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Center Column Archives
On February 22nd, Indybay reporter Mark Burdett filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in a federal civil rights lawsuit stemming from his 2004 arrest for "jaywalking" while covering an antiwar protest in San Francisco. In October of 2010 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Burdett was lawfully arrested. The story was featured in a lighthearted manner on the February 23rd episode of The Colbert Report.
On February 17th, Professor Johan Galtung spoke at Zachary's restaurant in Santa Cruz about recent happenings in the Middle East and North Africa as being signs of the unraveling of U.S. influence in the region, and U.S. empire in general. Galtung is widely known as the pioneering founder of the academic discipline of peace studies. He has served as a professor of peace studies and peace research at the universities of Oslo, Berlin, Belgrad, Paris and Hawaii, just to name a few, and has mediated in about 50 conflicts between states and nations since 1957.
Last month, BART riders complained about anti-Palestinian ads posted in the subway system by a Los Angeles-based pro-Israeli lobby called Stand With Us. When the public complained about the ads, BART officials pulled them. In February, a new version of the same ads appeared in BART stations and this time BART officials are refusing to take them down. Bay Area culture jamming activists installed replacement ads on February 21st that say "Stop Israeli Apartheid — Human Rights for All Is The Answer."
In the fall of 2009, a group of war resisters and veterans from San Francisco traveled to Israel and Palestine to meet with their Israeli counterparts in an effort to strengthen connections and share experiences. The group, calling itself Dialogues Against Militarism (DAM), partnered with David Zlutnick, a Bay Area filmmaker, to ensure that the voices and stories of those they spoke with would be captured and return with them to the United States. The new documentary, Occupation Has No Future
, premieres in San Francisco on February 3rd and San Rafael on February 10th.
On January 26th in Athens, Greece, an American anarchist pressed attempted murder charges against Delta and Dias motorcycle police, as well as the relevant commanding officers, for a beating she suffered while demonstrating against the IMF on November 15th, 2010. Meanwhile, now over 900 members of the American and European scholarly community, including Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, and Immanuel Wallerstein, have denounced the behavior of the Delta police towards demonstrations and specifically the beating of the American demonstrator, calling the attack on her “nearly fatal”.
Dave Id writes:
My traveling partner Tangle and I had the privilege of visiting Jerusalem and Palestine in December 2010. We met many kind and courageous people in the West Bank. We witnessed the hardships Palestinians face daily under the Israeli occupation. We saw how the Israeli Defense Forces react to those who dare to stand up, even peacefully, for the rights of their families and fellow villagers. We met Israeli and international solidarity activists willing to risk arrest and injury themselves. And we documented as much as we could during our relatively brief stay in the West Bank.
On January 25th, rallies were held in San Jose, San Francisco, and other cities across the U.S. in response to the FBI raids on seven homes and an anti-war office on September 24, 2010. The FBI also has served subpoenas to testify before a federal grand jury to 14 activists in Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. These activists are involved in many groups, including the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee, the Palestine Solidarity Group, the Colombia Action Network, Students for a Democratic Society, and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.