China protesters clash with police in Huzhou

(AFP) – BEIJING — Thousands of people have clashed with police and smashed cars in eastern China after protests over taxes turned violent, a rights group said Thursday, while authorities put the number in the hundreds.

Several police were hurt in the riots, which began as a protest by business owners over taxes in the eastern Chinese city of Huzhou in Zhejiang province, according to an official statement posted on a local government website.

Authorities said 600 people were involved in Wednesday’s protests, but local witnesses, bloggers and a Hong Kong rights group put the number of protestors in the thousands and said there were large numbers of police on the streets.

“At least 100 cars have been smashed, including 10 police cars, and one armoured police car has been burned,” the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said in a statement. Continue reading

The Guardian (UK): “The US departure from Iraq is an illusion”

[The US insists that wherever its troops go, they must operate with impunity–immunity from prosecution or any accountability.  In time, this makes the going difficult for the local “native” politicians and administrators of war zones and military occupations, whose precarious illegitimate authority requires invoking national sovereignty and NOT total submission to foreign invaders.  So, despite the Obama administration pressing the imperial demand for immunity for US soldiers, the Iraqi government could not publicly submit.  Obama attempted to turn this defeat for imperial dictates into an announcement that he is pulling all US troops out of Iraq by the end of this year, thereby fulfilling his “anti-war” pledge of the 2008 campaign.  Which could, superficially, look like a win-win for warmakers and peacemakers–except for the fact that it’s not true, as this article from the British “The Guardian” explains. — Frontlines ed.]

39,000 soldiers will leave Iraq this year, but US military control will continue in such guises as security and training

, guardian.co.uk,

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Barack Obama has announced that US troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of this year. Photograph: Khalid Mohammed/AP

Barack Obama has made good on one of his election promises, announcing: “After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.” The Iraqis’ assertion of their sovereignty – meaning no legal immunity for US troops – was the deal-breaker, and 39,000 US soldiers will leave Iraq by the end of the year.

Jonathan Steele wrote that the Iraq war was over and the US had learned “that putting western boots on the ground in a foreign war, particularly in a Muslim country, is madness”. Yet this madness may continue in a different guise, as there is a huge gap between rhetoric and reality surrounding the US departure from Iraq. In fact, there are a number of avenues by which the US will be able to exert military influence in the country.

These can be divided into four main categories:

Embassy, consulates and private security contractors

The US embassy – the largest and most expensive in the world – is in a green zone of its own in Baghdad, supplied by armed convoys and generating its own water and electricity, and treating its own sewage. At 104 acres, the embassy is almost the same size as Vatican City. It is here that the US is transforming its military-led approach into one of muscular diplomacy.

State department figures show that some 17,000 personnel will be under the jurisdiction of the US ambassador. In addition, there are also consulates in Basra, Mosul and Kirkuk, which have been allocated more than 1,000 staff each. Crucially, all these US staff, including military and security contractors, will have diplomatic immunity. Essentially, the Obama administration is reaping the political capital of withdrawing US troops while hedging the impact of the withdrawal with an increase in private security contractors working for a diplomatic mission unlike any other on the planet. Continue reading

Comrades in Cairo send solidarity, and advice, to Occupy Wall Street

by Anonymous on October 25, 2011

To all those in the United States currently occupying parks, squares and other spaces, your comrades in Cairo are watching you in sol­i­dar­ity. Having received so much advice from you about tran­si­tion­ing to democracy, we thought it’s our turn to pass on some advice.

Indeed, we are now in many ways involved in the same struggle. What most pundits call “The Arab Spring” has its roots in the demon­stra­tions, riots, strikes and occu­pa­tions taking place all around the world, its foun­da­tions lie in years long struggles by people and popular movements. The moment that we find ourselves in is nothing new, as we in Egypt and others have been fighting against systems of repres­sion, dis­en­fran­chise­ment and the unchecked ravages of global cap­i­tal­ism (yes, we said it, cap­i­tal­ism): a System that has made a world that is dangerous and cruel to its inhab­i­tants. As the interests of gov­ern­ment increas­ingly cater to the interests and comforts of private, transna­tional capital, our cities and homes have become pro­gres­sively more abstract and violent places, subject to the casual ravages of the next economic devel­op­ment or urban renewal scheme.

An entire gen­er­a­tion across the globe has grown up realizing, ratio­nally and emo­tion­ally, that we have no future in the current order of things. Living under struc­tural adjust­ment policies and the supposed expertise of inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tions like the World Bank and IMF, we watched as our resources, indus­tries and public services were sold off and dis­man­tled as the “free market” pushed an addiction to foreign goods, to foreign food even. The profits and benefits of those freed markets went elsewhere, while Egypt and other countries in the South found their immis­er­a­tion rein­forced by a massive increase in police repres­sion and torture. Continue reading

Growing ‘Occupy’ movement makes China nervous

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

by Mark Mackinnon, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Beijing—According to a Chinese joke, there are three parts to any newscast on the official Central China Television station.

The message in the first block of stories on each night’s news is: Your leaders worked hard today. This is proven with eye-glazing footage of President Hu Jintao and other top Communist Party officials meeting foreign dignitaries, ordinary Chinese people and each other.

For those still awake when the second block of stories airs, the theme is: The Chinese people are happy. Great things are happening in the People’s Republic.

The third bit is the counterpoint to the second chunk, and the message is equally simple: The rest of the world is in chaos. Europe is falling apart! The Arab world is on fire! Aren’t you glad you live in China?

When the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations began on Sept. 17, it nicely fit into the third block of that news agenda. American capitalism, China’s great rival, was in crisis (although it does put a few million people here to work), and the masses were taking to the streets against it. Continue reading

Police Fire Tear Gas, Flash Grenades as Occupy Oakland fights Tent City Eviction

[After scenes and statements from the Oakland streets, Democracy Now interviews an activist from the Oscar Grant struggle (against police abuse and killings) who links the long struggle for justice with the current battle, and a county Supervisor from San Francisco, who is trying to prevent any similar police suppression of Occupy San Francisco. — Frontlines ed.]

Democracy Now, October 26

The attack on Occupy Oakland–the police, the mayor, the blood and gas of Babylon

Plan to break up Occupy Oakland camp took a week

Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross, San Francisco Chronicle Columnists

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oakland began preparing to dismantle the Occupy camp in front of City Hall a week ago, when interim Police Chief Howard Jordan and City Administrator Deanna Santana put out the call for neighboring jurisdictions to provide some of the hundreds of cops who wound up being mustered early Tuesday.

On Friday, two days after those two had set the process in motion, Mayor Jean Quan abandoned her initial support for the protest and came to the same conclusion as they had: The camp was a hazard to public safety and health, and had to go.

The questions were how, and when.

First up, timing. It would take at least five days to arrange the influx of police from other jurisdictions, and anyway, Occupy forces were planning a big march Saturday. That meant Monday at the earliest.

In the meantime, the plan was to try to thin the crowd by sending in social workers to lure away some of the hard-core homeless who had joined the campers.

On Monday, fire officials went through removing propane tanks that could serve as weapons against police.

By then, Quan had gotten out of Dodge – flying to Washington for long-scheduled meetings designed to raise money for developing the old Oakland Army Base.

The mayor, who has been taking hits over her public safety policies, was concerned about how it would look for her to be out of town when the cops made their move – but not concerned enough to cancel, feeling that her new police chief could handle the situation.

——————————-

[Here, from CBS and AP,  the official story, including fabricated justifications,  from the police-embedded journalists. — Frontlines ed.]
…………………………………
October 26, 2011

Tension remains after “Occupy Oakland” clashes

Occupy Wall Street protesters run from tear gas deployed by police at 14th Street and Broadway in Oakland, Calif., Oct. 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Darryl Bush)
(CBS/AP)OAKLAND, Calif. – The scene was calm but tense early Wednesday as a crowd of hundreds of protesters dwindled to just a few dozen at the site of several clashes between authorities and supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement a night earlier.Police in riot gear stood watch only a few yards away from a group of stalwart demonstrators in the aftermath of skirmishes in front of City Hall that resulted in five volleys of tear gas from police, in blasts that seemed to intensify with each round, over a roughly three-hour stretch of evening scuffles.The conflict began much earlier in the day when police dismantled an encampment of Occupy Wall Street protesters that had dominated a plaza across the street from the government building for more than two weeks.

Police fired tear gas and beanbag rounds, clearing out the makeshift city in less than an hour.

Hours after nightfall Tuesday evening, protesters had gathered at a downtown library and began marching toward City Hall in an attempt to re-establish a presence in the area of the disbanded camp.

They were met by police officers in riot gear. Several small skirmishes broke out and officers cleared the area by firing tear gas.

The scene repeated itself several times just a few blocks away in front of the plaza, where police set up behind metal barricades, preventing protesters from gaining access to the site.

Tensions would build as protesters edged ever closer to the police line and reach a breaking point with a demonstrator hurling a bottle or rock, prompting police to respond with another round of gas.

The chemical haze hung in the air for hours, new blasts clouding the air before the previous fog could dissipate.

The number of protesters diminished with each round of tear gas. Police estimated that there were roughly 1,000 demonstrators at the first clash following the march, at least one of whom was injured when what appeared to be a tear gas canister hit his head, reports CBS News correspondent John Blackstone.

About 200 remained after the final conflict around 11:15 PDT, mostly young adults, some riding bicycles, protecting themselves from the noxious fumes with bandanas and scarves wrapped around their faces.

Police have denied reports that they used flash bang canisters to help break up the crowds, saying the loud noises came from large firecrackers thrown at police by protesters. Continue reading

Dominican Republic: Police killed 2,367 people in 5 years

Amnesty deplores police abuse in Dominican Republic

By TOM BROWN | REUTERS

Oct 25, 2011

SANTO DOMINGO: Amnesty International issued a scathing report on the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, saying its national police force was responsible for killing and torturing with impunity.

The police force was responsible for an average of 15 percent of recorded violent deaths each year in the Dominican Republic from 2005 to 2010, according to the report.

“That proportion is alarming and raises significant concerns that police frequently employ disproportionate force with deadly consequences,” the report said.

The London-based human rights group said police abuse in the Caribbean nation came against the backdrop of a surge in violent crime linked to drug trafficking, a proliferation of firearms and growing social inequality.

It said “hard-line policing methods” were contributing to escalating violence and crime rather than helping to curb it and that police abuse had flourished due to inadequate government oversight and reforms. Continue reading

Kashmiri Rights advocates fighting dismissal from US university

Pro-Chatterji protest movement mounts

Special Report

BRUSSELS: Two internationally known humanist educationists, Prof Angana Chatterji and Prof Richard Shapiro who have been suspended by their respective institutions have attracted world wide sympathies for them and condemnation for their suspension.

Kashmir Watch is receiving public protest petitions; Following is one such open petitition filed by Rafique Khan:-

“I am writing to request that you join in solidarity with students of the Social and Anthropology Department of the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) who are protesting the unjust suspension of two highly distinguished professors, Richard Shapiro and Angana Chatterji.

Professor Chatterji, a faculty member in the Social and Cultural Anthropology Department at San Francisco based CIIS, is renowned for her cutting-edge research on the rise of Hinduvata in India, documented in her 2009 book, “Violent Gods” (published by Three Essays Collective) and Mass Graves in Kashmir (http:www.kashmirprocess.org).

Recent news headlines on the discovery of mass graves in Kashmir resulted from a report issues by the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission. The Commission’s report confirmed a 3-year long research effort led by Professor Chatterjee, as co-convener of the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in the Indian-administered Kashmir. Continue reading

(Superficial) Apology reignites conversation about ousted Guatemalan leader

By Mariano Castillo, CNN
October 22, 2011

(CNN) — Jacobo Arbenz was overthrown as president of Guatemala in a CIA-backed coup in 1954, a seminal event that historians say set the Central American country on a path of dictatorships and civil war that would last for decades.

Even though he was democratically elected and popular at the time, after he was deposed, his reputation was ruined and he was written out of Guatemala’s history books. He died in exile in 1971.

This week, 57 years later, current President Alvaro Colom made a public apology to the Arbenz family, a large gesture in Guatemala. But there is a larger rehabilitation of the image of Arbenz underway. Textbooks are being rewritten and a new biography will soon be published. But this clearing of Arbenz’s reputation does not console everyone. Some ask: When will the United States, which was behind the coup, apologize for its meddling?

“As president of the republic, as commander-in-chief of the army, I want to apologize to the Arbenz family for that great crime committed on the 27th of June of 1954,” Colom said Thursday. “Guatemala changed that day, and we haven’t yet recovered.”

The apology “doesn’t have a lot of resonance in the United States — though it should,” said Stephen Schlesinger, an Adjunct Fellow at the Century Foundation and co-author of a book on the 1954 coup.

The United States, after all, was the one behind the event. Continue reading

Israeli military and settlers interrupt olive harvest celebration in Hebron

by Badia Dwaik, mondoweiss.net

October 24, 2011

The event was held in the land surrounding the Al- Sumood Centre on the beautiful hill overlooking the city. The coordinator of the youth movement and member of the council of students Murad Amro, invited the collection of students, who arrived in their droves, donning Palestinian state scarves and optimistic excitement.Youth Against Settlements (YAS) are a grassroots organisation who’s main objective is to engage the community in non-violent resistance, actions and to support and protect the local community and families against the abuse and provocations they endure daily from the settlers and Israeli Occupation Force (IOF), who are illegally residing in the centre of the city. YAS involve the locals in many community events, from teaching international languages, training in media to life skills and protests, one of which involved changing the name of Shuhada to Apartheid Street.

Olive harvesting is an ancient tradition and one which not only benefits Palestinians through stimulating local economy and supporting families in their steadfastness, but furthermore since the occupation of the country, it has political value. Since 2000, 1.3 million olive trees have been burnt, cut down and destroyed, so therefore it is of upmost importance for locals and internationals to support the families and to protect their land from such attacks. Continue reading

Nepal: Revolutionary Maoist Gajurel: “Dahal and Bhattarai will be expelled”

Dahal and Bhattarai will be expelled from party: Gajurel
Tuesday, 25 October 2011, nepalnews.com
CP Gajurel

CP Gajurel

In what signals the growing crisis within the main ruling UCPN (Maoist), party secretary C.P Gajurel Tuesday went on to accuse party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai of being ‘anti-national’ and that the two “have no right to stay in the party”.

Speaking at a programme in Sindhuli Tuesday, Gajurel warned that the chairman Dahal and PM Bhattarai will be ousted from party for undermining the revolutionary path of the party.

“Dahal and Bhattarai acted as agents of the India and discredited the people’s revolt. They have no right to stay in the Maoist party,” the tough-talking Maoist hardliner said.

Gajurel insisted that the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) signed with India proved the ‘anti-national’ character of Dahal and Bhattarai.

He even claimed that the party will organise a formal programme to announce the ouster of Dahal and Bhattarai from the party. nepalnews.com

Occupy Oakland activists call for solidarity after police violence

by Jesse S, Indybay
Tuesday Oct 25th, 2011 8:00 AM

“The camp looks like a tornado went through it. Everything is destroyed, and it is currently occupied by hundreds of police.”

IndyBay spoke with Tim, an organizer with Occupy Oakland, at 7:45am on Tuesday, just a few hours after numerous police agencies raided the encampment, using rubber bullets, tear gas and flash-bang grenades against activists, before arresting dozens of them.This is what he said:

“Around 2am word spread that riot police were massing in around the area where Occupy Oakland has been for more than two weeks. Hundreds of people gathered and began to make non-violent barricades at all the entrances to the plaza.

At about 4:30am, riot police appeared on all corners of the encampment. There were roughly 500 to 700 riot police in total.

The entire plaza was completely barricaded on all sides, with palates, trash cans, chairs, a gigantic christmas wreath, police barricades from a neighboring street.

Occupiers began chanting ‘go home’ as they always do when police show up at Occupy Oakland, but it quickly became clear that there was an overwhelming number of police from at least four different jurisdictions.

As people continued to chant and fell back within the barricade, off of the street, the police announced that we would be arrested within the encampment. They said [they’d use force to disperse demonstrators within] five minutes, and within a minute they fired the first rounds of flash-bang grenades and rubber bullets, and then tear gas into the camp, hitting and injuring multiple people. Continue reading