Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sign here...

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability has put together a "Sign-on letter", to be signed by representatives of as many US organizations as possible, to call for...well, it's behind the "Read more!" link, so read all about it, and get your group signed on ASAP! All the details are behind the link...

Dear Colleagues,

We are seeking ORGANIZATIONS to sign on to a letter opposing the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership and the return to reprocessing. The letter will be delivered to the Great 8 Nation Summit (G8 Summit} that will be held in St. Petersburg, Russia July 14 - 17. This letter will join statements written by other NGOs from around the world, opposing reprocessing and demanding cleanup of the existing radioactive contamination.

Please send YOUR NAME, YOUR ORGANIZATION, YOUR CITY, and YOUR STATE to dartana@earthlink.net

We are seeking hundreds of US based NGOs to sign this letter.


Please send your response to Jodi Dart, Program Director, Alliance for
Nuclear Accountability

jdartana@earthlink.net 202-544-0217 ext 180

DEADLINE: July 10, 2006


Letter for sign-on:

July 14, 2006

Dear G8 Leaders,

As you gather at this G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia to discuss global energy security, the undersigned public interest organizations from X countries urge you to reject U.S. President George W. Bushs proposed Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). Under GNEP, the U.S. and a few other selected countries would reprocess the worlds commercial nuclear waste, and use the separated plutonium in fast neutron reactors. We are opposed to this proposal, because global experience in the past 60 years has shown that reprocessing is extremely polluting and expensive, and undermines global nonproliferation efforts. Moreover, efforts to build fast reactors have been safety and economic failures. No solution has been created to deal with the nuclear waste generated by nuclear power or reprocessing. GNEP would result in no new energy supplies for a several decades and perhaps much longer, while investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy would provide energy now and long-term without proliferating nuclear weapons materials.

Of the G8 members, five countries (France, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America) have reprocessed or are reprocessing domestically. Two other G8 countries, Italy and Germany, sent their waste to France and the UK for reprocessing. None of these countries have solved, or even improved, its nuclear waste problem by reprocessing. In fact, reprocessing waste is not easily contained and has contaminated the global environment. The most radioactively contaminated places on Earth, including Lake Karachai in Russia and Hanford in the United States, are from reprocessing waste. In Europe, both France and the UK discharge radioactive
waste into the sea. This waste has contaminated water as far away as the Arctic, and has been found in marine life in Norway and Denmark. In the United States, reprocessing waste threatens to contaminate the Columbia River and the Savannah River, two of the most important water resources in the country.

Despite spending more than $100 billion globally, no country has successfully commercialized reprocessing and transmutation technologies. All of these programs are heavily subsidized by their governments. A July 2000 report commissioned by the French government concluded that reprocessing and plutonium fuel are uneconomical, costing about $25 billion more than a once-through fuel cycle. Last year, 20 tons of uranium and plutonium leaked from a pipe at the U.K. government-owned THORP reprocessing plant. The plant, which was losing money even when operational, remains closed and its future is uncertain. Meanwhile, the Japanese company, Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd., recently started up its Rokkasho reprocessing plant, which took 13
years to build and cost $20 billion, three times more than initially estimated.

Reprocessing also makes it easier for terrorists to obtain the fissile material needed to make nuclear weapons, and undermines nonproliferation efforts. As a result of global commercial reprocessing, 250 metric tons of plutonium has been separated and remains vulnerable to theft. This amount of plutonium is equivalent to more than 30,000 nuclear bombs.

The proliferation-resistant reprocessing technologies currently being researched by the U.S. Department of Energy are not sufficient to prevent theft by terrorists, while the plutonium mix that results from these technologies could be used to make a nuclear weapon. Like the existing, decades-old PUREX process, these technologies would inevitably make weapons-usable material harder to track and easier to lose. Moreover, the materials, technical personnel, technologies and specialized equipment involved in these processes could leak out, as they have in the past, to foreign clandestine weapons programs or be diverted within a states program to make nuclear weapons. The fact is that any reprocessing technology is more dangerous than leaving the weapons-usable plutonium bound up in highly radioactive, easy to track, bulky spent fuel rods.

