Ukraine: Truth and Fiction

What are we suppose to believe?

Who is behind all the violence and the coup?

Where did some of the protesters come from?

When did this plan begin?

Why would anyone want to create a mess in the Ukraine?

Those are just a few of the questions, we need answers to.

For some of those answers I myself only have to look at the events now and those that lead up to the events in:

Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Etc Etc

The same people are behind the Protesters in Venezuela as well. Yet another country that “guess who hates”?

Fake protesters are not, a new thing.

Lies, are not a new thing.

The countries who do not want to be be apart of the Guess who’s agenda are always the targets of, guess who’s lies and propaganda?

They are always demonized etc etc etc.

That is the oldest ploy on the planet. Anyone with a single brain cell would figure it out in a heart beat.

The Ukraine crisis through the whimsy of international law

Money and hard power count, and that’s that

By Neil Macdonald, CBC News

Mar 05, 2014 5:00 AM ET  Updated: Mar 06, 2014 2:44 PM ET

 Guess Who

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with reporters on the possibility of U.S. sanctions against Russia for intervening in Ukraine before meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office on Monday. (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

Listening to U.S. President Barack Obama bang on this week about the importance of world opinion and obeying international law and respecting sovereignty and being on the right side of history, you had to wonder whether he didn’t have a little voice in his head whispering: “Really? Seriously? I’m actually saying this stuff?”

This is the commander-in-chief of a military that operates a prison camp on Cuban soil, against the explicit wishes of the Cuban government, and which regularly fires drone missiles into other countries, often killing innocent bystanders.

He is a president who ordered that CIA torturers would go unprosecuted, and leads a nation that has invaded other countries whenever it wished, regardless of what the rest of the world might think.

Disclaimer here: Vladimir Putin’s proclaimed justification for invading Ukraine — protecting Russian-speaking “compatriots” in that country from some imagined violence — stinks of tribalism.

His rationale is essentially ethnic nationalism, something responsible for so much of the evil done throughout human history.

Stated motivation aside, though, what Putin is doing is really no different from what other world powers do: protecting what they regard as national self-interest.

And so far, he’s done it without bloodletting.

Imagine, for a moment, what Washington would do if, say, Bahrain’s Shia population, covertly supported by Tehran, staged a successful uprising and began to push itself into Iran’s orbit.

The U.S. Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain, just as Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is parked at its huge naval bases in the Crimea.

To pose the scenario is to answer the question of how America would react.

The same goes for all the other countries in America’s political realm. The Philippines, South Korea, certain Persian Gulf nations. Imagine if Russia’s military tried to return to Cuba.

The order of things

There is an order of things; it is disturbed at the world’s peril.

And Ukraine, for better or worse — decidedly worse, those in the western portion of the country will tell you — has for centuries been in Russia’s sphere.

Crimea, the region of Ukraine now occupied by Russia, was part of the Soviet Union and was deeded to Ukraine in 1954 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of a treaty that bonded much of Ukraine to Tsarist Russia.

To suggest, as European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso did this week, that Ukrainians “have shown that they belong culturally, emotionally but also politically to Europe,” is just wishful thinking, even if some Ukrainians wish it were true.

Furthermore, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was right when he pointed out that many of the countries denouncing Putin’s intervention were actively involved in encouraging anti-Russia Ukrainians to overthrow an elected, if distasteful, president and government.

Victoria Nuland, a senior American diplomat, was caught in flagrante delicto a few weeks back, chatting with another American official about which Ukrainian opposition figures should and shouldn’t be installed.

Washington’s reply: It was unconscionable of Russia to intercept and leak that discussion.

More angry flailings

Incidentally, some of the Ukrainian opposition groups that have now ended up in power are thuggish, anti-Semitic, anti-Russian, extreme right-wingers.

Putin’s description of them — ultranationalists — was mild. You just wouldn’t know it listening to Western politicians.

In Obama’s case, sitting beside him on Monday as he gave his lecture on international law from the Oval Office was close ally Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister, having just engaged in a protracted, robust handshake for the cameras, presides over a country that operates a military occupation in the West Bank, an occupation that includes Israeli settlements, which violate the international law Obama was demanding Putin obey.

The U.S. insists that Israel’s occupation can only be solved by respectful negotiation between the parties themselves, and it vehemently opposes punishing Israel with the sort of moves currently being contemplated against Russia.

It’s easy to go on and on in this vein — Britain’s prime minister, who leads a nation that helped invade Iraq on a false pretext, denouncing Putin’s pretext for going into Crimea. The NATO powers that helped bring about the independence of Albanian Kosovars complaining about the separatist aspirations of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, etc.

But that’s diplomacy. Hypocritical declarations and acts are woven into its essence.

What’s remarkable is the unspoken pact among the Western news media to report it all so uncritically.

When Obama spoke, the gaggle of reporters in attendance rushed to report his statements, mostly at face value.

Likewise, Western news reports seriously reported Russia’s ridiculous threat to end the role of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency, as though Russia’s creditors will begin to accept rubles at whatever exchange rate Putin decrees.

On TV and in print, we hear serious talk about the possibility of economic sanctions against Russia — which would only trigger a devastating trade back-blast against European economies.

Other media analysts agree with the angry flailings of U.S. foreign policy hawks, who seem to think Obama should be much more aggressive with Putin, although they have few concrete suggestions. (A frustrated Senator John McCain demanded that rich Russians be barred from Las Vegas.)

The unspoken media-government arrangement is understandable, I suppose.

We must at least pretend there’s international law and fairness and basic rules, because it reassures us that we live in a world where raw power doesn’t ultimately rule.

But it’s all just gibberish; through the looking glass. We might as well be reporting that slithy toves gyre and gimble in the wabe.

Money and hard power count, and that’s that. The big players have it, and the smaller players play along. If we need the anaesthetic liquor of self-delusion to deal with it, well, drink up.

Clarifications An earlier version of this article did not specify that it is the Israeli settlements in the West Bank that are considered a violation of international law. Mar 06, 2014 2:43 PM ET   Source

Mercenaries took part in Maidan violence – Ex-Ukraine security chief

March 13 2014

There is no doubt there were mercenaries at Maidan, the former head of Ukraine’s security service, Aleksandr Yakimenko, says.

The violence on Maidan which caused almost 100 deaths was organized by some opposition leaders who poured Western money and resources into the coup, Yakimenko told the Russia-1 TV channel. Now Major General Alexander Yakimenko is in the top five of Maidan’s hit list. He made it to that list while he was still in his office in Kiev.

Q: How did you manage to escape?

Aleksandr Yakimenko: I am a Security Service officer.

Q: Where did those snipers come from?

AY: First shots were fired from the Philharmonic building. Maidan Commandant Parubiy was in charge of the building. On February 20, this building was used as a base by the snipers and people with automatic weapons. They basically covered those who were attacking the demoralized policemen running in panic, hunted down like animals. They were followed by armed people with different kinds of weapons. At that point, somebody opened fire at those who attacked the police, and some of them were killed. All this fire was coming from the Philharmonic building. After this first round of fire, about 20 people came out of this building – this was witnessed by many. These people wore special combat clothes and carried sniper rifle cases, as well as AKMs with scopes. There were witnesses, and not just our operatives, but also Maidan activists from Svoboda, Right Sector, Batkivshchyna, and UDAR.

The snipers split into two groups – 10 men each. The Security Service lost track of one of the groups. The other group took a position at the Ukraine hotel. Killings continued. In the beginning, when the shots were scattered, I was asked by Right Sector and Svoboda to mobilize a Special Forces unit and remove the snipers from the buildings.

Q: They asked you?

AY: Yes, Right Sector and Svoboda. I was ready to do that, but I needed Parubiy’s [he is now now the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine in the Turchinov-Yatsenyuk government] permission to enter Maidan. Otherwise our officers would’ve been attacked by the self-defense forces in the back. Parubiy didn’t give such permission. No weapons could be brought to Maidan without Parubiy’s permission. Hand guns, rifles, scopes – he had to agree to all of that. We had some intel about discharged Ukrainian army special forces participating in those activities. Some reports claimed that these were fighters from former Yugoslavia, as well as mercenaries from other countries.

Q: So you think they were mercenaries?

AY: No doubt. Parubiy removed himself from the picture. This affected the events of the last week. He joined Poroshenko. Gvozd, Malamuzh, and Gritsenko. These forces did what they were told by their bosses – the US. They basically lived in the embassy. They were there every day.

Q: Is it true that Nalivaichenko allowed the CIA agents to work in the Security Service building?

AY: Yes, that’s true. He also handed personal files of his own employees over to the CIA agents to study. But their mission was interrupted by an armed coup. The Maidan do not appoint these people; rather, it’s the US that does it. It’s enough to look at the newly appointed officials: Parubiy, Gvozd, Nalyvaichenko are all people who followed somebody else’s orders, the orders of the US, not even Europe. They are directly linked to the American intelligence. They sought to delay the negotiations and prevent the incumbent president from striking a deal with Russia and Russia from helping to prop up the social and economic order in Ukraine. After that they were planning to depose the president and integrate Ukraine into Europe, using Russian money. Who was troubled by the victory of the EU and the pro-integration forces? Only the US. It was the only country concerned over a possible alliance of Europe, Russia and Ukraine. The Customs Union and the connection between Russia and Ukraine did not sit well with their plans, either.

They’d been doing it ever since Yushchenko was president, and we couldn’t get rid of them. Once we started to put pressure, they relocated to Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. The most interesting part is that many regional governments spent budget money to pay for the so-called vyshkoli, i.e. training camps for militants to fight with various types of weapons.

All the orders were given either by the US embassy or by Jan Tombinski, a Polish representative who worked in the EU mission in Kiev. Poland played an invaluable role in the coup. It has always dreamt of restoring its former power and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Ever since the Maidan kicked off, our security service registered a dramatic increase in diplomatic correspondence coming in to various Western embassies in Kiev. There is one more mystery. Straight after this influx of correspondence we saw some foreign money at the Maidan and in Kiev exchange bureaus: the new, re-designed US dollar bank notes.

Q: So they were bringing in cash?

AY: Yes. Poroshenko, Firtash, Pinchuk – they all poured money into the Maidan. With all their assets in foreign banks, they found themselves trapped. So they had to follow orders from the West. All they were supposed to do was back the Maidan; otherwise they would have lost all their assets. They were thinking about their money rather than their own country. Unfortunately we couldn’t prevent the casualties, the people, mainly those who had come from the Western regions, were sent into the line of fire. The Maidan militants had left the barricades after the sniper fire started. But time will set the record straight.

The whole story has affected the Berkut guys, the Internal Troops, the Security Service, too. But ordinary Ukrainians have suffered as well. And I don’t think they should have sacrificed their lives for Yatsenyuk, Klitschko, Poroshenko and others to take their posts. Ukrainians have lots of patience. But one day they will run out of it and remove them from power. I hope that happens soon enough. Source

There were  Ex-IDF Soldiers from Israel, helping the protesters along their merry way.

Ukraine: Israeli Special Forces Unit under Neo-Nazi Command Involved in Maidan Riots

Under the title “In Kiev, an Israeli army vet led a street-fighting unit”, the Jewish News Agency JTA confirms that soldiers from the IDF were involved in the EuroMaidan protest movement under the direct command of the Neo-Nazi Svoboda Party.  The Svoboda Party follows in the footsteps of World War II Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

The leader of the “Blue Helmets of Maidan” is Delta “the nom de guerre of the commander of a Jewish-led militia force that participated in the Ukrainian revolution”. Delta is a Veteran of the notorious Givati infantry brigade, which was involved in numerous operations directed against Gaza including Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009.

The Givati brigade was responsible for the massacres in the Tel el-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza. Delta, the leader of the EuroMaidan IDF unit acknowledges that he acquired his urban combat skills in the Shu’alei Shimshon reconnaissance battalion of the Givati brigade.

According to the JTA report, Delta was in command of a force of 40 men and women including several former IDF veterans. In the EuroMaidan, Delta was routinely applying his skills of urban warfare which he had used against the Palestinians in Gaza.

The Maidan “Street fighting unit” under Delta’s command was involved in confronting government forces. It is unclear from the reports whether the EuroMaidan combat unit was in liaison with IDF command headquarters in Israel:

The Blue Helmets comprise 35 men and women who are not Jewish, and who are led by five ex-IDF soldiers, says Delta, an Orthodox Jew in his late 30s

Delta, who immigrated to Israel in the 1990s, moved back to Ukraine several years ago … He says he joined the protest movement as a volunteer on Nov. 30, after witnessing violence by government forces against student protesters.

“I saw unarmed civilians with no military background being ground by a well-oiled military machine, and it made my blood boil,” Delta told JTA in Hebrew laced with military jargon. “I joined them then and there, and I started fighting back the way I learned how, through urban warfare maneuvers. People followed, and I found myself heading a platoon of young men. Kids, really.”

The other ex-IDF infantrymen joined the Blue Helmets later after hearing it was led by a fellow vet, Delta said.

In a bitter irony, Delta, the commander of the IDF militia unit was taking his orders directly from the Neo-Nazi Party Svoboda:

As platoon leader, Delta says he takes orders from activists connected to Svoboda, an ultra-nationalist [Neo-Nazi] party that has been frequently accused of anti-Semitism and whose members have been said to have had key positions in organizing the opposition protests.

“I don’t belong [to Svoboda], but I take orders from their team. They know I’m Israeli, Jewish and an ex-IDF soldier. They call me ‘brother,’” he said. “What they’re saying about Svoboda is exaggerated, I know this for a fact. I don’t like them because they’re inconsistent, not because of [any] anti-Semitism issue.”

Neither the Tel Aviv government nor the Israeli media have expressed concern regarding the fact that the EuroMaidan protests were led by Neo-Nazis.

With the formation of a new government composed of NeoNazis,  the Jewish community in Kiev is threatened.  This community is described as “one of the most vibrant Jewish communities in the world, with dozens of active Jewish organizations and institutions”. A significant part of this community is made up of family members of holocaust survivors. “Three million Ukrainians were murdered by the Nazis during their occupation of Ukraine, including 900,000 Jews.” (indybay.org, January 29, 2014).

“It’s bullshit. I never saw any expression of anti-Semitism during the protests”

In a bitter twist, the Blue Helmet IDF unit in the EuroMaidan has been the object of praise by the Israeli media. According to Ariel Cohen of the Washington based Heritage Foundation: “The commanding position of Svoboda in the revolution is no secret”. The participation of Israeli soldiers under Neo-Nazi Svoboda command does not seem to be an object of concern:

On Wednesday, Russian State Duma Chairman Sergey Naryshkin said Moscow was concerned about anti-Semitic declarations by radical groups in Ukraine.But Delta says the Kremlin is using the anti-Semitism card falsely to delegitimize the Ukrainian revolution, which is distancing Ukraine from Russia’s sphere of influence.

“It’s bullshit. I never saw any expression of anti-Semitism during the protests, and the claims to the contrary were part of the reason I joined the movement. We’re trying to show that Jews care,” he said.

See Svoboda and Right Sector militants honoring Stepan Bandera(image below)

Bandera was a Nazi collaborator involved in the Third Reich’s Einsatzgruppen (Task Groups or Deployment Groups) . These “task forces” were paramilitary death squads deployed throughout the Ukraine.

The JTA article can be consulted at www.jta.org/2014/02/28/news-opinion/world/in-kiev-an-israeli-militia-commander-fights-in-the-streets-and-saves-lives#ixzz2uvYcMBEl

For Photo’s go to the Source

This was also reported by Haaretz  If google it.

The ex-Israeli soldier who led a Kiev fighting unit – World Israel

Feb 28, 2014 – Delta, a Ukraine-born formerCrimea soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, spoke to JTA Thursday on condition of anonymity.

Now lets get back to the Russia side of the story.
They did not invade anyone.
The have a military base and have every right to be in Crimea.
They have an agreement with the Ukraine Government to have the base there and have for a long time.
Saying the Russian invaded Crimea is the most foolish thing, anyone could ever say. They have every right to be there.
Unlike the US who has massive amounts of Military bases all over the world. Russia did not invade the Ukraine to get one.
If you look back over history odds are the US invades a country like Afghanistan and leaves behind Military bases.
The one in Japan is still there as a classic example.
________________________________________________________________________________________________
More than 1000 US Bases and/or Military Installations around the world.

The main sources of information on these military installations (e.g. C. Johnson, the NATO Watch Committee, the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases) reveal that the US operates and/or controls between 700 and 800 military bases Worldwide.

In this regard, Hugh d’Andrade and Bob Wing’s 2002  Map 1 entitled “U.S. Military Troops and Bases around the World, The Cost of ‘Permanent War’”, confirms the presence of US military personnel in 156 countries.

The US Military has bases in 63 countries. Brand new military bases have been built since September 11, 2001 in seven countries.

In total, there are 255,065 US military personnel deployed Worldwide.

These facilities include a total of 845,441 different buildings and equipments. The underlying land surface is of the order of 30 million acres. According to Gelman, who examined 2005 official Pentagon data, the US is thought to own a total of 737 bases in foreign lands. Adding to the bases inside U.S. territory, the total land area occupied by US military bases domestically within the US and internationally is of the order of 2,202,735 hectares, which makes the Pentagon one of the largest landowners worldwide (Gelman, J., 2007).

Go to the Source for the rest of the story. Source

____________________________________________________________________________

The US Has Invaded 70 Nations Since 1776
Go to Source for where and when.
So if you take the time to compare invasions to Military Bases, Naval Bases, etc, you will be rather well educated. You will discover many were left after the countries were invaded one way or the other.
Now back to Russia.
They did not invade to get their Military base in the Ukraine.
They can have up to 26,000 troops, at said Military Base, as per the agreement  with the Ukraine.
Country Type of presence Troop strength
Abkhazia Base on the site of the former Bombora airfield, near Gudauta (7th Military Base)[2] up to 3,500[2]
Armenia Air base in Yerevan, military base in Gyumri (102nd Military Base)[3] 3,214[3] or 5,000 according to another source.[4]
Azerbaijan Daryal radar station in Qabala.[3] Operational from 1985 to 2013 and part of Russia’s early warning system. Russia paid an annual rent of $7 million to Azerbaijan.[1][5] In 2013, the station was closed and Russia no longer rents it from Azerbaijan.[6] 900
Belarus Volga-type radar station near Hantsavichy and Baranovichi (operational since 2002).[1][5]Naval communication center near Vileyka.[3] 850
Kazakhstan Dnepr radar station in at Balkhash-9 near Lake Balkash.[1][3][7] Sary Shagan testing grounds.[8][9] Baikonur Cosmodrome.[10][11] Unknown
Kyrgyzstan Air base in Kant,[3] naval testing station at Lake Issyk Kul[12] ca 700
South Ossetia The Russian 4th Military Base has 2 main compounds in South Ossetia: one on the northwestern outskirts of Tskhinvali and another in Java. There is also a large number of troops stationed in the Leningor District.[2] up to 3,500[2]
Syria Logistical facilities of the navy in Tartus[3] 150[3]
Tajikistan Military bases in Dushanbe, Qurghonteppa and Kulab. Joint use of the Ayni Air Base.[3] Okno space facility near Nurak.[13] 5,500[3]
Transnistria Peacekeeping force and forces for protection of ammunition depots[3] 1,500[3]
Ukraine Base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol[3] 26,000[3]
Vietnam Logistics base in the port of Cam Ranh Bay [14]. Although military presence had been diminishing for several years, in 2013 Russia and Vietnam signed a new military cooperation agreement [15]. unknown

//

 Source

Most of those Bases are because of the former USSR and after the break up of it, remain with Russia, as it stands today.

The list above may or may not be complete or totally accurate but when compared to the US ones it seems Russia it not trotting about the planet, invading and leaving Military bases behind in their wake like the US does.

If you take further notes it seems the US/Israel also tend to create problems in countries that Russia has military bases in as well.

A bit of History will tell you that. Syria and the Ukraine being the latest,

This is not rocket science or anything.

This is pure logic.

The media frenzy to attack Russia is typical of all US, creations of demonetization. Of course they are not telling the truth. They never do.

Like the “Weapons of Mass Destruction Iraq never had” lest you forget.

Libya well that was so fabricated one would have to be completely brain dead not to see what was going on.

In both the above cases for example neither wanted to use the US dollar to get paid for oil they sold. One wanted Gold and the other wanted to use the Euro.

Both killing offenses as far as the US is concerned how dare anyone, not use the US dollar. Threaten that the US will make certain you die and they of course did. Now that is what a real dictator does.

The real dictator around the world is who exactly. Who dictates to every country what they can or cannot do. Who wants to sanction everyone if they do not obey the mighty US.

So before you are coned into yet another needless war I suggest everyone get extremely well educated.

You are of course going to have to hunt long and hard to fine the truth amongst the garbage spewed by the main stream media. Of course they are spewing all the same stuff they do about every country they want to demonize so it is not all that difficult to see the similarities and send it ti the trash bin. Where of course all junk mail belongs.

There are some out there who are telling the truth of what is really happening.

Happy hunting.

Oh and watch out for the usual paid trolls who love to hate Russia, Iran etc.

They are out in droves these days spewing their typical lies as well.

Their job is to spread misinformation. I have seen them all over the place dropping their propaganda.

The IMF wants to help Ukraine.

Sure they do so everything can be privatized, by corporations and steal every penny, they can squeeze out the people.

That is what the IMF does.

They never help anyone. If you believe they do, then you need a better education. Their history says it all.

The rich get richer and the poor, get extremely poor. Many die and many committed suicide, due to the horrors imposed on them by the IMF. If you loose your health care due to the IMF even more die.

Look at Greece as one example. Look at the hunger, the homelessness, the unemployed, the malaria, etc etc. You don’t have to look to hard to see what Austerity means. Much of the EU suffers from Austerity.

Austerity = Death and Poverty.

If the IMF wants to help your country run as fast as you can for cover.

They will see to it you are starved and desperate for a very long time.

They will help Corporations, steal everything from you.

If the Ukraine thinks it has poverty problems now, the IMF will make it much worse.  They can kiss, what little they have goodbye.

Let a Corporation like Monsanto into your country and you can end up will thousands committing suicide, like the cotton farmers in India.

That is but one American Corporation. Imagine having a lot of them, taking over things, in your country.

In South America in one country, cancer has skyrocketed, due to Round Up use on Soya fields.

But I know nothing. So don’t listen to me, go find out for yourself.

It’s all out there for the world to see and find.

If I can find it all, you can too.

Don’t however get sucked into another needless war.

Don’t let your children fight for the American agenda.

Say no to more war. Tell the warmongers and those who profit from war, to take a long hike, off a short peer. If you want to kill something, kill the war machine.

Don’t let your governments who ever they may be, lead you into another war, where your children die for all the wrong reasons.

Lets never let another Iraq happen.

Don’t believe the lies.

A war with Russia will become another world war.

Millions, if not billions will die. You or your children, could be the ones who die.

Related

The World Bank and IMF in Africa

Crimea vs. Quebec: The Legal Right to a Referendum on Self-Determination
By Professor John Ryan
March 12, 2014

There has been a great hue and cry by the USA, Ukraine and other countries about the supposed illegality of the proposed referendum by Crimea on its future political status. They indignantly proclaim that this is a violation of international law.

Amazingly, have Obama and the leaders of these other countries never heard of the situation in Canada with regard to Quebec? Quebec, as a province of Canada, has held two referenda (1980 and 1995) on the matter of independence from Canada . . . and a third referendum may be in the works in the near future.

Quebec never had to get permission from Canada’s federal government to hold a referendum, and no one ever questioned the legality of Quebec’s referendum.

Crimea is an autonomous region within Ukraine and seems to have the same rights as a Canadian province. So if it is perfectly legal for a province such as Quebec to hold a referendum on independence, why would it not be legal for Crimea to do the same? At no time did the USA object to Quebec holding a referendum on independence, so why the big brouhaha over Crimea? Moreover, what business would it be for the USA to have such objections – for Quebec or Crimea?

The UN charter gives people the right to self-determination and by virtue of that right they are free to determine their political status. Quebec in Canada has exercised that right, and there should be no reason why Crimea could not do the same.

John Ryan,  Ph.D., Retired Professor of Geography and Senior Scholar, University of Winnipeg, Canada. Source

Let the People of  Crimea decide their own fate.

Added March 15, 2014

Criminal Regime In Washington

By Paul Craig Roberts

March 14, 2014

The Washington orchestrated coup in Ukraine has kept Venezuela out of the headlines.

A confrontation with nuclear armed Russia is more dangerous than with Venezuela. But the violence that Washington has unleashed on Venezuela almost simultaneously with Ukraine is testimony to Washington’s stark criminality.

South America has always consisted of a tiny Spanish elite with all the money and power ruling over large majority populations of indigenous peoples who have not had political representation. In Venezuela, Chavez broke this pattern. An indigenous president was elected who represented the people and worked in their behalf instead of looting the country. Chavez became a role model, and indigenous presidents were elected in Ecuador and Bolivia.

Chavez was hated by Washington and demonized by American presstitutes. When Chavez died of cancer, Washington celebrated.

Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, was inclined in favor of granting asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Consequently, Washington ordered its European puppet states to deny overflight permission to President Morales’ airplane on its return to Bolivia from Russia. Morales’ airplane, in violation of every diplomatic protocol, was forced down and searched. Morales has since suffered other indignities at the hands of the Washington criminals.

Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador, made himself a target of Washington by granting political asylum to Julian Assange. On Washington’s orders, Washington’s British puppet state has refused to grant free passage to Assange, and Assange is spending his life in the London Embassy of Ecuador, just as Cardinal Mindszenty spent his life in the US Embassy in Communist Hungary.

With Chavez’s death, indigenous Venezuelan Nicolas Maduro became president. Maduro does not have Chavez’s charisma, which makes him an easier target for the tiny Spanish elite that owns the media.

Washington began the attack on Maduro by attacking the Venezuelan currency and driving down its value in currency markets. Then university students, many of whom are the children of the rich Spanish elites, were sent out to protest. The falling Venezuelan currency raised prices and spread dissatisfaction among Maduro’s poor indigenous base. To put down the rioting, property damage, and unrest that Washington is using to launch a coup, Maduro had to turn to the police. Secretary of State John Kerry has labeled the government’s effort to reestablish public order and forestall a coup a “terror campaign against its own citizens.”

Having orchestrated the protests and plotted a coup, Kerry blamed Maduro for the violence that Kerry unleashed and called on Maduro “to respect human rights.”

For Washington, it is always the same script. Commit a crime and blame the victim.

If Washington can overthrow Maduro, the next target will be Correa. If Washington can get rid of Correa and re-empower a puppet government of rich Spanish elites, Washington can have the Ecuadoran government revoke the political asylum that Correa granted to Julian Assange. The Ecuadoran Embassy in London will be ordered to kick Assange out into the waiting arms of the British police who will send him to Sweden who will send him to Washington to be tortured until he confesses to whatever Washington demands.

