Sunday, February 10, 2008

On Trial: Two Endangered Species, Polar Bears & 1st Amendment

I was one of the Abbate v. Ramsey plaintiffs. I was arrested unlawfully again at the October 22, 2007, protest covered in "Protesters Link War, Warming." I figured the charges would be dropped, but I have been on trial since Monday, February 4, 2008. We, 5 people who were at the protest dressed as polar bears and a man in a gray suit, wanted to avoid politicizing the trial, but the prosecutor, Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, is a former journalist (maybe that should be in quotes--he wrote for The Globe tabloid) whose two greatest passions are the limits of the First Amendment:

"In this country, we have a First Amendment right to free speech. It is a sacred right that should not be abused."

And, trying to rehabilitate Bush's tarnished image:

"Falsely accused of disregarding the Constitution, arbitrarily sending American soldiers to their death and unlawfully invading another country for personal profit and exploitation, the President has faced devastating resistance from his own people, to say little of the rest of the world."

Shapiro has characterized peaceful anti-war protests at the Capitol as "obscene," "disturbing," and likely to "incite violence." Blind to the meaning of First Amendment and exaggerating the breadth of the Second, Shapiro sees anti-war protesters charged with D.C.'s law against unlawful assembly, in the same light as handgun activists challenging D.C.'s gun laws. In the courtroom he's "an eye rolling, sighing, retributive voice for punishment." He says that activists shouldn't appeal when they're convicted. Instead, he says, they should accept the consequences of their actions: “Dr. King, unlike the defendants in this courtroom, was willing to accept the consequences of his actions.”

He has proposed two preposterous legal theories that would eviscerate the First Amendment. Both have been accepted by Judge Rafael Diaz:

1. When protesters engage in civil disobedience in the street, anyone observing from the sidewalk who appears to have "common cause" with the demonstrators--the same political views, for example, opposition to war and global warming--can be legitimately charged with blocking the street.

2. Anyone who carries a banner--or is part of a group that has a banner expressing their cause, for example, a group of polar bears with a banner that says "Polar Bears for Solutions to War and Global Warming"--are per se blocking pedestrian traffic. According to this theory, even if the people holding the banner don't actually block anyone from waking down the sidewalk, they are still blocking the sidewalk. The ramification of this, of course, is to outlaw banners. If the judge decides the case against us on this theory, no one will be able to take banners to the Capitol for fear of being charged with blocking the sidewalk. The prosecutor wants to demote 1st Amendment protected materials to the level of illegal roadblocks.

It's possible that the case will wrap up on Monday, February 11, 2008. If you'd like to come, we're in room 211, starting at 12 noon, at the District Superior Courthouse, 500 Indiana Ave.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rapping polar bear protesters arrested on Capitol Hill

Polar Bears No War No Warming Hip-Hop Show at Congress

Polar Bears and Camera person arrested October 22nd, 2007

No War No Warming Oct 22 2007

DSC_0365, originally uploaded by NoWarNoWarming.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Polar Bears arrive

Polar Bears Dance By Door

Audio from WSQT Guerrilla Radio:

No War No Warming

No War No Warming, originally uploaded by isisDC.

No War No Warming

No War No Warming, originally uploaded by isisDC.

No War No Warming

No War No Warming, originally uploaded by isisDC.

No War No Warming

No War No Warming, originally uploaded by isisDC.

We want answers!
We got one chance here!
The world could be burning!
We've got to be turning
to the solutions to war & pollution!
Phase out coal & oil & gas!
Safe nuclear power? Clean coal? My ass!
Reduce and then recycle and reuse!
Conservation first then renewable fuels!
Green jobs, good health!
Spread the wealth!
Corporations down to size!
Let workers rights rise!
Money for health care, not for war!
Tax the rich to help the poor!
Homes not jails, books not bars!
Bikes not bombs! Clean fuel cars!
Jobs in organic, wind & solar
help the poor while we're helping the polar!
Jobs in solar, wind & organic
help the people while we're helping the planet!

Sunday, September 30, 2007


sds, originally uploaded by Mark Strandquist.

Peace Princess

Peace Princess, originally uploaded by sduffy.

Peace Princess

Peace Princess, originally uploaded by danny.hammontree.

Monday, September 17, 2007

September 15, 2007

DSCN2993, originally uploaded by codepinkhq.

