Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Look who's working with the terrorists

Did you catch this?


May 24, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "RT" - After the Al-Qaeda 9/11 attack on America the US is cooperating with the terrorist group as it did in Libya, Bosnia, and Kosovo, says former US diplomat Jim Jatras.
A senior figure from a Syrian rebel group Ahrar Al-Sham with links to Al-Qaeda reportedly visited the United States at the end of last year, according to an American news website. Syrian militant group leader Labib al Nahhas, who calls himself “chief of Foreign Political Relations at Ahrar al-Sham,” allegedly arrived in the US capital for a short visit in December.
RT: What’s your take on the visit to the US by a key Ahrar Al-Sham figure? What do you think about the State department response when they were asked about this? They seemed to be quite evasive, didn’t they?
Jim Jatras: It is clearly tap dancing. And frankly it begs credibility that a fellow like this could come to the US. What – we don’t have visa controls? We don’t pay attention to who is coming into this country from a war zone? And they expect us to believe that officials of the US government were not aware of the visit? Mark Toner said that he [the Ahrar Al-Sham figure] didn’t have any meetings here, meaning the US State Department. I would infer that maybe he had meetings elsewhere with some other agencies.  
RT: Do you have any idea what was behind the visit to the US?

JJ: My sense is that that they were operational meetings. We are hearing more and more noise about this so-called Plan B if the Russian and the Syrian governments do not knuckle under and agree that at the end of the transition Assad will go. We are getting these threats from the Saudis and the Turks, and frankly they are being backed by the Obama administration, that some kind of forceful action will be taken to secure a victory for these terrorist forces if we don’t get our way on what we demand from a supposed transition. And this worries me very much... They will step up their support for these terrorist groups. And I think Ahrar Al-Sham is one of the key components here despite their very close connection with Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra Front and their participation in this massacre at Zarah.  


Use the links to read in full.

Then roll your eyes over the so-called War on Terror.


And over our crooked government.

But, hey, when Barack released the terrorists with the League of Righteous -- who had killed US soldiers -- in 2009, I knew there was no serious desire to take on terrorism.


Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Tuesday, May 24, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the assault on Falluja continues, civilians tend to be largely ignored, the IMF gets its greedy hooks in Iraq, and much more.








  • launches op to recapture -concerns about civilians trapped in the city & how militias taking part in the op will act

  • As forces close in on , thousands of families trapped with no safe route out








    Falluja is not empty space.  It is a big city in Iraq.


    Over 300,000 people lived there and news outlets estimate that 100,000 civilians remain in the city today as Iraqi forces head towards the city.



    As the assault on Falluja continues, Nancy A. Youssef (DAILY BEAST) explains:

    According to U.S. estimates there are as many Iraqi Security Forces as Shiite militia forces around Fallujah or 20,000 in all. In Garma and elsewhere on the periphery of Fallujah, evidence has emerged showing Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-backed Shia militia groups participating in the advance against ISIS. These militias include groups previously responsible for killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq—such as the League of the Righteous—and those expressly blacklisted by Washington as foreign terrorist entities, such as the Hezbollah Brigades. Another group spotted in battle is Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, whose secretary general Akram Ka’abi also sanctioned by the US Treasury Department as a terrorist. The Facebook page for that organization recently posted a photograph purporting to show Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, in the “Fallujah operations rooms” along with Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, the leader of the Hezbollah Brigades (and another US-designated terrorist) and Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Badr Organization, which is another Iranian-backed militia, which yesterday announced its first casualty in the battle.
    Phillip Smyth, a specialist on Shia militias at the University of Maryland, told The Daily Beast that these groups have “been using a lot of indirect artillery and rocket fire” against ISIS positions. “You have a new propaganda image from all of circulating on social media every day.” Moreover, the militias have been advancing on Fallujah, Smyth says, since since the summer of 2015. “We’re saying it’s an [Iraqi Security Force] operation when the main forces on the ground for months are the Iranian-backed fighters.”



