STOP SAM ALITO FROM TURNING OUR SUPREME COURT INTO A NIGHTMARE- Free
Call-in Day on Wednesday, January 25 to repudiate the excesses of the
Stop Funding Racism! - Build Levees NOT Walls!
Jan. 31, On The Night of President Bush's State of the Union Address-
Drown Out Bush's Lies!
* Drop All Fines Against N.Y.C. Transit Workers! Dump All
Anti-Strike Provisions of Taylor Law!
* Proposed Ban on Congressional Travel Paid by Private Parties
* NSA Expert, Jim Bamford on Domestic Wiretapping: The Bush
Administration Has "Decided Simply to Violate the Law"
* Thousands Throng Streets as Bolivian Leader Sheds Tears but Talks
Tough at Inauguration
* Bush, Abramoff Posed for Photos Five Times, Magazines Report
* Wal-Mart's Unionbusting Practices Face Scrutiny in U.S. Courts
* Guantanamo Hunger Strikers Close to Death
* Bin Laden: Where is he? Who's protecting him? Why can't we find him?
* Cindy Sheehan | Matriotism
* Venezuela at the World Social Forum beginning January 21st.-( Live
Friday, January 27
5:30-8:00 p.m. Chinatown In/Flux Closing
Asian Arts Initiative, 1315 Cherry St., 2nd floor, Philadelphia, PA For
info, call 215-557-0455.
7:00 p.m. Poems Not Prisons
A-space, 4722 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA For info, email
7:30 p.m. Screening:
"Caracoles: New Paths of Resistance"
A-Space, 4722 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA For info, call
Saturday, January 28
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Free College Financial Aid Application Workshop
Community College of Philadelphia, 18th & Callowhill Sts., Business
& Industry Center, Philadelphia, PA
For info, call 215-735-2877.
7:30-9:30 p.m. Keep Kids Safe Skate Event UPenn
Ice Skating Rink, 3130 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA
Admission is $8 kids, $10 adults, benefits Lutheran Settlement House
For info, call 215-426-8610 x.208.
Monday, January 30
6:00-8:00 p.m. Workshop: "Managing Up: Working
Effectively with Your Executive Director"
Central Library of Philadelphia, 4th floor Skyline Room, 1901 Vine St.,
Sponsored by Philadelphia Young Nonprofit Leaders For info, email
Tuesday, January 31
9:00 p.m. State of Our Values Meeting with Rev.
Robin Hynicka, Rev. James Allen, Sr. Mary Scullion, Rabbi Winokur
Arch St. United Methodist Church, 55 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA For
info, see www.democracyinaction.org.
Wednesday, February 1
6:00-7:45 p.m. Parents with POWER! Workshop
Sadie Alexander Elementary School, 43rd & Locust St.,
Philadelphia, PA For info, to rsvp, call 215-965-7876.
Thursday, February 2
7:00 p.m. "Precious Places" (community video
history project) Premiere
International House, 3701 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA Sponsored by
Scribe Video. Info, 215-222-4201.
Friday, February 3
1:00-4:00 p.m. Town Hall Meeting on Progressive
Hospital Reform Friends Center, Rufus Jones Room,
1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA Sponsored by Hospital Watch PA For
info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, February 5, 2:00 p.m.
"Honoring New Prophets--Sing Shalom!" (with Cindy
Sheehan, keynote speaker)
Mishkan Shalom Synagogue, 4101 Freeland Ave., Philadelphia, PA
Honoring: Jeffrey Dekro (The Shefa Fund), Judy Wicks (White Dog Cafe)
and Celeste Zappala (bereaved mother)
$36 in advance, $45 at the door Sponsored by the Shalom Center, for
info call 610-642-3006.
Monday, February 6, 6:00-8:30 p.m.
Urban Sustainability Forum with Jaime Lerner,
former Mayor of Curitiba Brazil, "World's Most Sustainable City"
Academy of Natural Sciences Auditorium, 1900 Ben Franklin Pkwy.,
Phila, PA For info, email email@example.com.
Tuesday, February 7
5:30-7:30 p.m."Walking the Walk: Values in Action"
Philadelphia Cathedral, 38th St., Philadelphia, PA
Sponsored by Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia For info, call
7:00 p.m. Green Party of Philadelphia Meetup
Joe's Coffee Shop, 1100 Walnut St., Philadelphia For info, call
"STANDING ON MY SISTERS' SHOULDERS"
Project H.O.M.E. Will Screen Award-Winning Documentary on Women in the
Civil Rights Struggle
Tuesday, February 7, 6:45
Honickman Learning Center
Comcast Technology Labs, 1936 N. Judson Street
As part of Black History Month, Project H.O.M.E. will host a showing of
"Standing on My Sisters's Shoulders," an
award-winning documentary co-produced by Philadelphians Joan and Robert
Sadoff. The film tells the first-hand story of Mississippi women who
risked their lives in the fight for Civil Rights and emerged as
For more information,
contact Will O'Brien, Special Projects
215-232-7272, ext. 3047 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PBS TV: Slavery And The Making Of America,
produced by Dante James and narrated by Morgan Freeman.
