Agence France-Presse (France), July 3, 2013 – Syria: Morsi’s Departure Key to Solving Egypt Crisis…..Egypt will overcome its current crisis if President Mohamed Morsi leaves office, Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said on Wednesday, as massive protests against the Islamist leader went into their fourth day….Egypt’s “security and unity are a national responsibility”, Zohbi told a news conference broadcast by state television….”Egypt will be able to overcome its crisis if Morsi realizes that the vast majority of the Egyptian people refuse his presence and are calling for his departure,” he added….”Those who are loyal to the (Egyptian) nation should side by the people, and against the terrorism of the Muslim Brotherhood” movement from which Morsi hails….There is long-standing animosity between the Syrian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood, and membership in the group has been punishable by death in Syria since the 1980s….The Syrian branch of the Brotherhood today plays a key role in the exiled opposition National Coalition, which is recognized by more than 100 states and organizations as legitimate representative of the Syrian people….Zohbi launched a verbal attack on Monday as well against Morsi — who last month severed ties with Syria — saying the Brotherhood had proven a failure in Egypt….Egypt is Sunni Muslim, as a are the vast majority of rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad whose Alawite sect is an offhshoot of Shiite Islam….Morsi has repeatedly called for Assad to step down….More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria’s war, says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Haaretz (Israel), July 3 — U.S. urges Morsi to listen to Egyptian people; Israeli diplomats to stay away….In phone call at end of an African tour, President Obama told Morsi that the political crisis can only be resolved by talking with his opponents; Israeli Embassy staff in Cairo to remain in Israel due to unrest.
Politico.com (US), July 3 — The U.S. Government Wednesday panned Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s most recent speech to the Egyptian people, saying the address fell short of detailing the reforms the Egyptian leader needed to promise to quell massive street protests….The comments expressed a greater degree of U.S. dissatisfaction with Morsi than previously acknowledged by U.S. officials. However, Psaki insisted that the criticism did not reflect a U.S. decision to back the opposition or the military….”We haven’t taken sides and don’t plan to take sides,” Psaki said. She acknowledged that she had no criticism to offer of the Egyptian military, despite a warning from military leaders that they would step in if Morsi’s government and protesters did not come to an accomodation….Psaki declined to outline specific steps the U.S. would like Morsi to take, beyond avoiding violence. However, she disputed claims by many protesters that U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson had sided with the government over the opposition….In a speech two weeks ago, Patterson said she and the U.S. were “deeply skeptical” that protests would bring about positive change in Egypt.
The Voice of Russia,16 June, 2012 – Morsi’s renouncement of ties with Assad accords with Western polices – analysts…..The recent decision of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to cut diplomatic ties with Syria is “harmonious” with the Western policies against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad
The Telegraph (UK), 30 Aug 2012– Morsi tells Iran that Syria’s Assad must go….In a key diplomatic snub, Egypt’s new leader used his first visit to Iran to tell his hosts they had chosen the wrong side in the Syrian civil war…..Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood official who became Egypt’s first democratically elected president in June, aroused concern in the west that his decision to attend a meeting of the non-aligned movement in Tehran marked a shift in the country’s pro-western foreign policy….But he used his keynote speech to the meeting to call on the Assad regime in Syria, Iran’s closest ally, to step down. “We should all express our full support to the struggle of those who are demanding freedom and justice in Syria and translate our sympathies into a clear political vision that supports peaceful transfer to a democratic system,” he said….As he spoke, the Syrian foreign minister, Walid al-Muallem, walked out. He told state television that Mr Morsi’s speech interfered in Syrian internal affairs and “incited continued bloodshed”….Mr Morsi’s attendance at the conference represented the first visit by an Egyptian president to Tehran since the 1979 Iranian revolution put the two countries on opposite sides in the struggle between America and its allies and the so-called “axis of resistance”….But he has also been keen to insist that while the new Egypt will be open to all countries in the Middle East, it will stick to old agreements, including the peace deal with Israel.
During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of. To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing coverup is more than any government has the right to demand. Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me. — Daniel Somers, whistleblower
Somers served in Joint Special Operations Command in a unit in Mosul from 2006-2007. He ran the Northern Iraq Intelligence Center and was a senior analyst for Levant, which oversaw operations in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and part of Turkey.
by Bryce Covert on Jun 2, 2013
On ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Huffington Post Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington confronted former White House Senior Advisor David Plouffe over the Obama administration’s record on deportation. In the midst of the conversations around the IRS scandal and the Department of Justice going after leaks to journalists, Huffington said there is “a lot of scandal” in the debate over immigration:
HUFFINGTON: It’s what the Obama administration is doing with deportation… More people have been deported over the Obama administration than over the whole two terms of George Bush. And we’ve had, for example, since 2010, 200,000 parents of American citizens being deported for minor offenses. This is a real tragedy. And [if this were] being done under George Bush, Democrats would have been up in arms.
In response, Plouffe told Huffington, “We’re enforcing the law, taking border security seriously. There’s been adjustments. The action on the DREAM Act, those kids should not be sent home. We need a solution.” Continue reading
26 March, 2013 by antigoldgreece
More than 3.000 people chanting slogans against Eldorado Gold marched three kilometres from the village of Megali Panagia to the location where the first clash of anti-mining protestors with the riot police took place one year ago. This was the last in a series of powerful demonstrations against gold mining that took place in the last couple of weeks in Alexandroupoli, Komotini and Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, where an unprecedented 20.000 people chanted “Eldorado Gold go away now!”.
March 25 marks the anniversary of the Greek people’s uprising against the Ottoman empire. To the people of Halkidiki, it is also the anniversary of the first time their peaceful protest against the destruction of their land was met with teargas and police brutality. Read about the events of March 25, 2012 here (in greek).
Anti-gold mining protest at Skouries Halkidiki, March 25, 2013
(video with english subs)
Published on Mar 26, 2013
More than 3.000 people chanting slogans against Eldorado Gold marched three kilometres from the village of Megali Panagia to the location where the first clash of anti-mining protestors with the riot police took place one year ago. This was the last in a series of powerful demonstrations against gold mining that took place in the last couple of weeks in Alexandroupoli, Komotini and Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, where an unprecedented 20.000 people chanted “Eldorado Gold go away now!”. Continue reading
Written by Ruwayda Mustafah Rabar
5 November 2012
Kurdish political prisoners have reached their 55th day of hunger strike. There are hundreds of political prisoners on hunger strike in Turkey, and this has led to solidarity protests throughout Europe, and in particular within Turkey. Earlier yesterday [November 4, 2012], the mothers of some of the political prisoners staged a sit-in, and were met with tear-gas , as well as water canisters was sprayed directly on them. Turkish mainstream media and governmental ministers remain oblivious to unfolding anger by Kurdish people, and their disregard for a political settlement of Turkey’s Kurdish question has made the situation worse. Continue reading
Protesters trickled in like salmon heading home—a few signs on the Canada Line at 5:30 in the morning, a big line up at the Bridgeport bus stop, a ferry full of protesters, all ages, a few costumes, lots of signs. I asked a man on the ferry if he planned on committing civil disobedience. “They’re having trouble figuring out what to do,” he said. “They’ve been given permission to protest on the lawn. Now they’re thinking about driving stakes into the lawn because that’s illegal.”
Eric Boyum, an eco-tourism operator in the Great Bear Rainforest offered a ride to several of us so we could avoid the over packed buses in Schwartz Bay. Boyum stated that tankers would destroy his business, Ocean Adventures, without an oil spill.
“The tankers would travel right through where I operate. They won’t be attractive to tourists.” Protecting his business is not his primary motivation.
“The First Nations in the area are like family to me,” he said. “They’ve subsisted there for thousands of years. Tankers are the biggest threat to their way of life that they’ve ever had.” He also feels responsible for the natural world. “Someone has to speak out for the animals,” he said. “The whales, bears and salmon don’t have a voice in this, but we can fight for them.” Continue reading
by Ruwayda Mustafah Rabar, Global Voices Online
On 21 October 2012
Hundreds of Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey have entered an indefinite hunger strike . The non-violent protest has gone unnoticed by international media agencies and human rights organisations. One activist, who has been vocal about this protest, says the hunger strike demands the following:
@hevallo:  Releasing Kurdish leader of Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) rebels to negotiate a peace settlement
@hevallo : Freedom to use Kurdish language in public sphere
@hevallo:  Political settlement for the Kurdish question in Turkey
Today marks the 40th day of their hunger strike, and since their start there has been very little information about the prisoners on hunger strike, and their demands in media outlets. Al Jazeera’s The Stream  has showed some interest to highlight the hunger strike, while other media agencies that respond to social networking demands have remained silent. Continue reading
by Ruwayda Mustafah Rabar, 17 October 2012
Hundreds of Kurdish political prisoners have entered an indefinite hunger strike, challenging Turkey’s treatment of Kurdish political prisoners. Through their protest, some are demanding re-trials and language rights while others want to raise international attention about Turkey’s treatment of Kurdish political prisoners. Despite their hunger strike, which is nearing six weeks, international media outlets have largely remained silent. This is not particularly surprising, since domestic media outlets in Turkey have both ignored the hunger strikes, and refused to report on them.
A Kurdish blogger explains how the protests began. Memed Boran, currently residing in London, says ;
On 12th September 2012, nine women prisoners in Diyarbakir E type prison began an indefinite hunger-strike. In the statement they made via lawyers they highlighted two demands: the right to use their Kurdish mother tongue in the public sphere, including court and the removal of obstacles preventing imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan from negotiating in peace talks with the Turkish state. Soon after, many other inmates, men and women, from prisons in every corner of Turkey began joining the hunger-strike; sometimes in groups and in certain prisons individually. Now there are 380 prisoners in 39 prisons who are on what has surpassed a hunger-strike and become a ‘death fast.’
The number of Kurdish political prisoners is unknown, but according to Human Rights agencies there are thousands of political prisoners in Turkey, and this had led activists to believe that all of them, or rather significant number of them are on hunger strike. Elif  from Turkey, Istanbul says the media has chosen to ignore Kurds on hunger strike, and that many of them may soon die.
One Pro-Kurdish rights activist, who tweets under @Hevallo  has been desperately trying to get people on Twitter to send Vitamin B1 tablets to the prisoners on hunger strike, in an attempt to minimise the damage to their bodies, and the potentially inevitable consequence, death.
On Facebook Sedat Yezdan says:
In the last 3 years Turkish state has arrested more than 10,000 Kurds, who are students, children, mothers, activists, journalists, lawyers, doctors, mayors, MPs, and many people who are member of Peace & Democracy Party(BDP).
Hunger strikes are a form of non-violent protest, and despite the ongoing and large number of hunger strikers, Turkish media has willfully ignored their plight, perhaps hoping that through their silence the international human rights agencies will also follow a similar path. The lack of interviews with prisoners on hunger strikes has facilitated a justification for media outlets to ignore it, particularly journalists who complain about the lack of resources available.
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
[The views and voice of the Syrian revolutionary left has been difficult to hear amidst the clamor of contending distortions by international media--whether Western, Russian, Chinese, or from within the Middle East. We are seeking more information from popular secular forces involved in the uprising--including more information about the revolutionary left forces. The following is an important statement and analysis by the Revolutionary Left in Syria, detailing the role and relations of the various forces within Syria and of the world imperialist and regional forces who have been attempting to seize control of the uprising. We will report further materials confirming and contextualizing this, as they become available. -- Frontlines ed.]
“The major Western imperialists powers, and other world imperialist powers such as Russia and China, as well as regional ones such as Iran and Turkey, in their entirety and without exception, continue to try to implement a Yemeni-type solution in Syria – in other words, to cut off the head of the regime, the dictator Bashar Al Assad, while keeping its structure intact, as was witnessed during meetings between U.S. and Russian officials, or at the international conference in June 30 in Geneva. The only sticking point is the Russian position of still trying by all means to keep Assad in power, but Russia may sacrifice this in the near future to protect its interests in Syria. The United States in turn has repeatedly expressed its desire to preserve the structure of the military and security services intact.” – from the Open Letter of the Syrian Revolutionary left
The resistance of the Syrian people has not ceased to grow since the revolutionary process began in March 2011. The struggle of the Syrian people is part of the popular struggles in Tunisia and Egypt, which has spread to other countries in the region.
Similarly, the Syrian revolutionary process is part of the global anti-capitalist struggles. The “Indignados” or “occupied” movements and occupations have taken their inspiration from the Arab revolutions. More than 700 cities in over 70 countries have resonated and for some still resonate of slogans and demands of a movement that demonstrates against poverty and the power of finance. In the same time, the resistance of the Greek people against the dictates imposed by financial agencies and notations is also a battle for dignity and social justice, but also the emancipation against the capitalist order and not its submission, joining the struggles of the peoples of the region.
The Syrian uprising, arising out of the global financial and economic crisis is also a revolt against the neoliberal policies imposed by the authoritarian regime, and encouraged by international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB).
The neoliberal policies were used to dismantle and to weaken increasingly the public services in the country, to the removal of subsidies, especially for basic necessities, while accelerating the privatization process, often in favor of the ruling and bourgeois classes linked to the political power.
The neoliberal reforms of the regime have encouraged a policy based on the reception and the welcoming of foreign direct investment, the development of exports and of the service sector, especially tourism. The repressive apparatus of this country has served as a “security agent” for these companies, protecting them of all disorders or social demands. This State has played the role of matchmaker for foreign capital and multinationals, while ensuring the enrichment of a bourgeois class linked to the regime.
The ills and consequences of these neoliberal policies in Syria are numerous. This includes the high rate of unemployment, particularly among young university graduates who cannot find opportunities in an economy now focused on low value-added jobs, and where skilled labor is scarce, or characterized by underemployment, a direct consequence of these measures. Continue reading
Global Peace & Justice Auckland Media Release: Picketing South Africa 20 years on…
17 August 2012
For the first time in 20 years New Zealanders will picket a South African
government institution in Auckland tomorrow in protest at yesterday’s killing
of striking mine-workers by South African police.
The appalling scenes where up to 18 workers were shot dead are reminiscent of
the darkest days of apartheid – the Sharpeville massacre of 1960 and the
murder of black school children in Soweto in June 1976 come immediately to
The precise details of the killings are unclear but irrespective of this the
blame lies squarely with the ANC government which has been in power for 18
years while conditions have become worse for most South Africans.
The mineworkers strike and the struggle for decent housing, health, incomes
and education are the same struggles the ANC once supported but have turned
their backs on since gaining power.
They have betrayed the core principles of the historic “Freedom Charter” and
instead followed free-market economic policies which has meant little change
in the lives of the poorest South Africans while a wealthy elite, which
includes a few black faces now, has become obscenely rich.
Race-based apartheid has been replaced with economic apartheid.
New Zealanders didn’t protest on the streets to pave the way for a small
number of black millionaires to be created at the expense of the majority.
Last year in a withering attack on the ANC Bishop Desmond Tutu said the ANC
government was in some ways worse than the old apartheid regime and told South
African President Jacob Zuma that the day would come when people would pray
for the defeat of the ANC.
For many that day can’t come soon enough.
The picket will be held outside the new South African consulate in Auckland at
1 Kimberley Road, Epsom, Auckland from 2pm tomorrow, Saturday 18th August.
Included on the picket line will be some veterans of the anti-apartheid
Ph (09) 8463173 (H)
|An estimated 80,000 men, women and even children are being held in solitary confinement on any given day in US prisons.|
|10 August 2012|
Russell “Maroon” Shoats has been kept in solitary confinement in the state of Pennsylvania for 30 years after being elected president of the prison-approved Lifers’ Association. He was initially convicted for his alleged role in an attack authorities claim was carried out by militant black activists on the Fairmont Park Police Station in Philadelphia that left a park sergeant dead.
Despite not having violated prison rules in more than two decades, state prison officials refuse to release him into the general prison population.
Russell’s family and supporters claim that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC) has unlawfully altered the consequences of his criminal conviction, sentencing him to die in solitary confinement – a death imposed by decades of no-touch torture.
The severity of the conditions he is subjected to and the extraordinary length of time they have been imposed for has sparked an international campaign to release him from solitary confinement – a campaign that has quickly attracted the support of leading human rights legal organisations, such as the Centre for Constitutional Rights and the National Lawyers Guild.
Less than two months after the campaign was formally launched with events in New York City and London, Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, agreed to make an official inquiry into Shoats’ 21 years of solitary confinement, sending a communication to the US State Department representative in Geneva, Switzerland.
What the liberals won’t tell you
While the state of Pennsylvania has remained unmoved in this matter so far, some in the US government are finally catching on. Decades after rights activists first began to refer to the practice of solitary confinement as “torture”, the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on the constitution, civil rights and human rights held a hearing on June 19 to “reassess” the fiscal, security and human costs of locking prisoners into tiny, windowless cells for 23 hours a day.
Needless to say, the hearing echoed in a whisper what human rights defenders have been shouting for nearly an entire generation: that sensory deprivation, lack of social contact, a near total absence of zeitgebers and restricted access to all intellectual and emotional stimuli are an evil and unproductive combination.
The hearing opened a spate of debate: with newspapers in Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Ohio and elsewhere seizing the occasion to denounce the practice as “torture” and call for a reversal of a 30-year trend that has shattered – at a minimum – tens of thousands of people’s lives inside the vast US prison archipelago.
But as happens with virtually all prison-related stories in the US mainstream media, the two most important words were left unprinted, unuttered: race and revolution. Continue reading
[The world-wide economic crisis has brought extreme repression and mass suffering to every region. Often, mass unemployment is coupled with intensified exploitation in slave-like conditions of migrants, who also face attacks by racist, xenophobic gangs. The following statement, from the Communist Party of Greece (Marxist-Leninist), speaks to the recent attacks on migrants in Athens, Greece. It is posted here in an unofficial English translation. -- Frontlines ed.]
from Αντίσταση στις γειτονιές (Neighborhood Resistance website), August 6, 2012
The recent anti-immigrant operation to remove migrants revealed the racist crimes of the government.
By order of the Prime Minister Samaras, police entered homes, stopped and seized all immigrants of color. According to figures given, Saturday, August 4 of the 4900 arrests made, the arrests of 1130 were charged with “illegal residence” in the country.
Minister Dendias arrogantly explained the pogrom as a measure to safeguard the human rights of migrants. On the other hand it is a clear intention of the government to distract the masses from the real cause of their problems, as reflected in his speech in parliament in which Dendias characterizes the immigrant as the ‘biggest problem of the economy.” He promotes nationalist delusions of the baptism of the Golden Dawn, claiming that immigrants and immigrant invaders “challenge national well-being” — which if not addressed “threatens the complete deterioration of society”!
The brutality against immigrants complements the profile of unpopular government so far has shown clearly that the policy towards the people when he fights against real enemies, they will be enforcing the “legitimacy” of terrorism and repression. Migrant workers as any worker, generate wealth and jobs. Migrants are not “a drain or danger” but instead contribute to the economy. Which they need to cruelly exploit — and now condemn as most “dangerous” for the country. But, in fact, it is capital and imperialism that endangers the people and the country.
It is the duty of all leftists, democrats and all conscious workers of the country to condemn the racist pogroms and atrocities against immigrants, the most oppressed part of the working class. And simultaneously expose the bourgeoisie as the real enemies of the people and workers.
[Produced three years ago, this video report from New York-based Free Speech Radio News, provided an interesting view of the Maoist base in what the Indian bourgeois media calls (with some hyperbole) "the red corridor." -- Frontlines ed.]
produced December 25, 2009
Report on Black People Executed without Trial by Police, Security Guards and Self-Appointed Law Enforcers — January 1 – June 30, 2012.
This report was produced for the “No More Trayvon Martins Campaign”, demanding a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice. This is the 2nd Major report of the Campaign. Download this report as a PDF using this link.
A human rights crisis confronts Black people in the United States. Since January 1, 2012, police and a much smaller number of security guards and self-appointed vigilantes have murdered at least 110 Black women and men. These killings are definitely not accidental or random acts of violence or the work of rogue cops. As we noted in our April 6th, 2012 “Trayvon Martin is All of US!” Report (see http://mxgm.org/trayvon-martin-is-all-of-us/), the use of deadly force against Black people is standard practice in the United States, and woven into to the very fabric of the society.
The corporate media have given very little attention to these extrajudicial killings. We call them “extrajudicial” because they happen without trial or any due process, against all international law and human rights conventions. Those few mainstream media outlets that mention the epidemic of killings have been are unwilling to acknowledge that the killings are systemic – meaning they are embedded in institutional racism and national oppression. On the contrary, nearly all of the mainstream media join in a chorus that sings the praises of the police and read from the same script that denounces the alleged “thuggery” of the deceased. Sadly, too many people believe the police version of events and the media’s “blame-the-victim” narratives that justify and support these extrajudicial killings.
However, we have studied each of the reports of these deaths including false, implausible and inconsistent claims by police and witness reports that contradict police reports. From this study and many peoples’ experience, we must reject the corporate media’s rationalization for the horrible fact that in the first six months of this year, one Black person every 40 hours was executed. This wanton disregard for Black life resulted in the killing of 13 year-old children, fathers taking care of their kids, women driving the wrong cars, as well as people with mental health and drug problems. Continue reading