Major Mobilization Set for April 29th – NYC

Major Mobilization Set for April 29th

A war based on lies

Spying, corruption and attacks on civil liberties
Katrina survivors abandoned by government

MARCH FOR PEACE,
JUSTICE AND DEMOCRACY

End the war in Iraq –
Bring all our troops home now!

SATURDAY, APRIL 29, 2006
NEW YORK CITY

Unite for change – let’s turn our country around!

The times are urgent and we must act.

Too much is too wrong in this country. We have a foreign policy that is foreign to our core values, and domestic policies wreaking havoc at home. It’s time for a change.

No more never-ending oil wars!

Protect our civil liberties & immigrant rights. End illegal spying, government corruption and the subversion of our democracy.

Rebuild our communities, starting with the Gulf Coast. Stop corporate subsidies and tax cuts for the wealthy while ignoring our basic needs.

Act quickly to address the climate crisis and the accelerating destruction of our environment.
Our message to the White House and to Congress is clear: Either stand with us or stand aside!

We are coming together to march, to vote, to speak out and to turn our country around!

Join us in New York City on Saturday, April 29th

Details at http://april29.org/

[Editor’s Note: Traprock endorses the march. Yet we are disappointed that, again, UFPJ and International A.N.S.W.E.R. were planning in a vacuum, apparently unaware of each other’s plans. ANSWER was planning for a march in DC on the exact same date, it said, before UFPJ announced it’s planned march in NYC. ANSWER wisely, at that point, decided not to compete with the UFPJ call and instead decided to join the UFPJ march (no reference to ANSWER on the UFPJ site; no surprise, as UFPJ leadership had publicly announced it would no longer work with ANSWER.). Another annoyance – UFPJ is supposed to be a national coalition that honors grassroots participation by its members, but its members were generally kept in the dark about the march plans. Then it makes the call, with a short list of initiators – many of whom are members of UFPJ. What about the rest of UFPJ’s members? Is this OUR coaltion? The whole thing strikes me as exclusionary, and, to this editor’s mind, part of an effort to pump up favored organizations at the expense of others. Nothing against the favored organizations, but the whole thing strikes me as cliqish. Thus, I am not listing the march “initiators.” To the extent that it’s UFPJ’s call, then it’s a call by their members, “dammit.” These are my personal thoughts, and do not necessarily represent the thinking of anyone else at Traprock. Charlie Jenks]

VY protesters stage 24-hour vigil

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[Please note: We usually do not publish the entire article; rather we a headline and lead with a link to the source. We reprinted this article as it pertains to a Traprock initiated action and hence is a part of our peace center’s history. Sunny Miller, Traprock’s Executive Director, is quoted below.]

original Brattleboro Reformer article.

VY protesters stage 24-hour vigil
By ANDY ROSEN, Reformer Staff

Tuesday, March 28
BRATTLEBORO — They started to show up around noon, and by 1 p.m., a small group of people opposed to nuclear energy in the region had gathered outside of the Entergy Vermont Yankee headquarters.

Don’t call them protesters, though, because this was not a protest, said participants, some of whom held posters and signs. It was a free speech demonstration, they said.
Sunny Miller of Deerfield, Mass., said she initiated the gathering as a forum to discuss the threat of a nuclear accident. She expected to stay outside of the plant for 24 hours, until noon today.

Brattleboro Police came by the area after 3 p.m., but the demonstrators said they were ultimately allowed to stay, so long as they did not disrupt traffic.

According to Miller, the demonstration differed from a typical protest in that not designed to promote a particular point of view. Instead, it was an attempt to promote dialogue about the issues surrounding nuclear power.

“I believe that the most important thing we have to do is talk about this problem so we can solve it together,” she said.

The demonstration was staged just outside of the headquarters, on a grassy area by the side of Old Ferry Road. Miller said she believed that area was a public right of way and the group was free to gather there.

Though Miller acknowledged that such a demonstration could be held anywhere, she thought this was a fitting location, because it might encourage people, including employees and executives, to stop and talk.