In order to reduce the radioactivity of the reprocessed waste, it is necessary to build one fast neutron reactor to every three light water reactors. Since the early 1950s, governments around the world have made huge investments into the development of fast reactors, but the results have been safety and economic failures.

As you consider global energy security at this Summit, we urge you to acknowledge the economic, safety, and proliferation failures of reprocessing and transmutation. GNEP would threaten, not improve, global energy security. Instead, we ask you to put the vast financial resources that would be needed for GNEP into research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.




Susan Gordon

Alliance for Nuclear Accountability

Seattle, WA

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

More on Oaxaca teacher's repression

There are more articles linked to here for more information on the situation in Oaxaca, Mexico. I make no claim that any have all the facts straight, or any particular fact straight. Each of these articles will open up in a new window, or in a tab if you use Firefox or Mozilla or another tabbing browser if you select it to open that way. There's nothing behind the "Read more!" link.

Anarkismo.net carries a story purportedly written by "coyote", and has the ring of a first and second hand telling of the situation.

The World War Four Report carries a story by Bill Weinberg titled Oaxaca: police attack striking teachers

NarcoNews.com carries a story by James Daria and Dul Santamari­a about the situation there: Police Unleash Repression Against Oaxaca Teachers / Growing Demand for Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz's’ Removal

Pacifica Radio has a piece, Public School Teachers Return to Encampment in Oaxaca City'’s Center, in their broadcast. It's the third article in the webcast.

Reuters AlterNet has a piece entitled Mexico teachers clash with police in historic city

The Peninsula, Qatar's leading English language newspaper, carries another Reuters piece titled Mexico police, teachers clash

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Greenline TV

The Green Party of Monroe County is responsible for a program called Greenline. These New York Greens have posted a piece, titled "Democracy in Crisis", at Google Video for all to see and download. Google Video will allow anyone to upload video, so I congratulate the Monroe County Greens not only for getting Green issues on TV, but for getting them on the Internet too.

Frankly, I am on dial-up, so I can't really do video, but for those who can, hit the link! By the way, nothing behind the "Read more!" link on this one.
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Seed Corn

Any organization, if it is to prosper, must renew itself with new membership. I am not one who believes that the youth of the Green Party are any more the future of the Green Party that the middle aged are, or the elderly are. Greens of every age are an important part of the party's future.

Which is exactly why we all should be concerned about difficulties at the Campus Greens In a note to Greens, David Wilcox, a member of the group's steering committee, explains that the group is in difficult times, and the future doesn't look very positive without a fresh commitment from Greens across the nation.

Young Greens may not be any more important than middle aged or elderly Greens, but they are no less important, and since the Campus Greens is the only non-sectarian Green group associated with the GPUS, and since there is no similar group for the meddle aged or elderly, we should all do what we can to offer up our support to those who want to organize on our local campuses.

I hope some of you who are Campus Greens or their supporters will be able to meet at the national convention. For now, David's message is behind the "Read more!" link...

Hey all,

With lingering legal and financial problems, lack of strong communication with chapters, and (most importantly) lack of a strong national structure and funds, we're going to have to postpone the convention indefinitely. Only one student has registered, no organizations have confirmed their workshops, and we have no where near enough money to pull this off.

I expect to head to Tucson, anyway, in case anyone shows up for this. If nothing else, we can have an informal meeting/hangout with any other CGs who happen to show up. But we just don't have the resources to pull if off now.


Dave Wilcox
Steering Committee
Campus Greens

Campus Greens
P.O. Box 536
Lombard, IL 60148
Phone: (630) 347-3562
AIM: CampusGreensDAVE
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Are they dead, or not?

A teacher's union in Oaxaca Mexico has reported that three or four of their members/supporters have been killed in clashes with the Mexican government over wage demands in a strike. A BBC report says that the government denies it, and asks "Where are the bodies?" That, I hate to admit it, seems like a reasonable question. Frankly I hope that no one actually has been killed.

