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Johnstone on the Balkan Wars
D iana Johnstone’s Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Wester n Delusions (Monthly Review Press, 2002) is essential reading for anybody who wants to understand the causes, effects, and rights and wrongs of the Balkan wars of the past dozen years. The book should be priority reading for leftists, many of whom have been carried along by a NATO-power party line and propaganda barrage, believing that this was one case where Western intervention was well-intentioned and had beneficial results. An inference from this misconception, by “cruise missile leftists” and others, is that imperialism can be constructive and its power projections must be evaluated on their merits, case by case.
It is a pleasure to watch Johnstone dismantle the claims and expose the methods of David Rieff, a literary and media favoriate, as well as Roy Gutman, John Burns, and David Rohde, three reporters whose close adherence to the party line in Bosnia was rewarded with the Pulitzer prize—all fueling the “humanitarian bombing” bandwagon. While critics of the party line risk being dismissed as apologists for the Serbs, even the most fervent partisan of an idealized “Bosnia” and campaigner for NATO military intervention, like Rieff, or the novice journalist Rohde, who wrote on Srebrenica in a semi-fictional mode, with U.S. intelligence guidance, have never had to fear being criticized as apologists for the Muslims or NATO.
The widespread acceptance of the official connections, open advocacy, and spectacular bias displayed by these authors rested in part on the usual media and intellectual community subservience to official policy positions, but it was also a result of the rapid and thoroughgoing demonization of the Serbs as the “new Nazis” or “last of the Communists.” Given that NATO was good, combatting evil, close relationships with officials was not seen as involving any conflict of interest or compromise with objectivity; they were all on the same “team”—a phalanx seeking justice.
On the other hand, any attempt to counter the official/media team’s claims and supposed evidence was quickly seen as apologetics. This is hardly new. In each U.S. war critics of U.S. policy are charged with being apologists for the demonized enemy—Ho Chi Minh and communism; Pol Pot; Saddam Hussein; Bin Laden, etc. The demonization of Milosevic was in accord with longstanding practice, and the charge of apologist for challenging the official line on the demon was inevitable for a forceful challenger. What is perhaps exceptional has been the extensive acceptance of the party line among people supposedly on the left, with, among others, Christopher Hitchens, Ian Williams, and the editors of the Nation in its grip. In These Times rejected first-hand reporting from Kosovo by Johnstone, their longtime European editor, when it diverged from the line of their more recent correspondent, Paul Hockenos, whose connections with the establishment include a stint as the media officer for the OSCE occupying powers in northern Bosnia-Herzegovina, and an affiliation with the American Academy in Berlin, whose chair and co-chair are Richard Holbrooke and Henry Kissinger. What makes the double standard in treatment of Johnstone and the “journalists of attachment” especially laughable is that Johnstone is a serious investigative journalist, very knowledgeable about Balkan history and politics, whose work in Fools’ Crusade sets a standard in cool examination of issues that is several grades higher than that in Rieff, Gutman, Rohde, Burns (or Ignatieff, Hitchens, Williams, and Hockenos). On issue after issue she discusses both the evidence and counter-evidence, weighs them, gives them a historical and political context, and comes to an assessment, which is sometimes that the verifiable evidence doesn’t support a clear conclusion.
For example, Johnstone discusses the work of Nasir Oric, a man not featured by Rieff, the media, or the Tribunal. Arkan is a more familiar name—a Serb paramilitary leader, eventually indicted by the Tribunal. Nasir Oric was a Bosnian Muslim officer operating out of Srebrenica, from which “safe haven” Oric ventured out to attack nearby Serb villages, burning homes and killing over 1,000 Serbs between May 1992 and January 1994. Oric even invited Western reporters to his apartment to see his “war trophies”: videocassettes showing cut-off Serb heads, burnt houses, and piles of corpses.
