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The Bloody Trail From Downing Street to DC
More evidence of a premeditated crime
I n “The Crime of War: from Nuremberg to Fallujah” ( Z Magazine , February 2005), I described how the war in Iraq constitutes aggression as it is defined under international law. At the time I was writing that report, discussions of legality within and between the U.S. and British governments were closely guarded secrets and I had to take their public statements as indications of their legal position.
Now, nine leaked British documents have laid bare the British side of those discussions and revealed that British law officers explicitly and consistently advised their government and their U.S. counterparts of the illegality of the U.S. war plan. In response to their advice, the two governments hatched a “clever plan” to create a legal pretext for war, but the plan failed when the UN Security Council rejected it, leaving them with a stark choice between war and legitimacy.
The United States government belatedly attempted to claim legitimacy for the war based on a unilateral interpretation of the principle of “revival”—that the “formal ceasefire” declared in Resolution 687 (1991) was conditional on Iraq’s ongoing compliance with the other terms of that resolution; that Iraq’s alleged “material breach” of certain articles of that resolution could result in a “revival” of the authorization of military force contained in Resolution 678 (1990); and that certain clauses of Resolution 1441 (2002) were intended to act as an automatic trigger for such a “revival” without further action by the Council.
British legal advisors considered this U.S. argument and rejected it, but both governments had long ago chosen war over legitimacy. The British documents show that they were already committed to “regime change” in Iraq by April 2002. Britain’s Ministry of Defense and two senior U.S. generals have confirmed that offensive military operations began in May 2002, without authorization from the U.S. Congress, the British Parliament, or the Security Council.
The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998
R evival was first introduced to justify the establishment of the southern no-fly zone in August 1992 and it was sufficiently controversial that a ruling was requested of the UN legal counsel, Carl-August Fleischauer. He ruled that it was legitimate in that situation, involving limited, proportionate, and arguably humanitarian action soon after the end of major hostilities. The U.S. and UK later cited revival as justification for military action in December 1998, but this was not approved by the Council and Russia withdrew its ambassadors from Washington and London to protest U.S. and British military action.
The attack on Iraq in 1998 was preceded by important developments in U.S. policy. In February 1998, 40 self-styled “prominent Americans” signed an open letter to President Clinton, calling on the U.S. government to recognize Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress as the official government of Iraq. The signers included Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, James Woolsey, Douglas Feith, Richard Armitage, Frank Carlucci, James Woolsey, and Zalmay Khalilzad. The same group then lobbied Congress to produce the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which declared support for “efforts to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq” to be the official policy of the United States government. The bill passed overwhelmingly in the House, unanimously in the Senate, and was signed into law by President Clinton.
The leaked British documents show that, when Prime Minister Blair threw his support to the U.S. policy of regime change in March 2002, his legal advisors repeatedly told him that regime change could not be a legitimate policy goal under international law. Why didn’t legal advisors in Washington raise the same red flags in 1998 as their British counterparts did in 2002?
The U.S. government has violated domestic and international law in pursuit of similar policies in the past, but Congress moved to investigate and curb such violations in 1975-1976 and again in 1982-1986. The UN General Assembly condemned the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989 as “a flagrant violation of international law,” but congressional hearings that were scheduled to investigate those charges were indefinitely postponed.
At the same time that Congress was adopting this policy of supporting regime change in Iraq, the British and U.S. governments were taking covert action to keep Iraq’s alleged weapons programs in the public mind. Former chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter told the British parliamentary enquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly that he was recruited by MI6 in 1997 to take part in Operation Mass Appeal. This operation planted stories about Iraq’s alleged weapons programs in newspapers in Poland, India, and South Africa so that they would filter back to media consumers in Europe and North America. This falls within long-established practice of Western intelligence agencies, which frequently employ journalists as agents to shape popular opinion. It also helps to explain why so many people in the U.S. continued to believe that Iraq still possessed these weapons even as our government failed to produce any evidence of their existence.
The “prominent Americans” took their next step toward regime change in Iraq on September 11, 2001. At about 2:40 PM that afternoon, Donald Rumsfeld ordered his subordinates to draw up a plan to attack Iraq. Notes taken by one of his aides quote him as saying he wanted “best info fast. Judge whether good enough to hit Saddam Hussein at same time. Not only Usama Bin-Laden. Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”
The First Six Documents
T he first batch of six leaked British documents date from March 2002; they were leaked to the Daily Telegraph in September 2004. They include:
- an Options Paper written for Blair by his Defense and Overseas Secretariat
- a Legal Background Paper
- a memo from foreign policy advisor Sir David Manning to Blair on meetings with Condoleeza Rice
- a memo from British Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer to Manning regarding a meeting with Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz
- a letter to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw from Political Director Peter Ricketts
- a memo from Straw to Blair
The Options Paper and Legal Background Paper were dated March 8, 2002 and were evidently drawn up in response to an initiative on Iraq from Washington. The Options Paper spells out two choices: toughening the containment policy or regime change. It called the latter “a new departure, which would require the construction of a coalition and a legal justification,” and went on to say, “A full opinion should be sought from the Law Officers if the above options are developed further…. Of itself, Regime Change has no basis in international law.” On the U.S. position, it said, “The U.S. has lost faith in containment” and also, “Washington believes the legal basis for an attack on Iraq already exists.”
The Legal Background Paper explained that the U.S. government had argued for interpretations of Security Council resolutions on Iraq that were neither supported by the language of those resolutions nor shared by other Council members. The no-fly zones were set up to protect the civilian population and the paper rejects a U.S. claim that they could be used for a different purpose—to “enforce” Iraqi compliance with resolutions 687 and 688. Also, the U.S. had argued that an individual member state could make an independent determination that Iraq was in breach of one of the Security Council resolutions without the agreement of the Council. The paper rejects this claim too, adding, “We are not aware of any other State which supports this view.” While addressing and rejecting these unilateral U.S. positions, the paper does not address any legal justification the U.S. may have advanced for regime change, which of course had no basis in any of these resolutions.
The Options Paper said that the U.S. was pushing for an invasion in the fall of 2002 and six months would be needed to make the necessary military preparations, leaving the prime minister very little time to make a decision. He was due to meet with President Bush at Crawford in early April. In conclusion, the paper suggested “a staged approach, establishing international support, building up pressure on Saddam, and developing military plans.”
The memo from Manning to Blair on March 14, 2002, marked “Secret—Strictly Personal,” indicates that Blair had by then made up his mind to fall in line with the U.S. policy of “regime change” and insisted only that it be “very carefully done.”
“I had dinner with Condi on Tuesday,” the memo states, “and lunch with her and an NSC team on Wednesday (to which Christopher Meyer also came). These were good exchanges, and particularly frank when we were one-on-one at dinner. We spent a long time at dinner on Iraq. It is clear that Bush is grateful for your support and has registered that you are getting flak. I said that you would not budge in your support for regime change but you had to manage a press, a Parliament and a public opinion that was very different than anything in the States. And you would not budge in your insistence that, if we pursued regime change, it must be very carefully done and produce the right result. Failure was not an option. Condi’s enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed. But there were some signs, since we last spoke, of greater awareness of the practical difficulties and political risks. From what she said, Bush has yet to find the answers to the big questions: how to persuade international opinion that military action against Iraq is necessary and justified; what value to put on the exiled Iraqi opposition; how to coordinate a U.S./allied military campaign with internal opposition (assuming there is any); what happens on the morning after?…. I think there is a real risk that the Administration underestimates the difficulties. They may agree that failure is not an option, but this does not mean they will avoid it.”
Chilling words, showing that Blair had agreed to regime change before even beginning the effort to construct a legal basis for it or to address its many practical flaws.
On March 17, 2002, Ambassador Meyer met with Wolfowitz and reiterated the same points. He told Wolfowitz, “We backed regime change, but the plan had to be clever and failure was not an option…. I then went through the need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN SCRs and the critical importance of MEPP [Middle East Peace Process] as an integral part of the anti-Saddam strategy.” He reported all this to Manning in a memo marked “Confidential and Personal” on March 18.
