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New Years Resolution * Lori Berenson Brutally Moved * Woody * Tribal Interior

December 29, 2001

This is the ending issue for Flyby News in 2001, which is a good thing. This has been a pretty depressing year, especially if you are a realist, and care about human rights and our environment, and especially if you are an optimist. The oxymoron of this last statement makes more sense if you absorbed the information in the prior issue of Flyby News, which announced a 90-day action plan to cap the arms race in 2002. One must be an optimist not to give up on such a campaign when the Bush decree to end the ABM Treaty seemed so resolute, especially with the support that Congress had previously given to the development of offensive/defensive weapons in space. Yet, all this will change, especially with the united effort of progressive thinking people working for peace and justice. Dennis Kucinich introduced the key legislation for the transformation of the space-weapon and nuclear power industry in the US House of Representatives. Similar legislation is needed in the Senate to give us a fighting chance, which is expected from a prominent Senator. This work, also, to be successful, will require the united support of many nations, organizations, and individuals supporting a world treaty to ban space-based weapons. This could happen way before the next movie episode release of "Lord of the Rings." And this work could be the springboard for the momentum for real disarmament of all weapons of the mass destruction to life, and the positive changes that this will produce.

1) A New Contract with the Planet
2) Lori Berenson Brutally Moved to New Prison in Peru
3) Deadly Silence, Questions Remain about Church Shooting of Woody
4) Open Letter on Tribal Consultation for Interior Secretary Norton


1) A New Contract with the Planet

1. Attack World Hunger and Poverty as if Our Life Depends on it: It Does.

Anchor our foreign policy in the compassion for the poor that unites all the world's religions. Reduce the debts of impoverished countries. End America's sad history as the world's leading exporter of weapons. Shift foreign aid from buying weapons to feeding people.

2. Champion the Rights of Every Child, Woman and Man.

Make America stand for justice, not expediency. Stop turning a blind eye to governments that abuse their own people. Ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. If punishing a foreign tyrant means, in actual practice, punishing the women and children who are his victims, desist, and find another path.

3. Pay our UN Dues Ungrudgingly and End our Obstructionism to the World's Treaties.

Throw America's full weight behind the United Nations. Pay our UN dues on time and without conditions. Withdraw our lonely vetoes of the landmine ban, the bans on chemical and biological weapons, the Kyoto accords and the International Criminal Court. Show once again the "decent respect for the opinions of mankind" that our Declaration of Independence affirms.

4. Reduce our Dependence on Oil.

Oil holds us hostage to regimes hated by their own people; their hatred transfers to us. America is 5% of the world's people but we generate 25% of the pollution that causes global warming. It's our duty to lead. We will reduce our consumption 25% by 2010.

5. Lead the World to an Age of Renewable Energy.

Make a Moon Mission scale commitment to develop solar and wind power technologies. Set and meet a goal of 20% of our energy from renewable sources by 2010.

6. Close the Book on the Cold War and End the Nuclear Nightmare Forever.

Cast a cold eye on giant weapons designed to destroy giant enemies that no longer exist. Cancel obsolete Cold War weapons. We applaud the nuclear force cuts announced by President Bush, but even 2,000 warheads poised and aimed at Russia are unwise. We squander $35 billion a year on this obsolete arsenal. Save most of that money, take our missiles off "launch on warning" and invite all nuclear nations to negotiate a nuclear weapons ban.

7. Renounce Star Wars and the Militarization of Space. Reaffirm the ABM treaty.

After spending $134 billion dollars (twice our lifetime commitment to cancer research!) our military has nothing to show for its obsession with a dubious National Missile Defense but the deep suspicions of our new allies. Enough is enough.

8. Make Globalization Work for, not against, Working People.

Open the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to the public. Let sunshine into the councils of the World Trade Organization and the North American Fair Trade Agreement. Affirm that the welfare of the planet's people supersedes corporate patents and profits.

9. Get Money out of Politics.

Curtail the vast corrupting influence of corporate campaign contributions, which make Congress beholden to private interests. Enact public campaign financing--we can fund it entirely by closing a single offshore tax loophole!

10. Close the Gap between Rich and Poor at Home.

All these words will ring hollow to the world if America does not close the chasm between Rich and Poor in our own society. We will fully fund Head Start and healthcare insurance for the millions of American children who can't get either, and invest the money needed to build and nourish schools worthy of this great nation.

To sign on and learn more about "A New Contract with the Planet," visit


2) Lori Berenson Brutally Moved to New Prison in Peru

From: "Mark Berenson" |
Subject: Lori Update -- Dec. 26

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

To: All Friends and Supporters of Lori Berenson


As the US and Peruvian governments were recessing for the Christmas holidays we were horrified to learn that when Lori was moved to the remote mountain prison in Cajamarca it was done brutally.

