Archive for May, 2007

Malalai Joya——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Malalai Joya Needs Your Help Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 02:11:44 -0500 From: Afghan Women’s Mission Reply-To: Afghan Women’s Mission To: emmarosenthal@earthlink.net

Dear friends,

For the past several years, the Afghan Women’s Mission has been expressing ourmoral and financial solidarity with Afghan Parliamentarian Malalai Joya. AWM has organized two US tours for her (2006, 2007) and helped inform the US public about her important work. Joya is the only elected official in
Afghanistan who has been truly representing her people through her vocal
denunciations of the war criminals in Parliament. Now, she has been suspended by the warlord-dominated parliament. Read on to find out how you can help…

*** An Urgent Message from the Defense Committee for Malalai Joya ***

In the past few weeks, after Malalai Joya’s return from a successful
international tour and interview with a local TV station in Kabul, the
warlords and criminals in the Afghan Parliament and Senate, tried hard to
silence Joya and kick her out of the Parliament.

They have used one of her recent comments during an interview as a
justification for their move. In the interview, she expressed that the Afghan
Parliament is worse than an animal stable whose many members are the murderers and enemies of Afghan people.

On May 21, 2007, with a gross majority, the Parliament dominated by warlords and drug-lords suspended Joya for three years and ordered the High Court to file a case against her. They also directed the Interior Ministry to restrict her movements to within the country. This means she is not allowed to travel outside Afghanistan.

In a press conference in Kabul, Joya announced that it is a political
conspiracy against her and she will continue her fight against the warlords
and enemies of Afghan people. She is ready to face an independent court and
will use the opportunity to expose the enemies of Afghan people through it.
Joya added, “but I am very sorry that there is no justice in Afghanistan and
the judiciary is also infected with the virus of warlordism and the
fundamentalists occupy it.”

Some Afghan lawyers that we approached believe that the Parliament’s decision is illegal and only a court can decide to oust an elected representative of people from the parliament.

But we are happy that majority of ordinary Afghan people strongly support Joya and she is receiving many phone calls, letters and emails full of sympathies and solidarity following the parliament decision.

WE URGE all her supporters and well-wishers to come forward and help Joya now.

YOU CAN do so in the following ways:

– Write to Afghan officials and file your protest for expelling and
prosecuting Joya, while the terrorists and human rights violators in the
parliament were provided immunity before any court for their past crimes
last month.

– Express your concern for Joya’s security during the court sessions as the
fundamentalists currently hold key positions in Afghanistan’s judiciary.

– Circulate this letter and ask lawyers and defenders of human rights in your
area and country to come forward and help Joya during her court proceedings
and defend her.

– Donate to Joya’s security fund online at
https://www.malalaijoya.com/donor/donor_info.php to help improve her security with necessary equipment and facilities, while she is now deprived of all official facilities.

Letters of protest can be sent to the following sources:

President Hamid Karzai

Supreme Court of Afghanistan
Feedback Form of the Supreme Court

Afghanistan’s Parliament

Interior Ministry

Justice Ministry of Afghanistan

We thank you for your prompt action and support and hope you will forward a copy of your letters to mj@malalaijoya.com.

For more information, visit www.malalaijoya.com.

Afghan Women’s Mission
2460 North Lake Avenue
PMB 207
Altadena, CA 91001

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To all labor, peace, and justice activists!
We need your assistance and participation. Attached is a sponsor letter if you can assist in that way–but we also need help in a number of areas–including assisting with getting the word out, security at events, working the door and tables. We are still looking for translators that can speak Arabic. We also plan to make these events as accessible as possible for people with disabilities, so if you know of sign language interpreters or can assist with creating signage we can use your assistance with that as well.

Below you will find the basics of the tour. Please contact me with any questions.
Andy Griggs for LA-US Labor Against the War 310-704-3217

Iraqi Labor Solidarity Tour – Los Angeles

Friday, June 8, 2007
12 noon – Labor Luncheon – LA County Federation of Labor
5 PM – Labor Reception and Forum – UCLA Downtown Labor Center

Saturday, June 9, 2007
4 PM – CTA Peace and Justice Caucus Forum – Bonaventure Hotel
7:30 PM – Community/Labor Solidarity Forum – United Teachers Los Angeles

Sunday, June 10, 2007
8:30 AM – Arlington West Visit (unconfirmed) – Arlington West, Santa Monica Beach

For more information: LAUSLAW1@aol.com   626-392-6378

Hosted by LA-USLAW
Local Sponsors:
KPFK – Media Sponsor, LA County Federation of Labor, Fellowship of Reconciliation, United Steelworkers, Local 675, AFT 1521, January 27 Coalition, United Teachers Los Angeles, Cal State LA College Faculty Guild, CTA Peace & Justice Caucus, Coalition for World Peace, Progressive Democrats LA, Military Families Speak Out – OC, LA-Iraq Veterans Against the War, American Federation of State County & Municipal
Employees Council 36 Retiree Chapter, California Federation of Teachers, American
Friends Service Committee, Cafe Intifada, The WE Project

About the tour

A rare opportunity for people in the US to dialogue directly with Iraqi workers and labor leaders about current attempts to control Iraq’s oil, women’s issues, the occupation, and the role of labor in creating a-sectarian, progressive Iraq.

These courageous leaders struggled for years against Saddam Hussein’s repression.  Now they have stepped forward to organize workers seeking to improve conditions at their workplaces and in their lives under the difficult conditions of occupation, sectarian division, and violence.  They are fighting not only for basic labor rights for all workers but also for women’s equality and against privatization of their national resources.

Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President
Electrical Utility Workers Union,
General Federation of Iraqi Workers

Sister Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein is the first woman to head a national union in Iraq.  Following high school, she went to work at the Southern Company for Electricity, where she became active in the labor movement.  She rose to leadership of the Electricity Workers Union in Basra and recently was elected its national president.  She serves on the executive committee of the Basra Work Unions Coalition.  She is head of the Women Workers’ Bureau and is a leader in the Iraqi Women’s Association.  She and her 7-year old son have received death threats as a result of her activism.

Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary
Southern Oil Company Union,
Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions

Brother Faleh Abood Umara is a founding member of the oil workers union and worked for the Southern Oil Company in Basra for 28 years.In 1998, he was detained by the Hussein regime for his activities on behalf of his coworkers.He has served on the union’s negotiating team with both the Oil Ministry and British occupation authorities to defend the rights and interests of oil industry workers in the post-Saddam era.  The Southern Oil Workers Union has conducted strikes against outsourcing to foreign workers and schemes to privatize the oil sector.

National Dates (Full schedule of events will be posted at http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org):
Washington DC:  June 4-7
Los Angeles:  June 7-10
San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, Santa Cruz: June 10-13
Boston:  June 13-15
New York City:  June 16-19
Philadelphia:  June 19
Chicago/Milwaukee:  June 20-23
Washington DC:  June 24-26
Atlanta:  June 27-28
LA-US Labor Against the War      PO Box 26382, Los Angeles, CA 90026      626-392-6378

Fellow Peace and Justice Activists,

Next month, LA-US Labor Against War (USLAW) is hosting two prominent Iraqi Labor Leaders for events in our area. Similar to the Iraq Labor Tour in 2005, this tour will raise our consciousness about the everyday realities for Iraqis and the struggle of those organizing in the labor movement there. This LA visit is part of an historic national tour reaching 13 US cities.

We’re excited for the return of Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary of the Iraq Federation of Oil Workers, and proud to be hosting the first woman president of any union in Iraq, Hashmeya Mohsen al Hussein, President of the Iraq Electrical Utility Workers Union.

We invite you to sponsor this visit with a donation of $100 or more (cash or in-kind) to help us offset the costs of the LA portion of the tour. Amounts in excess of $100 will be donated to the US LAW Iraq Labor Solidarity Fund, used to support the labor movement in Iraq and to support USLAW’s international solidarity activities. Of course, we will accept donations in any amount if the sponsorship is not possible.

Our local activities will take place June 8 – 10, and will consist of press events, two large public events,

June 8, 5 PM at the UCLA Downtown Labor Center, 675 S. Parkview
June 9, 7:30 PM at UTLA Headquarters, 3303 Wilshire Blvd.
and meetings with various local labor leaders, politicians and activists. We will widely publicize all public events through radio, print media and flyers. KPFK-FM is our media sponsor. Labor sponsors will also be invited to a special luncheon with Faleh and Hashmeya during their visit.

Make your donation by sending the form below with a check made out to “LA County Federation of Labor” (with “LA-USLAW/ILT” in the memo line) to LA-USLAW, PO Box 26382, Los Angeles, CA 90026.

Thank you for your consideration. Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call me at
626-392-6378 or via email at LAUSLAW1@aol.com.

In solidarity,

Andy Griggs
Yes! I/We want to support the Iraq Labor Tour in Los Angeles!

I/We will be a:  ____ Supporter ($10 – 49)  _____ Donor ($50-99)    _____ Sponsor ($100+)

Amount enclosed_______ In-kind donation (type of service/value) ______________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Organization (list in PR/programs as) _____________________________________________
Phone__________________________ fax_________________________

I/We can also support by spreading the word in the following ways (please specify method, i.e. list serve, direct mail, phone, announce at events/meetings, etc) and to the following groups: _______________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________

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Dear All,
The following letter is addressed to the Rolling Stones who are planning a
concert in Israel. At this point we are soliciting endorsements from
artists, cultural figures, intellectuals and cultural organizations, and
others who wish to lend their support.

Please send endorsements to info@boycottisrael.ps, with your name/name of
organization, city and country.

Boycott Israel – Don’t Play another “Sun City”!

An open letter to the Rolling Stones regarding their planned gig in Israel

18 May 2007

Dear Rolling Stones,

The Palestinian arts community received in disbelief media reports of your
upcoming performance in Israel, at a time when Israel continues unabated
with its colonial and apartheid designs to further dispossess, oppress,
and ultimately ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland. If the
news is accurate, we strongly urge you to cancel your plans to perform in
Israel until the time comes when it ends its illegal occupation of
Palestinian territory and respects fundamental human rights as well as the
relevant precepts of international law concerning Palestinian rights to
freedom, self-determination and equality.

Performing in Israel at this time is morally equivalent to performing in
South Africa during the apartheid era. We all remember how leading Rolling
Stones musicians played a prominent role in enforcing a cultural boycott
of apartheid South Africa in the 1980’s, and participated in recording
the timeless song, Sun City, which had a singular influence on raising
public awareness about apartheid and its injustices. As Archbishop Desmond
Tutu, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights Prof. John Dugard, and South
African government minister Ronnie Kasrils have repeatedly declared,
Israel has created a worse system of apartheid than anything that ever
existed in South Africa.

Indeed, Israel’s policies throughout its illegal military occupation of
Palestinian territory, which have surpassed their South African
counterparts, include house demolitions; Jews-only colonies and roads;
uprooting hundreds of thousands of trees; indiscriminate killings of
civilians, particularly children; incessant theft of land and water
resources; denying freedom of movement to millions under occupation,
cutting up the occupied Palestinian territory into Bantustans, some
entirely caged by walls, fences and hundreds of roadblocks. Sixty years
since the Nakba, Israel’s planned campaign of ethnic cleansing against
the Palestinian people, and 40 years into its military occupation of
Palestinian and other Arab territory, Israel has consistently and
relentlessly violated basic human rights and relevant precepts of
international law with utter impunity. Moreover, Israel’s war of
aggression against Lebanon last year caused more than one thousand
civilian deaths, not to mention massive destruction to infrastructure and
decimation of entire residential neighbourhoods.

The resounding failure of the international community to date in ending
Israel’s occupation, collective punishment, and other forms of
oppression was what prompted Palestinians to appeal to international civil
society to bear its moral responsibility to put an end to injustice, just
as it did against apartheid South Africa. To this end, Palestinian civil
society has almost unanimously called for boycott, divestment and
sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it fully complies with international
law and recognizes the fundamental human rights of the people of
Palestine. A specific call for cultural boycott of Israel was issued last
year, garnering wide support. Among the many groups and institutions that
have heeded the Palestinian boycott calls and started to consider or apply
diverse forms of effective pressure on Israel are the Church of England;
the US Presbyterian Church; a group of top British architects; the British
National Union of Journalists in the UK; the Congress of South African
Trade Unions (COSATU); the South African Council of Churches; the Canadian
Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario; Aosdana, the Irish
state-sponsored academy of artists; celebrated authors, artists and
intellectuals led by John Berger; and Palme d’Or winner director Ken
Loach. Is it too much, then, to expect conscientious artists like the
Rolling Stones to similarly uphold the values of freedom, equality and
justice for all by supporting the growing boycott against Israel?

We appeal to your moral principles and your record of standing up for
human rights and human dignity. We sincerely hope that you shall cancel
this ill-conceived and particularly harmful concert in Israel.


The Undersigned:
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

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Scroll down to find links  to several documents to assist non-profit and community organizations in providing full inclusion.  The WE Project is available to assist groups in their transition to non-disciminatory event planning.

Current law requires “reasonable accommodations.” Beyond that,  disability rights groups are advocating for universal design and full inclusion.

If people with disabilities are not attending, performing or participating in the planning of your events, you are not including a large sector of our population.  If we are to actualize real social change, we can’t afford to exclude anyone.
At the very least, indicate on leaflets and announcments, the accessibility of your event.  If a separate entrance is provided, this entrance should be well marked and described on all publicity.  The last link, below provides excellent information on event planning, including a check list.

The following statement on all publicity for events that are accessible is suggested:
This event is handicapped accessible. For additional accommodations please contact….  (Additional accommodations may include sign language interpretation or other accommodations that requre specific planning.)

Otherwise it becomes necessary for disabled participants to call to assure that every event they attend (every film, restaurant, city park, fundraiser, film, meeting, store, hair salon etc.  is accessible.)  And its amazing how many public venues descriminate against people with disabilities.

If your public event is not accessible, you are in violation of the Americans with Disabilites Act and you are discriminating against people with disabilities.

Activists interested in working on greater disability rights, please feel free to contact us.

We can be reached at 818-404-5784  or theweproject@earthlink.net

In solidarity,

Emma Rosenthal
Andy Griggs
The WE Project

ADA Guide for Small Business:


Responsibilities  of Non-Profits Under the Americans with Disabilities Act:

(cut and paste this link into your browser)



People with Disabilities. Are Part of Your Community:

(cut and paste this link into your browser:)



Nothing About Us Without Us!

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Mumia(This announcement comes from the International Action Center.  The IAC is not affiliated with ¡Cafe Intifada!)

All Out for Mumia Abu-Jamal! Join Danny Glover, Cynthia McKinney and many others in Philadelphia!

Thurs • May 179:00 a.m. in front of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit  6th and Market Streets

What you can do to help get the word out:

We are asking everyone to contact the media and ask them to cover the events of May 17 — don’t let them ignore Mumia Abu-Jamal on this important day.

Below is a list of email addresses and a sample letter, which you can cut and paste, modify, and send to as many outlets as possible:

** Sample Letter **

Dear Editor:

In just a few days, lawyers for journalist and political activist Mumia Abu-Jamal will present oral arguments in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia on why Mumia, who has now spent almost 25 years on death row, deserves the right to a new trial.  The court will decide after May 17 whether Mumia will be given a fair trial, life in prison, or execution.  This case concerns, not only Mumia Abu-Jamal’s right to a fair trial, but the struggle against the death penalty and the racist political repression of an outspoken journalist.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is recognized internationally as a political prisoner whose Constitutional rights have been consistently violated in the state’s mad dash to railroad him to execution.  Mumia has been declared an honorary citizen of Paris, Palermo, the Central District of Copenhagen.  Mumia was awarded the coveted Solhvervfonden Foundation Award in Copenhagen, Denmark for his services to humanity as a voice of conscience.  Amnesty International has called for a new trial “on the basis that his original trial was deeply flawed.”    (see the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal website for more information: http://www.mumia.org )

On May 17, activists from all over the world will assemble in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to support Mumia Abu-Jamal’s right to a fair trial.  I urge you to cover this historic event.







NewsTips @ KYW1060info.com



NATIONAL & International Print

NATIONAL & International Television

NYC Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, International Action Center and FIST-Fight Imperialism, Stand Together youth group will be organizing buses to Philadelphia.

Buses will be leaving from 33rd St. and 8th Ave. at 5:30am and in front of 55 W. 17th St. at 6a.m. For bus tickets, call 212-633-6646. Go to http://www.millions4mumia.org to download May 17 literature.

Here are some facts:

* The oral argument in the case of death row, political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, is scheduled on May 17, 9:30 am, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Ceremonial Courtroom, 1st Floor, U.S. Courthouse, 6th and Market Streets. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and the National Lawyers Guild, which have filed amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs, are also participating.

* This case concerns Mr. Abu-Jamal’s right to a fair trial, the struggle against the death penalty, and the political repression of an outspoken journalist. Racism and politics are threads that have run through this case since his 1981 arrest. The complex issues under consideration, which are of great constitutional significance, include:

* Whether Mr. Abu-Jamal was denied the right to due process of law and a fair trial under the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments because of the prosecutor’s “appeal-after- appeal” argument which encouraged the jury to disregard the presumption of innocence and reasonable doubt, and err on the side of guilt.

* Whether the prosecution’s use of peremptory challenges to exclude African Americans from sitting on the jury violated Mr. Abu-Jamal’s rights to due process and equal protection of the law under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, and con°©travened Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).

* Whether the jury instructions and verdict form that resulted in the death penalty deprived Mr. Abu-Jamal of rights guar°©anteed by the Eight and Fourteenth Amend°©ments to due process of law, equal protection of the law, and not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, and violated Mills v. Maryland, 486 U.S. 367 (1988), since the judge precluded the jurors from considering any mitigating evidence unless they all agreed on the existence of a particular circumstance.

* Whether Mr. Abu-Jamal was denied due process and equal protection of the law under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments during post-conviction hearings as the result of the bias and racism of Judge Albert F. Sabo, which included the comment that he was “going to help ‘em fry the ni – – er”.

Mumia has always fought for people’s rights! A united, broad movement can save Mumia from a legal lynching! Free Mumia, Leonard Peltier, the Cuban 5, the MOVE 9 & all political prisoners

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Bleeding Afghanistan By Sonali Kolhatkar and Jim Ingalls

<> Photo: sonali kolhatkar<> and jim ingalls

On May 18th and 19th, Afghan Women’s Mission Co-Directors, Sonali Kolhatkar and James Ingalls will discuss the escalating war in Afghanistan. Recent demonstrations in Herat and Nangarhar in opposition to the US occupation indicate that Afghanistan may be going in the direction of Iraq. Sonali and James will attempt to answer the following questions:

– What are the effects of the US/NATO occupation in Afghanistan?
– Who has real political power in Afghanistan?
– How are ordinary Afghans coping with the return of war and fundamentalism?
– And what can Americans do to work in solidarity with Afghan people?

Join Sonali Kolhatkar and James Ingalls, authors of the new book,
Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords and the Propaganda of Silence
for a presentation and slideshow at the following venues:

WHAT: Revolutionary Mic Nite: RAWA/AWM Benefit Event
WHEN: 7-11 pm, Friday May 18, 2007
WHERE: MIX Bookstore, 5052 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041
FOR MORE INFO, visit http://www.imixbooks.com

WHAT: Bleeding Afghanistan book Discussion and Slide Show
WHEN: 6 pm, Saturday May 19, 2007
WHERE: El Centro Cultural de Mexico, 310 W 5th Street Santa Ana, CA 92701
FOR MORE INFO, visit http://www.el-centro.org

There will be copies of Bleeding Afghanistan for sale at both events. The
authors will be available to sign books. Afghan crafts and other items from
Afghan Women’s Mission will also be available for sale. All craft sales and
book proceeds will benefit the Revolutionary Association of the Women
of Afghanistan (RAWA).

For more information, visit www.bleedingafghanistan.com,
www.afghanwomensmission.org, and www.rawa.org.

Sonali Kolhatkar and Jim Ingalls serve on the Advisory Board of Cafe Intifada

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