Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Voices Of Violence - Voices For Peace

The cycle of violence that must be stopped.
Listen to Emma's brave words, beautifully presented. Her generation will lead the way to a better world for all if we allow them to do so. 
(https://youtu.be/ZxD3o-9H1lY)  A written transcript of Emma's speech is posted at RSN: http://readersupportednews.org/lowBW/parkland.html 

Voices Of Violence -- Voices For Peace 
(A pictorial essay for when words alone aren't enough)
Gathered by C.A. Matthews

Inspired by these insights:

In America

Emergency 'Thoughts and Prayers' cabinets to be installed in every American classroom by 2020:

Thoughts and Prayers and NRA Funding:

There Have Already Been 18 School Shootings in the US This Year:

"Congress is failing us": 

Florida High School Students Stage Walkout to Protest Gun Violence:

Another Mass Shooting. Another Case in Which Signs of White Violence Didn't Raise Alarms:

V-Day: Global Movement to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls Marks 20th Anniversary:

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggests an Answer.

Anger  causes violence. Treat it:

Australia confiscated 650,000 guns. Murders and suicide plummeted.

A Kingdom Where Nobody Dies:

War Profiteers Control American Trade Deals (video):

My drop in a very large bucket (video):

It's Time to Deal With Trump's 2nd Amendment Idiocy:

Reprinted from Facebook:
A teacher, Jennifer Gadd writes...

Yesterday, after seventeen people died at a school shooting in Florida, I stood in front of my middle school classrooms, hour after hour, reteaching the intruder drill procedures for my room. I wanted to reassure my kids that there was a plan in place if this thing that should be unthinkable, but which is now perfectly thinkable, should happen to them.

In my classroom, there are two doors to the hallway. One of them remains locked from the outside at all times. The other is the door students use to enter and leave class. It’s the only door I need to secure in the event of a lockdown. Both of these hallway doors have floor-to-ceiling windows to one side of them. That effectively means that I do not have a safe corner opposite a door anywhere in my room. All four corners are exposed.

What I do have, though, is a huge storage area with a locked door. It only locks from the outside. Let me repeat: IT ONLY LOCKS FROM THE OUTSIDE.

I reminded the kids of our plan. In the event of a lockdown, they will quickly and quietly come to the front of the room and raise the projector screen, open the closet door, and go in. I will be locking the hallway door while they do this. Then, I will retrieve the closet key from where I have it taped up for easy access, and I will lock them in the closet. I will then slide the key under the door to them.

Mostly the kids grew silent. Some started thinking hard. You could see it in their eyes. Others, being middle-schoolers, snickered and giggled and cracked jokes. Don’t be put off by them. It means they either just don’t get it, or that they’re so scared the only way they can deal with their fear is with gallows humor. They’re twelve, so cut them some slack. 

One girl, this time, shouted across the room, “Shut up. This isn’t funny.” The room grew quiet.

Then the questions started. 

“Well, what if. . .” “But what if. . .” “How about if . . .”

I raised my hand for silence. “Here’s the deal, folks. Our school’s plan is designed to save as many lives as possible the best way we know how. It is not a guarantee that everyone survives. All those kids in Parkland did exactly what they were supposed to do. They did everything right. And seventeen people still died.”

It grew very, very quiet. I heard a lot of deep breaths around the room. One girl had tears in her eyes. Then another voice piped up.

“Wait, miss.” she said, “If you lock us in the closet, doesn’t that mean you’ll be out here?” All thirteen pairs of eyes looked up at me.

“Yes,” I said, “and that’s why I need you to be absolutely silent in that closet, no matter what happens.”

“You would do that?" she pressed.

“In a heartbeat. Just stay quiet so you get out alive. Make it worth it.”

The thing, though, is that I’m not extraordinary. I’m not special. I have never met a teacher in my entire career who wouldn’t do the exact same thing. That’s not what this is about.

Here’s what I want you to understand. This is normal, everyday life in America’s schools. Students in every school, at every grade, are being educated on their responsibilities in preventing a massacre, things that the adults in their lives should be assuming the responsibility for, whose responsibility it truly is. And all the while the president is telling massacre survivors that maybe they could have done just a little bit more to prevent what had happened to them.

For an entire generation of American students, just living with this possibility that is increasingly feeling more and more like an eventuality is traumatic. Our kids are already traumatized by living like this, even if there is never a shooter in their building. Just as my generation was shaped by practicing getting under our desks in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack—another futile exercise—this generation is in trauma over the expectation that anywhere they go, whether it’s a concert, a mall, a restaurant, or their school, there is a good chance they’ll be murdered.

