28 January 2014


Where does one start with the outrage because of actions, comments and statements from politicians who know nothing about certain topics but open their mouths and put as many feet into them as they can cram!

Julie Bishop comes to mind! Her ignorance is appalling, and she shoots from the hip about Israel, BDS, zionism and Edward Snowden. If anybody behaves as a traitor to the country she is supposed to serve, Bishop again comes to mind.

Two very interesting letters in The Age newspaper on 20 January 2014 show how some people are intelligent and are able to think for themselves (the first letter), while others don't know what they are talking about and swallow any stories which are thrown in their direction (the second letter).

The writer of the second letter uses names incorrectly and outside the context in which the zionists use them, and also states "....what we have in Judaea (sic) and Samaria....." and her address is given as Chirnside Park, which is presumably in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and not in "Chaifo" or however the Hebraists spell it, in Northern Israel. Why on earth is she living in Australia when "her" country has open doors for zionist settlers, particularly in the occupied West Bank Palestinian lands?

As for "scholarly support", she does not quote who the scholars are, and what their legal sources are. There is nothing legal about an illegal occupation, despite what she is trying to parrot, and the fact that The Age newspaper prints such rubbish says something about the quality of the media in Australia.

In conflict

George Browning's response to Julie Bishop's comment that settlements in the West Bank do not breach any international law is not surprising (''Bishop's troubling stance on legality of Israeli settlements'', Forum, 18/1). What is surprising is the fact that Australia is on the UN Security Council and that her comments would appear to be in conflict with the Fourth Article of the Geneva Convention. Many countries that are in breach of UN regulations, such as Iran and North Korea, tend to have penalties imposed on them for breaches. Rules for some not for others, but then democratic principles are subject to evolutionary forces.

Rob Park, Surrey Hills

Wisdom in approach

There is much scholarly support for the proposition that the Israeli settlements are indeed legal. What we have in Judaea and Samaria is not the ''usual'' example of, say, one nation occupying another. Julie Bishop has responded wisely, by stating the matter should not be ''prejudged'' at this stage.
Vera Hardiman, Chirnside Park

There is nothing wise about what Julie Bishop says on the topic of Israel - she was bought out by the zionists long ago, and, like the rest of her colleagues, sings to their tune.



As early as the 1960s and 1970s gay, lesbian and transgender people were the targets of homophobia and hate crimes of various sorts in the community.

There were assaults, bashings, verbal abuse and of course murders.

From the 1980s onwards and with the onset of the AIDS crisis from 1983 to the present, homophobic incidents continue unabated.

See our web pages on homophobia and hate crimes at: Mannie and Kendall's Home Pages

What has aggravated the situation from the beginning was the homophobia of the NSW Police and the NSW State government. As far as can be ascertained, the police may themselves have been involved in crimes against the glth communities which of course there would never be any attempts to investigate and solve.

Further aggravation of the situation was caused by the police refusing to investigate what it wanted hidden -incidents in which they may have been involved but had to keep this under wraps so that they would not be in trouble over the non-action of so many episodes over time.

A current gay and independent member of the New South Wales Parliament has recently been making attempts to get the NSW ombudsman to re-open inquiries into the gay murders of the 1980s and 1990s in which dozens were murdered between Sydney's North Shore and Bondi and Tamarama and related areas south of the Harbour.

Whether the ombudsman will accede to the request or not, the fact remains that it is beyond time when there should have been community protests and demands that the NSW government act to solve so many of the crimes which were either mishandled, not handled or abandoned "for lack of evidence" or because they were not considered hate crimes and were, in some cases, classified as suicides as with Scott Johnson in the late 1980s.

This intolerable homophobia must be stopped because elsewhere around the world there has been a deterioration relating to gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS communities who are suffering crimes against humanity on a scale equivalent to a war on a certain group of people because of who they are!

There isn't a day which passes where there is some new expose of goings on - past and present - by the New South Wales Police Force and the governments which "control" them.

A complete overhaul of the system by some independent investigators who would be able to put the systems right in the face of insuperable odds is what is required in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia - and in fact all the states and territories in Australia.

