Bs6oSM4IQAAK9Hw.jpg-large.jpegFollowing a similar resolution passed last week by the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate voted Thursday night to support Israel's ongoing invasion of the Gaza Strip. No dissenting vote was cast, and no mention was made of the hundreds of Palestinian civilians killed.

It is up to us to stand for principle and morality when our institutions and public officials refuse to do so. The fates of those maimed or killed by our government's complicity in war crimes are inextricably intertwined with our own: we must listen and respond to their cry for justice.

The Action Committee for Palestine will host ongoing protests on business days in front of the Israeli Consulate in support of the people of Palestine, 

July 22 thru 29
4:00 - 5:00 pm
456 Montgomery Street, San Francisco 
Please bring your flags, signs, and megaphones, 
Family, Friends, and Voices.

Code Pink's weekly PEACE vigil will honor victims of Israel's brutal attack on Gaza,

Wednesday July 23
5:30 - 6:30 pm
Montgomery BART plaza, San Francisco,

and urges participants to attend the Arab Youth Organization's fundraiser for Palestine afterwards at Arabian Nights8:00 - 11:30 pm, 2345 Mission Street, San Francisco.

Photo of Dublin rally c/o Ciaran Quinn 

Help us prepare for the ANSWER-sponsored action to End Israel's War on the Palestinian People,

Saturday July 26
1:00 pm
Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco.

Call 415-864-5153 to volunteer.

5325636.jpgphoto by Steve Rhodes, Demotix.com

Sunday July 20: Thousands of Bay Area residents turned out to protest Israel's Operation Protective Edge offensive against Gaza, a campaign that has claimed hundreds of innocent civilian lives.


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Call it what you will (photo, left) U.S.-sponsored atrocities in Gaza represent a crime against humanity. As Israeli "made in the U.S.A." bombs rain down on Gaza, people in the U.S. from all political perspectives, religious faiths, and walks of life need to be IN THE STREETS. 

Thursday July 17 World Can't Wait sponsored an emergency rally and protest against the massive, murderous campaign against the Palestinian people.

Tonight, July 18, Code Pink will honor the victims of the war crimes sanctioned by Congress. Montgomery/Market BART plaza, 5:30 pm.


Check back here for more action in the coming days, and plan to join us in the previously scheduled March for Palestine,

Sunday July 20
3:00 pm
San Francisco Ferry Building
foot of Market Street at the Embarcadero
CrediIf your heart is sickened by what Palestinians are living and dying through right now, let us confront - and act to help many people confront -- the fact that all this violence and murder is only happening because Israel acts upon the full backing of the United States.

 
People of conscience must stand against and resist the crimes of our own government, and that includes U.S. political and military support for the crimes of its  allies, when those powers commit crimes against humanity. During the 1980's when wars rocked Central America, and also when South African apartheid was being challenged -- it made a real difference when people inside the U.S. woke up to the facts of what their own government was doing, and questioned which side America was on, right or wrong -- and if it was the WRONG side (oppressive, corrupt, immoral, etc.) a dividing line became clear - and many, many people inside the empire publicly stood up and said NO to the U.S. Empire. That is what is needed today, once again!

Year after year, Israel receives billions in funding from the United States. In 2007 the U.S. government agreed to provide Israel with $30 billion in military aid over the next decade. The transfer of this aid to Israel actually violates U.S. law.  But don't expect U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to seek any arrest warrants against Barack Obama or any other U.S. officials.

The U.S. government must be brought to account for arming Israel. We must demand that illegal support of Israel stop immediately -- and also, we must demand  that threats and other actions against Iraq by the U.S. and Israel also cease.

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As Iraq's disintegration into darkness progresses, it sickens me to think of all the Iraqis I met and became friends with, who have since been killed, disappeared or have become refugees. What is left of Iraq, this mess that is no longer a country, should be considered the legacy of decades of US policy there, dating back to the moment when Saddam Hussein was in power and enjoyed Washington's support. With Maliki, it has simply been a different dictator, enjoying even more such support (until these last weeks), and using similarly barbaric tactics against Iraqis. 

-- Dahr Jamail, A Nation on the Brink

"Nowhere to Run"

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Washington Report On Middle East Affairs 

Article and photos by Mohammed Omer in Gaza 
July 10, 2014


Palestinian boy inspecting damage following overnight Israeli airstrike that Gaza City

July 9, 2014: I am writing this as ambulance and rescue crews continue to search for bodies. Among the ones they have uncovered so far are those of 4-year-old Mohammed Nawasra, whose body was found underneath the ruins of his home in the Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, his 5-year-old brother, Nidal, and their 29-year-old mother, Sumoud Nawasra. Miriam Nawasra, 83, and Khalaf Nawasra, 29, were found alive, but critically injured. The Nawasra house in Maghazi refugee camp was targeted by an Israeli F-16 missile. No one knows why. Their home was bombed at 5:30 a.m., as the family slept.

Most of the stretchers rescue workers carried into Gaza's hospitals were filled with arms, legs and scattered pieces of human torso and flesh, torn into pieces by Israeli missiles.

Gaza is currently enduring one of Israel's heaviest bombings. In the last hour, during and after Iftar, the meal breaking the daily Ramadan fast, 80 air strikes were launched on Gaza, according to Israeli sources. These strikes targeted homes, streets, schools, mosques, governmental buildings, greenhouses and agricultural fields.

The number of people killed grows relentlessly. According to Palestinian Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad Al Bizm, as of today 192 of the injured are children and women, and, in addition to the Nawasra family home, 63 others have been bombed. The list of casualties changes by the minute. [The BBC reported July 10 that as of 10:35 a.m EDT, 80 Gazans have been killed and 540 injured.] The Interior Ministry stated that Israel has launched 780 Israeli air strikes on Gaza. Every few minutes throughout the Gaza Strip one hears the resulting explosions.

As I write this, the Israeli Military has suggested a ground operation may be imminent. Indeed, troops and weapons have been assembling on the border. Israel's navy has joined the battle as well, and is shelling Gaza from the sea. At this very moment I can hear missiles fired from Israeli warships hitting the homes and fishing boats of Palestinian fishermen.

Palestinian man is sitting on the ruins of what remains from his farm in Gaza City after Israeli airstrike overnight

In Gaza we all suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)--it comes with the territory, our territory, that Israel attacks so violently. I don't want my son to have PTSD. He doesn't deserve that; he is a child, our gift.

Now, however, F-16s pound Gaza as drones buzz overhead and Israel's "Operation Protective Edge" continues. There is no moment of relief or rest for anyone trapped in Gaza, as Israeli bombs target yet another neighborhood--God help its terrified residents.

As I write this, news arrives of a group of teenagers killed while watching the World Cup match between the Netherlands and Argentina: 6 boys dead and more than 10 injured by a missile which struck the café on the beach in Khan Younis where, like soccer fans around the world, they were watching the game.

Now a haze of smoke arises from nearby buildings struck by Israeli missiles. One thing I do know for sure is that American-made F-16s are sucking the air--and life--out of the lungs of my family and neighbors in Gaza. No sirens, no shelters, no bunkers, no womb to hide in. Only the dead are safe and at rest.

I don't know what else to say. I think we are going to die. It makes me sad that I cannot protect the child I made, I can't protect him from these missiles. I just can't. I don't have the superpower to end this madness.

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There are many things to fear in Gaza: Attacks from Israel's Apache helicopters and F-16 fighter jets, the coastal enclave's growing isolation, the regular blackouts from power shortages, increasingly polluted drinking water and rivers of sewage flooding the streets.

Meanwhile, for most Palestinians in Gaza the anxiety-inducing soundtrack to their lives is the constant buzz of the remotely piloted aircraft - better known as "drones" - that hover in the skies above.

Drones are increasingly being used for surveillance and extra-judicial execution in parts of the Middle East, especially by the US, but in nowhere more than Gaza has the drone become a permanent fixture of life."

see Life and death under Israel's drones

World Can't Wait has a mission of stopping the crimes of our government.

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Each year Israel receives billions in funding from the United States. Israel would not exist today if it had not been for U.S. aid given over the last 60 years. In 2007 the United States government agreed to provide Israel with $30 billion in military aid over the next decade. The transfer of this aid to Israel actually violates U.S. law. But don't expect U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to seek any arrest warrants against President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials. 

People are dying everyday as a result of the illegal actions of the U.S. government and Israel. The U.S. government must be brought to account for arming Israel. We must demand that the illegal support of Israel stop immediately and threats and other actions against Iraq by the U.S. and Israel also cease.

Obama sleeps soundly while all of Gaza is awake to the sound of U.S. supplied bombs and rockets. We say NO to the ongoing, everyday state of brutal repression and violent ethnic cleansing.

STOP U.S. AID TO ISRAEL

Stop the war on women

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July 3rd protest and march around Union Square
San Francisco condemning U.S. Supreme Court 
"Hobby Lobby" ruling.

The International Literature Festival Berlin calls all people, institutions, schools and the media, where freedom and civil rights are important, to participate in a worldwide reading of texts about surveillance.

Code Pink has organized a public reading of Edward Snowden's work,

Wednesday, July 30th
5:30 - 6:30 pm
Montgomery BART Plaza
San Francisco

On June 6, 2013, the "Guardian" the first of a long series of articles on the operated worldwide by governments and companies mass surveillance published. The focus was on the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and the British secret Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). As before, information from the highly confidential files of these agencies will be published. They show that millions of innocent citizens are tracked digitally as suspects. Data from our phone conversations, online chats, text messages, web searches and the use of social media - that is all that is part of our daily lives - are collected, analyzed and stored.

video link here

It was a private person who revealed this shocking betrayal of privacy: His name is Edward Snowden. Increasingly disillusioned and alarmed at the scale of surveillance and illegal methods that were used to knowledge, realized the former NSA employee that he "does not want to live in a world in which everything I do and say is recorded. . I will neither support nor experience itself ." After unsuccessful attempts to change the system from within, Snowden was forced, the only other way to go, which made it possible to draw attention to these massive violations of law: Whistleblowing . Snowden knew he would his friends, his family and his country might never see again. However, he gave up his comfortable life and left the United States. For himself he had only four laptops, on which some of the most secret documents of the NSA were. 
 
Thanks to careful cooperation with responsible newspapers this information could become public. They broke from the long-overdue global discussion on democracy and human rights in the digital age. Company came because of their unscrupulous exploitation of customer data into view. Citizens around the world woke up and took note that there is no freedom without privacy: They demanded the right to a life without constant monitoring. In consequence, the governments of all the border were forced to review their monitoring systems. Some had to admit that they cooperated with the NSA. 
 
Soon after the publication of the first leaks revealed Edward Snowden his identity in order to protect others from false accusations: "I will not hide," he said. "I know that I have done nothing wrong." That ilb supports this finding and urges all citizens to to do the same and to participate in the worldwide reading for a man who has humanity a great service. 
 
With this worldwide reading, we urge the U.S. government to recognize that Edward Snowden are revelations for the preservation of democracy in the digital age is of essential importance, and that his actions from Universal Unwritten Rule of the Ethical Right is covered. Washington must take back all accusations and legal actions against Snowden, so that he can return home as a free man to safety. 
 
We demand that the Member States of the EU, grant asylum in recognition of the significance of his revelations, Edward Snowden - at least until the U.S. government withdrew the complaints against him. 
 
Finally, we ask the Nobel Committee, Edward Snowden draw for the Nobel Peace Price in consideration - in recognition of his unique his selfless service of democracy, freedom and peace for all of us. 
 
The entire reading texts will be published on July 30 in several languages on the website www.worldwide-reading.com.

DON'T BOMB IRAQ

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Reports of bombing along the Iraq-Syria border (now attributed to Syrian warplanes) raise the alert for planned protests against renewed U.S. incursion of Iraq. We must be prepared to respond immediately if/when the U.S. drops bombs. (See video of SF demo last week.)

In the Bay Area, the plan is to gather at 5:00 pm at Powell & Market, on the day of the attack. 

If the attack happens overnight, come out the next day, same time and place. 

Bring signs and prepare to rally, speak-out and march. Find organizing materials herePlease keep tuned to news of the volatile situation and be prepared to take action.

As violence escalates, opponents from within Iraq and across the world condemn Obama's push for military strikes on the war-tattered nation. 

"We need to challenge this idea that Iraq has a legitimate government that is fighting terrorist organizations." -- Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies

About 170 U.S. personnel have arrived in Baghdad - almost as many as those already there - with another 100 nearby outside Iraq to assist, rear admiral John Kirby said in a statement from the Pentagon late Monday. Obama had earlier sent a letter to members of Congress informing them of the decision.

