U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome Italy anti-war demonstration in Rome

Past Events

Solidarity with Bradley Manning
December 17, 2011

No to "war as usual"
March 19, 2010

Winter Soldier Europe
March 14, 2009

Palestinian Flags Flutter
Alongside Peace Banners

January 17, 2009

Close Guantanamo Now!
January 17, 1009

10-Day Vigil for Gaza
January 8-18, 2009

Supporting La'Onf
October 29, 2008

Free the Cuban 5
Sept 13, 2008

Cheney in Chains
Sept 8, 2008

No Bush, No War
June 11, 2008

May Day ILWU Solidarity Action
May 1, 2008

War Tax Day
April 15, 2008

World Social Forum Global Day of Action
Jan 26, 2008

Shut Down Guantánamo Now!
Jan 11, 2008

No U.S. Military Base in Vicenza
Dec 15, 2007

Meeting Iranian Artists
Dec 05, 2007

End the War in Iraq, No War on Iran
Oct 27, 2007

Report on Final Days of No Dal Molin Festival in Vicenza, Italy
Sept 16, 2007

Camping for Peace in Vicenza, Italy
Sept 12, 2007

Impeach Them Both +
Judiciary Fax Blast

July 23, 2007

I-M-P-E-A-C-H !
April 28, 2007

4th Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq
March 20, 2007

No Dal Molin, Vicenza, Italy
Feb 17, 2007

Congress: Act Now to End the War
Jan 27, 2007

No Military Bases, Vicenza, Italy
Dec 2, 2006

No War, No Cluster Bombs
Sept 23, 2006

Protest Calling for Cease-fire in Lebanon
July 26, 2006

Military Spending
Bean Poll

July 18, 2006

Stop the Escalation
in the Middle East

July 17, 2006

Refusing to Kill
July 06, 2006

Shailja Patel:
Poetry in Times
of War

July 05, 2006

Troops Home Fast
July 04, 2006

Italian Vote on
Military Missions

June 27, 2006

Peace Parade
June 02, 2006

Michael Uhl of
Veterans for Peace

April 29, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Hidden in Plain Sight

April 26, 2006

War Tax Day
April 15, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Hotel Palestine: Killing the Witness

April 12, 2006

National Anti-war Protest in Rome
March 18, 2006

Soldiers Against War
March 18, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Aristide and the Endless Revolution

March 15, 2006

Women (and men!) Say No To War
March 8, 2006

An Eyewitness Account of Post Katrina New Orleans
March 2, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Life and Debt

February 09, 2006

Vote to Renew Italian Mission in Iraq
February 09, 2006

Cindy Sheehan
February 06, 2006

NBC Today
Show Blitz

February 06, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
The Revolution Will
Not Be Televised

January 26, 2006

Cindy Sheehan
In Rome

January 18, 2006

Crimes & Lies:
with Dave Lindorff
and Maurizio Torrealta

January 13, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Peace Propaganda and
the Promised Land

January 12, 2006

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
The Oil Factor

December 15, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Plan Colombia

December 01, 2005

Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre
November 30, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series

November 17, 2005

Protest at U.S. Embassy: White Phosphorus in Fallujah
November 14, 2005

Control Arms Petition
at Piazza Chiesa Nuova

November 12, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Invisible Ballots

November 10, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
The Corporation

October 27, 2005

Movie Night:
Viva Zapatero

October 25, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Hidden Wars of
Desert Storm

October 13, 2005

Anti-war rally
at U.S. Embassy

Sept 24, 2005

USC4P&J Social
at the Beehive

June 22, 2005

Die-In with
Articolo 11
at Palazzo Chigi

June 21, 2005

Collecting Photos
with Control Arms

June 18, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series

June 16, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series

June 09, 2005

Eyes Wide Open
Film Series
Weapons of
Mass Deception

May 19, 2005

Vigil at Palazzo Chigi with Articolo 11
May 05, 2005

Vigil at Palazzo Chigi with Articolo 11
April 28, 2005

Vigil at Palazzo Chigi with Articolo 11
April 21, 2005

International Day of Protest
March 19, 2005


Eyes Wide Open Film Series, Part II
Invisible Ballots

November 10, 2005

We had another successful screening in our Eyes Wide Open film series with the documentary Invisible Ballots: A Temptation for Electronic Vote Fraud. The film covers the issue of computerized voting in the United States. (See the hand-out distributed at the screening)

The film starts off with a brief short history of voting, with the concept of the secret ballot and voting systems through the years. It then moved on to HAVA (Help America Vote Act), passed after the 2000 hanging chad fiasco. The blame was incorrectly placed on paper voting in general rather than the faulty system used in Florida. The federal government dangled a carrot in the form of $3 billion for states to renew "outdated" voting systems. This, of course, pleased the 3 biggest companies selling voting systems: Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia.

We learned that these systems have problems throughout, from conflicts of interest such as the case of Senator Chuck Hagel, former chairman of the company that counted an estimated 80% of the votes in his upset election in Nebraska. Hagel still had a substantial financial interest in the company and failed to disclose this information.

We also learned about the very poor programming and security practices of these companies in developing the software for the machines. This was revealed by Diebold itself, who left all their files, for a period of 6 years, on a web server, completely unprotected. The files were found by Bev Harris, investigative reporter and author of the book Black Box Voting. The software was evaluated by computer science experts and found to be full of flaws and lacking in security.

The discussion following the film started off with a question on how elections are conducted in Italy. One of our Italian members explained that you simply mark a paper ballot with a pencil and the ballots are then counted by hand, with persons affiliated with all political parties involved overseeing the count. Even with the hand counting, by around 4am the next morning the results are in. In a 2001 MIT-Caltech study, which evaluated several methods for casting votes, it was found that hand counted paper ballots was the most accurate of all, and in this study, no fraud was involved.

Another issue, redistricting or gerrymandering, which is not covered in the film, was also brought up as it plays a big role in our elections.

We talked about the three reports that have been released since the 2004 elections, the John Conyers report, What Went Wrong in Ohio, the controversial Baker Carter Commission report, which calls for a national ID card, though there is no evidence of widespread voter ID fraud, and the recent report from the Government Accountability Office, which was lauded by both Republicans and Democrats and referred to as a "wake up call", but unfortunately got no press coverage at all.

We wound up by talking about current legislation to support, such as HR 550 calling for a Voter Verified Paper Ballot, so that voters can vote electronically yet still verify the proper results were recorded on paper. Random recounts would be held to determine if the paper and machine counts matched. In the event they do not, the paper ballot would be the official record.

There is a similar bill that should be defeated, HR 3910, which would leave it up to the states to determine which record of the vote, paper or machine, is the official record. [Take action!]

We had a full house and a very interesting discussion. One thing many of us agreed on, aside from the need for election reforms, was that we were quite impressed by Bev Harris!

Stephanie Westbrook

Special thanks to Linux Club for their hospitality.


Ongoing/Future Events

Our Eyes Wide Open Film Series is suspended; for further information click here.

Upshot of our Nov. 9th group discussion on current politics:

It wasn't the Russians that got us Trump. Or Comey. Or even the massive GOP election fraud. It was the DNC.*
*Dem National Committee

To learn how to stop the DNC from delivering us another Trump, read Autopsy: the Democratic Party in Crisis.

Photo of a school in Yemen bombed by Saudi Arabian jets supplied by the U.S. and fueled in the air by the U.S. Air Force. Tell Trump to STOP THIS CARNAGE, not fuel it! Click here.

Also participate in the CodePink email and/or phone initiative:

Click here to sign a petition, to put an end to the sanctions against Syria - their only effect is to take a terrible toll on the population, causing them to migrate! And click here to see the video by the Italian Committee to lift sanctions against Syria.

Iraq Deaths Estimator
Did someone tell you that U.S. military intervention in Iraq was over? Not true: we're at it again. This time the pretext to drop bombs is "curbing ISIS" (which was created by the U.S. in the first place, to overturn al-Malaki in Iraq and then Assad in Syria, and is now out of hand. Like what happened to "our" creature al Qaeda in Afghanistan). And the death toll continues to rise...
Write your senators and tell them: "Enough! U.S. out!! Iraq has shown it can curb ISIS by itself!"

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Copyright © 2005 Stephanie Westbrook All rights reserved.
U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome, Italy