Visa,” un nuevo tipo de visa de huéspedes para inmigrantes con muchas habilidades que trabajan en industrias como empacadoras de carne, fábricas o construcción. Un comité especial determinará los niveles de visas, utilizando formulas económicas complejas (garantizando, supuestamente, que las industrias grandes sean suministradas con el obrero de bajo salario que necesitan para sacar los precios bajos y los beneficios altos). Bajo la W-Visa, trabajadores pueden venir a los EEUU por hasta tres años, para trabajar con visas vinculadas con un empleador y un empleo específico. Y aunque a los trabajadores supuestamente les serán garantizados ciertos derechos con la ley (por ejemplo, el derecho de cambiar trabajos y protecciones de los abusos de los empleadores), es importante recordar que estos mismos derechos estaban garantizados con el Programa Bracero original.
El programa Bracero, que importó trabajadores inmigrantes para suministrar al  sistema de agricultura con mano de obra barata, durante los 1940s, ’50s, y ’60s, fue conocido por condiciones horribles, salarios súper-bajos, explotación y abuso. Y cuando ya no necesitaban a los inmigrantes, deportaron a más de un millón. La propuesta de reforma migratoria también incluye la propuesta de AgJOBS, que dará un chance a la ciudadanía, a algunos trabajadores indocumentados que trabajan en la agricultura, mientras crea dos tipos nuevos de visas de huéspedes para agricultores.
Los programas de visas de huésped no han mejorado mucho en términos de abuso hacia los trabajadores desde la era de los Braceros. Entonces, ¿cuál es el motivo para cambiar esta vez? Todo tiene un fin económico. La economía estadounidense sigue dependiendo mucho del trabajo de bajo salario de una clase de trabajadores súper explotados—los inmigrantes indocumentadas que no tienen derechos que están mantenidos con demasiado temor para defenderse—. La nueva propuesta de reforma migratoria simplemente sirve para legalizar este sistema de explotación económica, garantizando los beneficios súper-altos para las enormes corporaciones agricultoras, industriales, o empacadoras de carne.
Sin embargo, la propuesta no hace nada para medir las razones para que los inmigrantes sean forzados a llegar a los EEUU, incluyendo la pobreza y la guerra (muchas veces causados por intervenciones de los EEUU, o políticas económicas como NAFTA). Los inmigrantes indocumentados que vienen después de que la ley este implementada estarán obligados a vivir y trabajar aún más, afuera del sistema de trabajo más controlado, volviéndoles más vulnerables a la explotación y represión, y dejándoles con menos recursos para defenderse. Al mismo tiempo, la industria de prisiones privadas estará garantizados sus beneficios—muy altos—mientras los inmigrantes siguen siendo detenidos y deportados, más y más.
Toda esta infraestructura ha recibido la exclusiva aprobación de sindicatos como el AFL-CIO y el SEIU. Como la misma propuesta, estos sindicatos ponen a los inmigrantes “buenos” en contra de los inmigrantes “malos,” como si algunos fueran más merecedores de la legalización que otros. Por ejemplo, el SEIU dice en su sitio de web que apoya “la legalización ganado con una vía hacia la ciudadanía”, para que los inmigrantes indocumentados “puedan arreglarse con la ley.” Ambos sindicatos, grandes y burocráticos, también apoyan la seguridad en la frontera, la verificación del empleo y los nuevos programas braceros. ¿Se han olvidado de los miles de trabajadores inmigrantes que fueron despedidos con las auditorias I-9? Y, ¿qué hay de las redadas al estilo militar en Postville o en las empacadoras de Swift? Desafortunadamente, parece que muchos de los grandes sindicatos están tan vinculados con el partido demócrata, que están obligando a sus miembros a apoyar la reforma migratoria.
Pero los inmigrantes, ciertamente todos los trabajadores, merecen algo mejor que esta propuesta que nos están ofreciendo los que están en poder. Los inmigrantes merecen una legalización sin ataduras—una legalización que les permita reunirse con sus familias, vivir en sus comunidades sin miedos, trabajar con dignidad, unirse a sindicatos y defender sus derechos—.
Los inmigrantes merecen una legalización no vinculada con la militarización de la frontera, que no les obligue a intercambiar las muertes y detenciones de sus hermanas y hermanos por una tarjeta verde. Merecen una legalización que no les obligue a esperar décadas, que no les obligue a entregar su trabajo para que las grandes corporaciones puedan ganar millones de dólares, mientras luchan para mandar dinero a sus familias. Todos merecemos vivir en un mundo sin fronteras—donde seamos libres de movilizarnos o quedarnos donde nos guste, donde podamos estar con nuestros seres queridos—sin importar el estatus legal o la orientación sexual, donde podamos trabajar con dignidad con un sueldo justo.
Esto sólo lo podemos lograr a través de la unidad de la clase obrera. No podemos dejarnos engañar por las ideas falsas que los medios corporativos nos alimentan todos los días—que los trabajadores indocumentados son criminales, que están aquí para robar trabajos a los “americanos,” que algunos inmigrantes “merecen más la legalización” o que tienen que “ganarse” su estatus.
Tenemos que acordarnos de que los derechos de los inmigrantes son los derechos de los trabajadores, que un daño a uno es un daño a todos. El movimiento pro-inmigrante tiene el potencial de obligar al gobierno a darles algo mejor, y la clase trabajadora tiene que unirse a ellos, en solidaridad, para ayudarles a lograr sus metas.

The Global Crisis is Far from Abating





From the Keynote Address to the 37th Central Convention of the Communist Party of Canada, presented by party leader Miguel Figueroa.
A central focus of our Political Resolution deals with the deepening crisis of global capitalism, and with the working class and people's fightback against the consequences of that crisis in Canada and around the world. We have been reminded once again that this crisis is far from abating by the recent events in Cyprus over the past several weeks, threatening to plunge the European banking system into yet another round of crisis.

Even the Financial Times was forced to admit that the "risks for Europe are significant... The prescription of universal [sic] austerity combined with kid‑gloves treatment of big investors in banks is increasingly toxic to European voters. Leaders have just added fuel to the fire."

The Cypriot crisis also brings a much larger issue into focus ‑ the stupendous amounts of "buried treasure" which international finance capital has ferreted away in so‑called tax havens to avoid paying taxes on wealth, of which the Cypriot banks are but the very small tip of the iceberg.

According to the Tax Justice Network, the total value of such organized "tax avoidance" has now reached as much as $32 trillion dollars worldwide. Bearing in mind that global GDP is around $78 trillion, this suggests that the super‑rich are hoarding the equivalent of up to 40% of the world's annual output ‑ yet further proof that "austerity" is all about protecting monopoly interests and increasing the accumulation of capital, while making the working class and the people pay for the crisis.

The other fundamental aspect of the general crisis of capitalism is, as we know, increasing militarization and the drive to war, the drumbeats of which grow ever louder with each passing day. While the imperialist war machine has already rumbled through many countries over the recent past ‑ from Yugoslavia and Afghanistan to Iraq, Libya and most recently in Mali ‑ fresh wars are brewing against both Syria and the DPRK.

Indeed a foreign‑sponsored covert war on Syria has been raging for more than two years. Now, both Britain and France, under the "socialist" government of Francois Hollande, are raising the stakes, pressing for overt military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other armed groups fighting to overthrow the Syrian government.

Meanwhile, tensions have sharply escalated on the Korean peninsula, as the South Korean regime, Japan, the U.S. and the other imperialist powers including Canada are working overtime to provoke a military conflict with the North. It is naive not to see this dangerous escalation as a consequence of U.S. imperialism's recent strategic "pivot to Asia", the main objective of which is to encircle and "contain" the People's Republic of China.

In both cases of Syria and the DPRK, groundless claims are bring advanced that these countries have and are preparing to use Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), and that under the doctrine of "responsibility to protect", direct imperialist intervention "may be required".

Needless to say, imperialist war in either of these strategic regions could quickly escalate into wider conflicts and possibly more generalized war, with horrific consequences for humanity. We express our solidarity with the peoples and governments of both Syria and the DPRK at this critical moment, and condemn the imperialist campaign to impose sanctions, hatch conspiracies and foment war against these countries.

With this in mind, we should resolve to increase our anti‑war efforts, especially within the labour and other people's movements, against any further imperialist aggression ‑ whether it be against Syria, the DPRK, Iran or elsewhere around the globe.

An Interview with North Koreans about the Current Situation

I am an anti-war and Latin America solidarity activist in Chicago. I recently returned from a late March trip to North Korea [Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK)], along with 45 others, through Koryo Tours.
On that tour I had the opportunity to discuss with the Korean tour guides their views on the current situation. I only recall the DPRK view mentioned here once in the corporate media, when Dennis Rodman returned with a message from new President Kim Jong.


The message to President Obama was "I don't want war, call me." Nobel Peace Prize winning President Obama refused to accept it, evidently preferring an escalating threat of a regional nuclear war to talking. I asked my Korean tours guides to be interviewed so I could present their views to US people.

Has the DPRK made proposals for peaceful national reunification?

Yes, now we have options: the historic option of a federal republic, and the recent option. In our history we proposed three principles for reunification: that the North and South unite the country independently of foreign forces, that we reunify peacefully, and that we work together over the years to create the unity of the whole nation.

Our historic option is a federal republic: a central government concerned only with national defense and diplomacy, and two local governments, North and South, handling all other issues.

But recently the situation on the peninsula is deteriorating. There are no signs of resolving the issue. If South Korean provocations continue, war will break out and we are prepared to fight. Because the situation has deteriorated, that is why we invalidated the 1953 ceasefire agreement. What we need is a permanent peace treaty, so there will be no more war danger.

Now there is no contact between North and South. Now there are no phone lines between North and South, there is no hotline.

Now the US and South Korea plan is that the DPRK will collapse. The situation continues to deteriorate. They are playing a dangerous game.

Japan is also very hostile. The present government is very rightwing. It is trying to build a strong military using "dangerous" DPRK as a pretext to justify turning its self-defense force into a regular army. Not only the DPRK, but many Asian countries are concerned with this right-wing Japanese resurgence.

The American people should ask the US government to change its hostile policy. Make America aware of the real situation in the Korean peninsula. Ask the American government to sign a peace treaty and push for diplomatic ties with the DPRK.

Why did the DPRK feel the need to develop a nuclear bomb?

Koreans had to deal with the reality of nuclear weapons twice before. Many thousands of Korans were used as slave labor by the Japanese in World War II, and many of these were forced labor workers in Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb.

Later, in the U.S. war in Korean, U.S. General MacArthur wanted to drop 50-70 atomic bombs along the China-Korea border to create a belt of land people cannot live on or cross.

Later in the Pueblo incident in 1968, when the DPRK captured a U.S. spy ship in our waters, President Johnson sent aircraft carriers with nuclear weapons to Korea. And in 1969 when the U.S. E-C spy plane was shot down over our territory, the U.S. again threatened us with a nuclear attack.

The "Team Spirit" US-South Korea war exercises from the 1970s to the 1990s practiced with using nuclear bombs.

The DPRK joined the International Atomic Energy Agency and became a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty member in 1985. We wanted to develop cooperation in the field of nuclear energy. Our purpose for joining was to be safe from nuclear attack. But the threat has continued.

In 1994 with our agreement with the US, we froze our nuclear program. In exchange, President Clinton and the US promised to supply us with a light water reactor. As we now know, Clinton only made those promises because the US thought the DPRK would collapse, and so did not need to honor the agreement. We allowed nuclear inspections until 1999, to show that our nuclear power was only for peaceful purposes. The US broke the agreement in 2002 under Bush, and we resumed using our nuclear power plant.

The Yugoslav war showed us that we need to defend ourselves. We learned from the US that the US has no justice, no fairness. The US respects only power. So the DPRK developed nuclear weapons to have power.

The DPRK needs to allocate resources to meet people's needs but must spend money on nuclear weapons to protect and defend our country. We learned the lesson in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan: be strong.

The DPRK negotiated with the U.S., but the U.S. broke agreements, and increased sanctions five times. When the DPRK would agree to some terms, the U.S. would raise the ante. The U.S. had said we cannot have nuclear power, because we could use it for bombs. We cannot have satellites because the missiles we send them into space with can be used as military missiles. These they these things can have dual purpose, one civilian, one military. They deny us food because they say it can be used to feed the military. If we kept going along with this, they would say we cannot have kitchen knives because we could use them for fighting.

There are slave states and noble states. Noble states develop their own technological infrastructure, GPS, weather reporting, etc., so need satellites. These days satellites are used for many things. If your country doesn't have your own technology, you end up a slave state, dependent on other countries. Noble countries are in control of their own development and have a future.

Maybe without nuclear weapons we could already have been attacked by the US in a war. Now our people can live more peacefully. The people of the DPRK are proud we have nuclear weapons, they are a guarantee of peace. Only we on our own can safeguard the peace.

The US has over 1000 nuclear weapons in South Korea – nuclear artillery, nuclear missiles, nuclear bombs, nuclear landmines.

The DPRK has called for a nuclear free Korean peninsula, but this call has been ignored. Now that we saw no choice but to develop nuclear weapons to defend ourselves, we are sanctioned. This is a double standard insulting to our people.

Read the entire interview at Marxism-Leninism Today here.

A Silent Antiwar Movement Is Unacceptable

The peace movement’s silence in the face of imperialist military escalations in Africa and the Middle East is unjustified and unacceptable.

On Monday February 25th, the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, announced that the United States will be directly providing the so-called “Syrian opposition” with “non-lethal” aid in a coordinated effort to overthrow the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.


In addition, U.S. officials have announced that the United States will be supplying the so-called “Free Syrian Army” with medical supplies and the U.S. Military’s Meal-Ready-to-Eat field rations.


This is a clear step toward escalation of the U.S. military intervention in Syria, which should not surprise anyone, given the well-known U.S. plan for a “New Middle East,” which is aimed at redrawing the map of the Middle East to secure its hegemonic domination of the region and its resources.

What is surprising, however, is the absolute silence and inaction of the peace movement against the criminal acts that are being openly committed against the people of the Middle East, and against the peace and security of the region and the world.

Read more here.

Lynne Stewart

We have carried several items on Lynne Stewart. What follows is some (slightly dated) info on Lynne's condition and solidarity efforts on her behalf.

AN UPDATE FROM MYA SHONE AND RALPH SCHOENMAN – CO-COORDINATORS WITH RALPH POYNTER OF THE INTERNATIONAL PETITION CAMPAIGN TO SAVE THE LIFE OF LYNNE STEWART


As the campaign builds, Lynne Stewart’s condition has taken a concerning turn for the worse. Her white blood cell count has dropped sharply. Lynne is in isolation currently and will be sent to a Fort Worth hospital for tests.

This news has lent a dramatic urgency to The International Petition Campaign to Save the Life of Lynne Stewart, even as it has crossed a new threshold: Over 10,000 people have signed the petition as signatories pour in daily from across the world.

Noted associate of President Kwame Nkrumah, Ambassador Kojo Amoo-Gottfried, Ghana’s former ambassador to China, Vietnam, Cuba and Nicaragua, has called upon all who fought for self-determination and freedom to raise their voices now for “our dear sister in struggle, Lynne Stewart, even as she has fought for us over a lifetime.”

The Socialist Forum of Ghana has launched a national campaign to save the life of Lynne Stewart.

We must intensify our efforts in this battle for her freedom and her life.

Ed Asner, Richard Falk, Daniel Ellsberg, Cornel West, David Ray Griffin, Bonnie Kerness, Zachary Sklar, Alice Walker, Katha Pollitt, Michael Ratner, Sara Kuntsler, Heidi Boghosian, Wallace Shawn, San Francisco Supervisor John Avelos, Peter Kinoy, Peter Dale Scott, Wilhemina Levy, Cynthia McKinney, Pam Africa, and Louis Wolf are among current signers.

We urge all to contact five people and ask each of them to contact five more, allowing each of us, thereby, in five stages to reach five thousand people.

Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist and Occupy Wall Street leader Chris Hedges has published today an evocative and compelling article entitled “The Persecution of Lynne Stewart” that captures Lynne’s stirring eloquence, abiding humanity and quiet courage. (See below)

The petition is at:
http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-free-lynne-stewart-save-her-life-release-her-now-2


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Free Lynne Stewart: A Call to Action from Ed Asner

"Given the enormous good that Lynne Stewart has done for humanity throughout her life as a courageous lawyer for the poor, the oppressed and the unjustly accused, I am shocked by the cynical perversity of a government that has pursued her savagely and vengefully.

Lynne Stewart's treatment by the government has been demonic. Prevented from scheduled surgery, her breast cancer spread to her lymph nodes, bones and lungs. Denied proper medical treatment, she has been bound with 10 pounds of shackles and chains, even when in a hospital bed.

In tormenting Lynne Stewart the government seeks to terrorize all lawyers who would defend those targeted by State repression. The treatment of Lynne Stewart is a threat to due process, an assault on fundamental rights that date to Magna Carta.

Lynne Stewart must be free. The law requires her compassionate release and the medical care that can save her life. We must deny the State a death sentence aimed at the freedom of us all.

The State power that torments Lynne Stewart invades countries at will, murders hundreds of thousands with impunity and creates a climate of fear and repression to prevent the people of this country from calling those in power to account.

The fight to free Lynne Stewart is a front-line battle for basic rights secured through the American Revolution and is a measure of our will to reclaim a land of the free in the home of the brave."


***

"The government's treatment of Lynne Stewart during her trial was arbitrary, politically motivated and made a mockery of our justice system. Its treatment of her now while she is imprisoned and seriously ill, is shameful, heartless and inhuman. I join with many thousands around the world to urge her immediate release so that she can get proper medical attention." 

Zachary Sklar

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The Persecution of Lynne Stewart

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_persecution_of_lynne_stewart_20130421/

Posted on Apr 21, 2013

By Chris Hedges

Lynne Stewart, in the vindictive and hysterical world of the war on terror, is one of its martyrs. A 73-year-old lawyer who spent her life defending the poor, the marginalized and the despised, including blind cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, she fell afoul of the state apparatus because she dared to demand justice rather than acquiesce to state sponsored witch hunts. And now, with stage 4 cancer that has metastasized, spreading to her lymph nodes, shoulder, bones and lungs, creating a grave threat to her life, she sits in a prison cell at the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, where she is serving a 10-year sentence. Stewart’s family is pleading with the state for “compassionate release” and numerous international human rights campaigners, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have signed a petition calling for her to be freed on medical grounds. It is not only a crime in the U.S. to be poor, to be a Muslim, to openly condemn the crimes committed in our name in the Muslim world, but to defend those who do. And the near total collapse of our judicial system, wrecked in the name of national security and “the war on terror,” is encapsulated in the saga of this courageous attorney—now disbarred because of her conviction.

“I hope that my imprisonment sends the wake up call that the government is prepared to imprison lawyers who do not conduct legal representation in a manner the government has ordained,” she told me when I reached her through email in prison. “My career of 30 plus years has always been client centered. My clients and I decided on the best legal course, without the interference of the government. Ethics require that the defense lawyer DEFEND, get the client off. We have no obligation to obey [the] ‘rules’ government lays down.

“I believe that since 9/11 the government has pursued Muslims with an ever heavier hand,” she wrote, all messages to her and from her being vetted by prison authorities. “However, cases such as the Sheikh’s in 1995 amply demonstrate that Muslims had been targeted even earlier as the new ENEMY—always suspect, always guilty. After 9/11, we discovered that the government prosecutors were ordered to try and get Osama Bin Laden into EVERY Muslim prosecution inducing in American Juries a Pavlovian response. Is it as bad as lynching and the Scottsboro Boys and the Pursuit of Black Panthers? Not as of yet, but getting close and of course the incipient racism that that colors—pun?—every action in the U.S. is ever present in these prosecutions.”

Stewart, as a young librarian in Harlem, got an early taste of the insidious forms of overt and covert racism that work to keep most people of color impoverished and trapped in their internal colonies or our prison complex. She went on to get her law degree and begin battling in the courts on behalf of those around her for whom justice was usually denied. By 1995, along with former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Abdeen Jabara, she was the lead trial counsel for the sheik, who was convicted in September of that year. He received life in prison plus 65 years, a sentence Stewart called “outlandish.” The cleric, in poor health, is serving a life sentence in the medical wing of the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina. Stewart continued to see the sheik in jail after the sentence. Three years later the government severely curtailed his ability to communicate with the outside world, even through his lawyers, under special administrative measures or SAMs.

In 2000, during a visit with the sheik, he asked Stewart to release a statement from him to the press. The Clinton administration did not prosecute her for the press release, but the Bush administration in April 2002, the mood of the country altered by the attacks of 9/11, decided to go after her. Attorney General John Ashcroft came to New York in April 2002 to announce that the Justice Department had indicted Stewart, a paralegal and the interpreter on grounds of materially aiding a terrorist organization. That night he went on “Late Show with David Letterman” to tell the nation of the indictment and the Bush administration’s vaunted “war on terror.”

“Rev up the military industrial complex,” Stewart wrote when I asked her what purpose the “war on terror” served. “Keep the populace terrorized so that they look to Big Brother Government for protection. Cannon Fodder for the ‘throwaways’ in our society—young, poor, uneducated, persons of color.”

Stewart’s 2005 trial was a Punch-and-Judy show. The state demanded an outrageous 30-year prison sentence. It showed the jurors lurid videos of Osama bin Laden and images of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers, and spun a fantastic web of Islamic, terrorist intrigue. To those of us who covered groups such as al-Qaida and the armed Islamic groups in Egypt—I was based in Cairo at the time as the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times—the government scenarios were utterly devoid of fact or credibility. The government prosecutors, for example, blamed numerous terrorist attacks, including the killing of 62 people in 1997 in Luxor, Egypt, on the sheik, although he publicly denounced the attack and had no connection with the radical Islamic group in Egypt that carried it out. And even Manhattan District Judge John Koeltl instructed the jury more than 750 times that the photos of Osama bin Laden and the 2001 World Trade Center attacks were not relevant to the case. Stewart was sentenced to 28 months. The Obama administration appealed the ruling. The appeals court ruled that the sentence was too light. Koeltl gave her 10 years. She has served three.

Her family’s appeal for a “compassionate release” must defy the odds. Human Rights Watch and Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) noted in a 2012 report, “The Answer is No: Too Little Compassionate Release in US Federal Prisons,” that the Federal Bureau of Prisons rarely even bothers to submit compassionate release requests to the courts. Since 1992, the bureau has averaged two dozen motions a year to the courts for compassionate release. The bureau does not provide figures for the number of prisoners who seek compassionate release.

“No messy side effects—vomiting, diarrhea—thank goodness,” Stewart wrote to me about her cancer care. “I have one more treatment and then they have used all the poison it’s safe to use. I am bald but the hardest for me to endure, who has always relied on her memory and quick wit, is the chemo brain that slows and sometimes stops me.

“I am up at 4:30 [a.m.] and wait till the ‘Count’ is over and have a shower etc.,” she noted of her daily routine. “I get dressed and take a short rest (feet up) until breakfast at 6 am. I am in a room with 6 other women—the unusual mix of inmates and I rely on them to help me with just about everything—getting to the clinics, picking up meds, filling my ice bucket, helping with my laundry, etc. At 9:00 every day, they laughingly say, I go to the ‘office.’ That means email or the law library where I correspond and meet with women who need my help. I go back up by 10:30 and take a short nap till lunch. Meals here are meager and not well prepared. Of course, I have favorites—the hamburgers (beef THIN patty) served every Wednesday in every federal prison for lunch. Some of the women count their time in terms of how many hamburger days they have left! We are served cut up iceberg lettuce with a little red cabbage and carrots with meals and I have used my commissary purchases to concoct some more exotic dressings than those offered here.

“After lunch I go back to bed for a longer nap and then up for mail call—lots of letters, newspapers, magazines etc.” she wrote, “a time of the day I sometimes shed a few tears at the love and intensity of those who have written to state their support. Then supper and back to bed and reading—pure pleasure—much fiction (mysteries, Scottish etc. and authors I love Morrison, Sarmargo). [There is] some conversing with my roommates and then after the 9:00 pm count I am off to sleep. I have a hospital bed that is next to large windows—no bars. I can see the Trinity River, barely. Trees. This view of nature is responsible for keeping me alive in the real sense.

“I hoped that there would be common cause among the women here because we are all confronted by totally arbitrary authority every minute of every day,” she went on. “Prison is a perverse place of selfishness and sometimes generosity but not much unity. There are a few and we recognize each other but by and large the harsh realities of people’s origins and the system have ruined most of us. It is particularly horrendous to realize the number of children that the prison system rips from their mothers’ arms, thus creating yet another generation to feed the beast of prison industrial complex.

“I fear we are headed into a period of ever increasing cruelty to those who can least stand it,” she wrote. “As corporate agendas become national agendas there is a profound disrespect for all those who are not able to even get to the starting line. We do not love the children except when they are massacred—the daily mental, emotional deaths in the public schools are ignored. We are now a nation of Us and Them. I would HOPE that the people would recognize what is happening and make a move. After all, who in the fifties could have predicted the uprisings of the sixties? There must be a distaste and willful opposition to what is happening and a push to take it back—local movements scaring the HELL out of the Haves.”

In a 2003 speech at a National Lawyers Guild convention in Minneapolis, Stewart eloquently laid out her mission as an advocate, and more important as a mother and a member of the human race.

“For we have formidable enemies not unlike those in the tales of ancient days,” she told the gathering. “There is a consummate evil that unleashes its dogs of war on the helpless; an enemy motivated only by insatiable greed - The Miller’s daughter made to spin gold - the fisherman’s wife: Midas, all with no thought of consequences. In this enemy there is no love of the land or the creatures that live there, no compassion for the people. This enemy will destroy the air we breathe and the water we drink as long as the dollars keep filling up their money boxes.

“We now resume our everyday lives but we have been charged once again, with, and for, our quests, and like Hippolyta and her Amazons; like David going forth to meet Goliath, like Beowulf the dragon slayer, like Queen Zenobia, who made war on the Romans, like Sir Galahad seeking the holy grail,” she said. “And modern heroes, dare I mention? Ho and Mao and Lenin, Fidel and Nelson Mandela and John Brown, Che Guevara who reminds us ‘At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love.’?Our quests like theirs are to shake the very foundations of the continents.
“We go out to stop police brutality -?To rescue the imprisoned -?To change the rules for those who have never ever been able to get to the starting line much less run the race, because of color, physical condition, gender, mental impairment,” she said. “We go forth to preserve the air and land and water and sky and all the beasts that crawl and fly. We go forth to safeguard the right to speak and write, to join; to learn, to rest safe at home, to be secure, fed, healthy, sheltered, loved and loving, to be at peace with ones identity.”

From prison Stewart wrote to me in closing, “I have been fortunate to live a charmed life—parents who loved me without qualification (yes, we fought about Vietnam and my African American husband but I never doubted that they would always be there for me). I had children when I was young enough to grow with them. Today they are the backbone of my support and love. I came to politics in the early sixties and was part of a vibrant movement that tried to empower local control of public schools to make the ultimate changes for children and break the back of racism in minority communities. My partner/husband Ralph Poynter was always—60 years and counting—in my corner and when at a less than opportune moment I announced my desire to go to law school, he made sure it happened. I had a fabulous legal career in a fabulous city—championing the political rights of the comrades of the 60’s and 70’s and also representing many who had no hope of a lawyer who would fight for them against the system. I have enjoyed good friends, loved cooking, had poetry and theater for a joy. I could go on and on BUT all of this good fortune has always meant only one thing to me—that I have to fight, struggle to make sure EVERYONE can have a life like mine. That belief is what will always sustain me.”

PDX Peoples' Assembly on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

On May 11, just prior to a new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating round in Peru, we call on the 99% who are harmed by corporate globalization to oppose the TPP.
International Fair Trade Day
May 11th, 2013 starting at 1pm
First Unitarian Church
SW 12th Ave and Main St, Portland OR 97205
We will join trade justice advocates in Lima, Sydney, Ontario and many more cities and towns around the world that are holding community assemblies to discuss the problems with theTPP and the free trade model.
There are many reasons for people to come together on this date:
  • The TPP undermines access to fundamental medicines by extending monopoly protections for Big Pharma.
  • The TPP empowers corporations to sue governments for environmental and health measures they do not like.
  • The TPP restricts Internet innovation and increases the surveillance of online interactions.
  • The TPP undermines Indigenous rights and human rights.
  • The TPP creates a race to the bottom on working conditions, environmental standards and all kinds of public regulations.
  • The TPP prioritizes large-scale corporate agriculture (GMOs, antibiotics, etc) over sustainable local farming.
We will hear from guest speakers including Barbara Byrd (OR AFL-CIO) and Ann Pickar (Portland Area Global Aids Coalition), followed by break out groups to discuss issues and plan for next steps.
Multi-national community resistance put a freeze on the WTO.  It stopped the Free Trade Area of the Americas.  It can stop the TPP!
For more information on the PDX People's Assembly, please call Oregon Fair Trade Campaign on 503-736-9777 or email elizabeth@oregonfairtrade.org.
Sponsored by: Alliance for Democracy, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, Oregon AFL-CIO, Working Families Party, Economic Justice Group of the First Unitarian Church.
To learn more about events in other communities click here.
In solidarity,
Chris Phillips
Portland Jobs With Justice

When I Joined the Black Panther Party....

An Untold Chapter in Black History

by Safiya Bukhari

This piece first appeared on the Monthly Review site.

I was nineteen when I joined the Black Panther Party and was introduced to the realities of life in inner-city Black America.

From the security of the college campus and the cocoon of the great American Dream Machine, I was suddenly stripped of my rose-colored glasses by a foray into Harlem and indecent housing, police brutality, hungry children needing to be fed, elderly people eating out of garbage cans, and hopelessness and despair everywhere. If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I would never have believed that this was America. It looked and sounded like one of those undeveloped Third World countries.

Between 1966 and 1975, eager to be part of the fight for the freedom and liberation of black people in America from their oppressive conditions, thousands of young black men and women from all walks of life and backgrounds joined the ranks of the Black Panther Party. They were met with all the counterforce and might of the United States war machine.

Not unlike the young men who went off to fight in the Vietnam War, believing they were going to save the Vietnamese from the ravages of “communism,” the brothers and sisters who joined the ranks of the Black Panther Party, with all the romanticism of youth, believed that the rightness and justness of their cause guaranteed victory. We were learning the contradiction between what America said and what it did. We were shown examples of the government’s duplicity, and we became victims of its Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO), an all out, multiphasic war designed to stifle dissent in America in general, and in the black community in particular.

We came into the struggle believing that we would prevail. Because our struggle was right and just, we said, “We shall win without a doubt!” All we had to do was present an organized and disciplined united front and be determined to gain our freedom by any means necessary, and our victory would be assured.

We theorized about what we were up against. We marched, sang, and rhetoricized about the implications of being “in the belly of the beast.” We dissociated ourselves from anything or anyone that had been close to us and regurgitated the bravado about the struggle being primary—that, in order to win, we must be willing to sacrifice mother, father, sister, or brother. We embraced all of this in much the same manner that the drill sergeant in the Marine Corps psyched up the recruits to fight in Vietnam.

Read the entire article here.
Community Dialogue on Worker Rights and Immigration Reform
Organized by Portland JwJ’s Immigrant Rights Committee

These are critical times in the struggle for immigrant and workers rights, immigration reform is being debated in Washington DC and likely to pass in a few months. This is an issue that affects all workers in our country as well as globally. We are inviting you to a forum where we will hear from immigrant and US born workers whose jobs and livelihoods have been affected by trade and the global economy.  We will hear from workers who have seen their employers undercut wages and benefits and how those who benefit from this exploitation promote division between workers. 

These issues affect all workers and our ability to fight for our rights in the work place as well as our ability to re-build the broken economy.  We invite you to join us as we listen to each other and share ideas on possible directions to help build worker power in the context of the immigration reform debate.

THEME:

“Labor Rights and Migration, Building Worker Power Through Solidarity.”

GOAL:

This event will contribute to the national dialogue between workers in the context of Immigration Reform and put the voices of workers up in the national debate.


PARTICIPANTS:

Rank and file union members, day laborers, farm workers, domestic workers, labor leaders, Immigrant and worker rights advocates, undocumented workers, students, etc.

When: May 22nd
Time: 6:00 pm
Where: SEIU Local 49
(3536 SE 26th Ave, Portland, OR 97202 Just south of Powell and 26th)

-Light dinner will be served-

For registration please contact Marco at JWJ: 503 236-5573 or marco@jwjpdx.org
Please RSVP by May 17th

CORVALLIS: 2nd Annual May Day Solidarity Fair

Action Name: 2nd Annual May Day Solidarity Fair
Date: 2013-05-04
Event Time: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Organization: Veterans For Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter 132
Description: Celebrate a diverse labor movement & generations of struggles for economic, social, and environmental justice!

Music by Bodarc Betvina, Masdamoonh, Laurie Childers, Meatbomb, and the Raging Grannies (socially conscious hip-hop, folk, reggae, & rock).

Bring a family picnic to the park! Speakers, and workshops on a range of issues! Children’s activities include face painting and more.

Brought to you by a coalition of unions, social justice organizations, and community groups, including AAUP-OSU; AFSCME Local 3214; APWU; CGE; IWW-Corvallis; NALC; NRLCA; PCUN; SEIU 49; SEIU 503; UFCW 555; 350.org; Alternatives to War; Benton County Community Rights Coalition; Benton County Democrats; Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism; Corvallis Amnesty International Writers; Eugene Springfield Solidarity Network/Jobs with Justice; Fellowship of Reconciliation; Linn-Benton Food Share; Linn-Benton-Lincoln Central Labor Council AFL-CIO; Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán; Mid-Valley Health Care Advocates; Move to Amend; NAACP; Occupy Corvallis; Pacific Green Party; Rural Organizing Project; The HOUR Exchange; United Students Against Sweatshops; Veterans For Peace; Corvallis faith community, and others.

Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/136614326505146/

Progressive Events Upcoming In Salem And Corvallis


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First and Third Saturday, 10am:  Corvallis CCDS Discussion Group
101 NW 23rd (23rd & Monroe), Corvallis
Committees of Correspondence For Democracy & Socialism (CCDS, see: http://www.cc-ds.org/) meets every other Saturday to discuss readings related to bringing about democracy and socialism in our time and to discuss current events and projects.
The public is very welcome to attend and to participate.
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Tuesday, Apr. 30, 7:30pm:  30th Annual Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture for World Peace
LaSells Stewart Center, OSU
Leah Bolger will give the annual Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture for World Peace at Oregon State University. Leah is a Corvallis resident and Navy veteran who previously served as the national president of Veterans for Peace. Her talk, titled “Waging Peace,” is free and open to the public. Leah served for more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring in 2000 with the rank of commander. Since then she has been a full-time peace activist. After moving to Oregon in 2004, she formed the Linus Pauling chapter of Veterans for Peace and served as the group’s president for three years. In 2012 she became the first female president of the parent organization.
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Thursday, May 2, Noon - 1:30pm:  Sustainability Coalition Quarterly Gathering
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, 645 NW Monroe Avenue
Presentations by Coalition partners and action teams
Contact: info@sustainablecorvallis.org, 541-230-1237
Sponsor: Corvallis Sustainability Coalition
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Saturday, May 4, 11am - 4pm:  Second Annual May Day Solidarity Fair
Central Park, Corvallis
The May Day Solidarity Fair celebrates the labor movement & all struggles for economic & social justice. We hope to encourage conversations about current issues that confront working people, their families, & communities.Music, speakers, workshops, tabling, food, other family-friendly activities.Organizations that have already signed on as part of the coalition include area branches and locals of SEIU, CGE-AFT, IWW, PCUN, AFSCME, NRLCA, NALC, APWU, UFCW, and AAUP; also Linn-Benton-Lincoln Central Labor Council, Eugene Springfield Solidarity Network/Jobs with Justice; Benton County Community Rights Coalition, Occupy Corvallis, Veterans for Peace, NAACP, Move to Amend, Pacific Green Party, Committees of Correspondence, Benton County Democrats, Linn-Benton Food Share, Alternatives to War, 350.org, Amnesty International, Corvallis Hours Exchange, Corvallis area faith groups, and others.
Facebook event here - Please “join” and “invite” your friends:  https://www.facebook.com/events/136614326505146/
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Saturday, May 4, 5:30pm:  Delicious Palestinian dinner, auction, and film
UUFC, 2945 NW Circle, Corvallis
Reservations encouraged (call: 541-740-4207); suggested donation $12 or more per person (includes film) children under 12, $8
Doors open at 5:30 for Turkish coffee and baklava for donation; silent auction items for viewing and bidding;
6 PM – Film, Sands of Sorrow, (30 minutes); UN documentary film (1950); documents the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and their land in what Palestinians call the Nakba.
6:30 – Begin seating for dinner
7:15 – live auction: including art, Palestinian embroidery, cookbooks, olive oil, and more;
(Some of these times are approximate)
A benefit for Middle East Children’s Alliance – clean water for the children of Gaza - www.mecaforpeace.org
Sponsors: UUFC, Social Justice Action Group and Albany/Corvallis Friends of Middle East Peace
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Sunday, May 5, Noon - 4pm:  Cinco de Mayo Ciclovia
Avery Park, Corvallis
This Cinco de Mayo Avery Park Drive will be closed to vehicle traffic in order to bring you an extravaganza of bicycle activities for all ages, including helmet decorating, a human powered parade, kinetic sculptures, youth and adult bicycle education, food, vendors, music, and fun in the park. Beautiful weather guaranteed!*
Check back for more details and events as they develop.
Brought to you by Corvallis Parks & Recreation, Safe Routes 2 School, Corvallis Bicycle Collective, Corvallis Spring Roll, Kinetic Sculptures, Team Dirt, Corvallis Police Department, City of Corvallis, Soup Cycle, Mid Valley Bicycle Club, and other groups to be announced.
* or your money back. (Also, it's FREE!)
Facebook event (join and invite others):  
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Tuesday, May 7, 4pm:  APS Peace Award Presentations
Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Avenue Southeast, Albany
The Albany Peace Seekers are again sponsoring recognition of students and staff at both Albany High Schools for their efforts to promote peace, justice and harmony in their respective schools and in the larger community.  One graduating senior from each school will receive a $500 cash award and recognition of their accomplishments at both a special celebration on May 7, at the Albany Public Library and at their school's Awards Assembly.  This award has been very well received at both high schools and we are so proud to have honored great students, highlighting their contributions to a more peaceful and just world.
FMI:  Sharon, sharongisler[at]msn.com
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Friday, May 10, 7pm:  “Salt of the Sea” Film
UUFC, 2945 NW Circle, Corvallis
Directed by Annemarie Jacir; The passionate story of Brooklyn born Soraya, who travels to Israel in search of her grandparents’ home, land, and life before they were expelled to make way for the new state of Israel. She unexpectedly discovers much more.“It’s one of the best films I’ve seen in years” – Michael Moore. Was the Official Selection, Cannes International Film Festival, 2008; Palestine’s submission to the 81st Academy Awards, Best Foreign Film.
Discussion and light refreshments to follow.
Suggested donation, $6 or more
A benefit for Middle East Children’s Alliance – clean water for the children of Gaza - www.mecaforpeace.org
Sponsor: by UUFC, Social Justice Action Group and Albany/Corvallis Friends of Middle East Peace
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Saturday, May 11, 6pm:  Second Saturdays Benefit Concert
Sunnyside Up Cafe, 116 NW 3rd St., Corvallis
Music by "Cooper Hollow," a wonderful little band we discovered recently.  They're from Dallas (north of us, not TX).The beneficiary will be Avery House Nature Center (specifically, financial assistance for low income children so that they can participate in the Center's summer programs).
Sponsored by Alternatives to War and Veterans For Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter, Corvallis.
More details shortly.
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Saturday, May 18, 7pm:  Documentary:  “Roadmap to Apartheid”
101 NW 23rd (23rd & Monroe), Corvallis
By filmmakers Ana Noguerira (a white South African) and Eron Davidson (a Jewish American-Israeli) and narrated by author and peace activist, Alice Walker.
The filmmakers draw on the historical rise and fall of South African apartheid and reveal how Palestinians view their own current situation as a kind of apartheid system. The film is “packed with insights from the world’s leading authorities on both South African and Israeli apartheid” – Abraham Greenhouse, Global Research;
Discussion and light refreshments to follow.
Suggested donation: $6 or more
A benefit for MECA – clean water for the children of Gaza – www.mecaforpeace.org
Sponsors: Albany/Corvallis Friends of Middle East Peace
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Sunday, May 19, 1:30pm - 5pm:  Socialism Talk - Salem
Red Lion Inn, 3301 Market St. NE, Salem
"What Now for the Left? - Choosing Socialism"
A conversation with Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a leading labor, racial justice and international solidarity activist. He is a graduate of Harvard University; he writes and speaks widely on domestic and international topics, and on racial justice and labor issues. He is the author of (among others): "They're Bankrupting Us - And Twenty Other Myths About Unions."
Sponsored by: Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism - Albany/Corvallis &
Free - donations accepted to cover conference costs.
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Friday, May 31, 7pm:  “The People and the Olive” Film
FUMC Martha Room, 11th & Monroe, Corvallis
Directed by Aaron Dennis. A group of American marathoners run from Hebron to Jenin (129 miles over five days) to raise awareness about olive farmers in Palestine. The run was organized by On the Ground, a non-profit group in Traverse City, MI, supporting sustainable community development in farming regions around the world. “Best described as an inspirational thriller.” - Loren King, Boston Globe
Discussion and light refreshments to follow.
Suggested donation: $6 (or more)
A benefit for Josh Hough of Christian Peacemaker Teams - http://www.cpt.org/
Sponsors: Active for Peace and Justice at First United Methodist Church; Albany/Corvallis Friends of Middle East Peace
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Thursday, June 6, 7pm:  Gaza Educator Amani Inshasi Visit
Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center, 128 SW 9th Street
Ms. Inshasi returns to Corvallis to share her experiences as an educator and to exchange art collages and photography created at United Nations refugee camp schools and NGOs in Gaza City. This is part of an ongoing exchange of art with Corvallis children.
Evening activities include a dialogue with Amani, Palestinian dishes to sample, a silent auction, and an exhibition of student art and photography from the Spring 2013 exchange.
Sponsor: Friends of Middle East Peace
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Saturday, June 8:  Rural Organizing Project Caucus & Strategy Session
CAPACES Leadership Institute, 356 Young St, Woodburn, OR
Every year ROP asks that you assemble your human dignity group’s team to attend the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session.  Here we are again, making that request for the 20th year in a row – because this year is our 20th Annual Rural Caucus & Strategy Session!
- Strategize with and learn from fellow organizers from across the state.
- Help shape what work ROP and ROP’s member groups will take on over the next year.
- Be the first to see ROP’s long-term vision.
- March for ONE Oregon Reunion.
FMI and for the registration form (or register online):  http://www.rop.org/get-your-team-together-for-the-caucus/
The early bird registration deadline is May 6th and you can register online at www.rop.org/caucus
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