May 2014 Archives

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."

In the name of safety, fear, or revenge, American presidents cannot be allowed to arrogate to themselves the power to rewrite the law. Or to appoint hit men to cover their tracks.

Not so fast! Before David Barron's nomination, secret drone opinions must be digested

David Barron (Credit: AP/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

The lawyer who helped form the foundation of Obama's targeted assassination program may soon be has been confirmed as a federal judge. The laws against murder in Pakistan and Yemen don't cease to exist because a new Jay Bybee, willing to say whatever's needed to become a judge, fabricates executive cover.  

release the prisoners

Guantanamo's current jailer-in-chief Barack Obama will fail to take prescriptive action without a powerful demonstration of resolve by people of conscience to close that hellish manifestation of U.S. imperium. 

"although at one time we could blame President George W. Bush's unilateral assertions of unchecked executive power for the abuses there, the continuing problem that is Guantánamo today is shared by all three government branches, and ultimately by all Americans... Guantánamo will not close until we insist that our government heed the calls for justice that the world has rightly made." -- David Cole,The Nation's legal affairs correspondent and author of The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable

cheer on the peace walkers

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Dedicated activists are working hard to halt the rain of death from the skies above Africa and the Middle East rendered by Barack Obama's "weapon of choice." 

"A Walk to Peace" is a ten-day, 130 mile hike from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge to the gates of Beale Air Force Base, home to the Global Hawk, a reconnaissance drone that pinpoints human subjects for the President's targeted assassination program.

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World Can't Wait greeted the walkers on the first leg of their journey at the San Francisco Ferry Building. Drone replica is 1/5 the size of the real thing. Thanks to Bill Carpenter for this photo plus video of the event.

Follow the walkers' progress here.

It is up to us, millions of people living in this country, acting together with people around the world, to stand up, tell the truth, and say no to killing from a distance, carried out in our name.

STOP KILLER DRONES. CREATE THE WORLD WE WANT TO SEE.

On May 10th, Berkeley Law dodged accountability for the employment of John Yoo. Administrators side-stepped the elephant in the room. Again. 

Commencement 2014 speakers proved to be anything but inspiring. Some crimes, like torture, defy a "civil" debate.

Acting Dean Gillian Lester cheers as litigators Ted Olson (center) and David Boies hug after delivering their keynote addresses to about 400 graduates and their families at the UC Berkeley School of Law. The former adversaries are now good friends. Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

Acting Dean Gillian Lester cheers as litigators Ted Olson (center) and David Boies hug after delivering their keynote addresses to about 400 graduates and their families at the UC Berkeley School of Law. The former adversaries are now good friends. Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

The challenge for graduates to restore fundamental civil liberties disabled by the U.S. government's response to 9/11 will not be constrained by forces of academic repression.

A new book brings together voices of scholars determined to resist higher education's role in supporting state policies of militarism, racism, nationalism... and torture. Kudos to the graduates who survived "The Imperial University" to forward the fight for social change with justice. 
2014.5.13.Ice.Main.jpgif you choose only one link to view from this article, click this one - it will astound you to see in broad historical context (800,000 years) just how abruptly and profoundly humans have impacted the earth by pumping CO2 into the atmosphere...

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Outside Berkeley Law Graduation 2014. More photos here; thanks Bindu! 

Saturday May 10th a core of 15 anti-torture activists anchored the seventh annual protest of University of California accommodation and promotion of Boalt Hall 'Torture Professor' John Yoo. 

Defying the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility finding that professor Yoo and his boss, now federal district court judge Jay Bybee, were guilty of 'professional misconduct,' Berkeley Law administrators continue to harbor an unrepentant advocate for illegal policies deployed by the Bush regime. 

Many graduates and their guests accepted and wore orange ribbons in support for repudiation of U.S. torture practice.

World Can't Wait applauds the potential of this new generation of lawyers and judges to prosecute the crimes of arbitrary detention, torture, and suppression of civil rights prescribed by John Yoo's 'Unitary Executive' theory (that "if the President does it, it's legal"). 

Professor Yoo not only supports U.S. targeted assassination policy; he complains that President Obama isn't being hawkish enough in the War on Terror: 

"Yoo's flippant attitude toward killing civilians is noteworthy in two ways. First - the obvious - 
is that it reveals a truly sick disregard for the killing of innocent human beings...
The second reason it is noteworthy is that Yoo argues trying to avoid killing civilians who are in the vicinity of enemy combatants doesn't apply 'to wartime operations.' Leave aside the legal reasoning for a moment and consider if Yoo would support the same standard in reverse."

A university that allows a war criminal to teach constitutional law under prejudice of 'academic freedom' is protecting war crimes.

Fire John Yoo... Close Guantanamo... Ground Killer Drones

photo ops

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May 8, a couple of San Francisco activists made the trek to Obama's fundraising gig at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose to join a crowd of about 300 protesters advocating on a range of issues, including the XL Pipeline and the military's drone war in the Middle East.

World Can't Wait and Code Pink shared a common message: GROUND THE DRONES. 

Thousands of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia have been killed by armed 'Unpiloted Aerial Vehicles' with no public accountability, mostly civilians in the wrong place at the wrong time. The President's 'weapon of choice' is revolutionizing our perception of war.

Photo by Vicki Thompson, Silicon Valley Business Journal

The following morning, Obama visited his attack on South Bay workers, in what economist and former labor secretary Robert Reich called an "ill-advised photo opportunity" at Walmart, "one of the nation's largest and worst employers -- low wages, unreliable hours, few benefits, discrimination against women, and anti-union."

More from a Walmart worker here 

the Drone Memos

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President Obama's nominee to the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals is mired in controversy amid revelations that the former Justice Department lawyer helped form the foundation for the large-scale killing program that has resulted in as many as 4,700 deaths.

NEWS: Rice Cancels Rutgers Speech After Student Protests

In the name of 'democracy,' our government has tortured at least one hundred people to death. In the name of the 'war on terror,' thousands have been detained without a chance to face their accusers or even know what charges they are held under. 

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We stand strong with the resisters who elect not to become part of the same prosecution team that has terrorized the world. Now the so-called Department of Justice [ha!] has decided to focus on support groups of the world's peoples and also on 'eco-terrorism.' Why? Because it can! It sends a message to the people that it's dangerous, don't join, don't resist. That message must once again be shouted down, first by the resisters who will go to jail, and second by us, the movement who must support them by always filling those cold marble courtrooms to show our solidarity, and by speaking out so that their sacrifice is constantly remembered. 

-- Lynne Stewart

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

This week we celebrated the struggle of radical human rights attorney Lynne Stewart.

Saturday, May 10th, protest John Yoo, chief architect of institutionalized fear that enabled Lynne's incarceration and torture.
More than a dozen members of the public, representing themselves and a variety of organizations, spoke out against drones Tuesday night, citing concerns about privacy, surveillance and potential weaponization. Many of them said they would like to see Berkeley ban drones altogether.

Drones
photo of World Can't Wait display by Lorenz Angelo Gonzales, Daily Cal

"We have seen firsthand the use of drones abroad, and we would hate to see something like that happen here" -- Nancy Mancias, CodePink

The U.S. military is killing and terrorizing people right now in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia with missiles fired from drones piloted from distant bases. Thousands of people have been incinerated, some by follow-up attacks aimed at rescuers and mourners in lands where Obama has designated all military-age males as combatants. Domestic drone surveillance by police and the FBI threatens peoples' rights to associate, assemble and speak out.

Find out if your college is part of the U.S. war machine developing drones and training pilots.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

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