It has to stop. And spare me your Second-Amendment arguments. It’s all you’ve got. If you don’t have any other practical solution than MORE GUNS, then you don’t get to participate in the conversation about what we do next to make this stop. If you, deep down in your heart of hearts, feel perfectly content to exercise your allegedly restraint-free right to bear arms on the backs, not of Revolutionary patriots of mythic proportion who fought and died for your freedom, but on the backs of children who are bleeding out in the hallways and cafeteria floors of U.S. schools, on the backs of their friends who watch helplessly as it happens, and on the backs of the teachers who are placing their very bodies in front of bullets for them, then shame on you. You don’t deserve those rights. Your right to own possessions of any kind is not and never will be greater than the rights of our children to live.

If you plan to respond to any of this, I suggest that you be careful how you do so. I am not sad, and I am not scared. I am ENRAGED.

Thank you,
Jennifer Gadd

I am a middle school teacher in Florida and I am with you 100%.


From Credo:
Tell Republicans in Congress: Thoughts and prayers are not enough
The petition to Republicans in Congress reads: “Put your constituents before the National Rifle Association. Take immediate action to ban weapons of war, including assault weapons and large capacity magazines, which have no place in the hands of private citizens.”
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
Tell Republicans in Congress: Thoughts and prayers are not enough
Within hours of Wednesday’s deadly mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school – which took the lives of at least 17 people – Republican politicians without the courage to support real solutions to our gun violence crisis released statements and social media posts offering their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and their families.1

It was the exact same cowardly, ineffectual response they offered after gunmen wielding AR-15 assault rifles killed people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a concert in Las Vegas, Pulse nightclub in Orlando and Sandy Hook Elementary School.2

Reports now indicate that the Parkland gunman was closely aligned with a violent white supremacist group in Florida.3 Groups like this have been emboldened and unleashed by Trump’s racism and the refusal of the Republican Party to condemn it. This encouragement of dangerous bigotry combined with their constant capitulation to the National Rifle Association means that blood is on Republicans’ hands. It is time for every Republican in Congress to join Democrats in standing up to the NRA and pass an assault weapons ban that will save American lives.

Tell Republicans in Congress: Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need gun control now. Click here to sign the petition.

Tragic mass shootings like the one yesterday in South Florida have become all too common. The last 5 months alone now account for three of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history.4 In the past 5 years, there have been nearly 300 school shootings in the United States5 – including 18 so far in 2018 alone.6

According to Newsweek, “Florida has some of the weakest gun laws in the country.” Gun owners are not required to have a license, they are not required to register their guns and it is perfectly legal to own semi-automatic assault rifles like the one used in Wednesday’s tragic shooting.7 The heartbreaking truth is that the combination of weak state and federal gun laws made Wednesday’s horrific attack possible. 

Tell Republicans in Congress: Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need gun control now. Click here to sign the petition.

There’s one reason why politicians consistently fail to take real action on gun violence: The National Rifle Association. The NRA has a chokehold on Congress that keeps most bills about gun control from even coming to the floor for a vote. Politicians beholden to – or afraid of – the NRA are willing to turn their backs on their constituents when it comes time to implement reasonable limits and controls on guns. But you can count on them for a “heartbroken” tweet about their “thoughts and prayers” when a tragic shooting makes the national news.

Finally breaking the NRA’s chokehold on Congress will require massive grassroots pressure on our elected officials, demanding that they deliver more than thoughts and prayers in the face of our epidemic of gun violence.
We must forcefully demand that Congress takes immediate action to ban weapons of war, including assault weapons and large capacity magazines. Please add your name to our emergency petition now.

Tell Republicans in Congress: Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need gun control now. Click the link below to sign the petition:

Thanks for everything you do,
Heidi Hess, Senior Campaign Manager CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Ed Mazza, "People Sick Of ‘Thoughts And Prayers’ Demand Action After Florida School Shooting," HuffPost, Feb. 15, 2018.
  2. Igor Volsky, "Tweet," Twitter, Feb. 14, 2018.
  3. Kelly Weill, Justin Miller and Taylor Lorenz, "Nikolas Cruz Trained With White Supremacists, Wore Pro-Trump Hat in School," The Daily Beast, Feb. 15. 2018.
  4. The New York Times, "Florida Shooting: Nikolas Cruz Is Charged With 17 Counts of Murder," Feb. 15. 2018.
  5. BBC News, "Florida shooting: 'Policy and change' not 'thoughts and prayers,'" Feb. 15. 2018.
  6. Meghan Keneally, "There have already been 18 school shootings in the US this year: Everytown," ABC News, Feb. 14, 2018.
  7. Chantal Da Silva, "Florida Massacre Survivor Tells Trump: 'I Don't Want Your Condolences,' Demands Gun Control," Newsweek, Feb. 15, 2018.


This is really exciting news— the Palestinian-led movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize!

Bjørnar Moxnes, the Norwegian Member of Parliament who formally made the nomination, said:

“Awarding this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the BDS movement would be a powerful signal, emphasising the international community’s commitment to support a just peace for the Palestinian people... the Israeli people and all people in the Middle East – and the world at large.”

We couldn’t agree more. 

That’s why, in partnership with Palestine Solidarity Campaign, we’re launching a petition seeking 15,000 signatures urging the Nobel Committee to grant the Peace Prize to the BDS movement.

I don’t have to tell you how well-deserved this nomination is. For the past 12 years, people all over the world, often at great personal risk, have come together with this simple, irrefutable message: 
Palestinians deserve justice, freedom, and dignity just like everyone else. 

BDS stands in the same proud tradition of nonviolent resistance as the Montgomery bus boycotts, the United Farm Workers grape boycott, the boycott against South African apartheid, Gandhi’s boycott of British goods… the list goes on.  And we know history will include BDS on that list. 

In fact, we know it will be a model for grassroots movements to come. Using the BDS call as a strategic and moral guide, people all over the world have leveraged their power to wage unbelievably creative campaigns, driven by a truly beautiful and inclusive vision of what the world can be.

And just imagine the leap forward our work could take if BDS actually won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Sign our petition and tell the Nobel Committee: the movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions deserves recognition— because Palestinians deserve to be free.

Today— as was the case with all those other boycotts, in their time— not everyone sees BDS for the principled movement that it is. Every day, BDS activists are attacked by those devoted to defending Israel’s apartheid system.

That’s why it’s so important to come out strong in our support for this nomination. And that’s why JVP and PSC have come together to advocate for this important recognition.

The Nobel Committee will publish a shortlist of nominees by the end of September. We need to lift our collective voice as high as we can today, and seize this opportunity to take a meaningful step towards justice.

Let’s show the Nobel Committee how many people around the world agree with this nomination, and want to see the BDS movement recognized for its vital and courageous work for human rights. 

Ben and Rebecca
Ben Jamal, Director Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace

From Open Media:

We always knew that the campaign to save Net Neutrality was going to be a long one. And when the FCC voted to overturn the protections for a fair Internet,1 we, along with the incredible coalition that came together to protect our Internet, began the next stage of the fight.

Congress can block the repeal of Net Neutrality using the Congressional Review Act (CRA).2 A simple majority is what it will take. It can't be amended, or blocked, or buried by procedure. It will start in the Senate, where we already have 50 votes committed.

Which means we need just One. More. Vote.

On Tuesday, February 27 the groups behind BattleForTheNet.com are  launching Operation #OneMoreVote3 calling for an Internet-wide push to get that last Senate vote.

Will you join us and help push calls and emails to Congress?

We have everything you need to help us to spread the message all over the Internet to get us #OneMoreVote.

We’ve stopped censorship before. Together we beat SOPA.4 And on February 27th we’re going to bring the Internet together again. Hope you can join us again to help us win back Net Neutrality.

Thanks for all that you do.

Katy, and the OpenMedia team

P.S. It’s always incredibly inspiring to see what we can achieve together. All the amazing work being done to ensure the Internet stays open has been made possible through tireless campaigning by people like you. I know we have the power to make Congress protect Net Neutrality. Can you chip in to make sure it happens?

[1] F.C.C. repeals Net Neutrality Rules: New York Times
[2] The Senate Only Needs One More Vote to Pass Its Net Neutrality Restoration Bill: Motherboard
[3] Operation #OneMoreVote: Battle for the Net
[4] The Sopa blackout protest makes history: The Guardian


  1. Let's call guns what they really are - killing machines. Some owners of these machines say they want to keep them in case they have to use them against a tyrannical government. The fatuousness of the remark is breathtaking. The US government deploys incredible firepower all around the globe, inflicting terrible harm on thousands of unarmed civilians every month. Do these killing machine advocates seriously believe they can fight such an institution?

    I say the government is already tyrannical if it puts the profits of the armaments industry ahead of the lives of schoolchildren. The only way to get real change is to protest and vote against the multitude of politicians who accept money from the killing machine industry and their propaganda arm, the NRA.

    1. Exactly! Corporations whose primary purpose is to slaughter human beings shouldn't have the same rights as human beings they despise. This is why the Citizens United ruling must be overturn. Join the Move to Amend at www.movetoamend.org

      Politicians who accept this "blood money" made from the sales of weaponry or "killing machines" should be drummed out of office. They also believe their fellow citizens are somehow less than human, since their bank accounts and election bids are more important than preserving human life apparently.

      The brainwashed who equate owning an automatic weapon such as an AR-15 with a tool such as a deer rifle are just plain stupid. You can't eat meat riddled with HUNDREDS of holes and lead pellets! If their love of material objects is more important than the safety of our children and their neighbors, then they are the same as the bought-off politicians and death-bringers of the Military Industrial Complex. I say they should hand over their killing machines now or go to jail with their NRA-loving politico friends and corporate CEOs.

      All we are saying is GIVE PEACE A CHANCE and stop the mass shootings. Your right to own a "penis extension killing machine" ends at the right for me as a parent to know my child is safe at school and the rights of our neighbors to STAY ALIVE.


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