End of My Court Case and Statement by Peter Bohmer
May 9, 2013
I went to Thurston County District Court today and accepted the following deal. The assault charges (on a State Police Officer) were dropped against me and the district attorney and judge stipulated that they cannot bring a charge of assault in any form against me in the future connected to the temporary shelter and actions of March 5th, 2013. I agreed to a deferral on the trespass charge with the agreement that it would be dropped in one year if I am not arrested and I would be found guilty on this charge if I am arrested in the next year. I agreed to pay $43 to cover court costs. When Judge Wilcox asked me what happened on March 5th, I said the following:
1) Housing and shelter is a basic human right.
2) Olympia and Thurston County criminalize the poor and homeless.
3) That in response to this increased criminalization of homeless people and as someone who has organized to end homelessness, and in order to take action in solidarity with homeless people, I went onto the parking lot of the abandoned Fish and Wildlife Building on North Washington St. in Olympia on March 5th at about 6:15 P.M.
4) I saw the State Police on the property and heard their order to leave but decided to remain on the property to show my support for the on-site temporary shelter and the people there.
I want to thank my lawyer, Legrand Jones, for his excellent representation. There are six defendants remaining facing trespassing charges. Let us all support them and continue the struggle to end poverty and homelessness. Peter
My reflection on Thomas Herndon’s exposé of a study often quoted to justify austerity; i.e., cutting social programs.April 22, 2013
It is really important that we demand the U.S. government accept the victory of Maduro. His margin in the recent election was almost as big a margin as Obama in voting percentages in 2012. As far as I know the U.S. and Spain are the two countries who have not accepted the results. This is interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela. Capriles and the right-wing in Venezuela not accepting their loss in a system where votes are counted very accurately creates a very dangerous situation. Destabilization somewhat reminiscent of the attempted 2002 coup is occurring including attacks on community media. Let us also challenge the U.S. media misrepresentation and stress the fairness of the count of the April 14th election.
That is the main issue and should be our main focus, support for the electoral process in Venezuela and Maduro as President .
As someone who is in solidarity with the Venezuelan revolution, a secondary but important issue is why the election was so close, especially since Maduro seemed comfortably ahead in the polls? This is not questioning his victory but the small margin, 2 percentage points. I hope that the response in Venezuela goes beyond the necessary defense of Maduro’s victory; that it extends to a serious examination of some of the ongoing problems such as corruption, clientalism, violence and major inefficiencies in some public programs. I hope there is a major and ongoing process where there is consultation with the popular classes about their criticisms and this leads as quickly as possible to the deepening of the revolution –growth of participatory democracy, popular power and socialization of the economy.
The death of President Hugo Chávez is a great loss for the people of Venezuela and to people all over the world. U.S. imperialism and the right-wing and the rich in Venezuela are using this period as an opportunity to intensify their efforts to destroy the development of “Socialism for the 21st Century” and turn back the advancements. The Venezuelan people no longer have Chavez to support them. My hope is that out of the tragic death of Chávez that participatory democracy and socialism from below can flower and expand and that the Maduro led government will support this transformation rather than move to the right to appease the opposition.
La lucha continua, Peter Bohmer
Hugo Chávez memorial!
This Wednesday, March 13th, 1:30 to 3:30 P.M.
Place: Sem 2, A1105, The Evergreen State College
Memorial to celebrate life of Hugo Chávez — video clip, poetry and short presentations on the significance of Hugo Chavez to Venezuela, the world and to us. There will be time for sharing our reflections. We would love if you would prepare something, 3 minutes or so to share with us or a visual or music. For more info contact Larry Mosqueda, Anne Fischel or Peter Bohmer
Please share with others!
Also, here is a June 2012 article I wrote on Venezuela with an update written shortly after Chavez’s death. Venezuela: The Revolution Continues, 2012 article with March 7, 2013 update
Laura Carlsen will be giving two major talks in Olympia. Laura Carlsen flyer
1) Latin America’s Challenge to Neoliberalism
Monday, March 4, 2013 7-9pm
Olympia Center, Room 101
222 N Columbia St, Downtown Olympia
2) A Nation at Risk: Drug Wars, Democracy, and Dependency in Mexico
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 11am-1pm
The Evergreen State College, Seminar II, Room E1105
Laura Carlsen is a political analyst and writer who has lived in Mexico City for 25 years and is the Director of The Americas Program, www.cipamericas.org, at the Center for International Policy, She has written extensively on NAFTA, the drug war, immigration and gender issues in Americas Updater, Counterpunch, La Jornada and others. She is a columnist for Huffington Post and Foreign Policy in Focus, and a commentator with Al Jazeera, CCTV, NBC, Democracy Now!, NPR and Mexican television and radio stations. Laura Carlsen is co-editor of “Confronting Globalization: Economic Integration and Popular Resistance in Mexico” and has participated as an analyst and activist in the movement against militarization and the drug war on both sides of the border.
Both events are free and open to the public!
Sponsored by OMJP (Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace), Tesc MEChA and the Tesc Political Economy and Social Movements Program.
This is an interview with me about my approach to teaching with photos of protests and my comments on them. Here is the interview; open and click on it.