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Archive for the '‘Never Again’ to whom?' Category

Occupy .* : National Day of Action


Denial, anger, and bargaining1over the loss of Our Beloved OccuSink to the urge to march. @arieloshin met up with the carpenters and continued on to the #99unity rally in Copley Square.

Meeting up with a picket line of carpenters! #99unity on Twitpic    At least 400 people are here at coply for #99unity rally! Joi... on Twitpic

There is a broad range of social justice issues on the agenda for today, including the mother of all social justice issues – abrupt global climate change/climate justice.

1No one is in acceptance. We are confident that the court will realize that it was an unreasonable seizure.

Occupy Boston: You Can’t Evict an Idea


Occupy Boston goes to court tomorrow. A Temporary Restraining Order prevents the Boston Police from removing the tents from Dewey Square Park. Superior Court Judge Francis Mcintyre ruled that tents constitute symbolic free speech. The hearing will determine if the TRO will be replaced by a Preliminary Injunction or simply expire leaving the BPD to do their will. The National Lawyers Guild lawyer representing us is optimistic. Another member of the Guild told me, “the case will be over.”  Folks went out tonight to rally public support. @gvmiii tweeted using a photohost with a less than obvious “intellectual property” regime.

You Can’t Evict an Idea

@LejlaOWS  Boston University ’15 tweeted.

Current police presence at #OccupyBoston on Twitpic    #OccupyBoston march on Twitpic    So many people at the #OccupyBoston march! #ows on Twitpic
#OccupyBoston march. Join us! on Twitpic    Share this widely. This is what patriotism looks like! #occup... on Twitpic    #OccupyBoston marching on Boylston on Twitpic

This is what alternative media looks like.


WikiLeaks releases 391,832 Iraq SIGACT reports


SIGACT:  Contraction of  SIGnificant ACTion – military report of field operations.

The main Wikileaks webpage reports the release. However, the links to ‘Diary Dig’ and ‘War Logs’ often give an “Overload” Message.  ‘War Logs’ recommends creating a login account, but it seems to be unable to process my request at the moment. The Twitter Feed, however, is working.

A Creative Commons licensed analyis of the logs appears at Iraq War Logs.

As with the 90,000+ documents about U.S. military operations in Afghanistan released in July, Wikileaks gave advance access to the documents to The New York Times, the German magazine Der Spiegel, and the british newspaper The Guardian.  The French newspaper Le MondeSwedish Television, and  Al Jazeera have coverage.

Harvard’s Nieman Foundation has a  look at the War Against Wikileaks resulting from the Afghan documents. They have links to pieces of the story with the most complete account from Nadim Kobeissi

Update 10/24 from Wikileaks Twitter Feed: FULL WikiLeaks press conference now available (video)


Happy ‘What should we call it?’ Day


Columbus discovered America – tcwmits1

Discovered America? How can you discover something that’s already in use? See that BMW over there? Let’s discover it.                                   —-Dick Gregory

What if “Columbus Day” was given the more accurate name “Celebrate Genocide Day”?
—-The Professor who dares to ask what if2

PWDAWI, makes several citations to Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.

Democracy Now! today [after headlines] {large raster BitTorrent download} is an interview with Canadian Cree singer/songwriter Buffy St-Marie. Included is a performance of ‘Universal Soldier’. In Buffy’s view, for a Native American to ‘make it’ requires a lucky accident. She spends her money on education from the Native American point of view.

1The Common White Man In The Street.

2I don’t know where she teaches. I would say definitely not Harvard, but that would be snarky. I’ll just say definitely not in Harvard economics or government. Jack Womack has been emeritized by Harvard history, but there are still some folks around who question.
That said, I still reserve the right to question whether Harvard’s pair of world historical jacks question enough.

The Sixties’ Smartest Guy in the Room.


Robert McNamara 1964 {Yoichi R. Okamoto, White House Press Office (WHPO)}

Robert McNamara 1964 {Yoichi R. Okamoto, White House Press Office (WHPO)}

But at least he struggled to apologize. The phrase “war crimes” crossed his lips.

Gaza In Context: Background and Prospects From the Current Crisis


With the ceasefire “holding”1, it might be useful for a longer view:


The Outreach Center at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Middle East Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School are announcing a panel that will address the recent events in Gaza.

Gaza In Context: Background and Prospects From the Current Crisis

Wednesday, January 21st
12 Noon – 1:30 pm
Harvard Kennedy School, Littauer Building, Room 280
79 JFK Street, Cambridge MA 02138 (click here for a map)

Speakers: Duncan Kennedy, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Harvard Law School

Naz K. Modirzadeh, Senior Associate, International Humanitarian Law Research Initative, Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, Harvard University


Wikipedia replace this image banner.

[Photo: Wikmedia foundation.2]

Prof Duncan is one of the stars of Harvard’s legal left. I heard him give a paper – “Three Globalizations of Law and Legal Thought: 1850-2000” – at the Workshop on the Political Economy of Modern Capitalism. I am totally bereft of clue as to what he said. Egyptian Eyes tells me that it was a very hard paper. Hopefully, this talk will be human understandable and/or his colleagues and/or students will be able to translate and/or elaborate for him.3

I don’t know Prof Naz, but you can read his paper, Taking Islamic Law Seriously: INGOs and the Battle for Muslim Hearts and Minds for The Harvard Human Rights Journal.

1In the war biz, a ceasefire “holding” doesn’t mean “nobody dying.” There are, of course always deaths due to unrelated causes. There are deaths due to “holdover effects” like children killed playing with unexploded munitions. And there are always “isolated incidents” that lead to a “small’ number of deaths – relatively speaking. The calculus of ceasefire compliance ignores the first two categories and indicates “holding” if the third category is “negligible”.

2I tried to take his picture for Wikipedia. He may have questions about the political economy of Wikipedia, but they can be ignored because nobody has really worked it out with any richness of detail. It’s a cheap way to reach some unknown number of people. But being miffed about Cambridge’s other village idiot badgering him for free legal advice makes more sense. Especially since he was represented by one of Prof. Duncan’s graduates who is known to be able to speak human.

3my snarkiness notwithstanding. But seriously folks, communication between the legal left and the artsy fartsy left could be, it seems to me, better. I am part of the later and a bit self snarky.

Standing with Rachel*


Young demonstrator holding Palestinian flag.

Young demonstrator holding the Palestinian flag in Harvard Square, December 29, 2008.

Democracy Now has a lot of coverage of the latest from Gaza.

[This link is now 15 days old. Fortunately and unfortunately, it is still accurate.]

*It was not my intent to be enigmatic. As we used to say in the 60’s, I’ve had “a heavy head.”! I refer to Rachel Corrie who was killed by an armored D9R bulldozer as she tried to prevent the destruction of a Palestinian home on the Gaza Strip. Cindy and Craig Corrie spoke at Christ Church Cambridge last summer. Craig was asked, “Did you try to prevent Rachel from going?” “Of course, I asked her questions. I wanted to be sure she understood … , but when your child tells you that her conscience demands that she do something you cannot prevent her from doing it.”

!My only regret about being homeless is that it takes time away from saving the world, which is after all what I ‘do’.

‘Never Again’ to whom?


Norman Finkelstein speaking at Suffolk University.

Norman Finkelstein speaking at Suffolk University [Photo: Wikimedia Foundation]

Born of a mother who survived the Warsaw Ghetto, Majdanek concentration camp, and two slave labor camps, Norman Finkelstein could hardly be called a Holocaust denier. Yet there are some who do. Dr. Finkelstein1 has been joined by two Holocaust scholars, Raul Hilberg and Avi Schlaim in questioning the official story of the conduct of the State of Israel in its treatment of the Palestinians.

He spoke at MIT: 60 Years of Dispossession and Displacement
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the humanitarian crisis today and since 1948.2

His talk was reasoned, measured, well documented, and based in international law. At the end, he asked that the question period begin with people who disagree with him i.e. dissenters. I did not follow the first question. I think it was from David Solden and I think he regards Dr. Finkelstein is not pro-Palestinian enough.3 The second question was, “How can you view the 1973 Yom Kippur war as anything but aggression?”

Dr. Finkelstein based his answer on a principle of international law – it is illegal to acquire territory through war. The Sinai and the Golan heights were the spoils of the 1967 war still occupied by Israeli forces. “Sadat looked across to the Sinai and saw Eqyptian territory occupied by Israeli forces.”

The Calculus of Suffering

Dr. Finkelstein remarked that a major portion of Israel’s justification of its actions is the notion that The Holocaust is unique among occurrences of genocide – case in point; the use of capital T and capital H.

1Norman Finkelstein, until recently was Professor Finkelstein, but having been denied tenure at DePaul University, arguably in part due to Allan Dershowitz, he has been busted back to Dr.

2Sponsor(s): ASO, Muslim Students’ Association, MIT, Social Justice Cooperative, Latino/a Cultural Center, GSC Funding Board, Palestine@MIT For more information, contact: Palestine@MIT
Dr. Finkelstein’s website:

3Perhaps Dr. Trumpbour will help us out here.

Israeli Consulate snubs Boston area Jews.*


Updated, January 25

They came to deliver food and medical supplies for an international relief convoy to Gaza this Saturday January 26:

Bringing food and medical supplies to the Israeli Consulate at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston

Gaza has other problems:

Clean the Water, Turn on the Lights, Stop the War on Human Rights
Clean the Water, Turn on the Lights,
Stop the War on Human Rights.

The demonstrators view the Israeli blockade in response to Hamas rockets as:

Collective Punishment is a War Crime

Collective Punishment

They wanted to speak with the Israeli Consul and ask him to let the convoy through:

Panorama of Jews for Human Rights in Gaza trying to get in to the Israeli Consulate

But they were turned away:

Police turning away the Jews for Human Rights in Gaza at the Israeli Consulate, Park Plaza Hotel, Boston

There were some goyim1 and the Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights might include some Palestinians, but mostly the were Jews – Jews for Human Rights in Gaza and Jewish Voices for Peace – and the Israeli Consul would not see them.

Saturday, January 26, Local: Campaign to Break the Siege of Gaza, 12noon-1pm, Harvard Sq., Cambridge (in front of Au Bon Pain) On that day that Israeli peace groups will attempt to enter the Gaza Strip with a convoy of essential supplies and medicines. Gaza no longer has sufficient fuel to keep its power station running. Hospitals and homes are dark and cold, remaining food stocks are being spoiled, the water and sewage infrastructure is breaking down. We American taxpayers — who make this collective punishment possible — must raise our voices. Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights

1Reverand Ralph, though sporting an Anglican collar, is Unitarian. Ah, those Unitarians, such an unruly bunch. God love ’em. And as I’ve mentioned before, I am Pennsylvania Dutch.

Jews for Human Rights in Gaza,


Jewish Voice For Peace Boston, and Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights have announced:

Protest at the Israeli Consulate Boston to demand Israel stop the Blockade of Gaza, which is leading to malnutrition, raw sewage in the streets, no electricity ect. In solidarity with the international relief convey.

Demonstration by Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights at the Israeli Consulate at the Park Plaza Hotel Boston.
Similar demonstration July 2006.

Time: NOON to 1pm this Thursday January 24th

Place: Israeli Consulate Boston, located in the Park Plaza Hotel

Directions: Park Plaza hotel is located near the Boston Public Gardens (Arlington St. stop) We’re meeting at noon right across the street from the Park Plaza Hotel, the entrance closest to the Common (Arlington St. stop).

Action: WE are one of hundreds of protest world wide to demand that the international relief convey be let thought on Saturday January 26th SEE (

We will attempt to bring food to the Israeli Consulate and demand they end the siege of GAZA. Bring one food item to give…..

We will have leaflets, signs, speaker, music, and a few cartons of medical and food aid to carry in to the consulate – we’re going to try asking the consul to deliver it to Gaza, and to forward to his government our demand that they let the Israeli relief convoy through the Erez checkpoint this Saturday.


Demonstrator at the Israeli Consulate Boston saying no to collective punishment.

Is collective punishment ever justified?