War crimes are being carried out in our name, and we refuse complicity. "There is not going to be some savior from the Democratic Party," we declared in the original call to stop the crimes of U.S. government. The whole idea of putting our hopes and energies into "leaders" who compete to oversee the most brutal empire in history is proving every day to be a disaster. The system of capitalist imperialism they promote is hardly "broken," as some suggest, but serves the interest of America's ruling class well.
"Get yourself out on the street to protest, or send money to get others there!" urges World Can't Wait steering member Samantha Goldman. "While the Republican Party representatives advocate to lynch/kill/lock up Hillary -- way outside the normal base of discourse -- the government is bombing nations, killing civilians with impunity. All of this shows how illegitimate the set up is."
The recent U.S. airstrike on Syria killing up to 95 civilians mistaken for ISIL fighters is a good example of the rampant lawlessness attending U.S. foreign policy. The Syrian National Coalition has called for a suspension of the U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State pending investigation of civilian deaths from strikes around the northern city of Manbij. The airstrikes drew immediate "outrage and grief" on social media.
The Republican National Convention is finally over. It's been a long ordeal for viewers who witnessed the meanness of spirit Donald Trump provoked from profoundly disgruntled attendees toward scapegoats for their distress -- Blacks, Muslims, Latinos, "uppity women," and just about anyone who doesn't subscribe to a white suprematist worldview.
In last night's acceptance speech, Trump promised an isolationist platform for the United States, including and especially a wall at the border with Mexico, a preposterous plan ridiculed brilliantly with a Shout Out "Build the Wall Around Trump." Immigration rights activists and other demonstrators joined the Ruckus Society to unfurl "hundreds of feet of canvas, stretching more than a city block in downtown Cleveland... to send a message to Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump that they won't stand for xenophobic rhetoric or policies," reported chicagoist.com.
Revolution Club member Joey Johnson burned an American flag outside the entrance to the RNC convention hall Wednesday. At least 17 were arrested. (Donations for legal support may be made online.) An anonymous donor comments "let's get these people out of jail so they can take their message to the DNC." We welcome the discussion around U.S. imperialism and free speech inspired by this protest action.
Flag burning is a political statement -- with Joey's 1989 victory in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson, even the system itself recognizes that! Watch yesterday's action in this YouTube, to hear Joey speak just before the flag was lit, condemning this flag as a symbol of countless crimes against peoples over history, time, and the global history of the U.S. empire since its birth.... and answering the "America First" message of the fascist Trump.
Code Pink protester Medea Benjamin interrupted Trump's speech last night, holding a sign that says "Build Bridges, Not Walls." Benjamin described the moment to cosmopolitan.com:
"I had actually gotten a copy and read the speech beforehand, and so I knew at what point I wanted to stand up, and that's when Donald Trump said, "I am your voice." And that's when I got up and said, "You're not my voice. You're the voice of hatred."
"We're not doing this because we are pro-Hillary," added the protester. "In fact, we have a lot of criticisms against Hillary Clinton, because of her role in taking us to wars and voting for the Iraq War and pushing for the war in Libya that's been so disastrous."
Next week: Protest the Democrats' War Party. Everyone who cares about the future is invited. Be a part of bringing the anti-war message when the War Party meets in Philadelphia. Join with World Can't Wait and cosponsors Brandywine Peace Community, CodePink, KnowDrones and the Philadelphia Area Anti-Drone Network. Endorsed by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Catholic Peace Fellowship/Philadelphia Chapter, Green Party of Philadelphia, Manhattan Green Party, NYC Metro Raging Grannies, NY Granny Peace Brigade, Peace Center of Delaware County, Veterans for Peace Chapters 31 & 34 and Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (Greater Philadelphia Branch). Special thanks to American Friends Service Committee.
Sunday, July 24
Noon starting at Philadelphia City Hall
On the eve of the DNC connect with World Can't Wait at the March for a Climate Revolution. March with the Peace & Environmental Justice Contingent. We will be gathering under the "Humanity and the Planet Come First" banners. Look for our model drones! For information on the march and transportation visit: www.cleanenergymarch.org
World Can't Wait Orientation Meeting at 6:00 pm
Old Pine Community Center (in the library) at 401 Lombard Street
Join World Can't Wait volunteers in discussing the importance of bringing the anti-war message during the DNC, what our approach for the week will be, and how you can be involved. Light refreshments will be served.