24 January 2014


One of the major issues confronting all of us in every country of the world is the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership - TPP - scheme which the US government, through its president, Barack Obama, is trying to force on all of us.

If this scheme succeeds, the results will be disastrous for us in terms of those items of every-day life which many of us tend to take for granted.

Internet freedom, generic pharmaceuticals, political protests without arrests, media freedom - such as it is - and so much more such as whistle-blower protection - think Manning, Snowden, Assange and thousands of others - and we have just scraped the surface of what we will lose if Obama succeeds in Fast Track through the US Congress.

This is about to happen, and if it does, we will be in trouble.

In order to find out what TPP holds in store for you, look at some of what is on our web pages, and be afraid, be very afraid!:

Trans-Pacific Partnership - Part 1

Trans-Pacific Partnership - Part 2
Trans-Pacific Partnership - Part 3
Trans-Pacific Partnership - Part 4
Trans-Pacific Partnership - Part 5

We have posted some of the items on this blog as well.

Now try and find out what the Left in Australia is busy doing to get everybody aware of the trouble we are in, and what do you find? Very little if you look very hard!

John Passant has written something in Red Flag, the paper of Socialist Alternative.

Has this been followed up by any further discussion in that organization? It certainly doesn't seem like it and they have certainly not organised any street protests.

What about all the other Left groups? Not a word!

Where is the Left in Australia? Is there one and what is it doing?


Oh, I forgot! We are told they are getting massive rallies for same-sex marriage!

The only issue in town?


15 JANUARY 2014

From Nation of Change:

TPP v. Democracy

By Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Acronym TV / Video Report

If there is any negative image of what Democracy looks like, any way to define a thing by its opposite, it is the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Last week, legislation to fast track a vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership was introduced in Congress.

President Obama, who, along with advisors from several hundred corporations, has built the TPP in secret, away from the prying eyes of Congress or the public, desperately wants this fast track authority. The grant of that authority is,  according to prevailing wisdom and the pro-neoliberal agenda Forbes magazine contributor Dan Ikenson describes as something being “widely considered necessary to complete and ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement between the United States and 11 other Pacific-bordering nations, as well as other prospective trade agreements."

Why is Fast track so important?

Because President Obama, and the corporate advisors he so willingly serves, knows full well that if there were a public debate on the TPP, not only would it never pass, but people would take to the streets in a 1999 Battle in Seattle WTO protests kind of way.

The TPP is a Trojan horse that seeks to usher in a backroom secret sweetheart deal for the global elite. Fast track avoids public debate- and would ask for an up or down yes vote from members of congress who have not yet read the agreement.
Neither have you. Some of you have read sections of the TPP, as published by WikiLeaks as we reported on this program last November:

“Today, WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire Trans-Pacific Partnership Intellectual Property rights chapter. According to the WikiLeaks press release :“The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents.”

This is a major leak because this top-secret trade deal that is, in fact, much more than a trade deal. Remember NATFTA? Remember the concept of Corporate Personhood from the Citizens United case? The TPP combines all of the worst elements of NAFTA and Citizens United, shoots them up with steroids, sprinkles in a speedball and codifies these principles into a trade agreement that is in fact much more than a trade agreement. We will have more on that in a moment, but first to sum up what we do know already, based on previous leaks of the working text about how the TPP would eclipse the concept of corporate personhood, I’ll quote David Swanson of Roots Action, who writes that the TPP would make popular the phrase Corporate Nationhood:“Many of us have heard of corporate personhood.  Corporations have been given the Constitutional rights of persons by U.S. courts over the past 40 years, including the right to spend money on elections.  By corporate nationhood I mean the bestowing of the rights of nations on corporations (…) Treaties, according to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, are -- together with the Constitution itself -- the supreme law of the land.  So U.S. laws would have to be made to comply with the TPP's rules.”How would U.S. laws be made to comply? Because, As Kevin Zeese and Margret Flowers write: “In addition to requiring that laws conform to provisions within the TPP, corporations would be allowed to sue governments in the trade tribunal if laws interfere with their profits. Governments could not represent their interests before the tribunal or appeal adverse decisions. This would be a tremendous loss of sovereignty.”And who is on this tribunal? Three judges, appointed by the corporations

