Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran's Day Parade Protest

 Binghamton, NY; November 11, 2017

Developing Heart

Jack Gilroy, President, Veterans for Peace, Chapter 90

We all miss our old pal and peace activist, Stu Naismith. Grandson of the founder of the game of basketball (Rev. James Naismith), Stu was the driving force to establish a Veterans for Peace chapter in Broome County. Chapter 90 Broome County came together in 2002 and we’ve been active ever since.

Stu would have been with us ringing the large bell of the First Congregationalist Church on November 11, Armistice Day. Stu would have approved of us going back to Armistice Day, a celebration of peace, of laying down of weapons of destruction and planning for no more war, rather than a Veterans Day with praise for warriors.

When folks questioned why so many Americans seem to celebrate war and warriors and have little regard for people in foreign lands where we bomb, invade and kill Stu answered by placing his hand over his heart: “It’s what one has in his heart…it’s all about heart” said Stu.

Veterans for Peace members are people of heart. We wonder why so many intelligent people in our culture seem to lack heart? Why, for example is there such little regard for brothers and sisters outside of our protected, wealthy culture of the United States of America? Are we stuck in the old adage “the only good Indian is a dead Indian”? Or unable to shake off our roots of racial hate and exploitation of black Americans? Why is there such little ‘heart’ for Muslims in our culture? Why have we so little heart for the millions of Muslims who have suffered so since our invasion of Iraq in 2003?

Peggy Naismith, Stu’s widow, was one of several members of Veterans for Peace who rang the large ground based bell at First Congregationalist Church on the Front St side in Binghamton. We tried to do 11 rings for 11/11/11…the end of hostilities to the Great War…the peace signed at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, November 11, 1918.

Rev Art Suggs with the help of Doug and Judy Gardner opened up the living room of First Congregational and we were treated to coffee and pastry and homemade vegetarian soup by Cecily O’Neil. It was a warm refuge from the coldest day so far this fall of 2017.— and a good get-together as we waited for our main feature, a 1PM graveyard ceremony and a parade we were told we could not be part of.

Part of our conversation prior to the parade focused on Europeans and how they wonder why Americans are so callous toward Iraqi and Afghan people. A United Kingdom and Germany study (by Physicians for Social Responsibility) of American awareness of Iraqis killed since the 2003 invasion revealed that most Americans believed about 9,000 or so Iraqis were killed. Conservative statistics start at 500,000 Iraqis killed and go to beyond a million plus dead resulting in our invasion and occupation of Iraq.

We asked Rev. Art Suggs if he would allow Veterans for Peace to place a symbolic Iraqi and American graveyard on the lawn of First Congregationalist Church. It would illustrate deaths since our 2003 invasion of Iraq. He took the plan to his congregation and they approved of it. We purchased tombstone materials and in the living room of John Patterson and Cecily O’Neil and with the help of Hannah Sprout, a high school student, cut 101 styrofoam tombstones. 100 for Iraqis based on 500,000 dead and 1 for Americans based on United States official count of 4520 dead.

At 1Pm on November 11th, Armistice Day, we set the ‘tombstones’ into the Main St lawn of First Congregationalist Church. 100 for Iraqis and one lone US flag covered stone.

Art Suggs spoke with eloquence of his own story as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. His daily assignment by the US government for refusing to train to kill was to bury American soldiers in his Midwest metropolis city…”it was almost daily work” said Art.

Rev. Gary Doupe spoke of nonviolence and lead us in prayer from his Methodist Prayer book held dearly since his childhood.

Chuck Heyn of Calicoon, NY told of his 15 months as a combat medic in Vietnam. Chuck spoke from the heart. His emotion struck us all. We were moved in mind, heart and soul.

Jim Trainor of Endicott spoke of his two tours of duty in the US Army including Special Forces. Jim, now a social worker in Binghamton has found time over the years to see through the lies of militarism and the accepting culture.

Ed Kinane of Syracuse spoke of the 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse where extrajudicial killing of Afghan people takes place right up road from Binghamton. Ed himself told of being in Iraq before, during and after the invasion of Iraq by US forces.

Jim Clune, a CO during the Vietnam War tied in the economic robbing of Americans and people around the world. Jim, who had visited Iraq between the two United States wars there spoke of his observations while there and the decades of treachery of US policy in Iraq.

Bill Paccone of Brackney, Pennsylvania spoke of his military service in Korea, his knowledge of the awful destruction we left in North Korea 1950-53 and the growing danger of nuclear war with shocking instability in leadership of both nations.

Rick Sprout of Binghamton praised the event we were having and urged greater solidarity of local peace and justice groups. Rick, a leader of the Green Party urged folks to come to the Bundy for a film presented by Peace Action’s Alan Jones with a focus on the main reason Costa Rica has been voted such a peaceful place to live.

Dick Keough of Syracuse, an Army veteran whose military service led him to the priesthood told of how he was converted to nonviolence in the military when told in bayonet practice to scream "Kill” as he plunged his bayonet into an ‘enemy’.

There was no time for an open microphone as the parade approached. Some of the men in red uniforms and carry guns screamed some obscene comments our way but our purpose was not to engage them. We simply stepped into the tail end of the parade and walked (we don’t march anymore) to the court house without incident.

Next Armistice Day of 2018, we hope to be at the United Nations for an international gathering of Veterans for Peace.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Exiled Palestinians: Stateless Palestinians from the Camps

Livestreamed Monday, October 2, 2017 ~7PM

Get text notifications when OVOC is streaming live. Text OVOC to 570-904-2216.

Please consider becoming a patron to help defray the cost of livestreaming this and other events.

From the Organizers:

Khawla Hammad has been a stateless refugee in Lebanon for 69 years. At the age of sixteen, she was expelled from her village of Kabri, in Palestine. Now she is 84 years old, and and still a refugee in Lebanon, with no citizenship in any country at all. Israel expelled most of the population in 1948, and has prevented them from returning to their homes. Kabri and hundreds of other towns and villages were levelled to the ground, a crime that Palestinians call al-Nakba (the Catastrophe).

But Israel did not stop there. It repeatedly attacked Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, killing three of Khawla's children among many others. Before the Nakba, Khawla's father also lost his life as a Palestinian freedom fighter. Khawla has a message that she wants to bring to North America. So does 23-year-old Palestinian refugee, journalist and translator Amena Elashkar, whom many of you know from the 2016 Nakba Tour. She and her parents were born as stateless refugees in Lebanon and have never lived in their own country.

Khawla and Amena have a different message from other Palestinians. They are not living under Israeli occupation. Israel does not allow them to visit their homes, much less live there. As exiles, they have a different perspective from Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and the part of Palestine that became Israel.

Hear Khawla and Amena speak!

