March 23, 2014 at 4:49 pm (books, contemplation, culture, education, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, films, history, issues, journalism, life, living, people, politics, publishing, random, relationships, searching, thinking, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: 1971, activists, anti-war, Betty Medsger, Book, Book TV, books, civil disobedience, civil liberties, culture, dissent, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, FBI, government, Heist, history, inspriration, interview, Issues, J. Edgar Hoover, journalism, law, legal, living, media, New York Times, news, non violence, NSA, people, politics, Politics and Prose, protest, random, Retro Report, review, rights, secrets, subversives, survelliance, The Burglary, The Discover of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI, truth, video, Vietnam, war, William Davidon, Writing
The New York Times
“There are certain points in history where a society goes so wrong, and there are certain people who will say, ‘I won’t stand for that . . . I will risk career, life, limb, family freedom . . . And I will take this risk, and I will go and do it.”
Betty Medsger’s book about the 1971 burglary of the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania isn’t about a cheap thrill ride of robbery for adrenaline kicks and profit, though it was a crime with a huge payout–the truth. The burglary committed by a crew of non-violent peace activists assembled by a physics professor, William Davidon, confirmed the suspicions of anti-war activists that they were being unlawfully spied upon by their own government because they were exercising their right to dissent — and that thousands of other people were being illegally spied upon because they were considered subversives according to one man, J. Edgar Hoover. People didn’t have to commit any crime or even speak about committing treason to get their names put on a list of folks to be rounded up and jailed in the event of some national emergency. If they were liberal, if they were black, if they espoused anti-war sentiments, if they were writers, artists, then they were candidates for warrantless, indefinite detention without due process under the law–as far as Hoover was concerned. The Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI’s theft of FBI records brought into the light of day the term COINTELPRO–and a lot of very very illegal activity by the FBI as it committed crimes against the American people with impunity. Such crimes included destroying the lives of innocent people by deliberately framing them for crimes they didn’t commit, celebrating such wrongdoing and refusing to turn over evidence that proved their innocence in any wrongdoing. Hoover’s secret FBI didn’t give a damn about truth, integrity, civil liberties, or the law. It existed to create paranoia and fear in the population at large in order to control everyone. It refused to protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States and the law. It was a criminal entity from the top on down with a few exceptions.
If this is striking a contemporary current events cord with you, that’s not an accident.
If you’re expecting an anti-war tale rife with hippies, drugs, sex and rock and roll music, look elsewhere. The people who broke into the FBI office in Media were not a bunch of hooligans. They weren’t looking for money. They were searching for evidence. These were people who raided draft offices in order to destroy the effort to conscript young men for the war machine then stayed to be arrested by the police in order to take responsibility for their actions. These were people deeply invested in ethical behavior and education who wanted the death and destruction in Vietnam to stop. They were people committed to the civil rights movement. Betty Medsger’s book provides varied personal portraits of the burglars, each dependent upon how much personal information they were willing to share, of the Media burglars. There’s a range of backgrounds and experience among them which provides some sense of the breadth of the range of people involved in the anti-war movement and what inspired them to become activists.
If you have no clue about the short and long-term importance of this burglary and the context in which it occurred, don’t fret, Medsger will fill you in. She provides notes and a very useful bibliography for further reading. While this is a very serious book about very serious issues which are very relevant to the here and now, it’s also very very accessible and readable. It gives life and breath to events by creating connections with real humans thinking hard about the world we live in–and how we live in it. What are the responsibilities of those who are free? What does it mean to have the right to dissent without fear of retaliation in a society that claims to be free? What are you willing to do to protect your civil liberties? Who wants to live their lives in fear of being arrested because of their ideas?
Betty Medsger’s book raises all sorts of interesting issues for serious conversation while stressing the important role ‘ordinary’ people play in creating the world in which we live our daily lives. If you think one person doesn’t have a lot of influence in the power plays then consider J. Edgar Hoover the Head of the FBI versus William Davidon, a physics professor with an idea.
Who is reading everyone’s mail? Who is collecting phone conversations? Who is creating files on everyone? Why?
Who has the Hoover virus? What is to be done about it?
The Burglary site –>> http://www.theburglary.com/
Betty Medsger ~ The Burglary (note, her part does not run the full hour of the video)
Published on Mar 21, 2014
http://www.politics-prose.com/book/97… Betty Medsger talks about her book about the previously unsolved burglary of an FBI building in Media, Pennsylvania. Recorded on March 16, 2014.
Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics & Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics & Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at http://www.politics-prose.com/
March 17, 2014 at 4:03 pm (culture, education, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, films, history, Independent film, Indigenous People, issues, journalism, life, living, movies, music, Native Americans, nature, people, photography, politics, random, relationships, religion, searching, thinking, Uncategorized)
Tags: activism, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, Dine, documentary, environment, exploring interconnectedness, films, Flagstaff, genocide, health, Issues, journalism, justice, Klee Benally, media, music, nature, Navajo, news, Outta Your Backpack Media, Peabody Mine, Peaks, protest, raising awareness, relationships, religious freedom, reporting, sacred places, sewage, snow, song, Song of the Son, teaching, The Return of Navajo Boy, uranium mining, Without Water & Weather Changes, youth
Yes, it’s Monday. It’s St. Patrick’s Day. It’s national beer drinking day for a lot of folks.
But it’s also another day in the ongoing fight against uranium mining and its consequences everywhere from the past to the present.
On March 14, 2014 independent journalist Amy Goodman reported from Flagstaff, Arizona about the ongoing environmental and health issues connected with uranium mining and its long-term consequences for the Dine ~ Navajo people. The main portion of her video report is posted here but there is a great deal more information and related coverage on Democracy Now!’s site. Part of the Democracy Now! broadcast discussed the use of music and film by to raise awareness and share information regarding issues. To supplement DN!’s coverage I’ve included two videos featuring Klee Benally’s music and an informative video about Outta Your Backpack Media which teaches Indigenous people how to make and use movies to address the need for media justice and coverage in their communities. There’s a trailer for the film The Return of Navajo Boy which is referenced in the news piece. The film’s website –> http://navajoboy.com/. Democracy Now!’s page for the story also includes links to information and related stories.
Without Water & Weather Changes ~ Klee Benally
“A Slow Genocide of the People” Uranium Mining Leaves Toxic Nuclear Legacy On Indigenous Land
Democracy Now! A Daily Independent News Hour – http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/14/a_slow_genocide_of_the_people
Outta Your Backpack
The Return of Navajo Boy Trailer
This is a trailer for the award-winning documentary film, “The Return of Navajo Boy.” See its official website for more information:http://www.navajoboy.com
Also see Groundswell Educational Films website:
Song of the Sun ~ Klee Benally
What part of sacred don’t you understand?
October 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm (art, creative writing, culture, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Independent film, journalism, life, literary fiction, poetry, politics, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: 2013, activists, Al-Ajami, censorship, creative writing, Democracy Now, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, free speech, headlines, history, imprisonment, independent news, jail, literature, media, Mohamed Ibn Ajami Imprisioned, news, October 22, poem, poet, poetry, politics, Qatar, reading, The Guardian, Tunisia, Tunisian Jasmine, Writing
So, you thought poetry was just for fun rhymes and wooing women? Without music poetry is often backhanded as a literary form ignored and disdained as too esoteric or too convoluted for straightforward no nonsense reading. By the way, if you think Mother Goose nursey rhemes are just silly ditties, you’ll think again after going a few rounds with an annotated copy with the darker references to realities. Oh, speaking of reality.
A while back I had an actual face to face conversation with a young woman who insisted no one had never been imprisoned for writing literature. I found her literal ignorance astounding not only for her lack of awareness of the historical contexts in which writers in all genres have run into very serious trouble for expressing their views, but also for what it revealed about her lack of comprehension of some of the works she’d claimed to have read. Hence, this post. I believe it makes my point in a very very contemporary fashion.
From Democracy Now!’s headline news
Democracy Now! Headline News for 22 October 2013
In Qatar, the top court has upheld a 15-year jail sentence for a poet convicted of incitement against the regime. Mohammed al-Ajami was arrested in November 2011 for allegedly disparaging members of Qatar’s ruling family in a poem. But activists say the real motivation was his poem “Tunisian Jasmine,” in which he expressed support for the Arab Spring uprisings, writing, “We are all Tunisia in the face of repressive elites.” Al-Ajami was initially dealt a life term but that was reduced to 15 years in February. His lawyer said he has been held in solitary confinement for two years. Al-Ajami’s only recourse now is to appeal to the emir. Click here to see our interview from Qatar with Mohammed Al-Ajami’s lawyer.
Qatari poet Mohamed Ibn Ajami Imprisioned for Life for Reading a Poem
["Tunisian Jasmine" audio text]
Published on Feb 9, 2013
February 6, 2013 7:23pm PST
From Democracy Now: “Three days after the United Nations Climate Change Conference began here in Doha, a Qatari court sentenced a local poet to life in prison, a move that shocked many activists in the Gulf region and human rights observers. The sentencing of Mohammad ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami came nearly two years after he wrote a poem titled “Tunisian Jasmine,” supporting the uprisings in the Arab world. “We are all Tunisia in the face of repressive elites!” al-Ajami wrote. “The Arab governments and who rules them are, without exception, thieves. Thieves!” We speak to his attorney and a member of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee.”
From the Guardian “A Qatari poet has been sentenced to life in prison for an Arab-spring-inspired verse that officials claim insults Qatar’s emir and encourages the overthrow of the nation’s ruling system, his defense attorney says.
It was the latest blow in a widening clampdown on perceived dissent across the Gulf Arab states.
The verdict in a state security court is certain to bring a fresh outpouring of denunciations by rights groups, which have repeatedly called for the release of the poet, Muhammad ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami. It also marks another example of tough measures by judicial and security officials in the Gulf against possible challenges to their rule since the Arab spring revolts began last year.
The poet’s lawyer, Najib al-Nuaimi, said he planned to appeal.
“This judge made the whole trial secret,” said Nuaimi. “Muhammad was not allowed to defend himself, and I was not allowed to plead or defend in court. I told the judge that I need to defend my client in front of an open court, and he stopped me.”
Ajami was jailed in November 2011, months after an internet video was posted of him reciting Tunisian Jasmine, a poem lauding that country’s popular uprising, which touched off the Arab spring rebellions across the Middle East. In the poem, he said: “We are all Tunisia in the face of repressive” authorities, and criticized Arab governments that restrict freedoms.
Qatari officials charged Ajami with “insulting” the Gulf nation’s ruler, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and “inciting to overthrow the ruling system”. The latter charge could have brought a death sentence.
Nuaimi said Ajami, a third-year student of literature at Cairo University, had been held in solitary confinement since his arrest.
Gulf regimes have stepped up crackdowns on a range of perceived threats to their rule, including Islamist groups and social media activists. Earlier this month, Kuwaiti authorities arrested four people on charges of insulting the emir with Twitter posts, and the United Arab Emirates imposed sweeping new internet regulations that allow arrests for a wide list of offensives, including insulting leaders or calling for demonstrations.
Last year, Bahrain issued a royal pardon for some protest-linked suspects, including a 20-year-old woman sentenced to a year in prison for reciting poetry critical of the government’s effort to crush a Shia-led uprising against the Sunni monarchy.”
I don’t know about you, but this packs a resounding wallop in my book of verses.
September 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm (culture, history, Independent film, journalism, life, movies, politics, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: Citizen Koch, control, culture, education, film, freedom, greed, information, issue, Kansas City, KCPT, Koch, life, media, money, movies, news, PBS, Petition, politics, power, public television, random, television, video
We, your viewers, really want to see “Citizen Koch.” It should not have been pulled off the air. The public has a right to see the documentary and the station should not be fearful of upsetting the Koch brothers.
Public television should be used to inform us; that was the purpose of Independent Lens, was it not?
If you watch PBS, please call for the national showing of this important documentary.
That’s why I signed a petition to KCPT Public Television Station, which says:
“I think the public has a right to view the film “Citizen Koch.” We are requesting you to please show this film. Koch money shouldn’t influence what we can or can’t see aired on our PBS station.”
Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name:
The people of Wisconsin have not given up. Why should the rest of us?
Raise your voice, Tweet, Facebook and reblog at will. Please help fight media control.
August 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm (art, culture, entertainment, environment, exploring interconnectedness, Indigenous People, life, music, nature, politics, random)
Tags: Benjamin West, British Columbia, concert, culture, Enbridge, entertainment, event, Facebook, Indigenous People, Kinder Morgan, life, media, music, news, Salish, Save the Salish Sea, Sea, Sept. 2 2012, Tar Sands, Vancouver, Waterfront Park
On September 2 join us for a free family-friendly concert featuring live music, DJ’s, special guest speakers, local Indigenous artists, interactive art displays, a kids zone, and much more. This is a chance to show your support for the Coast Salish Nations as they take a stand against Kinder Morgan and Enbridge’s proposed tar sands pipelines and the associated oil tankers in traditional Salish waters! SPEAKERS: …
Chief Ian Campbell Rueben George Melina Laboucan-Massimo Naomi Klein Rex Weyler SALISH SEAS MAINSTAGE: The Boom Booms Wayne Lavallee Phyllis Sinclair Spakwus Slulum Helen Duguay BEATS NOT TANKERS STAGE: Maga Bo Skookum Sound Emotionz No Tank Gyal! Ostwelve Eternal Love Ndidi Cascade Kia Kadiri Discreet da Chosen One Eternal Love MukLuk Take 5 and much more…! For those who are into volunteering, definitely drop Jolan Bailey a line at: email@example.com
Waterfront Park, North Vancouver, British Columbia
Save the Salish Sea Concert event is on Facebook for directions and map.
Just caught this upcoming concert event via news feed on fb so I’m sharing (hint, wink, nudge) it here. Facebook does serve some information gathering purposes indeed. Enjoy if you’re able to attend.
Thanks to Benjamin West for info.
July 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm (culture, education, environment, exploring interconnectedness, food, history, Indigenous People, journalism, life, Native Americans, nature, politics, random)
Tags: "Water", activism, audio, Ben, Dine, Facebook, food, Ganado, history, Kyl, links, McCain, media, Native News Network, Navajo, Navajo language, news, politics, Recall, Recall Ben Shelly Effort, rights, SB 2109, Shelly, survival
Click link above to hear audio information in Navajo regarding the Recall Ben Shelly effort.
Visit the Facebook page for Recall Ben Shelly —>> http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=442546102442841&set=a.100999623264159.2274.100000623652639&type=1&comment_id=1289109#!/RecallBenShelly
Read the Dine’ Recall Ben Shelly statement here –>> http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=442546102442841&set=a.100999623264159.2274.100000623652639&type=1&comment_id=1289109#!/RecallBenShelly/info
Reasons Why Recall Is Underway Revealed–on Native News Network –>> http://www.nativenewsnetwork.com/reasons-why-recall-is-underway-revealed.html
Sorry for all the links folks, but I think it’s best that people looking for information regarding this Recall effort see/hear/read it at places where it can be found online so that they have those sources for the future.
I’ve been following Dine’ water issue and watching to see how this all plays out with much interest in how the Navajo people are working together. There’s only one thing I can contribute to this story. It’s been over 30 years since I spent some time at what was then Ganado Community College in Arizona. While there I learned that many Navajo and Hopi people had to haul water from wells, from natural potholes in the ground that caught rainwater, from 55 gallon drums, and anything else that would serve, set out to catch rainwater or that were filled from natural sources and hauled back home. At that time they’d been doing all this water hauling forever. Thirty years later they’re still doing it in many communities. In a video for SB 2109 Sen. John McCain used a photograph of Navajo people drawing water from a well and he made a comment that they have no infrastructure to deliver water to their homes. McCain did not go on to say that this should not be happening in 2012. He did not say, “These people need infrastructure to get water to their homes.” What he did say is that water can be used effectively by OTHERS and should be!
Here I sit where with the twist of a wrist I can turn on a flow of water into a kitchen sink and fill a glass with clean drinking water at will. Another twist and I can send water through a hose at a drip to the local heat exhausted birds foraging in the front yard. I can flush an indoor toilet all day long. Hot and cold showers are available on demand. The laundry machine is just a few steps away for washing clothes. The only water I haul is in a plastic two gallon pail to the little bird beach in the backyard under the trees beyond the reach of the hose. Can you imagine having to haul ALL your drinking, cooking, bathing, gardening water all the time? Think about it. I suggest Shelly, McCain and Kyl think about it too. Furthermore, I suggest they DO it themselves. Yes, I suggest those fellows all get dropped off at the Navajo community furthest from any water whatsoever and be left to their own devices to get their water supply in order to survive. All on their own with no one to help them carry a single drop.
Some general information about the Navajo Nation http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Le-Pa/Navajos.html
February 14, 2012 at 8:08 pm (culture, education, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Independent film, Indigenous People, journalism, life, nature, politics, random)
Tags: "Water", B.C., businesss, Canada, Chevron, climate, culture, Durban, Earth, Ecuador, environment, ethics, history, Indigenous, interconnectedness, Ireland, Issues, journalism, Keystone, love, media, nature, news, Nigeria, Oil, Pipeline, pollution, poltics, Prince Rupert, Shell, Tar Sands, Texaco, videos
On February 14 people everywhere express their love with actions, flowers, cards, gifts and more. Some people express their love for Earth by protesting its ongoing destruction by our continuing dependence on oil for meeting our energy needs. Some write these lovers off as foolish hippies and idealistic tree huggers but they are neither foolish nor idealists. These are the hardcore realists of our world. Today there is another effort underway to stop the Keystone XL pipeline development yet again in spite of the public outcry. If you’ve signed any petition for this effort previously I’m sure your email box is currently awash in urgent requests for your signature again because big oil and its supporters don’t give up. Their intention is to wear everyone down until big oil gets its way AGAIN. Apparently the American government has learned nothing from the BP oil spill and its continuing consequences in the Gulf of Mexico. There is an upside to all this lobbying for more pipelines and greater development of an oil project that is already the size of Great Britain–more people are learning about the Tar Sands. And more people are saying NO to it and to big oil. Change makes many uncomfortable but change we must–or kill the only planet that supports us with air to breathe, water to drink, and soil for food. Nature is not dependent upon us. We are dependent upon nature for our survival. As you drive along in your car fueled by oil you may feel far removed from the heartbeat of the world. Everything except your next chore of the day may be far from your mind. But consider how different your daily life would be if there was no clean air to breath, no clean water to drink, and no fresh food in your grocery store. Shall we all live on little purple pills popped into our mouths while we breathe through gas masks? Shall we? Isn’t it time to write your own “love letter” to Earth? Folks–big oil has to “go.” It’s literally killing people and the Earth. It will kill you and your loved ones–make no mistake about it. And the people who own and operate big oil will also die by their own actions. Denial will not prevent their demise. So, take some time and figure how you can show some love.
Indigenous protest at Durban. Climate Conference
Prince Rupert, B.C.
The People of Erris – Ireland
February 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm (culture, drama, education, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Independent film, life, music, politics, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: Australia, business, Economy, education, environment, Ireland, Issues, life, media, nature, news, Oil, people, politics, protest, random, Rossport, Shell, Shell to Sea, videos
For many the mention of Ireland conjures thoughts of W.B. Yeats, lush green grass and dark guiness beer freely flowing in crowded pubs. Who thinks of Ireland being the battleground for a war against the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell being waged by young people, fathers, mothers, grandparents. For over 11 years Irish people have taken action against the destruction of their land and communities by Shell. Yes there is much more in Ireland than pubs and poetry.
The first FAQ on the Shell to Sea list. More FAQs and information at http://www.shelltosea.com/content/faqs
- Why is Shell’s Corrib gas project unsafe?
There are major health and safety issues with the high pressure raw gas pipeline planned so close to people’s homes – regarding an earlier pipeline route Shell admitted that homes would be put within a kill-zone from heat radiation in the event of a pipe failure. The refinery itself is in the catchment area of the local drinking water supply which would be forbidden in most other European countries.
Where there are profits to be made who gives a damn about tourism, fishing, swimming and the safety of the local residents? Clearly not Shell nor the corrupt politicians who made this deal which offers no benefits to the Irish people at large nor in the communities affected by the pipeline or refinery.
Resistance in Mayo 2008
Solidarity from Australia to Ireland–yes, Australia.
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