A Homecoming of Love and Liberation for Lynne Stewart – A Fundraiser for Immediate Medical Needs

by on February 4, 2014

A Homecoming of Love and Liberation for Lynne Stewart – A Fundraiser for Immediate Medical Needs

On Valentine’s Day – Come see and share love for recently released People’s Lawyer Lynne Stewart. This is a Fundraiser for Lynne’s immediate medical needs.

lynne stewart homecoming

Friday, February 14, 2014 6:00pm

St. Peter’s Church
619 Lexington Ave
(54th St & Lexington Ave)
New York, NY 10022



Send Lynne Stewart a Valentine and a donation at: www.indiegogo.com/projects/send-lynne-stewart-a-valentine.

Because of a determined peoples movement Lynne is finally home with her family. But she has urgent medical needs and costs.

Lynne’s Stage 4 breast cancer spread a year ago to her lung, back, bones, & lymph nodes. Now 74, she has lost weight and has trouble breathing; doctors estimate her lifespan at 12 months. Lynne will soon begin new treatments requiring her to pay deductibles & co-payments.

To boost the odds, she’ll use a special diet, vitamins, and other healing methods – some costly and none covered by insurance. Lynne’s spirit is indomitable – help her fight to survive!

“I fought lions, I fought tigers, and I’m not going to let cancer get me,” Stewart said.

Lynne has always come to the aid of those who needed her. Now it’s our turn to stand by Lynne.

RSVP on the Facebook Event Page


Support the work of the International Action Center

by on December 10, 2013

Support the work of the International Action Center

End-of-Year Appeal from the International Action Center

International Action Center
Solidarity Center
147 W. 24th St, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10011
212-633-6646212-633-6646 IACenter.org

December, 2013

Dear friends and supporters,

This year the International Action Center’s consistent work for more than two decades had a strong impact in the struggle against U.S. war and militarism.
We made a historic contribution! We could not have done it without your involvement and support. However, our efforts must increase. We are writing to you with new determination and resolve to request your continued backing and participation.

Just three months ago, in the midst of a war frenzy, President Barack Obama proposed that war against Syria be put to a vote in Congress. An amazing thing happened! Congressional offices around the country were deluged with thousands of visits, calls, and emails.

Demonstrations were organized within days in more than 100 cities. Members of Congress stated that they had never seen a response like that on any issue. National polls reported that 85 percent of the population opposed another war. Millions of people knew that another war would be disastrous to the targeted countries and would lead to further deteriorating conditions here.

IAC staff worked around the clock to help organize demonstrations and meetings and to produce fliers, fact sheets, talking points and videos.

People’s power: stopping a war

For two years, the IAC was often alone in opposing escalating war in Syria, as we organized demonstrations against U.S. military intervention in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, protested threats against Iran and Korea and marched against drone attacks in Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere. Then—together, people from all over the country broke through and spoke out to stop a new war before it started!

Faced with this groundswell and with news of the first vote in the British Parliament against a war, the war vote in the U.S. Congress was postponed. A new war was put on hold.

However, the Pentagon’s budget keeps growing. Firing of drones goes on. Funding of mercenary forces continues. Allocations for vital social programs are slashed to fill the Pentagon’s coffers. The war makers never give up. Neither can we!

Delegations show solidarity

Our next step, and one involving personal risk, was to send an IAC delegation to Syria. It was headed by Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, John Parker and Sara Flounders from the IAC and Dedon Kamathe from Pacifica KPFK, They traveled at the invitation of Arab Americans for Syria to express opposition to U.S. war threats.

More than one-third of Syria’s population has been displaced by the chaos created as more than 2,000 mercenary bands from 83 countries have flooded into the country, funded through Saudi Arabia and Turkey. This U.S.-CIA operation is 10 times the size of the U.S.-backed contra force in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

The IAC visit to Syria—as with past solidarity delegations to targeted countries, including Palestine, Cuba, Iraq, Colombia, Haiti, Korea, the Philippines—shows the IAC stands up to do the right thing in the face of corporate media demonization of leaders and people’s movements. These trips are a way to express solidarity and offer a human way to expose the impact of U.S. sanctions and wars.

