This Month in History and Song

January

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On January 1st in 1836, the emperor of China once again tried to ban opium, against the wishes of royal British opium-pushers. On this date in 1900, Chiune Sugihara was born. He would go on to save the lives of tens of thousands of European Jews, as the Japanese Empire's ambassador to Lithuania. And on January 1st, 2002, the euro was born, dramatically furthering the project known as the European Union.

On January 2nd, 1985, the first Hummer rolled off the assembly line. January 6th, 2006, Hugh Thompson died at the age of 62. Decades before, as a helicopter pilot in the US Army, he had led an armed stand-off with fellow American soldiers in order to prevent them from killing more women and children in the village of My Lai, Vietnam.

On January 9th, 2006, members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society rammed a Japanese whaling vessel. On January 11th in 2002, the first prisoners of the “War on Terror” were shipped to Guantanamo Bay, on the island of Cuba. January 14th, 1981, the FCC removed the ceiling on the number of commercials a commercial radio station could air per hour. On the same date in 2011, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia fled the country.

On January 16th, 2009, US Treasury Department announced the bailout of Bank of America. January 20th, 2009, Barack Obama was inaugurated as president of the United States. January 21st, 2010, the US Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, too. January 29th, 2010, Aaron Campbell, unarmed man, shot in the back by police in Portland, Oregon.

On January 30th, 1926, Vasili Arkhapov was born. Half a century later he would go on to save the world by not retaliating against US Navy attacks on his Soviet nuclear submarine, on the high seas near Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

February

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On February 1st, 2002, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees expressed concern over the vilification of refugees in Australian society. Said refugees were and are being held indefinitely without trial in draconian detention centers in mosquito-infested tropical islands far from Australia.

February 3rd, 1788, the last battle of Shays' Rebellion took place at the Springfield Armory. For three years, the tenant farmers of western Massachusetts shut down the courts and prevented evictions from taking place. This led to the passage of the Bill of Rights. On the same date in 2003, members of a newly-formed group known as the Pitstop Plowshares trespass onto Shannon Airport and damage a US military cargo ship. In a trial that sent shock waves around the world, they were found not guilty, since the US military planes were violating the Irish constitution by being there in the first place.

February 4th, 1998, Bill Gates visited Belgium and received a pie in the face, served up by the Biotic Baking Brigade. February 6th, 1937, the Battle of Jarama began. It was the bloodiest period of the Spanish Civil War. On February 6th in 1980, Sea Shepherd operatives sank a Norwegian whaling ship in Lisbon harbor.

On February 8th in 1996 a Telecommunications Act was passed that would ensure the corporate takeover of the airwaves in the US. On February 9th, 2005, TransCanada Corporation proposed building a pipeline to transport Alberta Tar Sands oil to Texas. On February 10th, 2007, Senator Barack Obama officially announced his candidacy for the US presidency.

On February 11th, 2009, 27 people were killed when US planes bombed a wedding party in Afghanistan. On the same date in 2012, tens of thousands of people throughout Europe and elsewhere rallied against Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. On February 15th, 2003, an estimated 13 million people in hundreds of cities around the world protested against US war plans in Iraq. In London's Trafalgar Square, a statue of George W. Bush was toppled.

February 17th, 2013, tens of thousands protested in Washington, DC against the Keystone XL Pipeline. On February 18th, 2010, WikiLeaks posted the first of the material allegedly from Private Chelsea Manning. On February 19th, 2011, an estimated 70,000 people protest Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's union-busting efforts. On February 25th in 1999, three pie-throwers were sentenced to six-month prison sentences for serving the mayor of San Franciso his just desserts.

February 26th, 1974, the Ford Motor Company's Nazi ties were revealed in a Senate report. On the same date in 2012, racist vigilante George Zimmerman got out of his car and shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin to death on the sidewalk, claiming he felt threatened, presumably by the fact that Trayvon was Black and wearing a hoodie. (Zimmerman was found not guilty.)

March

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On March 1st, 1981, Bobby Sands began his hunger strike while in prison in Ireland. While in prison on hunger strike, he would win a seat in the British parliament. On the same date in 2007, police landed on the roof with helicopters, and with the aid of large amounts of tear gas, they evicted squatters from the venerable punk rock social center,Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen, and shortly thereafter began the complete destruction of the building.

On March 2nd, 2009, the federal government bailed out AIG for the fourth time. On March 3rd in 1944, an estimated 50,000 people, mostly women and children, were killed in an Allied bombing raid on Berlin, Germany. On March 10th, 2006, half a million people in Chicago protested Congressional efforts to make being undocumented a felony offense. March 11th, 2011 marked the first terrible day of a disaster of apocalyptic proportions for Japan, and especially the prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi and villages such as Minami Sanriku.

On March 15th, 1981, Irish Republican Army volunteer Francis Hughes becomes the second of ten prisoners of war to begin a hunger strike to the death. On the same day in 2009, AIG paid $165 million in bonuses to executives in the business unit that was chiefly responsible for sinking the company.

On March 16th, 1968, 500 unarmed women, children and men were massacred by US troops in the village of My Lai in Vietnam. If not for the actions of helicopter pilot, Hugh Thompson, the number of innocent civilians killed would have been even higher. On the same day in 2003, International Solidarity Movement volunteer from Olympia, Washington, Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli soldier driving over her with an armored bulldozer, as she tried to protect the home of a Palestinian doctor from being demolished.

March 17th: Saint Patrick's Day! On Saint Patrick's Day in 1992, US President George H. W. Bush presented Sam Walton, one of the world's richest men, founder of Wal-Mart, and the man probably most responsible for the impoverishment of the working class in the US, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. On March 18th in 1839, the British Navy bombarded China, marking the bloody initiation of the First Opium War. On the same date in 2003, the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq began. Operation Iraqi Freedom. Astoundingly enough, for the first several hours the invasion was actually officially dubbed Operation Iraqi Liberation, until someone in the Bush administration realized what that spelled.

On March 22nd, in the momentous year of 1919, Henk Streefkerk was born. As a young man growing up in the Netherlands, he would become a resistance fighter during the Nazi occupation, saving many lives. On the same date in 2012, President Obama endorsed the construction of the southern half of the Keystone XL Pipeline. On March 24th, 1978, Khader Adnan was born. He would later spend much of his adult life in and out of Israeli prisons due to his political activities, before launching a 66-day hunger strike that nearly killed him, and brought Israeli indefinite detention policies under much international scrutiny.

On March 26th, 1978, the biggest windmill ever built went online in Ulfborg, Denmark. Called Tvindkraft, it was and is an open-source windmill built by a social movement that was responsible for introducing industrial-scale windmills to the world. They are also often credited with the Danish government's decision not to build a nuclear reactor.

March 28th, 1988, Mordechai Vanunu was convicted in absential by an Israeli court for treason and espionage and sentenced to 18 years in prison. On the same date in 2004, James Jahar Perez became the third unarmed African-American in 25 months to be killed by police in Portland, Oregon. On this date in 2011, another death in an Australianimmigration detention center – the fifth such death in just over six months.

April

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On April 3rd, 2002, the Israeli Defense Forces invaded the West Bank city of Jenin, destroying much of it, killing scores of people. April 4th, 2004, Casey Sheehan, son of Cindy Sheehan, was killed in Iraq.

On April 9th, 1981, Bobby Sands was elected to the British Parliament while on hunger strike in prison in Ireland. On the same date in 2003, Spanish journalists turn their backs en masse and walk out of the building during a press conference the Spanish prime minister was attempting to hold. On this date in 2010, in flagrant violation of international law, the Australian government suspended the processingof asylum applications for people from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

On April 10th, 1979, Rachel Corrie was born. A little less than 24 years later, shewould be killed by an armored bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier, while trying to protect the home of a doctor in the Gaza Strip. On the same date in 2006, millions of people, mostly from Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America, held protest rallies throughout the US inopposition to draconian new anti-immigrant laws being proposed in Congress.

On April 11th, 2002, the rightwing Venezuelan opposition launched a coup against the massively popular, democratically-elected socialist government of Hugo Chavez. Due to millions of people pouring into the streets and risking their lives to support their government, the coup failed three days later. On this date in 2012, George Zimmerman was finally arrested for the first time, after committing a racist vigilante murder of  unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin, several weeks earlier.

April 15th: Tax Day! On April 18th, 2012, Khader Adnan was released from detention, after 66 days on hunger strike. On April 19th, 1943, the greatest urban rebellion in world history, the WarsawGhetto Uprising, began. On April 20th, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, 11 oil workers were killed, and one of the worst environmental disasters in world history began to unfold.

On April 21st, 2004, Mordechai Vanunu was released from an Israeli prison after 18 years for blowing the whistle on Israel's nuclear weapons program. Most of Vanunu's time in prison was spent in solitary confinement. On April 25th, 1846, the Mexican-American War began, resulting in the annexation of most of Mexico into the United States. April 26th, 1937 was a day of infamy in the course of the Spanish Civil War. Franco's biggest sponsors, the German military, bombed the Basque city of Guernica.

On April 28th, 2004, the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal hit the papers. April 29th, 2003, thirteen unarmed demonstrators were killed by US troops in the city of Falluja after someone threw a stone. On April 30th, 2008, plowshares activists do a million dollars worth of damage to a CIA spy base in the town of Waihopai.

May

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May 1st – May Day! International Workers Day, it is originally a day to mark the date of the police massacre of workers protesting in favor of the eight-hour day in Chicago in 1886.

On May 2nd, 2003, Bush gave his famous "mission accomplished" speech on top of an aircraft carrier. Soon afterward, the insurgency in Iraq really kicked off. On this date in 2011, Osama bin Laden wascaptured, killed and then dumped at sea from a helicopter by the US Navy, in flagrant violation of international law. And on this date in 2013, Assata Shakur became the first female to make #1 in the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list.

May 4th, 1987, the Green Street T stop opened in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. This never would have happened without the Anti-Highway Movement. On this date in 2009, as many as 147 Afghans were killed, mostly women and children, by an American B-1 Bomber in the village of Granai.

On May 5th, 1981, Member of Parliament and IRA volunteer Bobby Sands died in Maze prison hospital after 66 days on hunger strike, aged 27. On this date in 2003, Kendra James, unarmed woman, was shot and killed by police at a traffic stop in Portland, Oregon. On May 8th, 2001, police raided a community garden in the South Bronx.

On May 9th, 1800, militant abolitionist John Brown was born in the town of Torrington, Connecticut. On May 12th, 1981, Irish Republican prisoner Francis Hughes died on his 59th day on hunger strike. On this date in 2010, Keaton Otis was misidentified as a gang member and shot 23 times by police inPortland, Oregon.

May 14th, 1948 is known to Palestinians as the Nakba – the Disaster. Israel calls it Independence Day.

May 17th, 2003, the New York Times exposes US and British torture of prisoners in Basra, Iraq. On the same date in 2012, Vermont became the first US state to ban hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking.

On May 20th, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law, in direct response to the Rent Strike Movement. On the same date in 2012, three young men were arrested on trumped-up terrorism charges outside the NATO summit in Chicago. On this date in 2013, Edward Snowden arrived in Hong Kong and proceeded to blow the whistle on massive, illegal NSA spying throughout the US and the entire world.

On May 22nd, 1903, the US signed a treaty with the newly-installed Cuban government, ceding Guantanamo Bay to the US military. On May 24th, 2011, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got 29 standing ovations while speaking to a joint session of the US Congress.

May 26th is Memorial Day. On May 26th, 2004, Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay were wrongfully convicted of the murders of Tariq, Sultana and Basma Rafay. On this date in 2010, Chelsea Manning was arrested and held at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. On May 27th, 2011, Congressman Anthony Weiner sent a waist-down photo to a 21-year-old female college student in Seattle.

On May 31st, 2009, Dr. George Tiller was murdered by an anti-abortion extremist while at church one Sunday morning. On the same date in 2010, Turkish humanitarian aid ship, the Mavi Marmara, was attacked by the Israeli Defense Forces, who proceeded to kill nine unarmed people.

June

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On June 1st, 2005, after getting done privatizing the economy and otherwise ruining Iraq, Paul Wolfowitz is appointed to head the World Bank. On June 3rd, 1839, Chinese troops burned 20,000 crates of British opium, leading to Britain initiating a “trade war” of aggression that became known as the First Opium War, the purpose of which was to force China to import an addictive drug in order to allow the British Empire to profit off of the misery of the Chinese people. On the same date in 2010, a well blowout in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania spilled more than 35,000 gallons of fracking chemicals.

On June 5th, 1967, the Six Day War began, leading to the occupation of the WestBank and the Gaza Strip by Israel. On June 6th, 2013, the Guardian published their first exclusive based on Edward Snowden's massive trove of leaked information. On June 8th, 2011, five Food Not Bombs activists were arrested for feeding hungry people in a park in Orlando, Florida.

On June 9th, 2011, New York Congressman Anthony Weiner said he wouldn't resign, despite his admitted habit of sending pictures of his genitalia to random women. Also on June 9th, 2011, Kalle Lasn from Adbusters registered the OccupyWallStreet.org web address. On this date in 2012, thousands of people across Europe protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

June 15th – Father's Day. On June 16th, 2002, construction of the Israeli Separation Barrier, aka the Apartheid Wall, dividing the occupied West Bank of Palestine in half, began. On June 17th, 2011, the most well-known leftwing canine in Europe becomes even more well-known, with a BBC expose.

On June 19th, 1847, Scientific American magazine discussed various aspects of the importation of Egyptian mummies for use in making paper. On this date in 2013, former National Transportation Safety Board investigators publicly urged the re-opening of the investigation of the in-air explosion in 1996 that destroyed TWA Flight 800.

On June 21st, 2000, former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling was hit by a pie thrown by an activist with the Biotic Baking Brigade. On June 23rd, 2013, NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow. On June 25th, 1950, the Korean War began, leading to the deaths of millions of Korean civilians, hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers, and tens of thousands of American soldiers.

On June 27th, 2002, there was a protest outside and a mass breakout from inside the Woomera immigration detention center in South Australia. On June 28th, 2007, the Hyderabad airstrike kills as many as 130 Afghan civilians, including many women and children. On June 30th, 2011, France banned the highly destructive method of gas drilling known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

July

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On July 1st, 1847, two battalions of US deserters, mostly Irish, assembled to fight under Santa Anna's command. They were the San Patricios who fought for Mexico in the Mexican-American War. On July 1st, 1997, the Cannabis Cafe opened in Vancouver, British Columbia. A milestone in the painstaking process of decriminalization and legalizing this plant. On this date in 2002 in the Uruzgan province of Afghanistan, a US AC-130 gunship struck a wedding party, killing 48 civilians and injuring 117. And on July 1st, 2008, after 16 months of weekly demonstrations, the youth of Copenhagen got a new Ungdomshuset, given to them by city.

On July 2nd, 2003, President Bush challenged those in Iraq attacking US troops to “bring it on.” They did. On this date in 2007, Amnesty International declared Mordechai Vanunu to be a prisoner of conscience.

July 4th, 1839 was the date of the first mass meeting of tenant farmers leading to the Anti-Rent Wars, held in Berne, New York.

July 6th, 2008, was marked by the Deh Bala wedding party massacre. 47 Afghans, mostly women and children, were killed by a US airstrike. On this date in 2013, a train containing massive amounts of fracking gas from North Dakota derailed and exploded in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, killing 47.

July 7th, 1847, Quaker magazine The Friend discussed various aspects of importing Egyptian mummies for the purposes of making paper. On July 8th, 2013, tens of thousands of prisoners in California began a mass hunger strike against solitary confinement and other abuses. On July 9th, 2005, volunteers with a group called No More Deaths were arrested for saving the life of a would-be “illegal immigrant.” They found him in a dehydrated state and took him to the hospital instead of to the police.

On July 12th, 2006, Hezbollah conducted a cross-border raid, killing a number of Israeli soldiers and capturing two. Israel proceeded to demolish half of Lebanon in the weeks that followed. On July 13th, 2013, a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the murder trial of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

On July 15th, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig was plugged, and one of the worst environmental disasters in the history of “civilization” was brought to a temporary pause. On the same date, an Israeli commission declared the actions of the Israeli Defense Forces on board the Mavi Marmara had been perfectly reasonable.

On July 16th, 1947, Assata Shakur was born. She would grow up to be a liberation fighter, and the FBI's #1 terrorist fugitive by 2013. On this date in 1979, Sea Shepherd activists rammed a Norwegian whaling ship, the Sierra.

On July 17th, 1936, military generals revolted against the popularly-elected socialist government in Spain, and the Spanish Civil War began. On this date in 1996, TWA Flight 800 was shot down over Long Island Sound, killing all 230 people on board. Who shot down the plane is still a mystery.

On July 19th, 1723, at the end of the golden age of piracy, one of many mass hangings. Twenty-six pirates publicly met the gallows in Newport, Rhode Island that day. On the same day in 2013, there was a protest that evolved into a riot at an Australian immigration detention center on the island of Nauru.

On July 20th, 2012, a gunman killed 12 and injured 70 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. On July 22nd, 2011, Anders Breivik murdered 77 people, in downtown Oslo and on the island of Utoya. On the same date in 2013, Billy “Guero” Sell, a prisoner held in solitary confinement at Corcoran State Prison, died on hunger strike.

On July 23rd, 2013, New York City mayoral candidate, Anthony Weiner, admits he kept sexting random women after his prior resignation from Congress two years earlier. July 25th, 2010, Wikileaks released 90,000 leaked documents pertaining to the war in Afghanistan. On this date in 2013, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Australia had breached the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by indefinitely detaining refugees.

On July 27th, 1918, labor leader Ginger Goodwin was hunted down in the mountains of British Columbia, shot and killed by a police officer for opposing World War I. Although he should have been exempt from military service due to a severe case of black lung, for political reasons they tried to draft him anyway, and for moral reasons he and his union opposed the war as a “bosses' war.”

On July 27th, 1940, hundreds of Jewish refugees massed at the gates of the Japanese consulate in Kaunas, Lithuania. The ambassador within, Chiune Sugihara, would soon consult his wife and jointly decide to disobey the orders of the Japanese Empire, and give thousands of visas to the refugees, allowing them to transit from Siberia to Kobe, Japan, and eventually to safety, in Japanese-occupied Shanghai.

On July 27th, 2004, a federal grand jury in Dallas, Texas, returned a 42-count indictment against the Holy Land Foundation. Although they were never accused of providing money or arms to any terrorist organizations, they were given 15- to 65-year prison sentences for the crime of funneling food and medicine to Palestinian civilians through Hamas. (Which was, in any case, unavoidable, given that Hamas ran whole regions of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, in the form of popularly-elected municipal governments.)

On July 30th, 2006, almost exactly ten years after the last time they did it, the Israeli Defense Forces bomb a United Nations compound, killing scores of women and children who were taking refuge there from another Israeli invasion. The compound bombed was in the town of Qana, where Jesus is reputed to have turned water into wine. On this date in 2008, President Bush signed the Congressional bill allocating funds to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

On July 31st, 1856, the Syracuse Standard ran a notice informing readers that it was printed on paper made from Egyptian rag.

August

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On August 1st, 2003, a condominium that was being built in San Diego was burnt down by the Earth Liberation Front. This was later used as a pretext for charging Rod Coronado with terrorism for talking about the incident at a speaking engagement in San Diego a bit later. On August 4th, 1961, Barack Obama was born.

On August 6th, 1945, Hiroshima became the first city ever to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon. On the same date in 2004, the High Court in Australia ruled that asylum-seekers can be detained indefinitely. On this date in 2005, Cindy Sheehan and several dozen other people left the Veterans for Peace convention in Fort Worth and parked themselves outside George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Camp Casey was born.

On August 8th, 1936, In the name of neutrality, France suspended arms sales to the besieged socialist government of Spain. Meanwhile, Germany and Italy poured men and weaponry into Spain in support of the military junta that was rebelling against the government, while the US sold them fuel. On this date in 2011, large-scale rioting kicked off in the Tottenham neighborhood of London, following the police murder of a young Black man. Rioting soon spread to every major city in England, and lasted for several days.

On August 11th, 2011, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared that “corporations are people, too.” On August 13th, 2013, yours truly was prevented from boarding a flight from Japan to New Zealand.

On August 20th, 1847, the Battle of Churubusco began. This was the last of five battles in the course of that first US invasion of Mexico that involved the mostly Irish brigade, the San Patricios. On this date in 1993, the blockade of Prince William Sound began. Every seaworthy vessel in the town of Cordova, Alaska was involved in the blockade, which lasted for three days.

On August 21st, 1789, the Bill of Rights was proposed in the House of Representatives, in direct reaction to Shays' Rebellion, the uprising of tenant farmers that had recently taken over the western half of the state of Massachusetts for three years. On this date in 2013, hundreds of people in Syria were killed in a chemical attack. With lots of evidence pointing to the possibility that rebels affiliated with Al-Qaeda carried out the attack, the leaders of the western world immediately jumped to the conclusion that it had been carried out by the government's forces, and started making plans to attack the country.

On August 22nd, 2008, a US military airstrike in Azizabad, Afghanistan killed up to 90 civilians. On this date in 2013, Graeme Dunstan was found guilty of causing damage to a US helicopter gunship at a military base where joint US-Australian “war games” were taking place, near his home in Queensland, Australia.

On August 24th, 1814, General Robert Ross and his men burned down the White House and a lot of other buildings in the newly-built city of Washington, DC, in retaliation against US troops sacking and burning the Canadian city of York (now called Toronto). On this date in 2012, a Norwegian court sentenced mass murderer Anders Breivik to prison, denying prosecutors the insanity ruling they had sought.

On August 28th, 2005, the city of New Orleans was hit by a Category 5 hurricane, the levees broke, and the city was entirely flooded. Most of the people who died in the coming days were killed by inept and racist government response, however. On this date in 2013, tens of thousands of people celebrated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Equality. President Obama gave a lofty speech at the event, while making plans to bomb Syria.

On August 29th, 1786, the tenant farmers of western Massachusetts rebelled, and closed down the courts that had been evicting them from their land. They would keep them closed for three years. On this date in 1842, after more than three years and approximately 20,000 dead Chinese people, the first Opium War came to an end. And on this date in 1921, the siege of Mingo, West Virginia by over ten thousand union miners began. Representing the most large-scale military-style encounter to take place in the course of the Coal Mine Wars, it came to be known as the Battle of Blair Mountain.

September

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September 1st: Labor Day! On September 1st, 2001, in violation of international treaties to which it is a signatory, Australia began its policy of sending asylum-seekers to neighboring countries. On September 5th, 2013, after about two months without eating, California prisoners ended their hunger strike against indefinite solitary confinement policies.

On September 9th, 1980, eight people trespassed onto the General Electric Nuclear Missile facility and damaged nuclear weapons.

On September 11th, 1973, a CIA-backed coup overthrew the popularly-elected socialist government of Salvador Allende, bombing the presidential palace with a plane and initiating a reign of terror in which many thousands of Chileans would be tortured and killed. On the same day in 2001, Al-Qaeda operatives, mostly from Saudi Arabia, hijacked four planes and crashed two of them into the World Trade Center. Hundreds of firefighters were among the thousands killed. On the same date in 2007, Congress passed the Protect America Act, giving rise to the Prism surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden years later.

On September 12th, 1814, General Robert Ross was killed by Irish rebels in Baltimore, only weeks after he successfully burned down much of Washington, DC. On September 13th, 1847, the US Army seized Mexico City, forcing Mexico to cede most of its territory to the United States. The same date in 1899 was the first time a person was killed by an automobile in the US. On this date in 1944, Dutch resistance fighter Henk Streefkerk was killed in a drive-by shooting by Nazis in Eindhoven, only days before the end of the German occupation of the Netherlands. To this day, no one knows who betrayed him.

On September 14th, 2012, Australia began transferring asylum seekers to a re-established offshore processing center in Nauru. On September 15th, 2008, Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. On September 16th, 2013, Anglo-American pulled out of the Pebble Mine project by Bristol Bay in Alaska.

On September 17th, 2006, James Chasse, Jr: was beaten to death by police in Portland, Oregon. On September 17th, 2011, the first protest in Zuccotti Park in the Occupy Wall Street series took place.

On September 20th, 2001, Ana Belen Montes was arrested for espionage and ultimately sentenced to 25 years in a Texas gulag. She had risen to the highest levels of the Department of Defense, and she had been a spy for Cuba for decades.

On September 25th, 1789, the Bill of Rights was proposed by a joint session of Congress, in direct response to Shays' Rebellion. On this date in 1972, a majority of Norwegian voters voted against joining the European Union. And on this date in 2008, Somali pirates hijacked a Ukrainian ship full of tanks and other heavy armaments.

On September 29th, 2004, Free Radio Santa Cruz was raided by the FCC and shut down. But it was soon back on the air... On this date in 2008, the Icelandic government announced that it would nationalize Iceland's third-largest bank, Glitnir.

And on September 30th, 1991, Mordechai Vanunu was kidnapped off the streets of Rome after being lured there from England by Mossad. He was then taken to Israel and held in prison for eighteen years, most of it in solitary confinement. His crime was exposing Israel's secret nuclear weapons program to the world.

October

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On October 1st, Occupy Wall Street occupied the Brooklyn Bridge, and 700 people were arrested. This made international news in a big way, and Occupy Wall Street's growth throughout the US, Canada and elsewhere continued.

On October 4th, 2005, an official report upgraded the number of deaths in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to 1,836 with more than 2,500 still missing. On October 5th, 2002, the California Department of Veterans Affairs released a study estimating California's population of homeless veterans at about 55,000.


On October 6th, 1976, rightwing Cubans on the CIA payroll bombed a Cuban airliner, killing 76 people.  On the same date in 2007, in an uncharacteristic show of police brutality, Danish police teargassed thousands of people, arresting 436 of them. They were engaged in a nonviolent attempt to squat a building in Copenhagen, as part of the struggle in Denmark that followed the raid on Ungdomshuset.

On October 7th, 2001, the US/NATO invasion of Afghanistan began. On October 8th, 2012, Hugo Chavez once again won a landslide electoral victory in Venezuela. On October 14th, 1954, Mordechai Vanunu was born in Morocco.


On October 16th, 1859, John Brown and a small band of militant abolitionists raid the armory in Harper's Ferry, Virginia in an attempt to launch a slave revolt.  The abolitionists were captured by a military force led by Robert E. Lee, and hanged soon thereafter.  Two years later, the Union Army sang songs about John Brown as they marched into battle.

On October 17th, 1936, the international campaign to defend the popularly-elected government of Spain against the military junta that had already seized control of much of the country began in earnest. This is when the call went out worldwide for the formation of a brigade of armed international volunteers to go to Spain. Tens of thousands from throughout Europe, North America and elsewhere went to Spain, including my dear friend Bob Steck. Those from the US who answered the call came to be generally known as the Lincoln Battalion.

On October 19th, 2001, hundreds of refugees fleeing war zones from various parts of the world died at sea in between Indonesia and Christmas Island, in a failed attempt to gain asylum in Australia. On October 21st, 1998, the ever-expanding Vail Ski Resort was burned down by the Earth Liberation Front.


On October 22nd, 2007, Judge Joe Fish declared a mistrial in the case against the Holy Land Foundation because jurors were deadlocked. Their conviction and draconian prison sentences would come, a bit later.

October 24th, 1929, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began.  On the same date in 2001, the Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act in a nearly unanimous vote, although not a single Congressperson had read it.


On October 26th, 2006, Congress passed the Secure Fence Act, further militarizing the already deadly border region between the United States and Mexico. On October 27th, 2006, my dear friend, New York City Indymedia activist Brad Will was killed by Mexican paramilitaries. Brad was covering the uprising that was then ongoing in the state of Oaxaca. He was killed on the barricades with a camera in his hand.

On October 28th, 2008, commercial króna trading outside Iceland restarted.  On October 31st, 1969, Wal-Mart was incorporated.

November

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On November 2nd, 1979, aided by members of the Black Liberation Army, Assata Shakur escaped from prison in New Jersey. After a massive FBI woman-hunt, several years later Assata resurfaced, safe in Cuba. On November 4th, 1936, anarchists joined the Popular Front government of Spain.

November 7th, 2003, Mahmud Al-Qayyed, age 10, was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces for the crime of catching songbirds in an olive grove that was too close to the Gaza-Israel “border.” On the same date in 2004, the US military invaded Falluja again, destroying what was left of that once-beautiful, ancient city. And on the same date in 2012, marijuana was legalized for recreational use in both Colorado and Washington State. In Washington, marriage equality became the law, too. (Thus confirming Leviticus 3:16 – “when two men lie together, they should be stoned.”)

November 11th: Veterans Day

November 15th was the date of the debut of the Wal-Mart documentary, the High Cost of Low Price. On this date in 2008, Somali pirates seized an oil tanker with two million barrels of oil in it.

On November 16th, 1989, 6 priests, their housekeeper and her teenage daughter were killed in El Salvador by graduates of the School of the Americas. On this date in 2010, the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania banned fracking within city limits. (Yes, the frackers were planning on doing that.)

On November 17th, 2000, Luis Posada Carrilles is arrested in Panama in possession of 200 pounds of explosives.  He was preparing to kill Fidel Castro by blowing up the venue in which he was scheduled to speak.  Hundreds or even thousands of people could have been killed and maimed if he had been able to carry out his plan.

On November 18th, 2011, in an event that became iconic in the annals of Occupy Wall Street, students were pepper-sprayed by police in Davis, California for the crime of sitting on the sidewalk.

On November 19th, 2005, US soldiers massacred 24 people, mostly women and children, in the town of Haditha, Iraq. On November 20th, 1945, the Nuremberg Trials began. On the same date in 2003, thousands of riot police rioted, wantonly beating and gassing peaceful protesters outside the meetings of world leaders in Miami, Florida, who were negotiating the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Police Chief John Timoney had turned Miami into a ghost town police state prior to the FTAA meetings.

On November 22nd, 1967, the United Nations passed Resolution 242, giving the right of return – to return to their homes – for Palestinians who had to flee their homes in the course of the Six Day War. The resolution has never been implemented, and is being violated on a daily basis by the state of Israel.

On November 23rd, 2008, the United States Treasury announced the bailout of Citigroup. On November 24th 2008, in a retrial, the Holy Land Foundation and its five founding members were found guilty of sending food and medicine to Palestinians in need and sentenced to prison terms of 15-65 years. They were sending the food and medicine through the wrong channels, you see.

Friday, November 28th: Buy Nothing Day/Black Friday.

On November 30th, 1999, tens of thousands of people nonviolently take to the streets of Seattle and partially shut down meetings of the World Trade Organization.  Armies of riot police mercilessly beat and gassed tens of thousands of peaceful protesters.  The world's media focused primarily on 200 members of the Black Block who went around smashing windows of chain stores in another part of town.

December

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On December 1st, 2001, the village of Kama Ado in Afghanistan was bombed by the US Air Force, killing 115 innocent civilians as they were getting out of bed one morning. In response to questions on the subject, a Department of Defense spokesperson said “nothing happened” in Kama Ado that day. On the same date in 2009, US President Barack Obama announced there would be a “troop surge” in Afghanistan.

On December 2nd, 1859, abolitionist militant John Brown was executed in the state of Virginia.  Two years later, the Union Army would sing his praises while marching into battle.

On December 3rd, 1854, dozens of rebel gold diggers were killed when the British Army laid siege to the Eureka Stockade outside of Melbourne in Australia. On this date in 2011, the Guardian reported that former Miami and Philadelphia police chief John Timoney had been hired to train the police in the nation of Bahrain. Ostensibly, Bahrain was looking for someone to help “westernize” their police forces. In reality, John Timoney is known for brutally repressing dissent, and that's why they hired him.

On December 6th, 1998, Hugo Chavez won the presidency of Venezuela, initiating a new era of democracy that soon spread from Venezuela to most of the rest of Latin America. On December 8th, 2005, New York University banned the sale of Coca-Cola products on its campus. The administration was reacting to student pressure, which existed because of Coke's history of hiring rightwing Death Squads to kill union organizers in the nation of Colombia.

On December 12th, 2000, the United States Supreme Court selected George W. Bush as winner of the recentpresidential election by a 5 to 4 vote.

On December 15th, 1791, the Bill of Rights was proposed by a joint session of Congress, in direct response to Shays' Rebellion, the uprising of tenant farmers that took over western Massachusetts for three years.

On December 17th, 1847, Cold War Fountain magazine discussed various aspects of the importation of Egyptian mummies for making paper. On this date in 1987, Chelsea Manning was born.  She would go on to leak a massive trove of documents proving extensive US war crimes and be sentenced to decades in prison for this act of heroism.  And on this date in 2010, Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire and set into motion the Tunisian uprising.

On December 22nd, Paul Wolfowitz was born. He would grow up to be a chief neocon, ruler of an occupied nation, and leader of the World Bank.

December 24th: Christmas Eve. And in the place where Jesus was ostensibly born, Palestinian Christians celebrate, surrounded by the monolithic structure popularly known as the Apartheid Wall.

On December 25th, 1972, the United States Air Force killed thousands of innocent civilians in an aerial bombardment of Hanoi, Vietnam.

On December 26th, 2002, the Washington Post exposed prisoner torture in a “forbidden zone” of Bagram air base in Afghanistan. On the same date in 2004, a massive tsunami destroyed large swaths of Asia, killing hundreds of thousands of people.

On December 29th, 2009, ten Afghan civilians, mostly school children, were killed by special forces in a Narang night raid.