Location: All Saints Roman Catholic Church in Syracuse, New York
Hosted by North America Nakba Tour and Syracuse Peace Council

Monday, September 25, 2017

Rich Man's Wars, Poor People's Blood

This video is basically the livestreamed footage (almost no editing) of the 9/25/17 anti-drone protest at Hancock Drone Base, Syracuse, NY area, but in higher resolution.

Sponsored by Upstate Drone Action.


Hancock Reaper Drone Base Entrance Blocked by Huge Dollar Signs Dripping with Blood

7 Arrested Delivering War Crimes Indictment to Hancock Reaper Drone Base

Seven members of the grassroots group Upstate Drone Action once again were arrested as they delivered a citizen’s war crime indictment to the chain of command at Hancock Air Force Base. Upstate Drone Action also placed a huge dollar sign [$] dripping with “blood” in the main entrance way to the base. The six-foot high dollar sign dramatizes what the group believes determines the many overseas wars the Pentagon/CIA engages in: corporate greed.

Hancock AFB, near Syracuse, N.Y. hosts the 174th Attack [sic] Wing of the NY National Guard. The 174th is one of two Reaper drone Attack Wings in NYS. Piloted from Hancock, the MQ9 Reaper drone is an unmanned, satellite-directed assassin flown over Afghanistan. CIA also uses such airborne robots for its clandestine, illegal, lethal missions over Northwest Pakistan and other majority-Islamic nations and oil lands.

According to “LIVING UNDER DRONES: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians from US Practices in Pakistan,” published by Stanford University and New York University Law Schools, such missions are responsible for the deaths of many hundreds of noncombatants, including women and children, in that region.

According to Julienne Oldfield, “The Hancock Reaper terrorizes whole communities, generating desperate refugees.” Mark Scibilia-Carver adds that “U.S. taxpayers fund this terrorism keeping the pot boiling and creating enormous ill will toward the United States – instead of funding health, education and infrastructure here."

Today’s action at Hancock’s main gate is simply one episode in Upstate Drone Action’s persistent nonviolent campaign to expose Reaper drone war crimes. Since 2010 there have been some 200 anti-Reaper arrests at Hancock in about a dozen such street theater actions. These have resulted in extreme bails, maximum fines, Orders of Protection, and incarcerations…as well as some acquittals.

Those arrested: Ann Tiffany, Syracuse….Dan Burgevin, Trumansburg, NY….Ed Kinane, Syracuse….Harry Murray, Rochester….Julienne Oldfield, Syracuse….Mark Scibilia-Carver, Trumansburg, NY….Rae Kramer, Syracuse.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CPV Valley Energy Plant: A Climate Emergency

The upper video is the edited version. The lower video is the livestream.

Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY; June 28, 2017

Protect Orange County

Call NY Governor Cuomo to tell him to shut the CPV Valley Energy Project down: 518-474-8390

From the Organizers:

The 650 MW Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Project is now under construction in Orange County, New York, despite an ongoing and expanded federal criminal investigation, one guilty plea, and felony bribery charges against a company executive and close aides to Governor Cuomo, Joseph Percoco and Todd Howe. State agencies have ignored growing public concerns with fracked gas infrastructure, even as reports and studies by medical associations tell us it is not safe. Now, prominent experts advise that environmental degradation and long-term climate impacts of this project warrant emergency intervention by the state.

They will be joined by former Congressman Dennis Kucinich who called for an investigation months before indictments were announced and actor James Cromwell, who vowed to go to jail to defend against the catastrophic climate and public health impacts recently identified by the scientists.


Dr. Robert Howarth, Cornell University Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology focusing on the greenhouse gas footprint of methane from natural gas.

Read the EPA Memorandum to which Dr. Howarth refers at 14:40 in the video.

Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, shale gas extraction expert and Cornell University Professor of Engineering

Dennis Kucinich, Former U.S. Congressman and advocate for impacted residents

James Cromwell, Academy Nominated Actor and member of the Wawayanda Six

Keith Schue, engineer and technical advisor for Otsego 2000

Pramilla Malick, Chair, Protect Orange County, 2016 Democratic Candidate for 42nd State Senate District

Valeria Gheorghiu, Sussman and Associates, Attorney for the Wawayanda Six

George Billard, Sullivan County Residents Against Millennium

See the informational sheet on the environmental dangers of fracked gas.

Listen to the Capitol Pressroom interview.

Friday, June 16, 2017

UNAC Conference 2017 Playlists

Videos from the United National AntiWar Coalition's conference held June 16 - 18, 2017 in Richmond, VA.

The upper playlist is the edited videos. The lower playlist is the livestreams. The edited videos are higher resolution, have somewhat better audio, and omit housekeeping announcements and other delays.

To see a list of included videos, click the playlist icon in the upper left corner of each playlist.

Click here to see the conference program.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Left Forum 2017 - Sunday Closing Plenary

Beyond Capitalism: Where to Go From Here

This is a panel from the 2017 Left Forum, held June 2 - 4 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. The conference theme was "The Resistance."

From the Organizers:

Questions, challenges and oppositions confront the economic system today more than at any time in the last 70 years. Millions now see capitalism as a major cause of the problems/crises activating social movements. An alliance among capitalism’s victims, critics and those social movements is emerging. This plenary will explore the ways and means to develop that alliance into a major political force for change.


Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor and publisher of Jacobin.


Christian Parenti recently joined the Economics Program at John Jay College as an associate professor. His books include Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (2011); The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq, (2004); The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror (2002); and Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (2000/second edition 2008). He has reported extensively from Afghanistan, Iraq, and various parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America for The Nation, Fortune, The London Review Books, The New York Times, and other publications.

Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City. Earlier he taught economics at Yale University (1967-1969) and at the City College of the City University of New York (1969-1973). In 1994, he was a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Paris (France), I (Sorbonne). Wolff was also regular lecturer at the Brecht Forum in New York City.

Karina Garcia is a Chicana organizer and educator originally from southern California, and the daughter of working-class Mexican immigrants. She works as a reproductive justice trainer, traveling around the country to help Latina activists fight for reproductive health, rights and justice. As a student activist Karina led a campaign to confront and shut down the anti-immigrant fascist Minutemen Project on her campus and nationwide, founding the group Lucha. As a NYC high school math teacher, she organized students and coworkers to protest against budget cuts, the Iraq war, police brutality and anti-immigrant laws. She is a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, a founder of the Justice Center en el Barrio and a board member of Damayan Migrant Workers Association.

Paul Sliker is a media consultant and political and economic justice organizer who has advised several world-renowned economists, institutions, and non-fiction authors. He was on the operations team of Team Bernie NY, which became an umbrella organization for many volunteer-run groups throughout New York City. Paul is currently an editor and commentator at DemocracyAtWork.Info, the Chair of the Politics Committee and a member of the Coordinating Committee at Democracy at Work - New York (D@WNY). Democracy at Work 501(c)3 is a non-profit that advocates for worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces as a key path to a stronger, democratic economic system.

