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NEWSLETTER The Manhattan Alliance will educate and organize for peace and justice at home and abroad. Visit us online at: http://www.mapj.org M.A.P.J. LECTURE SERIES: FALL, 2013
Marjorie Cohn “Edward Snowden, Whistleblowers, and a Culture of Surveillance” Thursday, September 12, 2013 7:00-9:00 p.m. K-State Union, Little Theatre Marjorie Cohn, the MAPJ Lecture Series’ fall speaker, is Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, CA, and former president of The National Lawyers Guild. Cohn lectures throughout the world on international human rights and U.S. foreign policy. She is a news consultant for CBS News, a legal analyst for Court TV, and provider of legal and political commentary on news stations including BBC, CNN, NPR, Air America and Pacifica Radio. Cohn is author of several books including Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent. Her latest book, The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse, was published in 2011. Frequent articles by Cohn appear in law journals, The National Lawyers Guild Review and on the websites Huffington Post, Truthout, Alter-
Net, Common Dreams, Counterpunch, OpedNews, Atlantic Free Press, and ZNet. These are all archived at http://www.marjoriecohn.com. Cohn is the deputy secretary general of the Bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. She sits on several boards, including the Advisory Board of the U.S. Human Rights Network, the Lawyers Rights Watch Canada and the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign. Marjorie Cohn will be also meeting with K-State classes and interested organizations before leaving on the 13th for a presentation in Wichita. Cohn’s lecture is co-sponsored by Kansas State University’s Department of Philosophy, Department of Women's Studies, and School of Leadership Studies.
MAPJ Board of Directors: Jeff Gauthier, Chair; Jon Tveite, Vice-Chair; Anne Cowan, Treasurer; Sabrina Bowker; John Exdell; Majka Jankowiak; Guy Hallman; Tom Manney; Kayla Mohnsen; Annemarie Olson; Rita Ross; Ellen Welti
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meaningful relationship with my sister's family and my family.... I want to be a positive influence in their by Priti Gulati Cox, Salina CODEPINK lives.... I hope you can give me the opportunity to prove.... that I am a good person.... Thank you your Give 35 jeers for American hypocrisy Honor." Today, August, 21, 2013, Pfc. Bradley Manning In response to Manning's statement, Wikileaks made a statement as read by defense attorney David founder Julian Assange said, "Mr. Manning’s apolCoombs at a post sentencing press conference. Here ogy is a statement extorted from him under the overis some of what he had to say: "The decisions that I bearing weight of the United States military justice made in 2010 were made out of a system. It took three years and concern for my country and the millions of dollars to extract two world that we live in. Since the minutes of tactical remorse from tragic events of 9/11, our country this brave soldier.... He remains a has been at war.... It was not until I symbol of courage and humanitarwas in Iraq and reading secret miliian resistance." tary reports on a daily basis that I Alexa O'Brien, who, since 2012 started to question the morality of has produced the only available what we were doing. It was at this transcripts of Manning's otherwise time I realized in our efforts to obscured prosecution, argued that meet this risk posed to us by the his statement on Wednesday is enemy, we have forgotten our huconsistent with others he has made manity. We consciously elected to in court. She also said that, devalue human life both in Iraq "Manning’s apology is not a zeroand Afghanistan. When I chose to sum game. To understand Mandisclose classified information, I ning, one must see his acts in light MAPJ and Salina CODEPINK held a rally did so out of a love for my country for Bradley Manning near the Riley County of his moral, not political, agency. and a sense of duty to others." Fairgrounds on Friday, July 26. Defense has argued at trial that (Photo: Tom Manney) In 2010, Bradley Manning reManning is a humanist. Manning vealed more than 700,000 truth documents to the did not want to hurt anyone; in fact, he wanted to anti-secrecy website Wikileaks—the largest leak in inform the American public." US military history—and no one was harmed by it. Col. Denise Lind, the judge presiding at ManYet he has now been sentenced to 35 years in prison. ning's court marshal, declared last week that his conFor every document that Manning revealed, the U.S. duct had been "wanton and reckless." Perhaps the War on Terror has claimed at least one life. Yet no biggest irony is that this sort of heavy prosecutorial one in this country has been held accountable for it. language being aimed at Manning could be used to In a three-minute unsworn statement that he describe American-style democracy as well. Indeed, gave last week during just imagine that the “The only person prosecuted for the the sentencing phase of tables were turned and crimes and abuses uncovered his trial, Manning said it was the U.S. governin the WikiLeaks’ releases is the person ment that was forced to in part, "I am sorry. I am sorry that my acapologize. That apology who exposed them. That alone proves tions hurt people. I am the injustice of one more day in