NYCLAW Antiwar Digest
Sat Sep 6, 2008 2:31 pm (PDT)
BIPARTISAN WAR — AND ANTI-IMPERIAL RESISTANCE — WILL GO ON
Americans will continue to kill and die — and suffer and inflict terrible injuries — in the U.S. war in the Middle East, regardless of who is elected president, well into the next administration and beyond. . . . It has been a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy since the Second World War that the U.S. must control the energy resources of the Middle East. Not because we need them here at home. . . . but because control of energy gives the U.S. a strangle-hold on our corporations’ major economic competitors, the European Union and northeast Asia (Japan, China and South Korea). Whether we call them al-Qaida, Taliban, insurgents, terrorists or militants, the people whom we’re trying to kill in the Middle East are those who want us out of their countries and off of their resources.
UN HAS EVIDENCE AIR STRIKES KILLED 90 AFGHAN CIVILIANS
“90 civilians were killed, including 60 children, 15 women and 15 men.”
U.S. KILLS MORE AFGHAN CHILDREN
“Are these two children al Qaeda?” an angry resident asked as the bodies were taken for burial.
NUMEROUS OCCUPATION STRIKES KILL AFGHAN CHILDREN
Western troops killed three Afghan children and wounded seven other noncombatants in an errant artillery strike Monday. . . . Fueling Afghan anger, two other children and a man were killed in a separate incident Monday involving foreign troops near Kabul. . . . In the other fatal incident. . . . Afghan TV showed the corpses of two children and reported that a woman, apparently their mother, was injured. The man was killed.
US ATTACKS ON CIVILIANS WILL CONTINUE AS LONG AS THE OCCUPATION
Last Saturday, a US air strike was responsible for the deaths of more than 90 Afghans including women and children. . . . Tragic incidents like this have been repeated over and over again. Almost every time, the military perpetrators attempt to cover-up their mistakes and this occasion was no exception. . . . Let the Afghans have their country back and do with it what they will. Let the foreign troops come home on their own two feet rather than in body bags.
HEARTBROKEN AFGHAN GROOM WILL NEVER FORGIVE U.S. MURDER OF HIS FAMILY
I thought American forces were in Afghanistan for our security,” said Attiqullah, his voice trembling. “I could never have imagined that they would bomb my wedding party. They killed my entire family. I will never forgive them”. . . . “Oh my God!” Attiqullah was now sobbing uncontrollably. “I saw my bride and my family members; I saw the pieces of their bodies scattered all over the place.”
AFGHANS FED UP WITH GOVERNMENT, US
Ordinary Afghans are deeply bitter about American and NATO forces because of errant bombs, heavy-handed searches and seizures and a sense that the foreigners do not understand their culture. . . . “(U.S. troops) are not making one mistake, but they are making one thousand mistakes and they are killing many people.”
US PROVOKES AFGHAN RESISTANCE
Heavy-handed bombing raids and house raids, which are seen as culturally unacceptable by many Afghans who guard their privacy fiercely, and the detention of hundreds of suspects for years without trial at the Bagram air base and Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, have stirred up Afghans’ strong independent streak and ancient dislike of invaders.
AFGHAN PUPPET FORCES WON’T FIGHT
If we did not have foreigners here, I don’t think the Afghan National Army or police would come out of their bases.”
PLAN WOULD SHIFT FORCES FROM IRAQ TO AFGHANISTAN
[A]n Army brigade and a Marine battalion would be sent to Afghanistan by early next year, adding about 4,500 troops to American forces there.
NATO GUNSHIPS KILL 15+ PAKISTANI CIVILIANS
NATO helicopter gunships attacked three houses near a stronghold of the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s South Waziristan region early Wednesday, killing at least 15 people, including women and children.
U.S. MISSILES KILLED AT LEAST SIX PAKISTANI CIVILIANS
It was the first of what American military officials said could be more raids. . . . [O]n Thursday, a pilotless American aircraft struck a large house in another village, Chaar Kehl, about 16 miles west of Miran Shah. . . . “Only innocent civilians, including women and children, have been targeted.”
AT US BEHEST, PAKISTANI AIR WAR TERRORIZES CIVILIANS
The Pakistani military. . . . has used jet fighters and helicopter gunships in the past three weeks to strike at insurgents who pour over the border to attack American forces in Afghanistan. . . . [A]s a result of the air campaign, more than 200,000 civilians have fled their homes.
U.S. ATTACKS ON PAKISTANI CIVILIANS GENERATE RESISTANCE
By killing civilians, General Abbas said, there was now a great risk of an uprising by the tribesmen who supported the Pakistani soldiers in the border area. . . . Sher Khan, a phone company employee in Angoor Adda, said in a telephone interview that 19 people were killed in the raid. He said most of the dead were women and children.
JURY ACQUITS FORMER MARINE IN KILLING OF IRAQIS
A former Marine accused of killing unarmed Iraqi detainees was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter Thursday in a first-of-its-kind federal trial.
U.S. DEATH SQUADS ECHO VIETNAM WAR’S OPERATION PHOENIX
The assassination program in Iraq is a collaborative effort between the British SAS and the American Delta Force. It is called “Task Force Black.”
U.S. “SUCESS” DUE TO DEATH SQUADS, NOT SURGE
Rather, Woodward reports, “groundbreaking” covert techniques, beginning in 2007, enabled U.S. military and intelligence officials to locate and kill insurgent leaders and key individuals in extremist groups.
TERRIBLE TOLL OF U.S. WAR ON ANBAR
More than 1,000 American marines and soldiers have died. . . . The fighting devastated much of Anbar. Falluja was razed; whole neighborhoods in Ramadi were likewise flattened.
U.S. EVEN KILLS ITS IRAQI COLLABORATORS
A member of the Iraqi army in Tarmiya said it was “unbelievable” that the Americans would not have known there was an Iraqi security force checkpoint at the bridge, which sits at a strategic location. . . . There have been several Sons of Iraq fighters killed by U.S. forces in the last year.
U.S. DETAINS SECOND IRAQI CAMERAMAN THIS WEEK
The American military says the U.N. mandate authorizing its presence in Iraq allows it to hold anyone it deems a threat indefinitely.
“IRAQ FOR SALE: SEE MALIKI”
Though Mr. Maliki seemed to be referring to all foreign troops in his statements, Iraqi negotiators have said recently that an agreed-upon 2011 date is for combat forces only, and that “training and support” forces could remain after that if invited by the Iraqi government. On Monday, a senior Iraqi official said he understood that even a departure date for combat troops would be “conditions driven”. . . . Graffiti can be seen on the walls in Shiite districts of Baghdad saying, “Iraq for sale: See Maliki.”
NEXT PRESIDENT WILL HAVE MORE TROOPS
[T]he next president will inherit a force in Iraq that has slightly more troops than in January 2007, when President Bush announced his troop reinforcement plan.
PETRAEUS: DELAY IRAQ TROOP CUTS
Army Gen. David H. Petraeus has recommended that President Bush postpone sharp troop cuts in Iraq until next year, delaying a large-scale shift of combat forces to Afghanistan and reflecting concerns that widespread violence could return to Iraq.
OBAMA PRAISES THE SURGE
In a much-anticipated interview with conservative nemesis Bill O’Reilly, Sen. Barack Obama said Thursday that the troop surge in Iraq had “succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated” and “beyond our wildest dreams.”
OBAMA AND CLINTON: UNITED FOR WHAT?
[O]n every vote but one since Obama joined Clinton in the Senate, they voted the same way on the war–including continuing to fund it.
SHARP INCREASE IN SETTLEMENT ACTIVITY
Israel has nearly doubled its settlement construction in the occupied West Bank in violation of its obligations under an American-backed peace plan.
JIM CROW ALIVE AND WELL IN HEBRON
The occupied West Bank today is like walking through a page from a different era — part Wild West, part Jim Crow — with one set of laws for Palestinians and another set for Israeli settlers.
NILIN VILLAGERS HEMMED IN
For the past four months, the people of Nilin, aided by Israeli and foreign campaigners, have been protesting against the barrier the Israelis are planning to build across their land.
VILLAGER’S NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE FACES ARMY REIGN OF TERROR
“When we started our demonstrations, maybe 50 soldiers showed up. Now there are hundreds stationed permanently around us. Israel is treating us like a major war zone, even though we are using non-violence.
ROADBLOCKS CHOKE DEFIANT NABLUS
Nablus, once the West Bank’s commercial center and during the uprising a militant stronghold, remains hard hit by travel restrictions.
U.S. “CHARITABLE” ORGANIZATIONS FUND SETTLERS
[A]t least 13 American organisations have been claiming charitable status as they have pumped more than US$35 million (Dh129m) into the settlement enterprise over the past five years.
COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT OF GAZA STUDENTS GENERATES HATRED OF ISRAEL
Anyone with any leverage — a Western government’s backing, or high-level connections in Cairo or to the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority in the West Bank — is using it to get out. . . . “Whatever animosity Gazans feel, it’s not being directed at Hamas. It’s being directed at Israel.”
ETHNIC CLEANSING LEAVES PALESTINIANS LITTLE TO LOSE
The policy was described to me by a local activist as “ethnic cleansing by stealth”, with the ultimate aim being to make life so tough for the Palestinians that they hold their hands up in despair and relocate elsewhere. . . . “Never fuck with a guy who ain’t got nothing to lose”; his mantra could be the motto of Palestinians the length and breadth of the Occupied Territories.
ISRAELI POLICEMAN SENTENCED TO ONLY 6.5 YEARS FOR KILLING APALESTINIAN
Abu Hamdiyya was kidnapped and placed in a military jeep and as the jeep sped away Lazla and three other policemen threw him out. . . . “He fell to the ground, I heard his head hitting the ground, I heard his head cracking.”
RENEWED CAMPAIGN TO ELIMINATE PALESTINIAN WORKERS IN ’48 AREAS
“We want to create a situation where there is no interest in hiring Palestinianworkers instead of Israeli ones.”
AP’S SELF-CONTRADICTING SETTLER-EDITORS
Not a day goes by in which editors like Josef Federman and bureau chief Steven Gutkin do not perpetrate a fraud on their readers for the sake of minimizingPalestinian suffering and Israeli culpability therefor.
“WE REFUSE TO SERVE IN THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION”
We, high school-graduate teens, declare that we shall work against the Israeli occupation and oppression policy in the occupied territories and the territories of Israel. . . . We cannot hurt in the name of defense or imprison in the name of freedom, therefore we cannot be moral and serve the occupation.
ISRAEL: ANYONE BUT PALESTINIANS
[Both secular and religious Zionists] believe that at a time when the number of Arabs living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is poised to surpass the number of Jews, Israel needs all the converts it can get.
WHY DON’T ZIONISTS ADOPT GANDHI’S METHODS?
It takes a special kind of nerve to embark upon a project — Zionism- – that can be fulfilled only through the violent destruction of another people, and then criticize the people you are destroying for their failure to adopt non-violence. . . . Gandhi himself was very opposed to Zionism.
REFUGEES’ SUPPORT FOR RETURN AND BOYCOTT
[D]escendants of 1948 refugees have not forgotten and will not forget our towns and villages, and that we still know that those are the places to which we truly belong. . . . [T]he central aim of Israeli political and military strategy in Gaza is to eliminate the resistance and the existence of Palestinian refugees struggling to return. . . . The one path that we have all called for as Palestinians to stop, not just the genocide in Gaza, but the implementation of apartheid, colonialism and occupation throughout Palestine is boycotts, divestment and sanctions on Israel.
APPLICABILITY OF THE CRIME OF APARTHEID TO ISRAEL
[I]t is necessary to support the shift of the struggle from the limited focus on the occupation of the OPT back to its roots as a struggle against apartheid and colonialism and occupation in all of mandate Palestine.
ISRAELI OUTPOSTS SEAL DEATH OF PALESTINIAN STATE
Over the past four decades, Israel has declared nearly two-thirds of the West Bank as “state land”, seizing it on a variety of pretexts and transferring much of it to the jurisdiction of settler councils.
