It is Samhain time again! This year, for the 41st annual Reclaiming Spiral Dance, we will trance and dance on line with our beloved dead. See ReclaimingSpiralDance.org for all the details. To accommodate our witchy friends Down Under, we are holding the ritual from 1 to 3 pm Pacific Time on Halloween day, October 31 which is a Saturday. This event will not be on Zoom, but rather will be streamed on the website above with the help of “Twitch,” SoMarts Gallery and Survival Media. I think people are finding out that they can be moved to tears and other heightened emotional states in virtual gatherings despite the technological hindrance.
I’m still coordinating the reading of the names of our “Beloved Dead” which in Reclaiming parlance means someone we want to remember who has died since the previous Spiral Dance. We won’t be together physically, so we can’t project the names and read them as people check out the altars and greet friends before the formal ritual. Instead the names will scroll and be read aloud on the Beloved Dead 2020 page on the Spiral Dance website all weekend (and before, but not until after the new moon). To offer names to be included in the reading add them (one at a time, please) at https://www.reclaimingspiraldance.org/the-beloved-dead
The more the merrier, strange as that may sound. (smile)
Since the ritual will be more presentation-like than usual, the Beloved Dead team is hosting pre-event for people to intermingle, to share a remembrance, to show off some finery or to highlight an altar. There will be a little music, group-as-a-whole time to start us off and finish up, with a large middle of smaller groups. We are calling it…
The Awe-cult Cafe!
11:30 am to 12:30 pm
(on Zoom; Registration will be required, but donations are on a sliding scale down to zero (or maybe $1), and you will get the zoom link when you register)
I’m still very frustrated with the new WordPress editor. I can’t insert photos alongside text. It even makes it hard to choose a font color for consistent headlines! Just saying. They make the interface seem like I have more options, but the ones I like and use seem gone now. It feels like punishment for using their free version. Thanks for bearing with me.
Fearing and Dealing with Arrests These Days
Attica Scott is another glorious Black woman being attacked for her humanity, wisdom and courage. There are so many, it really gives me hope. I try to support them all, especially the ones who are also being undermined by the Democratic Party establishment. White, racist murderers are walking free, while people arrested with Scott and at other protests, even after being attacked, are finding themselves locked up and charged with felonies. We need to stand with them all! Support black women candidates. Bail them out, Drop their charges. Uplift their voices. Consider Kamala Harris Black or not, but vote for her and Joe Biden no matter how much they hate on us during the rest of the campaign!
Contact the Jefferson County Attorney
Please use the form below to contact the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office. After the link are the comments I submitted on October 4.
Arresting Attica Scott and others along with her is a disturbing escalation of state intimidation and violence against people advocating for themselves. Free them now, and drop their charges. They aren’t armed with weapons to cause bodily harm, unlike others who are attacking such as them with motor vehicles and firearms. If you are going to charge anyone, first, officers of the courts in all our jurisdictions need to indict the people who are actually committing acts of bloodshed and officers and first responders who fail to render aid to any injured person. The professionalism that their job demands, demands this of you in yours. –Submitted by Yours Truly
Meanwhile, My Charges Have Been Dismissed!
The cases from March against me and the others for crossing a line against the immoral and illegal Trident nuclear weapons systems (or for trespassing, depending on who you ask) up at Kitsap-Bangor Naval Submarine Base have been dismissed! Our arraignment for the Pacific Life Community action was set for Wednesday October 7, but we got word Friday afternoon that the prosecution has evidently decided not to proceed. We weren’t going to get much mileage out of pushing our cases forward, and I’m relieved not to face possible probation and or up to six months behind bars, and in Bill Barr’s America, white activists can’t assume the best. My friend Jed got a month or two for his first anti-nuke action a couple years ago down at Vandenberg at another PLC gathering.
On October 15, two more of my friends will finally be sentenced for their anti-nuclear war action at Kings Bay, Georgia in April, 2018. Steve Kelly has already served more time than the maximum of what the prosecution recommended as sentence, so they insist that he have his proceeding. In solidarity, Patrick O’Neil is also going to be sentenced then too. The remaining four are still trying to wait out covid for their home confinement to end. I’m afraid for Steve. He has felt relatively safe for being in a cell somewhere. Glynn County Jail in Georgia has been okay. He still faces extradition to Washington State for refusing to report for parole after serving time for a plowshares action at Kitsap-Bangor even though he asked the judge from that action simply to let him do his time and that he wouldn’t show up. Steve is scrupulous. He doesn’t even call the judge “your honor.”
