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Spiritual Sweat | Esselen Nation Accuses Esalen Institute of Playing Indians

Monterey County Now

December 18, 2014

Hummux Anax is pretty sure he got burned because the sweat lodge ceremony started in the north.

“A lot of people think that’s not right – the sun rises in the east,” he says. “We sang a song that should have invoked the water spirits, but it invoked the fire spirits.”

He stepped out of the dark, steaming sweat lodge and tripped over the altar, a mound of earth arranged with feathers, jewelry and a forked stick representing male and female.

Someone had placed the altar too close to the lodge door, Hummux says. He fell in the ceremonial campfire and “turtled out” on its concrete base, flames licking his pale skin.

It was bad. He slathered on some aloe and left the Esalen Institute, heading up Highway 1 to the Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula. The burns crossed his back and both wrists in a dragging pattern. The healing involved months of excruciating debridements, as medics stripped off the dead skin.

Hummux Anax means fire hawk. It is his Esselen Indian name. He says it’s his legal name, too: just “hummux,” on his Social Security card and everything. His birth name is very Anglo, as boring as Bill Perkins, and he asks me not to use it.

Hummux got his Esselen name from Tommy Little Bear Nason, an Esselen descendant whose family has lived for generations in the Carmel Valley foothills his ancestors called Xasáuan. Nason has also been a spiritual adviser to Esalen Institute for more than 30 years.

According to Hummux, Nason gave Esselen names to him and about 90 other non-Indians after leading them on vision quests in the wilderness. Nason “adopted” 14, the most committed, into the Esselen Tribe he created in the early 1990s. He calls himself the tribe’s spiritual leader.

Hummux is one of those adoptees. Three more are Mac Murphy, son of Esalen Institute co-founder Michael Murphy, who became Shekes Anax; Rudy Proctor, a retired credit union manager, who’s called Wingte Tihikpas; and actor Woody Harrelson. Proctor says singer Joan Baez, who’s been part of Esalen’s inner circle since the ’60s, is in the tribe, too, but the musician’s publicist won’t confirm it.

Nason authorized Hummux, Proctor and a couple others to lead sweat lodge ceremonies at Esalen, the New Age retreat center jutting over the Pacific Ocean in south Big Sur. The ritual is heavily based in Native American traditions, including what Murphy describes as “inter-tribal” songs and prayers – including Esselen, Lakota and Cherokee.

Participants heat stones in a campfire, then move them inside the lodge, drop them into a central hole and pour water on top, creating hot steam in which they bake, drip, sing and pray before re-emerging into the outer world. Some of the lodge leaders have described the ceremony as sacred and secret, but it follows a general formula that comes up in a Google search of “sweat lodge.”

The Esalen ceremonies got especially popular after the lodge was moved to its current location above Hot Springs Creek in 2003. One organizer estimated 2,000 people took part between 2007-2011.

“Then we got tired of it,” Hummux says, “and it went to hell.”

No doubt countless people felt cleansed, even transformed, in the Esalen sweat lodge. Participants have described how the ceremony connects them with Mother Earth and with all of humanity in a profound experience of oneness.

But it was as if some destructive force was activated around the time Hummux got burned. It radiated out to divide the larger Esalen community. It infuriated the chair of the Ohlone/Costanoan Esselen Nation, destroying the tenuous peace between her tribal group and the retreat center. It drove a wedge deeper between the nearly 700-member Esselen Nation and Nason’s Esselen Tribe, which he says includes 68 members of his extended family.

The tension drills down to the question of cultural appropriation, when appreciation for traditions that aren’t one’s own becomes something more offensive. People have different interpretations of where exactly that line lies, and when the Esalen sweat lodge crossed it – if it ever did.

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This isn’t just an issue between Esalen Institute’s mostly white, well-off clientele and the Esselen Indian descendants. Legally, the question of who can claim Esselen heritage affects construction projects across Monterey County. From a larger social perspective, it’s a portrait in contrasts. As Native American communities across the American West struggle with issues like radiation poisoning, widespread poverty and high suicide rates, a New Age utopia in Big Sur markets itself under an American Indian name.

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The June 2014 workshop “Summer Solstice Tribal Journey and SpiritDance Retreat” invited prospective students – in Esalen parlance, seminarians – to “dance, sweat, sing, pray, meditate, and relax together as one global tribe.”

It cost $405-$1,750 for the weekend, depending on whether participants slept on the floor of common spaces or opted for plusher accommodations.

Proctor, one of the workshop leaders, is described as a “tribal elder” with a theological background in “Native American, Judaism, Christianity, Gnosticism, Buddhism and mystic traditions.”

Proctor isn’t claiming to be Esselen. He’s not promising an authentic Native American experience. But some critics within the Esalen community still accuse him of being a “plastic shaman” or engaging in “spiritual colonialism.”

These phrases come from discourses bigger than Big Sur. They come from Native American groups actively fighting the New Age romanticization of their culture; and from scholars like San Jose State ethno-historian Alan Leventhal, who shoots a quick opinion by email:

“Tribal knowledge and participation has to be earned by both tribal members and outsiders; otherwise it constitutes colonial theft of tribal traditions.”

Critics pressured Proctor and his adopted siblings to stop calling themselves part of the Esselen Tribe. He re-branded their identity as a less formal offshoot: the Ekae Tribe, inspired by the Esselen word ike, which he says roughly translates to, “It’s all good.”

Except it wasn’t.

Instead of quelling the criticism, Proctor’s launch of a website – http://ekaetribe.org – inflamed some Esalen folks, who felt there was egregious cultural appropriation going on. Around 2012, Proctor took it down.

“It was so misunderstood,” he says. “We had people writing to us, saying, ‘How dare you call it a tribe?’ I said, ‘Wait a minute, do you know what the definition of a tribe is? People who do things together.’”

When the Esselen Nation confronted him, he stopped even calling it a tribe. “It’s a fraternity,” he says. “We’re just brothers and sisters who say ike to each other.”

On May 11, 2012, Proctor wrote a long email to Esselen Nation Chairwoman Louise Ramirez. “I am called Wingte Tighaaro Tihikpas by many. The name given to me by my parents is Rudolphe Keith Proctor Jr., the name given to me by my ancestors is Yonagooska Aniwahi Clark Keith. I am three bloods – Tslagi-yi, African and Anglo,” Proctor’s email began. “I am not a medicine man or a shaman. I am an elder.”

Some excerpts from what follows: “When we go to this site we ask permission of your ancestors to sing the songs,” he writes. “We introduce our ancestors to your ancestors for healing. The site by itself is where your ancestors put their garbage and it could be called holy and sacred by some and I respect that opinion. To me it is a 6,000-year-old Esselen ancestor site where human beings come today to pray and sing and talk to God, Great Spirit. Yes it is truly sacred… We are not playing Indian and such a thought should bring shame to the bearer…

“Yes we pray on your ancestral land, yes we are learning your language. I failed to ask you (Esselen Nation) permission to do so, please forgive me I meant no disrespect. Permission was granted to me by your relative, Little Bear. Was he out of line?”

Four days later, Ramirez shot back, pointedly addressing her response to Rudolphe K. Proctor Jr.

“Colonialism is the process whereby the dominant society unilaterally takes what it wants from conquered indigenous peoples,” she begins. “Such is the case of your request and justification for taking our traditions and claiming to embrace them and teach them.”

The letter goes on to berate Proctor, dismiss Little Bear’s authority and staunchly oppose the ceremonies. Ramirez concludes:

“No doubt you will justify in your mind that what you do is enlightened and therefore beneficial to all, and you will proceed as a member of the dominant colonial society to not respect our position, but instead just take what does not belong to you and your group and claim it as your own. If you continue to do this and think this way, then you are truly blind, and spiritually dirty and bankrupted. Aho!”

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Further complicating the issue: There might be bones.

The Esselen Indians lived in southern Monterey County, including Big Sur, for thousands of years, numbering about 1,200 at the time of first European contact in the 1600s, according to Gary Breschini of Salinas firm Archaeological Consulting. Radiocarbon dating puts Esselen people on the Esalen Institute property up to 5,500 years ago.

“Esalen is so sacred,” Nason says. “It’s at the very Western edge of the universe.”

The Esalen sweat lodge perches above the bank of Hot Springs Creek. Esalen staff moved it there from another location in 2003. It doesn’t look like much – just a humble stick frame next to a concrete fire pit. (Participants cover the frame with thick fabric or skins for the ceremony.)

What’s in the soil beneath the lodge is a matter of speculation. Esalen crews didn’t do any digging to build it. But most agree the lodge is on top of, or close to, a midden deposit: a place where Indians discarded their empty abalone, mussel and limpet shells. It’s also fairly close to a known Esselen burial ground, which Ramirez prefers we don’t identify precisely, as the sites can attract vandalism.

According to Breschini, the two midden deposits at Esalen cover up to 10 percent of the property. Whenever Esalen Institute undertakes construction on or near a cultural site, he says, an onsite archaeologist monitors the digging. For the past 20 years, that’s been Breschini.

Before that, in the absence of strict regulations, Esalen workers likely dug up any number of prehistoric bones and artifacts. (Folks active in Esalen’s online community share rumors of human bones found in several spots throughout the property.) “They were probably just reburied somewhere else,” Breschini says.

Under today’s state laws, if human remains are discovered on a construction site, the property owner must stop work and notify the county coroner. If the remains are determined to be likely Native American, the coroner notifies the Native American Heritage Commission, the state agency entrusted with protecting Indian cultural sites. The commission then appoints the “most likely descendant” to recommend how to handle the remains.

Breschini says no bones have been uncovered at Esalen in his time there. “We’re trying to limit the amount of digging they do anywhere near the two known [cultural] sites,” he says.

