New Events

International

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire

offsite link The Cost of Lockdowns May Be as High as ... Mon Jul 26, 2021 20:58 | Dr. Jay Bhattacharya

offsite link Children in the Philippines Have Been Ba... Mon Jul 26, 2021 19:36 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Great Britain Has a Total of 6 Destroyer... Mon Jul 26, 2021 17:47 | Andrew Chuter

offsite link The Idea of Kidnapping Governor Whitmer ... Mon Jul 26, 2021 15:41 | Glenn Greenwald

offsite link China Backs Cuba in Saying US Should App... Mon Jul 26, 2021 14:38 | Tom O’Connor

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2021/07/26 ? Open Thread Mon Jul 26, 2021 19:30 | Herb Swanson
2021/07/26 18:30:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link The ECHR rejects the Russian request for interim measures Mon Jul 26, 2021 18:04 | The Saker
I love the EU and its institutions!  They are so, sooooooooooooo “democratic” that each time they take a decision I tell myself “thanks God I stopped believing all this nonsense

offsite link BRI vs New Quad for Afghanistan?s coming boom Mon Jul 26, 2021 17:52 | amarynth
The race is already on to build and extend Afghanistan’s shattered infrastructure as rival powers advance competing initiatives by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times Over

offsite link Spoilers may create hurdles in the Afghan Peace Process Mon Jul 26, 2021 15:37 | amarynth
By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog The recent air strikes on the Taliban positions in Afghanistan is an open breach of the Peace Treaty signed between the Taliban and

offsite link Excuse me, Sir, but are you civilized? Sun Jul 25, 2021 18:47 | amarynth
by Naresh Jotwani for the Saker Blog Washington Post recently ran an article with headline which contained the two phrases “civilized nations” and “deter Beijing and Moscow” (see a review

The Saker >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link University Union Calls for Full Vaccination of All Students by September and Continuation of Mask-We... Fri Jul 23, 2021 12:47 | Michael Curzon
The University and College Union, still unconvinced that it is safe for university life to return to normal, demands that all students are fully vaccinated by September and that mask mandates continue on campuses.
The post University Union Calls for Full Vaccination of All Students by September and Continuation of Mask-Wearing on Campus appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Only 1.6% of Schoolchildren Forced to Self-Isolate For 10 Days Went on to Develop Covid Fri Jul 23, 2021 11:20 | Toby Young
A new study out of Oxford has found that of the one million schoolchildren sent home and forced to self-isolate for 10 days every week last term, 98.4% did not go on to develop Covid. Totally unnecessary in other words.
The post Only 1.6% of Schoolchildren Forced to Self-Isolate For 10 Days Went on to Develop Covid appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Domestic Holiday Industry Hit by Staff Shortages at Start of Crucial Season Fri Jul 23, 2021 11:02 | Michael Curzon
The domestic holiday industry was relying on this crucial summer season to make up for losses from the past year. But hotels, theatres and cafes are being forced to close due to staff shortages caused by the "pingdemic".
The post Domestic Holiday Industry Hit by Staff Shortages at Start of Crucial Season appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Why is This Government so Wedded to the Ruinously Expensive and Completely Useless Test and Trace Pr... Fri Jul 23, 2021 10:55 | Toby Young
We're publishing a guest post on the Daily Sceptic by David McGrogan, Associate Professor of Law at Northumbria Law School, about why Boris has spent £37b on the useless Test and Trace programme. Answer? Vanity and hubris.
The post Why is This Government so Wedded to the Ruinously Expensive and Completely Useless Test and Trace Programme? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link News Round-Up Fri Jul 23, 2021 01:51 | Toby Young
A summary of all the most interesting stories that have appeared about the virus in the past 24 hours ? not just in Britain, but around the world.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link France, against its adversaries and its allies, by Thierry Meyssan Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:36 | en

offsite link From false accusations to the real massacre, by Thierry Meyssan Wed Jul 21, 2021 09:39 | en

offsite link The nuclear race accelerates, by Manlio Dinucci Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:21 | en

offsite link Turkey sending jihadists from Idlib to Afghanistan Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:32 | en

offsite link Japan to side with Taiwan over China Thu Jul 08, 2021 08:37 | en

Voltaire Network >>

Carmen Trotta, Friend of the Homeless in Prison this Christmas

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Thursday December 17, 2020 12:28author by Justin Morahan Report this post to the editors

Nonviolent protest at Nuclear base got him 14 month sentence

Carmen who worked with the homeless in a New York shelter is banged up. Please write to him on plain white paper with a blue pen and, unbelievably, no pictures allowed even at Christmas.


Carmen Trotta (58) will not spend this Christmas looking after the needs of the poor in St Joseph's Catholic Worker House in Ithaca New York where he lives and works. On 12 December 2020 he wias brought to prison in FCI Ottsville, NY to start a 14 month sentence in the middle of a raging pandemic. Carmen is well known to Irish anti-war activists as he directed the public marches of supporters from O’Connell St to the Four Courts in Dublin during the 3 trials of the five Pitstop Ploughshares in 2005 and 2006.

In the early morning of 4 April 2018, with 6 other protestors (the Kings Bay 7) he entered Kings Bay nuclear submarine base in Georgia to “beat swords into plowshares”. All seven were sentenced in the course of the past year. In Ireland, the Pitstop Ploughshares successfully defended their own similar actions at Shannon airport on the plea of lawful excuse and were acquitted by a jury; the Kings Bay Seven Plowshares were denied the same defence in the USA.

Here is Carmen’s moving address to the court after his sentencing with subheadings added]

Child of the Vietnam War

In my opening declaration to the court, I remarked that I’m a child of the Vietnam war, and my primary reason to go to college was to discover who was telling the truth about the war in Vietnam and the reasons for which we fought it. I’m only like 18 years old. It was in college that I first heard Rev. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech, and in a way, that was the saddest day of my life.

It also redirected my life.

The proof was simple enough. As King explained it, by 1954 the United States was paying for 80 percent of the French effort to recolonize Vietnam. Then and there, I learned that the U.S. has no more noble reason to be there than the colonizers we sought to replace. Then did I begin a journey that has led me to my presence before the court today.

“Extensive Criminal Record”

I was told by the prosecution that I have an extensive criminal record, and when I heard this, I was dumbstruck. I didn’t think I had any criminal record, but I did at some point come to understand that I had 20/30 arrests, but in my mind they were all justified. Every one of my actions has been a reaction to an American war crime.

Moreover, in every instance, my arrests were for acts of nonviolent civil disobedience or civil resistance. Let me say, unambiguously, that in all of my extensive criminal history, I have never raised a hand in anger and violence against another. In court, I had mentioned my concern that the “institutional memory of the court is perverse.”

The court knows where and when I was arrested, what the charges were and what I was sentenced to. But nothing of the context within which I was arrested: and context is everything. We may remember in our own trial, Mark Colville was confronted with the notion that what he had done was like running a red light – a straight forward violation of the law. But there are times when, in a particular context, anyone in their right mind would run a red light, as for instance the several times I rushed my ailing father to the hospital, saving his life.

Nonviolent Responses to Concerns of Conscience

So as regards war crimes, I’ve run a lot of red lights. To be clear, this criminal has never assaulted anyone, never stolen anything, has never threatened anyone. If convicted of disorderly conduct, it was not for being drunk and urinating in the street. It was for holding a banner in front of the White House and refusing to move… unfortunately the court would not know what the banner said.

Notably, the longest sentence I’ve ever been given, prior to my fifty days for the action at hand, was twelve days. So in short, all of my arrests were deliberate, nonviolent responses to the concerns of my conscience, which I hold to be a divine gift. It is not merely a divine gift to me. It is to everyone. It is what makes a human.

Nicaragua – Reagan and his “Contras” Terrorist Militia 1986

My first incarceration was in 1986 in Des Moines, Iowa. A number of Catholic Workers had joined a larger coalition petitioning then Gov.Branstad to reject a federal request for the state’s National Guard unit to go down to Honduras “to build roads.” In actual fact, they would be building invasion corridors into Nicaragua for the so called Contras, a terrorist militia adopted, funded, trained and advised by the Reagan administration, to overthrow the first democratically elected government in Nicaragua in more than 40 years. Prior to the Sandinista revolution Nicaragua was a US client state, under the despotic control of the Somoza family.

We should all be aware of the fact that the US has almost no history of supporting democracy abroad.

Prior to our action, six states, under public pressure, had refused federal requests to state National Guard units. We were hoping to make Iowa the seventh. We went to the Capitol to meet with the Governor, and he failed to show up. Some 25 of us decided to remain in the office until he appeared. When the building closed for the night the coalition members decided we would wait overnight. Subsequently, state police entered the office to escort us out. I went limp, and was incarcerated overnight.

Days after the action, congressional legislation was passed making it impossible to deny a federal request for a National Guard unit, unless the Governor declared a state of emergency, the so-called Montgomery Amendment.

Iran Contra Scandal Exposed - Oliver North

So, my first arrest was in resistance to an act of American terrorism which came to be know as the Iran Contra scandal. The most active agent of the scandal was Lt. Col. Oliver North, a decorated Vietnam veteran who moved into a secret office within the National Security Council. Behind the back of congress and in violation of the Boland Amendment of 1985, North solicited money from private donors and various nations and turned a blind eye to money garnered from shipments of crack cocaine, brought into the the United States via drug cartels with ties to the Contras.

Eventually the scandal was exposed. Over a dozen government officials were convicted of crimes. Oliver North was given a 3 year suspended sentence for being a kingpin in an act of American terrorism which kicked off a ten year war which took the lives of 30,000 people. All of those convicted were pardoned by the next administration. Having never raised a hand in violence, it seems odd to me that I’m destined to serve more prison time than Oliver North.

US War With Iraq and Sanctions

Another war, indeed a series of wars that I responded to, were related to Iraq. For 30 years now we have been bombing Iraq.

Despite the brutal, dictatorial rule of Saddam Hussein, the people of Iraq managed to create a decent infrastructure. Before US intervention and occupation, Iraq had top of the line hospitals; child mortality rates were comparable to European nations; the populace was supplied with clean safe water; illiteracy was basically eradicated.

But in 1991 American bombs systematically obliterated that infrastructure. This was compounded by the most deadly regime of economic sanctions in history. Prior to the war Iraq 70% of the country’s food came from imports. The sanctions forbade UN member states from selling any foodstuffs to Iraq, with the exception of “humanitarian circumstances.” More the bombing destroyed nearly every water treatment plant in the country. Chlorine, an essential agent in water treatment facilities was deliberately sanctioned. This was done with the full knowledge that water borne diseases would result. Cholera and typhoid, previously almost non-existent, spiked dramatically in the next few years.

Madeline Albright’s Comment about 500,000 Children Dead

These were unconscionable policies! Deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure, and men women and children.

More than 200,000 Iraqis perished by the end of the first Gulf war. The Clinton administration then took the reins, and persistently, if sporadically, continued bombing. In 1996, the UN issued a report that 500,000 children below the age of 5 had died due to the harsh sanctions imposed. Then Sec. of State Magdalene Albright was questioned on this by Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes: “We have heard that a half million children have died…I mean…that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

Albright responded:”I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”

Albright never apologized for that statement.

Protection of Dissent

So, this is my great dilemma: the conflict between my love of country and my conscience and, what seems to be, the increasing numbness of he nations conscience.

It still strikes me to hear the words “all men are created equal,” and the words “certain God-given and inalienable rights.” Rather obviously we have not lived up to these ideals. But somehow, it is still music in my ear. It is this very conflict that has led me to my actions and to this moment standing before you. I’ve read some of your stuff Judge Wood, and I know that you have some regard for the protection of dissent. Let us pray for the strength and resilience of one another’s conscience. And I hope you develop a relish for dissent.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here is his prison address:

Carmen Trotta #22561-021
FCI Otisville
Federal Correctional Institution
Satellite Camp
PO Box 1000
Otisville, NY 10963

PLEASE write to him. As a former prisoner I cannot tell you how much difference a flurry of white envleopes meant to me every morning during my own stay including Christmas in Mountjoy prison in Dublin in 1975.

 
© 2001-2021 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy