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Solidarity 69

The purpose of this group is to create solidarity among the left & to take action by any means necessary.

Location: The frontline is everywhere!
Members: 75
Latest Activity: Sep 14, 2014

Discussion Forum

How to Promote Solidarity? 1 Reply

I think this group is a great idea and a worthy goal, but the question is how do we achieve this or at least how do we take practical steps to it?I know of many different attempts to unify various…Continue

Started by Rhys Harrison. Last reply by Joe Balkis Sep 30, 2012.

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Comment by Joe Balkis on March 3, 2012 at 5:29
Occupy DePaul!
When: Friday, March 2, 2012 - 10:00pm to 11:30pm
Location: Statue of Fr. Egan in front of DePaul Student Center,
Sheffield and Belden

Occupy DePaul has called for a second day of action with a speak out
rally to be held at the Statue of Fr. Egan in front of DePaul Student
Center, at Sheffield and Belden in Lincoln Park, at 10pm. Come join
to protest the proposed tuition hikes that will be voted on the NEXT
DAY by the Board of Trustees.

They are also requesting a call in campaign to the Main University
number at 312-362-8000, President Rev. Holtschneider at 312-362-8890,
the Vice President of Student Affairs at 312-362-8854, the
Administrative Chancellor at 312/362-8711, the Provost at 312-362-7560
and the Vice President at 312-362-6695.


Presented Demands of the DePaul Students:

1. IMMEDIATE tuition freeze for all current and incoming students.
2. That Fr. Holtschneider retract his approval of the proposed
2012-2013 budget and tuition increase.
3. That we are granted a meeting with the Board of Trustees, and the
SRAC BEFORE the vote on the proposed budget.
4. That the vote this Saturday be post-poned until this meeting is held.

Online Petition Against the Proposed 2012-2013 Tuition Increase:


Comment by Joe Balkis on March 1, 2012 at 19:31

Transit and Trains Meeting on Monday / Press Release on Privatizatio


The next meeting of Ctizens Taking Action for transit dependent riders will be on Monday, March 5th, from 7-9:00 PM, at 77 W. Washington, 4th Floor http://www.ctarider s.org/

Privatization of Public Transit, Press Release: http://www.ctarider s.org/PressRelea se.html

Privatization Watch: Illinois brochure - http://www.ctarider s.org/Brochure. html

Agenda: 2012 Candidate's Transit Questionnaire - on-line at:

http://www.ctarider s.org/Questionna ire.html

Federal Legislation Update: http://www.apta. com/resources/ reportsandpublic ations/Documents /...

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Women Occupy.jpg
International Women's Day: Stand Up, Fight Back!
PSL Socialism Forum

Saturday, March 10, 6 pm
4802 N. Broadway #202
Info: 773-920-7590

Join us for speakers, spoken word, discussion and organizing!

Discussion Topics

** We're not going back: organizing to stop the attacks on Women's rights
** Women in struggle against the war machine: equality and jobs, not war and occupation!
** Full equality for immigrants, LGBT people and all!
** Socialism and Women's liberation

Speakers will include Stefanie Fisher and Ana Santoyo, ANSWER Coalition organizers.

$5 Donation Requested. No one turned away for lack of funds.

PSL Chicago
Comment by Joe Balkis on March 1, 2012 at 19:29

Bring Him to Justice

The net is closing around media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Investigators in London report that senior News Corp. employees authorized hundreds of bribes to police officers and other government officials.And just this morning his disgraced son James stepped down from his role as executive chairman of News International.
But these reports of rampant criminal behavior have yet to trigger a prosecution of Murdoch here in the U.S., where executives can be held liable for systematically bribing foreign officials.2

Don’t let Murdoch dodge justice.
Demand a full U.S. investigation of News Corp.

Murdoch’s henchmen are now trying to defang the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it unlawful for a U.S. corporation to pay off a foreign official for the purpose of advancing or protecting a business interest.3 Their goal? Stopping U.S. prosecutors from reining in the culture of corruption that has overtaken News Corp.
News Corp. has also sought to mute coverage of the phone-hacking and bribery scandals across its news empire.
This is how Murdoch works. For years he’s wielded his enormous media power to build his empire, fight the public interest and place himself and his fellow News Corp. executives above the law.
By urging Attorney General Eric Holder to fully investigate News Corp., you’re joining more than 200,000 people who have already rejected Rupert Murdoch’s campaign to avoid justice in the U.S. We’ll be delivering these messages to the Justice Department soon —...
No media company, no matter how influential, should be allowed to dodge U.S. laws. Please add your name to this letter — and forward this email to all of your friends.
Tim, Josh, Libby and the Free Press team
P.S. Like our work? The Free Press Action Fund is powered by donations from people like you. We don’t take a single cent from business, government or political parties. Please keep us going strong with a gift of $10 or more. Thank you!
1. "A Fresh Blot on Murdoch’s Sun," the New York Times, Feb. 27, 2012. http://act2.freepress.net/go/8846?akid=3312.9603969.9dapfR&t=11
2. "News Corp.: Threat of U.S. Legal Action Raised in Light of 'Illegal Payment' Claim," the Guardian, Feb. 27, 2012. http://act2.freepress.net/go/8845?akid=3312.9603969.9dapfR&t=13
3. "Long Haul Ahead Before Fallout for U.S. News Corp. Is Known," the Financial Times, Feb. 28, 2012. (behind a paywall) http://act2.freepress.net/go/8858?akid=3312.9603969.9dapfR&t=15

Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Learn more at www.freepress.net
Comment by Joe Balkis on March 1, 2012 at 7:18
Send a message to Keolis, the French multinational that owns Acadian Coach Lines.
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View it in your browser.

Tell Keolis:
End the lockout - negotiate now!
Support the workers at Acadian Coach Lines

Workers locked out by a French-owned company in Canada need our help today.
It's now been three months since Acadian Coach Lines, a subsidiary of French multinational Keolis, locked out their employees because of a labour dispute.

This has resulted in no intercity bus service in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, leaving many who rely on buses to get to and from cities in these provinces stranded.
Being locked out of work is always bad.  For an employer to do this in mid-winter is positively cruel.
Please show your support for these workers today - click here.  It will take you less than one minute to send a strong message to Keolis demanding that they return to negotiations.
And to see what recent campaigns you may have missed, click here.
Thanks very much!

Eric Lee
Copyright © 2012 LabourStart, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this message because you opted in at our website (http://www.labourstart.org) - most likely when you signed up to support one of our online campaigns in support of workers' rights.
Our mailing address is:
4 Alexandra Park Road
London, England N10 2AA
Comment by Joe Balkis on March 1, 2012 at 7:12
Montes Court Hearing to Uncover FBI Lies Friday, March 2. Please call President Obama 202-456-1111 & A.G. Holder 202-514-2001
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View it in your browser.
Committee to Stop FBI Repression (stopfbi.net)

Friday, March 2, 2012:
Montes Court Hearing to Uncover FBI Lies.

March 2 - Call:
-- President Obama at 202-456-1111 &
-- Attorney General Eric Holder at 202-514-2001
Demand: “Drop the charges against Carlos Montes. There is no evidence!”

Contact us and let us know how your calls went: info@stopFBI.net

The FBI is relentlessly persecuting Carlos Montes. At his next court hearing on March 2 in Los Angeles, Carlos Montes’ lawyer will make discovery motions on how FBI special agent Matt Weber worked with L.A. Sheriff Detective Don Lord and the Joint Terrorism Task Force in this frame-up attempt.

If you are in the Los Angeles area...

Join us at the Court!
Friday, March 2
8:00 AM
Criminal Courts Bldg.
211 West Temple St, Los Angeles
Dept. 123 on the 13th floor

For more info go to stopfbila.net

More info:
Last May, the Los Angeles Sheriffs smashed down Carlos’ door at 5 a.m., waving automatic weapons, ransacking his home, and carting away his life’s work of notes and papers. A FBI agent attempted to question Carlos about the Freedom Road Socialist Organization while he was handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser.

Chicano leader and long-time activist Carlos Montes is one of 24 anti-war and international solidarity activists hit by FBI and grand jury repression since Sept. 24, 2010. Like others caught up in this witch hunt, Montes of Los Angeles was one of the organizers of the massive protests at the 2008 Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul, Minnesota. When the FBI raided the Minnesota Anti-War Committee (AWC) office, Carlos Montes’ name appeared on the warrant for investigation. An undercover law enforcement officer “Karen Sullivan” lied about her identity and spied on the AWC, including Carlos Montes, for two years.

Repression of the ‘60s Is Back
Carlos Montes is well known as a co-founder of the Brown Berets and for leading the immigrant rights mega-marches in L.A. The FBI is trying to railroad Carlos for his political organizing.
Montes' defense is challenging the state’s claim that he has a felony record from his 1969 arrest for leading a student strike that demanded Chicano, Black and Women’s Studies at an East Los Angeles college. Also, the legal record does not support the claim of a past felony, thereby ruling out the District Attorney going ahead with this case. Nevertheless, the government is alleging it was a crime for Montes to buy several guns at a local sporting goods store over a ten-year period, because of the (nonexistent) felony record. The FBI are relentless in their frame-up.
The prosecution is basing their evidence on this 42-year-old incident, where, during the 1969 student strike and rally, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department invaded the East Los Angeles college campus, beating and arresting student protesters. In the aftermath of the turmoil, Montes was arrested while driving home with a fellow activist and family. He was charged with assaulting a Sheriff’s Deputy. Just like today, the Sheriffs targeted Montes because of his politics - he was a leader of the La Vida Nueva on campus and the Brown Berets in the community.
Support Grows! Solidarity Will Bring Victory!
Support for Montes and the other activists under attack by the FBI and U.S. Federal grand jury is growing. Recently, Montes received a letter of support from the 350,000-member California Teachers Association and the 40,000 members at LAUSD United Teachers of Los Angeles and the UAW Local 2865 at UCLA. On Feb. 27, the San Francisco Labor Council approved a resolution in support of Montes and many others targeted by ICE and FBI repression.

Facing up to 18 years of prison time, Carlos Montes is preparing to go on trial. Here is what you can do:
1. Organize a solidarity protest and demand, “Drop the Charges! No FBI Frame-Up of Carlos Montes!” on March 2, 2012. Send your announcement to info@StopFBI.net for posting.
2. Pass a resolution in solidarity with Carlos Montes or write a letter.
3. Sign the petition at http://www.stopfbi.net/petition/national
4. Sign the Pledge at http://www.stopfbi.net/get-involved/pledge-of-resistance
5. Donate to the Legal Defense http://www.stopfbi.net/donate
Copyright © 2012 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights reserved.
Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!
Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414


Take Action!
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"President Obama, we shouldn't expedite any part of Keystone XL. Do...
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Take action now!

Learn more about this campaign

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

The President shouldn't expedite the southern leg of Keystone XL — he should publicly reject it.

On Monday, the White House applauded news that TransCanada would go forward with building the southern leg of Keystone XL, promising to help expedite the permits necessary to complete the pipeline's route from Cushing, Okla. to the refineries and shipping ports of Port Arthur, Texas.

Breaking up the pipeline in this way is quite simply TransCanada's latest end run around the State Department's formal review process, which is required for any pipeline that crosses an international border. It will also make it easier for the company to trample property rights and immediately seize Americans' land by eminent domain.

President Obama's support for the southern leg isn't a surprise — he specifically mentioned this project as he was rejecting the full pipeline last month based on insufficient time to conduct a thorough review.

But it is deeply disappointing that, just a month later, he would signal a willingness to backtrack on even that minimal condition, saying he would "take every step possible to expedite the necessary federal permits."1

The southern portion of Keystone XL carries the same risks of oil spills on American water and soil, and brings the tar sands carbon bomb one big step closer to being unleashed across the world. President Obama must ensure that the Department of Transportation and the Army Corps of Engineers do not cut any corners in evaluating this project, and consider its full impacts on the climate.

Tell President Obama: Don't expedite approval of the southern leg of Keystone XL or cut any corners to force this project through. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

While the southern portion of Keystone XL does not turn up the spigot of tar sands bitumen that can be transported out of Alberta, Canada, it does ultimately accomplish the biggest goal of Keystone XL — to bring the landlocked tar sands to shipping ports and the global market so it can be burned across the globe, leading to disastrous climate impacts.

This should be enough for the President to publicly reject this project. Instead he's not only applauding it, he wants to "expedite" it.

Instead of criticizing TransCanada's bullying as it runs rough shod over the private property rights of Americans, President Obama is now acting to enable TransCanada's ability to seize land via eminent domain.

President Obama can't keep trying to have it both ways. He can't claim to want to move our nation away from fossil fuels and fight climate change while he paves the way for the dirtiest oil on earth to be shipped and burned across the globe. He can't try to appeal to environmental voters by rejecting this pipeline on an insufficient evaluation, and then turn around and allow the pipeline developer to circumvent the approval process, even accelerating the minimal process that remains.

Click below to automatically sign the petition:

We knew this project would be back, and we meant it when we said we'd fight it everywhere, every step of the way.

There will be many local and national opportunities in the upcoming approval fight — but for now the least President Obama can do is maintain even the minimal commitment he made to us when he rejected Keystone XL just weeks ago.

Thanks for fighting Keystone XL in all its forms.

Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. "TransCanada to push ahead with part of Keystone pipeline" Washington Post, February 27, 2012



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© 2012 CREDO. All rights reserved

Comment by Joe Balkis on March 1, 2012 at 7:10

Hello Southsiders:

Sorry for the late reminder/notice;
Our monthly vigil is 

Saturday, March 3rd-2 PM to 3 PM
95th and Western, Northwest Corner

Let's "occupy" Beverly for peace and social justice

Free market all weekend! It’s like shopping at a friendly second-hand shop, except that EVERYTHING IS FREE. Join us for this surplus-surfing party! Non-monetary donations accepted.

Come out on Sunday and stay for.....

Follow that Shit Presentation on Internet Content Farms!!! Jessye McDowell (http://jessyemcdowell.net/)


Saturday & Sunday, 3-4 March, 9am – 3pm (and more throughout the year!)
Free Market/Tianguis Gratis
Bring your old items and skills to share with your community. Take whatever you need -- What’s old to you is new to someone else! Traer sus cosas viejas y habilidades para compartir con su comunidad. Se pueden llevar lo que necesiten—lo viejo para ti es nuevo para otro!

Dates: 1st Sunday of the month/Fechas:1o domingo del mes
Sunday, April 1/domingo 1 de abril
Sunday, June 3/domingo 3 de junio
Sunday, July 1 Inter-dependence celebration (Time and place TBA)/Celebracion de la inter-dependencia (Hora y lugar AD)
Sunday, August 5/domingo 5 de agosto
Sunday, September 2/domingo 2 de septiembre
Sunday, October 7/domingo 7 de octubre
Saturday-Sunday, November 3-4 (Time and place TBA)/sabado y domingo 3-4 de noviembre (hora y lugar AD)
Sunday, December 2/domingo 2 de diciembre

Sunday, 4 March, 5:00pm – 6:30pm

Follow that Shit: Jessye McDowell Presentation: Internet Content Farms
What are content farms? How do they work, and how do they affect the ways knowledge is produced and consumed on the internet? This presentation will look at how “content farms,” internet media providers that create and sell “content” to websites, are changing the creative process of writing/ producing into an algorithm-based manufacturing process that exploits both makers and consumers.

To unsubscribe, follow this link: messhall-unsubscribe@lists.riseup.net
Visit us online:
Mess Hall accepts donations of clothing, books, small housewares or electronics, for its FREE bin at any time. Our green free bin is often on the sidewalk in front of Mess Hall offering these surplus items for FREE! Please contact us via info@messhall to schedule a drop off or stop by during one of our events.
This is the announcement list for Mess Hall, an experimental cultural center in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Mess Hall hosts a printed matter archive, exhibitions, workshops, lectures, public projects, actions, events, meals, and more. See the calendar on our blog for more info.

Mess Hall
6932 North Glenwood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608


Comment by Joe Balkis on February 28, 2012 at 19:04
Cuban Five 2008
Feb. 27, 2012
National Committee To Free The Cuban Five
IMPORTANT: To forward this message, use the "forward" link at bottom of page.

Roberto González, René's brother, is gravely ill.
Tell President Obama: Let René visit Roberto!
Roberto González Roberto González, René's only sibling and an important member of the Cuban Five's legal team, is gravely ill with cancer in a Havana hospital. As Cuban Five supporters know, although René has served his unjust sentence of more than 13 years in U.S. prison, as a punitive measure he is being forced to serve probation in the United States. As a result he is unable to be with his brother at this critical time, unless he receives special permission to do so.

His attorney Phil Horowitz has filed an emergency court petition requesting permission for René to return to Cuba for only two weeks to visit his brother in the hospital. The petition states, "Over the past nearly five months since his release from incarceration, the defendant has faithfully complied with each and every condition of his supervised release." Horowitz tells the National Committee, "The motion that is being filed is not unusual; it is common for a defendant to seek court permission on an emergency basis, to travel internationally for health concerns of a family member."

René, as well as the other four, should be allowed to return to Cuba immediately and permanently. However, in this emergency we ask you to contact President Obama and urge him to immediately allow René to return to Cuba for two weeks as a humanitarian gesture.

Please use this form to send an email to Obama
. You can also call the White House at 202-456-1111 to make the same request. Please act now!
Or call: 415-821-6545
Free the Cuban Five Now!
Allow the families' visits!
Grant entry visas to
Adriana Pérez and Olga Salanueva!

Forward email


National Committee To Free The Cuban Five | 2969 Mission Street | San Francisco | CA | 94110
Comment by Joe Balkis on February 28, 2012 at 19:02
Please Forward:  Even if you are not in Chicago there is probably an Occupation near you and an Event against the suppression. 

Stop the Suppression
of the Occupy Movement!
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 4pm rally - 5pm march
Gather at LaSalle & Jackson

It's completely unacceptable that police can carry out mass arrests and evict people from public squares simply for asking questions about why this society is organized in such an unjust and unequal
Stand with the Occupy Movement!  
No Rubber Bullets-No Beatings-No Tear Gas-No Mass Arrests  
Drop All the Charges Against Occupiers
Overturn Rahm Emmanuel's "sit down & shut up" ordinances
 Occupy Chicago General Assembly as well as Occupy Wall Street, Cleveland, Houston, Hollywood and St. Paul & Minneapolis have endorsed the  Call for Mass Action Against  the Suppression of the Occupy Movement and are organizing protests on Feb. 28. Chicago Feb. 28 action  is endorsed by Occupy Chicago, Midwest Anti-War Mobilization, Coalition against Nato/G8, Chicago Code PINK and Chicago World Can't Wait. Go to face book event to get connected.                               
Feb. 28 needs to begin to mobilize all those who have been inspired by Occupy and who see the injustice, and terrible consequences, of it being squelched. Feb. 28 actions are an important step in opposing the severe clampdown being put in place for the G8 and NATO summits. We have to set the record straight in society that the repression against Occupy over recent months was unlawful and completely intolerable. Otherwise it will be much more difficult for the voices of the 99% to be expressed in the streets when the global 1% descends on Chicago in May. 
 What you can do:
1. Organize your schools, community groups, churches, and unions to endorse the Call and come out on Feb. 28 with signs, banners, drums, and energy!
2.  Widely distribute "A Call for Mass Action Against the Suppression of the Occupy Movement" on the Internet and by leaflet (download at dontsuppressows. org)
3.  Connect with Feb 28 working group. Write to Feb28wg@gmail. com with ideas.  
From the Call for Mass Action Against  the Suppression of the Occupy Movement:    
To put the matter bluntly, but truly: the state planned and unleashed naked and systematic violence and repression against people attempting to exercise rights that are supposed to be legally guaranteed. This response by those who wield power in this society is utterly shameful from a moral standpoint, and thoroughly illegitimate from a legal and political one.Now this movement faces a true crossroads. Will it be dispersed, driven into the margins, or co-opted? Or will it come back stronger? This question now poses itself, extremely sharply



A campus where free speech is banned

February 28, 2012

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A case currently before a federal appeals court will test the limits of previous court rulings that have been used to virtually eliminate free speech for faculty at public colleges and universities.
The case, Capeheart v. NEIU et al., stems from the Northeastern Illinois University administration's attack on Professor Loretta Capeheart for her role in advising a student group involved in antiwar activities. The university retaliated against her by denying her the department chair post she had been elected to fill. Then administrators sought to destroy Capeheart's credibility by launching a slander campaign against her.
This frontal attack on free speech would be chilling enough if it were confined to NEIU's Chicago campus. But NEIU based its defense on the U.S. Supreme Court Garcetti decision that guts the free speech rights of all public employees--even though faculty are supposed to be excluded from that ruling [1]. A federal court agreed with the university and dismissed Capeheart's suit, prompting her to appeal.
The appeals court is expected to rule on Capeheart's case as early as April. Meanwhile, her fight is being taken up by a growing number of academics, students and free speech advocates. Capeheart gave a speech on her struggle at a February 17 meeting of the Chicago Coalition Against the Corporatization of Higher Education (CACHE). This is an edited version of her presentation.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

IN FEBRUARY 2007, the same month that current President Sharon Hahs arrived at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), two students were arrested while peacefully protesting against CIA recruitment on campus. Various struggles for free speech and faculty governance have ensued. One such struggle is the subject of a federal lawsuit, Capeheart v. NEIU et al.

This suit was filed in response to slanderous accusations made against me during a campus meeting to discuss the arrest of those students. Then, NEIU Vice President Melvin Terrell claimed that I was being investigated by campus police for stalking a student.

There is no truth to this statement. I attempted to have the statement withdrawn and to have the VP issue an apology. Stalking is a felony sex crime and a serious allegation. When made against a professor, the accusation alone is damning.

Not only would the administration not retract the statement or offer an apology, I found that my career was in jeopardy. I was retaliated against in several ways, including not being appointed to chair my department after being elected to do so.

However, I was not alone in suffering for my speech. "Faculty expressed fear of losing their jobs or of diminished chances of retention or promotion if they were to voice their feelings" was one conclusion of the NEIU faculty senate input report in 2010. The Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) found that NEIU scored significantly below other institutions with only 7.5 percent of faculty agreeing that "administrators consider faculty concerns with making policy."

These findings are especially troubling when one considers NEIU. We are a highly diverse working class campus and one of the least expensive in the state of Illinois. NEIU is exactly the sort of place where those of us accustomed to being silenced gather in hopes of having access to the open debates that one expects at a university.

Rather than embrace free speech, the administration at NEIU prefers spending its students' hard-earned tuition dollars to quash free speech. Since Capeheart v. NEIU et al. was filed in 2008, years and an estimated hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent to keep the case from court.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

THE NEIU administration is relying on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2006 Garcetti v. Ceballos decision, which found that an employee of a sheriff's office was not within his rights when he criticized practices in his workplace. The decision states that an employee engaged in his or her duties does not have free speech protection.

This in itself is disturbing. But the Supreme Court did recognize the unique position of faculty and noted that the decision should not be applied to us. However, Garcetti was used to dismiss my case in federal court.

We have appealed this dismissal to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A decision on the federal appeal is expected around April of this year. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) provided an amicus brief for the appeal in which it wrote that the judge's ruling "is chilling and clear: university administrators need not tolerate outspoken faculty dissent on matters of broad public concern or on the university's institutional response to those concerns."

This is why the Supreme Court found that Garcetti should not be applied to faculty. It is often our duty to speak on issues of public and institutional concern. How do we carry out our duties if we have no protection of our speech? It seems the only answer in the administrations world is: you can speak as long as you agree, otherwise, shut up.

A recent news report [2] exposed that two former vice presidents at NEIU are "double dipping" by taking six-figure retirement incomes at the same time that they continue to work at NEIU, earning six figures here as well.

Will faculty be allowed to speak against this perceived abuse of the retirement system, student resources and state dollars? Or will the university claim that such speech is our "official duty" and therefore punishable?

The university is spending untold dollars to assure that they can impose the latter. Don't question, don't engage, just agree. We must fight these abuses and take back our rights to speak.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

What you can do

Sign the petition [3] in support of Professor Capeheart and send statements of support from your faculty organization, student group or union tojustice4loretta@gmail.com [4].


Comment by Joe Balkis on February 28, 2012 at 7:15

Interview with Joe Iosbaker

By Staff

Fight Back! interviews Joe Iosbaker, the Chicago spokesperson for the United Antiwar Coalition, on the protest that will coincide with the NATO/G8 Summit that is scheduled for May 19.

Fight Back!: Could you tell us about the protest planned for May 19?

Joe Iosbaker: In May, NATO and the G8 will meet in Chicago. NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is the military alliance of the U.S. and its European allies. The G8 (Group of Eight) is a forum of the wealthiest countries in the world - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

They meet on behalf of the 1% of the world, the rich and the powerful, the bankers and generals. Their agenda is to continue to impose austerity, or poverty, by cutting social spending for workers and the poor to maintain profitability for the rich and to launch more wars, such as Afghanistan and Libya, to stop the rise of the poor nations of the Third World.

Saturday, May 19 is the first day of their summits. At noon that day, the largest, most powerful protest against their wars and attacks on people will take place. Tens of thousands of people from Chicago, across the country and around the world will march to within sight and sound of the war makers.

When we march, the front banner will read: Jobs, Healthcare, Education, Pensions, Housing and the Environment, Not War!

Fight Back!: Who is supporting the protest?

Iosbaker: The Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8) was initiated last summer by the United National Antiwar Coalition. It is a broad formation that includes labor unions, community groups, anti-war and international solidarity groups and faith based activists. One of the most prominent Muslim leaders in the country, Malik Mujahid of the Muslim Peace Coalition, spoke at the founding conference of CANG8, and said that the people who would organize such a march were, “… the hope of humanity.”

No doubt, most of the people who march on May 19 will be from Chicago and the Chicago-land area. At every meeting and event we have held since we started planning this, we have had local representatives of the immigrant rights movement, African American community groups, folks fighting against home foreclosures and leaders from the Chicago Teachers Union fighting to defend against attacks on their students, their schools and their jobs. Alejandro Molina of the National Boricua Human Rights Network was a founding member of CANG8 and has spoken of hundreds of youth from the Puerto Rican community learning about NATO and the G8 and then marching with us on May 19.

CANG8 got a boost at our founding conference from the movement to oppose FBI and grand jury repression. Many of those who came to the founding conference were from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, formed to support activists like myself and my wife, Stephanie Weiner, whose home was raided by the FBI in 2010. The anti-war and international solidarity activists targeted by this witch hunt, including Carlos Montes of Los Angeles, will join the march on May 19 as well.

Fight Back!: You have been waging a battle with city government to get permits. Could you tell us about that?

Iosbaker: Since the summer, CANG8 took the lead fighting for permits for our May 19 rally in Daley Plaza in Chicago’s center, known as The Loop. We also demanded the right to march to McCormick Place, the meeting place of NATO and the G8. We made it clear that our march would be a family friendly event.

From the outset, the city responded with threats of mass arrests of protestors. The mayor, Chicago Police Department and the Secret Service delivered the message to the media and held secret meetings with every downtown college, church, cultural institution and business group saying the protests will lead to violence. After months of this fear mongering, the Chicago Chamber of Commerce urged downtown businesses to board up their stores and hire private security. The Secret Service announced that there would be snipers on the roofs of downtown office buildings.

As we pressed our demands, in November the city responded that there would be no permits granted for any protest during the summits. We were able to gather more support from our allies, including unions like SEIU Local 73, the United Electrical workers, and the Teachers Union, plus the union and community coalition, Stand Up Chicago; a petition signed by dozens of Christian and Islamic ministers; and the Occupy Chicago movement.

Then, in January, Mayor Emanuel responded to public opinion, which clearly supported our right to protest. The city granted permits to us for our rally and march directly to the site of the summits.

In the same breath that we were given our permits, however, we were told that the Secret Service could revoke them under the needs of this National Special Security Event. Our response is to continue to demand that Mayor Emanuel and Police Superintendent McCarthy cease talking about expected violence and mass arrests and we now have to also demand that the Obama administration and Janet Napolitano, Director of Homeland Security, which is over the Secret Service, leave our permits alone.

Fight Back!: What effect will the call from the occupy movement to come to Chicago have on the protest?

Iosbaker: When CANG8 met in August, we knew that the majority of the people in the U.S. were being hurt by the attacks coming down in the economic crisis, the bailouts for the rich and cutbacks for the rest of us. We knew that war is not in the interest of working people here, that the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Arabs and Muslims, and thousands of working class youth from the U.S. only benefited the same rich class that is attacking us. We predicted that when the people of Chicago learned about NATO and the G8, a gathering of all the bankers and all the war makers, they would march in their thousands and tens of thousands.

Two weeks after our conference, Occupy Wall Street began, and the movement against the 1% appeared to confirm our beliefs.

Occupy Chicago has faced repression by the same mayor who has threatened and vilified CANG8 and attempted to deny us permits. In October, Emanuel denied the Occupiers a park to camp in, arresting over 300 to punish them for participating in those protests.

Since then, Occupy Chicago and CANG8 have been working in close collaboration. We occupied city hall to demand encampment space for them and permits for May 19.
Then, Emanuel went further still, introducing ordinances in December to greatly restrict the right to protest, rewriting the current city language for permits for rallies and marches. Dubbed by Occupy Chicago, the “Sit Down and Shut Up” ordinances, the most egregious restrictions included the doubling of fines for arrests in protests; multiplying by 20 the fines for march permit violations; requiring marches and rallies to register all amplification and requiring that those applying for parade permits during the summits provide detailed information about the signs they planned to carry.

At first, aldermen and the media all agreed that no one would oppose Emanuel on this. But then, a major civil liberties fight erupted. In a joint statement published by CANG8 and Occupy Chicago on Jan. 18, we wrote:

“In response to the mayor's attack on civil liberties, the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8) joined together with Occupy Chicago and several unions to unite our efforts to defend civil liberties in Chicago. By last week, aldermen had felt so much pressure from constituents that they had to speak out.

“Emanuel then moved to withdraw first one, and then another, of the most criticized pieces. Protests continued to grow; Emanuel retreated further; the protests mounted and he retreated even further.

“Finally, a version was reached that the council opposition could vote for, hoping that the movement would not condemn them. The final version is still a significant attack on democratic rights; its passage is a defeat for our movement.

The mayor has not achieved his true objective, though. Emanuel looks at the new Chicago he has inherited, with protestors in so many places and he wants to put the genie back in the bottle. It’s not possible.”

Through this struggle, CANG8 and Occupy Chicago have become united in a common effort to protest the NATO/G8 summits.

Then last month, Adbusters published their call for the Occupy Movement to come to Chicago starting on May 1. We took this announcement as another confirmation that the protests in Chicago were going to become a national focus for the movement. Since then, hardly a day has gone by that we haven’t heard news of another town or college campus where people are making plans to come to stand with us.

Fight Back!: Any other points you want to make?

Iosbaker: Last year, the resistance to the unbridled attacks on working people in this country began in Madison, Wisconsin with the protests by the public employees for their right to unionization; the movement surged into a national movement when Occupy Wall Street emerged in New York in September and then that movement swept the country.

On May 19, Chicago will take our place among those centers of struggle when we unfurl our banners: “Jobs, Healthcare, Education, Pensions, Housing and the Environment, Not War! No to NATO/G-8 Warmakers! No to War and Austerity!”

Read more News and Views from the Peoples Struggle at http://www.fightbacknews.org. You can write to us at info@fightbacknews.org

Comment by Joe Balkis on February 28, 2012 at 7:13
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CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

55 investigators aren't nearly enough to launch a real investigation into Wall Street's crimes.

A month ago, President Obama announced during the State of the Union speech the creation of a new financial crimes task force to investigate the crimes and misdeeds that led to the economic collapse and "hold accountable those who broke the law."

Yet, despite the enormity of the issue, its direct impact on millions of Americans and the widespread nature of crimes and wrongdoing, the new financial crime unit has been given a paltry 55 staff members to undertake this enormous task.1

This contrasts to the approximately 1,000 FBI agents and dozens of federal prosecutors who were assigned to prosecute cases related to the much smaller savings and loan scandal of the '80s2, or the 100 FBI agents tasked with investigating the Enron scandal3, which involved just one company and caused none of the economy-wide damage we've seen since the collapse of the housing bubble.

Tell President Obama: 55 investigators are not enough. We need 20 t...

President Obama's record on Wall Street accountability is abysmal. But because of enormous grassroots pressure from activists like you and polling that suggests he needs to take on Wall Street as a part of his election campaign, we have a real opportunity to move President Obama to meaningful action on Wall Street accountability.

President Obama's first task force at the Department of Justice did little if anything to prosecute Wall Street for crimes that led to the financial crisis. But because of your activism, he announced a new task force and named progressive champion and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman one of its five co-chairs.

Now we need to pressure the White House to give that task force the resources it needs to pursue justice. Without sufficient staff to conduct thorough investigations, it's hard to see how this task force could bring indictments quickly.

Tell President Obama: 55 investigators are not enough. We need 20 t...

The economic crisis we're in demands a response commensurate with the damage done by Wall Street crooks. But 55 investigators don't even come close to being adequate.

And aside from the appointment of Attorney General Schneiderman, none of the other co-chairs of the new task force has done literally anything that achieves our goal of holding banks accountable or prosecuting bankers for criminal activity.

In fact, three of his co-chairs served on the earlier failed Department of Justice task force that the new investigation was created to supersede.

In an election year when we know the Obama reelection campaign wants to run against Wall Street, President Obama will be particularly sensitive to public perception of whether his efforts to hold Wall Street accountable are meaningful and represent the full force of his office.

But we only have until election day before we lose our leverage. We have until then to ensure that President Obama's gestures towards Wall Street accountability are more than mere sleight of hand that does more to protect Wall Street than to bring justice for the millions of American taxpayers who bailed out the big banks but still haven't seen any accountability for the financial fraud that led to the economic collapse.

Tell President Obama: 55 investigators are not enough. We need 20 t...

We want, and our country needs, indictments. The collapse of the housing led directly to the economic crisis we're in. But not one of the Wall Street crooks who drove our economy off a cliff has gone to jail. And without aggressive investigations and prosecution for misconduct, none of them will.

President Obama needs to give the Department of Justice task force the resources required to launch a serious investigation that will bring about real accountability before the statutes of limitations run out for Wall Street's crimes.

He can start by staffing the task force at a bare minimum at the levels of previous financial task forces created to address much smaller scandals.

It's been a month already. We can't waste any more time.

Tell President Obama: 55 investigators are not enough. We need 20 times more staffing to launch a real investigation into Wall Street's crimes. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:


Thank youfor standing up for Wall Street accountability.

Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. "Details Emerge of New Financial Fraud Unit ," Huffington Post, 01-26-12.
2. FBI Deputy Director John S. Pistole's statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee, 02-11-09
3. "In Past Financial Crises, Fewer Pursued In Courts," NPR, 08-14-11.




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