Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Statement on Senate Failure

from Dr. Stephen Smith, Executive Director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy***

Knoxville, TN: Today, the U.S. Senate once again failed to extend critical tax incentives to support the clean energy industries of our region. Although a majority of Senators voted in favor of the Jobs, Energy, Families and Disaster Relief Act of 2008, the clean energy tax legislation did not achieve the 60 votes necessary to move forward according to Senate rules.

I applaud the leadership of Senators Bill Nelson (FL) and Elizabeth Dole (NC) as the only Senators from the Southeast supporting this bill. In fact, Senator Dole was the only Republican from the Southeast to vote for extending clean energy tax incentives, and in doing so, she demonstrated her willingness to set partisan politics aside and move our region toward a clean energy future. I am deeply disappointed that Senators Alexander (TN), Burr (NC), Chambliss (GA), Corker (TN), DeMint (SC), Graham (SC), Isakson (GA) and Martinez (FL) failed to support extensions for these clean energy tax incentives.

Many of the federal clean energy tax incentives that benefit homeowners and clean energy businesses in our region are due to expire in December 2008 if Congress does not act swiftly to extend them. Homeowners and small businesses across the Southeast are eager to invest in clean energy, creating tremendous demand for solar installation companies like Sundance Power Systems in North Carolina and Solar Source in Florida. Increased demand for clean energy also benefits renewable energy manufacturers such as Sharp Solar in Tennessee and GE Energy in South Carolina. These private sector entrepreneurs are leading the nation in clean energy manufacturing, and federal tax incentives are essential to compliment the investments that these business owners are making.

Last week, in an open letter to Congressional leaders, Governors Crist (Florida), Easley (North Carolina) and Bredesen (Tennessee) urgently called on Congress to extend these clean energy tax incentives. Like our clean energy businesses across the Southeast, these Governors are doing their part to create new industries and job opportunities, and they recognize the critical role that Congress must play.

It is imperative that our leaders in Congress work together to extend tax incentives. As they return from the August Congressional Recess, their support for our region¹s new and existing renewable industries can provide the momentum needed to move America toward a clean energy economy.

Doug Hunt
Tennessee Organizer

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

1604 Bayou Bend Way
Knoxville, TN 37922
(O) 865.806.8752
(F) 865.381.1384

Monday, July 28, 2008


TTPC Supports GLBT Friendly Knoxville Church

The Board and members of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition wish to express our support for the victims of the tragic shooting yesterday at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church (TVUUC) in Knoxville.

The Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church is the home for several GLBT groups including the Knoxville Monday Gay Men's Group, the Spectrum Divers iTea Café GLBT youth support group, and the Knoxville chapter of P-FLAG. According to one private report received by TTPC, one of the victims was the foster parent of a transgender girl. Among those who were present in the church at the time of the shooting were two members of TTPC, our website manager and her partner. We are thankful that the two of them were both unharmed.

Nationally, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations has several openly transgender ministers and has long included gender identity in its mission statement and non-discrimination policy. Across the nation, many transgender support groups meet in UU Churchs. In 2005, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations was one of over 30 organizations that signed a joint letter to Congress urging adoption of the Hate Crimes bill which included gender identity, and rejection of a separate Hate Crimes bill which did not in a show of support for all GLBT people.

At a recently concluded press conference, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen reported that the gunman left a four page letter with "stated hatred for the liberal movement," which included a dislike of the church's support for the GLBT community. This crime is being investigated as a hate crime.

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition wishes to extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.

We have also included below a letter released by TVUUC inviting supporters to a special service this evening. We encourage all who live in the Knoxville area to attend.

Marisa Richmond

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) is an organization designed to educate and advocate on behalf of transgender related legislation at the Federal, State and local levels. TTPC is dedicated to raising public awareness and building alliances with other organizations concerned with equal rights legislation.

For more information, or to make a donation, contact:

Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC)
P.O. Box 92335
Nashville, TN 37209
(615)353-1834 fax

Friday, July 25, 2008

GLBT Tennessee Blogger to Cover DNC

GLBT Citizen Journalist Receives Press Credentials to The Big Tent

This year presidential race is opening up more and more
opportunities for bloggers. The national progressive blog Daily Kos
along with the Colorado largest progressive group Progress Now,
GOOGLE & others are sponsoring a 9,000 sq. foot two story facility
for journalist, bloggers and new media content producers to work out
of. There will be a Digg Stage with prominent national leaders, as
well as a Google Retreat with a YouTube kiosk where bloggers can make
their own YouTube videos. The Big Tent will be open throughout the
Democratic National Convention, Aug. 25- 28. The facility will be
located steps away from the Pepsi Center which will play host to the
2008 Democratic Convention. In addition to live feeds from the
convention floor, high speed internet access, food & beverages and
entertainment, the big tent will also host daily discussion panels
featuring some of the top progressive leaders in the country.