prison should go something sorry that it hurt the like this: for Bradley Manning.” United States.... When I "We are sorry. We are Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg made these decisions I sorry that our actions believed I was gonna killed people. We are help people, not hurt people.... I look back at my de- sorry that it killed hundreds of thousands of people cisions and wonder, 'How on earth could I, a junior in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are sorry that they are analyst, possibly believe I could change the world for continuing to die. When we made the decision to go the better over the decisions of those with the proper to war, we believed that we were gonna help the peoauthority?' In retrospect I should have worked more ple of these countries, not kill them. We look back at aggressively inside the system.... Unfortunately, I our decisions and wonder, 'How on earth could we, can't go back and change things. I can only go forthe most powerful country in the world, and a deward.... Before I can do that though, I understand mocratic one at that, possibly believe we could win that I must pay a price for my decisions and ac(Continued on page 5) tions.... I want to be a better person.... and to have a
Bradley Manning Gets 35 Years
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Pastors for Peace Makes 22nd Annual Humanitarian Trip to Cuba by Kyle Tomlinson, MAPJ Campus Organizer McAllen, Texas, declaring their statements of defiance. The process was repeated upon return. As the years have passed, the attention this caravan has garnered from government officials continues to diminish, almost to the point of an unspoken understanding. Given that the caravanistas intend to challenge the blockade, the lack of confrontation in recent years has not been a welcome reoccurrence. Of course, officials have their reasons to let Pastors for Peace cross with little disturbance. They know the blockade lacks moral grounds as well as public support: multiple polls show public support to be well over 60% in favor of ending the blockade. But if there is anything our government understands, it is the power of media coverage and citizen communication. A confrontation causes a scene, a scene means news coverage and protests, and news coverage and protests mean balancing public demands with those of a handful of very wealthy, anti-revolutionary Cuban Americans in Miami who wish to see the embargo continue. It is this group of Miami residents that is considered by many to be the sole reason for the embargo’s longevity, given that its continued observance has not broken the Cuban revolutionary spirit! religious Foundation for Community Organization In order to fulfill the goal of challenging the (IFCO). blockade, Pastors for Peace leaders continue to Pastors for Peace also networks with many soli- think of creative ways to initiate discussion. This year, they changed the format of the caravan. Indarity groups and churches across the country who help supply tons of aid. This is not hyperbole stead of crossing the border with buses in typical caravan form, on the return, caravanistas flew dior poor writing. Almost every caravan delivers over 100 tons of material aid to the Cuban people rectly from Mexico City to their home or “hub” cities, crossing borders all over the United States suffering from the blockade. and declaring their intent to protest the blockade. The reason for the “caravan” title is that in Yes, the extravagantly painted busses were nice every year prior to 2013, the group traveled across flair, and there might be some supporters who get the country in buses from city to city, spreading a little nostalgic thinking of the good ol’ days, but I awareness on the injustices being levied against think most caravanistas wanted to do what makes Cuba by the United States government. Finally, the buses would cross the border into Mexico from (Continued on page 6) Pastors for Peace began protesting the U.S. embargo of Cuba in 1992 by openly defying U.S. policy, which demands U.S. citizens to apply for a “People-to-People” license from the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before traveling to Cuba. This act of civil disobedience, based firmly in peaceful resistance to an immoral and unjust embargo that costs the Cuban people almost $700 million dollars annually, aims to provide the people of Cuba with medical and other humanitarian aid. Participants are asked to bring as much aid as they can, and many do! For those of you unfamiliar with Pastors for Peace, it is a group that has been delivering humanitarian aid to Latin American countries since 1988 under the New York based non-profit, Inter-
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Kansas protests hit right-wing billionaires by Bryan Pfeifer—Organizer, American Federation of Teachers A rainbow of working people from across Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, North Carolina Gov. Kansas boldly confronted the extreme right-wing Pat McCrory and that state’s Budget Director Art Americans for Prosperity group at its two loca- Pope. tions in Topeka and Wichita on July 10 in 90AFP money, along with that of other rightdegree heat. In both locations, protesters unfurled wing organizations such as the American Legislacolorful banners and signs that renamed the AFP the “Americans for Austerity.” AFP is funded by the infamous billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch, and other Wall Street interests such as the MacIver Institute and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. The Koch brothers are following in the political footsteps of their anti-union father, Fred C. Koch, who co-founded the John Birch Society. Chanting “They say cut back, we say fight back,” “Hands off our children,” “Hands off our pensions,” “Hands off women” and other slogans, over 150 participants from across northeastern and central Kansas protested in Topeka. The diverse crowd of many ages, genders, sexualities, disabilities, and nationalities made clear their fightback spirit, taking up two sides of the street right in front of the AFP office on the city’s main tive Exchange Council (ALEC), has bought virtuboulevard with their banners, signs and bullhorn. ally every Kansas politician in the current legislaThey received numerous honks of support from ture. This resulted in the 2013 session being one of the worst anti-worker, anti-community legislative cars passing by. sessions in Kansas history. In Wichita, about 30 protesters gave the AFP But as July 10 showed, there is a progressive office there a similar reception. current in Kansas. More and more working people The July 10 actions received widespread meare starting to fight back in their own interests, dia coverage before, during and after the events. especially in response to The protesters forced ever deeper austerity AFP to respond, which The American Federation of Teachers Local 6400 pushed by Wall Street they did with a derisive fronts like the AFP. at K-State now has a new Facebook page. The anti-worker, anticommunity statement page is being updated frequently with the union's Thirty-four labor and organizathat praised the Jim and community organizations, including MAPJ's, community Crow, right-to-work-fortions endorsed the July information and upcoming events. Local 6400 less wage slave law in represents the service and maintenance workers at 10 actions. These inKansas. K-State. Log on at: facebook.com/AFTLocal6400. cluded the Bail Out the On the same day People Movement, Kanthe AFP protests took sas AFL-CIO, the Topeka Federation of Labor, the place, ultra-rightist Charles Koch launched one of his new campaigns, which includes a demand to American Federation of Teachers, the Lawrence Center For Peace and Justice, the Manhattan Allieliminate the minimum wage. AFP’s goals include union busting, deregula- ance For Peace & Justice (MAPJ), MoveOn, the tion and privatization. According to environment- LGBTQ Kansas Equality Coalition-Topeka Chapfriendly organizations such as the Sierra Club, the ter, Kansas National Organization for Women, Koch brothers, through their oil and gas indus- Sunflower Community Action, the Sierra Club and tries, continue to engage in wanton environmental the Working Kansas Alliance. destruction. AFP money is behind politicians like
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Kansas Protests Austerity by Bryan Pfeifer, AFT Poor and working people from throughout northeastern Kansas and beyond marched and rallied in Lawrence on June 8 to protest an anti-people austerity budget passed by the right-wing Legislature and now signed into law soon by Gov. Sam Brownback. At a rally at the Plymouth Congregational Church, progressive, faith-based, labor and community leaders denounced the austerity budget. This was followed by a mass march down Massachusetts Street, the central street in this city that has a history of anti-slavery and abolitionist struggle, along with the spirit of John Brown. The action was sponsored by MoveOn chapters in Kansas and endorsed by numerous progressive organizations including the AFT Kansas. The new budget contains hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to the rich, while it fleeces the working class with hikes in numerous official taxes and other forms of austerity, such as massive cuts to higher education. Many bills hostile to labor and community interests have been signed by Brownback in this legislative session. This is on top of the elimination of certain business taxes, passed in 2012 and implemented in 2013, which have caused enormous shortfalls in the state budget. These laws are being passed at the behest of Wall Street and in particular the banks, which are demanding their “debt service.” Wall Street’s political servants in the State House are assisted by individuals and organizations such as the Koch brothers, Americans For Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Those rallying June 8 made it clear the working class struggle is alive in Kansas. Chanting “Brownback’s gotta go!” and “Stand up! Fight back!” and hoisting placards such as “People’s budget — not banker’s budget”
throughout his unconstitutional, far-from-speedy trial, up until a few hours ago, when judge Lind senthe hearts and minds of the people of these countries tenced him to 35 years in prison, one thing has been by going to war with them, instead of making peace clear. The US government lacks vision, both globally and locally. Globally, it prefers to extend a hand with them?' In retrospect we should never have holding a gun rather than extend a hand in peace. killed so many innocent men, women and children, Locally, it projects its own narrow vision for and destroyed their homes, farms, environresolution on its own young citizenry. Our ment, and economy. Unfortunately, we can't government is either incapable of recognizgo back and change things. We can only go ing the potential for positive, conscienceforward. Before we can do that though, we driven decision-making that resides in some understand that we must pay a price for our young soldiers like Bradley Manning, or it is decisions and actions. We want to be a betafraid of that potential. ter country, and to have a meaningful relationship with the people of the countries we According to the Bradley Manning Suphave invaded and occupied. We want to be a port Network, defense attorney Coombs is positive influence in their lives. We hope "applying for a Presidential Pardon, and the you can give us the opportunity to prove photo: Tom Manney case will be brought to the Army Court of that we are in fact a democracy. We want to Criminal Appeals, to address several deprivations of apologize to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan for Manning’s due process rights." all the horrors our policies have poured upon them. Questions of legality are central for Mr. Coombs We want to stand up and take responsibility for our because his role in this case, his only job, is to deal actions and hold ourselves accountable. Thank you, only with such technical issues. But that shouldn't your Honor." apply to the rest of us as American citizens. Our foThrough Manning's whole secret roller coaster (Continued on page 6) ride, from the day he was arrested in May of 2010, (“Manning”, Continued from page 2)
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Bringing Economic Justice to a Corporate Chain Near You by Guy Hallman, MAPJ Board Member Something new and hopeful has been happening in two keys sectors of the low-wage job market recently. Despite a history of feeble pushback by cowed, exploited low-wage workers at big-box and fast food outlets and a poor job market, which usually is thought to keep workers in line, workers at fast food restaurants and WalMart have been walking off the job and striking their employers. It has been brewing for the past year and now has become so widespread that Manhattan residents need only go as far as Kansas City to see striking workers. We have a Wal-Mart and fast food outlets in The Little Apple: why must we drive to Kansas City to see striking workers? What will it take to see them striking here and in other cities in Kansas? Over 4 million people work in fast food in the US. It is often considered by the uninformed pub-
lic as a temporary job for students, recent immigrants, the unambitious and uneducated, or retirees who want a little extra cash or something to do with their time. Thus, low wages with no benefits do only temporary harm. Whether or not that was ever true, the median age today for fast food workers is 28, and including managerial staff, the average income is $9.08, which, although greater than the inadequate minimum wage, still leaves those employees under the poverty line. All of this while fast food industries are raking in record profits— for example, $5.5 billion for McDonald’s last year. A great many of these workers are refugees from the shrinking middle class who saw their jobs disappear when they were sent to even lower wage earners overseas or greedy money lenders crashed the economy. They have to “put food on (Continued on page 7)
Movies on the Grass Returns Sept. 8 - Serious Play is a series of TED lecture and animated shorts exploring the deeper meaning behind gaming and why we love games, and the impact they have on our lives. Themes include gamification, what it means to be a gamer, freedom of speech, and how games enrich our lives. (“Manning”, Continued from page 5)
Movies on the Grass are free and open to the public, Sept. 15 - In Organic We Trust is an eye-opening food documentary that follows Director/Producer Kip Pastor on a personal journey to answer commonly asked questions about organic food: What exactly is organic? Is it really better, or just a marketing scam?
blowing it out. But I think that government officials are finally realizing that they can't keep sucking it in indefinitely. The Mannings, Snowdens and Ellsburgs of this country have been making sure of that—even when it means sacrificing long stretches of their lives. They need our support and understanding to keep this momentum going.
cus has to shift away from what the law says and toward deeper moral issues that our laws are not addressing adequately or justly. That's what we should be doing. On September 20, 2011, in an address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama stated, “We’ll work to reform and expand Priti Gulati Cox is an artist living in Salina, protections for whistleblowers who expose government waste, fraud and abuse.” But in the real world, Kansas. She is an organizer for the Peace and Jusit is as though the US government has chosen to hold tice organization CODEPINK. a whistle in its mouth but suck the air in instead of (“Pastors for Peace”, Continued from page 3)
sense. What makes sense is challenging the blockade in more than a dozen U.S. cities, confronting the issues boldly in multiple regions, and drawing attention back to the subject at hand, which is ending the abuses of the United States government toward the people of Cuba. I hope to write in subsequent issues on less informative grounds, including a more personal look at my experiences in Cuba.
MAPJ News: September, 2013 - p.7 (“Bringing Economic Justice,” Continued from page 6)
their families” as a former president disinterestedly quipped. Fast food jobs can’t, of course, be shipped overseas, or they surely would have. So why are these workers in dead-end, lowpaying jobs striking now? Desperation, for one, may be hypothesized. On a more positive note, perhaps American workers are beginning to realize that the “self-made man” and “meritocracy” are indeed myths that perpetuate income disparity. They are noticing that working hard does not necessarily get you ahead and they are noticing that undeserving money lenders and changers are making obscenely huge loads of cash while damaging the economy for the rest of the people. Economic inequality in the US is the highest of all industrialized countries. For example, the richest 1% in the US has over 30% of all net worth, while the lowest 20% have less than 4%—and this disparity is only increasing. Perhaps the huge gap between how people think our economic system
works and how it actually does, as Stephen McNamee and Robert Miller present in their book The Meritocracy Myth (2009), is one gap that is getting smaller and none too soon. The facts argue that our nation that supposedly created the middle class may be rapidly losing its status as a middle-class country. The growing ex-middle class that now finds itself in the lower class is hopefully realizing that economic advancement does not automatically come through education and honest hard work alone. Economic justice must be demanded and legislated: it is never given freely by those who profit from injustice, such as fast food chains and big box stores making record profits in these times of economic hardship for so many people. Let’s join the struggle for this justice; let’s start right here in our own home towns. There should be no need to drive to another city to see this struggle taking place when it is needed everywhere in this country.
begin soon after dusk (around 8pm), and are shown south of K-State’s Hale Library (unless noted otherwise). Sept. 22 - God Grew Tired of Us explores the indomitable spirit of three “Lost Boys” from the Sudan who leave their homeland, triumph over seemingly insurmountable adversities and move to America, where they build active and fulfilling new lives but remain deeply committed to helping the friends and family they have left behind.
Sept. 29 - Chimpanzee. Journey deep into the African rainforest and meet Oscar, an adorable young chimp with an entertaining approach to life, and a remarkable story of individual triumph and family bonds. The world is a playground for little Oscar and his fellow young chimps who love creating mayhem. (at Sunset Zoo)
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MAPJ News: September, 2013 - p.8 Chair: Jeff Gauthier Vice-Chair: Jon Tveite Treasurer: Anne Cowan Coordinator: Brenda Mayberry Campus Organizer: Kyle Tomlinson Webmaster: Jon Tveite Newsletter Editor/Layout: Jon Tveite Committees: To become more involved, e-mail to join one of the following committees: El Salvador Sister City; Programming; Legislative Action; Newsletter; Nominating; Website.
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Lou Douglas Lectures: Fall of 2013 (K-State Student Union, Forum Hall) Sandy Praeger
Kansas Insurance Commissioner
Economist, New York University
Tuesday, September 10 7:00 P.M.
Tuesday, October 15, 7:00 P.M.
“A Kansas Guide to Health “Rising Inequality: Insurance Changes” The Decline of the American Middle Class” 15 – Movies on the Grass (pp. 6-7) 17 – MAPJ Board Meeting: 7 pm at UFM, Thurston and N. ManhatSeptember tan. Note new meeting day 8 – Movies on the Grass (see pp. 6-7) (Tuesdays); all members wel10 – Lou Douglas Lecture (see above) come. 12 – MAPJ Fall Speaker: Marjorie 22 – Movies on the Grass (pp. 6-7) Cohn, K-State Union Little Thea27-29 – Prairie Festival at The Land ter, 7:30 pm (see front page of Institute, Salina (see website @ newsletter for details). www.landinstitute.org/) 14 – K-State Band Day Parade, 1:00 29 – Movies on the Grass (pp. 6-7) pm
October 15 – Lou Douglas Lecture (see above) 15 – MAPJ Board Meeting: 7 pm at UFM, Thurston and N. Manhattan. Note new meeting day (Tuesdays); all members welcome. 19 – Annual conference of the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty: All day (see website @ www.ksabolition.org for details).