nedjelja, 20. veljače 2011.

Linkovi (Palestina/Izrael, Bahrein, Egipat…)

The people want to bring down the regime


HRW: Palestinian Authority: No Justice for Torture Death in Custody

Amer died on June 15, 2009, while detained at the General Intelligence Service headquarters in Hebron, allegedly under interrogation. A Palestinian military court trial in July 2010 acquitted the five security officers accused of Amer's death, claiming "lack of evidence" despite an official Palestinian autopsy report stating that he had died due to torture and testimony by the three detainees who witnessed his death. The trial is the only known instance in which Palestinian security officials in the West Bank have been criminally prosecuted for torture, despite hundreds of torture allegations. To Human Rights Watch's knowledge, no Palestinian security official has been convicted for abusing persons in custody. The PA suspected Amer, a 33 year-old nurse at a Hebron hospital, of membership in Hamas, the authority's bitter rival, according to media reports. The authorities had not charged him with any offense and it is not clear why they arrested him, although tensions with Hamas were high at the time, after fatal gun battles between Hamas and PA security forces on May 30 and June 4 in the northern West Bank city of Qalqilya. The Palestinian special military court in Hebron that acquitted the five accused officers found that General Intelligence Service officials had negligently failed to stop Amer from falling to his death from an upper floor of the agency's headquarters. In sworn testimony to prosecutors, prisoners who witnessed Amer's death identified two intelligence officers responsible for torturing him severely for four days and denying his requests for medical care despite his clearly worsening health. One of these officers, and another officer whom these witnesses testified had tortured them, were not indicted.

Egypt and the Palestinian question

Along with the laundry list of domestic grievances expressed by Egyptian protesters calling for an end to the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the popular perception of Egypt's foreign policy has also been a focal point of the demonstrations. Signs and chants have called on Mubarak to seek refuge in Tel Aviv, while his hastily appointed vice-president, Omar Suleiman, has been disparaged as a puppet of the US. Egypt's widely publicised sale of natural gas to Israel at rock bottom prices has featured in many refrains emanating from the crowds. The widespread view among Egyptians that the regime has served the interests of the West has not been helped by Israel's call for world leaders to support Mubarak, or the apparent unwillingness by American officials to give the protests their full backing.

The death of Israeli democracy

If the Admissions Committee law passes, for example, this young couple and their three children could find themselves barred from living in certain communities and villages, even those built on public land. If the Nakba Bill is approved, organisations that commemorate the 1948 expulsion of Palestinians will be ineligible for public funds. This is a "watered down" version of the bill. The original version sought to imprison anyone who publicly marked the Nakba Day. Other legislation aims to silence individuals and groups that criticise the government. ... The Boycott Bill seeks to criminalise those who advocate for the international boycott of Israel, subjecting them to steep fines. The Anti-Incitement Bill criminalises those who publish anything that denies Israel's Jewish and democratic character. Because I have authored articles calling for a bi-national democracy, this one could land me in jail. (And, if I'm already headed for the clinker, I might as well state the obvious: A country that must force people to call it democratic, on pain of imprisonment, is not a democracy). And the Knesset is considering the creation of committees that will investigate the funding of left-wing civil and human rights organisations - most of which are critical of the Israeli occupation. Critics have likened the move to a political witch-hunt as right-wing groups will not be investigated. They also point out that such an investigation, which is the responsibility of the legal branch, would exceed the Knesset's power. So the question remains: Will Israel become out-right fascist?


Live blog – Lybia

Najnovije vijesti o prosvjedima i nasilnoj represiji diktatorskog režima u Libiji.


VIDEO: Democracy Now!: “People Are Bleeding in the Streets:” Bahrain Police Wage Brutal Overnight Attack on Hundreds of Pro-Democracy Protesters

During an overnight raid in the Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain, heavily armed riot police surrounded thousands of demonstrators as they slept in a central square in the nation’s capital. Rubber bullets, tear gas and concussion grenades were fired into the crowd without warning. At least four people were killed and hundreds injured. Some 60 people are reported missing. We hear from human right activist Nabeel Rajab outside a hospital in Manama where the wounded are being treated. [includes rush transcript]

Bahrain: The Social Roots of Revolt Against Another US Ally

In the early hours of Thursday, up to five thousand Bahraini protesters were forced from the main demonstration site at the Pearl Roundabout, a landmark intersection in the capital, Manama. The Bahraini authorities deployed helicopters, dozens of tanks and armoured personnel carriers, with army and police firing teargas and live rounds. Among the protesters were hundreds of women and children. ... While these communities have suffered the blight of unemployment and poverty, they also have witnessed roaring property development, land prices and profits benefiting the ruling elite. These communities have watched their country’s oil wealth being directed to serve elite interests with development plans that are geared to lure international capital. This has led to swathes of coastal areas being confiscated by members of the extended Al Khalifa royal family, to be earmarked for future reclamation and skyscraper development. That is how Bahrain has become something of a paradox – an island without any beaches. And it is this lopsided, elite-orientated development that is fuelling deep social grievances among the masses, grievances that are now being directed at those elites. … Bahrain’s unstable social formation is underpinned by unwavering US diplomatic and military support. The island serves as the base for the US Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf. The latest wave of state repression has tellingly elicited only a subdued, ambivalent comment from Washington, urging “all sides to refrain from violence” – Washington-speak that translates into support for the government. Last year, Bahrain received $19.5 million in US military aid, which, on a per capita basis, equates to greater than that delivered to Egypt.

VIDEO: Bahrain's army deliberately kills peaceful protesters with live rounds ( automatic weapon )

Vojska bojevim streljivom ubija nenasilne prosvjednike u Bahreinu

Live blog – Bahrain

Najnovije vijesti o prosvjedima i nasilnoj represiji diktatorskog režima u Bahreinu.


VIDEO: Daily Show: Mess O'Slightly-to-the-Left O'Potamia - Credit for Egypt's Uprising

On “Leaderless Revolutions” and the Fall of Mubarak

The sense of solidarity and community (and at least some partial small-scale victories) from local contexts gradually expands to awareness of similar struggles elsewhere and personal ties of trust and common objectives. At these local levels, responding to daily oppressive contexts, it is the individual decisions—often spontaneous—to resist instead of submit, small revolutions at the personal and community level, that accumulate over time into deeper and deeper determination to challenge ever-broader elements of the existing regime. Essentially, these are the true “leaders” of the revolution. Without that growing accumulation of willful resistance by hundreds of thousands already at the grassroots level, no appeals by Twitter or Facebook, by liberal, radical or revolutionary organizations, or by charismatic national figures will inspire millions to risk the bloodshed and torture implied in confrontation with the harsh face of the regime’s police. Without large numbers already willing to take such risks, the hundreds of thousands or millions of previous bystanders would not dare to then express their own deeper feelings of alienation, resentment and rage. In turn, at a certain stage, the open use of repression by the regime, as with the pro-Mubarek thugs last week, simply fuels even greater rage and mass participation. When suddenly massive resistance declares itself in huge demonstrations, participants experience an unparalleled exuberance of community and utopian egalitarianism. These are the sentiments we’ve heard commonly expressed in Cairo and other cities in Egypt. These are the same feelings experienced in Paris in 1968, in Prague in 1989 and other revolutionary contexts. Even in non-revolutionary situations, as in the great civil rights and antiwar marches of the 60s in the United States, the same festive atmosphere of great hope and solidarity could be felt.

El Mahallah Spinning Company Workers on an Open Strike

Egypt, CTUWS, February 16, 2011: Today morning more than 20.000 workers of El Mahallah Spinning Company started an open strike, seeking mainly for the dismissal of the commissioner-general, the boards chairman, the head of legal affairs and the head of security department at the company, accusing them for making the company loses 270 million pounds during the last two years.

VIDEO: Bye Bye Mubarak


Algeria protesters push for change

Filali said the demonstrators were determined to remain peaceful, but he claimed that the police "want the crowd to go violent and then get them portrayed as a violent crowd". Protesters are demanding greater democratic freedoms, a change of government and more jobs. ... The latest rally is being organised by the National Co-ordination for Change and Democracy (CNCD), a three-week-old umbrella group of opposition parties, civil society movements and unofficial unions inspired by the mass protests in Tunisia and Egypt. Demonstrators have been protesting over the last few months against unemployment, high food costs, poor housing and corruption - similar issues that fuelled uprisings in other north African nations. Earlier this month, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algeria's president, said he would lift emergency powers, address unemployment and allow democratic marches to take place in the country, in a bid to stave off unrest. "The regime is frightened," Filali said. "And the presence of 30,000 police officers in the capital gives you an idea of how frightened the regime [is] of its people."


VIDEO: Tunisia, Egypt, and Beyond: Interview with Aijaz Ahmad

About the protest, let me say that Tunisia has had a recent history of protests, repeated ones, the last one was in 2008. ... The pattern of protests in Tunisia has been that they were mostly in the South and in the coastal regions, the poorer regions of Tunisia. This time, for the first time, they came into Tunis. They did not start in the capital. They started in the historic homelands of protests. But they came into Tunis. That's where it became a mass protest. Otherwise, these were congregations of 300 people here, 500 people there, and so on. So, that is what is new: that the city has risen. Who has risen in the city? To start with, professional classes, educated and employed. Tunisia is a highly educated society, much more educated than any other Arab country, with a very fine education system. So, it's a very sophisticated educated class. And yet, unemployment is running at about 25% or something for college graduates. They were in the streets. Professionals were in the streets. Lawyers. If you want to identify the main players in this, the organized ones, these are the union UGTT and lawyers including the bar association. There was a general strike of the Tunisian Bar Association. Some 95% of the lawyers came out in the streets, and in fact they threw in their lot with the protesters very early. So, it was an uprising of the educated, professional classes. The working class en masse came in much later, but now they are the ones who are dominating the protests ... There is a world food crisis. This is the first, most successful food protest in the world, at one level, and the result is that all the regimes feel threatened: Libya, Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, Syria have immediately allocated huge amounts of funds to bring down food prices, to bring down fuel prices, to subsidize heating oil, and so on and so forth... The IMF, the World Bank, US aid agencies -- they all have extensive documents -- all are predicting that, in the year 2011, there are going to be worldwide food uprisings. ... Now this is the general background to what's happening in Tunisia and what may or may not happen in other countries. ... Tunisia has a much higher standard of living than Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, or Syria, where the impact has been felt immediately. There have been extensive food riots in Algeria, there have been food riots in Jordan. ... Will they lead to a Tunisian-style uprising?