U.S. Out Of Afghanistan: Stay Out Of Iran!

March 12, 2012

Today when I went to read my email, I saw on my front home page “U.S. Soldier held in shooting rampage that killed 16 Afghans, officials say.

I feel disgusted. I am disgusted because I know that there were probably women and children who were killed. I know that these were people who posed no threat and were probably unarmed.  I know that after the kicking down of doors and the terrifying screams of the children, there is nothing left that documents the horror except a trail of blood, a pile of bodies and eternal nightmares for those who are still living.

I click on the link  to the article

Immediately I see a picture of an  elderly man sitting inside a van,  with two small bodies covered in blankets. He has such a look of pain,  and agony on his face that I want to scream for him at the top of my lungs. Part of the caption reads: The dead included women and children, as least 5 others wounded in the attack.

Afghan image

The Washington Post recounts what  Fazal Mohammad Esaqzai, the deputy chief of the provincial council witnessed.

“Esaqzai, who said he saw the 16 bodies, provided the following account. About midnight, 11 people, including three women; four children whose ages ranged from 6 to 9; and four men were executed inside the home of a village elder.

‘ They entered the room where the women and children were sleeping, and they were all shot in the head,’ Esaqzai said, adding that he was doubtful of the U.S. account suggesting the killings were the work of a lone gunman. They were all shot in the head.’  ”

I didn’t predict these details because I am a psychic, I predicted this because these atrocities have been the rule not the exception to the wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This is  rampage is already being spun as the act of one ”rogue” soldier who was not following “protocol.”  Once again,  the lie  that this was just a fluke accident or a rare incident is being repeated by the politicans and the mainstream media.

Barack Obama said ” This incident is tragic and and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan.” Marine Gen. John R. Allen and Leon Panetta expressed “shock”  and the U.S. embassy said that they will make sure justice is served.

I could go on for hours detaling the evidence and stories that show that this is bullshit from the Afghan Kill Team, to the bombing of wedding parties to the Haditha Massacre. But just consider this:    (1) Wikileaks revealed that civilian casualties in Afghanistan have been consciously  covered up and lied about by  those in  highest levels of the U.S. government. (2) Iraq and Afghanistan war era veterans have come forward to testify that these atrocities are daily occurences and are inherent to the overall charcter and protocol of the U.S military. (3) These types of atrocites were ORDERED from the Bush Administration and the Obama administration went to great lengths to make sure those war criminals were protected from any kind of prosecution.

What does this tell us about the nature of these wars and the nature of the U.S. government that represents this system?

The powers that be know very well that this country’s wealth was built on slavery and the genocide of native americans. The powers that be know very well that this wealth has to be  expanded via coups, assasinations, massacres and illegal invasions. They will keep going until a mass movement of resistance and protest forces them to stop.

You are seriously delusional if you think  that  a war on Iran will not unleash  the same (or worse) death and destruction on  civilian populations, the same way the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and all wars for empire do.

It is long past time that those who run this empire are called out for the monsters that they are and that these monsters are stripped of their right  to run the world.

We must get out to the public visibly soon to say that these wars are NOT IN OUR NAME. The U.S. needs to get out of Afghanistan now and Stay the  OUT OF IRAN!

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Stand In Protest With The People of Iraq: March 19th

March 1, 2011

The recent uprising in Egypt that ousted a U.S.-funded dictator has given great hope and oxygen to people all over the planet.

The Egyptian people lived under thirty years of degradation, torture, fear and oppression. This uprising proves that even if something has been going on for a long period of time, this does not make it any less horrible, nor less possible, for people to rise up. In other words, governments can change overnight and people can refuse to accept that which was once acceptable.

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Letter to Jon Stewart on Why I Am Marching To Restore Sanity

September 21, 2010


Dear Jon

I have to say I am so delighted to hear about your march To Restore Sanity in Washington. I have been looking for ways to oppose these right wing lunatics who hate black people, immigrants and want a theocracy ever since their guy stole the elections in 2000. I know you might be thinking, I sound like one of those left extremists that thought George W Bush should have been impeached for war crimes. Well, in my defense Jon, I was momentarily seduced by the millions of people in society that were saying that Bush had defied international law. They were just fringe groups.

