Category Archives: Friends and Heroes

Join Us Tomorrow Night at Traditions to Grieve

 

 

Thanks to Drew Hendricks for sending a link and this sad news.

No justice for the Corrie family today at Court.

Join us on Wednesday at 6:30 pm at Traditions Cafe

300 Fifth in Olympia for a videoconference call with Craig and Cindy.

Rachel’s Foundation is here.

Information about the Traditions event on Wednesday night is here.

 

 

A demonstrator holds a poster depicting activist Rachel Corrie outside the Haifa district court, after the ruling in a civil case August 28, 2012. REUTERS-Amir Cohen

 

Craig (L) and Cindy, the parents of Rachel Corrie, arrive at Haifa district court before the verdict in a civil case August 28, 2012. REUTERS-Amir Cohen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undated file photo of 23-year-old American Rachel Corrie, who was killed in Rafah in southern Gaza Strip March 16, 2003. REUTERS-Str

  By Allyn Fisher-Ilan

 

HAIFA, Israel | Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:39am EDT

(Reuters) – An Israeli court on Tuesday cleared Israel’s military of any blame for the death of American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an army bulldozer during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Gaza.

Corrie’s family had accused Israel of intentionally and unlawfully killing their 23-year-old daughter in March 2003, launching a civil case in the northern city of Haifa after a military investigation found the army was not responsible. 

Judge Oded Gershon said the death was a “regrettable accident” and invoked a clause that absolved the army because the incident had happened during a war-time situation.

“She did not distance herself from the area, as any thinking person would have done,” he told a packed courtroom.

Corrie, from Olympia, Washington, had joined a small group of international activists trying to stop the Israeli army from demolishing houses in the southern Gaza town of Rafah during the height of a Palestinian uprising.

Her friends said she was wearing a bright orange vest at the time of the incident and was standing on a mound of earth, but had lost her footing as the bulldozer advanced. The driver said he had not seen her and did not hear the cries to stop.

Corrie’s mother, Cindy, denounced the verdict and accused the court of looking to shield the military from justice.

“I believe that this was a bad day not only for our family but a bad day for human rights, for humanity, the rule of law and also for the country of Israel,” she told reporters.

The family said it would appeal the ruling.

 Read the whole article at Reuters.

The Verdict in the Rachel Corrie Wrongful Death Suit is Next Week

 Verdict in Rachel Corrie Lawsuit to be Announced August 28th – Family to Hold Press Conference in Haifa

This is a big deal in Olympia because so many of us are connected to the Corrie family.  You are not forgotten, RachelRachel was a well-known Oly activist.  She was loved, she is missed.  Rachel’s death in the occupied territories of Palestine welded the communities of Olympia and Rafah together

 

The verdict will be announced on the 28th in Haifa.  On Wednesday, Aug 29th, we will have a video conference call with Craig and Cindy Corrie at Traditions Cafe at 6:30 pm.   I hope that many of you will be able to join us at Traditions next Wednesday to support Craig and Cindy and to pay your respects to Rachel.  

Here is a link the Rachel Corrie Foundation website if you want to know more.   Here is an update and some background from the Corrie family:

Posted in News and Updates, Trial, Trial Press Releases on August 21, 2012 by .

 

(Haifa, Israel – August 21, 2012) – The verdict in the civil lawsuit against the State of Israel for the killing of peace activist Rachel Corrie over nine years ago will be announced August 28, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. at the Haifa District Court.

Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American from Olympia, Washington, was crushed to death March 16, 2003, by an Israeli military Caterpillar D9-R bulldozer while nonviolently protesting demolition of Palestinian civilian homes in Rafah, Gaza.

Download: English (pdf, 289.14 kB) العربية (pdf, 395.01 kB) עִבְרִית (pdf, 459.65 kB)

 

The lawsuit, filed in 2005 on behalf of the Corrie family by attorney Hussein abu Hussein, charges the State of Israel with responsibility for Rachel’s killing and failure to conduct a full and credible investigation in the case.

“The lawsuit is just a small step in our family’s nearly decade-long search for truth and justice,” said Craig Corrie, Rachel’s father. “The mounting evidence presented before the court underscores a broken system of accountability – tolerated by the United States in spite of its conclusions that Israel’s military investigation was not ‘thorough, credible, or transparent.’”

Eppo sings his Thurston Public Power song

M & I are working on two campaigns for the regular election.  The first is Thomas Bjorgen’s run for the Court of Appeals.  Tom would simply make a superb judge and I think it’s going to happen.

The second campaign we are pounding on is the Thurston Public Power Initiative.  This initiative will allow the existing Public Utility District to expand from water services to water and electricity.  Thurston is the only county in SW Washington that does not have a public power option.  We are going to fix that. This is a pretty simple matter of keeping electric rates low by allowing for competition.  A private banking company from Australia purchased Puget Sound Energy a few years ago.  PSE is not a local company and the Macquarie Group that owns PSE took 17 million dollars out of Thurston County last year in profits.  These profits were offset by the power outages that occurred in Thurston County last winter with the ice storm.  I am on PUD power in Lewis County, my power never blinked.  Some PSE customers in Thurston County were without power for a week or more.  Some advocates for the PSE power monopoly think the solution is that homeowners buy generator sets for back up power.  Lots of us think the solution is local jobs trimming the trees and maintaining the lines, local power generation through a PUD that is rooted in the local community and has a commitment to local, sustainable power generation, and local accountability.  The PUD commissioners get to face the voters on a regular basis.  When do we get to vote on the management of the Macquarie Group or Goldman Sachs or other private financial institutions?

Public power or private profits?  That is the choice.

Here is Jon Eppo Epstein sharing his thoughts on the matter:

Primary Election? Did we have one?

Turnout was low.  I think it was first primary in August and maybe competing with the Olympics played a part as well, but anyway you look at it, the election turnout yesterday looks a little low.  Secretary of State shows turnout at 22.1%.

I was at election night party for my friend, Thomas Bjorgen, who is running for the Court of Appeals, Division 2, Position 2.  That election was a real scramble with six candidates traversing six counties to get the top two positions and advance to the regular election.  Pam Loginsky did well in all six counties and was the top vote-getter overall.  Thomas Bjorgen appears to be in second place and ready to take on congrats, Tom.  What's with that clean desk?Loginsky in the regular election.  I think Loginsky worked hard for votes, she is a qualified candidate to be on the bench, and she is backed by some powerful folks who want her on the bench.  In a six name race with five men opposing, I think she also was the beneficiary of WA gender politics.  We like to elect women in this State.  I think there is some reason to believe that change may be available through simple gender choices in elections, but in this regular election match-up, I will be working for the election of Thomas Bjorgen.  He will be a wonderful judge.  Fair, considerate, beholden to none and inclined to uphold the law over and over and not play politics for any powerful interests…   except ours, the electorate.

We will be watching the votes as they continue to be counted over the next few days, but last night and this morning I am thinking that it is Bjorgen and Loginsky in the regular election.

Happy Wednesday morning to all you sleepy election wonks out there.

If an Agent Knocks on Your Door…

Well, the news in Olympia is that the agents came knocking in the last few days.

Our free society has generally embraced the political freedom of aligning with either the Republican or the Democratic Party!

For those of us that find that range to be a little too tight, you can stray into the fringes of the Justice Party or the Green Party.

If you are drawn to politics beyond this range, you should expect to be surveilled, investigated, possibly indicted and maybe jailed for your politics.

True political freedom in the land of the free and the home of the brave has always been illusory.

There are some important considerations to consider if you have a hoody on your coat rack in the closet today.

Claim and exercise your Constitutional rights.  Don’t fall for lying schemes and conversational gambits such as “you know why I am here, don’t you?”

“Let me come in and let’s talk.”

You may want to exercise your right to remain silent.

You may want to exercise your right to counsel.

I expect we will be having meetings to discuss the suppression of political thought, the continuing criminalization of poverty, the politics of oppression.

Sunday, July 29th at Sylvester Park at 2:30.  See you there?

Here are a couple of online resources:

http://ccrjustice.org/files/CCR_If_An_Agent_Knocks.pdf

http://grandjuryresistance.org/

Dana Walker for Washington State Treasurer!

It’s official.  We are running a write-in campaign against Jim McIntire for Washington State Treasurer.

I have imposed on my friend Dana Walker to accept the role of running against the previously unopposed Jim McIntire for Washington State Treasurer.

Here is what Dana had to say about the write-in campaign:

Hi, I am Dana Walker and while I am somewhat ambivalent about this ad (I am proud of the fact that I would make a lousy politician) I approve of it nonetheless.

Now it’s official.

Do you think McIntire would debate me?

I don’t think McIntire will want to debate Dana, but we will make the offer.

Jim McIntire has been running unopposed for State Treasurer.  He has been running unopposed despite the fact that he has done everything in his power to keep the power of the big banks intact in the State of Washington.  He actively opposed the State Bank legislation that could provide economic stability for investment in Washington State that Chase Bank and Goldman Sachs never will.  McIntire is the State Treasurer for the 1% and he is running unopposed.  Our democratic system could not even muster an opponent to challenge McIntire’s corporatist economic agenda as State Treasurer.   Until now.

As an act of conscience, as a symbol of resistance to the unopposed dominance of Wall Street Banks that are dictating the policies to the Washington State Treasurer, we are encouraging you to cast your ballot for a write-in candidate for State Treasurer.  Every community in Washington State has a better candidate for Washington State Treasurer.  In South Puget Sound, the Olympia Coalition for a Fair Budget has drafted Dana Walker as our write-in candidate for State Treasurer.

Dana Walker for State Treasurer.  Write it in.

Or write in your favorite candidate who is not a creature of the Wall Street Banks.

We deserve better than Jim McIntire as Washington State Treasurer.

Been Busy at the Quarry

It’s hard to know what to do in the current political and environmental environment.  Scanned a piece today on Climate and Capitalism website.  This piece was a reaction to a favorable review of Derrick Jensen’s book Deep Green Resistance that ran on Canadian Dimension.  Jensen seems to catch a lot of reactionary ink to his proposals to create change.  I am pretty busy working the create change in many ways, so don’t have lots of time to read Jensen (or to blog these days) but I get the impression that Jensen embraces a Luddite sensibility at times.  Maybe also a  monkey wrench mentality that is attractive, but may be a dead end politically.  There is something about the monkey wrench mentality that I find both sexist and adolescent, which is not to say that I don’t also find it attractive.

This review of a review included a quote from Eugene V. Debs about the use of violence as a political tactic.  I liked this quote a lot:

“It is not because these tactics involve the use of force that I am opposed to them, but because they do not…. The force that implies power is utterly lacking, and it can never be developed by such tactics.”

 I suspect Debs is correct.  That violent tactics of wanton property destruction will never succeed.  But I fear that Jensen could also be correct when he asserts (per this review of a review) that:

“I don’t think most people care, and I don’t think most people will ever care…. The mass of civilized people will never be on our side.”

That elitist, greener-than-thou attitude permeates Deep Green Resistance.

The authors write:

“The vast majority of the population will do nothing unless they are led, cajoled, or forced. … there will be no mass movement, not in time to save this planet, our home.”

And:

“Humans aren’t going to do anything in time …[so] those of us who care about the future of the planet have to dismantle the industrial energy infrastructure as rapidly as possible.”

 There is something afoot in the world that makes it difficult to rouse the peasants.  It seems to me to be a strange mix of economic desperation brought on by wage stagnation, by labor outsourcing, by globalization of corporate profit and human exploitation combined with a media and consumption induced trance state where folks who are clinging to creature comforts and their hope of individual job security blinds them to the fact that the ground is shifting under our feet.  Our pensions, 401k benefits, Medicare, Social Security – none of this will be protected if we destroy the planet’s willingness to accommodate our species.  It may be difficult to see that hard reality with your head firmly planted in the sand of Fox News, or Time Warner, or any of the media giants who all spew a steady stream of distraction and infotainment.

In terms of the desperation of human labor, I came across  a piece on the Black Orchid Collective website (thanks to Austin Kelly for sending that along) that was reposted from Recomposition about human labor.  A rumination on the devaluation of human labor, that included this poem from Rilke:

The Machine endangers all we have made.

We allow it to rule instead of obey.

To build a house, cut the stone sharp and fast:
the carver’s hand takes too long to feel its way.

The Machine never hesitates, or we might escape
and its factories subside into silence.
It thinks it’s alive and does everything better.
With equal resolve it creates and destroys.

But life holds mystery for us yet. In a hundred places
we can still sense the source: a play of pure powers
that — when you feel it — brings you to your knees.

There are yet words that come near the unsayable,
and, from crumbling stones, a new music
to make a sacred dwelling in a place we cannot own.

Rilke (Translated by Joanna Macy)

 Ah, yes.  A sacred dwelling in a place we cannot own.  I will cut stone by hand on that project.  See you at the quarry.