Mar 032014
 

Posted by SnakeArbusto and greydogg, 99GetSmart

Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan:

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During the summer Turkey became famous for dawn raids on peaceful protests and sit-ins. Now, in a dawn operation, the AKP has passed another bill to prevent any future mass protests like Gezi Park. The “democratization package” bill will allow parties to run campaigns in languages other than Turkish and minor parties to get state funds if they pass a 3% threshold in elections. Yet the limitations it is imposing are great.

According to the new bill, anyone willing to organize a protest rally will need to consult with mayors, political parties, unions and syndicates, and then the local governor at the highest level will decide on the location and direction of the rally in the light of these consultations. Prior to the protest, the locations will be declared by the governor on local newspapers and websites. The new bill only allows protests to take place before sunset and all protests that do not disperse after sunset would be declared illegal.

While the government might want to prevent any future mass protests, this means that the right to assembly is on hold, since especially in wintertime, sunset is long before people get off from work. The limitation only allows weekends for protests to be organized, and then only at the place where the local governor (part of the apparatus of the Prime Minister) allows.

The organizing committee of the protests now “must” have a commissioner from the government body. And according to the new bill, police will be obligated to make visual recordings of protests and determine the identity of those attending. Although the bill states that this is only for security purposes, to find suspects in case of a crime, in a country where there is official profiling of citizens based on ethnicity, linguistic background, religious belief, and city of origin, this would only serve to further advance the surveillance state on the street after the infamous censorship bill and secret service bill.

The new bill also states that the moment a protest starts getting out of hand, the organizing committee will have to make a decision to disperse the crowds and notify the police chief of that decision. Again, the responsibility is placed on the organizing committee to declare to the crowd that the protest is over and that everyone should disperse.

In case the committee fails to carry out this “responsibility,” the police chief will notify the governor and give immediate orders – not in writing – to disperse the crowds. It is no secret what methods will be used to disperse them. This is yet another violation of human rights in Turkey.

More stories by Gürkan Özturan @ http://theradicaldemocrat.wordpress.com

More stories about Turkey @ http://99getsmart.com/category/turkey/

Oct 092013
 

Posted by SnakeArbusto and greydogg, 99GetSmart

Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan

Buster-Keaton-jail

Turkey is preparing for yet another controversial regulation which will continue suppression of its citizens’ rights and freedoms. The new regulation is to give police the power to detain people without a proper reason, on the premise that the detainee “might carry the risk of conducting a protest.” The detention period is said to vary between 12 to 24 hours, and the police would not need to get a prosecutor’s or judge’s warrant.

While the opposition in the Parliament almost univocally stands against this regulation, the government is able to pass it without any difficulty and legalize the already practiced behavior of policemen towards peaceful protesters with an additional power: preemptive detention. Preemptive detention regulations will be conducted in a joint effort by the Ministries of Justice and Interior. In addition to detention of civilians up to 24 hours without any proper reason, the penalties for resisting arrest and resistance to police forces will also be increased as a deterrent against future protests.

During the OccupyGezi protests amid the controversial Taksim Square regeneration project – which basically foresaw demolition of the last green space at the center of Istanbul to make way for construction of the 93rd shopping mall in the city – mass protests spread nationwide in 80 out of 81 cities and quickly turned into anti-government protests. The internationally-condemned police crackdowns on peaceful protests escalated tension and the brutality of police violence is still drawing reactions from the international community, NGOs and academia.

While global solidarity has been shown with the Gezi Park protests and calls to end police violence and respect basic rights and freedoms can be heard from everywhere around the world, the AKP government turns a deaf ear to the call of reason and continues with repressive laws and regulations against non-partisans.

According to the new regulations, individuals and organizations (mainly civil society NGOs) will be strictly monitored and members would be detained for 24 hours if the police suspect that they may hold a protest demonstration. To prevent civilians from returning to the original protest plans, police will be able to ask for an extension of the detention period.

Apart from raising the prison sentence for damaging public property to five years, the new regulation also presupposes establishment of a board to monitor malpractice within institutions.

Opposition members of the Parliament initially described the new regulation as being against the rule of law, as well as “the mark of a police state” and “beyond fascism.”

This regulation, when implemented, will be the most basic enemy of rights and freedoms, leaving every individual’s choices, lifestyle and security at the mercy of whoever rises to power and decides for everyone else. It is a pity that civil society in Turkey has learned the value of the right to protest only recently, but the government fails to see the democratic worth of this lesson and refuses to comply with international human-rights standards.

MORE STORIES by Gürkan Özturan @ http://radicaldemocrat.blog.com

MORE UPDATES RE: TURKEY @ http://99getsmart.com/category/turkey/

Aug 172013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Thank you, Anonymous. <3

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZUHOELgif0&feature=youtu.be

Jul 182013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

This Man Does One Of The Bravest Things For Human Rights, And Submits Himself To Torture

Step into the seat during a Guantanamo Bay force-feeding, which is currently being done to half of the population in this American prison. Rapper-turned-actor Mos Def (aka Yasiin Bey) submits himself to torture to bring the reality of conditions at Guantanamo home for the rest of us.

WARNING: This video contains content of a graphic nature. If you can handle it, it’s absolutely a must-watch. I don’t like torture done in my or my country’s name, and I want it to stop. If you agree, then this is a must-share.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=z6ACE-BBPRs#at=265

Jul 012013
 

By Nilton Viana, CADTM

João Pedro Stédile Interviewed by Brasil de Fato

arton9257-a407bBrasil de Fato — It is time for the government to ally itself with the people or pay the price in the future. This is one of the evaluations of João Pedro Stedile, national coordinator of the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) on the recent mobilisations across the country.

According to Stédile, there is an urban crisis installed in Brazilian cities, provoked by the current stage of financial capitalism. “For people, large cities have becoming a living hell where they lose three or four hours a day in transit, which they could instead be using to spend with their family, studying or participating in cultural activities”, he says. For the MST leader, reducing public transport fare prices was of great interest to all the people and this was what the Free Fare Movement got right by calling for mobilisation on behalf of the interests of the people.

In this exclusive interview with Brasil de Fato, Stédile talks about the character of these mobilisations, and puts a call out: we must be conscious of the nature of these protests and go all out onto the street to fight for hearts and minds and politicise this youth who have no experience of class struggle. “The youth are tired of this way of doing bourgeois and money-driven politics”, he notes. And he issues a warning: the worst thing is that the parties of the institutional left, all of them, have adapted to these methods. Old and bureaucratised. Popular forces and leftist parties need to put all their energies to going out onto the street, because in every city, in every protest, there is now an ongoing ideological dispute between different class interests. “We need to explain to the people who are the main enemies of the people.”

Brasil de Fato: What is your analysis of the protests that have shaken Brazil in the last few weeks? What are the economic roots of these events?

Joao Pedro Stédile: There have been many opinions as to why these protests occurred. I agree with the analysis of Professor Erminia Maricato, who is one of our best specialists in urban issues and has worked in the Ministry of Cities under Olivio Dutra. She defends the thesis that there is an urban crisis in Brazil’s cities, a result of the current stage of financial capitalism. Due to an enormous amount of housing speculation, rent and land prices have increased 150% in the last three years. Without any government control, financial capital has promoted the sales of cars in order to send profits overseas and transformed our traffic into chaos. And in the last 10 years there has been no investment in public transport. The housing program “My home, my life” has driven the poor out to the periphery of the cities, where there is no infrastructure.

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All this has generated a structural crisis where for people, large cities have becoming a living hell where they lose three or four hours a day in transit, which they could instead be using to spend with their family, studying or participating in cultural activities. Added to this is the poor quality of public services, especially health and education, from the primary and secondary level, where children leave without being able to write. And university education has become a business, where of 70% of university students’ diplomas are sold on credit.

And from the political point of view, why did this occur?

Fifteen years of neoliberalism plus the last 10 years of a government of class conciliation has transformed politics into a hostage of capital’s interests. Parties became old in their way of functioning and have been transformed into mere acronyms that mainly bring together opportunists interested in winning public posts or fighting over public resources for their own interests.

All the young people who were born after the right-wing parties were no longer in government have not had the opportunity to participate in politics. Today, to compete for any public post, for example, to become a local councillor, a person needs to have more than 1 million reales; to become a deputy costs around 10 million. The capitalist pay and the politicians obey. The youth are tired of this way of doing bourgeois and money-driven politics.

The worst thing is that the parties of the institutional left, all of them, adapted themselves to these methods. Which is what has generated repulsion towards the way parties behave among the youth. Young people are not apolitical; on the contrary, they are so much so that they took politics to the streets, even if they were not conscious of what this signified. But what they were saying is that they no longer tolerate seeing these political practices on television, seeing peoples’ votes taken hostage by lies and manipulation.

And why did the protests only explode now?

It was probably more a product of diverse factors regarding the psychology of the masses, than the result of some pre-planned political decision. We have the climate created by everything I have talked about, as well as the denunciations of corruption in relation of the stadiums being built, which was a provocation for the people. For example: Red Globo received 20 million reales of public money from the state government of Rio and the mayor’s office to organise a show of barely two hours around the match draw for the Confederations Cup. The stadium in Brasilia cost 1400 million and there are no buses in the city!

It is an explicit dictatorship that FIFA has imposed and all the government have subordinated themselves to.

The reinauguration of the Maracaná was a slap in the face of the Brazilian people. The photos were clear, in the most important temple of world football, there was not a single black or mestizo person!

And the increase in bus fares was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was the spark that set alight the generalised sentiment of revolt, of indignation. Finally, the youth have stood up.

Why has the working class still not come out onto the streets?

It’s true; the working class has still not come out onto the streets. Those who have come out onto the streets are the children of the middle class, of the lower middle class and some youth of what Andre Singer calls the sub-proletariat, who study and work in the service sector, who have improved their purchasing power, but who want to be heard.

Reducing the fare was of great interest to all the people, and therein lies the success of the “free fare” movement, which knew how to call protests that were held in the name of the interests of the people. And the people supported the protests, as was expressed in their level of popularity among the youth, above all when they were repressed.

The working class takes it time to mobilise, but once it moves, it directly affects capital. Something that has not happened yet. I believe that the organisations that act as mediators for the working class have still not comprehended the moment we are in and are a bit timid. But I believe that the class, as a class, is also willing to fight. Look at the number of strikes for wage increases which have returned to 1980s level. I think it’s just a question of time, and if the right demands are raised that can motivate the class to mobilise.

In the last few days, we have sensed that in some of the smaller cities and in the periphery of the larger cities, mobilisations with very localised demands have begun to emerge. And that is very important.

And the MST and campesinos also have not mobilised yet …

That’s true. In the capitals where we have settlements and farming families live close by, we are participating. Moreover, I witnessed the warm reception we received when we arrived with our red flag and our demand for land reform and cheap and health food for all. I believe that in the next weeks we could see even bigger numbers joining in, including through staging campesino protests in the streets and municipalities of the interior. Among our activists all of them are going crazy wanting to enter into the fight and mobilise. I hope they are able to move quickly …

What is your opinion as to the origins of the violence that has occurred in some of these demonstrations?

First, we should put this in context. The bourgeoisie, via its television stations, has used the tactic of scaring people by only broadcasting propaganda that shows troublemakers and rioters. They are a minority and insignificant in front of the thousands of people that are mobilising. The right wing has a vested interest in convincing people that all this simply amounts to chaos, and in the end, if there is chaos, put the blame on the government and demand the presence of the armed forces. I hope that the government does not commit the brutish crime of calling on the national guard and the armed forces to repress the protesters. That is exactly what the right is dreaming about!

The scenes of violence are being provoked by the way in which the military police are intervening. There are organised rightist groups that are focused on creating provocations and looting. In Sao Paulo, fascist groups are active in the protests. In Rio de Janeiro, the organised militias that protect conservative politicians are also involved. It is also evident that there is a layer of lumpens that turn up to any popular mobilisation, whether in the stadiums, carnivals, even church parties, and try to make the most of it for themselves.

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So we are faced with a class struggle in the streets or are we simply dealing with a youth that it demonstrating its indignation?

It is evident that there is a class struggle going on in the streets, even if for now it is at the level of an ideological dispute. What is worse is that the mobilised youth themselves, due to their class origins, are not conscious of the fact that they are participating in an ideological struggle.

Look, they are doing politics in the best way possible, in the streets. And they are writing on their placards: we are against parties and politics? That is why the messages on their placards have been so widely disseminated. In every city, in every protest, there is a permanent ideological dispute of struggle between class interests. There is a struggle to see if whether the ideas of the left or right will win over the youth. The ideas of the capitalists or the working class.

What are the objectives of the right and their proposals?

The ruling class, the capitalists and their ideological spokespeople whot appear on television every day have one big objective: wear down as much as possible the support for the Dilma [Rousseff] government, weaken the organisational forms of the working class, weaken the proposals for structural changes to Brazilian society and win the 2014 elections in order to reimpose their total hegemony over the command of the Brazilian state which is currently in dispute.

To achieve these objectives they are still testing, alternating their tactics. Sometimes they provoke violence in order to distract from the objectives of the youth. Sometimes they put messages on the placards of the youth. For example, in the demonstrations on June 22, even if small, in Sao Paulo it was totally manipulated by rightist sectors who put forward a sole focus on the struggle against PEC 37 [a proposal to amend the constitution and remove the power of the public ministry to investigate crimes], with the same placards … the exact same placards. No doubt the majority of the youth did not know what this was about. And it is a secondary issue with the working class, but the right wing is trying to raise the banner of morality, just like the National Democratic Union did in times gone by.

I have seen in the social media networks controlled by the right, that its banners are, as well as PEC 37: Expel Renan from the Senate, CPI [Commission of Parliamentary Inquiry] or transparency in spending on the World Cup; declare corruption to be a grave crime and put an end to the special protections for politicians. The fascist groups are already saying Dilma Out! and raising a number of accusations. Happily, these issues have nothing to do with the living conditions of the masses, even if the corporate media can manipulate them. And objectively, that are a shooting themselves in the foot. In the end, it is the Brazilian bourgeoisie, its business owners and politicians who are the most corrupt and corrupting. Who has appropriated the exaggerated spending on the World Cup? Red Globo and the contractor companies!

What are the challenges facing the working class, popular organisations and left parties?

There are many challenges. First, we must be conscious of the nature of these demonstrations and all go out onto the streets to fight for hearts and minds and politicise this youth that has no experience in the class struggle. Second, the working class needs to mobilise. Come out onto the streets, protest in the factories, farms and construction sites, as Geraldo Vandré would say. Raise their demands in order to resolve concrete problems of the class, from the political and economic viewpoint.

We need to take the initiative and guide public debate towards demanding the approval of laws to reduce the working week to 40 hours; demand that the priorities for public investment be health, education, land reform. But to do this the government must reduce interest rates and reallocate the resources from the primary surplus, those 200,000 million that each year go to only 20,000 rich people, rentiers and creditors of an internal debt that we never contracted, and reallocate them for productive and social investment.

It must approve an emergency decree so that for the next election a progressive political reform has been put in place, one that as a minimum institutes exclusive public funding for campaigns, the right to recall elected officials and the ability for the people to convoke popular referendums.

We need tax reform so that once again ICMS [a state sales tax] is paid on primary exports and the wealth of the rich is penalised while taxes are reduced for poor, who currently are the ones who pay more.

We need the government to suspend the auctioning off our oil and all private concessions for minerals and other public areas. There is no point investing all the royalties from oil in education if those royalties only represent 8% of the oil rent, and the remaining 92% goes to the transnational companies that will get control over the oil in these auctions!

A structural urban reform that once again prioritises quality and free public transport. It has already been proven that it will not be expensive or difficult to introduce free transport for the people in the capitals. And control housing speculation.

And finally, we need to make use of and approve a project for a national conference on media and communication, one that is broadly representative, to discuss democratising the media. To put an end to Globo’s monopoly, and ensure that the people and its popular organisations can have wide access to means for communication, to create their own media with public resources. I have heard from a diversity of youth movements that are organising the marches that perhaps this could be the one issue that unites them all: down with Globo’s monopoly!

But for these issues to reverberate more broadly in society and put pressure on the government and the politicians, we nee to mobilise the working class, this is the only way.

The social movements sent a letter asking to meet with President Dilma and she accepted and responded on television, what issues are you going to take to her?

I have faith that the meeting will happen soon. And there all of the social movements will send their young representatives that where in the streets, and will bring along a platform like the one I outlined. I hope that she has the sensibility to listen to the youth.

What should the government do now?

I hope that the government has the sensibility and intelligence to make use of this support, this clamour that is coming from the streets, which is simply a synthesis of a consciousness that exists more broadly in society that it is time to change. And change to benefit the people. For this, the government needs to confront the dominant class, in all aspects. Confront the rentier bourgeoisie, reallocating interest payments to investment in areas that resolve the problems of the people. Promote as soon as possible political and tax reforms. Sent in motion the approval of a law to democratise the media. Create mechanisms for massive investment in public transport, with the aim of making it free. Speed up land reform and a healthy food production plan for the internal market.

Guarantee the shift application of 10% of GDP towards public resources for education at all levels, from childcare centres in the big cities, quality primary education all the way to the universalisation of access to public university for young people.

Without this, people will feel deceived, and the government will have handed over the initiative over demands to the right, which will lead to new protests aimed at wearing down support for the government up until the 2014 elections. It is time for the government to align itself with the people, or pay the price in the future.

And what perspectives could these mobilisations bring for the country in the next few months?

Everything is still unknown. Because the youth and the masses are in dispute. That is why popular forces and leftist parties have to put all their energies towards coming out onto the streets. Protest, push to raise as banners of struggle demands that are in the interests of the people. Because the right will do the same, raising its conservative, backward demands of criminalisation and stigmatisation of the ideas of social change.

We are in the midst of an ideological battle, one which no one knows what the result will be. In each city, each protest, we need to fight for hearts and minds. And those that remain on the sideline, will be sidelined in history.

Translated for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by Federico Fuentes

Jun 252013
 

By Shirley Coenen, 99GetSmart

 University students march in protest in Santiago on June 13, 2013. Photo by Shirley Coenen. Chile, 2013.

University students march in protest in Santiago on June 13, 2013. Photo by Shirley Coenen. Chile, 2013.

Despite the overwhelming discontent among the general public in Chile, President Sebastian Piñera continues to defend the present education model. Piñera believes that education is a consumer good, not a right. At this time, more than three years after the initial protests were sparked, can we look to the Chilean students for a success story?

The protests in this South American nation began in 2011, when Universidad de Chile students took to the streets to demand change from the tax system created in 1981 during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, when most of Chile’s educational system was privatized and government support reduced.

The students’ central demand—for free and equitable access to higher education for all Chileans—has yet to be met. In the last few months of Piñera’s presidency and with presidential elections looming on November 19, 2013, the government is under pressure to draft a new constitution.

“The current constitution we have now doesn’t protect the rights of people at all—it’s completely anti-democratic,” said Hernán Moreno Acuña, a high school teacher and president of the largest teachers union in southern Santiago, the capital.

In the last few years the government has made various concessions to the protesters, such as lowering the student interest rate on loans from 5 percent to 2 percent.

Today students from 24 universities and 35 high schools throughout Chile continue to protest for the fundamental transformation of the educational system.

The movement has also drawn attention to the country’s reliance on copper exports. But it seems unlikely that nationalizing the copper industry so that the profits can be used for education will ever happen. Although the Chilean economy is a shining success story compared to other Latin American neighbors, it is almost completely dependent on its export of one commodity. What happens when copper prices falter? Without an education overhaul that fosters the development of Chile’s young people and provides them with the space and resources to thrive and innovate, the Chilean economy will suffer.

Additionally, the protesters have brought attention to the unequal distribution of resources not only in schools but also in the healthcare system and in rural areas of Chile. They have galvanized Chilean citizens and initiated a necessary conversation with the government.

According to the president of the Student Federation of the Universidad de Chile (FECH), Andres Fielbaum, the announcements made by Piñera in his speech in Santiago on May 21, 2013, were not nearly enough to improve the dire state of education.

“Piñera’s words only “reaffirm that for him education is conceived as a business and not a right,” he said. “The only option left for students is to further strengthen their movement.” Fielbaum later announced the “intensification of the protests until the end.”

The 26-year-old mathematics and engineering graduate student said “politicians should not forget that this is an election year and that students will remain a major player when it comes to discussing the project country.”

Michelle Bachelet, the presidential candidate favored to win the election, supports educational reforms. Fielbaum however reminded students, “it is very easy to make promises in an election year.”

Bachelet served as Chile’s former socialist party president (2006-2010) and later was appointed to a United Nations post. She is running as a member of the communist party for the 2013 presidential elections, with approval ratings at an estimated 50 percent.

• This article was produced with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Apr 092012
 

 

* THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

PREAMBLE

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction. […]

READ @ http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml

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* THE COVENANTS – THE UNTIED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL BILL OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=O8kP3pr6XPU

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* OCCUPY CHICAGO KICKS OFF ‘CHICAGO SPRING’

Source: ABC NEWS

A march and rally across the city were the focus of what organizers called the kickoff of “Chicago Spring.”

Occupy Chicago called Saturday a citywide day of action. Groups all across the city rallied in 13 neighborhoods. Some events were in Chicago’s suburbs, as well. Those gathered talked about a number issues, like foreclosures, residents’ visions for their communities and genocide.

“I want Medicare, Social Security. I want housing to be taken care of. I want the upper 1 percent to pay fair taxes,” said protestor Barb Hogman. […]

READ @ http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news%2Flocal&id=8612590

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* AN FBI THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM

By Chepe, The Daily Occupier

[…] FBI agents, even more than cops in general, have been trained in psychology. Their point is to get you talking. The moment you start, you have either said something you can’t take back, or don’t know when to quit. I can’t know what they wanted me to talk about. If you don’t answer the questions, you don’t find out what the real subject is. Usually, what they first begin talking to you about is not at all accurate. It might be just a corollary to another subject altogether. If they asked me if the sky was blue, if the Mets were winning, or what color eyes I have, I’d tell them the magic words:

“May I see your badge? Can you give me a business card? I am going to remain silent. You can speak to my lawyer.”

Lisa asked if she could ask me some questions. It was specifically about any Antifa work they believed I had been involved in. They claimed that they wanted me to give them leads on some hate crimes. They know I don’t like hate crimes based on information gleaned from my arrest records. Hey, they’re on my side. This is where I call bullshit.

I refused to answer their questions, but had a merry ole time doing so. Lisa and her colleagues refused my entreaties for a business card, which dragged the interview to about four minutes from what it should’ve been: thirty seconds. I walked out the door with the FBI’s main New York office number that Lisa wrote down for me, which she lied was her “direct line” and had my National Lawyers’ Guild attorney fax them a letter declaring that I wouldn’t be speaking.

I’ll cut the story short there, although I am currently happy to spread the word if it teaches others in immediate danger of FBI visits what they should be doing in such an event:

Don’t let them play any games.
Don’t answer questions beyond basic identification.
Don’t acknowledge knowing someone, working somewhere, or anything else.
Don’t deny or affirm.
If they have a warrant or subpoena, immediately call the National Lawyers Guild.
Ask for a badge and a business card.
Tell them you will remain silent.
Then do so. […]

READ @ http://thedailyoccupier.net/an-fbi-thing-happened-on-the-way-to-the-forum/

—————————————————————–

* THE ARGENTINES STOP THE MINING OF GOLD!

Source: Aljazeera

The Argentines protesting against mining activities in the northwestern province of La Rioja, where 2000 people are there preventing Osisko Canadian company to build an open gold mining mountain Famatina.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CSV8P-edoE&feature=player_embedded

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* GERMANY AND EUROPE’S PATH TO THE 19th CENTURY

Source: The Real News

Francisco Louçã: European elite wants to undo the “social contract”; Germany wants more control.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=u4Z3lrXDtdA

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* INDICTMENT IN THE HAGUE FOR GENOCIDE OF THE GREEKS, AGAINST PAPOULIAS, PAPADEMOS, PAPANDREOU, PANGALOS AND VENIZELOS

By Xrhstot Frik, OPARLAPIPAS

A Greek citizen, Christina Salem resident Chalkis, appeared to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague and filed a complaint against the President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, the former Prime Minister George Papandreou, now prime minister and Lucas Papademos Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on genocide against the Greek people ….

The complaint is legally documented and remains to see the reaction of the court. The case is very interesting and should be circulated.

TO THE OF THE prosecutor INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC)

EVIDENCE AND INFORMATION PERTINENT TO Serious Breach OF THE ROME OF THE Statute INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT ( ICC) AND BY STATE Political LEADERSHIP OF GREECE

Dear Sir / Madam

I Inform You, That this Time, We Speak AS, Serious Crimes are Committed in United Kingdom and only toggle You CAN Stop Them, AS THEY Crimes Against Humanity concern and attempted Genocide of an Entire race, and there is no judicial authority in Greece able to investigate them. I am speaking about Genocide by killing members of the population, by causing serious bodily or / and mental harm, by deliberately inflicting on the conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole (or in part), by imposing measures intended to prevent births and by forcibly transferring children. I am speaking and Crimes Against Humanity About Because during The Last two years:

– There were A lot of inhumane ACTS Against The Population, causing great Suffering, Serious Injury to Body and to physical and Mental Health

– There were intentional inflictions of Conditions of LIFE , inter Alia The deprivation of Access to Food and Medicine, Calculated to bring About The Destruction of Part A of Population,

– There were intentional inflictions of Severe Pain Or Suffering, and Mental Whether physical,

– There were intentional Severe deprivations of Fundamental Rights contrary to International Law by reason of The Identity of The collectivity

– We Have Lost The right of Full Ownership Over our BODIES CAN Easy and We Become Victims of Human Organ trafficking (Enslavement)

– There were coercive to ACTS Transfer of Persons from The area in Which THEY was lawfully Present, Without Grounds Permitted Under International Law.

And All, These were Committed by ACTS The State and Political leadership of United Kingdom AS A Part of A widespread and Systematic Attack Against directed The Population, With Knowledge of The Attack.

So I recorded The most important, in my opinion, criminal acts and their consequences which I believe that demonstrate completely the validity of the above allegations. Since my English is not very good and the situation we face is very serious and requires urgent action, in order to save time, I send you via e-mail now the notification – most of it written in Greek and a small part in English, with sufficient evidence, much of which is in English, so that, even with an automatic translation of text combined with English texts, that you can be able to understand enough so that you can start your investigation. As soon as possible, I will do my best to send you the whole text and the related evidence shown in English. In a couple of days, I will also send you some more evidence, via e-mail and via post mail I have already sent you 14 DVDs. Thank You.

Sincerely and always at your Disposal, Christina Salemi

I am A Greek citizen, residing in Chalkida (Paralia Avlidas), My ID Card Number is eight hundred and thirty-nine thousand eight hundred fifty-four and I My email address is simelas@yahoo.gr

List of Attachments:

a. ICC Notification

two. Salemi vs Papandreou 06.20.2011-Criminal Complaint denunciation

the 3rd. Salemi, Mylona Supplementary Facts to The Criminal Complaint-denunciation

the 4th. Salemi, Mylona vs Parliament no 2 (11/05/2011) second complaint

READ @ http://www.oparlapipas.com/2012/03/blog-post_4503.html#ixzz1rX0sQgOK

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* HOW THE YOUNG ARE INDOCTRINATED TO OBEY

Forty years ago there was deep concern that the population was breaking free of apathy and obedience. Since then, many measures have been taken to restore discipline.

By Noam Chomsky, AlterNet

Public education is under attack around the world, and in response, student protests have recently been held in Britain, Canada, Chile, Taiwan and elsewhere.
California is also a battleground. The Los Angeles Times reports on another chapter in the campaign to destroy what had been the greatest public higher education system in the world: “California State University officials announced plans to freeze enrollment next spring at most campuses and to wait-list all applicants the following fall pending the outcome of a proposed tax initiative on the November ballot.”

Similar defunding is under way nationwide. “In most states,” The New York Times reports, “it is now tuition payments, not state appropriations, that cover most of the budget,” so that “the era of affordable four-year public universities, heavily subsidized by the state, may be over.”

Community colleges increasingly face similar prospects – and the shortfalls extend to grades K-12.

“There has been a shift from the belief that we as a nation benefit from higher education, to a belief that it’s the people receiving the education who primarily benefit and so they should foot the bill,” concludes Ronald G. Ehrenberg, a trustee of the State University system of New York and director of the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute.

[…]

At the liberal internationalist extreme, the Trilateral Commission – the nongovernmental policy group from which the Carter Administration was largely drawn – issued stern warnings in 1975 that there is too much democracy, in part due to the failures of the institutions responsible for “the indoctrination of the young.” […]

READ @ http://www.alternet.org/education/154849/chomsky:_how_the_young_are_indoctrinated_to_obey/ 

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* PUBLIC “EDUCATION” HAS BECOME THE INDOCTRINATION AND DISTRACTION

Source: youtube

People are not being educated they’re being tested for levels of obedience. School is about memorizing what you are told short term and repeating it. The bulk of how you are graded is by completely daily busy work. This is for the work force the most important quality in a worker bee actually is obedience.

READ @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jZHNjc4Xk0&feature=player_embedde

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* ‘I AM NOT A MACHINE’: THE FACE OFA CHINESE WORKER WHO IS MAKING YOUR APPLE iPAD FOR £150 A MONTH

Source: DailyMailOnline

In the eight years since Zhang Shuxiang first left her village in the poor interior of central China, she worked in 20 factories before coming to the assembly line of a Foxconn plant making products for tech firms including Apple. She is hoping it will be her last.

The 26-year-old has worked in factories making products as varied as coffee makers, jewellery and Apple’s LED screens. Each time, she quit, blaming low wages and unreasonable supervisors, then joined another factory.

She now gets paid a base salary of £150 a month (1,550 yuan), an increase from £130 (1,320 yuan) the year before, and extra for overtime. […]

READ @ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2126198/I-machine-The-face-Chinese-worker-making-Apple-iPad-150-month.html

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* ANNOUNCEMENT – INDICTMENT FOR THE BRUTAL ATTACK OF THE POLICE FORCES ON OUR COLLEAGUES AND THE INJURY OF THE PRESIDENT OF EFE

Athens

4/5/2012

The Union of Greek Photojournalists denounces the new brutal and unprovoked attack by the special police forces of MAT against colleagues who were covering yesterday’s rally in Syntagma square, as well as today’s demonstration.  This time victim was the President of our Union, Marios Lolos, who is already hospitalized “for traumatic brain injury caused by strike with a police baton (skull fracture impressed) requiring surgical intervention”! We want to remind that this is not the first time that the President of EFE is becoming a target, moreover in the same way. In the 15th of December 2010 he was hit from behind on the head by a man of the MAT police forces, while doing his job, and the very next day our union in its announcement drew attention to the Ministers in charge “to follow through their responsibilities, because we are afraid that in the end we shall mourn victims”

We emphasize the fact that for one more time information of the public becomes a target, despite assurances by the (former) Minister of Protection (?) of the Citizen to EFE’s representatives, in our meeting last July regarding similar incidents, that “the political and physical leadership of EL.AS. (Greek Police) is devoted to the protection of the democratic rights and treats the information vocation with the needed sensitivity and shall make every effort so that it can be exercised freely and unobstructed” (!!) nullifying these assurances.

The systematic and repeated attacks against the press workers, while on duty, that violate even fundamental human rights, can be considered far than random. Even in the most good faith, one could conclude that these attacks are consciously exercised by several circles in order to impose silencing of the free press with the also conscious attempt to terrorize the free press workers.

Moreover we see that there is no development in similar brutal attacks that took place previously, like the one against our colleague journalist Manolis Kypraiou, who suffered permanent disability and we also note that tens of named complaints from our colleagues and our Unions regarding the provocative and brutal behavior of the police forces remain unaddressed (like the one against our colleague Tatiana Bolari) following the usual procedure of archiving any sworn administrative inquiry.

After these incidents our Union will join the rest of the Unions and the Federations in our sector in Greece and abroad, in the effort to preserve the freedom of information and will stand in every way against actions that undermine the foundations of democracy and attempt to return us back into situations and regimes for which our people has heavily paid and will never be repeated in our country.

For the EC

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT                                          THE GEN. SECRETARY

GIORGOS PAPATHANASIOU                             CHRISTINA ZAHOPOULOU

With the request of publication

The original in Greek here http://photounion.gr/?p=489

VIDEO @  http://www.newsit.gr/default.php?pname=Article&art_id=132376&catid=3

READ @ http://geomylo.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/announcement-indictment-for-the-brutal-attack-of-the-police-forces-on-our-colleagues-and-the-injury-of-the-president-of-efe/

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* RIOT POLICE DELIBERATELY ATTACK JOURNALISTS COVERING STREET DEMONSTRATIONS

Source: Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders roundly condemns a new wave of deliberate attacks on reporters and photographers in Athens and calls on the security forces to immediately identify those persons within their ranks who were responsible.

“The respite was short,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The riot police, who were criticized after the abuses of last summer and autumn, seem to have recovered their repressive instincts. The deliberate nature of the latest attacks leaves no doubt about this.

“In particular, Marios Lolos, a very well-known media figure, was clearly targeted during a peaceful demonstration while in a group of clearly identified journalists. Did they want to punish him for his union activities? Are they trying to intimidate all the media as Greece’s social revolt continues to grow? This unacceptable behaviour must be fully investigated and the police officers responsible for assaulting journalists must be severely punished.”

READ @ http://en.rsf.org/greece-riot-police-deliberately-attack-06-04-2012,42284.html

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* ATTICA IS ALL OF US

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

Dhoruba Al-Mujahid Bin-Wahad speaks at the Attica is all of us event at Riverside Church in Harlem New York City on September 9, 2011.

He addresses the importance of recognizing that we live in a police state and that we need to decentralize public safety of public safety. Also that we need community control of our communities.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Le2w8fikgSA

Jan 172012
 

 

* 13 QUOTES FROM SOCIAL JUSTICE CRUSADER MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. 

By Stephen D. Foster, Addicting Information

Martin Luther King was a social justice crusader whose life was cut short. Had he lived, our country would have been a much better place to live for everyone. King didn’t just fight for social justice for African-Americans. He fought on behalf of all Americans who were struggling to get by in an economy that favors the wealthy and powerful. He also fought for civil rights, which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Two landmark pieces of legislation that stand as a monument to his legacy. However, it is his words that stand brighter and are longer lasting than any sculpture or legislation. Here are 13 of my favorite Martin Luther King quotes.

1. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

2. “Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

3. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

[…]

READ @ http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/01/16/13-quotes-from-social-justice-crusader-martin-luther-king/

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* DEFENDING HUMAN RIGHTS: THE HAVEL EXAMPLE

By Aurel Braun and David Matas, OpEdNews

Those who defend human rights victims in repressive states run the risk of becoming victims themselves.   One reason we should stand up in Canada for human rights abroad is that we are safe in doing this.   Human rights defenders in repressive states are not.

In spite of those risks, there are people of extraordinary courage and unrelenting commitment even in the most repressive states who at great personal risk to themselves and their families, respect human rights, call for others to do so and decry violations.   These human rights defenders give us yet another reason to raise our voices.   If they can risk so much, we who have nothing to lose should do our part.

Nelson Mandela in the days of apartheid South Africa, Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma and Gao Zhisheng in China are shining examples to all of us.   So was Vaclav Havel.

Havel, who passed away on December 18 th , was one of the world’s most inspiring and effective dissidents. He never gave up, even in the bleakest and most dangerous moments; through his courage and insight, he came to symbolize the nobility of the struggle for human rights. […]

READ @ http://www.opednews.com/populum/printer_friendly.php?content=a&id=144181

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* AYN RAND OR MLK: PICK ONE

By David Atkins, Hullabaloo

MLK:

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'”

Ayn Rand:

If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.

[…]

READ @ http://www.digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/ayn-rand-or-mlk-pick-one-by.html

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* WHO ARE THE VICTIMS OF CIVIL LIBERTIES ASSAULTS AND ENDLESS WAR?

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon

In The Washington Post yesterday, Law Professor Jonathan Turley has an Op-Ed in which he identifies ten major, ongoing assaults on core civil liberties in the U.S. Many of these abuses were accelerated during the Bush administration in the wake of 9/11, but all have been vigorously continued and/or expanded by President Obama.  Turley points out that these powers have long been deemed (by the U.S.) as the hallmark of tyranny, and argues that their seizure by the U.S. Government has seriously called into question America’s status as a free nation: “They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian.” All ten of these powers are ones very familiar to readers here: Assassination of U.S. citizens; Indefinite detention; Arbitrary justice; Warrantless searches; Secret evidence; War crimes; Secret court; Immunity from judicial review; Continual monitoring of citizens; and Extraordinary renditions.

I’ve written volumes on all of those powers over the last several years, but — especially today — I want to focus on one narrow but vital question: who are generally the victims of these civil liberties assaults? The answer is the same as the one for this related question: who are the prime victims of America’s posture of Endless War? Overwhelmingly, the victims are racial, ethnic and religious minorities: specifically, Muslims (both American Muslims and foreign nationals). And that is a major factor in why these abuses flourish: because those who dominate American political debates perceive, more or less accurately, that they are not directly endangered (at least for now) by this assault on core freedoms and Endless War (all civil liberties abuses in fact endanger all citizens, as they inevitably spread beyond their original targets, but they generally become institutionalized precisely because those outside the originally targeted minority groups react with indifference).

To see how central a role this sort of selfish provincialism plays in shaping political priorities, just compare (a) the general indifference to Endless War and the massive civil liberties assaults described by Turley (ones largely confined to Muslims)  to (b) the intense outrage and media orgy generated when a much milder form of invasiveness — TSA searches — affected Americans of all backgrounds. The success of Endless War and civil liberties attacks depends on ensuring that the prime victims, at least in the first instance, are marginalized and easily demonizable minorities. […]

READ @ http://www.salon.com/2012/01/16/who_are_the_victims_of_civil_liberties_assaults_and_endless_war/singleton/

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* U.S. RANKS 27th IN SOCIAL JUSTICE

By Jim Hightower, Truthout

Being at the bottom of the heap in terms of social justice confirms the reality of both economic and political inequality that the Occupy movement is protesting.

“USA: We’re No. 1!”

Oh, wait — Iceland is No. 1. But we did beat out Poland and Slovakia, right? Uh…no. But go on down the rankings and there we are! No. 27, fifth from the bottom. So our new national chant is, “USA: At Least We’re Not Last!”

A foundation in Germany has analyzed the social justice records of all 31 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ranking each nation in such categories as health care, income inequality, pre-school education, and child poverty. The overall performance by the United States — which boasts of being an egalitarian society — outranks only Greece, Chile, Mexico, and Turkey. Actually, three of those countries performed better than ours in the education of pre-schoolers, and Greece did better than the United States on the prevention of poverty. […]

READ @ http://www.truth-out.org/us-ranks-27th-social-justice/1326737822#.TxVmw2QVWId.facebook

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* FLEXING MUSCLE, BAGHDAD DETAINS U.S. CONTRACTORS

By Michael S. Schmidt and Eric Schmitt, NYTimes

BAGHDAD — Iraqi authorities have detained a few hundred foreign contractors in recent weeks, industry officials say, including many Americans who work for the United States Embassy, in one of the first major signs of the Iraqi government’s asserting its sovereignty after the American troop withdrawal last month.

The detentions have occurred largely at the airport in Baghdad and at checkpoints around the capital after the Iraqi authorities raised questions about the contractors’ documents, including visas, weapons permits and authorizations to drive certain routes. Although no formal charges have been filed, the detentions have lasted from a few hours to nearly three weeks.

The crackdown comes amid other moves by the Iraqi government to take over functions that had been performed by the United States military and to claim areas of the country it had controlled. In the final weeks of the military withdrawal, the son of Iraq’s prime minister began evicting Western companies and contractors from the heavily fortified Green Zone, which had been the heart of the United States military operation for much of the war. […]

READ @ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/16/world/middleeast/asserting-its-sovereignty-iraq-detains-american-contractors.html

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* INSIDE MOSSAD’S WAR ON TEHRAN

By Marie Colvin and Uzi Mahnaimi, Sunday Times

EARLY in Tehran’s grey wintry morning last Wednesday, Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan, a young scientist in Iran’s controversial nuclear program, got dressed at his home in the northern suburbs. The events of this last hour of his life could have come out of a spy film.
Small groups of Israeli agents were watching key points in the Iranian capital. Their target was Roshan. They would be dead themselves if they were caught.

For Israel it was a classic assassination mission. “What is seen in espionage films as a simple operation is a result of hard work, many months of intelligence gathering and a well trained team,” said a source who released details, impossible to verify, to The Sunday Times.

“There is zero tolerance for mistakes. By nature, every failure not only risks the neck of the agents but also risks turning into an international scandal.”

Since its foundation in 1948, Israel has used assassination as a national weapon, striking targets abroad ranging from Palestinians who killed Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, to enemies on the streets of Amman and a Hamas leader in a Dubai hotel room in 2010. […]

READ @ http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30254.htm

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* U.S., NOT IRAN, IS TO BLAME

As America escalates tension with Iran, the world should stand by Tehran and the UN must cease to behave like the handmaiden of the West.

By Sandhya Jain, The Pioneer

The Government of India has moved with commendable alacrity to clarify that it has not asked oil firms to reduce crude imports from Tehran. Iran remains this country’s second largest crude oil supplier despite India twice voting that the International Atomic Energy Commission refer Iran’s nuclear issue to the US Security Council in February 2006 and November 2009. Both times India could have abstained; the mindless quest for a strategic partnership with America nearly compromised our national interest.

The need for caution has doubled. As Washington, DC escalates tension with Tehran, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta admitted on CBS’s Face the Nation programme on January 8 that despite the rhetoric, America is aware that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons but is only pursuing “a nuclear capability”.

Yet the Obama Administration last December enacted a law under which the US can impose sanctions on any financial institution dealing with Iran’s central bank, its main clearing house for oil payments. This could jeopardise India’s oil payment system which is currently routed through Turkey’s Halkbank; a delegation to Tehran is expected to take up the matter.

The Washington-Tehran face-off is causing unease in world capitals as the Iranian resistance is likely to be superior to what America and its allies faced in Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan. In all these theatres, the Western allies bludgeoned the states with brute military force, but had no strategy to hold the ground thereafter. Hence America ran from Iraq and is trying to quit Afghanistan; the Libya story has yet to unfold. […]

READ @ http://mail.dailypioneer.com/columnists/item/50881-us-not-iran-is-to-blame.html

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* WAR PLAN IRAN: DISPELLING THE LIES, TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT WESTERN AGGRESSION IN THE PERSIAN GULF

By Finian Cunningham and Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research

The year 2012 may become known as a watershed for humanity – the year when mankind was precipitated into a global conflagration involving nuclear weapons. The signs are indeed grimly ominous as formidable military forces converge on the Persian Gulf in the long-running stand-off between the United States and Iran.

On side with the US are its European allies in NATO, primarily Britain, Washington’s Middle East client states: Israel and the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf – all bristling with weapons of mass destruction. Recent naval exercises by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz have also displayed a fierce arsenal of missiles and military capability, and Iran has strategic alliances with Russia and China, both of whom will not stand idly by if their Persian partner is attacked.

As we have consistently analysed on Global Research, the conflict between the US-led powers and Iran has wider ramifications. It is part and parcel of Washington’s bid to engineer the social and political upheavals across the Arab World in order to redraw the region in its strategic interests. It is no coincidence that fresh from NATO’s conquest of and regime change in Libya, the focus has quickly shifted to Syria – a key regional ally of Iran. As Michel Chossudovsky has pointed out “the road to Tehran goes through to Damascus”. Regime change in Syria would serve to isolate Iran. Subjugating Iran and returning it to Western tutelage is the prize that Washington and its allies have been seeking for the past 33 years ever since their client the Shah, Mohammad Rezā Pahlavi, was deposed by the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Iran is an energy-rich colossus, with oil and, more importantly, natural gas reserves that put it, with approximately 10% of global reserves, in the world’s top three oil economies alongside Washington’s client states of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.  In sharp contrast, the US has less than  2% of global oil reserves.

The conquest of Iran’s oil riches is the driving force behind America’s military agenda. […]

READ @ http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28675

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* U.S. CORPORATIONS: CLOSELY ALLIED WITH CHINA, SELLING OUT AMERICA

By Michael Payne, OpEdNews

U.S. Corporations, supposedly the bedrock of America’s system of capitalism, have decided that their best bet for the future is to closely ally themselves with China, its manufacturing industry and cheap labor to maximize their profits. In doing so, they have sold out America, its manufacturing sector and its workers. These economic predators have sold themselves to the highest bidder and have now proven, without any doubt, that they have no loyalty to the nation they call their home.

Their policies and actions have been a major contributing cause of this country’s ongoing economic problems over this past decade. Since the beginning of this new century more than 42,000 U.S. plants have been closed and 15 million American workers have lost their jobs. This has greatly reduced the purchasing power of consumers and has dealt a huge blow to this nation’s faltering economy.

What a terrific partnership this has been for these corporations and China; it’s like a marriage made in heaven. Those very clever Chinese, with the help of their U.S. corporate facilitators, have been given the ability to directly tap into the massive American consumer economy. These two partners have been able to pull off an economic coup and now the largest portions of the U.S. retail sector, as well as the American people, are hooked on imported Chinese products.

Yes, this is a perfect partnership. China provides the cheap slave labor to manufacture the products that are then exported to the world’s largest market, one that Corporate America controls. What a great arrangement! U.S. corporations’ profits soar, CEO incomes and bonuses skyrocket, Chinese corporations, their workers and the Chinese economy all benefit greatly. Of course, when we speak of this transfer of economic wealth, while China is the primary beneficiary, Japan, India, Taiwan, South Korea, and others are also major recipients. […]

READ @ http://www.opednews.com/articles/U-S-Corporations-Closely-by-michael-payne-120116-375.html

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* SO IS SOPA DEAD? NOT EXACTLY 

By Paul Tassi, Forbes

[…] So is it dead? Did we win? No, and here’s why:

– In that same statement, the White House also said “While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response…” followed later by ““That is why the Administration calls on all sides to work together to pass sound legislation this year that provides prosecutors and rights holders new legal tools to combat online piracy originating beyond U.S. borders.” They still want to pass anti-piracy legislation this year.

– SOPA is not dead, it’s been “shelved” and won’t return “until a consensus is reached.”

– Protect IP (PIPA), the Senate version of the House bill, is still very much alive, and has not even been shelved, much less killed. It is equally as bad of an idea as SOPA, even if most protests are being directed at SOPA recently.

So what does this mean? Though the battle is won, the war is not. SOPA could easily make a resurgence if it sculpts itself to whatever the White House’s unspecified specifications are, and PIPA could also pass, as even with recent changes to it (courts can’t force ISPs to block websites), it’s still harmful. […]

READ @ http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/01/16/so-is-sopa-dead-not-exactly/

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* INTERNET ACCESS FOR ALL: 3 WAYS THE FCC IS TRYING TO CLOSE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

Here are a few of the FCC’s efforts to deal with the digital divide—the good and the bad of each.

By Jamilah King, AlterNet

The Federal Communications Commission doesn’t always communicate very well. This much became obvious earlier this week when Chair Julius Genachowski announced important changes to the country’s Lifeline program, a service that’s historically offered low-cost phone service to poor and working class households.

The underlying principle of the Lifeline program is that phone service is a necessity, and that the government should ensure that everyone has access to it. Genachowski said on Monday that the same principle should apply to broadband Internet, since about 40 percent of the country remains without it, mostly because it’s too expensive. That doesn’t change the fact that important parts of broadband Internet are still not classified as essential communication services—which makes it hard for the FCC to fully regulate it. Still, the FCC is launching a new pilot programs to offer low-cost service, help teach people about the Internet and connect them to it. That’s big.

Funny thing is, though, this new pilot program isn’t the first time the FCC has tried to offer low-cost alternatives to help bridge the digital divide. A handful of programs already exist and have had varying amounts of success. And it’s very likely that you’ve never heard of them. […]

READ @ http://www.alternet.org/story/153785/internet_access_for_all%3A_3_ways_the_fcc_is_trying_to_close_the_digital_divide/

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* WISCONSIN DEMOCRATS SUBMITTING RECALL-WALKER PETITIONS TODAY

By Eric Kleefeld, TPM

It’s the big day in Wisconsin: After two months of collecting petitions, state Democrats will officially turn in a vast number of signatures collected in order to trigger a recall election against Gov. Scott Walker.

In December, the Democrats announced that they had collected over 507,000 signatures in 30 days, getting very close to the legal threshold of just over 540,000 signatures in 60 days. (The party also told TPM at the time that this 507,000 figure takes into account also own efforts to weed out bad signatures.) They also said that they were working towards an even greater goal of 720,000 total, in order to have an absolute buffer against disqualifications.

State Democratic party spokesman Graeme Zielinski told TPM on Monday: “We’re confident that we will hit that mark.” […]

READ @ http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/01/wisconsin-democrats-turning-in-recall-walker-petitions.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

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* MORE OPPOSITION TO EMANUEL PROTEST ORDINANCE

Source: Progress Illinois

It’s not just Occupy protesters against Rahm Emanuel’s proposed ordinance that imposes harsher fines and rules for protests and demonstrations. This week’s edition of Crain’s Chicago Business editorializes against the ordinance as it, “reinforces the very stereotypes that Chicago is trying to shed.” Crain’s argues that increased fines for resisting arrest are “driven by fear of reliving” the violent 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Crain’s critical focus is actually on a less reported part of Emanuel’s plan: The mayor has the power to hand out no-bid contracts for summit-related matters … like the $16 million no-bid deal already provided to Motorola,allowing the company can provide emergency radios for the May summits.

Emanuel said last week that the city will rely on private companies to provide both security and services – and for private donors to raise up to $60 million to supplement security costs. Henry Bayer, head of AFSCME-Local 31, is upset by this request: Bayer wonders why these same private donors couldn’t also give to other causes, such as money to keep Chicago’s libraries open on Mondays. […]

READ @ http://progressillinois.com/news/content/2012/01/16/business-pub-opposes-emanuel-protest-ordinance

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* OCCUPY CONGRESS TUESDAY JANUARY 17: DETAILS FOR ATTENDEES

By Brett, Redmayne-Titley, OpEdNews

New tents are popping up in the nation’s capital and there is talk of expanding to a new park.

The two Washington, D.C. Occupation camps – at McPherson Park and Freedom Plaza – are calling to action all Occupy camps and persons interested in making their opinions heard by Congress, to gather on Tuesday, January 17, 2012.

This call has gone out nationally and is being answered.

More than a dozen occupiers have just arrived from San Diego, and another 8 or 9 from Chattanooga.

Occupiers representing camps from Los Angeles, Dallas, Winston-Salem N.C., Greenville S.C., Wall Street, and Pittsburgh have already arrived. Other camps have already announced their planned arrivals. Throughout the past week many people passing through the camps have said that they will be at the protest as well. Expectations are high. […]

READ @ http://www.opednews.com/populum/printer_friendly.php?content=a&id=144189

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* OCCUPY MOVEMENT TURNS ATTENTION TO CONGRESS

By Ambreen Ali, Roll Call

For many in the Occupy movement, Wall Street was so last year.

Congress is the new target as Occupy activists try to channel the populist energy of “the 99 percent” into tangible results.

More than 30 Occupy groups and 10,000 Facebook users are backing Tuesday’s Occupy Congress rally outside the Capitol, and they represent a growing faction within the liberal movement that says the path to reining in Wall Street runs through Capitol Hill.

“Congress is the place that we should focus,” said Natalia Abrams, a California-based activist. “I don’t think we’re ever going to get Wall Street to control its greed, but maybe we can get Congress to control their greed for them.” […]

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