Uprising Tour

By Jessica Rapchik

On October 19, Antioch College will be host to Uprising Tour, a collective of individuals from around the country who are engaging in communicable dissent. Throughout their tour, which is aimed at Mid-West and Mid-Atlantic States, the collective will aim at advancing regional counter-recruitment efforts and linking the issues of war and military recruitment to corporate globalization and environmental sustainability. The Tour consists of student and non-student activists, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and musicians. At each stop, members of the Tour will organize and participate in workshops, trainings, public forums, direct education and outreach, all-out street protests, as well as concerts and other creative performances. Events will be held throughout the day, with a culminating musical performance in the evening. While the locations for the planned events and dialogues are not definite, more information will be available on campus in the upcoming week.

The itinerary is as follows:

12-1 PM Meet and Greet in the Caf

1.30-4 PM Separate group workshops: Local/Global Connections (discussing the connections between globalization and war and the local effects on the Rust Belt) and Organizing 101.

1.30-4 PM Affinity Groups and Campus Organizing and the Military-Academic Complex

4-5 PM Communities as Alternatives: Why Change Must Start at Home

6.15-7 PM Action As Theater

7-9PM The film Sir, No Sir and Iraq Veterans Against the War panel

9.30- late evening Special performances by Drive by Schiavo and RyanHarvey from the Riot Folk Collective (www.riotfolk.org)

The tour is not limited to counter-recruitment and it is highly suggested that all community members attend events of interest. The tour is coming to Antioch in exchange for an open dialogue and a place to sleep. They are attempting to share their experiences and knowledge with us and I think that it is only fitting to attend and begin to make connections that will facilitate a deeper dialogue and increase organizing potential in Southwestern Ohio.

Dude, Where’s my Speaker?

By Kim-Jenna Jurriaans and Preston Kraft

After a completely fruitless three hour trip to Heidelberg College two weeks ago, to hear a speaker who didn’t show up, because, well…. he got the email with the RIGHT date in it, these writers were ecstatic about their second bid to some off campus encounters of the scholastic kind, last Tuesday.

Our very own Hassan Nejad was approached by Clark State to monitor a discussion between students and Dan Senor, former adviser to Paul Bremmer and chief spokesman of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

Oh boy, oh boy! This we had to see. Pictures of large auditoriums, filled with well schooled, dressed up youngsters, practicing the universal “I’m extremely interested?-mode, characterized by pensive frowning, appropriate nodding and the occasional hand on the chin, came into mind and inspired us to work on our very own repertoire of serious face expressions for the evening.

“Dress up nicely,? Nejad told his flock in Islam class who were interested in attending the formal event. On the inquiry by one of these writers whether this meant No pajamas, Nejad smiled politely, but whether he really trusted our ability to present a decent fashion sense by the next Tuesday remains uncertain. After all, this is Antioch. Nicely, therefore could consist of any outfit varying from black underwear and rollerblades to multicolored knee socks and “matching? hot pants. But this lot wasn’t one to be ashamed of. One of the attending Antiochians stole the show by swapping his usual green flannel bed wear in for a nonchalantly conservative combo in beige and red, impressing many a passer by on his short stroll from Spalt to the car. Yeah, this flock was dressed and prepared to impress.

We arrived in Springfield were we were greeted by a small Star Wars convention on the ground floor of the theatre that was housing that night’s discussion on “The Iraq war and con sequences for the Middle-East?.

But what was this? Instead of the chic auditorium we were ushered into what seemed to be an empty ballet recital room on the 2nd floor, with a video projector, a white screen and four rows of folding chairs in front of it. Not feeling extremely inspired to work on our plié talents; the slightly surprised Antioch crew went straight for the catering.

Nejad, who entered the room a couple of minutes later looked somewhat startled: “where’s the speaker?? “You are the speaker?, a blond Pi Theta Kappa woman informed him. “Well, you are the speaker to lead the afterwards discussion. The real speaker will appear on that screen over there, at precisely 7.30. You did know that this was a satellite meeting, right.? The expression on the faces of the Antioch flock answered the question, even without verbal output.

“Well, at least they have cookies!? remarked Preston Krafft, who felt that since he already pulled all his charms together for the occasion, he might as well work them on the dessert buffet. At precisely 7.30 the Antioch delegation, the majority of the audience, set straight in their chairs to witness the life broadcast from Dallas, to which several colleges throughout the country were connected.

And what a broadcast it was! In perfect liberal fashion, toes started curling up about 5 minutes into the gig, as Dan, polished, groomed and showing of his impeccable dental work, glossed over centuries of historical perspective to declare the Middle- East Problem as a result of the Arab’s defeat in the race to modernity and an animosity that, according to him has been existing for thousands of years.

“Wow?, Nejad commented as soon as the broadcast went off the air, “this is a hard act to follow. But what an act it was! This guy clearly doesn’t know what he was talking about.? He was asked to lead the discussion because of his knowledge of Islam and the Muslim world and said he was appalled by what he had just seen: “At first I wasn’t really sure about this whole thing, but now I’m actually glad that you all came. You wouldn’t see anything like this at Antioch any time soon.?

One of the Antiochians, in a vain attempt at anger management, was seen leaving the room half way through the session. “There is a reason I don’t watch Fox. But this was worse?, one of the 4th years said on his way back to the car. In a discussion session, strikingly similar to our Monday and Wednesday Islam classes, Hassan did his best to iron out some of the inaccuracies that had just been fired on the audience, in what appeared to be a 45-minute propaganda video for the invasion of Iraq.

After the meeting Preston Krafft said, “That guy was definitely a Bushbot, no doubt about it. He was just overly optimistic. He was more scary than funny.? The writers of this piece, hereby also want to point out their appreciation for Hassan’s efforts to bring some Antioch enlightenment to those less fortunate regions of Ohio.

Hassan finally proposed to take out his flock for a giant scoop of ice cream at the local ice-cream parlor. “It was like after you’ve lost the big game and your coach takes you out for ice-cream?, said 4th year Kendall Canyen. “I actually didn’t really want ice cream, but since Hassan was paying for it..? Thanks Hassan!

Rage Against the Regime

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By Jeremie M. Jordan

We caught a few middle fingers but mostly honks of support.

In over 230 cities nation-wide, October 5th was a day to let the people’s voice be heard. Around 15 Antioch first year students took to the streets of Columbus in support of the cause. The World Can’t Wait organization called for people across the United States to walk out of school, call off work, and pour into downtowns and city squares with a single simple statement, “No! This Regime does not represent us! We will drive it out!?

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At 10:00 AM there was a media conference at the Franklin Board of Elections, arranged by Military Families Speak Out, Fair Trade, local activists, Mark S. and Victoria P., and Bob Fitakis (Free Press Editor and Green Party Candidate for Governor) and of course World Can’t Wait. Only one radio program reporter was there; one indie reporter.Though little press coverage was offered, the demonstration was a call to peace that did not fall on deaf ears. When we first arrived around 11:00 AM there were only a handful of demonstrators present, but by mid-day the number grew significantly. We were joined by women in business suits on their hour lunch break. Though the weather may have deterred some, it failed to damper the spirit of resistance.

Many communists, anarchists, fed-up working class unionists, pissed off city-dwellers, students, and radicals were in attendance, but our number was nearly matched by Mennonites, who were comparing the Bush Administration to the Anti-Christ, and were more concerned about saving souls.
The timing of the protest was in direct correlation with the Bush regime’s most recent installment of curtailment on human rights. I heard more than one person say the passing of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was the catalyst for their outrage, which coincidently was approved by Congress the same day of the protest. I talked to one person who felt that the country was being led into theocratic authoritarianism, and who was also deeply disturbed by the growing unrest in the Middle East.

Following the Patriot Act, the preemptive war in Iraq and the ensuing regional chaos, pulling out of the Kyoto Agreement, turning economic surplus into the largest accumulating deficit, and now attempting to justify torture and suspend Habeas Corpus, as a society, allowing these trends to go unchallenged is utter compliance.

Signs of condemnation, and cries for peace and justice, were in orchestration as we marched from Courthouse Square to the State House. We screamed at the top of our lungs and laughed with each other as we turned the afternoon into our own avenue of opposition in which we could express our displeasure in unison and bond in our common purpose.

There were a few stunned suits and ties, but there were multitude of supportive gestures and sympathetic cohorts showing their frustration with the war and the vulgar attitude of the administration.

Luckily for the first years, a few of whom were marching in the street for the first time, the police presence was actually rather miniscule. Perceived threat of legal repercussion was minimal, though we were warned that if we were to step off the sidewalk we could be arrested (and hauled away to a secret detention center).
There were several marches from Courthouse Square to the State House Republican Headquarters, and Columbus Dispatch demanding that we be heard.
Jen-e Johnson, first year protester, remarked on the authentic spirit that brought us all together, “The variety of people experiencing camaraderie on the street was exciting and inspiring,? and “I realized the inter-generational aspect of the people involved in the movement and found it intriguing.? One of our favorites Marni ‘Moo’ claimed “I love marching in demonstrations but often times when everyone marches, they’re really just walking, the knees say it all. Marching is the shit.?
A Diebold Ballet Box and ballets to impeach the Bush regime were passed around, and at the final tally there were naturally 0 votes not to.
My personal favorite sign belonged to an older, extremely enthusiastic, man that read “Jail that Skeeza Condoleeza.?
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Others included “Draft Bush Supporters, Support our Oops, Solidarity, Bush Step Down but “The World Can’t Wait? posters were most numerous with a picture of a burning world. There were also various Orwell references like “Freedom is Slavery, War is Peace, and Ignorance is Strength.?
In this era of magnified propaganda, lies, deceit, and manipulation it can be a daunting task to wake the sleeping minds of the masses to the urgency of our plea, but I feel that the power of information is our greatest weapon. We found that a frighteningly large percentage of “passers-by? knew very little about the Military Commissions Act and what its contents will mean for the future. The most beneficial thing we could do was encourage even the slightest amount of curiosity to bringing awareness to the disturbing reality that is typically ignored.
Creativity was utilized in bringing attention to the message in the various chants “Hey hey! Ho ho! Bush and Cheney have got to go!? “Silence is support,? “One, two, three, four, we don’t want your fucking war! Five, six, seven, eight, we don’t want your fascist state,? and the frequently used “Bush step down.?
The size of the Columbus demonstration was not as ample as some of the ones taking place Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, but was well organized with hundreds of signs, flyers, and posters.
From around four to seven o’clock people played guitars and drums to keep every one’s spirits up, which was much appreciated by those who were beginning to feel exhausted. Though it was a long day the energy was kept high and people stayed dedicated to the end.
By and large the manifestation of commitment to change that occurred, and is occurring, is quite positive, and with any luck an indicator of what is possible as we lurch toward Election Day. In case you were someone who needed to be reminded, the struggle may be slightly under the radar but it is still very much alive. See you next time. Peace.

Torture, Terror, and Hope for Resistance

By Jeremie M. Jordan

Fear and intimidation arrange a barrage of waves systematically eroding rights, freedoms, and liberties. After the events of 9/11 the world had an overwhelming outpour of sympathy for the U.S., which was promptly turned into heated condemnation over human rights abuses and torture taking place daily in the “Global War on Terror.?

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Antioch community members are helping to bring some much needed attention to the atrocities being committed on our behalf with a series of informative events, including documentary showings and a live panel discussion to take place on the 5th of October.

This institutional activism couldn’t be more timely as a bill is currently being rushed through the Senate, with bi-partisan support, which could in effect legally solidify the President’s idiom “enemy combatant? rather than “prisoner of war? in order to bypass the rules of engagement outlined in the Geneva Convention. The “Military Commissions Act of 2006? will also essentially legalize mass torture, limit Habeas Corpus (the right to be released if there is no a formal charge against you), immunize government personnel involved in acts considered cruel, inhumane, or degrading, from criminal prosecution, and also permit information gathered through torture to be used as evidence in military commissions, as the tribunals are being called.

Presently, under the Geneva Convention’s international law of armed conflict, a soldier is granted not only the right to not be tortured, but coercive interrogation is also outlined as unlawful.

In June of 2005 a nine-page memo surfaced from the White House concerning detention tactics, interrogation, and prosecution of terrorism suspects. Two top officials – acting Deputy Secretary of Defense, Gordon R. England, and Councilor of the State Department, Philip D. Zeilikow – called for a return to the minimum standards of treatment exemplified in the Geneva Convention and the eventual closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, especially for suspects to be taken out of their secret prisons cells and tried. President Bush who for three years has not applied the Geneva Conventions in the fight against terrorists is being urged in the memo to act in accordance with Common Article 3 and not just comply with the conventions minimum standards, but to also to place a ban on “humiliating and degrading treatment.?

Perhaps these recommendations came from England and Zeilikow not because they felt compelled by international law, but to acquire wider support from American allies and to make court interventions less likely. Nevertheless, the memo is bringing to light the apparent division that exists between the White House and the State Department. For example, Donald Rumsfeld, said to have been so angered that he had an assistant gather copies of the memo to be shredded.

Over the past year, the Bush cabal has garnered an ever-increasing amount of criticism both at home and abroad as more and more details come to light regarding the practices and general conduct of the war. With the shocking revelations of the abuses taking place at Abu Graib, there was conversation about the depth of the abuse throughout the military system or the prison system. Horrendous holding conditions, abuses targeting mental and spiritual “weak spots,? harassing and intimidating civilians in their homes throughout Iraq, and intimidating prisoners with the threat of their lives is growing serious questions of ethics on behalf of the United States military and of usefulness of any information that could be obtained. Furthermore, high-ranking officials in the Department of Defense who encourage coercion to obtain information need to acknowledge that the disturbing practices of the U.S. military are causing a backlash that suggests we may be doing more to encourage terrorism than to prevent it.

Unfortunately, however, it appears as though the attempts to prevent and curb the dangerous progression of these war tactics have been swiftly undermined by the wartime fervor. The president, under congressional approval during the current war conditions, has gained the ability to apprehend anyone anywhere and hold them indefinitely without ever being officially charged with a crime. Every American should be appalled by not just what is being carried out but how it being carried out.

A professor at Seton Hall recently published a study that analyzed data from the military’s tribunals 2001- 2006, excluding contended information. Using only the military’s official conclusions, he found one inconsistency after another. In regards to those who are being held at Guantanamo, Vice President Cheney claims these men were picked up on the battle field, when records clearly state only 5% of prisoners were actually picked up on the battlefield. Ninety five percent were evidently apprehended through another means. Leaflets were distributed depicting a smiling Afghan saying “Get wealth and power beyond your dreams… You can receive millions of dollars helping the anti-Taliban forces catch al-Qaida and Taliban murderers. This is enough money to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life. Pay for livestock and doctors and schools books and housing for all your people.? According to the military data eighty-six percent of those in custody were turned over by people who received the flyers. Cheney also says that the men detained at Guantanamo are Al Qaeda fighters when ninety two percent are not demonstrated to be associated with Al Qaeda at all. For the majority of the captives, there is no evidence of them ever committing violence against the U.S. or it’s allies.

It is crucial to the preservation of civil liberty and freedom that the torture that is going on as you read these words does not go uncontested. Antioch’s involvement in a broader examination of the human rights violations in the War on Terror along with other institutions of higher learning adds weight to the chorus of dissent. Not only torture, but the entitlement of individuals apprehended in foreign countries to rights at least embodying the ideals of the American justice system is of vital importance and can not be fully addressed in one article. Look for more information in coming weeks as the resistance gains momentum.