I hope people will visit theCleveland 4 Solidarity website
to learn more about these four Occupy Cleveland activists, Brandon, Connor, Doug and Joshua "Skelly.” They were arrested on April 30th, 2012, accused of plotting a series of bombings, including an area bridge. However, the real story is that the FBI, working with an informant
, created the scheme, produced the explosives, and coerced these four into participating.
On October 7, 2013, Joshua (‘Skelly’) Stafford was convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison.
From Solidarity with Skelly
For the Cleveland 4 Support Committee and for all those who support political prisoners an important question remains: What are WE going to do? It is time to shine a very bright light on the methods used by FBI agents and prosecutors in an attempt to justify continued funding and personal advancement by entrapping the most vulnerable members of our society. We will continue to expose the use of paid informants with extensive criminal rap sheets as they are routinely misrepresented as accidental witnesses rather than amoral leaders highly motivated to create simulated crimes.
We will continue to support those incarcerated simply for others’ political and personal gain.
It's true that FBI entrapment and manufactured terrorism is a real problem in the United States, and I applaud Cleveland 4 Solidarity for their relentless work. I received a wonderful letter from Skelly this month, and I was so happy to hear from him. Letters really mean a lot to them, so please write!
There hasn't been much media attention given to the courtroom appearances of the Cleveland 4, but I did Storify tweets from Josh (Skelly's) trial on June 13. The inconsistencies in the evidence and informant's testimony alarm me.
When Cleveland 4 Solidarity puts out a call for support, please respond! Please write to the Cleveland 4. Their addresses as well as information about their cases are on the Cleveland 4 Solidarity DOT ORG
Until they are all free!
"Our love transcends 20-Foot high walls of cement, the memories we share outweigh 10,000 slamming metal doors, And I am not afraid"
- Connor Stevens
Special thanks to People Rise Up Radio for making this information available.
Skill share for activists
People Rise Up Radio presents some information for activists on how to spot infiltrators and keep yourself safe.
How To Spot a Spy
One way to neutralize potential activists is to get them into a group that does all the wrong things. Why?
1) So the message doesn’t get out
2) Time is wasted
3) to frustrate and discourage activists
4) And simply Nothing good or effective is accomplished
FBI and Police Informers and Infiltrators will infest any group, but they have also been known to establish phony activist organizations themselves.
Their primary purpose is to prevent an effective movement for social, environmental or economic justice from developing.
Agents come in small, medium or large and be of any ethnic background. They can be male or female.
The actual size of the group or movement being infiltrated is irrelevant. It’s the idea behind a movement and its potential for increasing in size and impact which attracts spies and saboteurs.
These are some tactics agents use to slow things down, foul things up, destroy a movement and keep tabs on activists.
One tactic is to destroy a group outright. Another tactic is to manipulate from within. For example, an agent may tell an activist,
"You’re dividing the movement."
Because, this invites guilty feelings. Guilt is an especially potent control mechanism when relations have been established through dedication to a cause.
When an agent criticizes an activist in such a manner, they are not only questioning their dedication to the cause, but making the activist feel responsible for any issues that threaten the cause.
An agent might tell an activist:
"You’re a leader!"
This is designed to enhance the activist’s self-esteem and creates a sense of shared perspective. Agents often benefit from empowering any feelings of righteousness an activist may develop from making altruistic contributions.
"Malignant pseudo-identification" is the process where an agent consciously imitates certain behaviors or mannerisms to nurture the activist’s identification with the agent, thus increasing the activist’s vulnerability to exploitation.
If an agent successfully creates this sense of kinship with an activist, the activist may be more likely to commit an illegal act in service to their new found “friend”.
Agents may also employ tearfulness, sadness, longing, fear, remorse, and guilt, to induce empathy, with the aim of manipulating the good natured activist.
It may be difficult to differentiate such constructed dramas from the real thing; however, it's possible for activists to identify a fraud by employing two simple tactics.
First, remain cool and detached. Second observe. In the face of such a cool response, an agent will often quickly readjust. This will appear to be an abrupt about-face in context to the emotional drama the agent had just played out. Knowing the activists cannot be “emotionally hooked”, the agent will usually move on to other activists in short order.
"Follow the leader" is another tactic an agent may employ.
A good agent will want to meet as often as possible. He or she will talk a lot and say little. One can expect an onslaught of long, unresolved discussions.
Some agents take on a pushy, arrogant, or defensive manner in discussions, both online and in person. An agent employs these techniques in order to disrupt the agenda, or side-track the discussion. And agent will often interrupt a discussion repeatedly or feign ignorance - causing others to constantly repeat themselves or waste time explaining a very simple point others quickly understand. An agent may also make an unfounded accusation against a person.
Calling someone a racist, for example. This tactic is used to discredit a person in the eyes of other group members and in turn, derails the discussion, while invalidating whatever point was being made.
Some saboteurs pretend to be activists. She or he will ....
