This space is dedicated to the proposition that we need to know the history of the struggles on the left and of earlier progressive movements here and world-wide. If we can learn from the mistakes made in the past (as well as what went right) we can move forward in the future to create a more just and equitable society. We will be reviewing books, CDs, and movies we believe everyone needs to read, hear and look at as well as making commentary from time to time. Greg Green, site manager
Janet Goldenberg, who is Chair of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, will be with us to let us know what is going on to publicize the new ERPO, 'red flag', law and how we can help in the efforts of the Coalition.
Rally at the Rotary
April 14, 11:30-12:30
Hyannis Rotary at Airport Rd
We have found the rallies at the rotary to be an extremely effective tool for spreading our message to a wider audience, especially in the summer. People have joined us because they see us there and we are a constant reminder that we are nowhere near done with the gun violence issue.
If you have never joined us before at the rotary, please do! There is strength in numbers.
You can always find information on our meeting and "Rally" dates at www.capecodgag.org under the "Events"" tab.
Thomas Crane Public Library, 40 Washington St, Quincy, MA 02169
Monday, April 8th 7:00 pm
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America Metro South Chapter meeting for new and existing volunteers to learn about how to join, help and grow our movement. We will plan for Metro South Local group activities and take action. Come find out more! Not just for Moms- All are welcome!
The Cory Johnson Program for Post-Traumatic Healing at the Roxbury Presbyterian Church hosts an evening of sharing on the last Thursday of each month.
FREE Dinner & childcare always provided!
Thursday, April 25th
Save the Date!
Time Magazine's Gun Violence in America
Saturday, May 4, 2019 3-4 PM
Herman Foundation Room
(Meeting Room around the back of the library)
300 Main St., Falmouth, MA
Time Magazine, the artist JR, and a cast of hundreds present us with a fully interactive discussion of gun violence. Touring the country in three major cities, they interviewed gun shot victims, gun owners and enthusiasts, emergency room doctors, activists with opposite points of view and policy makers responsible for finding solutions.
JR, the artist of the piece, said, "The power of the piece is to create conversation. Those conversations might help change the perception we have about a subject. This is how we change the world by bringing back this conversation."
Be sure to bring your earphones, laptops, iPad, or iPhone -fully charged
Sponsored by: Grandmothers Against Gun Violence, Falmouth Gun Safety Coalition and Lower Cape Indivisible
Mother's Day Walk
Sunday, May 12, 2019
Town Field Park, Fields Corner
1520 Dorchester Ave. Dorchester
6:00 am Registration
8:00 am Program
8:30 am Kick Off
All walkers must register. Registration cost this year is $10 per walker, however no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Registration fees go to help us reach our goal of $400,000 to sustain our programs and services.
Louis D. Brown Peace Institute is a center of healing, teaching, and learning for families and communities impacted by murder, grief, trauma, and loss.
Did you know in 2002 the US Government staged a coup against the democratically elected President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez? Join USM Boston for the documentary "The Revolution Will Not be Televised" to learn how the people of Venezuela resisted and fought for socialism & self-determination against US imperialism, a struggle which still continues today. There will be an open discussion following the screening.
Fundraiser for the Black Power Blueprint project: building black economic development institutions & community programs in St. Louis, MO.
Hosted by Uhuru Solidarity Movement Boston, the organization of white people created by and accountable to the African People's Socialist Party. We organize in the white community for reparations to African people.
Come to the USM 2019 National Convention "Make America Pay Reparations" April 13-14 in St Louis, MO to hear Chairman Omali Yeshitela speak, leader of the international African revolution for black power. With many presidential candidates now discussing "reparations" on their platform, this convention will answer front and center what reparations looks like in reality: power in the hands of the African working-class! Register at USM2019Convention.eventbrite.com <http://USM2019Convention.eventbrite.com/?fbclid=IwAR2zTiEKbiHhF9LCebuYt2kMWoLAtlkhWuhqy9beYn40zDNBf7M4Q8zzV3A>
With spring 2019 getting underway, we asked NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake to share his thoughts about the current state of democracy in the United States. His response is below.
We urged Tom to be candid about the continuing effects from the U.S. government’s prosecution of him. “I am still digging out from the ordeal,” he wrote. “I paid an enormous price personally and professionally for standing up against the government and speaking truth about the abuse and misuse of power -- especially secret power -- hiding behind national security.”
Powerful forces insist “national security” requiresmass surveillance that makes a mockery of the Fourth Amendment. Tom Drake became a whistleblower at the National Security Agency because his conscience would not allow him to go along with secretive abuses of basic constitutional rights. As a result, “My entire life was turned inside out and upside down.”
Whether or not the rare whistleblowers at places like the NSA go to prison -- and Tom was prosecuted with the threat that he’d be in prison for the rest of his life -- a key official goal is to drive them close to the poverty line for the rest of their lives, deprived of pensions and rendered unemployable for all but low-paid jobs.
Although Tom ultimately prevailed in court after a Kafkaesque ordeal that lasted years, the government completely wrecked his personal finances. (If you’re not familiar with his courageous stand on behalf of the Fourth Amendment, please see the links under “Background” at the bottom of this email.)
And now, here are some new comments from Tom Drake:
The House Oversight Committee Chair, Elijah Cummings, in closing remarks at the Michael Cohen hearing on February 27, spoke very powerfully about the future and what is so at stake in the Age of Trump. “When we're dancing with the angels, the question will be asked: In 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?”
It reminds me of the government’s malicious and vindictive case against me because I simply stood up to support and defend the Constitution by speaking truth to power and about the government’s violation of the Constitution and other wrongdoing.
President Trump made up a faux national emergency by laundering his con-fraud enterprise scam and scheme on the U.S. to circumvent and evade Article 1, Section 9 in the Constitution -- while endangering what is left of our dwindling democracy and a hollowed out Constitutional Republic.
And yet a very secret coup against the Constitution took place under the Bush administration in the form of national emergencies implemented shortly after 9/11, due to the failure of the U.S. government to keep almost 3,000 people out of harm’s way. I became a material eyewitness to high crimes and misdemeanors committed by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and others with respect to mass violation of people’s privacy rights through vast electronic surveillance programs.
Now, there is the recent news about the apparent halt, end, suspension or shutdown of a key part of an NSA domestic spying program known as Section 215 from the USA PATRIOT Act, which was subsequently updated under the USA FREEDOM Act.
However, there is a lot of hide and seek, plus smoke and mirrors kabuki surveillance going on here. Why? Other collection authority “shells” still exist, including Section 702 and Executive Order 12333.
It’s important to note that this mass surveillance regime originated under the umbrella of NSA’s STELLARWIND program -- aka “The Program” -- right after 9/11 under the Bush administration. That mass surveillance program formed the operational heart and core of an extremely sensitive ultra state secret known as the President’s Surveillance Program (PSP). Part of STELLARWIND later morphed into the USA FREEDOM Act after updates to the PATRIOT Act, the Protect America Act and the FISA Amendments Act.
Let’s also not forget fired-by-Trump former FBI Director James Comey’s earlier participation and direct intervention to “protect” STELLARWIND during the infamous 2004 hospital confrontation under the Bush administration (with Attorney General John Ashcroft in a sickbed). The ballyhooed incident “only served to hide illegal surveillance under a new rock,” in the words of independent journalist Marcy Wheeler.
Furthermore, it is critical to point out that all of these domestic spying programs fundamentally violated the Constitution, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the 4th Amendment on a mass scale, then went under the cover of secret FISA Court approval, secret interpretations of law and then the passage of unconstitutional ex post facto laws to make them “legal” -- a real sleight of hand.
Also important is the reminder by Marcy Wheeler, writing during the 2016 primary season for president, that Comey’s righteously rogue selling and PR of his higher loyalty and integrity was and is highly questionable considering his outsize influence on the 2016 election.
But I was “disloyal” because I defended the Constitution against the raw executive authority of Bush/Cheney licensing the unlawful secret domestic mass surveillance program by the government?
And yet I am the only person to date in relation to the NSA mass domestic electronic surveillance programs who was not only charged (also Edward Snowden) but later also indicted and prosecuted under the Espionage Act, facing decades in prison because I blew the whistle on it and other government wrongdoing, coverup and malfeasance.
We must also continue to consider the wildcard of “national security” -- the shrouded invisible elephant shells and tells in the room. Hide or trust the public’s right to know? What won’t the people know? What will remain in the shadows? Will somebody hold and keep secret the fuller set of proverbial royal flush cards in hand about investigations of executive action and executive time? And when somebody like me did so, it was defined by the government as a crime of state -- for calling out and disclosing state crimes.
Meanwhile democracy, self-determination, privacy and human rights are under severe stress in America and across the world. Flying the imperious flag of Trumplandia is a sure ticket to disaster and chaos. The U.S. flag is flying upside down as an SOS.
So, what country do we want to keep? How do we best govern ourselves -- individually and as a society?
I paid an enormous price personally and professionally for standing up against the government and speaking truth about the abuse and misuse of power -- especially secret power -- hiding behind national security. My entire life was turned inside out and upside down. I am still digging out from the ordeal.
With appreciation, Tom Drake
PS from the RootsAction Education Fund team:
Truth-telling can be inspirational. Another NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has said: “If there hadn’t been a Thomas Drake, there couldn’t have been an Edward Snowden.”
Meanwhile, Tom Drake remains deeply in financial debt. Ironically, we are in hisdebt -- morally, politically and ethically. We owe him so much because he stood up for civil liberties and human decency.
Let’s continue to help repay that debt to Tom Drake, who exposed extreme mass surveillance by the NSA.
Living in what is supposed to be a democracy, we get vital information because of the courage of whistleblowers.