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Bedtime Stories for the Bewildered Herd
T he standard power-worshipping position and consent-manufacturing role of the United States’ “free press” has been clearly demonstrated before and during the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Dominant U.S. war and entertainment media have dutifully relayed one White House and Pentagon fairy tale after another, making occasional limited corrections only long after the critical damage to popular perceptions is inflicted.
First there were the WMD, al Qaeda and 9/11 fairy tales. At the outset, dominant U.S. media dutifully relayed White House myths about Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction” and his alleged connections to al Qaeda and 9/11. It did this despite abundant evidence showing that Saddam’s regime possessed no significant WMD stocks and had no connection either to al Qaeda (or other Islamist-terrorist forces) or the terrible events of 9/11. “Mainstream” journalists like to say that they and we “now know better,” but the disingenuous nature of the Administration claims was readily apparent to numerous observers within and beyond the left in advance of the invasion. Some media outlets (e.g., the New York Times and Washington Post ) have actually apologized, too late, for the “gullibility” with which they accepted Administration lies on Iraqi WMD and terror connections.
Next came the “mission accomplished” fable. With cameras positioned to deceptively sell the toppling of Saddam’s statue (torn down with the help of an American tank) as a great moment of popular Iraqi rebellion, General Electric Television (NBC) and its corporate media partners (CBS, ABC, CNN, and Fox Television) played along with the Bush administration’s childish construction of the invasion as a mission smoothly accomplished with minimally negative impact on grateful Iraqis.
Honest Mistakes, Bad Intelligence, Stuff Happens, and Related Tall Tales
A mericans were then told the “bad intelligence” legend. When it became belatedly clear to “mainstream” war media that there were no Iraqi WMDs, the leading popular communications institutions dutifully transmitted the irresponsible notion that the occupation had been undertaken on the basis of “honest mistakes” rooted in “faulty intelligence.” The media sold this idea even though many policy critics knew and observed from the beginning that the “bad intelligence” about Iraq was being “fixed around the policy” (to quote the July 2002 Downing Street Memo) of invading Iraq. The “intelligence” that supported the invasion of Iraq was not so much “bad” as “cooked”— made to order for enactment of the preemptive war doctrine. No dominant media authorities have acknowledged or apologized for their role in disseminating the “bad intelligence” lie.
Then there was what might be called the “shit happens” lie. Once it became clear (quite early on) that the occupation of Iraq was not going to be a neat little affair after Saddam’s regime was quickly dispatched, the Bush administration dismissed those who criticized the invasion’s messy aftermath as “Monday morning quarterbacks.” Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said the following to reporters questioning him about the mass looting of Iraqi government buildings (which the U.S. military failed to protect with the revealing exception of the Iraq oil ministry): “Stuff happens…but in terms of what’s going on in the country, it is a fundamental misunderstanding to see those images over and over again of some boy walking out with a vase, and say, ‘Oh my goodness, you didn’t have a plan.’ That’s nonsense…it’s untidy and freedom is untidy.” As the U.S. Empire’s “untidy” fiasco —fundamentally related to the lack of a post-invasion “plan”—deepened in Iraq, the White House and Pentagon claimed that neither they nor anyone else had good reasons to anticipate the chaos that lay ahead in the shattered nation.
This was completely false. Beyond technically irrelevant predictions from within the Middle East and from the U.S. and global left, numerous key establishment “elite” advanced serious warnings about disastrous consequences after a quick military victory over a weak regime. The agents of advance warning (to name just some of the more prominent voices) included Bush senior’s National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, retired Air Force Colonel John Warden, Marine Corps consultant Frank Hoffman, National Defense University professor Daniel Kuehl, conservative Congressperson Ike Skelton (the senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee), and the Committee on International Security Studies at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. All of these and other voices within and beyond the foreign policy establishment issued relevant notes of caution and alarm regarding the difficulties inherent in illegally occupying Mesopotamia.
