Posted by Michael Graham - September 29, 2006 | News

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Charlotte, NC. – Join Us September 30th for a mass rally to impeach Bush. Several Charlotte area organizations are joining together to protest Bush and the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Come out and say no to the “war on terror”, the criminalization of immigrant workers, illegal wiretaps, violations of our democratic rights, secret prisons and rendition and torture of detainees. Demand that Bush be held accountable for his war crimes!

Join UNC Charlotte Students for a Democratic Society for a Democratic Society on Saturday, September 30, 2006 at 1:00 PM. Assemble at Freedom Park, 1900 East Blvd. For car pool or general information contact

Posted by Will Klatt - September 28, 2006 | News

Columbus, OH - On September 23, 2006, SDS chapters from Columbus, Kent and Athens staged a counter protest against the neo Nazi organization, the National Socialist Movement with the help of our friends in Anti Racist Action, and the Columbus and Cincinnati chapters of the ISO.

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Posted by Chapin Gray - September 27, 2006 | News

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Tuscaloosa, AL. – The newly-founded SDS chapter protested U.S. Army recruiters at their university’s career fair, Sep. 20. A dozen or so students rallied on the quad where they were joined by several anti-war activists from the community. They then marched several blocks to the career center, moving deftly past the front-entrance security, and, once inside, stood in front of the recruiter’s table. With signs such as “Killing Iraqis is no career,” the protestors were immediately confronted by campus police, and were forced to leave the building. The protesters then rallied outside, creating quite a disturbance at this up-scale event. Campus police then tried to coerce the protestors to vacate the premise entirely, but were unsuccessful. SDSer Jim Toweill described the hostile reaction of UA campus police as a “mini-coup.” “The level of alarm raised by just a few silent, well-dressed students with posters was uncanny,” he remarked after the protest.

Posted by Kosta Harlan - September 26, 2006 | News

Chapel Hill, NC. – On September 12, the UNC Chapel Hill Students for a Democratic Society (UNC SDS) led a protest of over 120 people against John Ashcroft’s visit to our campus. We chanted, we rallied, we disrupted his speech and we walked out to say NO to the “war on terror”, Ashcroft’s racist attacks on immigrants and Arab-Americans, the PATRIOT Act, and his legislative attacks on women’s reproductive rights, same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights. We are opposed to the use of $10,000 of our fees to pay for a speech from this bigot.The protest was a success, thanks to the participation of the Feminist Students United, the Radical Cheerleaders, the Young Democrats, and dozens of students. Palestine, Colombia and Iraq solidarity activists, among others, spoke at the rally. Uniting together in a common cause, we were able to project our message loud and clear: “John Ashcroft go home! War criminals off our campus!”

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Posted by TAG - September 25, 2006 | News

The SDS feeder march on its way to join the UFPJ main body. (Photo: Thomas Good)

New York, NY. Several SDS chapters turned out on Tuesday, September 19th, 2006, to protest the presence of war criminal George W. Bush in New York City. Movement for a Democratic Society activists Todd Eaton, Ben Maurer, Devra and Mike Morice, Tom Burgess, Tom Good, Kurt Hill and Paul Veneski hooked up with activists from Pratt, Pace, New School and Bergen SDS. The SDSers were joined by some Wobblies: Eugene Lerner, John Cronan and Nick Patti of the NYC GMB turned out as did members of the New York Metro Alliance of Anarchists: James Nova, David Graeber and others. It was a nice Fall day and SDS was in the streets – loud and proud. The protest was called by United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and SDS New York had organized a feeder march.

The SDSers formed up at the NYC Public Library at 41st Street and Fifth Avenue, near the famous lion statues. Prior to the march to the UN, demonstrators listened to brief speeches by SDSers Matt DeVlieger, Pat Korte, Brian Kelly and John Cronan as well as comments from Nick Patti of the Wobblies. The marchers stepped off around 9:30 AM and headed up 42nd Street to First Avenue. Describing a square in Manhattan’s midtown area the SDS feeder march eventually joined the UFPJ main body at the corner of 47th Street and Fifth Avenue where they fell in behind the Veterans for Peace contingent. A number of familiar faces greeted the students: War Resisters Ed Hedemann, Ruth Benn, Jim Moschella and Sister Liz Proefriedt; VFP members Bob Carpenter, Elliott Adams and Pete Bronson and many individual activists including Dave Lippman, himself a first generation SDS member, and David Jones of Peace Action Staten Island.

