Thursday, January 21, 2010

Help Cuba Help Haiti - a request from IFCO Pastors for Peace

We are writing to you with a special appeal for Haiti — asking you to help us right away to send a group of young physicians to provide desperately-needed emergency medical services in Haiti.

A group of the recent US graduates of the Latin American School of Medicine is ready to go and provide vitally needed medical attention to victims of the earthquake.

More than 300 Cuban doctors have been in Haiti for more than ten years now — working in areas of Haiti that have no other access to healthcare. In addition, Cuba has also trained 400 young Haitian doctors who are now on the ground responding to this crisis.

Since the earthquake, the Cuban doctors have been working around the clock. They have set up three operating rooms that are in service 24/7, performing hundreds of surgeries per day.

The US graduates of the Latin American School of Medicine are eager to do whatever they can to help in Haiti. They are prepared to spend several weeks working alongside the Cuban medical team saving lives.

These dedicated and skilled young doctors are ready to serve. They received their MD degrees in Cuba, and they are uniquely prepared for the multiple challenges of this urgent mission. We will send them with backpacks full of medicines and supplies.

We just have to raise the funds to get them there. Can you help us to do that? You can make a contribution yourself, or take up a collection in your community. ANY AMOUNT you send will help.

You can make a credit card donation by calling IFCO at 212-926-5757 or by clicking on the purple "donate now" button on our home page - write in IFCO/Haiti Medical Service Project in the space for "on behalf of". You can also mail a check to the IFCO/Haiti Medical Service Project 418 West 145th Street, New York NY 10031.

We are asking for your support for this extraordinary example of international cooperation and solidarity.

We desperately hope that you will help support this unprecedented opportunity for four nations —the US, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti — to work together in solidarity with the Haitian people.

You are a valuable and indispensable part of this work. Please send your generous donation today!

The need for medical assistance in Haiti is critical right now. Our partners in Haiti and the Dominican Republic stand ready to deliver medical aid and the doctors into Haiti as soon as they arrive. They know how dire the situation is because they have been traveling over the border since the earthquake to deliver what they can.

Your contribution will be carried on the backs of young doctors prepared to heal the sick and wounded in Haiti. Your gift will make a huge difference in alleviating the pain and suffering of thousands of Haitian people.

Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr.

p.s. Please see the enclosed list of specialized medicines and medical supplies which will be essential for the direct service our doctors will be giving to the Haitian people.

Please consider transferring your frequent flier miles for volunteers travel!

Anti allergy medication
Anti diarrhea medication
Anti flu medication
Anti Malarial (Malaron)
Anti Tetanus
Dual lotion
Pediatric Neomycin cream
Penicillin and Procaine
Rehydration solutions
Topical antibiotics

Ace bandages
Alcohol wipes
Anti bacterial gels
Anti fungal cream
Aspirators for babies
Butterfly needles
Saline/irrigation solution
Suture equipment

Bars of soap
Blood pressure cuffs
Disposable head caps
Heavy duty boots
Pens and pencils
Tea Light candles & quality batteries (AA&D)

Brand new under wear -adult (small & med.) and children sizes
Sanitary napkins
Toothpaste and tooth brushes.


Dear fellow admirer of the work of the Cuban Henry Reeve Contingent,

The Cuban Ambassador to Ireland, Her Excellency, Ms. Teresita Trujillo,
advises today that an account has been established in Havana by the Cuban
Government to receive international donations from people wishing to support
the work of the Cuban medical brigades in Haiti.

The details below will facilitate a credit transfer from any bank in the

Account name: Terremoto Haití
Account number: 01321010770900

(US-residents and US passport holders should not use this account as their
donation will bring them into conflict with US legislation implementing the
blockade of Cuba. They should instead appeal to Mr Obama to lift his
blockade from interfering in this noble humanitarian enterprise)

For verification purposes, the Ambassador’s email confirming the fact of the
account establishment and the account details is reproduced below.

Please distribute these account details (and warning note regarding US
citizens) as widely as possible.

Simon McGuinness
National Coordinator
Cuba Support Group Ireland
15 Merrion Square
Dublin 2.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

if you don't think the police state is upon us ....

The Largest Street Gang in America

BoilingFrogs | MySpace Video

Pondering the Unthinkable

Unlike the intellectually limited, culturally retarded, and compassionately lacking Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson, who believe the Haitian people deserve or asked for the horrors that have befallen them, this most recent global tragedy has me pondering profoundly.

My first query involves seismic testing and its implications, the proximity of the USA torture camp at Guantanamo Bay in southern Cuba, the US Military HAARP project in Puerto Rico, and the possibility that this earthquake is no accident. It’s possible. They were so successful with the 9/11 cover-up, the subsequent and endless “war on terror,” the search for Osama who’s been dead for years … the masses are enthralled with the corporate spin of controlled media, (they'll believe anything), so why not push that envelope?

The truth is that US monopoly capitalism, often misnamed the “free market,” has had its mask ripped off with the bail-out of too big to fail banks. The scars are beginning to show, the people beginning to question whether it’s “socialism” or unfettered capitalism that is their ultimate enemy. With little exception, the only thing the USA produces is WAR.

Remember WWII, when the US economy began to recover from the depression of the thirties? Well I don’t, but I do remember people talking about how the US only entered the war as it neared its end, and how their entire economy boomed as a result. Many many people are employed in jobs that are directly, or indirectly, connected to the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction or other instruments of death.

What’s absolutely essential to a war economy is an endless and persistent need for war and reconstruction. Like little boys with tonka trucks in the sandbox, it sometimes seems it’s all the patriarchy knows – destruction, and reconstruction. Unable to birth, they kill and rebuild.

Sure, the intentional triggering of an earthquake the likes of which the world has never seen can easily be dismissed as conspiracy theory, and I personally hope my first gut reaction isn’t actually true, but I’ve lived long enough to realize that anything is possible. Those who believe they are the superior of the species, deserving all that life has to offer even if it’s attained at the expense of all other life on the planet, it seems there is nothing they won’t do to maintain their selfish hubristic lifestyles.

Why not Shock Doctrine Haiti, get Cuban to open up their airspace for the first time in perhaps decades, then perhaps launch a "terrorist" attack in Canada during the Olympics as an excuse to release US military into our communities? Voila – jobs all around. The “free market” of monopoly capitalism reborn.

Secondly, why does my government suddenly have money to send to Haiti?! I’m all for helping people in need, I helped transport over 200 tons of humanitarian aid to Cuba these past two years, necessary because of the immoral US blockade against a small island nation that insists on doing something other than monopoly capitalism. I appreciate, and am not surprised, that Cuba and Venezuela were the first in Haiti with doctors and essential supplies. We all ought to help, where we can, when people are in need. But when a facebook friend reported hearing on a local radio station that the City of Victoria will be sending “temporary housing and water filtration systems” to Haiti I, like her, responded with an audible What The F*ck?!!

On any given night there are over a thousand homeless people in Victoria. We’ve recently won a court decision rendering a city bylaw, that prevented homeless people from erecting shelter to protect themselves, unconstitutional. We’ve pleaded with Victoria city council to consider Portland’s Dignity Village model, to meet us half way in attempting to help the homeless help themselves by establishing temporary shelter in a community on public land. Our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Now, suddenly, the city will be sending temporary housing to Haiti? As they watch their own people suffer, night after night, here in the northern Canadian winter?

Ultimately, we may never know the extent to which Haiti’s earthquake might have been avoided, or forewarned. What we do know is that it’s cold in Canada in winter, and there are an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 homeless people, victims of monopoly capitalism that sees value only as it’s affixed to material wealth and stature. Why isn’t that considered an emergency, calling for immediate action?