In addition, Richard Walton of Rhode Island sent an email he got from a friend who is in Oaxaca, and reports on what he knows from being there. That email can be found behind the "Read more!" link...

Hi all,

Thought you might be interested in an update on all the drama here. After the state police attacked the strikers on Wednesday morning, the police retreated (or were driven back) by the strikers who re-took the city center by mid-afternoon. However, later in the evening, a temporary truce was reached. The "planton" (occupation) was temporarily suspended for the night, and negotiations were scheduled for Thursday morning.

However, negotiations went nowhere. The governor has withdrawn prior offers, and the teachers, in turn, have now made the resignation of the governor their principle demand. By mid-day Thursday, the teachers had re-occupied the center city -- tents and all! They are unbelievably fearless and determined. What's more, the strike is rapidly becoming a focal point for progressive political activists throughout Mexico --indigenous groups, leftists, unionists, etc -- many of whom have come to Oaxaca to join forces with the teachers. In fact, I have heard rumor that "Sub-commander Marcos", the legendary leader of the Zapatista indigenous-rights movement, may soon come to Oaxaca.

This afternoon and evening, there was another "mega-march" held, in which a reported 200,000 people marched seven miles in pouring rain. Once again, the march was nothing short of spectacular -- with hundreds of creative banners, signs, chants, songs, costumes, puppets, floats, paper machee (?) figures, and representatives of unions, indigenous groups, political organizations, parents groups, and MANY ordinary citizens who were outraged by the governments repressive tactics. My personal favorites in the march were the many effigies of the governor, a brass band that was playing "Venceremos", and a group of indigenous marchers who carried large incense burners and corn stalks adorned with flowers -- all of which are indigenous religious symbols. But mostly its the sea of faces of ordinary, but empassioned, Mexicans that is so impressive.

This is truly a historic and unprecedented event for Oaxaca, and could prove to be equally so for Mexico. At this point, it is difficult to envision how the situation is going to be resolved. Both sides are extremely dug in, and the only clear paths to closure seem to be either the resignation of the governor (which, he has made clear, he has no intention of doing), the surrender of the teachers (which seems equally unlikely) or the use of brutal force by the State -- which, I think, would be a political disaster, and, of course, a human tragedy. At the moment, it actually seems as though the teachers and allies may actually have the political leverage to force the governor`s resignation, but then, I am not exactly "in the loop".

I actually think it is important that more people in the US know about the repressive tactics being used by the Mexican government here in Oaxaca, in response to protest by workers and peasants who live under very difficult economic conditions that have been exacerbated by US foreign trade policy (ie, NAFTA). I heard that there have been demonstrations in Latino communities in several US cities in solidarity with the Oaxacan teachers. But, as usual, there is virtually no news (or interest) in the mainstream. Perhaps you can help raise a little awareness by forwarding my email, or, even better, this link from BBC news:



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Rae Vogeler addresses Iraq war dead

In a statement posted at the National Green Party website, Senatorial candidate from Wisconsin Rae Vogeler shares her position as we move past 2500 war dead so far. The full text is behind the "Read more!" link...
Statement by Wisconsin U.S. Senate Candidate Rae Vogeler on 2500th U.S. Casualty in Iraq

Wisconsin Green Party

Rae Vogeler for US Senate

Marc Sanson: Campaign Manager, 608-204-7336, msanson@gp.org
Rae Vogeler: 608-695-2695 or 608-237-1337, rae-v@charter.net

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Statement by Wisconsin U.S. Senate Candidate Rae Vogeler on 2500th U.S. Casualty in Iraq

MADISON, WI. - Rae Vogeler, candidate for U.S. Senate has released the following statement in response to the 2500th U.S. casualty in Iraq:

"It is with great sadness that I respond today to the Pentagon announcement of the death of the 2500th U.S. soldier in Iraq. Both the Pentagon and the Bush Administration stated that it is 'just a number.' I cannot accept that. As a mother and as an American, I believe it is important to point out that these 2500 individuals who laid down their lives in service to their country deserve better than to be reduced to a simple statistic.

"Despite all signs that we are failing in Iraq, this ill-conceived war continues with no end in sight. On an average day, two U.S. service persons are killed. Sixty-four soldiers die each month. Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have lost their lives, a trend that continues to escalate. How long will we allow this destruction to continue?

"It is encouraging that the sentiment in Congress is finally changing toward Iraq, but it has lagged behind opinion polls. In February of 2006, a Zogby International survey reported that 72 percent of American troops serving in Iraq called for exiting the country this year, and more than one in four troops said we should leave immediately. There is federal legislation put forth to 'redeploy' troops to other bases in the region, as Congressman Murtha has proposed, and Senator Kerry's 'non-binding' resolutions to bring the troops home sooner rather than later. Although a good start, they do not go far enough. It is time to end the bloodshed, and return our soldiers to their homes and families. We must stop building bases in Iraq and leave so that Iraqis can run their own economy and government. That is what freedom and democracy is all about.

"Let's bring our troops home now and redirect the billions being spent weekly in Iraq to much needed jobs, education and health care programs here at home. Rather than spending $100,000 a minute in Iraq to wage war, let's spend it here to sustain life. On the eve of Father's Day, we must give fathers all over this country and Iraq the good news that they and their families will no longer be put in harms way.

"We must not let the 2500th death of a U.S. service person become a statistic - let it be a wake up call to bring our troops back home where they belong."

Rae Vogeler for U.S. Senate, http://www.voterae.org
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Can you say "Futility"? I knew that you could.

Forgive me Mr. Rogers. The devil made me do it.

United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of local to national groups of various sizes who oppose the war on Iraq and share other common goals, is calling on voters to "Pledge, No Peace, no Vote"

Now here's the thing. In my district, I can vote for a pro-war Democrat who will oppose the war when pink polka dotted monkeys fly out his ass, or a pro-war Republican who would oppose the war when he witnessed the same event, or vote for no one. Of course I can vote write-in, but I am no fan of such things in a state where seven parties have ballot access.

So I'll likely let the rest of the voters decide that race. I don't want to support the corporate parties one whit, and not voting for any of them makes sense to me.

Anyway, if you think it could possibly influence your legislator, go for it. Personally I think it would be a real waste of time for me.

Nothing behind the "Read more!" link.
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An important piece

As many of you know, the Congress is considering legislation which would essentially result in a two-tiered Internet where companies like CNN would have the cash to run their video into our homes, but the Green Party would not. Any video we might use, or audio, would be so expensive we couldn't afford it, or so slow no one would tolerate the download times.

The thing is, according to Bruce Dixon we are already being screwed on Internet services. According to his article at The Black Commentator,
The top broadband speed available to home and business consumers in the US is only 1.5 megabits per second, and most customers pay about $30 per month for that. In France customers get 25 megabits per second for less than a third the price. Singapore is about to offer its citizens 1000 megabits per second.

Perhaps more importantly, he calls members of the Congressional Black Caucus on the carpet for voting in favor of this corporate rape of "Network Neutrality". He points clearly to the connection between corporate cash contributions, both political and "civic", and the votes of representatives who are supposed to serve their voters, not corporate interests.

Sadly, Congressman Clyburn, D of S.C. voted in favor of this rotten bill, but I am sure the Green nominee for the seat, Antonio Williams, will let the people know that he can be counted on to support equal access to the Internet both as provider and user.

Nothing behind the "Read more!" link.
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Friday, June 02, 2006

James E. Dunn Presents Energy Positions

In a response to a column by Congressman Henry Brown, James E. Dunn has written to the Myrtle Beach Sun News that Brown's energy plans are harmful and his rherotic false. The text of his statement can be found behind the "Read more!" link, or by clicking the link above.

Brown's energy plans harmful, rhetoric false

By James E. Dunn

I pondered with a bit of trepidation Rep. Henry Brown's guest editorial in this newspaper Monday.

Seems he has started his campaign a bit early this time. Since I am again running for this congressional seat myself - not as a Democrat or Republican, however - I want to respond to what Brown maintains in his article.

Quoting from Brown's article: "Congress is attempting to address the energy crisis, but environment extremists and their liberal allies have fought to halt production of all forms of energy."

This is blatantly false. Connecticut, for example, is rapidly building windmills and solar panels for its main source of electricity. Brown, however, wants offshore drilling - right along our beautiful beaches and scenic coastline - for more oil [and natural gas]. These so-called environmental extremists are just against drilling for more oil [and gas] in very sensitive areas: off our rustic shoreline and beautiful beaches, in the exceedingly fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and some other sensitive places.

Brown also helps to make liberal a dirty word in his article. What he and George Bush don't tell you, however, is that this country was founded by a group of liberals and radicals - revolutionaries even: Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Rutledge and many others.

Brown fails to mention growing much more corn for fuel - as Brazil has just done, and they now use almost no petroleum for their autos - which would put many of our citizens and much of our land back to work for us. Instead, he wants to make the petroleum industry - including Bush and Dick Cheney - even richer and the pollution of the earth even greater.

Finally, he wants to put - I am quoting him now - "nuclear power, one of the cleanest, safest and environmentally friendly alternatives to oil, to work for us."

He seems to forget Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and [the problem of] where to put the extremely radioactive used fuel rods. Mr. Brown, you must be kidding us!
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Video Killed the Political Star

The Internet has gives we Greens some amazing tools. In the first video run on Mtv they ran the song "Video killed the radio star" in part I suppose because every new technology has the potential to uproot a fat and happy group. There are few groups more fat and happy than Democrats and Republicans, so this new medium, the Internet, can be part of the tool kit we use to dismantle the corporate domination of our society and allow real democracy to flourish.

Third Planet video has used the power of the Internet to put video clips of some length on their website for all to see. Check them out by following me over here. These clips are of Malachy McCourt, who's running for Governor, Alison Duncan who's running for Lt. Gov., and Howie Hawkins who's running for Senate. Nothing behind the "Read more!" link on this one.
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Charlotte, Omaha to NYC and Washington:Tough Luck

The New York Times reports that authorities in places like Charlotte, NC and Omaha NE got big increases in their "Homeland Security" budgets at the expense of cuts to NYC and Washington DC for the same things.

I have got to wonder...are the cities where we Greens are either in control or have great influence taking this money, stolen from current human needs and our grandchildren's future, or are they doing the right thing and refusing to take federal dollars for projects they don't need? Has Arcata, CA used Homeland Defense money to buy themselves veggie oil powered armored Hummers? Has New Platz used that money which should go to other purposes to buy the village bomb sniffing bumble bees? Or, cross my fingers, are these and other Greens standing up and admitting that their communities are less realistic targets, and as such would rather see the federal dollars spent elsewhere or on other projects?

Because I don't really know what does and does not constitute "fair use" I won't copy and paste the article here. Try the link above, and if that doesn't work, that means that the NYT took it down or set it up so you have to pay to see it.

Nothing behind the "Read more!" link on this one.
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Pat LaMarche: Remembering Hal Weisbein and Al Philbrook

As the Green Party of the United States matures, so does our membership. As time marches relentlessly on we will find ourselves more and more often writing about Greens we have known and loved after they have died. Pat LaMarche writes about two men she has known through the Maine Green Independent Party who died recently. Her words, beautiful and loving, are behind the "Read more!" link, so take a few minutes and learn about people who gave to the Green Party and everyone who they touched, in Maine and elsewhere, by virtue of their work for justice...

Augusta, Maine

In the middle of the most beautiful and lush spring I can remember in this state, Maine got a little less Green this week.

It is with a heavy heart that Maine bids farewell to two of her most ardent protectors. On Wednesday, May 24, 2006, both Hal Weisbein and Al Philbrook died.

Hal Weisbein died in a highly publicized car accident on route 295 when a driver with a suspended license hit his vehicle and sent his SUV careening off the road. Reports say that Hal died instantly.

Al Philbrook died of cancer just a few hours, geographically as well as literally, away in Pittston. His death was neither instantaneous nor well publicized.

Both of these men would have been sad to hear of the other's passing. Hal was one of the best friends that the Allagash wilderness waterway ever had, and Al was a former Maine Yankee Engineer who helped found the Maine Nuclear Referendum Committee.

Hal was a dear friend of mine. When I saw the cut away to his photograph on television saying that he had died, an incredible feeling of loss mingled with my wonderful memories of him. Hal, a kind sweet man, worked diligently for the Green
Party as a solution to Maine's problems.

Indeed, the last time I saw Hal, we sat together at the Topsham Green Independent Party Caucus and discussed the strategy for getting five-dollar checks for our clean elections campaign. What a blessing I have been given to have a man like Hal in my life. What a double blessing to have Hal believe in me and work on all of my campaigns.

Al Philbrook is more of a legend. One of the founders of the Green Party of the United States and a tireless advocate of Democracy in our state and country, Al's vision made real many David and Goliath struggles here in Maine. Al, using the
referendum process, worked to amplify the voices of the majority who wanted the end of nuclear power generation in our state. At the request of the people of Maine, a referendum was passed and Maine Yankee was closed.

I remember when my mom died. I felt really sorry for myself because I knew how much I would miss her. Then I thought of the charities she always helped, and I realized how many of us, even people who never met her, would miss her.

It is the same situation with Hal and Al. While so many of us feels a personal loss, I know the loss is bigger than what we alone feel. People who never met them and don't know their names have lost two of their biggest champions.

As for me, I lost a friend, I lost a couple of heroes, I lost men I could trust to do very important work while I focused on other things. But I am not alone in feeling this loss. And while I feel powerless, I am not. I can remember the causes that they loved and renew my love and support for those causes in their memory. I can't bring either of these wonderful men back, but I can work on their projects for them. And when you feel the need to deal with your loss too, I invite you to work with me.

Goodbye Al Philbrook, who made Maine safe, who helped Mainers use their voice. Goodbye Hal Weisbein, who made me smile no matter how challenging the task we tackled.

You two helped make me the woman I am today, and like so many others, I am going to miss you.

Pat LaMarche
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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Are you an organizer??

As some of you know, I get a weekly "Take Action" alert from LabourStart.org, and because participating in their campaigns is always simple, and because they advocate for solid stuff, I almost always take five minutes to do something Eric Lee, the site creator, asks me to do.

In today's mailing I got a piece, hiding behind the "Read more!" link, Eric points us to a book on turning us into effective organizers.

I am an activist who wishes he was an organizer. How about you? Take a peek behind the "Read more!" link for a place to get the book...


Most of you will be familiar with the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, the civil rights leader. Jackson is a man who knows a thing or two about organizing, and he says that "Organizing for Social Change" is "the most comprehensive handbook on how to organize that I've seen." AFL-CIO President John Sweeney agrees. He says that "all union members should read this book so that we can build the broad-based coalitions
necessary to win victories."

Now in its third edition, this is an organizer's bible: a comprehensive, real-world tool for organizers of all stripes determined to create attention and affect change. The book deals with everything from tactics to the mechanics of how to track a campaign, from coalition-building to using the media, to supervising less experienced organizers.

The book outlines specific steps, lists and charts to help organizers move through the phases of a campaign, a solid index to help readers zero in on a specific topic or problem, and a great list of resources. More than 60,000 copies have been sold since the first edition was published in 1991. The most recent edition includes information on the trends, technologies and concerns for the new century.

Order your copies today -- for yourself and for others in your union --and help support LabourStart with every purchase:click here

Thanks. And have a great weekend.

Eric Lee
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