These right wingers tea partiers are completely out of control. They think that Obama is a Muslim and that he is not American. They have their own news stations and are winning elections in some states. They blame all Muslims for 9/11. I don’t have a problem with the fact that they hate Muslims or black people, it is their tone that bothers me. We need a middle of the road, which is why I think Obama’s approach of not killing Muslims who live in the U.S. but continuing to kill Muslims in the Middle east is a fantastic form of diplomacy.

As for the the left wing lunatics, I have been thinking a lot about these people. I caved into all the leftist propaganda about Iraq having nothing to do with 9/11, torturing people in Guantanamo and other war crimes carried out by Bush.

Those tea-party folks really dislike those left wing loonies for the same reasons you do. You might want to give them a chance, we have more in common with them than we think and I’d could live with a little theocracy.

I completely agree with you that we have to find a moderate center. We need to find something in between committing war crimes and not committing war crimes. Which is why I really like your approach of having war crimes committed but pretending that they aren’t war crimes. I think that this also explains why you had that brilliant constitutional scholar John Yoo on your show. Who better to learn from than the very man who did this by accomplishing it professionally for the White House?
Thank you Jon, for not making me choose between these two sides. In a time where the right wing movement is gaining initiative and my government kills people the name of my safety, I can still keep my comfortable position as an apolitical American!

Anyways, I have to go now, Hardball with Chris Matthews is on. Let’s take a stand for change we can believe in – no matter what reality might be!

See you in D.C.

Emma Kaplan,
Former Member of World Can’t Wait

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Taking the truth about torture to students with Taxi To The Dark Side

March 30, 2010

We received this from a student speaking about her experience in her high school about bringing the truth about torture to her peers.

Taxi to the Dark Side is a 2007 Academy Award winning documentary focused on Guantanamo, Bagram, and Abu Ghraib to expose the crimes against humanity which take place in these prisons. Recently, Amnesty International has been asking student leaders to host film screenings at their schools. I, personally, lead the Amnesty at the Lakeside School in Seattle, Washington, and besides the screening I have hosted, I’ve attended another one at Mt. Si High School in North Bend, Washington. Of those I have evaluated, I have made a few observations of common reactions and general effects of the film on high school students.

First and foremost, everybody wants someone to blame. Even in the first twenty minutes or so, discussions focus on Lynndie England, and then as the movie progresses, the blame shifts higher through command and ultimately settles on Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush. One discrepancy, however, lies in the similarities between the trials and punishments of Guantanamo soldiers and the Nuremberg War Crime Trials. Sure, they were taking orders, but does this mean what they did wasn’t wrong? Why should they not be tried like the Nazis? Ultimately, the discussions are more open-ended than conclusive when it comes to blame; where the real accomplishment exists is in the forum the film provides for discussion. For a multitude of factors—be it lack of information or for lack of opportunity, these conversations are of a variety rarely held openly between high school students. The fact that this movie alone impassions debates, critique, frustration—to a group of citizens ignored politically and voiceless in theory, is an impressive feat. But now that we know what is happening, who is at fault and who is at stake, and what can we do to stop it?

Unanimously, students—even those inexperienced with activism in general, immediately want something to do. The worst thing to do for this film screening would be to show up empty handed. Even if it is just signing a postcard for Barack Obama calling for an end to torture, students need to feel immediately empowered, and understand that there is something they can do to help end US torture. This film pinpoints the problem and expresses the results so well that it encourages action, rather than helpless desperation and depression. Essentially, it’s depiction of torture as a contagious disease moves students to be the cure, and this is what not only makes the movie so powerful, but resultantly makes it an important movie for all audiences, but students specifically, to see.