Thirdly, in my meditations on Haiti, I count my blessings. Though I may join the ranks of the homeless some day, since I’ll forever refuse to “go corporate” or sell my body (which appear to be the options that will remain after the great coup), today I’m looking past Arbutus and Douglas Fir trees to the peaceful and life giving Salish Sea. I’ve made a new dog and cat friend in this house minding moment on Piers Island, where people commute by boat from their ocean front homes, only occasionally drive golf carts on the small road that rings the island, and collectively mind the wilderness that thrives in the centre of the island.

The rain has stopped and the eagles are calling from nearby trees. It’s about an hour’s walk around the perimeter of Piers Island, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to escape the various noise and pollution that accompanies city life (though I’m grateful for my happy niche there). I wander and wonder and ponder …. has the human species been entirely removed and replaced with alien life forms? How else to explain why Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson continue to be heard? Just how massive is the pile of lies we’re all expected to assimilate?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

the real terror is the occupation ....

Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don't understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it's profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it's profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it's profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it's profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us  - Mike Prysner

Henry Reeve Medical Bridgade dispatched to Haiti from Cuba

HAVANA TIMES, Jan. 14 — The Cuban government sent to Haiti the first contingent of doctors from the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade that specializes in assisting after natural disasters and serious epidemics.

The brigade was first established to offer help to the United States when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005, an offer rejected by ex-President Bush.

Since then the brigade has been on the scene after earthquakes in Pakistan, and China, the Tsunami in Indonesia and major flooding in Guatemala and Bolivia.

Cuba already had 344 doctors and other health professionals working full time in Haiti under an agreement with the Haitian government.

Victor Geneus, Haiti’s ambassador to Havana, thanked the Cuban people and government for their assistance in such difficult times. “The Cuban doctors have a lot of experience with our reality and a lot of desire to understand and help, and that’s what we most needed,” Geneus told the Cuban News Agency.

Click here to read another article about Haiti, from Cuba.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gaza Freedom March—Home at Last!

from Starhawk -
photo: the Cuban flag flies in Havana's International airport

I’m home now, writing from the comfort of my own bed, with its supremely comfortable mattress that doesn’t sag in the middle. Bless the invention of the laptop, that allows us to write in bed! I’ve hardly sat at a desk since the mid-nineties.

I’m sorry for the hiatus in these blogs—events transpired that made it seem advisable for us to get out of Dodge, as we say in the west—or in plain English, to leave Cairo for a few days, during which internet access was hard to find.

Before we left, we attended the New Year’s Eve candlelight vigil in the Mogamma plaza on Tahrir Square, and saw the New Year in with a large, peaceful gathering of our friends that was heavily watched by the Egyptian secret police, but not interfered with. The next day, we were at a spirited rally in front of the Israeli Embassy, which is high up in a ten-story building, its presence announced only by an Israeli flag on the roof. The Egyptian police have now established their pattern—they herd us into a protest pen, keep us there for a while, eventually let people out and when the demo is over, we leave..

For me the highlight of the day was a long conversation with Hedy Epstein, an eighty-eight year old Jewish survivor of the holocaust who is here with us in support of justice for the Palestinians. Hedy is small, with curling white hair and bright eyes and a ready smile, and tough in the fiber, as they say about hobbits. She went on a hunger strike when she arrived, and went off it only when her doctor ordered her to eat. She was in the melee with the Egyptian police in Tahrir Square, and managed to come through the pushing, shoving frenzy undaunted and unharmed.
Someone like Hedy makes it impossible for us lesser mortals to say, “I’m too old for this shit.” Over dinner, I heard some of her story, which she tells in vivid detail—the terror of a child on Krystallnacht, when Nazi thugs broke windows of Jewish businesses and homes all over Germany, of being attacked and vilified by teachers and the principal of her school, coming home and finding her father and uncle gone, her mother in hiding. She survived because her family was able to get her onto a kindertransport: the ships and trains that brought 10,000 Jewish children to Britain just before the onset of war. Her parents were sent to the camps in France and ultimately to Auschwitz.

She grew up to work with the U.S. Government in Germany, among other things, as a research analyst during the Nuremburg Trials, investigating the doctors who performed cruel medical ‘experiments’ on inmates. And out of her own pain and loss, she became an activist, fighting for civil rights and human rights.

We’re always on dangerous ground when we start talking about the Holocaust and Palestine in the same breath. As Hedy herself says, “Each experience is unique. You can’t compare them.” Yet there are resonances that are hard to ignore. I’m remembering being in the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank when all the men were rounded up and marched off, how I felt sitting behind closed doors with the women left behind. We were taken in by one family who wanted us as witnesses to protect the son they’d managed to hide, a young student of psychology in his twenties who was still so traumatized by a former arrest and incarceration that he couldn’t leave the house on his own, work or study. I’m thinking of the night I spent locked in a room with a family, singing funny songs to the children to distract them from the sounds of the Israeli soldiers methodically destroying their home, ripping the stuffing out of the chairs and prying the paneling off the walls, in the name of a ‘search.’

True, Israel has not set up gas chambers for Palestinians, nor ovens. As Dov Weinglas, an adviser to the Israeli prime minister, said, "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger."

But when you have to start arguing over the nuances of oppression, about whether the number of dead constitutes a massacre or just a slaughter, whether your policies are really genocide or just sorta like genocide, you have left the path of righteousness.

On the last day, I snuck away from a demonstration in support of a court case Egyptian lawyers are bringing against their own government to stop the construction of the steel wall that will seal up Gaza’s last lifelines. I went to the pyramids, because I was determined not to leave Egypt without seeing the pyramids. I did the shlocky tourist thing, and rode a camel. And it was wonderful—to get out onto the stark desert and squint my eyes to block out the tour busses and just see camels moving over the sands with those pure shapes behind them, and young men racing Arab horses through the empty land.

And yet I couldn’t feel a spiritual connection there. Looking at those great blocks of stone, thinking about the immense numbers of mud bricks beneath, the human labor and effort in raising these mountains, I kept imagining the lives of the slaves. The Jewish people are my people, and this land is woven into our narratives. “We were slaves in Egypt” goes the litany of Passover. I build with mud myself—I know how much sheer, physical work goes into a small bench or a low wall. We were slaves, and we escaped, and the land of Canaan was our refuge. We were the victims of massive genocide, and the land of Israel was our consolation—at another people's expense.

From a heritage of pain, you can draw a number of different conclusions. You can say, “In a world of slaves and masters I choose to wield the whip rather than suffer the lash. ”You can say, “Never again will I let this happen to me or mine!

Or you can stand with Hedy and all those like her, and say, “Never again will I let this happen to anyone.” Not in my name, not to my benefit, not by my silence.

We are still wandering in the wilderness. Over a far horizon, we can sometimes catch a glimpse of a new Promised Land--a place without walls, without checkpoints, without prisons, without masters and slaves, us and them, our tribe and their tribe—a place where everyone is free. But we have a long journey still before we get there, and we do not know the way..

Friday, January 8, 2010

george galloway deported and banned from egypt

why aren't palestinians allowed to have their own border guards, and decide who can or can't enter what remains of their tribal lands?

Monday, January 4, 2010

More Stories From Copenhagen ....

From Anne Feeney's report on Copenhagen (full story here):

"And that's what they did. The cops arrested everyone. About 700 people. As they arrested my husband, one of my Danish hosts from the Tvind progressive education movement engaged the cops in a dialog. I didn't follow the Danish argument, but apparently she told them I was a famous folksinger from the US and my arrest would cause terrible embarrassment to the Danish police. To my astonishment, the cops escorted us and the wagon on which I was to perform out of the area. There were only about 60 people left to be arrested at that point."