Middle Tennessee new media producer Valerie Reynolds host of AVALON
FARMCAST & AVALONFARMBLOG will be covering GLBT news from the
convention including interviews with Tennessee first
transgender Delegate Marisa Richmond, members of Denver Gay & Lesbian
Center and HRC Premier Convention event: Rock the Vote, a concert
featuring Melissa Ethridge, Cindy Lauper and others yet to be announced.

A former Florida radio & TV professional Ms. Reynold is also a
graduate of M.T.S.U Mass Communications program. She produced
and hosted Nashville Gay TV on community access TV for 5 years in
Nashville is perhaps best known as a singer/songwriter. She performed
regionally with her 5 peace blues band : The Bad Cactus Blues Band in
the 90 and received a Grammy nomination for her CD GOOD WOMAN
BLUES in 1995.

Reynolds currently is in post production on a
documentary about Nashville 1960 R&B music scene
that included a guitarist yet to be known as Jimi Hendrix. During the upcoming
convention, Her blog entries may be accessed at http:// with additional guest blog entries at
Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) new blog http://grand- Her podcasts will be at and on itunes (AVALON FARMCAST) and her
videos from Denver may be downloaded at

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving
safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather, to skid in
broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly
proclaiming-"WOW, what a ride!!!" - unknown

valerie reynolds

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Peace Coalition Protests Rove Visit

Nashville, TN: The Nashville Peace Coalition has issued the call for a demonstration in Nashville on Saturday, July 26th on the occasion of Karl Rove's visit to Nashville. Rove has been listed as a key advisor for the McCain campaign and is the principle strategist of many of the current administrations policies including the war in Iraq and ongoing occupation. The Peace Coalition is calling for public examination of Rove's policy recommendations and believes that Rove is playing a significant role in ensuring the continuation of Bush's policies under a potential McCain administration.

Statement from the Nashville Peace Coalition on Why We are Demonstrating:

Karl Rove is at the center of nearly every Bush Administration scandal and that is why we are protesting his presence in Nashville. He is responsible for the stolen election in Florida, where Karl Rove was George W. Bush's campaign manager and was busy staging the silent coup d'état over the constitution of the United States of America. In 2002 he was responsible for proliferating the massive false Iraqi threat campaign when Karl Rove chaired the powerful White House Iraq Group (WHIG).

In 2003 he exposed CIA NOC (Non-Official Cover) operative Valerie Plame in retaliation against her husband, ambassador Joe Wilson for exposing George W. Bush's State of the Union Address lies about uranium (yellow cake) trading from Niger, Central Africa to Saddam Hussein, to put any 'whistle blower' on notice to who may dare deify the Bush-Cheney regime.

During the presidential elections of 2004 Rove participated in the the Stolen Election in Ohio, where he was named the "Architect" by George W. Bush and was responsible for vote caging, vote manipulation, voter suppression, voter disfranchisement, and voter intimidation. In 2005 Karl Rove was responsible for steering FEMA help after Hurricane Katrina to Mississippi under Republican Governor Haley Barbour while denying FEMA help to Louisiana under Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco.

Recently Rove failed to heed the subpoena to testify before Congress, showing Contempt of Congress, and Obstruction of Justice. Clearly Karl Rove is the master of dirty tricks and this fundraiser is just business as usual for Bush, McCain and the Republican party who seem oblivious to public opinion on all matters constitutional, whether it is the legality of waging war, spying on Americans or conducting democratic elections.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hearing on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

On July 23, the Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee has scheduled a hearing to discuss the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." This will be the first hearing to discuss repeal of the policy since it was enacted in 1993. Representative Susan Davis (D-CA) will chair this important hearing.
The hearing will begin at 2 pm EDT (1 pm CDT).

There are no Representatives from Tennessee on the subcommittee, but Stephen Cohen of Memphis is a co-sponsor of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2007 (H.R.1246), which would repeal the ban.

