Posted by Elaine Brower - February 16, 2008 | News

MDS activists at Fort Dix
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

Fort Dix, NJ – February 16, 2008. Saturday, February 16th, 6 members of Movement for a Democratic Society’s Staten Island chapter, made a trip to do outreach to the troops at Fort Dix, New Jersey. We had literature for the troops who were training on the base this weekend – and cookies and brownies too!

We arrived on base, literally at the front gate, at about 1:15 PM on Saturday. I went up to the Visitor’s Center, hoping to get on base, but it was closed. So back to our cars we went. After driving around the periphery of the enormous facility we returned to main entrance with a new plan: stand right out in front of the Ft. Dix sign on Route 68 – the main entrance to the base – and try to hand out what we had. We parked in a small welcoming lot behind the huge LED sign “WELCOME TO FT. DIX, US ARMY”, which also announced lots of family activities happening on base.

Continue Reading…

Elaine Brower (MDS) and Debra Sweet (WCW) celebrate.
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

Harlem, NY – February 15, 2008. Observing the sixth Iraq Moratorium, members of the Granny Peace Brigade, Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) joined in a World Can’t Wait (WCW) counter-recruitment action in Harlem. The starting point was the military recruiting center at 103rd Street and Lexington Avenue, in East Harlem. The recruiting center had closed for the day, perhaps in response to WCW press releases announcing the protest. Protesters rallied at 103rd St for an hour and then marched north on Lex, then west on 125th St to Malcolm X Boulevard where they protested at a second recruiting center. This military “career center” had opted to remain open during the Moratorium. Half an hour into the protest, NYPD officers arrived on the scene and convinced protesters to allow them to enter the facility. A short time later the recruiters threw in the towel, shutting down the recruiting center and exiting the facility with a police escort as protesters and passersby cheered.

View Photos/Videos From The Action…
Posted by Thorne Dreyer - | News

(Photo: Carlos Lowry / MDS Austin)

Moratorium Demonstrators Shake Off Rain In Street Theater Bid to Curb “Corn Dog” Cornyn

Austin, TX – February 15, 2008. A tall lean George W. Bush pushes a wooden dog on wheels up and down a rainy Austin sidewalk. The dog has the face of Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas. A seven-foot tall Scooby Doo holds out a placard to passing motorists. It proclaims, “Curb Corn Dog Cornyn.”

A bandana-adorned shaggy dog of the standard variety shakes off the rain and accepts an organic dog treat from a woman whose t-shirt says “Bark for Peace.” A man with a dog snout, a “Beware of Dog” sign hanging from his neck, joins a contingent of pink poodles from CodePink in a group howl and a chant of “Bring Cornyn Home.”

In Austin it rained on Iraq Moratorium Day, but it didn’t keep the Movement for a Democratic Society/Austin from “bringing out the dogs.” Some 50 demonstrators dressed in dog costumes, many with legitimate canines in tow, joined in a lively bit of street theater outside the downtown Austin offices of Sen. John Cornyn, the conservative Republican senator from Texas, from 5-6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15.

Their stated purpose: to “Curb the Corn Dog” – “Corn Dog” is President Bush’s nickname for Sen. Cornyn – and to shine a light on Cornyn’s reactionary record and his role as the president’s loyal “lap dog.”

Severe thunderstorm warnings and falling rain that broke a month-long Austin drought cut significantly into the expected crowd and curtailed some of the planned activities, but it did little to stop the zany exuberance of the demonstrators.

As the rain downsized to an occasional drizzle, they passed out “Barking Points” that detailed Sen. Cornyn’s dismal record on such issues as the War in Iraq, torture, civil liberties and affordable health insurance for children. The flyer noted that Cornyn has been rated the fourth most conservative U.S. senator by the nonpartisan National Journal, and it listed by name 28 national civic organizations that give Cornyn a score of “0” and two more that fail him with a grade of “F.”

And, the protestors pointed out, Sen. Cornyn’s standing in the Texas polls is “lower than a parcel of puppy poop.”

The theatrical demonstration was organized by MDS/Austin — mds-austin wiki – with CodePink, Texas Labor Against the War, the Iraq Moratorium National Committee, The Rag Blog and SDS-UT/Austin as cosponsors.

A doghouse neatly crafted from a large cardboard box juts out from the street-level plate glass window of the Chase Tower building on W. Sixth Street in downtown Austin, Texas. In its door is the image of a basset hound bearing the facial features of Pres. George Bush’s pet senator. Above the door is a sign reading: “Offices of Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas.”

And, as far as the growling pack of protesters is concerned, that’s exactly where Corn Dog Cornyn deserves to be: in the doghouse.

