December 5, 2011

The Most Important News Story of the Day/Millennium

by Bill McKibben
The most important piece of news yesterday, this week, this month, and this year was a new set of statistics released yesterday by the Global Carbon Project. It showed that carbon emissions from our planet had increased 5.9 percent between 2009 and 2010. In fact, it was arguably among the most important pieces of data in the last, oh, three centuries, since according to the New York Times it represented “almost certainly the largest absolute jump in any year since the Industrial Revolution.”

What it means, in climate terms, is that we’ve all but lost the battle to reduce the damage from global warming. The planet has already warmed about a degree Celsius; it’s clearly going to go well past two degrees. It means, in political terms, that the fossil fuel industry has delayed effective action for the 12 years since the Kyoto treaty was signed. It means, in diplomatic terms, that the endless talks underway in Durban should be more important than ever--they should be the focus of a planetary population desperate to figure out how it’s going to survive the century.

But instead, almost no one is paying attention to the proceedings, at least on this continent. One of our political parties has decided that global warming is a hoax--it’s two leading candidates are busily apologizing for anything they said in the past that might possibly have been construed as backing, you know, science. President Obama hasn’t yet spoken on the Durban talks, and informed international observers like Joss Garman are beginning to despair that he ever will.

Who are the 99%? In this country, they’re those of us who aren’t making any of these deadly decisions. In this world, they’re the vast majority of people who didn’t contribute to those soaring emissions. In this biosphere they’re every other species now living on a disorienting earth.

You think OWS is radical? You think was radical for helping organize mass civil disobedience in DC in August against the Keystone Pipeline? We’re not radical. Radicals work for oil companies. The CEO of Exxon gets up every morning and goes to work changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere. No one has ever done anything as radical as that, not in all of human history. And he and his ilk spend heavily on campaigns to make sure no one stops them--the US Chamber of Commerce gave more money than the DNC and the RNC last cycle, and 94% of it went to climate deniers.

Corporate power has occupied the atmosphere. 2011 showed we could fight back. 2012 would be a good year to step up the pressure. Because this time next year the Global Carbon Project will release another number. And I’m betting it will be grim.

Occupy Buffalo sets up another community structure for the winter

Closing statement of Elliot Adams, Hancock 38 defendant, at the end of the trial in November, 2011

December 4, 2011

Why I arrested Donald Rumsfeld

by Nate Goldshlag -- one of several members of Veterans for Peace who disrupted Donald Rumsfeld's book tour event in Boston this week.
“As a Veteran for Peace, I consider the lies we were told by the Bush administration made the Iraq invasion a war crime.”

On Monday 26 September, three members of Veterans For Peace and a member of Code Pink confronted Donald Rumsfeld at a Boston stop of his book tour. I attempted to make a citizen's arrest. Police hustled all four of us out, while a hostile rightwing crowd shouted and jeered. To get in, we had to dress nicely, pay $50 and give Rumsfeld a standing ovation so that we did not stand out from this crowd. The $50 got you a copy of his book, which I could not stomach taking. Once Rumsfeld started talking, at two-minute intervals, one of us got up to confront him.

Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and the rest of this crew are war criminals, according to international law. They lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They lied about Saddam Hussein being linked to 9/11. They lied about mobile weapons labs, yellowcake from Niger, how painless a war would be and countless other things. They instigated a program of torture in Guantánamo, Bagram and who knows how many other black sites. These lies were used as a pretext for initiating a war of aggression against a sovereign nation – an international war crime.

They are also guilty of violating the UN convention against torture (ratified by the US) and are responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and 5,000 Americans. Iraq has been devastated to the extent that, years later, many of its people still do not have 24-hour access to electricity. Much other infrastructure is destroyed in one of the oldest civilisations on the planet. Millions of Iraqis are refugees in other countries.

War criminals such as these need to be confronted at every opportunity. This is already happening. They cannot travel freely in Europe for fear of being arrested. However, the problem is not restricted to the Bush administration. Barack Obama is also guilty of war crimes, as he has continued and expanded the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. In all these countries, war and/or drone strikes have killed thousands of innocent people while doing nothing good and creating more people who hate American policy.

The real problem is the corporate-controlled government here and the military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned us about in 1961. The multinational corporate elite need to continue this policy of endless war, for profit, for resources like oil, and for global economic control. The military-industrial complex and the national security apparatus set up after 9/11 consume more than $1tn a year, while pensions, social security and Medicare are under attack. Rarely if ever mentioned by the corporate-controlled mass media is the enormous cost to taxpayers of war, the military and the national security state.

I became an activist in college at Harvard in 1968, at a time when there was a huge antiwar movement that, along with GI mutinies, stopped the Vietnam war. After being drafted into the US Army, I co-founded an underground GI newspaper in Germany. Militant mass nonviolent resistance – people demanding and creating real participatory democracy – is rising again against militarism and corporatism, and for human needs not corporate greed. Events in Tahrir Square have sparked the occupation of Wall Street in New York. An occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, will begin on 6 October. As Bob Dylan wrote many years ago, "the times they are a-changin'."


December 2, 2011

December 1st at Hancock Air Base home of the killer robotic Reaper drones.

Syracuse Veterans For Peace joins demonstration at Hancock Air Base in Syracuse protesting the Reaper drones being operated at the base, killing innocent people in foreign countries. It was Dec 1st and they also were support the defendants of the Hancock 38. The verdict were to be handed down later that day.

Defendants and supporters demonstrate on road across from the main gate at Hancock Air Base. Later that evening they would fill the courtroom for judge Gideon's verdict.