M11 December Event Calendar


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Leonard Peltier on the Day of Mourning

Greetings, my relatives.

It seems another year has gone by since the last time we gathered like
this. I say we, although I am not there with you in body, my spirit
certainly is. We have coined this day, a day of mourning, as opposed
to a day of thanksgiving. It’s a shame that for the most part
thanksgiving is relegated to only one day. And mourning is something
that relates to unhappy circumstances that have taken place. We
certainly can’t change what has happened. This very day is ours and
tomorrow hasn’t happened yet and, is uncertain. I really don’t like
to dwell on the mourning aspects of life but instead, on what we can
do to prevent those unhappy and sometimes terrible times in our
history. I may have mentioned it once before but I once read about a
union organizer named Joe Hill that was framed by the copper mine
owners to be executed. And I believe he said what really needs to be
said upon his death. His words were “don’t mourn, organize”. And
those are also my sentiments.

There are a lot of things that happened in the past that can be
prevented in the future. There are losses that can be regained. But
we must organize to do it. We must find it within ourselves to be in
touch with the Creator for I can tell you from a heartfelt fact that
when they’ve pushed you away, into a dark corner, not just your body,
but your mind, your soul, your spirit, there is no one that can
sustain you but the Creator himself. Dark moments come and go in all
our lifetimes. And there are those in political office, who will try
to turn your head away from the obvious truths. They will lie to you
about what they believe. They will try to get you to follow what they
consider politically correct while ignoring the truth, such as
protests against the Mosque being built within blocks of the fallen
Trade towers, which incidentally was a monument to wealth and wealth
seekers. I am not trying to demean the innocent people whose only
cause of their death was seeking a place of employment to feed their
families. While they protest the Mosque, no one mentions the Native
American sacred places that by treaty are seriously violated daily.
Our Sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, sacred to many tribes, have
the faces of many of our oppressors carved on them. The place of
vision seeking, Bear Butte in South Dakota, sacred to us for
millennia, has a bar built at the foot of it and there is talk of
having helicopter flights around it to attract tourism. And, there is
even talk of drilling for oil and gas.

Every time I have to write or I should say dictate, one of these
statements, I try to think of what I would say if this was the last
time I got to speak. The thing that comes to mind in some of our
sacred ceremonies and that is thoughts of our relationships with the
ones we love and the Creator of all life. Not to take away from the
theme of this day, but if you can hold the person you love, be
thankful. If you can walk on green grass, touch a tree, be thankful.
If you can breathe air that didn’t come through a ventilation system,
or a window with bars, be thankful. If you can stand in an open field
or some other place at night and look up at the heavens, be thankful.
No one appreciates the simple things as much as a man or woman locked
away. I know sometimes some of my friends may have thought I had
become institutionalized and there may be some element of my thinking
behavior that has become calloused from this continued imprisonment.
But I have not for a moment forgotten the needs of my people and the
atrocities committed against them or the circumstances that all the
poor and impoverished face in this world at the hands of those who
take more than they need and exploit for gain, the futures of our
children. I paint pictures of them sometimes, people I’ve known,
people I’ve met, places I’ve seen, and places I’ve only seen in my
minds eye. And if my paintbrush was magical, rest assured I would
paint for myself one open door.

I wrestle with what to say to you and words are sometimes so
inadequate. So if you are free today, un-imprisoned, be thankful.
Give the person next to you a hug for me. May the Great Spirit bless
you always in all ways with the things you need. May you find joy in
doing what is right and righting what is wrong and seek to be the best
example of what a human should be in our lifetime.

In the Spirit of those we mourn, those who gave their lives and those
whose lives were taken from them.

I really don’t know what else to say because in writing this, my heart
has become heavy with the emotions of this time.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, who gave his life for what was right and tried to right what was wrong.

Your Brother,
Leonard Peltier

Friends of Peltier

Thurston County Jail Prisoner on 5th Days of Hunger Strike

A Show of Support is Needed

Nyles Bauer is now in the 5th day of his hunger strike at the Thurston
County jail. He asks that you please support this action, which began
on the 18th of November. His action is supported by Noam Chomsky, as
well as others.

He is asking that there be transparency in the Family Court system and
that he be allowed to isolate and submit potential treatment for
Muscular Dystrophy to a qualified university laboratory. Currently,
there is no treatment for the specific form of this disease from which
Nyles suffers. A hunger strike is an act of desperation.

He is being held in the jail stemming from actions that led to a
conviction of Custodial Interference which, I hope, will not influence
your consideration for the support of his action.

You may write to Nyles c/o Thurston County Correctional Facility, 2000
Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia 98502

Please write: Board of County Commissioners
Cathy Wolfe, Commissioner District 1
Sandra Romero, Commissioner District 2
Karen Valenzuela, Commissioner District 3

Student protests and occupations continue throughout Britain

From : Libcom

Thousands of students and supporters are due to take part in a national day of action against cuts and tuition fee increases across the UK on 24 November. Post your live updates here.

The main day of action Facebook group has over 22,000 attendees.

We’ll be updating this story throughout the day as events unfold, please add your own updates as comments.

Occupations have begun at some universities before the official day of action:

– Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, occupied the Brunei Gallery on Monday, the occupation continues at time of writing, held by around sixty students, updates are being posted to their blog.

– Around 50 of these students are engaged in the occupation of Lecture Theatre 7 in the Manchester Metropolitan University Geoffrey Manton building, the occupation began on Monday.

– Around 40 students at the University of the West of England (UWE) students began an occupation at the Frenchay Campus on Monday afternoon with the intention of staying overnight.

– Students at Royal Holloway occupied a corridor of the founders building last night, they are posting regular updates and have a live webcam feed

– Birmingham and Plymouth universities have both been occupied today.

– 10.45am – School walkouts have begun, with a well-organised protest in Leeds leaving the school at 10am for a march around the town centre.

– Local newspapers are reporting a number of secondary schools and sixth form colleges will be participating in the walkouts during the day.

– 12:10pm – anticuts.com just reported UEL going into occupation following a demo on campus.

– 12:20pm – London Southbank university just went into occupation, more details on on their blog.

– 12:28pm – The Guardian’s Paul Lewis on twitter writes: March just broke into a sprint away from police at strand – cops now blocked the road. #demo2010, then March broken from official route to Trafalgar Sq. Now at Embankment. This wasn’t supposed to happen. #demo2010

– 12:39pm – UCL occupied . update 12:41pm: Guardian reports that “hundreds of UCL students” have occupied the Jeremy Bentham room in the central campus building). 12:50pm – photo.

– 12:46pm – @paul_sagar writes “There are school kids at the Cambridge demo, in uniform. AND WITH THEIR TEACHERS! #demo2010”

– 12:51pm – traffic stopped in central Leeds (photo)

– 1:23pm – Warwick University in occupation in Arts Centre Lecture Theatre

– 1.30pm – Police van isolated by protesters, then abandoned by police in Trafalgar square, in process of being ripped apart. Protesters are in process of being kettled by several hundred police officers, various journalists and others reporting on twitter that things are still unpredictable.

– 1.40pm – Essex University occupied.

– 1.54pm – Leeds University occupied.

– 2.01pm – Oxford library occupied.

– 2.02pm – BBC live coverage shows police using batons to beat back protesters.

Protester bleeding in Westminster

– 2.04pm – One arrest at Bristol protest.

– 2.24pm – Over 5-600 students marched through cambridge according to the BBC. Several hundred scaled a fence to occupy Senate House. Lots of people in there, beating back people with batons. A few students jumping back over the fence to get out of the way.

– 4.00pm – over 1,000 students walked out of Chiswick community school earlier today according to twitter (no link because the twitter account appears to be the real name of a real student at the school).

– 4.48pm – Dozens of retweets on twitter that Officer U2128 kicked an unarmed 15 year-old girl in the stomach, this was caught on video. Witnesses then changed “You’re going on YouTube”.

– 5.42pm – video from the Senate House occupation in Cambridge:

– 5.45pm – solfed updates from around the UK:

Initial estimates suggested a turnout of thousands who brought Lime Street to a standstill, with a fast moving march featuring an attempted sit-down in Castle Street. While most commenters are agreeing that the protest has been peaceful, police brought out dogs and horses and there have been complaints of “intimidating behaviour.” The march was largely halted as of 1pm but quickly got moving again and reached the town hall at around 1.30pm. Hundreds of people filled all levels of the Liverpool One shopping centre, and the protest broke up at around 2.30pm. The main incident saw students occupy the Guild (Liverpool’s Student Union) after the march had broken up, in an interesting twist on the story of over a dozen occupations iat universities across the country – apparently many students have remained unimpressed with the performance of the likes of Aaron Porter.

– Brighton
The city saw a relatively energetic march converging on Dyke Road Park, from age 12/13 up. Numbers were difficult to estimate, but our members thought there could be 500-1000. One noted at 3.30pm: “Speeches were largely ignored, and over half the crowd has broken away on an unauthorised march. Cops are heavily outnumbered, with a total of over 2,000 people on the demo.” As it ended many converged on the town hall, where police pushed the crowd back as it attempted to storm the building.

A member in the Northwest notes: “Biggish one in Manchester again, around 700 people but a bloody enormous one in Bury up the road, police saying around 1,200. It’s now finished and police say there were no arrests made.
News from Leeds: Protesters have occupied Leeds university. People are on the roof.

Most spectacular however were the events after the official march ended, with reports coming in of students smashing in their union building and large numbers of police being mobilised. It appears that the police have been totally outmanouvered, with roaming demos which have seen the city’s VodaFone shop briefly occupied, 400-500 people holding the major Western Road and continuing struggles at the town hall – with the force’s Chief Inspector Taylor noting “No other arrests apart from the earlier one for breach of peace.”

As the police’s frustrations rise, there has been at least one anecdotal story on twitter that a student in school uniform has been beaten up by a policeman at Priory House.

The Rich Get Richer & the Poor Get Poorer: Movie Showing & Workshop at the M11

Student protests against new fee hikes being met with violence, UC San Francisco.

AN FRANCISCO, California – As of 8:45am (Wednesday), 200 students are blocking entrances to the William J. Rutter building at the UCSF Mission Bay campus, where the Regents are scheduled to meet. On the agenda today and tomorrow are another 8% fee increase and a move to change “fees” back to “tuition,” which was formally prohibited under the California Master Plan.

Cops have reportedly donned riot gear and have begun to arbitrarily charge and assault the student pickets. Already, 2 UC Berkeley students have been arrested for unknown charges.

This also follows last night’sShare photos on twitter with Twitpic news of an agreement between the UC and UAW Local 2865, the union representing Teaching Assistants, Graduate Student Employees, and Academic Student Employees. Following 5 months of bad faith and illegal bargaining practices from the UC, unfair labor practices, stalling, walking away from the table, lying, and refusal to concede anything, the UAW bargaining team has accepted UC’s original proposal on wages, employment notification, and summer childcare in exchange for a minor concession on childcare reimbursement. If the contract is ratified by the membership, TAs will receive subinflation wage increases of 2% a year locked in for the next 3 years.

8:55am: There was a confrontation between students and police in the parking garage. Many of the Regents have been able to enter, smiling as they watch cops hit students.

9:15am: Reports that students and workers have pushed through the police barricades and are storming the building. Several students are badly hurt from police attacks and some have been maced. More arrests, 5 total: 3 Berkeley, 1 Santa Cruz, 1 Davis.
9:30am: Police are indiscriminately pepper spraying students. Police have put masks on.

9:45am: Daily Cal reports that Berkeley student government Vice President Ricardo Gomez was among those pepper sprayed by police.

10:00am: Cop has reportedly just drawn his gun or taser on students! Students chanting “Take his gun!” More arrests have been reported, numbers and reasons unknown. Police putting up more barricades. Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau and Riverside Chancellor White are currently speaking to the Regents in favor of fee hikes.

10:15am: Student numbers now over 300. Police becoming increasingly aggressive violent. Reports of a large number of arrests and even more injured, but numbers still unknown. The Regents are currently discussing increasing out of state enrollment.

10:30am: Confirmation that 8 students have been arrested, including Berkeley student government VP Ricardo Gomez (previously reported as peppersprayed). Twitter post: “Officer KEMPER pulled a gun on student protesters he holstered in for a minute and pulled it again aiming at students.”

11:00am: Arrested protesters being cited and released at 15th and Fulton in the city.

12:00pm: UC spokesperson has said 16 were arrested.

Anarchists and anti-fascists confront National Socialists march, Phoenix AZ.

From Phoenix News Times

Phoenix-area anarchists earned the right to wear their Zapatista-like bandannas Saturday in a full-on street battle at 8th Avenue and Jefferson, with anarchists and assorted counter-demonstrators on one side, and the Phoenix Police Department and a contingent of neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement members on the other.

Although I cannot condone the throwing of rocks and other objects, neither can I ignore the determination and the fierceness of the fight from the anti-fascist side.

Unlike the NSM’s march to the state Capitol last November, where the anarchists merely taunted the Nazis and vice versa, this time the anarchists came ready to throw down, with a large contingent of members in their “black bloc” attire, linking arms, and refusing to allow the NSM to continue to the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse, where they had a federal permit to rally.

The increasing police presence, dressed in riot gear, with a line of shield-carrying officers facing off the anarchists, was left with a dilemma: How to escort the 46 swastika-lickers in Nazi regalia under their protection through a crowd of 300 counter-demonstrators, many of them actively pushing back on the cops’ plastic shields every time the police inched forward?

As the stalemate dragged on for about an hour, the mood remained festive and defiant in the anti-Nazi camp. Demonstrators in clown outfits carried signs reading “Follow your leader,” with an image of Adolf Hitler blowing his brains out. One hippie chick moved through the crowd banging her drum, as another gal dressed in a bear outfit did cartwheels.

Other anti-fascists held their ground against the police line, while the neo-Nazis did the Hitler salute and yelled sieg heils. One of the counterprotesters yelled back, “Speak English motherfuckers!” Loved that one.

The Nazi-haters chanted slogans like, “Fuck you, Nazis, fuck you!,” “Hey, Nazi, you’re an immigrant too,” and “Hiding behind the cops,” which, of course, the so-called master race was doing. There were at least a hundred cops out there, maybe more. If the Nazis had not had that cordon, the anarchists would have eaten them alive.

The anarchists were ticked and looking forward to a melee. Rocks and other objects sailed over the heads of the cops and hit some of the Nazis, as well as some cops and bystanders. (Two alleged rock-hurlers were arrested by the Phoenix PD.)

Nails were strewn all over the street, I suppose to halt police vehicles. Dozens of anarchists pushed against police shields, anticipating an advance, which they knew had to come.
The Nazi-haters chanted slogans like, “Fuck you, Nazis, fuck you!,” “Hey, Nazi, you’re an immigrant too,” and “Hiding behind the cops,” which, of course, the so-called master race was doing. There were at least a hundred cops out there, maybe more. If the Nazis had not had that cordon, the anarchists would have eaten them alive.

The anarchists were ticked and looking forward to a melee. Rocks and other objects sailed over the heads of the cops and hit some of the Nazis, as well as some cops and bystanders. (Two alleged rock-hurlers were arrested by the Phoenix PD.)

Nails were strewn all over the street, I suppose to halt police vehicles. Dozens of anarchists pushed against police shields, anticipating an advance, which they knew had to come.

This police advance was eventually achieved through the liberal use of pepper spray. Several members of the media, as well as numerous counter-protesters were hit with the debilitating chemical agent, which causes temporary blindness and an intense burn in the eyes and on the skin.

As with videographer Dennis Gilman, a cameraman from ABC 15 and other journos, as well as numerous protesters, I earned a face full of the noxious goo. I expected aerosol, but got a blast of viscous yellow liquid instead. Nurse, Quaker and social justice advocate Jason Odhner tended to my eyes, and members of a contingent of Unitarians helped me and others so hit. I’m grateful for their assistance.

By the time I was able to see, the action had moved down the street and my shirt, drenched in dreaded oleoresin capsicum had to be ditched. Fortunately, I had another shirt in my trunk, so as soon as I was able to get to my car and don that, I headed back to the federal building where the Nazis had taken center stage on the courthouse plaza.

There they were protected by barricades, and a large force of federal and local police. NSM “commander” Jeff Schoep droned before his little group of Schutzstaffel-wannabes, which was smaller than last year’s showing. At one point he claimed that the NSM’s numbers were “growing by the hour,” a statement belied by the almost entirely empty plaza, save for the cops and the press corps.

Media was kept at a far distance from the goosesteppers, though I’m not sure why. As such, with the poor sound coming from the rinky-dink system the Nazis had, you could barely make out what Schoep, dressed as a two-bit gangster in a gray pinstripe suit, was saying.

Generally, the rally itself was pretty anticlimactic. The counter-protesters were obviously not allowed to go up on the plaza, so they were left to agitate from the sidelines.

At one point a bald-headed J.T. Ready — who marched with the NSMers, even though he’s stated that he’s left the organization — ended up separated from the Nazis on the plaza. A throng of anarchists pounced on him like flies on a melted Milky Way bar.

But Ready received help from an odd source — a large African-American gent, who came to his aid and acted as a temporary bodyguard, staying with Ready till he was in an area with plenty of cops and marshals about. (Was the man himself an undercover cop? I have no idea.) I heard Ready’s unlikely defender tell Ready, “You have every right to be here,” as one anarchist lobbed a loogie at Ready and hit bullseye.

Earlier in the day, as the Nazis assembled at a parking lot just north of 12th Avenue and Washington Street, Ready told me he was marching in solidarity with the NSM because of the pro-SB 1070 message of the march. (The NSM was in part protesting the enjoinment of much of the law by a federal judge in July.)

I asked Ready what he thought of his erstwhile pal and now state Senate President-elect Russell Pearce’s recent announcement that the Nazis were not welcome. This, despite the fact that Pearce and the Nazis hold similar views on immigration. Is Pearce a hypocrite?

“Maybe he needs to be more honest about what some of his views are,” said Ready of his former mentor, hinting, “Maybe some of those views will be coming to the surface real soon.”

Of course, Pearce and his bigoted clique are one reason neo-Nazis and white supremacists are drawn to Sand Land. Arizona is the state of hate, fertile ground for racist proselytizing. Pearce denouncing the Nazis is about as believable as Rand Paul denouncing the Tea Party, were the latter ever to occur.

Interesting aside, the Nazis were late to their own parade. Ten minutes past their start time of 1 p.m., Phoenix police were waiting for them to show. While I was standing there, one of the Nazis called a cop via cell phone, and let him know they’d lost their way but would be there soon.

So much for Aryan efficiency.

Later that night, the Nazis purportedly assembled for an after-party at the same secluded spot in Tonopah, where the White Knights of America hold their annual Oi Fest. You can actually check out neo-Nazi Harry Hughes’s review of this year’s Oi Fest on his blog site, “Just Another Day.”

In fact, the Nazis invited me out to Tonopah. (No, really.) Which, admittedly, sounds like the lead in to my last will and testament. If I’d gone, I’d planned to have various elements on standby to respond if I didn’t phone in every 20 minutes. And I was not planning on going alone.

But curious though I was to see my first swastika-burning (I’m told they do that kind of thing occasionally), the effects of the pepper spray lingered in my lungs and on my skin, and I was eager to get home and get it off my body. Unfortunately, showering reactivates the chemicals, and I think that the second dose of pepper spay I got while showering was worse on my lungs than the first. I had taken the precautions recommended to me by nurse Odhner. After an hour-long coughing fit, I decided to call it a night.

NSM “captain” Charles Wilson has informed me that the NSM may be back for another round in December. Perhaps I’ll have another shot at them then. If I come out of it with all my teeth in tact, it could make for an interesting story.