New York: Protesters on trial for challenging NYPD “Stop and Frisk”, Racial Profiling

[Last year, New York police stopped, searched, and harassed 684,oo0 people with the racist "stop and frisk" policy.  The heavy cloud of oppression follows each step of millions of black and brown folks, in a pattern which is systematically organized and enforced.  The defiant stance of these "anti-racial profiling" protesters on trial must be supported, and spread, to every street in every city.  --  Frontlines ed.]

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Activists on Trial for Arrests During NYPD Protest 

By JENNIFER PELTZ Associated Press
NEW YORK April 30, 2012 (AP)

Twenty activists who converged on a police station to protest a controversial police technique went on trial Monday in a case that they hoped would highlight their cause but prosecutors called a simple matter of breaking the law.

The demonstrators, who include ministers, local activists and Princeton University scholar and civil rights advocate Cornel West, lined three rows of courtroom seats in one of the biggest group trials of protesters in the city in recent years. Supporters waited in line for spots.

The demonstrators were arrested on disorderly conduct charges in October outside a Harlem police station while decrying the New York Police Department’s practice of stopping, questioning and sometimes frisking people who are acting suspiciously or meet crime suspects’ descriptions, according to police.

Police say the practice has proven vital to curbing crime. Opponents say it amounts to racial profiling and unfairly targets innocent people.

“The system is breaking the spirit of too many young people,” West, a professor of African-American studies and the author of books including “Race Matters,” said outside court. “We were willing to be arrested, and we’re willing to go to jail.”

Cornell West
[AP--FILE- In this Oct. 21, 2011, file photo, Political activist, Dr. Cornel West, center, is taken into custody by New York City police officers at a "Stop and Frisk" policy protest in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood in New York. Joining nearly two dozen people, West goes to trial on Monday, April 30, 2012, in New York after being arrested at an October demonstration against the New York police department’s practice of stopping and frisking hundreds of thousands of people each year as a crime-fighting tool. (AP Photo/Stephanie Keith, File)]

Continue reading

“Outside My Window” — poem by Jeff Hay

They Appear to be intelligent
engaging
even full of a type of life energy
and yet
there they are
with a table 
full of buttons and stickers
supporting 
advocating
voting for
a monster

On the surface
they seem to be
progressives
do they not know
have they ignored
or are they
just in denial

I’m sure
when Bush was President
they were adamantly opposed to war
to torture
to slaughtering 
blowing the guts out of
women and children
of treating “illegal” immigrants
like cockroaches
of fucking the poor
while enriching his rich buddies
of shredding the Constitution
of total disregard
for the safety of our 
food supply
of total disregard
for the climate catastrophe
that is unfolding
of being an
asshole


And yet they have  a table
outside my window
campaigning for a man
who has invaded more countries than Bush
given more money to the Banksters than Bush
deported and imprisoned more immigrants
than Bush
wiped his ass on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
more than Bush
had more contempt for the poor
than Bush

And yet 
there they are
smiling and handing out
their buttons
and stickers
never reflecting
upon their hypocrisy
upon their 
favoring 
the policies
they hated 
when it was Bush

Then there are my 
right-wing friends
who call him a “socialist”
And if 
you’re talking about 
corporate welfare
and tax breaks for the rich
in other words
redistributing the wealth
to the already wealthy
than he is sort of a 
Robin Hood in reverse
Stealing from the poor
to give to the rich
a Socialist 
in reverse

My right-wing friends
wonder about his birth certificate
wondering about his
“muslim” name
never noticing
his glee
as he 
“changes the mindset that leads to war”
by blowing the brains
out of 
those “other” people
those “unpeople”
which he holds
in as much contempt
as Bush ever dreamed of

He said his campaign would be different
wouldn’t take huge corporate donations
he lied
He said he would filibuster
retroactive immunity for the telecoms
who helped the government
spy on us
He lied
He said in his victory speech
that global warming
would start cooling
that rising oceans
would start receding
now that he was in charge
he lied
He said he would not fill his
Administration
as Bush had
with lobbyists
he lied

He said he would close Guantanamo
instead he opened more Guantanamo’s than even Bush
He said he would make it easier 
for workers to join a union
he lied
When it came to 
who to help
he decided
that ten million people
losing their homes
while he gave trillions
of dollars
to the very people
who gave him more money
than any presidential candidate has ever received
from Wall Street
His choice was easy
I WILL FUCK THE POOR
Guess that’s 
“Socialism”

He “saved General Motors”
by giving billions to Management
while forcing pay cuts 
loss of health care
and pensions
on the workers
Guess that’s “Socialism”

He said
his administration
would be transparent and open
and democratic
he said
“whistleblowers should be protected”
he fucking lied
he has prosecuted more whistleblowers
than all other presidents in
the history of the United States combined
No President has hated democracy more than him

Oddly my right-wing friends
who loved all of this
when Bush did it
 think
he’s a Socialist”
and my “progressive” friends
who hated it when Bush did what he does
are the same
 in one way
they are tragically
ill informed
about
Barack Obama

 


INTERNATIONAL STATEMENT: May Day 2012 – “To overcome the crisis of capitalism, proletarian revolution is the only solution!”

[Frontlines has received the following May Day 2012 statement from the pcr-rcp (Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada) and its allied organizations internationally.  These parties and groups have recently issued several joint statements in support of a range of Maoist movements and parties (including support for some which are not, notably, signators of the statement, such as CP India (Maoist), TKP/ML of Turkey, and CP of the Philippines).  Previous statements from this alliance have stated agreement on the "universality" of applying the strategy of people's war (with some arguing this in opposition to any contemporary application of the "revolutionary insurrection and civil war" stratagem of Lenin's Bolshevik Party).  This statement does not argue such PW "universality", but instead notes the variety of conditions in various countries and avoids stating a "universal" prescriptive strategy.  Also, previous statements seemed to call for urgent building of a Communist International in a reconstituted RIM (Revolutionary Internationalist Movement), but this statement makes a more general statement of this internationalist goal, perhaps reflecting the views of some or all of the signators for serious summation and study of previous attempts first, and for the need to undertake the building of such international organization only upon a solid foundation of revolutionary experience and shared authority.  In any event, the statement below deserves careful study, as it reaches into areas of revolutionary internationalist responsibility which have been inactive or ignored by many for too long.  --  Frontlines ed.]

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“The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.
The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself.
But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons — the modern working class — the proletarians.”

Marx & Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party, 1847

165 years after its writing, this quote remains relevant. It allows us to understand the situation in which the proletariat and the broad popular masses in all countries find themselves, regardless of who leads the government: they live under a concealed dictatorship, be it a bourgeois democratic or a brutal one.

The imperialist bourgeoisie is looking for the maximum rate of profit; it is using the crisis as a pretext to achieve this objective by restructuring the system of production. Within this, the ruling classes in the oppressed countries try to maintain and possibly increase their share in the surplus. Such restructuring is affecting all countries; for the working class and the masses, it means the delocalization of large industries: plant closings, wage cuts, unemployment, debt, impoverishment, etc. But in the places where the new plants are to be opened, restructuring means land grabs, expropriation of local farmers, frenzied exploitation, poverty wages, destruction of the environment, etc.

The ruling classes use the state apparatus to suppress the proletariat’s struggles and prevent them and the masses from revolting and organizing for the revolution. Everywhere, the State is more and more becoming a police state that brings the population under surveillance and repression. Whether it is the “left” or right, no segment of the bourgeoisie has the capacity to solve the crisis. The persistence of the crisis prepares the ground for fascism; fascism is advancing in disguise. It is building step by step through populist demagogy, relying on the economic crisis. In due time, it will show its true colors by aggressively defending the interests of finance capital. Meanwhile, competition between the different monopolist blocks raises the question of redivision of markets and therefore suggests new wars are on the horizon.

The class nature of the state is the central issue. Continue reading

Nepal: Basanta, a leader of revolutionary Maoists, on the “Prachanda-Baburam” betrayal of revolution

Comrade Basanta

[From the Basanta interview below:  "Dissolution of the people’s power, submission of the PLA into the hands of Nepal Army through a kind of coup on April 10, 2012, returning of land to the landlords, signing of anti-national treaties like BIPPA and other shameful treaties on water resources with India etc. have made Prachanda-Baburam clique stand in service of Indian expansionism, the regional watchdog of the US imperialism, and their puppets in Nepal. Through this process this clique has betrayed the nation and the class as well."  This is an important analysis of events in Nepal, and of great relation to the international MLM movement and people's struggles worldwide. -- Frontlines ed.]

Interview with Basanta

April 22, 2012

1 – How is the recent situation concerning the two line struggle in your party? Have any of the most important contradictions been solved? (Here you can describe the whole situation about the positions of each side, on which we already have a general idea, but also underline the points that are agreed on.)

For a communist party, the two-line struggle is the source of its life. As an object does not exist without contradiction in it, a communist party too does not exist when there is no two-line struggle. However, the two-line struggle does not always have the same level but varies depending upon the content of the issues involved in it. The two-line struggle in our party has sharpened mainly after the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly, which established the federal democratic republic of Nepal. Monarchy has been abolished from Nepal but not feudalism. Nepal is still a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country. External intervention is in the rise. The essence of the ongoing two-line struggle is centred on how to understand this situation and whether to continue with status quo i.e. the semi-feudal and semi-colonial condition beautified by cosmetics of the democratic republic or continue struggling to establish People’s Federal Republic in its place.

A few months before, when our CC meeting had just started, chairman Prachanda brought about a long interview in which he revealed so many things on the questions of line. In that interview he categorically said that there is no need now to make a new democratic revolution in Nepal, because the gap between the new democratic revolution and the socialist revolution has narrowed. The major part of it has already been accomplished and the rest can be accomplished when the socialist revolution comes in the agenda. He added that the major task before the party was to develop productive forces by creating conducive atmosphere for the donor countries. This way, he does not even stand in favour of national economy and the national bourgeois. In fact he has been integrated in the imperialist system.

Dissolution of the people’s power, submission of the PLA into the hands of Nepal Army through a kind of coup on April 10, 2012, returning of land to the landlords, signing of anti-national treaties like BIPPA and other shameful treaties on water resources with India etc. have made Prachanda-Baburam clique stand in service of Indian expansionism, the regional watchdog of the US imperialism, and their puppets in Nepal. Through this process this clique has betrayed the nation and the class as well.

When the leaders nakedly surrender before imperialism and their running domestic agents, then the two-line struggle does not remain an issue of the party alone. Rather it becomes an issue of the nation and the entire oppressed people as a whole. It must be taken to the masses so that their anti-people and anti-national crimes could be unveiled. Hence, the two-line struggle which we are taking to the masses now is an ideological and political campaign to make the entire oppressed class, nation, sex and region stand by the side of revolutionaries and expose the right revisionists who betrayed the nation and people in the garb of Marxism.

The last Central Committee meeting has taken up a method to deal with organisational problems. First, no committee at any level will take decisions on the basis of majority and minority and second, if there is no unanimity then either ideological group will have right to organise their separate committee meetings, take decisions and implement in their own. In other words, every ideological group in our party is free to take decisions and implement them in practice. Democratic centralism is not active in our party now. The line struggle in the party is now openly taken to the masses. We think the synthesis of this whole process will equip us with deeper ideological grasp to lead the revolution forward. Continue reading

Palestine: Political prisoners’ hunger strike reaches critical stage

Detained PFLP Leader Moved To Prison Hospital

Sunday April 29, 2012 15:03, by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News

Palestinian sources reported, Sunday, that detained secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ahmad Sa’adat, was moved to the Ramla prison hospital after a sharp deterioration in his health condition.

hungerstrike.jpg

Sa’adat had been on hunger-strike since thirteen days joining the open-ended hunger-strike declared by the Palestinian political prisoners held in various Israeli prisons and detention center.

The PFLP leader has been in solitary confinement for three years now, with no end in sight; his health condition is gradually deteriorating due to various health conditions that need specialized medical attention.

Palestinian Minister of Detainee, Issa Qaraqe’, stated that the Ministry’s attorney, Rami Al-Alami, went to visit Sa’adat on Sunday but the Israeli Prison Administration told him that Sa’adat was moved to the Ramla Prison hospital.

The Quds Net News Agency reported that detainees of the PFLP rejected an Israeli offer to end their hunger-strike in exchange for removing Sa’adat from solitary confinement, and stated that Israel must stop all of its violations, and put an end to its illegal solitary confinement policies.

All hunger-striking detainees are demanding Israel to treatment in accordance with International Law, and insist on an end to all policies of solitary confinement, and all sorts of attacks and violations against them and their visiting family members.

Detainee Bilal Thiab entered his sixty-second day of ongoing hunger-strike demanding to be released. Several hunger-striking detainees were moved to hospital but refused to break their strike.

Detainee Tha’er Halahla entered his 61 day of hunger-strike at the Ramla Prison Hospital; prison doctors warned Thursday that his body is losing its immune system and his organs might be failing. Continue reading

India: ‘The State has to own up to the killings in Green Hunt’

by Kunal Majumder, Senior Correspondent, Tehelka

An interview with GN Saibaba, Vice-President, Revolutionary Democratic Front Of India

GN Saibaba
GN SaibabaPhoto: Shailendra Pandey


Civil activists like Prashant Bhushan and Binayak Sen have put out an appeal for the release of Sukma Collector Alex Menon. Do you agree?
The collector of a district represents the government in a district. The government has to take responsibility for whatever atrocities and killings are happening in the name of Operation Green Hunt. It does not matter whether the collector is a good individual or not. Hundreds of people are being arrested and tortured. When there is no mechanism in place to look after their relief, the people are forced to this situation. This is the government’s creation. There is no point in saying that these things will not happen as if everything else is all right. This is a kind of war-situation where both the government and the CPI(Maoist) are locked in a battle of tactics and counter-tactics.

Maoists have said that they don’t pick on doctors, teachers and honest officials. Why did this happen? Menon was working for tribal welfare. How do you justify his kidnap?
I don’t think Maoists intend to harm Menon. I think the kidnapping has been done to put pressure on the government and also to highlight the condition that exists in Bastar. Otherwise their voice is not heard. Such acts help the Maoists highlight the situation in interior regions.

Of late, we’ve seen a spate of kidnappings. First it was the Italian tourists, then and an MLA in Odisha was kidnapped. Do you think the Maoists are losing their ideological coherence with such acts?
Kidnapping is just a tactic. Three incidents in three months are chance happenings. Because they had a chance to get an MLA or a collector, the Maoists took it. They have used the situation to highlight the atrocities that are taking place in that area. I don’t think there is a pattern in it. If there was an erosion of the ideology, they could have killed these two people too, but they haven’t. They have not tortured like the police or the paramilitary forces do in custody. This clearly indicates that they are adhering to their ideology and not resorting to any kind of mindless violence.

