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The people stand against NATO

Originally posted by A.N.S.W.E.R

“NATO: Shut it Down! Wall Street: Shut it Down! Homeland Security: Shut it Down!” That forceful chant rang out as protesters, many thousands strong, marched on the NATO Summit on May 20 in Chicago.

Responding with determination in the face of an organized campaign of government threats and intimidation aimed at anti-NATO protesters, an impressive number of young people, union members, antiwar organizations and community members filled the streets to demand “U.S./NATO Out of Afghanistan Now!” during the opening day of the NATO Summit.

The Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8) estimates the crowd size as about 15,000.

In the week leading up to the NATO Summit, thousands of people marched and rallied in Chicago. The actions included a large rally of nurses demanding higher taxes on the rich and a march on Mayor Emanuel’s house, 1,000 people strong, which demanded “Health Care not Warfare!”

People came in buses, by train and by car caravan from all over the country to take a stand in Chicago against imperialist war and capitalist austerity.

In a moving display of solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and the Middle East at the end of the march, Afghanistan and Iraq veterans took off their medals and hurled them toward the NATO Summit grounds. One of those who returned his medals, Marine Vince Emmanuelli, said: “Our enemies are right here and we look at them every day. … They are the millionaires and billionaires who control this planet and we’ve had enough of it.” (WBEZ Chicago)

Months-long campaign against protesters

Though the military machines of NATO are the greatest purveyors of violence in the world, local and federal law enforcement agencies and the media engaged in a months-long attack campaign against protesters and protest groups.

The Chicago chapter of the National Lawyers Guild set up a 24-hour hotline to provide support for people who were arrested before and during the NATO protest.

Prior to the May demonstration, the NLG Chicago chapter reported:

“More than two-dozen people had been arrested so far in the lead up to the NATO summit. At least 7 arrestees in addition to the ones with terrorism-related charges are currently in custody.

“During a Wednesday night house raid, police broke down the doors of multiple apartment units with guns drawn and searched residences without a warrant or consent. In addition to 9 arrests made that night, NLG attorneys believe that two undercover police or confidential informants were arrested with the others and were later released. Of the 9 activists arrested, 6 were released without any charges despite being shackled for at least 18 hours in solitary confinement and denied access to attorneys.”

At the May 20 mass march, a police mob surrounded and brutally attacked the demonstration as it was winding down, swinging their clubs at people’s heads and injuring many dozens. At least 45 people were arrested. Among those injured were ministers, community activists, journalists and others who tried to rescue people from police.

‘The people will not be bullied or silenced by the police and government’

The ANSWER Coalition in Chicago went all out to build the March on the NATO Summit, both through street outreach and social media outlets, and had a big presence at the protest with banners and placards and large amplified sound that unified large numbers of marchers with booming chants. The banners and placards read: “No War on Iran! Hands off Syria!”, “Troops Home Now! Money for Jobs and Education!”, “Unite the 99%: Fight Racism!” and “U.S./NATO Out of Afghanistan Now!”

Asked what she thought of the protest, ANSWER organizer Ymelda Viramontes said: “Today’s protest shows that the people can and will resist the government and Wall Street’s attempts to bully and silence us. The number of people that came out into the streets of downtown today to show solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, Iran and Syria and demand no U.S. or NATO intervention—that’s a good indication that we can build a powerful movement against war and racism right here in the U.S.”

The people stand against NATO

Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies

Center for Human Rights

Sabotage in Miami

Fire guts Miami offices of Cuba travel firm

Reuters By David Adams | Reuters – Fri, Apr 27, 2012

MIAMI (Reuters) – State and local officials were investigating a suspicious fire on Friday that gutted the Miami offices of a travel agency specializing in flights to Cuba.

Fire rescue officials responded to a fire at Airline Brokers before dawn. The ground floor suite of offices was destroyed and an acrid smell hung in the air as police cordoned off the street outside. Investigators searched through the ashes assisted by dogs that are trained to detect accelerant.

“There is an investigation currently underway,” said Deborah Cox, a spokeswoman for the state Fire Marshals Office. She said no details were being released because the probe was ongoing.

The FBI is also working with local police “to determine how the investigation will proceed,” said the FBI’s Miami spokesman, Michael Leverock.

Airline Brokers owner Vivian Mannerud said she suspected arson by Cuban exile militants upset over her role in organizing a special charter flight for 340 Cuban-American pilgrims who went to Cuba last month for the visit by Pope Benedict XVI.

“I’m afraid it was intentional, because of the indignation over the pope’s visit,” Mannerud said. “But we can’t conclude anything until we see the results of the investigation. Maybe it was electrical.”

Mannerud said she had not received any recent threats to her business, but she said she was targeted in the early 1990s by Cuban exile extremists.

“If it was intentional, that would be a big blemish on the city. I thought we had moved past the era of terrorist acts,” she added, referring to attacks on Cuban exile moderates in previous decades.

For decades after Cuba’s 1959 revolution, Miami was the scene of politically motivated arson attacks and car-bombings targeting perceived Cuba government sympathizers and people doing business with the island.

The fire destroyed the contents of the office, Mannerud said, raising the suspicion that an accelerant might have been involved. “It looks like an atomic bomb exploded. It’s pulverized and the furniture is ashes. There’s not even a leg of a desk,” she said.

None of the company’s 18 employees were in the office when the fire started.

Airline Brokers is one of a number of charter companies that fly to Cuba from airports in Miami, as well as a growing number of other U.S. cities, including Tampa, New York and Los Angeles, under special Treasury Department licenses.

Mannerud said her company has seven flights a week from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Despite losing all the office computers, she said she planned to continue taking bookings, adding that the company’s Cuba flight schedule would not be affected.

(Editing By Tom Brown and Stacey Joyce)

Message of Solidarity to the Freedom Riders

Dear New York Freedom Riders,

The members of Casa de las Americas wish to say thank you for your decision to be a Freedom Rider to Washington, DC for the Cuban Five this past Saturday, April 21st.  We are grateful for your solidarity with Cuba, with its people, and with the Cuban Five.

At the rally, we fulfilled the objective of raising awareness of our Five Cuban Heroes and the great injustice that has been done to them.

We understand that President Obama can exercise his executive position and release these men and allow them to return to Cuba immediately. We remain hopeful, that as a result of the great efforts of the International Committee to Free the Five during last week at Washington, DC and that of the many friends from around this nation like you, including international friends that joined in these efforts, that we have come significantly closer to realizing our ultimate goal which is for Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez, Fernando Gonzalez and Ramon Labañino to return home.

We extend our appreciation to DC37 for their generosity for this cause. They donated two of the four buses and distributed wholesome boxed lunches for all participants, as well as plastic ponchos in case it rained. Local 1199 helped considerably to finance the rental of one of the buses. These are actions that speak to their mission, the character of their leadership, and their commitment to peace, justice, and humanity.

To the organizations in solidarity with Cuba that comprise the July 26 Coalition. Their hard work and dutiful planning ensured the success of New York’s participation at the culminating event of the rally for the Five.

It was more than an honor to spend the day with you all. We had the best time together especially on our return home. To everyone that entertained us with a song, a story, a poem, quote or a funny joke – we say thank you.  We were reminded of all the talent, positive energy, and fiery spirit that exists amongst us.

“Hacer es la mejor forma de decir”

– José Martí

Un fuerte abrazo,

Nancy Cabrero

Presidenta

Casa de las Américas

La Colmenita

 

In a rare US appearance, La Colmenita, an internationally acclaimed Cuban children’s theater group and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, will perform in New York City.

The US tour will introduce some of Cuba’s most talented children to an American audience that has, in spite of the decades-long U.S. embargo, enthusiastically embraced Cuban culture.

It is their hope that their productions will build greater understanding between two countries whose people have been divided by politics for too long.

Where and When:
Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture at Hostos Community College
Friday, October 21, Play: “Abracadabra”
Time: 7:30pm, Bronx, New York Tickets $20,
students & seniors $15.00, CHILDREN FREE.

Also at
PS 154 – The Harriet Tubman Learning Center
Saturday, October 22, Play: “Abracadabra”
Time: 3pm, Harlem, New York Admission Free

Salud ~ Cuba Medical Film

FREE THE CUBAN 5 MONTH/FILM FESTIVAL!

In 2006, President Ricardo Alarcon of the Cuban parliament, called for the period of time between September 12th through October 6th, to be a time to call attention to the case of the Cuban 5; 5 U.S. held political prisoners incarcerated for 13 years for fighting against terrorism in the United States and Cuba. In New York City, we extend the time frame by 6 days to make it a full month, Sept. 12th-Oct. 12th.

This year, The Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5 is organizing a film festival and a series of forums to educate, organize and mobilize for the freedom of these innocent men! Please Support our efforts! Contact us if you want to host a film showing or a forum! Email us at: freethecuban5@gmail.com or call
718-601-4751

¡Salud!:

A timely examination of human values and the health issues that affect us all, ¡Salud! looks at the curious case of Cuba, a cash-strapped country with what the BBC calls ‘one of the world’s best health systems.’ From the shores of Africa to the Americas, !Salud!hits the road with some of the 28,000 Cuban health professionals serving in 68 countries, and explores the hearts and minds of international medical students in Cuba — now numbering 30,000, including nearly 100 from the USA. Their stories plus testimony from experts around the world bring home the competing agendas that mark the battle for global health—and the complex realities confronting the movement to make healthcare everyone’s birth right.

