A sober look at the 50th anniversary of “I Have A Dream.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

50 years ago on August 28th, 1963 estimates of 250,000 people attended the rally and march on Washington, D.C. where Dr. King delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech. Both his speech and the march have become staples in American history and the civil rights movement of the era.

On Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 an anniversary rally was held to honor the occasion and to reflect on our nation’s history. President Obama spoke on the 28th as well; likely as a symbol of the institutional progress America has made since the historic day 50 years ago.

While the event on the 28th marked the anniversary of the original march in 1963, another march and rally took place on Saturday, August 24th, calling for organization, mobilization, and action. This was the more important day of the two. Mainly because this event highlighted the reality of present-day America. Truth be told there was an obnoxious, but not surprising, political motive behind this march: To vote for the Democrats in the coming election. This element of political posturing likely induced an eye-roll or two but no one at the march was misled about the institutional digression which has taken place since 50 years ago.

Issues discussed at this rally included Voting Rights (in light of the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn the Voting Rights Act of 1965), Trayvon’s Law, the Prison Industrial Complex (also sometimes referred to as “The New Jim Crow”), ALEC (or the American Legislative Exchange Council) which was influential in getting Florida’s Stand Your Ground law passed, the need to raise the minimum wage… and much much more.


Let’s address the above issues quickly. First, the overturn of the Voting Rights Act. Have a look at the “literacy” test Louisiana gave black voters in the 1960s. Things like that were ruled unconstitutional due to the Voting Rights Act. Before the Voting Rights Act was passed people may have had to recite the preamble to the US Constitution from memory to vote. It reads as follows:

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

While the above is certainly a notable literary passage it’s hard to see how memorizing it would be crucial to your ability to vote on the issues of the day; or for candidates who would vote on the issues. Nevertheless, for some in North Carolina, it was required prior to the VRA of 1965. The most recent instances of voter suppression in North Carolina (which were also discussed at their weekly event, Moral Mondays) include the removal of one week of early voting and the end of Sunday voting. Sunday voting is a serious attack on blacks and other minorities because very often church groups in those communities organize people to vote on Sundays after church. There was also a poll tax placed on students in North Carolina. If a student wants to vote in a district by their school which is not the same district as their parents, the parents will have to pay $2,500.



Learn about Trayvon’s Law which calls for an end to racial profiling, a repeal of stand your ground-type laws, law enforcement accountability through effective police oversight, improving training and best practices for community watch groups, and mandating law enforcement data collection on homicide cases involving people of color.


The Prison Industrial Complex was addressed as well…

The United States houses 5% of the world’s total population. It also houses 25% of the world’s incarcerated population. Put in perspective there are around 7 billion people on the planet now; of those 7 billion about 8.8 million are incarcerated worldwide; of those 7 billion worldwide 300 million reside in the United States; of those 300 million in the United States 2.2 million are incarcerated. Of those 2.2 million about 70% are minorities and people of color. Put in perspective there are more black men now in prison, or under the watch of the criminal justice system, than there were enslaved in 1850. The Prison Industrial Complex has grown to the point it has due to the profits which can be made from it. Yes. You can actually buy stock in the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and watch your money grow as more prisons are built, more people are incarcerated and more production is derived from prisons and its prisoners.

“The New Jim Crow” primarily refers to the mass incarceration of people of color; and Latinos to a lesser degree. The drug war is another component of The New Jim Crow. For marijuana alone there are 800,000 people in prison. This is more about race than anything else though. Statistically, more whites in suburban areas do drugs than blacks or Latinos in urban areas. The drug war though is international so the Prison Industrial Complex (mass incarceration) is the largest domestic component of The New Jim Crow. Poverty is also included in The New Jim Crow.



The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was another issue at the march…

The existence of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law (pushed by ALEC) has made people more aware of ALEC. It is important though to understand the influence of ALEC, in general. ALEC is a non-profit organization where corporate members and legislators come together as equals, and members of ALEC, to debate on policy. Public and private members vote separately on policy after joint debate. As ALEC facilitates policy manipulation and no laws are actually passed, debated or adopted during this process; there is no lobbying which takes place.

“Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills. ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a “unique,” “unparalleled” and “unmatched” organization.” (Source)

Following is a list of some of ALEC’s work:

Electricity Freedom Act
Resolution in Support of the Keystone XL Pipeline
Voter ID Act
Arizona’s SB 1070 Immigration Law: “No Sanctuary for Illegal Immigrants Act”
Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Composition Act
Intrastate Coal and Use Act
Stand Your Ground

The original march in 1963 drew about 250,000 people. The march on the 24th drew the same number if not slightly more. Furthermore, the diversity in terms of age, race and gender was remarkable. There is no question that a call to action has been recognized to address inequalities and injustices which have now spread to a very diverse swath of the American public. Important to note is how socially, there has been progress over the past 50 years in how the different sects of the public in America live together and relate to one another. Unfortunately, from an institutional standpoint those who originally found themselves fighting for civil rights back in 1963 have been subjected to increased prejudice since then.


Nevertheless the march on August 24th was very inspiring and the number of people in attendance certainly rivaled the original march 50 years ago.

Here is a reaction to the crowd from activist Lisa Fithian.

Here is a very positive reaction to the march from an attendee referring to herself as Queen Mother. In this clip, to say the least she is overjoyed but she is also very motivated to work to bring the youth together as she mentions the upcoming Million Youth March, in Harlem.

Another protester was asked this to comment on the institutional digression. In this clip the protester discusses primarily the cuts made to education and the resulting integration of schools.

To expand briefly over the past 2 years, in New York, 20 schools have been closed in primarily underprivileged areas. Philadelphia has been subjected to this as well as Chicago which closed 49 of the recommended 54 schools this year. The students belonging to those schools then get sent to another building where two schools are co-located. When this happens those students end up having to readjust to a new social environment while they are getting their educations. Not only this but the teachers as well have to adjust to a larger student body who is also adjusting to a new group of classmates. The only thing that really doesn’t readjust is the space provided for education after co-location.

Usually the justification for closing the schools is a lack of resources, a deficit, or poor student performance. At the same time though Chicago found the money to build a multimillion dollar sports complex the same year as the closings. Also, in general this country spends 10’s of thousands of dollars to pay for prison inmates, for example. Far less money is put towards educational systems which could keep said kids out of trouble and out of prison (and we’ve established the Prison Industrial Complex houses mostly Black and Latinos, who are most affected by school closures). Also, a failure to tax the wealthy will often result in a deficit. When you have a deficit and don’t fund education properly you very often end up with poor student performance as they are not given the resources they need. All together it makes for a very convincing argument that education is just not working and there is legitimate reason to close schools and invest in privatized education. “The kids just aren’t learning!”

Needless to say a call to action had been recognized and the crowds proved it. Watch footage of a march led by the NAACP.





A helicopter flies overhead (as it passed over the crowds underneath would wave to it).

A helicopter flies overhead (as it passed over the crowds underneath would wave to it).


Read a summary of the march here…

Dr. King’s legacy was one of non-violence. It was not a legacy of non-violence because King did not believe in standing up for oneself (the entire civil rights movement was about standing up for yourself). It was a legacy of non-violence because at the time no matter how much black people were beaten, if there was even the slightest retaliation, the retaliation would be what made the news. Today, we look back and see the virtues of non-violent civil disobedience as a sign of love, and a peaceful redress of grievances. Back then it was much more strategic.

To honor Dr. King’s legacy the NYC Light Brigade went down to D.C. to take part in the march on the 24th but also to remember the civil rights leader, in their own way, the night before. In addition to attending in support of the anniversary the Light Brigade had a slightly different message to show. The absurdity of what they ended up dealing with highlighted even more of the institutional digression which has taken place throughout America for everyone.

The NYC Light Brigade joined the Light Brigade Maryland and the Veterans for Peace by the Lincoln Memorial. While both Light Brigade groups proceeded to the steps of the Lincoln memorial for a light show; the Veterans had speak-outs of a sensibly anti-war nature… but there was another element to them…

Introductory talk from the Veterans for Peace.

Veteran Tarak speaks and compares President Obama to Dr. King.

Next a woman addressed the group and read a poem.

Following the speak-outs as the Veterans proceeded to the Vietnam memorial the Light Brigades were already putting on their light shows…

long shot


Following the display at the Lincoln Memorial the Veterans and the Light Brigades made their way to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. All they wanted to do was spell the phrase “We Have A Dream.” They were not allowed and as such speak-outs were held to voice discontent.

They did eventually get into the memorial though…

Here is an account from Athena of the NYC Light Brigade:
“After we were told by an assault rifle-armed park officer that we were not allowed into the MLK memorial with our letter panels, we realized that taking any shots of our Light Brigade messages in front of the MLK statue would be next to impossible. But we did not just go away. Rather we stood, with our message all lined up in our allotted space: the 3′ wide sidewalk between the water and the monument grounds. Martin Luther King was in fact behind us, but good luck getting back far enough to get any sort of all-encompassing shot. All we needed was to stand a few feet into ‘monument grounds’ to get the shot we needed: Our letters spelling out I HAVE A DREAM and Martin Luther King solemnly looking out over them. There we persisted, trying any calm tactic we could think of: singing ‘We Shall Overcome’, trying to level with the guard (“come on man, just one picture”), individuals going up and talking to him one-on-one.”

Watch a scene from the confrontation with the US Park Service.

A US Park Service guard. Note the assault rifle. They apparently carry those normally.

A US Park Service guard. Note the assault rifle. They apparently carry those normally.

The Light Brigade could only stand on the left side of the line here.

The Light Brigade could only stand on the left side of the line here.

A US Park Service member.

A US Park Service member.

US Park Service members discussing how to deal with the protest.

US Park Service members discussing how to deal with the protest.

The Light Brigade standing in their allotted space preparing to leave the MLK memorial in letter sequence.

The Light Brigade standing in their allotted space preparing to leave the MLK memorial in letter sequence.


It’s worth noting how the harassment the NYC Light Brigade received at the MLK Memorial may have been related to this anti-protest bill.

The next stop was the White House…

Read an account from Light Brigade member Marilu:

“In the van on our way to the next location, I mentioned how much you can get away with if you are saying that you are making a video, a movie, or a commercial when it has nothing to do with anything relevant, and are even allowed to go into private areas. When we arrived at the White House, we were told that we were allowed to stand on the street; if on the sidewalk, then we had to keep moving; and to not lean on the fence. It was nighttime, and not many people were around the already unlit White House. As we noticed a group of drunk tourists leaning on the fence without being disturbed, we approached the sidewalk and started to assemble for the picture… ‘What are you guys doing?” one of the policemen asked as he approached us. “We are Art students!!’ I instinctively yelled out, loudly, so that everyone could hear and maybe follow… ‘it’s a thesis project (minding our ages), we brought helpers, been working on it for a while, thanks!’ The policeman responded ‘Oh!, heh, OK!… As long as y’all are not protesting or anythin’ like that! heheh.'”

“I could not believe, how, in front of the President’s abode itself, the security was letting us do what we peacefully intended to do in front of the statue of MLK Jr. because we said we were art students. In front of a statue of Dr. King though, we were not allowed to assemble and take pictures like tourists would; they knew we were protesters and activists, not drunk tourists, or art students making their thesis project, or filming a commercial… so we were harassed.”

“What school are y’all from???” The other guard came up to ask defiantly. “Pratt!, in Brooklyn” I yelled, thinking of how one of the people in our group (Athena) had just told me she went to Pratt and majored in painting. “We came all the way here!”

“So the policemen stood there and watched us take the picture in the sidewalk, with the drunk tourists helping us to hold up the letters as we engaged the small crowd to help us. Some of the younger ‘helpers’ started asking me what we were really doing; and as I started explaining the message and that they were helping the Light brigade with their messaging, they would fill up with pride and smile with their letters.”

The first message the Light Brigade displayed was the following…

wake up and dream kyle

The second one they displayed was done so that they could make the following for when Barack Obama would speak on Wednesday at the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.


That photo was included in a twitter storm for “#IHaveADrone” which went into action as President Obama was speaking on the 28th.

Here are some tweets:

#IHaveADrone that one day all the children of the world will be able to join hands and not be blown up by flying killer robots.

You know what is more disrespectful than #ihaveadrone ? Having Clinton on stage who’s welfare reform destroyed POC.

Obama bemoans shrinking economic pie. Cut #drones from budget and save billions. #IHaveADrone

Khaled Z (‏@der_bluthund)
The Secret Drone War (BBC Documentaries):

Khaled Z (‏@der_bluthund)
#IHaveADrone Obama, claims that drone strikes are precise and only target terrorists. But 98% of those killed by drone strikes are civilians

Remi Kanazi ‏(@Remroum)
Obama: Because of civil rights movement society changed. Because of me: Wars expanded, spying increased & corporations thrived. #IHaveADrone

Peaceful Terra-ist ‏(@CyMadD0x)
“One who condones evils is just as guilty as the one who perpetrates it.” -MLK. Obama is the perpetrator & condones it #IHaveADrone

Peaceful Terra-ist ‏(@CyMadD0x)
A nation that continues yr after yr to spend more $ on military defense than on social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. #IHaveADrone

RadicalMedia_ (‏@UnToldCarlisle)
MLK 2013: Focus on the task at hand not on the past. From #IHaveADream to #IHaveaDrone is NOT acceptable. #RiseUp

K. Flowers ‏(@Katherine34481)
What would Dr. King say about the murder of Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki? K. Flowers ‏(@Katherine34481)
The #IHaveaDream of Martin Luther King to #IHaveaDrone Obama! Return the Nobel Peace Prize pic.twitter.com/swA4ANgtMd

The idea behind this twitter storm, and the juxtaposed photo above, was to critique President Obama for speaking to honor a civil rights leader who stood for peace; all while he carries out what is essentially a global assassination campaign, involving lots of collateral damage and violations of international airspace.

The only thing left to post is Dr. King’s most underrated, most unknown (and possibly his best) speech; which also critiques the country which still has the same war mongering mentality it did during Vietnam.

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Egypt: What’s not being discussed.

A few days ago Egypt’s military raided the pro-Morsi sit-downs in Rabaa and other parts of Egypt. The raids turned bloody and the death toll has been estimated at around 700. Many more were wounded, and many children were killed as well. As such the primary media narrative is logically focused around the brutality of the Egyptian military. This narrative makes perfect sense, there was a massacre at their hands.

There is another element to this however which has not been touched on. Simply put the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda have ties to one another. It’s important to stress that I cannot confirm the extent of these ties. If the Muslim Brotherhood considers itself Al-Qaeda, or if Al-Qaeda merely support the Muslim Brotherhood is not something I have extensive information on. However the fact remains there is a connection and one which cannot be ignored.

To illustrate this connection the first thing to do is show the Al-Qaeda flag. Back in 2012 there were protests at the US embassy in Egypt against a film’s depiction of the Islamic prophet Mohammed.

From the 2012 protests at a US embassy over a depiction of Mohammed in a film.

From the 2012 protests at a US embassy over a depiction of Mohammed in a film.

In the above photo note the black flack (top, left-of-center) which displays a white circle and white Arabic lettering. That is an Al-Qaeda flag.

At this demonstration at the US embassy the American flag eventually was taken down and replaced with an Al-Qaeda flag:

An Al-Qaeda flag raised in place of the American flag at the US embassy.

An Al-Qaeda flag raised in place of the American flag at the US embassy.

Having established what the Al-Qaeda flag looks like let’s turn to the protests in Egypt…

The following photo is from pro-Morsi protests by the Muslim Brotherhood.

MB 4 protest

Note the black flag being displayed on the left.

Now to make the connection between the two groups even stronger, note the next photo:

MB 1 morsi q

The above flag has a different design but I believe it is an Al-Qaeda flag as well. Note also the photos of Morsi.

Having established a connection, however large or small, between the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda it seems there may have been more of a reason for what the military did. Understand this is in no way meant to excuse the severity of what the military did. Massacring 700 people, children included, is not to be excused no matter who the group protesting is; especially when the extent of connection between the two groups is not certain.

Nevertheless, questions to ask ourselves:

How close is the connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda?

Was there Al-Qaeda recruitment going on during the pro-Morsi/anti-coup protests?

Though the leader of Al-Qaeda is reported to have condemned ex-President Morsi for abandoning Jihad (to satisfy the United States) how connected was ex-President Morsi with Al-Qaeda?

Finally, is the established connection to Al-Qaeda another potential reason for why President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood were ousted?

Now to discuss another element of the recent massacre. Taken maybe a week or so after the protests to have Morsi reinstated began; we see a helicopter dispersing flyers over the pro-Morsi camp:

A helicopter drops flyers of warning to clear over Pro-Morsi support rallies.

A helicopter drops flyers of warning to clear the space over Pro-Morsi support rallies.

The flyers are warning of an eventual raid and telling the protesters to disperse. As we know the protesters did not disperse. The reason for showing this last photo is to illustrate the fact that the military did not just spontaneously massacre the protests. I want to stress whether or not there was a warning, it does not excuse the brutality of the police and military.

My exposure to all of this has been through social media. I can’t even imagine what those in Egypt are now having to deal with. Even people I know in Egypt who supported the ouster of Morsi have felt sickened and disgraced by the actions of the military. There is never an excuse for actions which produced the charred bodies or severed limbs that I saw in photos. The worst I’ve seen was one of a person holding someone’s brain in their hand.

The military has committed horrific acts. At the same time though as there were children killed during the massacres, and the pro-Morsi rallies were warned of what was coming (as we can see from the photo with the helicopter), I do not think we can only blame the military for the deaths of children. The people of Egypt are not new to military brutality, it would seem likely some could have speculated on the severity of the coming raids after receiving the military’s warning.

Following the military’s actions the Muslim Brotherhood called for a “Friday of anger” march to denounce the military for its aggression. The military, having declared martial law after the raids, said they were prepared to use violence again. It remains to be seen what will happen and how things will unfold in Egypt. The revolution may be far from over…

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Demanding justice for Ramarley Graham

On August 8th, 2013 a rally and march took place to demand accountability for NYPD officer Richard Haste’s shooting and killing of the unarmed, 18-year-old, Ramarley Graham in his apartment in The Bronx.

Before going any further it’s important to show the surveillance footage from the night Graham was killed.

(Note: The above footage is from WPIX News. Skip to the 0:38 second mark to find the surveillance footage.)

In the footage you see Ramarley Graham walk casually to his apartment, he turns his head briefly for whatever reason prior to entering the apartment and then goes in. Shortly after he disappears from the camera into his apartment we see two police officers rush to the door. A police officer then attempts to kick the locked door in. He is not successful. An important point to note (which is mentioned in the video): there was no warrant to enter the residence.

The rally for the slain teen began outside The Bronx District Attorney’s office where a press conference had been held earlier that day in response to the court proceedings the day before; where it was decided the case would not be heard. Graham was killed in February of 2012. Back in May of 2013 the “Bronx DA’s office erroneously instructed members of the grand jury that they did not have to consider if Officer Richard Haste’s colleagues informed him that 18-year-old Ramarley Graham was armed.” The Judge complied with the District Attorney. (To learn more about the legal battle read here.)

At the August 8th press conference Councilman Jumaane Williams spoke about the injustice of the court proceedings. Ramarley Graham was killed in the bathroom as he was allegedly trying to flush a bag of weed down the toilet. He was killed in front of his grandmother and his 7-year-old brother. The shooting officer, Richard Haste, defended his actions by claiming he thought Graham had a gun.

The rally and march took place not only because yet another black youth had been killed by the NYPD, but also because the case was thrown out due to a technicality preventing an indictment.

The rally began outside the District Attorney’s office in The Bronx.



modded ram

Frank Graham takes control of the megaphone.

Frank Graham takes control of the megaphone.

After some speak-outs in front of the District Attorney’s office the march took off.

Frank Graham leads the march.

Frank Graham leads the march.

Police vehicles driving in front of the march.

Police vehicles driving in front of the march.

Jose LaSalle and Frank Graham lead chants.

Jose LaSalle and Frank Graham lead chants.

Police vehicles behind the march.

Police vehicles behind the march.

A sign being displayed to passing cars.

A sign being displayed to passing cars.


The march proceeded from The Bronx over the 145 Street Bridge into Harlem.


(Note: Due to an archiving error my footage was not stored for a certain period during this march. Hence the lack of footage up to this point. However as my feed was still transmitting the folks at www.livestream.com/OccupyEarth (@MacDaill) had it archived.

Marching into Harlem from the 145 St Bridge:

Watch live streaming video from occupyearth at livestream.com

The police motorcade following the march over the bridge.

The police motorcade following the march over the bridge.

Once in Harlem the march headed to the 32nd precinct.



Upon arriving at the 32nd precinct Ramarley’s father, Frank Graham, delivered a very impassioned and heartfelt speak out.


Following the time in front of the precinct the march continued to the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building for final speak outs, some songs, and some prayer.

About 20 minutes into the linked footage is when the group arrives at the office building chanting against racist police with a fantastic rhythm that really energized the march.


The march and rally were very moving on their own. Seeing Mr. Graham consistently repeat to new groups of bystanders why the march was taking place (as we moved through the street) was even more powerful. Not only was it powerful, it was fantastic outreach from a broken man who wanted nothing more than to see justice served to Richard Haste, the NYPD officer who killed his 18-year-old boy. Each speak-out was unique and each was also clear as to what had happened. It’s hard not to sympathize with a father who has lost his child for no reason. Even harder when he lost his child at the hands of a police officer who entered a private residence with no warrant, and then as well when the courts turned their backs on him as they found they could not indict.

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The third fast food strike

On July 29th the third national day of Fast Food strikes took place to demand “15 and a union.” The current pay for Fast Food employees is $7.25 and they currently have no union to fight on their behalf to get better wages or benefits.

The first walk out took place in Washington Heights where a few days prior, during a heatwave, the employees were forced to keep working after a worker passed out from heat exhaustion and a malfunctioning air conditioner.

Watch the protest outside said McDonald’s.

Ydanis Rodriguez addresses the crowd

Ydanis Rodriguez addresses the crowd


A worker addresses the crowd of protesters

A worker addresses the crowd of protesters


The first protest began at around 10 am. The second protest began around noon, in The Bronx, at a McDonald’s by Yankee Stadium.


As part of the demonstration, after rallying in front of the McDonald’s the protest marched to its front door to deliver a letter to the management.

A crowd of protesters gathers at the McDonald's entrance to deliver a letter to management.

A crowd of protesters gathers at the McDonald’s entrance to deliver a letter to management.

The next rally and march began in Union Square at 2:45pm. After about 20 minutes the rally marched to the nearby McDonald’s and had speak outs there.




Here is the rally in front of the McDonald’s

Following the rally the workers marched to the offices of 32BJ. Watch a short interview with a McDonald’s worker as we marched to 32BJ.

As usual the talking heads on TV had their chances to add their 2 cents about the strikes. Here is the Daily Show’s rebuttal.

Important to note is how these protests are spreading. On July 29th there were participating groups in Kansas City, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, and Milwaukee. The first time the protests occurred they took place in New York City alone. This time, in addition to Fast Food there were also walk-outs from retail giants such as Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret. This fight is about 15 and a union for Fast Food workers, however it also addresses the larger issue of “You can’t survive on $7.25.” Meaning, the minimum wage in this country is not enough to live on. Truth be told even members of congress have admitted you need to make about $40,000 per year in order to not live in poverty. Furthermore, $40,000 per year would actually require a higher wage than $15 an hour. Nevertheless, you start with what you think you can achieve and then keep fighting for more.

There is no question that $15 an hour would certainly do a great deal of good for whose who currently only earn $7.25 an hour. When that $15 is combined with a union to fight for benefits… it’s a step in the right direction for sure.

On a personal note I have documented Fast Food protests 3 times. Two of those times though I heard a very strange comment. The idea that in order to pay the workers $15 it would only require a small increase in the price of the food for consumers. This is something I do not support. Yes, if you are going to pay the workers more one way to cover the cost is to raise the price. However, this could also contribute to inflation. Instead, why don’t we keep the price of the food the same and make the CEOs of these companies pay their employees more using the money they’ve made in profits?

The embedded clip from The Daily Show above reports a figure showing McDonald’s making $5.5 billion in profits alone last year. Other fast food chains can probably boast similar numbers of wealth. As such, to raise the price of a meal so you can pay your workers more is really just placing more of the burden back onto the people who are already hurting from a bad economy.

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Bradley Manning

The trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning has concluded. Now all that awaits is his sentencing. He pleaded guilty to counts which would have given him 20 years in prison. He was found “Not Guilty” of the most severe charge of “Aiding the Enemy” which carried a life sentence with no parole. Of the 21 other crimes he was charged he was found guilty of 19. He faces a maximum of 136 years (minus 3 years for time served).

Some call him a whistle-blower; some see him as an army private who stepped out of line and is now being rightfully penalized for insubordination.

The best way to answer this question is to look into exactly what he released.

The below video is titled Collateral Murder. Within the United States; this video is probably the most well known thing which Manning released. Be sure to watch through the end to see rescuers get gunned down in addition to the initial targets. These are war crimes.

Of the above video, “An internal U.S. military investigation concluded that the incident was consistent with the military’s ‘Rules of Engagement.'” (Source article is referenced later)

That video as well as hundreds of thousands of other documents were released to the public by Manning via Wikileaks. (A website which had actually earned a good degree of respect from rest of the journalism community, when it published documents exposing the crimes of Swiss Bankers and the corruption of foreign governments.)

Quoting Wikipedia’s article on the Reception of Wikileaks “The organisation has won a number of awards, including The Economist’s New Media Award in 2008 at the Index on Censorship Awards and Amnesty International’s UK Media Award in 2009. In 2010, the New York Daily News listed WikiLeaks first among websites “that could totally change the news”, and Julian Assange received the Sam Adams Award and was named the Readers’ Choice for TIME’s Person of the Year in 2010. The UK Information Commissioner has stated that “WikiLeaks is part of the phenomenon of the online, empowered citizen”. In its first days, an Internet petition calling for the cessation of extrajudicial intimidation of WikiLeaks attracted over six hundred thousand signatures. Supporters of WikiLeaks in the media and academia have commended it for exposing state and corporate secrets, increasing transparency, supporting freedom of the press, and enhancing democratic discourse while challenging powerful institutions.”

That praise was awarded when Wikileaks exposed the malevolent actions of international governments and corporations. When Wikileaks released the Bradley Manning trove, they were no longer the “good guys.” Which brings us to where we are now and Bradley Manning’s trial.

Only days before the pre-trial was set to begin a massive rally and march took place in Ft. Meade, Maryland outside the base where the trial would take place.

Watch footage of the rally before the march.




The following footage is of the march after the rally.





The activist group Code Pink runs along side the march with umbrellas with letters spelling "Free Bradley"

The activist group Code Pink runs alongside the march carrying umbrellas with letters spelling “Free Bradley”



A rally took place after the march as well. In this clip Daniel Ellsburg, who leaked the Pentagon papers (drastically affecting public opinion about the war in Vietnam), speaks in support of Bradley Manning.

On July 27th, two months later (and about 3 days before trial ended), as there had been limited news coverage of what was a very significant event in American history, demonstrations took place around the country to inform the public. In New York, Strawberry Fields was the location of choice.


To begin the event in Strawberry Fields organizers set out a collection of folders. Each folder contained a news article which discussed one of the cables which Bradley Manning released.












(Note: The folders in the above photos contained articles which are still publicly accessible via internet search).

Watch an interview with one of the organizers as she elaborates more on the makeshift files.

Following this I conducted an interview with two people who had actually attended the trial. Follow them on twitter @shokufeyesib and @shushugah

Street theater was later performed in Columbus Circle to give perspective on who Bradley Manning was.


An interview afterward elaborated on how the street theater was created, and many more things.

3 days later a verdict was reached in Pfc. Manning’s trial. He was found Not Guilty of Aiding the Enemy and 2 more charges, out of the total 21. He was however found guilty of 19 charges which together would carry a maximum sentence of 136 years in prison. For a list of the charges and the verdict see this link on journalist Alexa O’Brien’s website (follow her on twitter @carwinb).

For a more descriptive version of the list of the charges follow this link.

For a comical analysis of the verdict in the Bradley Manning trial check out this clip from the Colbert Report.

Once again it’s important to understand the extent of the information which Manning leaked:

His leak gave great insight into what exactly the United States government is really up to behind closed doors. Some may argue that the things he released are things which need to happen and which every government does. Fine, does this mean the public should not be aware of these things though and should not have the right to decide whether or not they approve of these dealings (as their tax dollars are the source of revenue)? Check out this article.

The above article has a short elaboration on each of the following topics:

“There is an official policy to ignore torture in Iraq.”

“U.S. officials were told to cover up evidence of child abuse by contractors in Afghanistan.”

“Guantanamo prison has held mostly innocent people and low-level operatives.”

“There is an official tally of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“U.S. Military officials withheld information about the indiscriminate killing of Reuters journalists and innocent Iraqi civilians.” (This relates to the first video in this post which shows a pilot gunning down Iraqis from an Apache helicopter)

“The State Department backed corporate opposition to a Haitian minimum wage law.”

“The U.S. Government had long been faking its public support for Tunisian President Ben Ali.”
(The release of this information contributed to the public’s ousting of their President).

“Known Egyptian torturers received training from the FBI in Quantico, Virginia.”
(Also released of Egypt were President Hosni Mubarak’s views of democracy and freedom.)

“The State Department authorized the theft of the UN Secretary General’s DNA.”

“The Japanese and U.S. Governments had been warned about the seismic threat at Fukushima.”

“The Obama Administration allowed Yemen’s President to cover up a secret U.S. drone bombing campaign.”

(Note to the reader: My last blog post goes into more detail on the U.S. drone bombing campaign and much more.)

A rarely mentioned connection:

One of the above quotes explains how Bradley Manning’s leak contributed in the Tunisian Revolution. This in-turn (combined with the documents leaked pertaining to Egypt) contributed to the Egyptian revolution and the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s reign (something which had been approved to last to the end of his life as was revealed via Manning’s leak).

The Egyptian revolution, and the Tahrir Square occupation, contributed greatly to the start of the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States. See the original call from the Canadian magazine Adbusters.org:

“America needs its own Tahrir acampada now more than ever. Can we get 20,000 people to flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, a democratic assembly and occupy Wall Street for a few months?”

The Occupy movement in the US went on to change the national conversation from a discussion manufactured by corporate interests to a narrative of economic inequality, corporate influence in government, and financial sector misdeeds. Ironically, this also helped Obama win a second election as the Democratic party used the language of Occupy for their own political gains.

Thus, by law of transit-property (filled with tons of irony!), Bradley Manning’s leak actually helped President Barack Obama’s reelection. Understand, I don’t like Obama but many others do and now you have Manning to thank for Mitt Romney’s defeat! Actually, so does Obama! As such, he should pardon Manning accordingly…

It’s just good business… the favor game :) !

Jokes aside Bill Maher recently had an excellent discussion on Real Time about what Bradley Manning exposed and whether or not the leak was the right thing to do:

For another discussion, check out the following clip from CNN where Glenn Greenwald and Jeffrey Toobin discuss leaks and whistle-blowers from Bradley Manning, to Edward Snowden, to Daniel Ellsburg:

In the above videos there is a certain aspect of trial which is not being addressed. It is an issue which only really hits close to home if you are someone who has served in the military, or understand how military procedure works. By this I mean the “chain of command.” More specifically, the freedom to speak against wrongs or to “step out of line” and do what is individually thought of as the “right thing.”

When it comes to carrying out a mission in the field, there is likely some autonomy in assessing situations. When it comes to handling sensitive information however, there is absolutely none. You do as you are told and that’s all there is to it. Daniel Ellsburg did not serve in the military when he released the Pentagon papers. Edward Snowden worked as a contractor for the NSA before his leak. Bradley Manning was actually a soldier. Soldiers are considered to follow a different structure than government employees or contractors. There is no room for error when you are a soldier.

For this reason some have immediately dismissed any kind of sympathy for Bradley Manning as opposed to Snowden. Even still the greatest irony of Bradley Manning, as said in the above videos; the documents he released were not of the highest level sensitivity (compared to Daniel Ellsburg who released documents of very high-level security clearance). Nevertheless solely because of his position Pfc. Manning has received a great deal more disdain than Ellsburg ever did. Also, the media’s portrayal of any left-of-center issue has drastically changed since the time when the Pentagon Papers were released.

Personally, I see Manning as a brave whistle-blower. I’m not at all surprised about the torture he’s endured or how his trial has proceeded though. After understanding what his leaks reflected of US policy I would say his treatment makes sense (he was tortured). As such it would certainly be in Snowden’s best interests to never step foot in America again.

Enough digression. Watch this panel from April 5th for a discussion on the implications of the Bradley Manning trial and the message it sends to others who might consider whistle-blowing.

“I prefer a painful truth over any blissful fantasy,” Manning wrote in an online chat. Minutes later he added: “I think I’ve been traumatized too much by reality, to care about consequences of shattering the fantasy.” And he also wrote: “I want people to see the truth … regardless of who they are … because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”


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The NSA, the Boston Bombing, and the War on Terror.

Run to the corner and hide, there is no hope we are all in grave danger. Trust the news!

Go ahead huddle in the corner, bite your fingernails, turn pale and shiver. Make sure you are curled into a fetal position. You’ll be less exposed to the elements, and therefore, safer.

Actually, no, recent information has come to light that the NSA has been snooping on American citizens in the interest of keeping us safe. This being the case there is no need for the fetal position. It’s okay, you can come out now! The government has got you covered! There is certainly no way they are taking advantage of the fact that they have such access. I mean they have oversight… right?

There is fortunately an outcry over what has been revealed and a conversation created which is excellent. A conversation unfortunately then turned into the dead-end argument of “Do we want to be kept safe or not?” and then turned into a hide-and-seek report-back of “Where is Edward Snowden now?” The proper discussion to have is actually “How much oversight do those with surveillance access have as they carry out their duties?” No matter what, the conversation of our approach and handling of the “threat of terrorism” is an important one to have. The country doesn’t always react in such a productive manner though. Our reaction to the Boston Bombing was one such example.

Maybe two months ago I was on the train in New York and it had to stop for about 10 minutes in the station because of a “suspicious package.” I know the train was stopped for this reason because the conductor walked through the car 5 minutes into the stop and asked “Has anyone seen a bag that does not belong to them?”

I’ll guess and say this probably happened to a few other people who might have not thought anything of it at all. They also evacuated the Port Authority bus terminal because of a “suspicious package” that apparently looked like a “box of grenades.” I feel like we are drastically overreacting to the potential for terrorism.

While I do not aim to dismiss what happened there at all; we need to reevaluate our reaction to the Boston bombing. It was horrible, and having connection with the Boston marathon I was shaken by the news on a personal level. Understand I do not think we live in a utopian society where there is never any legitimate threat of terrorism. What I do think is we were scared by the news, at first, and then by the following hype. (This hype includes the mainstream media’s sensationalized coverage of the bombing’s aftermath; but also of the people trying to explain exactly what happened that day despite their never having been to Boston once.) News coverage, the inevitable conspiracy theories, and the heightened security state pumped down our throats all fit into the category of “hype surrounding the Boston Marathon.”

To build the hype were many comparisons between the Boston bombing and 9/11.

Anyone who compares the two without any sense of humor really needs to step back a bit. How many people died or were injured on 9/11 and its aftermath? How many died or were injured in the Boston bombings? There is no point in even referencing figures in this case because we all know the casualties from 9/11 were exponentially worse. People are still facing respiratory problems, depression, insomnia, and many other things just for having worked in the area or for helping with rescue efforts after 9/11. I still see ads about this 12 years later on the subway. How many people present at the Boston bombing can claim those same ailments?

Our reaction to the Boston Bombing was exacerbated by the war on terror. Case and point: the below photos of the scene in Times Square maybe 2 hours after the Bombing had occurred:

A show of police in Times Square.

A show of police in Times Square.

Officers in Times Square on horseback

Officers in Times Square on horseback

A news team reporting from Times Square.

A news team reporting from Times Square.

Let’s remind ourselves of the location of the bombing that day: Boston
Let’s recognize exactly where the police and news crews are in the above photos: Times Square, New York.

Why did they need to assemble so many officers in Times Square, the most heavily fortified and surveyed place in New York, for something that happened in Boston? Why did there need to be a news crew present? (FYI I did ask the news crew if they were there for the Boston Bombing and they replied “yes.”). Doesn’t the news have better things to do than cover the Boston Bombing from Times Square, in New York? (Keep that question rhetorical :) )

There were also helicopters hovering above New York for the rest of the day into the night.

A helicopter hovering above 34th street.

A helicopter hovering above 34th street.

New York essentially went to Code Red terror alert for something drastically smaller than the attacks on 9/11, in a location 200 miles away. Considering New York’s exposure and experiences with terrorist attacks 12 years prior on 9/11 it seems to me we overreacted just a bit. The country didn’t suddenly become vulnerable over night to the forces of terror, and evil, plotting to destroy “the very principles of freedom and democracy we cherish.”

It was a great opportunity for media sensationalism though.

The NYPD discussed the need to ramp up security as well. In fact, this article from The Daily News was entitled “‘We’re going to have more visibility and less privacy’: Mayor Bloomberg admits soon NYPD surveillance cameras will be on nearly every corner and in the air.” By the way, that article and the Mayor are saying they will be adding more surveillance to what is already in place.

What is in place already? Have a look!

This is a CBS news report on the largest surveillance center in the nation already in operation in New York (a news report from before the Boston bombing). If you watch until the end of the news report you find the reason for the report is to ask for more funding to get more surveillance equipment. Do they really need that much surveillance as it is? Do we really have such a deep-seated mistrust of our neighbors, and the world, that we need to have a Panopticon in New York City for the police to watch over the very citizens paying taxes to keep the system running (in the off-chance they find something worth chasing after)? Can we really afford to put so much effort into surveillance and the war on terror (to “keep us safe”) when doing so has prevented the proper resources from being put towards prosecuting the financial crimes which led to the 2008 crash?

And just to throw it out there can we really put all this money into surveillance and the War on Terror at the expense of other things such as “the inevitable” closing of 20 public schools two years in a row in New York? Or 50 public schools in one year in Chicago?