So, if you think the concept of a Representative form of government of the people by the people and for the people is a farce in the age of corporate personhood and the wealth divide that has hijacked the principles of  big D Democracy upon which this country is supposed to operate is a farce now, imagine a world where food safety, the environment, workers rights, and access to health care are further hijacked by corporate power. That world is one in which a total corporate coup ushered in by President Obama- in service to the 600 corporations who have advisors with access to drafts of the TPP puts the neoliberal boot to the neck of you, me and just about everyone we know. As Noam Chomsky describes the neoliberal monster, it is built "to maximize profit and domination, and to set the working people in the world in competition with one another so as to lower wages to increase insecurity.”

You have all heard the demand, belted out in unison by those who yearn to be heard, to "Show me what Democracy looks like”!If there is any negative image of what Democracy looks like, any way to define a thing by its opposite, it is the Trans Pacific Partnership.


Dennis Trainor, Jr. (writer & host of Acronym TV) is also the director of the Occupy Wall St. documentary, American Autumn: an Occudoc. Acronym TV is an independent news program with over 21 thousand subscribers and 31 million video views and counting.

22 January 2014


An incident occurred at Wits University which caused the Vice-Chancellor to become involved.

The episode related to a visiting pianist from Israel and there was a protest by a group of people who support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement supporting Palestine and against Israel and who were against the pianist being allowed to give a performance at the University.

Now before getting launched on the rights and wrongs of the issue, it needs to be stated that from the onset of the apartheid years in 1948, Wits University students were prominent in anti-aparthied actions and demonstrations and in support of the university being able to allow people to study who came from any and every "race" group in South Africa.

There were appalling actions by authorities, police and apartheid spies on campus who tried to stop protests and who were instrumental in getting students expelled and/or removed from campus and/or suspended.

The present incident has occurred post the apartheid years but events linger in the memory and are not easily forgotten.

First the background story:

Statement from the Vice-Chancellor and Principal

By Prof. Loyiso Nongxa

15 March 2013
The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, deeply regrets that a concert held on its campus last night was disrupted by some members of the University community and representatives of external organisations.

In light of this incident, the University takes this opportunity to issue a public apology to all those who attended the concert. The disruption of this event points to intolerance on the part of some members of the University community and goes against the core values espoused by the University. The University is investigating this matter and will take the necessary action based on its policies, processes and procedures.

The University reiterates that  the views and opinions expressed by the Students' Representative Council or any other student groups on campus do not represent the official views of the University, nor are they necessarily an accurate reflection of the views of the majority of students, staff and alumni.

Wits University is a leading institution on the African continent renowned for encouraging dialogue and debate on often diverse and conflicting views confronting society. It provides a platform for different constituencies to express their views and opinions through considered debate and intellectual engagement in the spirit of tolerance, respect and openness.

We value the diverse views of all our staff, students and alumni regardless of their race, religion, gender, culture, language, ideology or otherwise, provided that they do not exceed the limitations explicated in our Constitution.

The diversity of people, programmes and ideas at Wits leads to the richness and robustness of the institution. This is indeed one of the greatest qualities of excellent higher education institutions, and one which Wits cherishes.

Prof. Loyiso Nongxa
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg


On 12 March 2013 a University-sanctioned musical recital by pianist, Mr Yossi Reshef, was disrupted by a group of students and members of the public.

Understandably, the University has received many letters from members of the University community expressing concern at this incident. At the same time, it is clear from many of these messages that there are a number of matters that need to be clarified.

The University would therefore like to reiterate the following:

1. The University views the disruption of the concert in an extremely serious light and is addressing this violation of its Code of Conduct through a thorough, formal investigation and disciplinary process. The University requests that all parties allow the law to take its course.
2. Wits issued a public apology within 24 hours of the incident occurring. (This apology is published above this letter.)
3. A personal letter of apology was sent from both the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, and the Vice-Chancellor Designate, to Mr Yossi Reshef.
4. The Vice-Chancellor and Principal met with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies to discuss this matter.
5. The University reaffirms its unwavering commitment to academic freedom.

The University therefore believes that alarmist judgments and blame heaped upon Wits as an institution by some commentators and media reports is unwarranted and misguided. It is not fair or reasonable to seek to tarnish the hard-earned reputation of a venerable University because of the actions of a group of protesters.

Wits has a proud history and tradition of being a vibrant platform and space for diverse individuals and groups to engage with its multiplicity of stakeholders, in a convivial environment. It has always advocated for academic freedom and institutional autonomy and will continue to do so, as these are the foundation of knowledge and intellectual engagement in any great University.

We value the concerns and comments received on this matter and give the assurance that this matter will be dealt with appropriately. We reiterate that the University is ensuring that those responsible for perpetrating this act are held accountable and will be subject to its disciplinary procedures. This process is already underway and we will inform all stakeholders of the outcomes. We have also offered to host the concert again and to honour all the tickets that have previously been sold.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly via Loyiso.Nongxa@wits.ac.za should you wish to engage further on this matter.

Professor Loyiso Nongxa
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
8 April 2013


The University of the Witwatersrand can confirm that it has charged 11 members of the Wits community for a possible contravention of the University’s codes of conduct relating to the disruption of a concert that was hosted on the Wits campus on 12 March 2013.

External Senior Counsel  has been appointed in terms of the University’s Rules for Student Discipline to act in lieu of a Student Discipline Committee, to chair the hearing, and to carry out all of its functions and to exercise all its powers. As such, he or she will make a decision as to whether or not to publish details of the disciplinary proceedings.

Prof. Loyiso Nongxa
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
16 April 2013


Here are reports about the outcome of the demonstrations:



Wits University announced on Friday, 17 January 2014 that a verdict had been reached in a case which saw 11 students charged for the disruption of a concert by musician Yossi Reshef on its campus last year.
Ten students have been found guilty of misconduct for disrupting or inciting others to disrupt the piano recital. They have been excluded from the University for a period of one year. The sentence is suspended provided that the students are not found guilty of any other form of misconduct for a period of two years. These students will not be allowed to hold any office in any student governance structure for a period of one year. In addition, they will each have to perform 80 hours of community service, as determined by the University.


Verdict reached in case against students who disrupted concert at Wits

17 January 2014
Statement from the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand
The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, today announced that a verdict has been reached in a case which saw 11 students charged for the disruption of a concert by musician Yossi Reshef on its campus last year.

Ten students have been found guilty of misconduct for disrupting or inciting others to disrupt the piano recital. They have been excluded from the University for a period of one year. The sentence is suspended provided that the students are not found guilty of any other form of misconduct for a period of two years. These students will not be allowed to hold any office in any student governance structure for a period of one year. In addition, they will each have to perform 80 hours of community service, as determined by the University.

One of these students has further been found guilty of not obeying a lawful instruction issued by a University employee, and will be required to perform an additional 50 hours of community service for this offence.
The verdict was handed to the University by an independent advocate today, Friday, 17 January 2014. The Senior Counsel was appointed in terms of the University’s Rules for Student Discipline to act in lieu of a Student Discipline Committee, to chair the disciplinary hearing, to carry out all of its functions and to exercise all its powers in line with the University’s policies, procedures and processes.

Wits is renowned for encouraging freedom of expression, dialogue and debate on often diverse and conflicting views confronting society, provided that it does not exceed the limitations explicated in our Constitution. The University provides a platform for different constituencies to express their views and opinions through considered debate and intellectual engagement in the spirit of tolerance, respect and openness.

The diversity of people, programmes and ideas at Wits leads to the richness and robustness of the institution. This is indeed one of the greatest qualities of excellent higher education institutions, and one which Wits cherishes.

Professor Adam Habib
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg


South African Jewish Board of Deputies

SAJBD : Outcome of Wits Disciplinary Process

by The SAJBD on 20 January 2014

The verdict against ten students guilty of misconduct during a concert at Wits University represents a resounding reaffirmation by Wits of the values of academic freedom, diversity and tolerance. In March last year, a group of demonstrators lead by members of the then Student Representative Council invaded the venue where Israeli-born pianist Yossi Reshev was giving a recital and prevented the event from continuing.

 This behavior was immediately condemned by the University leadership and steps were duly implemented to investigate the incident and call to book those responsible. In addition to taking appropriate action against those who perpetrated the disruption of the Reshef recital, the University also hosted a follow-up concert by a group of internationally renowned Israeli jazz musicians headed by Daniel Zamir.

 This resoundingly successful event took place on 28 August in the Wits Great Hall, which was packed to capacity for the occasion. All necessary measures were taken by the University to ensure that the concert went ahead without incident, thereby affirming the University’s commitment to creating safe spaces for all on the campus. The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) applauds Wits University for taking a firm and unambiguous stand against those who abuse their right to protest by flouting the principles of academic freedom and unlawfully seeking to silence alternative viewpoints.

The outcome of the above hearings sends out a clear message that Wits remains committed to providing a free, open environment in which the values freedom of expression and association are strenuously upheld and where any behavior aimed at preventing others from exercising those rights is not tolerated. The SAJBD is hopeful that the satisfactory outcome to the Reshef affair will usher in a new era of mutual respect, trust and openness on Wits campus, one that provides safe spaces for the expression of diverse opinions and where people of differing viewpoints can learn from rather than try to silence one another.”

Issued by Wendy Kahn, National Director, SA Jewish Board of Deputies 0824443675


Ponder the fact that there is no outcry from the population, no outcry from the media, and most politicians are silent on the issue.

Ponder the fact that where money is involved, discussions are loud and widespread.

Ponder the fact that people in Australia all come from other countries except the indigenous Aboriginal people of Australia.

Ponder the fact that all these boat people - read aeroplanes for mid-20th century onwards - are so antagonistic to the latest newcomers and try and explain.

Xenophobia has become a national pastime, and because so many of the asylum seekers are from Muslim countries because of the imperialist wars waged in their countries by the likes of Australia, you have a country whose population is amongst the most racist in the world.

Asylum seekers are sent to concentration camps in other countries where they are out of sight, out of mind, and when there are incidents involving Australian military or naval personnel the asylum seekers tell lies about what has happened to them in the hands of these personnel.

Then you get ministers saying they would sooner believe version given to him by the military/navy than some asylum seekers who wouldn't be truthful in any event, and you return to the "children overboard" lies of the Howard government era.

So what has changed in all the years since Paul Keating introduced the first concentration camps in Australia?

The situation has worsened year by year and governments have become more like South African and Israeli jailers in their apartheid states, and you get democracy having disappeared altogether.

The outcome for these poor people fleeing from the horrors inflicted on their countries by the likes of Australia is tragic in the extreme, and for those of us watching from the sidelines and feeling more and more helpless as time passes, one can only wonder why more and more of the people in these desperate situations are not committing suicide at a greater rate.

When there is no hope, what else can one do?

Border protection - but from whom?

14 January 2014


Jacob Zuma is known as the president of South Africa. In his term of office the country has gone backwards and he has done his best to impose censorship and remove the rule of law and the new constitution set up in 1994 with the election of Nelson Mandela.

South Africa is confronted with a situation where the police shoot its citizens dead - think Marikana - and think of the apartheid years and spot the difference.

The ANC is corrupt, its government is corrupt, its president is corrupt, unemployment is worse than ever, and the country is in worse shape than it was 5 years after the end of apartheid in 1999. Mbeki started the slide downwards and everything accelerated from 2000 onwards.

Is this what we all fought for?

Zapiro in the South African newspaper Sunday Times on 24 November 2013 says it all!

Click on the cartoon to see it full size and read what is written there!

10 January 2014


Australia's population, most of whom have their origins as boat people, have become some of the most xenophobic societies in the world, and that is no exaggeration!

Xenophobia is defined as "a deep dislike of foreigners". So people in Australia are not just xenophobes but also racists.

Racism is defined as "a belief in the superiority of a particular race: prejudice based on this", "antagonism towards other races, especially as a result of this".

What is race?  Race is defined as "each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics."

The people who landed in Australia in 1788 were colonisers from Britain and they found people living in Australia who were dark-skinned, who looked and sounded different from themselves, and behaved differently as well. So a form of racism originated and has intensified over the years.

Australians behave towards the indigenous population in 2014 in the same way as white South Africans behaved towards the indigenous South African populations from 1652, when the first colonists arrived, to 1994, when officially, the apartheid government of white South Africa came to an end.

Tony Abbott and previous prime ministers have "declared war" on people having the cheek to try and get out of their countries which have been destroyed by Australia making war in those countries, rendering them and some of their inhabitants' places of residence unliveable.

However, they have joined the ranks of the "untermenschen" from the Third Reich's attack on Europe's populations in the 1930s and 1940s.

The media in Australia have helped respective governments to demonise people seeking asylum by expressions such as "illegal immigrants" and other choice phrases.

Much more along these lines and we will turn into a police state - and then enter the dark waters of fascism - it doesn't take much from one step to another when we use "war" terminology for our actions in relation to people who are demonised at every turn and when governments refuse to tell the population what is actually going on. The previous government was well on the way too, by sending asylum seekers to remote countries to be locked in concentration camps and then refusing to give any information and not allowing the media - pathetic as they are anyway  - to enter and report on their findings, particularly after reports of abuse by the people running the concentration camps managed to leak their way out.

08 January 2014



PVT Chelsea Manning tells TIME Magazine what she’s thankful for this Thanksgiving

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TIME Magazine asked WikiLeaks whistleblower PVT Chelsea Manning what she’s thankful for this year.  Her answer was published alongside those from Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and 14 other well-known public figures.  Her response, while demonstrating wisdom beyond her years, is one that many people who work for the betterment of society will appreciate:

I’m usually hesitant to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. After all, the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony systematically terrorized and slaughtered the very same Pequot tribe that assisted the first English refugees to arrive at Plymouth Rock. So, perhaps ironically, I’m thankful that I know that, and I’m also thankful that there are people who seek out, and usually find, such truths.  I’m thankful for people who, even surrounded by millions of Americans eating turkey during regularly scheduled commercial breaks in the Green Bay and Detroit football game; who, despite having been taught, often as early as five and six years old, that the “helpful natives” selflessly assisted the “poor helpless Pilgrims” and lived happily ever after, dare to ask probing, even dangerous, questions.

Such people are often nameless and humble, yet no less courageous. Whether carpenters or welders; retail clerks or bank managers; artists or lawyers, they dare to ask tough questions, and seek out the truth, even when the answers they find might not be easy to live with.

I’m also grateful for having social and human justice pioneers who lead through action, and by example, as opposed to directing or commanding other people to take action. Often, the achievements of such people transcend political, cultural, and generational boundaries. Unfortunately, such remarkable people often risk their reputations, their livelihood, and, all too often, even their lives.

For instance, the man commonly known as Malcolm X began to openly embrace the idea, after an awakening during his travels to the Middle East and Africa, of an international and unifying effort to achieve equality, and was murdered after a tough, yearlong defection from the Nation of Islam.

 Martin Luther King Jr., after choosing to embrace the struggles of striking sanitation workers in Memphis over lobbying in Washington, D.C., was murdered by an escaped convict seeking fame and respect from white Southerners. Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician in the U.S., was murdered by a jealous former colleague. These are only examples; I wouldn’t dare to make a claim that they represent an exhaustive list of remarkable pioneers of social justice and equality—certainly many if not the vast majority are unsung and, sadly, forgotten.

So, this year, and every year, I’m thankful for such people, and I’m thankful that one day—perhaps not tomorrow—because of the accomplishments of such truth-seekers and human rights pioneers, we can live together on this tiny “pale blue dot” of a planet and stop looking inward, at each other, but rather outward, into the space beyond this planet and the future of all of humanity.

For those who don’t already know, PVT Chelsea Manning grew up in a conservative community in the Midwest.  She suffered a dysfunctional home life, and she was bullied at school for being gay.  She was even homeless for a period, working two part-time jobs to get by.  She dreamed of one day going to college, and for this reason joined the Army at the age of 19.  A few years later she realized she was not gay, but transgender; since she was in the Army, her only option was to hide her identity while working 14 hour days in a war zone. Through all these obstacles, she has remained committed to educating herself, asking the hard questions, and taking risks in the name of helping other people.

This year, we give thanks for PVT Manning’s humanist idealism, her bravery, and her unyielding belief that through the work of dedicated individuals our society can and will be made more just. 

It is not only her actions, but also her unique individualism, that has inspired thousands of people around the world to action.  We hope you’ll join us in showing thanks for Chelsea by making a gift to ensure her legal appeals process is fully funded.  35 years is far too harsh a punishment for showing the public the truth.

So far we’ve raised just over $16,000 of the $40,000 needed.  Please help us meet our goal by Chelsea’s birthday on December 17th.


Justice for Pvt. Chelsea Manning and all war resisters in 2014!

10 December 2013

With your continued help, we'll be fighting to win justice and freedom for
US Army Pvt. Chelsea  (formerly Bradley) Manning in the New Year.
Outrageously sentenced to 35 years in prison for sharing information with
the public, her actions aided people worldwide, sparking crucial debate
about democracy, transparency and US foreign policy. Now, this American
Prisoner of Conscience has shared her specific and personal legal goals
going forward with us, and we need to raise $40,000 to fund these efforts
that include her legal fees, family visits, transitioning and education.

Chelsea has already spent longer than she deserves in prison, but we can
brighten her world by reaching this goal for her 26th birthday next week
(December 17th).

Her fate is far from sealed – if we continue to fight. She has already
fulfilled many of her stated aims by raising awareness about the need for
more government transparency, inspiring activists and whistle-blowers like
Edward Snowden.

Now Chelsea is asking for your help with the following:

*Legal fees – We are pursuing every avenue for a reduction in sentence.
These include the petition for a pardon, now in front of President Obama,
and a clemency request to be submitted to the Convening Authority later
this month – which will include hundreds of letters from supporters like
you. Next year the Army Court of Appeals will review the case, followed by
the Armed Forces Court of Appeals. If those come up short, Chelsea's annual
Parole and Clemency Review will begin in 2019.

*Visitation – Since the majority of Chelsea's family has limited financial
resources, grassroots donations can help support the legal defence in
arranging visits, especially from her mother and relatives living in Wales.

*Transitioning – Years prior to the trial, Pvt. Manning began a process of
questioning her gender. Following the trial, she demonstrated how she
values individual transparency in much the same way she values government
transparency. She came our publicly as transgender, and expressed a desire
to identify as a female named Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. She now wishes to
undergo hormone therapy at Fort Leavenworth, the goal of which is to allow
an individual to appear physically more similar to how they feel on the
inside. Although the US Military has historically refused transgender
individuals the right to express themselves openly, given the significant
time Chelsea may spend in military prison, her legal defence will work for
both a legal name change and hormone therapy without delay.

* Higher Education – One of Chelsea's dreams, and one of the primary reasons
she joined the Army, was to obtain a college education. Chelsea wishes to
enroll at a university on the East Coast and work toward a degree. The
Private Manning Support Network plans to assist he financially in this

When Chelsea blew the whistle, she affected millions of people worldwide,
as well as mass movements for government transparency and against human
rights violations of the War on Terror. The only way a movement can be
successful, however, is if thoes individuals who step forward to make brave
decisions feel supported. Please contribute today so that she can see her
family more often, continue fighting her legal battle, receive appropriate
medical treatment, and pursue an education.

Courage to Resist hosts the Pvt. Chelsea Manning Defence Fund in collaboration with the Private Manning Support


We were responsible for 100% of Chelsea's legal expenses through her court-martial - and now we're covering her

ongoing defence expenses, including legal appeals, pardon petition, gender related issues, and family visits. If you wish

your contribution to be earmarked only for Pvt. Manning, simply note that on your donation. Otherwise, we'll use it to

support Chelsea as well as other objectors.

07 January 2014


The above was received by email on 5 January 2014


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About Me

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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm