Community Policing is Not the Answer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WHEN: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 12:30 PM
WHERE: City Hall, 2nd Floor
PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS: We Charge Genocide, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Black Lives Matter-Chicago, Black Youth Project 100, Showing Up for Racial Justice-Chicago

Activists and Community Organizations Release Report on Community Policing in Response to President’s Recommendations for Policing.

(Chicago 10/28 – On Wed., October 28 at 12:30 pm, community organizations will convene at City Hall to release a report on Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS). The report is a response to President Obama’s call, in his speech at the meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), to increase funding for police agencies and renew the commitment to community policing.

The report, titled “The Counter-CAPS Report: The Community Engagement Arm of the Police State,” finds that data gathered at CAPS meetings in several neighborhoods around the city shows that CAPS further strengthens divisions within mixed-income communities. The report found CAPS meetings permeated with racially coded language, where police officials inappropriately encourage small groups of self-selected residents to harass young people of color and target low-income housing.

The report challenges the president’s claim that community policing can improve the relationships between the police departments and minority communities. It shows that community policing mobilizes residents already committed to police involvement, increasing police surveillance of a community’s most vulnerable residents or visitors. The solution is not, as President Obama suggests, renewed commitment to community policing and further investment in law enforcement. Instead, the appropriate response is reduce funding for police agencies and reinvesting that money in social services like education and public health that will meet real community needs.

The release of the “Counter-CAPs Report” comes on the heels of a series of non-violent direction actions organized around the IACP meeting. On Saturday, Oct 24th, 60 activists, from the same organizations releasing this report, were arrested after they blocked intersections and entrances of the IACP meeting.
FOR MORE INFO: Follow the #CounterCAPS hashtag on Twitter.
Contact: Eva Nagao (312) 505-8327

On the day before our engagement

The next morning I returned to the military hospital for the letters Alto and Emira had written for their family on the outside. Snipers were dueling in the plaza. The halls of the hospital were crowded with patients and doctors chased there by the gunfire. Above the frustrated curses of staff, protestations and the moans of the sick and wounded, bullets could be heard slapping against the walls of the building, sounding like clapping hands. I found Emira calming patients, but I might have thought I had rescued her. Grabbing my arm she led me quickly up to Alto’s room.

“Terrible,” she said of the shooting, “much worse than I have seen it in some time.”

The Serbs were putting pressure all around the city, attempting to force the Bosnians to divert troops from the mountain offensive.

“You will hate me, but I haven’t finished the letter. I simply have not had time, with all the fighting and new patients. We are overwhelmed, you understand. I don’t think that Alto is finished either. I’m sorry, but if you could return tomorrow.”
“I was leaving the city tonight.”

“One more day, if it is not too much of a problem.”

At least I might have one more day with Ana. “No, it’s no problem.”

“It’s funny,” she smiled. “I didn’t know what to write. Is that crazy? After so long I had a million things to say and to know. I could have written a book, but with all this time passed and only a few small pages, what is most important to say? All I could think to say was ‘I love you’ a thousand times.” Emira shrugged and smiled weakly. “So you’re leaving the city.”

“Soon.”

“You don’t sound very happy?”

“I met a girl.” We paused near Alto’s door. The shooting had stopped and he was on his cot working on the letter.

“A girl? That’s fantastic!” Emira exclaimed. “Tell me her name, really you must.”

“Ana.”

“Your Ana is a lucky girl,” she hugged me. “I hope she knows that.”

“If she won’t marry you,” Alto quipped, “I will!”

Emira swatted at him playfully, admonishing him with a sweet smile. “You’re mad! Now finish your letter so this poor man can go home to America.”

“I’m not finished yet,” he said.

“It’s not supposed to be War and Peace!” Emira remarked.

“Just war,” Alto replied.

Two bullets smacked the wall beside the window chasing us into the hall again. Alto hopped around on one foot having abandoned his crutches with the letter in the room. As more gunfire resounded in the plaza below he thought better of returning for either of them.

“Ah, jebim te…!” he swore.

“Relax,” said Emira. “Bill will return tomorrow.” She looked at me, her eyes hungry for every detail of Ana. “So is this serious with your Ana?”

“It was all a mistake, Emira.”

“Real love is never a mistake.”

“I didn’t plan on this. Really, it was never my intention.”

“Did you think that one day you would just wake up and say, this is the day I will fall in love? When you return tomorrow we will have coffee and we will talk more.”

