rebel.lio

El meu insurrecció

Day 557 NH residents waiting on Matt

Matt DeHart is a hero. Paul & Leann are heroes. Welcome to NH. Forget the “Live Free or Die” motto, though. Long ago proven to be 12 lbs of shit in a 5 lb bag.

Humanity not Commodity

Today is Sunday. Today, Paul and I are
official residents of New Hampshire. Today, we have an address for Matt. Today, we will renew our pledge to keep fighting for one of the sweetest, bravest, and quite humble of guys who also happens to be my son.
Tonight I will sleep on my own bed; a gift from Paul’s longtime friend. I can hear the crickets chirping. The air smells so clean. We have the windows open.
Tomorrow I will start unpacking boxes.
Life is really really hard for many many people, but if you look hard enough you will find some moments that sparkle like diamonds.
To my dear readers and friends, I hope you have moments in your lives that make the noon day sun pale.
Much love..💕

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Attica At 46: A Horror In Upstate New York And Why It Still Matters.

Anthony Tarrant

Chronicling our country’s disintegration in what feels like a futile attempt at waking a comatose lover, my attention turns to this coming Thursday, September 9th, the 46th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising in upstate New York.

The ripples of Attica still resonate today in the most incarcerated country on earth where 2.2 million human beings, disproportionately black and brown, rot encaged in gulags from Rikers to Honolulu.

Attica stands as the monumental, historic flash point in America’s shift from the formalized structures of  private chattel slavery on plantations to the institutionalized repression of peoples of color through the instrument of the carceral state.  White capitalist supremacy simply morphed from private hands to the state sponsored terrorism of the prison industrial complex.  And the slaughter at Attica 46 years ago this Thursday was the catalyst for all that came after.

For those old enough to have forgotten, those that suffer…

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Why the Case Presented by Rowan Clarke Regarding Vaxxed (Pensive Quill Aug 29, 2017) is Highly Misleading

Why the Case Presented by Rowan Clarke Regarding Vaxxed (Pensive Quill Aug 29, 2017) is Highly Misleading

by M. Dennis Paul, PhD

{M. Dennis Paul is a retired Counselor and ADR Specialist with 30 years practice; 12 of which in direct work with Autistic children. He is also a lifelong activist who has worked with the BPP, WU and other groups of the 60’s and 70’s, has composed articles and cartoons for underground papers of that era and more recently for Salem-News.com and his own blog, rebel.lio. He also edits articles for, and maintains the excellent blog of, International Human Rights Attorney, Stanley L. Cohen… Caged but Undaunted}

With considerable disapprobation, having read through Rowan Clarke’s severely misinformed editorial regarding the controversial film “VAXXED”, I find myself responding to clear up much of his espoused nonsense.

I reject, based upon his comments, the claim that he viewed this film with an open mind and that he has any genuine knowledge of the issues it presents.

To begin, he states the film is centered around the “anti-vaccination movement” and that it’s writer is the “progenitor of the anti-vaccine phenomenon”. Had he any knowledge of anti-vaccine movements, he would have acknowledged their existence since the time of Jenner (1796). I can assure that Wakefield et al are not that old… though some have retired. This movement began in response to fears and concerns about small-pox vaccination and, as important, compulsory vaccination. VAXXED is hardly “centered” around any movement beyond that which seeks the following (from the Producer’s own statement):

  1. That Congress subpoena Dr. William Thompson and investigate the CDC fraud.
  2. That Congress repeal the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and hold manufacturers liable for injury caused by their vaccines.
  3. That 3 separate, univalent vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella be made available immediately.
  4. That all vaccines be classified as pharmaceutical drugs and tested accordingly.

Dr. William Thompson is a whistleblower at CDC who disclosed that the CDC both lied about MMR study results and went so far as to destroy documentation. Due to increasing reports of vaccine injury, disability and death, Congress passed an industry protection bill limiting, and ending (in some instances) liability by the manufacturers. The title of the bill is markedly deceptive. Far from being “anti-vaccine”, both Dr’s Wakefield and Thompson fully support vaccination in the prevention of disease. Common sense dictates that there be a rational and reasonable oversight of vaccines and vaccine production. Further, it is essential that new and ongoing research be conducted and protected and that scientific concerns regarding formulae, potential underlying and unobserved concomitant weaknesses in immunity, as well diseases, be more cautiously studied and reported, that timing and scheduling of vaccines be more cautiously regarded and, among numerous other cautions, issues with live component vaccines be more thoroughly studied and reported upon.

I strongly urge parents to study the very real and potentially disastrous direct and side effects of any drug they place inside their, or their children’s, bodies. Many, if not most, reactions to vaccines are inflammatory… effecting major organs… especially the brain. The layman might not associate such reactions as breathing difficulty, shaking, etc. with the brain. They are, however, deeply connected.

It is also exceptionally important to know, as in the case of flu vaccines, how effective any current offering might be. Year after year, the CDC reports the overall ineffectiveness of the previous season’s vaccine which means millions of dollars wasted and millions of people misled into believing they were protected. (There is only one way to accurately test the effectiveness of a vaccine, any vaccine. It is by challenging every individual inoculated with the antigen for which it was designed. This is never done which leaves widely disparate formulae for statistical rendering of effectiveness).

I have been wearing an elephant talisman for 60+ years and have yet to be harmed by an elephant.. Therefore, the elephant talisman affords a consistent 100% protection. Of course, I was only challenged once by the presence of a caged elephant while visiting a zoo as a child. He took a peanut from my hand.

Mr. Rowan goes on to claim that Dr. Wakefield (having earned his degrees, he is fully entitled to be called “Doctor” regardless of any intended slights by Mr. Rowan and others) claimed there was “…a link between the MMR vaccine and Autism”. This is inaccurate and misleading. Dr. Wakefield et al conducted an initial study to see if they could find a link between MMR, bowel disorders and Autism based on observations related to presenting symptoms post inoculation. That is what studies are for. Researchers see a possible link, investigate it through studies and report on their findings… most often with conclusions that offer recommendations for further studies.

None of the authors of the study stated that there was a causal link between the MMR and Autism. It appeared there may well be some connection but all the participants knew the study, as small as it was, would prove inconclusive yet might point them, and others, in directions which might either prove or disprove this hypothesis. I suggest that Mr. Rowan gain some understanding of what “hypothesis” means. What Doctor Wakefield acknowledged on his own, was that he, personally, could not disregard the close relationship between time of inoculation and disease symptoms and, compared to studies of effect from mono-inoculation, could not stand behind the MMR at that time. Far from being “anti-vax”, he was cautiously recommending a return to a known, safer, method.

First, do no harm.

Mr. Rowan continues that Dr. Wakefield was found to have acted unethically with other charges levied against him. Neglecting to relate any of his comments to the co-author (lead) of the study, Dr. John Walker-Smith, who was also wrongly discredited for the same charges and subsequently exonerated is another instance of misleading readers. By association, Dr. Wakefield, the 2nd researcher/author, is technically also exonerated. However, by law, Dr. Wakefield would need to personally challenge his case to receive the same official result. At the time, he could not afford to do so as he was not funded for appeal by his carrier. Dr. Walker-Smith was covered. If one reads the appeal findings, it becomes clear that the authors were singled out by a single journalist who, it becomes apparent, was inaccurate and largely incorrect in his interpretations of medical reports.

The BMJ has stood by this journalist despite his own recession from statements made and continues to ignore that not only this journalist, but BMJ itself, are compromised by association either financially (through advertising and grants) or through administration (Murdoch Publications, whose owner sits on GMC boards as well reliant on Pharmaceutical advertising) with the manufacturers of vaccines.. including MMR. BMJ and this journalist have consistently accused Dr. Wakefield of fraud. He has never been charged with fraud and were he to be charged, Dr. Walker-Smith would also have been so charged. The false allegations have lead to further false allegations and the myths about the study and Dr. Wakefield have been played and replayed throughout the largely Pharma reliant media… and resurface whenever the topic of vaccines and autism arise. Again, I strongly urge all to investigate the effects, direct and indirect, of vaccines and to take a close look at the MMR. At the same time, look at the accepted defining symptoms of autism and other forms of PDD. It is difficult to dismiss the seeming correlations in need of much further investigation. (BMJ often displays seemingly absurd studies such as this.)

Further, the depth of false allegations against Dr. Wakefield extend to blaming him for a decrease in vaccinations in the UK. No such decrease occurred as people initially took Dr. Wakefield’s opinion for a return to mono-vaccines to heart and did so… thus the vaccination rates did not, as claimed, drop precipitously upon the publication of the MMR study. It was, in fact, a later act of the UK which made the mono-vaccines unavailable and that lead to a drop in rates. The linked video also offers Dr. Wakefield’s response to false allegations regarding financial gains resulting from his work on the study.