Feb. 9th and the
16th from 9 PM to 11 PM
Slavery And The Making Of America tells the story of slavery from
the point of view of the enslaved. The series recognizes
the strength, humanity and dignity of the enslaved and redefines them
as pro-active freedom fighters not passive victims.
If we create a large
audience for this important series PBS will be encouraged to produce
and air more programs
that address the African-American experience. For Info: Two web
sites: www.pbs.org/slavery http://www.pbs.org/slavery
** Playgrounds for Palestine Fundraiser** - Feb
12th - ( Please distribute widely)-
While you eat a delicious, fully halal dinner, a live band will infuse
a dance hall with flavors of the Middle East. There will be sharqi
(belly) and dabke dances. A percussion ensemble of talented kids will
rock the air. You'll learn about Palestinian children through a unique
presentation. And we'll teach you a few dabkeh moves if you join us on
the dance floor.
A silent auction will line the walls with unique Arabesque items and
you can write your bid next to whatever you'd like, without pressure.
Some of our prize items include a Palestinian flag signed by Abu Mazen.
Lots of gorgeous pieces of jewelry, embroidery, Hebron pottery, and
other items. For examples, visit: http://playgroundsforpalestine.org/auction.htm
We've worked very hard to bring you a lovely evening that will
enable us to continue to bring joy to children in Palestine. This
particular fundraiser is meant to raise money to finance several
playgrounds that are designed by Palestinian architecture students from
the Islamic University of Gaza. They will be built with local materials
and local labor, thereby maximizing our contribution to the local
It will take place on February 12th at Samba [714 West Girard Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA]. Dinner will be served starting at 5pm and live
entertainment will follow shortly thereafter. The cost is $30-50 for
adults and $15 for children (cash bar). If you want to come just for
dancing to arabic music at 7:30, tickets are $10 (with a cash bar). For
more information, see our website. www.PlaygroundsForPalestine.org
If you'd like to purchase a ticket in advance [and we'd be grateful if
you did], please mail a check to:
Playgrounds for Palestine
PO: Box 559
Yardley, PA 19067
Your name and place will be reserved and we'll also mail you the
tickets. Or contact us via email: email@example.com
A warm Thank You to all our cosponsors, including: Yousef Hamideh of
Samba, Arab-American Discrimination Committee, Bubbies and Zaydes for
Peace in the Middle East, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, American Friends
Service Committee, White Dog Café, Young Advocates for Peace of
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Middle East Working Group of Philadelphia
Yearly Meeting, Network of Arab American Professionals, Students for
Justice in Palestine - Bryn Mawr, Students against the Occupation-
Swarthmore, Penn Students for Justice in Palestine, Penn Arab Student
Society, SUSTAIN and Philadelphia International Action Center.
THE WILMA THEATER PRESENTS: Heather
Raffo's 9 Parts of Desire
February 1 - March 12
The Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad Street -
Through an extraordinary tour de force one-woman performance, Heather
Raffo's impassioned 9 Parts of Desire unveils the stories of a
multitude of Islamic women. A mother, an artist, and a cousin from New
York are among this sisterhood. Written by Iraqi-American Heather
Raffo, the stories are real and current, emotionally stirring and
remarkably revealing. Nominated for the Lucielle Lortel and countless
other awards, Heather Raffo's 9 Parts of Desire has sold out
performances in New York and London, and is sure to be an unforgettable
evening of theater.
Tickets $10 - $49! Students
get 50% off regular ticket prices.* (*does not include $10 student rush
Women and Islam - SYMPOSIA AT
THE WILMA THEATER after the Sunday matinee
February 5th at 3:45pm
A rare opportunity to explore the issues raised in The Wilma Theater's
production of Heather Raffo's 9 Parts of Desire.
A group of Islamic women take the stage to discuss the diverse views of
Islamic women regarding the veil, their religion and outside
perceptions of their culture, as well as share aspects of reality
behind the stereotypes.
Caryolyn Baugh , PhD candidate in Near Eastern Languages and
Cultures at the University of Pennsylvania, specialist in Gender and
Manar Darwish , Lecturer on Women in Islam and Islamic Studies,
St. Joseph's University
Leila C. Kubba, Iraqi-born Artist and Director of Iraqi Cultural
Society, Washington, DC
Moderated by: Hayat Alvi-Aziz Program Director of International
Studies, Arcadia University
Limited FREE seating available!: Call 215-546-7824 to RSVP
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, U of PA Museum of Archaeology &
Anthropology& Middle East Center, World Affairs Council
FREE SYMPOSIA AT THE WILMA THEATER!
Current State of Affairs in Iraq on the Wilma Stage after the
February 19th at 3:45pm
As the third anniversary of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein approaches,
what is Iraq really like today? This panel will discuss the current
situation and relate it to the Wilma's production of Heather Raffo's
play. Is life better or worse for the men and women who live there?
What does the future hold?
Deborah Amos, Foreign Correspondent on Iraq for National Public Radio
Sinan Antoon, Professor of Arabic Literature and Culture at NYU
Trudy Rubin, Foreign Affairs Editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer
Kate Saxon, Artistic Director of Heather Raffo's 9 Parts of Desire
Moderated by: Marty Moss-Coane, Host of WHYY's Radio Times
Limited FREE seating available! Call 215-546-7824 to RSVP
The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations
in America (N'COBRA) invites you to: Lift Every Voice and Be Heard!
Saturday, February 25, 2006,
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Temple University, Berks St.
between 11th and 12th Sts- Gladfelter Hall LL-13
Attorney Adjoa Aiyetoro, N'COBRA Legal Defense and Education Fund &
Dr. Greg Carr, Howard University
Bro. Rob Gray, Founder, African American Freedom & Reconstruction
Dr. William Jenkins, African American Studies Department, Temple
Queen Mother Dorothy Lewis, Co-chair N'COBRA International Affairs
Rev. Frank Tyson, Assoc. Minister, Salem Baptist Church, Jenkintown, PA
Dr. Raymond A. Winbush, Author, Should America Pay? Slavery and the
Raging Debate on Reparations
On December 13th the
of Philadelphia, Mayor John F. Street, signed a bill into law that will
one of the first cities in the United States to demand reparations from
banks that have benefited from slavery. The law
was introduced by City Council members Wilson Goode and Blondell
Reynolds-Brown in March 2005.
Contact: (215) 747-8601- Department of African Studies, Temple
Wednesday, February 8, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Workshop: "Technical Decisions for Non-Technical
Managers" United Way of SEPA, 7 Ben Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia,
Free to Teaming for Technology & UWSEPA members, $30 for everyone
else For info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, February 12,
4 p.m. Folk Factory Family Concert: 2 of a Kind
6900 Stenton Ave., Mt. Airy, Philadelphia
$2-5 sliding scale For info, call 215-848-6246, www.folkfactory.org.
7:30 p.m. Folk Factory Concert for Grown-Ups:
What Four, 6900 Stenton Ave., Mt. Airy, Philadelphia
$8-25 sliding scaleFor info, call 215-848-6246, www.folkfactory.org.
Tuesday, February 14, 7:00 p.m.
Report on World Social Forum Calvary
Church, 48th & Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA
For info, email email@example.com
Wednesday, February 15
9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon Info Session: "The
Disability Advocacy Program (DAP): How Your Clients can get help with
applications for SSI & SSD"
United Way of SEPA, 7 Ben Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA For
info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
6:00 p.m. UPenn Asian American Studies Panel
Discussion & Film Screening: "South Asian Americans in Hip-Hop"
360 Huntsman Hall, Univ. of PA, Philadelphia, PA For info, call
Thursday, February 16, 6:00-8:30 p.m.
Urban Sustainability Forum:"Directing the Flow:
Managing Philadelphia's Water"
Academy of Natural Sciences Auditorium, 1900 Ben Franklin Pkwy.,
Philadelphia, PA For info, email email@example.com.
Friday, February 17, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
"Neither Here Nor There" Exhibition Opening Reception
Asian Arts Initiative, 1315 Cherry St., 2nd floor, Philadelphia, PA For
info, call 215-557-0455.
EVENTS OCCURING EVERY WEEK:
Free Tutoring for Children in TANF Families
EPP tutors children at all
grade levels on weekdays and weekends and is able to pick-up and
children at most locations. One-on-one tutoring and group
tutoring in math and reading available.
To register, call 267-253-5444 or<firstname.lastname@example.org>. :DHS
10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Talk Radio Program with Sandra
Dungee Glenn (Member, School Reform
Commission) On WURD 900 AM--call in number is 215-426-1310.
6:00-8:00 p.m. Workshop: "Build Your Own Computer"
Nonprofit Technology Resources, 1524 Brandywine St., Philadelphia, Pa
$25 per session To register, call 215-564-6686.
International Concerned Friends & Family of Mumia Weekly Meeting
4601 Market St., 5th floor, Philadelphia, PA For info, call
noon-1:00 p.m. Vigil across from the Israeli Consulate
15th & Locust St. <email@example.com>
4:30 p.m. Anti-war leafleting and picket
Market & 11th Sts., Philadelphia, PA For info, email
5:00 p.m. Vigil--Women in Black
Swarthmore Train Station, Park Ave. & Chester Rd., Swarthmore,
PA For info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
10:00 a.m. to noon
"Talking Union" weekly call-in radio show, 1340 AM
noon-1:00 p.m. Peace Vigil Rte. 38 & Cherry
Hill Mall Dr., Cherry Hill, NJ
For info, email email@example.com
1:00-2:00 p.m. Protest at Ferber Furs
1708 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA For info, email
5:00-7:00 p.m. Radio Show: "Labor to Neighbor" with hosts
Janet Ryder, Pat Eiding &
Pete Matthews 900 AM WURD--215-634-8065.
6:00-9:00 p.m. Weekly ACT UP Meeting
St. Luke's Church, 330 S. 13th St., Philadelphia, PA For info, email
7:00-9:00 p.m. Organizing Meeting Toviah Thrift
Shop Chestnut St. (between 42nd & 43rd)
Call (215) 382-7251 or (215) 474-6459 box 1 for more info -
Sponsored by Neighbors Against McPenntrification
7:30 p.m. Books Through Bars Packing Cafe The A
Space, 4722 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA
Help pack books to send to prisoners. Email
THREE PEACE VIGILS
4:30-5:30 p.m. - Federal Building, 601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA
Sponsored by House of Grace Catholic Worker For info, email
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm - Outside Unitarian Society of Germantown
Street: 6511 Lincoln Drive (between Wayne & Horter) in West Mount
Airy, Philadelphia, PA 19119
- Candles and signs welcome. Let's make them "HONK FOR PEACE!"
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm - Outside Borders Book Store, Germantown Avenue at
Bethlehem Pike in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA
19118 Note: Dress warmly and bring your candle and
sign. (Try this in your neighborhood.)
7:30 p.m. International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement
Uhuru House, 1021 S. 49th St., Philadelphia, Pa For info,
STOP SAM ALITO FROM TURNING OUR SUPREME COURT INTO A NIGHTMARE-
ACTION PAGE: http://www.nocrony.com
(located at 1 First Street
N.E., Washington, DC)
CALL YOUR SENATORS ON THE TOLL FREE NUMBERS,
888-355-3588, 888-818-6641, 800-426-8073
Contest to find the best Alito Filibuster Affirmation. http://www.nocrony.com/cgi-bin/contest_index.cgi
We have been told
the most effective way to follow up now is to call or fax your
senators' LOCAL district offices,
so if you haven't done that yet you can get all the numbers from the
instant lookup at http://www.nocrony.com
National Call-in Day, Today to repudiate
the excesses of the PATRIOT Act and government violations of our civil
CODEPINK Women for Peace (ACLU Has
a Similar Action)
Are you concerned about government spying on peaceful protestors
(including CODEPINK), wiretaps of phone calls without a court order,
and FBI searches of personal records of people who are not suspected of
any wrongdoing? So are we.
The USA PATRIOT Act gives the government increased authority to wiretap
your phone, monitor your e-mail and demand your medical, financial and
student records from banks, vendors, doctors offices, and libraries.
Furthermore, it prevents anyone who is required to turn over your
records from ever telling you or anyone else, even if the records
turned up no wrongdoing.
And did you know that the latest version of the PATRIOT Act contains a
new provision that can throw protesters like us in prison for 10 years
for disrupting major events such as political conventions? (In 2004
CODEPINK took our anti-war message to the floors of both the Republican
AND Democratic Conventions.)
Very soon Congress will have a chance to repair some of the PATRIOT
Act's worst excesses. In December 2005, a bipartisan group of senators
filibustered to stop the passage of a bill that would have reauthorized
16 expiring PATRIOT Act provisions. As a compromise, the provisions
were extended for 5 weeks to give the officials more time to work out
their differences. This temporary extension will run out on February 3,
The Senate version of the bill has much stronger protections of civil
liberties and more meaningful opportunities to challenge unwarranted
information requests and gag orders. Please call your representatives
and senators, and ask them to support the Senate version of the bill.
