War Signals – Ships Headed toward Iran

War Signals

by DAVE LINDORFF, The Nation

[posted online on September 21, 2006]

As reports circulate of a sharp debate within the White House over possible US military action against Iran and its nuclear enrichment facilities, The Nation has learned that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon have issued orders for a major “strike group” of ships, including the nuclear aircraft carrier Eisenhower as well as a cruiser, destroyer, frigate, submarine escort and supply ship, to head for the Persian Gulf, just off Iran’s western coast. This information follows a report in the current issue of Time magazine, both online and in print, that a group of ships capable of mining harbors has received orders to be ready to sail for the Persian Gulf by October 1.< As Time writes in its cover story, "What Would War Look Like?," evidence of the forward deployment of minesweepers and word that the chief of naval operations had asked for a reworking of old plans for mining Iranian harbors "suggest that a much discussed--but until now largely theoretical--prospect has become real: that the U.S. may be preparing for war with Iran." According to Lieut. Mike Kafka, a spokesman at the headquarters of the Second Fleet, based in Norfolk, Virginia, the Eisenhower Strike Group, bristling with Tomahawk cruise missiles, has received recent orders to depart the United States in a little over a week. Other official sources in the public affairs office of the Navy Department at the Pentagon confirm that this powerful armada is scheduled to arrive off the coast of Iran on or around October 21. See full article at The Nation

Peace event scheduled for Greenfield Common

Peace event scheduled for Greenfield Common

Recorder Staff
http://www.recorder.com/

GREENFIELD — As part of a nationwide effort to gain support for an immediate withdrawal of soldiers from Iraq, local peace activists are hosting a “Declaration of Peace” day Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., at the Town Common.

“It’s time for everyone to stand up and declare peace, however they want to do that,” said Mary McClintock, who started the Greenfield Peace Vigil, which has been held every Saturday on the common since September 2003.

The Declaration of Peace movement is seeking people who will pledge to do one or more of the following:

Call on the Bush administration and Congress to immediately withdraw all troops from Iraq without further deployments.
Urge Congressman John Olver to adopt a position to bring the troops home and establish a comprehensive withdrawal plan.
Participate in rallies, marches, demonstrations and other peaceful strategies.
Engage is nonviolent civil disobedience, in the tradition of Mohandas Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., if the U.S. plan for withdrawal is not established by March 27 next year.
The plan calls for pro-peace activities to continue on a regular basis until U.S. troops have been withdrawn from Iraq.

Traprock Peace Center will set up a row of tents on the common, which will contain memorials honoring the war dead and wounded from all nationalities.

“I think this effort is really newsworthy, because it is in 50 states,” said Traprock Executive Director Sunny Miller. “But rather than one mass action, the points of contact are so numerous when we take up contact within the local community.”

Miller and Charles Jenks, Traprock advisory board chairman, say they are advising people to take whatever action they choose for peace on a daily basis — whether it’s contacting government leaders or flying banners for peace.

“We’re insisting that Congress represent us, now that the majority of the U.S. population has come to understand this war is completely wrong,” said Miller.

Carlos Arrendondo of Jamaica Plain will bring a display to honor his son, Alex Arredondo, 20, who was killed in Najaf, Iraq, in 2004.

At 11 a.m., the public will be invited to make signs and banners, along with members of the weekly peace vigil on the common.

At noon, there will be a speak-out/sing-out, with a public signing of the Declaration of Peace.

Between 1 and 4 p.m. will be workshops on the following: “The History of Nonviolence, Finding Your Support Group, and Students Against War;” a “Give Peace a Chance” youth talent theater improvisation for peace, and “Who’s Hurt by War? How Do We Heal: A Poem to Heal By.”

Miller said participants are welcome to bring poems and songs to share, along with posters and artwork.

At 4:30 p.m., there will be a potluck dinner at the Second Congregational Church Parish Hall, followed by a “Sing for Justice” at 5:30 p.m. in the parish hall.

After sundown, there will be a candlelight vigil on the Common, followed by evening conversation, songs and late snacks.

At least 300 events are planned nationwide between Sept. 21 to Sept. 28 to encourage support for the peace declaration.

For more information, call Traprock Peace Center at: 773-7427.

Gonzales: ISPs must keep records on users

original article

Gonzales: ISPs must keep records on users

Attorney general, other witnesses ask Congress to force Internet service providers to follow customers’ activities.

By Declan McCullagh and Anne Broache
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: September 19, 2006, 5:32 PM PDT

WASHINGTON–Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday stepped up his efforts to lobby for federal laws requiring Internet providers to keep track of what their customers do online.

Gonzales asked senators to adopt “data retention” legislation that would likely force Internet providers to keep customer logs for at least a year or two. Those logs, often routinely discarded after a few months, are intended to be used by police investigating crimes.

ISP snooping time line

In events that were first reported by CNET News.com, Bush administration officials have said Internet providers must keep track of what Americans are doing online. Here’s the time line:

June 2005: Justice Department officials quietly propose data retention rules.

December 2005: European Parliament votes for data retention of up to two years.

April 14, 2006: Data retention proposals surface in Colorado and the U.S. Congress.

April 20, 2006: Attorney General Gonzales says data retention “must be addressed.”

April 28, 2006: Rep. DeGette proposes data retention amendment.

May 16, 2006: Rep. Sensenbrenner drafts data retention legislation–but backs away from it two days later.

May 26, 2006: Gonzales and FBI Director Mueller meet with Internet and telecommunications companies.

June 27, 2006: Rep. Barton, chair of a House committee, calls new child protection legislation a “highest priority.”

“This is a national problem that requires federal legislation,” Gonzales said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing. “We need to figure out a way to have ISPs retain data for a sufficient period of time that would allow us to go back and retrieve it.”

As the November election approaches, politicians have been devoting an unprecedented amount of attention to the topic of children, pornography and the Internet: At least three committees are holding hearings on the subject this week alone.

One committee even enlisted an outside-the-Beltway celebrity, basketball icon Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq appeared on videotape before the Senate Commerce Committee, and said: “I’ve seen images that make me very sad, I’ve seen images that make me very mad…Yeah, I’m mad, very mad, senator.” (O’Neal is a spokesman for the Safe Surfin’ Foundation, a federally funded nonprofit group.)

It’s unclear what the prospects are for mandatory data retention in Congress this year, or whether politicians will delay action until 2007. One senior House Republican drafted a bill (click for PDF) but then backed away from it, and a Democratic proposal (click for PDF) has not been voted on.

But with the Bush administration firmly behind the concept, and with state and local law enforcement lending a hand in the lobbying efforts and saying such mandates would help protect children, industry groups and privacy advocates may be hard-pressed to head off new regulations. During Tuesday morning’s appearance, for instance, Gonzales favorably cited a June letter (click for PDF) endorsing mandatory data retention that was signed by 49 attorneys general. The letter said: “It is clear that something must be done to ensure that ISPs retain data for a reasonable period of time.”

Myriad suggestions
Sen. John McCain, who presided over the afternoon hearing, scolded Internet companies who “were invited to participate and chose not to.” He said he would talk to Sen. Ted Stevens, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, about scheduling an additional hearing during which the companies would be grilled.

Montana Sen. Conrad Burns, a Republican, used the hearing to tout a proposal, now tacked onto a mammoth communications bill and awaiting a vote, that would require all sexually explicit Web content to be labeled as such and home pages of all sites to be free of such content.

That measure, he said, “will help children from unwittingly stumbling across these words and images online.”

Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, echoed Gonzales’ calls for ISPs to hang onto customer records. “Some companies have policies on retention, but they vary widely, are not implemented consistently, and frankly, most are too short to have meaningful prosecutorial value,” he said.

Data retention legislation could follow one of two approaches, and it’s not clear which is more likely.

One form could require Internet providers and perhaps social-networking sites and search engines to record for a year or two which IP address is used by which user. The other form would be far broader, requiring companies to record data such as the identities of e-mail correspondents, logs of who sent and received instant messages (but not the content of those communications), and the addresses of Web pages visited.

During a series of meetings that Justice Department officials have held with private companies–first reported by CNET News.com–officials have been ambiguous about how they want legislation worded, private-sector participants say. Companies involved have included AOL, Comcast, Google, Microsoft, Verizon Communications and trade associations.

Suggestions for congressional action at Tuesday afternoon’s hearing didn’t stop at data retention by private companies.

Sheriff Michael Brown, who heads an Internet Crimes Against Children task force in Bedford County, Va., called on Congress to ensure that any state, federal, local or educational institution that receives federal funding also conduct “appropriate transactional logging to allow the location of individuals that use that access in the exploitation of children.” He said in his testimony (click for PDF) that the government could not, “in good conscience,” make such demands of the private sector if it didn’t also do the same.

That concept–restrictions slapped on using federal funds–echoes a 2000 federal law called the Children’s Internet Protection Act. CIPA effectively forced schools and libraries to filter sexually explicit Web sites by tying that requirement to the receipt of federal funds, an approach the U.S. Supreme Court upheld as constitutional in 2003.

The concept of more federal laws was popular at Tuesday’s pair of hearings. Sharon Cooper, an adjunct professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina, urged politicians to require that all public-school health classes, from elementary to high school, teach “child sexual abuse prevention strategies as well as online and communication technology safety strategies.”

And Sen. Robert Bennett, a Utah Republican, suggested that the Justice Department create a successor to the widely criticized Meese Commission, a 1986 federal panel that claimed to document the harmful effects of pornography. “Isn’t it time we revisited the creation of an attorney’s general commission and update, if you will, the kind of things the Meese Commission prophesied would happen?” Bennett asked.

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives will have its own hearing on the Internet and child pornography.

‘Preservation’ vs. ‘retention’
At the moment, Internet service providers typically discard any log file that’s no longer required for business reasons such as network monitoring, fraud prevention, or billing disputes. Companies do, however, alter that general rule when contacted by police performing an investigation–a practice called data preservation.

A 1996 called the Electronic Communication Transactional Records Act regulates data preservation. It requires Internet providers to retain any “record” in their possession for 90 days “upon the request of a governmental entity.”

Because Internet addresses remain a relatively scarce commodity, ISPs tend to allocate them to customers from a pool based on whether a computer is in use at the time.

An IP address is a unique 4-byte address used to communicate with a device on a computer network that relies on the Internet Protocol. An IP address associated with CNET.com, for instance, is 216.239.113.101. (Two standard techniques used are the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet.)

In addition, Internet providers are required by another federal law to report child pornography sightings to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which is in turn charged with forwarding that report to the appropriate police agency.

When adopting its data retention rules, the European Parliament approved U.K.-backed requirements saying communications providers in its 25 member countries–several of which had enacted their own data retention laws already–must retain customer data for a minimum of six months and a maximum of two years.

The Europe-wide requirement applies to a wide variety of “traffic” and “location” data, including the identities of the customers’ correspondents; the date, time and duration of phone calls, voice over Internet Protocol calls, or e-mail messages; and the location of the device used for the communications. But the “content” of the communications is not supposed to be retained. The rules are expected to take effect in 2008.

Water Conference – UMASS – September 22-24

Our Communities, Our Water – Connecting the Local & the Global

CONFERENCE AGENDA, WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS & PRESENTERS

September 22-24, 2006

University of Massachusetts

Amherst, MA

CONFERENCE SUPPORTERS

Project Partners

•  Massachusetts Global Action

•  North American Alliance For Fair Employment

•  Alliance For Democracy

•  Food & Water Watch

•  Polaris Institute

•  Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

Sponsors

•  American Friends Service Committee – Cambridge

•  Council of Canadians

Endorsing Organizations

•  American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 93

•  ARISE for Social Justice

•  Boston Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador

•  Cambridge Alliance for Democracy

•  Coalition for a Strong United Nations

•  Concerned Citizens of Lee

•  Corporal Accountability International

•  Earth & Environment Department, Mount Holyoke College

•  Graduate Employee Organization/UAW Local 2322

•  Grassroots International

•  Greenfield Community College, Behavioral Sciences Department

•  Hands Off Our Water!/Lawrence

•  NH Sierra Club

•  NH Water Table

•  SAGE

•  Sierra Club – Atlantic

•  Traprock Peace Center

•  The Enviro Show on WXOJ-LP, 103.3FM

•  U. Mass, Social Thought and Political Economy Department

•  UNITE Local 2261

•  Vermonters for a Clean Environment

•  Western Mass AFSC

•  Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – Boston Chapter

•  Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – Save the Water Campaign

Friday, September 22, 2006
Time
Event
Location
5 p.m.
Registration Begins
Campus Center Auditorium (CCA)
6 p.m.
Opening Reception w/music, food, and drink (Public Welcome to attend)
CCA
7 p.m.
Keynote: (Public welcome to attend)
CCA

Moderator: Jonathan Leavitt

Speakers: Armando Flores (Center for Consumer Defense-El Salvador), Claudia Torrelli (Friends of the Earth, Uruguay), and Ray Rogers (Killer Coke Campaign)

Saturday, September 23, 2006 – Organizing Issues
Time
Event
Location
8:30 a.m.
Welcome & check in
CCA

•     Check in: give and get conference materials and review agenda
•     Water Barons Mapping of New England, NY, and Canada

9:30 a.m.
Plenary:  Corporate Assaults by Water Barons in New England & Why We Need to Mobilize
CCA
Moderator: Suren Moodliar (North American Alliance for Fair Employment)

Speakers:
•     Ruth Caplan (Alliance for Democracy)
•     Jonathan Leavitt (Massachusetts Global Action)

Plenary:  Global Water Struggles: Communities Resist Worldwide against Corporate Water Grabs

Speaker: Tony Clarke (Polaris Institute)

Saturday, September 23, 2006 – Workshops on Organizing Issues
Time
Event
Location
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
1. Pumping for Profit: Bottled and Bulk Water

A massive international marketing campaign by the big four beverage corporations to turn water into a designer food item is threatening the water supplies for communities world-wide and undermining public confidence in municipal water systems. Find out what happens when a bottled water company comes to town and what you can do about it.

Workshop Leaders:
•     Olivia Zink (Save our Groundwater)
•     Ruth Caplan (Alliance for Democracy)
•     Annette Smith (Vermonters for a Clean Environment)
TBA
2. Municipal Water Systems: Public Ownership, Private Ownership, & the Challenge of Public-Private Partnerships. Anatomy of a Winning Campaign.

What happens when your local water system is put up for sale? Who controls the town’s water? What can you do to challenge corporate control and keep your water supply locally owned and operated? In this workshop, we’ll learn the basic tools for challenging water privatization in your community–from a seasoned community activist, a water workers’ union president, and an experienced campaigner. Get ready to learn not only what, but how. From educating your neighbors to influencing local elected officials to talking with the media, learn from folks who have been there!

Workshop Leaders:
•     Jessica Roach (Food & Water Watch)
•     Deedee Consolati (Concerned Citizens of Lee)
•     Mike Esposito (Utility Workers of America, Local 423)
TBA
3. Public Trust and the Commons

What does it mean for water to be held in the public trust? How is this currently defined by state laws and court decisions? How can the concept of public trust be expanded by the broader concept of the commons? This workshop will include a hands-on weaving of the “Tapestry of the Commons”.

Workshop Leaders:
•     Bill McCann (Save Our Groundwater)
•     Nancy Price (Alliance for Democracy)
TBA

4. Water and Trade

How do NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO agreements like GATS, and other international trade agreements threaten democracy and the right to water for all people and nature? How does NAFTA relate to the Canada-US-Mexico Security and Prosperity Partnership and plans for massive infrastructure projects, such as the northeastern project called “Atlantica?”  How might such projects promote the export and import of water?  How can we work together across national borders to protect water resources and keep water services in the public sector?

Workshop Leaders:
•     Arnie Alpert (AFSC-NH)
•     Janet Eaton (Sierra Club-Canada)
TBA
5. Myths of Privatization

What are the myths that corporations use to control the dialogue around privatization? Learn the tools for understanding these myths and effectively countering them with your own organizing.

Workshop Leaders:
•     Karl Flecker (Polaris Institute)
•     Suren Moodliar (NAFFE)
TBA

Saturday, September 23, 2006 – Lunch Break – 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m
Lunch Onsite
Campus Center

1:00 p.m.
Keynote Address (Public Welcome to Attend)

Speaker: Francis Moore Lappe
CCA
1:45 p.m.
Plenary: Creative Organizing, Alliances & Base Building

What does it take to be successful?

Speakers:
•     Ward Morehouse, (POCLAD)
•     Gail Darrell (Barnstead)
•     Susan Howatt (Council of Canadians)
CCA

Saturday, September 23, 2006 – Workshops – 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
6. Local Initiatives for a Human Right to Water

Equitable access to sufficient, safe, affordable water (human right to water) is a key problem facing our communities, whether the water services are public or private. This workshop hopes to address the gap in the existing legal framework – neither Canada nor the US recognize the international obligation of the human right to water. Should communities establish local laws that will implement minimum rates for the “40-60 liters/day/person” right to water, a ban on water shutoffs, democratic participatory decision making for water rates (affordability), quality (safe water) within their utility? What might be effective strategies for a local initiative?

Workshop Leaders:
•     Patricia Jones (UUSC
•     Claudia Torrelli  (Friends of the Earth)
•     Susan Howatt (Council of Canadians)
•     Becky Smith (Clean Water Action)
TBA
7. Can’t Live Without, It So the Fight Is On! How Grassroots Social Movements Are Claiming Their Right to Land and Water

Water and Land are resources that we all can’t live without, but access to safe water and land to grow food is becoming increasingly unequal in our world today. In this interactive workshop, participants will look at the impact of global trade and neo-liberal policies on communities around the world and at examples of grassroots social movements in Haiti, the U.S., Brazil, Mexico and El Salvador are organizing to regain control over these vital resources.

Workshop Leaders:
•     Arnie Alpert (AFSC-NH)
•     Saulo Araujo and Jake Miller (Grassroots International)
•     Armando Flores (CDC- El Salvador)
TBA
8. Faith Communities and Water Roundtable

Water has been symbolic of life, blessings, spiritual cleansing in the writings and ceremonies of many faith communities throughout the world. Find out how some Faith communities are participating in a dialogue about protecting water. We will share stories about actions and programs in our faith communities in a roundtable format with help from several resource people who will serve as facilitators.

Workshop Leaders:
•     Zandra Rice (Corporate Accountability International)
•     Mary Ellen Foley (NH Water Table)
TBA

9. Taking on the Soft Drink/Bottled Water Giants

Learn about the International Coke Boycott and the ongoing work against both Pepsi and Nestle that is underway and how it connects directly to the issue of control of water as well as labor rights worldwide.

Workshop Leaders:
•     Karl Flecker (Polaris Institute)
TBA
10. New Paradigm Organizing: Communities Just Say NO to Corporations

Frustrated with regulations that let corporations pollute your community and planet? Some communities are taking a new approach to stop corporate predation and pollution in its tracks. Learn how communities in PA and NH are just saying NO.

Workshop Leaders:
•     Ruth Caplan (Alliance for Democracy)
•     Gail Darrell (Barnstead)
•     Bill McCann (Alliance for Democracy)
TBA

11. Preserving and Promoting the Strengths of Public Systems

Eighty-six percent of Americans get their water from publicly owned and operated utilities and have for many years – so we must be doing something right. Yet, public funds for water infrastructure are less available than they once were, leaving more and more communities open to offers of privatization.  In this workshop we will identify the old and new ways that citizens and water workers from Brazil to Washington, DC are ensuring universal access to clean and affordable water through public systems, including community control of public utilities, new strategies for accountability, sources for public financing, and strategies for more equity. Find out what you can do in your community to prevent privatization with positive alternatives for efficiently financing and managing water in the public interest.

Workshop Leaders:
•     Art Cohen (SANIPLAN)
•     Jessica Roach (Food & Water Watch)
TBA

Participatory Activity – 4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Have folks throw out the most exciting new ideas people heard during the day

Facilitators:
•     Doug Renick (Massachusetts Global Action)
•     Olivia Zink (Save our Groundwater)
CCA

Social Event at Northampton Center for the Arts – 7:00 p.m. (see below)

Sneak Previews of “Water Warriors” and “Water First” followed by Live Music w/ The Reagan Babies, plus Rob Skelton and Pitchfork, and RESISTDANCE

Special Guests:
•     Filmmakers Liz Miller & Amy Hart
Northampton Center for the Arts

Films that will be “Sneak Previewed” Saturday Night

Water First (Amy Hart) is an ongoing documentary film project about global water issues. The section shown at this event is set in Johannesburg South Africa where residents are protesting against the installation of pre-paid water meters. Many of the residents cannot afford to pay for water, much less to pay ahead. When they cannot pay, their water is shut off. Many residents claim their water was cut off despite the fact that they owe nothing. While the government official from the South African Department of Water And Forestry insists that the water is never cut off, since it goes against the constitutional rights of the people, we go into homes where the water has been shut off for over 3 months. In the streets, police threaten to shoot at the chanting crowd – but they stand strong and are willing to die for the sake of clean water.

Water Warriors (Liz Miler) Water Warriors, is the story of one community’s determination to fight the seemingly inevitable path of privatization. The film will capture up close the passionate and determined players in this dramatic conflict: seasoned community organizers, local workers, corporate managers pleading for efficiency; and local government officials, torn between state directives and citizens needs.

Highland Park, U.S.A. was once the center of a thriving car industry and the birthplace of Henry Ford’s assembly line. Today the city is on the verge of financial and physical collapse and as a result is under a state take over. A team of corporate emergency managers have been appointed to get the city out of its financial crisis and to do this they have raised water rates, attached unpaid bills to property taxes, and are looking to privatize the community’s remaining valuable resource – the water plant.

These measures have resulted in an unprecedented number of water shut offs and residents are at risk of losing their homes and their voice in what happens to this public resource. For the residents of Highland Park the threat of water privatization is simply the last straw, and an impetus to fight back.

Sunday, September 24, 2006 – Building the Movement in the Region
Time
Event
Location
9:00 a.m.
Welcome Back

9:15 a.m.
Plenary:  Lay Out the Organizing Challenges—Labor, Religious, Student, Women, Peace, etc.

Speakers:
•     Karl Flecker (Polaris Institute)
•     Tim Newman (Clark University)
•     Nancy Munger (WILPF)
CCA
10:30 a.m.
Small Group Discussions by Constituency

Identify Biggest Challenges and opportunities to our work

Facilitators: TBA
TBA
11:30 a.m.
Small Group Discussions by Region

What kind of mutual support and networking do we need to meet these challenges?

Facilitators: TBA
TBA

Sunday, September 24, 2006 – Lunch Break – 12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m
Lunch Onsite

Reps from small group caucuses
Campus Center

Sunday, September 24, 2006 – Implementation
1:30 p.m.
Group 1: Utilizing Water Warriors/THIRST/Water First as an Organizing Tool

Facilitators: Jonathan Leavitt, Liz Miller, Amy Hart

Group 2: Conceptualizing and Developing a Regional Network

Facilitators: Ruth Caplan, Susan Howatt, Annette Smith

Group 3: Strategizing Collaborations with Major Unions for Coordination on Issues

Facilitators: TBA
TBA

TBA

TBA
3:00 p.m.
Closing thoughts and meeting evaluation

What kind of mutual support and networking do we need to meet these challenges?

