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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

We who Are Wide Awake are compelled by the "fierce urgency of Now" [Rev MLK, Jr.] to raise awareness and promote the human dialogue about many of the crucial issues of our day: the state of our Union and in protection of democracy, what life is like under military occupation in Palestine, the Christian EXODUS from the Holy Land, and spirituality-from a Theologically Liberated Christian Anarchist POV.

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Read the truth about the Wall and what is happening today in the Holy City of Bethlehem.

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"Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all...and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave...a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils."
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We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence

 

Home arrow Blog arrow September 2008 arrow September 9, 2008

September 9, 2008
WAWA Blog August 9, 2008: Back to School in Gaza and Report from Peace Island regarding the RNC


Excerpted from an email from the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation:

...On Tuesday and Wednesday, the US Campaign had a presence at the Peace Island Conference. We shared a table with member group Middle East Peace Now. From this table we distributed postcards challenging military aid to Israel and promoting our Motorola boycott and corporate accountability campaign against Caterpillar, as well as fact sheets and other materials about our work.


Throughout the RNC, Katherine worked in the Coldsnap Legal Collective's office, answering calls from arrested activists, working to bail them out, and taking police misconduct reports. This legal support work helps build civil liberties lawsuits against police agencies involved in brutality and false arrests. Katherine's legal support helped our volunteers and others arrested during the protests to keep their spirits up as they sat in jail on trumped-up felony riot charges without medical care or access to their lawyers for up to two days after their arrests.

The police presence in the Twin Cities was over-the-top. This armed Coast Guard skiff was patrolling around the Peace Island picnic on Thursday. Other intense police presences and overreactions led to over 400 arrests of activists, including two US Campaign volunteers who were standing on a sidewalk taking pictures of protesters when they were swept up in a mass arrest of over 100 people (they were arrested about five feet away from Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman).

See that video and learn more:
http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2008/9/3/call_to_action_on_behalf_of_dn_journalists_facing_charges_for_reporting_on_the_republican_national_convention



Excerpted from an email from Democracy Now!

...And, this week, we came head to head with the $50 million RNC security operation.

This week's arrests of journalists including Democracy Now!'s own Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar are chilling examples of how police targeted journalists during the RNC in St. Paul. As you probably know, Amy has been charged with a misdemeanor for intervening to stop the wrongful arrests of her colleagues who face pending felony charges for simply carrying out their journalistic duties.

The world watched as the Twin Cities Police trampled the first amendment. The YouTube video of Amy's arrest has been viewed more than 750,000 times...As an ally of independent media, you know that government crackdowns on journalists are a true threat to democracy. We know that too.






Back to school, tear gas and rubber-coated bullets

Palestinian students on the first day of the school year in Gaza, at the end of August.
Photograph: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/images/2008/0908/1220629614623_1.html Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

PALESTINE: Palestinian education is ruptured by the conflict with Israel and between Hamas and Fatah, writes Michael Jansen

 
ALMOST 1.1 million Palestinian students went back to school at the end of last month, eager to see their friends and return to class. But Palestinian students face unique risks and challenges.

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which looks after refugees, reports that at least "82 children, including 21 UNRWA students won't be going back to school. They were killed this year, victims of the violence that frames daily life here for children: 76 were killed in the conflict with Israel and six in intra-Palestinian violence."

The Palestinian Authority's school system - serving 70 per cent of students in the West Bank and Gaza; the UNRWA system serving 24 per cent; and private schools serving 6 per cent - face severe problems. Eighty-five per cent of UNRWA schools in Gaza and 20 per cent of authority schools in the West Bank operate two shifts a day, reducing learning time. While 80 per cent of children of school age are enrolled, increasing numbers are staying home because families cannot afford uniforms, books and transport. Standards are falling.

Traumatised by constant violence, children are disruptive and do not focus on their books.

In the West Bank, children and teachers cross Israel's 600-plus roadblocks and checkpoints, risking harassment. Israeli troops raid schools and playgrounds. When students respond with stone-throwing, Israeli soldiers fire tear gas, sound bombs, and rubber-coated steel balls which kill and maim. The Fatah- dominated Palestinian Authority closed West Bank Hamas- affiliated and Muslim charity-run kindergartens, orphanages and schools.

In Gaza, many children and teachers cannot attend school be- cause of a lack of fuel for transport due to Israel's blockade. Israel has not allowed school supplies into the Strip, leaving Gazans to buy expensive items smuggled in from Egypt.

Hostility between Fatah and Hamas also threatens to disrupt schools. On August 24th, the first day of school, the Fatah-run teachers' union declared a strike. Hamas retaliated by firing absent teachers (60-65 per cent) and replacing them with new graduates. Striking teachers fear punishment by Hamas while those who go to their jobs anticipate reprisals by Fatah.

Although Israel barred the importation of building materials for the agency's $90 million (€63 million) school building and upgrading programme, UNRWA opened 200 new schools and gave each student $25 for supplies. UNRWA is providing 120,000 of its students with noon meals.

Israel has allowed only 58 of 600-odd Gazan students to take up places at foreign universities. Although an unknown number was allowed to leave through the Rafah terminal which Egypt opened recently, many students did not bother to apply because they thought they would be trapped.

Compounding the politically motivated disruption, all university employees at nine West Bank and Gaza universities are observing an on-and-off strike, demanding an 80 per cent increase. Ghassan Khatib, vice president of the West Bank's Birzeit university, said: "Salaries are so low that they are affecting the quality of education. Teachers are leaving the profession."

Palestinian parents are dismayed and distraught. Since Israel was founded 60 years ago, displaced and dispossessed families have relied on education to secure a decent future for their children. Today education seems to be a fading dream.

© 2008 The Irish Times

 
   
 
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"HOPE has two children.The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

 "He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust." - Aquinas

BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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