Friday, July 3, 2015

The Torture of Absolute Power



Thursday, July 02, 2015

The Torture of Absolute Power


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Detainees sitting in a holding area watched by military police at Camp X-Ray inside Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Photo: REUTERS)

“The existence of the approximately 14,000 photographs will probably cause yet another delay in the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as attorneys for the defendants demand that all the images be turned over and the government wades through the material to decide what it thinks is relevant to the proceedings.”

This was the Washington Post a few days ago, informing us wearily that the torture thing isn’t dead yet. The bureaucracy convulses, the wheels of justice grind. So much moral relativism to evaluate.

“They did what they were asked to do in the service of our nation,” CIA director John Brennan said at a news conference in December, defending CIA interrogators after a portion of the 6,700-page Senate Intelligence Committee report was made public.

Serving the nation means no more than doing what you’re told.

God bless America. Flags wave, fireworks burst on the horizon. Aren’t we terrific? But this idea we celebrate — this nation, this principled union of humanity — is just a military bureaucracy, full of dark secrets. The darkest, most highly classified secret of all is that we’re always at war and we always will be. And war is an end in itself. It has no purpose beyond its own perpetuation.

This is the context of torture.

At least this is what occurred to me as I reflected on the most recent non-news, that the existence of multi-thousands of photographs of U.S. black site operations are out there somewhere, classified but known and pulsing. What more can we learn that we don’t already know?

“On Nov. 20, 2002, (Gul) Rahman was found dead in his unheated cell. He was naked from the waist down and had been chained to a concrete floor. An autopsy concluded that he probably froze to death.”

So the Los Angeles Times informed us in December, in an article about two psychologists, Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell, who were serving their country in the early days of the War on Terror by developing the CIA’s torture methodology.

“When he was left alone,” the article reported, describing another detainee’s experience, “(Abu) Zubaydah ‘was placed in a stress position, left on a waterboard with a cloth over his face, or locked in one of two confinement boxes.’

“In all, he spent 266 hours — 11 days and two hours — locked in the pitch-dark coffin, and 29 hours in a much smaller box. In response, he ‘cried,’ ‘begged,’ ‘whimpered’ and grew so distressed that ‘he was unable to effectively communicate,’ the interrogation team reported.

“The escalating torment, especially the waterboarding, affected some on the CIA team. ‘It is visually and psychologically very uncomfortable,’ one wrote. Several days later, another added, ‘Several on the team profoundly affected . . . some to the point of tears and choking up.’”

And a few weeks ago, The Telegraph newspaper, quoting from the Senate Intelligence Committee Report, described the experience of Majid Khan, who “was raped while in CIA custody (‘rectal feeding’). He was sexually assaulted in other ways as well, including by having his ‘private parts’ touched while he was hung naked from the ceiling. . . .

“‘Majid had an uncovered bucket for a toilet, no toilet paper, a sleeping mat and no light. . . . For much of 2003 he lived in total darkness.’”

And the awkward part of all this, for defenders of the military bureaucracy, is that these torture procedures produced no information of any value. We sold our soul to the devil and got nothing at all in return. Bad deal.

Whatever details about the torture program remain classified and buried, these stories, along with plenty of shocking photographs, are fully public. There’s enough data here to open a deep conversation about what it means to be a nation and what the limits of power ought to be. What I see instead is a sort of official resignation — on the part of media and government — to the inevitability of out-of-control power in the pursuit of self-defense.

Philip Zimbardo called this phenomenon the Lucifer Effect: the utterly corrupting nature of total power over others. Reports of CIA torture are rife with observations that the interrogators were out of control. The information they sought from the utterly powerless detainees in their keep was a treasure to be extracted, like oil or diamonds from the bowels of the earth, and no technique was too inhumane, too morally odious, to achieve that end. Call it human fracking. It’s for the good of America.

The awareness that must emerge from a decade-and-counting of torture revelations is that absolute power over others does not keep us safe and should not be pursued. And torture is only a minute fraction of the wrong we promulgate through unchecked militarism, the aim of which is domination of the planet.

