Posted by TAG - January 28, 2014 | News



Pete Seeger at the South Street Seaport, 1984
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
From thomasgood.com: Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) at the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan, circa Spring, 1984. Shot on ektachrome (400) using a Pentax ME Super, 50mm f/2 SMC. Scanned on an Epson Perfection V300 in February, 2011.

 




A protester and a predator square off
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 

NEW YORK — December 18, 2013. The killing of Yemeni wedding goers by U.S. military personnel is a tragic example of unrestricted drone warfare’s fatal dialectic: “collateral damage” as an inevitable byproduct of “near certainty” in targeting alleged terrorists — for remote control assassination.




Drone assassinations violate international law
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 
On Wednesday, December 18, activists held a vigil in front of Manhattan’s famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral, mourning 15 Yemeni wedding-goers killed on December 12, 2013 by a US drone strike. The vigil offered passersby a chance to acquire that most dangerous item: uncensored and unmanipulated knowledge.

 
The timing of the event was in part a response to the recent tragedy in Yemen, and in part a reminder of what Christians celebrate during the busiest shopping period in the corporate liturgical calendar.




The demand: stop the killings
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 
“St. Patrick’s is chosen for the vigil,” said Nick Mottern, coordinator of KnowDrones.org, “as a reminder one week before the birth of Jesus Christ of his witness on behalf of poor and outcast people, his message of reconciliation and peace and his challenge to the religious and political establishments of his time. In this spirit, we urge Pope Francis and other religious leaders to condemn drone warfare everywhere in the world.”




Outreach…
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 
The vigil included a large-scale model of the MQ-9 Reaper drone, the workhorse of US drone assassinations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Mottern estimates that over 5,000 people have been killed in US drone strikes since they began in 2001.




Remembering the dead: sons, daughters, mothers, fathers…
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 
Organizations participating in the outreach effort included: the Granny Peace Brigade; Veterans for Peace; the War Resisters League, and; the World Can’t Wait.

 


View Photos From The Event…

 

In this general necessity, guilt has no place. One man can give the signal that liquidates hundreds and thousands of people, then declare himself free from all pangs of conscience, and live happily ever after.

Herbert Marcuse

 

Posted by TAG - December 11, 2013 | News


(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

 
SECAUCUS, N.J. — On Black Friday labor activists visited Walmart stores across the country — not to shop but to protest Walmart’s always low wages and poor treatment of workers.


Protesting the elimination of small businesses
(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

 
In Secaucus, New Jersey, 13 protesters were arrested for taking part in a civil disobedience held to draw attention to the issues. In several states Walmart workers participated in the protests.


Members of Staten Island’s Middle Class Action Project
(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

 
John Kubinski, a UCFW member and organizer with the Staten Island based Middle Class Action Project, was at the Secaucus protest, standing with the Walmart workers. Kubinski was joined by a number of young MCAP members.


Labor organizer John Kubinski (left) at the Black Friday protest
(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

 
“Walmart has made the choice to wage a war on workers, by cutting hours, altering schedules and failing to properly compensate their employees ….that’s their choice. We choose to stand up against their corporate greed and to fight for the working class in this country. That’s our choice,” Kubinski said.


(Photo courtesy of John Kubinski)

 


War Resisters protesting drone killings.
(Photo: Ed Hedemann / WRL)

 
NEW YORK — November 24, 2013. The War Resisters League (WRL) have a message for the holiday season: drone manufacturers are making a killing.

 
On Monday 25 members of the NYC War Resisters League, Granny Peace Brigade, and other groups demonstrated outside the world headquarters of L-3 Communications,Third Avenue and 39 Street. The activists were protesting L-3′s manufacture of electronics for the Predator drones, used by President Obama, the CIA, and the Pentagon to track and kill “insurgents” — men, women, and children — in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen.

 
The most infamous of the drone strikes was the Wech Baghtu wedding party airstrike which killed 63 people including 37 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, and 26 insurgents on November 3, 2008. The group was celebrating a wedding at a housing complex in the village of Wech Baghtu, a Taliban stronghold in the Shah Wali Kot District of Kandahar province, Afghanistan. On November 5, 2008, Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded that President Barack Obama stop killing civilians.

 
The War Resisters are calling on Nobel laureate Obama to stop killing, period.

 
The L-3 project included LED-illuminated signs provided by the Light Brigade and projected messages by The Illuminator art collective. The WRL is well known for its use of creative visuals — one of their posters features the tagline, “More creativity, not war.”

 


Related: would-be consumers of alcohol must be 21-years-old to buy beer or liquor in New York. Recently the City Council voted to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes. Yet, 18-year-olds can still enlist in the armed forces — and be deployed to Afghanistan. It would appear that indiscretion can be both youthful — and useful.

 




A lone piper on Staten Island’s boardwalk
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — October 29, 2013. On the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, a group of relief agencies and storm survivors held a ‘resiliency march’ on the boardwalk that traverses some of the hardest hit areas of Staten Island.

 




Members of Tunnels To Towers involved in hurricane relief
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
The march, which wound its way from South Beach to Midland Beach, was attended by community members who survived the storm, hurricane relief organizations, and local politicans.




State Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis marching with Sandy survivors
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
Community members carried signs that read “Rebuilding Without Consultation” and “1 Year After – Still Exposed To Storms” — expressing the concerns of Islanders who are struggling to rebuild their shattered homes.




“Rebuilding Without Consultation”
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 




Lyn Governale, whose home was badly damaged, demands “Sustainability In A New Climate”
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 




Islanders from Ocean Breeze ask for a buyout
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 


View Photos From The March…

 


Paul Buhle’s latest book: Radical Jesus
(Image courtesy of Paul Buhle)

 
MADISON, Wis. — November 5, 2013. Paul Buhle, retired Brown University professor and former editor of Radical America, an SDS publication, is back with a new book whose protagonist is well known to readers of all ages — or is he?

 
Buhle has been releasing graphic histories for some time. His most famous offerings include Wobblies! A Graphic history of the Industrial Workers of the World (2005) and Students For A Democratic Society: A Graphic History (2008) which was written by Harvey Pekar, illustrated by Gary Dumm, and edited by Buhle.

 
And now Paul is back with a new offering. Radical Jesus. Contributing to the book are long time Buhle collaborators Sabrina Jones (illustrator), Gary Dumm (illustrator), and Nick Thorkelson (illustrator). Buhle is masterful at assembling a team of writers and illustrators and producing high quality graphic histories in very short order. One look at the Amazon.com Paul Buhle page tells the story – there are graphic histories of the Beats, FDR, Isadora Duncan, Che Guevara, Emma Goldman, Bohemians, etc. Radical Jesus takes up where the other histories leave off, or perhaps serves as a prequel. An anti-imperialist Jesus? Buhle and others say, Absolutely!

 


Paul Buhle at Brown University (2008)
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
The Wisconsin State Journal ran a piece by Doug Erickson that outlined Buhle’s motivation for writing the book: “A lot of the book comes down to rich and poor and how religion can contribute to the world today and the crises we face,” Buhle told Erickson.

 
Anyone interested in meeting the author, getting a signed copy, or learning more about the book and the art of comic book histories will have an opportunity to do so on April 28 at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan.

 

Posted by TAG - September 9, 2013 | News




(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 

NEW YORK — September 9, 2013. Saturday’s “Hands off Syria” protest in NYC featured signs calling for respect of international law — and opposing yet another unilateral U.S. military intervention in the Middle East.

 




A protester at Saturday’s “Hands Off Syria” rally marches down Broadway
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
Recently, President Barack Obama has been working the Hill and lobbying world leaders, looking to garner support for a U.S. military intervention in war torn Syria — in response to Syrian President Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons. But the response to Obama’s intense lobbying efforts has been overwhelmingly negative. Whatever rationale the President has offered has been met with opposition from the majority of the war weary American people who regard Syria’s troubles as “not our business” — and a fair amount of overt cynicism as well: apparently a ruse by any other name has an all too familiar odor. A “limited strike” has the potential for blossoming into a full blown conflict. And then there is the irony of a Nobel Prize winner — who just last week honored Martin Luther King, Jr. — stumping for a new war. Obama’s rhetoric hasn’t sold well and on Saturday several hundred New Yorkers took to the streets to demand that the United States maintain a “Hands Off Syria” policy.

