You are currently browsing the daily archive for August 21, 2007.

I received in e-mail with a link to an English version of IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) news report of a large anti-occupation rally in Bagdad.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis held a massive demonstration against the American forces’ savage raids on the peaceful parts of Baghdad Monday morning. According to IRIB correspondent in Baghdad, the demonstrators began their protest in Baghdad’s Sadr city from early morning by chanting anti-occupation slogans. While holding Iraqi flags, boards condemning the presence of occupiers and pictures of the martyred Iraqi civilians, demonstrators chanted slogans against America, the Zionist regime and all the occupiers and condemned the raid by the American forces on the secure Shia-settled areas of Baghdad and the air raid on Sadr city.

The protest was the greatest popular demonstration in Baghdad in the last two months.

Can’t find any mention of the demonstration, ostensibly organized by Shiites, in any other media. The prose is obviously not objective, but even if there weren’t “tens of thousands” of demonstrators, shouldn’t there be some report of a demonstration for the Iranians to exagerrate? It does suggest a collusion on the part of the media, although similar demonstrations in the past have been used by administration apologists to argue that peaceful demonstrations indicate stability and progress.

The photo, ostensibly of the apparently invisible demonstration, is from the IRIB article.


Meanwhile, the Guardian is reporting that fights between Kurdish rebels and the Iranian military have spilled into Iraq.

The Kurdish group (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan or PJAK) is interesting. Nearly half the fighters are female. It is closely allied to the Kurdistan Workers Party, which has been designated a “terrorist organization” by the State Department, although some in the anti-war movement have suggested that these quasi-Marxist groups are part of a CIA effort to destabilize Iran, or at least in cooperation thereof. The PJAK does operate relatively freely in Kurdish Iraq. The PJAK also has its eyes set on portions of Syria, and, yes, Turkey.

Addendum: a reader sent me links to some additional coverage of yesterday’s demonstration, including this story.

From a site entitled In Defense of Marxism, apparently Venezuela is now the only government to acknowledge the event as one of significance.

The ideas of Leon Trotsky have already been referred to on a number of occasions by president Chávez, who has said he is a follower of the permanent revolution, and commented favourably on the Transitional Programme.

Now, on August 20th, the Venezuelan authorities have organised a public meeting to commemorate 67 years since the assassination of Trotsky in Mexico. This is certainly an historic event. It is the first time in 67 years that this date has been commemorated officially by a government institution anywhere in the world.

Amongst those invited to take part in the event are Esteban Volkov, Trotsky’s grandson, who has dedicated most of his efforts to the rehabilitation of the figure of the Russian revolutionary from the pile of slanders and lies of the Stalinists; Celia Hart, the Cuban communist who has played a key role in reintroducing the debate on Trotsky on the island and reclaimed his ideas; and Ricardo Napurí, a Peruvian army officer who became a revolutionary, collaborated with Che Guevara and is also a Trotskyist.

Che Guevara was NOT a Trotskyist by the way. Trotskyists in Cuba have mostly been jailed or exiled. Or killed.

Anybody curious about Trotsky would do well to read from Isaac Deutscher’s biographic trilogy. Although the history was bogus, the film Frida portrayed Trotsky in a very thoughtful manner. A complex figure, and if I start typing about him I won’t make it to bed. Maybe later.

From Sanctuary Forest. You can find regular updates here.

Mattole River Update: Aug 2007

This summer continues to be one of the lowest flow years on record for the Mattole River. On August 8th there were 500 gallons per minute flowing just upstream of Bridge Creek, and within two weeks we expect that number to drop by half, to 250 GPM-the equivalent of just 12 pumps working at once.

By September 1st the Mattole Headwaters will be in a critical condition, with some spots drying up completely and leaving baby salmonids exposed and stranded. Already there are approximately 15,000 baby Chinook stuck in gradually warming water at the mouth of the Mattole in Petrolia, where they will die unless we do something to help them.

Sanctuary Forest, the Mattole Restoration Council and the Mattole Salmon Group are working together to improve river flows and salmon survival, and encourage community members to do what they can to conserve water. Everybody counts, including those who use water from tributaries and springs that would usually feed the Mattole. September is the most critical month, and everything you can do to reduce water use or stop pumping will help. Stop watering your garden, let lawns go brown, take short showers and fix leaks. Little changes can make big differences.

For more information visit, and please come join us at the Mattole River Celebration on Aug. 25th at Whitethorn Construction to celebrate our shared watershed, local culture and talent, and to learn more about river and fish conditions and what you can do to help them.

Mattole River Update August 8, 2007


· Conditions are low and approaching critical
· 494 gallons per minute were measured upstream of Bridge Creek confluence on August 8th, 2007
· Juvenile salmonids are currently trapped in tributaries and the estuary

What you can do:

· Every water source counts, including all water taken from tributaries and springs that feed the Mattole
· Fix Leaks. Leak proof your water storage tank and water system
· Use a tank shut-off valve to keep water from overflowing or use overflow piping that leads back to the stream or river
· Reduce watering of garden & landscape: Try dry farming, drip irrigation, mulching, timing of watering, avoid over watering, and drought resistant plants
· Reduce household water use
· Recycle grey water
· Install low flow shower heads and fixtures – Free fixtures available from Mattole Restoration Council (629-3514)

Prepare for even greater conservation measures for the entire month of September including:
· Stop watering lawns and let them go brown
· Stop watering gardens
· Share a shower
· Reduce or eliminate toilet flushing – use an outhouse – “let it mellow”
Sanctuary Forest invites you to come join us at the Mattole River Celebration on Aug. 25th at Whitethorn Construction (10:00 a.m. into the night) to celebrate our shared watershed, local culture and talent, and to learn more about river and fish conditions and what you can do to help them.


August 2007