Matching Grant Challenge
alexPureWhen I met Alexander Cockburn, one of his first questions to me was: “Is your hate pure?” It was the question he asked most of the young writers he mentored. These were Cockburn’s rules for how to write political polemics: write about what you care about, write with passion, go for the throat of your enemies and never back down. His admonitions remain the guiding stylesheet for our writers at CounterPunch. Please help keep the spirit of this kind of fierce journalism alive by taking advantage of  our matching grant challenge which will DOUBLE every donation of $100 or more. Any of you out there thinking of donating $50 should know that if you donate a further $50, CounterPunch will receive an additional $100. And if you plan to send us $200 or $500 or more, CounterPunch will get a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate. –JSC (This photo of Alexander Cockburn and Jasper, on the couch that launched 1000 columns, was taken in Petrolia by Tao Ruspoli)
 Day 19

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

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But Not the Anti-War Movement

NYPD Unplugs Cindy Sheehan

by JOSHUA FRANK

They can’t stop the antiwar movement, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying. On Monday Sept. 19, Cindy Sheehan spoke in New York City’s Union Square to a group of supporters and onlookers when police rushed in to break up her speech as it was winding down.

"I was speaking and someone grabbed my backpack and pulled me back pretty roughly," Sheehan told the Associated Press. "I was shoved around."

Police arrested organizer Paul Zulkowitz, who was charged with disorderly conduct as well as for using an unauthorized sound device. For anybody who has been through Union Square in the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen Zulkowitz (AKA Zool), who heads up "Camp Casey NYC," a small group of local activists who set up an encampment over a month ago to show their solidarity with Sheehan’s quest to end the Iraq war. Zool’s arrest was most likely a coordinated effort meant to disrupt the ongoing antiwar vigil.

"Since when can’t you talk out here in Union Square?" an Upper West Side social worker told the Village Voice following the incident. "I’ve seen everyone and their mother come out and speak nonsense out here in this park, and for them to shut down Cindy Sheehan is just not right."

There is no question that the New York Police Department overreacted. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve personally shuffled through Union Square where musicians and others were plugged into (unauthorized, I am sure) amplifiers ­ singing their tunes or spewing their political propaganda. And never once I have I seen a police officer run in and pull the Bob Dylan or Abbie Hoffman wannabe from his microphone. No, there’s a reason why they targeted Cindy Sheehan and not these fellows.

Quashing Cindy is a different issue altogether, and it carries a lot more weight. For starters, Sheehan is actually being heard and getting her fair share of media coverage. She is proof that the antiwar movement is gaining speed. And that’s a dangerous predicament for those who support Bush’s dubious war, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is clearly plotting his own trajectory within the Republican establishment. Unplugging Sheehan undoubtedly scored Bloomberg a few brownie points with the Bush cartel ­ as if jailing 1,800 protesters during the Republican National Convention wasn’t enough.

Silencing Cindy Sheehan in Union Square should show us all what we are really up against. Over 1,900 U.S. troops have died thus far in Iraq, not to mention countless civilians. And for what? The NYPD and government officials don’t want us to ask that important question, which means we have to be even more vigilant in our efforts to expose Bush’s war for the fraud that it is.

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the brand new book, Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, published by Common Courage Press.




















CLARIFICATION

ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH

We published an article entitled "A Saudiless Arabia" by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the "Article"), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the "Website").

Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.

As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.

We are pleased to clarify the position.

August 17, 2005