Protests Against Saudi Prince’s Visit To DC, NY and Boston

Join protests this week at various venues associated with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Washington DC. We will focus on bin Salman’s key role in the bombing of Yemen, which has created the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis. We will also debunk the notion that bin Salman is a reformer for women’s rights and against corruption. The U.S. has spent over $8 trillion on military forces in the Persian Gulf in the last four decades, supposedly protecting the Gulf from the then-Soviet Union and Iran. The effect has been to give backing to an absolute monarchy that opposes religious freedom, female equality and humane treatment of migrant workers–– the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The hereditary despots of Saudi Arabia are infamous for beheading and/or and floggings political dissidents.

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Protests Outside RNC Mock Trump, Cover Range Of Issues

By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. There were protests inside and outside of the Republican National Convention where Donald Trump is becoming the nominee of the party. Protesters from the right and left were outside including evangelicals, gun rights advocates and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Jones caused the only notable conflict when he attacked anti-capitalist protesters and was removed from the area by police. While people braced for a lot of conflict outside of the RNC and police were brought in from other parts of Ohio and the region, there has been little conflict and few arrests. On Tuesday there were only three arrests for those raising a banner at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that exlaimed “Don’t Trump Our Communities.” That protest was focused on stopping fracking and on immigration. The protests were creative, humorous, mocking of Trump and covered a wide range of progressive issues including opposition to war, seeking to end deportation, welcoming refugees, racism, police abuse, the failures of capitalism and more.

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Peace Activists Protest AIPAC’s Summit & Netanyahu

A coalition of human rights organizations, led by CODE PINK, have organized four days of political action in Washington DC to oppose the policies of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) during its annual policy conference. Coined #ShutDownAIPAC, activists are hosting a variety of creative events: protests outside the DC Convention Center and Netanyahu’s speech in Congress; events critiquing AIPAC policies; and a lobby day in Congress to call for no more sanctions on Iran.

The tweets below focus on the protest at the DC Convention Center where people gathered, many wearing Netanyahu masks and proclaiming him a war criminal, others blockaded the doors resulting in arrests.

The #ShutDownAIPAC coalition is drawing attention to AIPAC’s role as a special interest lobby that maintains a dangerous stranglehold over US policies. Activists are urging the US government to continue to pursue diplomacy with Iran and to end to the brutal occupation of Palestine.

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Newsletter: What Would Zinn Do?

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the death of Howard Zinn who is best known for his “People’s History of the United States” which looks at history from the bottom up, through the lenses of classism, racism and sexism. We remember Zinn for the advice he gave activists a year before his death. When he was asked what should people be doing, he gave advice that is good no matter what the era:

Go where you are not supposed to go;
Say what you are not supposed to say; and
Stay when they tell you to leave.
We are pleased to see people around the world instinctively following the advice that Howard Zinn gave to US activists. The world over we are facing governments corrupted by money and not representing the people. Zinn’s recipe for change – Go, Say and Stay – one we should be consciously following.

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Who’s The ‘Low Life Scum:’ Kissinger or CODEPINK?

Sen. McCain denounced CODEPINK activists as “low-life scum” for holding up signs reading “Arrest Kissinger for War Crimes” and dangling handcuffs next to Henry Kissinger’s head during a Senate hearing. McCain called the demonstration “disgraceful, outrageous and despicable,” accused the protesters of “physically intimidating” Kissinger. If Senator McCain was really concerned about physical intimidation, perhaps he should have conjured up the memory of the gentle Chilean singer/songwriter Victor Jara. After Kissinger facilitated the September 11, 1973 coup against Salvador Allende that brought the ruthless Augusto Pinochet to power, Victor Jara and 5,000 others were rounded up in Chile’s National Stadium. Jara’s hands were smashed and his nails torn off; the sadistic guards then ordered him to play his guitar. Jara was later found dumped on the street, his dead body riddled with gunshot wounds and signs of torture. Or, Kissinger’s role in the brutal 1975 Indonesian invasion of East Timor, which took place just hours after Kissinger and President Ford visited Indonesia. They had given the Indonesian strongman the US green light—and the weapons—for an invasion that led to a 25-year occupation in which over 100,000 soldiers and civilians were killed or starved to death.

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I Am A Patriot

On Thursday, November 13, I dropped down in my seat at the hearing room of the House Armed Services Committee on the Administration’s Strategy and Military Campaign against ISIL, a little depressed at what was to come. More war, less hope for peace. Just two days earlier, on Veterans Day, I was at the widely advertised and well attended “Concert for Valor” on the National Mall. Veterans Day was previously known as Armistice Day, started after WWI as a day to celebrate an end to war. Now it’s a day to glorify warriors, and I was threatened with arrest for having a sign that read “Celebrate the Peacemakers”.

The moment I sat down in the Congressional hearing and heard the conversation between Chairman Buck McKeon and the witness Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a warm rush of thoughts came over me that made me feel very nostalgic.

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Police Eject Peace Activists From National Mall

Medea Benjamin is internationally renown for standing up for the oppressed and against violence and war. The co-founder of Code Pink, Women for Peace, is also no stranger to hostile situations involving law enforcement.

Media Benjamin painting by John ZangasBut she never expected to be ordered off the National Mall or face arrest if she didn’t stop holding heart shaped peace signs and wearing a shirt with a peace messages on it. But that is what happened to her and eleven other peace activists at the Concert For Valor on Veteran’s Day.

Benjamin has worked internationally on peaceful solutions to world conflict and went to the Mall to reach out to the public about U.S. plans to send troops back to Iraq.