Step one in the unhealthy pursuit of power is the dehumanization of “the enemy.” The consequences of what we do after that will always haunt us.

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Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; 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

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Will US Government Be Made to Answer for Fueling Yemen's Approaching Famine?



Thursday, July 02, 2015

Will US Government Be Made to Answer for Fueling Yemen's Approaching Famine?

UN official warns country of 26 million 'one step' from mass starvation


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Children fleeing Saudi coalition bombings in Sanaa, April 6, 2015. (Photo: Abdullah Ali/Reuters)

With Yemen on the verge of famine, and civilians paying a devastating toll in the relentless Saudi-led bombing campaign, one key question emerges: Will the U.S. government ever be held to account for its role in the crisis?

The United Nations warned Wednesday that the country of 26 million faces the highest-level humanitarian emergency—on par with Iraq, Syria, and South Sudan.

The grim assessment adds to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's call on Wednesday for an immediate halt to the fighting, or at the very least, a "pause in hostilities until the end of the holy month of Ramadan so that humanitarian aid can be delivered into and across Yemen and reach people cut off from vital supplies for months."

As of now, nearly 13 million people are "not able to meet their food needs," and 15 million "have no healthcare and outbreaks of dengue and malaria are raging unchecked," said the UN in another statement this week.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, UN envoy for Yemen, warned last week that the country is "one step" from famine.

"Children are not being vaccinated—either because health centres do not have electricity or the fuel they need to keep vaccines cold and distribute them, or because parents are too frightened by the fighting to take their children to receive vaccinations," said Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, earlier this week. "The tragic result is that children are going to die of diseases like measles and pneumonia that would normally be preventable."

Journalist Chris Toensing wrote that the United States is "partly to blame" for Yemen's starvation and crisis, pointing out that "the United States has even announced a full suspension of aid to Yemen for a year, undercutting its occasional murmurs of humanitarian concern."

"The Obama administration should withdraw its support for the bombing, lift the blockade, and broker a power-sharing agreement between Yemen’s competing factions," Toensing urged. "For the people of Yemen, it’s beyond urgent."

In the more than three months since the Saudi coalition bombings began, roughly 3,000 people have been killed, half of them civilians, according to the statistics released Thursday by the United Nations. In addition, 14,000 have been wounded and more than a million forcibly displaced from their homes.

Strikes have hit schools, refugee camps, power plants, and warehouses storing humanitarian aid, and Amnesty International declared in a report released Wednesday that the Saudi coalition has a pattern of attacking civilian areas with "powerful bombs."

Late last month, Human Rights Watch released an analysis identifying a string of coalition bombings on Saada City that "appeared to violate international humanitarian law, also known as the laws of war, and resulted in numerous civilian deaths and injuries." The group warned that the United States could be liable for war crimes due to its direct support for the onslaught.

This backing includes logistics and intelligence support for the coalition's daily strikes. Moreover, the United States is supplying critical weapons to the coalition, including cluster bombs, composed of hundreds of explosive submunitions that kill and maim civilian populations.

Those who survive direct military attacks face other grave threats, as a Saudi-led naval blockade seals off an impoverished country that, even before the war, relied on imports for 90 percent of staple food items. United States warships, stationed near Yemen, are part of the military force cutting off Yemen from critical medical and food assistance.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; 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

Join the Pledge at the NSA at 11 AM on July 4. See if its members are granted a meeting. Then enjoy a potluck picnic at 6 PM.

   The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore will do its annual Interdependence Day visit to the National Security Agency.  We will depart at 10:15 AM on July 4 for Fort Meade, and then vigil at the NSA from 11 AM to noon.  We will then have a 6 PM potluck picnic. Call 410-366-1637 or email mobuszewski at Verizon.net.

Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Email mobuszewski at Verizon.net; Phone 410-366-1637

July 1, 2015

Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers
Director, National Security Agency
Chief, Central Security Service
National Security Agency
Fort George G. Meade, MD  20755

Dear Admiral Rogers:

  For years, members of the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore have expressed a grave concern for the National Security Agency’s role in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the attacks on Libya, Pakistan and Yemen.  The loss of lives, the devastation wreaked on civilian populations, and the resulting instability cause us to request a meeting with you or your representative. 
 
    Your agency has a well-recognized history of activities which violate the constitution.  Yes, the illegal surveillance also has us very concerned.  Finally, it must be noted that the Obama administration is engaged in an assassination program through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones.  We believe this assassination program is immoral, illegal and unconstitutional.  Even U.S. citizens have been assassinated by drones without a semblance of due process.  Your agency is deeply involved in this program by providing potential targets for the president's "kill list."
 
 If you can arrange a meeting so that we can raise our specific concerns with someone in a policy-making capacity, we would adjust our schedules to be there.  As a government official, you have a responsibility to meet with citizen activists. Obviously we would want to discuss our concerns and other issues raised by the renowned whistleblower Edward Snowden.  

 In 2011 in Yemen, CIA drone attacks were used to kill, first, Anwar Al-Awlaki and weeks later his son. They were U.S. citizens, who were never charged, brought to trial, or convicted of any crime. In fact, other U.S. citizens have been assassinated by killer drone strikes without any pretense of due process.

 Most recently, it was revealed that bogus intelligence caused the deaths of Warren Weinstein, 73, an aid worker from Maryland who was a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Giovanni Lo Porto, 39, an Italian citizen working for a German aid agency. Both were kidnapped by al-Qaeda in Pakistan.  These names should be seared in the conscience of all involved in their killings.

 The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights brought a lawsuit in US federal court against the Obama Administration regarding the assassination of Al-Awlaki. The suit was lost on procedural grounds; however, the judge in the case stated "Can the executive order the assassination of a US citizen without first affording him any form of judicial process whatsoever, based on the mere assertion that he is a dangerous member of a terrorist organization?"

 The killer drone strikes only promote more terrorism directed at the US. This point was made by Malala Yousafzai when she met with President Obama and his family.  On Oct. 11, 2013 Philip Rucker of THE WASHINGTON POST wrote this: “Yousafzai said she was honored to meet Obama and that she raised concerns with him about the administration's use of drones, saying they are ‘fueling terrorism.’”

 We are also disturbed by the lack of transparency and oversight by congress. In spite of assurances from President Obama that the victims of drone strikes are surgical targets, it has been reported that hundreds of victims who are innocent of crimes against the US have been killed including civilian men, women, and children. These people have names and families who love them.

 According to a report, “US: Reassess Targeted Killings in Yemen,” released on October 21, 2013 by Human Rights Watch “United States targeted airstrikes against alleged terrorists in Yemen have killed civilians in violation of international law." The report added that the strikes are creating a public backlash that undermines US efforts against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

 As you know the NSA failed miserably to protect us from the 9/11 terroristic strike.  One could argue this monumental failure was caused by gathering too much information.  For example, the illegal metadata collection is an enormous waste of time, energy and tax dollars.  And such a program is blatantly unconstitutional.

  We hope that you will take our concerns seriously, and decide to set up a meeting.  You exist in an insular world, and you could benefit from a meeting with peace and justice activists. Presumably, the National Security Agency could be involved in legitimate activities to protect this country, but such activities as illegal spying and surveillance or involvement in warmongering must be immediately discontinued.  Doing this could bring some honor to your agency, and also give you an opportunity to promote reconciliation and diplomacy rather than pernicious killer drone strikes.  A U.S. policy of endless wars and unconstitutional surveillance must be placed in the dustbin of history.  We look forward to your response.

 In peace,

 Max Obuszewski

 On behalf of the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; 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

Baltimore Activist Alert July 2 – September 22, 2015


Baltimore Activist Alert July 2 – September 22, 2015

"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 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski [at] verizon.net.

