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Disband NATO

by Bob Fitrakis

This Memorial Day, our nation should honor our war dead by either withdrawing from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or, better yet, completely dismantling the obsolete Cold War defense pact. NATO exists today not to defend against aggressive authoritarian Communism, but to steal resources from weaker non-European countries by military force. Its two most recent military actions made the May 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago a gathering of war criminals.

NATO was established in April 1949 at the height of the Cold War and the creation of the so-called “Iron Curtain” dividing Eastern and Western Europe. In 1955, the Soviet bloc countered with its own military organization, the Warsaw Pact. The current 28 NATO member nations account for an estimated 70% of the world’s defense spending.

East and West Germany reunified in October 1990. The Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991 along with the Warsaw Pact. NATO achieved its goal as a defensive pact of defending Western Europe from the Soviet bloc.

But now, it stalks the Earth like a vampire, existing only to hijack resources from non-Western nations. NATO’s trajectory since the collapse of the Soviet Union has been toward a new Western imperialism.

First there was the intervention into the Yugoslavian civil war in the 1990s. The Yugoslavian campaign included a 78-day bombardment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Over 500 civilians died.

NATO shifted its activities away from Europe when it invoked Article V of its charter for the first time in its history. Article V states that an attack on any one member of NATO can be considered an attack on the entire alliance. After invoking Article V, NATO became an offensive military organization under the domination of the United States following the events of 9/11. NATO’s support for the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan was arguable legal.

Still, NATO’s greatest sin, and one that makes it an organization of war criminals, stems from its involvement in the illegal U.S. and British attack on Iraq in 2003. NATO formed the NATO Training Mission — Iraq to help train Iraqi security forces in conjunction with the U.S. and the coalition of the willing. NATO claimed to be responding to the request of the Iraqi interim government, a puppet government installed after the illegal U.S. invasion.

NATO’s more than 7-year training mission in Iraq underscores the need for the defensive alliance to disband. In 2011, NATO intervened illegally in the Libyan civil war. NATO planes flew over 950 airstrikes against pro-Gadaffi forces. Without NATO’s violent and vicious attack on the Gadaffi regime, the Libyan government would have remained in power.

In both Iraq and Libya, NATO’s job is to assist the U.S. in jacking the oil of Third World people. NATO, like any vampire, needs a stake put through its heart.

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Fight Back Saturday @ 11AM With Rob Kall OpEdNews and Cointel Event

Dr. Fitrakis and Rob Kall

WVKO 1580AM FIGHT BACK radio show with Bob Fitrakis and Rob Kall as guest and Cointel Discussion Event

This week – COINTELPRO rises again! Interview with Rob Kall, OpEdNews
And a report from an activist at the NATO protest in Chicago
http://www.wvko1580.com/listen/
Saturday, May 26
11am-12noon
Call-in 614-821-1580

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Memorial Day Weekend
COINTELPRO WorkShop
And Discussion

What: We grew up believing we had the legally protected right to petition our government for redress of grievences. However in the 1960’s-70’s COINTELPRO disagreed. This government-run program targeted and harmed many individuals and organizations who are now recognized as visionary & heroic (Dr Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Albert Einstein, NAACP, CORE, Southern Christian Leadership Council, etc.) Since then both the Bush & Obama administrations have passed legislation further erroding our rights to dissent and eliminating many vital “due process” protections for both American Citizens & Foreign Nationals.

Why: Remember those who have fallen in the struggle for human rights. Discuss COINTELPRO and other anti-democratic programs used to surveil, infiltrate, disrupt and harm civil rights activists & their organizations.

Who: Speakers include Bob Fitrakis, noted Civil Rights Attorney & Green Party Candidate for Congress (12th District). Suzanne Patzer/Columbus Free Press. Ben Turk/Redbird Prison Abolition.

When: Saturday, May 26th. Doors open at 6:30pm with free food & music. Speakers begin at 7pm. Admittance is free.

Where: InfoShop. 172 East Fifth Ave. About 3 blocks off High St. Between Summit & North 4th Street.

Disclaimer: Today’s Human Rights Struggles are peaceful and democratic. However the 1% against whom we struggle are not. This may be the most important workshop/discussion you attend all year. Come join us.


