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

Alison Weir Speech Now 58 Minute Public Access Video! Book it!

Alison Weir 2017 “100 Years of Pro-Israel Activism” HD (58:00)  911TVorg YouTube Channel. The Story of How a Special Interest Lobby Enabled the Colonization of Palestine and Still Influences Policies Today.

The 58 minute Public Access TV free download version is now available for non-profit educational use with full credits/no edits from 911TVorg YouTube Channel. This lecture by Alison Weir in Berkeley, CA happened on February 16, 2017 in Historic Fellowship Hall in Berkeley, CA. Lecture by Alison Weir, Executive Director of IfAmericansKnew.orgAlison Weir is also the President of the Council for the National Interest, and author of “Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel”.

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Alison Weir received a standing ovation in Berkeley’s Fellowship Hall. The event was sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists  The complete title of the power-point presentation was “100 Years of Pro-Israel Activism & Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’: How a Special Interest Lobby Enabled the Colonization of Palestine and Influences Policies Today”.

Alison wrote a blog the day after the event that some will want to know about: “Berkeley event was successful despite efforts against it” by Alison Weir Feb 17, 2017 at If Americans Knew Blog

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Henry Knorr at the open mic during the Q&A session on Feb 16, 2017 in Berkeley

Henry Knorr Defends Alison Weir from JVP Attacks on Voices in the Middle East on KPFA Pacifica Radio. Move the bar forward to the 38:00 minute mark to hear Henry Knorr, who is an American Jewish Bay Area activist against the 6 decade Apartheid Occupation of Palestine. He is also a member of JVP.  He calls it a “demonization campaign” against Alison Weir and IfAmericanKnew dot org. He also admires Alison for “not just talking to the choir”. He is disgusted with the secret dossier compiled on her, and how an umbrella group named The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation of Palestine was led to expel her due to the slander campaign. The real problem is that she stands against Zionism as a supremacist political ideology. He talks about her book Against Our Better Judgment about the Israel Lobby and how it is based to a large degree on academic histories by Jewish historians, thoroughly documented, “not kooky stuff” he asserts from years of study and activism on his own part. alisonweir-book-cover_alison-speaking

“Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel” (92 page pamphlet) by Alison Weir. 

Truth Troubadour Blog 2-21-17. This 58 Minute Public Access TV video of the Alison Weir 2017 Berkeley Speech “100 Years of Pro-Israel Activism” HD is now available at 911TVorg YouTube Channel for free, non-profit, public education use!

There is a full length version posted at No Lies Radio YouTube Channel that includes the Q&A Session after the lecture.
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Alison Weir in Fellowship Hall on 2-16-17. Photo by Vic Sadot (photo links to the YouTube video)

Alison Weir Feb. 16, 2017 Full Length Berkeley Lecture & Q&A! “100 Years of Pro-Israel Activism & Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’: How a Special Interest Lobby Enabled the Colonization of Palestine and Influences Policies Today” (1:55:57) No Lies Radio YouTube Channel. The lecture is about 60 minutes long, and the rest is the Q&A session.

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No Lies Radio Posts Video of Alison Weir Feb. 16, 2017 Berkeley Lecture! “100 Years of Pro-Israel Activism & Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’: How a Special Interest Lobby Enabled the Colonization of Palestine and Influences Policies Today” (1:55:57) Audio by David Yandle; Video by hummux. Lecture by Alison Weir, Executive Director of IfAmericansKnew.orgAlison Weir is also the President of the Council for the National Interest, and author of a new book, “Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel”. The lecture is about 60 minutes long, and the rest is the Q&A session.

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The music for the intros and outros of the video was performed at the beginning of the event by folksinger songwriter Francis Collins. The Sound Engineer was David Yandle. Post Audio Production by Vic Sadot. Video by hummux. It’s meant to be a creative commons archived video to be shared and viewed widely. The 58 minute HD version is perfect for cable access programming! Can you help 911TVorg get it on Cable TV?

