Saturday, November 17, 2007

More on Oprah's Friday Show

I myself am a hoarder. At one point I had a trunk full of papers going back to the third grade. As if I'd need them. I felt quite relieved a few months ago when I threw out two big trunks of papers(not the third grade ones, this is a later mess I had). I felt quite relieved. I could breathe.
I just finished reading Walter Mosely's Futureland. The first real scifi I could enjoy. I believe I got the book from my Uncle Donald.

Friday, November 16, 2007

That lady on Oprah could sell all of that stuff for a dollar a piece on ebay and be rich as hell.

This From Color of Change

Dear member,
A national Black radio host is making reckless and false allegations that threaten to undermine the credibility of We want you to know the facts. And then we need your help to stop this attempt to defame what we've built together.

Over the last few months, radio personality Michael Baisden has repeatedly implied that ColorOfChange was improperly handling money collected for Jena 6 legal defense. On Monday and Tuesday he outright attacked us.

Baisden's claims and suggestions are completely false, and he and his staff know it. After you've read the facts below, can you take a moment to send Michael Baisden and his producers an email asking that he publicly apologize for slandering the movement we've built together?

You can listen to the damaging segments of the show, review the facts, and send him a message here:

The real story about your donations

Since July, 17th, ColorOfChange members have donated $212,039.90 for the legal defense of the Jena 6, six Black boys being unjustly railroaded by the criminal justice system in Jena, Louisiana. ColorOfChange has already sent $210,809.90 to the six legal teams defending these young men. You can view the cancelled checks here:

On Michael Baisden's show this week, Mychal Bell's father, Marcus Jones, made allegations on air that the Jena 6 families have had no contact with ColorOfChange and that we do not have their authorization to collect money. It's simply not true. ColorOfChange has had contact with all of the families for several months. A member of each family has signed a letter authorizing the payments from our defense fund to their attorneys. This includes Marcus Jones. Marcus also asked us on air to stop fundraising for the Jena 6, and implied that he speaks for all of the families, but he does not – none of the other families have said they want this. All but Marcus are thankful and appreciative. Michael Baisden knows all this, yet he provided a forum for this attack and backed it up. You can view the authorization letters, and the full details, here:

ColorOfChange has not taken a single penny of these funds, not even for overhead or administrative costs. We absorb all the fees from every transaction, ensuring that every dollar donated goes directly to legal defense. Aside from the latest donations that are still being processed, every penny that has come in to help these young men is in the hands of lawyers who have been fighting hard to achieve justice.

Baisden has the facts, so why is he on the attack?

Michael Baisden and his staff know the facts. As early as September, we explained our procedures to Baisden and his staff. In October, we helped them contact the families and lawyers so that they could verify for themselves that the money was being distributed. By mid-October, Yvonne Gilliam, who works for Baisden, indicated by phone that every lawyer she'd contacted had properly received their checks from us.

So why does Baisden resort to slandering us on the air now, after seeing for himself exactly how funds were managed? He's promoting his own fundraising effort this week and is trying to position himself as the only trustworthy source for fundraising around the Jena 6. He's stated explicitly that he started his fund because he thinks other efforts are untrustworthy. Discrediting us is a great way to promote himself and his fund.

But there is no excuse for his behavior, especially from someone who claims to be part of a movement.

We hope Baisden can raise a lot of money for the Jena 6. The families need all the help they can get. But when someone with his reach builds himself up by spreading slanderous accusations about an organization doing innovative and powerful work on behalf of the Jena 6, it damages the entire movement. And it must be called out.

Defending the movement you've built started in 2005 with outrage, tears and a laptop computer. Our hearts were broken by what was happening in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. So we set up a website and emailed a petition to our friends. We realized we had struck a chord, so we decided to keep going. And it's a good thing we did. Because in just two short years, has become a powerful tool and resource -- the largest Black-led online advocacy organization in the world, with nearly 400,000 members. And its because of your voice that we are here today, stronger than ever.

Never before have Black people and our allies had the ability to aggregate our power and our dollars online in such a powerful way. By mobilizing your concern and your dollars when the justice system attacked Black children, we have demonstrated conclusively that all of us working together can impact the courtroom - and the court of public opinion. By flexing our collective power, we have sent a clear message that it is a new day for racial justice in this country.

Baisden's baseless attack could harm our ability to do this work. We need your help now so that we can continue to be effective advocates for the Jena 6, and for other issues important to Black America.

You can help, here:

Thank You and Peace,

-- James, Van, Clarissa, Gabriel, Mervyn, and the rest of the team
November 8th, 2007

Cynthia McKinney for President!

I just read on Cynthia's Interests that Cynthia McKinney has filed papers to run for President! Now I am excited!

News About Port of Olympia From SDS

"There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so
odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part,
you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put
your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the
levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it
stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to
the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine
will be prevented from working at all!"

--Mario Savio, the steps of Sproul Plaza, UC
Berkeley, December 2, 1964

For 10 days, anti-war activists in Olympia, Washington have
slowed down and for two different periods of 12 hours or
more, stopped the flow of military weapons and military cargo
that were unloaded from a Navy ship that had returned from
Iraq. For 24 hours a day, we have used a variety of tactics
and actions. They have included sitting in front of trucks
carrying Stryker vehicles and other military equipment from
leaving the Port of Olympia, building barricades on the roads
where these military vehicles were traveling, anti-war
demonstrations through the streets of Olympia and vigils,
downtown. A hearing was held at City Hall, last Sunday,
November 11th, 2007 to document the excessive police force
used against people who participated in these actions. We
testified at the Olympia City Council and at a hearing of the
elected Port Commissioners demanding that they take a stand
opposing the U.S. war against Iraq by not letting our Port be
used to transport war supplies. About 500 people have taken
part in some or all of these protests.


For three years, various anti-war, social justice and student
groups such as Students for a Democratic Society, SDS, have
demanded that Olympia officials take a stand against the war
by not permitting our Port to be used for military cargo
going to and coming from Iraq. To make this a reality people
have put their bodies on the line each time the port has been
used with the most recent actions being the longest, largest
and most successful in actually stopping shipments. Lt. Ehren
Watada, who was the first commissioned officer to refuse
deployment to Iraq, was in part, inspired by anti-war Port
protests in 2005, in making his decision to refuse to go to
Iraq. There have also been protests against and resistance to
military shipments to Iraq in spring, 2007 in Aberdeen and
Tacoma, WA, which is the main Port used by the military. We
hope by our actions to inspire direct and militant action
against the U.S. war in Iraq and to end the complicity of
local communities, e.g., our ports in the carrying out of
this war. Growing non-cooperation with this war and the
possible future war with Iran by more and more communities is
one key part of a strategy to get the U.S. to withdraw from
Iraq and not attack Iran.

The major group coordinating the current actions is the
Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (PMR) organization. It
was formed in May, 2006 when Olympians outraged by the war
attempted to block outgoing Stryker vehicles and other
military equipment in advance of the deployment of the 3rd
Brigade Stryker team from Ft. Lewis, Washington, 15 miles
north of Olympia. The troops from this Brigade returned to
Ft. Lewis in October, 2007 minus the 48 soldiers who did not
return; they were killed in Iraq. PMR's goal is to 'end our
community's participation in the illegal occupation of Iraq
by stopping the military's use of the Port of Olympia'. Its
strategy from the beginning has included public education
about the war and how the military's use of the Port supports
the military occupation, and a commitment to non-violent
civil disobedience. PMR has tried to work with the Longshore
Union (ILWU), Local 47, although this has been difficult
because the members of this small local are dependent on
military shipments for a significant proportion of their work
and few feasible alternatives to contracts with the military
have been put forward. In the most recent protests, the
union or at least its leadership was not supportive of our
actions to close the port.

About two weeks ago, PMR found out from a City Council member
and major peace activist, TJ Johnson, that the USNS Brittin
would dock in Olympia and unload its cargo. The original PMR
position was that we would try to block outgoing shipments
but not incoming military equipment. However, on November
4th, 2007, the night before the ship landed in a very long
meeting, PMR voted 29 to 14 to try to stop the Stryker
vehicles and other military equipment to leave the port. The
reasoning was that the military equipment was part of the
ongoing war against the Iraqi people, that is was being
refurbished and repaired at Ft. Lewis to be used again in
Iraq, that it was part of a revolving door of war materials
coming from and going back to Iraq. In addition, participants
at this and the next meeting pointed out that the Depleted
Uranium (DU) on the returning military vehicles was a danger
to the Longshore workers unloading the ship, to the soldiers
and truckers transporting the equipment and to the residents
of Olympia. We shared the information on DU that we gathered
with the ILWU although they proceeded to unload this military

10 Days of Actions

On November 5th and 6th, there was a vigil and a march
through Olympia of 160 people and a rally at the Port, where
two of the main speakers were Iraqi vets. As pointed out by
local activist and geographer, Zoltán Grossman, there are few
if any other locations in the U.S. where a major military
base is near a progressive community. We have been making the
argument that ending the war and working for economic justice
such as health care for all, free college education, and a
living wage is a principled way to support the troops.
Members of Veterans for Peace have played a major role in
PMR. On Wednesday, November 7th , as military equipment and
Stryker vehicles left the Port, almost 100 people sat or
stood in the streets to block the vehicles. The Olympia
police cleared the streets using pepper spray and their
clubs. One participant in this action, with no warning, was
hit directly in the face by a police officer's club causing
his chin to split open.

Over the next few days divisions between those favoring
physical barricades versus those who have favored sitting
down in front of the trucks leaving the port have diminished
as both tactics were seen as having value by most
participants. All of the people who originally opposed
physically blocking the supplies changed their minds and by
the third of actions, November 7th, supported and
participated in slowing down and/or stopping the weapons and
military cargo from leaving the Port. Gender dynamics have
improved. Initially some of the men opposed women meeting
separately and a few were disrespectful. Mutual respect has
grown through these actions that have gone on 24 hours a day
with people leaving and coming back. Positive has been the
growing intergenerational unity. Although most of the
participants in these 10 days of actions are under 25 years
old, the majority of these are students at the Evergreen
State College, there are many older participants. Although
there have been some tensions over definitions of non-
violence and over tactics and goals, anarchists, socialists,
people who define themselves primarily as peace activists,
and black bloc people are working together in a functioning

On Friday, November 9th, about 60 courageous people sat down
in front of a truck inching forward, endangering the people
sitting down. The driver finally stopped as did another truck
carrying military cargo. Barricades were built at the other
exit and for 17 hours no military equipment moved out of the
Port. This is longer than the WTO was closed down in November
1999 in Seattle. The next day, Saturday, riot police shooting
pepper spray into people's eyes, eventually forcing us away
from the port entrance. The military equipment was
temporarily blocked from moving through downtown Olympia and
onto the main entrance to the freeway to Ft. Lewis. 16 people
were arrested and many more were pepper sprayed or butted by
clubs. Olympia resembled an occupied city with police spread
out in riot gear and military convoys on the streets.
Activists including key medical and legal support teams from
surrounding communities including Portland, Tacoma. Grays
Harbor and Port Townsend joined us in acts of solidarity.

Protest continued Sunday and Monday, Veteran's Day, as did
the transport of the Strykers although the majority of
military cargo remained within the Port. Riot police
surrounded protesters limiting direct action.

Tuesday, November 13th will be a day long remembered by many
in Olympia. In the morning about 20 people sat down at the
Port entrance blocking military equipment from moving. For
13 hours no military equipment moved out of the Port. Hence,
for a minimum of 30 hours, we stopped Stryker vehicles from
returning to Ft. Lewis, a major action and statement. In the
evening about 200 people gathered at the Port of Olympia
entrance to resist by various and complementary means the
war and the militarization of Olympia. In the midst of this
action, a GI from Ft. Lewis who was supposed to be involved
in the transport of these military vehicles to Ft. Lewis,
walked out of the Port, saying he was against the war and
refused to transport the war equipment. This was a really
powerful action and reminded me of the increasing resistance
to the Vietnam war by active duty soldiers. Civilian anti-war
and GI cooperation and solidarity is a key to ending this
war. This is a victory for the Olympia Port Militarization
Resistance organization (PMR) and the anti-war movement as a

Also, in the evening of the 13th, 38 courageous women sat
down, linking arms, at the entrance to the port and the women
refused to leave even as riot police told them they would be
pepper sprayed. They were all arrested by the police
beginning at 9 P.M., and held for seven hours although it is
not clear whether they will be charged. Beginning around 10
P.M., a large convoy of Stryker vehicles left through a
different Port exit with the connecting roads being cleared
by police shooting tear gas, projectiles, and pepper spray.
Some of the vehicles were delayed by barricades hastily
constructed by protesters as we moved though Olympia trying
to stop this movement. By 1:30 A.M., Wednesday, November
14th, the resistance slowed. Vigils have continued as most
but not all of the military equipment has left the port. Over
the last 10 days, 63 people have been arrested, many more
have been hit by pepper spray.

On Sunday, November 11th, 100 people attended a forum at the
Olympia City Council where protesters spoke up about the
excessive police violence-pepper spray in their eyes, being
arrested for no cause, being hit with a police club. Olympia,
Washington is divided. Participants and a few non-
participants in these protests have seen first hand, totally
unjustified police force at some of the actions. For example,
last night, November 13th, a non-participant in these actions
who was skateboarding at a local park was hit in the face
with rubber bullets and tear gas. He decided not to go to
work today at a local children's museum because he was afraid
his appearance would scare the kids. On the other hand many
residents believe that the demonstrations are wrong and that
the police are justified in the force they are using.

For the most part, barricades and human blockades have been
aimed only at military vehicles, e.g., non- military cargo
has been let through. Although residents have been
occasionally inconvenienced, it is important that this not be
an aim of an action, that 'No Business as Usual' does not
mean disrupting people's lives unless that cannot be avoided
when directly interfering with the war machine. People
decided not to throw anything at the police even when
attacked and that has been upheld with very few exceptions.
These few exceptions have occurred only in direct response to
excessive police violence.

Strateg y

Although there were and are ongoing tensions in discussing
and acting on effective tactics and actions, the majority of
participants believe or at least accept the idea that a
variety of actions from vigils to forums to rallies to legal
demonstrations to civil disobedience to sit-ins at
politician's offices to direct action have value-- that all
of these tactics combined are stronger than each one
separately, that the whole is greater than the sum of its
parts. A strategy of many of the SDS members has been to
raise the dollar costs of the militarization of the port and
of sending war supplies through Olympia- police costs,
transportation costs, etc. These costs have been quite large
for a small city. I believe instead that our aim should be
to raise the social cost of waging this war in every
community-to make the war less legitimate by building
stronger social movements with more popular support that
challenge not only the war but also make increasingly
illegitimate those in power and the unjust economic system
behind it; and contribute towards building movements for a
fundamentally different society. This will scare those in
power, maybe not Bush but the next President who probably
does not want to withdraw from Iraq but will be 'forced' to
do so.

Has this strong and powerful, '10 Days that Shook Olympia',
helped build a stronger anti-war movement in Olympia? Many,
mainly younger people, took major physical risks in blocking
Stryker vehicles from moving and sitting down in front of
them. Hopefully, this courage and commitment will continue
as we build a stronger movement that integrally connects the
war to economic injustice, repression and racism at home and
to U.S. corporate domination abroad, that the primarily white
student protesters act more in the future in solidarity with
the repression and oppression faced by Muslims, African-
Americans, Native Americans, Latinos/Latinas, poor people and
workers in their daily lives. It is hard to assess the
support for this port resistance in Olympia, probably the
majority does not support it. More outreach needs to be done.
The Olympia Port Militarization Resistance organization (PMR)
needs to talk to and explain our actions to the general
public and make it easier for people to be involved in our
actions who are not already on our listservs. Hopefully, the
militancy, courage, tactics, spirit, of these very strong
actions will inspire others throughout the United States to
stand up and not be complicit with the torture and occupation
being carried out in our name.

It is very likely the military will not use the Port of
Olympia again for military shipments during the duration of
the occupation of Iraq. This is a victory. A bigger victory
and ongoing task is for PMR to educate ourselves and others
about how Olympia is being militarized, e.g., by challenging
military recruiters in the schools and the deployment of the
National Guard to Iraq. It also means working with the
Longshore Union, and other communities in Washington State
and nationally and with military resisters to raise the
social cost of this war and make it impossible to wage. Now
is the time to increase militant and dramatic action against
this war as well as more traditional demonstrations where 70%
of U.S. residents oppose the war while those in power
continue to wage it and most of the Democratic Party
leadership acquiesces to it. NOT IN OUR NAME!!

Ordinary Miracles


Change can come on tiptoe
Love is where it starts
It resides, often hides
Deep within our hearts
And just as
Pebbles make a mountain,
Raindrops make a sea,
One day at a time
Change begins with you and me,
Ordinary miracles
Happen all around,
Just by giving and receiving
Comes belonging and believing,
Every sun that rises
Never rose before,
Each new day leads the way
Through a different door,
And we can all be quiet heroes
Living quiet days,
Walking through the world
Changing it in quiet ways,
Ordinary miracles
Like candles in the dark,
Each and every one of us
Lights a spark,

And the walls can tumble
And the mountains can move,
The winds and the tide can turn,

Yes, ordinary miracles
One for every star,
No lightning bolt or clap or thunder
Only joy and quiet wonder,
Endless possibilities
Right before our eyes,
Oh, see the way a miracle multiples,

Now hope can spring eternally
Plant it and it grows,
Love is all that's necessary
Lovin', its extraordinary
Makes ordinary miracles every blessed day.

Fire the District Attorney, Reed Walters in Jena, Louisiana-Repost

I think everyone across the country should call in to the office of the Governor of Louisiana and demand the job of Jena District attorney Reed Walters. You can contact the governor's office at

Office of the Governor
Attn: Constituent Services
P.O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004 Facsimile: 225-342-7099 E-mail the Governor


To reach the courthouse in Jena, Louisiana call
1050 Courthouse St, Jena - (318) 992-2158

Demand that District Attorney Reed Walters loose his job over the case of the Jena 6. "With just a stroke of my pen, I can make your lives end."-D.A. Reed Walters to 6 Black Students in Jena, Louisiana.

The NYPD Have Killed Another Black Youth

This story was so depressing I couldnt even blog about it until now. The New York City Police killed an 18 year old Black male, Kheil Coppin, who was carrying a hairbrush after a verbal dispute with his mother. There needs to be some castration!

Tom Joyner, Al Sharpton, and the March on Washington to protest Hate Crimes

Tom Joyner reported that in the last ninety days more than forty nooses have been found hanging around this country. There seriuosly needs to be some penises cut off.

A Shock From the Newspaper this Morning

Ken Baker, a veteran activist from Montgomery, whom I knew for a while during my time at Huntingdon, died. I just talked to him a few months ago. I didn't know anything was wrong with him. What a shock. He wasn't that old, in his forties, fifties at the most. Hmm.
Over a hundred years have passed, yet Nat Turner is still scaring white people.

Negroponte Goes to Pakistan to Talk to Musharaf

One criminal talking to another.
God Bless Dennis Kucinich. If we could have a triumvirate--or a four person panel--with Kucinich, Richardson, Dodd, and Biden, we could bypass the one person presidency.

Harper Valley PTA

Tom T Hall, Harper Valley P.T.A. Lyrics
Looking for Tom T Hall tabs and chords? Browse alphabet (above)

Artist: Hall Tom T
Song: Harper Valley P.T.A.
Album: Ultimate Collection Buy Tom T Hall Sheet Music
Buy Tom T Hall CDs

I want to tell you all a story 'bout a Harper Valley widowed wife
Who had a teenage daughter who attended Harper Valley Junior High
Well her daughter came home one afternoon and didn't even stop to play
She said, "Mom, I got a note here from the Harper Valley P.T.A."

The note said, "Mrs. Johnson, you're wearing your dresses way too high
It's reported you've been drinking and a-runnin' 'round with men and going wild
And we don't believe you ought to be bringing up your little girl this way"
It was signed by the secretary, Harper Valley P.T.A.

Well, it happened that the P.T.A. was gonna meet that very afternoon
They were sure surprised when Mrs. Johnson wore her mini-skirt into the room
And as she walked up to the blackboard, I still recall the words she had to say
She said, "I'd like to address this meeting of the Harper Valley P.T.A."

Well, there's Bobby Taylor sittin' there and seven times he's asked me for a date
Mrs. Taylor sure seems to use a lot of ice whenever he's away
And Mr. Baker, can you tell us why your secretary had to leave this town?
And shouldn't widow Jones be told to keep her window shades all pulled completely down?

Well, Mr. Harper couldn't be here 'cause he stayed too long at Kelly's Bar again
And if you smell Shirley Thompson's breath, you'll find she's had a little nip of gin
Then you have the nerve to tell me you think that as a mother I'm not fit
Well, this is just a little Peyton Place and you're all Harper Valley hypocrites

No I wouldn't put you on because it really did, it happened just this way
The day my Mama socked it to the Harper Valley P.T.A.
The day my Mama socked it to the Harper Valley P.T.A.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Throw It Away

Abbey Lincoln

I think about the life I live
a figure made of clay,
and think about the things I lost;
the things I gave away,
and when I'm in a certain mood
I search the halls and look.
One day I found these magic words
in a magic book.

Throw it away. Throw it away
Give your love, live your life
each and every day,
and keep your hand wide open,
Let the sun shine through,
'cause you can never lose a thing
if it belongs to you.

There's a hand to rock the cradle
and a hand to help us stand,
with a gentle kind of motion
as it moves across the land,
and the hand's unclenched and open.
Gifts of life and love it brings,
so keep your hand wide open
if you're needing anything.

Throw it away. Throw it away.
Give your love, live your life
each and every day,
and keep your hand wide open.
Let the sun shine through,
'cause you can never lose a thing
if it belongs to you.

Throw it away. Throw it away
Give your love, live your life
each and every day,
and keep your hand wide open.
Let the sun shine through,
'cause you can never lose a thing
if it belongs to you.
They had an interesting discussion last night on the INN Report, which I only caught about three quarters of, about the attempt to effect global rule.
I find Eliot Spitzer absolutely hot.

Crisis in Somalia

U.S. backed Ethiopian soldiers have killed thousands of people in Somalia, including several journalists. Read this report from Democracy Now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Barbra on Rosie--For Keeps

The scene with Barbra Streisand and Fidel Castro in Up the Sandbox is absolutely hilarious! I have a fit of laughs everytime I watch this film.

Poem for Studs Terkel

I have always enjoyed listening to Studs Terkel as well as reading his books. After watching him on Democracy Now last night, I wrote this poem.

Ancient Oak rising up into the air
tilted towards the sun
age spots dotting its leathery bark
holding the keys to life's mysteries
open and present for all of us to learn.

Censure Diane Feinstein

I so hope the Democrats censure Diane Feinstein for her vote for Muckasey. She is spineless and has no integrity. I dont even know what she lives for.

The BBC Reported 9/11 Before It Happened?

When Amy Goodman reported this last night my jaw fell open. Read the above account that I found this morning that speaks of what Goodman said. According to this, and according to Goodman, a BBC journalist reported building 7 of the world trade center falling, minutes before it happened. Now, I don't really care about conspiracy theory garbage, but that Amy Goodman reported it on Democracy Now, that makes my mind wonder.

Mahalia Jackson

"I'm going to speak it out so I can be free."
I so enjoyed Studs Turkel on Democracy Now last night! When he mentioned Jimmy Baldwin, it made me think of sometihng. Jimmy Baldwin, in a speech that I believe I still have linked on this blog, gave the assessment of "the price you pay for not knowing me." Meaning, the price that the United States pays for ignoring and disregarding its Afro-American population. He said, quite prophetically and quite profoundly, "How are you going to deal with the people on the streets of Tehran, when you don't even know how to deal with me." the price you pay. Wickedness will never win anyway, but yes, the United States--even though de jure segregation has since ended, has paid and will continue to pay a price for its ill-treatment of people of color within its own borders. The house is going to fall. We must be the firemen to put the fire out, but let it burn honey, let it burn completely. Then build something new and good.

Bush Administration Seeks Funding for Star Wars Program

I blogged a long time ago about Reverend Schmidt's talk on Nanotechnology and the schemes being devised by the Bush administration and the U.S. government, one of which is to build an apparatus that will allow them to send a bomb directly into another country from Space. Last night on Democracy Now, Amy Goodman reported that Bush is seeking funding from Congress for these projects.

From SDS

Solidarity Actions Needed!

Port of Olympia Shut Down by Anti-War Demonstrators; 19 People Arrested

The Port of Olympia in Washington State was shut down for nearly 20 hours
on Friday November 9th and Saturday November 10th by anti-war
demonstrators resisting the militarization of their port. On Monday
November 5th the USNS Brittin arrived in the Port of Olympia with material
and weapons from the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Combat
Team. Demonstrations and actios were held against returning shipments
because these materials are coming through a "revolving door" before they
are shipped back to the frontlines.

Demonstrations were held in May 2006 against shipments from the very same
brigade as they went out through the Port of Olympia. The brigade is now
back but has lost 48 soldiers as a result of the war and is responsible
for an unknown number of Iraqi civilian deaths. Since then, other
demonstrations have been held at the ports in Aberdeen, WA and Tacoma
where a police riot erupted. Police have also actively been spying on
activists involved with port demilitarization efforts.

A group calling itself Port Militarization Resistance, Students for a
Democratic Society (SDS) in Olympia and other Northwest cities and
countless other community members, including Iraq War veterans, have been
involved with this most recent round of port actions. Direct action and
civil disobedience, including human road blockades and physical
barricades, have been used by demonstrators to attempt to block the
shipments from traveling through an already militarized town. These
actions lead to the successful shutdown of the port for nearly 20 hours
before police broke up the barricades and blockades with excessive force,
including the use of pepper spray, pepper balls, batons and brute force on
the demonstrators. Also, soldiers driving the Stryker vehicles at high
speeds almost ran over and killed a few demonstrators.

The demonstration was carried downtown after the barricades fell and
several intersections were occupied by human blockades and physical
barricades throughout the rest of the day. Police again violently attacked
demonstrators, bystanders, medics and reporters and photographers from The
Olympian newspaper. So far 19 people have been arrested for taking part in
the actions. Despite the violent police tactics and these arrests, people
from all walks of life and from various cities in the Northwest are coming
together to actively resist the war machine.

Demonstrators hope to further the demilitarization of Olympia in part
through actions at the port. They also encourage soldiers to actively
resist the war as Lt. Ehren Watada did who was inspired to do so by last
year's port actions in Olympia. Demonstrators are vowing to block the
shipments by any means necessary.

Olympia SDS contacts
Reading an article on the closing of the U.S. military base in Manta, I began to think that it is quite odd that the U.S. has military bases all over the world, yet no other country has bases inside the U.S. I think Correa should get his base in Miami. They should still close the base in Manta though. Great work Correa!

Activists Successfully Block Port of Olymbia-From SDS

As of noon today, our comrades in Olympia are still holding the port! They
formed human blockades as flatbeds loaded with Strykers attempted to move out,
and forced the trucks back into the port, while allowing trucks carrying
civilian cargo to leave. The military and the port have said that they won't
attempt to move equipment today without police support; thus far, that support
has not been present.

THIS IS HUGE, EVERYONE! We've held the port and blocked equipment repeatedly and
successfully. The blockades still hold, and these actions have raised the bar
for resistance to the Iraq war across the country. We're showing the world
right now that protests, direct actions and civil disobedience do not have to
be merely symbolic; working together, people and communities can stop the war
machine dead in its tracks. This is bigger than any of the past port
militarization resistance actions, because we're succeeding! This equipment was
supposed to be out of the port long ago, and it's still there today, a week
after it was unloaded from the ship.

Below I'm attaching links to a couple of articles and to several video clips.
Before that, though I'd like to ask everyone who was in Olympia at any point
this week or last week to take care of themselves, to make sure that you're
fully recovered physically and psychologically from the events, and to offer up
our house to anyone who needs a place outside of school to decompress, relax, or
process what happened. If anyone is still feeling any effects of the pepper
spray, let me know and I can help you out. We're having dinner at our house
tomorrow for everyone who went, and we can talk then, but I want to make sure
everyone knows that there's support if they need it. For those of us who were
there Saturday morning, there's no reason that anyone should ever have to
experience that. There is no justification for using chemical weapons and
violence to attack non-violent protesters. You did nothing wrong. The way that
the police responded was, despite their statements, not appropriate, not
justified, not "the only alternative," not legal, and not ethical. Pepper spray
is banned in war as a chemical weapon by international convention, if that gives
you an idea of how "acceptable" it is. This is what happens when the state,
military, and corporate apparatus feels threatened by actual resistance.



Here are some videos from the actions last week:

Speech and rally on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Speech by Phan Nguyen of Olympia Port
Militarization Resistance:

SDSers and others form human blockades Wednesday night to block Stryker

Dozens form human blockade Friday afternoon, successfully forcing two trucks
back inside the port:

Police unleash pepper spray, batons on peaceful protesters and bystanders
Saturday morning:

KIRO TV has a pretty good clip about police brutality following a community
meeting Sunday night about it:

this is the portland sds listserve
any questions about this list should be directed to
Tom Joyner talked about a new poll or something this morning that said that Blacks in the United States were more pessimistic about the future, especially building off of the events of Katrina, the War in Iraq, and the failing U.S. economy. I am definitely not pessimistic. The world is beautiful and bright.
Tom Joyner announced this morning an upcoming march to call for the federal government to do more to investigate the hate crimes that have been committed this past year, including the Jena 6 case(if you hang a noose around me I'm going to cut your penis off, much less beat your ass), and the case of Meghan Williams. The other day on Democracy Now, Amy Goodman reported on how the Bush administration has stacked the board of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights with conservatives and have upheld federal investigations into discrimination and hate crime cases since Bush has been in office....
Gordon Brown, the new Tony Blair, can go to hell. Angela Merckl can too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In Montgomery, Alabama, someone painted the face and hands of a confederate monument Black and prominently displayed the celebration day of Nat Turner....
Benazir Bhutto's followers should track Musharaf down and cut his penis off.

Everything Must Change

Barbra Streisand

Everything must change
Nothing stays the same
Everyone must change
No one stays the same

The young become the old
And mysteries do unfold
Cause that's the way of time
Nothing and no one goes unchanged

There are not many things in life
You can be sure of
Except rain comes from the clouds
Sun lights up the sky
And hummingbirds do fly

Winter turns to spring
A wounded heart will heal
But never much too soon
Yes everything must change

The young become the old
And mysteries do unfold
Cause that's the way of time
Nothing and no one goes unchanged

There are not many things in life
You can be sure of
Except rain comes from the clouds
Sun lights up the sky
And butterflies do fly

Rain comes from the clouds
Sun lights up the sky
And music
And music
Makes me cry
Benazir Bhutto should chop Musharaf's penis off.
Tony Brown makes me absolutely tired. However, his guest last night said something that absolutely stuck to me. The aha moment was that the slave trade and the practice of slavery not only enslaved Blacks in the South, but also the Lowell Girls and immigrant workers in the north.

What a Tragic Passing

What a shock it was for me when I turned on the Tom Joyner Morning Show this morning and heard that Dr. Donda West had died over the weekend. I always thought quite highly of her, having been the head of the English Department at Chicago State University and raising her son all by herself. I know Kanye must be quite undone by this loss. Much sympathy for him and that entire family.

A Federal Judge Rules Agains the White House

Putting holes in the Bush policy of secrecy, a federal judge orders this adminstration to keep all of their emails. Read the story here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Taking Chances

Celine Dion

Taking Chances Lyrics

Don’t know much about your life.
Don’t know much about your world, but
Don’t want to be alone tonight,
On this planet they call earth.

You don’t know much about my past, and
I don’t have a future figured out.
And maybe this is going too fast.
And maybe it’s not meant to last,

But what do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there’s solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say? (2x)

I just want to start again,
And maybe you could show me how to try,
And maybe you could take me in,
Somewhere underneath your skin?

What do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there’s solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say? (2x)

And I had my heart beating down,
But I always come back for more, yeah.
There’s nothing like love to pull you up,
When you’re laying down on the floor there.
So talk to me, talk to me,
Like lovers do.
Yeah walk with me, walk with me,
Like lovers do, like lovers do.

What do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there’s solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say? (2x)

Don’t know much about your life
And I don’t know much about your world.
The women of Code Pink are the best people in this country.

Video of Desiree Fairooz Confronting Condie!

I Love This Picture of Desiree fairooz confronting Condoleeza Rice
When I was in the 11th grade I participated in this government competition with my AP government class that took place at the Statehouse. We divided up into teams of three and we were each supposed to argue specific cases in front of different panels, small three person panels, sort of like testifying before congress. I believe Harold Ford was one of the three judges on my panel. Well, I remember my question asked something to the effect of how did the 13, 14, and 15th amendments, lead up to the Voting Rights Act of 1965,how they better conditions for Blacks, and what might have been the instigators for the coming about of this legislation. Well, I laid out my case, talking about the NAACP and I don't remember what else, and I also made the arguement that U.S. society had become more liberal over the years from the passage of the 13th,14th, and 15th amendments to the Voiting Rights Act. Then, one of them asked me to give an example of how society had become more liberal. I couldn't think of anything. So, I started talking about contraceptives and how they had become available, totally unrelated to my topic. What an experience. I enjoyed it though.

Is Fifty the New Thirty?

John Edwards is so hot. At 54, Edwards looks better than men half his age. Wow.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

War with Iran is not inevitable. We can stop this horrible man named George Bush and his people. We just have to be vigilant!

My Favorite Male Singers

are John Legend, Stevie Wonder, and Michael MacDonald.