Archive for the ‘Justice’ Category

Jewish Voice for Peace event in OlyWA Dec 11th

Friday, November 29th, 2013
December 11, 2013
12:00 pmto2:00 pm

Spread the word please. Brown bag lunch with Rebecca Vilkomerson of the Jewish Voice for Peace at TESC, Sem 2, Room 1107 from noon to about 2 pm on Wednesday, December 11th.

Want to think about peace in the holy lands?   Wonder where the holy lands are?  Look at your feet. Look to your heart.  Seek the peace in your soul.

As Black Elk said:

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.

This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.”

Black Elk – Oglala Sioux

come join us and pass the peace, share the peace, bring the peace that is within the souls of all of us.

Austin’s picks – thoughts on Trayvon

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Gatheringforces.org has this:  Thanks to Austin for sending across the list serv

Just Us: There Can be No Justice for Trayvon Martin in America

2013 JULY 17
by HiFi

TrayvonOne night Trayvon Martin walked to the store. On the way back he was followed and harassed by racist vigilante George Zimmerman. The vigilante murdered him.

The police showed up, but they knew Zimmerman. His father was a judge. They took him to the station, questioned and let him go. Zimmerman became a hero for right wing, white supremacist forces. He told Sean Hannity it was God’s plan that he killed Trayvon and that he had no regrets. Only nation-wide protests forced the state’s hand to bring charges weeks later.

The facts of the case are well-known enough. No need to repeat them.

Over a year later Trayvon Martin was put on trial in front of a nearly all-white jury. Rachel Jeantel was put on trial. Black people were put on trial. A typical teenager, Trayvon was turned into his opposite: a black male preying on white America. No one should be surprised about the verdict, though liberals and progressive seem to be. The civil rights establishment is at a loss for words. They have nothing to say after no better an example of the fact that the law is not for black people, the oppressed, or the working class.

How could Trayvon, a typical teenager, and Zimmerman, a spiteful predator, be turned into opposites?

read the whole article here: http://gatheringforces.org/2013/07/17/just-us-no-justice-for-trayvon-in-america/

Austin’s Picks – Prisons and Liberation

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Thanks to Austin for the reference information.  Members of our beloved community are detained in Federal detention and are being held in solitary confinement for refusing to cooperate with a secret grand jury.

  • Charges against these individuals?  None.
  •  Indictments against these individuals?  None.
  • Convictions against these indivicuals?   None.

In a beautiful world beset by disturbing and dangerous trends this is a particular disturbing business.

Free Kteeo.   Please.   Free Kteeo.  Please.
Masked Racism: Reflections on the Prison Industrial Complex by Angela Y. Davis (1998)

The War on the People: An Interview with Christian Parenti by Suzi Weissman (1999)

Crime As Social Control by Christian Parenti (2000)

Lockdown America in 22 Minutes [Audio] by Christian Parenti

Race, Prison, and Poverty by Paul Street (2001)

Empire Abroad, Prisons At Home: Dark Connections by Paul Street (2003)

Olympia Solidarity Rally in Support of Keystone XL Pipeline DC Rally

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Open rally in Olympia, Washington in support of the Washington DC Keystone XL Pipeline Demonstration.

February 17, 2013 from 3 pm to 6 pm.  We will be at Heritage Park with PA, music, speakers, tabling and general merriment.  Come and join us.

 Want to sign the Credo Petition to Governor Inslee?  Please do.

 Why are we getting out in February in Western Washington?

    read’m and weep:

KUOW Radio January 31, 2013

Northwest on Verge of Becoming Pacific Crude Oil Gateway

ABERDEEN, Wash. – The Northwest is on the verge of becoming a gateway for crude oil. Three different developers have plans to use docks on Grays Harbor, Washington to transfer crude oil from trains to ships. Other projects are getting off the ground in Tacoma, Vancouver, B.C. and on the lower Columbia River.

There was a huge turnout Wednesday night at an introductory public workshop in Aberdeen, Washington. The response indicates crude-by-rail may be the region’s next big environmental controversy…
To hear / read the rest of the story

We are also gathering signatures and sending letters to Governor Jay Inslee regarding global warming and the need for change.  Here is the letter that Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation has drafted:

AN OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE

Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Call
360-902-4111
TTY/TDD users should contact the Washington Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-833-6388.

Fax
360-753-4110

Dear Governor Inslee:

          As citizens deeply concerned about the climate crisis, we were encouraged by the remarks you made in your inaugural address about the need to reduce the risk of climate change from carbon emissions. You specifically emphasized the need to “replace rhetoric with quantifiable results.” We hope this means that you will take immediate action to promote a progressive carbon tax, fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and divest state funds from fossil fuels.

