TERRE HAUTE, Ind.: Peltier abruptly moved

Without notice to his family and attorney, Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier was moved from Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas to a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., on June 30, where he was placed in solitary confinement.

Peltier, 60, has been in prison for 29 years and his health is frail.

The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee has appealed to all democratically minded people to call, fax, e-mail or write letters to the Terre Haute prison authorities, urging them to allow Peltier to contact his family and to safeguard his health.

Contact the prison at this address: USP Terre Haute, U.S. Penitentiary, 4700 Bureau Road South, Terre Haute, IN 47802, phone: (812) 244-4400, fax (812) 244-4789, e-mail thp/execassistant@bop.gov. Be sure to cite Peltier’s “reference number,” 89637-132.

“We appeal to all supporters, friends, allies, and people of conscience to support Leonard Peltier in whatever way possible at this most critical time,” the committee said. For more information, call the committee’s toll free number, (866) 534-6151.

CHICAGO: Librarians call for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq

In a sign of the continuing erosion of public support for Bush’s Iraq occupation, the annual meeting of American Library Association passed a resolution June 29 calling for the withdrawal of all U.S. military personnel from Iraq and for the return of full sovereignty to the people of that nation. Before the U.S. invasion, a similar resolution failed. The ALA represents 64,000 librarians.

Their resolution noted that continued U.S. military presence is only escalating the fighting, that Iraq’s precious cultural treasures have been destroyed, lost or stolen as a result of the war and that U.S. resources should be used to rebuild Iraq and fund libraries at home.

RICHMOND, Va.: ‘Capitalism is killing our land’

Little work got done at the headquarters of the Massey Energy Corporation July 8. Over 300 coalfield residents, environmental activists and scientists marched on the fourth largest coal operator in the U.S.

Marchers walked behind a street-wide banner emblazoned with “Industrial Capitalism is Killing our Land.” The march was held in solidarity with demonstrations at the G8 summit in Scotland defending the environment and demanding the company end mountaintop strip mining, a violent technology that destroys the landscape.

“It used to be that when a coal company came in the community boomed,” says Larry Gibson, 55, a retired autoworker who lives on one of the mountains blown up by Massey. “Now they move everybody out. They make it hard for people to live there. The community isn’t getting the profit; it’s just a handful of people at the top.”

Massey sent out security guards to receive a list of demands from demonstrators.

The march was part of a week of educational and political activities sponsored by Mountain Justice Summer, a campaign in West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky using direct action to protest mountaintop mining.

MINNEAPOLIS: Minnesota reopens

Following a mass demonstration by AFSCME July 6, Minnesota legislators returned to work and hammered out a budget, ending the first shutdown in the state’s history. Over 9,000 state workers were laid off on June 30, when the governor and Republican legislators blocked lawmakers from finalizing the 2006 budget, but were back on the job July 11.

State workers were off the job for six days and their union, AFSCME Council 5, begins negotiations with legislators to restore lost pay to their members

Sally Sabathier, a Health Department employee, told reporters that it was an insult for the final budget to include a performance pay package for teachers. “It’s just a little annoying that we had to suffer the consequences of the Legislature being unable to do its job. I’d like to see performance pay for legislators.”

PITTSBURGH: Pass Employee Free Choice Act

Workers jammed the Hilton Hotel July 11 for a town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) to air the crisis in organizing and union busting and to urge Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), S 842 and HR 1696.

Republican Sen. Arlen Specter participated via satellite hookup.

Comcast workers, members of IBEW and CWA unions, testified to numerous firings, harassment and coercion by the company.

In a letter to the meeting, state treasurer Bob Casey, a frontrunner to challenge Republican Sen. Rick Santorum next year, pledged solidarity with Comcast workers and called for passage of EFCA. Workers are urged to send letters to Gov. Ed Rendell to intervene and support Comcast workers.

In addition to Comcast workers, Donald Siegel, a vice president of the IBEW, and Morton Bahr, president of the CWA, testified at the meeting.

National Clips are compiled by Denise Winebrenner Edwards (dwinebr696@aol.com). Judith LeBlanc contributed to this week’s clips.

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