1] Books, buttons & stickers
2] Web site for info on federal legislation
3] Join Nonviolent Resistance lists
4] Buy coffee through HoCoFoLa
5] Two friends are looking to buy a house in Baltimore
6] Cyprus Friendship Program
7] Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition – through Aug. 16
8] Starvin’ for Justice – July 2
9] Understanding Supreme Court rulings – July 2
10] Media freedom efforts in the Middle East – July 2
11] Remember Spencer Lee McClain – July 2
12] Palestinian music opportunity – July 2
13] Violence in Baltimore – July 2
14] Students read from their books –- July 2
15] Peace Vigil at the White House – July 3
16] Silent Quaker vigil – July 3
17] Film CHICAGO 10 – July 3
18] Ballroom Dancing – July 3
19] Independence Day in Philadelphia – July 4
20] Interdependence Day at the NSA – July 4
21] Commemorate Hiroshima & Nagasaki – August 6 & 9
22] Climate chaos, poverty & war actions – Sept. 22
23] Sign up with Washington Peace Center
24] Join Fund Our Communities
25] Donate books, videos, DVDs and records
26] Do you need any book shelves?
27] Join Global Zero campaign
28] Join Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil
-----
1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available.  “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Donate your books to Max. Call him at 410-366-1637.
 
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 address to mobuszewski at Verizon dot 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 mobuszewski at Verizon dot net.
 
4] – You can help safeguard human rights and fragile ecosystems through your purchase of HOCOFOLA CafĂ© Quetzal. Bags of ground coffee or whole beans can be ordered by mailing in an order form. Also note organic cocoa and sugar are for sale.  For more details and to download the order form, go to http://friendsoflatinamerica.typepad.com/hocofola/2010/02/hocofola-cafe-quetzal-order-form-2010.html. The coffee comes in one-pound bags.
 
Fill out the form and mail it with a check made out to HOCOFOLA on or before the second week of the month.  Be sure you indicate ground or beans for each type of coffee ordered.  Send it to Francine Sheppard at 5639B, Harpers Farm Rd., Columbia 21044. The coffee will arrive some time the following week and you will be notified where to pick it up. Contact Francine at 410-992-7679 or FrancineMSW@aol.com.
 
5] – Two friends are looking to buy a house in Baltimore.  Let Max know if you have any leads—410-366-1637 or mobuszewski@verizon.net.
 
6] – Since a civil war in 1974 the island of Cyprus has been divided in two with a United Nations patrolled border. Turkish/Muslim Cypriots are in the north. Greek/ Christian Cypriots are in the south. Animosities and prejudices run deep. Experts believe that Cyprus is at a crossroads between renewed conflict and becoming an example in the Middle East of how two such cultures can live in peace.
 
The Cyprus Friendship Program, based on the successful model that helped build peace in Northern Ireland, brings over a Muslim and Christian teen to stay with an U.S. host family for the month of July (or ½ month if paired with another host family). This bonding experience in a neutral environment almost always results in a strong friendship. Programming here and after their return to Cyprus turns them into peace builders who are trained in how to influence their peers.  The teens are chosen for their maturity, leadership potential, and English speaking ability. You choose the gender and age (from 15 to 17). To learn more contact Tom McCarthy at 301-774-7069 or Thomas.McCarthy@RaymondJames.com.
 
7] – Come to American University, Katzen Arts Center, Third Floor, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW, WDC 20016-8031to see the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition. Go to http://www.american.edu/calendar/?id=6383062.
 
See the Maruki Panel exhibit. Six of the world-famous panels will be exhibited outside Japan for the first time in many years. There will also be a display of artifacts from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as 24 of the All Souls Church Honkawa School Children's drawings.  See the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition through Aug. 16. In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the attacks, this powerful show will include 20 artifacts collected from the debris of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as 6 large folding screens that depict the horrors of the event. The 1995 Nobel Peace Prize nominees, Iri and Toshi Maruki, created a total of 15 screens over 32 years from 1950. This exhibition, made possible by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, is meant to deepen understanding of the damage wrought by nuclear weapons and inspire peace in the 21st century. Call 202-885-1000.  Email museum@american.edu. Admission is free, and the exhibit hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, 11 AM to 4 PM.
 