Francis Collins Singing Free Palestine (4:19) Tony De Renzo YouTube 

Francis explains that he learned the song off the Jewish Voice for Peace website. Published with this note on Mar 9, 2012: “SF City Watch producer Tony De Renzo captures Francis Collins at The Buck, former city supervisor Chris Daly Bar and Grill at 1665 Market Street in San Francisco at their monthly Radical Acoustic Music open mic.”

We will close this Berkeley Calling Blog with “Simple Song of Freedom” – Truth Troubadour Vic Sadot update of the Bobby Darin 1969 classic anthem to struggle released under license on “9/11 Truth & Justice Songs” available on CD Baby.

Québec – California Solidarity Shines in Richmond

Group photo outside the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center in Richmond after the gathering organized by the Sunflower Alliance. "Stopping Fossil Fuel Disaster! - Starting Fossil Free Solutions!" From Lac-Mégantic, Québec to Richmond, California! SATURDAY, March 1, 2o14 at Bobby Bowens  Progressive Center, 1021 Macdonald Ave, Richmond CA

Group photo outside the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center in Richmond after the gathering organized by the Sunflower Alliance. “Stopping Fossil Fuel Disaster! – Starting Fossil Free Solutions!” From Lac-Mégantic, Québec to Richmond, California! SATURDAY, March 1, 2o14 at Bobby Bowens Progressive Center, 1021 Macdonald Ave, Richmond CA. Photo by Brooke Anderson. Hit the photo to see her Facebook page: “Stills of Our Stories & Struggles”

A devastating and tragic oil train derailment, explosions, and intense raging fires came crashing into the little town of Lac-Mégantic, Québec, Canada on the night of July 6, 2013. In the aftermath, citizens from the town began to find their collective voice and to organize themselves. One of them spoke in Richmond to a large crowd at the Barry Bowers Center in Richmond, CA on March 1, 2014.

A train rolling throught lovely downtown Lac-Megantic sometime before the oil train derailment, explosions and fires of July 6, 2013. Photo Montreal CTV News

A train rolling throught lovely downtown Lac-Megantic sometime before the oil train derailment, explosions and fires of July 6, 2013. Photo Montreal CTV News

Marilaine Savard told the story and showed photos from her home town tragedy. An unattended 74-car freight train transporting the most volatile of crude oil was parked at night on a steep incline a few miles from town. Somehow the train’s brakes failed and it ran away and picked up speed until it derailed as it took a curve in the center of the quaint little town located in the Eastern Townships of the Canadian province of Quebec. It’s very close to the border of Maine and next to a beautiful lake also named Lac-Mégantic. The train derailed, resulting in such intense fires and explosions of multiple tank cars that it killed 47 people who were “vaporized”. More than 30 buildings in the town’s center were destroyed turning the quaint Québec town into an inferno and into a wasteland. See the photo from before above and the photo after below.

The Sainte-Agnès Catholic Church stands unscathed next to the derailment and blast site in Lac-Megantic, Quebec on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Pope Francis on Tuesday extended an apostolic blessing to victims, families and everyone affected by the tragedy. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)

The Sainte-Agnès Catholic Church stands unscathed next to the derailment and blast site in Lac-Megantic, Quebec on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Pope Francis on Tuesday extended an apostolic blessing to victims, families and everyone affected by the tragedy. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)

Such was the story told by a young mother named Marilaine Savard from Lac-Mégantic, who fate cast as the spokesperson for the people of the town’s effort to respond to Big Oil and it’s conduct of criminal neglect and irresponsibility. Marilaine Savard was emotionally distraught at times. Yet she was stalwart and inspired by the outpouring of good will and “Solidarity” that she received from her new-found friends in the Chevron Oil Refinery town of Richmond, California. If any California town can feel for Lac-Mégantic it would be Richmond, which has suffered the effects of the huge oil refinery in its midst. 

Marilaine Savard, Baraka, and Pennie Opal Plant relax after the inspiring gathering in Richmond. Photo by Vic Sadot

Marilaine Savard, Baraka, and Pennie Opal Plant relax after the inspiring gathering in Richmond. Photo by Vic Sadot

Marilaine Savard, spokesperson for the Citizens Committee of Lac-Mégantic, Québec, was in the San Francisco Bay area for about a week of local speaking and organizing for alternatives to the fossil-fuel industry as well as to tell the story of her community. Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin gave a fiery speech and read a formal Solidarity Proclamation from the City of Oakland to the city of Lac-Mégantic. 

Richmond, CA Mayor Gail  McLaughlin and City Council member Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles read and present the Proclamation of Solidarity to Marilaine Savard on behalf of their respective communities. Photo by Vic Sadot

Richmond, CA Mayor Gail McLaughlin and City Council member Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles read and present the Proclamation of Solidarity to Marilaine Savard on behalf of their respective communities. Photo by Vic Sadot

Mayor McLaughlin is part of the Richmond Progressive Alliance which has transformed Richmond from an oil “company town” to a leading city standing up to Wall St bank foreclosures and Chevron corruption and pollution. Her second term as mayor is currently dealing with the aftermath of the damages for the August 6, 2013 Chevron refinery explosion and fire that resulted in 15,000 going to the hospital.

Photo by David Charron in Maclean's Canadian National Weekly

Photo by David Charron in Maclean’s Canadian National Weekly

Also speaking: Antonia Juhasz, leading oil industry expert, policy-analyst, award winning journalist, and author of three books: including ‘The Tyranny of Oil: The World’s Most Powerful Industry and What We Must do to Stop It.’  George Monterrey, a grassroots community leader of the Pittsburg Ethics Council, which is fighting the Wespac crude mega-transfer-storage facility in Pittsburg, CA to supply expanding Bay Area refineries with fracked and tar sands crude oil by rail, pipeline and tanker. Pennie Opal Plant, Idle No More SF Bay Solidarity, from Richmond, CA “Idle No More calls on all people to join in a peaceful revolution, to honor Indigenous sovereignty, and to protect the land and water”. The MC was Andres Soto, KPFA’s Morning Mix host, writer at Richmond Confidetial, and Communities for a Better Environment Richmond organizer. David Solnit of Arts for Change talked about how some discussions months ago led to these connections with newly activated people in Québec.

The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson & Montreal CTV News Lac-Mégantic Oil Train Fires & Explosions Disaster 07-06-13

The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson & Montreal CTV News Lac-Mégantic Oil Train Fires & Explosions Disaster 07-06-13

Publicity for the event stated that “Fossil Fuels are a disaster, from fracking and tar sands extraction to transport in rail cars, pipelines and tankers; to refining; to burning; to climate change-caused drought, heatwaves, fires, floods, and super-storms that are wrecking our communities and planet”. The panel addressed questions related to this theme: “How can we move from “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) to “Not On Planet Earth” (NOPE)? How can we STOP fossil fuel disasters and START fossil-fuel free solutions?”

LacMegantic wide angle photo Montreal CTV News Oil Train Fires & Explosions Disaster 07-06-13

Lac-Mégantic wide angle photo Montreal CTV News Oil Train Fires & Explosions Disaster 07-06-13

Sponsored by Sunflower Alliance. Cosponsored by Richmond Progressive Alliance, Bay Area 350.org, and Communities for a Better Environment.

The Facebook event page was titled “Stopping Fossil Fuel Disaster–Starting Fossil Free Solutions” From Lac-Mégantic to Pittsburg to Richmond, CA. How do we create connectedness and solidartity and an end to the attitude of “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) to a wiser and more engaging attitude of “Not On Planet Earth” (NOPE). A lively teach-in it was! 

A gathering earlier in the week when the Solidarity Banner was unfurled. People signed their names and short statements on the banner to be taken back to Québec. I wrote "Bon Courage!"

A gathering earlier in the week when the Solidarity Banner was unfurled. People signed their names and short statements on the banner to be taken back to Québec. I wrote “Bon Courage!

 

Standing On the Side of Love – Free Chelsea!

BERKELEY CALLING! Stand on the Side of Love, Truth, and Justice! Free Chelsea Manning! Prosecute the War Criminals! Not the Whistle-Blowers!

  • COURAGE TO RESIST.ORG Plans Speaking Tour for CHELSEA MANNING Attorney David Coombs with Oakland event at Humanist Hall on Dec 9 at 6:30 pm!
  • BFUU SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE ISSUES A STATEMENT ON MANNING: THE “STANDING ON THE SIDE OF LOVE” RESOLUTION.
  • VIC SADOT UPDATED HIS MANNING SUPPORT SONG TO THE FEMININE AS REQUESTED. “COURAGE TO RESIST – FREE CHELSEA!” IS A FREE DOWNLOAD AT SoundCloud! USE IT TO FREE WAR CRIMES WHISTLE-BLOWER CHELSEA MANNING!
  • Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Color Purple”, released a Statement denouncing the 35 year sentence and praising Chelsea Manning’s humanism and bravery. ALICE WALKER STATEMENT ON MANNING

  • New 2015 Video Update: Courage To Resist – Free Chelsea Manning (4:52) at Truth Troubadour YouTube Channel.  This video is an update from the original 2009 “Courage To Resist” video about war crimes whistle-blower Bradley Manning. This 2015 version is gender updated to show respect and support for Chelsea Manning. She received a 35 year prison sentence for exposing U.S. war crimes, including the “collateral murder” video of U.S. helicopter pilots attacking a group of Iraqi children, civilians, and professional journalists.“We stood with you as ‘Bradley’! We’re gonna stand with you as ‘Chelsea’ too!” – A line in the last verse of the new version of the song called “Courage To Resist” now posted at SoundCloud.com/BroadsideBalladeer

Justice Denied: Chelsea Manning Gets 35 Year Sentence

COURAGE TO RESIST – FREE CHELSEA MANNING VERSION (4:47) – Free mp3 at SoundCloud by Broadside Balladeer! Use it to support war-crimes whistle-blower Chelsea Manning! Exposing war crimes is a duty, not a crime! Support the organization that stands with GI’s who grow in awareness and conscience and who stand for peace through justice while under military servitude! Berkeley-based singer-songwriter Vic Sadot is on vocals and acoustic guitar, and Eric Golub is on the evocative and moving viola. Sammy Fielding was the sound-engineer for all sessions at Robot Envy Studio.

Cynthia Papermaster joins VicSadot in singing his song, Courage To Resist, in support of Private Bradley Manning in San Francisco at Justin Herman Plaza as the crowd reacts to the announcement that war crimes whistle-blower Manning was given a 35 year sentence by the US military court. This rally was on 8-21-13. Photo by Peter Menchini

Cynthia Papermaster, with faithful “fellow traveler” and stalwart activist dog Jimminywinks, joins Vic Sadot in singing his song, Courage To Resist, in support of Private Bradley Manning in San Francisco at Justin Herman Plaza as the crowd reacts to the announcement that war crimes whistle-blower Manning was given a 35 year sentence by the US military court. This rally was on 8-21-13. Photo by Peter Menchini

Manning Legal Defense Led by David Coombs. Jeff Paterson of Courage To Resist organization is to the right of Coombs.

Manning Legal Defense Led by David Coombs. Jeff Paterson of Courage To Resist organization is to the right of Coombs.

As current Chair of the Social Justice Committee of the BFUU, I am pleased to make this public announcement that on September 1, 2013 The Social Justice Committee of The Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists unanimously passed a resolution to remain resolute in support of Bradley Manning after he was unjustly sentenced to 35 years in prison for documenting war crimes as the law requires a soldier to do, and after publicly declaring that “she” is a woman and that she requests that we refer to “her” as Chelsea Manning.

It is clearly in the spirit and the meaning and the calling as described in “Our Unitarian Universalist Principles” that we declare this “Standing on the Side of Love” Resolution. It reads as such:

 “We stand by Chelsea Manning as a war-crimes whistle-blower who should be freed. Instead of prosecuting Manning, war criminals should be put on trial under the Nuremberg Principles. We also stand with Manning in her right to choose her gender.”

CNN reports on Manning statement made after his sentencing

The injustice of the saga of Chelsea Manning continues to confront all people of conscience and good will within the context of the larger system of oligarchy and militarism parading as “democracy” and being given constant cover by a criminally complicit corporate media. It is treasonous to engage in the cover up of crimes, in violations of the Constitution, and in the deliberate distortion of reality to suit the most cruel and cynical of motives to destroy and dominate people everywhere. It’s thuggery!

The movement in support of Bradley Manning understands this larger context and it is probably sophisticated enough to process the new challenges that Manning’s gender choice present. It is precisely because the movement for Social Justice in this country is a principled movement that it will remain stalwart and steadfast in support of Private Chelsea Manning.

On Oct 23, 2013 the Private Bradley Manning Support Network published the letter of support from famous author and social justice activist Alice Walker. Major General Jeffrey S. Buchanan has the power to reduce Chelsea Manning’s 35-year prison sentence to time served, as commander of the Military District of Washington. We need an outpouring of public support for Manning’s freedom to compel Maj. Gen. Buchanan to do the right thing.Hundreds have already written letters to Maj. Gen. Buchanan, explaining why Manning deserves clemency. Alice Walker is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple. Read the Alice Walker Statement in which she praises Manning’s humanism here!

SF-BMcontingent-2013-banner-Pride-our-whistle-blowerThe Bradley Manning Contingent 7-01-13 at San Francisco Pride Parade

This presented a challenge to me as a songwriter as well since my original “Courage To Resist” song was about Bradley and two other GI’s supported by the organization known as CourageToResist.org. I am pleased to announce that a new Chelsea version of the song has been recorded and posted as a free mp3 download at SoundCloud.com/BroadsideBalladeer

The San Diego Coalition To Free Manning issued a call for people to hit the streets and demonstrate their reaction to the draconian sentence of 35 years in prison given to army whistle-blower Chelsea Manning. Along with the Obama regime's unprecedented war on whistleblowers and journalists, the revelations of illegal Unconstitutional spying on Americans in violation of the 4th Amendment right of the people to be secure in their houses and effects, people had much to say. Supporters of truth, justice & transparency rallied to speak out and raise awareness in San Diego.

The San Diego Coalition To Free Manning issued a call for people to hit the streets and demonstrate their reaction to the draconian sentence of 35 years in prison given to army whistle-blower Chelsea Manning. Along with the Obama regime’s unprecedented war on whistle-blowers and journalists, the revelations of illegal Unconstitutional spying on Americans in violation of the 4th Amendment right of the people to be secure in their houses and effects, people were motivated to protest. Supporters of truth, justice & transparency rallied in many cities.

SAVE THE BERKELEY POST OFFICE!

Berkeley-Main-Downtown-US-Post-Office-MilveaSt-Flowers

SAVE OUR US CONSTITUTIONALLY MANDATED US POSTAL SERVICE! This is one more symptom of the Corporate Empire System’s drive to privatize everything on Earth! Now the target is your local Post Office! The “Save the Berkeley Post Office Committee” and the City of Berkeley will appeal the USPS decision to sell the beautiful and historic main Berkeley Post Office, and they encourage everyone to write and join their actions. From Georgetown to Santa Monica, the USPS is shamelessly selling historic post offices that were entrusted to it as our great and familiar public cultural and architectural heritage. “Save the Berkeley Post Office” is working with the “National Post Office Collaborate” to take joint legal action with other communities to stop these sales. The US Post Office is absurdly being required to pay its pension fund 75 years in advance. This deliberate destabilization policy must be stopped! Without this requirement, the post office is actually making a profit. C.B. Richard Ellis (CBRE) chaired by Richard Blum has an exclusive contract to sell USPS properties. Billionaire Blum is a University of California regent and is married to Democratic Party establishment Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Update 9-20-13 Major Cover Story Coverage of US Post Office Sales Scandal in the East Bay Express feature article from the new e-book by Peter Byrne.  Anne Feeney Cheers Berkeley Activists with Movement Songs!

National award-winning investigative journalist Peter Byrne reports that the husband of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California has been selling post offices at bargain basement prices – often to his own business partners. Richard C. Blum is the chairman of CBRE Group Inc., the largest commercial real estate firm in the world. In 2011, the Postal Service awarded Blum’s company an exclusive contract to sell off postal real estate in cities and towns across America. Byrne’s in-depth investigation details the many apparent conflicts of interests driving the CBRE deals. It brings to light a scathing government audit of Blum’s contract that is being ignored by the Obama administration. The investigation reveals how Senator Feinstein pressured the Postmaster General to stop a postal construction project, and to favor the interests of a developer working with her husband’s firm. Byrne explains why the Post Office is not really broke and how powerful forces on Capitol Hill are angling to franchise the U.S. Mail monopoly. We learn that the post office executives in charge of Blum’s contract have been up to a financial shenanigans of their own. This is first class investigative reporting on a vital issue of the day that you will not find anywhere else. Read the East Bay Express article. Buy the book “Going Postal” by Peter Byrne kindle edition for just $2.99 at Amazon.

Going Postal_e-book-amazon_Peter-Byrne

Going Postal_e-book-amazon_Peter-Byrne

The amazing peoples’ singer Anne Feeney came rolling through Berkeley a few weeks ago. On August 31, 2013 Anne was ready to hit the road to LA, but she came out to help the coalition fighting to keep the local post office from the New Deal era. See Save the Berkeley Post Office Facebook page. The city administration was remarkably supportive of this struggle. That’s Dave Welsh at right in the photo. He sang topical and inspirational labor songs and played keyboards with Anne. This attack on the very security and comfort of local geography and landmarks of our culture like the gracious Berkeley Post Office are simply part of a rigged corporate system gone global in its effort of Privatize All the Commonwealth Inheritance of All the People of the Earth. An occupation of the Berkeley Post Office area went on for months, including tents, music jam sing-outs, and outdoor movies with lots of healthy food from Food Not Bombs! Numerous rallies like the one that Anne attended on Aug 31, 2013. Here’s Anne Feeney’s Facebook Page!

Anne Feeney sings out from the steps of the Berkeley CA Post Office. Dave Welsh at right, one of the key organizers of the Anti-Privatization Rally on Aug 31, 2013

Anne Feeney sings out from the steps of the Berkeley CA Post Office. Dave Welsh at right, one of the key organizers of the Anti-Privatization Rally on Aug 31, 2013

Visit and Subscribe at the Save the Berkeley Post Office website 

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See the new flash mob live video production coordinated by Hali Hammer! “Mr Postman Our Post Office Is Not For Sale!!!!”  Across the country, over 3700 post offices are at the risk of closure, including many historic buildings with New Deal public art. George W. Bush signed legislation in 2006 that destroyed the financial stability of the Postal Service and laid the groundwork for its privatization. Freddie Gorman (April 11, 1939 — June 13, 2006), who wrote the original lyric to “Please Mr. Postman”, was a retired letter carrier in Detroit MI both before and after the hit song. Hey, I’m in there top right around 1:57 into the song in my straw show hat! (Vic Sadot). What a great parody with purpose by Hali Hammer!

 

Breaking News at “Save The Berkeley Post Office” website! USPS WILL ABIDE BY THEIR OWN RULES: “In a surprise development Monday, the Postal Service tacked up an announcement at the Berkeley Main Post Office that appeals on the sale & relocation must be postmarked by May 22, 2013. When the USPS approved the sale & relocation of our historic post office, they set an appeal deadline of May 7th. We cried foul and noted that fifteen days was not consistent with USPS regulations, was not the practice on the east coast and was a policy applied only in California. When we asked the Postal Regulatory Commission they said the USPS has the discretion to use either fifteen or thirty days. Then Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s office asked the question. And now Berkeley has the thirty days it is entitled to by USPS regulations.”

Anyone may appeal this decision in writing. An appeal must be postmarked by May 22, 2013, and mailed to:

Vice President, Facilities
Facilities Implementation – Pacific Area
1300 Evans Ave. Ste. 200
San Francisco CA 94188-0200 

BerkeleyPostOffice-1937WorkerSculpture-David-Slivka

David Slivka was the sculptor of the 1937 limestone bas-relief on the east end of the entrance porch to the Berkeley Main Post Office. The center figure in back is holding a package addressed: “From: D.S. To: All Mankind, Truth Abode on Freedom Road.” Slivka used his mentor, Ralph Stackpole, as the model for the foreground center figure who is stooping to pick up a mail sack.

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