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Index July 2008

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Howard L. Fuller – USA

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Linked with The Black Alliance for Educational Options BAEO.

He is college administrator; school administrator; founder … (full long bio and work).

… While well-known in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as a long-time proponent of better educational opportunities for the city’s minority student population, and as a high-profile superintendent of the city’s public schools from 1991 to 1995, Fuller also has achieved national stature for his forceful and eloquent advocacy of fundamental education reform … Since 1995, Fuller has been a distinguished professor of education at Milwaukee’s Marquette University, where he also is the founder/director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning. Prior to his tenure as Milwaukee schools superintendent, he served in a number of public service positions, including director of the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services, and dean of general education at the Milwaukee Area Technical College. He has received numerous awards and recognition over the years, including three Honorary Doctorate Degrees. When the third annual symposium for emerging black leaders convened in Milwaukee in early March this year (2001), it was attended by more than 600 educators and activists from 35 states. At the opening session on March 2, Fuller delivered a passionate speech on “The Continuing Struggle of African Americans for the Power to Make Real Educational Choices” … (full text, including an abbreviated version of his speech on the same page).

His video: Dr. Howard Fuller – Black Alliance for Educational Options, 9.17 min, Added October 10, 2006.

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Howard L. Fuller – USA

Read: No Child Left Behind: A Debate on the Privatization of Education, March 12, 2004.

He says: … “I never realized back then, as they obviously did, the importance of having choices for my education. Today I am fighting to make sure that children from low-income and working-class families in Milwaukee, indeed all over this country, have the same opportunity. The term “choice” is often misunderstood by well-meaning people or distorted purposefully by people who want to discredit it. Choice is often equated only with vouchers. Vouchers are indeed one form of parental choice—a very important form. However, parental choice involves more than just vouchers. It means providing families with the .capacity to choose from a wide range of learning environments” … (full text, fall 2002).

Community Voice or Captive of the Right? A Closer Look at the Black Alliance for Educational Options, not dated.

He writes: … In fact, since 1965 Wisconsin taxpayers have spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars to help students attend private, religiously affiliated colleges. More than $100 million in taxes supports tens of thousands of children at private day care and in child development centers, many religiously affiliated. More than 100 public high school students are taking taxpayer-financed courses this year at religiously affiliated colleges and universities. They do so under a 12-year-old state program that was expanded in 1991 to include private universities. If students may use taxes to attend religiously affiliated colleges and early childhood programs, why haven’t our constitutional pillars crumbled? Because these students and their parents do so voluntarily, with no state coercion … (full text, June 12, 1998).

Find him and his publications on answer.com; and by oogle-search, with other Howard Fullers, on Google Book-search.

He writes also: … After hearing and seeing decades of philosophizing about the need to protect the traditional public school system’s funds and institutional prerogatives, and looking past the expressed concerns about a Jeffersonian separation of church and state, it is clear that the real issue in America is not choice—it is who has it! … (full text,

Google download-book: Picky Parent Guide: Choose Your Child’s School with Confidence, 464 pages, 2004.

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Danilo Dolci – Italy (1924 – 1997)

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Danilo Dolci (Sesana, June 28, 1924 – Partinico, PA, December 30, 1997) was a social activist, sociologist, popular educator and poet. He is best known for his opposition against poverty, social exclusion and the Mafia on Sicily and is considered to be one of the protagonists of the non-violence movement in Italy. He became known as the “Gandhi of Sicily” … Antimafia: Dolci became aware of the stranglehold of the Mafia upon the poor in Sicily. He did not attack the Mafia at first but he did come up against them at once challenging their monopoly of water supply with the project of the Iato River dam. Later he became too well-known in Italy and abroad to be dealt with without too much adverse publicity. He began his crusade against the Mafia by claiming that government officials were receiving help in their elections from Cosa Nostra. Rather than making his accusations only in Sicily, he would travel to Rome to participate before the Antimafia Commission to ensure that his worries about the Mafia in Sicily were heard. His willingness to stand up to the Mafia in his quest to improve the living conditions of Sicilians helped him to gain the confidence of the locals … Legacy: Dolci has been proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize, denounced by the Cardinal Archbishop of Palermo; he has won the support of many Communists and some Jesuits, been threatened by the Mafia, and been prosecuted for obscenity by the Italian government for his book Inchiesta a Palermo (Report from Palermo). Dolci was a great writer. His books are remarkable accounts of the society he surveys, and their accuracy and insight have helped to give a realistic basis to any schemes for improvement. Above all he has given a voice to the abandoned, forgotten, despairing, nameless, suffering people of Sicily. Unforgettably he enabled peasants and fishermen, mothers and prostitutes, street urchins, outlaws and bandits, police and mafiosi to tell their stories … (full long text).

The Obituary for Danilo Dolci, by Andrew Gumbel, Jan 1, 1998.

Danilo Dolci, Vivid Voice Of Sicily’s Poor, Dies at 73, by JOHN TAGLIABUE, December 31, 1997.

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Danilo Dolci – Italy (1924 – 1997)

Danilo Dolci by Jaclyn Welch; by Frank Walker; by Vincenzo Salerno.

He said: “I had never heard the phrase ‘conscientious objector’, … and I had no idea there were such persons in the world, but I felt strongly that it was wrong to kill people and I was determined never to do so” … (full text).

The website Danilo Dolci.com.

The video: Danilo Dolci, 5.00 min, added March 25, 2008.

He said also: “It is senseless to speak of optimism or pessimism. The only important thing to remember is that if one works well in a potato field, the potatoes will grow. If one works well among people, they will grow. That’s reality. The rest is smoke” … (Ohio Citizen.org).

Hutchinson encyclopedia article about Dolci, Danilo.

Sanctity is hard to explain—even when it is present. Saints have often been impossible people who undertook impossible tasks and succeeded in highly improbable ways. Such a one is Danilo Dolci, a 41-year-old Italian who for 14 years has headed a volunteer movement designed to lift a few Sicilian villages out of a squalor unmatched in Europe and to raise the inhabitants from the torpor of despair. Dolci (TIME, April 9, 1956) has been proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize, denounced by the Cardinal Archbishop of Palermo; he has won the support of many Communists and some Jesuits, been threatened by the Mafia, and been prosecuted for obscenity by the Italian government for his book Report from Palermo … (full text, April 08, 1966 ).

Dolci and the Mafia, May 12, 1977.

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Michael Albert – USA

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Linked with Amy Goodman – USA, with Parecon and Aspirations,

with Mandisi Majavu – South Africa, with Participatory Economics, with again Alternative Economy, with the parecon idea, with ParEcon – A Participatory Economy, with Which Way Venezuela, with the London Project for a Participatory Society LPPS, with Social Reports 2005 and  with Life After Colonialism. Michael Albert (born April 8, 1947) is a longtime activist, speaker, and writer, is co-editor of ZNet, and co-editor and co-founder of Z Magazine. He also co-founded South End Press and has written numerous books and articles. He developed along with Robin Hahnel the economic vision called participatory economics. Albert identifies himself as a market abolitionist and favors democratic participatory planning as an alternative. During the 1960s, Albert was a member of Students for a Democratic Society, and was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement … (full text).

Michael Albert is one of the nation’s leading authorities on political economy, U.S. economic policies, and the media. A veteran writer/activist, he currently works with Z Magazine and the website Znet.

He says: … “Capitalism is a horrific system. Capitalism is a system that breeds an environment in which dignity is robbed, in which people are out—nice guys finish last, in the words of a famous American baseball coach, or in my more aggressive formulation, garbage rises, meaning it’s a competitive environment in which you care about others, you suffer. If you violate others, you advance. It’s an environment in which there’s about 30 million poor people. There’s about seven million homeless people and seven million empty hotel rooms. There’s war, and so on. And the question for me was always, starting right at the beginning in 1968, ‘67: what do we replace it with? If we’re about changing this fundamentally, then we have to be about not just better values, people controlling their own lives, equity, justice, diversity, solidarity, we have to be about institutions that would make those values real. So parecon or participatory economics is a model” … “Yes, and it’s not a brilliant choice, I’m told. It’s an economic system, a set of institutions to accomplish production and consumption and allocation, stuff that makes up economics, and to do it in a way that the act of doing it gives people control over their lives, gives people solidarity with others, gives people an equitable share of the social output, gives people a range of options that’s fulfilling” … (full long interview text, April 17, 2007).

His personal website with cooking recipes and photos.

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Michael Albert – USA

His videos with Michael Albert:

… In an article entitled “Which Way Venezuela?” published in a recent issue of Znet.org, Michael Albert writes that Hugo Chavez became President of Venezuela “largely due to the ravages of neoliberal reforms in the 80s and 90s … the Venezuelan poverty rate had reached 50% … the aim and promise of Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution was to not only eliminate rampant, raging, poverty, but to attain a new economic and social system consistent with the highest standards of human fulfillment and development” … (full text, July 25, 2008).

Albert’s memoir, Remembering Tomorrow: From SDS to Life After Capitalism (ISBN 1583227423), was published in 2007 by Seven Stories Press.

And as Google download book: Parecon: Life After Capitalism, by Michael Albert, 311 pages, 2003.

Venezuela’s path, Nov. 06, 2005.

Find him and his publications on BSF Audio Library, on Zmag.org/Parecon; on Z Communications; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search.

David Schweickart versus Michael Albert, Nov. 2, 2006.

… Not surprisingly we began compulsively trying to develop, advocate, and win support for a new type economy. But why would anyone, we asked ourselves, like one economy, such as parecon, and not like some other economy, such as capitalism or what’s called market socialism or centrally planned socialism? Robin and I decided the only sound grounds for judging economies was to determine whether they fostered values we liked. So we had a problem. What were our values? What were the values a good economy should promote by its operations? And that’s what the first part of the book, Parecon, is about … (full long text).

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Bruce Fein – USA

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Linked with the American Freedom Agenda AFA, with Liberty, and with Kucinich gets his day.

Bruce Fein is a lawyer in the United States who specializes in constitutional and international law. He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and his father was the famous Louis Fein who pioneered the internet and electronics for spy planes. His father spent much of his career at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Under President Ronald Reagan, Fein served as an associate deputy attorney general from 1981 to 1982 and as general counsel to the Federal Communications Commission. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1972. In March 2007, he founded the American Freedom Agenda AFA with Bob Barr, with David Keene and with Richard Viguerie. Notable published writings by Fein include articles advocating the impeachment of former U.S. president Bill Clinton and current U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney and president George W Bush … Fein has authored numerous articles on constitutional issues for The Washington Times, for Slate.com, for The New York Times, for Legal Times, and is considered an authority on civil liberties. In 2008 he was nominated to receive the World Peace award for his efforts in civil liberties … (full text).

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Bruce Fein – USA

Watch his video: Bruce Fein on Revised FISA Legislation, 3.30 min, added October 09, 2007.

… He expressed disappointment with the lack of any real pushback against presidential power by Congressional Democrats. “The Democrats in Congress have done absolutely nothing to tell the president he is not a king and we do not live in a monarchy. They are allowing him to trash the Constitution because most of them know nothing about the Constitution and are concerned only with making headlines about minor issues and getting themselves reelected” … (full text).

Notes from the Non-Impeachment Hearings, July 27, 2008.

… In sum, the CSRT decreed Parhat was an enemy combatant because he was trained to fight Chinese government oppression by an ETIM leader whose organization might become hostile to the United States and may have used a training camp provided by Taliban. If President Bush had his way, Parhat would remain imprisoned indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay for emulating the American Minutemen at Concord and Lexington. He would be denied access to the Great Writ of habeas corpus to challenge the legality of his detention. But the Supreme Court repudiated the President in Boumediene v. Bush (June 12, 2008), offering Parhat an assured habeas corpus avenue to freedom. The CSRT’s outlandish enemy combatant finding has already been voided by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Parhat v. Gates … (full text, June 30, 2008).

… “The primary and chief purpose of government is to make us free to develop our faculties and to pursue what Jefferson called happiness,” said Bruce Fein, chairman of the American Freedom Agenda, during a discussion for the Cato Institute … (full text, July 3, 2008).

Fein argues, the history of the persecution of the Tamil people “easily justifies Tamil statehood, with boundaries to be negotiated,” and points out, “The Declaration of Independence proclaims: “[W]hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce [a people] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security” … (full text).

BRUCE FEIN’S PLEA FOR YOUR EVIDENCE.

… Fein currently writes weekly columns for THE WASHINGTON TIMES and CAPITOL LEADER, and a bi-weekly column for the LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER devoted to legal and international affairs … (full text).

Impeach Cheney, The vice president has run utterly amok and must be stopped, June 27, 2007.

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Prabhu Guptara – India and Switzerland

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Linked with The World Future Council.

Professor Prabhu Guptara (born 1949 in Delhi, India) is an authority on the impact of technology on globalization, on strategy, on knowledge management, on corporate social responsibility, on comparative and cross-cultural ethics, and on management and leadership issues Widely known as a speaker and broadcaster, he is or has been Chairman, Director or Board Member of various companies and organisations. As Executive Director, Organisation Development, at Wolfsberg – The Platform for Business and Executive Development (a subsidiary of UBS, one of the largest banks in the world), he is responsible for the Wolfsberg Think Tanks on a wide variety of market and global issues. A Freeman of the City of London, and of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, and Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; he is Fellow: of the Institute of Directors, of the Royal Commonwealth Society, and of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts Commerce and Manufactures; and Member: Executive Board, IFB Institute of Management, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland; International Advisory Council, Development Alternatives, India; Member of the International Advisory Panel for the Tomorrow’s Global Company Report by Tomorrow’s Company, U.K. … (full text).

… He has written for Financial Times, The Guardian, and The Times, and enjoys being a judge for international competitions in the fields of fiction, poetry, and executive development. Prabhu is a Hindu follower of Jesus. He and his wife Philippa have four children and reside in Switzerland. ( full text).

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Prabhu Guptara – India and Switzerland

4 Videos: he interviews Michael Jackson, Chairman of Shaping Tomorrow, England, April 30, 2007: Part 1, 4.40 min; part 2, 2.36 min; part 3, 2.00 min; and part 4, 2.06 min.

His video: Conflicts of Interest, 7 min, February 01, 2005, (he talks about how the charging of interest exacerbates the difference between the rich and poor).

Future Event: Talking on “The World Financial System and the Institutionalisation of Greed”, Thursday, October 9th 2008, 6pm, St Stephen’s Church, St Stephen’s Avenue, Bristol BS1 1EG,  £5 pay at the door. Reserve place by email.

His Blog: Renaissance: Insights for Action in Today’s World.

His official website.

Professor Prabhu S. Guptara is Chairman of the Career Innovation Group, acting as a thought-leader for the Group and building links with individuals and organisations around the world. His role in Ci is one of the external activities he undertakes as Director of Executive and Organisational Development for the Wolfsberg Executive Development Centre, a subsidiary of UBS AG … (full text, see also the homepage of career innovation ci).

He says: … “Developments such as sub-prime crisis and growing defaults in loans and credit card repayments in the US are the result of jungle competition among the global financial giants. On the contrary, the situation in the Indian banking industry is largely healthy” … (full text).

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Danny Schechter – USA

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Linked with Congress, banks and home owners.

Danny Schechter, nicknamed “The News Dissector,” is a television producer, independent filmmaker, blogger, and media critic who writes and lectures frequently about the media in the United States and worldwide … Schechter worked as a civil rights worker and communications director of the Northern Student Movement, and worked as a community organizer in a War on Poverty program. Schechter also served as an assistant to the Mayor of Detroit in 1966 … Schechter is also the executive editor of MediaChannel.org, for which he is the “blogger-in-chief” and writes a nearly-3000-word daily blog entry on media and society … (full text).

(He is an) Emmy-winning journalist and filmmaker whose latest project takes a look at the growing problem of debt in America. The new film is called “In Debt We Trust: America Before the Bubble Burst.” The film opens in select cities this month and next. Here now, a scene from “In Debt We Trust.” (full interview text).

He says: … “When I started to make this film people asked me, what are you doing a film about debt about? Nobody’s gonna be interested in that. Nobody wants to talk about money. This doesn’t affect anybody. What we’re seeing now is that this is one of the leading economic crises in our society. Two million Americans face foreclosure in their homes. Millions of people are straddled with debt. Credit cards started basically as a luxury; they became a necessity, and now they’re a noose for many people in our country. College students leaving school with $30,000 in debt; people unable to pay their bills” …

His Homepage, with his bio, with music and activism, and with more films and videos.

Audios and videos with Danny Schlechter on DemocracyNow. More on the same web, July 17, 2008.

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Danny Schechter – USA

Listen his audio-interview by Tavis Smiley, April 12, 2007, or read its transcript.

He writes: … Yes, Jay asked me to write because my film “In Debt We Trust” (InDebtWe Trust.org)–released in a final updated form in 2007, not 2006– was being promoted as important by KPFK. One of my concerns has been that when the film played in LA, none of the press there, mainstream or “alternative” bothered to review it or write about it. The issue was thought too obscure. Now its at the center of a global economic meltdown. The issues I raised, considered “alarmist” by some, later led to the ongoing financial crisis. That fact that it was ignored does not make my reporting inaccurate. If anything I understated the calamity to come even as I was exposing subprime lending, a subject that most of our “all around” muckrakers ignored. Others have called me prescient but not the former news editor. He knew better!
… (full text, July 6, 2008).

Homeowners ‘March’ Against Foreclosure, July 23, 2008.

His interview with Amy Goodman: … … “And South Africa, they will—I’m hoping that this film Viva Madiba will be seen in the United States eventually and in other countries around the world. It’s not just about him. It’s about the struggle of a people for freedom, a struggle that they prevailed on, and a time when so many progressive battles have been lost. And so, I think we need to respect what he’s done and try to learn from it. And that, to me, is the reason I’ve been involved in all of this. I think there are lessons in the South African struggle that apply here in the United States: non-racialism, non-sexism, unifying a people of all groups, working with labor, working with church and other progressive people, building a coalition that can win. I think that those are some of the lessons from South Africa that’s inspired me” … (full text, July 17, 2008).

Freddie Mac, When Are You Coming Back? July 14, 2008.

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Rebecca Johnson – England

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Linked with Women in Black worldwide, with The Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, with Global Action, and with Britain’s new nuclear abolitionists.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Rebecca Johnson is a feminist, peace activist and citizen diplomat, whose work on disarmament negotiations prompted government diplomats in 1996 to call her ‘civil society’s ambassador’. While living at the Greenham Women’s Peace Camp (1982-87), she co-founded the Aldermaston Women’s Camp(aign) in 1985, extending the resistance to US and Soviet nuclear weapons to the UK nuclear programme and Trident. She currently directs the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy and is a member of the international steering group of Global Action to Prevent War … (1000peacewomen 1/2).

She says: “My passions are women and peace”.

While her present research priorities (2005) are WMD, space weaponisation and international security, Rebecca Johnson has authored numerous articles and reports on the United Nations system and multilateral disarmament and negotiations, notably the NPT and CTBT; civil society; and British defence policy, and gives papers and lectures on these subjects to a wide range of UN and other international conferences, seminars and meetings … (full text).

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Rebecca Johnson – England

She works for (Women in Black WiB) for justice, against war, for the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, and for Global Action to Prevent War.

Find her and her publications on The Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy.

Dr Rebecca Johnson combines her job as director of an internationally-renowned think tank with voluntary campaigning with various grassroots anti-nuclear and women’s groups. The youngest of eight children born into the Hutterian Society of Brothers, Rebecca was raised in North Dakota, USA and Sussex, England. After studying physics, philosophy and politics, her travels took her to Japan, where she became involved with a radical group of feisty Japanese lesbian feminists and never looked back!

She arrived at the US Airbase at Greenham Common on August 9, 1982 and ended up living at the Women’s Peace Camp for the next 5 years, during which she campaigned for the removal of nuclear weapons from Europe, danced on the missile silos, occupied the air traffic control tower, took President Reagan to court, painted cruise missile launchers while they were on military exercises and poured blood, paint and porridge on cluster bombs and other munitions at the nearby US base at Welford, for which she was brutally beaten by US soldiers and then imprisoned by the UK courts.

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Maria Christina Färber – Germany

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

A nurse and therapeutic specialist, Sr. Maria Christina Färber (born in 1957) worked with children from broken homes in Germany. In 1999, during the Kosovo War, she moved to the Albanian city of Shkodra, where she helped refugees from Kosovo. After the war she took over Caritas International’s psychological and social care of Albanian families involved in blood feuds. With the reconciliation of hostile clans, counseling mothers, and organizing children’s therapy sessions, Christina does everything possible to help families step out of the vicious circle of violence, revenge, and death … (1000peacewomen).

