Friday April 29
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
San Francisco Airport
1333 Bayshore Highway, Burlingame
This is likely Trump's only appearance in the Bay Area for all of this election season, so if you want to make your voice heard, this is the time!
I will be there protesting as an individual, arriving at 11am for the 12 noon speech, but I would like to be part of a larger social justice group, if any are planning to go. Please post all group protests here on IndyBay so that your numbers can swell with people like me who don't want to go alone!
The Bay Area has many groups who should be there in Trump's face. The national media will be on hand, expecting a Bay Area welcome. C'mon -- let's give it to them!
"When the president and his key officials look at the drone program, they undoubtedly don't 'see' women and children," writes Pratap Chatterjee in an article for TomDispatch. "Instead, they are caught up in a Hollywood-style vision of imminent danger from terrorists and of the kind of salvation that a missile launched from thousands of miles away provides. It is undoubtedly thanks to just this thought process, already deeply embedded in the American way of war, that not a single candidate for president in 2016 has rejected the drone program."
"I just want people to know that not everybody is a freaking terrorist and we need to just get out of that mindset," says one of at least a dozen whistleblowers who have stepped forward. More witnesses are expected to join them in the near future.
May 28, San Francisco, 11 am to 1 pm
David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg
San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street
May 28, Marin County, 4 to 6 pm
David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon
Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
May 29, Oakland, 3 to 4 pm
David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan
Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila)
May 29, Berkeley, 7 to 9 pm
David Swanson with Cindy Sheehan
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
1924 Cedar Street at Bonita
World Can't Wait urges you to resist the culture of greed, bigotry, intolerance and ignorance behind mayor Ed Lee's brutal assault on San Francisco's homeless population.
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr held a town hall meeting this afternoon to "update" latest developments in the fatal police shooting of 45-year-old Luis Gongora, whose death on April 7 has been plagued by controversy after numerous witnesses disputed police accounts of the incident.
Photo: Laborers International Union building in San Francisco's Mission District Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner
A Yucatec Mayan, Luis is survived by his brothers Jose and Carlos Gongora Pat and his cousin Luis Pot Pat, his only family members in the United States, and his spouse, three grown children and his elderly parents, all in Yucatan, Mexico. The Gongora Pat family extends their gratitude to the outpouring of love and support.
"The new information on the shooting did not appease the crowd, which broke out into chants of 'Fire chief Suhr'," reads an account in The Guardian. "The shooting has prompted outrage and heartbreak among friends and neighbors of Gongora - who describe him as harmless and nonviolent - and among San Franciscans who see the shooting as just the latest assault on the homeless and poor by a city that is increasingly unaffordable to all but the wealthy."
Protest of this latest murder by police continues tonight at a Police Commission meeting, San Francisco City Hall.
Bernie's failure to confront this specific, crucial power of the "billionaire class" isn't a "blind spot" of his politics, since imperialism is like a tank parked in your living room, too big to ignore. By consciously allying with this imperialist-section of the establishment, Sanders has exposed himself as a push over, whenever the imperialists decide it's push comes to shove over war.
"Twenty-five anti-drone activists from all over the nation were arrested for blocking the roadway at the entrance of Creech Air Force base forty-five miles northwest of Las Vegas on March 31 and April 1," reports David Kupfer at The Progressive.
"Earlier in the week, a symposium called 'Inside Drone Warfare' was held at the University of Las Vegas' School of Law. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace and Knowdrones.com, the event focused on the impacts on whistleblowers and on families of civilians killed by overseas airstrikes from remotely piloted aircraft controlled by operators at Creech Air Force Base and other military installations in the United States."
The event can be viewed at http://livestream.com/accounts/18502735/events/5089751
Protesters marched throughout the Mission in response to Thursday's SFPD shooting death of a homeless man. While officers claim that José Luis Gongora charged at them with a kitchen knife, and that they fired in self defense, The Guardian, the Chronicle, and NBC Bay Area are all reporting that multiple witnesses contradict police claims and insist that Gongora neither charged at officers nor was he holding a weapon when police opened fire. Over one hundred people marched to the 19th and Shotwell Street site of the shooting before continuing on to the SFPD Mission Station on Valencia at 17th Street-- photo by Liam MC.
Non-violent protesters agree: The SF Police Department is wildly out of control.
"When 'Berniebros' attack it can be disturbing," notes Paul Street. "It's been a bracing experience to be told by older white male leftists that I (no spring chicken myself) am some kind of 'ultra-radical purist' attached to 'abstract notions of perfection' (just a few of the charges I've gotten from Sanders supporters via e-mail) because I have refused to align myself with a United States Democratic Party presidential candidate - Bernie Sanders - who:
*Calls Edward Snowden a criminal and Hugo Chavez (a social democrat) a 'dead communist dictator'.
*Embraces Barack Obama's arch-terrorist drone war.
*Falsely claims to have been independent of the Democratic Party prior to the current presidential campaign.
*Supports the reckless U.S. provocation of Russia in Eastern Europe.
*Calls for the arch-reactionary and fundamentalist Islam-sponsoring state of Saudi Arabia to step up its already mass-murderous military role in the Middle East
*Helped rationalize Israel's criminal mass killings of Palestinian children in Gaza (over the opposition of properly nauseated peace activists in his home town of Burlington, Vermont).
*Backed the Clinton administration's criminal and unnecessary bombing of Serbia.
*Has worked to undermine third party politics in Vermont.
*Called police to arrest activists occupying his Burlington, Vermont Congressional office to protest 'Bomber Bernie' Serbia policy.
*Called police (when Sanders was Burlington's mayor and at the leftmost stage of his political career) to arrest peace activists occupying an industrial plant owned by the leading, blood-soaked military contractor General Electric.
*Pushed and voted for the mass-murderous and wasteful F-35 jet program (a classic Pentagon boondoggle) because it meant 'jobs for Vermont'.
*Calls the racist British imperialist Winston Churchill (who embraced the racist gassing of Arabs) his favorite non-American leader in world history (he could at least have said Nelson Mandela).
*Backs the standardized testing mania that has wreaked such terrible havoc on schools and children.
*Dilutes the radical tradition, mocking his purported hero Eugene Debs by (among other things) calling himself a socialist while embracing private, for-profit ownership of the means of production and distribution.
*Voted for the racist-mass-incarcerationist 1994 federal crime bill - a reactionary $30 billion measure that 'created dozens of new federal capital crimes, mandated life sentences for some three-time offenders, and authorized more than $16 billion for state prison grants and the expansion of police forces' (Michelle Alexander).
*Fails to call for the giant rollback of the United States' gargantuan 'defense' (Empire) budget his progressive domestic social agenda requires.
*Leaves the Pentagon system almost completely without criticism when asked how he would pay for good things like single-payer health insurance.
*Says that we should learn from Denmark and other significantly social-democratic Scandinavian countries without bothering to note that those nations have tiny military budgets.
*Has repeatedly referred to the cynical corporatist and arch-imperial war hawk Hillary Clinton as his 'good friend'.
*Dismisses Black calls for reparations as 'divisive', as though centuries of slavery, segregation, discrimination, ghettoization, and stigmatization aren't worthy of any specific acknowledgement or remedy (Michelle Alexander).
*Absurdly refers to the arch-corporatist and ridiculously complicated Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) as a good first step on the path to single payer (to Medicare for All).
*Aligns himself with the National Rifle Association against the parents of children murdered by an assault weapon-wielding maniac in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
*Fails to advance a serious and substantive attack on the longstanding racism, corporate-neoliberalism, and imperialism of the Clintons, thereby calling into question the sincerity and resoluteness of his claim to represent a left-progressive challenge to the long rightward drift of the Democratic party.
*Repeatedly and absurdly suggests that the U.S. wasn't a corporate- and high finance-ruled plutocracy until the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision.
*Badly over-focuses on plutocratic campaign funding (a very real anti-democratic problem, of course) as the source of the nation's ongoing subservience to big capital.
*Fails to exploit Hillary Clinton's very real e-mail and Benghazi scandals, leaving them to the Republican right and questioning thereby the seriousness of his declared goal of capturing the Democratic nomination.
*Promises in advance to back the 'eventual Democratic Party presidential nominee' (Hillary) without conditions, without demanding anything as the price of his Lesser Evilist loyalty."
"It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama," adds John Pilger in another post, "As presidential election day draws near, Clinton will be hailed as the first female president, regardless of her crimes and lies - just as Barack Obama was lauded as the first black president and liberals swallowed his nonsense about 'hope'...
"In the US, Bernie Sanders has promised to support Clinton if or when she's nominated. He, too, has voted for America's use of violence against countries when he thinks it's 'right'. He says Obama has done 'a great job'...
"Where are those who will shatter the silence?"
What we Need is Visible Opposition to U.S. War for Empire from people living in this country.
Millions of Americans reproach their government for failure to secure access to basic necessities -- housing, education and healthcare -- for a purposeful life. Fundamental dynamics of the capitalist economic system have created a desperate situation for growing numbers of the dispossessed, across the globe.
Presidential candidates from all parties promise a bigger piece of the proverbial American pie. But redistribution of imperial spoils, to whatever extent that would even be possible in the United States, would placate privileged recipients at unconscionable cost to humanity.
The search for a "kinder" capitalism is fraught with contradiction: a system of privation is inequitable by definition. It requires deliberate obfuscation of the terms of engagement -- socialized production vs private appropriation -- and a presumption of innocence to the forces employed to secure U.S. hegemony.
Take President Obama's weapon of choice. It's hard to imagine a more brutal vehicle for extrajudiciary executions than unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). "Targeted killings through drones are war crimes," writes Daniele Archibugi, a director at the Italian National Research Council (CNR), and professor of innovation, governance and public policy at Birkbeck College. "The first thing to do is a direct appeal to the individuals that are using drones. These individuals should be clearly informed that they are committing war crimes for which they may be individually responsible."
Photo: assembling a predator drone out of the box in about two hours, 2012. Wikicommons/ Sgt.Ken Scar. Public domain.
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, CIA drone strikes in Afghanistan have killed between 1,300 and 1,800 people, at least 61 of them civilians. In Pakistan, as many as 4,000 people have been killed in drone strikes, between 420 and 965 of them civilians. And in Yemen, more than 500 people have been killed by U.S. drones, with 65 to 101 of them civilians.
Presidential candidates promise more of the same. World Can't Wait continues the struggle to STOP THE CRIMES OF YOUR GOVERNMENT, undeterred by electoral politics, with mass education and resistance in the streets. Your support is essential to guarantee a visible challenge to business-as-usual.
When push comes to shove, Bernie Sanders is expected to stump for the "Democratic Party rattrap."
"There's going to be no reluctance on his part" if Clinton wins, Sanders' chief strategist, Tad Devine, told RandySF. "He has said that Hillary Clinton is extremely well qualified to be president. Meanwhile, he's competing, and it's going to go all the way to the end of the primaries."
"In unusually candid remarks, President Obama privately told a group of Democratic donors last Friday that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was nearing the point at which his campaign against Hillary Clinton would end, and that the party must soon come together to back her," confirmed a White House official.
"Your future is not up for for election and your dreams will not fit into the ballot box," posits a Facebook announcement. "You are outraged by the police murdering over a thousand people in the past year and the highest rate of incarceration this world has ever seen. You are outraged by the drone bombing of seven countries and the US fanning the flames of war across the Middle East and around the world. You are outraged by the dehumanization and degradation of women at the center of American politics and culture. This past year has made clear to millions that you will not be able to vote for the interests of the people of the world. Come November, the blatant fascism of Donald trump will be one of your options in the voting booth, but fundamental human rights will not be. Your choices have been chosen for you."
The Whole Damn System is Guilty. It is time to demand more.
"An American-style fascist movement would hardly be a precise copy of either the German or the Italian models, or even of the parties currently building far-right movements in France, Hungary, Greece, and elsewhere... It would undoubtedly be a uniquely American creation," warns investigative journalist Robert Dreyfuss. "Whether or not Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination or is elected president, for the gathering members of his grassroots coalition, he's certainly shown what can, indeed, happen here."
Republicans wink at racism. Democrats condemn violent rhetoric and call for "unity".
Retired educator Jack Gerson calls for mass movement against Donald Trump -- in the streets:
Bernie Sanders' "political revolution" is explicitly about registering more people into the Democratic party and getting out the vote for him. But Trump and the forces that are assembling under his banner won't be stopped primarily by electoral means. They will only be stopped in the way that they were last night.
By standing up in force, and fighting back, protesters have already sent shock waves across the nation.
ILWU Local 10, the longshore union, is stopping work on May Day, Sunday May 1st, to protest racist police violence. There will be an organizing meeting for labor and the community at 6PM on Tuesday March 22 at Local 10 @ 400 North Point St., San Francisco. Please be there. We are expecting to have an even larger turnout than the 3,000 participants last year.
This weekend marks the 13th anniversary of 'Shock and Awe', the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. Bombings and economic sanctions were responsible for an estimated 1 million deaths, with another 4.5 million civilians displaced, 1-2 million widows, and 5 million orphans. Healthcare, clean water, functioning schools and jobs remain elusive.
US intervention left what had been a relatively secular country split along sectarian lines, with a weak puppet government and a huge opening for Islamic fundamentalists to push for religious rule.
The devastation begun under the Bush regime has grown and spread under the Obama administration. The US has not been able to impose its will as planned, and the US war OF terror continues.
"No doubt there are many things that distinguish the United States -- not least the enormity of its military budget, and its global network of military bases," writes Vassar College professor Joseph Nevins. "But as the documentary film Drone makes painfully clear, it is the government's ability to kill at a distance -- with impunity and with widespread support, or at least resignation, of the citizenry -- that also 'makes us different'.
"Remotely piloted aircraft, what are popularly known as drones, allow the Pentagon and the US intelligence apparatus to track and monitor individuals from afar with little risk," he adds. "It also allows the Pentagon to engage in what is effectively a global assassination program with little domestic cost."
Say NO to Monsters in the Sky. Join the resistance at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada for the second annual SHUT DOWN CREECH! March 27-April 2, 2016. http://shutdowncreech.blogspot.com
Bernie Sanders depicts himself a democratic socialist, but too few people know what that means. Journalist Dan Arel reflects on what Sander's ideology is, and isn't, here. Be careful what you wish for.
The Trump rally in Chicago yesterday was the first at which there may have been as many protesters as supporters, reports REUTERS. The cancellation followed an appearance by Trump in St. Louis during which protests forced him to halt his speech repeatedly.
White privilege manifests a proclivity to police terror, unsuccessfully challenged in a San Francisco federal courtroom yesterday, where four killer cops dodged civil reparation for the murder of Alex Nieto. Blue on Black crime threatens the lives of our dwindling population of people of color inhabiting the un-fair City by the Bay.
"Justice For Our Lives" is a portrait series of individuals from marginalized communities who have lost their lives due to police violence and other forms of oppression as a result of racism in our injustice system. In recent years we have witnessed an increase of police violence and killings in which justice is never served.
These images are meant to depict each life in an honorable manner and to call attention to the ongoing issue of police terrorism against black and brown, undocumented, LGTBQ, and mentally ill lives to make the connection between these different struggles that are fighting to overcome police violence and impunity.
"Justice For Our Lives" designs are available for free to download and share online. You are encouraged to get creative with the designs, print, and distribute them at demonstrations, in classrooms, art galleries, as street art, and anywhere else that will force people to remember the names, faces, and the stories behind each person who has been killed by state sponsored terrorism.
"Were Martians possessed of a sense of irony, ours might also wonder at the spectacle of a government that kills hundreds of thousands of innocents in the course of endless wars suggesting that the real blood-on-their-hands culprits are the people blowing the whistle, and not the politicians forever blowing the war trumpets," posits Barry Eisler, whose latest novel,The God's Eye View navigates the subject of government surveillance (free livestream discussion tonight, March 3).
The former intelligence officer, former technology lawyer, former startup executive, and current full-time thriller writer challenges the "oath of secrecy" around the crimes of our government: "rather than focusing on the fantasy problem of what might happen if more secrets were revealed, shouldn't we be focusing on the real problem of what is happening because too many secrets are being created?"
A false choice posed to young activists, "the same argument they hear from the police: Allow us to operate in your communities with impunity and abandon or the criminals will do so to even more devastating effect. Following this line of reasoning, silent absorption of pain and suffering is the only option. I wholly reject that," says Op-Ed Columnist Charles Blow.
"Young, proudly queer, black activist" Ashley Williams made a statement of her own at a private Clinton fund-raiser in Charleston, S.C., "confronting the candidate about her support of policies -- specifically the 1994 crime bill -- that contributed to the explosion of racially tilted mass incarceration in this country."
"America's social progress is, first and foremost, a story of the courage and sacrifice of ordinary women and men willing to put their bodies on the line to face down injustice. From slave revolts to suffragettes, Selma to Stonewall, from the epic mining and railroad strikes of the late 19th century to the Delano farmworkers' strike of the 1960s and more, it was the courage of ordinary Americans willing to defy injustice that earned us the rights and dignity we take for granted today," laments Tony Karon, Senior Executive Producer of Al Jazeera America upon shuttering of his online site...
"The core principle driving the journalism that distinguished Al Jazeera America online as a unique voice in a cluttered news landscape was the simple -- yet radical -- proposition that no single human life is worth less than any other."
"As the Al Jazeera America operation shuts down in the 20th year of the history of all Al Jazeera services, it is worth recalling that three of its four branches -- the Arabic and English global services and its online website -- have been successful," notes Rami G. Khouri, a Jordanian-Palestinian national, a senior public policy fellow at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, and a senior fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School. "That's 3 for 4 -- batting .750 -- which in the world of news, as in baseball, is pretty impressive.
"Al Jazeera media continue to report news the region and the world need."
"The world is obsessed with the U.S. elections because the outcome of those elections will have an impact on every person on Earth," writes Laurie Penny at Information Clearing House. "So, let the world have its say. Why not? Even limited voting rights for everyone affected by U.S. foreign, environmental and trade policy might restore a measure of sanity, or at least oblige the U.S. to acknowledge the existence of several billion non-American human beings who would really prefer not to be blown up or under water...