Saturday, January 30, 2010


Attorneys for Scott DeMuth and Carrie Feldman fired back against the University of Iowa Animal Liberation Front lab raid investigation, the DA in Davenport and his grand jury. Speaking of grand juries over three decades ago former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas had this to say, “This great institution of the past has long ceased to be the guardian of the people for which purpose it was created at Runnymede....Any experienced prosecutor will admit that he can indict anybody at any time for almost anything before any grand jury." For more than a hundred and fifty years, when it comes to political activists of the progressive variety, that is just what ambitious repressive Federal prosecutors have done.


The following is from Voice of the Voiceless.

The Hidden Agenda Behind the Iowa A.L.F. Investigation

by Peter Young

In a press release released yesterday, attorneys for Scott DeMuth and Carrie Feldman fired back against the University of Iowa Animal Liberation Front lab raid investigation, and the subsequent Animal Enterprise Terrorism prosecution of DeMuth.

In a future post, I will cover the reasons this A.L.F. investigation is farcical and fraudulent on its face.

In the below press release, lawyers accuse the federal prosecutor of exacting a political agenda under the guise of an “ecoterrorism investigation”, and go on the offensive in the face of a transparently specious prosecutorial assault.

-Peter Young

Civil Liberties Defense Center Press Release

Lauren Regan, Atty & Exec. Dir., CLDC
Ben Rosenfeld, Atty & Board Member, CLDC

For Immediate Release
January 29, 2010

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit Declines to Release 20 Year Old
Carrie Feldman,
Jailed For More Than Two Months On Contempt of Grand Jury

Civil Liberties Monitors Charge That Federal Prosecutor Is On Personal Crusade
Against Anarchist Ideology; Courts Do Not Rein Him In

Davenport, IA: U.S. Attorney Clifford R. Cronk III is using his office’s investigation of an alleged 2004 animal rights-related break-in at the University of Iowa to harass and punish targets whom he claims identify as anarchists, a political ideology dating back to the early 19th Century. To date, neither his superiors in the Department of Justice, nor the federal courts, have done anything to curtail his abuse of power. In behavior reminiscent of the darkest days of the McCarthy witch hunts, Cronk argues in court documents that anarchists are domestic terrorists who should be locked up for posing a threat to civil society based on nothing but the prosecutor’s unfounded political bias.

The Animal Liberation Front reportedly claimed credit for the 2004 break-in at the University of Iowa’s Psychology Department, removing lab rats and mice and vandalizing computers. There were no reported injuries. In November 2009, just days before the five year statute of limitations expired (the date after which the government could no longer bring charges), prosecutors subpoenaed Scott DeMuth, a 22-year old Dakota language student and sociology graduate student at the University of Minnesota, and 20-year old Carrie Feldman, to testify before a grand jury said to be investigating the incident. The government gave no public reason for believing the two had any information. Both appeared before the grand jury but refused on principle to testify, and each publicly denounced the process as a star chamber which utilizes secret evidence and deprives witnesses of their right to counsel and other basic constitutional protections.

Over thirty years ago, Justice William O. Douglas expressed almost the identical sentiment, writing “This great institution of the past has long ceased to be the guardian of the people for which purpose it was created at Runnymede. . .Any experienced prosecutor will admit that he can indict anybody at any time for almost anything before any grand jury.” United States v. Dionisio, 410 U.S. 19, 23 (1973 (Douglas, J., dissenting, quoting Chicago-based district judge William Campbell).

In clear retaliation for refusing to testify, U.S. Attorney Cronk had DeMuth indicted under the new Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act for conspiring to commit the lab break-in, despite the fact that the law was enacted two years after the break-in and cannot apply retroactively; despite the fact that DeMuth was a minor at the time of the alleged break-in; and despite the prosecutor’s apparent total lack of evidence. Upon reviewing the so-called “evidence,” a federal magistrate judge wrote:

The Court viewed portions of a videotape depiction of the damage inflicted at the University of Iowa during this occurrence. At least four individuals could be seen during the taping of the event. Special Agent Reinwart was of the opinion that one of these individuals had a resemblance in terms of physique and stature with Demuth. However, Special Agent Reinwart did not testify that he knew Demuth participated in the occurrence. (See Court’s Order of 11/24/09, p1-2.)

Nevertheless, U.S. Attorney Cronk is going forward with his prosecution of DeMuth. Persecution is a better word for it. After the court ordered DeMuth released from jail pending trial, the U.S. Attorney maneuvered to keep him locked up over the long Thanksgiving holiday, resorting to unethical and unconstitutional political stereotyping and guilt by association. He argued:

[T]he defendant did not deny that he is an anarchist. He did not deny involvement with ALF. . .Defendant’s writings, literature, and conduct suggest that he is an anarchist and associated with the ALF movement. Therefore, he is a domestic terrorist. As such, he poses a serious of risk of danger to those he opposes and to law enforcement as well as a risk of flight to avoid prosecution. (See Government’s Motion for Revocation of Release Order, 11-25-09, pg. 3.)

Meanwhile, on November 17, the court found Carrie Feldman in contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury, even though she never actually disobeyed the court’s order. Rather, the court presumed that she would refuse to testify based on her prior statements. “This is a plain violation of Supreme Court precedent,” said Lauren Regan, Executive Director of the Eugene Oregon-based Civil Liberties Defense Center. “The witness must be brought before the grand jury and refuse to answer questions put to her in front of them before she can be found in contempt.” In this case, after Feldman asserted a Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify, the court ordered her to accept immunity for her testimony, finding that this negated the privilege. However, the court never sent her back before the grand jury before holding her in contempt.

At the contempt hearing, Feldman’s lawyer put her father on the stand to testify that incarcerating her would be harmful to his ailing mother-in-law whom Feldman looks after. The prosecutor pounced on this opportunity to interrogate her father irrelevantly about whether his daughter is an anarchist, rather than concern himself with the legal issues at hand. (See transcript of hearing, 11-17-09.)

“If the prosecutor had substituted the word ‘capitalist’ or ‘socialist’, or ‘Christian’ or ‘Muslim’ for every utterance of the word ‘anarchist,’ correction by his superiors or the courts would have been swift,” said Attorney Ben Rosenfeld, a member of the Board of the Civil Liberties Defense Center. “Mr. Cronk appears to have forgotten, and no one in charge seems to care, that we are not supposed to condemn entire groups of people based on their beliefs.” Cronk later sought to defend his interrogation of Feldman’s father, writing:

By definition, anarchy is a “state of society without government or law” and an anarchist is “a person who seeks to overturn by violence all constituted forms and institutions of society and government, with no purpose of establishing any other system of order in the place of that destroyed.” (See Government’s Sur Reply Brief, 1-21-10, pg. 10.)

Cronk did not attribute the quotations, which appear to come from, and which differ starkly from those found elsewhere, including at

“He could not be more ignorant about what anarchism actually means,” Rosenfeld said. “If he had read anything by actual anarchist thinkers, he would know that anarchism is an intellectual philosophy which holds that governments everywhere are constituted to protect the rich, that they share more repressive similarities than differences, and that we should all work together at the local and grass roots levels to lift up the meek among us. In a sense, it is the best of libertarianism and democratic socialism combined.” Lauren Regan added: “Smearing all anarchists as violent criminals is like blaming all Christians for the murder of abortion doctors. The irony is that by engaging in a political witch hunt, the U.S. Attorney is underscoring the anarchist critique of our current system, as well as people’s distrust of the grand jury process.”

Mr. Cronk’s personal crusade is not without official context. On January 14, 2006, FBI spokesman David Picard told CBS affiliate Channel 13 in Sacramento: “One of our major domestic terrorism programs is the ALF, ELF, and anarchist movement, and it’s a national program for the FBI.” His statement echoes J. Edgar Hoover’s infamous description of the FBI’s ideologically-driven Counterintelligence Program (“COINTELPRO”), designed in Hoover’s words to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” undesirable political targets. Similar to Cronk’s conduct in this case, another federal prosecutor, Wallace Kleindienst, told reporters in December 2005, following animal rights activist Rod Coronado’s conviction for nonviolently disrupting a mountain lion hunt in Arizona: “I know he wasn’t tried here for being a violent anarchist. This trial wasn’t about Rod Coronado being a terrorist, but he is one.”

The government’s careless and anti-constitutional syllogism that animal rights activists equal “anarchists” equal “domestic terrorists” appears to come from the upper echelons of the Department of Justice. On January 20, 2006, in a press release announcing the first arrests in Operation Backfire, the Oregon-centered investigation into a series of politically motivated eco-arsons, FBI Director Robert Mueller vowed of the ALF and ELF: “We are committed to working with our partners to disrupt and dismantle these movements….” Since then, he has repeatedly revealed that the FBI is targeting anarchists generally. For example, addressing the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on September 10, 2007, he equated anarchists with terrorists, saying: “Single issue groups and domestic terrorists, which include white supremacists, anarchists, and eco-terrorists, continue to be a concern.”

“In light of such inflammatory remarks by the FBI’s own Director, it is clear that prosecutors like Mr. Cronk have been given the green light to ignore the Constitution and the law, and would seek to punish Carrie Feldman and Scott DeMuth based on nothing but his labeling of them as anarchists,” said Attorney Lauren Regan. Rosenfeld added, “Our government should not be in the business of trying to ‘dismantle’ political movements, as the FBI Director put it.”

Meanwhile, more than two months after the court found her in contempt, 20-year Carrie Feldman still sits in jail, accused of no crime. She appealed her contempt ruling, but in a 2-1 split decision issued on January 22, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit declined to release her. The majority gave no reason other than to say that “sealed documents [submitted by] the government … indicate that the statute of limitations has not necessarily expired…” (emphasis added). However, the dissenting Judge – who presumably viewed the same secret evidence submitted by the government – found that the statute of limitations had expired, and therefore that the government cannot hold Feldman under subpoena, since grand juries may not be used to gather evidence for prosecution once a crime has been charged, as it has in this case. The Court did not address the allegations of prosecutorial bias, or whether the lower court erred when it found Feldman in contempt without sending her back into the grand jury room to testify. (See Appellate Order, 1-22-10.)

“Everyone thinks we’re moving toward a greater recognition of civil rights under Obama,” said Attorney Ben Rosenfeld. “Instead we’re going backward – all the way back to the sedition laws, and the political inquisitions of Joseph McCarthy.”

(For more information, see the support website for Carrie Feldman and Scott DeMuth at, where a number of the documents cited in this press release are posted.)

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Friday, January 29, 2010


In China, the protest capital of the world these days, hundreds of persons have been lambasting authorities who want to build a polluting incinerator in in Guangzhou, capital of southern China's Guangdong Province.

The sludge-burning power plant, which is being planned to be built in Nanhai district of the city, has raised public concern over the surrounding environment both in the surrounding district and nearby Gaoming district.

One official, Ye Wen, who appears confused about how pollution works in such situations, said the proposed incinerator site was safe because it was surrounded by mountains on three sides.

On the morning of January 25, Guangzhou internet activist Wen Yunchao (aka Bei Feng [北风]) was taken in for questioning for approximately five hours by National Security officers. Wen was approached by police when he stopped by to observe the ongoing protests by Guangzhou citizens over the garbage incinerator. The authorities have placed increasing pressure on Wen in recent weeks; he was summoned for questioning twice in December, and recently forbidden from leaving the country.

The following is from the China Daily.

Officials feel heat over waste incinerator
By Qiu Quanlin (China Daily)

Officials feel heat over waste incinerator
A woman holds a placard that reads "Protect the pure land of Gaoming" during a protest against plans to build an incineration plant in Foshan, Guangdong province. [China Daily/Guo Jijiang]

Guangdong residents say plant will threaten health, environment

GUANGZHOU: Authorities of Gaoming district in Foshan, Guangdong province, yesterday vowed to firmly oppose the construction of an industrial waste incinerator if the plant threatens the environment and health of its residents.

Related readings:
Officials feel heat over waste incinerator Environmental survey results over incinerator questioned
Officials feel heat over waste incinerator Villagers halt waste incinerator
Officials feel heat over waste incinerator New plan promises major reduction in incinerator levels
Officials feel heat over waste incinerator Residents opposed to incinerator project
Officials feel heat over waste incinerator Residents say 'no' to garbage incinerator

The pledge followed two consecutive days of protests by residents who demanded Nanhai district authorities, which neighbors Gaoming district, scrap plans to build its Jiangnan industrial waste incinerator.

Wu Jianfeng, a press official with the Gaoming district, said the incinerator had not yet been approved for construction by Nanhai authorities.

Wu said environmental protection authorities in Nanhai district had consulted Gaoming officials about the plans.

"Should the Nanhai sludge incinerator fail an environmental impact assessment, we will be firmly opposed to the project," Wu told China Daily.

"We hope Nanhai authorities would respect our opinions and attach more importance to approving such a project."

The project is designed to help generate electricity for the existing Jiangnan power plant by burning industrial waste and will be built 2 km across the Xijing River, a tributary of the Pearl River.

A second envionmental assessment of the project, conducted by the South China Institute of Environmental Sciences, has been completed but the results have not been released. The first assessment said pollutants were in line with the national standard.

Nanhai authorities have yet to approve the project and if it is unable to reach a consensus with Gaoming officials on its construction, then the Foshan government will step in.

Yesterday, about 300 people from Yongxing village near Guangzhou's largest garbage incinerator in Likeng, Baiyun district, gathered in front of the city's government office to voice their opposition to the plant.

Villagers said about 40 people had died of cancer since the incinerator began operation in 2006.

It followed a protest on Sunday by about 400 residents in Gaoming district. They were concerned about pollution drifting into their district.

The Foshan government said the plant is not yet approved.

"We have not received the final environmental impact assessment report. If both districts do not reach an agreement, it will be for higher authorities to take a decision on the project," said Lu Danmiao, deputy director of Foshan government environmental protection bureau.

"One thing is for sure, that pollutant discharges of the proposed plant should meet the national standard. Otherwise, we will not approve the project," Lu said.

Villagers near the Likeng plant, the country's largest garbage incinerator, have made consistent complaints about health problems since last year.

"We have to get drinking water outside of the village. Water in the wells can no longer be used," a 72-year-old resident surnamed Huang told China Daily during an earlier interview.

However, local officials have maintained the incinerator plant is not linked to deaths or cancer in local villagers.

Officials feel heat over waste incinerator

"It is a rumor that the number of death and cancer cases has been rising after the garbage incinerator in Likeng was put into operation three years ago," Su Zequn, vice-mayor of Guangzhou, said in an interview in December.

"We have to let the public be aware that burning trash in advanced and environmentally friendly facilities is an ideal option for the city to deal with the rising amount of garbage," Su said.

The protests were among many recent demonstrations by residents in the province against high-polluting industrial projects, including a planned waste incinerator in Panyu district in Guangzhou, the provincial capital.

The province has reaffirmed its determination to improve the environment ahead of the 16th Asian Games, to be held in Guangzhou, in November.

A proposed large oil refinery in the ecologically rich Nansha district was relocated to a less populated area in Zhanjiang in western Guangdong last November, after a major public protest.


Here is the latest update out of Davenport, Iowa and the grand jury proceeding there. This time the story has to do with Scott DeMuth who has been indicted for violating the notorious Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

The following is from Support Carrie and Scott.

Scott denied continuance for trial

Scott’s new lawyer, Michael Deutsch, filed a motion to continue the March 1st trial date to allow him proper time to investigate and prepare for trial. Also in support of the motion Michael stated he had two small kids and a working wife which prohibited a trial before June 1st. The motion also stated that Scott wanted to finish his graduate work before the trial.

Magistrate Shields denied the motion saying a June 1st trial date was “unrealistic” and, more or less, that defense counsel’s family issues and Scott’s education needs were irrelevant. The defense was given leave to file another motion with a more “realistic” request for a trial date.

Apparently the Court wants to railroad this case to trial without regard for the defense need to prepare or the needs of the counsel or the

The defense has filed a new motion requesting an April 21st trial date, and also cited numerous motions that will be filed challenging the indictment, the statute and the whole prosecution theory; they have asked for 30 days to file these motions. We await a decision on all of this.

Meanwhile, Scott may have to proceed with a pre-trial conference on February 8. If this is the case, we’re asking that supporters who are able travel to Davenport for the hearing.

In Solidarity,

the SCSC


A whole boatload of organizations have come together to condemn anti-gay laws in the African nation of Malawi. The organizations expressed their outrage after a gay couple was arrested in late December. Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20,
have been held in jail ever since their arrest. "We arrested them because they committed an offense; homosexuality in Malawi is illegal," police spokesman Davie Chingwalu told the BBC at the time. Today the couple were denied bail. Judge Rowland Mbvundula said, "In the current circumstances, the state is validly concerned about and interested in the applicants safety and justified to be wary of releasing them into the community, at least for the time being."

Give me a break!

In reply to the judge, their lawyer Mauya Msuku had argued that safety should "not arise at all since the two were or had been staying together and carrying on as husband and wife prior to their appearance in court".

The public had "never threatened their safety and no person may presently be said to intend to harm them", he said, according to the judgment.

The following is from

Malawi: Condemnation of Country's Discriminatory Laws

press release

Civil society organisations have expressed strong opposition to the imprisonment of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, a gay couple, in Malawi. More than 40 African civil society organisations have called for the immediate release of this couple, and for the repeal of discriminatory laws against same-sex relationships.

We, the undersigned organizations, write to express our deep concern at the imprisonment and prosecution of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga under provisions of Malawi's penal code criminalizing private sexual behavior. We further call on Malawian authorities to drop all charges against both men and repeal sections 153 and 156 of the penal law.

On 28 December 2009, police officers arrested Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, at their home charging them under sections 153 and 156 of the Malawian penal code for "unnatural offences" and "indecent practices between males." This happened two days after Monjeza and Chimbalanga conducted a traditional engagement ceremony, an event that was widely reported in the Malawian press. On 6 January 2010, they were taken to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital where Chimbalanga was forced to undergo a medical examination ostensibly to ascertain whether he had sexual relations with another man. The following day both men were subjected to a psychiatric evaluation. They are being held in Chichiri Prison in Blantyre and have been denied bail by a Magistrate Court. Despite critical constitutional and legal issues raised by their lawyers in the High Court and to the Chief Justice as a Constitutional Court issue, the criminal trial continues. The penalty if they are found guilty is up to the maximum of 14 years in prison with hard labour.

The government has to prove with evidence the charges against Monjeza and Chimbalanga. Regardless of whether they are accurate, the prosecution has caused a widespread fear among persons engaged in same-sex relations-a group the Malawian government has recognized is vulnerable to discrimination and critical to its efforts to effectively respond to the HIV epidemic. The National HIV/AIDS Policy states: "Government and partners shall put in place mechanisms to ensure that HIV/AIDS/STI prevention, treatment, care and support and impact mitigation services can be accessed by all without discrimination, including [persons engaged in same sex sexual relations]. Dr. Mary Shawa, the Principal Secretary for Nutrition, HIV and AIDS in the President's Office reportedly acknowledged the need to "incorporate a human rights approach in the delivery of HIV and AIDS services to men who have sexual intercourse with men." She further asked men who have sex with men (MSM) to come out in the open in order to assist in HIV prevention efforts. This cannot be done given recent statements by governmental officials denouncing MSM, which has served to further drive this already vulnerable community further underground.

The importance of reaching out to persons having same-sex relations as a critical component of the response to HIV has been well-recognised by leading medical institutions as well as UNAIDS, UNDP and the World Health Organisation. According to an August 2009 research paper published in the Lancet, the world's leading medical journal, "The HIV/AIDS community now has considerable challenges in clarifying and addressing the needs of [men having sex with men (MSM)] in sub-Saharan Africa political and social hostility are endemic. An effective response to HIV/AIDS requires improved strategic information about all risk groups, including MSM. The belated response to MSM with HIV infection needs rapid and sustained national and international commitment to the development of appropriate interventions and action to reduce structural and social barriers to make these accessible."

Finally, the arrest and prosecution of Monjeza and Chimbalanga not only undermines the response to HIV but is a violation of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Malawian Constitution. Specifically, the Malawian Constitution guarantees that every person has the right to liberty, human dignity, freedom and security of the person, and to be free from discrimination on all grounds. These rights guaranteed under the Constitution are reinforced under Malawi's regional and international legal obligations. The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, ratified by Malawi in 1989, prohibits discrimination' provides for the right to equality; dignity; and liberty. Similarly, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which Malawi has also ratified provides for freedom from discrimination; equality; liberty; and dignity.

Sections 153 and 156 of the Penal Code undermine the response to HIV and violate the fundamental rights guaranteed under Malawi's legal obligations. We call on the Malawi government to release and drop all charges against Monjeza and Chimbalanga and repeal sections 153 and 156.

Endorsed by:

National Women's Lobby and Rights Group, Malawi

Umunthu Foundation, Malawi

Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, Malawi

Centre for the Development of People, Malawi


Botswana Treatment Literacy Coalition

Association Nationale des Séropositifs et Sidéens (ANSS), Burundi

HALT-SIDA, Democratic Republic of Congo

Protection Enfants SIDA, Democratic Republic of Congo

Sambatra Izay Salama (SISAL) Madagascar

Collectif Arc en Ciel, Mauritius

Prevention Information Lutte Contre le Sida (PILS), Mauritius

Associaçao Mulher, Lei e Desenvolvimento (MULEIDE), Mozambique

Legal Assistance Centre, Namibia

The Rainbow Project, Namibia

Women's Solidarity Network, Namibia

Centre for the Study of AIDS, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Artists for a New South Africa

Community Health Media Trust, South Africa

Engender, South Africa

Intersex South Africa

Out in Africa SA Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

The Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, South Africa

Unit for Social Behavioural Studies in HIV/AIDS and Health, University of South Africa

Women and HIV/AIDS Gauge, South Africa

Swaziland for Positive Living (SWAPOL)

Women and Law in Southern Africa, Swaziland

Children's Dignity Forum, Tanzania

Children Education Society (CHESO), Tanzania

Copperbelt Health Education Project, Zambia

Network of Zimbabwean Positive Women (NZPW+)

Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ)

RAVANE+ (People Living with HIV Network in the Indian Ocean Region)

AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA)

African Council of AIDS Service Organizations (AfriCASO)

AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA)

AIDS Legal Network, Southern Africa

Behind the Mask, Africa

Southern Africa Treatment Access Movement (SATAMO)

Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS)

Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC)

International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) Collaborative Fund, Africa Programme

Treatment Action Group


International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)

AIDS-Free World

Black Gay Men's Network, United States

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

Center for Reproductive Rights

Friends of the Treatment Action Campaign, United Kingdom

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, United States

International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO)

Physicians for Human Rights

Positive Voice, Greece

US Positive Women's Network

Women Organized to Respond to Life Threatening Diseases (WORLD)

Andrew Feinstein, former Member of Parliament, African National Congress

Jape Heath, International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV or AIDS (INERELA)

Phyllis Orner, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Reverend Steven Lottering, South Africa

Copyright © 2010 Health-e. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Are you kidding me? La Junta, Colorado authorities have pulled Ojore Lutalo off a train and arrested him. Lutalo was on his way home from a speaking gig at an anarchist book fair in Los Angles. Lutalo, who was released from prison a few months ago after serving more than a quarter of a century behind bars was charged with "interfering with public transportation." No one seems to have any idea what prompted the charges. My guess is that some people THEY just can't leave alone.

Note: I've just updated at the bottom with some new information...from Denver ABCF via email.

The following is from Sketchy Thoughts.

Former BLA Prisoner of War Ojore Lutalo... In Prison Again

It has been just four months since Ojore Lutalo left the prison gates, "free" after over a quarter century behind bars. A combatant with the Black Liberation Army, Lutalo (like so many other POWs and political prisoners) had been subjected to isolation-torture, an attempted depivation of all social contacts meant to drive a person insane. Yet throughout it all he remained steadfast.

Just so recently released, this past weekend Lutalo was in Los Angeles, attending the LA Anarchist Bookfair, and speaking on a panel about political prisoners in the united states. A rarity in a movement that was predominantly Marxist-Leninist, Lutalo has been an anarchist for decades, and his leadership from behind bars was in fact instrumental in bringing together many anarchists to do PP/POW support work in the 1980s and 1990s.

On his return home from LA, something happened. In La Junta, Colorado, Lutalo's Amtrak train was stopped and police boarded to arrest him, charging him with "interfering with public transportation." Nobody - including Lutalo himself - had any idea what provoked this arrest, or what the implications might be.

This morning Lutalo was arraigned in the La Junta City Courthouse, and formally charged. Bond was set at $30,000. At the arraignment, the prosecutor claimed that two people on the train overheard a telephone call in which they believe Ojore "made terroristic threats."

The prosecution asked for a $50,000 bond citing Lutalo's previous "criminal" background and imprisonment as well as him being an out of state resident. The defense argued for a $1,000 bond citing Ojore's links to the Denver community and housing available to him as well as his previous imprisonment being politically biased.

The judge ruled that Ojore's bond would be set at $30,000, justifying this amount because Ojore is an out of state resident, and in 1982 Ojore was convicted of a failure to appear charge and presently posed a flight risk due to this history.

Denver Anarchist Black Cross Federation members were present for the hearing and are presently in La Junta working to bail him out. A bondsmen has been secured that will post bond for Ojore at the cost of $3,010.

Donations can be sent via paypal to:

To keep in the loop, email

Please forward to anyone that needs or wants an update, so we can get some
funds raised.


Ojore update:

-Charged with "interfering with public transportation"
-Bail at 30,000 (We had the money but the feds held up one of the
transfers, now 500 short)
-In La Junta, CO
-Was arraigned today at 11 AM
-Pulled off the train because someone heard him talking politics.
Politics, NOT illegalities, just politics.
-Class 3 Felony

Here's some stuff from Denver ABC:

So, that snag I was saying that we could hit? Happened.

So, apparently, due to the Patriot Act, there is greater monitoring of
large money wire transfers. One of our transfers of money was put on hold
by the Feds. It will be released by tomorrow, but there is nothing that
ensures it will be here tonight.

So... we're waiting to see what happens. But, as of right now, we're
officially 500 short. Anyone able to step up to the plate? And Western
Union is the only way to ensure it will be there in a timely fashion.

A full, transparent report on this situation:

Bail is indeed covered, but all the money is not yet in our hands. It
should be within the next 2 hours.

1500 of this amount was in the form of loans from two different comrades,
one from Portland, and another from Minnesota. They need to be paid back
as soon as we can get the money to them.

This money is to cover what has turned into a 4500 bond amount through a
bondsmen in the area. The house had to be put up as collateral. The actual
bond was a cash assurity bond, so only money could be put up, not
property. So, the bondsmen puts up the money, with our comrade's house as
collateral if Ojore does not show up.

So, none of the money is refundable from the state. Ojore and Bonnie both
know this and have both given the go ahead and asked for this process to
move forward.

So, we're accounting for all the donors, loans, etc.. and will hold on to
this info if needed by folks.

We hopefully will be bonding him out in several hours. However, the story
of the day has been one of complications and setbacks. It's the nature of
dealing with a system in a tiny Colorado city in the middle of nowhere and
an arrestee with Ojore's history. He literally scares the shit out of the
system there. So, if something else comes up, and we hit some snags, we'll
let folks know.

Denver ABCF


Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today is a good day to remember that the discrimination and the attacks upon the Roma people continue unabated in Europe. This week Amnesty International took note of the forced evictions of Roma families in Romania.

Rajan Zed, well-known Hindu statesman; and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, a member of the Roma Rights Network; in a statement yesterday, said that it was shocking to see how inhumanely Romania and Europe were treating their Roma brothers-sisters who have lived in Romania since about ninth century AD. They added the evictions and relocations are clearly reprehensible, hazardous and immoral, and a blatant failure of Romania and Europe to meet international obligations.

The following is from Amnesty International UK.

New Amnesty Report Reveals Roma family in Romania forced to live in metal cabins behind sewage works

We are gypsies and that is why they don’t listen to us” - Monika, May 2009 More than 100 Roma people – including families with children – are living in metal cabins next to a sewage works in Romania after they were forcibly evicted from their homes, according to a new Amnesty report launching today. The report, Treated like waste: Roma homes destroyed and health at risk in Romania, tells how the Roma people were forcibly evicted by municipal authorities from a building in the centre of Miercurea Ciuc – the capital city of Harghita County in central Romania. Most were resettled by the authorities in metal cabins on the outskirts of the town, behind a sewage treatment plant. Some decided to move to a nearby waste dump, rather than live next to the sewage plant. Erszebet, who lives next to the sewage treatment plant with her husband and nine children, told Amnesty International what life is like in a metal cabin: “It is tight, when the whole family goes to sleep we don’t fit in. We cannot take a bath; we cannot clean ourselves. It is too small. We don’t want the older girls to take a bath in front of their father.” The temporary metal cabins and shacks are close to the sewage treatment plant, falling within the 300-metre protection zone established by Romanian law to separate homes from potential toxic hazards. The failure to protect the right to health is another violation of Romania’s national and international obligations. Ilana told Amnesty International: “The houses fill up with that smell. At night… the children cover their faces with the pillows. We don’t want to eat when we feel the smell… I used to have another child who died when he was four months old… I don’t want to lose the rest of my children.” The Romanian authorities must stop the forced eviction of Roma families and immediately relocate those living for years in hazardous conditions next to waste dumps, sewage treatment plants or industrial areas on the outskirts of cities, said Amnesty International. The organisation is calling on the government of Romania to reform its housing legislation to incorporate international human rights standards with particular attention to housing. Halya Gowan, Amnesty International’s Europe Programme Director, said: “Across the country Roma families are being evicted from their homes against their will. When this happens, they don’t just lose their homes. They lose their possessions, their social contacts, their access to work and state services. “This pattern of forced evictions, without adequate consultation, adequate notice or adequate alternative housing, perpetuates racial segregation and violates Romania’s international obligations. “The ordeal of the Roma families has continued for six years. Now is the time for the local authorities to provide them with adequate housing close to services and facilities in a safe and healthy location. “Something needs to happen now. An example must be set – forced evictions must be stopped and the right to housing must be guaranteed. And this can and should be done by the authorities of Miercurea Ciuc."

Background There are almost 2.2 million Roma in Romania – making up about 10 per cent of the total population. As a result of widespread discrimination, both by public officials and society at large, as 75 per cent of Roma live in poverty, as opposed to 24 per cent of Romanians and 20 per cent of ethnic Hungarians, the largest minority in Romania. The levels of physical health and living conditions of the Roma are among the worst in the country. Although some Roma people live in permanent structures with legal tenancy, many other long-standing Romani dwellings are considered by the government as "temporary" and unofficial, and their inhabitants do not have any proof of tenancy, which increases their vulnerability to eviction. Forced evictions violate Romania’s international and regional legal standards such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights that require all people to have a minimum degree of security of tenure, guaranteeing them legal protection against forced eviction, harassment and other threats.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The RNC 8 are: Luce Guillen Givins, Max Specktor, Nathanael Secor, Eryn Trimmer, Monica Bicking, Erik Oseland, Robert Czernik and Garrett Fitzgerald. All were preemptively arrested prior to the RNC and have been falsely charged with Conspiracy to Riot and Conspiracy to Commit Property Damage act in response to their political organizing (the charge enhancement that included the "Furtherance of Terrorism" under the Minnesota PATRIOT was dropped). This site contains news updates, press releases, biographies and information for donating to their legal support fund and defending the RNC 8.

The following is from Friends of the RNC 8.

Letter from the RNC 8 - January 2010
January, 2010

Dear friends, families and supporters,

The last time that we wrote, we were only weeks beyond the 2008 RNC, and still figuring out how to navigate our case with a sense of collectivity and integrity. Now, more than a year after the fact, we find ourselves in a sort of limbo. Day to day, we don’t feel the intensity of repression that we did in the weeks surrounding the RNC, yet the trial looms somewhere in the distance and we’re not really free to move on. We return to court on February 2nd, and may come out of the hearing with a trial date certain. While it’s hard to remain upbeat about the prospect, we hope to make the final push towards trial energizing for ourselves and our supporters alike, and we feel certain that a strong show of court solidarity will make a huge difference in the outcome of our case.

The past year has been difficult, both in dealing with our own situation and in watching as State attempts to subvert and disrupt anarchist movement gain steam, following well-established patterns of repression against dissident political movements throughout history.

In late 2008 and 2009, Ramsey County prosecuted more than a dozen felony cases resulting from the RNC. Abusing their unchecked power to slap on charge after unfounded charge as a way of coercing people out of exercising their right to trial, and with the constant threat of terrorism enhancements, prosecutors extracted numerous plea agreements from individuals who came to the RNC protests outraged at this oppressive system and willing to take a conscientious stand against it.

During the fall of 2008, well-known and controversial radical activist Brandon Darby was outed as a paid FBI informant. This happened as a result of his entrapment of Brad Crowder and David McKay, two young men who traveled from Texas to MN for the RNC protests. Though Brad and David both eventually plead guilty to federal charges of making and possessing Molotov cocktails, facts surrounding the case and testimony given during McKay’s initial mistrial make it clear that Darby went out of his way to create the unlikely scenario in which the crimes were committed. Darby, whose crimes of conscience will go unpunished, has already robbed two people of their freedom, but the extent of his cooperation and the damage it has done to our community remains to be seen.

In April of 2009, Indiana residents Tiga Wertz and Hugh Farrell were arrested and charged with racketeering as a result of their work organizing against I-69, the US segment of the NAFTA Superhighway. I-69 will displace small farmers, wreak environmental destruction, and facilitate the movement of goods and capital at the expense of the continents’ poor and working people. Tiga and Hugh are still awaiting trial, which will likely not start before 2011.

Late this fall, two friends and comrades of ours in Minneapolis, Carrie Feldman and Scott DeMuth, were subpoenaed to a federal grand jury in Davenport, IA, which is investigating a 2004 Animal Liberation Front action at the University of Iowa. Scott and Carrie were teenagers in Minnesota at the time of the ALF raid, and though they have no information to give about it, they refused to cooperate with the grand jury on principle. They were both jailed on civil contempt on November 17, 2009, and two days later, Scott was indicted under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). He is currently out awaiting trial and Carrie remains jailed in Iowa, where she may sit for another nine months. Carrie and Scott’s involvement in RNC organizing, their affiliation with known antiRNC organizers, and materials seized in RNC raids, have all been used so far in prosecutorial attempts to vilify them and their politics.

Scott is only the seventh person ever charged under the AETA. In February of 2009, four people in Santa Cruz, CA, became the first AETA indictees, accused of first-amendment protected activities including leafleting and chalking sidewalks. Last spring, BJ Viehl and Alex Hall in Utah were also charged under the AETA in relation to mink liberations. BJ recently plead guilty, citing the improbability of a fair trial in such a heavily conservative state, and will probably be sentenced in March. Alex is still awaiting trial.

The same day that we go to court here for our next hearing, Jordan Halliday will start trial for felony contempt of court, a charge he is facing after months of incarceration on civil contempt for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury in Utah.

This fall, comrades from the Tin Can Comms Collective sustained a raid and two arrests at the G20 mobilization in Pittsburgh. After returning to their home in Brooklyn, NY, the two arrested were subjected to yet another raid, this time on their house. State charges related to the G20 were subsequently dropped under circumstances that suggest the existence of an active federal investigation of Tin Can’s activities.

Needless to say, anarchists have taken quite a few hits this year. Yet these cases are only one manifestation of the systematic repression of movements for social change. Even as anarchists have yet again become a primary target of State repression, the U.S. continues its war on Black and Puerto Rican revolutionaries, and their allies.

In January of 2007, charges were brought against eight former Black Panthers (the San Francisco 8) for the 1971 murder of a police officer.

The case, re-opened with post-9/11 anti-terrorism funds, is based on information extracted through torture. Several of the the SF8 are former or current political prisoners. By summer of 2009, most charges had been dropped or drastically reduced in plea agreements. As of this writing, the last remaining conspiracy charge was dropped, leaving a single charge against Cisco Torres.

In recent months, the State of Pennsylvania has engaged in a new push for the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal, falsely convicted of the murder of a police officer in1982 and held on death row ever since. His supporters across the globe are mobilizing, yet again, to prevent this- our movements have kept him alive thus far, and it falls on us yet again to prevent his State-sanctioned assassination.

Meanwhile, the Puerto Rican independence movement- which has won the release of most of its political prisoners over the past decades- is preparing a final push for the release of two of the remaining three, Carlos Alberto Torres and Oscar Lopez Rivera.

At this moment, dozens of political prisoners sit in U.S. prisons and jails, many of them having been there for decades and some who may never get out. The State would have us believe that political prisoners do not exist in this country, which holds a full quarter of the world’s incarcerated people in its prison plantations. It is our common commitment to a radically transformed world that they intend to subvert with every new arrest, detention and prosecution, and our only defense is an acknowledgement of the fact that this is happening day in and day out, and a commitment to fight it at every step of the way.

As we look towards what could be the final stage of our own case, we’re left to ponder the impact of our work. It is our hope that our supporters also support every person named in this letter, and every target of State repression left unnamed. Whether we’re acquitted or convicted come trial, the greater measure of our success will be the extent to which our case builds the movements to which we belong.

See you at trial,

the RNC 8


Environmental activist Piyush Sethia was arrested today in Salem and charged with sedition. Salem is a city and a corporation in Salem district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located in the north central part of the southernmost state of India.

The charge is a non-bailable offense with a maximum sentence of life in prison. Piyush was arrested while passing out a simple pamphlet (translated after the article below below) at a Republic Day rally.

The following is from Express News Service.

Environmental activist held

SALEM: Noted environmental activist Piyush Sethia, founder of Speak Out Salem, was arrested on Tuesday when he tried to mobilise awareness against Operation Green Hunt at the Republic Day function venue.

Detailing the negative fallouts of Operation Green Hunt launched by the Central government against the Maoists, a handbill pointed out that lakhs of tribals were being displaced in the name of flushing out Maoists. It also made angry references to Union Minister P Chidambaram and questioned the spirit behind the Republic Day celebrations.

According to Inspector Kennedy, Sethia entered the Gandhi stadium, where the Republic Day celebrations were being held. There, he started to distribute handbills to visitors, which the police said were inflammatory in nature and were against the conduct during a Republic Day celebration.

Sethia maintained that he did not enter the stadium and denies distributing any handbill to visitors. He said he was giving a handbill to a police inspector, who was also a friend, when another inspector, Annadurai (City Intelligence Service), snatched it away. Sethia said he was then assaulted and taken to the Hasthampatti police station.

The Hasthampatti police have booked cases under non-bailable charges of sedition and the Tamil Nadu Public Area Disfigurement Act. Taking exception to the arrest, activists and lawyers are mobilising legal support to ensure his release.

After the handbill distribution, Sethia had planned to go on a cycle campaign up to Sivagangai (P Chidambaram's constituency) to create awareness against Operation Green Hunt.


Government of India: Stop the War

P.Chidambaram, who in order to pander to the imperialist designs of Tata,
Essar, Mittal, Vedanta, has destroyed 644 villages, and made 3 lakh Indian
refugees in their own land.

India is becoming Africa

Chattisgarh is where this sorry state of affairs prevails.

Under such circumstances, is it the celebration of Republic Day justified?

The Right to Life of Citizens of the country is a big question mark.

The Republic Day is a day when the state reaffirms its intent to safeguard
the democratic rights of Indian citizens. However, on this day, the Central
Government has, in the name of battling the naxalites, armed some adivasis
organised as the Salwa Judum. Further, in the name of Operation Greenhunt,
Mr. P. Chidambaram and his cabal have caused more than 5000 adivasi women to
be raped. More than 2.5 lakh adivasis have been forced to escape into the
forests to safeguard their lives. Further, more than 50,000 adivasis from
Chattisgarh are living as refugees in Andhra Pradesh.

Further, the Supreme Court has ordered the Central and State Governments to
restore to the more than 300,000 adivasis from 644 villages their homes and
villages, and to facilitate their return to their home villages. But despite
this, the Governments have done nothing to obey the Supreme Court order. Why
this illegal act? Where are the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the

On this day, (26th January), what guarantees are being extended by the
Indian state to Adivasis?

Is it the intent of the Indian Government merely to hand over land to Tatas,
Essar and Vedantas, and enrich them?

At a time when farmers have underlined their problems by committing
suicides, by snatching away agricultural lands and handing it over to the
rich, are you declaring that this is the face of progress?

We will raise our voices against it.

On 26 January, we will undertake a cycle rally via Sivagangai (Chidambaram's
constituency) to Chennai.

Campaign for Justice and Peace. 14A, 5th Avenue, Besant Nagar, Chennai 600

Contact: 9443248582

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Some people will dismiss this as "commie propaganda." However, the truth is out there. Cuba had hundreds of doctors helping in Haiti long before the earthquake hit. Cuba had trained more than 400 Haitian doctors long before the earthquake hit. Cuba didn't rush troops, but more doctors to Haiti. It is Cuba who recognizes the long term needs of Haiti and it is Cuba who understands the reasons for the impoverishment of Haiti. It is not Cuba who is jockeying to be in charge in Haiti. Anyway, Fidel's words linked here exemplify the way situations like what has happened in Haiti should be viewed and handled.

The following is from el habanero.

We send doctors, not soldiers

In my Reflection of January 14, two days after the catastrophe in Haiti, which destroyed that neighboring sister nation, I wrote: "In the area of healthcare and others the Haitian people has received the cooperation of Cuba, even though this is a small and blockaded country. Approximately 400 doctors and healthcare workers are helping the Haitian people free of charge. Our doctors are working every day at 227 of the 237 communes of that country. On the other hand, no less than 400 young Haitians have been graduated as medical doctors in our country. They will now work alongside the reinforcement that traveled there yesterday to save lives in that critical situation. Thus, up to one thousand doctors and healthcare personnel can be mobilized without any special effort; and most are already there willing to cooperate with any other State that wishes to save Haitian lives and rehabilitate the injured."

In my Reflection of January 14, two days after the catastrophe in Haiti, which destroyed that neighboring sister nation, I wrote: "In the area of healthcare and others the Haitian people has received the cooperation of Cuba, even though this is a small and blockaded country. Approximately 400 doctors and healthcare workers are helping the Haitian people free of charge. Our doctors are working every day at 227 of the 237 communes of that country. On the other hand, no less than 400 young Haitians have been graduated as medical doctors in our country. They will now work alongside the reinforcement that traveled there yesterday to save lives in that critical situation. Thus, up to one thousand doctors and healthcare personnel can be mobilized without any special effort; and most are already there willing to cooperate with any other State that wishes to save Haitian lives and rehabilitate the injured."

Photo: Young Haitian Doctor Being Trained in Cuba

"The head of our medical brigade has informed that 'the situation is difficult but we are already saving lives.'"

Hour after hour, day and night, the Cuban health professionals have started to work nonstop in the few facilities that were able to stand, in tents, and out in the parks or open-air spaces, since the population feared new aftershocks.

The situation was far more serious than was originally thought. Tens of thousands of injured were clamoring for help in the streets of Port-au-Prince; innumerable persons laid, dead or alive, under the rubbled clay or adobe used in the construction of the houses where the overwhelming majority of the population lived. Buildings, even the most solid, collapsed. Besides, it was necessary to look for the Haitian doctors who had graduated at the Latin American Medicine School throughout all the destroyed neighborhoods. Many of them were affected, either directly or indirectly, by the tragedy.

Some UN officials were trapped in their dormitories and tens of lives were lost, including the lives of several chiefs of MINUSTAH, a UN contingent. The fate of hundreds of other members of its staff was unknown.

Haiti's Presidential Palace crumbled. Many public facilities, including several hospitals, were left in ruins.

The catastrophe shocked the whole world, which was able to see what was going on through the images aired by the main international TV networks. Governments from everywhere in the planet announced they would be sending rescue experts, food, medicines, equipment and other resources.

In conformity with the position publicly announced by Cuba, medical staff from different countries –namely Spain, Mexico, and Colombia, among others- worked very hard alongside our doctors at the facilities they had improvised. Organizations such as PAHO and other friendly countries like Venezuela and other nations supplied medicines and other resources. The impeccable behavior of Cuban professionals and their leaders was absolutely void of chauvinism and remained out of the limelight.
Cuba, just as it had done under similar circumstances, when Hurricane Katrina caused huge devastation in the city of New Orleans and the lives of thousands of American citizens were in danger, offered to send a full medical brigade to cooperate with the people of the United States, a country that, as is well known, has vast resources. But at that moment what was needed were trained and well- equipped doctors to save lives. Given New Orleans geographical location, more than one thousand doctors of the "Henry Reeve" contingent mobilized and readied to leave for that city at any time of the day or the night, carrying with them the necessary medicines and equipment. It never crossed our mind that the President of that nation would reject the offer and let a number of Americans that could have been saved to die. The mistake made by that government was perhaps the inability to understand that the people of Cuba do not see in the American people an enemy; it does not blame it for the aggressions our homeland has suffered.

Nor was that government capable of understanding that our country does not need to beg for favors or forgiveness of those who, for half a century now, have been trying, to no avail, to bring us to our knees.

Our country, also in the case of Haiti, immediately responded to the US authorities requests to fly over the eastern part of Cuba as well as other facilities they needed to deliver assistance, as quickly as possible, to the American and Haitian citizens who had been affected by the earthquake.

Such have been the principles characterizing the ethical behavior of our people. Together with its equanimity and firmness, these have been the ever-present features of our foreign policy. And this is known only too well by whoever have been our adversaries in the international arena.

Cuba will firmly stand by the opinion that the tragedy that has taken place in Haiti, the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, is a challenge to the richest and more powerful countries of the world.

Haiti is a net product of the colonial, capitalist and imperialist system imposed on the world. Haiti's slavery and subsequent poverty were imposed from abroad. That terrible earthquake occurred after the Copenhagen Summit, where the most elemental rights of 192 UN member States were trampled upon.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, a competition has unleashed in Haiti to hastily and illegally adopt boys and girls. UNICEF has been forced to adopt preventive measures against the uprooting of many children, which will deprive their close relatives from their rights.

There are more than one hundred thousand deadly victims. A high number of citizens have lost their arms or legs, or have suffered fractures requiring rehabilitation that would enable them to work or manage their own.

Eighty per cent of the country needs to be rebuilt. Haiti requires an economy that is developed enough to meet its needs according to its productive capacity. The reconstruction of Europe or Japan, which was based on the productive capacity and the technical level of the population, was a relatively simple task as compared to the effort that needs to be made in Haiti. There, as well as in most of Africa and elsewhere in the Third World, it is indispensable to create the conditions for a sustainable development. In only forty years time, humanity will be made of more than nine billion inhabitants, and right now is faced with the challenge of a climate change that scientists accept as an inescapable reality.

In the midst of the Haitian tragedy, without anybody knowing how and why, thousands of US marines, 82nd Airborne Division troops and other military forces have occupied Haiti. Worse still is the fact that neither the United Nations Organization nor the US government have offered an explanation to the world's public opinion about this relocation of troops.

Several governments have complained that their aircraft have not been allowed to land in order to deliver the human and technical resources that have been sent to Haiti.

Some countries, for their part, have announced they would be sending an additional number of troops and military equipment. In my view, such events will complicate and create chaos in international cooperation, which is already in itself complex. It is necessary to seriously discuss this issue. The UN should be entrusted with the leading role it deserves in these so delicate matters.

Our country is accomplishing a strictly humanitarian mission. To the extent of its possibilities, it will contribute the human and material resources at its disposal. The will of our people, who takes pride in its medical doctors and cooperation workers who provide vital services, is huge, and will rise to the occasion.

Any significant cooperation that is offered to our country will not be rejected, but its acceptance will fully depend on the importance and transcendence of the assistance that is requested from the human resources of our homeland.

It is only fair to state that, up until this moment, our modest aircrafts and the important human resources that Cuba has made available to the Haitian people have arrived at their destination without any difficulty whatsoever.

We send doctors, not soldiers!


Santa Clarita councilman Bob Kellar says he is proud to be a racist. That's what he said. I can't help it. Kellar "stood by his remarks" at s Jan. 16 rally, saying they "reflected his frustration with illegal immigration, but weren't intended to express animosity against nonwhites." Oh well, then. Keller also said later he was not a racist and that he abhors racism. Keller needs to get his head screwed on straight.

The following is from the LA Progressive.

Santa Clarita Councilman Tells Anti-Immigrant Protesters He's a Proud Racist

by Andrea Christina Nill

kellar Santa Clarita Councilman Tells Anti Immigrant Protesters He’s a Proud Racist

Santa Clarita Councilman Bob Kellar

Yesterday, The Los Angeles Daily News featured a video of Santa Clarita councilman Bob Kellar informing a group of cheering protesters rallying against immigration that he is a “proud racist” who considers being called a radical a “compliment”:

We have got to wake up America. I know you guys are engaged and you understand. But I’m telling you this is serious. And if I sound like a radical, thank you. I consider that a compliment…The only thing I heard back from a couple people was “Bob you sound like a racist.” I said, “That’s good. If that’s what you think I am because I happen to believe in America. I’m a proud racist. You’re darn right I am.”

Watch it:

Though Kellar insists his remarks weren’t intended to “express animosity towards non-whites,” local Democrats describe Kellar’s comments as “symbolic of the Republican Party’s attitudes toward immigration in general.” The rally was organized by several California anti-immigrant groups including the Santa Clarita Valley Independent Minutemen, the Santa Clarita Tea Party, and designated hate group Save Our State.

During his speech, Kellar also stated that “if we would just deal with the illegals, we wouldn’t have a deficit in the state of California.” To a certain extent, Kellar’s analysis isn’t that far off the mark. A recent study by the University of Southern California found that passing immigration reform which includes the creation of a path to legalization for unauthorized immigrants already in the United States could yield up to $16 billion annually for the state of California.

andrea Santa Clarita Councilman Tells Anti Immigrant Protesters He’s a Proud Racist

Andrea Christina Nill

Republished with permission from the Wonk Room/Think Progress


The women in Iran deserve your support in their struggle for justice.

Equal Rights Now - Organization against Women's Discrimination in Iran has been established to promote women's freedom, emancipation and equality between women and men in the social, economic and political arenas as well as to strive for an end to sexual discrimination.

Equal Rights Now belongs to a vast social movement against sexual discrimination and oppression in Iran, which is daily gaining strength and momentum. Unifying, organizing and strengthening this movement are immediate tasks for our organization.

Equal Rights Now also belongs to the international movement for the emancipation of women from all forms of inequality and discrimination; it depends on this international movement for its success.

Equal Rights Now invites women and men to join the organisation and support its aims.

Check out the following manifesto from Equal Rights Now.

Manifesto of Liberation of Women in Iran

This March 8th, in memory of Neda, symbol of people of Iran’s struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran

Manifesto of Liberation of Women in Iran

The very existence of the Islamic regime of Iran is incompatible with freedom of women. The Islamic Republic of Iran is a misogynist state, architect of gender apartheid and perpetrator of three decades of the most odious forms of abuse, discrimination and violence against women in Iran. A society cannot be free if women are not free. Without the overthrow of the misogynist Islamic regime, women in Iran will not achieve their rights. The Islamic Republic must go! This is the message of Neda Agha Soltan, the symbol of the ongoing revolution in Iran; it is the decree of the brave women who at the front lines of people’s protest have been challenging the entire Islamic state for the past seven months.

Thirty years ago on March 8th, 1979 in Iran, we freedom-loving women and men stood up to the reactionaries who had just come to power, with shouts of No to compulsory veil! Today, with the painful and bloody experience of three decades of gender apartheid, gender slavery and nonstop suppression of women behind us, we state even more clearly and forcefully, along with the young and progressive generation of today, that the Islamic Republic, as a misogynist state, as a regime of gender apartheid must be overthrown. We say that the leaders of the Islamic Republic must be arrested and put on trial for systematic crimes against millions of women, for crimes against humanity. This is the decree of the revolution in Iran. With the overthrow of the Islamic Republic we will lend a helping hand to millions of women in Islam-stricken countries who are prisoners of terrorist Islamic states and gangs and honour-worshiping, male-chauvinistic Islamic traditions.

Today, support for the ongoing revolution in Iran can and should become a vast international movement. March 8th is International Women’s Day, which this year bears the mark of solidarity with women and people in Iran in the struggle to topple the Islamic regime. We call on women’s rights activists and organisations to express their solidarity with the women’s movement in Iran, while remembering Neda Agha Soltan as the symbol of the revolutionary movement against the Islamic Republic. March 8th this year is the day of solidarity with the movement of the people of Iran for freedom!

We issue the following Manifesto of the Liberation of Women in Iran, and call on all women’s rights’ activists and secular and progressive forces to support this Manifesto and join up in solidarity with the people of Iran in the struggle to overthrow the Islamic regime of gender apartheid:

1- Prosecution of the leaders and officials of the Islamic Republic for crimes against humanity, including for thirty years of the vilest abuse, discrimination and violence against women in Iran

2- Abolition of all misogynist Islamic laws and all laws that discriminate against women; complete equality of women and men in all economic, political, cultural, social and family spheres

3- Complete separation of religion from the state, the educational system and all laws

4- Abolition of segregation of the sexes and gender apartheid

5- Prohibition of sighe [Islamic ‘rent-a-wife’] and polygamy; unconditional right of separation [divorce] for women and men; abolition of all laws which make women’s civil rights [such as the right to travel, social intercourse, participation in social activities, etc.] conditional on obtaining the permission of the husband, father or other male members of the family; complete equality of women’s and men’s rights and duties in the custody and care of children following separation

6- Abolition of compulsory veil [hejab] for women; prohibition of hejab for children; full freedom of dress

7- Abolition of all the barbaric laws of stoning, execution, retribution [qesas] and other Islamic punishments

8- Unconditional freedom of expression, protest, strike, assembly, organisation and forming parties

9- Immediate release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience

10- Freedom of religion and atheism and freedom to criticise religion.

Mina Ahadi
Mahin Alipour
Shahla Daneshfar
Maryam Namazie

22 January 2010

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