Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Moral Mondays, TPP protest, and other events

Moral Mondays ongoing

There will be a Moral Monday demonstration today, May 26th, 5-6:30pm at the Bicentennial Mall, across from the General Assembly building (16 West Jones Street, Raleigh).  The focus this week is healthcare and environmental justice, covering the refusal to expand Medicaid in NC, coal ash, fracking, pollution from industrial livestock operations, etc.  There will be civil disobedience training at 3pm at the Davie Street Presbyterian Church (300 East Davie Street, Raleigh).  For more information and to RSVP, see http://www.naacpnc.org/events    

There will be a Moral Monday demonstration in Charlotte June 1st, at 7pm at the Little Rock AME Zion Church.      

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) protest at Rep. Price's Chapel Hill office

There will be a combination of a constituent meeting with Rep. David Price's staff (?) and a protest outside Thursday, May 28th, 4-6pm at 1777 Fordham Boulevard (corner of 15-0501 and Sage Road in Chapel Hill).  People are asked to bring signs.  This is sponsored by the Communication Workers of America, Food and Water Watch, NC AFL-CIO, Witness for Peace, Working America, and constituents.  I also received a MoveOn.org alert about this event.  

Panel on US policy and the coup in Ukraine at the Left Forum in New York

US Friends of the Soviet People is hosting a panel with academics and Ukrainians at the annual Left Forum (www.LeftForum.org) May 30th, 5:10-7pm, room 1.105 at John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street (between 10th and 11th avenues in Manhattan).    

Some other local upcoming events from an activist calendar:

Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think:  Documentary explores gathered opinions of Muslims in first major opinion poll of its kind taken by Gallup. Film and discussion facilitated by Reverend Thom Belote with guests Imam Mowlid Ali and Mona Dakrouri. 6:30 to 8 PM, Thu, May 28, Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist, 106 Purefoy Rd, corner of Mason Farm Rd. 919-444-1478.

Know Your Rights: Panel of experts: Brennan Aberle, Guildford Co Asst Public Defender; Carolyna Manrique, NC ACLU staff attorney; and James E. Williams, Orange/Chatham Co Public Defender explain rights, how to assert them, and how to ensure they are honored. 1-4 PM, Sat, May 30, Carrboro Century Center, 100 N Greensboro St. Hosted by CHC Young Leaders Movement; co-sponsors: Orange Bias Free Policing Coalition, Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP, and Carrboro Police Dept.  919-643-4400

Two Chapel Hill Invitations to Hear President and Senior Rabbi of Jerusalem-based Rabbis for Human Rights:  American-born Israeli Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who has spearheaded protests to defend Palestinians against Israeli settler violence, speaks about his work in Israel and Occupied Palestine. Public talk, 10 AM, Sun, May 31, Kehilla Synagogue, 1200 Mason Farm Rd, and 12:15 - 1:30 PM, Sun, May 31, Church of Reconciliation Fellowship Hall, 110 N Elliott Rd. Opportunity for questions and conversation about current situation in Israel-Palestine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arik_Ascherman.

Hodding Carter and Ferrell Guillory Discuss After Snowden: Privacy, Secrecy, and Security in the Information Age: Carter's essay, "The Press," is one among seven written by prominent legal and political experts who explore the significance of Snowden's leak from multiple angles in this just published book.  Carter has won numerous awards for reporting, worked for the Carter administration, was president of Knight Foundation.  Ferrell Guillory is Professor of the Practice, UNC School of Journalism. 2- 3 PM, Sun, May 31, Flyleaf   Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  info at flyleafbooks period com, 919-942-7373. 

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 (919-942-2535)."      

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Greensboro Massacre historical marker being dedicated Sunday

A state highway historical marker for the Greensboro Massacre will be dedicated this Sunday, the 24th, at 4:15pm at the corner of McConnell and Willow roads in Greensboro.  Earlier at 3pm there will be a service at New Light Baptist Church (1105 Willow Road) and there will be a meeting for reflection at the church after the marker is dedicated.  The Greensboro Massacre happened November 3, 1979 when the KKK and neo-Nazis shot at a "Death to the Klan" demonstration organized by the Communist Workers' Party, killing 5 people and injuring others.  The CWP was a Maoist party that apparently no longer exists.