    Barack Obama, US President, loves to lie that he doesn't negotiate with terrorists (he does -- which is why The League of Righteous leaders were let out of US custody in 2009).  Not only does Barack negotiate with terrorists, he provides US air support for them.


    Terrorists?  The US government can always cozy up to them.

    Civilians in need?

    They're never so lucky.


    In all the reports filed on Falluja, civilians are either invisible or a footnote.  One exception is a report by Al Jazeera which puts the focus on the civilians:

    Speaking to Al Jazeera from Baghdad, the Norwegian Refugee Council's Becky Bakr Abdulla recalled stories told to her by families who managed to escape Fallujah, where the Iraqi army has shelled areas controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) group since Monday. 
    "People basically are surviving on dried dates and water from the river," Abdulla said. "The only things these families managed to take with them were the clothes they're wearing and their IDs."
    Abdulla explained that the few families who did escape the town in Anbar province had to traverse around 30km by foot and pass numerous checkpoints in order to reach safety.
    Although the offensive was launched on Monday, Iraqi government forces have besieged the city and its suburbs for several months now, resulting in shortages of food and medicines.

     At least 15 civilians have been killed so far during the offensive, sources told Al Jazeera.






    When the bulk of the other 'reports' on Falluja today briefly note civilians, it's usually to note that the United Nations and/or the International Committee of the Red Cross is calling for civilians lives to be protected.

    That's generally a single sentence in those 'reports.'


    There's no effort to quote from either call.

    Here's the ICRC's call:

    All sides must do their utmost to protect and spare the civilians of Fallujah.

    Baghdad (ICRC) - Fierce fighting is underway around the Iraqi city of Fallujah, raising serious concerns about the well-being and safety of civilians still trapped in and around the city. The situation is particularly worrisome for the tens of thousands of men, women, children and elderly who remain stuck inside the town – the largest in Anbar province – who have already had very limited access to food, water and basic healthcare for the past two years.
    "Fallujah must not be allowed to become another Ramadi," said the ICRC's head of delegation in Iraq Katharina Ritz, referring to a nearby town that was severely damaged and left scattered with explosive remnants of war after intensive fighting there earlier this year. Clearing Ramadi of explosive weapons and rebuilding its homes and disrupted water and electric systems could take months, if not years to complete.
    "Civilians must be spared and allowed to leave Fallujah safely, while houses and other civilian infrastructure must not be targeted", Ritz continued. "People of Fallujah have already suffered enormously as a result of relentless fighting in the area. Humanitarian agencies must be given access to reach them and provide relief."
    The ICRC has been seeking access to Fallujah for months, but has so far not been able to get the safety guarantees and commitment it needs by all parties. It stands ready to provide humanitarian assistance to communities affected by the violence.
    For more information, please contact:
    Ralph El Hage, ICRC Baghdad +964 7901 916 927
    Krista Armstrong, ICRC Geneva +41 79 447 37 26



    Also issuing a statement was The Norwegian Refugee Council:



                     As military operations to retake the besieged town of Fallujah continue, thousands of civilian families are trapped in the fighting with no safe route out, the Norwegian Refugee Council warned today. The lock-down for civilians trying to flee continued last night with no more families confirmed to have safely reached out of town.

    As of Tuesday morning, up to 50,000 civilians are believed to be trapped in Fallujah since the military operations began yesterday. NRC’s staff working in displacement camps outside the town say only 80 families have managed to flee to safety just hours before the fighting began.

    “Nobody else seems to have been allowed out of town; there are thousands trapped in Fallujah with intense fighting raging on their doorsteps,” said NRC’s Country Director in Iraq, Nasr Muflahi. “Families who have been suffering food and medical shortages over the last months now risk being caught in the crossfire and it is absolutely vital that they are granted safe routes out of there so that we can assist them. All parties to this conflict have to provide safe exits for civilians.”
    The few families who have managed to flee to safety in displacement camps speak of a dangerous journey out of the town ahead of the military operations. They have sought safety in camps in Amiryiat Al Fallujah, around 30 kms away from Fallujah’s centre. NRC is present providing the newly displaced families with emergency water, food parcels and hygiene kits.

    It is estimated that as many as 7,000 families will be internally displaced within Fallujah if the intense fighting continues. Iraq is facing a complex and multiple displacement crisis with more than 1.1 million people displaced inside Iraq last year alone. A staggering total of 3.4 million people are currently internally displaced across the country.
    Press contacts:

    Becky Bakr Abdulla, Media Coordinator, Iraq.

    beba@nrc.no                           +964 751 501 9899


    Karl Schembri, Regional Media Advisor, Jordan.

    karl.schembri@nrc.no               +962 790 220 159




    AFP actually quoted a sentence from the above release in this article.  Tim Hume and Jomana Karadsheh (CNN) report on the UN statement and other civilian news here.

    Ahmed Rasheed and Stephen Kalin (REUTERS) note:


    The Association of Muslim Scholars of Iraq, a hardline political organisation formed in 2003 to represent minority Sunnis, on Monday condemned the campaign as "an unjust aggression, a reflection of the vengeful spirit that the forces of evil harbour against this city".

    It said in a statement nearly 10,000 residents had been killed or wounded by government shelling over the past two years, which Reuters could not verify, and warned any victory would be "illusory".


    The 10,000 is a conservative estimate and though REUTERS can't verify it the United Nations can but sits on those figures.  Falluja has been bombed daily by the Iraqi government since January 2014.

    These bombings were legally defined War Crimes which the world turned its eyes away from.

    Repeatedly.


    .The latest bombings?

    Let's note the photos.


  • Shia Militias crimes الحشد الشيعي يقصف العوائل السنيه بالفلوجه بالقنابل العنقوديه المحرمه دوليا افضحوهم



  • Shia militia Bombed Iraqi sunnis civilians with rockets made in Iran






    1. Shia militia with sectarian Banners Bombed Iraqi sunnis civilians with rockets made in Iran



  • Iraqi army crimes الحشد الشيعي يذبح اطفال السنه العراقيين انها المحرقه نذبح بصمت مخزي عار على من يسكت




  • Graphic pics Iraqi Sunni child killed by army airstrikes oh my God







    Shia militia with sectarian Banners Bombed Iraqi sunnis civilians with rockets made in Iran









    Moving over to another definition of Falluja, we quote ourselves from this morning:



    A hard reality about Falluja is that it is a distraction.

    It's red meat tossed out by Haider al-Abadi to distract the people.

    Years from now, he'll be remembered as the man who sold out his country, who destroyed Iraq, who brought the IMF in.

    They're happy to give money because it allows them to alter your financial system, to take control of it.

    At CPI FINANCIAL, Matthew Amlot is practically wetting himself as he writes about what the IMF loan means:

    A key component of the Staff-Monitored Program that led to this Stand-By Arrangement was that Iraqi authorities agreed to aim to reduce the non-oil primary deficit (i.e., the difference between non-oil revenues and non-oil expenditures excluding net interest payments) by four per cent of non-oil GDP between 2014 and 2016. According to preliminary estimates by the IMF, Iraq has already exceeded this target, reducing that deficit to 52 per cent of non-oil GDP in 2015 from 60 per cent in 2014.
    [. . .]
    Spending pressures could also be alleviated if the government follows a proposal by international oil companies to switch to production sharing agreements from current services contracts.


    What the US government could never force through the Iraqi Parliament will now be forced upon them via 'conditions' of a loan.

    Non-oil primary deficit and non-oil expenditures are cut phrases -- what they mean is that services to the public are getting gutted.

    Again, the assault on Falluja is intended to distract from this.

    There's a reason Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani repeatedly warned against taking money from the IMF.


    AFP does a report on the distraction aspect today which includes:



    "For Abadi, (Fallujah) provides not just a distraction but, if executed well, a demonstration of some level of effective command and control from Baghdad," said Patrick Skinner, a former CIA case officer who is now with The Soufan Group consultancy.
    It is "not the same as good governance, but he needs whatever he can get right now," Skinner said.