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Protestor Arrested During ISIL Hearing In Congress

Code Pink activist Tighe Barry was arrested and charged with disruption of Congress today during an Armed Service Committee hearing on the subject of The Administration’s Strategy and Military Campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). “This is the first hearing since Obama announced that there are going to be 1,500 more troops sent to Iraq,” Medea Benjamin told me as we waited to enter the public hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building, and added: “let’s remember that it is months now since the (U.S.) bombing started in Syria and Iraq and Congress has never taken a position on this. In fact, Congress went off for the election season without fulfilling its duty, which is to declare war or give the President the authorization.

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Acting Against Drones: A Global Movement For All

As a young American student I am appalled by the war-mongers who continue to drop bombs, and use killer drones in over seven countries over a six year period. I will not stand by as my government continues to fuel the military-industrial complex that endangers the lives of so many. As a result, I am involved with a group of young activists with CODEPINK that launched a Youth Manifesto declaring that there is No Future in War. I urge my peers to take action against the individuals that use the drone industry to fill their pockets and demand that there is greater transparency on the real motives United States engages in military interventions.

We deserve better. The world deserves better. And together we can reclaim our future.

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Tell Congress “No” To More War

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Martin Dempsey testified before the war-friendly Senate Armed Services Committee on September 16, 2014 about the extent of the US military’s role in fighting Islamic. The hearing was interrupted by peace protesters from CODE PINK and Popular Resistance. Non-Profit Quarerly began noting “The hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday morning began with repeated disruptions from antiwar protesters.” They went on to urge more action from the antiwar movement, writing:

“History would suggest that it’s time for the antiwar movement to raise important issues about the U.S. plan to deal with ISIL. Maybe this war against ISIL is different; maybe this is an instance where U.S. military action is necessary to stop ISIL, which has now gathered a large military force and deployed it like a professional army. Maybe ISIL can’t be dealt with the way that the U.S. is addressing Al Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Somalia. But it is nevertheless the role of the anti-war movement to engage in and elevate the quality of the debate when American civilian and military leaders contemplate military action overseas.”

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CODEPINK Awarded 2014 Peace Prize

“CODEPINK is the most innovative, effective, and visible antiwar presence in the United States. Its approaches to peace and opposition to war are contemporary and receive more media and government attention than any other peace group. CODEPINK has shown what volunteers can do with limited resources. Their service is an inspiration to the world.”

In learning of the award, Jodie Evans remarked, “What a wonderful honor for tens of thousands of women and men of CODEPINK who take action, write letters to the editor, organize locally, travel globally, and live intentionally to create a more peace filled world.”

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Medea Benjamin Arrested With Shut It Downers

In pouring rain, Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin joined the Shut It Down Affinity Group Friday to block the gate at Entergy Corporation’s Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant here before police arrested twelve women for unlawful trespass. No court date has been set.

Code Pink is a women’s peace and justice organization dedicated to ending war and injustice aound the world. With others, Benjamin founded Code Pink.

Before blocking the Vermont Yankee gate, the women stood with balloons and banners across from nearby Vernon Elementary School to urge love for mother earth as Mother’s Day approached.

Vernon police officer Albrey Crowley single-handedly transported the arrestees by threes and fours to the nearby Vernon Police Station. Vernon townspeople voted Monday to terminate its police department as of July 1.

“We are nonviolent and come with the expressed purpose of shutting down Vermont Yankee,” said Hattie Nestel, 75, of Athol, Massachusetts, one of the women arrested Friday. “What if we were intent on using weapons to invade Vermont Yankee in order to obtain nuclear material or, worse, create an explosion that would devastate an area for a radius of fifty or a hundred or more miles?

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CODE PINK Mocks Egyptian Dictator Sisi Outside Of US Chamber Of Commerce

The Egyptian military government is one that US corporations should not do business with: “No more business as usual.” That was the message of a CODE PINK protest inside and outside of the US Chamber of Commerce when the Egyptian Finance Minister, Hany Kadry Dimian, was speaking.

CODE PINK described the Egyptian government as the “Egyptian Junta” and expressed their solidarity with Egyptian people who want real democracy not a military dictatorship. Since the military took over in July 2013 over 2,000 people have been killed who have protested the government; and 16,000 protesters have been imprisoned. Outside the Chamber of Commerce CODE PINK mocked General Sisi, the dictator of Egypt, who recently resigned his position in the military to run for president in an election that very few will be legitimate. CODE PINK has started a twitter handle for the election of Sisi: #VoteForThePimp

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CODEP PINK VT Protests Ben & Jerry’s Sales In Illegal Settlement In Palestine

The first action of Code Pink’s new chapter in Vermont was to sing to the throngs lining up for Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day in Burlington, Vermont. In conjunction with Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel, Code Pink VT sang about how Ben & Jerry’s is selling ice cream in the Jewish-only settlements in Occupied Palestine. More on Ben & Jerry’s selling ice cream in occupied territories: In 2011, Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel learned that Ben & Jerry’s franchise in Israel is manufacturing ice cream and selling it in illegal Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Additionally, in 2010, as Israel was expanding its illegal settlements and continuing to impose an inhuman siege on Gaza, Ben & Jerry’s opened a new factory in Israel and announced plans to re-establish 16 new stores and kiosks across the country.

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Egypt Kangaroo Court Sentences 529 Morsi Supporters To Death

The Egyptian court has just handed down one of the most grotesque sentences in Egyptian history, condemning 529 people to death in one fell swoop. The US State Department said it was “shocked” and that the verdict defies logic. “While appeals are possible, it simply does not seem possible that a fair review of evidence and testimony consistent with international standards could be accomplished with over 529 defendants after a two-day trial,” a State Department official said. Amnesty International issued a condemnation, and CODEPINK has launched a campaign to pressure the Egyptian government to overturn the verdict and respect political dissent.

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