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In the spirit of Chevy Chase on Saturday Night Live, "This just in: Ronald Reagan is still dead."
In other news, Eugene Ruggles, a poet and post-Beat North Beach activist died yesterday at the age of 68. Gene was known for his "deep image" verse and for organizing San Francisco poetry readings and benefits.
Born in Pontiac, Michigan, he came to San Francisco in the early 1960s and became a regular in North Beach bars and cafes. His work appeared in numerous literary journals, and his book (Lifeguard in the Snow) published in 1977 by the University of Pittsburg Press, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
The 35-year-old, who plays bass in a Clash tribute group called London Calling, had intended to text the lyrics - from the Clash song Tommy Gun - to singer Reg Shaw. Instead, he sent the message to the wrong number.... [Devine] said the officer had then produced a printout of the text message, which read: "How about this for Tommy Gun? OK - so let's agree about the price and make it one jet airliner for 10 prisoners."
He said he had then been asked to explain what the message meant, and described how the detective had looked "puzzled" when told the words were by the Clash. The officer seemed "a little embarrassed" when he left, Mr Devine added.
From The Guardian. This is either funny or distressing, depending on your outlook on life...
The painting, titled "The Abuse" by East Bay artist Guy Colwell, shows Pfc. Lynndie England and another soldier smiling gleefully as they look upon a trio of naked, hooded Iraqi prisoners who are hooked up to electrical wires. In the background, a third American soldier is escorting a Muslim woman in a dress into the torture chamber. The painting is black and white, except for American flag patches on the soldiers' uniforms, which appear to be splattered with blood.
A week ago, Haigh realized the nerve the painting had struck when she arrived at work to find the place egged and heaps of trash dumped at the gallery entrance. On her computer and voice mail were stinging messages calling her anti-American for showing the artwork. Even after she took the painting out of the front window, she received six threats against her life. The last straw was when a man spat at her.
"He came walking in with a fisherman's cap and a fatigue jacket on and slowly made his way along the wall, looking at the pictures," she said. "Then he put his fists on my desk, put his face close to mine and spat. It was a real big loogie spit -- it was not a tiny spit." As Haigh ran to the back of the gallery for some napkins, the man fled. Haigh has filed a police report on the incident.
All upcoming exhibitions, including a Winston Smith exhibit, have been cancelled, and unless there's significant community support this Saturday, Haigh will close her gallery permanently.
On Saturday May 29th, artist Colwell will bring a U-haul to the gallery to retrieve his artwork, and a number of the artist's supporters are expected to turn out. Please show up at 10AM to show support for dissident art and freedom of expression. Capobianco Gallery is at 1841 Powell in the heart of North Beach, San Francisco.
Portions of this AT news item are from the S.F. Examiner.
Journalist Mumia Abu Jamal was connected with MOVE in 1981 when he was arrested by the Philadelphia Police. One decent book to check out on this issue is "Attention MOVE! This is America!", by Margot Harry. Unfortunately, it is out of print, but is available on ABE.COM
From the petition language:"While we realize that the government has an obligation to protect our children, surely there needs to be a limit to what is regulated. Adults and parents are capable of making decisions about what to watch, read or listen to and are certainly capable of turning off or putting down anything that may offend them or their children."
05/05/04: Disney buckles to the Bushes over Michael Moore!
From Michael Moore:"Yesterday I was told that Disney, the studio that owns Miramax, has officially decided to prohibit our producer, Miramax, from distributing my new film, "Fahrenheit 911." The reason? According to today's (May 5) New York Times, it might "endanger" millions of dollars of tax breaks Disney receives from the state of Florida because the film will "anger" the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush."
Catch "Farenheit 911" at the Cannes Film Festival this summer or at your local art house soon. You can let Disney know what you think about this via Working Assets. They have this page where you can send an e-mail to Disney.
The $2 million settlement from the FBI is one of the largest ever. According to the San Francisco Chronicle article, "In 1995, the FBI paid $3.1 million to the family of Vicki Weaver, who was killed three years earlier at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. The family of Black Panther Fred Hampton, killed during a FBI raid in 1969, received $1.85 million..."
"The settlement stems from a civil suit Bari and Cherney filed over their arrest after a pipe bomb exploded in Bari's Subaru station wagon on Park Boulevard in Oakland on May 24, 1990. Bari, who was driving, suffered a crushed pelvis, and Cherney received cuts from the blast. The two, who were headed to a rally to mark the beginning of a campaign of protests called Redwood Summer, were arrested within hours, and their homes and vehicles were searched. Authorities then said they believed that Bari and Cherney had been carrying the bomb in her car and that it had detonated accidentally. Prosecutors later declined to file charges against the pair, citing insufficient evidence, and no other arrests have ever been made. Cherney and Bari later sued the FBI and Oakland police investigators, alleging false arrest, illegal search, slanderous statements and conspiracy. The suit said investigators focused on Bari and Cherney only as suspects and refused to consider the possibility they were victims chosen for their confrontational environmental activism. "
Congratulations, we only wish Judi was alive to enjoy the settlement. Perhaps the FBI can now try to find out who actually bombed the pair of Earth First activists instead of trying to blame the victims...
If you need a piece of pie or a cookie or two tomorrow -- and who doesn't -- you can find a bake sale in your area here!
Here are the three shirts: Bush=Clown, Cheney=Evil Dead, and Bush=Giant Pussy. Check 'em out!
Police arrested Mezquia, 48, in Florida in 2002. DNA evidence linked him to the killing. No sentencing date has been set at this time. The killing spurred the creation of the Home Alive anti-violence/pro-self-defense organization, as well as the band Evil Stig, which was the surviving members of The Gits fronted by Joan Jett.
Alternative Tentacles artists like Jello Biafra and Zen Guerilla donated tracks to various Home Alive compilations over the years. We're all very happy that the person responsible for this murder has been convicted and hope that similar violent, hateful crimes happen less and less in the future.
"The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages.
The Selective Service System has begun the process of creating the procedures and policies to conduct such a targeted draft in case military officials ask Congress to authorize it and the lawmakers agree to such a request...
The issue of a renewed draft has gained attention because of concerns that U.S. military forces are over-extended. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist strikes, U.S. forces have fought two wars, established a major military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq and are now taking on peacekeeping duties in Haiti. But Congress, which would have to authorize a draft, has so far shown no interest in renewing the draft..."