... he says he's prepared to die unless Mayor Charlie Hales takes "substantive action" to rein in the city's police force.
...The latest arrest in Hales' office means Meo is now facing four misdemeanor trespassing charges as a result of his protest, which involves little more than occasionally sitting in the mayor's office lobby, reading, and always announcing his presence and intentions in the mayor's official visitor's book.
And fasting, of course. Meo says he's ingested only liquids since the beginning of December.
...Meo has called on Hales to follow reform recommendations of the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform, but has also said he'll end his fast if the city severs its ties with the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Taskforce, which officialswill consider on February 5.
Update, 1:45 pm:Meo is back in Portland City Hall today. According to Denis, he tolda group rallying outsidethe building he is preparing his will, only half jokingly. Denis says Meo was outside of Amanda Fritz's office when he last saw him, well outside the 25-foot distance he's been ordered to keep from Hales' office.
Liberty is hunted around the globe: What Snowden taught us about American freedom
July 12, 2013
Ben Manski, Chief of Staff, Green Shadow Cabinet of the U.S.
Earlier this month, as Americans celebrated our Independence Day holiday, the true scope of American independence became visible. The revelations of Edward Snowden, and the elite reaction to those revelations show that Americans are not a truly free and independent people, our major media are not free or independent, and neither are the supposedly sovereign nations of Europe free or independent states.
The American people fully recognize the threat that the U.S. security state poses to American liberty; according to a national Quinnipiac Poll released this week, 55% of Americans consider Edward Snowden a whistleblower, not a traitor.
Yet who will protect this whistleblower, deemed a traitor by Pennsylvania Avenue, and a hero by most Americans?
Not the mainstream media of the United States, which has shamefully defended the security state and used character-assassination to shift attention away from the NSA scandal. The self-proclaimed progressive network, MSNBC, has described Snowden as a “punk” and a “coward.” Considering their coverage of this scandal, it is now clear that the word “coward” better describes MSNBC and the rest of the media elite in this country. As media critic Jeff Cohen has asked, would U.S. media act any less independently if it were state controlled?
Nor will the heads of state of Europe protect the whistleblower, who shout objections to the news that they themselves were victims of U.S. spy operations, even while denying asylum to person who made public this news. While we applaud the actions of the Venezuelan government in offering asylum to Snowden, we find the posture of Europe disturbing, and agree with former German federal minister Jürgen Trittin that his nation, with its harsh history of state surveillance, should today be “among the first to offer [Snowden] refuge.”
Instead, the current government in Berlin has toed the White House line and the governments of Austria, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal conspired with the U.S. State Department to hijack the plane of the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales in an illegal and fruitless search for the whistleblower. If any country had attempted to do this to a plane carrying Obama, Hollande, or Rajoy it would have been treated as an act of war.
This is a pivotal moment in world history. The true founding father of American independence, Tom Paine, could easily have been speaking to this moment when he wrote:
“Lovers of humankind, time has found us once again. Take heed, for freedom is hunted around the globe and bat-eyed men and women regard her like a stranger. Shed the coils of evil people. Resist the ones who would enslave us and those who would make the crooked seem straight. Take heed, for freedom has been given a warning to depart.”
On July 3rd, our shadow Attorney General and Secretary of Defense issued a joint statement to the effect that:
“Since 9/11, the federal government has increasingly used the excuse of 'national security' to justify violations of human rights and civil rights, to spy on allied foreign governments, and to increase spending on intelligence gathering, weapons and war. We now know that the National Security Agency has even been spying on millions of American citizens — monitoring our phone calls, e-mail, and even directing the U.S. Postal Service to monitor our letter mail.“
Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower who famously leaked the Pentagon Papers to expose the truth about the Vietnam War, agrees. He writes that:
“Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an 'executive coup' against the US constitution. Since 9/11, there has been, at first secretly but increasingly openly, a revocation of the bill of rights... In particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the U.S. constitution, which safeguard citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government into their private lives, have been virtually suspended.”
Nor has Congress reacted in outrage the latest disclosure of misdeeds. Instead Congress has joined the call for prosecution of the whistleblowers. Those who leak information that bolsters the administration are treated differently. When John Brennan, Obama's counterterrorism adviser leaked administration-defending information about a terrorist attack, instead of being prosecuted for leaking classified intelligence, he was promoted to director of the CIA.
In contrast, during the 1975 Congressional hearings on NSA, Senator Frank Church stated that:
"I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."
James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, lied to the US Senate when he said "no, sir" in response to Democratic Senator Ron Wyden: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
Other National Security officials have also repeatedly misled Congress about the extent of spying but none have been prosecuted – unlike Reagan administration officials who were convicted for lying about the Iran-Contra gate scandal.
We have witnessed the Obama's administration relentless attack on those who seek to expose the truth of what our government is doing, from its assault on the Associated Press and other news outlets, its abuse of the 1917 Espionage Act, its repression of Occupy Wall Street and the radical environmental movement, its prosecution and mistreatment of Bradley Manning for his disclosures, to its continuing worldwide pursuit of Wiki leaks director Julian Assange. Obama has succeeded in implementing the lesson's of Orwell's Big Brother.
Today we remember others who struggled against illegitimate power before, and triumphed, and we look to Tom Paine again for guidance:
“Liberty is hunted round the globe, but let it not be so for we are called to sing a song of universal love for all humankind. Come join us, that this land may be reborn once again; that this earth might be reborn to be a bright beacon. Sing to freedom that we may know the full measure of our days.”
Who will protect Edward Snowden? Who must protect the liberties of Americans, the Americas, Europe, and the world? We must.
~ Ben Manski serves as White House Chief of Staff in the Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States.
The following statements and notices of the Green Shadow Cabinet, provided in reverse chronological order, are also available online here. They may be republished with attribution and a link back to their original web locations. Note that the Cabinet issued three statements as well as a 32 page report on drug policy this past week in response to the White House's recent announcement of an "All of the Above" drug control policy.
Statements and Notices of the Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States
On May 20 the Home Defenders League, a national network of homeowners fighting foreclosure, will descend on Washington and attempt to meet with Attorney General Eric Holder. They will be demanding real restitution for homeowners robbed by predatory banks, prosecution of Wall Street criminals, and resetting all mortgages to current market rates. The groundswell of activity by groups like Home Defenders League is a sure indication that the foreclosure crisis is not over, and administration responses have been ineffective.
The Green Shadow Cabinet's Department of Education expresses our strong support for the students at Cooper Union who have been peacefully occupying their campus President‘s office since Wednesday, May 8, in protest of the college’s recent decision to end the policy of free education for all students. The new policy was announced by the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013, ending a tradition of over 150 years of free higher education at this private college in New York City. The Cooper Union was founded by Peter Cooper (philanthropist, inventor, and visionary) on the principle that education should be "free as air and water". We agree.
High quality education should be available for all people in the United States, starting with early childhood education and continuing through graduate school. It should be the role of our federal government to provide free high quality education for all.
President Obama has rhetorically stressed that education is central to getting the United States to move forward. He believes that drug use undermines this vision. The Administration fails to recognize that the War on Drugs has done far more to limit the potential of the country than drug use has.
May 15, 2013 marks the 11th anniversary of the signing of the No FEAR Act, the first civil rights and whistleblower law of the 21st century. Thousands of federal employees and allies worked tirelessly to move congress and the White House to pass legislation to protect civil rights victims and courageous whistleblowers. The struggle to pass the No FEAR Act was difficult and fraught with dangers. Many federal employees who supported the No FEAR Act were terminated from federal service, careers were destroyed and deaths were reported related to unrelenting managerial stress and abuse.
As the hunger strikers at Guantanamo Bay approach their 100th day of refusing to eat this Friday, May 17, we urge President Obama to take specific steps now to release or transfer prisoners and close the prison.
More than 100 of the 166 prisoners at Guantanamo are participating in a hunger strike. More than two-dozen are being brutally force fed. We join with those throughout the United States and world calling for their release or transfer and ending the injustice of indefinite detention without trial. We also call for the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison which has become a human rights embarrassment to the Obama administration and the United States.
President Obama promised to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, but it remains open. While he has blamed Congress for the prison remaining open the law allows the president to transfer prisoners through a waiver and certification process. To make this process work, President Obama should immediately take the following steps: