Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Palestinians Are Forcing the World to See Their Humanity

Published on Portside (https://portside.org/)

Palestinians Are Forcing the World to See Their Humanity

Phyllis Bennis
May 16, 2018
In These Times

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We watch a split screen. On one side: celebrations of the new U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem. The president's daughter, son-in-law, cabinet officials, Congress members, all smiling, proud. The U.S. ambassador, longtime settlement financier David Friedman, joins Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, his family, cabinet officials, Knesset members—all waiting for President Trump to join their festivities.

  There is little question that the U.S. decision to schedule the embassy opening for May 14 was designed to be a major provocation.

  The other screen: solemn faces, tears, teenagers splayed across makeshift stretchers carried by other teenagers to waiting ambulances. Tear gas so thick one can't see through it even on a television or computer screen. Sharpshooters, with live fire coming so fast that casualty counters can't keep up. It's 38 dead—just in one day. No, it's 40. And then it turns out it's nearly 60. Another 1,500 injured, no it's more than 2,000 already. Twenty-four hours later it turns out to be more than 2,400. Not a single Israeli has been killed—the dead are all Palestinians. The killers, the maimers, the shooters, the gassers, are all Israeli soldiers.

  And Jared Kushner says that the Palestinian protesters, whom he defines as “those who provoke violence,” are “part of the problem, not part of the solution.”

  But the split screen is an illusion: There is only one screen, framing both the embassy carnival and the Gaza massacre. The same screen includes Netanyahu and Trump, as well as people like Sheldon Adelson and the rest of their joint backers across the United States. And the same screen includes Palestinians. Some appear as they are killed in unprecedented numbers, shot by Israeli sharpshooters who claim their commanders approve every bullet's target. And the others, the living, continue to remind the world that they are here. They are human. They are a nation, and they have human rights.
Some of the embassy backers, like the evangelical Christian Zionists John Hagee and Robert Jeffress who offered prayers and praise of Israel and racist hatred towards Palestinians, claim to speak in the word of God. They celebrate U.S. collaboration with the Israeli government to the tune of 3.8 billion American tax dollars that Washington sends directly to the Israeli military every year.

  Trump says the United States will always be a friend to Israel “and” support a lasting peace, only one of many such lies. The Trump administration’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is about reminding the world that Israel is the strategic ally of the United States, and that Palestinians are not. This U.S. maneuver is not about protecting Jews: This is about Israel's claim to the land of the Palestinians. Israel’s mass killing of Palestinian protesters in Gaza is part of that message: Palestinian land belongs to Israel, and Palestinian lives don't matter.

  There is little question that the U.S. decision to schedule the embassy opening for May 14 was designed to be a major provocation. Of course, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and moving the embassy to Jerusalem in violation of international law and a host of UN Security Council resolutions, constituted major acts of aggression to begin with. Trump said the festivities were timed to celebrate Israel's 70th birthday—citing the declaration of the state on May 14, 1948. But Israelis' own celebration was based on the Hebrew lunar calendar, which placed the anniversary back in April. The United States chose May 14 because the day after is the Palestinians' annual commemoration of the Nakba: the catastrophe of dispossession from their land, the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes, and Israel's continuing denial of those Palestinians and their descendants to exercise their internationally guaranteed right to return to their homes. And Nakba Day, as it is widely known, was to be the culmination of the Great March of Return.

  But plans for the Gaza protests were underway before the embassy opening was announced. Palestinians were continuing to protest the devastation of their lives in Gaza caused by Israeli wars against the impoverished, crowded strip of land. They were protesting the 11-year-old siege that has kept 2 million Gazans locked into an open-air prison, denied food, clean water, electricity and contact with the outside world, as well as air, the right to breathe, to travel, to leave and to return. Their demands started with the right to return, guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions and specifically guaranteed to Palestinians by UN resolution 194. So the protests on Monday were not primarily about the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

  Now, among the thousands of Palestinian casualties, among the scores of Palestinians dead, have been many children. They were shot by Israeli sharpshooters, whose targets were approved by Israeli commanders. Israeli Brigadier General Zvika Fogel defended the practice. In a radio interview last Saturday, he was asked specifically about the killing of children, and answered that “anyone who could be a future threat to the border of the State of Israel and its residents, should bear a price for that violation.” The interviewer says, “Then his punishment is death?” And the general responds, “His punishment is death.”

  It is a familiar refrain. In another settler-colony, a couple of hundred years earlier, another high-ranking military officer, Col. John Chivington, commanded his Colorado militia to attack Chief Black Kettle's Cheyenne encampment at Sand Creek. It was November 29, 1864, in the middle of the Indian Wars raging against indigenous people across the United States. Chivington ordered his soldiers to attack the families camped in the pre-dawn morning. Some soldiers resisted, saying that it would violate the military's promise of protection to the peaceful village. Chivington, a Methodist minister, was having none of it. “I have come to kill Indians, and believe it is right and honorable to use any means under God's heaven to kill Indians. … Kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice,” he said. An estimated 200 Cheyenne, most of them women and children, were killed in the Sand Creek Massacre.

