Saturday, February 14, 2015

Free Chelsea Manning-President Obama Pardon Chelsea Now!

Army Approves Hormone Therapy Treatment for Wikileaker Chelsea Manning

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The U.S. Army has approved hormone therapy for Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of leaking national security secrets to Wikileaks, defense officials told NBC News late Thursday.
Private Manning revealed her gender identity as a transgender female after being convicted and sentenced to 35 years in the military prison at Leavenworth in July 2013.
According to the officials, since Manning has been clinically diagnosed as a transgender and is confined to the military prison, the Army is obligated to provide and pay for her hormone treatments — just as if she was confined to a civilian federal prison.
The hormone therapy development was first reported by USA TODAY.
Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, became the first military inmate to ask for treatment for gender dysphoria. She asked for a treatment plan that would consider three measures: dressing and living as a woman, hormone therapy and possible surgery.
In July 2014, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved an Army recommendation to begin the early stages of gender reassignment, including counseling and approval to dress as a woman, officials said.


The Smells, Ah, The Smells Of Childhood- Ida's Bakery Redux-With The Doors’ The End In Mind  

In memory of Peter Paul Markin, 1946-1972, North Adamsville High School Class of 1964:

This is the way the late Peter Paul Markin, although he never stood on ceremony and everybody in the corner boy night at Jack Slack’s bowling alleys down near Adamsville Beach called him plain old ordinary vanilla Markin, would have wanted to put his response to the question of what smell most distinctly came to his mind from the old neighborhoods if he were still around. Many a night, a late night around midnight usually, in the days and weeks after we got out of high school but before we went on to other stuff, maybe some of those nights having had trouble with some girl, either one of us, since we both came from all boy families and didn’t understand girls, or maybe were afraid of them, unlike guys who had sisters, who maybe didn’t understand them either but were around them enough to have figured a few things out about them we would stand holding up the wall in front of Jack Slack’s and talk our talk, talk truth as we saw it although we never really dignified the jive with the word truth.

Or maybe dateless some nights like happened a lot more than either of us, hell, any of us if it came right down to it, would admit to (I won’t even discuss the shroud we placed over the truth when talking, big talking, about “making it” when we were lucky to get a freaking kiss on the cheek from a girl half the time) we would talk. Sometimes with several guys around but mainly Markin and me, since we were the closest of the half dozen or ten guys who considered themselves Frankie Riley-led Jack Slack’s corner boys we would talk about lots of things.

Goofy stuff when you think about it but one night I don’t know if it was me or him that came up with the question about what smell did we remember from the old days, the old days being when we were in school, from around the neighborhood but I do remember we both automatically and with just a couple of minutes thought came up with our common choice- Ida’s Bakery. Ida’s over on Sagamore Street, just up the street from the old ball field and adjacent to the Parks and Recreations sheds where the stuff for the summer programs, you know, archery equipment, paints, sports equipment, craft-making stuff, how-to magazines and all were kept during the summer and after that, between seasons. Since both Markin and I when we went to Josiah Adams Elementary up the next block (named after some guy related to guys who ran the town way back when) would each summer participate in the program and as we grew older (and presumably more reliable) were put in charge of the daily storage of those materials during the summer and so got a preternatural whiff of whatever Ida was baking for sale for the next day. So yeah, we knew the smell of Ida’s place. And so too I can “speak” for old Markin just like if he was here today some fifty years later telling you his story himself.        

Unfortunately Markin laid down his head in a dusty back alley, arroyo, or cul-de-sac we never did really find out which with two slugs in his heart and nobody, not even his family, certainly not me and I loved the guy, wanted to go there to claim the body, worse, to start an investigation into what happened that day back in 1972 down Sonora way, that is in Mexico, for fear of being murdered in some back alley, arroyo, or cul-de-sac ourselves. See Markin had huge corner boy, “from hunger,” wanting habits back then, going back in the Jack Slack days. Hell I came up with him and had them too. But he also had a nose for drugs, had been among the first in our town as far as I know although I won’t swear to that now since some kids up the Point, some biker guys who always were on the cutting edge of some new kicks may have been doing smoke well before him to do, publicly do right out on Adamsville Common in broad daylight with some old beat cop sitting about two benches away, marijuana in the mid-1960s. That at a time, despite what we had heard was going on in the Boston Common and over in high Harvard Square,  when the rest of us were still getting our underage highs from illicit liquor (Southern Comfort, cheap gin, cheaper wine, Ripple, more than a few times, Thunderbird, when we were short on dough, nobody, including  our hobo knight in shining armor who “bought” for us as long as he got a bottle for his work, wanted to bother lugging cases of cheapjack beer, say Knickerbocker or Narragansett, out of a liquor store and pass it on to in obviously under-aged kids  so we all developed a taste for some kind of hard liquor or wine). Markin did too, liked his white wine. But he was always heading over to Harvard Square, early on sometimes with me but I didn’t really “get” the scene that he was so hopped up about and kind of dropped away when he wanted to go over, so later he would go alone late at night taking the all-night Redline subway over, late at night after things had exploded around his house with his mother, or occasionally, his three brother (and very, very rarely his father since he had to work like seven bandits to make ends meet for the grim reaper bill collectors, which they, the ends never did meet as far as I could tell and from what I knew about such activity from my own house, so he was left out of it except to back up Ma).