-Jordan Palmer

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Seattle Opposes 7 Years of The Iraq War

March 22, 2010

Today in Seattle, hundreds gathered to protest the illegitimate wars and occupations. We got mainly positive response from people on the sides of the streets and some joined in the march on the spot. The We Are Not Your Soldiers flier was tremendously popular and people really like that we are doing something to actually STOP the wars instead of just dissenting against them. Teenagers in particular were interested and had though about military recruiting some but weren’t sure how to go up against it. There was an ex-school teacher who really were glad to see us out there, recalling the days when recruiters would come into the schools completely unopposed and try to suck on youth to join the military. He hated it but also wasn’t sure how to go up against it. We had 4 high school students join our contingent, all very energetic and wanting to do something that would contribute to stopping torture and the war. One high school woman said, “ I was in second grade when 9/11 happened and this is all we have really known.” Another high school student said, “You always hear about 9/11 but they don’t teach you in school why it happened, what led up to it ( referring to what the U.S. Does in the world), it wasn’t until my freshman year that I really started to understand this.” People are frusterated but they are also inspired to see others criticizing what Obama is doing and there largest applause came when we said that millions of people need to stay in the streets until Bush, Cheney and all war criminals are prosecuted and sent to jail for war crimes. People also expected to be more college students from the student strikes but this did not translate. One young woman said, “Maybe they are not coming out because this doesn’t affect them directly.” The approach some of the organizers had was to try to show that the war affecting students directly by building for the action by saying money for education not for war and occupation, thinking that would convince them to come out. However, what was compelling those who wanted to stop the war and have consistently been out in the streets have been those who have an understanding about what the reality of these wars are, the atrocities that are committed against the people in Iraq & Afghanistan and seeing that these are a part of wars for empire.

This is what needs to be brought out to people. One student said, “ If somebody could convince us that these wars are wrong, who’s to say we can’t convince the world.”

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Why I Am Not Disappointed in Obama

March 7, 2010

Don’t groan just yet.  Some of you might be expecting me to say one of the many defenses of the Obama administration.  Give him some time, He has to clean up the mess that Bush left ,  He has a lot on his plate, We can’t just leave Iraq and Afghanistan.. blah blah blah….

But no, I don’t think and didn’t think any of these things. Not because I am a skeptic or because I  think Obama is just another politician.  But because from the very beginning The World Can’t Wait soberly confronted reality when many other organizations either couldn’t or wouldn’t.

From World Can’t Wait’s call  in 2005

” There is not going to be some savior from the Democratic Party. This whole idea of putting our hopes and energies into “leaders” who tell us to seek common ground with fascists and religious fanatics is proving every day to be a disaster, and actually serves to demobilize people”

Fast forward 5 years later, enter the teabag movement and the lack of opposition from the those that oppose the endless wars of aggression, torture and war crimes.  World Can’t Wait originally brought the message that the only way to stop the  crimes of our government  was through an independent mass movement of resistance that broke out of the framework of politics as usual and appealing to the powers that be. We are taking on all the crimes of our government because we understood from the beginning  that these crimes were much to0 deep and fundamental to the  empire to  fight one at a time.

We were in the streets of DC at Obama’s Inaguration to reach the tens of thousands of people who hated what was being done under Bush, dreamed of a better world and to tell them the truth about what Obama was actually going to do.

After the elections, we have been poised for the disappointment that people would feel once Obama sent his surge into Afghanistan, left Guantanamo open and continued the permanant occupation of Iraq and never gave up on our mission and the  possiblity to stop these crimes through a mass independent movement of resistance. We need to reach many more people with the message, ” Time to shake off paralysis and complicity and act in a way that is so visible and powerful that it can be seen all over the world.”

World Can’t Wait is an organization that is willing to and can lead people to do this. We need to reach the millions of people that are out there who didn’t get our message before the election, to those who weren’t ready to hear and to those who are now waking up. We need to fight to bring forward a competiting moral authority that is not made up of racists and religious teabaggers.   This is something that Obama never claimed to do and something that the Democratic party will never do. This is something that World Can’t Wait IS pledging to do.