Later that evening Ana and I went to see her grandmother downtown. Ghostly white clouds drifted silently above the dark city and broken rooftops. I said nothing about leaving, and Ana seemed to be in no mood to confront that eventuality either

A soldier was waiting in the war room when we returned to Ana’s. He was tall and handsome, with broad shoulders and neatly trimmed blond hair. He was still in uniform and dirty from being on the line. He paced the room while his girlfriend looked on with a concerned expression. She was equally stunning by appearance, imbued with the grace and elegance of a dancer. Long golden hair was pulled tightly from her small face. Their expressions were severe and tense. Ana knew why they were there. She checked to be sure no one was on the stairs and closed the door tight.

“Bill, this is my friend Damir.”

I held out a hand but he ignored it. “What has Ana told you about the tunnel?”

“Nothing.” I shrank from his girlfriend’s icy stare. Her name was Nina. She and Ana had gone to school together, and had trained at the same dance school.

“Did she tell you that I work on the tunnel?”

“She never mentioned any names.” I looked at Ana. Her expression spoke of the danger and seriousness of all this.

“Damir,” Nina scowled, “this is a big mistake.”

He waved her off and thought for a moment. “Normally I would not do this. There is a reason that foreigners are forbidden from the tunnel. If the Chetniks learned the location the war could be lost.” He sighed heavily. “However, because of my friendship with Ana I will help you, if you can get there.”

“You understand that if Damir is caught he could be shot,” said Nina. “Will you carry that on your conscience?” She glared accusingly at Ana.

“I will be at the tunnel Monday and Wednesday night,” Damir went to the door. Nina joined him there. His eyes met mine, as though second-guessing his decision. “Do not tell anyone of this.”

They left quickly, Ana and I languishing in the heaviness of their departure.

“Do you trust him?” I asked.

She looked so terribly sad as she nodded. I sighed and checked the time. It was nearly curfew.

Ana and I in Sarajevo. Happy Anniversary

The sun was a sickly yellow ball suspended in the soupy smoke and haze at the end of the valley. The cold reached out from the shadows of the Austrian quarter. What remained of the day ran as a narrow channel of light along the wide promenade. Further on the Western world gave way to the old Turkish bazaar of Bashcharshija. The line was sudden and unmistakable. Vasha Miskin became Sarachi as neatly laced cobblestones changed to uneven quarry stones. The Western philosophy of anonymous commerce gave way to intimate passageways and narrow alleys interwoven with crooked arteries of small shops and Eastern-style kafanas.

Ana and I crossed from West to East past a cordon of soldiers hunting deserters. Muslim men filled the walled courtyard of the Gazi Husref beg Mosque. Its marvelously tall spire disappeared high above ancient maples shrouding the lane. At the head of the valley, the crumbling walls of the fortress Jekovac looked down upon the city. Autumn leaves fell like snow upon the smooth stones. For a moment any distinction between past and present became irrelevant.

“Such a pretty place,” I remarked.

“You should have seen Sarajevo before the war,” Ana remarked wistfully. “It was so beautiful. We really had everything here. We had the mountains and skiing. In a few hours you could be on the sea. There was opera and Rock music. You could go for Chinese food by the river, see a French film at the theater and stop for coffee in Bashcharshija. And friends… we would all go for parties in the mountains: Serbs, Croats and Muslims. It didn’t matter who you were. None of us had learned to hate each other yet. Guys would play guitar under the stars and everyone would eat and sing and…”

Her words trailed away into some distant and private memory. She looked at me as if something had been stolen from her. “You could be any religion or no religion. We celebrated Hanukah with Jewish friends, Bajram with Muslim neighbors and Orthodox Christmas with Serbs. We were so lucky to see the world with so many different eyes. It was like we could see just a little bit more of God.”

“So what happened?’

Ana only shrugged, as if the weight of the answer was too much to bear.

We wandered through the old Turkish market, definitely but not purposely towards the ruins of the Library. It was once a beautiful building, dominating the end of the valley, where the river cut among the deep gorge on its way to Pale. Ana could not bring herself to look at it, and instead kept her eyes to the ground until we crossed to the river. Incendiary shells from Serb guns had destroyed the library, and with it a treasury of Bosnia’s heritage. The steps where Austria’s Archduke stood before being assassinated in 1914 led to the scorched and blackened shell of a building. Ana hurried onto the bridge, and leaned at the rail. I joined her there an instant later.

“Look,” she said as the setting sun cast a pale orange glow upon the shallow waters of the Miljatcka.

The river ran straight through the city between high stone walls. Buildings crowded to either side. The bridges appeared stacked upon one another. As people moved back and forth across them their long shadows were cast upon the glittering sunlit waters of the river. Pigeons gathered in the stone arches of the Princip Bridge. I looked at Ana, her gaze fixed on the city. The city and sunset were reflected in her eyes.

“It’s beautiful,” I said softly, as much about the city as for her.

I could hardly take my eyes off her and would have been content to remain there forever. Ana’s shoulder fell quite casually against mine. The energy passing with that touch was every bit as powerful and fluid as river.

“Do you have a girlfriend somewhere?” she asked.

“No not really,” I said.

“You’re not married, are you?”

“Definitely not,” I laughed.

“How come? There isn’t something wrong with you?” she crossed the bridge and I followed.

“No.”

The cobbled streets of Bistrik climbed steeply before us. This was old Sarajevo, a collection of mostly Muslim neighborhoods called Mahalas. The Mahalas were almost separate communities unto themselves, collections of homes where clear distinctions between neighbor and relation had long ago dissolved. There were houses and families that went back generations, even centuries. Ana was a stranger here as much as I was. The odd looks from doorways and windows only confirmed that fact.

“Be careful what you say here,” Ana warned at barely a whisper. “Many here were supporters of Tsatso.”

I knew the name well In the first weeks and months of the war Musan “Tsatso” Topalovich and other would-be warlords had helped rally the city’s defense. His men fought bloody, wasteful battles from the trenches a few hundred meters above Bistrik. But his forced conscriptions, executions and brutality against Serbs and Croats in the city soon besieged the city from within as well. A government crackdown finally ended his reign of terror. Doubtless, Tsatso’s ad hoc defense those first days and months had save the city, but at a terrible cost. For the Muslims of Bistrik, however, Tsatso was not a criminal but a savior who had saved them from annihilation.

“But Tsatso is dead now,” I observed.

“Here he is a martyr and a hero.”

“Is he a war criminal or a hero, in your opinion?”

The question made her visibly uncomfortable. She kept looking to the darkened houses.

“It is best that we not talk about such things, especially not here, and especially not us.”

I didn’t pursue the subject, seeing how it upset her so. We found a set of stone steps and paused for a moment to look out across the city. Bashcharshija was laid out before us, the red tiled rooftops set ablaze by the final assertions of daylight.

“So how come you never got married?” We started down the uneven steps.

“Honestly,” I replied, “I don’t think I ever will. I have this foolishly unrealistic idea of what marriage is supposed to be: totally equal, friends, lovers, soul mates. I know it’s an unattainable expectation, but I couldn’t be happy if I settled for something less.”
“If you hate it so much why not change your expectation?”

“I don’t know,” I said, a bit forlorn. “Guess I’m just hopeless, and part of me thinks I’ll actually find what I’m looking for.”

“But if it causes you so much pain?’

“Right now I’ve got no reason to change. All I have to worry about is my cat.”

“A cat?’

“A big fat one!” I opened my arms wide.

“How big?” she gasped.

“Well not so big. Seems like it for how much he eats.”

“And his name?”

“Manhattan.”

“Like the city?”

“Like the movie: Woody Allen. I was watching it when a neighbor came over with this little black and white kitten. I had no interest in it, but the kitten sat on my shoulder through the whole movie, and by then I was hooked.”

“Fall in love fast, eh?”

“I wouldn’t say that.”

“And you have no kids?”

“None that I know of. What about you, ever see yourself married?’

“I told you, my parents are divorced. They had an awful marriage. The whole thing really jaded me to marriage.”

“Really?’

“I think that a man expands himself in marriage. He expects to have all his needs filled. He wants a maid, a cook, a mother and a whore. A woman tends to sacrifice to fill that need. She loses herself to become those things. She gives up her need and identity for him, and freedom for her children. That’s what happened to my mom, and I don’t want to lose myself.”

“What about children?”

She smiled mischievously. “None that I know of.”

Our eyes met, and for the first time I thought it would be nice to kiss her. I felt sure she was thinking the same thing, but I blushed and looked away. From the corner of my eye I could see that Ana was blushing too.

We turned down a long sloping lane bounded to one side by the towering walls of the Sarajevo Pivara, or brewery. A fire hose carried water from the Pivara to a gurgling spigot. The natural spring within the walls of the brewery proved to be one of the few reliable sources of water for the entire city. There was a line of haggard looking folks waiting to fill water jugs at the spigot. Ana stopped at the top of the lane. Her face darkened with a memory.

“I hate this place,” she said quietly. “We came here for water the first year of the war, my sister and me. It was a dangerous time. Nobody trusted anybody. A lot of Muslim refugees were coming into the city to escape the Serbs, and they needed some to place to live. Some Muslims in our neighborhood wanted to put us out of our place because our mother is a Croat and my father is a Serb. They wanted to give our place to some refugees. They would see us here waiting in line for water, with the rest of the city, and calls us Chetnik whores. Sometimes others would join in, cursing us, spitting on us or spilling our water.”

“You must hate them?”

“You must remember that real Chetniks were murdering and raping thousands of Muslims, and the Croatian Army refused to help break the siege. There were no frontlines, not as they are now. It still wasn’t certain that the Serbs would not take the city, and they found some Serbs in the city who were preparing for that. There were Serbs in the city with death lists of Muslim neighbors. Many people in the city simply disappeared. We were just two young girls. One word and we would just disappear. So we would stand there and cry, and wait for our turn for water.”

Ana led me to the courtyard of a small Mosque. Dozens of stone markers could be seen through a small embrasure, the stones sinking gradually beneath deepening grass. The branches of a willow hung in mourning above the stones, lightly brushing their round tops. Ana pressed her cheeks to the iron bars of the embrasure. I put my face close to hers, pretending to look in at the courtyard when I was really looking at her. I breathed in her perfume.

“…but the rain is still pouring down as it has for days,” I said softly, relishing in her nearness, “and the pigeons coo in the attic. They announce the day that has not yet come. My hand becomes stiff from holding the pen, the candle spits and sparks a little as it staves off death. I look upon these rows of words, tombstones of my thoughts, and do not know if I have killed them or given them to life.”

“Mesha Selimovich,” she said, surprised.

“Dervish and Death, my favorite Bosnian novel.”

“You know of Bosnian writers?”

“A little.”

“My grandmother knew him.”

We were very near the river again. The city was quiet, the streets nearly empty…

Our interview with Bill Ayers Tomorrow

I have received a great deal of feedback regarding Saturday’s interview with Bill Ayers. This is the introduction I am working to:

Modern media tends to render the individual as cartoons, filler for an endless news cycle or worse, ideological bludgeons for propaganda and hyperbole. But before us today sits a man of flesh and blood. This interview is not a response to the Right’s demonization of Bill Ayers, but an attempt to render his humanness more fully. Like everyone of us he is filled with contradictions, faults, blessings, burdens, dreams and regrets. Bill Ayers chose a path in life that set him on a collision course with the state in its prosecution of a wholly unnecessary war and its persecution against an American system of racial and social apartheid. On the frontlines of any struggle for justice there is friction, confusion, passion, anger; danger. While the path becomes unclear the struggle becomes everything, the world becomes an outside place eclipsed not by the struggle itself, but in the resistance wielded by the oppressor.

What did the tumult of the 1960s and early 1970s accomplish, with the days of rage, protest, unrest and, yes, violence or the threat of violence? In a speech last year at Dartmouth Ayers asked an audience if they opposed slavery and then reminded that audience that before the civil war and during the founding of this nation that they would have been considered abolitionists in opposition to their nation, government and economy all of which relied on slavery. Ayers, as a member of the controversial and decidedly militant Weather Underground stood, sometimes violently, but always resolutely against the deaths in Southeast Asia, over the course of more than a decade of war, of more than 2 million people, including 58000 Americans. The Vietnam-era lottery and draft was an illusion of populism with disproportionately high numbers of minorities and poor pressed into service, while the wealthy, like Donald Trump, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Ted Nugent. Michael Savage and many more able to avoid service.

Ayers and the Weather Underground stood unwavering with Black Americans struggling for basic civil rights. Recall that Black veterans were barred from the benefits of the GI Bill and veterans benefits after the second world war, advantages that built the middle class in this country. The stark injustices and hypocrisies they struggled to correct were no different from the struggle of miners on Blair Mountain, John Brown, Sojourner Truth, Jeremy Hammond, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden.

There is a myth of non-violence in struggles for justice. An emasculated and reconstructed pacifist Gandhi once said “…Hence also do I advocate training in arms for those who believe in the method of violence. I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honor than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.”

Protest and discontent are words of agitation. Protest should rightly be peaceful if the oppressor is accepting of change and willing to dialogue, but when the tactic of the oppressor is greater oppression and tyranny then violence must always remain in the arsenal of the oppressed. Malcolm X said “Kill that Dog! If a man uses a dog to keep you from what is rightfully yours, kill that dog!” A protest without the possibility of violence, should the state choose the road of greater oppression is a parade, and parades are for children and clowns.

“Everything is on the table” in rare interview with Activist/Educator Bill Ayers,

Chicago, October 22. Bill Ayers, iconic member of the controversial 1970’s anti-war group The Weather Underground agreed to an unscripted, uncensored interview on the Revolution and Beer show Saturday at 11am on Que4 Radio, from topics such as education, Black Lives matter, the presidential race, Barack Obama’s presidency, Bernie Sanders, Terrorism and the future of progressive activism. Ayers the author of numerous books and articles including, Public Enemy, To Teach, Fugitive Days, Teaching Revolution and Sing a Battle Song has appeared opposite Megan Kelley on Fox News

In this very rare interview, Ayer has promised that nothing is off the table. With the nation at a clear crossroads politically, economically and socially this interview offers a rare and uncensored glimpse into an iconic and controversial personality who has left an indelible mark on the American landscape. In the wake of Ferguson, and the Black Lives Matter Movement, that perspective may be more pressing than ever. In this candid and exclusive conversation the issue of nonviolent versus violent protest in the context unyielding oppression by the state.

AM1680 Que4 radio is a non-profit community radio based in Chicago. established in 2011, Que4 is dedicated to supporting diversity in Chicago and beyond. it’s organizing principle is to “Create beauty and defend it.” The Revolution and Beer show, with hosts WC Turck, Brian Murray and Jack Hammond talks politics and activism over good craft beer, the way politics should be discussed. The show can be heard Saturdays from 11am to 1pm at www.que4.org.

Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago and Coalition for Justice in Palestine Picket

MEDIA ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Michael Deheeger; 847-494-0356, Michael@jewishvoiceforpeace.org

Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago and Coalition for Justice in Palestine Picket Jewish National Fund Conference
JNF separate, unequal policies a root cause of escalating violence against Palestinians.
WHEN/WHERE: Sunday, October 25, 2015. 12:00 pm: Participants gather on Southeast corner Michigan and Randolph
12:45 pm: March to Fairmont Hotel, 200 N. Columbus
1:15 pm: Speaking program outside Fairmont Hotel
Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1667899630120547/
For updates from the action: follow @ChicagoJVP and #NoJNF on Twitter.
WHAT: Chicago-area members of Jewish Voice for Peace, a national human rights organization advocating for justice and equality for Palestinians; and the Coalition for Justice in Palestine, which represents all major Chicago Palestinian, Arab and Muslim organizations advocating for Palestinian human rights; will protest the Jewish National Fund’s Annual Conference at Chicago’s Fairmont Hotel. Speakers: Ex- JNF D.C. board member/current JVP National Board member Seth Morrison; Young Chicago-area American Jews; U.S. Palestinian Community Network; other Palestinians
200 Chicago-area American Jews and Palestinians and partners
Signs including: “JNF: Ethnic Cleansing is Not a Jewish Value,” “Time for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions,” and “End the Occupation”
Giant mock JNF Tzedakah (charity) box reading “Land Theft is Not Tzedakah”
WHY: The Jewish National Fund is deeply complicit in the ongoing dispossession of Palestinian land, the destruction of Palestinian homes and the theft of Palestinian resources that has continued unabated since 1948. These practices are among the root causes of the anger fueling the escalating violence in the region today.
JVP-Chicago is calling on fellow American Jews to disassociate themselves from the separate and unequal policies toward Palestinians the JNF implements in our name. We are uniting in this action with all major Palestinian organizations in the Chicago-area (Coalition for Justice in Palestine) to also condemn today’s Israeli state and settler violence against Palestinians, which has led to the killing of close to 50 Palestinians, and the injuring of over 2,000, since October 1.
The JNF racially segregates the 13% of Israeli public land it controls in “Israel Proper,” prohibiting its use by Palestinians. JNF asserts it “does not have a duty to practice equality towards all citizens of the state.” JNF’s control of 10 of 22 seats on the Israel Land Council, governing the Israel Land Authority, empowers it to pursue its discriminatory ideology throughout 93% of land within the Green Line. JNF collaborates with the Israeli government to replace Palestinian communities it destroys with Jewish-only settlements or manicured forests that erase any trace of Palestinian presence, including the Ambassador Forest planned to replace the village of al-Arakib within Israel’s Green Line (1948 Palestine).
###
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 200,000 online supporters, over 65 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists. The Coalition for Justice in Palestine represents all major Palestinian, Arab and Muslim organizations advocating for Palestinian human rights in Chicago.

Bernie’s Benghazi/Biden Bump: Dark Horse 2016

The pundits are shills for the DNC, part of the continuing effort to convince or control Americans against making a choice for a non-establishment candidate like Bernie Sanders. The announcement Wednesday by vice president Joe Biden that he would not run for president on the democratic ticket was widely seen as a boost for Hillary. A CNN poll last week asked voters to rate support for Hillary and Sanders with and without Biden in the race. A significant number of Clinton voters opted for Biden. In fact, 3/4 of Biden’s theoretical support came from Clinton voters. The question becomes, why were so many Hillary voters willing to jump so quickly to Biden?

By midday during the partisan taxpayer funded attack on Mrs. Clinton paraded as a Benghazi investigation the presidential hopeful and establishment candidate for the DNC was taking a bludgeoning by republicans. Skewed by corporate media, she is certain to lose momentum in the hearings. Sanders, it appears will go into New Hampshire still trailing Clinton, but likely not with the deficit predicted, or constructed, by pundits. What all of this shows is more likely that Hillary has been able to capitalize on the name and the legacy and the weight of media coverage relative to the near total blackout of Bernie Sanders. That ship may be turning.

Sanders may have stumbled slightly last week attempting to define Democratic Socialism, and to build a brand nearly from scratch against long held misconceptions, outright falsehoods and ignorance about that moniker, but he stumbled into the right direction with more credibility and confidence than the #Black Lives Matter issue some weeks ago.

The question for Hillary is why so many assumptive supporters were so quick to jump to Biden. That seems to indicate discontent in the Hillary camp and a lack of absolute confidence that she is the best person for the job in 2016.

JFK should have been assassinated in Benghazi

It is difficult to believe anything that comes out of the mouth of Benghazi investigation chairman Trey Gowdy after co-conspirator Representative Kevin McCarthy’s comments to FOX News’ Sean Hannity that the purpose of the hearings was to disrupt Hillary Clinton’s campaign. His speech today as the hearings began had all the hallmarks of a hit man’s eulogy at a mafia funeral.

Interesting that tea Party obstructionist republicans, like Gowdy, would cut small grants to educational and cultural institutions because they assert the nation is bankrupt, but who have wasted more than $100 million on what rightly should have been paid for by political donors for commercials we can turn off or fast forward through, rather than tax payer dollars.

It should be noted that the investigation in the assassination of a sitting US president, with indications of potential foreign involvement, possible links to the defense department and the mafia, and lingering questions whether Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin still persist. Indeed, the investigation into what the US government knew about the September 11 attacks in 2001 did not receive this much attention, again despite lingering questions.

There has never been any interest or actual investigation into the death of the American Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel and General Herbert M. Wassom, the head of the U.S. Military aid mission to Pakistan, both killed in a suspicious plane crash in Pakistan in 1988 during the Reagan Administration, and just months before the first George Bush took office. Ambassador Chris Stevens, it should be noted, who died in Benghazi, succumbed to smoke inhalation after becoming separated from other embassy staffers. His calls for additional funding and security was denied because of massive Republican cuts.

Maybe if the Twin Towers and the 3100 victims had been in Libya, or if President Kennedy had been gunned down in Benghazi by a Liberal 14 year old Muslim from Texas wearing a Planned Parenthood tee shirt and carrying a #Black Lives matter sign we might have gotten to the bottom of this, but only to find out it was still Hillary Clinton’s fault anyway, at least until the election is over.


Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray with Jack Hammond and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

21 years ago today

Excerpt from the memoir by Revolution and Beer’s WC Turck “Everything for Love.” Dedicated to my wife of 21 years…41e+6tsee9L__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX324_SY324_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA346_SH20_OU02_

We hope, we hope, we hope. We hope, because it is the Knight that does battle with the cold and agonizing emptiness that surrounds and fills us. It is that emptiness which, in the absence of hope, is poised to crush and devour us. Only hope, and its cousin, love, defends us. They are comfort to our hearts and a curse to our intellect. They are our salvation and our burden. We need hope to exist, and therefore we drink it in madly. Hope was in desperate supply in Sarajevo, and it was the one thing I was determined to give Ana, but I wondered if it was proper to offer such a thing. It felt like a fertile branch floating upon an uncertain ocean. Was there a promise of approaching shores or of the unrelenting sea?

There were few sights that spoke of the siege as graphically as the hillside cemetery above the soccer stadium. Then thousand wooden markers, ten thousand mounds of earth, ten thousand dead nearly bisected the city. It was a community in it’s own right, if one defines a community by its common bonds and needs. Bound by death, their only need was remembrance, for they had long ago lost the need for justice. New graves quickly overtook the old ones and replaced the grove of tall willow, pine and maple that once shrouded the cemetery. The bones of those older graves lay scattered on the muddy ground. The city of the dead was slowly taking over the places for the living.

I detoured among the graves that evening on the way to Ana’s. I often walked among them trying to find some commonality among them: between them and me. I read the names, if there were any, and the dates of their births and deaths. Some were decorated with curiously personal trinkets, flowers, poems, letters, children’s toys and more. Many were simply forgotten, or were simple mounds with no marker or name. BOSNIA-SARAJEVO FOOTBALL STADIUM

Near the stadium I found the grave of IRMA GRABOVICA, born 1982 and died 1993. Nearby lay HUSEIN KAROVICH, born in 1938. Beside the grave of twenty-two year old IZET BEGICH were two anonymous graves. Further on PAVO BLAZHEVICH, A Catholic Croat lay beside ZLATIMIR TEZICH, a Serb, and KASIM MEZHUR, a Muslim. Kasim and Zlatomir’s graves were so close together I wondered if in life they were friends.

It was quite dark when I reached Ana’s building. The night was brisk and moonless night. The Milky Way was bright and splashed across the sky. Ana waved from the window and hurried downstairs and into my arms. She was eager for me to meet a friend who had been crippled in the first days of the war. A battle erupted northeast of the city and spread along the lines. Despite the fighting we headed for Bare, a working class neighborhood on the northern edge of the city.

Bare was in a fold two blocks below Ana’s building. It was pressed between a communist-era hillside cemetery and the Serb lines on an adjacent ridge. Ana and I were thankful for such a dark night, as the squat, widely spaced apartment blocks were fully exposed to the lines.

We went quietly, never speaking above a whisper and tensed for the punch of a sniper’s bullet that would come quick and silent. There wasn’t much in the way of cover, just the occasional wreck amid trash strewn empty lots.

“Chetniks,” Ana whispered, “no more than three hundred meters. There is no wind tonight. We must be careful. They can hear everything up there.”

“Who are we visiting?”

“My good friend Cico. It is important that you meet him.”

ZIP! A bullet ripped the air close by. Ana and I were instantly racing for the cover of a nearby doorway. The night fell silent once more, but Ana and I refused to move. We were holding tight to one another. I could feel her heart beating madly through her coat. There was terror in her eyes. Her face, half consumed in shadow, was suddenly pale. billturckbosnianwar

“Are you all right?” I asked.

“My nerves. I’ll be fine. I think it’s safe now, but we should hurry.”

Cico’s building was close. The building was dark, but for the flickering glow of candles through translucent UNHCR plastic covering the windows at the back of the building. We ran until we reached the open door. Ana called up and a huge figure appeared at the top of the stairs. Candle poured light across a man’s face.

Even from the bottom of the stairs I could tell that Marko Markovich, Cico’s father, was a good soul, a beer and pretzels sort of guy. The candlelight painted the map of a difficult life upon his simple face. He leaned over the rail to help light our way with the candle. A welcoming smile came to him when he recognized Ana.

“Hey, Ana! Kako ste? Shta ima?” His rich deep voice filled the stairwell. Woven within was the elation of a man momentarily rescued from despair.

“Nemam nishta,” nothing much, Ana replied breathlessly. “Kako ste vi?”

“Dobro sam,” very well, he nodded meeting us on the stairs. He greeted Ana with a huge one-armed hug, nearly lifting her off her feet. “Ah, the daughter I always wanted!”

Ana introduced me. Marko welcomed me with a big handshake and hearty pat on the shoulder.

“Come, come,” he said. “It’s warmer inside. You must forgive me but I have nothing to offer.”

The apartment was tiny, much smaller than Ana’s. It was cluttered like most wartime apartments, and a bit of a mess, for which the sweet-natured Serb kept apologizing as he lumbered around the place. We found a seat on an old couch. Beautiful red and black Oriental blankets were thrown and tucked over the most worn places. The room had a strange character, as though it was as much a memory of someone that had passed as anything else. There was an air of clumsy preservation, in which a woman’s touch had been staged or recreated. That sense hid at the edges of the candlelight, like a memory fading with time. Ana was expectant, less about Cico and more as if there was something she needed to confirm here.

He said something about the last place being wrecked by a missile, and they had not settled into this place yet. Ana and I shared a smile. Marko was as awkward as a schoolboy with a crush.

“You will have some tea, both of you,” he said, leading us by candlelight through a narrow hall into the living room.

“Please, no,” said Ana. “You have much too far to go for water here.”

“Nonsense. It’s freezing outside.”

“A small cup then,” she relented.

Ana and Cico were friends before the war, but not as close as they were now. They lost touch for a while. It was then that Cico’s life changed forever.

The first weeks of the war Cico was riding in a car with some friends. One of them was playing with a gun when it went off and blew away part of Cico’s left foot. It was a terrible wound, but at the hospital it hardly compared with those missing arms and legs, with guts hanging out or faces shredded. There were dozens as badly wounded as Cico and dozens more that were hurt much worse, with casualties mounting by the hour. What remained of the hospital staff was hopelessly overwhelmed. The best he could hope for was a simple bandage. Infection set in quickly and the doctors did their best to save as much of the leg as possible, but without the proper medicines all they could do was amputate more and more of his leg in a vain effort to stay ahead of the infection. After the last operation doctors told him he should be prepared to lose the entire leg.

I looked around the room and remarked how sad it seemed. It was as if another soul was in the room with us.

“It’s Cico’s mom. You could feel her even stronger in the last place. She died when he was small of kidney failure. She was in terrible agony…I just can’t imagine.”

We could hear Cico on the stairs. He was hollering at Ana for interrupting the best pool game he’d had in weeks. He clumsily negotiated the clutter in the hall on a pair of silver metal crutches. He was tall with thick dark hair and bright playful eyes. Cico had a huge grin on his face. It dissolved the moment he saw me sitting beside Ana. Our introduction was no less awkward. He was very obviously jealous.

They caught up with neighborhood gossip. One girl was a refugee in Germany, and a kid from school had been killed on the line a few days earlier.

There was shelling to the south. The dull rumble drew concentric rings across the surface of my tea. Now and again Ana would touch my leg and ask if I was all right in English. Each time Cico took note. He leaned to Ana.

“Why don’t we hit the American over the head and steal his money,” he smirked in Bosnian. Ana fought the urge to laugh.

“Really?” she replied.

“And why not?”

“Cico, he understands everything you say.”

His eyes went wide with surprise. “Everything?’

“Everything,” she said. He looked sharply at me and blushed as I nodded.

“I, uh, I only joke,” he stammered.

“That’s okay,” I winked. “Ana suggested we mug you if you won big in pool!”

From that moment Cico and I were friends. Ana seemed terribly relieved and went back to her conversation. Gossip was the only real entertainment left in the city, and the scandalous stuff he had about who was sleeping with who was golden. For my part I marveled at Ana and the intensity she brought to every relationship. In her embrace I knew I could forever be safe from the treachery of the world. As for Ana and Cico, what passed between them was rich and pure, and much deeper than simple friendship. For Cico, by the way he looked at her and hung on every word, I knew it was nothing short of love.


Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray with Jack Hammond and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

Bill This

Louisiana republican, senator David Vitter this week introduced a bill that would cut funding for so-called sanctuary cities which do not actively or aggressively harass undocumented immigrants. Senator Harry Reid called it the Donald Trump bill, a reference to the incendiary and opportunistic rhetoric by presidential candidate and bombast, Donald Trump.

The bill calls for cities that do not “comply” with federal laws regarding arrests and deportations of immigrants to face sanctions and cuts to federal funding. Sanctuary cities simply have decided against using municipal funds or employees to enquire about an individual’s immigration status. It also relieves additional financial burdens on municipalities which find themselves cash strapped to greater and greater degrees. The term holds no legal status. begun in Los Angeles in the 1970s, the intent was to remove additional burdens to local police, and to prevent discrimination. Attempts to ban or sanction so called sanctuary cities is merely a political ploy and has no actual basis in law or practice.

The biggest idiocy is that these same republicans are the same retro-evolutionary amphibians cheering and flouting federal laws regarding a woman’s right to choose what happens to her own body, who insists about imposing creationism in public school curriculum, legislating at state levels end runs around anti-discrimination laws, imposing religious texts in courtrooms and celebrating lawless militias deploying to murder federal law enforcement officers in Nevada supporting a scofflaw rancher while now proclaiming “Blue Lives Matter.”

Of course, “Blue Lives Matter,” referring to police, is merely the right’s tongue in cheek end run around actually using the word “Nigger” to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement.

But consistency has never been a hallmark of the Right. What is far worse, however , are the people who fail to recognize glaring contradictions on the Right, which are the size of China’s Great Wall. And these people, like the media dulled Weebles that they’ve become walk right into that wall, turn around and slam into it again and again.
The Right constantly drumbeats about low information voters, referring to liberals and Progressives and anyone who sees through the hurricane of bullshit on the Right, as well as those not stupid enough to vote against their best interests. but when push comes to shove I’ll take the low information voters on the Left over the low IQ voters on the Right any old day!


Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray with Jack Hammond and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com