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Commentary :: Poverty & Urban Development

Bonjour paresse!

The number one reason why most Americans avoid political organizing is probably lack of free time. Can they take a page from the latest slacker manifesto from France?

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News :: Arts & Culture : Education & Youth : Peace & War

Palestinian Youths Speak Out with Art

Palestinian youths speak out with art
by Lawrence Smallman
Thursday 05 August 2004 4:01 PM GMT

Children in Bait Hanun can paint trees - but not climb them

An America Jew has made sure at least some Palestinian children will remember their land the way it was before its destruction by Israeli bulldozers.

Dr Susan Greene has repeatedly left the safety of San Francisco and travelled to the occupied territories - armed only with a paintbox.

She has become a leading member of the Break the Silence Mural Project - an arts group that promotes a greater awareness of the complexities of the conflict in Palestine.

"Although there is no real freedom of movement, friends got me to Bait Hanun where the local children and I painted a mural of orange trees," she told on Thursday.

Anyone familiar with Bait Hanun, in the northern Gaza Strip, knows the town was once famous for orchards - especially its orange trees.

"Now it is a desert. The trees have been martyred ... so the mural depicted martyred orange trees."

Local support

With more than 15 years' experience in Palestine, Greene has built up a great relationship with countless parents and young people.

"The children loved taking party and showed real enthusiasm. The parents were just as pleased - though many joked that Israeli soldiers would probably knock down these trees too!"

Palestinians of all ages took part
in creating the huge muralThe artist told me she laughed at the joke, but felt the tragedy all too keenly.

"As an American Jew I have the privilege to be able to speak out. Americans need to get acquainted with what is happening here. Palestine is as big an issue as South Africa was. What is going on here is genocide.

Breaking the silence

"At night I couldn't sleep because of the gunfire and the F-16s constantly making flights over the town.

"But the children are accustomed to it - if you ask them whether they have trouble sleeping, they will tell you 'the gunfire is like music - we can't sleep without it'".

Locals take cover during an air
raid - the real Bait Hanun today"What Israeli soldiers do to Bait Hanun is horrible and relentless."

Break the Silence started work when four Jewish American women artists travelled to the West Bank city of Ram Allah and worked on a series of community mural projects with Palestinian community members and artists.

Upon returning from that first trip in 1989, the artists presented their work and reflections on their experiences to approximately 100 audiences in high schools, universities, art galleries and community centres across the United States.

By Lawrence Smallman

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Commentary :: Government & Elections

James E. McGreevey and the Political Closet of the Democratic Party

Embodied within McGreevey's career are contradictions of the Democratic Party: implementing progressive tax reforms and a domestic partnership legislation, at the same time as using public employees' pension funds to buy Israeli bonds and privatizing pension-fund management.

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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights

Code Red: John Kerry's Neighborhood Terrorist Watch

Copying Bush and Ashcroft, Kerry calls on Americans to "do more to protect themselves against terrorism by setting up neighborhood watch groups."

Constantly threatened by the Democratic Party’s copycat Republican attacks like this one, what are liberals and leftists to do?

Check out my brand-new color-coded advisory system that allows liberals and leftists to evaluate Threat Conditions and take corresponding Protective Measures against the Democratic Party’s Republican copycat attacks.

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Commentary :: Poverty & Urban Development

Nader 2004 > Nader 2000

The best kept secret of this presidential election year is that Ralph Nader has been polling better in 2004 than 2000, despite the relentless barrage of attacks by Anybody But Nader intellectuals. Compare the Gallop survey results in 2000 and 2004.

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Commentary :: Peace & War

Remembering the Korean Atom Bomb Victims

Among the 350,000 to 400,000 who were attacked by the atom bomb and/or exposed to the lethal post-explosion radiation, at least 50,000 were people from the Korean peninsula who had been forcibly sent to Japan as mobilized workers and soldiers, or who had left their villages following the devastation of Japan's colonial takeover of Korea in 1910. . . .

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Commentary :: Gender & Sexuality

Defrauding Women of Abortion

An anti-abortion fraudster preyed on working-class women by promising them discount abortions and then cancelling appointments repeatedly, until it became too late for them to have abortions -- the fraud enabled by an anti-abortion myth that women who want abortions need extensive counseling about abortion's "emotional and physical side effects."

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News :: Animal Rights : Arts & Culture : Civil & Human Rights : Environment & Food : Gender & Sexuality : Globalization & Capitalism : Government & Elections : Police State : Police State : Poverty & Urban Development : Resistance & Tactics

Annan Urged to Help Stranded Palestinians

Annan urged to help stranded Palestinians
Wednesday 04 August 2004 11:00 PM GMT

Israeli occupation forces routinely demolish Rafah homes

Egypt has urged UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to help in repatriate thousands of Palestinians stranded in its territory since July.

Egyptian foreign ministry officials on Wednesday said the Palestinians have been stranded in Egypt since Israel shut the Rafah crossing into Gaza on 12 July.

Foreign Minister Ahmad al-Ghait has sent an urgent message to Annan asking him to intervene.

Egypt's Red Crescent said it was caring for up to 2000 people at the border, some in tents. Officials say many more Palestinians are stuck in Cairo and other towns.

Reminding responsibilities

The Egyptian foreign minister also summoned the Israeli ambassador on Wednesday to strongly demand that Israel "abide by its responsibilities" regarding the stranded Palestinians.

Israeli authorities regularly close the Rafah entry point for army operations.

Israel said the Palestinian Authority exacerbated the problem by rejecting its offer to use a crossing in Israel and then bring the stranded to Gaza.

The Palestinian officials say they cannot accept the offer that would only allow 200 people a day to reach the wedge of land that houses 1.3 million people.


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