You can call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or find your
representatives and get their direct numbers by clicking here (http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/).
And if you'd like additional talking points or a sample letter you can
send, click here: http://www.codepinkalert.org/article.php?list=type&type=113.
Don't let the Bush administration take away our basic rights to protest
THEIR illegal actions. Your phone calls on January 25 can help restore
our rights to privacy, free speech, and due process.
Your sisters against Big Brother, Dana, Farida, Gael, Jodie, Medea,
Nancy, Rae & Tiffany
P.S. On January 31st
President Bush will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress.
He'll defend the mounting death toll in Iraq, claim that spying on
peace groups like CODEPINK is lawful and make more excuses for the
sorry state of our union. In times like these it's important to keep
our spirits up. We suggest you get together with your friends and
fellow activists and head to your favorite watering hole for a People's
State of the Union. Click here (http://www.codepinkalert.org/article.php?list=type&type=106)
for action ideas and to find an event in your town.
Stop Funding Racism! - Build Levees NOT Walls!
January 22, 2006
As our brothers and sisters in New Orleans and the Gulf States struggle
rebuild their lives from the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, and
White House has indicated that the Federal funds assigned for hurricane
recovery are not enough, Israel is demanding additional billions of
from the US administration for the expansion of Jewish-only
settlements on Palestinian land.
These Israeli demands come after Congress had already awarded ONE THIRD
the total foreign aid budget to affluent Israel, which is also heavily
subsidized with tax-deductible contributions by wealthy American
In addition, US labor unions (through the AFL-CIO), local governments
universities hold Israel Bonds, another form of private subsidy to
Further, to this day, US citizens are still forced to pay taxes to bribe
Russians and other white Europeans to leave for Israel, while the
government refuses Palestinian refugees their inalienable, natural and
historical right to return to their homes.
Now, as African American and other hurricane victims in Louisiana and
Mississippi face eviction from emergency housing and endless delays in
obtaining building permits, frequently failing to receive straight
from the government as to when or whether the ruined levee system will
rebuilt, Israel is insisting that our Congress appropriate
billions of our
tax dollars for planned Israeli developments on land where Palestinians
live and have lived for generations. The people living on these lands
Jaleel (Galilee) and Naqab (Negev) regions are to be evicted and
with Jewish-only settlements and segregated roads, water systems and
industrial areas built with these US tax dollars.
Some of these funds will also be used to extend the illegal Annexation
a 26 foot high, 400 mile long concrete and barbed wire structure meant
keep Palestinians penned up in their towns or force them off their land
entirely. Major Palestinian towns including Qalquilya, Tulkarem and
Bethlehem have already been imprisoned this way, using US tax dollars.
on the list for further aggression are the Palestinian town of Nazareth
the north, and the arid grazing areas of the Naqab where Bedouins have
their living by agriculture and herding for centuries. The Bedouins are
faced with being herded into reservations themselves.
What happens to the people of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans when
there is no
more money in the treasury for rebuilding the ruined neighborhoods and
Will the US government put its people into concrete-walled ghettoes?
The Educate Congress Action Committee of Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to
Return Coalition, is asking Al-Awda members, supporters and all people
conscience to call, email, and fax your letters to the White House, the
Secretary of State and your congressional representatives.
* Tell them that our tax dollars must be used to rebuild the levees and
devastated neighborhoods of Louisiana and Mississippi; to keep
jobs in the
US; and to refuse any additional funding to the racist Israeli
uses these funds to oppress and dispossess our Palestinian
brothers and sisters.
* Remind them that the White House has already indicated that the
funds assigned for hurricane recovery won't be enough.
* Tell them that all people have the Right to Return to the homes they
forced to flee due to natural or man-made disaster. This right is
in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the US has ratified.
* It's the Law - Everyone Has the Right to Return Home! *
*President George W Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
*Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Tel: 202-647-4000 or 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay Service) Fax:
Web Form: Use the "Send a Message to the Secretary of State" link at
* Your Representatives and Senators:
Call the Capitol switchboard at:1-877-331-2000, 1-800-839-5276
Letters in the US may be faxed online via: http://www.tpc.int/sendfax.html
Please cc your correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Jan. 31, On The Night of President Bush's State
of the Union Address- Bring the Noise! Drown Out Bush's Lies!
In large cities and small
towns all across the country, join in rallies one hour before Bush's
address as we make our determination to "Drive Out the Bush Regime" the
political message of the day.
At 9:00 PM EST, just as Bush
starts to speak, everywhere we will BRING THE NOISE. In a cacophony of
sound, drown out his address with music: from drums to violins, from
hip hop and classical; and with noise: banging pots and ringing church
bells, sound car horns and lifting our voices.