See:  www.news-record.com/news/local_news/greensboro-massacre-historical-marker-dedication-set-for-may/article_4dfabb10-fb28-11e4-9ae3-83f67fca0c30.html

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Report from Iranian ship carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen

There Will Be No Saudi Inspection Of This Ship! - A Message from Caleb
Maupin onboard the “Iran Shahed” in the Gulf of Aden


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is mercilessly slaughtering people
in Yemen, has absolutely no right to inspect this vessel. Neither does
the United States of America or Israel. The Iranian government has
made that absolutely clear, and all of us in the delegation of peace
activists from Germany, France, and the United States absolutely agree
with this decision.

An inspection from the United Nations or the International Red
Cross/Red Crescent Society would absolutely be permitted and welcomed.
These are international bodies delegated for such tasks.

However, allowing an inspection of this ship from the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia would recognize that somehow the people of Yemen are the
property of the Saudis, which they are not. Yemenis are fighting and
dying to assert this fact each day.

The Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in agreement
with Yemen, is shipping 2,500 tons of medical supplies on this cargo
vessel. Both Iran and Yemen are sovereign countries. They have the
right to interact peacefully with each other, without interference.
Saudi Arabia has no say in the matter.

The only purpose a Saudi inspection could serve would be to humiliate
the Islamic Republic of Iran, or worse, to create some kind of
provocation or incident. The Saudis could use the inspection of this
vessel to start a scuffle with those onboard, or to plant weapons, or
to issue false reports in the media about what they found onboard.

The Saudi regime, which beheads and tortures people routinely, and is
currently burning the skin of Yemeni children with the chemical weapon
called White Phosphorous, has no business entering this ship.

A Purely Humanitarian Mission

There is no question in my mind about the absolutely humanitarian
nature of this mission. I have personally looked inside the cargo
areas of this ship and seen nothing but humanitarian items like
band-aids, disinfectant, food, and bottled water.

All Iranian cargo ships that pass through the Gulf of Aden have two
machine guns mounted on the bridge, as a mechanism for self-defense
from pirates or terrorists which frequent this dangerous area.
However, because this is a special humanitarian mission these machine
guns, which are on every Iranian cargo ship, were removed.

The emblem of the Red Crescent Society is prominently displayed
throughout the ship, as are the Iranian and Yemeni flags.

I have spoken at length with the Red Crescent volunteers (we have
plenty of time to socialize). They have told me about their previous
international operations with the Red Crescent Society, traveling
across the world to help those in need.

The Iranian Red Crescent Society, like all organizations which are
affiliated to the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Society in
Geneva, follows seven guiding principles of work. Among them are
non-involvement in military operations, non-partisan delivery of aid,
and volunteerism.

The Iranians would welcome the United Nations or the International Red
Cross/Red Cresent to inspect this ship. But the criminal Saudi regime,
and its US and Israeli allies are simply not welcome aboard.

If we have no interference, we will reach Hodiedah on Thursday, and
deliver our 2,500 tons of supplies to the Yemeni people. We have
recently been informed that the Saudis have already bombed the port of
Hodiedah in anticipation of our arrival.

Let The Hungry Children of Yemen Live!

This Illegal, Immoral Blockade Must End!

Don’t Block The Rescue Boat!

(I ask my friends in the United States and elsewhere to please forward
and post this message as widely as possible. Send it to the press, put
it on social media, repost it anywhere you want. My internet access
onboard is very limited, so PLEASE help spread the word about our
humanitarian mission.) 

Monday, May 04, 2015

FLOC and immigration events coming up this week

Reynolds American demonstration

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee and supporters will demonstrate at Reynolds American's annual shareholder meeting in Winston-Salem this Thursday to improve working conditions in North Carolina's tobacco fields.  FLOC supporters will be at the meeting in the Reynolds American Plaza Building (401 North Main Street) and there will be a picket outside at 10:30 AM, followed by a march at 11 five blocks to Lloyd Presbyterian Church (748 North Chestnut Street), ending with a rally at the church.  Free parking is available at the church and pay parking in a deck across from Reynolds American.  The campaign website is: http://www.floc.com/wordpress/reynolds-campaign/    

LWVODC Law Day forum with Consul General of Mexico for NC and SC

The League of Women Voters of Orange-Durham-Chatham is hosting a public forum on immigration with Consul General of Mexico Javier Díaz de León the evening of Tuesday, May 5th at Extraordinary Ventures (200 South Elliot Road, across from Whole Foods) in Chapel Hill.  The LWVODC is having its private annual meeting beforehand, followed by a public reception at 6:30 (they request that people arrive then), and the forum from 7-8pm.  Free parking is available.  For more information, see http://www.lwvodc.org/Calendar.html .

As always, the regular Friday peace and justice vigil is just up the road at the corner of Elliot and Franklin on Friday, 5-6pm.      

The Moral Monday demonstrations started again last Wednesday, April 29th, but I don't know if it is happening again this week.  Last Friday there was also a large march in downtown Durham protesting police brutality.    

I added to the links and blogroll on the right and removed some old links. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pilgrimage for Peace and Justice and other April events

Creek Week 2015 ( http://keepdurhambeautiful.org/our-events/durham-creek-week-events/ ) just ended in Durham, but it is never too late to connect with your local waterway, such as by contacting a local adopt a waterway group or by exploring yourself. 

Farmworker Awareness Week is March 24-31, and events are posted at:  http://www.saf-unite.org/content/celebrate-national-farmworker-awareness-week-march-24-31-2015

The annual Pilgrimage for Peace & Justice starts tomorrow through April 3rd, organized by Witness for Peace Southeast and co-sponsors (schedule posted at http://www.wfpse.org/annual-pilgrimage/ ).  

April 2nd there will be a rally against the influence of corporate money in politics at the Durham post office (323 East Chapel Hill Street), 12-2pm.  I heard about this in a letter to the editor in the March 24th edition of the Herald-Sun.  Apparently the idea is that the executive branch can require corporations that do business with the Federal government to disclose political contributions.    

April 15th workers are rising for a living wage, and the North Carolina event is a rally at Shaw University Quad (188 East South Street, Raleigh) at 5pm.  The overall website is http://april15.org/ and the NC Facebook event is at:  https://www.facebook.com/events/791815507567945/  To register for a free bus from UNC, see http://goo.gl/forms/bAPsyVu3y5   

Some other events, from an activist calendar out of Chapel Hill:

"Internationalizing Gaza:  Politics of International Law and  Struggle for Justice:  Noura Erakat, JD, LLM, Assistant Professor at George Mason University, where she teaches legal studies, international studies, and human rights/social justice issues.  She is co-editor of an online journal that features content on the Middle East.  7 PM, Thu, Apr 9, UNC's Hyde Hall [4th building in row opposite PO on Franklin St]. UNC Students for Justice in Palestine and UNC Chapter of National Lawyers Guild.

Water in the Desert: The Gaza Water Crisis:  Ralph and Emily McCoy, recent visitors to Gaza, discuss what local faith communities can do to help children in Gaza have safe drinking water. Conditions prior to the Gazan assault in July 2014, when 92% of water coming from wells in Gaza was unfit for human consumption, have only worsened. 6 - 7 PM, Wed, Apr 15, Binkley Baptist Church Lounge, 1712 Willow Dr (by 15-501 and Univ. Mall), Chapel Hill. Contact: rmccoy at nc dot rr dot com or 919-489-0483.

Celebration of Nicaraguan Children: Hear about 2015 Friends of Cultural Immersion Ecotour to San Ramón. Learn about work of Sister Communities of San Ramón toward sustainability for impoverished local people in a beautiful mountainous region in central Nicaragua, southeast of Matagalpa. Wine and cheese fund raiser: $20 adults, $10 students.  4-6 PM, Sun, Apr, 19, Eno River UU Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Rd, Durham. Info: 919-489-1656."

Since we are now on Daylight Savings Time, the weekly vigil for peace and justice on Fridays at the corner of Franklin Street and Elliot in Chapel Hill is now from 5-6pm.  

Another week to appreciate an aspect of the natural world is the annual National Moth Week (http://nationalmothweek.org/), coming up July 18-26, though spring is a good time to find interesting moths around here.  

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Some upcoming events, 2/21-4/4

Malcolm X remembrance

February 21 | 2-4:30pm | Hayti Heritage Center
Malcolm X: Black Liberation, Black and Muslim Lives Matter
In Remembrance of the 50th Anniversary of his Assassination

This February - Black Liberation Month - marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X - El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.
We invite the Durham community to participate in a public forum and dialogue about brother Malcolm - the movement that he came to inspire and represent, his thoughts, political practice, and militancy. Most importantly, we will discuss how Pan-Africanism, internationalism, Black self-defense, and other concepts Malcolm X raised can apply to today’s movement against state violence and for Black Liberation.Program includes:

– Video and audio of Malcolm X
– An introduction to his life and politics
– Talk by community members who worked with him
Reflections by Muslim leaders on his internationalism and the growing tide of Islamophobia
– Reflections on the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Black Power, and what impact and relevance “By Any Means Necessary” has today
– Open mic and discussionLight refreshments provided.
Please call 919-413-1276 for more information. [or see https://www.facebook.com/events/840308166027186/ ]

From a local activist calendar:

Israeli Military Detention: No Way to Treat a Child: Workshop presented by Coalition for Peace with Justice and American Friends Service Committee and local co-sponsors. Each year, on average, 700 Palestinian children are prosecuted in Israeli military courts in the West Bank, documented by UNICEF and Defense for Children International. Join discussion with suggestions for actions to redress the situation. 9 AM-12:30 PM, Sat, Feb 21, Durham Friends Meeting, 404 Alexander Ave, Durham. $25; $15 for students and seniors. RSVP cpwjregister at gmail or 919-914-9881.

Will the Environment Survive a Renewed Middle East Peace Process? Alon Tal, leading Israeli environmental activist with Israel Union for Environmental Defense and Green Zionist Alliance, reviews environmental cooperation in the region and considers current peace process and how it might be leveraged to ensure an ecological dividend for that area.12 Noon, Sun, Feb 22, UNC's Gardner Hall Room 105, between Davis Library and Memorial Hall. Cosponsors: NC Hillel, Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations. agauss at nchillel dot org.

Israeli Apartheid Week 2015 at UNC: Events hosted by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Mon, Feb 23 - Thu, Feb 26.Teach-in: Israeli Apartheid 101 with panel, 6 PM, Feb 23, Bingham Hall 301, near Wilson Library; Short Films with Nick Denes, co-director of London Palestine Film Festival, 6 PM, Feb 25, Bingham Hall; Palestine Cultural Night, 8 PM, Feb 26, Campus YMCA Anne Queen Lounge, next to Memorial Hall, Cameron Ave. Info: www.facebook.com/UNCSJP?v=wall.

Politics Aside: Promoting Human Rights and Accountability in Israel/Palestine: Speaker Jessica Montell, who served as Executive Director of B'Tselem, Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, is now a visiting research fellow at Hebrew University Faculty of Law. 5:30 - 7 PM, Tue, Feb 24, Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy Rhodes Conference Room, corner of Science Dr and Towerview Rd and Science Dr, Durham. Sponsored by Duke Center for Jewish Studies, Duke Forum for Scholars and Publics, Duke Human Rights Center at Franklin Humanities Institute, UNC Students for Justice in Palestine.
Protest Government Whitewashing of Senate Torture Report: Join NC Stop Torture Now for vigil10 AM, Wed, Feb 25, Federal Building, Person St at New Bern Ave, Raleigh, or outside Senator Burr’s office building, 2000 West 1st St, Winston-Salem [there is also supposed to be an event in Fayetteville, but I don't have details]. If you cannot vigil, then call, email, or tweet President Obama[202-456-1111,www.whitehouse.gov/contact/, or @BarackObama] to order federal agencies to study the full report they have and take action. For more details: www.ncstoptorturenow.org/

Law in the Age of "Forever War": 21st Annual Center on Law, Ethics, and National Security Conference. Topics covered include: targeting, surveillance, home-grown terrorism, intelligence gathering in the digital age, law of armed conflict issues, and ensuring human rights and civil liberties. 8 AM Fri, Feb 27 to 5 PM Sat, Feb 28, Duke Law School, Science Dr, Durham. Register: http://web.law.duke.edu/lens/index
Putting a Face on Poverty in North Carolina: Speaker Gene Nichol, Director of UNC's Law School Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity, addresses what others know of the low ranking NC has from studies at the Center and sources such as The KIDS COUNT Data Book, an annual publication of Annie E. Casey Foundation, that assesses child well-being nationally and across the 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico. 11 AM, Fri, Feb 27, Celebration Assembly of God Church, 114 Weaver Dairy Rd, Chapel Hill. Sponsored by Shared Learning Association of Chapel Hill. http://sharedlearningchapelhill.com/.

Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine: Documentary by award-winning producer Connie Fields about a black gospel group from the US visiting the West Bank. Al Helm illustrates the transformative power of art and how it can move us toward understanding. 7:30 PM, Fri, Mar 13, Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist sanctuary, 106 Purefoy Rd, corner of Mason Farm Rd. Sponsored by Peace and Justice Committee of Church and Balance and Accuracy in Journalism (BAJ). More information: www.clarityfilms.org/mlk/.

Chapel Hill Prison Books Collective Workdays: Sunday, 1 PM, 621 Hillsborough Rd, Carrboro, email prisonbooks at gmail or details; Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night (supplies provided.), 7 PM, 3rd Wednesdays, Internationalist Books & Community Center, 101 Lloyd St, Carrboro. Info: www.internationalistbooks.org/2011/12/15/an-appeal-from-the-prison-books-collective/http://prisonbooks.info/.

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(919-942-2535).”

Shutdown AIPAC (Washington, DC February 28-March 3):

Join CODEPINK, Humanity for Palestine, US Campaign to End The Israeli Occupation, Students for Justice in Palestine East, If Americans Knew, Friends of Sabeel North America, Jews for a Just Peace for Palestinians, Boycott from Within, Answer Coalition, United States Palestinian Community Network, and Just Foreign Policy to #ShutDownAIPAC.
AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and affiliated organizations have long been bending politicians’ ears and filling their pockets, supporting the brutal occupation of Palestine and trying to push the US into war with Iran. Racism is the force that both helped to create and now helps to sustain and justify the brutal occupation of Palestine and the accompanying police state. Now is the time to connect the dots and challenge state-sponsored violence and racist police at home and abroad. Whether your motto is #FreePalestine or #BlackLivesMatter, we must unify our movements to call for an end to global militarism and the plague of racism. February 28th - March 3rd, when war criminal Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will be in DC to address AIPAC and a joint session of Congress, join activists from around the country to #ShutDownAIPAC!”

“Saturday, February 28, 2015
1:00PM Know Your Rights/Civil Disobedience Training at the CODEPINK house (1241 Evarts Street NE, Washington D.C)

7:00 - 10:00PM - #OneStruggle at Trinity Lutheran Church
Join Human Rights lawyer Noura Erakat, Dream Defenders Ahmed Abuznaid, Tef Poe and Tara Thompson from Ferguson, Missouri, Founder of Indigenous Resistance, native American activist Andrew Curley, and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) organizer

Sunday, March 1, 2015
12:00 - 3:00PM #ShutDownAIPAC! Rally at the Washington Convention Center
Converge with activists from around the country on the Washington Convention Center with mock settlements, a checkpoint, a creative action with 100 Netanyahu Masks and bloody hands, and speakers including Steven Salaita, Ronnie Barkan and Ariel Gold.

7:00 – 10:00PM the Courage to Speak Out (Busboys and Poets on 5th and K)
Join Miko Peled and Philip Giraldi to discuss AIPAC’s political power and how best to counter it.

Monday, March 2, 2015
(Time TBA) Press Conference
6:00 PM – 9:00PM Protest at the Washington Convention Center
Join activists to protest Israel’s crimes and call out visiting Prime Minister Netanyahu for his government’s policies of occupation, apartheid, and warmongering!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
(Time TBA [at U Capitol]) Protest Netanyahu’s Speech at the joint session of Congress with ANSWER Coalition!!”

From the Alliance for Global Justice (www.afgj.org):

National Call for Local Actions on Anniversary of Hugo Chavez's Death

March 5 is the second anniversary of the passing of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez, who transformed Venezuela through his courageous struggle to help Venezuelans become protagonists of their destiny.

Before Chávez, Venezuela's natural resources enriched foreign oil companies and elites, both in Venezuela and abroad. Today the country's wealth has been harnessed for true development -- hundreds of thousands of homes and schools have been built, and healthcare has become free and accessible throughout the country. The goal of the Bolivarian revolutionary process is socialism, where every human being can enjoy guaranteed rights of healthcare, education, housing, jobs, equality, culture, social peace, and international solidarity.

The US government is working to destabilize Venezuela’s democratically elected government, using US tax-payer dollars to finance anti-government organizations in Venezuela, encouraging coup attempts and even terrorist attacks on their population. Now, the US is applying sanctions against Venezuela to punish the government and people for defending their sovereignty. It is up to us, the people of the United States, to demand that the US government stop the attacks and destabilization of Venezuela, respect international law and Venezuela's right to self-determination.

This is a dangerous time for Venezuela. The US has spent millions of dollars to destabilize Venezuela and regain control of their oil reserves, which are the largest on the planet. The Obama administration has increased these aggressive policies since the death of President Chávez and the 2013 election of President Maduro.

After losing legislative elections in late 2013, the opposition began violent street protests a year ago which resulted in over 40 deaths, the majority of which were security forces and Maduro supporters. The street protests failed, but the Obama administration and the Venezuelan opposition have continued their efforts to destabilize the country with the goal of removing Maduro from power.

The achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution in the areas of participatory democracy, economic equality, social justice, education, and healthcare are all gains we could benefit from in the United States. It is our political responsibility to oppose US government plans to destroy Venezuela’s democracy.”

These events are listed at www.answercoalition.org :

Boston, Mass.
March 5th, 2015
Encuentro5 at 9A Hamilton Place, Boston, MA 02108-4701
6:30 p.m.
Remembrance of Hugo Chavez facilitated by General Consul Noel Martinez, Vanesa Matamoros and Jorge Marin

San Francisco, Calif.
March 5
24th and Mission St.
5:00 p.m.
Rally in Solidarity with Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution

Los Angeles, Calif.
March 6
Immanuel Presbyterian Church (3300 Wilshire Boulevard)
6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Forum in defense of the Bolivarian Revolution

New York City, N.Y.
March 5
5th Avenue between 33rd and 34th Street
4:00 p.m.
March: "Human Rights Watch, Weapon of the U.S. State Department"

Anti-war march in DC

As part of the Spring Rising (www.springrising.org) anti-war intervention, ANSWER is organizing a demonstration Saturday, March 21st, beginning with a rally at Lafayette Park across from the White House at 12, followed by a march to the US Capitol at 1pm.

Durham Seed Libraries

Vegetable and flower seeds will be available for free at libraries in Durham again this year, starting April 4th. If you want to help the staff get things ready, there will be a work session February 25th 6-8pm at the Main Library, but people need to arrive before the Library closes for the day at 6. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Capitalism is the issue, not religion

I offer my condolences to the family and friends of Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha, killed February 10th in a Chapel Hill neighborhood located in Durham County.

Initially there were suggestions that this crime was motivated by atheist intolerance of Islam, though there is also evidence that the accused shooter was not especially anti-Islam. Whatever the facts turn out to be in this case, I find what could be called atheist fundamentalists misguided and extreme. Some atheists seem to think the main problem in the world is religion, as if it is religion that causes violence and ignorance, rather than capitalist unequal development and oppression by the US and other imperialists and their local proxies. In many cases, if people were more religious about following the pro-social aspects of their religion, the world would probably be better off. Activists with a religious ideology, such as Catholic Workers and Quakers, are some of the most dedicated anti-imperialists and social justice advocates in North Carolina, more so than much of the secular Left, even the Marxist Left. They are more active than I am, though some of what they do is paid non-profit work. Resisting imperialist capitalism is more important than fighting religion in the US, though it may be a more important issue in countries where religion dominates society, and it is foolish to unnecessarily alienate religious people by arguing over theology.