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This week at a glance.

Monday
Feb 23

•Nuclear-free Wales
•Goodbye Qaddafi

Tuesday
Feb 24
•José Martí
•Labor for peace
•Farmer says no to the draft
•Berrigan released
•Sandra Flute

Wednesday
Feb 25
•General strike against Nazis
•General underestimates Vietnamese resolve
•Congress moves to limit war
•MidEast Day of Rage

Thursday
Feb 26
•And the Freedom Award goes to . . .
•Weapons inspectors in U.S.

Friday
Feb 27
•Sit-downs knocked down by Court
•Occupation of Wounded Knee
Saturday
Feb 28
•Satytagraha
•Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
•Harmonious struggle in both East & West

Sunday
Feb 29
•Commission warns against racism
•Judge seeks real justice

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February 23, 1982

Wales declared itself a nuclear weapons-free zone. It has just one remaining nuclear power plant left at Wylfa on Anglesey, generating about 15% of the country’s electricity. The process of decommissioning the Wylfa plant is planned to take until the year 2125.

Nuclear-free zones




February is Black History Month
   
 
 
 
   
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February 23, 2011

Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, fell to rebels after three days of violent clashes with the forces of brutal dictator Colonel Muammar Qaddafi.
“He is gone. A dragon has been slain,” cried Ahmed Al-Fatuuir outside the secret police headquarters. “Now he has to explain where all the bodies are.

Graffiti showing a caricature of Gaddafi reading,
'The Monkey of Monkeys of Africa', a reference to his self-declared title 'The King of Kings of Africa'.

Tuesday


February 24, 1895

José Martí, a Cuban revolutionary, poet, journalist and teacher, began the liberation struggle against Spanish control. He had been forced out of Cuba repeatedly (to Spain) for his opposition to colonial rule, and spent 15 years in the U.S. organizing the revolution just before returning home.

José Martí

I Cultivate a White Rose
By José Martí
I cultivate a white rose
In July as in January
For the sincere friend
Who gives me his hand frankly.
And for the cruel person who tears out
the heart with which I live,
I cultivate neither nettles nor thorns:
I cultivate a white rose
.

read about José Martí


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February 24, 1965

District 1199 of the health care workers’ union (now Service Employees International Union) in New York City became the first U.S. labor union to officially oppose the war in Vietnam.

     



February 24, 1966

Barry Bondhus, classified 1-A (fully eligible) for the draft during the Vietnam War, dumped two buckets of manure in file drawers at the Elk River, Minnesota, draft board. A farmer’s son (one of ten brothers) from Big Lake who acted with the full support of his parents, he was charged with destruction of government property.
Father and son, Tom and Barry Bondhus, united in their opposition to the draft.
Photo: Pete Hohn, Minneapolis Tribune
continued (info, photos, links). . .





February 24, 1972

Daniel Berrigan (one of the "Catonsville 9") was released after 18 months of a three-year term. He went to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where his brother Phil Berrigan was on trial, also for anti-Vietnam War activities [see February 21, 1972].

Investigation of a Flame, a film about the Berrigan brothers and the Catonsville 9



February 24, 2012

Syndicated talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh began a three-broadcast-day-long campaign attacking Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke (rhymes with book) for her testimony before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
The previous week she had been invited to testify on the subject of federal requirements for contraceptive coverage in health insurance policies before the Republican-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Instead, Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) declared her testimony inappropriate (she is past president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice), instead hearing from five men. Committee member Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney asked, “Where are the women?”
Fluke talked about the high cost of contraception and the non-pregnancy-related importance of such medications for some women.
Limbaugh spent six hours on air demeaning her personally and derided her as a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

Watch Sandra Fluke’s testimony:




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Wednesday


February 25, 1941

A general strike was called in Amsterdam to protest Nazi persecution of Jews under the German Nazi occupation.The previous weekend 425 Jewish men and boys had been imprisoned (only two survived the war). Truck drivers, dock and metal workers, civil servants and factory employees — Christians, Liberals, Social Democrats and Communists — answered the call and brought the city to a standstill. The work stoppages spread to Zaanstreek, Kennemerland and Utrecht.
Two days later the strike was called off: nine people were dead, 50 injured and another 200 arrested, some of whom were to die in the concentration camps.
The Dokwerker” is a statue by sculptor Mari Andriessen in Amsterdam’s Jonas Daniel Meyer Square commemorating the February 1941 strike. It is frequestly the rallying point for demonstrations against racism.

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February 25, 1968

Discussing the war capacity of North Vietnam, a country that had been fighting for its independence for 23 years and had just staged the massive, successful Tet Offensive, U.S. General William C. Westmoreland stated, "I do not believe Hanoi can hold up under a long war."
He was replaced as commander in Vietnam less than four months later.
Vietnam commander General William Westmoreland meeting with President Lyndon Johnson
Westmoreland’s life and career


February 25, 1971

Legislation was introduced in both houses of Congress to forbid U.S. military support of any South Vietnamese invasion of North Vietnam without prior congressional approval. This bill was a result of the controversy that arose following the invasion of Laos by South Vietnamese forces.
On February 8, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam had launched a major cross-border operation into Laos to interdict activity along the Ho Chi Minh Trail and destroy the North Vietnamese supply dumps in the area. The Ho Chi Minh Trail, named for the leader of North Vietnam, was an informal network of jungle trails down which supplies came from the north, supplying insurgents and troops in the south.

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February 25, 2011

A Day of Rage saw demonstrations across the Middle East. Protesters in Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, and Bahrain showed their support variously for an end to corruption and income inequality, political reform and better public services, and the replacement of long-running dictatorships with democratic regimes.
Day of Rage in Taiz, Yemen
Reports from throughout the region

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Thursday


February 26, 1966

Four thousand picketed outside New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel as President Lyndon Johnson received the National Freedom Award. As Johnson began his speech in defense of his Vietnam policies, James Peck of the War Resisters League jumped to his feet and shouted, "Mr. President, peace in Vietnam!"
Julian Bond in 1966

On the streets, meanwhile, activist A.J. Muste presented the crowd's own "Freedom Award" to Julian Bond, who had been denied his seat in the Georgia legislature for refusing to disavow his opposition to the war, and for his support of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.



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February 26, 1998

Libby Davies

An international Citizens' Weapons Inspection Team, led by Canadian Member of Parliament Libby Davies (NDP-Vancouver East), was denied entry to determine the presence or absence of weapons of mass destruction at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Washington, nuclear submarine base, just 12 km (20 miles) from Seattle and less than 60 km (100 mile) from Canada.

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Peace quote


"We shouldn't be exporting uranium because you're exporting cancer."
- Dr. Helen Calldicott/Sydney Morning Herald, July 2006




Friday


February 27, 1939

Flint sit-down strikers, 1937 The Supreme Court outlawed sit-down strikes in its decision NLRB v. Fansteel Metallurgical Corp. Such strikes had become a very effective strategy employed by workers to organize unions. The 1937 Flint sit-down strike of autoworkers against General Motors forced GM to recognize the United Auto Workers as the representative of its hourly employees, and negotiate wages and working conditions.
The text of the Supreme Court’s decision:




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February 27, 1973

Hundreds of Oglala Lakota Sioux and members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupied the village of Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

Angered over a long history of violated treaties, mistreatment, family dismemberment, cultural destruction, discrimination, and impoverishment through confiscation of resources, they particularly demanded the U.S. live up to the terms of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. That treaty recognized the Sioux as an independent nation in the western half of South Dakota. Additionally, there had been a recent campaign of harassment and violence by tribal and FBI officials. Wounded Knee was chosen because of the 1890 massacre there of several hundred men, women and children by U.S. troops.
The occupation lasted until May.

The Fort Laramie Treaty
 
What happened at Wounded Knee

Peace quote


"What we did in the 1960s and early 1970s was raise the consciousness of white America that this government has a responsibility to Indian people. That there are treaties; that textbooks in every school in America have a responsibility to tell the truth..."
- Dennis Banks



Saturday


February 28, 1919

Gandhi, 1919 Mohandas Gandhi launched his campaign of non-cooperation with Imperial British control of India. He called his overall method of nonviolent action Satyagraha, formed from satya (truth) and agraha, used to describe an effort or endeavor. This translates roughly as "Truth-force." A fuller rendering, though, would be "the force that is generated through adherence to Truth."

More on Satyagraha (civil disobedience)

Addiitional resources
Excerpt from The Core of Gandhi's Philosophy 
by Unto Tahtinen on the concept of Satyagraha
Composer Philip Glass’s opera, Satyagraha,
about a man who helped change the world

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Did you know . . .
the first peace symbol buttons were made in 1958 using white clay . . .

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February 28, 1958

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) was founded in London by philosopher Sir Bertrand Russell, then 86 years old, and the Reverend Canon (Lewis) John Collins of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The peace symbol was originally developed for CND.

History of the CND The CND today


February 28, 1989

The Nevada-Semipalatinsk Movement to Stop All Nuclear Testing was founded in the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Olzhas Suleimenov, a popular Kazakh poet, was chosen to lead this first anti-nuclear non-governmental organization in Kazakhstan, formerly part of the USSR. Nevada-Semipalatinsk ended nuclear arms tests at the Semipalatinsk Polygon. Organizers had been inspired by the large Nevada Test Site anti-nuclear demonstrations and encampments outside Las Vegas in the mid-to-late 1980s.
Read more
a Semipalatinsk test >
< demo at Semipalatinsk, 1990

Sunday


February 29, 1968

The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission) warned that racism was causing America to move "toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal." Former Illinois Governor Otto Kerner and his commission were charged by President Lyndon Johnson to look into the causes of the many riots that had taken place in recent years.
Discussion of the Kerner Commission in retrospect


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February 29, 1968

U.S. District Judge Miles W. Lord held the officers of A.H. Robins Company personally liable for the injuries caused by the intrauterine contraceptive device they had produced and sold, the Dalkon Shield. Eighteen women had died, and more than 300,000 ultimately claimed injury.
The top three executives had to pay $4.6 million personally, and the company paid out $220 million in compensatory and $13 million in punitive damages to thousands of women.

Judge Miles W. Lord
continued (info, photos, links). . .


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