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05/28/07: Support the troops...
... Bring Them Home!

Today is Memorial Day in the US. Today we recognize the soldiers who have been killed throughout US history in battles and wars around the world. It's a very sobering day.

Obviously the US is embroiled in a few conflicts right now, including Colombia and Afghanistan. For better or for worse though, the war in Iraq is the main one, and that's the one where we unequivocally say Support the Troops, Bring Them Home! In 1971, future Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry asked the Senate, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" That terrible question is the one we must ask ourselves, our neighbors, and our Congress critters, and demand action right now!

Here are some resources for current military members and people who are considering joining the military.
Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors
GI Rights Hotline
Iraq Veterans Against The War
Veterans For Peace
Project YANO

Many more links to counseling, counter-recruitment, and activist groups can be found on the CCCO Links page.

05/19/07: Anti-G8 protestors versus Germany
From Gipfelsoli Infogruppe, the organization leading the various anti-G8 protests in Germany, including Dissent G8:
"All demonstrations in the vicinity of Heiligendamm have been prohibited under a General Ban issued by the German Office for Association. The grounds behind the fence and a 4 kilometre area around the perimetre of the fence fall under the ban. With this ban, the protests are to be held at a 6 kilometre distance.

The planned 'star march' is one of the initiatives that is affected by these measures. With the motto, 'taking the protest to Heiligendamm', the star march is intended to end with a closing rally in Heiligendamm. Today, the star march coalition is lodging an urgent appeal against the ruling. A decision is expected at the end of next week. "If necessary, we will have our right to protest confirmed by the federal courts", a speaker for the star march coalition said. The prohibited area stretches from the camp in Reddelich almost all the way to the camp in Wichmannsdorf. A speaker of the BAO "Kavala" has declared that a congregation of 3 people within this area is illegal under the ruling. "This means that we can't even leave the camp in groups of 3 and walk next to one another without the police breaking us up", says a camp participant of the WomenLesbianTransgender Network. The rationale for the ban, according to "Kavala", lies with the foreign policies of the G8 countries. A "latent threat situation" exists for the representatives of the G8 countries because of the wars in "Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine". Even the German Government is perceived as endangered, because of its "increasing engagement in conflict regions". What is meant is the war in Afghanistan.

Hanne Jobst of the Gipfelsoli Infogruppe finds this reasoning absurd: "Protest is forbidden because it would have negative effects for foreign decision-makers. The G8 makes decisions that affect the lives of millions of people every day, without the legitimacy to do so, yet in the opinion of the police, the G8 should not have to be subjected to these people's anger".

Even popstar Herbert Groenemeyer has to admit this: "There is real anger", he explained in the German newspaper 'taz' the day before yesterday. Conicidentally, this week in Scotland, charges against five activists who were arrested and detained on their way to a closing demonstration at the conference hotel in Gleneagles during the 2005 G8 summit, were dropped. "As always during summit protests the police use arbitrary and often illegal measures to prevent protest from reaching those it seeks to criticise", Gerda Achterhuis of the Dutch Dissent network argues. "The move to ban the demonstration does not surprise us. However, we will not let ourselves be intimidated and will continue to mobilise for the star march and all other actions against the G8 meeting."

You can read the Rostock Police Departments justification for banning public protest (this page is in German).

05/15/07: Is God alive now that Falwell's dead?
Jerry Falwell: born August 11, 1933, died May 15, 2007.

"we are gathered here tonight to pay tribute to our lord and money unto me.
oh lord in heaven, let us pray. you tv viewers, give me your pay.
m - i - c - k - e - y - m - o - u - s - e

you call yourselves the moral majority
we call ourselves people in the real world
trying to rub us out, but we're going to survive
god must be dead, if you're alive

you say, 'god loves you. come and buy the good news'
then you buy the president and swimming pools
if jesus don't save 'til we're lining your pockets
god must be dead if you're alive

circus-tent con-men and southern belle bunnies
milk your emotions then they steal your money
it's the new dark ages with the fascists toting bibles
cheap nostalgia for the salem witch trials

stodgy ayatollahs in their double-knit ties
burn lots of books so they can feed you their lies
masturbating with a flag and a bible
god must be dead if you're alive

blow it out your ass, jerry falwell
blow it out your ass, jesse helms
blow it out your ass, ronald reagan
what's wrong with a mind of my own?

you don't want abortions, you want battered children
you want to ban the pill as if that solves the problem
now you wanna force us to pray in school
god must be dead if you're such a fool

you're planning for a war with or without iran
building a police state with the ku klux klan
pissed at your neighbor? don't bother to nag
pick up the phone and turn in a fag

blow it out your ass, terry dolan
blow it out your ass, phyllis schlafly
ram it up your cunt, anita
'cos god must be dead
if you're alive
god must be dead
if you're alive"

05/14/07: No Gas On Tuesday!
This e-mail's been making the rounds here in the U.S. Hit the oil companies where it hurts- their bottom line!
"NO GAS...On May 15th 2007, don't pump gas

In April 1997, there was a "gas out" conducted nationwide in protest of gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight. On May 15th 2007, all internet users are to not go to a gas station in protest of high gas prices. Gas is now over $3.00 a gallon in most places. There are 73,000,000+ American members currently on the internet network, and the average car takes about 30 to 50 dollars to fill up.
If all users did not go to the pump on the 15th, it would take $2,292,000,000.00 (that's almost 3 BILLION) out of the oil companies pockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on May 15th and lets try to put a dent in the Middle Eastern oil industry for at least one day."

For more ways to ditch the fossil fuel habit, perhaps permanently, check out How To Live Well Without Owning A Car, bio-diesel, and car-sharing .

05/09/07: German Gov't vs. Dissent G8!
From the Dissent G8 group: "Wave of Repression against anti-G8 structures in Germany!
Since Wednesday morning 8 am a wave of searches is taking places against left structures throughout Germany. Targeted are social projects and private persons that are organizing against the coming G8 summit - or suspected to do so.

In Berlin at least seven flats and office spaces are being searched, amongst which two offices in Bethanien, a social centre in Kreuzberg, Berlin, and the Fusion shop in the same district. The latter is a space used by an antifascist organization and the Interventionist Left. Moreover, a bookshop in Mehringhof and the office spaces of several alternative media projects in Lausitzer Straße have been searched.

The criminal investigation police was putting special attention on the alternative Internet server Many left and alternative projects have their websites, mailing lists and mail adresses hosted there. This way, the communication structue of the anti-G8 movement is hit on a sensitive point.

In Hamburg the repression is aimed against the social centre "Rote Flora" and diverse housing projects. Also in the surrounding of Berlin searches are taking place. And there are first reports about searches in the city of Bremen.

The orders for the searches are based on § 129a: "Formation of a terrorist association with the aim to stop the G8 summit". The random selection out of many left housing and infrastructural projects makes clear that the investigation is used as an excuse in order to weaken the mobilization against the G8. "Probably diverse cases of property damage serve as an excuse for these investigations", so the impression of the Campinski Press Group. One of these cases occured at the Kempinski Hotel, where the G8 summit is going to take place. The hotel was targeted with paint balls some months ago.

The context of a §129a investigation are instrumentalized in order to gather data about the protest movement. Besides, such measures have, most likely intended, intimdating effects. Only 2% of all $129a investigations result in sentencing.

However: "Who invites the G8 summit, also invites the protest against it", explains Hanne Jobst of the Berlin Bethanien office. "All attempts to criminalize this movement will not prevent us from exposing worldwide inequalities during the G8 summit."

The repressive acts of the criminal investigation police are not entirely surprising. The left and radical left resistance against the G8 has reached an uncontrollable level for the police. "So far, the police only tried to split the resistance in the public media through hallucinating about an army of 'anarchists'. Now they will try to sabotage the organizational structures", Jobst explains further.

"It is noteworthy that the searchces are targeted agaist all those parts of the resistance that refuse to direct claims to the G8, because they refuse the G8 in general as an illegitimate institution", explains a spokesperson of the Gipfelsoli Info Group."

More info here, here, and here!

05/02/07: Book publishing workshop in Frisco!
Expo for the Artist & Musician, a local non-profit which includes Jesse Luscious AT Mail Male on its Board of Directors, presents "Read Me!" -- An Indie Publishing & Distribution Workshop

This Expo DIY Workshop will focus on:
* Publishing basics for books and magazine
* Distribution: By any means necessary
* Surviving (or not) the fall of the Independent Press Association and Publisher's Group West
As always, Expo DIY workshops offer plenty of Q&A and more than a little antic fun. Bring your own manuscripts and contact info to trade!