Tascha Van Auken co-founded (in July 2015 )the grassroots group Team Bernie NY, which became an umbrella group for the many volunteer-run groups throughout New York City. Team Bernie NY focused specifically on field work, contacting voters and identifying supporters for the nine months prior to campaign staff arriving in NYC. Grassroots groups successfully identified over 49,000 Bernie supporters by the time the campaign landed in NY for the primary. Tascha is currently a part of The Electoral Working Group for the NYC chapter of DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), and is focused specifically on helping the field team build the structure necessary to scale and win local elections.

Please visit these Left Forum links:


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Left Forum 2017 - Saturday Plenary


State of the Struggle: Reflecting on "Resistance”

This is a panel from the 2017 Left Forum, held June 2 - 4 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. The conference theme was "The Resistance."

From the Organizers:

Activists, community organizers and grassroots leaders have vowed to continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Acting on an order from president Trump, the Army Corps of Engineers said it would grant the easement that Energy Transfer Partners needs to finish the final stretch of the pipeline. It also canceled an environmental review the Corps said it would undertake while President Barack Obama was still in office. Some might say the resistance fight was lost!

This plenary attempts to answer the following questions; did or does resistance alone work towards the ultimate goal of social change? Women seemed to be at the forefront of the Standing Rock struggle, are women rising up and taking the lead in our social struggles? The Women's March in January 2017 saw massive protests around the country and around the world. On March 8, women from 30 countries participated in the Women's Strike; organization for a May Day general strike is building on that momentum. Could this be a sign of things to come? Do we need more than resistance? What are the lessons learned? How can we build a global movement of resistance which brings together movements fighting similar issues and eventually leads to a new society?


Felipe Coronel, known as Immortal Technique, is a recording artist, filmmaker, writer, and activist. Hailing from Peru, by way of Harlem, New York, he is one of the highest selling independent artists putting forth a combination of globally themed revolutionary music with a gritty reality based street Hip-Hop. Not only is he an artist, but also a human rights advocate having traveled to places like Haiti & Afghanistan to provide relief through various non-profits. He has also participated in several teaching workshops for adult prisons and juvenile facilities. As the President of Viper Records, with 4 full studio albums, 3 mixtapes, with over 250,000 records sold, he has the Hip-Hop community highly anticipating his 5th studio album, The Middle Passage.


Tithi Bhattacharya teaches South Asian history at Purdue University. She is a long time activist for Palestine and writes extensively on Marxism and gender. She is a national organizer for the International Women's Strike.

Cinzia Arruzza teaches philosophy at the New School in NYC and she is a feminist and socialist activist. She is the author of Dangerous Liaisons. The Marriages and Divorces of Marxism and Feminism (2013) and she was one of the national organizers of the International Women's Strike on March 8th.

L.A. Kauffman is the author of Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism. She has spent more than thirty years immersed in radical movements as a participant, strategist, journalist, and observer. Kauffman was the mobilizing coordinator for the huge New York protests against the Iraq War in 2003-04. Her writings on American radicalism and social movement history have been published in The Nation, n+1, The Baffler, and many other outlets.

Madonna Thunder Hawk is a member of the Oohenumpa band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and is grandmother to a generation of Native American activists. She was an original member of the American Indian Movement, a co-founder of Women of All Red Nations (WARN), and is currently the Lakota People's Law Project's principal organizer and Tribal Liaison. Madonna has been featured in several documentary films including the recent PBS series We Shall Remain. Through her work, Madonna builds alliances and support for Child Welfare among South Dakota's tribal leaders and communities.

Nancy Romer is a climate and food justice activist. She was professor of psychology at Brooklyn College for 42 years and was active in anti-racist, feminist, union and anti-war organizing at CUNY. She was a founder of the Brooklyn Food Coalition and has travelled extensively and written about peasant and agricultural movements, in South America, Central America, the Indian subcontinent and the US. She learned first hand how agribusiness and the financialilzation of food, land and water have destroyed peasant farms and communities and has contributed to climate change through mass deforestation. She travelled to Standing Rock in November working in one of the many cooking tents. She serves on the New York Steering Committee of the April 29th DC March for Climate, Jobs and Justice and an active member of the Environmental Justice Committee of Professional Staff Congress-CUNY (AFT #2334), She is a recently retired TIAA investor and active in the TIAA anti-Land Grabs and Deforestation campaign.

Please visit these Left Forum links:


Left Forum 2017 - Reality Check: Time for Radical Resistance and Green-Left Collaboration

This is a panel from Left Forum 2017, held June 2 - 4 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. The conference theme was "The Resistance."

From the Organizers:

The converging crises of fascism, endless war, climate change, mass migrations, and economic/racial/gender oppression create unprecedented urgency for united, radical action – in the street and in the voting booth. At previous Left Forums – and over the past many decades – progressives have debated the merits of working to “reform” the Democratic Party versus building a united independent radical political front.


Gloria Mattera, Green Party of New York


Chris Hedges is an author, critic and was a foreign correspondent for nearly two decades for The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor and National Public Radio. He is the author of the bestsellers American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy, the Triumph of Spectacle and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He writes an online column for Truthdig.

Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange. She has been an advocate for social justice for more than 40 years. Described as "one of America's most committed -- and most effective -- fighters for human rights" by New York Newsday, and "one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement" by the Los Angeles Times, she was one of 1,000 exemplary women from 140 countries nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the millions of women who do the essential work of peace worldwide. She received numerous prices, including: the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Peace Prize by the US Peace Memorial, the Gandhi Peace Award, and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Award. She is a former economist and nutritionist with the United Nations and World Health Organization.

Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party 2016 Presidential Candidate

Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report. Her Freedom Rider column appears weekly in Black Agenda Report, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City

Linda Thompson, Left Elect (Not actually a panelist, but she said a few words at the end.)

Note: The Left Forum asked me to film and stream their nightly plenaries, and with only 20 minutes between the scheduled end of this panel and the start of the next plenary, I was unable to stay to the end. If I had I would have missed the start of the plenary. As it turned out I was able to film the presentations, missing only the Q&A.

You can see a complete, if somewhat glitchy, livestream of this panel here.

Please visit these Left Forum links:


Left Forum 2017 - Economy & Psychology - A Tale of Two Depressions

This is a panel from Left Forum 2017, held June 2 - 4 at John Jay College in New York City. The conference theme was "The Resistance."

