"Dreams & Nightmares: Life and Death in Iraq"
Tuesday July 4th - Code Pink Philly's first independent action. 
 NW Greens will meet on July 6 WITH Dr Walter Tzou                                                                                                                     Philadelphia Grannies For Peace General Meeting
 The Road to Guantanamo opens in Philadelphia!
 NW Peace & Justice  &   Galen Tyler, director of Kensington Welfare Right Union
Trinity Peace Event, July 16 with Sen Specter
New Citizens / New Voters * Volunteers needed Tuesday July 27th
Stop the President's Silent Vetoes
In Ramallah, watching the BBC report about Israeli  Incursions into Gaza.
On this fourth of July, the words of John Quincy Adams and James Madison should haunt us.
The NBA Draft: Prom Night Gets Political By Dave Zirin
Eleven Grannies Arrested In Philadelphia For Trying To Enlist by Rosita Johnson
Retiree Health Care on Chopping Block/ Most Employers Cutting Retiree Health Care: Study By Kim Dixon
* Surprise Lead for Mexican Leftwing Presidential Candidate Shakes Political Establishment




Close your office for the morning, send your staff, bring your rganizational banner..

On Wednesday July 5th the House and the Senate go head to head with
immigration reform hearings.  The House will be having a hearing on
border security in California.  Senator Specter will be having a hearing
on the economic importance of immigration and the need for
employment-based visas, in Philadelphia.  The nation will be watching.

Please Show Your Support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform on July 5th 
Come Stand in Solidarity for Comprehensive Reform and Send a Message to Congress.

Specter's hearing will start at 9:30 AM at the National Constitution
Center. The auditorium where the hearing is being held has a limited
capacity.  We have arranged with the city to close down Arch Street in
front of the National Constitution Center, to allow supporters to assemble. 

BRING A WORK GLOVE -  Outside Events begin at 9AM

Whether you plan to stay outside or try to make it inside, bring a work
glove (or 2, or 5) to add to the pile. These work gloves demonstrate the
hard work of immigrants; the fact that America works because immigrants
work.  Bring yellow rubber gloves for dishwashers, canvas gloves for
landscape workers, leather gloves for welders, etc.

Regan Cooper, Executive Director , Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition Advocating for Immigrants, Migrants and Refugees
 PICC, Phone: (215) 832-0809, Email:

"Dreams & Nightmares: Life and Death in Iraq"
A Life-Sized Open-Air Exhibit Featuring Photography from a Philly-Native Photojournalist

July 1 - 4, 2006
Independence Park, Philadelphia - across the street from the
Visitors Center (between Market and Chestnut streets), on the slate  terrace opposite the Liberty Bell pavilion.
                The exhibit is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


- July 3rd, 7PM, DECLARATION OF PEACE Demonstration &
Pledge Signing, Phila. Federal Building;
- July 4th, 10AM, DECLARATION OF PEACE Contingent in 4th of
July Parade, Swarthmore, Delaware County.

Tuesday July 4th - Code Pink Philly's first independent action. 

We will gather at 8:30 AM at 6th & Market St. and proceed to join the crowds for the reading of the Declaration of Independence at 9:00 AM.  We have a large beautiful banner about the actions that have stained the flag and we will have pink wahsbasins and washboards to wash those stains out of the flag.  We will wash out actions and practices that we bring with us as well as invite others in the area to step up and "Wash those stains right out of my flag"  We hope this action will be fun and thought provoking.  As mentioned before, we need at least a dozen folks to pull this off, so even if you can't come to the run through tonight, please join us on July 4th for some strong and effective Code Pink opposition to war, greed, torture, election stealing, violation of civil liberties, environmental destruction, etc. 

Phiadelphia Grannies For Peace General Meeting

PLACE: FRIENDS CENTER, 15TH & CHERRY                                                                                                                                          TIME:  June 5th 5PM.    All Are Welcome   For Info:  215.247.4385 or


> NW Greens will meet on July 6 WITH Dr Tzou
> What can you do to get health care for all? Join Dr. Walter Tsou, former commissioner of public health, in discussing this important topic with Northwest Greens at 7:00 pm on Thursday, July 6, in the Weavers' Way Meeting Room, 610 Carpenter Lane in West Mount Airy. More information from 215-843-4256 and <>.
> ___________________

 The Road to Guantanamo opens in Philadelphia!

On July 7th, "The Road To Guantanamo" will open at the Ritz Theater in Philadelphia (which one is to be announced next week).  With the decision by the Supreme Court yesterday, it is now incumbent upon all of us to use this momentum to demand justice for all of those imprisoned in Guantanamo.

        One of the strategies of the Bush administration has been to paint those imprisoned there as "sub-human" and therefore unworthy of our sympathy and support.
This film counters this, as well as exposes the Bush administration for what it is...Please join me and go see this film. Please encourage your family and friends to do so as well. Let us all be a part of a national dialogue to bring an end to Guantanamo and the policies that created it. For more information about the movie go to:     .........In Solidarity.   Jody -  Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

> NW Peace & Justice  &   Galen Tyler, director of Kensington Welfare Right Union
> Join us to hear Galen Tyler, director of Kensington Welfare Right Union, talk about linking the peace movement and the anti-poverty movement. Northwest Peace and Justice Movement will meet at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, July 11, in the Parish Center behind Saint Vincent's Church, 109 East Price Street in Germantown. For more information: 215-843-4256 or <>.
> ___________________
> Trinity Peace Event, July 16 with Sen Specter
> On the 61st anniversary of the Age of Nuclear Warfare, ask Senator Arlen Specter to cut off funding for the occupation of Iraq. (On July 16, 1945, the U.S. Manhattan Project detonated the world's first nuclear warhead at the Trinity test site in New Mexico.) Northwest Peace and Justice Movement (and 17 other peace groups) will hold a Trinity Peace Event from 2:00 until 4:00 pm on Sunday, July 16, near Senator Specter's home, on Schoolhouse Lane (between Henry Avenue and Gypsy Lane) in East Falls.  For more information: 215-843-4256 or <>.

New Citizens / New Voters * Volunteers needed Tuesday July 27th
As part of Democracy Summer, a nationwide initiative of the We Are America Alliance to have 1 million people naturalize or register to vote, PICC will be at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Tuesday, July 27th to provide non-partisan voter registration.   Almost 1800 people will be naturalized that day. 
We need volunteers to do non-partisan voter registration immediately following two large naturalization ceremonies.  The first ceremony is at 11 am, with 1,000 people being naturalized.  The second ceremony is at 3 pm, with 750 people being naturalized.  The ceremonies will be held in the Great Hall, we will be stationed in the open area outside, below the escalators.
Volunteers who have not been trained in doing non-partisan voter registration will need to arrive a 1 hour earlier for a short training.   
  Ceremony 1 arrival times
  10:30 AM for Volunteers that have not been trained in non-partisan voter registration
  11 AM for Volunteers already trained in non-partisan voter registration
  Ceremony 2 arrival times
  2:30 PM for Volunteers that have not been trained in non-partisan voter registration
  3 PM for Volunteers already trained in non-partisan voter registration
  Rafael Collazo of Mi Familia Vota has graciously agreed to coordinate volunteers.  Please contact him if you are interested in participating in one or both ceremonies.  His email is and his phone number is (215) 425-7540

Regan Cooper Executive Director Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship CoalitionAdvocating for Immigrants, Migrants and Refugees PICC2100 Arch Street, 7th FloorPhiladelphia, PA 19103Phone: (215) 832-0809Fax: (215) 832-0919



Stop the President's Silent Vetoes

Under a radical new theory of presidential power, President Bush is
openly claiming the right to disobey any laws he doesn't agree with --
and Congress is letting him get away with it. Presidential signing
statements are nothing new -- but this President's open defiance of
the law most certainly is.

Senator McCain's bill prohibiting torture by our armed forces? It's
being ignored. Requirements that the Administration report to Congress
about seizures of records from libraries and bookstores? Ignored. A
law capping U.S. soldiers in Colombia at 800? They'll construe that
law as 'advisory in nature,' thank you very much.

Click here to tell your representative and senators that they MUST
hold Bush accountable under the law:

For photographs of the past couple weeks:  June 29, 2006

Dear friends,

After a week of traveling with a Birthright Unplugged group, I’m sitting in
a beautiful apartment in Ramallah, watching the BBC report about Israeli  Incursions into Gaza.

And staring at a blank computer screen.

What is happening to the Palestinian people is so wrong, so clearly wrong,  that it’s hard to know what to say.

