Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Contextualizing the Bradley Manning pre-trial hearings

with Robert Knight and Jeff Paterson
On Five O'Clock Shadow, WBAI (99.5FM)

RK: A Military Tribunal on Bradley Manning has just come to a close.Today the concluding arguments were held in an Article 32 hearing at Fort Meade for Private Bradley Manning. who is accused of releasing confidential cables and other content to WikiLeaks.  The hearing has been a contentious one and it follows 18 months of imprisonment. We're now joined live by Jeff Patterson, who has been following the case, and works with bradleymanning.org. Jeff. can you bring us up to date on the state of the case against Bradley Manning?

JP: Well for the last week i've been in the court room at Fort Meade Md. right next door to the National Security Agency.  And the prosecution has outlined a pretty thorough case of leaking - of Bradley Manning  downloading this information and transferring it to the WikiLeaks website. That didn't realy come as news to me-- 18 months ago when we started the Bradley Manning  website, we did go on the assumption that Bradley Manning is probably the person who released this information but We're supporting Bradley not because we think he's innocent, but because we actually think he did it, and it was a great thing that he did. The prosecution made no attempt to show that anybody was actually harmed from the information, they made no attempt to claim that Bradley Manning  received any kind of benefit for releasing the information. And the prosecution's own documents lay out a motive of a young man wanting to change the world for the better, who seeing these things in the course of doing his job as an intelligence analysis, made the decision to probably  break certain military guidelines for sharing information, but felt that we as the public needed to see this information,  to paraphrase Bradley Manning  in the chat logs,  to make informed decisions as a real democracy. And if we don't act upon this information and demand reforms, then we're doomed. And that's another paraphrase that's been attributed to Bradley Manning.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

NDAA Set To Become Law: The Terror Is Nearer Than Ever

David Seaman, Credit Card Outlaw | Dec. 14, 2011, 6:27 PM | 120,196 | 112

It turns out that destroying the American democratic republic was easy to accomplish, historians will write someday. Simply get the three major cable news networks to blather on about useless bull**** for a few days, while legislators meet in secret behind closed doors to rush through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), and its evil twin sister, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which is a clever name for an Internet censorship bill straight out of an Orwellian nightmare.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Report from Occupy Duarte Square

A minute-by-minute account by Mimi Rosenberg of Building Bridges
Aired on WBAI (99.5FM), Saturday, Dec. 17

We haven't been in the park for about 45 minutes now. People are now in the streets heading for the tunnel going to New Jersey. The crowd has swelled to about 2500. This is indeed our streets, our city. We are the origins of the wealth of this city! It's not clear where we're headed now but we are approaching the Lincoln Tunnel. People driving by are honking their horns and giving high fives to the marchers. There are doctors and nurses in the crowd, dressed in white, here to talk about universal health care. There are artists among us with their art objects, as we march towards the Lincoln Tunnel. It's not clear where we're going - now we've passed the Holland Tunnel and it looks like we're about to stop traffic on Canal Street itself!

Actually we seem to be headed for the Manhattan Bridge now, with what seems to be a crowd of about 3000 - because as we march we seem to be picking up people pied piper style. So that's where we are now and we're getting ready to block some traffic on Canal Street. This is amazing! We've actually circled back to Duarte Square, and people are now scaling the fence and they are taking over and indeed, we have occupied Duarte Square!

This is including people with their art objects. It is actually extremely exciting and I'm not sure the police are able to  react because they have locked themselves out of the park! It looks like they are now using chain snippers to cut the fence, since they certainly don't have the physical agility to scale it. People are setting up yellow Occupy Wall Street flags and more and more of them are going over the fence. The police were obviously unprepared, so we have effectively re-taken Duarte Park!

Occupy Wall Street has done what it does -- it has taken a physical space. This action is about asking Trinity Church,  why can't this space be taken? They are no longer asking, they have moved as one and they are taking that space.

The police have torn down the fence and are arresting protestors. People are being dragged along the ground. The police continue to engage in  arrests as we speak. The people are actually fighting back. We'll see how this develops, but it is quite fierce. The fact of the matter is that indeed the park and the streets belong to the protestors regardless of the arrests being made.

Police in riot gear are now arriving. The people are blocking the street surrounding the park and they are going nowhere! Dozens of arrests have occurred so far. Clearly this is a developing action. Traffic has ground to a halt and the activity of the police has also ground to a halt.

A Message of Solidarity from Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Sisters and Brothers,

I greet you in the Name of Our Lord and in the bonds of common friendship and struggle from my homeland of South Africa. I know of your own challenges and of this appeal to Trinity Church for the shelter of a new home and I am with you! May God bless this appeal of yours and may the good people of that noble parish heed your plea, if not for ease of access, then at least for a stay on any violence or arrests.

Yours is a voice for the world not just the neighborhood of Duarte Park. Injustice, unfairness, and the strangle hold of greed which has beset humanity in our times must be answered with a resounding, "No!" You are that answer. I write this to you not many miles away from the houses of the poor in my country. It pains me despite all the progress we have made. You see, the heartbeat of what you are asking for--that those who have too much must wake up to the cries of their brothers and sisters who have so little--beats in me and all South Africans who believe in justice.

Trinity Church is an esteemed and valued old friend of mine; from the earliest days when I was a young Deacon. Theirs was the consistent and supportive voice I heard when no one else supported me or our beloved brother Nelson Mandela. That is why it is especially painful for me to hear of the impasse you are experiencing with the parish. I appeal to them to find a way to help you. I appeal to them to embrace the higher calling of Our Lord Jesus Christ--which they live so well in all other ways--but now to do so in this instance...can we not rearrange our affairs for justice sake? Just as history watched as South Africa was reborn in promise and fairness so it is watching you now.
In closing, be assured of my thoughts and prayers, they are with you at this very hour.

God bless you,
+Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Gets Some Office Space in New York City

By BEAU FRIEDLANDER / NEW YORK CITY | Time.com – Fri, Dec 9, 2011
Tilda: A Dispatch from Planet Swinton

Zuccotti Park is encased in barriers, looking more like a crime scene these days than a hotbed of social activism, but while the drummers and the mike checks and the signs are gone, Occupy Wall Street activists claim their ranks are growing and the movement is stronger than ever.

"It's a diaspora," says Kanene Holder, 32, who is an active member of three of Occupy Wall Street's more than 100 working groups. "The movement is spreading and sprouting everywhere like dandelion seeds. If anything, the eviction from Zuccotti Park and other occupations around the country helped clarify what this movement is about." (See photos over tensions mounting at the Occupy Wall Street protests.)

Whatever Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is, it has a new office two blocks from Wall Street. Since Nov. 7, activists have been quietly occupying 2,500 sq. ft. of workspace located on the 12th floor at 50 Broadway. The rent is $5,400 a month and paid for by anonymous donors. "I don't even know their names," office coordinator Bianca Bockman says of the space's backers. "There are checks being written to pay the rent."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Occupy Wall Street, Re-energized: A Leaderless Movement Plots a Comeback

Occupy Wall Street, Re-energized: A Leaderless Movement Plots a Comeback
By STEPHEN GANDEL Thursday, Dec. 08, 2011

Excerpted from What Is Occupy? Inside the Global Movement, a new book from the editors of TIME. To buy a copy as an e-book or a paperback, go to time.com/whatisoccupy.

In a society in which we're used to taking direction from Presidents and CEOs, captains and quarterbacks, Occupy Wall Street's leaderless structure seems like a formula for chaos. And yet nearly a month after protesters were evicted from the movement's birthplace in Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan the exercise in organized anarchy is still going strong. On Tuesday, Occupy Wall Streeters in 20 cities across the country marched in neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by foreclosures. In East New York, Brooklyn, about 400 protesters broke into a foreclosed vacant property and moved in a family that was homeless after losing their house to a bank.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2101802,00.html#ixzz1g3MJIsUP