Chris Hedges: Alice Walker & the Price of Conscience—April 26, 2022

Under heat from the Israel lobby, The Bay Area Book Festival humiliated one of the most gifted and courageous writers in America. 

“Price of Conscience,” original illustration by Mr. Fish.

By Chris Hedges
Substack

There is a steep price to pay for having a conscience and more importantly the courage to act on it. The hounds of hell pin you to the cross, hammering nails into your hands and feet as they grin like the Cheshire cat and mouth bromides about respect for human rights, freedom of expression and diversity. 

I have watched this happen for some time to Alice Walker, one of the most gifted and courageous writers in America. Walker, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her novel The Color Purple, has felt the bitter sting of racism. She refuses to be silent about the plight of the oppressed, including the Palestinians.

“Whenever I come out with a book, or anything that will take me before the public, the world, I am assailed as this person I don’t recognize,” she said when I reached her by phone.

“If I tried to keep track of all the attacks over the decades, I wouldn’t be able to keep working. I am happy people are standing up. It is all of us. Not just me. They are trying to shut us down, shut us up, erase us. That reality is what is important.”

The Bay Area Book Festival delivered the latest salvo against Walker. The organizers disinvited her from the event because she praised the writings of the New Age author David Icke and called his book And the Truth Shall Set You Free “brave.”

Icke has denied critics’ charges of anti-Semitism. The festival organizers twisted themselves into contortions to say they were not charging Walker with anti-Semitism. She was banned because she lauded a controversial writer, who I suspect few members of the committee have read. The poet and writer Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, who Walker was to interview, withdrew from the festival in protest.

Walker, a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has been a very public advocate for Palestinian rights and a critic of Israel for many years. Her friendship with Icke has long been part of the public record. She hid nothing. It is not as if the festival organizers suddenly discovered a dark secret about Walker. They sought to capitalize on her celebrity and then, when they felt the heat from the Israel lobby, capitulated to the mob to humiliate her.

“I don’t know these people,” Walker said of the festival organizers who disinvited her. “It feels like the south. You know they are out there in the community, and they have their positions, but all you see are sheets. That’s what this is. It’s like being back in the south.”

Banning writers because of books they like or find interesting nullifies the whole point of a book festival.

Should I be banned because I admire Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s masterpieces Journey to the End of the NightDeath on the Installment Plan, and Castle to Castle, despite his virulent anti-Semitism, which even after World War II he refused to relinquish?

Should I be banned for liking Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, which I recently reread, and which is rabidly misogynistic? Should I be banned for loving William Butler Yeats, who, like Ezra Pound, many of whose poems I have also committed to memory, was a fascist collaborator?

Should I be banned because I revere Hannah Arendt, whose attitudes towards African-Americans were paternalistic, at best, and arguably racist? Should I be banned because I cherish books by C.S. Lewis, Norman Mailer and D.H. Lawrence, who were homophobic?

We might as well sweep clean library shelves if the attitudes of writers we read mean we are denied a right to speak.

And let’s not even get started with the Bible, which I studied as a seminarian at Harvard Divinity School. God repeatedly demands righteous acts of genocide, transforming the Nile into blood so the Egyptians will suffer from thirst. God sends swarms of locusts and flies to torture the Egyptians, along with hail, fire and thunder to destroy all plants and trees. God orders the firstborn in every Egyptian household killed so all will know “that the Lord makes a distinction between Egyptians and Israel.” The killing goes on until “there was not a house where one was not dead.”

The Bible contains much of this divinely sanctioned slaughtering of non-believers. It endorses slavery and the beating of enslaved people. It condones the execution of homosexuals and women who commit adultery. It views women as property and approves the right of fathers to sell their daughters. But the Bible also remains, with all these contradictions and moral failings, a great religious, ethical and moral document. Even the most flawed books often have something to teach us.

Attack on Walker’s Poem

Organizers of the festival attacked Walker for her poem “It is Our Frightful Duty.” They accuse Walker of channeling Icke’s alleged anti-Semitism into her writing, as if Walker is unable to think for herself. The attack on the poem, which is a gross misreading of its intent, exposes the lie that Walker’s position on Israel and Palestine had nothing to do with her being disinvited.

“Unfortunately, Ms. Walker has not only promoted Icke’s ideas widely on her own blog and in interviews, but they may have influenced her own writing,” the festival wrote in a statement. 

Alice Walker in 2012. (American Library Association, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Walker’s 2017 poem “It is our (Frightful) Duty to Study the Talmud” encourages people to use Google and YouTube to “follow the trail of ‘The / Talmud’ as its poison belatedly winds its way / Into our collective consciousness. // Some of what you find will sound / Too crazy to be true. Unfortunately those bits are likely / To be true.”

New York Magazine essay by writer Nylah Burton (who identifies as Black and Jewish) describes her reaction to Walker’s support of Icke and this poem.

The poem calls out these hate-filled religious texts. “All of it: The Christian, the Jewish, The Muslim; even the Buddhist. All of it, without exception, At the root.”

Walker reminds us in the poem that these texts have been used throughout millennia to sanctify subjugation, dehumanization and murder. Slave holders defended the enslavement of Blacks by citing numerous passages in the Old and the New Testament, including Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians where, equating slaveholders with God, Paul writes:“Slaves, be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ.”

Israel seeks, in the same way, to legitimize its colonial-settler project by citing the Old Testament and the Talmud, the primary source of Jewish law. Never mind that Palestine was a Muslim country from the seventh century until it was seized by military force in 1948. The Old Testament, in the hands of Zionists, is a deed to Palestinian land.

Walker excoriates this religious chauvinism and mythology. She warns that theocracies, which sacralize state power, are dangerous. In the poem, she highlights passages in the Talmud used to condemn those outside the faith. Jews must repudiate these sections in the Talmud and the Old Testament, as those of us who are Christians must repudiate the hateful passages in the Bible. When these religious screeds are weaponized by zealots — Christian, Muslim or Jewish — they propagate evil.

Walker writes:

Is Jesus boiling eternally in hot excrement,
For his ‘crime’ of throwing the bankers
Out of the Temple? For loving, standing with,
And defending
The poor? Was his mother, Mary,
A whore?
Are Goyim (us) meant to be slaves of Jews, and not only
That, but to enjoy it?
Are three year old (and a day) girls eligible for marriage and intercourse?
Are young boys fair game for rape?
Must even the best of the Goyim (us, again) be killed?
Pause a moment and think what this could mean
Or already has meant
In our own lifetime.

Walker was invited to the festival to interview Honorée Fanonne Jeffers about her work, not to give a lecture on Icke or Palestine — but no matter. She ran afoul of the thought police, who are always vigilant about catering to smear campaigns against Israeli critics but blithely ignore the virulent and overt racism of Israeli politicians, military commanders, writers and intellectuals.

Honoree Fanonne Jeffers at left in 2016 on a poetry panel with Marilyn Chin and Gary Snyder. (Martin Alonso, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Walker is not the first writer targeted by Israel. Israel banned the author Günter Grass and demanded the rescindment of his Nobel prize after he wrote a poem denouncing Germany’s decision to provide Israel with nuclear submarines, warning that Israel “could wipe out the Iranian people” if it attacked Iran.

Former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who calls for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to create a “Greater” Israel, described the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish as “someone who has written texts against Zionism — which are still used as fuel for terror attacks against Israel.”

He said honoring Darwish was the equivalent to honoring Adolf Hitler for Mein Kampf. Israeli bookstores Steimatzky and Tzomet Sefarim purged Sally Rooney’s novels from some 200 branches and online sites because of her support for BDS. Israeli writer Yehonatan Geffen was beaten outside his home for calling the Israeli prime minister a racist.

Bay Area Book Festival founder and director Cherilyn Parsons defended the board’s decision to disinvite Walker when I requested a comment:

“Our decision to disinvite Ms. Walker had nothing to do with her position on Palestine, her voice as a Black woman writer, or her right to speak her mind freely. We honor all those things. We also do not hold that she is anti-Semitic. (To be pro-Palestinian does not mean a person is anti-Semitic, just as to be Jewish does not mean that one is anti-Palestine.) Our decision was based purely on Ms. Walker’s inexplicable, ongoing endorsement of David Icke, a conspiracy theorist who dangerously promulgates such beliefs as that Jewish people bankrolled Hitler, caused the 2008 global financial crisis, staged the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and more. (See his book ‘And the Truth Shall Set You Free,’ available full-text on the Internet Archive.) Icke also regularly promotes ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’ a fabricated, uber-anti-Semitic text that was widely read during the time of social upheaval in pre-WWII Germany and turned public sentiment against Jews — a truly dangerous document for a populace to embrace. Finally, we note that Ms. Walker provided financial support for, and participation in, a documentary celebrating Icke and his work.”

“I do not believe he is anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish,” Walker posted on her website. 

“I do believe he is brave enough to ask the questions others fear to ask, and to speak his own understanding of the truth wherever it might lead. Many attempts have been made to censor and silence him. As a woman, and a person of color, as a writer who has been criticized and banned myself, I support his right to share his own thoughts.”

Bay Area Book Festival in 2016. (Richard Friedman, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

“I maintain that I can be friends with whoever I like,” Walker told me. “The attachment to this belief that this person is evil is strange. He’s not.”

I worked for two years as a reporter in Jerusalem. I listened to the daily filth spewed out by Israelis about Arabs and Palestinians, who used racist tropes to sanctify Israeli apartheid and gratuitous violence against Palestinians.

‘Anti-Racists’ 

Israel routinely orders air strikes, targeted assassinations, drone attacks, artillery strikes, tank assaults and naval bombardments on the largely defenseless population in Gaza. Israel blithely dismisses those it murders, including children, as unworthy of life, drawing on poisonous religious edicts. It is risible that Israel and its U.S. supporters can posit themselves as anti-racists, abrogating the right to cancel Walker. It is the equivalent of allowing the Klan to vet speakers lists.

Torat Ha’Melech by Rabbi Yitzhak and Rabbi Yosef Elitzur is one of innumerable examples of the deep racism embedded in Israeli culture. The book provides rabbinical advice to Israeli soldiers and officers in the occupied Palestinian territories. It describes non-Jews as “uncompassionate by nature” and justifiably exterminated to “curb their evil inclinations.”

“If we kill a gentile who has violated one of the seven commandments of [Noah]…there is nothing wrong with the murder.”

It assures troops that it is morally legitimate to kill Palestinian children, writing,

“There is justification for killing babies if it is clear they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”

The Biblical prohibition on murder, Yitzhak and Elitzur write, “refers only to a Jew who kills a Jew, and not to a Jew who kills a gentile, even if that gentile is one of the righteous among the nations.” They even say it is “permissible” to kill Jewish dissidents. 

A Jewish dissident, the rabbis write, is a rodef. rodef, according to traditional Jewish law, is someone who is “pursuing” another person to murder him or her. It is the duty of a Jew to kill a rodef if the rodef is told to cease the threatening behavior and does not. Yigal Amir, who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, argued that the din rodef, or “law of the pursuer,” justified Rabin’s murder.

Walker is the best among us. She is one of our most gifted and lyrical writers. She stands unequivocally with the crucified of the earth. She sees her own pain in the pain of others. She demands justice. She pays the price.

Boycott the Bay Area Book Festival.

That is the least we owe a literary and moral titan.

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for 15 years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East bureau chief and Balkan bureau chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor and NPR.  He is the host of show The Chris Hedges Report.

Author’s Note to Readers: There is now no way left for me to continue to write a weekly column for ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show without your help. The walls are closing in, with startling rapidity, on independent journalism, with the elites, including the Democratic Party elites, clamoring for more and more censorship. Bob Scheer, who runs ScheerPost on a shoestring budget, and I will not waiver in our commitment to independent and honest journalism, and we will never put ScheerPost behind a paywall, charge a subscription for it, sell your data or accept advertising. Please, if you can, sign up atchrishedges.substack.com so I can continue to post my Monday column on ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show, The Chris Hedges Report.

Union Vote Begins at Another Amazon Facility on Staten Island

The balloting will take place this week and could produce the second union at an Amazon facility in the United States.

By Noam Scheiber and Coral Murphy Marcos April 25, 2022

About 1,500 workers at an Amazon sorting center on Staten Island will be eligible to vote this week in an election that could produce the second union at the company in the United States.

This month, an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island with more than 8,000 workers became the first location to vote to unionize, favoring the union by more than 10 percentage points, though Amazon is seeking to overturn the result.

If the workers at the smaller facility, known as LDJ5, vote to unionize, they will join the Amazon Labor Union, the same independent, worker-led union that succeeded at the warehouse. The votes will be counted beginning next Monday.

At a rally outside the facility on Sunday, Madeline Wesley, the treasurer of the Amazon Labor Union, said a union was necessary because part-time workers, whom the facility relies on heavily, could not get enough hours to support themselves.

The hours are “not based on what workers want or the workers need,” said Ms. Wesley, who works at LDJ5. “It’s based off of what Amazon has figured out to be most efficient at the expense of the workers.”

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment on the workers’ complaints about scheduling.

In an interview at the rally, Ms. Wesley said that the union had expected to have an easier time organizing LDJ5 after its victory at the warehouse but that Amazon had been aggressively trying to persuade workers to vote no.

Although the union’s prospects “looked bleak a couple of weeks ago, no one gave up,” Ms. Wesley said. “They persevered and kept talking to their co-workers. The vibe has changed significantly in the building. I think we got a good shot at it.”

Workers at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island delivered one of the biggest victories for organized labor in a generation.

But the union faces obstacles in the election, including the shorter time that it has been organizing workers at the sorting center and the fact that most of the group’s top officials and organizers work at the larger facility, known as JFK8, giving them less direct access to workers at LDJ5.

Many unions also find it more difficult to organize workplaces with a large proportion of part-time workers, who can be less invested in organizing campaigns.

Workers who will trek out to the sorting center for a four-hour shift, often traveling 30 to 60 minutes each way, tend to be “a particular group of people who are really struggling to make it,” said Gene Bruskin, a longtime labor organizer who has advised the Amazon Labor Union in the two Staten Island elections.

Mr. Bruskin, who is known for overseeing a successful campaign at a massive Smithfield meat-processing plant in 2008, added: “When you have that kind of work force, it’s really tough. You have a lot of people who may have more the attitude, ‘It’s just a part-time gig, I ain’t staying here.’ It’s an uphill fight.”

Mr. Bruskin and other labor officials have been working to help overcome these challenges by enlisting the help of organizers from other unions, who have pitched in making phone calls, planning meetings with workers and talking to employees outside the facility.

Uriel Concepción, who works four-hour shifts at the facility, said in an interview on Sunday that a union would improve working conditions there. Mr. Concepción said that 16 hours per week were not enough to pay the bills at home, where he lives with his parents, but that Amazon had never granted his repeated requests for full-time work.

Eric Barrios, another worker at the facility, said in an interview that he was undecided about whether to support the union. He said he, too, was working 16 hours per week and had been unable to get more hours, but he worried that some of the union’s goals were unrealistic.

“Certain things they’re saying are far-fetched, like, for example, a $30-an-hour pay,” Mr. Barrios said at the rally on Sunday. “I’m here to see if I get swayed.”

The rally appeared to attract a crowd of more than 100, though many of those in attendance did not work at the facility.

Still, the momentum of the victory this month appears to have prompted more shows of support for the union campaign among outsiders. Mark Dimondstein, the president of the American Postal Workers Union, and Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, appeared at the rally on Sunday afternoon.

“I’m seriously inspired,” Ms. Nelson told those in attendance, adding, “This union is the answer to my prayers.”

On Sunday morning, Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, appeared at the site as well.

“I’m going to Staten Island to show support for the incredible courage of the Amazon workers there who stood up and defeated one of the largest corporations in America,” Mr. Sanders said in an interview Friday.

He also called on President Biden to take a more active role in supporting union campaigns at Amazon and other companies, like Starbucks, where more than 20 stores have unionized since December.

“I made a suggestion to the White House — why don’t you have a meeting with some of the organizers with unions who are active now?” Mr. Sanders said. “Bring in an organizer from Starbucks, from Amazon, from the other unions that are organizing. Listen to them, learn from them, ask them what they want, how the White House can be supportive.”

The 1.3 million member International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which has committed itself to unionizing Amazon, looms large in the broader organizing campaign at the company because of its extensive reach and resources. Sean O’Brien, the president of the Teamsters, has talked of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the effort.

Mr. O’Brien and Christian Smalls, the president of the Amazon Labor Union, met this month to discuss how the Teamsters could support the Amazon workers in securing a contract with Amazon, according to the Teamsters.

Another union, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, appeared to narrowly lose a vote at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama when the votes were counted in late March. But the margin was smaller than the number of challenged ballots, leaving the outcome uncertain.

Karen Weise contributed reporting.

Judge tosses frivolous lawsuit by heiress Sulome Anderson seeking to destroy The Grayzone

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton·June 29, 2021

Entitled heiress Sulome Anderson waged a McCarthyite lawfare campaign to destroy The Grayzone. We can now expose her and the powerful forces behind her deranged legal assault.

“Because of the lawsuits my family won against Iran, I had all the money in the world to spend on drugs, and I made some dealers a lot of money.” –Sulome Anderson, 2016

“I’ll destroy him :)” –Sulome Anderson on defendant Ben Norton, 2017

“I’m not stupid enough to take it this far without legal grounds.” –Sulome Anderson on her plans to sue The Grayzone, 2018

The District of Columbia Superior Court has rejected a frivolous, million-dollar lawsuit claiming libel, defamation, and tortious conspiracy filed by writer Sulome Anderson against The Grayzone’s editor Max Blumenthal and assistant editor Ben Norton.

Judge William M. Jackson’s June 16, 2021 decision put an end to the entitled heiress’ three-year-long campaign to smear and bankrupt The Grayzone with the help of a powerful DC lawyer closely linked to the Israel lobby.

It was a humiliating resolution to a legal assault that threatened to impose a serious chilling effect on independent media and press freedom had it been successful.

Sulome’s suit was triggered by a May 2018 article for The Grayzone by Norton, entitled “Sulome Anderson Admits Her Supposed Hezbollah Source Is ‘Incredibly Unreliable,’” which showed how she published blatant misinformation falsely alleging Iranian attacks on Israel-occupied territory that, if true, could have triggered a regional war.

A clearly embarrassed Sulome retaliated against the report – which consisted primarily of her own admission that her sources were not credible – with a Twitter tirade defaming The Grayzone as a “Russian propaganda conspiracy site.”

She subsequently taunted and threatened William Moran, Blumenthal’s friend and long-time personal attorney, with the coming lawsuit: “I wish I could see your faces when your client is served and you see the letterhead. You’re playing with the big boys now, Moran.”

Read entire story at The Grayzone.com

The Current State of the United States Postal Service

By Chuck Zlatkin for Big Apple Coffee Party

“The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities.”
—Title 39. U.S. Code as adopted in the
Postal Reorganization Act

On March 23, 2021, the United States Postal Service released “Delivering for America —  “Our Vision and Ten-Year Plan to Achieve Financial Sustainability Service Excellence.”  The 57-page document begins with a Letter from the Postmaster General and the Chairman of the United States Postal Service Board of Governors.  The two of them signed the presentation. Louis DeJoy is the 75th Postmaster General of the United States.  Ron A. Bloom is the current Chair of the Postal Board of Governors, this is their plan.   

Members of the press and elected officials in Congress have studied the plan.  The plan clearly calls for policies that will slow delivery of the mail dramatically, while raising prices, shortening hours at post offices, and with the promise of more cutbacks  in service to come. Ostensibly, the plan is to help the Postal Service deal with the expected financial shortfall over the next ten years. The implementation of this plan as written will drive people away from using the Postal Service, eventually bringing about its demise.  What is billed as a rescue plan is actually the de facto privatization of the Postal Service. DeJoy and Bloom make one think of the ancient proverb, “A fish rots down from the head.” And the more that is learned about who Louis DeJoy and Ron A. Bloom are, how they got into the positions they now hold, and how they do business, the more we can understand that the public Postal Service is right now threatened most by those in charge of it.  

Big Apple Coffee Party Supports May Day General Strike 2020 Movement

Big Apple Coffee Party has agreed to support the May Day General Strike 2020 Movement.

This national movement, which began on May 1, 2020, is actually a collection of local, grassroots actions by workers, students, activists who understand that our leaders and elected officials have let us down, and it is time that we must take action ourselves.

During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, the value of working people, who keep our society functioning, has become clear. These workers are now called “essential workers.”  Many of these workers are low-paid, working without the benefit of heath care, sick-leave, vacations or personal leave.  And when the pandemic hit, these workers were expected to keep working, even if their employers didn’t supply them with personal protective equipment (PPE)—gloves, masks, hand sanitizers.  They work in unsafe and unhealthy environments, with their employers making no efforts to make their workplaces clean and safe.

Many of these workers are forced to protest, walkout and/or strike to force their employers to provide them with basic health and safety protections. They aren’t the first workers to take such action. Prior to the pandemic, many workers were protesting against hostile treatment they were receiving from their employers.

There is a growing, grassroots movement that is convinced that the only way to have impact on this society is to withhold their labor. According to PaydayReport.com, there have been 220 wildcat strikes since March 1. Safety for front-line workers is an important call for many of the participants in the May Day General Strike 2020 Movement.

The May Day General Strike 2020 Movement is not limited to people who are withholding their labor because of grievances on the job. The COVID-19 Coronavrus has led to 30 million Americans filing for unemployment insurance as the pandemic crisis directly led to the loss of their jobs. In the United States, where healthcare is directly linked to job-related medical insurance, millions of Americans have also lost their healthcare. The call for universal health and Medicare for all has gained momentum.   

With the loss of income, many Americans are faced with the fact that they now cannot pay their rent or mortgage payments.  Add to that the crushing student debt and we can see why there have been calls for Rent Strikes and Debt Strikes.

Big Apple Coffee Party is active on issues that are important to us. Learning what grassroots groups around the country are doing on issues, is a major reason why we have aligned with the May Day General Strike 2020 Movement.

Big Apple Coffee Party Suspends Physical Meetings

Greeting from Big Apple Coffee Party. We hope everyone is healthy and safe. It should be clear by now that BACP will not meet in person for the foreseeable future.

The country still has and will continue to have many problems that will require solutions. We should not feel alone during this trying time. Please feel free to communicate with us with ideas to help us get through this together. It is our opinion that this is a major inflection point in history, and our society will be more open to new ideas than at any time in our lifetime.

Stay safe and feel free to reach out to us.

BACP Meeting: Tuesday, March 10, 6pm, UWS

Join us Tues., March 10, 6:00 pm for our next Big Apple Coffee Party general meeting. Please RSVP, and we will send the location of the meeting at a member’s home on the Upper West Side.

Some topics we may want to explore:
Are propaganda and the corporate media narrative unduly affecting the presidential primaries?  Let’s discuss.

What do you understand about the Coronavirus?  How are you responding, and are you confident of the information you’re getting?

Julian Assange’s treatment during the first phase of his extradition hearing was unconscionable.  A lot of reporting is being done from London and around the world.  What can we do to help apply pressure on the British court for the second phase of the hearings in May? 

Bring your issues and concerns.

Action:
Thursday, March 12, 2020: Vigil to Free Julian Assange & Chelsea Manning: Grand Central Terminal Main Concourse, 4:30 – 5:30 PM

(Our next meeting will be Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at a member’s home.)

Thurs., March 5, Vigil to Free Julian Assange & Chelsea Manning 4:30 – 5:30 pm

Join us at the main concourse information booth clock!

The first phase of the extradition hearing of Julian Assange at Woolwich Crown Court in the UK ended on Thursday, February 27, with all indications that he was not receiving a fair trial.
 
Assange was held in a sealed, glass-fronted dock at the back of the court hindering his ability to participate in the proceedings. A request to enable him to sit with his attorneys was denied by the court. The four-day hearing adjourned to resume in May when there will be approximately four weeks of witnesses and evidence.
 
We need to keep up the pressure on the UK, the US, the public, and the press. Let’s continue to make our presence felt for Julian Assange at our weekly vigil at Grand Central Terminal. Please join us this Thursday from 4:30-5:30pm.  

NYC Free Assange Vigil February 27, 2020. Photo Pamela Drew

Let us know you’re coming to the Vigil at our FB Event Page at https://www.facebook.com/events/553834805228434/

Global Protest for Julian Assange, Monday, February 24

There will be a Global Protest the day Julian Assange’s Extraditon Hearing in the U.K. is scheduled to begin. Join us Monday, February 24, 11 am – 1:00 pm at the British Consulate, 885 Second Avenue at 47th Street, NYC.

Speakers include Deborah Hrbek, media lawyer and member of WikiLeaks legal team; Margaret Kunstler, civil rights lawyer and co-editor of In Defense of Julian Assange; Ben Norton, journalist, The Grayzone; Kim Ives, writer and editor of Haiti Liberté; John F. O’Donnell, actor and writer; and John Tarleton, editor-in-chief, The Indypendent.

The protest is in solidarity with NYC Free Assange; Big Apple Coffee Party; Veterans for Peace; Glen Ford, Executive Director, Black Agenda Report; Joel Kupferman, Director Environmental Justice Initiative; Haiti Liberté; Manhattan Green Party; Socialist Action; Margaret Kimberley, Editor of Black Agenda Report; Courage Foundation; Freedom Socialist Party; Cuba Si; Rev. Juan Carlos Ruiz, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church; Larry Hamm; activist. (list in formation) and with over 26 cities around the world.

The Prosecution of Julian Assange: His Right to Publish is Our Right to Know

Big Apple Coffee Party and NYC Free Assange invite you to:

Let us know you’re coming at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/prosecution-of-julian-assange-his-right-to-publish-is-our-right-to-know-tickets-91717356081

Speakers:
Jim Goodale, former NYT General Counsel
Max Blumenthal, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
Renata Avila, human rights attorney
Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report
Also featuring new video statements from Noam ChomskyAlice
Walker
, and Daniel Ellsberg

Moderator:
Anya Parampil, journalist, the Red Zone

Global Protest Nov. 24


Join NYC’s DON’T EXTRADITE ASSANGE GLOBAL PROTEST
Monday, February 24, 11 am – 1:00 pm at The British Consulate
885 Second Avenue at 47th Street, NYC
(The date the U.K. Extradition Hearing is scheduled to begin.
)