Starundhati the Peace Princess

DSCN2948, originally uploaded by codepinkhq.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Hempy Holidays--Gifts for Grumpy, Adam & Robbie

The holiday gift-giving season is a great time for pushing my hemp lifestyle on my family. I gave my dad (my daughter calls him Grumpy), my husband Adam, and cousin Robbie, Dr. Bronner and Sun Dog's Magic Lip and Body Balm and long-sleeved 100%-hemp polos from Dash Hemp that I bought at Eco-Green Living. According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, I tapped into one of the gift-giving trends of the 2006 Winter Holiday. The following is excerpted from Jodie Gumz's December 22nd article, Reporter at Large: New place to shop is close to home:

Gifts fit for governors

Not too many people can present friends and family with the same gifts Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and first lady Maria Shriver got this year. But you can, if you shop at Dash Hemp.

Richard Dash, 61, of Bonny Doon has opened a retail shop to showcase his casual clothing made of hemp, a complement to his online sales site. He's got selections for men and women, shirts and lounge pants that have an upscale look.

Besides the jeans, which feel soft and already broken in, you'll see a lot of pastels.

"Hemp lends itself to earth tones," said Dash, whose hemp comes from China.

Conservative shoppers may be unaware of the economic benefits of hemp. To spread the word, Dash is counting on past customers. A coupon sent out to 450 previous buyers brought an online holiday rush, said Erika Dietrich, who handles sales.

Dash has a celebrity endorsement from Richard Branson, the flamboyant British billionaire who founded the Virgin companies, and he's looking for others — perhaps Jimmy Carter and Al Gore or Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner, who might look good in a stylish hemp spa robe.

The "Arnold" shirt, a rust-colored polo, is priced at $79. The "Maria" knit top, in blue steel, is $89.

Dash sent a package by FedEx to the governor, hoping he would sign legislation making it legal to grow hemp in California. Since hemp is related to marijuana, it may have been too hot to handle in an election year.

But the Hemp Industries Association hasn't given up, and Dash is sure legislative supporters will try again.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Hempy Holidays--Gifts for my cousin Emily

In hopes that I can get her to join me by making hemp her New Year's Resolution, I got my cousin Emily hemp for Christmas: Dr. Bronner and Sun Dog's Magic Lip and Body Balm and a hoodie handmade in Duluth, MN, by Kristin of Phat Patch Clothes that I bought at Altered Statement.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Beautiful People Wear Hemp

Here, Arundhati models MinaWear (the red top and blue pants), a line we discovered at the San Francisco Green Festival. Wearing hemp instead of conventionally grown cotton saves energy, land, and water, while reducing the use of chemical fertilizer and toxic pesticides. See how at EcoAudit's Hemptown Calculator.

Eating Hemp Makes You Smart & Good-Looking

If it isn't obvious from the evidence presented in this photo of my daughter at age one eating an Alpsnack, eating foods that contain industrial hemp seed make you smart and good-looking.

According to Nutiva:

Leading researchers and medical doctors consider hempseed to be one of the most nutritious food sources on the planet. Shelled hempseed is packed with 33 percent pure digestible protein and is rich in iron, vitamin E, omega-3 and GLA. A recent report funded by the Canadian government states that hemp protein, wich is 66 percent edistin, contains the highest percentage of this high-quality protein of any plant source. Hemp contains three times the vitamin E of flax. Unlike non-organic soy, hemp is not genetically modified.

According to Vote Hemp:

No other vegetable oil offers essential fatty acids at such high concentrations or in such a desirable omega-6/omega-3 ratio. Deficiencies of omega-3 in the human diet are a co-factor in a wide range of common illnesses, including cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, diabetes, skin and mood disorders. A 1999 workshop by the U.S. National Institute of Health demonstrated the impressive benefits of a balanced omega-6/omega-3 ratio in our diet: reduced risk of atherosclerosis, sudden cardiac death and certain types of cancers, decrease in the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, mood improvement in bipolar disorders and optimized development in infants. Hemp oil also provides significant amounts of the more rare 'super' polyunsaturated fatty acids, notably gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and stearidonic acid (SDA). Supplementation with GLA and SDA appears to alleviate the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and other skin diseases in some patients. Hemp protein appears to be free of antinutrients that are found in soy to interfere with protein uptake.