As some of you already know, we are currently back in Cairo after our 12/14 hour ordeal at the Suez Canal Bridge Checkpoint. Good news is that we have now reunited with the entire convoy so that when we return, we will be 200+ strong. Even though, I must add that our 4 vans of 50 members that held out the other night were outstanding and had an extreme impact. We did not back down, even when they had triple the amount of people surrounding us including police, military, riot police and intelligence officers.
We are now all back with the others in the hotel….however are not allowed to order coaches or buses to pick us up until the Foreign Ministry approves us leaving Cairo. We are harassed at every single movement out of the hotel, sometimes not allowed to move at all. Every single member went to their respective embassies and got the peice of paper stating that they are entering Gaza at their own risk. Oh, and it cost them a total of $30 each to do so. George Galloway is back in Cairo, Cynthia McKinney, Lowkey, M1 from Dead Prez and Mazzi all arrive today.
Later int he day I get a call from the Foreign Ministry stating that they are granting us permission on the following terms:
1) We only have 24 Hours in Gaza and anyone that overstays will not get out for a few months until they breifly open the border again
2) We can not take the best of $1M that was donated by US citizens which brought the 47 vehicles that were sitting in Alexandria and that if we did want them to go through they would have to pass through the Israeli Checkpoint and not the Egyptian.
3) We have to give an itemized list of every single thing we are taking with expiration dates for each item (bearing in mind we had already packed 9 trucks with medical aid and supplies)….
We wanted to negotiate after a meeting with all members. Plus we had to wait for them to give the OK to leave the hotel. It was now a waiting game.
The CSI actor and author of “Letters to a Young Brother” and “Letters to a Young Sister,” Hill Harper discusses black relationships in his new book “The Conversation.” While the official release date is September 8, Harper encourages people to support “The Conversation” via pre-sales to prove to prospective sponsors of his planned city-to-city book tour, which includes town hall discussions, that this issue is important.
I was encouraged to make this post after hearing Harper’s interview on the Steve Harvey Morning Show. Harper spoke about the “All black men are playas” and “All black women are gold-diggers” stereotypes that we we allow to separate us when we accept them as truth. “The Conversation is the first non-fiction book chosen by the ESSENCE book club.
Below is a letter that Hill Harper wrote to members of his website ForRealSolutions.com
Hey everyone, it’s Hill Harper, and I am writing you today because I NEED YOUR HELP!
The statistics are startling: In 1966, over 80% of African American children were being raised in two-parent households; in 2006, that number had plummeted to 31%
Or, get this: 70% of Black professional women are single. Smart, successful women with no suitors?! What’s going on?
If we don’t start addressing the issues between Black men and Black women, we will bear witness to the destruction of the Black family. I won’t stand by and be silent.
It’s so important to me that I’ve written an entire book on the topic. The Conversation, will be hitting bookstore shelves this September.
My goal is to host a city to city tour of FREE town halls where we can all come together and have a real conversation about what’s really going on. I want single folks, married folks—young and old—to courageously let their voices be heard around this topic that is often discussed on talk radio or afternoon TV shows, but rarely taken on face-to-face within our communities.
AND, I want singles to have the opportunity to mix and mingle at these town halls. Let’s connect singles together in every city we visit!
It’s no secret that a tour like this one—free of charge to its attendees—would be expensive and require corporate sponsorship dollars. I must to prove to the prospective sponsors that this issue is important to us all. How do we do that? I can prove that we care about this issue by sharing high book pre-sale numbers with them. And by tracking what area of the country the pre-sales come from, we can be sure to schedule the tour cities for those areas.
I AM ASKING YOU TO SHOW THAT YOU CARE!
We all have to join The Conversation and begin to work on these relationship issues.
Thank you so much for all of your support.
Let’s do this together,
Militia groups with gripes against the government are regrouping across the country and could grow rapidly, according to an organization that tracks such trends.
The stress of a poor economy and a liberal administration led by a black president are among the causes for the recent rise, the report from the Southern Poverty Law Center says. Conspiracy theories about a secret Mexican plan to reclaim the Southwest are also growing amid the public debate about illegal immigration.
Bart McEntire, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told SPLC researchers that this is the most growth he’s seen in more than a decade.
“All it’s lacking is a spark,” McEntire said in the report.
It’s reminiscent of what was seen in the 1990s – right-wing militias, people ideologically against paying taxes and so-called “sovereign citizens” are popping up in large numbers, according to the report to be released Wednesday. The SPLC is a nonprofit civil rights group that, among other activities, investigates hate groups.
Last October, someone from the Ohio Militia posted a recruiting video on YouTube, billed as a “wake-up call” for America. It’s been viewed more than 60,000 times.
“Things are bad, things are real bad, and it’s going to be a lot worse,” said the man on the video, who did not give his name. “Our country is in peril.”
The man is holding an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, and he encourages viewers to buy one.
While anti-government sentiment has been on the rise over the last two years, there aren’t as many threats and violent acts at this point as there were in the 1990s, according to the report. That movement bore the likes of Timothy McVeigh, who in 1995 blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City and killed 168 people.
But McEntire fears it’s only a matter of time.
These militias are concentrated in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest and the Deep South, according to Mark Potok, an SPLC staff director who co-wrote the report. Recruiting videos and other outreach on the Internet are on the rise, he said, and researchers from his center found at least 50 new groups in the last few months.
The militia movement of the 1990s gained traction with growing concerns about gun control, environmental laws and anything perceived as liberal government meddling.
The spark for that movement came in 1992 with an FBI standoff with white separatist Randall Weaver at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. Weaver’s wife and son were killed by an FBI sniper. And in 1993, a 52-day standoff between federal agents and the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, resulted in nearly 80 deaths. These events rallied more people who became convinced that the government would murder its own citizens to promote its liberal agenda.
Now officials are seeing a new generation of activists, according to the report. The law center spotlights Edward Koernke, a Michigan man who hosts an Internet radio show about militias. His father, Mark, was a major figure in the 1990s militia movement and served six years in prison for charges including assaulting police.
Last year, officials warned about an increase in activity from militias in a five-year threat projection by the Homeland Security Department.
“White supremacists and militias are more violent and thus more likely to conduct mass-casualty attacks on the scale of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing,” the threat projection said.
A series of domestic terrorism incidents over the past year have not been directly tied to organized militias, but the rhetoric behind some of the crimes are similar with that of the militia movement. For instance, the man charged with the April killings of three Pittsburgh police officers posted some of his views online. Richard Andrew Poplawski wrote that U.S. troops could be used against American citizens, and he thinks a gun ban could be coming.
The FBI’s assistant director for counterterrorism, Michael Heimbach, said that law enforcement officials need to identify people who go beyond hateful rhetoric and decide to commit violent acts and crimes. Heimbach said one of the bigger challenges is identifying the lone-wolf offenders.
One alleged example of a lone-wolf offender is the 88-year-old man charged in the June shooting death of a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
Emerging multi-talent, Caktuz..?13 & legendary father of Black American Film, Melvin Van Peebles (Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song) were spotted together in New York City recently, engaging a store full of eager fans at one of their book signing appearances for the graphic novel adaption to Van Peebles new film Confessions OfA Ex-Doofus-Itchy-Footed Mutha. (Published on Akashic Books http://www.akashicbooks.com).
The line stretched out the door of the small Revolution Books (146 W 26th st.) Store. Fans of all ages awaited their specialized autographed copy of Van Peebles latest effort in the American graphic novel genre. The room grew quiet as Van Peebles introduced his partner in the book’s creation and protege, indie recording artist, Caktuz..?13.
Caktuz..?13, an artist whose list of accomplishments rival most well known artists (art, Music, Fashion, film, etc), illustrated the 60 page story closely with Van Peebles over 6 months. “It was a pleasure, working with Caktuz..?13,” says Van Peebles about his new protege’. “It was one of the best experiences I’ve had. 1st, because the gentleman is talented and 2nd, he tries to get into the mind of the narrator. Very important in communicating ideas back & forth to one another. ”
Caktuz..?13, an award wining graphic illustrator, fashion designer, and actor, isn’t just making the rounds with Van Peebles. ‘Mr. Multi’ will be releasing his sophomore project God’z Porno. The EP, a homegrown version of southern hip-hop he calls Carolina Bluez, will be put out through a joint venture with Block Starz Music & his own AMAS Multi-Media label. After working with such artists as Kardinal Offishall & Akon, dead prez, MOP, Bilal, and more, he is regarded by many to be a rising breath of fresh air in today’s music. With a cult following of passionate fans, and a successful European tour, completed earlier this year, Caktuz..?13 has plans to head back out this fall to South Africa & Japan.
When asked a question about passing the torch, Van Peebles said, “well he was already well past being an apprentice when I met him. A protege seemed like the next step. He was open to that. If I had to pass the artistic torch I couldn’t think of a more capable or enlightened person to pass it to.” The elder statesman finished by saying ” I am very proud of Caktuz..?13. I think he’s gonna be one of the most remarkable multi-talented artists of his time”.
Van Peebles’ new film has already received rave reviews from magazines such as Variety, and got a standing ovation at the Tribecca Film Festival this past year. Doofus is set to premiere in NYC Aug. 21st at Cinema Village
Found the article here–> http://newsone.com/entertainment/melvin-van-peebles-introduces-new-protege-at-book-signing/