I am currently unemployed but I am sustaining World Can’t Wait at $25 a month to make sure that World Can’t Wait can grow as a force in this country and around the world. It is true that times are tough for lots of us but they are bound to get tougher for people everywhere if there is no resistance to the killing of abortion doctors, expansion of wars for empire, the legalization of torture, the planet on the brink of diasaster and the danger of the growing facist right wing movement.

We do not have to live this way, the world does not have to be this way but we must sacrifice and take responsiblity for the kind of world that we want to live in now!

World Can’t Wait needs 240 supporters to donate monthly to support our whole national operation.

Become a Sustainer today! http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1170/t/3716/content.jsp?content_KEY=6860

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Focus On The Family is a Group of Thugs and Theocrats

February 8, 2010

So the much debated, highly controversial Tim Tebow ad aired today. The ad begins with Tim’s mother entering, friendly music playing and talking about how happy she is that she had her son. She refers to Tebow as “her miracle baby” You see that the most precious thing about her is the fact that she is a mother. Then Tim Tebow tackles her and she laughs and says, ” Timmy, I’m trying to tell a story from her.” At the end of the ad, it says Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.

On twitter, people have been commenting that either the commercial was a dud or ” I hope people feel silly for making such a big deal about the Tebow commercial.”

The outrage over this commercial by women’s organizations everywhere is legitimate and frankly should have been made more visible with the message abortion on demand and without apology.

Don’t be fooled. Under the guise of love and family, the anti-abortion, anti-gay Christian Fascist movement has made great strides towards a theocracy. The hold power at the highest levels of government…. They have billion of dollars in funding from faith based initiaves… .. and when they have mobilized a facist, hateful base that thinks that women should be the property of men….. Where do they get their morality? Just look carefully at their website, from the literal interpretation of the bible. Let me give you a sample of some of the biblical scripture that these people take as the undisputed word of God. Go ahead, ask them if they believe that everything in the bible should be carried out literally and they will tell you yes. Show them these parts of the bible and they will say, yes they take it as the word of God. Make no mistake about it, this movement is dangerous and they need to be opposed.

For more on this watch this youtube clip with abortion provider  Dr. Susan Wicklund, who faces harrasment and threats from this movement daily  and Sunsara Taylor, writer for Revolution Newspaper Abortion, Morality and The Liberation of Women

From the Focus on the Family website.

“Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry that helps build thriving marriages that reflect God’s design, and equips parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles. ”

Here is where they take their morality about family:

Gen 3:16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in

childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will

be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

CO 7:2The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband”

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 If a man have a stubborn and

rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the

voice of his mother, and [that], when they have chastened him, will not

hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on

him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate

of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our

son [is] stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; [he is] a

glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him

with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you;

and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

This is not the kind of morality people need or should be forced to live by. And frankly, most people do not understand the truth of what these people are about. What kind of world do we want and need, one rooted in the liberation of women and the emancipation of humanity or one rooted in biblical  literalist morality ? You can’t have both and so far, the only morality that is visible, mobilized and given a platform DURING THE FUCKING SUPERBOWL  is the later. The future is unwritten, which one we get is up to us.

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Lots Wrong With Tebow Anti Abortion Ad

February 7, 2010

On Super Bowl Sunday, invite your friends over, pop some popcorn, and watch this new film, *Abortion, Morality, and the Liberation of Women!* Turn off CBS (Commercially Broadcasting Sexism) and tune into a powerful discussion from the front-lines of the struggle for abortion rights.

*Abortion, Morality, and the Liberation of Women* provides a refreshing, uncompromising perspective on the scientific facts of abortion, the morality of abortion rights, and the need for women’s liberation. It features Susan Wicklund, MD, author of “This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor” and Sunsara Taylor, writer for Revolution newspaper. Truly, this is something to jump off the couch and cheer for!

For more info: go to World Can’t Wait’s website

Watch on Youtube!

Anti-Woman, Anti-Abortion Super Bowl Ad

Letter from a reader to Revolution Newspaper:

In his new talk, “Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution,” Bob Avakian states that “The question of the status—the oppression and the struggle for the liberation—of women is objectively coming to the forefront in today’s world and posing itself ever more profoundly and acutely.” We can see this in the controversy that is swirling around the Super Bowl anti-abortion ad that is being funded to the tune of $2.5 million by the Christian Fascist group Focus on the Family with University of Florida football All-American and 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow.

Tebow has become the poster boy for the Christian Fascists and is arguably the most well-known college athlete in the past several decades. As much as he is known for his exploits on the playing field, he is also known for inscribing Bible verses on the eye black he wears for the games. In the 2008 national championship game, he had “John 3:16” written under his eyes.

Tebow will join his mother in sending an anti-abortion message to millions of CBS viewers on February 7, Super Bowl Sunday. We have not seen the ad, but we can guess that this message will be that abortion is immoral (and by extension, should be banned).

Tim Tebow and his family have been involved in Christian evangelism for years and they play a major role in the Christian Fascist movement. His father, Bob, runs the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Foundation and he helped start the Campus Crusade for Christ at the University of Florida in 1966. The men in the Tebow family have been in leading positions of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes since 1976. Tim’s mother, Pam Tebow, is the daughter of an army colonel, and along with her husband was a missionary in the Philippines for a number of years. In a keynote speech in conjunction with the 2008 “iTell” State Evangelism Conference, she told women “God gives us a manual [the Bible] for our lives.” Bob Avakian in Away With All Gods! chronicles the extremely oppressive relations and beliefs that are upheld in Pam Tebow’s “manual”—one of them being slavery.

There has been opposition to this ad, including from women’s organizations that point to the fact that CBS refused to run a Super Bowl ad in 2004 from the United Church of Christ that promoted an open door policy for gays in their church. How convenient that CBS changed their policy just in time to run this ad.

But beyond the hypocrisy here, the fundamental point of opposition should not be “equality” for every view or not allowing athletes to have a political voice. The point is that what is being put forward with this ad is wrong and is a horror for women all around the world and it’s being run in the U.S., where a woman is beaten by her partner every 15 seconds and three women are killed every day by possessive lovers and abusive husbands. Plain and simple, this ad is a continuation of the oppression and hatred of women that gets played out every minute in this country and throughout the world. This ad is for all those who support the cold-blooded, calculated murder of abortion doctor George Tiller. Fuck this ad and anyone who has anything to do with it! We should drown this ad out with our demand for “Abortion on Demand Without Apology!”

On Friday, January 29, the Michael Slate Show (radio KPFK LA) devoted a segment to this anti-abortion ad, interviewing Amanda Marcotte who has written an article, “What Does Football Have to Do With Abortion Again?” In this article, Marcotte writes, “If these women weren’t given the right to choose, they would be reduced to walking uteruses, whose feelings and choices are essentially irrelevant.”

In taking on the Christian Fascists and their anti-abortion campaign, the centerfold in issue #166 of Revolution, uses science to prove that a fetus is not a baby and that it does not become a human being until it is born and takes its first breath.

We need a movement in this country that brings into being what is portrayed on the Revolution t-shirt that on the front has the 1968 Olympic athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos with their fists in the air and states, “We Need a Lot More Of This…” and on the back is a football player pointing to the “heavens,” and states, “…Not This!”

Abortion on demand and
without apology!
Women are not incubators!
Abortion is not murder!

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Mistrial!

January 28, 2010

(The battle continues to DROP THE CHARGES! See below for information on how to donate to this case)

Hi Everyone,
Maggie Lawless here, filling in for Emma. I wanted to let people know what happened at court today, so here’s a brief rundown:

The Port Military Protest trial ended today with the judge declaring a mistrial due to juror misconduct. The misconduct? A juror in the case had contact with a witness for the prosecution outside of the courtroom after being instructed by the judge not to do so. The juror? A corrections officer for the Tacoma jail. The witness? A Tacoma police officer who had just testified about arresting the protesters. This was outrageous, and the judge was forced to call a mistrial.

