January 31 - Protest - No Torture - No Business As Usual


Report on NYC - January 31:


Protesters gathered in front of the CNN offices at the TimeWarner Building, amid heavy police presence. Professional actors did a demonstration of waterboarding, which a crowd stopped to watch.


Many people stopped to say they didn't know what waterboarding was, or that they had heard something on the news about Mukasey not identifying it as torture. [click below to get except of waterboarding demo at Columbus Circle]

video
40 people took off on a march to Fox News, and then to the Armed Forces Recruiting Office at Times Square, where the building was closed all day. Several high school students sat in front of the doors. The last stop was at a corner of Bryant Park, across from the former Verizon Headquarters, where we talked to passersby about torture adn the "Protect America Act" expanding the powers of the federal government to surveil citizens' email and phone calls.






What kind of regime subjects prisoners to waterboarding, and then claims it’s not torture? What kind of regime videotapes this and then destroys the tapes? What kind of regime holds hundreds of prisoners for years without charges, access to lawyers or family or granting them a trial?
Answer: A regime that needs to be driven from office!

Torture concentrates the whole package of crimes against humanity committed by the Bush regime – murderous war in Iraq, snatching of immigrant children from the arms of their mothers, systematic spying, and much more – horrors done for global empire and domestic order. All this must be brought to a halt.


Will the elections repudiate or reverse this? NO!

Leading Republican presidential candidates want more of the Bush program, and no leading Democratic presidential candidate will reverse what’s been set in place by the Bush regime. Leading Democrats knew - and said nothing for years - about the CIA’s torture tapes and waterboarding. Who among the leading candidates is making the repeal of the Military Commissions Act or the Patriot Act; or an immediate and unconditional end to the slaughter in Iraq a major part of their campaign?


January 31 – days before the election circus kicks into high gear on “Super Tuesday”– needs to be marked by the voice of the people who repudiate the Bush Regime and its criminal program.


The time to act is now. The scandal of the destroyed torture tapes continues, heightening both the opportunity and the necessity for a mass outpouring of resistance to torture and to the entire Bush program that it represents.


We will make the future.
We pledge to stop endless war for empire.
We refuse consent to a torture state.
We won’t swallow a hatef
ul culture of bigotry & intolerance.
We will not go silently into a fascist nightmare.
We will engage in an act of civil resistance to make a better world.
We are what we’ve been waiting for.


Download a flyer and spread the word!

Download a small poster and spread the word!

Support those defying Federal Grand Jury Repression of Puerto Rican Independence Movement

Friday, February 1st, 9:30 AM Federal Court, Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn.

Meet at corner Tillary St & Cadman Plaza East for rally; hearing at Federal Courthouse, Cadman Plaza E & Tillary St, Brooklyn (A/C to HighSt, 2/3 to Clark St, M/R to Court St-Boro Hall, 4/5 to Boro Hall,F to Jay St-Boro Hall, G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn).

As those who read Juan Gonzales' Daily News column three weeks ago have learned, another "front" in the moves towards "police state America" are underway. Three young Puerto Rican activists have been subpoenaedto testify fore a grand jury. As is often the case, in these Federal Grand Jury probes, those subpoenaded are not be charged with any crimes, nor is even the general purpose of their investigation stated. But "off the record" it has been revealed that this is an investigation of the Puerto Rican movement and especially the Machetero movement in Puerto Rico. There are indications that more will be targetted. (The three were originally called to testify on January 11th, but this was postponed to February 1st.)

Like the "Thought Crimes" legislation now in Congress, HR1955 ("Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007") this kind of action is aimed at government surveilance and intimidation of any or all opposition political forces. As Bob Boyle of NYC National Lawyers' Guild said about this case: "Federal grand juries have long been used to gather information on legitimate political activities". There is a history of dragging activists in, demanding that they "name names" and information on other activists. Those who have righteously refused have faced long periods in prison, including some in the Federal government's new "super Max" sensory deprivation/isolation dungeons. It is important to rally in support of those resisting all this.

We will be posting more on this case and on the whole issue of the grand jury probes as a tool of political repression soon.

Drop the charges on the Nadler office 4! Pack the court on Tuesday, February 5th!

Come to court in support of four defendants accused of asking to discuss impeachment with Congressmember Jerrold Nadler of the House Judiciary Committee, who is blockading the proceedings.

Elaine Brower, Sharon Pavlovich, Stephanie Rugoff and Eileen Ryan will appear Tuesday February 5 at 9:30 a.m. in Part AR2 at 120 Schermerhorn St., Brooklyn.

Some of these activists face misdemeanor Criminal Trespass 3rd Degree charges as of the time of this message.

Said Elaine, "All out to support us because I think Nadler's henchman, Gottheim, will put the screws to us if he can!" Kings (Brooklyn) Criminal Court, 120 Schermerhorn St. btw. Smith St./Jay St. & Boerum Pl/Adams St.: R or M (not N) to Lawrence Street; G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn; A, F or C to Jay Street; 2, 3, 4 or 5 to Borough Hall.

Demanding that Bush & Cheney be Impeached for War Crimes is no crime!

Silence and complicity with a government that tortures, spies, and wages endless wars based on lies is what is criminal!

Drop the charges on all the Nadler office defendants.


The struggle and truth squads continue:


On Sunday, January 13th three of the WCW Nadler office arrestees along with several WCW supporters attended a local presidential forum in Chelsea attended by 300-400 people. (Congressman Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution where H. Res. 333/779 languishes, was speaking as the representative of Hillary Clinton). We sported our orange bandanas as we gave out orange leaflets to the attendees .

We had put out a wide call for impeachment activists to attend the forum. We were joined by Code Pink, ImpeachBush.org, AskNadler2Impeach.org,a group with letters spelling out I-M-P-E-A-C-H, and others. When Nadler got up to speak, we also stood, called out "Impeach Now" and then sang the song "Dayenu" which means "Enough."

At various points during the question and answer period impeachment activists took the mike raising loudly and clearly the impeachment issue, as well as the ongoing war on Iraq and threats to attack Iran helping change the forum's "terms of debate."

The representatives of Gravel and Kucinich also spoke to these issues, the Gravel representative especially clearly and forcefully. There are many of these forums coming up in the next few weeks. We urge you to attend them and raise the issues that the "leading" candidates want to avoid. You may want to visit Congressman Nadler at one of his offices as well.

Stop the Deportation of Victor Toro - January 18

Victor Toro faces deportation hearing on January 18:

Stop the Deportation of Victor Toro!

Stop the ICE Raids on Immigrants!

Demonstrate: Friday, January 18, 2008, at 9:00 am

26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan(at the corner of Worth Street & Lafayette St)

On July 6, agents of Homeland Security’s Immigration Control Enforcement (ICE) went down the aisles of an Amtrak train near Rochester, NY, checking the documents of people who they profiled as immigrants. The ICE agents pulled off the train 35 people who were unable to provide proof of citizenship or legal residency and took them to jail.

This was an outrageous example of an increasingly common outrage -- immigrants being terrorized by ICE raids where they live and work, and while traveling in cars and on public transportation. In fact, in July, Bush’s Homeland Security Secretary warned that the increase of mass arrests of undocumented immigrants is “gonna get ugly” – terrorizing tens of thousands more immigrants. And presidential debates have often become contests over who promises to bash immigrants the hardest. All this must be brought to a halt!

What has brought this particular raid to wide public attention is that among those detained on July 6 was Victor Toro, a Chilean exile and political activist. Toro is known by thousands for his decades of struggle in revolutionary and progressive movements, originally in Chile and now in the U.S. Toro was detained as he was returning to New York from a national immigrants rights conference in California. His detention was reported twice on the front page of New York’s El Diario/La Prensa newspaper and the New York Times described him as “one of the best known advocates for immigrants and other disposed people in New York City.”

Toro and others pulled out from the train were taken to a county jail:

“When I was in jail, on the first day they put us in these orange jumpsuits like what you have seen so many times in that Guantánamo concentration camp. That for sure brought out a ton of memories, seeing so many Asian brothers, Mexican brothers, and all our brothers who come here without documents, dressed in that same color… My first response was great anger. Everyone has seen the prisoners in Guantánamo in those horrible clothes, their feet and hands tied, almost falling over. That’s the first response, and it makes you think. But as the days pass, you realize that all of them are dressed in orange.”

As Toro told El Diario/La Prensa,

“Those orange jumpsuits are horrible and cause terror. I will not forget their inscription: ‘Cayuga County.’ I felt the same humiliation as the prisoners in Guantánamo, and also it made me recall when I was a political prisoner of the military dictatorship in Chile.”
Victor Toro and his wife Nieves Ayress were among the many thousands of Chileans who were arrested and tortured by the Pinochet regime, which seized power through a U.S.-backed coup on September 11, 1973. Many thousands more were outright murdered or “disappeared”. When the fascist generals took over radio stations and announced their coup, they identified Toro by name as one of the 13 most wanted people -- “dead or alive.” Victor’s past persecution in Chile is well documented and his political work has been the subject of books, including Alistair Horne’s Small Earthquake in Chile.

In the late 1970s Victor and Nieves were able to escape from Chile. In 1984 they made the dangerous crossing into the U.S. without papers and settled in the South Bronx. Soon after that, the Chilean government declared Toro to be legally “dead,” complicating his ability to obtain legal status.

His defense team has documented that his deportation to Chile would be extremely dangerous for Victor and has filed for political asylum.

World Can’t Wait-Drive Out the Bush Regime joins in demanding that deportation proceedings be stopped and political asylum be granted for Victor Toro and urges everyone to come to pack the hearing room in his support on January 18th.

Letters of support and donations for his defense (checks made payable to “Las Peñitas Inc.”) can be sent to: Vamos a La Pena, PO Box 739, Bronx, NY 10454. Messages of support can be e-mailed to lapena2006@hotmail.com

Pack the Hearing Room, Rally in front of the court!
Wear Orange!
Stop the deportation of Victor Toro!
Stop the immigration raids!
Drive Out the Bush Regime!

January 11th in NYC will be scene of a broad array of actions against torture and government repression.

January 11th in NYC will be scene of a broad array of actions against torture and government repression. (details below)
Be there, spread the word, and make these as powerful as possible!
*******
National actions against torture and to shut down Guantanamo detention center
Six years ago, on January 11, 2002, the U.S. opened its torture camp at Guantánamo. Bush claims "the U.S. does not torture" as he orders the destruction of videotapes that document the C.I.A. torturing prisoners. Leading Democrats like Nancy Pelosi were aware of these crimes and remained silent... but WE CANNOT. Torture is emblematic of the Bush agenda and direction it is taking society. We will not live in a Torture State!
In this spirit, World Can't Wait, joins with the ACLU, Amnesty International, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, to:
Get Anti-Torture Orange on the TODAY SHOW! 6:15 AM
The idea is to attend the Today Show – where audience members outside the studio and are seen by millions of home viewers. The ACLU is printing up special "Close Guantanamo" orange T-shirts for this. Meet on the north side of 48th Street between 5th and 6th avenues between 6:15 and 6:30 AM. Please do not bring signs. ACLU organizers will guide you from there. [Reserve shirt/RSVP to arosmarin@nyclu.org.]

Ribbons, bandanas, and special No torture sticker. Color NYC High schools Orange!
-- Special emphasis on mobilizing mass orange actions in area high schools. (Call tonight to hook up with a team going to a high school in the morning. Schools, churches, community centers and others are urged to hang banners and signs declaring "No Torture".
Join vigil starting at 1:00 PM, Foley Square Near 26 Federal Plaza, J/M/Z to Chambers St, 4/5/6 to Bkn Bridge-City Hall, R/W to City Hall). World Can't Wait is joining Witness Against Torture and others.
Demonstration of waterboarding in Times Square, 44th and Broadway, at 2:00 pm Waterboarding is torture and torture is a crime against humanity. (Performed by professional actors before news media. Assistance needed with leafleting and more, call 917-204-0927 to volunteer.)
***
Support those defying Federal Grand Jury Repression of Puerto Rican Independence Movement
9:30 AM Federal Court, Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn. As those who read Juan Gonzales' Daily News column yesterday have learned, another "front" in the moves towards "police state America" will also occur on January 11. Bringing to mind recent "Thought Crimes" legislation now in Congress, HR1955 ("Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007"), a number of young Puerto Ricans have been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury investigating the Puerto Rican independence movement. As Bob Boyle of NYC National Lawyers' Guild said at a press conference today: "Federal grand juries have long been used to gather information on legitimate political activities". Support those resisting this. (Simultaneous emergency demonstrations are set in 9 U.S. cities and in Puerto Rico.)
***
Evening program:
An Evening of Voices Against Torture

Shayana Kadidal, staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, speaking on U.S. government's use of torture and passing the Military Commissions Act. He works on CCR's major case on the illegal NSA domestic spying program and CCR's Patriot Act case.
Dr. Steven Reisner, a psychoanalyst and faculty member at NYU Medical School and at the International Trauma Studies program at Columbia. Dr Reisner has been on the forefront of the campaign to ban psychologist involvement in detainee interrogations.
Rev. N.J. L'Heureux, Executive Director of Queens Federation of Churches and outspoken minister against torture.
Organizers from World Can’t Wait who will present plans to make January a month of resistance to the monstrous crimes being committed in our name.
There will also be "report-backs" from the day's activities, including a representative of Puerto Rican Grand Jury resistance case.

St. Mary's Episcopal Church - 6:00 PM,
521 West 126th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.) Take #1 train to 125th stop
***
Looking towards Thursday Jan 31: Repudiating the Whole Bush Program
No business as usual.
Starting at 12:30 PM at Columbus Circle.(Bring a metro card.)Details to be announced at http://nyc.worldcantwait.org/ "We can and must through mass political resistance create a political situation where this criminal regime is driven from office before their term is up - and the whole fascistic direction George Bush has been taking society is reversed. Only people highly mobilized and motivated by values that repudiate unjust war, bigotry and greed can bring the Bush agenda to a halt. Only the people who will not remain silent when their government tortures, terrorizes whole peoples and moves to quash dissent and critical thinking can change the course of history." - Read full January 2008 statement from WCW.
We won't live in a torture state!
Take action on January 11th: Be there, mobilize, donate generously.
Volunteers urgently needed. Contact us. Also everyone bring a digital camera or camera phone and take lots of photos and send them to us at the end of the night. The whole world is watching.

An Evening of Voice Against Torture - January 11

January 11th marks the anniversary of when the U.S. opened its torture camp at Guantanamo. Bush claims “ the U.S. does not torture” as he orders the destruction of videotapes that document the C.I.A. torturing prisoners. Torture is emblematic of the Bush agenda and direction it is taking society. At a time when no "viable candidate" is calling for the immediate repeal of the Military Commissions Act or the Patriot Act, it is on the people to bring these crimes to a halt.

Join us Jan 11 @ 6:00 PM

Speakers include:

Shayana Kadidal, staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, speaking on U.S. government's use of torture and passing the Military Commissions Act. He works on CCR's major case on the illegal NSA domestic spying program and CCR's Patriot Act case.

Dr. Steven Reisner, a psychoanalyst and faculty member at NYU Medical School and at the International Trauma Studies program at Columbia. Dr Reisner has been on the forefront of the campaign to ban psychologist involvement in detainee interrogations.

Rev. N.J. L'Heureux, Executive Director of Queens Federation of Churches and outspoken minister against torture.

A report from Brooklyn where Puerto Rican activists have been subpoenaed to testify to a grand jury in what Juan Gonzales termed a "fishing expedition" are confronting an important case of grand jury repression. (Supporters will be gathering at 9:30 am in front of Brooklyn Federal Court, 225 Cadman Plaza East in Brooklyn.)

Organizers from World Can’t Wait who will present plans to make January a month of resistance to the monstrous crimes being committed in our name.

The event will take place at

St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 6:00 PM

521 West 126th Street

(between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.) Take #1 train to 125th stop



We won't live in a torture state!

Download a flyer for January 11 actions.

No to torture & Shut Down Guantanemo - Forum & meeting January 3

This January the world needs to see that the people of this country rise to say NO to torture.

Torture is a crime against humanity.

Torture is an impeachable offense, ordered by the White House and still being sanctioned by Congress.

We won't live in a torture state!

Come learn more and plan/mobilize:

Thursday, January 3, 6:30 PM

MLK Labor Center/1199
310 West 43rd St, 7th Floor
between 8th and 9th Avenues

Featuring the 30 minute section of the Bush Crimes Commission Hearings on Torture and Illegal Detection and speaker from American Civil Liberties Union on torture

Followed by discussion and planning for:

January 11th, day of national actions against torture and to shut down Quantanamo:

  • Mobilizing people to travel to
    Washington, DC for actions at Supreme Court.

  • Mobilizing youth and students -- plans for mass wearing of orange in school, teach-ins and assemblies with expert speakers on torture.

  • Mobilizing schools, churches, community centers, tenants organizations, etc. to display giant orange banners declaring: "No torture".

Looking towards January 31st - National day of actions to Drive Out the Bush Regime and beyond:

Bush & Company have been caught red-handed lying, torturing, and covering it up. Their "justifications" to expand their wars into Iran have been shown to be lies, as reported by their own "National Intelligence Estimate". People are shocked and outraged. Yet the crimes continue. Official politics have proven to be a disaster. Your government does not want you want and it is becoming clear that the Democratic nominee of 2008 will not speak for us. January 31st will be the last time to mobilize people to act to DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME before the nominees are selected on "Super Tuesday". [for more analysis, read new national January statement by World Can't Wait.]

Bring your questions, bring your determination to bring to a halt this crime against humanity being done in our name, bring your ideas and creativity!

See you then!