US Tax Dollars Provide Welfare to the Global Repression Industry!

If American’s think gun violence in the US bad now, things are about to get a whole lot worse with the $38 BILLION US tax dollars of ‘military aid’ going to Israel and $60 BILLION to Saudi Arabia.
Not only will this trillion dollar hand out to military contractors and arms dealers, justified by the illegal, immoral ‘war on terror’ will be used to kill civilians abroad – it comes at the expense of much needed funding for: education, healthcare, affordable housing, infrastructure & everything else that’s in shambles in the US.
Still this war against the people, is not limited to those abroad. As Jeff Halper notes:
This type weaponry for everything from counterinsurgency to combating refugees to Ferguson to the Occupy Movement should send the message: the Occupation is here in our community. As our armies, police forces and paranoid-induced civilians are being “israelized,” the rest of us are being palestinianized.”

So here is an Israeli weapons company, Israel Weapons Industries (IWI), announcing a ten-fold increase in ammunition sales to the US of $66 million, a third of it geared to the civilian market. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. IWI, the manufacturers of the most famous submachine gun in the world, the Uzi, recently opened a manufacturing plant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. http://iwi.us

What IWI is producing and selling is chilling: powerful military weapons that have been “civilianized” so that they can be used by police and civilians. The Uzi, for example, has been made into a large pistol, so the next time you’re stopped by your local police (or if you’re black or poor, shot at by your local police), they could be pulling from their holsters Uzi machine gun pistols.

Besides supplying weapons and ammo to the US army, IWI is targeting two American populations. First, the police. It is encouraging the militarization of US police by producing a range of semi-automatic rifles, machine guns and other “hybrid” military/police weapons, and using local police to lobby in their departments — and Congress –for IWI weaponry.

Second, IWI targets the huge American civilian market (Americans, about 4% of the world’s population, own 250 million small arms, about 40% of the world’s total). In fact, on the IWI US website is an icon urging Americans to support the gun lobby. So IWI produces the X95 combined carbine, assault rifle and submachine gun. Why a carbine component? Would you use an X95 to hunt deer? Because assault rifles and submachine guns are (marginally) harder to purchase across the counter; being a normal carbine removes that difficulty. $1200 at your local gun shop (or maybe Walmart’s) will buy you one.

Advertisements

I’m back..

Fifteen years ago to the day, on 9/11 I was so appalled by the decision of the US to invade Iraq, I decided then that I would drop everything and commit my life to being the change I wanted to see. During this time, despite not having all the luxuries in the world, I made it work.

Needless to say, it’s been an infinitely long and winding road and I have struggled to find my way professionally. Following the ‘economic collapse’ and the extreme change in housing and employment opportunities I felt forced to give up on activism, in pursuit of the ‘American dream’. I even tried to be “normal” and think about my future/retirement etc. and that’s why i got into insurance…needless to say that didn’t last long! But hey, I tried..

blm

Locking down to Stop Urban Shield at Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton. Ca. Sept 11, 2016

I am now committed to move towards being able to do my activism full time again, and have recently accepted a p/t position as the West Coast Representative with a publishing company called Just World Books and its sister/nonprofit educational organization Just World Educational. Please check out the amazing books and authors, and let me know if you would like to host an event at your community group, nonprofit org or academic institution.
Please do also keep me in mind for other gigs you think I would be a good fit for!
I know i am blessed and privileged to be able to do this work full time. But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If everyone just does whatever little or great in their power, we would be so much better off. One thing we can all do right now is, sign the following petition by Barbara Lee to Congress: Repeal the blank check for endless war. Plus the future just may depend on it. In the words of a native tribal elder, and protector of the water and the earth:
This new millennium will usher in an age of harmony or it will bring the end of life as we know it. Starvation, war, and toxic waste have been the hallmark of the great myth of progress and development that ruled the last millennium. To us, as caretakers of the heart of Mother Earth, falls the responsibility of turning back the powers of destruction. You yourself are the one who must decide
You alone – and only you – can make this crucial choice, to walk in honor or to dishonor your relatives. On your decision depends the fate of the entire World.
Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind.
Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger?
Know that you yourself are essential to this world. Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You yourself are desperately needed to save the soul of this world. Did you think you were put here for something less? In a Sacred Hoop of Life, there is no beginning and no ending. https://ravenredbone.com/…/important-message-from-keeper-o…/ #NODAPL

usii

It feels good to be back.

