Archive for the ‘protestors’ Category

NKorea defectors drop leaflets condemning leader

October 14, 2008

By KWANG-TAE KIM, Associated Press Writer

YEONGJONG ISLAND, South Korea – The North Korean trembled when he spotted the leaflet that had fluttered down from a balloon dispatched from the South. He snatched it, stuffed it into his pocket and ran to the bathroom to read it.

Park Sang-hak says he read that slip of vinyl — which bragged about the good life North Korean defectors were enjoying in South Korea — more than 15 times in disbelief.
An unidentified North Korean defector prepares to launch a huge ... 
An unidentified North Korean defector prepares to launch a huge helium balloon containing some leaflets, seen at bottom of balloon, condemning North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, during an anti-North Korea campaign in water near Yeongjong Island, South Korea. Friday, Oct. 10, 2008. The group of North Korean defectors sent airborne leaflets to their former communist homeland on Saturday, a move expected to further anger North Korea amid lingering tensions on the divided Peninsula.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Fifteen years later, Park is on the other side of the border. He defected to South Korea in 1999 and now helps launch propaganda balloons filled with leaflets denouncing the Stalinist regime.

The 40-foot balloons — fueled by hydrogen and shaped like missiles — are the most direct way to reach people living in one of the world’s most isolated nations. Few North Koreans have access to cell phones or the Internet, and millions have no way of getting in contact with relatives living in South Korea.

For decades, the rival Koreas waged a fierce ideological battle using leaflets, loudspeakers and radio broadcasts across the heavily fortified border. At the height of the propoganda war, South Korea’s military loudspeakers blared propaganda 20 hours a day, according to an official from the psychological unit of the South Korean army. He spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he was not authorized to speak to media.

But then the two Koreas embarked on a path to reconciliation that led to the first landmark summit between their leaders in 2000. They agreed in 2004 to end the propaganda.

Still, activists and defectors continue to send balloons filled with leaflets across the border, despite pleas from Seoul to stop at a time when inter-Korean relations are at their lowest point in years. The activists hope to spark a rebellion to overthrow Kim Jong Il.

Last week, the North threatened to expel South Koreans working at two joint projects north of the border and warned of “new military clashes” if leaflets criticizing Kim — an illegal offense in North Korea — continue.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200
81014/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_propaganda_l
eaflets;_ylt=Aih.TRB4r3p7APVM6h5W96Ks0NUE

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Note to Berkeley: Marines Are Not The Enemy

February 2, 2008

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 31, 2008

“Osama bin Laden couldn’t have said it better,” American Legion National Commander Marty Conatser said of the Berkeley City Council Resolution, which tells the Marines that they are not welcome there. “Disgraceful, disloyal, ungrateful. These words are too kind in describing the actions of the public officials in Berkeley, who voted for this disgrace.

Nonetheless, our Marines continue to bravely serve and in so doing, allow Americans to spout such foolishness. The American Legion not only strongly condemns this action by the City Council but also believes that a sincere apology is in order to all Marines, past and present.”

U.S. Marines conduct a search for insurgents during a training ...
U.S. Marines conduct a search for insurgents during a training simulation of a search through an Iraqi city built at the U.S. Marine Base in Camp Pendleton, California, June 29, 2006.
REUTERS/Mike Blake 
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Conatser, the leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization, was referring to a measure passed by the Council 6-3 Tuesday, that tells the U.S. Marine Corps that one of its recruiting stations is “not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”The City Council marched in complete lock-step with radical anti-war group Code Pink in attempting to drive out Marine recruiters from its San Francisco suburb. The City Council also voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a free parking space in front of a recruiting station, along with a free sound permit for protesting once a week.Marine recruiters at Berkeley have faced harassment from protestors who regularly block nearby sidewalks, generate excessive noise and disrupt business.”I have been a recruiter in the National Guard and I know that it’s tough duty, with long hours,” Conatser said. “What these recruiters do is essential to our national security.Without recruiters we have no military. And I don’t think we can count on the flower children from Berkeley to protect this nation when it comes under attack. They have to remember that Marines are not the enemy; the terrorists are.”Conatser pointed out that The American Legion strongly supports the war on terrorism, passing a national resolution of its own.”Resolution 169 was passed unanimously by The American Legion in 2005 and it has been re-affirmed every year since. It reminds Americans that you can not separate the war from the warrior and that the American people should stand united in support for our troops who are engaged in protecting our values and our way of life.”

With a current membership of 2.7-million wartime veterans, The American Legion, http://www.legion.org, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and patriotic youth programs.

Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.
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U.S. Marine Corps,
Berkeley
BERKELEY – Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates offered Friday to help the U.S. Marines leave town by negotiating an end to the lease for their recruiting station, even as he backpedaled on a City Council resolution declaring the Corps “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in the city.In the face of an onslaught of pro-military criticism from around the country, Bates, a retired Army captain, also issued a statement that said the City Council’s resolution Tuesday night “did not adequately differentiate our respect and support for those serving in the armed forces and our opposition to the Iraq war policy.”He said he would ask the council to modify the resolution at its next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 12.

A Marines spokeswoman said Friday that the Corps has no intention of abandoning its space at 64 Shattuck Square that has been the subject of protests for months.

The council voted 6-3 Tuesday to tell the Marines that their recruiting station is not welcome in the city. In a separate vote, the council supported the women’s peace group Code Pink by giving it a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m.

The council also voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines.
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Letter from A Former POW to Mayor of Berkeley

Dear Mayor Bates and the City Council of Berkeley: It is because of the Marines, Soldiers and Sailors that you are not conducting city business in Japanese or German. Here is an excerpt from the poem “What is a Vet” that follows.

Mike Benge civilian VN-POW 1968-73

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag,Who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.”

WHAT IS A VET? Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a aged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together,a piece of shrapnel in the leg, or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s ally forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can’t tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet? He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweatingtwo gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t runout of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She – or he – is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another – or didn’t come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor that has never seen combat – but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.

He is the parade – riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand. He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of  The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket – palsied now andaggravatingly slow – who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when thenightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of hiscountry, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not haveto sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known. So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That’s all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded. Two little words that mean a lot, “THANK YOU”.

Remember November 11th is Veterans Day.

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of thepress. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,

Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag,Whoserves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.”

Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, Lt. Col., USMC
Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy ... 

Rice: Mideast peace in jeopardy

October 24, 2007

By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday that a “two-state solution” in the Middle East was in jeopardy, and described a narrow window of opportunity to push Israel and the Palestinians toward peace.

In a House hearing interrupted by anti-war protesters, Rice said an upcoming peace conference in Annapolis, Md., is needed to give hope to moderate Palestinian forces. She blamed Iran for fanning flames in the region, including what she called “troubling” new support for Hamas militants.

“Our concern is growing that without a serious political prospect for the Palestinians that gives to moderate leaders a horizon that they can show to their people that indeed there is a two-state solution that is possible, we will lose the window for a two-state solution,” Rice told the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Rice’s testimony was punctuated by Iraq war protesters….Read the rest:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071024/ap_on_go_
co/rice;_ylt=AjAKuJkmTN9SqbakZadoFPSs0NUE

Protests, Arrests in Vietnam

July 19, 2007

To:  The Honorable Brian C. Aggeler
Political Counselor, U.S. Embassy in Hanoi

From: International Movement for Democracy and Human Rights in Vietnam

Re: Report on the police crackdown on 1,700 protesters in front of office of Vietnam Congress in Saigon at 10PM July 18, 07.

Dear Mr. Aggeler,

At 10PM July 18, 07 Saigon time, the police dispatched over 1,500 male and female police equipped with electric prods, police trucks, animal control trucks and vans, etc. to disperse the sit-in protest of 1,700+ peasants from 19 different provinces who had gathered in front of the office of Vietnam Congress at 194 Hoang Van Thu Street, Saigon, Vietnam for almost a month.

These following arrested peasants are classified as protest leaders. 4 peasants were knocked down unconscious by police electric prods, 24 peasants were badly injured. 1 young man from Lam Dong province got serious head injury. 8 police ambulance vans full of injured protesters were seen leaving the protest site.

Also on the same night of July 18, 07, over 100 police also arrested 200+ protesters in Binh Thuan, Binh Phuoc and Soc Trang provinces who had been gathering permanently at Mai Xuan Thuong Park in Hanoi. Police have transported them away to unknown places in 2 trains.

These following peasants were arrested on July 18, 07 in front of Vietnam Congress office at 194 Hoang van Thu Street, Saigon, Vietnam:

1- Lu, Thi Thu Duyen, female, 34 years old
2- Vu, Thanh Phuong, female, 40+ years old
3- Pham, Thi Hien, female, 30+ years old
4- Cao, Que Hoa, female, 50+ years old
5- Le, Thi Nguyet, female. 50+ years old

Nguyễn Tr� (Ch�) Dũng, Saigon Police Director announced that he will interrogate Lu, Thi Thu Duyen and Vu, Thanh Phuong for their active roles in (1) leading the sit-in protest, (2) participating in Bloc 8406 which has been founded last year by Nguyen Thanh Phong and Nguyen Binh Thanh and under Father Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly�s spiritual guidance. These two men and Father Ly are being imprisoned.

Currently, we are not able to account for all other arrested peasants. We will provide you with further information as soon as possible. Thank you.

Respectfully yours,
International Movement for Democracy and Human Rights in Vietnam