FREE JULIAN ASSANGE, Report from NYC DEMO JAN. 3, 2021

Around 65 people turned out in the freezing cold rainy Sunday morning, January 3, 2021 at the British Consulate in NYC to demand that Britain refuse to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and that Trump pardon him. A judge in Great Britain will be deciding whether to accede to the U.S. government’s persecution of Assange Monday.

All the speeches were very sharp, powerful and radical. Protesters also called for Freedom for Leonard Perrier and Mumia abu-Jamal, and all political prisoners. WBAI’s Mimi Rosenberg recorded the speeches by Randy Credico, Kim Ives, Patricia Dahl, Chuck Zlatkin, Marty Goodman, the Raging Grannies, and more ….

Very proud of those who braved the cold and the covid to stand for Julian Assange, freedom of the press, and against fascism and government repression.

PATRICIA DAHL, NYCFreeAssange.org

KIM IVES, Haiti Liberte

RANDY CREDICO

MARCY GORDON, singer-songwriter

MIMI ROSENBERG records speakers for WBAI radio.

MARTY GOODMAN, Socialist Action

MARILYN VOGT-DOWNEY, WBAI radio Local Station Board

CHUCK ZLATKIN

WHY DID THE DEMOCRATS HAVE A BAD ELECTION DAY?

Guest Column by RALPH NADER

Apart from barely squeezing through the swing states to defeat corrupt, incompetent, lying, corporatist Donald Trump, the Democratic Party had a bad election.

Loaded with nearly twice as much money as the Republican Party, the Democratic Party showed that weak candidates with no robust agendas for people where they live, work, and raise their families, is a losing formula. And lose they did against the worst, cruelest, ignorant, lawbreaking, reality-denying GOP in its 166-year history.

The Democrats failed to win the Senate, despite nearly having twice the number of Senators up for re-election than the Republicans. In addition, the Democratic Party lost seats in the House of Representatives. The Democrats did not flip a single Republican state legislature, leaving the GOP to again gerrymander Congressional and state legislative districts for the next decade!

Will all this lead to serious introspection by the Democratic Party? Don’t bet on it. The GOP tried to learn from their losses in 2012, which led to their big rebound. Already, the Democratic Party is looking for scapegoats, like third party candidates.

Will the leaders of these inexcusable defeats — Senator Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — explain how this happened? Will they take some responsibilitty and tell the American people why they let their profiteering media consultants spend so much money on tepid, low-impact TV ads at the expense of a massive ground game to give voters personal reasons to get themselves out to vote, beyond Trump? A third of all eligible voters stayed home. Could part of the problem be the 15% commission the consultants receive from TV ad revenues as compared to zero commissions from ground game expenditures?

Can the corporate Democratic leaders respond to inquiries by progressives and the sidelined primary voters of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren? Can they respond to why the living wage, the corporate crime wave, and the GOP-blocked stimulus/relief package, which was passed by the Democrats in May (including a $600 a week extension for tens of millions of desperate workers and critical aid to local agencies overwhelmed by the Covid-19 pandemic), were not prominently front and center? Also, why did the Democrats refuse to campaign for full Medicare for All, supported by 70 percent of the American people? The Democrats, as pointed out by political media specialist Bill Hillsman, did not speak directly to white, blue-collar workers who deserted Hillary Clinton for Donald Trump in 2016.

Moreover, the Democratic Party has a long-standing problem with authenticity. Rhetoric for a large infrastructure jobs program paid for by repealing corporate tax cuts and loopholes is seen as a throwaway line by many voters. Democrats should have explained, at the local level, how determination and integrity could shape the upgrading of our schools, clinics, roads, mass transit systems, waterworks, and other public services, with good-paying jobs.

Meanwhile, the Trumpsters showed their ferocious energy for wannabe, ego-obsessed, dictatorial Donald with more rallies, signs, and door-to-door contacts. The Democrats misread the faulty polls again thinking that the projected huge turnouts were primarily their voters and not also the Trump voters who turned out in greater numbers as well.

Too many Democratic operatives treat Trump with derision and mockery, instead of stressing how his daily lawlessness and serial violations of the Constitution have dismantled the protections for the people and turned the government over to big business to do and grab whatever they want.

Trump’s daily lawlessness and serial violations of the Constitution have dismantled the protections for the people and turned the government over to big business to do and grab whatever they want.

Trump openly commits federal crimes (e.g. The Hatch Act, the Anti-Deficiency Act) using federal property, including the White House, for his campaign, spending money illegally, while brazenly defying over a hundred investigative subpoenas from the House of Representatives.

Yet, neither Biden and Obama nor the Democratic Party made these corrupt forms of obstruction of justice, front and center issues. They even ignored Trump’s past criminal assaults of women, whom he has repeatedly degraded.

These many missed, obvious opportunities have consequences. Don’t Trump voters and their families also suffer from frozen minimum wages, from the absence of adequate or any health insurance, from those sky-high drug prices that Trump failed to reduce? He put more toxins in the air and water and allowed more dangerous workplaces. Trump calls endangering people and the planet deregulationbut what he was really doing is rewarding his corporate paymasters.

Trump calls endangering people and the planet “deregulation” but what he was really doing is rewarding his corporate paymasters.

Of course, the Democrats would never argue that the American people, not corporations, should CONTROL what they already OWN such as the public lands, the public airwaves, and the shareholding mutual and pension funds investing their money. The Democrats never even think to demand that U.S. taxpayers get a direct return for trillions of dollars of government research and development that have subsidized the growth of modern industries (from aerospace to computers to agribusiness, biotech, pharma, and more).

While Trump incites street violence and then cries loudly for “law and order,” the Democrats don’t throwback “law and order” for violent, polluting corporate crooks who cheat and harm children, consumers, workers, and communities, as well as rip off government programs like Medicare. Trump has gotten away with defunding the federal corporate crime police big time. Never will the Democrats go after Trump for the bloated, runaway, unaudited military budget and its Empire that are devouring necessities here at home.

The House Democrats refused to keep multiple impeachment pressure (apart from the Ukraine matter) on the Republicans. A national TV audience of the Senate dealing with a dozen of Trump’s impeachable offenses would give even the most ardent Trump supporters pause. (See December 18, 2019, Congressional Record, H-12197).

The Democrats let Trump and his lawless Attorney General William Barr get away with all his corrupt, criminal, and unconstitutional actions, which have turned the White House into an ongoing crime scene. And, despite this “rap sheet” Trump came close to winning the Electoral College for a second term!

Next time, the rulers of the Democratic Party should listen to civic groups and advocates and not be so smug and incommunicado. As an example, I’ll refer you to my Eleven Suggestions for turning out the vote, with popular mandates, available to everyone in whole and in part for weeks (See also my latest op-ed in the Louisville Courier-Journal, October 27, 2020).

Now let’s see how many rollbacks and repeals Biden will quickly institute to stop Trump’s devastations and usher in a truly progressive, majoritarian set of long-overdue policies.

————————————–
Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, and author of many public policy books, including the just published, Wrecking America: How Trumps Lawbreaking and Lies Betray All.

ELECTIONS 2020

New York City, November 4, 2020.

The issue now in the U.S. is to fight for every vote to be counted — that is, the fight for at least the IDEA of democracy, even if it never actually existed and even though both candidates represent the interests of Wall Street and the 1 percent.

In some ways it’s like voting for either syphillis or ebola.

Despite that, I am a proponent within the Green Party (25 years a member) of trying to get the party to publicly advocate support for Biden in swing states. Why?

Because one party’s candidate openly calls for bolstering white supremacist lynch mobs (Trump), while the other at least mouths the words upholding “equality” and the ideal of an anti-racist society. I think that ideal is important to uphold. Even though it’s only rhetoric. Marx wisely observed that at some point ideas can and do become a material force.

We are in the position of having to choose from the evil of two lessers because neither the Green Party nor the rest of the Left have built ANY direct action mass-organizations for the last 12 years, and now try to substitute electoral campaigns for their lack of mass-based organizational work.

That desperately needed work stands to be more survivable under a Biden presidency than under Trump — who is just as imperialist and warmongering as his opponent. Some here don’t recognize that, and they portray Trump as a lesser-imperialist, but that’s simply not the case.

My recommendation to the Green Party (which the party officials have not accepted, and thus the need to fight for democracy within the Green Party too) do NOT ignore the horrors the Democratic Party has wreaked on the world; but Trump’s outright white supremacist organizing, including the militarization of the nation’s police forces, its attacks on women’s reproductive rights and control over their own bodies, and its fomenting of neo-Nazi death squads, are not trivial concerns.

The fight for democracy, as Marx and Engels wrote, is the first battle in any revolutionary socialist movement. That is where we’re at now: The fight for democracy.

I am asked by some fellow Greens why I am “parsing words” given that Biden is the apparent choice of the main imperialist sectors of U.S. capitalism. I respond thusly:

I don’t think opposing the candidate who publicly endorses and promotes and funds white supremacist lynch mobs is simply a “parsing” of words.

I don’t think opposing the candidate who publicly opposes a woman’s right to choose is simply a “parsing” of words.

I don’t think opposing the candidate who refused to provide necessary medical equipment to the states to fight a pandemic is a parsing of words.

I don’t think opposing a candidate who think it’s great to espouse grabbing women by “the pussy” at his discretion is a mere parsing of words.

I don’t think opposing a candidate who supports police murder of Black people is a parsing of words.

I don’t think opposing a candidate who refuses to recognize the validity of human-induced climate chaos and who opens the Arctic to oil drilling at the behest of his capitalist masters is a parsing of words.

Biden and Trump are equal in their imperialist service to their masters. So long as that remains fairly equivalent, and so long as there is no viable alternative at this critical moment (wishing the situation would be different won’t cut it when so many lives are on the line), it is inumbant on those who supported the Green’s electoral strategy to reassess their positions.

I pretty much think the Green party — and its banrupt and utterly stupid, narcissistic, and self-indulgent strategy at this time — has lost its soul, if not its mind.

Whom to vote for is NEVER a principle. It is a tactical decision based on an analysis of the conjuncture of forces and the historical moment.

To quote Dan Quayle (remember him?) “What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.” (Addressing the United Negro College Fund, whose slogan is “a mind is a terrible thing to waste”)

Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn Greens / Green Party

REMEMBERING DAY STAR CHOU

 

Day Star Chou

The shattered universe never ceases to slash us with shards of memory, and also makes us laugh over the pieces. Daystar’s dying is a horror, and I know we’ll all think back over our lives together and not only feel the immense pain, but also — more and more — the beauty that Daystar brought into our lives. I am of course so sad that she’s flown off. Let me share some moments …..

Daystar, Evergreen, and Little Horse – Founders of the Flushing Greens/Green Party of NY.

   When I was in the middle of a heart attack in January of 2001 at a statewide meeting of the NY Greens / Green Party, Day Star Chou and her sister Tanzania, drawing on their Cherokee heritage, put a small team together to physically push the blood through my body while we waited for an ambulance, and saved my life. It was quite miraculous, and yet it’s not in any of the modern medical books or protocols.

Day Star and Evergreen in Montauk Point

   Joel Kovel told Robert Gold to call an ambulance, and Jennifer Jager and Joel hopped into it with me. We arrived at St. Luke’s hospital. In a scene right out of Hollywood Jennifer, seeing that they had me on a long intake line and refusing to treat me or even move me up in the line — during a heart attack! — decided that the only thing she could do to get them to examine me right away was to race my gurney through the emergency room shouting, “he’s dying, he’s dying!” Joel Kovel said, “Sshh, don’t say that!”. I looked up and thought “I am?” Suddenly everyone clicked into gear. I was whisked through the emergency room, and my good friends and audacious fellow Greens saved my life for a second time that day.

   That scene has nothing directly to do with Day Star, but the different pieces are indelibly connected and jumbled together in my mind; what began with Day Star saving me was bookended by Jennifer saving me again.

Day Star and Evergreen in Montauk Point after NY State Green Party meeting.

   Day Star is always in my thoughts. She was the first to sign up with the No Spray Coalition against pesticides, representing the Flushing Greens on its Coordinating Committee.

   We’d met 5 or 6 years earlier. She supported the old Green Party USA (as did the rest of the NY Greens’ assembly of locals) and the two of us co-edited the NY Greens’ newspaper, which the prior editor, Pete Dolack (then a member of the Brooklyn Greens and No Spray Coalition coordinating committee), christened as “G”. We sat through lengthy meetings of the NY State Greens coordinating committee, which met one Sunday per month, frequently in the Flushing Greens’ office, where Day Star and I alternated as secretary, Evergreen served as Treasurer, and included Robert Gold, Maria Kuriloff, Paul Gilman, Elizabeth Shanklin, Nina Scalora, Marc Jacobs and 7 or 8 others.

Day Star and Evergreen. Evergreen and Day Star. The two of them, inseparable, were raising their nephew Little Horse, and we all watched him grow up into a tall and strong man. Day Star confided her fears of allowing Little Horse, as he got older, to venture off on his own; they were especially worried of how the NYPD would respond to Little Horse, and tried to teach him to be alert and avoid unnecessary confrontation with them.

Cathryn Swan, Little Horse, Day Star, Olivier (comrade from France), Mitchel, Cendra (also from France).

They supported freedom for Leonard Peltier and Mumia abu-Jamal, and helped steer those as policies of the NY Greens. They also opposed — unusual for Greens — the use of marijuana, although they were clear to separate that view from their denunciation of the Rockefeller Drug laws and the use of the drug war to throw Black people into jail.

  Day Star pushed Evergreen to run for local office on the Green Party line, and of course we endorsed his campaign,

Flushing Greens, Daystar and Evergreen’s home local of the Greens/Green Party of NY.

conducted in several languages among the large Chinese population. I tried to encourage Day Star to run as well, but she felt that Evergreen would better represent the largely Chinese-immigrant district.

   Day Star was (was? is?) someone just so special, so powerful and righteous, and engaged. A Green through and through. And the photo Paul Gilman found (at the top of this remembrance) is sooooo amazing. Wow.

Committee to Free David Wong

Missing Day Star’s presence on this planet ….

 

Day Star is unseen here, sitting next to the file cabinets in the rear. Notable for me because my daughter Malika is sitting next to me at a NY Greens coordinating committee meeting in the Flushing Greens’ office.

THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

HEROIC FLY ATTACKS V.P. PENCE FOR HIS LIES AND FASCISM DURING VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

Caught in
his web
of lies,
VP Pence
ensnared

click
photo
for more

“HELP ME”
PENCE PLEADS

 

 

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to reTweet it.­

“The first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to win the battle for democracy … one of the first and most important tasks of the militant proletariat.”

Karl Marx & Frederick Engels
The Communist Manifesto

My aim is to reinvent the wheel. My goal is to impeach or remove the Trump regime and, yes, to preach to the choir.

Resistance to fascism can and will take many forms. I write in the autumn of 2020. It is still possible to prevent the fascist juggernaut from sweeping away every gain won by workers in the United States since the 1880s, but well have to move quickly and back up our votes with militant direct action.

Public education, clean running water and sanitation, public libraries, the nations food supply, the last remaining forests, womens, Black, gay liberation and in fact everyone’s civil liberties as well, reproductive rights and personal privacy, are all under attack as never before. Corporate pollution threatens the most out-of-the-way corners of the planet. A novel pandemic is upon us, a wave to what to expect in the future (if there is to be a future)? There is no let-up, and climate chaos is already coming faster than we can deal with. Whole island nations are now submerged under water; the Arctic ice caps are melting; and mass applications of pesticides and genetically engineered crops are destroying our food supplies and sacred places, and taking over the world’s agricultural lands.

Neither liberalism nor conservatism, which dance around us as in the guises of Democrats and Republicans, present real solutions, but thats all were offered. We trap ourselves in a fundamentally immoral liberal imperialism, on the one hand, and the neo-conservative’s transfer of trillions of dollars in wealth from pretty much all of us to the wealthy, on the other. Liberals and Conservatives (both mislabeled as Democrats and Republicans) are equally deadly and equally bringing us to the brink of nuclear war, although via separate paths. They are twin horses of Apocalypse, the one thundering alongside the other in pretend battles like jousting knights of olde. Ecological collapse due to global climate chaos threatens to end complex life on this planet unless we the people rise up coherently — the poor, the once-upon-a-time workers who are being primed to slit each othersthroats in competition for the increasingly scarce and privatized water, hospital beds, individual dwellings, jobs and needed services. Who among us will be our Harriet Tubman, leading us to freedom?

The candidacy of Bernie Sanders for U.S. President in the Democratic Party had raised the concept of socialism in the mainstream corporate media for the first time in a century as a cure for the parasites of capitalism – the Capitalist Infesto. The corporate-controlled Democratic Party leadership smashed him down. Bernie was not allowed to go deep enough; he wasnt allowed to continue. Should he have stuck to his guns (so to speak) and seen it through? Perhaps. But is that the issue we want to fight out today? The immediate issue: Can new and overtly socialist ecological movements arise, obstruct, and reverse the current transformation of U.S. society into overt fascism, which is prelude to creating the new society we really want to live in?

I write not to explain the ins and outs of the terrible tragedies were facing but for the new generations to seize hold of the lessons from the new left the 60s generation — which have been stolen, co-opted, perverted and sold back to us as our false “paths to freedom”.

Black Lives matter! Reproductive Rights matter! Workers’ rights matter! The fights against industrial pollution and global climate chaos matter! Can we understand the meanings of our own movements and allow the lessons embedded in them to blossom, a gift from one generation to the next? That requires new ways of thinking and putting those thoughts into practice.

So, let us vote for the evil of two lessers, of course, to stay the blade of fascism and white supremacy … but in doing so let us also keep in mind that even the lesser evil is still evil, still imperialist. So let us use this moment to also begin to build the kind of revolutionary mass-movements necessary to transform this society!

SHOULD THE GREEN PARTY RUN ITS OWN CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT IN 2020?

by MITCHEL COHEN

Green Party 2020 candidates Howie Hawkins (President) and Angela Walker (Vice President)

As one of those who is trying to get the Green Party to switch its tactics and electoral strategy, I would appreciate it if Ajamu Baraka and others would at least address the arguments I and others are making …

… which has nothing to do with any expectations of Biden and the neo-liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

My ONLY points in recommending that Greens (and everyone else) vote for Biden in swing states are:

Trump is bolstering right-wing white supremacists (are there any other kind?), firing them up, egging them on to be his stormtroopers and death squads, and has appointed a US Attorney General that defends them and attacks antifascists instead.

Regardless of everything else about the Democrats, I do not think that Biden would do the same — do you? — and it makes a world of difference as to whether we are trying to organize under those conditions in a Trump regime vs. a Biden one.

The rhetoric alone makes a huge difference, but it’s not only about rhetoric.

In terms of domestic policy it ALSO makes a difference if you are a woman (reproductive rights), are gay-trans-bi-queer, are senior (a further raid on social security), and of course if you are Black.

Those are not insignificant differences, and to minimize them or not refer to them is dissembling. It means we cannot even discuss strategy for the Green Party until the above is recognized and acknowledged.

Note again: I think Biden will be terrible on foreign policy, although strangely he might support Cuba, as opening to Cuba was part of the Obama/Biden legacy. But when it comes to everywhere else, look out! …. Same as with Trump, despite what Baraka argues in Trump’s defense that Trump is serious about ending the “endless wars”. He gives a single example of a “peace process” towards Afghanistan, which is still yet to occur after 3 years. As of 16 months ago, Trump’s drone attacks, which Baraka ignores, far exceeded even Obama’s in 4 years:

According to a 2018 report in The Daily Beast, Obama launched 186 drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan during his first two years in office. In Trump’s first two years, he launched 238.
The Trump administration has carried out 176 strikes in Yemen in just two years, compared with 154 there during all eight years of Obama’s tenure, according to a count by The Associated Press and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
Experts also say drone strikes under President Trump have surged in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
And, as was the case during Obama’s presidency, these strikes have resulted in untold numbers of civilian casualties. According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, U.S. drone strikes in Afghanistan killed more than 150 civilians in the first nine months of 2018.
Amnesty International reports drones have killed at least 14 civilians in Somalia since 2017.
As of January of this year, U.S. drone strikes fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria have killed at least 1,257 civilians, according to the Pentagon, and a monitoring group, Airwars, estimates the number to be as great as 7,500.
That you might not be aware of what should be a startling and deeply troubling escalation in unaccountable remote-control warfare by the U.S. is both by design and default.
For one, the Obama administration paved the way for popularizing and normalizing drone wars, which also included the extrajudicial killing of U.S. citizens, first by hiding it, then by begrudgingly acknowledging it, and then by pretending to meaningfully constrain it.
Obama eventually put in place arcane requirements to issue public reports on civilian death tolls (but just in certain military theaters), to limit targets to high-level militants (again, in certain battlefields), and require interagency approval (also only for certain targets).
Trump has peeled back all of those requirements because, well, he can. We now know more than we did about U.S. drone wars when Obama first took office, but less than when he left.
        – S. E. Cupp Chicago Sun-Times  May 8, 2019

So if we are going to discuss Green Party strategy, at least understand what I and others are saying, acknowledge you hear it, and repeat it back accurately.

Stopping fascists from having their hands on executive power is the most important point in this election.

And, yes, of course we’ll have to do a lot more afterwards regardless of who wins. Frankly, the Green Party should be doing it now, but as a Party it is invisible.

Kevin Zeese: A Warrior for Peace and Justice Passes

Published originally in https://www.laprogressive.com/kevin-zeese-2/

The human rights community mourns veteran activist Kevin Zeese, my friend and comrade.

“For the Anniversary of My Death”

by W.S. Merwin  

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what

Having met Kevin Zeese during the Occupy movement in September of 2011, by Merwin’s metric we passed unknowing the day that had finally come for Kevin nine times. Nine times we, (Kevin, Margaret Flowers -his loving partner, and I) were engaged in the struggle in one way or another.  Occupy DC, Occupy the EPA, Hands Up Don’t Shoot, Justice Mondays at the Department of Justice to name a few and lastly only hours before his transition — the fight to stop the desecration of Moses African Cemetery in Bethesda, Maryland.

He stood his ground and left an indelible mark in our memory and the landscape of the fight for human decency and liberation of the human spirit.

And there, always present, always willing, always gentle in his manner and generous with his wisdom, his strength, his courage—was Kevin. Passionate. Articulate. Good-natured.

I remember the first time I saw his T-shirt, emblazoned with his campaign slogan during his run for the US Senate: Zeese and Resist! That was Kevin. And the courtroom artist’s rendering of him when he argued before the Supreme Court, displayed among the many mementos that one with his penchant for advocacy acquires in the years, in the decades, in the long pull of history.

After this shock and all of the pain, what I will remember is Kevin’s voice last Friday, his patience, and the calm demeanor he carried with him in the heat of our struggle to save Moses African Cemetery, in the heat of the road in Bethesda on a hot September day when he stood and reasoned with the police who had arrayed themselves again against our non-violent protests as though we were the ones threatening violence, as though we were the ones hurling invective, curses, and threats. There, at the side of River Road, stood Kevin Zeese, nodding, listening, offering alternatives, presenting our case that resulted in no-arrests.

The Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition (BACC) “Save Moses African Cemetery” protests last Thursday and Friday would be his last stand as an activist, a warrior for liberation of the human family, while securing a promise from the police that they would not be arresting any of the hundred-plus activists that had come to stand with us on what we would all learn with sadness was Kevin’s last day as an activist.

The youth of BACC, in particular worked closely with Kevin, as he provided instruction on Thursday Night in techniques of non-violent resistance that they might need during the Friday action.

Over the years, I’ve worked with Kevin and Margaret on a number of political actions.  We worked closely together on a project called: “Justice Monday” in the aftermath of the murder of Trayvon Martin. We organized demonstrations in front of the Department of Justice (DOJ) every Monday afternoon. The goal of “Justice Monday” was to force DOJ to release the Report of Investigation (ROI) that we were certain would exonerate George Zimmerman for violating the civil rights of Trayvon Martin. We instinctively knew that the Obama Administration’s Attorney General Eric Holder was going to exonerate Zimmerman but wanted to soft pedal their decision.  Through protests and demonstrations, Justice Monday succeeded in forcing the DOJ to release the ROI, that in fact, exonerated Zimmerman.

Our Friend, a Fighter for the People

Years later, Kevin and Margaret were among the first to answer the call to battle against developers and their enablers in the Montgomery County Maryland Planning Board and our local government.  Their experience and moral support enabled the fledgling organization to grow and make “good trouble.”  Kevin and Margaret gifted BACC with its very first banner.  Kevin and Margaret have not spared time and energy in driving more than two hours time after time to support and help with our struggle.  His inner strength is reflected in humility and gentleness, ever so kind and patient.

On a personal level, I came to deeply trust Kevin’s advice and keen ability to deconstruct the pitfalls of fighting injustice.

Kevin was a devoted supporter of Black Agenda Report. Kevin and Margaret would attend the yearly fundraiser and provide articles to BAR. In addition, they both supported the Left Forum, a yearly gathering of progressives from around the world that meet in New York.

Kevin died the way he lived, in the midst of struggle for racial justice and the dismantling of the architecture of white supremacy. The Friday before his transition, he stood his ground and left an indelible mark in our memory and the landscape of the fight for human decency and liberation of the human spirit.

He is missed and he left a light to guide us through the challenges that lay ahead.  Valiant warrior Rest in Power- our Ancestor!

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo
Black Agenda Report

There will be an online tribute to Kevin on Saturday, September 19 at 3:00 pm Eastern/12:00 pm Pacific on Zoom. Click here to register . This event will also be livestreamed atFacebook.com/PopularResistanceOrg  andYouTube.com/PopularResistanceOrg .

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About Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is the author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated: No FEAR: A Whistleblowers Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA . She worked at the EPA for 18 years and blew the whistle on a US multinational corporation that endangered South African vanadium mine workers. Marsha’s successful lawsuit led to the introduction and passage of the first civil rights and whistleblower law of the 21st century: the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act). Marsha was inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame, March 2017. Currently, she is working to stop the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) and the Bethesda Self-Storage Company/1784 Holdings from its continue desecration of Moses African Cemetery in Bethesda, Maryland.

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

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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.

Continue reading »