So the trial has been re-scheduled for April 20th (readiness hearing is on April 16th). The judge has agreed to allow the “necessity defense”. The rationale behind the necessity defense is that sometimes, in a particular situation, a technical breach of the law is more advantageous to society than the consequence of strict adherence to the law. The defense is often used successfully in cases that involve a Trespass on property to save a person’s life or property. It also has been used, with varying degrees of success, in cases involving anti-nuclear or anti-war protests. During the 1980s, for example, the Necessity Defense was used by protesters who blocked trains (called “White Trains” because they were painted white to keep their radioactive contents cool) carrying nuclear warheads to military bases in the U.S. The rationale was that the danger of nuclear war far outweighed any trespassing or blocking of the trains. One infamous example of a ‘White Train” action was in the 1980s, when anti-war activist and Vietnam veteran Brian Wilson was hit by a “white train” during an action at the Concord Munitions Depot in California.
(For more on Brian’s story, go to: http://www.fatherjohndear.org/articles/road_to_transformation.htm )Many of us -including myself- were active in this movement, and this incident was a sobering example of the tremendous responsibility we all take when we participate in political protest.

Emma will have more to say on the “necessity defense” and more as the trial goes forward.

As I’m writing this, I am absorbing the sad news that Howard Zinn has died. I was thinking that a lot of the activists and their supporters in that courtroom today were influenced in some way by his “People’s History of the United States”. Howard was a tremendously committed and courageous resister whose exposure of the REAL history of this country has illuminated the dark and gory corners of this imperialist nightmare we live in.

So I’m raising my fist in the air to Howard’s memory tonight.

Maggie

THIS CASE IS NOT OVER, SO WE CONTINUE TO SAY:
Protesting Against Military Strykers Is No Crime! Drop the Charges on Patti Imani and Emma Kaplan! Prosecute War Criminals Not Anti-War Protesters!

CONTRIBUTE TO PORT PROTESTERS LEGAL DEFENSE FUND. Write checks to PO Legal Defense Fund. Mail to PO BOX 295 Olympia, WA 98507

Donate online!


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I Will Never Get Used To Living In A Torture State

January 11, 2010

In less than one year in office, Barack Obama has firmly established the continuation of Bush regime domestic, foreign and economic policy. While Guantanamo is unseen, Illinois is right in the middle of the United States. None of us can now claim absolution from our government sin. Obama and his supporters have made us all accomplices. The ongoing Guantanamo crime now belongs to the Nobel Peace Prize winner and to every American citizen.” - Margaret Kimberly, editor at the Black Agenda Report

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Tomorrow is the anniversary of Guantanamo and I can’t believe that is has been 8 years.

8 years of waterboarding.

8 years of indefinite detention.

8 years of isolation.

8 years of being force fed.

8 years of sleep deprivation.

8 years of a disconnect between the innocent people being tortured and the American people who’s government continues to  carry this out in the name of their safety. A whole generation of young people have been trained to think that nothing is too sadistic, cruel or brutal when it comes to “saving american lives.”

I remember the first time I watched the Bush Crimes Commission footage and called my mother crying, telling her, “ Our government is torturing innocent people. We have to do something about this.”

The next day at work, I started spreading orange to co-workers telling them about Guantanamo and why they should wear orange, to declare their opposition to this and to bring forward a competiting legitimate moral authority to oppose it. People took it up.

8 years later, progressive people even on this site have told me to stop protesting, torture is behind us and some people still say that we need to give Obama a chance.

8 years later, Guantanamo remains open. These torture chambers are being expanded in Afghanistan and now possible Illinois. Hundreds of secret CIA blacksites stay active around the world. I didn’t vote for Obama but I am going to take responsibility to stop the crimes of the empire that I live in and  that he is commander in chief of.  If you voted for Obama, are you ready to take responsibility for his complicity or will you end up becoming more like what Obama actually is? Complicit with torture. Are you going to do what is comfortable, pretend like the Bush nightmare is over or are you going to stand up with the people of the world and resist?

8 years later, I am not accepting this, forgetting about it and neither should you.

This month, World Can’t Wait and Witness Against Torture are planning actions to Shut Down Guantanamo and Stop Torture on  Jan 11- 22.  Learn more at www.worldcantwait.org

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