2006 "Enraged and Engaged" NOW campaign brings activists from across the country to fight the nomination of Samuel Alito to replace O'Connor on the Supreme Court.
2006 NOW is a lead organizer of the huge anti-war march in NYC, the March for Peace, Justice and Democracy in April, as part of our ongoing "Peace is a Feminist Issue" opposition to war in the Middle East.
2006 NOW opposes punitive immigration "reform" measures and participates in national immigrants' rights marches in New York and Washington, DC
2006 In February, the Supreme Court rejects NOW's racketeering lawsuit against Joe Scheidler, Operation Rescue and others, and directs the lower court to invalidate the nationwide injunction that has protected clinics across the country for 7 years. Within two months after the injunction is revoked, Operation Rescue (now called Operation Save America) attempts to mount a July siege of the last remaining clinic in Mississippi, and of course, NOW is there.
2006 NOW celebrates "Forty Fearless Years" at the national conference in Albany, NY, which includes a Young Feminist Summit and a tribute to our founders and past presidents.
now is celebrating 40 years and they have a timeline going over their history. there's a great deal to cover. i've focused on this year for the excerpt above because (a) they've been very active and (b) i think kim gandy's leadership has been historical. you can click here to see highlights of 40 years of now.
(and speaking of strong women, check out kat's 'Kat's Korner: The death of Ani DiFranco?'
and betty's ''The column 'miracle'.")
leadership also comes via ehren watada. this is from brad buchholz's 'Matters of conscience: A conversation with Bob Watada' (austin american-statesman):
Your son seems to be saying, in essence , "Dock me my two years for missing a troop movment if that's what you must do. But don't penalize me six more for airing my rationale." Yes?
That's correct. You don't lose your free speech rights when you get into the military. The officers don't anyway. That's going to be a major contention. That he had every right to speak and exercise his free speech rights. . . . That's why the American Civil Liberties Union jumped into this with both feet, to support our son that he has these rights as an officer.
You said your son tried to resign his commission as early as January, 2006 — six months before he refused the deployment order.
Yes. He and I had a number of discussions about it. . . . He said, "There are certain things I cannot and will not do." I said, "I think the miltary is going to be reasonable if you tell them why you don't want to go. They'll accept that." Well, we were both fooled. Did anybody acknowledge his request? No. They just ignored him. Then he made a number of informal attempts by talking to his immediate supervisors and talking to the people above, to no avail.
Is there anything that you can share with us that gives us some context for your son's actions? A part of me imagines that you're a close-knit family, that you read a lot about war and peace growing up. Was this kind of conversation a part of your home?
To some extent, yes. . . . He was an Eagle Scout . . . And I know, having been involved in Scouts, that the boys are taught things about honesty, morality, and responsiblity in our community. So that's a part of him. It's part of the things we've talked about (during the last year) — that life is sacred, and you should not take that lightly. (We talked) about doing the right thing. And I remember at one point during the conversation, I said, "Ehren, you're not going to change the world." He came back and said, "You know dad, you always told me that one person can make a difference. . . . I may not be able to make a difference, but I have to make a try."
the latest edition of the third estate sunday review went up on and it's incredible so check it out.
i was talking to dona today and asked about a book jim mentions in 'A Note to Our Readers.' dona couldn't stop talking about it. she's really excited about it. i went into boston to get a copy of it. it's jean-francois bizot's free press: underground & alternative publications 1965-1975 and it's amazing. it's an oversize softcover and it may be out of some people's reach ($45.00). if you're interested in it and can't spend that on a book, check your libraries. they'll be talking about it at the third estate sunday review this sunday and they have that from the book as well as a ton of ideas. i also bought the m ward cd that jim talks about in the note. i can see why he grabbed it. 'grabbed it'? c.i. was out of town most of last week and catching up on mail this weekend. there were a ton of books and cds. jim claimed dibs on the m ward cd. dona said some 1 had written in complaining about that. just to clarify, c.i. is sent stuff all the time. there are cds still in plastic. there's only so much time in the day. (and c.i. tends to focus on books.) you can't visit without being loaded down with goodies because there's just not time to go through everything. (that's what i did this summer. i went through the fiction books because c.i.'s not in the mood for fiction and i knew they wouldn't be read. not in the mood due to a bully boy in the white house. it's also true that a lot of stuff that gets sent is a duplicate because c.i.'s usually already gotten it - either bought it or a friend's sent it out before it was released. that was my big question to dona, who sent the book? that way i could tell if it was gift - in which case it was out - or some 1 giving something to c.i. in advance of the release. as soon as i found out it was a gift, i put on my heels, grabbed my keys and was out the door.)
on their illustrations, i have fun posting them here. i loathe it when i'm using my laptop though because my monitor's been screwed up on the laptop for about 2 weeks now. the color's slightly off. so i'm never sure how they look until i get on a cpu. anyway.
here's c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Monday, October 30, 2006. Chaos and violence continue in Iraq; the US reaches a 'benchmark' but not one that will market well; Different Drummer opens to business; and war resister Ehren Watada's father and step-mother continue raising awareness on their son.
Today, the US military released a press statement announcing: "One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died Sunday from injuries sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar province." That death brought the total number of US troops who have died in Iraq this month to 100. On that benchmark, John Ward Anderson and Ellen Knickmeyer (Washington Post) reported that this month has been "the deadliest month for U.S. forces since Jan. 2005 when 107 U.S. soldiers were killed." Already, the number has climbed today to 101 (for the month, 2814 since the start of the illegal war). Reuters notes: "A sniper killed a member of the U.S. military police in east Baghdad, the military said in a statement. It was the 101st death in Iraq this month, making October the deadliest month for U.S. troops since January last year."
Meanwhile, in the United States, Different Drummer opened to business last Friday in Watertown, NY. Celebrating the first G.I. coffeehouse of the current war, included a free screening on Saturday of the films The Ground Truth and this Saturday will offer a free screening of Arlington West (2:00 pm). The coffeehouse, located at 12 Paddoack Arcade, 1 Public Square, provides music, coffee, counseling for soldiers and more. The mission statement reads: "TO PROMOTE the free and uncensored exchange of ideas and information among military personnel and civilians. This includes, but isn't limited to, issues of war and peace, foreign policy, the military mission of our soldiers both at home and abroad, and the proper balance between the rights of citizen soldiers and military authority in a democratic society. TO PROVIDE accurate information, referrals, and counseling regarding the rights and duties of America's service members under U.S. and international law. TO ENTERTAIN servicemembers, civilians, and their families with performances of music, dance, comedy rap, poetry, and authors' readings reflecting a wide variety of viewpoints." The coffeehouse is a project of Citizen Soldier.
In Iraq, chaos and violence continued today.
AFP reports "a deadly bomb attack" in Baghdad today and quotes Abu Zeinad ("eyewitness") stating, "The bomb was hidden in a plastic bag. It's the third time that an attack has hit this place this year". The BBC notes that the explosion took place "early in the morning in Mudhafa Square". Reuters counts 28 dead and 60 wounded.
In addition to that bombing, Reuters also notes 5 other car bombs in Baghdad today which left 13 dead and 43 wounded. Outside of Baghdad, the BBC notes a bombing in Kirkuk that claimed the lives of two police officer. Reuters adds that it also took the life of "a three-year-old girl" while 19 were left injured while, near Kahalis, a roadside bomb killed two workers and left three wounded while, in Mosul, five were wounded by mortar rounds.
CBS and AP report that Essam al-Rawi, "a leading Iraqi academic and prominent Sunni political activist," was shot dead outside of his home. Christopher Bodeen (AP) notes that appoximately "154 university professors have been killed since the March 2003 U.S. invasion." Reuters notes an attack by "gunmen" on a police station in Baiji which killed two police officers.
Reuters notes six corpses ("signs of torture, blindfolded . . . bullet wounds") were discovered in Mahmudiya, five corpses (ditto) were discovered in Suwayra. In an update, Reuters noted that four corpses were also discovered in Mosul.
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reports that Iraq's foreign minister Hoshiyar Zebari is stating that the United Nation Security Council resolution 1637 should be renewed and the occupation continued. Polling demonstrates that the Iraqi people do not support Zebair's conclusion. But the request comes one day after, as CNN reported yesterday, Nouri al-Maliki's convoy came under attack in Baghdad and one of his guards was wounded.
This also comes as the British consulate in Basra is being 'evacuated.' Thomas Harding reported the evacuation in The Telegraph of London noting: "Despite a large British military presence at the headquarters in Basra Palace, a private security assessment has advised the counsul general and her staff to leave the building after experiencing regular mortar attacks in the last two months." [Polly noted that yesterday.] David Sanderson (Times of London) reports that: "Civilian employees will be moved to the airport, eight miles outside the city" and that the evacuation will not include "the Counsul-General and other staff from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development". This follows the August 24th 'evacuation' of the British military base in Amara (also due to mortar attacks).
In peace news, Bob Watada continues his third speaking tour to raise awareness on his son, Ehren Watada, who is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. As Austin's KXAN notes, today Bob Watada is speaking "at Garza Independece High School.". Kim Miller (Austin's CBS 42) reports that Bob Watada and Rosa Sakanishi (Ehren's step-mother) also spoke in Austin Sunday with Sakanshi noting: "We know that he is taking the hardest way to do it. But he is eager to do it. Willing to do it because he thinks he's doing the right thing." Rudy Koski (Austin's KVUE) reports that at Sunday's gathering (Cafe Caffeine on Mary Street), Bob Watada stated of his son, "He is a patriot, by any definition he is a patriot because he is standing up for what is right in this country."
After Bob Watada and Rosa Sakanishi finishing speaking to students today, they next to head Oklahoma. Here are some of the upcoming dates of the speaking tour:
Oct 31, 7-9PMNorman, OKLocation: Cleveland County Fairgrounds - Lobby615 E. RobinsonSponsor: Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War Contact: Jeri Reed, 405-307-0352, cell 405-606-9598, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov 1, TBAMiami, FloridaDemocracy for America Miami Dade and the South Florida Veterans For Peace Chapter 32Venue and time TBA
Nov 2, TBACincinnati, OHMeet Dr. Victoria (Vic) Wulsin, candidatefor congress 2nd district Ohio currently leading Jean Schmidt whocalled Rep John Murtha from PA. a coward.Sponsor: Vietnam Veterans Against the WarVenue: TBA
Nov 3, TBASt. Paul MN.Location: Quaker Peace Center -- 1725 Grand AvenueSponsors: Veterans for Peace Chapter 27Contact: Barry Reisch, (H) 651-641-1087 © email@example.com
Nov 4, 11AMMilwaukee, WI.Location: Great Lakes Arlington EventContact: Mark Foreman, 441-760-9991, firstname.lastname@example.orgSponsor: VFP Chapter 102* See the unveiling of a new "Arlington"
Nov. 5, 2PMBoston, MAEncuentro 533 Harrison Ave. 5th floor(Chinatown)Sponsors:Asian American Movement EzineAsian American Resource WorkshopBoston Hawaiian ClubChinese Progressive AssociationMassachusetts Global ActionNew England Japanese American Citizens League
Nov 5, 7PMCambridge, MA.Location: Unitarian Church, Harvard SquareSponsor: Veterans for Peace Chapter 9, Smedley Butler Brigade and Chapter 45, Samantha Smith ChapterContact: Lee VanderLaan, 978-257-2350
Nov 6, 2-4:30PMBoston, MALocation: University of Massachusetts/BostonSponsor: The Institute for Asian American StudiesWilliam Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social ConsequenceTime: 2-4:30 pm
Nov 6, 7PMWorcester, MA.Location: Clark University University Building, Lurie RoomSponsors: Veterans For Peace Chapter 10Contact: Bob Flanagan, 508-755-1479, IrishBob54@aol.com
A full schedule can be found at Veterans for Peace and those interested in hosting a Bob Watada speaking engagement in their area are urged to contact Doug Zachary.Brad Buccholz (Austin American-Statesman) interviewed Bob Watada for a piece that ran Sunday and wondered whether imprisonment was "a certainity" for Ehren? Bob Watada replied: "Well, right now, this is what the military wants to do. They have him for eight and a half years, for simply saying 'I do not want to go to Iraq to commit further war crimes. I don't want to go to Iraq to lead my men into commiting war crimes and putting their lives at risk, for nothing . . .' They (The Army) are basically trying to shut him up. They don't want their soldiers to tell the truth of what is going on in Iraq, though many, many are now. But (Ehren) is the first officer to publicly come out and say, 'This who war is based on a deception.' There were no weapons of mass destruction. There were no chemical and biological weapons. . . . There were no (9-11) terrorists in Iraq, and yet we're killing thousands of people over there, and getting ourselves killed (in violation of) the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations Charter."
More information on Ehren Watada and other war resisters can be found at Courage to Resist.