Don’t Surrender! A Report From Turkey

Turkish Journalist Ece Temelkuran writes at New Statesman.

My friend, who was completely uninterested in politics until six days ago, had never been in conflict with the police before. Now, like hundreds of thousands of others in Turkey, she has become a warrior with goggles around her neck, an oxygen mask on her face and an anti-acid solution bottle in her hand. It is like a civil war between the police and the people. Yet nobody expected this when, six days ago, a group of protesters organised a sit-in at Istanbuls Gezi Park to protect trees that were to be cut down for the governments urban redevelopment project.

In Taksim Square, on the building of Atatürk Cultural Center, some people are hanging a huge banner. There are only two words on it: “Don’t surrender!”

READ MORE: People have killed their fear of authority – and the protests are growing.

Taksim Olayları

The Spirit of Port Huron Endures

The Port Huron Statement was completed fifty years ago today. It remains a visionary document, and a call to continue the unfinished work of my generation.

Let us rededicate ourselves to this work, so that The Psalmist’s words may be true:

“Justice shall flourish in those days, a profound peace from sea to sea and to the ends of the earth.”

Another world is possible.

★ ★ ★

Full Text of The Port Huron Statement

What The Port Huron Statement Still Has To Say – Commentary from Tom Hayden

Earlier Posts on Port Huron:

The Port Huron Statement at 50

More On The Port Huron Statement at 50

Why We’re Marching Against NATO

Stay safe out there, people.

Why we’re marching against NATO. [] – Thousands of people – workers, students, antiwar veterans and activists, Occupiers and community organizers – will take to the streets of Chicago when more than 50 heads of state gather on May 20-21 for a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

People of the world have come to understand through their own personal experience that war is not the answer, and veterans know that non-military solutions – non-NATO solutions – are essential in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere around the world where NATO imagines that force and violence will achieve its objectives.

– Ray Parrish, President of the Chicago Chapter of Veterans for Peace

Occupy’s Meme Warrior: Kalle Lasn Interview

Occupy’s Meme Warrior. [In These Times] – Last July, Adbusters sent out an invitation: “On Sept. 17, flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street.” The invitation sparked a movement.

Estonian-born documentary filmmaker Kalle Lasn co-founded Adbusters in 1989. Lasn, who is 70, draws his inspiration from the Situationists, avant-garde European revolutionaries who believed corporate capitalism perverted the human spirit. The Situationists reached their zenith in 1968 Paris and disbanded in 1972, but their efforts to affirm what it means to be free live on in Adbusters.

In These Times spoke with Lasn in March to see what “the man behind the curtain” had to say for himself and the movement he helped ignite.

Read the full interview at In These Times.

Money, Power and Wall Street

PBS Frontline has produced the authoritative report on the global financial crisis. Money, Power and Wall Street is a four hour special that lays out the origins and explains the implications of things like credit default obligations and derivative contracts. The report also covers our government’s involvement in the crisis in great detail and depth.

I would urge you to watch. The program presents the clearest picture yet of an economic and political nexus that is leading our world to ruin. It’s available for viewing online at the following url.

The Port Huron Statement at 50

It begins like this:

“We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit.”

It ends like this:

“If we appear to seek the unattainable, it has been said, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable.”

In between, there is a child, observing the grand parade of America, and declaring that the emperor is naked.

The Port Huron Statement was completed on June 15th, 1962. It was principally the work of Tom Hayden, who was Field Secretary of Students for a Democratic Society at the time, and adopted by those in attendance at the SDS convention near Port Huron, Michigan. The SDS had grown out of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society of the early 1900s. During the few short years of its existence (1960 to 1969) the organization represented the intellectual core of an emerging “New Left” in the United States. It was the largest “radical” student organization in U.S. history, and the largest student organization of any kind in the 1960s.

Reading the statement again these many years later, I was struck by how it is, in almost equal measures, a relic of its time and a light to ours.

In These Times features an assessment of the legacy of The Port Huron Statement by 14 activists (including three of the document’s framers) that I found interesting. Bill Ayers had this to say. “Revolution is still possible, but barbarism is possible as well. In this time of peril and possibility, rising expectations and new beginnings, when hope and history once again rhyme, it’s absolutely urgent that we embrace the spirit embodied in the final words of The Port Huron Statement.”

I am encouraged to learn that a new Students for a Democratic Society was organized in 2006, and is active in campaigns for education rights, the protection of civil liberties, peace and anti-globalization.

Seek the “unattainable.” Occupy the future!

10 Great Container Tomatoes

There’s nothing like stepping out back and picking a beautiful, ripe homegrown tomato for a BLT, a salad or simply for slicing and serving with a little seasoned salt. I started planting tomatoes in huge terra cotta pots more than a decade ago when I didn’t have diggable space in a decent, sunny location for a garden, and the habit stuck. I’ve always loved the first tomato of the season. No matter how fresh they are from the farmers’ market, they’re never quite as tasty as the ones you grow yourself.

Colleen Vanderlinden over on Treehugger has a wonderful post about ten tomato varieties that do well in containers. The Black Krims sound particularly tasty.

I first ran across Colleen’s article on the Occupy Monsanto blog. The more I learn, the more I realize that some of the most simple and pleasant everyday things we do – like choosing to grow heirloom tomatoes in pots – can be powerful political acts as well. For me, that makes such things all the more satisfying.

I’m hoping it won’t be too late to plant a few pots after our move next month.

A word of caution to those who want to grow container tomatoes on an upstairs balcony. Be careful where you set them. Remember that Tommy Ewell nearly got killed by Marilyn Monroe’s falling tomato plant in The Seven Year Itch. :)