Saturday, August 31, 2013

Study War No More

Embedded image permalinkPeace activists across the United States prepare for anti-war demonstrations in the wake of President Obama's announcement that he would seek Congressional approval for military strikes on Syria.

Amnesty International released an announcement urging an arms embargo and deployment of international monitors instead.

Syrians opposing the current regime expressed opposition to U.S. intervention.

Meanwhile, defense industry profits rose with the sound of war drumming.

A better tune:


Representative Alan Grayson is circulating this petition, asking for your signature to tell Congress to deny permission for war.

More information about protests near you at the website for Answer Coalition

*Photo credit/via Lee Camp & Moc Show, August 31st Times Square, New York City protest against War in Syria. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

No We Won't

Justice Department says they won't interfere with state legalization of medical and recreational marijuana.

Seattle holds an annual "Hempfest" or marijuana festival, reportedly the largest yearly pot celebration in the world.  This year was the first time it was held since Washington state voters overwhelmingly decided to legalize recreational use.  Video below from the 2013 festival this past month.  

Seattle police handled legalization issues at the 2013 Hempfest by indulging festival goers' munchies with free bags of Doritos sporting public information flyers:*264/0819+Hempfest+Doritos.jpg

Video of Dorito distribution below, including further footage of festival merriment.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

#StrikeFor15 #StrikePoverty

Fast food workers across the nation walked off the job today demanding a living wage of 15.00 per hour.  More discussion of that subject here, including what fast food workers make in Australia and Europe.

While American fast food workers obviously can't make ends meet on a minimum wage that ranges from a little over seven to nine dollars per hour depending on what state you're in, the fast food industry reportedly makes 200 billion dollars in profits each year, with McDonalds CEO Don Thompson, alone, seeing his yearly salary triple from 4.1 million to 13.8 million dollars between 2011 and 2013.

Besides the fact that these companies can afford it, it's just the decent way to treat people, and it's really not that much, here are ten other reasons why fast food workers deserve a raise.

And below are some photos from the day shared on twitter:

Via instagram, more pics here ("We Are Worth More"), and here with jasiri_x and fast food workers in Milwaukee.  Another article here from Common Dreams

Representative John Lewis turned out in Atlanta to connect with and support the fast food workers, one day after the commemoration in Washington D.C. for the 1963 March On Washington.


Phillip Agnew of Dream Defenders shares a short statement and poem, Two Minutes - #OurMarchAfter being invited with Sophia Campos of United We Dream to speak for the younger generation at the 50th Anniversary commemoration for the March On Washington, the dream activists were cut from the program at the last minute because of "time." 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Let Freedom Ring

President Obama's full speech at the 50th Anniversary commemoration for the 1963 March On Washington - Let Freedom Ring.  Seated to the side are members of the King family.  


Photostream here from The Darkroom, the photography and video blog for The Baltimore Sun.  

Trayvon Martin's parents here, singing Blowin' In The Wind with Peter and Paul.

How I Got Over

Well, today's the anniversary of one of the most important gatherings in American history.  Following, a video compilation of some of the tremendous musical performers amidst assorted crowd scenes at the 1963 March on Washington.

Below, Mahalia Jackson performing How I Got Over in full.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's The Real Thing

Photo: "This is something we will not give up on because we are not going to give up on destroying the health care system for the American people."  - Paul Ryan (and his Freudian slip) 

Not to give anyone any ideas, but that's the Illinois contingent of the Overpass Light BrigadeHealthcare-NOW! reports that Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice (NIJWJ) is endorsing H.R. 676, John Conyer's national single payer healthcare legislation.  [The real thing, that is, like in the words to the old Coca Cola commercial, and what all educated people know Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be standing up for, as well.  (So if you know about that, you must be educated.)] 

NIJWJ is the 606th American labor organization to take a stand for an expanded and improved Medicare for all.  (Along with all the major women's rights organizations, 65% of the American public, and 55% of the medical profession.)  Mary Shesgreen, a member of the NIJWJ steering committee, told Healthcare-NOW! that most members of the steering committee have long supported it (anyway).

