Monday, October 31, 2011

An act of courage by our @BiancaJagger Honduras 1981 Bearing witness makes a difference

I came across reports of an astonishing act of courage by human rights activist Bianca Jagger (@BiancaJagger and her colleagues, taking place in Honduras, in 1981. Here is her account of it, excerpted from her acceptance speech of the Right Livelihood Award in 2004:
In 1981, I travelled to Honduras with a US Congressional fact-finding mission. I visited a Salvadoran refugee camp in Honduran territory. During my visit, an armed death squad of about thirty-five men marched across the border from El Salvador, entered the refugee camp and rounded up about 40 refugees, tied their thumbs behind their backs, and proceeded to take them back to El Salvador, with the Honduran army's blessing.

The relief workers and the member’s of our delegation decided to chase after them. We had no weapons -- only cameras. This was a time when the Salvadorian army and its death squads were killing approximately 500 people per month. We knew what fate awaited the hostages. We ran behind them for about 20 minutes along a riverbed, accompanied by the captives' families: mothers, wives, and children. During the chase, we screamed ‘we will denounce these atrocities to the world’.

As we approached the border, the fear that they were going to execute the refugees and us became more real. Finally, we came within earshot. They turned, pointed their M-16's, and yelled, in Spanish: "these sons of bitches have caught up with us!" We screamed back “you will have to kill us all!" There was a long silence. For some unbeknownst reason – perhaps, I believed, God protected us - they let the refugees and us go.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How the 1% crashed the economy ~ @ReBuildDream @moveon

Rebuild the Dream
POWERED BY Civic Action

"How the 1% Crashed our economy"

Host a teach-in
The American Dream Movement is organizing teach-ins nationwide on November 9. We have a simple presentation and discussion anyone can lead about exactly how the 1% crashed our economy and what we can do about it. Can you sign up to lead a teach-in?

Dear Ray,
How did 1% of the population end up with 40% of the wealth? Why have middle class wages been stagnant while America has grown richer by the year? And, most importantly, what can we, the 99%, do about it?
These are important questions worth discussing. So we're organizing "How the 1% Crashed the Economy" teach-ins across the country on November 9th. In living rooms, libraries, and community centers nationwide, we'll dig into the roots of the inequality in our country—and what we can do together to fix it.
But there's no teach-in in Jamaica yet. Can you host one?

Yes, I can host a teach-in.

You don't need to be an expert—we've worked with top progressive economists to put together a simple presentation and discussion that anyone can lead, focused on exactly what Wall Street did to crash our economy. Can you volunteer?

Yes, I can lead a teach-in on Nov. 9.

It's surprisingly easy. All you need is a space where folks can gather (anywhere from your living room to the local library would be great), a computer screen to display the presentation, and willingness to guide the conversation.

After you sign up to host, we will set you up with a complete set of slides and materials, so you can use it "straight out of the box." But we also invite you to add your ideas and make it your own. For example, maybe you know important facts or trends about the local economy in your area that ought to be discussed.

And once you confirm your teach-in we'll invite other Rebuild the Dream members to attend. It's a great way to start the real conversations we so desperately need in our country. Click here if you can host in Jamaica on Nov. 9:
Thank you for being a part of, and believing in, this movement.
–Natalie, Van, Billy, Jim, Ian, Somer, and the rest of the Rebuild the Dream Innovation Fund team

Thursday, October 27, 2011

There's something happening here ~ @elizabethforma

Elizabeth Warren for Massachusetts

There's something happening here in Massachusetts.
I see it as I travel across our state, meeting hard-working men and women who know that the deck has been stacked against them for far too long, people who just want a fair shake again -- and want leaders in Washington who will fight for them.
Just take a look at this photo I took from the stage in Framingham Tuesday night -- a packed house and tons of enthusiasm for our campaign's first volunteer organizing meeting:
Farmingham volunteer organizing meeting
This is what a real grassroots campaign looks like: A campaign not accountable to Wall Street and its armies of corporate lobbyists, but to working families in Framingham, in Springfield, across the Commonwealth, and around the country who know that we can -- and must -- do better.
The early days of this campaign have been so inspiring, and I'm glad that you're a part of it. But we have so much work to do, so many powerful interests lining up against us, and we have to keep the momentum going.
Click here to share this inspiring photo with your friends on Facebook, or post it on Twitter. Show everyone you know the energy of our grassroots movement for the middle class -- and invite them to join us.
Together, we can make sure that working families in Massachusetts and across America have a chance to get ahead again. But to do it, we need to keep our grassroots campaign growing strong over the weeks and months ahead.
Thank you for being a part of this,

All content © 2011 Elizabeth for MA, All Rights Reserved
PO Box 960405
Boston, MA 02196
Paid for by Elizabeth for MA

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Police Brutality vs First Amendment #ows

GRAPHIC: Roots Action logo header

Occupy Oakland was dismantled by police in riot gear this morning.

GRAPHIC: Sign here button
Share this action on Twitter

Early this morning, I watched more than 500 riot police descend on the peaceful protestors of Occupy Oakland with tear gas, bean bag rounds and the booming Long Range Acoustic Device. There were dozens of arrests. And Oakland isn't alone. Occupy movements are under assault in many cities. Tolerating the violation of our First Amendment rights in one place endangers them everywhere else.

We must have a national movement to defend our First Amendment rights. Sign the petition.

Send the message to the mayor and police chief of Oakland and other cities that we have a right to free speech, to free assembly, and to petition our government for a redress of grievances.

These rights do not create themselves. We must defend them vigilantly and eternally.

Join us.

We're closing in on 20,000 signatures to this petition. Will you help us get to 30,000 by sharing it with your friends and family and sharing it on Facebook and Twitter?

(Photo courtesy JP. Dobrin Photography


Original message sent October 14th:

This is an emergency appeal. Spread it widely.

Our permit to occupy is called “The First Amendment.”

This morning, Occupy Wall Street protesters celebrated when New York authorities beat a last-minute retreat from clearing Liberty Plaza – as hundreds of labor and other activists rushed to defend the square.

But at the same time this morning, dozens of state troopers in riot gear cleared out Occupy Denver protests. In cities across the country, Occupy protesters have faced police violence and arrests.  Some occupations have been forcibly removed while others have stood their ground successfully.

The authorities say we don’t have the proper permits to occupy public spaces. Our permit to occupy is The First Amendment.

Quickly sign the following statement which will be delivered to mayors, police chiefs and major media across the country:
Our permit to occupy public squares and parks is in The First Amendment, which affirms “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

When people across the Middle East occupied public squares, leaders in Washington mostly cheered those protesters and warned Middle Eastern governments not to use force to clear them. Those other societies don’t have a First Amendment. Yet Washington affirmed the universal right to assembly and protest.

We do have a First Amendment. The force being used to clear nonviolent protesters from public squares in our country is unacceptable. It must stop.
Please sign the statement now. And forward this email.

And then view the powerful “I Am Not Moving” video that exposes Washington’s hypocrisy in applauding occupations in the Middle East, while force and violence are used against nonviolent protesters across our land.

Aimee, David, Jeff,
and the RootsAction team

P.S. Our small staff is supported by contributions from people like you; your donations are greatly appreciated.
Donate button
Facebook button
Twitter button

Michael Moore (our @MMFlint) tonight live for full hour on @PiersTonight at 9PM ET / 6 PM PT #ows

Tonight -- Michael Moore on Piers Morgan from New York City Discussing Occupy Wall Street

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Michael Moore will appear this evening for the full hour on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight to discuss the Occupy Wall Street movement in front of a live studio audience in New York City. Mike has asked CNN that the audience be comprised of those whose lives have been affected by the greed of the top 1%. Wall Street occupiers will also be present. Tune in at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT (replay 12:00 Midnight ET/9:00 PM PT and 3:00 AM ET/12:00 Midnight PT).


Join Mike's Mailing List | Follow Mike on Twitter | Join Mike's Facebook Group | Become Mike's MySpace Friend

Thursday, October 20, 2011

To help #OccupyDC ~ @janehamsher #occupy #ows

Jon, Ryan and I recently visited Occupy DC to ask the demonstrators and organizers what supplies and provisions they needed most. The response was eye-opening.
A cook named Calvin told us they had received an enormous donation of eggs, but despite having a grill, they can't afford enough propane to cook with. After speaking with a few other folks, we went out and bought some of the things on their list: propane tanks, tarps to keep things dry, a tent and some ice bags and coolers for perishables.
But it was nowhere near enough, so we wanted to see if we could all work together. We're starting an Occupy Supply fund to help demonstrators across the country purchase the supplies they need to stay on the streets for as long as possible - beginning with Occupy DC.
100% of your contributions to the Occupy Supply fund will be used to purchase and distribute the goods requested by the different occupations we visit as part of our coverage. Can you donate $20 or more to our Occupy Supply fund?
Donate $20 to our Occupy Supply fund to help us buy the supplies requested by Occupy DC: propane, tents, coolers and more.
Click here to see their list and donate:
The demonstrators and organizers on the ground know exactly what their occupations need, and if we really want to support them, it's our duty to listen carefully and make sure our work actually meets those needs. We have to ask "how can we help?" before we lend a hand.
Many well-intentioned groups have been sending provisions to occupations without first asking demonstrators what they need. As a result, protesters like Calvin are left with a lot of eggs but no means to cook them.
But we're also deeply disturbed by some of the exploitative fundraising we've seen from establishment groups, who are now asking for donations to "help take the fight to Wall Street and keep the pressure on." I'm not sure what that means, but I'm pretty sure it won't help demonstrators last outdoors through the coming winter months.
We want to do this right, and if this works, we'll do it for all the occupations that FDL's Kevin Gosztola will be visiting as part of his premier coverage of the movement. It's our way of making a positive contribution to the movement to make sure their needs are met so they can stay out there as long as possible.
Check out Occupy DC's wish list and donate $20 or more to our Occupy Supply fund. Help us keep these historic protests going well into winter - and beyond.
I'm really excited to see how this goes. Thanks in advance for your help.
In solidarity,
Jane Hamsher
Founder & Publisher,

Firedoglake's community of 350,000 activists is supported by small donations from people like you.
Can you chip in to keep us strong? Click here to contribute.

#occupywallstreet bumper stickers #ows

One of the most powerful things about the Occupy Wall Street movement is that it's leaderless. No one person or organization controls it, drives it or can take credit for the movement that's continuing to build everyday. Most importantly, that also means no one person or organization can stop it.

That's why big corporations and their right-wing allies are freaking out. They're scared of the movement that's sweeping the country because they know it's real. It's organic. And it has the power to win because it's clear we're not going away until change happens to improve the lives of the 99%.

Here at DFA, we know that it's not our job to try to take over this movement or take credit for its work. We're here to help grow and support the work that people across the country are doing organically. So, when thousands of DFA members started writing in to ask us to make "We are the 99 percent" bumper stickers so they could show their support, we knew we had to do it.

Get your FREE "We are the 99 percent" bumper sticker right now.

You can put these stickers wherever you want to show your support for this incredible movement -- on your car, in your window, on your laptop...

Whether you're in a city with a occupation or, better yet, in an area where there isn't one -- you can use our stickers to show people everywhere that this is a movement with huge national support. We can show them exactly what the 99 percent looks like.

So, sign up to get your free sticker right now, or get a pack of 10 for $10.

Help support and grow the occupation -- Get a free "We are the 99 percent" sticker today.

Thank you for everything you do.


Charles Chamberlain, Political Director
Democracy for America

Democracy for America relies on you and the people-power of more than one million members to fund the grassroots organizing and training that delivers progressive change on the issues that matter. Please Contribute Today and support our mission.
Paid for by Democracy for America, and not authorized by any candidate. Contributions to Democracy for America are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.