German Police Shut Down Palestine Conference

A three day Palestine conference in Berlin was forcibly shut down after three hours on Friday. Electricity was abruptly terminated in the midst of the presentation by Salman Abu Sitta, the 87 year old author of the authoritative “Atlas of Palestine”.

Former Greek Finance Minister and leader of DIEM25, Yanis Varoufakis, was prevented from entering Germany to attend the conference. He went on Twitter/X to send a message, “Do you know that the German Interior Ministry has just banned me from entering Germany? Indeed if that were not enough,  I have been banned  from talking to you via zoom, or indeed through a video message like this, exactly like this. The threat being that I will be tried in Germany for breaking German law. Why? Because of a speech that I published yesterday on my blog calling for universal human rights in Israel-Palestine… So my question to my German friends, to Germans in general whether you agree with me or not doesn’t matter… Is this (banning) in your name? Is it something that you feel comfortable happening in your democracy? From my perspective this is essentially the death knell of the prospects of democracy in the Federal Republic of Germany.”

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A Few FACTS About Gaza

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently said, “the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum. The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”  The Israeli Ambassador responded that Guterres’ comments were “shocking”, “unfathomable” and  “disconnected from reality”.  He called for the Secretary General’s resignation. Below are some facts about Gaza to evaluate whether Guterres was accurate or not.

Gaza is a tiny strip of land on the Mediterranean coast with the 5,000 year old Gaza City in the north. The entire strip is only 5 miles wide by 25 miles in length with 2.3 million Palestinians locked in this territory by Israel.  It is the size of a small US city.

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Nicaragua: A History of US Intervention and Resistance

Many nations in the Americas have suffered from US promoted coups, dictatorships, sanctions and outright invasions. Nicaragua may take the cake for being the most victimized.  Dan Kovalik has written a book which reviews the history of  intervention and resistance up to the present day.

Kovalik includes his own experiences from several decades visiting Nicaragua.  The first time was with a Veterans for Peace (VFP) convoy of trucks bringing aid to Nicaragua in 1987. Incredibly, for two months the US government blocked the aid trucks from exiting the US en route to Nicaragua.  The story has a happy outcome. After months of effort, the antiwar activists succeeded in exiting the US and reaching Nicaragua where they were greeted with open arms and celebrations. That experience triggered a lifelong interest in Nicaragua by Kovalik, who has worked for decades as an international human rights lawyer and is a retired attorney for the United Steel Workers.

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Sunday: RAGE Against the War Machine in San Francisco

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, we invite you to a joyful RAGE Against the War Machine at noon on Sunday, Feb 19. The event will start at Embarcadero Plaza, then proceed to War Machine Village in the financial district and conclude with a tea party on the public street in front of Nancy Pelosi’s house.

Ignoring the interests of the majority of Americans, the Democratic and Republican establishments are united as one big WAR party. It is high time to unite all antiwar forces. In the face of this looming war escalation, it does not matter whether you are liberal, conservative, libertarian or whatever. We invite you to join us if you want to end the war machine provocations, senseless Ukraine conflict and danger of war with Russia.

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Free Julian Assange Video

This new video showcases the song Free Julian Assange, by Francisco Herrera with lyrics by Dennis Bernstein.

The song was initially produced for a rally and demonstration in the San Francisco Bay Area. The event will be on October 8.

The video can be seen here. YouTube has labeled it as “age-restricted” so you must click on the words “Watch on YouTube” following the warning.

A professional recording can be listened to and downloaded here.

A Tale of Two Summits

Last week (June 8-10) there were two summits in Los Angeles, California: the Summit of the Americas hosted by the US State Department and the Peoples Summit hosted by US and international activist organizations. The two summits were held in the same city at the same time but could not be otherwise more different.

Summit of SOME of the Americas

Begun in 1994, in the heyday of US international dominance, the Summit of the Americas is officially a function of the Organization of American States. It is meant to coordinate and consolidate US economic, political and cultural interests. The first summit, held in Miami, served this goal well. The Soviet Union had broken up, severely hurting allies such as Cuba. Neo-liberalism was on the march, even in countries such as Nicaragua where the Sandinistas had been voted out of power. The US had recently invaded Panama, making an murderous example of any country or leader that defied US dictates.

Since 1994, there have been Summits of the Americas every three or four years. The summits in Canada (2001) and Argentina (2005) had large anti-summit protests against capitalist globalization. In Panama in 2015, Cuba was invited to the summit for the first time after a group of countries threatened to boycott the summit if Cuba was again excluded. President Obama met and shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro. There was widespread agreement and pleasure at the US beginning to normalize relations with Cuba.

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