Protesters have been gathering monthly at Entergy’s headquarters since last fall. Most demonstrations have ended in arrests, but so far the state has dropped all charges against protesters.

She said she expected most people who showed up to be opponents of nuclear power, but she was hoping for some who support it to show up.

“I’d certainly welcome the dialogue,” said fellow demonstrator Bob McCormick of Leverett, Mass.

Miller said she wanted to talk to Entergy spokesman Rob Williams, and give him the opportunity to put her mind at ease. “If I’m wrong about this history of problems,” Miller said, “I’d like to know about it.”

Later in the day, she said she was not able to make contact with Williams, and hadn’t spoken with him.

Williams said he would not comment about whether or not he’d speak with protesters.

Those who attended said they’d like to see an independent safety assessment of Vermont Yankee, which might bring up previously unknown issues.

They also opposed the ongoing 20 percent uprate at the plant, saying it is dangerous and its effects are unknown.

If demonstrators are successful in lasting 24 hours, they’ll be at the headquarters when a group of protesters arrive after a planned march from downtown Brattleboro tomorrow.

That march will be set up to commemorate the 27th anniversary of a nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.

Lou Waronker, of Brattleboro, was at Monday’s demonstration, and said he’ll be marching today as well.

Waronker said he remembers hearing that there was almost no chance of a nuclear accident when plants like Vermont Yankee first opened in the early 1970s. Three Mile Island showed the world that such mishaps are possible, he said.

“It makes me committed to continue to work for the end of nuclear power,” he said.

Even if plants could be made 100 percent safe, he said there’s still the question of what to do with nuclear waste.

Waronker mentioned that he opposes dry cask storage at the facility in Vernon.

Andy Rosen can be reached at arosen@reformer.com

Entergy says it’s ready to power boost at Vermont Yankee

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Entergy says it’s ready to power boost at Vermont Yankee

http://www.vermontguardian.com/dailies/032006/032806.shtml

BRATTLEBORO — After completing an analysis of vibrations detected when Vermont Yankee boosted power earlier this month, Entergy Nuclear said it is ready to increase power production by another 5 percent.

In a 27-page document filed Monday with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Entergy claims its analysis and improved models show further problems should not occur either prior to, or at, the next power boost level.

The power uprate has been stalled at 105 percent since March 4, after excess vibrations on one of the plant’s main steam lines exceeded acceptable levels. VY operators sent the data from gauges on the line to General Electric, the company that built the 535-megawatt reactor.

“Unacceptable steam dryer performance is a condition that could challenge structural integrity and result in the generation of loose parts, cracks or tears in the steam dryer that result in excessive moisture carryover,” Entergy officials said in their filing with the NRC.

The NRC will now review Entergy’s evaluation to determine if the plant can safely increase production.

“We will now evaluate the submittal, something we expect to take several days to a week,” said Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the NRC, in an e-mail to the Guardian.

Company officials have said they are committed to safety, and will not increase power further until it can be done safely. Entergy has invested an estimated $60 million in uprate modifications at the Vernon reactor, and stands to earn an estimated $20 million in annual profits from the sale of increased power, according to state officials.

Posted March 28, 2006

House Bill text – it would require the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to conduct an Independent Safety Assessment of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

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We thought you might be interested in reading the text of the bill NY’s Rep. Maurice Hinchey introduced in the House of Representatives on behalf of New Yorkers. Where are Vermont’s champions? (Sally Shaw)

Sally Shaw
The New England Coalition
802-257-0336

..Home


http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/C?c109:./temp/~c109Mi03Rp

HR 4891 IH

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4891

To require the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to conduct an Independent Safety Assessment of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 7, 2006

Mr. HINCHEY (for himself, Mr. SHAYS, Mrs. LOWEY, Mr. ENGEL, and Mrs. KELLY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

A BILL

To require the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to conduct an Independent Safety Assessment of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. INDEPENDENT SAFETY ASSESSMENT.

Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission shall transmit to the Congress a report containing the results of–

(1) a focused, in-depth Independent Safety Assessment of the design, construction, maintenance, and operational safety performance of the systems at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, Reactors 2 and 3, located in Westchester County, New York, including the systems described in section 2; and

(2) a comprehensive evaluation of the radiological emergency plan for Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, Reactors 2 and 3, conducted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Homeland Security, which shall include–

(A) a detailed explanation of the factual basis upon which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency relied in–

(i) approving the radiological emergency plan; and

(ii) making subsequent annual findings of reasonable assurance that the plan will adequately protect the public in the event of an emergency,

beginning on July 25, 2003 and continuing to the present; and

(B) a detailed response to each of the criticisms of the radiological emergency plan contained in the Review of Emergency Preparedness of Areas Adjacent to Indian Point and Millstone, published by James Lee Witt Associates on January 10, 2003.

SEC. 2. SYSTEMS.

The systems referred to in section 1(1) are the following:

(1) The reactor protection system.

(2) The control room ventilation system and the containment ventilation system.

(3) The 4.16 kv electrical system.

(4) The condensate system.

(5) The spent fuel storage system.

SEC. 3. INDEPENDENT SAFETY ASSESSMENT MODEL.

The Independent Safety Assessment conducted at Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant shall be equal in depth and breadth to the Independent Safety Assessment of the Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, located near Bath, Maine, conducted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1996.

Free the Cuban 5

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The Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5
http://www.freethecuban5.com
FreethecubanFIVE@hotmail.com
Free the Cuban 5 Hotline: 718-601-4751

******************************************************************************
Download our February 2006 newsletter:
http://www.freethecuban5.com/JF5February2006.pdf

******************************************************************************
The Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5 is calling on all freedom
loving people to support this new initiative to grant the families of the
Cuban 5 visas to visit them.

Due to the U.S. government’s denial to approve visas, Gerardo Hernandez
Nordelo’s wife and daughter have not seen him in six years. Also, Rene
Gonzalez Sehwerert has not seen his wife and daughter in 4 years. Others in
the Cuban 5 have not seen their parents, wives and children with regularity,
because the U.S. government has taken prolonged periods of time to issue
them visas.

The Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5 needs your help in
pressuring Louise Arbour, the High Commissioner of Human Rights of the
United Nations Office of Geneva, so she can intercede in this matter and
request the U.S. government grant visas to the family members of the Cuban
5.

We need you to sign the petition below and to mail out a letter to Luoise
Arbour!!

SIGN THE FOLLOWING PETITION:
http://www.petitiononline.com/Cuban5/petition.html

Download our letter to Louise Arbour and MAKE SURE TO MAIL IT TO THE ADDRESS
ON THE TOP OF THE LETTER. MIALING IT IS IMPORTANT!! IT HELPS SHOW THAT
THERE MANY PEOPLE IN SUPPORT OF THIS CAMPAIGN:

http://www.freethecuban5.com/PEPLetterGeneva.pdf

PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO EVERYONE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOX!! THE CUBAN 5 NEED US
TO BUILD THIS MASS MOVEMENT!!

Join Global Exchange Peace Delegations to Jordan, Syria and Iran

Global Exchange Peace Delegation to Jordan and Syria
June 12-21, 2006

Join peace and justice activists from around the U.S. on a delegation to Iraq’s western neighbors, Jordan and Syria. Meet with Iraqis to hear their first-hand accounts of conditions in Iraq, how they view American occupation, their views how to end it, and what they think of the prospects for reconciliation in post-occupation Iraq. Learn about the political situation in both Jordan and Syria by meeting with academics, activists, business people, clerics, and diplomats, hearing their various views on Americans and the role of our government and corporations in their lands. The delegation will also meet with Palestinian refugees to examine their lives in both countries. We will also visit ruins, spend time under the desert stars and see Petra, Jordan’s stunning ancient city
carved in red rock.

Cost for this delegation is $1450 including all accommodation in twin rooms, two meals/day, in-country transportation, program activities, guides and translation. Fundraising materials and a few partial scholarships are available. Contact Ladan Sobhani at 415-575-5528 or email ladan@globalexchange.org for more information.

——————————————————–

Global Exchange Delegation to Iran:
History, Architecture, Culture
June 10-23, 2006

Global Exchange has been sending American travelers to Iran since 2000, and through these tours we hope to demystify and contextualize the negative images of Iran, while shedding some light on the many contradictions and realities of life in the Islamic Republic. Now more than ever, as the heated debate on the “Iran Question” continues in Washington and on the world stage, it is crucial for Americans to understand Iran’s vibrant society and its many complex facets. In addition to exploring the richness of Iranian history and culture among the ancient ruins of the Persian Empire, we meet with non-governmental organizations and ordinary Iranians in order to gain a better understanding of this country.

We invite you to join us this June 10-23, 2006 on the upcoming delegation to Iran. Cost is $2100 and includes all meals, double room accommodations, transportation, entrance fees and program activities, qualified guide and trip leader, and visa assistance. International airfare is not included. For a copy of the itinerary or for more information on how to register for this trip please contact Ladan Sobhani at 800-497-1994 x 251 or email ladan@globalexchange.org. Please visit our website for program highlights http://www.globalexchange.org/tours/612.html

To read an article by a past participant on a Global Exchange tour to Iran visit:
http://www.globalexchange.org/tours/news/1558.html

——————————————————–

What is Global Exchange?
Global Exchange is a non-profit human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic, political and environmental justice around the world.

Earn academic or professional growth units for participation on one of these delegations!
Students and teachers can earn academic and professional grown units for participating on a Global Exchange delegation or tour. Visit our website for more information: http://www.globalexchange.org/tours/accreditation.html

For a full list of Global Exchange peace delegations and Reality Tours to countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, please visit our website:
http://www.globalexchange.org/tours/byCountry.html

Condoleezza Rice – WAR CRIMINALS NOT WELCOME HERE and more

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From STOP THE WAR COALITION NEWSLETTER
No 2006/6: March 27
Email office@stopwar.org.uk
Telephone 020 7278 6694
Stop the War Coalition website

1) WAR CRIMINALS NOT WELCOME HERE
3) BBC SAYS “WHAT MARCH?”
7) NAMING THE DEAD: MASS CIVIL-DISBEDIENCE

1) WAR CRIMINALS NOT WELCOME HERE
“The most unwelcome visit to Liverpool since Oswald Mosley came here in the
1930s”, is how the mass circulation Liverpool Echo newspaper describes
Condoleezza Rice’s visit to the city on Friday 31 March, organised for her
by UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. Oswald Mosley was the leader of the
British fascist party, the BUF. Condeleezza Rice, George Bush’s Secretary of
State, is one of the architects of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and
directly implicated in the horrific levels of death and destruction
inflicted on those countries.

Anti-war activists in Liverpool and in Blackburn are outraged by her visit
and have organised demonstrations on 31 March and 1 April. Support for these
demonstrations is being called from across the country and already transport
has been organised to bring protestors from London, Manchester, Bradford,
Leeds and Sheffield.

Mark Holt, chairman of Merseyside Stop the War Coalition, which is
organising the Liverpool demonstration on 31 March, says, “They want to make
this some wonderful cultural events to show off the City of Culture.
But we say it would be a better way to show off the City of Culture by
saying no to this visit in remembrance of the Iraqi culture, which lies in
rubble or in the fires still burning in the Middle East. Condoleezza Rice
and Jack Straw must not be allowed to parade as connoisseurs of culture when
they have destroyed so many lives and so much culture. They are not welcome
here.”

The campaign against Rice’s visit to Liverpool is already having an impact.
She is due to be entertained on Friday by the Liverpool Philharmonic
Orchestra. Following protests by the local anti-war movement, the well-known
Liverpool poet Roger McGough, who was due to compere the performance, has
now withdrawn. Members of the orchestra are being asked to boycott the event
in protest at US policies in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Alec McFadden,
president of Merseyside TUC, said: “The orchestra are all members of the
Musicians Union and we have asked them not to perform.”