A feature documentary, ¡Salud! is directed by Academy Award nominee Connie Field and co-produced by Gail Reed. The film spans three continents to look at the philosophy and health professionals placing Cuba on the map in the worldwide movement to make health care a global birthright. Today, Cubans are among the world’s healthiest people, despite the island’s poverty. Cuba’s volunteer corps now posts 28,000 health professionals in 68 countries; and Cuban medical schools will graduate an unprecedented 100,000 new doctors from developing countries over the next decade.

Friday Sept. 30th, 2011 at 7pm-10pm

Casa de las Américas, 182 East 111th St. (bet. Third and Lexington Ave.)
#6 Lexington Ave. line train to 110th St.
Friday, October 14, 2011 5:00PM to 8:00PM

Cuban Film Festival

Cuban Film Festival

Fidel: The untold story:


Whether dismissed as a relic or revered as a savior, all agree that Fidel Castro, nearing 44 years as the leader of Cuba, is one of the most influential and controversial figures of our time. Rarely are Americans given a chance to see inside the world of this socialist leader.

The new documentary film FIDEL by Estela Bravo offers a unique opportunity to view the man through exclusive interviews with Castro himself, historians, public figures and close friends, with rare footage from the Cuban State archives.

Alice Walker, Harry Belafonte, and Sydney Pollack discuss Fidel as a person, while former and current US government figures including Arthur Schlesinger, Ramsey Clark, Wayne Smith, Congressman Charles Rangel and a former CIA agent offer political and historical perspectives on Castro and the long-standing US embargo against Cuba. Family members and close friends, including Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, offer a window into the rarely seen personal life of Fidel.

Bravo’s camera captures Fidel Castro swimming with bodyguards, visiting his childhood home and school, joking with Nelson Mandela, Ted Turner and Muhammad Ali, meeting Elian Gonzalez, and celebrating his birthday with members of the Buena Vista Social Club. Juxtaposing the personal anecdotal with history of the Cuban revolution and the fight to survive the post-Soviet period, FIDEL tells a previously untold story and presents a new view of this compelling figure.



Friday Sept. 16th, 2011 at 7pm-10pm
Casa de Las Americas 182 E. 111th St.
(Btwn. Lexington and Third Ave.)
Take the 6 train to E. 110th St.
Suggested donation: $5 (No one will be turned away)

Travel Bound Educators

October 26, 2011

Travel Bound Educators:

Casa de las Américas is planning their second annual trip to Havana during the February NYC public school winter break. The focus of the trip will be on exploring the educational system in Cuba. As such we will obtain an education license to keep within the State Department guidelines and requirements to travel to
Cuba.

We will build on last year’s experience to maximize the benefits this trip will offer – as we attempt to renew, or continue our efforts to create a better educational system here in the USA.

Cuba has had a legacy of quality education for its citizens that is well known and documented. Cuba, from the path it has embarked since 1959 called the Revolution, began its well known journey of eliminating illiteracy to guaranteeing higher education achievement to its citizens – within the context of its
own trials and tribulations for economic growth and sustainability – and the roadblocks imposed on it from the major capitalist economic giant to its north.

In this vein, we urge all interested travelers on our trip to read on Cuba’s educational system and achievements. We will make available a reading list to this end in the coming weeks before the trip. In addition we will plan a meeting on the trip’s logistics. We hope to make this as interactive as possible within the constraints of time and costs.

An itinerary will be made that will include different levels of educational institutions, educators, students and parents. We plan to visit a number of auxiliary educational settings such as museums and related points of interest.

In addition to the above and of primary importance are the details concerning the cost of the trip and subsequent steps. You will be asked to provide proper documentation proving US citizenship and identifying your profession.

You will be identified as an educator, retired educator, educational activists, or a concerned citizen for a better education in the USA.

In your RSVP, please indicate if more people will be traveling with you and their current passport name, the passport number, and state residence of the identifying categories mentioned above. For contact purposes please provide us with an email address and a cell phone number if possible. Right now there is no space limitation, but depending on the response, one will be drawn. Trip details will be provided via email, and other available social media.

Please RSVP as soon as possible to William Gerena, with the requested information.


Trip Coordinators:

William Gerena Rochet Gerena339@gmail.com

646.283.9666

Nancy Cabrero Nycgab95@yahoo.com

917.412.4451