Several former officers and enlisted personnel are scheduled to testify. While "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" applies to sexual orientation only, according to P-FLAG, a transgender veteran is also scheduled to testify to share insights on how the law affects transgender and gender non-conforming personnel.

It is the hope of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition that when "Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed, it will allow all Americans who wish to serve, the right to do so regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Marisa Richmond

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) is an organization designed to educate and advocate on behalf of transgender related legislation at the Federal, State and local levels. TTPC is dedicated to raising public awareness and building alliances with other organizations concerned with equal rights legislation.

For more information, or to make a donation, contact:

Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC)
P.O. Box 92335
Nashville, TN 37209
(615)353-1834 fax

FSTV Issues Call for Stringers at DNC/RNC

Join an ad-hoc volunteer collective of doc filmmakers, camerapersons and FCP editors to videotape, edit and produce 2 cinema verite documentaries of all the protests, person-in-the-street interviews, and delegate conversations, during the Democratic National Convention in Denver from August 24-28 and during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul-Minneapolis from Sept 1-4. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will be protesting and demonstrating against the funding of deadly wars with our tax money, the slide into the worst economic situation since the Great Depression, and the erosion of our civil liberties.

Camerapersons with handheld HDV or DV cameras will shoot footage during the day, runners will bring back mini-DV or mini-HDV tapes to our editing facility in each city where digitizing of videoclips and editing will take place 24/7. When each cinema verite doc is finished, it will be streamed on many websites, will be uplinked onto satellite, and then DVD copies will be made to be distributed to media outlets around the world before November 3rd.

Please contact ASAP if you are interested in participating in this important project.

Joan Sekler, documentary filmmaker from Los Angeles and coordinator of this project
cell: 310 968-6566

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Four Activists Arrested at Zeb Mountain

4 Arrests in Civil Disobedience on Zeb Mountain

Organizers Gather in East Tennessee to Protest
Mountaintop Removal

CAMPBELL COUNTY, Tenn., July 20 – Over seventy
residents of Appalachia took a stand for the mountains
this Sunday with an historic March on Zeb Mountain, a
strip-mining site owned by National Coal Corporation
in East Tennessee. The march included acts of civil
disobedience that resulted in four arrests.

Participants and organizers came from a spectrum of
groups, such as United Mountain Defense, a
Tennessee-based nonprofit organization dedicated to
protecting the state's land, air, and water,
Christians for the Mountains, a religious organization
promoting environmental conservation, and the
pan-Appalachian environmental coalition known
as Mountain Justice. In the tradition of American civil
disobedience, the march featured a diversity of
lifelong activists and ordinary citizens. The march
of over seventy people began with a prayer led by
Christians for the Mountains and included political
theater, rousing speeches, and proud renditions of the
Tennessee state anthem, "Rocky Top."

Four activists were arrested at the march, including
three Tennesseeans (one an MTSU Alumni). "I'm doing this for my
future," Chris Martin, student of journalism at the
University of Tennessee-Knoxville, said. "We were
very impressed with how professional the cops were,"
Nick Mann, Knoxville resident, said, referring to the
respectful demeanor of the Campbell County Sheriff's
Office. The sponsors of the event are currently
accepting donations for the arrestee's legal defense

The march comes as state legislators continue to
debate the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act, a
bill that would effectively ban mountaintop removal in
the state of Tennessee, and as National Coal threatens
to expand into the Sundquist Wildlife Management Area,
a public access game preserve with rivers flowing
directly into the water supply of state capitol
Nashville, Tennessee. Organizers argue that with coal
prices becoming less competitive than renewable energy
and in-state tourism growing in popularity due to the
rising cost of travel, the mountains of Tennessee are
far more valuable to the state and its citizens if
they are defended as they are, with clean air and
clean streams. More information on the march,
including how to make donations to the legal defense
fund, can be found at the United Mountain Defense
website, .


Please support these individuals committed to
protecting the mountains of Appalachia by sending jail

support donations to the pay pal account at
You can also send checks to:
P.O. Box 20363
Knoxville, TN 37920

Please Mark Check: "For Jail Support"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Commentary: Electric and Other Power Costs

How much could you save? How much could the US save? I’m talking about electric cogeneration. The producing of electric power not by new Nuclear or coal or natural gas generation stations which Congress and the powers that be are recommending but by a wind or solar system on your house. Cogeneration which means when you are producing more electricity then you are using and you sell the surplus to the power company and when you are not, you buy from the power company. With solar that would mean when the sun was shining you would be selling power to them and at night you would get electricity the same way you always have. Right now the estimate is 2015 for such systems to run break even, however I used the calculator at and discovered with present systems I could save half of my present electric bill.

