Progressive Calendar 04.05.12 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2012 13:56:08 -0700 (PDT)
*P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    04.05.12*

1. New anti-war   4.05 7pm

2. Choice           4.06 8am
3. Ffunch           4.06 11.30am
4. Palestine vigil 4.06 4:15pm
5. HumanHapHr 4.06 5:30pm
6. Full moon      4.06 7pm

7. Glen Ford      - Strip-searches: Obama wants you to bend over (or squat)
and spread ‘em
8. Helena Smith - Greek suicide seen as an act of fortitude as much as one
of despair
9. Dave Bicking  - 3 self-conscious haikus

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From: Meredith Aby
New anti-war 4.05 7pm

New Members Meeting:  Get Involved & Protest US/NATO Warfare!
Thursday, April 5th @ 7pm @ the Anti-War Committee’s office, 1313 5th St.
SE, Suite 112, Minneapolis

This is a meeting designed for new people.  Come get involved in local,
grassroots organizing for the NATO Summit protest in May.  At the meeting
we’ll discuss current news, protest plans, and how to do outreach for our
bus & the protest.  Everyone welcome.  Organized by the Anti-War Committee.

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From: "NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota" CAN [at]
Choice 4.06 8am+

Stand in Solidarity with Planned Parenthood on April 6!

The legislative landscape is the hottest it’s been in 2012, and the
anti-choice attacks on women's health are everywhere! Each year, on Good
Friday, over 1,000 anti-choice protesters descend upon Planned Parenthood's
clinic. They carry appalling signs, and harass and intimidate incoming
patients. We expect that this year's solidarity event at Planned
Parenthood’s new Vandalia Street headquarters in St. Paul to be the biggest
We need your help to fight back!

Show your support for Planned Parenthood and their patients by joining us
for a peaceful visibility event on Friday, April 6. This opportunity to
show your support comes along once a year, so mark your calendar and
sign-up today!
Planned Parenthood Solidarity Event

Friday, April 6
Planned Parenthood’s new location
671 Vandalia Street, Saint Paul.
(Parking at this new location is very challenging; we encourage using
public transportation, biking or carpooling.)

Shifts Available:
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Contact us at volunteer [at] and sign up for the shift of
your choice. You must be registered to participate in this event

Planned Parenthood has been providing accessible, affordable, and quality
reproductive-health care in Minnesota for over 80 years. As a community
partner, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota stands in solidarity with Planned
Parenthood and will work to prevent anti-choice forces from intimidating or
closing the doors of an organization that provides safe, legal abortions.
There will be multi-faith, pro-choice prayer services which are open to all
pro-choice supporters.  These services will last approximately 20 minutes,
include a variety of faiths, and will be held at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Please, mark your calendar, RSVP and join us for a morning of peaceful
Linnea House Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota

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From: ed
Ffunch 4.06 11.30am


First Friday Lunch (FFUNCH) for progressives.
Informal political talk and hanging out.
Day By Day Cafe 477 W 7th Av St Paul.
Meet on the far south side.

Day By Day has soups, salads, sandwiches, and dangerous
apple pie; is close to downtown St Paul & on major bus lines

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From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Palestine vigil 4.06 4:15pm

The weekly vigil for the liberation of Palestine continues at the
intersection of Snelling and Summit Aves in St. Paul. The Friday demo
starts at 4:15 and ends around 5:30. There are usually extra signs

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Afrom: AWE
Humanist happy hr 4.06 5:30pm

Friday, April 6, 5:3pm  Humanist Happy Hour
Green Mill, 57 South Hamline, St. Paul, MN

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From: Seasnun
Full moon 4.06 7pm

Coldwater Full Moon Walk-About
Meet at the Front Gate to Coldwater Spring, Friday, April 6, 2012
Gather 7 PM, walk leaves promptly at 7:15

Time to explore the wildland around Coldwater. The coyotes, eagles, owls,
rabbits and songbirds still live there with the trees, water and limestone
bedrock. Bring a walking stick and wear your mud shoes.

Traditional group howl!
Sunset 7:48 PM (1-hour and 38-minutes later than last month, helped with
daylight savings time)
Moonrise 8:11 PM (1-hour and 8-minutes later than last month.)

DIRECTIONS: Coldwater SpringsA is between Minnehaha Park & Fort Snelling,
in Minneapolis, just North of the Hwy 55/62 interchange. From Hwy
55/Hiawatha, turn East (toward the Mississippi) at 54th Street, take an
immediate right, & drive South on the frontage road for ½-mile to a parking
meter. Coldwater is at the end of the road.

PARKING ALERT: Parking meters cost 75-cents per hour until midnight. Either
bring quarters or plan to park in the neighborhood, across Hwy 55.
Free. Open to all.

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Strip-Searches: Obama Wants You to Bend Over (Or Squat) and Spread ‘Em
by Glen Ford
Published on Thursday, April 5, 2012 by Black Agenda Report

Humiliation is the law of the land. When you fall into the clutches of the
police, for any reason, or no good reason at all, you can be compelled to
bare your private parts before being placed in the general jail population.
Five of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices ruled that Constitutional
prohibitions against unreasonable searches end at the jailhouse door, even
if there is no reason to suspect that the person under arrest is in
possession of anything that could be called contraband.

The decision throws out laws against unreasonable strip searches in at
least ten states, and overrides federal law enforcement regulations against
intrusive searches. The High Court decision also flies in the face of
international human rights treaties to which the United States is a
signatory. In effect, the Supreme Court majority ruled that the whim of the
local jailer trumps any standard of reasonableness. The American
Correctional Association, which represents jail guards, is pleased that its
members now have the “flexibility” to look into virtually every human
orifice that enters their domain, even though the association’s own
standards currently discourage blanket policies of strip-searching everyone.

The casual observer might conclude that the ruling is more evidence of a
rightwing court on the warpath against what remains of the Bill of Rights.
But, on this issue, the Obama administration is marching in lock step with
the High Court’s rightwing majority. U.S. Justice Department lawyers spoke
and filed briefs in favor of blanket strip searches. Indeed, the oral
argument put forward by Obama’s lawyer was, perhaps, the most curious of
all. Most of the discussion about the smuggling of contraband into jail
settings involves drugs or crude weapons and other petty criminal concerns
– the day-to-day stuff of life in a jail. But the administration’s lawyer
chose to use hypothetical political protesters as the bad guys of his
argument. In this weird scenario, a protester with a gun, traveling in a
car that was about to stopped by police, would hide the gun on his person
in hopes of avoiding a pat-down search, and then bring the gun into the
jail when he is arrested – presumably for some minor offense connected to
the demonstration.

This is quite strange reasoning, and shows what kinds of conversations the
Obama folks are having at the Justice Department. Crushing political
dissent, not safety in jails, is what motivates the Obama administration to
ally itself with the most reactionary wing of the Republican-dominated U.S.
Supreme Court. The Left is not paranoid; the Obama administration really is
preparing its legal arsenal to smash dissent in the United States. They are
getting ready for a “full spectrum” assault on civil and political
freedoms, ranging from the big hammer, suspension of all due process
through preventive detention, to the intimately chilling effect on
potential protesters of knowing that Uncle Sam wants to look into all of
your bodily cavities if you get arrested at a demonstration.

Obama’s lawyer was not talking off-the-cuff before the U.S. Supreme Court.
This administration is obsessed with political protesters. They want you to
bend over, and spread ‘em – literally and politically.

© 2012 Black Agenda Report
Back Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at
Glen.Ford [at]

 [The REAL meaning of "Hope and Change" : "I HOPE they'll make me spread'em
in public, so they can cram some small CHANGE up my butt!" It's the new
American dream-2012. Ta-da!
 I propose all lesser-evil Obama voters be strip-seached in public at the
polls. They'd have to put up with it, because the other side is so bad, and
think of the Supreme Court,  and worst of all think of having to admit that
they were wrong for 30 years (god forbid _that_ admission!)
 So this is where 30 years of craven cowardice and lazy stupidity has
gotten millions of lesser-evil voters - and, unfortunately, all the rest of
us along with them. A strip search will finally reveal their true nature
for all to see.
 Join me in voting for NEITHER Obama nor MItt. Admit that the 2-party scam
is just that, and prepare to move on. -ed]

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Greek Suicide Seen as an Act of Fortitude as Much as One of Despair
Pensioner Dimitris Christoulas wanted to 'send a political message' about
the inequities of Greece's crushing debt crisis
by Helena Smith
Published on Thursday, April 5, 2012 by The Guardian/UK

A picture of the man who has come to embody the inequities of Greece's
financial crisis has begun to emerge, with friends and neighbors shedding
light on the life of the elderly pensioner who killed himself in Athens on

Named as Dimitris Christoulas by the Greek media, the retired pharmacist
was described as decent, law-abiding, meticulous and dignified.

The 77-year-old had written in his one-page, three-paragraph suicide note
that it would be better to have a "decent end" than be forced to scavenge
in the "rubbish to feed myself".

"With his suicide he wanted to send a political message," Antonis
Skarmoutsos, a friend and neighbor was quoted as saying in the mass-selling
Ta Nea newspaper. "He was deeply politicized but also enraged."

Until 1994 Christoulas was a local chemist in the central Athens
neighborhood of Ambelokipoi. A committed leftist, he was active in
citizens' groups such as "I won't pay", which started as a one-off protest
against toll fees but quickly turned into an anti-austerity movement.

Neighbors say the pensioner had placed a protest banner on the balcony of
the first-floor flat where he had lived alone.

Only days before his death, Christoulas had insisted on paying his share of
the "communal expenses" contributed by residents in the building, although
payment was not due for several weeks. This was part of the meticulousness
that appears to have defined a man who for 35 years had contributed to his
pension fund without, as he also made clear in his note, any "state

But like so many of Greece's older generation, the retired pharmacist had
instead found himself paying for his debt-stricken country's monumental
crisis, saying in his note that his pension had been cut to the point where
it had "nullified any chance of my survival".

The anger that prompted Christoulas to take his own life in Syntagma Square
in view of the Greek parliament is shared by much of the middle-class and
low-income Greeks who have carried a disproportionate burden of the
stringent tax increases, and pay and pension cuts meted out in the name of
putting Greece on an economically sustainable path.

Long divorced, Christoulas who was frequently spotted walking the streets
of his neighborhood decked out in tracksuit and trainers, was also, like
many of his generation, greatly troubled by the way Greece was headed. It
upset him that the younger generation had accepted the austerity measures
with such apathy.

"He was deeply troubled by it all, the inertia of young people and the
situation as it had emerged over the last two years," said Skarmoutsos. "He
would go down to Syntagma to attend protests."

The retired pharmacist overnight has become a symbol of resistance for
those who perceive austerity politics as unfair and ultimately
self-defeating. For many Greeks trapped in a fifth year of grinding
recession, Dimitris Christoulas's death has not just been seen as an act of
despair but one of fortitude in a world with little light at the end of the

© 2012 The Guardian
Helena Smith is the Guardian's correspondent in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.

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3 self-conscious haikus

I don't do haiku
but sometimes it seems to be
my thoughts ARE that short!

My haiku competes
to be the best expression
of a platitude.

This is less painful
than composing poetry
for high school teachers!

--Dave Bicking


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