Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tom Hayden - The Port Huron Statement 48 Years Later


The Port Huron Statement (1962) was one of the founding documents of the New Left and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), embodying the egalitarian idealism of 1960s student activists.

This progressive manifesto challenged the Cold War and campus apathy, condemned American racism, and called for a new student movement centered on the idea of participatory democracy. The manifesto helped to inspire the generation of student activists who would organize against war, racism, poverty and political repression in the 1960s.

Tom Hayden, the lead author of the Port Huron Statement, had edited the student newspaper at the University of Michigan, served as an early leader of SDS, risked his life as a freedom rider in the South, and worked with the black led Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in its struggle for civil rights in Mississippi. Hayden later served 18 years in the California state legislature.

He wrote a new introduction to the Port Huron Statement in 2005 (published with the Port Huron Statement by Public Affairs press). Last October he spoke to NYU students, faculty, and New York City teachers and community members at the Tamiment Library in a talk that focused on the Port Huron Statement and the struggle for participatory democracy during and since the 1960s.

Abducted in Egypt

Last April, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak disregarded appeals from the Obama administration and violated his own public promises by renewing the "emergency law" that for decades has allowed security forces to prevent public demonstrations, break up political meetings, close media outlets and arrest opposition activists without charge. When the administration protested, Egyptian officials assured it that the law henceforth would be applied only in terrorism and drug cases. The White House cited that pledge in a recent summary of its human rights accomplishments.

Now, with a parliamentary election approaching, the regime's political repression has grown more rather than less severe. Hundreds of political activists from the banned Muslim Brotherhood party have been arrested; critical television talk shows and newspaper columns have been canceled; student leaders have been rounded up. In a number of recent cases, peaceful political activists, including those supporting secular democratic movements, have been "disappeared": abducted and held for days by the secret police and sometimes beaten or tortured, before being released on roads outside Cairo.

As he pledged, Mr. Mubarak has done all this without use of the emergency law. Instead the regime has begun acting entirely outside the rule of law. The young activists who have been beaten or kidnapped have no recourse; there is no case to contest, and they are unable even to identify those who assault them.

~ more... ~

SDS invades the Federal Bureau of Intimidation at UIC


Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Illinois Chicago invade an FBI recruitment session on quad to deliver the real statements behind the Federal Bureau of Intimidation. There was a DJ, free pizza, bean bag toss, push-up competitions, and a chance at a career in domestic spying and political repression of dissenters.

For more information: http://www.StopFBI.net

The audio is a little shaky here's the text:

Intimidater: "Excuse me, I'm with the Federal Bureau of Intimidation, would you like a flier? We're here to scare the s**t outta you guys. No? Please? Alright."

"It's going down. Right here at UIC! We're with the Federal Bureau of Intimidation and we want your secret peace activist bracelets, and your -- your political statements! We're on to you guys!"

"Hi I'm with the Federal Bureau of Intimidation, did you guys get one of these? We're here to scare the crap out of you, and to intimidate you."

"Yeah we've been all over, yanno? Mainly just all around the U.S. targeting anti-war activists and solidarity activists -- those who speak out against oppression. We want to remind you that it's all about intimidation. It's all about spreading fear tactics. And, it's not really about signing up to be a lingual analyst -- whatever that means...

Guy: "So this is not about a message it's all about theatrics.."

Intimidater: "Oh yeah, it is actually about spreading a message. There are actually 14 people who have subpoenas.."

"..Yeah this is called guerrilla theatre. It's an effective way of getting out a message. So I'm with a student group on campus called SDS, you guys should check us out and know about the facts involving the case, because YOU could be targeted for your thoughts. YOU could be targeted for free speech."

Is this evidence that we can see the future?

Peter Aldhous reports for New Scientist:

Extraordinary claims don't come much more extraordinary than this: events that haven't yet happened can influence our behaviour.

Parapsychologists have made outlandish claims about precognition – knowledge of unpredictable future events – for years. But the fringe phenomenon is about to get a mainstream airing: a paper providing evidence for its existence has been accepted for publication by the leading social psychology journal.

What's more, sceptical psychologists who have pored over a preprint of the paper say they can't find any significant flaws. "My personal view is that this is ridiculous and can't be true," says Joachim Krueger of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, who has blogged about the work on the Psychology Today website. "Going after the methodology and the experimental design is the first line of attack. But frankly, I didn't see anything. Everything seemed to be in good order."

Critical mass

The paper, due to appear in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology before the end of the year, is the culmination of eight years' work by Daryl Bem of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. "I purposely waited until I thought there was a critical mass that wasn't a statistical fluke," he says.

It describes a series of experiments involving more than 1000 student volunteers. In most of the tests, Bem took well-studied psychological phenomena and simply reversed the sequence, so that the event generally interpreted as the cause happened after the tested behaviour rather than before it.

~ more... ~

Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation

From the Resonant Resurrections Dept: This wise little version of "Cover-ups for Dummies" has been floating on the Net since the late '90s at least. Given the government/media handling of 9/11, the resulting wars, and recent electoral fraud it often seems our top officials must read it everyday. If we're to bring the truth alive in 2005, it may help to occasionally remind ourselves how the pros play the game. - Editor

Note: The first rule and last five (or six, depending on situation) rules are generally not directly within the ability of the traditional disinfo artist to apply. These rules are generally used more directly by those at the leadership, key players, or planning level of the criminal conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don't discuss it -- especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it's not reported, it didn't happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the "How dare you!" gambit.

3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such "arguable rumors". If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a "wild rumor" which can have no basis in fact.

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent's argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as "kooks", "right-wing", "liberal", "left-wing", "terrorists", "conspiracy buffs", "radicals", "militia", "racists", "religious fanatics", "sexual deviates", and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning -- simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent's viewpoint.

7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.

8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough "jargon" and "minutiae" to illustrate you are "one who knows", and simply say it isn't so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.

10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues -- so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.

11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the "high road" and "confess" with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made -- but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, "just isn't so." Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for "coming clean" and "owning up" to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.

12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.

13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.

14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best for items qualifying for rule 10.

15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.

16. Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won't have to address the issue.

17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can "argue" with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.

18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can't do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how "sensitive they are to criticism".

19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the "play dumb" rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon). In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.

20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.

21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim) is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.

22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.

23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.

24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation with blackmail or other threats.

25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.

~ Source: 911Truth.Org ~

Sabina England: Deaf, Muslim, feminist punk playwright

Writer and performer Sabina England doesn’t let adversity stand in her way. The fiercely feminist creative spoke with Katrina Fox.

Sabina England is a Deaf, Muslim, feminist playwright who grew up in England and the US.

When she was 21, she landed her first playwrighting opportunity with Kali Theatre, which read her one-act play Chess for Asian Punks, Greek Losers and Dorks at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in London.

Her first professional theatrical production was How the Rapist was Born which was produced by Theatre Waah! and Talawa Theatre Company, in association with the Arts Council of England.

In addition to her stage plays, Sabina also writes short stories and screenplays. Her first film Wedding Night will be released in 2011. Sabina has a Youtube channel, on which she performs as VelmaSabina in short videos, such as the controversial Allah Save the Punk, and also makes short experimental feminist videos.

Much, if not all, of your work appears to have a feminist ethos. Why is this important to you as a creative maker?

Women make up half of the population on this planet, yet there is so much rampant sexism and misogyny toward females. People don't realize this but even the slightest comment or joke they make is very misogynistic and can be damaging to females. Even women themselves suffer from internalized sexism.

This needs to change. I believe that sexism is considered much more acceptable than racism, because sexism knows no racial or cultural bounds. We live in a society where anything associated with women, feminism, or feminity, is constantly vilified, mocked, and degraded.

Notice that when females and males are compared, it's considered humiliating if a man is considered feminine, but it's considered a compliment if a woman is associated with male traits.

Or how about such remarks such as "Don't be such a pussy," "You fight like a girl," and so on – not to mention the widely accepted idea that the female sexual organ is considered to be weak and lowly, while the male sexual organs are considered strong and aggressive. How many times have we heard "take 'em by the balls"?

I'm proud to be a woman, I'm proud to be a feminist, and I won't hesitate to invoke feminism as many times as I want with my works.

~ more... ~





@deafmuslim on Twitter

Clashes in protest against IMF in Athens

15/11/2010

Over 3000 protested today in Athens as Greece's finance minister prepared to meet with officials from the IMF. Minor clashes occurred and a US citizen was reportedly beaten by police and later hospitalized. Athens, Greece.

Minor clashes occurred during the protest as a small number of hooded protesters lit up garbage and threw stones at the police.

However, when the protesters were heading to the Athens Polytechnic on Patision Avenue, a motorcycled police force charged the crowd without obvious reason and started beating a female protester of American citizenship. She was knocked semi-unconscious and was hospitalised.

On Wednesday a mass protest is expected as it is the anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic Uprising.

~ Source: Demotix; Images ~

American activist seriously injured in the head by Delta motorcycle police during tonight’s anti-IMF demonstration in Athens

From the Occupied London Blog:

UPDATE, 00.48. Tests so far on the injured comrade show there are no broken bones and no internal bleeding. She is, however, very badly hit in the face by the cops and the doctors have asked for her to stay in hospital for another 24 hours at least. Cops had followed her to hospital, harassed her and tried to interrogate her, only to back off when other comrades arrived. At the time of writing (00.45) the cops have left the hospital.

What follows is a compilation of accounts of comrades who were at tonight's demonstration in central Athens, close to the injured activist and whose reports are verified and trustworthy. Please spread. We will post more information here, as it comes.

The events unfolded toward the end of tonight's demonstration against the presence of representatives of the IMF in central Athens. As we were marching at the last block of the demonstration on Patision Avenue, having left Omonoia square and heading back toward the Polytechnic, a number of "Delta" motorcycle police appeared at the back of the demonstration. They roared their engines and charged toward the crowd. People started running toward the Polytechnic. The delta managed to get hold of a female American activist who was at the last part of the demonstration. They knocked down, kicked her and stamped her head. She was knocked semi-unconscious, taken inside the Polytechnic by other comrades and a few moments later, transported to a central Athens hospital.

We are currently waiting to hear back from the doctors as of the state of her health. Her injuries are serious, but in no case life-threatening.

DJ Taylor: Whoever you vote for, the Government always gets in

From Commentators, The Independent:

On Friday week the distinguished novelist Ferdinand Mount will deliver this year's George Orwell Memorial Lecture. There is a particular piquancy about both lecturer and subject.

Mr Mount is not only a former head of Margaret Thatcher's policy unit; he is also the Prime Minister's cousin. As for his theme – "Orwell and the Oligarchs" – well, it just happens to coincide with the unveiling of David Cameron's plan to redefine the citizen's relationship with the state.

The fact that we live not in a parliamentary democracy but in a cunningly contrived counterfeit of one, where whoever wins an election the same kind of people are still working the levers of power, is not always appreciated by party activists. Mr Cameron, on the other hand, certainly seems to appreciate it. Above all, he seems to recognise the fact that to most UK citizens the link between a vote and what gets done as a result of it is so convoluted as to barely exist. Hence his assurance that reform will be driven not by short-term political calculations, "but by the consistent, long-term pressure of what people want and choose in their public services".

This sounds a terrific idea until you realise that it is based on an assumption that people know what they want from government, and that government, in its turn, is able to quantify these desires and set about appeasing them. So, how does the average British citizen regard the state? The first problem lies in the existence of that shadowy entity known to social historians as "them". In their myriad guises, "they" can be positively protean, taking in everything from the tax authorities to park-keepers. To my father "they" were a malign and anti-meritocratic force at work to obstruct his and his family's path through life. Sometimes "they" could be confounded – "That's shown the bastards" he once remarked when notified of a favourable examination result – but more often than not "they" would move mountains to ensure that everyone who laboured under their yoke would suffer as much inconvenience as possible.

But if you get rid of "them", what do you put in their place? Here you face another problem; the almost complete lack of civic awareness and communal spirit shown by a good 80 per cent of the population. Orwell himself once proposed that most of the patriotic flag-waving that takes place in this country was carried out by small minorities. The same is true of collective action. It is not even that we are all sturdy individualists, for whom collaboration is a kind of selling out, merely that, rather than having any deeply held opinions about how our relationship to the state might be better managed, we simply want to be left alone while, paradoxically, enjoying all the benefits that the state has to offer. I think Mr Cameron has his work cut out here.

Nazis Were Given ‘Safe Haven’ in U.S., Report Says

Eric Lichtblau reports for The New York Times:

A secret history of the United States government's Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a "safe haven" in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.

The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades.

It describes the government's posthumous pursuit of Dr. Josef Mengele, the so-called Angel of Death at Auschwitz, part of whose scalp was kept in a Justice Department official's drawer; the vigilante killing of a former Waffen SS soldier in New Jersey; and the government's mistaken identification of the Treblinka concentration camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible.

The report catalogs both the successes and failures of the band of lawyers, historians and investigators at the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, which was created in 1979 to deport Nazis.

Perhaps the report's most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency's involvement with Nazi émigrés. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.'s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations.

The Justice Department report, describing what it calls "the government's collaboration with persecutors," says that O.S.I investigators learned that some of the Nazis "were indeed knowingly granted entry" to the United States, even though government officials were aware of their pasts. "America, which prided itself on being a safe haven for the persecuted, became — in some small measure — a safe haven for persecutors as well," it said.

The report also documents divisions within the government over the effort and the legal pitfalls in relying on testimony from Holocaust survivors that was decades old. The report also concluded that the number of Nazis who made it into the United States was almost certainly much smaller than 10,000, the figure widely cited by government officials.

The Justice Department has resisted making the report public since 2006. Under the threat of a lawsuit, it turned over a heavily redacted version last month to a private research group, the National Security Archive, but even then many of the most legally and diplomatically sensitive portions were omitted. A complete version was obtained by The New York Times.

The Justice Department said the report, the product of six years of work, was never formally completed and did not represent its official findings. It cited "numerous factual errors and omissions," but declined to say what they were.

More than 300 Nazi persecutors have been deported, stripped of citizenship or blocked from entering the United States since the creation of the O.S.I., which was merged with another unit this year.

~ more... ~

Sussex University goes into occupation

From Stop the Cuts - Defend Sussex:

200 students went into occupation today ( Monday 15th November) at Sussex University. We are occupying against cuts and rising fees in education.

Please rush in messages of support to sussexstopthecuts@gmail.com.
If you are a student at Sussex or Brighton please join us in the Fulton building on Sussex campus and bring along your friends, food, drink, sleeping equipment etc…

Follow the occupation on Twitter: http://twitter.com/stopsussexcuts


Statement from the occupation:
November 15, 2010

This afternoon, over 170 students occupied the lecture theatre in the Fulton building at the University of Sussex in protest of the trebling of tuition fees and the attack on our education system.
In light of Wednesday's demonstration, which saw 52,000 people come out in opposition to the government's proposed cuts to education and raising of fees, we feel it is necessary for further action to consolidate the efforts made so far and push on in the opposition to these ideologically motivated cuts to both education specifically and public services as a whole.
We reject the notion that these cuts are necessary or for the benefit of society. There are viable alternatives which are not being explored. While the government has suggested that 'we are all in this together', we completely reject this and are insulted that these cuts are being pushed through alongside reductions in corporate tax. We feel these cuts are targeting those who are most vulnerable in our society.
Furthermore, not only are these cuts damaging our current education, but are changing the face of the education system as we know it. The hole in finances left by government cuts will inevitably be filled by private interest. This marketization of education will destroy the prospect of free and critical academic enquiry, on which universities should be based. The trebling of tuition fees will further exclude another swathe of society and make university accessible only to the rich.
We reject the media manipulation of the occupation of Millbank. The cost of the damage to 30 Millbank is less than insignificant when set against the damage of lost livelihoods and destruction of public services for future generations.
This occupation recognises that Aaron Porter's statements condemning the demonstration are counter-productive and serve only to divide and segregate the movement. We are disappointed that, as a national representative of students, Aaron Porter's statements have detracted from the real issue at hand by focusing on the events at Millbank Tower.
We believe that this Tory led coalition government has no mandate for lifting the cap on tuition fees. Nick Clegg has openly manipulated student voters in his campaign for election, and following the recent exposure of plans to drop his pledge to reject any rise in tuition fees, this occupation condemns his dishonesty and undemocratic methods.
Education is a right, not a privilege.

-    We demand the University of Sussex management makes a statement condemning all cuts to higher education and rise in tuition fees
-    We are opposed to all cuts to public services
-    We oppose a rise in tuition fees
-    We call for solidarity and support for those arrested or victimised on Wednesday's demonstration
-    We stand in solidarity with others taking action, both nationally and internationally, in the fight against austerity measures.
-    We call for all other university, college and school students and staff to strike and occupy in defence of the future of our education system, and to participate in the national day of action on the 24th November 2010.

~ more: http://defendsussex.wordpress.com/ ~

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