Saturday, October 30, 2010

New fangled hand dryer for public restrooms: it actually works

This Dyson airblade hand dryer, installed in the women's restroom in the Horicon Marsh visitor's center, actually works. When you insert your hands into the slot, one per each side, they are dried from both sides at once by a shot of air. It doesn't take long, and it doesn't burn and dry out your hands.

The paper toweling used at each fast food restaurant in the nation wastes nine trees a year . All that discarded paper generates 1,000 pounds of landfill waste.

Paper mills have to clean the wood pulp with chemicals before it can manufacture the paper toweling. A single treatment can pollute 20,000 gallons of water.

Despite what many may think, paper towels can't be recycled. Paper towels can be made from recycled materials.

The Dyson hand dryer uses 80% less energy than the conventional hand dryer. It offers an operational cost savings of 98% compared to paper towels.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wisconsin’s Horicon Marsh: The glacier’s gift to the wild geese

The most recent North America glacier invasion's final gasp scoured a marsh out of Wisconsin limestone. The area would later be called Horicon (pure). This is where the Green Bay lobe of the massive Wisconsin glacier stopped and relinquished the load of boulders that it had relentlessly carried down from the north.

CLICK photo to enlarge

That deposit became the Niagara escarpment: the point on our continent that separates the waters that flow eastward into Lake Michigan from those that flow into the Mississippi River.

The latter formed a lake here ten thousand years ago. But, fortunately for the wild geese, as silt and sediment built up, the lake transformed into a marsh. 

Horicon is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States, covering over 32,000 acres. It's a critical rest stop for thousands of migrating ducks and Canada geese, recognized as a Wetland of International Importance. It is also a gem among the points of interest that lie on Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail

A fall visit to Horicon provides a front row seat to the phenomenon of migration.

The sky is filled with "V" formations. The geese's honking is ever so much louder than the uninitiated would imagine-- filling the marsh, ringing out across the wetlands. As wetlands disappear across the continent, and up to 90% or more of it has, the geese congregate at this queen of the sites that remain.

Horicon is the source of the Rock River, where three small branches conjoin to form the river that empties into the Mississippi only a mile or two from my Iowa home. We followed the route of the river on our journey to Horicon, tracing it from end to beginning.

There are both a federal and a state-governed area of the marsh, and it's large enough to support both agencies with room to spare. We limited our visit to the federal recreational areas and visitor center (pictured above).

Mounted goose appears to watch as visitor signs the register at the Visitors Center at Horicon Marsh.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Farm workers rally California Latino voters; UFW get-out-vote campaign

Dozens of farm workers in Coachella are part of the hundreds of farm workers walking door to door to turn out the Latino vote. Photo credit: UFW.

Santa Rosa, CA Dozens of farm workers walked neighborhoods to help convince Latino voters in Santa Rosa to turn out on Nov. 2 to make Democratic Attorney General Jerry Brown the state’s next governor and gain support for other key candidates.

The Santa Rosa rally, sponsored by the United Farm Workers, is part of a nationwide effort to get out the Latino vote. The two-week campaign, which plans to reach out to 100,000 California voters, kicks off this weekend with rallies in Santa Rosa and Salinas. Other rallies occurred in Oxnard, Coachella and Central Valley cities.

Farm workers joined United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez for get-out-the-vote rallies in Santa Rosa and Salinas this weekend. 

UFW President Arturo Rodriguez speaks to more than 100 farm workers as they get ready to go out and walk to get out the vote. Photo credit: UFW.

As governor from 1975 to 1982, Brown helped Cesar Chavez and the UFW push through the Legislature California’s pioneering 1975 law granting farm workers the right to organize and bargain, abolished use of the infamous back-breaking short-handled hoe, brought farm workers coverage under unemployment insurance and appointed an unprecedented number of Latinos to high public office.

Message from UFW President: 
I am spending the weekend walking precincts in Latino neighborhoods with farm workers up in Santa Rosa and Salinas. Hundreds of farm workers and UFW members walked door to door statewide in 15 agricultural communities. Even though it was often pouring rain, they were committed to talking with Latino voters about issues directly affecting their lives and families. The passion, sacrifice and enthusiasm demonstrated by these farm workers never ceases to amaze me. Their dedication and humility inspires me every day.
 --Arturo S. Rodriguez, President, United Farm Workers

Friday, October 22, 2010

Record Deaths Recorded This Year on Arizona Border

The second highest recorded total of human bodies were recovered this year on the Arizona -Sonora border. The total recovered is 253 for the fiscal year that began on October 1, 2009 and ended September 30, 2010, reports Coalición de Derechos Humanos, a Tucson-based human rights group.  The data, compiled from medical examiner reports from Pima, Yuma, and Cochise counties, shows the "human cost of expensive and lethal U.S. border and immigration policies," says the group.

In 1994, Arizona recorded fourteen known migrant deaths. Sixteen years later, the total is eighteen times that number. It marks, the group calculates, an increase of 1,707%. 

The final count includes 170 males, 32 females, and 4 minors. Approximately 156, or 61.7% of the total recovered are of unknown identity, an indication that the body when recovered was too decomposed to determine even  the gender of the deceased.  Countries represented in the final count include México, Guatemala, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.

This figure is higher than last year's total of 206 remains recovered, and while the true total number of deaths on the border is impossible to calculate, Derechos Humanos has documented at least 2,104 deaths on the Arizona- Sonora border since 2000. The number of remains recovered in neighboring states and south of the border is not currently available.

Activists are alarmed by the staggering increase in the number of remains of unknown gender.  Three years ago, that number was 5. The following year, it climbed to 19. Last year the total was 31, but this year the number stands at 51, an incredible 20% of the total recovered. 
It is unconscionable that our government not only continues with these policies of border militarization, but openly brags about increasing those efforts.

Unknown gender indicates that not enough of the remains were recovered to determine gender, and without DNA, it is impossible to know even this basic information about the individual, making identification and return to their families even more difficult.  The dramatic increase in these unknown gender cases are a troubling indicator of what is to come, as people are pushed out into more and more isolated areas, making rescue and detection less likely, and the likelihood of death more certain.

There is information to suggest that the migration flow patterns are shifting due to 
the Funnel Effect, which has been documented by the Binational Migration Institute.  The high number of skeletal remains recovered this year, 59 (23.3% of total) support this likely shift in migration flow, and it is possible that the long periods of time before being recovered indicates that people are crossing in more isolated and desolate areas, with less chance of rescue or discovery.  It is unknown how many remains are currently near the border but have not yet been discovered, and it is probable that some of these remains will never be recovered.

For over a decade, border communities have demanded change to the policies that funnel hundreds of men, women and children to their deaths every year.  Nevertheless, the Department of Homeland Security receives an annual influx of power and funding. Their financial resources could further real security in our communities: education, health care and economic development. Instead, they have become instruments of death.

This, in effect, wages a war--not only on immigrants, but also on the inhabitants of border communities. Indigenous peoples find their lands red with the blood of native brethren. Border security infrastructure destroys the environment, rendering the homes of desert plants and animals uninhabitable. People of conscience see death becoming horrifyingly normalized every day by our leaders and politicians.

We stand united in grief and resolution over these unnecessary deaths, as we witness the fatal policies of division and xenophobia that continue to invade our borderlands.

The complete list of recovered bodies is available on the Coalición de Derechos Humanos website.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Love Your Body: I'm just "Too Big for My Skin"

Yesterday was the NOW Foundation's 13th annual Love Your Body Day. It's message: to love yourself and eliminate dangerously unrealistic standards of beauty-- an urgent, relevant and inspiring to women and girls everywhere.
Eighty percent of women are dissatisfied with their appearance, and a startling 49 percent of 3 to 6 year old girls worry about being fat. By the fourth grade, more than 80 percent of girls have tried a fad diet. Research has demonstrated that after watching TV and reading magazines women feel worse about themselves than before they started.
NOW chapters, sororities, high school clubs and women's advocates everywhere avow that women are beautiful as we are, no Photoshop or unhealthy products required.
We are worth so much more than a society that consistently tells women and girls they are worth less. No woman or girl deserves to feel ashamed of her appearance. To the many who do, NOW Foundation urges you to love yourself as you are. Having nearly lost my life to anorexia as a high school student, I know how difficult this can be. But I also know:
Loving yourself gives you the power to make the world a better place.
--Statement of NOW Action Vice President Erin Matson (edited slightly, original HERE)
It is the perfect opportunity to introduce you to poet Desdamona, whom I saw last month perform her important work: Too Big for My Skin

WOMEN: Don't miss this vid!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Unprecedented initiatives for Día del Rio 2010 celebrate the Rio Grande

LAREDO, TX -- An unprecedented host of historic activities will raise environmental awareness and help preserve the ecosystem of the Río Grande/Rio Bravo watershed as part of the 16th Annual Día del Río celebration tomorrow, October 16. A research event never before attempted highlights this year’s lineup of activities, a lineup also including a bi-national relay and the participation of thousands.  Día del Río 2010 is a celebration day that has occurred annually for the past 15 years to highlight the importance of the river that the U.S. and Mexico share.

