Thursday, February 28, 2013


Quebec students are back in the streets with the Montreal education summit.  In a surprising turnabout, Pauline Marois supports raising tuition fees. The Prime Minister's position appears to be a retraction of her former stance, and one which cleared the way for a decisive election win against the increasingly unpopular Charest - and amidst an impressive win for a highly determined and resilient body of student activists.  

The following video shows thousands out in the street, along with a smaller police/demonstrator skirmish.  Thirteen people were arrested in varying reports of incidents that included throwing snowballs, or also rocks and ice, and one unidentified individual who hurled a molotov cocktail at police headquarters.  Arrests were based on charges of attacking with weapons and demonstrating without authorization.


The demonstration was organized by Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante, otherwise known as ASSÉ. ASSÉ boycotted the summit because the government refused to put a complete rollback of tuition fees on the table.  

Jérémie Bédard-Wien, spokesperson for ASSÉ, estimated 10,000 joined the mostly peaceful Tuesday march, making it the largest since Marois was elected.  Mr. Bédard-Wien criticized police conduct, asserting that officers charged students without justification, and spoke out on behalf of bringing down barriers to financial accessibility to higher education.  

Students want a guaranteed higher education as a right.


9-11 volunteers with unusual and severe medical conditions still being told to go find proof.


Friday, February 22, 2013


Sea Shepherd Conservation Society reports a poaching in the Australian Antarctic.  In the following video, the Japanese harpoon ship Yushin Maru No. 2 attempts to transfer an illegally killed Minke whale to the Japanese factory ship, Nisshin Maru.  Sea Shepherd Ship (SSS) Bob Barker intervenes.

In the next video, the Nisshin Maru rams two Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ships (SSS Bob Barker, SSS Steve Irwin) as well as the South Korean tanker, Sun Laurel.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Free Pussy Riot

Courtesy of ARTSnewsmag 
Photographer: Robin Cembalest
"The Trial" - Artist Dirk Skreber's reconstruction of the cage Pussy Riot was trapped in during their trial.

A year ago today, Pussy Riot staged their protest in a Moscow church.  Code Pink teamed with Amnesty International in a "Free Pussy Riot" protest outside the Russian Embassy in (what looks like) Washington D.C.  

In Moscow, two women academics and supporters of Pussy Riot were detained by police after laying flowers in the same cathedral while wearing Pussy Riot style masks.  Historian Karatsuba told the Russian News Service radio via telephone:  “We went to the Christ the Savior cathedral to pray. To pray to Mary. We put on masks, laid down flowers. They unmasked us at once and grabbed us. My colleague almost had her nose torn off.” 

More from Reuters.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Full Circle

Coverage on yesterday's climate change demonstration in Washington D.C., the largest climate change rally in history.  Organizers from report a massive turn-out of approximately 40,000 protesters from around the country.


Sunday, February 17, 2013


Former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper discusses the Dorner showdown blogged about yesterday.  Apparently, the fire was caused by incendiary tear gas canisters normally intended for outdoor use, and certain to cause a fire if thrown into a wooden structure.

2/19/2013 Editor's Update:  Evidence that Christopher Dorner tried to leave the burning cabin but was "pushed back inside" by being fired upon.  Video discussion with journalist Max Blumenthal.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Protest outside LAPD headquarters

On the death and burning of former LAPD police officer Christopher Dorner who appears to have committed suicide when the cabin he was cornered in, went up in flames.  Protesters decried police actions Saturday in front of LAPD headquarters in downtown L.A., criticizing the manner in which the manhunt was conducted and alleging widespread department corruption.

An Iraq veteran and former Naval Reserve lieutenant, Mr. Dorner reported a depraved LAPD work culture of racism, abuse, and failures of accountability; for example, when officers tried to hold colleagues answerable on any such violations.  Mr. Dorner himself was fired when he reported another officer for physically abusing a homeless person;  instead, Mr. Dorner was accused of making things up about the fellow officer and he lost his job.  Deeply disturbed by his experiences with "fighting the system" and within LAPD, he vowed vengeance, going on a "Rambo-style" gun rampage allegedly killing two police officers, and a relative and friend of the representative during his termination hearing (a former police chief) - and while LAPD waged a controversial, intensive manhunt that involved wounding innocent bystanders (e.g. one woman was shot in the back when police thought they spotted Mr. Dorner) - what some viewed as the result of department hysteria, panic - or variously, organized vengeance and abuse of authority and rights.


In addition to the Democracy Now! report, a controversial video allegedly recorded LAPD crying out, "burn that fucking house down."  The video went viral, including widespread twitter circulation.  


Photo credit/courtesy of the L.A. Times/photographer: Irfan Khan/"Protesters outside LAPD headquarters on Saturday."

Occupy Love

The official trailor for Occupy Love is o.u.t.  Published on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2013, the global launch begins April 11, 2013.  Host or find a screening in your town at  or on facebook at 

More blogging on director Velcrow Ripper's new film here.  

From fiercelightfilms:
Join acclaimed director Velcrow Ripper on a journey deep inside the global revolution of the heart that is erupting around the planet. Humanity is waking up to the fact that the dominant system of power is failing to provide us with health, happiness or meaning. The resulting crisis has become the catalyst for a profound transformation: millions of people are deciding that enough is enough -- the time has come to create a new world, a world that works for all life.

Photo credit/courtesy of by Occupy Love/"a film that captures a global revolution of compassion in action."

Single Payer Reintroduced 
PNHP has released an email action alert from PNHP President Andy Coates, M.D. 

Representative John Conyers has reintroduced single payer H.R. 676, as of February 14th, and to the 113th Congress.  Read the bill here. More blogging and information hereH.R. 676 or The Improved And Expanded Medicare For All Act is widely supported by the majority of the American public, most of the medical profession, hundreds of labor unions, and all of the major women's rights organizations.

Please call your representative at the Capitol Switchboard at 866-220-0044 to urge him or her to cosponsor and support this historic and vitally important legislation.  You can find and email your representative here at the House of Representatives website.  Or have PNHP send a convenient and customized letter here.

PNHP also invites citizens to organize small delegations to visit congresspersons' local offices on behalf of Medicare for All.  More information here.

Photo credit/Courtesy of VoteRocky.Org/Posted By Rocky Anderson/"Single Payer. France Has It. Canada Has It. Taiwan Has It. We Want It." Medicare For All advocates.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


File:ParcGuellOkupas.jpgTRNN Correspondent Hassan Ghani looks at the real people, lives, and philosophies behind squatting in the U.K. where there are an estimated 700,000 empty properties and half a million hidden homeless. Squatters often improve properties and keep crime at bay in neighborhoods with abandoned buildings.  Still, last year, the government criminalized squatting in residential abodes with occupants facing 6 month prison sentences.  It is presently considering the same for commercial buildings in a campaign spearheaded by Mike Weatherley, a Conservative Party member of the U.K. Parliament.

In the video piece below, Mr. Hassan speaks with squatters in the London area, dispelling some of the myths about this diverse group of individuals asserting their basic human right to housing.  He visits some of the homes they have created together, while also giving Mr. Weatherley the opportunity to express his views.

The average rent in London is about 1,300 pounds, which converts at the time of this posting to 2,052 U.S. dollars.  Like the U.S., renters often find themselves facing costs easily gobbling more than 1/2 of an individual's already low wages or income.  As the cost of housing continues to rise, and property is increasingly concentrated in fewer hands, homelessness is growing - and along with unemployment or increasing difficulties making ends meet while working.

According to wiki, there are an estimated 1 billion squatters on this planet, translating to about 1 in 7 people.  


Photo credit/top, courtesy of wikipedia/photographer: Mick Stevenson/famous Barcelona squat house, Casa de Okupas, Parc Guell, 2007

Friday, February 8, 2013


Codepink interrupts the Brennan hearing with some important questions for our government officials, including where, exactly, the American military is killing children with drone warfare.  Codepink traveled to Pakistan where they demonstrated against these U.S. drone attacks with thousands of Pakistanis and where the group has been speaking with civilian survivors about their experiences.  In the following Democracy Now! excerpt from freespeechtv, organizer Media Benjamin is interviewed, after the coverage of activists at the hearing.  She was also removed from the Brennan hearing for speaking out.

Photo credit/courtesy of USNews/posted by Steven Nelson/October, 2012, "Drones Fly, Children Die." Americans demonstrate against U.S. military drone attacks killing civilians.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Self-Made Mythology

Today's teach-in from Pirate Television and freespechtv examines "the self-made myth."  How many of us really "made it on our own?"  How does such a myth impact on economic policies?


Monday, February 4, 2013

On The Run

Captain Paul Watson reports to Australian television, the Japanese whaling fleet now on the run deeply in the Antarctic Australian territory.  "As long as they're on the run," he says, "they're not killing any whales."  Captain Watson says that this past January was the first January in the history of whaling that a whale hasn't died in the southern ocean.  Still, the objective is a complete stop to the slaughter of these magnificent ocean beings.


The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is currently posting a "Meet The Crew" youtube series, interviewing some of the highly talented and resilient individuals in this just incredible international team, dedicated to putting an end to the killing.

More blogging on Sea Shepherd and the whales here.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

H.R. 676

PHNP reports in their e-newsletter that Representative John Conyer's office is reintroducing H.R. 676 or "The Expanded And Improved Medicare For All Act" in the next few weeks.  He is currently seeking cosponsors in Congress.

As of January 30th, there are 27 of the original 77 cosponsors from the 112th Congress: Nadler (NY), Schakowsky (IL), Pingree (ME), Grijalva (AZ), Ellison (MN), Hank Johnson (GA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX), Tonko (NY), Holmes-Norton (DC), Lofgren (CA), Rangel (NY), Moore (WI), Chu (CA), Al Green (TX), Farr (CA), McGovern (MA), Welch (VT), Clarke (NY), Lee (CA), Nolan (MN), Pocan (WI), Doyle (PA), Engel (NY), Gutierrez (IL), Frederica Wilson ( FL), Cohen (TN ) and Edwards (MD ).

Please contact your representative to encourage them to cosponsor this historic and vitally important legislation, or to thank them if they already signed on.  Email contact through the House Of Representatives website here, or phone at the Capital Switchboard at 202-224-3121 (if they haven't turned their voicemail off), or both. 

The original H.R. 676 was found to be supported by 65% of the American public, 55% of the medical profession, hundreds of labor unions, and all of the major women's rights organizations.   The Congressional Budget Office found it was the most cost-effective way to provide quality health care to the entire country, research findings supported by numerous other studies around the nation. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."

Considering public events recently commemorating Dr. King's birthday, let's honor his life in actual deed, not just words, ceremonies, and photo ops, and pass The Expanded and Improved Medicare For All Act today.

Photo credit/courtesy of Next Left Notes/photographer: Bud Korotzer, NLN/Medicare For All or "single payer" advocates

Friday, February 1, 2013


The 2013 inaugural poet, Richard Blanco, reciting One Today at the ceremony for President Obama's second term.  Richard Blanco is the youngest inaugural poet ever, as well as the first openly gay, Latino, and immigrant inaugural poet in American history.  You can listen to him reading in less formal settings here at the 2004 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, and here in Bryant Park in 2012.

No No Keshagesh

Buffy Sainte-Marie in No No Keshagesh.