Monday, July 25 -- Thursday, July 28
Daily: Anti-War Truth Displays
10:30 am - 2:30 pm Arch St. United Methodist Church at Broad & Arch
Join World Can't Wait and participating organizations in presenting Anti-War Truth Displays. Clearly and visually protest the U.S. campaign of targeted killing and special operations in seven countries, run by a Democratic administration. Our work will be based out of the Arch Street United Methodist Church just north of City Hall, from where we will display model drones, do outreach to protests happening at City Hall and spread out to the community. Join & share the Facebook event!
Monday, July 25
Outreach in FDR Park
4pm - 7pm
Talk with the thousands of Bernie supporters coming to fight for the issues they thought Bernie was going to stand on. Ask them to stick to their principles and get active in opposing the U.S. war on the world.
Wednesday, July 27th
5pm - 7pm Southside of Second Bank (420 Chestnut St.)
With global attention on what happens at the DNC it's up to us make sure there is opportunity for people to speak-out against the U.S. "war on the world" that has been waged for the past almost 8 years under a Democratic Commander in Chief. We are going to use this space to show attendees and people around the world that that there are people living in this country who represent another way, giving them heart, courage and common cause. Bring your music, poems, and rage.
The system that capitalizes on the misery of millions to "make America great again" for the ruling class seeks approbation for its crimes in the voting booth, with what journalist John Pilger calls "the old illusion of choice that is no choice: two sides of the same coin." We choose to take to the streets to say NO to endless wars for Empire, spread the word, and donate to enable others to travel and produce the banners, display materials and fliers that will help propagate the message that the Crimes Of Our Government Must Stop!
The presidential contest is closely watched by an international community suffering U.S. "interest." Neither candidate seeking the position of Commander in Chief will stop the war on terror or end the culture of violence it has given rise to. The change we need is not on the ballot.
Whether Donald Trump's politics of hatred and exclusion and authoritarianism will capture endorsement by the Republican National Committee will be decided this week. The nomination of pro-life governor Mike Pence for Vice President on Friday brings fresh urgency to protection of civil liberties, and in particular women's reproductive autonomy. How Trump's selected running mate affects the overall party platform, and foreign policy in particular, is speculative but of great concern to anyone who cares about humanity.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has a solid history of allegiance to the 'Endless War Doctrine' that propels U.S. foreign policy. What you see is what you'll get. It isn't pretty:
"Former senator and secretary of state Hillary Clinton is the only candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination who supported the invasion of Iraq," observes University of San Francisco professor Stephen Zunes, as he lists the five lamest excuses Clinton supporters make to justify her October 2002 vote for the authorization of military force.
Photo: An Iraqi searches for body parts at the site of a powerful car bomb, Baghdad, May 2007.
Clinton now says her Iraq war vote was a "mistake" that Bernie Sanders says she shouldn't apologize for.
"Somewhere around 220,000 Afghans have died since the 2001 U.S. invasion, and millions of other are refugees" counts Foreign Policy in Focus columnist Conn Hallinan. Clinton's alliance with then secretary of defense Robert Gates was instrumental in the crucial decision to escalate the Afghan war in 2009, and then to slow drawdown the following year.
Clinton is more inclined toward aggressive foreign policy than Obama, believing that "American exceptionalism gives the U.S. the right to intervene in other countries."
One of Clinton's last actions as Secretary of State was to call for the arming of Syrian rebels fighting Assad, a plan backed by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and CIA director David Petraeus, and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Activist and author Zach Cartwright finds Clinton responsible for the fall of Iraq and Syria and the rise of ISIS, using weapons funded by the U.S. government.
Photo: Kurdish gunsmith holds American-made M16A4, previously owned by Iraqi Army and converted to M4 carbine type rifle by ISIS.
As pundits speculate on terror-ful scenarios of a Trump victory, and strategists historicize a peaceful legacy for the longest-war president, apologists for American triumphalism fabricate justification for the imperial ambitions of a war criminal.
"It is not unusual for a president to want to be his own secretary of state, but rarely has a secretary so badly wanted to be her own president," wrote University of San Francisco professor Stephen Zunes in 2013. "Hillary Clinton [left] her position as Secretary of State with a legacy of supporting autocratic regimes and occupation armies, opposing enforcement of international humanitarian law, undermining arms control and defending military solutions to complex political problems.
"She was appointed to her position following eight years in the U.S. Senate, during which she became an outspoken supporter of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, lied about Iraq's military capabilities to frighten the public into supporting the illegal war, unleashed repeated attacks against the United Nations, opposed restrictions on land mines and cluster bombs, defended war crimes by allied right-wing governments and largely embraced Bush's unilateralist agenda."
But it is perhaps Hillary's unyielding support for the Israeli Occupation that best elicits favor from imperial parties to western ascendancy.
"It is one thing to hold one's nose and vote for Hillary Clinton as the lesser evil," writes Robert Scheer, editor in chief of Truthdig. "It is quite another to suddenly absolve the Clintons and other top Democrats who have, as Sanders repeatedly pointed out during his campaign, contributed so much to the national crisis."
Decline to vote for either war party.
Warning: Be careful what you wish for -- it just might bite you in the ass. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for 'endless, stupid war'.
Bernie supporters might want to revisit the foreign policy of their hero. His endorsement of Hillary pretty much guarantees a revival of Cold War aggression against Russia, and other nations challenging U.S. hegemony across the globe.
Sanders' announcement today marks the senator's decision to join the political establishment rather than shun it.
"There are a lot of unhappy campers out there," said Green Party's Jill Stein... "A revolution that goes back under Hillary Clinton's wing is not a revolution." Not that Bernie's promises were ever all that.
World Can't Wait invites convention goers to demand an end to endless war.
Photo: Bernie Sanders as Ghirlandaio's "Old Man with his Grandson" with a scene from the Syrian civil war in the window c/o John Seed
The killing of five police officers in Dallas doesn't excuse the racist violence suffered by people of color on a regular basis. "We need protest more than ever to push back against the ideological onslaught that seeks to silence those who demand justice for Philando Castile and Alton Sterling -- in order to amplify talk about the 'brave' cops who supposedly 'put their lives on the line'," writes Nicole Colson, Socialist Worker.
"In the era of the 'war on terror', the violence of the U.S. empire has often come home. But the victims are usually the families of former soldiers -- and especially the veterans themselves who find themselves at the breaking point."
The suspect sniper blown to bits by remote-control in Dallas Thursday was trained by the U.S. military. The novel use of a killer robot elicits immediate comparisons to targeted drone strikes overseas, notes CBS News.
We can only begin to imagine the horror Afghan citizens confront every day.
Photo: Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Department robots, Maryland
"We can never say that America has failed us," says Mistah F.A.B., "because America has never been set up for us to win."
The Bay Area rapper takes on systemic racism and police brutality in his new song, '6 Shots':
Choked Eric Garner out, he was sellin' cigs / Broke Freddie Gray back, yup, they sho' did / Don't know what happened to Sandra, but man, it wasn't cool / Tried to say suicide, you think we damn fools? / Shot Oscar in the back when he was handcuffed / Didn't even give Tamir time to put his hands up...
The track title refers to the six shots that killed Alton Sterling, a Baton Rouge father of five, while selling CDs in front of a convenience store. He was the 38th person killed by Louisiana police since 2015.
July 10, Sunday, Noon, March/Rally on Golden Gate Bridge
World Can't Wait will participate in the following event:
European activists are planning protests and a 3 day conference in Warsaw in response to the NATO Summit there next weekend. In solidarity, Bay Area CODEPINK will focus our monthly Walk for Peace on opposition to the Cold War dinosaur, NATO. We invite Bay Area peace organizations to join us and help spread the word.
What: March/Rally on Golden Gate Bridge: SF Bay Area Says No to NATO
When: Sunday, July 10, Gather at 11:45 am; March/Rally Noon - 2 pm,
Where: Golden Gate Bridge; all gather at South End Plaza and walk to middle of the Bridge
Parking (carpooling highly recommended): Arrive by 11:15 to get a parking space in parking lots near the SE or SW side of the bridge; OR park at Crissy Field parking and walk up the stairs to the South End Plaza.
Public Transportation: Muni Bus #28
For more information or to co-sponsor this event: Toby Blome, email@example.com
It's NOT... unless you're Bernie Sanders, preaching to a choir of magical thinkers.
The idea that what's good for America is good for the world is a dangerous lie. The elusive middle class Sanders pays homage to sustains itself on the spoils of an Empire that the Senator is ever-so-eager to serve. The revolution we need -- a real revolution in the interests of all humanity -- is possible, but it will take the determined commitment of millions of people from outside the confines of reformist politics.
Bernie Sanders is about as much a "socialist" as Barack Obama is a communist, and it's time to adopt language that reflects reality.
With Russia, No Less.
An internal cable signed by more than 50 State Department officials objecting to the Obama administration's policy on Syria is particularly worrisome, according to experts, given Hillary Clinton's hawkish foreign policy positions and her stated plan to escalate President Barack Obama's war in Syria if elected...