The marchers filed into Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and listened to a variety of speakers in a UFPJ sponsored rally. Midway through the event, Uruj Sheijk of Pace SDS ascended the podium to speak. She had Kim Egge of Pace SDS and Jonathan Harvey of Brooklyn SDS on either side – holding the SDS banner – and delivered a rousing speech. NLN was there and photos and an audio clip (an excerpt from Uruj’s speech) can be accessed Here

Posted by Paul Buhle - September 24, 2006 | News

Top: Mark Rudd, today and in his Weather days. (Photos:
Bottom: Dan Mirisola of new SDS (Photo: Thomas Good)

The 1969 SDS convention in Chicago gave me a crushing headache, and I can’t have been the only one. Like most (but by no means all) the SDSers that I knew, I left the convention hall with the anti-PLers, sure that nothing could be quite worse than being dragged back, not just into 1930s rhetoric but to the least effective 1930s rhetoric, before the funny songs, successful labor mobilization and great movies made the leftwing message somewhat diluted but lot more popular.

The rude shock came soon. Mark Rudd, a fresh face and a good orator about to be elected, has recalled the disaster to follow as well as anyone, leaving out few criticisms of himself (something for which he deserves a lot of credit). Radical youth organizations founded in the previous few years soon collapsed almost everywhere, irrespective of personalities and rhetoric. All of us could have done better and none of us, in my view, deserves the Great Big Vindication. My old magazine, RADICAL AMERICA, made itself part of a diaspora from campus to blue collar community, and if the magazine bravely held on and held up the ideals of SDS for another twenty years, we had come up against a stone wall of history, too.

All this time later, as of the launching of SDS, fittingly on Martin Luther King, Jr., day of 2006, I watched the memberships roll in with enormous curiosity. On the subject line, “How did you hear of us?” the most common reply after “Friends” was something like “History,” either the reading of a book or the lecture of a teacher, high school or college. Among the others following, with “My parents were members,” could be found those who joined after they saw the Weatherman film. Including one of my current students, a Latina Wobbly and punk singer.

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(L to R): Carol Husten, Laurie Arbeiter and Ann Shirazi were arrested at the UN wearing
tshirts that said: “We Will Not Be Silent” in various languages. (Photo: Thomas Good)

A couple of blocks away from the large UFPJ rally in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, a Civil Disobedience that centered on Bush’s war crimes went down without alot of fanfare – at least initially. NYPD officers, FBI, dogs, rooftop snipers, Secret Service and a throng of press were present as some 16 protesters were eventually arrested for nonviolent civil resistance – at 44th Street and First Avenue, directly across the street from the UN General Assembly. The CD was timed to coincide with Bush’s speech.

The civil disobedience action was organized by the “Bush Crimes Commission” and “World Can’t Wait”. Participants in the action included the Granny Peace Brigade, the We Will Not Be Silent movement and Iraq Veterans Against The War. Protesters included: Ann Wright, a former State Department official who resigned in protest of the Iraq War; Elaine Brower (WCW), whose son is a marine serving in Falluja; Father Luis Barrios of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Clark Kissinger (RCP/WCW), Beth Lamont, the American Humanist Association’s UN representative; Beverly Rice, Carol Husten and Ann Shirazi of the Granny Peace Brigade; Laurie Arbeiter of We Will Not Be Silent and Geoff Millard of IVAW.

The action began around 12 Noon on September 19th. Calling Bush a war criminal and demanding his arrest, anti-war protesters hugged the barricades on 44th Street holding signs and a large black umbrella which had “We Will Not Be Silent” painted on it. (‘We will not be silent’ is the English translation of ‘Wir schweigen nicht’ – a slogan of the White Rose, an anti-Nazi group whose members were eventually executed by Hitler). Some demonstrators apparently crossed the barricades in an attempt to make their voices heard – and their signs visible to the UN. One activist, Elaine Brower, was thrown back into the crowd by police – where she landed on a grandmother named Carol Husten. Husten, an elderly woman, was knocked off her feet and two other protesters struggled to help her get back up. Grandmother Beverly Rice was pulled roughly through the barricades by police who then promptly arrested her – for crossing the barricade.

While this was occurring an Iraq War Veteran named Geoff Millard simply walked into the ‘secure area’ – finding himself between the NYPD, FBI and Secret Service and the UN itself. Millard told NLN that he was: “tackled, kicked in the forehead and hit with rifle butts” multiple times. Arrested for disorderly conduct he was nylon flex-cuffed so tightly that his circulation was cut off. The following day Millard said that he still couldn’t “feel (his) left thumb”. Millard, who served in the 45th Infantry Division, NY State National Guard, fell when he attempted to climb into the police van. Rather than help him up the NYPD charged him with resisting arrest.

“I fell at the paddy wagon and for this they charged me with resisting arrest,” said Millard who fought in Iraq from October 2004 until October 2005. Millard was released on his own recognizance and will go to trial on November 8, 2006. At his arraignment, Millard was offered a plea deal: plead guilty to the disorderly conduct violation and do two days of community service and the resisting charge would go away. Millard, outraged, declined the deal.

After the arrest of Rice and Millard, the remaining protesters formed a line in front of the barricades and began chanting: “Arrest Bush, torture is illegal…” and “Bush is a war criminal, we will not be silent”. Police sealed the area – pushing press into pens – and brought in vans and uniforms armed with flex cuffs. NYPD Lt. Wolf issued an order to disperse through a bullhorn and then ordered the arrest of the 13 nonviolent activists. The 13 arrested in the second wave of arrests were all processed at Midtown North (on 54th Street) were they were charged with disorderly conduct and given DATs (desk appearance tickets). They will be arraigned on October 17th at 100 Centre Street. Ironically, this is the anniversary of the Times Square Recruiting Center arrest of the Granny Peace Brigade – a case they ultimately won.

View photos from the CD

Posted by Alison Van Doren - September 19, 2006 | News

c/o Leijia Hanrahan and J. Dewey at

Newt Gingrich was invited to the New School by Milano students specifically so he could be challenged on his political views. This is what the organizer of the event told me and many others. This reason is both respectable and flawed. It is respectable since it calls for a very powerful person to be challenged publicly in an open forum and to be held accountable to his words and actions. This is, ostensibly, what democratic dialogue is. However, there is a simple flaw here which stalks the discussions of “free speech” at the New School and wherever it is invoked. Usually, “free speech” is invoked as the only right that exists, it is used as a club, a tabula rasa idea which came from the universal blank slate of humanity, has no context, gives no context, and is absolute, pure, and unquestionable. That this idea hearkens back to classical liberalism is obvious; that it also runs through the critical theory embodied at the New School’s is sad.

The rub is that “free speech” NEVER exists in a vacuum, whether that be a vacuum or politics or power, race or gender, wealth or violence, or all of the above. What happens is that privileged people invoke “free speech” at the expense of other rights in order to silence action for the sake of a mythical “equality” of debate. Sure, everyone’s equal, Newt Gingrich, Bob Kerrey, there just like you and me, and hence a debate between the two of them is an exact simulation of a debate between regular citizens. This myth of balanced objectivity sought in the tension of two equal and opposite viewpoints (the myth that runs throughout all major news stations which do debates only with government officials, think tanks, experts on the “right” or “left”) already hides all of the choices we are not given; it already hides all of the power already exercised in the formulating of the terms; and most of all, it hides the power inequity inherent in giving someone like the former Speaker of the House another platform to shop his ideas around.

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Posted by Lauren Giaccone and Thomas Good - September 18, 2006 | News

An SDSer who helped ‘number the dead’ (Photo: Thomas Good)

New York, NY. SDS Pace was the first chapter within SDS New York to endorse the “Number The Dead” protest – held on September 17th, 2006 on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. They were followed by MDS New York. Members of New School, Pratt and even UCF SDS participated in the event. Momentum Films stated the purpose of the action on their website

  • To illustrate – and draw awareness – to the significant number of US soldiers and Iraqis whose lives have been lost as a result of the war in Iraq.
  • To honor that reality with a moment of silence for the US soldiers and Iraqis who have fallen in the name of freedom.

The goal was to have 2700 participants stand along the east side of Fifth Avenue – in a human chain extending from 8th Street to 98th Street. Yoko Ono donated 3000 buttons that stated: “Imagine Peace” – these were distributed to participants by the organizers. At the event, each participant held a placard that contained the name of a dead US soldier or stated “11,000 Iraqis”. A documentary film crew videotaped the event.

A fired up Todd Eaton of MDS Brooklyn (Photo: Thomas Good)

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phil with sign

September 7th 2006, UCF SDS challenged the University of Central Florida’s free expression policy with a second “talk-in”. In the spring semester of 2006, SDS activists were threatened with arrest for “trespassing” on their own campus. After exhausting the campus’ legal routes for justice, UCF SDS decided to again hold a talk in and stand their ground. The Central Florida chapter of SDS argues that the student body holds the right to freely speak and assemble and that if these rights are not openly given then they will be actively taken. While the administration earlier went against UCF student’s constitutional rights and sought to intimidate the student body with legal threats, SDS decided they would continue to exercise their rights and not succumb to a chilling effect.

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