I suggest that Mr. Rowan also research the history of false claims against doctors and researchers throughout history and the resultant damage to reputations such false claims produced. Beriberi, SMON, scurvy and pellagra immediately come to mind. Were it not for the tenacity of such doctors and researchers, we would still be in the dark ages of these conditions.

It is notable that Mr. Rowan claims debunking and disreputation of facts presented in VAXXED yet apparently had watched something else as he did not realize the film was centered on a CDC whistleblower, apparently did not know that the researchers on the study, the doctor at the center of the film and Dr. Wakefield are not anti-vaxxers. He also made no effort to name any of the professionals whom he follows behind.

As his casket was lowered into the cruel earth, all his wife could recall was the practitioners words as she and her husband left his clinic. “Trust me… I’m a doctor”. Cures are not determined by edict. They are discovered through inquiry.

What many are as yet unaware… and perhaps shall remain so… is that communicable diseases have cycles of growth and recession which are entirely natural… no proven links being providable through belief in vaccines. It has been claimed that polio was eradicated, small-pox, and other diseases, by vaccine. I direct the reader, and Mr. Rowan, to the following from an old friend, Jon Rappoport . Mind Boggling FDA Confession About Small-Pox Vaccine. Variably, vaccines are, by their manufacturers and by researchers, NIH, CDC, WHO, considered viable in 30 to 70% of those inoculated… and the duration of effect varies from person to person. It is therefor impossible to make any claim to 100% eradication of an antigen. Further, it is well known that live vaccines, once injected into a body, can be communicated to surrounding susceptible bodies and that injectees can, and do, come down with symptoms of the disease for which they were inoculated. Things to consider.

Mr. Rowan continues his missive with ramblings about his personal experience with autism and I feel for him. Having 12 years of providing counseling, therapy and care for Autistic children, I do know the ups and downs quite well.

From there, he selects a few supporters of anti-vax groups in Ireland and the UK. I ask if there were more reputable and noteworthy proponents that were purposely not listed. Still, this is not really about anti-vaxxers but about rational vaxxers. Those who believe the “professionals” Mr. Rowan believes vs. those who question the timing, formulation and scheduling of vaccines… such as Dr. Thompson, Dr. Walker-Smith and Dr. Wakefield.

From this point, Mr. Rowan delves into alternative treatment. Many, I will agree, are bollocks. However, Mr. Rowan, had he a background in science or medicine, would be aware that chelation is a widely used and approved therapy for the removal of heavy metals from the human body. It’s most common use is for removing lead in heavily exposed children and adults. It is also used to remove a myriad of heavy metals from machinists who inadvertently consume sizable amounts through handling lubricants used in machining. It involves the injection of a synthetic amino acid into the blood stream. Other uses are controversial only in that there are differing schools of though as to how it acts in the body. Many, many people attest to its efficacy and their well being post treatment. Vaccines have, variably, as components, forms of aluminum and mercury which are questionable with regard to vaccine damage. The concern increases as ever greater clusters of inoculations occur and combination vaccines come into market.

Bleaching is a very bad idea which evolved from a good one. Food grade peroxide has been used with no ill effect for generations Neutrophils in the body produce hydrogen peroxide as a first line of defense against infection and disease. The MMS “bleach” sold by hucksters should be removed from the market place. There are numerous other therapies that have been tried and rejected over the years with regard to autism. It is a strong caveat to do the research before trying anything.

With regard to Mr. Rowan’s fear message about a return of TB, TB vaccines are not required in the US due to overall ineffectiveness in the population. BCG vaccine has a claimed effect against meningitis and disseminated TB in 20% of children. Further, in children who do become infected, it is said to prevent roughly half from developing the disease. It is not proven to prevent primary infection and, more importantly, does not prevent reactivation of latent pulmonary infection, the principal source of bacillary spread in the community. Like most diseases, TB tends to disappear as environments for living improve. Bernard, from whom Pasteur stole most of his work, understood that “it is not the germ but rather the terrain”.

The remainder of Mr. Rowan’s missive I will disregard as it is extraneous babble in my honest opinion. I may be a bit harsh in presenting my rebuttal but it is not my intention to belittle Mr’ Rowan. I do wish him to see that he is vastly unqualified and unknowledgeable in too may areas to go on the attack of someone who rightly questions science and conducts appropriate research to help move the discussions forward. The doctor under attack for purportedly being an anti-vaxxer and a fraud is the exact opposite. It is dishonest and irresponsible to present such claims absent any genuine comprehension of the subject(s) or the nature of science and research. I sincerely hope Mr. Rowan will truly open his mind and understand the errors of his perceptions and claims. Perpetuation of myths and other forms of misinformation, intentional or otherwise, is a disservice to everyone. [2323 wds]

Palestinians have a legal right to armed struggle

**Originally published in Al Jazeera July 20, 2017. The below is the unedited version with original title & links**

For Some, History is a Failed Recollection

Stanley Cohen

Long ago, it was settled that resistance… even armed struggle… against a colonial occupation force is not just recognized under international law but specifically endorsed.

In accordance with international humanitarian law, wars of national liberation have been expressly embraced, through the adoption of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, as a protected and essential right of occupied people everywhere.

Article 1 (4) of Additional Protocol I provides that “international armed conflict” include those in which people are fighting against “colonial domination, alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination.”

Finding evolving vitality in humanitarian law, for decades the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA)… once described as the collective conscience of the world… has noted the right of peoples to “self-determination… independence… and human rights.

Indeed, as early as 1974, resolution 3314 of the UNGA prohibited states from “any military occupation, however temporary” and included bombardments, blockades, or forced annexations of any lands by an occupying state as examples of gross international transgressions.

In relevant part, the resolution not only went on to affirm the right “to self- determination, freedom and independence of peoples forcibly deprived of that right, particularly peoples under colonial and racist regimes or other forms of alien domination” but noted the right of the occupied to “struggle… and to seek and receive support ” in that effort.

The term “armed-struggle” was implied without precise definition in that resolution and many other early ones that upheld the right of indigenous persons to evict an occupier [See, i.e. resolutions 2649 (1970), 2955 (1972), 3070 (1973), 3246 (1974), 3382 (1975), 33/24 (1978), 34/44 (1979), 35/35 (1980) and 36/9 (1981), as well as Security Council resolutions 418 (1977) and 437 (1978)].

This imprecision was to change on December 3, 1982. At that time UNGA resolution 37/43 removed any doubt or debate over the lawful entitlement of occupied people to resist occupying forces by any and all lawful means.

In short, the resolution held: “This House reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle”.

Though Israel has tried, time and time again, to recast the unambiguous intent of this precise resolution… and thus place it’s now half -century occupation in the West Bank and Gaza beyond its application… it is an effort worn thin to the point of palpable illusion by the exacting language of the declaration itself.

Thus, in relevant part, section 21 of the resolution strongly condemned “the expansionist activities of Israel in the Middle East and the continual bombing of Palestinian civilians, which constitute a serious obstacle to the realization of the self-determination and independence of the Palestinian people”.

Never ones to hesitate in rewriting history, long before the establishment of the United Nations, European Zionists deemed themselves to be an occupied people as they immigrated to Palestine… a land to which any historical connection had long since passed through a largely voluntary transit.

Indeed, a full 50 years before the UN spoke of the right of armed struggle as a vehicle of indigenous liberation, European Zionists illegally co-opted the concept as the Irgun,  Lehi and other terrorist groups undertook a decade’s long reign of deadly mayhem. During this time, they slaughtered not only thousands of indigenous Palestinians but targeted British police and military personnel that had long maintained a colonial presence there.

Perhaps, as Israelis sit down to mourn the loss of two of their occupation forces shot dead, this past week, in Jerusalem… in what many consider to be a lawful act of resistance… a visit down memory lane might just place the events in their proper historical context.

Describing the British as an occupation force in “their homeland,” long ago Zionists targeted British police and military units with ruthless abandon throughout Palestine and elsewhere.

Thus, on April 12, 1938, the Irgun murdered 2 British police officers in a train bombing in Haifa. On August 26, 1939 two British officers were killed by an Irgun land mine in Jerusalem. On February 14, 1944 two British constables were shot dead when they attempted to make arrests for pasting up wall posters in Haifa. On September 27, 1944 more than a hundred members of the Irgun attacked 4 British police stations injuring hundreds of officers. Two days later a senior British police officer of the Criminal Intelligence Department was assassinated in Jerusalem. On November 1, 1945 another police officer was killed as 5 trains were bombed. On December 27, 1945 seven British officers lost their lives in a bombing on police headquarters in Jerusalem. On November 9–13, 1946 Jewish underground members launched a series of land mine and suitcase bomb attacks against railroad stations, trains, and streetcars, killing 11 British soldiers and policemen and 8 Arab constables. Four more officers were murdered in another attack on police headquarters on January 12, 1947. Nine months later four British police were murdered in an Irgun bank robbery and, but three days later, on September 26, 1947, another thirteen officers were killed in still yet another terrorist attack on a British police station.

These are but a few of many more attacks directed by Zionist terrorists at British police who were seen, by mostly European Jews, as legitimate targets of a campaign they described as one of liberation against an occupation force.

Throughout this period, Jewish terrorists also murdered hundreds of British military personal as they undertook countless attacks that spared no part of the British and Palestinian infrastructure.

Financing these terrorist attacks through bank robberies, extortion, and some private donations, the “underground” assaulted British military and police installations, government offices, and ships… often with bombs. They also sabotaged railroads, bridges, and oil installations. Dozens of economic targets were attacked… among them, 20 trains, which were damaged or derailed, along with five train stations. Numerous attacks were carried out against the oil industry including one, in March 1947, on a Shell Oil refinery in Haifa which destroyed some 16,000 tons of petroleum.

Zionist terrorists killed British soldiers throughout Palestine, using booby traps, ambushes, snipers, and vehicle blasts. British armored vehicles were bombed by remotely detonated IED’s disguised as milestones which blew apart vehicles and killed or injured their occupants.

One attack, in particular, sums up the terrorism of those who, without any force of international law at the time, saw no limitation to their efforts to “liberate” land to which they had, largely, only recently immigrated.

In 1947, the Irgun kidnapped two British Army Intelligence Corps NCOs threatening to hang them if death sentences, passed on three of their own members, were carried out.

When their own men were executed by hanging, the two sergeants were themselves hung… with their booby-trapped bodies left in a eucalyptus grove.

In announcing their execution, the Irgun stated the two British soldiers were hanged following their conviction for “criminal anti-Hebrew activities” which included: “ illegal entry into the Hebrew homeland; membership in a British criminal terrorist organisation… known as the Army of Occupation… which was responsible for the torture, murder, deportation, and denying the Hebrew people the right to live; illegal possession of arms; anti-Jewish spying in civilian clothes; and premeditated hostile designs against the underground.”

Well beyond the territorial confines of Palestine, in late 1946-1947, a continuing campaign of terrorism was directed at the British. Thus, acts of sabotage were carried out on British military transportation routes in Germany. The Lehi also tried, unsuccessfully, to drop a bomb on the House of Commons from a chartered plane flown from France and, in October 1946, bombed the British Embassy in Rome… injuring three. A number of other explosive devices were detonated in London, including one at the Colonial Club… an establishment catering to soldiers and students from British colonies in Africa and the West Indies. The bombing injured some servicemen. On another occasion, an attempt was made to destroy the Colonial Office in London with a large bomb which malfunctioned after its timer broke. Some 21 letter bombs were addressed. at various times. to senior British political figures, including Prime Minister Clement Attlee and Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin. Many were intercepted, while others reached their targets but were discovered before they could go off. An Irgun explosives factory was also discovered in London.

Self determination is a difficult, costly march for the occupied. In Palestine, no matter what the weapon of choice… whether voice, pen or gun… there is a steep price to be paid for its use.

Today, “speaking truth to power” has become very much a popular mantra of resistance in neo-liberal circles and societies. In Palestine, however, for the occupied and oppressed it is an all but certain path to prison or death. Yet, for generations of Palestinians stripped of the very breathe that resonates with the feel of freedom, history teaches there is simply no other choice.

Silence is surrender. To be silent is to betray all those that have come before and all those yet to follow.

For those who have never felt the constant yoke of oppression, or seen it up close, it is a vision beyond comprehension. Occupation sits heavy on the occupied, ever day in every way, limiting who you are and what you may dare to become.

The constant rub of barricades, guns, orders, prison and death are fellow travelers for the occupied … whether infants, teens in the spring of life, the elderly, or those trapped by the artificial confines of borders over which they have no control.

To the families of the two Israeli Druze policemen who lost their lives while trying to control a place that was not theirs to command, I extend my condolences. These young men were, however, not lost to the ring of resistance… but willingly sacrificed by an evil occupation that bears no legitimacy whatsoever.

Ultimately, if there is grieving to be done, it must be for the eleven million occupied, whether in Palestine or outside, as so much stateless refugees, stripped of a meaningful voice and opportunity, as the world makes excuses built largely of a political and economic gift box that bears the Star of David.

Not a day goes by, now, without the chilling wail of a Nation watching over a Palestinian infant wrapped in a burial shroud… stripped of life because electricity or transit have become a perverse privilege which holds millions hostage to the political whims of the few. Be they Israeli, Egyptian or those who claim to carry the mantle of Palestinian political leadership, the responsibility of infanticide in Gaza is theirs and theirs alone.

The three young men, cousins, who willingly sacrificed their lives in the attack on the two Israeli officers in Jerusalem, did so not as an empty gesture born of desperation, but rather a personal statement that follows a long line of others who well understood the price of freedom can, at times, mean all.

For seventy years, not a day has passed without the loss of other young Palestinian women and men who, tragically, found greater dignity and freedom in martyrdom than they did in obedient, passive living controlled by those who dared to dictate the parameters of their lives.

Millions of us worldwide dream of a better time and place for Palestinians… free to spread their wings, to soar, to discover who they are and what they wish to become. Until then, I mourn not for the loss of those who stop their flight. But applaud I do for those who dare to struggle… dare to win… and by any means necessary.

There is no magic to resistance and struggle. They transcend time and place and derive their very meaning and ardor in the natural inclination, indeed drive, of us all to be free… to be free to determine the roll of our own lives.

In Palestine, no such freedom exists. In Palestine, international law recognizes the fundamental rights to self- determination, freedom and independence for the occupied. In Palestine, that includes the right to armed struggle, if necessary.

Long ago, the famed abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, himself a former slave, wrote of struggle. These words resonate no less so today, in Palestine, than they did some one hundred and fifty years ago in the heart of the Antebellum South in the United States:

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

 

Oscar López Rivera. The Puerto Rican Day Parade. Y Nosotros.

Oscar López Rivera. The Puerto Rican Day Parade. Y Nosotros.

by

Pablo Guzmán

Oscar López Rivera 17 May 2017 (Carlos Giusti/AP)

I first wrote a shorter version of this for an unsolicited NY Times Op-Ed which I submitted 24 May 2017. It was not accepted. Almost immediately though it was soon eclipsed by rapidly moving events: more sponsors dropping out, more BS from politicos. And finally, Oscar’s “Enough.” So, I’m updating and expanding here.

The second Sunday of June. As every New Yorker knows that means, The Ricans are coming! The Ricans are coming! (from 1958 through 1960, the Parade was in April). This year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade is probably the most controversial yet. Because Parade organizers at first chose to honor Oscar López Rivera as its first “National Freedom Hero.” Within days, Goya Foods dropped its sponsorship of the Parade. That seemed to signal both talk about some Latinos boycotting Goya (a company whose founding family is from Spain, though even many Latins believe it’s from one of the Islands); and, other American businesses going, “Well if Goya’s out…” providing cover for corporations like the New York Yankees and JetBlue (though each will continue scholarships for Puerto Rican students) and AT&T and Coca-Cola. Then came those giants of free speech, Univision and Telemundo, followed by the departures of politicos like Gov. Cuomo. Plus several law enforcement organizations, including the NYPD, and the Fire Department’s unions. In addition, musician Willie Colón who is also a Sheriff Sergeant with Westchester’s Department of Public Safety, has blasted the decision.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio whose senior advisor Lorraine Cortés-Vásquez is also Chair of the Parade Committee, had been outwardly trying to appear “pro” López Rivera while everyone knew he was growing increasingly nervous with every defection leaving him more “exposed” to charges of supporting “terror.” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito had been outfront for some time calling for López Rivera’s release from prison, and was a major supporter of honoring him at the Parade. But since she is hitting term limits this year, her political status is different than the Mayor’s. He’s up for re-election, and though the front runner, is hoping for a wide victory margin to boost whatever move he makes after City Hall. Without the taint of having “supported a terrorist.”

Finally, López Rivera graciously gave everybody breathing room, saying he would decline “the honor” and just march like every other “humble Puerto Rican.” A couple of weeks out of prison after 36 years, no wonder Oscar decided, Who needs this mess? No one profited more from Oscar’s “thanks but no thanks” than de Blasio. Which of course now has even casual observers wondering who was twisting what arms behind the scenes. Like, de Blasio also threatening to pull out unless López Rivera stepped back.