The notes from Ricketts to Straw and then from Straw to Blair on March 25, 2002 detail some of the problems the Foreign Office had identified in the U.S. plan. Straw told Blair that the British strategy had to be based on international law and therefore on Iraq’s “flagrant breach” of its obligations under the UN-mandated inspections regime. He wrote, “I believe that a demand for the unfettered readmission of weapons inspectors is essential, in terms of public explanation, and in terms of legal sanction for any military action.” He warned of two “potential elephant traps,” namely the illegality of regime change and the question of an additional mandate from the Security Council. “The U.S. are likely to oppose any idea of a fresh mandate. On the other side, the weight of legal advice here is that a fresh mandate may well be required.”
Two weeks later, Bush hosted Blair at his ranch in Texas. At the joint news conference after the meeting Bush announced, “I explained to the prime minister that the policy of my government is the removal of Saddam, and that all options are on the table…. The world would be better off without him and so will the future.” Bush was committed to this policy and Blair was now committed to supporting it through a “clever plan” to generate support and provide legal justification. A reported incident at the White House in March 2002 made Bush’s position even clearer. Some Republican senators were meeting with Rice when Bush stopped by for a chat. Somebody mentioned Saddam Hussein, to which Bush responded “Fuck Saddam! We’re taking him out” (Eisenberg, Time, 5/5/02).
The British documents make it clear that Blair’s more nuanced public statements during this period were dishonest. After diplomatically endorsing regime change, he told the press conference at Crawford, “How we now proceed in this situation, how we make sure that this threat that is posed by weapons of mass destruction is dealt with, that is a matter that is open. And when the time comes for taking those decisions we will tell people about those decisions.”
Between April and July 2002, the plan proceeded. The war in Afghanistan had led the U.S. public to believe that war was not such a terrible prospect and that the latest generation of U.S. military technology could win any battle quickly and easily. After September 11, 2001, the Congress and U.S. media companies felt bound to support the “war on terror” even as it shifted its focus and its purpose. The public expressed little anxiety regarding the prospect of war in Iraq, but was still easily panicked by color-coded terrorism alerts.
Downing Street Memo
T he Downing Street memo is actually the minutes of a prime minister’s meeting on Iraq, attended by Blair and his advisors on July 23, 2002. The Cabinet Office Paper is an incomplete transcript of the paper that was distributed to the participants in preparation for this meeting.
The opening summary of the Cabinet Office Paper invites ministers to “agree that the objective of any military action should be a stable and law-abiding Iraq,” but the four paragraphs on “justification” describe the equally elusive quest for a law-abiding UK and U.S. The fundamental illegitimacy of U.S. policy was still the central problem: “U.S. views of international law vary from that of the UK and the international community. Regime change per se is not a proper basis for military action under international law.” Yet “U.S. military planning unambiguously takes as its objective the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime.”
The paper presciently describes the train-wreck that occurred when the timetable for the invasion collided with the time required for thorough inspections in March 2003. Iraqi obstruction was essential to the pretext for war, but it would probably not happen in the early stages of the inspection process. This section of the paper concludes, “We would be most unlikely to achieve a legal base for military action by January 2003.”
John Scarlett, the chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee, stated at the outset of the meeting that only “massive military action” would be likely to accomplish “regime change.” Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6, then told the meeting that there had been “a perceptible shift in attitude” in Washington and that “military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, the chief of the defense staff, described two military options: Running Start involved a gradual escalation of the bombing campaign to provoke the Iraqis into defending themselves, escalating eventually to all-out war. He called this a “hazardous option” and seemed to prefer the other choice, Generated Start, involving 250,000 U.S. troops, with a 72-hour bombing campaign to be followed by a move on Baghdad.
Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon spoke of “spikes of activity” that had already begun “to put pressure on the regime.” Most Americans can remember incidents from this period that were reported as Iraqi threats to allied aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones, with U.S. and British planes responding by “targeting radar sites.” Critics of U.S. policy suggested at the time that this was a cover for a low-grade bombing campaign to degrade Iraqi defenses in preparation for an invasion.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense has now published its figures for allied missions flown and tonnages of bombs dropped on Iraq between 2000 and 2002. The total tonnage of bombs dropped on Iraq in 2000 was 155 tons. This fell to 107 tons in 2001. By contrast, in six and a half months between May and the second week in November 2002, allied planes dropped 820 tons of bombs on Iraq, including a massive air raid in September 2002 by a combined fleet of 100 planes, apparently linked to a decision taken on August 5 to proceed with a “hybrid” of the Running and Generated Start plans.
On July 17, 2003, USAF General Michael Moseley, who commanded this bombing campaign, told an allied briefing at Nellis AFB in Nevada that it “laid the foundations” for the invasion, and General Tommy Franks has confirmed the nature and purpose of this campaign in his autobiography, American Soldier . The United States and Britain had already launched an undeclared air war.
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw had scheduled a meeting with Secretary of State Powell after the prime minister’s meeting and promised to discuss with him the timeline outlined by the defense officials. He understood that Bush was committed to war, but thought the timing was not yet decided. “But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.”
Then it was Lord Goldsmith’s turn. He said “that the desire for regime change was not a legal basis for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defense, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorization. The first and second could not be the base in this case.”
Then, “the Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD…. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.” Ever the politician, Blair, like Bush, had a sense of what would work politically, but his only legal strategy was to hope that Iraq would cooperate by barring the inspectors.
More reservations were expressed regarding the workability of the U.S. battle plan, and Straw urged “discreetly exploring” an ultimatum on the inspectors. He was confident that Hussein would play into their hands by “playing hardball with the UN.” Hoon “cautioned that many in the U.S. did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.”
The minutes ended by concluding, “We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action,” but that the extent of British participation was still in question. The Foreign Secretary would “discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam” and “the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.”
Americans demanding congressional action have seized on Dearlove’s statement that “the facts and intelligence were being fixed around the policy” as a “smoking gun,” proof of the lies told by Bush and his subordinates. While many of the political aspects of the plan were actually “clever,” not one piece of “fixed” intelligence ever stood up to serious scrutiny and responsibility for the result must also be shared by those who knew this, but remained silent.
The plan moved forward through the fall of 2002. Bush presented his ultimatum to the UN; he issued his controversial “doctrine of preemption” as part of the National Security Strategy of the USA (2002); and the U.S. Congress debated the resolution to authorize war. Senator Bob Graham, the chair of the Select Intelligence Committee, told anyone who would listen that real intelligence on Iraqi WMDs had yet to be presented—but fear, mystification, and political calculation were enough to win the day. Graham’s colleague from Florida, Bill Nelson, reported on his website that his constituent correspondence ran nine to one against the resolution, but he voted for it anyway.
Bush made his infamous State of the Union speech in which he identified 81 mm rocket casings as centrifuge parts and imaginary stockpiles of 12-year-old degraded chemical and biological agents as potent threats (of the items cited, only mustard gas has a shelf-life of more than five years), among a litany of bogus claims. Powell gave his equally disgraceful presentation to the Security Council, after reportedly throwing Lewis Libby’s first draft of it up in the air and saying, “I’m not reading this. This is bullshit.” Proponents of peace debunked the lies, but no prominent opposition figure emerged to lead them. Mainstream U.S. media efficiently marginalized serious questions and anti-war views.
The Legality of the Iraq Invasion
T he last of the leaked British documents is the full legal advice given to Blair by Lord Goldsmith on March 7, 2003, 12 days before the war officially began. In this document, Goldsmith dismissed most of the rationales for war that have been widely accepted by the U.S. public, leaving only the “revival” of the Security Council’s authorization of force in 1990 as a possible but highly tenuous justification for the invasion. He made it clear that U.S. officials had now adopted this as their legal position and he was clearly worried that unilateral interpretations of Security Council resolutions were being used as a lever to open the door to actions that were neither authorized by any of those resolutions nor otherwise permissible under international law.
He identified the following flaws in the U.S. position: He rejected Bush’s doctrine of preemption relating to “danger in the future” as opposed to the “right to respond proportionately to an imminent attack.” He wrote, “This is not a doctrine which, in my opinion, exists or is recognized in international law.”
While accepting the basic principle of revival, he writes, “The UK has consistently taken the view (as did the Fleischauer opinion) that...it is for the Council to assess whether any such breach of those obligations has occurred,” and “only the Council can decide if a violation is sufficiently serious to revive the authorization to use force.”
He rejected the possibility that, because the U.S. interpreted Resolution 1441 differently from Britain and other Council members, the resolution might not legally constrain the U.S. to the same extent as the UK. The U.S. interpretation “reduces the role of the Council discussion under OP12 [of Resolution 1441] to a procedural formality…. I remain of the opinion that this would be the effect in legal terms of the view that no further resolution is required. The Council would be required to meet, and all members would be under an obligation to participate in good faith, but even if an overwhelming majority of the Council were opposed to the use of force, military action could proceed regardless.” He insisted that any military action be limited to what was necessary to enforce the terms of the cease-fire. As he had said all along, “Regime change cannot be the objective of military action.”
In reviewing this document, I find a number of additional flaws in his arguments in favor of revival and in his interpretation of Resolution 1441 (2002):
- The concept of revival has no basis in the language of Resolutions 678 (1990) or 687 (1991)
- The “formal ceasefire” was neither temporary nor conditional on Iraq’s future behavior nor was there any provision for a revival of the authorization of military force
- Revival is superfluous or even detrimental to any legitimate purpose since the Security Council already has all the power it needs to authorize military action whenever that is really what it means to do
Goldsmith writes that he relies on “the previous practice of the Council” for his interpretation that “serious consequences” in Resolution 1441 (2002) is equivalent to “all necessary means” in Resolution 678 (1990). This is not borne out by the record. The past practice of the Council has been to use “all necessary means” to authorize military force, and “serious consequences” to retain greater flexibility, and this was how other members interpreted these terms in this case.
While Goldsmith gave great deference to the “strength and sincerity” with which the U.S. presented their arguments, he did not ultimately find their position defensible under international law and he warned Blair of several legal avenues by which he and the British government could face prosecution for international aggression or murder. When the invasion proceeded in the face of the British legal officers’ consistent objections, Elizabeth Wilmshurst, deputy legal advisor to the Foreign Office, resigned along with two of her colleagues. Her letter of resignation has since been made public. It referred to the invasion as a “crime of aggression” and ended, “I joined the office in 1974. It has been a privilege to work here. I leave with very great sadness.”
The upshot of all this has been precisely what the UN Charter was designed to prevent: the invasion and occupation of a smaller country by two larger and more powerful ones. We are now engaged in an intractable war whose principal victims are the civilian population of Iraq. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health have estimated that at least 100,000 people have died and have concluded that U.S. and British air strikes have been the leading cause of violent death among civilians in Iraq since March 2003. This conclusion is supported by Iraqi Health Ministry reports and dramatically contradicts the impression conveyed by the “embedded” media that insurgent forces have been responsible for most of the violence in Iraq.
These documents reveal that the governments of these two powerful countries were unable to honestly reconcile their own economic and strategic interests with their responsibilities under international law and their obligation to act in good faith in the interest of international peace and security as permanent members of the UN Security Council. As a result, they adopted positions and negotiating strategies that were deliberately designed to circumvent the letter and the spirit of the UN Charter. In order to restore a minimum of legitimacy to U.S. foreign policy: The U.S. Congress should investigate all serious charges against the United States government and its officials, from perjury to international aggression, examining the evidence in these British documents and obtaining access to relevant U.S. documents; the United States government should diplomatically and publicly assure the governments and people of the world that it will now and in the future abide by treaty commitments and customary principles of international law in accordance with Article VI of the United States Constitution; U.S. policies that presume the non-existent right claimed by the “doctrine of preemption” should be rescinded and the National Defense Strategy of the United States of America (2005), which is largely based on this doctrine, should be substantially revised; after two years of inconclusive warfare, “Coalition” forces should halt military operations and withdraw from Iraq. The UN should assume its legitimate function, to assist the Iraqi people as they pick up and put back together the pieces of their broken country and determine their own political future.
Nicolas J. S. Davies lives in Miami, Florida and is a student of U.S. history and foreign policy. An earlier version of this article appeared in Online Journal.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.