Thursday, December 9, 2010

Students march as UK parliament says yes to fees hike

By a narrow margin British members of Parliament have approved a controversial plan to raise university tuition fees as thousands of students continue to protest in the streets of London.

The student fee hike has been approved by a reduced majority of 21 votes. Meanwhile, the protestors continued to demonstrate in front of the Parliament. The center of London around Westminster and the Parliament has been closed for traffic for almost the entire day.

The students started to gather at noon and marched toward the Parliament. One of the largest marches ever in London saw tens of thousands of demonstrators gather in the capital’s center. Protests are also taking place across the rest of the country.

Members of the RMT union, one of the most powerful trade unions in the country, have joined the student protests.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Israel faces child-abuse claims

Al Jazeera speaks to Palestinian child who says he was abused by Israeli interrogators.

31 May 2010

An international children's rights charity has said it has evidence that Palestinian children held in Israeli custody have been subjected to sexual abuse in an effort to extract confessions from them.

The Geneva-based Defence for Children International (DCI) has collected 100 sworn affadavits from Palestinian children who said they were mistreated by their Israeli captors.

Fourteen of the statements say they were sexually abused or threatened with sexual assault to pressure them into confessions.

Al Jazeera's correspondent in the West Bank, Nour Odeh, met one of the children, identified only as "N", who said he suffered sexual abuse at the hands of his interrogators.

Dismissive attitude

DCI officials say that when they complain to the Israeli military about the treatment of the children, their allegations are dismissed as untrue.

Now the organisation has submitted its evidence to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture to try and increase pressure on Israel to stamp out the alleged abuse.

According to our correspondent, Israel has two sets of laws: one for its citizens and another for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

All Palestinians, minors and adults, are tried in military courts.

Children between the ages of 12 and 16 are tried in Israeli military courts as children.

From 16 years onwards, Palestinians are tried as adults.

Human-rights groups have criticised Israel's detention policy with regard to children, which denies them access to their families or lawyers during the detention process.

Palestinian children arrested by Israel are not permitted to see their lawyers until they are in court.

There are currently 340 Palestinian children in Israeli jails, mostly convicted of throwing stones.

An Israeli military order stipulates that stone throwing carries a maximum jail sentence of 20 years, and there is no appeals process for decisions by Israeli military courts.

Israeli reaction

The Israeli military, in a written response, rejected DCI's allegations, saying the detention of minors is consistent with international law.

It said all court hearings involving minors in the West Bank were conducted before a special military court which specialises in dealing with issues pertaining to minors.

"Allegations regarding violence in the course of questioning should be raised during the trial or in a formal complaint," the military said.

"Regarding the presence of a lawyer during questioning of a minor, the Youth Law does not require such a presence, even within the state of Israel."

Bana Shoughry-Badarne, head of the legal department at the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, an Israeli human-rights group, says there is a huge issue of impunity in Israel with regard to complaints against the security services.

"Our latest report, from 2009, shows that from the 600 complaints that were submitted to Israel's attorney-general, all of them were dismissed," she told Al Jazeera from Jerusalem.

"There was not even one criminal investigation."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Shooting Palestinian workers

B'Tselem - November 3, 2010

Over the past year, B'Tselem has documented eleven cases in which soldiers fired at and wounded Palestinian civilians working in areas near the perimeter fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. In these eleven cases, the gunfire struck civilians who, because of the lack of jobs in the Strip, were compelled to earn a living by collecting building materials for recycling. The lack of jobs has grown since Operation Cast Lead and following the continuing siege on the Strip.

In none of the cases was an attempt made to arrest the workers, so it is unreasonable to think they were suspected of engaging in actions aimed at harming security forces or Israeli citizens; rather, the gunfire was intended, apparently, to remove the workers from areas the army considers no-go zones. In addition to the eleven documented cases, B'Tselem and other human rights organizations know of dozens of other cases.

These cases join a series of instances documented by B'Tselem over recent years in which soldiers have fired at farmers and demonstrators in the vicinity of the perimeter fence, even when they did not present any danger. On 28 April 2010, Ahmad Dib, a young Palestinian, died of his wounds after being shot by the Israeli security forces on the border of the Gaza Strip while he was participating in a demonstration close to the perimeter fence.

Collecting gravel and other building materials is carried out primarily among the ruins of the Erez industrial zone near Erez Crossing. Following the disengagement, in 2005, the army classified the approximately 150-meter strip running from the perimeter fence along the border, which is situated inside the Strip, a no-go zone. After Operation Cast Lead, the army distributed leaflets stating the no-go zone had been increased to 300 meters from the fence. The leaflets state that, “Anybody who approaches endangers his life,” and that measures will be taken against persons who enter, “including by gunfire,” regardless of the person’s identity or actions. Contrary to the High Court of Justice’s ruling, in HCJ 741/05, that “special security areas” must be clearly marked, the no-go zones in the Gaza Strip are not marked in any way. B'Tselem’s investigation has revealed that some of the workers in the area have never seen such a leaflet; in any case, some of them are illiterate.

The sweeping declaration of extensive areas as no-go zones in which the army may open fire at any person found there, even if the person poses no threat, is unlawful. Indiscriminate firing at persons who pose no danger to security forces or to Israeli civilians breaches the central principle of international humanitarian law, the distinction between combatants and civilians.

Furthermore, more than half of the Palestinians injured in the eleven cases were shot when they were more than 300 meters from the fence, and therefore in an area outside the army’s declared no-go zone. In practice, any person working in areas along the perimeter fence, even if outside the no-go zone, risks his life.

.. Full article

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Bible: A Manual for Genocide

Gildas Sapiens - 02 Nov 2010

The philosophical underpinning of Israeli policy:

The Bible: A Manual for Genocide from Gildas Sapiens on Vimeo.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bush White House security adviser: Israel likely source of cyber attack on Iran

In an interview on Bloomberg TV, Richard Falkenrath suggested that Israel is the most likely source of the Stuxnet malware which seems designed to cripple industrial facilities in Iran.

Falkenrath is currently the Deputy Commissioner of Counter-Terrorism for the NYPD and held several positions in the George W Bush White House including Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunsteinism - Cognitive Infiltration

Guns and Butter, for September 22, 2010
Guns and Butter - September 22, 2010 at 1:00pm

Click to listen (or download)

"Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Truth Movement" with researcher, Tod Fletcher. We discuss David Ray Griffin's newest book, Cognitive Infiltration, which is a deconstruction and debunking of Obama appointee, Cass Sunstein's, paper, "Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures", in which Sunstein proposes a new government COINTELPRO type infiltration of groups which research and promote ideas and explanations that run contrary to US government narratives, most specifically about the events of September 11th.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

BBC now admits Al Qaeda never existed

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New York police officer escapes prison for pushing cyclist off bike

15 Jul 2010 | The Telegraph

A New York police officer has escaped a prison sentence after he was caught on camera pushing a cyclist from his bicycle during a demonstration in Times Square.

The clash between Patrick Pogan, the officer, and the bike-riding activist happened in an instant, however, the fallout lasted for almost two years after video of the confrontation that became a YouTube hit.

It ended on Wednesday when the officer's criminal case was closed without jail time or probation after he was convicted of lying about the 2008 incident.

Pogan, 24, fought back tears, hugged relatives and thanked his lawyer and police union after hearing his sentence, technically known as a conditional discharge.

He had gone to a Manhattan court facing the possibility of up to four years in prison, but a judge did not jail him and instead gave him a conditional discharge.

Jurors in April acquitted Pogan of assault and harassment in his 2008 encounter with pro-cycling activist Christopher Long, however, Pogan was convicted of lying after a witness's video contradicted his account in a court document.

Ryan Connors, Assistant District Attorney, pressed for jail time for Pogan, saying "the entire fairness of the criminal justice system was called into question" by his falsehoods. Pogan's misleading account led to attempted assault and other charges against Mr Long; the charges ultimately were dropped.

But defence lawyer Stuart London portrayed Pogan as a novice who "made an isolated mistake on paperwork."

Pogan, then about 10 days out of the police academy, was assigned to keep order and watch out for traffic violations as a loosely knit bike protest called Critical Mass passed through Times Square on July 25, 2008.

Participants and police have had a rocky relationship since more than 260 cyclists were arrested during what authorities saw as a chaotic Critical Mass ride shortly before the Republican National Convention in 2004.

The Pogan case stoked the tensions, with the president of the Police Benevolent Association union decrying it as the result of "anarchists" who "were looking for a confrontation with police." The group that organises the group ride, Time's Up, said it was disappointed with Pogan's sentence but hoped the incident and aftermath would ultimately improve relations between officers and cyclists.

Pogan said he told Mr Long to stop to get ticketed for such infractions as taking his hands off his handlebars. Mr Long kept going, and he testified he never heard any instruction to stop.

Pogan initially reported that Mr Long steered into him and knocked him down, but a tourist's video showed the officer striding over to Mr Long and shoving him off his bike. The video has garnered more than 2 million YouTube views.

Pogan testified that he was trying to protect himself and never meant to misrepresent what happened.

State Supreme Court Justice Maxwell Wiley said he found incarceration and further court supervision unwarranted in Pogan's case. A conditional discharge usually involves conditions a defendant must meet for the case to be closed, but Wiley didn't set any.

Long, a sometime farmer and farmer's market worker, wasn't seriously hurt. He got a $65,000 settlement after suing the city.

Pogan resigned last year from the New York Police Department and has been working construction jobs. His felony conviction will bar him from police work.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NATO's Secret Armies

Operation Gladio and False Flag Terrorism

Check out this excellent recent documentary, which has just been posted on the Internet, about Nato’s secret armies that were set up across Western Europe after the Second World War. While these “stay-behind” armies were supposedly intended to help put together a resistance if the Soviet Union invaded their countries, they went on to commit terrorist attacks against their own populations, so as to influence domestic politics.

The documentary describes how, from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, Western intelligence agencies collaborated with right-wing extremist groups to commit false flag terrorist attacks, which would often be falsely blamed on left-wing groups. It features interviews with, among others, Daniele Ganser, author of NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Australia: 11 Unions back campaign to boycott Israel

From radio station 2SER:

The international campaign for Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment against Israel is starting to gain leverage in Australia, especially since the recent killings of nine Turkish solidarity activists. Since the May 31 attack on the flotilla of peace activists who were attempting to break the siege of Gaza and deliver humanitarian aid, several more trade unions and regional trade councils have signed up to the boycott campaign. The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) was the first Australian trade union to join the international boycott of Israel, even before the attack on the flotilla. Now eleven Australian trade unions and regional trade councils have joined the boycott. Mal Tulloch from the New South Wales CFMEU visited occupied Palestine earlier this year as part of a study tour to the Middle East organized by Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA. He spoke with 2SER’s Liz Cush.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

French police brutality

They are supposed to protect the citizens of their country, but instead France's police force is facing multiple allegations of brutality and racism.

Amnesty International say that French authorities failed to investigate numerous allegations of unlawful killings, racial abuse and excessive use of force.

One of those cases was a 69-year-old Arab man who died in police custody. Al Jazeera's Estelle Youssouffa met his friend, who says he will not rest until justice is done.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Short film on life in Gaza

Gaza: Post Operation Cast Lead from ICCL Human Rights Film Awards on Vimeo.

Gaza: Post Operation Cast Lead: This short documentary by Dearbhla Glynn brings us to the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead in late 2008/ early 2009. It offers a personal insight into the day-to-day living conditions faced by the Gaza Strip’s 1.5 million conflict-stricken inhabitants. 2010 ICCL Human Rights Film Awards Shortlistee.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The War Is Making You Poor Act

Friday, April 30, 2010

Kevin Barrett's interview with Jeff Blankfort

Following is Kevin Barrett's interview with Jeff Blankfort*, pro-Palestinian activist, critic of Zionism, and long-time critic of Noam Chomsky.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Video: Pink Police Bust Ahava Products

BDS Austin Activism - Ahava Protest from PSC UT Austin on Vimeo.

Codepink, PSC, and ICPR mobilized to engage in a protest at a local ULTA store that is carrying Ahava products; a brand that operates out of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Supporters of the BDS Movement, Austin activists felt it necessary to have their voices heard in order to not support Israeli Apartheid.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Al-Jazeera - Inside Story

Joining the programme are Meagan Buren, the director of research and training at the Israel Project, John Mearsheimer, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, and Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of the website