 




Saying no to war in Syria in Arabic, Czech, Danish,
Dutch, French, German, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian.
(Graphic: © Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
A number of protesters at Saturday’s event compared Obama to George W. Bush. It wasn’t intended as flattery.

 




The push for punitive military intervention has a familiar ring for some
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
Obama’s history of “bipartisan” outreach to militarists in the Congress and his current lobbying for a new war have historical precedents. As far back as 1955 observers were commenting on the two party system’s willingness to overlook ostensible differences when it came to pursuing a hawkish foreign policy.


Bipartisanship in foreign policy overrides competitive group interests under the threat of international communism, and spreads to domestic policy, where the programs of the big parties become ever more undistinguishable, even in the degree of hypocrisy and in the odor of the cliches.
Herbert Marcuse, Eros And Civilization (1955)

 
And yet Obama appears to have less support for his Syrian intervention than students of history might expect. Republicans, like Tea Party Congressman Michael Grimm — who initially supported the intervention and abruptly withdrew support — appear to place a higher value on opposing any Obama policy than on promoting an aggressive foreign policy (and channeling increased profits to powerful arms vendors). The far Right’s animosity towards Obama may ultimately aid the antiwar protesters’ cause.

 




Obama: praising Martin Luther King one week, lobbying for war the next?
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 




Protesters marching down NYC’s Broadway – from Times Square to Union Square
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 




A protester’s sign lists the use of chemical weapons — by the U.S.
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 


View Photos/Video Footage From The Protest

 

Posted by TAG - September 3, 2013 | News



It’s a long way from Oslo to Syria
– and back to Saigon
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
I think it is vitally important to organize an alternative campaign to the 13-year-long commemoration of the Viet Nam war now being promoted by the Department of Defense, with a budget of $65,000,000. I am pleased to be working with Veterans for Peace (VFP) — of which I am an associate member — on this project. This link http://www.ncveteransforpeace.org/memorial/ will take you to an Open Letter I hope you will sign in support of the campaign. It explains the background of the DoD initiative, and suggests some ideas for getting started.


The opposition to war and military intervention strikes at the roots: it rebels against those who economic and political dominion depends on the continued (and enlarged) reproduction of the military establishment, its “multipliers,” and the policies which necessitate this reproduction. These interests are not hard to identify, and the war against them does not require missiles, bombs and napalm. But it does require something that is much harder to produce — the spread of uncensored and unmanipulated knowledge.

Herbert Marcuse, Eros And Civilization

At this point, I see our role as informing and suggesting. We hope that people will connect with the campaign in whatever ways make sense in their own local and work contexts. It would be great if communication and coordination could be created between those interested in working on a counter-commemoration, and we (and VFP) are prepared to help move this forward. A Working Group has been created within Veterans for Peace. We are confident that people’s creativity and initiatives will come into play, however and in whatever ways they want to connect directly to our work.

 
You are welcome, of course, to generate your own ideas, and we hope you will want to work together with us on this campaign! We would like you to circulate the letter for more signatures and help formally launch the alternative commemoration.

 

In a few weeks we will also be launching a petition campaign on the US government web site. This petition will be shorter and aimed at a broader audience. To get a response from the Obama Administration, we need 100,000 signatures in a month.

 
Howard Machtinger
Associate Member
Veterans For Peace
hm@nextleftnotes.net


[T]he established society seems to be apprehensive of the subversive contents of memory.

Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man




On the steps of Staten Island’s Borough Hall: a cry for justice
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 

NEW YORK — July 20, 2013. Standing together in the midday sun on a hot July Saturday, members of Staten Island’s diverse progressive community cried out for justice: justice for Trayvon Martin; justice for the Martin Family; justice for all of the children – and their parents – who have suffered as a result of gun violence, and lastly; justice for George Zimmerman who was not afforded an opportunity to atone for his actions.

 
They were not alone. Across the harbor — at One Police Plaza in lower Manhattan — and across the country, progressives held rallies. The “Justice for Trayvon Martin” rallies were part of a “National Day of Action in 100 Cities” called by Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. The “100 City” rallies were organized locally by NAN and other groups including the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, the NAACP, and MoveOn.




At Police Plaza: a call to “Boycott Florida”
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 
The protesters were clear in their single demand: they called on Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to file charges against George Zimmerman for the racial profiling and killing of Trayvon Martin. Civil Rights organizations backing the rallies argued that Zimmerman violated Martin’s civil rights when the neighborhood watch captain shot and killed the unarmed teen. A secondary demand, voiced at many rallies, was a call to the Obama Administration to overturn the Stand Your Ground law, in Florida and across the U.S. This is the law that made Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict possible. When legal scholars argued, on television and in print, that the prosecution’s case was weak, Civil Rights advocates responded by pointing out that Zimmerman was ordered to stand down by police and failed to do so. The NAACP and others have argued that racism informed the verdict and if the situation was reversed the outcome would have been different.

 
NLN had team coverage of the rallies: Bud Korotzer covered One Police Plaza and Thomas Altfather Good was at the Staten Island protest. Here are some images from the events:

 

Staten Island

 




Speaking out on Staten Island
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 




On the steps of Borough Hall
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 




Spreading the word…
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 




Bobby Digi of Island Voice calls for justice
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 




City Council member Debi Rose (l) and Rev. Kathlyn Barrett-Layne (r)
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 




Peace Action’s Sally Jones
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 

 

One Police Plaza

 




The jury of six had one African American member
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 




Reverend Al Sharpton speaking at “1PP”
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 




Members of Trayvon Martin’s family at the rally
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 




Hazel Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 




Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY 13)
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 




“We are all Trayvon Martin”
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 




Outside 1PP…
(Photo: Bud Korotzer / NLN)

 

Click HERE To View All Of The Photos and a Video From The Staten Island Protest…

 
Bud and Fran Korotzer contributed reporting to this article.




Whistleblowers and Supporters(L to R):
Thomas Drake, Jesselyn Radak, Kevin Gosztola and Debra Sweet

(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

 
NEW YORK — NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake and his attorney, a journalist covering the Bradley Manning trial, and a longtime political activist were participants in a panel discussing “The National Security State” on Sunday.

 




NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake spoke at the Left Forum on Sunday
Click to see Video

 
Former NSA employee Thomas Drake spoke at the Left Forum on Sunday. Drake discussed his attempts to report “high crimes and misdemeanors,” committed by intelligence agencies after 9/11, to the federal government. Drake recalled how his life changed after he became the subject of an FBI investigation in retaliation for his whistleblowing activities.

 




Whistleblower attorney Jesselyn Radak also spoke
Click to see Video

 
Attorney Jesselyn Radack also spoke at the Left Forum panel on whistleblowers. Radak discussed the treatment whistleblowers receive from the Government as well as her own experiences as an attorney who represented pariahs — individuals some regard as people of conscience but whom the federal government sees as enemies of the state.

 




Journalist Kevin Gosztola discussed the Bradley Manning case
Click to see Video

 
firedoglake.com journalist Kevin Gosztola has been reporting on the Bradley Manning trial. On Sunday Gosztola discussed the historical importance of the Bradley Manning case, the military’s efforts to muzzle the press, and the prosecution’s notion that Manning lacked agency — Gosztola disputed the Army’s assertion that Manning acted as an “agent” of wikileaks, hence committed espionage.

 
With the National Security Agency being in the press this past week it is an interesting coincidence that Bradley Manning is being tried at Ft. Meade — home of the NSA. The video clips presented here shed some light on the issues surrounding those persons whom some regard as heroes and the government — in particular the Obama administration — prosecutes under the 1917 Espionage Act. Eugene Debs was prosecuted and imprisoned for violating this act. His crime consisted of speaking out against World War One.

 
Sunday’s panel was sponsored by the World Can’t Wait and moderated by WCW’s Debra Sweet.