Facilitators: TBA
CCA

Biographies and Contact Information of Presenters

Arnie Alpert,  New Hampshire Program Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization dedicated to social justice and peace.  He has closely followed the impact of globalization and “free trade” agreements on labor and water since the mid-1990s, and has spoken and written extensively on the topics.  He is a member of UNITE-HERE, and is also active in the NH Water Table, a statewide network which brings together grassroots activists fighting Contact: commodification of water. aalpert@afsc.org

Saulo Araujo Global Program Assistant, Grassroots International has dedicated himself to working for the resource rights of rural and urban communities in Brazil, Mexico and the U.S. In his native country of Brazil, Saulo worked with rural communities in the arid northeast region to develop sustainable water sources and protect local genetic materials. He also worked with water management programs in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. In New England, he has worked with environmental justice groups in inner city neighborhoods, supporting the work of residents to protect open and green spaces, food security and environmental health. Currently, Saulo is a member of the first class of the Environmental Leadership Program/Greater Boston Regional Network and a member of the grant-making committee of the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund (NEGEF). Saulo has a Master’s Degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University. Contact: info@grassrootsonline.org

Ruth Caplan is National Campaign Coordinator for the Alliance for Democracy’s Defending Water for Life Campaign which is organizing in the Northeast and on the West Coast to stop commodification and privatization of water and water services.  In 2003, she helped organize the Water Allies Network, a diverse national network of people and groups who believe “secure and equitable access to clean water is a human right and must be protected for all generations and all living things.” She is part of the global Our World Is Not For Sale network opposing the WTO and has written “Trading Away Our Water.”  Caplan also chairs the national Sierra Club’s Water Privatization Task Force. Her history of activism includes helping to stop three nuclear plants on Lake Ontario and serving as Executive Director of Environmental Action which supported grassroots campaigns and named the Dirty Dozen members of the U.S. Congress.  In 2004, she received the national Sierra Club’s Special Service Award for her work on corporate accountability, international trade, water privatization, and energy policy. Contact: rcaplan@igc.org

Tony Clarke  is the founder and executive director of the Polaris Institute, which assists civil society organizations, both in Canada and internationally, to develop new capacities and tools for democratic social change in an age of corporate globalization. One of the main projects at the Institute has to do with water issues such as the privatization of water services, bottled water and bulk water exports. Through this project, Polaris works with citizens’ groups, public service workers and social movements who are engaged in frontline struggles on these water issues in Canada, the United States, South Africa and India. Internationally, Tony has been a keynote and panel speaker at conferences on water issues in Europe, Africa and Asia. He is the co-author [with Maude Barlow] of Blue Gold: The Corporate Theft of the World’s Water  [2002], which has been published in 40 countries. Contact: tony@polarisinstitute.org

Art Cohen was trained in public health as well as law, he has been working in public and environmental health for over 30 years.  During the first half of the 1980’s, he managed a county’s public water and sewerage company in Southern Maryland.  The company was responsible for providing potable water to and collecting and treating sewage from 35,000 households.  More recently, he directed a local public health department in Southeastern Connecticut.  He currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland and devotes much of his time to opposing water privatization, and working with many others on ways to improve public water supply and sanitation systems for low income persons living in the world’s larger cities.   Contact: artc12@comcast.net

Janet M Eaton, PhD, is both an activist and  part time academic who has lectured at several Nova Scotia universities, where she has taught courses on ‘Critical Perspectives on Globalization’, Community Political Power’ and ‘Environment & Sustainable Society’. Janet presently serves as the Sierra Club of Canada’s International Liaison to the Sierra Club’s Corporate Accountability Committee and Water Privatization Task Force.  She has worked with communities in Nova Scotia to oppose and stop a bottled water plant, and mega-quarry among others.  She also works internationally and nationally on issues associated with corporate globalization, water privatization, militarism, the Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America (SPP) and more recently has been researching and speaking out against Atlantica and the emerging North American cross border trade regions. Contact: jeaton@ca.inter.net

Mike Esposito is president of the Utility Workers Union of America Local 423, representing about 250 workers in New Jersey. The local is currently challenging rate increases proposed by New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of Germany’s RWE. Mike has worked at his local water utility for 16 years. Contact: me423@earthlink.net

Karl Flecker  is the Director of the Polaris Institute’s water program that includes managing campaigns like Inside the Bottle, a project dedicated to working with community coalitions to challenge the bottled water industry in North America.  He has 20 + years experience in community and international development work with a strong focus on equity issues & labour issues.  Karl has done research  & campaign work for the Council Canadians — Bovine Growth Hormone file, Canadian Labour Congress, & the David Suzuki Foundation. Contact: karl@polarisinstitute.org

Armando Flores has a law degree from the University of El Salvador; in 1991 he becomes co-founder of the Committee for the Defense of the Consumer – CDC; in 1989 and 1990, he is the coordinator of the education program for the Federation of Consumer Cooperatives of El Salvador; between 1991 and 1995 he is Vice Director of CDC; in 1996 he is the Coordinator for the Consumers International for the Central American and the Caribbean region and has been the CDC Director since 1997.

Sr. Mary Ellen Foley, Sisters of Mercy, New England, recently served as the peace and justice coordinator for the Sisters of Mercy Region 2. She actively opposes the death penalty, leading legislative efforts to abolish it as a punishment in New Hampshire. Sr. Mary Ellen is a member of the NH Water Table, a statewide network which brings together grassroots activists fighting commodification of water. She has presented water-related prayers and days of action to her congregation and regionally, highlighting the powerful connection between faith and water.

Amy Hart is a New York-based filmmaker. Currently she works on a production of a feature length film on water issues in Africa. In addition to indie filmmaking, she also produces three national TV series on public health issues for the University at Albany. Amy Hart worked at Miramax Films, Fine Line Features and New Line Cinema before starting her own film company, Hart Productions. Contact: ahart@albany.edu

Susan Howatt is the national water campaigner with the Council of Canadians , the largest citizen watchdog group in Canada. Before joining the Council, she was the international campaigner with the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam), a network that works with communities impacted by the mining industry in Indonesia. Susan was the cofounder of Unofficial Opposition, an umbrella group that advocated for social services in British Columbia. She has worked extensively in media and communications for anti-poverty, environmental and human rights groups in Vancouver and served as a human rights observer in Chiapas, Mexico.  Contact: showatt@canadians.org

Patricia Jones works as the Environmental Justice program manager at UUSC, More information available at: www.uusc.org/

Francis Moore Lappe is the author or coauthor of fifteen books. Her 1971 three-million-copy bestseller, Diet for a Small Planet, continues to awaken readers to the human-made causes of hunger and the power of our everyday choices to create the world we want.

Her newly released Democracy’s Edge  has been widely praised. Historian Howard Zinn called the book “poetic and passionate,” adding: “A small number of people in every generation are forerunners, in thought, action, spirit, who swerve past the barriers of greed and power to hold a torch high for the rest of us. Lappé is one of those.”

Democracy’s Edge is the completion of a trilogy which began in 2002 with Hope’s Edge, written with her daughter Anna Lappé. It is the 30th anniversary sequel to Lappé’s first book. Jane Goodall said of Hope’s Edge: “Absolutely one of the most important books as we enter the 21st century.” Second in the trilogy is You Have the Power: Choosing Courage in a Culture of Fear, written with Jeffrey Perkins.

Frances and Anna Lappé lead the Cambridge-based Small Planet Institute, a collaborative network for research and popular education to bring democracy to life. Together they founded the Small Planet Fund which solicits and channels resources to democratic social movements, especially those featured in Hope’s Edge.

In 1975, with Joseph Collins Lappé launched the California-based Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First). Its publications continue to shape the international debate on the root causes of hunger and poverty. The Institute was described by The New York Times as one of the nation’s “most respected food think tanks.”

In 1990, Lappé co-founded the Center for Living Democracy, a ten-year initiative to help accelerate the spread of democratic innovations. Lappé served as founding editor of the Center’s American News Service, which placed solutions-oriented news stories in almost 300 newspapers nationwide.

Lappé’s books have been used in a broad array of courses in hundreds of colleges and universities and in more than 50 countries. Her articles and opinion pieces have appeared in publications as diverse as the New York Times, O Magazine and Christian Century. Her television and radio appearances have included PBS with Bill Moyers, the Today Show, CBS Radio, and National Public Radio. She is a contributing editor to Yes! Magazine , a founding councilor of the World Future Council , and sits on the advisory board to the Simple Living television series.

Lappé is a sought after public speaker and has received 17 honorary doctorates from distinguished institutions. In 1987 in Sweden, Lappé became the fourth American to receive the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called the “Alternative Nobel,” for her “vision and work healing our planet and uplifting humanity.” Contact: jess@smallplanetinstitute.org

Jonathan Leavitt has served as a Field Manager for Clean Water Action , founded the Lawrence Grassroots Initiative, and served as its Executive Director for seven years, founded the Massachusetts Green Party in 1996 and served as its first staff person and then initiated and ran the Jill Stein for Governor  campaign before leaving to run for State Representative as the Green Party’s first ever Clean Elections candidate. After the campaign Jonathan founded the Massachusetts Anti-Corporate Clearinghouse, and in October of 2003 was brought in to coordinate the development and staffing for the Boston Social Forum . He is a founder of Massachusetts Global Action and is currently consulting for the “Our Communities, Our Water” project. Contact: Leavitt.jonathan@gmail.com

Bill McCann is a member of the Board of Directors of SOG.  He is also Chair of SOG’s Legislative and Governmental Issues Committee.  He is a former six term State Legislator, serving two terms as Assistant Democratic Whip, and a retired SEIU Field Representative/Organizer. He was Chair of the School Board for six years [1974-1980] and also served two terms as Vice Chair. He has been responsible for drafting SOG’s Pro Se Appeals to NH DES, the NH Water Council and the NH Wetlands Council. Contact: billmc4545@verizon.net

Jake Miller,  Communications Coordinator at Grassroots International, recently returned from a program visit to the northeast of Brazil, where he met with social movements and social change organizations workings on sustainable irrigation and agriculture projects and saw the social and ecological consequences of large-scale dams for irrigating agro-industrial plantations and hydro-electric power. Jake has been a student of Brazil for nearly 20 years and has lived in Salvador, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro. In addition to his work at Grassroots, Jake is a free-lance writer and photographer who has written and published his photographs in a variety of publications including the New York Times, Peacework, and Science. He writes about politics, culture and science. He has published more than 40 children’s books on topics like the biology of spiders and lizards and the history of the U.S. civil rights movement. An avid birder, Jake is particularly interested in the ways that agro-ecology can benefit both human and natural worlds. Contact: info@grassrootsonline.org

Liz Miller, is an educator, community media artist, and director of social issue documentary films and new media. Her last documentary, Novela, Novela, has been integrated into high school curricula and used by international coalitions working against violence and defending the rights of women, children and glbt populations (http://www.redlizardmedia.com/novela/ or http://www.puntos.org.ni). Her current film, Water Warriors is an hour long documentary on the battle for public water in Highland Park, Michigan is due for release in 2007. Miller teaches video production at Concordia University in Montreal. She is also a faculty advisor of “Cinema Politica,” an international student network organizing a political film series across Canada, Mexico, France and the United
States. Contact: elizabeth.miller@sympatico.ca

Suren Moodliar is a co-coordinator of the North American Alliance for Fair Employment (NAFFE). His organizing experiences range from the liberation struggle in South Africa and the divestment movement in the US, to campus and union organizing as well as managing international NGO networks and impacting international treaties. His formal education is in political science and regional planning with degrees from Indiana University and the University of California, Los Angeles. Suren played a major role in organizing the Boston Social Forum–coordinating the program for the entire event, among many other things. He is a founder of Massachusetts Global Action. Contact: suren@fairjobs.org

Ward Morehouse, of Northampton, is a co-founder of Shays2: Western Mass Committee on Corporations and Democracy as well as a co-founder of the Holyoke Citizens for Open Government, which has been challenging the privatization of that city’s wastewater treatment system by a multi-national corporation for 2 ½ years. He was a co-founder in 1994 of POCLAD (Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy). Many of his essays are included in the standard introductory book for POCLAD work, Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy. Morehouse is internationally known for his work struggling against the corporate assault on human rights and a co-founder of the International Coalition for Justice in Bhopal, India, working on behalf of the victims of the 1984 Union Carbide Corporation’s chemical spill in that city. Morehouse has written or edited some 20 books, including Building Sustainable Communities, Abuse of Power: The Social Performance of Multinational Corporations, and The Underbelly of the U.S. Economy. Contact: ward.moorehouse@comcast.net

Nancy Munger is a drummaker and boatbuilder living on Cape Cod (MA). She is a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, working on local water issues as well as being on the National Leadership team of WILPF’s “Save the Water” campaign. Contact: munger54@hotmail.com

Timothy Newman graduated in May 2006 from Clark University in Worcester, Mass., where he majored in Sociology and International Development.  At Clark, he helped found the Clark chapter of the Student Global AIDS Campaign, and helped launch the CAN Coke campaign, which is working to get Coke products off Clark’s campus.  He has done internships with Food & Water Watch, Africa Action and the National Society for Human Rights in Namibia. Contact: tim.c.newman@gmail.com

Nancy Price is Co-Chair of the Alliance for Democracy and Western Coordinator of the Defending Water for Life Campaign. She is on the Leadership Team for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s Save the Water Campaign. She is also President of the California Center for Community Democracy and Board members of Friends of the River (CA). Contact: nancytprice@juno.com

Zandra Rice is a national field organizer with Corporate Accountability International, an organization that protects people and the environment by challenging corporate abuses. A graduate of Gonzaga University, she has worked on electoral campaigns in Maine and New Hampshire, most notably as a State Deputy Communications Director with America Coming Together during the 2004 elections. She lives in Boston and campaigns to expose and challenge the corporate control of water and to protect our fundamental human right to water. Contact: zrice@stopcorporateabuse.org

Jessica Roach is a Senior Organizer with the Water for All Campaign at Food & Water Watch. Prior to joining Food & Water Watch, Jessica worked as a Legislative Assistant for Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), where she specialized in trade and economic policy. Jessica has also campaigned with Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, working to halt WTO meetings in Seattle in 1999.  She holds an MA in International Studies from the American University, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Washington. Contact: jroach@fwwatch.org

Ray Rogers is president and director of New York City-based Corporate Campaign, Inc. (CCI), has been described as labor’s most innovative strategist and “one of the most successful union organizers since the CIO sit-down strikes of the 1930s.” For 25 years, Corporate Campaign has championed union and community solidarity and membership and family involvement in campaigns for social and economic justice. Rogers and his organization have been featured many times in major publications such as Time, Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsday, USA Today and The Washington Post, as well as many television programs. In 2006, Business Week described Rogers as “a legendary union activist.” Many of Rogers’ accomplishments are cited in Marquis Who’s Who in America. Contact: stopkillercoke@aol.com

Annette Smith is executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, www.vce.org , a grassroots organization based in Danby, Vermont.VCE grew out of opposition to a billion dollar energy project proposed for southwestern Vermont in 1999, and has continued under Annette’s leadership to deal with issues of concern to Vermonters such as mining, pesticides, large farms, landfills, energy, safe drinking water and water rights.A graduate of Vassar College, Smith lives off the grid with solar panels on a small farm, hand milks a cow and grows her own food. Contact: vce@vce.org

Becky Smith is the Massachusetts Drinking Water Coordinator for Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund in Boston. Ms. Smith has been working with CWA since 2001 in Texas, South Dakota, and New England. Her current projects include working with local community groups to identify existing and potential threats to drinking water sources, and to equip group members with policy tools and organizing tactics to combat such threats. Becky also does organizing, media, and policy work on the Boston Lead Free Drinking Water campaign, as well as coordinating CWA’s statewide Massachusetts Campaign to Protect Drinking Water. She can be reached at: bsmith@cleanwater.org

Claudia Torrelli lives and works in Montevideo, Uruguay. She is an environmental and social activist and is on the staff of Global Labor Strategies and Redes (Friends of the Earth, Uruguay) which played a key role in the historic 2004 Uruguayan constitutional referendum campaign which banned water privatization and made water a fundamental human right under the Uruguayan constitution. She is also an activist in the Hemispheric Social Alliance, a network of civil society and labor organizations in Latin America, and a part of  the Netherlands based Transnational Institute’s Alternative Regionalism Program.. She holds a degree in International Relations from the University of Montevideo. Contact: claudiatorrelli@gmail.com
Olivia Zink is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Sustainable Living, and a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a master’s degree in Community Economic Development. For the last five years she has volunteered with a grassroots community group called Save Our Groundwater (SOG), serving as a member of the Board of Directors and the NH Water Table. SOG have built and mobilized coalitions of individuals, organizations, and state and local officials who are interested in keeping water in the public trust. Contact: Olivia.zink@gmail.com

STOP THE WAR COALITION NEWSLETTER – 20 September 2006

STOP THE WAR COALITION
NEWSLETTER No. 2006/37
20 September 2006
Email office@stopwar.org.uk
Telephone 020 7278 6694
Web: www.stopwar.org.uk

IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
1)  ALL EYES ON MANCHESTER THIS WEEKEND
2)  LONDON TO MANCHESTER PEACE TRAIN
3)  COACHES ACROSS THE COUNTRY
4)  POLICE “FUMING” OVER PEACE CAMP BAN
5)  AFTER BLAIR – TIME FOR CHANGE
6)  LABOUR AGAINST THE WAR MEETING
7)  JOINT STOP THE WAR / CND MEETING

*************************************
1)  ALL EYES ON MANCHESTER THIS WEEKEND
Tony Blair says the Labour conference which starts in Manchester this weekend will be his last. For most of his party, he can’t step down as party leader soon enough. “He should go immediately. He is destroying the party,” is how one Labour official summed up the situation in the Independent newspaper.

It is not just his party that he is destroying. His support for George Bush’s war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and for Israel’s barbaric attacks on Lebanon and Gaza has lead to the destruction of four countries. Which is why tens of thousands of anti-war protestors will pour into Manchester this Saturday 23 September for the TIME TO GO demonstration on the eve of the Labour conference.

Tony Benn, the president of Stop the War, says, “There will be no peace for us until Tony Blair has left Downing Street.” But our message will be the same for whoever is the leader of the Labour party: The Bush/Blair wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the threat of further wars in Iran and Syria must end now.

This will almost certainly be the biggest demonstration the north of England has seen for decades. If you haven’t yet made your plans to join us, there is still time to book your ticket from wherever you live in Britain. There are coaches organised in every area of the country and a special London to Manchester peace train (SEE BELOW for details).

George Bush’s view that “progress towards peace and democracy” is being made in Iraq and Afghanistan is a laughable fantasy, but not for the people suffering every day the almost unimaginable levels of mass slaughter and devastation which the Bush/Blair wars have brought to their countries.

United Nations Secretary Kofi Annan says the US/UK invasion of Iraq has been a disaster for the Middle East region and on Saturday we have the chance, in our tens of thousands, to bring home to the Labour conference that top of the Labour Party’s agenda must be the need to end the Bush/Blair wars. JOIN US.

DEMONSTRATION DETAILS: http://tinyurl.com/k7jhz
MAP OF DEMONSTRATION ROUTE: http://tinyurl.com/ekmvw
Details of the speakers at the demonstration rally will be published on the Stop the War website shortly: www.stopwar.org.uk

*************************************
2)  LONDON TO MANCHESTER PEACE TRAIN
If you live in London you can take the Stop the War Peace Train and join TONY BENN, BIANCA JAGGER, legendary folk singer PEGGY SEEGER, former British ambassador CRAIG MURRAY, poet ADRIAN MITCHELL and many other prominent voices from the anti-war movement, who will be speaking or performing on the train. BBC TV and Al-Jazeera TV are among the media channels who will be reporting from the train.
THERE ARE STILL SOME PEACE TRAIN TICKETS AVAILABLE BUT TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT BOOK NOW:
PHONE 020 7278 6694 OR
BOOK ONLINE: http://tinyurl.com/onofl

TRAIN Departs Euston Station 08.12 am
Arrives Manchester 11.56 am
Returns from Manchester 06.30 pm
Arrives Euston Station 10.08 pm

*************************************
3)  COACHES ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Such is the demand from people who want to add their voice to the TIME TO GO demonstration that many local Stop the War groups are reporting they have booked more coaches than for any demonstration since 2003. Full details of coaches organised across the country are available on the Stop the War website. Coaches are still being added each day, so if your town or borough is not listed, contact the Stop the War office on 020 7278 6694.
DETAILS OF COACHES IN YOUR AREA ARE AVAILABLE HERE:
http://tinyurl.com/jeqpv

The Manchester drop off and pick up points for coaches are available here:
http://tinyurl.com/ekmvw

*************************************
4)  POLICE “FUMING” OVER PEACE CAMP BAN
Manchester City Labour Council prides itself on being Britain’s premier “city of peace” but it has banned a peace camp planned by military families who have lost loved ones in the Bush/Blair wars or who have relatives serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The peace camp is planned to coincide with the Labour conference and the TIME TO GO demonstration and will go ahead despite the ban.

The reasons given by the council for refusing permission for a peace camp are so unsupportable that even the police have said they are against the ban. A Manchester police spokesperson said, “The council are saying it’s a security issue but it’s not. We’re fuming about this. We’ve got no problem with the protest.”

The real reason must be Labour wanting to avoid embarrassment for Tony Blair over his wars which have caused such suffering for these families. Rose Gentle, whose 19 year old son Gordon was killed in Iraq, says: “We think it’s because it’s the Labour conference and they don’t want us going and voicing our opinions because Mr Blair is going to be there. We’re still going to come down and camp out and if the police come and lift us then they do.”

Rose explained in the Daily Mail why she will be defying the ban: http://tinyurl.com/l78cn. And Pam Haywood, mother of a serving soldier in Iraq, told the BBC why she will be there too: http://tinyurl.com/kk933

FOR DETAILS OF THE MILITARY FAMILIES PEACE CAMP AT THE LABOUR CONFERENCE, GO TO: http://www.mfaw.org.uk/

*************************************
5)  AFTER BLAIR – TIME FOR CHANGE
Many protestors from across the county are planning to stay for the weekend in Manchester so they can attend both the TIME TO GO demonstration and the Stop the War alternative conference on Sunday 24 September, entitled After Blair – Time for Change. Entrance is free and all are welcome.

STOP THE WAR ALTERNATIVE CONFERENCE
AFTER BLAIR: TIME FOR CHANGE
SUNDAY 24 SEPTEMBER: 10.30 am – 6.00 pm
Roscoe Building, University of Manchester,
Brunswick Street, Manchester M13 9PL

TOPICS
* Crisis in the Middle East
* Islamophobia and the Strategy of Tension
* The Humanitarian and Economic Costs of War
* The Media and War

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Tariq Ali, George Galloway MP, Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg, former UK ambassador Craig Murray and many other prominent anti-war voices. There are a wide range of workshops through the day.
DETAILS OF THE CONFERENCE ARE HERE: http://tinyurl.com/hl66p

*************************************
6)  LABOUR AGAINST THE WAR MEETING
There are many in the Labour Party who have consistently opposed Tony Blair’s warmongering. LABOUR AGAINST THE WAR has organised a fringe meeting at the Labour Conference in Manchester on Sunday 24 September.

LABOUR CONFERENCE FRINGE MEETING:
ENOUGH! TIME TO LEAVE IRAQ
Organised by Labour Against the War
SUNDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 7PM
CHAIR: Alan Simpson MP.
SPEAKERS: Tony Benn, Rose Gentle (MFAW), Billy Hayes (Gen Sec, CWU), Jeremy Corbyn MP, Christine Shawcroft (LP NEC), John McDonnell MP, Milan Rai, Andrew Murray (StWC), Walter Wolfgang (LP NEC).
VENUE: Friends Meeting House. 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS.
ENTRANCE: £2
See http://www.labouragainstthewar.org.uk/

*************************************
7)  JOINT STOP THE WAR / CND MEETING
Stop the War and CND have organised a joint fringe meeting at the Labour Conference:
TROOPS OUT OF IRAQ. DON’T ATTACK IRAN
METHODIST CENTRAL HALL, OLDHAM STREET, MANCHESTER 7PM
SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Tony Benn, Walter Wolfgang (Labour Party NEC), Michael Meacher MP, Craig Murray, Roudabeh Shafie (Action Iran), Lindsey German (STWC), Kate Hudson (CND)

Traprock Peace Action Report – September 15, 2006

Declaration of Peace, in 50 states! + OUR Communities, Our Water! + Hot
shipment of rad-waste to PA

Friends, you’re adept at short emails and I’m not.
Please forward your favorite bit?

Declaration of Peace !
Saturday, Sept. 23, 10AM – 10PM

Nation-wide, people are organizing to insist on peace.
We’re calling Congress, visiting, speaking up: 202-224-3121!

In Franklin County permits are pending for a Declaration of Peace on the
Greenfield Common from 10 am to 10 pm, Saturday, September 23. We declare
our commitments to peace, sharing a bounty of love and hope. You are invited
to participate in any or all of the day at Main and Federal Streets, where
Routes 2A and 5/10 intersect. Celebrate with the Greenfield Vigil at 11 am
and the Greenfield Farmers Market, until 12:30. Bring a lawn chair or a
blanket if you like. Let’s be comfortable, as we share the bounty.

10 am – Setting out tents and displays
11am – Making or holding banners, with the weekly Greenfield Vigil
12:00 – Speak-out, Sing-out with a public signing of the Declaration of
Peace
1-4:00 – Free workshops and community conversations, including:
I. The History of Nonviolence, Finding Your Support Group, &
Students Against War
II. Youth Talent to “Give Peace a Chance,” Theater Improv for Peace
III. Who’s hurt by war? How do we heal? A Poem to Heal By
4:30 – Pot-luck supper, at Second Congregational Church Parish Hall, by the
Common
Brendan Kenny brings corn bread. I’ll bring pears and bake
potatoes.
5:30 – Sing for Justice, also indoors, then pour out onto the street for a
6:30 – Candlelight Vigil on the Greenfield Common
7:30 – evening conversation, with last songs & late snacks for all who help
break camp.

Traprock Peace Center’s request for a permit calls for a row of tents on the
Common along Bank Row, honoring war dead and wounded from all nationalities.
Carlos Arrendondo of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts will bring a display
honoring his son Alex Arredondo, killed on August 25, 2004 in while Najaf,
Iraq, at the age of 20 years and 20 days. Arredondo invites the community to
speak with him in Spanish or English.

According the National Priorities Project, Massachusetts taxpayers will
spend $480 million on nuclear bombs in fiscal year 2007. Traprock Peace
Center supporters are looking for art for a poster asking that $480 million
to be spent on human needs in Massachusetts rather than on weapons that
would burden generations. What’s your better idea for $480 million? Share
your talent as part of a bountiful peace

To volunteer your tent, your talent, your candles, drums, poems, foods or
other help, please call
Bob McCormick 413-367-9682, or Traprock Peace Center, 413-773-7427.

SIGN THE PLEDGE, GET CONNECTED, SPEAK UP FOR HOPE & GLADNESS.
Look for events in all 50 states, Sept. 21-28.

For more info see
http://www.declarationofpeace.org
http://www.nationalpriorities.org
http://www.traprockpeace.org

“OUR COMMUNITIES, OUR WATER!”
CONFERENCE, Amherst, MA, Sept 22-24
Description: (September 22-24th, 2006 – Umass/Amherst,
with a dance Sept. 23 in Northampton, MA.)

Project Partners
* Massachusetts Global Action
* North American Alliance For Fair Employment
* Alliance For Democracy
* Food and Water Watch
* Polaris Institute
* Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

Sponsors
* American Friends Service Committee – Cambridge
* Council of Canadians

Endorsing Organizations
* American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees,
Local 93
* ARISE for Social Justice
* Boston Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador
* Cambridge Alliance for Democracy
* Citizens for a Strong United Nations
* Concerned Citizens of Lee
* Corporate Accounting International
* Grassroots International
* Greenfield Community College, Behavioral Sciences Department
* Hands Off Our Water!/Lawrence
* NH Water Table
* SAGE
* Sierra Club – Atlantic
* Traprock Peace Center
* U. Mass, Social Thought and Political Economy Department
* UNITE Local 2261
* Vermonters for a Clean Environment
* Western Mass AFSC
* Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – Boston Chapter
* Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – National Save
the Water Campaign

We will also have sneak previews of a rough-cut of the soon to be on PBS
documentary entitled “Water Warriors” and “Water First” film short. Live
music and dancing will follow with The Reagan Babies and Friends. This even
will take place at the Northampton Center for the Arts on Saturday night the
23rd.

Films that will be “Sneak Previewed”

Water First (Amy Hart) is an ongoing documentary film project about global
water issues. The section shown at this event is set in Johannesburg South
Africa where residents are protesting against the installation of pre-paid
water meters. Many of the residents cannot afford to pay for water, much
less to pay ahead. When they cannot pay, their water is shut off. Many
residents claim their water was cut off despite the fact that they owe
nothing. While the government official from the South African Department of
Water And Forestry insists that the water is never cut off, since it goes
against the constitutional rights of the people, we go into homes where the
water has been shut off for over 3 months. In the streets, police threaten
to shoot at the chanting crowd but they stand strong and are willing to die
for the sake of clean water.

Water Warriors (Liz Miler)

Water Warriors, is the story of one community’s determination to fight the
seemingly inevitable path of privatization. The film will capture up close
the passionate and determined players in this dramatic conflict: seasoned
community organizers, local workers, corporate managers pleading for
efficiency; and local government officials, torn between state directives
and citizens needs.

Highland Park, U.S.A. was once the center of a thriving car industry and the
birthplace of Henry Ford’s assembly line. Today the city is on the verge of
financial and physical collapse and as a result is under a state take over.
A team of corporate emergency managers have been appointed to get the city
out of its financial crisis and to do this they have raised water rates,
attached unpaid bills to property taxes, and are looking to privatize the
community’s remaining valuable resource – the water plant.

These measures have resulted in an unprecedented number of water shut offs
and residents are at risk of losing their homes and their voice in what
happens to this public resource. For the residents of Highland Park the
threat of water privatization is simply the last straw, and an impetus to
fight back.

List of Workshops (Not Complete)

Local Initiatives for a Human Right to Water —
Equitable access to sufficient, safe, affordable water (human right to
water) is a key problem facing our communities, whether the water services
are public or private. This workshop hopes to address the gap in the
existing legal framework – neither Canada nor the US recognize the
international obligation of the human right to water. Should communities
establish local laws that will implement minimum rates for the “40-60 liters
/ day / person” right to water, a ban on water shutoffs, democratic
participatory decision making for water rates (affordability), quality (safe
water) within their utility? What might be effective strategies for a local
initiative?

Global Water Struggles: Communities Resist Worldwide against Corporate Water
Grab

Hear about worldwide resistance to water privatization; from Cochabamba,
Bolivia to Nicaragua, to India and beyond citizens are successfully fighting
multi-national control of their water.

Can’t Live Without It so the Fight is On! How grassroots social movements
are claiming their right to land and water.

Water and Land are resources that we all can’t live without, but access to
safe water and land to grow food is becoming increasingly unequal in our
world today. In this interactive workshop, participants will look at the
impact of global trade and neo-liberal policies on communities around the
world and at examples of grassroots social movements in Haiti, the U.S.,
Brazil and Mexico organizing to regain control over these vital resources.

Water and Trade

How do trade agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO agreements like GATS and
other international trade agreements threaten the ability of communities to
protect their water resources? How do they promote privatization of
water/sewer services? What does it mean when the World Trade Organizations
says that local regulations cannot be “more burdensome then necessary”?

Myths of Privatization

What are the myths that corporations use to control the dialogue around
privatization? Learn the tools for understanding these myths and effectively
counter them with your own organizing.

Taking on the Soft drink Giants

Learn about the International Coke Boycott and the ongoing work against both
Pepsi and Nestle that is underway and how it connects directly to the issue
of control of water as well as labor rights worldwide.

Pumping for Profit: Bottled and Bulk Water

A massive international marketing campaign by the big four beverage
corporations to turn water into a designer food item is threatening the
water supplies for communities’ world-wide and undermining public confidence
in municipal water systems. Find out what happens when a bottled water
company comes to town and what you can do about it.

Municipal Water Systems: Public Ownership, Private Ownership, and the
Challenge of Public Private Partnerships.

What happens when a privately owned municipal water system is put up for
sale? Who controls the town’s water? What happens when a water management
corporation proposes to manage the municipal system for a fee? What can
communities do to keep their water supply locally owned and operated? What
does having a public private partnership mean when it come to water? Find
out from our presenters who have been there already. How do you work
politically in a municipality to educate the public and the politicians in
advance of privatization? How do you give them a tool kit of state
regulation’s and other things to use to challenge the thing when it rears
its ugly head in a local city/town?

Faith communities and Water Roundtable

Water has been symbolic of life, blessings, spiritual cleansing in the
writings and ceremonies of many faith communities throughout the world. Find
out how some Faith communities are participating in a dialogue about
protecting water. We will share stories about actions and programs in our
faith communities in a roundtable format with help from several resource
people who will serve as facilitators. We will inspire each other as seek
collaborations.

Public Trust and the Commons Does your state law say that the groundwater
and surface waters of our state are held in the public trust. What does this
mean for your community? How are these laws applied? What rules and legal
principles govern them?

Strengthening Public Systems —Public/Public Partnerships Learn about
public-to public alternative to the pro-privatization “public-private
partnerships” model. One way to head off privatization of municipal
water/sewer systems is to have a well-functioning public system. The
workshop will describe how workers and managers with public systems can help
other public systems improve their operations.

New Paradigm Organizing: Communities Just Say NO to Corporations Frustrated
with regulations that let corporations pollute your community and planet?
Some communities are taking a new approach to stop corporate predation and
pollution in its tracks. Learn how communities in PA and NH are just saying
NO.

Biographies of Presenters posted on our calendar,
http://www.traprockpeace.org

http://www.vermontguardian.com/local/092006/VYShipment.shtml
Radioactive VY shipment lands in Pennsylvania
By Kathryn Casa | Vermont Guardian

Posted September 6, 2006

Editor’s note: This is a revised and corrected version of a story posted
earlier this morning.

BRATTLEBORO — A container shipped from Vermont Yankee on Aug. 31 ended up at
its destination later that night with radiation readings four times higher
than those allowable under federal law, according to a report filed Sept. 1
with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The shipment — a box measuring 6x7x8 feet containing a machine used to cut
and crush control rods, the devices inserted between fuel rods in the
reactor to control the fission process — registered no more than 60 millirem
per hour before it left Vermont, according to Vermont Yankee (VY) records.
That level is well below the federal Department of Transportation’s (DOT)
200 millirem hourly contact exposure limit.

However, when it arrived at the Susquehanna reactor in Berwick, PA, the
bottom of the container registered 820 millirem per hour, more than four
times the DOT limit.

The container was shipped on a flatbed truck by a private contractor —
Hittman Transport Services of Barnwell, SC. As of Tuesday the container
remained closed in a controlled area at the Susquehanna plant, while
inspectors made special preparations before opening it, according to NRC
spokesman Neil Sheehan.

He said they planned to open the container Wednesday.

En route to its destination, the truck stopped at rest stops on the
westbound side of the Massachusetts Turnpike and on southbound Interstate 87
after existing Interstate 90, according to an incident report filed by
Susquehanna officials, who were required to make a report to the NRC because
of the high radiation recording.

“No one to the knowledge of the driver came in contact with the shipment,”
the report states. The truck arrived at Susquehanna at 8:45 p.m. and the
driver, who was wearing a radiation detection monitor, slept in the vehicle.
Sheehan said the driver’s dosimeter showed readings well within acceptable
levels.

A spokeswoman for the trucking company said she had no knowledge of the
incident.

According to the NRC report, the shipment was formally received at the
Susquehanna facility at 8:05 a.m. the next morning. The high reading was
recorded at 11:15 a.m., and Susquehanna officials notified the NRC at 12:15
p.m.

The shipment showed no signs of surface contamination, the report declared,
and it exceeded the dose rate limit only on the bottom of the container once
it was lifted off the truck. “Doses under the trailer prior to lifting the
shipment did not exceed the limit,” the report states.

“Unless someone got right up under it, the probability that someone would
have received any kind of exposure from that configuration is low,” said
Deputy Regional Administrator Marc Dapas.

VY spokesman Rob Williams also emphasized that despite the unexplained high
radiation levels, the shipment represented no threat to public health and
safety in transit because the radioactive side was against the bed of the
truck, which provided additional protection, he said.

“At no time during the shipment was there any additional exposure to anyone
because the flatbed truck provided adequate shielding,” Williams said. “In
fact, the radiation level in question was detected only at the bottom of the
package, and only after it was lifted off the flatbed, so this had no impact
on public health and safety.”

Vermont Yankee is responsible for shipments while in transit, Williams
noted. Two experts from VY’s radiological shipping group had left for
Pennsylvania to determine what may have caused the increase, he said
Tuesday.

“We’ve reviewed our radiological survey and confirmed that the package left
here in compliance,” Williams noted.

Sheehan speculated the increase might have been due to the machine shifting
during transit, resulting in a part with higher contamination levels closer
to the bottom of the box. Or, he said, a piece of debris from the VY spent
fuel pool could still have been attached to it.

The tool is what Sheehan called a cutter-shearer machine that crushes
control rods in order to ship them more easily. Control rods are used to
separate spent fuel rods in the reactor. They are inserted between the fuel
rods in crucifix form, with a centerpiece and four blades inserted between
the fuel bundles, and later stored in the plant’s spent fuel pool, Sheehan
said.

He said reactor operators periodically install new control rods and remove
old rods from the fuel pool.

Anti-nuclear activist Ray Shadis, technical advisor to the Brattleboro-based
New England Coalition, speculated that the discrepancy in radiation readings
could have been due to inaccurate VY detection equipment.

“What is serious is the possibility that VY radiation detection was off by a
whopping factor of four and/or the probability that the contents of the
package leaked and/or became more exposed as shielding shifted or settled,”
Shadis said in an e-mail to the Vermont Guardian.

At 820 millirem per hour, a person exposed to the hottest part of the
container could have, in one hour, received eight times the annual dose
allowed by the NRC, or their annual allowable dose in less than eight
minutes, Shadis noted.

Unlike the DOT, the NRC does not set a contact exposure ceiling, but the
agency limits exposure for members of the public to 100 millirem annually.

“This is just a real sloppy performance,” Shadis continued. “Let’s hope it
is an exception and not the standard.”

THANKS, Sally Shaw,
The New England Coalition

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Best regards,

Sunny Miller
Traprock Peace Center
103A Keets Road
Deerfield, MA 01342
413-773-7427
——————————-
http://www.traprockpeace.org

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