This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Port Huron Statement, the foundational document of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The anniversary comes at a time of renewed interests of student-led democracy movements around the world, in an online context we never dreamed about. The Occupy Wall Street movement even invokes “participatory democracy” in its recent manifesto. There will be major conferences on the Port Huron Statement this year at UCLA (where I am teaching a class), UCSB, NYU and elsewhere. Documents prepared for the Port Huron events will be posted periodically at this website.
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.
In a Sunday evening phone conversation, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa elaborated on his gamble on the Los Angeles police being able to evict hundreds of protesters from Occupy LA with little violence or damage to the City’s reputation.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai is expected in Bonn, December 5, to appeal for another decade of international military support while a World Bank report describes his economy as a basket case.
Bradley Manning will appear at a pretrial hearing on Friday, December 16, at Fort Meade, Maryland, facing charges of violating the US Espionage Act by disclosing tens of thousands of classified cables exposing secrets of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment in the military trial.
The Occupy Wall Street uprising, and the economic crisis in general, places increased pressure on the US government to phase out the military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, draw back from the Pakistan abyss, and hesitate before sending more Special Forces across the world. There are signs that President Obama is weighing an increased American withdrawal before the November 2012 election, which causes intensified alarm among war hawks.
“The business community and its Republican allies in Congress went to war” against proposed smog control rules, according to the New York Times account of November 17. They defeated the Obama administration’s environmental officials, a “victory” for polluters projected to cause 7,200 annual American deaths which could have been avoided.
The widespread police use of pepper spray, dramatically portrayed at University of California Davis this week, has continued for over a decade without the health risk assessment required by state law, according to the acting director of the California agency charged with evaluating such health hazards. “We never completed a risk assessment,” said George Alexeef, acting director of the California EPA’s Office of Health Hazard Assessment, in an email today.
Tom Hayden, one of the founders of Students for a Democratic Society and later a State Assemblyman and Senator in California, talks with Steve Paulson.
Central America’s raging drug war is expected to escalate after the presidential election of Otto Perez-Molina, a right-wing general with past death-squad connections, who promises a “full-frontal assault” and is requesting direct US military assistance. Perez-Molina was dubbed “Guatemala’s Answer to Leftist Latin America” by Univision News on September 14, 2011.
By declaring that he will dispatch 2,500 Marines to Australia, President Obama has crossed a line, beginning a new Cold War with China, one based on military encirclement on sea and land, costing unknown trillions in defense dollars, and shoring up cheap labor markets in a free trade zone excluding China. An increased emphasis on China’s systemic human rights violations will provide a liberal rationale for the new global competition.