-- Suzanne Shaffer (AK Press) on running an independent publishing company, pitching your books to one, and working with distribution companies.
-- Charlie Anders (Other Magazine) on how to publish a magazine, layout and design for press, and how a small group of people canÊmake a magazine happen.
-- Matt Holdaway (self-publisher extraordinaire) on DIY publishing and distribution.
-- Kaya Oakes (Kitchen Sink Magazine) on her experiences with the late, great Kitchen Sink.

When: Thursday, May 3, 7:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.-ish
Where: Modern Times Bookstore (888 Valencia St. x 20th St., SF)
Cost: FREE
Info: 415/861-5302

04/30/07: More Taqwacore news!
From the Guardian UK, an article/interview about Muslim punk rock connected to Michael Knight's book The Taqwacores. This excerpt begins with a couple of questions put to Sabina England, Muslim-American playwright.

"What does taqwacore mean to you?
"It means being true to myself, having my own faith, and interpreting Islam the way I want to, without feeling guilty or being looked down at by other Muslims."

What is the future for taqwacore?
"It's gonna get bigger. A lot of Muslim kids are tired of being told what to do, how to think, what to believe in, and how to act, by their parents. There are 'the angry muslim kids' who wanna grow beards and pray five times a day, and then there are the OTHER 'angry Muslim kids' who wanna get drunk and say a huge big 'fuck you' to the Muslim population. Or maybe they just don't care and wanna sit at home and not think about Osama's video speeches about how America is the Great Satan."

How her words would fare with Michael Muhammad Knight, author of The Taqwacores and an unwitting idol to the young and restless, is anyone's guess. Knight, who is 29 and lives in New York with his dog Sunny - "not as in Sunni Muslim" - downplays his achievement of single-handedly inspiring this subculture that has produced artists such as the Kominas, Secret Trial Five, Vote Hezbollah, Al-Thawra, 8-Bit and Diacritical.

"There was a scene already," says Knight modestly, whose next novel will be titled Osama Van Halen. "I just gave it a name. There were kids out there, doing their thing. I don't think of it as a movement, though, just a group of friends supporting each other."

Knight wrote the book to deal with his own issues. He converted to Islam as a teenager and admits he "burned out" from being so religious. "I was so intense. I felt Islam was so black and white and there were no grey areas. These Muslim kids, who are punks, they are in these grey areas." The kids he refers to have all devoured Knight's work, some taking it literally.

"One kid," he says, "thought the book was non-fiction and thought that stuff in the book actually happened. He got in touch. He said if it wasn't real, that he would make it real." He sounds worried by the suggestion that his book will be a manifesto for Muslim punks. "If the scene develops, I don't want it to be based on my book."

The words stable, door, horse and bolt spring to mind. Some Muslims are deeming his book to be nothing short of a revelation. "When I read The Taqwacores," says Basim Usmani, frontman of The Kominas, "all my reservations about Islam melted away."...

04/27/07: Euro Bike against the G8 now!
From the Dissent G8 group: The 3rd protest bicycle caravan starts today in Gent/Belgium!
With the slogan "wheels for change- ensure capitalism becomes history" the western bycicle caravan starts as the third of the 5 caravans agasist the g8-summit in Heiligendamm/Germany today its actions with a critical mass through Gent, Belgium. "We count on starting with around 20 people, but we expect that much more people will join!" Sida Singer said "Together we want to set a signal against neoliberalism, exploitation, racism, pollution and everybody who shares our ideas is welcome. We want to raise awareness among the people and let them dream about a livable future for every human in this world, and this is worth fighting for."

During their planned tour of around 1300 kilometers the activists will take part in bicycle demonstrations ("critical masses"), theatres, and other political actions. On the route through cities like Antwerpen, Nijmegen, Gronau/Ahaus, Muenster, Hamburg and Gorleben they will deal with subjects related to the upcoming G8 meeting. These are for instance the racist migration politics of Fortress Europe, genetic manipulation and exploitation of the earth, and the involvement of the G8 in wars all over the world, including in Afghanistan & Iraq.

The events and actions are prepared by supporters hosting the caravan at different stations."We want to use our time together for exchange and to build networks with various local groups from different backgrounds" Paula Farin explains. The cyclists do not want to take part in the whole neoliberal circus and the division of people along racist and economic criteria. They consider the caravan as a place for experiments where they can realize their ideas and ideals (even if only temporarily). The aim is to create a non-hierarchical structure during the ride, allowing people to learn and act in a self-organized manner. The caravan wants to make it possible for all people to participate, regardless of money, bicycle, physical condition or papers.

Bicycle Caravan Info-Office Rostock, Knut Rassmussenstr. 8, 18106 Rostock, Tel: 0049-179-6268785
More info here, here, and here!

04/25/07: Ward Churchill in the 51st State
From Punk News:
"Controversial professor and spoken word artist Ward Churchill has booked a speaking engagement in Winnipeg this weekend.

Churchill was pulled into the national spotlight after an essay he published following the World Trade Center attacks, where he referred to the victims as "technocrats" and "little Eichmanns." As a result of these comments, and a campaign by right-wing pundit Bill O'Reilly, Churchill was threatened and his career put in jeopardy.

He had originally been scheduled to appear at the University of Winnipeg, but his appearance was canceled. G7 has asked Churchill to deliver the keynote address at the Fort Garry Lectures in History V, Annual Graduate Student Conference on Friday, April 27th (admission is free). His presentation is entitled Kill the Indian, Save the Man: U.S. and Canadian Residential Schools in Context. The event will take place at Rudolph Rocker Cultural Centre at 91 Albert St."

04/19/07: Dave now a MRR Shitworker!
That's right, the stories of Maximumrocknroll and Alternative Tentacles continue to be intertwined as the latest issue of MRR (#288, May 2007) features the debut of the "Don't Try" column, written by AT General Manager Dave! Other AT/MRR folks include Mail Male Jesse Luscious (current MRR book reviewer) and Jello Biafra (early MRR Radio guest), as well as a host of other Bat-folks over the years.

04/17/07: Part 2 of Chomsky & Zinn on Democracy Now!
On today's episode of Democracy Now, you can hear Amy Goodman continue her conversation with Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. Here's Noam Chomsky talking about Alan Dershowitz attacks on author & AT spoken word artist Norman Finkelstein, and here's Howard Zinn & Noam Chomsky talking about Henry David Thoreau and Zinn's personal history of protest. Both links contain audio, video, and written transcripts of the interviews, so dig in!

04/16/07: Chomsky & Zinn on Democracy Now!
A two-part interview with Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, moderated by Amy Goodman, is airing today and tomorrow on Democracy Now. You can read the transcript, see the video, and/or hear the audio for Part 1 here. Dig in!

04/09/07: Breedlove's "Godspeed" this Wednesday!
From Lynnee Breedlove/Tribe 8 & her film crew:
"We're kicking off our final fundraising push to complete GODSPEED at the opening night of the San Francisco Women's Film Festival. The SFWFF starts at 7 p.m. at 12 Galaxies, 2565 Mission (at 22nd St.), S.F. Admission is $10."

Local alt.weekly S.F. Weekly says:
"It's not that Guinevere Turner, famous actor and writer, is less than amazing. The star and co-writer of mid-1990s lesbian classic Go Fish is indeed awesome -- she's co-written hella major, good movies including American Psycho and The Notorious Bettie Page -- and yes, yes, she's gorgeous. It's just that (imagine yelling) a clip from Lynn Breedlove's Godspeed is showing at the San Francisco Women's Film Festival! This is huge! (End yelling.) So while Turner is great, local-feminist-punk-rocker-turned-novelist-turned-filmmaker remains our festival favorite. See, several years ago, the former frontwoman of all-girl punk band Tribe 8 wrote a novel about a butch speed-freak bike messenger, and depending on which review you look at, the book either makes you really want to try drugs, or never want to try drugs -- it's agreed that the writing is extremely powerful. The film version of this fine local product stars Breedlove herself and has a tease-premiere at today's opening-night party, which also features an appearance by Turner and two short films she directed, Hung and Hummer.
The screenings and events also include an evening of children's animation by women, a Q&A with superstar Hollywood director Penelope Spheeris (who's trying to make a Janis Joplin biopic), and a documentary and activism panel."

04/02/07: Pansy Division Lives!
2 great pieces of Pansy Division news!

First, Pansy Division is playing with The Avengers (yes, THAT Avengers!) and Southern Girls (featuring ex-PD guitar hero Patrick), for the first time in more than a year! It's all happening Saturday April 21st at the Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco. It's 21+ and not wheelchair accessible, unfortunately, but you can get tickets at the Cafe Du Nord website.

2. Pansy Division is going into the studio to lay down a few new tunes! It's unclear where these will eventually end up, but rest assured they'll be rockin' a few of them @ the 4/21 show in Frisco.

03/26/07: Akimbo stomps all @ SXSW!
Check out a free live video of AT faves Akimbo at the recent SXSW festival in Austin Texas! Scroll to the bottom of this SXSW Live Page!

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