Oakland Police Shoot Oscar Grant’s Cousin

by Jorge Rivas, Colorlines.com, Wednesday, February 22 2012

Over the weekend Oakland Police seriously injured 24-year-old Tony Jones after they shot him in the back. Jones’ mother says he is a cousin of Oscar Grant — the Hayward man killed by a BART police officer on Jan. 1, 2009.

“I talked to my son. My son said ‘Momma, the officers [are] lying. They watched me get out of the car. They watched me walk. They started speeding up and I took off running across the street and when I took off running and I heard the gun go pow, pow, pow,’” Jones’ mother Betrina Works-Grant told KGO. “He said he was running with his hands like this [at his sides]. The police shot at him and shot him in his back. They never said they [were] the police.” Continue reading

Nepal: As leaders abandon revolutionary path, “disqualified” and disarmed veteran fighters prepare a new wave of struggle

Disqualified PLAs to enforce bandh

by TIKA R PRADHAN, Himalayan Times, 2012-02-21

KATHMANDU: A day after a section of the Young Communist League, youth wing of the UCPN-Maoist, announced that they would stage a sit-in at the party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s residence and the party headquarters, the struggle committee of the disqualified Maoist fighters today called an indefinite Nepal Bandh from March 4.

“Since both the party and the government paid no heed to our demands, we have no other way but to resort to indefinite Nepal Bandh,” said Krishna Prasad Dangal, coordinator of the struggle committee of the Former Disqualified People’s Liberation Army Nepal. “We will announce the struggle plan amid a press conference at Jana Sanchar Abhiyan tomorrow.”

Dangal informed that regional struggle committees would also organise press conferences and stage torch rallies before enforcing the bandh. Continue reading

Greece: Bloated military and economic collapse

[Some may suggest that Greece pay back its creditors in rusty tanks and leaky submarines–not Euros. — Frontlines ed.]
——————————
February 21, 2012

Sell Them Tanks, Then Call Them Profligate

Germans, French Were Keen to Sell Arms to Greece

by PATRICK COCKBURN, writing for Counterpunch

Athens — As Greeks waited for a second eurozone rescue package to finally be agreed in Brussels today, many were blaming Germany and France for encouraging and benefiting from some of the much-criticized profligate spending that reduced Greece to near bankruptcy.

About 1000 protesters gathered in front of the Greek Parliament in central Athens yesterday, while riot police waited to see if there would be a fresh confrontation. But, in general, Greeks are resigned to the new package of austerity measures which will cut jobs in public service and slash pensions and the minimum wage.

Hopes are high that the eurozone ministers’ meeting today will agree to the €130 billion bailout after Athens detailed the new budget cuts.

While most Greeks are critical of the reforms on which the troika of the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank are insisting, many also feel that Germany and France share some of the blame for Greece’s overspending.

Over much of the past decade, Greece – which has a population of 11 million – has been one of the top five arms importers in the world. Continue reading

Philippines: “US wants to setup a mini-Subic to accomodate rotating American troops”–CPP

[The Japanese Kyodo News Agency reported, “Defense Secretary Leon Panetta indicated Tuesday that the United States is considering moving some of its Marines in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture to the Philippines as part of efforts to diversify their deployment on a rotational basis….Noting the importance of maintaining a military presence in the Pacific region, Panetta told a hearing of the Senate Arms Services Committee, ‘We’ve just developed an agreement with Australia to do a rotational presence there. We’re working with the Philippines on hopefully a similar arrangement there as well.’ …..Giving up the initial plan to transfer some 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, the Pentagon is now considering moving about 4,700 Marines from Okinawa to Guam and 3,300 to elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.”  After this news was reported, the Communist Party of the Philippines issued the following statement, with important background information. — Frontlines ed.]
——————————————————————————————

Before its closure 20 years ago, the US Naval Base Subic Bay was the largest Navy base overseas, and a hub of activity during the imperialist war on Vietnam. Today the US seeks to re-establish a permanent presence in the Philippines, as military attention is focusing anew on the Asia-Pacific region

Information Bureau, Communist Party of the Philippines

Press Release, February 16, 2012
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today assailed the US government for seeking to establish another Subic Naval Base in the Philippines, a little smaller perhaps, to service ships and troops being “rotated” in the Asia-Pacific region.
“US plans to setup a mini-Subic military base, service facility or exclusive dock in the Philippines have become increasingly apparent as officials of the Obama government announced it is going to rotate at least 3,300 troops from its Okinawa base in Australia, Singapore, Hawaii and the Philippines.
Testifying before the US Senate Armed Forces Committee, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the Obama government is working to forge an agreement with the Aquino regime similar with that forged with Australia allowing the US military to regularly dock American warships and maintain “rotational” presence.
US officials have announced earlier that it had scrapped initial plans to transfer its 8,000 troops based in Okinawa to its base in Guam, an American territory. Instead, it now plans to transfer only 4,700 troops to Guam and have the rest of its Okinawa-based forces “rotated” in the Asia-Pacific countries.
“The plan to set up facilities in the Philippines for the regular docking of American warships will practically bring back American military bases in the country,” said the CPP. “The US wants to use the Philippines as a platform for its power-projection, China-containment and interventionist operations in the Asia-Pacific region.”
“The biggest problem of the Filipino peopls is that the Aquino regime is all too willing to provide its masters with all the facilities it needs.”
The matter of providing facilities for American troops on rotation in the Philippines was discussed in the Strategic Defense Dialogue (SDD) meeting earlier last month between officials of the US government and the Aquino regime. Aquino’s officials have promised the American government that it would come up with concrete proposals for this plan.
An agreement to setup such a facility in the Philippines is one of the agreements that the US seeks to sign in the coming months. Such negotiations are being carried out in the dark by officials of the Obama and Aquino regimes are an affront to Philippine sovereignty.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today called on the Filipino people to vigorously oppose US imperialist machinations to set up facilities in the Philippines to accomodate thousands of American troops who are to be put on “rotation” in Asia-Pacific waters in the upcoming years.
“The Filipino people must fan the flames of patriotism and stand up against the imperialist machinations of the US to use the Philippines as a platform for their hegemonism,” said the CPP.

Japan: 58 Years later, “Bikini” Atomic Test experience speaks to Fukushima victims today

by Mamoru Shishido, Evening Edition Department, Mainichi Daily News, Mainichi, Japan

February 20, 2012

‘Bikini incident’ survivor’s story relevant today as Fukushima crisis continues

Matashichi Oishi, 78, talks about his experience as a crew member of the Daigo Fukuryu Maru at his home, where he has a photo with author and anti-nuclear activist Kenzaburo Oe hanging on the wall. (Mainichi)

Matashichi Oishi, 78, talks about his experience as a crew member of the Daigo Fukuryu Maru at his home, where he has a photo with author and anti-nuclear activist Kenzaburo Oe hanging on the wall. (Mainichi)

Eleven months since the outbreak of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), with people still living in fear of radiation exposure, I went to hear what a man who was exposed to radiation 58 years ago, had to say.

Matashichi Oishi, 78, was a crew member of the fishing boat Daigo Fukuryu Maru, or “Lucky Dragon 5,” which one day in 1954 found itself covered in the “ashes of death” from a nuclear experiment being conducted in the Pacific by the U.S., off the Bikini Atoll.

“Many people were exposed to blasting winds and extreme heat by the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” Oishi said. “As for us, we were covered in radioactive white powder that rained down from the sky, and suffered internal radiation exposure.”

It was Feb. 11, and Oishi was speaking to an audience of about 60 people attending a study session co-hosted by a civic group and the Nishitokyo Municipal Government. He’d shut down the dry cleaning business that he’d run for years in Tokyo at the end of 2010.

“I’d always been trying to share my experiences through spoken and written words, but no one would listen to a mere former fisherman-turned-launderer. But ever since the disaster in Fukushima broke out, what I have to say is no longer ‘someone else’s pitiful story,'” he said.

That Oishi characterized his ordeal — an incident which sparked Japan’s anti-nuclear activist movement — as having been viewed as “someone else’s pitiful story” is testament to the turbulent road he’d been forced to take. Continue reading

The Arab Awakening – Tweets from Tahrir

[New mobile communication technologies such as twitter have been extremely useful for youth, students, and many petty-bourgeois activists in the “Arab Spring” and its many spin-offs in North Africa and in the MiddleEast.  These communication tools have also been recounted as essential instruments, as if there would be no rebellion without tweets, and that is a ridiculous claim.  Additionally, at certain key junctures, the repressive state apparatus has been able to use these new technologies for enhanced surveillance, and at times, when popular over-reliance on twitter was detected by the police, they could systematically shut it off and prevent communications among rebel groups.  Nevertheless, this AlJazeera account of the role of Twitter and Tweets in Tahrir has fascinating insights to one part of the ongoing story of a revolution that has only taken its first step. — Frontlines ed.]

——————————————————————-

AlJazeeraEnglish on Feb 19, 2012

Cairo’s ‘Twitterati’ tweeted their revolution for 18 days from in and around Tahrir Square.

Young, urbane and highly-motivated, their tweets revealed the truth of the scale of the uprising which Egypt’s state media sought to hide, and gave a street-level, minute-by-minute account of how the persistence and bravery of the Egyptian people brought down a dictator.

Note: The book ‘Tweets From Tahrir’ by OR Books was the inspiration for this film.

French steel workers occupy ArcelorMittal plant

February 21, 2012

FLORANGE, France (Reuters) – Workers at an idled Arcelor  Mittal steel plant in northeast France occupied the site Monday, seeking to put their plight on the political map ahead of a presidential election where industrial decline is a central theme.Some 200 workers invaded management offices at the factory in Florange, in the Moselle region close to Belgium and Germany, after ArcelorMittal announced last week it was prolonging the temporary shutdown of its two blast furnaces.Unions had announced at the weekend their intention to take action and workers found the offices empty. They plan to install a tent village at site, imitating the “Occupy” anti-capitalist movement which swept Western nations in the wake of the global financial crisis.