The utterly shameless Jack Straw plans to take Condeleezza Rice to visit a
mosque in Blackburn, no doubt for a nauseating photo opportunity aimed at
countering the widespread revulsion and outrage expressed throughout the
Islamic world over the war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, which Rice has
been so instrumental in perpetrating.

Rice and Straw must be left in no doubt that this cynical media stunt is an
affront to the vast majority of British people who have consistently opposed
the war in Iraq. And it is a particular affront to the Muslim community,
following Tony Blair’s latest speech on foreign policy, in which he sought
to justify the “war on terror” by claiming that the enemies of
“civilisation” were to be found in Islam.

Blackburn Stop the War Coalition has called a demonstration for 12 noon on
Saturday 1 April. Stop the War’s organiser in Blackburn, Alex Martindale,
says, “We are determined she will see the protests and she will know she is
not welcome.”

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE PROTEST PLANS
The location of the Blackburn demonstration will be announced soon. A
special website called CondiWatch has been set up for the Liverpool and
Blackburn protests. TO KEEP UP TO DATE GO TO:
http://www.condiwatch.co.uk/
Information also available at:
http://www.stopwar.org.uk

BOOK YOUR SEAT ON THE COACHES FROM OUTSIDE LIVERPOOL:
The organisers of the Liverpool demonstration are calling for support from
across the country. Coaches have already been booked to take protesters from
LONDON, MANCHESTER, BRADFORD, LEEDS and SHEFFIELD. For details of coaches
and how to book your ticket, go to:
http://www.stopwar.org.uk/new/Ricevisit2.htm

TO READ THE GUARDIAN REPORT ON THE WAR CRIMINALS NOT WELCOME HERE PROTESTS,
GO TO:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/antiwar/story/0,,1740367,00.html

**************************************************
3) BBC SAYS “WHAT MARCH?”
Dozens of people complained to the BBC that it had no coverage of the 18
March demonstration on its evening news bulletins. If you can stomach a BBC
TV news editor justifying this non-coverage, you can see his explanation
here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/newswatch/ukfs/hi/default.stm

The Stop the War office has received many calls and emails expressing
outrage at the BBC’s decision, particularly since on the morning of 18 March
Defence Secretary John Reid was given no end of air time to rubbish the
demonstration, claiming the marchers were only helping the “terrorists”,
without any opportunity allowed to the anti-war movement to respond to his
comments.

We’re not prepared to accept the BBC’s excuses for the non-coverage of a
demonstration which, on the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion, showed
that many tens of thousands refuse to be silent when crimes are being
committed in their name.

PROTEST AGAINST BBC NON-COVERAGE
There will be a lunchtime protest at BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place,
London W1A 1AA, from 1-2pm on Tuesday 4 April. We are also encouraging
local Stop the War groups to hold lunchtime protests outside regional BBC
offices. If there is a BBC office in your area, contact your local Stop the
War group for details of their protest.

PROTEST AT THE BBC
TUESDAY 4 APRIL 1-2PM
BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE,
PORTLAND PLACE, LONDON W1A 1AA
Supported by Media Workers Agains the War

THE PRINT MEDIA GUILTY TOO
Some national newspapers have also been prompted by readers’ complaints to
explain their reluctance to cover the 18 March demonstration appropriately.
Here is The Observer’s mealy mouthed justification for its conclusion that
Iraq news is no longer “fresh”!
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/foreignaffairs/comment/0,,1739987,00.html

**************************************************
7) NAMING THE DEAD: MASS CIVIL-DISBEDIENCE
A mass act of civil disobedience in Parliament Square has been called for
SUNDAY 2 APRIL 2006,12 NOON, PARLIAMENT SQUARE, when the names will be read
of 1,000 Iraqis who have died as a result of the invasion and occupation.
The protest will be demanding:
• an immediate end to the US/UK military occupation of Iraq
• massive reparations and debt cancellation so that Iraqis can rebuild their
country free from foreign interference
• prosecution of those responsible for war crimes

Protestors are asked to wear black if possible and come prepared for a long
ceremony and possible arrest, as this is an “unauthorised” demonstration
within 1km of Parliament. Under the new restrictions on protest contained in
the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (April 2005) participation in
such an event is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £1000.
There will be post action support from the organisers for anyone arrested.
FOR FURTHER DETAILS, GO TO:
http://www.voices.netuxo.co.uk/namingthedead.htm

A new movement for immigrant rights takes to the streets

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A new movement for immigrant rights takes to the streets
“We want to be equal”
March 31, 2006

Ty Coronado, Sarah Knopp, Katie Miller and Avery Wear report from LA on the massive immigrant rights march.

A SLEEPING giant awoke March 25 in Los Angeles as some 1 million people marched to protest anti-immigrant legislation that would make criminals out of tens of millions of people.

The LA demonstration was the largest in a recent string of protests for immigrant rights that have shaken the U.S. It was also probably the largest demonstration of any kind in the city’s history.

People of all races and nationalities, but most of all immigrants and their families, traveled from across Southern California and the Southwest to converge on downtown LA. Aerial photos of the area around LA’s City Hall showed huge seas of people stretching in several directions, as far as the eye could see. Everywhere, the streets were a mass of white–marchers wore white T-shirts to symbolize peace.

The marchers turned out to take a stand against legislation sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.)–and passed by the House in December–that would classify not only undocumented immigrants but anyone who assists them as “aggravated felons.”

The day before the big march, thousands of students staged walkouts from Los Angeles high schools. Sandra Lucano, a 10th grade student, said, “Even though administrators tried to have a lockdown, students were climbing the fences to protest and have their voices heard. Students want to keep organizing and fighting for immigrant rights.”

The Sensenbrenner bill, known as HR 4437, was the final insult that galvanized simmering anger here and across the country about the rise of the racist Minutemen vigilantes and the unprecedented number of deaths at the border due to the militarization of Operation Gatekeeper. Many signs read, “We are not terrorists. We are workers.”

Alfredo Rodriguez, a day laborer originally from Mexico City, traveled to the march from Arizona. He carried a sign reading, “The sleeping giant has woken up,” and a T-shirt that read, “Thank you, HR 4437, for reuniting us.”

Juan, an undocumented worker from Hidalgo, Mexico, marched with his young son and daughter. He said it felt good to see support from people of all nationalities, not just Latinos. “We are worth a lot,” Juan said. “We raise this country up. We’re not trying to be better than anyone else. We just want to be equal.”

Plinio Castro explained why he came to the U.S. “The treasury of Central America was taken by North Americans,” Castro said. “That is why we are poor, why there is unemployment, poverty and hunger.”

“We are against gangs, and we’re having a hard time economically–that’s why we’re here,” explained Mario Alberto Bautista, a 24-year-old construction worker from El Salvador. Castro added, “I’m here because I want to make a better life for my family.”

Bitterness at the hypocrisy of politicians and their victimization of minorities ran high. One protester held up a sign that read, “We take care of your kids, mow your lawns, and now we’re felons?”

The march added to the growing confidence of the struggle for immigrant rights on display at previous demonstrations, like Chicago on March 10, when as many as 300,000 people clogged the streets of downtown.

Like in Chicago, Democratic Party politicians spoke to the LA rally, and urged demonstrators to support “compromise” measures. LA’s Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a rising star in the Democratic Party, told the crowd that he is for an amnesty for undocumented immigrants, but also said, “We need to get behind Kennedy and McCain.”

But the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill that Villaraigosa was referring to doesn’t grant amnesty. On the contrary, it sets up a guest worker program and adds spending on border enforcement.

Maria Sanchez said a group that contributes so much to the U.S. economy deserves much better. “With this many people, we should demand legalization and amnesty,” Maria said.

Carlos, a community college student from San Bernadino, said, “This march isn’t just about illegal people. Look at all the Blacks and whites. They’re living terribly too. We all have to fight back.”