          As you know, we have a narrow window of time in which to reduce Co2 emissions before runaway, irreversible climate change condemns us to a global temperature rise of 4 to 6 degrees C. Unless we act immediately and with sufficient determination, we risk civilization as we know it. The only way to produce the necessary level of greenhouse gas reductions is a full-scale, all-hands-on-deck mobilization, what William James called “the moral equivalent of war.” We are asking you to become a leader in this fight, to proclaim the urgency of the climate crisis, and to make our state an example of how much can be done to reduce greenhouse gases in a short period of time.

          On February 17, 2013, thousands of people will converge on Washington D.C. to urge President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline which would convey dirty tar sands oil to refineries and export ports in Gulf Coast. As climate scientist John Abraham, of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, said, “If we burn all the tar sand oil, the temperature rise, just from burning that tar sand will be half of what we’ve already seen.” James Hansen, probably the world’s pre-eminent climate scientist, is even more emphatic. Discussing the need to limit greenhouse gas emissions, he said, “If tar sands are thrown into the mix, it is game over for the planet.” In support of the action in Washington D.C., we are holding a No Keystone XL Pipeline rally in Olympia on Sunday, February 17th at 3:00 PM in Heritage Park. We invite you to join us and to use this protest to voice your opposition to the expansion of the Alberta tar sands.

          In the past you have recognized that the proposed coal export terminals for the Northwest, pose the “largest decision our state will be making from a carbon pollution standpoint, certainly in my lifetime, and nothing even comes close to it.” In an interview with Grist magazine, you said “I’m going to be giving some thought to this.” We hope that you have since recognized that the proposed coal exports from the Northwest are a carbon bomb, which could potentially produce enough Co2 to push the planet towards catastrophic climate chaos. We hope that you have since thought of significant ways that you, as Governor, can defuse the coal export carbon bomb and prevent the proposed coal export terminals and massive trains that would transport coal from the Powder River Basin through our state.

          Last year, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber wrote to the Bureau of Land Management and the Army Corp of Engineers asking for a comprehensive environmental impact review of the proposed coal ports in the Northwest – a review that takes into account the cumulative environmental impacts of all the proposed ports and the trains that would transport the coal from Montana and Wyoming through Oregon and Washington. As the new Governor of Washington – a Governor who stated that he is seeking ways to reduce the risk of climate change in his inaugural address – you can do no less.  Indeed, we hope, or rather, we are confident that you will take additional significant actions to prevent coal export from Washington ports.

____________________________________________________

Name                      Address                             E-mail address

Austin’s Picks: Impressions of the NA Anarchist Movement

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Impressions of the North American anarchist movement

Impressions of the North American anarchist movement

An interview with Andrew Flood about the impressions of the North American anarchist movement he formed during his 2007/2008 44 city tour of the US and Canada. The interviews ends with questions about the comparison of the movement in Ireland with that in Britian and the promotion of anarchism via the internet. This was submitted and published in Black Flag.

Q. Which places did you visit in your tour? Did any local anarchists groups host events? If so, which ones?

In total I spoke in 44 North American cities scattered across 2 Canadian provinces and 18 US states. These were on the east and west coasts and from the east coast across the mid-west as far as Minneapolis-St Paul’s.

There were lots of organizations, infoshops and organizations in formation involved on putting on the dates. Around one third were organized through the North East Federation of Anarchist Communists (NEFAC) while some local groups just organized a meeting in the one city they were active in. In the vast majority of cases I’d never met any of the organizers, everything was done over email, the entire Florida tour for instance was initated by one student who was on the Crimthinc mailing list and saw an announcement for my tour which was apparently posted there. He contacted me and then proceeded to contact email addresses he found in Florida and managed to get four dates together that way.

Q. Were the meetings well attended? Does there seem to be much interest in libertarian ideas?

Attendance varied from around 60 to around a dozen, perhaps giving a total close to 1400 people who attended a meeting during the tour. In quite a few stops it was the first public anarchist meeting organized in quite a while so apart from city size and local politics there would have been a good deal of variation in how experienced the local organizers were at putting together and promoting events like these. The people who turned up certainly seemed to be interested but they were rather a small fraction of the local population.

Q. What was the theme of the meeting? Were they well received?

The theme was ‘Building a Popular Anarchism in Ireland.’ Basically I was telling the story of the growth of the Irish anarchist movement in the period from 1997-2007 and in doing so making an argument for an outward looking, organized movement capable of working in alliances. Generally there seemed to be a very high level of interest, it was a great help that the subject matter contained loads of interesting anecdotes that reflected a decade of positive anarchist organization in Ireland.

Q. What is the US movement like from a class-struggle perspective?

Better than I expected. I think on arrival in North America I shared any of the prejudices that you find in the British anarchist movement towards North America, prejudices that are often based on a failure to try and understand conditions there. I expected a lot of North American anarchists to be liberal idiots but the reality I found was huge numbers of people doing quite solid local organizing, in particular when you considered their weak numbers and relative lack of experience. And a good few of the positions that seem a little odd from Europe make a lot more sense when you can put them in the contest of local conditions and North American history.

Q. What are, if any, the tactical and political priorities/differences in the US compared to Ireland/UK?

read the whole piece?  Good idea!

 

Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation: November 10, 2012 Retreat

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

We See a Train a’Coming: The Climate Crisis, the Coal Train & Beyond

The Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation’s (WWFOR) Fall Retreat is for everyone who cares about the climate crisis, environmental justice, and jobs, in the context of the dangers of moving millions of tons of dirty coal through our communities. This is for everyone who supports a better energy future and grassroots democracy.

People in the Puget Sound and along the Pacific coast are organizing vigorous campaigns to stop this. Western Washington FOR’s 2012 Fall Retreat will inform and activate us.

Giant coal companies are pushing their plans to extract massive quantities of coal from Montana and Wyoming and ship it on exposed rail cars to West Coast ports, spewing dangerous coal dust all along the way.They want Washington’s and Oregon’s ports to export if to China and other countries that will burn it, seriously polluting the world’s air, and hurt our climate.

$15 conference fee (or what you are able to pay). Bring your own lunch. Check out the registration form at www.wwfor.org

Scott Crow in Olympia for a few speaking events

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Activist, anarchist, writer, organizer – Scott Crow – is going to be in Olympia for a few speaking engagements over the next few days. He will be at South Puget Sound Community College on Oct 25th at noon, Room 102, Building 26

Then he will be at Last Word Books on Friday, Oct 26th at 7:30 pm. and one more time in Oly on Monday, Oct 29th at Lecture Hall 2, The Evergreen State College at noon.

Want to understand anarchism? Learn more about it. It’s not what you may think.

Want to continue to misunderstand and misrepresent anarchism? As Bobby Dylan said, “you are going to have to serve somebody…” Choose today, who will you serve? You are going to have to serve somebody.

Black Flags and Radical Relief Efforts in New Orleans: An Interview with scott crow

Author and activist scott crow

“Solidarity not Charity” is a way of feeding people while addressing the underlying problems that cause hunger. The way this manifested itself in Common Ground was to immediately deliver and render aid where the state had failed, and then to leave structures in place so communities can continue to rebuild themselves as they see fit.”

Interview by Stevie Peace & Kevin Van Meter

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina both federal and local authorities failed the population of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. As a result, relief efforts from various sectors of American society flowed south. One of the first and most spectacular and aggressive efforts was Common Ground Relief — formed by strands of the anti-globalization and anarchist movements. scott crow documents these struggles in “Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy, and the Common Ground Collective”, recently released by PM Press. In this interview, Crow describes the process of becoming an author after being an organizer, reviews the history and myths of Common Ground and explores possible lessons for future progressive and radical organizing. Visit crow’s website at http://scottcrow.org/.

Can you speak to the writing process behind “Black Flags and Windmillsand your shift from an organizer to an author?

One word: difficult. I don’t consider myself a writer; and while I have written a few pieces over the years, it has mostly been out of necessity. From my arrival in New Orleans I took copious notes. Every time I would get moments to get away, I would take notes about organizing and creating an organization to deal with the disaster following Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, I wrote communiqués from just days after the storm and continued for three years. I went back to all of those writings and began turning them into chapters. On a personal level it was healing to write: I came back with post-traumatic stress, couldn’t function in society and felt like the ghost in the machine a lot. The writing actually helped me to relive those traumas in a different way, to really dissect them. It was almost a five-year process; I feel so much better now than I did when I started the book. This is not to say that “Black Flags and Windmills” is a sorrow-filled book. There are lots of beautiful stories along the way and lots of really engaging organizing that was going on. The book describes the anarchist heyday of Common Ground, when the most self-identified anarchists came; this was early September 2005 until 2008. Afterward, the organization became much more structured in a traditional nonprofit way. This is not to denigrate it — just to say that the book focuses on this initial period of “black flags” at Common Ground.

Since memory is a tricky thing, I did outside research and revisited with people. I went back to news articles from grassroots media, reports and blogs to look at specific events and the way things unfolded. Then, I would ask key organizers and New Orleans residents, “Do you remember when this thing happened?” Sometimes it was completely different from how I remembered it. I don’t claim to speak for Common Ground, as I think that would do a disservice to the thousands of people who participated and the hundreds of key organizers that were there.

When I tell a story I want people to understand it and create common bonds. I wrote this book for people who might not have any understanding about radical or anarchist concepts. I always ask myself, “What would my mom think about this?” While I wrote it for people like her, my target audience was those who were coming into movements and might be inspired by what Common Ground was building. I used the stories in the book to give a primer on the theoretical background of anarchism in practice. Another part of the book is telling my own personal narrative. It’s not because I think my story is important, but I wanted to show that I am a regular person that was just caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

Want to know more? Read the whole piece. Come sit in on one of the events.

Austin’s Picks: Pre-figurative Politics? from Kloncke

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

I have been thinking about dual power, working for the political change that I want as one means of seizing power and living the daily politics of the world that I dream about as the second means of demonstrating the power of a different political vision.  Austin sent along a posting from Katie Loncke from March 2011 that is thinking on similar lines.  I like the term that Kloncke uses, pre-figurative politics, to identify the immediate implementation of a political system.

Here is the piece from Kloncke.  If you want to know more about her ideas, jump to her website.

 

Revolutionary and Pre-Figurative Politics

Katie Loncke MARCH 17, 2011

How do the two fit together?

This question’s been yelling itself in my face for the past couple of days. (Weeks?) Not only in theoretical terms, but in practical ways. Touched on by elders, peers, friends, strangers.

Roughly (and this is my own attempt, for which I’ll accept blame but not credit):

Some groups are great at building and exemplifying models of anti-oppressive ways of being. (Pre-figurative politics, as I understand it, means practicing now the kind of society you want to build in the future.) Enacting horizontal group dynamics, confronting white supremacist and racist behavior, challenging and transforming sexism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, ableism, etc. in myriad ways, and continually developing sophisticated, intersectional analyses of these lived oppressions. Honoring and valuing healing; promoting literacy around dealing with trauma and mental wellness. Developing healthy sex-positive cultures grounded in consent. Practicing conscientious methods for dealing with intimate violence and abuse. Giving and receiving criticism with humility, generosity, bravery, and kindness. Doing very practical things like organizing childcare collectives, artmaking groups, and food distribution programs; infusing them with liberatory values. Transforming estranged relationship with our bodies, the earth, and nature. Theorizing these and more practices, and sharing them.

At the same time, some groups are great at developing people’s revolutionary class consciousness. Examining the material processes of history with an eye toward figuring out the best ways to intervene in those historical processes, and change things for the better. Get rid of classes altogether. Put an end to imperialism. Employ practice and theory, in current conditions, to avoid the pitfall of reformism and move militantly and decisively toward a world of “freely associating producers” — a world where violent compulsion is no longer ambient, as it is under capitalism and has been under all forms of class society (to stake a claim against what I learned about Foucault, in college). I’m impressed and inspired by groups that maintain a keen focus on this goal, and whose work reflects the urgency of building the class power necessary for exploited people to liberate themselves/ourselves from the yoke (and rod) of capital.

Now. Is there overlap between these ‘types’ of groups?

Yes.

A lot?

In the Bay Area? In the US?

IIIIIIII dunno. What do you think? What are you finding?

That’s all for now; more questions than answers.

News from Grand Jury Resistance

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Elliot Stoller sent along the following from the Seattle Times:

“Katherine Olejnik, a 23-year-old recent Evergreen College graduate living in Olympia, was among those jailed. Her father said his daughter has been an activist in social-justice causes since her youth. She is not suspected in the courthouse vandalism, court papers say. She was called in to testify Sept. 27 about someone she knows, according to her lawyer.

Even after Olejnik was given full immunity from prosecution by the judge, she declined to testify. U.S. District Court Judge Richard A. Jones said he had no choice but to send her to jail for up to 18 months, or until she changes her mind.

“What (prosecutors) decided to do is choose people and punish them for their association,” said her attorney, Jenn Kaplan.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office issued a general statement Sept. 13 about grand-jury proceedings, noting, “We do not investigate or seek to silence lawful free speech, or dissent. We do, however, investigate and enforce the law where speech crosses the line and becomes threats or acts of violence.”

Matthew Duran, a roommate of Olejnik’s who works in computer security, was jailed for civil contempt Sept. 13 after he, too, refused to testify before the grand jury. A longtime social-justice activist, he describes himself as an anarchist, according to his attorney, Kim Gordon. He is not suspected in the courthouse vandalism.

“One of our concerns was they were really targeting him because they perceived him to be associated with the anarchist community,” Gordon said. “It’s kind of a fishing expedition.”

Appeals of Olejnik’s and Duran’s case are pending.”

Read the article in the Seattle Times?

Peoples’ Movement Assembly(PMA) 2012 Program

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Paper copies  available at Lecture Hall 1 this evening and at  PMA

This evening = 6-9pm Michael Parenti event (Lecture Hall 1).

 

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