She says: “We must break the cycle of killing. The first step is that the victims of violence do not become offenders themselves”.

Verleihung des Bundesverdienstkreuzes am Bande an Schwester Maria Christina Färber.

Am 02.02.02 fand die erste Profess der Schwester Maria Christina Färber in Kehrsiten/Schweiz, am Vierwaldstätter See, statt.

Der Albaner Pal und sein Sohn Marresh haben ihr Haus seit Jahren nicht verlassen. Sie haben Angst, erschossen zu werden – aus Blutrache.

Maria Christina Färber: “Wenn der Vogel kein Nest mehr hat“. Hilfe für Inlandsflüchtlinge in Albanien.

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Maria Christina Färber – Germany

She works for Caritas International, and for the Spiritual Community.

Sister Christina has been invited into Albanian houses for Raki countless times, and always politely refused. But here, in the Laçi family house (all clan names have been changed to protect the families) it is impossible. Dede Laçi pours his distilled spirits to the brim. The men in the smoke-filled parlor rise. Only Dede’s wife Mira remains seated in the corner of the sofa, in a black dress of mourning.

Her youngest son cries on her lap, too small to understand what his father and the nun from Germany have just discussed and will now confirm with liquor: That the murder of Dede Laçi’s nine year old son Elton will not be avenged with further murders.

Sister Christina had been fighting for this agreement for months. Again and again she tried talking to the men of the Laçi clan in the northern Albanian city of Shkoder, for the first time on the very day that Elton Laçi was shot. And now the father of the family has asserted before witnesses, that he wants to reconcile his family with the family of his son’s murderer. “The first step is that victims of violence do not become offenders themselves,” says the 47 year old. Thoughtfully she adds: “If the promise can be kept.”

Because Dede Laçi does not decide alone. The family is large, with many branches. All of them have to renounce something they see as their right for the sake of reconciliation. A right that, says Christina Färber “is still very much in peoples’ minds” in northern Albania: The right to revenge, faithful to the unwritten law of blood for blood.

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Marta Benavides – El Salvador

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Linked with Women’s Earth Alliance WEA.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Marta is a Salvadoran activist, theologian and educator. She is the Founder of Ecohouse and the International Institute for Cooperation Amongst Peoples-IICP. Marta has developed ecological programs at the local, regional and national levels, teaching permaculture and soil and water conservation and management to rural and indigenous communities with emphasis on women and youth. She works on environmental issues at the regional and global levels with the UN processes and other concerned groups. Marta is also the recipient of the 2003 U.N.’s Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life and one of the 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize, 2005 (on Women’s Earth Alliance).

She says: “Peace is not built, peace is something within us. What we need to build are the processes to manifest it. We cannot buy or obtain it, because peace is inherent”.

Listen her Video: Marta Benavides, 10.56 min, from June 26, 2008.

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Marta Benavides – El Salvador

She works for the Rural Cooperative of Planta Nueva, for the Lenca Civil Association, and for the Highlander Center for Popular Education (no website found for El Salvador of these three groups).

TESTIMONIES FROM EL SALVADOR, BY MARTA BENAVIDES.

Reclaiming, February 2001.

Marta also participated in the peace processes to stop the armed conflict in El Salvador between 1980–1992. During the peace process she advocated for human right processes that support the people who were hurt by the armed conflict. Marta live in exile for the duration of the armed conflict and the peace process because of threats made on her life. In 1992 Marta was able to return to her home country and has continued to foster peace through teaching people how to respect all life from butterflies to people. (pielc.org).

Reflecting on El Salvador … Finding the Meaning of Life … Touching Hope.

Handbook of Spirituality for Ministers, 592 pages.

Women’s Consultation Briefing Paper, Financing for Development, Issue #7, INTER-LINKAGES, by Marta Benavides with Alejandra Scampini.

Find her name on Google Book-search.

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Edward Wadie Said – USA and former British Palestinia (1935-2003)

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Edward Wadie Saïd, MRSL (1 November 1935 – 25 September 2003) was a Palestinian American literary theorist, a cultural critic, a political activist, and an outspoken advocate of Palestinian rights. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and is a founding figure in postcolonial theory … Saïd was born in Jerusalem (then in the British Mandate of Palestine). His father was a wealthy Protestant Palestinian businessman and an American citizen who had served under General Pershing in World War I, while his mother was born in Nazareth, also of Christian Palestinian descent. His sister was the historian and writer Rosemarie Said Zahlan. Said referred to himself as a “Christian wrapped in a Muslim culture” … (full very long text).

He said: “With an unexceptionally Arab family name like Said connected to an improbably British first name (my mother much admired the Prince of Wales in 1935, the year of my birth), I was an uncomfortably anomalous student all through my early years: a Palestinian going to school in Egypt, with an English first name, an American passport and no certain identity at all” … (on wikipedia/Life).

Notre collaborateur et ami Edward W. Said est mort le 24 septembre 2003, de la leucémie qu’il combattait avec un remarquable courage depuis plus de dix ans … (le Monde Diplo).

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Edward Wadie Said – USA and former British Mandate of Palestinia (1935-2003)

Listen this audio: Humanism, Freedom, and the Critic: Edward W. Said and After: Andrew Rubin, 22.46 min, during the “The Legacy of Edward Said” panel at the 30th Aniversary Symposium: Arab Studies, A Critical Review, March 31, 2005.

In 1991, Said was diagnosed with leukaemia and afterwards he stopped giving interviews. In September 2003, nonetheless, he made a final exception and for more than three days spoke about his life and work. The Last Interview begins with a Roland Barthes quote: “The only sort of interview that one could, if forced to, defend would be where the author is asked to articulate what he cannot write.” Said’s topics and arguments in the documentary obviously much overlap with his writings in Reflections on Exile, yet they gain force by his passionate and eloquent speech (even in response to a seemingly pre-arranged set of questions) … (full text).

He said: “Sleeplessness for me is a cherished state to be desired at almost any cost; there is nothing for me as invigorating as immediately shedding the shadowy half-consciousness of a night’s loss, than the early morning, reacquainting myself with or resuming what I might have lost completely a few hours earlier. I occasionally experience myself as a cluster of flowing currents. I prefer this to the idea of a solid self, the identity to which so many attach so much significance. These currents, like the themes of one’s life, flow along during the waking hours, and at their best, they require no reconciling, no harmonizing. They are “off” and may be out of place, but at least they are always in motion, in time, in place, in the form of all kinds of strange combinations moving about, not necessarily forward, sometimes against each other, contrapuntally yet without one central theme”. (Out of Place: A Memoir, 1999).

Selected articles about, and tributes to, Edward Said published since his death (scroll down), September 25, 2004.

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Matt Stoller – USA

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nked with videos concerning the US, with blogpac bp, and with Finding Your Obviousmeter.

Matt Stoller writes at the progressive strategy site OpenLeft.com and is the President of the political action committee BlogPAC. He consults for the Sunlight Foundation on open government, for Actblue, and for Working Assets, a progressive phone company (scroll down to the bottom).

His video on RealNewsNetwork: Can the netroots change politics? Matt Stoller of MyDD and openleft says the netroots don’t yet have the strength to leverage real power, 6.03 min, July 19, 2008. (Netroots is a recent term coined to describe political activism organized through blogs and other online media, including wikis and social network services. The word is a portmanteau of Internet and grassroots, reflecting the technological innovations that set netroots techniques apart from other forms of political participation. In the United States, the term is used mainly in left-leaning circles … from the english wikipedia).

And a written text on the same item: Netroots Nation.

And his video: Matt Stoller: Take Back America, 3.24 min, added: June 19, 2007.

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Matt Stoller – USA

His blog: OpenLeft.com.

… The discussion of the panel (which also includes Dean Nielsen, David Goldstein, Blair Butterworth and Matt Stoller) is largely focused on the influence of the Netroots among political campaigns, specifically for the U.S. House … (full text, July 19, 2008).

On Friday, I was on the phone with Darcy Burner, who told me that she got a call from people affiliated with the conservative Jewish political group AIPAC. They told her to distance herself from the new pro-peace group J Street, which they said is full of radical leftists who believe in capitulation to the forces of the Arab world who would overrun and destroy Israel. Like most conservative arguments, it is utter nonsense backed up by a political threat designed to suppress alternative legitimate political views … (full text, June 30, 2008).

He writes: For Personal Democracy Forum’s Rebooting America, I wrote about something called an Obviousmeter: … I used the example of members being unable to post Youtube videos on their official web sites as a clear example of how Congress is unprepared for the future. As it so happens, the controversy over member restrictions on web use is now heating up … (full text, July 11, 2008). (The Obviousmeter compares cultural trends and existing power centers and asks, “Can a sixteen year old do something our government can’t?” If the answer in any particular area is yes, then that’s a place to find out where the future is going to smack us in the ass).

As Open Left blogger Matt Stoller recently predicted, 21st century politics could look a lot like the 19th century, “with a politicized business community, much stronger local political machines and engagement levels at 80 percent or 90 percent … (full text, June 30, 2008).
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Nadya Boneva – Bulgaria

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Linked with Women’s Earth Alliance WEA, and with Wiser Earth.org.

Ms. Nadya Boneva is well-known within Bulgaria and the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development. She has deep experience working within governmental, business arenas and has created partnerships among NGOs and different citizen movements living and working in rural areas of Bulgaria. She is working with many municipalities in remote parts of the country, where the communication is difficult and follow-up is essential. Nadya helped the municipalities to establish NGOs, and has worked to strengthen NGO’s capacity with training, fundraising, and running advocacy initiatives. She is a member of Women’s Earth Alliance.

Read: External evaluation of the impact of WHO environmental health policies and action plan in Bulgaria, 19 pdf pages, December 2002.

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Nadya Boneva – Bulgaria

She is of the Board of Directors of the Regional Environment Center REC .

CONCORD Development Education Forum, Action Plan 2008: Development education is an active learning process, founded on values of solidarity, equality, inclusion and co-operation. It enables people to move from basic awareness of international development priorities and sustainable human development, through understanding of the causes and effects of global issues, to personal involvement and informed action.
Development education fosters the full participation of all citizens in world-wide poverty eradication, and the fight against exclusion. It seeks to influence more just and sustainable economic, social and environmental, human rights based national and international policies … (full long text).