View Photos/Videos From The Action…

Posted by Thorne Dreyer - February 13, 2008 | News

Protesters Mix Politics, Theater At Offices of Sen. John Cornyn

(Image: Bill Narum / MDS Austin)

Austin, TX – February 13, 2008. This Friday, February 15, at 5 p.m. Austin’s Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS/Austin) is “bringing out the dogs” in a theatrical demonstration at the offices of U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R, Texas) who has been called “lap dog to the President.”

The canine-themed event will take place 5-6:30 Friday, Feb. 15, on the street outside Sen. Cornyn’s Chase Tower offices at 221 W. Sixth St. (between Colorado and Lavaca) in Austin. Citizens have been invited to participate in the theater by bringing their dogs or coming costumed as dogs.

The event’s stated purpose is to “Curb the Corn Dog.” (“Corn Dog” is President George W. Bush’s pet name for the junior senator from Texas.) The organizers intend to shine a light on Sen. Cornyn’s special tail-wagging support of the president on such issues as the War in Iraq, torture, civil liberties and bringing affordable health care to children.

According to event organizers, the demonstration will be “lively and colorful, but the message will be as serious as a riled-up pit bull.”

The event is scheduled to correspond with the Iraq Moratorium’s monthly “Third Friday” demonstrations against the War in Iraq. It is being organized by MDS/Austin, a multi-issue progressive organization associated with the revitalized Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Official co-sponsors are CodePink, Texas Labor Against the War, Iraq Moratorium National Committee, SDS/UT Austin and The Rag Blog.

This is not a campaign activity supporting any candidate, but, according to organizers, is meant to focus on the political record of George Bush’s faithful pet senator, whose standing in the community, as backed up by numerous polls, “is lower than a parcel of puppy poop.”

To learn more about MDS/Austin, go to To contact MDS/Austin:

Posted by TAG - February 12, 2008 | News

Teen Maniacs? Or Teen Victims?
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

New York, NY – February 8, 2008. “Battle Cry For Our Generation” is a campaign of a Texas based parachurch organization known as Teen Mania Ministries, headed by founder Ron Luce. Backers include Pat Robertson and other prominent leaders of the Christian Right, many of whom subscribe to “dominionist” (theocratic) beliefs. The core precept of dominionists is that Christians must engage in political action to replace secular law with biblical law. In practice this would mean an extreme authoritarian state. {1} Battle Cry activists are working towards this goal and they brought their message to New York’s Times Square on Friday, February 9. They were met by counter-demonstrators from the World Can’t Wait, the Harlem Revolution Club and Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS).

Times Square’s “Military Island” Recruiting Center
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

The Times Square action was not the first Teen Mania event to inspire controversy or counter-demonstrations. Battle Cry staged a protest on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall in March 2006 because the steps were “the very city hall steps where several months ago ‘gay marriages’ were celebrated.” {2} According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Joe Garifoli the March 2006 protest earned Teen Mania an official city condemnation. Garifoli reports that local protesters characterized the event as a “fascist mega-pep rally”. {3}

View Photos/Videos From The Teen Mania Event In Times Square…

Continue Reading…

Posted by Richard Marini - February 6, 2008 | News

Bill Johnson of VVAW and fellow Staten Islanders – walking for democracy
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

Staten Island, NY – February 3, 2008. A dozen peace activists went on a 16 mile journey on Superbowl Sunday – starting at the Conference House, where peace conferences where held over 200 years ago, and ending in front of Staten Island’s Borough Hall in St. George. Their mission, to interact with the public about Tuesday’s presidential primary race and the candidates’ positions on the Iraq war.

Mike May, a member of Peace Action, walked most of the way singing and chanting with his arms raised high over his head holding a sign which read “Walk for Democracy” as passing motorists honked in support. John Romano of Annadale, who was driving by when he seen the activists trotting down Amboy Road, pulled over in support and joined them in New Dorp for the rest of the trek to St. George. Together, they handed out voter guides to the public which compared all the candidates positions, both Democrat and Republican, on the Iraq war.

Bill Johnson, a Vietnam Vet who walked the eight hour hike, expressed his dismay that the public was more interested in the Super Bowl than in Super Tuesday. Mr. Johnson stopped at a firehouse in Tottenville and talked with a firefighter about the Iraq war. Sally Jones, one of the organizers of the walk, stopped in Churches along the route.

All of activists who participated in the walk oppose the invasion of Iraq which is now in it’s 5th year. The Iraq war has claimed almost 4000 Americans and over one million Iraqis since the war began in March of 2003. The activists also expressed their concerns about their congressman, Republican Vito Fossella, who has continually voted to fund the war since it began.

View Photos/Videos From The Walk For Democracy…