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'Davis execution reminiscent of slavery and lynching'

Coverage from PressTV

The recent execution of Troy Davis, a black man convicted of murdering a white policeman, is reminiscent of the "terrible history" of "slavery and lynching of the black people," says Debra Sweet, director of World Can't Wait.

She says African-Americans and Latinos are disproportionately subject to death penalty and incarceration in the United States.

"If you look at the 2.3 million people incarcerated, mass incarceration of black and Latino people in this country, the death penalty has always been disproportionately carried out on black men," Debra Sweet told Press TV's U.S. Desk on Sunday.

The 42-year-old Davis was put to death by lethal injection on Wednesday in the state of Georgia. Davis maintained his innocence till the very end of his life. Seven of the nine witnesses at his trial recanted their original testimony. The witnesses have presented sworn affidavits stating that the police pressured or coerced them into testifying against Davis. However Georgia rejected his appeal for a retrial.

"Whenever a policeman dies in this country somebody usually dies and it's very often a black person whether that person was connected or not," Sweet noted.

"And in this case, of course we know that Troy Anthony Davis was innocent," she said.

She concluded, "It was unconscionable for the government to kill him and yet they did. It's just an outrage."

Police arrest Wall St. protesters 'brutally'

Coverage from PressTV

Watch Police arrest Wall St. protesters 'brutally'

U.S. police have “brutally” arrested around a hundred people during a peaceful demonstration on Wall Street in New York City, according to Debra Sweet, Director of ‘World Can't Wait.’

She was speaking about an "Occupy Wall Street" event which is an ongoing peaceful demonstration that began on Sept 17th in New York City. The demonstrators are calling for changes in American social and economic policies.

Sweet told Press TV's U.S. desk on Sunday that “many of our comrades are in jail from a brutal arrest yesterday. Mostly young people were marching and it was a Saturday and the police arrested upwards of a hundred of the marchers brutally. They pushed them into nets and they used pepper spray and mace on people who merely were marching down the street.”

Sweet said that they were being arrested and “having a difficult time finding public space to convey our message against the war, against the great disparity of wealth in this country, against the huge numbers of people that are incarcerated. United States alone, which is only 5% of the world’s population, has 25% of the people in prison, in the whole globe. This is becoming a police state and like friends all over the world, we very much know that it's up to us to stop the crimes of our government.”

Protest of War Criminal Dick Cheney in Chicago

Protesters made a statement against torturing prisoners gather in front of the Union League Club, where former Vice President Dick Cheney was appearing with his daughter on Sept. 19, 2011. Coverage by the Chicago Tribune:

Dick Cheney protest

Activists to Protest Former Bush Administration Officials for War Crimes & Demand Accountability in New York City

Press Advisory

Activists to Protest Former Bush Administration Officials for War Crimes & Demand Accountability in New York City 9/8 &9/9

Contact:
Stephanie Rugoff, War Criminals Watch, 646-807-3259
Nancy Mancias, CODEPINK, (415) 342-6409

WarCriminalsWatch.org

New York – When former Bush administration officials come to New York to speak, NYC activists from organizations including War Criminals Watch, World Can't Wait, CODEPINK and Witness Against Torture will be ready with outside protests demanding accountability and justice for the lies they told the people and crimes they committed during their time in office. The visual and vibrant protests will take place in various Manhattan locations.

Donald Rumsfeld
September 8, 2011, 11:00 am
Hudson Union Society – Outside Carnegie Hall, 57th St.

John Yoo
September 8, 2011, 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
University Club, 1 W. 54th St.

Donald Rumsfeld and Michael Mukasey
September 8, 2011, 7:00 pm
Kaufmann Concert Hall,
Lexington Avenue at 92nd St

John Yoo and Michael Chertoff
September 9, 2011, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
New York Law School,
185 West Broadway

“These are the people who brought us torture, indefinite detention, and trillion-dollar wars that have claimed countless Afghani, Iraqi and US lives. They should be indicted and prosecuted for their crimes, not honored as speakers and special guests at symposia, memorials and fancy dinners,” said Stephanie Rugoff, coordinator of War Criminals Watch.  “People of conscience must insist on accountability for the actions of U.S. officials.”

Demonstrations will continue for the rest of the month when George Bush, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft, John Negroponte and Henry Kissinger speak at other NYC venues.  Press releases on those events will be sent soon.
 

Supporters of Accused WikiLeaks Source PFC Bradley Manning To Rally Saturday at Times Square, NYC

PRESS  ADVISORY                                  
June 1, 2011                                                             

WHEN:    Saturday, June 4tth from 12:30-2:30 pm
WHERE:  Times Square Recruitment Center
                 44th & Broadway
                 New York City
WHAT:      Rally to Support PFC. Bradley Manning
 
New York, NY -- This Saturday, June 4, 2011, supporters of PFC Bradley Manning will converge in New York City and Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas to rally for the soldier who stands accused of leaking classified government information to WikiLeaks and ultimately to the public. Supporters will
rally and march carrying large signs and visuals, calling on government to protect whistleblowers and to drop all charges against Manning.
 
These will be the first large public rallies to support PFC Bradley Manning since he was transferred to Fort Leavenworth on April 20, 2011, after having suffered extreme confinement conditions at U.S. Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. During the nine months at Quantico, Manning was denied meaningful exercise, social interaction, sunlight and was at times kept completely naked.
 
Debra Sweet, Director of World Can’t Wait stated, “Bradley Manning is charged with leaking information which, when posted by WikiLeaks, educated the public about how civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan have been victimized by U.S. military occupations. Yet, even though the government admits the video and cables are genuine, the perpetrators of war crimes shown have not been investigated, much less charged with crimes, while Bradley Manning is unjustly charged with making some actions public.”
 
Last week marked one year since PFC Manning was detained as a suspected source to WikiLeaks, a news organization that receives, reviews and selectively makes public information provided by anonymous whistleblowers. The information that PFC Manning is accused of leaking includes the videotaped massacre of Reuters journalists and Iraqi civilians as well as diplomatic cables that experts believe helped to catalyze democratic revolts across the Middle East this spring. PFC Manning's supporters assert that the information he is accused of revealing should have been in the public domain.
 
“Bradley Manning's alleged actions are heroic. Instead of being prosecuted, he should be commended for exposing truths about warfare that our military-industrial-corporate complex is trying desperately to conceal from the public,” Veterans For Peace - NYC Chapter 34
 
“Private First Class Bradley E. Manning, 23-years-old, was arrested in Iraq one year ago on May 26, 2010. He still awaits his first public court hearing, now expected to begin later this summer. Over 4,300 individuals have contributed $333,000 towards PFC Manning’s legal fees and related public education efforts,” Bradley Manning Support Network.

Are the U.S. Wars on the Middle East wrong because they cost so much?

Woodstock International is a voice for upholding freedom and democracy through the written word. Communication and critical thinking are key components to knowledge and understanding. Critical thinking requires access to information. Corporate-owned newspapers ignore important news items … and much of the news is reported from a capitalist-oriented point of view. An alternative news source, Woodstock International intends to give greater coverage of news that reflects the reality  of our times.
woodstockinternational.us

The World Can't Wait flier, "U.S. Wars on the Middle East: Wrong Because They Cost So Much? Or are they Just Wrong, Immoral, Unjust, and against Humanity's interests?" written by Debra Sweet, was included as an article in this edition of this independent publication.

Download PDF

 

Protests against John Yoo at Berkeley Law Commencement

By Steven Finacom

“May I offer you one of these to protest torture in your own country?” said writer Cecile Pineda, as she proffered orange ribbons to each visitor walking up the ramp from Gayley Road towards the Greek Theatre.

The orange clad Pineda was part of a small protest organized by the group World Can’t Wait! outside the May 13, 2011 Commencement ceremonies for Berkeley Law ( formerly Boalt School of Law) at UC Berkeley.

Some protestors offered ribbons, others carried signs or banners, and one dressed in an orange jumpsuit, chains, and a hood to symbolize prisoners tortured at Guantanamo Bay, in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere in the far flung network of United States outposts and interventions in the world over the past decade. 

The focus of this protest was Professor John Yoo, a member of the faculty at the School of Law who is regarded as a prime architect of legal policies created under the Bush Administration to justify torture. 

Some took the ribbons from Pineda with thanks; a few rushed by then turned back to get one. “Sure, we do agree”, said one man. Others looked confused or ignored her. “It’s a sunny day and we don’t think much on sunny days”, she said. 

She said she had picketed with both World Can’t Wait and Code Pink. “Protestors have come more and more unsmiling. I think that’s a barometer of what’s happening in a culture and a society.” 

“People really need to have suffered to understand what torture is.” 

The response to the protest was “really good”, said David Sylvester, another protester who studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. “We’ve had a much better response this year than last year.” 

“The main issue is to get the torture into people’s psyche”, Sylvester said. In addition to focusing on John Yoo, “we also protest (former Secretary of State) Condi Rice, because she’s another torture traitor.” 

“This year many more people are protesting torture.” There’s “much more receptivity to the message”, Sylvester said. 

This was the fourth protest at a Boalt graduation said Stephanie Tang, one of the lead organizers. “Every year a lot of the graduates understand the issue”, and many take orange ribbons, she said.  

The protest focused on both entryways to the Greek Theatre and along the sidewalks approaching it. UC police watched the demonstrators. 

“A lot of people are more aware. People are taking the ribbon this year as a sign they don’t support torture,” Tang said. “What is really needed to stop the torture is a massive refusal and resistance from the people of this country.” 

“Dean Edley has never worn an orange ribbon”, she said “He refused it again this year.” 

In 2009 the Dean of the law school, Christopher Edley, Jr. wrote a perspective on the Yoo controversy which can still be found on the Law School website. 

The School of Law faculty shouldn’t support Yoo, Tang argued. But Rice and Yoo were “allowed back into academia as if they don’t have blood on their hands.” 

“John Yoo is no role model, he’s a war criminal.” 

The group has “confronted him in public at lectures and classes”, Tang said. “It’s horrendous that the faculty and administration treat this as lightly as they do.”

“There are no issues of academic freedom here”, she argued. 

“The University and Boalt are complicit in torture by failing to maintain academic freedom as the pursuit of truth, not as a means to justify political goals”, one of the pieces of literature distributed by the group read. 

“Who in any leadership position at Boalt is asking questions, and demanding a debate on Yoo, his theories and his suitability as a professional, ethical, or moral role model for students? Without this, claims of academic ‘freedom’ are a sham. Repressive regimes always look ‘free’—until you ask real questions.” 

“What a bizarre situation we face: UC is paying an advocate/designer of illegal government action (rendition, aggressive war, torture) teaching constitutional law and ethics to the next generation of lawyers and judges,” the flyer continued.

This article originally appeared on The Berkeley Daily Planet on May 16, 2011.

Anti-Torture Protesters Say “Torture Lawyer” Not Fit to Teach Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Contact: Linda Jacobs (415) 424-7358
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      sfbaycantwait.org   worldcantwait.org   firejohnyoo.org

ATTN: Daybook/News Desk

PHOTO OPS: Protesters, Graduates Denounce Torture

Anti-Torture Protesters Say “Torture Lawyer” Not Fit to Teach Law

Protest Demonstration: FIRE, DISBAR and PROSECUTE JOHN YOO
    Friday, May 13, 2011
    9:00-10:00 AM Outside Hearst Greek Theater, Gayley Road, UC Berkeley
    12 Noon to 1:30 Outside Boalt Hall during the Reception

For a fourth year, the UC Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) commencement ceremony will be the site of protest initiated by the national organization World Can’t Wait and other anti-torture organizations, lawyers, and activists.

World Can’t Wait organizer Stephanie Tang said yesterday: “Boalt harbors a known war criminal on its faculty, and the University of California leadership as a whole is responsible for this total breech of academic and ethical responsibilities to its students and to the public.  On Friday we’ll greet the graduates, inviting them all to join the fight to end America’s torture program, and end UC and Boalt’s complicity with it.”

Yoo was a tenured Boalt professor on sabbatical when he worked as a key legal architect for the Bush-Cheney administration, designing illegal torture policies and practices (.e.g, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib).  Most recently he has been in the media spotlight calling the death of Osama bin Laden proof that America’s torture program “worked.”  Since January 2010, UC and Boalt officials have assigned Yoo’s classes to secret campus locations to avoid unwanted attention.

A national campaign by legal, activist, and religious organizations has for several years called for the officials dubbed “The Bush Torture Team” to face prosecution for designing and ordering torture, a war crime.  Frequent protests and arrests in the Bay Area and elsewhere continue whenever Yoo or other Bush-Cheney team members appear publicly.

“We speak out because justice and the law mean nothing if the torturers walk free, enjoying academic respectability and public celebrity while their victims go unheard,” said Curt Wechsler, editor of FireJohnYoo.org.

Artists, Scholars, Writers Gather to Discuss "U.S. Empire, Islamic Fundamentalism: Both Deadly. Is There Another Way?"

Press Advisory

April 25, 2011

 
Contact: Debra Sweet
 718 809 3803

Discussion of Alternatives to Both U.S. Intervention and Islamic Fundamentalism
 

What:  Artists, Scholars, Writers Gather to Discuss "U.S. Empire, Islamic Fundamentalism: Both Deadly. Is There Another Way?"

Where:  Tishman Auditorium, The New School, 66 W. 12th Street, New York City

When:  Wednesday, April 27 6:30 pm

 
Iraqi artist Wafaa Bilal, NYU professor Sinan Antoon, Laura Lee Schmidt of the Platypus Affiliated Society, Revolution writer Sunsara Taylor, and Gregory Wilpert will speak at The New School in New York City  on their views of what people of conscience should do in response to the state and direction of the world. The event, on Wednesday, April 27, is co-sponsored by the Platypus Affiliated Society and World Can't Wait, is  free and open to the public. 
 
Speakers will address the need to oppose both the U.S. government's claim of the right to militarily intervene in any country in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa as well as to oppose Islamic fundamentalism and theocracy.

Debra Sweet, Director of World Can't Wait and organizer of the event, states, "Is there an alternative to both empire and Islamic fundamentalism? At a time when the uprisings in the Middle East have given renewed hope to many, there is a chance to break through this impasse and to explore, debate and frame the possibilities of a different way, adding to the urgently needed political oxygen that the peoples of Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere have injected into the atmosphere."


Message from Pro-Choice Movement: Dr. Leroy Carhart is a Hero

Press Advisory
January 22, 2010
worldcantwait.net

Contact: Debra Sweet
718-825-9119


What:  Public Abortion Rights Presence in Support of Dr. Leroy Carhart
Near:    Germantown Reproductive Health Services
13233 Executive Park Terrace Germantown, Maryland 20874
When:     Sunday January 23, 2010

Dr. LeRoy Carhart, long-time colleague of Dr. George Tiller, the Wichita Kansas doctor assassinated by an anti-abortion activist in May 2009, was named “Target #1″ of Operation Rescue, after Tiller’s death.  Dr. Carhart, in addition to expanding services at his Abortion and Contraception Clinic of Bellevue, Nebraska, recently began providing “advanced gestational” abortions in suburban Washington D.C.  The clinic has been targeted by anti-abortion protesters.

On the eve of the annual anti-abortion march on the Supreme Court in Washington, Operation Rescue, the group who surrounded Dr. Tiller’s clinic for years, and others will hold a rally outside Germantown Reproductive Health Services where Dr. Carhart practices.  World Can’t Wait  is cooperating with the National Organization for Women and other abortion rights activists to gather near the clinic in a “show of visible support for Dr. Carhart and his courageous lifetime of service to women.”

Debra Sweet, Director of World Can’t Wait, stated, “Abortion is not murder, fetuses are not babies and women are not incubators. Dr. Carhart has devoted his life to providing women with crucially needed reproductive healthcare in the face of incredible intimidation. He is a hero to everyone who cares about the humanity of women.  He is unapologetic and bold about the service to women he has devoted his life to, and has repeatedly challenged repressive laws restricting women’s rights, including two Supreme Court battles.”



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Main Media Press & Press Releases

About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.