Supporting change in Latin America

The IAC’s work against Washington’s intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean continue to make an impact. We sent a third delegation to Honduras since the coup against elected President Mel Zelaya in 2009, this time to express solidarity with the Libre Party and to observe the elections. On Nov. 24, our office became Honduras-central as dozens of Hondurans came into the office all day to monitor the election.

We continue to build solidarity with Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and all the ALBA countries. In October, the IAC, along with Colombians in the U.S. and the Alliance for Global Justice, held a vital action in front of the Colombian consul to support the peace process with social justice and to demand freedom for jailed unionist Huber Ballesteros and all political prisoners. Given the dire repression and exploitation in Colombia—the Israel of Latin America—this work must continue. The IAC is committed to that.

We have sent delegations to Cuba on the Venceremos Brigade almost every year and co-chair the National Network on Cuba. Given the dire economic situation in Puerto Rico and the heroic Puerto Rican prisoners’ continuing incarceration, the IAC has stepped up its work on Puerto Rico. We recently held a major forum in New York, and are supporting efforts to free Oscar Lopez Rivera.

In the struggle from coast-to-coast

The IAC has endorsed, assisted and joined in many struggles around the country. We have protested racist police killings of youth of color, as in the California cities of Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco. Across the country, we marched for justice for Trayvon Martin, and in New York, we joined the campaign against racist Stop-and-Frisk police practices.

In May, we helped organize a Baltimore-to-Washington, D.C. march for jobs, and racial and economic justice, marking the 45th anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. It ended with a People’s Assembly in D.C. A Baltimore Workers’ Assembly commemorated the 75th anniversary of the first minimum wage law’s passage on Oct. 24, which launched a Maryland campaign for a $15 hourly minimum wage. In New York City, where thousands earn $7.25 an hour, protesters rallied on Oct. 24 for the Fight for $15.

In Boston, the school bus drivers, members of Steelworkers Local 8751 have resisted efforts by global corporation Veolia to bust their union. After a company lockout and the firing of four union leaders, there have been continual rallies. Hearings on the issues have been packed. The IAC has aided this important struggle for workers’ and union rights.

The Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions & Utility Shutoffs is a leader in opposing Detroit’s takeover by a state-appointed pro-bank “emergency manager. The IAC is among the demonstrators who affirm, “Take it from the banks, not city retirees!” outside federal bankruptcy court. The coalition’s International People’s Assembly against the Banks and against Austerity was held on Nov. 5-6 in Detroit.

Our organization rallied with other groups at U.S. chain stores, purchasers of Bangladesh-made clothing, to demand they pay for fire safety measures, compensation for the victims of the horrific fires and Rana Plaza collapse, and higher wages.

The IAC participates in struggles against corporate environmental destruction. The Philadelphia chapter works with many organizations to protest “fracking” and Monsanto’s GMO production.

The Community-Labor United for Postal Jobs and Services has been at the forefront opposing the efforts to privatize the USPS.

We support those who protest budget cuts in education, food programs and health care services for women, children and other low-income individuals.

Linking struggles, building unity

The IAC is based in the Solidarity Center—a hub of resistance and organizing on many struggles. It has long been a home to the May 1 Coalition for Workers and Immigrant Rights, uniting immigrant workers and their allies in the call for legalization and an end to raids and deportations.

Campaigns for underpaid and young workers who are fighting for a $15 hourly minimum wage at “big-box stores,” like Walmart and in the fast-food industry have utilized this office. People with disabilities have organized meetings here. Once again, the IAC organized a bus from New York to the yearly National Day of Mourning in Plymouth, on “Thanksgiving,” in solidarity with our Native sisters and brothers, to protest their historic mistreatment and celebrate their resistance.