Stir in to this Parade controvérsia the “debate” regarding López fueled by corporations, mainstream media, individuals, and associations that also happen to absolutely hate the notion of Puerto Rican independence. Not just as affirmed by the FALN. But, by anyone. My former Young Lords colleague Juan Gonzalez wrote in a Daily News op-ed on June 4th “The boycott campaign was quietly organized by a right-wing conservative group in Washington, D.C., the Media Research Center, that receives major funding from donors close to both President Trump and to Breitbart News.” Gonzalez is a master at research. I will bet most people still have not connected those dots. It reminds me of when I was in Federal prison because I was a Young Lord, and my two organized crime connected uncles passed the word to “look out for the kid.” After wise guys asked if I was all right or needed cigarettes (I’m not a smoker) somebody would say, “Ay, what’s the matter with you? This is a great country!” “Maybe for you!” So, this is not really about Oscar López Rivera for this bunch. It is about stopping ALL the damn open-minded or proud or inquisitive Puerto Ricans. Who might also ask, Just what is all this history between PR and the United States? Is Puerto Rico really a colony? Who else besides Oscar López and the FALN ever stood up for independence? Just how free are we? No, those are not questions some folks want Puerto Ricans to ask.

Frankly, the only people with a legitimate animosity, in my view, to López Rivera in the Parade are the families of those killed or injured in FALN bombings. And the comrades of police officers injured. That, I understand. The fact that López Rivera was not charged for example with the January 24, 1975 Fraunces Tavern bombing near Wall Street which killed four innocent people and wounded fifty-three others is, understandably, a moot point to them.

That bomb went off about 1:20 on a Friday afternoon. Lunch time. My mother worked nearby. And was nearly hit by debris, including broken glass. She got to a phone and called her son. My phone. My tapped-five-ways-from-Sunday phone. Though I had recently left the Young Lords and was still on parole. “You tell your friends I could have been killed!” “MOM!” “We are innocent people! It’s lunchtime! Do you know how crowded it is?!” “MOM WE CAN’T TALK ON THE PHONE!” “You listen to your mother! I’m all for our people, I was with you at the Church, I was at your trial, but this is not right!” “MomIloveyougottago.” First time I ever hung up on my mother.

That the FALN took credit had not been widely known yet. But boy, she knew.

At the time, I had been looking desperately for work. Any time it seemed I might catch a break, like once with the phone company, the FBI would show up and scare off prospective employers. A couple of days after that call with my mother, I trudged back home to my Bronx apartment, tired from the job search. I came back to life when I saw my door was a bit open. Inside was Detective Joe Wiscovitch, who had been assigned to “liason” a few years earlier with us. Actually, he could be pretty funny. He went on to become a VP at Banco Popular, and then set up his own firm.

“Why are you here?”

“They think you leaving the Lords was a smokescreen. That you’re really joining the leadership of the FALN.”

“WHOA!”

I wondered if Joe really thought that himself while he was feeling me out.

Oscar López Rivera was awarded a Bronze Star in Vietnam. For years, he did the hard work of community organizing in Chicago. Creating educational and health spaces, and protesting police brutality. If you’ve never done it: it IS work. You can’t fake it or half-step. He had a life of service BEFORE the FALN connection. So, he had a history. For his country. And, for his community. Clearly, something happened. But just what, most of us on the outside don’t fully know.

Oscar López Rivera was convicted — for “seditious conspiracy” — primarily on the word of an informant. And the mostly circumstantial evidence the FBI and police in Chicago and New York presented. Anyone with even casual knowledge of the use of informants in mob cases, Black Panther trials, or drug takedowns knows these informants will say anything to make a deal or get a buck or inflate their worth. Alfredo Mendez, originally an FALN defendant, got his sentence reduced from 75 years to 20 and was put in witness protection.

What the government did manage to do was build a sense that Oscar was up to something. That may have involved transporting weapons. Perhaps explosives. That, maybe, he showed people how to build a bomb. I’m not belittling that. Those are quite serious charges. And if true, hard to defend. Yes: I know the comparisons to everyone who has FOUGHT for freedom. Whether Mandela, or Begin. Over time, and depending on whom you support, things have a tendency to be cast in a different light. There is mucho truth in “One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter.”

And if my father, my daughter, was killed by a bomb for Puerto Rican independence. That would bring me up short. If my mother had lost an eye or a leg outside Fraunces Tavern…I’d be frozen for more than a little bit.

Yes. I would prefer Puerto Rico to be free. Most folks want their country free. Why the hell not? If you think a million Puerto Rican flags are waving on Fifth Avenue because people are mainly expressing Am I glad to be Americanyet not also shouting I love being Puerto Rican; or because the desire for independence is some Stateside romance that is not consistent with Island reality; you are either insane, or the Latino equivalent of Ben “Poverty is a state of mind” Carson. Anyone who raises that nonsense about “independence has never had a strong showing in a vote in Puerto Rico” — do you also run three card monte games to put your kids through school? First, none of these plebiscites (including the one taking place this second Sunday of June) is BINDING on the U.S. Congress. They don’t mean squat.So, they’re not taken seriously. By the voters or anyone. And, Congress will NEVER approve Statehood for Puerto Rico. Get real. Years ago, most of the Statehood people were really, false pride people. “We’re as good as they are” “We’ve proven ourselves.” Now, more people going for Statehood are motivated by fear. Fear that the empty truth about “Commonwealth” has been exposed. Fear that the Great White U.S. Father will “abandon” us. That we have to cement our status quickly. Before a window that was never really open for us closes.

Quite honestly, many Puerto Ricans are scared about Independence. What the hell is out there? Maybe the world is flat. Maybe we can’t build creative, sustaining, businesses and an economy. Maybe we can’t shrink corruption. Maybe these are the only politicians around.

I don’t believe any of that. And I don’t think most Puerto Ricans do.

I was born and raised “here;” my parents, “here.” Three of my grandparents, “there.” And one from Cuba. Somehow, at 18, I became a founder and leader of a Puerto Rican radical group. The Young Lords Party. We built an organization still talked-about and — I say this as humbly and as honestly as I can — still admired. Around two main organizing principles. Equality for Puerto Ricans within the United States. And, Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre. Oh yeah: and if we had to, we’d fight for it. The government soon made it pretty clear, You spics gotta fight for every. Damn. Thing.

You want respect? Fight for it. You want a claim to the laws that are already on the books? Fight for it. You want a future for your kids? Fight for it. Hell, you live in those stinkin’ neighborhoods with so much crime and health problems and bad food and no services and failing schools because YOU PEOPLE want to live that way!

Our Young Lord compadres in Chicago were a year ahead of us in wising up and already knew, asking for reforms wasn’t going to cut it. As we got started in New York, just going to a local Sanitation office to get brooms to clean up the block was met with “You spics get the fuck outta here.” We had to fight for every inch. Free breakfast programs, Puerto Rican studies, lead poison tests, TB tests, a new hospital, clean streets, no heroin sales near schools, representation on city agencies, cops busting any Puerto Rican’s head just because they could, airplay for Latin music, safety for welfare mothers marching, even flying the Puerto Rican flag — speaking out about all those things whether major or minor, were met with waves of police swinging clubs at us, or infiltrating us.

We were militant, certainly, If hit, we fought back. That alone got us branded. Who do you think you ARE, fighting back?! Lie down and take it! I know for many of you this is strong stuff. Shocking, perhaps. But I am not exaggerating. The greatest compliment I ever got about the Young Lords were from folks from a generation before us: “You did what we should have done.” That also meant, the crap thrown at us did not begin when we started in 1969.

We were called “terrorists” and “a gang.” “Thugs.” “Crooks.” Spanish media said we wore Afros because we were really “Black” not “Hispanic.” One Spanish-language newspaper said we raped young women as we brainwashed them to become members. That we got checks from Fidel Castro.

The FALN announced themselves just as an unfortunate combination of internal and external events culminated in the end of the Young Lords. As the Lords were fragmenting at the end of 1974, the FALN was getting started. The second known action police believed to be done by the FALN was on October 26, 1974. Five bombs placed outside five banks. A “communique” said it was both for the five Puerto Rican political prisoners held at the time (Oscar Collazo, Lolita Lebron, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Andres Figueroa Cordero and Irving Flores). And also to commemorate the October 30, 1950 independence uprising in Jayuya and other towns in Puerto Rico led by Albizu Campos’ Nationalist Party.

However, something about all this made many of us in the Lords suspicious, and we made those suspicions public. Flying glass does not discriminate. Bombs alone do not organize resistance; they scare people. Hurting innocent people only makes people stand with the innocent. As we should. Even though FALN “communiques” tried to link their actions to the Puerto Rican “cause” there was way too little “groundwork” done for the average person to go, “Oh, THAT was because of THIS” and throw up a clenched fist in support. The third known “attack” on December 11, 1974 sealed it for us. A phony 911 call to a booby trap at a building in Spanish Harlem. And the first officer inside “happened” to be a rookie Puerto Rican cop, Angelo Poggi, who lost an eye. Police later displayed a piece of the front door. The NY Times described “a crudely drawn hammer and sickle with the words ‘The W.A.S.P.S. own this country and we the minorities must change it.’ ”

Could anything BE more full of crap? No one talked that way. Certainly not in the movement. “The W.A.S.P.S.?” “Minorities?” A hammer and sickle?

The subsequent “communique” claimed the phony 911 call was retaliation for a suspicious death ten days earlier at the 25th Precinct in Spanish Harlem. Tito Perez, a member of the artistic collective Taller Boricua, had been arrested for “disorderly conduct” — playing congas at a subway station. Somehow, while two friends who had also been picked up were in the front of the station house, Tito was beaten in the back of the precinct; his larynx was broken. Police said he killed himself. Few believed that.

NYPD Officer (Ret.) Angel Poggi today (Rose Davis/Daily News)

However, far more people learned about Officer Poggi in our community citywide than they did about Tito Perez, which was understandable. A bomb. A Puerto Rican cop. And NOT the cop who may have killed Tito Perez. Our community was rightfully indignant. And so were we. This smacked of J. Edgar Hoover’s subversive COINTELPRO program. Ultimately, we learned that there were a few within the FALN whom we had once considered honest supporters of independence. But we wondered if as well any law enforcement agencies had undercovers or informants stirring the pot.

Our own organization had such spies, and it was not uncommon. Every group had the virus. In fact, we had a slew of them from the very beginning: the New York Young Lords were the coming together of three smaller groups. One from the Lower East Side turned out to be composed primarily of cops who had been placed in the area that was long known for being a radical hotbed. Those cops accidentally hit the jackpot when they joined us.

Across the board, “things were different then.” Many African-American police officers, fed up with the racism in their own ranks, sometimes gave us tips. The NYPD “beat” the FBI because Hoover’s racism was such that the Bureau didn’t have enough Puerto Rican agents to blend in, and encouraged white agents with that “Italian” or “Mediterranean” look to grow mustaches and let their hair grow. But the NYPD had Latinos and Blacks in Narcotics, and transferred that crew to groups like ours, under the aegis of the Bureau of Special Services or, yes, BOSS. But that bunch were often cowboys, loose cannons and corrupt from their time in Narcotics. Many were more interested in sleeping with female members, getting a couple pregnant. But we were from the streets too, and were able to work drug circles and compare notes. Exposing this scum in particular was tricky: last thing we wanted to do was maim an undercover cop. However, if a sister slugged a guy on the way out…

We would all like simple, cut and dry stories. Bad guys and good guys. Black and white. Up. Down. Yes: there is no excuse for taking innocent lives to make a political point. There is no excuse for using a bomb to substitute for the work that should be done to organize more people on the side of “Enough!” But I am no naive dreamer. And critics of López Rivera’s presence at the Parade have to see the larger picture and not discard it. Understand being furious about the U.S. squeezing Puerto Rico till it is dry. Understand that those hedge funds got away with creating this debt without any watchdog screaming “Jail!” And corrupt or at best inept politicians were either on the take or clueless. Pardon us if we don’t expect relief at the ballot box. Pardon us if we don’t believe in “reforms” we’ve already seen do nothing. Pardon those of us who can disagree with López Rivera on lives taken or destroyed but who are also furious about how we are kept to a second class status. And if by some cataclysm of popular disgust eighty per cent, say, of the Puerto Ricans on the Island and in the States got so fed up we were all at the barricades demanding meaningful and thorough change — we would be met with bullets batons tear gas imprisonment without trial and assassination. We’ve seen all these things on a smaller scale. We know history. And we know the U.S. apparatus. It should not have to get to that point. Enlightened minds on all sides should create meaningful change. Should. And way overdue. But don’t harrumph and tsk and get all self-righteous when people rise up. Don’t be “shocked” if you did nothing to truly improve a situation. Don’t claim ignorance. Don’t put “trouble” on some small group of armed independentistas.

When a truly sizable group, armed or not but ticked off. Comes walking down the block.

Show me your papers

Show me your papers

The President of the “United” States, Donito Trumpolini, has empowered hundreds of thousands of racist police to racially profile all non-whites as potential “illegal” humans who are subject to deportation ostensibly for criminal activity. Such activity, believe it or not, might be as simple as jay-walking or spitting on the sidewalk. Technically, the “crime” of entering the US “illegally” is sufficient criminality warranting detention/deportation. Worse, it can be at the discretion of the police that an individual might, in his/her opinion, pose a threat to citizens and/or “National Security”. This amounts to “Stop & Frisk” on steroids nationwide. “Show me your papers.”

Since Donito took office, thousands of immigrants with varying status have requested church sanctuary and/or headed to the “welcome arms” of our Northern neighbour, Canada. Doors are being knocked and kicked in by ICE and Border Patrols are chasing down anyone who looks like he/she may have once picked grapes or strawberries or cleaned a rich man’s house. Mothers and fathers are being separated from their children (and even children are being detained) and either held in unsanitary cages called “detention” centers or deported to the countries from where they escaped in fear for their lives… countries torn apart by US interference in their elections and economies: often supporting the regimes brutalizing these immigrant humans.

In recent days, incidents of ICE agents waiting outside churches and church shelters to grab handfuls of Latinos… and stalking schools in wait of parents dropping off their children only to be pounced upon and shackled to the sound of frightened tears have surfaced. And Donito, while it is actually happening, suggests he is “considering” separating children from their parents as they cross the US Mexican border.

This, on top of Donito’s “Travel Ban” dictates, which target Muslims (and those who look like they might be Muslims), and that have been temporarily shut down by numerous federal judges across the nation, now supposedly rewritten yet essentially the same, are, despite the claimed urgency of “National Security”, a month later, again delayed for at least another week. Apparently not so urgent, these dictates, but no less a hovering threat to hundreds of thousands of immigrant humans and potential immigrant humans.

And if there is any doubt that racism is behind all of this, one need only look at the “White Power” advocates surrounding Donito as advisors. Stephen Bannon of the “alt-right” (White Power) Breitbart hate site and avowed racist, Stephen Miller, recently shown flashing, despite claims by Snopes to the contrary, White Power hand signals (a stretch by Snopes to suggest he was adjusting his suit and the ADL in believing Jews embracing White Power are not accepted by this “movement”). The histories behind these two close advisors to Donito as well as Donito’s own history and recent examples of racism (ranting at a black reporter to schedule a meeting for him with the Congressional Black Caucus as if it were her job to do his bidding and the assumption that all blacks know each other… and his blasting a Jewish questioner for asking a, to Donito, complex question and barking at him to sit down).. let alone comments made during his campaign toward Hispanic/Latino people, Muslims and others as well his total disregard for Native Americans… speak volumes.

Donito Trumpolini, who professes to be the great uniter who will end the divisions of race, color, religion, national origin etc has, in one month in office, done more to enhance existential divisions and, in so doing, create an atmosphere of fear, distrust, hatred and nationwide anxiety.. and panic.

Historical Prejudice and Migration

In the history of the United States, there have been several occasions where individuals and groups of individuals have had to flee either the states or territories in which they lived… and even the US, itself. Many people, having been taught limited perspectives of US history mistakenly believe a famous mechanism for such escape, the Underground Railroad, began with Harriet Tubman. In fact, such a mechanism began shortly after white immigrants “illegally” entered the Turtle Island and declared it’s ancient inhabitants “heathens” subject to slaughter or slavery. Leaders of tribes and the tribes, themselves, were often declared wild animals subject to hunts. Some were so severely persecuted that families sought help from distant tribes as well as empathetic settlers (though there were few) to safely gain passage to lands away from the hunters. Natives from the colonies were forced to move both West and North.

The Underground Railway of Harriet Tubman was a series of passages, deceptions and safe houses used to help fleeing black slaves gain safety in the relatively less racist North where, as opposed to being viewed as animals, they were perceived as partial humans.

The Vietnam travesty of corporate/military imperialism saw a resurrection of the Underground Railroad where were used some of the very same churches, safe houses and passages used by Harriet Tubman and others… this time to aid deserters and conscientious objectors. Further found and created were passages into Canada … some once used as prohibition era back roads and trails for the smuggling of illegal alcohol.

Most every ethnic peoples having, over the history of the US, entered this land as an immigrant, legally or not, has had to use some form of escape from the hatred of others… most often created through the manipulations of politicians and wars. Each group would wind up in segregated areas such as The Acre in Lowell, Ma., where Jack Kerouac was raised, or the Five Points in Manhattan, to name just two. Persecuted in the lands from where they came or forced by economic hardships and wars, millions of immigrant humans entered the US with a promise and a belief that circumstances would be better. The US was not, and never has been, the land of milk and honey. It was, and remains, the land of avarice and bitter unwarranted hate toward the “other”. From the settlement centers such as the 2 above, further escape eventually became necessary as jobs became scarce due to recessions… and one ethnic population grew larger than the others or newer ethnic migrant groups arrived. This lead to a false perception of a homogeneous population and culture as the various groups thinned out into other towns and states. Propagandists have called this the Great American Melting Pot. This “thinning”, in reality, merely spread the prejudices and resulting turmoil to other towns and states.

As example, having supplanted the Irish, French Canadians became dominant in The Acre… and with the immigration of Greek families moving into The Acre, eventually diminishing job prospects in the factories there, French Canadians moved to New Hampshire… and as newer groups of immigrant labour moved to The Acre, Greek families moved across state lines in their search and found that factories were again dominated by French Canadian workers and so the process of supplanting the French Canadians began anew.. creating fear, dissension and hate.

But then came the “niggers” (Southern Blacks, Jamaicans, Haitians, Dominicans) and the “spics” (Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Central & South Americans)… and the “gooks” (Cambodians, Laotians,Hmong and Vietnamese). All who had been fairly recent arrivals to the settlement areas and were slowly infiltrating white suburbia and inner cities. History repeats. Ignorance repeats. Hate repeats.

As Northern labour markets decided cheaper labour was needed, Central and South American immigrant humans were sought out and moved to the region. Viewed as hapless beasts of burden, the factories and farms took great advantage. An area of lush orchards, Jamaicans were also sought (taller than the Hispanic/Latinos). What was once the mainly South Western Bracero under a limited agricultural worker exchange program became a blind eye undocumented factory worker program in the North and North East.

By the late 80’s and early 90’s, Central and South Americans were a common work force in these regions… then the factories closed one by one and the farms and orchards failed. Only a few survived. The migrant humans took whatever jobs they could possibly find and many fell prey to the drug dealers and cartels… many of whom were ruthless Colombian cartel soldiers and Salvadorians with long established gang affiliations.

Gangs and Criminality

There were always gangs. Whether it was the French Canadian migrant, the Irish, the Lithuanian, Greek, Jew, Vietnamese or whomever, there were always gangs. Criminality afforded a perception of survival and protection. Such offerings and acquaintances were, and likely always will be, easier and more common to experience than one might believe. It comes as no surprise that many who left Central and South America were hoping to escape gangs as well as rogue governments only to find more and different gangs (as well as those they ran from) and only slightly less repressive government.

Human nature is to survive. The dream is to thrive. Gangs offered the desolate an opportunity to make money where little existed… and very little exists in the inner city enclaves where the no longer needed nor wanted are pushed to hide and be hidden. Too, they offered the hospital, jail or the grave. The police and government, not surprisingly similar to the gangs, offer the same.

America has now been fed the perception, bolstered by a racist president, that these gangs represent the immigrant… that the immigrant brings the crimes of these gangs across the border and threaten the lives of everyone (meaning every white one). And those who are not in gangs are, there being no longer an existing Bracero Program and so few factory jobs, a threat to the labour force in America.

Snake Oil, Jobs and Immigration

The Great Divider, Donito Trumpolini, believes he can muster enough factory jobs by blackmailing companies who, rather than import labour, set up factories to the South and to lesser developed countries across the globe. Automation guarantees the opposite. More jobs have, in the last few decades, been lost to automation as opposed to immigration. Yet, even with the historically low southern migration of the last 8 years (due in part to the 2008 recession, Obama’s silent mass deportations and the growth of jobs in the South), Donito has stirred up a hornets nest of fear and anxiety… along with hatred about the possibly 11 million migrants still living here… many far too old or too young to throw a gang sign if ever they knew one.

Based on the images bandied about in the media and the constant imbecilic refrains from Donito, one might think the majority of those currently migrating to the US or overstaying their visas are primarily Mexican. Big mistake. It may surprise that one of the largest groups of “illegals” who have overstayed their visas in recent years are Canadians. From the Southern border, the makeup of immigration is from Central and South America as well as sub-Saharan Africa. While over half of all undocumented humans in the US currently are believed to be Mexican, they have been steadily returning South on their own due to increased opportunity there as opposed to here. Those remaining here do so mostly as a result of having children born here. Most have now been here for 20 years or more. Despite Donito’s “clarification” of deportable humans being those, undocumented, for less than 2 years, the media is finding no shortage of cases where mothers and/or fathers, here for decades, are shackled and deported.

The Result of Negative Policy

In the past eight months, the Underground Railroad has reopened for business… and some unscrupulous individuals are viewing it as a business as they charge anywhere from $50 to $500 per head to take undocumented humans, and those with expired visas or possibly past or present criminal charges, to the Canadian border and, in some cases, across.

There are numerous locations along a still porous north and northwest border used to attempt avoiding the unnecessary hassle of US Border Patrol trying to enforce apprehension/deportation prior to families attempting the 3rd Safe Country Passage Protocol at major US-Canadian Border centers. People make the mistake of going to monitored US-Canadian crossings in the belief this program will protect them. They will still be subject to US Border controls and given the royal run around. If, by some chance, anyone in the party has an unpaid parking ticket, are on some list, or appear, to the agent, a threat they are likely to be held for deportation and not allowed to continue on to Canada. Should they make it through to Canada, they will be subject to the Canadian Border Customs policies… although they will likely be allowed to apply for refugee status.

People brought to the porous border, know, or should know, that if not first apprehended by local police, ICE or US Border Patrol, they will be arrested immediately in Canada. The US Border Patrol, when asked, give a standard political response that US and Canada Customs work closely together to insure all crossings are conducted legally. News reports show Canadian Mounties assisting illegal crossers with luggage and children at various foot path areas. No attempts are made to turn them away with orders to enter only at official crossings. Humanity and civility do exist.

No agency, on either side of the border, can give accurate numbers of those crossing illegally but estimates range in the thousands from the West Coast to the East. Prior, it was a trickle. For a time, it was more likely that Mounties would be greeting Central and South Americans, however, with the advent of the Trumpolini Executive Order, increased numbers of people from the notorious 7 banned states have been noted. The Canadian side does not record data on origins at the border. Services inside Canada will have a better grasp on this.

From various sources, very little intrusion exists once arrested. Phone dumping is rarely reported. Papers are examined, Criminal records searches are made. Charges are brought for illegal entry and a court date is set. Depending on case loads, this can take 2 weeks to 2 months. In the interim, immigrant people are assisted in filing for refuge status and housing/shelter is found. Other services such as health are also provided. No detention cages and children remain with their parents. Refuge status can be a very lengthy process when done from outside Canada… as long as five years. Once inside Canada, it is a relatively short process to obtain determination of status. Some, such as Syrians and Eritreans can get immediate status with exceptionally few being turned down.

Fear and Choices

A fearful refugee family has to make a choice. Stay in the US and likely be scooped up at some near point by either police, ICE or Border patrol, try to exist in sanctuary for indeterminable amounts of time with little to no ability to sustain themselves, risk passage to, and likely failure at, an official border crossing, spend high dollars amounts per head in an attempt to be smuggled through an official border crossing or port, spend high dollar amounts per head to be transported to a known Mountie patrolled/manned foot path, risk doing so on foot, risk passage to unmanned territory where they can then try to cross and assimilate much as they have in the US. This latter choice presents extreme health risks such as loss of digits and limbs, even life, to harsh weather conditions.

Under the Canadian system of services, it is likely, having chosen the last option, they will eventually wind up detained. Canada is pretty forgiving so they may still be able to apply for refugee status but there are no guarantees. Once detained, however, they become eligible for health and housing services which, while now becoming stretched due to the ever increasing numbers of people crossing the border, remain available.

Guidance and Actions

It is essential that travelers attempt to locate responsible and respectable assistance to make safe journeys from where ever they may be. One who might accept cash for gas but no more. Many sanctuaries can help to locate such individuals.

Preparation is needed and based largely on the choice families/individuals make as to how they will attempt refuge. Special concerns regarding the needs of children, weather, communication are important. Sanctuary helpers are rapidly becoming savvy to such needs and can be most helpful in preparing for refuge seeking.

Every day, more people join the sanctuary movement. And despite any oddball claims coming from the mouth of, or administration of, Donito Trumpolini… Canada has indicated no intentions to limit the number of refuge seekers crossing the border regardless of the route they may take to do so.

Still, more people need to come forward. The US, and the world, has at least 4 years of the madness from Donito Trumpolini and his White Power government (Unless he somehow strangles himself in his own stage rigging). That means more families needing help, more compassionate and savvy assistants… and lots of common sense.

Get friends and family to support sanctuaries, organize and attend town meetings and Representative Town Hall Meetings and speaking engagements. Go to Trump campaign rallies.. Yes.. he will continue to do these rallies. They boost his sagging ego. Confront and question. Demonstrate. Run as independents against both Democrats and Republicans in every open Congressional and Senatorial Race. 2018 will come quickly… so get going. Let everyone know that the only way to stop Trumpolini is to stop the Republican advantage. Democrats are a bunch of corrupt, useless idiots who only know one game. Stop the game. Stand up! Be independent of the corporate parties. Be clear on why you are independent.

Trumpolini investigated the possibility of unleashing 100,000 National Guard troops to carry out his sadistic immigration policies. The realities of that plan caused him to retreat. He still threatens withholding of funds from sanctuary states and cities. These entities can either buckle under or sue and/or threaten right back with notice that all supports will no longer be afforded to federal agencies and representatives. Think of what it might look like if a town or state suddenly refused protection for one of Trumpolini’s campaign rallies or Federal agency requests for data or support in investigations. NYC, on the East Coast and Several cities on the West Coast are likely to be a first test as their mayors have refused to allow the city’s police to act as immigration officers. Governors have also begun announcing their refusals. (Sadly, NYC’s, DiBlasio’s twisted thinking still supports the Broken Windows policing that criminalizes immigrant humans making them more susceptible to detention and deportation).

Last Thoughts

No government is perfect. Man is an imperfect being… something not likely to ever change. However, man has the capacity to grow.. to further civilization… to advance. History shows us that dark periods arise… and do so under our own neglect to support advancement… usually when someone emerges to exploit the basest fears and ignorance of man… the deeply rooted prejudices of centuries man has failed to extricate from his heart and mind. Donito Trumpolini is just such an historical character. Quoting, with a fondness, the words of Benito Mussolini, Donito stands in stark comparison. Larger than life obfuscators of political perceptions and abusers of the fragility felt by the masses …with the goal of imposing their delusional wills and being loved and respected for so doing. It is notable that Trumpolini, like Mussolini, appears happiest when surrounded by obedient minions… but more so when embraced by large crowds echoing his oddness. Il Duce was killed along with his minions and had a very large crowd present as his brutalized body was hung upside down from a metal girder above a service station. The crowds that once supported him, gathered to cheer his demise. Not wishing upon him a similar fate, still pondering, how large will be the crowd that ushers in, and cheers, whatever fate has in store for Il Douche.

No Expectation (Poem)

I have no expectations beyond the next breath
These cards I hold are a dead-man’s hand
on which I’m prepared to fold
No bluff convincing
Weariness is a tell
Push against the table yet neither it nor chair accepts the force

I’ve used up all the loves this life alloted
shared all the dreams
felt the breaking as each one crushed beneath the weight of choices I’ve made
No sparkle, no glimmer nor flicker remains in these eyes
In others seeing only darkness of soul reflected from once upon

Nothing and no one born of this earth to complete me
a soul outside a body dancing
laughing
prodding a ripening body from one folly to another
now, no other

Each sunlight in the world around
each shadow of noon
every moonless or moon lit night
ever more war, hunger, greed. longing, deception,
desperation
fear
panic
dying and death

I lay upon an altar built by dreams
surrounded by priests festering in sin
peddling more suffering with promise of redemption
but curse of damnation

All I did in life was chide Sancho
as he carried me from windmill to windmill
my lance and sword ever ready
my dagger
my quest a dream

From biological lust to elusive ghosts of love
to demon after demon erasing thoughts
words
emotion
all now upon a ship upon and endless sea

Beyond this next breath
perhaps another
One madness struggles to conquer
then another to kill the beast
all madness succumbs with a soft rush of air

I have no expectation

 

— m. dennis paul

An Open Letter to American Jews

caged but undaunted

Originally published in Counterpunch November 25, 2016

“An Open Letter to American Jews”

Proud Jews are those that can look others in the face who commit or support crimes against humanity in Palestine and, with no hesitation whatsoever, shout-out “J’accuse” … the self hating ones are those that commit the crimes or simply walk away in boneless silence.

Israel and its sightless, obedient supporters have now come full circle in absolute perverse denial. For years they’ve successfully packaged and sold the fairy-tale that Zionism and Judaism were one in the same… an historic enlightened conflation of shared purpose and belief which, in reality, was born of little more than vicious political convenience (or is it connivance?) in eastern Europe.

Like Malcolm said, the proverbial chickens have come home to roost. It’s finally backfired. It’s about time.

Through massacre after massacre, outrage after outage, whenever anyone dares to condemn Israel’s systematic…

View original post 2,175 more words

How I Found Optimism Through Fear And Loathing Surrounding Donald Trump

How I Found Optimism Through Fear And Loathing Surrounding Donald Trump
by M. Dennis Paul, PhD

It was inevitable.. yes, I said inevitable (and I knew it months ago) that a bullish, under educated spoiled slob son of generations of racism, greed and sexism would rise from the bottom feeding ocean depths to bask in the plain old spittle from blathering mouths of mental and moral degenerates populating the pusillanimous states of ‘murica. It could easily have been the daughter, cheap slut of the entitled, in vulgar pantsuits but arrogance masked in expensive eau de toilette (called “skunk” in her favourite state of Israel) was less palatable to the cretinous masses than plain old Uppercrust, NY flatulence.

It mattered not what semblance of distinction one might foolishly toss out to pacify a falsely perceived superiority of one candidate over the other. What was pissed into the foul wind of politics was nothing trenchant at all. From the streets to the lofts of the ceaselessly cawing main stream pigeons to the towers of power bathed in the whitest of detritus came the howls of the criminally and undeniably insane. And ‘murica, ever hungry for semi-edible crap from a preferable coloured bag, lined up with grateful spoons and napkins. Tweedle Dee was a fat slobbering caricature and Tweedle dumb no different.

The reality… the sorry state of reality… is that “murica long ago surrendered any intelligence it might have gained in history when it allowed Civics to be turned into a pile of festering goo.

Brush away the flies and every 4 years ‘murica convinces itself that dung ball “A” is somehow more preferable than dung ball “B” or vice versa and dutifully performs its beetle task of attempting to push one or the other up the steaming heap. It mattered not to ‘murica that both emanated from the same corruption spewing bowels of JP Morgan, Citi Corp, Wells Fargo and all the rest of the beasts, foul and sinister, splashing their tails in their illustrious mire. What mattered most was the colour of the bag they would get to gorge from over the ensuing four years and endlessly lamenting that if you voted not for their colour you necessarily voted for the other… even if you were remarkably one of the few too smart to vote. And let’s face it, Bernie was just a coin purse of anal seepage… sufficient only to lure hungered straying sheep to the inevitable dip.

The modern history of ‘murica is a slow march to the right and a wobble to the left every four or eight years. Like drunken sailors whose minds are edging a syphilitic apocalypse, the scent of putrid meat in a bun, on a stick or in high heels and fishnets guides them from one side of the murky alley toward the other. Too, a preference for neon hues of red or blue influence the zig and wobble. Confusing when a Pabst sign offers both.

So… just where in hell is the optimism I’ve found?

Having lived through the fear and loathing of the Nixon years (and having, along with Groucho Marx, been arrested for supposedly threatening the life of that glorious wine drenched beast) I learned that the greatest motivator of rebellion… taking to the streets and the barricades… comes from that soul crying urge to thrust an upward finger in the face of that person you both loath and admire… that person who by his very existence on the planet he so salaciously destroys brings out your inner desire to fight.. and fight unflinchingly to the death… ripping the flesh from his bones and grinding those bones into a fine paste to mix with the rich tones of your palate for texture in painting a different future. Such inspiration comes to a lifetime rarely to the degree it now does. At least for me, had the patri-idiotic dung beetles successfully pushed Hillary to the top of the heap, I might be equally disposed to the sounds of the grist mill. I did, however, secretly hope that Trump would perch on top of the excreta of DC. Perhaps a bit perverse but I admit to wanting that lasting glimpse of Hillary and the Klinton Klan eating a dish of “fuck you”. Long deserved, that dish,

I’m old now, and likely in the way, but for the last 18 months I’ve had a Geritol rush where emerged a jubilant “YIPPIE!” and an urge to once again commandeer the corporate soda trucks on the National Mall and levitate the Pentagon. Deep in my rotting bones I feel a world rising from its very recent mistakes of cowardly turning toward the indefensibly stupid nationalist right. I sense the youth (not that wasted generation that rode the “screw you… I’m a be rich” limo straight to Wall Street from college) that tried an experiment with Occupy and the Black Lives Matter movement, the remaining human section of the planet still capable of human thought, slowly waking up from the Bernie burn and realizing trenches need to be dug, barricades erected and a better than the ’60’s revolution brought to the fore.

In the ’60’s and ’70’s, we stopped the draft and we forced the end of a sick, depraved war but then we set about to have babies, took jobs we mostly hated after the country was saturated with candlemakers and our bellbottoms were too tattered to use as polish cloths for our mid-size and ridiculously compact cars, and neglected to continue the fight so we reaped a net loss by having a zig and a zag to a depressing economy that steered our kids toward enlisting and fighting more sick, depraved wars which lead to a false economy that ushered in greed which lead to crash that lead to a dark-faced massa which has now zagged to a vile smelling beast from the intestines of the devil himself.

You just have to believe we’ve learned something opening our eyes to the reality of the White Whitehouse of Trump. If not, we remain a nation of cloned self-flagellating pinheads walking in ever decreasing circles.

Another bit of optimism equally as dark as the above is the reality that our economy is cyclical and roughly every seven years the masters concoct a taking (prior to Bill Clinton, these takings were farther apart) based on the expected diminishing of ability to fool a group of degenerate gamblers that the Ponzi scheme is working, intact, sustaining. The next crash .. the next taking destined to reduce pensions and savings of deluded quill eaters and force greater foreclosures, pain and suffering for the thread hanging middling class… will happen on Donald’s watch.

Already foreclosures are on the rise, defaults are growing, bankruptcies increasing, Obama, with his much touted and ludicrously manipulated job-creation knew it was only a matter of time before 30hr a week “employment” in sub wage box stores, fast food drive-throughs and temp positions of standing on one’s head waste deep in hapless mediocrity lead to the return of the problems he had no intention of ever repairing. Bill Clinton showed him how to snow a nation and Obama learned to ski.

Trump, who knows everything about running businesses into the ground, will hasten the fall as the GOP monkeys of doom in their $5k suits with “I took an intern’s cherry” tie clasps and matching cufflinks cheer him on. They will benefit from the insider scoops and take away as much as their grubby little hands can carry, order up another bailout of Wall Street.. only this time the banks will use their new weapon of taking directly from the checking and saving accounts of the innocents, and the illusion will be reconstructed for about 7 more years once the “engines” are primed and running. When Trump declares the US bankrupt, at a lavish dinner for all his golden parachute friends, the real class war will begin, The barricades will erupt, the trenches sunk and the youth will lead their parents against the bloated and belching caviar crowd. Or not. Self-flagellation, to some, is sexy.

But I’m an optimist. I can smell the gunpowder.

 

yipviet
** M. Dennis Paul, PhD is a ’60’s radical who wrote under many names in a number of Underground newspapers on both coasts, played with the YIPPIES!, worked with the Black Panther Party & WU as well as others, worked, directed and performed at the infamous Farenheit 451 Bookstore, performed at and directed the Laguna Beach Summer Poetry Festival, ran a concert/nightclub security service eventually moving to a private Counseling & Mediation practice all the while doing things he cannot discuss (so don’t ask). A former writer for several web publications including the Salem-News, he is now retired but still gets urges to rumble in the streets and occasionally update his blog, rebel.lio. , maintain Stanley Cohen’s blog, Caged But Undaunted , contribute to Uprooted Palestinians‘ blog & maintain artist/writer Joni Sarah White’s website “WE THE PEOPLE

Personal Statement Walaa Al-Ghussein Gaza

Personal Statement

Walaa Al-Ghussein

Gaza

While standing in line at the passport control at Cairo International Airport, my friend and I were made to follow a frowning, uncommunicative officer who took our passports. “What’s going to happen to us?” I asked repeatedly. He avoided eye contact; instead, he busied himself accepting bribes from other travelers in return for easing their passage through customs. Finally, he responded “You’re Palestinians? There is no way you are going to pass”. What followed was a long night of humiliation and pleading with the Egyptian officers to let us pass to the Gaza Strip. We were heading home and had no intention of staying in Egypt, we only needed one night’s rest in Cairo as we had slept in another European airport the night before and had been traveling for three days.

They finally agreed to let me go, but my friend was detained at the airport as he was to be escorted by security personnel to the Gaza border in the morning. After they allowed me passage, I stayed at Cairo airport for four additional hours in the middle of the night with no idea what to do and where to go, at a time when many Egyptians harbored great animosity towards Palestinians. This was shortly after the elected president, Mohammed Morsi, was removed from office; he had been regarded as being relatively sympathetic to the Palestinian people. During those hours at the airport, strangers harassed me and propositioned me to leave with them. This is the sort of humiliation I had come to expect while traveling, but could never become accustomed to.

We were never supposed to travel through Egypt; rather, we were supposed to fly to Jordan and take a land route to Gaza from there. However, as Palestinians, we were denied the necessary prior approval to enter Jordan. I stayed in Cairo that night and left for home (a perilous 6-hour road journey) the next morning. I was the last person to cross the Rafah border gate before it was closed by the Egyptian authorities for another extended months-long interval during which Palestinians in the Gaza Strip remained virtually sealed off, with nobody able to leave or enter. This episode illustrates what it is like to be a Palestinian traveling in the Middle East. Nowhere am I confronted with the perils of being a Palestinian than when I stand at a border crossing point.

As it happened, I was returning from the United States after I had spent a summer attending a journalism exchange program at Washington State University, where I was motivated to write about my life’s struggle as a Palestinian. The incident at the airport was a classic example of the nature of these struggles. In this case, however, it was also a trigger to put my newly acquired training in journalism to good use.

As a Palestinian, my sense of identity has always been nebulous. I have been defined by war or by the one-dimensional images of CNN reports and New York Times editorials. My own personal identity is something I had never explored, as I only strove to present myself as a person who can be accepted in my society. Still, I was raised on certain values; my family instilled in me the ability to think and act according to my own persuasions, which were those of a free-thinker. I had always been an intrigued girl who wanted to know everything.

Thus, from my besieged city, I began using social media to explore the outside world, follow politics, and interact with people from different cultures. Through my small screen and poor Wi-Fi connection, I opened brand new horizons of knowledge and critical thinking. I read many blogs and articles by activists, journalists, and political writers such as George Orwell, Noam Chomsky, and Edward Said, whom I came to greatly admire. These experiences culminated in an unwavering ambition to achieve in words what such accomplished writers once did or still do.

I am now a 24-year-old woman who recently completed my bachelor’s degree in English Education at Al-Azhar University of Gaza, a major I grudgingly settled on because of the extremely limited educational options in Gaza. However, the courses I took during my studies enhanced my English language skills dramatically; moreover, I took the opportunity to actually teach English to children and teenagers for a year. Additionally, I engaged in multiple freelance tasks while a student, and have already published articles in major media outlets as well as my own blogs [URLs of some of my articles are listed at the bottom of this essay]. I have also presented my experiences to various audiences. I thrive on being critiqued; I think of myself as an achiever, someone who tends to be both realistic and idealistic, rational yet creative. People go through various phases of life searching for what they love to do. Discovering journalism was the turning point in my own life; I no longer needed to find myself, as my own writings found me.

At CUNY, I will be able to greatly widen my intellectual and academic horizons,and journey deeper into the world of ideas, theories, and history. I will be better able to understand social, economic, and political relationships and how they affect our day-to-day lives. I am enticed by the academic rigor and interdisciplinary philosophy because, as an aspiring writer, it is necessary for me to acquire as wide an array of knowledge as possible. If accepted, I look forward to being among ambitious and intelligent students who would challenge my thinking as I would theirs. It is for these reasons that I apply to your esteemed institution, and look forward to this next chapter in my life.

Links to selected articles and some profiles:

Walaa Al Ghussein on the power (and vulnerability) of Palestinian journalists. Published in Mondoweiss on April 12, 2015 [http://mondoweiss.net/2015/04/vulnerability-palestinian-journalists/]

My profile for Aljazeera English Web [http://www.aljazeera.com/profile/walaa-ghussein.html]

My profile on International Business Times [http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/reporters/walaa-ghussein]

My story of Al-Hashash family as part of the web documentary Obliterated Families[http://obliteratedfamilies.com/en/story/al-hashash/]

The Arab Journalism Project – USA [https://arabjournalismblog.wordpress.com/students/walaa-fatma/]

Featured in Gaza’s Female Fixers on Aljazeera English Web. Published on Sep 11,2015 [http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/09/gaza-female-fixers-palestine-150910060213178.html]

Hosting local session from Davos 2016 in Gaza – organized by Walaa AlGhusseinon January 26, 2016. [https://www.globalshapers.org/news/hosting-local-session-davos-gaza]

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