She writes: … 8. Outputs, Outcomes and Dissemination, page 27:

  • Explain differences in actual outputs against those agreed in the initial ‘Project Implementation Timetable’ and the ‘Project Outputs Schedule’, i.e. what outputs were not or only partly achieved? Were additional outputs achieved? There are no changes in the actual outputs compared to the initial Project proposal during the reporting period.
  • Provide details of dissemination activities in the host country during the year, including information on target audiences. Will dissemination activities be continued by the host country when the project finishes, and how will this be funded and implemented?
  • More than 100 people participated in the public discussion of National Action Plan for Biodiversity and 80 people participated in the launch of National Action Plan for sustainable land management. The project products are listed on the web sites of TIME Eco projects Foundation with 5000 visitors visiting the site and Web page ekoobrazovanie.net in russian language, (see also the english site Education for sustainable development), specially dedicated to nature conservation, education, environmental education and education for sustainable development. The hosting and web page maintenance will be continued after the project completion by the Bluelink network and TIME Foundation content manager. The publication of ECOPOLIS newsletter will continue after the project implementation. TIME Foundation has been producing this newsletter for more than 8 years so far. Other dissemination activities are listed above – for example the teachers workshops forthcoming National Conference … (full long text of 27 pdf pages concerning the Darwin Initiative for the Survival of Species, Annual Report, April 2005 – March 2006).

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Nasra Souelem – Western Sahara

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

… NASRA DU SAHARA OCCIDENTAL est une des 1000 femmes candidates pour le prix Nobel de la paix 2005: Nasra Mahmoud Souelem est née probablement en 1958, à Agmar dans le Sahara Occidental, dans une famille d’esclaves. Comme elle le dit, leurs maîtres ont toujours été très bons avec eux, considérant et traitant les esclaves comme des membres de la famille … (texte entier 1/2, par Elisabeth Bäschlin, page 14/16).

She says: “I have been working as a nursery teacher for over 29 years. A whole generation has passed through my hands”.

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Nasra Souelem – Western Sahara

She works for the Polisario Front PF, (mentionned /explained on Global Policy Forum; on wikipedia; on Prophet of Doom; on Freebase, the world’s database; and on many more); and she works also for the National Union of Saharawi Women NUSW, (mentioned /explained on arso.org / and same in french; on the blog ZEINA; on IIAV.nl; on Womens Organisations Western Sahara; and on wikipedia.

Nasra Mahmoud Souelem has been working as a nursery teacher in the camps in Western Sahara for 29 years. She has suffered great afflictions in her life; perhaps the most harrowing of which was losing her husband in the war four years after their marriage. In the Saharan camps, to where her family had to move, she began her training as a nursery teacher. Despite the gradual improvement of the conditions in the camps, the situation there often remains bleak. In this climate, Nasra’s work to provide education for children is an investment in a more promising future. (1000peacewomen).

… Là, Nasra, sa mère et ses soeurs vivent d’abord dans le camp de Dakhla, à 160 km au sud de l’oasis algérienne de Tindouf. Comme tous les adultes, la jeune Nasra, qui avait alors 17 ans, participait à l’organisation autogérée des camps en travaillant comme membre du Comité populaire de production de sa daïra. Ce comité, responsable de la production de base, organisait le travail dans les jardins et dans les ateliers de tissage et les ateliers de production de cuir. Au bout d’un an, Nasra devient membre du Comité d’alimentation qui, sous les auspices du Croissant Rouge toujours active dans le secteur de l’éducation. En 1982, elle a été envoyée pour un an à l’Ecole du 27 février, l’école de femmes, pour une formation d’éducatrice pour les crèches. Comme elle avait de très bonnes notes, elle a été désignée par la suite membre de direction de l’école. Depuis ce temps, Nasra travaille comme éducatrice pour les crèches au 27 février; actuellement, elle est responsable de la crèche du personnel de l’école. Durant toutes ces années, des générations entières de jeunes sahraouis ont passé entre ses mains … (texte entier 2/2, par Elisabeth Bäschlin, page 14/16).

Sorry, no more any information in the internet about our peacewomen, Nasra Souelem, Western Sahara. Not any mention about her work appears in the public room, only what is told about the peacewomen project (like the following in german: Frieden ist eine Männerbastion).

Daphne Jansen – South Africa

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Daphne Jansen is a project coordinator for the Network on Violence Against Women in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town. Born in 1956, Daphne has been involved in bringing change for women in her community, focusing on eradicating violence against women. She is also a motivational speaker. Daphne is a graduate of Development Education Leadership Teams in Action (Delta). She obtained a certificate in adult education and a higher diploma in adult education training and development from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, where she worked as a part-time tutor.

She says: “Domestic violence happens all the time. It is not predictable when it is going to take place. Peaceful homes and peaceful communities is what we wish for, and for it to happen we must work hard”.

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Daphne Jansen – South Africa

She works for Network on Violence Against Women (described on Rape Crisis, Cape Town),
and for Development Education Leadership Teams in Action DELTA (described on W.K.Kellogg Foundation – and see also the scholar texts about this item).

Daphne works for the Network on Violence Against Women in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town. The Network as it is known started in 1996 and since its inception Daphne has been instrumental in its sustenance. Before joining the Network, Daphne worked all her life as a volunteer in the community, but now she is the Network’s Co-ordinator of the Mitchell’s Plain branch.

The work that she does is difficult. It is not only about awareness raising and training for women but also involves the courts of law. Legal systems in South Africa have never been fair to women and children and to change these systems is a challenge. Trainers like Daphne need to know how these systems work yet they have not studied law. Because of such processes and procedures Daphne spends a lot of time working and negotiating referrals for women.

The work of the Network has benefited women and the community in general in that it has managed to make society understand what domestic abuse is. It has also helped semiliterate communities to familiarise themselves with new government legislation on human and women’s rights. As part of the Network’s activities a focus group on human rights was established.

Daphne works for long hours and always goes the extra mile. As a result, she spends minimal amount of time with her family. She has influenced other women to take up the fight to eradicate violence against women. Women who have attended her workshops are encouraged to become members of the organisation and to become part of the voluntary focus groups. Daphne is also a motivational speaker.

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Mallika Sarabhai – India

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Linked with The Darpana Academy of Performing Arts. Linked also with another dancer, Tripurari Sharma – India, and her dancer school, the National School of Drama – New Delhi.

Mallika Sarabhai [Born 1954 (to be confirmed)] is one of the most renowned Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancers in India today.[1] Multi-faceted Malika holds a MBA and a doctorate from IIM Ahmedabad and has experience in acting, film-making, editing, and television anchoring. Mallika is the daughter of reputed dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai and renowned scientist Vikram Sarabhai. She started to learn dancing when she was quite young and started her film career in parallel cinema, when she was just 15. Mallika played the role of Draupadi in the Peter Brook’s movie The Mahabharata. Mallika has won many accolades during her long career, the -French Palme d’Or being one of them, which she won for the Best Soloist Artist. As well as a dancer, Sarabhai is a social activist. She, along with her mother, manages the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts located at Ahmedabad. She made headlines when she complained that the Narendra Modi government of Gujarat was harassing her due to her public criticism of their role during the 2002 riots; the government in late 2002 had accused her of human trafficking. The Gujarati government dropped the case in December 2004. Her son Revanta and daughter Anahita are upcoming classical dancers … (full text).

See the Videos: An Evening of Classical Indian Dance (Mallika & Group), 7.04 min (scroll down); Mallika Sarabhai’s Interview, 30 min, Mar 22, 2008.

She asks: “Why am I being crucified”.

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Mallika Sarabhai – India

False Case Against Mallika Sarabhai, a letter From Mallika Sarabhai, not dated.

… In the 90s she had choreographed V for … lashing out at the violence in society; violence against women and human beings in general has been the focus of many of her works. “Capitalism and globalisation are by definition violent. Globalisation rapes the earth. Violence is also usually about making money. Anyone who feels powerless will take it out on someone…there is an ‘eat me’ chain out there.” Media’s glorification of consumption only adds to this, she avers. “We are pushing toward a less equitable society. Nobody glorifies kindness” … (full text).

Find her on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search; on PIPL; on FANDANGO.

… Here is a previous example of the price that Sarabhai has to pay fro speaking up against Modi. (full text).

… In Indian dance there is no great tradition of creative choreography. It was Mrinalini Sarabhai who first used the Bharatanatyam vocabulary to speak of moods and themes other than the traditional devotional ones. She talked of bride burning and of pollution in her dance dramas. Mallika performed in these and absorbed the ideas but it is only in the last decade that she has started to choreograph herself, her company and even her mother. As she started to crystallize what it was she wanted to express through her work she drew on many elements to create her choreographic vocabulary … (full text).

… Mallika Sarabhai, who is under proceedings of Indian justice system, November 19, 2003 … (full text).

… Always an activist for societal education and women’s empowerment, Mallika began using her work for change. In 1989 she created the first of her hard-hitting solo theatrical works, Shakti: The Power of Women. Since then Mallika has created numerous stage productions which have raised awareness, highlighted crucial issues and advocated change, several of which productions have toured internationally as well as throughout India … (full text).

Does Gandhi still live in modern India? July 10, 2008.

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Alberto J. Mora – USA

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Linked with Nieman Watchdog, with Cruelty as a weapon of war, and with Ten lessons from recent torture hearings.

Alberto J. Mora is a recently retired General Counsel of the U.S. Navy. He led an effort within the Defense Department to oppose the legal theories of John Yoo and to try to end coercive interrogation tactics at Guantanamo Bay, which he argued are unlawful … (full long text).

His Campaign against coercive interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay.

He says: … “This responds to your request at reference (a) for a statement that chronicles any involvement by the Department of the Navy Office of the General Counself (OGC) or me personally in the development of the “interrogation rules of engagement” (IROE) for Operation Enduring Freedom. The following narrative adopts a slightly broader focus. It seeks to describe any such knowledge or involvement as OGC or I had on any impact of the interrogation techniquest used of contemplated following September 11, 2001, including participation in legal analysis or discussion of such issues. In the end, it is largely an account of my personal actions or knowledge. Unless otherwise indicated, the use below of the term “OGC” includes my personal knowledge or activity as well as that of other OGC attorneys or personnel. Before discussing the specifics of this involvement, four key factors or events warrant mention by way of background: … (full statement text, July 7, 2004).