Peace, love and revolution♥

Israel’s Illusionary Democracy: Beyond Apartheid

In a recent statement issued by the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of 60 grassroots organizations within the Black Lives Matter movement, describe Israel as “an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people”.  Recognizing this shared history with Palestinians has generated a huge backlash primarily for its use of the words “genocide” and “apartheid” to describe Israel’s system, as well as its support for BDS. Jewish groups of all stripes are ‘stunned’ and ‘outraged’ and even, in many cases have rejected the entire statement altogether.

The saying that occupation exists best in the dark, explains the level of controversy surrounding use of the word genocide and apartheid to describe the Israeli system. It also explains why, what is a simple fact to those acquainted to the reality on the ground, has caused so much confusion and strife to those who are not. When generalities are made, distinctions are muddled and those with the best of intentions are left to interpret meanings, or completely confused by all the insidious details.

Generally speaking there are three views about using ‘apartheid’ to describe Israel’s political system, as compared to South Africa. Zionist defenders are completely against use of the term, charging it as ‘anti-Semitic’, with no meaningful discussion of the issues. By dismissing the criticism, they fail to account for the basic facts on the ground, and reveal their limitations in understanding or wanting to know the severe injustices taking place, in their name. Then there are activists, academic and legal experts who support use of the term. As a matter of convenience, they borrow it from South African apartheid, which most people know to be reprehensible, to make the Palestinian case. They say though it is not entirely representative, the underlying racism and discrimination are the same and due to advances made in South Africa, it is politically expedient to leverage the parallels and draw on the advances of the anti-Apartheid movement, as a case for boycott. Finally, even among Palestinians and solidarity activists, there are internal disagreements by those that argue that, because it is borrowed from South Africa, the term fails to portray the complex nature of the Israeli system and therefore leads to more confusion, instead of further understanding.

Most people would agree that the only way to create a solution and put an end to the violence, is to first engage in an honest analysis of the situation. Still generalities are made, distinctions are muddled and those with the best of intentions are left to interpret meanings, or worse, completely confused by all of the insidious details of the system at work. This can be seen with Jimmy Carter’s well intentioned book titled, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, which actually feeds into these misconceptions. Carter’s assertion is that Apartheid is alive and well in the West Bank and Gaza, but he sidesteps the system within Israel implying that the situation is generally fine. Yet, within Israel, the parallels more accurately represent Apartheid, and the case can be made originating from the basic laws alone; and the effects lead to the cultural genocide2 of Palestinian-Israeli identity. In fact, the system of domination and militarized control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, more accurately reflects one on the path of a slow, but very real ethnic cleansing3.

Regardless of one’s opinion of how to frame the political situation – according to international law, article 1 “apartheid is a crime against humanity and that inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination”. In other words an official policy of separation and “economically and politically oppressing the nonwhite population” in South Africa. So actually from within Israel, the parallels more accurately represent apartheid, and the case can be made originating from the basic laws alone.

In addition to the legal system of segregation, it becomes necessary to engage in ethnic cleansing or “mowing the lawn” every few years, as some Israeli lawmakers honestly put it. In fact, the system in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, more accurately reflects one on the path of a slow, but very real genocide which is defined under international law as: “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part1; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and]forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Still Israeli leaders know to the outside world, they must walk the fine line of upholding the appearance of a democracy, while maintaining its Jewish character. Thus, the conflict for both, extremely dependent peoples – becomes ultimately, a war of public opinion. Perhaps Israel’s main success in battle, lies in its public relations campaign. Since its inception in 1948, it has waged in the world’s most cunning PR campaign in history. How to make it possible for Jews escaping transfer, persecution and genocide, would flee directly to a land where they committed transfer, persecution and genocide – of millions of Palestinians – which continues today.

Just last week such a public relations stunt designed to make the Israeli government appear to show compassion (for animals) and win global support, was the rescue of zoo animals from besieged Gaza. In the article Israel helps evacuate animals as ‘world’s worst zoo’ in Gaza closes Vienna-based animal rights group declares, “Due to poor conditions and the lack of ability to continue proper care for the animals in the zoo of Khan Yunis, we were asked to assist and coordinate the transfer of these animals to zoos in Israel and around the world.” The implication is that Palestinian savages can’t even take care of animals. Meanwhile there’s not one single mention of the completely debilitating siege, lack of access to food, clean water and building supplies, or the indiscriminate bombings. “All the while there were sounds of explosions in the background, reminding us where we are and what the animals had to endure” fully displaying who the true savages are by prioritizing rescuing zoo animals, from their own barbarity; over the starved and besieged people of Gaza.

Even some well meaning supporters of a ‘two-state solution’, point to Palestinians within Israel who are allowed to vote, as if this act alone implies a functional democracy. Adding to the profound confusion, is that it appears to be one of the most multi-racial places on earth! Of course racism against Black Jews within Israeli society is well documented, yet largely dismissed. While in South Africa, the practice of racism was much easier to identify, due to separate laws for “Whites”, versus “non-Whites”. Yet in Israel, despite the color of your skin — your status under law is determined if you are Jew, (whether you are religious or not-making it a definition of race) or non-Jew.

The Formula for Dispossession
Since its inception, the very basis of Zionist ideology is personified in the Israeli ‘Law of Return’ of 1950, which states very clearly that any Jew in the world – spanning three generations, are allowed to ‘return’ to the ‘promised land’ of over 2000 years ago. This law stands in stark contrast to laws for Palestinians which forbids 6 million Palestinians who were displaced in the wars of 1948 and 1967, from returning to their own homes of less than several decades ago.

Jewish returnees need a place to live! Since 1950, the “Absentee Property Law”, has ensured the new immigrant settlers a comfortable home, initially fully in tact with its cherished former inhabitants belongings. by applying this law transfer was ensured, for those forced to leave their property after 1948,  and the same law was later applied to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza after the 1967 war.

Meanwhile Palestinian residents of Jerusalem experience the destruction of property and economic opportunities, cultural identity and heritage. Under occupation, they are considered “permanent residents,” whose residency permits can be taken away if they go abroad for more than 7 years or without a re-entry permit. Jews may have dual citizenship, but a non-Jewish Jerusalemite loses their residency if acquiring additional citizenship.

Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem also endure the same systematic process as the West Bank, in which the Wall which leads to house demolitions, property confiscation, forced displacement, isolation and a complete denial of access to social services etc. Such practices found in Jerusalem, can be widely seen extending from the Galilee, to the Nakab and the Jordan Valley, also known as the ‘Judea Triangle’ – and are entirely indicative of what is taking place in the West Bank. When added with the sum of its parts, the greater context and an objective analysis, the recipe is clear to see.

It does not take a mathematical genius to recognize the agenda at work, once the practices and the formula is understood. Since the founding of Israel in 1948, the writing was on the wall as the basic laws supplemental policies equal the clearing of Palestinians, while populating the land with Zionist settlers. An objective analysis is critically needed to see beyond the smokescreen of misinformation.

Despite minor differences in practice, Zionists across the board agree on one thing: the right of a Jewish state to exist. For Palestinians here in lies the fundamental, inherent contradiction: Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish democracy, unequivocally means a disaster for Palestinian identity, culture, sovereignty and equality – both within Israel and the oPt. Expansionist and exclusionary policies, do not differentiate within or outside the green line – and they are made possible only through expulsion and marginalization of the natives. In addition to ‘regular’ apartheid of separation – or Palestinian banto-state hood, it becomes necessary to take it beyond Apartheid – in order to fulfill the divine prophecy of ‘Eretz’, or Greater Israel of which Zionism is based.

Despite minor differences, Zionists agree on one thing: the right of a Jewish state to exist. Here in lies the fundamental, inherent contradiction: Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, unequivocally means a disaster for Palestinian identity, culture, sovereignty and equality. Expansionist and exclusionary policies, do not differentiate within or outside the green line – and are made possible only through expulsion and marginalization of Palestinians.  What is obvious, is that Israel as a state ‘for the Jews’, leads directly to the oppression and subjugation of Palestinians. Herein, lies the inherent contradiction and underlying racism: the implication is that it is naïve, unrealistic, perhaps ideal but definitely impossible, to live as equals on this land, if Israel continues to be allowed to define itself exclusively as a Jewish state.

The struggle for justice is universal and one need not be Palestinian or Black to see the truth, as honest Israeli editor stated in his article  Zionism Today is an Illusion “the occupation and apartheid will necessarily lead to the creation of a binational state — one that is, in essence, anti-Zionist. Anyone ever expecting Israel to end the occupation, either voluntarily or via international pressure, needs to think again. We are on course to become a binational state, and Jews should plan accordingly.  And any Jew who believes this binational state will necessarily be a hell of religious, tribal and fundamentalist war will just have to go back to the Diaspora.”

After decades of complete ineptitude of so called global ‘leaders’, Palestinians, #BLM and our supporters, are done relying on others for a solution – to the illusion of democracy, in Israel or the US. Towards that end the Movement for Black Rights has declared its support for Boycott Divestment Sanctions and #Arabs4BlackLives has responded with its unequivocal support. It is due time for those on the front lines, to define in our own terms and claim our rights, in practice, as recognized by all human rights and international law standards-and end the acquiescence of apartheid and genocide, in part and in full–both here, in historic Palestine and beyond.

 

A shortened version of this article can be found originally published at TeleSur English here.

A Call for Solidarity with Palestine and the World’s Oppressed

Today the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, comes at a time of intensified aggression by occupation forces and violence in Palestine and throughout the region. As conditions on the ground continue to deteriorate globally, the situation is amongst the worst facing Palestinians since 1948. In Palestine, Zionist settlement expansion continues to usurp more land unabated in the West Bank, while settler and soldier violence has reached relentless levels in all of historic Palestine. Meanwhile, Gaza has experienced three devastating assaults by Israel since 2008 — which according to a recent UN report will render the strip uninhabitable within five years. Individual Palestinians are lashing out with kitchen knives and whatever limited means available to resist the bleak situation.

Palestinians have watched helplessly, as every so called peace process since Oslo, has only served to provide Israel with diplomatic cover, to kill and blatantly steal more land and consolidate power. Meanwhile, the international “quartet” tasked with negotiating a solution are consumed by violence they are responsible for creating, thus rendering hopeless any chance of creating a more peaceful solution, in the foreseeable future. As the complacent Palestinian leadership, tasked with the role of suppressing resistance, serves to accelerate the colonization of our homeland –the situation becomes more desperate than ever. In what many have called a Third Intifada, individual Palestinians are lashing out with kitchen knives and whatever limited means available to resist the bleak situation.

The acts of resistance by Palestinian youth are spontaneous expressions of anger – yet lack sufficient organization and strategic direction, calling into question whether the demonstrations can be sustained. Despite a lack of political leadership or clear organization, the Palestinian people continue their struggle for freedom against one of the world’s largest and most powerful militaries in the world. Regardless of what it’s called, the biggest achievement of the latest surge of rebellions is its ability to reactivate the youth to directly confront Zionism. Palestinian Youth Movement Call for Solidarity To combat this Zionist project of erasure, the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) the only transnational, independent, grassroots movement made up of Palestinians in exile, and within historic Palestine, put out the following statement:

On this international day of solidarity November 29, 2015, the PYM calls on Palestinians worldwide and the solidarity movement to join us in support of the Palestinian resistance, culminating in an international mobilization on this day, and until Palestine is free: Our aspirations for justice and liberation motivate us to assume an active role as a young generation in our national struggle for the liberation of our homeland and people. In recent weeks, Al-Aqsa Mosque has been the target of particularly brutal assaults while arbitrary killings are committed daily by the Zionist military and settlers and mass youth arrests are implemented in Palestine. In response to this Zionist violence, we must recognise that resistance is a mandatory element to surviving in the face of an ongoing project of ethnic cleansing.

Solidarity glimmers, beyond an otherwise bleak horizon

As a principle, solidarity with the world’s oppressed provides a guiding light of how to navigate in an increasingly hostile, complex and violent world. Every day in the corporate media – from Palestine to Iraq, Syria, Ferguson and beyond, we are bombarded with images of mass violence and those spewing hate against poor people and people of color. Palestinian liberation must be based on uniting all Palestinian workers–in the West Bank and Gaza, within Israel’s borders and in the diaspora. Settlers, police and soldiers are portrayed as the victims, while given free range and even incited by government officials to kill with impunity, while media pundits provide no context or cause of the violence.

In 2005, the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) call was signed by more than 170 civil society organizations and has gained unprecedented global success, and its leadership has filled an important vacuum left by the traditional political parties. Likewise solidarity for Palestinians means overcoming the media misinformation and recognizing that #BlackLivesMatter and Indigenous peoples around the world that are killed with the same impunity. For us to be in solidarity means we too must make these connections and understand that all state violence is connected – while working to address the root causes. BDS is central to our movement, however BDS alone is not enough.

A genuine strategy for Palestinian liberation must be based on uniting all Palestinian workers–in the West Bank and Gaza, within Israel’s borders and in the diaspora. The Palestinian working class can then make regional and international alliances with all those seeking the democratic self- activity necessary for liberation. Road Map to Peace, Where to Begin? Solidarity statements with Palestine are an important first step. Yet to transform the oppressive nature of occupation, we must navigate from this initial symbolic show of support – to practical liberatory action. We can begin by looking at historic and current examples – both of which provide an excellent source of inspiration.

As solidarity among oppressed peoples grew historically–so did Israel’s cooperation with dictators in techniques of surveillance, detention, torture and death squads in Latin America. Emigrating after the First World War, Palestinians created the first Palestinian institutions outside of Palestine, in Latin America. As early as 1920 and by 1947 there was a strong lobby in several countries against the partition of Palestine by the United Nations.Today Latin American solidarity is expressed in a variety of forms of delegations and cooperation, and organizations in Latin America demanding their governments break all relations with Israel. As solidarity among oppressed peoples grew historically–so did Israel’s cooperation with dictators in techniques of surveillance, detention, torture and death squads in Latin America such as Somoza in Nicaragua and Pinochet in Chile. Today Israel shares “expertise” with U.S. police under “various facets of counter-terrorism and first response to better protect the American people.” And as “cooperation” increases we see in both instances, an increasing number of victims are blamed for their own murders, even when evidence is clear they provided no threat whatsoever. me

Exporting Global Repression

Israel is perfecting surveillance, and one of the top occupation profiteers, through the surveillance of the Palestinian people. Using knowledge and expertise gained from assisting in the occupation of Palestinians, the Israeli defense systems company, Elbit, has made millions exporting surveillance worldwide – and increasingly in Latin America. While, Israel’s role in arming dictators and oppressive regimes in Latin America during the last century is well documented, Elbit, is at the forefront of a new growing movement working in at least five Latin American countries, as well as along the U.S.-Mexico border. Elbit – Crossing Borders, Building Fortress Walls The technology Elbit is using to profit off of the “Wall of Death” along the U.S.-Mexico border was first deployed in Palestine along Israel’s Apartheid Wall that in 2004. The International Court of Justice ruled was illegal, and must be torn down, and that Israel must pay reparations. Despite this ruling, Elbit continues to participate in the maintenance of the Wall, thereby being complicit in a grave breach of international law, which is a war crime. palmex

G4S – Leading Repression in Palestine and Globally

In August 2015, more than 1,100 prominent Black activists, artists, scholars, students and organizations signed a historic Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine. As part of the BDS campaign, they are taking up targeting the British security company G4S that backs Israel’s notorious prisons. From their statement: “G4S is the world’s largest private security company. G4S harms thousands of Palestinian political prisoners illegally held in Israel and Black and brown youth held in its privatized juvenile prisons in the U.S. The corporation profits from incarceration and deportation from the US and Palestine, to the UK, South Africa, and Australia.

This article was originally published in Telesur.

Falling Stars Raise $65 million for Apartheid, Occupation and Ethnic Cleansing in One Year

LOS ANGELES: On Thursday November 4th, a fundraiser in aid of the occupying Israeli army featured B list Hollywood actors such as Jason Alexander, Antonio Banderas, Liev Schreiber, Jason Segel and Gene Simmons and brought in a whopping “$31 million, as some 1,200 people turned out for an annual Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) gala.”

In fact, just last November, yet more falling stars raised over $33 mill: “Barbra Streisand, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pamela Anderson were among 1,200 guests who attended the annual Friends of the Israel Defense Forces event at which the unprecedented sum was raised. “It is incredibly touching to see how advocacy for the FIDF has grown in Los Angeles,” said Haim Saban, the American-Israeli philanthropist who chaired the gala.”

Only in entertainment land, master of creating false illusions LOS ANGELES (a city it may be more accurate to call Los Oscuro Angeles, or city of dark/fallen angels/devils!?) is it possible to raise nearly $65 million for an illegal occupying army in one year. Not to mention this occupying welfare state, is already the largest recipient to US aid in the tune of over $3 billion a year – and is currently seeking another $50 billion from US tax payers over the next 10 years!

It seems clear that Hollywood is divided zionist/occupied territory: primarily by those needing a career boost, that follow the script of execs beholden to Israel to gain power in Tinseltown. An article titled, Simmering Conflict in Hollywood Over Israel, revealed how this process works “celebrity criticism of Israel led to recriminations from pro-Israel stars and threats to blacklist those who spoke out against the military operation.”

Pleading ignorance is no excuse, everyone knows Israel is an occupying army, guilty of violating countless UN resolutions and international laws – since its inception. At the least to do or say nothing of the crimes committed by an illegal occupying army, is to be complicit in its crimes. To raise 10’s of millions of dollars for it, is directly supporting state sponsored terror, guilty of no less crimes than those of the nazis.

We would condemn in strongest terms (which we should), and call to boycott:  who raise funds to support the occupation of Palestine – in no uncertain terms. Here they even sink so far as to boast about sending foreign mercenaries to colonize and terrorize the Palestinian people, on their own land:

The evening focused on the IDF’s lone soldiers, who leave their families and native countries behind to serve in the army, and included testimonies from the mothers of fallen soldiers. It also featured a presentation from a US veteran on the impact of Israeli medical technology on the lives of Americans.

But no need really, as they are clearly writing themselves into the dust bins of history as fallen stars- that will do anything for a buck!
geneThat’s OK – we’ve got Hollywood royalty of the likes of – Penelope, Javier, Riri and Selena and KimK., among others ❤

Spanish actor Javier Bardem, nominated for best actor in a drama for his work in

Spanish actor Javier Bardem, nominated for best actor in a drama for his work in “The Sea Inside,” arrives for the 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2005, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

keeping it far classier. Now we just need to ask them to put on a fundraiser for Palestine! 😉

——-

Meanwhile, some great news from PORTLAND! Unlike opportunistic Hollywood and those doing it for political and or economic gain, normal every day citizens along with the Human Rights Commission upheld their endorsement of an ‪#‎OccupationFree‬ Portland.

Following a 3.5 hour hearing last night (Wednesday 11/4), the HRC held strong to their endorsement of Occupation-Free Portland’s letter to the City Socially Responsible Investments Committee to put Caterpillar, G4S, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions on the City’s Do-Not-Buy list for these companies human rights violations in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.

#YAY #BDS #Winning

Sliding backwards and down the slippery slope of surveillance

An article in this week’s East Bay Express: Counter-Terrorism Officials Helped Track Black Lives Matter Protesters highlighted the next phase in the progression of what is a historic, ongoing and escalating trend of using regressive laws and abusive practices against activists. Just as cointel-pro was implemented (often by illegal tactics) to destroy the black power and anti war movements, the same attack is now taking place against the black lives matter movement – in addition to the ongoing scapegoating/criminalizing of immigrants, Arabs and Muslims.
Across the board the goals are the same, but the methods, tools and tactics are the same – giving free range for all levels of government (and corporations), to access quite literally unlimited amounts of information. Today never ending streams of data being transmitted and stored at local ‘fusion centers’, and as the article displays – are shared with and coordinated at the local, state & federal levels.
The article documents how, during the #BlackLivesMatter protests in December, law enforcement used tweets several activists, including one I posted, to justify their over reaching response in which an armed undercover officer in plain clothes that pulled out his gun in the middle of a nonviolent protest. The emails in question clearly display how police use any means, no matter how far reaching, to justify abusive practices – with full impunity.
In Pasedena a dangerous, new precedent is being set, by charging BLM activist/ community leader Jasmine Richards with “terrorism” charges. Despite a shred of evidence pointing her to any violence or otherwise, this means ‘legally’ – she can be denied a trial, thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA). The irony should not be lost that these protests originally formed as a result of police misconduct, and impunity. What is abundantly clear – from Ferguson to NYC, to Oakland and beyond, is that millions of American’s have had the exact same experience.

Help keep the massive locomotive, from derailing and destroying everything in its path

Support the national #USWstrike to keep the massive oil industry locomotive, from derailing and destroying everything in its path!

Yesterday yet another catastrophe occurred in Southern California where an Explosion Ripped Through the Torrence Oil Refinery.
detoit

Coincidentally(?) these disaster’s are occurring, just as the national #USWstrike of steel and oil workers, is getting under way over safety and working conditions and use of untrained contractors. This strike is critical in importance for us all to support, as they may be the only hope in keeping the massive locomotive of the oil industry from derailment. Not to mention, the key source of why/who we wage resource wars throughout the planet for, and now as we are seeing, one chemical spill and environmental disaster after another – due to the greed and profit above all, at any cost – attitude of the oil industry.
Yesterday the environmental justice movement, called on community supporters to join and support the picket, and present included those from local unions including the ILWU/longshoremen and several other concerned citizens and groups. The strongest allies of all, by far – were the nurses, who showed their strength in numbers and with their signs and chants and were very outspoken towards the scabs that crossed the lines.
‘Not about the money’
I asked workers about their conditions and several were quick to jump in and share horror stories about safety issues they are dealing with, including co-workers getting burned with acid. Unlike the major/national #fightfor15 and other strikes that are being fought over wages, USW workers state fatigue as hands down the most major concern. One worker wanted to make it abundantly clear that this was not about money, as he made just under ‘six figures’ in regular pay and almost double that with overtime, and only 1% of the company’s total profits go to paying wages. He stated that they work 12 hour days, and have mandatory over time–on top of the regular hours they work, they are required to work a minimum of 1500 additional hours. If they don’t they will be cited and eventually fired. So, they were more concerned about their safety, way of life and of course the strength and power of the union.

Unfortunately, there was no way to stop scabs and management from crossing the picket so trucks and buses with people (hidden) kept cruising by. Apparently they were concerned with legal issues and avoiding an injunction, which would shut down their entire picket. The workers were very happy the community was out there, I think it lifted their spirits and everyone repeatedly thanked me and others for the support. I asked what more we could do, and they just said do more of the same, all day everyday.

The environmental justice movement is planning to show up on Wednesdays regularly. Imo, it would be good to have a regular day weekly to join picket, either weds and/or another day. We may not be able to stop the freight train, but we can definitely put the brakes on to slow it down considerably – the future of our planet may very well depend on it!

Here are the deets:
Join us
WEDNESDAYS’ at 12/noon 

Climate and Environmental Justice Solidarity Day! 
At the USW Local 5 picket line

150 Solano Way, Martinez (or Pacheco, according to Google maps)

In solidarity.