As presidential candidates drum up support for bombing Iraq and Syria, we expect recruitment of new soldiers to intensify.
Both Bernie and Hillary commended President Obama on his decision to send an additional 250 troops to Syria; Hillary calling for a no-fly zone that amounts to a declaration of war against Russia. The Donald trumps both with his call to deploy up to 30,000 American soldiers in the Middle East.
The $602 billion defense authorization bill passed by the Senate yesterday would require young women to register for the military draft, their service to include combat roles. That "glass ceiling" be damned.
More than ever, we depend on veterans for peace to challenge the lies required to reach recruiter quotas.
We Are Not Your Soldiers! educates youth about military recruitment by bringing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to speak in high schools about the reality of going to war for this country. They talk about their on-the-ground experience in occupying countries, where civilians pay the price. Resources here.
The "Queen of Exceptionalistan" has a head start on the campaign platform of Donald Trump. The policies he promises are not so different from those employed by your Former Secretary of State:
The candidates have both been supporters of walls on the Mexican border as well as mass deportation.
They have both used racist rhetoric to garner support.
They have both called for increased policing.
They have both primarily represented white people.
They have both admitted to being willing to use nuclear weapons.
They both support fracking, and
They are both currently under investigation.
But it was Hillary's "Grand Strategy for peace in the Middle East that has caused the downfall of nations, the rise of the Islamic State, mass executions and sex slavery, economic devastation for tens of millions and an unending immigration crisis in Europe," notes Western Journalism's William J. Murray. "The question should not be whether Hillary Clinton should be President of the United States - but rather if she should face the International Criminal Court as a war criminal for the misery she has wrought upon the world."
There will be no savior from the Democratic Party. Millions of us who care about people, the future of humanity and the planet must act together to reverse the fascist direction of politics as usual.
The whole world's eyes will be watching the conventions. Will they see that there are people living in this country who represent another way, giving them heart, courage and common cause?
Silence and paralysis are not acceptable. Join us in the streets of Cleveland and Philadelphia. Everyone who cares about the future is invited.
Sanders vows to work with the Democratic Party.
"I've always been a big Bernie supporter so I came out to see what his last, final hurrah was like," said 17-year-old Virginian Meghan Gibbons. How Sanders' pledge to reform the immigration, health care, campaign finance and criminal justice systems while maintaining U.S. imperial hegemony over the rest of humanity would play out is anyone's guess. Why we would choose to accommodate wars of empire is the bigger question.
"Demands to support Hillary Clinton as a lesser evil compared to Trump refuse to acknowledge that such mandates keep existing relations of power intact," writes Truthout's Henry Giroux... "What does resistance mean when it is reduced to a call to participate in rigged elections that reproduce a descent into an updated form of oligarchy, and condemns millions to misery and no future, all the while emptying out politics of any substance?"
"From exposing the murder of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan to blowing the lid off the outrageous NSA 'Big Brother Is Watching You' conspiracy against We The People, there is nothing more courageous than persons of conscience risking their freedom and risking their lives in the hopes of creating a more just, more free, more peaceful planet," messaged Tom Morello at a World Can't Wait Emergency Forum a couple of years ago.
Today he shared his plans with Morning Joe:
"One of the things that has irked me greatly is the way that the media has talked about both the Trump campaign and the Sanders campaign, as both of them are 'raging against the machine'... We're going to set that record straight once and for all what it really means to Rage Against the Machine."
The superpower that seeks to dominate the world won't even discuss foreign policy in its national elections. Barack Obama has begun a "second cold war," building more nukes than any other president. Hillary Clinton gets cash "from all but one of the world's ten biggest arms companies." And Bernie Sanders "supports Obama's terrorism by drone, the provocation of Russia and the return of special forces (death squads) to Iraq..."
Reuter photo montage by Salon
"The 2016 race is transcendentally bizarre," writes Maureen Dowd for The New York Times. "We have two near-nominees with the highest unfavorables at this point in the race of any in modern history. We seem to have a majority of voters in both parties who are driven by the desire to vote against the other candidate, rather than for their own."
Hillary's big new idea is to put her husband in charge of "revitalizing" the U.S. economy.
My greatest fear is that endorsement of the political platforms of any of these contenders to the American throne condemns prospects for a better world for the rest of humanity.