Because I can’t just start at the Israeli bombings and cutting of
electricity, food, and water, and the abduction of more than 25 Palestinian
parliament members and a third of the cabinet, which is in response to the
killing of two Israeli soldiers and the kidnapping of one, which was in
response to the killing of dozens of Palestinian civilians, including Huda’s family on the beach.

I can’t just start at the lack of salaries for one third of the Palestinian
population, which is a result of the government having no money to pay its
workers, which is a result of the banks refusing to transfer money into
Palestine, which is a result of the United States’ direct threats to banks
and the rest of the world’s complicity in that, as well as the worldwide
boycott against the democratically elected Palestinian government.

I can’t just start at the world’s unequal and mostly unconditional support
for Israel, the media’s participation in the propaganda war, the fact that
the law of force has consistently trumped the force of law, as a Palestinian
friend often says.

I can’t just start at Israel’s refusal to engage in real negotiations with
Palestinians over the years, the constant expansion of settlements and
working out of agreements with the US that are then offered to Palestinian
negotiators on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

I can’t just start at the military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip,
and East Jerusalem in 1967, which continues until today.

The truth is that 1948 is a tragedy unfolding every day.  The expulsion of
at least 800,000 indigenous people from their land, and the establishment of
a state based on religion and ethnicity, is an injustice that plays out in
each moment of each day in this land.

This is not a political doctrine.  This is not rhetoric.  When I say that
the events of 1948 continue to unfold each day, it is not a figure of
speech.  Yesterday I sat in the living room of a man who was in first grade
when Zionist forces came to the outskirts of his village and began to shoot.
  He recalls bullets flying over his head, the killing of two of the
village’s residents and the resulting fleeing of the rest.  He remembers his
father gathering up the family and the donkeys and leaving their ancestral
lands, only to flee a few kilometers to where he now lives, as an Israeli
citizen with fewer rights than other Israeli citizens because of the simple
fact that he is not Jewish.  He spoke about the land in the village, the
places he played at 6 years old, and his eyes welled up with tears.

We then went to visit his village, Al Lajun, which has been taken over by
Kibbutz Megiddo.  We walked with him and two men in their 80s, along paths
whose stones had been the stones of the houses.  Each place we walked, one
of these men, who were in their 20s in 1948, would point and say, this is
where the Jabrin family lived, this is where Mahajne lived, this is where
Mahamid lived.  The pomegranate tree remains, the cactus remains, but the
rubble from the houses has been flattened into the landscape and covered
over with pine trees planted by the Jewish National Fund.

The people from this village, even those who are Israeli citizens living
just 10 minutes away, are disallowed from returning to their land.  1948 is
a tragedy happening today.

I sit in refugee camps with people who dream of having the right to choose
where they live.  1948 is a tragedy happening today.

I find myself in a conversation with a Jewish Israeli man who runs a
restaurant and bar in a building that used to be a mosque.  He knows the
village’s history, he knows that the former inhabitants of the village, the
builders of the village, live just up the hill in a new village unrecognized
by the Israeli government.  He knows all this and he says that the past is
past, that we must think about the future.  Which is what most people with
power say.  After you have stolen something, after an injustice in which
force has made you the “winner” and someone else the “loser,” it makes sense
that you would want to forget the past.  1948 is a tragedy happening today.

So as the Israeli tanks assemble on the borders of Gaza and begin a massive
incursion, I think also of Adnan’s tears as he remembers a pre-Israeli
incursion into his own village.  And I wonder how we can talk about one
thing without talking about everything.  And yet I wonder how we can deal
with anything when we’re trying to deal with everything.  The state of
Israel will not become secular or democratic by tomorrow, or next week, or
next month, or next year.  How do we stop this incursion into Gaza, or the
next one, or the starvation of the Palestinian people by the world  community?

I don’t have clear answers.  I’ve been pondering effectiveness and
frustrated with myself and the Palestine solidarity community for not
figuring out how to mount an effective campaign about anything.  Because
things here only get worse and worse for the Palestinian people, and the
Israeli government is quite skilled at keeping the Palestinian community in
crisis mode.  And the rest of us in reaction mode.  So if Israel kills
dozens of people in Gaza in the next few days, and then they stop, the world
will thank them for stopping, justify collective punishment, and forget
about anything that happened before.

So what can we do?  In general, we need more creative and public actions,
everywhere, to draw attention to the political crisis here that has led to a  humanitarian crisis.

In the short term, let’s figure out how to get money here.  Friends who have
never asked me for anything before are starting to ask if I can help them or
find others to do so.  I have a critique of aid work and bandaid solutions
both in theory and in practice, but when my friends can’t afford food and
medicine, I’m not sure whether this critique can stand.

In the long term, please please please figure out how to isolate Israel from
the world community, to force them to stop what they’re doing.  I think the
boycott/sanctions/divestment movement has some potential.  It has worked in
other places.  Pressure your local supermarkets to stop buying Israeli goods
or at least to label them so that consumers can choose which oranges to buy.
  Pressure your universities, religious institutions, companies, and
municipalities to stop investing in Israel Bonds, Israeli companies, or
American companies like Caterpillar who continue to supply Israel with
weapons.  Pressure the US government to let the banks transfer money into
Palestine, to pay the public school teachers and all other government
employees who have been working without pay for 4 months.

And if you have any creative ideas, please let me know.  We can work  together.


To subscribe to this list, send an e-mail to All my writing is at

On this fourth of July, the words of John Quincy Adams and James Madison should haunt us.

In 1795, Madison said that of all the enemies of true liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, and that no nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. And Adams advised in 1821 against going abroad in search of monsters to destroy, lest America become the dictatress of the world, but  no longer the ruler of her own spirit.

The invasion of Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with the September 11 tragedy, is exactly the type of war that our founding fathers warned against. 

This country has wandered far from its stated ideals, and we want to bring it back. Thats why, this July 4, while people across America will celebrate our country with fireworks and barbecues, a group of patriots ( will gather outside the White House.  Foregoing the festivities, the women of CODEPINK ( , a project of Global Exchange, will instead launch an open-ended hunger strike  the Troops Home Fast ( --against the continued U.S. occupation of Iraq. 

Cindy Sheehan, Diane Wilson and Dick Gregory have all declared open-ended hunger strikes against the war, and thousands more ( including Willie Nelson, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Michael Franti, veterans from Iraq and other wars, an army colonel, a retired CIA analyst and a Franciscan priestwill engage in one-day rolling fasts across the country.  In San Francisco, activists will fast outside Diane Feinsteins office; in Washington D.C., they will maintain a constant presence in front of the White House.  You can join them ( too, in DC or in your hometown, for a day, a week, or as long as you can.

Join the Troops Home Fast (

Why Fast? The Troops Home FAST ( endeavors to bring home the pain and suffering of this war and to galvanize public support to bring the troops home.  In the words of the intrepid Diane Wilson, Iraqi bodies are on the line every day. And so are the bodies of the U.S. soldiers.  So shouldnt we be putting our bodies on the line? Shouldnt we be as serious about making peace as some people are about making war? Read more about why were committing ourselves to this action (

Join us today. ((  Come to DC if you can. ( Or, fast from your hometown.   You can fast individually on the 4th of July, pick another dayor days-- during the month of July to fast, or organize a public fast outside your Congresspersons office or another busy spot in your city or town.  To find out if there is already a Fast action planned near you (or to add your action to our calendar!) click here.  (  Pressure your leaders to bring the troops home. 

There is no better expression of patriotism than dissent when ones country has strayed so far from its ideals.  In the words of another patriot, Senator Carl Shurz of Missouri, from 1872: My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right!

Thanks for all your hard work on behalf of peace and justice,  Global Exchange
PS: dont forget to sign the Voters for Peace ( pledge!  With every signature, Global Exchange will receive a donation.  You can help put peace on the ballot and support our hard-hitting campaigns with one click!


End War Profiteering! Support Indigenous Rights!
Between August 6 and 9, the anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, demand an end to the war in Iraq, no military attacks on Iran or North Korea, and the global abolition of nuclear weapons, starting with our own.

This year, we call on groups to protest at the corporate offices of Bechtel, the world's number-one nuclear profiteer, and at nuclear facilities everywhere. Sixty-one years after the U.S. killed tens of thousands of civilians by dropping nuclear bombs on two densely populated cities, our aim is to expose the continuing hypocrisy of the U.S. nuclear double standard and to directly confront the U.S. corporations who are perpetuating and profiting from a worldwide nuclear crisis and the war in Iraq.
August 9 has also been declared by the United Nations as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. Indigenous peoples have often borne the brunt of nuclear devastation. In the United States alone, Native Americans have seen their land stolen to build nuclear infrastructure, mined for uranium, and bombed with test weapons; the U.S. government continues to push forward with plans to store massive amounts of highly radioactive waste beneath Yucca Mountain in Nevada, a site sacred to the Western Shoshone. We have an opportunity to make the connections between nuclear proliferation and attacks on indigenous rights.
The U.S. is the ONLY country that has used nuclear weapons. As war and occupation continue in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush Administration is fomenting nuclear crises in Iran and North Korea. At the same time it is pushing for new nuclear weapons and power plants here at home. We say NO to nukes, NO to wars, NO to war profiteers, and YES to the sovereignty of indigenous people around the world!
Where to protest
Bechtel has many facilities, projects and offices across the country and around the world. Plans are underway for protests at most of the major U.S. nuclear weapons facilities, including the Livermore and Los Alamos Labs, the Oak Ridge plant in Tennessee, the Nevada Test Site and the Pantex plant in Texas. Actions are also planned at Bechtel’s Bettis Atomic Laboratory in Pennsylvania, and Bechtel corporate offices in Houston and San Francisco. See for a growing list of actions.

Based on your group's capacity and background, you could organize anything:
civil disobedience
citizen’s inspections
events that promote the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Commitments Act (H. Res. 373)
educational events

You might want to organize a bus trip to one of the larger regional events, or a protest at a nuclear power plant that Bechtel built or at another nuclear profiteer’s facility or office, such as BWX Technologies, Lockheed Martin or Raytheon.
We especially encourage civil disobedience and nonviolent direct action. Let’s use our people power to confront key pillars of war and empire -- including corporations like Bechtel. Be sure to list the activities that you are planning on the calendar.

We invite other groups to join in this call. You can sign on at; you can circulate the call among progressive organizations in your community; you can connect with others who are organizing against the war machine. Seek peace, be part of the solution.


Edge of Sports June 29, 2006   ...The NBA Draft: Prom Night Gets Political By Dave Zirin

The NBA draft is supposed to be Prom Night for
basketball nerds. It's a place to gawk at
pro-prospects adorned in garish double-breasted suits
that would make Max Julien blush. It's a time to watch
the diminutive David Stern shake hands with a
cavalcade of young men who could rest a drink on his
head.  No one views draft night to get a handle on the
current political climate. One would have to be
dropping acid to think that anything involving
"Screamin'" Stephen A. Smith, Dick Vitale, and Dan
Patrick could provide any kind of political insight.
Well, call me Timothy Leary and bring on the White
Rabbit because last night's draft was more politically
interesting than anything said in the last year by Tim
Russert and his bloated cronies. This column has
argued that professional sports were on the precipice
of reflecting the divisions, polarization, and anger
in our society. The draft last night gave a terrific
window to this emerging trend: both inside and outside Madison Square Garden.

Draft night ceased to be spectacle as usual when Adam
Morrison from Gonzaga, the NCAA's leading scorer in
2006, was picked third by the Charlotte Bobcats. We
learned in the post-draft interview that Morrison
cried when Rage Against the Machine broke up. As
ESPN's Stuart Scott needled him, Morrison in plain
language defended his right to cry: a nice counter to
the macho laws of jockocracy. But Morrison is more
than a chronic weeper who sports a bizarre caterpillar
mustache, and pageboy haircut straight out of Degrassi
Junior High. He is also someone who has said that his
heroes, in addition to Rage, are "Malcolm X, Karl
Marx, and Che Guevara." Why Che? As he told USA Today,
"Just the adversity he dealt with in life, what he did
for small countries of the world as a whole. Standing
up for lower people, instead of the top tier. That
takes a lot of guts on the world level to do that. So
that's what's drawn me to him." Morrison was also a
Nader voter in 2004, and someone who is known for
getting in raucous debates on the team bus on
everything from the logic of capitalism to the merits
of national health care. "I've been told that's what
you are supposed to do in college," he has said. "It's
the last time in your life, pretty much, when you get
to question authority... You're going to be answering
to somebody else for the rest of your life." When
Gonzaga coach Mark Few advised players to attend
church, Morrison stood up and wrote on Few's dry-erase
board "Religion is the opiate of the masses." Let's
hope Morrison realizes that this kind of questioning
is something he doesn't have to forgo just because he's employed by the NBA.

But the political march did not stop with Morrison.
The number 4 pick from LSU, Tyrus Thomas, also made an
impression.  Thomas only played in college for one
year, but made a big splash in the NCAA tournament.
Through the draft coverage, we found out that his
family couldn't watch him in the NCAAs because they
didn't have the money to get there but were aided by a
collection at their church. We also learned that
Thomas sports a tattoo that reads "No struggle, no
progress." As ESPN's Stuart Scott commented, "He's old
school! He's down with Frederick Douglass! Boo yah!" [Or words to that effect.]

Stuart Scott also got more than he bargained for with
the sixth pick, Brandon Roy. We learned that the
University of Washington guard worked sweeping on the
docks of Seattle as a janitor in High School, studying
for his SATs while pushing his broom. Roy, working
nights, did so poorly on the tests he had to retake
them. On the second go-around, he scored so highly the
testing Czars red-flagged him and Roy had to take them
again under close scrutiny. The third time around he
did even better. Roy told Stuart Scott he learned a
lot from the janitors on the docks, mainly that life
is hard and basketball could be his way out.

The other dimension revealed by the draft was one that
rarely makes it onto television: the reality of
poverty in the United States. There was Randy Foye,
the stocky Villanova All-American talking about how
his mother gave birth to him when she was just 14 and
his father died in a motorcycle accident before his
first birthday. Foye was put up for adoption and
eventually raised by his grandparents. A
factoid-graphic at the bottom of the screen simply
read, "People Foye Would Most Like to Meet: 'My
Parents.'" Then there was Marcus Williams, the
talented Connecticut point guard from South Central,
LA who was caught stealing a lap-top computer in
college. His mother borrowed money to move across the
country and live with him to make sure he stayed out
of trouble and didn't blow his big chance.

But not all the political banter was inside the
Garden. Yesterday also saw a demonstration of several
dozen Knick fans demanding that the NBA remove control
of the New York Knicks from CEO James Dolan and GM
Isiah Thomas. Organized by the web site, the march was a cry of frustration
against a hideous team led by idiots. "I never thought
I'd be in a protest march against the Knicks," said
Bill Morris to the New York Post. "It's a crime it has
come to this, with the history of this franchise."
James Dolan, a child of wealth who was described by
one writer as "having the intelligence of a man-hole
cover," recently fired Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown
after one season, a 23-59 record, and the league's
largest payroll. Thomas put together this squad, which
owes a staggering $410 million in contracts, and is
now paying three fired coaches to not coach. Oh: and
for all you non-hoops fans: the new coach for the
Knicks is Isiah Thomas. Bill Simmons of put
it quite well: "I'm telling you, we're going to
remember the Isiah/Knicks Era the same way we remember
things like Enron, the Hindenberg and the Bay of Pigs."

The marchers had a sense of humility and perspective
that this was perhaps not the most critical issue
facing humanity. As Dave Hornung said, "It's not for
world peace, which I guess would be better." But for
people who oppose corporate corruption, rampant greed,
and consumer fraud (Dolan claims to be building a
"basketball team"), the Knicks are as good a target as
any. Maybe next year the demonstrators will return,
led by a certain rookie with a funky mustache, and a
fellow first year player showing his love for
Frederick Douglass. Or better yet, maybe they all will
go to Washington DC with fellow NBA rabble-rousers,
Steve Nash, Etan Thomas, and Adonal Foyle with the aim
of telling the jock-sniffers of Congress that they
stand with Nash's famous phrase: "No War. Shoot for
Peace." Maybe that's just my draft-night fantasy. Or
maybe, just maybe, the soul-rebel athletes of the
world will tell the athletic industrial complex that they've got next.
Dave Zirin is the author of "What's My Name Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States". You can
receive his column Edge of Sports, every week by e-mailing  Contact him at

Eleven Grannies Arrested In Philadelphia For Trying To Enlist by Rosita Johnson

On June 28 ,   11 grandmothers entered a US Armed Forces Center in Philadelphia to enlist to go to Iraq. “Take us not Philadelphia children and grandchildren. Let them live their lives”, said the grannies. The 11 peace activists, ages 55 to 91, are members of the Granny Peace Brigade. They are Marlene Santoyo, Helen Evelev, Ruth Balter, Zandra Moberg, Kathleen Sjogren, Nina Huizinga, Sylvia Metzler, Gloria Hoffman, Sue Ellen Klein,  Sonia Sanchez and Lillian Willoughby age 91 and in a wheelchair. Zandra Moberg presented Sgt. Bell with the gift of an apple pie as they entered. At first the recruiters were going to allow the grannies to apply but quickly changed their minds. When the women refused to leave, they were arrested. Outside other grannies and their supporters sang peace songs, spoke out against the war and displayed their colorful banners and signs.

While inside, the grannies talked to 2 young people who came into the office to enlist.     Christine Watson, 17 and a high school senior, decided to think more about her decision after Gloria Hoffman shared some facts about the Iraq War and its 2,527 casualties. A young man, 18 and a recent high school graduate, said his mother was O.K. with his decision to join the Army. “But what about your grandmother?” asked the grannies. Both young people were African American and the unemployment rate for their age/race is over 40%. “We told them why we are opposed to war and especially this war of terror, this war of error”, said Santoyo. “We need a Department of Peace. Its Afghanistan and Iraq today !  Will it be Iran next, or North Korea or Cuba?” she asked. “The billions of dollars spent on war could go to schools and health care.”  Turning to the marine  recruiter, Sonia Sanchez, noted poet and author, asked, “My brother, how do you feel about being in the service?”  He replied in the affirmative ,  citing serving and protecting  his commander in chief and  country as his reason for joining. Staff Sgt. Tondrel R. Birgans told the grannies the military had bettered his life. “Do you enjoy enlisting people to be taught how to kill other people?” asked Willoughby from her wheelchair.

But outside Kelly Dougherty, a young female US Veteran who served in Iraq, told a very different story about her service in the military. She recalled being told never to go to the bathroom alone and to take a female soldier with her. “Rape is rampant in Iraq. When it is reported, many times no one follows up or investigates”, said Dougherty.
Marine Sgt. Birgans told the grannies he had to leave for an appointment and suggested that they leave also. “We are here to enlist”, they replied. A Police Department,  
Civil  Affairs officer gave them two options – leave or be arrested. Soon afterwards the grannies were arrested and escorted into 2 police vans and taken to a police station. “We were treated courteously and not handcuffed”, said Santoyo. “They took our information and issued our citations. Some information had to be corrected.” The next day the grannies appeared in court and pleaded “Not Guilty”.  Next up - the trial, scheduled for December 1, 2006.

Outside the Recruiting Center a contingent of the Granny Peace Brigade from New York City joined their Philadelphia sisters and supporters in singing songs such as “God Help America”, Study War No More”, “Let Our Children Grow!”- familiar tunes with new lyrics by the grannies. The New York grannies were on their way to participate in a vigil in Washington D.C. on July 4. Holding a large photo of her son, Sgt. Sherwood Baker killed in Iraq in 2004, Celeste Zapala spoke for Military Families Speak Out. She noted the increasing number of casualties in Iraq- 2,527. “If they were the children of the privileged class, this war would be over”, she said. Bob Smith invited the crowd to sign the Declaration of Peace and attend a  signing ceremony on July 3 at the Philadelphia Federal Building.

When asked why and how these grandmothers are able to do what they are doing, Marlene Santoyo replied, “It’s not about us. We are reaching out. Older people can join in making  a contribution to build the Peace Movement. It's long overdue. We must put our life on the line for justice.” The grannies are seasoned activists. Santoyo, Metzler, Sjogren and Willoughby were part of the 160  who closed down the federal building, when the Iraq war began in March 2003. They refused to pay the fine and served one week in jail, getting out Christmas Eve.  It was Willoughby’s first participation in civil disobedience at age 89. “ The vast majority of Americans are opposed to this war. It’s time for a mass movement. For all of us to take to the streets”, said Santoyo.

Retiree Health Care on Chopping Block/ Most Employers Cutting Retiree Health Care: Study By Kim Dixon
June 29, 2006, Reuters
        Most U.S. employers are planning to further scale back health
benefits offered to retirees, as companies struggle with the
upward march in the cost of medical care and weigh increased
contributions from the government's Medicare program, a survey found.
        Ninety-five percent of the mostly Fortune 500 companies polled
expect to further restrict their retiree health plans over the
next five years, and 14 percent plan to stop providing
coverage entirely, the survey of 163 companies by benefits consultants Watson Wyatt found.

* Surprise Lead for Mexican Leftwing Presidential Candidate Shakes Political Establishment

""The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." -- Albert Einstein