I’m humbled by the danger people of color face when standing up for their lives. Anyone can be hurt and killed because shit happens, but my white privilege admittedly still give me a lot of protection by comparison. In the eyes of this state though, I am also the enemy, and they don’t give a…
If you have funds to share, I hope you have been helping out bail funds, or funds to help people pay their debts off in Florida so they can vote again. At this point, vter registration in Florida is closed. Some trusted sources have recommended a number of trusted funds, some of which I have donated to. Look them up, and you will find their urls easily: Unicorn Riot, Minnesota Freedom Fund, Black Visions Collective, and the National Bailout Collective which includes the Black Mama’s Bailout Action of Southerners on New Ground and others.
Ardeth Platte, What is Remembered, Lives
Peace nuns, I love ’em! Ardeth just passed away, in her sleep. She was 84. She was adamant that all anti-nuclear activists should have claiming rights to the Nobel Peace Prize when ICAN–the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons won it in 2017. That always felt good to hear. Our friends Felice and Jack report almost no nuclear actions with arrests and jail time are being organized. Too bad they remain an explosively existential threat.
I knew I had this great picture of Ardeth. It is from 2010, and action at the Y-12 plant in Knoxville, Tennessee. That is where all the uranium is for the United States arsenal. Ardeth is waiting to be arrested for crossing their line. Here is a little video I took of other people getting all of 50 yards further before being arrested. Symbolic. Reverential. Ardeth was on crutches at the time, so she just crossed the line and set up her chair. About my statement that shit can happen: Peace nuns put their lives on the line time and again, and sometimes they pay the ultimate price. Our friend Jackie Hudson, a Dominican sister, suffered health complications due to neglect and the sickening conditions in the jails she was held in for this otherwise upbeat weekend of resistance.
As I looked for the Ardeth photo, I was struck by the relevance of that action to me and to today. I didn’t remember the “Justice” on one side and “Not Just Us” on the other side of a peace crane. I say that often now. Did I get it there first from Food Not Bombs and then forget? I also saw this rather innocuous shot. This man wanted to drive into us with his car. I had forgotten that episode. It didn’t last long. The police made him leave after I stood in front of his car kinda like at a critical mass (but I wasn’t on a bicycle). and a few of us took turns talking him down.
Real Ethnic Studies Bill Vetoed by Gavin Newsom (angry emoji!)
I shouldn’t be surprised that Governor Newsom vetoed the Ethnic Studies bill due to unconscionable pressure from the Jewish/Zionist world, but it had survived numerous attempts to weaken it, so there was real cause for hope. I shared my synagogue’s spiritual leaders statement in support of an ethnic studies curriculum when the issue was before the Oakland Unified School District. By contrast, The Jewish Community Relations Council was so proud of their racist success, fear-mongering against Arabs and the others who want to shape the framing of their historical narrative for their children and their peers. Here is the press release from the Save Arab American Studies Coalition in its entirety, which I think is very clear, and also, very graciously strong:
Continuing a process marked by reversals, Governor Newsom vetoes ethnic studies bill
Lara Kiswani, Save Arab American Studies Coalition
Reversing his August decision to support the inclusion of ethnic studies in high school education, Governor Newsom gave in to pressure and vetoed AB331. The bill, which was introduced by California Assembly Member Jose Medina, would have ensured ethnic studies as a mandatory requirement for high school students in California starting in the 2029-30 school year.
The Save Arab American Studies Coalition is increasingly concerned with the growing narrative surrounding ethnic studies as illustrated by both the amendments taken at AB331’s final hours, and the message sent by the veto, which are not happening in isolation. The racial disparities in the aftermath of COVID-19, the xenophobic targeting of Asian Americans as “vectors” of disease, national uprisings in relation to #BlackLivesMatter, a standing Muslim Ban and increase of Islamophobic hate crimes, and a plethora of other concerning and overt instances of racism across the state and country illustrate the need for anti-racist education that builds empathy, unity, solidarity, and strengthens movement towards a just society. Ethnic studies, in its truest form, centers the voices of communities of color, and is the key discipline that can achieve this need. This is the reason it is so contested.
Despite the flawed “guard rail” amendments added to the final bill sent to the Governor, having an ethnic studies requirement signed into law would have been a substantial step forward for education in California. With the most recent decision by Governor Newsom to veto the bill on the grounds of “concerns with curriculum,” The Save Arab American Studies coalition is concerned that the State of California will try to appease critics by re-defining ethnic studies. Such a move would align with efforts such as the federal Executive Order banning anti-racism training.
Theresa Montano, Ethnic Studies Professor at Cal State and member of the original Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee makes clear what the veto represents stating, “What is so sad is that in a state where 76% of the school students are of color, a white man can still with the stroke of a pen determine that they can’t learn their history.”
The Save Arab American Studies Coalition is clear on where the blame lies for the veto. Zionist organizations have attacked the curriculum from the beginning as being “controversial and deeply flawed” because it centers communities of color, and as antisemitic for discussing Israeli policies toward Palestinians in the context of Arab-American immigration to the United States. In response to the CDE’s proposal in August to include a lesson plan on Arab-American studies, the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council immediately launched a #Jews Left Out campaign. Its Executive Director, Tye Gregory, boasted to the SF Chronicle of their success in urging the Governor to veto the bill: “Gregory said Jewish groups and synagogues across the state sent dozens of letters to Newsom’s office urging him to intervene. Gregory said he wanted Newsom to direct an overhaul of the curriculum or veto the bill — Newsom did both.”
Many elected officials in California pride themselves for the ways they are standing up for what’s right in Trump’s America. The State of California and our elected officials can still do right by the imperative work of ethnic studies. However, to do so they must listen to the educators who created the original model curriculum, and stand fast with a true and critical ethnic studies curriculum. Legislators, the Governor, and the Department of Education must welcome greater partnership with ethnic studies professionals moving forward in this process. To do otherwise is to abandon California students at a time when carefully shaped pedagogy can serve them most. ###
Pussy Riot Flies Rainbow Flags on FSB (security services) buildings
I thank Bas Moreel for sending out interesting anarchist related news from Europe and beyond. I”m not sure how many locations they did, but let’s find out! Bas? https://zona.media/news/2020/10/07/riot
Palestinian Voices Continue to be Silenced by Zionist Pressure on Social Media and at the University Level too.
See below for a link to a sadly not sad article from northern California’s J Weekly and also a link to a petition to the social media giants calling out their racism and Jewish Voice for Peace’s press release. This particular affront to the free discourse of ideas occurred on September 23.
My friend, David Spero, wrote the following:
“Words directed at university administrators under attack by Israel-identified organizations in the West.
“We have learned from experience that no compromises will ever satisfy the Israel Lobby. No concessions will get them off your back. Israel has a narrative, that they came to an unoccupied land and made the desert bloom. They won’t be satisfied until all evidence that contradicts that story, meaning Palestinian presence in the Holy Land, is gone.
“Likewise, the Israeli and Palestinian narratives cannot share space on campus, in the Zionist worldview. Palestinian voices must be silenced, before Israel-identified students will feel comfortable. Their discomfort translates into direct attacks on Palestinians and on entire schools.”
It is important to contrast the expectations placed on Israeli/Zionist terrorists with those placed on Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims. See below for a compilation of admitted Zionist terror attacks against Palestinians, Jews, the British, and others, over the last century. Some were orchestrated by Israeli PM’s who the world still welcomed as valid peacemakers, as though they were no longer terrorizing people and as though they repented of their past murderous acts. This immoral record should mute denunciations of Palestinians like Rasmea Odeh, Leila Khaled, Yasser Arafat, the Tunisian Zora Drif and others. Thank you to the late Allan Solomonow who had this handout in his volumes of materials that I was privileged to wade through.
Thank you to Henri Picciotto for including me in your circles. Your thoughtfulness and clarity are always helpful. Here are two paragraphs with a couple of references and resources I was glad to have brought to my attention.
Even some Republicans suspect that Trump may be hoping (or in fact planning) to remain in power even if he loses the election — in other words, a coup. (See this article in The Nation.) His being sick with Covid may actually make things worse, as his judgment may be impaired even more than usual, and his supporters may consider this one more reason to reject the election’s outcome.
This article offers a solid response. I don’t know whether it is 100% correct, but it’s got two things going for it:
– a clear definition of a coup, and
– reasonable suggestions on what we all can do to help avert it or defeat it.
And now…It’s Eamon Time! He’s 22 months old now!
Sorry folks, still just one pic. What can I say? I am not there to take more. I want to thank Lacy for letting me share a photo or two with y’all. This being a public blog, that is no small thing. Respect! Look at all those teeth! I’m glad to say that he is happy to see me when I call, and he kisses the phone-me.