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Ward Churchill, American Indian radical activist, professor, author, and lecturer, has been the target of the right-wing press in the US for the past few days. As a long-time AT spoken word artist (with our friends, AK Press, who also publish many of his books), Alternative Tentacles strongly supports his right to publish his always challenging writings, and we are proud to offer the 2 Ward Churchill spoken word cds we've co-released with AK Press. We also carry some of his AK Press-released books
Here is a statement released by Ward Churchill yesterday:
"In the last few days there has been widespread and grossly inaccurate media coverage concerning my analysis of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, coverage that has resulted in defamation of my character and threats against my life. What I actually said has been lost, indeed turned into the opposite of itself, and I hope the following facts will be reported at least to the same extent that the fabrications have been.
* The piece circulating on the internet was developed into a book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens. Most of the book is a detailed chronology of U.S. military interventions since 1776 and U.S. violations of international law since World War II. My point is that we cannot allow the U.S. government, acting in our name, to engage in massive violations of international law and fundamental human rights and not expect to reap the consequences.
* I am not a "defender"of the September 11 attacks, but simply pointing out that if U.S. foreign policy results in massive death and destruction abroad, we cannot feign innocence when some of that destruction is returned. I have never said that people "should" engage in armed attacks on the United States, but that such attacks are a natural and unavoidable consequence of unlawful U.S. policy. As Martin Luther King, quoting Robert F. Kennedy, said, "Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable."
* This is not to say that I advocate violence; as a U.S. soldier in Vietnam I witnessed and participated in more violence than I ever wish to see. What I am saying is that if we want an end to violence, especially that perpetrated against civilians, we must take the responsibility for halting the slaughter perpetrated by the United States around the world. My feelings are reflected in Dr. King's April 1967 Riverside speech, where, when asked about the wave of urban rebellions in U.S. cities, he said, "I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed . . . without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - my own government."
* In 1996 Madeleine Albright, then Ambassador to the UN and soon to be U.S. Secretary of State, did not dispute that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of economic sanctions, but stated on national television that "we" had decided it was "worth the cost." I mourn the victims of the September 11 attacks, just as I mourn the deaths of those Iraqi children, the more than 3 million people killed in the war in Indochina, those who died in the U.S. invasions of Grenada, Panama and elsewhere in Central America, the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, and the indigenous peoples still subjected to genocidal policies. If we respond with callous disregard to the deaths of others, we can only expect equal callousness to American deaths.
* Finally, I have never characterized all the September 11 victims as "Nazis." What I said was that the "technocrats of empire" working in the World Trade Center were the equivalent of "little Eichmanns." Adolf Eichmann was not charged with direct killing but with ensuring the smooth running of the infrastructure that enabled the Nazi genocide. Similarly, German industrialists were legitimately targeted by the Allies.
* It is not disputed that the Pentagon was a military target, or that a CIA office was situated in the World Trade Center. Following the logic by which U.S. Defense Department spokespersons have consistently sought to justify target selection in places like Baghdad, this placement of an element of the American "command and control infrastructure" in an ostensibly civilian facility converted the Trade Center itself into a "legitimate" target. Again following U.S. military doctrine, as announced in briefing after briefing, those who did not work for the CIA but were nonetheless killed in the attack amounted to no more than "collateral damage." If the U.S. public is prepared to accept these "standards" when the are routinely applied to other people, they should be not be surprised when the same standards are applied to them.
* It should be emphasized that I applied the "little Eichmanns" characterization only to those described as "technicians." Thus, it was obviously not directed to the children, janitors, food service workers, firemen and random passers-by killed in the 9-1-1 attack. According to Pentagon logic, were simply part of the collateral damage. Ugly? Yes. Hurtful? Yes. And that's my point. It's no less ugly, painful or dehumanizing a description when applied to Iraqis, Palestinians, or anyone else. If we ourselves do not want to be treated in this fashion, we must refuse to allow others to be similarly devalued and dehumanized in our name.
* The bottom line of my argument is that the best and perhaps only way to prevent 9-1-1-style attacks on the U.S. is for American citizens to compel their government to comply with the rule of law. The lesson of Nuremberg is that this is not only our right, but our obligation. To the extent we shirk this responsibility, we, like the "Good Germans" of the 1930s and '40s, are complicit in its actions and have no legitimate basis for complaint when we suffer the consequences. This, of course, includes me, personally, as well as my family, no less than anyone else.
* These points are clearly stated and documented in my book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens, which recently won Honorary Mention for the Gustavus Myer Human Rights Award. for best writing on human rights. Some people will, of course, disagree with my analysis, but it presents questions that must be addressed in academic and public debate if we are to find a real solution to the violence that pervades today's world. The gross distortions of what I actually said can only be viewed as an attempt to distract the public from the real issues at hand and to further stifle freedom of speech and academic debate in this country.