One night, one night some guy, Markin said some folk singer, Eric somebody, who made a name for himself around the Square, made a name around his “headquarters,” the Hayes-Bickford just a jump up from the subway entrance where all the night owl wanna-be hipsters, dead ass junkies, stoned-out winos, wizened con men and budding poets and songwriters hung out, turned him on to a joint, and he liked it, liked the feeling of how it settled him down he said (after that first hit, as he was trying to look cool, look like he had been doing joints since he was a baby, almost blew him away with the coughing that erupted from inhaling the harsh which he could never figure out (nor could I when my mary jane coughing spurt came) since he, like all of us, was a serious cigarette smoker, practically chain-smoking to while away the dead time and, oh yeah, to look cool to any passing chicks while we were hanging out in front of Jack Slack’s.

Of course that first few puffs stuff meant nothing really, was strictly for smooth-end kicks, and before long he had turned me, Frankie Riley, our corner boy leader, and Sam Lowell, another good guy, on and it was no big deal. And when the time came for us to do our “youth nation,” hippie, Jack Kerouac On The Road treks west the five of us, at one time or another, had grabbed all kinds of different dope, grabbed each new drug in turn like they were the flavor of the month, which they usually were. And nobody worried much about any consequences either since we all had studiously avoided acid in our drug cocktail mix.  Until Markin got stuck on cocaine, you know, snow, girl, cousin any of those names you might know that drug by where you live. No, that is not right, exactly right anyway. It wasn’t so much that Markin got stuck on cocaine as that his nose candy problem heightened his real needs, his huge wanting habits, needs that he had been grasping at since his ‘po boy childhood. And so to make some serious dough, and still have something left to “taste” the product as he used to call it when he offered some to me with the obligatory dollar bill as sniffing tool he began some low-level dealing,  to friends and acquaintances mainly and then to their friends and acquaintances and on and on.

Markin when he lived the West Coast, I think when he was in Oakland with Moon-Glow (don’t laugh we all had names, aliases, monikers like that back then to bury our crazy pasts, mine was Flash Dash for a while, and also don’t laugh because she had been my girlfriend before I headed back east to go to school after the high tide of the 1960s ebbed out around 1971 or so. And also don’t laugh because Moon-Glow liked to “curl my toes,” Markin’s too, and she did, did just fine), stepped up a notch, started “muling” product back and forth from Mexico for one of the early cartels. He didn’t say much about it, and I didn’t want to know much but for a while he was sending plane tickets for me to come visit him out there. Quite a step up from our hitchhike in all weathers heading west days. And of course join him in imbibing some product testing. That went on for a while, a couple of years, the last year or so I didn’t see him, didn’t go west because I was starting a job. Then one day I got a letter in the mail from him all Markin-y about his future plans, about how he was going to finally make a “big score,” with a case full of product that he had brought up Norte, he always said Norte like he was some hermano or something rather than just paid labor, cheap paid labor probably, and was too much the gringo to ever get far in the cartel when the deal went down. Maybe he sensed that and that ate at him with so much dough to be made, so much easy dough. Yeah, easy dough with those two slugs that Spanish Johnny, a guy who knew Markin in the Oakland days, had heard about when he was muling and passed on the information to us. RIP-Markin          

No RIP though for the old days, the old smells that I started telling you about before I got waylaid in my head about the fate of my missed old corner boy comrade poor old Markin. Here’s how he, we, no he, let’s let him take a bow on this one, figured it out one night when the world was new, when our dreams were still fresh:

“There are many smells, sounds, tastes, sights and touches stirred up on the memory’s eye trail in search of the old days in North Adamsville. Tonight though I am in thrall to smells, if one can be in thrall to smells and when I get a chance I will ask one of the guys about whether that is possible. The why of this thralldom is simply put. I had, a short while before, passed a neighborhood bakery on St. Brendan Street in a Boston neighborhood, a Boston Irish neighborhood to be clear, that reeked of the smell of sour-dough bread being baked on the premises. The bakery itself, designated as such by a plainly painted sign-Mrs. Kenney’s Bakery- was a simple extension of someone’s house like a lot of such operations by single old maid, widowed, divorced or abandoned women left for whatever reason to their own devises trying to make a living baking, sewing, tailoring, maybe running a beauty parlor, small change but enough to keep the wolves from the door, with living quarters above, and that brought me back to the hunger streets of the old home town and Ida’s holy-of-holies bakery over on Sagamore Street.