In Philadelphia: Gathering at 8pm
at the corner of 12th and Market Sts. Bring your noise; pots and pans,
music, horns, whistles, bells, signs and banners and at 9pm we will
"Drown Out Bush's State Of The Union Address. We will not allow Bush to
set the agenda for our future as we demand BUSH STEP DOWN and Take Your
Whole Agenda With You!!!
e-mail us at email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org call us
# The President's State of
the Union address is just four days away (January 31), but it's not too late to throw a
We have already heard from folks from coast to coast - from New York to
California, in Missouri, Idaho, Ohio and several other states who are
organizing State of the Union gatherings.
State of the Union parties are a great opportunity to raise funds for
your local organizing work and United for Peace and Justice. Our "Parties for Peace" kit offers lots of tips on
hosting a successful event. We hope that you will find this kit useful,
and that it will help you to develop the financial resources to support
your local organizing work, help you draw newcomers into the peace and
justice movement, and help raise
money to support the work of UFPJ, so that we can better support our
UFPJ, several of our member groups, and allies have also put together a
number of party games, discussion guides, and other materials that you
can use for your party. Some are irreverent, some are serious, some are
downright raucous -- choose the activities that you think will resonate
most strongly with your guests.
"Track the Lies" Tally Sheet from United
for Peace and Justice
Print out copies of this sheet for each of your party guests and have
them jot down notes throughout the speech. The process of tallying and
comparing afterward should generate a great discussion -- and the
person who identifies the greatest number of lies, manipulations of
fact, half-truths, and other distortions in Bush's speech wins.
CodePink State of the Union "Liars Bingo"
It's not really competitive -- there are only two cards -- but with its
colorful graphics and cheeky tone, this bingo game from UFPJ member
group CodePink will keep your guests howling with laughter.
National Priorities Project: Local Costs
of the Iraq War
This guide from the National Priorities Project offers a breakdown of
what the Iraq war is costing local communities across the country. Look
up your locale before the State of the Union address, and ask your
party guests to guess the figure.
United for Peace & Justice
Legislative Action Team
Information and resources for groups and individuals who want to become
active in pressuring their legislators to take action against the war.
AFSC's "Ten Reasons Why the U.S. Must
A cogent and comprehensive summary of why we should bring all the
troops home now from the American Friends Service Committee, a member
group of UFPJ -- a great resource to share with your party guests.
Sojourners and Call to Renewal "The
State of Our Values" Tookit
Party planning tips and discussion guide from a progressive faith-based
Huffington Post State of the Union Games
"Guess the Guest," "Beat the Speaker!" and a presidential speech
State of the Union Drinking Games: Version One | Version Two
A political version of the classic drinking game; 2006 rules to be
If you have the stomach for it, you might also check out the official George W. Bush party packs -- and
then order a stack of "Bush Lies, Who Dies?" posters
If you're holding a public State of the Union event, please don't
forget to list your activities on the calendar on the UFPJ website.
Yours, for peace and justice,
Drop All Fines Against N.Y.C. Transit Workers!
Dump All Anti-Strike Provisions of Taylor Law!
The Organizer Newspaper
P.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140.
Tel. (415) 626-1175; fax: (415) 626-1217.
To UNSUBSCRIBE, contact <email@example.com>
email: The Organizer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
New web site: www.theorganizer.org
[Note: The following article is reprinted from the January-February
2006 issue of The Organizer Newspaper. To obtain a sample hard copy of
The Organizer -- or to be added to our weekly email list -- please
contact us at the address listed above.]
On Jan. 20, New York City's 33,000 transit workers voted to reject the
new three-year contract that had been approved by their union
leadership. One month earlier, on Dec. 20-22, the transit workers
staged a three-day strike to demand equity and better wages and
conditions for all union members.
By an extremely narrow margin -- only seven votes out of more than
22,000 votes cast -- the transit workers rejected the call for
ratification by Transportation Workers Union Local 100 President Roger
Toussaint, heeding instead the dissident voices on the union's
Executive Board that urged rejection. (On Dec 27, the union's Executive
Board voted to approve the new contract by a vote of 37 in favor, 4
against, and one abstention.)
The agreement would have provided workers with raises of 3 percent, 4
percent and 3.5 percent over the next three years. But it would have
required, for the first time, that all workers contribute 1.5 percent
of their salaries toward healthcare premiums. This was the single most
important reason workers rejected the contract, according to the New
At the same time, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) agreed to
pull a proposal that would have raised the retirement age for new hires
from 55 to 62, or required new employees to contribute more to their
The three-day strike violated the state's anti-union Taylor Law and was
therefore characterized as "illegal" by the city and state authorities.