Since I use about 900KWH per month ( a little low for most households) according to the calculator that would mean I sell the utility about 450 KWH of electricity every month. If half of my neighbors between my place and town also had such systems the extra generation would truly mount up. That would be 1,250 KWH of generation capacity the utilities wouldn’t have to produce. Just for this county, that would be about 14.4 MKWH of electric generation. At a cost of around $20,000 per installation that would be a cost of about $124 million for the extra capacity. Where even a coal fired plant of equal capacity estimates in at $2.5 trillion. The math alone says we should use public funds to equip our neighborhoods and homes with solar or wind generation (yes there are wind cogeneration units that produce even better return on the investment and are small enough to sit in most back yards). How come nobody else is even suggesting such a switch in the way we produce, and use electricity? Why is all the hype about building new nuclear or new coal fired plants or new hydroelectric sources? If business and industry also joined in and installed similar systems to cover even half of their power usage, we would eliminate the need for new systems except to replace ageing systems as they became too old to compete any more. It wouldn’t take a new TVA or even a new department of energy, just a fresh look at what can be done and then doing it. I bet the competitiveness of the systems would happen not in 2015 but by 2012. Then just think how much we would save in energy costs from that point on.

Bob Smith (Big Tree)
us dii dada dv ni
WE are all related - Cherokee

Friday, July 11, 2008

Resolving Conflict Through Mediation

Resolving Conflict in Nashville through Mediation & Education

What inspires you to work for a better world? At the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC), a local non-profit organization that offers free court and community-based mediation and conflict resolution education programs, volunteers often talk about the ‘negative push’ of crime and violence and the ‘positive pull’ of hope for a healthier society that motivate and sustain their commitment to pro bono mediation. NCRC volunteers empower individuals to manage, prevent and resolve conflicts without violence.

Founded in 2000 by the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Committee of the Nashville Bar Association, NCRC has become a first-rate resource center for community conflict resolution - a place where folks can go to work out their problems without the high cost of litigation. Using mediation, negotiation and dialogue as tools to resolve conflicts, NCRC volunteer mediators help disputing parties identify important needs and interests, express grievances and develop mutually acceptable solutions. Mediators model skills that can be useful in any setting to resolve disputes of any scale: attitudes of fairness and balance, open-mindedness, good listening skills, perceptivity to feelings, and a willingness to help make things better. NCRC supports new and experienced mediators, providing them with a platform through which they can build and refine expertise in the field.

Currently, NCRC offers the following programs:

· General Sessions Court Civil Mediation – mediating landlord-tenant, personal property, neighbor-neighbor and consumer-merchant disputes in General Sessions court where 65% of the cases are pro se (without attorney)
· Victim Offender Mediation through the District Attorney’s Criminal Warrant Screening Office – a program designed to resolve conflicts before a criminal warrant is issued; alleged charges of assault, harassment, vandalism, theft, threats, and intimidation are mediated
· Bilingual Mediation – providing mediation services to the Hispanic community in Nashville
· Workplace Discrimination Mediation – a partnership with Metro Human Relations Commission to provide mediation for racial discrimination cases in the workplace
· Conflict Resolution Education / The Community Coexistence Project – an educational initiative to promote mediation and conflict resolution in high crime areas in North, East and South Nashville
· Family Mediation & Other Private Mediation Referrals – mediating parenting plans or other divorce matters, and other types of disputes as referred by individuals, businesses, or community organizations
· Mediation Training – training offered bi-annually, and CME (Continuing Mediation Education) credit opportunities offered throughout the year

NCRC is comprised of a full-time Executive Director, an active board of 14 members, and dozens of volunteer mediators who come from a variety of professional backgrounds. New volunteers are welcome! If you are interested in pro bono mediation and would like to volunteer with NCRC,
call 615-291-6272 or send an email to:

By Tamara Ambar Losel, Executive Director of the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center

(Tamara joined NCRC in March 2008, after working in Israel for a year in the field of
conflict resolution and human rights. Tamara has a master’s degree from Brandeis
University in Coexistence & Conflict Resolution, and a background in non-profit
management and fundraising.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Star Wars Deal Signed

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Czech Foreign Affairs Minister, Karel Schwarzenberg signed the hugely unpopular Star Wars radar deal this morning in Prague despite opposition of 70% of the Czech population and thousands of Europeans.

In Prague's Wenceslas square this afternoon 5,000 expressed their outrage at the high-handedness of the anomalous right-wing government coalition, which brings together Christian Democrats and Greens. In the words of Jan Tamas, "the battle is just beginning! We do not want any American bases, Russian bases or Chinese bases. We do not want foreign armies occupying our territory. They have stepped on two thirds of this country's population, they have disregarded the pleas of artists, sociologists, academics, doctors and those who have fought for freedom in this country but they will not stop us."

The Czech government decided to ignore the calls to wait for the new US administration and to consult with the other 26 EU member States before committing itself to hosting a US military base, part of the American Missile Defence system, creating international tensions and targeting the heart of Europe. The agreement must now be ratified by the Czech Parliament and then signed by the President before becoming effective. The Parliament is divided in two but Jan Tamas voiced preoccupations that the US will buy those opposing the deal, tipping the scales in their favor.

The issue will be discussed tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. in the EU Parliament in Strasburg at the "Why a USA Missile Shield in Europe" hearing where Jan Tamas will be accompanied by Europe for Peace spokesperson Giorgio Schultze. The following week, on July 17 at 11:00 a.m., there will be an anti-Star Wars conference in the Czech Parliament in Prague attended by European Parliament Vice President, Luisa Morgantini.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bells Bend Planning Meeting July 24th

July 24, 2008 could be one of the most defining days in the environmental history of Nashville since the battle that saved Radnor Lake from development. Please attend the July 24th Metro Planning Commission meeting and help save Nashville's Bells Bend, one of the last and largest remaining areas of open space and farmland remaining in Davidson County.

Jack May and developer Tony Giarratana, in cooperation with the Metro Planning Department, are actively seeking approval for a mega-development in Nashville's Bells Bend. The proposed May development is bigger than anything this city has ever seen. This perimeter city within Nashville is scaled to accommodate 40,000 people daily, 10 corporate campuses, 5,000 condo units, a 15-18 story hotel, a 6 lane bridge across the Cumberland River - you get the picture. With nearly 20 million square feet of office/retail/residential space, it will rival downtown Nashville. Welcome to the Atlantification of Nashville.

In a recent door-to-door canvas, 92% of polled households in the Scottsboro/Bells Bend community voted against this development, instead wanting something greater for this unique area that would benefit all of Nashville - something that would assure a future place for Nashville on any list of Great American Cities. Instead of a massive 10 to 15 year construction project resulting in one more business/ retail/shopping/housing district, imagine an outdoor recreational, agricultural, and residential conservation district, a place for you and your family to bike, hike, camp, star-gaze, bird-watch, fish, kayak, and ride horses - with farms you can visit growing local, fresh food - all within a stone's throw of Downtown Nashville.

Which vision will help retain the heart of Nashville's character, distinguishing us from other cities, rather than creating another bridge to "Anywhere USA"?

To stop this development and instead, bring a rural conservation district to fruition, we must speak in one voice. We are inviting you to come to a crucial Planning Commission Meeting on July 24th where the fate of Nashville's Bells Bend will be determined.

On July 24 the Metro Planning staff will present the Scottsboro/Bells Bend Detailed Design Plan to the Planning Commission for a vote. A positive vote on the plan in its current form makes it almost certain that the May Development will receive approval later in the year by the Planning Commission. The meeting begins at 4:00 pm with the Scottsboro/Bells Bend discussion scheduled to begin around 6 pm. We are asking that everyone be there by 5 pm so that we are ready when the testimonies begin. The meeting will be held at the "Metro Southeast" Building, 1417 Murfreesboro Pike (the old Genesco Building, east of the Briley Parkway intersection). We hope to have several hundred supporters there, so you may want to arrive early for parking and to avoid rush-hour traffic. As you turn into the parking lot, it will be in the second building on your right. A map to Metro Southeast can be found at the following link:

You can also show your support by wearing a "Bells Bend - Keep It Country" T-shirt. T-shirts can be purchased at the Bells Bend Park Nature Center parking lot on Saturday, July 12, 9-11am and Sunday, July 20, 9-11am. For directions to the Nature Center, go to You will also be able to purchase a t-shirt at the door of the planning commission meeting.

Want to do more? Please contact the Metro Planning Commissioners or your Metro Council Member to let them know what you want for the future of Nashville and Bells Bend. Links are below.

