e'k, rangimarie, hedd, pace, tutquin, shanti, vrede, paquilisli, MNP, Onai rahu,
amani, kev sib haum xeeb, salam, shaantiM, hedd, gutpela taim, lalyi, pesca, damai,
raha, fred, eirni, pax, mir, peace, heiwa, amn, nabad, rauha,paz, frid, paco,
shAnti, paqe, danh tu, ittimokla, rahu, paix, beke, shalom, mnonestotse, kapayapaan
healing prayers to all nations upon our beloved earth.
of Peace from Webster
English pees, from Old French pais, from Latin pac-, pax; akin to Latin pacisci
to agree -- more at PACT
Date: 12th century
1 : a state of tranquillity
or quiet: as a : freedom from civil disturbance b : a state of security or order
within a community provided for by law or custom <a breach of the peace>
2 : freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
3 : harmony
in personal relations
4 a : a state or period of mutual concord between governments
b : a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war
or in a state of enmity
5 -- used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm
or as a greeting or farewell
- at peace : in a state of concord or tranquillity
you for coming here. If you wish to see resources updated, please send the information
for our consideration.
ever you are and what ever you are doing, may you hold peace in your mind and
had what I was thinking drought conditions and yesterday, rain came! The difference
that even a little moisture makes to the plants! The earth here is abundant and
our Farmers Market is a bustling place. The community orchard is developing and
has many helpful hands. Ecovillages are sprouting up in a few places around town
and more people are intentionally coming together with others to establish households.
far donations have not come rolling in so that we can move forward with the chap
book contest with prizes to youth and young adults writing about peace, community
building and sustainability. When time allows work continues on the chapbook of
poems by a Wabash Valley inmate. I hope to have that project completed before
the years end.
another note, In an effort to clear out my studio, I will be exhibiting art for
sale at studio prices in Bloomington, Indiana! Beginning August 1, 2011 I will
be exhibiting "Paintings" in Max's Place 108 West 6th Street, and will
include at least one Peace Pie in the mix. January 2012 through February 2012
prints of my ink drawings will be on display in Lennies Restaurant and Brewhouse
at 1795 East 10th Street. Also in February, from February 1st through the 28th
I will exhibit "Recent Paintings" in the Bloomington, IN City Hall (Showers
sale of my art will help me meet my day to day expenses and give me time to keep
this resource going.
act and thought we make toward peace contributes to the peace, health and well
being of us all.
Food News and Note
Thank you so much for support our planet!
Raging Grannies reherse or meet
the 2nd Mondays monthly, 5:00 pm at Rachael's Cafe on 3rd Street, Bloomington,
IN. Women singing for peace and justice. Available for events. Contact Cynthia
Roberts at cynrober(at)indiana.edu for more information|
BLOOMINGTON SAYS: Check out the Bloomington Farmers Market, Saturdays in the
Showers Building Parking lot!|
IN -- The City of Bloomington Sanitation Department has announced a new partnership
with Vintage Tech Recyclers. This partnership will allow the City to host its
first Electronics Recycling program.
The City invites residents of Bloomington
and surrounding communities to dispose of unwanted electronics for recycling on
Sat., August 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please bring your items to the Sanitation
Garage, located at 3406 South Walnut St., just north of the City of Bloomington
"We are very excited to be teaming up with Vintage
Tech in an attempt to provide the community with the much-needed service of responsible
electronics recycling," said Shelby Walker, the City's Sanitation Director.
"Vintage Tech has partnered with several manufacturers to offset our cost
for the event. We're hoping this year is a success as well as a stepping stone
for future recycling events."
The following items will be accepted:
computers, laptops, monitors, LCDs, cell phones, printers, scanners, modems, cables,
televisions, VCR's, DVD players, camcorders, cameras, gaming systems, telephones,
pagers, answering machines, typewriters, calculators, fax machines, copiers and
For more information, please contact the Sanitation Department
at 349-3443 or read more online at www.bloomington.in.gov/sanitation.
For more information, contact:
Walker, Director, Sanitation, City of Bloomington, 349-3443
Communications Director, City of Bloomington, 349-3406, firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Dove News Assistant Editors
email@example.com for info.
on our Statue of Liberty proclaim what we say makes this a special nation:|
"Give me your tired, your poor, your
huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me
I lift my lamp
beside the golden door."
Funding Measure Facing U.S. House Floor Vote
Posted on: Jul
As early as next Monday, the full U.S. House
of Representatives will vote on FY 2012 funding for the National Endowment for
the Arts (NEA).
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee took the first
step in the budget process and passed the Interior Appropriations bill, which
proposes to fund the NEA at $135 million for FY 2012. If enacted, this $20 million
cut would be the deepest to the NEA in 16 years.
Now, this legislation heads
to the next step in the funding process, the House floor, where it could face
amendments to increase the cut even deeper or eliminate the NEA altogether.
similar scenario happened in debates earlier this year over FY 2011 funding, and
an amendment to cut the NEA by an additional $20 million succeeded by a slim margin
of 8 votes.
us reverse this gap by sending a message to your representative today.
involved in your community. Contact your legislative representative. Help them
continue this important work.
1000 Vermont Avenue NW
Washington DC . 20005
One East 53rd
Street . 2nd Floor
New York NY . 10022
Quotes & Contemplations
there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure. (RUMI)
healing begins in this moment. All transformation
occurs within this step. Be present, be mindful, be filled with love."If
we want to be compassionate we must be conscious of the words we use. We must
both speak and listen from the heart.-- Marshall B. Rosenberg|
surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their
feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves,
and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others."--
Sydney J. Harris
firmly believe the world will sort itself out in the end. Believe it with me.
At least none of us will be around to be proven wrong. -Stuart Wilde |
Secrets of Life" Support what you believe in, your life depends on it!I wish
I could make a happier world-harmonious, friendly and peaceful.His Holiness the
Dali Lama - from the book "Tying Rocks to Clouds"|
collect things and memories and store them lovingly in the recesses of our souls...only
to be brought out into the sunlight by telling about them over and over again."
What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
"Our deepest fear is not that
we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It
is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: "Who
am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? " Actually, who are you
not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure
We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to
make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us;
it's in every one.....
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give others the permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our fear, our
presence automatically liberates others. "
Williamson - 'A Return To Love' 1992
world is possible. Where the choice is between war or peace, between memory or
oblivion, between hope or despair, between the grey on one side and the whole
rainbow on the other side. One world where many worlds can exist. It is possible
for a "YES!" an incomplete unfinished
"YES!" to be born
out of a "NO!". A "YES!" that gives humanity hope back, so
that we day by day can
rebuild the complex bridge that connects thinking
and feeling" ....
Marcos, from the mountains in Southeast Mexico, 1999
"You can look
at war as a massing of arms and matérial and troops, but you can also see
it as something else--as a delicate web of interwoven choices made by human beings,
made out of a certain consciousness. The decision to order an attack, the choice
to obey or disobey an order, to fire or not to fire a weapon. Armies and, indeed,
any culture that supports them must convince the people that all the decisions
are made already, and they have no choice. But that is never true."
Fifth Sacred Thing" by
peace in working a garden"
we never hunger. ¡Que nunca tengamos hambre!" "May we never thirst!
¡Que nunca tengamos sed!" - Starhawk, The
Fifth Sacred Thing|
Tell America (to) Study War No More'
Peace is Marching On
(Tune) BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC
My ears can hear it coming-
It's the rising cry forpeace.
In the placeof
Letthe way of love increase.
Thetruth is marching on.
Word peace is marching on.
We have tried
the way of violence-
Let us try the way of love.
Feed the hungry, clothe
Tamethe hawk and send the [...]
You may view the latest
our PEACEFUL AND SACRED HEARTS FULLY OPENED Standing Shoulder to Shoulder in the
LIGHT of love radiating from each of our hearts each of us visualizing the vibrations
of Peace, Love, Harmony, Unity and a recovery of the shifting of our Earth Mother."
Please send out into the Dynamic
Universal energy of which we are all a part a request to that loving thing you
believe in for assistance and quick stabilization of energy connected to the devastating
8.8 earthquake that has occurred in Japan and the resulting tsunamis. If you will,
Please invite in the light and healing energies of connecting all positive things
you hold dear.
May our loving
thoughts and prayers reach out and assist in some way those in need of these prayers
and the blessings of comfort they may release for all people affected, and that
there is a quick global outpouring of all needed supplies and resources for the
ensuing massive rescue and relief effort.
you, I am grateful for each thought and action shared into the healing of this
and other earth movements at this time. May we be supportive of one another in
thought and action.
you and Gassho,
Please keep sending
your prayers, and if you could, an aid through these links;
ACTION TO STOP GLOBAL WARMING
Ten Strikes Against Nuclear Power
Here at Green America, we're working hard
to heal the climate by transitioning our electricity mix away from its heavy emphasis
on coal-fired power. But all of that work will be wasted if we transition from
coal into an equally dangerous source - nuclear power, which is why we've put
together this list of reasons why nuclear power is not a climate solution.
Solar power, wind power, geothermal power, hybrid and electric cars, and aggressive
energy efficiency are climate solutions that are safer, cheaper, faster, more
secure, and less wasteful than nuclear power. Our country needs a massive influx
of investment in these solutions if we are to avoid the worst consequences of
Thankfully, no new nuclear plants have been built in the US
for over 30 years. That means that a whole new generation of concerned citizens
grew up without knowing the facts about nuclear power - or remembering the terrible
disasters at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. So it is time to remind everyone
that nuclear is not the answer. Please help us get the word out.
we draw electric power from about 400 nuclear plants worldwide. Nuclear proponents
say we would have to scale up to around 17,000 nuclear plants to offset enough
fossil fuels to begin making a dent in climate change. This isn't possible - neither
are 2,500 or 3,000 more nuclear plants that many people frightened about climate
change suggest. Here's why:
1. Nuclear waste -- The waste from nuclear power plants will be toxic for humans
for more than 100,000 years. It's untenable now to secure and store all of the
waste from the plants that exist. To scale up to 2,500 or 3,000, let alone 17,000
plants is unthinkable.
Nuclear proponents hope that the next generation of
nuclear plants will generate much less waste, but this technology is not yet fully
developed or proven. Even if new technology eventually can successful reduce the
waste involved, the waste that remains will still be toxic for 100,000 years.
There will be less per plant, perhaps, but likely more overall, should nuclear
power scale up to 2,500, 3,000 or 17,000 plants. No community should have to accept
nuclear waste site, or even accept the risks of nuclear waste being transported
through on route to its final destination. The waste problem alone should take
nuclear power off the table.
The proposed solution a national nuclear waste
storage facility at Yucca Mountain is overbudget and won't provide a safe solution
either. The people of Nevada don't want that nuclear waste facility there. Also,
we would need to transfer the waste to this facility from plants around the country
and drive it there - which puts communities across the country at risk.
2. Nuclear proliferation - In discussing the nuclear proliferation issue, Al Gore
said, "During my 8 years in the White House, every nuclear weapons proliferation
issue we dealt with was connected to a nuclear reactor program." Iran and
North Korea are reminding us of this every day. We can't develop a domestic nuclear
energy program without confronting proliferation in other countries.
too, nuclear power proponents hope that the reduction of nuclear waste will reduce
the risk of proliferation from any given plant, but again, the technology is not
there yet. If we want to be serious about stopping proliferation in the rest of
the world, we need to get serious here at home, and not push the next generation
of nuclear proliferation forward as an answer to climate change. There is simply
no way to guarantee that nuclear materials will not fall into the wrong hands
3. National Security - Nuclear reactors represent a clear national security
risk, and an attractive target for terrorists. In researching the security around
nuclear power plants, Robert Kennedy, Jr. found that there are at least eight
relatively easy ways to cause a major meltdown at a nuclear power plant.
What's more, Kennedy has sailed boats right into the Indian Point Nuclear Power
Plant on the Hudson River outside of New York City not just once but twice, to
point out the lack of security around nuclear plants. The unfortunate fact is
that our nuclear power plants remain unsecured, without adequate evacuation plans
in the case of an emergency. Remember the government response to Hurricane Katrina,
and cross that with a Chernobyl-style disaster to begin to imagine what a terrorist
attack at a nuclear power plant might be like.
4. Accidents - Forget
terrorism for a moment, and remember that mere accidents - human error or natural
disasters - can wreak just as much havoc at a nuclear power plant site. The Chernobyl
disaster forced the evacuation and resettlement of nearly 400,000 people, with
thousands poisoned by radiation.
Here in the US, the partial meltdown at
Three Mile Island in 1979 triggered a clean-up effort that ultimately lasted for
nearly 15 years, and topped more than one billion dollars in cost. The cost of
cleaning up after one of these disasters is simply too great, in both dollars
and human cost - and if we were to scale up to 17,000 plants, is it reasonable
to imagine that not one of them would ever have a single meltdown? Many nuclear
plants are located close to major population centers. For example, there's a plant
just up the Hudson from New York City. If there was an accident, evacuation would
5. Cancer -- There are growing concerns that living near
nuclear plants increases the risk for childhood leukemia and other forms of cancer
- even when a plant has an accident-free track record. One Texas study found increased
cancer rates in north central Texas since the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant
was established in 1990, and a recent German study found childhood leukemia clusters
near several nuclear power sites in Europe.
According to Dr. Helen Caldicott,
a nuclear energy expert, nuclear power plants produce numerous dangerous, carcinogenic
elements. Among them are: iodine 131, which bio-concentrates in leafy vegetables
and milk and can induce thyroid cancer; strontium 90, which bio-concentrates in
milk and bone, and can induce breast cancer, bone cancer, and leukemia; cesium
137, which bio-concentrates in meat, and can induce a malignant muscle cancer
called a sarcoma; and plutonium 239. Plutonium 239 is so dangerous that one-millionth
of a gram is carcinogenic, and can cause liver cancer, bone cancer, lung cancer,
testicular cancer, and birth defects. Because safe and healthy power sources like
solar and wind exist now, we don't have to rely on risky nuclear power.
6. Not enough sites - Scaling up to 17,000 - or 2,500 or 3,000 -- nuclear plants
isn't possible simply due to the limitation of feasible sites. Nuclear plants
need to be located near a source of water for cooling, and there aren't enough
locations in the world that are safe from droughts, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes,
or other potential disasters that could trigger a nuclear accident. Over 24 nuclear
plants are at risk of needing to be shut down this year because of the drought
in the Southeast. No water, no nuclear power.
There are many communities
around the country that simply won't allow a new nuclear plant to be built - further
limiting potential sites. And there are whole areas of the world that are unsafe
because of political instability and the high risk of proliferation. In short,
geography, local politics, political instability and climate change itself, there
are not enough sites for a scaled up nuclear power strategy.
climate change is causing stronger storms and coastal flooding, which in turn
reduces the number of feasible sites for nuclear power plants. Furthermore, due
to all of the other strikes against nuclear power, many communities will actively
fight against nuclear plants coming into their town. How could we get enough communities
on board to accept the grave risks of nuclear power, if we need to build 17, let
alone, 17,000 new plants?
7. Not enough uranium - Even if we could find
enough feasible sites for a new generation of nuclear plants, we're running out
of the uranium necessary to power them. Scientists in both the US and UK have
shown that if the current level of nuclear power were expanded to provide all
the world's electricity, our uranium would be depleted in less than ten years.
As uranium supplies dwindle, nuclear plants will actually begin to use up
more energy to mine and mill the uranium than can be recovered through the nuclear
reactor process. What's more, dwindling supplies will trigger the use of ever
lower grades of uranium, which produce ever more climate-change-producing emissions
- resulting in a climate-change catch 22.
8. Costs - Some types of energy
production, such as solar power, experience decreasing costs to scale. Like computers
and cell phones, when you make more solar panels, costs come down. Nuclear power,
however, will experience increasing costs to scale. Due to dwindling sites and
uranium resources, each successive new nuclear power plant will only see its costs
rise, with taxpayers and consumers ultimately paying the price.
nuclear power is centralized power. A nuclear power plant brings few jobs to its
local economy. In contrast, accelerating solar and energy efficiency solutions
creates jobs good-paying, green collar, jobs in every community.
world, nuclear plants are seeing major cost overruns. For example, a new generation
nuclear plant in Finland is already experiencing numerous problems and cost overruns
of 25 percent of its $4 billion budget. The US government's current energy policy
providing more than $11 billion in subsidies to the nuclear energy could be much
better spent providing safe and clean energy that would give a boost to local
communities, like solar and wind power do. Subsidizing costly nuclear power plants
directs that money to large, centralized facilities, built by a few large companies
that will take the profits out of the communities they build in.
sector unwilling to finance - Due to all of the above, the private sector has
largely chosen to take a pass on the financial risks of nuclear power, which is
what led the industry to seek taxpayer loan guarantees from Congress in the first
As the Nuclear Energy Institute recently reported in a brief to the
US Department of Energy, "100 percent loan coverage [by taxpayers] is essential
because the capital markets are unwilling, now and for the foreseeable
future, to provide the financing necessary" for new nuclear power plants.
Wall Street refuses to invest in nuclear power because the plants are assumed
to have a 50 percent default rate. The only way that Wall Street will put their
money behind these plants is if American taxpayers underwrite the risks. If the
private sector has deemed nuclear power too risky, it makes no sense to force
taxpayers to bear the burden.
And finally, even if all of the above strikes
against nuclear power didn't exist, nuclear power still can't be a climate solution
because there is
10. No time - Even if nuclear waste, proliferation,
national security, accidents, cancer and other dangers of uranium mining and transport,
lack of sites, increasing costs, and a private sector unwilling to insure and
finance the projects weren't enough to put an end to the debate of nuclear power
as a solution for climate change, the final nail in nuclear's coffin is time.
We have the next ten years to mount a global effort against climate change. It
simply isn't possible to build 17,000 - or 2,500 or 17 for that matter - in ten
With so many strikes against nuclear power, it should be off the table
as a climate solution, and we need to turn our energies toward the technologies
and strategies that can truly make a difference: solar power, wind power, and
- from Green America -
are the one you have been waiting for. Alice Walker
2011 PASTORS FOR PEACE CUBA
20TH YEAR--PASTORS FOR PEACE CUBA CARAVAN
TEXAS-MEXICO BORDER CROSSING THIS DAY
CUBA CARAVAN INFORMATION WEBSITES:
Our best wishes and thoughts and
blessings for the cuba caravan/caravanistas--
for a safe and successful caravan
PEACE FOR ALL
NEW TERRAIN I-69
need your voice to help keep I-69 out of Bloomington and Our Rural Communities.
our MPO: Please Take I-69 out of the TIP!
* I-69 will degrade our
quality of life, with increased traffic, air and noise pollution.
* I 69 will
threaten our fragile karst topography, forests, farmland and water resources.
* I-69 is depressing land and home values in Monroe and Greene Counties.
We need more public transit, more travel options, and fewer carbon emissions,
New Terrain I-69 is SIMPLY WRONG FOR INDIANA!
you again for your steadfast support.
& Sandra Tokarski
PO Box 54
Stanford, IN 47463
IS NOT GREEN! - MOUNTAIN TOP REMOVAL IS NOT GREEN, DESTROYING THE EARTH, OUR HOME
IS NOT GREEN AND ONCE WE HAVE USED IT UP WE CAN NOT GET IT BACK.
|Killing The Things We Love
John F. Schumaker
all men kill the thing they love,
By all let this be heard,
Some do it with
a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The Coward with a kiss,
brave man with a sword.
A century on from Oscar Wildes
immortal poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol, death comes gift-wrapped and perfumed,
in beguiling guilt-free varieties, delivered with a toothy smile and prophecy
of material salvation. Betrayal
gets absolved as the consumer age supplants
conscience with craving, and duty with self-devotion. Even with our beloved Earth
and the future of
humankind balanced on a knifes edge, our killing feels
strangely like a
Aimed squarely at the things we
love, todays big guns pound away from
under the camouflage of normality.
Greed, arrogance, discontent, false
needs, compulsive desire -- hardly a fair
fight. Bloated egos, inflated
expectations, and grandiose entitlement deal
a mortal kiss. Anything still
breathing can be clubbed with shallowness, willful
cowardice, and a near-zero attention span.
Escape from Evil, cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker describes
culture as a second-rate religion that has programed a society of cheerful
robots to martyr all to a grotesque spectacle of unrestrained
production, perhaps the greatest and most pervasive evil to have
all of history.
With business-as-usual in the face of
multiple global emergencies --
climate change, global warming, habitat destruction,
species, loss of biodiversity, pollution, deforestation, land
ocean depletion -- it is hard to miss the evil, or at least the
Spreading poverty, growing inequality, the commercialization of children,
mental health, the death of mind, the obesity epidemic, and
on -- with a culture like that, who needs enemies?
culture were a separate individual and assessed
psychiatrically, its diagnosis
would be criminal psychosis of the most
fiendish variety. Oblivious to overarching
realities, and a sickle to
everything in its path, this headbanging reaper
would be shackled,
castrated, and incarcerated deep underground. But since
its lunacy is
agreed-upon, we lap it up.
dung beetles, we let future generations pay as we roll
up the latest cultural
excretions, coming away with everything except the
love that faded as life
became a romance with the appetites. In a system
that hawks selfishness, vanity,
and exhibitionism, mercenaries easily
excite with a fake orgasm of trappings
and tantalizations that would
otherwise be laughed off as whorish scamming.
Once sold on ourselves, we can be wooed by the most impoverished of ambitions,
from having it all,and living the dream, right on down
to making it to the top.
Conformity usually reassures,
even when a culture is morbidly sick. What
makes our rampage so titillating
is that it is bound up with cultural
heroism. Excess, over-indulgence, over-consumption,
indifference -- all part of the act, all trumpets of conquest.
of blood dissolves shamelessly into our shared warps about prosperity,
and being somebody.
Positivity peddlers are working
overtime, but the big picture is sobering.
Consumerism and predatory capitalism
are not viable long-term organizing principles for a society. Our myths about
progress, superfluous wealth,
limitless expansion, and endless resources are
formulas for global ruin.
Hyper-competitive individualism is a lonely straightjacket
frustration, alienation, and rage. Freedom has cheapened into a
demeaning free-for-all in a prison of petty wants. As a springboard to happiness,
emotional health, and social well-being, the good life is an exhausting
cultural norms are by definition normal, they are by no means
sane and healthy. The term cultural insanity refers to normative
that have become so counter-productive and self-defeating, or so misaligned to
our basic human needs, that they stand to undo society or its life supports. In
fact, normality can be the deadliest of foes.
All human cultures
milk illusion for purposes of control and motivation,
but never before has
a society indebted itself so heavily to unreality. As
our unreality bubble
ruptures, we find ourselves in an endgame with
all-or-none stakes that can
only be won by way of a radical and upsetting
utopian transformation. Many
utopian blueprints have been floated over the ages but, for the first time, Utopia
is a matter of life or death. Getting
it half right or even mostly right is
not enough. Idealism and reality
have converged. Utopia is becoming serious
The Buddha called for a spiritually advanced society
that imbued depth of character and full aliveness by way of selflessness, harmony
liberation from worldly desire, and contemplation about truth
Renaissance utopian Sir Thomas More preached for a morality-centered
with no money, no private property, a six-hour working day, and no need for lawyers.
Sir Francis Bacons New Atlantis recounted a cultural
Eden that endowed
all members with generosity and enlightenment, dignity
and piety and public spirit.
For cultural psychologist
Erich Fromm, the only defense against our
all-consuming social insanity was
a radical change of the human heart.
In his 1955 book The Sane
Society, he detailed a utopian model called
Humanistic Communitarian Socialism
to be overseen by a supreme cultural council comprising lofty hearts
and minds like Albert Schweitzer and Albert Einstein. Nowadays such a council
might seat luminaries such as Satish Kumar of Schumacher College, Helena Norberg-Hodge
International Society for Ecology and Culture, and Jan Lundberg of Culture
As the last great public figure to brave a utopian
vision, Einstein felt
that our best chance of surviving our socio-technical
system, which he
equated to an axe in the hand of a pathological criminal,
entirely new global order that united all nations under a single
authority representing the common moral community of
as he termed it in his 1946 essay Towards a World
already by the middle of the 20th century, we had largely given up on
beyond that which could be consumed or ogled. Easier to swallow were anti-utopian
scenarios such as George Orwells Nineteen Eighty Four and Aldous Huxleys
Brave New World as they mirrored our heartlesscompliance in the face of indomitable
manipulation. More recently, we recognize in films like The Matrix and The Truman
Show our phantasmagoric world of factory-farmed experience that keeps us blankly
nippled to fantasy, and numbed to life beyond our brainwashing.
hopes must be surrendered if consumer culture is not to
fulfill its destiny
as historys greatest evil. Democracy, now a corporate
puppet show starring
politicians as grandiloquent eunuchs and us as fools,
no longer allows for
true leadership. Technology, compromised as it is by
the profit motive and
soaring demand for distraction and techno-trance, is
as much an axe as an answer.
God, increasingly hell-bent on wanting us to be rich, is resisting the green makeover
that some prayed could spare
Creation. Mere education about impending
doom barely dents our cultural programming.
The highest act
of love in a criminally insane society is disobedience.
Normality can no longer
be trusted. Unconditional obedience is an
unaffordable luxury. To be "well-adjusted"
is to be part of the problem.
But conscientious disobedience
requires a fully developed conscience,
something rare in a culture pushing
narcissism and moral stupor. Because
of its unethical design, consumer culture
also factors in a predictable
amount of disobedience. Its only real vulnerabilities
are the same weapons of mass persuasion conjured by our pinstriped soldiers of
In his 1928 book Propaganda, Edward Bernays writes
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions
masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate
this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government whichis the
true ruling power of our country.
Despite its ominous
title, there is nothing inherently sinister about
propaganda. Intensive use
of it was made in the lead-up to the American
Revolution, and some of its leading
patriots are still ranked among
historys most praiseworthy propagandists.
once the boring background affair it should be, is now the
cultural consciousness. Thus we play along as commercial tacticians execute a
propaganda regime so potent that children are branded by the age of
four and adults fall victim to consumption disorders, youth fixations,
and over-entertainment syndromes. So why are we not deploying similar strategies
to rally a revolution that could reverse our death march?
it is possible. For the same price as the insanity-saving
bailout, we could be well on our way to a society of
humanitarians, and debt-dodging vegetarians.
Compassion and childlessness could
be chic, and conservationists sexy.
Throw in half a years military budget
and peace could be hip, education
could enlighten, and eloquent simplicity
could be all the rage. Fashion,
fame, and flag-waving could be absurd. The
beautiful people could be
beautiful people. As in Zuni culture,
winning could be for losers only.
Culture and mind are infinitely
flexible. There is nothing that we cannot
be or believe. We are as perfectible
as we are corruptible. The problem is that consumer culture is inextricably wedded
to the insanity bedeviling
the world. With an infrastructure of division, deceit,
and disregard, it
would hemorrhage from all spheres if saddled with scruples
and principles. Real solutions are unthinkable for elected leaders.
The license to usepropaganda on a mass scale stays in the hands of those with
conscience. Enlightened and ethical propagandists get fingered as
or budding tyrants or, if necessary, applauded into
read the last few paragraphs of this essay, go to
* * * *
Publisher and Editor: Jan Lundberg,
oil industry analyst
P.O. Box 3387, Santa Cruz, CA 95063 USA
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The Fifth Sacred Thing Movie -
A Magical Experiment - Starhawk
from Reality Sandwich
"Consciousness is the most stubborn
stuff in the universe, and the most fluid," says Lily, a character in my
futuristic novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing. "It can be rigid as concrete, and
it can change in an instant. A song can change it, or a story, or a fragrance
wafting by on the wind."
In these times of chaos and opportunity, a
great shift in consciousness is what we need. That's the premise of Evolver and
Reality Sandwich, and why so many people are looking to help midwife a transition
to a more interconnected, loving and compassionate way of being.
change, environmental destruction, social unrest and inequality all clamor for
massive change: in our economy, our technology, our politics, our systems for
producing what we need, growing our food, educating our young, caring for our
sick and elderly -- just a few things! And the good news is that we actually have
the know-how and the resources to make those changes, if we so choose. The obstacles
are in us: our values, our choices, our ways of perceiving. Unless we change the
consciousness that maintains this mess, how can we get out of it?
shape our perceptions of the world. They frame reality for us, telling us what
is possible and showing us how a hera/o might act. Shit happens -- but the stories
we tell ourselves determine what pieces of it we deal with and how. Facts exist,
but stories give them meaning and value.
The Fifth Sacred Thing, published
in 1993, is a story that has already influenced hundreds of thousand of people.
But my determination to make it into a movie that can reach far more people comes
from my belief that what Lily says is true. A story can shift consciousness. A
story can become a magical working, a spell.
Magic -- defined by occultist
Dion Fortune as "the art of changing consciousness at will," is a discipline
I've been studying for more than four decades, since I stumbled into a network
of Witches, Goddess worshippers and out-there Pagans back in the exuberant, experimental
days of the 60s. Magic could be termed ancient psychology, primeval mind-training.
And here's what I know:
To work magic, you need vision.
tells us what we want. A powerful vision stretches our imagination to encompass
what could be. Vision combats those dreary voices in our heads constantly whining,
"There is no alternative." "This is how it is, and how it always
was, and how it has to be." Vision says, "Here's something wild and
crazy and beautiful and life-affirming that could be, and why not?"
vision, we wrest an intention -- "Yeah! Here's the piece of it I'm going
to make come true." And into that intention, embodied in sensory images of
things we can touch and taste that carry an emotional charge, we pour energy.
We focus our will. Bingo! We've got change. Granted, it isn't always exactly the
change we had in mind, given the interplay of multiple forces in the universe
and the general perversity of things. But at least it's usually movement in the
As a society, we're suffering from a vision deficit as
far as the future goes. There are a handful of novels like mine, Ernest Callenbach's
Ecotopia, Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time, Chris Carlson's After the
Deluge, Pat Murphy's The City, Not Long After, Ursula LeGuin's Always Coming Home.
But I can't think of a single feature film that shows a positive vision of a future
here on earth. How can we create a viable future if we can't even imagine it?
making this movie, for our team, is more than just a creative project. It's a
mission. We want to bring the story and the vision to the screen in a way that
will make people laugh, cry, sit on the edge of their seats wondering what will
happen next, and come away hopeful and inspired to dream up their own visions,
to take charge of the future they want to create.
Then we want to provide
the information, the links and connections they'll need to go home and make some
piece of it real.
And we want to do this all in a way that embodies the
values we espouse. To that end, we've employed some of the principles of permaculture,
a system of ecological design that creates systems to meet our human needs while
regenerating the world around us. Permaculture infuses the vision of the city
in The Fifth Sacred Thing -- from gardens in the streets to rain catchment on
the roofs. But permaculture isn't only about food and energy systems. Its principles
also can apply to social organization and business.
If permaculture has
one overriding principle, it's that abundance springs from relationships. We're
not designing a bunch of separate elements of a system so much as designing the
connections between them.
Setting out to make the movie, we began by looking
at our resources and constraints. By 'we' I mean our core team of myself, Philip
Wood, aka Mouse, the producer who founded Yerba Buena films, and Paradox Pollack,
an old friend who has been doing choreography and motion direction on major feature
films in Hollywood. The biggest constraint -- we had a laughable amount of money.
Perhaps never in the history of movie-making have three people with so little
money and such funny names set out to make a movie together. To get it made will
require no little magic of our own.
We are, however, tremendously rich in
relationships. To begin with, hundreds of thousands of people have read the book,
and a good percentage of them don't just like it, they love it. Okay, some people
probably hate it and there are a few people out there who don't like me too much
(the Pope, my aunt-by-marriage in Bethesda) but they are outweighed by dozens,
hundreds, maybe thousands of people who look upon the project with favor. Mouse
and Paradox between them seem to know every cool, edgy artist, filmmaker and musician
on the West Coast. I work with permaculture groups, earth-based spirituality circles,
and activists world-wide. In the Bay Area, I have long-standing relationships
with organizations that serve the inner city, with community gardens and teachers,
organizers and artists.
Which is all very well, but getting together the
immense amounts of money a feature film requires would mean dealing with those
whose interests were more in raw profits than in social benefits. Plus, that much
contact with Hollywood might taint us like the bite of the raving, gnawing zombies
Paradox choreographed in I Am Legend. How could we immunize ourselves, and gain
some clout in that cut-throat world? Better, how could we attract people from
that world who share our values and hold similar goals?
The key, we know,
is our own magic: our clarity of vision and intention. We wrote up a Green Plan,
to show how setting a new bar for environmental accountability and social justice
could benefit the project in those tangible ways investors understand -- saving
money, gaining us PR value and generating positive buzz from the beginning. In
magic, like attracts like. If our values and our ways of working are in alignment,
we'll attract people who share our vision.
One of the principles of permaculture
could be stated simply as "Prepare the ground," or "Feed what you
want to grow." Create the conditions that are going to further the behaviors
and results you want. Instead of dousing pests with chemicals, organic gardeners
feed the soil and plant flowers to attract beneficial bugs that will keep the
others in check. By starting the project with a clear intention, we would prepare
the ground for the project to grow with social and environmental accountability.
principle is that of 'edge': the edge where two systems meet is often more dynamic
and diverse than either. Where the ocean meets the shore, the waves create a wide
spectrum of niches for an incredibly diverse collection of life forms. And around
the edges of Hollywood, where creativity and the profit motive sometimes meet
gracefully and sometimes collide, are people who are looking to make magic, to
use the power of the media to shift consciousness in important ways.
one more permaculture principle: "Stacking functions." Every element
in a system serves more than one function. Plant your thorny roses on the fence
to deter intruders, plant a variety that provides hips as well as flowers and
is close enough to the rose's original form so that it can feed pollinators. For
us, the movie serves many functions -- entertaining, inspiring, educating, generating
resources including money, but beyond all that, we see it as a platform to actually
make the vision real. Once people see that inspiring future, they'll be able to
go to the website and find the tools and resources they need to start building
pieces of it. That's already happening in our website forum. When we create sets,
instead of destroying them at the end of shooting we'll design them to remain
and become permanent infrastructure for the community -- gardens, greenhouses,
sculptures, and murals. We're starting to work on alternate reality games to link
to our site that will encourage people to begin creating pieces of the vision
and connecting with others around it. We're telling people, "Don't wait for
the movie to come out -- start creating the future now!"
our knowledge of magic and permaculture, we gulped, took a deep breath, and set
up a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign. It has two purposes: first, to raise
the funding we need to move to the next phase, and second, because we know we're
going to have to go persuade investors and actors and a top director that this
is a project they just have to be part of. Besides a powerful story, a kick-ass
screenplay (if I say so myself!) a forward-looking Green plan and a solid business
plan, we knew that a very strong argument would be showing the support that is
already in place for the movie. Of course, we could just say, "All my friends
say it's a wonderful idea," but we thought it would be more persuasive to
have actual figures, like fans of our Facebook page, visitors to our website,
and above all, people who have already plunked down their own hard-earned cash.
me, getting on camera and asking people to give us money was a terrifying prospect.
I much prefer being behind the computer or the lens of the camera.
also because our private dream became a public commitment. Suddenly we were answerable
to hundreds, potentially thousands of people that would be expecting us to do
it and be disappointed if we failed. And so many elements of it are still beyond
our control! I hate to disappoint people. Even if we make the movie greener than
green and create jobs for inner city kids and plant gardens that will remain as
community gardens and build sets that will stay as infrastructure, even if I do
my absolute best to safeguard the themes and the vision and still make the drama
work, what if people don't like it? Oh please, Goddess, can't I just go stand
in front of a tank somewhere?
Over the last year, I've been relearning to
ice skate, something I did as a kid but haven't done for decades. There's a terrible
moment when you have to let go of the rail, and trust yourself to the ice and
your own sense of balance. You can fall, and fall hard-but with luck you can also
"Where there's fear, there's power," Witches say. Embracing
the fear, taking the risk of failure, generates energy and power to infuse the
vision. Clutch the rail, play safe, and it will never happen.
act of courage can change the world," Maya, the storyteller, says at the
Twentieth Anniversary of the Uprising. With that as our tag line, how could we
not take risks?
And what we've discovered is that people are hungry to be
involved in this project. So many people long to be part of something that has
meaning, something that can potentially help set us on a better road. A movie
is a collaborative project, and this one is big enough to have room for many people
to own the vision and make it their own. I feel so touched and thrilled ever time
I hear someone say, "Yes -- I want to be a part of this!" And we do
hear it, over and over, from artists, musicians, sculptors, permaculture designers,
actors, filmmakers-so many talented, gifted people want to be part of our team.
my life I've gotten in trouble for inviting people to things I shouldn't have
invited them to, making events public that other people wanted private, crossing
boundaries, letting strangers stay in the guest room. Now, I can indulge myself
by inviting everyone in the whole wide world to be part of something, no barriers!
And so we're inviting you, too, to jump aboard. Come "Like"
us on Facebook, check out our website, and help us with our rather audacious attempt
to make Kickstarter history -- not so much by the dollar amount we raise, but
by the number of backers we can acquire. Kick in as little as a dollar, and you'll
help give us an even more compelling argument we can take to investors and actors
and the top director we hope to attract. Help us make the magic-and you'll help
make the vision real.
Facebook for the book:
Sacred Thing Book:
|Ecological economics: The union of economics
and ecology, with the economy conceived as a subsystem of the earth ecosystem
that is sustained by a metabolic|
flow or throughput from and back
to the larger system.
(Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications).
Steady-state economy is the core facet of ecological economics.
economy:The economy viewed as a subsystem in dynamic equilibrium with the
parent ecosystem/biosphere that sustains it. Quantitative
growth is replaced
with qualitative development or improvement as the
basic goal. (Ecological
Economics: Principles and Applications).
- The Environmental Magazine
EarthTalk: I've been hearing more and more references to the need to clean up
our agricultural practices for reasons pertaining to health, food quality, even
global warming. What are the major environmental issues today associated with
agriculture? -- Tony Grayson, Newark, NJ
What amazes many environmental
advocates to this day is how the widespread adoption of synthetic chemical pesticides,
herbicides and fertilizers for use in agriculture was dubbed the "Green Revolution,"
when in fact this post-World War II paradigm shift in the way we produce food
has wreaked untold havoc on the environment, food quality and human health.
output has certainly increased as a result of these changes, but with the vast
majority of the world's farms now relying on petroleum-derived synthetic chemicals
to grow crops and petroleum-derived fuels to drive the engines of production-modern
agriculture has become overwhelmingly toxic to the atmosphere and is hastening
global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that
agricultural land use contributes 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions;
here in the U.S. almost 20 percent of our carbon dioxide emissions come from agricultural
Intensive use of chemicals isn't good for our nutrition intake,
either. Overworked, depleted agricultural soils generate fruits and vegetables
with fewer nutrients and minerals than those produced by farmers decades ago.
And much of the food we eat is laced with chemicals that end up in our bloodstreams.
Beyond its effect on the food we put in our bodies, modern agriculture
generates large amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous and other fertilizers running
off into our streams, rivers and oceans, compromising not only the quality of
our drinking water and the health of riparian ecosystems, but also causing those
huge oxygen-depleted ocean dead zones we hear about in coastal areas such as the
Gulf of Mexico.
Yet another issue with modern farming is the amount of animal
waste generated and concentrated in small areas, which creates unsanitary and
potentially dangerous conditions for the animals and humans alike. And the widespread
use of antibiotics on farm animals to keep disease in check results in the development
of stronger strains of bacteria that resist the antibiotics used by humans to
ward off infection and sickness.
Also, many worry about the potential impacts
of the widespread use of genetic engineering, whereby genes in plants, animals
and microorganisms are manipulated to select for specific traits. These genetically
modified organisms, reports Greenpeace, "can spread through nature and interbreed
with natural organisms," thus contaminating the natural environment in unforeseeable
and uncontrollable ways.
The good news is that rapidly increasing consumer
demand for healthier food is forcing agribusiness to see the wisdom of moving
away from business-as-usual. Organic farming, which eschews chemical fertilizers
and pesticides in favor of more natural choices, holds considerable promise for
greening up our agricultural systems. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
organic cropland acreage averaged 15 percent increases between 2002 and 2008,
although certified organic cropland and pasture accounted for only about 0.6 percent
of U.S. total farmland in 2008. So we still have along way to go.
IPCC, www.ipcc.ch; USDA, www.ers.usda.gov/Data/Organic.
written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark
of E - The Environmental Magazine ( www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: email@example.com.
Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
E - The Environmental Magazine
| || |
Please Donate to Support
Peace and Wellness Arts monthly clinic every third Friday from 2:00pm to 6:00pm.
Vets free. $20 per half hour. Appointment only.|
Join Green Dove, Reiki Peace and Wellness Arts, and people
from every country, on the new moon and full moon to focus your attention on a
global healing and peace.
GM Corn off the Shelves! Sponsored by: Care2.com|
Monsanto prepares to unleash its latest Genetically-Modified (GM) corn supercrop,
the International Journal of Biological Sciences has revealed the true cost of
The study focused
on three GM corn crops -- Mon 863, Mon 801 and NK 603 -- and found that they caused
statistically significant rates of kidney and liver malfunction, as well as some
heart, adrenal, spleen and blood damage in rats. These crops have been approved
for consumption in the U.S. and many countries in Europe without proper research
into their affect on human health.
technology inserts non-food genes into the DNA of food, sometimes making the crop
more resilient to herbicides and other times causing them to produce toxic proteins
that act as pesticides themselves. This process changes the structure of the food
drasticcally and presents humans with substances that have never been a part of
the human or animal diet.
countries in Europe, such as Germany and France, have already banned GM crops,
including Mon 801. But the U.S. FDA has done us a potentially dangerous disservice
by simply taking Monsanto's word that these genetically modified crops are safe
and not doing any testing! This 90-day study was just the beginning, and these
GM crops must be studied further instead of being immediately available for human
Tell the FDA to
take these genetically modified corn varieties off the shelves until a peer-reviewed,
two-year study can determine if they are safe for human consumption!
Here to Stop GM Corn
REIKI PEACE AND
|CO UPDATE |
/ March-April 2011
The monthly email newsletter of War Resisters' International's
The Right to Refuse to Kill programme
readers of CO-Update.
Apologies for the delay of this issue of CO-Update.
It was planned for early April, but then Egyptian conscientious objector and blogger
Maikel Nabil Sanad got arrested, and so I decided to travel to Cairo to try to
put more pressure on the Egyptian authorities, and to meet with his friends, supporters,
and family (see main story).
War Resisters' International is launching a campaign
"Freedom for Maikel Nabil Sanad", and calls on the Egyptian authorities
to not confirm the sentence, and to immediately release Maikel.
The case of
Maikel Nabil Sanad shows the importance of networks such as War Resisters' International.
WRI was one of the first organisations to react to his arrest, within hours of
being informed, and it was not only quick to issue an alert, but also quick to
send an observer. Although this did not prevent the sentence, it helped to trigger
a wave of public support.
To continue to do this work War Resisters' International
depends on your donations. We therefore kindly ask you to donate to WRI online
War starts here!
Seminar and WRI Council meeting in Luleå, Sweden
This year's WRI Council
meeting will take place from 19-21 July 2011 in Luleå, in the very north
of Sweden. The Council meeting itself is part of a seminar and action camp under
the title "War Starts Here", organised by WRI's new Swedish affiliate
ofog. The camp and seminar will begin on 22 July, and last until 29 July.
The seminar will include discussions and workshops on five broader themes:
" War starts here - let's stop it from here (military basis and infrastructure)
" Right to land and indigenous people/resistance
" The military-industrial
" War against women and feminist antimilitarism
and the war on natural resources
After the seminar, there will be an opportunity
to participate in nonviolent action training, and then in a range of actions against
NEAT, the North European Aerospace Testrange.
NEAT is Europe's largest overland
test range and consists of an area 360 by 100 km of restricted air space and 1,650
sq km of restricted land area (expandable to 3,000sq km). It is a cooperation
of the Swedish organisations FMV (the Swedish Defence Material Administration)
and SSC (the Swedish Space Corporation). NEAT is used as a training area for bomb
dropping, for testing drones and AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile),
which could be carried by drones, and for other weapon testing and war exercises
(see also the article in The Broken Rifle No 86, September 2010).
on the camp is available at http://warstartshere.com/en
For information on
the WRI Council, please contact the WRI office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monthly email newsletter of WRI's Right to Refuse to Kill Programme
International, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, Britain; tel +44-20-7278 4040;
fax +44-20-7278 0444; email email@example.com
To subscribe, you can go to the website of this list, or send an email.
unsubscribe, send an email to co-update-unsubscribe
|Donate to WRI!|
International depends on your donations to be able to carry out its work. Donate
to WRI online now at wri-irg.org/en/donate-en.htm.
blogger and conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad sentenced to three years
An Egyptian military court sentenced pacifist
blogger and conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad on 10 April to three years'
imprisonment on charges of "insulting the military". Maikel Nabil Sanad
was arrested at his home by military police on 28 March 2011, The military court
ordered his detention for 15 days, pending the investigation. The trial itself
opened on 31 March 2011, but was consequently adjourned several times, until the
sentencing on 10 April.
The trial itself - as a civilian, Maikel Nabil Sanad
was tried in a military court - was accompanied by a range of irregularities.
His friends and supporters were usually not allowed to attend the trial, and often
even his family was not able to attend. To do so, the military used a simple trick:
the guards at the entrance to the military complex which houses the military court
did not have Maikel Nabil Sanad's trial on the list of trials of the day, so nobody
who wanted to attend the trial was able to enter. On the day of sentencing - 10
April - the military court used a trick to make sure Maikel Nabil Sanad was on
his own when he was finally sentenced. His family and lawyers were told that the
sentencing would be postponed to 12 April, so they left. But then the court proceeded
to sentence him to three years in prison, and Maikel Nabil Sanad was then taken
to Toura prison in Cairo.
Supreme Council of Armed Forces member Mamdouh Shahin
commented on the sentencing of Maikel Nabil Sanad in an interview given on Monday
to the Egyptian satellite channel ONTV. He said that although freedom of speech
should be guaranteed the current laws criminalise words or actions directed at
the army's safety. He added that Nabil has the right to appeal the military court's
War Resisters' International sent an observer to the trial, who
also was not allowed to attend any of the hearings.
Maikel Nabil Sanad is
a political activist and blogger, and in April 2009 he founded the "No to
Compulsory Military Service Movement". As a pacifist, he declared his conscientious
objection, and demanded to be exempted from military service. He was arrested
on 12 November 2010, also by military police, but released two days later, and
finally exempted from military service on medical grounds.
Maikel Nabil Sanad
participated actively in the Egyptian revolution, and especially highlighted the
fact that Egypt has effectively been ruled by the military for six decades. He
was arrested on 4 February by military police and tortured, but released 27 hours
The trial and sentencing comes at a time of growing criticism of the
role of the military during the revolution and the transition - exactly the issue
Maikel Nabil Sanad wrote about in his blog post from March 2011, which got him
arrested. The case is a test of the seriousness of the interim military rulers
of Egypt to respect their own interim constitution, which was recently approved
in a referendum and came into force at about the same time Maikel Nabil Sanad
was arrested. This interim constitution supposedly guarantees freedom of expression
and the freedom of the press. However - it seems this does not include the freedom
to criticise the present (and effectively past) rulers - the military.
to an article in the Washington Post from 2 April 2011, at least 5,000 people
have been tried in military courts since 28 January 2011. And Human Rights Watch
report that since the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) assumed power
on 11 February, the military has arrested at least 200 protesters and tried scores
of them before military courts. Over 150 protesters arrested on 9 March after
the military forcibly cleared Tahrir Square of protesters were sentenced to prison
terms by military tribunals in Cairo's high-security Tora prison and are still
being held. According to Human Rights Watch, on 22 March, Gen. Etman sent a letter
to editors of Egyptian newspapers telling them "not to publish any articles/news/press
releases/complaints/advertising/pictures concerning the armed forces or the leadership
of the armed forces, except after consulting the Morale Affairs directorate and
the Military Intelligence since these are the competent parties to examine such
issues to protect the safety of the nation." Human Rights Watch has seen
a photocopy of this letter and confirmed its authenticity.
On 9 April, after
the largest demonstration in Tahrir Square since Mubarak's resignation, the military
attacked the remaining demonstrators in the night, with at least two people shot
dead and dozens injured. Increasing numbers of protestors demand the resignation
of the chair of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Mubarak's Defence Minister
Mohamed Hussein Tantawi Soliman, and a civilian interim government to oversee
Sources: War Resisters' International: EGYPT: Egyptian
pacifist Maikel Nabil Sanad arrested for insulting the military, 30 March 2011;
Bikya Masr: Egypt blogger given 3 years for criticizing military, 12 April 2011;
Ahram Online: Egypt Military: Maikel Nabil has the right to appeal and Mubarak's
house arrest does not include a ban on calling or mailing, 12 April 2011; Al-Masry
Al-Youm: Military official: Blogger has right to appeal prison sentence, 12 April
2011; Human Rights Watch: Egypt: Blogger's 3-Year Sentence a Blow to Free Speech,
11 April 2011; Washington Post: Egypt's military keeping repressive practices
in place, 2 April 2011; New York Times: 2 Protesters Killed in Egypt's Tahrir
Square, 9 April 2011
Paraguay: one step closer to implementation of conscientious
On 29 March 2011, Paraguay passed a decree to form
a National Council on Conscientious Objection to Military Service. According to
the law on conscientious objection passed last year (see CO-Update No 57, July
2010), this Council is responsible for the recognition of applications for conscientious
objection. According to the decree, the Council is made up of the following: the
human rights ombudsman as chair, the president of the human rights committee of
the Senate, the president of the human rights committee of the chamber of deputies,
a representative of the Ministry of Defence and a representative of the conscientious
On 4 February 2011, the Paraguayan daily
"Ultima Hora" reported that many Paraguayan youth did not know how to
apply for conscientious objection after the introduction of the new law last year.
According to the human rights ombudsman, the ombudsman would issue temporary recognitions
until the National Council on Conscientious Objection would be functional.
According to War Resisters' International and many Paraguayan organisations, while
in international comparison the Paraguayan law on conscientious objection might
not be the worst example, in the Paraguayan context it signifies a serious worsening
of the situation. For the first time, conscientious objectors are subjected to
a substitute service, and to an application process, while since 1994 and until
recently a simple conscientious objection declaration was sufficient to be exempted
from military service. In this sense, the new law on conscientious objection is
a huge step backwards.
Sources: Decreto No 6363, 29 March 2011, Ultima
Hora: Villalba da una solucion parche a los objetores, 4 February 2011; War Resisters'
International: Paraguay: Law on conscientious objection as backlash, CO-Update
No 57, July 2010
Syria shortens military service
In a move seen as an
attempt to address widespread discontent in the country, Syrian president Assad
issued Legislative Decree No. 35 for 2011 on 19 March 2011 lessening mandatory
army conscription from 21 months to 18 months. The decress will come into force
on 1 June 2011. In 2005, military service had been shortened to two years.
The long conscription period has generated discontent, especially among the youth
who resent state tactics to bring them into service, such as random ID checking,
and the withholding of food aid from families whose members escaped conscription.
Sources: The Independent: Syria mourners call for revolt after deaths,
19 March 2011; DP-News: Legislative Decree reducing mandatory Syrian Military
Service, 20 March 2011; ArabicNews, Military services in Syria reduced to two
years, 7 January 2005
US AWOL soldier Andre Shepherd denied political asylum
The German Federal Bureau of Migration and Refugees denied the
asylum application of US AWOL soldier Andre Shepherd, Connection e.V. reported.
In its negative decision, the Federal Bureau writes, "But whether the helicopters
he maintained and their crews actually participated in specific illegal actions
(contrary to international law) has neither been stated sufficiently, nor can
it be determined specifically otherwise. According to the applicant's statements,
he himself was also not able, during his first Iraq deployment, to find out details
on the missions of the helicopters serviced by him or his unit. Accordingly, the
applicant's deliberations on the potential participation of 'his' helicopters
in possible illegal acts and war crimes constitute at most conjectures or a hypothetical
Peace and refugee-aid organisations
in Germany that support André Shepherd denounced the decision of the Federal
Bureau, and announced that they would continue to support him in his suit. "This
shows that the German authorities are seeking to avoid any conflict with the USA,
at the expense of those who put their bodies on the line to oppose the war in
Iraq, which even the Federal government at the time considered to be in violation
of international law," said Rudi Friedrich of the support network for conscientious
objectors, Connection e.V., today. Attorney-at-law Reinhard Marx stated: "With
this rejection and its interpretation of the EU Qualification Directive, which
is contrary to European law, the Federal Bureau is attempting to destroy the protection
for deserters and conscientious objectors envisaged by the Directive. The background
for this is obviously the intention of the German government to give priority
to German legal principles over European law."
himself showed himself to be disappointed, but also willing to keep up the struggle.
"I hoped that the Federal Bureau of Migration itself would accept my application
for political asylum. I am still not willing to participate in a crime against
humanity, and consider it my right to do so without threat of prosecution. The
U.S. military gave me no choice but to go AWOL and seek protection here in Germany."
Andre Shepherd will lodge an appeal against the decision of the Federal Bureau,
denying him asylum in Germany.
Sources: New York Times: American Soldier Is
Denied Asylum in Germany, 5 April 2011; Connection e.V.: U.S. AWOL soldier Shepherd
appeals against the rejection of his application for political asylum, 7 April
For information on Recent CO-alerts
In the previous month(s), the WRI office issued the following co-alerts:
full archive of co-alerts is available at wri-irg.org/news/alerts
a chance on peacemaking; we have a lot to gain from it!|
WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN INDIANA!
support of women's reproductive health and well being, please consider steadfastly
opposing the variety of bills such as HB 1205 and 1210 which would deny Planned
Parenthood of Indiana vital funding to provide comprehensive reproductive health
care for low income women. I would also like you to consider standing for a womans
right to dignity and privacy by opposing SB 328 which would impose humiliating
conditions on a woman seeking abortion. I do not think that women make these decisions
support women contact your House and State Representatives and let them know that
you stand in support of women and the services provided through Planned Parenthood
most people the State Representative is Matt Pierce and the Senator is Vi Simpson.
can reach the House of Representatives and Senate using the information below.
of Representatives, 200 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis,
IN 4604-2786; (317)232-9600 or(800) 382-9842 and the
State Senate, 200 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204-2785; (317)232-9400,
Say NO to more prisons for Indiana.
Say YES to work release.
Daniels wants to build a 512 bed prison contracted without competitive bidding
to GEO Group, a Florida-based company that already operates a 2,500 bed prison
at New Castle. Under the terms of the arrangement GEO would finance construction
and the State would have a 10 year commitment to fill the prison at a cost of
$37 / day claiming to save the state $5 per inmate per day if Indiana constructed
and managed the facility. However, these savings are misleading and Indiana taxpayers
should also consider ways to spend the money that return more to the taxpayer.
The money the Governor wants to spend on an unneeded prison could fund work release
and evidence-based programs that reduce crime and cut criminal justice costs.
HERE TO VOTE AND "Say NO to more prisons for Indiana. Say YES to work release"
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we be seeds of peace, may we be seeds of justice, may we be seeds of freedom .|
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