Tuesday, November 15, 2005

De Anza Students for Justice - Press Release - Tuesday November 15, 2005

RE: The message of the demonstrations, the targeting of activists.

The press coverage of the events was minimal, ignoring most of the student and faculty organizing and educational efforts. Where there was coverage at all, it either focused on Cindy Sheehan as the national anti-war celbrity, or on allegations of violence by masked protestors. Students for Justice, and the concerned De Anza community will be continuing to work to alleviate this sad state of public communication. Regardless of what was reported about the demonstration, the facts remain: Colin Powell lied knowlingly about intelligence to make the case for war. The current adminstration, as well as the Bush Sr. and Clinton administrations are respnsible for millions of Iraqi civilian deaths, through the course of two wars and a decade of santions which failed to weaken Saddam Hussein's control of the country, but nevertheless caused indecrisbable suffering to the people of Iraq. If any media/journalists would like to speak to someone about the message of the protestors during the three days of resistance activities (which included educational programs in addition to the night time demonstrations), they should contact:

Rich Wood (Sociology faculty at De Anza) - 408-864-8473
Jeremy Zimmer (South Bay Students for Justice) - 408-834-5483
Vida Shahamat (South Bay Mobilization) - 408-998-8504

Even more disturbing, the persons arrested and charged with crimes were predominantly Muslim youth of color. We are deeply distressed by the targeting of individuals for their skin color, attire, and/or religious/political beliefs (at least one of the arrestees was singled out because he had made statements at the open-mic to the protestors earlier that evening). Although there were incidents of grafitti and property destruction, none of the young men who were arrested were involved. We keep them in our thoughts and hope that justice will prevail.

If any media/journalists would like to speak with someone regarding the arrestees, or the racial profiling by authorities, they should contact:

Aman Mehrzai (La Voz, De Anza Muslim Student Association) - aman.mehrzai@gmail.com
---CORRECTION---
The following article was NOT written for La Voz, the De Anza College student newspaper. The author has been involved with that publication, thought this piece was written for publication to various websites and blogs. We apologize for the mix-up.
---END CORRECTION---

While the author's account of Friday night is more accurate than any mainstream press coverage, it should be noted that the allegations of rock throwing are as of now just that, allegations. It has been established that someone, not an anrachist or a Muslim was giving out/throwing eggs. The difference between throwing an egg and a rock is substantial both in motivation and legal consequence. This distinction, and the fact that no incidents of rock throwing had been directly obeseved by any of the demonstrators or legal observers. In addition, it should be noted that the rally itself was non-violent, and the alleged actions of a few should not be used to characterize the intent of the many people who attended, chanted, and caused disruptions which did not in any way threaten the safety of either police nor the audience. That being said, here's the article.

-----------------

Police Beat College Students in Violent Protests against Powell
By AMAN MEHRZAI

Eight people were arrested, mostly college students in a violent protest against former Secretary of State Colin Powell in the San Francisco Bay Area, Friday night.
Protesters gathered at De Anza College in the South Bay starting Wednesday, to kick off a three day rally with visitors such as Cindy Sheehan and Yuri Kochiyama present.
Chants such as; "Whose College? - Our College. You get out," and "This is what democracy looks like, this is what a police state looks like," were heard while police attacked and beat certain protesters.
Police have been accused of using racial profiling and excessive force while arresting activists during the demonstrations.
Friday nights protest gained most attention when certain groups and individuals joined the rally that left destruction to police vehicles and school property. Police car windows were smashed and Anarchy symbols were spray painted on the back of some local media outlet vans. A message that said "Paris Rising" was tagged on the back of one police buss.
In order to disperse the crowd, fully armed riot police in multiple groups of 15 to 20 spread out and chased anyone who was present including reporters and legal observers. One group of riot police moved the remaining crowd down the campus pushing them through bushes and assaulting them with their gear. Another group of troops crossed the street into commercial property forcing a corridor around the block, in order to peruse and arrest certain protesters they had spotted earlier in the crowd, who were on their way to their cars.
Some of the protesters went inside a local coffee shop across campus out of fear of the riot police who were quickly approaching them. "At one point, the riot police surrounded the coffee shop and one undercover officer with an earpiece came inside and waited outside the bathroom door and was staring at me when I was going in," said protester Susan Barrientos. Barrientos is a Muslim convert who was dressed in Islamic attire.
Some protesters who were arrested were previously refused access to their cars when they wanted to leave, and were later beaten and captured in plain view of many eyewitnesses and legal observers.
Out of seven of the protesters who were arrested outside of the Flint Center, six were Muslims of Arabic and African descent, some members of the Student Muslim Association. "They [police] saw that we had the most energy and were not afraid of them and were riling up the crowd," said De Anza student Hanni Zaki, 22,  who was hospitalized for receiving injury to the head from police who stepped on his face and beat him with their batons. "They couldn't stand that we were dressed in Palestinian and Arabic clothes and weren't afraid of them. They wanted revenge so they chased down, every one of us who were Muslim, until they could beat and arrest us, that's what they were waiting for, that's why they wouldn't let me go to my car." De Anza's Students for Justice Member, Mark Anthony Medeiras, asked police to go to his car and was allowed to leave, minutes before Zaki was beaten and arrested. Zaki, who parked in the same garage as Medeiras, was refused access to his vehicle and when he asked how he was supposed to leave, was told, "You should of thought of that earlier," by one of the riot police who leaned over with his baton to start the attack by multiple officers.
De Anza student Abdul Kareem Al-Hayiek, 19, was chased by two officers on their dirt bikes until they knocked him down and pepper sprayed him in the face. Al-Heyiek began choking while officers jumped on top of him; he soon after lost consciousness. Another De Anza student Aiman Eltilib, 17, who just got out of class that night pleaded for the officer to get off of Al-Hayiek and was also pepper sprayed in the face and told by an officer, "Do you want to end up like him?" Eltilib responded by asking the officers to let Al-Hayiek go and that "he didn't do anything." The officer then put his left arm around the minor's neck and choked his Adams apple with the fingertips of his right hand until he collapsed to the ground. Shakir Eljurf, 19, who attended the same night class with Eltilib walked towards his classmate in concern, with books still under his right arm, when a third officer from behind twisted his left arm behind his back without warning, but was alarmed to find an angry mob pursuing them from behind. All three were then quickly released as the officers retreated to take cover from the approaching mob.
Two other Muslim students, Mohammad Abdo, 23, and Adonnis Graves, 22, ran towards the local media vans for safe haven after riot police hit Graves in the face with a baton and forced him through a high bush, only to be rescued by Abdo who pulled him to safety.The two nearly made it to the news reporters, but were blocked off by officers on motorcycles who told them to get off campus. They crossed the street and walked through a public park to get to their cars where officers apprehended and arrested them both.
Elgrie Hurd, 24, an African American student from San Jose State University was asked by officers to back off the edge of a street. Although Hurd was complying, officers dragged him forward by his shirt and arrested in plain view. Many photographers took footage of the incident. He was charged with Battery on a Peace Officer and False report of a bomb.
Protester, Brian Helmle, was the first to be arrested inside the Flint Center earlier that night, during Powell's speech and was charged for Disturbing the Peace and Resisting Arrest. Helmle, who is 27, stood up while Powell was speaking about the virtues of American kindness and yelled out "Liar - liar, murderer – murderer," and blew his whistle until officers carried him across the stands to arrest him.
Helmle, who later met with other arrestees, was shocked to find that they were treated with such harshness and brutality and that he was the only Caucasian to be arrested that night. "I think that this is all about white privilege," said Helmle. "I wasn't treated in any harshness whatsoever by the police. The fact is that the eyes of the white crowd were on a white male doing strange things inside. What happened to those outside in the protest is ridiculous and racist. All they were trying to do was leave and get to their cars. I was intentionally trying to get arrested."
Police released Helmle by 1 a.m. that same night without taking him into custody. The seven others who were arrested outside the Flint Center were taken into custody, including the minor Eltilib, and detained overnight in harsh conditions. Al-Hayiek is the only one to still be in custody awaiting an arraignment for bond.
In 1984 the Santa Calra County was sued by the law offices of Carpenter and Mayfield when police sweeped a large number of protesters on De Anza College and illegally detained them on a parking lot during a demonstration against Ronald Reagan.
One officer, who was at the protests on Friday night said, "Although profiling shouldn't happen, when certain people dress the way they do they become a target. It shouldn't happen, but the reality is that when most officers see someone dressed in that kind of clothes [Middle Eastern], they associate that with terrorism." The officer said that they regularly attend terrorism training classes, and that many officers associate such garb to terrorists because of the training videos they see in which "terrorists prepare themselves for Jihad and martyrdom."
Multiple legal organizations are investigating the allegations that police singled out the Middle Eastern and African American protesters, although the majority of the violence was conducted by others. Excessive force allegations will also be a focus of the investigations.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

