Daniel Berrigan–R.I.P.

Who?  That will be the reaction from the society we have today…..a voice from a turbulent time……

As an aging “hippie” there are a few people that stand out in my past…..Abby Hoffman, Daniel Ellsberg, Joan Baez (not one of my faves) and Daniel Berrigan……..as an staunch anti-war protesters these people are in the Hall of Heroes…..voices from the “Movement”……

Over the weekend a “Hero” has passed away…..Daniel Berrigan….

His defiant protests helped shape Americans’ opposition to the Vietnam War—and they landed the Rev. Daniel Berrigan behind bars. The Roman Catholic priest, writer, and poet, who became a household name in the US in the 1960s after being imprisoned for burning draft files in a protest against the war, died Saturday. He was 94. Berrigan died “peacefully” after a “long illness” at Murray-Weigel Hall, a Jesuit health care community in New York City, according to a spokesman for the Jesuits USA Northeast Province. Berrigan and his younger brother, the Rev. Philip Berrigan, entered a draft board in Catonsville, Maryland, on May 17, 1968, with seven other activists and removed records of young men about to be shipped off to Vietnam. The group took the files outside and burned them in garbage cans.

The “Catonsville Nine” were convicted on federal charges accusing them of destroying US property and interfering with the Selective Service Act of 1967. All were sentenced on Nov. 9, 1968, to prison terms ranging from two to 3.5 years. After the case had been unsuccessfully appealed, the Berrigan brothers and three of their co-defendants went underground. Philip Berrigan turned himself in to authorities in April 1969 at a Manhattan church. Four months later, the FBI arrested Daniel Berrigan at the Rhode Island home of theologian William Stringfellow. Berrigan said in an interview that he became a fugitive to draw more attention to the anti-war movement. He served about two years at the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut. When asked in 2009 whether he had any regrets, Berrigan replied: “I could have done sooner the things I did, like Catonsville.”

Source: Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J. May 9, 1921 to April 30, 2016 – LA Progressive

To realize his importance you had to be there……some of us will never forget his contribution…..or his voice…….a person that will stand by their convictions is an odd thing these days…..

Source: The Life and Death of Daniel Berrigan | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

He was a friend and his voice will be missed…..

Rest In Peace…..my friend.

Non-Violent BDS Should Be Welcomed, Not Condemned

I have been a supporter of the Palestinian people and their struggle for more than 30 years……I am old and cannot do the same things I did in my youth to protest what I saw as injustice……the only thing I can do these days is join the BDS Movement and boycott all items from Israel.

I realize it is not much but like they say a movement begins when one person stands up to oppression…..many have joined with me in this endeavor (thanx one and all)……

But there are those in the US that are trying to kill this movement….some states are trying to make it illegal to boycott Israel or to do anything to make them act like a responsible player on the world stage.  New York was the first to make it a crime to boycott Israel……even some countries are trying to make it illegal……

Sorry, but I will NOT let someone, even a state, dictate to me what I can do or not do with my time and/or money…..illegal or not…they can kiss my ass!

There are many who are joining together to fight the BDS Movement……

A thousand Israelis and their supporters gathered in Jerusalem’s International Convention Center on March 28 at a conference aimed at combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). The conference was a display of “fear, paranoia, anger and determination,” as described by Antony Loewenstein, and featured top government officials, members of the oppositions and a […]

Source: Non-Violent BDS Should Be Welcomed, Not Condemned – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

Finally, this is non-violence at its best……hurt them in their pocket books and not in the head……

Am I A Target (Again)?

There is no secret that I am a supporter of Palestine and of the BDS Movement which calls for sanctions against Israel and anyone that supports its policy of killing, stealing and destruction…..

I was a target back in the 70’s of the US program known as COINTELPRO because of my political activism…….it seems that I could be a target yet again…..(I must be doing something right)……

The call by Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz for a “targeted civic prevention effort” waged against activists in the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is alarming, illegal incitement, says the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.

