Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Baltimore Activist Alert -- September 30 - October 2, 2021

54] Support a Civilian Conservation CorpsSept. 30

55] Eliminating the Nuclear Threat – Sept. 30

56] Investigate Facebook – Sept. 30

57] Webinar about the Border, Resettlement, and Afghan Arrivals – Sept. 30

58] Fight for fair maps – Sept. 30

59] Food & Water Watch conference – Sept. 30

60] Say his name: Anton Black.  – Sept. 30

61] Phone bank For the Peoples Act – Sept. 30 – Oct. 2

62] Open Schools? -- Sept. 30

63] Cold War with China Sept. 30

64] Robert Ellsberg knew Dorothy Day – Sept. 30

65] Hear from drone pilots – Sept. 30

66] Paid Family Medical Leave Working Group Meeting – Sept. 30

67] The Labor Movement -- Sept. 30

-----

54] – Sunrise Movement Baltimore [general@sunrisemovementbaltimore.org] wants you to join them in D.C. on Thurs., Sept. 30 from 8 AM to 8 PM ET to support a Civilian Climate Corps!   Wear white and join Sunrisers and the People’s Watch coalition at the Capitol. Call on Congress to Hold the Line and pass the full $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package to Build Back Better with a strong, fully funded Civilian Climate Corps. Demand a NO vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal until budget reconciliation is passed.

55] – On Thurs., Sept. 30 at 11 AM, tune in for Eliminating the Existential Threat of Nuclear Weapons [Online]. As experts warn that we are closer to nuclear war than we have ever been, UN Under Secretary General Izumi Nakamitsu and the heads of the two NGO’s with official UN status, Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Shekhar Mehta, President of Rotary International discuss the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and other steps that we can take to eliminate the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons.  International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War is sponsoring this event along with its partners in the International Council of Nurses, the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association, the World Federation of Public Health Association, and the World Medical Association.  Sign up at https://www.ippnw.org/eliminating-the-threat and hear from Peter Maurer, International Committee of the Red Cross; Shekhar Mehta, Rotary International; Ruth Mitchell, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; and Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.

56] – Our Revolution [info@ourrevolution.com] is hoping you will join a rally on Thurs., Sept. 30 from noon to 3 PM ET to investigate Facebook. A series of recently leaked documents showed just how corrupt Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook executives really are. Time and time again, we’ve seen Facebook fail to address the rampant disinformation, extremism, discrimination, and hate on their platforms. We need Congress to act. Get over to Capitol Hill at New Jersey Ave. and Southeast Dr. SE, WDC 20016.  RSVP at https://www.mobilize.us/ourrevolution/event/417586/?akid=2070.8252965.yuxCzn&rd=1&t=8.

57] – HIAS [info@hias.org] is hosting a briefing on Thurs., Sept. 30 from 12:30 to 1:30 PM ET. This webinar is about the Border, Resettlement, and Afghan Arrivals.  Hear the latest developments about newly arrived Afghans, asylum seekers at the border, deportations to Haiti, and more with HIAS policy experts.  We are at a critical juncture. The United States must step up with compassion for refugees fleeing unsafe countries around the world.  Hear the latest developments about newly arrived Afghans, asylum seekers at the border, deportations to Haiti, and more. HIAS experts will draw connections between the policies and actions in play, discuss what lies ahead, and share their perspectives on how you can make a meaningful difference for refugees right now.  Login details will be sent before the start of the event. RSVP at https://www.hias.org/events/urgent-briefing-border-resettlement-and-afghan-arrivals?utm_medium=email&utm_source=hias.org&utm_campaign=Urgent+Briefing+on+Border,+Resettlement,+and+Afghan+Arrivals&utm_content=Urgent+Briefing+on+Border,+Resettlement,+and+Afghan+Arrivals.

58] – Redistricting is a pillar of our democracy—determining where people can vote and who we can vote for. This process determines how resources, like funds for health care and schools, are given to our communities. Community maps are being drawn right now, and it's essential that they represent the needs of the people!  The League of Women Voters wants you to join them in the fight for fair maps by the Facebook Live panel discussion on Thurs., Sept. 30 at 1 PM ET. Sign up at https://www.facebook.com/events/3126047831005028/?ref=newsfeed&utm_source=LWV&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=OurCommunitiesOurVoices&utm_id=9.27.21.  The actions we take now will determine fair representation for the next ten years!

