Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Israel Occupation Forces Launch Brutal Attack On Gaza
From the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
" Using the capture of one of it's soldiers as the pretext, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) launched a brutal assault on the entire population of Gaza, in the early morning hours of June 28.
U.S.-supplied F-16 fighter-bombers destroyed the main power station in Gaza & destroyed bridges on the only major roads linking the northern & southern sections of the region. The people of Gaza are now without water & electricity--& many will die. The use of U.S. planes & other military goods against illegally occupied territories is a violation of both international & U.S. law.
Israel is also threatening to widen the war, sending war planes over Syria to buzz the home of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad, whose goverment the U.S. has been actively working to bring down for more than two years.
The Palestinian population of Gaza, one of the poorest & most densely populated areas of the world, was already suffering severe shortages of food, medicine & other necessities due to Israel's blockade of Gaza & the cut-off of international aid to the West Bank & Gaza, in effect since January 2006. The new Israeli assault has resulted in the cut-off of power, water, & food supplies to most of the people in Gaza. The situation constitutes a deliberately created humanitarian disaster.
Deliberately attacking the civilian population, with the intent of causing maximum suffering, is clearly a crime against humanity. What we are witnessing today in Gaza is collective punishment against the Palestinian population as a whole. It is just one part of Israel's colonial policy toward the Palestinians. In historic Palestine, whether the West Bank, Gaza or inside the 1948 borders of Israel, an apartheid system is in place, where many rights reserved for Jewish Israeli's are denied to Palestinians. More than 6 million dispossessed Palestinians are denied the right to return to their homeland.
Israel's apartheid & the latest assault on Gaza is supported by the Bush regime, Congress & the corporate media because of Israel's vital role in Washington's project of Middle East domination. That is why Israel recieves more military & economic aid from the U.S.-over $ 3 billion annually- than any other country in the world.
While a great hue & cry is heard in the mass media about one captured Israeli soldier, the same media pays no attention whatsoever to the 9,800 Palestinian political prisoners being held illegally ( it is illegal for an occupying power to transfer prisoners from occupied territory) under terrible conditions in Israeli prisons. At least 355 of these prisoners are children. Palestinian prisoners are systematically tortured after arrest. Just 2 days ago, the Israeli parliament gave the Shih Bet (secret police) the right to double the time for secret interrogation of Palestinian prisoners-a green light for even greater torture.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, which has organized the largest anti-war protests in Washington D.C., L.A., San Francisco, & other US cities over the past 5 years, including the historic demonstration of over 100,000 people supporting Palestinian rights in Washington on April 20,2002, is calling for & supporting protests at Isreali embassies, consulates, & US federal buildings, to demand:
** Immediate end to US-supplied Israeli assault on Gaza
**Release of all Palestinian political prisoners from Israeli jails
**An end to all US aid to Israel
**An end to colonial occupation, support for self-determination for the Palestinian people including the right to reform
**No new US-Israeli was against Syria"
Emergency protest outside the Israeli Consulate tomorrow-Thursday, June 29, from 4-6 pm. Located at 6380 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.
Revolutionary Of The Week
The Stonewall Gays
The United States has been, & in some ways remains, a homophobic society. As with all oppressed groups of people, acceptance, reform, & progress starts by taking a stand against discrimination.
For the gay right's movement, that stand was taken on Friday night, June 27th, 1969 in New York City. It became known as "Stonewall", or the "Stonewall Rebellion".
On Christopher Street in New York City's Greenwich Village, a multiracial group of gays usually gathered at the Stonewall Inn, a local gay bar. On the night of June 27th, 1969, police sought to shut down the bar for allegedly serving alcohol without a license. Police raids on gay bars were not uncommon around this time. Patrons of gay bars were often subjected to fines for "indecency", & often found their names published in the local newspapers as a result.
New York City Mayor John Lindsay was smack dab in the middle of a difficult election & the Stonewall Inn seemed like a good place for a high profile law & order style photo-op. But, oh, he had no idea how high profile it was going to get!
At around 1:20 in the morning, later than usual raid time- which increased the chances of intoxicted patrons- 8 First Precinct NYC officers entered the bar. Just one of the cops had a uniform on. The police started to make arrests.
But the police had no idea that another routine discriminatory raid on a gay bar would turn the way it did, but a riot began to unsue.
To this date, no one is sure exactly how the riot began. One story is that a drag queen took a swing at a police officer after being prodded by his nightstick. Others say that it was a lesbian who struggled with a cop as he tried to get her through the crowd to his police car that started the resistance. One dramatic account was that a large Stonewaller threw a metal garbage can filled with empty bottles of liquor through a police car window. Whatever story you prefer, what happened next is told the same.
The patrons of Stonewall attacked the 8 cops, driving them back into the bar, where they sought safety, ironically. The angry crowd grew, as they laid seige on the bar.
Eyewitness accounts say that the gays clearly had the upper hand. As NYPD reinforcements arrived, the gay rioters they could actually catch & load into police cars & vans, escaped when an 18 year old drag queen ran out of a police van, into the chest of an officer, throwing him to the ground. Another drag queen opened the door on the side of the van & jumped out, with several other drag queens following right behind.
With gay youths screaming into the faces of the officers, kicking them, throwing whatever objects they could find at them- the scene grew chaotic.
In no time, the crowd grew to an estimated 2,000, against a police force of around 400! The police were stunned & frightened by the gay crowd's unexpected fury.
Police Deputy Inspector Pine said, " I had been in combat situations, but there was never any time that I felt more scared than then."
With the police holed up inside the Stonewall, the crowd had total control of the streets. The gay crowd gathered reinforcements as well, calling in radical leftists, more than ready to help beat back the police.
Someone broke the front window to the Stonewall, followed by a dose of lighter fluid. The one cop in uniform, Gil Weisman, was hit in the eye with glass. The police fear then turned into fury. 3 of the cops ran out of the front door, & started screaming threats at the crowd. This only inflamed the situation, & the cops were pelted with bottles & Deputy Inspector Charles Smyth was hit in the head. Infuriated, Smyth reached into the crowd & pulled someone out, then dragged him by the hair inside the Stonewall.
Ironically, the prisoner was the well known, & straight, folk singer Dave Van Ronk. He had been at another bar down the street & came out to see what all the commotion was about. The singer was punched while several cops held him down. On the verge of passing out, the police then handcuffed Van Ronk & arrested him.
A reporter from the Village Voice, Howard Smith, retreated inside the bar & later wrote, " The sound filtering in didn't suggest dancing faggots anymore, it sounded like a powerful rage bent on vendetta."
The Stonewall burst into flames from another dosing of lighter fluid, & at around 2:55 am emergency signals sent out by the police inside sent a Tactical Patrol Force on its way.
Having arrived in full riot gear, they managed to get the rioters to slowly retreat. But they weren't prepared for the crowds re-formation to their rear. The angry crowd repeated this several times & when the police turned around they found themselves face to face with a chorus line of angry, mocking queens, arms clasped, kicking their heels Rockettes-style, & singing!!!
Although very witty & quite hilarious, the counterpoint to the cops's brute force seemed to piss off the police even more. The police were beating a young man when the angry crowd surged in, snatched him away & prevented the cops from reclaiming him.
In the end, 4 police officers were badly injured, 13 people were arrested & the riot ended around 3:35 am.
This event not only proved that gays & lesbians are a force to be reckoned with, but it energized the gay right's movement & by 1987 was able to mobilize 600,000 people to march on Washington D.C., demanding equality.
NYC Mayor Lindsay certainly had his phot-op, but it was not what he had bargained for!
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Quote Of The Day
"Seven Dipshits In A Warehouse"
" Just when you thought the predictability of the latest triumph in the war on terror couldn't get any more ludicrous--you're reminded that the Neo-Cons like to keep the propaganda simple and straighforward, never deviating from well-honed tactics.
In Friday's article on the Sears Tower arrests I predicted that, "One of the repeating elements to emerge from every major terror sting or forged terror alert is the use of retarded individuals as patsies, informants and go-betweens."
"Don't be surprised to learn of a connection to a retarded individual over the next few days."
So it follows that yesterday it emerged from a New York Daily News report that the alleged ringleader of the plot Batiste "needs psychiatric help", according to his own mother.
The Daily Shows John Stewart clarrified the Miami terror cell that were to " wage a ground war against America", according to Gonzales as "seven dipshits in a warehouse", following a farcical press conference in which Gonzales cornered into admitting that they had no links to any al-Qaeda members and had no weapons or explosives to carry out any acts of terrorism.
Today, lawyers for the defendents outlined an argument that the goverment had used entrapment to essentially imagine into existence a deadly al-Qaeda terror cell that had never existed in the first place."
GOP Ignores Real Issues, Focuses On Flag Amendment
With their Constitutional ban on gay marriage shot down, as well as a repeal of the estate tax, Republicans are once again trying hard to change & reshape the Constitution like Silly Putty.
This time around, Republicans are pushing for a Constitutional ban on physical desecration of the U.S. flag, including flag burning. Approval by the Senate would probably ensure that the measure be sent to the states for ratification. Now that the GOP's have gained 4 Senate seats in the 2004 election, it has made this matter too close to call. The debate continues for another day or two.
Clearly an attempt by the GOP to get more conservative backing for the coming elections, the flag amendment is a ridiculous thing to focus on in such times. While Republicans find this issue more pressing than the total disaster in Iraq, the rising cost of healthcare, the political corruptness in the White House, the sky rocketing college tuition fees, among others, the majority of us in touch with reality feel otherwise.
It's pretty pathetic that the GOP once again are grasping at political straws, but hopefully they will pull another short one out.
This Fourth of July I will wave my American flag, only this time, it will wave upside down.
The Senate shot down the flag amendment today, shy just one vote! Although a close one, the Repugs once again have thier 'bright ideas' shot down, as we watch it wrything on the floor in agony. Freedom of speech & expression will live for awhile longer, while the Republicans go back to the drawing board. There is no doubt that the Republicans will SPIN this to their advantage come election time, & label all Dems/etc 'Flag-burning, gay-loving, war-hating, Commie Liberals'!!! Typical Right-wing bullshit, that we have all come to expect.
Base Rally Supports 8 Accused Marines
The troops are charged with premeditated murder, conspiracy, kidnapping, & other related offenses. The Marines were reportedly on "ambush duty" outside the Iraqi village of Hamandiya on April 26th, waiting to catch insurgents burying roadside bombs. After searcing an accused insurgents home finding it empty, the troops went next door to the home of a 52 year old disabled Iraqi man, dragging him outside. The man was pushed to the ground & his hands & feet were bound. 5 of the Marines allegedly shot the Iraqi man & planted a AK-47 & a shovel next to his dead body to make it appear that they had caught & killed an insurgent planting a bomb.
The Marine squad leader, Sgt. Lawerence Hutchins, then allegedly phoned in a false story to the base & told his squad to lie about what happened.
An investigation was launched, & now the Marines & Navy corpsman were charged after many inconsistencies ocured in the Marines accounts of the killing. They have been held at Camp Pendleton since late May.
Over the weekend, supporters of the Marines have been waving U.S. flags & holding signs that read, " God Bless Our Heroes", & " Liberate The Pendleton 8". An estimated 200 demonstrators shouted their demands of freeing the Marines at passing cars.
One woman, Janis Tubis, even went so far as to say, " I think they should all be freed. It's unjust what's happening to them. They were just doing their jobs."
"Unjust" what's happening to the charged Marines??? What about the fucking "unjust" murder, planting of evidence, & lies to cover it all up, against the innocent, unarmed, disabled Iraqi man??? That bitch dosen't understand the meaning of "unjust"! And since when is the shooting, killing, & planting of evidence on the innocent, the "job" of the United States military??
I can't stand this blind patriotism towards the military when they are accused, & in this case-charged, with horrible crimes! Just because they wear the United States Marines uniform does not give them the ' Get Out of Jail Free Card'.
This is a very serious, disgusting crime, that if convicted, should be given the maximum sentence so as to deter or ensure this never occurs again.
Monday, June 26, 2006
The Wall Street Journal Sinks To Fox News Level
The article by O'Grady was about the elections scheduled to take place this fall for 5 non-permanent Un Security Council seats to be held in 2007. One of the seats will be for Latin America, which is now held by Argentina. The 2 countries who wish to fill the opening are Guatemala & Venezuela.
It dosen't take a genius to figure out which country the U.S. will support--Guatemala, of course. Guatemala is a country in which the U.S. has by the balls, & documented reports by Amnesty International shows that the country continues to abuse it's own people. The forced evictions & destruction of homes of indigenous people, sexual & violent crimes against women including 655 murders in 2005, 224 reported attacks on human rights activists, & the stagnant progress by the goverment to seek justice in the many crimes against humanity committed by the Guatemalan military & death squads, are all reasons why this country has one of the world's worst human rights records.
But the Bush administration could give a shit about that, neither could past U.S. administrations. Guatemala is expected to be a close ally in support of U.S. positions that come up for votes in the UN Security Council. As for Venezuela, well, that's a totally different story!
Hugo Chavez has kept his promises to his people, since becoming elected in 1998. In so doing, he's managed to piss off the northern dominant neighbor, the U.S., who has tried 3 times to oust Chavez, & failed.
Bush seems to be having a hard time swallowing the idea of a Chavez-led goverment holding a seat on the Security Council. So Bush is leading a campaign to prevent it, & he's found a follower in The Wall Street Journal.
The Wall Street Journal talks up the Guatemalan goverment by ignoring the horrible record & falsely claiming it's been " accumulating an impressive record of international cooperation on a variety of UN efforts." It also claims one of Guatemala's qualifications for a seat on the Security Council is it's "active role in international peace keeping" !! Anyone with knowledge of recent Guatemalan history knows that The Wall Street Journal is simply full of shit about it's description of Guatemala!
The title of the June 23rd editorial was, " A Vote for Venezuela Is a Vote for Iran". It calls Hugo Chavez a "strongman" in an "oil dictatorship", that leads with values of "tyranny and aggression" who would use his seat & Council presidency to support "hostile states" such as Iran, North Korea, Cuba, & Sudan.
Looks like the Bush administration & corporate America are teaming up to take on Chavez, possibly a move which may serve to help oust Chavez in the future.
The Wall Street Journal proves it's servitude to the U.S. empire by calling Venezuela an "oil diplomacy". But The Wall Street Journal forgets to explain that the so-called "oil diplomacy" is based on the principles of complementarity, solidarity, cooperation, & respect for other country's sovereignty free from the control of imperialist powers like the U.S.. It is the total opposite of U.S.-style capitalism that uses it's one-sided trade agreements to exploit other countries for it's own gain.
Venezuela being rich in oil, has been able to trade with it's neighbors who need it, or sell it to them below market prices--& in return get back products & services they need. The U.S hates this win-win arrangement because it cuts it's corporations & big banks out of the process. Chavez seeks to serve his people, not corporate big-wigs or the U.S.. The Wall Street Journal called this "meddling" & Chavez a "bully". It also claims that "many countries " are "worried" because of Chavezs' "big spending" on weapons, yet ceases to name these so-called countries. Chavez is not doing anything that most all other countries are doing. He has never acted hostile towards another country, nor has he ever invaded another country or even threatened to, yet The Wall Street Journal shows Chavez in this false, negative light.
The Journal goes on to put down the poor countries of the area that currently benefit from the cheap priced Venezuelan oil, & say that they likely support Venezuela for the Latin American Council seat.
The Wall Street Journal has sunk to Fox News level, & continues to bend over for U.S. imperialism & capitalism by spreading false rhetoric, which appears to be an attempt to set up an ousting of Hugo Chavez.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Teachers In Oaxaca Are Pissed, Will Gov.Ortiz Listen?
On May 15th, teachers of Oaxaca, Mexico held their annual march. They presented their 17 demands to the state goverment of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. Among them were, funding for schools, textbooks, uniforms, & an increase in their salaries. Ortiz replied that the teacher's demands were impossible, & one week later the teacher's set up a tent city in the downtown area.
This was the 26th consecutive year that the teacher's demonstrated. The mood was festive for the first couple of days, with the teacher's camped out in tents & playing cards, like every year. They usually stay a few weeks, then find a compromise.
Rightfully upset, the teacher's talked about how school funding is horrible, only 20% of school uniforms are provided by the goverment, & 80% of students have to purchase their own. One teacher said, " I have been a teacher for 8 years and make 3,000 pesos ( about $ 275.00) every paycheck. Does that sound like enough to you?"
For 2 1/2 weeks the negotiations remained stagnant. Governer Ortiz claimed that the goverment didnt have the funds to meet the demands of the teachers, but the teachers refused to back down. The teachers began to block goverment offices, tollbooths, & even access to the airport. On June 2nd, they held a popular march that gained much support for their cause.
On June 7th, a larger march was planned, one that also included many others' upset with Ortiz's goverment. Along with the teachers, student groups, parents groups, several socialist's organizations, unions, & non-govermental organizations joined in the already large march. Official estimates put the number of marches at 120,000. After it was over, the teachers went back to their camps.
But a week later, on June 14th, everything took a very drastic change. Early that morning, a state police force entered the compound where the teachers were camping, complete with riot gear. A police helicopter circled, dropping canisters of tear gas down on the crowds. The police burned & destroyed almost all of the shelters where the teachers were staying. The police also dismantled Radio Planton, which had been broadcasting live. The teachers & supporters then organized themselves & began to fight back with rocks & sticks. They barricaded themselves with several busses, & cement was broke up to use to throw at the police.
After 5 or 6 hours of struggle, the teachers manage to retake Zocalo. But at least 40 teachers were injured & many arrested during the struggle. When everything calmed down, the teachers barricaded the city, & held meetings to restore some order.
Again, the teachers organized another march for June 16th. The number of protesters & supporters was amazing, & grew from last time. The weather turned bad, & it started to rain, but that did not deter the teachers at all. The population is sick & tired of Ortiz's goverment, & meeting their demands will not be enough now, they want him OUT, yelling things like, " We aren't one nor are we one hundred- damned goverment, count us well!" And, " If there isn't destitution, there will be revolution!"
The estimated number of total participants at the march were between 300,000 - 500,000!!!
The teachers of Oaxaca have opened the doors, will Ortiz slam them shut?
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Revolutionary Of The Week
Emiliano Zapata was born August 8, 1879 in the village of Anenecuilco, Morelos, Mexico. He was of Mestizo heritage & was the son of a peasant sharecropper/owner of a small plot of land.
From the age of 18, after his father died, he had to support his mother & 3 sisters-which he did so successfully. The family farm prospered & raised the already respectable status of Zapata in his village.
Im Septmember 1909, the residents of Anenecuilco elected Zapata president of the village's "defense committee", which was an old group in charge of defending the community's interests. It was Zapata's duty to represent his village's rights before the then dictator/President of Mexico, Porfirio Diaz, as well as the Governer of Morelos, Pablo Escandon.
During the 1880's, Mexico had a boom in sugar cane production. This led to the acquisition of more & more land by the plantation owners. Their plantations grew in size, while whole village's disappeared & more peasants lost their farms & livelihoods or were forced to work for plantation owners. In Zapata's neighboring village, a plantation began encroaching more on his farming land. This was the first conflict where Emiliano Zapata recieved his reputation as a great leader & fighter. He led peaceful occupations & re-divisions of land, which rose his status & fame that gave him regional recognition.
In 1910, the son of a wealthy plantation owner, Francisco Madero, started a revolution against the goverment of President Diaz. His motives were mostly political, but his revolutionary plan included provisions for returing seized lands to peasant farmers. Zapata was intrigued & started organizing locals into revolutionary bands, riding from villages & tearing down plantation fences & opposing the elite's encroachment in their villages.
On Novemeber 18, the federal goverment started rounding up Madero's followers, & 2 days later the first rounds of the Mexican Revolution were fired. The Madero movement kept gaining strength & by the end of Novemeber, Zapata had fully joined it's ranks. Zapata continued to build up his Morelos group by training & equipping them. Soon his band of revolutionaries became known as Zapatista's. On February 14, Madero returned to Mexico from hiding & relaunched his revolution.
On March 11, 1911, the bloody phase of the Mexican Revolution began. The legenday Pancho Villa fought in the northern part of Mexico, while Zapata took the south. On May 19th, the Zapatista's took the town of Cuautla. 2 days later, Madero & the Mexican goverment signed the Treaty of Ciudad Juarez, which ended Porfirio Diaz's presidency & named Francisco Leon de la Barra as interim president.
Although Madero's demands were met, & Diaz was out of office, Zapata did not like Leon de la Barra as president. This presidents allegiance was clearly with the rich plantation owners who were trying to regain control. Zapata & 5,000 men entered & captured Cuernavaca, the capital of his native state, Morelos.
In 1919, Madero was elected president of Mexico, & Zapata met with him to discuss the demands of the peasants. The meeting turned bad & the former allies left angry. The situation in Mexico became bad, assassination attempts against the president surfaced, fighting between revolutionary forces & the goverment continued. In the "plan of Ayala", Zapata declared Madero incapable of fulfilling the goals of the revolution & promised to promote another president once his revolution succeeded, until elections could be held. As part of his plan, 1/3 of all land owned by plantation owners was to be confiscated, with compensation, & redistributed to the peasants. Any plantation owner who refused would have his land taken from him without compensation. The revolution was in full swing, & Zapata's famous slogan, " Tierra y Libertad", or Land & Liberty, was born.
In February of 1913, after about 3 years of violent struggles, the formerly loyal federal General Victoriano Huerta murdered Madero, & the Zapatista's reached Mexico City. Huerta offered to unite his & Zapata's troops in a combined assault on the city, but Zapata declined. Huerta was declared the new president after a sham of an election, but was forced to abandon the country in 1914. At this point there were 3 major revolutionary factions: Pancho Villa's army to the north, the "constitutional army" of Carranza, & the Zapatista's to the south. Carranza attempted to join all 3 forces & become the supreme Commander. He arranged a meeting & the Zapatista's & Villistas agreed to a new provisonal president. Carranza rejected their choice. War broke out between Carranza'a people & the Zapatista's & Villistas.
On November 24, Zapata ordered his army of over 25,000 to occupy Mexico City. Eventually Zapata & Villa agreed on installing a civilian to president. Carranza's forces managed to defeat Pancho Villa & isolate Zapata & Morelos. Carranza knew he could never fully take Mexico while Zapata was alive & in charge of his army. To get rid of his enemy, Carranza devised a trap. A letter had been intercepted in which Zapata invited a colonel of the Mexican army who showed leanings toward his cause to meet & join forces. This colonel, Jesus Guajardo, under the threat of execution as a traitor, pretended to agee to meet Zapata.
On April 10, 1919, Zapata walked into Carranza's trap. He was shot & killed by federal soldier's. But Carranza did not succeed by killing Zapata. One of Zapata's right hand men, Alvaro Obregon, entered the capital with a large force of Zapatista's. Carranza fled & the Zapatista's formed the 73rd goverment in Mexico's history of independence. In this goverment, the Zapatista's played a huge role, especially in the Dept. of Agriculture. Mexico was finally at peace.
Emiliano Zapata was an intelligent, rational leader, who tried to lead the people of Mexico out of extreme poverty. He was a realist who knew when to fight & when to play politics. His legacy lives on today in the modern Zapatista rebels of Chiapas, Mexico. Although different, they are attempting to achieve the same goals as Zapata--to lead their people out of despair & into a fair, democratic, free future.
Welcome ' National Counterterrorism Center' !!!
Yesterday, & today, The Sappho Manifesto had up to 4 total visits from our friends over at the National Counterterrorism Center in Quantico, Virginia. The one posted above lasted 34 mins/48 secs. If you are unable to read the small print from the captured screen photo, here is what it reads:
Host Name: gate16-quantico.nmci.usmc.mil
Location: Quantico, Virginia, USA
Visit Length: 34 mins/48 secs
Now, I'm not too sure why the folks over at the Counterterrorism Center in Quantico have shown such interest in this here small site, but I can assure them, I'm no terrorist!!
I do find it rather disheartening that American citizens cannot express their freedom of speech without being watched by Big Brother. I am almost certain that there are much better things they can do with their time than read The Sappho Manifesto, in which they will only get a screenfull of current news/political stories with an added rant or two from me. Yeah, I hate Bush. Yeah, I hate the Iraq invasion. Yeah, I hate the way this country is being ran & directed. But isn't the majority of the population of the United States?
At any rate, I hope the folks in Quantico have a good time reading this, & have a laugh or two. Big Brother may be watching me, but I in turn are watching them!
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
L.A. Sheriff's Test Unmanned Flying Spy Machine
The SkySeer, an unmanned aerial plane weighing about 5 pounds & operated by GPS, made it's public appearance in Los Angeles.
The drone is equipped with low-light & infrared capabilities & can fly at speeds up to 30 MPH for 70 minutes. The plane collapses & fits into a shoulder pack smaller than a golf bag. A small camera with tilt & pan operations is fixed to the underside of the drone which sends the video directly to a laptop command station. As technology improves, the drone will be outfitted with zoom capabilities.
Police say the drone will be able to accomplish tasks too dangerous for officers & will free up the 18, $ 3-5 million dollar helicopters now crusing the L.A. skies.
"This technology could be used to find missing children, search for lost hikers, or survey a fire zone.", Commander Sid Heal, head of Technology Exploration Project for the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept.
The SkySeer could also be used to nab burglary suspects on rooftops & to chase down suspects fleeing on foot.
Since the SkySeer is almost silent & invisible, the possibilities are endless. And that's a concern. The future of nearly invisible eyes in the sky is unsettling & reaks of Big Brother.
Beth Givens of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse says, " Do we really want to live in a society where our backyard barbeques will be open to police scrutiny?"
Heal contradicted his own statement by first saying, " You shouldn't be worried about being spied on by your goverment." Then added, " These days you cant go anywhere without a camera watching you whether you're in the grocery store or walking down the street."
Exactly why we should worry about our goverment spying on us. A police state would make cameras everywhere, recording our every move, the norm.
But before the police decide to mass produce these baby's, maybe they should learn how to actually fly them first. The SkySeer looked like Icarus, when during Friday's field test it took a nosedive & crashed into a vacant lot! It was later blamed on "some sort of communication interference."
Voices That Matter
With all the shit talking, there is a voice that people have refused to hear, a voice that matters most--those that were here long before us: The American Indians.
Here is a small compilation of some of these voices. Listen the hell up!
" The immigration issues are many and so very complex; however, we cannot have a productive dialogue about anything when we begin the conversation, thinking it is "us against them" or when the "truth" is only half true or we only use rhetoric to back our claims. We can't resolve any of these complex issues is we label our neighbor as an "immigrant" and not as a relative, friend, or human being."--Nadine Tafoya, Mescalero Apache-Salt River Pima-Maricopa
" I feel that as Native Peoples of the Americas, we have the right to be anywhere on this continent as we have for generations. To hear people telling my relatives that they are "illegal aliens" and criminals and to get out of their own land is very disturbing."--Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart,PhD,Pres./Director-The Takini Network
" Indigenous peoples haven't known any borders. Colonial borders are new. It's ironic that essentially white men of privilege who created the category of white-that it is they who determine who gets permitted into our lands."--Winona LaDuke,founding director-White Earth Land Recovery Project
" From the point of view of the lands of the indigenous nations of North America, the Europeans are the original illegal immigrants in the area of North America. The United States...has, for more than 200 years, methodically and militarily violated indigenous law, and even solemn treaties, in order to take over and occupy the vast majority of the lands of Indigenous nations and peoples...it is hypocritical in the extreme for people of the United States to now pretend that it is paragon of virture, and a country that has always conducted itself on the basis of the rule of law."--Steven Newcomb,Indian Law scholar
" The movement to try and force the Mexican people to learn the English language and the cultures and traditions of America to stay in this country may not be totally successful. I can tell you from firsthand experience that when the federal goverment tried to strip me of my language and traditions, it did only a partial job, because of my resistence to being subdued. Today I am glad I have retained my culture, traditions, and the Keres language, for that is where my heart and soul belong..."--Katherine Augustine,Laguna Pueblo
" Too bad WE didn't think of insisting that European arrivals speak OUR language. We'd all be speaking Ojibwemowin right now."--Patty Loew,Assoc.Prof.UW-Madison
" The white supremacists masquerading as patriots are building a fence at the southern border to keep out the brown people. Notice that they aren't building a fence at the northern borders...Recall too that the 9-11 terrorists were here legally, complete with frequent flyer numbers. I'm for all that Native people to have cross-border privileges up and down our hemisphere, and would close the borders against all the peoples from other places who look down on us."--Suzan Shown Harjo,Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee
" The argument used by the Minutemen, that their mission is to keep terrorists out of the U.S., cannot be ignored:With terrorist training camps recently found just north of the U.S.-Canadian border, their mission makes little sense and gives weight to my belief that the Minuteman movement is clearly racist. So is the new U.S policy to keep our southern relatives out by militarizing the border to the south. Not that troops are wanted on the northern border either, but why send 6,000 troops to the southern border when no terrorists ever have been detained there?"--JoKay Dowell, Quapaw-Peoria-Cherokee, Ok, Eagle & Condor Indigenous Peoples' Alliance
" Indigenous peoples are brother and sisters, regardless of which side of the line drawn in the desert sand they are from. Our historic relations pre-date any European conquest. Our 'free trade' was much less conflictual, and was on more of an equal basis. Corporate 'free trade' is the driving force behind American politics and international actions...It continues to be, contradictory to the interests of humanity."--Karen S., Ypsilanti
" If America is a shining beacon of hope for legal immigrants perhaps the laws should be adjusted to make it a reality for the illegal immigrants. They also see America as a place where dreams can be lived. Ironically, most of the illegal immigrants are Indians, or Indios as they are known in Mexico, and in Central and South America. Most of their ancestors did not come over on the Mayflower or the Spanish galleons. They were indigenous to the Western Hemisphere."--Tim Giago,president of Native American Journalists Foundation
" Americans can say, surely not with pride, that our country knows from centuries of personal experience how unchecked immigration devastates life and why it's an issue that deserves the best of our thinking and empathy. These are thoughts that cross some of our minds when we hear rhetoric about the so-called invasion of illegal immigrants(many of whom are-gasp-Indians) and calls to protect "our" land. If we smile in response, it's not so much out of agreement. We see a payback coming home to roost."--David House,mixed Cherokee/Scots-Irish
" It's never been clear to me why animosity exists toward today's immigrants, considering the founding fathers arrived as immigrants. Are today's anti-immigration voices afraid of a new Manifest Destiny? Many native prophecies foretell the demise of U.S. indigenous people from European invaders. But the stories also speak of a time when the land will be reclaimed by indigenous people.Perhaps the time has come."--Jodi Rave reports on Native issues for Lee Enterprises.
World Cup Racism
The increasing number of attacks on non-whites in Germany, in combination with a bout of racist taunting of black soccer players, has set the stage for an unprecedented showing of racism on a global sports stage.
Neo-Nazis have been buzzing with ideas of using the World Cup as a political platform since the day Munich was awarded the World Cup.
The German goverment ignored the Neo-Nazi's talk, choosing instead to prepare for the corporate jack pot that comes with the World Cup. The current racist climate could have easily been predicted & dealt with if the German officials would have cared as much as they do about the financial aspect of the World Cup.
There has been a growing pattern of "football racism" across the world. In late February, Cameroonian FC Barcelona star Samuel Eto'o almost walked off the field after being showered by people in the stands with monkey chants & peanuts. And, last November, Messina's Marc Zoro picked up the ball & threatend to walk off the field due to racist chants from followers of Inter Milan.
And although these are the most publicized stories, there are countless tales of players of African origin being treated horribly. Even U.S. star DaMarkus Beasley has recounted tales of monkey noices & banana peels being thrown at him every time his foot touches the ball.
Former Coleraine FC & Brown University soccer player, Shaun Harkin, now works as an immigrant rights activist in Chicago. He says, " The racist abuse players have faced across Europe is an aspect of the growing backlash against immigrants. Immigration from former European colonies has grown. As in the U.S., immigration has been necessary for many European economies and a source of cheap labor- but immigrant communities have also been a conveinent political scapegoat in a continent riddled with unemployment and increasingly anxious conditions for workers dealing with the reprocussions of deepening neoliberal policies."
Uwe-Karsten Haye, co-founder of the antiracist group Show Your Face & former spokesperson for the Social Democratic-Green coalition goverment, said, " There are small and mid-sized towns in Brandenburg and elsewhere where I would advise anyone (in the country for the World Cup) with a different skin color not to go. They might not make it out alive."
Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble promised that his goverment would "not tolerate any form of extremism, xenophobia, or anti-Semitism." Schauble's solution is to station tanks outside soccer stadiums. As if somehow that is going to deter "fans" inside the stadium, or racists spread out around the country.
FIFA, the international soccer body, has made quite ridiculous attempts to combat the racism at the World Cup by having 2 "antiracism" days, where banners will be draped at each game reading "Say No To Racism"- the banners would be taken down at the beginning of the game, defeating the purpose.
Although the goverments & soccer organizations aren't doing much to combat racism, the actual players are.
French soccer star Thierry Henry wore an armband promoting an antiracist campaign called "Stand Up Speak Up". He also talked his sponsor Nike to produce black & white armbands, so far over 5 million have been sold.
FARE, Football Against Racism in Europe, said on their website that they " want to see the beautiful game played without the cancer of racism."
But if we want to stomp out racism in soccer, the goverments need to help out too, not just the antiracist organizations & actual players.
Quote Of The Day
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
On Tuesday, House lawmakers welcomed a $ 3,300 pay raise that will increase their salaries to $ 168,500. The 2% "cost-of-living" raise would be the 7th straight for members of the House & Senate.
Lawmakers stopped a bid by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) to get a direct vote to block the COLA, which is automatically awarded unless a lawmaker votes to block it.
The pay raise also applies to the Vice Preznit-who is the President of the Senate- congressional leaders, as well as Supreme Court justices.
This year, V.P. Dick "Buckshot" Cheney, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, & Chief Justice John Roberts, recieve $ 212,100. Ass. justices recieve $ 203,000. House & Senate party leaders recieve $ 183,500.
I guess the price of caviar has gone up along with the price of gas! Like these capitalist pigs need anymore money!
A 2% "cost-of-living" raise needs to be given to all us hardworking, taxpaying citizens, not the already filthy rich goverment pigs!
And before all you Republicans out there give me shit about how the Democrats are the ones who supposedly introduced this back in the day, keep in mind that I have never said I was a Democrat. In fact, my belief is that a politician is a politician, regardless of party. Both are corrupt. Both are waiters serving up the same shit, just on different colored plates! But the Republicans lately have really been gunning for the "Greediest Sons-of-Bitches" award, don't cha think?
Revolutionary Of The Week
Commandante Ramona of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) was as Tzotzil, one of the many indigenous groups that form the majority of Chiapas, Mexico citizens. As part of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee, she helped direct the EZLN.
Ramona was one of seven female commandantes on that committee, which directs an army that comprises one-third women. In 1993, during the formation of the EZLN, thousands of indigenous women came together to create the Revolutionary Women's Law that asserts women's right to self-determination & equality in society, at home & in the ranks of the EZLN. Ramona was one of the drafters of that document that gives credence to the EZLN statement: "We are not gathered here today in order to change the world...we are here with a more modest proposal...which proposes to create a new world."
Ramona had the command of the taking of the city of San Cristobal on January 1st, 1994, taking up arms for the struggle of her people. Ramona's strength lived in her commitment to her people. Although not a prominent speaker or public representative of the EZLN, she gained attention when she addressed a crowd of thousands in the main square at Mexico City. With her face covered by a mask, she was the 1st EZLN leader to speak in person publicly in the national capital. She called for solidarity, strength, & courage to the millions of Mexicans who saw her there or in the media. Her very small stature was transformed into a huge icon of hope for Mexicans, especially women. At the end of her speech, the crowd chanted, "Ramona, Ramona, Ramona!!"
During and after this appearance she was near death from kidney failure. She was granted immunity (there is a death sentence on the life of every EZLN leader) to travel for medical treatment. She recieved a kidney transplant, which gave her an extra 10 years of life. She was very lucky, few Chiapas peasants have access to medical treatment, especially surgery or medications.
Unfortunatly, Ramona died on January 6th, 2006. Subcommandante Marcos (Delegate Zero),leader of the EZLN, announced the suspension for 2 days of the "Other Campaign" tour, as well as the return of the delegation to the Caracol of Oventic to be present at Ramona's funeral.
Ramona gave her life for the struggle of her people, & despite her bad health, she was always present. Her transformation from poor peasant woman to revolutionary leader has given hope & inspiration to many poor women of Mexico, & abroad. She has given women the dream of the possibility to transform their lives & dare to dream of transforming society. Ramona has become a revolutionary symbol to many other Ramona's struggling now, & yet to be born.
"I left my community to look for work out of necessity. I had nothing to live on. When I arrived elsewhere I began to discover that the situation of women in the fields isn't equal. Here I began to understand & take note of the differences, here I came in contact with the organization (EZLN) & learned of the necessity to get organized, including women."--Ramona
" Our hope is that some day our situation will change, that they'll treat us as women with respect, justice, & democracy."--Ramona
Blind Leading The Blind
When Los Angeles Times journalist Peter Wallsten stood up to ask the Commander Inept a question, this is what transpired:
Bush: " Yeah, Peter. You're going to ask that question with those shades on?"
Wallsten: " I can take them off---"
Bush: " No, I'm interested in the shade look, seriously here."
Wallsten: " All right, I'll keep it then."
Bush: " For the viewers there's no sun." (chuckle)
Wallsten: " I guess it depends on your perspective."
Bush: (chuckle) "Touche!"
Ummm, yeah. There's only one problem. Peter Wallsten is legally blind! He has a rare genetic disorder called Stargardt's Disease, which can be slowed by wearing UV-protective sunglasses & avoiding exposure to bright light.
Although Wallsten holds no ill will towards President Duh, it did make Bush appear like a punk, & a stupid one at that! Bush's attempts to appear funny backfired. Kind of like his presidency!
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Israel Causes Truce To Dissolve
Hamas has called off it's 16 month military truce with Israel, after 7 Palestinians were killed & 30 were injured while having a picnic at a beach in Gaza.
According to ABC.com:
" The artillery fire scattered body parts, destroyed a tent, and sent bloody sheets flying into the air. A panicked crowd quickly gathered, screaming and running around hysterically.
A sobbing girl lay in the sand, crying for her father. "Father, Father!", she screamed.
The body of a man lay motionless in the sand nearby.
Palestinian officials said 7 people were killed and more than 30 wounded at the beach. Hardest hit was the Ghalia family, which lost 6 members, among them the father, one of his 2 wives, an infant boy, and an 18 month girl."
This exact type of incident has made Hamas appear appealing to the Palestinians. And although Hamas may be violent religious zealots, Israel continues to poke them with a prod & pour fuel onto the fire.
If the situation was reversed, & it happened to be an Israeli family killed on the beach by Palestinians, the news would have reached more people, with a much different response. The Palestinians would have been viewed as "terrorists", whereas the Israeli's are not. We rarely hear of the total terror the Palestinians face on a daily basis by Israel. Israel is trying to wipe the Palestinians off the face of this earth, & the US needs to stop supporting the Israeli terroristic military.
Since 1967, when Israel conquered the areas in the West Bank & Gaza Strip, Palestinians have been living under Israeli military occupation.
According to international law, an occupying force is responsible for the protection of the civilian population living under it's control. Israel ignores this requirement, routinely commiting violations of the Geneva Conventions.
724 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli's, & 121 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinian's since September 29, 2000.
The majority of these Palestinian children were killed & injured doing normal everyday things, such as going to school & playing outside.
The number of deaths/injuries to Palestinian's, according to the P.R.C.S. (Palestine Red Crescent Society), from September 30th 2000--June 12th, 2006 is :
Total deaths: 3,938
Live Ammunition: 7,964
Rubber/Plastic bullets: 6,766
Tear gas: 6,576
Total injuries: 30,026
(all injuries figures are from PRCS field posts & EMS operations. Misc. injuries are mostly due to bomb fragments & shrapnel)
For some important information on the Israel/Palestine conflict visit, ' If Americans Knew' at http://www.ifamericansknew.org
America's Global Image
At this rate, the US will begin to lose it's Allies and/or any future support for the Iran Invasion, due anytime now.
Thank you, George W. Bush!
South Central Farm
South Central Farm Eviction
Police Swarm South Central Farm To Forcefully Evict Supporters!
This morning around 5am, the LAPD & L.A. Sheriffs stormed the South Central Farm in complete riot gear, arresting supporters & protesters as they went along. Police were seen beating protesters with clubs near the railroad tracks, and 2 supporters of the farm were taken away in ambulances. Shortly thereafter, large trucks carrying bulldozers drove in but were blocked by around 100 farm supporters. Darryl Hannah & John Quigley held their ground & remained in the tree in full support of the farm. Around noon, an LAFD hook-&-ladder fire engine was brought in to pluck Darryl & John from the tree, & arrested right after.
There have been an estimated 45 arrests made so far. The sheriffs broke into the lockboxes that supporters were using to lock themselves down.
Despite the millions raised & donated to save the farm from the money hungry, capitalist pig Horowitz, he never responded when the total amount needed was gained & offered to him for the farm. My personal opinion is that some big business (Wal-Mart) has offered him much more, & he dosent have the balls to go public with this. Although many, including celebrities, have raised awarness about this vital farm, it seems that capitalism & greed has stomped out the dreams & safehaven of many families in the L.A. area. Horowitz has said he plans to bulldoze the farm & replace it with a warehouse, despite the obvious fact that this area is infested with abandoned warehouses.
Now the legal battle begins. The farm was orignally given to the farmers after the Los Angeles riots, & sold by the city behind their backs, "indian-giving", as it is sometimes called. The battle in the courthouse will soon wage, & we can only hope that justices prevails.
Unable to get to the farm due to a massive riot police presence, I stand in solidarity with the South Central Farm & everything it stands for, as well as the good, brave men & women who stood their ground & were arrested today. I ached to get in there & block the bulldozers from tearing down the farm, but the entire block was pushed back, & many supporters were blocked from getting in.
Here is a video link to a local news broadcast of the eviction: email@example.com'>http://www.cbs2.com/video/?id=href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com
Monday, June 12, 2006
Quote Of The Day
Bush, Billy, and Steve
George Bush goes to a primary school to talk about war. After his talk he offers question time. One little boy puts up his hand and George asks him what his name is.
"And what is your question Billy?"
"I have 3 questions. First, why did the US invade Iraq without the support of the UN? Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes? And third, whatever happened to Osama bin Laden?"
Just then the bell rings for recess. George Bush informs the kiddies that they will continue after recess.
When they resume George says, " OK, where were we? Oh, that's right---question time. Who has a question?"
Another little boy puts up his hand.
George points him out and asks what his name is.
"And what's your question, Steve?"
"I have 5 questions. First, why did the US invade Iraq without the support of the UN? Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes? Third, whatever happened to Osama bin Laden? Fourth, why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early? And fifth, What the hell happened to Billy??"
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Dear President Bush,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly rejects it...End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Law and how to follow them:
1.) Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
2.) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3.) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness, Leviticus 15: 19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4.) When I burn a bull on the alter as a sacrafice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord- Leviticus 1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5.) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6.) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination-Leviticus 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there degrees of abomination?
7.) Leviticus 21:10 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
8.) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19:27. How should they die?
9.) I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10.) My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?-Leviticus 24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, as we do with people who sleep with their in-laws-Leviticus 20:14, ?
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
A concerned American
Pic Of The Day
Saturday, June 10, 2006
R.I.P. Alex Benhumea (1986-2006)
Hunger Strike At Guantanamo-Plus Update
The hunger strike was sparked off last month when as many as 4 prisoners were driven to attempt to commit suicide on May 18th. That same day, when a group of about 10 prisoners in another section of the prison reportedly rioted after guards tried to prevent another detainee from hanging himself, the guards used rubber bullets, pepper spray, & sponge grenades to subdue them.
Navy Commander Robert Durand is calling the latest hunger strike an "attention getting" tactic to try & put pressure for the inmates release.
Defense attorneys & human rights activists say that Guantanamo's est. 460 prisoners are under enormous psychological stress & are increasingly desperate to end their misery, even if it means suicide.
Mnay of the prisoners have been imprisoned for 4 years with no end in sight.
Only 10 Guantanamo prisoners have been charged with any crimes, & they face a trial before military tribunals. The rest are living in "legal limbo".
The hunger strike, used to get attention to the prisoners plight, have in the past made US officials respond violently.
Last fall, around 210 prisoners went on a hunger strike & in response, the military began using force feeding to try & get the prisoners to stop their protests. It is reported that US troops violently inserted dirty nasogastric tubes up prisoners noses & into their stomachs. Defense lawyer, Julia Tarver said, " When they vomited up blood, the soldiers mocked and cursed at them, and taunted them with statements like " look what your religion has brought you"."
The US military admits that there are at least 6 prisoners currently being force fed. These revelations about the hunger strike come as new allegations surface about the number of children that the US has imprisoned at Guantanamo.
According to Britain's 'Independent', as many as 60 children under the age of 18 have been detained at Guantanamo at different times over the past 4 years. At least 10 of them still held there are thought to have been 14 or 15 years old when they were first captured, "including child soldiers who were held in solitary confinement, repeatedly interrogated and allegedly tortured", reported the 'Independent'.
15 year old Canadian-born Omar Khadr, is an example. He was arrested in 2002, accused of killing a US soldier with a grenade. He has been kept in solitary confinement.
Because prisoners have been held for so long, all of the children thought to have been at Guantanamo, are now believed to have reached 18 years of age.
Both the UN & Geneva Conventions prohibit holding children in such detention centers.Pentagon officials defend the practice of detaining children at the prison, saying , "There is no international standard concerning the age of an individual who engages in combat operations" , Senior Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Commander Jeffrey Gordon told the 'Independent'. "Age is not a determining factor in detention of those engaged in armed conflict against our forces or in support to those fighting against us."
There is a general recognition in the civilized world, that children should be treated differently than adults.
But what's so civilized about the US treatment of it's prisoners?
3 Guantanamo prisoners were found dead today. They apparently hanged themselves with nooses made of sheets & clothes, said the Commander of the detention center.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
South Central Farm Update:
There are reports from a number of sources that the farmers, with help from the Annenberg Foundation, have secured the $ 16.5 million dollars needed to buy the land.
But the developer, Horowitz, has not responded to the offer. It is unknown why he has not responded to the offer at this time.
Supporters of the farm are making direct appeals to the mayor's office to intercede & try to persuade Horowitz to take the offer.
There is also a move to appeal to Horowitz's faith by asking fellow members of his temple to show compassion for the plight of the farmers. It is hoped he will call off the sheriff's & return to the bargaining table.
Revolutionary Of The Week
Lucia Sanchez Saornil was a Spanish, lesbian, poet & activist who fought against the fascists in the Spanish Civil War. In the years leading up to the Spanish Civil War, she was involved in the anarchist movement & wrote for newspaper such as " Tierra Y Libertad" & " Solidaridad Obrera".
Saornil wrote many poems , as well, & joined the literary movement called " Ultraismo". Saornil was one of the founders of Mujeres Libres, a group of politically active women of working class who struggled against structured gender inequality. They strove to create an autonomous female community to empower women to realize their individual potential within the larger anarcho-syndicalist movement.
Mujeres Libres sought to educate women through their journal, which first appeared in May 1936, & through the litarary & general education programs they established throughout Spain within their national federation, officially formed in 1937.
Mujeres Libres organized employment & apprenticeship programs that trained women for positions that had previously been reserved for men. They ran maternity clinics & opened /maintained child-care centers for women who worked & were active in the unions.
Arguarbly the most radical of the Mujeres Libres leaders, she went further than her companeros in rejecting the ideal of female domesticity that permeated anarchist circles, arguing that "before you can reform society, you had better reform your homes." & that " the concept of mother is absorbing that of woman, the function is annihilating the individual."
Openly lesbian, Saornil & Mujeres Libres maintained, though, that sexuality was a personal & not political issue, & thus did not make it a focus of her activism.
When the revolution of 1936 exploded, she was involved with "Radio Madrid". In 1937, in Valence, Lucia was the main writer for the weekly magazine "Umbral", this is where she met her partner, America Barroso.
In May 1938, Lucia was named Secretary-General of S.I.A., Solidaridad Internacional Antifascista (International Solidarity Antifascist), a sort of anarchist Red Cross.
With the crushing of the revolution, Lucia escaped into exile in France in 1939 & worked to assist the refugees there. In 1942, to avoid being sent to the Nazi internment camps, she returned to Madrid, then Valence, where she continued to live until 1954, in total clandesinity.
Lucia Sanchez Saornil later died in 1970. Here is the poem she wrote in 1937 for Mujeres Libres:
"Fists upraised, women of Iberia
Towards horizons pregnant with light
on paths afire
feet on the ground
face to the blue sky.
Affirming the promise of life
we defy tradition
we mould the warm clay
of a new world born of pain.
Let the past vanish into nothiness!
What do we care for yesterday!
We want to write anew the word WOMAN.
Fists upraised, women of the world
towards the horizons pregnant with light
on path's afire,onward towards the light."
--Lucia Sanchez Saornil, 1937)