[As Maoists in India denounce India’s claimed “democracy” as deceptive and fraudulent, the Indian state deploys nearly 150,000 troops, and moves hundreds of voting stations out of rebellious regions. See the following two reports from the mainstream Indian press. — Frontlines ed.]
Maoist posters calling for poll boycott found at bus stand
Business Standard, Tuesday, October 22,
Maoist posters calling for boycott of the upcoming Assembly polls were found pasted at a bus stand in the Kanker district in Chhattisgarh, where as many as 18 Maoist-affected constituencies will go to polls on November 11.
Three posters and two banners were found put up at the waiting hall of the bus stand under Pakhanjore police station limits last evening, a senior police official told PTI today.
Although, security personnel regularly visit villages to instill confidence in the people to vote, the rebels have appealed to villagers to kick both the BJP and Congress out of power, the police said, adding that a case has been registered in this connection.
Meanwhile, taking serious note of the Maoist threat, the Centre has sent additional 40,000 personnel of paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful polling, in addition to around 65,000 police personnel and 27,000 paramilitary troops already engaged in anti-Maoist operations in the state. Continue reading
Israel Dropped the Ball on Human Rights, but We Won’t!
by Anna Baltzer, National Organizer, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
October 18th, 2012
Last week, more than 100 organizations worldwide — including dozens of US Campaign coalition members — signed onto a letter of support for the first Israeli sports team boycott campaign in the United States, organized by member group Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign (MN BBC). The Israeli basketball team Maccabi-Haifa has been in the United States playing U.S. teams including the Minnesota Timberwolves.
When the Timberwolves refused to cancel their game with the Maccabi, almost two dozen activists protested inside the stadium calling on the team to “Stop Playing with Apartheid!” The protestors were ejected from the game for “disruptive and inappropriate messages” (meanwhile, counter-protestors waving Israeli flags were allowed to stay). According to a press release on the MN BBC website, a legal observer and civil rights attorney was assaulted and temporarily arrested by local security and police.
|A boycott of Apartheid South Africa’s sports teams proved to be a particularly effective tool in the struggle to end oppression there. At the time, South African teams that had not taken a public stance against apartheid would not be invited by any self-respecting tournament or venue. It should be no different with Apartheid Israel today.|
In the same way that South African teams were, almost all Israeli sports teams are cynically used as ambassadors of an apartheid state. Additionally, Maccabi is sponsored by Ya’akov Shahar, chairman of Mayer’s Cars and Trucks Ltd., the official importer to Israel of Volvo. Both companies are heavily involved in the Israeli occupation, as documented by Who Profits?, an Israeli research project. Israeli sports teams like Maccabi are also notorious for racism and racial discrimination against Palestinians.
As the activists in Minnesota stated: “Love Basketball; Hate Apartheid.”
The Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) first made its way into U.S. basketball discourse when the US Campaign learned that legendary player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar canceled participation in an Israeli film festival following Israel’s killing of twelve unarmed Palestinian refugees attempting to exercise their internationally-recognized right of return.
It’s time to slam dunk Israeli Apartheid!
For more information on this and related campaigns, see: http://endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=3293
For background on the international boycott of South African apartheid’s sports, see this video documentary clip, and the articles which follow: Continue reading
Rafeef Ziadah – ‘We teach life, sir’, London, 12.11.11
sternchenproductions on Nov 13, 2011
RAFEEF ZIADAH is a Canadian-Palestinian spoken word artist and activist. Her debut CD Hadeel is dedicated to Palestinian youth, who still fly kites in the face of F16 bombers, who still remember the names if their villages in Palestine and still hear the sound of Hadeel (cooing of doves) over Gaza.
Media Monitors Network, September 22, 2010
In July, in Rachel Corrie’s hometown of Olympia, Washington state, the popular Food Co-op announced that no Israeli products would be sold at its two grocery stores. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a principal endorser of this new Israel Divestment Campaign, issued a statement endorsing the boycott. “The Olympia Food Co-op has joined a growing worldwide movement on the part of citizens and the private sector to support by non-violent tangible acts the Palestinian struggle for justice and self-determination.”
In a surprise move in August, Harvard University divested itself of all its Israel investments, almost $40m worth of shares, including Pharmaceutical Industries, NICE Systems, Check Point Software Technologies, Cellcom Israel and Partner Communications.
Initially, Harvard gave no explanation for its actions to the SEC. John Longbrake, spokesman for Harvard, maintained that Harvard has not divested from Israel, that these changes were routine and did not represent a change in policy. But was Harvard in fact caving under the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions’ (BDS) calls and trying to do so as quietly as possible to avoid a Zionist backlash? In the past, Harvard has divested from companies for purely political reasons, but they did so publicly. For instance, five years ago, Harvard divested from PetroChina in order to protest China’s actions in Sudan. Continue reading
[This news report on the constitution referendum in Turkey, while presenting things through the lens of EU imperialist and expansionist interests, nonetheless provides some useful information on the divisions within Turkey today. Throughout Turkey, it reports a turnout of 77%–but a boycott in the Kurdish southeast region resulted in a turnout of only 35 percent.-ed.]
By Ibon Villelabeitia
ANKARA | Mon Sep 13, 2010
A referendum on constitutional reform in Turkey handed a clear victory to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan — but has underscored the deep ideological and geographical divisions in the European Union candidate.
According to unofficial results, the reforms passed by a margin of 58 percent to 42, on a turnout of 77 percent.
Erdogan, who leads a government of conservative Muslims that secularist opponents accuse of seeking to undermine Turkey’s secular founding principles, declared the result a triumph for democracy and a break with a past of military coups.
But analysts say the outcome will widen a gulf between the religious-minded and the secularists over Turkey’s identity.
Electoral maps show a secular rim along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts opposed to the reforms, and a bulging Anatolian hinterland, stretching all the way to Turkey’s eastern borders, dominated by religious conservatives who backed them. For their part, the Kurdish minority, who have long complained of discrimination at the hands of the state, appeared to have heeded calls from their politicians for a boycott in the Kurdish southeast, where turnout was only about 35 percent.
What is BDS?
BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. On July 9, 2005, one year after the historic Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which found Israel’s Wall built on occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal, an overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society called upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel, similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.
What are the goals of BDS?
According to the 2005 call by Palestinian civil society: Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions are nonviolent punitive measures to be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194. Continue reading
A sustained world-wide campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions aimed at Israel is needed, just as it was in apartheid South Africa, to end the many decades long oppression of Palestinians by the State of Israel.
Israel’s helicopter raid in international waters on the flotilla bringing relief supplies to Gaza, killing 9 peace activists, has been severely condemned by the entire world, barring the pro-Israel lobby in the US, for which there is no atrocity Israel can commit that it would not try to justify. India’s reaction, however, was extremely disappointing. A general condemnation of violence serves little purpose in this situation where the issues are clear cut and leave little room for obfuscation.
A decade ago, the former US President Jimmy Carter provoked a storm of criticism in the US for writing a book with the title “Peace Not Apartheid.” The Israel lobby, which seems to control both the legislative and the executive branches of government in the US, is treated with deference by the media, and is kowtowed to by both liberals and conservatives, severely castigated Carter for daring to equate Israel with the liberals’ bête-noire, apartheid South Africa. However, Carter’s mild rebuke of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians in the now over four decade long occupation was hardly something to get too worked up about. A few minutes of observation in the bus station behind Jerusalem Old City’s Damascus Gate, where the mini-buses leave for Ramallah in the West Bank reveals far more than any book can about what apartheid in Israel is like. Continue reading
June 6, 2010 – 8:49AM
Megastar Aamir Khan’s hit movie “3 Idiots” swept the “Bollywood Oscars” in Sri Lanka this weekend, securing 16 out of 27 awards, including best film.
The film — a coming-of-age comedy about three engineering students — was nominated in 12 of the 13 main categories at the Indian International Film Academy (IIFA) awards and won eight of them on Saturday night.
It had already secured another eight of the 14 technical awards announced last month, including best screenplay and best cinematography.
But actor-producer-director Khan, who stars in the film, was not present at Saturday’s glitzy ceremony in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, which was overshadowed by protests from minority Tamils.
The influential film industry in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state, which is home to many Tamil refugees, called for a boycott, arguing that staging the event in Colombo endorsed Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government.
Rajapakse is under pressure from the international community to allow a probe into a controversial military strategy that crushed Tamil rebels last year, ending a near four-decade civil war.
The United Nations has said at least 7,000 Tamil civilians were also killed in the final months of fighting last year.
IIFA brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, who won the best actor award for his role in “Paa,” was also not present at the awards ceremony. Continue reading