Monthly Archives: August 2004

March For Our Lives: Stop the War At Home

http://www.kwru.org/mfol/speeches.htm

[August 30, 2004]

En Espanol

The March For Our Lives: Stop the War At Home began with a rally at the UN.

The following artists performed:

Immortal Technique – New York – Hip Hop Activist Group
Musician and Activist – Steve Earl
Speakers List:
The following are excerpts of speeches.
National Council of Churches – Bob Edgar
Dr King said, “We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.” This may well be humankind’s last chance to choose between chaos and community. As we gather here in this plaza, let us remind ourselves of Dr. King’s dream, let us remind ourselves of the value of nonviolence, let us call upon God to be with us in this action, let us stand up when others tell us to sit down and speak out when others tell us to be silent. A group of us are going to gather in prayer tomorrow evening at Riverside Church here in New York, and at 7-o-clock tomorrow evening with the help of Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, people of all faith’s traditions are going to pray for the poor, gonna pray for justice, gonna pray for peace. May the spark of this day be a spark that leads us into the future. And may us all remember as we touch each other’s shoulder that we have a shoulder to count on, and a shoulder that we must place our hand on as a reminder that the children of Sudan, the children of Baghdad, the children of New York and Washington, the children of America are counting on us to seek justice, to bring hope and to make a difference on our fragile planet we call Earth. God be with you.
Coalition to Protect Public Housing – Chicago, IL – Barbara Moore
I’m here representing the Coalition to Protect Public Housing and Cabrini Green. I’m here to tell President Bush: “America the Beautiful”, but beautiful for whom? Is it just for the rich, the famous and the politicians? Do poor people in America have a dream of being successful every year, do we have to go to Iraq or Iran where Bush has sent all the money to get a decent safe and sanitary housing? Mr. Bush, please, help us before we have blood on our streets in America like the blood on the streets in Iraq and Iran, because we are not gonna let our children go hungry and have nowhere to live. Please help us, Mr. Bush.
PPEHRC: New York City Chapter – New York, NY – Ronald Casanova
I am a homeless person, but I’m a homeless person who’s alive. I got the virus, but I’m alive. I got about thirty or forty more years to go, and I’m gonna fight for the rest of my life just like you guys are. All I’ve got to say to you guys is if you’re serious, if you really want to make changes, then let’s go get Bush.
Michigan Welfare Rights Organization – Detroit, MI – Marian Kramer
It’s quite an honor to be out here today, but it brings tears to our eyes to see that many people are beginning to join the army to eliminate poverty not just in the United States but throughout the world. We have to get rid of the terrorists, not just Bush but his whole empire, to make sure that our children will be able to have a future. Today make sure that this is the beginning, that you join this fight, the fight for economic human rights, not just here but throughout the world. Thank you for being here and thank you for giving me the honor to be a part of you.
Women’s Economic Agenda Project
-Oakland, CA-
Ethel Long-Scott
What a joyful day! We are in the fight for our lives, we are ready for it, we traveled three thousand miles to say to those who would think they can intimidate us into silence, we reject that. To those that think they can continue to rob our lives, to take our health care, our housing, our jobs and our dignity, we reject that. They think they might be able to keep us from bringing together the leaders of truth, hardworking people who built this country, who are marching for our constitutional rights, we are here to say that you are here for the fight of your life because we are marching not only for the people who are here within the sound of voice, but for the millions who are suffering without healthcare, in misery and in silence. We lift our voices today in unity, we will fight for economic human rights, and we will never be silent.
Deaf and Deaf-Blind Committee on Human Rights – Cleveland, OH – Nicole Mitchart
So many people have problems and issues, it is very sad. And so we would like to break those barriers, we have terrible experiences within the deaf community. Myself, I have migraines and can’t seem to get into the doctor. The doctor only gives me superficial reasons as to why I’m sick because I can’t even afford to go there. I have to buy the cheapest food I can find just so I can eat. Our house mortgage keeps increasing; it never stays the same because the taxes keep going up. I’m afraid to lose our house, my husband is the only one who works, and he is also deaf. He’s worked for 13 years and seems to be gaining nothing and is not succeeding. We have to live from check to check and we can’t afford to live on loans. We can’t get interpreters to open up communications, and we feel like our human rights have not been met and we would like that attention brought here too.
Women in Transition – Louisville, KY – Kiona Black
Good afternoon. My name is Kiona Black. I am from Louisville, Kentucky, representing Women in Transition. I’m here today letting our government and our nation know we will be heard. Our needs will be met. We are not invisible, we’re here! Thank you!
ADAPT- Philadelphia, PA – Jimmy
People are being incarcerated against their will, without the benefit of a trial, without the right to talk to a lawyer. I’m talking about our sisters and brothers with disabilities who are locked up in nursing homes and institutions every day for lack of community-based home services, for the lack of this money because the nursing home industry is a great big multi-billion dollar industry that has grown off the cash cow of people with disabilities. We who are in ADAPT are fighting to free our brothers, to free our sisters, and to free our people. We ask you to join us and to help us fight, talk to your local congresspeople and senators and tell them you support a bill called Mi Casa. Mi Casa is the key to saving people.
POWER – San Francisco, CA – Steve Williams
We need to end homelessness in this country. All over the globe there are people without housing, without food. George Bush instead of sending food, instead of sending money, he sends bombs. He sends jails to our communities. We say that that shit has got to stop. And it has got to stop today. And we know that he won’t stop it. We know that the democrats won’t stop it. The only people that will stop it are the people in the streets. And that is why they can bring out all the police they want, they can drop all the bombs they want, but we know that we are sick and tired of being treated like less than human beings. As the people in San Francisco say. We’re Fired Up! Won’t take it no more. We’re Fired Up! Won’t take it no more.
NOW – Olga Vives
“We are here in solidarity with you today to say no to the Bush Agenda. This Bush Administration is wrong. It has created chaos in the United States and around the world. We are hated abroad, and here at home we suffer because of their policies. It is a shame that the richest country in the world allows 12 million children to go to be hungry every night. It is a shame that the richest country in the world allows women of color to get 55 cents for dollar that a man makes. It is a shame that the richest country in the world throws women off of welfare without a job, without job training. Promoting marriage is a failed policy. It is a shame that working across the streets of this country, this rich country, are people with no shelter, no medical care, no jobs, and no hope. We are here today to demand change. To demand an end to the war in Iraq.”
Episcopal Diocese of New York – Michael Kendell
“The problem that we are having in this country is that there is a housing program and it is called jails. We have an employment program, it is called the military. We would have a health program and food, but we are at war. We have got to get out of the business of war, out of the business of giving too much money to the rich. The gap between the rich and poor is growing and is the worst in New York State. And we have got to get back to work for the needs of human beings. This isn’t just a jobs program or a housing program. This is about life and death. People are dieing in this city and across this nation because they do not have food, they do not have housing, they do not have healthcare, they do not have jobs. They tell us in New York State that the churches, the synagogues, and the mosques, can open up soup kitchens. And what do they do? They cut the food money. Then they cut section 8. Housing is a right. So is healthcare and so are jobs. Lets go to work for that.”
Coalition of Immokalee Workers – Immokalee, FL – Gerardo Reyes-Chavez
“It is great to be here with you all today. We imagine that many of you know that we have a national boycott of Taco Bell. And this boycott started precisely because of the violations of Human rights that we as farmworkers face everyday in this country. The right to a decent wage doesn’t exist in the agricultural industry. The right to organize and be recognized as a union of workers does not exist in the agricultural industry. The right to work free from slavery. Talking about slavery we just finished a case where over 700 workers were forced to work at gun point in the fields of Florida. We are here today in front of the United Nations to say that we as farmworkers and none of us as low wage workers and poor are going to tolerate any more, these violations of human rights. Thank you “
Organize! Ohio – Cleveland, OH – Larry Bresler
“What kind of nation are we living in when our infant mortality rate is at third world levels. Where we are the only industrialized nation in the world that does not have universal healthcare. We have one class of education for the wealthy. And second class education for those that are not. A homeless population that gets larger and larger and larger. That is not the mark of a might nation. A good progressive nation, a might nation, is one that recognizes economic human rights. We have to demand on a neighborhood level, on a community level, on a state level, and certainly on a national level, for social justice and our economic human rights. Thank you “
AFSCME 1707 – New York – Brenda Stokely
“Why do we take over the streets? Because people need to speak for themselves! It means that you are out speaking for yourself, but equally as important, it means you are are organizing for yourself. Because nothing absolutely nothing, in this country or in the world has ever changed unless the people who are oppressed, rose up, organized, and took over and made things the way that they need to be made in this country. We are not going to get jobs, we are not going to get childcare, and we are not going to get healthcare, unless we make it happen. And that is what this is all about. The next march is going to be October the 17th. Be there because those are working people, which all of us, whether you have been laid off, whether you have never worked, maybe they have you doing slave labor as a welfare recipient, whatever it is you are not part of the wealthy class. You are part of working people. And that is who is going to be speaking and marching on the 17th.”
New Jerusalem – Philadelphia, PA – Sister Margaret McKenna
“I come from New Jerusalem Now which is a community of people, there are thirty of us here today from Philadelphia, North Philadelphia. I am happy that God is definitely on our side today. I am happy to be marching with God and his people today.”
National Association of Social Workers: New Jersey chapter – Renee Wolf
“I am here today representing the peace and social justice taskforce of the National Association of Social Workers of New Jersey and Poor Voices United a group of poor people from Atlantic City New Jersey. I am here today joined with my fellow social workers to fight for the rights that every human being should have when they are born. The right to food, housing and education. Today I call on all social workers to join this fight because until the policies of the US change, there are going to be two people in line for every one person we try to help. I know with our collective power we are going to get all of our economic human rights.”
Rochester Poor People United – Rochester, NY – Charles Kellum
“I just want to say that it was a struggle for us to get here today. We had to wash cars, we had to beg for money in order to make this trip and at the last minute we had about 20 people who wanted to go with us and they couldn’t make it. And I said that for all those people that couldn’t make it that we would make sure their voices were heard– that they understood, that poor people understand that this is a struggle for our rights to exist, for our rights to survive. And I want to come up here and say “get rid of Bush, no more Bush, no more four years.”
United for Peace and Justice – Leslie Cagan
“I don’t know if you all can see yourselves, but you look terrific, you look beautiful. It is wonderful to be here with you, yesterday many of you marched with us and we know that the struggle for peace is totally and completely linked to the struggle for economic justice here at home and around the world. When working people and poor people stand together, not only unified in this country but with working people and poor people all around the world, that’s when we become strong enough to actually turn things around. Peace will come in the world when there is social and economic justice in the world. “
Loring Nicollet Alternative School – Minneapolis, MN – Rachle Hamilton
“There are women out there that are raising their children all across the United States, and 95% of those women live under the poverty level, and we know the poverty level is way too low. What we need to do now is go out and protect those children and this march is one way we can do it. We have those that are marching who have family members who are in prison. We have the largest prison population of any civilized nation. Lets get out there and walk and march and let this government know what we are all about.
Justice, Economic Dignity, and Independence for Women – Salt Lake City, UT – Bonnie Macri
The Empowerment Center – Cleveland, OH – Luther Smith
“I am a Korean Vet, and the Bush administration has cut the pensions critically and they have added extra surcharges to the medications. I am also a community activist in Ohio and we want Bush out!”
People to End Homelessness – Providence, RI – Catherine Rhodes
“I want to share with you all a story of what happened to me in New York City while I was marching and documenting the Economic Human Rights Violations in the city. I happened to go to Tompkins Square with a bunch of other really loving and caring people including Cas who was showing us around. I was given the honor of sitting down next to a woman who was with her bags. She was sitting on the park bench and she was sleeping and I didn’t wake her up. And I sat with her for about 15 minutes and I said ‘my God what has this country come to?’ and I started to walk away and as I was walking away, a gentleman in uniform came up and tapped her on the shoulder and said “excuse me ma’am but there is no sleeping allowed in the park” this woman, a 60 year-old white woman taking a nap sitting up in the park was given a ticket and a summons to go to a New York City court district. That is what this world is coming to. Time to get Bush out!”
Social Welfare Action Alliance – (national) – Jennifer Jones
“The Social Welfare Action Alliance is here, and a member of the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign. Whether you have food or you do not have food; whether you need health care or don’t have health care… We are in a fight for our lives. Look around make no mistake, poor people did this. There are no more violent acts of terrorism than the systematic starvation of children in the richest country in the world.”
Alternatives for Developing Change – Chico, CA – Sarah Frohock
Kensington Welfare Rights Union – Philadelphia, PA – Galen Tyler
Labor Party – Mark Dudzic
“The Labor Party is made up of hundreds of thousands of unions and poor people’s organizations around the country. We have come here to stand in solidarity with the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. The people of this country have a right to healthcare. The people of this country have a right to a job.”
Industrial Union Council – New Jersey – Bill Kane
“It is great to be here with the people who believe and respect the constitution of the United States. We are here at the United Nations for a specific reason. We’re here because the world needs to know that it is not just so called third world countries that have human rights violations. It is here in the United States of America that we need to build this movement. And today that is exactly what we are doing.”
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NYCLAW RNC Flyer: Workers to Bush & Kerry: End the Occupation of Iraq & Brings the Troops Home Now!

[Download formatted flyer: nyclaw-flyer]

WORKERS TO BUSH & KERRY:
END THE OCCUPATION OF IRAQ & BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!


WHO’S TO BLAME?

Bush launched war against Iraq by exploiting 9/11, and lying about “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and the “Al-Qaeda connection.”

But both he and John Kerry support the brutal occupation of Iraq — which is all about oil, empire, and plunder by companies like Halliburton, Bechtel and Verizon.

It’s another Vietnam War, and just as wrong.

WHAT’S THE COST?

**Dead, Maimed, Tortured. Some 37,000 Iraqis dead, countless others maimed, tortured or abused. More than 900 dead G.I.s, thousands more wounded — mostly workers and people of color from our communities.

**Billions Squandered. The U.S. spends billions each week for the war. We pay the price: massive cuts in wages, jobs, schools, housing, transit and health care.

**Rights Trampled. Ever since 9/11, the Bush administration has trampled our right to strike, civil liberties and immigrant rights.

WHAT CAN NYC LABOR DO?

The Iraqi people have bravely resisted occupation by the U.S. and all foreign troops. G.I.s and their families want to come home — Now!

Working people — both in and out of uniform — have the power to achieve this. Many U.S. unions opposed the war, and in June, the two largest — SEIU and AFSCME — demanded “Bring the Troops Home.” Workers in New York can take a stand:

**Join NYCLAW. Join 1,500 trade union endorsers of New York City Labor Against the War. NYCLAW opposes all imperial wars and occupations, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Haiti, the Philippines, Colombia, Korea and Puerto Rico — as well as U.S. threats against countries like Cuba, Iran, Venezuela. Our September 27, 2001 founding statement and other antiwar materials are at: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LaborAgainstWar/files/&gt;. NYCLAW meets on the first Monday of each month, 6:30 p.m., at AFSCME DC 1707, 75 Varick St., Suite 1401 (1/9/A/C/E to Canal St.).

**Organize. Invite a NYCLAW speaker to your union or community, launch a NYCLAW affiliate and get your union to pass a resolution in support of U.S. Labor Against the War.

NYCLAW ORGANIZING CONFERENCE Saturday, November 20, 2004 Registration Begins 9 a.m. AFSCME DC 1707, 75 Varick Street, New York

Info: nyclaw@comcast.net, 917-282-0139 New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW) PO Box 233, Prince St. Station, New York, NY 10012-3900

————————–

[Download formatted flyer: nyclaw-flyer-spanish]

EL OBRERO LE DICE A BUSH Y A KERRY:
FIN A LA OCUPACION DE IRAK Y EL REGRESO INMEDIATO DE LAS TROPAS!

?QUI?N ES CULPABLE?

Bush lanz? la guerra contra Irak aprovechandose del 9/11 y mentiras sobre ?las armas de destrucci?n masivas? y sobre la tal ?relaci?n con Al-Qaeda?.

Pero ambos, Bush y John Kerry apoyan la ocupaci?n brutal de Irak, que fue por el petroleo y por el saqueo para el beneficio las corporaciones como Halliburton, Bechtel y Verizon.

Irak es otra Vietnam, una guerra injusta.

?CUANTO CUESTA?

**Muertos, mutilados, torturados. Como 37.000 iraqu?es muertos, otros tantos mutilados, victimas de tortura o de abuso. M?s de 900 soldados americanos muertos y miles m?s heridos ? su gran mayoria obreros y obreras y pueblos de color de nuestras comunidades.

**Billones de dolares malgastados. Los Estados Unidos gasta billones por semana para la guerra y nosotros pagamos el precio: cortes de salarios masivos, de empleos, de escuelas, viviendas, transporte y cuido de salud.

**Nuestros derechos pisoteados. Desde el 9/11, la administraci?n de Bush nos ha arrapado nuestros derechos a la huelga, libertad civil y derechos de emigrantes.

?QU? PUEDEN HACER LOS OBREROS Y OBRERAS DE LA CIUDAD DE NUEVA YORK?

El pueblo iraqu? ha resistido valientemente a la ocupaci?n de Estados Unidos y a todas las tropas extranjeras. ?Los soldados y sus familias EU quieren que regresen ? ahora mismo!

El pueblo obrero ? en uniforme y sin ? uniforme tiene todo el poder de lograrlo. Muchas uniones en Estados Unidos se oponen a la guerra y este pasado junio, dos de las uniones m?s grandes ? SEIU y AFSCME demandaron por ?El Regreso Inmediato de las Tropas!?

El pueblo obrero de Nueva York puede tomar una posici?n:

**Unirse a NYCLAW (Obreos de la Ciudad de Nueva York Contra la Guerra). Unansen a los 1.500 unionistas endosatorios a NYCLAW. NYCLAW se opone a todas las guerras imperialistas y ocupaciones de otros paises como Irak, Afghanist?n, Palestina, Hait?, las Filipinas, Colombia, Corea y Puerto Rico ? como tambien las amenazas contra paises como Cuba, Ir?n, Venezuela. Nuestras declaraciones fundadoras de NYCLAW y otros materiales contra la guerra se pueden ver en: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LaborAgainstWar/files/.

NYCLAW se reune el primer lunes de cada mes, a las 6:30PM en las oficinas de AFSCME, D.C.1707, 75 Varick St., Salon 1401
(1/9/A/C/E ? parada Canal St.)

**Los obreros y obreras pueden tambien organizar localmente. Pueden invitar oradores de NYCLAW a su uni?n o comunidad, pueden establecer un grupo afiliado a NYCLAW y otorgar en su uni?n a aprobar una resoluci?n en apoyo a USLAW (Estados Unidos Labor Contra la Guerra).

CONFERENCIA DE ORGANIZACI?N DE NYCLAW S?bado, de noviembre el 20 de 2004 Registro comienza a las 9 por la ma?anas AFSCME DC 1707, 75 Varick Street, New York

New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)
PO Box 233, Prince St. Station, New York, NY 10012-3900
nyclaw@comcast.net, 917.282.0139.

NYCLAW Flyer: U.S. Out of Iraq & Bring the Troops Home Now!

[Download formatted version: nyclaw-flyer-82904-rnc.doc]

Join Labor At the RNC to Tell Bush & Kerry:
U.S. Out of Iraq & Bring the Troops Home Now!

•End War & Occupation in Palestine, Afghanistan, Everywhere!

•Stop Bush’s War on Workers – At Home & Abroad!

•Fund Jobs, Health Care & Schools – Not War!

•Fight Racism – Defend Immigrant, Civil & Labor Rights!

Sunday August 29, 2004

Labor contingent assembles 10 a.m., 22 St. @ 6 & 7 aves. – March at Noon

Labor endorsers of the August 29 demo include (list in formation):

•1199ers for Peace & Justice
•AFM Local 1000
•AFSCME DC 1707
•AFSCME Local 171
•BMWE, NY Lodge 3068
•IWW NYC GMB
•NWU/UAW Local 1981
•NJ Labor Against the War
•NYC Labor Against the War
•NYC Teachers Against the War
•Postal Workers Against the War
•Transit Workers Against the War
•U.S. Labor Against the War

4 p.m.: Post-Rally Labor Antiwar Open House
Refreshments & screening of The F.T.A. Show (G.I. resistance to the Vietnam War) AFSMCE DC 1707, 75 Varick Street, Suite 1401 (1/9/A/C/E to Canal St.).

For more info, contact: nyclaw@comcast.net, 917.282.0139

Union Labor Donated — 8.24.04

The Anti-War Movement Faces Off With the DNC (Axis of Logic)

http://www.duckdaotsu.org/072804-boston-axis.html

The Anti-War Movement Faces Off With the DNC
By Les Blough & Beth Henry Aug 2, 2004, 20:00

To view the Axis of Logic Audio-visual and Photographic Journal of the July 25, 2004 demonstration against war and occupation at the Democratic National Convention go to ANSWER Mobilization.

Since 9/11/01, we have participated in about 30 protests against the latest wars of the ruling class. Yesterday’s demonstration against war on Boston Common and our march to the Fleet Center was nothing less than a unparalleled success. It began with long-range strategic planning by Boston ANSWER. The city and federal governments and corporate media set the stage with fear-mongering about the possibility of a “terrorist” strike during the Democratic National Convention being held this week at the Fleet Center in Boston. Using that platform of fear, they exposed their new police state as never before – drawn from all over Massachusetts, neighboring states and Federal Agencies under the pretext of the “war on terrorism”.

The Police State

The Boston Police Department, Police Departments from cities and towns across Massachusetts, the State Police, FBI, INS, Secret Service, U.S. Capital Police, National Guard and Coast Guard came together to protect the city from this “dangerous protest” – all under the umbrella of “Homeland Security”. When we were driving back to Boston from New Hampshire at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, we saw caravans of uniformed police coming down I-93 into Boston, led by police cruisers with lights flashing. The flood of police that enveloped our demonstration yesterday was beyond absurdity. They stalked our protest in khakis, casual wear, business suits, uniforms, full battle gear, guns, headphones and exposed body armor that some U.S. troops lack in Baghdad. One can only imagine what this preposterous and excessive show of force is costing U.S. taxpayers.

During the week preceding our demonstration and protest March, the corporate media plugged the “security” forces as being in position as a “precaution for possible violence by the protestors”. In the 29 protests I have been with ANSWER in the last 3 years, our protestors have never carried out a single act of violence and the media knows it. In our final planning meeting last week, one woman asked, “If they are here to stop a terrorist attack, why are they directing their forces against legal, civil, peaceful protestors?” She added that we are not only protesting against the war in Iraq, we are defending our civil rights assemble and to speak out.

The Right and Duty to Protest

Boston and New York ANSWER planned this action brilliantly, mobilizing thousands of people for yesterday’s demonstration against the wars promised by a new Kerry Administration. We were successful in spite of the powerful tide of DNC money and their media and other activist groups who are complicit with the Democratic Party in the U.S. Other activist groups protested the “condition of the pens” built by the government to cage them. The cages are surrounded by razor wire and capped with netting.

We didn’t protest the “condition of the cages”. We protested the existence of cages and any other attempts by government to silence us and suppress our civil rights under the constitution. When many from these other groups saw the power of this protest developing in Boston Common, they joined us. Our right to dissent includes our responsibility to protest when we see our communities placed under martial law and our government executing illegal, immoral wars and occupations.

When the City of Boston denied our right to take our protest down Causeway Street to the front door of the DNC at the Fleet Center, we used their own weapons against them. We filed a lawsuit in Federal Court last Monday and demanded our right to confront John Kerry at the Fleet Center with his promises. On Thursday, we won the right to do just that, and yesterday we did. Led by the ANSWER sound truck, 5,000 people marched from Boston Common, up Beacon Street to the State House on Beacon Hill where John Kerry’s plush town house sits on multi-million dollar real estate. We marched down the other side of Beacon Hill to the Fleet Center and back to Boston Common thundering anti-war, anti-imperialist chants:

“WHOSE STREETS? – OUR STREETS!!!”

“MONEY FOR JOBS AND EDUCATION NOT FOR WAR AND OCCUPATION!!!”

“SHOW ME WHAT FASCISM LOOKS LIKE? THIS IS WHAT FASCISM LOOKS LIKE!!!”
(as we marched past the cages they built for us);

BRICK BY BRICK, WALL BY WALL FREE MUMIA ABU JAMAL!!!

EL PUEBLO … UNIDO … JAMAS SERA VENCIDO!!!

THE PEOPLE UNITED! WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED!!!

On Boston Common

On the Boston Common, a high spirited, multi-ethnic, racially-diverse crowd of 5,000 listened to moving speakers from Haiti, Columbia, Palestine, Mexico, Venezuela, the Philippines, Native America, Korea and the United States. They sat on Boston Common and listened to riveting speeches representing Fanmi Lavalis (Haiti); New England Human Rights Organization for Haiti; National Committee to Free the Cuban 5; MLK Bolivarian Circle (Boston); Nation of Islam; Support Network for an Armed Forces Union (SNAFU); Veterans for Peace; United American Indians of New England; Equal Marriage Solidarity Coalition; Women’s Fightback Network; Women’s Global Strike; Mass Trans Political Coalition; North Carolina Green Party; Disabled Peoples Liberation Front; Guns & Butter, KPFA (San Francisco); Korea Truth Commission; Sanctuary City Homeless Encampment, Union of Minority Neighborhoods and Chelsea Uniting Against the War.

Excellent speakers represented the workers of the world including Brenda Stokely, President of AFSCME District Council 1707 and Clarence Thomas ILWU Local 10. Brenda and Clarence are Co-Conveners of the Million Worker March, launched yesterday and scheduled to move into Washington D.C. on October 17, 2004. Watch Axis of Logic for more information on the Million Worker March in coming days and weeks. Workers were also represented at Sunday’s demonstration by Greater Roxbury Workers Association; Workers World Party; USWA 8751, Boston School Bus Drivers (United Steel Workers); AFSME and Association of Mexican-American Workers.

At the beginning of the demonstration the audience was energized by the powerful anti-war lyrics of Movement in Motion. Boston City Councilman Chuck Turner opened his speech by saying that he is ashamed to be an elected official in the midst of all that we are seeing around us in Boston this week. Larry Holmes, Co-Director of International Action Center, gave a powerful speech on war and oppression. Clarence Thomas launched the Million Worker March scheduled for October. Yoomi Jeong, of the Korea Truth Commission, galvanized the mass gathering as she demanded the end to U.S. occupation of Korea. Leslie Feinberg gave an uplifting presentation on the achievements Gays and Lesbians. Ahmed Kawash brought the plight of Palestinians and the blight of the Israeli occupation of Palestine to the demonstration. Steve Gillis hammered the government for their attacks on working women and men of America. Farrah Juste captivated the audience as she described the CIA kidnapping of Jean-Bertrand Aristide and demanded his return to his democratically-elected position as President of Haiti. The audience listened quietly to many other speakers deliver information and inspiration surrounding demands to causes of stop wars, colonization, economic injustice and Americans’ need for good public education, health care, living wages and fair housing practices.

This demonstration was attended by significant numbers of people from across the country who vigorously demanded an end to invasions by the U.S. government on foreign. They demanded an end to the economic attacks by government on us, here in the U.S. and on the people working for corporate profits abroad. They demanded an end to the war and occupation of Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq and that U.S. troops be brought home immediately. This demonstration and protest clarified and addressed the Democratic Party’s intention to continue the war and occupation of Iraq under new Kerry administration. ANSWER won a significant lawsuit that forced the government to recognize the peoples’ right to assembly and free speech.

For these reasons, it had greater symbolic and historic significance than any other national protest in the U.S. since September 11, 2001.

Mass Media Deception

Finally, we would be remiss not to mention the deceptive coverage of these protests by the corporate media. One only had to watch the television coverage of the demonstration by CNN and others. On the evening following the July 25 DNC anti-war protest in Boston, CNN showed a five-second video of about 100 people scattered across Boston Common before the crowd of 5,000 gathered, leaving the impression that it was attended by only about 100 people. They did not show a single excerpt from a single speech that was delivered. They focused on a single incident in which a man who obviously came to disrupt the demonstration was asked to leave. When he refused, a few activists surrounded him until the police arrived to extract him from the audience. CNN’s angle on the incident was that “activists assaulted the man”.

In other corporate media coverage, they gave far greater attention to a few anti-abortionists who had a “die-in”, calling them 1,000 in number. A simple Internet search on “DNC protests”, “ANSWER DNC protests” or “July 25 Protests” shows the same abysmal, deceptive practice throughout the corporate media. We meant to show our photographs of the ANSWER DNC protests, contrasting them with the photos shown by the corporate media …. but could find none of their pictures of the protestors on the day after.

The deception is so marked that one has to ask, “Why are they afraid to tell the American People what really happened in Boston on July 25, 2004?” We congratulate Boston ANSWER for winning their brilliant, strategic lawsuit against the City of Boston, and for mobilizing a magnificent protest against U.S. war, occupation and empire. View Axis of Logic’s audio-visual and photographic coverage of the ANSWER DNC Protests:

Please refer back to this article. More video and still photos will be added in coming days.

VOTE ON YOUR FEET! VOTE ON THE STREET!

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Biography

After graduating from Brooklyn Law School, Peter Blum clerked for United States District Judge William G. Bassler in Newark, NJ. He then worked as a staff attorney for The Legal Aid Society, which is the primary public defender in New York City. Most of his time at Legal Aid was with the Criminal Appeals Bureau, where he represented state prisoners who were appealing and collaterally attacking serious felony convictions. Professor Blum argued frequently before the Appellate Divisions for the First and Second Departments, which cover New York City. He also argued before the New York Court of Appeals, and sought habeas corpus relief in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He finished his Legal Aid career with a short stint in the Criminal Defense Division, where he represented misdemeanor clients in Brooklyn Criminal Court.

Professor Blum was elected to the Executive Board of UAW Local 2325, the union which represented Legal Aid’s 700 staff attorneys. His duties included typical union fare: chairing meetings; prosecuting grievances; serving as a shop steward for the Criminal Appeals Bureau; negotiating and enforcing the collective bargaining agreement; and leafleting, phone-banking, and poll-watching in support of UAW-endorsed political candidates. In addition, Professor Blum and his union colleagues could often be found lobbying, demonstrating, and picketing in support of labor rights, equal justice, and civil liberties. Two weeks after September 11, 2001 (during which the Criminal Appeals Bureau lost its office), Professor Blum was one of the founding members of New York City Labor Against the War, which spawned a national labor anti-war movement.

Professor Blum has taught at Howard since August 2004.

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