The call was announced in the first Israeli conference organized to combat the mounting pressure of BDS, a global campaign to increase political, economic and academic pressure on Israel to honor the rights of Palestinians.

”  Whether one agrees or disagrees on the goals of BDS, it is a form of peaceful protest practiced in different countries around the world, especially Europe and the United States,” says Ramy Abdu, chairman of Euro-Med Monitor. ”  The Israeli Minister’s call, in fact, provides cover to violation of human rights and international law, which protect the security of persons exercising freedom of speech.”

 During his speech, Katz alluded to attacking BDS leaders  and activists, accusing them of working in partnership with elements hostile to Israel. He concluded that Israel may legitimately respond to BDS speech by “isolating activists and passing information on them to intelligence agencies around the world.”

“This is a blatant attempt to intimidate and intervene in the affairs of other countries,” Abdu says. “The Israeli minister’s incitement challenges the rights of people to security , freedom of expression and peaceful protest, even though all of these rights are guruanteed under human rights conventions—most prominently the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Israel is a signatory.”

Oh goody!  Something else to look forward to in the future.  Maybe they will target me like they did that Palestinian cleric in a wheelchair….after all I am an old man and they seem to have this knack of doing old men that do not agree with them.

But that is okay with some, especially those on the Right….it is perfectly okay top target people they do not agree with on a wide array of subjects.

Intifada for Dummies

I have been writing about the “intifadas” of the Palestinians….I was in the area when the first one was happening….December 1987……I witnessed some amazing bravery and gonads by the Palestinian protesters…..

Americans do not understand what or why the intifadas were important…..they were the people of the Occupied Territories trying to reclaim their heritage and their rights…..something most Americans could understand and would understand if it were anybody but Palestinians protesting Israel.

I have tried to explain as best as I can but I have fallen short on every occasion……I did find a good article by Ramzy Baroud that does the very thing that I tried……

Please check it out if you are interested in knowing why a people would resort to this sort of situation……

Whether history moves in a straight or cyclical line, it matters little. The uncontested fact is that it is in constant motion. Thus, the current situation in Palestine is particularly frustrating to a generation that has grown up after the Oslo Peace Acco

Source: Intifada for Dummies: Why a popular uprising is yet to take off?

Take a little time and see why a people would feel the necessity to resort to this as a way to make a point…….

Who Will It Be Next Month?

You know there is a sickness going around these days, especially with the election looming large…..right now it is those darn pesky refugees that may come to this country…..not long ago it was all those “illegals” streaming across the borders and before that it was all those damn black people that are demanding some sort of justice……

It appears that if you are Muslims….you can do no right or if you are a Hispanic….you too can do no right and then there are those #BlackLivesMatter people….they can do no right……

The news that some get is NEVER checked…..if it follows their perceived threat then it is gospel……like that half witted twat….Pam Geller……she tweeted this out the other day……

“Religion of Peace? Devout Muslim Disrupts Memorial, Screams Jew-Hatred Slogans, Incites to Violence

Her site had this to say…if you do not want to click on it…..

Evil to the bone. Muslims so seethe with hatred they cannot let a moment of grief for the victims of jihad to pass without incident or agitation. No humanity, no respect. Bloodshed evokes more bloodlust.

The bodies are not yet buried. This incident took place at a memorial for the victims of the unspeakable jihad attacks in Brussels. Trying to incite the crowd against the Jews, a devout Muslim runs into the center of the memorial, stamping on the flowers for the dead and screams “Palestine,” the rallying cry for jihadis and Jew haters everyone.

He was booed and removed but for those Muslims and Jew haters in the crowd — this is just the beginning (and they know it, support it).

But if you go beyond her HATE filled corner of the cesspool this is the report on that situation……

Belgian riot police clashed Sunday with hundreds of right-wing hooligans at a temporary shrine honoring victims of the Brussels suicide bombings, as investigators launched fresh anti-terror raids, taking four more people into custody, the AP reports. Police used water cannons when scuffles broke out in front of the Bourse, which has become a symbolic rallying point for people to pay their respects to those who died in Tuesday’s attacks. Black-clad men carrying an anti-ISIS banner trampled parts of the shrine, shouting Nazi slogans. Ten were arrested and two police officers were injured. Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur expressed his disgust, with Belgium still in mourning over the attacks that killed at least 31 people.

“We had 340 hooligans from different football clubs who came to Brussels and we knew for sure that they would create some trouble,” Police Commissioner Christian De Coninck said. “It was a very difficult police operation because lots of families with kids were here.” People trying to pay their respects were also dismayed. “It was important for us to be here symbolically,” said a 35-year-old comedian. But, she added, “there were lots of men who were here and doing the Nazi salute, shouting ‘death to Arabs,’ and so we weren’t able to get through.” Federal prosecutors, meanwhile, said Sunday morning’s raids were linked to a “federal case regarding terrorism,” but they didn’t specify whether it had any links to the March 22 attack.

Americans seem to forget that most of us are descended from……wait for it…..IMMIGRANTS.

But I guess if you predict doom and gloom that you will eventually be correct and then you can proclaim yourself off as some sort of modern day Nostradamus….for that is what so many search for…..not truth but rather notoriety…..

My question remains…..who will it be next month?

COINTELPRO: The Ghosts Of Protests Past

Time for a history lesson…….

The term will have little meaning to those lily white school boys of the 60’s and 70’s……but if you were what the “bully boys” called a “pinko” then you are well  aware of the term and its uses…..

A term from my past…..back in the days of my protests I was under scrutiny by the government for my associations and my work…..you see there is nothing new about the Patriot Act or other such invasions of an individual’s privacy…..I bring this up because 45 years ago this week the program became common knowledge….thanx to the work of some brave people…..

Source: Common Dreams

Forty-five years ago on Tuesday, peace activists broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania and unearthed documents exposing the government’s expansive COINTELPRO operations, which aimed to surveil, disrupt, and “neutralize” lawful activist groups, including war protesters, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the American Indian Movement, and the National Lawyers Guild.

Though the COINTELPRO revelations stirred widespread outrage and led to the eventual passage of reform legislation, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, such abuse of activists’ First Amendment rights continues to this day.

More than 60 national and local groups on Tuesday sent a letter (pdf) to the leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees expressing concern over the FBI’s and Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s “abuse of counterterrorism resources to monitor Americans’ First Amendment protected activity.”

The groups, which include Center for Constitutional Rights, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Government Accountability Project, Greenpeace USA, National Lawyers Guild, School of the Americas Watch (SOAW), and Veterans for Peace, among others, are urging the Committees to conduct a full investigation, not unlike the Church Committee, “to determine the extent of FBI and DHS spying in the past decade.”

“The FBI in particular has a well-documented history of abuse of First Amendment rights,” the letter states—referring specifically to the COINTELPRO operations—and such activities have continued, including “sending undercover agents and informants to infiltrate peaceful social justice groups, as well as surveillance of, documenting, and reporting on lawful political activity.”

Groups recently targeted by the FBI include SOAW, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and anti-Keystone XL Pipeline activists. Meanwhile DHS and local fusion centers, which operate as local sources of “counter-terrorism” intelligence gathering and sharing, monitored the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements as well.

What’s more, the groups note, “documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the FBI continuously invokes counterterrorism authorities to monitor groups it admits are peaceful and nonviolent.”

“Labeling activism as terrorism criminalizes political dissent,” the letter states. “Given the current  political climate and draconian laws concerning terrorism, individuals may be deterred  from participating in completely lawful speech, such as a protest march, by this stigma.”

