Monday, January 9, 2012

Closing Guantanamo and Ending the Death Penalty

From Amnesty International: Will you help us keep our New Year's resolutions to close Guantánamo and abolish the death penalty in 2012? On January 11th, Amnesty activists all across the West are marking the 10th anniversary of Guantánamo by joining the National Day of Action Against Guantánamo and calling for an end to indefinite detention and unfair trials. On MLK weekend, Amnesty activists in California are getting involved with the SAFE CA campaign's "Weekend of Action" to honor the legacy of Dr. King and end death sentences in our state.

Help us kick off 2012 by joining us for these historic efforts! Please check out the events listed below, or find other human rights events near you by visiting:

Happy New Year!
Rini Chakraborty
Western Regional Director
Amnesty International USA

California (Northern)

What: National Day of Action Against Guantánamo
When: Wednesday, January 11 at noon
Where: San Francisco, CA
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Description: Please join us on the 10th anniversary of Guantánamo for a protest and rally in San Francisco as 171 individuals - each representing a detainee still held at Guantánamo - form a human chain in front of the Federal Building and Courthouse. Help us show elected officials that citizens demand closure of Guantánamo and an end to unlawful detentions and human rights violations! Please wear orange or black, and bring signs that say "10 Years Too Many: No Guantánamo. No Torture. No Excuses!" For more information or to RSVP, please email Angela at or contact Amnesty's Western Regional Office at (415) 288-1800.

What: "Weekend of Action" to Honor Dr. King and End the Death Penalty in California
When: Saturday-Monday, January 14-16
Where: Various locations across the state
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Description: AIUSA is teaming up with the SAFE CA campaign, California NAACP, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and other civil rights leaders to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by ending death sentences in our state. Please join us January 14-16th for a "Weekend of Action" to participate in MLK events statewide and gather signatures to qualify the SAFE California Act for the November 2012 ballot. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Field Organizer William Butkus at or (415) 288-1800.

California (Southern)

What: National Day of Action Against Guantánamo
When: Wednesday, January 11
Where: Los Angeles, CA
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Description: This international day of protest marks the 10th anniversary of the Guantánamo prison and the human rights violations it represents, including torture, detention without charge, unfair trials, Islamaphobia, and impunity for crimes by US government officials. Join Amnesty International USA, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, CAIR-LA and other human rights organizations as we call for the immediate closure of Guantánamo. A silent vigil and press conference will be held at 9 a.m. at the Downtown Los Angeles Federal Building, located at Temple and Los Angeles Streets. The press conference will be followed by a flash mob at noon at Bruin Plaza on the UCLA Campus. The day will conclude with a rally from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at the Westwood Federal Building, located at Wilshire Blvd and Veteran Ave. in Westwood.

What: "A Day ON for Human Rights" to Honor Dr. King and End the Death Penalty in California
When: Sunday, January 15 from 9am to 4pm
Where: ACLU of Southern California
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Description: In honor of Dr. King's legacy, Amnesty USA activists in the greater Los Angeles Metro area will be dedicating Sunday, January 15th as a "Day ON for Human Rights." The "Day ON" will start with a general meet and greet and strategy session with LA Amnesty Activists. At noon, activists will be trained around messaging and signature gathering for the SAFE CA Campaign to end the death penalty in California. Directly following the training, activists will head into the field in team to collect signatures for the SAFE CA Campaign. After gathering signatures, teams will converge back at the ACLU office for a debrief and "Thank You" pizza party.


What: National Day of Action Against Guantánamo
When: Wednesday, January 11
Where: Seattle, WA
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Description: Join Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture, Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation, Code Pink, ACLU of Washington, and other justice activists in marking the 10 year anniversary of the arrival of prisoners at Guantánamo. We will hold a candlelight vigil at the Jackson Federal Building on 2nd Avenue between Madison and Marion, 5:00-6:00pm. For more information contact Sara at (415)288-1800 or

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Not That Any Time Makes "Sense", But Why Now?

Environmental protections and safeguards. Unemployment levels in the workforce. Foreclosures. Vet's in need of shelter. People going hungry, in need of access to health care and education. The U.S. is arguably in its most brittle state as an empire since it began. Many residents need help and are hurting. No empire has ever been able to sustain itself with prolonged war. From Afghanistan to Iraq, to drones like the picture shown here bombing Pakistan, with increased threats of militarization to the Asia-Pacific and beyond. The economy continues to have a poor outlook amongst a deficit that is completely unreal in it's amount.

Why Now?

U.S. and Iran to Hold Major Military Exercises in the Persian Gulf

Iran and the United States have both announced plans to hold major military exercises in the Persian Gulf in the coming months. The U.S. exercise will be done in conjunction with Israel. Meanwhile, in defiance of the United States, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has welcomed Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Venezuela. On Friday, a State Department official said, "We are making absolutely clear to countries around the world that now is not the time to be deepening ties, not security ties, not economic ties, with Iran."


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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Time Magazine's Person of the Year: THE PROTESTER!!!

"The times they are a changin'" could not be more truthful than at this beginning of the new year, 2012. In a surprising nomination Time Magazine has named its 2011 Person of the Year The Protester. We couldn't agree more, from OWS to the Middle East and beyond, 99% of the world's population is not okay with the economic, social, political, and environmental oppression employed by the top 1% or those who ascribe to be a part of the top 1%.

We encourage you to delve into this issue on Time, learn why they named The Protester person of the year, educate yourself on why this nomination matters, why people across the world are protesting, and how you are effected and can get involved.

A Happy and Just 2012 to all, let this year be the year for impartiality to rein free and rampant across this planet once and for all!


History often emerges only in retrospect. Events become significant only when looked back on. No one could have known that when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square in a town barely on a map, he would spark protests that would bring down dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and rattle regimes in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. Or that that spirit of dissent would spur Mexicans to rise up against the terror of drug cartels, Greeks to march against unaccountable leaders, Americans to occupy public spaces to protest income inequality, and Russians to marshal themselves against a corrupt autocracy.Protests have now occurred in countries whose populations total at least 3 billion people, and the word protest has appeared in newspapers and online exponentially more this past year than at any other time in history.

Is there a global tipping point for frustration? Everywhere, it seems, people said they'd had enough. They dissented; they demanded; they did not despair, even when the answers came back in a cloud of tear gas or a hail of bullets. They literally embodied the idea that individual action can bring collective, colossal change. And although it was understood differently in different places, the idea of democracy was present in every gathering. The root of the word democracy is demos, "the people," and the meaning of democracy is "the people rule." And they did, if not at the ballot box, then in the streets. America is a nation conceived in protest, and protest is in some ways the source code for democracy — and evidence of the lack of it.
The protests have marked the rise of a new generation. In Egypt 60% of the population is under the age of 25. Technology mattered, but this was not a technological revolution. Social networks did not cause these movements, but they kept them alive and connected. Technology allowed us to watch, and it spread the virus of protest, but this was not a wired revolution; it was a human one, of hearts and minds, the oldest technology of all.

Everywhere this year, people have complained about the failure of traditional leadership and the fecklessness of institutions. Politicians cannot look beyond the next election, and they refuse to make hard choices. That's one reason we did not select an individual this year. But leadership has come from the bottom of the pyramid, not the top. For capturing and highlighting a global sense of restless promise, for upending governments and conventional wisdom, for combining the oldest of techniques with the newest of technologies to shine a light on human dignity and, finally, for steering the planet on a more democratic though sometimes more dangerous path for the 21st century, the Protester is TIME's 2011 Person of the Year.

Read more:,28804,2101745_2102139_2102380,00.html #ixzz1iRddFyR0

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