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Commentary :: Peace & War : Resistance & Tactics

Boycott Israeli Academia

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel has called upon their colleagues in the international community to "comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions" as exemplified in the struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa through diverse forms of boycott. The call was made at an international conference on "Resisting Israeli Apartheid Strategies and Principles" at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London on Sunday 5 December. llan Pappe, a professor at Haifa U and staunch supporter of a boycott of Israeli universities and colleges, noted at the conference: "The academics in Israel are closely and almost integrally associated with the army, the political system and the industry. Rather than being a critical agency vis-a-vis these pillars of the society it has become one of them -- culpable as they are in sustaining the occupation mainly by providing moral and 'scientific' explanations for the oppression in the occupied territories."

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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights : Gender & Sexuality : Government & Elections : Resistance & Tactics

Michael Moore: It's Time to Stop Being Hit

12/13/04


Dear Friends,


It is no surprise that the Republicans are sore winners. They have spent the better part of the past month beating their chests, threatening to send to Siberia any Republican who doesn’t toe the line (poor Arlen Specter), and promising everything short of martial law if the Democrats don’t do what they are told.


What’s worse is to watch the pathetic sight of the DLC (the conservative, pro-corporate group of Democrats) apologizing for being Democrats and promising to “purge? the party of the likes of, well, all of US! Their comments are so hilarious and really not even worth recognizing but the media is paying so much attention to them, I thought it might be worth doing a little reality check.


The most people the DLC is able to get out to an event of theirs is about 200 at their annual dinner (where you have to pay thousands of dollars to get in).


Contrast this with the following:


* Total Members of Move On: More than 2,000,000
* Total Attendance at Vote for Change Concerts: An estimated 280,000
* Total Union Members in U.S.: Around 16,000,000
* Total Number of People Who Have Seen “Fahrenheit 9/11?: Over 50 million
* Total Number of You Reading This: Perhaps 10 million or more


The days of trying to move the Democratic Party to the right are over. We lost a very close election (a one-state difference) by running the #1 liberal in the Senate. Not bad. The country is shifting in our direction, not to the right. But the country was attacked and people were scared. They were manipulated with fear. And America has never thrown a sitting president out during wartime. That’s the facts. Oh, and our candidate could have run a better campaign (but we’ll have that discussion another day).


In the meantime, while we reflect on what went wrong, I would like to pass on to you an essay that a friend who works with abuse victims sent to me. It was written by a woman who has spent years working as an advocate for victims of domestic abuse and she sees many parallels between her work and the reaction of many Democrats to last month’s election. Her name is Mel Giles and here is what she had to say…





Watch Dan Rather apologize for not getting his facts straight, humiliated before the eyes of America, voluntarily undermining his credibility and career of over thirty years. Observe Donna Brazille squirm as she is ridiculed by Bay Buchanan, and pronounced irrelevant and nearly non-existent. Listen as Donna and Nancy Pelosi and Senator Charles Schumer take to the airwaves saying that they have to go back to the drawing board and learn from their mistakes and try to be better, more likable, more appealing, have a stronger message, speak to morality. Watch them awkwardly quote the bible, trying to speak the ‘new’ language of America. Surf the blogs, and read the comments of dismayed, discombobulated, confused individuals trying to figure out what they did wrong. Hear the cacophony of voices, crying out, "Why did they beat me?"


And then ask anyone who has ever worked in a domestic violence shelter if they have heard this before.


They will tell you: Every single day.


The answer is quite simple. They beat us because they are abusers. We can call it hate. We can call it fear. We can say it is unfair. But we are looped into the cycle of violence, and we need to start calling the dominating side what they are: abusive.  And we need to recognize that we are the victims of verbal, mental, and even, in the case of Iraq, physical violence.


As victims we can't stop asking ourselves what we did wrong. We can't seem to grasp that they will keep hitting us and beating us as long as we keep sticking around and asking ourselves what we are doing to deserve the beating.


Listen to George Bush say that the will of God excuses his behavior. Listen, as he refuses to take responsibility, or express remorse, or even once, admit a mistake. Watch him strut, and tell us that he will only work with those who agree with him, and that each of us is only allowed one question (soon, it will be none at all; abusers hit hard when questioned;  the press corps can tell you that). See him surround himself with only those who pledge oaths of allegiance. Hear him tell us that if we will only listen and do as he says and agree with his every utterance, all will go well for us (it won't; we will never be worthy).


And watch the Democratic Party leadership walk on eggshells, try to meet him, please him, wash the windows better, get out that spot, distance themselves from gays and civil rights. See the Democrats cry for the attention and affection and approval of the President and his followers. Watch us squirm.  Watch us descend into a world of crazy-making, where logic does not work and the other side tells us we are nuts when we rely on facts. A world where, worst of all, we begin to believe we are crazy.


How to break free? Again, the answer is quite simple.


First, you must admit you are a victim. Then, you must declare the state of affairs unacceptable. Next, you must promise to protect yourself and everyone around you that is being victimized. You don't do this by responding to their demands, or becoming more like them, or engaging in logical conversation, or trying to persuade them that you are right. You also don't do this by going catatonic and resigned, by closing up your ears and eyes and covering your head and submitting to the blows, figuring its over faster and hurts less if you don't resist and fight back.


Instead, you walk away. You find other folks like yourself, 57 million of them, who are hurting, broken, and beating themselves up. You tell them what you've learned, and that you aren't going to take it anymore. You stand tall, with 57 million people at your side and  behind you, and you look right into the eyes of the abuser and you tell him to go to hell. Then you walk out the door, taking the kids and gays and minorities with you, and you start a new life. The new life is hard. But it's better than the abuse.


We have a mandate to be as radical and liberal and steadfast as we need to be.  The progressive beliefs and social justice we stand for, our core, must not be altered. We are 57 million strong. We are building from the bottom up. We are meeting, on the net, in church basements, at work, in small groups, and right now, we are crying, because we are trying to break free and we don't know how.


Any battered woman in America, any oppressed person around the globe who has defied her oppressor will tell you  this: There is nothing wrong with you. You are in good company. You are safe. You are not alone. You are strong. You must change only one thing: Stop responding to the abuser.


Don't let him dictate the terms or frame the debate (he'll win, not because he's right, but because force works). Sure, we can build a better grassroots campaign, cultivate and raise up better leaders, reform the election system to make it fail-proof, stick to our message, learn from the strategy of the other side. But we absolutely must dispense with the notion that we are weak, godless, cowardly, disorganized, crazy, too liberal, naive, amoral, "loose,? irrelevant, outmoded, stupid and soon to be extinct. We have the mandate of the world to back us, and the legacy of oppressed people throughout history.


Even if you do everything right, they'll hit you anyway. Look at the poor souls who voted for this nonsense. They are working for six dollars an hour if they are working at all, their children are dying overseas and suffering from lack of health care and a depleted environment and a shoddy education.


And they don't even know they are being hit.




How true. And that is our challenge over the next couple of years; to hold out our hand to those being hit the hardest and help them leave behind a party that only seeks to keep beating them, their children, and the kid next door who’s on his way to Iraq.


Yours,


Michael Moore
www.michaelmoore.com

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Announcement :: Civil & Human Rights : Peace & War

Call on the German Federal Prosecutor to Investigate Rumsfeld and Other U.S. Officials for War Crimes at Abu Ghraib

Action Alert!

Call on the German Federal Prosecutor to Investigate Rumsfeld and Other U.S. Officials for War Crimes at Abu Ghraib

The Center for Constitutional Rights and four Iraqis who were tortured in U.S. custody filed a complaint on November 30 with the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office against high ranking United States civilian and military commanders over the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere in Iraq.

We are asking the German prosecutor to launch an investigation because the U.S. government is unwilling to open an independent investigation into the responsibility of these officials for war crimes and the U.S. has refused to join the International Criminal Court. CCR and the Iraqi victims brought this complaint to Germany as a court of last resort. Several of the defendants are stationed in Germany.

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News :: Peace & War

Palestinian Girl, 7, Killed At Dinner Table During Israeli Retaliations

Here is yet another Palestinian civilian death that, if it did make it into most newspapers, didn't make it into the headlines or was barely mentioned at the end of the stories. This poor family had to witness their daughter's death at the dinner table. Her crime? Being in a vicinity where Israeli forces were indiscriminately spraying with gunfire in response to a Palestinian mortar attack. **Is this justice? There has got to be a better way.**

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Commentary :: Labor & Economics

Attacking Wal-Mart's Supply Chain

Wal-Mart's zeal to "hold the lowest feasible [inventory] level while avoiding the risks of 'stock outs,'" its competitive advantage, is also the weak link in its anti-union empire.

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News :: Health & Drugs

Guinea Pig Kids - HIV Experiment in NYC

This article details how HIV-positive foster children were forced into participating in a study of highly toxic AIDS "cocktails". It appears that NYC (or one of it's agencies) received money from drug company, Glaxo Smithkline.

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Announcement :: Civil & Human Rights : Peace & War : Police State : Resistance & Tactics

The Sibel Edmonds Petition--911 FBI Whistleblower

SIGN PETITION HERE
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/deniz18/petition.html
12/01/2004
Dear Fellow Citizens:
For the past three years the United States Department of Justice has been relentlessly engaged in actions geared towards covering up my reports and investigations into my allegations. These actions include gagging the United States Congress, blocking court proceedings in my case by invoking state secret privilege, quashing a subpoena for my deposition on information regarding 9/11, withholding documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act, and preventing the release of the Inspector General's report of its investigations into my reports and allegations. My reports, many of which have been confirmed by the United States Senate and leaked memos by the Department of Justice, involve criminal conduct against our national interests, serious security breaches threatening our intelligence, intentional mistranslation of intelligence with severe consequences, and intentional blocking of certain terrorism and criminal cases from being investigated by our government officials.

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Announcement :: Media Criticism : Peace & War

Tell Donald Rumsfeld That Journalists' Lives Matter

It has been over a year since journalists at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad came under fire from U.S. forces on April 8, 2003. Two journalists were killed and three others wounded. In all, seven journalists have perished in four separate incidents of so-called “friendly fire? by U.S. troops in Iraq since hostilities began in March 2003.
Add your name to the petition which will be presented to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and members of the House and Senate Armed Service Committees on the anniversary of the Palestine Hotel bombing.

* We, the undersigned, have not forgotten the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to report on the Iraq war and its aftermath.
* We call upon the Pentagon to make public the results of its own investigations.
* We again call for an independent investigation of so-called "friendly fire" incidents involving journalists and U.S. troops.
* We demand to know what steps, if any, have been taken by the U.S. government to reduce the likelihood that tragedies such as the Palestine Hotel will not occur in other conflicts.
* These actions are necessary to provide closure for the families and colleagues of those who died trying to tell the story in Iraq and to minimize the risk to media workers in the future.

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