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Tree-hugging liberals and Howard Zinn RIP

treesit1tn Before I kick things off, become a fan of the newborn Archcomix Facebook Fan page here and get more updates than you can shake a digitized stick at. Now, onwards. Heroes of the week – In West Virginia, Protestors associated with Climate Ground Zero and Mountain Justice have managed to halt blasting on Coal River Mountain for the last week by staging a three-person tree-sit. David Aaron Smith, 23, Amber Nitchman, 19 and Eric Blevins, 28 are on platforms approximately 60 feet up two tulip poplar trees and one oak tree. They are located next to where Massey Energy is blasting to build an access road to the Brushy Fork Impoundment on its Bee Tree Strip Mine. One of them came down two days ago suffering from the cold, although the incessant horn blaring and siren wailing of vindictive Massey energy workers to prevent them from sleeping might have also had something to do with it.Today is National Coal Ash day of action so inform yerselves by watching this video, or reading my comic about Mountain Top Removal (pasted below). Please share this post with others via the buttons at the bottom too.

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Legendary leftist historian activist Howard Zinn also gets a special mention after suffering a fatal heart attack yesterday. Here’s a good interview with him by way of an introduction. Of course, there’s always his seminal A People’s History of the US (later adapted into a graphic novel) too.

A terrible week for democracy

Brace yourselves, this is going to be a long one to reflect what an ugly week it’s been in US-related politics. First up, here’s the latest part of the School of the Americas piece – skip back 3 steps to get to the beginning and find out more about SOA/WHINSEC and their illustrious graduates’ violent pasts.

As the estimated number of dead in Haiti rises past the 200,000 mark, several news reports (Democracy Now!, The Guardian and Al Jazeera for starters) are describing the US’s apparent takeover of the main airport at Port-au-Prince. Convoys carrying aid, medical supplies and water are being re-directed to make way for a worrying number of US troops, who are being deployed ‘to ensure security’. Yes Magazine had a great quote from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who, after declaring her expectation that the Haitian government would pass an emergency decree – including things like the right to impose curfews – said, “The decree would give the government an enormous amount of authority, which in practice they would delegate to us”. Of course they would.

Naomi Klein leads the charge for transparency to prevent Haiti from succumbing to the free market agenda that New Orleans did in the aftermath of Katrina. Here’s a checklist of suggested actions sent by Rep. Paul Teller on September 13, 2005 – let’s hope they don’t start happening in Port-au-Prince. One other chilling similarity with Katrina is the already conspicuous presence of Blackwater-esque private mercenary forces, operating under the philanthropically-tinged moniker International Peace Operations Association. For an altogether more upfront description of their services in Haiti,  checkout this webpage hosted by a similar private outfit called All Pro Legal Investigations – under the ‘Personal Protection’ header they’ll even deal with ‘worker unrest’ and ‘high-threat terminations’. What more could an International Peacekeeping force want? Jeremy Scahill has the whole scoop over at the Nation.

The bad news then came home, not only with the loss of the Massachusetts Senate seat for the Democrats, but also yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling that curbing corporate donations to electoral campaigns is unconstitutional. Why? Because it infringes on the said corporations’ first amendment rights to free speech. I’m sure that’s exactly what Thomas Jefferson had in mind when he said, “the end of democracy will occur when government falls into the hands of the lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.” See corporate watch for more info.

Lastly, one piece of good news to try and even up the balance. The online human rights and social justice magazine Independent World Report will publish my 4-page piece on Diego Garcia in their next issue.

Pre-order your $5 Honduran Coup Comic now!

A request to new visitors to the site: (welcome!) on the right hand toolbar is a chipin widget that I’m using to get pre-orders for a hard copy, full-colour 32p comic about US intervention in central america – featuring both parts of the Honduran Coup: A Graphic History as published in Alternet and the Huffington Post. Read more about it on the chipin page I’ve created here.

For $5 (plus $2 shipping in the US and $4 overseas) you’ll get  a copy of the comic as well as your name printed in the back, along with all the other donors to the project. We’re already well on the way (see the total) and payment is via paypal so totally safe. Be part of a group project to help raise awareness and produce an educational tool that will have a lasting impact. And please use the buttons below to share this link around – facebook, twitter, digg – any help is appreciated.

Chipin!

A request to new visitors to the site: (welcome!) on the right hand toolbar is a chipin widget that I’m using to get pre-orders for a hard copy, full-colour 32p comic about US intervention in central america – featuring both parts of the Honduran Coup: A Graphic History as published in Alternet and the Huffington Post. Read more about it on the chipin page I’ve created here.

For $5 (plus $2 shipping in the US and $4 overseas) you’ll get  a copy of the comic as well as your name printed in the back, along with all the other donors to the project. We’re already well on the way (see the total) and payment is via paypal so totally safe. Be part of a group project to help raise awareness and produce an educational tool that will have a lasting impact.

ExpressNews article and Honduras Resists!

With two days to go before the elections in Honduras, now is as good time as any to clue yourself up on the situation on the ground via the following blogs: www.quotha.net, Honduras Coup 2009 (with a must-read introduction outlining why it would have been impossible for Zelaya to be extending his term, as his detractors keep repeating), and Honduras Resists! – you’ll recognize their banner image from the panel in today’s extract. As ever, if you want a hard copy of the Honduran comic to happen, please pre-order here or the chipin widget to the right and be part of a grassroots effort to raise awareness about US foreign policy – all for $5.

Also, check out ExpressBuzz.com (a South Indian online magazine)’s article on my Diego Garcia and Honduras comic here. According to reporter Amish Mulmi, “what Archer has done is to recreate history in a new medium, an alternate history that delves into the wrongs that superpowers may have committed and the consequences of those errors in today’s world.”

Honduran Comic at the Huffington Post

The follow-up to the Honduran Coup: a graphic history that I’m serializing above is now up at the Huffington Post. Click here to read it. Please digg/facebook/retweet the link once you have!

Diego Garcia on Common Dreams and the Honduran comic continues

Commondreams.org have posted my graphic history of the US base on Diego Garcia on their homepage, which you can check out here. Meanwhile here’s the next instalment of the Honduran coup comic – click previous to skip back to the start.

For those of you interested in a hard copy of the Honduran coup comic, I’ve installed a widget in the sidebar to the right through Chipin, which is a way of getting online donations through paypal. Click here to visit my Chipin page. Basically, I need you to pay for your copy ($5) of the comic upfront, in order to cover print and distro costs – as a bonus, you’ll get your name printed in tha back of an educational tool (32pages, full colour) that will be sent to libraries, NGOs, activist networks to raise awareness of the true nature of US involvement in Central America. Please spread the word so I can make a hard copy happen.

Rescheduled radio and the plot thickens in Honduras

Now that we’ve reached the end of the Diego Garcia comic, it’ll be a few days before I post more finished comics up as I return to the drawing board and my thumbnails for some other projects – one involving Harvey Pekar. If you’re hungry for more comics, then head to the COMIX page, where you’ll a selection to choose from, including one on the Prop 8 protests in California last year – timely, given what’s just happened in Maine. If that’s still not enough, then stop by the store, order some hard copies, and I’ll ship them to wherever you are in the world.

A date in your diaires: I’ll be on KALW local public radio next Weds, Nov 11, talking about comics journalism and developments in Honduras. I’ll post a link to the show when it’s up.

Speaking of which, after cautious celebrations of an agreement in Honduras, people are beginning to smell a rat at the small print hidden in the US-brokered deal, which sees the US recognizing the upcoming elections regardless of whether Manuel Zelaya is reinstated. The staunchly republican Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) states: ” I take our administration at their word that they will now side with the Honduran people and end their focus on the disgraced Zelaya”. So much for Zelaya’s proposed non-binding consultation that got him into all this trouble in the first place then. Read the full statement here. This from the man who today also campaigned to keep Guantanamo in use for another year, where the prisoners are “by all accounts …being treated better than any prisoner in American jails”.

Get Involved – Vote no on 1 in Maine and Help the Chagossians!

Here’s the next page of my Diego Garcia comic – those of you new to the site, skip back using the previous posts on the toolbar to the right, or else visit the COMIX page to read the whole thing as a slideshow. Thanks for all your support, and remember to spread the word about the Chagossians’ struggle.

Beyond that, you can take steps from wherever you are in the world here – just follow the ‘How you can help’ link on the left toolbar.Donating aside, you can directly contact the relevant MPs who are defending the British government’s stance on the issue, as well as read their little back and forth in the House of Commons from back in 2004. If you’re a brit, it’s worth registering at theyworkforyou.com – it’s a free, easy way of keeping tabs on exactly what your local MP is doing for you. And if you’re American, then remember to support the Vote No on 1 campaign in Maine and help stop the ban on same-sex marriage that went through here in California last year.

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