Imprisoning undocumented immigrants isn’t ‘national security’ – it’s cruelty

Innocent children and families are being detained just like Japanese Americans were during World War II. This must stop. Photograph: David Maung/EPA

These detentions seem to be a repeat of the Japanese American internment camps – an ugly part of US history

29 June 2015

As Japanese Americans whose relatives were imprisoned as “national security threats” during World War II, we were shocked to learn that the Obama administration is contracting with private prison companies to imprison thousands of mothers and children from Central America in detention camps. This, after these families fled some of the most violent countries in the world to apply for asylum in the United States.

After visiting one of these family detention facilities, a descendant of incarcerated Japanese Americans described the place as feeling like “an updated version” of the World War II prison camps. The Japanese American Citizens League has stated that the organization is “deeply troubled by the chilling similarities between the confinement of women and children in places such as Dilley and Karnes, and the wartime treatment of Japanese Americans at places such as Manzanar, Heart Mountain and Tule Lake.” Continue reading

“Independent India” Uses British Empire’s “Sedition” Laws to Suppress Dissent

The theatrical trailer of COURT, a winner of 17 International awards  An Indian reviewer said the film is a “remarkably assured, engrossing study of the power of the law and order machinery to crush protest through delays, deferred hearings and demands for further evidence.”  Forbes magazine in India said Chaitanya Tamhane, the director, is “Indian cinema’s new voice of subversion.”

Synopsis: A sewerage worker’s dead body is found inside a manhole in Mumbai. An ageing folk singer is tried in court on charges of abetment of suicide. He is accused of performing an inflammatory song which might have incited the worker to commit the act. As the trial unfolds, the personal lives of the lawyers and the judge involved in the case are observed outside the court.

.  .  .  .  .  .

A Law Less Majestic

Sanctioned by an archaic law and other draconian legislation, “sedition against the state” is a handy tool to fell voices of dissent
Ushinor Majumdar, Outlook India Magazine, week of May 18, 2015
SEDITION  —  Section 124A, Indian Penal Code, 1860: “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India.”
Punishment: Fine, or imprisonment of three years to life. Shall be punished with 104 (im­prisonment for life), to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.
Exception: Criticism, to be determined by the judiciary
UAPA  —  Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967: Following a constitutional amendment, UAPA was enacted to “impose, by law, reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, on the (i) freedom of speech and expression (ii) right to assemble peaceably and without arms and (iii) right to form associations or unions” 

Punishment: Penalties ranging from five years to life imprisonment along with fines. If the offence leads to loss of life, a death sentence can be awarded.
Unlawful associations: Secessionist and terrorist associations; to be determined and notified by ministry of home affairs

***

Behind every man who has been labelled ‘seditious’ by the State is a law that goes back 155 years. Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code dates to 1860, three years after the British were rattled by what came to be known as the Sepoy Mutiny. There is also the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, a handy tool to silence ‘dangerous’ people with ‘dangerous’ ideas. Why, a week before it was held unconstitutional, Samajwadi Party leader and UP cabinet minister Azam Khan used Section 66A of the Information Technology Act to penalise a Class 11 student in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh.
The police are arbitrary and indiscriminate in the use of the sedition law, arresting people even for activities like singing, acting in street plays, reciting poems, painting graffiti on walls, not standing up during the national anthem or for cheering the Pakistani cricket team. These have, of course, usually accompa­nied the more serious charges of sympathising, funding or acting with Maoists or suspected terror organisations.

US Border Patrol troops’ free-fire zone over borders

[Once, when a country attacked another by force of arms, it was called WAR, and human rights violations were identified as WAR CRIMES.  Now, as the US shoots Mexicans in Mexico, it is called an approved, acceptable, police action.  It is another obscenity of arrogance and impunity.  Frontlines ed.]

mexico

US border patrol agent looks towards Mexico from the bank of the Rio Grande River. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

US border agents shouldn’t have the courts’ permission to shoot people in Mexico

If you shoot an unarmed teenage boy in the head, 3 days of administrative leave isn’t nearly enough punishment

A United States court has all but declared open season on Mexican nationals along the US-Mexico border. Border patrol agents may shoot foreign nationals in Mexico with impunity – provided that those at whom they aim are standing within feet of US territory.

According to a ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit last week, agents who shoot and kill people in Mexico while standing on US soil will never be held to account, except before their administrative agencies. No court will ever review these actions and the families of the victims will be left with no avenue for justice. An agent’s actions will not be governed or restrained by the constitution nor subject to review by US courts.

This isn’t a hypothetic situtation: all of this has already happened.

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False Claims Exposed: World Bank Is No Solution

Investigation Tears Veil Off World Bank’s “Promise” to Eradicate Poverty

by Kanya DAlmeida (united nations), Inter Press Service, Thursday, April 16, 2015

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 16 (IPS) – An expose published Thursday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its media partners has revealed that in the course of a single decade, 3.4 million people were evicted from their homes, torn away from their lands or otherwise displaced by projects funded by the World Bank.

Nearly 50 percent of the estimated 3.4 million people who were physically or economically displaced by World Bank-funded projects in the last decade were from Africa and Asia. Credit: Abdurrahman Warsameh/IPS

Over 50 journalists from 21 countries worked for nearly 12 months to systematically analyse the bank’s promise to protect vulnerable communities from the negative impacts of its own projects.

Reporters around the world – from Ghana to Guatemala, Kenya to Kosovo and South Sudan to Serbia – read through thousands of pages of World Bank records, interviewed scores of people including former Bank employees and carefully documented over 10 years of lapses in the financial institution’s practices, which have rendered poor farmers, urban slum-dwellers, indigenous communities and destitute fisherfolk landless, homeless or jobless. Continue reading

India: Political Prisoner Saibaba on Hunger Strike for Basic Rights

Press Release

Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners

Condemn The Continuing Incarceration And Violation Of The Rights And Dignity Of Political Prisoner Dr. G N Saibaba!
  • The Case Of Dr. G N Saibaba Exposes The Vindictive Nature Of A Legally Challenged System!
  • Release Dr. G N Saibaba Unconditionally!

 

Image result for Dr. GN Saibaba

Eleven months have passed after Dr. GN Saibaba was abducted from the Delhi University North Campus premises on 09 May 2014 by the Maharashtra police. Dr. Saibaba was produced in the remote far flung Aheri police station in the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border to be charged under several sections of the worst draconian legislation the UAPA. Dr. GN Saibaba, joint secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and a tireless campaigner against the policies of loot and plunder of the successive governments in India, euphemistically called as Operation Green Hunt (OGH) had become the target of ire of the state with mounting criticism from the opinionated sections of the progressive, liberal middle-class as well as the rising protests of the vast sections of the people against the so-called development policies of the government which would and is resulting in the loss of livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of dalits and adivasis—the poorest of the poor in the subcontinent.

In the last eleven months of his incarceration, Dr. Saibaba has repeatedly brought before the court as well as the jail authorities the pressing need for his grant of bail, not on any humanitarian grounds, but on the merit of law as sanctioned by the provisions that are there for the differently-abled. He has pointed out to the judge in many of the video conferences—as he was produced in the court only once and the rest of the dates of hearing / production have been met through the video conference facility, which is also a grievous infringement of his fundamental right—that the facilities in the Nagpur Central Jail are little or none to meet even the survival requirements of a 90 percent disabled and wheel chair bound person like him. But as we can see, the court preferred to stand by the prosecution, in an atmosphere vitiated by the media which profiled the wheel chair bound activist academic as a dreaded and dangerous demagogue having links with a proscribed organization, the CPI (Maoist). In the due course of his fight for justice through his lawyers, Dr. Saibaba’s plea for bail was twice rejected by the Sessions Court of Gadchiroli and once by the Nagpur bench of the Maharashtra High Court. But the facts can’t be belied. Saibaba’s concern about his fragile health grew larger as he was diagnosed with a bend spinal cord resulting in rib crowding and the lungs getting affected. Being a heart patient the troubles with his heart further compounded and the latest medical report requires him to undergo an angiography the post-recovery of which can be fatal in the prison stay. Further tests showed stones in the gall bladder. Continue reading

Germany’s broad “terrorist” claims and repression of Turkish migrants

[Amid ever-increasing repression and attacks on migrant workers and organizations internationally, in Europe the highly-coordinated multinational police forces is the instrument of these attacks, along with the media, of course.  These forces combine the European xenophobia with support for the most oppressive regimes, such as the Turkish regime of Erdogan, which has long urged European powers to suppress the large movements of Turkish and Kurdish migrants in Western European countries.  The European powers are very compliant with these urgings, as it also suppresses the migrants as an important and militant and internationalizing influence in the working class as a whole. — Frontlines ed]

Germany arrests 7 suspected TKP/ML members

Germany arrests 7 suspected TKP/ML members

Special police forces arrest suspected left-wing Turkish extremists for membership of a foreign terrorist organization.

World Bulletin / News Desk

German police have arrested seven leading members of the outlawed group Turkish Communist Party – Marxist-Leninist, the federal prosecutors’ office has said.

The German federal prosecutors’ office said on Thursday that Muslum E., the suspected leader of the TKP/ML group in Germany, and six other leading members of the outlawed organization were arrested the day before in operations carried out by special police forces.

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US Empire: Crusty, Hulking, Feet of Clay, Short of Breath and Challenged

[The clock is ticking uncomfortably fast, apparently–Frontlines} Janet L. Yellen, chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, checking the time after a financial ministers and governors photo on Friday. Credit Gary Cameron/Reuters

WASHINGTON — As world leaders converge here for their semiannual trek to the capital of what is still the world’s most powerful economy, concern is rising in many quarters that the United States is retreating from global economic leadership just when it is needed most.

The spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have filled Washington with motorcades and traffic jams and loaded the schedules of President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew. But they have also highlighted what some in Washington and around the world see as a United States government so bitterly divided that it is on the verge of ceding the global economic stage it built at the end of World War II and has largely directed ever since.

“It’s almost handing over legitimacy to the rising powers,” Arvind Subramanian, the chief economic adviser to the government of India, said of the United States in an interview on Friday. “People can’t be too public about these things, but I would argue this is the single most important issue of these spring meetings.”

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Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think

[Illusions like the “American Dream” (and the “Myth of Post-Racial America”) are useful tools for capitalist rule:  “the United States is now the most unequal of all Western nations”….”At the core of the American Dream is the belief that anyone who works hard can move up economically regardless of his or her social circumstances”…..”Our unique brand of optimism prevents us from making any real changes.”  For a long time, and especially now (as the pace of re-proletarianization of the “middle class” and as the disposability and suppression of black and brown workers continues to accelerate), this optimistic illusion has been useful to the capitalist system — useful, in keeping the masses down, “making do”, or blaming themselves for their plight, while dreaming of social mobility, or buying a lottery ticket.  —  Frontlines ed.] 
The great divide between our beliefs, our ideals, and reality
In their 2011 paper, Michael Norton and Dan Ariely analyzed beliefs about wealth inequality. They asked more than 5,000 Americans to guess the percentage of wealth (i.e., savings, property, stocks, etc., minus debts) owned by each fifth of the population. Next, they asked people to construct their ideal distributions. Imagine a pizza of all the wealth in the United States. What percentage of that pizza belongs to the top 20% of Americans? How big of a slice does the bottom 40% have? In an ideal world, how much should they have?
The average American believes that the richest fifth own 59% of the wealth and that the bottom 40% own 9%. The reality is strikingly different. The top 20% of US households own more than 84% of the wealth, and the bottom 40% combine for a paltry 0.3%. The Walton family, for example, has more wealth than 42% of American families combined.

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Oakland to Palestine Solidarity Mural

The Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural adopts the image of the tree as a central motif and global visual signifier of life and resilience to link seemingly disparate issues and distant locations. Spanning 157 feet and reaching 22 feet high, the mural is comprised of nine separate panels, where each artist or team has painted his or her own interpretation of a tree to address social and political issues. These issues include the shared histories of colonization, environmental exploitation, internal exile of indigenous peoples, resilience and resistance to these injustices. The result is a stunning public tribute to the human spirit and its unassailable right to thrive in spite of political oppression and injustice–wherever it is taking place in the world.

The twelve participating artists come from a wide array of backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures. They include from left to right, Nidal El Khairy (Palestinian); IROT (Native American); VYAL (Chicano-Native American); Emory Douglas (African American); Chris Gazaleh (Palestinian American); Erin Yoshi (Japanese American); Deadeyes (African American); SPIE (Asian American); Susan Greene (Jewish American); Dina Matar, who is participating virtually (Gaza); with support from Fred Alvarado (Latino American) and text by Miguel Bounce Perez (Chicano-Pacific Islander American).
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Israel’s Occupation Now Extended to Washington, DC

Tuesday, March 3rd, 5pm:  

Protest War Criminal Netanyahu

Israeli Consulate, 456 Montgomery St., San Francisco

No to War Criminal Netanyahu!
No New War on Iran!
End the Colonial Occupation of Palestine!
End U.S. Aid to Israel!

Israeli prime minister and notorious war criminal Binyamin Netanyahu will be addressing a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, March 3. Netanyahu has presided over many massacres of Palestinians, the latest in Gaza last summer that killed more than 2,100 women, men and children, wounded more than 10,000, and left hundreds of thousands homeless.   The massive theft of and settlement on Palestinian land in the West Bank continues every day.   Much of this death, destruction and dispossession is paid for by our tax dollars, billions of which flow to Israel every year. 

“It’s ugly, it’s vicious, it’s brutal”: Cornel West on Israel in Palestine — and why Gaza is “the hood on steroids”

Cornel West speaks with a Stanford professor about the divestment effort and Palestinian activism
David Palumbo-Liu, writing in salon.com, Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015

Cornel West (Credit: Albert H. Teich via Shutterstock)

One of the fundamental questions with regard to the critique of — and activism against — the Israeli occupation: How does this connect up with other social movements, and other struggles? Is the case of Israel and Palestine so specific, so complex, as to resist analogy? And if so, what does that mean for those who would be inclined to sympathize with the plight of the Palestinians, but unable to see their way clear to act in solidarity with them, as they might for others? Continue reading

On Obama’s Insistence that “We Are Not at War with Islam”

by Gary Leupp, Counterpunch, February 25, 2015

One would like to say that the cruelty of ISIL (ISIS) shocks the entire world. In fact, however, it doesn’t shock everyone. Sad though it may seem to you or me, some people actually observe events in the emergent “Islamic State” with approval and admiration. Thousands of young men and even young women from many countries—even some from Europe and North America—are flocking to ISIL’s black banner. There are various estimates of ISIL strength available, ranging from 30,000 to 100,000. European intelligence agencies estimate that 3,000 young people have joined from the continent.

One should not assume these are all uncivilized thugs, just because they inflict horrible suffering on fellow human beings. They are far from alone in doing that, or in viewing their actions as the administration of some god’s punishment.

We should not presuppose, as Barack Obama suggested in his February 17 speech, that its members join ISIL simply due to such factors as unemployment, alienation and the nebulous phenomenon of “radicalization” to which some minds are strangely vulnerable.

To me they appear as people with a set of serious religious beliefs, including the belief in the existence of a Supreme Being; belief in a holy book of divine authorship; and belief in a set of laws authored by this one-and-only God that—for society to function properly, and the problems posed by modernity fixed—must be rigorously implemented.

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Colin Powell’s Lies Stampeded US into Iraq, and now…….

Boehner and Netanyahu’s Lies Press for War on Iran, or no deal on curbing nukes.  AlJazeera digs into the facts with whistle-blower-released Israeli Intelligence Cables, as reported, below, on Democracy Now.  The video (followed by transcript) also contains details of the US-Israeli relations, as well as revealing that the collaborationist Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, had prior knowledge about the Israeli assault on Palestinians in Gaza, but did not reveal or sound the alarm.  A very interesting report, from start to finish.  While Democracy Now leans toward the White House challenge to the Boehner-Netanyahu obstructionist initiative, they do not go into why the Democrat’s US-hegemonic-imperialist interests are expressing some rare tactical differences with Republican-allied-Israel’s regionally aggressive pursuits.  That is a subject for further study and analysis.  —  Frontlines ed.]
Democracy Now, February 24, 2015 — As Netanyahu Tries to Stop U.S.-Iran Deal, Leaked Cables Show Israeli Spies Reject His Nuke Claims

Guest:  Clayton Swisher, director of investigative journalism at Al Jazeera.

In what has been described as the biggest intelligence leak since Edward Snowden, Al Jazeera has begun publishing a series of spy cables from the world’s top intelligence agencies. In one cable, the Israeli spy agency Mossad contradicts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s own dire warnings about Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb within one year. In a report to South African counterparts in October 2012, the Mossad concluded Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.” The explosive disclosure comes just as the United States and Iran have reported progress toward reaching a nuclear deal, an outcome Netanyahu will try to undermine when he addresses the U.S. Congress next week. We go to Doha to speak with Clayton Swisher, the head of Al Jazeera’s investigative unit, which broke the Iran story and several others in a series of articles called, “The Spy Cables.”

AARON MATÉ: Just days before his controversial speech to the U.S. Congress, an explosive report has raised new questions about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s effort to thwart a nuclear deal with Iran. According to Al Jazeera, Israel’s spy agency, the Mossad, contradicted Netanyahu’s own dire warnings about Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb within one year. In a leaked cable to South African counterparts in October 2012, the Mossad concluded Iran was, quote, “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.” The assessment was sent just weeks after Netanyahu went before the U.N. General Assembly with a far different message. Netanyahu held up a cartoonish diagram of a bomb with a fuse to illustrate what he called Iran’s alleged progress on a nuclear weapon.

PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: This is a bomb. This is a fuse. In the case of Iran’s nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go through three stages. By next spring, at most by next summer, at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks, before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb. A red line should be drawn right here, before—before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in September of 2012. The Mossad assessment contradicting Netanyahu was sent just weeks after, but it was likely written earlier. It said Iran, quote, “does not appear to be ready” to enrich uranium to the higher levels needed for a nuclear weapon. A bomb would require 90 percent enrichment, but the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, found Iran had only enriched to 20 percent. That number was later reduced under an interim nuclear deal the following year.

That 2013 agreement laid the basis for the ongoing talks in Geneva this week between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif. The U.S. and Iran are seeking a framework agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program and impose international monitoring in return for an easing of U.S.-led sanctions before a March 31st deadline. The talks appear to be gaining momentum, with the involvement of high-ranking officials from both sides and leaked details of a plan to limit Iranian nuclear production for at least 10 years. They are set to resume next week.

AARON MATÉ: The advancing talks and the leaked cable come just as Netanyahu prepares for a controversial U.S. visit, where he’ll try to undermine the nuclear deal. On March 3rd, Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress on Iran at the invitation of Republican House Speaker John Boehner. The trip has caused a major rift with the White House, to the point where Obama has refused to host Netanyahu for a meeting. Administration officials are also reportedly withholding details of the talks from Israeli counterparts. Speaking last week, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Israel has spread false information about the proposed nuclear deal.

PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST: There’s no question that some of the things that the Israelis have said in characterizing our negotiating position have not been accurate. There’s no question about that.

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Chilean judge sentences murderers of US-American citizens Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi

[In the exposure of the murders, 4 decades ago, of Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi, the US-spnsored Pinochet coup against Chilean President Salvador Allende, the role of the US and the terrorism master-minded by Henry Kissinger came into public view.  The fact that the murderers were not successfully prosecuted for 41 years is proof that US control  has been effective, even long after the fact.  And now the Chilean prosecution aims to put some of this embarassing history behind them as they sentence two of the murderous perpetrators.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Tlaxcala, 2/23/2015 
Translated by  Richard Ferguson, Edited by  Supriyo Chatterjee  
Almost 42 years after the events, Special Judge Jorge Zepeda Arancibia sentenced two intelligence officers for the murders of US-Americans Charles Edmond Horman, a 31-year-old journalist, and Frank Randall Teruggi Bombatch, a 24-year-old student, shot in the Estadio Nacional (National Stadium) days into the coup headed by Pinochet. 

The 276-page judgment sentences Army intelligence official Pedro Octavio Espinoza Bravo, who serves several other sentences for assassinations, to seven years of prison for the murders,while Air Force officer Rafael Agustín González Berdugo will serve two years of probation as an accomplice to Horman’s homicide.

Judge Zepeda’s exhaustive investigations confirmed the direct intervention of the United States in the coup through Operation Unitas, carried out in Valparaíso simultaneously with the offensive, and further revealed the ruthless persecution that the United States ordered the Chilean intelligence services to undertake against American radicals in Chile sympathetic to Salvador Allende, or simply interested in learning at close quarters and living among the peaceful revolutionary process led by the Head of State overthrown by it. In the Estadio Nacional up to 24 detained Americans were registered (Horman and Teruggi weren’t), both men and women, including students, academics, writers and two Maryknoll priests.

Charles Horman                                                  Frank Teruggi

The instigators of and accessories to this persecution of American citizens were their fellow countryman, Ray Elliots Charles, Marine Captain and chief of the American military mission, supported by the Ambassador Nathaniel Davis. Far from protecting their compatriots, they covered up the murders and detentions of Americans, going as far as providing false information to family members like Edmund Horman, Charles’s father, who moved to Chile in search of his son.