· Metro Planning Commissioners:

· Metro Council Members:

· To learn more about our alternative vision for Nashville's Bells Bend, visit

With one voice, we can make Nashville a Great City of the Future.

The Beaman Park to Bells Bend Conservation Community

The Mayor’s Green Ribbon Commission

Don't forget to tell the Mayor's Green Ribbon Commission how important open space and conservation are to you! Please click on the link below and fill out the survey that will help designate what Green initiatives the city of Nashville takes on-including more open space.

Melissa Starnes
Tennessee Environmental Council
One Vantage Way, Suite D-105
Nashville, TN 37228
Phone: 615.248.6500 Fax: 615.248.6545

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Peace Activists Protest FISA Vote

Peace Activists to Protest FISA Vote Monday
Protest Planned in front of Corker/Alexander Offices

Nashville, TN: Members of the Nashville Peace Coalition, allied organizations and third party candidates for public office are planning to protest the planned vote in the US Senate this week of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which offers blanket immunity to Telecom Corporations that spy on Americans. The Peace Coalition plans to protest on the corner of West End Ave. and Murphy Rd on Monday, July 7 from 4:30pm - 5:30pm. The group also plans to deliver handwritten letters to Senators Corker and Alexander urging a "No" vote on FISA which is expected to be voted on Tuesday in the US Senate.

In a release last week to the general media, Chris Lugo, a member of the Nashville Peace Coalition and candidate for US Senate said that he was concerned about the issue of immunity for corporations that spy on Americans, saying that "Our rights are not negotiable. Telecommunication companies have violated those rights and have broken the law in order to appease a corrupt and power hungry administration that is willing to throw out habeas corpus, the right to privacy and international law in a reckless drive down the road to never-never land. Corporations must be held accountable and the President and his cronies must be called to account for violating our basic constitutional rights."

If passed on Tuesday, the National Security Agency would be able to legally collect information on US citizens engaged in ordinary, everyday communication without a federal warrant. Additionally, private citizens would be unable to obtain Freedom of Information Requests concerning their privacy and would be unable to sue corporations who give their private information to the government.

The Nashville Peace Coalition is a collection of individuals and organizations dedicated to peace and social justice whose primary focus for the past five years has been ending the war in Iraq. The peace coalition has organized numerous demonstrations, educational events and vigils to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home. In addition to the Nashville Peace Coalition, some members of the Green Party of Tennessee and the Libertarian Party of Tennessee have committed to attending the rally, including several candidates for public office.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Green Leader Ingrid Betancourt Rescued

Columbian Green Leader Ingrid Betancourt Rescued

Colombian Green Party leader Ingrid Betancourt was rescued from captivity today, after being held hostage for six years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Ingridfounded the Green Oxygen Party in 1994, establishing a new political force committed topeace, women's empowerment and a fairer society. She was elected as Colombia's firstGreen Senator in 1998, and in 2002, she ran for the presidency. Dedicated to non-violence, she was campaigning in the country's demilitarized zone to appeal for peacewhen she was kidnapped by the FARC. The Green Party of the United Stateswholeheartedly welcomes Ingrid's release, whose indomitable spirit and commitment tojustice and have inspired us and millions of people worldwide.

Office: PO Box 57065 Washington, D.C. 20037 202-319-7191 or toll-free (US): 866-41GREEN

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Paul House to Be Released

Paul House, who has spent nearly 23 years on Tennessee's death row for a crime new evidence indicates he did not commit, will be released from the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility in Nashville tomorrow, July 2, between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m.
House's mother, Joyce, had planned to use her Crossville home to post a property bond to ensure her son's release. But today, in a surprising turn of events, an anonymous donor provided the money for bail, and House will be released tomorrow morning to head home for the first time in 23 years.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers, actions, and support of this effort to free Paul House. This day would not have come if not for your passionate cries for justice. Please plan to be at the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow if you are able, and wear your "Free Paul House" t-shirt. We will have some extras on hand. Warm up your voices, ready to whoop and holler when Paul House is wheeled out those doors. The Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility is located at 7575 Cockrill Bend Blvd. Nashville, TN 37209, click HERE for a map. Once you get to the end of Cockrill Bend Blvd., turn left and follow the road to a large parking lot.

House still faces retrial in October and will remain under house arrest until that time. On June 27, Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood reduced the bond from $500,000 to $100,000 during a special hearing in Union County. House must remain at his mother's home while awaiting trial and can only leave for medical appointments and court appearances. He will have a 24-hour electronic monitoring device and will register as a sex offender.

Since House's conviction for the murder of Union County woman, Carolyn Muncey, in 1985, new evidence has emerged which casts grave doubts on his guilt. In his trial, the state argued that rape was the motive for the murder. However, DNA evidence has since proved that House did not rape Muncey and revealed instead that the semen on the body belonged to her husband, Hubert Muncey, who had a history of domestic violence, and who later confessed his guilt to at least two people.

In June 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that, "this is the rare case where—had the jury heard all the conflicting testimony—it is more likely than not that no reasonable juror viewing the record as a whole would lack reasonable doubt." Since this ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, House has been waiting for the lower courts to decide his fate as he has remained on Tennessee's death row, confined to a wheelchair struggling with multiple sclerosis.

This day has been a long time coming, and we give thanks that we are almost there.

Stacy Rector

Nielson Performs for Greens Benefit

Award Winning Folk Musician Performs in Nashville for Green Party Candidates

On Saturday June 28th, Tom Neilson an award winning folk musician did a benefit performance for Green Party candidates Christopher Lugo, U.S. Senate candidate, and John Miglietta, U.S. House candidate 5th district. The fundraiser took place at the home of Eric and Beth Lewis 7978 Highway 100 in Nashville. The event started with a potluck and the musical performance started at 7:00 PM. Tom Neilson has been described as the Jon Stewart of folk music. He has won numerous awards including the 2007 South Florida folk festival, he was a finalist at the 2008 Plowshares, and 2006 Kerrville Folk festivals.

The crowd enjoyed the food and the performance and they were very excited about the candidates. Nielson encouraged crowd participation and gave prizes of cassettes and plastic beads for correct answers to questions about country club prisons and Tom Ridge. Favorite numbers included "All Because I voted for Ralph Nader" and "Root Beer Makes Me Burp" (accompanied by Chris Lugo).

Lugo and Miglietta are running campaigns which focus on ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as advocating single-payer healthcare, environmental sustainability, developing alternative energy, electoral reform, and fair trade among other issues. More can be found at their respective websites Chris Lugo, John Miglietta,

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Transgender Hate Crime in Memphis

TTPC Responds to Another Anti-Trans Hate Crime in Memphis

Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition

TTPC Responds to Another Anti-Trans Hate Crime in Memphis
Last night, local media in Memphis reported yet another murder of an
African American, transgender woman in Memphis. The victim was been
identified by the legal name of Rodney Whitaker, age 20.

Members of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition have been
active in a community effort in response to the recent beating of Duanna
Johnson and were present at last night's Memphis City Council meeting to
that incident when the latest story broke.
"We consider these two recent crimes, combined with the still unsolved
murder of another African American transgender woman, Tiffany Berry on
February 16, 2006, to be totally unacceptable. The lack of response
by the Memphis Police Department and the Shelby County to the beating of
Duanna Johnson has set a tone in the community that the lives of
transgender people, especially African American transwomen, are
irrelevant," said Dr. Marisa Richmond, President of TTPC.
"We insist that local authorities aggressively investigate and prosecute
these and other hate crimes against transgender, as well as gay,
lesbian, and bisexual, people. It is also time for the State of
Tennessee to add 'gender identity or expression' to the Hate Crimes
Enhancement Factors in Tennessee Code Annotated 40-35-114 (23), and for
the Federal Government to pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act,"
continued Richmond.

Dr. Richmond will appear this weekend on Out and About Today, and will
talk about these brutal hate crimes against transgender persons, along
with several other topics of interest. Out and About Today is
broadcast on NewsChannel 5+ and will debut on Friday, July 4, at 10:00
pm, CDT, and will repeat on Saturday at 9:30 pm, CDT, and Sunday at
10:00 pm, CDT. NewsChannel 5+ can be found on Nashville Cable at
Channel 50. If you do not live in Nashville, check your local
listings to see if NewsChannel 5+ is available in your area.

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) is an organization
designed to educate and advocate on behalf of transgender related
legislation at the Federal, State and local levels. TTPC is dedicated to
raising public awareness and building alliances with other organizations
concerned with equal rights legislation.

For more information, or to make a donation, contact:
Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC)
P.O. Box 92335
Nashville, TN 37209
(615)353-1834 fax