8] –  STARVIN' FOR JUSTICE is the Annual Fast & Vigil at the US (un)Supreme Court to Abolish the Death Penalty. The vigil takes place on the sidewalk in front of the court from 9 AM to 6 PM. In the evening there is a teach-in from 6 to 8 PM. Go to http://www.abolition.org/fastandvigil  Rid the country of state-sanctioned murder! The fast and vigil will conclude on Thurs., July 2.  At midnight the fasters will break their fasts.
 
    For four days, death penalty abolitionists from around the country will gather at the steps of the Supreme Court to call for an end to capital punishment in the United States. It is an energizing grassroots week of training, advocacy, action, community and education. Tens of thousands of tourists and locals, from all over the U.S. and throughout the world, pass by our vigil and table, so the opportunity for dialogue and discussion at a real grass-roots level is invaluable to the movement. Additionally, each evening we hear stories from murder victims’ family members, death row exonerees, death row families and leaders in the national abolition movement.
 
9] –Come to Arnold & Porter LLP, 555 12th St. NW, Paul Porter Room, WDC on Thurs., July 2 from noon to 2 PM. The Supreme Court has ruled on all major legal questions by the close of the Term on June 29th. The Court's formal decisions will be on the front pages, but what happens behind the scenes? The Justices and their clerks won't talk, but this panel of distinguished journalists who cover the Court will take a behind-the-headlines look at the major cases and issues before the Court this Term as well as the personalities and interactions among the Justices. They will also offer their annual predictions for next Term.
 
The speakers are Bob Barnes, The Washington Post, Joan Biskupic, Reuters, Adam Liptak, The New York Times, Tony Mauro, National Law Journal & American Lawyer Media, David Savage, The Los Angeles Times & Chicago Tribune, Kimberly Atkins, The Boston Herald, and Arthur Spitzer, American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation's Capital (Moderator).  Visit https://www.dcbar.org/marketplace/event-details.cfm?productCD=041601CLJC&type=event.
 
10] – Be at the Tenley-Friendship Public Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, WDC on Thurs., July 2 at 1:15 PM as Nonviolence International invites you to attend this talk. Daoud Kuttab is a former Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University (’07-’08). While at Princeton he taught a seminar on new media in the Arab world. Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist and media activist. Born in Jerusalem in 1955, Kuttab studied in the United States and has been working in journalism ever since 1980. He has worked in the Arabic print press (Al Fajr, Al Quds and Assinara) before moving to the audio visual field. He established and presided over the Jerusalem Film Institute in the 90s. In 1995 he helped establish the Arab Media Internet Network (AMIN) a censorship free Arab web site--www.amin.org. He established and has headed since 1996 the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds University until January 2008 when he resigned to focus on Community Media Network an Arab Media NGO registered in Jordan and Palestine. In 1997 he partially moved to Amman (because of family tragedy and remarriage) and in 2000 established the Arab world’s first internet radio station AmmanNet (www.ammannet.net). Mr. Kuttab is active in media freedom efforts in the Middle East. He is an award winning journalist and TV producer. Community Media Network includes Radio al Balad a community radio station broadcasting on 92.4 FM in Amman, Jordan, AmmanNet.net and PEN Media a media NGO that has been contracted to produce 52 new episodes of Shara’a Simsim, the Palestinian version of Sesame Street. Email Nonviolence International .
 
11] – Go to the Washington Ethical Society, 7750 16th St. NW, WDC on Thurs., July 2 from 5:30 to 6:30 PM for an event which happens every Thursday. Participants will hold signs with the names of people who were killed by police, #BlackLivesMatter signs, and other messages.  There will be a Person of the Week—Spencer Lee McClain, June 2015, Baltimore--that will be studied and remembered. While holding signs, participants are encouraged to share what they learned about this person.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Washington-Ethical-Society/39879906039.
 
