Sunday, June 26, 2011

We are trying to collectively seek answers......!

Public Convention
Desh Bachao – Desh Banao
June 27th, Monday / Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi / 2 – 7 pm
Forbesganj, Bihar, Six dead; Bhatta Parsaul, Uttar Pradesh Four dead; Dhanbad, Jharkhand, Four dead; Jaitapur, Maharashtra, One dead; Kakkarapalli, Andhra Pradesh, Two dead; Sompeta, Andhra Pradesh, Two dead; Narayanpatna, Orissa, Two dead; Mudigonda, Andhra Pradesh, Eight dead; Nandigram, West Bengal, Eleven dead; Kalinganagar, Orissa, Twelve dead and the list goes on. These farmers, adivasis, dalits and working class of Bharat have sacrificed their life on the altar of development, while trying to defend the piece of mother earth to which they belong and eek their livelihood.
Even as we invite you to join us in this endeavour, communities across the country are struggling in Jagatsinghpur, Orissa against POSCO; Golibar, Mumbai against Shivalik; Raigarh, Chattisgarh against Jindals; Mundra, Gujarat and Chausra, MP against Adani; Kalinganagar Orissa against Tata and thousand other places. The struggle against Reliance, Jindal, Tata, Adani, Jaypee, Mittals, etc. and the collaborating State power is not only to protect their livelihood but central to this is defending the basic tenets of our democracy. The overall struggle is for deepening of democracy in the country – to establish the rule of law, to ensure right to life and livelihood with dignity, to ensure democratic control over natural resources – jal, jangal, jameen and Khaniz (land, water, forest and minerals).
Every year on June 25-26th we remember this period as the darkest period in Indian history for democracy but at the same time we also remember the dream of 'total revolution' – Sampoorn Kranti. The dream remains unfulfilled and our struggles continue to challenge the systemic corruption, oppression and exploitation. We emerge victorius at times and at times feel defeated but never at any time the dream for a just society with dignity, freedom, justice seems unreachable and we continue to struggle. The social and political churning witnessed at this moment in the country is encouraging. In a political context where the questions of working class and poorest of the poor assumes prime importance we would like to invite you to this convention to ponder over some of these questions.
  • Where is our collective struggle heading ? The million mutinies blooming in the country today, what is the significance of it ? Are we winning again ?
  • In the wake of seemingly increasingly oppressive power of State and Corporations, are collective struggles of dalits, adivasis, women, the displaced, workers, farmers etc. in a condition for a long sustained struggle ahead which will shake the inner walls of the capitalism and the establishment ?
  • In this struggle, who will stand with us ? Is the middle class, the intelligentsia willing to participate and stand by the side of the struggle against exploitation, oppression and inequality ? Are they willing to be a part of this process towards developing a planetary vision and secure justice and dignity for everyone ?
  • Can the exploited and the distressed become the spearheads (leaders) of an independent, strong, sharp and people-oriented politics when the elected representatives of today's political set up turn out to be insensitive and devoid of all moral and ethical values ? Can such a leadership create a space for itself in the present set up, can it be a respectable entity in the current set up?
  • Can a national and international structure based on the principles of non-violence, sister-brotherhood, equality, sustainability and justice be born from such a leadership, which will reject imperialism in toto? Depending upon the sovereignty of its people, space and resources can we create a nation which includes plural and diverse nationalities within itself ?
This Public Convention is an attempt to once again allow all of us to join the dots that link our struggles against deeply entrenched structures of oppression and corruption in our society with a view towards total revolution. We are trying to collectively seek answers to these questions. We met on May 8 in Delhi and will meet again in Wardha, Maharashtra on July 3rd to keep the conversations going. We do hope you will be able to join us !
Medha Patkar - NAPM; Swami Agnivesh – Bandhua Mukti Morcha; Ram Dheeraj, Sarv Seva Sangh; Ashok Chaudhary – NFFPFW; Ajit Jha – Lok Rajniti Manch; Gautam Bandopadhyay – Sangharsh; Rakesh Rafiq – Yuva Bharat
For details contact : Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM 9818905316

National Alliance of People’s MovementsNational Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai - 400 014;
Ph: 022-24150529

6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316

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Sergeant Tops Push-up Record

By Army Staff Sgt. Brad Staggs 
Camp Atterbury Public Affairs

BUTLERVILLE, Ind., June 23, 2011 - Have you ever wanted to break a world record? Army Staff Sgt. John Halsey didn't know that he wanted to -- until he discovered that he had something to prove to his student soldiers.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Staff Sgt. John Halsey of the Patriot Academy attempts to break a world record for the most push-ups in one minute while wearing a 40-plus-pound pack at Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex, Ind., June 17, 2011. Halsey broke the record by performing 60 push-ups in 60 seconds. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Brad Staffs 
Halsey, an assistant platoon sergeant in Bravo Company for the Patriot Academy at Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex, Ind., noticed that the students under his watch were being a bit lethargic on their day off.
"I challenged them to go do something productive, go break a world record," Halsey said. "They laughed about it and told me to go break a world record."
Halsey said he replied, "I will," to the students.
Halsey set his sights on the record for most push-ups in one minute with a 40-pound pack -- a record that was then held by Britain's Paddy Doyle, who'd performed 51 push-ups in one minute with a 40-pound pack on his back Oct. 11, 2010.
Halsey said he felt that he needed to not only break the record, but to beat it decisively to show his soldiers that anything is possible.
The barrel-chested Halsey trained every day for two months.
The rules for breaking a world record are specific and include having witnesses present who aren't affiliated with the attempted record breaker or the organization. Shana Richmond of North Vernon; Connie Rayburn, North Vernon city councilor; and North Vernon's First Lady Joanne Campbell all volunteered to witness the event and act as unbiased judges.
With more than 100 Patriot Academy students present in the old school house gymnasium, a 40-pound kettle bell weight was placed in a three-pound backpack, more than tipping the mandatory weight of 40 pounds as it was officially weighed and documented.
When Halsey was told to go, he was more than ready. By the time 30 seconds had elapsed, the students were out of their seats and pounding the gymnasium floor, cheering louder and louder for Halsey until it was nearly impossible to hear the time keeper over the public address system.
As soon as the members of the crowd, who were counting the number of Halsey's push-ups, shouted "52," everybody started cheering.
But Halsey didn't stop. He wasn't satisfied with simply breaking the record.
Stop was called at 60 seconds and the official final count was 60 push-ups. Halsey had performed 60 push-ups in one minute while wearing a 43-pound backpack -- an average of one push-up every second.
Rayburn was in charge of counting the number of push-ups using a hand counter.
"I was so excited, and I was looking at how much time was left. I knew where I was at on the count and kept thinking, 'This is too cool, but remember to focus on what you're doing,'" she said.
"I knew the previous record was 51," said Richmond, the other official counter. "So the second I hit 51, I was cheering as hard as the soldiers behind me. I can't wait to tell my kids at school. They are going to think it's the greatest thing that's ever happened."
Campbell said she was excited to be present at the breaking of a world record.
"I have never done anything like this before. What an experience," she said. "I'm so proud of him and his motivation. It's awesome."
After his record-breaking performance, Halsey didn't appear any worse for wear.
"I'm just glad it's over with," he said. "My goal behind this was to show the students it can be done. I have a feeling a lot of them will be gunning for this record just because it was me who broke it. I want to watch them do it, because any time they are trying that hard, they are just becoming better soldiers."
It may take as long as six weeks for the Guinness World Record committee to verify Halsey's record, at which point he will be sent a certificate to commemorate the achievement.
But, for Halsey, the true accomplishment is the example he set for his soldiers.