Category Archives: Work of Comrades

BOMB PLANT NEWS | Upcoming Meeting of Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board

HELP PREVENT SOUTH CAROLINA FROM BECOMING NATION’S “INTERIM” RADIOACTIVE WASTE DUMP!

AND STOP UNNECESSARY TRANSPORT OF LETHAL NUCLEAR WASTE–NO FUKUSHIMA FREEWAYS!

TUESDAY, AUGUST 14 IN AIKEN, SOUTH CAROLINA

Savannah River Site

The Savannah River Site Citizen Advisory Board (CAB) meets on Tuesday August 14 in Aiken, South Carolina from 6-8 pm. We encourage you to attend, ask questions, express concerns and speak out!

Why? Because South Carolina could become the first national commercial high-level nuclear waste storage site.

That’s right. Upcoming likely changes to radioactive waste laws could put the Savannah River Site in South Carolina at the front of the pack for an “interim” radwaste storage site.

The storage site idea is nothing more than a parking lot with a fence, radioactive waste shipment containers lined up like bowling pins, and a couple of guards. All that is really needed is for Congress to change to the law (likely in 2013), someone saying “YES” (nuclear business leaders in SC already have)–and all of us remaining silent…

They’ve tried this before at various places across the country–Oak Ridge Tenn., Mescalero Apache land in New Mexico, Skull Valley Goshute land in Utah, Yucca Mountain, Nevada itself (yes, they wanted to put a storage site there too)–and we beat them all. Now it looks like it’s South Carolina’s turn. Your help will be needed to stop them here.

Note: this is the first item on the agenda — at 6 pm. So please arrive early! Public comment is at the end of the meeting at 7:50.

Location: DOE Meeting Center
(At Rear of Aiken Design Center)
230 Village Green Blvd., Suite 220
Aiken, SC 29801

GOOD NEWS: The Chair of the SRS Citizens Advisory Board, Ed Burke opposes the idea of bringing commercial waste from all over the U.S. to South Carolina. Please come out and support Ed’s opposition and other South Carolina voices saying NO to moving radioactive waste anywhere at this point. Stop Fukushima Freeways! There are better alternatives.

Why Moving Radioactive Waste Today for Storage is a Bad Idea ~

*The waste in question is irradiated fuel from a nuclear reactor and some defense wastes. Millions of times more radioactive than “fresh fuel,” this material will deliver a lethal dose in less than a minute if unshielded, and will remain a hazard to health for more than a million years.

* Until all reactors close, a “temporary” storage site for irradiated fuel will not solve any problems. It will just add one more contaminated site. It will take decades to move the 70,000 tons of this waste we have now, and, in the meantime, each reactor will generate more.

* Only a small amount of this type of waste has ever been moved. Each container will emit penetrating radiation like X-rays (equivalent to 2 chest x-rays an hour at 6 feet); while a severe accident would contaminate an area smaller than Chernobyl or Fukushima, it could be just as bad in that area. No Fukushima Freeways!

* Leaving the waste where it is now, but in hardened dry storage, is more responsible until there is a viable program to permanently isolate the waste. Even a few decades of storage on-site reduces the intensity of the radioactivity and the thermal heat in the waste.

For more information on the meeting, contact Tom Clements (tomclements329@cs.com), with Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (www.ananuclear.org).

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
nirsnet@nirs.org
www.nirs.org

Stay Informed:

NIRS on the web (stay up-to-date with the Nuclear Newsreel section on the front page, featuring the day’s most interesting news on nuclear power and other energy issues): http://www.nirs.org

NIRS on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nuclear-Information-and-Resource-Service/26490791479?sk=wall&filter=12

http://www.facebook.com/nonukesnirs

http://www.causes.com/causes/49098-no-nukes-nuclear-information-and-resource-service

NIRS on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/nirsnet

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Filed under Actions | Events, Department of Energy, Environmental, Events, Events & Actions, Nuclear materials, Nuclear waste, South Carolina, Work of Comrades

Sister Helen Prejean on the death penalty

Sister Helen Prejean

St. Bonaventure University hosted Sr. Helen Prejean’s talk on Nov. 11, 2008 regarding her vocation helping the poor and crusade to abolish capital punishment. Following bio is an 8-part YouTube video of her presentation.

“Sister Helen Prejean was born on April 21, 1939, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She joined the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille (now known as The Congregation of St. Joseph) in 1957 and received a B.A. in English and Education from St. Mary’s Dominican College, New Orleans in 1962. In 1973, she earned an M.A. in Religious Education from St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, Canada. She has been the Religious Education Director at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in New Orleans, the Formation Director for her religious community, and has taught junior and senior high school students.

Sister Helen began her prison ministry in 1981 when she dedicated her life to the poor of New Orleans. While living in the St. Thomas housing project, she became pen pals with Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers, sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison.

Dead Man Walking

Upon Sonnier’s request, Sister Helen repeatedly visited him as his spiritual advisor. In doing so, her eyes were opened to the Louisiana execution process. Sister Helen turned her experiences into a book that not only made the 1994 American Library Associates Notable Book List, it was also nominated for a 1993 Pulitzer Prize. Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States was number one on the New York Times Best Seller List for 31 weeks. It also made the International Best Seller List and has been translated into ten different languages.

In January 1996, the book was developed into a major motion picture starring Susan Sarandon as Sister Helen and Sean Penn as a death row inmate. Produced by Polygram Pictures, the film was directed and written by Tim Robbins. The movie received four Oscar nominations including Tim Robbins for Best Director, Sean Penn for Best Actor, Susan Sarandon for Best Actress, and Bruce Springsteen’s “Dead Man Walkin'” for Best Song. Susan Sarandon won the award for Best Actress.”

http://www.prejean.org/

http://www.sisterhelen.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Prejean

[Note- the following is an 8 part video. Click at upper right for continuation or click onto Youtube for Parts 2-8]

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Filed under Anti Death Penalty, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Human Rights, NOLA, racism, Work of Comrades

Kevin Alexander Gray on State Violence and the Murder of Troy Anthony Davis

KPFA FLASHPOINTS

Execution of Justice by Kim Nicolini

With the murder of Troy Anthony Davis by the state of Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a 2009 capital punishment opinion of  conservative associate, Justice Antonin Scalia, in which he ruled: “[T]his court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.”

Still, the ultimate victory for Troy Davis is that he inspired millions of people – around the world and here in the United States – who want to live in a more peaceful and less violent society. In that regard Troy’s life and murder by the government was not in vain. Sometimes it takes a single incident to shake people up.

Bruce Dixon, managing editor@Black Agenda Report: ” It’s great that so many people signed Troy Davis’s petition and made themselves so visible as opponents of the death penalty. But Troy was clearly and obviously innocent, and imprisoned for decades, ultimately executed anyhow. But until we stand up for the rights of ALL the imprisoned, convicted and formerly convicted, including all those whose innocence, however you construe that word, is not so obvious and those who may in fact not even be innocent —- till we stand for their human rights to education, to health care and a decent chance at life by radically shrinking and ultimately ending the institution of prison the machine that convicts the literally innocent will retain legitimacy and roll on, doing what it does. In other words, coming out to oppose the execution of an obvious innocent person like Troy Davis is low hanging fruit. It’s good that so many are wiling to reach for it. But we will rarely be able to save even these till we de-legitimize the institution of prison and chop down the whole rotten tree.”

Amnesty International

To hear Kevin Alexander Gray’s interview click on header@top of page.  To contribute time or money to organizations working to abolish the death penalty in the U.S. click on any or all of the provided logos.  Click on Kim Nicolini’s artwork of Troy to link to his website which is being maintained by family and friends.  Or start, help start or join an existing anti-death-penalty group.

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

The struggle continues.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

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Filed under Actions | Events, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Anti Death Penalty, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Historic Photos - People, Human Rights, Law Enforcement, Police Abuse|Brutality|Killings, Political Ideology, Protest, racism, Work of Comrades

Call for Changes to SiriusXM Left station-IDs/ads

Click logo to sign petition

To Listeners of SiriusXM Left satellite-radio channel (Sirius/XM 127)

Currently, if any sound-bite is used in an on-air ad or station-ID for SiriusXM Left, it is invariably  something taken from one of President Barack Obama’s recent speeches, press-conferences, etc. 

Obama, however, is not the sole spokesperson or representative of the U.S. left/liberal/progressive political movement.  In fact, many of us have come to believe that Obama does not wish to represent our viewpoints in any significant way on any significant issues (war/international-relations, the economy, taxation, education, civil rights/liberties, healthcare, etc.)

Shawn Poole

We propose using a new collection of sound-bites that still may include the occasional appropriate Obama quotation but, more importantly, would be expanded greatly to include many more statements issued by various well-known (and perhaps some not-so-well-known) activists/speakers/leaders from the U.S. left/liberal/progressive section of the political spectrum, both past and present. 

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/call-for-changes-to-siriusxm-left-station-idsads/

Shawn Poole, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania & Ryan Hilligoss, Chicago, Illinois | SiriusXM Left subscribers/listeners/occasional-callers

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Filed under Actions, American Progressive Politics, Friends & Comrades, The Press, Work of Comrades

KOPKIND 2011 | CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS

Dear Friends,

Once again, please help to spread the word to people who would be interested and interesting to be part of Kopkind this year. Your nominations of participants is always important, never more than this year, because I have had a few hiccups along the road, including losing many, many email addresses in a hard drive meltdown. Many apologies, also, for sending this a bit late.  Those interested in attending the session for journalists and activists should send a letter of intent to my email address by Saturday, June 18. The call follows.

Love and thanks,
JoAnn Wypijewski Continue reading

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“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” | Martin Luther King, Jr.

Delivered 3 April 1968, Mason Temple [Church of God in Christ Headquarters], Memphis, Tennessee

Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy in his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. It’s always good to have your closest friend and associate say something good about you. And Ralph Abernathy is the best friend that I have in the world.

I’m delighted to see each of you here tonight in spite of a storm warning. You reveal that you are determined to go on anyhow. Something is happening in Memphis, something is happening in our world.

As you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of picking a general and panoramic view of the whole human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, “Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?” — I would take my mental flight by Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn’t stop there. I would move on by Greece, and take my mind to Mount Olympus. And I would see Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Euripides and Aristophanes assembled around the Parthenon as they discussed the great and eternal issues of reality.

But I wouldn’t stop there. I would go on, even to the great heyday of the Roman Empire. And I would see developments around there, through various emperors and leaders. But I wouldn’t stop there. I would even come up to the day of the Renaissance, and get a quick picture of all that the Renaissance did for the cultural and esthetic life of man. But I wouldn’t stop there. I would even go by the way that the man for whom I’m named had his habitat. And I would watch Martin Luther as he tacked his ninety-five theses on the door at the church in Wittenberg.

But I wouldn’t stop there. I would come on up even to 1863, and watch a vacillating president by the name of Abraham Lincoln finally come to the conclusion that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation.

I would even come up to the early thirties, and see a man grappling with the problems of the bankruptcy of his nation. And come with an eloquent cry that we have nothing to fear but “fear itself.” But I wouldn’t stop there.

Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say, “If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the 20th century, I will be happy.” Continue reading

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Filed under American Culture, American History, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Civil Rights, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Historic Photos - People, Peace, Political Ideology, Protest, Work of Comrades

Footnotes to the book of the setback | By Nizar Qabbani

Friend,
The ancient word is dead.
The ancient books are dead.
Our speech with holes like worn-out shoes is dead.
Dead is the mind that led to defeat.

Our poems have gone sour.
Women’s hair, nights, curtains and sofas
Have gone sour.
Everything has gone sour.

My grieved country,
In a flash
You changed me from a poet who wrote love poems
To a poet who writes with a knife.

What we feel is beyond words:
We should be ashamed of our poems.

Stirred
By Oriental bombast,
By Antartic
(Antar, pre-Islamic poet & hero that was a symbol of an uneaten knight) swaggering that never killed a fly,
By the fiddle and the drum,
We went to war
And lost.

Our shouting is louder than our actions,
Our swords are taller than us,
This is our tragedy.

In short
We wear the cape of civilization
But our souls live in the stone age.

You don’t win a war
With a reed and a flute.

Our impatience
Cost us fifty thousand new tents.

Don’t curse heaven
If it abandons you,
Don’t curse circumstances.
God gives victory to whom He wishes.
God is not a blacksmith to beat swords.

It’s painful to listen to the news in the morning.
It’s painful to listen to the barking of dogs.

Our enemies did not cross the border
They crept through our weakness like ants.

Five thousand years
Growing beards
In our caves.
Our currency is unknown,
Our eyes are a haven for flies.
Friends,
Smash the doors,
Wash your brains,
Wash your clothes.
Friends,
Read a book,
Write a book,
Grow words, pomegranates and grapes,
Sail to the country of fog and snow.
Nobody knows you exist in caves.
People take you for a breed of mongrels.

We are thick-skinned people
With empty souls.
We spend our days practicing witchcraft,
Playing chess and sleeping.
And we the ‘Nation by which God blessed mankind’?

Our desert oil could have become
Daggers of flame and fire.
We’re a disgrace to our noble ancestors:
We let our oil flow through the toes of whores.

We run wildly through streets
Dragging people with ropes,
Smashing windows and locks.
We praise like frogs,
Swear like frogs,
Turn midgets into heroes,
And heroes into scum:
We never stop and think.
In mosques
We crouch idly,
Write poems,
Proverbs
And beg God for victory
Over our enemy.

If I knew I’d come to no harm,
And could see the Sultan,
I’d tell him:
‘Sultan,
Your wild dogs have torn my clothes
Your spies hound me
Their eyes hound me
Their noses hound me
Their feet hound me
They hound me like Fate
Interrogate my wife
And take down the names of my friends,
Sultan,
When I came close to your walls
And talked about my pains,
Your soldiers beat me with their boots,
Forced me to eat my shoes.
Sultan,
You lost two wars.
Sultan,
Half of our people are without tongues,
What’s the use of people without tongues?
Half of our people
Are trapped like ants and rats
Between walls´.
If I knew I’d come to no harm
I’d tell him:
‘You lost two wars
You lost touch with children’

If we hadn’t buried our unity
If we hadn’t ripped its young body with bayonets
If it had stayed in our eyes
The dogs wouldn’t have savaged our flesh.

We want an angry generation
To plough the sky
To blow up history
To blow up our thoughts.
We want a new generation
That does not forgive mistakes
That does not bend.
We want a generation
Of giants.

Arab children,
Corn ears of the future,
You will break out chains.
Kill the opium in our heads,
Kill the illusions.
Arab children,
Don’t read about our windowless generation,
We are a hopeless case.
We are as worthless as water-melon rind.
Don’t read about us,
Don’t ape us,
Don’t accept us,
Don’t accept our ideas,
We are a nation of crooks and jugglers.
Arab children,
Spring rain,
Corn ears of the future,
You are a generation
That will overcome defeat.

(Translated by Abdullah al-Udhari) Continue reading

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Filed under anti-war, Free Palestine, Friends & Comrades, Human Rights, Middle East, Palestine | Israel, Poetry, white supremacy, Work of Comrades