Video of Berkeley Peace Symbol Event Posted to YouTube as Public Access HD

The Berkeley “Ban the Bomb!” Video is out! The 2nd Edition of the Berkeley Peace Symbol commemoration has lots of cool special effects! Slightly re-titled, you can find it listed as “Berkeley Celebrates the 59th Birthday of the Peace Symbol” at the YouTube channel called “SOCIAL JUSTICE IN THE HEART OF BERKELEY”.
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The Sound and Recording Audio work in Fellowship Hall was by David Yandle. Post Production Audio & Video work was contributed by Vic Sadot. Now it’s posted to the internet! We need YOU to help us get this information and these links distributed! Note: Every photo on this page is linked to another related site full of information or music.

This video is 58 minutes in length and it will be set for Creative Commons free download so that it can be used in a non-profit manner by activists to schedule it on their local Public Access Cable TV stations. It is indeed educational in that it deals with a subject avoided by the corporate media, the hugely profitable and extremely dangerous nuclear arms race. Refer questions to Vic Sadot at vic.bfuu.sjc@gmail.com.
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Born out of fear of nuclear mass destruction, the Peace Symbol has become an essential part of our Peace Movement. How was it created? Who did it? What was the moment of historical context in which this now well-known symbol was created?
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It was Gerald Herbert Holten who created the Peace Symbol using navy semaphore flag signals as the basis for the design. The Peace Symbol was first used on February 21, 1958 in support of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in a march of 10,000 people from London to Aldermaston. Gerald Holten had been a conscientious objector during World War II. He was a graduate of the Royal College of Art.
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Poet Arnie Passman and the Social Justice Committee of the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists invited poets, singer-songwriters, and comedians to celebrate the 59th Birthday of the Peace Symbol! The history of the birth of the “Band the Bomb” movement in the UK and the need for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to be pressed forward are discussed.
hiroshima-ground-zero_us-army_berkeley-celebrates-peace_vic-sadotThe Berkeley Celebration of the 59th Birthday of the Peace Symbol was on “Presidents’ Day”, Monday, Feb 20, 2017. Veteran BFUU Social Justice Committee activist Cynthia Jean Johnson welcomed the small audience who came to Fellowship Hall on that rainy day. 
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The obligations of signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the need for all nuclear countries to sign and participate, are explained in this video.
mordechai-vanunu_berkeley-celebrates-peace-symbol_vic-sadotThe gathering was fortunate to have a formidable poet like Frances L. Hillyard. Frances contributed several thought and emotion provoking poems, including poems about The Statue of Liberty; the view of a woman suffering the violence and turmoil in the city of Jenin in Palestine; a revolutionary salute to Mumia Abu Jamal; and the charming and hopeful “Dove of Light”. A separate 10 minute video of her performance has been posted!
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A wonderful, inspirational, community sing-along was led by Berkeley’s beloved “Save the Post Office” organizer, Hali Hammer. The event closed with Christine Driftwood‘s implanting of a vision of possible uses of the Peace Symbol in Berkeley!
hali-hammer_berkeley-celebrates-peace-symbol-59th-birthday_vic-sadot-screenshotHali Hammer kicked off her presentation by promoting a new website for the Progressive Majority Creative Network at WordPress. It’s a networking site for artists who are ready and willing to sing and speak truth to power! Click on Hali’s photo to link to her home site! Her songs are listed below in the list of “Performers & Participants”.
chizu-hamada_no-nuclear-weapons_hiroshimas_berkeley-celebrates-peace_vic-sadotChizu Hamada is a long-time San Francisco Bay Area activist against nuclear weapons and power. She works with Steve Zeltzer of KPFA’s WorkWeek Radio and the Labor Video Project, and thousands of other concerned citizens of many countries in various organizations, but principally she works with No Nukes Action Committee. The group has protest rallies outside the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco at 3 pm on the 11th of every month since the nuclear catastrophe first happened on March 11, 2011. Since March 11, 2017 will be the 6th anniversary of the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history there should be a larger than usual turn-out. What’s more is that the emergency is an ongoing radioactive disaster that continues to contaminate land, air, and sea, and continues to threaten all living creatures that depend on these elements of nature for sustenance.
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Participants in the Berkeley Celebration of the 59th Birthday of the Peace Symbol:

