DR. JOSEPH GERSON -Beyond this hysteria, peace, labor and immigrant rights activists and scholars are gathering in Chicago for the May 18-19 Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice, to present the case against NATO-driven militarism.
JOHN DARLING – Tea Party and Occupy supporters found that they have many similarities at a forum in Southern Oregon. In their first public outing together, Tea Party and Occupy backers â€” and an audience of 200 â€” found a lot of common ground. They agreed that corporations, lobbyists, the military and the federal government have a huge amount of power, are “bought,” and aren’t very responsive to the needs of the average person.
WILLIAM DERESIEWICZ – Freedom has become the be-all and the end-all of our political expectation, the full meaning of the American experiment. Justice is gone, and even more conspicuously banished is that term of terms for movements from abolitionism to feminism, for Lincoln and King: equality.
DAVID SWANSON – 1. Iran has threatened to fight back if attacked, and that’s a war crime. War crimes must be punished.
BRIAN J. TRAUTMAN – Each year, Congress authorizes the budget of the Department of Defense through a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA of 2012, however, is unlike any previous ones. This yearâ€™s legislation contains highly controversial provisions that empower the Armed Forces to engage in civilian law enforcement and to selectively suspend due process and habeas corpus, as well as other rights guaranteed by the 5th and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, for terror suspects apprehended on U.S. soil.
CHARLES EISENSTEIN – Occupy has awakened a potent energy that had been lying dormant. It has made activists of people of a new generation, and brought renewed hope to veterans of past movements. Unlike earlier protest movements, it has not objected to any specific policy, such as segregation or the Vietnam War. It is a protest against a condition of society, highlighted by the maldistribution of wealth and debt whose symbol is Wall Street, that goes deeper than anything the Occupiers can easily name. As we say, no demand is big enough.
COLOR OF CHANGE.ORG – For years, the right wing has been trying to stop Black people, other people of color, young people, and the elderly from voting for partisan gain â€” and now some of America’s biggest companies are helping them do it.
MICHAEL LERNER – Call Mayor Bloomberg of NYC, Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland, or whoever is your mayor and suggest that they support the Occupy movement by providing encouragement to social workers, teachers, clergy and others to go down to the Occupy encampments and volunteer time and energy to help those who badly need this support!!
TOM CORDARO – The weekend of Oct. 15-16 my daughter Angela and I had the privilege of attending the Pax Christi Metro New York Fall Assembly where I gave the keynote address. As you might expect a lot of the conversation focused on the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement that started in Zuccotti Park near Wall Street.
PETER BERGEL – The Occupy movement has opened space for a national â€“ even international â€“ dialogue on the kind of world we want to live in. It has empowered many citizens to find the audacity and courage to think outside the box â€“ to consider sweeping solutions that were off the table a few short weeks ago.
CHRIS HEDGES – There is no danger that the protesters who have occupied squares, parks and plazas across the nation in defiance of the corporate state will be co-opted by the Democratic Party or groups like MoveOn. The faux liberal reformers, whose abject failure to stand up for the rights of the poor and the working class, have signed on to this movement because they fear becoming irrelevant. Union leaders, who pull down salaries five times that of the rank and file as they bargain away rights and benefits, know the foundations are shaking.
JESSE STRAUSS – On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered outside the Tottenham police station, peacefully calling for “justice” for Mark Duggan, a man killed by officers three days prior. Police stood in formation, separating the community members from the station they were guarding, until a 16-year-old woman reportedly approached an officer to find out what was going on. According to a witness account, some officers pushed the young woman and drew their batons. “And that’s when the people started to retaliate. Now I think in all circumstances, having seen that, most people retaliate,” said the witness.
COMMITTEE TO STOP FBI REPRESSION – The Committee to Stop FBI Repression is pleased to circulate the following letter from Congressman Kucinich, addressed to Attorney General Holder. Rep. Kucinich is the tenth Congressional representative to raise concerns about the FBI’s repression of anti-war and solidarity activists.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH – Mr. Speaker. The critical issue before this nation today is not Libyan democracy, it is American democracy. In the next hour I will describe the dangers facing our own democracy. The principles of world democracy are embodied in the UN Charter, conceived to end the scourge of war for all time. The hope that nations could turn their swords into plowshares reflects the timeless impulse of humanity for enduring peace and with it an enhanced opportunity to pursue happiness.
DAVID SWANSON – In December 2009, psychologist Bruce Levine published an article at Alternet called “Are Americans a Broken People?” His timing couldn’t have been better. Americans of good will and bad analysis were suffering a severe fit of Obamanation withdrawal. The article was reposted everywhere, commented on endlessly, and responded to voluminously. (This was my response.) Levine has now developed his article into an important book called “Get Up, Stand Up.”
IAN HARRIS – People should not be surprised that the United States has put itself in line to dictate the nature of the next head of state in Libya. After all, in 1954 this country replaced an elected leader in Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh, who had promised to nationalize the oil in his country. Look what happened to Saddam Hussein after he nationalized the oil in Iraq! In 2009 Moammar Quadhafi mentioned nationalizing the oil industry in Libya, where the largest oil company was already state owned. This made Quadhafi a dangerous mad dog renegade who needed to be replaced. Do you see a pattern here?
TED GLICK – â€œThose who take the meat from the table teach contentment.
Those for whom the taxes are destined demand sacrifice.
Those who eat their fill speak to the hungry of wonderful times to come.
Those who lead the country into the abyss call ruling too difficult for ordinary men and women.â€ – Bertolt Brecht
Several times in columns over the last year or so I have written about the need for a â€œthird force,â€ a broad, inclusive, independent, and progressive united front.