Syrian poet/professor Dr. Mohja Kahf

Oh Marvin, how much blood can soak the earth?
The angels asked, “will you create a species who will shed blood
and overrun the earth with evil?” 
And it turns out “rivers of blood” is no metaphor: 

see the stones of narrow alleys in Duma
shiny with blood hissing from humans? Dark

and dazzling, it keeps pouring and pumping
from the inexhaustible soft flesh of Syrians,
and neither regime cluster bombs from the air,
nor rebel car bombs on the ground,
ask them their names before they die. 
They are mowed down like wheat harvested by machine,
and every stalk has seven ears, and every ear a hundred grains.
They bleed like irrigation canals into the earth.
Even one little girl in Idlib with a carotid artery cut
becomes a river of blood. Who knew she could be a river 
running all the way over the ocean, to you,
draining me of my heart? And God said to the angels, 
“I know what you know not.” But right now,
the angels seem right. Cut the corners, God;

learn the names of all the Syrians.
See what your species has done.

--Mohja Kahf©2012


100,000 Poets and Musicians for Change

In September 2011 and September 2012, 100,000 Poets and Musicians for Change events were held in over 800 locations across the United States and around the world (115 countries). Now the momentum is increasing and there are events going on all the time under the banner of peace and sustainability.

You are invited you to join and participate. You don’t have to wait until September 2013 to get involved. You can put on an event right now. Or you can brand an event that was going to happen anyway with 100,000 Poets and Musicians for Change to show your support. Your event will go up on the website and be promoted worldwide

About the name: 100,000 Poets and Musicians is just a name. Photographers, painters, mimes, and film makers are also involved. And there’s plenty of room for everyone else.

Check out the website The world ( Sign up at Get in touch ( needs to change. Right now.

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword:

Massive global arts movement mobilizes to change the world

Over 800 Events Take Place in 115 Countries for 100 Thousand Poets for Change

Santa Rosa, Calif. (October 19, 2012) – September 29, 2012 marked the second annual global event for 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a grassroots organization that brings communities together to call for environmental, social, and political change within the framework of peace and sustainability. An event that began primarily with poet organizers, 100 Thousand Poets for Change has grown into an interdisciplinary coalition with year round events which includes musicians, dancers, mimes, painters and photographers from around the world.

Local issues are still key to this massive global event as communities around the world raise their voices on issues such as homelessness, global warming, education, racism and censorship. They got the message out with concerts, readings, lectures, workshops, flash mobs, theater performances and other actions.

These locally focused events have taken on a more continuous and expansive form through the new disciplines represented this year. For example, photographers are making a long-term project out of the event; they will document the involvement of their communities and explore connections with the broader global issues to turn into future exhibits. More and more organizers and participants of the one day, annual event are making plans to continue their actions after September 29. Many have formed groups in their cities that will continue to work year-round towards the goals their community seeks.

“Peace and sustainability are major concerns worldwide, and the guiding principles for this global event,” said Michael Rothenberg, co-founder of 100 Thousand Poets for Change. “We are in a world where it isn't just one issue that needs to be addressed. A common ground is built through this global compilation of local stories, which is how we create a true narrative for discourse to inform the future.”

Over two hundred bands performed around the world, from Los Angeles, New Orleans and Detroit to Serbia, Nigeria and Italy. The musicians involved in this movement are once again using their songs and performances to try to communicate their concerns to the world. As Ross Altman, singer-songwriter, activist and educator, reminds us: “from Plato, who banned [musicians] from the Republic, to Putin, who had Russian punk band members of Pussy Riot arrested, charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to two years in prison for a song prayer, musicians throughout history have been regarded as a danger and threat to change the social order.”

In addition to the hundreds of musicians expressing themselves through song, numerous Mimes for Change events in Egypt, Turkey and Uruguay took place in addition to the day long poetry festivals in Los Angeles, Guatemala City, Pune, India, La Plata, Argentina and Genoa, Italy; thousands of musicians, poets and artists participated around the world, totaling nearly 800 events globally, including:

• 25 different events in the San Francisco Bay Area, the birthplace of 100 Thousand Poets for Change, including poetry readings by Beat legend Michael McClure, former US Poet Laureate Robert Hass and other major poets at the famed Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival

• In New Orleans, 15 live bands performed to raise funds for the APEX Youth Center and Homegrown Harvest Music and Arts Festival

• In Hollywood, Florida, Global Vibes hosted an event called, “War Destroys Children’s Lives” at two venues and featured over fifteen “Bands for Change”

• Peace On Streets, R.O.A.D., Tasker Elite and SHARP hosted performance artists, poets, musicians, hip hop artists and various youth and parent groups performed and led workshops throughout Philadelphia to bring awareness to the ongoing problem of street violence in their city

• Wordstock, a 3-day festival at the Bamboo Arts and Celebration Center in De Leon Springs, FL included poetry slams, concerts, and an art exhibition focusing on images of war and peace
• The Occupy Wall Street Poetry group kicked off a weekend of events in New York City with a poetry reading at the famous St. Mark’s Poetry Project

• In Jamaica, a week long Street Dub Vibe series called “Tell the Children the Truth” included concerts, spoken word performances, art exhibits, lectures and workshops to bring attention to the damaging culture of secrecy and denial surrounding the abuse, poverty and illiteracy impacting the nation’s children and destroying their future.

• Poetry and peace gatherings took place in the strife-torn cities of Kabul and

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

• In Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt, poets, musicians and mime artists, in response to violence in the world and the major changes taking place in the Arab world, performed in public spaces and theaters in order to explore new ways to communicate their concerns, and their roles as artists, in influencing the future of their country


• In Volos, Greece, there were five days of poetry and music events, including an

exhibition of photography looking at the new phenomenon of homelessness in Greece


• An event in Blackpool, England celebrated activist poets and writers of past

generations through a special performance of Bullets and Daffodils, a play about the life of peace poet Wilfred Owen


Organizers and participants are hoping through their actions and events to seize and redirect the political and social dialogue of the day and turn the narrative of civilization towards peace and sustainability. Those who want to get involved can visit


About 100 Thousand Poets for Change


100 Thousand Poets for Change began in Sonoma County, Calif. The official

Headquarters’ Event took place at the Arlene Francis Center in downtown Santa Rosa and featured poetry readings, group meditations, workshops, and music and dance of various styles including hip hop, flamenco, African drums, reggae, salsa, folk and more. The HQ event will also live-streamed other 100 Thousand Poets for Change events worldwide. This 3-day event was sponsored by the Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County and the Sonoma County Arts Council. 


Immediately following September 29th, all documentation on the website, which included specific event pages with photos, video and other documentation compiled by each city coordinator, was preserved by Stanford University in California. Stanford recognized 100 Thousand Poets for Change in 2011 as an historical event, the largest poetry reading in history. They will continue to archive the complete contents of, as part of their digital archiving program LOCKSS.

Co-founder Michael Rothenberg ( is a widely known poet, editor of the online literary magazine and an environmental activist based in Northern California. Terri Carrion is a poet, translator, photographer, and editor and visual designer for

 100 Thousand Poets for Change

P.O. Box 870

Guerneville, Ca 95446

Phone: 305-753-4569



A lioness of Palestine !

By Nahida Exiled Palestinian

Fearsome and Awesome

Look at you... my beloved

Look at you

This little fist of yours

Slams before the world

The final word

This little fist of yours

Says it all


The sparkle in your eyes


Burns deep

Renders them to ashes;

Soulless shadows

Void of life

Void of

Remnants of human beings

They wither away

Before your magnificence

They bow down

Lost... Defeated... Humiliated...

Drenched in shame

Humanity you embody

Dignity you teach

Wonders you inspire

Tall you stand, my sweetheart

Tall you stand

What mother of glory gave birth to you

O great daughter of Palestine!

Your Tears

Your pain

Your sacrifice

To a sleepy world

A zombie world

A beaten world

Who forgot what it means to be alive

Lift your fist

Shake your wrist

Move the world

Beloved daughter of Palestine

Hear her ROAR...World

Hear her roar

Hold her heart

Kiss at her feet

Hear her roar

Be filled with Awe

On 8 November 2012 22:06, <>

See for yourself this brave Palestinian girl.........and one will witness:

You don't have to know Arabic to understand her. Her father is in Israeli jail for being a Palestinian activist. Her mother has been recently released. The little girl tells Israeli soldiers: For every Palestinian olive tree that you uproot, we will plant one hundred trees.

This people will never die. Death to all puppet Arab leaders, in the Gulf, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia,...

Ali Baghdadi


no way out - anonymous comment

The night is black
Without a moon
The air is thick, and still

The vigilantes gather on
The lonely torchlit hill

Features distorted in the flickering light
The faces are twisted and grotesque
Silent and stern in the sweltering night
The mob moves like demons possessed
Quiet in conscience, calm in their right
Confident their ways are best

The righteous rise
with burning eyes
Of hatred and ill-will

Madmen fed on fear and lies
To beat, and burn, and kill

They say there are strangers, who threaten us
In our immigrants and infidels
They say there is strangeness, too dangerous
In our theaters and bookstore shelves
Those who know what's best for us
Must rise and save us, from ourselves

Quick to judge
Quick to anger
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice
And fear
Walk hand in hand

In Defense of Richard Falk - no way out

By Lawrence Davidson

November 04, 2012 Who is Richard Falk and What Has He Done? 

Richard Falk is the present United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories.  His job is to monitor the human rights situation in the territories, with particular reference to international law, and report back to both the U.N. General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Council. He is professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and well qualified for his United Nations post.  

Professor Falk was appointed in 2008 to a six year term in his present position. That means he has been telling the unsettling truth about Israeli behavior for four years now, with another two to go. Repeatedly he has documented Israeli violations of international law and its relentless disregard for Palestinian human rights. For instance: 

– In his 2008 report Falk documented the “desperate plight of civilians in Gaza.”

– In his 2009 report Falk described Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip as a “war crime of the greatest magnitude.”

– In his 2010 report Falk documented Israel’s array of apartheid policies. 

– In his 2011 report Falk documented Israeli policies in Jerusalem and labelled them “ethnic cleansing.” 

– And finally, in this latest report for the year 2012, Falk has concentrated on two subjects: 

First, Israel’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners which, he concludes, is so bad as to warrant investigation by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).  It should be noted that Israel does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICJ.  However, condemnation by this organization would, within the context of growing awareness of Zionist crimes, help further educate public opinion.  

Second, Falk documents the assistance given Israel’s expansion of colonies on the Palestinian West Bank by a number of multinational corporations, including Motorola, Hewlett-Packard and Caterpillar Inc.  This assistance may be profitable, but it is also manifestly illegal.  The CEOs and board members of these companies stand in violation of international laws including provisions of the Geneva Conventions.  Since no nation, nor the UN itself, seems ready to prosecute them,  Professor Falk has recommended a boycott of the guilty firms “in an effort to take infractions of international law seriously.” 

Part II – Reactions 

In a sane world this work would make Richard Falk a universally acclaimed defender of justice.  But ours is not a sane world.  And so you get the following sort of responses from both Israel and its supporters: 

Karaen Peretz, the spokeswomen for the Israeli Mission at the United Nations, found Professor Falk’s latest report “grossly biased.”  This is a sort of response used by someone who cannot dispute the evidence and so must resort to attacking the character of the one presenting the evidence.  Peretz also asserted that “Israel is deeply committed to advancing human rights and firmly believes that this cause will be better served without Falk and his distasteful sideshow.  While he spends pages attacking Israel, Falk fails to mention even once the horrific human rights violations and ongoing terrorist attacks by Hamas.”   

Actually, this is not true.  Back in 2008 Falk requested that his mandate from the UN Human Rights Council be extended to cover infringements of human rights by Palestinian governments just so he would not seen as partisan. Subsequently, Mahmoud Abbas’s pseudo Palestinian Authority called for Falk’s resignation.  In this job, you just can’t win. 

In any case, Falk’s documenting of Israel’s crimes puts the lie to Peretz’s claim that Israel is “deeply committed to advancing human rights” and  that documentation cannot  be dismissed as a “sideshow.” Relative to sixty four years of ethnic cleansing, it is the militarily insignificant missiles out of Gaza that are the “sideshow.”  And, can we honestly assume that Ms Peretz’s attitude toward Professor Falk would turn for the better if in this report he had mentioned Hamas “even once”?   

Then there is United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.  She echoed Peretz by describing Falk as being “highly biased,”  Well, what sort of attitude is one suppose to have toward overwhelming evidence persisting over many years?  Isn’t one supposed to be “biased” in favor of such evidence?  To ignore it doesn’t make you balanced or fair.  It makes you either corrupt or in a deep state of denial.   

Ms Rice goes on to say that “Mr. Falk’s recommendations do nothing to further a peaceful settlement…and indeed poison the environment for peace.”  These are pretty strong words, but if considered critically they make little sense.  First of all, Falk’s mandate requires him to reveal the facts about human rights violations in the Palestinian territories.  It makes no reference to “furthering a peaceful settlement.”  That is what the U.S. government claims to be doing. And its record in this regard is pitiful.   Second, just why should conclusively documenting practices that may well be standing in the way of a settlement,  be equated with “poisoning the environment for peace”?  That doesn’t add up at all.   

There are many other spokespeople who have reacted negatively to Falk’s latest report ranging from the Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister to representatives of the companies caught on the wrong side of the law.  And, remarkably, they all sing the same song:  Falk is bias, ad nauseum.   They can do no better because they cannot refute the professor”s evidence.  Thus, all of these well positioned, well paid representatives of nations and multinational businesses are reduced to sounding like lawyers defending the mafia.  

Part III – Conclusion 

 Professor Falk’s experience should serve as a warning to both those who would, on the one hand, make a career out of being a spokesperson for governments or companies, and on the other, those who would dedicate themselves to “speaking truth to power.”  Taking on the role of the former is the equivalent of selling your soul to leadership whose sense of right and wrong goes no further than their own local interests.  Taking on the role of the latter is to face seemingly endless frustration for, as Noam Chomsky once noted, power already knows the truth and doesn’t care one jot for it.   

Yet, for those who would travel down this latter road, Richard Falk is as good a role model as can be found.   Having dedicated himself to the role of truth teller he is to be commended for his devotion to justice and sheer durability.  He is a hero who, hopefully, will have his praises sung long after Ms Peretz and Ms Rice are deservedly forgotten.  

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history at West Chester University in West Chester PA. His academic work is focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He also teaches courses in the history of science and modern European intellectual history.