The more Palestinians feel they have nothing left to lose, the more likely it becomes that they will press for “one person, one vote”, returning in essence if not rhetoric to the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s pre-1988 advocacy of a “secular democratic state” in all of pre-1948 Palestine.
EVAPORATION OF PALESTINIAN SUPPORT FOR 2-STATES
Even among the most moderate Palestinians, the credo of a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is beginning to erode.
ONE STATE IS ANTIDOTE TO APARTHEID
Once Jews or Europeans in South Africa or a particular group says, this is our country exclusively, we have more rights than other people, that’s what leads you to apartheid. And so the only way out of Apartheid is to reconcieve this whole country as one country that belongs to all of us.
ISRAEL REARMS THE PA
Israel allowed Palestinian security forces in the West Bank to receive a shipment of about 1,000 Kalashnikov rifles and tens of thousands of bullets in a step aimed at bolstering the moderate Palestinian government there.
PA FAILS DARWISH’S LEGACY
Abbas spoke of Palestinian unity but in actuality, the PA has complied with Israel and the US’s attempt to further fracture Palestinian society by isolating Gaza from the West Bank. . . . And if there is a common current throughout [Darwish’s] oeuvre, it is his challenging of injustice whatever its source or perpetrator.
FATAH’S “POLITICAL STRIKES” AFFECT GAZA’S HEALTH, EDUCATION SECTORS
“These are political strikes [dictated by] Fatah in Ramallah to spoil Palestinian life in Gaza by attacking the health and education sectors.”
PA THREATENS ITS TEACHERS WITH CUTTING SALARIES IF THEY RETURN TO WORK
[T]the union of teachers, after extensive consultations, decided to refrain from the strike and return to schools, pointing out that there was an obvious PA threat to cut the salaries of all cadres of the union if they resumed teaching in Gaza schools.
PA TEACHER STRIKE ON BEHALF OF US-ISRAEL.1
The most recent example of the power struggle and the most tangible proof of the drive to annex the PLO to the PA, which derives its authority wholly from the Israeli occupation’s military governor, is the PA’s decision that its approval, and that of President Abbas, is a necessary condition for the paying of salaries to its employees. . . . The government’s economic agenda is set by donors who hold the purse strings that pay civil service salaries while its security agenda is set by the three-member committee of American generals consisting of William Frazer, James Jones and Keith Dayton. It is this committee that is the PA government’s real frame of reference and its priorities are to eliminate all opposition to the US-Israeli vision for a solution to the conflict, starting with the ranks of Fatah and the PLO and, of course, Hamas.
PA TEACHER STRIKE ON BEHALF OF US-ISRAEL.2
[T]he PA is very much a police state without a state, an entity that is first and foremost responsible to Israel and the United States. . . . A classical or rather scandalous example of how the security agencies are corroding Palestinian civil life is the refusal of the PA government to pay the salaries of some 3000 teachers hired in 2006 under the democratically-elected government led by Hamas.
DESPITE PA THREATS, TEACHERS LISTEN TO HAMAS
The Ramallah government told teachers that they wouldn’t be paid unless they stopped going to work. . . . The Palestine Teachers’ Union (PTU), a non-elected body controlled by the PLO, called the strike. Palestinian factions in the past accused the PTU of being a “pawn” in the hands of the Ramallah government. A year ago, elections were held to form a rival labour union, the Palestine Teachers’ Syndicate (PTS). Hamas candidates won and are now in control of the PTS.
HAMAS CALLS ON ARAB DONORS TO STOP TRANSFERRING FUNDS TO PNA
“Abbas and Fayyad are using this money to practice policies of blackmail and pressure on large sectors among the Palestinian people to achieve personal political and factional interests.”
“Egypt is completely biased towards Fatah, which itself has a close relationship with Israel.”
ISRAEL THREATENS ANOTHER LEBANON WAR, BUT RESISTANCE IS STRONGER
Israeli leaders have issued warnings that they would carry out a more devastating attack than the 2006 war if Hezbollah were to lead Lebanon’s government. . . . “I came here to teach my kids the culture of resistance,” said a visitor who gave his name only as Ahmed, as he stood with his wife and two children. “I want them to see what the enemy is doing to us, and what we can do to fight them, because this enemy is not merciful.”
HEZBOLLAH LESS ABOUT RELIGION, THAN RESISTANCE
Hezbollah. . . . has dramatically shifted its political rhetoric away from religious politics since the 2006 conflict with Israel and now often depicts itself as a universal movement fighting Israeli domination.
NO WAY FOR ISRAEL LOBBY TO LOSE THIS ELECTION
“AIPAC is pleased that both parties have selected four pro-Israel candidates.”
ZIONIST TERRORISTS ORGANIZE IN NYC
The group’s Facebook page has a photo of young men wielding rifles in front of an Israeli flag, while its MySpace page blared: “Keeping Jews safe, when no one else will!” Brown said the organization – whose name means “preparedness team” in Hebrew – wants to work as an adjunct to Homeland Security and the NYPD.
NO EVIDENCE THAT RUSSIANS ATTACKED FIRST
Republicans and Democrats alike have signaled strong support for Georgia. . . . To date, however, there has been no independent evidence, beyond Georgia’s insistence that its version is true, that Russian forces were attacking before the Georgian barrages.
CHENEY BACKS NATO MEMBERSHIP
“[The Georgian regime] can count on continued support and assistance from the United States. . . . Georgia will be in our alliance. NATO is a defensive alliance. It is a threat to no one. . . . Appreciate everything you’re doing for us.”
ISRAEL OF THE CAUCASUS
In a secret agreement between Israel and Georgia, two military airfields in southern Georgia had been earmarked for the use of Israeli fighter-bombers in the event of pre-emptive attacks against Iranian nuclear installations. . . . The Tel Aviv-Tbilisi military axis was agreed at the highest levels with the approval of the Bush administration. . . . Georgia, as Saakashvili saw his country’s role, was the “Israel of the Caucasus.”
GENERATIONS OF US-FUNDED TERRORISM
[I]llegal paramilitary gunmen, often working closely with army units, killed thousands of people in their war against leftist insurgencies and, in most cases, disposed of them in shallow, unmarked graves. . . . “We cut people’s heads off, we dismembered. . . . We had to spread terror.”
GI LIFE AND DEATH
WAR VETERANS’ CONCUSSIONS OVERLOOKED
As many as 300,000, or 20 percent, of combat veterans who regularly worked outside the wire, away from bases, have suffered at least one concussion. . . . “The Army was raking these guys over the coals.”
SOLDIERS’ SUICIDE RATE ON PACE TO SET RECORD
Suicides among active-duty soldiers this year are on pace to exceed both last year’s all-time record and, for the first time since the Vietnam War, the rate among the general U.S. population.
ARMY OPENS PREP SCHOOL FOR DROPOUTS
”There’s no jobs out there, nothing. It’s just horrible.”
SCIENTIST TORTURED, HER CHILDREN DISAPPEARED
Siddiqui’s family contended that the young mother and children were imprisoned during at least some of that time at a secret site, possibly by Afghan or Pakistani officials working in concert with the CIA. Her two younger children, who are also U.S. citizens and were 6 months and 5 years old when they disappeared, are still unaccounted for. . . . Her nose has been broken, her lips and skin are deeply chapped, her face has a deathly pallor, and she is only periodically lucid, they said.
MILITARY SENDING FOREIGN FIGHTERS TO HOME NATIONS
“[T]the U.S. wants to get all the Saudi prisoners to Saudi Arabia because the Saudis know how to deal with them.”
WAR AT HOME
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS: HUNDREDS OF WORKERS HELD IN RAID
“They’re creating their own terrorism by going after workers.”
LABOR: 2D WALKOUT AT BOEING IN 3 YEARS
“If the company wants to talk, they have my number. . . . They can reach me on the picket line.”
POLICE VIOLENCE: ACTIVISTS ASK CONGRESS TO INVESTIGATE INGLEWOOD POLICE KILLINGS
Civil rights activists alarmed by the fourth officer-involved fatal shooting in Inglewood since May called Monday for congressional and local inquiries into the use-of-force policies of the Inglewood Police Department.
POVERTY: NY POVERTY GAP WIDENS
New York’s gap between rich and poor, already the highest of any state, grew from the previous year.
RACIST VIOLENCE: FBI HAS BROUGHT NO RACIST MURDERERS TO TRIAL
”Are they waiting on everybody to die? What else do you need?”
SCHOOLS: BOYCOTT PROTESTS EDUCATIONAL APARTHEID
“It is totally separate and totally unequal. . . . The children of the rich get a different education than the children of the poor. We continue to fight that battle every way we can.”
DEMOCRATS PARTY, WHILE HOMELESS ARE HIDDEN
To hold this four-day extravaganza, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent by corporations and government to amuse, pamper, and protect the visitors. Not a nickel will find its way to this soup kitchen. The only attention these homeless men received was from police shooing them back into the shadows.
POLICE, PROTESTERS CLASH AS DEMS CONVENE IN DENVER
[O]fficers charged the protesters with no warning. . . . “There’s a powerful police presence here. The chill of 1968 is in the air of Denver.”
VIDEO SHOWS UNPROVOKED POLICE ATTACK ON PROTESTER
The video shows an officer quickly shoving Forrest with the length of his baton, forcing her to the ground, where she lands with a scream and a loud smack.
IVAW: BOTH PARTIES ARE RESPONSIBLE
[I]t’s both parties’ fault we got into this war. It’s both parties’ fault that we’re still there. So we need to hold them both accountable.
IVAW: DON’T DEPEND ON THE DEMS
Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are the savior,” said IVAW member Eli Wright. “But since Obama’s inspired people for change, when he gets elected, people will see him not coming through. And his failures will inspire people that they need to fix it themselves.”
IVAW: HOLD DEMOCRATS ACCOUNTABLE
“We voted them in to end this war. They’ve not done that. . . . We want our brothers and sisters to come home now, not later. Now”
IVAW: WHY WE’RE HERE
I’m here at the Democratic convention, because the Democrats have shown absolutely no initiative in getting the troops out of Iraq.
DEMOCRATS IGNORE IVAW
The Iraq Veterans Against the War, combat veterans whose courageous efforts our government has no problem invoking in their political stump speeches, were basically ignored yesterday by Democratic politicians for the soothing melodies of Melissa Etheridge.
OBAMA AIMS TO REASSURE WALL STREET
Obama needed Wall Street to understand that you don’t have to be white, a “war hero,” super rich, or a Republican like John McCain to wage war.
DEMOCRATS’ ELECTION TO LOSE.1
[I]f Obama put as much daylight between himself and McCain, he would be at least twenty points ahead.
DEMOCRATS’ ELECTION TO LOSE.2
Obama has been so busy convincing the U.S. business and political elite that he would be a better manager of American imperial interests, McCain is getting a pass. . . . When you strip away the rhetoric, the Democrats share much more in common than they differ with the Republicans–on every issue.
WHY ISN’T OBAMA WAY AHEAD?
While continuing to market himself as a candidate of change, Obama has spent the summer assuring the movers and shakers of American politics that he is committed to a status quo hardly different from what we have known since at least the end of the Cold War. Thousands of his most fervent supporters have expressed their disgust with Obama’s moves.
DEMOCRATS’ WEAKNESS BOOSTS NADER
Nader’s antiwar, anticorporate message is resonating in some quarters. On the third day of the Democratic convention in Denver he held a rally attended by 4,000 and plans another on Sept. 4 in Minnesota during the Republican convention in St. Paul.
OBAMA HASN’T CHANGED — HE’S ALWAYS BEEN LIKE THIS
Disappointed as some progressives may be, Obama has not made a dramatic shift to the center: He’s always been more centrist, cautious and compromising than many of his supporters — and critics — have wanted to admit.
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM FOR OBAMA
The Democrats, who promise to end the war in Iraq, create jobs and provide universal health care, ignore these promises once election cycles are over. And we never make them pay.
LIBERALS’ FEAR OF ISLAM
[F]or American Muslims and progressive allies, both eager to see an end to the vilification of Arabs and Muslims in the United States, Obama’s mantra of hope and change barely set in before it expired.