At 3:15 a.m. Friday morning, while Lori and 17 other prisoners were sleeping, more than 30 police in gasmasks and wielding clubs stormed her cellblock, filling the corridor and then the individual cells with tear gas. Lori was overcome by the gas, brutally manhandled, and forcefully removed from her cell. She was carried semiconscious wearing only her sleeping clothes (tee-shirt and shorts), leaving behind all her possessions including her eyeglasses, medicines, and shoes. Other women in the cellblock were gassed, beaten, and threatened with rape. Only one other prisoner was transferred (not to the same prison as Lori).

This move was "conveniently arranged" just before the holiday and if it weren't for a friend who visited the women's prison at Chorrillos on Saturday we would not have learned of the "method" by which she was moved or the fact that her possessions were not moved with her, even though she was taken a mountain where the temperature drops to 40 degrees at night. Peruvian authorities did not inform the US Embassy of the manner in which she was moved and misleadingly insisted her possessions were transported with her.

The Counselor official (who brought Lori's possessions) and Lori's lawyer who visited her on Sunday assured us she is okay except for the cuts and bruises on her arms, wrists, and legs and some lingering effects of the tear gas.

On Sunday, in the presence of her lawyer and a Peruvian prosecutor, Lori filed a "denuncia" against the Peruvian Justice Minister, the director of the Peruvian penal system, the prison director at Santa Monica de Chorrillos Prison in Lima, and other officials for abuse of authority and injury.

In addition to this unprovoked brutality, the Peruvian government once again denied Lori due process. They claim she was transferred for disciplinary reasons. But Peruvian law requires that the prisoner be informed of any infractions and be permitted to respond in defense. This was not done.

Once again, we assume she was moved for political reasons. The move on Friday was followed by media articles again portraying Lori in a highly negative light while not reporting the manner in which she was teargassed, dragged from her cell, denied all her rights, and brought to the mountains. Justice Minister Fernando Olivera, who announced Lori's move to the media, has learned well from the Fujimori-Montesinos years of bashing Lori that this is a useful mechanism or increasing one's popularity in Peru. In addition, he would have had backing from the Fujimori-Montesinos supporters who still yield much influence within the judiciary, military, police, and Peruvian penal systems.

Rhoda will be visiting Lori this weekend and we will report further on her move and her well-being as soon as we learn more.

Rhoda and Mark Berenson


3) Deadly Silence, Questions Remain about Church Shooting of Woody

Letter to the Editor, "Reformer," Brattleboro, VT

As a close friend of Robert Woodward, there are several issues that I wish to address in this community forum. First of all, the question that begs attention at this time is why the police chose to act as they did? Why did the police not use words to de-escalate the situation? Why did the police shoot to kill? Why did they not try to injure our friend enough to overpower him? Why did two out of three police officers choose to fire seven rounds and the third refrain from firing at all? What are the policies of the Brattleboro Police regarding the use of deadly force?

We support calls from within the Brattleboro community for a civilian review board who would be empowered to assess and examine the training, policies, regulations, and unwritten norms of the Brattleboro Police Department. We also call for an independent investigation conducted by a non-Vermont based law enforcement agency. Additionally, we strongly question the decision to allow the officers who killed our friend to return to their regular duties on the streets of Brattleboro. This decision, apparently made in haste and poor judgment, flies in the face of rational and conscientious community leadership. We have been made aware by members of the Brattleboro community that Officer Parker, one of the officers who killed our friend, was recently involved in a scuffle with a Brattleboro High School student which involved the use of excessive force and unnecessary restraint. Officer Parker's terrible reputation among young people in Brattleboro begs increased media attention as well as internal review. Outraged Brattleboro citizens have also come forward privately to state that members of the local police department have been "overzealous" and "over the top" since September 11th, causing concern and fear among many town residents.

As a registered nurse, I recognize that if I were involved in a scenario wherein one of my patients died suddenly in direct relation to my actions, my license would be suspended, I would not be able to return to work, and my professional life would be on hold pending the outcome of the investigation. I call for the immediate suspension of the two officers involved and their removal from active duty pending the resolution of this crisis. In the face of a criminal investigation, constant media coverage, and untold other potential legal ramifications, these officers cannot be expected to perform their duties in a conscientious and rational manner. The decision to allow these officers renewed daily contact with the public in this current political atmosphere is both irresponsible and insensitive. I request that the Brattleboro police immediately suspend the two officers pending the complete resolution of this case.

I call on the Brattleboro Reformer to launch a complete investigation of both officers, and full public disclosure of their records and any recent disciplinary actions and complaints against them. I invite the acting Chief of Police, John Martin, to publicly explain his actions and justify the reinstatement of these officers now under criminal investigation. His silence is deafening, and his inability to reach out with condolences to the friends and family of Robert Woodward is reprehensible. My message to the Brattleboro Police Department: we will not allow this issue to rest until we are satisfied that no stone has been left unturned and justice has been properly served. The world is watching, and we will make certain that it continues to do so.

Keith Carlson

For more information see


4) Open Letter on Tribal Consultation for Interior Secretary Norton

Posted: December 28, 2001 - 12:04PM EST
by: Suzan Shown Harjo / Columnist / Indian Country Today

This article can be found at

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