Iraq

"Beyond Obama" - A Day in Solidarity With African People November 6th

Group Challenges Racial Divide in U.S.

What: Conference
When: Saturday, November 6, 1:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA
Contact: Harris Daniels, 857-233-7508

On Saturday, November 6, the African People’s Solidarity Committee will hold a public event entitled, “Beyond Obama: Seeking real solutions to the growing racial divide in the US.” The conference will feature presentations by leaders of the “Black is Back!” Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations; Friends and Family of Mumia Abu Jamal; the Black Agenda Report; and the Harlem Tenants Council. It is the culmination of an effort to raise $10,000 for the Uhuru Movement’s black community justice campaigns.

So, got any plans for this weekend?

This is going to be an action packed weekend in DC and around the nation. On Friday, there will be protests of Yoo. On Saturday, there will be a massive antiwar demonstration (there will also be demonstrations in Philly, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and South Dakota, among other places). On Sunday, there will be a large march for immigration reform. And there will be other related events around the country, along with the small protests and events that happen all the time.

(Let me know if I miss anything)

Friday

Joe Sestak and Allyson Schwartz Vote to Continue the War Unabated

Sigh. I leave for a couple weeks, and the Phillies go haywire, police embarass themselves talking openly about making up charges against Philly citizens, and two of our Congresspeople decide that they should stand against their constituents, and with the most unpopular President in history.

While Bob Brady, Chaka Fattah and Patrick Murphy all voted the right way, I think it is pretty important to note that Allyson Schwartz and Joe Sestak voted this week to continue to give President Bush a blank check in Iraq. Sestak followed that terrible vote up by also voting for warrntless wiretapping and immunity for phone companies who helped the Bush administration illegally spy on Americans. Great... Sestak was my favorite Dem candidate last cycle. He spoke clearly about the need to get out of Iraq, he stood up to the President, he advocated for healthcare. I honestly thought we had found 'the guy' with him. But, this has just been one more incredibly disappointing vote. A hugely unpopular war, a hugely unpopular president, and a hugely unpopular bill (warrantless wiretapping and immunity), all of which Sestak has decided to stand with.

And then we have ol' Allyson Schwartz, who way-back-when (before the popularity of the internets and such), was considered a rising progressive star. But since then, over and over, she has shown that when the chips are down, she is just not on our side. And yet, despite her vote for the Bankruptcy Bill, despite her vote for the Patriot Act, version 2, and despite her willingness to continually give George Bush a blank check for Iraq, Rep. Schwartz is rumored to be running for Senate in 2010.

Schwartz relies on a lot of old school Philadelphia liberals for support, because in a different world, she used to be one. If she runs in a Democratic primary, it is going to be our job to make sure they know how ridiculous she has become, and she no longer deserves their money or support. (Of course, we then actually need a progressive challenger for the seat, but that is a whole other issue.)

And again, it is worth noting that Patrick Murphy, Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah voted against a blank check for Bush, against warrantless spying, and against these two bills.

Update: As noted below, Patrick Murphy voted for warrantless wiretapping. Grrrreat.

No Permanent Bases

I heard a statement from Barack Obama in his Meet the Press Interview on Sunday that is very important to me. He said "there will be no permanent bases." Personally, I think that this is the most important commitment on Iraq that a candidate for our Presidency can make before taking the oath of office. I think that it is the that our bases are permanent most clearly takes us across that line between liberator or peace keeper and occupier. It arrogantly assumes that there will be no sovereign Iraq which might not want our troops in their country for the foreseeable future creates a mentally among both Iraqi nationals and our troops that we are in this for the long haul.

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