“That the FBI cannot discern between activism and terrorism shows us that they think dissent is still the enemy,” said Chip Gibbons, legal fellow with Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Defending Dissent Foundation, which organized the letter. “There have been multiple attempts at reform but after each and every one we see the same thing happening again. The FBI claims to no longer investigate groups for their political beliefs, but look at who the FBI investigates under its counterterrorism authority—peace groups, racial justice groups, economic justice groups—the very same types of organizations that were targeted during the heyday of J. Edgar Hoover.”

You see there is nothing new about the government’s attempts to neutralize such protests groups like #Black Lives Matter or the Keystone protests or the Occupy movement……the government has always found protests groups as some sort of enemy of the state….

To think that the government is moving into new territory is just wrong…..if you are a protester then you are considered an enemy.

I rather enjoyed being a “loose” cannon back in the day….and I enjoy my agitator status……

Do you feel safer today than you did yesterday?

Live long and prosper!  They are watching!

New Middle East Time Bomb

Well that is almost an oxymoron but in this case it is accurate…..in case you are confused at what I am referring to…..the Saudis beheaded a Shia cleric for criticizing the royal family……(a quick synopsis)……

The fallout in the Muslim world over Saudi Arabia’s execution of a Shiite cleric is only getting worse. After Iranian protesters broke into the Saudi embassy in Tehran to protest, Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran, and now Bahrain has done the same, reports the BBC. The United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, is at least downgrading ties with Tehran, reports the AP. Some coverage:

At the core of the matter is the split between Sunni and Shia Islam, and the New York Timeshas a primer.

Why was this executed cleric so important? The Guardian has a profile of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and his long role as a “thorn” in the side of the Saudi regime.

One word for the effect on already jittery oil prices Monday? “Volatile,” reports CNNMoney.The US is worried the rising tensions will hurt the fight against the Islamic State in Syria, reports the Washington Post.

Can the White House use its influence to head off the conflict? Given the matter’s deep roots, don’t count on it, officials tell the Wall Street Journal.

Russia, of all nations, has offered to play mediator, reports the International Business Times.

So countries around Saudi Arabia have given them some support in the world…..since Saudi and Bahrain and UAE have issued support…….. one other Middle East country has joined the growing list….Kuwait…….

Kuwait announced on Tuesday it has recalled its ambassador to Iran over attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions, making it the latest Arab ally of Saudi Arabia to line up behind the kingdom amid rising regional tensions following its execution of a leading Shiite cleric and opposition figure. Sudan and the tiny island kingdom of Bahrain said Monday they would sever ties with Iran, as Saudi Arabia did late Sunday. The United Arab Emirates announced it would downgrade ties to Tehran to the level of the charge d’affaires, while other nations issued statements criticizing Iran.

Iran’s president, meanwhile, says Saudi Arabia “cannot cover its crime” in executing a the cleric by severing ties with Tehran. President Hassan Rouhani made the comments in a statement posted to his website Tuesday, referring to the kingdom’s execution of leading opposition figure Sheikh Nimr-al Nimr. Rouhani says that the “Saudi government has taken a strange action and cut off its diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran to cover its crimes.” He adds that, “undoubtedly, such actions can’t cover up that big crime.” World powers have sought to calm the tensions, with the White House urging Saudi Arabia and Iran to not let their dispute derail efforts to end the Syrian civil war.

But why would I foresee a problem with these actions?

Bahrain and Kuwait are a majority Shia with Sunni rulers…..especially Bahrain who has already had problems in and around the Arab Spring….this could lead to further protests and possible violence along sectarian lines…..the relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been on a see-saw for the last 20 years…..

Source: Factbox – Troubled history of Iran-Saudi relations | Reuters

Keep in mind that NOT all Muslims follow the Islam of the Saudis…..the Saudis are the protectors of Holy Shrines….not the leader of the religion….

The pot is simmering and will only take a quick match to bring it to a boil…..and then the US is up to its ass in more trouble on the geopolitical stage.