Occupations protested on three continents By John Catalinotto Published Sep 16, 2007 11:18 PM SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA 10,000 protest Bush at APEC summit Despite a downpour, some 10,000 people protested at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit Sept. 7 in Sydney. Demonstrators particularly targeted U.S. President George W. Bush’s Iraq policies and Australian military interventions. Bush and Australia’s Bush-like Prime Minister John Howard were the favorite protest targets. Howard has ordered Australian military units into Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor and West Papua, among other places. As they set off on a march, the protesters chanted: “Howard, Bush, USA, how many kids did you kill today?” A large banner carried by a group of marchers read: “War criminals not welcome here—Bush go home.” Among those protesting Bush were former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib, who was released without charges in 2005, and U.S. Marine veteran Matt Howard—no relation to the prime minister—who had spoken of his Iraq experiences at recent anti-war meetings throughout Australia. The Australian regime had 5,000 police and soldiers on hand and a three-meter-high fence to keep demonstrators away from the APEC summit. The security operation was the largest ever mounted in Australia and included jet fighter overflights, police on jet water-skis in Sydney’s harbor, a water cannon and special laws aimed at repressing protesters, of whom 17 were arrested. BERLIN, GERMANY Sept. 15 protest against Afghanistan War The anti-war movement in Germany has called for a national demonstration on Sept. 15 in Berlin, aimed especially at stopping that country’s military intervention in Afghanistan. Germany is part of the NATO military support for the U.S. occupation of the Afghan people. A coalition of left anti-war forces issued a call supporting the action, which read in part: “We welcome the nationwide campaign against the German Federal Armed Forces mission in Afghanistan and join the common call for a demonstration on Sept. 15. “The direct intervention in the war in Afghanistan is, however, only the most visible participation of Germany in Western wars and interventions. Our protest is directed of course against all international missions of the German Federal Armed Forces. “In addition, we also oppose German military, logistic and political support of the war against Iraq, the war threats against Syria and Iran, and also demand that intervention in Lebanon and the Israeli occupation of Palestine be terminated.” WASHINGTON, D.C.: Arrested demanding right to poster U.S. Park Police arrested three anti-war activists in front of the White House on Sept. 6. The activists were holding a news conference to protest fines of $30,000 for putting up anti-war posters calling for a Sept. 15 demonstration in Washington, D.C. The three arrested were Tina Richards, CEO of Grassroots America and mother of Iraq War veteran Cloy Richards; Adam Kokesh, the co-chair elect of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW); and Ian Thompson, an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition. Richards and Kokesh had announced that they would put a Sept. 15 March to Stop the War poster on a lamppost following the media conference. Mounted police then charged into the news conference to break it up. The ANSWER Coalition’s goal, according to statements on its Web site, is “to sponsor a large protest in Washington, D.C., timed to coincide with the report by General [David] Petraeus on the ‘surge’ in Iraq.” Petraeus’s report on Sept. 10—no surprise—called for keeping U.S. troops levels high at least until next summer. Bush will make a national address on Sept. 13, when he is expected to propose an eventual cut of 30,000 troops, but only if the U.S. occupation stabilizes. Some movement activists protested as Petraeus was speaking, and Capitol police arrested anti-war spokespeople Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., a former Air Force officer and head of the Hip Hop Caucus; Cindy Sheehan; and members of the IVAW and Code Pink who had been interrupting the general’s demand for more blood money. Other actions will take place in the week following Sept. 15. These events, led by many different groups, include a “Truth-in-Recruiting Day,” organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War on Sept. 17, and a Moratorium on Sept. 21. Starting on Sept. 22, a series of actions called an encampment, organized by the Troops Out Now Coalition (TONC), will take place in Los Angeles and in Washington, D.C. These actions are aimed at stopping congressional approval of the war budget and are directed against the war “at home and abroad.” They will culminate in mass demonstrations in both cities on Sept. 29. E-mail: email@example.com ——————————————————————————– Articles copyright 1995-2010 Workers World. 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Just days before New Mexico House Speaker Ben Lujan launched the 2010 legislative session, Adam Kokesh, a Republican primary candidate in the 3rd Congressional District, accused the powerful speaker of helping put his son Ben Ray Lujan in Congress through his “ability to make bribes and promises from the statehouse.” But the SEC has charged Kokesh’s own father for allegedly misappropriating $45 million from investors in four businesses.
“Most people here believe that he only got elected because of his father,” Kokesh said, referring to Congressman Lujan, after an Albuquerque Tea Party event held Saturday in Rio Rancho.
“Lujan Sr., who has been responsible for a lot of the corruption at the state level … is responsible for his son currently holding that seat and the money that he was able to raise,” Kokesh told The Independent.
Kokesh did not offer any specific details or proof of wrongdoing by Speaker Lujan. On Wednesday he explained, “I hear stories repeatedly of the effects of this corruption on the state, and on politics here, from people who will tell me in confidence, but are afraid to say anything on the record because of the fear of retaliation.”
At the Tea Party event he called the electoral success of the Democrat family the “Lujan machine,” adding: “this machine…it’s out of gas.”
Lujan spokesman Mark Nicastre called Kokesh’s statements a “malicious, unprovoked attack” on Lujan’s father, saying the comments were “inappropriate and disappointing.”
“Largely the power base is not from the power of their [Lujans’] ideas or their conviction or their honesty. It’s from the ability to make bribes and promises from the statehouse,” Kokesh said, claiming that it will be difficult for the elder Lujan to help his son further–because of the state’s budget shortfall.
“The state is all out of money and the Lujans are all out of promises to offer,” Kokesh said. “They can’t keep this thing going,” Kokesh said.
Kokesh, who has been defending criticism of his war protests, mostly by his Republican primary opponent Tom Mullins, predicts the legislative session is “going to be ugly, and finally the bill is coming due for all of the largesse at the state level and all of the corruption.”
“You can’t just buy off the voters in New Mexico,” Kokesh said.
Several calls to Speaker Lujan were not returned.
“The fact is that Rep. [Ben Ray] Lujan has a strong record of standing up for the people of New Mexico–taking on insurance companies, credit card companies and Wall Street. It’s a record he’s proud of and a record that respects and represents the values of the district,” Nicaster wrote in an e-mail to The Independent.
“It’s a shame that some are resorting to vitriol, but Rep. Lujan remains focused on fighting for the people of New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District.”
Kokesh’s father investigated by SEC
In October 2008, Adam Kokesh’s father, Charles Kokesh, was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with misappropriating $45 million dollars from 21,000 investors in four business development companies (BDCs) through “a variety of schemes and contrivances.”
The SEC complaint alleged that the elder Kokesh controlled two now-defunct investment advisory firms from 1995 through July 2007, which in turn controlled and provided investment advice to his BDC’s. (BDCs are similar to venture capital funds that allow investors to invest in startups and other companies.) The complaint alleges that:
Acting by and through the Advisers, Kokesh misappropriated approximately $45 million of investor funds by causing the BDCs to pay illegal distributions, performance fees, and expense reimbursements to the Advisers. To conceal the scheme, Kokesh caused the Advisers to distribute misleading proxy statements to BDC investors and to file false Commission reports on behalf of the BDCs.
Kokesh’s father has also faced legal problems in Santa Fe. In July 2009, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported on Charles Kokesh’s legal woes, including an attempt by the City of Santa Fe to collect over $100,000 in irrigation fees. From the story:
So far this year, two foreclosure lawsuits have been filed on the senior Kokesh’s horse park and private residence, another lender has tried to repossess his motor home, and a credit card company is demanding payments from his wife.
But Kokesh maintains some of those cases are in error, that he is doing well financially after selling his South Dakota arms-manufacturing firm, and looks forward to settling all claims against him.
In a telephone interview Friday, Kokesh said he believes previous stories about his financial troubles are part of a “vendetta” against him by a New Mexican reporter.
“You like to emphasize the negative?” he asked. “You could put a much more positive spin on it: Local venture capitalist succeeds in selling one of the remaining portfolio companies, is flush with cash, does not see a problem working through any of the issues.”
Reached via phone from Gallup Wednesday afternoon, Adam Kokesh distanced himself from his father’s troubles.
“My father’s issues are his own,” he told The Independent. “My father has never taken any money from the government, and he is not an elected official who’s been on the ballot before which helps with name recognition.”
“I understand the circumstances of the case with my father,” Kokesh said. “I hope that this new prosecution is not politically motivated because of my race [for Congress]. But, what ever happens I hope that justice will be done.”
That’s how the Democratic Party Of New Mexico has responded to GOP congressional hopeful Adam Kokesh’s comments about U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan and his father Ben Lujan, the speaker of the New Mexico state House.
On Wednesday, The New Mexico Independent reported that Kokesh had accused the speaker of corruption and bribery–without offering any specific proof of those charges.
“The people of the New Mexico’s Third Congressional District elected Congressman Ben Ray Lujan because they knew he would stand up for them – by taking on insurance companies, credit card companies and Wall Street banks,” Democratic Party Executive Director Scott Forrester said in a statement e-mailed to The Independent.
“Speaker Ben Lujan has spent his life working as a strong public servant for New Mexico families – while laboring to ensure all New Mexicans have access to a excellent education, a good job and a better way of life,” Forrester wrote. “Unfortunately, Adam Kokesh is The Kokesh family has been surrounded by controversy, raising questions of fraud and abuse. Mr. Kokesh’s father was recently indicted for defrauding people out of their savings, and several legal suits have been brought upon the family by organizations representing those victims attempting to recover their hard earned money.
“While Congressman Lujan and Speaker Lujan have spent their lives working to improve the lives of New Mexicans families – and ensure that criminals such as Bernie Madoff are put behind bars – the Kokesh family has allegedly been working hard to do just the opposite. Who is Adam Kokesh to lecture ANYONE on corruption?” Forrester asked.
IVAW Kokesh still in the race for NM’s 3CD March 28th, 2010 Yes, Adam Kokesh, member of IVAW is back on the Republican primary ballot after his loss to Tom Mullins in the pre-primary recently for New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District. Kokesh and Mullins faced off the other night in a debate in Clovis, NM according to the local press. Mullins introduced himself as a petroleum engineer and small businessman from Farmington who has just recently decided to pursue politics. Kokesh is a Marine veteran from Santa Fe and served in Iraq with the 3rd Civilian Affairs Unit in Fallujah. His Web site says he is a Tea Party leader who has dedicated his political life to individual rights and constitutional government. Kokesh is callong himself the “Tea Party candidate” in the Republican race – I didn’t know that Tea Party candidates were people who’ve never had jobs outside of a brief military career (cut short by malfeasance) and years in college. After Michelle Malkin called out Kokesh on her blog, he went on Russia Today to defend himself. He said that Malkin blamed him for the threats against her from Jon DeWald. Kokesh said that he voted to have DeWald suspended while he was on the board of the IVAW. What he neglected to mention was that he encouraged DeWald in his sociopathic behavior and DeWald’s suspension lasted only a few months through the Winter Soldier hearings. DeWald’s permanent removal only resulted after he robbed the coffers entrusted to him as a chapter president in IVAW. In an interview with Cassy Fiano, Tom Mullins said it all; I disagree with Adam’s positions regarding our military. I support Guantanamo Bay being open. We are not occupiers. Adam’s activities offend the many veterans, including my father, that I have met. We are not the world’s policeman. We have a volunteer military. Our military men and women deserve support from our elected officials and all members of the American public. I don’t understand how Adam’s actions are “Constitutional”. Adam is nothing more than an Internet Celebrity and a War Protester. I don’t believe New Mexicans agree with his views or his methods to share or voice them. Of course, Kokesh fails to mention his anti-war roots, or his connections to the flag-burning IVAW when he’s talking to Republicans. I wonder why. Maybe he should bring his replacement internet celebrity, Matthis Chiroux, on the campaign trail to burn flags and shout out how that’s what he thinks of America. Then Kokesh can explain to his prospective constituents why he maintains membership and ties to IVAW.
Yes, there is a lot of drama over Matthis’ flag burning adventure last weekend. A good number of IVAW members oppose the utterly pointless demonstration by Matthis, Robyn Murray and Elaine Brower. You can hear Elaine Brower, whose Marine Corps son has completed at least three tours of the War Against Terror, screech “That’s what we think of this country!” while Matthis stomps on the burning flag in this video;
And yet, I’ll bet she’s still in the US this morning.
The third person in the video, Robyn Murray starred in one of our posts a couple of years back when she was captured in a video interview. Her only real complaint about her time in Iraq was the fact that she was 19.
One of the Austin, TX IVAW crowd, Bobby Whittenburg wrote a bit about the flag burning yesterday at his blog Veter(A)narchy using hyperbole as a weapon;
Matthis has received threats of violence, rape, and death. Such threats truly show the character of people loyal to the American flag and the American government.
Actually it does show character – I scoured your comments and couldn’t find not one threat of violence, rape or death in the several responses to the posts. I can’t imagine anyone threatening to rape Matthis in the first place and a threat is just childish any-damn-way without the opportunity to act on the threat. I think they’re disappointed that no one threatened them, so they make shit up to ratchet up the drama.
Personally, if I were a member of IVAW, I’d take a long look at myself in regards to the message that IVAW is trying to convey. It took them a year of waffling on Carl Webb before they finally tossed his punk ass to the curb. Geof Millard, the president of the board of directors wears unearned awards on his uniform. Jose Vasquez, the Executive Director of IRAQ VETERANS Against the War has never set foot outside of the US in uniform. Now Vasquez thinks his Puerto Rican heritage excuses his lack of an”affinity” for the US flag – irrespective of his years of service as an NCO in the US Army – and all of thospay checks he got. Vasquez replaced Alex Bacon, who went AWOL from the Coast Guard while stationed in Hawaii patrolling fisheries (no shit, really).
And then there’s Matthis who claimed for the longest time that he was an Afghanistan veteran when the only two places he’s ever been stationed is Japan and Germany. He claims he has PTSD from interviewing real combat veterans. He apologized to Malalai Joya for occupying the corner booth at Baskin Robbins on Bagram Air Base for six days.
There are countless examples of reasons to leave the dorks at IVAW behind. I’m thinking all of these doofuses are making money from their antics, why else would they work so hard at being caricatures of anti-war assholes? Folks like Bobby Whittenberg – an honest to goodness Purple Heart wearing hero – are being manipulated by the accolades he gets from cowards like Doug Zachary and Matthis Chiroux. And it’s a cryin’-ass shame that he doesn’t see it.