February 2012

Hello Humanist Activists! Here’s our chance to show support for our belief in the Bill of Rights and our trust in the People’s Right to Peaceably Assemble for Redress of Grievances! Important issues are at stake!

We are all invited to join with others of like mind, with what is hoped to be a very large gathering, in behalf of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, that will take place at Union Square, beginning at noontime on Tuesday, February 28th, and continuing for all of the day.

At 6:00 PM on Tuesday, February 28, at the time of our Humanist Society of Metropolitan New York (HSMNY) scheduled meeting at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC), I plan to report on the day’s activities, and hope that those who were unable to join with us earlier in the day will be able to get together for discussion in the evening.

Here is the call for action that I’m forwarding to you, in hopes that you also will be able to come to the gathering…even on your lunch hour, if possible, and to voice your concern and your determination that we Americans who “allegedly” support the creation of democracy in foreign nations, have democratic rights of our VERY OWN…right here in the middle of our greatest City, right in the middle of the day, right in plain sight, quite near to the Belly of the Beast of Wall Street………without being pepper-sprayed, clubbed into submission and retreat, and fenced-in with netting, and loaded into paddy wagons for refusing to OBEY the police, who should be protecting our Right to Protest! Seeing thousands of protestors in foreign lands being machine-gunned down in the streets makes us cringe with fear and shame, as well as sympathy and awe, at people’s continued determination to make their voices heard in spite of the murderous stifling of their Rights! What is going on?! And what might be going on in THIS country, with what we learned to be coordinated actions to suppress demonstrations across the country, in conjunction with Homeland Security, the CIA and the FBI! Already injuries here with canisters and rubber bullets! What’s next? Are WE THE PEOPLE, who are dedicated to NON-violence…such a threat?

If you’d like to learn more about the planning and the action, here’s info, and contact e-mail from Travis Morales: dontsuppressows@yahoo.com and his
special appeal to reach out to others, and all who may wish to be involved.

—– Original Message —–

From: Don’t Suppress OWS
Subject: Update F28 Mass Action v Suppression of Occupy


In just a few days we plan to be among thousands of people — in a crowd too big to be ignored — rallying and marching against the suppression of Occupy. We’re talking to more and more people who are part of OWS who think this should happen, but we all need to make sure it does. Start now. Bring the people you occupied with; your friends who dug it, but just never got down to Zuccotti Park; everyone you know who was outraged at the middle of the night eviction and brutal police.

Check out the discussion on the Facebook Event page for F28. It’s become a place where people are sharing stories of repression against the Occupy movement, and statements of support for Mass Action on February 28. Please, if you’re on Facebook, like the page and join in the discussion. That’s one way we can spread F28 beyond NYC.

We hope to have thousands of postcards, in production now. We want also to produce stickers & posters. That’s the reason for the fund campaign on IndieGoGo. We’re a little stuck at $860, and could use some small donations to get things moving again. Or you can just go on that page and comment. We learned that someone who gave hundreds to the campaign this weekend had heard a presentation at an OWS working group, and just wants F28 to happen.

We just got a permit for the rally to open F28 at Union Square. The stage & sound company who has worked with OWS, is ready to work with us. They want to know how big a stage, and how many people will need to hear the sound. What do you think?

Outreach is going on now at 60 Wall Street. There’s a lot you can do with the hash tags #28 and #dontsuppressows on Twitter, and a message to people to sign the Call for Mass Action Against the Suppression of the Occupy Movement will help more people get committed to what needs to be done.

Travis Morales

~ ~ ~

Here’s a further organizing message and an appeal, regarding some of the thinking that is going on with the planners; this message is entitled:

F28 Mass Action v. Suppression of Occupy

Questions: People doing outreach at OWS have reported a lot of interest in F28, (February 28th of course!) even excitement that OWS may be “re-emerging.” But have we challenged people substantially with the idea that this suppression must be answered now, rather than later in the spring? The Call for Mass Action says, “if this illegitimate wave of repression is allowed to stand. if the powers-that-be succeed in suppressing or marginalizing this new movement. if people are once again ‘penned in’-both literally and symbolically-things will be much worse.”

We’ve come together to act with urgency to bring thousands to Union Square and based on the need for “massive demonstrations-soon-carried out in public spaces where they can have maximum impact and exposure and where the authorities cannot pen in, suppress, and otherwise attempt to marginalize these demonstrations.” How can we convey that message in our outreach?

Thanks to another generous donor who gave $1000 today, we will be able to print postcards, and we are at almost 20% of our fund goal for F28. We are working on posters & stickers. 100 people giving $10 each would also be a very good thing, and help spread support for #DontSuppressOWS. Please go to the fund site now and donate, forward and tweet using the tools on the page. Asking people to give is an immediate and important way of asking them to take F28 very seriously, whether or not they can be on the streets with us.

InterOccupy has set up a conference call open to anyone to discuss F28. This was suggested as a good way to reach people at many occupations. You can register the call and share the link with lots of people via e-mail and social networking.

Please forward this appeal? Here’s hoping to see you on February 28th!

Bradley Manning To Be Arraigned At Fort Meade Feb. 23rd.
Court Martial Expected In Early May.

By the Bradley Manning Support Network. February 13, 2012

The US Army last week scheduled a formal arraignment hearing for PFC Bradley Manning, the accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower. The arraignment is scheduled for 1:00 PM EST, February 23, 2012 at Fort Meade, Maryland, just northeast of Washington DC. While the hearing itself is expected to be brief, PFC Manning is expected to be present, and the proceedings are open to the media and public. Washington DC area supporters of the Support Network are encouraged to attend the arraignment.

Bradley’s show trial will begin in earnest with this arraignment. This proceeding will set the dates for a series of hearings on pre-trial motions likely to occur in March and April. Finally, the arraignment will set the date for the full court-martial-which we currently expect to begin in early May.

If the Obama administration is the least bit concerned with providing even the appearance of a fair trial, they will allow Bradley’s legal defense team to explore the critical issues at the heart of this case, including: President Obama’s recorded unlawful command influence over the proceedings, the illegal and torturous conditions that Bradley was subjected to for nine months at the Quantico Marine Brig, the over-classification of all of the documents in question, and the lack of any harm to national security from the release of the documents.

So far military officials have blocked nearly every request by Bradley’s defense team, led by Iraq War veteran David Coombs, for access to evidence and witnesses that could explore these core issues. During the Article 32 pre-trial hearing held in December, the defense was denied access to over three dozen critical witnesses (while the prosecution was allowed access to every one of two dozen witnesses requested). This allowed military officials to limit the hearing to little more than a discussion of mitigating factors related to Bradley’s emotional health.

If Bradley had been a member of the US Marine squad that admitted to systematically murdering two dozen innocent Iraqi men, women, and children in Haditha, Iraq, he’d be walking free today. Instead, he faces the real prospect of life in prison for telling the truth.

Next week’s arraignment comes just after Bradley was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by members of the Icelandic Parliament. A blog post by MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir explained their rationale for the nomination:

According to journalists, his alleged actions helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence on our foreign policies, and most recently contributed to the Obama Administration agreeing to withdraw all U.S. troops from the occupation in Iraq.

Join us at a mass rally for Bradley at Fort Meade to coincide with the beginning of his court martial! The date(s) of the rally will be announced after the trial date is set-we’re currently anticipating early May. If you can’t make the trip to the Washington DC area, organize or take part in one of over a hundred solidarity events worldwide.

Individuals who can help organize events in your town/city: Sign our Trial Action Pledge to help organize support for Bradley!

Organizations that wish to endorse these events and potentially help publicize and organize them should check out the new Organizational Endorsement Pledge!

We have about 100 days to save Bradley from over 100 years in prison.

Donations are accepted.

Please help promote this demonstration to take place in New York City on February 28, 2012!

Contact: dontsuppressows@yahoo.com – Debra Sweet 646-807-3259

New York City Rally February 28 Against Suppression of Occupy Movement

  • What: Rally & March
  • When: 5:00 pm Tuesday February 28, 2012
  • Where: Union Square, NYC (north side, 17th Street)

Support is growing for a non-violent mass action Tuesday, February 28 in NYC against the suppression and repression of the Occupy Movement, raising the demands, “Stand with the Occupy Movement! No Rubber Bullets – No Beatings – No Tear Gas – No Mass Arrests.Drop All the Charges Against Occupiers.” The General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street reached consensus February 11 in support of the Call for Mass Action Against the Suppression of the Occupy Movement, and specifically in support of the February 28 Mass Action at Union Square in New York City.

Organizer George Packard, a retired Episcopal bishop who was detained by the NYPD while bringing water to the occupiers at Zuccotti Park, and later arrested in an Occupy Wall Street action, said the action February 28 “is the absolute preface to any other actions. It’s a question of process even before we take to the streets—how is it that there is this coordinated effort to stifle our free speech?! Mayors on conference calls simultaneously rousting encampments? Renegade cops taking aggressive initiatives because it makes superiors smile? Tear gas and rubber bullets fired into the ranks of Occupy Oakland? Enough!”

Cornel West, who led Occupy Wall Street to protest the NYPD “stop and frisk” policy; Scott Olsen, the Iraq veteran who was shot in the head by the Oakland police in October, and Boots Riley of The Coup have signed the Call, as has former poet laureate of the United States and U.C. Berkeley professor Robert Hass.

Occupy Cleveland also voted unanimously to support the Call for Mass Action Against the Suppression of the Occupy Movement which says, “the state planned and unleashed naked and systematic violence and repression against people attempting to exercise rights that are supposed to be legally guaranteed. This response by those who wield power in this society is utterly shameful from a moral standpoint, and thoroughly illegitimate from a legal and political one.”

The action on Tuesday February 28 will begin with a rally at Union Square. New York organizers of the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Suppression of the Occupy Movement are calling on other occupations to sign the Call, bring it to General Assemblies, and organize local events on F28.

Please promote and support this Action! Please be there and be involved!

How shall we Protect the Occupy Wall Street Protestors? Here’s a letter to Dennis Kucinich proposing a law to protect peaceful protestors.

Witnessing the over-reaction to peaceful protestors by police across the nation is alarming to concerned citizens who recognize that this response is contrary to the United States’ First Amendment Rights of Free Speech and our Right to Peaceably Assemble in Redress of Grievances that are insured by Law. Our Bill of Rights cannot be repealed!

A new Federal Law is needed to assure that these rights to “Peaceably Assemble” are respected, especially against all threats, abuse, attacks with weapons and pepper spray by local law enforcement, against protest marches, and the endangerment of persons and the blatant destruction of the property of non-violent protest encampments. Here, we are reminding of the Supreme Court Decision favoring Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth whose Civil Rights group marched without a required permit. The Court reversed Shuttlesworth’s conviction because the circumstances indicated that the parade permit was denied not to control traffic, but to censor ideas.

Protection must be reinforced by a Federal “Law of the Land,” such as was necessary during the Civil Rights struggle. This Federal Law must override local options to violate the people’s Rights for any asserted reason, that will and must result in injunction, or punitive action by the Justice Department for local police blatantly violating the Constitutional Rights and the protection of peaceful protestors.

Some of the hazards to the expression of Freedom of Speech have been noted with local police asserting their authority to control crowds; to protect law and order; to presume to protect the public by acting on what often turn out to be blatantly false allegations of protestor’s wrong doings, such as: creating a sanitary hazard with waste products; the creating of a fire hazard with electrical usage and heaters; illicit sexual conduct in a public place, even charges of rape; the use of illegal substances; the blocking of traffic; the interference with normal transaction of local business; etc. Perhaps these are “good reasons” not real reasons? The obvious action here is a basic us/them power assertion over a potential unruly mob!

Upon analyzing many of these assertions and allegations it is learned that, contrary to the declaration of non-violence and non law-breaking dedication of the main constituents of a peaceful protest, there are some who chose to act as provocateurs to purposely, defiantly, or even carelessly bring such disgrace and resultant punishment to the declaredly non-offensive peaceful movement such as “Occupy Wall Street!”.

Such offensive persons or such offensive unsanitary conditions are not welcomed by the majority, and when, and if, someone calls attention to such provocative behavior, it will be dealt with effectively in a democratic, ethical and non-violent manner by consensus and by eviction by the majority. This would amount to a “self-policing policy.” To punish an entire movement for the actions or allegation against one or several offenders is more typical of a totalitarian system and is unconscionable in a democracy.

In extreme cases, where the movement’s banning or shunning or cleaning-up after such an offender or such offenders would not effectively banish them from the group, this would then be seen, paradoxically, as a reason to call upon the local authorities to remove such an offender, who has defied the wishes of the majority and thereby has assumed the position of jeopardizing the well-being of the Movement.

We need Police Departments that are sensitive to and responsive to the varieties of people that a democracy consists of. Police are trained to counter “the enemy.” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly in NYC is training Recruits to be wary of Muslims and to infiltrate Mosques. Who is the enemy? Police must be required to respect the needs of the people to engage in non-violent demonstrations, and to not restrict, yea even to protect their Constitutional Rights of Free Speech. Let’s make it a Federal Law!

Thank you, Dennis Kucinich, for your consideration and for your help.

Beth K. Lamont, Humanist Celebrant

The Capitalist Tide Will Lift All Boats!