(1) Welcoming by Cynthia Jean Johnson; (2) Vic Sadot – Two Bob Dylan Songs: The Times They Are A Changin’ & Masters of War; Ban the Bomb Oratory: “Do You Realize?”; (3) Karen Dewald – Reflections on the history of the nuclear disarmament movement, the origins of the Peace Symbol, and some discussion of concerns and expectations in the Trump era; (4) Frances Hillyard Poems. Note: Some beautiful screenshot photos in the Jenin poem by Frances L. Hillyard were used by permission of Ahmed Alomary, who lives in Jenin, Palestine, and posts on YouTube and Facebook; (5) Brian Brackney recommends prolific writer Lawrence Wittner’s books on the nuclear disarmament movement; (6) Hali Hammer Announces the “Progressive Majority Creative Network”. Sings original compositions “I Refuse To Believe” & “We Will Rise Together”. Leads Communal Sing Out! “Down By The Riverside”, “I Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore” (Phil Ochs), “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” (Pete Seeger), “Draft Dodger Rag” (Phil Ochs), “If I Had A Hammer” (Lee Hays); (7)  Christine Driftwood shares her Vision of an Illuminated Peace Sign in the Berkeley Hills, at People’s Park, or along the Interstate Highway.

Various links below should be helpful to anyone interested in learning more about these subjects, individuals, and organizations. There’s a bounty to be harvested here!

There’s a great poem about Palestine in this new video! It’s part of a 4 poem presentation by Frances Hillyard that is 10 minutes long: Frances Hillyard Poetry at Berkeley 59th Birthday of the Peace Symbol (10:00) SOCIAL JUSTICE IN THE HEART OF BERKELEY.
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Note: Several photos in the video of the poem by Frances L. Hillyard about the town of Jenin in Palestine were used by permission of Ahmed Alomary who lives in Jenin, Palestine. During research Vic Sadot discovered Ahmed’s YouTube video, which lists a link to the Facebook Photography Page of Ahmed Alomaryjenin-palestine_farmes-bale-hay-in-fields_ahmed-alomary-screenshotAhmed responded affirmatively to a request for permission to take some screenshots from his video, saying that he would be pleased that people would be made more aware of what is really happening in Palestine. Here is the link to his vignette of images of the beautiful aspects of the city under pressure from the Apartheid supremacist regime following a plan for long-term expansion that involves the dispossession and subjugation of the Palestinians. jenin-palestine-city-lights_ahmed-alomary-screenshotJenin Palestine (2:39) Ahmed ALomary YouTube & Photos All Rights Reserved. photos from jenin palestine with background music naseer shamma palestinian heritage.
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Ahmed Alomary manages to capture the beauty in the city and countryside around Jenin. But the Zionist expansion is constantly pressing into their territories with colonizers who are euphemistically called “settlers”. And the IDF is always nearby to enforce “The Law In These Parts” (An Israeli film that was screened at the annual Jewish Film Festival in Berkeley, California).
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Here are some links to the books by Lawrence Wittner who was recommended by Brian Brackney
 

The Struggle Against the Bomb: Resisting the Bomb – A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, 1954-1970 (Stanford Nuclear Age) Hardcover – December 1, 1997 by Lawrence Wittner (Author)   

Toward Nuclear Abolition: A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, 1971-Present (Stanford Nuclear Age Series) 1st Edition by Lawrence S. Wittner   

The Struggle Against the Bomb: One World or None: A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement Through 1953 (Stanford Nuclear Age Series) Paperback – March 1, 1995 by Lawrence Wittner 

Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement (Stanford Nuclear Age Series) by Lawrence Wittner   

Rebels Against War: The American Peace Movement, 1933-1983 Paperback – May 24, 1984 by Lawrence Wittner