1) Write encyclopedic flyers or website pages, to deter potential activists from participating by making the issue too complex and boring to ignite taking action.
2) Print flyers in English only, disenfranchising communities whose first language is not English.
3) suggest demonstrations be held in places where no one cares about the issue or where it will not be seen by many people.
4) Confuse issues. Blurring the lines between issues and broadening the scope beyond reason. 5) Make the wrong demands. As in, making demands that are unrelated or far reaching, unprincipled according to group, demands ineffectual or serving no strategic purpose, making too many demands in order to obscure the focus on the issue and suggesting impossible or improbable demands which may make the effort appear unreasonable.
6) Compromise the goal. Derail a vital tactic, discredit movement, marginalize a goal by asserting it is hypocritical within context of the group’s broader efforts, break with the movement’s stated principles, or broker a compromise on behalf of the movement which falls well short of the groups stated goal and may limit the group’s ability to take further action. 7) Have endless discussions that waste everyone’s time, by turning the topic at hand into philosophical diatribes or adding lengthy personal stories.
The agent may engage in endless discussions and accompany them with drinking, pot smoking or make amusement to slow down the group’s work. Complaints of needing social time together and taking things too seriously, while complex issues or plans are being discussed.
1) Try to establish "leaders" to set them up for a fall in order to stop the movement.
2) Suggest doing foolish, illegal things that will get the activists in trouble and make the movement look bad in the eyes of the public.
3) Will taunt the authorities above and beyond the context of the scene on the ground and encouraging others to follow suit.
4) Attempt to make the activists compromise their values, which they may use against an activist at a later date, to discredit or invalidate anything of value they contribute.
5) Instigate violence.
Provocateurs will attempt to escalate a situation by agitating to the point of physical confrontation with other activists or bystanders. Some will stage an act of vandalism from within a crowd as a means to trigger violent responses from others or the police; which is particularly effective when among people who are ill-prepared to deal with such violence.
Causing violence to occur not only serves to smear the movement in the press, but can also deter future participation by current members and the public at large. Causing this type of chaos, fear and confusion can also aid agents in concealing their identity when fleeing the scene after their goal is accomplished.
1) Want everyone to sign up, sign in and sign everything. - record keeping, evidence and contact info for tracing/tracking?
2) Ask a lot of questions for data gathering on individuals. Police compile this information and keep it on hand at protests to identify activists and make targeted arrests.
3) Want to know which events activists are planning to attend, to further the shared perspective facade, continue surveillance efforts and expand databases.
4) Attempt to make the activist defensive in order to identify beliefs, goals and level of commitment. Playing the "contrarian" or questioning as if they don't understand or playing stupid, but arguing nonetheless.m Recruiting
Legitimate activists do not subject people to hours of persuasive dialog. Their actions, beliefs and goals speak for themselves.
Groups that DO recruit are missionaries, military, and fake political parties or movements set up by agents.
ALWAYS assume that you are under surveillance (on the ground and online) -and that there are infiltrators/agents amongst/within your group.
At this point, if you are NOT under surveillance and being infiltrated, then agents are not doing their job and you are not a very effective activist or group! Scare Tactics
They use them.
Such tactics include slander, defamation, threats, getting close to disaffected or minimally committed fellow activists to persuade them to turn against the movement and give false testimony against their former comrades.
They will plant illegal substances on the activist and set up an arrest; they will plant false information and set up "exposure," they will send incriminating communications in the name of an activist; and more; they will do whatever society will allow. - And NOT allow!
Putting activists in a sticky legal situation, can lead to cooperation with the police state and this tactic is especially effective when an activists has developed a sense of disconnection, typically heightened by a bond with an agent.
If an agent is "exposed," he or she will be transferred or replaced. Communications between trusted activist groups across the country can be very useful for this reason.
COINTELPRO is still in operation today under a different code name; although, it's no longer placed on paper where it can be discovered through the freedom of information act.
The FBI counterintelligence program’s stated purpose is to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, and otherwise neutralize individuals who the FBI categorizes as being opposed to “National Interests”.
As Noam Chomsky has correctly pointed out, “A slight breach in orthodoxy is sufficient to terrify authoritarian ideologues, who see in it the collapse of the system of thought control, that has been so effective in depoliticizing American Society.”
This in no way covers all the means agents use to sabotage the lives of sincere and dedicated activists or movements.
Many of these activities may appear innocuous enough and that is true, as networking is a vital part of activism. This isn’t a blueprint for paranoia, but rather tools vigilance.
train your brain, create a habit, make mental notes, remain vigilant, small incidents may add up to patterns of behavior over time.
Speak with trusted comrades to see if they have also noticed these types of behaviors.
Trust your gut, never do anything you’re not completely comfortable with. The best way to create security is to build community!
How To Spot A Spy by People Rise Up Radio
is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence
COINTELPRO - Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of internet forums.
There are several techniques used for control and manipulation of an internet forum. Please keep in mind that when we say, “internet forums” it is just an example. These techniques can also be applied to other social media platforms such as Facebook or Google Groups. We will go over each technique, while showing how only a minimal number of operatives are needed to drive the conversation and even eventually, gain control of forums.
