March 25, 2012
Written by: RoyaAziz
As a good friend prepares to put together a book on the topic of hijab in America I referred her to an incident during then-Senator Barack Obama’s televised presidential campaign rally in Detroit when two hijabis were barred from sitting behind him. The event occurred at a time when there was close scrutiny of Obama’s identity: the phonetic similarity to Osama, his very Arab middle name, Hussein, and, of course, the rumors that he was actually a practicing Muslim, not that there was anything wrong with that, to borrow the inappropriate disclaimer. Obama apologized to the women and vowed to fight discrimination of this sort. To many American Muslims it was perplexing because much of the racism directed at Obama at the time was being couched in anti-Muslim bias. At that moment he was not Obama the inspiring candidate, but Obama the typical American who showed his own anti-Muslim bias.
In the wake of 9/11, American Muslims took to Islamophobia with some borrowed humor: ‘driving while black’ became ‘flying while Muslim.’ And so, as it is with wearing a hoodie, wearing a hijab elicits similar prejudices, as Geraldo Rivera reminded us during his TV appearance last week. In the same commentary where he claims Trayvon Martin was killed because of his sweatshirt, Rivera cites Juan Williams’ comments about being scared when he sees Muslims in religious garb at the airport (one presumes hijab is among the articles of clothing that terrify Williams). Rivera writes that Williams was copping to his fears, but it was a cowardly cover — if a black man like Williams, whom Rivera pointedly refers to as “among America’s sharpest commentators” can say he’s scared of Muslim women, it should be valid for him to say that a black kid in a hoodie had it coming. The implications of his comparison are unsettling. Continue reading
by Alasdair Fotheringham, The Independent (UK)
Approximately a quarter of a million protesters took to the streets in Barcelona, with some fringe groups attacking police vans and smashing shop windows until late into the evening. In contrast Madrid’s almost equally large demonstration, where the crowds of chanting, whistling protestors filled the emblematic Puerto del Sol square and surrounding streets to bursting point, was reported as being totally peaceful.
“There’s lots of people here, but we need even more, this country is going through an awful situation and its going to get worse,” young protester Luis Ferrer, on the dole for three months, told The Independent in Madrid’s demonstration.
“If we don’t make ourselves heard now, we never will. I don’t think we’re going to end up like Greece, but they’re using this recession to take away our rights as workers.It’s just an excuse.”
“The labour reforms they want to bring in are terrible and our wages are awful,” Jose, a protestor in his twenties, added. “They want us to work more and more, put up taxes too and that’s just not on.” Continue reading
Hurriyet Daily News, Wednesday,March 28 2012
ANKARA – Clashes erupt in Ankara between police and demonstrators protesting a government-led education draft reform. Police use water cannon and tear gas to disperse the protestors who receive opposition deputies’ support
Riot police used pepper gas and water cannons yesterday to disperse hundreds of union members who gathered in Ankara to protest the government’s controversial education bill, defying harsh warnings from authorities that the demonstration was unauthorized.
The clashes erupted at Tandoğan Square, as police stopped a crowd of some 1,000 people from marching to Kızılay, where they had intended to merge with groups arriving from other parts of the city. Truncheon-wielding officers chased the protestors as some of them hurled stones at the police.
Using armored vehicles, police blocked streets leading to Kılzılay Square in the heart of the city early in the morning. The Ankara Governorship said the demonstration, called by the Confederation of Public Laborers Unions (KESK), was unlawful and thus “outside the guarantees of democracy.”
Several lawmakers from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) joined a group of protestors who converged at Gazi Mustafa Kemal Boulevard, one of the main avenues leading to the square. The CHP’s Süleyman Çelebi phoned Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin in a bid to negotiate permission for a press statement to be read at nearby Güven Park. KESK chairman Nami Özgen, however, vowed the demonstrators would spend the night in the streets and keep up the protest today. The tense standoff was still continuing when Hürriyet Daily News went to print.
Opposition hits streets
It was the second day of street action, following a CHP rally the previous day, when Parliament began debating the bill, which has come in for criticism that it would undermine the schooling of girls, encourage child labor, and prematurely expose students to religious education. Continue reading
American imperialist occupiers once again butchered children, women, and elderly men in Afghanistan. A group of American occupying soldiers and officers attacked the poor huts of villagers and slaughtered seventeen children, women, and old men––wounding several others and burning twelve bodies––in the Panjawai district of Kandahar on midnight of the 11th of March. The leadership of the occupying forces depicted this unforgivable crime as the result of mental illness of one of their soldiers, offered a mere empty token of apology, and declared the usual: that they would lead an investigation into this matter.
Definitely this war crime, like the other war crimes of the occupiers, is something that does not emanate from the personal mental problems of one or more of the occupying soldiers or officers; it is the result of the overall nature and characteristic of such forces. It should be noted that the imperialist occupation, and the imposition of a puppet regime over the peoples of an occupied country, is itself a great imperialist war crime. Therefore, a just response to the war crimes of the imperialist occupiers and their satraps, is not to legally prosecute the officers and soldiers responsible for these crimes, to take personal revenge against them as individuals, or the unjust efforts of freeing some prisoners, but the further intensification and expansion of resistance, until the total expulsion of the occupiers from the country and the destruction of their puppet regime.
Hamid Karzai the head of the puppet regime, while he is constantly telling the participants and supporters of this regime that soon a “long-term strategic agreement” would be signed with America (an agreement that actually has no other meaning other than prolonging the condition of occupation), has declared the crimes of the occupiers in Panjawai to be a deliberate and obvious act of terrorism and has demanded the trial of the perpetrators. However, it is clear that according to the previous agreements between the American occupation and its puppet regime, and specifically between George W. Bush and Hamid Karzai, that every American soldier and officer in Afghanistan has legal sanctity; they only can be put on trial in the US, according to the constitution of that country. Hamid Karzai while he is carrying “Shah Shojaian Sword” of national treason, at the same time is showing his servitude in empty and meaningless “nationalistic” gestures towards his imperialist masters in order to “prove” his political competency in their court. Continue reading
by Jiby Kattakayam, The Hindu
But he will face trial for assuming fake identity and forging documents
New Delhi, March 28, 2012 — Communist Party of India (Maoist) leader Kobad Ghandy earned a reprieve on Wednesday when a Sessions court here discharged him of offences under the stiff Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), thanks to a defective prosecution sanction obtained by the Delhi Police. However, he will stand trial for impersonation, cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy charges under the Indian Penal Code for assuming a fake identity and forging documents. He faces a maximum of seven years’ imprisonment for these charges against life imprisonment under the UAPA charges from which he was discharged.
Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain said: “I am of the considered opinion that there is sufficient material on record to make out a prima facie case for the offence punishable under Sections 20 and 38 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against accused Kobad Ghandy. But since the cognisance order dated February 19, 2010, qua the offences punishable under the UAPA was not in accordance with the mandatory provisions of Section 45(2) of the UAPA, I hereby discharge accused Kobad Ghandy for the offences punishable under Section 10/13/18/20/38 of the UAPA. Similarly, I also discharge accused Rajinder Kumar for the offences punishable under Section 10/13/18/19/20 UAPA. However, there is sufficient material on record to make out a prima facie case against both the accused for the offences punishable under Section 419/420/468/474/120B Indian Penal Code.”
Ghandy’s counsel Rebecca John had pointed out that the investigating officer had violated Section 45(2) of the UAPA by not submitting the evidence he gathered to an independent authority constituted by the Central or State government, which after vetting the documents was to recommend the sanctioning authority (the Lieutenant Governor) to grant sanction for prosecution. Realising the blunder committed, the prosecution, last week, belatedly submitted a fresh prosecution sanction as per the Act in the form of a supplementary charge sheet.
“There is nothing to show that the evidence collected by the investigating officer was independently reviewed by any authority appointed by the Central government or that after review of collected evidence, such authority had ever made any recommendation to the Central government … Needless to say, the main object of imposing condition of independent review is to prevent the misuse of the stringent provisions of the UAPA by the law-enforcing agencies … Since provisions were inserted by Parliament, thus the State cannot take the plea that State was not aware of the provisions …. By obtaining the fresh sanction, prosecution is trying to cure an incurably bad sanction order, which in the absence of any provisions of law is not permissible,” Mr. Jain said.
The court said it was clear that Ghandy was an “active member” of the CPI (Maoist) and it appeared that “his role was to persuade people and exhort them for Maoism.” The court also noted that he had prepared forged documents in the name of Dilip Patel in order to conceal his identity and avoid arrest.
Mr. Jain added: “There is sufficient material on record to hold prima facie that accused Ghandy was a vibrant member of CPI (Maoist). Since the CPI (Maoist) is a declared terrorist organisation, presumption will [be] that [the] CPI (Maoist) is involved in terrorist acts. Accordingly, I am of the view that prima facie a case is made out against the accused Kobad Ghandy for the offence punishable under Section 20 and 38 of the UAPA.”
The judge further said there was no evidence on record to show that Ghandy had committed any terrorist act and hence he could not be called a “terrorist.” This finding also helped co-accused Rajinder, who was discharged for offence under Section 19 of the UAPA for harbouring a terrorist.
A month ago, a black teenager named Trayvon Martin was shot dead in Florida while walking back from running an errand for his brother. His killer was not tested for drug or alcohol. Trayvon was. His killer has not been arrested. In the past 30 days the case has received a great deal of media attention, but we’ve heard little about the fear, anger, and oppression that black men feel every day for being constantly profiled as criminals. Those voices aren’t being heard as much as they should be, which is where the “I Am Trayvon Martin Project” comes in.
We want to hear the stories of the young Black and Latino men from the mailroom to the boardroom who have been harassed, racially profiled, and have feared for their lives for no other reason than the color of their skin. We want to have an online space so that these voices can be heard, so that these stories can be shared, and so that the issues brought up by the death of Trayvon Martin are no longer kept to the shadows. Continue reading
25 March 2012
trove of documents released today by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to a FOIA request filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, filmmaker Michael Moore and the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee reveal that federal law enforcement agencies began their coordinated intelligence gathering and operations on the Occupy movement even before the first tent went up in Zuccotti Park on September 17, 2011.On September 17, 2011, a Secret Service intelligence entry in its Prism Demonstrations Abstract file records the opening of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. The demonstration location that the Secret Service was protecting? The “Wall Street Bull.” The name of the Protectee? The “U.S. Government.”
American taxpayers might find it odd to learn that the Secret Service was on duty to protect the Wall Street Bull in the name of protecting the U.S. Government. But there it is.
The DHS’s Game of Three Card Monte to Deflect Disclosure of Law Enforement Operations
These documents, many of which are redacted, show that the highest officials in the Department of Homeland Security were preoccupied with the Occupy movement and have gone out of their way to project the appearance of an absence of federal involvement in the monitoring of and crackdown on Occupy.
On the street it would be called “Three Card Monte,” a swindler’s game to hide the ball – a game of misdirection. The House always wins.
The DHS, as revealed in the newly released documents, has engaged in what appears to be a effort to avoid looking for Occupy related materials where it is likely to be found, including in Fusion Centers and DHS sub-divisions such as the Operations Coordination & Planning sub-division which is responsible for DHS coordination with local and federal law enforcement partners. Continue reading
The “delusional effect” that swept Black America with the advent of the First Black President has warped and weakened the mental powers of some of our most revered icons – and it has been painful to behold. Earlier this month, Angela Davis diminished herself as a scholar and thinker in a gush of nonsense about the corporate executive in the White House. The occasion was a conference on Empowering Women of Color, in Berkeley, California. Davis shared the stage with Grace Lee Boggs, the 96-year-old activist from Detroit. The subject was social transformation, but Davis suddenly launched into how wonderful it felt to see people “dancing in the streets” when Barack Obama was elected. She called that campaign a “victory, not of an individual, but of…people who refused to believe that it was impossible to elect a person, a Black person, who identified with the Black radical tradition.”
There was a hush in the room, as if in mourning of the death of brain cells. Angela Davis was saying that Barack Obama is a man who identifies with the Black radical tradition. She said it casually, as if Black radicalism and Obama were not antithetical terms; as if everything he has written, said and done in national politics has not been a repudiation of the Black radical tradition; as if his rejection of his former minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was not a thorough disavowal of the Black radical tradition. In his famous 2008 campaign speech in Philadelphia, Obama blamed such radicals for compounding the nation’s problems. He viewed people like Rev. Wright as having been mentally scarred by battles of long ago, who were unable to see the inherent goodness of America, as he did. This is the man who said he agreed with President Ronald Reagan, that the Sixties were characterized by “excesses.” Can anyone doubt that Obama considers the historical Angela Davis, herself, to be a part of the political “excesses” of the Sixties and early Seventies that he so deplores? Continue reading
Video of Congressman Bobby Rush wearing hoodie on House Floor 3/28/2012
Members of the New York City Council have worn them. Players on the Miami Heat were photographed wearing them. Numerous celebrities have donned them. And on Wednesday, Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., was escorted from the House floor for wearing one while addressing members of Congress over the killing of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teenager who was gunned down last month.
We’re of course talking about hooded sweatshirts. A hoodie is the article of clothing that Geraldo Rivera claimed was as much responsible for Martin’s death—he was wearing one at the time he was shot—as George Zimmerman, the man holding the gun that claimed Martin’s young life.
Rush took to the House floor to call for a full investigation into the shooting death of 17-year-old Martin. Continue reading
MAOISTS TO REMAIN ‘UNITED’ AT LEAST UNTIL END OF MAY
Kathmandu, 29 March: – Despite sharp ideological and political differences, UCPN (Maoist) will remain united at least till May 27 as an informal meeting of the Central Committee members of establishment faction on Wednesday recognised the parallel functioning of party’s hard-line faction led by party’s Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya.
Though the establishment faction led by party’s Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal was all set to hold an official CC meeting, they held only the informal meeting in the request of Baidya faction and unveiled a separate policy and programme to “create an appropriate environment to conclude peace and constitution writing processes”.
The meeting also decided to organise a separate programme to mark party establishment day on April and a grand mass meeting on May 1 in Kathmandu for peace, constitution and labour rights. The meeting also decided to declare a union of those disqualified combatants and who opted for volunteer retirement and to initiate a campaign for peace and constitution within the deadline.
The hardliners few days ago had unveiled their own policies and programmes highlighting the need of revolt to ensure people’s constitution.
With this, the rival factions will function separately with their respective policies and programmes. The establishment faction led by Dahal and Bhattarai will work for peace and constitution while hard-liners will make preparations for possible revolt. Continue reading
At the same time the tripartite energy agreement will be signed between Greece, Israel and Cyprus on Thursday at Kavouri of Vouliagmeni, Athens, in the presence of Richard Morningstar, the special envoy of the US Foreign Affairs Ministry, a large-scale aeronautical military exercise will be taking place in the Southern Mediterranean.
According to defencenet.gr, Greece, Israel and USA will launch their joint military exercise from Crete to Haifa against “virtual enemy forces” that bear great resemblance to the Turkish aeronautical forces in this particular military operation scenario.
“Noble Dina” was initially planned to take place in April just like in 2011. However, it was decided that the military exercise should coincide with the date of the energy agreement signing between the three countries of the Southeastern Mediterranean. Thus, it would underline that the cooperation between Israel, Greece and the US does not only concern energy but military affairs as well.
Defencenet.gr reported that the implied “message” goes to Ankara, which for the time is a barrier to the common interests of Israel and USA in the broader region. The exercise is taking place only a few days after Turkey had claimed that the same thing that happened in Imia would also happen to the Eastern Mediterranean. Continue reading
GASSING UP: Energy Ministers from Greece, Israel and Cyprus promised Wednesday to increase cooperation to exploit natural gas deposits in the Mediterranean, but warned that large-scale exports could take a decade.
GREECE ROLE: Greece, whose economy has been ravaged by a financial crisis, hopes to eventually start its own gas production and act as a transit point for supplies from Israel and Cyprus.
U.S. ON BOARD: The U.S. welcomed Mediterranean gas finds as a source of diversified energy supply for Europe, a senior U.S. envoy said, urging countries in the region to set aside their long-standing rivalries and do business.
Israel seeks Cyprus base to guard gas zone — Israel is reported to be seeking to deploy fighter aircraft in Cyprus, its partner in developing a natural gas bonanza under the eastern Mediterranean, to protect these vital energy resources. Continue reading
Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid — National Democratic Front of the Philippines
March 27, 2012
Reference: Andres Agtalon, PKM spokesperson
With utmost joy, the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid – National Democratic Front of the Philippines (PKM-NDFP) celebrate and express its warmest revolutionary greetings to all the Red commanders and fighters on the occasion of the 43rd founding anniversary of the New People’s Army (NPA) on March 29, 1969.
The PKM salutes the NPA as its true and own army in achieving greater victories in advancing the peoples’ war. We cherish the NPA as a peasant army that is waging a peasant war in order to liberate the peasant majority from feudal and semi-feudal bondage. Resolving the worsening land problem is still the main content of the armed struggle and, because of this, the peasantry continuously advance the peoples’ war and wage campaigns to cherish the people’s army.
Majority of the Red fighters come from the broad masses of peasants. The Filipino peasantry will continue to be a deep source of Red fighters as we shall wholeheartedly offer our best sons and daughters to join the NPA and serve the people.
At this stage of the Philippine revolution, it is the task of the PKM to surge forward to a new and higher level of the people’s war: to inflame the countryside with peasant struggles, arouse millions of peasants to join the armed struggle and the NPA. Continue reading