Saturday, June 21: Rally and March with the World Can't Wait contingent

National "No New U.S. War on Iraq" - ANSWER Coalition 

12:00 noon

Powell BART Plaza (Fifth and Market Street), San Francisco 

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The most serious sectarian and ethnic tensions in Iraq's modern history followed the 2003 US-led occupation, which faced massive popular opposition and resistance.The US had its own divide-and-rule policy, promoting Iraqi organisations founded on religion, ethnicity, nationality or sect rather than politics. Many senior officers in the newly formed Iraqi army came from these organisations and Saddam's army. This was exacerbated three years ago, when sectarian groups in Syria were backed by the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. 

-- Sami Ramadani, London Metropolitan University

No Air Strikes. No Troops. No War in Iraq.                                                                                                                                                                                       

the vampires have not won

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"As long as capitalism exists, as long as it puts profits before people, as it must, as long as it puts profits before the environment, as it must, those on the receiving end of its sharp pointed stick must look for another way." -William Blum

BN-DE587_bpdron_G_20140611082213.jpgAeroVironment "Puma AE" gets pre-flight checkout on Sunday in preparation for flights at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

oil and gas companies lead the way in commercial drone use  

Obama's trade in "too dangerous to release" Taliban prisoners Saturday, notably absent Congressional review, gives lie to the argument that the President is doing all he can to close Guantanamo. And raises fresh questions about his plan to move illegal practices of indefinite detention and force-feeding to the U.S. mainland. 

Commander-in-chief prerogative displayed in yesterday's action leaves little excuse for delay in releasing the remaining 149 prisoners.
UPDATE: After almost 10 years of force-feeding at Guantanamo, it is (finally) in front of a federal district judge, Gladys Kessler. The hearing (on remand from the US Court of Appeals for DC) is ongoing. So far three orders have been issued, and the next hearing is scheduled for June 15.

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The President uses the U.S. Army to force-feed detainees, a brutal procedure in which a tube is shoved through the nose into the stomach, and liquids are pumped in while prisoners are strapped down in a chair.

Torture is a war crime, and a crime against humanity. International and U.S. law prohibit torture, under any and all circumstances, without exception. If we fail to hold our government and its officials accountable for the American torture state they have constructed, we are condoning that torture and it will continue to occur.


photo: May 23rd Bay Area Global Day of Action

Activists keep momentum from #YesAllWomen going offline

Patti Lee/KTVU.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- 

About 50 people gathered at 25th and Mission in San Francisco Friday night. Most were San Francisco organizers determined to use the momentum created by hashtag activism to keep the conversation going offline.

The hashtag #YesAllWomen erupted on Twitter this week, used more than a million times in response to the massacre in Isla Vista by a self-proclaimed misogynist.

In his manifesto, Elliot Rodgers' declared his desire to kill as many women as possible because they rejected him. The sense of entitlement he conveyed in his video and written rants struck a nerve. Twitter started filling up with the small and large ways misogyny affects the daily lives of women.

Alex Petersburg, an organizer with Stoppatriarchy.org told KTVU, "Here's a guy who makes a coherent argument that he deserves sex from women, that he deserves affection!"

The group marched down Mission Street and used megaphones to share their opinions. Organizers say hashtag activism is often short-lived on social media. That's why they're taking the message to the streets, to keep people talking about the lessons from this latest tragedy which may one day lead to change

Petersburg says it would be easy to dismiss Rodgers as a madman alone in his views but it's not true. Men who attended the rally told KTVU that the objectification of women is ingrained in most cultures and is often a part of male bonding rituals, like going to strip clubs.

"It's sort of hidden in plain daylight, something exposed through a horrific incident," Sam Rodyha told KTVU. "I think that's what touched a nerve. It's so common and so widespread."

Citing the rapidly deteriorating condition of Abu Wa'el Dhiab, Federal District Court Judge Gladys Kessler yesterday lifted a temporary restraining order on force-feeding, saying "The court simply cannot let Mr. Dhiab die..."

Mr. Diyab had asked to be fed at the base hospital without being strapped into the restraint chair and without having the feeding tube reinserted and then removed for each cycle, sparing him the "agony" of that procedure. 

If he could have been fed in that manner to prevent him from committing suicide by starvation, "it would have then been possible to litigate his plea to enjoin certain practices used in his force-feeding in a civilized and legally appropriate manner," she wrote.

"The Department of Defense refused to make these compromises."