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Archive for September, 2008

VIDEO OF TROY DAVIS:

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/99578/jimmy_carter_calls_for_clemency_for_troy_davis/

New York Times


September 13, 2008

Death Penalty Is Upheld in Publicized Georgia Case

ATLANTA — A Georgia parole board on Friday upheld the death sentence of a man convicted of killing a Savannah police officer in 1989, despite a group of witnesses who recanted their testimonies against the convict.

It was the second time in two years that the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles denied clemency for the man, Troy A. Davis, despite his lawyers’ claims of police misconduct.

Mr. Davis, 39, is scheduled to die by lethal injection in Jackson, Ga., on Sept. 23, unless the United States Supreme Court agrees to hear an appeal.

A county jury in 1991 convicted Mr. Davis in the 1989 murder of Mark Allen MacPhail, an off-duty police officer moonlighting as a security guard who was shot to death while responding to a late-night fight at a Burger King in Savannah.

Mr. Davis testified he was at a nearby pool hall and left before Officer MacPhail arrived. The prosecution offered no murder weapon, DNA or fingerprints tying Mr. Davis to the killing but instead relied heavily on testimony from witnesses. Since the trial, seven key witnesses have recanted, saying they were bullied by investigators into lying under oath.

The case has received international publicity; 20,000 people signed petitions asking that Mr. Davis be spared the death penalty.

“Troy’s case represents everything wrong with the death penalty — from procedural obstacles to racial bias to witness mishandling to inadequate counsel,” said Jared Feuer of Amnesty International.

The head of the Southern Center for Human Rights, Stephen B. Bright, a law professor at Yale, called the decision “shocking.”

“For somebody to be executed,” Mr. Bright said, “we really should be sure beyond doubt that the person is guilty.”


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Hey So Cal Poets,

Here’s the schedule of featured poets for Saturday Afternoon Poetry during September, October, November, and December in the backroom of the Santa Catalina Branch of the Pasadena Public Library on 999 E. Washington Blvd.

September 27th – Emerging Urban Poets (Lynn Allgood, Michelle Angelini, CaLokie, Don Kingfisher Campbell, Barbara Cogswell, Pauli Dutton, Richard Dutton, Helen Graziano, Eleanor Higgins, Lindy Hill, Patrick Jeffries, Mina Kirby, Deborah P Kolodji, Toby McManmon, James Pinkerton, and Mary Torregrossa)

Don Kingfisher Campbell and the Emerging Urban Poets are also going on tour with their new anthology and CD! Watch for them at these venues:
Sunday, October 19th, 1:30pm at the Pasadena Senior Center
Sunday, October 27th, 2pm at the Avenue 50 Studio for LaPalabra in Highland Park
Tuesday, November 4th, 7:30pm at the Union Artists Gallery in Ventura
Tuesday, November 11th, 9pm at the Cobalt in Canoga Park
Sunday, November 16th, 2:30pm for Our Poetic Souls in San Dimas
October 4th – Mark States & Patrick Thomas Jeffries
October 11th – Nancy Shiffrin
October 18th – Unoccupied (Xochitl Julisa Bermejo, Just Kibbe, Jane Moore, and Chris Wesley)
October 25th – Judy Kronenfeld
November 1st – Helene Cardona & John Fitzgerald
November 8th – 1pm departure for FIELD TRIP to ENCINO-TARZANA PUBLIC LIBRARY
November 15th – Ruth Nolan & Phantom Seed poets
November 22nd – Jeffry Jensen & Cati Porter
November 29th – Awards Ceremony for First Annual Pure Poetry Chapbook Contest winner. Free to enter. Please send 10 poems of no more than 40 lines each (including stanza breaks) in the body of an email message by November 15th to: kingfisher1031@charter.net . Winner will receive 20 copies of their chapbook.

December 6th – Maureen Alsop & Jon Epstein
December 13th – Publication party for San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly #40, Fall 2008 Issue. Please send up to three poems of any length in the body of an email message by November 29th to:

kingfisher1031@charter.net
December 20th – Holiday Poetry Slam. $5 donation per poet to participate. Winner-takes-all! Non-participants judge.
December 28th – Publication Party for the 2009 San Gabriel Valley Poetry Calendar. Please send up to three poems of no more than 30 lines each (including stanza breaks) in the body of an email message by December 13th to:
kingfisher1031@charter.net

We meet EVERY SATURDAY for three gas-saving events (except on FIELD TRIP days):

1:30 to 2:30pm – Emerging Urban Poets writing workshop
2:45 to 3:45pm – Pure Poetry critique workshop
4:00 to 5:00pm – Saturday Afternoon Poetry (featured poet(s) + open reading)

Attend any one, two, or three as you wish. It’s always FREE!

To reach the Saturday Poetry website click on:
http://community.livejournal.com/saturday_poetry/

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Palestinians Calculating Next Move:

Coexistence with Occupation Not an Option

By Sam Bahour

Palestinians have been historically outmaneuvered, politically neutralized, and made totally dependent on international handouts. Or have they?  A newly released Palestinian strategy document which outlines strategic political options gives witness to a renewed breath of fresh air in the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom and independence.

After 60 years of dispossession and 40 years of a brutal Israeli military occupation, many of the world’s power brokers are convinced that the Palestinians are successfully being forced into submission and acceptance of the colossal injustices that have been carried out against them.

Leading the choir is the U.S. and its Israeli ally, along with several undemocratic Arab regimes.

On the political front, they continue to take great pride in a never-ending “peace process” that has created a peace industry in Palestine, all underwritten by taxpayers from around the world. This peace process has no intention of realizing peace with justice, but rather looks to fragment Palestinians’ national aspirations into bite-sized pieces with state-like trappings — the antithesis of a state with real sovereignty, let alone self-determination.

On the security front, they claim that the Palestinian Authority (referring to the unelected government of Salaam Fayyad in Ramallah) is excelling by installing a heavy-handed security regime, frighteningly reminiscent of the undemocratic, police-state Arab regimes such as Egypt, Jordan and the entire batch of oil-rich Gulf states, which the U.S. has propped up for decades. Driven by US General Keith Dayton and sanctioned by the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership, this security-heavy thrust of activity appears to many observers to be nothing more than another outsourcing option for an Israeli version of its own “security” needs. 

On the economic front, they point to grand plans to establish a handful of industrial mega-zones, the majority being located on the unilaterally-defined (illegal) Israeli border between the West Bank and Israel.  These industrial zones are meant to absorb the over 150,000 Palestinian laborers that Israel has prohibited from working in Israel. Moreover, as I was recently told by an Israeli promoting these industrial zones, for every job created in such a zone, three will be created for Palestinians outside the industrial zones — thus, in essence, creating an entire artificial economy built around Palestinian and foreign-owned, but Israeli-controlled economic bubbles.

The 1.5 million Palestinians trapped by Israel in the world’s largest open air prison, Gaza, are not even a part of the discussion.

 In short, the approach of the international community is one of creating a dynamic whereby Palestinians co-exist, not with their Israeli neighbors, but rather with the system of Israeli military occupation, or put simply, sugar coating the status quo which benefits Israel.

What the international community fails to mention is that the dynamic on the ground is explosive. The Israeli military occupation is alive and well and causing structural, possibly irrevocable damage to Palestinian lands and persons. The Jewish-only Israeli settlement enterprise is off the leash and building more and more illegal settlements as if there were no tomorrow, not to mention the increasing tides of settler violence which remains unpunished.  All this settlement activity is happening with full approval of the Israeli government and in full view of the international community. The failing (or failed) health care and education systems in Palestine are producing a generation of Palestinians with much less to lose and little hope for the future.

Those who have dealt the Palestinians out of the equation for the future of Palestine need to take a closer look at history and at the struggle of this great people. Palestinians recognize better than most the dangers that are posed by the current powder keg of internal disunity and foreign intervention into their livelihoods. Palestinians know better than anyone else that the current state of affairs generates tremendous fear as their struggle for freedom and independence is set back by decades. Yet, at defining times in their history Palestinians have always reclaimed the initiative and carried on, like any oppressed and struggling people are wont to do.

Over the past several months, I participated together with a group of 45 Palestinians from all walks of life — men and women, on the political right and left, secular and religious, politicians, academics, civil society and business actors, from occupied Palestine, inside Israel, and in the Diaspora. We were a group that is a microcosm that reflects the dynamics of the Palestinian society. We could not all meet in one room anywhere in the world because the reality (of travel restrictions) that Israel has created does not permit it, nevertheless we continue to plan and to act. Our mission is to open a discussion on where we go from here: What are the Palestinians’ strategic options to end the Israeli occupation, if any?

After several workshops in Palestine and abroad and a continuous online debate we have produced the first iteration of “Regaining The Initiative: Palestinian Strategic Options To End Israeli Occupation.” The document is posted at www.palestinestrategygroup.ps and reflects an alternative to an official but impotent Palestinian discourse that will very shortly, in the judgment of most Palestinians, run head-on into a brick (cement) wall.

Palestinian society is a dynamic, thinking society which has been so battered and demeaned by Israel and its supporters that many folk, including many Palestinians themselves, will be surprised that the Palestinians have any options whatsoever. One thing is for sure: No matter how long the illegal Israeli occupation continues, do not expect the Palestinians to wake up one morning and accept that they are somehow less human than any other free person in this world.

The Palestinian people have given everyone – including their own traditional leadership – plenty of time to end this humiliating and brutal occupation. When all else fails, Palestinians will reclaim the initiative, and will continue to do so over and over, until this occupation is consigned to the trash bin of history, along with all the war criminals who allowed it to persist for so many years.

Sam Bahour lives in occupied Palestine and is co-editor of “Homeland: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians.” He may be reached at sbahour@palnet.com

 

September 3, 2008

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This message comes from Cafe Intifada Advisory Board Member, Don Campbell

Hey So Cal Poets,

Here’s the schedule of featured poets for Saturday Afternoon Poetry during August, September, October, November, and December in the backroom of the Santa Catalina Branch of the Pasadena Public Library on 999 E. Washington Blvd.

 

September 6th – Andrea Carter Brown

September 13th – Publication party for San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly #39, Summer 2008 Issue

September 20th – Beth Cheng

September 27th – Emerging Urban Poets (Lynn Allgood, Michelle Angelini, CaLokie, Don Kingfisher Campbell, Barbara Cogswell, Pauli Dutton, Richard Dutton, Eleanor Higgins, Lindy Hill, Patrick Jeffries, Deborah P Kolodji, Toby McManmon, James Pinkerton, and Mary Torregrossa please send three poems for the EUP anthology in the body of an email message by September 13th to: kingfisher1031@charter.net ).  Barry Schwam will also be professionally recording our performances to create an EUP CD!

 

October 4th – Mark States

October 11th – Nancy Shiffrin

October 18th – Unoccupied (Xochitl Julisa Bermejo, Just Kibbe, Jane Moore, and Chris Wesley)

October 25th – Judy Kronenfeld 

 

November 1st – Helene Cardona & John Fitzgerald

November 8th – 1pm departure for FIELD TRIP to ENCINO-TARZANA PUBLIC LIBRARY

November 15th – Ruth Nolan & Phantom Seed poets

November 22nd – Jeffry Jensen & Cati Porter

November 29th – Awards Ceremony for First Annual Pure Poetry Chapbook Contest winner.  Free to enter.  Please send 10 poems of no more than 40 lines each (including stanza breaks) in the body of an email message by November 15th to: kingfisher1031@charter.net . Winner will receive 20 copies of their chapbook.

 

December 6th – Maureen Alsop & Jon Epstein

December 13th – Publication party for San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly #40, Fall 2008 Issue. Please send up to three poems of any length in the body of an email message by November 29th to: kingfisher1031@charter.net

December 20th – Holiday Poetry Slam.  $5 donation per poet to participate.  Winner-takes-all!  Non-participants judge.

December 28th – Publication Party for the 2009 San Gabriel Valley Poetry Calendar.  Please send up to three poems of no more than 30 lines each (including stanza breaks) in the body of an email message by December 13th to: kingfisher1031@charter.net

 

We meet EVERY SATURDAY for three gas-saving events (except on FIELD TRIP days):

 

1:30 to 2:30pm – Emerging Urban Poets writing workshop

2:45 to 3:45pm – Pure Poetry critique workshop

4:00 to 5:00pm – Saturday Afternoon Poetry (featured poet(s) + open reading)

 

Attend any one, two, or three as you wish. It’s always FREE!

 

To reach the Saturday Poetry website click on:

http://community.livejournal.com/saturday_poetry/

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http://www.poetsforpalestine.com/

Poets for Palestine: Edited by Remi Kanazi

Poets For Palestine was published to unite a diverse range of poets, spoken word artists, and hip-hop artists who have used their words to elevate the consciousness of humanity. Sixty years after the dispossession of the Palestinian people, this anthology presents forty-eight poems alongside original works by Palestinian artists. All proceeds from the sale of this collection will go toward funding future cultural projects that highlight Arab artistry in the United States.

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