   The Gaza massacre is a war crime. And the United States is complicit alongside Israel. U.S. funding of the Israeli military, U.S. protection of Israel in the UN so that Israeli military and political leaders are never held accountable in the International Criminal Court, U.S. provision of its own most advanced weapons systems to Israel—all of these actions make the United States a partner in crime and responsible for the slaughter of children, teenagers, women and men, journalists and medics.
Challenging that U.S. support, demanding accountability for both Israeli and U.S. officials, remains a critical task, however distant its completion. People in the United States should be demanding an end to U.S. aid to Israel, petitions to congress, vigils outside the White House, sit-ins at the offices of Congress members determined to back Israel's most extreme violations of human rights. All are needed, but none are sufficient. The legacy of Sand Creek, the legacy of Gaza, remain the legacies of massacres. It remains our obligation to respond.

Phyllis Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. Her most recent book is Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror: A Primer (Interlink, 2015).

Reprinted with permission from In These Times. All rights reserved.

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Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs



I Live in Gaza and I Want You to Know Why We’re Protesting

I Live in Gaza and I Want You to Know Why We’re Protesting
SPOTLIGHT, 21 May 2018
Intimaa Alsdudi | Think Progress – TRANSCEND Media Service

The international media keeps warping our demands for their own purposes.
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A Palestinian woman documents the situation at the border fence with Israel as mass demonstrations continue on May 14, 2018 in Gaza City.
(CREDIT: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
18 May 2018 –  Zaheyya, 70 years old and tired after a long walk from Saladin Road to the “no-go” zone, looked among the huge crowd of protesters for a place to rest as she carried a Palestinian flag and her embroidered bag over her shoulder.
When I approached Zaheyya on Monday and asked if I could interview her to find out why she is participating in the Great Return March in spite of her age and sickness, she replied, “Shame on you, for asking me this question! I will come every day until U.N. Resolution 194 is implemented.”

The resolution Zaheyya recalled was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1948, and it called for the return of all Palestinian refugees to their lands. It was never adopted by the U.N. Security Council, and so it was never enforced. But Palestinians have not forgotten.
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Two boys hold a sign calling for U.N. Resolution 194. A picture of Palestinian journalist Yasser Murtaja, killed on April 6, 2018, is in the background.
(Photo courtesy of Intimaa Alsdudi)

  “I am a refugee from Huliqat village that was ethnically cleansed in 1948 by the hands of the Haganah [the Zionist paramilitary organization] and I have the right to go back,” said Zaheyya. “This is our day to show Israel that the old will die, but the young will never forget… Yes, I will join my people and shout with all my strength, move on people, go back to your homeland, the land is waiting for you.”

  It was inspiring, but then Zaheyya started shouting something else. “Tear gas, gas, gas! Run people, run!”

   Tear gas cans began rolling between us and the crowds. Everyone ran from the area, while Israeli snipers on top of the hills and watchtowers started shooting randomly at the people protesting.  At one point, I lost sight of my mom. I could not see her, because there was dark smoke everywhere. Do you know what that feels like? To not know if your mother is okay as snipers are shooting at you and everyone around you?

  It took me half an hour to find her again — when the air cleared out from the tear gas bombs. After we did, my mom, as always, hugged me. “Calm down. I am okay,” she said. We started laughing and cursing the snipers.

  Monday was hard, and it was heartbreaking. After a long day, I found out that my brother Mustafa, who is 29 years old, was shot. He was lucky; the bullet that penetrated his leg was not explosive.

  At least 62 people were killed that day, and nearly 3,200 wounded, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza. Those injured included journalists, medics, and dozens of women.

   Since then, all of the victims have been painted in the international media as martyrs for Hamas. All the protesters – me, my family, Zaheyya, thousands of others like us – have had our demands warped and our voices silenced by others for political purposes.
So let me be clear with you. Gaza is the biggest open-air prison on earth. Nearly two million people are denied the basic freedom of movement. Ninety-seven percent of the water here is undrinkable. The unemployment rate is 44 percent.

  We have said over and over again that the right of return is the solution to all of our miserable problems. That is why we protested on Monday. That is why we have been protesting since March 30. Two-thirds of Palestinians in Gaza are refugees from lands stolen by Israel in 1948.
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(Photo courtesy of Intimaa Alsdudi)

  The Great Return March is the first time in my life that I have seen a huge number of people uniting and calling for right of return. It is the decision of ordinary Palestinians in Gaza, and it is the call for everyone who is concerned about humanity. There is only one flag that has been rising up in the marches, carried by kids, the elderly, journalists, nurses, doctors, and teachers. It is Palestine’s.

  Issam, a 15 year-old boy from Khan-Younis, was injured with a tear gas canister that was dropped on his head on Monday. He rejoined the march the next day, while his head was still bandaged.

  Asked whether he is already healed or still in pain he replied, “I am in pain, but I cannot leave my friends alone today, and we will fly our kites. We spent last night preparing it. We wrote on it: ‘Palestine, we are coming back.’” These are the kites that children fly near the buffer zone, the ones that have been deemed strategic threats by Israel and used as excuses to shoot children.

  Last week, my 11-year-old brother Mohammed decided to take his bird to set him free at the buffer zone. He wanted his bird to cross the fence, even when he couldn’t.
___________________________________________
Intimaa Alsdudi is a Palestinian freelance researcher based in Gaza, interested in documenting the oral history of the 1948 Nakba.


Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-
323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs



Scourging Yemen

Scourging Yemen
by Kathy Kelly
May 22, 2018


On May 10, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia informed the UN Security Council and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that Saudi Air Defenses intercepted two Houthi ballistic missiles launched from inside Yemeni territory targeting densely populated civilian areas in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. No one was killed, but an earlier attack, on March 26, 2018, killed one Egyptian worker in Riyadh and an April 28 attack killed a Saudi man.
Unlike the unnumbered victims of the Saudis’ own ongoing bombardment of Yemen, these two precious, irreplaceable lives are easy to document and count. Death tolls have become notoriously difficult to count accurately in Yemen. Three years of U.S.-supported blockades and bombardments have plunged the country into immiseration and chaos.
In their May 10th request, the Saudis asked the UN to implement “all relevant Security Council resolutions in order to prevent the smuggling of additional weapons to the Houthis, and to hold violators of the arms embargo accountable.” The letter accuses Iran of furnishing the Houthi militias with stockpiles of ballistic missiles, UAVs and sea mines. The Saudis’ letter omits mention of massive U.S. weapons exports to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Security Council resolutions invoked by the Saudis name the Houthis as a warring party in Yemen and call for an embargo, so the Houthis can’t acquire more weapons. But these Resolutions don’t name the Saudis as a warring party in Yemen, even though Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has, since March 2015, orchestrated Saudi involvement in the war, using billions of dollars of weapons sold to the Saudis and the UAE by the U.S. and the UK.
The Saudis have an undeniable right to call on the UN to work toward preventing the Houthis from acquiring ballistic weapons that could be fired into Saudi Arabia, but the air, sea and water blockade now imposed on Yemen brutally and lethally punishes children who have no capacity whatsoever to affect Houthi policies. What’s more, the U.S. military, through midair refueling of Saudi and Emirati warplanes, is directly involved in devastating barrages of airstrikes while the UN Security Council essentially pays no heed.
As Yemeni civilians’ lives become increasingly desperate, they become increasingly isolated, their suffering made invisible by a near-total lack of Western media interest or attention. No commercial flights are allowed into the Sana’a airport, so media teams and human rights documentarians can’t enter the areas of Yemen most afflicted by airstrikes. The World Food Program (WFP) organizes a weekly flight into Sana’a, but the WFP must vet passengers with the Saudi government. Nevertheless, groups working in Yemen, including Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Save the Children, Oxfam, and various UN agencies do their best to report about consequences of the Saudi-Emirati led coalition’s blockade and airstrikes.
On May 18th, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) issued a report about airstrikes against the Saada governorate which notes that “in the past three years, the coalition has carried out 16,749 air raids in Yemen, i.e. an average of 15 a day. Almost a third of the raids have hit non-military sites.”
Earlier in May, MSF responded to a series of Saudi-Emirati coalition led airstrikes on May 7th which struck a busy street in the heart of Sana’a, killing six people and injuring at least 72. 
“Civilians, including children, were killed and maimed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said João Martins, MSF head of mission in Yemen. “No-one should live in fear of being bombed while going about their daily life; yet again we are seeing civilian victims of airstrikes fighting for their lives in hospitals.”
Lacking access to food, clean water, medicine and fuel, over 400,000 Yemeni children are, according to Save the Children, at imminent risk of starvation. “Most of them will never see a health clinic or receive treatment,” says Kevin Watkins, the organization’s UK Director. “Many of those who survive will be affected by stunting and poor health for the rest of their lives.” Watkins says the Saudi-UAE led coalition is using economic strangulation as a weapon of war, “targeting jobs, infrastructure, food markets and the provision of basic services.”
On March 22, 2018, Amnesty International called for an end to the flow of arms to the Saudi-led coalition attacking Yemen. “There is extensive evidence that irresponsible arms flows to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition have resulted in enormous harm to Yemeni civilians,” their statement says. “But this has not deterred the USA, the UK and other states, including France, Spain and Italy, from continuing transfers of billions of dollars’ worth of such arms.”
The UN Charter begins with a commitment to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. The UN Security Council has miserably failed the Yemeni people by allowing the scourge of war to worsen, year by year. By approving biased resolutions that neglect to even name the most well-funded and sophisticated warring parties in Yemen -- Saudi Arabia; the United Arab Emirates; the United States -- the Security Council promotes the intensification of brutal, apocalyptic war and enables western war profiteers to benefit from billions of dollars in weapon sales. Weapon manufacturers such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Boeing then pressure governments to continue selling weapons to two of their top customers, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Earnest, honest and practical steps to stop the war are urgently needed. The U.N. must abandon its biased role in the Yemen conflict, so it can broker a peace in which the Houthi minority can retain some dignity and representation in majority-Sunni Yemen, which even before the Houthi uprising lacked any legitimate elected leader. The Houthis must be given an option to lay down arms without landing in any of the clandestine prisons operated by the UAE in Yemen, reported to be little more than torture camps. Even more urgent, the violence and economic strangulation by foreign invaders must cease.
At the very least, citizens in countries supplying weapons to the Saudi-Emirati coalition must demand their legislators forbid all future sales. The time for determined action is running out in the U.S. as the State Department is already taking preliminary steps toward a massive, multibillion-dollar sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The package is said to include tens of thousands of precision-guided munitions from Raytheon.
Yemeni civilians, especially children, pose no threat whatsoever to the U.S. Yet, U.S. support for airstrikes, blockades and the chaos inevitably caused by prolonged war threatens Yemeni civilians, especially vulnerable children. They have committed no crime but are being punished with death.
cartoon: S. Reynolds (CC-BY-SA 4.0)

Kathy Kelly (
kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org).

 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Pentagon is seeking money for a new nuclear weapon. Congress should be skeptical.



The Pentagon is seeking money for a new nuclear weapon. Congress should be skeptical.
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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. (Alex Brandon/AP)

By Walter Pincus May 18

Walter Pincus is a former Washington Post reporter and columnist covering national security issues.
Top Pentagon officials are telling some pretty tall tales in seeking congressional support for a new, low-yield, nuclear warhead to put on a long-range, submarine-launched ballistic missile.
Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, gave the most unusual rationale when he testified on March 20 before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The stated purpose of this new weapon is to deter the Russians from using any of their low-yield nuclear weapons — something Russian President Vladimir Putin has often threatened to do if he ever found himself being overwhelmed by NATO conventional forces, presumably in Western Europe.
The United States and its NATO allies already have about 200 low-yield nuclear bombs deployed in Europe. But Hyten and Pentagon officials say an additional weapon is needed to deter Putin’s first use of his tactical nukes, because the aircraft that would deliver our bombs, stealthy as they may be, might not be able to get through Russian defenses.
That’s where the new submarine-launched weapon would come in.
In Hyten’s presentation, should the Russians initiate the use of tactical nukes on the battlefield, the United States would launch one or two low-yield weapons from submarines, not toward the battlefield, where allies might be threatened, but toward targets in Russia.
Here’s the most interesting part: How are the Russians going to know the warheads on those incoming missiles are low-yield, and not — like most nuclear warheads delivered by our submarine-launched ballistic missiles — 10 times more powerful than the bombs used to strike Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Hyten’s initial response to that question was to tell the senators that from launch to detonation some 30 minutes would elapse.

He then explained: “If somebody does detect that launch, they would see a single missile or maybe two missiles coming. They will realize it is not an existential threat to their country and, therefore, they do not have to respond with an existential threat.” By “existential threat” Hyten essentially meant a full-scale first strike by hundreds of U.S. warheads, designed to knock out Russia’s ability to respond and perhaps survive as a nation.
In short, Hyten suggested that Putin — or his successor — would wait 30 minutes for the incoming one or two U.S. missiles to hit Russian targets before deciding whether to launch a major nuclear response back at the United States.
Why does Hyten suggest that?
His answer was surprising: “That is what I would recommend if I saw that coming against the United States.”
Has any prior STRATCOM commander, or any other U.S. senior government official, announced publicly the United States would ride out any nuclear attack before responding?
Hyten went on to explain, “If we do have to respond, we want to respond in kind and not further escalate the conflict out of control.”
He described the new warhead as a “deterrence weapon first, and then a response weapon . . . to keep the conflict from escalating worse. It actually makes it harder for an adversary to use [a nuclear] weapon in the first place and if it does use it, it allows you to respond appropriately.”
Hyten added, “The key is a rational actor. A rational actor is the basis of all deterrent policy.”
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made a simpler claim for developing the new warhead in testimony on May 9 before the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee. He described the scenario Hyten used: Russia, facing defeat in a conventional battle, “would escalate to a low-yield nuclear weapon knowing that our choice would be . . . to either respond with a high-yield [nuclear weapon] or surrender — in other words, frankly suicide or surrender, because a nuclear exchange between Russia and the United States would be a disaster for this planet.”

Suicide or surrender are hardly the only choices, and Mattis should know better.
That same day, May 9, Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.), ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, offered the more traditional understanding of how to deter the Russian low-yield nuclear weapon threat. It came during markup of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill.
Smith said, “We don’t create this notion that we can just exchange nuclear weapons and as long as they are small it will be okay. It won’t be okay.” Instead, he suggested, the response to the Russians should be, “We have over 4,000 nuclear weapons, and if you launch one, we will launch ours back at you. And we are not going to sit there and be concerned to make sure that ours isn’t bigger than yours when you started this.”
The Washington state congressman added, “If we send that message, that is a very sufficient deterrent.”
The full House Armed Services Committee ended up authorizing $65 million for development of the new low-yield, sub-launched missile and sent the measure on for an eventual vote by the full House. Meanwhile, the Senate Armed Services Committee has scheduled taking up the measure the week of May 21 where it may face more opposition than it did in the House committee. It should.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/qCB7HRLeMWNObQKmKXXvKNsms_4=/180x180/www.washingtonpost.com/rw/WashingtonPost/Content/Staff-Bio/Images/walter-pincus_114x80.png

Walter Pincus reported on intelligence, defense and foreign policy for The Washington Post. He first came to the paper in 1966 and has covered numerous subjects, including nuclear weapons and arms control, politics and congressional investigations. He was among Post reporters awarded the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.


Copyright © 2016, The Washington Post Company
All Rights Reserved.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs



Baltimore Activist Alert May 20 to 23, 2018

Baltimore Activist Alert May 20 to 23, 2018

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Friends, this list and other email documents which I send out are done under the auspices of the Baltimore Nonviolence Center.  Go to www.baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com.  If you appreciate this information and would like to make a donation, send contributions to BNC, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218.  Max Obuszewski can be reached at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net.