Since the Chicago demonstration, protests and marches have taken place in cities across the country, with the turnout surpassing organizers’ expectations in nearly every case.

In Milwaukee–the home to HR 4437 sponsor Sensenbrenner–some 30,000 immigrants and their supporters took the streets March 23 in a march that was billed as “A Day Without Latinos.”

In Phoenix, at least 20,000 marched to the offices of Arizona’s conservative Sen. Jon Kyl. “Everybody’s tired that people think we’re criminals,” said Demirel Montiel, who attended the march with his wife and three children. “If you drive, you’re a criminal. If you work, you’re a criminal. If you’re Mexican, you’re a criminal.”

In Denver, some 50,000 people gathered on March 25 to voice their opposition to anti-immigrant measures pushed by politicians such as Colorado’s own Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo.

Earlier in the week, protest organizers in Denver thought a couple hundred people would show up. But by 10:30 a.m., tens of thousands had gathered, and chants of “Si se puede” and “We are not criminals” rang out. A police spokesperson told the Denver Post that the protest “caught everybody off guard,” and that he had not seen a crowd as large since the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl win in 1999.

On the Monday after the LA march, hundreds of students walked out of school in San Diego as a response to congressional debate over immigration legislation. The walkouts took place at cities across the city–the students later came together for a demonstration outside San Diego Community College.

In California’s capital of Sacramento, on March 25, as many as 10,000 people protested, the majority of them Mexican Americans. The protest was organized by several groups, including the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, La Raza, MEChA and unions, including the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Service Employees International Union.

“People risk their lives to come over here to work and feed their families, not to harm people,” said Alicia Mendoza, who drove from Yuba City with her family to attend. “The majority want to follow the rules, as long as the rules are the same for everyone and not based on the color of your skin.”

In Atlanta, about 200 people turned out on the steps of the state capitol building to protest a bill passed by the Georgia House that would deny state services to undocumented immigrants–and impose a 5 percent surcharge on wire transfers from undocumented immigrants. Organizer Teodoro Maus told the Associated Press that as many as 80,000 Latinos responded to a call not to go to work on the day of the protest.

On March 26, as many as 1,000 people marched against HR 4437 in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood. Marchers beat drums and chanted, “Aqui estamos, y no nos vamos, y si nos echan, nos regresamos!” (“We’re here, we aren’t going anywhere, and if they kick us out, we’re coming back”)

“It’s really awesome that this movement is getting stronger,” said Marian Morell, from Iglesia San Romero de las Américas in Washington Heights and the Coalition in the Dominican Republic in Solidarity with the Haitian Community. “Hopefully, our movement will continue to grow and touch more working-class people. We shouldn’t have to be afraid to stand up. Those of us who aren’t afraid have to stand up for those who are, to help them to realize they don’t have to be afraid.”

Rev. Luis Barrios, of San Romero de las Américas, is calling for outright defiance of the law if it is passed. “If we can’t keep Congress from voting against this bill, religious leadership in the United States has the moral responsibility not only to protest this bill, but to refute it and violate it with acts of civil disobedience, because this law violates humanity and has nothing to do with national security,” he said.

Rhadamés Morales, one of the organizers of Sunday’s demonstration, said, “We are warming up for a fight that needs to be much larger, because this law isn’t just anti-immigrant, it’s promoting racism and terrorism against all human beings. This law ignores the fact that this country has been built by immigrant workers…Our next step should be to mount a massive protest in Washington, D.C., right on the steps of Congress.”

Hundreds protested in other cities, including Providence, R.I., where 200 people marched on Sen. Lincoln Chafee’s office in support of immigrant rights and against HR 4437 on March 22. More protests are set to take place, with a march planned in Boston and a rally in Washington, D.C. on March 27.

April 10 has also been called as a national day of action for immigrant rights, with organizers promising demonstrations in at least 10 cities.

Jeff Bale, Jim Bullington, Brian Chidester, Richard Greenblatt, Sarah Hines and Jenny Olsen contributed to this report.

We regularly feature lead articles from the Socialist Worker weekly newspaper, with their kind permission. The original article is located at http://www.socialistworker.org/2006-1/581/581_05_PriceOfEmpire.shtml

See the index of this week’s issue at http://www.socialistworker.org/Storylist.shtml

Why you should oppose McCain-Kennedy

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* The McCain-Kennedy bill will increase violence and death on the border, and punish undocumented workers.

* It is designed to supply cheap, non-union labor to Corporate America.

* It will block access to work, citizenship or residency for most migrants.

* It won’t change the deadly pattern of migration and segregation.

See entire article – an excellent set of talking points – at Socialist Worker online.

http://www.socialistworker.org/2006-1/582/582_05_McCain.shtml

VY protesters stage 24-hour vigil

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[Please note: We usually do not publish the entire article; rather we a headline and lead with a link to the source. We reprinted this article as it pertains to a Traprock initiated action and hence is a part of our peace center’s history. Sunny Miller, Traprock’s Executive Director, is quoted below.]

original Brattleboro Reformer article.

VY protesters stage 24-hour vigil
By ANDY ROSEN, Reformer Staff

Tuesday, March 28
BRATTLEBORO — They started to show up around noon, and by 1 p.m., a small group of people opposed to nuclear energy in the region had gathered outside of the Entergy Vermont Yankee headquarters.

Don’t call them protesters, though, because this was not a protest, said participants, some of whom held posters and signs. It was a free speech demonstration, they said.
Sunny Miller of Deerfield, Mass., said she initiated the gathering as a forum to discuss the threat of a nuclear accident. She expected to stay outside of the plant for 24 hours, until noon today.

Brattleboro Police came by the area after 3 p.m., but the demonstrators said they were ultimately allowed to stay, so long as they did not disrupt traffic.

According to Miller, the demonstration differed from a typical protest in that not designed to promote a particular point of view. Instead, it was an attempt to promote dialogue about the issues surrounding nuclear power.

“I believe that the most important thing we have to do is talk about this problem so we can solve it together,” she said.

The demonstration was staged just outside of the headquarters, on a grassy area by the side of Old Ferry Road. Miller said she believed that area was a public right of way and the group was free to gather there.

Though Miller acknowledged that such a demonstration could be held anywhere, she thought this was a fitting location, because it might encourage people, including employees and executives, to stop and talk.

Protesters have been gathering monthly at Entergy’s headquarters since last fall. Most demonstrations have ended in arrests, but so far the state has dropped all charges against protesters.

She said she expected most people who showed up to be opponents of nuclear power, but she was hoping for some who support it to show up.

“I’d certainly welcome the dialogue,” said fellow demonstrator Bob McCormick of Leverett, Mass.

Miller said she wanted to talk to Entergy spokesman Rob Williams, and give him the opportunity to put her mind at ease. “If I’m wrong about this history of problems,” Miller said, “I’d like to know about it.”

Later in the day, she said she was not able to make contact with Williams, and hadn’t spoken with him.

Williams said he would not comment about whether or not he’d speak with protesters.

Those who attended said they’d like to see an independent safety assessment of Vermont Yankee, which might bring up previously unknown issues.

They also opposed the ongoing 20 percent uprate at the plant, saying it is dangerous and its effects are unknown.

If demonstrators are successful in lasting 24 hours, they’ll be at the headquarters when a group of protesters arrive after a planned march from downtown Brattleboro tomorrow.

That march will be set up to commemorate the 27th anniversary of a nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.

Lou Waronker, of Brattleboro, was at Monday’s demonstration, and said he’ll be marching today as well.

Waronker said he remembers hearing that there was almost no chance of a nuclear accident when plants like Vermont Yankee first opened in the early 1970s. Three Mile Island showed the world that such mishaps are possible, he said.

“It makes me committed to continue to work for the end of nuclear power,” he said.

Even if plants could be made 100 percent safe, he said there’s still the question of what to do with nuclear waste.

Waronker mentioned that he opposes dry cask storage at the facility in Vernon.

Andy Rosen can be reached at arosen@reformer.com