April 24, 2002

Special Earth Day Compilation


Hello everyone

I'm finally able tonight to resume compiling and sending material to you. Here is something I've been preparing in relation with the Earth Day that happened worldwide a couple days ago. More is on its way to you in the next few days as I'll try to catch up with everything that continuously pours in.

There is much food for thought - and hopefully some stimulant for action - in this one, especially for U.S. citizens.

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000


"If, at first an idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it."

- Albert Einstein

CONTENTS

1. Dispel the Myth That Cheap Food Comes Without High Costs
2. EARTH DAY 2002: 7 Excellent Things YOU Can Do for the Earth
3. Common Cause Against Global Corporate Domination
4. An Earth Day Message
5. I am outraged at the behaviour of our current Resident in the White House
6. April 20 Anti-war Protests Overwhelm Expectations


See also:

Earth Day Founder Dennis Hayes 32 years later
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/04.22I.Earth.Day.htm

Al Gore | Changing Course -- Earthday 2002
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/04.23A.Gore.Earthday.htm

Bush, Exxon/Mobil Oust Leading Advocate Against Global Warming
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/04.24C.Oust.Bush.htm

Supreme Court: Development Can Be Blocked to Protect Environment
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/04.24F.SC.Blocked.htm

Senate Says No to ANWR; Are the Rockies Next?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/04.19A.Senate.Says.htm

BioGems News, April 2002
http://www.nrdc.org
Despite intense pressure from the White House and a flurry of last-minute maneuvering by drilling proponents, the Senate on April 18 rebuffed an effort to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration. In two procedural votes, Democrats and several Republicans defeated a pro-drilling amendment to a broader energy bill -- delivering a huge victory to environmentalists, including BioGems Defenders who've sent more than 930,000 messages protesting plans to drill in the refuge, a rugged wilderness that teems with caribou, polar bears, Arctic wolves, and millions of migratory birds each summer. CLIP
BioGems News is also available at http://www.savebiogems.org/newsletter/index.asp

A modifiable letter to The Usurper demanding that he NOT gut the Clean Air Act
http://www.savethecleanairact.org/public/default_sent.asp

Belize activist Sharon Matola describes the wildlife and "sacred land" threatened by a proposed dam in the Macal River Valley.
Read the interview http://www.savebiogems.org/macal/fromthefield.asp

MATRIOTISM: WOMEN AND THE FATE OF THE EARTH
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=12918




1.

Sent by "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@vitelcom.net>

Published on April 18, 2002 in the Los Angeles Times

Dispel the Myth That Cheap Food Comes Without High Costs

by Frances Moore Lappe and Anna Lappe

Earth Day is a perfect time to celebrate the first, true gift of the Earth to us: food. Before we toss our hats into the air, though, we might want to start with an admission. While we in the United States like to think we're blessed with the world's best and cheapest food, we've actually let market prices lie to us. They don't register all the hidden costs of our "factory farming" model, costs that undermine the very sustainability of nature's gifts. Food prices don't count the fact that soil is eroding on prime farmland many times faster than nature rebuilds it, or the marine life we're losing because of nitrogen runoff from overusing fertilizers. The latter has created a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico as big as Massachusetts and still growing.

The prices don't include the loss of plant diversity that occurs when our seed is supplied by just a few companies aggressively marketing a limited selection or the wells in Midwest states poisoned by farm chemicals. They don't consider the over-exploited oceans, where extinction threatens one-third of fish species, or the farm families and entire rural communities wiped out by rising farm costs and lower returns. These are merely the uncounted costs of producing our increasingly unhealthy diet.

Eating it adds a host of additional costs, including more than 5,000 deaths each year from food-borne illnesses, even as agribusiness--especially the meat industry--has fought against adding the cost of stricter food safety procedures to the bottom line. We've boasted that ours is the world's most efficient food system, but no business could stay afloat for long while ignoring its real costs. Efficiency and sustainability--the maintenance of Earth's gifts to us and our health over time--can no longer be seen as contradictory aims. Looked at this way, solving our food-related environmental and health crisis doesn't require a change in values.

No one wants to destroy our Earth or get sick from what he or she eats. It requires a change in perception. We have to see differently. We have to see, then measure and count, the real costs of producing food and of our sudden (in historical terms) shift to a meat-based, processed, high-fat and sugar diet. Just as important, we have to see that we can have the healthy food we need within a more honest framework of cost-counting. During the last 30 years, agriculturists around the world have been learning to align with nature's genius to create sustainable efficiency--getting the most from nature without destroying it.

With true sustainability we do not have to blanket the planet with pesticides or turn to untried technologies such as genetically engineered seeds that threaten ecological disruption. Last year, in the first worldwide study of sustainable farming practices, covering 70 million acres in more than 50 countries, researchers noted that applying ecology-protecting methods increased yields substantially. They recorded increases of 150% in root crops. True, in some cases sustainable practices can mean lower yields but, because production costs drop even more, farmers reap better livelihoods. Besides, overproduction, not underproduction, has been the bane of U.S. agriculture. Once we dispel the myth of efficiency hiding costs, we discover that sustainable is synonymous with real efficiency--getting the most of our resources over time.

To eat well, we don't have to acquiesce to a degrading environment, a tragic loss of species, a heart-rending erosion of family farming. We can redirect tax subsidies to further nonchemical practices and support independent, ecologically committed farmers, without fearing that we'll risk inefficiency-induced scarcity. We must let go of the false trade-off between protecting the planet and feeding ourselves.

Frances Moore Lappe and Anna Lappe are co-authors of "Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet" (J.P. Tarcher/Putnam 2002).




2.

Sent by "Planetary Rescue Corps" <planetary@wildmail.com>

EARTH DAY 2002: 7 Excellent Things YOU Can Do for the Earth:

1. Take Action! On the Web, learn much more: http://care2.com/takeaction
You can take action online, sign up for a FREE email account at WildMail, And support wildlife and the environment every time you log on!

2. JOIN Greenpeace! Go to Greenpeace.org to find out more about campaigns you can get involved with, and to learn much more about environmental issues

3. Reduce your use of Petroleum! Ride a bike instead of driving, slow down your lifestyle, smell the flowers! Every gallon of gas contains toxins which will be poisoning your children's water, and fills our atmosphere with chemicals.

4. Convert your energy use to sustainable technologies, such as solar and wind. All of the tools you need to power your home are now available, and will make your family less reliant on "the grid"! Save money and use CLEAN energy! Learn much more at: http://Homepower.com, get a cool Guerrilla Solar shirt.

5. Reduce your consumption of animal products, and improve your health! Animals used for meat suffer cruel lives and are filled with toxins and parasites. Plenty of excellent protein, such as nuts and beans, are available, and you can make sprouts at home! Eat like Buddha did, and become enlightened! Learn much more at: http://Vegan.org, and join the Vegan DormFood Campaign!

6. Stop the use of Herbicides and Pesticides, in your community and home. Big corporations continue to push the use of their chemicals, which are dumped on our lawns, farms, and roadsides by the TON, even though scientific evidence shows persistent genetic damage in our bodies! Learn much more at : Pesticide Action Network : http://www.panna.org

7. Plant a garden, plant more trees! Growing your own healthy vegetables, herbs, and flowers will make you more attuned with the Earth. Planting more trees, especially replanting native trees, will allow our children to breathe easier and help reclaim our forests and soils. Thank you!

To learn more about our relationship with the Earth, and to find radical resources on the web, access World Wire 2002:

http://geocities.com/worldripple

---

The planet has a kind of intelligence, it can actually open a channel of communication with an individual human being. The message that nature sends is, transform your language through a synergy between electronic culture and the psychedelic imagination, a synergy between dance and idea, a synergy between understanding and intuition, and dissolve the boundaries that your culture has sanctioned between you, to become part of this Gaian supermind.

The planet is some kind of organized intelligence. It's very different from us. It's had 5- or 6-billion years to create a slow moving mind which is made of oceans and rivers and rain forests and glaciers. It's becoming aware of us, as we are becoming aware of it, strangely enough. Two less likely members of a relationship can hardly be imagined - the technological apes and the dreaming planet. And yet, because the life of each depends on the other, there's a feeling towards this immense, strange, wise, old, neutral, weird thing, and it is trying to figure out why its dreams are so tormented and why everything is out of balance.

- Terence McKenna

Learn More About the Gaian Mind: http://geocities.com/worldripple

---

NEW ORDER OF INSECTS DISCOVERED IN NAMIBIA

WASHINGTON, DC, April 17, 2002 (ENS) - A new order of insects has been identified in a discovery that researchers say is equivalent to finding a live saber-tooth tiger. This first discovery of a new insect order since 1915 brings the total number of insect orders to 31.