The poor gullible dupes demonstrating in Venezuelan streets have no more idea of the damage they are doing to themselves and others than their counterparts in Ukraine had. Venezuelans have already forgot what life for them was like under the rule of the Spanish elites. It appears that Venezuelans are determined to help Washington to return them to their servitude.

If Washington reconquers Venezuela and Ecuador, Bolivia will be next. Then Brazil. Washington has its sights on Brazil, because the country is a member of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), and Washington intends to destroy this organization before the countries can establish a trading bloc that does not use the US
dollar.

Not long ago a US official said that as soon as we (Washington) get Russia in a bind, we will deal with the upstarts in South America.

The program is on schedule.

See also – Venezuela’s foreign minister calls Kerry ‘murderer’: Venezuela’s foreign minister lambasted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday as a “murderer” fomenting unrest that has killed 28 people in the South American OPEC member nation. Source

NATO bombings: Aftermath takes toll on Serbia, now left with DU Poisoning

Anti-NSA protest and Petition Letter to Members of Congress

Stop Watching Us.

The revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA’s spying programs.
—————————————————————-

Dear Members of Congress,

We write to express our concern about recent reports published in the Guardian and the Washington Post, and acknowledged by the Obama Administration, which reveal secret spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) on phone records and Internet activity of people in the United States.

The Washington Post and the Guardian recently published reports based on information provided by an intelligence contractor showing how the NSA and the FBI are gaining broad access to data collected by nine of the leading U.S. Internet companies and sharing this information with foreign governments. As reported, the U.S. government is extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time. As a result, the contents of communications of people both abroad and in the U.S. can be swept in without any suspicion of crime or association with a terrorist organization.

Leaked reports also published by the Guardian and confirmed by the Administration reveal that the NSA is also abusing a controversial section of the PATRIOT Act to collect the call records of millions of Verizon customers. The data collected by the NSA includes every call made, the time of the call, the duration of the call, and other “identifying information” for millions of Verizon customers, including entirely domestic calls, regardless of whether those customers have ever been suspected of a crime. The Wall Street Journal has reported that other major carriers, including AT&T and Sprint, are subject to similar secret orders.

This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously, guard against unreasonable searches and seizures, and protect their right to privacy.

We are calling on Congress to take immediate action to halt this surveillance and provide a full public accounting of the NSA’s and the FBI’s data collection programs. We call on Congress to immediately and publicly:

  1. Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendments Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court;
  2. Create a special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying. This committee should create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;
  3. Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

So far as I post this

Signatures so far
548,137 as of
11:52 am EST 4/7/13
Update

Signatures so far

552,250
9:19am EST 5/7/13

Go HERE to send your letter off to your Members of Congress.

Be sure to pass this on. The more who send off this letter the better.
There are also Protests across the US today, July 4 2013
There are a few others in other countries as well.

RESTORE THE FOURTH

For locations of Protests Go HERE

Be sure to pass this on to all Americans.

For Updates on the protests Go HERE

Haven’t found anything on the US main stream media yet, (not surprised) but did find these photos

Update July 5 2013

More photos and information on the Rally’s

Internet activists rally against NSA with ‘Restore the Fourth’ movement

“Activists Protest Government Surveillance, NSA on July 4, 2013: Restore the Fourth Amendment”>Activists Protest Government Surveillance, NSA on July 4, 2013

Related

Very few of the Main Stream media in the US have reported this Protest which took place in many places across the US.
Seems there was almost a total Black out of these protests.
ABC showed a small Segment.

Google Search
This is a sad day for the American people. A “Media Blackout”, does say a lot about, how the Citizens of the US are kept in the dark however.

A local news station reported on the protest in Minneapolis

Look for US media reports on this event. If you find very few, don’t be surprised. A Media Blackout is an indicator, of how the American public is manipulated and the truth is kept from them.Absolutely shameful.So what else is the US main stream media keeping from Americans?Then we have this loss of Freedom

Veterans on Trial for Peaceable Assembly at Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Update July 6 2013

More pictures and Video

‘1984 not instruction manual’: Thousands protest NSA spying across US

Once demonstrations wrapped up organizers posted a message on Reddit, saying “It’s isn’t over!” – calling for an as yet unspecified Step 2 of the protest. They said details will be made public on Monday.

Clapper lied to Congress

March 12, 2013- Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asks questions in Senate Intelligence Committee on warrantless geolocation surveillance and National Security Agency tracking.

At the end of this video James Clapper states, they do not collect information/data on millions of Americans. That of course is blatant lie, as we now know. Making a statement as such, under oath is a crime.

If you lie to Congress, it is a felony and you can/should go to prison for it.

On March 12 when Sen Ron Wyden questioned Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who was testifying in the Senate under oath, the senator, like any good lawyer, knew exactly what he was asking and chose his words carefully.

“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Wyden asked. He didn’t ask whether the NSA is reading our emails or listening to our phone calls. He used the all-inclusive “any type of data at all” and he was questioning the chief intelligence officer of the United States — and man who is perfectly aware of the breadth and nuance that attaches to the term “data.” Clapper doesn’t need a staff member to tutor him on the meaning of metadata — that is, to explain that this too is a form of data.

In a letter to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, Clapper now claims that when he denied the NSA is collecting data on million of Americans, “my answer focused on the collection of the content of communications.”

He could have said: “I gave an answer to a question I hadn’t been asked.”

He now says: “My response was clearly erroneous — for which I apologize.”

To call it erroneous is to imply that he made a mistake rather than that he was intentionally deceptive. That admission would be a confession to breaking the law. At this point, Clapper seems to think he can brush aside accusations that he committed perjury.

Several senators are clearly unimpressed by Clapper’s explanation.

“It now appears clear that the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, lied under oath to Congress and the American people,” Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) tweeted.

“Perjury is a serious crime … [and] Clapper should resign immediately,” he said.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that Clapper had broken the law, comparing him to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who has been charged with espionage.

“Mr. Clapper lied in Congress in defiance of the law in the name of security,” Paul said on CNN last month. “Mr. Snowden told the truth in the name of privacy. So, I think there will be a judgment, because both of them broke the law, and history will have to determine.”

Wyden, who knew about the NSA programs when he pressed Clapper on them, said that Clapper was preventing Congress from conducting oversight.

“This job cannot be done responsibly if Senators aren’t getting straight answers to direct questions,” Wyden said in a statement last month.

Source

Clapper is still coming up with new lies/excuses for his lies.

He also attempted to come up with and excuse as to why no Weapons of Mass Destruction were found in Iraq.

In 2003, Clapper, was head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

THE STRUGGLE FOR IRAQ: WEAPONS SEARCH; Iraqis Removed Arms Material, U.S. Aide Says

By DOUGLAS JEHL
October 29, 2003

The director of a top American spy agency said Tuesday that he believed that material from Iraq’s illicit weapons program had been transported into Syria and perhaps other countries as part of an effort by the Iraqis to disperse and destroy evidence immediately before the recent war.

The official, James R. Clapper Jr., a retired lieutenant general, said satellite imagery showing a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria, just before the American invasion in March, led him to believe that illicit weapons material ”unquestionably” had been moved out of Iraq.

”I think people below the Saddam Hussein-and-his-sons level saw what was coming and decided the best thing to do was to destroy and disperse,” General Clapper, who leads the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, said at a breakfast with reporters.

He said he was providing a personal assessment. But he said ”the obvious conclusion one draws” was that there ”may have been people leaving the scene, fleeing Iraq, and unquestionably, I am sure, material.” A spokesman for General Clapper’s agency, David Burpee, said he could not provide further evidence to support the general’s statement.

But other American intelligence officials said General Clapper’s theory was among those being pursued in Iraq by David Kay, a former United Nations weapons inspector who is leading the American effort to uncover the weapons cited by the Bush administration as the major reason for going to war against Iraq.

General Clapper’s comments came as the Central Intelligence Agency prepared to defend its prewar assertions that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons and that it sought to reconstitute its nuclear program. The director of central intelligence, George J. Tenet, has written a letter to the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence saying the agency will be ready to provide an assessment by late November.

In the letter, the contents of which were described by several intelligence officials on Tuesday, Mr. Tenet proposed that a team headed by John McLaughlin, the deputy director of central intelligence, provide a briefing for the committee after Nov. 20, when the agency’s internal review is expected to be completed.

General Clapper’s agency is responsible for interpreting satellite photographs and other imagery. He declined to answer a question about whether he believed that illicit Iraqi weapons material might have been smuggled into any other country. Source

One may now think, he was anything, but truthful, in his assessment.

Something to ponder on for a while.

As we all well know, the war in Iraq was based on lies.

US Postal Service photographing 160 billion letters annually

Navada

It’s been a few hundred years since the Third Amendment was written to keep King George from quartering British troops in American homes, but a lawsuit just filed in Nevada suggests it’s as relevant as ever.

The framers of the Constitution ratified the Third Amendment to ensure citizens would never again have to accommodate soldiers, but a few centuries later it’s become more-or-less an antiquated law that’s rarely referenced in federal court. That changed recently when a family from Henderson, Nevada accused the local police department of constitutional violations after officers of the law allegedly took residence in two neighborhood homes.

According to a legal filing first obtained by Courthouse News Service, a handful of Henderson Police Department officers and the city itself are being sued for an array of charges — including Third Amendment violations — over an incident that mirrors the making of the American Revolution.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs say police officers demanded they be allowed to occupy two homes owned by their clients on the city’s Eveningside Avenue in 2011 in order to conduct an investigation involving a neighbor’s residence. When the owners refused to comply with the request, they were reportedly arrested for obstruction and brought to jail.

Police were investigating an incident at 363 Eveningside Avenue that July when Officer Christopher Worley called up the occupant of a neighboring property, Anthony Mitchell, and said he’d need to use his house in order to gain a ‘tactical advantage’ over the neighbor’s residence. Mitchell reportedly made it clear that he did not want to get involved in the probe and told Worley he would not be able to offer assistance. According to the lawsuit, Officer David Cawthorn, Sgt. Michael Waller and Worley all then “conspired among themselves to force Anthony Mitchell out of his residence and to occupy his home for their own use.”

It was determined to move to 367 Eveningside and attempt to contact Mitchell. If Mitchell answered the door he would be asked to leave. If he refused to leave he would be arrested for Obstructing a Police Officer. If Mitchell refused to answer the door, force entry would be made and Mitchell would be arrested,” the report determined.

Moments later, the officers “arrayed themselves in front of plaintiff Anthony Mitchell’s house and prepared to execute their plan,” after which they “loudly commanded” they be let inside. Seconds later, Mitchell’s door was knocked down with a metal battering ram and the police entered his home.

As plaintiff Anthony Mitchell stood in shock, the officers aimed their weapons at Anthony Mitchell and shouted obscenities at him and ordered him to lie down on the floor,” the suit alleges.

As the police moved into the home, Mitchell was reportedly called an “asshole” by the cops, ordered to crawl on the floor and then shot several times with non-lethal ‘pepperball rounds’ from close range. He was then arrested for obstructing an officer while the cops combed through his house without permission, but not before they also opened fire at the plaintiff’s dog, prompting it to howl “in fear and pain.”

At the same time, officers approached Anthony’s parents down the block at 362 Eveningside and asked father Michael Mitchell if he’d accompany them back to a local ‘command center’ to assist with negotiating the surrender of the neighbor suspected of domestic violence. When he got there, though, he became concerned that the cops had tricked him into leaving so they could try to gain access to yet another home. Michael Mitchell then tried to head back home, but when he left the command center he was arrested, handcuffed and placed in the back of a cop car.

Attorney for the family say there was no reasonable grounds to detain Michael Mitchell, nor probable cause to suspect him of committing any crime. That didn’t keep officers from holding both him and his son Anthony for nine hours, however, before they were ultimately released after posting bond.

All criminal counts against the Mitchells were later dismissed with prejudiced, but the family has now lobbed charges of their own. Their attorney is asking for a trial by jury to hear the case and ideally award his clients punitive damages for violations of the Third, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, assault and battery, conspiracy, defamation, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, negligence and emotional distress. Source

Recent

Syria: A few Insights

Iraq War Veterans “Last Words”

California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

Violence erupts as general strike shuts down Greece

Oct. 19 2011

ATHENS, Greece — Hundreds of rioting youths smashed and looted stores in central Athens on Wednesday during a big anti-government rally against painful new austerity measures that erupted into violence.

Outside parliament, demonstrators hurled chunks of marble and gasoline bombs at riot police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades. Police said at least 14 officers were hospitalized with injuries. At least three journalists covering the demonstrations sustained minor injuries.

The violence spread across the city centre, as at least 100,000 people marched through the Greek capital on the first day of a two-day general strike that unions described as the largest protest in years.

Police and rioters held running battles through the narrow streets of central Athens, as thick black smoke billowed from burning trash and bus-stops.

Wednesday’s strike, which grounded flights, disrupted public transport and shut down shops and schools, came before a parliamentary vote late Thursday on new tax increases and spending cuts.

International creditors have demanded the reforms before they give Greece its next infusion of cash. Greece says it will run out of money in a month without the C8 billion ($11 billion) bailout money from its partners that use the euro and the International Monetary Fund.

Most of the protesters who converged in central Athens marched peacefully, but crowds outside of parliament clashed with police who tried to disperse them with repeated rounds of tear gas. A gasoline bomb set fire to a presidential guard sentry post at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside Parliament, while running clashes broke out in several side streets near the legislature and the capital’s main Syntagma Square.

Nearby, groups of hooded, masked protesters tore chunks of marble off building fronts with hammers and crowbars and smashed windows and bank signs. Scuffles also broke out among rioters and demonstrators trying to prevent youths from destroying storefronts and banks along the march route.

Vendors sold swimming goggles to rioters, who used them to ward off the tear gas.

Thousands of people watched the skirmishes, some standing on kiosk roofs to get a better view. Trash was strewn around the streets, and some protesters set clumps of it on fire.

In Greece’s second city of Thessaloniki, protesters smashed the facades of about 10 shops that defied the strike and remained open, as well as five banks and cash machines. Police fired tear gas and threw stun grenades.

All sectors — from dentists, hospital doctors and lawyers to shop owners, tax office workers, pharmacists, teachers and dock workers — walked off the job before a parliamentary vote Thursday on new austerity measures which include new taxes and the suspension of tens of thousands of civil servants.

Flights were grounded in the morning but some resumed at noon after air traffic controllers scaled back their strike plan from 48 hours to 12. Dozens of domestic and international flights were still cancelled. Ferries remained tied up in port, while public transport workers staged work stoppages but kept buses, trolleys and the Athens subway system running to help protesters.

In Parliament, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told lawmakers that Greeks had no choice but to accept the hardship.

“We have to explain to all these indignant people who see their lives changing that what the country is experiencing is not the worst stage of the crisis,” he said. “It is an anguished and necessary effort to avoid the ultimate, deepest and harshest level of the crisis. The difference between a difficult situation and a catastrophe is immense.”

About 3,000 police deployed in central Athens, shutting down two subway stations near parliament as protest marches began. Protesters banged drums and chanted slogans against the government and Greece’s international creditors who have pressured the country to push through rounds of tax hikes and spending cuts.

“We just can’t take it any more. There is desperation, anger and bitterness,” said Nikos Anastasopoulos, head of a workers’ union for an Athens municipality.

Other municipal workers said they had no option but to take to the streets.

“We can’t make ends meet for our families,” said protester Eleni Voulieri. “We’ve lost our salaries, we’ve lost everything and we’re in danger of losing our jobs.”

Demonstrations during a similar 48-hour strike in June left the centre of Athens convulsed by violence as rioters clashed with police on both days while deputies voted on another austerity package inside Parliament.

Piles of garbage festered on Athens street corners despite Tuesday’s government order to garbage crews to end their 17-day strike. Earlier in the week, private crews removed some trash from along the planned demonstration routes, but mounds remained on side streets, along some of the march routes and in city neighbourhoods.

Protesting civil servants have also staged rounds of sit-ins at government buildings, with some, including the Finance Ministry, under occupation for days.

Most stores in the city centre, including bakeries and kiosks were shut Wednesday. Several shop owners said they had received threats that their stores would be smashed if they attempted to open.

The measures to be voted on come after more than a year and a half of repeated spending cuts and tax increases. They include new tax hikes, further pension and salary cuts, the suspension on reduced pay of 30,000 public servants and the suspension of collective labour contracts.

A communist party-backed union has vowed to encircle Parliament Thursday in an attempt to prevent deputies from entering the building for the vote.

The reforms have been so unpopular that even some lawmakers from the governing Socialists have indicated they might vote against them.

Meanwhile, European countries are trying to work out a broad solution to the continent’s deepening debt crisis, before a weekend summit in Brussels. It became clear earlier this year that the initial bailout for Greece was not working as well as had been hoped, and European leaders agreed on a second, C109 billion ($151 billion) bailout. But key details of that rescue fund, including the participation of the private sector, remain to be worked out. Source

EU raids banks amid suspicions they colluded

Oct. 19, 2011

BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union’s competition watchdog said Wednesday it conducted unannounced inspections at several banks amid suspicions they may have colluded to manipulate euro interest rate derivatives.

The European Commission said it is looking into a possible cartel by companies active in the sector of derivatives linked to the Euro Interbank Offered Rate — a key interest-rate benchmark.

The Commission said the raids started on Tuesday, but didn’t name the firms whose premises it inspected.

There are trillions of euros in derivatives whose value is based on developments in the Euribor and they make up a significant slice of the profitable business of derivatives trading, which has grown exponentially in recent years.

The Euribor is set by a group of 44 banks and is based on the interest rates they charge for lending to other financial institutions.

Inspections, during which investigators collect documents that could aid their case, are an early step in EU competition probes and happen before the Commission starts an in-depth investigation into suspected cartels and other violations of EU competition law.

The inspections are another sign that competition watchdogs are stepping up their scrutiny of the financial sector as a result of the 2008 credit crunch and the European debt crisis.

Press reports earlier this year said that the U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission were looking into suspected manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate, which is a benchmark rate similar to the Euribor but used much more widely.

Earlier this year, the European Commission also opened an investigation into practices of some of the world’s largest banks in the market for credit default swaps, derivatives that act as a sort of insurance against default.Source

The US should be investigating their own banks including the Federal Reserve.

They lead to the downfall of Greece.

The International Monetary Fund is basically run by the US and other rich countries. It  is a horrid creature that should be eliminated as should the World Bank. Both are nothing more then a dictatorship that imposed massive hardship on countries. The  IMF Can Only Bring Misery.

For six decades, the World Bank and IMF have imposed policies, programs, and projects that:

  • Decimate women’s rights and devastate their lives, their families, and their communities;
  • Subjugate democratic governance and accountability to corporate profits and investment portfolios;
  • Trap countries in a cycle of indebtedness and economic domination;
  • Force governments to privatize essential services;
  • Put profits before peoples’ rights and needs;
  • Abet the devastation of the environment in the name of development and profit;
  • Institutionalize the domination of the wealthy over the impoverished – the new form of colonialism; and
  • Facilitate corporate agendas through the economic re-structuring of countries enduring conflict and occupation, such as East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Check out what they do in Africa.

The World Bank and IMF in Africa

Privatization, Pollution and Free Trade, WTO

Greece Country Profile

If the US  can’t get you with the IMF, World Bank or Free Trade Agreements  — they send in the CIA.

One way or the other they will make your lives miserable and even kill you to get what they want. They even start wars to get what they want.

One has to wonder how many problems are still created by the CIA in other countries. They can  cause financial chaos to other countries as well. They manipulate elections in other countries and invent anything to overturn governments they do not like.

One has to wonder if those Masked folks in Greece that stir up violence, may be associated with the CIA.  The US does not like Socialism. That is one of their tactics they use often.

This fellow has a number of Videos that can be watched I recommend them all so you can get some insight into what the CIA is really like. They have not changed over the years only now everything they do is kept secret and always chalked up to National Security so no one can find out what they are up to.  Do take the time to watch as many of the Video with John in them.  Then maybe you will understand just how the US destroys other countries.

John Stockwell – CIA’s War on Humans

Feb 13, 2008

John R. Stockwell is a former CIA officer who became a critic of United States government policies after serving in the Agency for thirteen years serving seven tours of duty. After managing U.S. involvement in the Angolan Civil War as Chief of the Angola Task Force during its 1975 covert operations, he resigned and wrote In Search of Enemies, a book which remains the only detailed, insider’s account of a major CIA “covert action.”

Some things never change

More John Stockwell on the CIA and the Covert Action

John Stockwell on the Election of George H. W. Bush (1988)

This explains how they did many things as well, They had a lot of help from Israel in their horrific deeds against innocent people as well.

The CIA: Beyond Redemption and Should be Terminated

So look at the world around us today and you will notice nothing has changed only gotten worse and the US is still starting wars. They still interfere with other Governments. They still topple Governments they don’t like. Now they have more weapons like the IMF, World Bank, Free Trade, WTO etc.

I could bet a few dollars they have everything to do with the problems in Greece and many other EU countries deep in debt. Wars are also driving countries deep in debt.

Greek lawmakers vote in favour of new austerity bill

Oct. 20 2011

ATHENS, Greece — Greek lawmakers have passed a deeply resented austerity bill that has led to violent protests on the streets of Athens, despite some dissent from one Socialist lawmaker.

The new measures include pay and staff cuts in the civil service as well as pension cuts and tax hikes for all Greeks. The bill passed by majority vote in the 300-member parliament.

Former Labor Minister Louka Katseli voted against one article that scales back collective labour bargaining rights. She voted in favour of the overall bill, but Prime Minister George Papandreou expelled her from the party’s parliamentary group. The move whittles down his parliamentary majority to 153.

The vote came after violent demonstrations that left one person dead and 74 injured. Source

Recent

World Wide Occupy Wall Street Protests

Pentagon Insider Says Green Light On Israel/USA To Strike Iran Within 2 Weeks

Jewish ‘Heroes’ Contest: “self-loving” Jew VS “self-destructive.

UN Member States Must Demand Action Against NATO War Crimes

Wall Street and Greek protests spread to Brussels

We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former NYPD detective testifies

Wall Street/Washington Protesters an Inspiration to Behold

Published in: on October 20, 2011 at 6:25 am  Comments Off on Violence erupts as general strike shuts down Greece  
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Wall Street and Greek protests spread to Brussels

A nurse shouts slogans during a protest by hospital staff in Athens, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011. (AP / Thanassis Stavrakis)

Disenchanted citizens promise to fill the streets of financial districts en masse this weekend as they grow weary of bailing out banks. EurActiv Greece contributed to this article.

While people in the US, the UK, and many European countries including Belgium, are mobilising for mass street protests in their cities this Saturday, people in the capital of the EU will put on a comparatively smaller show.

500 protesters expected in Brussels

In comparison to the 4,000 people expected to arrive at the London Stock Exchange, just over 500 people are expected to arrive at Rue Wiertz outside the European Parliament in Brussels.

Belgium has been recently hard hit by financial scandal after it emerged that the CEO of the nationalised Dexia bank has been living at a Brussels hotel three days a week for the past three years.

The bank downplayed Pierre Mariani’s actions, saying he paid for the room by himself.  Moreover, figures in the Belgian press indicate that the Dexia bailout will cost €5,000 per taxpayer.

Trade unionists in Brussels claim they have tried to get in touch with the Occupy Brussels movement to show their support but have not had any luck finding a spokesperson.

Patricia Grillo, a spokesperson from the European Trade Union Confederation said there was “no boss, between brackets” because the protestors probably do not want to align themselves with any group or political party to get more people involved.

Asked about the significance of the protests, a spokesperson for the European Commission answered: “How does that concern us?”

The lack of support from EU policymakers has upset followers of the movement who say it highlights why people feel compelled to make themselves heard on the street.

“That really pinpoints why there is such an explosion of activity, and that is the idea that people in places of influence are not worried about what citizens think,” Naomi Colvin, a supporter of Occupy the London Stock Exchange, the UK-arm of the protest, told EurActiv.

The predicted turnout figures in Europe are paltry compared to the number of participants in the US. An umbrella group for the entire movement stateside, Occupy Together, has a total 99,260 followers.

In the last few days, US news media report that the protests have escalated and in some parts, grown personal. Yesterday, thousands of protestors targeted the houses of several billionaires on the Upper East Side of New York.

Occupy LSX

The London protests, dubbed Occupy LSX, are unlikely to target individuals’ homes, says Colvin, as this has not been agreed at the movement’s General Assembly which has been planning the march.

“It is a bad idea to personalise this. That is a misrepresentation of what we are talking about. We are talking about a systemic problem,” Colvin said.

Colvin explained that the movement had many goals, among which, that action is taken against investment banks and credit rating agencies who allowed sub-prime mortgages to be wrapped up in AAA-rated Credit Default Swaps, swelling a bubble of toxic assets.

Observers lament that the man on the street does not know what they are protesting about but Colvin insists that laymen do understand the actions taken by banks which caused the crisis.

“There is a real danger in assuming that this is too complex for people to understand. It’s like selling medicines that were not labelled properly. Would we want that to happen?” she said.

Prosecuting bankers?

Since the crisis not a single person or institution has been either indicted or convicted for misleading clients on CDS. Financial analysts in the US believe that banks like Goldman Sachs, which have been selling CDS linked to sub-prime, won’t face criminal prosecution related to these sales because such a move could threaten the financial system.

“The real question is not whether some people are put in prison but whether democracy is restored and the financial sector serves the real economy again. They should be taxed like any other economic sector and become truly accountable to the people,” Sven Giegold, a German Green told EurActiv.  The German Greens have called on their electorate to participate in Saturday’s protests.

After the protest, some countries in Europe will enter a phase of general strikes. Colvin hopes a strike in the UK on 6th November will underline the movement’s motives.

This week Greece has been inundated with protests against further austerity measures involving wage and pension cuts and 30,000 planned redundancies.

According to EurActiv Greece, ongoing protests are bringing Athens to a standstill, literally, as a 10-day strike by Greek Petroleum prevented drivers from getting fuel yesterday. Buses, trams and metros stopped purely in protest at the cuts.

These strikes will culminate in a general strike planned for 19 October with many banks, petrol stations, public servants (from municipal administrations to government departments), teachers and students threatening to participate.

Next steps:
  • 15 Oct.: “Indignados” protests across European cities.
  • 19 Oct.: General strike in Greece.

Source

Public Transport halted as Greek strikes spread

ATHENS — Unions and protesters shut down the Acropolis, halted public transport and occupied government buildings on Thursday, intensifying their confrontation with the Greek government as it scrambles to push more painful cuts through parliament.Greece’s largest labour union, the GSEE, sided with protesting public servants and announced plans to strike on Oct. 19 and 20, in opposition to the Socialist government’s “ineffective and catastrophic policies,” it said.Stores and even farmers’ markets in Athens are also due to close on the first day of the strike.Public servants are the main targets of new austerity measures, slated for parliamentary approval Oct. 20, that include across-the-board salary cuts, and the suspension of 30,000 workers on the state payroll with reduced salaries.Pensioners will also see more cuts, and salary earners will pay higher taxes, while parliament has already approved an emergency property tax due to be levies starting this month through electricity bills.

