Saturday, May 03, 2008


UP FRONT News April 15, 2008
Published by Tom Weiss
Editorial Advisor: Willard Whittingham
"The paper that can't be bought and can't be sold."

By Tom Weiss

Big demonstrations can bring action but, as we have learned in the case of the Iraq War (which, even before the U.S. invasion, generated massive anti-War demonstrations), politics can undermine the best efforts. The anti-War movement was seriously weakened by such Saddam Hussein-supporting warlike "peace" groups" like ANSWER, the International Action Center and the Troops Out Now Coalition, all essentially fronts for on another.

The same is true with Free Tibet demonstrations, one of which drew a large crowd (mostly Tibetan-Americans) to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza on April 14. Among the speakers was New York City Councilman Tony Avella (D.-Queens), who, largely at my behest, recently introduced Resolution #1299, which cites the Chinese Communist Genocide in Tibet and calls for the removal of the 2008 Olympic Games from China.

In 2001, after a great deal of lobbying, primarily by me (mostly with former City Councilwoman Kathryn Freed), Councilwoman Christine Quinn took credit for the introduction of Resolution #802. The resolution, which denounced China for its actions in Tibet, passed unanimously - and had zero impact. Why? Because it made no mention of the only aspect of the China/Tibet issue that has political clout, i.e. the massive corporate cash cow known as the Beijing Olympics.

When I urged Ms. Quinn, who a couple of years ago in a classic backroom deal (probably not in a smoke-filled room) became Speaker of the NYC Council, to introduce another resolution, this one calling for the removal of the 2008 Olympics from China, Quinn ignored me. Indeed, this self-proclaimed mouthpiece for "open" government, wilfully ignored my January 30, 2006 e-mail to her via her Chief of Staff Chuck Meara urging such a resolution.

As I have explained many times, Mayoral wannabe Quinn is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, who - no matter what she says - is pro-corporation and pro-China. Mrs. Clinton and her understandably recurrently wandering husband make a lot of money in the slave state of "Communist" China.

In fact, Bill and Hillary Clinton have been personally knowledgeable about the genocide and the atrocities since at least November, 1992 because I got the information to Bill right after his election via his secretary Betty M. Currie. For my efforts, Clinton and his people covered up everything and had me thrown in jail in Washington on January 19, 1993, the day before his first inauguration, when I was at the U.S. Capitol with an invitation to appear at the Warren Christopher for Secretary of State hearings before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

The Clintons' effort to shut me up failed as I was acquitted at a jury trial before D.C. Magistrate Sattersfield (sp.?) the following July. Among the people who knows a great deal about this is U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, (D.-Manh.), my Congressman at the time, who helped me get out of jail.

Hillary Clinton, one of the most vengeful politicians since Caligula, has continued to come after me with a number of rather explicit threats, one by telephone via "investigator" Mr. Zimmerman and one in the form of a September 5, 2003 e-mail to my brother Jim. When I became acquainted with the populist City Councilman Avella last year, I asked him if he would introduce a resolution citing the Tibet Genocide and calling for the removal of the 2008 Olympics from China. He soon sent me an e-mail expressing his interest.

I met with the Board of Directors of the U.S. Tibet Committee, one of several Free Tibet groups here. That was difficult because of the presence in the Free Tibet community of for example Elinora Tevis, who openly tried to sabotage my efforts. I had previously run into some serious harassment by the very well known activist Lhadon Tethong, of the quite autocratically run Students for a Free Tibet. Their talk was militant but they were unwilling to take on the corporate juggernaut of the Olympic Games.

I got a lot of help in particular from a friend, the historian activist-musician-poet Namgyal Khorko, a friend of the Dalai Lama and a member of the USTC Board. Once I got the support of the USTC, I arranged a meeting with Councilman Avella.

It took several months and lots of e-mails to put the resolution together. By coincidence the resolution was to be introduced into the City Council on March 12, two days after one of the annual March 10 Free Tibet demonstrations (commemorating the brutal suppression of an uprising in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa in 1959).

I arranged for Mr. Avella to speak at the March 10 demonstration in Union Square. Mr. Avella was agreeable to my introducing him at the event and things got very political. There have been several occasions on which a Tibetan-American named Tsering Palden, of the Tibetan Youth Congress of New York and New Jersey, has played the role of Chinese Communist autocrat and denied me the opportunity to speak, no doubt taking into accouint the sensitivities of people like Ms. Tethong and Ms. Tevis, whose understanding of community outreach and U.S. (and New York) politics could easily be fit into a thimble. Indeed, their exclusionist approach has created one of the most gentrified liberation movements in history.

Indeed, they are happy to bend over backwards for multimillionare celebrities like the actor and "Buddhist" Richard Gere, who is known to have some very weird skeletons in his closet.
Gere regularly denounces China - essentially to no effect. Mr. Avella introduced Resolution #1299 on March 12 and got almost no media attention - except for UP FRONT News. The resolution's co-sponsors are Councilmembers Letitia James (D.-Bklyn.), Michael Nelson (D-Gklyn.) and Gail Brewer (D.-Manh.)

I soon developed a petition calling for quick passage of the Resolution, which is likely to be opposed by the corporations and their representatives such as the pro-developers (the Chinese Communists are heavily involved in New York real estate) and so advised Mr. Avella. On Friday, April 11 Avella staffer Rebecca Sheehan told me that the Councilman was involved in some kind of a Tibet event on Monday, April 14 but that she could give me no specifics. My repeated requests for followup information yielded nothing.

On Friday evening on my way to a Manhattan showing of a film "Tibet Hope" featuring a sound track by Mr. Khorko, UP FRONT News volunteer Roman Shusterman and I stopped at Union Square, which was full of Tibetans preparing a candlelight demonstration. I am very well known among grass roots Tibetans (and also known to the Dalai Lama, et. al.) and several of them came over to me and asked if I was coming to the April 14 2:00 PM demonstration at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the U.N., indicating that the Councilman would be speaking there.

Over the weekend I introduced Mr. Khorko to Rev. Dr. Tony Baker, pastor of the overwhelmingly African-American St. Phillip's Baptist Church in the Port Richmond community of Staten Island. (The celebrity-doting community outreach-aversive approach of people like Lhadon Tethong, Elinora Tevis and Tsering Palden, has had almost no contact with the human rights-essential black community.) Rev. Baker is a very political man and is running for the NYC Council seat to be term-limited vacated by Quinn ally Michael McMahon.

On Monday morning I called Mr. Avella's office three times to find out about the event. Other than something of an arrogant lecture from one of his aides, I got little. I later got an e-mail from Ms. Sheehan, again reiterating that there was no information about the event. I received a very belated e-mail from USTC Treasurer Wanchuk Shakabpa confirming the rally and Councilman Avella's speech at the rally.

I got to the Plaza early and circulated some UP FRONT News information. I heard some good speeches, one by Maura Moynihan, the daughter of the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, with whom I am somewhat acquainted. (She recalled having attended a poetry reading years ago at my former loft home at 190-A Duane St. in Tribeca and I saw her again in Union Square on March 10.)

Avella showed up after the rally had started and he and I shook hands and exchanged what may be the last pleasantries between us. He was introduced by Mr. Palden, who mischaracterized the content of a resolution that he had nothing to do with, by suggesting that the resolution calls for a boycott. In fact the resolution calls for the removal of the Olympics from China. I had to correct him from the audience. Avella's speech was brief and said almost nothing about the content of the resolution. He also neglected to mention the resolution number, essential to obtain quick and widespread public support and made no mention of me or my petitions, a bad mistake since the rally provided an opportunity to get a large number of signatures. As I left I told Mr. Avella and Mr. Palden that they needed to do something about their communications.

Tony Avella says he is running for mayor. He is a strong advocate of tenants rights, he opposed Quinn-style salary increases for City Councilmembers, is against real estate over- development, and wants to end abuse of the carriage horses in Central Park. He's gotten a lot of publicity in UP FRONT News and, based on the recent experiences as described, is taking my support for granted.

I think his secretive handling of the April 14 rally has diminished the prospects for Resolution #1299 and he will certainly have to request any further help from me. The whole episode is likely to also diminish Tony Avella's long shot prospects for mayor. As far as I am concerned, the chances of my supporting Christine Quinn for mayor are about as likely as my supporting the political aspirations of John McCain or Lyndon La-Rouche. I do however want to hear what mayoral aspirants U.S. Congressman Anthony D. Weiner (D.-Queens/Bklyn.) and City Comptroller William Thompson have to offer.
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