For full text and graphics visit: http://ens-news.com/ens/apr2002/2002L-04-17-03.html

---

JANE GOODALL APPPOINTED UN MESSENGER OF PEACE

NEW YORK, New York, April 16, 2002 (ENS) - United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today named primatologist and environmentalist, Dr. Jane Goodall, a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

For full text and graphics visit: http://ens-news.com/ens/apr2002/2002L-04-16-03.html

---

WHALE MEAT TOXICS IGNORED IN PUSH FOR COMMERCIAL WHALING

CANBERRA, Australia, April 15, 2002 (ENS) - The latest scientific research has cast "a disturbing light" on the Japanese Whaling Association's push to encourage young people to eat more whale meat, says Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for the Antarctic, Dr. Sharman Stone.

For full text and graphics visit: http://ens-news.com/ens/apr2002/2002L-04-15-02.html

---

Protect America's National Parks

Please help by signing this petition. It takes 30 seconds and will really help. Please follow this link:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/963791156

The system centralizes signature collection to provide consolidated, useful reports for petition authors and targets.

---

TREESITTER FALLS TO HER DEATH IN MT. HOOD NATIONAL FOREST

PORTLAND, Oregon, April 13, 2002 (ENS) - A treesitter with the Cascadia Forest Alliance has died in a fall from a tree she was attempting to protect from logging.

For full text and graphics visit: http://ens-news.com/ens/apr2002/2002L-04-13-01.html

CLIP

---

A fire-mist and a planet,
A crystal and a cell,
A jellyfish and a saurian,
And caves where the cavemen dwell;
Then a sense of law and beauty,
And a face turned from the clod--
Some call it Evolution,
And others call it God.

- W.H. Carruth "Each in His Own Tongue"

"Is Nature a gigantic cat? If so, who strokes its back? It can only be God."

- Nikola Tesla

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."

- H. G. Wells

"Why is it that when we talk to God we are said to be praying, and when God talks to us we're said to be schizophrenic?"

- Lily Tomlin




3.

From: http://globalcircle.net/theissues.htm

NOTE FROM JEAN: There are numerous links in the articles below which you’ll find at the URL above.

Give a look also at http://globalcircle.net/ where you’ll find lots of interesting material and articles.

Common Cause Against Global Corporate Domination

By Paul Prior <webmaster@globalcircle.net>

It's not about Utopia, but survival of life on earth. Corporate globalization is now the engine of enclosure, overconsumption, and conflict, and it operates on the "lifeboat ethic", consuming whole populations as it consumes natural resources for its own needs. It is a blind, soulless machine that can't stop growing, a cancer that takes over its host. For most of the global South and much of the global North, it's already too late. It was "The Borg" in Star Trek that said "you will be assimilated - resistance is futile", but it was more corporate globalization than science fiction. It was Ms. Thatcher who claimed "there is no alternative" (TINA), but in fact, there are alternatives everywhere. There always have been.

The corporate connection lurks behind almost every social and economic issue on the planet today. The corporate machine is increasingly seen as the driving force behind conflict and ecological suicide, and the loss of community and self determination. These issues are all connected, and it is these connections which we highlight in GlobalCircle. We point to the closing circle of commercialization of everyday life, and the corporate globalization that spreads this cancer and kills off more natural, sustainable ways of living everywhere. This is the end result of the industrial revolution, described by scholars such as Lewis Mumford and Vandana Shiva, and opposed by WTO-IMF protest -- profit uber alles. In the New World Order, activists everywhere are kept divided and isolated, and the public is sedated by corporate media and corporate schools. But progressive groups in many separate issues find common cause in those corporate connections, and network locally and globally to deal with them.

Beneath it all is the land that we belong to. Corporate factory farming and cartels cannot be separated from the resulting health and nutrition effects of the produce and animals, or from the rural exodus to the city and the artificial crowding of cities and all the problems that go with it, including population explosion. Whole populations are forced off the land and converted to wage labor, placing them at the mercy of global corporations in a race to the bottom, and health, safety, and workers' workers' welfare are sacrificed for the profit of global elites. Darker skinned populations bear a disproportionate share of the burden. Factory farming cannot be separated from the agricultural dependence on oil or the ruin of land, or the stealing of indigenous medicines and crop strains, or the forcing of genetically modified foods and terminator genes on a helpless public, all for quick corporate profit. But factory farming is forced by the corporate domination of agriculture at home and abroad. In countries targeted by the IMF, traditional, natural farming undergo forced conversion to corporate cash crops for export earnings, with the attendant loss of community land to corporations.

The corporate cancer cannot be separated from issues of government and legal systems, regulatory agencies, human rights, military conquest, health care, social safety nets, media control, schools, and family. The process of "enclosure" has no stopping place. Like tumors, global corporations create the conditions they require for endless growth until they kill the host-- ever cheaper resources, cheaper labor, and more support from sovereign nations and representative democracies. People and governments alike are reduced to cogs in the machine, and unproductive populations - the injured or disabled, the sick, the indigenous cultures - are reduced by demonizing and eliminating safety nets in the global North, and by land grabs, toxic pollution, weapons sales, manipulated civil wars, and disease in the global South. The corporate complex of media, schools, campaign financing, public relations, and the commercialization of religion combine to take over the mind and use up the earth herself for profit. She will not tolerate this forever.

The alternative is not mysterious; it does not need either agreement or force of arms. It is not any of the old "isms" trapped in the same vicious circle of endless industrial growth and consumption. It is simply to allow local and regional populations the self determination to find their own suitable socioeconomic arrangements and sustainable technologies, or to withdraw from the corporate system at any or all levels. We do not need to create and justify those arrangements for others, locally or globally. It is not an untried theory, but a tried and true direction shown by Gandhi's "constructive programme". And traditional or indigenous peoples have lived sustainably and well, for the most part, all over the world through the centuries. The way is through growing personal awareness, the reclaiming of the spiritual relation with the land and each other -- networking. And the direction is shown by visionary women and scholars such as Vandana Shiva of India, Winona LaDuke and Charlene Spretnak of the US, and Aung Sang Suu Kyi of Burma, and by prophetic leaders such as Native elder Thomas Banyacya.

We bring in the personal aspect of spirituality and ecopsychology for a special reason. People who have rediscovered the natural relation with the earth and each other are getting beyond the competition/conquest model in their own approach to issues. This paradigm shift, this mindset, is necessary to the democratic process, so life can find a way. We have no other guide through the current mess of competing ideologies, power plays, and failed "isms" of the past, and others will waste the movement arguing for supremacy among themselves. Their solutions and political parties are trapped in the same competition/conquest model of industrial consumption that now threatens destruction of life itself. We remember Gandhi's admonition: "there is no way to peace; peace IS the way", and Spretnak and Capra in Green Politics: "What you get is how you do it. Process, that is, is directly related to the end result."

Naming the common problem -- the corporate structure -- behind these critical issues is the key to connecting progressive causes everywhere. This would also further the "progressive dialogue" of the (US) Independent Progressive Politics Network (IPPN). This site does not speak for any organization, and it does not promote one ideology or even specific solutions, but the democratic process itself. Trust The Process. Therefore, these resources may range from simple reforms to radical restructuring of society and industry, and bring out political efforts as well as non-political direct action movements. Ecologists, reformers, Greens, activitists, and scholars everywhere are not talking about separate problems, but the same problem. It is time to talk to each other. The problems of war and peace, environmental disaster, and social justice cannot be solved as unrelated issues. Economic Justice Now, a member of the 50 Years Is Enough U.S. Network for Global Economic Justice, urges "Recognizing the Interdependence of Peace, Environmental Protection and Human Rights and Social Justice "; they point out that the corporate hegemony produces the ripple effect of "degrading the environment, violating fundamental human rights, causing harm to human health...". And their final remedy for corporations that will not repent and make restitution would be "To revoke the licences and charters of corporations, including transnational corporations". This is their response to the actions of corporations which have "violated human rights or denied social justice, caused environmental degradation, or harm to human health, disregarded labour rights, or contributed to conflict and war".

"Their opponents (WTO protesters) charge that loan policies of the bank and the fund impose harsh conditions on poor countries and favor Western creditors and U.S. corporations. The allure of the movement also lies in connections protesters draw to many other concerns. In their view, a pipeline through the rain forest in Chad, sweatshops in Singapore, the high price of AIDS drugs in Kenya, flat wages in Washington and the ubiquity of Starbucks and the Gap are facets of the same problem." - from The Washington Post, Sunday, April 2, 2000

The story told in Winona Laduke's new book, All Our Relations, is played out throughout the world: "There is a direct link in our community between the loss of biodiversity - the loss of animal and plant life - and the loss of the material and cultural wealth of the White Earth People. But we have resisted. Our experience of survival and resistance is shared with many others. But it is not only about Native people... In the final analysis, the survival of Native America is about the collective survival of all human beings."

"...we are part of nature, not above it, and... all our massive structures of commerce -- and life itself -- ultimately depend on wise, respectful interaction with our biosphere. Any government or economic system that ignores that principle is ultimately leading humankind into suicide. The more that people perceive the interconnections among principles of ecological wisdom, a truly secure peace, an economy with a future, and a participatory democracy with power channeled directly from the grassroots level, the more they will notice the absence of such ideals among the existing political parties."

- Charlene Spretnak & Fritjof Capra, Green Politics: The Global Promise.

"The line of attack has to go beyond the individual corporation, or even the set of corporations, to the whole system that generates the corporation. Otherwise forces of renewal will only exhaust themselves as the hydra of capital keeps regenerating."

- Joel Kovel

"I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered."

- John F. Kennedy

"... occupational safety and health and the impact of our working conditions on the health of the next generation is crucial for society to survive. ... we must THINK in different terms... from a framework that is both multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural: international; classless and above all else, embracing many types of work and the impact upon many populations,.."

- Cornell Professor Ilise Feitshans

"The hoopla about 'Earth Day', like the pious rhetoric of fast-talking solar contractors and patent-hungry 'ecological' inventors, conceal the all-important fact that solar energy, wind power, organic agriculture, holistic health, and 'voluntary simplicity' will alter very little in our grotesque imbalance with nature if they leave the patriarchal family, the multinational corporation, the bureaucratic and centralized political structure, and the property system untouched."

- Murray Bookchin

Elizabeth McAlister, longtime peace activist and resident of Jonah House in Baltimore: "We are living in a state where the government is of, by and for the wealthy including the major corporations. They protect their interests by any means necessary -- and that means war and weapons of mass destruction, and poisoning the earth and the people of the earth." She is married to Philip Berrigan, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison for hammering a plane that bombed Iraq and Yugoslavia with depleted uranium.




4.

From: "Pat Hale Dolphin Portraits" <dolphinportraits@hotmail.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002

An Earth Day Message

Sometime in 2001, the Heart of America suffered a series of heart attacks and went into full arrest. America's heart no longer functioned. It quit beating. She was unfeeling and incapable of showing compassion to the rest of the world and it's suffering and pain.

A 911 Emergency was called for. On Sept. 11th, the world administered electric shock to America to start her heart beating again.

America's influences around the world have been gluttonous, greedy, instigating famines, manipulating governments and destroying economies.

After Set. 11, the heartfelt sympathies from around the world started a healing in America. I feel like there's been an etheric or other-dimensional "jaws of life" prying my heart open, wider and wider, ever so gradually. We're still in shock and recovery, slowly recuperating.

America's childhood ended that day. We've been shocked into growing up. "We the people" were caught off guard. And we're going to have to pedal really fast to catch up with Bush and his cronies, and all the antics they've been maneuvering the government and the people through, using the events of Sept. 11 as their excuse.

The masses have not yet recovered from Sept. 11. Most are still a little shaky and not yet thinking straight, allowing horrific changes to be perpetrated on the people. Others have bought the mainline mass media BS about terrorism and "Go, go, USA," the "Let's kill them back" retaliatory rhetoric.

Immediately following 9/11 the flag became a symbol of hope, honor, unity, compassion and support. I tried to buy a flag, but everyone was sold out. So I ordered one. By the time it arrived, six weeks later, I could not fly it. This symbol had changed to one of anger, hatred, retaliation, and puffed up American pride, dominating all other countries and identities. The only thing I wanted to display was a flag with the whole planet on it, signifying our need to understand and resonate to our Oneness.

We can no longer afford to be torn apart by ideologies, pieces of land, religious views, race or gender. Our planet is a fragile Being in severe distress.

This Earth Day, take a moment to appreciate Mother Earth. Gaia has given life to us all. Time to give some back. Become quiet and centered and ask what you can do to help her. Listen for her voice inside your heart, or on the wings of a bird, or in the fragrance of a flower. After you ask, listen and feel (perhaps meditating awhile), get up and DO something. Hug a tree. Pull some weeds. Build a birdbath. Smile at someone. Recycle more. Use less. Give away 10 things you don't need. Commit to being Peace and Love in your corner of the planet.

"Act as though" means to operate in a way that demonstrates you have trust and faith that what you choose to create in your life is already here. Act as though you are already a 5th dimensional Light Being, an Ascending Master of love and Awareness...and it is so.

I hope you have a very Happy Earth Day, today and every day.

One In Spirit,

Pat




5.

Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002
From: John Albertson <albertsonjw@yahoo.com>
Subject: I am outraged at the behaviour of our current Resident in the White House

Jean;

I know you are very busy with the spring season, but I am outraged at the behaviour of our current Resident in the White House.

I recently had an opportunity to send my voice via email in an effort to bring the plight of our oceans and seagoing wildlife to the attention of the administration. I received an "Autoresponse" which undoubtedly means that GW will never see what the people of these United States and the World are saying /demanding of our so-called elected (which is questionable) representatives in the government. What incensed me was the content of the response.

He is advocating our children save their pennies to help the poor starving orphaned children of Afghanistan. Children whose plight he directly is responsible for. The sheer audacity, mendacity and underlying evil is almost beyond imagination. Some poor under-educated and under-informed child will see he request and think "What a good caring person he is." I am at a loss for further words.

Excerpt from email response from the White House:

"As the President said recently, one in three Afghan children is an orphan and almost half suffer chronic malnutrition. He has asked American children to help Afghan children by making contributions of one dollar individually or collectively to:

America's Fund for Afghan Children
C/O The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20509-1600

For more information, go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/afac/î




6.

"> From: http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=12932

April 20 Anti-war Protests Overwhelm Expectations

April 22, 2002

Huge anti-war demonstrations on Saturday in Washington, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Salt Lake City and Houston turned out considerably more people than organizers and police authorities expected. District of Columbia Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey estimated that 75,000 marched in Washington, while estimates in San Francisco varied between 30,000 and 50,000.

The size, energy and peacefulness of the marches was a big boost to progressive forces across the country who have been very much on the defensive in the post-9/11 period. "Saturday was inspiring evidence that there is enormous grassroots opposition to the Bush agenda of endless war at home and abroad," said Terra Lawson-Remer, one of the D.C. organizers. The gatherings, by far the biggest in the U.S. since the Sept. 11 attacks, focused on an array of progressive grievances -- the undermining of civil liberties, questions about U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan and Colombia, as well as the effects of corporate globalization around the world.

But the protesters' most powerful message was their anger about Israel's repression in the West bank. Chants of "Stop the occupation now" and "We are all Palestinians today" emanated from the marchers, and the black, red, white and green flag of Palestine dominated the visual landscape. Saturday's demonstrations in Washington were in contrast to the memorable April 2000 actions in Washington, when protests against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund led to a virtual shutdown of the downtown area. At that time there were pitched clashes between police and demonstrators, and many hundreds were arrested. In this weekend's protests, separate events with differing goals were held on Saturday morning, but in the afternoon, everyone -- despite some differences in strategy and tactics -- came together to create a huge and peaceful crowd. According to the Washington Post, Chief Ramsey praised the decorum of Saturday's demonstrations.

"The organizers did an outstanding job," said Ramsey, baton in hand as he watched thousands file past the Justice Department building. "This is really what protests ought to be." The San Francisco four-hour protest caused widespread gridlock. "It's one of the biggest protests in the past five years," San Francisco Police Commander Greg Suhr told Jim Herron Zamora of the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's not often that you see one where a crowd has formed in the Civic Center but there are still people in Dolores Park who haven't started marching."

The San Francisco demonstration was billed as a march against "the real axis of evil: war, racism, poverty." But clearly, support for the Palestinian cause transcended the other issues.

CLIP

"Clearly the significance of Saturday was that Americans do not support the way Bush is handling the war on terrorism, either domestically or internationally," said Terra Lawson-Remer. "People came out to say that supporting freedom and democracy and opposing terrorism does not mean expanding war and cracking down on civil liberties." CLIP







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