Bush locks U.S. into costly occupation of Iraq, drains treasury, wears down U.S. army, neglects America, & loses some support.  Rich get tax cuts while states slash social services.
U.S.-funded Israel builds expansionist wall to control, secure, and seize territory.

Energy conservation, renewable energy, and economic justice ignored while US Washington, DC establishment focuses on Iraq.
Hussein and Bin Laden survive to remain enemies for the well-funded US military industrial complex to fight.

Index
Politics  

March for Peace and Justice
Stop the FTAA & Close the SOA Nov. 19-23
United for Peace & Justice, International ANSWER, & Win Without War

             
Social change news, more social change news, and more protests.
Protests/Rallies Peace Groups Iraq Info Israel and Palestine Info Election Info Analysis More Info
 
PROTESTS/RALLIES & KEY EVENTS.

United for Peace & Justice provides a list of current protests.

United for Peace & Justice
International A.N.S.W.E.R.
Win Without War.
Protest.net
Independent Media Center
Institute for Global Communication (IGC), including PeaceNet, EcoNet, WomensNet, Anti-Racism.Net, and LaborNet.
The International Action Center.

FYI: For various reasons, including the demands of moving and personal reorganization, time and financial limitations, financial setbacks, and personal safety concerns, I have suspended work on EmpowermentResources.com.  The most serious setbacks included 1) finding a gun pointed at me during an armed robbery around April 2003, 2) an unusual, rare, and to me very alarming unsolved murder in May 2003 less than half a block from my May 2003 home, 3) substantial cost overruns in moving, and 4) my 30-year VW died after I drove it at full speed to a July 4 protest in Philadelphia   After all that, I can't afford to immediately improve these websites.
     At this point, I estimate I have spent and lost over $20,000 of my own money on this project.  I cannot afford to continue to subsidize it.  I would be absolutely delighted if any foundations or major donors or economic power brokers decide that they can subsidize it.  I believe it is an educational and a media-spin bargain.  In the meantime, I wish to sincerely thank everyone who has donated a few dollars here and there at various rallies.  Your economic support has really helped.  Thanks.
     United for Peace & Justice is coordinating peace protest info, and
protest.net provides concise info about protests.
     I plan to be at the Oct. 25, 2003 peace protest in DC.  I hope to attend the SOAW Fort Benning protest in November.  Other than that, I expect to be busy with personal projects through the fall and winter, including continuing to liquidate some of my assets at EBay (where my seller ID is empower4).  I also hope to move to an affordable home with people with similar values after I'm ready to move again.  Hopefully, at some point in 2004 I'll be well-positioned to begin work on this again in earnest.
     Politically, I think our key goal should be to defeat George Bush in Nov. 2004.  We really do need better management.


RECENT PROTESTS/RALLIES & KEY EVENTS
Police Use Pepper Spray on Protesters at Demonstration Against Bush in Portland, Oregon.  Aug. 23, 2002.

World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) 2002.  Aug. 26-Sept. 4 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Bush skipped this event and vacationed instead.
     Johannesburg Summit 2002, the official U.N. website, including the World Summit on Sustainable Development...LIVE!.
     Earth Summit 2002 Stakeholder Forum.
     WSSD Civil Society Global Forum.  The Global People's Forum is an alternative Earth Summit held by nonprofits, unions, activists, and protesters.
     Protest News, provided by the South Africa Independent Media Center.

United for Peace.  Around Sept. 11, 2002.  Peace events commemorating the first anniversary of Sept. 11.  Check UnitedforPeace.org for events near you.
National Call-In Day: Stop the Attack on Iraq.  Sept. 9-10.  Sponsored by Peace Action.

Mobilize for Global Justice.  Sept. 25-29, 2002 in Washington, DC.  Main rally Sept. 28, 2002.  Protest the World Bank and IMF.  Sponsored by the Mobilization for Global Justice.  The Washington Post provided news coverage.  Mike Flugennock's mikey'zine provided video coverage.  The D.C. Justice and Solidarity Collective provided legal support.
Columbia Mobilization.  Sept. 27, 2002 nationwide local day of action.  Sponsored by the National Mobilization on Columbia.
March Against War With Iraq.  Sept. 29, 2002 in Washington, DC.  A peace rally and peace march starting at Dupont Circle at 2pm.  It was much larger than I expected. 

 
DC Police Mass Arrested More than 600 protesters Sept. 27.  Washington DC, Sept. 27-30, 2002. --  More than 600 people (including reporters [link2 [link3 & link4], legal observers, street medics, and innocent bystanders) were arrested by DC police on Friday, Sept. 27, in clear violation of their constitutional First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom to peaceably assemble.  Police used limited excessive force, including billyclubs, and injured some protesters  At least sporadic police misconduct continued throughout the weekend,  DC Indymedia held a press conference at 11am on Monday, Sept. 30, 2002 to complain about this.
     I urge DC mayor Anthony Williams, up for reelection on Nov. 5,  to take a firm stand in favor of the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom to peaceably assemble and to correct, now and in the future, errors made by DC Police Chief Ramsey and the DC Police Dept.  In particular, I urge mayor Anthony Williams to free any nonviolent political protesters still in jail and to drop all remaining charges against nonviolent protesters.  I also urge DC Police Chief Ramsey to clearly state that the heavy police force used this weekend is only a rare exception to his normal rules of conduct, and not a trend that he intends to continue.  I also urge activists to explicitly agree to nonviolent protest (excluding any violence against people or property) so we can focus on the issues in a more civilized manner.  (Also, re-establishing nonviolence as the norm for protesters and police in DC would reduce some of the tension associated with DC protests and could save the cash-short DC government millions of dollars in reduced police expenses for handling marches and protests.  Did DC really need to spend millions of dollars to pay for police overtime and hire approx.1,700 out-of-town cops for this protest?)
     Here is what happened at approx. 7:45am on Friday, Sept. 27, 2002:  Part 1 (video).  Part 2 (audio).  Similar police misconduct occurred throughout Friday at different locations [link2 & link3].  This was wrong and should not happen again.
Oct. 8 update-- On Oct. 4, charges were dropped against the last 3 jailed protesters and they were released from jail.  Also, anyone whose rights were violated by the DC police must file certain paperwork if they want to preserve their option to individually and/or collectively file a lawsuit in response to the latest DC police violations of protesters' First Amendment rights.  (Also, anyone who lost personal property while they were arrested by the DC police might try calling the DC police at 202-645-0130.)
    
The first lawsuit against the latest round of DC police misconduct on Sept. 27, 2002 was filed on or before Oct. 2, 2002 by the GWU Hatchet  The second lawsuit was filed on Nov. 19, 2002 by the Partnership for Civil Justice, Inc. and the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee.  In theory, our legal system is supposed to eventually get the DC police to behave and respect protesters' First Amendment rights, including "the
right of the people peaceably to assemble".  So far, in practice, DC police occasionally violate protesters' rights with mass arrests and/or mass detentions, and protesters keep filing lawsuits.

Crackdown on Corporate Crime rallyOct. 4, 2002 rally [link2] outside of Wall Street in New York City.  Ralph Nader was the key speaker.  Sponsored by Democracy Rising.

Peace protests against U.S.-Iraq war.  Oct. 6, 2002 nationwide peace protests against U.S.-Iraq War.  Sponsored by Not in Our Name.
Lobbying, calling, and emailing to stop Congress from voting for U.S.-Iraq war.  Congress votes soon on U.S.-Iraq war.
Peace rally at 5pm on Oct. 9 in Washington, DC.  Protest at the Capitol building, meet at Upper Senate Park.
"Steamed at China" Pro-Democracy Rally.  12-2pm on Oct. 9, 2002 near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. 
The rally will be at the Supreme Court West Lower Terrace, One First Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20543.  Sponsored by the China Support Network.

Rally at the US Capitol to Fight Global Warming.  2pm on Oct. 20, 2002 on the US Capitol grounds, mall side.  Sponsored by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and the Maryland Sierra Club.

National March on Washington to Stop the War on Iraq Before it Starts.  Oct. 26, 2002. Washington, DC.  Coordinated by International A.N.S.W.E.R (and the International Action Center). The Washington Peace Center provided some additional info.

Vote Nov. 5.  Vote for the Democratic congressional candidates to defeat the Republicans in the House and Senate.

Shut Down the School of the Americas.  Nov. 15-17, 2002 at Fort Benning Georgia.  Sponsored by the School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch)Atlanta Indymedia provided media coverage.

United for Peace events Dec. 10.  United for Peace, a new national peace network, has called for nationally coordinated local anti-war actions on Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.  United for Peace also provides a current schedule of peace events in America.  (In Washington DC, you can attend a peace march at 12 noon on Dec. 10 at Farragut Square.)

Christmas.  Dec. 25, 2002.  We wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, peaceful, new year.  We also wish you a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Solstice, and a Happy Kwanzaa.  Enjoy the holiday season.

Women's Anti-War Protest.  Jan. 17, 2003 in DC.  Women Rising for Peace and Justice.

No War on Iraq National March on Washington, DC, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003
.  Sponsored by International A.N.S.W.E.R (and the International Action Center).  Rally at 11am at the west side of the Capitol in Washington, DC and a march on the Washington, DC navy yard.  Here is the latest info and a map of the march route.  Another large protest will be held in San Francisco.
6pm Saturday Jan. 18 planning meeting for the Sunday Jan. 19 march at the Church of the Brethren, 4th St. and North Carolina Ave. SE, in Washington, DC.  (It is within walking distance of the demonstration.)  Sponsored by International A.N.S.W.E.R.
6pm Saturday Jan. 18 nonviolence training and meeting for the Sunday Jan. 19 nonviolent civil disobedience.  At St. Stephen's church, 16th and Newton St. NW.  Sponsored by the Iraq Pledge of Resistance.
Anti-War March Sunday, Jan. 19, in DC.  Gather at 11am at the Dept. of In-Justice (on Pennsylvania Ave. between 9th and 10th streets), and then march to the Presidential Palace (aka "the White House") for a "Youth and Student Weapons Inspection".  Sponsored by International A.N.S.W.E.R (and the International Action Center).
Peace Rally and Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Sunday, Jan. 19, in DC.  Gather at 11:30am at Farragut Park.  Sponsored by the Iraq Pledge of Resistance.
Black Voices for Peace National Rally for Peace with Justice.  10:30am-6pm, including a rally from 3-6pm, Monday, Jan. 20, 2003 at Plymouth Congregational Church in Washington, DC.  Sponsored by Black Voices for Peace.

National Conference on Organized Resistance.  Saturday-Sunday Jan. 25-26, 2003, at American University in Washington, DC.  An annual activist conference.  Last year more than 1,000 people attended the conference.  Sponsored by the American University Animal Rights Effort.

Israel votes for war or peace Jan. 28, 2003.  Sharon's pro-war Israeli coalition government collapsed.  Israel has a chance to vote for peace on Jan. 28, 2002.  Amram Mitzna is the Labor Party's pro-peace candidate.  Amram Mitzna is a former general "who pledges swift Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and West Bank and renewed peace negotiations with the Palestinians."  [Washington Post, Nov. 20, page A1]  Unfortunately, Mitzna lost and Sharon won the election.

Challenge Bush's State of the Union.  Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003, 6pm at the west side of the US Capitol in Washington, DC., at the reflecting pool at 3rd St. NW.  Sponsored by the Shirts Off Coalition (as in "Bush is taking the shirts off our backs to pay for this war").

Stop the War on Iraq, Feb. 15, 2003 in New York City [link2] & WorldwideAlso Feb. 16 in San Francisco.  Bus info.  Sponsored by United for Peace & Justice.  Millions protested for peace worldwide.  The national U.S. peace rally in New York City, however, was repressed by excessive police over regulation, excessive police barricades, and even very limited police brutality.
New York City mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD completely mishandled the event.  First they delayed issuing a march permit, and then they issued a rally permit but not a march permit.  Then they corralled the protesters into tightly packed pens on 1st Ave. and set up a crazy-quilt maze of police barricades that forced people to walk/march for many blocks to even attend to the official rally.  They ruled out port-a-potties as a "security hazard", and they attacked some of the boisterous protesters who eventually gave up trying to walk north on 2nd Ave. to reach the rally and starting marching south instead.  (I personally yelled "more permits, less chaos" as the chaos and police violence that occurred a few blocks to my south on 2nd Ave. threatened to break out at 56th and 2nd Ave.)  Instead of accommodating one orderly peace rally and march, the police designed a scenario full of police blockades and unnecessary chaos, frustration, and conflict as many protesters were prevented by police from attending the official peace rally within a reasonable period of time.
Feb. 25-26-- Tell Congress to Prevent the WarCall your Congressman and Senators, fax them, even lobby them in person, and tell them to vote for House Joint Resolution 20 (HJR20). HJR20 will repeal Authorization for Use of Military Force Against IraqThe U.S. Constitution states that Congress has the power the declare war.  HJR20 would repeal Congress's prior vote to transfer its authority to declare war against Iraq to President Bush.  Passing HJR20 should, according to the U.S. Constitution, prevent President Bush from starting a war with Iraq.  Congressional support for HJR20 will increase pressure on President Bush to not start a war with Iraq.

March 5-- National One-Day Student Antiwar Strike.  Sponsored by the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition.

March 8-9-- Women's Day Protests in DC.
  The International Women's Day Peace March starts at 11am, March 8, 2003 in Washington, DC.  11am rally at Malcolm X Park, 1 pm march to encircle the White HouseClick here for a detailed description.  There are also other protests this weekend, including a March 7 9am-5pm teach-in, a March 9 8am Iraq Pledge of Resistance march and civil disobedience at a network news TV station, and a March 9 10am-2pm Spiritual Celebration and Call to Action.  Sponsored by Code Pink.  There are also additional Peace events from March 3-9, 2003 (including the classic anti-war play Lysistrata).

March 15-- Peace Protest at the White House
Sponsored by International A.N.S.W.E.R (and the International Action Center).

March 19--DC/NY/SF Peace demos.
Protest when the war begins.
Sat., March 22--DC/NY/SF Peace demos.

More Peace demos.

April 12--March for Peace in DC.
April 13--March for Peace & Global Justice in DC.
Also more protests April 10-15 in Washington, DC.

DC RESOURCES
The Washington Peace Center.
DC Indymedia.   And more alternative media.

Washingtonpost.com.
DC Weather: Alternate DC weather forecast. Verizon's weather forecast: 202-WE6-1212.  (Also DC's channel 7 weather forecast, including live doppler radar.)

PEACE GROUPS
UnitedforPeace.  A new national network of peace and justice organizations that is coordinating peace events and anti-war protests.
Iraq Pledge of Resistance.

International A.N.S.W.E.R.-- Act Now to Stop War & End Racism.  A peace group founded by The International Action Center.  An international group based in New York City.
Peace Action.  America's largest national peace organization.
Not in Our Name.
The Washington Peace Center.  A Washington, DC activist networking center.  They publish the monthly Washington Peace Letter.
IGC's PeaceNet.
Peace Links from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
Mideast Crisis Links, provided by Common Dreams.
Peace Now and Peace Now USA.
EndTheWar.org, the National Network to End the War Against Iraq--NNEWAI.

Educators for Social Responsibility-- ESR.
The National Coalition Building Institute-- NCBI.  They offer training in prejudice reduction, conflict resolution, and community building.
International Campaign to Ban Landmines, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.
The Nonviolence Web.  A guide to the contemporary peace movement.
The War Resisters League.

IRAQ INFO
No War with Iraq.  Information provided by the Nation.
Iraq's Bloody History 1920-2002.  A quick blunt primer on Iraq's militaristic, violent, and bloody history.
ZNet Iraq Watch.
The Education for Peace in Iraq Center.
EndTheWar.org, the National Network to End the War Against Iraq--NNEWAI.
Voices in the Wilderness.
Not in Our Names.
Iraq Peace Team.
U.S. Bombing Watch in Iraq.  Tracking America's ongoing intermittent bombing of Iraq.
Sample peace chants recycled from protesting against the 1991 U.S.-Iraq war and from protesting against a barely-avoided 1998 U.S.-Iraq war that Kofi Annan prevented with last-minute diplomacy.

ISRAEL AND PALESTINE INFO
Israel votes for war or peace Jan. 28.
  Sharon's pro-war Israeli coalition government collapsed.  Israel has a chance to vote for peace on Jan. 28, 2002.  Amram Mitzna is the Labor Party's pro-peace candidate.  Amram Mitzna is a former general "who pledges swift Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and West Bank and renewed peace negotiations with the Palestinians."  [Washington Post, Nov. 20, page A1]
Mideast Crisis Links, provided by Common Dreams.  (Includes Peace Now and Peace Now USA.  Also includes the International Solidarity Movement of international volunteers nonviolently resisting Sharon's new war.)
News: War and Peace in the Mideast
 Provided by The Washington Post.  (Includes One Land, Two Peoples with background Info on the Arab-Israeli conflict.)

ELECTION INFO
Vote Nov. 5. 
  Vote for the Democratic congressional candidates to defeat the Republicans in the House and Senate.
Democrats.com.  Includes 1) info on the critical 2002 congressional elections, 2) info on Floridagate, or how the Republicans stole the 2000 U.S. presidential election and 3) Democrats.com's take on "Did Bush Know in advance about 9/11?".
The Democratic National Committee.  Vote for the Democrats to defeat the Republicans.  (The Green Party has better ideas than the Democrats, but, with the exception of some local elections, is effectively locked out by the American winner-take-all election system.)
Elections 2002 News provided by The Washington Post.


ANALYSIS
1. 3 tragic errors.
2. How will America get its oil?
3. How will America pay its bills?


THREE TRAGIC ERRORS
     There are 3 shockingly tragic errors that have marred (or will probably soon mar) the beginning of the 21st century for America.  2 of these errors have already occurred:
     1.  Bush and the Republicans stole the 2000 presidential election.  It took a month for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide, in a 5-4 vote, that Bush "won" the election.  In fact, Bush lost the popular vote by millions of votes and would have lost the Florida vote had Florida properly counted its votes.  (You may recall the disbelief of many progressives, who at first did not believe that Bush was really our next president.)
     2.  The Sept. 11 attack on America by 19 Al Qaeda terrorists.  This attack, amplified in a continued repeat-loop by the TV media, completely shocked America.  (How many times did you see the Twin Towers collapse?  And how much of the nonstop TV coverage of this issue in the following days did you watch?)  Sept. 11 changed everything, we are told.  But was it really a "sneak attack" that completely escaped the attention of our $40 billion/year "intelligence community"?  A prominent New York newspaper ran the headline "Bush Knew" and Democrats.com argues in detail that Bush knew.  An investigation into "Did Bush know?" was squelched.
     The third error is probably going to occur before we can stop it.
     3.  Bush plans to launch an all-out "preemptive strike" war against Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein.  He is planning to launch this war without provocation and without full international backing at the same time the U.S. is fighting a global "war on terrorism", at the same time the Israelis and Palestinians are fighting each other in a conflict that could escalate into a another full-scale war, and at the same time our new Afghanistan government depends on the cooperation of autonomous Afghan warlords to extend its reach beyond the Afghanistan capitol city of Kabul.  This is also a time when many Middle Eastern Arabs and Muslims are still deciding where their sympathies are and where they stand in the U.S.-Al Qaeda conflict in addition to the conflict between the U.S.-financed Israelis and their fellow Arab and Muslim Palestinians.
     Also, let me note that every Democratic President in the last 30 years has taken the time to negotiate Arab-Israeli and/or Palestinian-Israeli peace.  This is no easy task in a volatile region with a history of war and violence.  Both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton took the time to negotiate peace.  However, every Republican president in the last 12 years has decided to launch a full-scale war against Iraq.  George Bush senior did this in 1991, and George Bush junior is gearing up to do this again in 2002 or 2003.
     In all fairness to Bush and the current administration, there has not been a 4th tragic error.  In the year following Sept. 11, 2001, there was not another major terrorist attack on the United States (with the exception of the Anthrax attacks and the unsolved mystery of who launched them).  Preventing terrorist attacks is a deadly serious business, and one that the U.S. appears to have successfully managed in the first year following Sept. 11, 2001.

HOW WILL AMERICA GET ITS OIL?
     America imports a large amount of oil and imports a large amount of this oil from the Middle East.  In 1973, America had an energy crises after OPEC launched an oil embargo.  As America meddles in the Middle East, I think it is prudent to ask "How will America get its oil?".
     Here are a few possible different answers (with a little humor added in):
  • Bully-style:  "What do you mean 'your oil'?  It's our oil now."  [America might seize control of Middle Eastern and/or Caucasian oil fields and allow U.S. oil companies to extract both the oil and the oil profits while the U.S. government pays the "war on terrorism" bills.]
  • Corporate-style:  "That will be $30 a barrel and $2 a gallon."  (Market conditions, you know.)  ["What do you mean, price-gouging?"]
  • PR-style:  "Your oil is our oil.  Our bills are your bills."  [I expect our oil extraction deals will look oh-so-fair in the corporate media.]
  • Embargo-style:  "Wait!  Stop the oil embargo.  We really do want your oil after all."  [If the U.S. alienates OPEC, it could face a repeat of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo and U.S. energy crisis.]
  • Green-style:  "We conserve a valuable non-renewable resource.  I get 70 mpg (miles per gallon) in a smart hybrid car.  What's your car's mpg?"  [We could both conserve energy and get 20% of our energy from renewable sources by 2020 with a smart energy plan.  And we could worry less about future Middle East instability.]
     Here is a detailed audio clip on The U.S. Policy-Making Elite and Middle East Oil, part of the audio and video resources provided by Voices in the Wilderness.  It provides one expert's analysis of the U.S. stake in and attempts to control Middle East oil, Middle East oil profit and oil money, and U.S. Middle East arms sales.  It also briefly talks about the advantages of the U.S. switching to a sustainable energy path that would reduce U.S. oil imports from the Middle East.
 
HOW WILL AMERICA PAY ITS BILLS?
    First, Bush is pretending that we can have it all without fully paying for it.  How can we afford 1) an expensive "war on terrorism", 2) Bush's tax cuts that will cost the U.S. government an estimated $4 trillion in lost revenue over the next decade, 3) politically important subsidies to various U.S. industries, corporations, and localities that in turn provide campaign cash and votes to Congress (aka "pork" and "corporate welfare"), and 4) social security retirement benefits when the U.S. baby boomer generation retires and more of the U.S. population is elderly and retired?  (If the Democrats were in power, I would add 5) government services and aid to the poor.)  In addition to this, the U.S. government is losing money as tax-dodging U.S. multinational corporations reincorporate in places like the Cayman Islands to avoid paying U.S. taxes, and the Republicans are proposing a repeal of the estate tax on millionaires so that those who inherit millions can avoid paying any U.S. inheritance taxes at all.
     Second, without expensive taxpayer-financed government bailouts, the bankruptcies of large corporations like Enron and WorldCom leave billions in unpaid bills.  Creditors and investors and employees with bankrupt pension plans are losing billions here.  We may see even more bankruptcies before this is finished, particularly if a corporation can go chapter 11, shed its unpayable debt, and keep on functioning.
     Third, state and local governments and debt-laden consumers may also ask themselves how they will pay their bills..
     Fourth, Argentina has defaulted on its debt and its economy has deteriorated into a real messBrazil is also in trouble and, despite a new $30 billion IMF loan, is dealing with reluctant nervous lenders (without the help of the Bush administration) and might end up defaulting on its debt.  Our global capitalist system is starting to seriously malfunction here.
     Fifth, over a billion of the world's poorest people are yoked with an unpayable debt load and many people of conscience are calling the forgiveness of this debt through the Jubilee 2000 campaign.  Is America and the rest of the Industrial North ready to pay for debt forgiveness for the poorest billion people in the Global South?


MORE POLITICAL INFO
More info on previous post-9/11 alerts and info from EmpowermentResources.com.
More info on previous protests from EmpowermentResources.com.
More political empowerment info from EmpowermentResources.com.

 

Copyright 2002 by EmpowermentResources.com.  All Rights Reserved. [Aug. 24, 2002, last updated Dec. 6, 2002]