National Nurses United (NNU), the union spearheading the drive for a Robin Hood Tax, also calls for a “participatory democracy,” evidence of the current vitality of a concept born at the Port Huron convention of SDS fifty years ago this June. Saying, "Democracy is not a spectator support,” a chart by the NNU envisions participatory democracy flowing into economic democracy, then political democracy, and finally into representative democracy.
The Peace Exchange Bulletin
Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.
Thousands of nurses, sporting green Robin Hood caps and red t-shirts, marched in Chicago last Friday demanding a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street speculation. National Nurses United has spearheaded the drive, which has gained support in France, Germany, Brazil among other world powers and many labor and progressive organizations.
By moving the G8 meeting to Camp David, President Obama deflated or delayed the rebirth of the Occupy movement once hoped for by Adbusters and many radical activists here in Chicago. But a positive scenario remains possible, depending on choices made in the next 72 hours.
As a candidate opposing the Iraq War, Barack Obama improved his hawkish credentials by promising to track down Osama bin Laden, expand drone attacks, and escalate the American troop numbers in Afghanistan. Three years later, bin Laden is dead, the drones inflame Pakistan opinion and complicate a peace settlement, and 33,000 American troops are scheduled to pull out by the end of 2012 with "steady withdrawals" to continue after. Sixty-eight thousand U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan by this year's end, with the deadline for withdrawing most of them by December 2014.
With Mitt Romney leading 49-48 percent in national polling, President Obama hosts an internally-divided NATO summit in Chicago this weekend, surrounded by weapons and security forces which surpass Chicago 1968. The scale of the protest ranks remain to be seen after Obama shifted the G8 — or One Percent — summit to the secret seclusion of Camp David. Adbusters has called for 50,000 to pitch their tents, while anti-war protesters will march and attend a “counter-summit.” The Chicago police are preparing overkill.
An estimated 500 lives have been saved since March in a peace process launched by imprisoned Salvadoran gang members. The incarcerated members of MS and 18th Street are urgently asking that voices of civil society speak on behalf of the process and their protection.
"Now that it's in the [legal] system people are beginning to tire of it and forget. We are truly the United States of Amnesia. We are addicted to forgetfulness. Many also feel helpless that there is nothing they can do since the justice system has the case. Don't believe the hype. This was an unarmed black teen who was gunned down by a wannabe cop at least sixty pounds heavier and seven years older."
When his 24-year old son was killed in drug war crossfire last year, the Mexican poet Javier Sicilia decided to put away his writing and begin a peace movement against the policies that have led to 50,000 dead in Mexico alone since 2007. His marches and caravans have mobilized thousands of Mexicans in a nonviolent Movement for Peace and Justice, against the violence and official impunity. Sicilia recently visited Los Angeles, and may bring his campaign to the United States later in the year.
After the failure of our costly ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our government is expanding its special operations forces in many countries. The regular Army is deploying units under special ops as well, and now 600 American soldiers are operating in Honduras in the name of the drug war.
As a divided NATO prepares to gather in Chicago, the new French president François Hollande will be announcing a pullout of his 3,300 troops from Afghanistan two years ahead of schedule. While a new poll shows the vast majority of Americans oppose keeping troops in Afghanistan past 2014, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said last month that Australia, too, intends to withdraw their 1,550 troops a year ahead of schedule, saying, "the peoples of the world's democracies are weary of this war."