View Larger Map

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Bob Fitrakis on “Fight Back”: Jay Warmke

Bob interviews Jay Warmke on his new book “When the Biomass Hits the Wind Turbine: How we got ourselves into this mess and how we are going to get out of it.”
Listen and call in this Wednesday, May 23
7 – 8 PM
Call 877-932-9766
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Here’s how to call in to the LIVE INTERNET radio show:
(on your computer – not on your broadcast radio dial)
On Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm
Go to: http://talktainmentradio.com
Click on “Listen Live”
Call 877-932-9766
All shows rebroadcast on WCRSFM community radio 98.3/102.1 Wednesdays at 8pm

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Bob’s Election Integrity Work

Election Assessment Hearing Kathy Dopp, Bill Moss, Robert Fitrakis, Richard Hayes Phillips

Election Assessment Hearing Kathy Dopp, Rev. Bill Moss, Robert Fitrakis, Richard Hayes Phillips

Fitrakis was an international election observer for the 1994 El Salvador presidential election and co-authored and edited the International Observer Election Report. Fitrakis’ investigative reporting on election irregularities and fraud began prior to the Florida debacle of the 2000 election. He uncovered the history and Republican and CIA connections to the electronic voting machine companies in several articles throughout 2000 prior to Election Day. He worked with the late Athan Gibbs, inventor of TruVote voting machines that supplied a paper trail, in exposing the flaws of computer voting machines.

He helped organize Election Protection activities in central Ohio for the 2004 election including Video the Vote and legal observers at the polls. He received international attention after being an Election Protection attorney during the 2004 Ohio presidential election, and subsequently investigating the election irregularities. He initiated the original public hearings at the New Faith Baptist Church and Franklin County Courthouse in Columbus, Ohio two weeks after the November 2, 2004 Election Day to hear sworn testimony and take notarized affidavits from voters and observers who experienced election irregularities. Over 750 people participated in the hearings that were simultaneously broadcast on radio and on international media.

Dr. Fitrakis was instrumental in putting together a coalition of nonprofit organizations, public officials, attorneys, voters, videographers, and activists to continue the investigations across Ohio. He helped organize four other public hearings in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, and Warren, Ohio. In December 2004, Fitrakis testified before the Judiciary Committee of Congress at the request of Rep. John Conyers in both Washington D.C. and Columbus. The information gathered from the Free Press investigations and hearings resulted in the Conyers Report, “What Went Wrong in Ohio?” released January 5, 2005. Fitrakis spoke to the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on Ohio’s election issues. Fitrakis was one of four attorneys who challenged the election results in federal court immediately after the election, Moss v, Bush, with the assistance of Rev. Jesse Jackson. While working with Jackson, Fitrakis briefed top Democratic leaders, including U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Cleveland) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and helped organize and craft the language for the first Congressional challenge to the seating of Ohio’s delegates in our country’s history.

Fitrakis briefed John Kerry, worked on election reform with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-LA) and Rep. John Kerry (D-Atlanta), and briefed the Democratic Party Senate leadership. He later briefed the Congressional Progressive Caucus as well as the Congressional Black Caucus and the Senate Democratic leadership. Dr. Fitrakis testified at the Election Assessment hearings in Houston, Texas, which became part of the Carter-Baker Report. Throughout 2005-2007 Fitrakis organized investigators under the auspices of the CICJ to visit key Boards of Elections in Ohio to physically examine and count ballots, videotape and photograph election evidence, and write reports. Much of this evidence appears in his books and in a project he coordinated for an online digital archive.

Fitrakis co-authored What Happened in Ohio? A documentary record of theft and fraud in the 2004 election (New Press) and has authored or co-authored three other election books including How the GOP Stole America’s 2004 Election & Is Rigging 2008 the companion summary book to the 767-page volume Did George W. Bush Steal America’s 2004 Election? Essential Documents, co-edited with Harvey Wasserman and Steve Rosenfeld. He co-wrote the freepress.org article “How a Republican Election Supervisor Manipulated the 2004 Central Ohio Vote” that received the Project Censored Third Most Censored story in the world in 2005. He has written chapters for the book Hacked (Truth Enterprises Publishing) in 2006 and Mark Crispin Miller’s Loser Take All (Ig Publishing) in 2008.

Fitrakis has been interviewed on countless national and local radio and TV programs as an expert on Ohio’s election irregularities and subsequent election reform issues. He was a featured speaker at the first voting rights teach-in in Berkeley in February 2005 and at national organizing conferences for the growing voting rights movement from San Francisco to Nashville to New York City. Fitrakis received a grant to take his books on a west coast book tour from San Diego to Seattle during 2005. He helped a coalition of individuals and groups hold a 3-day Voting Rights Revival conference in Columbus in 2005 and another in 2008. Over 10 national and international independent video documentaries feature Fitrakis, including the Sundance Award-winning “American Blackout” by Ian Inaba of GNN. Through the Free Press, he and the Ecological Options Network co-produced the short video “Help America Vote on Paper” on election reform advocacy video that has been distributed worldwide. On behalf of the Free Press, Fitrakis wrote and received two national grants to continue the election reform work through 2006 and 2007. Fitrakis was interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now and by Lou Dobbs on CNN.

Fitrakis ran for Governor of Ohio in 2006 as an independent endorsed by the Green Party on a platform of election reform. He worked with five other independent statewide candidates to place dozens of election rights observers inside the polling sites and Boards of Elections on Election Day throughout Ohio. Gore Vidal volunteered to help Fitrakis with his campaign. Vidal sponsored and appeared alongside him at a fund-raiser and live Pacifica radio broadcast in Santa Monica. Fitrakis successfully brought the election irregularities to public attention, as well as the criminal antics of his Republican opposition for governor Ohio’s Secretary of State J. . Blackwell was sorely trounced in the election and is no longer a political entity in Ohio, and Fitrakis received 41,000 votes.

As of June 2008, Fitrakis is currently co-counsel in the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville lawsuit against the Ohio Secretary of State’s office seeking to end racially discriminatory electoral practices in Ohio and to ensure free and fair elections. Fitrakis authored a 50-point consent decree to ensure election integrity in Ohio submitted to the current Secretary of State. Many of these proposals have been adopted by the state of Ohio. He continues to speak on radio and TV programs, present at conferences, and help produce independent election-related videos. He and Wasserman continue to report regularly on election reform issues in the Free Press, on freepress.org and numerous other progressive websites such as Counterpunch, Commondreams, Salon, Alternet, and Bradblog – as well as their own internet radio program at freepress.org/podcasts.

Fitrakis continues to lead annual election protection efforts in Ohio. The Post-election report of 2008 was brought before the UN by the International Association of Educators for World Peace. In 2008, the CICJ exposed that over 1.25 million voters had been purged in Ohio and in 2012 was able to document that over 1 million voters were purged in the Buckeye State. Fitrakis is currently working with Harvey Wasserman in updating their election book for a new edition in 2012.

Free Press Second Saturday Salon

You’re invited to join us for the:

Free Press Second Saturday Salon
May 12, 2012 – 6:30pm-midnight

Join progressive friends for food, drink, music, art, and a presentation on ecosocialism with Steve Bloom.

Watch the live national broadcast of the Green Party debate between presidential candidates Roseanne Barr and Jill Stein – 10:30pm!

1021 E. Broad St., east side door, parking on street or in rear.
253-2571
truth@freepress.org

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Livestream Worldwide Debate: Green Party Presidential Candidates Jill Stein, Rosanne Barr

From the same venue that brought you the Occupy Movement.
Tonight Saturday, May 12, The American Green Party Presents:
The historical debate between Roseanne Barr and Jill Stein
Live from 7:30 P.M. PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) 10:30 Eastern (EDT)
See Also: http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus/video?clipId=pla_aa35968d-c059-4a57-9da4-20e08988d495&utm_source=lslibrary&utm_medium=ui-thumb

Watch live streaming video from greenpartyus at livestream.com

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Recent Fight Back – Episodes: Podcasts

05/09/12 Trotsky In America, Eco-Socialism

05/02/12 Ohio’s Progressive Agenda

04/25/12 Unite Against The War On Women

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From the Kent State killings to Occupy Cleveland, this is the face of the new COINTELPRO

Bob Fitrakis
May 5, 2012

Recent events in northern Ohio underscore the new COINTELPRO assault on activism. On Tuesday, May 1, federal authorities arrested five “anarchists” charging them with conspiracy in trying to bomb property used in interstate commerce, according to the Associated Press (AP). The target of this alleged plot was a bridge running through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 15 miles south of downtown Cleveland.

Media immediately identified the men as linked to the nonviolent anti-corporate Occupy Cleveland movement. The next day, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson refused to renew the permits for Occupy Cleveland’s downtown encampment site. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio questioned why the Mayor would revoke the permit the day after the arrests. “Individuals are responsible for their own actions, not the groups they affiliate with,” said James Hardiman, ACLU’s Ohio Legal Director.

An undercover employee of the FBI later identified as an ex-convict sold the Cleveland “anarchists” fake explosives to blow up the bridge, according to the AP. As an axiom in activist politics, if anyone approaches a demonstrator and suggests violent activities and offers to procure guns or bombs – they are in all probability a cop or working for law enforcement.

Friday, May 4 was the 42nd anniversary of the Kent State shootings. Recall that the shootings only occurred after the mysterious burning down of the Kent State ROTC building on May 2, 1970. Numerous accounts of the event indicate that the Kent State police never attempted to stop the arsonist and the University’s own investigative study reported: “The persons involved in the actual incendiarism were few, were separated from the main crowd, and could easily have been apprehended by the police.”

The Ohio National Guard would have never been called to the Kent State campus without the ROTC arson.

William A. Gordon’s book “Four Dead in Ohio” noted that the Kent State University police made no attempt to prevent the ROTC fire despite the fact that their own intelligence warnings alerted them to the impending arson. One detective even admitted telling a TV camera crew, “Don’t pack your cameras. We’re going to have a fire tonight.”

The special grand jury report done under the auspices of Portage County Common Pleas Judge Edwin W. Jones concluded that, “It is obvious that the burning of the ROTC building could have been prevented with the manpower then available.”

In 1976, Senator Frank Church and his Senate investigation committee exposed the government’s Counter Intelligence Program (CONINTELPRO). The FBI admitted to the Church Committee that on May 7, 1970 they deliberately set fire to an ROTC building in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Six pages concerning ROTC fires were redacted in the Church Committee report.

As Alan Canfora, one of the students shot on May 4, said “some of the students there did try to light the building on fire. It was like the Three Stooges trying to burn the ROTC building. When we left, that fire was completely out.”

In his book, Gordon noted that a biker showed up with a can of gasoline and gave it to a high school student, George Walter Harrington, who then burnt the building. Gordon and others have speculated as to whether the biker worked for the FBI or federal authorities. Despite the presence of fire and police officials, neither the biker nor Harrington were every prosecuted.

The original COINTELPRO ran between 1956 and 1971. Its purpose was to discredit any peace and social justice movements. The tactics they used were those of psychological warfare. Tactics included smearing the reputations of individual activists and organizations through planting false stories in the media; forging documents; planting evidence leading to wrongful imprisonments, sending in undercover agents and snitches to promote illegal activities and violence; and even assassination.

The initial evidence in Cleveland, as in Kent State 42 years earlier, points to a rejuvenated COINTELPRO movement designed to destroy the reputation of the highly successful Occupy Wall Street movement.

David K. Shipler, the author of “Rights and Risks: The Limits of Liberty in Modern America,” pointed out in an April 29, 2012 New York Times op-ed that most recent terrorist plots in the United States have been hatched by the FBI. Shipler wrote “But dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naively play their parts until they are arrested.”

Two days after Shipler’s words, the five anarchists are arrested with fake C-4 in Cleveland. As Shipler points out, “Some threats are real, others less so. In terrorism, its not easy to tell the difference.”

Shipler should have added, some terrorist threats are manufactured by the government to destroy social justice movements.

It has already been widely reported that Homeland Security was involved in harassing the Occupy movement. (See, Free Press, January 5, 2012)

A little known but highly influential private organization, The Police Executive Research Forum, an international non-governmental organization with ties to law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, emerged last November as coordinating the crackdown on the Occupy movement. They were coordinating conference calls with major metropolitan mayors and police chiefs.

It should come as no surprise that five so-called anarchists, with no capacity to blow up a bridge on their own, were sold or given fake C-4 from an ex-convict working with federal law enforcement. And then, a big city mayor uses it to attack the Occupy movement. From the Kent State killings to Occupy Cleveland, this is the face of the new COINTELPRO, same as the old COINTELPRO. The 1% are still protected by the illegal activities of the security industrial complex that routinely violate the civil liberties of U.S. citizens seeking nonviolent change.