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September 2013

Petraeus Retreats To Fortified Bldg With Secure Garage

The City University of New York has relocated David Petraeus’s fall seminar, titled “Are We on the Threshold of the North American Decade?”, to a more fortified campus building, under “increased” security, which will allow the former CIA chief to avoid a growing contingent of student protestors, six of whom were beaten and jailed by the New York City Police Department after last week’s demonstration. Starting today, according to internal staff emails obtained by Gawker, Petraeus’ seminar will meet on the 16th floor of 555 West 57th Street, a high-rise building located ten blocks south of Macaulay Honors College, where the seminar was originally scheduled. In one email, CUNY staffer Jeffrey Weinstein tells the university’s facilities staff: “Security will be increased. You should avoid scheduling any meetings on Monday afternoons on the 16th floor. Your CUNY ID will be required for admittance to the 16th floor on Monday afternoons.” A tipster tells us that the building was likely chosen because it features a secured parking garage, allowing Petraeus to move about without dealing with the rabble outside.

Week Of Actions October 5-12: Stop The Militarization of Space

Keep Space for Peace Week International Week of Protest, Week Of Actions October 5-12: Stop the Militarization of Space. Our agenda: No Missile Defense, No to NATO Expansion, No Syria Attack, End Afghanistan Occupation, Stop the Drones Surveillance & Killing, No Nuclear Power in Space or on Earth, End Corporate Domination of Foreign/Military Policy, Convert the Military Industrial Complex. More than forty actions already planned. Keep Space for Peace Week is co-sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, and the Drone Campaign Network (UK). More information: Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space,, and (blog).

People With Disabilities Storm House Building

At least 200 people with disabilities set up camp outside a House office building on Monday and occupied the halls inside, demanding that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) stop trying to delay or defund Obamacare. Armed with megaphones and banners, the protesters took over the steps of several entrances into the Longworth building and criticized Boehner for trying to attach a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act to a bill to keep the government funded past Monday. Specifically, they argued that without the health care law in effect, they would lose the Community First Option, a program that provides matching federal funds to states to help people with disabilities use home-based care instead of institutionalized care or nursing homes.

First Nations Accuse BC Of Violating Int’l Law By Issuing Enbridge Permits

The Yinka Dene Alliance (YDA) is accusing the British Columbia government of violating international law by issuing permits to Enbridge Inc. for drilling and tree removal in their territories along the proposed path for the Northern Gateway pipeline, despite their opposition and the lack of consultation on the proposed pipeline. If approved, the pipeline would run from Edmonton, Alberta to Kitimat on British Columbia’s northern coastline, potentially carrying 525,000 barrels of petroleum per day. Alberta is keen for the pipeline to proceed as it targets new markets in Asia. The YDA, whose members' territories make up 25% of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline route, made the accusations in a 15-page submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, who will be making an official visit to Canada from October 7 to 15, 2013.

“Occupy Finance” Book Published By The OWS Alternative Banking Group

The Alternative Banking Group of Occupy Wall Street has published the Occupy Finance book. The Alternative Finance Group is made up of a group of financial professionals, accountants, technologists, economists, traders, engineers, housewives, househusbands, laborers, professors, students, activists and workers interested in reforming, revolutionizing and improving our financial system. They have just published an excellent book, the Occupy Finance book. We have republished the introduction below. The book includes ten chapters divided into three sections: The Real Life Impact of Financialization on the 99%, How We Got Here, Things to Do. We highly recommend their book and hope the first chapter below encourages you to read Occupy Finance. The book is available free online.

What Do We Need To Build A Movement?

We must develop a revolutionary theory that is not reliant on the industrial or agrarian muscle of workers. Most manufacturing jobs have disappeared, and, of those that remain, few are unionized. Our family farms have been destroyed by agro-businesses. Monsanto and its Faustian counterparts on Wall Street rule. They are steadily poisoning our lives and rendering us powerless. The corporate leviathan, which is global, is freed from the constraints of a single nation-state or government. Corporations are beyond regulation or control. Politicians are too anemic, or more often too corrupt, to stand in the way of the accelerating corporate destruction. This makes our struggle different from revolutionary struggles in industrial societies in the past. Our revolt will look more like what erupted in the less industrialized Slavic republics, Russia, Spain and China and uprisings led by a disenfranchised rural and urban working class and peasantry in the liberation movements that swept through Africa and Latin America. The dispossessed working poor, along with unemployed college graduates and students, unemployed journalists, artists, lawyers and teachers, will form our movement. This is why the fight for a higher minimum wage is crucial to uniting service workers with the alienated college-educated sons and daughters of the old middle class. Bakunin, unlike Marx, considered déclassé intellectuals essential for successful revolt.

The Battle For Wisconsin: The Revolt of 2011

The uprising in Wisconsin in February and March 2011 was an event of enormous historical significance for the American labor movement. Hundreds of thousands of workers and young people rose up against the attempt to strip public sector workers of their collective bargaining rights. Despite ending in defeat, it potentially marked the beginning of the end of a very long, deeply demoralizing retreat. This pamphlet is a detailed account authored by an active participant in the struggle. It shows how rapidly the movement developed and how quickly it radicalized. It highlights the role of high school student walkouts in paving the way for teacher sickouts, which galvanized the wider resistance. Once begun, the movement touched a deep nerve across the country and demonstrated beyond all doubt that when organized workers take a stand for their rights they can win support from much broader sections of society.