A CALL FOR BLACK UNITY, ACTION
We call for a National Black Agenda for democracy. . . . These demands should be promoted inside the trade unions, mass organizations and social movements comprising large numbers of the Black working class and other oppressed sectors throughout society. They should be promoted throughout the many mass activities aligned with the Obama campaign and by the McKinney/Clemente campaign.
NATIONAL GUARD DEPLOYED AGAINST PROTERERS
As the protests grew, scores of National Guard troops in riot gear and gas masks fanned out around the Xcel Energy Center, where the convention is being held, and set up a blockade about three blocks away. Police helicopters buzzed over St. Paul throughout the day. Humvees painted in fatigue green ferried water to police officers working in the 88-degree heat, and city dump trucks were used to block traffic on some streets.
IVAW, FATHER OF FALLEN MARINE LEAD PROTEST
Leading the throng of up to 10,000 marchers was Carlos Arredondo of Boston. He pushed a flag-draped coffin bearing the uniform, dog tags, and Purple Heart of his 20-year-old son Alexander, a Marine lance corporal who was killed in Iraq in 2004. . . . Along with the Arredondos, dozens of Iraq veterans marched at the front of the crowd.
UP TO 50K MARCHERS DEFY INTIMIDATION
The crowd of at least 20,000 — march organizers estimated the crowd at as many as 50,000 — was made up of antiwar activists, veterans and military families, students, immigrant rights supporters, unionists, welfare rights activists and many more. . . . The turnout was in defiance of heavy-handed repression and intimidation by police, who carried out eight or more preemptive raids and roughly 100 arrests after filling the media in the days leading up to the protest with warnings about “violence and chaos” that “anarchist” protesters planned to unleash.
Dozens were pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed. . . . “Nobody was trying to cause destruction or violence. . . . . The idea was to just block the streets. We were just trying to disrupt the delegation, and I think we succeeded.”
PROTESTERS CHARGED WITH “TERRORISM”
If convicted, the suspects could each face up to five years in jail, a $10,000 fine, or both.
POLICE REPRESS CONVENTION PROTESTS
[A]t a press conference the following day, march coordinator Jess Sundin was quick to point out that any rage displayed by activists in the streets is completely justified and pales in comparison to the state violence committed on a daily basis by U.S. forces at home and abroad.
ARRESTS MARK LAST ANTI-WAR MARCH OF CONVENTION
Percussion grenades, tear gas and nearly 400 arrests marked the final anti-war march during the Republican National Convention.
MOB ATTACKS PROTESTERS DURING MCCAIN SPEECH
One of the livelier moments of the evening came when Mr. McCain was interrupted by several antiwar protestors who had infiltrated the hall. Their signs were quickly ripped from their hands, and they were carried out of the arena as the crowd shouted, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”
LOCKDOWN IN ST. PAUL
The real conspiracy was a plot by 30 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to repress dissent and protests under the rubric of “national security” and the “war on terror”. . . . A member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) who witnessed some of the violent police attacks told reporters that police were “treating [U.S.] civilians like you would Iraqis.”
MILITARY RESISTANCE AT THE RNC
“It’s amazing to me,” he observed, “how little soldiers know about their government and politics in their own country, not to mention the people they’re going to blow up.”
WHY WE WERE FALSELY ARRESTED
Here on the streets of St. Paul, the press is free to report on the official proceedings of the RNC, but not to report on the police violence and mass arrests directed at those who have come to petition their government, to protest.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE DEFIES BOTH PARTIES
Many contemporary musical acts have lined up behind the Democratic candidate for president, Senator Barack Obama, while the McCain campaign has put some country music firepower behind it, but Rage Against the Machine and its legions regard donkeys and elephants as the same species. . . . “[Police at the RN] blocked us from even approaching the stage, saying they’d arrest us if we played. So we went into the middle of the crowd and began to improvise.”
WIDESPREAD REPRESSION ECHOES RNC 04
[M]ore than 800 people were arrested in St. Paul and Minneapolis over the last week, and dozens of others were detained, handcuffed, photographed and searched without arrest. . . . [M]any people have said they were stopped on flimsy pretexts, or in some cases arrested on peaceful marches that were blocked by heavily armored police officers who used pepper spray and flash bangs.