Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ecuador- the start of a coup

No Room For Ambivalence: Support President Rafael Correa and Ecuadorean Democracy

Today a group of police instigated an uprising against the democratically elected government of President Rafael Correa in Ecuador. They physically attacked Correa and kidnapped him to a police hospital in Quito. Police continue to viciously attack unarmed and unprotected supporters of the constitutional order with tear gas and rubber bullets. One protestor is confirmed dead, and the coup attempt has spread to Guayaquil and Cuenca. The police are also attacking the press.
Men and women attempting to reach the president in the heavily guarded hospital are advancing in the streets with their hands in the air, as a sign of non-violence.

What began ostensibly as a labor protest by a small group of police officers has clearly become an attack on Ecuadorean democracy. In a special session of the Organization of American States, members issued a unanimous resolution supporting Correa and UNASUR has stated its unqualified support for the president.

President Correa confirmed that he is being held captive and stated unequivocally that his government will not engage in dialogue with the police as long as he is held hostage and the population is being savagely repressed.
This is no time for ambivalence.
We hope that the U.S. does more for democracy than it did in Honduras.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Workers Rights - Immigrants' rights

New from the University of Northern Iowa Center for Immigrant Leadership
and Integration:
A Comic Book in Spanish on Workers' Rights and Responsibilities:
"Nuevo Trabajo: Sus Derechos y Deberes"
Please find this 12-page comic book attached. Feel free to print and
distribute as many copies of this publication as you like. There is no
copyright /per se/, only our request for attribution to the UNI
Immigration Center. I will also post the comic on the ICILI website in
the near future.
This publication is also available in English. If you would like a copy
of the comic in English, please let me know at

Mark Grey, Director
Iowa Center for Immigrant Leadership and Integration
University of Northern Iowa

Sunday, September 26, 2010

FBI Assault on Anti War activists

By Lynn Koh for War Times/Tiempo de Guerras
By now, most War Times/Tiempo de Guerras readers have heard about the September 24th FBI raids on peace activists' homes in Minneapolis and Chicago and at the Minneapolis office of the Twin Cities Anti-war Committee. We add our voices to the rest of the progressive movement, and all those who value democracy, in denouncing these raids. We believe that the peace movement must support the folks who have been targeted for their antiwar work.

Plans for solidarity demonstrations are developing quickly. The Anti-War Committee has called for a demonstration at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, September 27, 2010 at the Minneapolis offices of the FBI, 111 Washington Street, South. Click here for more information.

We encourage War Times readers to call U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at 202-353-1555 and to send emails to the Department of Justice at Ask Attorney General Holder to put an end to the FBI’s attacks on peace activists.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Support the Dream Act

Make your Call for Justice -- Support the Dream

As you may know, today the U.S. Senate is set to consider the DREAM Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization ActWe urge you to call your Senator to urge his/her support of DREAM, to provide an opportunity for undocumented studentsto gain legal immigration status. Moreover, we ask you to urge the Senators to include community service to the list of criteria for access to this program, restoring a provision of the original bill that was designed to embrace a broader cross section of the students who could benefit from this important program.
Please take a few minutes to call 202-224-3121 to connect to your senators' offices and ask that they take action to support DREAM, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.
The DREAM Act -- particularly if it is broadened to include a greater number of immigrant youth and students -- deserves consideration as a "stand alone" bill. But in these weeks leading up to the mid-term elections, it has instead been offered by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) as an amendment to the "must pass" defense appropriations billWe resent that DREAM is being held hostage by the defense bill. We are very much aware that military conflicts produce millions of refugees and migrants every year, and in fact, many potential DREAM students and their families fled areas of conflict. Whether or not DREAM is included in the Defense Authorization Actwe further support the diversion of defense funds to education and social services

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Dream Act; Two views

Dream Time
Congress may soon have a chance to repair, in a powerful way, the shambles it has made of immigration. It can pass an amendment to the defense authorization bill due to come before the Senate on Tuesday. The amendment is the Dream Act, an inspired bit of carving from the hugely ambitious, chronically unsuccessful comprehensive immigration reform.
The Dream Act opens the door to military service and higher education for young people whose parents brought them to this country as children without proper documentation. If they finish high school, show good moral character and serve at least two years in the military or earn a college degree, they can earn citizenship.
In a poisoned climate for legislation of any kind, and with the immigration debate more wretched than ever, the Dream Act’s chances are uncertain. That is a shame, because the act was written for exactly the kind of people America should be embracing: young soldiers, scholars, strivers, future leaders.
Those who might qualify — roughly 800,000 of the 11 million people living here without authorization — are blameless for their illegal status and helpless to make it right. Most cannot leave their families to return to countries they do not know. They cannot legally work, qualify for scholarships or loans to pay for college, or serve in the military. They live in limbo, vulnerable to arrest, their dreams deferred, their hopes squandered.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mexico- 200 years of independence

Mexican Bicentennial Falls Short on Fervor
MEXICO CITY — There are the bicentennial buses. Bicentennial roads. A bicentennial marathon. A bicentennial song. The bicentennial digital library. A bicentennial video game. Even a bicentennial bird, the mountain trogan, and plant, the owl agave. And of course the bicentennial fireworks extravaganza, planned to be the largest the country has ever seen.
What appears to be missing is bicentennial enthusiasm.
By accident of timing, as Mexico approaches the 200th anniversary on Thursday of the start of its rebellion against Spain, the national mood has sunk into its deepest funk in years.
A four-year drug war that has taken more than 28,000 lives has seeped into previously quiet corners of the country. Just Sunday night in the central city of Puebla, heavily armed marines captured Sergio Villarreal, known as El Grande, the leader of the Beltrán Leyva drug cartel.
The bloodiest town, Ciudad Juárez, just across the border from El Paso, has canceled celebratory bicentennial fireworks out of safety concerns. So have at least two dozen other towns. Major commemorative public works projects, including the bicentennial monument itself, the Estela de Luz, a 30-story quartz obelisk in the capital, will not be completed in time for the big day.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Anti Muslim bigotry - value voters

Bryan Fischer, the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the American Family Association, wrote a blog post yesterday that argues that "Germany is giving us a template on how we handle Muslims: just like we handle neo-Nazis," which amounts to German police carrying "out 30 predawn raids against the nation's largest neo-Nazi group two days ago."
Fischer is known for his Islamophobia, previously arguing that the U.S. should have "no more mosques, period," because "every single mosque is a potential terror training center or recruitment center for jihad" and thus "you cannot claim first amendment protections if your religious organization is engaged in subversive activities."
On his Renew America blog, Fischer wrote that "German authorities are determined to 'stamp out' this movement because it is 'potentially violent.'"

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Richard Flacks: You must take over the leadership

from the blog of sociologist Richard Flacks (Univ. of California at
Santa Barbara)

step by step
step by step the longest march can be won

you must take over the leadership
Posted by rflacks on: August 31 2010

"You must take over the leadership".  B Brecht

A few weeks ago, I got the following comment from Kerry Candaele,
asking questions that I think are on a lot of our minds:

              Why the left was too cooperative, has not built a
populist movement that can push Obama our way, and did, in large part,
support the president's agenda? Why so much passive going along?
Mystified by the man and his hope agenda? Back on our heels in order
to keep Democratic seats in centrist districts? Too much "organizing"
on line? In my own neighborhood--the westside of Los Angeles--when
teachers get let go and libraries close down, what to the PTAs and
liberal individuals in those schools do? Call for selling of cupcakes
and lemonade on the school grounds. Participatory democracy at the
baked goods table, instead of 50 buses filled with angry voters on the
grounds of the state capital with a progressive agenda in hand. And
now we have Jerry Brown, for whom we will all vote, running on who
knows what. What happened from November until today?

Since the start  of the Obama years, progressives keep saying that
pressure from the left is essential if reform possibilities are to be
achieved. Kerry Candaele questions  are daily more urgent: why hasn't
such mobilization been happening?

First of all, however,  the assumption that the left is thoroughly
demobilized isn't really valid. In just the last few months, tens of
thousands marched for immigrant rights in Washington on March 21.
Twenty thousand people reportedly participated in the US Social Forum
in Detroit at the end of June. In July thousands converged on Phoenix
to protest SB 1070 as thousands more demonstrated locally across the
country. Last spring, large numbers of students in California
mobilized against budget cuts, and public employees marched on
Sacramento. None of this action was given significant coverage in the
mainstream media, while tea party theatricals were of course widely
featured. The march immigrant rights Washington rally was probably
much larger than the Beckfest but got no media notice. The Detroit
Social Forum was entirely unmentioned.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Labor Day with Hilda Solis

To see this video in English. Click on the Youtube link. It is offered in both English and Spanish.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Carly No es mi Amiga.

Carly Fiorina, California Republican U.S. Senate candidate, shares a wide range of skewed views straight out of the Sarah Palin manifesto. But there is one key Palinesque policy she embraces that she’d just a soon the state’s Latino voters didn’t dwell on.


Fiorina, who casts herself as friend of Latinos, is a strong and strident supporter of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law that civil rights groups denounce as discriminatory and an open to door to racial profiling. As a U.S. senator, Fiorina very well could back a national anti-immigrant law patterned after Arizona’s.
Today the California Labor FederationBrave New Films and SEIU California unveiled a new bilingual video, “Carly No Es Mi Amiga” (Carly is Not My Friend) that exposes her anti-immigrant agenda and close ties to Palin’s radical and inflammatory immigration rhetoric. Says Art Pulaski, California Labor Federation executive secretary-treasurer:
She’s pushing more of the same failed policies that destroyed our economy and forced millions of Latinos and other workers into the unemployment line. The last thing California Latinos need is Carly’s anti-immigrant, job-slashing agenda.