THE EARLY REVIEWS ARE NOT GLOWING, BUT CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O SWEARS SUNDAY WAS HIS FINEST PERFORMANCE "AND THE FINEST PERFORMANCE EVER SEEN BETTE DAVIS IN DARK VICTORY. I THINK BETTE AND I HAVE A LOT IN COMMON, ACTUALLY. AND I LOOK FORWARD TO STARRING IN ALL ABOUT BARACK AT A LATER DATE. OH, WHOM I KIDDING, I STAR IN IT EVERY DAY."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Cristina Gutierrez: We are hear to ask you to stop your government from destroying the aspirations of the people of the world for justice and freedom. We are hear not to ask you not to raise money for us not to commit solidarity with our people but we are here to ask you stop the military budget, to stop the wars and to demand that the money be spent on education, creating jobs, housing and health care of all in this country.
It was a large group -- especially considering that there were demonstrations all over California (Los Angeles and San Diego being only two others). The people were diverse -- in terms of race and ethnicity, economic classification and age. Among the speakers were Daniel Ellsberg.
Daniel Ellsberg: . . . 40 years ago, 41 years ago, in 1969, there was a group and a movement called the moratorium. And they called it the moratorium rather than call it a "general strike" because that seemed too inflamatory. But what it was was, like today, demonstrations all over the country being counted not just in one city. There was 75,000 in indeed in San Francisco, 100,000 in New York. But here were ten here, twenty there, a thousand there, all over the country adding up to 2 million. And the difference was that it was on a weekday. They took off for the day for this so it really was a general strike. They thought it had no effect. They were wrong, the people who ran that and the people who took part in it. Nixon had threatened the North, through Russia and China, that he was going to escalate on November 3, 1969. He was threatening and planning to use nuclear weapons. And, also, as well, to invade Laos and Cambodia, North Vietnam, hit the dikes, hit Hai Phong, All the things that he did do later in the invasion of North Vietnam.
Ellsberg called for more actions like the ones today across the US and a general strike to send the message to DC that we can't "afford one or two trillion dollars away from our infrastructure, our education and our health to kill people". KPFA's Evening News' report on Saturday featured some of A.N.S.W.E.R.'s Richard Becker's speech. Jonathan Nack (Indybay Media -- link has text and photos) reports on the San Francisco action, "The mobilzation was notable not only for its greater size, which organizers estimated at 5,000, but also for its diversity. The crowd was both younger and more multiracial."
Military veterans gave a powerful condemnation of the occupation, and two speakers with Military Families Speak Out and Iraq Veterans Against the War ripped their dog tags and badges off of their uniforms and threw them off the stage, in a symbol of their rejection of the immoral, unjust, and criminal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many of the protestors were youth and new to the antiwar movement, and are committed to rebuilding a broad movement to force the United States to withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq.
AP and NBC New York write that the Manhattan protest against the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars today only generated "a few dozen people." I call out the New York leadership in this entry Saturday (and I admit there and here that I was oh so wrong -- that entry was written when a friend and LA peace activist bet me the NYC protest would be miniscule). Good for those who demonstrated. Joan Wile is the author of Grandmothers Against the War. She and Edith Cresmer are members of the Granny Peace Brigade and they wrote the following regarding the NYC action:
Washington has always been a one-story town. And for the last few weeks -- months, really -- the story has been health care reform. It's all we've been talking about.
Which is probably one reason a rather important anniversary passed almost without notice: March 19.
Ring a bell? Probably not. But March 19 was the seventh anniversary of the Iraq invasion, which began our longest war.
Iraq election results being fixed - call for election recount
The leader of the Ahrar Freedom Party in Iraq today called for a nationwide recount of the results in the recent General Election held on 7 March.
Ayad Jamal Aldin said, "We have sound evidence of nationwide corruption in the election results presently being declared across Iraq. A large number of smaller parties are being deliberately squeezed out of the election result. Thousands of votes are being stolen and transferred to the larger parties, within the Malaki, Allawi and Hakim camps.
"Our Ahrar Party was polling fourth in a large number of governorates and
regions across Iraq and we have evidence that our, and other parties', votes are being excluded and not declared in the results so far.
"We have no confidence in the fairness and honesty of the election counting process. We call for international observers, including the United Nations and
US Vice President Joe Biden to intervene and support an independently
monitored recount of all the votes cast on 7th March. The people of Iraq are
being cheated out of a fair election result. No one has anything to fear from
a fairly conducted recount but if the present election results are allowed to
go unchallenged, Iraq will descend again into conflict rather than benefiting
from a free and fair electoral process."
For further information, contact:
Ahrar Media Bureau
Tel: +964 (0)790 157 4478 / +964 (0)790 157 4479 / +964 (0)771 275 2942
About Ayad Jamal Aldin:
Ayad Jamal Aldin is a cleric, best known for his consistent campaigning for a
new, secular Iraq. He first rose to prominence at the Nasiriyah conference in March 2003, shortly before the fall of Saddam, where he called for a state free
of religion, the turban and other theological symbols. In 2005, he was elected
as one of the 25 MPs on the Iraqi National List, but withdrew in 2009 after becoming disenchanted with Iyad Allawi's overtures to Iran. He wants complete independence from Iranian interference in Iraq. He now leads the Ahrar party
for the 2010 election to the Council of Representatives, to clean up corruption
and create a strong, secure and liberated Iraq for the future.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot "
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Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The nail biter"
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"Protesting the illegal wars"
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"The border to his heart"
"THIS JUST IN! HE CANNOT CROSS THE BORDER!"