    As for the IMF,  Omar Sattar (AL-MONITOR) reports:


    [Kurdish Alliance MP Ahmed] Hama added, "The IMF conditions on Iraq in exchange for the loan favor the government, not the citizen, as these include the removal of subsidies on the ration card, fuel and social welfare in addition to tax increases. Everyone knows this and the government cannot deny it."
    But the government does deny that the conditions IMF has imposed will be difficult to meet. Parliamentary parties, however, claim the opposite.
    Economic expert Abdul Rahman al-Mashhadani told Al-Monitor that the SBA is similar to the 2004 agreement that Iraq signed but didn't uphold.
    "The IMF will help provide the loan to Iraq from several parties: The IMF will provide $830 million; the World Bank, about $5 billion with an interest of 1.5-3%; and the rest will come from other organizations and countries and will be guaranteed by the IMF at an interest rate of 7.5- 8%, provided that Iraq repays the loan and its interest in a very short period of seven years," Mashhadani said.
    "Among the conditions set by the IMF is that the government decrease subsidizing fuel prices and reformulate the budget terms and fund allocations to reduce government spending, especially in the operating budget. A large number of parliamentary blocs have rejected this on the grounds that the budget is a law that should remain untouched," he added.

     

    Is it really a coincidence that so much of the western media ignores the civilian impact of the assault on Falluja while also ignoring the civilian impact of the IMF loan?


    Or is just a lack of compassion?


    Today, the US Defense Dept announced:



    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.

    -- Near Fallujah, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL light machine gun, an ISIL front end loader, an ISIL mortar system, three ISIL vehicle bomb storage facilities, two ISIL rocket positions and three ISIL mortar positions.

    -- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL improvised explosive device storage facility.

    -- Near Mosul, four strikes destroyed two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL vehicle bomb, an ISIL mortar system and an ISIL fighting position and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike struck two ISIL headquarters.

    -- Near Sinjar, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.









    iraq
    al jazeera
    cnn
    jomana karadsheh

    Sunday, May 22, 2016

    The Go Gos

    The Go Gos are gearing up for what they're calling The Farewell Tour.

    Tonight, they performed on The Billboard Music Awards.

    They followed some male trick singing "Youth" or some b.s.  He needed a hair cut, he needed some weight, he needed a song worth singing.

    But watching, this pipsqueak in skinny jeans, Troye Sivan, all I could think was, "Who knew Larry Clark was producing music?"


    Then came The Go Gos providing actual music.

    Actress Rebecca Romijn (still the best Mystique) introduced them and started with a clip of them performing "Our Lips Are Sealed" in 1982 on AMERICAN BANDSTAND before the group came out and performed "We Got The Beat."

    They sounded strong.

    And Belinda looked looked good.

    If she's nervous, it can tank a live performance so it was great that she was at ease and having a good time.

    I'm excited about the tour now.
    Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


    Saturday, May 21, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, four deaths are announced from yesterday's Green Zone breach and response, Haider al-Abadi looks increasingly inept, and much more.


    Never think the White House gives a damn about the Iraqi people.


    They don't.



    The White House
    Office of the Press Secretary
    For Immediate Release

    Readout of the President's Call with Prime Minster Haidar Al-Abadi of Iraq

    President Obama spoke by phone today with Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi of Iraq to reaffirm United States support for the Iraqi people and our common  fight against ISIL, as well as to offer condolences on behalf of the American people for the recent terrorist attacks in Baghdad. 
     
    The two leaders discussed the progress being made in the Counter-ISIL campaign as Iraqi Security Forces continue their advance in Anbar province. The President reiterated United States support for the Iraqi Security Forces, emphasizing that as the campaign continues the United States and the International Coalition to counter ISIL will continue to play a key role in training, advising, and assisting Iraqi forces.
     
    The President and the Prime Minister agreed on the critical importance of improving the security of Baghdad and the International Zone, noting the importance of continued dialogue among all parties in Iraq so that the Iraqi people can address their aspirations through their democratic institutions. 
                 
    President Obama commended the Prime Minister and the steps his government has taken in finalizing an agreement with the International Monetary Fund and agreed that it is important the international community support Iraq's economic recovery amidst its ongoing fight against ISIL. Finally, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq.



    What a curious statement.

    Until you grasp that the IMF will do what the US couldn't force Iraqi lawmakers to do -- put a tag sale on Iraq's oil and gas industries.

    That trumps everything, apparently.

    It trumps the issue of the Green Zone breach yesterday.

    You'll notice nothing on that in the read out.


    Michael D. Regan (PBS' THE NEWSHOUR) reports:

    Funerals were held on Saturday for two Iraqi people killed a day earlier during riots within Baghdad’s Green Zone, a secured area meant to protect government officials and foreign diplomats.
    They were among two of four killed and nearly a hundred injured Friday after thousands of demonstrators, who are reportedly followers of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, breached the fortified section of Iraq’s capital city. The protest was over the country’s lack of security and the government’s failure to pass anti-corruption laws.


    Susannah George (AP) identifies the two buried today as "Hussein Hasab, 21, and Haider Hassan, 43."  Ahmad Al-Rubaye (AFP) offers a photo with this caption, "Members of the Saraya al-Salam (Peace Brigades), a group formed by Iraqi Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, ride a pick-up on May 21, 2016 in Baghdad as the coffins of two slain anti-government protesters are carried to Najaf."



    Moqtada al-Sadr remaining in Tehran stands a big chance of being harmed.

    The leader whose followers are slain?

    While he's safe and out of the country?

    And denying that he ordered the action?

    Haider doesn't win from the incident either.

    He's inept and that's only more obvious with Friday's actions.

    Two people died.

    Which will bother some Iraqis -- even those who favor 'rule of law.'

    But the reality is that Haider was yet again unable to protect the Green Zone or, in this case, even his own office.

    He's inept.

    He's disgraced.

    And Barack can try to prop him up all he wants but (a) people died and (b) the Green Zone was breached again.

    Those two events speak for themselves -- and speak loudly against Haider.



    NINA notes Haider issued a statement declaring that the storming of the Green Zone on Friday (and of his office) must not happen again. He dubbed it a distraction from the fight against the Islamic State.  AL MADA adds that the statement was aired on state TV in the early morning hours.







  • Events in , show that the political process is in turmoil & needs a radical revision in which all parties must cooperate.



  • While Barack had no interest in raising the topic, Mu Xuequan (XINHUA) reports:

    The UN envoy to Iraq on Saturday expressed deep concern about Friday's demonstrations when hundreds of followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr broke into the heavily fortified Green Zone, calling for calm and unity to achieve reforms and confront the Islamic State (IS) group which seizes parts of Iraq's northern and western regions since 2014.
    "What happened on Friday shows how events could take a different turn and escalate, causing casualties," UN envoy to Iraq Jan Kubis said in a statement.


    ALSUMARIA reports that Haider and Barack discussed the upcoming 'liberation' of Falluja.  In fact, that topic is in the statement released by the Prime Minister's office summarizing the phone call.

    Strange that it failed to make the statement released by the White House.


    Or strange until you realize that the White House is pushing for Mosul to be the next focus.

    This DoD article from Friday makes that clear:

    The military campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is at an important juncture, with a new focus and steady progress by the U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi and Syrian security forces partners, Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland said here today.
    MacFarland, the commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, spoke with reporters who are traveling with U.S. Central Command commander Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, who is meeting this week with coalition troops and local counter-ISIL partners in the Middle East.
    “We’re at an important part in the campaign right now,” MacFarland told reporters. “When I first got here about eight months ago it was all about Ramadi and taking Ramadi back,” he said.
    “Well, we’ve taken Ramadi back,” MacFarland said, “and now, the focus of the campaign is shifting more toward taking back the enemy’s centers of gravity in Iraq and Syria -- Mosul and Raqqa. That’s what we’re about today.”


