Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Our Lady Peace Live Web Chat Ustream: Wed May 25

 Wednesday May 25
  4 PST / 7 EST

On Wednesday May 25, join Our Lady Peace live from the studio as they update you on the recording process of their upcoming album release and answer some of your questions! Raine, Duncan, Jeremy and Steve will all be taking part in the chat. This will be the first installment in the week long series of OLP studio streams leading up to a brand new album.

To join the webchat and ask questions, get settled at
OurLadyPeace@Ustream and log in with your Twitter account to interact live with the band. Interested in just watching the stream? Head on over to ourladypeace.net.

Don't forget that from May 26 - 30 at 4 PST / 7 EST there will be a new stream.

Our Lady Peace
1731 Lawrence Ave
Toronto, Ontario M1R 2X7

Sunday, May 22, 2011

To Gaza With Love




Featuring  Ali Abunimah, Kathleen Chalfant, Kathy Kelly, and Alice Walker.


A special guest, Dr. Ahmet Dogan, will be joining us for this event. Dr. Dogan is the father of Furkan Dogan, the 19 year old Turkish American killed by Israeli forces on the Mavi Mamara, one of the boats in Freedom Flotilla I bound for Gaza last year. Immediately after learning about the attack on the flotilla the organizing for the U.S. BOAT TO GAZA, THE AUDACITY OF HOPE began. 

Now it is a reality and soon we will sail.

Let us come together to hear Dr. Dogan speak about his son and honor Furkan Dogan's commitment to justice for Palestine and look forward to the launch of THE AUDACITY OF HOPE as we affirm our commitment to help end the siege of Gaza and free Palestine.


The U.S. Boat to Gaza Campaign is collecting thousands of personal letters to the people of Gaza from people like you in the U.S., in an act of friendship and solidarity. These letters will be carried as our cargo on the U.S. Boat to Gaza when it sets sail in June 2011 in the next International Freedom Flotilla "Stay Human."

The Audacity of Hope will sail as a human rights mission to help end the illegal Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. The campaign To Gaza With Love allows you and thousands of other people to take part in this effort.  To include your voice please write a letter, card or postcard and send it to:

119 West 72nd St. #158
New York, NY 10023


Facebook Twitter Flickr 
US TO GAZA | PO Box 373 | Bearsville | NY | 12409


Monday, May 16, 2011

Spirit of Rachel Corrie Mission: Malaysia Interception: Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF)


0825 (Jordan Time)  16 May 2011 (Monday)

The Spirit of Rachel Corrie Mission, involving a Malaysian owned ship carrying aid for Palestine, has been intercepted and attacked by the Israeli naval forces in the Palestinian security zone this morning at 6.54 am local time. The ship’s 12 crew and passengers are safe. Currently the ship has been forced to anchor in the Egyptian waters at one and a half nautical miles from the Gazan waters.

This latest event occurred in the wake of yesterday’s sad commemoration of the ‘Nakba’ in which many lost their lives. ‘Nakba’ the Arabic word for catastrophe means “the expulsion and dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and land in 1948.″

The humanitarian initiative is sponsored by Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) and participating in this mission includes anti-war activists and journalists from the Asian, American and European continents.

The mission crew on the ship -- The Spirit of Rachel Corrie (officially known as FINCH)

The cargo ship The Spirit of Rachel Corrie (officially known as FINCH) is carrying 7.5 kilometers of UPVC (plastic) sewage pipes to help restore the devastated sewerage system in Gaza. The ship was named after the courageous American activist who was crushed and killed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003 while trying to prevent the demolition of another Palestinian home. She died at 23.

The Spirit of Rachel Corrie Mission is part of the Perdana Global Peace Foundation’s (PGPF) “Break the Siege on Gaza” campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to highlight the effects of the illegally imposed Israeli siege and raise awareness of the human rights violations of the people of Gaza. Breaking the siege and ending the illegal collective punishment of 1.5 million people must be a priority for the international community.

On 27 December 2008, the Israeli military launched Operation Cast Lead, which not only killed some 1400 Palestinians, but also destroyed vital infrastructure leaving the Gazans with critical water and sewage problems. Repair of the infrastructure has proved impossible as Israel has prevented the entry of construction materials and fuel to resolve this dire situation.

According to a report from the Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene group (EWASH), “the release of 80 million litres of untreated or partially treated sewage into the environment and Mediterranean Sea each day is primarily a result of the Israeli imposed blockade on the Gaza Strip.”

Gaza, one of the world’s most densely populated areas, is currently dealing with serious health issues such as the blue baby syndrome, diarrhea and other waterborne diseases like typhoid and hepatitis A. The World Health Organization is warning of a possible cholera epidemic if nothing is done rapidly to resolve this sanitation crisis.

According to Physicians for Human Rights-Israel: “Between 90% and 95% of the aquifers in the Gaza Strip are not safe for drinking.” The primary cause of the current problem originates from the destruction, during Operation Cast Lead, of “20 kilometers of water pipes, 7.5 kilometers of sewage pipes and 5,700 mobile water tanks”.

While the Gazans are experiencing the dramatic environmental impacts of the sewage and water crisis, the effects have already reached the Israeli shores, and could spread further affecting neighbouring countries. This severe health and environmental issue needs to be dealt with urgently. The international community must demand that the illegal Israeli blockade be lifted.

The Spirit of Rachel Corrie Mission stemmed from PGFP’s participation in the Freedom Flotilla in 2010, in which 9 activists were killed by Israeli commandos. Following a fact finding mission conducted in Gaza in October 2010, PGPF decided to continue its efforts to assist Palestinians and shows this project as the most immediate of all priorities.– PGPF





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Join the Resistance: Fall in Love: Franklin Lopez: Buffalo: Fri May 20

* word prophet, rapper, hip hop artist, spoken word poet, musician, 
activist and awesome human being

One day, about five years ago, I was clicking around the web looking for something and I found something else. Without really trying to I found myself watching the film, Join the Resistance: Fall in Love by Franklin Lopez.  It's probably not work safe, but it was extremely inspiring.   

So I subscribed to his YouTube channel and that led me to checking in on his website fairly regularly.  Over the course of the next several years I found a lot of my ideas being heavily influenced by the film clips that he was churning out.

In 2009, I recorded a CD and asked him if he would mind me using his voice on it.  I asked my neighbor Roxanne to record a vocal piece for it also.  And I also asked my friend Leslie James Pickering, who's activism I have a deep and abiding respect for, to record a piece for my CD as well.  

At the tail end of last year, I read a post from Franklin Lopez that he was giving up his apartment, buying a van, and touring around North America to promote his new movie END:CIV which is based on the books ENDGAME I and II by Derrick Jensen.

I suggested that he should come through Buffalo and invited my neighbor Roxanne to help organize it and my friend Leslie James Pickering to do a brief presentation. Roxanne has found the perfect location for it at the Adam Mickiewicz Library, and a few weeks ago Franklin Lopez stopped here in Buffalo and did an interview with Roxanne that turned out really great.

I highly, highly --and even more highly-- recommend folks stop by the Polish Library this Friday to see Franklin Lopez present END:CIV in person.  And please help get the word out between now and then.

we would love to see you there,

  -Alex Mead


Event Flyer:

Facebook page:
[invite people!]

END:CIV website  

Leslie James Pickering:

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Al-Walaja Nakba Day 15 May 2011 via Mazin Qumsiyeh

As of now at local time Monday morning 2 a.m. May 16, 2011, Mazin Qumsiyeh is still being detained.  His cell phone battery died as he called and wrote down the names and countries of the seven internationals that were detained with him so they can get help calling their respective country's embassy (Ireland, USA, Canada, Germany, Netherland.)  


Later, he borrowed someone else's phone to call and inform his family [this letter is via his family] to let them know that all the internationals would be released shortly, but not him and other Palestinians. For them, he said, maybe days.  

He sounded in good spirit and did not seem to be mistreated. Your calls to the U.S. State Department, Senators, Congresspersons, and foreign governments if you are non-US nationals will help.

Here is a video that he took up to the moment when he was arrested.  He managed to pass on the video to a friend before being taken away.  

Many of you wrote in response to the earlier e-mail breaking the news of Mazin's arrest.  His family greatly appreciates that.  Please understand that they may not be replied individually due to the overwhelming responses. They will send updates as they become available.

Hope I have good news to share with you tomorrow [via family] 


*Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities in occupied Palestine. He serves as chairman of the board of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People and coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Sahour.

He is author of "Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle" and the forthcoming book “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment”

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

100 Cities, One Night for Autism: Buffalo: Academy Award Director Gerardine Wurzburg

Celebrating “100 Cities, One Night For Autism”, the critically-acclaimed film, "Wretches and Jabberers", will play for a one night limited engagement in Buffalo on Thursday, May 12th at 7:30pm at Dipson Amherst Theatre 3500 Main Street.

Directed by Academy Award®-winner Gerardine Wurzburg, the feature documentary follows two men with autism, Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, who embark on a global quest to change attitudes about disability, intelligence and communication. 

“100 Cities, One Night for Autism” is a unique, nationwide, theatrical event taking place on Thursday, May 12th when 100 theaters in nearly every major U.S. city, from New York to Honolulu, screen "Wretches and Jabberers" on the same evening

The event was conceptualized by production company State of the Art, Inc with distribution partners Area23a and Screenvision in response to a surge in public demand for more showings of "Wretches and Jabberers" after the documentary’s successful 40-city tour in partnership with the Autism Society during April, which is Autism Awareness Month.

“100 Cities, One Night for Autism” is sponsored by the John P. Hussman Foundation in partnership with the Autism Society.  "This one day event is possible because of the commitment by Learning Disabilities Association of WNY to bring the important message of Wretches & Jabberers to your community,” stated Gerardine Wurzburg, Academy Award winning director.

About Wretches and Jabberers:

Directed by Academy Award®-winner Gerardine Wurzburg (Educating Peter), "Wretches and Jabberers" follows self-advocates Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette as they challenge global attitudes about autism and issue a hopeful message to reconsider competency. A powerful story about personal struggle that rings with intelligence, humor, hope and courage, the feature documentary is about the life-sustaining power of relationships – the personal connections that people make through communication. 

The film is produced by Douglas P. Biklen and Gerardine Wurzburg, funded by the John P. Hussman Foundation, a production of State of the Art, an Academy Award®-winning communications company that creates programs, materials and campaigns in education and health that make the leap between good ideas and change. www.stateart.com

“Banishes the myths about autism and reveals its global face.” – Parade

“An eye-opening and most entertaining doc… nearly perfect” 

–  The Hollywood Reporter

“Autism finds its voice.” – Newsweek

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

ART Community Dialog: The Voices of Western New York Artists

In keeping with the mission statement of community support, American Repertory Theater of Western New York has created a website and Facebook Page dedicated to opening up online forums to discuss issues facing WNY Artists. This new Website Public Forum page is entitled "The Voices of Western New York Artists."

These public forums are designed for all members of WNY Cultural Groups, media, individual artists and anyone with an opinion that faces Artists in Western New York.

Those visiting The Voices of WNY Artists website and the Facebook page are encouraged to post opinions, offer links to blogs & websites, announce upcoming shows and, most importantly, utilize their voices for the sole purposes of creating dialog and being heard.


The mission of the American Repertory Theater is two fold.  To produce both classic and contemporary theatrical works and support a new generation of playwrights. These productions are purposefully created through the innovative exploration of these selected works, thereby enhancing the cultural and intellectual experience of the theatergoer.

Second, the American Repertory Theater will serve as a catalyst for community dialogue and action that will result in sustained economic growth and increase the collaboration within all sectors of our community.

For information: 

Matthew LaChiusa (716) 884-4858  


Monday, May 9, 2011

Freedom Flotilla II and The Canadian Boat to Gaza, "Tahir"

The Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign announces today the successful conclusion of arrangements to purchase and register a boat to carry the Canadian delegation to Gaza. The boat’s name Tahrir (Liberation in Arabic) has been chosen to honour the square in Cairo that was the focus of the democratic uprising that has spread hope across the Middle East.  

The Tahrir will sail with vessels from France, USA, UK, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, and other countries, as part of the Freedom Flotilla II. This international movement in solidarity with the Palestinian people turns the spotlight on the blockade of Gaza and its 1.6 million residents whose access to resources and ability to travel has been unilaterally impeded by the illegal Israeli blockade.

The 25-metre Tahrir will carry approximately 45 people: delegates from across the country, high profile Canadians plus journalists. As well, the Canadian campaign has partnered with campaigns from other countries and will carry delegates from Australia, Belgium and Denmark. 

A new website: http://www.tahrir.ca/ was launched today to coincide with news of the boat’s purchase and will be the site for online donations.

As the Israeli government continues to threaten the use of force against the Freedom Flotilla II, we call on all Canadians, including Members of Parliament from all parties, to join with us in demanding that the Canadian government take concrete steps to guarantee the safety of humanitarians headed to Gaza. 

“My heart is with the participants in the Canadian boat to Gaza in this important initiative for freedom and justice for Palestine. I urge the Canadian government to do all it can to prevent Israeli aggression against the flotilla and the activists aboard the boats,” said Jewish Holocaust survivor and Palestine rights activist Suzanne Weiss in Toronto.

The world is watching: we will not be intimidated and we will not forget the Palestinians of Gaza.

End the Blockade of Gaza!

Tear down the Apartheid Walls!

End the Israeli collective punishment on the Palestinian people, Free Palestine!

Support the Free Gaza movement & US Boat to Gaza break the siege on Gaza!

# # #

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

In Honor of Mothers & Children: Tweet for Hunger and Education

Josette Sheeran, front line reports and head of The World Food Program [WFP, the world's largest humanitarian org], began a movement on twitter to battle hunger for children globally by having people retweet a simple message in honor of her Mother, Sarah.
#AMeal4Sarah @JosetteSheeran #MothersDay
*Josette will donate one meal for every single message sent on twitter per account up to 4,000 meals until Mother's Day. 
The World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In emergencies, they get food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of an emergency has passed, they use food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives.  WFP is part of the United Nations system and is voluntarily funded.
Hunger LP Main Photo
 © WFP 2011
In honor of my own Mother, Mary, along with WFP's and Josette's initiative, as a UN Volunteer and bloggers for hunger through WFP; I decided along with CEO and founder of PYA, Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, to donate towards the renovation and rebuilding of schools in Pakistan by asking people to tweet: 
 #pkfloods @ThinkTwiceRadio #MothersDay @P_Y_A        
*For every single tweet per account, up to 1,000 tweets, I will donate to Pakistan Youth Alliance towards cost of renovation of elementary schools drastically damaged by the 2010 flooding in Pakistan. 

Pakistan Youth Alliance  [PYA], one of the forerunners of youth organizations in Pakistan, are in the process of giving education back to children who currently do not have schools to attend. 

PYA, created and based in Pakistan in 2007, with chapters in Canada, KSA, and the UK, educates and empowers youth in order to cause awareness through action. Their focus is on societal issues that need to be understood, supported and altered in order to create a tolerable and progressive society. Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, CEO of PYA, along with co-founder, Maryam Kanwer, created this organization in 2007. In 2011, PYA has grown into an international  movement recognized by the UN in NYC.

 © PYA 2011
Through the utilization of technology, Josette, to WFP and myself to PYA, are able to feed and provide education for children in honor of Mothers for Mother's Day, by giving to children internationally.  This is only possible with the help of all people through retweeting [sending] each message online @twitter.  When each limit has been reached, donations will be made for both causes to both organizations. Only through the help of this global family, can the children be given aid, thus honoring all Mothers in return. 
We need your help in order for this to come to fruition
1. HUNGER: copy and paste this message on twitter: 
#AMeal4Sarah @JosetteSheeran #MothersDay
2. EDUCATION:  copy and paste this message on twitter:
#pkfloods @ThinkTwiceRadio #MothersDay @P_Y_A      
This is your chance to become a part of a global initiative for Mother's Day.  It is to honor Mothers and children, as well as providing for them both. 
We need you. 
Just copy, paste and send.