Weaponized Profits: The US Health Care System

Many people who advocate for an improved and expanded Medicare for all for life health system in the US tend to vilify the for-profit, private insurance industry and big Pharma but ignore the atrocities committed by almost every other segment of the system. If we are to fix what ails the US health care system, we will have to get a whole lot more honest about all of the factions that lift profit-making above all else when engaging in the delivery of health care services. And no matter what Congress does or does not do with the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, until those of us being most grossly effected by our dysfunctional, profit-first health care system get honest about all the players and their roles in that dysfunction, we will continue to tinker around the edges and watch the numbers of health care dead and broke climb ever higher. We do not have a coherent health care delivery system in the US. We have taken great pains to protect the interests of the few at the direct expense of the many.

War No More: The Case for Abolition

Surely we must join Swanson in acknowledging the enormous challenges we face in campaigning to avoid war, or to abolish it. He writes: “In addition to being immersed in a false world view of war’s inevitability, people in the United States are up against corrupt elections, complicit media, shoddy education, slick propaganda, insidious entertainment, and a gargantuan permanent war machine falsely presented as a necessary economic program that cannot be dismantled.” Swanson refuses to be deterred by large challenges. An ethical life is an extraordinary challenge, and encompasses lesser challenges, such as democratizing our societies. Part of the challenge is to honestly acknowledge its difficulty: to clear-sightedly witness the forces that make war more likely in our time and place, but Swanson refuses to categorize these forces as insurmountable obstacles.

Four New Occucards Just Released

We are proud to announce the release of four new occucards. The first (#22) is on the Surveillance State. Thanks to the courage of Edward Snowden, it is now confirmed that the NSA monitors, collects and stores virtually all domestic electronic communications, including telephone calls, emails and texts, in direct violation of the fourth amendment of the U.S. constitution. Snowden's revelations have shocked the country, put the corporate-intelligence network on the defensive and ignited a movement to end NSA spying (see Our card also addresses the likely reason for the implementation of such a massive domestic spy program, which is not about protecting us from terrorism, but about protecting corporate interests from us amidst increasing economic inequality, environmental collapse and social unrest.

Ending Hunger: Sustainable Development Goals After 2015

United Nations - Reducing the proportion of undernourished people by half until 2015 was one of the Millennium Development Goals that the international community set in 2000. It will not be reached: At least 870 million people worldwide – and one child in five – still go hungry; this in a world where we already produce enough food today to feed nine billion people in 2050. Further progress towards reaching this goal can be made in the remaining months, but we must ask ourselves what comes afterwards. The debate on the so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be reached by 2030, has already begun. On Wednesday, Sep. 25, heads of states and governments will meet in New York. Defeating hunger remains a priority. This is not simply a matter of providing everyone with enough food; crucial for the future of all human beings is how this should happen.

Solar Decathlon 2013: The Potential Of Green Homes

I've been to two Solar Decathlon's held on the mall in Washington, DC. It is always an inspiring event. Teams of students compete to build solar homes. It is always great to see what would be possible if the United States put its resources to this type of innovation rather than to war, militarism and the intelligence-security state, while subsidizing carbon and nuclear energy sources. The potential to transform to a carbon-free, nuclear-free energy economy is evident in these competitions. Ladies and gen­tle­men, start your photo­vol­ta­ics! When the green flag drops Sept. 23 on the Sol­ar Dec­ath­lon com­pet­i­tion, 20 teams con­sist­ing of stu­dents from 30 schools around the world will race to build the most en­ergy-ef­fi­cient, wa­ter-wise, af­ford­able and design-savvy house pos­sible.

How The US Is Enabling Syriastan

If any extra evidence was needed to shatter the myth of a "revolution" struggling for a future "democratic" Syria, the big news of the week cleared any remaining doubts. The hardcore jihadi gangs in Syria may number as much as 10,000 fighters; but they do account for arguably 90% of the heavy fighting, because they are the only ones with battleground experience (including Iraqis who fought the Americans and Chechens who fought the Russians). So for all practical purposes it's now a war between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and a bunch of jihadis. Of course this will NOT be explained by supine corporate media to Western public opinion. Now imagine these beheading, liver-devouring Sharia groupies willing to go to the Geneva II conference to negotiate a ceasefire with the Syrian government and a possible peace deal with the NATO-House of Saud axis. Obviously it's not going to happen - as Bandar Bush himself telegraphed Russian President Vladimir Putin in person in Moscow. Worse, from Washington's point of view, there's no way to justify why no meaningful negotiations can take place.

Scahill, Greenwald Investigating NSA Role in US ‘Assassination Program’

Jeremy Scahill, a contributor to The Nation magazine and the New York Times best-selling author of "Dirty Wars," said he will be working with Glenn Greenwald, the Rio-based journalist who has written stories about U.S. surveillance programs based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Though they refused to offer many details on the project, journalists Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald on Saturday night announced that they are now working together on joint investigation on how the U.S. National Security Agency has been involved in the wider overseas "assassination program" run by the Obama administration. As the Associated Press reports from Rio de Janeiro—where Greenwald and Scahill attended the South American premiere of Dirty Wars, a documentary film based on Scahill's book of the same name—the U.S. journalists "known for their investigations of the United States' government" have now "teamed up to report" on how the vast surveillance network of the NSA operates in conjunction with clandestine operations run by the U.S. military or CIA.

Show Love For Lynne Stewart, All Political Prisoners: Act Now!

It is not enough to merely observe that the imprisoned ‘people’s lawyer’ Lynne Stewart, has for four decades vigorously and unceasingly defended the voiceless, the downtrodden, and the targeted in this nation. The story of Lynne Stewart is one of growth, resilience, great love for ordinary struggling people, and sacrifice. Like the late great freedom fighter John Brown, Lynne Stewart transcended her color privilege and reached the liberating plateau of actualizing her, and indeed all of our, own humanity. In so doing, she incurred the formidable wrath of this war mongering, hypocritical, and massively unjust U.S. political / judicial system as carried out by its callous, sanctimonious blood sucking minions / systemic gatekeepers.
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