War Party Persists
Edward S. Herman
The War on Drugs
U.S. Nuclear Nightmare
GENDER & SEXUALITY
All Occupations Are Local
LESSONS & POTENTIAL
Deficits and Debts
Resistance In Occupied Iraq
Nicolas J.S. Davies
Agitate the Hood
Cultural Items of Note
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
We were amazed to hear in mid-November on the local TV news that the Occupy movement was winding down, according to a new CBS poll. We compiled these Net Briefs as evidence that perhaps CBS is polling the wrong people. These entries represent a small sampling of what’s been going on since Occupy Wall Street began in September 2011. We hope they inspire readers to offer support, donate materials, and get involved. Visit zcommunications.org and other websites for full reports and discussions.
DISPATCHES FROM OCCUPY U.S. (in alphabetic order)
BELLINGHAM, WA - Grassroots people and political activists occupy parks in Bellingham to support Occupy Wall Street. Occupiers live in tent camps to protest economic inequality and its impact on working people, students, the poor and the young, calling it a protest by the 99% of the people who are exploited by a system that only benefits the top 1%.
BERKELEY, CA - In iconic Sproul Plaza, thousands of UC Berkeley students and Occupy Oakland activists clashed with university police late into the night on November 9. The police succeeded in clearing away tents, but, in spite of the brutality, protesters refused to leave, insisting that they’d camp there with or without equipment. Uultimately, they voted to approve a University of California-wide general strike.
CHICAGO, IL - Occupiers were arrested while attempting, for the second time, to build a permanent home, exercising their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble. Those arrested included registered nurses and other members of National Nurses United (NNU), who erected a medical tent at the action. Twenty-six days since Occupy Chicago started, the movement maintains a 24-hour picket, 7 days a week near the financial district. Activists plan to set up an encampment again and this time they have new union allies.
DENVER, CO - Protesters clashed with police in some of the most intense fighting since the protest group began gathering in a downtown park. Nevertheless, activists set up camp in Lincoln Park. In response to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s insistence that they choose a leader, Occupy Denver elected Shelby, a three-year-old border collie. Shelby, said a statement on Occupy Denver’s website, “exhibits heart, warmth, and an appreciation for the group over personal ambition that Occupy Denver members feel is sorely lacking in the leaders some of them have voted for.”
Kenny White, a former photography major at the Colorado Art Institute, spent one year in college before more than $20,000 in debt crippled his academic future. He is the current security guard for the camp. His biggest worry is that, “People don’t think we’re going to get anything done and that we’re just wasting our time here. We’re in growing pains right now. This is just baby steps. A revolution isn’t won in two months.”
OAKLAND, CA - I spent a while at 14th and B’way for some of the rally activity. It was terrific. Great mood. It looked like the crowd was growing toward a pretty big number as we got closer to noon. Two speaker platforms were open to pretty much anyone who asked to speak. I walked around the encampment—very nice; straw on the pavement; over 100 tents. There were many more African Americans, Latino’s, and a Native American group in full regalia urging us to care for Mother Earth, and a Black Panther tent. People were cheering two guys who were climbing two really tall streetlight poles in order to tie ropes that would lift a huge sign, saying “Death to Capitalism”
In one of the city’s largest ever demonstrations, massive crowds, estimated by some at 10,000-30,000, convened on the Occupy Oakland (OO) encampment for an all-day schedule of events, November 2, and carried out a “successful” general strike throughout the city.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - As Miran Istina puts it, she has been living on borrowed time since she was 14. Diagnosed with cancer, she was given just months to live after her health insurer refused to provide her with life-saving surgery. Istina has spent three weeks living in a tent at the Occupy San Francisco protest and says she will stay there indefinitely, despite her illness. She was inspired to take part by the refusal of her insurance company to pay for treatment for her chronic myelogenous leukaemia. “I decided I was going to spend the rest of my life doing whatever my heart wants.”
The Occupy San Francisco movement has seen up to 300 protesters take over Justin Herman Plaza at the Embarcadero in the downtown district since October 5. The occupiers are given food by local restaurants and have received donations from supporters. When police officers staged a walk-through, some of the occupiers shared jokes with them. One said: “Please leave the automatic weapons outside the camp. This is a peaceful protest.” Another said: “We’re not doing any harm. We’re just a bunch of peace-loving hippies.”
SEATTLE, WA - Seattle is the first Occupy whose banners refer to it as a “planton,” giving credit to the social movements of Mexico, Central America, the Philippines, and other countries for the tactic of living in tents in public spaces as a protest. The U.S. has its own history of occupations, especially factory sit-ins, but for anyone who’s walked through Mexico City’s Zocalo, the sight of tents full of protestors is very familiar. Occupiers share the work of making sandwiches for camp residents. Musicians, painters, muralists, and other artists work in the art tent.
VETERANS/MILITARY - Since Occupy Wall Street protests have broken out in cities across the U.S. and abroad, support has come from what might seem an unlikely corner: war veterans. The world watched as bleeding, dazed 24-year-old Scott Olsen, a Marine, was carried away by fellow protesters after he was struck in the head by an object apparently fired by an Oakland police officer. According to veteran-turned-organizer, Paige Jenkins: “Vets in this movement don’t want to fight anymore. We want to make peace and live peaceably. We shouldn’t have to fight for our benefits and if vets are fighting for their benefits then it can’t be any better for non-vets.” Jenkins, who served from 1987 until 2002, first in the U.S. Navy and then in the California National Guard, said that some veterans were organizing to be “peacekeepers” and maintain perimeter security at occupations. “As vets, I think it is our job to protect our community through teaching nonviolence and defensive measures, like how to protect yourself from unprovoked police attacks.”
In a recent Internet posting, Occupy Marines stated: “We are a collection of prior service Marines intent on protecting American citizens and their ability to exercise their First Amendment rights. We at OMC will not stand idly by as these cowards continue to abuse the Constitution, hurting American citizens.”
OUTSIDE THE U.S.
EUROPE - An Occupy London Stock Exchange protest drew about 4,000 people, according to organizers. In the shadow of St. Paul’s Cathedral, banners had slogans that read “No Bulls, No Bears, Just Pigs” and “Bankers Are the Real Looters.” In Berlin, 6,000 took to the streets and 1,500 gathered in Cologne. In Frankfurt, 5,000 marched by the European Central Bank headquarters with toy pistols firing soap bubbles and planned to camp out. Thousands marched in Madrid with placards criticizing bank bailouts. In Zurich, about 200 coalesced on Paradeplatz, playing Monopoly and sipping free coffee from a stand.
TAIWAN - Several hundred demonstrators sat mostly quietly outside the Taipei World Financial Center, known as Taipei 101. An English major at Taipei’s Fu Jen Catholic University, joined others singing the “L’Internationale” in front of a Hermes watch shop. “I’m angry about the unjust capitalist society,” he said. “I’m anti-capitalism.”
AUSTRALIA - Occupy Sydney began on October 15 with hundreds of people reclaiming Martin Place and created a non-hierarchical forum for open debate, where people began to have discussions and make decisions about things which affect our lives and communities.
CANADA - In Halifax, Nova Scotia a call to action had gone out and Occupiers took over the city’s main Grand Parade Square. A broad coalition was formed among local groups that have been struggling to have their voices heard on a host of important issues. As in most other major cities, the group has been quick to adopt the general assembly format using consensus based decision making, along with a set of facilitation hand signals and the “people’s mic.” Occupy Nova Scotia has also organized itself, as in NY, into a series of working groups—food, outreach, media, supplies, comfort, legal, direct action, arts and culture, health and well-being, and facilitation. There is a policy of progressive facilitation where women and racial minorities are given priority to speak. As the movement grows, it could expand into becoming an experiment in participatory economics.
Words of Encouragement
CAIRO, EGYPT – “To all those across the world currently occupying parks, squares and other spaces, your comrades in Cairo are watching you in solidarity. Having received so much advice from you about transitioning to democracy, we thought it’s our turn to pass on some advice. An entire generation across the globe has grown up realizing, rationally and emotionally, that we have no future in the current order of things. Living under structural adjustment policies and the supposed expertise of international organizations like the World Bank and IMF, we watched as our resources, industries and public services were sold off and dismantled as the “free market” pushed an addiction to foreign goods, to foreign food even. The profits and benefits of those freed markets went elsewhere, while Egypt and other countries in the south found their immiseration reinforced by a massive increase in police repression and torture.
“So we stand with you not just in your attempts to bring down the old but to experiment with the new. We are not protesting, we are occupying. We are reclaiming those same spaces of public practice that have been commodified, privatized and locked into the hands of faceless bureaucracy, real estate portfolios and police “protection.” By way of concluding, then, our only real advice to you is to continue, keep going and do not stop. Occupy more, find each other, build larger and larger networks and keep discovering new ways to experiment with social life, consensus and democracy.
“We are all watching one another now and from Cairo we want to say we are in solidarity with you and we love you all for what you are doing.
New Briefs came from: David Bacon, Susannah Wood, James Green, James Van, Kristina Wong, Kirk Johnson, Thomas Francis, Niraj Warkoo, Yana Kunicho, Alexanra Topping, Shir Malik, and Portside Moderator. Photo 1: Belllingham WA; Photo 2: DC; Photo 3: DC; Photo 4: NYC march to DC; Photo 5: Oakland, CA; Photo 6: Oakland, CA; Photo 7:Vets at NY Stock Exchange; Photo 8: Denver; Photo 9: Tennessee; Photo 10: Portland, Oregon; Photo 11: Atlanta; Photo 12: Los Angeles, CA.
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.