    Meanwhile the US Defense Dept released the following announcement earlier today:



    Strikes in Iraq
    Bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 18 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece.

    -- Near Huwayjah, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Fallujah, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL improvised explosive device cache, two ISIL staging areas and an ISIL excavator.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Kisik, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL-used bridge and four ISIL-used culverts.

    -- Near Mosul, four strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, two ISIL assembly areas, three ISIL vehicles, an ISIL supply cache, an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL rocket rail.

    -- Near Qayyarah, two strikes struck an ISIL weapons cache and destroyed an ISIL mortar system.

    -- Near Rawah, a strike struck an ISIL staging area and an ISIL safe house.

    -- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area.

    -- Near Tal Afar, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle storage area, two ISIL weapons caches, two ISIL command and control nodes, and an ISIL IED facilitation node.


    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.




    Winding down, David Bacon's latest book is The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration. Bacon is a journalist who actually covers labor as well as issues to do with poverty and the working class.  He's a photo journalist whose exhibits are always worth checking out and he has a new one this month.




    ON THE STREETS : UNDER THE TREES

    Homelessness and the struggle for housing
    in urban and rural California
    Photographs by David Bacon


    Asian Resource Gallery
    317 Ninth St at Harrison
    Oakland, CA

    May - June, 2016
    Reception: Tuesday, May 24, 6PM

     

    for more info: dbacon@igc.org, gjungmorozumi@gmail.com
    http://davidbaconrealitycheck.blogspot.com/2016/05/on-streets-under-trees-photo-exhibition.html
    sponsored by East Bay Local Development Corporation

    I believe a person should not have to worry day to day where they’re going to lay their head or get their next meal.  That should just be a given - James Kelly


    In the Bay Area and Los Angeles, homeless activists are taking the tactics of Occupy a step further, using encampments, or "occupations" as mobile protest vehicles.  Within them, the people sleeping in the tents develop their own community.  They organize themselves and work together.  They make decisions collectively.  And they develop their own ideas about what causes homelessness, and for short term and long term solutions to it.

    They've created what they call "intentional communities," not just as a protest tactic, but as places where they can gain more control over their lives, and implement on the ground their own ideas for dealing with homelessness.

    In rural California, homeless people are overwhelmingly farm workers.  Although they're working, they don't make enough to pay rent, and still send money back to their families in their countries of origin.  In settlements on hillsides in San Diego, or next to the Russian River in Sonoma County, they create communities bound together often by the indigenous language they bring with them from home.

    These photographs are a window into the reality experienced by homeless people in urban and rural California.  While there are important differences, it is not surprising that the experience and the circumstances are so similar, as is the effort to create community, no matter how difficult the conditions.  In both urban and rural areas people also fight for better housing, and for their right to exist in a public space.

    This photodocumentary was developed with the cooperation of California Rural Legal Assistance, the Community Action Network in Los Angeles, and the Frente Indigena de Organizaciones Binacionales.  The purpose is to

    - document the similarities between rural and urban homelessness and lack of housing
    - promote common housing ideas that can meet the needs of both urban and rural homeless people
    - develop communication between urban and rural homeless and housing-deprived communities, to help people advocate for themselves.


    This show is especially dedicated to the homeless activists of Berkeley, who were first driven out of Liberty City last fall.  Then they were drive from the Post Office Camp, where they'd lived for 17 months, just as I was printing the photographs shown here.  Their vision is one we should pay attention to.  Instead the U.S. Post Office refused to listen or see what is in front of them, and used the brute force of the Postal Police to drive people away.  Instead of the camp and its residents, the City of Berkeley now has this fence and empty, fenced-off space - a monument to hostility to the poor and an eyesore in this supposedly progressive community.



    The following community sites -- plus THE GUARDIAN -- updated: