Progressive Calendar 02.23.12 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2012 11:14:57 -0800 (PST)
*P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   02.23.12*

1. Cuban films          2.23.7pm
2. Church/state         2.23 7pm
3. Gilman/Mn protest 2.23 7pm
4. Palestine resists   2.23 7pm Northfield MN
5. Indigenous films    2.23 7:30pm

6. Bill Quigley          - Bradley Manning, solitary confinement and Occupy
4 prisoners
7. Broad/Cavenaugh - Occupy vs the global race to the bottom
8. ed                       - Declaration of non-personhood  (haiku)

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From: WAMM
Cuban films 2.23.7pm

Minnesota Cuba Film Festival Thursdays from February 23 through March 29,
7:00 p.m. St. Anthony Main, 115 Main Street Southeast, Minneapolis.

Six contemporary Cuba films will be shown at St. Anthony Main Theatre, each
Thursday for six weeks. This is a rare opportunity to explore the nation
subject to a brutal U.S. blockade. In the absence of easily available
literature and art from Cuba, in the absence of current information about
Cuba in U.S. mainstream media, the space is filled by the story U.S.
policymakers give us. That story is one of lies, half-truths and endless
hostility towards a beleaguered nation that has successfully resisted U.S.
economic, political and military aggression for over 50 years. In this
diverse selection of films, challenging issues are faced: homeless kids in
the "special period" following the collapse of the Soviet Union; economic
differentiation that's become exacerbated in recent years; GLBT issues and
the first sexual reassignment surgery. All films are in Spanish with
English subtitles. Tickets: $8.50. Sponsored by: the Minnesota Cuba
Committee and the Film Society of Minneapolis/St. Paul. FFI: Visit

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From: "Americans United" auactivist [at]
Church/state 2.23 7pm

Let's Get It Started ... the Minnesota AU Chapter

Thursday, Feb 23, from 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Southdale Library
7001 Your Avenue S.
Edina, MN 55435
In the Ethel Berry Room, second floor
Questions? Contact Scott at minnesotaau [at]

You are invited to help establish a Minnesota Chapter of Americans United
for Separation of Church and State!
WHY: The religious right has a very active legislative agenda across the
country, which will continue to play out at the Minnesota legislature.  A
local chapter of the AUSCS can play an important role in speaking to the
constitutional issue of separation of church and state that looms behind
most of these issues.

We are in the initial stages of forming a chapter, so your input is
vital!   We are especially urging people from faith communities to be
involved in order to make the group as diverse and as relevant as possible.
All are welcome to attend!   Questions?  Contact Scott at
minnesotaau [at]

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From: no-reply [at]
Gilman/Mn protest 2.23 7pm

Stand Up!: The Story of Minnesota’s Protest Tradition, with Rhoda Gilman
Mill City Museum, Minneapolis MN, 612-341-7555

Historian Rhoda Gilman will highlight the political protest movements that
have shaped Minnesota and changed the country in this presentation based on
her new book "Stand Up! The Story of Minnesota’s Protest Tradition." "Stand
Up" presents an overview of 150 years of major political protests in
Minnesota, including the abolitionist Republican party, Grangers,
antimonopolists, Populists, strikers, progressives, suffragists,
Communists, Farmer-Laborites, communes and co-ops, abortion politics, and
more. After the presentation Ms. Gilman will sign books, which will be
available for purchase.
Time: 7 p.m.
Fee: Free

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Palestine resistence 2.23 7pm Northfield MN

• Thursday, Feb. 23, 7pm, at St. Olaf Tomson Hall, Rm. 280, Northfield:
William Parry, London-based photojournalist and author speaks about his new
book, “Up Against the Wall: the Art of Resistance in Palestine.” Images and
stories of graffiti and street art on Israel’s Apartheid Wall. Free, open
to public.

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Indigenous films 2.23 7:30pm

Film Screenings:
7:30PM February 23 - 25, 2012
at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave South Minneapolis, MN 55408
 All of the feature films are Twin Cities premieres! These award-winning
films have been featured at festivals throughout the Americas and beyond.

Magic Wands (2009, 7:36 minutes)
A Windigo Tale (2010, 90 minutes)
Frybread Ninja (2011, 5 minutes)
The Dead Can't Dance (2009, 97 minutes)

Life In The 7th Prophecy (2009, 7 minutes)
Behind the Door of a Secret Girl (2010, 100 minutes)

$8 admissions | $20 festival pass
Purchase advance tickets online, or over the phone by calling (612) 871-4444
Pre-sold tickets are available for pick-up through will call at Intermedia
Arts on each performance evening. If tickets are not claimed 15 minutes
after the scheduled start time of the performance, the unclaimed tickets
may be released to a waiting list.

Magic Wands
2009 | 7 minutes | Directed by Elizabeth Day | Ojibwe with English subtitles
In this short film directed by Elizabeth Day (Anishinabe), St. Paul, MN, a
grandmother tells her granddaughter an Ojibwe story revealing why the
sticks used to gather wild rice are "magic wands." Immersed in the
unfamiliar terrain of lake marshes he learns to master the artful skill of
knocking wild rice and discovers the strength of spirit required to harvest
this staple. As the grandmother narrates the tale in Ojibwe, she answers
her granddaughter's question about the sacredness and importance of wild
rice to the Ojibwe people.

A Windigo Tale|
2010 | 90 minutes | Directed by Armand Garnet Ruffo
Winner of 2010 Best Picture, Best performance by an actress (Andrea Menard)
& Best performance by an actress in a supporting role (Jani Lauzon) from
The American Indian Film Festival, San Francisco, CA. Filmed on the Six
Nations Reserve in Ontario and in the Ottawa Valley,  A Windigo Tale is
Ojibwe poet Armand Garnet Ruffo's directorial debut.  Produced on a
shoe-string budget, in demanding conditions, Ruffo's feature-length film
moves between the breathtaking beauty of a road trip in autumn and the
stark winter landscape of a First Nations community.  Harold, a Native
grandfather (Gary Farmer), desperate to save his troubled grandson Curtis
(Elliot Simon) from a life on the street, shares the dark secrets of their
family and community.  In an isolated village, an estranged mother, Doris
(Jani Lauzon), and daughter, Lily (Andrea Menard), must reunite to exorcise
the voracious Windigo spirit tied to a painful past. Inspired by Ojibwe
spirituality and based on the history of the residential school system,
where generations of Native children were forcibly removed from their
families and aggressively assimilated into Euro-Canadian society, A Windigo
Tale is both a chilling and redeeming drama. Parental Guidance Recommended.

Frybread Ninja: The Birth
2011 | 5 minutes | Directed by Hasaanah Abdul Wahid, MIGIZI Communications
An assassin eats frybread and decided to become a vigilante do-gooder.
Produced by students from MIGIZI Communications 2011 Summer Media Institute.

The Dead Can't Dance |
2009 | 97 minutes| Written and Directed by Rodrick Pocowatchit
The world's first Native American zombie comedy/drama! Best Native Film at
the 2010 Indie Spirit Film Festival. Nominated for Best Director and Best
Actor (Rodrick Pocowatchit) at the American Indian Film Festival, San
Francisco, 2010. The Dead Can't Dance follows three Native American men who
discover they are somehow immune to a virus that is killing everyone else
and turning them into zombies. The men get stranded in the middle of
Kansas, seek refuge in a remote school and must put aside their petty
differences to survive the macabre night. Made in Kansas, the film is a
testament to Wichita's film-loving community. More than 100 extras were
used in the film, which was shot in 2009 over the course of four months.

Life In The 7th Prophecy
2009 | 7 minutes | Produced by the artists of Project Preserve, IN PROGRESS
Life In The Seventh Prophecy tells the story of the seven fires and the
role of this generation in bringing positive change to the Anishinaabe
people. Best Experimental Documentary - Cowichan Film Festival. Directed by
students from Red Lake High School, 2009.

Behind the Door of a Secret Girl
2010 | 100 minutes | Directed by Janessa Starkey and Jack Kohler
Janessa Starkey was 14 when she began writing the film "Behind the Door of
a Secret Girl," a grim drama about a depressed American Indian teenager who
lives on a reservation with her meth-addicted mother and an abusive
cartel-connected drug dealer. The girl, Sammy, is a cutter, wounding her
wrists with a knife in order to feel alive. David, Sammy's best friend, is
a foster youth and helps her to escape from this dysfunctional life she's
had to endure since her father died. Starkey, a member of the United Auburn
Indian Community co-wrote and directed the film with the tribe's media
director, Jack Kohler. Parental Guidance Recommended.

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Bradley Manning, Solitary Confinement and Occupy 4 Prisoners
by Bill Quigley
Published on Thursday, February 23, 2012 by Common Dreams

Today US Army Private Bradley Manning is to be formally charged with
numerous crimes at Fort Meade, Maryland.   Manning, who was nominated for
the Nobel Peace Prize by members of the Icelandic Parliament, is charged
with releasing hundreds of thousands of documents exposing secrets of the
US government to the whistleblower website Wikileaks. These documents
exposed lies, corruption and crimes by the US and other countries.  The
Bradley Manning defense team points out accurately that much of what was
published by Wikileaks was either not actually secret or should not have
been secret.
The Manning prosecution is a tragic miscarriage of justice.  US officials
are highly embarrassed by what Manning exposed and are shooting the
messenger.  As Glenn Greenwald, the terrific Salon writer, has observed,
President Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers for espionage than all
other presidents combined.

One of the most outrageous parts of the treatment of Bradley Manning is
that the US kept him in illegal and torturous solitary confinement
conditions for months at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia.  Keeping
Manning in solitary confinement sparked challenges from many groups
including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Center for
Constitutional Rights, the ACLU and the New York Times.

Human rights’ advocates rightly point out that solitary confinement is
designed to break down people mentally.  Because of that, prolonged
solitary confinement is internationally recognized as a form of torture.
 The conditions and practices of isolation are in violation of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention against Torture,
and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination.

Medical experts say that after 60 days in solidary peoples’ mental state
begins to break down.  That means a person will start to experience panic,
anxiety, confusion, headaches, heart palpitations, sleep problems,
withdrawal, anger, depression, despair, and over-sensitivity. Over time
this can lead to severe psychiatric trauma and harms like psychosis,
distortion of reality, hallucinations, mass anxiety and acute confusion.
Essentially, the mind disintegrates.

That is why the United Nations special rapporteur on torture sought to
investigate Manning’s solitary confinement and reprimanded the US when the
Army would not let him have an unmonitored visit.

History will likely judge Manning as heroic as it has Daniel Ellsberg, who
leaked the Pentagon Papers.

It is important to realize that tens of thousands of other people besides
Manning are held in solitary confinement in the US today and every day.
 Experts estimate a minimum of 20,000 people are held in solitary in
supermax prisons alone, not counting thousands of others in state and local
prisons who are also held in solitary confinement.  And solitary
confinement is often forced on Muslim prisoners, even pre-trial people who
are assumed innocent, under federal Special Administrative Measures.

In 1995, the U.N. Human Rights Committee stated that isolation conditions
in certain U.S. maximum security prisons were incompatible with
international standards. In 1996, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture
reported on cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment in U.S. supermax
prisons. In 2000, the U.N. Committee on Torture roundly condemned the
United States for its treatment of prisoners, citing supermax prisons. In
May 2006, the same committee concluded that the United States should
"review the regimen imposed on detainees in supermax prisons, in
particular, the practice of prolonged isolation."

John McCain said his two years in solitary confinement were torture. "It
crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance effectively than any other
form of mistreatment." The reaction of McCain and many other victims of
isolation torture were described in an excellent 2009 New Yorker article on
isolation by Atul Gawande.  Gawande concluded that prolonged isolation is
objectively horrifying, intrinsically cruel, and more widespread in the
U.S. than any country in the world.

This week hundreds of members of the Occupy movement merged forces with
people advocating for human rights for prisoners in demonstrations in
California, New York, Ohio, and Washington DC.  They call themselves Occupy
4 Prisoners.  Activists are working to create a social movement for serious
and fundamental changes in the US criminal system.

One of the major complaints of prisoner human rights activists is the abuse
of solitary confinement in prisons across the US.  Prison activist Mumia
Abu-Jamal said justice demands the end of solitary, “It means the abolition
of solitary confinement, for it is no more than modern-day torture chambers
for the poor.”  Pelican Bay State Prison in California, the site of a
hunger strike by hundreds of prisoners last year, holds over 1000 inmates
in solitary confinement, some as long as 20 years.

At the Occupy Prisoners rally outside San Quentin prison, the three
American hikers who were held for a year in Iran told of the psychological
impact of 14 months of solitary confinement.  Sarah Shourd said the time
without human contact drove her to beat the walls of her cell until her
knuckles bled.

When Manning was held in solitary he was kept in his cell 23 hours a day
for months at a time.  The US government tortured him to send a message to
others who might consider blowing the whistle on US secrets.  At the same
time, tens of thousands of others in the US are being held in their cells
23 hours a day for months, even years at a time.  That torture is also
sending a message.

Thousands stood up with Bradley Manning and got him released from solitary.
 People must likewise stand up with the thousands of others in solitary as

So, stand in solidarity with Bradley Manning and fight against his
prosecution.  And stand also against solitary confinement of the tens of
thousands in US jails and prisons.  Check out the Bradley Manning Support
Network, Solitary Watch, and Occupy 4 Prisoners for ways to participate.

Bill Quigley is Associate Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights
and a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans.  He is a Katrina
survivor and has been active in human rights in Haiti for years. He
volunteers with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and
the Bureau de Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Port au Prince. Contact Bill
at quigley77 [at]

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Occupy vs. the Global Race to the Bottom
Incorporating corporate globalization into the Occupy analysis and agenda
by Robin Broad and John Cavanagh
Published on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 by YES! Magazine

Ever since the first tent was pitched in Zuccotti Park in September 2011,
the Occupy protests have been giving life to a “99 percent movement.”
Expect to hear a lot more from them: plans for a 99 percent spring—starting
as early as April—are now in the making.

This still very young movement has focused attention on a well-reasoned
explanation of the vast suffering in this country, an explanation that is
resonating with the broader U.S. public. It is often posed this way: For
thirty years, Wall Street firms have successfully lobbied the US government
to give them freer reign, by removing regulations and lowering taxes. In
the process, these firms became uprooted and detached from lending to Main
Street businesses and instead became more like casinos making money for the
one percent through risky instruments such as derivatives based in subprime
mortgages. This casino Wall Street economy increased inequality, corrupted
our politics and politicians, and provoked the economic crash in 2008—a
crash that left tens of millions unemployed, homeless, mired in debt, and

This narrative is not only compelling and tragic, it is also correct. But
the Occupy analysis is thus far primarily a US-centric one; it often leaves
out the reality that all of us in this country are part of a
corporate-driven global economy.

So here is a fuller picture:

In addition to Wall Street speculators, the other dominant forces of the
U.S. economy over the past three decades have been global firms like
General Electric, Exxon Mobil, and Apple. These firms spread their global
assembly lines and resource extraction to countries like Mexico, China, and
the Philippines where, in a quest for cheaper costs, they can more easily
evade worker rights and environmental regulations. This global corporate
economy pits U.S. workers and communities against poorly enforced Third
World worker rights and environmental rules in a “race to the bottom” in
terms of rights and standards. These global firms simply say to governments
and workers: lower your wages and standards or we will move our operations
elsewhere. They either get what they want or they move.

And, just as Wall Street speculators rewarded elected officials in the
United States who passed local and national laws to remove regulations, so
too did the global manufacturing firms reward members of Congress who
passed trade and investment rules that gave corporations protections. Case
in point: the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement which granted
corporations powerful rights and protections while offering only weak
social and environmental “clauses.”

The 1990s era of globalization accelerated the proliferation of global
assembly lines with sweatshop conditions. United Students Against
Sweatshops and others have exposed the horrors of garment assembly lines
for decades. Today the exposès continue, most recently of Apple’s global
assembly lines. As a January 2012 New York Times investigation revealed,
hundreds of thousands of workers assembling Apple iPhones in China are
denied basic rights, exposed to dangerous toxic chemicals, and live in

With this lens, one can better assess President Obama’s recent tour of
industrial states where he proclaimed that manufacturing jobs are returning
to the United States in part because wages and working conditions here are
now “competitive.” “Competitive” masks the grim reality that real U.S.
manufacturing wages have been stagnating or falling over this period and
workers have accepted lower wages to prevent the real threat of
corporations moving their jobs to China. This is hardly something we should
applaud; we want good jobs – good for workers, good for the environment,
good for community.

Adding this global component also reveals more about what needs to be part
of our agenda for change. Until now, most of the 99 percent agenda has
focused on reducing inequality by reining in Wall Street and cutting its
influence on our corrupted politics. Many groups have advocated for fairer
taxes on the wealthy and Wall Street, and various measures to prevent the
one percent from purchasing elections and elected officials. These are
critical starting points.

But to these important proposals, let us also add new mechanisms to enforce
internationally recognized worker rights and environmental standards
everywhere, including workers’ rights to organize independent unions, an
end to child labor, and the right for communities to know of potential
environmental dangers. Another way to support this “race to the top” is by
ending trade agreements that provide corporations with investor rights to
sue governments but do not provide workers or communities or the
environment with stronger protections.

Likewise, let us also push proposals to shift the incentives away from
global trade and investment and back toward revitalizing “Main Street” by
encouraging more production and investment locally. Much of what is traded
across borders, from food to clothing to electronic gadgets, can be
produced—with less stress on the environment—much closer to home.
Worker-owned co-ops in Cleveland, for example, are now producing food and
linen for local hospitals and universities that used to come from far away.

This expansion of the Occupy story to address to challenges of corporate
globalization is one logical next step in the Occupy trajectory. Indeed,
many in the Occupy movements have already embraced Occupy protests and
movements in other countries, from England to Nigeria to dozens of other
countries around the world. Let us embrace the 99 percent everywhere with a
global analysis and a global agenda.

John Cavanagh and Robin Broad wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a
national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with
practical actions.

They are co-authors of three books and numerous articles on the global
economy, and have been traveling the country and the world for their
project Local Dreams: Finding Rootedness in the Age of Vulnerability.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
Dr. Robin Broad is Professor of international development at American
University. She teaches courses on economic globalization & development as
well as environment & development, with a focus on social, environmental,
and economic accountability.

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Billionaires are way
more bad than good. Declare them
defunct non-persons.


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