1] Books, buttons and stickers
2] Web site for info on federal legislation
3] Join Nonviolent Resistance lists  
4] Write Reality Winner
5] The Poor People's Campaign for a Moral Revival Continues through May 26
6] The Ethical Society moves to the Village Learning Place – May 20
7] Support the Palestinians – May 20
8] Get a bag of veggies – May 20
9] Anne Arundel County from Protest to Power Canvass – May 20
10] DSA meeting – May 20
11] Socialist Book Group Discussion – May 20
12] The Church in Cuba and Their Role in Ending the US Blockade -- May 20
13] Baltimore DSA Happy Hour – May 20
14] 2018 MD Environmental Victory Party – May 20
15] Protest at the Pentagon – May 21
16] After ISIS, Will Iraq’s Elections be the Next Step to Stability? -- May 21
17] Action at Lawyers Mall – May 21
18] Circles of Voices with Chelsea Manning – May 21
19] Candidates Forum – May 21
20] Free screening of “Soufra” – May 21
21] Democracy Amendment Resolution – May 21
22] North Korea and the Fine Print of a Deal – May 22
23] Peace Vigil – May 22
24] No Drone Research DEMO – May 22
25] Film DOLORES – May 22
26] Defend the Decision - No Charles Compressor Station – May 22
27] Alliance for Nuclear Accountability Lobby Days – May 20 - 23
28] 100 percent renewables – May 22
29] Pray for peace – May 22
30] See the play “Republic Undone” – May 22
31] Film GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK – May 22
-------
1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available.  “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Call Max at 410-323-1607.

2] – To obtain information how your federal legislators voted on particular bills, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/.  Congressional toll-free numbers are 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. The White House Comment Email is accessible at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.

3] – THE ORGANIZING LIST will be the primary decision-making mechanism of the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR].  It will be augmented by conference calls and possibly in-person meetings as needed.  It will consist of 1 or 2 representatives from each local, regional, or national organization (not coalitions) that wishes to actively work to carry out the NCNR campaign of facilitating and organizing nonviolent resistance to the war in Iraq.

To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email 6address to mobuszewski at Verizon.net.  Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.  

THE NOTICES LIST will include only notices of NCNR actions and related information and is open to any interested person to subscribe.  It will be moderated to maintain focus & will include periodic notices about getting involved in NCNR national organizing.  To join the NOTICES List, send an email message to ncnrnotices-subscribe@lists.riseup.net. You will get a confirmation message once subscribed.  If you have problems, please write to the list manager at ncnrnotices-admin@lists.riseup.net.

4] –  On June 3, 2017 Reality Leigh Winner was arrested and jailed and later charged under the Espionage Act for allegedly releasing a top-secret document to a media outlet, The Intercept.  The document analyzed information about Russian online intrusions prior to the 2016 presidential election. Reality had been employed by a contract agency and worked at the NSA in Augusta, Georgia following her honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force in December of 2016.  Reality has pleaded not guilty to this one charge, and her defense team is working furiously to defend against the Espionage charge, but the Court in Georgia continues to rule against Reality at every turn.  Reality has been denied pretrial bail and awaits trial in a small county jail in Lincolnton, Georgia.

The impact this has had on Reality and our entire family is devastating.  Because of her special diet, Reality’s nutritional and medical needs are not met in jail.  She has been spontaneously denied mail, books, and visits.  In order to assist in her defense, she must be transported to the Federal Courthouse in Augusta, Georgia and spends up to 12 hours in full shackles and is strip-searched multiple times during the day. Please write to Reality at Reality L. Winner, Inmate # 3342, Lincoln County Jail, PO Box 970, Lincolnton, GA 30817.

5] – The Poor People's Campaign for a Moral Revival Continues, and from Sun., May 20 to Sat., May 26 the focus will be on INKING SYSTEMIC RACISM AND POVERTY: Voting Rights, Immigration, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and the Mistreatment of Indigenous Communities.

6] – Usually, the Baltimore Ethical Society meets on Sundays, and generally there is a speaker and discussion.  However, on Sun., May 20, the Ethical Society is moving to its new home at the Village Learning Place (VLP), an independent non-profit library that houses educational programs, enrichment opportunities, and informational resources for Charles Village and throughout Baltimore City. The board and staff of the VLP have invited BES members and friends to join them and the residents of the neighborhood for the Annual Charles Village Brunch from 11 AM to 1 PM. This is an opportunity to enjoy good food while getting to know the new neighbors. Stick around after brunch for a tour of BES’s new home. Note that VLP is located at 2521 St. Paul St., Baltimore 21218. If you arrive at the Congress Hotel, you will be disappointed. To learn more about the VLP, visit www.villagelearningplace.org. Call 410-581-2322 or email ask@bmorethical.org.
7] – Concerned citizens will gather to condemn the slaughter of the Palestinians on Sun., May 20 at 11 AM at Park Heights and Slade Aves. Contact Ronda at [mailto:rondacooperstein@hotmail.com].

8] – On Sun., May 20 at 11:30 AM, there is a BLUE BAG Pick Up Hub at Charm City Farms, 1310 Hillman St., Baltimore 21202.  Get 30 LBS OF FRESH PRODUCE for $10, an ASSORTED VARIETY, CASH ONLY. The Gather Story Gather Baltimore is a volunteer-based program that collects vegetables, fruits, and bread from the Baltimore Farmers' Market and other sources for redistribution to local meal programs and others in need. The food collected would otherwise be thrown away as it will not stay fresh until the next market. Gather Baltimore ensures that this food does not become waste but instead is made available to financially challenged families in communities where healthy food is not readily accessible. Charm City Farms believes that every zip code has more than enough available real estate to feed the community inside that zip code. The goal is to assist in driving that community to do so. The vision and goal is to provide education, support, and creative thinking, as well as a model to aid communities in transitioning towards a no-fossil-fuel future economy and society. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/2020494798274079/.