Also, on July 30, 2013, 3 more congresspersons signed on to H.R. 676, bringing the total number of House cosponsors to 49.  The roll call now includes Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY- 12), Robert A. Brady (PA-1), and Jose E. Serrano (NY-15)

Can someone redo this song?  I'd really like to give everyone in America a national health care policy so that all of God's children -- black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, Muslims and agnostics, women and children, too - can see the doctor of their choice when they need to.  A real national health care plan like Canada - an expanded and improved Medicare for All, including dental and vision, and one in which you never see a bill - you only see your healthcare provider.  You never worry about whether or not you're covered or whether you can afford to see a physician - you just make the appointment.

That is my dream.  For all of America.  (Now please go tell it on the mountain at #DreamDay or make sure people hear about it on Wed., August 28th.  If you share this dream, find and contact your representative here to either thank him or her if you see their name on that list of cosponsors, or to urge them to truly honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by signing on to the real thing - a bill that really provides health care for all - H.R. 676.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Standing In The Shadows

Video coverage of the 50th Anniversary March On Washington.  

Two civil rights leaders who attended, Professor Cornell West and writer and activist Ajamu Baraka strongly rebuked the Obama administration's policies in light of the commemorative march and Dr. King's views, interviews that are shown in full with the second two videos (following a little repeat of the initial coverage).   

Mr. Baraka recently wrote an article, Standing in the Shadows of Dr. King - Obama Should Not be Welcomed at the March on Washington Commemoration, referencing the anticipated August 28th Wednesday gathering at Lincoln memorial marking the actual date on which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic I Have A Dream Speech.  President Obama is slated to address the crowd and Mr. Baraka is calling for a boycott of the event by "all of us who considered ourselves people who believe in the independence of social movements from any political party and the right of the people to give meaning to our own experiences free from the State."

In the article published by counterpunch, Mr. Baraka elaborates,
Could anyone imagine MLK supporting or buying into the incoherent rationalizations of Obama’s actions? On Obama’s record is the killing of 16 year-old Abdurrahman al-Alawki by a U.S. drone strike, just one of the many innocent dead and maimed civilians who have been casualties of U.S. international aggression under the banner of the War on Terror. Add to that the illegal and immoral invasion of Libya and the killing of more than 50,000 people in that country, and the fermenting of civil war in Syria that has cost more than 100,000 lives; the boycotting of the United Nations anti-racism conference and process that gave political cover to all of the other racist, European states that also walked out; the incomprehensible action to obstruct the elected President of Haiti, Bertrand Aristide, from returning to his country from the exile imposed upon him by the Bush administration; giving the green light to deporting record numbers of undocumented workers, a policy that tore families apart and terrorized communities.
Would Dr. King have seen Edward Snowden’s act of civil disobedience as an act worthy of international persecution and imprisonment? Can anyone see Dr. King praising the Obama administration for turning its back on the people of Honduras when they asked for U.S. support to protect their democracy and instead sided with, and gave support to, the coup plotters?
Would it have been possible for Dr. King to remain silent on the state murder of Troy Davis?  And what might Dr. King, who personally experienced the heavy hand of state repression, have said about the decision by the Obama administration to coordinate, at the federal level, the suppression of the Occupy Wall Street movement across the country and to give the Presidency, through the National Defense Authorization Act, the power to indefinitely detain and deny the constitutional and human rights of U.S. citizens without judicial review?
If you cannot see any connection between the political and moral positions of President Obama and Dr. King, it is because none exist.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Soul Force

ap mlk memorial quote kb 130723 16x9 608 King Memorial Renovated in Time for March on Washington Anniversary 

Coverage of the 50th Anniversary March On Washington here and here and here.  On youtube, thecount (search "March on Washington 50th Anniversary Speakers") appears to be uploading rough video of various speakers, if you are looking for anyone in particular.  PBS is slated to be posting further coverage.

Below, Representative John Lewis' speech:


Velcrow Ripper has released this short video of Representative Lewis, "Soul Force," and that also includes a brief excerpt of Mr. Lewis' speech in 1963.

Listen to Bayard Rustin read the 1963 list of demands here

Just a few of the incredible images from #MOW50 and #MillionHoodies (among other hashtags) here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Phillip Agnew of Dream Defenders spoke for a few minutes to the crowd.

*Photo credit/via abc, photographer: J. Scott Applewhite, "King Memorial Renovated In Time For March On Washington."

Chelsea Manning

A day after Chelsea Manning's sentencing and statement, discussion with transgender activist Lauren McNamara and Chase Strangio, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union's Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project.


Also, Alexa O'Brien speaks with Attorney David Coombs in the first extended interview following the trial. 

An interview with Vijay Prashad, uploaded August 9, 2013, concerning the Manning case in light of the 68th Anniversary of signing the Nuremberg Charter and the responsibility of soldiers to report war crimes.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

One Day's Too Much

Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison this morning, described as the stiffest sentence ever handed out in the U.S. for leaking information to the media.  Mr. Manning is also reduced to the rank of private, dishonorably discharged, and forfeits all pay and benefits.  The sentence was decreased by 1,182 days for pre-trial confinement and 112 days for inhumane treatment after his 2010 arrest.  Attorney David Coombs said that Bradley Manning could be released in seven years for good behavior and time already served, and said that his client will seek a presidential pardon or commuting of the sentence to time already served. 

Military judge Col. Denise Lind reportedly announced the sentence without explanation in a proceeding that lasted only a few minutes.  In a packed courtroom, spectators gasped and cried out, "We'll keep fighting for you, Bradley," and "You're our hero!"

Bradley Manning supporters outside the main gate of Fort Meade, where the soldier was being sentence

Outside the courtroom, Attorney Coombs called on the president to protect whistle blowers instead of punishing them and told reporters, "While we were successful in avoiding the aiding the enemy offense, the fact that the government pursued this offense, the fact that the government let this offense go forward, even after it was clear that there was no evidence of any intent to do so - should sound an alarm to every journalist - it should sound an alarm to every concerned citizen."

Spokespersons with the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, the Federation of American Scientists, Whistleblower Advocates, and many other activists and groups condemned the sentence.  Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, still holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London himself, released a statement calling Manning's trial and conviction "an affront to the basic concepts of Western justice," though a "significant tactical victory" because Manning could be paroled much earlier. 

RT spoke to civil rights activist, author, and professor Dr. Cornell West who said that it is "a sad day in the country when a fellow citizen, my dear brother Bradley Manning, reveals lies and crimes of the U.S. government, and he's the one who's criminalized .. And for me, one day's too much."

Mr. Manning's attorney, David Coombs, reportedly began to weep after the sentencing as Mr. Manning turned to him and said, "Don't worry about it. It's all right. I know you did your best. ... I'm going to be OK. I'm going to get through this."

Video coverage below, followed by a discussion of the sentencing, and the brief excerpt with Dr. West.

Photo credits/top, via Christian Science Monitor photographer: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Bradley Manning supporters in a night vigil outside the White House in late July 2013.  Middle, via the guardian, "Bradley Manning case stretches credibility of U.S. computer fraud law," Manning supporters outside the main gates of Fort Meade in July 2013 where the soldier was found guilty of espionage.

Editor's Update, 8.22.2013 - In a statement read by Manning's attorney David Coombs on the Thursday morning Today Show, Bradley Manning thanked supporters and announced that he wished to live the rest of his life as a woman:

Subject: The Next Stage of My Life
I want to thank everybody who has supported me over the last three years. Throughout this long ordeal, your letters of support and encouragement have helped keep me strong. I am forever indebted to those who wrote to me, made a donation to my defense fund, or came to watch a portion of the trial. I would especially like to thank Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network for their tireless efforts in raising awareness for my case and providing for my legal representation.
As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.

Thank you,
Chelsea E. Manning
Manning's statement
Due to this announcement, in any subsequent coverage of the Manning case, with the exception of quotes or references by third parties, Sauk River Review plans to refer to Mr. Bradley E. Manning as Ms. Chelsea E. Manning, out of respect for her wishes.

More here at Today.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mark's Resistance

From Occupy Atlanta, Desert Storm veteran Mark Harris and fellow Occupy Our Homes activists resist eviction from his 18 years home.  OOH reports that Mr. Harris had been in negotiations with Fannie Mae for 10 months to modify his mortgage, even traveling to Washington D.C. to meet with executives concerning his willingness and ability to pay if a modification were worked out.  Fannie Mae refused, and the veteran was evicted by armed police officers, arriving with guns pointed at Mr. Harris, 8:00 A.M., August 9th.  Fannie Mae has since been paying thousands of dollars for private security to guard an empty house.


Hands Off

photographer: Robert Yanal
Rodin's The Thinker at the Detroit Art Institute, a world renowned American art collection now threatened with the auction block.

Via the Ptarmigan, internet rallies to save the Detroit Art Institute's collection in #DayDetroit.  More here from the Detroit Free Press, and below from Rachel Maddow:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, August 16, 2013


A gem from Coldfront Magazine and An Eye For An Iris Press, Poetry At OWS.  In October 2011, poets were asked to meet at Zuccotti Park "to read poems they felt could contextualize the Occupy Wall Street experience."  Filmed and edited by DJ Dolack.


March On Washington 

The 50th Anniversary March On Washington is slated for Saturday, August 24th, 2013.  You can RSVP actual or virtual attendance at the NAACP website.   

Occupy Wall Street reports that the march will be joined by the Million Hoodie Movement For Justice.  The Million Hoodie Movement also has a 4 minute coast to coast action planned for the following day, Sunday, August 25th at 7:16 P.M. eastern time, 4:16 pacific, as per the video announcement below:


In recent news, a federal judge ruled NYPD application of the highly controversial Stop and Frisk laws unconstitutional.  Discussion in the video below with Carl Dix, Co-Founder of the Stop Stop and Frisk Movement.


Image credits/top, via, "Demonstration - 50th Anniversary of the March On Washington, Continuation of the battle for jobs, justice and freedom."

Out With Student Debt

An interview with Natalia Abrams, co-founder of The Student Debt Crisis, a group building an out with student debt campaign (#outwithstudentdebt) to bring the real faces of real people to the public, and wipe away the stigma, shame, and secrecy attached to owing these large sums of money.  The group is also working for consumer protection reform.

Ms. Abrams states, "Over 60% of the people with education debt are over the age of 30.  They're myself, they're my mother, people like that.  So we really need to put an alternate face on that and show that this is everyone's problem, not just students' problems."

Below, the youtube announcement for the #outwithstudentdebt "coming out" campaign, and by the group's artistic director, Aaron Calfato,

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bradley Manning Speaks

Bradley Manning spoke today to the court in an unsworn statement that could hopefully make the difference from a previously reduced-to-90 year sentence to one that "splits the difference" to thirty or forty.

From Firedoglake, the full transcript of Bradley Manning's statement as recorded by a stenographer with The Freedom of Press Foundation:
First, your honour I want to start off with an apology. I am sorry that my actions hurt people. I ‘m sorry that they hurt the United States.
At the time of my decisions, as you know, I was dealing with a lot of issues, issues that are ongoing and continuing to effect me. Although a considerable difficulty in my life, these issues are not an excuse for my actions.
I understood what I was doing, and decisions I made. However I did not fully appreciate the broader effects of my actions.
Those factors are clear to me now, through both self-refection during my confinement in various forms, and through the merits and sentecing testimony that I have seen here.
I am sorry for the unintended consequences of my actions. When I made these decisions I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people.
The last few years have been a learning experience. I look back at my decisions and wonder how on earth could I, a junior analyst, possibly believe I could change the world for the better […] on decisions of those with the proper authority.
In retrospect I should have worked more aggressively inside the system, as we discussed during the […] statement, I had options and I should have used these options.
Unfortunately, I can’t go back and change things.  I can only go forward. I want to go forward. Before I can do that, I understand that I must pay a price for my decisions and actions.
Once I pay that price, I hope to one day live in a manner that I haven’t been able to in the past.  I want to be a better person, to go to college, to get a degree and to have a meaningful relationship with my sister with my sister’s family and my family.
I want to be a positive influence in their lives, just as my Aunt Deborah has been to me. I have flaws and issues that I have to deal with, but I know that I can and will be a better person.
I hope that you can give me the opportunity to prove, not through words, but through conduct, that I am a good person and that I can return to productive place in society.  Thank you, Your Honor. 
CBS reports at least 46 international journalists and 76 spectators in attendance, many of whom wore "black 'truth t shirts.'"

Below, via Buzz Feed (as shown), a secretly recorded audio of Bradley Manning's statement to the court as to why he "leaked secret documents."  The recording was leaked in March 2013 by the Freedom of Press Foundation, and marking the first time the American public had ever heard the actual voice of Bradley Manning.

Photo credits/top image, via Solidarity, "The Trials of Bradley Manning," San Francisco protesters demand Bradley Manning's release/bottom image, via The Daily Bail/Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg expresses his support for the release of Bradley Manning.  