From the Organizers:

Most Americans have never recovered from the recession of 2008 and the outsourcing, mechanizing, robotizing and computerizing of their jobs. Men’s salaries and working conditions have been deteriorating since the mid 1970s. Women’s salaries have increased to 77% of men’s low salaries. Americans are emotionally depressed. We consume 50% of the world’s psych meds and 80% of the world’s heroin. Suicides addiction obesity and other social ills have increased. Too many are in despair. This panel explains what happened, why it happened and what to do about it.


Betsy Avila, Executive Director at Democracy at Work


Richard D. Wolff was educated at Harvard, Stanford and Yale. Richard. D. (Rick) Wolff is the author of the Economic Update program which appears on WBAI and 80 other radio stations nationwide. He speaks and writes nationally and internationally for Democracy at Work. The latest of his many books are Capitalism Hits the Fan, Democracy at Work a Cure for Capitalism, with David Barsamian, and Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens. He publishes as a regular columnist for Truthout as well as numerous other publications.

Dr. Harriet Fraad is a mental health Counselor and hypnotherapist in private practice in New York City. She speaks and writes on the intersections of economic and personal life in America today. She appears on WBAI the first week of every month on Economic Update with Rick Wolff. Her work can be found in Truthout, Logos, Tikkun, RM, The Psychohistory Journal, at her website and on the website of Democracy at Work. Her latest contribution to a book will appear in August 2017 in Knowledge and Class: Marxism Without Guarantees (Routledge, 2017).

Please visit these Left Forum links:


Left Forum 2017 - How New 9/11 Legal Actions Redefine Resistance

This is a panel from the 2017 Left Forum, held June 2 - 4 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. The conference theme was "The Resistance."

From the Organizers:

So many political movements continue to labor towards the creation of a just world, following decades of struggle. Yet the existence of an all-powerful security state with fascist tendencies has exerted its power to advance its agenda for absolute control at every turn. This security state hijacked our government into a corrupt institution run by and for oligarchs and corporations who conduct their business through the policy of war abroad and repression at home. A new strategy for resistance is required and time is short. The declassification of 28 pages from the Congressional Joint Inquiry on 9/11 and passage of The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) has returned focus to the cover up of the 9/11 attacks and hypocrisy of the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia. Following a few steps further exposes collusion by members of the Bush administration, intelligence agencies, identifiable Deep State entities, and mainstream media. These developments have led to a new phase of 9/11 litigation. Come learn how analysis of even this one area of 9/11 evidence reveals the geo-politics of the U.S.-Saudi relationship and its effect in destabilizing the Middle East. This understanding is essential to exposing the war on terror as a tool of the criminal Deep State.

Reading List:

"Visas For Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World" by J. Michael Springmann, "The New Pearl Harbor by David Ray Griffin", the 28 Pages from the Congressional Joint Inquiry on 9/11, Washington's Blog article -

Moderator: Sander Hicks


Les Jamieson has studied the alternative research into 9/11 since November, 2001. He has been publicly active as a 9/11 truth activist and organizer since January of 2004, spending countless days at Ground Zero doing public outreach and education as well as many other locations throughout New York City, informing people from all over the world about the discrepancies in the official 9/11 story. Les attended two of the four 9/11 Commission hearings, and five hearings by the NIST investigation into why the buildings collapsed, which has given him an up close realization of the depth and scope of the official cover-up. Beginning October 2014, Les spearheaded an effort to generate grassroots support for legislation to release the 28 pages from the Congressional Joint Inquiry on 9/11, as well as mobilize public support for the passage of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). For the 15th anniversary of 9/11 this past September, Les co-organized a weekend symposium called "9/11 Justice In Focus". Les has chaired panels on the 28 pages at the Left Forum in 2015 and 2016.

Barbara Honegger, M.S. has served in high-level positions in the Federal Government, including White House Policy Analyst, Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and Director of the Gender Anti-Discrimination Task Force at the Department of Justice. Following her Washington service, Ms. Honegger was Senior Military Affairs Journalist at the Naval Postgraduate School, the premiere science, technology and national security affairs graduate research university of the Department of Defense. Ms. Honegger is a whistleblower who first reported on “The October Surprise” which sabotaged the campaign of Pres. Carter and enabled Ronald Reagan to become president. She has also been a major contributor to efforts exposing the implausibility of the official narrative on 9/11.

Jane Clark is in private practice handling Texas Workers’ Compensation cases, Probate, and general legal practice including personal injury, collections, domestic relations, and criminal law with 26 years of experience in these areas. She has her law degree from the University of Idaho Law School (Moscow), a Masters Degree from Texas A & M University in Biochemistry & Biophysics (College Station), and worked for the famed Professor Emeritus, Dr. Joseph Nagyvary from Budapest, Hungary on cancer research at TAMU. Ms. Clark spent years with major JFK researchers from 1980 to present working with Lawrence Teeter, Esq. (now deceased) on research into the RFK assassination in Teeter's position as Counsel for Sirhan Sirhan. Ms. Clark was lawyer for JFK Lancer, the major conference held in Dallas every year in November for JFK Assassination researchers from around the world. She now serves as Chair of the Lawyers' Committee For 9/11 Inquiry.

J. Michael Springmann is an attorney and former diplomat who lives and works in Washington, DC. He holds two degrees in international affairs in addition to his law degree. Springmann spent nine years as a diplomat—five in Germany, two in India, and nearly two in Saudi Arabia with the US Department of State. Prior to leaving the Department, he served in its Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He has belonged to a number of Arab and Muslim organizations and has received a Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award from the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Now a writer and political commentator, Springmann is also the author of Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World, which discusses America’s destabilization of the Balkans, South and Southwest Asia, and North Africa to achieve international objectives. Michael's site is

Please visit these Left Forum links:


Friday, June 2, 2017

Left Forum 2017 - Friday Opening Plenary


Challenging State Repression

This is a panel from the 2017 Left Forum, held June 2 - 4 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. The conference theme was "The Resistance."

From the Organizers:

As crony capitalists and corporate behemoths work to suck the last iota of profits and resources from a planet in crisis, they make intensified use of strategies like border walls, militarized policing, surveillance, incarceration, deportation, and the racism that garners support for them, to repress and re-channel dissent. But today we also see the rise of movements that challenge these repressive institutions and discourses, linking them with the exploitation they enable and with racial, gender, and class politics at home. Join us as we explore these obstacles, as well as, the movements and strategies that have been employed to challenge them.


Best-selling author, Laura Flanders interviews forward-thinking people about the key questions of our time on The Laura Flanders Show, seen weekly on KCET/LinkTV, FreeSpeech TV and in English & Spanish on teleSUR (also available as a podcast). A contributing writer to The Nation magazine and a regular guest on MSNBC, she is the author of six books, including The New York Times best-seller, BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species, and Blue GRIT: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians. The Laura Flanders Show aired on Air America Radio from 2004-2008 prior to which Flanders was the founding host of Your Call on public radio in San Francisco, and founder of the mediawatch program, CounterSpin. She has a long record of media appearances, from Real Time with Bill Maher to The O’Reilly Factor. For more, follow @GRITlaura or visit


Puerto Rican community activist Oscar López Rivera has been widely recognized as the “Mandela of the Americas” since several Latin American heads of state bestowed that title upon him at the 2015 Organization of American States summit. At age 74 and after more than thirty-five years behind bars, upon release on May 17, 2017, Lopez Rivera had the distinction of being the longest-held political prisoner in the history of Puerto Rican-US colonial relations. Born in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico in 1943, López Rivera moved to the US with his family at age 14. As a young adult, he was drafted into the US military and sent to fight in the front lines of Vietnam, where was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic service. Politicized by his experiences in Vietnam and the active social change movements he encountered upon his return home to Chicago in 1967, Lopez Rivera became involved with many community empowerment groups—eventually helping to found the award-winning alternative Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School. Along with his brother Jose, López Rivera also helped found Chicago’s Puerto Rican Cultural Center. Aware of the developing revolutionary processes in Puerto Rico and throughout the world, he eventually decided to join the clandestine movement. Arrested in 1981, López Rivera (and his colleagues arrested in 1980 and 1983) declared themselves to be anti-colonial combatants entitled to the protection of international law, challenging the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts to criminalize their efforts against colonialism, a crime against humanity. Once imprisoned, López Rivera faced years of torture which he has termed “spiriticide,” including sensory deprivation, more than twelve years of solitary confinement, and subjugation to the super-maximum security practices of the prisons-within- a-prison at Marion and ADX Florence. López Rivera nevertheless became a prolific writer and a proficient artist, painting portraits and tributes to his native homeland. López Rivera has authored countless articles which have inspired many generations; in the last years before release, he helped produce two books of writings, Between Torture and Resistance (PM Press, 2013), and Cartas a Karina (CAK Project, 2016). A transcendent figure in contemporary Puerto Rican life, Oscar Lopez Rivera’s plan for life after prison is to develop the Fundación Oscar López Rivera- Libertá, which will deepen the unity and work for decolonization which has been the cornerstone of his entire life.

Glen Ford is a veteran of more than 45 years in broadcast, print and Internet journalism. A former Washington Bureau Chief and White House, Capitol Hill, and State Department correspondent, Ford co-founded and hosted “America’s Black Forum,” the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. He also launched and owned the radio syndications “Black World Report,” “Black Agenda Reports,” and “Rap It Up,” the first national hip hop music show. He has worked as a radio newsman in Washington, Baltimore, and Atlanta, Columbus and Augusta, Georgia, and produced over 1,000 radio and TV commercials. In print, Glen Ford has edited or served as staff reporter for three newspapers, two of them dailies; was national political columnist for Encore American & Worldwide News magazine; founded The Black Commentator and Africana Policies magazines; and authored “The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion” (IOJ, 1985). On the Internet, Ford co-founded in 2002 and (BAR) in 2006. He is currently executive editor of BAR, a weekly magazine of “news, commentary and analysis from the Black left.” Along with co-host Nellie Hester Bailey, Ford hosts and produces the weekly, one-hour Black Agenda Radio program on the Progressive Radio network. He also produces two weekly radio commentaries that air on approximately 40 radio stations.

Jeremy Scahill is one of the three founding editors of The Intercept. He is an investigative reporter, war correspondent, and author of the international bestselling books Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield and Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere across the globe. Scahill has served as the national security correspondent for The Nation and Democracy Now!. Scahill’s work has sparked several congressional investigations and won some of journalism’s highest honors. He was twice awarded the prestigious George Polk Award, in 1998 for foreign reporting and in 2008 for Blackwater. Scahill is a producer and writer of the award- winning film Dirty Wars, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award.

Sekou Odinga is a Muslim, citizen of the Republic of New Afrika, former member of the Black Panther Party/Black Liberation Army (BPP/BLA), and for 33 years a u.s. held Political Prisoner of War. Sekou helped establish and was a leader of the Party’s Harlem/Bronx chapter before being targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. He escaped arrest and trial as one of those targeted in the 1968 New York Panther 21 case. Forced underground, Sekou was sent to Algiers to help establish the Party’s international section. In the mid-1970s, he returned to the states and continued to struggle underground until his capture on October 23, 1981. Convicted in both state and federal court, Sekou served twenty-eight years in federal prison on two counts of the federal Racketeering Influence Conspiracy Organization ACT (RICO) and the liberation of Assata Shakur. In 2009, he reached a mandatory release date and was "paroled" to New York State to begin serving a 25 to life sentence for the attempted murder of six NYPD. Five years later, a legal victory resulted in a parole hearing and his November 25, 2014 release from Clinton Correctional Facility. Sekou continues to work on behalf of and advocates for the release of more than a dozen u.s. held Political Prisoners of War from the revolutionary movements of the 1960s and ‘70s. He is a founder and member of the Northeast Political Prisoner Coalition, and has spoken on panels, at conferences, and on university and college campuses across the country. He has been featured in and contributed to numerous anthologies, including the forthcoming Look for Me in the Whirlwind: From the Panther 21 to 21st Century Revolutions (PM Press, 2017), and has been interviewed extensively in print and radio. Sekou is available for public speaking on various topics, including political/mass imprisonment, the Black Liberation struggle, and more.

Molly Crabapple is an artist and writer living in New York. Her memoir Drawing Blood was published by HarperCollins in December 2015. Her work has been described as “God’s own circus posters,” by Rolling Stone, but beneath the lavishly detailed surface, it engages injustice and rebellion. Because of Molly’s 2013 solo exhibition, Shell Game, a series of large-scale paintings about the revolutions of 2011, she was called “an emblem of the way that art could break out of the gilded gallery” by The New Republic. In 2015, Molly Crabapple was awarded Yale Poynter Fellowship, and received a Front Page Award for her art of rebel-held Aleppo. Her art also earned her a 2014 Gold Rush award, and she was shortlisted for a 2013 Frontline Print Journalism Award for her internationally-acclaimed reportage on Guantanamo Bay. Molly is a contributing editor for VICE and has written for The New York Times, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, CNN and Newsweek. Her published books include Discordia (with Laurie Penny; Random House, 2012) on the Greek economic crisis and the art books Devil in the Details and Week in Hell (IDW 2012). Molly has been called “equal parts Hieronymus Bosch, William S. Burroughs and Cirque du Soleil,” by The Guardian; “THE artist of our time” by comedian Margaret Cho, and “a brilliant and principled artist” by BoingBoing. She spent four years as the staff artist of The Box, one of the world’s most lavish (and notorious) nightclubs. Molly has taken her sketchbook from burlesque halls to refugee camps, always with a skeptical eye for power. Molly is the illustrator of Matt Taibbi’s New York Times bestseller, The Divide. She has collaborated with Spike Jonze to create backdrops for the 2013 YouTube Music Video Awards, and with Esperanza Spalding on projections for her concerts. She created art for Patton Oswalt’s DVD, Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time. She regularly speaks to audiences around the world, at institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art, The London School of Economics, and Harvard and Columbia Universities. Her works are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Barjeel Foundation and The New York Historical Society.

Linda Sarsour is a working woman, a racial justice and civil rights activist, every Islamophobe’s worst nightmare, and a mother of three. Ambitious, outspoken and independent, Sarsour shatters stereotypes of Muslim women while also treasuring her religious and ethnic heritage. She is a Palestinian Muslim-American and a self-proclaimed “pure New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn!”. She is also named among 500 of the most influential Muslims in the world, most known and well respected for her intersectional coalition work and building bridges across issues of racial, ethnic and faith communities. Sarsour has been active in many organizations including the Arab American Association of New York, The Justice League NYC, and she is a co-founder of MPOWER Change and Muslims for Ferguson. She has been at the forefront of major civil rights campaigns including calling for an end to unwarranted surveillance of New York’s Muslim communities and ending police policies like Stop and Frisk. She was co-chair of the 2017 Women's March, as well as, the Day without a Woman protest and strike. She has won numerous awards and honors include being named a “Champion of Change” by the White House. Sarsour was introduced to New York Times readers as a political force who, in their words, is “mixing street smarts, activism, and her Muslim identity” and profiled on the front page of the New York Times Metro Section as a “Brooklyn Homegirl in a Hijab.”

Please visit these Left Forum links:


Monday, May 1, 2017

Earl Dotter - At All Costs: Photographs of American Workers

A Talk and Exhibition by Earl Dotter

ArtRage Gallery, Syracuse, NY; May 1, 2017

From the Organizers:

Earl Dotter began his photographic career after completing his studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 1968 he joined VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and was assigned to the Cumberland Plateau Region of Tennessee. Over time, he was welcomed into the homes of coal mining families. He came to know and respect their culture and struggles — a relationship that continues to this day. After his VISTA assignment concluded, he remained in the area to photograph the rank-and-file movement to reform the United Mine Workers Union, then under the corrupt leadership of Tony Boyle.

In 1972 he was invited to join the staff of the reformers’ newspaper, The Miner’s Voice, and subsequently became the photographer for the campaign to unseat Boyle, called “Miners for Democracy.” When the election effort proved successful, Dotter went to work for the UMWA Journal, where he remained until 1977.

Throughout the 1980′s, Dotter photographed a wide array of occupational subjects. His photography has consistently been given life and texture by shooting not just the work, but the whole worker and his or her life on the job, at home, and in the community. Over the years, his subjects have expanded from an emphasis on occupational health and safety to include environmental hazards to public health. The evolution was only logical, since the adverse conditions which first affect people on the job, as they take the “first hit” from exposure to carcinogens, toxins, and industrial waste, eventually make their way out of the worksite and into the air and water of the surrounding environment.

In the Spring of 1996, he began the tour of his exhibit, THE QUIET SICKNESS: A Photographic Chronicle of Hazardous Work in America. After initial exhibits in Washington, DC and at the main branch of the Cincinnati Public Library, the photography exhibit with over 100 works began a tour of the six New England states, sponsored by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Occupational Health Program. AIHA Press published the book of the same name as the exhibit in the Spring of 1998.

In 1999 he was appointed without stipend to the Visiting Scholars Program at the HSPH. The exhibit, “APPALACHIAN CHRONICLE, 1969-1999: The Photographs of Earl Dotter,” began its initial showing at The University of Virginia’s Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon in connection with the annual meeting of the Appalachian Studies Association. Subsequently the exhibit has moved to the Appalshop Gallery in Whitesburg, Kentucky and Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

Earl Dotter is the recipient of the Josephine Patterson Albright Fellowship in Photography for the year 2000 from The Alicia Patterson Foundation. His fellowship project title is: “COMMERCIAL FISHING, Our Most Perilous Trade.” The grant will provide support to document the hazards faced by commercial fishermen far offshore in the North Atlantic as well as in the hand harvesting fisheries along the New England Coast.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Veganic Workshop with Will Bonsall - Radical, Self-Reliant, Veganic Gardening

Danby, NY; April 29, 2017
From Club Veg:

How can we eat and farm better, using natural ecosystems as our model? Join veganic farmer Will Bonsall, author of "Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening" to learn about innovative techniques for growing vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds with minimal fossil fuel and animal inputs.

Realizing that livestock are not a NET producer of fertility, Bonsall turns directly to the pasture and even more to the forest to provide the materials to build, not merely maintain, his soil’s tilth. By focusing on high levels of long-lasting humus, he avoids the need for imported materials to feed the soil and adjust the pH. Learn how to become eco-efficient by eliminating off-farm inputs like fertilizers, minerals, and animal manures by practicing plant-based agriculture.

Topics will include compost making and using green manures plus several other ways to build soil fertility, intensive planting, improving soil drainage, avoiding pests and disease problems, seeds and seed saving, and more.

Whether you’re looking to minimize outside inputs, become as eco-efficient as possible, or gain a new market of vegans, veganic permaculture can save on expenses and result in new income streams.

Introduction and dedication by Club Veg President Amie Hamlin and Vegetarian and Vegan Association Outreach Director Claire Holzner.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Gathering to Free Issa Amro and Support Palestinian Human Rights Defenders

Ithaca, NY; April 22, 2017

From the Organizers:

Listen to eye-witness accounts of human rights abuses in Hebron and updates on Campaign to Free Issa Amro

00:29 Introduction by Beth Harris

9:07 Rabbi Brian Walt, Co-chair of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council, will share his experiences in Hebron with Palestinian Youth Against Settlements leader Issa Amro and Israeli Breaking the Silence leader Yehuda Shaul and the reality of apartheid in the West Bank.

22:32 Kirby Edmonds, Senior Fellow and Program Coordinator of the Dorothy Cotton Institute (DCI), will discuss his experience in Hebron, when helping to lead the DCI’s delegation to East Jerusalem and the West Bank with leaders from the U.S. Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, younger civil and human rights leaders, social justice activists, and peace builders. Kirby will share how the oppression in Hebron and the Palestinian grassroots nonviolent resistance movement relate to the US struggles for racial justice and human rights.

30:04 Ariel Gold, CODEPINK Campaign Director and Youth Against Settlements International Advocacy Coordinator, will provide an update on the international campaign to free Issa Amro, who faces 18 charges for his nonviolent struggle for human rights and justice in Hebron. She will share the support for Issa from groups and individuals, such as CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, Jewish Voice for Peace, Amnesty International, Joint List Knesset members, US State Department officials, and US Congress members. She will provide an eye witness account of Youth Against Settlement's annual “Open Shuhada Street” campaign in Hebron.

55:13 Discussion

Organized by Ithaca Jewish Voice for Peace and Committee for Justice in Palestine

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Invisible Suffering - The Reality of Women's Health & Safety on the Job

Binghamton, NY; April 18, 2017

Karen Messing is professor emerita in the Department of Biological Sciences of the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada.  She is a researcher at the CINBIOSE center for environmental and occupational health research, which works closely with unions and community groups to improve population health. 

Karen is the author of over 140 peer-reviewed scientific publications as well as Pain and Prejudice: What Science Can Learn about Work from the People Who Do It and One-eyed Science: Occupational Health and Working Women.


Occupational Health Clinical Center of the Southern Tier
Broome Tioga Green Party
Workers Center of the Southern Tier
Be the Change (BCC)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Crucified by Drones

This civil resistance action took place at Hancock Air Base in Syracuse, NY on Good Friday, 4/14/17. It was organized by Upstate Drone Action. The above video is an unedited livestream. (Photo courtesy of Charley Bowman.)

And this is a short edit (8:39):

Monday, April 10, 2017

Yemen Hunger Strike Day of Action

New York City; April 10, 2017

From the Organizers:

A fast and vigil at the Isaiah Wall outside the UN Headquarters to support the one week solidarity hunger strike organized by Voices for Creative Nonviolence, New York Catholic Worker, the Upstate Coalition to End the Wars and Ground the Drones, Friends of Franz and Ben, and CODEPINK. The hunger strike is scheduled for April 10-16.

As we fast from all solid foods, we urge others to join us in calling for a humane response to the famine facing Yemeni civilians whose country has been ravaged by civil war and regularly targeted by Saudi and U.S. airstrikes.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Peacemaker Stories

American University, Washington, D.C.; April 5, 2017

Peace activists Jack Gilroy and Fr. Bernard Survil address a class at American University regarding their experiences resisting US domination and repression in Latin America, with a focus on the School of the Americas. The class instructor was Colman McCarthy.

Due to an equipment failure, I was forced to use my on-camera microphone to record the audio.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Remembering Past Wars . . . and Preventing the Next

April 4, 2017, 6-8 p.m. Busboys and Poets, 5th and K Streets NW, Washington, D.C.

An event to mark 100 years since the United States entered World War I, and 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous speech against war. A new movement to end all war is growing.

2:42 Michael Kazin, professor of history at Georgetown University, author of War Against War: The American Fight for Peace 1914-1918.

19:38 Eugene Puryear, journalist, activist, radio host, and author of Shackled and Chained: Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America.

35:56 Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK, author of books including Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection.

52:33 Reiner Braun, peace activist based in Germany, co-president International Peace Bureau, Executive Director of the Germany office of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.

1:02:53 Maria Santelli, executive director of Center on Conscience and War, founding director of the New Mexico GI Rights Hotline.

1:12:03 Jarrod Grammel, conscientious objector.

1:15:22 Nolan Fontaine, conscientious objector.

1:21:56 David Swanson, director of World Beyond War, author of books including War Is A Lie and When the World Outlawed War.

1:39:08 Q&A

Sponsored by World Beyond War, and Center on Conscience and War, Code Pink, with thanks to Busboys and Poets.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s April 1967 Riverside Church Speech

Binghamton, NY; April 3, 2017

From the Organizers:

The community is invited and welcome to join friends from Broome County Peace Action and Veterans for Peace at 4 PM on April 3 when we will be offering an anniversary reading of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s. Historical Vietnam War speech.

This was the speech given at Riverside Church on April 4th 1967…exactly one year before Rev. King was assassinated. The speech will be read by area veterans and clergy.

With a 54 Billion dollar increase for military spending in this year's budget, along with cuts to funding for the environment, education and social services, we need to reflect on the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower:  "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

Virtually every Monday afternoon since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, folks have gathered at this location to promote peace and social Justice.

Please join us for this time of truth telling.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rally to Stop Northern Access Pipeline

Livestreamed from Albany, NY; March 27, 2017

The livestream gets very choppy in the War Room due to poor cellular signal. Best to watch this edited version of the War Room portion from Eddie Rodriguez:

Sponsored by Niagara Sierra and Clean Air Council.

From the Organizers:

The DEC must decide whether to approve or deny the air and water permits for this project by April 7th, 2017. New York Governor Cuomo ultimately has the power to reject this pipeline. By showing up and making our voices heard, we will influence their decisions.

The proposed Northern Access Pipeline Project is VERY similar to the Constitution Pipeline which was slated for Eastern NY State but was denied a 401 Water Certification due in large part, to all the stream crossings.

We need to let Governor Cuomo and the DEC know that Western NY deserves the same protection. We further need to let Gov. Cuomo know that we expect him to live up to his policies promoting renewable energy, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, cleaning up and protecting our water and his pronouncement in January’s State of the State Address:"Now that New York has built a foundation for the renewable energy system of the future, the State must double down by investing in the fight against dirty fossil fuels and fracked gas from neighboring states to achieve the goals outlined in the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard."

Any participants are encouraged to contact their legislators ahead of time to se up a meeting in the afternoon while we are in Albany and request their support in denying this pipeline. You can invite them to join us to speak out and for a photo opportunity showing their support.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Renewable Energy for All

Binghamton, NY; March 11, 2017

From the Organizers:

Let us give our community an opportunity to participate in a sustainable future.

Join us in a discussion of community solar and a new bill by NY Renews, The Climate and Community Protection Act.

Governor Cuomo stated that clean and affordable power should be available to New Yorkers regardless of zip code or income. This is not happening, Solar energy is being reserved for those who can afford to put up thousands of dollars, and this is not fair! We need to fight for equity in solar policy.

Why not us? We are being left out of this movement and need to demand solar in our area!


Amber Johnson, Environmental Justice Organizer, Citizen Action

Amber graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 2014 and since then had been active with many advocacy groups around Central New York and New York City. She has been with Citizen Action since late 2016, working on environmental justice issues.

Adam Flint, Southern Tier (NY) Solar Works Program Manager at the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, which he co-founded in 2008.

From 2011-2013, Adam ran the Energy Leadership Program at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, where he coordinated the Southern Tier Green Jobs Green New York program. He has worked as an educator in the Southern Tier for more than twenty years, including posts as Assistant Professor of Sociology at Hartwick College and as lecturer in Environmental Studies at Binghamton University. Adam co-founded the NY Energy Democracy Alliance, serves on the steering committee, and coordinates COSHARE, the Community Owned Shared Renewables Working Group. He also works on NY State energy policy with a focus on the ‘Reforming the Energy Vision (REV)’ proceeding, He is also a founding member of the Tier Energy Network of the Southern Tier.

Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director, Environmental Advocates of New York

This is a return to the organization for Peter who served as its Air and Energy Program Director in the late 1990s. Before this position he served as Assistant Vice President with the American Lung Association where he directed the Association’s Healthy Air Campaign – an effort to protect the Clean Air Act. Between 2007 and the end of 2010, Peter was an appointee in the Spitzer and Paterson administrations, serving as the Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and as Deputy Secretary for the Environment. While in State government Peter also served as the Assistant Secretary for the Environment, and was the very first Director of the New York State Office of Climate Change. Peter’s responsibilities as the head of the Office of Climate Change included overseeing the state’s involvement in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and acting as the New York State representative to the International Carbon Action Partnership. Before joining State government in 2007, Peter served as Vice President for the American Lung Association of New York State where he directed the association’s advocacy efforts.

Sponsored by NY Renews, Citizen Action of New York, Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, and Southern Tier Solar Works.

There is also a livestreamed video of this event on YouTube.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Podcast: A Conversation with Drone Resister Ed Kinane

Ed Kinane (left) and Danny Burns at the Big Books action

Listen to OVOC Podcast 7 on iTunes.

Press Release from the Syracuse Peace Council:

Four drone resisters, James Ricks, Daniel Burns, Brian Hynes and Ed Kinane, from the 2015 Big Books action at Hancock Air Base were found innocent of all charges at 11pm Thursday, March 2, at the Dewitt Town Court. After deliberating for only about a half hour, the jury returned with a verdict of not guilty on all charges. Applause erupted in the courtroom.

The four had been charged with obstruction of government administration, disorderly conduct, and trespass and faced a year in jail. Following the rendering of the verdict, a juror approached Brian Hynes and said “I really support what you are doing. Keep doing it.”

During the trial, Brian Hynes told the jury, “This is not a case about contested facts, this is a case about contested meanings.” Hynes went on to explain to the jury that they could, in the words of the 4th Circuit of Appeals, acquit for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion.

In powerful testimony, James Ricks told the jury about meeting the families of drone victims and seeing the wreckage of hellfire missiles. Jurors were brought to tears several times. Daniel Burns said, “Would any of us deem it acceptable for our precious loved ones to be sacrificed for another nation’s anticipatory self defense? Of course not!  Moreover, if drones were being aimed at my children by another country, I would hope with all my might that the citizens of that country might try and stop their country’s illegal and immoral actions.” Ed Kinane told the jury in clear and powerful language about his time living in Iraq during the war and about the terror sown by drones. Closing arguments were given by lawyers Daire Irwin and Jonathon Wallace as well as James Ricks and Brian Hynes.

The trail resulted from an action on March 19, 2015. On the 12th anniversary of the U.S.’ illegal invasion of Iraq, seven members of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars shut the main gate of the Hancock Drone Base (near Syracuse, NY) with a giant copy of the UN Charter and three other giant books – Dirty Wars (Jeremy Scahill), Living Under Drones (NYU and Stanford Law Schools), and You Never Die Twice (Reprieve).

The nonviolent activists also held a banner quoting Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, stating that every treaty signed becomes the supreme law of the land. They brought the books to Hancock to remind everyone at the base of the signed treaties that prohibit the killing of civilians and assassinations of human beings. The group attempted yet again to deliver a citizens’ indictment for war crimes to the Hancock Air base chain of command.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hell and High Water - New York Responds to Climate Change

Endicott, NY; February 21, 2017

A Talk by Mark Lowery, Climate Policy Analyst, DEC office of Climate Change

From the Organizers:

Climate change has already had effects on New York State's natural resources and infrastructure.
Mark Lowery, Climate Policy Analyst in DEC Office of Climate Change, will describe anticipated future effects, the level of greenhouse gas emissions, reductions needed to avoid catastrophic effects, New York State climate change programs in the context of international and federal efforts, and the state's support for municipalities that wish to reduce emissions and adapt to unavoidable effects of climate change.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Podcast: A Conversation with Ray McGovern

This is a recording of my skype conversation with ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern, in two parts. Among other things, we spoke about the strained relations between the US and Russia, and the underlying causes.

Part 1 (OVOC Podcast 4): On iTunes.

Part 2 (OVOC Podcast 5): On iTunes.

The following are links referred to in, or relevant to, the interview:

Part 1:

Ray McGovern's statement at the 2015 UNAC Conference

Bill Bradley on Russia and NATO

Victoria Nuland plots the US-backed coup in the Ukraine

Part 2:

President Obama and Russian President Medvedev - Open Mic

Zbigniew Brzezinski on the global political awakening

Vladimir Putin's speech

The William Casey quote: "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false."

The Cantonsville Nine burn draft records (1968)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Presidential Election Flowchart for Liberals

I'm posting this flowchart just in case any of my liberal friends forget how it's done, although at this point you should know it by heart:

1. Forget about voting for any third parties, even if they're the only ones who embody your values. "Nader, dontcha know. Can't let the Republicans win."
2. Get excited about a Democratic candidate who seems to actually not be a sociopath.
3. Watch helplessly as Democratic Party hacks cheat your candidate out of the nomination.
4. Vote for the candidate foisted on you by those very same Party hacks.
5. Watch helplessly as that candidate loses the general election.
6. Search for a scapegoat: Greens, deplorables, Putin, Assange. Almost anyone (except you) will do.
7. Go to a demonstration.
8. Go home.

And that's all there is to it. (You're welcome.)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Inaugurate the Resistance!

Washington, D.C.; January 21, 2017


Chris Hedges, Jill Stein, Tim Canova, Kshama Sawant, Chase Iron Eyes, Bryan Koulouris

Listen to the 58:00 podcast on iTunes.

From the Organizers:

Trump's pro-billionaire agenda and plans to wage war on the environment, deport three million immigrants, undermine public sector unions, and nominate a reactionary Supreme Court justice are not just idle threats. Yet the neoliberal leaders of the Democratic Party cannot stop Trump now, anymore than during the election. How can we build powerful mass movements capable of decisively defeating the right and providing a real alternative for ordinary working people, immigrants, LGBTQ people and youth? Can the Democratic Party be reformed, or does the left need to build independently?

This event is part of Occupy Inauguration's weekend of resistance, sponsored by the Green Party, Socialist Alternative, Occupy Wall Street, Movement for the 99%, and the Stein/Baraka campaign.

Related Links:

Progress for All