- 'FORUM SLIDING'
Forum sliding is a method where posts are kept out of the view or attention of the forum users. If an agent perceives a post to be particularly effective or otherwise critical in nature, it can be quickly removed from public view by 'forum sliding.' In this technique, a number of unrelated posts are added and other off topic threads will also become active, causing the critical post to be buried. Another element an agent may employ is the use of fake accounts to ensure post become buried and to mask an agents tracks, making it appear as if people are interested in the old and/or off-topic posts. This brings the unrelated postings to the top of the forum list, while the critical posting 'slides' down the page and quickly out of public view. Ultimately, if this technique is successfully employed, the critical info or discussion will not be seen or engaged in.
- 'CONSENSUS CRACKING'
Consensus cracking is an highly effective method where an agent will try and introduce easily debunked arguments into a developing narrative related to a group’s efforts surrounding an issue or objective. It can take a fair amount of time to employ a good crack, depending on the vigilance and willingness of the group’s members’ to call bullshit and set the record straight with the facts. To develop a consensus crack, an agent will use their account to create a post that looks legitimate and speaks to a central, critical issue, but has a VERY WEAK PREMISE at its core, neglecting to provide any substantive proof to back the premise of the post. Once this is done, under other accounts they control, otherwise known as “sock-puppets,” a very strong position in favor is slowly introduced..... as postings and replies are added, the “evidence” or disinformation is slowly seeded in. Once many members of the group appear to have reached consensus on this vulnerable premise, then this disinformation might spread accordingly where it can be debunked elsewhere, leaving the overarching issue open to invalidation. In cases where the forum members effectively counter the disinformation with actual facts, sourced by links, the agent might then 'abort' the consensus cracking by initiating a 'forum slide.'
- 'TOPIC DILUTION'
Topic dilution is not only effective in forum sliding, it is also very useful in keeping the forum readers on unrelated and non-productive issues. This is a critical and useful technique to cause a 'RESOURCE BURN.' By implementing this technique to distract and disrupt, the productivity of forum members can be effectively stopped. If a particularly effective topic dilution is employed, forum members will simply slip into a 'gossip mode' or a spiral of uninformed conjecture and opinion. This is a subtle form of “trolling,” that is less argumentative in nature. Agents also employ this technique in order to identify issues that may be used as a wedge later on to splinter the group.
- 'INFORMATION COLLECTION'
Information collection is a core objective of any good agent. This allows the agent to not only build profiles of group members, but also determine the psychological make up of members so future methods may be tailored to “hook” members based upon a members natural disposition. Agents often look for and create situations where a member will say something incriminating so they may use it against them at a later date, either in court or as a means to discredit the member in the eyes of the rest of the group. In this technique an agent may employ a casual 'I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours' posting tactic. For example, an agent may post “what is your weapon of choice? Mine is...” - collecting replies from group members will give the agent an estimate of the types of and numbers of weapons members may have at hand. Or an agent may ask “what is your favorite protest technique?” - gathering such replies gives an agent various methods that the group may utilize so they can be studied and effective methods counter-measures can be developed to stop them.
- 'ANGER TROLLING'
Statistically, there is always a percentage of the forum posters who are more inclined towards violence. To determine who these individuals are, agents will present an image to the forum to deliberately incite a strong psychological reaction, at which point, they can be effectively singled out for reverse IP location and possibly local enforcement tracking. Sometimes an agent will 'lead' a forum by replying to their own post exhibiting violent intention, adding they 'don’t care what the authorities think!' designed to inflame others. Showing no fear can be more effective in getting the more silent and self-disciplined members to slip and post their real intentions or reveal their violent tendencies. This can be used later to manipulate the member into committing illegal acts or in a court of law during prosecution.
- ‘BREAKING the BANHAMMER’
An agent may come into a forum adopting an anti-authoritarian, anarchist tone. This seems legitimate enough at first glance, but the agent will quickly use this this anti-authoritarian attitude towards the forum’s own moderating team in order to undermine the authority of and respect for the moderation team. An agent may use phrases such as, "You mean you're banning people? Aren't you about free speech" Etc. This is a technique presents the moderator or moderators with a catch-22; either ban the troublemaker and lend credence to the claim that the moderation team is hypocritical, or don't ban him or her and continue allowing the agent to complain about how the site's staff is hypocritical and push other items the group may be discussing off-topic.
- 'GAINING FULL CONTROL'
Agents will often be continually maneuvering for a forum moderator position. Once this position is obtained, the forum can then be effectively and quietly controlled by deleting unfavourable or vital posts and then agents can eventually steer the forum into complete failure and create a lack of interest among members to participate. Depending on the level of control an agent obtains, they can deliberately steer a forum into defeat by censoring postings, deleting memberships, flooding, and or accidentally taking the forum offline. This is the 'ultimate victory' as the forum is no longer active or useful in mobilizing, engaging or informing its members. By this method the forum can be quickly killed. However it‘s not always in the agent’s interest to kill a forum as it can be converted into a 'honey pot' of information and to misdirect newcomers. A compromised forum is also useful to an agent as a mechanism of control.
Remember, these techniques are only effective if the forum participants DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THEM. Please help make more of your fellow activists aware of these techniques and discuss strategies for how they may be combated communally, ideally, BEFORE they become an issue.
COINTELPRO - How Agents Disrupt Online Forums by People Rise Up Radio
is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence
This was published on Revolution News
and we are sharing it in solidarity with Jeremy Hammond. For Immediate Release.
Jeremy Hammond Courthouse Support Rally, this coming Thursday at 9:30am, Feb. 21st, Foley Sq. NYC. Statements will be given by the following.
Jason Hammond, Jeremy’s twin brother.
Alexa O’Brien, founder of the US Day of Rage
and exceptional journalist covering the Wikileaks Gitmo files and trial of Bradley Manning.
Heidi Boghosian, the Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild
Micheal Ratner, the President of the Center for Constitutional Rights
Andrew Blake, from the news agency RT
will be there to report on the days events.
Luke Rudkowski, from We Are Change
will be live streaming video.
We will be updating this page with video stream and links to reports from the rally and verdict of the hearing.
Everyone who is able to attend and show their support is encouraged. Related Articles Urgent Call to Action! Jeremy Hammond Courthouse Support Rally, 9:30am, Feb. 21st, Foley Sq. NYC. What Would We Know Without You, Jeremy Hammond?
Event page for Courthouse Support Rally https://www.facebook.com/events/567165369962801/
Get involved with the Jeremy Hammond Support Network FreeHammond.org
On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/supporthammond
The address to mail postcards to Jeremy is as follows:
Jeremy Hammond – #18729-424, Metropolitan Correctional Center, 150 Park Row , New York, New York, 10007
SOCIAL JUSTICE SPONSORED TEAM ACTIONS WITHIN THE CHURCH IN FEBRUARY
Sunday, February 17, 12:00n, First Church Library: Episode Five of “The Untouchables” from Frontline on PBS, examining why some Wall Street bankers were “too big to fail” after the financial crisis, despite the disastrous effects on lesser-class Americans. Screening is accompanied by Naked Pizza and discussion. Bring desserts or other goodies if you like. See www.pbs.org
for further details, looking under “Frontline”, then “The Untouchables”.
Saturday, February 23, Sanctuary, 8:30am – 5:30pm: Dr. Riki Ott offers a deep democracy training and strategic retreat. The morning consists of an overview of US history as a series of Supreme Court decisions that have reduced democracy in America, and in the afternoon she will share templates for municipal ordinances and resolutions to ban toxic chemicals, including Corexit, as part of a national political action. For information on a longer version of the same retreat at the Unitarian Fellowship of Fairhope, Alabama, see the webpage: https://www.facebook.com/events/406680989410145/?ref=3
by cutting and pasting this link. Dr. Ott was a victim of the Exxon-Valdez disaster in Alaska in 1989, which inspired her to write these books: Sound Truth and Corporate Myth$: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Dragonfly Sisters Press (2005), and republished in 2007 by Chelsea Green, and Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Chelsea Green. Her experiences with governmental collusion with the oil companies led her to leadership roles in the movement to undo the Supreme Court decision, “Citizens United”.
SOCIAL JUSTICE TEAM SUPPORTED ACTIONS OUTSIDE THE CHURCH IN FEBRUARY
February 14 (Valentine’s Day) ONE BILLION RISING, Ashe Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, 10:30am opening; 11:00am parade to Congo Square; 12:00noon – 2:00pm prayer, poetry and dance; 2:00pm return to Ashe with participation as desired in all events.
The Ashe center will be the site in New Orleans for One Billion Rising, which is a day when both women and men are encouraged “to walk out, dance, rise up, and demand an end to this violence.”
“The 1 billion number comes from the U.N.’s work that pretty much tells us that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be raped or abused in their lifetime,” Carol Bebelle, co-founder and executive director of the Ashe Cultural Center, explained. “It’s an epidemic. We will talk about violence in general and we will get to guns and violence, and we never get to this ever-present danger that women live in all across our planet.”
The free day-long event begins at 10:15 a.m. at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., where an 11 a.m., a march will lead the group to Congo Square. “At Congo Square, we’re going to do an observance that will be composed of prayer, poetry, and, of course, dance,” Bebelle said. “People will talk about the importance of being together and doing this.” At 2 p.m., marchers can return to the center, where the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies plans to establish a red tent, where women can gather to talk and share their stories.
“The red tents are the places where women, when they were on their menses, would have to go, so they wouldn’t be with the rest of the village,” she said. “It’s a place where healing and nurturing and woman things happen.”
The center also will live streaming, via YouTube, other One Billion Rising events taking place around the world.