Kunal Majumder is a Senior Correspondent with Tehelka.
kunal@tehelka.com

Brazil: Government responsible for the Murder of Teacher and Peasants

URGENT CALL FOR SIGNATURES – MURDER IN THE FIELD

[E-mail your name and reference (profession, organization, group, city) to advogadosdopovo.abrapo @ gmail.com]

Open Letter to the Brazilian people and the international community

Rondônia, April 23, 2012

Brazil Teacher Nathan Renato Gonçalves Pereira, killed by undercover police in Rondonia state, Brazil

The organizations listed below express their deep concerns about the recent murder of Professor Nathan Renato Gonçalves Pereira, the Brazilian state of Rondonia, as well as a series of killings of peasants organized throughout the country.

Renato was a supporter of rural communities in Rondônia, working for literacy and structuring of schools in the countryside. Worked in the Peasant Family School in Corumbiara, the region where they passed one of the worst massacres of peasants in Brazil’s history, the Santa Elina ranch, directly promoted by the state in 1995. He helped assist victims. He then worked in the creation of other schools rated throughout Rondônia. He has always supported the organization of people, as in the construction of bridges and roads and demanding health services and electricity.

According to reports, he returned home on April 9, when he was stopped in a lock and cowardly murdered by undercover police officers. He was executed with three shots at close range, two in the neck and face. His bike was found with his helmet still on the handlebars, therefore, a clear demonstration that would have been rendered and then executed. According to residents, the reason would be a likely revenge the death of a prison guard and a civilian police days earlier. Reportedly, the police were involved in various crimes and murders of workers and peasants in the region of Buritis the behest of landowners and land grabbers.

This fact takes place after a series of killings of peasants organized throughout the country as well as Rondônia, under the glaring silence and complicity of the government of Brazil: Minas Gerais, Valdir Dias Ferreira, Milton Santos Leonor Nunes Nunes and Clestina, in Pernambuco, Tiningo Antonio and Bruno Pedro. Meanwhile several peasants remain arbitrarily imprisoned for fighting for land.

We have received reports that the government has supported Dilma landowners through agreements with its bench in the National Congress for approval of a Forest Code that attacks the foundations of environmental protection requirements and has done little or nothing for Agrarian Reform, and mute or be complicit assassinations, arrests and evictions of peasants and their supporters. The great achievements of the government as the works of hydroelectric plants of Jirau and San Antonio, in Rondônia, and Belo Monte, in Para, have been performed with the eviction of local communities, fishermen, coastal and indigenous peoples, and the brutal repression of workers strike.

For all these reasons, we have evidence for the Brazilian government responsible for the murders of Nathan professorRenato and peasants Valdir Pereira Gonçalves Dias Ferreira, Milton Santos Nunes, Clestina Leonor Nunes, Antonio and Pedro Bruno Tiningo.

We ask the international community to demand that the Brazilian government immediately stop the killings of peasants and their supporters, arbitrary arrests and forced evictions. We also demand the punishment of persons directly involved in these crimes. Continue reading

58 Days On Hunger-Strike, Ailing Palestinian Detainee Determined To Continue

by Saed Bannoura

April 27, 2012

Palestinian political prisoner, Tha’er Halahla, entered his 58th day of hunger-strike at the Ramla Prison Hospital, and is still determined to continue his strike while prison doctors warned that his body is losing its immune system and his organs might be failing.

Lawyer of the Mandela Institute, Anwar Abu Lafy, visited Halahla and stated that a recent CT-Scan for his liver and kidneys revealed that his body is unable to function and that his life is in grave danger.

Abu Lafy stated that Halahla, 34 years old, is unable to walk or stand, suffering from sharp chest pain, stomach ache, and can barely see with his right eye.

Halahla has lost 24 kilos in weight and is suffering from low blood pressure, very low blood sugar levels, escalating heart beats, hair loss, bleeding from his mouth and gums, and weakening muscles.

Despite his deteriorating health condition, Halahla told his lawyer that he is determined to continue his strike until Israel voids the administrative detention order against him, and called on human rights groups to pay attention to the miserable conditions sick detainees are subject to at the Ramla Prison Hospital.

Halahla is from Kharas village, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. He was abducted by the army in June 2010, and has been held under administrative detention that has been repeatedly renewed without charges. Continue reading

South Africa: Apartheid Petty and Grand, Old and New Is Evil

Fahamu (Oxford)

By Ayanda Kota, 26 April 2012

The Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) was formed in August 2009 to respond to the crisis of unemployment and the commoditization of essential services in a society dominated by corruption and greed. As Steve Biko said, we blacks are tired of standing at the touchlines to witness a game that we should be playing. We want to do things for ourselves and all by ourselves. This is a realisation that we are the protagonists of our lives and nobody will free us but ourselves; we – the unemployed – will have to be our own liberators.

Despite celebrations of freedom on 27 April every year, severe and widespread poverty persists. Our education system is in tatters, the future of many black kids has been declared futureless. Unemployment is sky rocketing, wasting the talents of many young people who are condemned to a life of permanent poverty. Many black people continue to lack access to electricity, clean water and proper sanitation. Many are terminally under nourished. All these things are happening when the elite and the government officials are living affluent lives. The president has just built a mansion in Enkandla to the tune of more than R400m. Malema has also built a house to the tune of R16m. Every weekend the elite host parties and weddings that cost no less than a million while the people they claim to represent go to bed on an empty stomach and live in absolute poverty. They do not find this morally troubling. They have no conscience, otherwise they would not have killed Andries Tatane and many other activists; they would not shoot us with rubber bullets when we protest because they have neglected us. The prophetic Biko was spot on again when he once said ‘Tradition has it that whenever a group of people has tasted the lovely fruits of wealth, security and prestige it begins to find it more comfortable to believe in the obvious lie and accept that it alone is entitled to privilege.” It is this prestige and wealth that forms a hard shell around their consciousness so that they do not see that it is fellow human beings suffering in the poverty around them. Karl Marx put it in a different tone: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”. Apartheid was a tragedy, but our economic apartheid is a farce. Indeed history repeating itself. We are repeating the disaster of the post-colonial regimes that Fanon attacked fifty years ago.

We live in a society where the unemployment rate is said to be 23% while the truth is different. Our government is committed to propaganda. The real unemployment rate is closer to 40%. Continue reading

Nepal: After dissolving PLA, “establishment Maoists” organize ex-fighters to oppose the new “People’s Volunteers”

Maoist establishment forms ex-combatant association

Nanda Kishor Pun, a former commander of PLA

Nanda Kishor Pun, a former commander of PLA

eKantipur.com, Friday, April 27, 2012

KATHMANDU, APR 27 – The ex-Maoist  establishment have organised themselves under the banner of ‘Ex-People’s Liberation Army Association’ under the leadership of Nanda Kishor Pun, a former commander of PLA.  The establishment of the association was announced during a meeting at Khanna Garments in the capital on Friday.
The establishment faction of Maoist announced the Ex-PLA association immediately after the formation of ‘People’s Volunteer Bureau,’ comprised of ex-combatants, close to Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya’s fraction.

Top establishment leaders including Chairman Puspa Kamal Dahal, Vice Chairman and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattrai participated in the meeting. However, senior leaders of Baidya fraction did not attend the program. About 1,000 ex-combatants have participated in the meeting.
The hard-line faction of the party led by Baidhya had organized a similar gathering of ex-combatants two days earlier in the capital as ‘People’s Volunteer Bureau.’

source:  http://www.ekantipur.com/2012/04/27/top-story/maoist-establishment-forms-ex-combatant-association/353065/

Israel’s Secret Weapon

Broadcast on BBC Two on Monday, 17 March, 2003.  This film is the story of the bomb, Vanunu and Israel’s wall of silence. Which country in the Middle East has undeclared Nuclear weapons? Which country in the Middle East has undeclared biological and chemical capabilities? Which country in the Middle East has no outside inspections? Which country jailed its nuclear whistleblower for 18 years?

Obama terror drones: CIA tactics in Pakistan include targeting rescuers and funerals

February 4th, 2012 | by

Hellfire missiles being loaded onto a US military Reaper drone in Afghanistan

Hellfire missiles being loaded onto a US military Reaper drone in Afghanistan

The CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of  civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals, an investigation by the Bureau for the Sunday Times has revealed.

The findings are published just days after President Obama claimed that the drone campaign in Pakistan was a ‘targeted, focused effort’ that ‘has not caused a huge number of civilian casualties.’

Speaking publicly for the first time on the controversial CIA drone strikes, Obama claimed last week they are used strictly to target terrorists, rejecting what he called ‘this perception we’re just sending in a whole bunch of strikes willy-nilly’.

‘Drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties’, he told a questioner at an on-line forum. ‘This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists trying to go in and harm Americans’.

But research by the Bureau has found that since Obama took office three years ago, between 282 and 535 civilians have been credibly reported as killed including more than 60 children.  A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners. The tactics have been condemned by leading legal experts.

Although the drone attacks were started under the Bush administration in 2004, they have been stepped up enormously under Obama.

There have been 260 attacks by unmanned Predators or Reapers in Pakistan by Obama’s administration – averaging one every four days. Because the attacks are carried out by the CIA, no information is given on the numbers killed. Continue reading

India: Odisha legislator Hikaka agreed to resign; has now been released by Maoists

IANS  Bhubaneswar, April 26, 2012

Maoists release Odisha MLA Jhina Hikaka

Maoists on Thursday released Odisha legislator Jhina Hikakain the state’s Koraput district after holding him captive for more than a month.BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka.Reporters and photographers surrounded a relieved and healthy looking Hikaka as he came with a group of villagers to a mango garden at Balipeta, over 500 km from here, at about 10.30 am.

Emotions ran high when the 37-year-old Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator, wearing a green kurta, hugged his wife Kaushalya and seconds after both broke down in tears.

“We’re glad that he is safe and unharmed,” party colleague Baijayant Panda told reporters.

The leftwing extremists, who kidnapped Hikaka from Laxmipur in Koraput on March 24, had on Wednesday announced that a ‘praja’, people’s, court decided to release him after he apologised to the rebels and the local villagers.

A Maoist leader calling herself ‘Aruna’, in an audio message aired by a local television channel here, had said the decision to release him was taken after he promised to resign from the assembly and the primary membership of the ruling BJD.

BBC silent on the hunger strike of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners

BBC challenged for ignoring plight of Palestinian prisoners

Glasgow, 25 April 2012
Woman displays portrait of loved one in Israeli prison

Palestinian political prisoners are on mass hunger strike but you’d never know it from watching the BBC.

(Mohammed Asad / APA images)

“I had no idea. How could I not have known?”

I heard those words on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day (17 April) from a teacher, shocked at discovering how Israel abducts, abuses and imprisons Palestinian children — some as young as 12 — in the West Bank because they may or may not have thrown stones at Israel’s wall.

She had tagged along with a friend to a talk given in London by Gerard Horton of Defence for Children International–Palestine Section, and until that moment had been unaware of the brutalities of Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Horton’s lecture focused on a new DCI-Palestine report which documents the various traumas Palestinian children regularly face during Israeli military detention (“Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in military detention,” 14 April 2012).

The answer to her question is fairly simple: this woman — a member of the educated, professional middle-classes — did not know because she relies on the mainstream media, led by the BBC, for her news. And that media’s silence on the realities of Israel’s occupation is deafening.

Last week, 1,200 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails began an open-ended hunger strike in protest at the illegalities and injustices of their incarceration. Another 2,300 refused food for the duration of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. Their action came just weeks after Khader Adnan ended his 66-day hunger strike and Hana al-Shalabi was released (though banished to Gaza) after refusing food for 43 days, both protesting at Israel’s use of administrative detention against them. Continue reading