Alberto J. Mora’s Memorandum for Inspector General, Dept. of the Navy, June 18, 2004.

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Alberto J. Mora – USA

Listen the Audio: Dan Rather Interviews Alberto J. Mora, Former U.S. Navy General Counsel, 43.45 min, Nov. 2, 2006.

… For his efforts, Mora was honored with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2006, which is administered by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation … (wikipedia/aftermath).

Alberto Mora, the former general counsel for the U.S Navy said torture has not prevented attacks or made the country safer. In fact, the short and long term costs of torture weaken the United States’ defenses by hurting alliances needed for the war on terror, he said. Virtually all countries the United States wants to ally with during war consider torture criminal, Mora said … (full text, this article is not dated).

In December 2002, Alberto J. Mora, then general counsel of the United States Navy, was alerted by Navy investigators to reports that detainees held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay were being subjected to cruel and unlawful interrogation practices … (full text on John F. Kennedy Library Foundation).

He says also: … “Our nation’s policy decision to use so-called ‘harsh’ interrogation techniques during the war on terror was a mistake of massive proportions” … (full text, July 16, 2008).

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Alex de Waal – England

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Linked with Sudan and the International Criminal Court: a guide to the controversy, and with Social Science Research Council SSRC. Added Aug. 25, 2008: and linked with Justice Africa, London.

Alex de Waal is a British writer and researcher on African issues. He is a fellow of the Global Equity Initiative at Harvard University, as well as program director at the Social Science Research Council SSRC in New York City. De Waal is also a co-director of Justice Africa, London. De Waal received a D.Phil. in social anthropology at the University of Oxford for his thesis on the 1984-5 Darfur famine in Sudan. The next year he joined the Africa division of Human Rights Watch, only to resign in December 1992 in protest for HRW’s support for the American military involvement in Somalia / Unified Task Force. He was the first chairman of the Mines Advisory Group at the beginning of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. From 1997 to 2001, he focused on avenues to peaceful resolution of the Second Sudanese Civil War. In 2001, he returned to his work on health in Africa, writing on the intersection of HIV and AIDS, and poverty and drought. In 2004, he returned to his doctoral thesis topic of Darfur as the conflict there worsened. During 2005 and 2006, de Waal was seconded to the African Union mediation team for Darfur … (full text).

He says: ” … I joined the peace process late, as an adviser. The Sudan government objected to me and I was smuggled in as a personal advisor to the chief mediator, Salim Salim. I didn’t dictate that process. My advice was sometimes followed, more often not. I declined the invitation to join the last mediation in Sirte [Libya] because the advice I have been giving was not followed at all. I and others involved have scrutinized and criticized every aspect of the process. Knowing how agonizingly close we came to an agreement in Abuja, and looking at the small things that might have made the difference, I search my memory and conscience every day to examine what I might have done differently … (full interview /debate text, 7 pages, 2007).

His blog: Making Sense of Darfour.

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Alex de Waal – England

The CCI accusation of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir:

Alex de Waal, a former adviser to the African Union and co- author of “Darfur: A Short History of a Long War,” said an indictment of al-Bashir may jeopardize the country’s peace process. In 2005, Muslim northern Sudan and the mainly Christian and animist south signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended a 21-year civil war … (full text, July 15, 2008).

It is said: There are many who live by writing, which is brave enough, but few who write to keep people alive. Alex de Waal is in the latter category, an indefatigable writer with an urgent message: There are tribes in mortal danger, whole populations marked for genocide … (full text, June 22, 2008).

He writes: … Over long months of negotiation, we in the Mediation could not find a consensus. The warring parties were too far apart. The Movements, especially, hardly shifted from a maximalist negotiating position. Instead we proposed a position in between. There was an intense debate within the Mediation on how to handle this and what positions to propose. The first reaction of the Movements and their sympathizers is that the AU proposals fall well short of their legitimate demands and are a sell-out to Khartoum. I urge them to read the text carefully, to examine what actually they gain … (full text, May 4, 2006).

Justice Off Course In Darfur, June 28, 2008.

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Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – Canada

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Linked with The Med Union, dividing the Middle East and North Africa.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya est auteur indépendant à Ottawa, spécialisé dans les affaires du Moyen-Orient et d’Asie Centrale. C’est un Chercheur Associé du Center for Research on Globalization (CRG). Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya est un collaborateur régulier de Mondialisation.ca. … (full text).

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a writer and geopolitical analyst based in Ottawa who specializes on the Middle East. He is currently Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization … (Global Research.ca, scroll down).

He writes: … It is no mere chance that before the upcoming summit in Tehran that three important post-Soviet organizations (the Commonwealth of Independents States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and the Eurasian Economic Community) simultaneously held meetings in Tajikistan. Nor is it mere coincidence that the SCO and CSTO have signed cooperation agreements during these meetings in Tajikistan, which has effectively made China a semi-formal member of the CSTO alliance. It should be noted that all SCO members are also members of CSTO, aside from China … (full text).

Opening a Pandora’s Box: Kosovo “Independence” and the Project for a “New Middle, Febr. 20, 2008.

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sorry, no picture found of Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Canada

The March to War:

He writes also: According to a wide range of reports, several nuclear bombs were “lost” for 36 hours after taking off August 29/30, 2007 on a “cross-country journey” across the U.S., from U.S.A.F Base Minot in North Dakota to U.S.A.F. Base Barksdale in Louisiana. [1] Reportedly, in total there were six W80-1 nuclear warheads armed on AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles (ACMs) that were “lost.” [2] The story was first reported by the Military Times, after military servicemen leaked the story. It is also worth noting that on August 27, 2007, just days before the “lost” nukes incident, three B-52 Bombers were performing special missions under the direct authorization of General Moseley, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. [3] The exercise was reported as being an aerial information and image gathering mission. The base at Minot is also home of the 91st Space Wings, a unit under the command of Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) … (full text).

EUROPE AND AMERICA: SHARING THE SPOILS OF WAR.

The Levant could be the starting point of a major international conflict with global ramifications and which could quickly spin out of control. Such a conflict could even involve the use of Israeli or American nuclear weapons against Iran and Syria. Syria has additionally declared that it is preparing for an inevitable war with Israel despite the fact that it believes that the chances of a war in 2008 are slim. In the scenario of a war against Iran, the reaction of Syria will be pivotal. Damascus plays a central role and how it acts and reacts will have a definitive impact on Israeli military strategy in regards to Iran. It is in this context that Israel, the U.S. and the E.U., with the help of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, have been attempting to undermine and ultimately destroy the alliance between Syria and Iran. This is part of a geo-strategic stride to foreclose the possibility of a Mediterranean battle-front that might emerge in the Levant as a result of an attack on Iran … (full text).

The Mediterranean Union … on misc.activism.progressive.

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M.K. Bhadrakumar – India

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M K Bhadrakumar, a former career diplomat who served as India’s ambassador to Uzbekistan, argues that the two organizations may eventually merge. “The SCO may focus on the range of so-called ‘new threats’ [terrorism] rather than on the conventional form of military threats, while the CSTO would maintain a common air-defense system, training of military personnel, arms procurement, etc.” … (full text, June 25, 2008). (See also: The new NATO of the East’ takes shape, Asia Times Online, August 25, 2007).

M K Bhadrakumar has parlayed a distinguished career in the Indian Foreign Service, with postings in Moscow, Seoul, Colombo, Bonn, Islamabad, Tashkent and Ankara into his current eminence as one of the country’s foremost thinkers on foreign affairs … (full text, July 3, 2008).

China, India, play it again for Uncle Sam, March 1, 2008.

Yushka Fisher, A Warmonger in Disguise? June 19, 2008.

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M.K. Bhadrakumar – India

India tiptoes to the new Middle East, June 21, 2008.

He writes: … Whereas, the reality is that we live in savage times where realpolitik and not morality often enough happens to be the guiding force inciting our monstrous enemies. A need arises, therefore, to take a more honest look at any hidden sewers that may exist. Such an exercise cannot and should not in any way detract from the total condemnation that the terrorists deserve. But it will serve an important purpose in so far as we do not fall into a false sense of innocence … (full long text).

India blows up a monsoon, July 4, 2008.

… Meanwhile, Bhadrakumar offers a lot more to chew on while we await the Senate testimony of Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq. For instance, chew on this:

  • It appears that one of the most shadowy figures of the Iranian security establishment, General Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, personally mediated in the intra-Iraqi Shi’ite negotiations [to end the fighting] … ;
  • US military commanders routinely blame the Quds for all their woes in Iraq. The fact that the representatives of [the] Da’wa [Party] and SIIC [the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council] secretly traveled to Qom [in Iran] under the very nose of American and British intelligence and sought Quds mediation to broker a deal conveys a huge political message.

Now swallow this: … (full text, 11 Jul 2008).

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Sylvia Schmelkes – Mexico

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.Linked with IJED-RIED, with Education Resources Information Center ERIC, and with IJED-RIED: Call for papers.

She is of the Ministry of Public Education (Mexico), and also Chair of Centre for Educational Research and Innovation Governing Board, OECD Directorate for Education.

… Throughout the 20th century, Indian people of the Western Hemisphere have fought to gain control of their own education and to fulfill the aspiration to base their curricula for Native students upon their own languages and cultural values. However, many such schools have come and gone. Certainly there are those in Mexico who would call Schmelkes unduly optimistic; nevertheless, the quality of those who sustain this most heartfelt of Native aspirations is to create new opportunities, regardless of temporary setbacks. Northward to the U.S., a vanguard Indian school seems to have folded in California during a time of mourning for one of its luminary founders and major individual spirits. That school is D-Q University, a venerable and trend-setting college named after two American Indian mytho-historical characters, the Aztec hero, Quetzalcoatl and the Iroquois Peacemaker, whose name is generally spoken only in ceremony. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, after warnings last year, withdrew accreditation for DQU in January. The loss of accreditation came as the second semester was slated to begin and left many students in a lurch. A new 13-member board of American Indian professionals, including five of the original board members, joined to tackle the issues last year, but these proved insurmountable. Among the numerous problems confronting the college is maintaining the necessary 51 percent American Indian enrollment to satisfy BIA funding requirements – a particular challenge in California, where many tribes don’t have federal recognition. Accusations of fiscal mismanagement, a lack of qualified administrators and diminishment of educational standards have surfaced, and apparently even the university’s land is in jeopardy as a result of loans. Largely the moves of desperation as budgets dwindled, the fiscal mismanagement issues loom large and this long-struggling and pioneering Indian educational institution appears to be in terminal trouble … (full text).

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Sylvia Schmelkes – Mexico
… sorry, no personal biography found.

Listen her short spanish statement: SYLVIA SCHMELKES, LORE, LAU, 30 secondes.

Read: The need and use of evidence by policy makers, 7 pdf-pages.

Innovative Learning Environments, Francisco Benavides, OECD-CERI, 13 pdf pages.

She writes: La primera mesa de debate llamada “Escenario Nacional y Regional de la Universidad y la Interculturalidad”, consistió en la conferencia de la destacada académica mexicana Sylvia Schmelkes, actualmente parte de la Universidad Iberoamericana de México. La expositora es socióloga y tiene una Maestría en Investigación y Desarrollo de la Educación en la Universidad Iberoamericana de México. Destaca su trabajo en el Centro de Estudios Educativos, del que fue investigadora y Directora académica entre 1970 y 1994 … (full text).

ED464800 – Unequal Schools, Unequal Chances: The Challenges to Equal Opportunity in the Americas. The David Rockefeller Center Series on Latin American Studies.

La Dra. Sylvia Schmelkes, Coordinadora General de la Educación Intercultural Bilingüe de la Secretaría de Educación Pública, visitó las instalaciones del Colson, y particularmente la Unidad de Pueblos Indígenas del Noroeste, por invitación de la Dra. Catalina Denman Champion, Rectora de nuestra institución, con el objeto de conocer y vincular el trabajo que realiza El Colegio con el organismo a su cargo. (Colson.edu, with picture in the right column, febrero de 2004).

Mtra. Sylvia Schmelkes, OBRA PUBLICADA, 18 pdf pages.

Learning – What do we know today, Anne Sliwka, University of Trier.

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Biserka Momcinovic – Croatia

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Linked with Center for Civil Initiatives CCI.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Biserka Momcinovic, a mother and grandmother, accountant and commercial officer before the war, was born on 9 December 1946 in Zagreb, Croatia. In 1991, the year when war broke out in Croatia, Biserka, moved from Zagreb to Porec. Having ethnic Serbs as friends made her a strong believer in a multi-cultural society where people practice respect and tolerance. For this reason, she was one of the signatories in the 1991 Antiwar Campaign Charter declaration that affirmed that, despite cultural differences, people can work together. (1000peacewomen).

She says: “Peace building is the first prerequisite for development, along with respect for human rights”.

Biserka Momcinovic spoke of the importance of the support from the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation in enabling the Croatian Women’s Network to meet and grow strong … (full text).

… “We know there are verbal provocations,” said Biserka Momcinovic and Veronika Reskovic, activists of the Croatian Anti-War Campaign and civil human rights board … (full text).

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Biserka Momcinovic – Croatia

She works for the Center for Civil Initiatives CCI (named on Bosnia News; on Caucasian Knot.ru;
and on Center for Citizen Initiatives.ru).

For the last 13 years, she has engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights and helped hundreds of people, especially the missing Serbs to reunite with their families. She was co-founder of the Civic Committee for Human Rights, which was later renamed the Center for Civil Initiatives (CCI), and led its office in Porec. She has organized public discussions in order to promote human rights, while simultaneously offering direct support to victims of human rights abuses. She was the first coordinator of the Women’s Network of Croatia and has contributed significantly to its becoming one of the biggest and most respected Croatian NGO networks.

Before the war formally ended in August 1995, the Croatian military and police undertook several operations that were intended to drive out the ethnic Serbs from Croatia. This resulted in many deaths and destruction among the Serbs and many of them were expelled. Whatever was left in their homes was either stolen or burned. In May 1995, operation Flash was launched by the Croatian military. Biserka immediately went to the heavily destroyed town of Pakrac, together with other human rights activists from Croatia (e.g. Veronika Reskovic and Petar Ladevic). They supported the remaining ethnic Serbs there in their fight for their citizenship. They also monitored the Croatian authorities, the civil, police and military institutions and applied constant pressure on them to respect the rights of the remaining Serbs and to respond to their needs. While in Pakrac, Biba and her group established the Human Rights office, which continued to function for several years after they left.

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Rand Clifford – USA

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Rand Clifford is a writer living in Spokane, Washington, with his wife Mary Ann, and their Chesapeake Bay retriever, Mink. Rand’s novels CASTLING, TIMING, VOICES OF VIRES, and PRIEST LAKE CATHEDRAL are published by StarChief Press. (Find this on Countercurrent.org).

He writes: Imagine mainstream media reliably telling Americans the truth about the most vital issues of our time. Indeed, that’s quite a stretch—but try forgetting for a moment the millions of Americans oblivious to rampant omission; citizens who, after so much manipulation and deceit, also still believe lies on the fresh list. Just envision a well-informed population that knows their way past omission, while knowing the difference between lies/propaganda, and the truth. Envision the New World Order dead in its tracks … (full text, July 9, 2008).

Beyond the Speed of Lies.

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Rand Clifford – USA

Only One Kind of Science, May 14, 2007.

Any hope of resuscitating our Constitutional Republic, and keeping our nation from descending into the tar pit of One World Fascist government, exists in an informed population throwing off apathy, turning OFF corporate media, paying attention to what is really happening, and making sacrifices only by which the psychopaths now in power may be exposed for their crimes and brought to justice. They don’t have our guns, yet, but with martial law just one more false flag terror contrivance away (all “legalities” are in place, along with the 800+ Rex 84 “camps” WE paid for), they think they have already won. Surely, the odds are in their favor, and they’re getting cocky—giving us our last, best window of hope—if enough Americans can still think for themselves. (full text, May 2008).

The Spark That Lit The War.

He writes also: Astonishing as it is, the daily load of lies dumped on Americans by mainstream corporate media (CorpoMedia), lurking a step beyond is the reality of most of the lies finding belief. Respect of being told the truth is not earned by swallowing whatever lies are in the load—that simply earns what we have: CorpoMedia as the propaganda arm of our corporate-fascist federal government (CorpoGov). Millions still seem to believe that some kind of law dictates media honesty. But to CorpoMedia, truth, facts … largely illusion, often an enemy. Media conglomeration has left us with only a few monster corporations controlling virtually all mainstream “news”—a stupid liars’ gumbo rich with moral supremacy, victimization, innocence and righteousness cranked with MSG and corn syrup and fat … (full text, April 17, 2008).

The Google book download TIMING, 448 pages, 2005.

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Sumitra – India

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Linked with Mahila Samakhya, Uttar Pradesh .

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Sumitra (born 1949) comes from a scheduled caste family and has received no formal education. But she is at the center of a social upheaval in her village. In 1996, braving disapproval and hostility, she set up the self-help Milori Women’s Group. The group runs women’s courts in the village, making dispute resolution quick, inexpensive, and mutually consensual. The fallout of the popularity of the women’s courts has been a drastic reduction in violence against women, and the consolidation of women’s power … It is said about her: Sumitra is reputed to have a way of getting right to the heart of the matter of any dispute, which she then judges without considerations of caste, class, gender, or community coming in the way.

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Sumitra – India

She works for the Milori Women’s Group (MLG), and for Mahila Samakhya, Uttar Pradesh.

Sumitra was born in 1949 into an indigent family of laborers. After her father died, her mother slaved to feed Sumitra and her four siblings. No one, least of all Sumitra herself, would have imagined then that she would one day lead a women’s group in a block consisting of 60 villages.

When she was 16, Sumitra married into a family of equally poor laborers. Poverty and its attendant problems remained Sumitra’s constant companions. The turning point in her life was her association with the Mahila Samakhya in 1991. Initially, Sumitra worked as a Sakhi for five years. In 1996, she formed the Milori Women’s Group.

One of the most important of this group’s activities is the women’s courts that deal with problems within families, violence against women, and disputes relating to land and family affairs. Sumitra’s method of functioning is to listen to both parties and solve the problems through mutual agreement. If either party fails to honor the court’s decision, the group calls in the cops – a surefire kick in the pants.

Today, the 60 villages resolve virtually all their disputes through the women’s courts. The lower cost and quick resolution – and the fact that decisions are arrived at through mutual consent, not legal brawling – have helped making these courts universally acceptable.

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Nurjahan Begum – India

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Nurjahan Begum was born on June 4, 1925, as Nurun Nahar. Her father, renowned journalist and editor of the monthly Shawgat, Mohammad Nasiruddin, lived in Kolkata, while she, “Nuri”, lived with her mother, Fatema Begum, in Chalitatoli … she is named as adhunika heroe … She says: “When I came to Kolkata, my father, to the utter dismay of my mother, had my nose-pin cut off and my hair sheared into a ‘China bob’ cut!” … and: “I had a wonderful childhood,” she says. “We did everything, from singing and dancing to acting.” She even wrote, directed and acted in college plays. “But it was all within the walls of the school and college” … (full text).

The reality is these modest village enterprises give a whole new definition to small business. In fact, they’re the smallest of the small, all of them built up over a few years starting with a no-collateral microloan equivalent in takas, the Bangladeshi currency, to a lousy couple of hundred Australian dollars. Grameen-inspired, they’re many and varied, be it sewing the country’s traditionally colourful saris, selling them locally at affordable prices, or handmade mats from bamboo husks. No formal education or training, as such, is required. Point being, these women and 6 million others just like them throughout Bangladesh, have neither of these things. But, thanks to their microbusinesses, they told us, now their kids will … (full interview text).

Her photo made in 1946.

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Nurjahan Begum – India

English video, translated in french: interview with Nurjahan Begum about the Grameen bank, 4.07 min, linked with/lié avec: Madame Begum, de la Grameen Bank, invitée vedette des Dialogues en Humanité, juin 18, 2008.

Making Inroads for the Others.

If ever there was a profession suited for women it most certainly is journalism. Women are by nature sensitive, compassionate and lovers of honesty – all attributes needed to be a good journalist. Which is why there are more and more women in the print and electronic media today all over the world … It was especially difficult for Bangali Muslim women of the time for whom social stricture was compounded by religious sanction … But Nurjahan Begum, the editor of the weekly, was extremely lucky on that count. Her father, renowned journalist and editor of the monthly Shawgat, Mohammad Nasiruddin, was a progressive, forward-thinking man and wanted her daughter to be the same. He also did not believe in the social customs like observing purdah. “When I came to Kolkata,” reminisces Nurjahan Begum, “my father, to the utter dismay of my mother, had my nose-pin taken off and my hair sheared into a ‘China bob’ cut!” … (full long text).

microcredit.tv.