REFLECTION BY ROBERT DESMARAIS, MODERATOR OF SOCIAL JUSTICE TEAM: SOCIAL JUSTICE RENEWAL IN NEW ORLEANS 2013 (Part One, February 13, 2013)
Carnival is again behind us, and gone for another year is all the ribald fantasied color we project for several weeks onto the dark and dangerous universe in which we live and move and have our being. Those who analyze Carnival logically, let them do so at their leisure, while the rest of us follow our bliss and dance to the rhythms of the sacred space and time that is New Orleans at Carnival.
Today Ash Wednesday, we now return to clock-time in geographical space without forgetting what we learned while the veil of time was briefly pulled aside in Carnival. Faithful to the tradition that only the Fool may speak truth to the King, we all briefly became fools, and if we understand the need to speak truth to power, we also realize it is a life-threatening practice. Assassination has become part of the American way of debate, so we risk our lives when we disagree with the powerful. But we must do it, whether we have courage or not. The heroes of the nation are not those who go to war, but those who speak honestly despite the dangers of doing so.
Of course, the US is not unique. Socrates was assassinated for corrupting the young, but in Athens at that time corruption of the young had nothing to do with man-boy pederasty. In fact, it was expected of mature Athenians that they take an adolescent as lover in order to initiate him into manhood. So Socrates was not assassinated for having sexual relations with the young men of Athens, but for corrupting their ideas about the Athenian state.
The threat to the power of the state was equally important in the assassination of Jesus Christ, who famously said that we should render to the state only what belongs to the state and to God what belongs to God. That reasonable statement was heresy in the Roman Empire which taught that emperors were divine and that everything belonged to the state.
In modern times, Franz Jäggerstätter of Austria was assassinated by Hitler’s government for refusing to be drafted into the military. Franz knew nothing of the concentration camps, and he refused simply because he did not want to participate in the aggressive wars of conquest that began with the Nazi invasion of Poland. The Nazi invasion of Poland was justified on grounds similar to the US invasion of Iraq. Now, Franz was a motorcycle-riding lover of pleasure and music and would have made a superb New Orleanian, but he refused to obey his bishop, who told him he should go into the army. Franz even said that churches which did not resist might as well close their doors. Only two years ago, Pope Benedict beatified Franz, in effect declaring him a saint.
Assassination for silencing dissent has happened in the US, and government hit-men still work on the federal dole. Personally I do not believe any of the official stories given for the assassinations of so many progressive politicians in this country. Our political life today would be vastly different, had they not been removed from the scene, and I believe that was the conscious intention of the powers-that-be, who were in position to carry out these assassinations. If that seems outrageous, then I recommend the authors Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges for starters. After digesting them, Martin Luther King may be understood in all his power.
On their website, the King family states clearly they believe MLK was killed by a conspiracy, and the transcript of the 1999 Memphis trial which convinced them can be found by googling ‘’martin luther king trial transcript’’. This is a partial transcript, but the complete transcript of over 1200 pages can be downloaded at the end of the partial one. In it we read ‘’the FBI, the Memphis Police Department and others were involved in this conspiracy to murder Dr. King’’. This is the position of the King family.
Like Socrates, Jesus and Franz Jäggerstätter, MLK was killed by infuriated agents of power.
The list of victims is long in the US, and I am keeping a list and checking it twice, attempting to take notes about each victim. Now, of course, beginning with the National Defense Authorization Act of December, 2011, the list may become even longer and more inclusive. For 2013, I am committing myself to the exposure of all risks and all actions that limit justice and peace in New Orleans, in Louisiana, in the US and even in the world. I cannot do it all alone, so I hope others will help, but for me that is the only worthwhile mission of social-justice action. For me, all effective action flows from harmonizing our thoughts with reality and then choosing a goal based on our understanding.
Action without understanding is futile; understanding without action is suicidal.
In recent times, the Occupy Movement electrified the people and terrified the authorities, including our own beloved Mayor Mitch Landrieu, by exposing the autocratic reality of the financial and political elite. These are the same powers that President Dwight Eisenhower warned us about when he spoke of the ‘’military-industrial complex’’, though we realize now that the complex is much more vast than that, and it includes historical nobility, prominent bankers and others who were not mentioned by Eisenhower. Participants in the Bilderburg Group, the Council for Foreign Relations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and Bohemian Grove are of the elite that wish to rule the world.
As Meyer Rothschild (1744-1812) put it, ‘’Give me control of a nation’s money, and I care not who makes its laws’’. His numerous progeny by marriage or by lineage continue his philosophy, and in addition many others have adopted Meyer Rothschild’s principles, resulting in the Citizens United decision by the US Supreme Court, which was the immediate stimulus to the Occupy Movement’s famous cry, ‘’We are the 99%!’’ The Occupy Movement revealed the realities of class and power in the US and the world.
People may no longer be setting up tents in city parks, but the message of Occupy -- the distressing reality of the power of the ruling class -- continues to spread far and wide, like a former gospel that said, ‘’What you do to the least of my brothers you do also to me.’’ The lessons of the Occupy Movement have begun to sink in, and the frightened responses of city governments, police and Homeland Security only demonstrate how correct the lesson is.
In line with the analysis of the Occupy Movement, I intend to encourage and support all who work for peace and justice by empowering the 99%. Already there are many groups working locally and nationally with that mission. The mission is vast, and no one can even comprehend all the issues, but each person or group will focus on what is most relevant and engage others who are of like mind. We collaborate when possible, and we work independently when necessary. As the 99%, we do not have the money or the power that money guarantees, but at the same time we have no choice.
The Reverend King was convinced that the arc of the universe bent toward justice, though slowly.
ROBERT DESMARAIS of New Orleans
GULF COAST INDIGENOUS NATIONS PLAN SOLIDARITY EVENT ISLE DE JEAN CHARLES BAND OF BILOXI-CHITIMACHA-CHOCTAW AND GRAND CAILLOU-DULAC BAND OF BILOXI-CHITIMACHA-CHOCTAW HOST “IDLE NO MORE” EVENT IN NEW ORLEANS
When: Sunday, January 20th 11am – 3pm
Where: Pavilion #1, City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana RSVP on Facebook
Even as the Isle De Jean Charles Band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw and the Grand Caillou – Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw continue to deal with devastating land loss and economic disparity, after years of suffering from the effects of hurricanes and the BP Deepwater Drilling Disaster, the Louisiana indigenous tribes will support of the Canadian born indigenous movement, Idle No More, this Sunday, January 20.
The global Idle No More movement, “calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty which protects land and water,” according to the website.
The event, which will be held at Pavilion One in New Orleans City Park beginning at 11 am, will include a traditional round dance, prayer offerings and discussion concerning the environmental issues facing the Gulf Coast region.
“The INM movement is a wonderful way to share our concerns and learn from others how and what we can do to resolve our concerns,” explains Chief Albert P. Naquin, Traditional Chief, Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians.
Tribal member and Senior Public Relations – Media Liaison, Babs Bagwell, agrees, “We join with other Tribal Nations around the globe, indigenous people of the world, and the Attawapiskat First Nation, in recognizing that we are at a crossroads in the health of Mother Earth and her people. That if we do not insist on our most basic of human rights, the right to clean air and clean water then we too have to accept the consequences of being inactive.”
Chief Shirell Parfait-Dardar of The Grand Caillou-Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians adds, “Since the first oil platform in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana was deployed in 1947, the number of platforms now stands at more than 3700. Along with concerns for our water safety after the BP Oil Spill, we are one of the fastest disappearing landmasses in the United States due to the numerous channels that have been cut in our marshes for oil and gas exploration. The levee system that controls the Mississippi River, has long been keeping our marshes and lands from the necessary sediment that once built them and maintained their health.”
“Isle de Jean Charles now equates to a sliver of land, the trees and plants are dying, and our seafood’s are showing fearsome signs of being exposed to toxicity.” Grand Caillou-Dulac maintain more tribal lands but they too are fast disappearing and will soon be in the same position as Isle de Jean Charles. “Our people have been battered by numerous storms and it is getting increasingly difficult to maintain our tribal land, culture, and traditions. Being a tribe in the process of Federal Recognition with State Recognition, we are non-income producing tribes, leaving us to help our members with the help from outside sources.”
“Despite our best efforts, and lots of hard work, we still fall upon deaf ears. Like many other tribal communities, we are left in the gap without adequate protections. It is time for change. When Canada removed the protection from a vast amount of waterways the story seemed all too familiar and we had no other choice as the keepers of Mother Earth but to stand with our brothers and sisters. Toxic effects, from the harvesting of natural resources for energy has become an issue, not just for tribal nations and communities, but for the globe as a whole. It seems to be all too often forgotten and ignored that we are the first people of this nation. Who will be the lesser people next?” says, Bagwell.
Adding, “The time has come for all, to peacefully gather and pray, to find solutions and start taking action. To become, Idle No More.”
The Idle No More – Gulf Coast event is open to the public. Participants are encouraged to prepare for the weather; as well as, to bring seating and drinks, and request the prohibition of alcohol.
Donations of blankets and household goods will be accepted to be sent to the deeply impoverished Attawapiskat people.
For more information, interested parties can view the event and Idle No More Gulf Coast
page on Facebook, and the official Idle No More
Idle More Gulf Coast is proudly sponsored by The Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians, Grand Caillou-Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha, The Gulf Coast Peoples Convention
, and 28 Stones
. All People are welcome to attend, join in the discussion and share in the prayers. This is a non-alcoholic event. Pack a picnic and join us. Be prepared for any kind of weather. Let us show support for Chief Spence and our brothers and sisters everywhere.
We, the Indigenous peoples of the Gulf Coast, call upon all people to join us in honoring Indigenous sovereignty and the protection of air, land and water in solidarity and support of the grass roots movement, Idle No More.
In honor and recognition of Chief Theresa Spence and the Attawapiskat people, Idle No More – Gulf Coast invites you to attend an event set to be held on January 20, in City Park’s Pavillion number one, New Orleans, Louisiana, at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe and Ilse de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe can relate to the issues of our Attawapiskat brothers and sisters as we battle issues that directly affect our way of living – including land loss, loss of tribal sovereignty and industrial pollution. Our hearts go out to Chief Theresa in what are dire times for the people of Mother Earth.
This event will include an offering of prayers, round dance, presentations, and more, as we unite in one voice for all of our relations and in protection of our Mother Earth. We invite all indigenous people; musicians, artists and poets. Come, let our voices be heard, let us take action, let us be Idle No More!
In addition, we will be collecting blankets, monetary donations and household goods, which will be sent with respect to the Attawapiskat people. We believe that while Chief Spence denies herself on behalf of First Nations everywhere, it is our honor and responsibility to raise the voice and impoverished living conditions of our Attawapiskat relatives.
RSVP to Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/108932609283283/
Occupy The Stage is happy to share the following New Year's Message
. The new year has brought many new pressing issues. See below for info on:
1. Zoning Teach-In January 16th 2. Frenchmen Street Zoning
3. The "Clean Zone"
4. Call for Volunteers
5. Helpful Links
Zoning Teach-In January 16th
MACCNO will have teach-in on January 16th, 12pm at Kermit's. It will cover the basics of land use and zoning, including how they relate to the master plan and the permitting process, how to read a land use and zoning map, and basic terminology. There will be hand outs as well. Think of this as Land Use/Zoning 101. Our education on these issues is vital if we are to be a part of the decision-making process.
Frenchmen Street Zoning Tomorrow at 1:30pm, the City Planning Commission will be discussing the new venue proposed to go in at 516 Frenchmen Street. Whether or not you agree with Frenchmen street adding a large-scale live music venue, this meeting will be informational. MACCNO has taken no official position on this issue.
The "Clean Zone"
We have been alerted to some potential issues regarding the SuperBowl "Clean Zone." On Wednesday we will be discussing these. If you are unfamiliar with this temporary zoning, the current regulations are posted here.
Call for Volunteers
We need volunteers to help on many different offshoot committees. Each of the members of the Planning/Facilitation Committee have volunteered to be point people for each. We welcome any help on discovery and implementation around the following issues (non-comprehensive list):
-CZO and planning
-policing and enforcement
-community engagement (neighborhood associations, business associations)
-community engagement (outreach)
-venues as a category
-website and social media.
Above all, please spread the word and plan to attend the next MACCNO meeting this Wednesday, January 9th at noon at Kermit's Tremé Speakeasy.
HELPFUL LINKS MACCNO Official Site (under construction)
MACCNO Facebook Group and MACCNO Facebook Page (New Orleans Noise)
New Orleans Noise Website and Twitter Feed (keeping track of what people are saying) Aristocrats Facebook Community Page (NOLA live music advocate)
Music Is Everything We Do (a great compilation of useful tools)
Neighborhood Meetings Schedule
New Orleans City Council Schedule
City Planning Commission Meetings
Officials and their Contact Information
Zoning, Permits, and Licenses for Cultural Businesses Zoning Ordinance Draft Know your Zone
The North American Anarchist Studies Network 4th Annual Conference will take place in New Orleans from January 4-6, 2013. Check out the NAASN website
There are a number of panels that are related to the Solidarity Economy. The following may be of particular interest: Panel 7 (3:30 PM, Sat. Jan. 5, Zeitgeist)
Scott Crow, “Solidarity Not Charity: A Story of the Common Ground Collective in New Orleans” Workshop 3 (6:00 PM., Sat. Jan. 5, Zeitgeist)
Camille Daum-Lobko, “The Transition Towns Movement: A Path to Community/Local Empowerment, and Its Radical Implications” Panel 13 (2:00 PM , Sun. Jan. 6, Zeitgeist)
Eric Beck, “Beyond Coops and Currency Alternatives: Towards a Critical Anarchist Political Economy”
Jo Guldi, “Global Finance and the Rise of an International Squatter Culture, 1946-2012”
art by Ben Passmore
SOA-WHINSEC graduates are once again stealing the lives of innocent Hondurans, this time with the aid of equipment, funds and vetting by the U.S.military. Honduran soldier Josue Sierra, a 2011 graduate of WHINSEC has been charged with killing and covering up the May murder of fifteen year old Ebed Yanes. Further cover up was ordered by Lt. Col. Reynel Funes, also a graduate of the SOA.
Three years after SOA graduates toppled democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya, Tegucigalpa has become the murder capital of the world. Honduran police and military have made significant contributions, not to the prevention, but to the perpetration of such murders. Over the past 23 months, the deaths of 149 youth have been linked to Honduran security forces that are trained, vetted and equipped by the US military. U.S. agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency have also been connected to recent murders.
After 94 members of Congress signed a letter calling on the U.S. to stop military aid to Honduras, the Obama administration temporarily halted $50 million of military aid in August. This is a concrete victory because people like you took the time to ask. But the halt is temporary. Please take one more minute of your time to send a letter to White House, to your Senators and to your Representatives, asking them to stop all training and funding of Honduran security forces, and to ask President Obama to close the School of the Americas by Executive order
. We are also working with our partner groups to send an organizational sign-on letter
to White House aide Denis McDonough, to educate him about the reality in Honduras. HONDURAS ON THE HEART: REPORT BACK FROM SOA WATCH VISIT TO 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF COFADEH
(Committee of Family Members of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras)
Backyards are such convenient places. That's where I keep my compost pile, hang out my clothes, start plants in old sardine cans and step out in my old sweats to do my morning exercises. I can't imagine adorning my front yard with a similar display of drying underwear, rusted cans, rotting tomatoes and sagging hips.
Honduras is our back yard, so it seems. It's where we dump things and do things there that we never would with front-yard friends. We dump tax-evading fast food joints and cheap-labor-seeking maquilas there. We sprew the land with military bases, and DEA agents, offer rest stops to military commanders overthrowing democratically elected presidents. We vet soldiers and give them trucks to hunt down and shoot young teens who sneak out for dates.
Wait, that last part must be made up, right? Actually, no. A few days ago I found myself sitting in the Yanes family living room in Tegucigalpa, sipping coffee, and looking at family photos. Mostly of their teenaged son Ebed. A good kid who rarely ventured out alone from his gated community. But, being fifteen and in love, one night he snuck out on his motorcycle to see his girlfriend.
Upon return he encountered a road block where men with ski masks and automatic weapons stood by an imposing truck. Like most teens in this situation, he skirted the scary scene, dashing for home. Truck and soldiers took off after him and within minutes he was dead.
That tale wouldn't probably have gotten much mileage in a country that holds the world record for murders. One more dead delinquent. Except that his dad, Wilfredo, knew this wasn't the case, and became a driven man in his pursuit of truth. Risking his own life, he found witnesses who described soldiers shooting from the truck, collected the bullet shells, and secretly photographed the truck and soldiers in the same place his son had come across.
Pressing on, he discovered that the Ford 350 truck was one of dozens provided by the US military and that the bullets had come from guns given to troops that had been vetted by the US for respecting human rights. Specifically, the first bullets shot came from the gun of Honduran soldier Josue Sierra, a recent 2011 graduate of WHINSEC, the new name for the School of the Americas. The cover up was ordered by Lt. Col Reynel Funes, also a graduate of the SOA.
Ebed was just one of hundreds of young people have been killed since the 2009 coup against President Manuel Zelaya. In the past 23 months, 149 of them were killed at the hands of Honduran police themselves. Add to the mix the assassinations of over a hundred who have dared to resist the post-coup government: farmers, lawyers, journalists, LGBT activists, teachers and students The murder of four people returning to their remote village of Ahuas by boat might have been ignored had not villagers seen DEA agents firing.
One of those powerful bullets blasted through the hand of another young teen, Wilmer Morgan Lucas Walter. I had lunch with Wilmer and second mom, Mery Agurcia,one of the devoted staff of COFADEH, whose 30th year anniversary drew us to Honduras. When a fellow COFADEH staffer traveled to the village to investigate last May, she not only brought back notebooks of testimony, but Wilmer himself. He needed medical attention to save his hand, only available in the capital.
While we were having lunch with Wilmer, President Obama’s aide Denis McDonough was in town, sharing snacks with President Porfirio Lobo. Although McDonough did make a reference to the problems of human rights in the country, he said in the same breath that the US and Honduras have never had more robust relations.
McDonough did not meet with Wilfredo or Wilmer or any family members of victims of government repression, or more importantly, with victims linked to US complicity. He did, however, recently meet with a group of SOA Watch activists at the White House to hear their concerns about the School of the Americas. According to McDonough, the SOA was not a current day problem.
So, let’s remind McDonough what life looks like in a country where SOA graduates have helped to change the hopeful dreams of a new society for that of murder capital of the world. Remind him of the pain in the living room of the Yanes family, or in Wilmer’s hand. He will probably actually listen. Already the Obama administration is temporarily suspended $50 million in military aid to Honduras, thanks in great part to folks like yourself who pressured your member of congress to stop military funding to Honduras. Over 94 signed on. Now, please help make sure that not one more young life be taken, and ask that the US immediately stop ALL training and funding of Honduran security forces.
Last night I told my kids that this year we should decorate the front yard with Christmas lights. Maybe I'll change my mind. I think I’ll decorate the backyard, with lights of justice. Join me.
Click here to contact SOA Watch with any questions or concerns.
SOA Watch, PO Box 4566, Washington, DC 20017 To make a donation to support the movement, please visit SOAW.org/donate.
To make a tax deductible, year-end donation, please visit SOAW.org/educationalfund.