8.14.2013 Update/Editor's Note.  Alexa O'Brien's rush transcript of Bradley Manning's statement, as follows, via wikileaks tweet:

First your Honor. I want to start off with an apology. I am sorry. I am sorry that my actions hurt people. I am sorry that it hurt the United States. At the time of my decisions, as you know, I was dealing with a lot of issues-- issues that are ongoing and they are continuing to affect me.

Although they have caused me considerable difficulty in my life, these issues are not an excuse for my actions. I understood what I was doing and the decisions I made. However, I did not truly appreciate the broader effects of my actions. Those effects are clearer to me now through both self-reflection during my confinement in its various forms and through the merits and sentencing testimony that I have seen here.

I am sorry for the unintended consequences of my actions. When I made these decisions I believed I was gonna help people, not hurt people. The last few years have been a learning experience. I look back at my decisions and wonder, 'How on earth could I, a junior analyst, possibly believe I could change the world for the better over the decisions of those with the proper authority?'

In retrospect I should have worked more aggressively inside the system as we discussed during the Providence Statement and had options and I should have used these options. Unfortunately, I can't go back and change things. I can only go forward. i want to go forward. Before I can do that though, I understand that I must pay a price for my decisions and actions. 

Once I pay that price, I hope to one day live in the manner I haven't been able to in the past. I want to be a better person-- to go to college-- to get a degree-- and to have a meaningful relationship with my sister's family and my family. 

I want to be a positive influence in their lives, just as my aunt Deborah has been to me. I have flaws and issues that I have to deal with, but I know that I can and will be a better person. I hope you can give me the opportunity to prove-- not through words, but through conduct-- that I am a good person, and that I can return to a productive place in society. 

Thank you, your Honor.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ceteris Paribus

As American fast food workers continue to work towards a 15 dollar per hour minimum wage, Jaisal Noor speaks with Salvatore Babones, Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney in Australia.  Australia has an over sixteen dollar per hour minimum wage, and unlike the U.S., is not in an economic recession (to put it mildly insofar as the U.S. is concerned).  

Could this be attributed to a higher minimum wage? Babones supports the view that raising minimum wage does not hurt, but rather helps the economy as, for example, Australia has been doing well, only experiencing a mild slow down in hiring in 2008, then things "picked right back up."  Also, says Professor Babones, "We have to remember - that's in a context where ordinary workers don't just make, you know, 17, 18, 19 dollars an hour, but in which those workers have vacation days, sick days, 4 weeks annual leave, and full health insurance." [And retirement benefits, he also states later, with the exact wage for Australian fast food workers at 17.98 per hour.] 

That is, Professor Babones tells us, looking at Australia (and Europe, too) where workers are doing much better than the U.S., the studies just don't bear up to the idea that raising minimum wage hurts the economy;  rather, that it helps.

He states,
"There's a theory that raising the minimum wage will result in fewer jobs.  And that theory seems to make intuitive sense.  That when wages are higher, you know, people hire fewer people.  And in isolation, that would be true.  There's an assumption economists like to make called ceteris paribus - which means all other things remaining equal, this would happen.  But all things are never equal.  For example, when you raise minimum wage, people make more money.  That's the first thing that's not equal.  As people make more money, they spend more, they pay more in taxes. The entire character of the economy changes.  And so what we really need to do is instead of arguing from theory that if you raise minimum wage it would cause problems for employers, you should argue from fact.  That is, look at countries where minimum wage is higher.  See how well they're doing. And in fact, those countries are doing quite well."
Hear the full interview:

Image credits/Top first, Via The Solari Report Blog: Building Wealth In Changing Times, posted by Catherine, "McDonald's To Become Macca's in Australia." The Australian nickname for McDonald's, "Macca's," became so popular that they changed the sign as shown in the picture.  But an Australian McDonald's is more different than its nickname.  Australian fast food workers make 17.98 per hour, while also enjoying full health coverage, vacation days, sick days, 4 weeks annual leave, and retirement benefits.  The Australian economy is doing well despite claims in some American circles that raising minimum wage hurts economies. (Notice, too, that the Macca's is open 24 hours.) Second image, Courtesy of Young Economists' Convention, posted by Tricia Della Rosa, "Ceteris Paribus and its Etymology."  Harry Potter makes the effective point.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Artist Tasered And Dies

While Israel Hernandez-Llach was spray-painting a shuttered McDonald’s early Tuesday morning he was chased down by Miami Beach police and shot in the chest with a Taser. He later died. 
An eighteen year old Miami-based artist died on Tuesday after he was tasered by police.  Israel Hernández-Llach was spray painting graffiti on an abandoned McDonald's building when police discovered him "in the act," and then chased him through the streets before cornering him and shooting him in the chest.  Two friends who witnessed the incident said that the officers high-fived each other and made jokes about the artist's "butt clenching" from the taser as he died. 

Hernandez-Llach was known as a young talent whose work was well known in local art circles.Mr. Hernández was a sculptor, writer, photographer, and painter with a number of pieces exhibited in galleries in the Miami area.  He was also known as a graffiti artist called "Reefer."  Mr. Hernández was completing high school, and had studied art with Herb Kelly at Miami Beach High.  Mr. Kelly said it had been an honor to work with Mr. Hernández;  he described the teen's work as "cutting edge" with "awesome potential," also saying that the Mr. Hernández was inspired by the work of photographer Carl Juste who he met when Mr. Juste came in to speak to one of his classes.  The teen was planning to meet with Mr. Juste to show him some of his work.

The New York Daily News reports that Mr. Hernández had also recently launched his own line of skateboards and worked as an art director for a modeling agency.

The teen launched his own line of custom skateboards and worked as an art director for a modeling agency.

Below, interview footage with some of Mr. Hernández' friends, including the two witnesses to the incident, Thiago Souza and Félix Fernández, who describe what they saw.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Why People Are Protesting

#1984Day protesters in New York City talk about why they are there:

People gathered in cities across the country Sunday to express their objection to NSA spying.  

Assorted twitter photos here from BuzzfeedIowa City coverage, Salt Lake City, and more photos of NYC from Mashable

Below, footage of Daniel Ellsberg speaking in San Francisco:


Sunday, August 4, 2013



Occupy Wall Street reports demonstrations across the country today against NSA spying including a broad coalition along with Restore the Fourth.  More information about protests local to your area at and #1984Day on twitter.

Hear NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake speaking at the Restore the Fourth demonstration in Washington D.C. on July 4th 2013 (youtube embedding disabled).

More here at Common Dreams.

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Night In The Capitol

Miami Herald reports that Dream Defenders held a mock session of the Florida legislature this week while calling for a special session on the controversial Stand Your Ground law and passage of the Trayvon Martin Act.  

The activists have been camped outside Governor Rick Scott's office for two weeks, at this point, in buoyant spirits, and despite apparent efforts by the governor's office to demoralize the young people and drive them away, including by means of which was believed to be the governor's instructions to block the passage of food for protesters inside the building.  

The food eventually went through.

Reverend Jesse Jackson recently joined the Dream Defenders for "A Night In The Capitol" describing the young activists as a student movement at its best, "following the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi in staging a nonviolent protest. It’s the definition of patriotism.”

Below, video of Dream Defenders standing their ground

Read more here:

More video of Dream Defenders below talking about what they're building in Talahassee.  One Dream Defender broadcasts to the public, in yet another invitation to spend a night in the capitol, 
"People, we are the power that the nation feels.  We need each and every individual able to join us at the state capitol here in Talahassee - to come out and to invite your friends, your family, and your leaders.  You can come at any time from seven o'clock to five o'clock p.m.  If you're in before five o'clock, you can stay as long as you want and you can leave whenever.  You cannot bring sleeping bags.  But you can bring covers, pillows, and any other hygenic materials that you would need to have a comfortable stay with us.  We have created an environment that is love and we have a family.  Please join us in the fight.  We need you all.  Love you.  Namaste."

Dream Defenders were also recently joined by legendary civil rights activist and singer Harry Belafonte who is joined by Stevie Wonder and other high profile performers in calling for a boycott on Florida until Stand Your Ground is repealed.

Photo credit/top, via Sociology Lens, Dream Defenders standing their ground in the Florida capitol building. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Do You Hear The People Sing?

Uploaded January 2013, Valjeans from around the world perform Do You Hear The People Sing?


Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?

Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free!!

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people

Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance
Some will fall and some will live
Will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs
Will water the meadows of France!

Here is a film scene with the music (I'm still on line with The People at the public library - around 100 of us - though I saw the stage production years ago).  Remind you of anything? -->


And below, as per twitter, Keith Alexander phoning Edward Snowden: