Saturday, July 29, 2017

Shared Pain

The world was made poorer by one life-time activist when, on July 25, Jerry Zawada died at the age of 80. By the time I met Jerry at the Nevada Test Proving Ground some years ago along with a Code PInk contingent protesting drone warfare at Nevada’s Creech AFB, Jerry could barely walk. But there he was with many others of us attending Chief Bob Bobb’s prayer ceremony on land appropriated from the Western Shoshonne by the U.S. government for its planetcide nuclear arms program.
Fr. Zawada (right) at a missile silo
Fr. Jerry Zawada was a nuclear resister, a peace and justice  activist, and a Franciscan friar. He served two years hard time in the late 80s for repeated “trespass” at Midwest nuclear silos (some 400-plus still on hair trigger alert), and a total of eighteen months for “trespass” at the genocidal “School of the Americas”, the U.S. training program for Latin American death squads. The Vatican censured him for advocating women in the priesthood, and for celebrating mass with them. In retirement, he supported migrants as they attempted to cross the desert at the Arizona border.
In 2010 Jerry wrote a letter to the people of Dai Kundi, Afghanistan, in the Dari language. He titled this letter Hamdard, which in Dari means “shared pain.” 


         To my friends in Dai Kundi:

It's already over 9 months since 21 members of your families have been killed by NATO. How hard it must be  for you, for your family to continue without your loved one, an innocent victim of a war that should never have happened. It's not enough for me nor from a citizen of a country responsible for your personal tragedy to say "I'm sorry."
In some small way, I sense a little of your pain and I'm finding it hard to write when tears are clouding my eyes. This too is not enough. I'm so glad that three special friends of mine.., are with you now to express in person what I and so many who are so strongly against the hurt we as nation have brought to you and to your country. I pray that all this tragedy will come to an end soon. I wish I could be with you now and to work with you to end all warfare.
You are my family. I never want you to have to suffer this  way any more. With best wishes and a prayer that Allah blesses you and enables me to feel your hamdard.
                  Your brother, Jerry Zawada
When headlines read: “Mosul’s Bloodbath: ‘We Killed Everyone – IS, Men, Women & Children’ or “Beauty of Our Weapons” in the War on Yemen” how many citizens of this waroholic country have reached their hamdard threshold to be able to write a letter such as Jerry Zawada’s? Are you one of them?

U.S. Troop deployment world-wide
Because each one of us is complicit, every one of us over 300 million U.S. citizens owes such a letter to the people of Yemen (who face famine, and whose children are dying by U.S.-enabled hands), Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan, and the many other countries where the U.S. is obsessed by “full-spectrum dominance,” and whose brave young men and women defend our right to take other people’s lives and their resources.

This year the U.S. Government is allocating over one trillion dollars for its perpetual war budget. The figure includes the Trumpocrat’s call this year for an additional $575 billion for the Pentagon. Besides including over one trillion dollars a year, the cost of war can also be measured in the misery of our people. This same government cannot afford

•universal free higher education for its youth (unlike any number of other advanced countries, including Mexico & Brazil!);
•maintaining the infrastructure of its roads, bridges and dams;
•subsidizing mass transit;
•programs for the disadvantaged including low-cost housing,  prison reform, nutritious programs for poor women and children to name only a very few;
•A cabinet post for the arts; and a cabinet post for women

The U.S. disparity in budget priorities alone demands that every man-jack one of us becomes a full time peace activist.

Yet, it comes as something of a counterintuitive surprise that Peck’s Bad Boy in the White House has defied the Pentagon and the CIA on the subject of the U.S. proxy war in Syria by negotiating ceasefires. Because the MSM, in its complicity with CIA-style coup strategy, has tried hamstringing PBB at every turn, including ascribing PBB’s motive in Syria to “collusion with the Russians,” you need to depend on the Black Agenda Report or Information Clearing House for this remarkable piece of news.    

Mistake me not, I am not ascribing motives of hamdard to PBB, but I am raising the question: is it better go along with mob rule 100% to demonize a foolhardy president or is it more appropriate to consider the consequences of each of his separate actions?

Endorse the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases.

Calculate your hamdard coefficient:

How important to you are black lives in domestic U.S.?
all;______ maybe some; ______none; _______don’t know______

How important to you are foreign black lives?
all;______maybe some; ______none; _______don’t know______

How important to you are lives in domestic U.S.?
all______; maybe some; ______none; _______don’t know______

How important to you are foreign lives (including people in the Middle East and Sub Saharan Africa?)
all______; maybe some; ______none; _______don’t know_____

If you answered “all” four times, you are hamdard-sensitive. Please compose your own letter to the people of your own U.S.-ruined country of choice and send it c/o Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Non-Violence ( @ 1249 W. Argyle Street #2, Chicago, Ill. 60640,

If you answered maybe some, or none, water got into your moral compass.

If you answered “don’t know” four times, call the undertaker.


Some Roses Amongst the Fortnight’s Thorns

Transcanada backs away from Keystone XL Pipeline for economically persuasive reasons.

Utah declares ag-gag law unconstitutional, allowing activists to investigate farming practices.

Arkansas and Missouri ban Monsanto-made dicamba weed killer. Like GMO crops, it damages crops through drift.

Democrats (party of the carrot) won two seats in Oklahoma in a special election. (That’s two seats that are not Repuglican.)

And U.S. underserved citizens breathed a sigh of relief as their activism brought them a reprieve from Trumpcare-less.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

If Frances and Lucy Can, You Can, Too

Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of one count of second degree manslaughter, and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm, in the fatal shooting Philandro Castile in July of , 2016, despite the coroner’s report ruling the death a homicide, the victim having sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Prior to the day of his death at the hands of Minnesota police, Philandro Castile had been stopped 52 times for minor traffic violations. Castile was a black man. His death left bereaved the 395 kids at an integrated Montessori school where he served them lunch every  day.

The dashcam footage of the slaying was released June 20, 2017, following the trial.

The weekend after the acquittal, an Oakland demonstration took place. Here is how one activist described it:

Lucy, 16 years old, is the person who organized the Saturday, June 17th action in Oakland. She was able to do what many "organizers and organizations" have not been able to do. No ego and no organizations pure PEOPLE! This was one of the most genuine actions that I've attended in a long time. There were about 400+ people present. Speakers were not the regular known speakers or from organizations (participation was also from folks who attended) - messages were clear and thought provoking. The dots were connected.  I hope that people heard the messages -different from all the [usual] intellectualizing. Thinking about it, I only know one or two other people who have been able to do what she did.

No sound system until after the event was half over when someone come up with a bull horn, but it didn’t matter – those who were present were engaged and seemed to be actively listening. I saw people openly sob. 

These thoughts don’t even capture all that happened. Us oldsters have a lot to learn from our youth.  
Lucy speaking

And Us Youngsters Have Trespass and Disorderly Conduct to Learn from Our Oldsters

When she was asked how often she had been arrested, 98-year old Frances Crowe answered “Not enough.” A resister for the past 72 years, this tribute by Lee Schwartz summarizes her story:

Lucy speaking And here is Lucy speaking:
“I want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who attended. Thank you to those of you who supported this event in alternative ways. Thank you to the indigenous folks who took care of and defended the Ohlone land that we gathered upon. And thank you to those of you who spoke.
I also want to say I’m sorry. To the beautiful, black folks reading this, I’m sorry that this didn’t happen sooner. But saying sorry won’t help combat the injustices plaguing your community and other marginalized groups. An apology is not enough. We have to do better. We have to do better. WE HAVE TO DO BETTER.
Maybe I’m naïve. Maybe I’m dramatic. Or maybe I’m pretty damn right when I say that waiting for a change to come only brings more caskets. Silence in the face of injustice only digs more graves. And tolerance for terrorism against black folks in Amerikkka has taken too many lives, already.
And yes — I’m focusing on black folks right now. This fight and the rally was centered entirely around empowering and uniting with black folks. And we joined together, primarily, to stand in solidarity with black folks across the country.
The police officers (*murderers) who shot and killed Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, and Akai Gurley were non-black people of color. Anti-blackness also exists and thrives within non-black communities of color as it does in white, and we have to recognize and check that.
I organized this event — not so that I would get credit. I’m not looking for thank-you’s. And I’m not looking for recognition. I’m looking for a “see you next time.” I’m looking for the white women who showed up to the women’s march to show up to rallies like these. I’m looking for people to step up and defend black folks just like they’ve defended us.
I am sixteen years old. I’m hella brown. I’m young, and I’m Tongan. I don’t have a lot of money. I don’t work with any specific organization — and I don’t have as many resources or experience as some of you do.
I don’t know much, but I know that waiting for change, and silence in response to oppression only contributes to the terrorism on black communities. It’s a major element that plays into the fact that too many black bodies are sitting in graves, currently.
We have to keep going, we have to keep organizing. We have to keep up this momentum because telling black children to “do the right thing,” is not enough anymore to keep them alive. We have to continue because we saw what the products of silence were. We have to continue because Dylann Roof made it to Burger King while Sandra Bland never made it home. We have to continue because too many black women have been bent and broken in order for us to give up on them. We have to continue because black women NEVER gave up on us. We have to continue because black children deserve to grow up without fear. We have to continue because if the people paid to protect and serve our communities choose to do the opposite when it comes to transgender, black womyn — then it is on us to fight for and with them. We have to continue because black folks have been terrorized for centuries and if a broke, 16 year old, brown girl can organize against that — then WE ALL CAN. We have to continue because being black is not a crime and we have to stop acting like it is. We have to continue because saying “Black Lives Matter” isn’t enough. We have to act like it.
We have to act like it.
I have never seen so much community. I have never witnessed such a strong, empowered, and determined group of beautiful people at an arm’s-length distance. And I can testify that I know what the future looks like — I saw it staring back at me in the middle of Oscar Grant Plaza, yesterday.
We all unified together under bizarre conditions — and within an hour, a group of several hundred strangers became a family. And if that isn’t power — if that isn’t the foundation of a revolutionary movement, then I don’t know what is.
I’m in highschool. If you asked me five years ago what I wanted to do with my life — I would have never guessed that this would be it. And if you ask me that same question, now — I can’t picture myself doing anything else.
Black folks are everything and more — you ALL are beautiful and stunning. You have a spirit that continues to radiate endless light. You are capable and full of strength, and each and every one of you are enough. You are worth the fight. You matter.
To the allies who came through: thank you. Our voices and support are needed in this movement; solidarity and unity are stronger than separation. I hope you all got home safely last night — and I hope you left feeling inspired. I hope you left feeling loved and cared for. I hope you left remembering that there is still more healing to do. But most importantly, I hope you left hungry and thirsty for change. I hope you remember that we all are embodiments of this movement, and fear only dwindles our flame.
I’ll see you all soon. Unfortunately, we are gathering together under tragic circumstances. But this work is necessary — and if we won’t do it, then who will?
So please — don’t make excuses. The fight is not over until ever lock and chain has been loosened and freed from the ankles of the suffering.
And thank you, again. Thank you for having faith in a young, angry, brown girl with a lot to say. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, and I hope the same goes for each and every one of you.
The time is now.
And Us Youngsters Have Trespass and Disorderly Conduct to Learn from Our Oldsters
Frances Crowe, 98, arrested for stopping a Kinder Morgan pipeline

Hell on Wheels, a poem by Lee Schwartz

She’s 98, rides a Harley wheelchair,
arrested in Sandisfield for protesting a fracking pipeline,
her third arrest since she turned 90.

His hair stands like a torch holding light up to evil.
Frances Crowe has been at it since she’s 26,
a peace activist, war refuser, now keeping the earth from
being raped by hydro-fracking is her cause célèbre.

His tongue a serpent flickering falsehoods and frenetic tweets.

Frances Crowe protested the bombing in Hiroshima,
now she and twenty-six others wrote protest words,
buried them in a cardboard casket next to the trench.

His mind a money coaster running loops into our soul.
When hauled off in a sheriff’s cruiser for trespassing
she was asked how many times she’s been arrested,
“Not enough” she boomed to the forest and the birds.

A peacock strutting his walk of shame.

There is so much to be done, and I’m not in a wheel chair,
the world is coated with a lethal mist
I must make a stink to survive.

Women are nothing you peck at, devour and vomit up.
In the Summer of love, there were many liars in office,
helpless to transform, the body bags along the trenches,
the only thing to do was to get arrested.

Meet  the amazing Frances in person. Here, she is interviewed along with her companion, Connie Harvard, by anti-nuclear, anti-fossil fuel activist Hattie Nestel. The story of her arrest was picked up by the international press.

You, too, can participate in non-violent civil disobedience. You meet amazing people on the picket line and in jail! Only in the best company, and remember this added bonus:  no presidents, or other war criminals!


You too can participate in non-violent civil disobedience. You meet amazing people on the picket line and in jail! Only in the best company, and remember this added bonus:  no presidents, or other war criminals!

A Few Roses Amidst This Week’s Thorns

In a policy to reduce possession from a felony to a misdemeanor, State of Oregon decriminalizes cocaine meth, heroin etc.

Reinsurance giant Swiss Re shifts the entire $130B investment towards ethical Investments and out of coal, although they still insure coal plans and mines.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Tying the Knot

Two noteworthy events have headlined the recent news:

1. Negotiators representing  some 168 nations (of the 192 nations represented at the UN) got together and crafted a nuclear weapons ban treaty, the first time in over 70 years there has been a successful effort to avert nuclear war—this at a time when international tensions have never been higher. Formally known as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, it was adopted July 6, 2017 at the final session of the conference. Big Brother’s presence was predictably absent.

2. The two houses of the Japanese Diet, where a two-thirds majority of PM Abe’s conservative party rules, enacted a conspiracy law, with the very real potential of criminalizing protest, according to the Tokyo Bar Association and the UN rapporteur for human rights.

The first event appears to have international implications (although without the participation of the Nuclear Nine), the second appears to apply only to a small island nation, but that perception misses recognizing the global dimensions of the recent Japanese phenomenon and how the two might be related. About the new law, Koichi Nakano, professor of political science at Tokyo’s Sophia University said:  [It] shows both [PM Abe’s]  arrogance and his weakness….We’re seeing the personalization of power, and it’s not all that different  from what we see in the Trump administration.”

First some comic relief (Gilbert & Sullivan’s Mikado comes to mind): originally criminalizing over 650 acts, after some negotiation, the Diet knocked down the number of offenses to a mere 277. The bill was rushed through the Diet with only some 16 hours allocated for debate. Why? A phenomenon called “look at the birdie,” namely the dreary ploy in vogue by all political criminals to distract: Japanese PM Abe faces two scandal probes. And the law was snuck in in advance of Tokyo municipal elections to be held in July.

Officially, the Japanese government needs to pass the bill in order for Japan to become signatory to the UN convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by UN member states in 2000, which targets human trafficking, narcotics trading and money laundering, Which is why the new law criminalizes:

  • Sit-in protests against the construction of apartment buildings (Berkeley, take note!) 
  • Racing motorboats without a license
  • Mushroom gathering in protected forests
Although ostensibly the new law purports to target terrorism and to avert terrorist attack, it may be useful to note that last year crime statistics for Japan listed one fatal shooting, and that the last terrorist act occurred in 1995 with the sarin gas attack by the Aum Shinrikyo, a shadowy Japanese cult, in the Tokyo subway.     

But the unofficial government rationale is that the government of Japan needs to be safe from protest.

To “Serve and Protect:” Do the cops need more power?

World over, fear is universal and profitable. Fear afflicts global populations as political figures sabre rattle for fun and profit: they are the living, real time mouth pieces for the international weapons trade (someones are getting awfully, awfully rich on a steady diet of M & Ms: maimings, mayhem, and murder). Fear-mongering pervades the government-managed media as it happily amplifies the message of the living, real time mouth pieces.

Fear is useful. Surveillance legislation, sugar-pilled by intriguing acronyms (P.A.T.R.I.O.T., for example) crops up, not just in Japan, or the Unied States but as a global phenomenon. Effectively managed, fear works to persuade the world’s populations to go along with sacrificing their freedom and privacy. Maybe not entirely willingly (39% of Japan’s population approves of the new Conspiracy Bill vs. 41% opposed).

Qui Bono

In the case of the Japanese conspiracy legislation, besides affording PM Abe a comfortable smoke screen obscuring his own misdemeanors, the act is now in place to dissent especially now that PM Abe
            •wants to restart Japan’s nuclear reactors in one  of the world’s most seismically active regions,

            •plans to host the Olympic games slated for 2020—in areas some of them still heavily contaminated by nuclear fallout, notably in Miyagi and Shizuoka Prefectures.

            •intends to convince some 154,000 souls originally evacuated from areas      contaminated by Fukushima’s nuclear fallout that the area is now, magically and suddenly perfectly safe for them to return there. And to insure their willingness to return, the Japanese government is terminating their living subsidies.

(The above link will lead readers to a propaganda video describing how Japan has now overcome nuclear contamination and made Fukushima's coastline "safe" for displaced persons who are now being forced to return to their contaminated villages.)

At the same time, the law criminalizes any possible conspiracy such as
collusion by Japanese entities with foreign Olympic teams or other entities, which might express a certain reluctance about scheduling athletes to compete in contaminated areas, inhaling nuclear particulates as they run, jump, and row.

Twin Janus Face

Dr. John Gofman, the anti-nuclear world’s late messenger, wrote that if we espouse nuclear energy we agree that someone will have to die. (He did not include athletes.) He was referring to injury and death associated among others, with the people living in the area close to nuclear plants, and to worker injuries inevitable in a criminally risky industry (vide the recent tunnel collapses at Hanford (nuclear) Generation Station, and the injury of dozens of workers at the recent WIPP nuclear waste storage facility in Carlsbad, not to mention the death-by-cancer statistics of Navajo (Diné) miners working the uranium seams in New Mexico). Nuclear infrastructure  will also have to be maintained under conditions of secrecy.

But the rationale for nuclear plants is to develop weapons grade plutonium for atomic bombs, without which they cease being profitable. John Gofman was referring as well to the magnitude of death statistics from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the little recognized Port Chicago (now renamed Concord Weapons Depot) disaster of 1944 which pulverized four loading area blocks and incinerated all the black seamen loading ordnance there.

Port Chicago multiple-block explosion - 1944

Obedience Behind closed doors

The connections between secrecy on the one hand, and conformity on the other are fairly obvious. Japan needs to insure both, especially now that, as a matter of course,  the world seems to have accepted Abe’s brash offer to hold the Olympics both in Tokyo (areas of which were contaminated by fallout of hot particles) and some of the games nearer to the disaster’s epicenter, in a PR stunt related to whitewashing the dire and permanent consequences of the Fukushima catastrophe.

With the passage of the States Secrets Act in 2015, and now the Conspiracy Act of 2017, Japan has tied a Gordian knot, guaranteeing both.


Sign the Petition agreeing that Trump cannot act unilaterally with respect to North Korea

A Few Roses Amidst This Week’s Thorns

Aside from the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted July 6, 2017 at the final session of the conference,

In the face of illegal and expanded Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory, UK Court ruling allows council’s pension plan to boycott Israel.

Guantanamo’s child prisoner, its most abused detainee, Omar Khadr, may his soul be blessed, and 15 at the time of his detention, to receive an apology and at least $10 million from the government—of the US? in a pig’s eye.: Canada.

Directly in the path of the proposed pipeline.  Nuns of the order of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ build chapel to thwart Pennsylvania Adorers of the Blood of Corporations pipeline.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day (and that is sometimes good news):Trump nominated Dr. Jerome M. Adams, the health commissioner for Indiana and a strong advocate of needle exchanges to avoid the spread of disease, to be the surgeon general of the United States.

Trump is expected to tap Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald as the new director of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to two administration sources.  She was the face of the Deal administration’s effort to combat the spread of the Zika and Ebola viruses, and helped reduce wait times for a program that provides life-saving medications to thousands of uninsured Georgians with HIV or AIDS.

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, a Pine Ridge Reservation project, is developing a regenerative community  over 34 acres, building homes, creating jobs, and producing its own energy, clean water, and food.

U.S. court throws out Feds’ policy limiting prosecution of killers of endangered wildlife.

Regulators in the state of Mississippi end a coal plant project, converting it into a gas plant and refusing to pass the all the $7.5 billion construction costs along to consumers.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Extreme Policing In The Era of Trumpocracy

Voting on a long-delayed and highly controversial agenda item centering on the City of Berkeley’s contract with Urban Shield, a Homeland  Security-affiliated program of militarizing the nation’s streets, finally came to the vote the evening of Tuesday, June 20 in a location, Longfellow Middle School, deliberately chosen because it could hold the 500 folx who showed up.

From the start of the evening, tensions were high.  Hundreds of Berkeley citizens had expected to make their voices heard last month at the council meeting originally designated to include this item on its agenda but after the meeting dragged on till the wee hours of the morning the item was postponed.


On June 20, the council—and the public—came fully prepared.  The agenda included three issues: Would the City of Berkeley continue or sever its contract with Urban Shield; would the City continue its relationship with the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) and would the City purchase a bullet-proof armored personnel carrier at a cost to Berkeley of $80,000 funded at a cost of another $125,000 by the Department of Homeland Security (in possible anticipation of a huge wave of civil unrest.)

Whose Unrest?

Alameda County Sheriff Ahern’s 10-year-old police militarization extravaganza, Urban Shield, combines an assault weapon and surveillance technology vendor expo with practice skits in a variety of assaults engineered by narco-terrorists, eco-terrorists, anarcho-terrorists and a plethora of unhappy people of Middle Eastern descent, most of whom are shot dead with large assault weapons,” writes Tracy Rosenberg for Berkeleyside. “This is interrupted by shopping for the latest T-shirt declaring that “Black Rifles Matter” (instead of Black Lives Matter). The expo sucks up millions of dollars in federal grants leaving virtually nothing left over for public health and emergency preparedness, and factually defunding existing emergency programs like CERT and CARD — much as the 2003 absorption of FEMA into the Department of Homeland Security exacerbated the disastrous Hurricane Katrina response in Louisiana in 2005.

“Berkeley’s deputization of police officers as “Terrorism Liaison Officers” under the fusion center agreement with the Northern CA Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) places local cops under the direct supervision of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF)As stated:“TLOs shall not independently investigate tips or leads unless directed to do so by the proper authorities i.e. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), Fusion Center, etc.” This implies municipal police cooperation with ICE in what has officially been declared a sanctuary city.

After pointing out that U.S. fire practice targets during the Vietnam war showing Asian features morphed into those showing Middle-east figures, one witness, Iraq war veteran Scott Kimball stated: “Those weapons and tactics are used to kill people. They are not going to make our community safer.” Meanwhile, in an apparently unrelated event, the NRA is circulating a video apparently calling for armed resistance to what’s characterized as the “liberal agenda.”

Had the June 20 agenda been calculated to infuriate all those in attendance, it could not have been designed more skillfully. Presumably “progressive” Berkeley Mayor, Jesse Arreguin, who incidentally is one of the members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, allowed the Police 40 minutes of uninterrupted time to present their power point assisted case in support of Berkeley’s continued contract with Urban Shield. Their testimony suggested that without maintaining the contract, emergency assistance should Berkeley require it, would not be forthcoming, an innuendo amounting to subtle blackmail. In contrast, the 500 people, most of whom had come to oppose the continuation of the contract were allowed only 1 minute each to present their case. Their testimony took up 4 hours.

The vote to continue the contract took place after midnight. Evidence seems to  suggest that the decision had been taken before the meeting even began., and that allowing 4 hours of testimony had been a mere pro forma exercise.  As a tactic for disrespecting those present, the mayor’s gesture could not have been more pointed. Following the announcement of the vote results, the outraged but non-violent audience mounted the stage and unfurled their huge banner, prompting the Council to call in the cops.

But what ensued proved beyond any doubt exactly what the citizens of Berkeley could expect with Urban Shield: To quote Peter Woiwode writing for Berkeleyside:Berkeley Police beat, pushed and battered over 200 peaceful protesters late last night, bloodying at least two and arresting two more. With fear and anger written across their faces, dozens of officers struck elderly people with batons, targeted trans people and people of color, drove recklessly into peaceful crowds, and escalated a peaceful protest into a violent, chaotic mess….The myth of how non-violent Urban Shield was, was over.”

man bleeds from head wound 
after police baton hits him

Natalie Orenstein writing for Berkeleyside, states that, “Organizers are demanding a re-vote on Berkeley’s participation in Urban Shield. Represented by the Oakland law firm Siegel & Yee, they are alleging that the City Council violated the Brown Act by privately discussing the vote before the meeting, voting on an unclear amendment to the original item and holding a vote that was not publicly audible amid disruption. The firm has sent Zach Cowan, the city attorney, a “Cure and Correct” notice, demanding a re-vote within 30 days.”

Meantime the U.S. Council of Mayors recently passed a resolution denouncing Trump’s allocation of  $54 billion additional dollars to the Pentagon, and calling for demilitarizing the nation’s streets and reallocating funds to anti-poverty and environmental programs.

We wonder where supposedly “progressive” Mayor Arreguin was when that vote was counted.

What You Can Do.

Sign if you live in Berkeley, and  please consider passing on to others living in Berkeley.

A Few American Beauty Roses Amidst This Week’s Thorns

City of Oakland Divests from Wells Fargo.

U.S. Conference of mayors calls for reversing the Trump re-allocation of $54 billion away from the Pentagon and back where it belongs relieving poverty and supporting environmental needs.

The South Korean Government will halt construction on two nuclear reactors in order to hold a citizen jury survey of public opinion whether to abandon the project altogether.

U.S. Conference of Mayors backs Resolution 79 calling on the Trumpocracy to lower nuclear tensions, prioritize diplomacy and redirect nuclear weapons spending to meet human needs.

Kentucky, California, Mass, Virginia, Conn, Colorado Iowa And Rhode Island all reject Trump demand for voter data, refusing to abet suppression. In all 25 states have now resisted Trumps commission’s effort to gather data.

Nevada, and Florida pass new solar measures.

Nevada educators working with community partners strip funding from huge voucher program.

In a victory for same-sex parents, Supremes order states to list same-sex parents on birth certificates.

Judge Mark Goldsmith temporarily halts deportation of more than 1400 Iraqi nationals, most of them members of the Chaldean  minority who would face either persecution or death if repatriated.

U.S. Conference of Mayors back 100% renewables, vowing to fill climate leadership void, in reaction foreseen by this newsletter.