12] – On Thurs., July 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, join the Jerusalem Fund for a night of music performed by acclaimed Palestinian musician Ramzi Aburedwan and the Dal’ouna Ensemble during their July tour of the DC metro area. Bringing together musicians from the Arab world and the West, their music crosses many boundaries by promoting diverse intercultural exchange through fusion of Palestinian folk music, world and classical music, and jazz.
 
Ramzi Aburedwan is the founder of the renowned Al-Kamandjati music centers, which have served thousands of Palestinian children in the West Bank, Gaza and in refugee camps in Lebanon. The Dal’ouna Ensemble is named after a festive Palestinian music genre whose influences extend from Egypt to Andalusia, passing through various regions and traditions of the Middle East and adding medieval and jazz accents. Dal’ouna combines traditional Arab instruments including the bouzouk, oud, and percussion with viola and accordion. Their repertoire ranges from instrumental to traditional poetic genres that focus on love, freedom, and nature. This performance at Bus Boys and Poets, 14th & V Sts., 2021 14th St. NW, WDC is co-sponsored by The Jerusalem Fund Cultural Program, Middle East Institute, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and Jewish Voice for Peace - DC Metro Chapter. Go to http://dalouna.brownpapertickets.com/.
 
13] – On Thurs., July 2 from 6:45 to 9 PM at the Silver Spring Civic Center, 1 Veterans Pl., Silver Spring, attend a town hall panel discussion of critical concerns in the aftermath of violence in Baltimore, and in the context of persistent racial inequality in Maryland. How can we all help make progress?  Public input is invited after panel opening statements. See https://www.facebook.com/events/1591653457751506/.
 
14] – On Thurs., July 2 at 7:30 PM at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201, there will be a series of readings by recent graduates of George Washington Carver Center in Towson. As a senior thesis project, each student wrote a full-length book, and published it through Amazon CreateSpace. The books vary in style, genre, and topic: from historical fiction to poetry, from short stories to novels. Hear readings by Cerys Beckwith, Dyllan M. San Miguel, Alex Francis, Molly Simmons, Emilie Feldenzer, and Sam Saper. Call 443-602-7585.  Go to http://www.redemmas.org. 
 
15] – On Fri., July 3 from noon to 1 PM, join the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in a vigil urging the powers that be to abolish war and torture, to disarm all weapons, to end indefinite detention, to close Guantanamo, to establish justice for all and help create the Beloved Community! The vigil takes place at the White House on Pennsylvania Ave. NW.  Contact Art @ artlaffin@hotmail.com or at 202-360-6416.
 
16] – There is usually a silent peace vigil on Fridays, from 5 to 6 PM, sponsored by Homewood Friends and Stony Run Meetings, outside the Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St.  The next scheduled vigil is on July 2. Black Lives Matter.  However, on holiday weekends, the vigil is usually cancelled.
 
17] –  Go to Peace Center of Delaware County, 1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064 for the First-Friday Free Large Screen Film Series on Fri., July 1 at 7 PM to see CHICAGO 10 [2007].  The convention was drama; the trial was comedy. Directed by Brett Morgan, the film uses the voice talents of Nick Nolte, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeffrey Wright. This is the historic Chicago Conspiracy Trial of 1968 with a unique mix of archival footage and brilliant animation, with today’s music bringing alive the events, characters, the hopes as well as the drama and farce of a new face of freedom that inspired current events and movements.  Doors open at 6:30 PM for light refreshments.  There is an after-film discussion. The screening is co-sponsored by the Brandywine Peace Community. Go to http://www.delcopeacecenter.org/ or call 610-544-1818.
 
18] – There is an opportunity to participate in ballroom dancing, usually every Friday of the month, in the JHU ROTC Bldg. at  8 PM.  Turn south on San Martin Dr. from the intersection of Univ. Parkway and 39th St.  Drive on campus by taking the third left turn. The next dance will be June 26. Call Dave Greene at 410-599-3725.
 
