17 December, 2013
[Countercurrents.org published this note introducing Edward Snowden's open letter to the people of Brazil. "This letter was published today in the Brazilian newspaper A Folha in Portuguese and this original text was provided via the Facebook page of Glenn Greenwald's husband David Miranda."]
Six months ago, I stepped out from the shadows of the United States Government’s National Security Agency to stand in front of a journalist’s camera. I shared with the world evidence proving some governments are building a world-wide surveillance system to secretly track how we live, who we talk to, and what we say. I went in front of that camera with open eyes, knowing that the decision would cost me family and my home, and would risk my life. I was motivated by a belief that the citizens of the world deserve to understand the system in which they live.
My greatest fear was that no one would listen to my warning. Never have I been so glad to have been so wrong. The reaction in certain countries has been particularly inspiring to me, and Brazil is certainly one of those. Continue reading →
[In an amazing admission, an NSA official proclaims the government attitude that the people have no right to telephone or internet privacy: Because it's just the same as the common (though now challenged, in name) police "stop and frisk" policy and practice. -- Frontlines ed.]
NSA official cites ‘stop and frisk’ in effort to explain searches of phone records
November 4, 2013, McClatchy DC
By Ali Watkins— McClatchy Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — The general counsel of the National Security Agency on Monday compared the agency’s telephone metadata collection program to the highly controversial “stop-and-frisk” practice used by law enforcement officers, saying the agency uses that same standard to choose which phone numbers to query in its database.
“It’s effectively the same standard as stop-and-frisk,” Rajesh De said in an attempt to explain the evidentiary use of “reasonable and articulable suspicion” to identify which phone numbers to target from the agency’s huge database of stored cellphone records. Continue reading →
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) — Responding to the firestorm of controversy over its spying on European allies, the head of the National Security Agency said today it would do everything in its power to avoid being caught doing it in the future.
“There are two important jobs for every spy agency: spying on people and avoiding detection,” said the N.S.A. chief General Keith Alexander. “Unfortunately, at the N.S.A. we have only done the first job well.”
“We have abused the trust of some of our closest allies,” he said. “And none of this would have happened if they hadn’t found out.” Continue reading →
October 17, 2013 — In wake of unprecedented protests in AZ, Bay Area groups urge national halt to deportations in order to jump start immigration reform
Just moments ago, dozens of undocumented immigrants and allies peacefully sat down in front of the San Francisco offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and blockeda bus filled with community members en route to deportation.
The action is occurring at 630 Sansome Street in San Francisco.
Today’s protest marks the expansion of a national movement to pressure the President to use his existing executive authority to halt painful deportations of immigrant community members – a move which will bolster efforts in Congress to win inclusive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented Americans. Continue reading →
TODAY in ELOY: #Not1More #Shutdown Ice Protest Latino Rebels Latino Rebels Published on Oct 14, 2013 Today at the Eloy Detention Center, protesters called for an end to deportations and a push to shutdown ICE.
October 14, 2013–Just now, protestors chained themselves in front of the Eloy Detention Center. Their action calls on the President to stop deportations and the criminalization of immigrants. Through civil disobedience they say they’re exposing the inhumane imprisonment at the center of current immigration policy and the needless warehousing of the undocumented who could benefit from reform.
One of the protestors, 16 year old Sandy Estrada of Phoenix, AZ, whose brother has been detained in Eloy for nearly a year after being arrested on work-related charges, says, “I’m doing this to show my brother and all the other people inside that we support them and we will do what it takes to get them out. I want the President to know that everyone deserves to be with their families and that he can stop our pain.” Continue reading →
Yesterday, Herman Wallace was laid to rest after a memorial service befitting his liberation roots. New Orleans supporters, friends and family came together to create a magnificent send off for Herman, just the way he wanted it.
As a proud black man who struggled for justice for himself, his comrades, his people and all people, Herman wanted the remembrance to be in a community space and to provide a forum for many of his supporters to speak and most importantly to bring people together. As you’ll see from the photos below, it was a memorable occasion. You can also read the statement that Albert Woodfox wrote for Herman, featured below.
Join Amnesty for the second line parade in honor of Herman in New Orleans on Saturday, October 19, at 2:00 pm, starting at St. Augustine Catholic Church, 1210 Governor Nicholls Street, and concluding at the Louisiana Supreme Court, 400 Royal Street.
Read today’s court ruling here.Miraculous news this morning! Judge Jackson has overturned Herman’s conviction, granting him full habeas relief based on the systematic exclusion of women from the jury in violation of the 14th Amendment.
Even more astonishingly, the Judge clearly orders that “the State immediately release Mr. Wallace from custody.” No application for bail is required, and the State is given 30 days to notify Herman if they plan to re-indict him. Continue reading →
The interim CUNY chancellor William B. Kelly recently sent a letter to the Board of Trustees regarding the September 17, 2013 demonstration against a fundraiser at Macaulay Honors College featuring “professor” David Petraeus and apologist for U.S. imperialism Fareed Zakaria.
The demonstration was organized by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY, a united front in which the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee (RSCC) is a leading participant.
While the interim chancellor’s letter mentions the demonstration, it consciously neglects to address the brutality that the NYPD used in arresting demonstrators. Instead the letter claims that “a few demonstrators resisted police efforts, and six arrests were made.” The letter continues: “The university takes every measure to ensure that Dr. Petraeus was able to teach and conduct scholarly activities, without harassment or obstruction.” Further, the institution “-will not tolerate disruption of the free exchange of ideas and the essential work of the university.” This is a mischaracterization of not only the events of September 17, but of the campaign as a whole. Continue reading →
New Delhi: On 21st September (Saturday), a joint protest against growing ‘State Repression on Cultural Activists’ was organized by a number of cultural, political and student activists of the city under the banner of Daman Virodhi Sanskritik Manch despite heavy rain between 2 pm to 5 pm at Mandi House, the Cultural hub of the national capital. Following is the note circulated by the group. Pictures by POOJA PANT.
Repression of people’s movements and struggles of workers and peasants have intensified across India. A recent manifestation of this is the crackdown on cultural activists and intellectuals – numerous cases of sanctions, physical attacks, incarceration and arbitrary arrests have surfaced in the last few months.
Repression on cultural political activists
Recently, Hem Mishra, well known cultural activist and former student of JNU, was arrested by Maharashtra police on false charges of being a Maoist courier. Continue reading →
Condemn Indian State’s Heinous Raid on Activist and Delhi University Prof. G N Saibaba’s Residence
On September 12, in a joint operation in India, a 50 member squad of police personnel – comprising of members of National Investigation Agency (NIA), Delhi police, Special Cell of the Delhi Police and Maharashtra police – barged into the Delhi University staff quarter of Prof. G. N. Saibaba, a noted civil rights activist and professor of English at Ramlal Anand College, University of Delhi.
Professor of English GN Saibaba
The wheel-chair bound professor is a Joint Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and the convener of several forums against ‘Operation Greenhunt’ and the persecution of millions of adivasis and tribal population of Central and Eastern India. He teaches English at Delhi University.
During the raid, his house was ransacked by the police on the false pretext of attempting to recover “stolen property”. Saibaba, his wife and daughter were subjected to violent threats and criminal intimidation by the raiding team. They were detained for nearly four hours and were denied access to their lawyer. Their mobile phones were confiscated and his right to contact the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) was completely disregarded. Prof Saibaba’s laptop, hard disks that contain his PhD work and university teaching material, his and his family member’s mobile phones, many valuable books, copies of RDF publications and a DVD of a Hindi version of the Sanjay Kak film, Red Ant Dream, were taken away. Continue reading →
[The following is a recent statement from revolutionary Maoists in Brazil, detailing their analysis of the ever-growing civil war in Syria as a proxy war by contending imperialist powers for control of the Middle East. It is an important contribution to the international debate among revolutionaries, over the shifting relations and aggressions, direct and indirect, by leading powers in the world imperialist system. -- Frontlines ed.]
Proletarians and oppressed people of the world, unite!
Declaration of the Revolutionary Front for the Defence of the People’s Rights – Brazil
About the recent situation in Syria
In the last months, the imperialist Yankee has intensified its manipulations and provocations to justify its military invasion in Syria. The US propaganda machine is once again creating smokescreens to justify to the world public yet another predatory war. “To defend democracy,” “human rights”, “stop use of chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction;” these are the new smokescreens of the Yankee imperialism in its counter-revolutionary offensive, reviving the “War on Terror”. These were also the same pretexts used to justify the aggression towards Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, Libya, and many other countries. by the very forces who are the most responsible for countless massacres and use of weapons of mass destruction in human history; imperialism, mainly Yankee.
Since 2011, the people in Syria are subjected to imperialist predatory war that currently is conducted in the form of a civil war. The armed forces of Assad’s regime (sustained politically, economically, and militarily by Russian imperialism) and the self-proclaimed ‘Free Syrian Army’ (mercenary forces directly controlled by the USA through their intelligence services and regional allies) are the contenders of this inter-imperialist dispute on the Syrian territory. In this war all kinds of horrors against the masses have been practised, without this having motivated attention or outcry from the well know”international institutions”. Continue reading →
(Press Note circulated in the Press Conference held on the 14th of September in Professor GN Saibaba’s house along with the report on proceedings)
On Thursday, 12 September 2013, a 50 strong police contingent drawn from the Maharashtra Police Force, the Delhi Police Special Cell and the Maurice Nagar police thana, raided the residence of Dr. Saibaba, an Asst. Prof. in English at Ram Lal Anand College. They brought computer technicians with them. Dr. Saibaba, his wife and their minor 15-year old daughter were detained for about four hours from 3.00 PM onward for an investigation into the use of his residence “as a place for the deposit of stolen property”. Immediately, the iron main gate of the house and the house door itself were locked from within and physically barred by police personnel, and phones of all including the driver were seized. The driver’s phone was destroyed, and all other phones were seized. At the end of the search, two phones were returned after the teachers in DU protested about leaving the family with no means of communication. Dr. Saibaba was not allowed to contact his lawyer, or his colleagues to ensure that the “investigation” would be a fair and transparent one. Teachers who reached the spot volunteered to be observers. But they were not allowed into the premises. During the course of this wholly baseless investigation, the entire family was kept captive –sometimes individually – prevented from making or receiving calls, or meeting anyone who sought to meet them. The police locked themselves into various rooms of the house for long periods of time. Two terrified local barbers were picked up by the police and brought in as “neutral observers” for some part of the raid. They were also coerced into signing on the seizure sheet as witnesses. The police left sometime after some DU teachers arrived, began questioning the police and informing the media about the incident. After much persistence, the teachers managed to get the terrified child produced. The police left after confiscated a large number of college documents, pen-drives, a laptop, a tablet microchip, mobile phones (including the minor daughter’s phone), debit and credit cards, and bank passbooks, none of which items were “stolen property”.
A day later, the Gadchiroli police claimed the following incriminating evidence against Saibaba to some press persons: (1) that they have extracted a confession from the JNU student Hem Mishra stating that a microchip found in his possession was given to him by Dr. Saibaba; (2) that they have records of internet “chat sessions” between Dr. Saibaba and several top Maoist leaders; (3) that Dr. Saibaba was named in Mr. Kobad Ghandy’s “confession” as being a Maoist leader; (4) that Dr. Saibaba stands incriminated by virtue of being General Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), which they alleged is a front for the CPI (Maoist). It appears that the police will use these, among other grounds, to frame charges against Dr. Saibaba, and arrest him as soon as possible. It may be noted here that: (a) Mr. Kobad Ghandy’s alleged “confession” was set aside by the courts as being fabricated by the AP police and inadmissible; (b) without dwelling on the police’s ludicrous imagination of the senior Maoist party leadership participating in “internet chat groups”, it may be noted that, by the police’s own account, these chat sessions are between persons named “Prakash” and “Chetan”, and the alleged “Maoist top leadership”; (c) there is no mention of Dr. Saibaba by name; (d) Dr. Saibaba has also categorically denied any knowledge of any microchip, or indeed of any contact on this matter with Hem Mishra; (e) The charge of harbouring “stolen property” is particularly outrageous, baseless and despicable. Continue reading →
August 21, 2013 – Today, in response to the sentencing of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement.
We are outraged that a whistleblower and a patriot has been sentenced on a conviction under the Espionage Act. The government has stretched this archaic and discredited law to send an unmistakable warning to potential whistleblowers and journalists willing to publish their information. We can only hope that Manning’s courage will continue to inspire others who witness state crimes to speak up. Continue reading →