Tag Archives: United for Peace and Justice

Call the White House for carry out

If you think you can influence Obama to get out of Afghanistan, by all means CALL THE WHITE HOUSE NOW! That’s 1-202-456-1111.
Rita Ague reports: “Hi Sisters and Brothers in Peace and Justice Movements: After many attempts, I got through to the White House at 12:45 PM Mountain Time. I said I spoke for many in Colorado and for numerous organizations, including my fully disabled vet brother. I mentioned how many are unable to get through on this heavy call-in day.

“I identified myself as an Old White Woman for Obama, said I’d worked my tail off for him during the campaign, and, like so many, many others, want the U.S. to get out of war mode. End the wars rather than sending more troops. I finished with asking that the Pres. listen to Colin Powell who recently warned about the “terrorism/industrial” complex. I ended with: HEALTH CARE NOT WARFARE! The volunteer at the White House was most receptive to what I said. I sensed smiles and nods of approval. Rita Ague”

From the UFPJ:

While some news reports suggest President Obama is likely to send additional troops, there is still time for the American people to influence this decision! The President must know that there is NOT support for continuing this war that is costing billions of dollars, thousands of lives and increased hardship both in Afghanistan and here at home. The first step is to not send more troops. The next step must be the withdrawal of the troops currently there.

This is the moment when we can have an impact.

Call the White House – 202-456-1111- and tell President Obama:

· No additional troops to be sent to Afghanistan.

· Start the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

· Begin serious diplomacy and dialogue with all parties to the conflict, internal and external, as well as independent Afghan women leaders, without preconditions.

· Redirect the tens of billions of dollars spent yearly on Afghanistan war funding to human needs in Afghanistan and at home

Marching orders from Vets For Peace

Veterans For Peace are stepping forward to plan the unplannable: how to protest the regularly postponed announcement of an escalation in Afghanistan? I forgot how we picked March 19-21 to demonstrate against the attack on Iraq. Did we protest its beginning, or did it start afterward? Bush snuck the “surge” past public outcry, and that’s how Obama will surge Afghanistan. Vets for Peace suggest activists be ready this time with a “March of the Dead” immediately when Obama decides.
death masks

A MARCH OF THE DEAD requires dark cloths, preferably robes or hoods, and plain white masks with eyes and mouth backed with black gauze. Generic masks are available here, for example.

Already this year Obama has doubled US troops in Afghanistan without having to announce a decision.

As far as planning protests, it’s been easy to forecast the thousand-mark milestones of US soldier deaths, and the anniversaries of the wars. How are we to project when a decision is coming? The administration keeps setting back the date for Obama’s decision, owing to the complexity of the issues. Afghanistan may be so complicated, it will never be answered.

Participating in the Veterans For Peace call to action are: Military Families Speak Out, the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition, National Assembly, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, United for Peace and Justice, and World Can’t Wait.

Let’s add Coloradans For Peace march for the dead.

Our mission, should we chose to accept it:

1) Within the next few days, ideally prior to any decision from President Obama, conduct any of a wide range of local activities — from calling Members of Congress to nonviolent civil resistance and everything in between — demonstrating our opposition to and disgust with any decision to widen the war in Aghanistan. To show unity of purpose, we suggest local “March of the Dead” to Federal Buildings, local Congressional offices and government buildings of any sort.

2) On the day immediately following an announcement to escalate the war in Afghanistan, respond again in a variety of ways. To show unity of purpose, we suggest:

a) making an appointment that day with at least one group that you’re not already a member of — a church, union, civic group, etc. — to go and speak with them about the war

b) return to the streets and again conduct any of a wide range of local activities — from calling Members of Congress to nonviolent civil resistance and everything in between — and be prepared to comment to the news media about the escalation of the war.

Obama reneging on promises to pull US troops out of Iraq

LiarObama won the presidency based on the fact that most Americans found him to be credible on his promise to get US troops out of Iraq, whereas they didn’t think John McCain had any commitment to do so. They got tricked and it appears that Obama today will merely restate the Bush promise to the Iraqi puppet government to get US troops out of Iraq by January 1, 2012. Look for numerous press reports to misstate that Obama is actually going to do nothing new in a manner similar to this one… Obama to Announce U.S. Troop Withdrawal in Iraq …Read the details and you can see that it is basically the Bush plan gift re-wrapped for more liberal Democratic Party voters acceptance of it!

What can be seen by this continued glue to the Bush program in regards to Iraq, is that the Democrats have no confidence that Iraq will not fall into a fight for power the minute US troops leave. The puppet government is that unstable, and in fact there are real and credible fears that civil war might now break out even with US troops still inside the country. Simply put, Barack Obama is fearful of changing Bush’s game plans for Iraq, so he’s sticking to the basic Republican program and sugar coating for his unmotivated Democratic Party constituency.

Yes, the Democratic Party ‘Peace’crats have kept the lid on all protest coming from their groups nationwide. The national coalition of these votes, the UFPJ (United for Peace and Justice) are refusing to unite with ANSWER in calling for Spring demonstrations. They simply really don”t want them with Abraham Obama in office…. he’s going to free the White Middle Class liberals from their slavery under Rush Limbaugh and Fox News!

Not only is Obama sticking with the Bush program directly promising to keep US troops in Iraq until 2012, he continues to carry out the Bush-Cheney game plan by expanding occupation in Afghanistan, and aggressively threatening Iran and Syria with war. Add to that the Democratic Party in no way has changed from giving Israel green light to continue their ethnic cleansing program against the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and elsewhere (inside Israel itself). Meanwhile the ‘Peace’crats stand around with their thumbs up their asses and mumbling CHANGE… SPARE CHANGE, PLEASE. It’s very sad to see people debase themselves in this manner.

One can only feel sorry for the Iraqi population, too. They have no guarantee that the US under Barack Obama as CIC will actually stick to the promises to get out by 2012. All sorts of excuses to justify the idea that that cannot be actually done when the time comes can be made up under the usual fire of events, and Barack Obama is just the man in the US Presidency to do just exactly that. Three years from now? Well the US under this plan most likely will still be inside Iraq like glue. The US government and military simply didn’t build all their forts and Embassy Closed Gates without a desire to stick around. Barack is their guy, and when stability begins to crumble with his limited pull out, you can pretty much guess that the ‘plans’ will get changed once again. It’s simply stupid to trust the Democratic Party with much of anything other than their own going plans to collaborate with the Republican Party in running the World on behalf of American corporate power.

Also see… Orwell in Babylon- Obama’s Non-Withdrawal Withdrawal Plan ….By CHRIS FLOYD at antiwar.com

UN Ambassador speaks of the hidden genocide against the Somali people

The UN envoy to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, has said there is a “hidden genocide” taking place in the country. Left unsaid is that it is the United States of America that is responsible for this genocide, but at least the reality of the massacre was broadcast to the world so that hopefully some action might be taken, Somalia facing ‘hidden genocide’ What does it say about the character of the American people what they have done to Somalia?

Here in Colorado Springs, there is a group of pacifist liberal voters for the Democratic Party organized in the so-called Pikes Peak Justice and Peace commission. They have agitated through public rallies for more US military intervention into Africa despite being nominally a ‘Peace’ organization. They have done this saying that more US intervention into Africa was necessary to stop genocide from taking place! So one asks what have they said about this genocide against the people in Somalia where their own US government has been responsible for? What have they done to stop it? The answer to both these questions is that they have totally ignored what was going on. It has been of no interest to them.

Something very similar to this has taken place on the national level at the United for Peace and Justice ‘Peace’crat group, and all their local affiliates. What does that say about the character of the American liberal community? It really says to the general public that their supposed ‘protestations’ for ‘Peace’ should be taken with a big grain of salt. It also says that when these same people get onto the band wagon talking about genocide in regions of Sudan where the US government is itching to get further involved for multiple reasons all having absolutely nothing to do with stopping any sort of mayhem, that one should also weigh their inaction about not caring the least about people in Congo and Somalia, not to mention the continent of Africa as a whole. After all, the US government has been responsible for the destruction that is now causing this genocide in Somalia, but the liberal ‘Peace’crat voice is on MUTE.

The best we in the US can do to stop world genocides from taking place, is simply to understand the negative role ALL Us government intervention plays in creating world war zones. Their is not a positive role the US military has to play as long as we have a government run by the military-industrial-government complex. To call on this complex to do nice and decent things is just absolutely the worst thing to do. The call should be to eliminate this monstrous danger to the world, not advocate for its use somewhere or other.

UN Ambassador Abdallah’s voice will be ignored by the Powers that caused the hidden and silent genocide to occur in the first place unless other voices rise up and speak out. You won’t win many friends at the ‘Peace’crat groups for doing so, but doing so is a necessity. The US government is responsible for multiple genocides around the world taking place and we must move against the ‘Peace’ groups that barricade action from forming against these policies of Pentagon slaughtering. It’s time to get to work and demand better than what the liberal Democrats will ever have to offer.

Obama’s Afghanistan Surge and the ‘Peace’crat picnickers

democratic party flag wavingWhat’s that silence out there? It’s the silence of all those supposed peacniks who turn out to be nothing but picnickers for the Democratic Party cons who are behind adding more US troops into occupying Afghanistan. You won’t see them out protesting this new ‘Surge’ for war, or even talking about it.

In fact, the ‘Peace’crats main group, the UnUnited for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) has decided at its recent small and semi-national December Christmas picnic to try to change the whole subject from one of war to American economy. They will not be uniting with antiwar groups for building united Spring antiwar demonstrations, but will go it alone talking about how bad the economy is instead, and blah, blah, blah…. Whirled PEAs….

Feel free to go to their YES, We Won’t site and read their usual babble about what they won’t be doing. And much better to get the real dope on this outfit of ‘Peace’crat misfits, check out this reportage about their national get together … Antiwar organizing in the Obama era by Ashley Smith and Eric Ruder reporting on the debates at the national convention of United for Peace and Justice.

‘Patriotic’ pacifists and ‘Peace’crats to hold UFPJ lobbyfest gathering in Chicago

Hillary and JesusUnited for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) will be holding a gathering in Chicago next week to start their plans for a 2009 Lobbyfest of Barack Obama. They still haven’t figured any of it out and most likely never will. Ostensibly the UFPJ has not decided on doing anything just yet and the gathering is for the group to supposedly decide just what should be done?

That’s all a big joke since the Democratic Party and liberal Christian group controlled leadership of the UFPJ has but just one strategy, and that is to try to make themselves ‘heard’ by the Powers that be (though they refuse to try to mobilize any power of their own). They are like beggars of a sort, who will be pleading with Barack, Hillary, and Gates for some bones of recognition. They promise not to talk too much about imperialism, Afghanistan, Somalia, and anything else of dispute, say like… torture use by the US military, the US threatening Russia with nuclear weapons, Iraq, or US military made pollution… and the list goes on of none issues to these people., or the issues they just plain out want people not to be talking about.

The UFPJ are the ‘patriotic’ Democratic Party liberal middle class voters and churchly pacifists, whose ‘eyes are wide open’ onto the boots of several thousand US soldiers, but not much on the damage these soldiers actually did to other peoples. They voted for ‘change’, but they’re not too pressured about when it comes, where it comes from, or even if it will ever come? A pretty word or two from their Democratic Party gurus will keep most of them totally satisfied for years.

YES, the UFPJ will want to go lobby this new year, and that’s what they will project doing though they will smokescreen it with some sort of ‘national week’ of blah, blah, blah, etc. These are the very same folk that always say that large demonstrations don’t work, so just go out and vote DP. Don’t expect a change of heart from them, or any insight.

How happy they are at the success of that profoundly absurd strategy they must be with the New Administration? The more abjectly they get thrown to the side by Power, the more committed they get to their own masochistic policy of turning out the vote…. to always vote for those who will ignore them, piss on them, and marginalize them as much as they can.

The UFPJ has even been offered a challenge by other antiwar activists to give up their sectarianism and come together with others to help build national and unified demonstrations against the war. That is anathema to the UFPJ leadership though, and we should expect absolutely nothing from them that would help bring that about. They’re sticking with the Democrats come rain or shine, and come the chaos and mayhem the Democratic Party will work alongside their Republican Party cohorts to bring us more of.

The ‘Patriotic’ pacifists and ‘Peace’crats are like small business owners in their outlook, and they have the DP franchise for ownership over the antiwar movement, just as long as the rest of us put up with it and stay demobilized ourselves? That is the big question? Just how long will the real activists in the national antiwar movement keep pumping money and time into this US national coalition, the UFPJ, who are out to simply not do much at all?

Passively accepting such a group of incompetent and chained down to the DP leaders as the UFJP is, is just more of a loser strategy that does nothing to help out a country currently experiencing a collapse of the US economy and the bankruptcy of the corporate class, fallen deathly ill from their own total corruption. The country needs a real antiwar coalition at work for the country, and not just a prayer group of multiple paid office hacks. The longer a real Movement is not actually built, the more damage the Pentagon will actually do to the country and the world, Lockheed and all the other corporate powers behind them feeding from the public trough. The UFJP is not even close to being the leadership for a real Antiwar Movement in this country, and can never be that as it is organized and structured to not be one, but rather to just be a pacifist coalition of a few nice people who pray and vote and not much else.

The UFPJ not only cannot be looked upon to provide leadership for us in the next years of Obama Nation, but will be an active barrier against all that do try to work to build dissent against US militarism. That is sad to say, but efforts to try to change the orientation of this group will be about as futile as trying to pull MoveOn away from their Democratic Party foundation. Better to spend your time, energy, and efforts to build other organizations as alternative to these obstructionists. The UFPJ is simply their church, and not much else.

Retaining Gates slam dunks the deluded USA liberals

barack-obamaOh those poor deluded liberals! All that ‘hope’ for ‘change’ and look what it got them? Obama asks Gates to stay at Pentagon
No talk of getting out of Iraq now, and the Democratic Party ‘Peace’crats simply don’t have a Plan B beyond turning out the vote again and again for DP politicians who always give them the shaft once they are elected.

No talk of a rejection of the Bush Administration’s criminality and use of torture from Barack. He just rubber stamped it all OK with his choice of Robert Gates being allowed to continue in the position provided for him by Dubya. No change at all. You can shoot down rapproachement with the Russians, too, since it simply was no fluke when Georgia was prompted to attack the Ossetian allies of Russia. The Democrats were on-board all along with the Republican Administration initiated aggression. Hello, New Cold War.

What is left for the Democratic Party liberals to hang onto now? Sure, they can continue to play the fools (though they do not play the fool so much as they just simply are fools), and most will continue to look for some sort of sugar coating on the policies of the Democratic Party Administration, but there is none really. The chumps that told us to vote Democratic Party like it was some sort of religion of theirs will simply be inactive, inactive, inactive in the weeks and months ahead. They have nothing really much left to say.

This was all so easy to see ahead of time, but the ‘Peace’crats don’t want to stand out of the American crowd, and actually denounce US foreign policy in an effective manner. They wanted to just go out and vote even though the voting is rigged to keep power in power. The voting is rigged to just rotate back and forth between the Democrats and Republicans, both of which do mostly the exact same things.

The US Left needs to just say goodbye to the duplicitous intellectual leaders that now control the Antiwar Movement. It’s time to say goodbye to the United for Justice and Peace Democrats and build an effective Antiwar Movement that will build large and continual national mobilizations against The War that just keeps on going, and going, and going. I told you so. Hate me for that if you want? Voting when The System has rigged the vote before hand, is simply not really voting. It takes action to do that, and action that is outside of electorialist play acting.

‘Peace’crats refuse to be ‘United for Peace and Justice’

United for Peace and Justice is the national group that pretends to be the leadership for ‘Peace’ inside the US, yet they cannot even bring themself to speak out against the US war upon the people of Afghanistan! I call them ‘Peace’crats because they talk about PEACE in the abstract all the time, yet remain totally tied to the Democratic Party and do not actively oppose the war of US occupation of Afghanistan or speak out forcefully against it! They don’t want to embarrass Barack Obama and the Democratic Party and that is important to them above all else.

Go to the UFPJ website and see what I am talking about? Didn’t see the mention of Afghanistan there, did you? Go to their ‘Ongoing Campaigns’ link and then link again and check out their mealy mouthed, non-opposition to withdrawal from the US War waged against Afghanistan. Is this what you call an antiwar position? Peace? I call it their UFPJ Democratic Party apologist line of crap. On it, you will read this sort of BS…

What is the US responsibility to Afghanistan? How have US interest over the past few decades, including support for the Taliban, contributed to the destabilization of Afghanistan? How do we best fulfill our obligations to the Afghan people? What is the role of the US peace movement in advocating US tax-dollars to be used in ways that promote peace, stability, and international cooperation? What nonmilitary solutions can we offer?’ YES, and blah, blah, blah. No call for US withdrawal from Afghanistan here! Barack Obama is against it, that’s why.

Here on the local Colorado Springs scene the local ‘Peace’crats are even worse. Most of them play so dumb they would not admit to being able to find Afghanistan on a map and be proud about that, too! Their folk do have the local police telephone # handy, in case anybody would like to bring the subject up? That would be trespassing! And at the national fan club for the ‘Peace’crats, a website called ‘CommonDreams’, well they just target your computers ISP address and keep you from reading their comments, or commenting on what they are pushing. Afghanistan is best kept off the list of hot topics to discuss these days now that Barack Obama’s Democratic Party team is in the process of taking over fighting the US War on Afghanistan away from the Dubya crowd.

YES, the ‘Peace’crats refuse to be ‘United for Peace and Justice’. They’re only united for the Democratic War Party when push comes to shove. Afghanistan? Please don’t mention it!

ARD, Tent State surrogate for DNC cops

IVAW ARD march
DENVER- Accounts of the Wednesday march from the Colosseum to the DNC are only getting half the story. Can I recount my small part? We were at the Pepsi Center entrance, laying the groundwork for the arrival of the IVAW parade and became concerned when workers positioned large dump trucks to block the way, to corral the marchers into the fenced gauntlet traversing the Auraria campus.

When I caught up with the already diverted march, I found out the coordinators had been on the lookout for me. Legal observers informed me that marchers were being forewarned of a man with a green banner who would be trying to instigate trouble. The message was being spread as if coordinators had intercepted this information from police scanners. In reality this was deliberate disinformation being given them by their police liaisons. The common goal being to keep out of trouble.

Well it wasn’t disinformation, because I most definitely wanted to disrupt this surprising and disastrous turn. I sought to prevent the march from being led like sheep into a dead end. But the ARD collective had clearly promised an uneventful march, and they were bent on delivering it. At every turn, at every temptation, they policed the march so the police didn’t have to. Stay on the sidewalk, stay off the grass, go this way unless you want to be arrested, etc. Like overly cautious boy scouts.

Navigating the Auraria enclosures, the coordinator monkeys would circulate alongside their restless marchers admonishing them “Hey guys, let’s keep the focus: on the vets and off the fence.”
So let me be less harsh in my criticism of the IVAW. A number of them are bright, well-motivated guys, but they are governed by committee decisions made by the predominant lessers, some about as daft as soldiers can get. On the Wednesday march too often the bullhorn was in the wrong hands. I have no sense yet of what their dressed-to-the-nines Marine official spokesman was thinking. But the other corrosive element in the event was mentioned in a comment to my previous post on this subject. Tent State/ARD.

Tent State idealists helped coordinate the Rage concert and the march. The parade monkeys who kept everyone in line were Tent State/ARD workers bent on civil disobedience minus any trace of disaffected incivility. Who do they think they are, telling angry constituents that they must accept their lot in the police state?

If Tent State has any role in the planned RNC protests, we must forewarn the activists in Minneapolis. They’re collaborator scum, every bit as fraudulent as the Democratic Party of good cop to the GOP bad cop. If we can salvage anything from our Debacle in Denver, it’s to ferret out these Quislings. Tent State, ARD, UFPJ, Code Pink and the Greens. Derelict saboteurs.

I love the spirit and wit of Code Pink, they show determination and stamina, but ultimately no savvy. Their I MISS AMERICA gag is dead on, but it’s a lament, isn’t it? She’s gone, their America. Where the occasion calls for drums, Code Pink would march us into battle to the beat of Kum ba yah.


COLORADO SPRINGS- In light of accusing Russia for what the US is actually trying to do in Georgia, in light of the naval buildup against Iran, in light of worsening stability in occupied Afghanistan, we thought we’d expand the Iraq Moratorium message to address US War for Empire.
Northbound traffic

Getting wet

KRDO 13 covers

Officer interrupts
An officer informs us we are not to place any permanent sign. Although we were already taking this one down.

Keeping warm



When preaching ‘nonviolence’ promotes violence

The division in Denver amongst groups supposedly building protests at the Democratic Party National Convention offers us a prime example of how excessive preaching of ‘nonviolence’ in a religious manner can actually encourage police violence against the protesters who are the most critical of the dominant political establishment.

Groups allied with the United For Peace and Justice coalition split off from Recreate ’68 claiming that the leaders were not sufficiently committed to being nonviolent. By doing so, they gave the police rhetorical backup for anything they might do at the DNC to protesters that come to protest the politics as usual agenda of the Democratic Party. This split was a divisive blow against having a united Left political organization focusing on advocating Progressive ideas at the big event, which the DNC represents in the US, and those who arrive to protest will find themselves in the streets with a split organizing leadership, all due to the rather sectarian religious rhetoric of the ‘nonviolence’ preachers.

The truth is, the Democratic Party tied leaders of the United for Peace and Justice don’t really want that much of a real protest at the DNC because most of these UFPJ leaders’ are tied to the philosophy of voting for the so-called lesser of two evils. They plan to encourage people to vote for the Democratic Party candidate. The non-violence issue has allowed them an excuse to make the protest against the Democratic Party smaller, divided, and inconsequential. Further it allows them to label their political opponents in the Peace Movement, those not tied to the Democratic Party like they are, as being unreasonable agitators who want confrontation, which is actually how the corporate press of this country wants to portray all protesters.

The reality is that there are no members of the Recreate ’68 coalition that are violence prone, and everybody wants the protests at the DNC to be nonviolent. However, the ‘I am more nonviolent than you’ preaching from the Alliance for Real Democracy crowd has obscured that, something that can only help create greater police violence and not less.

The People-Call-For-Change PC4C wants to keep at-risk activists off the streets

THE PEOPLE CALL FOR CHANGE (PC4C.ORG) is asking to be added to the ARD collective and wants their activities endorsed and publicized. What are they doing for the DNC? The PC4C has scheduled forums during the convention, it would appear to keep folk off the street. Compelling subjects, but to what end? To energize people about what needs to be done, while the opportunity to do it is knocking/passing outside? Is values-based PC4C a social justice group? Is “change” a social issue? Why does it remind me of Obama rhetoric?

In Search of Values for a New Society
Saturday, August 23rd at 6:30pm to about 8:15pm
Capitol Heights Presbyterian Church, 11th and Fillmore, Denver
Panelists: Dr. Vincent Harding, Gabriela Flora and Reverend Paul Kottke

These panelists will discuss the spiritual values, from both secular and religious traditions, that form the bases for the positions taken by progressives. They will show how these values are applied to domestic and foreign policy issues, laying out, in effect, a positive vision for our society.

Beyond Iraq: Creating a Just Foreign Policy
Monday, August 25th at 7pm to about 8:30pm
Capitol Heights Presbyterian Church, 11th and Fillmore, Denver
Panelists: Leslie Cagan, Hari Nam Khalsa and Dr. Ronald Forthofer

The panel will focus on foreign policy issues with an emphasis on Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan and trade issues. They will discuss the current situation, what can be done, and what a values-based foreign policy would look like. Following the panel presentation and q and a, there will be an opportunity for audience members to voice their ideas in a visioning session using Let Us Rise materials.

From Corporate Control to People Power
Wednesday, August 27th at 7pm to about 8:30pm
Park Hill UCC at 2600 Leyden St, Denver
Panelists: David Cobb, Dr. Richard Williams and Dr. James Hoffmeister

This panel will examine how corporate power and big money influence our government to the detriment of the people. A vision of an values-based alternative approach will be considered. In addition, some concrete steps that can be taken to rein in corporate influence on government will be presented. Following the panel presentation and Q and A, there will be an opportunity for audience members to voice their ideas in a visioning session using Let Us Rise materials.

The DNC Alliance for Real Democracy is a counter-protest Fifth Column

Denver DNC 2008DENVER, COLO.- The Alliance for Real Democracy (ARD), formed to counter the scrappily-named Recreate 68 at the DNC, is in reality an unwitting fifth column, set up by Democratic Party allies to temper protest in Denver. The UFPJ and other sundry “non-violent” progressives are funneling their members into the less populist ARD actions to divert participation from the major DNC demonstrations. But the aforementioned underwriters aren’t providing any funding, surprise! Leaving the ARD to protest exactly what it’s supposed to: nothing.

Alliance for Real DemocracyI think it’s heartbreaking to watch earnest young activists, representing the organizations comprising the ARD coalition, trying to organize activities without any commitment from their national affiliations. And some of the more outspoken national leaders, keen to make appearances at the DNC rallies, are beginning to smell a rat. They’re making backup arrangements to coordinate with the boots on the ground, R-68.

A Fifth Column refers to a group of partisans, usually spontaneously organized, which forms behind enemy lines as a conquering army approaches. It is the additional “column” of civilian fighters which an attacker might count on to stab the defenders in the back. Franco boasted of his fifth column in the Spanish Civil War. The French Resistance represented a fifth column for the Normandy liberators.

America’s antiwar movement has had its steady divisions, between UFPJ and A.N.S.W.E.R. most notably, but the rift has become more critical with the advent of another hopeful Democratic election win. Four years ago it was Kerry, with groups like Moveon.org trying to tone down the antiwar rhetoric. This year it’s Obama, and the appeasers are out in battalions. As usual, it’s done in the name of “nonviolence,” where too vigorous protest is seen as insufficiently nonviolent for the Democrat’s fragile delusions.

When R-68 began the groundwork for DNC protests, they were vilified for evoking the Chicago 1968 police riots. R-68 repudiated the violence, but not surprisingly those statements have yet to be reported in print. Meanwhile the bad press gave UFPJ and other nonviolence apostles the opportunity to break away and form their holy alliance to give their members sanctuary from the ruffians, re unpredictable young people.

But will it really? The R-68 group includes Unconventional Denver and Disrupt 08, but neither have violent plans. Black Block script-kiddies will turn up no matter whose event. Police agent provocateurs will instigate violence no matter how pious your crowd.

Code Pink, IVAW, Veterans For Peace, and UFPJ are among the national endorsers of ARD. Tent State, SFPJ, and Students for a Democratic Society are examples of young activists getting caught in their elders’ tar baby.

Because it’s not enough to vote for Obama, you have to quash dissent for Obama. It’s the Alliance For Real Democracy For Obama.

Naturally Denver protest organizers, whether ARD or R68, have found themselves having to confer about time slots and permits, out of respect for the success of each other’s activities. As a result, the national head of UFPJ, Leslie Cagan, issued an email decreeing that no ARD organization member would participate in the major Aug 24 kickoff antiwar demonstration. This drew question marks from prominent activist leaders who want to be at the biggest rally.

Bi-monthly CONSULTA meetings were scheduled by ARD and R68 to coordinate efforts. But the morning before the second Consulta, Leslie Cagan flew in from NYC for an emergency meeting with ARD leadership to brief them on what not to negotiate. She followed this with a hastily scheduled press conference the next day on the subject of Iran, it appeared to preempt her rivals’ DON’T BOMB IRAN action planned for August 2nd.

Colorado Springs own PPJPC is an endorser of ARD. Their letter of support was read into the minutes of a recent meeting, and it read like the typical support they’re getting from everyone. I’ll paraphrase the PPJPC letter:

“We at the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission are honored to endorse your efforts at the DNC … due to critical funding shortages, we cannot offer you any monetary support at this time … Likewise, I’m sorry that I will not be able to participate in any events that week , but will try to interest our members in attending…” We’ll be with you in spirit, etc.

Why form a fifth column if you’re not going to support it? Because the ARD‘s job is to do nothing. Doing nothing is exactly how you stab activism in the back.

Colorado Springs Don’t Bomb Iran

High visibility message Dont Bomb Iran
Our IRAQ MORATORIUM message could be seen from the Uintah intersection. DON’T BOMB IRAN was so visible, we invited the attention of three unwanted parties.

Closer shot
First a representative from the Parks and Rec Department told us we had to stop because we were “hindering progress.” City PoliceAsked what that meant, she would only repeat we were “hindering progress” as if it was the only talking point she had been given. Mark regaled her with court rulings which have upheld our right to do what we were doing. She spent the rest of the time on her cell phone. Two CSPD officers joined her on the periphery but left after a half hour.

Next came an altercation with two young men and a woman, one of the men claiming to be a soldier, who were very belligerent and tried to tear down our peace flag. Rita bravely made them back off.

Later, two gentlemen emerged from a dark SUV, donned orange jackets and hardhats and come to inform us our sign was not permitted by Colorado statute. They claimed that we posed a safety hazzard, unless approved ahead of time. We challenged the idea that we were a safety concern, “approved” or not. Now that they’d observed us, did they think we presented a safety problem? CDOTIt was not theirs to decide. We assured them we were going to carry on and promised certainly to leave nothing behind after we were finished. The two left without further incidence. Naturally all this attention gave us incentive to prolong our action until after 2pm.

We received the usual honks and loud truck blasts of support. Our extended stay reached thousands of motorists. Not only did they see we were against the war, but against the next war.

from car

Save Pinon Canyon


Front Range

UFPJ Iraq Moratorium bannering on I-25

The third Friday of the month has come around again. Time for the IRAQ MORATORIUM with a JULY message: DON’T BOMB IRAN. Meet on the I-25 pedestrian overpass at Monument Valley Park NOON to 1PM.I-25 Monument Valley Park pedestrian overpass
Visit United For Peace & Justice for more info or check Iraq Moratorium about the other JULY 18th actions nationwide.

Iraq Moratorium comes up against Feds

Feb 15, 2008 Southeast Corner
I just got back from an invigorating Iraq Moratorium street- side demonstration. The cold wasn’t so bad, the IVAW boys held down a corner, one participant traveled a ways to be here, a Gazette reporter came with a photographer, and we were deluged with the usual honks of support. Then two supervisors from the nearby Post Office visited to tell us whichever of us had parked in their lot better move our cars or expect to be towed.

I stepped forward but noted the parking lot was only a third full, plus by coincidence I had a time-dated receipt from their counter. No matter they said, the parking was private, and/or you can’t protest on government property. They incorrectly asserted plenty more, finishing with “sue me” but wouldn’t give their names. One called out for security as I entered the post office to stand in queue, shouting to everyone that I was likely to cause a scene. The clerks volunteered the info I needed: Jim Hickle and Bill Schafner, big-for-their-britches USPS supervisors of customer relations, wannabe feds.

I’m always perplexed by the politics of the postal worker. I regard a number of them as my friends actually, whom I see everyday, including the late John S, about whose horrible political ethics I’ve already written. Why are workers, who benefit mightily from the APW Union, and who more likely than not are veterans, stand so passionately behind the right-wing? Postal workers are losing their jobs to privatization, their jobs are as blue collar as any, they come face to face with so much of the local community. Why would their personal opinions be so regressive?

Mark and Garrett help on Northeast corner

UPDATE: After I left, another activist of our group was sitting in his car, having taken medication which called for a pause before he could begin driving. He was parked, as I had been, at the extreme north of the lot, far from any customer traffic. The same two postal authorities, Jim and Bill, approached his window and insisted he had to leave. My friend explained that we was quite willing, but that he was required to wait until his medication permitted it. They insisted he leave immediately or they would call the police. My friend complied, in a hallucinogenic state, and thankfully he made it home safely.

Iraq Moratorium monthly rendezvous

Funding the war is killing our troopsIt’s time again, February 15th, to meet at the intersection of Academy and Fountain Blvds, where US tax dollars meet the military industrial industry. Join UFPJ, PPJPC and CSA on Friday at noon. We’ll assemble at all corners with banners, flags and chants to remind the major war profiteers that the American public would appreciate another line of work. It is the war merchants who stand between humanity and peaceful co-existance. It is they who dictate what our politicians offer America as its options. It is they who work in pools of the blood of millions of innocent peoples. Wear boots.

Academy Blvd public opinion still with us

See more pictures and a Mark Lewis video at CSAction
PPJPC members braved the cold for this month’s UFPJ Iraq Moratorium, held this time at the intersection of Profiteer and Death Merchant Blvds. A reprise of our popular 9/11 protest, we bannered at all corners to a chorus of supportive horns.

Due to the cold, and the difficulty of using walkers to cross the snow, some of us chose to park in a nearby vacant parking lot, until a security guard arrived with lights flashing. He told us “By the way, I’m on your side, but I have to ask you to move your cars.”
Rita is asked in convivial terms but emphatic gestures to find another place to park.
We did, but three police cars converged anyway.

Whose war?! OUR war!

United For Peace and Justice Iraq Moratorium November 16 Acacia Park Colorado Springs
At the demonstration last week to mark UFPJ’s Iraq Moratorium we marched from City Hall to the IVAW guard tower installation in Acacia Park. On the way we chanted a call: “WHOSE WAR?!” with the response: “BUSH’S WAR!” It was not the time to quibble between protesters, but should it really not have been “YOUR war?”

It is OUR war now isn’t it? We are engaged in it, the Democrats in congress are funding it, we support the troops who are fighting it. It’s OUR war. We might prefer to say it belongs to the idiots among us, but now they’re pointing the finger back at us. It’s our war, YOUR and MY war unless you have an alibi.

It seems to me the antiwar effort can no longer even be about THE war, nor just about Iraq or Afghanistan. The objective now is to resist empire. Repudiate imperialism.

It’s no longer about extracting our boys to bring them home. We’re over there for keeps, to share the fate of the victims of the destabilized hell we have unleashed. Now the antiwar pacifist message has become defeatist, by imperialist standards. We must ask our soldiers now to take their fingers off their joy sticks, quit playing the conquering occupiers, become a repentant reconstruction force, and serve their time working to pay off our nation’s war debt.

Protest the Iraq War in Denver Saturday

United For Peace and Justice in Denver OCT 27It’s just a short trip up to Denver and back, so combine the demo with some other activities and protest the continued occupation of Iraq by American troops.
October 27, Saturday:
Regional protest set for Denver

Colorado Springs peace activists will travel to Denver on Oct. 27 to join a nationwide action calling for an end to the Iraq war. The protest will demand an immediate end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. People from all walks of life will gather in 11 major cities around the country in a national expression of the breadth and depth of antiwar sentiment in this nation.

Colorado Springs residents will gather at the Justice and Peace office at 214 East Vermijo for a carpool around 9 a.m. For further details, contact Pete at dynamic@ppjpc.org

National Peace Action fails to mobilize large numbers

Reports are hard to come by as the US corporate press has done its very best to disappear this action, but it appears that somewhere between 20,000 to 80,000 protested against the war yesterday in Washington D.C.

This is a very low turnout that hardly even begins to correspond with the very real opposition the US Occupation actually has against it. Why such low numbers then?

The main reason this mobilization failed to gather more participants, is simply that the leadership of this political movement for Peace is splintered and totally uncooperative with each other.

In addition, one must question the motives of organizations like MoveOn that have a gigantic membership, yet fail to encourage people to participate in anything much other than voting for Democratic Party political hacks. That is their main interest, and the antiwar aspect of their work is most marginal.

Add to that, the UFPJ (United for Peace and Justice) boycotted this action while calling for their own actions (which they are failing to build properly) in late October. The UFPJ preferred to be sectarian once again, rather than uniting in joint action with ANSWER, the organizers of yesterday’s action.

Many Americans continue to misplace their faith in the Democratic Party and still see this party as wanting to provide some future salvation for them rather than continue their current participation in the neo-con game plans. However, the Democrats silence in regard to the Bush-Cheney open plans to attack Iran and Syria show that this is absolutely not the case. They have failed to provide any real opposition to Republican militarism, and instead have enabled it.

We need for the national groups to increase the mobilizations of people in protest and into the streets, and not just twiddle their thumbs and pretend that this activity is inconsequential. If the leaderships of MoveOn and UFPJ continue their abstentionism, then people will not be mobilized as they well could be, and should be. Let’s hope for better next month when once again their is a national call to mobilize. Unfortunately, this call comes from UFPJ leaders who feel that all they should much do is get proPeace people arrested at the offices of Senators and Congressmen nationwide. The future doesn’t look good unless a new leadership begins to emerge from the ranks.