January 2013 Archives

We Won't Go Back!

CIMG1497.JPGJanuary 22 marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion. Yet today the procedure is more stigmatized, more dangerous to provide, and more difficult to access than at any time since legal confirmation of women's reproductive freedom. Bay Area activists commemorated this important milestone from the steps of San Francisco City Hall. Video here

Abortion on Demand & Without Apology 

Saturday, January 26, defenders of reproductive rights confronted the ninth annual "Walk for Life" invasion of anti-abortion lemmings at Powell Street Plaza.

Are you outraged that the reactionary forces that would undo four decades of legal precedent target San Francisco with their hateful vision of repression? The use of violence and murder as "God's punishment" for abortion providers is intolerable and has no place in a decent world.

STOP PATRIARCHY: end the enslavement and degradation of women  


In addition to a massive outpouring of grief, the suicide of Reddit co-founder, programmer, and Internet activist Aaron Swartz has prompted a great deal of anger among members of the online and tech communities who knew him best. Swartz was awaiting trial for using MIT's wireless network to download 4.8 million academic documents from JSTOR (he had legal access to the online library as Harvard researcher at the time) with the apparent intention of distributing them for free. Many seem to believe that the strain of the case, which the Swartz family called "the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach," pushed the already depressed 26-year-old over the edge...

see Outrage at Prosecutors

"The death of Aaron Swartz should provide the Justice Department with occasion for some serious introspection... An independent review of prosecutors' conduct would no doubt find that they proceeded with an erroneous vision of the law. If they had even an ounce of decency, these prosecutors would issue Swartz's survivors an apology and tender their resignations
-- Scott Horton 

Fasten your seat belts:


cn_image-1.size.obama-second-inauguration-speech.jpgObama's second term officially started on Sunday at noon, as dictated by the Constitution, after a private swearing in at the White House.

Our work to stop the crimes of his administration has only begun.


At noon on Sunday about two dozen protesters gathered at either end of the Golden Gate Bridge, some wearing orange jumpsuits to evoke images of Guantanamo Bay prisoners, to mark the eleventh anniversary of the notorious American prison camp.                          

KGO/CNN photo

This offshore extralegal prison created to serve the U.S. "war on terror," is infamous for the torture there of hundreds of prisoners, and its indefinite detention and other wholly illegal practices committed under the Bush-Cheney administration but continuing today despite Obama's vow -- the first of his presidency -- to close Guantánamo.

Organized by World Can't Wait and Code Pink, the bridge action demanded the closure of Guantánamo and all other U.S. facilities including Bagram, where prisoners are subjected to torture and other forms of coercion and abuse, and medical and psychological experimentation. At a closing rally marchers read aloud the names of all 166 prisoners still held at Guantánamo today, in a public statement of refusal to let the thousands imprisoned and tortured under Bush and now Obama be forgotten.

List of names and invitation to write to prisoners here

"No person of conscience living in America today can claim ignorance or non-involvement with the crimes of our government from torture and illegal rendition, to targeted assassination and drone strikes against civilians.  It is our responsibility to humanity to stop these crimes. Silence is complicity,"
said Stephanie Tang of World Can't Wait.

Recently returned from a peace delegation into war-torn areas of Pakistan, Code Pink member Toby Blomé added: "Obama promised to close Guantánamo in his first year.  Yet he just signed the National Defense Authorization Act which adds even further restrictions on the ability to obtain transfers for Guantánamo prisoners!  Secret Black sites and extraordinary rendition continue. SHAME!".

RP BEALE 9 BANNERSA-thumb-400x272-28387.jpg
Protestors hold signs in front of the Federal Courthouse in Sacramento on Tuesday morning to show their support for the nine defendants who appeared in court on trespass charges for actions taken in October at Beale Air Force Base. Photo by Randy Pench / rpench@sacbee.com

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/crime/archives/2013/01/5-face-federal-charges-in-drone-protest.html#storylink=cpy

zero tolerance for torture

628x471-1.jpgZero Dark Thirty opened Friday at the AMC multiplex in Emeryville to demonstrations by groups protesting the use of torture.

World Can't Wait and other activists (including Amnesty International and Code Pink) were there, flyering and agitating around a statue-still man in Guantanamo jumpsuit, hood and chains.  His signboard read:  "Torture is ALWAYS illegal, immoral and unacceptable - Don't Buy CIA Lies!"

We talked to scores of moviegoers and many reporters, and gave out about 1000 flyers. The audience going into the theater was receptive in the main - many people of all ages knew something about the controversy over this film and torture, most took a flyer, a few stopped to talk.  One guy had heard of the controversy last month when Debra Sweet was interviewed about it on KPFA Flashpoints, and came now to support us. 

Coming out after the film, people's response was a lot more sharply opinionated.  A lot of people told us in various ways that yes, they recognized the movie is glorifying the CIA and justifying torture as necessary to defeat terrorism.  Many were also sympathetic to our fuller denunciation of torture as a war crime and crime against humanity, and our demand that war crimes and war criminals be brought to justice.  But some - not nearly as many, but loud - told us off: they'd say torture is necessary, they approved because it's protected "us," and why didn't we shut up and/or go protest the terrorists who want to kill us, etc.

photo by Sean Havey, SF Chronicle

This movie, somewhat of a societal controversy, is an important opportunity to seize on because it's put these questions on the table as millions of Americans see it. 

It was good to encounter so many people who weren't that sucked in by this (very slick yet somehow very old-fashioned "white hat cowboys/violent dark savages") film, including the woman interviewed In the news video posted by the SF Chronicle.  Where, by the way, a large color photo of the "Guantanamo prisoner" is on today's front page with a major article (and more photos of our protest) about the ongoing commotion over the CIA's role in the making of this film, now that Senator Feinstein is ordering the CIA to 'fess up about what that entailed.  Good!    




Short video from SF Chronicle:


ABC -KGO Channel 7 TV news


Join the discussion of Zero Dark Thirty and these protests on Facebook:


World Can't Wait is calling on people around the country to be at theaters, to say NO TORTURE IN OUR NAMES! CLOSE GUANTANAMO and STOP ALL TORTURE NOW!  People have to protest -- in direct, creative, and public ways -- to expose and challenge the core message of this film: that torture "works."

Download and print our flier and take it with you to the film's opening near you
Get palm cards for distribution
Go to showings with a stack of these fliers, posters and some friends donning orange jumpsuits
Take photos and send them to reports@worldcantwait.net.
Post your protest to our event page and we will help connect you with others in your area who put humanity and the planet first.

Reichsluftschutzbund personnel march past near...

Reichsluftschutzbund personnel march past near the Nuremberg Frauenkirche in the 1934 Nuremberg Rally-Screenshot from Triumph of the Will

"In a time of darkness in America, you are being feted by Hollywood, and hailed by major media. But to me, the path your career has now taken reminds of no one so much as that other female film pioneer who became, eventually, an apologist for evil: Leni Riefenstahl. Riefenstahl's 1935 Triumph of the Will, which glorified Nazi military power, was a massive hit in Germany. -- Naomi Wolf

Zero Dark Thirty sets a dangerous precedent...

with the"propaganda amendment" of the 2013 NDAA, just signed into law by the president, that the future will hold much more overt corruption of Hollywood and the rest of US pop culture. This amendment legalizes something that has been illegal for decades: the direct funding of pro-government or pro-military messaging in media, without disclosure, aimed at American citizens.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2012 is the previous archive.

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