… A great cover story women working: Thanks to Star Weekend Magazine for its cover story “Leading Women to Change” published on March 11, 2005. I enjoyed reading the article and pay my tribute to the renowned journalist and social worker Nurjahan Begum. Nurjahan Begum did many things for women’s development which was not an easy task during that time. These days we do not find equally determined and courageous women working for the progress of women. In spite of religious conflict and social blindings, she has always aspired to do better for women. May we be blessed with more women like Nurjahan Begum, who acts for the betterment life of women not only politically but also socially. (Mamunur Rashid Tomal … Department of English, DU, on The Daily Star, March 25, 2005).

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Kaisha Atakhanova – Kazakhstan

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Linked with Women’s Earth Alliance WEA;

Kaisha Atakhanova is the Founder and Director of EcoCenter in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, and the Coordinator of the national Anti-Nuclear Campaign in Kazakhstan. This campaign, spearheaded by Kaisha and her colleagues, mobilized largely women citizens to stop the government from weakening the legislation against commercial import and storage of radioactive waste in 2003. In recognition of her accomplishments, Kaisha received the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2005, which she plans to use to establish a Socio-Ecological Investment Fund to support women’s initiatives and NGO activists in the region. (Women’s Earth Alliance).

She says: … “The greatest challenge was lack of finances. My university helped some by letting my colleagues and me continue to use equipment and a laboratory, so long as we worked for free and trained students. My husband also helped, as he was then in business. It was not a big help, but it helped us to survive. Another early challenge was the old communists in the government, who were very aggressive. They said, “Kaisha is selling the country’s secrets abroad for dollars,” and tried to keep me from sending my results to Europe and the U.S. One threatened to use the successor of the KGB to stop my work. They couldn’t do too much since I worked with famous scientists. When they threatened me, it was like they were threatening the scientists. Those who were against my research back then now sometimes come to my seminars and receive certificates from the center” … (full interview text).

Kaisha Atakhanova received $125,000 award.

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Kaisha Atakhanova – Kazakhstan

Guerrières pour l’Environnement, des Femmes qui protègent la Terre.

… Creating a Roadmap for Democracy: As a result of Atakhanova’s efforts, the nuclear waste legislation not only was stopped, but the visibility of nuclear contamination issues has reached new heights across the country. The budding grassroots civil society movement asserted its right and ability to challenge government’s anti-democratic interests in an entirely new way. In addition, under Atakhanova’s leadership, EcoCenter has helped develop an environmental movement through EcoForum, a network of more than 100 NGOs nationwide … (full text).

She is mentionned as political heroe.

The Republic of Kazakhstan bears the scars of its Soviet past. Intensive agriculture has drastically shrunk the inland Aral Sea, creating one of the world’s worst ecological disasters, while decades of nuclear testing have poisoned the landscape and its people. The country – which is dominated by vast stretches of steppe grassland, and underlain by rich oil and mineral deposits – currently harbors some 237 million tons of nuclear waste … (full text).

Crude Accountability.

She saysw also: … “I am from the city of Karaganda, which is near the southern perimeter of the testing area. During my childhood we always felt these small earthquakes, but we didn’t understand what they were. We were 400 km [about 250 miles] away from the explosions, and so we couldn’t see the nuclear mushroom. But we could always feel the earthquakes. The dishes on the shelves would clink, the light fittings would shake, everything shook. Our parents guessed that the earthquakes probably had something to do with the military, but didn’t know for sure. People who lived closer to the site also weren’t sure what was happening. The military would only tell them not to go out on the street and not to look at the sky. Now cancer is the main disease in our region. My father, my mother, and my sister all died of cancer, and only the day before yesterday I buried my brother, who also died from cancer. When people in my family die, they die of cancer” … (full interview text).

Look on this Google map where she is living.

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Bülent Ersoy – Turkey

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Bülent Ersoy (born 1952) is a Turkish celebrity. She is a popular singer of Ottoman classical music. Over the years, Ersoy has become a symbol for the increased tolerance to LGBT figures in Turkish media. Later Life: Already one of Turkey’s most popular male singers and actors, Bülent Ersoy gained international notoriety in 1981 for a sex change operation by Dr. Mındıkoğlu in her native country. Ersoy kept the name “Bülent” even though it is more common among males. After the operation, Bülent found herself in opposition to the homophobic and transphobic regime of Kenan Evren. In a crackdown on “social deviance,” Ersoy’s public performances were banned along with those of other transsexual and transgendered people. From Ersoy’s standpoint, the ban should not have even applied to her, as she was an actual woman and not simply a man dressed as one. To circumvent the ban, she petitioned the Turkish courts to legally recognize her as a woman. The petition was rejected in January of 1982. Days later, Ersoy attempted suicide. In 1983 she left the entertainment industry in protest of the Evren regime’s repressive policies. Later that same year, Evren left office and many of his policies were rescinded … // … Ersoy sparked major controversy in February 2008 when she publicly criticised Turkey’s incursion into Northern Iraq and said she “would not send her sons to war” if she were a mother. An Istanbul public prosecutor has subsequently filed charges against her for “turning Turks against compulsory military service”, an article which also brought prominent Turkish intellectual Perihan Magden to trial in recent past. The Turkish Human Right Foundation (IHD) have stood up to Ersoy’s defence. The attention to the fact that she is an extraordinarily talented singer with an unequaled command of her voice, often distracts one from Ersoy’s transsexual status. In the show ‘Popstar Alaturka’, Bulent Ersoy has announced that she will be beginning a new album project very soon and the album is expected to be ready by the end of Summer 2008… Although she did not announce what would be genre of the album, it is expected that it will be cross breed between Turkish Classical Style and ‘Arabesk‘… Selami Sahin who is a famous songwriter in Turkey is also said to have composed two new songs to Bulent Ersoy. (full text).

Divabulentersoy.com’ a Hosgeldiniz!

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Bülent Ersoy – Turkey

Videos:
Bülent Ersoy Mini Konser – 2, 9.58 min;
BULENT ERSOY-YAKTI BENI, 3.58 min.

Célèbre pour sa voix et ses talents d’actrice, Bulent Ersoy, reine de la vie nocturne turque, défraye les chroniques il y a quelques jours en déclarant dans une émission de télévision, que si elle avait été en mesure d’avoir un enfant, elle ne l’aurait jamais laissé partir au front. Cette déclaration provoque un tollé et vaut à la chanteuse transexuelle une mise en examen pour “atteinte au prestige de l’armée” … (texte entier).

On ne touche pas au service militaire en Turquie.

… A popular transsexual Turkish singer went on trial Wednesday on charges of trying to turn the public against military service. Bulent Ersoy could face more than two years in prison for saying during a live television show that if she had children, she would not want them to join the army to fight Kurdish rebels … (full text).

Listen her on LAST fm.

… The European Union, which Turkey wants to join, is pressing Turkey to do away with laws that stifle free expression. Under EU pressure, Turkey amended a law in April that barred the denigration of Turkish identity and institutions. The law had been used to prosecute Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk and other intellectuals. But human rights groups said the changes did not go far enough and pointed to other freedom-curbing laws, such as the one used against Ersoy … (full text).

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María del Pilar Callizo López Moreira – Paraguay

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Linked with Transparency International TI.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

María del Pilar Callizo López Moreira–“Pili”–comes from a very traditional family from Paraguay. She had a happy childhood, without any kind of deprivation or needs. This situation, however, did not prevent her from feeling the need to contribute to the construction of a better country, championing the cause of women and encouraging them to take on a leading role … (1000PeaceWomen).

She says: “When I was 14 years old, I acquired the consciousness that no power should snatch from human beings their most valuable possession: freedom”.

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María del Pilar Callizo López Moreira – Paraguay

She works for Transparency International, Paraguay in english, same as Transparencia Paraguay in spanish. (See also Transparency International TI).

“The fact that something or somebody out there felt superior and was denying me my freedom and my rights helped me to see the reality. From that moment on, I knew that, as a woman, my duty was to do something to change that state of affairs. I also realized that to achieve my goal, I would have to take down many barriers. It was a challenge, and I began at home”, remembers María Del Pilar Callizo López Moreira, Pili.

“The first thing I did was study. In 1978, I got my degree in Law. Later on, I specialized in arbitration and mediation, in Buenos Aires, Argentina”. The first step had been taken. The next step was to put into practice her new knowledge and make use of her ideas and observations.

She comes from a solid family nucleus. She grew up in a happy environment, absorbing the values of her family. She transformed those values into a need to collaborate to the promotion of human rights. She also championed women’s rights and worked to promote greater transparency and efficiency in public life.
In 1986, along with a group of women, she founded, in Asunción, the capital of the country, “Mujeres por la Democracia” (Women for Democracy), one of the first organizations to fight for the improvement of the situation of women in Paraguayan society. She worked to examine and revise the judicial framework that maintained her fellow countrywomen in an inferior position, without even the most basic human rights. “These were the times of one of the cruelest and longest dictatorships in Latin America, and it was not easy to talk about gender, when we could not even speak of human rights”.

Pilar remembers that the meetings where strategies were outlined were clandestine: “Once, during the Paraguayan dictatorship, public demonstrations were forbidden and the people, who dared to participate, were victims of repression, imprisonment, torture and, in the majority of cases, went on to swell the lists of the ‘missing’ or murdered people. We knew that we were under observation. In our phone calls, we used nicknames and diminutives. Some documents about legal revisions were kept under conditions of extreme secrecy, because they were the fruit of constant discussions with other similar groups. Those times before democracy were especially hard”.

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Nilda Medina-Diaz – Puerto Rico

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Linked with the Restoration Advisory Board RAB.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Nilda Medina Diaz has dedicated her life to the demilitarization of Vieques. This tiny (21 miles by 3 miles) Puerto Rican island was used by the U.S. Navy for military exercise and weapons training and testing for 63 years. Largely because of the work of the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, co-founded by Nilda, the U.S. closed its bases in 2003. In addition to coordinating the movement’s civil-disobedience-organizational center, Nilda continues to play a crucial role in the post-Navy struggle to ensure that her community is informed and involved in their homeland’s environmental cleanup … (1000PeaceWomen).

She says: “The Navy is not leaving because it wants to, but because the people have forced them out”.

She is also mentionned als Political Heroe.

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Nilda Medina-Diaz – Puerto Rico

She works for the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, for the Restoration Advisory Board, and for the Military Toxics Project.

On the morning of Dec. 21, 2000 Nilda and other members of the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, placed themselves in front of huge Navy tractors to block yet another military action. Riot police arriving at the scene were well equipped with dogs, pepper spray, and handcuffs. But when a large group of community members joined the protesters, the police withdrew. Such scenes as these were common in the battles Nilda fought with and for the citizens of Vieques. Leading the struggle for “the four D’s” (demilitarization, decontamination, devolution and development) members of the Committee often put themselves in harm’s way.

Born in 1950 in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, Nilda is the youngest of five children. As a student at the University of Puerto Rico, she began organizing for labor rights and was regional coordinator for the Puerto Rican Socialist Party during the 1970s. Armed with a certificate to teach science – and fierce determination – she moved to Vieques in1980.

Her work has not ended with the withdrawal of the U.S. military.

As a member of the Restoration Advisory Board, she reviews and reports on military clean-up efforts. She organizes community forums to discuss the clean-up, independent expert evaluation of its progress, activities for teen mothers, and leadership opportunities for the local youth organization. She helps to resolve transportation issues for families with loved ones in the hospital or in prison, and arranges legal representation for Viequenses who have been arrested by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for using ex-military lands for community functions. She is a coordinator of “Radio Vieques,” a weekly radio program – a vital service for a community that has no newspaper. To help similar communities dealing with problems left by military bases, Nilda serves on the Board of the Military Toxics Project.

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Martha Isabel “Pati” Ruiz Corzo – Mexico-Jalpan

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Martha “Pati” Ruiz Corzo is a recognized leader for building a bottom-up civil conservation movement in central Mexico. Located in the Sierra Gorda mountains, Pati and her husband began organizing concerned citizens for a regional rescue program based on environmental education, economic development, forestry management, and community development specifically directed to women who are the heads of household in the rural extreme poverty communities due to high rates of migration of working age men to the USA … (full text).

She is a social entrepreneur recognized by Ashoka … (full text).

In l984 she and her husband Roberto, an accountant, decided to abandon their professions and comfortable middle class, urban lifestyle in Querétaro City. They moved to Roberto’s home region, in the mountains of Sierra Gorda, to live a self-sufficient life with their two sons Roberto and Mario. “I was plagued with health problems, as was [Mario], one of my two sons,” Ruiz explains. “Through research I came to understand that the way we were living, the toxicity of Querétaro City, was literally making us sick” … (full text).

Martha Ruiz Corto has long used music and songs to educate children about the environment (scroll down).

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Martha Isabel “Pati” Ruiz Corzo – Mexico-Jalpan

Video: For a sustainable economy; tourism as a tool to empower local communities and conservation in the Sierra Gorda, Mexico, 3.07 min.

Where she lives: Martha Isabel “Pati” Ruiz Corzo, Address: Jalpan MexicoCategory: Activists, Used in the following map: WGGAN Global Map – Martha “Pati” Ruiz Corzo is a recognized leader for building a bottom-up civil conservation movement in central Mexico. Located in the Sierra Gorda mountains, Pati and her husband began organizing concerned citizens for a regional rescue program based on environmental education, economic development, forestry management, and community development specifically directed to women who are the heads of household in the rural extreme poverty communities due to high rates of migration of working age men to the USA. (Community Walk).

Find her living place on this google-map.

… The Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, which she and her husband founded, addresses the survival needs of the 100,000 men, women and children living in this biosphere by promoting alternative economic approaches while preserving the area’s endangered ecosystem. As a result of its visible success, in 1997, the Mexican government designated the area as the first federally protected reserve in Mexico.
(full text).

Document ID: C25112 – Education and communication for conservation: co-management of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, Mexico.

Pati Ruiz and a citizen effort spearheaded by the Sierra Gorda Ecology Group (Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda) have, through a long process of negotiation, created the one-million acre (383,567-hectare) Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve to protect Mexico’s most eco-diverse region. Thanks to their leadership, this unique environmental treasure is protected, and damaged areas are beginning to recover … (full text).

Google download-book: Communicating protected areas, 311 pages, 2004; also on IUCN;

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Gareth Porter – USA

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Linked with Antiwar.com, and with Consortium News.com.

Gareth Porter (born June 18, 1942 in Independence, Kansas) is an American historian, investigative journalist and policy analyst on U.S. foreign and military policy. A strong opponent of U.S. wars in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, he has also written on the potential for diplomatic compromise to end or avoid wars in Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Korea, Iraq and Iran. He is the author of a history of the origins of the Vietnam War, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam … (full text).

Among his books are Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam (University of California Press), Vietnam: A History in Documents, Vietnam: The Politics of Bureaucratic Socialism (Cornell University Press), and A Peace Denied. Dr. Porter’s many articles on international affairs, including the mass killings and mass starvation of Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge, have appeared in such publications as The Guardian, The Nation, and Foreign Affairs. (full text).

He says: … “that US House Res. 362 suggests the use of force with new bill … “, (video on the real news, 5 min, July 2, 2008).

Pentagon blocked Cheney’s attack on Iran, June 10, 2008.

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Gareth Porter – USA

POLITICS: Official Says Iran Accepts P5+1 Talks Proposal, July 2, 2008.

Clawson and Eisenstadt conclude that a military strike against Iran by the United States could be successful, but they acknowledge that such a strike “might cause Iran’s leadership to conclude that the country needed nuclear weapons to deter and defend against the United States” … (full text, July 2, 2008).

He says also: … “that aggressive policy towards Iran from both the US and Israel is partially responsible for the rising price of oil”.

… This is, I think, very important for the simple reason that it does provide a kind of smoking gun evidence, if you will, that this whole unfolding threat to Iran has not been simply a psyops, simply an intimidation operation. We know now for a fact that Dick Cheney did, in fact, propose within the Administration that they attack Revolutionary Guard bases in Iran that were supposedly connected with supplying or training the Iraqi Shiite militiamen coming back to Iraq to fight U.S. occupation forces. And this would be done if and when they could get some kind of concrete evidence that would basically convict the Iranians of some direct involvement in the fight in Iraq … (full interview text, June 27, 2008).

US pushes Iraqi Shi’ites closer to Iran, June 26, 2008.

… The assumption that the United States should exploit its military dominance to exert pressure on adversaries has long dominated the thinking of the US national security and political elite. But this central tenet of conventional security doctrine was sharply rejected last week by a senior practitioner of crisis diplomacy at the debut of a major new centrist foreign policy think-tank. At the first conference of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), ambassador James Dobbins, who was former president Bill Clinton special envoy for Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo and the George W Bush administration’s first special envoy to Afghanistan, sharply rejected the well-established concept of coercive diplomacy … (full text).

Cheney, Lieberman and Iran War Conspiracy, August 16, 2007.

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Eric Alterman – USA

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Eric Alterman is a Distinguished Professor of English, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, and Professor of Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He is also “The Liberal Media” columnist for The Nation and a fellow of the Nation Institute, a senior fellow and “Altercation” weblogger for Media Matters for America, (formerly at MSNBC.com) in Washington, DC, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, where he writes and edits the “Think Again” column, a senior fellow (since 1985) at the World Policy Institute at The New School in New York, and a history consultant to HBO Films. Alterman is the author of seven books, including the national bestsellers, What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News (2003, 2004), and The Book on Bush: How George W. (Mis)leads America (with Mark Green, 2004). The others include: When Presidents Lie: A History of Official Deception and its Consequences, (2004, 2005). His Sound & Fury: The Making of the Punditocracy (1992, 2000), won the 1992 George Orwell Award and his It Ain’t No Sin to be Glad You’re Alive: The Promise of Bruce Springsteen (1999, 2001), won the 1999 Stephen Crane Literary Award, and Who Speaks for America? Why Democracy Matters in Foreign Policy, (1998). His newest book is Why We’re Liberals: A Political Handbook to Post-Bush America, (2008). (on FORA.tv).

Termed “the most honest and incisive media critic writing today” in the National Catholic Reporter, and author of “the smartest and funniest political journal out there,” in The San Francisco Chronicle, Alterman is frequent lecturer and contributor to numerous publications in the US, Europe, and Latin America … (full text).

His blog at the Huffington Post.

His personal website on FORA.tv.

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Eric Alterman – USA

Video, authors at Google: Eric Alterman, 57 min, April 21, 2008.

One of the many (many) salutary aspects of Barack Obama’s impending presidential nomination is the sea change his victory marks in the battle for the mind-set of the American foreign policy establishment. Not only was Obama unambiguously opposed to the American invasion of Iraq back when it mattered but – in marked contrast to the Clinton campaign – so were most of his advisers and supporters. Indeed, without this essential distinction from his opponent, coupled with her unwillingness to repudiate or apologize for her vote for George W. Bush’s war, the Obama campaign would likely never have found the base of support it needed to mount a serious nomination fight … (full text, June 29, 2008).

Is Obama a Conservative or a Progressive Realist, June 30, 2008.

He writes: … Taking its place, of course, is the Internet, which is about to pass newspapers as a source of political news for American readers. For young people, and for the most politically engaged, it has already done so. As early as May, 2004, newspapers had become the least preferred source for news among younger people. According to “Abandoning the News,” published by the Carnegie Corporation, thirty-nine per cent of respondents under the age of thirty-five told researchers that they expected to use the Internet in the future for news purposes; just eight per cent said that they would rely on a newspaper … (full text, March 31, 2008).

Out of Print, the death and life of the American newspaper, March 31, 2008.l

Blowhards and windbagsUS elections 2008: The media’s myopic obsession with campaign narratives over events of real significance does a disservice to the public … (full text, January 11, 2008).

The Ideological Crossroads: Will Americans Choose Liberalism, Conservatism, or Something Different in 2008, June 16, 2008.

As Eric Alterman pointed out in a recent New Yorker article, “In the Internet Age,… no one has figured out how to rescue the newspaper in the United States or abroad.” Print circulation is at its lowest level since records have been kept and online revenue from advertising and subscriptions are nowhere close to making up for those declines. It is well known that journals and scholarly presses are also struggling to adapt their business models … (full text, June 26, 2008).

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