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Saturday, September 25, 2010


Friday, September 24 at 8:00AM, the FBI made a coordinated raid on seven homes of several anti-war and solidarity activists and two offices in Chicago and Minneapolis and served grand jury subpoenas in Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota. Other activists in California and North Carolina were contacted in an effort to intimidate. These actions by Federal agents are part of an effort to suppress militant anti-war activity and especially anti-imperialist solidarity with movements in Latin America and Palestine.

Those subpoenaed report that the FBI investigation is directed towards possible “terrorism” charges against those activists who were themselves terrorized by the Federal agency. Once again the fear-mongering “terror” charge has been mounted against all who dare to speak out against US imperial transgressions.

Initial reports indicate that the homes were ransacked with all but household essentials taken by the FBI.

Several of the activists are well known as long time, dedicated, and principled fighters for working class empowerment and social justice.

Clearly, this represents a ramping up of Federal activism against the left and, thus, a tribute to the work of these activists as well as a badge of honor in the struggle for social justice. We should all show our solidarity. You can send your support to: or

The following actions are urgently needed:

Call the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at 202-353-1555 or write an email to:


**Stop the repression against anti-war and international solidarity activists.

**Immediately return all confiscated materials: computers, cell phones, papers, documents, etc.

**End the grand jury proceedings against anti-war activists.

Plan and Support national days of protest at FBI offices or Federal Buildings, September 27 and 28th.

A demonstration has been called at the Minneapolis FBI Office Monday, 4:30, September 27th(111 Washington Ave. S.).

Zoltan Zigedy

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What has California just taught us about fighting for single payer?

With his permission, I'm guest posting Charles Andrews comments on the recent betrayal of the California single payer health care bill. Charles' comments begin here:

The commentary excerpted below is fascinating. Russell Mokhiber draws the lesson that we must fight for single payer on our own, "dumping the Democrats." I agree.

But the writer builds his case using analysis by Don Bechler. Unfortunately, Bechler's analysis verges on childish. See my remarks after the excerpt:

Single Payer Later

By Russell Mokhiber
Single Payer Action, September 7, 2010

What’s happening in California is the best argument to dump the Democrats.


And start anew.

It’s the only option.

The state legislature in California has twice passed the California single payer bill.

And twice, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed it.

Earlier this year, the Senate passed it for a third time.

And the Assembly was about to pass it for a third time.

But the Democratic Speaker of the Assembly pulled the bill at the last minute.
“The Democrats should have put it up for a vote in the Assembly,” said Don Bechler of Single Payer Now. “California has been the wind in the sails of the single payer movement. Each time the legislature passes it, we get stronger. We have more people in our movement than ever before. Passing it for a third time would have built the momentum.”

“The California legislature has twice before said that they are for having a universal health care system minus the insurance companies,” Bechler says. “We can be proud of winning that little battle.”

Full item at

Bechler claims, "The California legislature has twice before said that they are for having a universal health care system minus the insurance companies." They said it, but it was an open secret that a good number of California legislators from progressive districts voted for the single payer bill knowing the governor would veto it. The vote was a credential on a legislator's lapel, nothing more.

Bechler further claims, "Each time the legislature passes it, we get stronger. We have more people in our movement than ever before."

Don's mailing list has grown. That's great. But Bechler does not give evidence that the legislature's staged votes were the cause. If I drink too much beer in the evening, I need to urinate around five in the morning. Sure enough, an hour later the sun rises. Gee, my urine makes the sun rise.

Every day more people experience the fact health care sold as a commodity is health care denied, health care sold at an extortionate price, health care done wrong. That experience - and as much agitation as we can do about it - is why more people than ever before believe health care must be provided as needed, as a program we all have equal rights to, guaranteed no matter what. Most of these people do not know about the Potemkin votes of the legislature in past years.

Reading the sum of Bechler's comments as reported by Mokhiber, it almost sounds as though Bechler wants to throw out a lifeline to the California Democratic Party: You guys better do some damage control, or rank and file supporters of single payer are going to take Mokhiber's advice: Dump the Democrats.

The California Democratic Party's stab in the back of single payer has made many people reconsider the entire politics of winning such a big reform. It is important to draw lessons based on facts.

Can we ever get Equal Care for All? I discussed that problem on MRZine at


Charles Andrews

P.S.: And there is larger analysis of major reforms in my book No Rich, No Poor. See