There have been numerous other fairy tales told to the bewildered American herd by the Administration and its media enablers. We’ve been told tall tales about the invasion of Iraq being part of the “war on terror” when it was widely understood in numerous intelligence circles that invading the sovereign territory of Iraq would increase the threat posed to America and the world by stateless terror networks. We’ve been fed stories about successful U.S.-sponsored elections and noble U.S. school and hospital building projects that supposedly indicate the hidden success and humanitarian benevolence of the occupation. We’ve been instructed to think that the killing of a leading terror operative (Zarqawi) was a major step forward in the reduction of violence in Iraq. We’ve been asked to believe that the U.S. torture of Iraqis in Abu Ghraib and other locations was the result of the misconduct of a few deranged rank-and-file GIs and not of explicit, top-down U.S. policy. We’ve been told foolish tales about ethnic violence the U.S. supposedly did nothing to create, had no reason to expect, and which now necessitates a continuing U.S. military presence to guarantee “public safety.”
Never Mind the Imperial Agenda
N ever mind that the preponderant majority of Iraqis have wanted U.S. troops to leave their nation from the start. According to a recent poll by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland, 78 percent of Iraqis now believe that the U.S. military presence is “provoking more conflict than it is preventing” and 61 percent of Iraqis approve of attacks on Americans. A poll commissioned by the British Ministry of Defence last year found that fully 82 percent of Iraqis were “‘strongly opposed’ to the presence of foreign troops and that less than 1 percent believed the troops were responsible for improvement in security.”
Never mind that a poll conducted by the U.S. State Department reports that almost three-fourths of Baghdad’s residents would “feel safer” if U.S. forces left their country.
Never mind that 72 percent of Americans surveyed by the mainstream Chicago Council on Foreign Relations in 2004 (the percentage is certainly higher today) said that the U.S. should remove its military from Iraq if that’s what a clear majority of Iraqis want.
Never mind that more than half the U.S. population now says the war on Iraq is not morally justified.
Never mind that (according to a recent New York Times /CBS poll) a majority of the population now rejects Administration efforts to link the war on Iraq with the so-called “war on terror.”
Never mind that (according to a CNN poll in August), 60 percent of the U.S population opposes the war, 61 percent believes that some troops should be removed before the end of the year, and 57 percent want a timetable for full withdrawal.
Never mind that the U.S. “democracy”-promoting president rejects these policy choices supported by the American popular majority as naïve elitist “appeasement”—so-called “cut and run”—even while he insists that the war is being fought on behalf of the idea that government should reflect the “will of the people.”
Never mind that America’s own regressive, hyper-plutocratic domestic policy is highly unpopular with the American majority, which rejects the regressive policies that have helped make their nation the most unequal and wealth-top-heavy state in the industrialized world.
Never mind that one of the first actions of the U.S. occupation authorities was to open up much of Iraq’s economy to multinational corporate ownership—an action that would never have been supported by the Iraqi majority and which violated core principles of national independence.
Never mind that the U.S. is building a number of permanent military bases in richly oil-strategic Iraq.
Never mind that the U.S. is a close ally and sponsor of the feudal, arch-repressive Saudi Arabian regime along with numerous other authoritarian state and political forces (including the Israeli occupation state) in the region and around the world.
Critical Leverage in the Heart of
the World’s Energy System
T he notion of the Iraqi people doing whatever they wish with their own state’s critical petroleum resources—second or third only to those of Saudi Arabia—is completely unacceptable to U.S. foreign policy makers from either of the nation’s dominant two imperial business parties. As James M. Lindsay, a vice president at the Council on Foreign Relations, recently proclaimed: “It was always hard to sustain the argument that if the United States withdrew from Vietnam there would be immense geopolitical consequences. As we look at Iraq, it’s a very different issue. It’s a country in one of the most volatile parts of the world, which has a very precious resource that modern economies rely on, namely oil.”
As the leading left critic of U.S. foreign policy Noam Chomsky observes, “The U.S. invaded Iraq because it has enormous oil resources, mostly untapped and it’s right in the heart of the world’s energy system.” If the U.S. succeeds in controlling Iraq, Chomsky notes, “it extends enormously its strategic power, what Zbigniew Brzezinski calls its ‘critical leverage’ over Europe and Asia. That’s a major reason for controlling the oil resources—it gives you strategic power. Even if you’re on renewable energy you want to do that. That’s the reason for invading Iraq, the fundamental reason,” readily understood, Chomsky argues, by anybody who has “three gray cells functioning.” Early in the occupation of Iraq, Chomsky adds, Brzezinski argued, “America’s control over Middle Eastern oil producers ‘gives it indirect but politically critical leverage on the European and Asian economies that are also dependent on energy exports from the [Persian Gulf] region’.” Brzezinski was simply “reiterating the leading post-World War II U.S. planners, George Kennan in this case, who recognized that control of the resources of the Gulf region would give the United States ‘veto power’ over its industrial rivals.”
But even if the U.S. overcame its gasoline addiction and became fully energy-self-reliant (it currently receives 20 percent of its oil from the Middle East), something else would still make U.S. officials positively obsessed with Middle Eastern petroleum: the ongoing and ever-worsening loss of America’s one-time supremacy in basic global-capitalist realms of production, trade, international finance, and currency and the related emergence of the rapidly expanding giant China as a new strategic military (as well as economic) competitor. As the noted left geographer and world-systems analyst David Harvey argues, the United States’ long decline, reflecting predictable (and predicted) shifts in the spatial patterns of capitalist investment and social infrastructure gives special urgency for the U.S. to deepen its control of Middle Eastern oil and use it as what Chalmers Johnson calls “a bargaining chip with even more oil-dependent regions” like Western Europe and East Asia, homes to the leading challengers to U.S. economic power. That core objective would hardly be attained helping Iraq independently determine its own fortunes.
The U.S. Would Go to Nuclear War
Before Allowing That
T o make “the logic of withdrawal” yet less apparent to U.S. planners, the majority of Iraqis are Shiite Muslims and therefore likely to use real national independence as an opportunity to form a rough partnership with oil-rich Iran. Together with Iran, Iraqi Shiites might well inspire Shiite resistance to state power in the Persian Gulf’s ultimate oil prize, feudal and arch-repressive Saudi Arabia, home (by the way) to the world’s largest known oil reserves where “strategic” petro-imperial considerations have long mandated a deep U.S. partnership with tyranny and dictatorship. As Chomsky explains: “Let’s talk about withdrawal. Take any day’s newspapers or journals and so on. They start by saying the United States aims to bring about a sovereign democratic independent Iraq. I mean, is that even a remote possibility? Just consider what the policies would likely be of an independent sovereign Iraq. If it’s more or less democratic, it’ll have a Shiite majority. They will naturally want to improve their linkages with Iran, Shiite Iran. Most of the clerics come from Iran. The Badr Brigade, which basically runs the South, is trained in Iran. They have close and sensible economic relationships which are going to increase. So you get an Iraq/Iran loose alliance. Furthermore, right across the border in Saudi Arabia, there’s a Shiite population that has been bitterly oppressed by the U.S.-backed fundamentalist tyranny. Any moves toward independence in Iraq are surely going to stimulate them, it’s already happening. That happens to be where most of Saudi Arabian oil is. Okay, so you can just imagine the ultimate nightmare in Washington: a loose Shiite alliance controlling most of the world’s oil, independent of Washington and probably turning toward the East where China and others are eager to make relationships with them—and are already doing it. Is that even conceivable? The U.S. would go to nuclear war before allowing that, as things now stand” (Noam Chomsky, “There is no War on Terror,” ZNet, January 16, 2006).
Silly Liberal Talk
O ne of the remarkable things about the democracy-promotion fairy tale is the exceptional power it holds over liberal war opponents at the leftmost boundaries of dominant U.S. media’s narrow spectrum. In a March 2006 op-ed titled “Stop Bush’s War,” the New York Times ’ antiwar left-liberal columnist Bob Herbert found it relevant to quote Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam-era special assistant Jack Valenti on “how difficult it is ‘to impress democracy’ on other countries.” He took the Bush administration’s democracy promotion rhetoric seriously when he argued, “The democracy that was supposed to flower in Iraq and then spread throughout the Middle East was as much a mirage as the weapons of mass destruction.” He engaged in wildly wishful thinking and whistled in the wind of imperial realities when he said that “the White House should be working cooperatively with members of both parties in Congress to figure out the best way to bring the curtain down on U.S. involvement.”
Nobody at the Times has been more naively sucked into the democracy-export fairy tale, perhaps, than liberal columnist Nicolas Kristoff. In a Times op-ed last February, Kristoff naively maintained that the “freedom”-loving Bush administration should just call off its overly “idealistic” misadventure and let the Iraqis work their problems out on their own. “We” should accept “defeat” (which “we” allegedly suffered in Vietnam), he argued, and muster the humanitarian courage to admit “our mistake” and leave (“What We Need in Iraq: An Exit Date,” New York Times , February 14, 2006).
In early October 2006 Kristoff cited recent PIPA data showing that, “Iraqis who don’t think the U.S. wants [permanent military] bases [in Iraq] are half as likely to favor attacks on Americans as those who do think the U.S. wants [such] bases” to argue that Bush should “stand up and unequivocally renounce bases” in order to “reduce popular support for attacks and save American lives.... The evidence is pretty strong,” Kristoff elaborates, “that our presence—because of suspicions that we plan to stay forever—is doing more harm than good” in Iraq. “The present policy,” he adds, “is also nurturing a broader extremism.” It is now “time to face the grim reality,” Kristoff concludes, “and announce that all our troops will leave Iraq by October 2007.”
In a similar vein, centrist Democratic presidential hopeful and foreign policy “realist” Barack Obama gave a November 2006 speech in which he combined a call for the White House to renounce permanent military bases in Iraq with a demand that the U.S. abandon the “ideological fantasy” that it could “impose democracy” there. It is time, Obama told the Chicago Council on Global Relations, for the U.S. to make a “pragmatic” retreat from its excessive commitment to the unrealistic export of highminded ideals like freedom and democracy. “The institutions of democracy—free markets, a free press, a strong civil society—cannot,” Obama intoned, “be built overnight, and they cannot be built at the end of the barrel of a gun.” This formulation deleted the conflict between “free markets” and democracy, and the absence of these purported core democratic institutions in the U.S.
Herbert, Kristoff, Obama, and numerous other “liberals” just don’t get it. America’s imperial and authoritarian policymakers couldn’t care less about Iraqis’ well being or the promotion of actual, substantive democracy at home or abroad and especially in the Middle East—at the heart of the world’s super-strategic energy system. Iraq and the Middle East cannot be physically lost—territorially conceded—to their own people without dire consequences to U.S. state capitalism’s position in the world economic and political system. If abandoned, Iraq’s significant share of what U.S. foreign policymakers have long understood to be “the greatest strategic material prize in history”—Middle Eastern oil—can only be left to the control of others, an outcome that is thoroughly unacceptable to U.S. policymakers for imperial reasons that have nothing to do with the fairy tale goal of exporting something U.S. policymakers don’t possess in the first place: democratic values and institutions.
At this precarious and potentially late point in the history of its global dominance, the U.S. can be expected to hold on to that control with an impressive imperial death grip. It will likely exhibit a fierce determination to defend that grasp through even the most terrible conflicts and violence abroad and at home. The risks of not holding on are too great, as far as the structurally super-empowered U.S. actors who crave planetary (and indeed inter-planetary) supremacy are concerned.
Getting policymakers to pull troops out of Iraq is going to be a matter of forcing them from below, not appealing to their need to stand down from purported idealistic notions of democracy. Becoming an effective democratic citizen means putting away mind-numbing fairy tales crafted to keep the restless rabble in line. It means, among other things, reading, hearing, and viewing dominant media with a sharply critical eye, searching out key deletions, deceptions, and distortions between and around the propagandistic lines and images and sound-bites. It also means pursuing, defending, and advancing alternative, uncompromised, and popular sources of information and analysis, beyond the authoritarian reach of the leading architects of imperial policy and opinion and their ubiquitous, democracy-disabling media mechanisms of thought control, fear-mongering, and war promotion.
Paul Street is a writer, speaker, historian, and social policy researcher in Iowa City, Iowa. He is the author of Empire and Inequality: America and the World Since 9/11 (Paradigm Publishers, 2004); Segregated Schools: Educational Apartheid in the Post-Civil Rights Era (Routledge, 2005); and Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis: A Living Black Chicago History (2007).
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: email@example.com; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; email@example.com; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; email@example.com http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; email@example.com; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.