TWU Local 100 was fined $3 million, while TWU workers were hit with $35
million in fines -- two days pay for each day on strike. There was no
amnesty -- unconditional or otherwise -- in the proposed contract
regarding these cruel and unusual penalties.
A Brooklyn judge has yet to determine exactly how much of those fines
the union and its employees will pay. Toussaint could also face jail
time over the walkout. A hearing scheduled for January 20 was postponed.
The article below by New York labor activist Ruben Panovino explains
the stakes in this battle and urges all trade unionists and activists
in the city and across the country to come to the aid of these
embattled workers, beginning with the call, as Panovino writes, "to
mobilize every union, community organization and supporter to demand
unconditional amnesty for the workers of TWU Local 100."
* THE STAKES IN THE N.Y.C. TRANSIT WORKERS' STRUGGLE FOR EQUAL WAGES
& BENEFITS FOR ALL UNION MEMBERS By RUBEN PANOVINO
NEW YORK - Thirty-three thousands New York City subway and bus workers
went out on strike for three days on December 20-22 to say "NO!"
to pension demands that would have sown seeds of division within the
union's rank-and-file, giving lesser pension benefits to future workers.
This action was not taken lightly. On the eve of the holidays, the
transit workers were conscious of the hardships a strike could provoke
for all the strikers' families and for the community at large. They
also knew that under the 1967 anti-union Taylor Law each striker was
threatened with losing two days of pay for every day on strike, and the
union itself was faced with fines as high $1 million per day.
Roger Toussaint, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100,
explained, "We are fighting for those who are not yet born." The union
insisted that all workers should be paid the same and receive the same
benefits as the current membership.
Strikers stood firm in the face of vicious attacks by the Metropolitan
Transit Authority (MTA), the mayor, the state governor, the courts and
the mainstream news media. In fact, with a $2 billion surplus in the
city's budget, the MTA squandered these public funds in a month-long
anti-union media blitz. Roger Toussaint was characterized regularly in
the media as a "thug."
The majority of New Yorkers, however, knew there was something greater
at play here. The media could not hide the fact that 52% or more of New
Yorkers, according to all the polls, supported the transit strike
despite the incredible hardships they were asked to endure. Local
unions stood up one by one to proclaim that "the transit workers'
strike is our strike." They understood that if the City and MTA could
impose this two-tier pension plan upon the transit workers, all other
public employees would be next when their contracts expired.
Despite the constant barrage of anti-union epithets on the news, the
majority of New Yorkers knew these transit workers symbolized hope,
they symbolized the truth. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, in a
statement issued Dec. 21, noted that the "New York transit workers are
taking a brave stand for future generations of transit workers, holding
the line against a separate and unequal retirement plan for people who
will be hired in the future." Sweeney said the strikers were "drawing
the line for good jobs," and he urged union members across the country
to support the TWU Local 100's strike fund.
TWU Local 100's Defiance of the Taylor Law
New York Governor George Pataki, N.Y.C. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and
MTA Chief Peter Kalikow had a much larger problem on their hands than
just a labor dispute. What was most troubling to these pro-business
politicians was the defiance by TWU 100 of New York State's Taylor Law
-- a defiance that inspired working people across the city and state.
The Taylor Law -- formally the 1967 Public Employees-Fair Employment
Act -- was enacted after the 10-day TWU strike in 1966. It reads: "No
public employee or employee organization shall engage in a strike, and
no public employee or employee organization shall cause, instigate,
encourage, or condone a strike." While the Taylor Law is supposed to
make both job actions by unions and unfair labor practices by employers
obsolete, this statute actually functions to emasculate unions from
properly mobilizing and fighting for their members. It does nothing to
force public sector employers to bargain in good faith, as it contains
no real mechanism to discipline employers who violate the law.
It was barely mentioned in the news media, moreover, that the MTA did
much to provoke the strike by breaking the Taylor Law first with its
illegal pension demands and defiance of court orders to stop its
unilateral imposition of One-Person Train Operation. Even the union's
appeal to the state Pension Employees Retirement Board (PERB) -- the
same PERB that ultimately dispatched a mediator to work out a deal --
was rejected on the grounds that the MTA's pension demands did not
provoke the strike. In the meantime, the mayor and governor have
insisted that the fines will be strictly enforced. This comes well
after the TWU International exempted itself from Taylor Law penalties
by ordering workers to scab and go back to work. Now rank-and-file
workers of all affiliations are asking, "Where is labor movement
What To Do Next
The first things we must do is mobilize every union, community
organization and supporter to demand unconditional amnesty for the
workers of TWU Local 100 or this will set a damaging precedent for the
labor movement as a whole, and for all workers -- unionized and
Next, we must go after the anti-union Taylor Law. The law cannot be
immediately done away with because it grants a -- flawed and limited --
right to organize and collectively bargain. But its prohibition of
public-sector strikes must be overturned!This, of course, raises the
question of who represents the interests of New York City workers and
why we should allow the authorities to take our tax dollars and use
those funds against our own interests.
History has demonstrated clearly -- here in New York City and in other
metropolitan regions across the United States -- that neither the
Democrats or Republicans will stick their political necks out for the
interests of workers -- especially trade unionists. Laws that are
unjust and undemocratic are meant to be broken. This is precisely why
transit workers risked everything by breaking the law. But at every
press conference concerning the strike, you couldn't find one single
politician who spoke out in favor of the union's defiance of the Taylor
Law. All urged the union members to put the union's fate in the Taylor
Law's pro-business arbitration procedure.
That's why -- more than ever -- we need a Labor Party that truly
represents the will of the trade union movement and the working-class.
Workers need a political expression that is independent of the
political parties of the bosses -- the Republicrats. Workers need to
have a political party that is accountable to them. No nation can claim
it is democratic when at every opportunity employers trample upon the
workers' right to organize and strike. There can be no freedom when
workers walk into the worplace and are faced with the employers'
concerted campaign to coerce workers into submission.
So while we advance our slogans of "Unconditional Amnesty For All
Members of TWU 100," let us also advance the much-needed discussion of
forging a Labor Party in this country. The labor movement needs to cut
its umbilical cord with the Democrats. Imagine if we had a Labor Party
Mayor and City Council in New York what we could accomplish? Imagine
what the members of TWU 100 could have accomplished?
Proposed Ban on Congressional Travel Paid by
In the wake of the current lobbying
scandals, both major political parties are proposing reform legislation
that would ban US Congressmen from privately funded travel.
One salutary effect of such legislation would
be to curtail the long procession of American legislators who regularly
visit Israel, courtesy of private groups, thus opening the door for
undue access and influence. "These trips include extensive travel
in Israel and meetings with key leaders," according to the Jewish
Telegraphic Agency (JTA). "Travel has been credited with helping
lawmakers see controversial topics - such as the West Bank barrier and
Gaza Strip withdrawal - in a light favorable to Israel." (1)
The American Israel Educational Foundation, an
organization that provides funding for the American Israel Public
Affairs Committee (AIPAC), accounted for the visits of 38 members of
Congress in the second half of 2005 alone, and others have undoubtedly
travelled there under the auspices of other private organizations as
well. Jewish organizations are sufficiently worried by the
proposed reforms that they are also considering "ways around the
regulations, including taking congressional candidates to the Middle
East before they're elected and subject to congressional
restrictions," the JTA reports.
Although peace in the Middle East is often thought
to require the good offices of the United States as an honest broker,
the Administration's lack of even-handedness, routinely echoed by
lopsidedly pro-Israel votes in Congress, is widely resented throughout
the region. Congressmen might be exposed to more diverse views and
access to them might be more balanced by requiring that all their
expenses be paid from the Congressional budget, with strict disclosure
to the public.
The American Council on
Middle East Policy http://www.jewishexponent.com/ViewArticle.asp?ArtID=2162
* NSA Expert, Jim Bamford on Domestic
Wiretapping: The Bush Administration Has "Decided Simply to Violate the
The Bush administration has launched a public-relations offensive to
the National Security Agency's eavesdropping on U.S. citizens without
warrants. We speak with James Bamford, author of several books on
intelligence, including the first book ever written about the NSA.
is also a plaintiff in an ACLU lawsuit that charges the spying program
violates Americans' rights to free speech and privacy under the first
and fourth amendments
of the Constitution. http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/01/24/1516253
* Thousands Throng Streets as Bolivian Leader Sheds Tears but
Talks Tough at Inauguration
* Bush, Abramoff Posed for Photos Five Times, Magazines Report
* American Rights at Work: Wal-Mart's Unionbusting Practices
Face Scrutiny in U.S. Courts and in the Online Court
of Public Opinion http://www.commondreams.org/news2006/0123-06.htm
* Guantanamo Hunger Strikers Close to Death
* Bin Laden: Where is he? Who's protecting him? Why can't we
* Cindy Sheehan | Matriotism
* Venezuela at the World Social Forum beginning January
Check out our live blog at www.globalexchange.org/wsf