Realize, the state has no problem asking for money to watch its people and “keep them safe;” but balks at the idea of using the money for better education and complains about the deficit, or poor student performance as an excuse. It also balks at the idea of prosecuting the financial crimes of bankers who very likely are profiting in some way from the War on Terror. Had more money gone towards education it’s very likely student performance would improve. A more educated population would likely know what is necessary to “keep themselves safe” without spending millions (?) to watch themselves. Finally, if we prosecuted financial crimes which led to the 2008 crash we would have seen repercussions for the bankers. So far there has been no accountability for the bankers and they actually became more powerful. Furthermore, they are still giving out bad loans. I, for one, am expecting some deja vu sooner or later…

We’ve been at war now for 12 years.

Even after 9/11 we were never up against an enemy with even near the same military capacity as the United States. Nevertheless we leveled two very small countries: One of which for essentially no reason (besides assuring oil wasn’t traded in Euros), the other because there were some terrorist cells there (nothing though with even close to the pervasiveness portrayed by the media). That was the first 8 years under President George W. Bush. Then came the Obama Presidency and the (expanded upon) drone program which has killed countless civilians overseas. See this article from Scientific American for information on US drone strikes in Pakistan alone. In the article is a link to an infographic on the extents of the drone program (roughly 3100 non-high profile targets killed and the number may have risen since then).

The above article and infographic, though accurate, were nonetheless cold, statistical and not terribly insightful as far as anything past an illustration that the United States is killing people needlessly. Not particularly moving. How about viewing this from another perspective? That of a Yemeni man, who had the benefit of an American education, speaking on the horrors of drone strikes against his village and the seething anger towards America which these strikes are cultivating…


The village the man came from actually had a decent opinion of America because of that man’s sharing his positive experiences of America with them. One drone strike and now the village hates us…

Based on that man’s testimony, and the stats on casualties in Pakistan alone, we have an idea of how much danger the country is in from the forces of terror and evil. There is certainly anger towards the United States in the world; some of which we may have created ourselves. Are we in as much danger as the media and government officials have described? My opinion: no. Well, at least nothing we’re not harvesting ourselves, ironically.

Watch this clip from The Real News as they discuss how former government officials say the US’s foreign policy is making US less safe:

Here is The Real News website with a transcript of the video

There has been a great deal of propaganda to justify the above mentioned foreign efforts to “keep us safe” or to misdirect our attention from them. As a result there was little reaction to the procedural response of the authorities to the Boston Bombing. It’s worth asking why (after the bombing) the FBI got a chance to flex their muscles in, and shut down, Watertown in search of the bomber on the run. Yes, let’s repeat that. Actually, why not just quote wikipedia: “On the scene were the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Guard, the Boston and Watertown Police departments and the Massachusetts State Police. The show of force was the first major field test of the interagency task forces created in the wake of the September 11 attacks.” All this to search for one person.

Does that sound excessive to anyone else? I’m no expert on the tactics and procedures involved in, and required for, a manhunt. However, when you are only looking for one person wouldn’t a small team of police officers (not the military) accompanied by a police dog be sufficient to find one person? Even just from speaking in the defense of the Boston PD; one would think their officers are more than capable of finding one dude on the run. One dude on the run mind you, who wasn’t being given safe haven by anyone, anywhere. It would have been very hard to find one Bostonian who didn’t want this person in handcuffs and willing to help the Police in their search. Still… sending in the FBI, the military, a few other agencies and then declaring curfews makes perfect sense? Yes, okay fine, they found the bomber quicker because they didn’t have to navigate pedestrian or vehicle traffic… I suppose I can see how that justifies the tactics and procedures carried out… sarcasm…

May as well also show the video of a home being raided as police hunted for this one person.

About a minute-and-a-half in is when the fun begins. (There have been debates of whether or not this and other instances like it were violations of our 4th Amendment protection from illegal searches.)

Later the bomber on the run was captured and the media showed Boston in celebration from the terror of this one person. Was anyone shaken by the use of federal muscle though? If no one was bothered by the extent federal muscle used, I might say the terrorists won in Boston.

Now we’ve analyzed the state’s response to terrorism, let’s look at a more reasonable approach; courtesy of the Illuminator and some activists in New York:

Two different events were held as bookends to the week following the Boston Bombing. The first event was a projection of slides onto the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York with the word “Love” glowing below the building. This event took place at night on the same day as the Boston Bombing.

The slides read “Brooklyn Loves Boston,” “Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” And a few more choice phrases.





Does it sound idealistic and naive to have shown these slides on the night of such a shocking event? Well this is what one of the organizers had to say about it:

A few days later as Watertown was put on lockdown and the manhunt to catch the single bomber on the run was being carried out the Illuminator shined again. This time it was in Manhattan and in the neighborhood, Chelsea.

Check out some of their projections:







As people came by I asked what they thought of the projections, the message behind them, and the comparison to how the media went about the Boston Bombing.

First were two women from Australia.

Second was a random passerby from the neighborhood.

Afterward I got a nice sequence of the people holding the signs reading “Light over fear” to say “Love Not Fear”

The message here is to talk about the issues and not rush to conclusions. To think before we draw our guns, and go invading another place on the basis of fighting terrorism (which is like fighting a human emotion) or “spreading democracy” (which we never end up doing).

The war on terror has been going on since the 9/11 attacks, and many of those who supported it at first are probably starting to think that it may be starting to drag on a bit. We’ve pulled out of Iraq, but we’re still at war in other countries, in April we deployed troops to Jordan hinting at involvement in Syria, and many troops (in general) probably want to come home by now. When is it slated to end. Well, not anytime soon… “A spokeswoman, Army Col. Anne Edgecomb, clarified…the conflict is likely to last 10 to 20 more years from today – atop the 12 years that the conflict has already lasted. Welcome to America’s Thirty Years War.

And where will this “thirty-years war” be fought? Well, at home and abroad; supporting and defending the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic (to quote the United States Uniformed Services oath of office). Except as recent documents have exposed the majority of the threat is now… apparently… at home. At home and amongst the citizenry of the nation as the documents which Edward Snowden leaked have revealed. The defense for this “surveillance for domestic threats” has been that it will stop terrorism or help make connections to find terrorists. However, this article from beforeitsnews.com explains how most US Surveillance is actually not aimed at terrorists.

From the above referenced article, “Websites aimed at attracting traffic do their best to get noticed, paying to tailor their content to the real or perceived requirements of search engines such as Google. Terrorists have no such ambitions. They prefer to lurk in the dark recesses of the Undernet.”

An official from the Netherlands security service commented, “People who radicalise under the influence of jihadist websites often go through a number of stages…Their virtual activities increasingly shift to the invisible Web, their security awareness increases and their activities become more conspiratorial.”

With this in mind it seems important to question the current narrative being supplied by the media. Should our concern be the unanswerable, and loaded, question of: “Should we fight terrorism?” Or rather: “Who is providing the necessary oversight over the NSA as they carry out their surveillance, and is it effective in checking the power of those with access?” Expanding on that “What or who is keeping those with access to this information from using it in a malicious or abusive manner?” “Could those with access to this info be selling it to third parties?” Speaking of third parties why is the government contracting out the data to private companies (Snowden worked for Booze Allen analyzing data)? Shouldn’t they analyze the information themselves? Also, based on the above information in the article from beforeitsnews.com. Is the NSA even looking in the right places to stop terrorism?

Read this article for a quick synopsis of what Edward Snowden released. A program called PRISM was one thing which Edward Snowden leaked. For a visual representation of what exactly PRISM was check out these slides.

Now to be fair there has been a great deal of hype, as usual, surrounding what was leaked. This hype has led to paranoia, which has also led to some exaggerations (if that’s even possible) with regards to what Snowden revealed.

Read Fact and Fiction in the NSA Surveillance Scandal for more info.

Now remembering I said earlier the US was surveying its own people to keep its own people safe. Well the buck doesn’t stop there. We also like snooping on foreign officials too!

New NSA leaks show how US is bugging its European allies. Well that should help trade negotiations blossom!

That as well as 5 more points are discussed in this article.

As a result of the war on terror surveillance has found a specific target amongst Muslim groups. There is another group though which is not discussed at all though “the proliferation of white supremacist groups. This movement not only openly espouses racist and xenophobic goals, but has also effectively executed the most savage attacks on innocent Americans during this past year.” Is the definition of terrorism specific to acts committed by Muslims only?

Finally it’s time to address the biggest question which should be addressed in the whole NSA scandal. It’s not a question of keeping us safe. Rather it’s a question of the oversight the NSA is getting. Even President Obama has said “We’ve got congressional oversight and judicial oversight,”

Maybe but it doesn’t seem like it: “the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which was created in 1979 to oversee Department of Justice requests for surveillance warrants against foreign agents suspected of espionage or terrorism in the United States. But the FISC has declined just 11 of the more than 33,900 surveillance requests made by the government in 33 years, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. That’s a rate of .03 percent, which raises questions about just how much judicial oversight is actually being provided.” (See source)

Granted 33 years is a long time but still, when just 11 out of 33,900 requests get declined, I’d love to know what those 11 requests were for.

It’s important for me to stress that I do not think we live on a utopian planet. There are people who want to hurt others and I do want to see those people stopped. Example, the United States in hinting at involvement in the Syrian civil war. Am I happy to know that Syria is dealing with a civil war? No. Would I support United States’ involvement in Syria should we go to help them find peace amidst a civil war, and actually help bring about democracy there? Yes, I certainly would support a humanitarian effort like that. That’s not the intention though. US involvement is based on aiding the lesser of two geopolitical evils there. Our involvement in Iraq under George H. W. Bush which included our initial, more friendly relationship, with Saddam Hussein was the same circumstance. As was our initial support for the Taliban. Therefore, based on our track record, I’m against involvement there and think we should focus on the problems at home instead.

Another scary bit of current events is the recent break out of 500 Al-Quaeda members from Abu-Ghraib. Do I worry about where these Al-Quaeda members may go now? Yes. Am I concerned they may organize to attack us again using the hatred of America that has come as a result of our drone strikes? Yes. Do I think more drone strikes would be the solution to this concern? No. Drone strikes have caused far more damage than good. The concept of “fighting terror” with drone strikes is not working but instead is actually terrorism, in itself, to the innocent civilian victims of the strikes. It’s time for a new solution…

If what has caused so much hatred of America across the world is our foreign policy of intervention with much collateral damage where we are not wanted (something which pre-dates 9/11 by the way) and imperialism; the solution to the problem is not more of the same. I feel some risks need to be taken and maybe we shouldn’t keep sending troops across the globe, combined with an enhanced “security state” at home, and more drone strikes abroad. There must be another way of addressing the hatred the world feels towards us than by using the same tactics which also help to pad the pockets of military contractors like Boeing, General Electric, Lockheed Martin and others.

Ironically, I believe Dwight D. Eisenhower (something of a proponent of the military industrial complex) said it best:

“Preventive war was an invention of Hitler. Frankly, I would not even listen to anyone seriously that came and talked about such a thing.”

The War on Terror, drone strikes, and the NSA surveillance are examples of measures taken to carry out a preventative war which the tax payer is funding.

So the next time you see this, remember:

It's probably just a box.

It’s probably just a box.


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A rally against police brutality

On Thursday July 11, demonstrations against police brutality were held in Union Square. One demonstration was held to call attention to brutality at the hands of the NYPD, and other police forces. The other to highlight the brutality of the military-police in Brazil. Both protest groups had their own identities but worked in coalition with one another as well; to highlight the problems of police brutality around the world.

The following footage is of the demonstration more targeted at the NYPD.

A photo calling out the NYPD on the death of Ramarley Graham

A photo calling out the NYPD on the death of Ramarley Graham


Watch the protest centered largely around NYPD brutality. At the 22:30 mark a woman begins a very informed rant on the surveillance state, the militarization of the police, and the growing infringements on our civil liberties.


The footage below is of the demonstration bringing attention to military-police brutality in Brazil.

Watch a video of the speak out explaining the reason for the street performance in support of victims of police brutality in Brazil.

A street theater demonstration against Brazilian military police brutality

A street theater demonstration against Brazilian military-police brutality.

The above photo is the climax of the action explained, and then performed, in the below video.

Here is a video of the street performance. Demonstrators lay on the ground and cover themselves in black garbage bags. This was done in memory of those whom the Brazilian military-police has killed over the course of Brazilian protests. The memorial was carried out in this fashion to illustrate the Brazilian military-police’s practice of covering dead bodies with the same such bags.

Once the protesters had laid on the ground under the bags for 1 minute of silence, they rose and proceeded to read of the names of some of those killed at the hands of military-police.

A symbolic emptied body bag.

A symbolic emptied body bag.

Following the demonstration and reading of names a man spoke to the crowd about Brazilian foreign policy in Haiti. He said that Brazil was sending military forces to Haiti for 2 reasons:

The first reason: To look more aggressive in an attempt to earn their way on the UN Security Council, which apparently only allows the most aggressive countries, entry.

The second reason: To train the soldiers for Brazilian policing.

Important aspects to note of both the NYPD and the Brazilian police are how the NYPD is considered a para-military organization; Brazilian police are considered a military-police. Realize how neither the NYPD nor Brazil have a police force which can be classified in a way which does not equate them with a military force in some way. Neither force can be simply called: police.

The next questions to ask with this in mind then is the following:

What are the qualifications of a para-military police force?

What are the qualifications of a military-police force?

Especially in New York; do we need a police force which is classified as such?

Also important thing to bring to attention is the protests which happened throughout brazil on July 11th (which this event was in solidarity with). The protests on this day, as I understand it were of a different nature from the protests which sparked from the proposed fare hike. The protests of July 11 were much more union-oriented and not as multi-dimensional as the protests from just a month ago.

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A 7-hour action for Justice

Following the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman street protests and marches could be found in New York, Chicago, Florida, Texas, California, and many other places. These protests demanded true justice, but they also had another point. Racism is a glaring problem in this country and it will only get worse until we all face up to it and try to fix it, and our own views of our neighbors.

Before continuing any further is important I make something clear. The last post I made was titled “Zimmerman Innocent!” and it contained a very impassioned vigil and speak out in Union Square. The problem with this post was the headline “Zimmerman Innocent!” As I found out later George Zimmerman was not actually found “innocent.” However, of all the accused charges he was “Not Guilty.”

The 7-hour action began around 6 pm with people gathering in Union Square.


An hour prior to this, when the square was less packed, chalk could be found on the ground…


A chalk outline on the ground. Inside the Chalk outline read the words "Who is next?"

A chalk outline on the ground. Inside the Chalk outline read the words “Who is next?”

Some police officers standing on the sides of Union Square, out of sight.

Some police officers standing on the sides of Union Square, out of sight.

A Solidarity circle formed around chalked writings on the ground and small march passes in back.

A Solidarity circle formed around chalked writings on the ground and small march passes in back.

The rally began at about 6. There were three different groups having speak outs simultaneously.

Video archive 1








The rally lasted for about an hour at which point the marching began.

Video archive 2

Note: At the 1:02:38 mark (roughly) I walk ahead of the march to get a close-up of a line of cops blocking the street. I make repeated exclamations of “They have clubs out!”


Video archive 3

At the 2 minute mark of the above video the march from Union Square reaches Madison Square Garden where a standoff with the police ensues as the march shuts down traffic.

At the 40 minute mark of the above video we have reached the Red Stairs in Times Square. It is there that speak outs were held for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half.

Here are some photos:






The crowd makes an "L" sign with their hands to say "Trayvon Lives"

The crowd makes an “L” sign with their hands to say “Trayvon Lives”

(At this point the phone I was taking photos with died. Watch streams below:)

Video archive 4

The march continued up to Central Park at which point there was some signal interference.

Video archive 5

The march continued to Park Avenue and further. As the march took Park avenue, at the 15 minute mark there is a slew of arrests which take place.

Video archive 6

I believe it is crucial to point out how at this moment, during these arrests, the march became more about class than it did about race. I say this because, from my recollection the most arrests happened in this spot than anywhere else in the march. The streets were slowed or shut down from Union Square, to 34th Street, to Times Square, in Harlem, and in the Bronx as well (where I left the march). However, all the arrests that I saw happened on Park Avenue at that moment. It became a class issue because protesters were arrested, in a very wealthy neighborhood.

To build on this concept quickly. Perhaps a year and a half ago a march took place which passed by the homes of Rupert Murdoch of Fox News, the Koch Brothers of Koch Industries, and many other definitive 1%ers. That march took place in the same neighborhood as the arrests in the above video.

After being shortly separated from the group after this march I took a cab to 125th and Malcolm X and eventually caught up with a march. On the way there I had an interview with a friend:

Video archive 7

The march ended at the courthouse on 161 st in The Bronx. It was an inspiring march to say the least. Unfortunately, an inspiring march which came from a very tragic place. The death of a young 17-year-old boy whose killer was then found “Not Guilty” of all charges.

The next day I found myself in Union Square and saw these three signs:


An important comparison needs to be addressed now to highlight the racism of the current George Zimmerman “Not Guilty” verdict. The following article talks about a woman in Florida who used the Stand Your Ground law as her defense for firing *warning shots* at her husband. She was sentenced to 20 years. She is also black. Fla. mom gets 20 years for firing warning shots

It would seem wrong at this point to end this piece with a hopeful comment or a heartbroken comment as all we’ve heard so far are heartbroken comments. The march derived from heartbreak. However, I believe a very good thing to point out is where the “Stand Your Ground” law, which George Zimmerman used as his defense (at least at first), derived. Research the “American Legislative Exchange Council” (ALEC). ALEC is a way that corporations can influence legislation which then gets passed in congress. I can promise you, they have authored a great deal more legislation than just the Stand Your Ground law.

The secretive corporate outfit behind ‘Stand Your Ground’

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Zimmerman innocent!

On Saturday, July 13 George Zimmerman was found “not guilty” of the murder of Trayvon Martin. In response to this trial verdict a vigil was held in Union Square demanding answers, justice, and something better.












It began as just about 25 to 30 mostly white people in Union Square chanting “Justice for Trayvon.” Over time the crowd became much more diverse. With this diversity came a great deal of honesty, pain, and anger from a community of people who rarely get to have their voices heard, and have come to feel as though the system has no regard for them at all. This abandonment, disillusionment, and isolation was very deeply and justifiably expressed.

Video archive 1

Video archive 2

Attention: Tomorrow (July 14th) at 6pm in Union Square there will be another rally demanding “Justice for Trayvon.”

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The second Egyptian Revolution: An interview with an Egyptian protester.

On July 3, 2013 after 3 or 4 days of mass protest, the Egyptian military took President Mohammed Morsi into custody, stripping him of his power; as was demanded by the showing of roughly 30,000,000 or so protesters outraged with the President and a year of his rule.

The crowd in Tahrir Square

The crowd in Tahrir Square

Upon the President’s removal the Egyptian military offered this statement. As that’s a facebook page and will probably induce eye-rolling here is an article with very similar content from the Huffington Post.

Here is another source with the roadmap as well as some video footage of the protests.

The media has been calling what happened a coup, and delivering that as their narrative for Former Presidents Morsi’s ouster. However, to simply say “It’s a coup” without even trying to elaborate on any of the nuances of the conflict really does not do justice to the events in Egypt.

Here’s one link to some video first.

The video above has this quote resting above it:

“Contrary to what is portrayed in the media, Morsi’s supporters began killing opposition protesters days before he was ousted. This is what happened outside the Muslim Brotherhooh HQ on the 30th, the day tens of millions of egyptians took to the streets across Egypt in a move that can only be described as direct democracy.”

Following the Military’s outster of President Morsi, I had the good fortune of an interview with an Egyptian protester named Fady El-Gizawy, who also did some livestreaming from protests.

He gave me a much deeper understanding of exactly what had happened in Egypt, the events leading up to Morsi’s ouster and his thoughts on next steps.

Please, let me know if it would be wrong to call what happened today a “popular coup” as opposed to a “military coup”?

Look mate, the Muslim Brotherhood regime and followers had always been threatening the army whenever Morsi did something and the people didn’t like it. They always went and said stuff like “and we ask the Army to keep an eye on its job protecting the country’s borders instead of getting back to the political area.”

And these threats to the army had been scaling up to direct warnings that if they [the army] interfered there would be blood baths. So the army had been waiting for the moment to take out the corrupted regime, but they couldn’t do it because it’d be a coup.


When millions went out asking for Morsi’s departure, the army saw this as the right moment to join forces with the people, especially when everyone was calling for them to get involved.

So the army took advantage of a situation…

Yeah. Hit two birds with one rock; did what the people asked for, and got rid of those who think they’ve the power over the army. The Muslim Brotherhood reached a level that they were saying they’ve more armor than the army.. lol

And that they can beat them up.

One more question.


So, it’s not a coup btw. But it’s a coup.. lol

As it happened the military took out Morsi as there was an opportunity with the public outcry… Voice of the people, I agree. However, what if there had been an election to get Morsi out instead of the military doing it on their own?

Well, not on their own. Answering a call. But it was done more with force is my point.

Look Matt, since a few weeks ago the opposition were asking Morsi to do the early elections so he could cut all the talk off. But he refused and kept whining about him being the legit President of Egypt and that he came by elections and the people had no power to let him go.

So the demands went up for his departure, and nothing came of it.

Thank you very much for that answer.

When the army gave him the 48 hrs to sort it out he was asked by the army to reply to what the people were asking for, which would be his departure in other words. Instead he went out saying that the army had no right to say such thing or to give him the countdown.

And more threats to the army

got it? :p

I understand. Based on what you say then I’d consider it a “popular coup” in the most positive sense. Btw I don’t know what’s gonna happen but it was a pretty exciting day, even over here.

I’m not sure how often you’d prefer I used that term [popular coup] and I wont use it again if you’d prefer not.

Yeah, we can name it that way.


That’s what the majority asked for, yet I’m against it..

I’ve that feeling that the army is gaining more people trust by giving them a technocrat cabinet
and stepping away from leading the political situation while they keep a close eye on the road map till the elections, where they will fake it.. or using the “people’s love” strategy to let it go to one of them,
a military president, or a civil president who is a puppet for them. But to be clear with you, I’m still not sure how things will be later. I might be wrong and maybe the SCAF do a free election.

But history shows nothing like that.. lol

So I must ask what you meant when you said “That’s what the majority asked for, yet I’m against it.”

That’s why they will try to get the people’s love to get their votes. We’ve trusted the SCAF once before, they screwed us over. So asking for their help again is such a stupid thing to do.

We’re the people, let us do it ourselves. We could’ve forced him [Morsi] to leave. Strikes everywhere, closing the stock market. We could strike at the Suez Canal. All governmental offices.

Paralyze the country till he left, no need for the army.

But the majority who went out on these marches are Felool and Sofa, who don’t know anything about what’s going on.

How did the protests in Tahrir compare to those in Etihadya? Other demo locations? Did you make it to all the locations?

I don’t understand? Do you mean if those are different than those?

Well was it the same method of protest? Were there different things happening at each? I’ve seen banners and lazers at some in pictures…

Photo by Jano Charbel

Lasers spell “You Must Go Out.” Photo by Jano Charbel on twitter

No, Both places represent the same group of people, same demands.. but Tahrir represents the revolution and Etihadya is where the presidential palace is. There were also many more demos in many more areas around Egypt. There was also another demo for days in front of the Ministry of Defense.

I wasn’t asking about demands. I was asking more specifically about the mood of the protests, was there more dancing at one, or more chanting at another, did some have groups in prayer? Was it a mix of secular an non-secular, only secular?

For example, I saw a piano at Taksim Square in Turkey but I don’t think the piano was at Ankara. Does that make sense?

Well, Tahrir is way more powerful with chanting. Etihadya had more “upper class” protesters due to its location, Tahrir is a hub.. marches from everywhere head to there, people from many governorates head to Tahrir.. but we don’t have seculars around here, only a few and they don’t show that off. Both had group prayers, but in Etihadya you could find a protester marching with his Rottweiler, but never in Tahrir.


True story. Witnessed it.

Lol, do you have a picture by any chance?

I need to check my videos, but I can Google that though.

Nice! Oh, was the [internet] signal better in one place or another?

I didn’t have troubles with network in Tahrir. A few hours before I had troubles in Etihadya but on other days I had the same issues in Tahrir.

I may as well ask what the general sentiment was when Morsi took office in the first place? Were the elections viewed as legitimate overall? Meaning was there ever a point when people were open to the idea of Morsi being in power?

Well, the answer for this question will be a bit long… you need to know few things before the elections, within the elections, after elections…

When the Muslim Brotherhood entered the political scene in Egypt a few days after the revolution sparked, they made so many deals with the old regime to grant themselves a place, and they said they wont take over the parliament, but they did take the majority by bribing the voters at the poor districts.

Afterwards, they said they wont go for presidential elections, but they did push 2 of the Muslim Brotherhood, to grant a spot within the elections; one was kicked out for his criminal record “Khairat El-Shater” and one went to the race “Mohammed Morsi.”

At first round, a lot tried to show the real face of the Muslim Brotherhood to the people so they wouldn’t vote for Morsi, but unfortunately they made it through to the second round. There were 2 to choose from, Morsi and Shafiq (who is a copy of the old regime).

At this moment, the rebels started to ask everyone not to vote for Shafiq, and to vote for Morsi, he MIGHT be a better leader than Shafiq, or to cancel your vote.

They called it “lemon Squeezing move” it’s a proverb meaning to accept the least worse, and everyone supported him when he won. The elections were 80% legit, but afterwards, he went against those who got him the chair, going back on all his promises. So all of those who asked the people to “squeeze lemons” were ashamed they did. A few months after he got in charge, a lot of these temporary supporters went out on him, asking him to obey who elected him not the Muslim Brotherhood leader-board. Again he didn’t give a damn, leading to the current situation.

That’s a brief btw.

Now I’m curious about your thoughts on another statement I just read from someone in Egypt. If you’d care to comment?


Read the post which I asked Fady to comment on.

Well, it’s a well-written note; but about elections, I believe it was legit. There were SO many organizations, local and international watching it. I don’t deny there were a lot of issues, and they were all documented, but really the majority went for Morsi. The streets, rebels, everyone in the second round were begging the people to vote for him to not allow the old regime to get back in charge, represented in Shafiq.

The note speaks about relationships with the SCAF as well. I’m curious if you have more comments on that.

I didn’t comment about that, give me a minute to read this part again and give you my comments I thought you wanted comments only about the elections.. lol

Haha Well you’ve largely answered that unless you had more to say. The SCAF though did seem to be the group with the most power after Mubarak stepped down so I think that’s important to discuss as well.

“Egyptian military was openly threatened by the US that any “military coup” would be “unacceptable” to the “international community”. Even when the soldiers and regular police officers became openly rebellious against the top brass, the army refused to step in, fearing US military or economic retaliation, or both.”

Due to me being either asleep or out in the streets, I couldn’t keep an eye on the news but I did know that the US had cut off the aids to the army till they stepped out from the political scene here.

I’ve two scenarios:
1st- Russia is offering to replace the US with aids and other military stuff, also the US have always been giving us old or second-handed technologies, which could be easily replaced by the Russian ones.
2nd- Due to the huge corruption on the Army facility, most of the aids go to the leaders’ pockets, which means when the aids stop, they will not affect much on the army, cause the army here is getting money from so many sources, like constructions and trade.

Also, many other rich countries like the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is offering support. They are Muslim Brotherhood haters since day one. They cut off many aids to Egypt till the Muslim Brotherhood left.

Another thing to add: Egypt has SO many resources that needs to be used right, if there is an uncorrupted leader using our resources right, we’ll be one of the richest countries. We’ve a lot of oil, one of the biggest gold mines in the world, agriculture, gas, labor force that’s well known world wide; and so many other things to get money from, and don’t forget our stolen money abroad that Morsi’s regime didn’t move a finger to get back.

Also, we’re a VERY important ally to the US, everyone knows that, and the heads will be begging us to accept their aids, they can’t lose us as long as they treat Israel as their own child. And if Russia took one serious move towards supporting us with money or weapons, you know the US will offer a higher bid.

Again, they can’t afford to lose an ally like us.


I’m not happy with aids though, I want them to stop, I want our government to use our resources, we’re already deep in debt.

I saw a photo on twitter of some street art in Egypt. It had Mubarak’s face, Morsi’s face, and then a blank face and pretty much read “Mubarack, Morsi, who’s the next dictator?”
what do you think of that, and what if you could guess do you think may happen next?

See the photo described in the above question.

Photo by Jano Charbel on twitter.

Well, I guess it’s a warning for whomever comes next, that it’ll not be allowed for him to make any mistakes. The people aren’t ready to take any more shit.

Are there a lot of divides amongst the people which could pose problems or be exploited?

Well, at the moment there are a few parties of people, some support the army, few rebels who aren’t taking the army shit, and Islamists…

Everyone now except the Muslim Brotherhood are gathered supporting Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei for leading the next phase till the elections and writing a new constitution.

I can’t say I know much about him. What is his background? Why does he have support?

But the thing here is, we don’t have a decent leader to be a president. The opposition is very weak, Hamdeen Sabahi the one who was getting the most votes last election did some stupid things to get a piece of the cake and made deals with the army few days ago.

Sabahi has always been seeking to get the chair, but he is smart ass, and knows how to talk and use words. So he gathered the majority who seek change into his side.

About ElBaradei, let me get u a link cause it’s toooooo long to write.. lol

Okay. hahahahah

You can say he is one of the few who torched the revolution here.

You mean sparked it, I assume?

Seeking no chair, he said it himself on an TV interview, “I’m not qualified to run the country, I’ve lived most of my time abroad, I can only help in any way, formal or informal.”

Yes, sparked it.

Wikipedia page for Mohamed ElBaradai

He is a great guy, but also had some flaws, but he is the one with the least mistakes so far.

I see.

When you’re done reading about him let me know so I can tell you about another presidential candidate who had no luck in the elections.

It’s a lot to read. I got the idea though, I skimmed through it. He seems very credentialed and well educated.

You said he has some flaws…?

Yeah, he said it’s okay for the “Felool” to join the new political scene but in many occasions he didn’t take any firm actions. He also joined “Rescue front” when there was Amr Moussa in, one of the well known old regime members and they joined forces.

Which was totally not acceptable by the rebels here.

Wikipedia page for Amr Moussa.

Hmm. The other guy does look better haha


Yeah yeah

Elbaradei stood up against Mubarak when Mubarak was in his full power.

Yeah, that’s what I mean.

And he was attacked everywhere.

Baradei looks more interesting than Moussa. Just on his background and education alone.

Also, he used to be Amr Moussa’s assistant or something like that.

They both were working together on the Ministry of International Affairs.

Moussa looks like a guy with an in.

An in?

Like he had connections.

Ahh yes, he had a lot.

The first thing the wiki said is his dad was an official, and then he became an official.
With Baradei, the first thing it discusses is his education.

ElBaradei’s dad was also a great guy.

Nice, there seems to be dissent in Baradei’s blood haha

Hahaha yess! Anything else you want to ask?

I guess just how strong the Muslim Brotherhood is now. Are they a significant number of the public, is there much chance of them doing what they did in the last election?

Well, one of the benefits is that they won the last time, and they wont win any more next times. They won by the support they got from the street on the second and final round which they will never get again. Also.. a lot of their followers have seen their true identity, those also will never vote for them again
but yet, they still have quite a number of followers, but wont be able to let them win individually.

Thank you.

You’re welcome.

Well, if I can add one thing, that there is no real opposition leader, and I can’t see a promising leader to vote for on the elections next time, but let’s wait and see who will come up. There are a lot of young politicians who are not well known. If they join, and people work hard to know about them, maybe we get a good chance for a promising leader.

I hate bringing this up but it’s important for a full spectrum of the protests…

Hit me.

I’ve seen many articles talking about the strength of women in the Egyptian revolution, and in the original Tahrir square occupation (See source article)
However, I also saw this…

Gang rape, the dark side of Egypt’s protests

What things were done to make women feel safe at protests? Were they generally treated well? Is that article discussing a rare occurrence?

Well, I only watched the video. Heba Morayef actually said it all..

But yes, Op Anti Sexual Harassment reported around 20-40 cases a day. It’s a serious issue that no official [government] front gives any attention. Only groups of activists work on it, sacrificing themselves to protect whomever they can using all the available limited resources.

Thank you.

You’re welcome, although please note lately some “activists” have been denying that such cases happen…

Another fact: the Muslim Brotherhood used to hire thugs to go to the square and start such cases. Not all of them for sure, but it was a strategy started by the Muslim Brotherhood to keep the women from going.

Back in Jan 2011, the square was filled with women, you didn’t see as many cases as you see now, but what I can say is that activists really do all what they can to keep it from happening.

Good. I assume there’s more cases now because there’s more people now.

Sure. There are also a lot of soft harassment cases that don’t get reported. Like fingering and touching, and tons of verbal harassment. Also, not all the cases here get reported, even if it was big.

Yeah, that’s patriarchy for you.

It’s a shame :s … stupid traditions and ignorance…

Often cases don’t get reported. Also victim blaming against women…

Most of the cases around here don’t get reported… maybe 95% of them.


Here in the country side, if a girl gets raped, her family may kill her.
Best case scenario, they marry her to anyone “mostly old guy” and they live in shame.

Would you say it’s something a new government needs to address?

Sure, but to solve it you need to change the tradition that keeps people sexually oppressed.

True, that takes time.

Yeah. Again, there is no reason that allows sexual harassment but to understand the situation fully, you should live here, I cant describe it in words :s

I understand, completely. The women still came out though and as the woman in the video said, they were brave for taking part and joining the revolution.

I’ll probably end it there. unless I get questions from others. It’s bit of a downer to end it on but it’s real.

Yeah :s

Thank you very much for answering everything.

You’re welcome, bro.
It’s a pleasure, really.

Truth be told even though it’s a downer, the traditions aren’t something that people in other parts of the world are unaware of.

The revolution though inspired the world.


And those of us involved in the scene [activist] are extremely proud of what you’ve all accomplished.

Read Fady’s blog on the start of the Egyptian Revolution from 2011

(Following this part of the interview I posted to twitter asking for questions from my followers)
Here is the response I received:
Does he think what is happening there will influence the surrounding regions and America ?…and how ?

Well, sure the surrounding regions will follow us; Tamaroud has already begun in Tunisia and Libya.
And about the states, that needs more than 140 letters.. lol

(I received no other questions from twitter)

After a day of editing the interview more clashes had been erupting in Egypt. It seemed only proper to inquire about them so as to have a better understanding. President Morsi had been removed. However the question remained of who was involved in the clashes. Pro-Morsi people, Anti-Morsi people, the SCAF?

Someone said in another thread that they preferred the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership over the SCAF.
There are clashes right now that I’m hearing about between pro and anti-Morsi demonstrators.
has the SCAF been the aggressors here or is it the Muslim Brotherhood?

I’ve been out all day, all I know is that at the national guard’s center the pro-Morsi protesters started to attack the army there and on twitter it said that they organized marches to attack the guys in Tahrir.


[pro-Morsi supporters] They’re the ones who go to make troubles so far.

From what you have seen what has been the role of the SCAF in the days after Morsi’s ouster?
Does it seem like they are keeping to their roadmap?

So far, yes, and I just read that ElBaradei has been selected as a vice president.

I thought he didn’t want that.

Fady: He said he didn’t want to be the president. Back in 2011 when the SCAF was ruling the moving period he offered to run the cabinet, only in this period. I guess he is doing the same, he will only work for it till the period ends, and will step away when it’s done. He doesn’t want any titles though. That I’m sure of.

Okay, okay.

Also, with regards to the clashes. Is there expectation the Muslim Brotherhood will continue after elections? As I recall the SCAF continued their aggression in the time between when Mubarak stepped down and the elections were held as well…

Now it’s just a different aggressor? Is that accurate?

Back then it was different. The leader [Mubarak] back then had bloody hands, he was seeking a safe exit, and the only ones who granted it to him was the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, the SCAF got rid of those who have dirty hands, the big heads, so they don’t seek a safe exit. Plus the Muslim Brotherhood’s power isn’t as it was back then. They might enter the elections, but I believe it’s impossible for them to win.

So when Mubarak stepped down the clashes were a result of rebels (if that’s the proper term) who were threatening Mubarak’s safe exit which was guaranteed by the Muslim Brotherhood?
Threatening a safe exit because of his dirty hands.

No, when Mubarak stepped, he delegated the SCAF to lead the country, after he fixed everything within the 18 days so that he can go out in a legal way clean-handed, looking like a hero. All the documents were shredded / burnt, money exported, files disappeared, etc..

That could piss someone off lol

The SCAF at this point been facing a lot of demands to include the budget of the army on the parliament to be checked and reviewed, etc… Then the SCAF started to use power to oppress those demands.

After a year and a half, so many were killed, virginity tests “which was the Sisi idea” blood baths were everywhere while the SCAF was ruling. At this point everything changed, the activists demands turned to ending the SCAF period, and to be jailed for what they did. So the SCAF at this point was seeking safe exit
which they found with the Muslim Brotherhood, America’s BF.

What do you mean “virginity tests ‘which were the Sisi idea'” and why were there virginity tests at all?
Is Sisi a group there?

El-Sisi is the head of the army and he was one of the SCAF back then, and back then there were accusations that the girls in Tahrir are whores :s

So the army decided to do the tests.

Just for a clarification. Is there a Sisi now? Because you said “back then?”

Haha, the Sisi now is the head of the SCAF the one who took Morsi away.

(This concluded the interview with Fady)
He did make sure to send me the following video of an exchange between Morsi supporters and the SCAF.

Exchange between Morsi supporters and SCAF.

The above video is in Arabic. However, Fady provided an explanation for it:

“The two guys talking to the soldiers are 2 heads in Muslim Brotherhood, El-Beltagy and Safwat Hijjazi saying they will protest peacefully and the officer says to them: As long as you keep it like this, we have no issue. But please, ask your supporters to keep a safe distance between them and the barbed wires,
and the guy on mic keeps asking them in a VERY nice way to go back few steps and don’t touch the wires
respecting everyone even the 2 leaders.”

This concludes the segment with Fady. However, I saw the following video of a 12-year-old boy voicing his opinions on what was happening in Egypt. It is really too impressive to not show.

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