Of course one could not dismiss, or could dismiss at one’s peril just ask Frank, that invigorating smell of the salt-crusted air blowing in from North Adamsville Bay when the wind was up hitting us in front of Jack Slack’s bowling lanes and making us long to walk that few blocks to the beach with some honey who would help us pass the night. A wind too once you took girls out of the picture, although you did that at your peril as well, that spoke of high-seas adventures, of escape, of jail break-out from landlocked spiritual destitutes, of, well, on some days just having been blown in from somewhere else for those who sought that great eastern other shoreline. Or how could one forget the still nostril-filling pungent fragrant almost sickening smell emanating from the Proctor &Gamble soap factory across the channel down in the old Adamsville Housing Authority project that defined many a muggy childhood summer night air instead of sweet dreams and puffy clouds. Or that never to be forgotten slightly oily, sulfuric smell at low- tide down at the far end of North Adamsville Beach, near the fetid swamps and mephitic marshes in the time of the clam diggers and their accomplices trying to eke a living or a feeding out of that slimy mass. [Sorry I put those smelly adjectives in, Markin would have cringed.] Or evade the funky smell [A Markin word.] of marsh weeds steaming up from the disfavored Squaw Rock end of the beach, the adult haunts with their broods of children in tow. Disfavored, disfavored when it counted in the high teenage dudgeon be-bop 1960s night, post-school dance or drive-in movie love slugfest, for those who took their “submarine races” dead of night viewing seriously and the space between the yacht clubs was the only “cool” place to hang with some honey. And I do not, or will not spell the significance of that teen lingo “submarine race” expression even for those who did their teenage “parking” in the throes of the wild high plains Kansas night. You can figure that out yourselves.

Or the smell sound of the ocean floor at twilight (or dawn, if you got lucky) on those days when the usually tepid waves aimlessly splashed against the shoreline stones, broken clam shells, and other fauna and flora or turned around and became a real roaring ocean, acting out Mother Nature’s high life and death drama, and in the process acted to calm a man’s (or a man-child’s) nerves in the frustrating struggle to understand a world not of one’s own making. Moreover, I know I do not have to stop very long to tell you guys, the crowd that will know what I am talking about, to speak about the smell taste of that then just locally famous HoJo’s ice cream back in the days. Jimmied up and frosted to take one’s breath away. Or those char-broiled hot dogs and hamburgers sizzling on your back-yard barbecue pit or, better, from one of the public pits down at the beach. But the smell that I am ghost-smelling today is closer to home as a result of a fellow classmate’s bringing this to my attention awhile back (although, strangely, if the truth be known I was already on the verge of “exploring" this very subject). Today, after passing that home front bakery, as if a portent, I bow down in humble submission to the smells from Ida’s Bakery.”

That’s good enough for the Markin part, the close up memory part. Here I am for the distant memory part: 

You, if you are of a certain age, at or close to AARP-eligible age, and neighborhood, Irish (or some other ethnic-clinging enclave) filled with those who maybe did not just get off the boat but maybe their parents did, remember Ida’s, right? Even if you have never set one foot in old North Adamsville, or even know where the place is. If you lived within a hair’s breathe of any Irish neighborhood and if you had grown up probably any time in the first half of the 20th century you “know” Ida’s. My Ida ran a bakery out of her living room, or maybe it was the downstairs and she lived upstairs, in the 1950s and early 1960s (before or beyond that period I do not know). An older grandmotherly woman when I knew her who had lost her husband, lost him to drink, or, as was rumored, persistently rumored although to a kid it was only so much adult air talk, to another woman. Probably it was the drink as was usual in our neighborhoods with the always full hang-out Dublin Grille just a couple of blocks up the street. She had, heroically in retrospect, raised a parcel of kids on the basis of her little bakery including some grandchildren that I played ball with over at Welcome Young Field also just up the street, and also adjacent to my grandparents’ house on Kendrick Street.

Now I do not remember all the particulars about her beyond the grandmotherly appearance I have just described, except that she still carried that hint of a brogue that told you she was from the “old sod” but that did not mean a thing in that neighborhood because at any given time when the brogues got wagging you could have been in Limerick just as easily as in North Adamsville. Also she always, veil of tears hiding maybe, had a smile for one and all coming through her door, and not just a commercial smile either. Nor do I know much about how she ran her operation, except that you could always tell when she was baking something in back because she had a door bell tinkle that alerted her when someone came in and she would come out from behind a curtained entrance, shaking flour from her hands, maybe, or from her apron-ed dress ready to take your two- cent order-with a smile, and not a commercial smile either but I already told you that.

Nor, just now, do I remember all of what she made or how she made it but I do just now, rekindled by Markin’s reference to that sour-dough yeasty smell, remember the smells of fresh oatmeal bread that filtered up to the playing fields just up the street from her store on Fridays when she made that delicacy. Fridays meant oatmeal bread, and, as good practicing Catholics like my family going back to the “famine ships,” and probably before, were obliged to not eat red meat on that sacred day, but fish, really tuna fish had that on Ida’s oatmeal bread. But, and perhaps this is where I started my climb to quarrelsome heathen-dom I balked at such a tuna fish desecration of holy bread. See, grandma would spring for a fresh loaf, a fresh right from the oven loaf, cut by a machine that automatically sliced the bread (the first time I had seen such a useful gadget). And I would get to have slathered peanut butter (Skippy, of course) and jelly (Welch’s Grape, also of course) on oatmeal and a glass of milk. Ah, heaven.

And just now I memory smell those white-flour dough, deeply- browned Lenten hot-cross buns white frosting dashed that signified that hellish deprived high holy catholic Lent was over, almost. Beyond that I have drawn blanks. Know this those. All that sweet sainted goddess (or should be) Ida created from flour, eggs, yeast, milk and whatever other secret devil’s ingredients she used to create her other simple baked goods may be unnamed-able now but they put my mother, my grandmother, your mother, your grandmother in the shade. And that is at least half the point. You went over to Ida’s to get high on those calorie-loaded goodies. And in those days with youth at your back, and some gnawing hunger that never quite got satisfied, back then that was okay. Believe me it was okay. I swear I will never forget those glass-enclosed delights that stared out at me in my sugar hunger. I may not remember much about the woman, her life, where she was from, or any of that. This I do know- in this time of frenzied interest in all things culinary Ida's simple recipes and her kid-maddening bakery smells still hold a place of honor. And with a tear in my eye as I say it fifty some years later my boy Markin did too.
The Latest From The Partisan Defense Committee Website-


James P.Cannon (center)-Founding leader of The International Labor Defense- a model for labor defense work in the 1920s and 1930s.

Click below to link to the Partisan Defense Committee website.

Reposted from the American Left History blog, dated December 1, 2010, updated December 2014.

Markin comment:

I like to think of myself as a long-time fervent supporter of the Partisan Defense Committee, an organization committed to social and political defense cases and causes in the interests of the international working class. Cases from early on in the 1970s when the organization was founded and the committee defended the Black Panthers who were being targeted by every police agency that had an say in the matter, the almost abandoned by the left Weather Underground (in its various incantations) and Chilean miners in the wake of the Pinochet coup there in 1973 up to more recent times with the Mumia death penalty case, defense of the Occupy movement and the NATO three, and defense of the heroic Wiki-leaks whistle-blower Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley).

Moreover the PDC is an organization committed, at this time of the year, to raising funds to support the class-war prisoners’ stipend program through the annual Holiday Appeal drive. Unfortunately having to raise these funds in support of political prisoners for many years now, too many years, as the American and international capitalist class and their hangers-on have declared relentless war, recently a very one-sided war, against those who would cry out against the monster. Attempting to silence voices from zealous lawyers like Lynne Stewart, articulate death-row prisoners like Mumia and the late Tookie Williams, anti-fascist street fighters like the Tingsley Five to black liberation fighters like the Assata Shakur, the Omaha Three and the Angola Three and who ended up on the wrong side of a cop and state vendetta and anti-imperialist fighters like the working-class based Ohio Seven and student-based Weather Underground who took Che Guevara’s admonition to wage battle inside the “belly of the beast” seriously. Others, other militant labor and social liberation fighters as well, too numerous to mention here but remembered.

Normally I do not need any prompting in the matter. This year tough I read the 25th Anniversary Appeal article in Workers Vanguard No. 969 where I was startled to note how many of the names, organizations, and political philosophies mentioned there hark back to my own radical coming of age, and the need for class-struggle defense of all our political prisoners in the late 1960s (although I may not have used that exact term at the time).

That recognition included names like black liberation fighter George Jackson’s present class-war prisoner Hugo Pinell’s San Quentin Six comrade; the Black Panthers in their better days, the days when the American state really was out to kill or detain every last supporter, and in the days when we needed, desperately needed, to fight for their defense in places from Oakland to New Haven,  as represented by two of the Omaha Three (Poindexter and wa Langa), in their younger days; the struggle, the fierce struggle, against the death penalty as represented in Mumia’s case today (also Black Panther-connected); the Ohio 7 and the Weather Underground who, rightly or wrongly, were committed to building a second front against American imperialism, and who most of the left, the respectable left, abandoned; and, of course, Leonard Peltier and the Native American struggles from Pine Ridge to the Southwest. It has been a long time and victories few. I could go on but you get the point.

That point also includes the hard fact that we have paid a high price, a very high price, for not winning back in the late 1960s and early 1970s when we last had this capitalist imperialist society on the ropes. Maybe it was political immaturity, maybe it was cranky theory, maybe it was elitism, hell, maybe it was just old-fashioned hubris but we let them off the hook. And have had to fight forty years of rear-guard “culture wars” since just to keep from falling further behind.

And the class-war prisoners, our class-war prisoners, have had to face their “justice” and their prisons. Many, too many for most of that time. That lesson should be etched in the memory of every pro-working class militant today. And this, as well, as a quick glance at the news these days should make every liberation fighter realize; the difference between being on one side of that prison wall and the other is a very close thing when the bourgeois decides to pull the hammer down. The support of class-war prisoners is thus not charity, as International Labor Defense founder James P. Cannon noted back in the 1920s, but a duty of those fighters outside the walls. Today I do my duty, and gladly. I urge others to do the same now at the holidays and throughout the year. The class-war prisoners must not stand alone. 

*Free The Last of the Ohio Seven-They Must Not Die In Jail



Free the last of the Seven. Below is a commentary written in 2006 arguing for their freedom.

The Ohio Seven, like many other subjective revolutionaries, coming out of the turbulent anti-Vietnam War and anti-imperialist movements, were committed to social change. The different is that this organization included mainly working class militants, some of whose political consciousness was formed by participation as soldiers in the Vietnam War itself. Various members were convicted for carrying out robberies, apparently to raise money for their struggles, and bombings of imperialist targets. Without going into their particular personal and political biographies I note that these were the kind of subjective revolutionaries that must be recruited to a working class vanguard party if there ever is to be a chance of bringing off a socialist revolution. In the absence of a viable revolutionary labor party in the 1970’s and 1980’s the politics of the Ohio Seven, like the Black Panthers and the Weathermen, were borne of despair at the immensity of the task and also by desperation to do something concrete in aid of the Vietnamese Revolution and other Third World struggles . Their actions in trying to open up a second front militarily in the United States in aid of Third World struggles without a mass base proved to be mistaken but, as the Partisan Defense Committee which I support has noted, their actions were no crime in the eyes of the international working class.

The lack of a revolutionary vanguard to attract such working class elements away from adventurism is rendered even more tragic in the case of the Ohio Seven. Leon Trotsky, a leader with Lenin of the Russian Revolution of 1917, noted in a political obituary for his fallen comrade and fellow Left Oppositionist Kote Tsintadze that the West has not produced such fighters as Kote. Kote, who went through all the phases of struggle for the Russian Revolution, including imprisonment and exile under both the Czar and Stalin benefited from solidarity in a mass revolutionary vanguard party to sustain him through the hard times. What a revolutionary party could have done with the evident capacity and continuing commitment of subjective revolutionaries like the Ohio Seven poses that question point blank. This is the central problem and task of cadre development in the West in resolving the crisis of revolutionary leadership.

Finally, I would like to note that except for the Partisan Defense Committee and their own defense organizations – the Ohio 7 Defense Committee and the Jaan Laaman Defense Fund- the Ohio Seven have long ago been abandoned by those New Left elements and others, who as noted, at one time had very similar politics. At least part of this can be attributed to the rightward drift to liberal pacifist politics by many of them, but some must be attributed to class. Although the Ohio Seven were not our people- they are our people. All honor to them. As James P Cannon, a founding leader of the International Labor Defense, forerunner of the Partisan Defense Committee, pointed out long ago –Solidarity with class war prisoners is not charity- it is a duty. Their fight is our fight! LET US DO OUR DUTY HERE. RAISE THE CALL FOR THE FREEDOM OF LAAMAN AND MANNING. MAKE MOTIONS OF SOLIDARITY IN YOUR POLITICAL ORGANIZATION, SCHOOL OR UNION.

Veterans for Peace sues City of Boston for St. Patrick's Peace Parade permit

Suit challenges City's eleven month delay in acting on permit application and charges favoritism for South Boston parade organizers who continue to exclude most LGBT groups.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  February 12, 2015

Christopher Ott, communications director, 617-482-3170 x322, Patrick Scanlon, Veterans for Peace, 978-590-4248,

BOSTON -- The local Veterans for Peace Chapter 9, Smedley D. Butler Brigade (VFP) filed a First Amendment lawsuit in federal court today against the City of Boston because the city has refused to act in a timely way on VFP's application for a permit to hold its annual St. Patrick's Peace Parade beginning at noon in Boston on March 15. The delay prevents VFP from being able to effectively organize for its parade and impedes its message.

Since 2011, VFP has organized its inclusive, non-discriminatory parade along the same route used by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council (AWVC), a group that has refused for many years to allow gay rights groups and others, including VFP, to march with identifying signs. According to Patrick Scanlon, the coordinator of the Smedley D. Butler Brigade of VFP, the AWVC parade has begun at 1:00 p.m. in the past, and the city has relegated the VFP's parade to commencing various distances behind the AWVC parade, forcing it to begin late in the afternoon.

Scanlon said that despite a recent deal touted by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, in which the AWVC will allow one gay group, "OutVets," to march in the next AWVC parade, the AWVC continues to bar most gay rights, peace and environmental groups. It is not an inclusive parade like VFP's.

"Veterans for Peace applied on March 25, 2014 for a permit to march at noon this coming March 15 to celebrate St. Patrick's Day," said Scanlon,. "We asked the City three times, in June, September and October what was happening with our application, and no one from the City ever responded." The City's refusal to act on the VFP parade application makes it very difficult for VFP to do all the organizing needed to hold a parade, he said.

"Unbelievably, the AWVC has told us in the past that they did not want us in their parade because they did not want the word 'peace' associated with the word 'veteran,'" Scanlon said. "St. Patrick was a man of peace, so the celebration of St. Patrick—the patron saint of Ireland—should be a day to reflect on and celebrate this great saint's deeds and words. Veterans for Peace celebrates the life of Saint Patrick and the proud Irish traditions without militarism. Our Peace Parade celebrating St. Patrick's Day is inclusive and open to anyone who would like to walk for peace. As far as we know, this is the only annual peace

ACLU of Massachusetts :: 211 Congress St. Boston MA 02110 :: 617.482.3170 :: 617.451.0009 (f) ::


parade anywhere in the entire country." VFP uses the phrase "The People's Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Environmental Stewardship, Social and Economic Justice" to describe the event.
John Reinstein, a cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Massachusetts, which is bringing the case, explained that the City has violated VFP's First Amendment rights by refusing to act in a timely way on the early VFP request for a permit and by favoring later applications from the AWVC and a road race group, even though those events do not conflict with the VFP parade. He noted that the parade route is already set up and ready by noon when VFP wishes to begin its parade.
"The City acts as if it can just ignore permit applications or hand out or deny permits willy-nilly," said Reinstein. "It doesn't use any clear standards and hasn't even followed its own regulation on parade permits. These permit systems are supposed to be neutrally and fairly enforced. This was anything but that." Attorneys on the case will be asking the federal court to issue an injunction ordering the City to grant a parade permit to VFP for March 15, starting at noon.
Sarah Wunsch, deputy legal director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, acknowledged that the Supreme Court has held that the Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston had its own First Amendment right to exclude groups from its privately run parade. "But," she explained, "the Supreme Court ruling doesn't mean the City can ignore the application by Vets for Peace to parade earlier in the day or can force them to parade after the AWVC parade."
VFP Smedley D. Butler Brigade is a chapter of the national VFP. Founded in 1985, Veterans for Peace is a national organization of men and women of all eras and duty stations, including from World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars, as well as other conflicts. Veterans for Peace works to expose the true costs of war and to support veterans and civilian victims. For more information, go to
For more information about the ACLU of Massachusetts, go to:
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ACLU of Massachusetts :: 211 Congress St. Boston MA 02110 :: 617.482.3170 :: 617.451.0009 (f) :: ACLU of Massachusetts 
As The 100th Anniversary Of The First Year Of World War I (Remember The War To End All Wars) Continues ... Some Remembrances-Writers’ Corner  

In say 1912, 1913, hell, even the beginning of 1914, the first few months anyway, before the war clouds got a full head of steam in the summer they all profusely professed their unmitigated horror at the thought of war, thought of the old way of doing business in the world. Yes the artists of every school but the Cubist/Fauvists/Futurists and  Surrealists or those who would come to speak for those movements, those who saw the disjointedness of modern industrial society and put the pieces to paint, sculptors who put twisted pieces of metal juxtaposed to each other saw that building a mighty machine from which you had to run created many problems; writers of serious history books proving that, according to their Whiggish theory of progress,  humankind had moved beyond war as an instrument of policy and the diplomats and high and mighty would put the brakes on in time, not realizing that they were all squabbling cousins; writers of serious and not so serious novels drenched in platitudes and hidden gabezo love affairs put paid to that notion in their sweet nothing words that man and woman had too much to do, too much sex to harness to denigrate themselves by crying the warrior’s cry and by having half-virgin, neat trick, maidens strewing flowers on the bloodlust streets; musicians whose muse spoke of delicate tempos and sweet muted violin concertos, not the stress and strife of the tattoos of war marches with their tinny conceits; and poets, ah, those constricted poets who bleed the moon of its amber swearing, swearing on a stack of seven sealed bibles, that they would go to the hells before touching the hair of another man. They all professed loudly (and those few who did not profess, could not profess because they were happily getting their blood rising, kept their own consul until the summer), that come the war drums they would resist the siren call, would stick to their Whiggish, Futurist, Constructionist, Cubist worlds and blast the war-makers to hell in quotes, words, chords, clanged metal, and pretty pastels. They would stay the course.  
And then the war drums intensified, the people, their clients, patrons and buyers, cried out their lusts and they, they made of ordinary human clay as it turned out, poets, beautiful English poets (we will speak of American poets when they slip into war footing in 1917)like Wilfred Owens before he got religion, e.e. cummings madly driving his safety ambulance, beautiful Rupert Brookes wondering which way to go but finally joining the mob in some fated oceans, sturdy Robert Graves all blown to hell and back surviving but just surviving, French , German, Russian, Italian poets tooo all aflutter; artists, reeking of blooded fields, the battle of the Somme Muirhead Bone's nothing but a huge killing field that still speaks of small boned men, drawings, etchings that no subtle camera could make beautiful, that famous one by Picasso, another by Singer Sargent about the death trenches, about the gas, and human blindness for all to see; sculptors, chiseling monuments to the national brave even before the blood was dried before the last tear had been shed, huge memorials to the unnamed, maybe un-nameable dead dragged from some muddied trench half blown away; writers, serious and not, wrote beautiful Hemingway stuff about the scariness of war, about valor, about romance on the fly, among those women. camp-followers who have been around  since men have left their homes to slaughter and maim, lots of writers speaking, after the fact about the vein-less leaders and what were they thinking, and, please, please do not forgot those Whiggish writers who once the smoke had cleared had once again put in a word about the endless line of human progress, musicians, sad, mystical, driven by national blood lusts to the high tattoo, went to the trenches to die deathless deaths in their thousands for, well, for humankind, of course, their always fate  ….    

 One of Ours
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Uno de los nuestros narra la vida de Claude Wheeler, un joven americano del Medio Oeste que vive y trabaja en la granja familiar y al mismo tiempo estudia en una universidad cristiana. No se siente satisfecho con las expectativas de su vida, y la relación con una familia liberal de inmigrantes alemanes le abrirá la mente a nuevos pensamientos e ideas, pero pronto tendrá qu ...more
All Out For The Fifth Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Peace Parade In South Boston Sunday March 15, 2015

Frank Jackman comment:
I am always happy to publicize the Veterans For Peace-led Saint Patrick’s Day Peace Parade to be held this year on March 15th. This year will mark the fifth time that organized peace activists, anti-militarists, anti-imperialist, pro-LGBTQ and other socially conscious groups, have been excluded from the main “private” parade sponsored by the Allied War Council (that name goes a long way toward explaining the exclusions of the above-mentioned groups although pro-war LGBTQ veterans from an organization called OutVets has allegedly received permission to march openly). This year will mark the fourth time I will proudly march with my fellow veterans. (I was down in front of the gates at the Marine base at Quantico in Virginia standing for freedom for heroic Wikileaks whistle -blower Chelsea Manning and so could not attend the first effort.) This event is a highlight of the ant-war calendar each year and has become something of rallying point for all those, even some pro-military types who disagree with the politics of the peace parade, to express outrage that veterans have been excluded.  
Helping me to keep focused on publicizing this event is a statement attributed to one of the Allied War Council organizers a couple of years ago:             
 “We don’t want the word peace connected with the word veteran in our parade”
Of course that remark had me seeing red and I recall that I replied- “Oh yeah, well watch this, watch what we organize that day”- Don’t make a liar out of me this year. Plan to attend this important event.
All Out For The Smedley Butler Brigade Veterans For Peace-Initiated Saint Patrick’s PEACE Parade on Sunday March 15th in South Boston


Out Of The Mouths Of Babes In Boston- No Justice, No Peace- Black Lives Matter- You Have Got That Right Young Brothers and Sisters-Speaking Truth To Power-The Struggle Continues  

A lot of people, and I count myself among them, see the new movement against police brutality and their incessant surveillance of minority youth, mainly black and latino, that seems to be building up a head of steam to be the next major axis of struggle. The endemic injustices are so obvious and frankly so outrageous that the pent-up anger at the base of society among we the have-nots is so great that it needed visible expression. The past six months have given us that. But below is an example, a beautiful graphic example, of just how deep the hurts go, and how deep into society these injustices are felt. Read on.


Time for the Global Super Power for Peace and Justice to Rise Again!


United for Peace & Justice
Take Action on February 15 and Beyond… 
On February 15, 2003, the world said no to war. Over 20 million people in at least 600 cities around the world took to the streets to oppose the impending invasion and occupation of Iraq, giving voice to the sentiment of billions. The New York Times called it the rise of a new superpower: world public opinion.
 War, occupation and austerity have not made the 99% safer. War benefits the arms makers, military brass, energy cartels, war lords, drug lords and opportunistic and corrupt politicians everywhere, but leads only to misery, destruction, dislocation and death for the majority of ordinary people. 
In honor of February 15, 2003 and the Global Superpower of the people let’s rise againto work together anew to build a sustainable world  without racism, militarism and police brutality that is rooted in true peace with justice, dignity and respect for all!
  • February 15th:  The World Says NO to War!  We Say YES to Peace with Justice!  Consider organizing a rally, march, vigil, speak-out, die-in, reading of names; leaflet or engage in more creative nonviolent actions at police stations, military facilities , corporate offices or government buildings in your community.
  •  March 19th:  Commemorate the 12th anniversary of “Shock and Awe” with candlelight vigils, events and discussions about the cost of war to our families and communities.
  • April 15 (Tax Day in the U.S.):  This year’s Global day of Action on Military Spending is April 13. It will be observed in the US on April 15. Join with thousands around the world taking action to protest the expenditure of our tax dollars on armaments and militarism and demand that military spending be redirected to meet human needs. 
  • April 24 -26:  Join the Peace and Planet Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free, Just and Sustainable World, international days of action in New York City and around the globe on the eve of the 2015 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the United Nations.  The nuclear-armed nations have not met their NPT disarmament obligations and are modernizing their nuclear arsenals. With dangers of wars among nuclear-armed nations growing we need to step up our demand for a nuclear-free, just, sustainable world.
 All we are saying, is give peace a chance! If you appreciate receiving timely action alerts like this, please make a donation to UFPJ so that we can continue to keep our member groups and dedicated activists linked together for effective action and impact!!  