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That doesn’t stop the rumors. In 2012, Hummux says, he saw a backhoe digging through a midden to build a handicap parking space near the sweat lodge. After he notified the county, Breschini was called in to monitor the grading. He says he found only minimal impacts – certainly no human remains.

But the incident shows just how intensely some Esalen insiders were opposing the sweat lodge by that point. Hummux felt Proctor had taken over the ceremony and was turning it into a spectacle, “taking liberties with the medicine.” Nason, meanwhile, had booted Hummux out of the Esselen Tribe he’d once adopted him into, saying he’d taken his authority too far.

Hummux began to see the whole sweat ceremony as tainted, tracing back to the lodge’s relocation above Hot Springs Creek.

Even Breschini had misgivings about the new placement. In a 2003 letter to consultant Bud Carney, he advises against the new spot, warning new charcoal from the ceremonial fires could compromise prehistoric deposits.

To prevent more damage, he writes, the lodge should be removed and the area returned to lawn. Instead, an Esalen crew covered the fire pit with concrete.

That didn’t jibe with Nason. “We want direct contact with the dirt, with Mother Earth,” he says.

As Ramirez sees it, the sweat lodge’s location within an archaeological site – whether it sits on top of her ancestors’ bones, or close to them – is a direct affront to the Esselen Nation. She says she can’t force Esalen Institute remove the sweat lodge, stop doing quasi-Indian ceremonies or quit using her people’s language.

But she can be a bureaucratic pain in its ass.

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Rudy Proctor says his mom was a white Englishwoman and his dad a Jamaican-Cherokee military man. Proctor lived many of his younger years in Germany, where he studied world religions. Back in the U.S., he moved to Carmel Valley and became a manager of Monterey Credit Union.

Nason adopted him into the Esselen Tribe in the 1980s. Together they formed a now-defunct nonprofit, Window to the West, to help people recover from substance abuse in the wilderness. Another group they helped form, the Four Winds Council, represents a quartet of local spiritual institutions – the Esselen Tribe, Tassajara Zen Center, New Camoldoli Hermitage and Esalen Institute – and foments strategies to protect the wild.

For most of the past decade, Proctor says, he’s led two or three sweat lodges per month at Esalen, though he’s dialed back this year due to health problems.

Proctor is paid $95 per head for weekend workshops, $208 for week-long ones. When he comes down just to lead a sweat lodge, he’s reimbursed about $100 for his travel and the firewood. He lectures his seminarians on Esselen folklore along with Christian, Jewish and Gnostic teachings, focusing on common denominators.

“A lot of young people are looking for something, and they’re finding it in the old wisdom,” he says.

Students who did a certain number of sweat lodge ceremonies were eligible to do a vision quest in the wilderness, Proctor says. The group would trek into the mountains, make a center camp, and then Proctor would place each student alone inside a circle. They’d sit there for four days, as still as possible, equipped with only water and a tent.

“Strange things happen, because animals are not used to human beings being still,” Proctor says. “The buzzards want to know if you’re dead. And then you’ve got to deal with your mind. Who am I? I’m 4 million years of ancestry.

Students who did four vision quests, one in each cardinal direction, were adopted into the Esselen Tribe – at least while Nason was involved.

It’s not unusual for Native Americans to adopt non-Indians they love, Nason says. But the adopting grated on Ramirez, who worries about New Agers co-opting her tribe’s heritage. “It doesn’t make them Esselen,” she says.

In some respects, the debate over the Esalen sweat lodge comes down to who has the authority to sanction it. Ramirez says it should be her, the chairwoman of the Esselen Nation.

But Esalen Institute leaders point to Tom Little Bear Nason. He’s the one who still lives on Esselen land. It was his father Fred, Nason says, who shattered the official belief the Esselen people were extinct. Esalen Institute leaders often say Little Bear sanctioned their sweat lodge.

What they didn’t know until now: Nason no longer gives the lodge his blessing.

He says he hasn’t led an Esalen sweat lodge, or a vision quest for Esalen seminarians, in many years. (He still leads lodges on his own land and vision quests for his own tribe, he adds.) The last time he ran a lodge at Esalen Institute – more than a decade ago, he says – he got spiritually sick, which made him physically sick and landed him in the emergency room.

“I don’t believe they’ve run the sweat lodge appropriately or traditionally, and I want no part of it,” he says. “I do not give them spiritual authorization to do ceremonies at that sweat lodge. It is at an inappropriate location on a sacred site.”

It’s not that Nason has a problem with non-Indians doing sweats. There are ways to go about it properly, he says, either by stripping out the Native American spirituality to make it a secular thing, like a sauna, or by accepting an invitation from an actual Indian elder and following that tribe’s traditional protocol.

“It shouldn’t be, ‘Oh man, I really want to do a sweat lodge, it’s tomorrow night,” he says. “We’ve been educating [Esalen Institute] to try to slow that down. Because that was rampant.”

A number of other things about the lodge bother him: Its alleged past use as a funding mechanism. The current location near the ancestral burial site. The non-traditional practice of bringing women and men into the lodge naked together. The rapid clip of development on the archaeologically sensitive property.

Nason says he’s never vocalized these concerns publicly before. “They’re going to get very upset with me when I say that,” he says, “but that’s the hard truth.”

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Mac Murphy, the Esalen co-founder’s son and a member of Proctor’s tribe, says Little Bear has been a mentor. When I relay Nason’s current stance, he sputters.

“That’s such bullshit,” he says. “I’m sorry, I’ve been dealing with these politics inter-tribally – with Rudy, with Louise, with Little Bear. He supports us.”

When he speaks in the Esselen language, Murphy says, he does so in reverence to the Indians who once lived on his family’s property. “It helps me connect with the land,” he says. “I have never experienced a ceremony that culturally appropriates Native Americans or pretends to be them.”

Esalen Institute President Gordon Wheeler says the sweat lodge is only made available to people taking certain workshops or month-long internships, and ceremonies are led by a half-dozen people specifically approved by the Esalen leadership.

This is a place that specializes in spiritual cocktails, mixing Tantra and Buddhism and yoga and something called “ecstatic dance.” Crossing cultural boundaries, splicing Eastern religions with Western mentalities, exploring the mind and spirit – these things are Esalen Institute’s M.O., and Wheeler says his board is committed to doing it respectfully and transparently.

“We’re the people who brought Boris Yeltsin to the West,” he says. “We believe there’s a higher intentionality that can unite people, and we reach for that.”

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Ramirez hasn’t spoken with anyone affiliated with the Esalen Institute since their 50th anniversary celebration in 2012, when her communications with the center’s administration broke down.

She says she declined an invitation to give a formal blessing, but Wheeler thought she was coming. He publicly introduced her at the Joan Baez concert on Esalen’s main lawn. That’s when he realized, with some embarrassment, she wasn’t there.

Both Ramirez and Wheeler say they’ve unsuccessfully attempted to contact the other since. Maybe the glitch was as innocent as a wrong email address, but damage was done.

“They wanted the acknowledgement of our tribe but really do not care about my people,” Ramirez emails me. “There is nothing I can do.”

Maybe not in connection with the sweat lodge. But there are a few things Ramirez can do to make her objections known. Earlier this month, she wrote a letter to Monterey County planners and the Native American Heritage Commission, protesting a proposed addition to one of Esalen’s lodges. That project, she writes, is within feet of a relocated midden and within a half-mile of a known burial site. She asks that her organization, Esselen Nation, be consulted every step of the way, from project notices to handling of artifacts.

A truce is possible, Ramirez says, but the path to reconciliation starts by moving the sweat lodge and ending Proctor’s ceremonies. “Nobody’s going to make him change who he is until Esalen Institute stops making money off of him,” she says.

Peace with Little Bear Nason seems closer at hand. “I don’t hate Tommy,” she says. “I think they’re using him, too.”

She has invited Nason to join the Esselen Nation. Nason says he might consider it, if it didn’t threaten his family’s trust allotment in Ventana Wilderness.

Regardless, he says, he now supports Esselen Nation’s bid for federal recognition: “I just don’t want to fight.”

To all the non-Esselens reading this, Ramirez offers one simple phrase from the Esselen language. Words refuting the historians who called her people extinct. Words challenging the federal government to recognize her tribe. Words rejecting heat-induced hallucinations of mystical Indian approval.

Let ka lai,” she says.

“We are here.”

Shuswap Chief’s Salary Highest in Country

Warrior Publications

October 31, 2014

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Chief Paul Sam’s take-home pay higher than prime minister’s at more than $200,000

OTTAWA — An elderly B.C. First Nations chief and his ex-wife, along with one of their sons and a grandson, received more than $4.1 million in remuneration over the past four years.

Shuswap First Nation Chief Paul Sam, 80, gets a tax-free salary that has averaged $264,000 over that period to run a tiny reserve near Invermere, a resort community near the Alberta border. The Shuswap have 267 members, of whom just 87 live on the reserve. His son, Dean Martin, is doing even better, with an average annual salary of $536,000 over the four years, running a band corporation that operates various businesses on and near the reserve.

The figures were provided this week to The Vancouver Sun by disgruntled Shuswap members who are challenging in next month’s election a family that has ruled for more than three decades.

A dissident councillor, who earns $57,700 annually, said she was unaware until recently that Chief Sam and the only other councillor, ex-wife Alice Sam, 82, were earning such lofty salaries.

“We had no idea. We are absolutely disgusted,” Barbara Cote told The Sun Thursday while vowing to reform band finances if she’s successful in a bid to take control of council.

Cote’s concerns got backing Thursday from the office of Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt.

“Our government expects First Nation band councils to use tax payer dollars responsibly and for the benefit of all community members,” Erica Meekes, a spokeswoman for the department said in a statement.

“Community members have asked for an explanation of the salaries of this chief and councillor. They deserve that explanation.”

Both Cote and Tim Eugene, another candidate in next month’s election, say they want to take over council and bring in reforms to ensure both disclosure and a greater distribution of funds to cover education and culture programs, child care, and home renovation.

They said some community members have gone without water and electricity in the winter, but were unable to get help from the band.

For the most recent fiscal year, Chief Sam and his ex-wife both reported salaries of about $202,000, their lowest in the four years. The chief’s top salary was just slightly less than $300,000 in 2010-11, while the top year for Alice Sam, 82, was 2011-12 when she had about $242,000 in remuneration.

Even the $202,000 figures make them the highest paid politicians on an after-tax basis — not only among First Nations leaders across the country, but also among all Canadian politicians, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper earns $327,400 plus a $2,000-a-year car allowance. Premier Christy Clark has a $193,532 annual salary.

“To take home $202,000 off reserve you would need a salary of $330,000,” according to CTF B.C. spokesman Jordan Bateman.

Their sons, Dean Martin and band media relations spokesman Gord Martin, said their parents’ hard work and longevity justify having salaries higher than a prime minister who presides over an economy that produces just under $2 trillion in goods and services annually.

Chief Paul Sam of the Shuswap First Nation.

Shuswap First Nation Chief Paul Sam gets a tax-free salary that has averaged $264,000 over the last four years to run a tiny reserve near Invermere. Prime Minister Stephen Harper earns $327,400 plus a $2,000-a-year car allowance, but after paying taxes, he would take home about $202,000 of that. File photo. Photograph by: shuswapnation.org , Handout

“With all due respect to Harper and to everybody else, I don’t think they’ve been in power for 34 straight years,” Dean Martin, chief executive officer of Kinbasket Development Corp., said in an interview Thursday.

“To be … the leader of a nation, and we’re not just a band, we are a nation, and to lead it for 34 years, is something totally unheard of, I don’t care in what political field you’re in.”

He also noted that his father is the band manager, while his mother is the bookkeeper, so both have jobs beyond political duties.

The recently released figures show that Dean Martin makes the most money in the family, with $765,651 in remuneration in 2010-11 that included $54,498 in travel expenses. The total fell to $410,730 in 2011-12, and $431,549 in 2012-13. Figures for the latest fiscal year for Dean Martin weren’t available.

Martin said the high salaries are justified because the family has brought considerable economic development to the community, with assets that include a golf course and resort, a new supermarket, a Tim Hortons, a hardware store, and real estate development for non-Aboriginal residents.

“I’m not embarrassed about what we’re doing,” Martin said.

The band takes in considerable government revenues, including just over $900,000 in the 2013-14 years from the federal Aboriginal affairs and Health departments.

Martin’s late son Randy, an elected councillor, earned $276,012 in 2010-11 and $301,341 in 2011-12. He died early in the 2012-13 year during a trip to Las Vegas, having already earned $35,159 that year.

Bands are only recently making salary details public in response to legal requirements under the First Nations Financial Disclosure Act, passed last year by the Harper government over the objections of the New Democratic Party and the Liberals.

The CTF’s analysis of that data indicated that the highest paid B.C. chief last year was Ron Giesbrecht, of the Kwikwetlem First Nation, who recorded $914,219 in income. That was an apparently isolated incident relating to a controversial $800,000 bonus Giesbrecht received in connection with a single land transaction with the B.C. government.

The 16 other top salaries highlighted by the CTF, among the salaries of hundreds of chiefs and councillors, were mostly in the range of just over $100,000 to a high of $123,033 for Cheslatta Carrier Chief Richard Peters. The exception was Osoyoos Chief Clarence Louie, one of B.C.’s most entrepreneurial chiefs, who pulled in $147,369.

Nationally, no other chiefs or councillors topped the $200,000 mark, according to the CTF.

Chief Sam, according to one band member, moved to Canada from the U.S. not long before being elected chief 34 years ago. When he came to Canada his surname was changed from Martin to Sam, but his son refused to explain why the change was made.

 

Update (November 8, 2014) – Shuswap reserve chooses new council after spending became key issue in band election:

http://warriorpublications.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/shuswap-reserve-chooses-new-council-after-spending-became-key-issue-in-band-election/

 

SYRIA: Avaaz, Purpose & the Art of Selling Hate for Empire

September 17, 2014

by Cory Morningstar

 

 “The Ivy League bourgeoisie who sit at the helm of the non-profit industrial complex will one day be known simply as charismatic architects of death. Funded by the ruling class oligarchy, the role they serve for their funders is not unlike that of corporate media. Yet, it appears that global society is paralyzed in a collective hypnosis – rejecting universal social interests, thus rejecting reason, to instead fall in line with the position of the powerful minority that has seized control, a minority that systematically favours corporate interests.” — From the article Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section I, Sept 10, 2012

The organization Avaaz was instrumental in building public approval for the No Fly Zone for the illegal invasion of Libya in 2011. The NATO-led destabilization/illegal war in Libya resulted in the annihilation of a formerly sovereign country that has since descended into brutal chaos. Tens upon thousands of Libyans died and the most savage ethnic cleansing that the mind can imagine has been widespread. The destruction of Libya has been nothing less than a full-scale bloodbath.

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Above image from the Avaaz website: “Libya No-Fly Zone: As Libyan government jets drop bombs on the civilian population, the UN Security Council will decide in 48 hours whether to impose a no-fly zone to keep Qaddafi’s warplanes on the ground.” [Emphasis in original] [Further discussion of the flag within this Avaaz image can be read in the epilogue.]

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Above image: Avaaz takes credit for the implementation of the Libya No Fly Zone. [Further Reading: Did Libya’s Citizens Demand Foreign Intervention?” A ridiculous question, yet according to Avaaz, the answer is yes.]

When Avaaz rolled out the same rinse, lather and repeat campaign for the seizing of Syria, the public did not fall prey as easily. The campaign failed. Below are three separate links to the Avaaz campaign calling for a no-fly zone over Syria.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/syria_the_last_straw_a/ (June 4, 2013) (Avaaz utilizing the “chemical attack” that has since been discredited.)

Avaaz Syria NoFlyZone

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/syria_the_last_straw_0/ (June 14, 2013) (Avaaz alleges a “rape crisis” committed by soldiers of the Syrian army – the same tactic used to incite hatred against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that was later discredited.)

Avaaz NoFlyZone Syria

http://web.archive.org/web/20130825092136/https://secure.avaaz.org/en/syria_no_fly_zone/ (Again, utilizing the “chemical attack” that has since been discredited)

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Of the Avaaz campaigns pressing for a no-fly zone (air strikes) over Syria that flourished in June of 2013, at least two employed the use of chemical weapons to incite fear and hatred toward the Assad government. It does not take much stretch of the imagination to consider Avaaz had inside knowledge of the upcoming chemical attack that would take place in outer Damascus approximately 10 weeks later. Considering Avaaz co-founder Tom Perriello’s connection to the Obama administration and its well known war criminals, it is entirely plausible that Avaaz was churning out propaganda that would lead up to and sensationalize a false flag attack.

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Photo: Avaaz co-founder and Congressman Tom Perriello with war criminal, General David Petraeus (far left). Under this Flickr photo the caption reads: “Passing the Baton, United States Institute of Peace” [2009] [Photo: Jon-Phillip Sheridan | Source] [In July, 2011, “General David Petraeus was approved as CIA Director by both the Senate Intelligence Committee and then the full Senate, whose vote was an astounding 94-0, astounding because this is a man who was deeply implicated in war crimes, including torture.” Source] [Welcome to the Brave New World – Brought to You by Avaaz, Sept 13, 2013]

The August 30, 2013 article “On the Eve of an Illegal Attack on Syria, Avaaz/350.org Board Members Beat the Drums of War” documents Avaaz links imploring a no-fly zone on Syria – both public links have since been removed. The article also featured 350.org board member Van Jones calling for air strikes on Syria. (Adding twisted irony, Van Jones also serves as co-founder and executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. The co-opting of deceased civil rights revolutionaries to advance the goals of hegemony has become common practice within these foundation-financed projects.)

Screenshots of an email from co-founder of Avaaz, Ricken Patel to Avaaz subscribers dated August 27, 2014 can be found here (1) and here (2). The email from Patel represented a last-ditch effort to garner support for a no-fly zone as the US prepared to launch an attack on Syria.

One year earlier, in 2012 Avaaz was allegedly sponsoring fabricated videos of civilian massacres, to back deeper foreign intervention in Syria. Fact-checking and videos appear to collaborate these claims.

Jump forward to 2014.

In the September 8, 2014 article Pentagon Planning Points to Possible Anti-Syria US Military Campaign, author Stephen Gowans observes:

“Now, it appears that Washington is on the cusp of pressing ahead with its planned campaign of military action. The New York Times has reported that ‘Pentagon planners envision a military campaign’ to destroy ISIS ‘in its sanctuary inside Syria’ that could last ‘at least 36 months.’ According to The Wall Street Journal, airstrikes would support anti-Assad fighters unaligned with ISIS, who would be bankrolled by $500 million in US funding, and backed by a global coalition, including the UK and Australia, that would ‘provide a range of assistance, including humanitarian aid and weapons.’ These countries could also join the United States in an air-war over Syria.”

It should not be considered a coincidence that at the same time, a polished, sophisticated and highly financed “Save Syria” campaign is being created in the board rooms of the Empire’s favourite Harvard boys.

Where, under the organization Avaaz, the public hasn’t acquiesced to an air strike on Syria, the New York public relations firm Purpose Inc. has stepped in.

Purpose is a for-profit enterprise that is marketed to appear like a non-profit. Their area of expertise is behavioural change.

 “[Purpose] has a non-profit arm, which incubates protests and accepts donations. This is cross-subsidised by its for-profit arm, which makes money in a variety of ways. It sells consulting services to big companies such as Google and Audi, and to charities such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union.” – The Economist

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GetUp, Avaaz and Purpose co-founder Jeremy Heimans, 2010.

Purpose Inc.: The Crème de la Crème Agents of Behavioural Change

Purpose  | Avaaz Co-Founders

Vision: “Purpose is a global initiative that draws on leading technologies, political organizing and behavioral economics to build powerful, tech-savvy movements that can transform culture and influence policy.”

Avaaz and GetUp co-founders Jeremy Heimans (CEO) and David Madden [2] are also founders of the New York consulting firm, Purpose Inc.

Avaaz was created in part by MoveOn, a Democratic Party associated Political Action Committee (or PAC), formed in response to the impeachment of President Clinton. Avaaz and MoveOn are funded in part by convicted inside-trader and billionaire hedge fund mogul, George Soros.

Avaaz co-founder James Slezak is also identified as a co-founder and CEO of Purpose at its inception in 2009.

The secret behind the success of both Avaaz and Purpose is their reliance upon and expertise in behavioural change.

While the behavioural change tactics used by Avaaz are on public display, double-breasted, for-profit Purpose, with its non-profit arm, sells their expertise behind the scenes to further the interest of hegemony and capital. Whether it be a glossy campaign to help facilitate yet another illegal “humanitarian intervention” led by aggressive U.S. militarism (an oxymoron if there ever was one), or the creation of a new global “green” economy, Purpose is the consulting firm that the wolves of Wall Street and oligarchs alike depend upon to make it happen.

Make no mistake, the Yale (for example, Avaaz co-founder and former U.S. Representative *Tom Perriello) and Harvard graduates that comprise the “Avaaz boys” (many having been groomed by McKinsey and Company) are considered “the dream team” by the globe’s most powerful capitalists, including those at the United Nations and the World Bank. Avaaz co-founder Andrea Madden works for the World Bank in Burma [Myanmar]. Her husband is Avaaz co-founder David Madden who has taken up residence in Burma. [March 23, 2013: Western Media Celebrates Faux Progress in Myanmar] Madden has co-founded a marketing firm, Parami Road in Myanmar: “Our clients are mostly international companies entering Myanmar and they demand an international standard of work.”

“After years of isolation, Myanmar is opening up. Opportunities abound. However international companies have little experience here and local firms have little experience working with them. Parami Road meets this need.” – Parami website

Another key co-founder of Avaaz is none other than pro-war, pro-Israel, U.S. Democrat Tom Perriello, former U.S. Representative (represented the 5th District of Virginia from 2008 to 2010) and founding member of the House Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group. As demonstrated in the 2012 investigative report on Avaaz, Perriello’s curriculum vitae, built upon privilege within elite circles, is quite extensive.

[*Full profile on Avaaz co-founder Tom Perriello: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I [Link]

The former Managing Director of Partnerships for “Purpose” is Marilia Bezerra. From 2006 to 2011 Bezerra held an integral position within the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) executive leadership. As Clinton Global Initiative director of commitments, Bezerra led the redesign of member engagement and commitments services into a year-round operation. From 2007 to 2008, Bezerra held the position of sponsorship manager of the Clinton Global Initiative where she directly managed five major sponsorship accounts, including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Procter & Gamble, valued at over $2 million dollars. From 2006 to 2008, Bezerra held the position of Commitment Development Senior Manager for the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2009, Bezerra was Deputy Director of Commitments for the Clinton Global Initiative.

One should note that in the case of many NGOs, on 990 tax forms it appears as though those at the helm are paid minimally, if at all. Rather than salaries, many founders of institutions make immense fees via consulting services where their names are not identified on 990 forms. In the case of Avaaz, co-founder Ricken Patel does take a salary (approx. $190,000.00 per year) plus consulting fees. Consulting fees must be considered the bread and butter of many “progressives” whose incomes rival CEOs of multinational corporations. The salaries and incomes are incredible when one accounts for the fact that many NGOs, such as Avaaz, rake in millions of dollars in donations from well-intentioned and hard-working citizens who are at or below the poverty line.

[Full profile of Ricken Patel: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I [Link]

Purpose Inc. (with its co-founders) is a favourite of high-finance websites such as The Economist and Forbes and sells its consulting services and branding/marketing campaigns to Google, Audi, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and many others that comprise the world’s most powerful corporations and institutions. In 2012, it raised $3m from investors. “Ford Foundation, which has given Purpose’s non-profit arm a grant, reckons it is shaping up to be “one of the blue-chip social organisations of the future.” [Source] Purpose, like many other foundations, such as Rockefeller (who initially incubated 1Sky which merged with 350.org in 2011), also serves as an “incubator of social movements.” [Further reading on Purpose]

Heimans, the Avaaz front man of Purpose, is a darling of the high-finance corporate world. “In 2011, Jeremy received the Ford Foundation’s 75th anniversary Visionaries Award. The World Economic Forum at Davos has named him a Young Global Leader, and the World e-Government Forum has named Jeremy and Purpose co-founder David Madden among the “Top 10 People Who Are Changing the World of the Internet and Politics.” [Source]

The New York public relations firm Purpose has created at least four anti-Assad NGOs/campaigns: The White Helmets, Free Syrian Voices [3], The Syria Campaign [4] and March Campaign #withSyria.

“Who are we? Three years after the peaceful uprising in Syria, politicians and the media have largely forgotten what the UN calls ‘the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our time.’ But we haven’t.” — Front page of “The Syria Campaign” and the “White Helmets / Syrian Civil Defence” website

The March Campaign #withSyria | Over 130 Partners

Bansky WithSyria2

Purpose’s March campaign #withSyria website (which doubles as a hash tag for Twitter) partners include: Open Society Foundation (George Soros), Amnesty International, Christian Aid, Care, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam and many more of the largest “humanitarian” NGOs within the non-profit industrial complex which makes up a billion dollar industry. [Full list of partners: http://marchcampaign.withsyria.com/partners0]. Utilizing the consumer culture’s celebrity fetish to sell war (and the illusory “green economy“) is a vital marketing strategy of Purpose. In the case of #withSyria, famed street artist Banksy has reworked his “Young Girl” famed graffiti stencil in support of the campaign. On the main page of this website the behavioural change strategists at Purpose promote a slick, emotive video of a white child (in America) slowly becoming traumatized by the violence in Syria. No doubt, Purpose’s marketing executives have taken this avenue because they know that the majority of Euro-Americans with privilege simply are not moved by images of suffering children that are non-Caucasian. Non-White children being slaughtered by imperial states became normalized for most Euro-American citizens long ago.

WithSyriaHashtag PURPOSE CROPPED

And of course corporate media is not far away to promote the cries for war peace. Consider today, on September 17, 2014, ABC “reports“:

“What if we could reverse the explosion of a bomb? A group of 130 organizations from around the world, known collectively as the ‘With Syria’ campaign, released a video Wednesday that shows just what that would look like. The campaign hopes to bring attention to the violence in Syria. (video) Warning: Contains disturbing imagery. In the video, the act of a bomb exploding near children playing is reversed: The blood returns to their heads, the children stand back up, run in reverse and continue the game they were playing. A message says, ‘We can’t reverse what’s happened in Syria, but we can change how the story ends.'”

Indeed Purpose is being paid to bring about the ending that the elites have hired them to ensure.

“Even more impressive than her military, America has built the most sophisticated propaganda machinery the planet has ever seen.” – Garikai Chengu

Free Syrian Voices partners include Amnesty International, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, FIDH, Front Line Defenders, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders and “other international, regional and Syrian organizations” – which conveniently go unnamed.

Such emotionally charged campaigns are critical tools for empire. They have become critical (and successful) in building the acquiescence required for “humanitarian interventions” (aka regime change with extensive “collateral damage” thrown in for good measure).

“In the IC Magazine publication Communications in Conflict, is noted a new form of psychological warfare termed ‘false hope.’ False hope, as a tool for subverting social movements, is unparalleled in its effectiveness. What once was crudely accomplished through political repression, censorship, educational indoctrination and misleading propaganda, is now supplemented, if not surpassed, through vertical integration of the non-profit industrial complex. Where Wall Street once had to rely on threats and bribery to intimidate or corrupt social movements, it now has a vast army of neoliberal foundations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social media at its disposal.” — Jay Taber, False Hope, September 6, 2014

It is important to note that Purpose is a for-profit business strategically presented as though it is a non-profit (similar to the Change.org petition site). This begs the question of who is financing the Syrian campaigns. The fact that a group of wealthy elites from Harvard living privileged lifestyles in New York City (and abroad) decide, via glossy marketing campaigns, who will live or die on the other side of the world is the ultimate representation of whitism and racism – an egregious affront to people everywhere. [Further reading on Purpose]

“If there is any doubt concerning the nefarious undertones of subversiveness in these NGO dealings, [National Endowment for Democracy] NED founder reportedly said the following in the 1990s: ‘A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.’ What was once done at night under the cloak of ‘imperialism’ is now done during the day under the guise of ‘humanitarianism.'” WKOG 30-point Primer

The many facets of Purpose:

1) Purpose (tax identification number 68-0607622) is a for-profit certified B-corporation “that uses an innovative model to pool some of the world’s leading experts and practitioners in order to fund, launch and accelerate the growth of new social movement organizations.”

2) Purpose Action (tax identification number 45-2451509), the non-profit arm of Purpose, is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit advocacy organization “focused on changing policy.” Purpose Action Board of Directors includes Brett Solomon, executive director of Access, former campaigns director at Avaaz, former executive director of GetUp! [5]

3) Purpose Foundation (tax identification number 27-3106760) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization “focused on education and changing culture.” [6]

4) Purpose Campaign (tax identification number 68-0607622) “Develops social and consumer movements.”

US Military Utilize NGOs to Induce Pacification & Advance Western Ideologies on Iraqi Citizens

The video below captures highlights from the 2004 Princeton Colloquium on Public and International Affairs and should that be at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs – The Role of NGOs in Global Governance and Society. Attention to the title is key: “NON-governmental organizations in global GOVERNANCE.” [Note the use of the term “guerrilla” (4:13) in describing any citizen/person resisting the occupation/assault by US military on Iraq soil.] Since the filming of this video, accelerating regime change operations are being conducted by Western militaries, hand in hand with Western NGOs throughout the globe. [See more: http://www.interventionism.info/en/Re…]. In essence, NGOs have become an indispensable instrument of destabilization and regime change for imperial states and hegemonic interests. NGOs also serve as the primary agents to implant neoliberal policies and western ideologies in targeted states to advance and protect the interests of the NGOs’ funders.

 

The Hate Campaign

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The June, 2012, Avaaz “Good Versus Evil” campaign for the Rio Summit. Above: A downloadable poster as found on the Avaaz Press Centre published in the Financial Times. Vilification: Note the dark cast/ugly sky behind the leaders Avaaz would wish you to believe are “evil,” versus the light and sun shining through over the Imperialist, obstructionist “leaders” that Avaaz is attempting to convince you are “good.”

 

 “‘You have to investigate the supply of hatred,’ Glaeser continues. ‘Who has the incentive and the ability to induce group hatred? This pushes us toward the crux of the model: politicians or anyone else will supply hatred when hatred is a complement to their policies.'” — The Behavioural Economics of Hatred

 

Heiman’s work been recognized in publications like The New York Times and The Economist. In The Economist, Heiman states he chose his career path when “in 2001, a college student named Eli Pariser created an online petition calling for a multilateral response to the ‘9/11 terrorist attacks.'” Over a decade on, with civilian deaths that amount to millions, I’m sure the Iraqis are most grateful. It must be noted that Eli Pariser, too, is a co-founder of Avaaz and Co-Founder and Executive Director of MoveOn.org (Avaaz founder) PAC.

The Syria Campaign Facebook PURPOSE Screenshot

Above: The Syria Campaign, Non-profit Organization, created by Purpose, launched March 7, 2014.

 

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“We were afraid the regime would fire another rocket, as they always come back to the area of attack when people come to rescue to bomb them, so we started evacuating people in a hurry so no more lives would be lost. This picture was taken then! That boy holding my neck like that was one of the moments in which I knew why I am a civil defender!” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm

Purpose Inc. strategically employs images, carefully worded text and slick video that provoke intense emotion. Key language includes children, refugees, regime, and their work “in the most dangerous place in the world.”

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 “A year ago today, the Syrian government used Sarin gas against its own people killing over a thousand, many of them children. The world was outraged and demanded Assad destroy his stockpile of chemical weapons. Today chlorine gas is still being used on civilian neighbourhoods, rolled out the back of helicopters in rusty ‘barrel bombs.’” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm, Image by Designer : FaDi zyada whose work is also featured on the Heinrich Von Arabien Foundation website. This same website features an absurd photo of Syrians holding up a poster that features a “thumbs up” illustration for USA and the UN.

[***Reference list for deconstructing the myth that Syrian army + “dictator” used chemical weapons in August 2013 by Susan Dirgham: http://australiansforreconciliationinsyria.org/reference-list-chemical-attack-in-damascus-august-2013/]

Exploiting the death of Syrian children to provoke air strikes and military aggression demonstrates that such agencies go to any extreme to further American foreign policy. Note that the very carnage described above: “killing over a thousand, many of them children” is par for the course for the U.S. military, which carries out such atrocities on innocent civilians, including children, on a daily basis, all over the world. But don’t expect an Avaaz or Purpose campaign against the Obama Regime any time soon. They will be too busy under the guise of their NGO MoveOn, working on his re-election.

The following quote represents the real purpose of Purpose:

The media may have turned away from what’s unfolding daily in Syria but today we all have the tools to tell the world the truth. Please share widely and remember the children of Syria in your thoughts today.”

The lapdog media have not turned away, but much of the public has. It’s the job of Purpose to employ netwar methods (“a form of low intensity conflict, crime, and activism waged by actors using social networking services” according to Wikipedia) on the public (targeting Euro-Americans) that will instill hatred toward the democratically elected Bashar al-Assad.

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“It’s past time for President Obama to present a plan for dealing with the humanitarian crisis in Syria.” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm

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“Today we remember the more than 1,300 who lost their lives in the Ghouta chemical weapons attacks. Let’s also remember those +150,000 who face torture and death while being detained.” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm

Let’s not mention Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and a mile long list of the Obama administration’s involvement in torture, shall we? Syria certainly demonstrates that the first casualty of war (in this case a destabilization effort) is truth. The following excerpt is from the article Foley & Sotloff’s Reporting Show Why the US Should Stop Its Proxy War on Syria, which lays bare that “both journalists documented the reality of Free Syria Army”:

“While in Turkey Sotloff broadcast news of Syrian rebels being found and arrested with chemical weapon Sarin gas.  He used Twitter to send out the Turkish news report.  That was in May, three months before the August 21 2013 chemical weapons deaths in outer Damascus. The Syrian rebels were arrested by Turkish police but quickly released, giving evidence to claims of Turkish government support for Nusra. Sotloff was puzzled why the mainstream media was not giving this event coverage.”

SotloffTweetNusra

 

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“This Thursday marks the one year anniversary of the chemical weapons attack that took the lives of over 1,000 Syrians. Since then tens of thousands more have been killed by different methods. Starvation is one. But the international media and world leaders still haven’t come together to put an end to it.” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm

Above image: Another call for “world leaders” to “come together to put an end to it.” Yet while Purpose may cry crocodile tears over the starvation of Syrians, Avaaz has asked for tough sanctions against Syria. Purpose and Avaaz want to “have their cake and eat it too” – while Syrian lives are destroyed by the oligarchs that both Purpose and Avaaz serve.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/syria_end_the_terror/

AvaazSyriaSanctions2

The High Gloss Veneer

Purpose White Helmuts 1

The following video highlights human rights investigator and award-winning journalist, Keith Harmon Snow, detailing the corrupt NGOs and their portrayal of Africa in order to illicit funds. Snow must be considered one of our finest Western reporters for obtaining true independent, grassroots news from the continent of Africa. Within the lecture, Snow discusses the psyops/propaganda strategically orchestrated behind the “Save Darfur” campaigns/movements which, in 2004, began to saturate the populace. At the helm of this “movement” was “The Center for American Progress.”

The Center for American Progress is closely connected with the same players that founded and financed Avaaz. Today, with Avaaz at the forefront, the non-profit industrial complex has been appointed trusted messenger of a grotesque and disturbing ideology; nothing less than a complete reflection and validation of the U.S. administration’s rhetoric intended to justify the annihilation and occupation of sovereign states under the false pretense of “humanitarian intervention” and “responsibility to protect.” [7]

 

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The Syrian government has been dropping ‘barrel bombs’ on civilian areas despite a UN order to stop, targeting schools and hospitals. Those too poor to flee their homes can only hope that if the bomb drops, the White Helmets will be there to help get them out.… Let’s tell the world about the White Helmets and help get them the support they need.” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm

“Know multiple languages? We need you! Help us get as many eyeballs on the Miracle Baby video by translating the subtitles into as many languages possible here: http://bit.ly/1tKSmrz” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm

Firms and agencies such as Purpose write and develop the scripts and design the sets. They bring the stories to life, strategically exploit and manipulate our emotions, ultimately ensuring we come to accept and partake in their politically acceptable means of discourse – discourse sanctioned (and financed) by the empire.

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“Syrians welcome Iraq’s Yazidi refugees into their country with warm meals, giving them their clothes and in some cases opening up their homes.” – Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm

The above quote is representative of perhaps one too many spin doctors, for who is allowing Iraq’s Yazidi refugees into Syria, if not the Assad government? Indeed, Assad’s government has accepted more refugees per capita than any other country in the Middle East.

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“In the wake of Robin Williams’ death, the people of Idlib remember the actor/comedian with a quote on freedom.” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm

This image takes absurdity to a new level. Recap: In the midst of being bombed, starved, and rained on by chemical weapons, Syrians take time to pay homage to an American actor/comedian (because the love of the America that is destroying the Middle East is so great), by quoting a line from a genie in a bottle from a scene in an animated Disney movie and creating a banner in the English language.

 

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“Understand what this infographic says, and you’ll understand why The Syria Campaign exists. And why you and your friends need to join. http://bit.ly/VlYOsi” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm

In the infographic above, Purpose deliberately keeps the stats limited to 2014. Otherwise they would have to visualize the millions of Iraqi citizens who have been murdered due to the U.S. illegal war and occupation in Iraq. Further, Purpose gives no attention to the deaths in Ukraine, Honduras, Libya, Haiti, Congo (millions) and all of the other countries being decimated by Imperialism and foreign interference.

 

Syria Voices FB photo Obama 

“Tell Obama we need a plan set forth to address the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria. bit.ly/1nITTtO” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm

The message is clear. Purpose wants the green light for military intervention in Syria, well-cloaked under the guise of humanitarianism – an oxymoron if there ever was one.

“How were you to know you were approving posts from one of the world’s most violent dictators? A man who’s ordered the dropping of bombs on hospitals and primary schools?” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm

“Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has been re-elected and he can thank Facebook for being a propaganda platform.” — Purpose Inc. Marketing Firm

“It is critical to note that the imperialist powers (inclusive of the UN) do not criticize or demonize or withdraw their support from such leaders on any ethical or moral ground. Denunciation of state leaders and emotive language is merely theatre. Rather, the imperialist states strategically set out to destroy any state leader that is unwilling to be controlled by US interests and foreign policy. A case in point is unwavering support of the Saudi royal family responsible for atrocious human rights violations to which the imperialist countries turn a blind eye.” (from Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section I)

 

The Behavioural Change Dream Team:

·         Full profile of Jeremy Heimans: Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section II [link]

·         Full profile of David Madden: Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section II [link]

·         Full profile of James Slezak: Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section III [link]

Further reading on behavioural change: Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section II [link]

Further reading on Avaaz and Purpose: This Changes Nothing. Why the People’s Climate March Guarantees Climate Catastrophe

+++

 

Epilogue

Consider that the colour of the national flag of the Libyan Jamahiriya (from 1977 to 2011; The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) was pure green in colour. Unlike the one featured in the Avaaz campaign. The green colour traditionally symbolizes Islam. In Libya, green was also a colour traditionally used to represent the Tripolitania region (commonly referred to as Tripoli) that NATO forces fought to seize. The iconic green flag was chosen by Libyan leader/brother Muammar Gaddafi to symbolize his political philosophy (after his revolutionary Green Book). On 10 March 2011, France was the first state to recognize the council as the official government of Libya, as well as the first to allow the Libyan embassy staff to raise the red, black, green and white flag that would replace the green flag of the Libyan Jamahiriya. On 21 March, the “new” flag was flown by the Permanent Mission of Libya to the United Nations and appeared on their official website … this flag, which reigned prior to the Libyan Jamahiriya, is now the only flag used by the United Nations to represent Libya. According to the following UN statement: “Following the adoption by the General Assembly of resolution 66/1, the Permanent Mission of Libya to the United Nations formally notified the United Nations of a Declaration by the National Transitional Council of 3 August 2011 changing the official name of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to “Libya” as well as a decision to change Libya’s national flag to the original.” [Wikipedia]

On August 24, 2011 it is reported by yet another mouthpiece for empire that:

As Libyan rebels take over, embassies worldwide have been replacing the old Libyan flag with a new one…. But starting in February, a new flag – red, black, and green with a white star and crescent in the center – has been hoisted at Libyan embassies around the world, from Switzerland to Bangladesh. It is the same flag being flown by the jubilant rebels themselves as they descend on Tripoli.”

In the article, the words “U.S. funded mercenaries” have been replaced with “the jubilant rebels.” It would be well worth investigating who ordered, manufactured and paid for thousands of these new flags (prior to or commencing in February of 2011) and ensured they would replace the national flag of the Libyan Jamahiriya that flourished from 1977 to 2011.

 

Further Reading:

 

·         The Grotesque and Disturbing Ideology at the Helm of Avaaz, March 7, 2012

·         Sostenere il governo USA senza saperlo: il grave esempio di “Avaaz,” March 8, 2012

·         SPEAKING TRUTH: A Profound Message to Avaaz from Poet Gabriel Impaglione of Argentina, March 12, 2012

·         Argentine Journalist Stella Calloni Denounces Avaaz | Latin American Unions Follow Her Lead, March 12, 2012

·         Avaaz: Empire Propaganda Mill Masquerading as Grassroots Activism, June 9, 2012

·         Avaaz’s War on Syria: Soros Sponsored Sorrow Pleads for Foreign Intervention, June 14, 2012

·         Rio Summit “Good Versus Evil” Advert Displays Blatant Racism and Imperialism at Core of Avaaz, June 22, 2012

·         Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section I, Sept 24, 2012

·         Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section II, Sept 24, 2012

·         Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section III, Sept 24, 2012

·         Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept 24, 2012

·         Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section II, Nov 1, 2012

·         Welcome to the Brave New World – Brought to You by Avaaz, Sept 13, 2013

 

Endnotes:

[1] Jeremy Heimans on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeremyheimans

[2] David Madden on Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidmadden

[3] Job Detail for Social Media Intern, Syrian Voices Movement Job Location: Purpose Inc, New York, NY, 10176: http://jobs.climber.com/jobs/Media-Communication/New-York-NY-10176/Social-Media-Intern-Syrian-Voices-Movement/55687863

[4] Purpose is hiring: Join the Syria Campaign: http://www.purpose.com/were-staffing-up-on-the-syria-campaign/]

[5] Purpose Action Board of Directors: Jon Huggett, founding chair of Social Innovation Exchange, former partner at The Bridgespan Group and Bain & Company; Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange.org and former senior director of media programs at GLAAD; Brett Solomon, executive director of Access, former campaigns director at Avaaz, former executive director of GetUp!; Douglas Atkin, director of community at Airbnb, former chief community officer of Meetup, author of The Culting of Brands; Andre Banks, executive director of Purpose Foundation, former strategy director at Purpose and former deputy director of ColorOfChange.org; Jeremy Heimans, co-founder & CEO of Purpose, co-founder of Avaaz and co-founder of GetUp! [Source]

[6] Purpose Foundation Board of Directors: Carla Sutherland, research scholar at Columbia University’s Gender and Sexuality Law Center’s Engaging Tradition Project, former program officer at Ford Foundation and Arcus Foundation; Jeremy Heimans, co-founder & CEO of Purpose, co-founder of Avaaz and co-founder of GetUp!; Michael Evans, president of Moynihan Station Development Corporation and former chief of staff to the Lieutenant Governor of New York State. [Source]| Purpose Foundation’s organizational documents and annual reports on Form 990 can be found here.

[7] December 29, 2004: “Over two days in early December approximately three-dozen religious activists met at the Washington office of the Center for American Progress, a recently formed think tank headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta. The Res Publica-driven agenda for the closed-door gathering included sessions on “building the movement infrastructure” and “objectives, strategies and core issues.” Res Publica was founded by Tom Perriello, Ricken Patel and Tom Pravda. Avaaz was founded by Res Publica, MoveOn.org, Executive Director Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello, Tom Pravda, Eli Pariser (MoveOn Executive Director), Andrea Woodhouse (consultant to the World Bank) Jeremy Heimans (co-founder of GetUp! and Purpose), and Australian entrepreneur David Madden (co-founder of GetUp and Purpose). Avaaz co-founder Tom Perriello is now President and CEO of Center for American Progress. Perriello and Patel also co-founded and co-directed DarfurGenocide.org which officially launched in 2004. “DarfurGenocide.org is a project of Res Publica, a group of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance and virtuous civic cultures.” Today, this organization is now known as “Darfurian Voices”: “Darfurian Voices is a project of 24 Hours for Darfur.” The U.S. Department of State and the Open Society Institute were just two of the organizations funders and collaborating partners. Other Darfurian Voices partners include Avaaz, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Centre for Transitional Justice, Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Humanity United, Darfur People’s Association of New York, Genocide Intervention, Witness, Yale Law School, The Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Bridgeway Foundation. Despite the carefully crafted language and images that tug at your emotions, such NGOs were created for and exist for one primary purpose — to protect and further American policy and interests, under the guise of philanthropy and humanitarianism. Of all the listed partners of DarfurGenocide.org, with exception of one located in London England, all of the entities involved are American and based on US soil.

The Point of Protest

A Culture of Imbeciles

Black Panther Party - 1960s

Photo: The legendary Bobby Seale speaks at Free Huey rally in Defermery Park (named by the Panthers Bobby Hutton Park) in West Oakland. “But government intimidation was nothing new. Named “the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States,” by FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense stood at the vanguard of the most powerful movement for social change in America before being systemically destroyed by the United States government.” [Source]

 

Activism for social change — on whatever subject — relies on the sequential formula for success Research, Education, Organizing, Action. Social forums, convergences, marches and other forms of protest fall under the Education category.

Organizing for social change follows up on the awareness generated by educational events, and includes discussions of strategy and tactics that might be employed in applying the research used in educational venues. Once a plan is developed by organizers, educators and researchers, resources can be secured to implement the plan, using established social networks in mobilizing actions that accomplish the goals and objectives agreed on.

Action for social change might include engaging with a political party to elect candidates favorable to the plan, diplomacy with governing officials, and sponsoring initiatives and referendums that enact, modify or repeal public laws and policies. Other actions might include civil disobedience that confronts unjust laws and policies, as well as sabotage and armed insurrection under extreme social situations.

Protest is thus an interim step between research and organizing, not an end, but a means of generating awareness. Once awareness has been generated on a topic (as it was long ago on Climate Change), protest has outlived its usefulness, and organizing must get underway. Otherwise, protest becomes a form of entertainment, a spectacle, a means of amusement that achieves nothing important.

When protest is hijacked by covert agent provocateurs (i.e. Avaaz and 350), it becomes counterproductive, dissipating the energy of social networks, that should be applied to political organizing that leads to effective action. Protests that do nothing but make participants feel good are self-indulgent exercises; when these exercises become habitual, protest as self-expression becomes a form of psychological self-therapy, which should not be confused with political engagement.

The Political Fraud of the Canadian Peoples’ Social Forum

World Socialist Web Site

August 20, 2014

By Carl Bronski

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Thousands of people are preparing to travel to Ottawa this week to attend a pan-Canadian Peoples’ Social Forum (PSF) that is billed “as a space for social movements to meet and converge, for the free expression of alternative ideas and grassroots exchanges and for artistic reflections on a diversity of demands and aspirations.”

According to PSF campaign material, those demands revolve around opposition to “neo-liberal and neo-conservative policies in Canada based on the guiding principles of social justice, Original Peoples’ rights, sustainable development, international solidarity and participatory democracy.” One of the main slogans for the gathering is “Fighting Harper and Beyond.”

The Forum is a political fraud. It is aimed not at fighting for the independent political mobilization of the working class, but rather at its subordination to the ostensible “left” wing of the bourgeois political establishment. In the name of fighting Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government and the “neo-liberal” agenda, the trade unions, with the middle class left and pseudo-Marxist organizations in tow, are seeking to harness the growing opposition of the working class to the offensive of the ruling elite behind a campaign to defeat the Conservatives at the polls in 2015 and install a “progressive” government. That would mean a Liberal or New Democratic Party (NDP) government, or more likely a Liberal-NDP coalition.

A model for the political operation being prepared by these so-called progressive forces was provided by their near-unanimous support in December 2008 for a would-be Liberal-NDP coalition government committed to a continuation of Canada’s neocolonial war in Afghanistan and further massive tax cuts benefiting the wealthy. More recently, in this year’s Ontario election, under the pretext of preventing a Conservative victory, the unions and their middle-class hangers-on lined up behind the right-wing Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne, which after its reelection announced an escalation of its policy of draconian social spending cuts and brutal attacks on workers’ rights.

This is no aberration. Since the 1980s, the unions have been engaged in negotiating the lowering of wages and benefits, the elimination of jobs, the curtailment of pensions, and the intensification of the exploitation of their members. A generation of workers has spent its entire work-life without experiencing a strike—or only losing strikes.

The unions have bowed with barely a peep to Harper’s strikebreaking legislation in a series of national disputes at Air Canada, Canadian Pacific Railways, and Canada Post. When the massive 2012 Quebec student strike threatened to provoke an eruption of working class opposition to the austerity agenda of big business, the unions moved to shut it down. The Quebec Federation of Labour wrote to the Canadian Labour Congress demanding that they provide no support to the students and the CLC gladly obliged.

Beginning in the latter half of the 1990s, when the Chretien-Martin Liberal government was implementing the greatest social spending cuts in Canadian history, many unions adopted a policy of “strategic voting” in national and provincial elections, i.e., a vote for the Liberals in most constituencies. Those still plumping for the New Democratic Party have supported the social democrats as they have lurched ever further to the right, imposing austerity wherever they hold office, electing a former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister (Tom Mulcair) as national leader, and emerging as enthusiastic cheerleaders for Canada’s participation in imperialist interventions and wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Haiti and Libya

So much for “fighting” the policies of the ruling class.

The PSF event is one of the many off-shoots of the World Social Forum, founded in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2001 and dedicated to championing “counter-hegemonic globalization.” Opposing “neo-liberalism” but not capitalism, the Forum promotes the illusion that the ruling class can be pressured into returning to Keynesian policies and that the nation-state can be a progressive constraint on rapacious global capital.

The real issue, however, is that capitalism has broken down under the weight of the same contradictions that led in the first half of the last century to two world wars, the Great Depression, and the horrors of fascism. The great progressive potential of a globally integrated economy runs up against its domination by private corporations and the capitalist nation-state system. Only the abolition of this outmoded system by the united political struggle of the international working class can open the way for a harmonious development of the world economy to meet social needs, not the profit interests of a few.

The annual Social Forum meetings have, over the years, received the backing of a whole host of bourgeois governments, union bureaucracies and capitalist foundations including support from former right-wing French President Jacques Chirac, successive pro-austerity governments in Brazil, the European Union, the American AFL-CIO, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

The four-day gathering in Ottawa is chiefly sponsored by trade unions and trade union federations from across the country. Other sponsors include aboriginal, feminist and non-governmental organizations, the Council of Canadians, and the Desjardins Caisses populaires, Canada’s sixth largest financial institution.

The organization of a Canadian PSF was initiated by Alternatives, a Montreal based non-governmental organization. Unfortunately, the “alternatives” that animate the organizers and sponsors of the event are squarely lodged within the existing capitalist socio-economic system. This is only underscored by the fact that they immediately sought the patronage of the pro-capitalist trade union apparatus.

There will, no doubt, be many in attendance who agree—and many who do not—that a radical, systemic change is needed in the face of the proliferation of imperialist war, social misery, authoritarianism, and ecological catastrophe. But those genuinely seeking a way out of the world capitalist crisis will be sorely disappointed by the thin political gruel on offer at the gathering.

the shock doctrine_2

“But you won’t find Naomi Klein writing the Libyan chapter of the “shock doctrine” (Gulf News, 26/10/2011)–Naomi Klein was too busy throwing her support behind a Canadian politician, Nathan Cullen, who voted in support of NATO’s intervention in Libya, with little regret.” – MAXIMILIAN FORTE 

The Forum begins on August 21 with a rally addressed by the neo-Keynesian and “anti-globalization” activist Naomi Klein, and a march to Parliament Hill. That the rally and march are scheduled for a Thursday afternoon when most workers are unable to attend speaks volumes about the social forces the organizers are most interested in attracting. Indeed, it is expected that the largest contingents will come from officials from the trade union bureaucracy and the non-governmental organizations.

Over the ensuing weekend there will be almost 500 workshops. Aside from anarchist-minded groups promoting petty-production and portraying science and technology as the problem, and the seemingly obligatory sessions aimed at self-absorbed elements of the middle class—“Alternate Cures Rejuvenation Healing and Tibetan Monk Exercises,” “Urban Gardening,” or “Veganism, Anti-Colonialism and Animal Liberation”—the workshop line-up is peppered with sessions overseen by the various purveyors of identity politics intent on dividing the working class on the basis of race, gender or sexual orientation.

Thus, the Niagara Queer People of Colour will advise attendees on their particularly specific perspective, an anti-racist group will discuss Caucasian “Fear of a Black Planet” and a number of sessions on the oppression of aboriginal peoples will seek to determine the extent of “settler” (a term referring to both the entire past and current non-Aboriginal population of Canada) “responsibility” for the genocidal policies of the ruling class. What is rejected outright in all these approaches is the central understanding that the principal “oppressed community” in Canada (and around the world) is the working class—black, white, native, gay, straight, male or female—and that only this class has the social power to break the stranglehold of big business over socio-economic life and to radically reorganize society in the interests of the majority.

The turn by those who want to fight the existing system has to be toward an international socialist program and the great challenge of assembling and educating a revolutionary movement with deep roots in the global working class. This is not a project to be undertaken lightly, but outside of that perspective there is no way to address the social disaster and danger of world war and ever-increasing global misery produced by the present system.

The Socialist Equality Party and the World Socialist Web Site are fighting to overcome the crisis of working-class leadership and build a movement that will politically prepare and lead the working class in fighting for a workers’ government and socialism.

Ukraine’s Weapons in the Information War

Boston Mail

June 17, 2014

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How a small country was able to answer the Kremlin propaganda machine

In recent months, the attention of many Europeans has focused on Ukraine, where nine months ago, political stability gave way to economic and social crisis. Reports from the Donetsk region, where the Kiev authorities are trying to suppress a pro-Russian militia, have become commonplace for European newspapers and television channels – the whole world is watching the progress of the military conflict. However, at the same time, on the internet another war has developed – an information war. In Europe, it is of interest only to a narrow circle of specialists, although it is progressing much more rapidly than the armed confrontation in the Donetsk region. Without stopping for a second, it affects a lot more people, and the financial burden of its execution may exceed the costs of Kiev’s anti-terrorist operation. Its features, tools and key players are covered in detail in a confidential report by the German consulting company Mediasoprotivlenie, which has been obtained by this editorial office.

The authors of the document provide detailed analysis of the actions of the Ukrainian side, which has allowed one of the poorest countries in Europe to lead an active propagandistic role in the Russian blogosphere, by using Russian bloggers. The financial assistance provided to Euromaidan by Ukrainian oligarchs and U.S. government funds USAID, NED, IRI and NDI has been of considerable help in backing this goal. Via these channels, organizations have conducted funding to liberal journalists, opposition members and whole parties that are popular in the Russian segment of the Internet. Ukrainian businessmen have entered into a kind of pact to achieve this goal during the political crisis.

The conveyors of Euromaidan’s values in Russia are an already existing network of Internet experts and influential speakers, whose names are also listed in the document. At the same time, the most influential figures in this group are not always known to a wide range of internet users. Thus, the name of Oleg Kozlovsky means little to an ordinary Russian citizen, but it it appears in the report as one of the central elements of the propaganda machine. A small informational note reports that he has been actively cooperating with the IRI fund for several years, and was one of the most important mayoral campaign activists for Alexei Navalny last summer. It reports that his resource Stopfake, which reveals Russian “propaganda,” also received a grant from the American foundation, beating out competitors’ projects. According to experts, the effectiveness Stopfake is at a relatively high level, although in Russia demand for it and its popularity are much lower than in Ukraine. In addition, some “fakes” denounced by the project’s experts are apparently provocations themselves created by Euromaidan activists.

As noted above, in the struggle for a counter-propaganda grant, Kozlovsky outperformed his competitors, and at this point pops up the name of another campaigner for Navalny. Maxim Katz was previously known around the world as a poker enthusiast – he was an active and successful player, and then became a backer who sponsored capable players’ participation in tournaments. However, in 2011 he became interested in politics and he began consistently promoting liberal views and criticism of Russian authorities on his blog. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, Katz has taken an openly anti-Russian stance, and even for a time ran the Antipropaganda project. Using Katz’s own methodology, it determines the amount of informational distortion in news materials from Russian and foreign media. Antipropaganda’s research results have repeatedly been criticized by pro-Kremlin bloggers – according to its research, Ukrainian journalists did not allow themselves to manipulate the facts while stories in the Russian media studiously avoided the truth. The moment the Russian Federation’s authorities adopted amendments that impose restrictions on anonymous funds transfers, Antipropaganda suddenly closed as quickly as it had opened. Currently the opposition is considering opening a Kiev branch of its urban initiative City Projects, the funding for which is likely to have already been made by European figures.

Another name mentioned by American experts more often than others is Vitaly Shushkevich. This opposition internet technologist makes no secret that he receives funding from the IRI and is a regular at events organized by the foundation in European countries. In March this year he was one of the most aggressive critics of the annexation of Crimea, calling on Ukrainians not to repeat the mistakes of Saakashvili and kill “Russian agents” on the spot. According to information given in the report, Shushkevich is now helping to lead election campaigns of several opposition candidates for the Moscow City Duma.

However, criticism of the government by liberal activists is a rather traditional phenomenon for Russia and does not cause any surprise. What did surprise many was the support for the Ukrainian revolution from the right-wing party Democratic Choice headed by Vladimir Milov. Milov called the burning alive of several dozen pro-Russian demonstrators in Odessa “local resistance in the most vividly illustrated form.” Following this, the politician issued an appeal to the people of Donbass, in which he stated that they were “not Russian” and demanded that they “do not entangle Russia in their internal conflict.” It is noteworthy that one of Milov’s party companions – blogger Stanislav Yakovlev – criticized the liberal opposition and in describing the situation in the Donbass took a consistently pro-Ukrainian side.

According to the information provided in the report, the source of financing of Milov’s political party is structures that are close to the new president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. This explains the sharp ideological turn taken by the party nine months ago.

The report also notes the extreme effectiveness of the opposition movement’s anonymous, humorous Twitter accounts. Due to the lack of actual control over the system of microblogging and anonymous authors, fighting their posts is practically impossible for the Russian authorities, and Ukrainians are actively taking advantage of this in Russia.

Experts note that the increase in the number of blogs and social media users in Russia to a certain point played into the hands of the liberal public, primarily because the middle class had access to it and they tend to be liberal thinkers. However, in the last few years the main growth in this area has been achieved by the inhabitants of the provinces, among whom are high numbers of supporters of the authorities. This phenomenon significantly changed the balance of opinion in the Russian blogosphere, and, according to experts, the promotion of propaganda among this section of the population is currently the most important task of Ukrainian “agents.”

Photo by bloomberg.com

Welcome to Netwar

Public Good Project

August 19, 2014

by Jay Taber

imperialismtrade

Illustration: http://stephaniemcmillan.org/

In 1999, when the AFL-CIO herded protestors away from the WTO ministerial in Seattle, it was following through on its nefarious 1994 bargain with President Clinton over NAFTA. Having sold its soul to Wall Street for the few crumbs promised in the aftermath of the opening salvo of globalization, organized labor in the US fell all over itself to become Clinton’s lapdog. Looking back, one might ask, What side were we on?

By November 30, 1999, the fact of labor’s complicity in destroying the economies of the US and Mexico was somehow overlooked or forgotten by the thousands of marchers leaving the AFL-CIO rally. When hundreds of these innocents inadvertently left the labor parade to see what was going on at the WTO convention site, they experienced a rude awakening to reality. As they became enveloped in what came to be known as the Battle in Seattle, these newcomers to activism became witnesses to civil disobedience and police misconduct on a scale not seen since the Civil Rights Movement. As the tear gas-laden fog of war left many choking and disoriented, those on the front line (that labor leaders had hoped the marchers would never see) had opened America’s eyes to the brutality experienced daily in the Third and Fourth World.

imperialist-tool

Illustration: http://stephaniemcmillan.org/

In a parallel of history, AFL-CIO in November 2012 joined Wall Street fossil fuel exporters in promoting a carbon corridor of global proportions on the Salish Sea between Seattle and Vancouver. As part of a campaign to annihilate First Nations treaty rights in Washington and British Columbia, the organized labor alliance was engineered by the world’s largest public relations firm for the purpose of clearing the way for the Tar Sands bitumen, Powder River Basin coal and Bakken Shale crude armada to overwhelm Coast Salish communities, inundating the San Juan and Gulf Islands with fleets of colliers and supertankers carrying fossil fuels from North America to Asia.

imperialism worker-substitution

Illustration: http://stephaniemcmillan.org/

By 2013, Wall Street had learned some important lessons from the multitude of post-1999 protests against globalization. This time around, it owned its own NGOs, which are extremely effective in herding the naive away from making clear and effective demands. Amplifying these lapdog NGO voices with Wall Street-funded Wurlitzers, celebrities like Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein (350.org) were created and marketed to lead the credulous astray. As pied pipers of climate change, McKibben and Klein have managed to deceive thousands of American youth into believing fossil fuel divestment on college campuses, or XL photo-ops in front of the White House, are revolutionary. Continuing the historical parallel, In September 2014, 350.org is organizing a Peoples Climate Change March in New York City.

peoples march social mediaclimatemarchsept2014

As Wall Street hijacks the environmental movement using foundation-funded NGOs, Indigenous peoples struggle to be heard, hoping to survive the onslaught of organized labor, compromised greens and militarized police. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department and Pentagon have reorganized to counter Indigenous insurgencies around the globe.

Welcome to Netwar.

geothermal

Maasai Protest Against New Land Concessions For Geothermal Extraction In Kenya. Read more: 

https://intercontinentalcry.org/maasai-protest-aginst-new-land-concessions-geothermal-extraction-kenya-24504/

 

[As an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal, Jay Taber has assisted indigenous peoples seeking justice in such bodies as the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]

 

WHAT IS THE “NON-PROFIT INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX”?

ceres-sachs-mckibben

Photo: May, 2013: “CalSTRS CEO Jack Ehnes, Generation Investment Management Co-Founder David Blood and 350.org’s Bill McKibben have a lively conversation about how investors can influence the transition to a low-carbon economy.” Ehnes also serves on the Ceres board of directors. McKibben opens his Ceres presentation with some welcome honesty, speaking of his long-standing friendships/relationships with many Wall Street darlings. Prior to co-founding Generation Investment Management, David Blood, speaking with McKibben, served as the co-CEO and CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Prior to this position Blood served in various positions at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., including “Head of European Asset Management, Head of International Operations, Technology and Finance, Treasurer of the Goldman Sachs Group, L.P. and Head of Global Private Capital Markets. Mr. Blood was the first recipient of the John L. Weinberg Award in 1990, an award given to a professional in the investment banking division who best typifies Goldman Sachs’ core values.” [Source]

Center for Syncretic Studies

March 19, 2013

by Elliot Gabriel

(This is an excellent outline to understand a phenomenon within the US which is the internal component of the Gene Sharp/NGO model of ‘Human Rights’ Imperialism abroad, as discussed in our article Gene Sharp: From Berlin Wall to Arab Spring or The Politics of Counter-Revolution – JV Capone)

WHAT IS THE “NON-PROFIT INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX”?

The non-profit industrial complex (or the NPIC) is a system of relationships between:

• the State (or local and federal governments)

• the owning classes

• foundations

• and non-profit/NGO social service & social justice organizations

This results in the surveillance, control, derailment, and everyday management of political movements.

The state uses non-profits to:

• Monitor and control social justice movements;
• Divert public monies into private hands through foundations;
• Manage and control dissent in order to make the world safe for capitalism;
• Redirect activist energies into career-based modes of organizing instead of mass-based organizing capable of actually transforming society;
• Allow corporations to mask their exploitative and colonial work practices through “philanthropic” work;
• Encourage social movements to model themselves after capitalist structures rather than to challenge them

US, EU Meddling in Ukraine Battle

RT

January 30, 2014

William Engdahl

Kiev, January 30, 2014. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

Kiev, January 30, 2014. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

In the heat of recent exchanges and deaths of protesters in Ukraine, many have lost sight of the insidious role key players in Washington and certain EU countries are playing.

Their agenda seems to be to force an immediate end to the elected Yanukovich government in Kiev and lock Ukraine into the EU and, ultimately, NATO. Washington’s agenda has little to do with‘democracy and freedom’, and a lot to do with destabilizing Putin’s Russia.

On Sunday, January 19, the eight-week-long series of protests and demonstrations against the government of President Viktor Yanukovich in Kiev escalated to a new level of violence. Bands of right-wing militants called Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), attacked Ukrainian police guarding government buildings and attempting to contain the protesters.

Enter the Neo-Nazis

Demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at riot police from the top of the Dynamo Kiev football stadium in central Kiev beginning January 19. Police responded by using stun grenades and tear gas against the mobs. Vehicles were torched by the hooligans from the neo-Nazi Pravy Sektor. More than 60 police were hospitalized from barrages of rocks, stones and Molotov cocktails.

The core of Pravy sektor is made of the activists of radical groups, including ‘Trizub’, ‘Patriot of Ukraine’,as well as UNA-UNSO and the ‘Svoboda’ (Freedom) ultra-right party, which won nearly 10 percent of votes at the last parliamentary election in Ukraine. They are ‘pro-EU’.

The far-right violent radicals told Radio Free Europe, a US Government media agency tied to the CIA and State Department, that they were preparing full bloody guerrilla war against the government. Andrey Tarasenko, Pravy Sektor’s coordinator warned, “If they attack and try to carry out a bloody crackdown, I think there will be a massacre. Guerrilla warfare will begin in Ukraine.”

Fording the River: Co-opting Indigenous Peoples

FordLogosheet_A_2009[FOR PRINT ONLY]

Intercontinental Cry

Sept 25, 2013

by Jay Taber

Ford Foundation is an ideological supporter of the World Bank (a mega co-developer of dams, mining and plantations in Indigenous territories), and a UN Millenium Development Goals supporter — along with Gates and Clinton — to do the same. Co-opting Indigenous peoples is a key objective of their neoliberal privatization project. Taking money from Ford Foundation is thus equivalent to taking money from Shell Oil, Rio Tinto or Monsanto.