WHAT DOES “DEFUND THE POLICE” MEAN?

Herewith an aggregation of thoughts about policing, pointing towards various approaches to alternatives. Emphasis on getting to the root of the problems, rather than asking institutions of suppression to reform themselves. All complaints and queries may be directed to me, Dave Lippman.

First off, a bit of perspective about defunding: Society has been defunding education, affordable housing, mental health, and social services generally for decades, moving the money to the agents of armed social repression. So moving it back might be appropriate. But in a society that likes its solutions short term, we get repression, not progression.

Second, we have to consider what the police are: they are the agency that preserves order, and the order is unjust. It appears to be peacekeeping, but it actually maintains a permanent system of injustice, inequality, and poverty based on housing loan denials, localized inferior education, and pervasive discrimination. Not to mention its roots in Jim Crow and slavery.

A couple of basic sources:

https://m4bl.org/policy-platforms/ :
Here you can find short statements and demands from the Movement for Black Lives on topics like the war on black communities, demilitarization of police, surveillance, prisons, etc.

https://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision :
A set of specific proposals to deal with a variety of problems and solutions in policing, including use of force, community oversight, for-profit policing (ticket and arrest quotas, etc.), power of police unions, etc.

Now then, What do people mean by defunding the police?

Continue reading »

DEFUNDING THE PENTAGON?

324 Congress Members Who Should Permanently Quarantine … Another futile exercise in capitalist “democracy”

A guest post by David Swanson

324 Congress Members Who Should Permanently Quarantine, by David Swanson

July 22, 2020

The U.S. House of Misrepresentatives on Tuesday voted 324 to 93 (with 13 not voting) to defeat a proposal to move a mere 10% of military spending to human, environmental, and health needs.

The 324 Congressional “representatives” who voted the wrong way on this really should never show their faces in public again. Our society ought to shame them so deeply that they pick up and move to a country with healthcare and retirement and clean energy and a decent education system where they can discover what they’ve been depriving the United States of, as well as discover what they’ve been inflicting on the world.

Certainly, nobody should ever vote to elect any of them again.

Continue reading »

MASKS: AN OPEN LETTER TO ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR.’S CHILDREN’S HEALTH DEFENSE

Mitchel Cohen says: Wear your damn mask, while opposing mandatory vaccination for Covid-19! Commenting on: “The Risks vs. Benefits of Face Masks – Is There an Agenda?” by Dr. Alan Palmer, that was featured on Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense website

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/wp-content/uploads/05-26-20-

I have no faith in the purity of products like vaccines, cutting corners and developed for profit under American capitalism. Thus, I join with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in opposing mandatory vaccinations.

Manufacturing, marketing and sale of all synthesized chemicals in the U.S. occurs without utilization of the precautionary principle, which would require manufacturers to prove that their product is safe for human and other animal use before it is introduced into the environment — be it in agriculture, waterways, or the human blood stream. The stated purpose of all vaccines is to provoke an immune system response, inducing the body to generate antibodies to the specific disease. But without sufficient and profit-free regulation and testing, aluminum-based adjuvants, impurities and other toxicants are knowingly allowed to be injected directly into children’s bloodstream. Vaccines — like GMOs, pesticides, and many other lab-created products — are thus anything but “safe”.

Food and Drug Administration regulators are hardly independent protectors of public health. They come from the same profit-driven corporations they’re supposed to be regulating, and they return to those same corporations when their time in “government service” has ended. That revolving door between Big Pharma and U.S. regulatory agencies is, to put it mildly, hardly inspiring of trust.

Continue reading »

Guest Post by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Flu Misinformation and Coronavirus Fears: My Letter to Dr. Sanjay Gupta

[]

April 16, 2020

By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman, Children’s Health Defense

The flu shot INCREASES the risks for common colds by 36%.
– Pentagon study (see below, in green)

Robert Kennedy, Jr. is speaking throughout about studies pertaining to the CoronaVirus, the cause for 20 percent of cases of the common cold, and not the current Covid-19 SARS2 virus.

Dear Sanjay,

Last week, your CNN producer, Matthew Reynard, notified me that CNN is featuring me in a documentary about “vaccine misinformation”. As usual, Mr. Reynard did not point out a single factual assertion by me that was incorrect (I carefully source all of my statements about vaccines to government databases or peer-reviewed publications). CNN uses the term “vaccine misinformation” as a euphemism for any statement that departs from the Government / Pharma orthodoxy that all vaccines are safe, necessary, and effective for all people.

I respectfully point out that CNN and particularly you, Sanjay, are today among the most prolific broadcasters of ‘vaccine misinformation.’

I have always admired you, Sanjay. Your obvious talents aside, you seem to be genuinely compassionate and to value integrity. Earlier in your career, you showed a courageous willingness to challenge Big Pharma’s vaccine orthodoxies. However, I respectfully point out that CNN and particularly you, Sanjay, are today among the most prolific broadcasters of “vaccine misinformation”. Over the last several years, I cannot recall seeing a single substantial CNN segment on vaccines that did not include easily verified factual misstatements. CNN’s recent special, “Pandemic”, was a showcase of erroneous assertions about the flu vaccine. Since I don’t like to think that you deliberately mislead the public — ­particularly about critical public health choices, I have taken the time to point out some of your most frequent errors.

I hope you will take time to read this. This critique has special relevance during the current coronavirus crisis, not to mention its important implications for the roles of government and press in a democracy. CNN and other media outlets treat CDC, NIH, and WHO pronouncements as infallible truths. In fact, regulatory capture has made these agencies subsidiaries of Big Pharma, and the lies that CDC has been telling us about flu are now muddying the debate over coronavirus.

Furthermore, of the mere 257 cases that could reasonably be blamed on the flu in CDC’s mortality data, only 7 percent were laboratory confirmed cases of influenza.

1. CNN assertion: In your annual flu shot promotions, you routinely parrot CDC’s estimates of overall flu deaths which have ranged in recent years from 36,000 for the 1990-1991 flu season to 80,000 for the 2017-2018 flu season.

Fact: The HHS’s mortality and morbidity data — available on the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) website — show that CDC’s (and CNN’s) annual estimates are off by orders of magnitude.

Continue reading »

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, April 4, 2020, marks 52 years since Dr. King was assassinated. Those who care to remember fill the airwaves with timid and nostalgic tributes to the great man. Except for WBAI and other non-commercial stations, only Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech — and even there but a tiny snippet of it — makes it onto the airwaves.

Nothing about Dr. King’s analysis in which he castigates the United States as being “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

Nothing about Dr. King’s brilliant and courageous insights into the social and economic calamities of capitalism and the congruence of the oppression of people in Vietnam with that of people of color in the United States.

And, nothing about what it really means to be “Non-Violent”. Dr. King castigates those who praised him and the Civil Rights movement for being non-violent in the face of white supremacists in the South but who condemned him for calling on his country to be non-violent in its dealings with the rest of the world.

“In international conflicts the truth is hard to come by  because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins. But the day has passed for our superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery. Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the Truth. Ye shall know the Truth, says Jesus, and the Truth shall set you free.

“Now I’ve chosen to preach about the war in Vietnam today because I agree with Dante that the hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

Ever hear any of that on mainstream corporate radio?

All of that placed — and continue to place — Dr. King at odds with many of his key advisers in the Civil Rights movement, and with the President of the United States — then … and now.

His life — and keep in mind that he was assassinated when he was just 39 years old! — is thus relegated more-or-less “safe,” for those in power.  The hallowed if troubling days happened back then, which (they say) no longer exist. And so, Dr. King’s complex analysis is distorted and rendered almost meaningless today, and offered in a sense as a paean to  “Isn’t America great? Look at how far we have come.” Who now hears the entirety of any of Dr. King’s speeches? What insights could this ancient man actually hold for us today, and for our own movements for freedom?

CHILE, RISING AGAIN

Chile, October 2019.

A new October revolution. Sends shivers down my spine.
A true merging of classical music and revolutionary movements.

CLICK ON THE PICTURE!

We fight, we make some inroads, sometimes the people succeed in running their government, and then are smashed in military coups. And then a generation or two or three later the people rise again, come back again, and again and again. HEROIC CHILE! The People United Shall Never Be Defeated! — although a lot of agony, misery and deaths occur along the way ….

 

JULIAN ASSANGE BEING TORTURED TO DEATH — FREE ASSANGE NOW!!

https://media4.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2017_20/2005876/170519-assange-speech-embassy-ew-1147a_3062ab90e1d27c70140b40d00884f969.nbcnews-fp-1200-800.jpg

BY CRAIG MURRAY
former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan

I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening.

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought. Continue reading »

80 YEARS AFTER THE NAZIS INVADED POLAND

SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 — Eighty years ago today the Nazis invaded Poland. As pretext, they rounded up concentration camp victims from Dachau, drugged them, and stuffed them into Polish army uniforms. Nazi officers also dressed in Polish army uniforms and shot them dead as “casualties” in an invented simulated attack on a German radio station. The “Polish attack” at Gleywitz was used by Hitler as justification for the Nazi invasion of Poland.

A week earlier, the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Germany, and two weeks later the USSR’s army swept into Poland as well. Under the terms of the “Hitler-Stalin pact” the USSR ordered all Communist Parties around the world to desist from actions directed against the Nazis, and portrayed the Pact to the Communist parties as “defense of the Soviet Union.”

The New York Times propagandized the Gleywitz incident as Polish aggression (when there were no Polish soldiers involved at all — it was a false flag operation from the start), marking the official beginning of World War 2.

Sound familiar?

Virtually every “intervention” by U.S. forces involve similar deceptions (from the “Boston Tea Party” on down the line), aimed primarily at confusing and demobilizing the U.S. public. Dan Kovalik points out many such deceptions in his book, The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the U.S. Is orchestrating a Coup for Oil (SkyHorse 2019). White House officials claimed that Venezuela President] Maduro’s security forces “set fire to humanitarian aid at the Venezuela-Colombian border on Feb. 23. … [These] proved later to be false.” In actuality, the aid trucks were lit ablaze by pro-Guaido forces (funded by John Bolton, the U.S. State Department, and the CIA) and not by those loyal to Maduro.

Glenn Greenwald writes: “Every major US war of the last several decades has begun the same way: The U.S. government fabricates an inflammatory, emotionally provocative lie, which large U.S. media outlets uncritically treat as truth …. thus enflaming primal anger at the country the U.S. wants to attack. That’s how we got the Vietnam war (North Vietnam attacks U.S. ships in Gulf of Tonkin); the Gulf war (Saddam ripped babies from incubators); and of course the war in Iraq (Saddam had WMDs and formed an alliance with Al-Queda).”

From the Nazis to the U.S. over the last 80 years, only the insignias on the uniforms have changed.

 

HOW THE DEMOCRATS PROMOTED THE LIES THAT ENABLED GEORGE H.W. BUSH TO BOMB THE HELL OUT OF IRAQ

“The U.S. has a new credibility. What we say goes.”

President George H.W. Bush, NBC Nightly News, Feb. 2, 1991

In October, 1990, a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl, identified only as Nayirah, appeared in Washington before the House of Representatives’ Human Rights Caucus. She testified that Iraqi soldiers who had invaded Kuwait on August 2nd tore hundreds of babies from hospital incubators and killed them.

Television flashed her testimony around the world. It electrified opposition to Iraq’s president, Saddam Hussein, who was now portrayed by U.S. president George H.W. Bush not only as “the Butcher of Baghdad” but — so much for old friends — “a tyrant worse than Hitler.”

Bush quoted Nayirah at every opportunity. Six times in one month he referred to “312 premature babies at Kuwait City’s maternity hospital who died after Iraqi soldiers stole their incubators and left the infants on the floor,”(1) and of “babies pulled from incubators and scattered like firewood across the floor.” Bush used Nayirah’s testimony to lambaste Senate Democrats still supporting “only” sanctions against Iraq — the blockade of trade which alone would cause hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to die of hunger and disease — but who waffled on endorsing the policy Bush wanted to implement: outright bombardment. Republicans and pro-war Democrats used Nayirah’s tale to hammer their fellow politicians into line behind Bush’s war in the Persian Gulf.(2)

Nayirah, though, was no impartial eyewitness, a fact carefully concealed by her handlers. She was the daughter of one Saud Nasir Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s ambassador to the United States. A few key Congressional leaders and reporters knew who Nayirah was, but none of them thought of sharing that minor detail with Congress, let alone the American people.

Everything Nayirah said, as it turned out, was a lie. There were, in actuality, only a handful of incubators in all of Kuwait, certainly not the “hundreds” she claimed. According to Dr. Mohammed Matar, director of Kuwait’s primary care system, and his wife, Dr. Fayeza Youssef, who ran the obstetrics unit at the maternity hospital, there were few if any babies in the incubators at the time of the Iraqi invasion. Nayirah’s charges, they said, were totally false. “I think it was just something for propaganda,” Dr. Matar said. In an ABC-TV News account after the war, John Martin reported that although “patients, including premature babies, did die,” this occurred “when many of Kuwait’s nurses and doctors stopped working or fled the country” — a far cry from Bush’s original assertion that hundreds of babies were murdered by Iraqi troops.(3) Subsequent investigations, including one by Amnesty International, found no evidence for the incubator claims.

It is likely that Nayirah was not even in Kuwait, let alone at the hospital, at that time; the Kuwaiti aristocracy and their families had fled the country weeks before the anticipated invasion. Some defended their country at the gaming tables in Monte Carlo, where at least one member of the ruling family was reported to have gambled away more than $10 million as his fellow rulers called for economic and military assistance from abroad.

As invasions go, Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait was relatively — I stress the word “relatively” — bloodless. Despite the heart-rending testimonies TV viewers in the U.S. were subjected to night after night, fewer than 200 Kuwaitis were killed. Compare that to such “peaceful” ventures as the U.S. invasion of Panama the year before, which killed an estimated 7,500 Panamanians; or, a year after the Gulf war, the 10,000 Somalis killed by [U.S./U.N] troops in what was portrayed as a “peace mission” to bring food aid to the allegedly starving region.(4)

How did Nayirah first come to the attention of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, which put her before the world’s cameras? It was arranged by Hill & Knowlton, a public relations firm hired to rally the U.S. populace behind Bush’s policy of going to war. And it worked!

Hill & Knowlton’s yellow ribbon campaign to whip up support for “our” troops, which followed their orchestration of Nayirah’s phony “incubator” testimony, was a public relations masterpiece. The claim that satellite photos revealed that Iraq had troops poised to strike Saudi Arabia was also fabricated by the PR firm. Hill & Knowlton was paid between $12 million (as reported two years later on “60 Minutes”) and $20 million (as reported on “20/20”) for “services rendered.” The group fronting the money? Citizens for a Free Kuwait, a phony “human rights agency” set up and funded entirely by Kuwait’s emirocracy to promote its interests in the U.S.

“When Hill & Knowlton masterminded the Kuwaiti campaign to sell the Gulf War to the American public, the owners of this highly effective propaganda machine were residing in another country” — the United Kingdom — writes Sharon Beder and Richard Gosden in PR Watch. “Should this give pause for thought? Does it demonstrate a certain potential for the future exercise of global political power — the power to manipulate democratic political processes through managing public opinion,” which Hill and Knowlton demonstrated 10 years ago?(5)

All of this is concealed in a new HBO “behind-the-scenes true story” of the Gulf War, which is being released at this crucial political moment. As Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting writes, “HBO’s version of history never makes clear that the incubator story was fraudulent, and in fact had been managed by an American PR firm, not Iraq. Curiously, however, the truth seems to have been clear to Robert Wiener, the former CNN producer who co-wrote ‘Live from Baghdad.’As he explained to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer (11/21/02), ‘that story turned out to be false because those accusations were made by the daughter of the Kuwaiti minister of information and were never proven.’ Unfortunately, HBO viewers won’t know that when they see the film.”(6)

In 1998, Hill and Knowlton found a new client — President Clinton — who hired them to advise him and to polish his image. The last time they were involved, by the time their lies were exposed TV newscasters were waxing ecstatic over the rockets’ red glare, computerized “smart-bombs” bursting in air, and 250,000 people were dead.

NOTES

1. Doug Ireland, Village Voice, March 26, 1991.

2. The use of the Big Lie to manipulate public opinion and neutralize opposition to a particular war was not invented by Bush. See, for instance, James Laxer, “Iraq: US has match, seeks kindle: American leaders have often falsified reasons to attack other countries,” (ActionGreens, Mar. 31, 2001). Laxer is a Political Science Professor at York University, Toronto.

3. ABC World News Tonight, 3/15/91.

4. In actuality, people in only certain areas of Somalia were starving — those that had been subjected to IMF structural adjustment programs. See, MITCHEL COHEN, “Somalia & the Cynical Manipulation of Hunger,” Red Balloon Collective, 1994.

5. Sharon Beder and Richard Gosden, “PR Watch,” Volume 8, No. 2, 2nd Quarter 2001. The PR firm has since been working at the behest of the pharmaceutical industry to ban over-the-counter vitamin and nutritional supplement sales in Europe.

6. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, “HBO Recycling Gulf War Hoax?” December 4, 2002.

 

“NEVER AGAIN” IS NOW

The Great Bernardo Palombo translated Woody Guthrie’s “Deportees” into Spanish for the first time, and performed it at a November 2014 fundraiser, Stand With Ferguson, at Middle Collegiate Church on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, and Joan Baez, performed as well to raise funds following the killing of Michael Brown and the emergence of what soon would become the Black Lives Matter movement. (Timothy Lynch in Berkeley writes that before Bernardo, Nanci Griffith released the song with Spanish verses back in 1998 and Tish Hinajosa released a Spanish version of the song on her 2013 release “After The Fair.”)

 

VENEZUELA: REPORT-BACK FROM FACT-FINDING TRIP

Mitchel Cohen interviews Dr. Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese upon their return from a fact-finding trip to Venezuela, for WBAI/Pacifica radio. Flowers & Zeese report that almost everything that the U.S. government says about what’s going on in Venezuela is a lie, and give multiple examples of the truth, based on their own first-hand investigations there.

Click HERE for the interview.
28 minutes & 03 seconds

Kevin Zeese is an attorney and Dr. Margaret Flowers is a pediatrician, who have now become full-time activist-journalists. They edit the daily internet magazine Popular Resistance and produce a well-known podcast show, Clearing the Fog, via the PopularResistance.org website.

VENEZUELA DEMO WASHINGTON D.C. 03-16-2019 photo by Mitchel Cohen

 

THE PATH TO CLIMATE JUSTICE PASSES THROUGH CARACAS

It is critical to understand how blocking the regime change agenda with respect to Venezuela is integrally connected to confronting the challenge of climate change.

Fighting the Media War

Today we are all witness to the subversion and slander of one of our best hopes. Venezuelans call it “the media war.” Karl Marx called it “the war of calumny undertaken by the lying power of the civilised world,” and went on to describe how “all the sluices of slander at the disposal of the venal respectable press were opened at once to set free a deluge of infamy in which to drown the execrated foe. This war of calumny finds no parallel in history for the truly international area over which it has spread, and for the complete accord in which it has been carried on by all shades of ruling class opinion.”

These words of Marx describe an older media war –  a war against the International Workingmen’s Association, which later became known as The First International. Today they could be applied seamlessly to the media war against the democratically elected government of Venezuela and the revolutionary process it represents. And the comparison is historically and politically sound, because Venezuela was host to the founding in 2017 of the First Ecosocialist International– a piece of world news which has been all but completely drowned out in the furor to topple the only government in the world which has laid out a comprehensive plan for an ecosocialist mode of production “to preserve peace in the planet and save the human species.”

Continue reading »

A TALE OF TWO CITATIONS: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Michael Harrington’s The Other America – Contrasting lessons for activists

MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY has passed since Rachel Carson meticulously exposed government and corporate poisoning of the planet with synthetic pesticides. Serialized in The New Yorker in weekly install­ments, Carson’s Silent Spring was officially published as a hard-cover book in September 1962 by Houghton Mifflin Co. for the price of $5. The book, with its wonderful drawings, excoriated the government and corporations for covering the planet with cancer-causing pesticides like DDT, a product of the newly powerful agribusiness and pharmaceutical infrastructure. Many of the pesticides were originally designed as nerve gasses and weapons of war.(1)

“Since the earliest origins of modern industrial agriculture, agribusiness has been at war against all life on earth, including ourselves,”(2) writes Brian Tokar, author of Earth for Sale and Monsanto: Origins of an Agribusiness Behemoth. From its origins, “chemical agriculture has been a form of warfare—it is a war against the soil, against our reserves of fresh water, and against all the microbes and insects that are necessary for the growing of healthy food.”(3) But in an expansive America following World War II, few were concerned about the mass application of pesticides, which was promoted as part of the promise for securing “the good life” for all. (To actually achieve that, though—if it were possible to be achieved at all—would require powerful social justice movements to overturn the country’s legacy of white supremacy and Jim Crow laws. Millions of people were excluded from partaking in what was portrayed as the American dream, and which remained, for many, the American Nightmare.)

Carson’s mind-blowing exposé not only revealed the prevalence of chemical pesticides but—and we’ve forgotten this today—also the “secret” that radio­active Strontium 90, a byproduct of above-ground nuclear bomb tests, had tainted the nation’s milk supply. This was shocking information. “No one had ever thought humans could create something that could create harm all over the globe and come back and get in our bodies,” oceanographer Carl Safina told Eliza Griswold, whose story about Rachel Carson appeared in 2012 in The New York Times Sunday Magazine.(4) The uproar that followed inspired an army of parents anguishing over the threats of pesticides and radioactive Strontium 90 to the health of their children. Many were women who had worked for the first time in jobs previously “set aside” for men, in support of the anti-Nazi effort during World War II, only to be replaced by male workers reclaiming “their” jobs upon returning from the war. They brought those experiences into organizing a new mass “environmental” movement in the context of the Cold War, and as their children were drilled to “duck and cover” under their desks in case Russia was to order a nuclear bomb attack—more an ideological device than offering practical protection.(5) Continue reading »

NEW BOOK: THE FIGHT AGAINST MONSANTO’S ROUNDUP: THE POLITICS OF PESTICIDES, by Mitchel Cohen, forward by Vandana Shiva

The Fight Against Monsanto’s Roundup
The Politics of Pesticides
Written and edited by Mitchel Cohen
Foreword by Vandana Shiva
A Comprehensive Look at the Worldwide Battle to Defend Ourselves and Our Environment Against the Peddlers of Chemical Poisons
This may be one of the most important books you read this year. We are being poisoned and this book is sounding a well-informed alarm.”

– Eve Ensler, New York Times Bestselling Author

Order your copy HERE

Featuring contributions by

  • Mitchel Cohen
  • Jonathan Latham
  • Sheldon Krimsky
  • Martha Herbert
  • Jay Feldman
  • John Jonik
  • Cathryn Swan
  • Stacy Malkan
  • Robin Falk Esser
  • Brian Tokar
  • Patricia Wood
  • Carolina Cositore
  • Stephanie Seneff
  • Steve Tvedten
  • Beth Youhn, and
  • art by Haideen Anderson.

*********************************************************************************
To request a review copy or to arrange an interview with the author, please contact:
Hector Carosso / (212) 643-6816 x 277 / hcarosso@skyhorsepublishing.com

*********************************************************************************

Description:

Chemical poisons have infiltrated all facets of our lives — housing, agriculture, work places, sidewalks, subways, schools, parks, even the air we breathe. More than half a century since Rachel Carson issued Silent Spring — her call-to-arms against the poisoning of our drinking water, food, animals, air, and the natural environment — The Fight Against Monsanto’s Roundup: The Politics of Pesticides takes a fresh look at
the politics underlying the mass use of pesticides and the challenges people around the world are making against Monsanto’s most dangerous creation, glyphosate.

The scientists and activists contributing to The Politics of Pesticides, edited by long-time Green activist Mitchel Cohen, explore not only the dangers of glyphosate — better known as “Roundup” — but the campaign which ended with glyphosate declared as a cancer-causing agent. In an age where banned pesticides are simply replaced with newer and more deadly ones, and where corporations such as Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and DuPont scuttle attempts to regulate the products they manufacture, what is the effective, practical, and philosophical framework for banning glyphosate and other pesticides?

The Fight Against Monsanto’s Roundup: The Politics of Pesticides explores the best strategies for winning the struggle for healthy foods and a clean environment. It takes lessons from activists who have come before, and offers a new, holistic and radical approach that is essential for defending life on this planet and creating for our kids, and for ourselves, a future worth living in.

Order your copy here.
Bulk discounts for anti-pesticides and anti-GMO organizations are available. Write to mitchelcohen@mindspring.com to make arrangements.

Mitchel Cohen coordinates the No Spray Coalition in New York City, which successfully sued the City government over its indiscriminate spraying of toxic pesticides. In 1997, he organized the campaign to rid NYC public schools of milk from cows injected with genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone, and in 2001, he ran for Mayor of NYC as one of five Green Party candidates. He was editor of the national newspaper Green Politix, and of the NY State Green Party newspaper. Mitchel edited Red Balloon, the journal of the Red Balloon Collective that he cofounded at SUNY Stony Brook, and chaired WBAI radio’s Local Board. His writings include: The Social Construction of Neurosis, and numerous other pamphlets; What is Direct Action?, a book that draws on personal experiences as well as lessons from Occupy Wall Street; An American in Revolutionary Nicaragua; and two books of poetry, One-Eyed Cat Takes Flight and The Permanent Carnival.

“This may be one of the most important books you read this year. We are being poisoned, and this book is sounding a well-informed alarm. Read it. Get educated and then join the thousands rising up against those who care more for profit than the health of our bodies and our earth.”

– Eve Ensler New York Times best-selling author of I Am An Emotional Creature: The Secret Life Of Girls Around The World, The Vagina Monologues, and In the Body of the World

“Activism and science need one another to stay grounded in reality. Few environmental activists have done more than the poet and science writer Mitchel Cohen to connect with scholars across a multitude of disciplines in his tireless campaign to keep the natural world from turning into a toxic hell. This book, with its remarkably varied group of expert contributors, is both a monument to Cohen’s ongoing efforts and a resource for those who will be inspired by it to join forces with him.”

– Stuart Newman, Ph.D., Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, New York Medical College

“This book delivers the goods. Mitchel Cohen and his coauthors have thoroughly and effectively indicted Monsanto, Syngenta, and other Big Food corporations for poisoning our soil, our water, and our genomes.”

Clifford D. Conner, author of A People’s History of Science, and the forthcoming Tragedy of American Science: From Truman to Trump

“The Global Fight Against Monsanto’s Roundup is an absolutely vital book for so many who have been diagnosed with diseases their doctors say were caused by vague “environmental factors. ” Mitchel Cohen explains precisely what are these “environmental factors.” Read it as if your life depended on it, because it does.”

– George Caffentzis, author of No Blood for Oil: Essays on Energy, Class Struggle and War 1998-2016

“Few battles are as important today across the planet as that to free the earth, the seas, and woods from the poisons that companies like Monsanto are pouring in them. The Fight Against Monsanto’s Round up: The Politics of Pesticides is a great resource in that struggle. Read it and give it to all your friends and comrades.”

Silvia Federici, author of Caliban and the Witch

 

The Fight Against Monsanto’s Roundup: The Politics of Pesticides
Written and edited by Mitchel Cohen
Foreword by Vandana Shiva
Skyhorse hardcover, also available as an ebook
On Sale: January 9, 2019 / $24.99
ISBN: 9781510735132

 

Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10018
(212) 643-6816
www.skyhorsepublishing.com

SEASONS GREETINGS FROM FRANCE’S YELLOW VESTS: “WE ARE NOT TIRED”

By Richard Greeman

Montpellier, France, Dec. 29, 2018

“Inform yourselves by Internet. 98% media owned by billionaires.”

Is the Yellow Vest rebellion, now in its seventh week, “petering out?” Such was the near-unanimous pronouncement of the mainstream media, when I returned home to Montpellier, France, eager to participate and to observe first-hand this popular insurrection which I had been afraid of missing.

I needn’t have worried. By nine o’clock last Saturday morning (Dec. 22), hundreds of Yellow Vest demonstrators were gathering for a peaceful march to the Préfecture (local seat of government) chanting “We’re not tired” and carrying placards reading “We are not casseurs (vandals) or pyromaniacs. Peaceful.” The mood was bon enfant (“jolly”) with demonstrators en famille including the children and old folks in wheelchairs. Marching ten abreast, they filled the rue de la Loge, but when they arrived at the Préfecture, the police, apparently taunted by some radicals in the crowd, let loose with teargas, injuring children. Then all hell broke loose and continued all day, with marches, countermarches and gas in the air.

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MICHAEL MOORE’S FILM “FAHRENHEIT 11/9”

Michael Moore’s latest film, Fahrenheit 11/9, is about Trump — but not only! It includes footage I hadn’t seen before shaming Obama, Bill Clinton, and the Democrats as well as the odious fascists (are there any other kinds, or is “odious” unnecessary as a modifyer of “fascist”?) now running the U.S. executive branch.

I’ve read a number of posts that imply the film is somewhat confused, lacks structural integrity, and is really 3 separate films in one.

So I just wanted to say, this film is incredible, GO TO SEE IT! It is insightful, inciteful, and incendiary. It’s just simply great, moving, and you’ll learn new stuff from it (or at least re-remember the stuff you once knew and forgot).

My only problem with it is the same as other socialist commentators pointed out — it looks to the new wave of candidates in the Democratic party as hope for the future. Michael doesn’t (thankfully) portray them as the only hope, but still … He does spend time on the teachers’ strike and other working class movements, they get important coverage here. But the new wave of candidates are already making politically expedient (opportunist) decisions. But that’s a small criticism of where Michael Moore is somewhat naively putting his hopes … (we’re all grasping for any straw we can get, though, these days!).

The film also leaves out lots of issues that could have used some truthtelling, really important ones (global climate change, Haiti, lots of others), but then the film is more about the political process in this country rather than examining individual issues, save for a few. And those scenes of a truly wretched Obama — whom Michael supported, while ridiculing the Green Party and other third party candidates — are surprising and revelatory; you’ll probably say, “Wow, I didn’t know about that, why did he do that?!” Those images will stay with you a long long long time.

So will the statistics from various polls about what the American people actually believe. More than 2/3rds support progressive and even socialist proposals on any number of issues — wow!

It’s just a great film. The images from the Democratic convention, where votes went to Hillary Clinton even though those states voted for Bernie Sanders are also powerful, maddening, and ultimately very sad. Michael Moore sees the Democratic Party betrayals as having paved the way for Trump, which is very true.

Bring your kids, and your neighbor’s kids, to see this film — watch it together! A real neighborhood anti-fascist moment! Organize!

WHY I HATE THANKSGIVING

Every year I repost “Why I Hate Thanksgiving”, or as my friend Howard calls it, “ThanksKilling”. I love the idea of friends and family gathering, and I remember in my youth heading with my mother, father and my two younger brothers with Granny and Grandpa to Grandpa’s sister Evelyn and her husband Joe’s apartment in Queens.

I also remember one year lying on the bed with my cousin Leslie — my brothers were in the room too, and so was another of Evelyn and Joe’s granddaughters, Kathy. Their mother Arlene went a bit crazy and ordered us to keep the door open and to come in for dessert. By 1968, my dad, my brother Robert, and a bunch of us from Stony Brook and from the Marlboro Projects made it out to the demonstrations at the Democratic Party convention in Chicago. I stayed out in Grant Park hollering my brains out as Phil Ochs, Peter Paul & Mary, Dick Gregory and Eugene McCarthy addressed the crowd all night long and washed away the tear gas the next day, while dad and Robert stayed at Arlene’s house outside Chicago. Family!

We’d also sometimes head up on Thanksgiving to dad’s sister, Dora, in the Bronx where we’d be regaled by stories by dad’s brothers Dave and Harry, Dora’s son Sammy (who was the same age as my dad) and his wife Lilian, about growing up in the Depression, and how it came to be that Dora had given Dave money to keep my dad as a youth out of the orphanage in Pleasantville (it turned out that dad loved it there!). Dave used the money to pay off the mafia (Dave was a bookie, and their brother Harry and his wife Bertha counterfeited stamps). Dora and Dave had a war going between them, and it wasn’t until my brother Howie’s bar-mitzvah that they could actually sit at the same table and let bygones be bygones. They also talked about their missing sister Mary, whom dad worshipped, and who’d run away to be with Trotsky in Mexico in the late 1930s and was never heard from again. I always wondered why dad hated Trotsky so much! I loved Thanksgivings, the turkey, the yams, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, the gluttonous celebration of …. of family.

And yet in Thanksgiving plays in public school growing up I’d always wanted to be an Indian. I loved what little I was taught about their lifestyle, communality, and put two and two together to guess at what happened to them. “In 1492, the Taino Indians discovered Columbus on their beach,” I announced in class one day. “The question is: Who discovered whom?” My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Elfenbein, was non-too-happy, and I wondered why everyone else except my best friends Lloyd, Melvin and Louis — all Projects kids — wanted to be pilgrims.

As the decades passed, I’d become angrier and angrier at what turned out to be the lies and oppression we were celebrating. Instead of being joyful, I would go into fits of crying on Thanksgiving when i thought of the horrors that the European colonists committed. I felt complicit, as I would were the whole country to celebrate the gassing of Jews in Nazi Germany. I began refusing to celebrate it, even though so many people said, “I don’t celebrate it for the genocide; I celebrate it because I’m off from work and get to hang out with family.” I understood that desire, but I couldn’t bring myself to join them.

And I felt like such a kill-joy. Everyone is out enjoying themselves, eating, and I wanted to smash it all. Yes, we distributed hard-to-come-by turkeys to desperately poor farmworkers on Long Island as part of our organizing effort with the Eastern Farmworkers Organizing Committee. Even then, I thought, “How would there ever be a revolution if working class and poor folks can’t identify with the indigenous people who lived here centuries ago, and reject the many forms cooptation takes?” But I knew that people were hungry, they wanted to be part of an American history I was rejecting, and I was torn.

And then I and others in the Red Balloon Collective were dragged into alliance with animal rights groups, and the connections for the Collectivistas began to snap into place. The animal rights folks had no critique of American capitalism; the radical politicos had no feeling for the lives of other species. It was the younger vegetarian folks in Red Balloon at the time that made the connections for the rest of us, as did a glorious speech by people’s attorney William Kunstler, who unexpectedly (at least for me) pulled it all together.

I suppose that this year, 2020, Thanksgiving means something more for many people, given the Covid-19 pandemic that is ravaging our communities for the second time. So I am reluctant to say things that might ruin the little joy that’s still existent in this world as it gasps and sputters through the universe. But why do we have to appreciate each other by building this holiday atop the oppression and murders of the original people living here? Is that a history I want to be part of? No. Nevertheless, I hope people do reflect on not only what we are blessed with today, but at what cost it has come and how we are all complicit with it.

  • Mitchel Cohen, 2020

2017 – I posted this a year ago — and what an eventful year it was, both politically as well as personally. I’m re-posting this even though the heroic occupation at Standing Rock has come to an end. This Thanksgiving, a number of Occupyers are facing absurd prison sentences, and the pipeline people were protesting is already leaking as feared. – Mitchel, November 18, 2017

PREFACE TO the 2016 EDITION of ‘WHY I HATE THANKSGIVING”

STANDING WITH STANDING ROCK WATER PROTECTORS

Thanksgiving 2016 – The long genocide of descendants of the original inhabitants of the corner of the planet we today call the United States of America proceeds unabated. And so, therefore, continues the resistance.

At Standing Rock in spirit. Yoko Ono and John Lennon join Native people at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, 1973.

At Standing Rock in spirit. Yoko Ono and John Lennon join Native people at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, 1973.


The fight to preserve the earth’s water and allow it to run naturally through the veins of the planet is an extension of the resistance of the colonial period of U.S. history. The earth-destroyers today use pipelines, hydro-fracking and genetic engineering (and now apparently water cannons and experimental sonic weapons) where they once used the Gatling gun. In some places (like Israel’s control of Palestinian’s water supply) they use both.

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