In "Who is Barack Obama Really?" Dennis Loo argues for a People's Choice:
When we vote for candidates from either Party we are not deciding whom we like better. We are legitimating what those candidates do and stand for. When and if you cast a vote for Obama you [were] saying that you are okay with what he has done - his presidential kill list, his drone attacks, his refusal to prosecute torturers, his perpetuating of torture and places like Guantanamo, his suspension of habeas corpus, due process, and the rule of law, his vengeful attacks on whistleblowers, his mass incarceration and mass deportations, his failure to address global warming, his failure to defend women's abortion rights...
You're saying that you endorse this because you are not refusing to delegitimate it by publicly refusing to vote in their elections charade. This is the message you are sending. Is that the message you want to send?
The above excerpt from an article written in 2012 is more relevant than ever, and should resonate with people of conscience who struggle with "what to do?" in today's electoral miasma:
Join World Can't Wait when the war parties convene July 2016.The way you change political policies is by movements that influence how people think. You don't do this through voting. You do this through impacting public opinion. And the ways of doing that are various, including participating and helping to organize protests and speaking out through your body, your voice and/or through your pen/keyboard and where you donate your time, energy and money.
Update: Sergeant Justin Erb, 45, has been identified as the officer who fired a single shot May 19 that killed 29-year-old Jessica Williams Nelson
About 100 mourners marched from Third and Palou to the Bayview police station Friday night to honor the latest victim of trigger-happy cops.
"Her name is Jessica Williams, and she did not deserve the fate that was dealt her by the State," writes Dan Moshenberg at womeninandbeyond.org.
Jessica's "street mom" Jennifer Williams, whose last name Jessica adopted, said "She was a strong and talented woman, and a little bit bossy. There's no reason for her to die the way she did. It's senseless."
"No one deserves that fate, and no one deserves that treatment," added Moshenberg. "Jessica Williams is the name of `urban redevelopment' and skyrocketing real estate markets. Jessica Williams is the name of militarized and uncontrolled policing, witch-hunting, all in the name of zero tolerance and urban revitalization. Jessica Williams, 29 years old, Black, female, was sitting in a stationary car when she was killed."
Jessica's five children are being raised by a sister.
From 2000 to today, San Francisco police officers have been involved in 95 shootings. Forty have been fatal.
In response to a rash of "officer involved shootings", San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee proposes... to add to the arsenal of lethal SFPD weapons! How many times must we say NO?
Hundreds of deaths. Zero oversight. Tasers were supposed to curb the use of deadly force - so why have over 500 people died from Taser-related injuries since?
Film Screening: "Killing Them Safely"
Tuesday May 31, 6:30pm
3117 - 16th Street, San Francisco
At a time when questions about police methods are at the forefront of the national dialogue, Killing Them Safely brings together archival footage and eye-opening interviews with experts on both sides of the debate.
Following the screening, filmmaker Nick Berardini and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi will address questions around San Francisco Police Commission plans to outfit SFPD officers with Tasers.
Co-Sponsors: ACLU Northern California, Public Defenders Racial Justice Committee, Coalition on Homelessness, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus, National Lawyers Guild-SF, 48 Hills, OccupySF Action Council
revised May 21, 8 pm
Jessica Williams was 29, unarmed, the latest victim of an unchecked killing spree by San Francisco police officers that could no longer be accommodated with "reform" platitudes from city administrators.
"[Police] Chief Suhr's departure, which comes days after he pledged not to resign, is the latest in a series of exits of big-city police chiefs who have come under intense pressure during the past year after public anger over the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police officers," write NY Times correspondents Thomas Fuller and Timothy Williams. More on that here.
"I'm happy Chief Suhr was fired," posts Davey Cook at Vanishingsf. "At the same time I'm angry as hell a unarmed Black woman was shot and killed ... I wanna know her name.. We wanna know her name? Who was the officer who shot her? They said it was a sergeant.. Was this the same sergeant who was the subject of this article where two officers were deemed snitches??
"With regards to the new 'acting' chief, he's brother named Toney Chaplin.. He's been on the force for 26 years.. I just heard him on KCBS talking about SFPD needs tasers so they wont go around shooting people.. That's total BS..
"SFPD doesn't need tasers, it needs people on the force who aren't sending racist text messages. It needs officers who aren't going around calling officers who are whistle blowers 'snitches'. It needs officers who don't show up to police commission meetings and try and act like Nazi storm troopers in an attempt to intimidate people seeking justice...
"It needs officers who have genuine love and respect for all of SF's citizens and see themselves as a part of the community, not above it.."