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***Poet’s Corner- Langston Hughes- Juke Box Love Song



From The Pen Of Frank Jackman


February is Black History Month


Juke Box Love Song


I could take the Harlem night
and wrap around you,
Take the neon lights and make a crown,
Take the Lenox Avenue busses,
Taxis, subways,
And for your love song tone their rumble down.
Take Harlem's heartbeat,
Make a drumbeat,
Put it on a record, let it whirl,
And while we listen to it play,
Dance with you till day--
Dance with you, my sweet brown Harlem girl.

Langston Hughes

He, Jimmy Sands, new in town, new in New Jack City although, not new to city life having lived in Baltimore, Detroit, Chi Town, Frisco and Seattle along the way decided to hit the uptown hot spots one night. Not the “hot’ hot spots like the Kit Kat Club which was strictly for the Mayfair swells, or the Banjo Club, the same, but the lesser clubs, the what did he mock call them, yah, “the plebeian clubs,” which translated to him as the place where hot chicks, mostly white, Irish usually, from the old country, all red-headed, all slim and slinky, all, all, pray, pray, ready to give up that goddam novena book they carried around since birth, maybe before, and live, read give in to his siren song of love, and ditto some sassy light-skinned (high yella his father, his father who never got beyond Kentucky-born nigra to designate the black kindred, called them) black girls, steamy Latinas with those luscious lips and far-way brown eyes, and foxy (foxy if he could ever understand them, or rather their wants) Asian girls, a whole mix, a mix joined together by one thing, no, two things, one youth, young, young and hungry, young and ready, young and, well, you know, young and horny, and two, a love of dancing, rock and roll dancing (and in a pinch, maybe that last dance pinch, in order to seal the evening’s deal, a slow one but that story, that slow last dance chance has been written to death, written to death about guys, black and white guys in their respective neighborhoods, who not sure for some reason about the social graces would hug walls, gym walls usually until they got older, then dance hall walls eyeing, eyeing until their eyeballs got sore, some young thing and hoping against hope for that last dance. Like I say that story had been written unto the shades).

So one James Sands, taxi-driven, indicating that for once in his tender young life that he was flush with dough (having just done a seaman’s three month tour of every odd-ball oil tanker port of call in the eastern world it seemed, he was not sure that he would ever get that oil tank smell out of his nostrils, all he knew was that he would have to be shanghaied or something to get him back on one of those dirty buggers) and ready to spend it on high- shelf liquor (already having scored some precious high end jimson, you know, weed, reefer in case he got lucky), some multi-colored women (choices listed see above), and some music, alighted (nice) in front of Jim Sweeney’s Hi Hat Club up around 100thStreet just around where things began to mix and match in the city. The only problem, when he inquired, inquired of that beautiful ganga connection, was that while Jim Sweeney’s had plenty of high- priced, high-shelf liquor and plenty of that mix and match bevy of women that the place had no live band for dancing just a jukebox. But a jukebox that had every kind of song, rock and blues song, you could ask for and the speakers were to die for. So here he was.

As Jimmy entered (nice, no cover) he remembered back to the days in the old neighborhood, the old high school after school scene, in dockside Baltimore, at Ginny’s Pizza Parlor where every cool guy and gal went to have their chilling out pizza and soda, maybe a couple of cigarettes, a habit he wished he could break even now, and to play about ten songs on Ginny’s jukebox. He remembered too that afternoon when Shana, long, tall, high yella (sorry but that was what such woman were called then, maybe now too) Shana, from the cheerleaders’ squad showed up there alone, and Shana, if you had seen her would under no circumstances ever need to be alone in any spot in this good green earth much less at Ginny’s.

Seems she and her boyfriend had had a falling out and she was on the prowl. Taking his chances Jimmy, old smooth Jimmy, asked her to dance when somebody put Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven on, and she said, yes, did you hear that, yes. And that dance got him a couple more, and then a couple more after that, until Shana said she had to leave to go home for some supper and then somebody put on Ballad of Easy Rider, a slow one by The Byrds, and that was their last chance dance. They saw each other a few times after that, had shared some stuff, but, hell, there was no way in that damn Baltimore city that a white-bread (term of art used in the neighborhoods so take no offense, none taken here) and a high yella (take offense, if you like) could breathe the air there together, although he was ready to jump the hoops to do the thing. Maybe tonight, maybe in the crazy mix and match night if he didn’t get distracted by some red-headed Irish girl ready to burn that damn novena book for some whiskey and smoke, he might find his Shana, make something of it, and make the East River smile.