On Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - the day that Howard Zinn passed away - about thirty or so people gathered on short notice in order to demonstrate solidarity with the oppressed people of Haiti and Honduras.
Earlier this week, and last week, Jose Luis Baquadero, a labor organizer from Honduras, visited Olympia. Baquadero gave a couple of presentations and talked with many people about the situation in Honduras.
Also on Wednesday, in Honduras, there were two major protests against the illegitimate inauguration as President of Porfirio Lobo. I heard an estimate that over one million people rallied in the Honduran protests to support coup ousted former President Zelaya.
The poverty experienced by so many people in both Haiti and Honduras has common threads, which can be traced back to US sanctioned and supported violence, oppression, and repression.
People at the demonstration talked about the need to distribute truthful and compelling information far and wide in order to clarify and reveal the whole story as it relates to the international policies of the US - so as to create the base for a critical mass of people power - in order to effect systemic changes.
The rally was organized by the Latin American Solidarity Organization (LASO) and the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace (OMJP).
Monday, January 18, 2010 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Concerned citizen activists rallied at the Washington State Capitol to call for racial and economic justice, and for solutions to the State Revenue Shortfall that will not target, and unfairly prey upon, those who are already vulnerable and disadvantaged by the system.
Racial justice report cards were delivered to legislators.
Some of the messages of the day included:
• Yes to racial and economic justice!
• No to exploitative and abusive economic policies and practices!
• In a time of economic hardship, it makes sense to take care of all people in society. Poor people do not deserve to suffer, and social supports ought to be not only maintained, but increased, in order to help people get out of poverty.
• End the war on the poor - fight poverty and not poor people! End Poverty once and for all!
There were a lot of other journalists there, including two or three TV news cameras at the rally. So keep on the look out for other reports.
Here's a list of some sponsoring organizations, followed by photos:
The earthquake that has devastated Haiti has been on my mind, and I have been thinking about the inherent problems and inequities (and iniquities) of our exploitative fossil fuel dependent society. The people of Haiti are victims. But many news sources won't provide the full story, which would detail a long past of colonialism, interference, and exploitation by European and European-Americans. Since OlyBlog exists in part to challenge the status quo of our corporate dominated mainstream news media - I think that this important story, at this time, deserves to be shared.
S. Brian Willson alerted me to this Robert Parry story about Haiti on Consortium News: Haiti and America's Historic Debt, By Robert Parry, January 13, 2010
Willson then supplemented the Robert Parry article with some of his own writing (on Facebook,) which I have permission to re-post here. For more information and writings from Brian Willson please visit S. Brian Willson. Citations for the information contained in the following passage are also available:
U.S. air power in Haiti in 1919 witnessed the 1st known use of U.S. aerial bombings of civilians & the utilization of aircraft in close air-support of ground combat troops.
U.S. warships were sent into Haitian harbors at least 24 times between 1849 & 1913 to "protect American lives & property," landing Marines on at least 3 of those occasions (1888, 1891, 1914).
Here are some photos from yesterday's rally at the Washington State Legislative Building. The rally was to defend Washington State Basic Health Care and it was organized and sponsored by Sisters Organizing for Survival, a campaign of Radical Women. Participants in the rally called for substantial tax reform - including taxes for the rich and for corporate profits, and also to defend the poor and working class against the tyranny of the profit driven economic system. Over 3,000 signatures were gathered for a petition that demands, in a time of economic crisis, the expansion of health and welfare programs. The petition was delivered to the Office of the Governor shortly before the State of the State speech.
ACLU sponsored event at the Capitol Theater in Olympia, Washington to discuss the decriminalization and legalization of possession of small amounts, and sale, of Marijuana, also known as Cannabis.
Alison Holcomb of the ACLU facilitated the discussion between Rick Steves, and three legislators who are the sponsors of bills relating to this issue. The legislators were Representative Brendan Williams 22nd Legislative District, and Representative Mary Helen Roberts 21st Legislative District, and Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, 36th Legislative District.
The presentation highlighted the concept of marijuana's illegality as a serious harmful social injustice.
When society lies to young people and tells them that marijuana is a harmful monster, it does damage. When society lies to us, then we lose trust in and respect for society.
Marijuana/Cannabis does not drive people to madness or insanity.
It's the insanity of this profit system that is causing all of the violence. It ought to be plain for people to see that the profit system is NOT working. (Unfortunately it's not clear for people to see, because of the workings of the unjust status quo - the dominance paradigm - and the corporate controlled media that feeds into and off of it.)
I believe that much (though certainly not all!) of the wealth that exists in today's world is the product of oppression and violence of all sorts.
Here's a letter I recently wrote to the President about that (posted on the Whitehouse Facebook page):
The following is comment from the online edition of today's (Sunday, October 18, 2009) The Olympian Newspaper. The comment is connected to an editorial (titled: "Endorsements are part of newspaper's civic duty") by George Le Masurier, publisher of the paper:
Olyumphrees wrote on 10/18/2009 07:37:25 AM:
It’s not a matter of disagreeing with your choices, George, it’s a matter of a giant conflict of interest.
This newspaper donated $10,000 in advertising to the Master Builder’s auction (do you support other organizations in this community as generously or only your largest advertiser?)
This newspaper brought Peter Strobel, the lobbyist for the city, builders, and 2012 onboard the editorial board just before this election to run the interviews. Prior to this ‘unbiased’ endorsement Peter donated to the campaigns of (surprise!) the candidates that were endorsed.
Those are the same candidates that have received huge donations from your biggest advertisers and beneficiaries of charity and cheerleader. Kingsbury, Machlis, Surmonti
That’s not civic duty… That’s letting yourself be bought out.
Sponsored by BRICK (Building Revolution by Increasing Community Knowledge).
VANDANA SHIVA TO SPEAK IN OLYMPIA--SPSCC
Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009
Time: 6:30PM - 9:30PM PDT
Location: Minnaert Center at SPSCC
2011 Mottman Rd SW
Olympia, WA 98512
Information provided by the TC ProNet Calendar
At the time when Lindsay Baum went missing earlier this year, in June, I was actively researching about the Bohemian Grove. I have been interested in the Grove for a few years, and earlier this year I even had occasion to stop by for an uninvited visit (see photo). The Bohemian Grove is a place in Northern California (near the town of Monte Rio) where members of the Bohemian Club (of San Francisco) and their guests gather each year for a Summer Encampment marked with celebration and ceremony. Membership in the Bohemian Club, and attendance at Summer Encampment at the Bohemian Grove is limited to men: no women are allowed. The Grove has attracted attention throughout the years because of the prominence of its members and guests. Many extremely wealthy and powerful people have cheered each other on from the shores of its redwood forested Bechtel family donated artificial lake.
My intention here is to connect the problem of missing children and the policy of global dominance, with the Bohemian Grove, and the yearly cremation ceremony of the effigy of a child named Dull Care.
The Bohemian Club and its Grove are interesting in many ways. A thorough recollection of the organization is outside the scope of this article, but suffice it to say that many accounts exist, and there is much information that can be found in books and on the Internet. For the purposes of this article, I want to focus on a few aspects of the Summer Encampment at the Grove and those who attend.