January 31, 2005
Where: 1501 Powell Street- under the overpass on the same street as the Emeryville Amtrak Station.When: Saturday January 29, 10am-3pm
01/04/05: Help Tsunami victims today!
Like most people, we've been shocked and saddened by the immense devestation and loss of life around the Indian Ocean. We've finally gotten ourselves together enough to offer you some of the staff's choices of non-profits who are working to restore some semblance of a sustainable existance in the areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami 12/26/04. This is not a complete list (we'll be adding to it over the next weeks), and always check Charity Navigator for consumer information about various charities.
2. Seva Foundation, an international health organization focusing on eye care in South Asia and other places.
Seva is working initially with two organizations to respond to emergency and reconstruction needs:In Sri Lanka, Seva is working with IMPACT Sri Lanka which has set up five "health camps" in the worst affected regions of Hambantota, Matara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee where most of the hospitals and health centers have been destroyed or washed away. Funds are being utilized to purchase medicines, drugs, dressings dehydrating salts and vaccines. In India, Seva is working with the Aravind Eye Care System and its hospital in Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, where emergency relief measures are under way. Aravind is concentrating on rebuilding communities destroyed by the tsunami. Specifically the focus is on building or rebuilding homes in Cuddalore district, one of the worst affected areas around Pondicherry. According to Charity Navigator, 78.8% of donations go to relief efforts.
3. Direct Relief International focuses on health-by providing essential material resources to locally run health programs in poor areas around the world and during times of disaster. Direct Relief International is a non-political and non-sectarian organization that provides assistance without regard to race, ethnicity, political or religious affiliation, gender, or ability to pay. According to Charity Navigator, 99.1% of donations go to relief efforts.
Don't forget, the % of donations going to relief efforts encompasses all of the charity's operations, so the South Asia Tsunami/Earthquake Relief efforts may have a higher % of donations going to relief. Also, the % depends on how large a charity it is.
Friday 12/24 noon-3pmSunday 12/26 noon-3pm Tuesday 12/28 6-9am Thursday 12/30 noon-3pm Friday 12/31 noon-3pm Tuesday 1/4 6-9am Tuesday 1/11 6-9am Tuesday 1/18 6-9am
12/23/04: Doc Dart back as "26" on Crustacean Records!
Doc Corbin Dart, the leader of the infamous Crucifucks, is back with a new album on Crustacean Records. "The Messiah" was released under Doc's new moniker "26." While there's no exact reason given for the alias, Doc's commented to the Lansing City Pulse that he's been working with "mystical trances" and has been known to leave phone messages that say "His name is the number 26…He is the Messiah…He has arrived at the mountaintop…And no one on earth can bring him down."
12/22/04: Bellrays singer rocks with the MC5 and Sun Ra!
DKT/MC5, the current incarnation of the legendary MC5, have announced a one-off show in London next year with "sonic jazz phenomenon" Sun Ra Arkestra.
The show will take place at the Royal Festival Hall and feature original MC5 members Michael Davis on bass, Wayne Kramer on guitar and Dennis Thompson on drums with vocals provided by Lisa Kekaula of The Bellrays. Tickets are on sale now for the February 25th show here. Time for a road trip!
Merry Christmas: V-MORR ZO-MAZZ
--Ygarr Ygarrist, Zolar X
Leftover Crack's Stza Crack issued the following statement on the death of his friend and bandmate:
"At some point on the morning of Friday, December 17th our friend & drummer Brandon died in his sleep at a Dallas, Texas hotel after our show at the Red Blood club. There will be a funeral for him in N.J. on Wednesday the 22nd. We will ask his blood-family if they want the location posted here for anybody who wishes to attend.
Brandon was not only the most talented drummer we have ever played with, but anyone that knew him can tell you that he was one of nicest funny & caring people in the world. At a time when I became totally disillusioned & turned off from playing music he showed-up to completely inspire me & remind me about the fun & meaning of what it was that we were doing.
We will miss him with all of our hearts & minds until we meet our own ends."
We at Alternative Tentacles wish to express our deepest condolences to Brandon's family, friends and band-mates in this sorrowful time.
"Gary Webb, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who wrote a series of stories linking the CIA to crack cocaine trafficking in Los Angeles, is dead at age 49.
Webb was found Friday morning at his home in Sacramento County, dead of an apparent suicide. Moving-company workers called authorities after discovering a note posted on his front door that read, "Please do not enter. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance." Webb died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Sacramento County coroner's office. He is survived by two sons and a daughter.
Gary Webb's 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News titled "Dark Alliance" revealed that for the better part of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to Los Angeles street gangs and funneled millions in drug profits to the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contras.
It provoked a fierce reaction from the media establishment, which denounced the series. Following the controversy, San Jose Mercury News executive editor demoted Webb within the paper. He resigned and pushed his investigation even further in his book "Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion."
There's an interview with author and journalist Robert Parry at Democracy Now, in both written and video format.
A bill proposed by State Representative Gerald Allen of Cottondale, Alabama, would prohibit the use of tax dollars to purchase the textbooks or library materials that promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. The Alabama Republican believes pro-homosexual novels and textbooks are prevalent in the state's public and university libraries, and he views his legislation as a "good start" towards addressing the moral decline in American culture.
Rep. Gerald AllenIf Allen's proposed legislation becomes law, children's books, young adult novels, and even literary classics containing positive portrayals of homosexual characters would have to be removed from library shelves across the state and destroyed, along with any college-level books or texts that suggest homosexuality is natural or acceptable. The bill would also prohibit a teacher from handing out materials or bringing in a classroom speaker who promotes homosexuality, and it would ban all materials that recognize or promote any acts the sodomy and sexual misconduct laws of Alabama prohibit, homosexual or otherwise.
Critics of Allen's bill warn that its broad proscriptions would ban many important and popular works of literature, such as Alice Walker's The Color Purple, Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, and Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as certain plays of Tennessee Williams, for example. But the Alabama legislator has been widely quoted as advocating that, for all pro-homosexual literature and educational materials found in public schools, universities and libraries, "we should dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them."
Last month Punk Voter folks got together in Frisco and sussed out what we'll be doing next. After helping to get more 18-24s to the polls than ever before- and halting the steady slide in the % of youth voters- in November's national US elections- Punk Voter is switching our focus.
Now we're going to concentrate on 4 specific areas for the immediate future:1. Impending draft and encouraging Conscientious Objectors to register now before the draft occurs.2. Protect Roe vs. Wade and related choice issues.3. Fight increased media consolidation and encourage media literacy.4. Repair our Democracy- recountable, accessible touch screen machines, Instant Run-Off Voting, Public Financing, true Campaign Finance Reform, and on and on.
You can read more about it in AT Mail Male Jesse "Luscious" Townley's Guest Column on the Punk Voter site. There's also an update on Jesse's campaign for Berkeley City Council there. Dig in and step up!
11/18/04: Warning! Satire Ahead!
Warning! Dangerous new STD hits US!
The Centers for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of sexually transmitted disease. This disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea lecthim (pronounced "gonna re-elect him"). Many victims have contracted it after having been screwed for the past 4 years, and in spite of having taken measures to protect themselves from this especially virulent disease.
Cognitive sequellae of individuals infected with Gonorrhea lecthim include, but are not limited to: Anti-social personality disorder traits; delusions of grandeur with a distinct messianic flavor; chronic mangling of the English language; extreme cognitive dissonance; inability to incorporate new information; pronounced xenophobia; inability to accept responsibility for actions; exceptional cowardice masked by acts of misplaced bravado; ignorance of geography and history; tendencies toward creating evangelical theocracies; and a strong propensity for categorical, all-or nothing behavior.
"6 BUSTED IN E. VILLAGE ATTACK ON COPSNovember 7, 2004 -- Six rowdy concert-goers were arrested in the East Village last night for tossing glass bottles at cops dispersing the crowd, police said.
More than 200 people had gathered for an afternoon concert in Tompkins Square Park where the punk group Leftover Crack sang songs urging violence against cops.
As the concert started to wind down at 6 p.m., witnesses said several unruly people started to skirmish with arriving officers. "I'm not going to lie. They were throwing bottles at the cops," said spectator Caroline Coughlin, 18. "But it was in reaction to the cops' violence." Four men and a woman face charges ranging from disorderly conduct to inciting a riot to resisting arrest.
A fifth man faces a criminal-mischief count for smashing the windows of a police car and drug charges after he was found with some leftover crack in his pocket. No one on either side was injured. "
Alternative Tentacles recording artist, Leftover Crack, have ended the latest leg of their extensive touring with a chaotic night in Arizona. The events at the Brickyard in Phoenix, Arizona and their implications as to the future of Leftover Crack have been hotly debated on the internet. The band's frontman, Stza Crack wanted to set the record straight and stress that the band has NOT broken up and no shows will be cancelled on the band's upcoming European and Southern US tours.
"First off we're are very excited to have four more years to slander a tried & true American Villain as our "leader", for a second we thought our 'Fuck World Trade' record cover was gonna be completely dated after a mere 2 months after it's release. Oh yeah, we are not broken up, we'll see the rest of you in Europe (Nov.10th-28th) & in the southeast of the U.S. (Dec. 10th-20th)"
So doubters beware, Leftover Crack are headed your way, lock up your liquor cabinets and spread the word!
P.S.- And don't believe everything you read on an internet messageboard!