59] – Food & Water Watch [act@messages.fwwatch.org] wants you to attend on Thurs., Sept. 30 from 3:30 to 7 PM ET the Virtual Conference & Benefit! Hear from an incredible lineup of activists, allies and public figures, including Amy Goodman, Host & Executive Producer of Democracy Now; and Mark Ruffalo, actor & environmental advocate. RSVP at https://secure.foodandwaterwatch.org/event/food-water-watch-virtual-conference-2021?j=1255347&sfmc_sub=5823356&l=35&mid=100001791&utm_source=MarketingCloud&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2021-09-27_FWW_c3_NAT_General_2021-virtual-conference-email-8_Event_em_nL_D_EP&ms=onor-em-09292021-2021-09-27_FWW_c3_NAT_General_2021-virtual-conference-email-8_Event_em_nL_D_EP&oms=onor-em-09292021-2021-09-27_FWW_c3_NAT_General_2021-virtual-conference-email-8_Event_em_nL_D_EP&eml_name=2021-09-27_FWW_c3_NAT_General_2021-virtual-conference-email-8_Event_em_nL_D_EP&eml_id=1255347&gs=GxlJbkxjcq%2B8UZOd9mKlA%2FrUqmVv9Bhub1uCcnoOsk%2FAQ6T%2FAXyET%2BMg3cRAarznEzHCt2OjmsdtrlSDEDixGGAEUZALOZueWujWnmqqAL6EdUG%2FrkG9nV1e1aPSVG%2Br&af=RA1%2BJp3N228aRV69knhQi6HdXOURCg1a8LjFy%2FqVNQ3Po1gpJ2TWtaez2njMlOuEAnWCHkgEsbpWshTz9SyXZHZ4ZBqwHCVVpKJ%2BZXlAWLZyR%2BzfO2QzqSyd2JPeL%2BzCwsk6jgcMJb7Pj3wbBih8ImqkfiHWDev%2BgezUDN3cgbh1mDCeaXiPKbkB9fKqQpGU.

Tickets include access to both the annual benefit and the conference taking place beforehand. The conference features 12 sessions and workshops to give you access to the latest research and policy updates, as well as provide hands-on activities to build your activist toolkit.

60] – ACLU of Maryland [info@aclu-md.org] on Thurs., Sept. 30 at 4 PM wants you to Say his name: Anton Black.  Demand justice for his murder by police.  ‌ ‌On September 15, 2018, Anton Black was murdered by three white police officers and a white passer-by in a Confederate flag helmet who chased, tased, and pinned Anton down on his mother's front porch. His mother saw the whole thing. Sadly, it has been three years since the police murdered Anton. Nothing will bring him back, but on October 1, a new Maryland law named in his honor – Anton's Law – will take effect. This law will make investigations into police misconduct more transparent to the public. Join the Coalition for Justice for Anton Black's special event at the Edward Garmatz US District Court, 101 W. Lombard St., Baltimore 21201. Register at https://www.aclu-md.org/en/events/anton-black-day-remembrance-press-conference?ms_aff=MD&initms_aff=MD&ms_chan=eml&initms_chan=eml.

61] –Join activists around the country at a virtual phonebank to urge voters in key states to demand their senators’ support of the Freedom to Vote Act! Our democracy is in crisis: with redistricting around the corner and hundreds of voter suppression laws being introduced in states across the country, we do not have time to wait. Every day we’re getting closer to a very real deadline to take action. If the Senate does not overcome the filibuster and pass this legislation, states may not have enough time to implement the legislation’s regulations before the 2022 midterm elections! Join activists around the country at a Common Cause virtual phonebank to urge voters in key states to demand their senators’ support the vote! RSVP at https://www.mobilize.us/pfaw/event/376178/?utm_source=PFAW to call on Thurs., Sept. 30 from 6 to 8 PM ET, Fri., Oct. 1 from 4 to 6 PM ET, and Sat., Oct. 2 from noon to 2 PM ET and 1 to 3 PM ET.

62] – Randi Weingarten [E-activist@action.aft.org] is inviting you on Thurs., Sept. 30 at 6 PM ET to a town hall with Open Schools USA. Parents and educators agree that the safety and health of our students and school community is paramount. It is in all our interests to have a safe and healthy reopening of schools this fall. The political polarization of COVID-19 and the changing circumstances with the delta variant have left parents and educators with questions about safety protocols. Experts will answer questions about school safety. Sign up at https://actionnetwork.org/forms/safe-healthy-reopening-of-our-schoolsa-parent-town-hall-with-the-aft-and-open-schools-usa?link_id=0&can_id=4b9d4061aec5469758759317ac0f5285&source=email-this-thursdays-town-hall-with-open-schools-usa&email_referrer=email_1305212&email_subject=this-thursdays-town-hall-with-open-schools-usa.

63] – Massachusetts Peace Action [info@masspeaceaction.org] is hosting Vijay Prashad, historian, journalist, and commentator, who will talk about the US’ new Cold War with China on Thurs., Sept. 30 at 7 PM ET. Talk about the impact of colonialism on China, Chinese revolution, Chinese socialism, the US campaign to isolate China, Xinjiang after Afghanistan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Eagle bill in Congress, Rep.  Jim McGovern’s campaign to boycott the Beijing Olympics, and the US-Australian submarine deal.  Register at https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtd-2uqDovGdJAd2dWPnJg31sXVtKO2fG9.

64] – The Saint Jude Parish of Pittsburgh has a Speaker Series which welcomes Robert Ellsberg, who knew Dorothy Day very well.  In 1975, he interrupted his studies to become a member of the New York Catholic Worker Community and there, became a Catholic. “I met Dorothy Day when I was 19. I had taken a leave as an undergraduate from Harvard University and made my way to the Catholic Worker headquarters in New York City, drawn by a number of motivations. I was eager to learn something directly about life, apart from books. I was tired of living for myself alone and longed to give myself to something larger and more meaningful. But mostly, I think, I was drawn by the hope of meeting Dorothy Day, the movement’s legendary founder, and still, at 77, editor of its newspaper. I had planned to stay a few months but was pretty quickly hooked and remained for five years - the last five years of Dorothy’s life, as it turned out.” (Robert Ellsberg November 21, 2005)

He looks at the life of one of the most challenging and inspiring of modern-day figures, Dorothy Day; this fascinating woman who became the co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement with Peter Maurin, a French Catholic social activist. Join the discussion on Thurs., Sept. 30 at 7 PM ET at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87612959358?pwd=UWNkQlNOQkJZK2NEZGxEQ0ZOT0NwUT09. 

65] –Defending Rights & Dissent [info@rightsanddissent.org] will hold a discussion on Thurs., Sept. 30 at 7 PM ET on the Kabul Drone Strike. On August 29, 2021, a US drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan killed 10 civilians, including 7 children. While the Pentagon initially insisted it was “righteous strike,” they backtracked after media investigations exposed their statements as false.  Defending Rights & Dissent believes the voices of drone whistleblowers deserve to be heard- Lisa Ling, Cian Westmoreland, and Keagan Miller. RSVP at https://www.rightsanddissent.org/live/the-kabul-strike-drone-whistleblowers-react/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=a36998f5-294c-457d-a10d-de4cd5a28aaa.

66] –Jews United for Justice [info@jufj.org] are getting involved on Thurs., Sept. 30 at 8 PM ET for a Paid Family Medical Leave Working Group Meeting.  RSVP at https://jufj.org/event/pfml-9-30/?sourceid=1020679&utm_campaign=training&utm_medium=standalone&utm_source=ea&emci=dd271d0e-c90c-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&emdi=f1844a31-8b11-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&ceid=3403859. Are you interested in establishing Paid Family and Medical Leave in Maryland? Join this working group! You will receive call-in instructions via email after you RSVP.

67] –Workers World Party [wwp@workers.org] wants you to know about the struggles of the labor movement on Thurs., Sept. 30 at 8 PM ET. Across the country in a broad spectrum of workplaces we are seeing examples of how an organized labor movement can fight for higher pay, safer working conditions, protection from unfair labor practices and against corporate greed, exploitation and oppression. Join us to learn about labor struggles and victories happening now. Hear from labor activists on how to advance the struggle to defeat capitalism’s stranglehold on the working class by building a global class wide movement. Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GO1LZuR0SUeFA9JEjgvCXw.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  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 -- September 29 -- October 2, 2021

36] U.S.-China Strategic Rivalry and U.S.-ROK Cooperation Sept. 29

37] The Kaepernick Effect with Dave Zirin Sept. 29

38] Restoration of Protections for Holy Families Action – Sept. 29

39] Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equity – Sept. 29

40] Water in Occupied Palestine – Sept. 29

41] Freedom to Vote Act! – Sept. 29 - 30 & Oct. 2

42] Discuss discrimination against Americans at Israeli ports of entry – Sept. 29

43] Phonebank for a Green New Deal – Sept. 29

44] United We Dream – Sept. 29

45] Solidarity with Haitian refugees – Sept. 29

46] Healthcare Community Forum -- Sept. 29

47] FCNL lobbying – Sept. 29

48] Principles of Political Economy – Sept. 29

49] Effective Citizen Lobbying – Sept. 29

50] Feminist Futures Institute Sept. 29

51] After the Apocalypse Sept. 29

52] Fair Elections Task Force – Sept. 29

53] Medicare for All -- Sept. 29

-------

36] – The GW Institute for Korean Studies [gwiks@gwu.edu] is hosting a Korea Policy Forum Virtual Roundtable Discussion on Wed., Sept. 29 from 9 to 10:30 AM ET. To be discussed is U.S.-China Strategic Rivalry and U.S.-ROK Cooperation after the Biden-Moon Summit.  In their first summit meeting held last May, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Joe Biden rejuvenated the decades-long alliance by not only focusing on traditional bilateral topics but also addressing new regional and global issues in the context of the intensifying U.S.-China strategic rivalry—including climate change, supply chains, and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. The agreements made at the summit could have long-term ramifications for South Korea’s strategic positioning in Northeast Asia and the United States’ broader regional strategy. In particular, the allies will have to navigate changing dynamics in domestic politics leading up to and after the 2022 presidential election in South Korea and midterm elections in the United States. RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/korea-policy-forum-us-china-strategic-rivalry-and-us-rok-cooperation-tickets-172798353527.

37] – The Nation [emails@emails.thenation.com] would love to have you joining in on Wed., Sept. 29 at noon ET for The Kaepernick Effect with Dave Zirin. Zirin is one of America’s premier sports journalists and The Nation’s first sports editor. His new book, The Kaepernick Effect, is a riveting and inspiring collection of first-person stories detailing how “taking a knee” triggered an awakening in sports and a sea change around the world. Offering a profound lesson in civic courage, the book highlights some extraordinary athletes who risked everything to help this country set the stage for the racial reckoning we now face. Zirin will be in conversation with The Nation’s Editorial Director Katrina vanden Heuvel about an inspiring national movement of citizen-athletes fighting for racial justice. And winning. Tickets are free but reservations are required. There will be ample time devoted to audience questions and conversation. We hope you will join us! RSVP at https://www.thenation.com/events/the-kaepernick-effect-dave-zirin-book/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_campaign=nation-events-zirinbook&sourceid=1067781&ms=EMM092120211A&utm_content=EMM092120211A&utm_term=master_promotions.

38] – The Interfaith Immigration Coalition [media@interfaithimmigration.org] is calling for the Restoration of Protections for Holy Families Action on Wed., Sept. 29 at noon ET. Come to Lafayette Square outside the White House and join faith and civil society groups in taking prophetic action in solidarity with migrants denied access to protection by the ongoing implementation of Title 42. Key faith leaders from multiple traditions will raise the call to welcome with dignity, alongside asylum seekers, elected representatives, medical experts, and the broader faith community. Learn more at https://www.saveasylum.org/. The event will be live streamed on the Interfaith Immigration Coalition's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/3973981816034869.

39] – On Wed., Sept. 29 from 12:30 to 1:30 PM ET, check out Community in Crisis: the Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equity and Inclusion in Nuclear Security. The event is sponsored by the Stimson Center and Gender Champions for Nuclear Policy (GCNP), and the speakers are Nickolas Roth, International Nuclear Security Forum; Jack Brosnan, Nuclear Threat Initiative; Mackenzie Cater, Nuclear Threat Initiative; and Nilsu Goren, CRDF Global. Sign up at https://www.stimson.org/event/community-in-crisis-impact-of-covid-19-on-gender-equity-and-inclusion-in-nuclear-security/.

40] – Beth Schuman [Beth@afcfp.org] wants you to join an Urgent Briefing on the Water Campaign on Wed., Sept. 29 at 1 PM ET. Israeli settlements enjoy unrestricted access to water, but many Palestinian villages are deliberately deprived of water resources as part of a calculated strategy to expel them from their land. Moderated by CfP co-founder Avner Wishnitzer, activists Adam Rabee and Tamar Alon will discuss the harsh realities that face Palestinian communities and Israel's oppressive policy regarding access to water on Wed., Sept. 29 at 1 PM ET.  Learn more about the significance of water rights under occupation and gain pressing updates on our activism on the issue! 

Visit https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89716782476?pwd=T0s5eTEvRVRsRHFEdERJc3BuQVZwZz09&emci=e23d8680-6220-ec11-981f-0050f271a1a2&emdi=749e9b20-7520-ec11-981f-0050f271a1a2&ceid=8142762#success.

41] –Join activists around the country at a virtual phonebank to urge voters in key states to demand their senators’ support of the Freedom to Vote Act! Our democracy is in crisis: with redistricting around the corner and hundreds of voter suppression laws being introduced in states across the country, we do not have time to wait. Every day we’re getting closer to a very real deadline to take action. If the Senate does not overcome the filibuster and pass this legislation, states may not have enough time to implement the legislation’s regulations before the 2022 midterm elections! Join activists around the country at a Common Cause virtual phonebank to urge voters in key states to demand their senators’ support the vote! RSVP at https://www.mobilize.us/pfaw/event/376178/?utm_source=PFAW to call on Wed., Sept. 29 from 2 to 4 PM and 6 to 8 PM ET, Thurs., Sept. 30 from 3 to 6 PM and 6 to 8 PM ET, and Sat., Oct. 2 from 1 to 3 PM ET.

42] – James Zogby [jzogby@aaiusa.org] on Wed., Sept. 29 at 2 PM ET wants you to join him to discuss discrimination at Israeli ports of entry. Discuss discrimination against Americans at Israeli ports of entry during the weekly Coffee & Column conversation. You can read the column here: https://www.aaiusa.org/library/israels-problem-with-us-visa-waiver-program-respecting-arab-american-rights?emci=b642a9c1-c01f-ec11-981f-0050f271a1a2&emdi=400a1c6f-6d20-ec11-981f-0050f271a1a2&ceid=389907. Register to receive the dial-in information for the Zoom call at. https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUkdu-vpzMiHd0pbXx9sK6IJMWsYjMOurKI?emci=b642a9c1-c01f-ec11-981f-0050f271a1a2&emdi=400a1c6f-6d20-ec11-981f-0050f271a1a2&ceid=389907. After you register, you will automatically get the dial-in information for the call.

43] – Phonebank for a Green New Deal with Sunrise National on Wed., Sept. 29 from 4 to 5:30 PM ET.  Sign up to call Sunrisers and ask them to demand a bold climate infrastructure package from their representatives. Sunrise will provide all the training you need and a lot of fun and hype too! Register at https://www.mobilize.us/sunrisemovement/event/403248/?emci=16326b3a-a4ff-eb11-b563-501ac57b8fa7&emdi=7c2e4f48-a5ff-eb11-b563-501ac57b8fa7&ceid=177631.

44] – United We Dream Action [info@uwdaction.org] is teaming up to phone bank AZ senators in support of a pathway to citizenship in the reconciliation package!  Undocumented people have been in the front lines of this pandemic as essential workers and have not had access to any relief funds. Call for permanent protection for millions!  RSVP now to join the phone bank on Wed.,  Sept. 29 from 5 to 8 PM EDT: https://www.mobilize.us/luchaaction/event/405536/?utm_source=UWDA&link_id=0&can_id=4b9d4061aec5469758759317ac0f5285&email_referrer=email_1275121&email_subject=we-knocked-doors-in-az-heat-to-demand-citizenship-now.

45] – Progressive organizations and activists in solidarity with Haitian refugees will hold protests around the country demanding the Biden administration end state terror at the border and deportations. In Texas, refugees face life-threatening conditions and brutal racist terror by U.S. policies and Klan-like Border Patrol agents. Demand an Extension of Temporary Protection Status indefinitely for those facing deportations; Provide asylum to all arrivals; and End the use of Title 42 to deny humane immigration policies and its racist and selective use of justifying the denial for the majority of non-European peoples. Add your endorsement here: https://forms.gle/GGMuiujx6u4SDJX49.

 The BALTIMORE protest will take place on Wed., Sept. 29 at 6 PM ET at City Hall, 100 Holliday St., Baltimore, MD 21202 and then picket at an ICE Office. See the Facebook event at https://fb.me/e/1fKmYXDUR.

46] – Wala Blegay [wala@walablegay.com] is promoting a District 6 Healthcare Community Forum on Wed., Sept. 29 at 6 PM ET at Greater Mt. Nebo AME Church, 1001 Old Mitchellville Road, Bowie 20715. In collaboration with many community and faith base organizations, this health care forum will focus on how we improve our health care system in Prince George’s County and address the many health disparities in our community including COViD-19, HIV, Diabetes and Hypertension and more. Masks are required. Free vaccinations will be available. RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/district-6-health-care-forum-tickets-169877505191?aff=odeimcmailchimp&mc_cid=ca70c77076&mc_eid=f7a3f37264. See https://gmnebo.org.

47] –Twenty years after the shock and grief of Sept. 11, 2001, its legacy lives on in U.S. policies of perpetual warfare. For just as long, Friends Committee on National Legislation has been lobbying to end the endless wars and build peace. In September’s Quaker Changemaker event, talk with advocates who have been a part of this persistent, faithful grassroots movement for peace. They have been working with FCNL’s Advocacy Teams to repeal the authorizations behind the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Register to join the conversation on Wed., Sept. 29 at 6:30 PM EDT: https://act.fcnl.org/event/quaker-welcome-center-events-watch-home/2358/?akid=19138.152065.XY_Yk2&rd=1&source=fcnlweb&t=16&utm_campaign=event&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ak&utm_term=19138.152065.XY_Yk2.  Panelists include Luke Mayhew, anti-war activist and founder of the Baltimore FCNL Advocacy Team, and Pamela Minden, a retired communication, teamwork, and conflict resolution educator and a member of the Madison (WI) Advocacy Team. FCNL’s Sarah Freeman-Woolpert will moderate the conversation. RSVP at FCNL.org/SepChangemaker.

48] – Attend a course Principles of Political Economy on Wed., Sept 29 at 6:30 PM ET and continuing each Wednesday through Oct. 6.  Discover the fundamental laws of political economy and how they can guide policy toward shared and sustainable prosperity. This 5-session course offers a basic introduction to political economy in the tradition of Henry George as presented in his book “Progress and Poverty.” Get introduced to the key concepts, axioms and fundamental laws of the discipline and use this understanding to analyze and explain economic issues in the real world. Examine the causes of poverty and discuss George’s unique approach to the problem. Additional issues such as the alternating cycles of boom and bust that are so characteristic of capitalist economies will be also discussed.  The Instructor is Dr. Marty Rowland.  Sign up at https://www.hgsss.org/principles-of-political-economy/.

49] – Effective Citizen Lobbying to End Militarism with Elizabeth Beavers, Friends Committee on National Legislation and People Over Pentagon campaign consultant, will happen on Wed., Sept. 29 at 7 PM ET. Elizabeth is an attorney, analyst, and advocate for peace and security. Her commentary on U.S. militarism has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, Reuters, CNN, and others. Join the ZOOM MEETING at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82658459450?pwd=ZFdudy8xdUY5a3hBM3B3UXErTkhJQT09. The Meeting ID is 826 5845 9450, and the Passcode is Peace.

50] –WomensMarch.com [info@womensmarch.com] is inviting you to be part of The Feminist Futures Institute on Wed., Sept. 29 at 7 PM ET. ‌ ‌In partnership with We Demand More, Women's March invites you to experience, learn, and grow alongside women and feminists all across the country through the Feminist Futures Institute. Through eight interactive, story-based digital events, seek to answer big questions about what a truly feminist future looks like, and how to work together to create that future. Spots for this one-of-a-kind program are limited, so please register now to be a part of the Feminist Futures Institute. The series will run from September 29 to November 17 and take place every Wednesday at 7 PM ET.  Register at https://www.mobilize.us/womensmarch/event/405870/?akid=3988.508952.ua_pI1&rd=1&t=3&utm_campaign=em20210917&utm_source=email.

51] – After the Apocalypse with Andrew Bacevich will take place on Wed., Sept. 29 at 7 PM ET.  He will discuss his latest book which is the title of his talk. He sets out new principles to guide the United States, the once-but-no-longer sole superpower as it navigates a transformed world. The purpose of U.S. foreign policy has, at least theoretically, been to keep Americans safe. Yet as we confront a radically changed world, it has become indisputably clear that the terms of that policy have failed. Washington’s insistence that a market economy is compatible with the common good, its faith in the idea of the “West” and its “special relationships,” its conviction that global military primacy is the key to a stable and sustainable world order—these have brought endless wars and a succession of moral and material disasters. Bacevich is the President of the Quincy Institute.

52] – The Progressive Maryland Anne Arundel Fair Elections Taskforce will meet on Wed., Sept. 29 at 7 PM ET! Learn about efforts to get the Anne Arundel County Council to adopt a Fair Election Fund this fall and ways you can help this important effort! RSVP at https://secure.everyaction.com/h29phsdldU-fR8tkSq3NQA2?emci=1d83efbe-d61f-ec11-981f-0050f271a1a2&emdi=35b40e5b-d81f-ec11-981f-0050f271a1a2&ceid=136680.

53] –Public Citizen [action@citizen.org] wants you to know that on Wed., Sept. 29 at 8 PM ET, Rep. Pramila Jayapal will discuss how to move forward in the push for Medicare for All. RSVP to https://www.medicare4allresolutions.org/thank-you-for-signing-up-2/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=9b70c574-1b11-4fb9-a5c2-fdf33bcba907.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  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


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

War in Afghanistan Isn’t Over — It’s Taking the Form of Illegal Drone Strikes

https://truthout.org/articles/war-in-afghanistan-isnt-over-its-taking-the-form-of-illegal-drone-strikes/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=85e66ca2-fcf5-49a4-a3d3-bbcfa2db97a9

OP-ED

WAR & PEACE

War in Afghanistan Isn’t Over — It’s Taking the Form of Illegal Drone Strikes

A drone flies over the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 31, 2021.

A drone flies over the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 31, 2021.AAMIR QURESHI / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Marjorie Cohn

 September 26, 2021

PART OF THE SERIES

Human Rights and Global Wrongs

Three weeks after his administration launched a drone attack that killed 10 civilians in Kabul, Afghanistan, President Joe Biden addressed the United Nations General Assembly. He proudly declared, “I stand here today, for the first time in 20 years, with the United States not at war.” The day before, his administration had launched a drone strike in Syria, and three weeks earlier, the U.S. had conducted an air strike in Somalia. The commander-in-chief also apparently forgot that U.S. forces are still fighting in at least six different countries, including Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Niger. And he promised to continue bombing Afghanistan from afar.

Unfortunately Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan is substantially less meaningful when analyzed in light of his administration’s pledge to mount “over-the-horizon” attacks in that country from afar even though we won’t have troops on the ground.

“Our troops are not coming home. We need to be honest about that,” Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-New Jersey) said during congressional testimony by Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this month. “They are merely moving to other bases in the same region to conduct the same counterterrorism missions, including in Afghanistan.”

As Biden pulled U.S. forces out of Afghanistan, his administration launched a hellfire missile from a U.S. drone in Kabul that killed 10 civilians, including seven children, and then lied about it. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley immediately said it was a “righteous strike” to protect U.S. troops as they withdrew.

Nearly three weeks later, however, an extensive investigation conducted by The New York Times revealed that Zemari Ahmadi was a U.S. aid worker, not an ISIS operative, and the “explosives” in the Toyota that the drone strike targeted were most likely water bottles. Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, then called the strike “a tragic mistake.”

This senseless killing of civilians was not a one-off event, although it received more publicity than most past drone strikes. Biden is following in the footsteps of his four predecessors, all of whom also conducted illegal drone strikes that killed myriad civilians.

The Kabul drone strike “calls into question the reliability of the intelligence that will be used to conduct the [over-the-horizon] operations,” the Times noted. Indeed, this is nothing new. The “intelligence” used to conduct drone strikes is notoriously unreliable.

For example, the Drone Papers disclosed that nearly 90 percent of those killed by drone strikes during one five-month period during January 2012 to February 2013 were not the intended targets. Daniel Hale, who revealed the documents that comprise the Drone Papers, is serving 45 months in prison for exposing evidence of U.S. war crimes.

Drone Strikes Conducted by Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden Killed Countless Civilians

Drones do not result in fewer civilian casualties than piloted bombers. A study based on classified military data, conducted by Larry Lewis from the Center for Naval Analyses and Sarah Holewinski of the Center for Civilians in Conflict, found that the use of drones in Afghanistan caused 10 times more civilian deaths than piloted fighter aircraft.

These numbers are probably low because the U.S. military considers all people killed in those operations presumptive “enemies killed in action.” George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Biden all presided over drone strikes that killed countless civilians.

Bush authorized approximately 50 drone strikes that killed 296 people alleged to be “terrorists” and 195 civilians in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.

The Obama administration conducted 10 times more drone strikes than his predecessor. During Obama’s two terms in office, he authorized 563 strikes — largely with drones — in Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen, killing between 384 and 807 civilians, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Trump, who relaxed Obama’s targeting rules, bombed all the countries that Obama had, according to Micah Zenko, former senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. During Trump’s first two years in office, he launched 2,243 drone strikes, compared to 1,878 in Obama’s two terms in office. Since the Trump administration was less than forthcoming with accurate civilian casualty figures, it is impossible to know how many civilians were killed on his watch.

Drones hover above towns for hours, emitting a buzzing sound that terrorizes communities, especially children. They know a drone could drop a bomb on them at any moment. The CIA launches a “double tap,” deploying a drone to kill those trying to rescue the wounded. And in what should be called a “triple tap,” they often target people at funerals mourning their loved ones killed in drone attacks. Rather than making us less vulnerable to terrorism, these killings make people in other countries resent the United States even more.

Drone Strikes During the “War on Terror” Are Illegal

Drone attacks mounted during the “war on terror” are illegal. Although Biden pledged in his General Assembly speech to “apply and strengthen … the U.N. Charter” and promised “adherence to international laws and treaties,” his drone strikes, and those of his predecessors, violate both the Charter and the Geneva Conventions.

The UN Charter forbids the use of military force against another country except when acting in self-defense under Article 51. On August 29, after the U.S. drone killed 10 civilians in Kabul, the U.S. Central Command called it “a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike.” The Central Command claimed that the strike was necessary to prevent an imminent attack on the Kabul Airport by ISIS.

But the International Court of Justice has held that countries cannot invoke Article 51 against armed attacks by non-state actors that are not attributable to another country. ISIS is at odds with the Taliban. Attacks by ISIS cannot therefore be imputed to the Taliban, which once again controls Afghanistan.

Outside areas of active hostilities, “the use of drones or other means for targeted killing is almost never likely to be legal,” Agn├Ęs Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, tweeted. She wrote that “intentionally lethal or potentially lethal force can only be used where strictly necessary to protect against an imminent threat to life.”

Civilians can never legally be the target of military strikes. Targeted or political assassinations, also called extrajudicial executions, violate international law. Willful killing is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions which is punishable as a war crime under the U.S. War Crimes Act. A targeted killing is only lawful if it is deemed necessary to protect life, and no other means — including capture or nonlethal incapacitation — is available to protect life.

International humanitarian law requires that when military force is used, it must comply with both the conditions of distinction and proportionality. Distinction mandates that the attack must always distinguish between combatants and civilians. Proportionality means that the attack can’t be excessive in relation to the military advantage sought.

Moreover, Philip Alston, former UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, reported, “The precision, accuracy and legality of a drone strike depend on the human intelligence upon which the targeting decision is based.”

The Drone Papers included leaked documents revealing the “kill chain” the Obama administration used to determine whom to target. Innumerable civilians were killed using “signals intelligence” — foreign communications, radar and other electronic systems — in undeclared war zones. Targeting decisions were made by tracking cell phones that might or might not be carried by suspected terrorists. Half of the intelligence used to identify potential targets in Yemen and Somalia was based on signals intelligence.

Obama’s Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG), which contained targeting rules, outlined procedures for the use of lethal force outside “areas of active hostilities.” It required that a target pose a “continuing imminent threat.” But a secret Department of Justice white paper promulgated in 2011 and leaked in 2013 sanctioned the killing of U.S. citizens even without “clear evidence that a specific attack on US persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.” The bar was presumably lower for killing non-U.S. citizens.

The PPG said there must be “near certainty that an identified HVT [high-value terrorist] or other lawful terror target” is present before lethal force could be directed against him. But the Obama administration launched “signature strikes” that didn’t target individuals, but rather men of military age present in areas of suspicious activity. The Obama administration defined combatants (non-civilians) as all men of military age present in a strike zone, “unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.”

“Intelligence” upon which U.S. drone strikes are based is extremely untrustworthy. The United States has engaged in repeated violations of the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions. And the unlawful U.S. killing with drones violates the right to life enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, another treaty the U.S. has ratified. It says, “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.”

Kabul Drone Strike: “The First Act of the Next Stage of Our War”

“That drone strike in Kabul was not the last act of our war,” Representative Malinowski said during Blinken’s congressional testimony. “It was unfortunately the first act of the next stage of our war.”

“There must be accountability,” Sen. Christopher S. Murphy (D-Connecticut), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, wrote in a Twitter post. “If there are no consequences for a strike this disastrous, it signals to the entire drone program chain of command that killing kids and civilians will be tolerated.”

In June, 113 organizations dedicated to human rights, civil rights and civil liberties, racial, social environmental justice and veterans rights wrote a letter to Biden “to demand an end to the unlawful program of lethal strikes outside any recognized battlefield, including through the use of drones.” Olivia Alperstein from the Institute for Policy Studies tweeted that the United States should “apologize for all the drone strikes, and put an end to drone warfare once and for all.”

Copyright © Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and a member of the bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the advisory board of Veterans for Peace. Her books include Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues

Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  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