The municipalities of millions of citizens literally could not exist without the 1,885-mile Río Grande River, known as the Río Bravo in Mexico. North America’s second largest river, it also comprises 65% of the U.S.-Mexico border. The river unites the border community.

Since the river is a shared bi-national resource, the borderland nations protect and celebrate it together. Two organizations established in 1994, the Río Grande International Study Center (RGISC) in Laredo, Texas and el Centro Internacional de Estudios del Río Bravo (CIER) in Nuevo Laredo on the Mexican side of the border,  initiated a series of annual events honoring the watershed they foster. They entitled it simply the Día del Río (River Day), and tomorrow they celebrate the sixteenth.

A grant this year from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Border Environment Cooperation Commission substantially magnified the span of the Día del Río 2010’s activities, which has traditionally featured river clean ups and restoration projects.

Activities for this year’s event—culminating tomorrow, October 16—extend throughout Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, Durango, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas to the estuaries in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as some of the Native American Pueblos.

The Río Research Roundup

Never in the planet’s history has a major watershed had its water tested on the same day, in the same hour, in multiple locations. But school children did just that on October 6 as part of Día del Río’s activities. Nearly 60 schools, 42 on the US side and 17 on the Mexican side, conducted the Río Research Roundup. This “snapshot testing” project, the Río Research Roundup, will serve as a model for watersheds on every continent.

Students, under teacher guidance, used professional scientific water testing kits to measure 10 parameters of the water quality at their section of the watershed. They are now compiling the data to post on the Project WET website. Additionally, they will file video documentation of their efforts on YouTube.

In addition to testing the water, each school also collected water samples in special containers, labeled with their school, state, and portion of the river.

The Río Relay

The students’ water collection features in another important Día del Río activity, linking communities along the river. Beginning at the headwaters in Colorado on October 6, a Río Relay vehicle set out to travel the length of the river, visiting each of the participating roundup schools along the way, in a historic ten day, 1,250 mile journey.

A vehicle representing the Mexico side joined the Río Relay in El Paso/Juárez, the first point at which the river becomes the bi-national border. From there, both vehicles have traveled the remainder of the river, meeting periodically along the way over a series of international bridges, where they crossed to the bridge’s midpoints, meeting at the international line above the river.

At each of the roundup schools, when the vehicle arrives at the students’ respective cities, Río Relay representatives will collect the water samples that the students obtained. The Rio Relay vehicle will transport the artifacts of student research to the headwaters of the river for a special ceremonial pouring of the Río Grande/Río Bravo waters into the Gulf of Mexico’s saltwater estuaries at Boca Chica-Bagdad.

Municipal participation in Día del Río

A celebration of the river that unites eight states in two countries, Día del Río represents an extensive geographic alliance. It was created with the cooperation of nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and groups in New Mexico and Texas on the U.S. side, as well as the Mexican states of Durango, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas.

Cities, parks, and organizations will also be holding special events in their local and regional areas along the river in conjunction with Día del Río. This will include kayaking, tree planting, cleanup projects, as well as art and musical events.

Watershed Alliance

During months of planning for Día del Río 2010, scores of organizations and agencies participated in weekly teleconference calls. They are now close to formalizing a vision and mission statement, along with priorities, for galvanizing a watershed‐wide network called the Rio Grande~Rio Bravo Watershed Alliance.

Organizations supporting the Día del Río 2010 event include the International Boundary and Water Commission, La Comision Internacional del Limites y el Agua, World Wildlife Fund, Gulf of Mexico Foundation, River Systems Institute, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Parks and Wildlife, National Wildlife Refuges, Los Caminos del Río, Río Grande Headwaters Land Trust, Río Grande Headwaters Restoration Project, Project WET, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, among others. 
This post participates in's Blog Action Day 2010. This year's topic is "water."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Iowa, Don't Miss the "Train to Nowhere" film

I attended an advance screening of a new documentary which debuts tomorrow night (October 12) on Iowa Public Television at 7 PM, entitled Train to Nowhere: Inside an Immigrant Death Investigation.

If you live in Iowa, I simply want to say: "Don't miss the train."

If you don't access IPTV (and I realize that most of the world does not) you are not out of luck. The DVD is available for purchase for a measly $15 on the film website. It is well worth it!

I reviewed it this morning, and will send you over to Allvoices if you care to learn more about this intersection of Iowa and the national immigration debate. The film trailer sits atop this post.

Train to Nowhere collaborators, Colleen Bradford Krantz and Paul Kakert, led a Q & A after the Davenport, IA screening yesterday with an appreciative crowd of about 150. The nonjudgmental approach, a path they chose and consistently insisted upon throughout the making of the film, bore fruit in this 60 minute tool that groups will find most productive because it promotes dialogue and understanding, two elements sadly lacking in an emotionally charged national debate on immigration.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blogging recognition from fellow blogger friends...

I've met so many wonderful people on the blogosphere, and some of them have given me artifacts of recognition. I save and treasure each one. Take a walk through this post as I remember them all....

Robert Rouse invited me to participate in the Blogger Album Project:

The Kreative Blogger from the immensely creative and intelligent Liberality:

Maithri, who writes the book on service every day of his life, gave me this one. It means a lot:

 Joe Spado of Round Circle knows what I need in the morning! Thank you, Joe!

Thailand Chani gave me this in June 2009, she died in 2010. Her blog was lovely, and I miss her comments here. Passed on, but not forgotten.

Utah Savage gave me this Sisterhood award. We're so different. That's why I love this one:

The blogger friend award came from three friends: Thanks, Sherry, Missy and Liberality! February and March of 2009~

Diva again honored me on November of 2008 with the Marie Antoinette award.

Thanks, Diva Jood of Journeys with Jood and Missy of So Big Fish 11/08. Missy closed her personal blog, but now she blogs for her parish. Maybe Diva will return to blog again someday, but right now she's really busy.

The Purity of Spirit necklace is an original award from creative, artistic Susan, October 2008.

Liberality is an uber-amazing woman, and she gifted me with this in October 2008:

Many thanks to Diane, Randal Graves & Robert Rouse who all awarded me this one in August 2008.

Thanks, Ruth Hull Chatlien of Ruth's Visions and Revisions 9/08; and to Liberality of Liberality in 10/08

From Fran of Ramblings--the Progressive Patriot award, 9/2008

from Diva Jood, 9/2008--Sadly for me, Jood no longer blogs, but fortunately for me, we're Facebook friends now, so it's all good.

Arte y Pico Award from eProf 7/1/2008, my first-ever award (and oh-so-pretty!) (in Spanish, too!)

Awarded by Ruth Hull Chatlein 9/2008

This last one is shared with a commentator group.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Spoilsports say President doesn't have authority to execute citizens without charge or trial

my pimped pic!

In a move apparently designed to take all the fun out of the Executive Office, The Center For Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a brief in federal court. It responded to the Obama administration's claim that no court should be able to limit the executive's authority to use lethal force against U.S. citizens if the executive has unilaterally determined that those people pose a threat to the nation. It seems that these two spoilsport groups had the nerve to challenge the government's claimed authority to carry out targeted killings of U.S. citizens outside the context of armed conflict who do not pose an imminent threat. I guess some certain people must not even trust the government!

"If the government's arguments were accepted, the current administration and every future administration would have unreviewable authority to carry out targeted killings of Americans deemed to be enemies of the state," said Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU. "While that power would be limited to contexts of armed conflict, the government has argued that the armed conflict against al Qaeda extends everywhere, indefinitely. This is an extraordinary and unprecedented claim, and one that we urge the courts to reject unequivocally. The courts have a crucial role to play in ensuring that the government's counterterrorism policies are consistent with the Constitution."  
The groups responded specifically to the government's claim that the executive's targeted killing authority is a "political question" that should not be subject to judicial review and to its claim that litigation of the case would require the disclosure of state secrets.
"While the administration has publicly declared global war powers to target and kill U.S. citizens and others wherever they may be, when it comes time to defend and explain its breathtaking claims in court, the administration dodges the issue and raises the specter of national security to persuade the court that it should not – indeed, cannot – inquire further, and to trust the executive," said CCR attorney Pardiss Kebriaei. "The court should reject the notion that it has no role in determining the constitutional rights of a U.S. citizen and in defining the constitutional parameters of the president's asserted power."
For more information on the case, including fact sheets and legal papers, and
Photo caption: Whoops! Billie, distracted while the posing for the photo shot, failed to notice that the executive unilaterally determined that she posed a threat to the nation! (Pay better attention next time, Billie. You could be the target of something more than a photo shot.) 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lou Dobbs Has a Meg Whitman Problem

my pimped pic!

