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War Made Easy: An interview with Norman Solomon
Norman Solomon is a syndicated columnist on media and politics, as well as founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, a national consortium of policy researchers and analysts. His new book, War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death, has been described by the Los Angeles Times as a must-read for those who would like greater context with their bitter morning coffee or to arm themselves for the debates about Iraq that are still to come. I recently interviewed Solomon about the book, which was published in July.
ADRIAN ZUPP: What prompted you to write the book?
NORMAN SOLOMON: We keep getting scammed by one president after another. It really hit me during the build-up to the invasion of Iraq. I was bothered not only by the effectiveness of time-worn, manipulative, propaganda coming out of the Administration and implemented, often seamlessly, by the mass media, but also by a kind of mythology that built up in 2002 and 2003, from the likes of [presidential candidate] Howard Dean, that the George W. Bush administrations egregious lies were somehow aberrations. I quote a statement that came from the Dean campaign to the effect that this has never happened before, that the U.S. has always tried to find peaceful resolutions before going to war and that this record was shattered by the invasion of Iraq. I think its important that those myths be challenged because when we have the delusion of a baseline of humanistic foreign policy, then the same old tried and trueor one might say tried and mendacioustechniques will be trotted out again and people will be conned into going along in the new incarnation. One of the disturbing things that Ive seen is that the slate gets wiped clean. Its as if theres no history that matters. The tacit message is, That was then, but this is nowas though the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House, and the media are reborn and the old sins are washed away by the passage of time or a new set of configurations of a particular situation.
Having just been to Iran, Im very worried about the likelihood of a U.S. attack. Some similar denials are echoing: Well gee, they wouldnt be that stupidthey being the Bush administration officialsto go ahead with the war. Its a bluff. Well, I dont pretend to know whats going to happen, but I do feel that the likelihood of a missile strike on Iran is quite high in the next year or so.
Did you have a conscious goal in writing this book?
I hope it will help people to see through the lies that drag the country into war. I dont think its that complicated, really, but in a sense the codes need to be broken. I mean codes in at least two senses: the code of reported ethics that rationalizes the next war, but also the buzzword codes that use basically standard techniques of word manipulation and illogic to make people feel comfortable with the scenario of the next war. We see permutations of basically the same con game going on continually and we really are now in a war, I believe, with no discernible end point. I dont just mean the war in Iraq.
When I started drawing on some research Id already done, I wasnt particularly looking for parallels between Vietnam and Iraq, but those similarities hit me as I was writing this book. Its reflected, particularly in the last chapter, about how We cant leave now because our credibilitys at stake. My goals included confronting that because we have this media ethos that compartmentalizes and sees Vietnam as a distant, manipulable mirror. The basic propaganda mechanisms are eerily similar between 1965 and 2005.
There is a largely accepted, culturally reinforced madness that greases the wheels of the war machine. Some of the dynamics are certainly different. During the Vietnam War, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the career military brass were pressuring for expansion of the war for many years. Its the reverse now where the Bush White House was pushing an often reluctant Joint Chiefs of Staff into the invasion of Iraq. Yet, from a media contagion standpoint, its very recognizable. If Rip Van Winkle rubbed his eyes and here he is, despite all the technological and cultural differences between the Vietnam War era and today, a lot of these similar attitudes would be readily recognizable. Some of them are summarized in the table of contents of the book: Our Leaders Will Do Everything They Can to Avoid War, Our Leaders Would Never Tell Us Outright Lies, This Guy Is a Modern-Day Hitler, This is About Human Rights, This Is Not at All about Oil or Corporate Profits, They Are the Aggressors, Not Us, If This War Is Wrong, Congress Will Stop It, If This War Is Wrong, the Media Will Tell Us. These notions are part of a socialized psychological set of mechanisms so that we lie to ourselves about whats being done with our tax dollars and our names.
Is this unique to the U.S.?
I think theres a commonality of militarism that many societies have experienced, but its especiallyand sickeninglyseductive when a country holds such a huge amount of military power. If you drop a lot of bombs, youre not only writing the history as victor, youre also silencing those who are the most victimized by your lies and militarism. I think its a blend between generic militarism and a kind of U.S. zeal to dominate even while denying that this is an empire- building exercise.
What is the lesson for peace workers and alternative media advocates?
I think naming the propaganda techniques and confronting them is very important. Activism against war in this country could do a lot better job of challenging the propaganda mechanisms that make these wars possible. Just from the standpoint of debunking the prevalent arguments in the news media for war, those of us engaged in activismand I certainly include myselfhave nothing to be comfortable about. Were losing the propaganda wars. Its small comfort that we can point to poll numbers that indicate disquiet or opposition to a war. Its a reticence to confront the essence of the war that is inflicting death on people on behalf of a totally illegitimate agenda. The propaganda machine has these standard techniques that are used to restrain opposition to war so that no matter how you feel about how we got into it, now that were there all these terrible things would happen if we stop killing people. So if you want to be considered reasonable, youd better not insist on an end to U.S. fueling of the flames of that war. I talk about it in the book: Youre undermining our troops and Now that were there, we have to stay thereas if we have a responsibility to the people were killing to keep killing them.
A peace activist put this to me, and Im paraphrasing: When people like us are for peace issues and so forth, are we really having a significant impact? It sounds to me that with regard to the long term youre saying no. Is that correct?
Im not critiquing action, Im critiquing inaction. I
think that there are huge effects that we sometimes have and dont
even know itthat the activity of keeping the flame going and
trying to nurture and build flames is an essential process. Nothing
that Im saying is intended to discourage people. I think if
people were not active then the wars would be bigger, theyd
be more frequent, and theyd last longer. Through our work
in the streets, in communities, in electoral arenas and lobbying,
we become part of the political calculus that the war-makers need
to take into account. I think our problems involve how we restrain
ourselves and are persuaded to be unduly restrained by our caution.
How do we move from this level of knowledge to getting it to a critical mass of people and then getting people to do what needs to be done?
I think the twin hazards to try and avoid are self-marginalization and undue self-restraint. I believe we should be less rhetorical and more radical in our analysis and what we have to say. Sometimes we mistake rhetoric for radicalism or we mistake in-house language with really presenting a strong critique in a way that can make a difference politically. This is an ongoing challengeto find ways to speak to the broad population. Theres a tremendous amount of really good work thats been done and certainly much earlier in the first couple of years in this war than during the Vietnam War. The role of soldiers and family members of troops has been much clearer earlier on in terms of Military Families Speak Out and other wonderful groups and individuals whove prevented more than we were able to early in the Vietnam Warthis stereotype that anti-war people do not relate to the humanity of U.S. soldiers.
Speaking as a foreigner, I am amazed by the extent to which Americans have bought into this whole belief system and these media falsehoods and misconceptions that make up the chapters of War Made Easy. Why is it that the U.S. in the age of the Internet can still be so resistant to outside messages?
The reasons why so many Americans have a willingness to accept such outrageous militaristic policies out of Washington are multi-factoral. Its in the culture, its in the mass media environment, its constant messages from politicians and news outlets, and part of the political economy that reinforces it. I received an email a couple of years ago from a TV columnist of a major U.S. newspaper. Hed read a column I wrote questioning the extreme double standards of how the media use the word terrorism. I had suggested a single standard for terrorism. He said, If my newspaper adopted such a standard there would be an uproar from advertisers and many subscribers and it would quickly become a financial disaster. This is where the economics of the corporate system intersect with what we often think of as something quite distinct, which is war propaganda. So when Colin Powell says, as he did on the day of 9/11, we condemn people who are willing to blow up buildings for political endswell if Osama Bin Laden is a terrorist, then George W. Bush is a terrorist. That would be a logical conclusion if one takes what Powell said at his word. But that kind of assessment cant be allowed psychologically.
Is the U.S. ever going to be ready to see presidents for what they are and not be so forgiving or fall for the hokey one-liners of a Reagan and so on?
The United States has such a diverse population and the cliché is were divided into red states and blue states. But if you were going to look at the percentages, you have pretty marked regional differences. For the most part, the South is extremely militaristic and the militarism is coded with religion. There are enclaves of the country where a large proportion of people already see the president as a war criminal. But I think for most people, the president as a war criminal is an oxymoron. Its just not a concept that seems plausible. But the proportion of people who are open to considering the evidence, those proportions may shift. Part of the task for people who are doing progressive work is to find better ways to explore publicly the essence of whats at stake. Whats the human cost? What are the logical fallacies and deceptions involved in setting an agenda for war and then trying to justify a wars perpetuation. I think this is ongoing work that needs to be done.
The embedding of reporters for the Iraq invasion was a brilliant propaganda mechanism. The Pentagon flipped over what happened during the Gulf War a dozen years earlier. I remember some nauseating interviews with U.S. troops on television, including on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrerthen called the McNeil-Lehrer NewsHour. So its not new that you would have this kind of human interest sandwich that is served up with reporting on the carnage, as limited as that reporting is. There were appreciable media complaintsnot very vigorousbut still appreciable media complaints about the limits set on the Gulf War coverage. So the embedding process implemented by the Pentagon was a way to make grand use of cable television, in particular and turn the war into a more multi-dimensional TV show.
What will it take for the truth to get through?
I think that any effective anti-war movement needs to combine the emotional with the intellectual. People respond in a wide variety of ways. One person may be changed by a totally intellectual argument, with the marshaling of facts and historical evidence. Another person may be moved by the story of a mother who lost her child. Im really in favor of trying to combine all of that because I think its part of the picture. Television and visual images, in and of themselves, may reinforce militarism as much as undermine it. Im pretty convinced by an argument that Susan Sontag made about the imagery of war depending on the mindset of those who see and the political environmenthow it may be interpreted as the need to continue with this heroic struggle. I think there has been an assumption that if only we can convey the suffering from war, that people will be repelled by it enough to oppose the war.
What do you think about this notion that Michael Moore and others have propounded that Americans are afraid? Is fear a powerful tool that helps prop up this propaganda status quo as well?
I think fear is definitely powerful. The antidote to fear has been pedaled as the military fist that Uncle Sam can keep swinging to keep adversaries at bay. Many people around the world have much more reason to be fearful than Americans in terms of their own physical well-being. Yet our national narcissism is cranked up to such an extent that, with a straight face, media outlets could say that 9/11 changed everything everywhere. We are the world. Our pain dwarfs the pain of anybody else. So our fear must trump anybody elses fears, which are often unrecognized in media. One can go into a kind of psychological mode and say that fear drives so much of what goes on in American life, including the fascination with wealth and the kind of delusional, tacit belief that if we can gain enough wealth and own enough expensive things, that were going to be protected. Well, were all going to die and these are very ephemeral comforts at best. At a kind of very overt level, the Pentagon is the agency that is supposed to make sure that if anybody dies, it isnt Americans. This is a very human and very pernicious dynamic. You hear it sometimes in its raw formI think often its more subtlewhich is, Who cares if those people are incinerated? Who cares if theyre tortured? Theyre not going to do it to us, thats for damn sure. Thats the point of the entire enterprise of whats called national defense. I personally refuse to call the military budget the defense budget. Its interesting that so many anti-war activists and peace advocates will refer to this as a defense budget. Its wrong. Im not against a defense budget, but if it was a real defense budget it would be much smaller.
In reading your book I felt it was necessarily bleak, but if I might read the closing paragraph of the Afterword: Conscience is not on the militarys radar screen and its not on our television screen but government officials and media messages do not define the limits and possibilities of conscience. We do. Thats rather empowering. Are you optimistic?
I like to quote something I heard Eduardo Galeano say at the World Social Forum in early 2001. He recalled walking down a street of a Latin American city and written in big letters on the wall was, Lets save pessimism for better times. I think thats relevant to where we are. Theres the statement written by Antonio Gramsci when he was in prison under Mussolini that translates something like: Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will. Those are, so to speak, the two legs that I feel we need to be walking on.
Adrian Zupp is a freelance journalist. He won a 2004 award from the New England Press Association for his feature on the Dalai Lama for the Boston Phoenix.
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.
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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.
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.