Thursday, July 26, 2007

Block party to raise green for Greens

This Saturday, from 8am to 8pm, a day of fun for all ages will be held at the Wharton community center and gym at 22nd Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue, a facility maintained by Lewis Harris Jr. Proceeds will benefit the center, Harris' campaign for City Commissioner and Jacinth Brown Roberts' for City Councilmember at large, and the Green Party of Philadelphia. Harris and Roberts are GPOP nominees. I'll be running the voter registration table.

Also upcoming: On Friday at 7:30, science fiction author and scholar Camille Bacon-Smith will be reading from her omnibus novel Daemon Eyes at Barnes & Noble, 1805 Walnut Street.

This just in:

REFUSING TO KILL IS NOT A CRIME
STOP PERSECUTING CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS AND REFUSERS

ACTION ALERT:
Conscientious objector OSMAN MURAT ÜLKE
in danger of re-imprisonment

OSMAN MURAT ÜLKE, THE FIRST TURKISH CO TO BE IMPRISONED, IS AGAIN
THREATENED WITH A 17-MONTHS SENTENCE ALTHOUGH THE MILITARY COURT
DECISION WAS EIGHT YEARS AGO.

ON 1 SEPTEMBER 1995 MR ÜLKE BURNED HIS MILITARY CALL-UP PAPERS,
SAYING: "I AM NOT A SOLDIER AND I WILL NEVER BE . . . I WILL NEVER
PERFORM MILITARY SERVICE."

From October 1996-March 1999 he was repeatedly arrested, charged,
convicted and jailed for refusing conscription.

On 9 March 1999 Mr Ülke was released from military prison and
ordered to present himself again to his military unit: instead, he
went home and has since lived a semi-legal life, officially a
deserter, but not arrested.

On 24 January 2006 the European Court of Human Rights found that:
" The clandestine life amounting almost to "civil death" which
[he] had been compelled to adopt . . . constituted degrading
treatment within the meaning of Article 3 [of the Human Rights Act]."

On 13-14 February 2007 the Committee of Ministers of the Council
of Europe "deplored that the Turkish authorities had as yet taken
no individual measure to put an end to the violation found by the
Court."

On 6 June 2007 the Turkish authorities told the Council of Europe
that a draft law to prevent repeated punishment of conscientious
objectors was under way.

YET ON 14 JUNE 2007 THE TURKISH MILITARY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE
ORDERED MR ÜLKE TO SERVE A 17-MONTHS SENTENCE. HE RISKS ARREST
AND RE-IMPRISONMENT DESPITE THE JUDGEMENTS OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF
HUMAN RIGHTS, THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS, AND THE (SO FAR) EMPTY
PROMISES OF THE TURKISH AUTHORITIES.

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WE DEMAND THAT THE TURKISH AUTHORITIES:

*COMPLY WITH THE JUDGEMENT OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN
RIGHTS IN THE CASE OF OSMAN MURAT ÜLKE

*RECOGNISE THE RIGHT TO CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION AND EXEMPT COs
FROM MILITARY SERVICE

*END NOW THE PERSECUTION AND "CIVIL DEATH" OF CONSCIENTIOUS
OBJECTORS

*RELEASE IMPRISONED KURDISH CO HALIL SAVDA IMMEDIATELY.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
The 5 June 2007 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION (http://www.refusingtokill.net/5JuneFlyer.htm) - organized by the Conscientious Objection Platform (Turkey), Global Women's Strike, Greek Association of Conscientious Objectors, and Payday men's network - highlighted in particular the persecution of Osman Murat Ülke.

We called especially on anti-war organizations to recognize the contribution of COs and other refusers to the anti-war movement and to organize actions to demand recognition of their right to refuse to kill, and thus to CO status and an end to their persecution.

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* SIGN THE PETITION-ON-LINE TO DEFEND OSMAN MURAT ÜLKE
http://www.petitiononline.com/ossi/petition.html
co-sponsored by:
German Peace Society - United War Resisters www.deutsche-friedensgesellschaft.de/php/index.php?id=66
Global Women's Strike www.globalwomenstrike.net
Greek Association of Conscientious Objectors www.antirrisies.gr
Payday men's network www.refusingtokill.net
War Resisters International www.wri-irg.org.

* WRITE TO YOUR COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE ON THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
The current Chair of the Committee of Ministers is Vuk Jeremic of Serbia msp@smip.sv.gov.yu. The UK representative is Secretary of State David Miliband MP (email milibandd@parliament.uk. The US observer at the Council is Ambassador Craig Roberts Stapleton (Fax 011 33 1 42
66 97 83). Please cc Payday, to forward to MEPs.

ACTION ALERT ISSUED BY PAYDAY MEN'S NETWORK (UK and US)
www.refusingtokill.net
payday@paydaynet.org
For information, call (US) 215-848-1120

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A bumper sticker made me laugh out loud today. White on red, it said, "APS: If this sticker is blue, you're driving too fast." (If you don't get it, you may be a mundane. Hint: APS stands for American Physical Society.)

Recently I've noticed 7-11 is selling half-size hoagies as "little subbies." This tickles me no end. (Come to think, that can be taken more than one way ;-) )


Eric Hamell

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