-- Block Fixes to Broken Immigration System but Benefit From Its Dysfunction--

The news that Lou Dobbs relied for years on undocumented labor on his sprawling New Jersey estate highlights the rank hypocrisy that characterizes many immigration reform opponents. The Dobbs revelations, coming soon after similar charges levied against California Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman, highlights an uncomfortable truth: many of the same people who block progress toward fixing the broken immigration system are exploiting its dysfunction for their own benefit.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice, "Lou Dobbs has a Meg Whitman problem.  Not only is it incredibly hypocritical that those calling for greater immigration enforcement and blocking sensible reform are prospering from undocumented labor themselves, but it also reveals the inanity of letting these opponents drive immigration policy."
Dobbs long used his CNN show as a platform to bash immigrants and rally opposition to immigration reform - even through blatant lies, like spreading the story that immigrants are causing a resurgence in diseases like leprosy. Dobbs also called for felony charges for "illegal employers who hire illegal aliens." 

The revelations about Dobbs hiring undocumented workers, uncovered through the investigative journalism of The Nation, comes on the heels of similar allegations that have rocked the California gubernatorial contest between Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown. Whitman, the Republican nominee, relied on an undocumented housekeeper for nine years, despite trumpeting during her campaign that she would be "tough as nails" on undocumentedimmigrants and their employers.

In an editorial accompanying their investigation into Lou Dobbs, The Nation writes, "Of course Whitman and Dobbs are hypocrites: they have called publicly for tougher enforcement of immigration laws, claiming it is necessary to protect American workers and their wages, while privately refusing fair pay and humane treatment to their own immigrant workers, who were too afraid of getting caught in the enforcement net to stand up for their rights."  The editorial then points out that "undocumented workers are so thoroughly woven into the fabric of our economy that even two professional immigrant-bashers found it difficult to avoid relying on their labor." 

Instead of the dysfunctional status quo, we need "a straightforward path to legalization" so immigrant laborers could "step out of the shadows of the US economy and stand with American workers to demand decent treatment for all.

That might make it slightly more expensive for Lou Dobbs to maintain his multimillion-dollar properties, but it's a price he ought to pay" (as The Nation's editorial concluded).  Indeed, the American people strongly and consistently favor a comprehensive solution to immigration reform and, despite the efforts of the Dobbses and Whitmans of the world, understand that enforcement-only policies are neither sensible, humane, nor workable.

Text credit: America's Voice; Image by and Billie Greenwood who thinks that the endless mouth-flapping of "talking heads" like Lou Dobbs is counter-productive to progress.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Note to Homeland Security: We're not buying it.

The Department of Homeland Security held a press conference today spinning recent immigration enforcement data. In response,  Pablo Alvarado, director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statement:

"Broken immigration laws should not be multiplied.  
In an effort to score political points, Obama Administration immigration enforcement initiatives have imperiled community safety, separated families, eroded hard-earned civil rights protections, and created a domestic human rights crisis. 
This administration can not continue to have it both ways: it can not simply blame Congress for inaction while  ramping up enforcement of unjust status quo laws. 
It is a travesty that Secretary Napolitano continues to use her home state of Arizona as a blueprint for DHS policy."

Chris Newman, NDLON's legal director and general counsel added:

"We will continue to litigate our Freedom of Information Act request to uncover the truth about programs like Secure Communities. Both the left and the right should unite in their opposition to programs that have been deployed in secret and expanded the net of Department of Homeland Security with immeasurable impacts on basic civil liberties. S-Comm is a bad idea, it has been deployed with deception, and jurisdictions are increasingly saying 'no thanks' to the program. Secretary Napolitano's home state of Arizona has proven why it's dangerous to use local police as 'force multipliers' to amplify broken immigration laws. It's time for a public debate about whether we want use local police to enforce federal civil law codes."

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images. CaptionWASHINGTON - OCTOBER 06: Harris County, Texas Sheriff Adrian Garcia (2R) talks about the Department of Homeland Security's Secure Communities program during a news conference with (L-R) Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton October 6, 2010 in Washington, DC. Morton said that almost 400,000 illegal aliens had been removed in fiscal year 2010, half of whom were convicted criminals. Napolitano also announced that the Secure Communities program is in 660 jurisdictions and that ICE has audited more than 3200 employers suspected of hiring illegal laborers.
This data indicates that ICE deported 197,000 non-criminal family members last year. Obama's administration has beaten Bush's immigration deportation records.

I've added the emphasis to quotations in the text above. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Win a Flight for Two at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Man-O-Man, I would love to snag this prize!!~
--Facebook fans can win balloon ride for two during the city’s most iconic event--

Albuquerque, NM – The Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) along with Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Company are offering Albuquerque Facebook Fans the chance to win a hot-air balloon ride for two during the 2010 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. One lucky Albuquerque Facebook fan will win this ultimate experience scheduled for Thursday, October 7th.

To qualify entrants must “Like” Albuquerque’s Facebook page at

One winner will receive the $812 value package:

-A balloon ride for two people on Thursday, October 7th from Balloon Fiesta Park
-One parking pass for Balloon Fiesta Park General Parking
-Admission to Balloon Fiesta for two people on Thursday, October 7th for the morning events

Entries will be accepted through 10am MST on Wednesday, October 6th, and the winner will be notified via email. Public announcement of the winner will be made on Facebook. One entry per person.

“Flying among over 500 balloons is an experience that one will never forget. It is truly majestic and awe-inspiring – the ultimate Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta experience. Good luck to all our Albuquerque Facebook fans,” said Dale Lockett, President/CEO of the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

FBI Raids Homes of Anti-war Activists: Chicago, Michigan, Minneapolis & more

Last Friday, September 24th, the FBI raided the homes of, and served Grand Jury subpoenas to, Hatem Abudayyeh, Executive Director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), and several other anti-war activists in Chicago, Michigan, and Minneapolis, and questioned others in North Carolina and California—essentially attempting to criminalize their strong and tireless advocacy against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and support for the rights of the peoples of Palestine and Colombia.
For many years, Hatem Abudayyeh has led the social services, cultural outreach, adult education, and youth development programming of the AAAN; and has advocated for the civil and human rights of Arabs and other immigrants in the U.S., as well as Palestinians and oppressed peoples across the world.  The Arab American Action Network denounces the raids on the homes of, and the serving of Grand Jury subpoenas to, these anti war activists in Chicago and across the country.  The FBI has overstepped its boundaries and targeted individuals based on their commitment to peacefully challenge U.S. policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Colombia.
The raids are unfounded and have violated these activists’ constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of assembly, rights that are supposed to be guaranteed without intimidation in the United States.  Furthermore, the raids are a waste of taxpayer dollars and are direct attempts to intimidate, as well as silence, these activists, their communities, and any voice of dissent.
We, as members of the Board of Directors of the Arab American Action Network, condemn this attack on our Executive Director, which is another in a long list of attacks on our community.  We stand in support of him and the other activists fighting for peace, justice, and an end to unjust U.S. policies across the world.
And we encourage participation in the national day of action on Monday, October 4th—call Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General (202-353-1555), and demand that the Department of Justice end its harassment of anti-war and international solidarity activists, return all materials seized in the raids, and stop the Grand Jury subpoenas. ~ AAAN Board Statement on FBI Raids
The Arab American Action Network (AAAN) is a nonprofit, grassroots, community-based organization working to improve the social, economic and political conditions of Arab immigrants and Arab Americans in the Chicago metropolitan area.

from YouTube posting: Lawyers at the Minneapolis, MN, September 27, 2010, rally in solidarity with the seven citizens targeted by FBI raids on September 24 discussed some of the frightening new personal liberty issues raised by this raid.
A July ruling by the Supreme Court can threaten First Amendment rights in many ways. The current law and the FBI interpretation of it suggest that is may be possible to be targeted by talking to someone about talking to someone who may be on the governments list of terrorist organization. The previous standard was about providing aid, now talking may be a crime.

Coleen Rowley has authored several pieces on this issue, the most recent being:

FBI emptied their offices in the building prior to the rally. The 20 observing Minneapolis Police were joined by Chief Tim Dolan.