9] – The Anne Arundel County from Protest to Power Canvass is happening on Sun., May 20 from 1 to 4 PM.  Meet at the Davidsonville Elementary School Parking Lot, 962 Central Ave., Davidsonville 21035.  Join Take Action Anne Arundel County to talk with voters about the issues they care most about and the candidates who will govern for and with our communities. Work to elect Ben Jealous & Susan Turnbull for Governor/Lt Governor of Maryland, Eve Hurwitz for State Senate in District 33 and James Kitchin for County Council District 7.  CONTACT Michelle Williams at 240-688-8346.

10] – On Sun., May 20 from 2 to 4 PM, come to the Baltimore Democratic Socialists of America May General Meeting at 2239 Kirk Ave., Baltimore 21218-6204. Find your place in an awesome and friendly socialist movement! Do you need childcare? Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/174051403417954/.

11] – On Sun., May 20 from 3 to 4:30 PM, be at the Socialist Book Group Discussion, hosted by Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America at Kogod Courtyard - Smithsonian American Art Museum & Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Sts. NW, WDC 20001. Join a discussion of “Who Do You Serve? Who Do You Protect? Police Violence and Resistance in the United States,” edited by Joe Macaré, Maya Schenwar, and Alana Yu-lan Price with a foreword by Alicia Garza. This book is From Haymarket Books 2016. See the Participation Guide at https://docs.google.com/document/d/16YKfMQwWe0yvM2i9VlWJRTvH_OGGJD3_3gLc6DYnpoY/edit?usp=sharing.

12] – The Church in Cuba and Their Role in Ending the US Blockade with Rev. Joel Ortega Dopico, president, Cuban Council of Churches and pastor, Varadero Presbyterian Church, will take place on Sun., May 20 at 3 PM at the Casa de Maryland Multicultural Center, 8151 15th Ave., Hyattsville. Welcome Rev. Dopico, who is visiting the DC area on a national tour of the U.S. to help build support for the IFCO/Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravans to Cuba and to advocate against the U.S. economic blockade of Cuba and in support of normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Pastor Ortega Dopico will share how Cubans are affected by the blockade and the critical role faith and solidarity communities can play in finally ending it. Email ifco@ifconews.org.

13] –On Sun., May 20 from 5 to 6:30 PM, attend the Baltimore DSA Happy Hour, hosted by Baltimore Democratic Socialists of America at The Crown, 1910 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21218.  Come out for roses with your friendly local democratic socialists. This is a great opportunity to relax and socialize with fellow DSA members and get to know local community organizers and activists! All members and non-members welcome. See https://www.facebook.com/events/1823658511274032/.

14] – Come to the 2018 MD Environmental Victory Party on Sun., May 20 from 6 to 8 PM, organized by the Sierra Club's Maryland Chapter at Denizen's Brewery, 1115 East West Highway, Silver Spring 20910.  Contact Gary Young at gary.young@mdsierra.org or 301-277-7111.  Join Sierra Club, legislators, and friends to celebrate the 2018 legislative victories! Maryland senators and delegates will be there. Rededicate ourselves to making Maryland a model for progressive environmental protections. This session secured important environmental victories like dedicated Metro funding as well as additional investment in Baltimore transit, protecting offshore wind, and establishing offshore drilling liability. Go to https://www.sierraclub.org/maryland/blog/2018/04/2018-legislative-session-good-bad-and-ugly.

15] – There is a weekly Pentagon Peace Vigil from 7 to 8 AM on Mondays, since 1987, outside the Pentagon Metro stop.  The next vigil is May 21, and it is sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.  Email artlaffin@hotmail.com or call 202-882-9649.  The vigil will be outside the Pentagon's south Metro entrance and in the designated "protest zone" behind bicycle fences across from the entrance to the Metro.  By Metro, take Yellow Line and get out at the "Pentagon" stop. Do not go to the Pentagon City stop! Go up south escalators and turn left and walk across to protest area. By car from D.C. area, take 395 South and get off at Exit 8A-Pentagon South Parking. Take slight right onto S. Rotary Rd. at end of ramp and right on S. Fern St. Then take left onto Army Navy Dr. You can "pay to park" on Army Navy Dr.,  and there is meter parking one block on right on Eads St. Payment for both of these spots begin at 8 AM.  No cameras are allowed on Pentagon grounds. Restrooms are located inside Marriott Residence Inn on corner of S. Fern and Army Navy Dr.

16] – On Mon., May 21 from 2 to 4 PM, hear the discussion After ISIS, Will Iraq’s Elections be the Next Step to Stability?  It takes place at the United States Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave. NW, WDC 20037.  Tickets are available at www.usip.org. On May 12, Iraqis went to the polls to elect a new national parliament. In a surprise turn, a coalition led by controversial cleric Moqtada al-Sadr—a staunch opponent of both U.S. and Iranian influence in Iraq—won the most seats, as incumbent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s coalition came in third. While the election campaign saw Iraqis turn toward a focus on issues and away from sectarianism, low turnout figures demonstrate that many are disenchanted with the political system. Enjoy a provocative town hall debate with foreign policy experts Kenneth Pollack, from the American Enterprise Institute, the National Defense University’s Denise Natali, and USIP's Sarhang Hamasaeed, moderated by Joshua Johnson of the public radio program 1A. The discussion will focus on how Iraq’s leaders can overcome years of sectarian violence and find unity, as well as what a future alliance with the West may look like. Visit https://www.usip.org/events/after-isis-will-iraqs-elections-be-next-step-stability.

17] – Mon., May 21 is the second Moral Monday in the 40 days of Action.  Rally in Annapolis at Layer's Mall at 2 PM.  However, there will not be a nonviolent direct action at this event.  The nonviolent direct action will resume at the May 29 Moral Monday event. Go to https://actionnetwork.org/events/maryland-poor-peoples-campaign-week-2-action?source=direct_link&. Email Maryland@poorpeoplscampaign.  The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival begins its 2nd week of action---Linking Systemic Racism and Poverty: Voting Rights and Immigration.  

18] – On Mon., May 21 from 6 to 9 PM, check out the Circles of Voices with Chelsea Manning, hosted by An End to Ignorance at the Impact Hub Baltimore, 10 E North Ave., Baltimore 21202.  Tickets are available at events.r20.constantcontact.com.  Manning’s heroic voice exposed the inhumanity of the Iraqi war. Her bravery resulted in seven years in prison. If not for Obama, she would likely still be in jail.  Engage in the topic of mass incarceration in America. The "Land of the Free" is something drastically short of free. Bring a dish and/or a drink to share. See https://www.facebook.com/events/1871669612883644/.

19] – On Mon., May 21 from 6:30 to 9 PM, attend the Candidates Forum, hosted by Hampden Community Council  at St. Luke's Church On The Avenue, 800 W. 36th St., Baltimore 21211.  In place of the May general meeting, come out and meet the people who will be on your ballot for the June 26th primary elections: candidates for State’s Attorney, Senate and Delegate from the 40, 41 & 43 districts.  See https://www.facebook.com/events/166708253999721/.

20] – On Mon., May 21 from 7:30 to 10 PM, see a free screening of “Soufra,” hosted by CARE Action in the GW Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW, WDC 20052.  Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com. This is a wildly inspirational story of Mariam, a refugee from Lebanon, as she and a team of fellow refugee women strive against daunting obstacles to improve their lives by launching a food truck business. Enjoy a Q&A with the director Thomas Morgan & CARE Chef Ambassador Asha Gomez.  See https://www.facebook.com/events/197354180989845/.

21] – The Democracy Amendment Resolution (DAR) embodies our hopes and dreams for a Constitutional Amendment to authorize regulation of big money in politics. In 2018, it came closer than ever to passing in the Maryland General Assembly. It passed the House of Delegates for the first time by a bi-partisan vote of 94-42. But our opponents were able to get two co-sponsors to refrain from voting in the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee, and it was unable to proceed to the Senate floor. You can be part of this strong citizen movement for the 28th Amendment. Please email charlie@GetMoneyOutMD.org to join our team of enthusiastic volunteers. Join the GMOM Teleconference on Mon., May 21 at 8:30 PM -- 605-475-6711, 1136243#.

22] – On Tues., May 22 from 8 to 10 AM at the U.S. Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave. NW, WDC 20037, catch North Korea and the Fine Print of a Deal: A View from Congress.  This is a Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue Featuring Representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Steve Russell (R-OK).  The United States is engaged in high-stakes negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear program as the White House prepares for the summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. But nuclear capabilities and missiles are not the only items on the negotiating table. An eventual settlement could include some difficult concessions and require significant oversight and legislative action on the part of Congress. In addition to a potential restructuring of U.S. forces in South Korea, a grand bargain could result in a range of due-outs for Congress, from sanctions relief and economic incentives to multilateral political arrangements. Go to https://www.usip.org/events/north-korea-and-fine-print-deal-view-congress.

23] –  Each Tuesday from 4:30 - 5:30 PM, the Catholic Peace Fellowship-Philadelphia for peace in Afghanistan and Iraq gathers at the Suburban Station, 16th St. & JFK Blvd., at the entrance to Tracks 3 and 4 on the mezzanine.  The next vigil is May 22.  Call 215-426-0364.

24] – This vigil is moved to Thursday, May 24, JHU's Day of Commencement. Vigil to say "No Drone Research at JHU" each Tuesday at 33rd & North Charles Sts. Join this ongoing vigil on May 22 from 5:30  to 6:30 PM. Contact Max at mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net or 410-323-1607. 

25] – On Tues., May 22 from 7 to 8:30 PM, part of the LaborFest schedule, The Reel and Meal at the New Deal in Greenbelt is showing “Dolores,” the inspiring biopic about Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, at the New Deal Café, Roosevelt Center in Greenbelt. There is an optional vegan buffet meal ($14) at 6:30 PM and the free film at 7 PM, followed by a discussion led by an organizer for jobs and justice in today’s different but difficult environment. See https://www.newdealcafe.com/events/reel-and-meal/may-21-2018-dolores/.

26] – On Tues., May 22 from 7:15 to 10:15 PM, Take 2: Defend the Decision - No Charles Compressor Station, hosted by Kelly Canavan at the Charles County Government, POB 2150, 200 Baltimore St., La Plata 20646. The Board of Appeals decided to dedicate their next meeting to a work session specifically to consider whether or not to consider Dominion's Motion for Reconsideration. Under Board rules, Dominion has the right to ask for a reconsideration of the Board's decision. However, the Board doesn't automatically grant their wish. They need a vote of three to even hear Dominion's case. If they decide to hear Dominion's case, some form of the hearing process will open back up. If not, the door closes on administrative remedies, and the next step is for Dominion to sue them.  The Board also voted to suspend its decision (denial of the permit) for 30 days. Although we wish that they hadn't suspended it at all, putting a cap on the suspension is a good thing. Go to https://secure.foodandwaterwatch.org/act/100-md-event-series-prince-georges-county? Visit www.ampcreeks.org.

27] -- The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) is hosting the 30th annual DC Days from Sun., May 20 through Wed., May 23! On Tues., May 22 from 6 to 8 PM, there will be an ANA reception marking its 30th annual DC Days, with awards to Sen. Ed Markey (MA), Rep. Barbara Lee (CA), Susan Gordon, Terri Lodge, and others, at 2168 Rayburn House Office Building (Gold Room). RSVP to DCDays@ANAnuclear.org.

28] – On Tues., May 22 from 7 to 8:30 PM at Greenbelt Youth Center's Multipurpose Room, 99 Centerway, Greenbelt 20770, move Maryland off fossil fuels to become a 100% renewable energy state -- and do it in a way that's equitable for everyone. Hear from a panel of experts why 100% renewable energy in Maryland is necessary and feasible, socialize with other supporters, and receive grassroots training on what you can do in your community to join the clean energy revolution! RSVP at https://secure.foodandwaterwatch.org/act/100-md-event-series-prince-georges-county?.  One of the experts is Alfred Bartlett, Sierra Club Maryland Chapter. The event is hosted by Food & Water Watch, Sierra Club Maryland, Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Greenbelt Climate Action Network. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/183539075631328/?notif_t=event_calendar_create&notif_id=1526671431060965.

29] – Pray for Peace  at St. John’s of Baltimore City Methodist Church, 2640 St. Paul St., Baltimore at 7:30 PM on Tues., May 22.  Ruth Keidel Clemens, Program Director for the Mennonite Central Committee, will speak about her visit to Syria in February with the Mennonite Central Committee. An offering will be taken on behalf of the Mennonite Central Committee's Syria Project. The Peace Prayer Service will conclude with a time of refreshments and fellowship. Everyone is welcome! St. John's is located at 2640 St. Paul Street, on the corner of 27th St. There is a small parking lot off of 27th street, and free parking on the street. The Peace Prayer Service will be held in the Sunday Room. Please use the 27th St. entrance, by the ramp. Contact the Rev. Charles Cloughen, Jr., Interfaith Peace Service Coordinator, at ccloughen@episcopalmaryland.org  or 410-321-4545.

30] – Almost a century has elapsed since November 11, 1918, the original Armistice Day. As Bertrand Russell advised: “In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” How could President Wilson make the world safe for democracy when at home he was fighting the suffragettes, re-segregating the federal government, using the Espionage Act to imprison thousands of war opponents, flooding the country with fake news through the Committee on Public Information and suggesting naturalized citizens had “poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life” and therefore needed to “be crushed”?

“Republic Undone” is John Henry's third play exploring the struggle between the Constitution's separation of powers and the exclusive entrustment of the war power to Congress, and limitless executive power and perpetual presidential wars. Henry dramatizes the galaxy of personalities and forces that occasioned America’s participation in the Great War and led to its world-shaping sequel, World War II. The play features a pageant of remarkable women. Wilson’s wife of 29 years, Ellen Axson, is the wise heroine. She is instrumental in her husband’s elevation to President of Princeton, Governor of New Jersey, and President of the United States. He has an affair with Mary Peck and loses Ellen’s calming influence when she dies at the outbreak of the war. His second wife, Edith Galt, reinforces his inclination to see the world in the Old Testament primary colors of “good guys” and "bad guys".

Henry’s play challenges orthodox narratives. When the war broke out, Wilson proclaimed American neutrality while not so secretly favoring the Allies. In so doing, Wilson made the United States a co-belligerent with Britain and France for more than two years before Congress declared war on April 6, 1917. World War I was never a defensive war for the United States. Indeed, Wilson claimed his motives were altruistic. The war to end all wars culminated in the Versailles Treaty. Wilson’s Fourteen Points – the inducement for the Armistice – proved nothing more than a scrap of paper. Reparations were punitive. Germany was dismantled and Germans were denied self- determination. The die was cast for the rise of Hitler and World War II.

“Republic Undone” will be performed by citizen actors. The play is directed by Rick Davis, Professor and Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University. An enthusiast for citizen theater, Davis has worked with the Stone Hill Theatrical Foundation for five years. The citizen playwright, citizen actors, and citizen director celebrate the tradition of ancient Greece when theater was invented to address issues of the day. Go to https://www.stonehilltheatricalfoundation.org/.  See the play on Tues., May 22 starting at 7:30 PM at the Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW, WDC 20036.  Go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/republic-undone-at-keegan-theatre-dc-tickets-45451904871.

31] – On Tues., May 22 from 8 to 10 PM, see the film “Good Night and Good Luck,” hosted by The Cultural Center at the Opera House and Havre de Grace Arts Collective, 121 N. Union Ave., Havre de Grace 21078.  Tickets are available at hdgoperahouse.org. When Senator Joseph McCarthy begins his foolhardy campaign to root out Communists in America, CBS News impresario Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) dedicates himself to exposing the atrocities being committed by McCarthy's Senate "investigation." Murrow is supported by a news team that includes long-time friend and producer Fred Friendly (George Clooney). The CBS team does its best to point out the senator's lies and excesses, despite pressure from CBS' corporate sponsors to desist.  Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/558503847852835/.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs