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.