You thought that Srebrenica was a “safe haven” only for civilians and that it could hardly be a UN cover for Bosnian Muslim military operations? You were misinformed (Johnstone, 110). You hadn’t heard of the 1992 pushing out of Serbs from Srebrenica and the multiyear attacks on nearby Serb towns and massacres that preceded the Srebrenica massacre? That is because it has been an absolute rule of Rieff et al./media reporting on the Bosnian conflict to present evidence of Serb violence in vacuo, suppressing evidence of prior violence against Serbs, thereby falsely suggesting that Serbs were never responding, but only initiating violence (this applies to Vukovar, Mostar, Gorazde, and many other towns). It also justifies the claim that Serb actions, supposedly never motivated by a desire for revenge, are genocidal in intent.
You hadn’t heard of Nasir Oric and can’t understand why he has never been indicted by the Tribunal for doing the same sort of thing as Arkan, but perhaps on a somewhat larger scale. It is not puzzling at all if you realize that the “phalanx” I mentioned above, which includes Rieff et al., the media, and the Tribunal, also includes the NATO powers and is serving their ends, which did not include justice.
Johnstone provides many examples of how the phalanx twisted facts for political ends, including an extensive and compelling analysis of the various non-proofs of “systematic rape” as Serb policy (1978-1990). But the choicest morsel showing how the propaganda system works was the Nazi-style “death camp” with its picture of the “thin man” Fikret Alic behind barbed wire. As Johnstone notes, the Bosnian Muslims and Croatians also had prison camps during the Bosnian wars, but Karadzic, the “indicted war criminal,” was not as smart as they were—he allowed the Western media to visit his camps.
It is now well established as truth, if not permitted to surface in the mainstream media, that: (1) the thin man was not behind barbed wire—the barbed wire was around a small unused compound from which the photographers from Britain’s Independent Television Network took their pictures; (2) he was not even in a prison camp, let alone a death camp, but was in transit through a refugee center, on his way to exile in Scandinavia; (3) the thinness of Fikret Alic was not typical of people in the camp, but was highlighted to fit the “Auschwitz” image.
Neverthless, “in August 1992, the ‘thin man behind barbed wire’ photos made the tour of the front pages of virtually every tabloid newspaper in the Western world and appeared on the cover of Time , Newsweek , and other mass circulation magazines.” The U.S. proposal for a war crimes tribunal followed in the same month with widespread claims that the “thin man” photo proved Serb genocidal intent. This was only one of many frauds based on disinformation, but it was a major one, helping make the Serbs-as-Nazis a given for the phalanx and much of the Western public.
Milosevic Started It All
C entral to the party line of NATO and the phalanx has been the theme that Milosevic is the demon who started it all by his nationalist quest for a “Greater Serbia” and his (and Serbia’s) view that non-Serbs “had no place in their country, and even no right to live” (Clinton). According to David Rieff, Milosevic “had quite correctly been described by U.S. officials...as the architect of the catastrophe,” and Tim Judah referred to Milosevic’s responsibility for wars in “Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo: four wars since 1991 and the result of these terrible conflicts, which began with the slogan ‘All Serbs in One State’ is the cruelest irony.” On its face this perspective seems simple-minded and is even referred to by a more sophisticated analyst than Rieff or Judah, Lenard Cohen, a bit sardonically, as the “paradise lost/loathsome leaders perspective” on history. Johnstone’s book destroys this party line by a careful examination of the dynamics of the conflict observable in the actions and interests of all the parties involved.
In her enlightening chapter on Germany, Johnstone describes its hostility to Serbia and contacts with Croatian emigre groups long before the arrival of Milosevic. Germany had attacked Serbia during World War I and then again under the Nazis; whereas the Croatians and Kosovo Albanians had been German allies. Germany under the Nazis had regularly used the gambit of siding with “ethnic minorities” as a means of weakening rival or target states and with the death of the Soviet Union and the end of Western support of a unified and independent Yugoslavia, and German reunification, Germany renewed that gambit as it aimed to consolidate its power in Eastern Europe. Germany encouraged the unilateral secession of Slovenia and Croatia and pressured its Maastricht allies to go along with supporting this secession, although it was unnegotiated and in violation of international law.
At the same time as the Europeans encouraged these secessions, and the United States threatened Yugoslavia if it tried to maintain its borders by use of its army, the NATO alliance failed to deal with the threat to the stranded minorities in the seceding territories. The EU-appointed Badinter commission announced in November 1991 that Yugoslavia was “in a process of dissolution,” which helped accelerate the dissolution; and by giving recognition to the artificial boundaries of the “Republics,” while refusing to consider the demands of the large groups within those Republics that wanted to stay in Yugoslavia, Badinter provided an ideal formula for producing ethnic warfare. This was not Milosevic causing trouble, it was the Germans and other NATO powers who encouraged dissolution without offering any constructive solution to minority demands.
Their obvious bias against the Serbs, and encouragement to the national groups opposed to the Serbs, also maximized the threat to peace, as it made the Serbs justly suspicious of NATO intentions and encouraged the other groups to resist a negotiated settlement and provoke the Serbs into actions that would increase NATO intervention on their behalf. This was dramatically evident in Bosnia, where the European powers arranged for an independence vote in 1992, despite the fact that the Bosnia-Herzegovina constitution required that such a vote be taken only upon agreement among the republic’s three “constituent peoples” (Muslims, Croats, and Serbs). The Bosnian Serbs boycotted this election, and the creation of this artificial and badly divided state assured war and ethnic cleansing. This again was a catastrophic decision made by the NATO powers, not Milosevic.
Johnstone describes the brutal historical background of Bosnia-Herzegovina (and Croatia), which had been the scene of massive inter-group crimes during World War II. She also demonstrates that Bosnia was no multi-ethnic paradise upset by Serb violence, in the myth perpetrated by Rieff et al. and the NATO media. Johnstone points out that even as early as December 1990, in elections in Bosnia the nationalist parties won easily, capturing 90 percent of the votes, suggesting something other than a non-nationalistic society. She also provides solid evidence that Alija Izetbegovic, the Muslim leader of Bosnia in the war years, was a committed believer in an Islamic—not a multi-ethnic—state, and a person who regarded Turkey as too advanced and modernist, preferring Pakistan as his Islamic model. The thousands of Mujahidden fighters, including al Qaeda militants, that he welcomed to fight for his cause and the massive aid given him by Saudi Arabia were not supplied in the cause of multi-ethnicity.
Johnstone shows that with U.S. aid and encouragement Izetbegovic fought any settlement that would result in autonomy for the major national groups. He, like the KLA, realized that he could pursue a maximalist strategy by getting the more-than-willing United States to support him both diplomatically and, increasingly, by military means. Milosevic, and to a lesser extent the Bosnian Serbs, were repeatedly willing to sign compromise agreements, but Izetbegovic repeatedly refused, with U.S. support—most importantly, in the case of the Lisbon Accord of March 1992, which was signed by all three parties, but from which Izetbegovic withdrew, on U.S. advice. Milosevic also supported the Owen-Vance plan of 1992, vetoed by the Bosnian Serbs, to Milosevic’s disgust. This diplomatic history is well documented in Lord David Owen’s memoir, Balkan Odyssey , which is why this Britisher’s work is not well regarded by the party liners.
Johnstone’s detailed account of Croatia stresses the genocidal behavior of the Croats toward the Serbs in World War II; the long-standing backing of the nationalist movement in Croatia by Germany, Austria, and the Vatican; the importance of the Croatian lobby in the United States and elsewhere in mobilizing support for their breakaway from Yugoslavia; and Croatia’s skilled propaganda efforts, helped along by their employment of public relations firm Ruder Finn. “News” about Croatia and its victimization by Serbia flowed from Zagreb and Ruder Finn. Quite independently of Milosevic the Croatian nationalists, led by Franjo Tudjman from 1990, were clearly aiming at a “Greater Croatia” that would include a part of Bosnia, as well as the Serb-inhabited Krajina area. As convincingly argued by Johnstone, it was a masterpiece of effective propaganda that Croatia’s war in Bosnia and expulsion of a quarter million Serbs from Krajina (with active U.S. assistance) was portrayed in the West not as part of a quest for a Greater Croatia, but as a resistance to Milosevic’s striving for a Greater Serbia.
According to Clinton and mainstream commentary, Milosevic’s drive for a Greater Serbia and nationalism was demonstrated by his inflammatory nationalistic speeches of 1987 and 1989. This is a perfect illustration of the profound role of disinformation in the demonization process. The two famous speeches denounce nationalism: Milosevic actually said, “Yugoslavia is a multinational community, and it can survive only on condition of full equality of all nations that live in it.” Nothing in the two speeches contradicts this sentiment.
In dispelling the “myth” of Milosevic, Johnstone hardly puts him on a pedestal. He was an opportunistic politician, “whose ‘ambiguity’ allowed him to win elections, but not to unite the Serbs.” Milosevic gained popularity by condemning both Serbian nationalism and communist bureaucracy and by promising economic reforms in line with the demands of the Western financial community. In Johnstone’s view, Milosevic can be regarded as a criminal “if using criminals to do dirty tasks makes him a criminal,” but on this count he was “no more [guilty] (or rather less) than the late President Tudjman of Croatia or President Alija Izetbegovic of Bosnia, widely regarded as a saint.” He was less a nationalist than Tudjman and Izetbegovic, and claims that he had “dehumanizing beliefs” and an “eliminationist project” are taken out of the whole cloth.
Milosevic’s alleged pursuit of a Greater Serbia was also a misreading of his actual policies, which were, first, to prevent the disintegration of Yugoslavia and, second, as that disintegration occurred, to protect the Serb minorities in the new states and allow them either to remain in Yugoslavia or obtain autonomy in the new rump states. He was considered by the Bosnian Serbs and Krajina victims of Operation Storm to be a sell-out, eager to bargain away their interests in exchange for a possible lifting of sanctions on Yugoslavia. He did support the Bosnian Serbs, sporadically, but it is rarely mentioned that the NATO powers and Saudia Arabia and al Qaeda were supporting the Bosnian Muslims (and Croatia was supporting its allies in Bosnia).
So Milosevic was guilty of pursuing a Greater Serbia by trying to prevent the dissolution of Yugoslavia and feebly seeking to give stranded and threatened Serb populations protection. His “war” against Slovenia—one of those “terrible conflicts” Tim Judah attributes to Milosevic—was a half-hearted ten-day effort to prevent an illegal secession of that Republic, quickly terminated with minimal (and mainly Yugoslav army) casualties. Meanwhile, Tudjman, quite openly seeking a Greater Croatia, and Izetbegovic, trying to leverage U.S. and other NATO hostility to Yugoslavia into a means of compelling unwanted Greater Muslim rule in Bosnia, were just victims of the bad man.
The same is true of the Kosovo struggle. There is no question but that Milosevic’s crackdown in 1989 was brutal and that police and army actions against the KLA in later years were sometimes ruthless, but the phalanx has ignored a number of key facts. One is that Kosovo was largely run by Albanians before 1989 and the first target of the 1989 crackdown was the old bureaucracy run by Albanian communists. Second, under their rule it was Serbs who were discriminated against and driven out of Kosovo. In the 1980s and earlier, Kosovo Albanian nationalists were openly engaging in “ethnic cleansing” in the interests of a homogenous Albanian state. In the 1990s the movement aimed not for reform, but for an exit from Yugoslavia. The movement’s leaders were also more openly interested in a “Greater Albania.” As in the case of the Izetbegovic faction of the Bosnian Muslims, the KLA soon saw that by provocation and effective propaganda it would be possible to get NATO to serve as its military arm.
Johnstone describes the Yugoslav efforts to compromise and give the Albanians greater autonomy and she notes the complete failure of the NATO powers to seek any kind of mediated solution (including a division of the Kosovo territory). The war engineered by the KLA and United States then ensued, with disastrous results. In Kosovo it produced great destruction, an immense flight of refugees, with thousands of casualties and a fresh injection of hatred on all sides that contradicted the alleged NATO aim of producing a genuine multi-ethnic community. This was followed by a massive ethnic cleansing of Serbs, Roma, Turks, and Jews by the NATO-supported KLA, and Kosovo was left “without a legal system, ruled by illegal structures of the Kosovo Liberation Army and very often by competing mafias” (quoting Jiri Dienstbier, UN human rights rapporteur in Kosovo). Under NATO auspices, and helped along by leaders of Albania, a new advance was made in the aim of a “Greater Albania” in Macedonia and possibly elsewhere. Finally, Serbia was very badly damaged by the war, reduced to penury and dependency, conflict ridden, and with a sham democracy in place.
Johnstone has a devastating account of the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY), showing its political origin, purpose, and service, as well as its violation of all Western judicial norms (including the use of “indictments” to condemn and ostracize without trial). Among many other points featured is the fact that the Tribunal has only sought to establish responsibility at the top for Serbs, never for Croatian or Bosnian Muslim leaders. Johnstone also notes the unwillingness to indict any NATO personnel or officials for readily documented war crimes. She also points out that the indictment of Milosevic on May 27, 1999, based on unverified information provided by U.S. intelligence one day earlier, was needed by NATO to cover over its intensifying bombing of Serbian civilian sites, in straightforward violation of international law. As Clinton said, “The indictment confirms that our war is just,” but it more clearly confirmed that the Tribunal was a political, not a judicial institution.
Johnstone contends that the United States was a participant in the Balkan wars for a number of reasons, including the desire to maintain its role as leader of NATO and to help provide NATO with a function on its 50th anniversary year (celebrated in the midst of the 78-day bombing war in April 1999); if Germany and others were going to intervene in Yugoslavia, the United States would have to enter and play its role and incidentally show that in the use of force it was still champion. The United States was also using its Bosnian intervention to demonstrate its willingness to aid Muslims, contradicting its image as anti-Muslim and solidifying its relationship with Turkey and other Muslim countries helping in the Bosnian war. It was also positioning itself for further advances in the region with a major military base in Kosovo and new clients in an area of increasing interest with links to the Caspian basin. The humanitarian motive was contradicted by inherent implausibility and by the nature and inhumanitarian results of the U.S. and NATO intervention.
All-in-all the United States did well from its intervention, but the people of the area did poorly. The policies of it and its European allies were primary causes of the breakup of Yugoslavia and the failure to manage any split peaceably. Their intervention was not “too late,” but early, destructive, and well designed to encourage the ethnic cleansing that followed. Subsequently, they failed to mediate the conflict in Kosovo and collaborated with the KLA in producing a highly destructive war, followed by an occupation in which real ethnic cleansing took place, with NATO acquiesence and even cooperation. Bosnia and Kosovo are under colonial occupation. The remnant Yugoslavia, once a vibrant and multi-ethnic state, is poor, crowded with refugees, dependent on a hostile West, conflict-ridden, and rudderless. The Balkans are neither stable nor free; their future as NATO clients does not look promising.
Johnstone has written this story in a readable, scholarly, and convincing
way that I have been able to summarize all to briefly here. It is
an important book, especially for a left that has been confused
by the outpourings of a very powerful propaganda system.
Edward S. Herman is an economist, author, and media analyst. A more detailed and footnoted version of this review article may be seen at: www.monthlyreview.org/comment.htm.
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: email@example.com; 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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; email@example.com; 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; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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; email@example.com; 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; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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; email@example.com; 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; firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com; 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; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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: email@example.com; 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; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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: email@example.com; 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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: email@example.com; 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; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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/; email@example.com.
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; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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; email@example.com; 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: email@example.com; 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; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.