STOP ALLOWING THE US GOVERNMENT AT ALL LEVELS IGNORE RULE OF LAW....DOMESTICALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY. We know the US cannot legally attack Syria for the reasons it gives and we know the Trade agreements in TPP are illegal and a COUP against the US Constitution and American citizens!
I press anti-war activists to shout out the connection between the war in Syria and the desire of Israel to go to war with Iran. We all know that the US attack on Syria would bring Iran into the fight and there you have it....this is why nations all around the world would not follow Obama into this war with Syria over the use of chemical weapons by Assad on his own people because people understand that it could just as likely have been Israel using the gas to start a war with Iran.
The most dangerous war stance for the US is the one that has politicians standing with Israel if Israel attacks Iran. We know it is building and this stance is the one we need to shout against. All Maryland neo-liberals stand with Israel.
The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore usually meets on Mondays at 7:30 PM, and the meetings take place at Max’s residence. There will be a meeting on Mon., Sept. 16. The proposed agenda will include preventing an attack on Syria, anti-drone activities, the next visit to the NSA on Sat., Oct. 5, the trial of the CIA Six and the third Wednesday visit to Rep. Sarbanes’ office. Call 410-366-1637 or email mobuszewski at verizon.net for directions.
To be continued.
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs
U.S. and Russia Reach Deal to Destroy Syria’s Chemical Arms
Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia, right, shook hands on Saturday after making statements following meetings regarding Syria in Geneva.
By MICHAEL R. GORDON Published: September 14, 2013
The joint announcement, on the third day of intensive talks in Geneva, also set the stage for one of the most challenging undertakings in the history of arms control.
“This situation has no precedent,” said Amy E. Smithson, an expert on chemical weapons at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “They are cramming what would probably be five or six years’ worth of work into a period of several months, and they are undertaking this in an extremely difficult security environment due to the ongoing civil war.”
Although the agreement explicitly includes the United Nations Security Council for the first time in determining possible international action in Syria, Russia has maintained its opposition to any military action.
But George Little, the Pentagon press secretary, emphasized that the possibility of unilateral American military force was still on the table. “We haven’t made any changes to our force posture to this point,” Mr. Little said. “The credible threat of military force has been key to driving diplomatic progress, and it’s important that the Assad regime lives up to its obligations under the framework agreement.”
In Syria, the state news agency, SANA, voiced cautious approval of the Russian and American deal, calling it “a starting point,” though the government issued no immediate statement about its willingness to implement the agreement.
In any case, the deal was at least a temporary reprieve for President Bashar al-Assad and his Syrian government, and it formally placed international decision-making about Syria into the purview of Russia, one of Mr. Assad’s staunchest supporters and military suppliers.
That reality was bitterly seized on by the fractured Syrian rebel forces, most of which have pleaded for American airstrikes. Gen. Salim Idris, the head of the Western-backed rebels’ nominal military command, the Supreme Military Council, denounced the initiative.
“All of this initiative does not interest us. Russia is a partner with the regime in killing the Syrian people,” he told reporters in Istanbul. “A crime against humanity has been committed, and there is not any mention of accountability.”
An immediate test of the viability of the accord will come within a week, when the Syrian government is to provide a “comprehensive listing” of its chemical arsenal. That list is to include the types and quantities of Syria’s poison gas, the chemical munitions it possesses, and the location of its storage, production and research sites.
“The real final responsibility here is Syrian,” a senior Obama administration official said of the deal.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry said that “if fully implemented, this framework can provide greater protection and security to the world.”
If Mr. Assad fails to comply with the agreement, the issue would be referred to the United Nations Security Council, where the violations would be taken up under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, which authorizes punitive action, Mr. Kerry said.
Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov of Russia made clear that his country, which wields a veto in the Security Council, had not withdrawn its objections to the use of force.
If the Russians objected to punishing Syrian noncompliance with military action, however, the United States would still have the option of acting without the Security Council’s approval. “If diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to act,” President Obama said in a statement.
The issue of removing Syria’s chemical arms broke into the open on Monday when Mr. Kerry, at a news conference in London, posed the question of whether Mr. Assad could rapidly be disarmed, only to state that he did not see how it could be done.
Less than a week later, what once seemed impossible has become a plan — one that will depend on Mr. Assad’s cooperation and that will need to be put in place in the middle of a fierce conflict.
To reach the agreement, arms control officials on both sides worked into the night, a process that recalled treaty negotiations during the cold war.
Mr. Kerry and Mr. Lavrov held a marathon series of meetings on Friday, including a session that ended at midnight. On Saturday morning, the two sides reconvened with their arms control experts on the hotel pool deck as they pored over the text of the agreement.
Obama administration officials say Russia’s role is critical since it has been a major backer of the Assad government, and the American assumption is that much, if not all, of the accord has Mr. Assad’s assent.
At the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general, pledged to support the agreement, and he announced that Syria had also formally acceded to the international Chemical Weapons Convention, effective Oct. 14.
In his statement, Mr. Obama called the use of chemical weapons “an affront to human dignity and a threat to the security of people everywhere.”
“We have a duty to preserve a world free from the fear of chemical weapons for our children,” he said. “Today marks an important step towards achieving this goal.”
Foreign Secretary William Hague of Britain issued a statement after a call with Mr. Kerry in which he welcomed the agreement on Syrian chemical weapons as a “a significant step forward.”
It was a British parliamentary vote against military action that dampened momentum by the United States, France and Britain to conduct airstrikes in the wake of an August chemical strike in Syria.
“The priority must now be full and prompt implementation of the agreement, to ensure the transfer of Syria’s chemical weapons to international control,” Mr. Hague said.
Under the agreement, titled “Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons,” an inspection of the chemical weapons sites identified by the Syrian government must be completed by November. Equipment for producing chemical weapons and filling munitions with poison gas must be destroyed by November.
The document also says there is to be “complete elimination of all chemical weapons material and equipment in the first half of 2014.”
A priority under the agreement reached Saturday is to take steps to preclude or diminish the Assad government’s ability to employ chemical weapons before they are destroyed.
An American official said such steps could include burning the least volatile component of binary weapons, a type of chemical agent that becomes potent only when separate elements are mixed. Another way to disable at least part of Syria’s stockpile, the official said, would be to destroy the equipment for mixing the binary component or destroying the munitions or bombs that would be filled with chemical agents.
An American official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under State Department protocol, said the United States and Russia had agreed that Syria has 1,000 tons of chemical weapons, including sarin and mustard gas.
The United States believes at least 45 sites in Syria are associated with its chemical weapons program. Nearly half of these have “exploitable quantities” of chemical weapons, though the American official said the Assad government may have moved some of the agents.
The American official said there was no indication that any of Syria’s chemical stocks had been moved to Iraq or Lebanon, as the Syrian opposition had charged. “We believe they are under regime control,” the official said.
Russia has not accepted the American data on the number of chemical weapons sites. The difference may reflect the larger disagreement as to who was responsible for an Aug. 21 attack that the United States says killed at least 1,400 civilians, many of them women and children.
If the Russians were to agree both on the number of chemical weapons sites and that the sites are all in government-controlled areas, that would suggest that the Assad government was culpable for the attack, and not the rebel forces as the Russians have asserted.
The four-page framework agreement, including its technical annexes, is to be incorporated in a Security Council resolution that is to be adopted in New York.
One concern in carrying out the deal, however, involves how to protect international inspectors who go to Syria. There will be no cease-fire so the inspectors can carry out their work.
Asked whether rebels would aid the inspectors, General Idris, the Western-backed rebel military commander, called the issue “complicated,” saying, “If investigators come, we will facilitate the mission.”
He said there were no chemical weapons in rebel-controlled areas, adding: “I don’t know if this will just mean that investigators will pass through the regions that are under rebel control. We are ready.”
The sense of betrayal among nominally pro-Western factions in the opposition has grown intensely in recent days.
In the northern Syrian province of Idlib, a rebel stronghold, one commander said that the agreement on Saturday proved that the United States no longer cared about helping Syrians and was leaving them at the mercy of a government backed by powerful allies in Russia and Iran.
Maysara, a commander of a battalion in Saraqeb, said in an interview that he had paid little attention to the diplomacy on Saturday.
“I don’t care about deals anymore,” he said in an interview. “The Americans found a way out of the strike.”
He added: “The Russians did what they want. The Americans lied, and believed their own lie — the U.S. doesn’t want democracy in Syria. Now I have doubts about the U.S. capacities, their military and intelligence capacities. The Iranian capacity is much stronger, I guess.”
Regarding the Immigration Bill and TPP:
If labor and justice are not shouting that the current Immigration Bill is bad for domestic and immigrant workers,.....it is just part of TPP.....they are not working for you and me.
MAKE SURE LABOR LEADERS ARE NOT WORKING WITH NEO-LIBERALS BUT RUNNING AGAINST THEM IN PRIMARIES!
Why are we seeing immigrant groups and labor groups supporting the Immigration bill? As the article below shows, the Hispanics you see in media supporting the bill are working with neo-liberals in the same ways the NAACP is working with them. Those made wealthy from the MLK movement for labor and justice policies War on Poverty and New Deal are now working to dismantle it because they are driven by money and not justice. This is why in Maryland you see rampant worker abuse and outright wage theft by the very minority contractors employing immigrant and black workers. Casa de Maryland and the NAACP will be found at Baltimore Development/Federal Reserve meetings and backing their politicians like O'Malley and Rawlings-Blake, but not so much at Fair Development rallies.
We want people of color and women to see how those who are now losing their rights in the NEW ECONOMY as the post-massive corporate fraud moving tens of trillions of dollars to the top earners is now called.......now have members joining the neo-liberals in dismantling our social democratic society. The NEW ECONOMY or NEW AMERICA simply means 'we have all the money now and this is how the rest of you will live'. If you look at the leaders in politics for Hispanics and blacks they call themselves NEW AMERICANS not because of the citizenship issue, but because of the neo-liberal issues.
Immigration reform that came from the Senate is simply a precursor of the TPP...it is market-based and meant to offer corporations what they need to be most profitable and the expense of citizens around the world AND NO LABOR AND JUSTICE ORGANIZATION CAN SUPPORT IT!
FlushTheTPP.org is an action campaign to Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
We invite you to join us. In order to stop the TPP we need to act quickly and in solidarity with people in other countries. This massive trade agreement is a high priority for transnational corporations, and they are working fast to make it law. The TPP affects many issues, including worker’s rights and wages, environmental collapse and climate change, sovereignty of nations and democratic rule of law, Internet freedom and online creativity, food safety and agriculture, healthcare and financial regulation (including controls over the flow of capital), and much more. For a quick overview of some of the issues, click through the slides on our home page. While this website is focused on action to stop the TPP, if you want to learn more details about what it is, visit the websites to the right, or check out this list of articles.
Many groups have been working to stop the TPP for a long time, including a number of fair trade coalitions, labor and environmental organizations, and others. (Check out the North American Unity Statement, and add your organization to the list of endorsers.) PopularResistance.org joined the movement to oppose the TPP and worked with some of these groups to develop this campaign. FlushTheTPP.org is set up so anyone can get involved. Here is the current plan:
Strategic Action Plan Phase I: Throughout the summer, the goal is to educate and mobilize people. The TPP has been negotiated in secret for three years, so very few people know much about it. We start with #TPPTuesdays, weekly actions to draw attention to the trade agreement. It will be up to people around the country to decide what works best for their local area or organization. And while there is power in acting on the same day every week, actions and educational events are certainly not limited to Tuesdays. The goal is to be visible and to educate. See the Actions and Tools pages for more information.
Phase II: In August during the recess, we switch focus to influencing members of Congress. We have two goals with members (1) Require the contents of the TPP be made available to the public. As former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said, if the contents of this agreement were known it could not be signed because it would be so unpopular. (2) Stop Fast Track so Congress can hold hearings, hear witnesses and suggest amendments before the president signs the agreement. Suggested actions include bird-dogging officials at public events and rallies at their district offices.
Phase III: Defeat the TPP with major actions at the last round of negotiations (site TBA) and in Washington, DC as well as in home districts. When a major action occurs, people will be encouraged to hold solidarity actions.
There is a lot of flexibility in this strategy. Different groups can develop unique tactics that work for them. The important thing is that by having a common goal (to stop the TPP) and a shared strategic framework, we can all can work together in solidarity.
People now have enough experience with treaties like NAFTA to know that it is bad for the economy, bad for workers and bad for the environment. The only groups helped by these trade agreements are big transnational corporations who get cheap labor, avoid environmental regulations and secure cheap access to resources.
Since the “Battle in Seattle,” the World Trade Organization has had an impossible time moving forward, as was seen in the failure of the Millennial and Doha Rounds of the WTO. We also stopped the Free Trade Area of the Americas and the Multilateral Agreement on Investment. And at least 14 other corporate trade agreements have not been completed because of widespread public opposition. This is hopeful news, and together we can stop the TPP also, which will be a tremendous victory for the people against transnational corporate power!
Please sign the pledge to flush the TPP! Organizational Endorsers Activate CT
Alliance for Democracy
Alliance for Global Justice
Alliance for Democracy Oregon
The Backbone Campaign
California Right to Know
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Center for Radical Honesty
Coalitions of Mutual Endeavor
Common Frontiers Canada
Council of Canadians
Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition
Democracy in Action – Chicago
Economic Liberty for Main Street, Nevada County, CA
Eugene/Springfield Solidarity Network
Fair World Project
Family Farm Defenders
Food Democracy Now!
GMO Free Moms Monterey
Greater Boulder Green Party
Green Party of Connecticut
Green Party of Monmouth
Green Party of New Jersey
Green Party of Skagit County
Green Shadow Cabinet
It’s Our Future, It’s Our Food
Just Foreign Policy
Label GMOs: Grassroots California
Latin American Solidarity Coalition
March Against Monsanto Philadelphia
Marin Interfaith Task Force on the Americas
Milwaukee Clean Clothes Campaign
Marion-Polk Move to Amend
Moms Across America
MoveOn Greater Phoenix Councils
MoveOn East Sacramento County Council
MoveOn Seattle Council
MoveOn Kitsap, WA Council
MoveOn Clallam County, WA Council
Tri Valley MoveOn Council, Danville, CA
MoveOn Dallas Council
MoveOn Denver Metro Council
MoveOn Desert Council, Coachella Valley, CA
MoveOn San Diego Councils
MoveOn North San Diego County Council
MoveOn Southern Alameda County Council
MoveOn Los Angeles County Council
MoveOn Irvine Council
Tampa, FL MoveOn Council
Fort Worth, TX MoveOn Council
Johnson County, KS MoveOn Councils
Long Island, NY MoveOn Council
MoveOn New York City Council
MoveOn Plattsburg, North County Council
Westchester’s MoveOn Council, NY
Finger Lakes MoveOn Council, NY
Sullivan County MoveOn Council, NY
Ulster County MoveOn Council, NY
Northern Westchester/Putnam Council, NY
Franklin Hampshire, MA MoveOn Council
Greater Augusta, Maine Area MoveOn Council
Greater Danbury, CT MoveOn Council
New Haven, CT Area MoveOn Council
MoveOn Gwinnett, GA Council
Atlanta, GA MoveOn Council
DeKalb, GA MoveOn Council
Illinois MoveOn South Suburban Council
Illinois 7th District West MoveOn Council
Tulsa, Oklahoma MoveOn Council
Central Oklahoma MoveOn Council
Southwest Regional Oklahoma MoveOn Council
NJ State Industrial Union Council
NJ Labor Against War
Northern Kentucky Labor Council
Occupy National Gathering 2013
Occupy San Miguel (de Allende)
Organic Consumers Association
Pacific Green Party
Pennsylvania Fair Trade Coalition
Portland Area Global AIDS Coalition
Radical Art Initiative
Searching for Occupy
Stop Monsanto ES, Spain
Trade Justice New York Metro
United Students for Fair Trade
Washington Fair Trade Coalition
Washington State Democrats
Wisconsin Fair Trade Coalition
Women Occupy San Diego
Women Rising Radio
Flush the TPP on Social Media Order some TPP occucards! Other Excellent TPP Resources
Carwash Workers and Capitol Hill: Immigration in Limbo - Working In These Times
THAT'S WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT....BUT WHY ARE WE HEARING IT NOW AND NOT YEARS AGO AND WHY ARE UNION LEADERSHIPS BACKING WHAT THEY KNOW IS BAD FOR DOMESTIC AND IMMIGRANT LABOR?
The proposed immigration reform bill will only add to the criminalization of immigrants and the militarization of the border - and put citizenship out of reach for up to two-thirds of undocumented people.
We need a ROC-Baltimore and our labor unions to adopt this model into their own restructuring!
ROC-NY works to build power and win justice among restaurant workers who face exploitative and abusive workplaces. Through a combination of worker organizing and leadership, litigation, and public pressure, ROC-NY has won back wages and discrimination claims for restaurant workers across the City in addition to other important workplace policy changes that directly improve conditions.
Our Workplace Justice Committee is made up of members who provide support for our organizing work and help educate other workers about the need to take collective action in order to change conditions in the restaurant industry. Members learn organizing skills and gain knowledge about labor law. The Workplace Justice Committee is an opportunity for restaurant workers to play a vital role in building a vibrant workers' movement for social change. For more information, or to join the Workplace Justice Committee, email firstname.lastname@example.org.