On a personal note - from one of the SFJ bloggers.

As a student of social movements, my involvement in these actions was both as a participant and as an observer. Through the course of the past few weeks and months, I have encountered lots of interesting people of all political orientations and walks of life. I will be writing about my experiences on my own website, where I have only done a single short blog entry here.
about the various topics I will be writing about in the near future, time permitting.

-Jeremy
A CBS story about Cindy Sheehan's appearance at De Anza:
http://cbs5.com/local/local_story_313214738.html

This report describes Cindy Sheehan as "leading" the anti-Powell demonstrations, which is flatly untrue. While organizers were certainly greatful to Cindy for supporting us, the actions were planned, led, and carried out by students, faculty and community members from the South Bay and Peninsula. Cindy Sheehan did not even attend the demonstrations in the evening (She has precious little time to spend with her family, since joining the anti-war movement). Without in any way disparaging her efforts, it is irresponsible of the media to portray her as the leader of these actions (which were the result of many different groups, organizing for weeks ahead of the dates), while omitting or denying the presence of local student and community organizers. The need to put a celebrity face on a story misrepresents the character and strength of demonstrations, and of the anti-war movement. We do not always agree about all aspects of the cause, nor about what the appropriate strategy is, but one thing I think can be agreed upon: The movement to end the Iraq War is one which has no one true "leader" and it's leadership is most succesful when it is local, decentralized and democratic.
Two letters to the editor (San Jose Mercury News) forwarded to us from South Bay Mobilization.

Subject:     To the Editor
Sent:        11/12/05 9:12 AM
To:          letters@mercurynews.com

Santa Clara County Sheriff's Deputy Terrance Helm said "only a handful of people had been holding evening vigils outside the Flint Center during Powell's talks." Not so! I was there demonstrating all three nights along with 100-150 other local residents, college faculty, students, and folks from Camp Casey, who included a Gold Star Mother, war veterans, retired military members, and a mother whose soldier son is deployed in Iraq. Far more than "a handful" took turns at the microphone explaining why they are opposed to the war in Iraq and the pivotal role that then Secretary of State Colin Powell played in convincing some people that the war was justified, that Iraq was an imminent threat due to it's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. We now know that the "intelligence" was "cooked" and all of his so-called multi-media evidence presented before the United Nations was false.

On Wednesday morning Students for Justice hosted a program called Voices from Camp Casey in which eleven people who participated in Camp Casey (Crawford, TX) presented talks and videos. These speakers included two Gold Star Mothers: Cindy Sheehan and Mountain View resident Karen Meredith. About 150-200 people attended that event. On Thursday afternoon a War Crimes Tribunal featuring talks by six experts on the history of tribunals and Colin Powell's war record, going back to his coverup of the My Lai massacre. Speaking at both events was Ann Wright, a former Army officer and diplomat who handed Powell her resignation over the 2003 decision to invade Iraq.

All of the De Anza College events surrounding Powell's visit involved many people representing the majority of Americans who are opposed to the war in Iraq and want the troops home!


Deborah Jamison
Cupertino


Editor,

I was horrified by Powell's speech last night.  While the world is left  in a violent state of tragedy due to Powell's more-than-minor missteps, he does a stand up routine on the joys of retirement of a wealthy Palo Alto Venture Capitalist to a crowd of exactly that type of folk.

They  even thought Tom Wolfe was funny as the series emcee repeated the "joke" that visiting KMart is a cure for depression because "you will be the best looking person there - and the richest".  Tom Wolfe should have "researched" his last book at De Anza instead of Stanford because there is now more than a single generation gap between him and the student body outside the doors of Flint Center.

While the (minority)  upper crust laughs at people who shop at KMart, De Anza students and  staff struggle against incessant cuts, skyrocketing costs of living,
and real fear of dying in our new Vietnam to protect Powell and his cabal's freedom to invest.

Just like that, Powell steps away from the disaster  and tells us with a straight face that foreigners love us - some visitors from Brazil told him this in his Secretary of State office -  like FEMA failure Michael Brown, another incompetent appointment intended to destroy another American institution.
Really.  Dick Henning should be ashamed of doing this on our public property and should move such insults to a private privileged venue such as Stanford.  I'm sure they don't shop at KMart.

Karen Maleski
San Jose
As the week kept rolling, we here at SFJ found it hard to keep up with the blogging...

At this time, all the actions are done. We would like SFJ members and others to send email powelldeanza@yahoo.com to give us stories of their experiences from all three days for publication on this blog... please include the day(s) you are writing about in the subject line. For now, here's a report from Code Pink on actions they had inside the flint center on Thursday:


--------------------------------------------

Four of us women went in to hear Colin Powell's speech tonight -- we were wearing these tee shirts (photo attached) underneath our jackets and we had concealed masks (of his face) and "bloody" gloves. So at a certain point in his speech, one by one we took off our jackets, put on the masks and stood up holding up our "bloody" hands.

We started chanting "Powell has bloody hands, he lied to get us into war.." and he actually stopped his speech and said "Oh, some people have their hands up, do you have a question?" and I yelled "why did you lie to the UN?" but by that time people in the audience were jeering (one lady actually slapped me several times on the butt as I was walking by her seat.) His response was something along the lines of "I didn't lie..." but we continued to chant as the security guards/cops escorted us out.

He had been introduced by the guy who runs the Celebrity Forum, who made some extremely offensive remarks in his introduction. He welcomed the audience and told them not to worry about protesters, assuring them that the Flint Center has security guards and the protesters have a right to be there. He said that a protester had called out from the balcony on Weds. night and members of the audience had started chanting "jump, jump..". Most people in the audience on Thursday thought that was very funny. Then he repeated advice that he claimed the author Tom Wolfe had given at an earlier Celebrity Forum -- "If you're ever feeling depressed, go to K-mart. You'll be the best looking person there! and you'll be the richest person there!"

Powell's speech (as much as we heard of it) was also clearly fine-tuned to appeal to the mostly white, prosperous, middle-aged to elderly crowd. He described the perks of being Sec'y of State, made some jokes about retirement, mentioned that he had been named by Newseek as one of the top 10 people in the U.S. who were aging gracefully, told us that he felt he deserved a "toy" so he bought a Corvette, blah-blah. He assured us that people around the world still love the U.S., that students from abroad still want to come here, etc.

Very polished performance by a war criminal! I hope we were able to puncture a tiny hole in the "imperial hubris".

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The next presenter is a journalist who focuses on Middle East Affairs:

He talked about the U.S. strategy (often attributed to Nixon and Kissenger) of using proxy governments to carry out the most vicious aspects of US policy. Prior to the Iranian revolution, Iran and Israel were the primary proxies for U.S. policy. After the revolution, the U.S. needed a new proxy to replace Iran, with worries of isolateing Israel in the region. The resulting strategy was support for a coup in Pakistan, which to date has been one the most strident supporters of the U.S. War on Terror.

I missed the rest of his presentation to talk with Cynthia, who warned me about a pair of anti-semetic demonstrators who were talking to the crowd about Israel having control over U.S. policy. One of them happened to be standing next to us and I talked to him briefly. The problem with this kind of viewpoint is twofold: It is deeply anti-semetic (he couldn't stop himself from saying "jewish" when he was referring to something "Israeli"). Additionally, it is a frame of mind which thinks it has figured EVERYTHING out (a criticism I believe also applies to many pro-Israeli advocates), and is immune to logic, analysis, and any evidence which may contradict the established dogma (As a firm believer in you must be willing to listen . Even in rejecting this view at it's core, I asked for sources where I can look up more information. As expected, he had no interest in listening to my ideas, even my critiques (more nuanced) of Israeli policies. This type of dogmatic and hateful "activism" has no place in global justice movements, and the best defense against it is and always has been a strong commitment to critical thinking and analysis of all social forces. This outwardly white-supremacist ("Semitic" being an adjective shared by sephardic jews and arabs alike) breed of "resistance" doesn't not work for equality but for a realignment of elite power, away from a perceived jewish control and towards the rightful (I can only imagine Aryan) holders of power.
Ann Wright, a former Army officer and diplomat who handed Powell her resignation over the 2003 decision to invade Iraq. Yesterday evening she interuppted Powell's speech to confront him over the lies and deceptions of the adminstration. She made alot of the same points as in her speech yesterday morning, look back in the blog archive.
Next presenter: Dr. Chuong Chung, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at City College of San Francisco, and a native of Vietnam.

Dr. Chung spoke of the "Red Scare" as an overinflated sense of Soviet influence and expansion used to justify the war in South Vietnam, which involved propping up an upopular government, and trying to shape Vietnam with the "American Brand of Democracy." He compared this to the current occupation and government in Iraq. While the papers told of U.S. forces helping the poor South Vietnamese against an invasion from the communist north, most combat operations were carried out against South Vietnamese, which included indiscriminate bombing of villages, use of napalm, and deployment of Agent Orange (Dioxin) to destroy crops and fertile land. He told of U.S. troops using innocent vietnamese villagers for target practice, again echoed by stories coming out of Iraq.
Ann Fagan Ginger is a practicing attorney, and head of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institure. She is speaking about the treaties which the United States has signed and in most cases helped write, which have been violated numerous times by U.S. administrations. Full list of the "little known treaties" will be published on this blog this evening. As secretary of State, Powell must have been aware of these treaties, and must have known that the U.S. was in violation of them. Also about the constitution, and how rollbacks of civil liberties since 9-11-2001 are clear violations of constituional protections.

Ann finished her presentation by asking the audience to lock arms and join her in singing "We shall overcome.:
Next up: Retired Air Force Captain Joyce Riley

Key points -

Oil field fires were at least partially caused by U.S. napalm bombing, and U.S. special forces, from statements made by soldiers and marines with first hand knowledge.

The use of "depleted-uranium" rounds (which is a PR term, exposure is the equivalent of having a chest x-ray every hour for the res of your life) has already accounted for at least 104,000 veterans requesting treatment for illness contracted in the current Iraq war.

Military leaders including Colin Powell, have knowledge of all these facts, and conitue to deny them and pursue policies they know will lead to more illness of American troops, to stay nothing of the millions of Iraqis who will be exposed to these radioactive elements over the next 4.5 million years (DU rounds take that long to lose their radioactive strength)

Young people entering the military are regularly exposed to experimental vaccines, due to lucrative contracts between the Pharmaceutical industry and the military. Many of these vaccines have known detrimental effects.
Next up, Dr. Ayad al-Qazzaz, president of the Arab American Chamber of Commerce.

Some important points from Dr. al-Qazzaz:

The threshold of resistance (either insurgency in Iraq, or anti-war demonstration) required to end a war has grown since the war in South Vietnam because of the growth of what he describes as the Industrial-Military-MEDIA Complex, which refers to FDR's age old warning about the influence of the Military Industrial Complex.

Polls throughout the Arab world show that the invasion and occupation of Iraq has caused a sharp increase in anti-American sentiment in the region. Hardly the vision of being welcomed as liberators, which President Bush spoke of before he started the war.

After Dr. al-Qazzaz: Ramon Leal - a De Anza Student and veteran of the Iraq war.

Ramon spoke of how the military comes to his low income community to recruit, in an environment where young people have few options. He talked about the lack of neccesary equipment for soldiers in the current war, and how when equipment was available, they were not properly trained. In 130 degree weather, each soldier recieved two bottles of water per day.
Dr. White's conclusion:

Many young black americans look to Colin Powell as a role model. This is harmful in that it puts forward the military as the only option to advance for people of color growing up in the 21 century, in the United States. As a military role model, he received commendations and symbols of acheivement which have nothing to do with his ancestry or culture. As he said once to a group of young people on MTV: "I ain't that black."
Dr. White on why Colin Powell has become a media figure:

In 1988, Jesse Jackson shook the white male elite establishment to it's core by coming too close to winning the Democratic nomination for the presidency. The response in the media was further restrict who who been given the microphone or spotlight to represent the black community. Colin Powell became the first african american to head the Joint Cheifs of Staff in 1989.
War Crimes Tribunal

Rich Wood, a sociology teacher at De Anza College, gae his introduction to the tribunal, placing it in a long history of tribunals to call leaders to account for their crimes against peace and humanity. The tribunals started with Nuremberg, and continued with Bertrand Russell's work to expose the atrocities of the U.S. war in South Vietnam.

The first presenter is Wendy White, a former investagative journalist and anchor with Pacifica News Service, who currently teaches english at De Anza. She is speaking about the complication of viewing and criticizing Colin Powell, from an African American perspective.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Wednesday November 9 - Wrap up.

Morning

The half week of events got rolling early. Cindy Sheehan, Ann Wright, Karen Meredith from the Voices of Camp Casey shared the stage with speakers from several veterans' anti-war groups. There was also a short film depicting the events at Camp Casey, including the pro-Bush demonstrators who arrived (though in smaller numbers) shortly after the camp received national attention. At the end of Bush's vacation, the opposing camps found a sense of community in shared grief and loss, highlighting that War's brutal effect on families does not discriminate based on political ideology. Several of the speakers reminded the college aged members of the audience that a draft could be in their future. All stressed the importance of acting now, not waiting quietly to see what happens next. The combined groups ended with a song written in memory of Casey Sheehan, composed by a camp volunteer.

Afternoon -

The SFJ Speak-Out in front of the Campus Center was the first afternoon action, done to a soundtrack of Immortal Techinique (a politcal hip-hop artist known for his intelligent delivery, and scathing critique of U.S. policy). Students for Justice speakers were joined by M.E.Ch.A. (De Anza's Chicano/Latino club) as well as several of the speakers from the morning event. Particulary pointed and moving remarks came from Anthony of M.E.Ch.A and Dennis Kyne, a former airborne combat-medic and drill sergeant. Anthony described the misnomer of "peace-activism" reminding the lunchtime crowd that there is no peace without justice, only repression ("war by other means" in the lexicon of the trade). Dennis described his own experience as a drill sergeant, and how he came to realize that the technique's used in military training are the same ones used in Pavlov's famous psychological experiments on dogs. A powerful statement to anyone who has taken an introductory psychology class.

A bit of rain in the afternoon dampened the Encuetro a bit, which had to move from the garden to under an overhang at the California History Center. Despite the weather, the discussion was a good one. Participants from a range of political orientations talked about the characteristics of different social movements, the problematic phenomenon of "peace patriotism" in the broader struggle for social justice and equality, the current war in its historical context, the anarchist critique of capitalism and state socialism (Communism), and how/when each became aware of social justice issues growing up.

Evening -

By the time the rain cleared up, South Bay Mobilization had begun to arrive and assemble a large peace sign made of white candles. The Camp Casey tents followed shortly thereafter. By the time Powell's audience arrived, a crowd of demonstrators representing at least 12 different anti-war groups, as well as De Anza students, had gathered. A handful of incoming audience members verbally confronted protestors, while others showed support. As was expected because of the calls for civil disobedience, non-uniformed security personnel moved through and sized up the crowd, sometimes stopping to chat with participants. As of the time of this writing, all interactions between demonstrators and authorities were peaceful. A single pro-Powell counter-demonstrator hurried through the crowd interruppting a chant of "Colin Powell! - War Criminal!" with his cry of "Patriot!" Because he was responding to "War Criminal," and shouting over "Colin Powell," it sounded as if he were equating patriotism with complicity in war crimes. The irony of the juxtaposition was appreciated by nearby demonstrators.
Encuentro -

A bit of rain in the afternoon dampened the Encuetro a bit, had to move from the garden to under an overhang. Some people came and didn't see us off to the side, apologies to those folks. Other than weather, the discussion was a good one. Talked about characteristics of different social movements, the current war in its historical context, anarchism (with PAC repping the red and black), and how we each became aware of social justice issues growing up.

Thanks to eveyone who attended, if you would like to contribute more about your experience, send an email to powelldeanza {at} yahoo {dot} com with the subject line "Encuentro" and note whether or not you would like your name attached to it.

-Jeremy
Last Up: Cindy Sheehan

Now the news cameras are rolling..

Not going to comment too much on what she said, pretty much the stadard fare: war profiteering, the constitution, and the administration's abuse of it. Resisting recruitment, and a draft if it comes. Check the local news, channel 5 (CBS).

On to the speakout outside...
this is an audio post - click to play

Just testing the audio blog...
Voices of Camp Casey, Part 2:

Next Up: Karen Meredith, whose son, Lt. Ken Ballard, was killed after 384 days in Iraq.

As of today, 2058 soldiers and marines killed in Iraq, 247 in Afghanistan. Ken Ballard was a fourth generation soldier, and to his mother, Ken's death means no grandchildren, no wedding, and a complete and irreversible shift in the course of here life. That shift led her to the conclusion that she must speak out against this war and the administration's deception.

She noted that she was refused a picture of her son's casket being returned, a final indignity on top of all the others. I know that certain photos of caskets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan (no idea how complete a set) have been obtained through FOIA requests. Will post the link later if I can find it.

Voices of Camp Casey - Wednesday Morning

Mary Elllen Goodwin, an english teacher here at De Anza gave an introduction to the college Predsident, whospoke about having an "institutional commitment to social justice" and thanked the faculty member who put in the effort to organize the events this week (how about the students?).

A woman from Gold Star families gave a brief introduction to a short movie about Camp Casey.

After the film, Sean O'Neil, a veteran who has been through two tours of duty in Iraq. He spoke about being blind and shut off to the world around you, and how that puts you in a position to be caught unaware and manipulated. Ignorance is dangerous to each of us personally. He also touched on the cyclical effect of fighting an insugency, which neccesarily creates martyrs, which then creates the next generation of insurgents.

Some quotes from Sean (paraphased slightly):

"All that soldiers/marines ask is that that their sacrifice is for a just cause, and that the end result of their sacrifice is peace."

"When we act with integrity, the world will recognize it."

The next speaker is another verteran of the Iraq War (and Camp Casey) named Dennis Kyne -

Dennis is a South Bay native, who graduated from San Jose State. In the army, he was a combat medic and a drill sergeant, among other jobs. After being silent for 15 years, trying to make it to retirement, Dennis felt compelled to speak out against the war and the Bush Administration.

Some statistics Dennis gave to illustrate the trauma of combat:
- 18000 combat veterans imprisoned for violent crimes including rape.
- Over half a million combat veterans homeless in the U.S. today.

As the next slideshow/film is prepped, the news crews seem to be following Cindy Sheehan around.

No slide show yet, another mother from Gold Star Familes is speaking, whose son is currently deployed in Iraq. Michael (the soldier) questioned the motives of the war, but felt a responsibility to his unit. He told his mother stories of limited water supplies, which led them to drink the polluted water of the Euphrates. Many soldiers suffered from dysentary, and who knows what other long term effects.

That's the end of part one... more later.

-Jeremy

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

From an email:

-----------------------------

This is a great resource on Powell:

http://lefti.blogspot.com/2005_11_01_lefti_archive.html#113130270897728782

Also posted here but without embedded links:

http://www.counterpunch.org/stephens11072005.html

Monday, November 07, 2005

Schedule of Events

All events listed are taking place at De Anza College, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd. in Cupertino unless otherwise specified.
Note: Powell's Itinerary - 8PM each night, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Voices of Camp Casey & Crawford Peace Movement
10:30AM-12:30PM - Conference Rooms A+B
Speakers will include Cindy Sheehan (Gold Star Families for Peace), Karen Meredith (GSFP), Ann Roesler (Military Families Speak Out), Sean O'Neill (War Veterans Speak Out), Ann Wright (Former U.S. Dimplomat), Mary Ellen Goodwin (De Anza English Teacher).

Encuentro/Open Forum
4PM-7PM - Sunken Garden (in front of the Flint Center)
Hosted by SFJ... Bring information to share about the war, Mr. Powell, and what we can do as residents of Silicon Valley. Most importantly, bring an open mind and spirit of respect for those who you disagree with. An encuentro is an exercise in listening, not talking. Topics include Powell's military career, the War on Terror, Civil Rights, and the log standing ties between the Military Industrial Complex and the high tech indisutry in Silicon Valley.

SpeakOut/Rally
7PM-?? - Sunken Garden
Show your opposition to Militarization, Empire, and Cronyism. SFJ will have a contact table with information for reporters, participants, and anyone curious about the issues. If you would like to sign up for the Speak-Out, send email with the subject "Support" to powelldeanza [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Peace Camp
Wednesday through Friday - Near the Sunken Garden
More information will be at the SFJ table Wednesday afternoon/evening.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

War Crimes Tribunal
1:30PM-5PM - Conference Rooms A+B
Join the inquiry into Colin Powell's role in the Bush Administration, US wars and occupations, Iran-Contra and Gulf War Syndrome amoing veterans (Depleted Uranium exposure).
To have info, questions forwarded to the Tribunal organizers, please send email with the Subject line "Tribunal" to powelldeanza [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Friday, November 11, 2005

With any luck, the Peace Camp will be an ongoing source of discussion, ideas, spirit and joyful resistance... Stay tuned for updates.

A Day of Action

Students for Justice at De Anza will not be participating in any Civil Disobedience or Direct Action. We do not disparage nor encourage individuals who, understanding the potential legal consequences, choose to participate in such actions. We offer our support to those individuals to ensure the protection of their civil rights. Drop by the SFJ table for more info...

However, several other groups around the Bay Area have called for Direct Actions to take place on Friday evening. In addition to Powell's visit, there is a bit of history around November 11th as a day of resistance. Check out this story on Santa Cruz Indymedia: http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/18741/index.php
IMPORTANT PLEASE READ BEFORE CONTACTING BY EMAIL!!!

powelldeanza [at] yahoo [dot] com

If you need a response to an email, please use one of the following subjects:

Media - If you are media, independent or otherwise.

Support - If you are a particpant (i.e.: want to sign up for a timeslot on the mic at the Speak Out) in one of the events and have logistical or legal support related questions. No logistical support questions for civil disobedience will be read or answered so don't bother. See the related post (Schedule of Events).

Post Requested - If you have pertinent information you would like posted on this blog. Include a phone number where you can be reached quickly if there are any qeuestions

SpeakOut, Tribunal, or Encuentro - If you want your message forwarded to the people in charge of a specific event.

Response Requested - Any other questions.

Any other emails 'may' be deleted if the volume gets out of hand. We have no idea how much traffic we'll get over the next week.