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Tell Obama to Support Human Rights in West PapuaOn October 26, 2015, President Obama will meet with Indonesia's President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. Beginning in May 1963, West Papua was occupied by Indonesia with U.S. government support and encouragement. By 1969, Indonesia had annexed the territory. Over the course of five decades, West Papuans have suffered mass killings, torture, rape, and the loss of their culture and lands. U.S. corporations like the mining giant Freeport McMoRan have devastated the environment. At least 100,000 Papuans are estimated to have died as a result of Indonesian rule. In addition, the region has been so inundated with migrants that indigenous Papuans are no longer a majority in their own land. The U.S. continues to arm and train the security forces that repress the West Papuan people. The Indonesian government's attempts to conceal the truth about West Papua include banning foreign journalists and UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights from visiting the territory. While President Widodo has announced several positive initiatives, elements in his government, including the security forces, are resisting change and the human rights violations continue. The West Papuans continue to resist Indonesian rule. Groups supporting self-determination recently came together in the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in a broad coalition to press their case within West Papua and internationally. Restrictions on security assistance from the United States were important in Timor-Leste (East Timor) gaining their independence from Indonesia. The U.S. should again restrict training and weapons to Indonesia in support of the rights of West Papuans. This is a petition of the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network For more information on West Papua, read the monthly West Papua Report, published by the West Papua Advocacy Team and ETAN.
Ultimate Control of All Satellites to the United NationsA 2014 Gallup International survey found that, by a wide margin, people believe that the United States is the biggest threat to wold peace. It's hard to believe that these people want the US controlling their skies. A 1967 international agreement signed by all the major powers banned weapons from earth orbit. Several major powers (including the USA) have violated that ban. When one space faring nation explodes a competitor's satellite, each of thousands of high velocity pieces can destroy other "innocent" satellites for decades. Our planet must avoid an arms race in space.
STOP the University of California from Banning Criticism of IsraelIf the University of California can censor political debate on Israel, what is to stop it from restricting all political debate? A threat to free speech at the University of California is a threat to free speech everywhere.  UC goes back to the drawing board on controversial revamp of free-speech policy, LA Times, 9/17/2015  The Regents Of The University Of California's Statement Of Principles Against Intolerance, University of California Regents, 9/17/2015  Editorial: UC's new 'Principles Against Intolerance' fail free-speech test, LA Times, 9/16/2015  California's Civil and Criminal Laws Pertaining to Hate Crimes, State of California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General
How to bring down American Banks in Two Easy StepsIt is important because right now Americans feel helpless in the workings of the government, disgusted. There seems to be nothing we can do besides rally behind Trump's traveling circus. On the other hand, this simple grass-roots action is one where the American people hold the cards.
Require the DoD to recall & retrieve its military equipment from US police departmentsObama issued an executive order regulating and limiting use of military equipment by US police departments, given local law enforcement from the 1033 program. However, over 400 municipal police departments in the US are still actively using and requesting deep combat equipment such as MRAPs, armor piercing rifles, other deadly military weapons and identity operations equipment. This is out of over 8,000 law enforcement offices registered for surplus equipment. This equipment is recognizable by the American public as military equipment and has been demilitarized in name only. When used by local law enforcement it conveys to the community that police are “ready for war” with them. The police cannot be at war with the community they have a responsibility to protect from problem actors. That is a conflict of interest. It also stands outside the role of local law enforcement, who are a civilian force, not military, in peacetime. During times of national emergency there is deference to the US National Guard. Police do not, and should not, fill in the space of the US military based on their domestic role in using surplus military equipment. Not all surplus equipment given to law enforcement has the same weight or meaning to communities, as specialized heavy combat equipment. Some 1033 equipment is basic military surplus gear, like: boots for extreme cold, office furnishings and protective clothing. Law enforcement should be compelled by the DLA to inform communities & cities, flagging 1033 military equipment application requests for items used in heavy combat missions as a condition of surplus release. Existing 1033 LESO equipment should be reviewed transparently by each community. If the equipment is deemed inappropriate for community policing standards by the public, it should be made available for immediate recall by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) or made unavailable to local police. If the DLA cannot further local communities' ability to regulate the flow of weapons and war grade armory to their police forces, perhaps it is time to end the 1033 program.
Open Letter to Ban-Ki Moon on Upcoming 70th Anniversary of U.N. CharterWorld Beyond War has outlined specific reforms that would democratize the United Nations, and make nonviolent actions the primary activity engaged in. Please read them here. http://worldbeyondwar.org/reforming-united-nations INITIAL SIGNERS: David Swanson Coleen Rowley David Hartsough Patrick Hiller Alice Slater Kevin Zeese Heinrich Buecker Norman Solomon Sandra Osei Twumasi Jeff Cohen Leah Bolger Robert Scheer
Ask the U.S. Institute of Peace to Work for PeaceThe U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) is a federal government institute created by a bill signed into law in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan and funded annually by Congress as well as sometimes receiving funding from the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the military. The law states that the "Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and the Director of Central Intelligence each may assign officers and employees of his respective department or agency, on a rotating basis to be determined by the Board, to the Institute." The Institute has never opposed a U.S. war and claims that it can only support things, not oppose them. But in fact, the law only forbids it from seeking "to influence the passage or defeat of legislation ... except that the personnel of the Institute may testify or make other appropriate communication when formally requested to do so by a legislative body, a committee, or a member thereof." Most U.S. wars, including the war on Libya, the newly revived war on Iraq (and Syria), and the drone wars on Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, have been launched without legislation. And, even if there were legislation involved, it would not be at all difficult for USIP to ask a single member of Congress to request its opinion, thereby freeing it to provide its views and its research. USIP makes no claim that it cannot provide the public with information on the negative results of U.S. wars; it simply fails to do so. The Institute in fact makes recommendations to Congress, including in formally presented testimony, it just recommends things like supporting the Syrian opposition, training and arming troops to fight both ISIS and the Syrian government, and creating a "no fly zone" in Syria, rather than working toward an arms embargo or aid or diplomacy. The Institute has recommended diplomacy with Iran, and could do so in a dozen other cases, although its notion that weapons sales is part of diplomacy may be less than helpful. The law requires that the USIP Board include 15 voting members, including the Secretaries of State and "Defense," the President of the National "Defense" University, and 12 members appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and each having "practical or academic experience in peace and conflict resolution." The law also states that "No member of the Board may participate in any decision, action, or recommendation with respect to any matter which directly and financially benefits the member or pertains specifically to any public body or any private or nonprofit firm or organization with which the member is then formally associated or has been formally associated within a period of two years." There are a number of mechanisms for removing a board member, including 8 or more board members making that recommendation to the President. The USIP does do some work aimed at peace, including hosting speakers and producing publications aimed at peace, sending skilled mediators into conflict zones, making research grants, holding essay contests, and conducting conflict-resolution trainings, but such efforts are deeply compromised by the following concerns: USIP board member and chairman, Stephen Hadley, urges the bombing of Syria and the militarization of Ukraine, while encouraging European nations to double their military spending, and himself profiting from war as a board member of Raytheon. USIP board member Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary at the Pentagon, promotes higher military spending, an attack on Iran, and deployment of nuclear weapons to nations on Russia's border. USIP board member Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USMC, is career military. USIP promotes the overthrow of the Syrian government. USIP is not known to have ever opposed a U.S. war, U.S. weapons exports, U.S. foreign bases, or U.S. military spending. USIP promotes trade embargoes, economic austerity programs, and electoral interventions as tools of aggression, not peace building. USIP funds many more supporters than opponents of militarism. USIP hosts pro-war talks by leading war advocates. Appropriate board members for USIP exist in large numbers, and many of them would no doubt be happy to serve. Here are a few examples of the many possible names: Kathy Kelly, Michael McPhearson, Ann Wright, Paul Chappell, Noura Erekat, Dennis Kucinich, David Vine, Matt Daloisio, John Dear, Bruce Gagnon, Phil Donahue, Mel Duncan, David Hartsough, Mubarak Awad, Leslie Cagan, Roy Bourgeois, Cornell West, Lennox Yearwood, Osagyefo Sekou, Phyllis Bennis, Andy Shallal, Helena Cobban, Noam Chomsky, Elliott Adams.
Vote "NONE OF THE ABOVE"We all know "we the people" are not represented by those we send to Washington. They serve corporate masters. If we can support dictators and create expensive wars then we can afford a second election within 30 days of first. We do not need majority just more than anyone else.