Monday, February 01, 2016

Anti-TPP events, Mardi Gras, Solarize the Triangle, Bob Sheldon Day, and other events in February

Taxes and NC’s Nongame and endangered wildlife fund:

When you do your North Carolina tax, consider donating to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund ( www.ncwildlife.org/News/NewsArticle/tabid/416/indexID/10300/Default.aspx ).  I think donation doesn’t effect your tax bill, but I might be thinking of a similar Federal fund.  Unfortunately North Carolina’s Fund is the main non-Federal funding for programs to study and conserve non-game species, such as sea turtles, threatened bats, and freshwater mussels.  Freshwater mussels are very diverse in this region, but many species are threatened or have already been killed off.  Mussels filter the water and were once so abundant that they were a valuable resource in places.  The Fund probably helps research and manage the Federal and State endangered dwarf wedgemussel, or Alasmidonta heterodon (pictures at www.ncwildlife.org/Learning/Species/Mollusks/DwarfWedgemussel.aspx ).  Populations in Wake County could be harmed by Raleigh’s I-540 Outer Loop, if it is built along the Orange Route, but that seems to be the most popular route, and the government might try to mitigate the impact and do captive breeding, rather than avoid harming the mussels altogether.   

North Carolina’s primary election is March 15th:

Local Bernie Sanders events (there are 95 phone banking meetings scheduled so far within 50 miles of Durham) can be found at: go.berniesanders.com/page/event/search_simple

[Another Family Supporting a Duke Faculty Union

Support Faculty Forward (ourduke.org) by ordering a sign through the Durham People's Alliance:  https://durhampa.nationbuilder.com/union_signs ]

 
Oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership:

2/2 Teach-in

From an activist calendar:  The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History:  Teach-in on Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Panel includes Dr. Don Nonini, UNC Dept of Anthropology; MaryBe McMillan, NC AFL-CIO Secretary/Treasurer; Renée Maas, Food and Water Watch; Laura Parsons, UNC Student Action with Workers (SAW) [and Robert Corriher of the NC AFL-CIO]. 6-8 PM, Tue, Feb 2, UNC's Stone Center Multipurpose Room, [150] South Rd next to Bell Tower (parking in Bell Tower deck [or most places on Campus at night]). Co-sponsored by Triangle TPP Working Group and SAW. www.tppteachin.web.unc.edu, https://www.citizen.org/tpp. 919-370-4114.”

2/3 Press conference in Durham

Press release:

As White House Signs Trans Pacific Trade Partnership, Activists Call on Reps. Butterfield, Price and Other North Carolina Representatives to Reject It

Durham, N.C. — On February 3, 2016, Food & Water Watch, Communication Workers of America, North Carolina AFL-CIO, Black Workers for Justice and A. Philip Randolph Institute will hold a press conference outside Rep. Butterfield’s office at Legacy Tower plaza highlighting how prior trade deals have harmed the people of North Carolina. The broad-based coalition will urge Representative Butterfield and the entire North Carolina congressional delegation to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a controversial trade agreement among 12 nations that has garnered widespread, bipartisan public opposition. The TPP is due to be signed by trade officials in New Zealand that day. 

Speakers:

·      Yvonne Kinston, Member and Call Center Employee, Communication Workers of America

·      Robert Corriher, Campaign Manager, NC AFL-CIO

·      Ajamu Dillahunt, Founding Member, Black Workers for Justice

·      Melvin Montford, Executive Director, A. Philip Randolph Institute

·      Renée Maas, Food & Water Watch, Senior Southern Region Organizer 

 What: Press conference highlighting how past trade deals have hurt the people of North Carolina.

Where: Plaza in front of Legacy Tower (Former NC Mutual Building) 411 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham, N.C.

When: Wednesday, February 3, 10:00 a.m.

Why: The TPP will cost American jobs, exacerbate income and wealth inequality and threaten U.S. environmental, public health and food safety laws and regulations. North Carolina has lost more than 138,000 jobs from the NAFTA and China trade deals alone, according to the Economic Policy Institute. These lost jobs provided economic security for working families, and the TPP includes lower wage countries with histories of labor and human rights abuses like Malaysia and Vietnam. The TPP has tougher language than prior trade deals, making it easier to attack and overturn commonsense regulatory safeguards. The TPP will predominantly benefit major corporations — workers, consumers and smaller, independent businesses will all lose under the TPP. 

[Protesting the NC connection to torture

Stop Torture Now is holding vigils in Raleigh Monday, February 15th, to demand that the major gubernatorial candidates investigate the "torture taxis" operating out of North Carolina and hold people accountable, and provide restitution to the victims.  The first vigil will be 9-9:30 am at the NC Department of Justice (114 West Edenton Street, at the intersection with Salisbury), followed by a march to the Governor's Mansion (200 North Blount Street, at the intersection with Jones Street), with a vigil there until 10, ending with speeches and media presence at 10:30.  The announced speakers are Allyson Caison of STN, Manzoor Cheema of the Movement to End Racism & Islamophobia (MERI, www.merinc.org), Jennifer Copeland of the NC Council of Churches, and Deborah Weissman of the UNC School of Law. 

For background, see this editorial from STN:  http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article10194092.html .  Apparently Governor McCrory refuses to meet with STN, Attorney General Cooper met with them but won't take any actions, while another Democratic candidate, Ken Spaulding, spoke about principles on WUNC recently.

Several years ago STN adopted Swift Creek Road, which passes by the home of Aero Contractors, the CIA front company for rendition flights, and there will be a trash clean-up March 19th.  It will start at 10am, from the Johnston County Airport parking lot.  Equipment will be provided, but participants should watch the DOT safety video at www.dot.gov/doh/operations/dp_chief_eng/roadside/Beautification/highway/safety.html beforehand.

MERI at BAJ and Progressive Issues Forum

Manzoor Cheema, co-founder of MERI, founder of Muslims for Social Justice, advocating a liberation theology recipient of the Human Rights Coalition of NC's 2014 International Human Rights Award, and a well-known videographer in the area who produced Independent Voices, will be the featured speaker at this month's Balance & Accuracy in Journalism meeting, Wednesday, February 10th at 7:30 at the Community Church of Chapel Hill (106 Purefoy Road). 

He will also be speaking at the Durham People's Alliance Progressive Issue Forum, February 16th at 6:30-8:30pm, location TBA.  RSVP by going to www.durhampa.org and look under the Events tab.] 
 
National March on Washington to Support Palestine:

Al Awda -  the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition - and the ANSWER Coalition are sponsoring a National March on Washington, DC to Support Palestine Sunday, March 20th, rallying in front of the White House and then marching to the DC Convention Center, where the Zionist lobby AIPAC is meeting (see http://www.answercoalition.org/new_national_march_on_washington_d_c_to_support_palestine )

[PCCUSA First Congress

The Party of Communists USA is holding its first congress April 1st to 3rd in New York.  See http://www.partyofcommunistsusa.org/1st-congress.html for registration.] 

 
Environmental events:

Birds and window collisions presentation

The New Hope Audubon Society has speakers at its monthly meetings, and at the meeting Thursday, February 4th Natalia Ocampo-Penuela and Scott Winston, graduate students at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment will talk about the effect collisions with windows have on birds (for example, it is estimated that a billion birds a year are killed by buildings in the US).  Duke students and faculty have documented this on their campus and persuaded the administration to take steps to fix the problem at Duke’s most deadly building.  The first time I saw a black-throated blue warbler, it was a boldly colored male that must have died hitting UNC’s Student Union as it flew north in the spring.  In Raleigh steps have recently been taken to reduce the number of birds that die hitting lit-up skyscrapers, but that might be the only such program in North Carolina.  NHAS meetings are free and open to the public and are held in the NC Botanical Garden’s visitor center, starting at 7pm (see www.newhopeaudubon.org).

Residential stormwater control

Northeast Creek Stream Watch (www.northeastcreek.org) is hosting Michael Dupree of the Durham Soil and Water Conservation District for a presentation on how residents can reduce the amount of runoff from their yard, reducing flooding and pollution problems for neighbors downstream and conserving their own water and topsoil.   The meeting will be February 4th at 7pm in a meeting room at the South Regional Library in Durham.     

Durham Creek Week and Arbor Day

Durham's annual waterway festival Creek Week will be March 12-16th (closer to March, see keepdurhambeautiful.org for event listings).  Keep Durham Beautiful is also organizing Durham's Arbor Day Celebration, scheduled for Sunday, March 15th from 1 to 3pm outside Greystone Baptist Church (2601 Hillsborough Road).  The winners of the tree contest I mentioned last year will be announced.  I hope they say something about the arrival of the non-native emerald ash borer in Durham last year, but cankerworms seem to be the noisier issue, though all these native inchworms or geometers seem to do is hang down on silken threads and walk about on people

Solarize your home

This is from an activist calendar.  There might be a solarize event coming up in Durham this spring, but it is TBA.  Solar installation costs are falling and there is a 30% Federal tax credit for the installation cost, though there is no longer a State tax credit.    

“Harness the SunAuthor Phillip Warburg shows how solar energy has won support across the political spectrum and yet solar energy has its downsides and detractors too, those who worry about the impact on wildlife, on open spaces, and farmland [see some letters in the News & Observer last month] as he discusses his book. 7 PM, Mon, Feb 8, Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth St, Durham. 919-286-2700.

Solarize the Triangle Session in Raleigh:  Free public information session about grassroots program available to homeowners and businesses anywhere in the Triangle that offers a discount and discount increases the more people participate. Thu, Feb 18, 7-9 PM, Community United Church of Christ, 814 Dixie Trail (corner of Wade Ave), Raleigh. Project of NC WARN and NextClimate. More information: solarize-nc.org/events, 919-416-5077

Solarize the Triangle Session in Chatham:  Free public information session about grassroots program available to homeowners and businesses anywhere in the Triangle that offers a discount and discount increases the more people participate. Thu, Feb 25, 7-9 PM, Chatham Community Library, 197 NC Hwy 87 N, Pittsboro.. Project of NC WARN and NextClimate. More information: solarize-nc.org/events, 919-416-5077.”

[Water Quality Workshop

Their announcement:

"Water Quality Workshop

Eno River State Park
April 16, 2016, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 
Join veteran educators Holly Denham, Laura Webb Smith, and Liz Stabenow for a hands-on, feet-wet, workshop. Who should come? Educators, volunteers, and anyone who wants to take others into the creek for education and/or citizen science. You’ll learn about chemical, physical, and biological water quality parameters, including benthic macroinvertebrates.
 
Workshop is free; however, deposit is required. Checks from no-shows will become a donation to the non-profit Eno River Association. To register, send a $10 check made out to Eno River Association to  Holly Denham, Division of Water Resources, NC Department of Environmental Quality, 1611 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1611. For more information, contact Holly at 919-707-9009 or holly [dot] Denham [at] ncdenr [dot] gov or Laura at the contact info below.
Sponsored by NCDEQ Division of Water Resources, City of Durham Stormwater & GIS Services, and Eno River Association."
 
4/22 Earth Day
 
Earth Day is coming up in April and there should be events in Durham and elsewhere.  An event is planned April 9, 1-9pm at Greensboro's Kathleen Clay Library, and they are seeking tablers.
 
 
Other local events in February:

Durham Mardi Gras ( www.durhammardigras.com )

There will be a parade and live music Tuesday, February 9th, starting at 6pm at the CCB Plaza downtown and going until midnight.  This is mainly a social event, but community groups are participating in the parade, so there is a small political component.  See their calendar for some additional events.       

10th Anniversary Historic Thousands on Jones Street

The annual Mass Moral March on Raleigh and Historic Thousands on Jones Street demonstration will be in Raleigh on February 13th, rallying at 9am and marching at 10 (see www.hkonj.com/ ).  There will be buses and/or carpools from other cities.  To get on the NAACP’s bus from Chapel Hill, see https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-NXZ09aesu0YedkR_YwtCQppBJYxArsJo9n-2Icpogk/viewform .  This is part of the Forward Together Moral Movement that has been holding regular and large Moral Monday rallies against the State government's reactionary agenda. 

A press conference on the Moral March on Raleigh had been scheduled for today (February 1st), but closing arguments are expected this afternoon in the lawsuit to overturn the voter ID law, so people are instead invited to attend at the Federal Courthouse in Winston-Salem, 251 North Main Street, starting at 9:30am.    

2/13 Protest at Republican debate

The NC Green Party is organizing buses that will leave from downtown Raleigh after HKonJ to protest the way third parties are shut out of the political process in this country (see ncgreenparty.nationbuilder.com/protest_the_two_pro_business_parties ).

2/21 Bob Sheldon Day

At Internationalist Books in the afternoon on Sunday, February 21st there will be a remembrance of Bob Sheldon (details TBA), the founder of the bookstore in 1981 (see www.internationalistbooks.org).  His vision of the Internationalist was: “We are dedicated to the position that we have no country: we do not support mindless patriotic pleas for ‘national unity,’ nor are we interested in keeping America number one. We support the unity and liberation of oppressed people worldwide and are working toward the day when all oppression and inequality will be removed from the earth.”  He was shot to death the evening of February 21, 1991, and the case has never been solved.  He was an important local opponent of the first US-Iraq war, and one theory is that this was a political murder.

[4/16 Beyond the Bars conference

See their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NCBTB for details and registration.]
 
From an activist calendar:

“Dar He: The Story of Emmett Till:  Documentary theatre portrays murder, trial, and confession of men accused of a lynching. Mike Wiley, NC actor and playwright, acts and leads discussion following. 5 PM, Fri, Feb 5, UNC's Stone Center Auditorium, South Rd next to Bell Tower (parking in Bell Tower deck). Co-sponsored by Black Student Movement, Carolina Woman’s Center, and Campus Y.


[BROTHER TOWNS: Documentary tells story of two towns linked by immigration, family, and work: Jacaltenango, a highland Maya town in Guatemala; and Jupiter, a coastal resort town where many Jacaltecos have settled in Florida.  The story includes local and international controversy. 1:15 p.m., Monday, February 8, Carol Woods assembly hall, 750 Weaver Dairy Rd, Chapel Hill. Information: http://brothertowns.com/. Sponsored by Elders for Peace. judybellin [at] gmail [dot] com.

CANDIDATES FORUM FOR ORANGE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: District 1: Jamezetta Bedford, Mark Dorosin, Gary Kahn, Penny Rich; District 2:  Bonnie Hauser, Renee Price; At-Large: Andy Cagle, Matt Hughes, Mark Marcoplos. 7-9 p.m., Wednesday, February 10, OWASA Community Room, 400 Jones Ferry Rd, Carrboro. Moderator: Diane Robertson. Sponsored by Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP.  919-219-1600. ]

Achieving Equity and Excellence in our Schools: Challenges and Opportunities: Community Forum II for open community discussion for all to hear and participate. Rescheduled to 1-4 PM, Sat, Feb 20, United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 MLK Blvd. Cosponsored by Chapel Hill/Carrboro NAACP and other local organizations.
gmcleensr [at] gmail [dot] com .

Blue Sky:  Play, funny and troubling, by British playwright Clare Morley about government torture and U.S. rendition program. Produced by Burning Coal Theatre Company and Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh (CAM). Thu, Jan 28 - Sun, Feb 14, Contemporary Art Museum (CAM), 409 W. Martin St (between S West and S Harrington Sts), Raleigh. Surveillance State: Special discussion with Robin Kirk and Christina Cowger, 6 PM, Sat, Feb 6, CAM/Raleigh. Tickets and more details: http://burningcoal.org/blue-sky/, To carpool from Chapel Hill/Carrboro, call 919-942-2535.
.
Ongoing vigils for justice and peace:
Raleigh: Stop the Arms Race and Build a Culture of Peace Vigil, 1st Wednesday of every month, Noon to 1 PM, Century Post Office on Fayetteville St (919-782-0667); Raleigh: End the death penalty (PFADP, AI-USA, NC-ACLU), 5 - 6 PM, Mondays, Central Prison, corner of Hunt Dr and Western Blvd (919-779-1912); Chapel Hill: 4:30 - 5:30 PM EST [5-6 PM EDT], Fridays, corner of Elliott Rd and East Franklin St; bring your sign(s) to show your concern or take one from collection (919-942-2535).”

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Inaugural Meeting and Declaration of Revolutionary Organizations of the Caribbean

First Meeting of Revolutionary Groups of the Caribbean
Declaration of revolutionary organizations of the Caribbean
We, the signatory organizations, having assessed the political situation in the Caribbean, consider that the survival of colonialism in the region is a relevant issue, regardless of how it is masked. Puerto Rico, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire, Anguilla, Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos and the Cayman Islands are kept under a colonial regime imposed by the United States, France, Netherlands and England, by which they guarantee their geostrategic interests, supplies of raw materials and a market for their commodities.
The peoples of these countries suffer from economic exploitation, political and cultural oppression directly by the governments and multinational corporations, but also by the local elites at the service of the domination of the former.
The peoples of these countries are carrying out a constant struggle for their immediate demands, the winning of freedom and democratic rights, and to achieve decolonization, self-determination, independence and sovereignty.
We, the signatory organizations, declare that the anti-colonial struggle is a key element in the common efforts that we have to carry forward, and therefore we are committed to developing solidarity with the peoples affected by this reality, and at the same time to educating our membership and peoples regarding this need.
We consider that the anti-colonial struggle in these countries is an important part of the anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples of Latin America.
We further note that, in the context of the conflicts among the imperialist powers for control of geostrategic areas and natural resources, U.S. imperialism is carrying out its strategy of recolonization of the countries and nations of Latin America.
In this context the Caribbean region has always had a special place for U.S. neo-colonialist interests, which explains its strategy of domination in the area that, in addition to military control, has recently had as an important element the fight to curb the economic penetration of other powers in the region.
This context explains the military occupation of the Republic of Haiti, under the camouflage of the United Nations, as has happened elsewhere.
We denounce the maintenance of the troops of MINUSTAH [United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti] in Haiti as a grave violation of the rights and sovereignty of the Haitian people, while we support the systematic mobilizations of Haitian democratic and revolutionary sectors against the occupation.
The military occupation of Haiti can only be explained by the interests of imperialism and its allies to prevent that people from defining their own destiny; to maintain a large military base in a strategic territory in the Caribbean and to serve as guarantee for the plundering of the multinationals which are advancing the work of exploration for natural resources presumed to be in the mountains of Haiti, just as is taking place in the Dominican Republic.
We denounce and condemn the military occupation of Haiti as part of the policy of plunder and oppression that the imperialist powers have historically carried out against this people, and we also denounce the collaborationist attitude of the puppet governments in the region that support and legitimize the imperialist policy in Haiti.
We call on the governments of Ecuador, Brazil and Bolivia to withdraw their troops that are stationed in Haiti as part of the MINUSTAH.
Our organizations likewise reiterate their solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico who, amidst the difficult conditions of over a century of occupation, are maintaining their dignity and persevering in the struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination, sovereignty and full independence. At this time they oppose the placing on them of the effects of the foreign debt that is weighing on the economy of that country.
We demand the immediate release of the Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez, imprisoned in the United States.
We also support the struggle of the Dominican people in defense of their natural resources, for a general wage increase, against corruption and impunity, a process that is increasing.
We express our condemnation of the destabilizing work carried out by the United States against the Bolivarian government of Venezuela, at the same time as we reiterate our support and solidarity with the Venezuelan people and their process.
We note that the developments in the region are forcing the democratic and revolutionary forces to follow them closely given the new perspectives.
We declare our will to maintain the objective of the revolution, the popular mass struggle and the building of vanguards that will lead these processes.
We agree to coordinate actions of education and political action about the reality and development of the situations in the region, in order to encourage the resistance of our peoples and assist in the definition of projects of national and social emancipation in accord with the interests of the moment and in the long-term interests of the working class, the laboring masses and the peoples of our countries.
Signed:
Caribbean and Latin American Coordinator of Puerto Rico
Socialist Group for a New National Project Camp of the People (Pati Rasin Pep La) – Haiti
Political Committee of the (ML) Party of El Salvador
Communist Party of Puerto Rico (PCPR)
National Council of People's Committees (CNCP) of Martinique
Communist Party of Labor (Dominican Republic)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, December 13, 2015

Monday, January 18, 2016

#Marchfor Bernie, Dear Pyongyang showing, and other upcoming events

National events:

#MarchforBernie

Next Saturday, the 23rd, Bernie Sanders supporters are rallying across the country.  There could be events around here, but so far the closest listed event is in Washington, DC.  See the Facebook group:  www.facebook.com/events/729427727193497/

I'm supporting Sanders (berniesanders.com), though I have reservations about his foreign policy views and he is not a real socialist.   I don't know of any reasons to reject former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, but Sanders seems to have a better chance of winning the Democratic nomination.  If Sanders doesn't win, I'm leaning toward Jill Stein of the Green Party ( ww.jill2016.com/ ).  I think Workers World Party vice presidential candidate Lamont Lilly is connected to Durham. 

The leading Republican candidates are reactionary on domestic issues and probably warmongers in foreign policy, and Clinton will continue Obama's wars of aggression and probably start more if she wins, using so-called "R2P" or some other pretext, maybe with boots on the ground this time.  On the other hand, a Republican president would probably face more opposition than a Democrat even if they are both pushing the same foreign adventure.     

The primary will be March 15th in North Carolina and starting this year a photo ID will be required [there seems to be a way to cast a vote even without a photo ID, so don't let lack of ID stop you from going to the polls] (see the State Board of Elections website at www.ncsbe.gov/ncsbe/ and local information for Durham is online at dconc.gov/government/departments-a-e/board-of-elections ). 

[Social media campaign for Rasmea Odeh

A verdict in Palestinian American activist Rasmea Odeh's appeal against a conviction of Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization is expected shortly and the Rasmea Defense Committee ( justice4rasmea.org ) is launching a social media campaign on Wednesday, January 27th and calls for protests if her appeal fails and she is imprisoned. 

From the Rasmea Defense Committee: 

" #Justice4Rasmea Social Media Campaign Wednesday, January 27th
Join the Rasmea Defense Committee for a social media campaign Wednesday, January 27th, in support of Palestinian American icon Rasmea Odeh—and prepare for an Emergency Response to the appellate court decision!

In October 2015, Rasmea’s legal team delivered oral arguments in an appeal of her unjust conviction for Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization. The decision is expected any day now, and we have to be prepared!

Participate on Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday, January 27th, using sample tweets, hashtags, articles, memes, and other resources that we will be sending to everyone on Monday. Rasmea has dedicated her life to the cause of a #FreePalestine and to Arab communities across the world, including the past 12 years in Chicago, so we must continue to organize to win #Justice4Rasmea.

In addition, although we are confident that we will win the appeal and have the conviction overturned, there is a chance—as we reported right before the end of 2015—that the appellate court will uphold the conviction, ruling in favor of the government. If that happens, it is very likely that Rasmea will be ordered to turn herself in to federal prison authorities, as we petition to keep her out on bail.

We have developed an Emergency Response Plan for this contingency!

If this worst-case scenario decision comes down BEFORE 12 NOON, and Rasmea is ordered to prison, we are calling for protests the VERY SAME DAY at 5 PM at federal buildings across the country.

If the decision comes down AFTER 12 NOON, we are calling for protests the NEXT DAY at 5 PM. Allies and supporters across the world will also be participating in the emergency response by protesting at U.S. consulates and embassies everywhere.

Please forward widely and look out for our follow up announcement early next week. Tell all your family, friends, and colleagues to be ready to join us on social media Wednesday, January 27th, to demand #Justice4Rasmea!

Rasmea Defense Committee
January 22nd, 2016" ]


#SupportPalestineinDC2016

Al Awda -  the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition - and the ANSWER Coalition are sponsoring a National March on Washington to Support Palestine Sunday, March 20th, rallying in front of the White House and then marching to the DC Convention Center, where the Zionist lobby AIPAC is meeting.

Trotsky's "Amalgams"

Montclair State University Professor Grover Furr's newest book, Trotsky's "Amalgams:" Trotsky's Lies, the Moscow Trials as Evidence, the Dewey Commission. (Trotsky's Conspiracies of the 1930s, Volume One) has been published by Erythrós Press & Media.  It is available at erythrospress.com/store/trotskys-amalgams.html and www.amazon.com/dp/069258224X .
Erythrós Press' summary:

"The Harvard Trotsky Archive was opened to researchers in 1980. In it, researchers found evidence that Leon Trotsky deliberately lied many times and about many people and events. Other evidence of Trotsky's lies comes from his own writings and in documents from former Soviet archives.

Drawing upon primary sources from the Harvard Trotsky Archive and from former Soviet archives Grover Furr subjects the testimony of Moscow Trials defendants to a source-critical check and verification. His conclusion: their testimony is genuine, reflecting what the defendants chose to say.

The same primary sources, plus Trotsky's own writings, demonstrate that Trotsky lied about virtually everything concerning the Soviet Union in his writings about the three Moscow Trials of 1936, 1937 and 1938, his writings on the assassination of Sergei Kirov, and in his testimony to the Dewey Commission in 1937.

This book will revolutionize the understanding of the Moscow Trials. Trotsky’s writings and activities during the 1930s must be seen in an entirely new light.

The results of this research reveal much about Trotsky’s conspiracies in the 1930s."

Grover Furr's previous books in English are Khrushchev Liedhttp://www.erythrospress.com/store/furr.html and www.amazon.com/dp/061544105X/ )      
 
Local events:

Main Library renovation meeting

There will be a meeting to update the public and get feedback about plans to renovate Durham's Main Library this Thursday, the 21st at 7pm at the Main Library.  There will be a bond referendum in the November election, and they hope to start renovating in late summer or early fall of 2017 and finish by early 2019.

Asian Film Series

UNC's Carolina Asia Center is hosting an Asian Film Series this winter, and it caught my eye that they are showing Dear Pyongyang (Agapimeno Mou Pyongyang) Monday, January 25th.  It was recommended as a good film to foster understanding, so I wanted to show it for Korea Peace Week, but it was very expensive to get a copy.  I haven't seen it before, but the synopsis says it is about the filmmaker's father, who moved from the ROK to Japan, but became a Marxist leader there and sent his sons to DPRK in 1971, but now regrets splitting the family across borders.  I've heard there was or is still a sizeable amount of support for DPR Korea among the ethnic Korean minority in Japan.  There will be a reception at 6pm and the screening will be 6:30-8:30 at the FedEx Global Center's Nelson Mandela Auditorium (301 Pittsboro Street).  There should be a lot of free parking at UNC in the evening, possibly including the parking deck under the FedEx Center.  For more information, see:  carolinaasiacenter.unc.edu/event/asian-film-series-dear-pyongyang-agapimeno-mou-pyongyang/ and there is a Wikipedia entry at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dear_Pyongyang.

[Proposed nuisance ordinance in Durham County

Also on the 25th, the County Commissioners ( dconc.gov/government/departments-a-e/board-of-commissioners ) are considering an ordinance to penalize people for having old cars, water-filled containers, open wells, vegetation over 12" tall, etc. in their yards.  There are places in Durham where it would be beneficial for the environment if people could be forced to clean up their litter, but the proposed ordinance could also reduce habitat for wildflowers and allow excessive regulation by unelected County officials.  In the City there is a similar issue, in which one person objected to ghost bikes (roadside memorials set up where cyclists have been killed by cars), allegedly for appearances, forcing their removal, though many people wanted them to remain.] 

[Presentation on Extraordinary Rendition at the Republican Liberty Caucus of NC

Tuesday, January 26th the NC Commission of Inquiry on Torture is making a presentation to the Republican Liberty Caucus of NC on the CIA's program that sent captives to third parties for torture.  The meeting will be at 7pm at the Rally Point Sport Grill (1837 North Harrison Avenue) in Cary and is open to the public (see www.facebook.com/events/1079502222067996/ ). 

Reverend Barber at UNC

Reverend William Barber of the NAACP will be speaking at UNC's Sonja Haynes Stone Center auditorium on Friday, January 29th, at 5pm [my information was wrong, it is actually at 6pm]. 

Islamophobia discussion at ERUUF

From an activist calendar: "Challenging Racism and Islamophobia:  Speaker Manzoor Cheema, a human rights activist who produces short documentaries and founded the Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (MERI), leads talk and discussion. 1 to 3 PM, Sun, Jan. 31, Eno River UU Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Rd, Durham. 919-200-3585"  MERI and others have been giving local businesses posters condemning religious profiling and welcoming refugees. 

TPP Teach-in

Tuesday, February 2nd 6-7:30pm there will be a teach-in on the Trans Pacific Partnership, in the Hitchcock Room at UNC's Stone Center.  Note that it is often argued that these trade deals won't reduce protections under US laws, but recently a lawsuit under another trade treaty overturned rules about labeling meat with place of origin.  In addition, rather than just revising the law in accordance with this court ruling, it was extended to meats that weren't covered in the lawsuit.] 

Mardi Gras in Durham

Ice prevented a local celebration of Mardi Gras last year, but it is planned to go on February 9th this year, starting at 6pm at the CCB Plaza downtown.  

10th Anniversary HK on J

The annual Mass Moral March on Raleigh and Historic Thousands on Jones Street demonstration will be in Raleigh on February 13th, rallying at 9am and marching at 10 (see www.hkonj.com/ ) .  There will be buses and/or carpools from other cities.  This is part of the Forward Together Moral Movement that has been holding regular and large Moral Monday rallies against the State government's reactionary agenda.  [Buses will be leaving from downtown Raleigh in the afternoon to a protest at the Republican presidential debate in Greenville, South Carolina:  ncgreenparty.nationbuilder.com/protest_the_two_pro_business_parties ]  

Creek Week and Arbor Day

Durham's annual waterway festival Creek Week will be March 12-16th (closer to March, see keepdurhambeautiful.org for event listings).  Keep Durham Beautiful is also organizing Durham's Arbor Day Celebration, scheduled for Sunday, March 15th from 1 to 3pm outside Greystone Baptist Church (2601 Hillsborough Road).  The winners of the tree contest I mentioned last year will be announced.  I hope they say something about the arrival of the non-native emerald ash borer in Durham last year, but cankerworms seem to be the noisier issue, though all these native inchworms seem to do is hang down on silken threads and get on people.  2016 is Durham's 32nd year as a certified Tree City USA.        
 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Presidential campaigns coming to NC this week and other events

Donald Trump will be in Raleigh at the State Fairgrounds' Dorton Arena this Friday (the 4th) and Bill Clinton will be at the Sheraton Imperial near RTP Monday, December 7th at 6:30.  I don't know if there are plans for protests against either of them, but there should be.  Trump doesn't hide his reactionary views and is condemned by progressive people, but many support the warmongering Clintons.  Lately Hillary has had to sound more left for the primaries, but I doubt there is much difference and if Bernie Sanders (especially) and Martin O'Malley really want the nomination, they should talk about Clinton's opportunism and not very progressive policies. 

Some sales benefitting public libraries are coming up.  There will be a sale at the Chapel Hill Public Library this Friday, December 4th, through the 6th (Friends of the CHPL members only on the 4th).  For more information, see:  http://chapelhillpubliclibrary.org/txp/?id=1221  The apparently huge Wake County Libraries Annual Booksale and Festival of Reading will be December 10-13 in the Jim Graham Building at the State Fairgrounds (see http://www.wakegov.com/libraries/events/Pages/booksale.aspx ).  The Friends of the Chatham County Library has a book sale in the spring - April 7-9th at Central Carolina Community College in Pittsboro. 

Human Rights Day is December 10th and Bill of Rights Day is the 15th, and I assume the Durham City Council and County Commissioners will renew their proclamations, originally lobbied for by the Durham Bill of Rights Defense Committee.  There will probably also be Bill of Rights events in Chapel Hill/Carrboro this month 

The annual Parkwood Holiday Parade is coming up this Saturday, the 5th, beginning at 3pm.  It could be the biggest parade in Durham for the holiday season, and has an environmental education component, with the Northeast Creek Critters.  The Parade also has Mr and Mrs Claus, school marching bands, classic cars, horses, food trucks, and some free food; for more information see: http://parkwoodnews.blogspot.com/2015/12/everyone-loves-parade.html 


Sunday, October 04, 2015

Some actions and events in October

October 7th is the anniversary of the beginning of the war in Afghanistan.  I haven't heard of any actions planned around here, but worldbeyondwar.org has a global campaign to flood social media platforms with opposition at 12pm on the 7th (see http://thndr.me/NChhRE ). 

There is still the anti-war vigil ever Friday, 5-6pm at Village Plaza (corner of East Franklin Street and Elliot Road) in Chapel Hill.  A vigil to Stop the Arms Race and Build a Culture of Peace is every first Wednesday of the month, 12-1pm at the Century Post Office on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh.  There is also a vigil against the death penalty every Monday, 5-6pm outside Central Prison (corner of Hunt Drive and Western Boulevard) in Raleigh. 

The NC Big Sweep trash cleanups were supposed to be this weekend, but because there has been more than a week of wet weather, and it is still raining, many cleanups have been moved to next weekend.  Check with your local waterway conservation group for details.  For Durham, see: http://keepdurhambeautiful.org/our-events/big-sweep/

Durham's first annual Monarch Festival will be held at Sandy Creek Park (3510 Sandy Creek Drive, near South Square, but there will be shuttles from overflow parking) Saturday, October 10th 12-4pm.  Monarch butterflies link much of North America together, migrating from Canada and the USA to winter in a small area of mountain forest in Mexico, and in recent years their numbers have declined.  Several local and state organizations and businesses organized the festival to celebrate this famous butterfly, and there will be a parade, talks, music, a butterfly release, a performance by Danza Los viejitos de Michoacán and more.  Mayor Bell, Mexican Cónsul Javier Díaz de Leon, Canadian Business Association of North Carolina President Paul Meade, and NC Senator Mike Woodward will speak.  Sandy Creek Park, on a tributary of New Hope Creek in western Durham, is certified monarch habitat, with the milkweed they need as caterpillars, flowers to provide nectar for the butterflies, and shelter.  Everyone will get plants or seeds to start creating their own monarch-friendly habitat.  See:  http://keepdurhambeautiful.org/our-events/monarchfestival/  

October 10th is the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington, DC and there will be a demonstration with the theme "Justice or Else!"  International ANSWER is organizing for the event:  http://www.answercoalition.org/justice_or_else_national_demonstration_in_washington_d_c
[ There will be a presentation "Justice or Else: 20th Year Anniversary of the Million Man March" Tuesday, October 13th 7-9pm at the Stanford L Warren Branch Library in Durham.  From the Library website: 

October 10, 2015 marks the 20th year anniversary when 1-million black men gathered in Washington, DC at the behest of Minister Louis Farrakhan "to declare their right to justice to atone for their failure as men and to accept responsibility as the family head." Since then "the country finds itself embroiled in case after case of black men dying while in police custody or facing what some view as an unfair shake by the justice system." Join Durham NOI student minister Amon Muhammad for a discussion on the history and contemporary legacy of the March.]

The biannual Friends of the Durham Library book sale is coming up October 16th-18th and is a good place to find new and old books and other media at a cheap price, and it benefits the Durham County Library ( http://durhamcountylibrary.org/friends/ ).  There are also often classics of Marxism-Leninism in the philosophy and history sections. 

Monclair State University Professor Grover Furr has a new book out, on the contentious Katyn Forest Massacre during WWII, but for now it is only available in French (though he also wants people to get the word out to their local academic libraries).  The publisher's website is:  http://editionsdelga.fr/portfolio/grover-furr-2/ and it can be bought on Amazon's French and Spanish sites, www.librairie-sciencespo.fr , and www.laprocure.com .

November 1st is the deadline to nominate trees for Durham's Finest Trees, recognizing trees for size, historical importance, or other significance. Winners will be announced at an Arbor Day event next March.  I can think of several trees to nominate.  I heard about this through Greener Durham's page on Facebook, and the announcement is at:  http://nc-durham.civicplus.com/1580/Durhams-Finest-Trees  

I don't think there is very much public awareness of a catastrophe that is slowly unfolding in NC and many other states.  The non-native emerald ash borer crossed the border from Virginia in 2013 and a quarantine on ash wood and trees was imposed for a few counties, but in early September the entire state was quarantined, because the beetle has been detected in several places, including Orange, Durham, and Wake counties.  It shouldn't have been able to spread so much if the quarantines worked, because the beetle only spreads a few miles a year under its own power.  Based on what has happened where it arrived earlier, this beetle is going to kill just about every ash tree, and apparently it attacks fringetrees as well.  Regular insecticide treatments are the only way to save individual trees.  A lot of people might not know what an ash is, but these are common and economically important trees, and it looks like they are going to vanish, for at least some time, which is going to cause problems for us and an even greater catastrophe for native species that depend on ash or fringetrees.  For example, the familiar (?) tiger swallowtail butterfly eats ash as a caterpillar, though it has options.  It is thought that the borer reached the USA in packing materials, so is this a disaster caused by sending industry to East Asia?  I might post an article about this, but for general information, see: http://ncagr.gov/plantindustry/plant/entomology/EABProgram.htm

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd, with the mayor and city council up for election, offices that people might not hear about very often, but with a lot of influence over how we live and some influence on higher levels of government. 

[There is a local primary election October 6th.  For information see the State Board of Elections website:  www.ncsbe.gov/ncsbe/ or the Durham Board of Elections:  http://dconc.gov/government/departments-a-e/board-of-elections ]

From a local peace and justice calendar:  Disgraced: One Dangerous Dinner Party: Pulitzer prize-winning play by Ayad Akhtar "explores Muslim-American citizens' sense of self-identity and the Islamophobia that has strained our society's fabric at its seams." Sept 16 -Oct 4, Paul Green Theatre, Country Club Rd at corner of Paul Green Dr, Chapel Hill. Playmakers Repertory Company, playmakersrep.org, 919-962-7529. Submitted by Charles M. Jones Peace and Justice Committee

Congratulations to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, a national peace and justice organization that has been around for 100 years this fall, while the Triangle branch is 80 years old!  [See trianglewilpf.org for more information, including an anniversary celebration the evening of November 6th in Chapel Hill.  WILPF is organized as a women's group, but there are also male members.  Their Wake-Up Call program with peace & freedom news is on WCOM 103.5 FM every Wednesday from 5-6pm and streamed at www.wcom.org , and is now also on The Peoples Channel every Thursday at 10pm.] 

The fundraising for new editions of Barefoot Gen (see earlier post) succeeded.  The Farm Labor Organizing Committee is fundraising for a youth program in Ohio ( https://hipgive.org/project/floc-homies/ )

Thursday, August 13, 2015

8/15 rally and symposium for peace in Korea

The events this Saturday are in the Washington, DC area, but you can always contact your members of Congress ( http://thomas.loc.gov/home/contactingcongress.html ) and local newspaper editors, and there is the deal with Iran to lobby about.  From the organizers:

2015 marks the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from the Japanese colonialism, and also the 70th anniversary of Korea’s division into two occupying zones that led to a tragic war and divided states, with seemingly perpetual animosities and conflicts.

2015 is also the 62nd anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice, an armistice that has NOT been replaced with a permanent peace treaty that will officially end the Korean War. Without a peace treaty in place, occasional military confrontations, spiraling arms race, collective suspicions and hostilities ensue without an end in sight.

As concerned citizens, we call for the signing of a peace treaty to end the Korean War as a prerequisite first step, and urge the stakeholders and policymakers to engage in negotiations aimed at reduction of tensions that will pave a way for a lasting peace settlement in the Korean Peninsula that includes normalization of relations, nuclear disarmament and conventional arms reduction.
 
Plan of Actions:
  • Letter-writing campaign to elected officials (local, state, national level -- July 20 - August 16)
  • Korea Peace Advocacy Day on July 24 (visits to the Congress)
  • Rally on July 26, 5 PM at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in DC
  • Rally on August 15, 1 PM at the White House
  • Symposium on August 15, 5 PM at the William Cho Peace Center: 3883 Plaza Drive, Fairfax, Virginia
Initiators: National Association of Korean Americans (NAKA), Coalition of Korean Americans (CKA)

Endorsers (As of 7/20/15): Action for One Korea (AOK), ANSWER, Good Friends USA, National Campaign to End the Korean War, Veterans for Peace/Korea Peace Campaign, DC Methodist Church, Ham Seok-hun Society of DC, LA Sasase, Storrs Korean Church UCC, Washington D.C. Korean Citizens Academy

Contact: nakaadvocacy at! gmail , info at heemang dot! org

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

AWTW on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

This article is from the A World to Win News Service ( aworldtowinns.co.uk/ ):

- Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The world's worst war crime and the countries willing to do it again
- From John Hersey’s
Hiroshima

********

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The world's worst war crime and the countries willing to do it again

3 August 2015. A World to Win News Service. "That fateful summer, 8:15. The roar of a B-29 breaks the morning calm. A parachute opens in the blue sky. Then suddenly, a flash, an enormous blast – silence – hell on earth.

"The eyes of young girls watching the parachute melted. Their faces became giant charred blisters. The skin of people seeking help dangled from their fingernails. Their hair stood on end. Their clothes were ripped to shreds. People trapped in houses toppled by the blast were burned alive. Others died when their eyes and internal organs burst from their bodies. Hiroshima was a hell where those who somehow survived envied the dead." (From the 6 August 2007 memorial statement by Hiroshima mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, in a plea to rid the world of all nuclear weapons)

"A woman who covered her eyes from the flash lowered her hands to find the skin of her face had melted into her palms... Hundreds of field workers and others staggered by, moaning and crying. Some were missing body parts, and others were so badly burned that even though they were naked, Yoshida couldn't tell if they were men or women. He saw one person whose eyeballs hung down from his face, the sockets empty." (From Nagasaki, Life After Nuclear War, by Susan Southard, Viking, 2015)

Seventy years ago the United States became the first and only country to ever use nuclear weapons.

On 6 August 1945, an American bomber dropped a nuclear device over a hospital in Hiroshima, a Japanese city with little military significance. The bomb was attached to a parachute and set to go off high in the air to maximize the number of people who would be exposed to lethal radiation. About 140,000 city residents were killed or so badly injured that died within a few months.

When informed about the blast he had ordered, U.S. President Harry Truman gleefully exclaimed, "This is the greatest thing in history." To show just how "great" the atomic bomb was, three days later, on 9 August, the U.S. dropped another one, destroying the city of Nagasaki and killing another 70,000 people. Many years of suffering from cancer and other ills caused by radiation poisoning lay ahead for the survivors and their children. Susan Southard's new book, based on interviews with survivors over the last decade, recounts how some were so monstrously disfigured that children would run away from them. The fact that about 192,000 victims are still alive shows that this is not ancient history.

The U.S. occupied Japan after the war ended shortly after, and suppressed news articles recounting the horror that had occurred. Instead, newspapers like the New York Times parroted official lies, denying the existence of radiation sickness and downplaying the seriousness and special nature of the devastation caused by atomic weapons – which the U.S. government was then considering using on the USSR. The general in charge of developing the atom bomb told Congress that death by radiation was "a very pleasant way to die."

The U.S. unleashed the nuclear era in the closing days of the Second World War. Germany had already surrendered. Japan’s economy had been destroyed and its capital fire-bombed into ashes; its military had been dealt decisive defeats. Many historians believe that Japan would have surrendered without the atomic bombing. The purpose of the bombing was not just to make sure that the U.S. and its allies won the war, but even more, to make sure that the U.S. and the U.S. alone would benefit from Japan’s surrender.

The U.S. was determined not to let the Soviet Union prevent it from stepping into Japan’s shoes as the top colonial power in Asia. The USSR was still a socialist country then, although a decade later it would take a different path. It had been allied with the U.S. during the war against Germany and Japan, but even before the war was over the U.S. was baring its teeth to the USSR and setting out to dominate much of the world.

The USSR is no more but the U.S. and other countries still threaten the world with nuclear holocaust. The U.S., UK, France, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel hold thousands of nuclear warheads and the missiles, aircraft and submarines to use them. (Note: This list does not include Iran, despite the hysteria stoked by Truman's successor as U.S. president, Barack Obama.)

When Obama was campaigning for president in 2008, he promised he would seek nuclear disarmament. The committee that awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize the following year cited the agreement for a "nuclear-free world" he signed with Russia. (If Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for this, so did Russian president Vladimir Putin.)

Yet the treaty sought no such thing. It permitted the two sides to each retain 1,550 strategic nuclear weapons deployed and ready to go, not counting those in storage. (Russia already had less than that). Many are vastly more powerful than the bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The thousands of tactical nuclear weapons not covered by the treaty are, in some ways, even more dangerous than the strategic ones, because their use is envisioned in ordinary official military doctrine, and once a nuclear exchange begins, no one can say how it will end. A nuclear world war is not now on the horizon, as it was at several points during the height of U.S.-Soviet contention for world domination in the 1960s through the 1980s, but still, the only reason to have nukes is to be able to use them.

Although the arms race between the U.S. and Russia today is no longer about an ever-accumulating stockpile of nuclear bombs, Omaba has launched a trillion-dollar campaign to modernize his country's atomic bomb-making facilities, produce new or refurbished missiles, submarines and bombers to use them, and update existing warheads. Russia is reported to be updating its nuclear delivery vehicles. Similar efforts are being carried out by the UK (the modernisation of its nuclear arsenal and a new fleet of Trident ballistic missile submarines) and France (new air to ground nuclear-tipped missiles). Rather than working to consign nuclear weapons to the past, these programmes are meant to ensure their usability far into the future.

When asked to explain Obama's apparent turn-around, an advisor pointed to "Putin's invasion of Ukraine." (The New York Times, 21 September 2014). This is a perfect example of the Cold War posture when each of the two imperialist superpowers was ready to risk destroying the world rather than lose the contest to run it. The implicit threat to use nuclear weapons to "protect" Ukraine – in other words, to keep Russia from challenging U.S. geo-political interests – is completely insane from the viewpoint of the interests of the population of Ukraine and the world.

As for combating Islamist terrorism, the current pretext for U.S. and European military intervention in the Middle East, if terrorism is defined as the killing of innocent civilians for a political purpose, then there has seldom been a terrorist act more horrendous in its consequences or on a bigger scale than the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
 end item-

From John Hersey’s Hiroshima

3 August 2015. A World to Win News Service. The American novelist and journalist John Hersey arrived in Hiroshima after the 6 August 1945 bombing, and returned again the following year to conduct interviews for a magazine article and later a book that helped open the eyes of several generations. It was banned in Japan under the American occupation. The following excerpts from his Hiroshima (Penguin Classics, 2001) focus on the accounts told by two survivors.
At exactly 8.15 am, on 6 August 1945, Japanese time, at the moment when the atomic bomb flashed above Hiroshima, Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk in the personnel department of the East Asia Tin Works, had just sat down at her place in the plant office and was turning her head to speak to the girl at the next desk.

At that same moment, Dr Masakazu Fujii was settling down cross-legged to read his newspaper on the porch of his private hospital, overhanging one of the seven deltaic rivers which divide Hiroshima. Hatsuyo Nakamura, a tailor’s widow, stood by the window of her kitchen, watching a neighbour tearing down his house because it lay in the path of an air-raid-defence fire lane. Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge, a German priest of the Society of Jesus, reclined in his underwear on a cot on the top floor of his order's three-story mission house, reading a Jesuit magazine. Dr Terufumi Sasaki, a young member of the surgical staff of the city’s large, modern Red Cross Hospital (no relation to Miss Sasaki), walked along one of the hospital corridors with a blood specimen in his hand. And the Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto, pastor of the Hiroshima Methodist Church, paused at the door of a rich man’s house in Koi, the city’s western suburb, and prepared to unload a
handcart full of things he had evacuated from town in fear of the massive B-29 raid which everyone expected Hiroshima to suffer.

A hundred thousand people were killed by the atomic bomb, and these six were among the survivors. Later, they wondered why they lived when so many others died. Each of them counted many small items of chance or volition – a step taken in time, a decision to go indoors, catching one street-car instead of the next – that spared him. And afterwards each knew that, in the act of survival, he had lived a dozen lives and had seen more death than he ever thought he would see.

At the time, none of them knew anything. Then a tremendous flash of light cut across the sky. Reverend Tanimoto has a distinct recollection that it travelled from east to west, from the city toward the hills. It seemed a sheet of sun. Both he and his friend Mr Matsuo reacted in terror – they had time to react for they were 3,500 yards, or two miles, from the centre of the explosion. Matsuo dashed up the front steps into the house and dived among the bedrolls and buried himself there. Reverend Tanimoto took four or five steps and threw himself between two big rocks in the garden. He bellied up hard against one of them. As his face was against the stone, he did not see what happened. He felt a sudden pressure, and then splinters and pieces of board and fragments of tile fell on him. He heard no roar. (Almost no one in Hiroshima recalls hearing any noise of the bomb.)

When he dared, Reverend Tanimoto raised his head and saw that the rich man"s house had collapsed. He thought a bomb had fallen directly on it. Such clouds of dust had risen that there was a sort of twilight around. In panic, not thinking for the moment of Matsuo under the ruins, he dashed out into the street. In the street, the first thing he saw was a squad of soldiers who had been burrowing into the hillside opposite, making one of the thousands of dugouts in which the Japanese apparently intended to resist invasion, hill by hill, life for life. The soldiers were coming out of the hole, where they should have been safe, and blood was running from their heads, chests, and backs. They were silent and dazed. Under what seemed to be a local dust cloud, the day grew darker and darker.

Hatsuyo Nakamura had not had an easy time. Her husband, Isawa, had gone into the army just after the youngest of her three children, Myeko, was born, and she had heard nothing from or of him for a long time, until, on 5 March 1942, she received a seven-word telegram: "Isawa died an honourable death at Singapore." Isawa had been a not particularly prosperous tailor, and his only capital was a Sankoku sewing machine. After his death, Nakamura got out the machine and began to take in piecework herself, and since then had supported the children, but poorly, by sewing.

As Nakamura stood in her kitchen watching her neighbour, everything flashed whiter than any white she had ever seen. She did not notice what happened to the man next door; the reflex of a mother set her in motion toward her children. She had taken a single step (the house was about 1,30 metres from the centre of the explosion) when something picked her up and she seemed to fly into the next room over the raised sleeping platform, pursued by parts of her house.

Timbers fell around her as she landed, and a shower of tiles pummelled her; everything became dark, for she was buried. The debris did not cover her deeply. She rose up and freed herself. She heard a child cry, "Mother, help me!" and saw Myeko, the five-year-old, buried up to her breast and unable to move. As Nakamura started frantically to claw her way toward the child, she could see or hear nothing of her other children...

From the mound, Reverend Tanimoto saw an astonishing panorama. Not just a patch of Koi, as he had expected, but as much of Hiroshima as he could see through the clouded air was giving off a thick, dreadful miasma. Clumps of smoke, near and far, had begun to push up through the general dust. He wondered how such extensive damage could have been dealt out of a silent sky; even a few planes far up would have been audible.

Houses nearby were burning, and when huge drops of water the size of marbles began to fall, he half-thought that they must be coming from the hoses of firemen fighting the blazes. (They were actually drops of condensed moisture falling from the turbulent tower of dust, heat and fission fragments that had already risen miles into the sky above Hiroshima.) Reverend Tanimoto thought of his wife and baby, his church, his home, his parishioners, all of them down in that awful murk. Once more he began to run in fear –toward the city.

Hatsuyo Nakamura, the tailor's widow, having struggled up from under the ruins of her house after the explosion, and seeing Myeko, the youngest of her three children, buried breast-deep and unable to move, crawled across the debris, hauled at timbers and flung tiles aside, in a hurried effort to free the child. Then, from what seemed to be caverns far below, she heard two small voices crying, "Tasukete! Tasukete! Help! Help!"

She called the names of her 10-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter: "Toshio! Yaeko!" The voices from below answered.

Nakamura abandoned Myeko, who at least could breathe, and in a frenzy made the wreckage fly above the crying voices. The children had been sleeping about three metres apart, but now their voices seemed to come from the same place. Toshio, the boy, apparently had some freedom to move, because she could feel him undermining the pile of wood and tiles as she worked from above. At last she saw his head, and she hastily pulled him out by it. A mosquito net was wound intricately, as if it had been carefully wrapped, around his feet. He said he had been blown right across the room and had been on top of his sister Yaeko under the wreckage. She now said, from underneath, that she could not move, because there was something on her legs. With a bit more digging, Nakamura cleared a hole above the child and began to pull her arm. "Itai! It hurts!" Yaeko cried. Nakamura shouted, "There’s no time now to say whether it hurts or not," and yanked her whimpering
daughter up. Then she freed Myeko. The children were filthy and bruised, but none of them had a single cut or scratch.

Nakamura took the children out into the street. They had nothing on but underpants, and, although the day was very hot, she worried rather confusedly about their being cold, so she went back into the wreckage and burrowed underneath and found a bundle of clothes she had packed for an emergency, and she dressed them in pants, blouses, shoes, padded cotton air-raid helmets called bokuzuki, and even, irrationally, overcoats. The children were silent, except for the five-year-old, Myeko, who kept asking questions: "Why is it night already? Why did our house fall down? What happened?" Nakamura, who did not know what had happened, looked around and saw through the darkness that all the houses in her neighbourhood had collapsed. The house next door, which its owner had been tearing down to make way for a fire lane, was now very thoroughly, if crudely, torn down; its owner, who had been sacrificing his home for the community's safety, lay dead...

After crossing Koi Bridge and Kannon Bridge, having run the whole way, Reverend Tanimoto saw, as he approached the centre, that all the houses had been crushed and many were afire. So impressed was he by this time by the extent of the damage that he ran north two miles to Gion, a suburb in the foothills. At Gion, he bore toward the right bank of the main river, the Ota, and ran down it until he reached fire again. Near a large Shinto shrine, he came to more fire, and as he turned left to get around it, he met, by incredible luck, his wife. She was carrying their infant daughter. Reverend Tanimoto was now so emotionally worn out that nothing could surprise him. He did not embrace his wife; he simply said, "Oh, you are safe." She told him that she had been buried under the parsonage with the baby in her arms. The wreckage had pressed down on her, and the baby had cried. She saw a chink of light and, by reaching up with a hand, she worked the hole bigger,
bit by bit. After about half an hour, she heard the crackling noise of wood burning. At last, the opening was big enough for her to push the baby out, and afterwards she crawled out herself. She said she was now going out to Ushida. Tanimoto said he wanted to see his church and take care of the people of his neighbourhood association. They parted as casually – as bewildered – as they had met.

All day, people poured into Asano Park. Hatsuyo Nakamura and her children were among the first to arrive, and they settled in the bamboo grove near the river. They all felt terribly thirsty, and they drank from the river. At once they were nauseated and began vomiting, and they retched the whole day. Others were also nauseated; they all thought (probably because of the strong odour of ionisation, an "electric smell" given off by the bomb’s fission) that they were sick from a gas the Americans had dropped. When Father Kleinsorge and the other priests came into the park, the Nakamuras were all sick and prostrate. A woman named Iwasaki, who lived in the neighbourhood of the mission and who was sitting near the Nakamuras, got up and asked the priests if she should stay where she was or go with them. Father Kleinsorge said, "I hardly know where the safest place is." She stayed there, and later in the day, though she had no visible wounds or burns, she died.

When Reverend Tanimoto, with his basin still in his hand, reached the park, it was very crowded, and to distinguish the living from the dead was not easy, for most of the people lay still, with their eyes open. To Father Kleinsorge, the silence in the grove by the river, where hundreds of gruesomely wounded suffered together, was one of the most dreadful phenomena of his whole experience. No one wept, much less screamed in pain; no one complained; not even the children cried; very few people even spoke. And when Father Kleinsorge gave water to some whose faces had been almost blotted out by flash burns, they took their share and then raised themselves a little and bowed to him in thanks...

As she dressed on the morning of 20 August, in the home of her sister-in-law in Kabe, not far from Nagatsuka, Nakamura, who had suffered no cuts or burns at all, though she had been rather nauseated, began fixing her hair and noticed, after one stroke, that her comb carried with it a whole handful of hair; the second time, the same thing happened, so she stopped combing at once. But in the next three or four days, her hair kept falling out of its own accord, until she was quite bald. She began living indoors, practically in hiding. On August 26, both she and her younger daughter, Myeko, woke up feeling extremely weak and tired, and they stayed on their bedrolls. Her son and other daughter, who had shared every experience with her during and after the bombing, felt fine. At about the same time, Tanimoto fell suddenly ill with a general malaise, weariness, and feverishness. These four did not realise it, but they were coming down with the strange,
capricious disease which came to be known as radiation sickness...

A year after the bomb was dropped, Toshiko Sasaki was a cripple; Hatsuyou Nakamura was destitute; Father Kleinsorge was back in hospital; Dr Sasaki was incapable of the work he once could do; Dr Fujii had lost the 30-room hospital it took him many years to acquire, and had no prospects of rebuilding it. Reverend Tanimoto's church had been ruined and he no longer had his exceptional vitality. The lives of these six people, who were among the luckiest in Hiroshima, would never be the same...

It would be impossible to say what horrors were embedded in the minds of the children who lived through the day of the bombing in Hiroshima. On the surface, their recollections, months after the disaster, were of an exhilarating adventure. Toshio Nakamura, who was 10 at the time of the bombing, was soon able to talk freely, even gaily, about the experience, and a few weeks before the anniversary he wrote the following matter-of-fact essay for his teacher at Noboricho primary school: "The day before the bomb, I went for a swim. In the morning, I was eating peanuts. I saw a light. I was knocked to little sister's sleeping place. When we were saved, I could only see as far as the tram. My mother and I started to pack our things. The neighbours were walking around burned and bleeding. Hetaya-san told me to run away with her. I said I wanted to wait for my mother. We went to the park. A whirlwind came. At night a gas tank burned and I saw the reflection in
the river. We stayed in the park on night. Next day I went to Taiko bridge and met my girl friends Kikuki and Murakami. They were looking for their mothers. But Kikuki’s mother was wounded and Murakami’s mother, alas was dead."
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