Youth in motion

The Solidarity Center is a base for youth in struggle. Occupy Wall Street activists, immigrant youth, LGBTQ youth, those protesting school cutbacks or fast food workers fighting for a decent wage have utilized this office’s resources. So, too, do many doing international solidarity work.

Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) members are energetically fundraising to send delegates to the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students in Quito, Ecuador from Dec. 7-13. This event brings together 15,000 young people from all over the world to discuss and plan anti-imperialist solidarity. As endless war and the global economic crisis go on, this conference will take up the importance of young people joining with movements of workers and oppressed peoples around the world to fight for a future of peace, solidarity, social transformation and real people’s power.

Tear Down the Walls

The increasing repression at home has resulted in the largest prison population in the world. This has always been a strong IAC focus. We have also demonstrated for the shutdown of Guantanamo, and in defense of Muslim and other prisoners. In addition, we have opposed NSA spying.

The IAC is glad to host meetings of defense committees and campaigns calling for the freeing of prisoners Mumia Abu-Jamal and the MOVE 9, the still imprisoned 4 of the Cuban 5, CeCe McDonald, Oscar Lopez Rivera, Leonard Peltier and Chelsea Manning. We joined the effort for repatriation to Pakistan of Aafia Siddiqui.

Our organization has aided efforts to gain compassionate release for people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart, who is terminally ill, and incarcerated in Texas, far from her family and friends.

Gala celebrates Ramsey Clark’s 85th birthday, IAC’s 20th anniversary

2013 has been an intense and challenging year. We began the year with an incredible, festive Gala at a packed hall at historic Riverside Church to celebrate Ramsey Clark’s 85th birthday and 20 years of IAC activism. It was an evening of praise for IAC founder, Ramsey Clark, human rights lawyer and former U.S. attorney general.

Political leaders and activists, religious figures, attorneys and celebrities lauded this outstanding, principled fighter against decades of U.S. wars and injustice. The IAC published a new book for the occasion: Truth Vs. Power: A Ramsey Clark Reader. Hundreds of friends attended and/or sent tributes and greetings.

IAC on the move

New York City’s high rents forced our national office to move for the third time in 22 years. The successful Gala helped to raise a lot of the moving costs to relocate from our home of seven years to a beautiful new space in a building that houses many progressive organizations. We didn’t skip a beat. Skilled volunteers built meeting, office and storage space. Many supplies were donated. We were back in action in less than a month. Your contributions helped make this possible.

In an age when so many corporate funded NGOs, PACs and interest groups boast of large, well-paid staffs, our organization is still comprised of all-volunteer activists, who bring their skills to the struggle, whether as organizers, artists and designers, writers, computer technicians and more.

We offer much assistance to the movement, be it office space for meetings, leaflet, sign and banner design; work sessions, computer assistance. The IAC is always a reliable resource for the movement.

New communications, same message

Along with our website www.IACenter.org and our YouTube videos, we communicate and publicize activities via email, Facebook, Twitter and texting. Social media has become an important organizing and information tool. Our events are often streamed online.

However, our focus remains unchanged. A powerful and independent grassroots people’s movement is the only force capable of making real, essential changes. Our combined voices against racism, bigotry, militarism and war, our linked struggles for decent jobs at a livable wage, health care, housing, education and food for all is the way forward.

We have been able to survive and thrive in difficult conditions. This is so because repeatedly good friends have stepped forward to help the IAC keep on organizing and educating. Your donations, collaboration and backing have been the foundation of all IAC campaigns.

Now we are planning ahead for next year’s work. A new generation of activists and multiple struggles need your support. Please visit the International Action Center web site at www.IACenter.org to donate to the International Action Center’s Programs —whether through our secure online donation form, by check, or by credit card. Or consider setting up a monthly donation.

Your help is needed for the struggles ahead! Consider what you can do to keep the movement against war and injustice strong and growing!

Forward to 2014!

With deep thanks, appreciation and solidarity,

Abayomi Azikiwe
Sharon Black
LeiLani Dowell
Sharon Eolis
Elena Everett
Sara Flounders
Teresa Gutierrez
Larry Hales
Berta Joubert-Ceci
Alex Majumder
Janet Mayes
Dianne Mathiowetz
Caleb Maupin
Frank Neisser
Eva Panjwani
John Parker
Gloria Rubac
Johnnie Stevens
Scott Williams
and many more International Action Center organizers around the country.


Ramsey Clark’s Long Trek for Justice

by on March 21, 2013

Ramsey Clark’s Long Trek for Justice

March 9, 2013
Originally published at http://consortiumnews.com/2013/03/09/ramsey-clarks-long-trek-for-justic/

There was a time in America when someone like Ramsey Clark could be Attorney General and assert the power of the federal government on the side of civil rights, but that now seems like ancient history, as Clark reflects on the past and present with Dennis J. Bernstein.

By Dennis J. Bernstein

For more than 50 years – in both the public and private sectors – former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark has challenged the abuse of power and taken up the cause of the oppressed.

During his tenure at the Justice Department, including serving as Attorney General during the Johnson administration, Clark worked to end racial segregation and played a historic role in support of the American Civil Rights Movement.

Ramsey Clark with LBJ 1967

U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark with President Lyndon Johnson in 1967. (U.S. Government photo)

Clark was in charge of enforcing the court order that protected the famous march from Selma to Montgomery; leading the investigation of abuses by police and the National Guard following the Watts riots; and supervising the drafting and passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Civil Rights Act of 1968. He also opposed electronic surveillance and refused to authorize an FBI wiretap on Martin Luther King, Jr.

After leaving government, Clark provided legal defense to the disenfranchised. His controversial clients over the years included antiwar activist, Father Philip Berrigan, and Native American political prisoner, Leonard Peltier.

An outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy, Clark has called for an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as a ban on depleted uranium weapons. He fervently opposes the escalating militarization of the United States and is a staunch advocate for victims of constitutional violations and legal travesties in post-9/11 America.

DB: We have spoken with you before over the years in various parts of the globe and today you are here to talk about limits of power, this power which you have spent a lifetime challenging. First you were an enforcer as an Attorney General. Maybe you didn’t change much, but you became the people’s defense. In terms of government power and citizens rights, compared to 20 years ago, where are we? Do we have more rights? Are we safer or not safer in terms of the guarantees that we are supposedly given under the constitutional amendments?

RC: I’ll ignore your 20-year limitation. I think there’s been a significant erosion in government respect for fundamental human rights for our own citizens and the security of people abroad. Since the idealism of the 60′s, I don’t think we’ve maintained the respect for individual rights or human dignity that we were inspired with. The Vietnam War took a lot of that out of us, but I think the concentration of capital has done more to hurt individual liberties than anything else.

DB: Really? The merging of the corporate state and corporate power. Could you say a little more about that?

RC: It’s not concerned with individual rights. Look at the prison population. It’s heartbreaking and staggering. There’s not a better barometer of how you feel about freedom than how many people you put in prison. You need to find a better way to treat your folks.

As you look at the discrimination by numbers and percentage of the young black males in prison and the lives that are severely damaged, it is just unbelievable and staggering. It’s a shame for the nation that we would ever permit that. That’s after the civil rights movement. So you get to vote until you go to prison and then you can’t vote anymore because you have been convicted of a felony.

DB: A lot of discussion now about the drone program. We have admissions from the highest levels of government that the President of the United States has collaborated in a wide-ranging program of assassinations. In the context of national and international law, how would you characterize that?

RC: Murder. Simple. It ought to be addressed as such. The drones themselves are murder. The U.S. is going into neutral countries, areas far, far removed from war zones, often missing the people who were intended to be hit and hitting a lot of people there was no intention of hitting but they just got in the way. And it doesn’t seem to bother the government. But just the technique. What happens on earth there’s no safety anyplace from something in the sky that you can’t see until it kills you.

DB: We have done a lot of programming over the last two invasions of the Gaza Strip. Even though the first one was more bloody and brutal, the last one was a drone war. When you were speaking with people, there were drones everywhere. People were terrified. Just about every human being on the Gaza strip was vulnerable. Where are we in terms of warfare and the power of the rich and the elite to control the rest by any means necessary, which seems to be more and more intense weaponry?

RC: The plight of Gaza, not to mention Palestine generally, is desperate. I represented the PLO for about 30 years until Arafat left. He only left Gaza about two years before he died so I’d visit him there regularly. The place was booming. They were producing three crops a year, there was green everywhere. They were almost finished building an international airport. Education was booming. I don’t know of a place that was so intense on education from grammar school through graduate school. And it was so spirited.

I was there in January. Now it is just awful. It seems like you are at risk at all times. There is no security anyplace. Even agriculture is barren. Hospitals are in terrible shape, lacking medicines for the many injured and sick people. It’s a desperate situation and getting worse.

DB: Is it an overstatement to call it an ethnic cleansing in process? Clearly there’s a methodical attempt to purge Palestinians from their land. If you live in the West Bank you can’t even get to the Gaza Strip to see your uncle on a holiday or the weekend.

RC: I went a few times. It’s a day’s trip, even though just a few miles. You can get there. But if you are trying to meet somebody, it takes a lot of time. I went to Gaza to meet some people and didn’t have time to go to the West Bank. So they came to see me, but they got there 15 minutes before I had to leave after waiting there for 24 hours. That’s how hard it is.

DB: It was just the 40th anniversary of the American Indian Movement. We spoke with Bill Means, who was on the Wounded Knee reservation for the gathering. They were remembering and thinking about what still needs to happen. You’ve represented Leonard Peltier, who is still in jail. Your thoughts on why the U.S. government will not let him out and the significance of his role in this new movement. You’ve worked closely with him.

RC: I argued his first parole release, which is decades ago now. The poor medical examiner ordered release and lost his job because of it. One day in 1965 when I was Deputy Attorney General I was walking across a prison yard in Texas and I saw an old guy slumped over a building. I walked over and asked what he was doing here but there was no response. I patted him on the back and he seemed senile.

I turned to the warden and said “Why is he here? The sun could kill him.” The warden said, “We have been trying to get rid of him for years. Whenever we said we wanted to release him, we’d get a letter back from J. Edgar Hoover who said that anyone who is convicted of killing an FBI agent will never leave prison.” I think that’s Leonard Peltier’s problem, although of course he was wrongfully convicted, but two FBI agents were killed.

DB: Two FBI agents killed, so they will never let him go.

RC: As long as the present power prevails. I’m more of an optimist than that. He shouldn’t have been in prison in the first place and it’s so desperately over-done.

DB: Can you tell us, what are some of the issues that we need to do something about.

RC: You are asking for a long list. I’d have to start with our wars. We’ve got to stop these wars. We just had one outrageous, murderous war after another and we are aiming for Iran now, which might be called the last man standing but it’s not the last, because there will be another war after that. Look at the toll of those wars, and the sheer idiocy of going into Iraq. Since 1991 those people have not had a moment of peace, they are always at risk of death. And it’s as bad now or worse than it’s ever been.

After Bush’s invasion in 2003 I don’t see how the people withstood it. But they say mankind is a creature that can be accustomed to anything and they have become accustomed to hell on earth. It’s our responsibility, so we have to stop it. We have to prevent it from happening further and we can’t do that until we de-militarize.

DB: Is that possible? Where do we go? What is the advice now?

RC: It isn’t only possible, we’d be so much better off. Think of all the things we could do with the money if that was the only benefit we got from it. But we are risking fighting a nuclear war because, after signing it in 1968, we continue to violate the Nuclear Arms Proliferation Treaty, which compels the five or six nuclear powers at the time to work to eliminate their own nuclear weapons in return for the other nations not acquiring nuclear weapons.

But instead, it’s grown, and today if you have an enemy with a nuclear weapon, you’d better get one yourself, because there is no other protection. You can’t fight because they’ll take out all your cities. It doesn’t matter how much bigger you are than they. That’s the plight Iran’s faced with. How do you protect your people if Israel’s got the bomb?

DB: We’re way past 1984, but every time I hear the notion that Israel, the renegade, is restraining itself by not using some of their 500 thermo-nuclear weapons against Iran, it sounds so Orwellian. That is the story that is carried by mainstream [media], including liberal media like NPR. How do we confront this?

RC: We must stand up and do our best. Speak out for what it is. I started going to Iran when the Shah was still there. I watched what they did in the Iran/Iraq war. They lost 800,000 kids because the kids would hold a rifle wearing only tennis shoes and pants and charge toward the artillery and aircraft of the Soviet Union and U.S. and all the other powers of the earth backing Iraq in that war. They lost 800,000 young men but they kept fighting and they won. They finally prevailed in spite of everything. The problem they have is that however courageous they are, if an enemy uses nuclear weapons against them, their cities are gone.

DB: Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General, human rights and civil rights attorney for the people, we have spoken to you around the world, and wherever you are the people appreciated your presence. You give us hope and an example of how to live. Thank you, and what an honor.

Dennis J. Bernstein is a host of “Flashpoints” on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom.  You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net. He can be contacted at dennisjberstein@gmail.com.


Ramsey Clark, A Celebration I Wouldn’t Have Missed

by on January 31, 2013

Ramsey Clark, A Celebration I Wouldn’t Have Missed

Barbara Aziz
January 27, 2013


The banquet opened with a robust invocation– a song for the recovery of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez—sung appropriately in Persian by Iranian vocalist Hussain Ajhabeizadeh who accompanied himself on guitar… no less. Surely this couldn’t have happened in the USA? But it did. New York was indeed the venue of this extraordinary evening, one celebrating the 85th birthday of an extraordinary person, Ramsey Clark.

“Whereas today most Americans do not know the name Ramsey Clark, across the world millions do—wherever people are fighting for justice”, noted the party’s host. She wasn’t speaking of ‘convenient’ justice for ‘selected’ victims as defined by US policy makers, their UN lackeys and a compliant media. She referred to a justice for nations, a justice for truth and parity.

What endears Ramsey Clark to people worldwide is his insistence on a universal justice that respects national integrity and independence, that rejects demonization and marginalization of people who refuse to bow to American demands and accept roles the West assigns them. Nicaragua, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Venezuela, Palestine are among nations Ramsey Clark focused his attention over the past half century. Also individuals in US jails: the Cuban Five, Lynne Stewart, Mumia AbuJamal, Leonard Peltier, Aafia Siddiqui, Jamal AlAmin. (Few in this country know their names, locked away for decades, imprisoned far from their families.) Ramsey’s unremitting role in their struggle is documented by the organization he founded, the International Action Center, celebrating its 20th anniversary this night too.

Attorney Clark and IAC go where even journalists won’t dare. They go there long before professional humanitarians will acknowledge suffering generated by western governments themselves. They go as witnesses to truth. Fortunately for us, IAC (iacenter.org) is not only dedicated but diligent and productive. Perhaps more important than succor, IAC has
assembled a unmatched body of video and written testimony documenting, for example, the years of sanctions against Iraq, the US invasion of Panama, NATO’s Balkan war. Along with the record of Clark’s International War Crimes Tribunals, you can find these on IAC’s rich web site, www.iacenter.org. And for those curious about Clark’s exceptional career as a lawyer in the US Justice Department, the Civil Rights Movement and beyond, find that online too: www.iacenter.org/gala).

As for the celebratory January 12 evening, it was not only affirming but great fun too– something all activists need from time to time (http://ramseyclarkiacgala.com). Nothing wrong with celebrating ourselves, especially behind a figure like Ramsey.


IAC Gala Slideshow

by on January 14, 2013


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