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Week of February 27 2006
Dubai Ports World The state owned company, Dubai Ports World of the United Arab Emirates, recently purchased a British company which would give it control over as many as 21 major ports in the U.S. including New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami and New Orleans. While many have are focusing on issues of national security, the deal really has more to do with Big Money and free trade than anything else. Read an articles by Pratap Chatterjee of CorpWatch, "Ports of Profit: Dubai Does Brisk War Business", Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation, "The Truth About Dubya and Dubai" and David Sirota on Working for Change, "The Dirty Little Secret behind the UAE Port Security Scandal."
National Call-In Day: Not One Penny More for War! From the UFPJ web site: "President Bush has asked Congress for another $72 billion for his illegal war in Iraq. This will bring the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to almost $120 billion for 2006 -- that's on top of the $432 billion the military is already spending this year, and in addition to the more than $250 billion already spent on the Iraq war!"
Take Action: Tuesday, Feb 28 is National Call-in Day. Contact your representative (or senators) with the message: Not One Penny More for War!
Firsthand Accounts of Torture Sigfrido Ranucci, one of the producers of the RAI News 24 video on Fallujah, interviews Ali Shalal, a prisoner at Abu Ghraib, made famous for his photo standing hooded on a box with electrical wires hanging from his wrists. Watch video of the interview in English (oppure in italiano).
And Democracy Now! interviews Canadian citizen Maher Arar, who was detained in 2002 at JFK airport while on a stopover in New York. He was secretly deported to Syria where he was held and tortured for almost a year, then released with no charges ever filed against him. Watch the interview (or read the transcript) on Democracy Now!
KBR Contract for Detention Centers in U.S. Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root was recently awarded a contract worth $385 million to build detention centers in the U.S. for "an unexpected influx of immigrants, to house people in the event of a natural disaster or for new programs that require additional detention space." Read the article "Bush's Mysterious 'New Programs'" by Nat Parry of Consortiumnews.
Take Action: Be the media! Spread the word on these "programs" with a letter to the editor of your favorite newspaper.
New Book: Articles of Impeachment The Center for Constitutional Rights has published a new book making the case for impeachment, "Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush", which covers illegal spying, lying to the American people about the Iraq war and the practice of extraordinary rendition.
Take Action: Melville House Publishing has a special offer: purchase a copy of the book to be sent to a member of Congress and they pay for shipping and handling.
Visas Denied and Bumper Stickers Outlawed Dr. Waskar Ari, a member of the Aymara indigenous people of Bolivia, was hired to teach at the University of Nebraska. Unfortunately, the federal government is withholding his passport. Read a press release by the American Historical Association
as well as their letter to the State Department and Homeland Security.
In another recent case, John McCourt, a Dublin born lecturer on James Joyce from the University in Trieste was handcuffed, strip searched and jailed overnight in Philadelphia then sent back to Italy the next day for not having the proper visa. He was traveling to the University of Pennsylvania for a short term teaching post. Read an article in the Irish Times as well as a letter from the president of the International James Joyce Foundation
Things haven't been easy for U.S. citizens either. Dwight Scarbrough, a former machinist for the Navy and head of the Vets for Peace chapter in Boise, Idaho, was paid a visit by Homeland Security for having bumper stickers on his truck. The vehicle was parked on federal property as he is an employee federal natural resource agency. Read an article on The Progressive as well as the Boise Weekly including a transcript of the ensuing conversation, which the experienced peace activist recorded.
Take Action: Write a letter to the editor of your favorite newspaper with your thoughts on these recent events.
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