Thursday, July 28, 2016

NO MORE WARS chants at the DNC

http://www.worldbeyondwar.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/WBW_emailheader.jpg
During last night's speeches at the Democratic Party's convention to nominate Hillary Clinton for president of the United States, former Secretary of War and CIA Director Leon Panetta tried to fearmonger by blaming Russia for supposedly interfering in a U.S. election (by allegedly revealing how the Democratic Party had in fact rigged its primary for Hillary Clinton). The delegates from Oregon began a chant of "No More War!" and held up signs including "End the drone wars!" California and other delegations joined in. Panetta had to stop speaking. The party bosses truned off the lights on the Oregon section, which then pulled out cell phones and turned on flashlight apps. Watch the video here: http://worldbeyondwar.org/panetta

   Neither big party convention in the United States has expressed any interest in ending war, outside of that wonderful chanting. We're going to be needing a powerful global peace movement to control U.S. warmongering. Help us build it by attending No War 2016: http://worldbeyondwar.org/NoWar2016




  World Beyond War is working with our allies to plan similar events focused on alternatives to war the same week in other parts of the world. Please contact us to help plan such events. One is already planned for September 24 in Berlin, Germany, during which people will watch a livestream of the Washington, D.C., event. Also, in connection with this, U.S. whistleblowers will deliver to the German government a petition from RootsAction.org, World Beyond War, and others urging the closure of Ramstein Airbase (yes, also being delivered to the U.S. government).




http://worldbeyondwar.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/register.jpg
Please share this email widely.


Sign the Declaration of Peace.

Find events all over the world that you can take part in.

Join us on
Facebook and Twitter.

Support World Beyond War's work
by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

My Mother Was the Victim of a U.S. Drone

My Mother Was the Victim of a U.S. Drone
·         Rafeequl Rehman

July 26, 2016
    
Rafeequl Rehman's mother, Mamana Bibi, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in the village of Ghundi Kala, North Waziristan, Pakistan, on October 24, 2012.
Amnesty InternationalRafeequl Rehman's mother, Mamana Bibi, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in the village of Ghundi Kala, North Waziristan, Pakistan, on Oct. 24, 2012.
Rehman is a teacher in Pakistan and the son of Mamana Bibi, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2012
My family deserves an apology–and justice
My story isn’t much different from so many sons all over the world: I lost my mother too soon. But unlike many sons, I am still waiting for an explanation for why my mother was killed. Since the day that a U.S. drone struck and killed my mother as she stood in our family’s fields, I have waited for an acknowledgement or apology from the U.S. government. I’m still waiting to this day.
My children—Mamana’s grandchildren—watched it happen. It was a sunny October afternoon in 2012, and she was gathering okra in our family’s mostly vacant fields in Ghundi Kala village, North Waziristan,intending to cook it that evening. My children were home, standing about a hundred feet from her. They watched as she was struck by two Hellfire missiles, blown to bits before their eyes. My daughters and sons felt the explosion and were covered with the smoke and dust. Some were struck by shrapnel. My 3-year-old son Safdar, who had been standing on the roof, fell 10 feet from the blast’s shockwave, fracturing bones in his shoulders and chest.
Afterward my daughter Nabeela, then 8-years-old, went to the place her grandmother had been standing. She found her grandmother’s shoes. Our family gathered as many of her body parts as we could find and wrapped them in a cloth.
A year after her death, I traveled to the United States and told members of Congress about the drone strike and how it had devastated us. I saw with my own eyes how saddened they were. But no one in the U.S. government promised to investigate what happened.
Supporters of Defense of Pakistan Council (DPC), a coalition of religious and political parties, protest against the US drone strikes in the Pakistani tribal region, in Peshawar on Nov. 10, 2013.A. Majeed—AFP/Getty ImagesSupporters of Defense of Pakistan Council (DPC), a coalition of religious and political parties, protest against the US drone strikes in the Pakistani tribal region, in Peshawar on Nov. 10, 2013.
President Obama recently ordered the government to start disclosing the numbers of civilian casualties to the public. We welcome that, but we are in the same position we were in four years ago. No U.S. official has ever acknowledged what happened to my mother, or apologized to us. We are still waiting for justice. Without the help of organizations like Amnesty International, which documented my mother’s death in a 2013 report on drones, we might still be suffering in silence.
We aren’t asking for money, just that all victims of violence be treated the same. The same month my daughter Nabeela was injured in the drone strike that took my mother’s life, Pakistani schoolgirl and education campaigner Malala Yousafzai narrowly survived the Taliban’s attempt on her life. We are proud of Malala’s bravery, and the actions of all those who stand up for human rights in our country.
But there is a double standard here: While President Obama invited Malala to speak at the White House and offered his support, there are no words of sympathy for my daughter. I wonder if the president even knows my daughter’s name.
After the strike, we fled our village in Waziristan. My children had suffered not just from witnessing the death of their grandmother, but from losing their friends and from the ongoing war. They lost years of education, too. Because Safdar did not receive immediate specialist medical care after the drone strike, he continues to suffer complications from his injuries. When we go back to the village, the kids are still scared. It’s not just the drone strikes; it’s the Taliban and bombardment by Pakistani forces.
My children still ache from missing their grandmother. We feel deeply that the U.S. government has committed an injustice. We must have the truth about why my mother, my children’s grandmother, was killed so brutally. We deserve an apology and justice for what happened that October afternoon.
TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.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

Inside the 'Democracy Spring' Protests at the DNC


Protesters at the Democratic National Convention on Monday, July 25, 2016, in Philadelphia. (photo: AP)
Protesters at the Democratic National Convention on Monday, July 25, 2016, in Philadelphia. (photo: AP)
Inside the 'Democracy Spring' Protests at the DNC

By Gregory Krieg, CNN
26 July 16

   The revolution will not be improvised.

   More than 50 protesters were detained by police on Monday following a tightly choreographed demonstration at an access point to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, where the Democratic National Convention has been consumed by a series of roiling plot twists and turns.

   Police did not make any formal arrests, saying those taken into custody were only issued citations for disorderly conduct, as activists from Democracy Spring first attempted to block a convention entrance on Broad Street with a planned sit-in, then in a very orderly process began climbing over barricades toward the arena and into the arms of waiting officers.

   At one point in the early evening, delegates and attendees, many in formal attire, came within feet of sweat-soaked protesters being led away from the scene in plastic restraints. Organizers posted feet from the scene kept track of potential arrests using a private 

WhatsApp messaging forum.

   Hours earlier, the group gathered a little less than a mile north in Marconi Plaza, where protesters willing to risk arrest were asked to fill out paperwork and speakers rallied the crowd of about 150 people to with chants of "This is what democracy looks like" and "I believe that we will win." One protest leader reminded the crowd to follow instructions from organizers in blue armbands, called "tactical leads," as they arrived at the protest site.
View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
#DemocracySpring sitting in -- said they'll try to enter arena perimeter if not arrested... one delegate turned back

   A little before 4 p.m. ET, as temperatures neared 100 degrees and the heat index soared higher, they began their march toward the convention hub, blaring a slate of demands that includes the immediate abolition of the superdelegate system and a series of campaign finance reforms. The group's director, Kai Newkirk, had said on Sunday that the "unity commission" agreed on Saturday by the Clinton and Sanders camps fell short of their demands.

   "We welcome this concession -- as well as Debbie Wasserman Schultz's decision to step down as party chair -- but it is not enough to justify relenting in the struggle to win fundamental democracy reform both within and outside the party," Newkirk said in an email to CNN.

   On the eve of the convention, Democracy Spring took the unique step of gathering protesters at a church a block north of Philadelphia's city hall for what amounted to a seminar in nonviolent civil disobedience.

   More than 100 activists sat in the pews of the Arch Street United Methodist Church for training that included mock arrests and de-escalation role-playing. Lead trainer Kim Huynh asked her pupils to pull each other aside and discuss why they had come here and what they hoped to accomplish.

   Their plans included ending closed primaries, banning nuclear weapons, getting big money out of politics -- and seeing Rosario Dawson. (She has protested with the group before, but was not involved on Monday.)

   "The training that Democracy Spring is providing is completely integral to the process of keeping things nonviolent," organizer Andrew Barbato told CNN on Sunday.
"We had a huge sit-in in D.C. where over 1,500 people were arrested, and I was one of them, and it was completely peaceful," he said. "This is a different situation because things in the country right now are heated. But that's why we have to come together to acknowledge there is a history of nonviolent civil disobedience in this country and throughout the world."

View image on Twitter
Practice last night, protest today #DemocracySpring

Lina Blount, one of the three women to run the workshop, said she wanted protesters to face arrest or detention with a feeling of purpose and power. She and her colleagues spent much of the evening discussing with protesters how to manage anxiety, stay physically comfortable ("Lean on each other to save your backs") and what to expect in the event they were jailed (Toilets? Don't bet on it).

   "That's a lot of what nonviolent direct action is," she said, "Convincing people that their actions have power -- and that's not what our system trains us to believe. And so in these types of training we really try to get the group thinking themselves, reflecting back on the exercise themselves as much as we can. So as trainers we want to created exercises that help that emerge."

  A tumultuous 24 hours for the Democratic Party, which saw its chairwoman resign after emails leaked showing DNC staffers seeming to discuss tactics for undermining Bernie Sanders' campaign, has emboldened the dozens of protest groups who had already made their way into the city for four days of marches, rallies and demonstrations downtown and on the heavily securitized streets outside the convention.

   Jocelyn Macurdy Keatts, a writer and activist, said she was attracted to Democracy Spring by its "very coherent" set of demands.

  "There seems to be legislative leverage here," she told CNN before the training began inside the church. "The Democrats are already moving further to the left to accommodate Bernie supporters."

C 2015 Reader Supported News

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.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