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Clicking on the above photo links you to an article by Chris Hedges: Fighting the Militarized State” Posted on Mar 30, 2014 By Chris Hedges at TruthDig

Hali Hammer Music Sites:

Hali Hammer Home Site

Hali Hammer – Eclectic Circus

Hali Hammer – I Refuse To Believe

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The NDAA Explained in 3 Minutes (3:16) StormCloudsGathering 

Vic Sadot Home Site

Truth Troubadour YouTube Channel

Vic Sadot YouTube Channel

Free Vic Sadot Songs at SoundCloud Broadside Balladeer

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BLOGS BY VIC SADOT:

Truth Troubadour Blog – 9/11 Truth & Deep Politics

Berkeley Calling – Free Speech Bay Area

Broadside Balladeer – Political Songs & Folk Music Matters

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4 Vic Sadot CD Sales links at CD Baby:

Truth Troubadour (Dec 2, 2016) – 18 songs sung by Vic Sadot. Featuring Eric Golub.

9/11 TRUTH & JUSTICE SONGS (9/11/11) by “TRUTH TROUBADOUR” VIC SADOT

Broadsides & Retrospectives CD (2005) by Vic Sadot at CD Baby

Comin’ Home CD (1997) Cajun/Zydeco & Louisiana R&B by Vic Sadot & Planète Folle at CD Baby

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Full Spectrum Dominance (6:04) Vic Sadot & Eric Golub on Truth Troubadour CD at CD Baby YouTube “Beware of those who joke about sending in the drones!” This song was written by Vic Sadot for the 4-10-11 visit of Bruce Gagnon to speak at Fellowship Hall in Berkeley, CA. Bruce is the founder of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Vic Sadot on vocals and acoustic guitar, Rob Sadot on electric guitar, Eric Golub is on violin. Full Spectrum Dominance makes us all the “enemy”! If you click on the photo above, the link goes to the video that Vic Sadot made for this song.

Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists  

OUR UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST PRINCIPLES

Poet Gary Hicks Featured in New Video

Poet Gary Hicks – Featured in Berkeley CA (31:05) Vic Sadot Vimeo “Truth & Love Poetry Videos” Collection.

Poet Gary Hicks was invited by Cynthia Jean Johnson to be the BFUU Social Justice Committee’s “Featured Artist” in Berkeley CA on Oct 9, 2015. David Yandle captured the audio on the sound board and Vic Sadot made this video in October 2016.

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It is posted here as Video #47 at the Vic Sadot Vimeo Video Channel in the “Truth & Love Poetry Videos” Collection. This project is an open forum for video poetry, as described here: “Poetry by poets and their friends using video to express their poetry. Progressive commentary, free thinkers, and humor encouraged. Open forum for poetry recitals. Poetry in motion or in stills. Live  readings from home cameras or remote locations. Poetry interpreted as song with video. Welcome! Maybe you’ll be #48!

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Gary Hicks poems are vignettes covering many local SF Bay places and his reflections upon them from poetry slams, to late night bus travel moments, to the distinct and creative culture of the scene at Caffe Trieste in the North Beach area of San Francisco.
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The video was posted first at the BFUU Social Justice Committee YouTube Channel and the open mic event was sponsored by the SJC.

Poet Gary Hicks – Featured Artist Oct 2015 BFUU Monthly Open Mic (31:05) SOCIAL JUSTICE IN THE HEART OF BERKELEY YouTube Channel

Poet Gary Hicks was the Featured Artist on October 9, 2015 at 7 PM at the invitation of Cynthia Jean Johnson who was our rotating host for that month. On October 5, 2016 Vic Sadot proposed to Gary that he could make a video for the quality audio recording captured by David Yandle, the BFUU Social Justice Committee Tech Team Sound Engineer. The video was uploaded to the Social Justice Committee’s “SOCIAL JUSTICE IN THE HEART OF BERKELEY” YouTube Channel. Please share this video if you like it! Thanks! (Creative Commons Copyright by Vic Sadot for non-profit use with full credits/no edits please Stats: 1280×720 px; mp4; 3:52 GB; 31:05 minutes)

Berkeley Fellowship Monthly Open Mic happens every 2nd Friday of Every month! Join us in Historic Fellowship Hall, 1924 Cedar Street (at Bonita St), Berkeley, CA. Fellowship Hall is wheelchair accessible via the ramp on Bonita Avenue! On Oct 14 the host will be Poet Gene Herman on his 82nd birthday featuring his wife, Dolores Hellman. Note to Musicians/Performers: Sign-up begins at 6:30 pm for 20 ten minute spots!

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October 2015 Featured Artist: Gary Hicks: Gary Hicks has been involved in civil rights, housing advocacy, peace with justice and cultural preservation for the last five decades. Author of two volumes of poetry plus numerous publications, he is a member of the Boston Liberation Poets Collective and the Revolutionary Poets Brigade of San Francisco. The Featured Artist performs sometime between 8 and 8:30 pm!
cynthia-jean-johnson_bfmom_8-09-13byvicsadotOctober 2015 Host: Cynthia Jean-Johnson: Cynthia Jean Johnson is a well-known Berkeley community activist. The long time former chair of the BFUU Social Justice Committee remains active with the SJC as Vice-Chair. Cynthia also serves on the Local Station Board (LSB) of KPFA Pacifica, the Ecumenical Peace Institute (EPI), and Marin Interfaith Task Force on the Americas (MITFA). Cynthia has long understood the power of songs of struggle and the role of music in keeping people in touch with what matters most.

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Vic Sadot 9/11/16 concert and reflections posted at TruthTroubadour Blog

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Cynthia Jean Johnson
and Vic Sadot of the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee in Historic Fellowship Hall in Berkeley CA on 9/11/16 at the Opening Candle Lighting Ceremony for the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11/01 Terrorist Attacks on the United States of America.

TRUTH TROUBADOUR BLOG 9-21-16 Berkeley, CA: Veteran 9/11 Truth Singer-Songwriter Vic Sadot Organizes 9/11/16 Concert in Berkeley – This blog reports on the first segment from the 18 song concert. The focus is on how Vic came to write The BALLAD OF WILLIAM RODRIGUEZ at the suggestion of David Slesinger who he met at the July 22-24, 2005 DC Emergency Truth Convergence at three locations in Washington, DC: the National Press Club, Lafayette Square for a rally, and numerous sessions at American University. This segment is from the 9/11/16 Vic Sadot Concert Released audio recorded by David Yandle Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee as a “Truth & Justice Love Songs” solo concert by Vic Sadot. It opened with a Candle Lighting Ceremony by Cynthia Jean Johnson and Vic Sadot. Please share this blog and the new video! We thank you!  http://truthtroubadour.blogspot.com/2016/09/veteran-911-truth-singer-songwriter-vic.html

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William Rodgriguez was head janitor at the North Tower of the WTC for about 20 years. He even survived the bombing in 1993 for which the FBI was alleged to have played a major role in setting up. He came in late on 9/11/01 and threw himself into the rescue effort. He was acclaimed a hero and dined at the Bush White House until he told his story to the corporate-government press and the 9/11 Commission. Then he was shunned by that media. William Rodriguez became a leading activist and advocate for victim families and is still at that effort.

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Rob and Vic Sadot performing at the July 22-24, 2005 D.C. Emergency Truth Convergence at American University. Vic also played two new 9/11 Truth songs at the rally in Lafayette Square across from the White House: “Mad Cowboy Disease” and “Are You A Citizen Or Are You A Slave?” (the latter co-written with Cindy Abromowitz)

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Ray McGovern, former CIA daily briefer for several US Presidents, founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Here he is speaking to the crowd at the D.C. Emergency Truth Convergence rally in Lafayette Square across from the White House where Vic Sadot sang his first 9/11 Truth songs. Vic went on to release a 16 song CD on 9/11/11 for the 10th Anniversary of the event titled “9/11 Truth and Justice Songs”, which remains available at CD Baby, and for which there are now videos to go with most of the songs. Some are also given away at SoundCloud by BroadsideBalladeer.

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This is Donna Marsh O’Connor on 9/11/05 at the UN demanding an independent investigation and evidence of how her pregnant daughter Vanessa Lang Langdon died in the World Trade Center. Vic Sadot sang his new song, “The Ballad of William Rodriguez” at the Dag Hammorskold Plaza right after she and William Rodriguez spoke to the crowd.

The two of them teamed up on 9/11/16 to speak out. If you click on their photos here, it will take you to their 2016 9/11 presentations for “9/11 Fifteen Years Later – What Have We Learned?” (1:42:34) Other Voices, Other Choices. Donna Marsh O’Connor Introduces Ray McGovern on 9/09/16 at Binghampton University in central New York State.

For a more detailed review of Vic Sadot’s 9/11/16 concert, we refer you to the Truth Troubadour Blog on the event.

USS Liberty Vet Speaks in Berkeley!

Video Archived Here: USS Liberty Vet and Survivor Don Pageler spoke in Historic Fellowship Hall in Berkeley, CA on June 25, 2016 about the attack on the USS Liberty by Israel on June 8, 1967.

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The story was suppressed for many years, and the sailors who survived were forbidden to talk about it. Don received a Purple Heart. But he went through a long period of PTSD, “survivor’s guilt”, and therapy. He is literally a man with a mission to honor his fallen comrades and to remember this tragic history. It was a gripping personal story placed into historical context of the 6 Days war in which Israel did not want its communication intercepted. The Golan Heights were seized from Syria at this time, and the Israeli surprise attack knocked the Egyptians out of the war in short order.

Don Pageler’s powerpoint presentation was video recorded by Vic Sadot and will be edited by Hummux. The Video Link will be placed here within a week or two.

There has been much speculation that the attack may have been a “false flag” attack meant to bring the USA into the war on the side of Israel. Don Pagerler acknowledged that possibility, but stated clearly that his mission was only focused on telling what he had learned and could substantiate. It was his contention that there was no mistake on the part of Israel about the identity of the ship, which flew a huge American flag and was clearly marked and distinguishable from ships of other nations. It was not heavily armed as it was a signals intelligence ship.

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What is now known is that President Lyndon Johnson, Sec of State Robert MacNamara, and Admiral John “Jack” McCain ordered the incident to be covered up. In fact, it would not have played well to the American heartland to learn that President Johnson had recalled the fighter jets that responded to the distress call that the USS Liberty crew was able to get out while under attack.  Johnson said he did not care if they all died; he did not want to embarrass an ally.

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The Kansas native also had speaking engagements on Tuesday, June 28 at Peacock Hall in Rossmoor Walnut Creek,  1001 Golden Rain Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94595 at 4 pm, and on Wednesday, June 29 at 4:30 pm at the First Presbyterian Church, 72 Kensington Road, San Anselmo, CA 94960. All events are free, but donations may be requested for the venue and for the USS Liberty Vets. For more information see http://HonorLibertyVets.org

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San Francisco Examiner covered the attack in June 1967. Details were soon suppressed.

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There was a long Q&A session after USS Liberty Vet Don Pageler finished with his gripping tale and power-point presentation.

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USS Liberty Purple Heart Veteran Don Pageler in Historic Fellowship Hall 6-25-16. The event was sponsored by No Lies Radio and the Social Justice Committee of the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists. Photos by Vic Sadot, member of the SJC

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Members of NorCal Friends of Sabeel at left. Third from right: Allan Rees of No Lies Radio. Fourth from Right: Alison Weir, founder of If Americans Knew and author of a new book titled “Against Our Better Judgment”. Other audience and Pageler family members.

Post Update 7-23-16 We have heard that there is fundraising going on for a feature length documentary on the USS Liberty. Here is the link to the trailer for that item:

Trailer for funding a full-length feature film of the June 8, 1967 Israeli attack of the USS Liberty (2:44) USS Liberty YouTube Channel http://youtu.be/rW4m6yuKsFk

Published on May 10, 2016: This is the official donation reel for a full-length feature film on the June 8, 1967 Israeli attack of the USS Liberty, the only major maritime attack not investigated by the U.S. Congress. With your help, after 50 years of near-obscurity, the true story of the attack on the USS Liberty and its aftermath can be told, where 34 U.S. servicemen were viscously murdered and 174 wounded, an over 70% fatality and casualty rate. The main question you should be asking yourself about the Liberty is this: why has this story remained buried for almost half a century and who is behind the plot to keep it under wraps. Visit the official website of the film and please donate today!  http://usslibertymovie.com

New “Truth Troubadour” Blog Salutes the Work of Tod Fletcher

Titled “A Hearty Salute to the Political Awareness Work of 9/11 Truth Activist Tod Fletcher”, the new article was posted at Truth Troubadour Blog by Vic Sadot. It features many links to the work of Tod Fletcher on radio and in writing. There is no doubt that Tod Fletcher would want to be remembered as the major researcher, writer, editor, and speaker that he was in the global 9/11 Truth & Justice movement. Tod was an editor for David Ray Griffin books. He occasionally was a stand-in for Griffin when the acclaimed theologian and 9/11 scholar could not make a radio interview due to illness.
http://truthtroubadour.blogspot.com/2014/11/a-hearty-salute-to-political-awareness.html

There will be a Memorial Gathering for Tod Fletcher and his wife Susan Peabody who chose suicide over continued suffering. See Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee Facebook Event Listings for the Memorial Gathering for Tod Fletcher and Susan Peabody scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 22 from 1-4 pm. Some people will skype into the event, such as David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth who worked on scholarly projects with Tod Fletcher. http://www.facebook.com/events/508202625950001

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Tod’s last interview on Bonnie Faulkner’s “Guns & Butter” Radio Show on KPFA was on Sept 3, 2014. It is archived at KPFA and at NoLiesRadio (link below). The lives and the passing of Tod and his wife Susan do indeed make a sad and difficult story. But it is also a story of true and dedicated love.

See the link to the moving tribute by David Ray Griffin: “In Memory of Tod Fletcher: A Life of Service (1952-2014)” David Ray Griffin in Global Research (Centre for Research on Globalization) 10-08-14. In that article David Ray Griffin quotes the late-great 9/11 Truth scholar Tod Fletcher in GlobalResearch.ca: “Having sensed earlier than most of us the falsity of the government’s explanation of what had happened on 9/11, he said: ‘I never fell for the official explanation. I’ve been researching and writing about 9/11 since 9/12’.”

Daniel Ellsberg 2013 Berkeley Justice Awards Speech Posted at No Lies Radio

Daniel Ellsberg Speaks in Berkeley, California at the Annual BFUU Hal Carlstad Social Justice Awards Dinner in Historic Fellowship Hall on July 20, 2013. Listen to the audio at No Lies Radio(Total Time 1:31:19)

Daniel Ellsberg speaking to his hometown Berkeley  crowd at Fellowship Hall

Daniel Ellsberg speaking to his hometown Berkeley crowd at Fellowship Hall on July 20, 2013 Annual Hal Carlstad Social Justice Awards. Photo by Vic Sadot

It was a bright shining moment when a faithful Bay Area activist community gathered to hear the legendary Pentagon Papers whistle-blower speak at Historic Fellowship Hall at the Annual BFUU Hal Carlstad Justice Awards & Benefit Dinner on 7-20-13. BFUU member and Social Justice Committee activist Phoebe Sorgen described how “uplifting” Daniel Ellsberg’s speech was and she described Patricia Ellsberg’s presentation as “empowering the audience, lifting us all up as heroes.” Photo by Vic Sadot. See also the photo album of the event at the BFUU Facebook Page.

Sherri Maurin photo from CloseGitmo.net

Sherri Maurin photo from CloseGitmo.net

The first speaker that we hear in this 1:31:19 recording is Sherri Maurin of Nuremberg Actions (00:00:01 – 00:09:57). This group was born out of the struggles to stop the arms trains going through Concord, California, to be sent to Central America. The galvanizing incident of those days happened when the train conductor sped up and ran over US Army Vietnam War veteran-turned-peace activist Brian Willson, who was on his very first non-violent direct action. He continues his activism to this day in opposition to US wars.

Andrés Thomas Conteris photo from CloseGitmo.net

Andrés Thomas Conteris photo from CloseGitmo.net

You can move sound bar forward in the No Lies Radio archive if you like. The Dan Ellsberg segment starts at 00:36:50. At the 00:10:00 minute mark, Andre Conteros, who was on a water-only hunger strike, talks about the connections between the hunger strikes in California prisons, especially in Pelican Bay Prison, and at Guantanamo Bay Prison in Cuba. Indefinite solitary confinement is a reality in both places and a prisoner never knows when they will ever get out of that complete cut off from human interaction. He encouraged everyone to follow and support the hunger strikers at CloseGitmo.net

MC Cynthia Jean Johnson consulting with Dan Ellsberg at Fellowship Hall on July 20, 2013

MC Cynthia Jean Johnson consulting with Dan Ellsberg at Fellowship Hall on July 20, 2013. Photo by Leland Johnson

At 17:45 Cynthia Jean Johnson, former chair of the Social Justice Committee, current vice-chair, served as the MC of the evening. She spoke about the Hal Carlstad Social Justice Awards and his involvement with Nuremberg Actions. At the time of this event and even now at this post time, there is an on-going hunger strike in both Guantanamo Bay Prison and in California Prisons, most notably at Pelican Bay Prison. It was day 36 for Cynthia Papermaster and day 34 for Cynthia Jean Johnson for their participation in a liquid fast in solidarity with the Hunger Strikers at Guantanamo Bay and California Prisons.

Poster by Doug Minkler calling for Chef Djamel to be sent from Guantanamo Prison to Berkeley, CA as per the city's invitation to a cleared  "detainee".

Poster by artist Doug Minkler calling for Chef Djamel to be sent from Guantanamo Prison to Berkeley, CA as per the city’s invitation to a cleared “detainee”.

Cynthia Papermaster of No More Gitmos  and Code Pink for Peace is introduced at 19:00. She spoke about Chef Djamel Ameziane being held in Guantanamo for 11 years and being tortured. She explained that Chef Djamael is among the 86 prisoners still being held after both the Bush and Obama administrations had cleared them. Cynthia displayed the Poster Art created by artist Doug Minkler to promote sending Chef Djamel, an Algerian-born, Paris trained chef, to Berkeley, CA. In 2011 the City Counsel passed a resolution inviting a Guantanamo “detainee” to come here to live and to have his dignity and well-being restored. (Recent June 2013 coverage in Berkeley Calling Blog)

Cynthia Papermaster at the Fellowship Hall podium July 20, 2013 with Occupella and Code Pink Golden Gate Chorus singers

Cynthia Papermaster at the Fellowship Hall podium July 20, 2013 with Occupella and Code Pink Golden Gate Chorus singers. Photo by Vic Sadot

Next, the Code Pink Golden Gate Chorus and members of Occupella sang “It Isn’t Nice”, a song by legendary Berkeley “Broadside Balladeer” Malvina Reynolds, who had 70 songs published in the pages of “Broadside: The National Topical Song Magazine”. (23:00)

At 26:57 Cynthia Papermaster talks about Bradley Manning and the fight to Save the Berkeley Post Office, a demo against Chevron Oil in Richmond, VA, and how the Nuremberg principles apply to UC Berkeley professor John Yoo, who wrote the legal briefs for the Bush-Cheney regime to justify the U.S. use of torture. Cynthia Papermaster saluted other Code Pink Golden Gate Chapter activists in the hall, such as Janet Weil who won the Patriot Award for Aug 2013 from the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Jane Miller, Holly Harwood, Lisa Geduldigand Susan Harman.

Susan Harmon confronting GW Bush torture legal brief team writer promoted to Judge Bybee

Susan Harmon confronting GW Bush torture legal brief team writer promoted to “Judge” Jay Bybee

Susan Harman (30:00) speaks specifically about the “war criminals living in the Bay Area”: John Yoo at Boalt Law School; Condoleezza Rice at Stanford University; Jay Bybee was appointed for life to the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals; William Haynes is now chief counsel at Chevron in San Ramon. Some people shout out, “What about Nancy Pelosi? What about Diane Feinstein?”

Then Cynthia Jean Johnson introduces Daniel Ellsberg (35:00) to his Berkeley hometown crowd. Daniel Ellsberg (36:50 – 1:08:00) measures the passage in time becoming apparent when he spoke with young activists who did not know who Joan Baez is. Ellsberg comments that this is the 5th year of the Presidency of the man who swore in pre-election speeches to close Gitmo. He pointed to CIA whistle-blower John Kiriakou going to prison for exposing US crimes of torture. He questioned why the Obama Justice Department prosecuted him instead of the torturers. Likewise, Bradley Manning exposed war crimes in Iraq. Yet he was the one prosecuted and given 35 years by the deep secrecy state, not the perpetrators of the war crimes, some of which were caught on photos and videos! Ellsberg relates the history of his own transformation from a high ranking pro-Vietnam War Pentagon Army colonel to many years as a peace and justice activist. He credits his wife Patricia for helping him to make that transformation and to make “The Pentagon Papers” public. As always, Daniel Ellsberg spoke appreciatively about Senator Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) for publishing the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. He always fondly recalls how the Unitarian Universalist publishing house, Beacon Press in Boston, boldly published the Pentagon Papers. Just 4 days later Ellsberg told Democracy Now! how Beacon Press came forward to publish the secret Pentagon history when all other publishing houses had refused to do it out of fear or out of a complete lack of understanding of the historical significance in revealing without any doubt whatsoever that the American people had been lied to by their President, their military, and most of their Congressional leaders. He talked about NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden and how remarkable it is that young people are becoming whistle-blowers because they “don’t want to live in a world” that the surveillance state wants to impose on everyone. He quotes a more extensive statement by Edward Snowden on that matter. He states his unequivocal support for Edward Snowden and accepts his Hal Carlstad Social Justice Award in the name of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden.

 Patricia and Dan Ellsberg attending the 2010 Oscars for the release of The Most Dangerous Man in America

Patricia and Dan Ellsberg attending the 2010 Oscars for the release of The Most Dangerous Man in America

Cynthia Jean Johnson mentions Mordechai Vanunu, the whistle-blower who exposed the secret Israeli nuclear weapons program, and how Daniel Ellsberg supported him. She mentions the documentary about Daniel Ellsberg, “The Most Dangerous Man in America” (1:32 minutes long) Patricia Marx Ellsberg (1:10:00 – 1:16:30) lead the crowd in some deep breath conspiring and she called the folks there “a room full of heroes”. Cynthia Johnson gives a salute to Ann Fagan Ginger of the Meicklejohn Civil Liberties Institute in Berkeley before introducing the last speaker. 

Maxina Ventura with Cynthia Jean Johnson 7-20-13 Hal Carlstad Justice Awards Dinner

Maxina Ventura with Cynthia Jean Johnson 7-20-13 Hal Carlstad Justice Awards Dinner. Photo by Vic Sadot

The last award went to Maxina Ventura (1:18:50), another long-time activist from peace actions to “Occupy Berkeley” Maxina speaks about some of the things she has experienced as an activist getting arrested for non-violent direct actions. Max closes out closes out the evening with her beautiful accapella “Nightingale” song. Vic Sadot had opened the evening with his Bradley Manning “Courage To Resist” song, but the recording had not yet begun.