19] – DEMONSTRATE ON SATURDAY, JULY 4TH IN PHILADELPHIA at 10 AM.  STOP DRONE WARFARE & SPYING demonstration in front of the Phila. Federal Courthouse, 601 Market St, during the 4th of July Olde City parade festivities.  Protest the shadow of death across people's lives here and around the world.  Declare your independence from drone warfare and spying.

Everyone will hold up the same poster (which will be provided!) with the shadow of a drone across the constitution and the message END Drone Warfare & Spying, along with drone silhouettes on poles and large banners.  Stop the drone war command center in Horsham, outside of Philadelphia.  Hundreds and hundreds of passersby will see the signs and banners, and receive the leaflets before and during the parade which steps off from Independence Hall at 11 AM.  The parade's opening ceremony will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first major LGBTQ protest in the United States, and the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  What better day, what better place than Philadelphia, to add our anti-drone warfare and peace voices to the history of dissent and justice? Go to www.brandywinepeace.com/eventor call (610) 544-1818
 
20] -- The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore will do its annual Interdependence Day visit to the National Security Agency.  We will depart at 10:15 AM on July 4 for Fort Meade, and then vigil at the NSA from 11 AM to noon.  We will then have a 6 PM potluck picnic. Call 410-366-1637 or email mobuszewski at verizon.net.
 
21] – The annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration will begin on Thurs., Aug. 6 with a 5:30 PM demonstration at 33rd & North Charles Streets to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons and a ban on killer drone strikes and research.  Visitors from Japan will speak, and then we would eat dinner at a Japanese restaurant.
 
On Sun., Aug. 9, we will enjoy a potluck dinner at 6 PM.  Then Ralph Moore, a long-time Baltimore activist, will address the problems facing Baltimore.  If you are in a social change organization, you would be welcome to inform the gathering about your accomplishments. We are seeking performers.  Let Max know if you have any suggestions. 
 
22] -- The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance is planning an action on September 21 or 22 in the D.C. area. We will gather at 10 AM in the office of a member of the House of Representatives to challenge him/her that the wars must end, that Mother Earth must be saved and that we must eliminate income inequality. We will occupy Rep. Paul Ryan’s office.
 
After delivering a letter and speaking with staff members, we will next gather at 1 PM at the White House.  There we will try to deliver a letter to the White House, raise the same issues and risk arrest. Let Max know if you can join us in D.C. for this action.
 
23] -- The Washington Peace Center has a progressive calendar & activist alert! Consider signing up to receive its weekly email: info@washingtonpeacecenter.org.
 
24] -- Fund Our Communities campaign is a grass roots movement to get support from local organizations and communities to work together with their local and state elected officials to pressure Congresspersons and senators to join with Congresspersons Barney Frank and Ron Paul, who have endorsed a 25% cut to the federal military budget.  Bring home the savings to state and county governments to meet the local needs which are under tremendous budget pressures.  Go to www.OurFunds.org. 
 
25] -- If you would like to get rid of books, videos, DVDs or records, contact Max at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net.
 
26] -- Can you use any book shelves? Contact Max at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net.
 
27] -- Join an extraordinary global campaign for the elimination of nuclear weapons: http://www.globalzero.org/sign-declaration. A growing group of leaders around the world is calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons and a majority of the global public agrees.  This is an historic window of opportunity.  With momentum already building in favor of Zero, a major show of support from people around the world could tip the balance. When it comes to nuclear weapons, one is one too many.
 
28] – A Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil takes place every day in Lafayette Park, 1601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 24 hours a day, since June 3, 1981. Go to http://prop1.org; call 202-682-4282.
 
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.
 
"One is called to live nonviolently, even if the change one works for seems impossible. It may or may not be possible to turn the US around through nonviolent revolution. But one thing favors such an attempt: the total inability of violence to change anything for the better" - Daniel Berrigan