“The recession is deepening, unemployment has rocketed to appalling heights, the economy is collapsing, the living standards of our people has been pushed back decades back,” the civil servants’ union ADEDY said. “Employees and society are being driven to despair as the (government) pursues its policies that are creating the economic deadlock.”

The barrage of punishing reforms comes after Greece acknowledged it would miss its deficit-cutting targets in 2011 and promised international debt inspectors to take further corrective action in 2012.

The country is surviving on C110 billion ($151 billion) in rescue loans from other eurozone members and the International Monetary Fund, and would default next month unless it receives the next bailout payment of C8 billion ($11 billion) to be considered for approval next week.

Matthias Mors, a European Commission debt inspector, said in a newspaper interview published Thursday that they were aware of the difficulties the government faced in imposing so many reforms in such a short space of time.

“But I would say that we are at a critical moment, where Greece has to convince the international community and the other euro area members that it is willing and able to reach the objectives it has committed itself to,” the daily Kathimerini quoted him as saying.

Mors said Greece needed to overhaul its bloated public sector, but that it had agreed with the government that this should be done over the course of five years.

“We are not saying that there should be large-scale dismissals,” he said.

Outside parliament, hundreds of transport workers and protesting hospital staff — some sporting surgical equipment and wearing oxygen masks — staged anti-governmeht rallies that ended peacefully.

Elsewhere, protesting Culture Ministry employees sealed the entrance to the Acropolis and other ancient sites and museums, while protesting power workers occupied administrative offices of the Public Power Corporation to try and disrupt the distribution of property tax notices.

And local government workers stormed a nationwide meeting of mayors, scuffling with organizers. Their protest has halted garbage collection for 12 days in the Greek capital — causing piles of trash to build up on street corners.

State television and radio journalists, lawyers, hospital doctors, teachers, customs and tax officers, seamen and municipal workers have also either walked off the job or are planning strikes in the coming days. Taxi drivers are expected to stay off the streets Friday during the second day of the public transport strike, leaving private cars as the only transport in Athens.  Source

Hit the pocket books and the profiteers might listen.

Greece really knows how to protest. The people in Greece stand together, which is what makes their protests more effective then some others around the world.  They also do not give up.

They are not about to loss their pension, jobs, or social services.

The rest of the world could use their ideas in their own protests. United We Stand, divided we fall.

We, all around the world are fighting for the same things.

Greeks are definitely an inspiration to the rest of the world. The greedy bankers and bad corporations, helped put them in the position they are in as well as the IMF and probably Free Trade.

Free Trade has caused more poverty and job losses then any other agreements ever implemented around the world. Which leads back the the US and so do the bad bankers as well.

These protesters hot the homes of the profiteers.

Protesters who say the state’s tax on millionaires should not expire marched on the Upper East Side apartments of five of the city’s richest men Tuesday.

They carried giant checks for $5 billion – how much they say the state will lose when the tax dies in December – made out to “the top 1%” and tried to give them to each tycoon.

The target list: News Corp.CEO Rupert Murdoch, conservative billionaire David Koch, financier Howard Milstein, JP Morgan ChaseCEO Jamie Dimon and hedge fund titan John Paulson.

“(Gov.) Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature are about to give this man and his billionaire friends a $5 billion tax cut,” the crowd of several hundred chanted at each address.

“We are the 99% and we are here to say no more tax cuts for the billionaires while we cut schoolteachers, firefighters and cops.”

For the rest of the story and video go HERE
Greedy bankers, Free Trade, and the cost of continual Wars cause major problems in the US as well as other NATO countries.
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Published in: on October 13, 2011 at 11:34 pm  Comments Off on Wall Street and Greek protests spread to Brussels  
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Israel angers Egyptian Protesters

September 12 2011

Cairo Anger: ‘Israel done plenty to make enemies of Egyptian people’

5 policemen killed: Egypt withdraws its envoy from Israel
CAIRO, Aug 20 (AFP) – Egypt has decided to withdraw its ambassador from Israel to protest the deaths of five policemen killed on the border during retaliatory attacks on Palestinian militants, state television said today.

“Egypt has decided to withdraw its ambassador to Israel until there is an official apology,” it said.
The Egyptian government had asked “for an official apology from Israel” at the end of a crisis meeting overnight, the state-run MENA news agency reported in a statement. Information Minister Osama Heykal was quoted as saying by MENA that five policemen were killed “inside Egyptian territory as a result of an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and armed elements inside Israeli territory.”

It is the second time that Egypt, the first Arab country to have signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, recalls its ambassador from the Jewish state. In November 2000 Egypt recalled its envoy from Israel to protest over what it said was “the excessive use of force by Israel against the Palestinians after the second intifada,” Palestinian uprising. Egypt’s military chief of staff, Sami Enan, headed to the Sinai on Friday to probe the deaths of the policemen killed a day earlier.

There have been conflicting reports from the Egyptian military and police about how they lost their lives. A military official told Egypt’s official MENA news agency on Thursday that they were killed by stray Israeli helicopter fire aimed at the fleeing gunmen.

But on Friday, the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper quoted a military official as saying the policemen were killed by gunmen trying to slip in from Israel. Enan’s visit was announced shortly after another policeman was declared dead following a border gunfight on Friday, which left one of his comrades gravely wounded with a bullet in the head. Earlier, Israeli security sources told AFP they had information that a man had blown himself up on the Egyptian side of the border, saying they believed he was one of the men on the run.

Friday night hundreds of people demonstrated outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo demanding the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and denouncing the Jewish state for the attacks. “Sinai, Sinai,” the crowds shouted in reference to the Sinai peninsula where the Egyptian policemen were killed and “Down with Israel. The people want the ambassador out and the Israeli flag down.”

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has said in a message published on his Facebook page: “Egyptian blood is too precious to be spilled for no reason.” “Our glorious revolution took place so that Egyptians could regain their dignity at home and abroad. What was tolerated in pre-revolution Egypt will not be in post-revolution Egypt,” he said.

Source

Israel refuses to apologize. They never will.

They think they are above the law and can kill anyone they want and that is just fine. Even the US thinks the same. They are like two peas in a pod of disgusting criminals.. Of course the US is run by Israel now isn’t it. Israel says jump and American politicians say ‘how high master”.

Israel should stop killing innocent people from other countries and stop the siege on Gaza.

People are getting fed up with their murderous rampages.

Then they wonder why people from other countries don’t like or respect them.

I am guessing Israel is looking for anew war with Egypt.

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Fukushima, Japan China Syndrome or Chernobyl

What in the World are they Spraying on Us “Toxic posion”

Nuclear Sites in US, Europe and Japan

Libya war lies worse than Iraq

Pfizer pays Nigeria drug-trial victims

UN chief Ban alarmed over rising civilian toll in Libya

(Libya 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Families Cry Out for Palestinian Prisoners

Published in: on September 13, 2011 at 2:25 am  Comments Off on Israel angers Egyptian Protesters  
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Israel’s middle class launches mass protest at rising cost of living

Reports of 300,000 on streets across country as pressure for reform grows on Netanyahu

By Catrina Stewart

August 8 2011

Over a quarter of a million Israelis staged the country’s biggest protest in decades over the weekend, calling for far-reaching social reform to ease the financial burden of the increasingly straitened middle class.

Israeli media reported the numbers of protesters at over 300,000, most of them in Tel Aviv, where hundreds of youths have been camped out for nearly four weeks in tents and wigwams in protest at soaring living costs, the original source of frustration.

Since their modest beginnings, the protests have mushroomed into a nationwide movement addressing a whole range of issues that have brought together Israelis from both ends of the political spectrum in a rare show of unity. Personal politics have taken second place to gripes over high taxation, soaring food and petrol costs, the divide between the rich and poor, and shrinking social services.

Related articles

They also represent a critical challenge for Israel’s right-wing government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, a proponent of free-market reform. His fractured coalition has struggled to present concrete solutions to the diverse set of demands, many of which call for the kind of sweeping change that harks back to Israel’s early socialist principles.

In an effort to defuse the protests, Mr Netanyahu yesterday formed a panel of economic experts and cabinet ministers to study ways to bring down the cost of living, which has soared at the expense of stagnant salaries even though Israel’s economy is thriving. While promising “real dialogue”, he warned that “we won’t be able to please everyone”.

But protest organisers seemed reluctant to embrace the government’s measures, wary that it would fail to translate into actual social reform. “I want to be sure… we will not be given the runaround for three months, at the end of which we will not emerge with real solutions,” Itzik Shmuli, a protest leader, told Israel Radio.

On Saturday night, Tel Aviv’s main thoroughfares were thronged with people holding banners with slogans including “We want a welfare state”, and “Israel is dear”. “There has been nothing like this for decades – all these people coming together, taking to the streets, demanding change. It’s a revolution,” Baruch Oren, a 33-year-old protest leader, told Reuters. But not all felt themselves caught in the embrace of the protesters. Amid the hundreds of tents catering to different social causes, only tent No 1948 addresses issues linked to Palestinians and the Israeli Arab community. Critics claim that protest organisers have explicitly avoided turning the protests into a referendum on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for fear it will be seen as leftist and lose support. “Perhaps if I was a Jewish Israeli, I [would] be proud of the July 14 movement. … [But] I am Palestinian,” Abir Kopty, an Israeli Arab activist, wrote on her blog. “I want to speak about historical justice, I want to speak about occupation … and I want to speak about them in the heart of Tel Aviv.”

In the occupied West Bank, too, Palestinians are following the protests with interest, but argue that Israelis are seeking rights that the Palestinians can only dream of. “For us Palestinians, it isn’t a housing crisis we are facing but a housing ban,” Nariman al-Tamimi, a Palestinian woman from Nabi Salih, a village in an Israel-controlled part of the West Bank, told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Her home is under threat of demolition after the family, unable to secure permits to build, added an unauthorised extension.

Others predicted that protesters would start linking the deterioration of their economic condition with the Jewish West Bank settlements, considered illegal under international law, into which successive Israeli governments have invested huge sums of money in the shape of tax breaks and cheap loans.

“In due course, [the protesters] will reach the conclusion that the money for the major reforms they demand can only come from stopping the settlements and cutting the huge military budget by hundreds of billions – and that is possible only in peace,” wrote Uri Avnery, an Israeli former politician, in a weekly letter.

Q & A:

War on cheese prices turns into a wider class struggle

Q. How did the protests in Israel begin?

A. Organisers say that a Facebook campaign against a rise in cottage cheese prices in June provided the inspiration for collective action. However, the protests actually started when a young woman was evicted from her apartment in central Tel Aviv because she had failed to pay her monthly rent. She erected a tent on the city’s stylish Rothschild Boulevard, prompting hundreds of others struggling with high rents to join her.

Q. What are the demonstrations about?

A. They were initially about the high cost of rented accommodation, which has risen much more quickly than the average Israeli income. The protests now embrace issues ranging from high taxation, the cost of childcare, low salaries for doctors and nurses and calls for improvements to social services, which have shrunk in recent years. Many people have directed their anger at the country’s wealthiest families, who are seen as growing rich at the expense of ordinary Israelis via monopolies that have pushed up the cost of goods.

Q. So who is actually doing the protesting?

A. Broadly speaking, it is Israel’s middle class. They pay high taxes but receive few of the welfare benefits that are extended to the poor.

Q. What is the government doing about the problems?

A. The government has struggled to meet the diverse demands of the protesters. The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, pushed through a housing reform Bill last week, which protesters said would benefit the rich and damage the environment. The government’s latest step is to set up a Cabinet-level economic task force to look at ways to bring down prices. It has a month to reach its conclusions.

Source

I GUESS YOU GET WHAT YOU VOTE FOR.

A VOTE FOR WAR IS A VOTE FOR THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO POVERTY.

Will anything change? Of course not, the rich will get richer and the poor will get very much poorer. After all someone must pay for all the war toys. Just like the USA the poor there pay for all the wars and the poor are the ones who also pay with their lives. The poor are nothing more then cannon fodder.

This is an older report, but the cost to those who live in Israel is staggering. No wonder they are poor.

P.S. They spend even more now.

Foreign Arms Supplies To Israel/Gaza

Israel get weapons from everyone and their dog.

Also I don’t know if anyone has noticed but every time the the US starts a new war the price of Oil/Gas goes up way up which drives up the cost of everything else.  Now isn’t that special?

Published in: on August 8, 2011 at 3:53 am  Comments Off on Israel’s middle class launches mass protest at rising cost of living  
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Israel attacks Gaza Flotilla in International Waters

June 4, 2010 updates added at bottom. Updates of upcoming protests and a petition to the United Nations have been added. Will be adding more as I find them.

Israel is violating international law.  UN Security Council resolution 1860, passed in January 2009,  calls for an end to the Gaza blockade and to allow the unimpeded flow of aid into the region.

Reports on deaths of victims of the Israeli attack varies from 9 to 19 depending on which reports you read.

Israelis opened fire before boarding Gaza flotilla, say released activists:

First eyewitness accounts of raid contradict version put out by Israeli officials

By Dorian Jones in Istanbul and Helena Smith

June 01, 2010

Survivors of the Israeli assault on a flotilla carrying relief supplies to Gaza returned to Greece and Turkey today, giving the first eyewitness accounts of the raid in which at least 10 people died.

Arriving at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport with her one-year-old baby, Turkish activist Nilufer Cetin said Israeli troops opened fire before boarding the Turkish-flagged ferry Mavi Marmara, which was the scene of the worst clashes and all the fatalities. Israeli officials have said that the use of armed force began when its boarding party was attacked.

“It was extremely bad and very tough clashes took place. The Mavi Marmara is filled with blood,” said Cetin, whose husband is the Mavi Marmara’s chief engineer.

She told reporters that she and her child hid in the bathroom of their cabin during the confrontation. “The operation started immediately with firing. First it was warning shots, but when the Mavi Marmara wouldn’t stop these warnings turned into an attack,” she said.

“There were sound and smoke bombs and later they used gas bombs. Following the bombings they started to come on board from helicopters.”

Cetin is among a handful of Turkish activists to be released; more than 300 remain in Israeli custody. She said she agreed to extradition from Israel after she was warned that conditions in jail would be too harsh for her child.

“I am one of the first passengers to be sent home, just because I have baby. When we arrived at the Israeli port of Ashdod we were met by the Israeli interior and foreign ministry officials and police; there were no soldiers. They asked me only a few questions. But they took everything – cameras, laptops, cellphones, personal belongings including our clothes,” she said.

Kutlu Tiryaki was a captain of another vessel in the flotilla. “We continuously told them we did not have weapons, we came here to bring humanitarian help and not to fight,” he said.

“The attack on the Mavi Marmara came in an instant: they attacked it with 12 or 13 attack boats and also with commandos from helicopters. We heard the gunshots over our portable radio handsets, which we used to communicate with the Mavi Marmara, because our ship communication system was disrupted. There were three or four helicopters also used in the attack. We were told by Mavi Marmara their crew and civilians were being shot at and windows and doors were being broken by Israelis.”

Six Greek activists who returned to Athens accused Israeli commandos of using electric shocks during the raid.

Dimitris Gielalis, who had been aboard the Sfendoni, told reporters: “Suddenly from everywhere we saw inflatables coming at us, and within seconds fully equipped commandos came up on the boat. They came up and used plastic bullets, we had beatings, we had electric shocks, any method we can think of, they used.”

Michalis Grigoropoulos, who was at the wheel of the Free Mediterranean, said: “We were in international waters. The Israelis acted like pirates, completely out of the normal way that they conduct nautical exercises, and seized our ship. They took us hostage, pointing guns at our heads; they descended from helicopters and fired tear gas and bullets. There was absolutely nothing we could do … Those who tried to resist forming a human ring on the bridge were given electric shocks.”

Grigoropoulos, who insisted the ship was full of humanitarian aid bound for Gaza “and nothing more”, said that, once detained, the human rights activists were not allowed to contact a lawyer or the Greek embassy in Tel Aviv. “They didn’t let us go to the toilet, eat or drink water and throughout they videoed us. They confiscated everything, mobile phones, laptops, cameras and personal effects. They only allowed us to keep our papers.”

Turkey said it was sending three ambulance planes to Israel to pick up 20 more Turkish activists injured in the operation.

Three Turkish Airlines planes were on standby, waiting to fly back other activists, the prime minister’s office said. “Source

Israeli Murders, NATO and Afghanistan

By Craig Murray

June 02, 2010

I was in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over 20 years and a member of its senior management structure for six years, I served in five countries and took part in 13 formal international negotiations, including the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea and a whole series of maritime boundary treaties. I headed the FCO section of a multidepartmental organisation monitoring the arms embargo on Iraq.

I am an instinctively friendly, open but unassuming person who always found it easy to get on with people, I think because I make fun of myself a lot. I have in consequence a great many friends among ex-colleagues in both British and foregin diplomatic services, security services and militaries.

I lost very few friends when I left the FCO over torture and rendition. In fact I seemed to gain several degrees of warmth with a great many acquantances still on the inside. And I have become known as a reliable outlet for grumbles, who as an ex-insider knows how to handle a discreet and unintercepted conversation.

What I was being told last night was very interesting indeed. NATO HQ in Brussels is today a very unhappy place. There is a strong understanding among the various national militaries that an attack by Israel on a NATO member flagged ship in international waters is an event to which NATO is obliged – legally obliged, as a matter of treaty – to react.

I must be plain – nobody wants or expects military action against Israel. But there is an uneasy recognition that in theory that ought to be on the table, and that NATO is obliged to do something robust to defend Turkey.

Mutual military support of each other is the entire raison d’etre of NATO. You must also remember that to the NATO military the freedom of the high seas guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is a vital alliance interest which officers have been conditioned to uphold their whole career.

That is why Turkey was extremely shrewd in reacting immediately to the Israeli attack by calling an emergency NATO meeting. It is why, after the appalling US reaction to the attack with its refusal to name Israel, President Obama has now made a point of phoning President Erdogan to condole.

But the unhappiness in NATO HQ runs much deeper than that, I spoke separately to two friends there, from two different nations. One of them said NATO HQ was “a very unhappy place”. The other described the situation as “Tense – much more strained than at the invasion of Iraq”.

Why? There is a tendency of outsiders to regard the senior workings of governments and international organisations as monolithic. In fact there are plenty of highly intelligent – and competitive – people and diverse interests involved.

There are already deep misgivings, especially amongst the military, over the Afghan mission. There is no sign of a diminution in Afghan resistance attacks and no evidence of a clear gameplan. The military are not stupid and they can see that the Karzai government is deeply corrupt and the Afghan “national” army comprised almost exclusively of tribal enemies of the Pashtuns.

You might be surprised by just how high in Nato scepticism runs at the line that in some way occupying Afghanistan helps protect the west, as opposed to stoking dangerous Islamic anger worldwide.

So this is what is causing frost and stress inside NATO. The organisation is tied up in a massive, expensive and ill-defined mission in Afghanistan that many whisper is counter-productive in terms of the alliance aim of mutual defence. Every European military is facing financial problems as a public deficit financing crisis sweeps the continent. The only glue holding the Afghan mission together is loyalty to and support for the United States.

But what kind of mutual support organisation is NATO when members must make decades long commitments, at huge expense and some loss of life, to support the Unted States, but cannot make even a gesture to support Turkey when Turkey is attacked by a non-member?

Even the Eastern Europeans have not been backing the US line on the Israeli attack. The atmosphere in NATO on the issue has been very much the US against the rest, with the US attitude inside NATO described to me by a senior NATO officer as “amazingly arrogant – they don’t seem to think it matters what anybody else thinks”.

Therefore what is troubling the hearts and souls of non-Americans in NATO HQ is this fundamental question. Is NATO genuinely a mutual defence organisation, or is it just an instrument to carry out US foreign policy? With its unthinking defence of Israel and military occupation of Afghanistan, is US foreign policy really defending Europe, or is it making the World less safe by causing Islamic militancy?

I leave the last word to one of the senior NATO officers – who incidentally is not British:
“Nobody but the Americans doubts the US position on the Gaza attack is wrong and insensitve. But everyone already quietly thought the same about wider American policy. This incident has allowed people to start saying that now privately to each other.”

Craig Murray is a human rights activist, writer, former British Ambassador, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Lancaster School of Law. Visit his blog http://www.craigmurray.org.uk

Source

Israel‘s Moral Superiority?
Netanyahu: World ‘Hypocritical’ for Condemning Gaza Flotilla Raid

In first address to nation, Netanyahu says had Turkish-flagged ship breached blockade, so could hundreds of vessels carrying weapons.

By Barak Ravid

June 02, 2010

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday defended the Israel Navy’s raid of a pro-Palestinian convoy en route to the Gaza Strip earlier this week, in his first address to the nation regarding the botched operation which left nine people dead and several more wounded.

Netanyahu accused international critics of “hypocrisy” and declared that Israel would continue to blockade the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave, saying that to lift the embargo would turn it into a base for Iranian missiles that would threaten both Israel and Europe.

“Iran is continuing to smuggle weapons into Gaza,” said Netanyahu in a televised address. “It is our obligation to prevent these weapons from being brought in by land and sea. The previous government understood this and imposed a closure.”

“The goal of the flotilla was to breach [the closure] and not to bring goods, as we would have allowed them to do,” said Netanyahu. “If the blockade had been broken, dozens and hundreds more ships carrying weapons could have come.”

Netanyahu, who canceled his trip to Washington and a meeting with President Barack Obama due to the raid, declared that Israel had no opposition to seeing humanitarian aid brought into the Gaza Strip.

But Hamas’ growing armament was a cause for concern and a crucial reason to leave the blockade in place, said the prime minister. Without a blockade and intense inspection of every ship nearing the area, said Netanyahu, “Gaza will turn into an Iranian port.”

Nanyahu told his political-security cabinet during a special session on Tuesday that international condemnation would not stop Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The raid of the Turkish-flagged ship awakened a storm of criticism among Israel’s friends and foes alike, leading many members of the United Nations Security Council – including Britain – to call on Israel to lift its years-long siege of the Hamas-ruled coastal territory.

At a special meeting convened in the wake of the raid, Netanyahu told his ministers that the blockade was still necessary to prevent weapons from being smuggled into the Gaza Strip.

“We know from the experience of Operation Cast Lead that the weapons entering Gaza are being turned against our civilians,” Netanyahu said, referring to Israel’s three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip that ended in January 2009.

“Gaza is a terror state funded by the Iranians, and therefore we must try to prevent any weapons from being brought into Gaza by air, sea and land,” he said.

Netanyahu acknowledged that militants were still capable of smuggling weapons in via tunnels from Egypt, but emphasized that the large amounts of weapons that could be brought by sea made the threat a completely different affair.

“On the Francop ship alone we confiscated some 200 tons of weapons being smuggled to Hezbollah,” the prime minister said, in reference to the Antiguan-flagged ship Israel intercepted off the coast of Cyprus in November 2009.

“Opening a naval route to Gaza will present an enormous danger to the security of our citizens,” said Netanyahu. “Therefore, we will stand firm on our policy of a naval blockade and of inspecting incoming ships.”

“It’s true that there is international pressure and criticism of this policy, but [the world] must understand that it is crucial to preserving Israel’s security and the right of the State of Israel to defend itself.”

Source
The Flotilla was not a threat to anyone in Israel.
What a BS. If anyone believes the Flotilla was a threat quick go find a Psychiatrist. You need one obviously.
Self defense against defenseless people delivering Humanitarian Aid??? Who is Netanyahu trying to kid?
Does he think everyone on the planet has “Complete Idiot” written across their foreheads. He is really pushing the Gullibility factor.

I for one am completely and utterly insulted, if thinks I am that stupid.

Israel is the perpetrator of the crimes in this case.

Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet

Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country’s siege on Gaza.

At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported.

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km (or just over 35 Nautical miles) off the Gaza coast.

Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: “This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves.”

Footage from the flotilla’s lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

The Israeli military said four soldiers had been wounded and claimed troops opened fire after “demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs”.

Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the convoy.

Our correspondent said that a white surrender flag was raised from the ship and there was no live fire coming from the passengers.

Before losing communication with our correspondent, a voice in Hebrew was clearly heard saying: “Everyone shut up”.

Israeli intervention

Earlier, the Israeli navy had contacted the captain of the Mavi Marmara, asking him to identify himself and say where the ship was headed.

Shortly after, two Israeli naval vessels had flanked the flotilla on either side, but at a distance.

Organisers of the flotilla carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid then diverted their ships and slowed down to avoid a confrontation during the night.

They also issued all passengers life jackets and asked them to remain below deck.

Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Jerusalem, said the Israeli action was surprising.

“All the images being shown from the activists on board those ships show clearly that they were civilians and peaceful in nature, with medical supplies on board. So it will surprise many in the international community to learn what could have possibly led to this type of confrontation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Israeli police have been put on a heightened state of alert across the country to prevent any civil disturbances.

Sheikh Raed Salah, a leading member of the Islamic Movement who was on board the ship, was reported to have been seriously injured. He was being treated in Israel’s Tal Hasharon hospital.

In Um Al Faham, the stronghold of the Islamic movement in Israel and the birth place of Salah, preparations for mass demonstrations were under way.

Protests

Condemnation has been quick to pour in after the Israeli action.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, officially declared a three-day state of mourning over Monday’s deaths.

Turkey, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Sweden have all summoned the Israeli ambassador’s in their respective countries to protest against the deadly assault.

Thousands of Turkish protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul soon after the news of the operation broke. The protesters shouted “Damn Israel” as police blocked them.

“(The interception on the convoy) is unacceptable … Israel will have to endure the consequences of this behaviour,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.

Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza, has also dubbed the Israeli action as “barbaric”.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists, including a Nobel laureate and several European legislators, were with the flotilla, aiming to reach Gaza in defiance of an Israeli embargo.

The convoy came from the UK, Ireland, Algeria, Kuwait, Greece and Turkey, and was comprised of about 700 people from 50 nationalities.

But Israel had said it would not allow the flotilla to reach the Gaza Strip and vowed to stop the six ships from reaching the coastal Palestinian territory.

The flotilla had set sail from a port in Cyprus on Sunday and aimed to reach Gaza by Monday morning.

Israel said the boats were embarking on “an act of provocation” against the Israeli military, rather than providing aid, and that it had issued warrants to prohibit their entrance to Gaza.

It asserted that the flotilla would be breaking international law by landing in Gaza, a claim the organisers rejected. Source

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA

SECTION 2. LIMITS OF THE TERRITORIAL SEA

Article 3

Breadth of the territorial sea

Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km = over 35 nautical miles off the Gaza coast.

For all the Israeli’s knew the Flotilla could have been headed to Egypt to dock and have the goods transported to Gaza via the Egyptian boarder as well.

Either way what Israel did was a violation of International Law of the Sea. The Flotilla was under no obligation to stop for the Israelis as they were over the 12 Nautical miles out to sea at the time Israel attacked them..

Israel has no legal right to arrest anyone or hold any ships hostage. Israel committed an act of deliberate, premeditated, murder and piracy. Other crimes also include assault and battery, kidnapping and imprisonment of innocent civilians, and theft.

The people in the Flotilla  had committed absolutely no crime what so ever.

If I thought about it for a while I could come up with a few more charges that should be laid against the Israelis.

It could be a long list of violations. Murder, kidnapping, assault and battery,theft on land or sea are crimes and those responsible should be charged and imprisoned for their crimes, as any of us would be, if we committed these crimes.

If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allowed this and he did, he is as guilty of these crimes as those who committed them. He is responsible and should be tried for these crimes as well, as any other Government Representative or other Official who ordered or allowed  these crimes to be committed.

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA

SECTION 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 86

Application of the provisions of this Part

The provisions of this Part apply to all parts of the sea that are not included in the exclusive economic zone, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State, or in the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic State. This article does not entail any abridgement of the freedoms enjoyed by all States in the exclusive economic zone in accordance with article 58.

Article 87

Freedom of the high seas

1. The high seas are open to all States, whether coastal or land-locked. Freedom of the high seas is exercised under the conditions laid down by this Convention and by other rules of international law. It comprises, inter alia, both for coastal and land-locked States:

(a) freedom of navigation;

(b) freedom of overflight;

(c) freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines, subject to Part VI;

(d) freedom to construct artificial islands and other installations permitted under international law, subject to Part VI;

(e) freedom of fishing, subject to the conditions laid down in section 2;

(f) freedom of scientific research, subject to Parts VI and XIII.

2. These freedoms shall be exercised by all States with due regard for the interests of other States in their exercise of the freedom of the high seas, and also with due regard for the rights under this Convention with respect to activities in the Area.

Article 88

Reservation of the high seas for peaceful purposes

The high seas shall be reserved for peaceful purposes.

Article 89

Invalidity of claims of sovereignty over the high seas

No State may validly purport to subject any part of the high seas to its sovereignty.

Article 90

Right of navigation

Every State, whether coastal or land-locked, has the right to sail ships flying its flag on the high seas.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

Article 101

Definition of piracy

Piracy consists of any of the following acts:

(a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed:

(i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft;

(ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State;

(b) any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft;

(c) any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) or (b).

Article 102

Piracy by a warship, government ship or government aircraft

whose crew has mutinied

The acts of piracy, as defined in article 101, committed by a warship, government ship or government aircraft whose crew has mutinied and taken control of the ship or aircraft are assimilated to acts committed by a private ship or aircraft.

Article 103

Definition of a pirate ship or aircraft

A ship or aircraft is considered a pirate ship or aircraft if it is intended by the persons in dominant control to be used for the purpose of committing one of the acts referred to in article 101. The same applies if the ship or aircraft has been used to commit any such act, so long as it remains under the control of the persons guilty of that act.

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/closindx.htm

Egypt opened its border with the Gaza Strip for an unlimited amount of time. Seems Egypt is not pleased with Israel over this attack.

Turkey is calling for Israel to be severely punished for it’s acts of violence against innocent civilians.

Protests have broken out in many countries over the incident.

Jordanians protest Israeli raid on Gaza-bound flotilla

Jordanians took to the streets in Amman on Monday, protesting the Israeli raid on a flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza Strip.

During a march from the Jordanian professional associations’ headquarters to the Prime Ministry, the demonstrators chanted slogans against Israel, calling for closing the Israeli embassy in Amman.

The demonstrators urged the government to expel the Israeli ambassador in Amman and annul the Wadi Arabia peace treaty Jordan and Israel signed in 1994. Source

Thousands in Istanbul protest against Israeli attack on flotilla


East Bay Citizens Condemn Israel Attack on Gaza Aid Flotilla

Minneapolis Demonstration Against Israeli Attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla

US citizen Emily Henochowicz was shot directly in the face with a tear gas canister as she non-violently demonstrated against the Flotilla massacre she lost her left eye. Source

Photos of Protests from: Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, Egypt, Greece, Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, Cyprus, Britain, West Bank,  France, Indonesia, US, Lebanon

America Complicit In Israel’s Crimes

As I write at 5pm on Monday, May 31, all day has passed since the early morning reports of the Israeli commando attack on the unarmed ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, and there has been no response from President Obama except to say that he needed to learn “all the facts about this morning’s tragic events” and that Israeli prime minister Netanyahu had canceled his plans to meet with him at the White House.

Obama’s 12-hour silence in the face of extreme barbarity is his signal to the controlled corporate media to remain on the sidelines until Israeli propaganda sets the story. Source

Related

Gaza Flotilla Drives Israel Into a Sea of Stupidity

Remember  to add this when you protests or write to a Government officials.

Israel is violating international law.  UN Security Council resolution 1860, passed in January 2009,  calls for an end to the Gaza blockade and to allow the unimpeded flow of aid into the region. The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65 km (or just over 35 Nautical miles) off the Gaza coast. Israel had no legal right to stop them.

Keep up the pressure – End the siege of Gaza
Call on Canadian politicians to condemn the murder of the Gaza flotilla activists.
Global Day of Action – Saturday, June 5

International pressure is growing to end the siege of Gaza. The murder of the flotilla activists has thrust the issue into the mainstream, forcing governments around the world to speak out against the blockade.

Not surprisingly, Stephen Harper has not condemned the attacks and supported the U.S. initiative to water down the UN security council resolution on an investigation into the crimes. Both the U.S. and Canada have said that, rather than have the UN hold an independent investigation, Israel should investigate itself. This self-examination will be a smokescreen designed to hide the truth.

We in Canada have to speak out and demand that Harper stop being silent on war crimes, whether in Afghanistan or Palestine.

What can you do?

  • Join the events this week. Events are posed on the CPA website.

Palestinian groups are urging people to organize a global day of protest this Saturday, June 5. Many CPA members groups are already organizing events on Saturday and we are calling on peace activists to either join events already organized or, where there is no event, to try and organize one in your city. If you are organizing an event send the details to cpa@web.ca so we can post the information. Please feel free to contact the CPA for materials and information about the day of action.
To read the global call for action check the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) website.

There are also events each day in Canada condemning the attacks. Please keep checking the CPA website for the most up-to-date events listings for Canada. For global event listings check out the Gaza Freedom March website.

  • Send a letter to your MP

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East have put out a call for you to write letters to Canadian MP’s urging them to condemn the attacks. Click here to go to the website and send your letter.

Event Listings
Halifax
Israeli Attack on Humanitarian Aid Shipment
No to Israeli War Crimes! Support Gaza and the Palestinian People!
Join the Daily Mass Informational Pickets and Vigil

4 – 5 p.m. Wednesday (June 2), Thursday (June 3), Friday (June 4)

Maritime Mall (Aliant Bldg., where the passport office is)
Barrington Street and foot of Spring Garden Road

We call on everyone to join the people of the world in condemning the murderous attack on the Freedom Flotilla

Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Palestine
e-mail: shunpike@shunpiking.com
Hamilton
Bring this Message to Harper:
Lift the Siege of Gaza NOW!
Stop the killing of innocents!
Demand the release of Canadian prisoners!

Friday, June 4th
Federal Government Building in Hamilton – 55 Bay St. North
Across the Street from Copps Colosseum – 5:00 p.m.

Ample parking is available

NO TO PIRACY!!!
NO TO WAR CRIMES!!
Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War

Montreal
Samedi 5 Juin 13h30
coin Peel et St-Catherine
Place Dorchester
métro Peel

Apportez vos drapeaux, vos pancartes originales, vos instruments de musique!

http://www.tadamon.ca/post/6961

Appel pour une action de solidarité à Montréal avec les victimes du massacre de la flottille humanitaire “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” et le peuple palestinien. Manifestons au centre-ville de Montréal pour appeler à la fin du siège israélien sur Gaza et la fin de la complicité du Canada dans l’apartheid israélien. Cette manifestation sera coordonnée avec plusieurs d’autres à travers le monde ce samedi, en réponse à l’appel de la société civile palestinien pour des manifestations globales.

Ottawa:
Gaza Freedom Flotilla Global Day of Action in Ottawa – Rally and March
3:00pm.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Human Rights Monument
Organized by the Ottawa Palestine Solidarity Network
http://notowarcrimes.blogspot.com | ottawa.palestine@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=122130111158157

Penticton, BC
Rally at Stockwell Day’s Office

The Penticton Peace Groups believes that the Israeli government has committed new war crimes in an act of piracy and murder against the flotilla of small ships delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.

We are calling on the people of the south Okanagan to take this message to MP Stockwell Day’s office, this Saturday, June 5, 2010 at noon, meeting at Nanaimo Square.
For more information contact: Brigid Kemp at: bridiekemp@gmail.com

Toronto:
Gaza Freedom Flotilla
Global Day of Action: Saturday, June 5

Rally and March
Date: Saturday, June 5
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Israeli Consulate, 180 Bloor Street West

June 5 also marks the 43rd anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Our action aims to draw the world’s attention to Israel’s continuing illegal occupation, its refusal to abide by international law, and its massacre of innocent humanitarian workers.

Organized by:
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Palestine House Community Centre, Canadian Arab Federation, Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, Canadian Peace Alliance

Find us on Facebook: http://bit.ly/dBPiGY
To endorse, please email endapartheid@riseup.net.

Waterloo
Protest: Israel`s Flotilla Raid, Tuesday June 8

We would like to invite you to join us at 1pm on Tuesday, June 8th in the SLC courtyard for a march around campus to bring awareness to the humanitarian crisis involving Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla. We feel is is extremely important to bring as much awareness of this issue at this time and express our deepest disapproval of the actions committed by the Israeli Defense Forces. We hope to see you there! Should you have any questions, comments,or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

For more information please see: Students for Palestinian Rights

Winnipeg
Peace Alliance Winnipeg, Independent Jewish Voices and CanPalNet, will be holding a demonstration to show our solidarity with the people of Gaza, to express our sorrow at the murder of peaceful activists, and to join hands with people around the world in expressing our outrage at Israel’s actions.

Please join us.

Friday, June 4, 2010
4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Broadway Avenue and Osborne Street in Winnipeg. For more information please see: Peace Alliance Winnipeg

From the Jewish Voice for Peace

When I got the news about Israel’s armed attack on the Gaza Flotilla at 2:30 am on the morning of May 31, I felt sick. I immediately called a dear friend in Jerusalem, one of the most committed activists I know.  Across the ocean, I could hear in her voice that she was in tears. “The worst part about it, ” she said, “is that nothing will change.”

“No,” I replied. “I can’t believe that can be true.  Things have to change.””Well,” she said, “then it is up to you, the internationals.”

She’s right. It is up to us, the internationals both here in the United States and abroad.

That is why I want you to send a message to US President Obama if you live outside of the United States, and to Obama and the US Congress if you are a U.S. resident, demanding the immediate release of the detained human rights activists, an end to the siege on Gaza, an impartial investigation of the attack on the flotilla, and a suspension of US aid until Israel abides by international law.We still don’t know a lot about what happened to the flotilla of boats carrying some 700 human rights activists from around the world and over 10 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza– Israel has kept the activists under a near total media blackout while sharing only its implausible narrative of events. What we do know is that Israeli commandos boarded a ship in international waters and killed at least ten activists, injuring dozens of others.

Israel insists that highly trained commandos were forced to lethally fire on activists, creating a new definition of self-defense. In the first alternative accounts to appear, an Israeli Knesset member and an Al Jazeera cameraman who were on board the ship at the time each described something different, a scene of chaos with civilians waving white flags and commandos using stun guns, rubber bullets and tear gas. Regardless of what actually happened when armed soldiers landed, Israel’s wanton killing of civilians is unacceptable.

We still don’t know th
e names of those who were killed or injured, or where they are from. And we don’t know the whereabouts or well-being of more than 400 activists still being held by Israel.

These deaths, and the attacks on the boats, have hit all of us around the world particularly hard. There were people from 40 different countries on board the ships, including Israelis and Palestinians. Israel sent armed commandos onto a civilian ship in international waters, a brazenly illegal act to enforce Israel’s nearly 3-year illegal siege of Gaza – a siege that has left 1.5 million men, women and children living like prisoners on substandard diets, deprived of the simplest things like potato chips, musical instruments, and toys. The flotilla wasn’t just about this one delivery of aid. It was about the right of Palestinians to have sea, land and air routes to the rest of the world and for the need to end the blockade.

I know that there comes a point in one’s life when you simply have to take a stand. You cannot sit by silently and watch ongoing and wholly unjustified destruction of life, tacitly supported by governments around the world, and simply do nothing.

The flotilla was filled with people just like you and me who finally decided it was time to risk life and limb to take a stand, to break through those prison walls, and we thank them for it.

Now, as citizens of the world, we owe it to the people of Palestine, and the people of Israel who want to live in peace, and the brave people on that flotilla, to build the movement to make Israel accountable to international law and standards of simple human decency – especially because our governments have failed us.

he response of the U.S. government thus far has been wholly inadequate, with a mild statement “regretting the loss of life,” without assigning any blame for the fiasco, let alone applying any sanctions for Israel’s acts.  Please, join me in telling President Obama and Congress enough is enough

. US taxpayer dollars fund Israel’s occupation, and together with wall to wall uncritical diplomatic support have sent the message that any Israeli action, no matter how foolhardy, will be backed by the full might of the United States.

It’s time for that to stop.

We must also continue to build the already massive global people’s movement for justice, which has undeniably found its greatest impact in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. This is about all of the ways, big and small, people can bypass their often ineffective governments to use economic pressure to make the Israeli government accountable to international law. After launching our energetic support for campus efforts to divest from the occupation, Jewish Voice for Peace will let you know soon about our own divestment campaign to help bring pressure on Israel to reach a just solution.It is time for the United States, as Israel’s closest ally and most powerful nation in the world, to stop unconditional support for the Israeli government.Doing so will protect Israelis and Palestinians, American citizens, and internationals alike.

Click here to demand that President Obama and Congress call for an immediate lifting of the siege of Gaza,

An international and impartial investigation into the tragic killing of civilians in a humanitarian mission, and the suspension of military aid to Israel until he can assure the American public that our aid is not used to commit similar abuses.
Rebecca Vilkomerson,
Executive Director,
Jewish Voice for Peace

PS, We’ve prepared posters in PDF format that you can use at protests, in your car window or on bulletin boards. Download them here.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Also a Petition to the UN

Israel’s deadly raid on a flotilla of aid ships headed for Gaza has shocked the world.

Israel, like any other state, has the right to self-defence, but this was an outrageous use of lethal force to defend an outrageous and lethal policy — Israel’s blockade of Gaza, where two thirds of families don’t know where they’ll find their next meal.

The UN, EU, and nearly every other government and multilateral organization have called on Israel to lift the blockade and, now, launch a full investigation of the flotilla raid. But without massive pressure from their citizens, world leaders might limit their response to mere words — as they have so many times before.

Let’s make the world’s outcry too loud to ignore. Join the petition for an independent investigation into the raid, accountability for those responsible, and an immediate end to the blockade in Gaza — click to sign the petition, and then forward this message to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_flotilla_1/?vl

The petition will be delivered to the UN and world leaders, as soon as it reaches 200,000 names — and again at every opportunity as it grows and leaders choose their responses. A massive petition at a moment of crisis like this one can demonstrate to those in power that sound bites and press releases aren’t enough — that citizens are paying attention and demanding action.

As the EU decides whether to expand its special trade relationship with Israel, as Obama and the US Congress set next year’s budget for Israeli military aid, and as neighbours like Turkey and Egypt decide their next diplomatic steps — let’s make the world’s voice unignorable: it’s time for truth and accountability on the flotilla raid, and it’s time for Israel to comply with international law and end the siege of Gaza. Sign now and pass this message along:

Recent

Most Jerusalem Palestinians Live in Poverty

Why won’t Israel allow Gazan’s to import coriander?

What I Learned in Afghanistan – About the United States

Total number of suspected Mossad agents involved in Dubai assassination reaches 32

Kyrgyzstan: The nepotism that sparked a revolution

Sons were catapulted into key positions by Kyrgyz leader forced to flee office

By Shaun Walker

April 10 2010

Residents of Bishkek yesterday flocked to the city’s main square to remember the dozens of people who died in Wednesday’s violence. But grief was tinged with anger at ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who authorised troops to shoot on demonstrating civilians.

Mr Bakiyev fled to the south of the country as his government fell. Many in Bishkek hope that he, and his hated sons, will not return. The ousted president has denounced the revolution, which led to government offices being torched and looted, as a foreign-backed coup and told The Independent after fleeing that he still has the support of the majority of the country.

However, the mood on the streets yesterday suggests that he is out of touch with a people furious at his authoritarianism, corruption and nepotism. More than anything, it was the catapulting of his sons and brothers into senior state positions that angered ordinary Kyrgyz. It is telling that while interim leader Roza Otunbayeva has said Mr Bakiyev will be guaranteed safe passage out of the country if he capitulates, no such offer has been extended to his family members.

The country’s new prosecutor-general yesterday announced that a case was being prepared against Maxim Bakiyev, the president’s son and the most reviled man in the country.

Aged 32, he was, many suspect, being groomed to succeed his father. He headed a specially created agency to manage the hundreds of millions of dollars of Russian loan money, called the Central Agency for the Development of Investment and Innovation.

Critics noted that the Russian abbreviation for the agency sounded remarkably like “Tsar” – which is exactly what many in the country thought Mr Bakiyev behaved like.

“Even in the name of this agency, the ambitions of the Bakiyev sons for power were clear,” said Daniil Kislov, the editor-in-chief of the respected Fergana.ru website.

“They helped their father usurp power, and also seized various different businesses.

“They directly gave orders to put pressure on journalists, politicians, oppositionists and even members of parliament who opposed them. Many of these people had to leave Kyrgyzstan, and some of them were killed.”

Last December, Gennady Pavlyuk, a prominent Kyrgyz journalist who had often criticised the authorities, died after falling from an upper-storey apartment window on a trip to neighbouring Kazakhstan. Earlier last year, Medet Sardykulov, a former head of Mr Bakiyev’s administration, who had gone into opposition, was found dead in his car on the outskirts of Bishkek.

One of Mr Bakiyev’s key platforms when he came to power in the so-called Tulip Revolution in 2005 was that he would end the nepotism with which the ousted Askar Akayev had ruled. But politics came full circle, and in recent months his opponents have accused his regime of being even more corrupt and authoritarian. In addition to Maxim, Mr Bakiyev’s other son, Marat, and three of his brothers all held senior positions in the government.

After the uprising, Mr Bakiyev defended his family and insisted that he had put them in senior positions because of their experience.

“Maxim has an excellent knowledge of business, finance, and foreign languages, and was highly qualified to do the job he was doing,” he told The Independent. “Many of my relatives have had positions in the government for years, even before I came to power. They are highly qualified people.”

This is unlikely to placate his opponents. Prosecutors say they have testimony showing that it was he who ordered troops to fire on the protesters. Whether they will have the chance to prove this in court is unclear. Maxim Bakiyev is said to have departed for the United States shortly after the demonstrations started.

There were rumours spreading yesterday that in the southern cities of Osh and Jalalabad, Mr Bakiyev was readying supporters to stir further violence. Ms Otunbayeva insisted that the country would not spiral into civil war. “We have enough resources and capabilities and all the people’s support that we need,” she said.  Source

The Death toll apparently has reached 79. Approximately 1,400 have been injured.

April 09, 2010 — Kyrgyzstan is holding a day of national mourning for the victims of bloody protests which ousted the government.

The first funerals are being held for those who died in the unrest which forced President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to flee the capital.

Mr Bakiyev has refused to resign but has offered to talk to the opposition, which has set up an interim government.

But interim leader Roza Otunbayeva has said she has no plans to negotiate with Mr Bakiyev and demanded he stand down.

Both the US and Russia have key military bases in Kyrgyzstan, and are watching the situation there closely.

The US says it has now resumed normal operations at its Manas base after military flights were suspended on Wednesday.

The deputy head of the interim government, Almazbek Atambayev, has gone to Moscow “for talks on economic aid”, the government said in a statement.

‘Never forgive’

Thousands of mourners gathered in the main square of the capital, Bishkek, on Friday to remember those killed in Wednesday’s violence

Kyrgyz pray as they gather to mourn revolt victims on central square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Friday, April 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Kyrgyz people mourn revolt victims on central square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Friday, April 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Sergey Grits)

Related

Kyrgyzstan: Thousands of protesters furious over corruption 40 deaths over 400 injured/Updated April 9 2010

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Canadian students participate in Israeli Apartheid Week

By Lydia Parafianowicz

March 1 2010

Students at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, and in over 40 cities internationally, will be participating in this week’s sixth-annual Israeli Apartheid Week, despite controversy surrounding the events.

Organizers of Israeli Apartheid Week say they are trying to support equality for Palestinians living in Israel. The week has been called discriminatory by groups such as the Institute for Global Jewish Affairs and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies.

Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman moved a Feb. 24 resolution in the Ontario legislature denouncing the event. It has been reported that Conservative MP Tim Uppal will be presenting a similar motion at the House of Commons this week.

While posters advertising the week have been taken down at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, students are going ahead with scheduled events.

Student members of Palestinian Human Rights uOttawa and Students Against Israeli Apartheid-Carleton will be participating in at least one event every day during the week, including guest speaker events and a film screening. Many guest speakers are scheduled, including Dr. Jamal Zahalka, a member of the political leadership of Balad, the National Democratic Assembly of the Israeli parliament.

“[Israeli Apartheid Week] 2010 takes place following a year of incredible successes for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on the global level,” says the event’s website. “Lectures, films, and actions will highlight some of theses successes along with the many injustices that continue to make BDS so crucial in the battle to end Israeli Apartheid.”

A full schedule can be found at http://apartheidweek.org/ or http://carleton.saia.ca/iaw2010.html.

Source

Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman moved a Feb. 24 resolution in the Ontario legislature denouncing the event. Conservative MP Tim Uppal will be presenting a similar motion at the House of Commons this week. Typical of the Conservative Government. Support those who oppress others.

Needless to say Israel is a major problem.

I guess they also forgot Israel used Canadian passports in an assassination attempt a few years back, among numerous other things as noted in link below. Nothing like a long list to make a person think. Assassinations are something that is common for Israelis. The world must not sit idley by and continue to support such horrendous acts of violence in which many innocent civilians also die as a result. Israel is by no means a victim.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also  authorized the assassination of Khalid Mishal in 1997.

Mishal came to power largely as the result of a botched assassination attempt by seven Mossad agents in September 1997. Mossad used Canadian passports, some forged and some stolen from a Canadian embassy.

They are also attempting to take away Canadians freedom of speech. What the conservatives are attempting will do just that. Everyo9ne should protect their freedom of speech. Canada already has laws to cover hate etc, there is absolutely no need for more laws. This is just yet another way to silence people from speaking out or knowing the truth about what Israel does.

Then of course the Liberal Leader is in there like a dirty shirt. Anti Semitic my foot.  To criticize a country, any country for abusing people and depriving them of Human Rights is not Anti Semitic. It is the concern of all citizens of the world to see to it the rights of all people are protected regardless of which country they live in.. Michael Ignatieff really should really get educated on what is happening to those in Gaza and the
West Bank. Protecting those people is not Anti Semitic. It is the responsibility of everyone in the world to speak out on behalf of those who need our voices.

Canadian liberal leader says calling Israel ‘apartheid’ state is anti-Semitic

Seems Leaders of the world do virtually nothing to stop the theft of land, imprisonment of victims by Israel and the deaths of innocent people in Gaza and the West Bank. Meanwhile those people are hungry have few medical  needs addressed and have little supplies getting to them because of the blockade.

Someone needs to free the prisoners.  If we do not fight for their rights, World leaders certainly will not. I take it as a total insult to be called anti Semitic because I stand up for the rights of Human Beings who deserve to be treated with respect.  To make another point all Palestinians are in fact Semitic.

There fore I guess I can say Michael Ignatieff and the Conservatives are in fact Anti Semitic as well since they support the horrifying oppression of Palestinians.

So obvious isn’t it?

Don’t let you voice be silenced.

Even the press in Canada is not doing as well as it use to

Back in 2002 Canada was number 5 on the list of Press Freedom it has dropped to down to 19 in 2009.  Sad but true. Freedom of the press should be better from a so called free country. Canada is loosing ground. This new legislation if passed, will also affect the freedom of the press as well.

Israel: Attempting to take away Canadians Freedom of Speech

Organizations like, Camera, NGO Monitor, Honest Reporting and Jewish Internet Defense Force, to name a select few are all designed to remove your freedom of speech, as well as that of Charities, Human Rights orgs,  the Press and anyone else they can.

Now ‘J Street’ is ‘an anti-semitic lobby’ And they are Jewish. How sad this is happening.  So who is saying J Street is anti Semitic well Israel of course. So who is really pushing anti Semitic garbage. Not me, not those standing up for Palestinians. Israel is?

Update: March 15, 2009

This statement was rejected by both the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail (as an op-ed). Please help this important statement get into broad circulation – pass it on to your networks (faculty, community, MPs, university presidents, unions etc.).  You may also wish to write to the Star and Globe editorials and express your  dismay that they have chosen not to publish it.

Jewish Canadians Concerned About Suppression of Criticism of Israel

James Deutsch, M.D., Ph.D.

Judith Deutsch, M.S.W., R.S.W.

Miriam Garfinkle, M.D.

Over 150 Jewish Canadians signed a statement expressing their concerns about the campaign to suppress criticism of Israel that is being carried on within Canada.

The signatories include many prominent Canadians, including Ursula
Franklin O.C., Anton Kuerti O.C., Naomi Klein, Dr. Gabor Mate, and
professors Meyer Brownstone (recipient of Pearson Peace Medal), Natalie
Zemon Davis, Michael Neumann, and Judy Rebick. *

The signatories are particularly concerned that unfounded accusations of
anti-Semitism deflect attention from Israel’s accountability for what many
have called war crimes in Gaza. They state that B’nai Brith and the
Canadian Jewish Congress have led campaigns to silence criticism of Israel
on university campuses, in labor unions and in other groups. Immigration
Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff unquestioningly
echo the views of these particular Jewish organizations.

They strongly state that they are against all expressions of racism. While
firmly committed to resisting any form of prejudice against Jewish people,
their statement explicitly states that these spurious allegations of
anti-Semitism bring the anti-Communist terror of the 1950s vividly to mind.
The statement underlines the immeasurable suffering and injustice to the
Palestinian people due to the severe poverty, daily humiliations, and
military invasions inflicted by the State of Israel.

Statement: Jewish Canadians Concerned about Suppression of Criticism of
Israel

We are Jewish Canadians concerned about all expressions of racism,
anti-Semitism, and social injustice. We believe that the Holocaust legacy
“Never again” means never again for all peoples. It is a tragic turn of
history that the State of Israel, with its ideals of democracy and its dream
of being a safe haven for Jewish people, causes immeasurable suffering and
injustice to the Palestinian people.

We are appalled by recent attempts of prominent Jewish organizations and
leading Canadian politicians to silence protest against the State of Israel.
We are alarmed by the escalation of fear tactics. Charges that those
organizing Israel Apartheid Week or supporting an academic boycott of Israel
are anti-Semites promoting hatred bring the anti-Communist terror of the
1950s vividly to mind. We believe this serves to deflect attention from
Israel’s flagrant violations of international humanitarian law.

B’nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress have pressured university
presidents and administrations to silence debate and discussion specifically
regarding Palestine/Israel. In a full-page ad in a national newspaper,
B’nai Brith urged donors to withhold funds from universities because
“anti-Semitic hate fests” were being allowed on campuses. Immigration
Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff have echoed these
arguments. While university administrators have resisted demands to shut
down Israel Apartheid week, some Ontario university presidents have bowed to
this disinformation campaign by suspending and fining students, confiscating
posters, and infringing on free speech.

We do not believe that Israel acts in self-defense. Israel is the largest
recipient of US foreign aid, receiving $3 million/day. It has the fourth
strongest army in the world. Before the invasion of Gaza on 27 December
2008, Israel’s siege had already created a humanitarian catastrophe there,
with severe impoverishment, malnutrition, and destroyed infrastructure. It
is crucial that forums for discussion of Israel’s accountability to the
international community for what many have called war crimes be allowed to
proceed unrestricted by specious claims of anti-Semitism.

We recognize that anti-Semitism is a reality in Canada as elsewhere, and we
are fully committed to resisting any act of hatred against Jews. At the
same time, we condemn false charges of anti-Semitism against student
organizations, unions, and other groups and people exercising their
democratic right to freedom of speech and association regarding legitimate
criticism of the State of Israel.

Signatories:

Abigail Bakan
Adam Balsam
Sharon Baltman
Julia Barnett
Lainie Basman
Jody Berland

Sam Blatt
Geri Blinik
Anita Block
Elizabeth Block
Sheila Block
Hannah Briemberg
Mark Brill
Stephen Brot
Meyer Brownstone
Eliza Burroughs
Smadar Carmon
Gyda Chud
Charles P. Cohen
Nathalie Cohen
David Copeland
Natalie Zemon Davis
Eliza Deutsch
James Deutsch
Judith Deutsch
Abbe Edelson
Jack Etkin
Elle Flanders
Danielle Frank
Ursula Franklin
Dan Freeman-Maloy
Miriam Garfinkle
Alisa Gayle
Jack Gegenberg
Mark Golden
Brenda Goldstein
Sue Goldstein
Cy Gonick
Marnina Gonick
Rachel Gotthilf
Amy Gottleib
Kevin A. Gould
Daina Green
Lisa Frances Greenspoon
Ricardo Grinspun
Cathy Gulkin
Rachel Gurofsky
Deboran Guterman
Yesse Gutman
Freda Guttman
Judy Haiven
Michael Hanna-Fein
Jean Hanson
Jan Heynen
Maria Heynen
Adam Hofmann
Jake Javanshir
Jeannie Kamins
Marylin Kanee
Howard S. Kaplan
Gilda Katz
Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta
Mira Khazzam
Bonnie Sher Klein
Mark Klein
Martin Klein
Naomi Klein
Joshua Katz-Rosene
Ryan Katz-Rosene
Judy Koch
Anton Kuerti
Jason Kunin
Aaron Lakoff
Michael Lambek
Natalie LaRoche
Richard Borshay Lee
Andy Lehrer
Gabriel Levin
Gabriel Levine
Joel Lexchin
Kim Linekin
Abby Lippman
Lee Lorch
Martin Lukacs
Audrey Macklin
Elise Maltin
Richard Marcuse
Wayne Mark
Gabor Mate
Arthur Milner
Anna Miransky
Dorit Naaman
Joanne Naiman
Neil Naiman
Michael Neumann
David-Marc Newman
David Noble
Clare O’Connor
Robin Ostow
Andre W. Payant
Jenny Peto
Simone Powell
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Fabienne Presentey
Yacov Rabkin
Diana Ralph
Naomi Rankin
Judy Rebick
Ester Reiter
Jillian Rogin
Richard Roman
Joseph Rosen
Herman Rosenfeld
Martha Roth
Marty Roth
Ruben Roth
E.Natalie Rothman
B. Sack
Ben Saifer
Miriam Sampaio
Jacob Scheir
Fred Schloessinger
Alan Sears
Shlomit Segal
Edward H. Shaffer
Noa Shaindlinger
Ray Shankman
Eva Sharell
Elliot Shek
Sid Shniad
Max Silverman
Samuel Singer
Elizabeth Solloway
Susan Starkman
Greg Starr
Jonathan Sterne
Jeremy Stolow
Rhonda Sussman
Vera Szoke
Joe Tannenbaum
Howard Tessler
Marion Traub-Werner
Ceyda Turan
Sandra Tychsen
Cheryl Wagner
Jon McPhedran Waitzer
David Wall
Naomi Binder Wall
Kathy Wazana
Karen Weisberg
Barry Weisleder
Paul Weinberg
Judith Weisman
Suzanne Weiss
Abraham Weizfeld
Ernie Yacub
B.H. Yael
Yedida Zalik
Melvin Zimmerman

Source

Recent

Rachel Corrie’s parents Get Nasty Letter from professor at Haifa University

Rachel Corrie Gets Her Day in Court

Assassination latest act in nightmare without end

UK police meet passport victims connected to assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

A few examples from  the Archives

Gaza cancer patients have only painkillers, due to Israeli Blockade

West Bank Rabbi: Jews can kill Gentiles who threaten Israel including Children and even Babies

New report highlights Israeli exploitation of migrant workers

Gaza (4): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

There numerous stories on Israel none of which are  positive as to their attitude towards others.

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on March 2, 2010 at 2:21 am  Comments Off on Canadian students participate in Israeli Apartheid Week  
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Disapproval and Lawsuit against Egyptian “Wall of shame”

Egyptian move to ‘barricade’ Palestinians slammed
January 12, 2010
By Asim Hussain

LAHORE

NOTED Pakistani Islamic scholars have joined their counterparts elsewhere in the Muslim world to condemn Cairo for constructing a huge metal and concrete wall along its border with Gaza which will literally starve Palestinians to death.

Religious clerics from a wide spectrum of Muslim schools of thought have criticised Cairo which, they said, had been acting as a stooge in the hands of Washington and Tel Aviv. They called upon Muslim Ummah to rise to the occasion, calling for their urgent help in the name of Muslim brotherhood and Islamic principles of helping out the oppressed.

They also criticized Al Azhar University, Egypt’s largest Islamic institution, for issuing an edict justifying the construction of wall in the name of national security. Pakistani scholars praised those few Muslim scholars of the world who dared to raise voice against Cairo and Al-Azhar such as Qatar’s cleric Allama Yusuf Qardhawi, Yemen’s Sheikh Abdul Majid Zandani, Cairo University’s Dr Abdul Saboor Shaheen, Kuwait’s Sheikh Hamid bin Abdullah Al-Ali and Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan’s Syed Munawwar Hasan. They have condemned rest of the Muslim world, particularly the states who are keeping a criminal silence over the issue.

Many Pakistani clerics and religious groups will be holding protest meetings in coming days to condemn Cairo’s move, while some of the big institutions such as Jamia Ashrafia – the largest university affiliated with Deobandy school of thought in Lahore – has already held meetings, condemning Cairo for such a blatant violation of Islam and demanding immediate reversal of the decision.

Cairo has already completed initial phase of 10-kilometre long wall which will also go down 50 to 60 feet into the ground to cut off the tunnels which Tel Aviv accuses Palestinians of using to smuggle arms along with food supplies into Gaza. Cairo has also practically shut its border crossings with Gaza under Tel Aviv’s demands. This porous border was the only available link of Gaza with the outside world since Israel constructed a similar wall on Gaza boundary with the occupied lands, turning the area into a literal prison camp.

Renowned scholar and chairman Central Royat Hilal Committee, Mufti Munibur Rehman said Cairo’s move could provide Israel a fresh license for a renewed spate of Palestinians’ genocide which, God forbid, could result into complete wiping out of Palestinian Muslims from the face of the world besides turning entire Palestine into Israel.

Talking to The News, the head of Pakistan’s official moon sighting committee, said the Egyptian wall could prove more disastrous than those of Israel and Germany since it could change the geography of the world on a large scale. Terming the wall against Islamic principles of Muslim brotherhood and helping the oppressed, he said: “Why has Cairo cited a flimsy argument like national security for clamping prison like restrictions on 1.5 million Palestinian Muslims languishing under extreme Israeli-Egyptian blockade for the last many years that caused deaths to thousands of patients, infants and other Palestinians”.

Mufti Munib, who is also the head of the board governing seminaries belonging to Barelvi school of thought, noted that Cairo had always been acting as US-protÈgÈ since the signing of Camp David accord, carrying out Washington’s agenda in the region. He said besieged Gaza people never threatened Egyptian security though they managed to smuggle small amounts of food, milk and medicines etc. through Egyptian borders in their attempts to ward off serious scarcity of vital supplies.

“Cairo’s move to construct Israel-like wall against Palestinians is heart rending for entire Muslim Ummah, and we in Pakistan are so deeply grieved that we don’t have words to condemn Mobarak administration,” said Hafiz Fazl-e-Rahim, head of Jamia Ashrafia, Lahore, while talking to The News. He said Cairo not only turned against fellow Muslims but also betrayed Allah Almighty for giving away the first Qibla (House of worship) of Muslims to the enemies literally in a platter, instead of waging jihad for its recovery.

Maulana Abdul Maalik, noted scholar and president Jamiat Ittehad-ul-Ulema, termed Cairo’s wall as anti-Islamic, anti-humanity, and in serious violation of rights given by Islam, besides the ‘much talked-about’ fundamental human rights. He said such a move that allowed enemies of Islam to commit mass murders of Muslims was highly condemnable and entire Ummah should raise voice against it.

Maulana Abdul Maalik equated Cairo’s move with Islamabad’s U-turn on Afghan policy providing vital support to US forces to overthrow Taliban’s Islamic regime in Afghanistan in the wake of 9-11. “Hosni Mobarak’s action is similar to the strategic and logistic support given by General Pervez Musharraf to the US forces invading Afghanistan resulting into massacre of over a million fellow Muslims,” he said.

Maulana Abdul Maalik also slammed the religious edict issued to Cairo by Egypt’s largest Islamic university justifying the construction of wall on the plea of national security. He said any edict allowing committing blatant violations of Quran, Sunnah and Islamic principles of brotherhood, besides the ‘world known’ human rights, had no value in the eyes of Muslim scholars, since anything like that is believed to have been issued under government pressure.

Noted Shia scholar, Allama Abdul Jalil Naqvi, said Cairo’s vital help in likely massacre of millions of Palestinian Muslims was a matter of great shame for the entire nation. Talking to The News, the leader of the largest religious party of Shia sect in Pakistan, said Egypt had always been a partner in Israeli and US genocide of Palestinians despite serious protests by Muslim ummah. Cairo’s latest move to construct an iron wall on the remaining boundaries of Gaza is nothing but pure enmity of Islam, he said.

Naqvi wondered under what Shariah Al-Azhar justified and aided Israeli plans of wiping out entire Palestinian population of Gaza. He said Al-Azhar appeared to be working under the slavery of Cairo rulers instead of Allah Almighty.

Source

Egyptian Activists File Suit To Stop Gaza Wall

By Mohamed Abdel Salam

January 7 2010

Cairo: A former Egyptian ambassador, Ibrahim Yousry, in addition to 250 Egyptian and foreign political activists, jurists and parliamentarians filed a lawsuit before an administrative court on Monday against both President Mubarak, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, and Ministers of the Interior and Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Habib Al- Adli. The suit urged them, first, to suspend the decision to build a steel separating wall along Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip and, second, to stop the Egyptian government’s decision to close the Rafah crossing.

Political forces said in their lawsuit that the Egyptian Government is violating tenets of international law and human rights charters, particularly the 1907 Hague Rules, the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and customary rules of international law which are supported and reinforced by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The lawsuit was signed by representatives of both conservative and liberal political forces, led by Ambassador Ibrahim Yousry, who initiated a lawsuit to stop exporting Egyptian gas to Israel, as well as a number of other activists, including Dr. Abdel Halim Kandil, Dr. Abdel Jalil Mostafa, Dr. Karima El-Hefnawy, MP Mohamed Al Omda. The group also includes journalists, a activists from the 6th of April Movement, along with a number of French, American and European activists.

For his part, Ibrahim Yousry told local newspapers that all political movements have confirmed their opposition to the wall and the closure of the Rafah crossing and the participation of the Egyptian Government in support of the Israeli siege of a million Palestinians.

The activists, after finishing the proceedings before the administrative court of the State Council in Giza, went to the Egyptian Attorney General and organized a protest in front of his office, chanting slogans like “stop the wall… break the siege”, ” tunnels are legal as long as the convoys are banned” and “wall of shame… humiliation of the siege”.

Source

Jordon Activists protest Gaza wall at Egyptian embassy Jan 12 2010

Come the iron wall-Gaza Tunnels only used for Necessities

Israel breaking the Law yet again : Night raid in Ramallah to arrest International Solidarity Movement media coordinator

Viva Palestina Update George Galloway and Ron McKay Deported from Cairo

55 activists injured in clashes in Egypt/Egyptian authorities called in over 2,000 riot police to block Viva Palestina convoy in port of Al-Arish

Egyptian authorities have temporarily opened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip GFM

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 1:12 am  Comments Off on Disapproval and Lawsuit against Egyptian “Wall of shame”  
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US Tests: Scary Crowd-Stopping Technology at Pittsburgh Protests

Robocops Employ Scary Crowd-Stopping Technology at Pittsburgh Protests

By Mike Ferner,

September 28, 2009.

An arsenal of “crowd control munitions,” was deployed with a massive, overpowering police presence in Pittsburgh during last week’s G-20 protests.

No longer the stuff of disturbing futuristic fantasies, an arsenal of “crowd control munitions,” including one that reportedly made its debut in the U.S., was deployed with a massive, overpowering police presence in Pittsburgh during last week’s G-20 protests.

Nearly 200 arrests were made and civil liberties groups charged the many thousands of police (most transported on Port Authority buses displaying “PITTSBURGH WELCOMES THE WORLD”), from as far away as Arizona and Florida with overreactingand they had plenty of weaponry with which to do it.

Bean bags fired from shotguns, CS (tear) gas, OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) spray, flash-bang grenades, batons and, according to local news reports, for the first time on the streets of America, the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD).

Mounted in the turret of an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), I saw the LRAD in action twice in the area of 25th, Penn and Liberty Streets of Lawrenceville, an old Pittsburgh neighborhood.  Blasting a shrill, piercing noise like a high-pitched police siren on steroids, it quickly swept streets and sidewalks of pedestrians, merchants and journalists and drove residents into their homes, but in neither case were any demonstrators present.  The APC, oversized and sinister for a city street, together with lines of police in full riot gear looking like darkly threatening Michelin Men, made for a scene out of a movie you didn’t want to be in.

As intimidating as this massive show of armed force and technology was, the good burghers of Pittsburgh and their fellow citizens in the Land of the Brave and Home of the Free ain’t seen nothin’ yet.  Tear gas and pepper spray are nothing to sniff at and, indeed, have proven fatal a surprising number of times, but they have now become the old standbys compared to the list below that’s already at or coming soon to a police station or National Guard headquarters near you.  Proving that “what goes around, comes around,” some of the new Property Protection Devices were developed by a network of federally-funded, university-based research institutes like one in Pittsburgh itself, Penn State’s Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies.

Raytheon Corp.’s Active Denial System, designed for crowd control in combat zones, uses an energy beam to induce an intolerable heating sensation, like a hot iron placed on the skin.  It is effective beyond the range of small arms, in excess of 400 meters.  Company officials have been advised they could expand the market by selling a smaller, tripod-mounted version for police forces.

M5 Modular Crowd Control Munition, with a range of 30 meters “is similar in operation to a claymore mine, but it delivers…a strong, nonpenetrating blow to the body with multiple sub-munitions (600 rubber balls).”

Long Range Acoustic Device or “The Scream,” is a powerful megaphone the size of a satellite dish that can emit sound “50 times greater than the human threshold for pain” at close range, causing permanent hearing damage.  The L.A. Times wrote U.S. Marines in  Iraq used it in 2004.  It can deliver recorded warnings in Arabic and, on command, emit a piercing tone…”[For] most people, even if they plug their ears, [the device] will produce the equivalent of an instant migraine,” says Woody Norris, chairman of American Technology Corp., the San Diego firm that produces the weapon. “It will knock [some people] on their knees.”  CBS News reported in 2005 that the Israeli Army first used the device in the field to break up a protest against Israel’s separation wall.  “Protesters covered their ears and grabbed their heads, overcome by dizziness and nausea, after the vehicle-mounted device began sending out bursts of audible, but not loud, sound at intervals of about 10 seconds…A military official said the device emits a special frequency that targets the inner ear.”

In “Non-lethal Technologies: An Overview,” Lewer and Davison describe a lengthy catalog of new weaponry including the “Directed Stick Radiator,” a hand-held system based on the same technology as The Scream.  “It fires high intensity ‘sonic bullets’ or pulses of sound between 125-150db for a second or two.  Such a weapon could, when fully developed, have the capacity to knock people off their feet.”

The Penn State facility is testing a “Distributed Sound and Light Array Debilitator” a.k.a. the “puke ray.”  The colors and rhythm of light are absorbed by the retina and disorient the brain, blinding the victim for several seconds.  In conjunction with disturbing sounds it can make the person stumble or feel nauseated.  Foreign Policy in Focus reports that the Department of Homeland Security, with $1 million invested for testing the device, hopes to see it “in the hands of thousands of policemen, border agents and National Guardsmen” by 2010.

Spider silk is cited in the University of Bradford’s Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project, Report #4 (pg. 20) as an up-and-comer.  “A research collaboration between the University of New Hampshire and the U.S. Army Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center is looking into the use of spider silk as a non-lethal ‘entanglement’ material for disabling people. They have developed a method for producing recombinant spider silk protein using E. coli and are trying to develop methods to produce large quantities of these fibres.”

New Scientist reports that the (I’m not making this up) Inertial Capacitive Incapacitator (ICI), developed by the Physical Optics Corporation of Torrance, California, uses a thin-film storage device charged during manufacture that only discharges when it strikes the target. It can be incorporated into a ring-shaped aerofoil and fired from a standard grenade launcher at low velocity, while still maintaining a flat trajectory for maximum accuracy.

Aiming beyond Tasers, the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, (FY 2009 budget: $1B) the domestic equivalent of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), plans to develop wireless weapons effective over greater distances, such as in an auditorium or sports stadium, or on a city street.  One such device, the Piezer, uses piezoelectric crystals that produce voltage when they are compressed.  A 12-gauge shotgun fires the crystals, stunning the target with an electric shock on impact.  Lynntech of College Station, Texas, is developing a projectile Taser that can be fired from a shotgun or 40-mm grenade launcher to increase greatly the weapon’s current range of seven meters.

Off the Rocker and On the Floor: Continued Development of Biochemical Incapacitating Weapons,” a report by the Bradford Disarmament Research Centre revealed that in 1992, the National Institute of Justice contracted with Lawrence Livermore National Lab to review clinical anesthetics for use by special ops military forces and police.  LLNL concluded the best option was an opioid, like fentanyl, effective at very low doses compared to morphine.  Combined with a patch soaked in DMSO (dimethylsufoxide, a solvent) and fired from an air rifle, fentanyl could be delivered to the skin even through light clothing.  Another recommended application for the drug was mixed with fine powder and dispersed as smoke.

After upgrades, the infamous “Puff the Magic Dragon” gunship from the Vietnam War is now the AC-130.  “Non-Lethal Weaponry: Applications to AC-130 Gunships,” observes that “With the increasing involvement of US military in operations other than war…” the AC-130  “would provide commanders a full range of non-lethal weaponry from an airborne platform which was not previously available to them.”  The paper concludes in part that “As the use of non-lethal weapons increases and it becomes valid and acceptable, more options will become available.”

Prozac and Zoloft are two of over 100 pharmaceuticals identified by the Penn State College of Medicine and the university’s Applied Research Lab for further study as “non-lethal calmatives.”  These Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), noted the Penn State study, “…are found to be highly effective for numerous behavioral disturbances encountered in situations where a deployment of a non-lethal technique must be considered.  This class of pharmaceutical agents also continues to be under intense development by the pharmaceutical industry…New compounds under development (WO 09500194) are being designed with a faster onset of action.  Drug development is continuing at a rapid rate in this area due to the large market for the treatment of depression (15 million individuals in North America)…It is likely that an SSRI agent can be identified in the near future that will feature a rapid rate of onset.”

In Pittsburgh last week, an enormously expensive show of police and weaponry, intended for “security” of the G20 delegates, simultaneously shut workers out of downtown jobs for two days, forced gasping students and residents back into their dormitories and homes, and turned journalists’ press passes into quaint, obsolete reminders of a bygone time.

Most significant of all, however, was what Witold Walczak, legal director of the Pennsylvania ACLU, told the Associated Press: “It’s not just intimidation, it’s disruption and in some cases outright prevention of peaceful protesters being able to get their message out.”

Source

Seems they were experimenting on US Citizens.

Trying out some of their new toys.

Some in the US had the nerve to criticize Iran,  a while back.  They should be looking in their own back yard.  Seems pretty nasty to me.

Jan 7 : India- Protest in New Delhi over Israel raids

January 7  2009

NEW DELHI

The echoes of bombings on Gaza Strip were heard in the Capital on Tuesday. The coordination committee for Indian Muslims (CCIM) a group of five Muslim organisations came together with students of Delhi University (DU), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia at Jantar Mantar to protest against Israel for its ongoing raids against Palestinians.

The protestors demanded that the government raise its voice against Israel and snap all ties with it, if need be. “The Indian government should respond to this terrorist onslaught by Israel on Palestinians,” said Mujtaba Farooq, convenor, CCIM. The protestors comprised not only students and members of Muslim organisations, but also housewives and children. “We have come here to protest against the killings of innocent people in Gaza. We had all received an SMS, urging us to be a part of this protest. We wanted to show our solidarity with the people of Palestine. Israel should stop its bombings rightaway,” said a student from Jamia.

Protestors also said that the fight against the Israeli attack was not of Muslims alone. “We should bring together our Hindu and Sikh brothers to demand that these attacks end now. People in Gaza are suffering without any electricity, water, food and money because of these raids,” said John Dayal, member of the Christian Council. Pallavi Deka, secretary, JNU Students’ Union, added, “People in Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Palestine are suffering alike. If we come together, we can bring an end to the conflict across the world.”

Another protestor, Mohammad Adib, member of parliament said, “Why is our country silent? Our government should tell Israel to either stop these attacks or take away its embassy from our country.”

Source

Jan 7: Lebanese children demonstrate for Gaza Children

Jan 7:Israel’s Gaza invasion provokes protests throughout Latin America

Jan 7: Australian Jews protest against Israel’s action

Jan 7: Canadian Jewish women protesting against Gaza War, Arrested after occupying the Israeli Consulate

An Open Letter From Jewish Youth in Canada – Support of Gaza0 all Jewish youth can sign

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza -Petitions

Egypt floats truce plan after 42 killed in Gaza School and Bars Doctors from Gaza

Gaza (3): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Gaza (2): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Gaza (1): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Israel strike kills up to 60 members of one family

Israel rains fire on Gaza with phosphorus Shells/Targets UN School

Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead and wounded

Foreign Press still banned from Gaza/Israel attacks Media Building in Gaza City

Gaza wounded die waiting for ambulances

War on Gaza – Timeline: June 19 2008 to January 3 2009

Published in: on January 8, 2009 at 6:01 am  Comments Off on Jan 7 : India- Protest in New Delhi over Israel raids  
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Jan 7: Israel’s Gaza invasion provokes protests throughout Latin America

By TYLER BRIDGES
January 7 2009

Opposition to Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip is heating up throughout Latin America.

Venezuela has expelled Israel’s ambassador. Guatemala and Colombia have called on Israel to stop fighting and begin immediate peace talks. Demonstrators in Argentina, El Salvador and Bolivia have condemned the invasion. Brazil is sending aid to victims.

“There is a tradition in Latin America of rejecting violence to solve any international conflict,” said Adrian Bonilla, the director of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Ecuador. “There is also a tradition of supporting the weakest country in a conflict since most Latin American countries have been part of the Third World network. Another factor is that Israel is a close ally of the United States.”

Not surprisingly, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has taken the harshest stance. On Tuesday, he kicked out Israel’s ambassador and diplomatic staff. The Palestinian militant Islamist group Hamas applauded the move on Wednesday as a “courageous step.”

Chavez on Wednesday showed the photograph of a Palestinian child killed by Israeli bombs and said Israeli leaders should be tried for killing innocent men, women and children.

“Behind Israel is the American empire,” Chavez said.

Chavez questioned why President-elect Barack Obama “until now hasn’t said anything” about Israel’s aggression.

Abraham Levy, the president of the Confederation of Israeli Associations in Venezuela, said Wednesday that he found Chavez’s comments “worrisome.” He noted that Israel and Venezuela had warm relations until Chavez began seeking close ties with Iran and denounced Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon.

Some 15,000 Jews live in Venezuela.

The biggest protest in Latin America has taken place in Argentina, where some 20,000 people marched Tuesday from the Obelisk in downtown Buenos Aires to the Israeli Embassy. Arab and student groups organized the march, along with the Argentine Communist Party and the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a human rights organization.

The protesters carried Palestinian, Iraqi and Lebanese flags and signs saying “Israel: Leave Gaza now” and “We are all Palestinians.” The march was peaceful, but some of the protesters threw paint and shoes against the embassy.

“The fifth largest army of the world is fighting against a helpless society,” Alejandro Salomon, the president of the Confederation of Argentina Arab Entities, said in an interview Wednesday. “We are protesting against the small effort made by the international community to stop this manslaughter.”

Jews are planning a pro-Israel countermarch in Buenos Aires on Thursday, ending at a building destroyed by Arab terrorists in a 1994 car bombing that killed nearly 100 people. With an estimated 240,000 Jews, Buenos Aires is said to be the second biggest home of Jews in the Americas after New York City.

A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Argentina, Iftaf Curiel, told the Jewish News Agency that Argentinians should support the “moderate elements of the (Middle Eastern) region – Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Jordan – that are confronting the extreme elements of Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.”

Israeli officials have said they launched the Gaza invasion on Dec. 27 as a defensive measure to halt rocket fire from Hamas militants.

Televised images of the carnage have been shown throughout Latin America, especially on Telesur, the regionwide television network financed by the Venezuelan government. The attacks have killed some 600 Palestinians, including children.

Source

Jan 7: Lebanese children demonstrate for Gaza Children

Jan 7 : India- Protest in New Delhi over Israel raids

Jan 7: Australian Jews protest against Israel’s action

Jan 7: Canadian Jewish women protesting against Gaza War, Arrested after occupying the Israeli Consulate

An Open Letter From Jewish Youth in Canada – Support of Gaza0 all Jewish youth can sign

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza -Petitions

Egypt floats truce plan after 42 killed in Gaza School and Bars Doctors from Gaza

Gaza (3): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Gaza (2): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Gaza (1): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Israel strike kills up to 60 members of one family

Israel rains fire on Gaza with phosphorus Shells/Targets UN School

Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead and wounded

Foreign Press still banned from Gaza/Israel attacks Media Building in Gaza City

Gaza wounded die waiting for ambulances

War on Gaza – Timeline: June 19 2008 to January 3 2009

Published in: on January 8, 2009 at 5:11 am  Comments Off on Jan 7: Israel’s Gaza invasion provokes protests throughout Latin America  
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Sunday Jan 4 Reports: Protests in Canada against Attack in Gaza

Gaza attacks spark outcry

BEN LEMPHERS for Metro Edmonton

Hundreds of people gathered outside city hall in support of Palestine, calling for peace and justice. The well-attended, lively demonstration is in response to Israel’s escalating attacks on Gaza, which has claimed several civilian lives. Another gathering is planned for next Saturday.

Local protesters call for end to latest Middle East violence
By JEFF CUMMINGS
January 5 2009

Hundreds of protesters cheered, shouted and sometimes cried in front of city hall yesterday in an emotional rally calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Many were seen carrying signs, while others from Edmonton’s Islamic community were seen wearing Palestinian headscarves and waving Palestinian flags chanting, “Free, free Palestine.”

“This is not an equal war, not a self-defence act, it is a massacre,” read one sign.

Alaa Kadry, a co-organizer behind the large protest, says Israel’s actions against Gaza have affected a large number of families who live in Edmonton.

Some are still having a hard time trying to reach relatives caught in the war, he says.
“We have many families right now who are under siege,” said Kadry, a member of the Canadian-Palestine Cultural Association.

“This is a stand against aggression, against oppression, against all of the massacres that have taken place right now.”

Kadry says the attacks on Gaza are not self-defence, as what many in the international community are calling it.

Peggy Morton, a member with the Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism, said another protest is being planned at city hall on Saturday and they will keep on protesting “as long as the attacks on Gaza take place.”

Similar protests were held in Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver with the largest rally seen in Montreal where thousands of flag-waving protesters flooded downtown streets.

Source

Thousands brave cold in Montreal to denounce Israeli offensive in Gaza

January 4 2009

MONTREAL – A peaceful, well-attended march denouncing the Israeli offensive in Gaza is snaking its way through downtown Montreal this afternoon.

Several thousand placard-toting, flag-waving protesters braved the bitter cold as Israel’s troops and military machinery continued their push into enemy territory.

Demonstrators of all ages gathered in a square on the western tip of Montreal’s downtown core before heading to the Israeli consulate, housed in an office tower just a stone’s throw away.

The march continued peacefully as demonstrators shouted slogans such as “Israel terrorist” and “Free Palestine.”

The Montreal march is the latest in a series of events this weekend across Canada.

Similar events were held Saturday in Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto.

Mideast conflict sparks more protests in T.O.

January 04 2009

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Palestinian supporters in Toronto are planning more protests to urge the Canadian government to speak up against Israel’s escalating military action on the Gaza Strip.

On Saturday, thousands of people gathered outside the Israeli consulate on Bloor Street to voice their concern about the violence which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians.

The conflict began on Dec. 27, with Israel saying it would no longer tolerate rocket attacks from Hamas on its border towns — attacks that had intensified after the end of a truce agreement.

Rafeef Ziadah, spokesperson for the Palestine House in Toronto, called Israel’s response a disproportionate use of force.

“This is not self-defence,” she said. “Civilians are the ones being killed today.”

The Palestine House organized Saturday’s rally and Ziadah said more protests are being planned as the organization is watching developments in the Middle East closely.

Saturday’s protest was one of many held by Arab communities around the world.

Meanwhile, supporters of Israel are planning their own rally in Toronto. A rally is being planned for Thursday night to show solidarity with the military and their fight against Hamas.

Meir Weinstein, with the Jewish Defence League, says Israel has a right to defend itself from rocket attacks aimed at Israeli civilians.

“What the Jewish government is doing is ordering the Israeli Defence Force to finally take action against those sending rockets to Israel,” he told CTV Toronto. “What does a decent person expect to do? This is not a game.”

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that Israel would protect its civilians from rocket attacks, which continued throughout the air assault.

“This morning I can look every one of you in the eyes and say the government did everything before deciding to go ahead with the operation,” Olmert said.

Israeli officials have said they do not intend to occupy the Gaza Strip and have been clear that the goal is to stop rocket attacks.

However, the ground offensive would not be “a rapid one that would end in hours or a few days,” warned one senior military officer, who asked not be named.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the ground offensive “brutal aggression,” and reached out to his rivals in Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

In response to the troop movement, Hamas officials said Gaza would become a “graveyard” for Israeli soldiers.

“You entered like rats,” Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan said in a statement on Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV. “Gaza will be a graveyard for you, God willing.”

Protesters came out in Toronto on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008 to denounce the Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip and show solidarity with the Palestinian people. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel)

Source

Protests Sunday Jan 4

SundayJan 4 Reports: US protests against Attack in Gaza

SundayJan 4 Reports: Protests around the World Against Gaza assault

Protests Sat Jan 3

Saturday Jan 3 Reports:US protests against Israels attacks on Gaza

Saturday Jan 3 Reports:Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

Saturday Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009

Friday Jan 2 Reports:Muslims around the world protest Gaza assault

December Reports

December 29 Reports:Global protests against Israel

Published in: on January 5, 2009 at 8:00 am  Comments Off on Sunday Jan 4 Reports: Protests in Canada against Attack in Gaza  
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Saturday Jan 3 Reports:US protests against Israels attacks on Gaza

New Reports on Sundays Protest at bottom of the page.

Saturdays protests

photo
Mike Kane / P-I
Supporters of Palestine march through downtown Seattle.

A supporter of Palestine waves a Palestinian flag at Westlake Plaza on Saturday after a march through downtown Seattle in protest of Israeli attacks against Hamas in Gaza.
(January 03, 2009)

Mike Kane/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Supporters of Palestine chant slogans at Westlake Plaza.
(January 03, 2009)

Mike Kane/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Two Jewish women from Seattle, Ronni Tartlet, left, and Wendy Somerson, stand with supporters of Palestine and in front of a group of Muslims lining up to pray at Westlake Plaza.
(January 03, 2009)

Mike Kane/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

· View a gallery of protest photos from Seattle

Hundreds march in Seattle to protest Israeli attacks on Gaza
By BRAD WONG
January 3 2009

Chanting “Free, free Palestine,” hundreds of people gathered in Seattle on Saturday to oppose the recent violence in the Middle East, mirroring protests worldwide that have drawn thousands as Israel has faced increasing criticism for its attacks on the Gaza Strip.

In Seattle, more than 500 people waved yellow-and-black placards and beat drums at Westlake Center to draw attention to the more than 400 Palestinians who have died from Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

“We believe that even if a part of your body is injured, your whole body will ache from it,” said Maha Shabaneh, who has relatives in her homeland of Palestine.

Shabaneh, a 43-year-old who lives in Seattle, wants people in the United States to be more aware of the conflict in the Middle East and for President-elect Barack Obama to be bold in dealing with it.

“He won’t be successful until he tackles foreign issues,” she said. “He needs to stand on these issues and prove that he is different.”

In the crowd, Wendy Somerson, 40, a Jewish woman from Seattle, clutched a sign that read, “The State of Israel Betrays Jewish Values.”

“We don’t support collective punishment of the Palestinian people. All people are equal and all lives are equal,” said Somerson, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace.

“The 400 Palestinian lives. We’re mourning them just as we’re mourning the four Israeli lives,” she added, referring to those who have died recently.

Voices of Palestine and other groups, including The Church Council of Greater Seattle and Jewish Voice for Peace, organized the rally.

The protest drew a cross section of area residents, including Buddhists, Muslims, Latinos, Iraqis and U.S. military veterans.

Protesters marched northwest along Fourth Avenue to Denny Way, waving Palestinian flags and carrying mock coffins.

“Occupation is a crime,” many of them yelled before returning to Westlake Center along Fifth Avenue.

Leading the protesters was a group of Palestinian-American children, who had a makeshift stretcher with a doll splattered with red paint. Several wore bulls-eye targets that read, “Am I your next target?”

The protestors were angered by recent actions of Israel, which on Saturday sent military forces into the neighboring Gaza Strip. It was the Jewish state’s latest move in its eight-day offensive against Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza, aimed at forcing the Islamist Palestinian group to stop firing rockets at Israel’s southern cities.

Israel began its aerial assault on Dec. 27, saying it wanted to halt rocket attacks after a six-month cease-fire with Hamas expired Dec. 19. The Israeli army contends that militants have launched more than 3,000 rockets and mortar shells at Israel since the beginning of 2008.

For their part, Hamas refused to renew the cease-fire because it says Israel had not eased its economic blockade of Gaza, and launched 70 rockets at Israel the day before the cease-fire ended.

Officials estimate more than 435 Palestinians died since Israel started its offensive. Four Israelis have also died in the violence. The United Nations estimates at least a quarter of the Palestinians killed by Israeli airstrikes on Hamas militants were civilians.

The Israeli government has rejected calls for a temporary cease-fire, saying it would be a “mistake” to give the movement time to rearm and regroup. Hamas, which denies Israel’s right to exist, seized control of Gaza in 2007 after a brief power-sharing arrangement with Abbas, of the rival Fatah movement.

In late December, the American Jewish Committee’s Greater Seattle Chapter released a statement, saying that Israel supports a two-state solution for coexistence but that Hamas “calls for Israel’s destruction.”

Before Israel launched its attacks, the group said, government leaders encouraged Hamas to stop its “reign of terror.”

“We mourn the loss of innocent lives, but it is important to understand that these tragic losses flow directly from Hamas’ reckless drive to undermine and destroy Israel — whatever the cost,” the statement reads. “We also hope and pray that Hamas and its supporters soon come to their senses and choose the path of peace.”

Although many people on Saturday applauded the protesters, Seattle resident Erin Lee, 30, walked by Westlake Center and questioned their actions.

“I’m definitely for Israel,” she said. “Palestine has done attacks in the past. It’s an ongoing fight.”

Throughout Saturday’s protest and during the march, Everett resident George Bentley, 46, waved an Israeli flag. At times, some protesters stood near him and tried to put their signs in front of him.

“I am here to support Israel while they defend themselves from a vicious series of attacks that have been going on since the day that Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip,” Bentley said.

Bentley is neither Jewish nor an Israeli citizen, but said he showed up because Israel is a U.S. ally. Israel, he added, has been doing its “best” to limit civilian casualties but injured and dead people are a risk of urban warfare.

Siraj Lala, a 35-year-old from India, stood at Westlake Center with a sign that read “End Israeli Apartheid.”

“I think the best resolution is a two-state resolution,” the Redmond resident said. “That Israel has it owns state and Palestinians have their own state.”

Source

In Boston
Jan 3 2009
(Stephen Iandoli, NECN) – As images of the violence in Gaza spread throughout the world, so, too, did the sounds of protest.

From the Middle East to Asia, Africa, South America and here in Boston, groups have gathered to express disdain at what they perceive to be a “U.S.-funded Israeli aggression in Gaza.”

Hundreds congregated on Copley Square on Saturday afternoon, waving signs and banners and wearing the names of those who have died in the Gaza Strip. Surrounded by about a dozen Boston Police officers, the large group marched down, and around, Boylston Street and Downtown Crossing.

“We are trying to tell America, ‘look at what’s happening, look at the carnage that’s happening to a tiny spit of land’,” President of Gaza Mental Health Foundation Nancy Murray said at the rally.

Consul General for Israel in New England, Nadav Tamir, has said all along that his country has the right to defend itself against Hamas — a militant group to some, terrorist to others.

The next step in the escalating conflict began late Saturday, when Israel unleashed its tanks and infantry in what it said would be a “lengthy” ground attack in Gaza.

There were reportedly 12 groups that helped organize Saturday’s protest in Boston. One of the last stops along the march route had them stopping at the Israeli Consulate.

Nadav Tamir, meanwhile, said several pro-Israel rallies were planned for the coming days. He planned on attending one such rally in Rhode Island on Sunday.

Source

In New York

By RAY RIVERA

January 3 2009

Anger over the Israeli assault on Gaza spilled into Times Square on Saturday, as hundreds of protesters condemned the attacks in a demonstration that stretched four blocks and clogged much of central tourist district for several hours.

The protest came as Israeli troops began a ground incursion into the Hamas-controlled territory in what officials described as an effort to end Hamas rocket attacks on southern Israel. The land campaign follows eight days of Israeli airstrikes that have killed more than 430 Palestinians, many of them civilians.

News of the escalation came midway through the demonstration and cast a pall over the crowd as it was announced over loudspeakers and crept across the news tickers nearby. But many protesters said they were not surprised, and some sounded a defiant note.

“As organized as the Palestinian community is here in the United States, we already knew this was going to happen, and I think the Palestinian people in Gaza have expected it,” said Linda Sarsour, 28, a Palestinian-American social worker from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, home to one of the country’s oldest Arab communities. “Now it’s time for Israel to come in and face the people on the ground. It’s all-out war now, and we’ll see what happens.”

Demonstrators waved signs that read “Stop Massacres in Gaza” and “End the Siege.” Speakers led the crowd in chants of “Free, free Palestine.” The protest was made up predominantly of people of Middle Eastern or Arab descent, but also included Jewish groups, students and others who support an independent Palestinian state. Many, whether Palestinian or not, wore black-and-white kaffiyehs, the traditional Palestinian scarf, and waved Palestinian flags.

Police cordoned off part of the sidewalk and a lane and a half of Seventh Avenue from 42nd Street to 38th Street to accommodate the crowd. The demonstrators then marched in a slow procession along 42nd Street to the Israeli Consulate on Second Avenue.

The protesters drowned out a small counterdemonstration of a few dozen people who gathered across Seventh Avenue from the larger crowd before also moving to the Consulate. They waved Israeli and American flags, and carried banners condemning Hamas, one of the two main Palestinian political groups that since 2007 has been in control of the Gaza Strip.

“Blame Hamas; Destroy Hamas,” read a banner carried by Buddy Macy, a 52-year-old small-business owner from New Jersey who helped organize the counterprotest.

The two groups hurled insults — each calling the other racists and terrorists — but mostly kept their distance. The police said there were no arrests.

The anger mirrored tensions that have played on a global stage. The Arab world and several foreign leaders have condemned the attacks, and the United Nations has called for a cease-fire. Israel and the Bush administration have defended the attacks, saying Hamas provoked the airstrikes by firing rockets into southern Israel. At least four Israelis had died from Hamas rockets before the ground assault began.

“They may say, sure, this is disproportional and only a few Israelis have died,” Mr. Macy said. “Why is this disproportional? You have to protect yourselves. If you and your family lived in a home and there was a rocket within a hundred meters of you, wouldn’t you call the National Guard? Wouldn’t you call everyone you could?”

Many in the pro-Palestinian crowd brought their children, and came from towns and mosques across the region to be there. Ned Abu Irsid, 40, a gas station owner in Monroe, in Orange County, drove his wife and three children two hours to join the demonstration. His children, ages 10, 8, and 5, were bundled up in down jackets to protect them from the winter chill. Two of them waved small American flags, the other a Palestinian flag.

“The massacre of the Palestinian people is really a horrible thing,” Mr. Irsid said, “and that’s the least we can do, is to come down and make our voices heard a little bit.”

Colin Moynihan contributed reporting.

Source

Protesters here implore Israel to halt bombing

ST. LOUIS

“We want to talk. Interview us.”

The three little girls were too adorable to resist. Their olive-colored skin accented their deep chocolate eyes and dark hair. Ayah, 8, the leader of the group, tapped me on the leg with a pink gloved hand. Her companions, Juhaina, 9, and Asalla, 7, stood with her, nervously bouncing on tiptoe at the idea of being interviewed.

It was cold Thursday, the first day of the new year. I had driven to the corner of Lindell and Grand boulevards to attend the Instead of War Coalition’s demonstration in “solidarity with the people of Gaza.”

It was the seventh day of the military blitz Israeli officials say they launched in retaliation of rockets fired by the militant group Hamas. The tally that evening left 420 dead and more than 2,000 wounded, according to Palestinian emergency services. United Nations officials said about 25 percent of the dead are civilians. According to international aid agencies, hundreds of homes have been obliterated, and food, fuel and medical supplies are all running short.

“We want all them to stop the bombing now,” said Ayah. “We don’t want any more Palestinian people to die.”

Juhaina was a bit more shy. After I asked why she had attended the demonstration, the girl struggled for words before settling on a somewhat lyrical response:

“Um, ’cause we’re from Palestine, too, and ’cause, um, we just want to say… Gaza, Gaza, don’t you cry, Palestine will never die.”

A wave of shame rushed over me. I had no intention of using Juhaina’s poem. Her words indicate favoritism for the people of Gaza. Columns I have written in the past about the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis have received voluminous, angry responses. Critics claim that I’m not versed enough on the decades-long turmoil in the region to speak authoritatively. That may be true. But the columns certainly didn’t fit the “anti-Semitic” or “pro-Muslim” labels some had attached.

The responses are somewhat predictable. President George W. Bush has repeatedly stated unconditional support of Israel. Western media seem to side with the country, often citing the terrorists acts of groups like Hamas as precursors to retaliatory strikes. To many Americans, “Muslim” automatically equates with “terrorism.” They don’t consider the vast divide between violent extremists and innocent civilians.

Considering the passionate division regarding the conflict and the “with us or against us” rhetoric, I sometimes find myself hesitant to step into the fray.

However, it was the question of “loyalty” that drew me to the rally.

Local activist Hedy Epstein is part of the Instead of War group. Epstein, 84, is a Holocaust survivor who consistently speaks out against what she perceives as injustices afforded Palestinians by the Israeli government. The diminutive activist didn’t blanch when I asked if solidarity with Gaza meant automatic denouncement of Israel.

“No, it is not. I am not anti-Israel. I am anti-Israeli government policies and practices,” Epstein responded. “I know there have been rockets shot into Israel … that, too, must stop. But, in Leviticus it says you should not stand idly by when people are being hurt and killed. So standing with the Palestinians in Gaza is not anti-Semitic.”

The Rev. Elston K. McCowan, who’s running for mayor of St. Louis, also attended the rally. When asked the “solidarity” question, McCowan pointed to people in the crowd: “Jews, Christians and Muslims are among us,” he said. “This is not anti-Israeli, it’s anti-war.”

McCowan asked whether it’s “anti-American” when United States citizens protest against their government. His campaign, he added, is a protest of sorts against Mayor Francis Slay’s administration, McCowan said: “We’re not anti-St. Louis. It’s just something we ought to do.”

The little girls I met Thursday brought me face-to-face with my own cowardice and what I “ought to do.” How dare I fret about angry readers when innocent children who look like Ayah, Juhaina and Asalla are losing their lives?

No matter how uninformed I may be about the nuances of tyranny in Gaza and Israel, I instinctively know that bombing kills, not only the “bad guys” but innocent men, women and children, too.

It’s a point Faten Salem, another local Palestinian-American at the rally, graciously articulated:

“I’m a mother of four. I hate to see any mother — no matter race, religion, color, background or culture — go through this. In Gaza, there’s no medicine and no food. It breaks my heart as a mother,” Salem said.

Official versions of Salem’s observations have been echoed by spokesmen for the U.N. Security Council, the Arab League, the European Union and other international voices calling for a cease-fire.

That night, I also met sisters Banan and Badia Ead. Both were born in the United States but lived in Ramallah in the West Bank during heavily restricted, but less deadly, times. Banan, 30, and Badia, 24, described the bombings as “a completely disproportionate use of force against a civilian population.”

“The people dying over there are not Hamas, they’re Palestinians, and they’re human beings,” Banan explained. “I can’t imagine how the people feel right now to have bombs dropped on them and then to be blamed for those bombs.”

Badia is aware and empathizes with the fear Israelis experience from Hamas-launched rockets. However, she said “We always hear that Israelis are living in fear and want security, but we never hear that the Palestinians are living in fear, too, and our greatest fears are coming to fruition. We actually are dying, and our buildings are being destroyed.”

Bombing Gaza or Israel will not bring about peace, the sisters insist. Badia prays that “voices of reason” from U.S. leaders will help stem the violence. Banan wants both the bombings and rocket attacks that are “killing children, killing people, human beings … to just stop.”

The sisters’ plea matched comments from others I met Thursday night, including an 84-year-old activist and Holocaust survivor, a grieving Palestinian mother and three, dark-eyed, precious little girls.

Their innocent faces override my petty concerns about misplaced loyalty and vicious reader response. I don’t need a depth of understanding to confidently repeat Ayah’s wish:

“Stop the bombing now.”

To view interviews with
Ayah, Juhaina, Asalla and
others in this column go to:
http://qik.com/stltoday.
Source

Gaza protests in St. Petersburg

By Keith Baker
January 3 2009

Protests about conflict in Gaza

Protests about conflict in Gaza

ST. PETERSBURG, FL

The conflict in the Gaza strip brought out loud opinions in Pinellas County.  About 100 people showed up in support of the Palestinian view while a smaller group stood across the Baywalk area holding signs supporting Israel.

St. Petersburg Police were on hand to keep the protest peaceful but it didn’t prevent the shouting and the expressing of opinions.

Nothing in the demonstration resulted in arrests.  Both sides agreed peace is necessary and the fighting needs to end.

The protest was organized by groups called ANSWER, Rise up Tampa Bay and St. Pete for Peace while counter protests showed up after publicity of the protest became known.

Source

In San Francisco

– Since the Israeli offensive against Gaza began a week ago, 18-year-old San Francisco City College student Ahmed Alkhatib can check in with his family only once a day – and that’s if the phones work.

Demonstrators march through downtown San Francisco to protest Israel’s military action in Gaza. (Kim Komenich / The Chronicle)

Demonstrators march through downtown San Francisco to pro... (Kim Komenich / The Chronicle)

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Otherwise, Alkhatib can only hope that his parents, two brothers and two sisters will stay safe in their Gaza home as they watch bombs fall around them. And, much like tens of thousands of people around the world did Saturday, he can protest.

Alkhatib and hundreds of others who flocked to San Francisco’s Market Street on Saturday evening said they were there to protest the Israeli ground invasion, which began earlier that day. But they also had their sights set closer to home: Many said they want to urge American leaders and citizens to oppose any financial support of the Israeli government by boycotting and divesting from companies that support the Middle East state.

“I do feel powerless and guilty, because I am part of the (American) establishment that is financing and supplying the occupation,” said Alkhatib, a Pacifica resident who came to the United States three years ago as an exchange student and was unable to return to Gaza because of the violence.

“But I also feel powerful,” he said. “If I wasn’t here, there would be nobody to talk about my family, nobody to tell, through my family’s story, that the violence is not just compromising one family, it is compromising thousands.”

The San Francisco rally began with several hundred demonstrators gathering around 5 p.m. at Market and Powell streets. By 6 p.m., the crowd – many of them waving Palestinian flags and wearing head scarves – had swelled to about 500, and marched up Market Street to City Hall. There were no counterprotests, as there have been in days past.

Many protesters, such as San Francisco resident Ateyeh Ateyeh, were Palestinian.

“This is the least we could do to protest our government’s action,” said the U.S. citizen who fled the West Bank in 1989 and brought his wife and four children to the rally. “We don’t want to say, ‘Support the Palestinians.’ … We just want to say, ‘Stay neutral, stop sending American planes and our tax dollars.’ ”

Many simply urged peace.

Francesca Rosa, a 54-year-old San Francisco resident, held an olive branch in one hand and a Palestinian flag in the other. And Natalie Hrizi, also of San Francisco, garnered loud cheers as she spoke to the crowd through a bullhorn.

“Palestine isn’t just about Palestine – it’s about all of us who stand for peace,” she said. “It’s about all of us who stand against racism and for justice.”

The San Francisco rally – the fifth of the week – was small and peaceful compared to many elsewhere in the world.

In Europe, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in major cities Saturday against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

In London, at least 10,000 people marched past Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Downing Street residence to a rally in Trafalgar Square. Outside Downing Street, hundreds of protesters threw shoes at the gates that block entry to the narrow road.

Shoe-throwing has become a popular way to express protest and contempt since an Iraqi journalist pelted President Bush with a pair in Baghdad last month.

Rallies also were held in other British cities – including Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. Elsewhere in Europe, protests in Paris, Amsterdam, Rome and Berlin all drew big crowds.

In Paris, police said 21,000 marched through the streets, shouting “We are all Palestinians” and “Israel assassin.” Later, about 500 protesters threw objects at police, burned Israeli flags, overturned and torched cars, and vandalized several shops, police said.

Angry protests continued for a second day in Turkey, where about 5,000 demonstrators in Ankara shouted “killer Israel.”

In the Netherlands, thousands of people marched through Amsterdam. One banner declared: “Anne Frank is turning in her grave. Oh Israel!”

In Athens, a few of the 5,000 protesters threw stones and gasoline bombs at police outside the Israeli Embassy. Riot police retaliated with tear gas and stun grenades.

More protests are planned, including another in San Francisco at noon today at Powell and Market streets. On Saturday, there is an 11 a.m. event in San Francisco’s Civic Center.

Source

Just Added January 5 2009

Sunday Jan 4 Report: Protests in Canada against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Jan 4  Reports: US protests against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Jan 4 Reports: Protests around the World Against Gaza assault

Reports From Jan 4 2009

Saturday Jan 3 Reports:Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

Saturday  Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009 London Paris etc

Friday Jan 2 Reports:Muslims around the world protest Gaza assault

December Reports

December 29 Reports:Global protests against Israel

Published in: on January 4, 2009 at 2:47 am  Comments Off on Saturday Jan 3 Reports:US protests against Israels attacks on Gaza  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday Jan 3 Reports:Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

New Reports  for Sundays protests at the bottom of page.

January 4 2009

In Toronto

COLIN MCCONNELL/TORONTO STAR
Protesters march up Yonge St. to voice their displeasure with Israel’s incursion into Gaza. (Jan, 3, 2009)

As Israeli troops entered the Gaza strip, thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators stopped traffic along Yonge St. between Dundas and Bloor Sts. for a march condemning the Israeli action this afternoon.

Police on horseback and bicycles worked to control the crowd as it marched northwards, but as of 3 p.m., the protest has been peaceful.

“No one is as angry as I am. I have lost my entire family to the Israeli apartheid,” Rafeef Ziadah, spokesperson for Palestine House, told the crowd. “Stop the attack on Gaza.”

Chanting “free, free Palestine” and “from Iraq to Palestine, occupation is a crime”, protestors marched from Dundas Square to the Israeli consulate at Yonge and Bloor Sts.

About 200 counter-protestors were also in attendance to show their support for Israel’s incursions into the Gaza strip.

“We support the Israeli government’s efforts to stop Hamas, stop terrorism and stop terrorist infrastructure,” said Meir Weinstein, national director of the Jewish Defence League in Canada.

“Only this will bring stability to the region.”

Source

In Ottawa


Protestors Denounce Israeli Offensive

With no end in sight to the back-and-forth attacks between Israel and the Hamas in the Gaza Strip, voices are being raised around the world against the attacks that have already claimed hundreds of lives.

On Saturday, around a thousand demonstrators gathered in Ottawa, demanding an immediate ceasefire. They say Israel has launched an unprecedented wave of attacks. By raising their voices now, they hope to save the lives of countless Palestinian women, children and men caught in the bloody crossfire.

The protestors carried stretchers to the Israeli embassy on O’Connor Street and laid the symbolic causalities at Israel’s doorstep. Carrying Palestinian flags, they called on the Canadian government to denounce the attacks and press for an immediate ceasefire.

The demonstration came just as military officials in Jerusalem confirmed that Israeli ground forces, amassed for days on the Gaza border, had started moving into the region. The ground incursion had been widely expected after a heavy barrage of artillery strikes from Israeli gunboats and warships.

The United Nations says at least 433 Palestinians have been killed since the Israeli offensive started eight days ago. More than 2,000 have been injured and the U.N. says at least a quarter of them are civilians. Four Israelis have been killed by Hamas rocket attacks.

Source

Protesters in several Canadian cities waved placards and Palestinian flags Saturday as they angrily denounced the ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza, just as word emerged that Israel’s troops and tanks had moved into enemy territory.

Following on the heels of angry protests taking place in cities across Europe, the Canadian show of solidarity began in the nation’s capital with more than 500 demonstrators braving chill winds on the steps of Parliament Hill.

The group made its way to the Israeli and U.S. embassies in Ottawa, as did a gathering of several thousand people in Toronto who at one point faced off against a smaller group of pro-Israel demonstrators in a downtown public square.

The noisy but peaceful gathering on Parliament Hill erupted with cries of “shame” when a speaker delivered the news Israel had begun its ground assault.

“Regardless what they say in this building (House of Commons), regardless what they say in Washington or the Hague, these are war crimes,” shouted Robert Assaly, an Anglican priest from Montreal who was a speaker at the rally.

At the height of the protest, military officials in Jerusalem confirmed that Israeli ground forces, amassed for days on the Gaza border, had started moving into the region.

The ground incursion had been widely expected in the wake of a heavy barrage of artillery strikes from Israeli gunboats and warships that was hammering the region Saturday.

Organizers at the invective-charged Toronto rally opted not to announce the news for fear it would stoke additional anger.

“This will have huge implications,” said Ali Mallah of the Canadian-Arab Federation.

“It will widen the wedge toward more war, more violence and more people to be killed. It’s a shame that we just entered a new year … to start with war and killing in the Middle East.”

In addition to the Ottawa and Toronto protests, events were scheduled for Montreal and Vancouver.

Braving -19 C wind-chill temperatures, the Ottawa rally denounced what they called Israeli atrocities against the 1.5 million residents of Gaza.

It included many self-identified Palestinian-Canadians, as well as a smattering of Jewish-Canadians opposed to Israel’s policies in Gaza and the West Bank, union activists and civil rights advocates.

Israel has said it is acting in self-defence in response to continuous firing of rockets from Gaza into Jewish towns.

But the demonstrators dismissed that defence, calling the rockets a minor provocation that don’t excuse the killing of over 400 Palestinians.

Toronto police – including several on horseback – formed a barrier between the impassioned masses of Palestine supporters and the scores waving Israeli flags as the protest forced the closure of a typically busy portion of Yonge Street.

“(The violence) devastated me and my family,” said Suraya Aburaneh, 21. “We can’t do much, but we’re here in Canada and the best we can do is spread awareness.”

Interrupting her was her nine-year-old cousin Dina, who shouted: “We can’t let people die like this!”

“We just need peace in this world, no killing. Both sides,” said Sumbul Raza, 34, as she marched and led chants of, “Shame, shame Israel.”

Across police lines, a group organized by the Jewish Defense League held a counter-demonstration.

“I want them to have their own country, I want them to have democracy,” said Ravid Dahan, 28, who moved to Canada from Israel two years ago.

“I want my children to go to school with their children. But they don’t believe I exist.”

Jill Aharon, 51, from Thornhill, added peace could come easily: “If they lay down their rockets, there will be no more death,” she said.

Tens of thousands of people also demonstrated across Europe on Saturday, including protesters who hurled shoes at the tall iron gates outside the British prime minister’s residence in London.

Protests in Paris, Rome, Berlin and many other European cities also drew thousands.

Israel says it is responding to rockets fired from Gaza by the Hamas militant group. Four Israelis also have been killed in the week of violence.

The Israeli air strikes have badly damaged Gaza’s infrastructure, knocking out power and water in many areas and raising fears of humanitarian disaster.

Source

Flames rise from the rubble of senior Hamas militant Nizal Rayan's house after an Israeli airstrike hit a nearby mosque in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. (AP / Hatem Moussa)

Flames rise from the rubble of senior Hamas militant Nizar Rayan’s house after an Israeli airstrike hit a nearby mosque in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. (AP / Hatem Moussa)

Israeli army armoured vehicles are seen at a staging area outside the Gaza Strip, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. (AP / Sebastian Scheiner)

Israeli army armoured vehicles are seen at a staging area outside the Gaza Strip, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. (AP / Sebastian Scheiner)

Smoke trails from rockets fired by Palestinian militants from the northern Gaza Strip towards an Israeli target are seen Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. (AP / Bernat Armangue)

Smoke trails from rockets fired by Palestinian militants from the northern Gaza Strip towards an Israeli target are seen Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. (AP / Bernat Armangue)

Palestinian Hamas supporters chant slogans during a protest against Israel's military operation in Gaza, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. (AP / Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Palestinian Hamas supporters chant slogans during a protest against Israel’s military operation in Gaza, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. (AP / Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Israel continues assault, despite worldwide protests
January 2 2009

A series of worldwide protests and continued calls from international leaders for a ceasefire were not enough to stop the ongoing conflict in Gaza, as Israel continued its week-long assault on Hamas targets throughout Friday.

One of the buildings destroyed in the latest airstrikes was a mosque that Israel claimed was being used to store weapons.

Some 20 houses were also targeted in Gaza on Friday, though Israel says it phoned ahead to warn those inside. The homes of more than a dozen Hamas leaders were reportedly destroyed in the raids.

Israeli planes also dropped leaflets for people to call in the locations of rocket squads, though it appeared that few people took up the initiative.

Nizar Kaddah, a Palestinian-Canadian who moved with his family to Gaza for a job, told CTV Newsnet that the bombings have made life “very difficult and miserable” for the people on the ground.

“I can hear from my home bombs everywhere, you know, especially at night,” he said in a phone interview from his Gaza City home.

“They usually start bombing after, like, midnight until the early hours in the morning. It is very difficult and miserable in here.”

Kaddah also said it has been hard for his family to get access to food and basic supplies.

Humanitarian issues

The United Nations said that a humanitarian crisis is developing as the conflict continues.

UN humanitarian coordinator Maxwell Gaylard said 2,000 people have been wounded so far and that there is “a critical emergency right now in the Gaza Strip.”

Israel has said it is doing what it can to limit civilian casualties and that it has increased shipments of supplies to Gaza.

On Friday, Israel also allowed about 300 Palestinians with foreign passports to leave Gaza.

One Hamas leader said the Israeli-led attacks would not go unpunished.

“The Palestinian resistance will not forget and will not forgive,” said Hamas legislator Mushir Masri. “The resistance’s response will be very painful.”

Thirty rockets, many heavier than those used in previous days, were launched from inside Gaza at Israeli targets on Friday.

Hamas also said it would retaliate against the death of Nizar Rayan — a senior Hamas leader who was killed by a one-ton bomb that also killed 18 others, including 13 members of Rayan’s family on Thursday.

There were also indications Friday that Israel could soon expand its military operation with a ground incursion into Gaza.

An estimated 400 people have been killed in Gaza during the week-long conflict. Three Israeli civilians and one soldier have also been reported dead.

Tens of thousands stage worldwide demonstrations

Tens of thousands of people held anti-conflict protests across the globe on Friday, calling for their local governments to bring sanctions against Israel and for the fighting to come to an end.

In London, several celebrities — including former Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox and Bianca Jagger — voiced their opposition to the conflict and called for Israel to halt its assault on Gaza.

A large protest in Bern, Switzerland, saw hundreds of marchers calling for both a ceasefire and sanctions to be brought against Israel.

Thirty-seven people were detained in Moscow after protesting the conflict outside the city’s Israeli Embassy.

About 6,000 people chanted “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” in Tehran, Iran.

Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchhehr Mottaki, said that if Israel launches a ground raid on Gaza it will be “the biggest mistake of the Zionist regime.”

Egyptian officials sent hundreds of riot police to a Cairo mosque to keep protesters away and police arrested 40 members of the Muslim Brotherhood opposition group. Another 3,000 pro-Gaza supporters marched in the northern Sinai city of el-Arish.

Some 30,000 Jordanians made their support for Gaza known at a stadium in Amman, and 10,000-plus Muslims marched through Jakarta, Indonesia aiming fake missiles at the city’s U.S. Embassy that were labeled “Target: Tel Aviv, Israel.”

Similar anti-Israel protests took place in the capital cities of Afghanistan and the Philippines, as well as in several Turkish cities and in Damascus, Syria.

Syrian President Bashar Assad reportedly spoke with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday and asked for the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution to force Israel to immediate stop its military actions in Gaza.

In Nairobi, Kenya, hundreds of Muslims held a rally at a central mosque. Many chanted for their government to cut off its ties with Israel.

In Sudan, thousands of protesters marched through Khartoum making anti-Israeli and anti-U.S. statements.

Continued calls for a ceasefire

On Friday, Israeli leaders also remained cool to calls for a ceasefire.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to push for a cessation of fighting when he visits the region next week. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she has no plans to make a similar trip.

“Hamas has held the people of Gaza hostage ever since their illegal coup against the forces of President Mahmoud Abbas,” she said.

She said the United States wants to see a “durable and sustainable” ceasefire.

Democratically-elected Hamas seized control of Gaza from Abbas’ Fatah forces in 2007. Abbas then set up a rival government in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, here in Canada, Liberal foreign affairs critic Bryon Wilfert called on all sides of the dispute to halt the violence so that desperately needed aid can reach the residents of Gaza.

“Canada wants to have a situation where both sides end the hostilities. A permanent ceasefire needs to be put in place,” Wilfert told CTV Newsnet on Friday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has previously urged for the two sides to work towards a ceasefire and for “Israeli and Palestinian leaders to remain committed to finding a comprehensive peace settlement.”

Christopher Gunness, a United Nations Relief Works Agency spokesperson, said some aid has made it through in the last day. But he added that with each bomb that Israel drops, the situation worsens for children and families.

“Today, we got 63 trucks into Gaza … as each bomb drops in Gaza so does the humanitarian crisis increase,” Gunness said.

“We are struggling. We are working amidst the most awful, volatile security situation.”

He said that so far aid organizations have only been able to get some fuel and food into bombed territory. He also noted that the medical situation is so desperate in Gaza that people with limbs blown off are being turned away because of a lack of supplies.

“If your foot is shot off — and it’s not life-threatening — you’ll be sent home,” he said.

Source

From Montreal

Unnerved by Israel’s latest deadly assault on Gaza, a handful of Jewish and Palestinian Montrealers rallied downtown Friday to denounce the week-long attacks that so far have left more than 400 people dead.

Members of the Coalition against Israeli Apartheid and another group calling for Palestinian and Jewish unity gathered in bitter cold for a brief protest vigil at noon at the corner of St. Catherine St. and McGill College.

Waving placards that read “Save Gaza”, and carrying banners calling for “An End to Israeli Apartheid,” the two dozen or so demonstrators were almost outnumbered by reporters and television crews dispatched to cover the rally on a slow news day.

With Israeli troops and tanks massing along the border with Gaza in preparation for what appears to be a massive ground invasion, organizers say bigger demonstrations are planned for Montreal in the weeks ahead to show solidarity with innocent civilians in Gaza who are ”suffering under bombardment.”

Laith Marouf, national chapter co-ordinator for Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, said the demonstrators are also upset with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s “callous attitude in support of the Israeli action.”

Bruce Katz, a spokesperson for Palestinian and Jewish Unity said although this afternoon’s demonstration was small, it represents “the ongoing battle for the hearts and minds of public opinion,” for a humanitarian solution to the conflict in the Middle East.

“The liberation of Palestine, of people who have been kicked around for 60 years, and the liberation of Jews from Zionism go hand in hand,” Katz said. “You can’t have one without the other.

“No one should ever be a slave to any state, including the State of Israel,” he said.

Another protest demonstration against Israel planned for Sunday will begin at 1 p.m. at Cabot Square, outside the AMC Forum. And another similar rally is planned for Jan. 10.

Source

There is also an event scheduled  in Vancouver in the near Future as well.

Photos From Gaza


If you can’t get out to protest, you can  sign the Petitions at the page below. Take Action now.

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza

From the American Media

As Diplomacy Fails To Halt Israeli Offensive, Protestors Lash Out Against Both Attacks On Hamas, Palestinian Rockets

(CBS/AP) Protests against Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza continued around the world, as calls for a ceasefire were raised – along with cries for revenge.

Meanwhile, thousands of Jews and Christians are expected at demonstrations to be held this weekend in New York, London, Toronto, Miami, Washington, Los Angeles and Tel Aviv to protest Hamas’ rocket attacks from Gaza.

Some activists are billing the demonstrations as counter-rallies against what they call “assemblies of hatred for Jews and Israel.”

Sunday’s protest in Miami, to be held at the Holocaust Memorial, is billed as the Rally For Israel to Destroy Hamas.

The protests are ramping up as Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip enters its second week, with warplanes and gunboats blasting more than two dozen Hamas positions Saturday.

“We will do all that is necessary to provide a different reality for southern Israel, which has been under constant attacks for the past eight years,” Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told Channel 2 TV.

The complexity of protesting military strikes in Gaza was recognized as far away from the Middle East as Sioux Falls, S.D., where about 50 people gathered in 16-degree weather Friday near the Islamic Center to denounce U.S. aid to Israel, saying Israel’s actions have killed civilians.

Protester Mohamed Sharif of Sioux Falls said they want an immediate cease-fire and humanitarian aid to the people living in Gaza.

“People are being deprived of their necessities, water and medicine and food and clothes. Now they’re being killed. This is what we’re opposing, the killing of civilians,” Sharif said.

South Dakota Peace and Justice Center director Deb McIntyre attended the rally and said the U.S. shouldn’t pay for Israel’s militarism.

The issue is more complex, others said.

“Certainly, the protesters in Sioux Falls have a legitimate complaint about the Israeli attacks,” said Kurt Hackemer, a University of South Dakota history professor. “But the flip side is the Israelis have been taking rocket fire from Hamas for months now. There have been Israeli deaths and casualties.”

The bitter divide was evident across the globe.

In Lebanon Saturday, hundreds gathered outside the United Nations compound in Beirut, carrying flags and banners supporting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement.

Palestinians in Lebanon have been protesting for the past eight days to show their solidarity with the people of Gaza.

A number of Hezbollah lawmakers and supporters also took part in Saturday’s protest.

(Hundreds of shoes lie in the street after protesters attempted to throw shoes into Downing Street in London, Jan. 3, 2009. Thousands voiced their anger at the bombing of Gaza in a series of rallies across the U.K, Saturday.)

The Head of Hezbollah’s political bureau, Mahmoud Qomati vowed that Hamas’ response to the Israeli military offensive will be similar to that of Hezbollah during Israel’s war on Lebanon in the summer of 2006.

“The resistance in Gaza is preparing surprises for the Israeli enemy,” said Qomati, who promised Israelis “will be surprised in Gaza with a fierce, brave, and heroic confrontation which will lead to their defeat, God willing.”

Police in Berlin said about 2,000 protestors marched with banners and Palestinian flags from Adenauer Platz to Wittenbergplatz. Protestors chanted “Stop the child murder at Palestine” and “Stop the blockade at Palestine.”

Protestor Achmed Otur said Israel’s policy with the Palestinians “just creates distrust between East and West, between Muslims and Christians and Jews. It only divides and all trust is destroyed in this kind of world.”

While international pressure for a ceasefire has been growing, protestor Malik Hamudsaid said, “We only see conferences talking about fighting terrorism one day. Is this how one fights terror, by slaughtering people and by saying you are not allowed to do something? Terror is when you spread fear and terror among the civilians, and what Israel is doing is pure terror.”

In The Netherlands, thousands of people marched through Amsterdam, criticizing both the Israeli attacks and the Dutch government’s failure to condemn them. One banner declared: “Anne Frank is turning in her grave.”

Barbed Wire And Skulls

In Bogota, Colombia, demonstrators walking through the streets set fire to self-styled Israeli and U.S. flags, complete with drawings of barbed wire and skulls.

Ali Nofal, a protester of Palestinian origin participating at the rally in the Colombian capital, said that an end to the Gaza conflict is in the hands of the Israeli government, “because we, the Palestinian people, have nothing to say to this policy of aggression. The entire world and the U.N. Council have the way to end this, the Western world has the way to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

In Cyprus, 2,000 demonstrators, including Palestinians and Greek and Turkish Cypriots, converged Saturday in the center of the Cypriot capital of Nicosia. It was the largest protest on the Mediterranean island so far on the issue of Gaza.

The peaceful rally turned violent when some protesters tried to pull away barbed wire and break through a line of riot police blocking a road leading to the Israeli embassy.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators pelted Cypriot riot police with rocks, sticks, shoes and oranges.

The demonstrators eventually stopped and dispersed after protest leaders pleaded with them to stop.

In Athens, however, a protest march turned violent, as protesters threw stones and fire bombs at riot police, who retaliated with tear gas and stun grenades.

An estimated 5,000 protesters marched from the city center to the Israeli embassy on Saturday. Police cordoned off the embassy.

Most of the protesters were Palestinians but leftist organizations and union members also joined in. Outside the embassy, anarchist youths joined the fray, targeting Greek police rather than the embassy. An Israeli flag was burned by demonstrators.

Some protesters also threw stones at the U.S. embassy without causing damage.

In Jakarta, hundreds of Indonesians from various Muslim groups staged a protest in front of the U.S. embassy on Saturday to voice their concern over Israel’s military offensive on Gaza.

The protesters demanded the U.S stop their support of Israel and called for solidarity among Muslim brothers within Indonesia.

Jeje Zainuddin, a Muslim youth group leader, said, “I think all the nations agree that what Israel has done is inhuman, but the problem is, will the international community dare to condemn Israel’s actions?”

“We still hope that the United Nations and America will get involved in the process, because this is not just about Muslims, it’s about universal human rights,” Zainuddin said.

At a protest yesterday outside Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Calgary constituency office, demonstrators compared Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Adolph Hitler.

Muslim Council of Calgary chairman Nagah Hage denounced Olmert as a Nazi for what he called the “barbaric” bombing of Gaza, and said Harper’s support for Israel makes him complicit in the Gaza bloodbath.

A lone counter-demonstrator defending Israel’s right to stop Hamas rocket attacks was cursed by the crowd.

More Throwing Of Shoes

In London, several thousand people, many carrying Palestinian flags, marched past Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Downing Street residence to a rally in Trafalgar Square. Outside Downing Street, hundreds of protesters stopped and threw shoes at the tall iron gates blocking entry to the narrow road.

Shoe-throwing has become a popular gesture of protest and contempt since an Iraqi journalist pelted U.S. President George W. Bush with a pair of brogues in Baghdad last month.

Among the London marchers were activist Bianca Jagger, ex-Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox and comedian Alexei Sayle.

“As a Jew, it’s very moving to see so many people who are so outraged at Israel’s actions,” Sayle said. “Israel is a democratic country that is behaving like a terrorist organization.”

Rallies were being held in other British cities, including Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.

Outside the Israeli Embassy tempers flared, as protestors threw a barrier at police.

The clashes began after a small group of protesters stormed a barrier that had been penning them in. Riot police were brought in to control the crowds and demonstrators were seen being handcuffed and taken away by officers as they tried to clear the street.

Several protesters left the scene with bloodied faces, according to a reporter from the Press Association.

Brown’s office said Saturday the British leader had phoned Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and called for an immediate ceasefire.

“Rocket attacks from Hamas must stop, and we have called for a halt to Israeli military action in Gaza,” a spokesman said, on condition of anonymity in line with government policy. “Too many have died and we need space to get humanitarian supplies to those who need them.”

President George W. Bush has declined to criticize Israel, branding Hamas rocket fire an “act of terror.” But he has joined other world leaders in calling for an internationally monitored truce.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon also has backed a cease-fire, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy is due to visit the region next week as part of a diplomatic push to stop the violence.

Source

World Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009

The History Behind Gaza Conflict

CBS Evening News: Renewed Fighting Between Israel And Hamas Has Long Back Story

CBS) In many ways, the conflict between Israel and Hamas was inevitable — ever since Hamas took control of Gaza from moderate Palestinian forces 18 months ago. CBS News Correspondent Sheila MacVicar reports.


Tens of thousands in the Muslim world protested Israel’s continuing bombardment in Gaza and chanted, “Down with Israel.”

In Cairo, where the Egyptian government had been key in brokering the now-collapsed ceasefire, people called for an end to cooperation with Israel.

If history has shown us anything, getting any cooperation over Gaza has been nearly impossible, reports CBS News correspondent Sheila MacVicar.

Thirty miles long, at most ten miles wide, and twice the size of Washington D.C., Gaza is one of the world’s most densely populated places.

It was ruled by Egypt until captured in the 1967 War. Gaza was occupied by Israeli soldiers until three years ago.

When Israel unilaterally withdrew, it left behind a vacuum filled by Hamas, the Islamist group which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Hamas is now the elected leadership of Gaza.

“The Israelis, as far as they’re concerned, what they face with Palestinian resistance and in particular from Hamas, is in their book no different than what the United States faces from al Qaeda,” said Rosemary Hollis, a Middle East expert at City University London.

Since 2005, Hamas militants and their allies have launched more than 6,000 rockets at Israeli targets. Ten people have been killed.

As candidate Barack Obama discovered when he toured the frequently hit Israeli town of Sderot last summer, however crudely ineffective the attacks, people did live in fear.

“If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that,” Obama said on July 23.

But the violence was not one-sided. Israel carried out targeted killings. And more importantly for the people of Gaza, it imposed and tightened an economic blockade that cut off supplies of food, medicine, and even electricity.

The theory was that would encourage Palestinians to reject Hamas. It didn’t work.

Unwilling to talk to Hamas, with Israeli elections coming soon and no serious prospects for peace, Israel did what it has done before and vows to continue.

Source

Well that is a very short sighted  History if you ask me. There is so much more that people should be told of what is happening in Gaza. One must go back to 1946 and  before and for sure after. What happened after 1946 is what most do not seem to know anything about.

It seems most of  what happened is not known by most who think Israel is right in murdering innocent people in Gaza.

So one has to wonder who is the thief that stole their country? Who helped them? If you don’t know then find out before you allow Israel condemn those in Gaza.

This is now Called for the most part Israel but it was once Palestine.

palistine-1946

If Hamas Did Not Exist

Ontario man’s Gaza trip an extended nightmare, he is trapped in Gaza

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians

US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

Gaza Families Eat Grass as Israel Blocks Food Aid

Israel Responsible for Genocide by Starvation in Gaza

Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza

U.N.: Israel won’t allow food aid to enter Gaza

Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty

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Saturday Jan 3 Reports:US protests against Israels attacks on Gaza

Saturday Reports:Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009 London Paris etc

Friday Jan 2 Reports:Muslims around the world protest Gaza assault

Added January 5 2009

Sunday Jan 4 Report: Protests in Canada against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Jan 4 Reports: US protests against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Jan 4 Reports: Protests around the World Against Gaza assault

December Reports

December 29 Reports:Global protests against Israel

Published in: on January 4, 2009 at 12:02 am  Comments Off on Saturday Jan 3 Reports:Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians  
Tags: , , , ,

Saturday Jan 3 Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009

New Reports on Sundays protests at bottom of the page

Demonstrators hurl shoes at Downing Street in day of global protest against Israeli attacks
January 3 2009

Demonstrators demanding an end to Israeli airstrikes on Gaza hurled their shoes at the gates of Downing Street today during a wave of global protests.

Around 12,000 people took to the streets of the London, including singer Annie Lennox, former model Bianca Jagger and former mayor Ken Livingstone.

Elsewhere in Britain, 2,000 demonstrators marched through Manchester and 500 braved the cold in Edinburgh.

London protest

London: 1,000 pairs of shoes litter the protest route near Downing Street

Paris held the world’s biggest protest, with 25,000 people showing up to condemn the Israeli offensive, which has killed at least 436 Palestinians since December 27th.

The death toll includes 75 children, according to Gaza medics. And almost 2,300 people have been wounded inside the territory.

Four Israelis have been killed by rocket attacks by Hamas, Islamist militants who took over Gaza three years ago.

In Britain, many people were angry at Gordon Brown refusal to condemn Israel’s attacks.

Hundreds of protesters threw shoes at the iron gates of Downing Street residence, in the spirit of an Iraqi journalist who hurled his footware President George Bush with his shoes last year.

Protest

Crowds: at least 12,000 people marched up Whitehall

Around 1,000 pairs littered the streets outside Number 10 with demonstrating singing: ‘Shame on you, have my shoe.’

Zac Sommer, an 18-year-old British-Palestinian student from Essex, said: ‘Britain is quick to condemn Robert Mugabe, but where is the condemnation of Israel? Israel is killing hundreds of people.’

Also outside Downing Street, a firework exploded yards from the gates.

The Metropolitan Police later said they had been forced to contain one group of around 5,000 protesters who left the agreed route between protest between Embankment and Trafalgar Square to the march to head for the Israeli Embassy in Kensington.

Many clashed with officers wearing riot hear and armed with truncheons and gas canisters.

London

Clash: Riot police deal with protesters trying to raid the Israeli Embassy in London

London

Focus point: Around 5,000 people went to the embassy after the march

The demonstrators were kept at a distance of about 20 yards from the entrance of the Embassy but several hurdled the barriers and attempted to make for the entrance.

The atmosphere as darkness fell was noticeably more heated, vocal, and aggressive than the earlier march through central London.

The demonstration in the capital was the biggest of at least 18 organised across the country.

Other rallies were taking place in Glasgow, Exeter, Bristol, Liverpool, Norwich, Hull, Tunbridge Wells, Leeds, Newcastle, Swansea, York, Caernarfon, Bradford and Sheffield.

London

Anger: Protesters gather in Trafalgar Square at the end of the march

London

Support: Annie Lennox, centre, is flanked by George Galloway and Bianca Jagger

Brian Eno

Condemnation: Musician Brian Eno speaks out against the Israeli attacks

Former model Bianca Jagger and singer Lennox have backed the protests, calling on American president-elect Barack Obama to speak up against the bombardment.

Speaking at a press conference in central London, Ms Jagger said: ‘I would like to make an appeal to president-elect Obama to speak up.

‘People throughout the world were hopeful when he was elected and we must appeal to him to ask for the immediate cessation of the bombardment of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.’

Lennox spoke of her shock at watching scenes of the bombing on television.

She said: ‘A few days after Christmas I came downstairs, put the television on, and saw smoke pyres coming from buildings and I was shocked to the core because I was thinking as a mother and as a human being.

Madrid

Madrid: Protesters burn an Israeli flag in the Spanish capital

Paris

Paris: Demonstrators burned cars after a march by 25,000 people

Berlin

Berlin: Some 7000 Palestinian supporters outside the city’s cathedral

‘How was this going to be the solution to peace?’

She said the intervention from Bush blaming Hamas for starting the violence, had not helped the situation.

‘The problem is, from my perspective, they are pouring petrol onto the fire,’ she said.

‘They have to sit down. This is a small window of opportunity just before things kick off.

‘For every one person killed in Gaza, they are creating 100 suicide bombers. It’s not just about Gaza, it’s about all of us.’

Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather said Israel’s military response to the firing of Hamas rockets had been ‘disproportionate’.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam: A man holds up a blood smeared doll

Milan

Milan: Demonstrators carry a simulated body of a Palestinian

‘Anyway, what Israel is doing is counter-productive. No terrorist organisation has ever been bombed into submission,’ the Liberal Democrat MP said.

Police said 8,000 people demonstrated in the central French city of Lyon, 3,000 people protested in the southern city of Nice and 3,800 in Mulhouse in the east.

Two people were arrested as more than 1,000 marched through Amsterdam, condemning the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and calling for a boycott of Israeli goods, police said.

Hundreds protested in Madrid, carrying signs saying ‘This is not a war but a genocide’.

More than 2,000 people also demonstrated in the Austrian city of Salzburg.

Athens Athens: A woman walks in front of burning barricades during riots after a rally

Source
Photos: ‘Britain – Gaza Siege Demoonstation’
By James Wray
January 3, 2009,

Singer Annie Lennox (C), social and human rights advocate Bianca Jagger (formerly married to Mick Jagger) (2nd R) and British politician George Galloway (L) march through London with thousands of protestors in London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Singer Annie Lennox (C), social and human rights advocate Bianca Jagger (formerly married to Mick Jagger) (2nd R) and British politician George Galloway (L) march through London with thousands of protestors in London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. EPA/ANDY RAIN
epa01589872 Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally  in central London,   03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,.  EPA/ANDY RAIN  EPA/ANDY RAIN

epa01589872 Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally in central London, 03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,. EPA/ANDY RAIN EPA/ANDY RAIN
Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally  in central London,   03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Under the shadow of famous city landmark Big Ben, pro-Palestinian protestors pass through Parliament Square as they participate in a rally in central London, 03 January 2009. It was one of a series of manifestations across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza,. EPA/ANDY RAIN
Pro-Palestinian protestors demonstrate in central London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Pro-Palestinian protestors demonstrate in central London, Britain, 03 January 2009. A series of demonstrations took place across Britain against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. EPA/ANDY RAIN
Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza.  The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben EPA/ANDY RAIN
Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza.  The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Thousands of protestors march along Whitehall, central London, Britain, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of rally across the country to protest the Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. In the background is seen the capital landmark Big Ben EPA/ANDY RAIN
Thousands of protestors bathed in bright sunshine, march through central London,   03 January 2009 as part of a series of demonstrations across the country to protest against  Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

Thousands of protestors bathed in bright sunshine, march through central London, 03 January 2009 as part of a series of demonstrations across the country to protest against Israeli air strikes on Gaza. The protests are being held at 18 locations including Portsmouth, Manchester, Hull, London and Glasgow. EPA/ANDY RAIN

Thousands in Europe Protest Gaza Offensive

January 3 2008

LONDON—Thousands of chanting, banner-waving demonstrators marched in cities across Europe on Saturday to demand a halt to Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip.

Protests were held in Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain as the Israeli offensive entered its second week.

Israeli Arabs held a protest march and Kuwaitis also took to the streets, a day after bigger Middle East rallies.

In Paris, police said more than 20,000 demonstrators, many wearing Palestinian keffiyeh headscarves, marched through the city centre chanting slogans like “Israel murderer!” and waving banners demanding an end to the air attacks.

Similar protests were planned in some 30 other towns.

London police said more than 10,000 people staged a noisy march and rally to urge an end to an Israeli offensive against Hamas militants that has killed at least 435 Palestinians.

In many European cities people waved shoes—recalling the action of an Iraqi journalist who hurled footwear at U.S. President George W. Bush in Baghdad last month in a symbolic insult.

British demonstrators threw dozens of shoes into the street as they passed the gated entrance to Downing Street, where Prime Minister Gordon Brown lives, and shouted angrily at a line of 40 police officers on guard there.

“Come to get your shoes Gordon,” one woman shouted as other marchers directed chants of “Shame on you” at Brown.

A spokesman said Brown had spoken again to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Saturday and was pressing hard for an immediate ceasefire.

Leading the march were singer Annie Lennox, politicians Tony Benn and George Galloway and comic Alexei Sayle. Demonstrators carried Palestinian flags and placards with slogans such as “End the siege on Gaza” and “Stop the massacre”.

Israel says rocket attacks from Gaza by Hamas Islamists must stop before it halts operations, but the attacks continued on Saturday. Four Israelis have been killed by Hamas rockets since the offensive began.

Anger at Western Reaction

Paul Mukerji, 42, from Birmingham, acknowledged Israel had security reasons but called its action disproportionate.

“The best way for peace for Palestinians and Israelis is to end the occupation,” said Mukerji, who said he had spent six months working with Jewish and Palestinian peace groups.

Ali Saeed, 24, from Luton, said Western governments had failed to condemn Israel’s actions.

“What’s going on in Gaza is not right … It’s not a coincidence that it’s going on Iraq, in Chechnya, in Kashmir. It’s just about going on everywhere. It’s almost a direct insult to every single Muslim,” he said.

Protests were scheduled in a score of other British cities.

Greek police said they fired teargas at protesters outside the Israeli embassy in Athens. Protesters burnt flags and effigies, hurled stones at the embassy and clashed with police during a march by about 5,000 people, they said.

Tens of thousands of people marched in the town of Sakhnin, northern Israel, on Saturday in one of the biggest rallies held by Israeli Arabs in recent years, Israeli media reported. Calling Israeli leaders “war criminals”, the demonstrators demanded an end to the onslaught on Gaza, they said.

Around 3,500 people marched in Berlin and 4,000 in the western city of Duesseldorf, police said.

In the German capital, demonstrators carried pictures of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and one small girl cradled a doll smeared in blood.

Hundreds joined a protest in central Dublin.

“I just thought the fact that 300-400 people would’ve been bombed, would’ve been killed, was extremely wrong,” said Andy Defaoite, a 27-year-old teacher in the Irish capital.

More than 1,000 demonstrators marched through Kuwait City, with banners reading “Gaza will not die” and “We want a free Gaza”.

Another 1,000 marched in Madrid, some calling for sanctions against Israel, equating Zionism with Nazism and chanting slogans like “Israel kills, the world just stands by”.

Police said about 1,500 people marched through Amsterdam.

About 1,000 demonstrators marched through the Italian city of Milan on Saturday, some burning Israeli flags, with a smaller rally in Turin.

People destroy a French policeman’s car, during a demonstration against the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip on January 3, 2009, in Paris. (Olivier Laban-Mattei/AFP/Getty Images)

Protestors stand behind an over-turned car during a demonstration against the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip on January 3, 2009, in Paris. (Olivier Laban-Mattei/AFP/Getty Images)

Some of the thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters fight to get to the Israeli embassy in Athens as Greek riot police stand guard on January 3, 2009, during a demonstration against the Israeli attacks in Gaza. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters opposed to Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip gather near the Israeli Embassy following a demonstration in Trafalgar Square in London, on January 3, 2009. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

Source

Another excellent report on the Demonstration in London Here the estimated turnout is 50-60 thousand people.

Israeli ground-forces finally invade Gaza strip after day of increased air strikes

PETER HITCHENS: Will Israel never learn? Each bomb is a gift to its enemies

The World Demonstrated in protest against the war in Iraq and the politicians did not listen.  The War in Iraq is in fact illegal, based on lies.  Will they listen to us now as we say NO AGAIN to Israel killing innocent people in Gaza?

Israel is committing many crimes and we Say NO MORE.

Are they still deaf?

Defending the criminals in the US and Israel who kill innocent people has gone on far to long.

We are fed up with war mongering,  murdering, power hungry, profiteers.

There are a large number of Demonstrations in the US and I will post them if they magically appear anywhere. I can only hope to have a busy evening.
Reports on protests

Sunday Jan 4 Reports: Protests in Canada against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Jan 4 Reports: US protests against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Jan 4  Reports: Protests around the World Against Gaza assault

Reports on Canadian protests below. Approximately  3000 came out to protest in Toronto.

Just added Jan 4th 2009

Saturday Jan 3 Reports:Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

Saturday Jan 3 Reports:US protests against Israels attacks on Gaza

Friday Jan 2 Reports:Muslims around the world protest Gaza assault

December Reports

December 29 Reports:Global protests against Israel

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza


Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 10:13 pm  Comments Off on Saturday Jan 3 Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009  
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National Demonstration: London UK Saturday 3 January

Just added Jan 5

Reports on protests

Sunday Report: Protests in Canada against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Reports: US protests against Attack in Gaza

Sunday Reports: Protests around the World Against Gaza assault

Just added Jan 4th 2009

A few reports about the protests

Canadian Protesters march in support of Palestinians

US protests against Israels attacks on Gaza

Reports on: Demonstrations Against Israels attacks on Gaza, January 3, 2009 London Paris Etc

Muslims around the world protest Gaza assault

Posted Jan 2 2009

National Demonstration: To be held in London Saturday 3 January

Child victim of Israeli raid

Child arrives at Shifa hospital in Gaza after Israeli air strike

“Israel is committing a shocking series of atrocities by using modern weaponry against a defenceless population – attacking a population that has been enduring a severe blockade for many months.”
The UN Human Rights Council
Stop Gaza Massacre
Hands Off Gaza: Stop the Bombing: Free Palestine
Assemble 12:30pm Embankment, WC2
Called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative, CND and more than 30 organisations.
Help steward the demonstration. Call or text 07958 745802
Join the demonstration – message from Tony Benn
Tony Benn

The Israeli Government, armed and supported by President Bush, with its savage attack on the people of Gaza now represents the greatest threat to security in the Middle East and the world peace movement is mobilizing on a massive scale to defeat this aggression.
I appeal to everyone who can possibly do so to attend the many demonstrations that are being held here so that the British government is left in no doubt as to the strength of opposition there is to this war.

Mass protest at Israeli Embassy, Saturday  January 3 2009 , 4-6pm

Following Saturday’s national demonstration, there will be a mass protest outside the Israeli Embassy from 4.00 – 6.00 pm.

Please join if you are attending the national demonstration.
Saturday  January 3 2009  4 – 6pm
Kensington High Street
(Nearest tube High Street Kensington)

Source

Other UK Protests around the Country

If you can’t make it to a protests or rally be sure to sign petitions on page below.

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza

Toronto: January 3, demonstrating against Israeli assault In Gaza

Pro-Gaza protest, march set for Saturday Jan 3, in St. Petersburg

Sat, Jan 3rd, NYC GAZA ACTIONS CONTINUE – MARCH & RALLY

Other Protests across the US

Published in: on January 3, 2009 at 4:31 am  Comments Off on National Demonstration: London UK Saturday 3 January  
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Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza


Israeli jets bombed targets across Gaza for the third consecutive day. Five girls from the same family, including a 14 month-old toddler, were slain overnight when Israeli warplanes pounded a mosque near their home in the northern town of Jabaliya. Three boys were also killed in a separate Israeli strike on the southern city of Rafah. The fatalities took to 27 the number of children killed in the Israeli onslaught, unleashed Saturday. More than 345 people have been killed and 1,650 wounded in the Israeli offensive. (References for text: IslamOnline.net and agencies. Photo: Ashraf Amra/AP) Source

AVAAZ.ORG

GAZA: STOP THE BLOODSHED, TIME FOR PEACE
With already 380 dead and continued shelling of civilians in southern Israel, now is the time to issue a demand to world leaders that the spiralling violence that has characterized the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must come to an end.

Petition to the UN Security Council, the European Union, the Arab League and the USA:
We urge you to act immediately to ensure a comprehensive ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, to protect civilians on all sides, and to address the growing humanitarian crisis. Only through robust international action and oversight can the bloodshed be stopped, the Gaza crossings safely re-opened and real progress made toward a wider peace in 2009.

Sign the petition calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza – and for peace to be achieved between Israel and Palestine in 2009.


From International Action Center

Sign the Appeal to Stop the Attack on Gaza!
Urgent Appeal for Israel to Immediately Cease Its Murderous Bombing, Siege and Threatened Invasion of Palestinian Gaza

Initiated by 2008 U.N. Human Rights Award winner Ramsey Clark

Let President George W. Bush, President-Elect Barack Obama, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State Designate Hillary Clinton, Vice President Richard Cheney, Vice President-elect Joe Biden, Congressional leaders, U.N. Secretary General Ban, U.N. General Assembly President d’Escoto-Brockmann, members of the U.N. Security Council, U.N. member states, the President, Prime Minister, Cabinet and Opposition leader of Israel, and Major media representatives know you support this urgent appeal initiated by 2008 U.N. Human Rights Award recipient Ramsey Clark for Israel to Immediately Cease Its Murderous Bombing, Siege and Threatened Invasion of Palestinian Gaza!

To sign this Petition

Take Action to Protest Israeli Attack on Gaza

Mid-morning Saturday, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) launched a series of deadly air strikes on the occupied Gaza Strip. As we write this, an estimated  380 Palestinians have been killed and 1,650 innocent people have been wounded. According to news reports today, Israel plans to keep these attacks going and has brought scores of tanks to the border with Gaza.

These Israeli attacks come on top of a brutal siege of the Gaza Strip which has been going on for years and has created a humanitarian catastrophe of dire proportions for Gaza’s 1.5 million Palestinian residents by restricting the provision of food, fuel, medicine, electricity, and other necessities of life. All of this is happening in the most densely populated and one of the poorest areas of the world.

Israel is carrying out these attacks with F-16 fighter jets and missiles provided by U.S. taxpayers. From 2001-2006, the United States transferred to Israel more than $200 million worth of spare parts to fly its fleet of F-16’s. In July 2008, the United States gave Israel 186 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel. Last year, the United States signed a $1.3 billion contract with Raytheon to transfer to Israel thousands of TOW, Hellfire, and ‘bunker buster’ missiles.

Israel’s lethal attack on the Gaza Strip could not have happened without the active military and political support of the United States. We need to take action now to protest this attack and demand an immediate cease-fire.
The U.S. Campaign to End the Israel Occupation (a member group pf UFPJ) has issued an action alert with these suggestions — we urge you to take action today!

    Contact the White House to protest the attacks and demand an immediate cease-fire. Call 202-456-1111 or send an email to comments@whitehouse.gov.Contact the State Department at 202-647-6575 or send an email by clicking here.

    Contact your Representative and Senators in Congress at 202-224-3121 or find contact info for your Members of Congress by clicking here.

    Contact your local media by phoning into a talk show or writing a letter to the editor. To find contact info for your local media, click here.

    Organize a local protest or vigil and tell us about it by clicking here.

    Sign our open letter to President-Elect Obama calling for a new U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine and find out other steps you can take to influence the incoming Administration by clicking here.

Contacting Israels Embassies and all Government officials around the world wouldn’t hurt either.

Ontario man’s Gaza trip an extended nightmare, he is trapped in Gaza

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians

US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

Global protests against Israel

Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza

‘Greek Syndrome’ is catching as youth take to streets

First it was Athens. Now the Continent’s disillusioned youth is taking to the streets across Europe.

John Lichfield reports

December 20 2008

Protesters clash with police in Athens on Thursday

GETTY IMAGES

Protesters clash with police in Athens on Thursday

Europe exists, it appears. If Greek students sneeze, or catch a whiff of tear-gas, young people take to the streets in France and now Sweden. Yesterday, masked youths threw two firebombs at the French Institute in Athens. Windows were smashed but the building was not seriously damaged. Then youths spray-painted two slogans on the building. One said, “Spark in Athens. Fire in Paris. Insurrection is coming”. The other read, “France, Greece, uprising everywhere”.

It was a calculated and violent attempt to link disparate youth protest movements. Links between protests in Greece and France – and, to a lesser degree, unrest in Sweden – may seem tenuous, even non-existent. But social and political ailments and their symptoms transmit as rapidly as influenza in the television, internet and text-message age.

With Europe, and the world, pitching headlong into a deep recession, the “Greek Syndrome”, as one French official calls it, was already being monitored with great care across the European Union. The attempt to politicise and link the disputes across EU frontiers may prove to be a random act of self-dramatisation by an isolated group on the Greek far left. But it does draw attention to the similarities – and many differences – between the simultaneous outbreaks of unrest in three EU countries.

Thousands of young Greeks have been rioting on and off for almost two weeks. They are protesting against the chaotic, and often corrupt, social and political system of a country still torn between European “modernity” and a muddled Balkan past. They can be said, in that sense, to be truly revolting.

The riots began with a mostly “anarchist” protest against the killing of a 15-year-old boy by police but spread to other left-wing groups, immigrants and at times, it seemed, almost every urban Greek aged between 18 and 30. The protesters claim that they belong to a sacrificed “€600” generation, doomed to work forever for low monthly salaries. French lycée (sixth-form) students took to the street in their tens of thousands this week and last to protest against modest, proposed changes in the school system and the “natural wastage” of a handful of teaching posts. In other words, they were engaged in a typical French revolution of modern times: a conservative-left-wing revolt, not for change but against it. The lycée students are, broadly, in favour of the status quo in schools, although they admit the cumbersome French education system does not serve them well.

But behind the unrest lie three other factors: a deep disaffection from the French political system; a hostility to capitalism and “globalism” and the ever-simmering unrest in the poor, multiracial suburbs of French cities.

In Malmo on Thursday night, young people threw stones at police and set fire to cars and rubbish bins. This appears to have been mostly a local revolt by disaffected immigrant and second-generation immigrant youths, joined by leftist white youths, against the closure of an Islamic cultural centre. As in Greece and France, the Swedish authorities believe the troubles have been encouraged, and magnified, by political forces of the far left.

There may be little direct connection between the events in the three countries but they were already connected in the minds of EU governments before yesterday’s attack on the French cultural institute. The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, forced his education minister, Xavier Darcos, to delay, then abandon his planned reform of the lycée system this week. Why the change? Largely because of the events in Greece, French officials say. There was a heated debate in the Elysée Palace last weekend. One faction of advisers and ministers wanted to push ahead with the school reforms (already much watered down). Another faction was disturbed at signs that the lycée protests, although relatively limited, were spinning out of control.

The student leaders were no longer in charge of their troops, they said. Violent elements were joining the marches from the poor, multi-racial suburbs. Far left and anarchist agitators were said to be getting involved. With the Greek riots on the TV every night, and the French economy heading into freefall, the officials feared the lycée protests could spark something much wider and more violent.

President Sarkozy agreed to give way. The lycée protests went ahead anyway. There were more students on the streets of French cities on Thursday, after the government backed down, than there were last week when the education minister insisted that he would press ahead. A few cars were burnt and overturned in Lyons and Lille and a score of protesters were arrested but the marches were mostly peaceful.

Students interviewed on the streets of Paris refused to accept that the reforms had been withdrawn. President Sarkozy was not in control, they said. He was “under orders from Brussels and Washington”. The real motive was to take money out of the French education budget to “refloat the banks”.

The Greek, French and Swedish protests do have common characteristics: a contempt for governments and business institutions, deepened by the greed-fired meltdown of the banks; a loose, uneasy alliance between mostly, white left-wing students and young second-generation immigrants; the sense of being part of a “sacrificed generation”.

Source

Seems they know what is going on maybe even better informed then some of the adult.  The financial crisis, could very possibly  take a toll on their education and futures. The see their future is at risk.

I think they know much more then most give them credit for.

Maybe everyone should be out their rallying with them.

The elite of the world should be informed that the people rule and not those who are power hungry.  Our future generation is voicing their opinion and we should listen to what they are saying.  They will become the new leaders of the world in the future. They want the best education and decent jobs with decent pay. They want to be treated fairly.

The want to be heard. So listen to what they are saying.

Seems the profiteers and those who make policies around the planet are doing a  sloppy job. They all pretend to be experts but seems they are anything but. If they were such experts the Financial Crisis would never have happened. Of course as we all know by now, it was caused by deregulation, privatization and greed.  Greed being the at the fore front of it all.

Who pays for all the mistakes of the so called experts none other then the future generations.

When it comes to pollution it is the future generations who will pay a heavy price as well.

Children deserve a better future then the legacy this generation is leaving them.

It’s time to clean up the world. We all must work together to assure future generations are left with a world that is healthy, free from war mongers, hunger and power seeking profiteers.

It can be done.

A glimps into the minds of Greek Teenagers

Published in: on December 21, 2008 at 5:19 am  Comments Off on ‘Greek Syndrome’ is catching as youth take to streets  
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Shoe-tossing journalist was abused, Iraqi judge says

Thousands of protesters are calling for the release of journalist

By Sarah More McCann
December 19 2008

An Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush at a press conference in Iraq last Sunday was beaten afterward, an Iraqi judge said Friday. The latest revelation in the incident that has garnered worldwide attention comes amid an Iranian cleric’s call for a “shoe intifada” against the US and praise for the journalist from a Malaysian leader, suggesting that US President-elect Barack Obama will face challenges to overcoming anti-US sentiments.

According to the Associated Press, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi had “bruises on his face and around his eyes” shortly after throwing his shoes at President Bush during a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Dec. 14.

Judge Dhia al-Kinani, the magistrate investigating the incident, said the court has opened an investigation into the alleged beating of journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi.

Al-Zeidi was wrestled to the ground after throwing his shoes during the news conference Sunday by Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and there has been conflicting claims on his condition since then. One of his brothers said he was harshly beaten, but another said he seemed to be in good condition.

Al-Zeidi “was beaten in the news conference and we will watch the tape and write an official letter asking for the names of those who assaulted him,” the judge told The Associated Press….

The judge said the investigation would be completed and sent to the criminal court on Sunday.

The Guardian reports Mr. al-Zeidi’s family claims US and Iraqi security teams are to blame for any injuries.

Zaidi’s family have said he suffered a broken arm and other injuries after he was dragged away by Iraqi security officers and US secret service agents.

Al-Zeidi, who called Bush a “dog,” is currently in custody, and may be charged with insulting a foreign leader, the AP reports. If found guilty, al-Zeidi could face two years or more in prison. Al-Zeidi did not lodge a complaint leading to the investigation of his alleged beating, and there are conflicting reports as to whether he wrote a letter to Mr. al-Maliki asking for clemency.

The incident sparked an outpouring of support for the journalist who tossed the shoes as “retaliation” for the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Middle East Times reports.

For many Iraqis and Arabs… the war was an illegal move against a sovereign nation, it had dismantled the state’s institutions, brought disorder and violence, provided fertile ground for more terrorism, killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, made more than 4 million homeless, and fragmented an Arab country along sectarian lines. In other words, the war is widely seen as having destroyed Iraq.

So when Zaidi threw his shoes at the U.S. president as a “farewell gift” just a few weeks before Bush leaves the White House, the Iraqi journalist was seen as a hero; Dec. 14 was declared the “start of a shoe revolution,” and wealthy Arab businessmen offered to pay millions to buy the famous footwear that had narrowly missed Bush’s face, but hit the American flag behind him.

On Thursday, The Times (of London) reported that for days, protesters have been calling for the release of the journalist.

In three days Mr al-Zaidi has gone from minor television presenter to a hero of Islamic resistance. Thousands of Iraqis, both Sunni and Shia, took to the streets in cities from Mosul to Nasiriyah yesterday in a second day of protests demanding his release. Smaller groups gathered in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Karachi. In Beirut university students threw footwear at an effigy of the American President before setting it on fire.

Al-Zeidi’s detainment caused a disruption within Iraq’s Parliament as well, The AP reports.

In parliament, lawmakers had gathered to review a resolution calling for all non-U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq by the end of June but those loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr interrupted the session.

They said parliament should focus on al-Zeidi’s case rather than the proposed legislation. The argument escalated with lawmakers screaming at each other, and finally leading [Parliament speaker Mahmoud] al-Mashhadani to announce his resignation, said Wisam al-Zubaidi, an adviser to Khalid al-Attiyah, parliament’s deputy speaker.

Religious and governmental leaders, too, from the Middle East to South Asia have professed support for the journalist, Reuters India explains.

Malaysia‘s foreign minister on Friday praised an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush earlier this week,…

“The best show of retaliation so far is the shoe throwing act by that remarkable reporter who gave President Bush his final farewell last week,” Foreign Minister Rais Yatim said at an event to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the United Nations.

“That shoe throwing episode, in my view is truly the best Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) to the leader who coined the phrase ‘axis of evil’ to denote Iran, Iraq and North Korea,” Rais said, according to the advance text of his speech.

Mostly Muslim Malaysia, a Southeast Asian country of 27 million people, opposed the Iraq war but is an ally of the U.S. and won favour from Washington after it cracked down on Islamic militants after the 9/11 attacks.

Rais has twice been the country’s foreign minister and usually is known for more measured tones.

In Iran, al-Zeidi received support in some religious circles, the AP reports.

In the Iranian capital Tehran, hard-line Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati praised the act at Friday prayers, calling it the “Shoe Intifadha.”

Jannati proposed people in Iraq and Iran should carry shoes in further anti-American demonstrations. “This should be a role model,” said Jannati.

In an interview with Tavis Smiley of NPR, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice downplayed the longterm effects of the shoe incident.

“Well, there is always going to be some criticism of American policy because we have to do difficult things, Tavis. And I know that it doesn’t matter who’s in office; we’ll have to do difficult things and sometimes people won’t like them. But what the President stood for and what was important about that trip to Iraq was he got to stand next to a freely elected prime minister of Iraq, in front of journalists who could speak their minds and even vent their anger. And that’s a far cry from when Saddam Hussein was in power. So if America stands for its values, it might not always be popular, but it will be respected.”

But the AP reports President-elect Barack Obama faces an uphill battle to win back the trust of many across the globe.

So the sight of an average Arab standing up and making a public show of resentment was stunning. The pride, joy and bitterness it uncorked showed how many Arabs place their anger on Bush….

The reaction explains in part the relief among Arabs over Barack Obama’s election victory, seen as a repudiation of the Bush era. But it also highlights the task the next president will face in repairing America’s image in the Mideast, where distrust of the U.S. has hampered a range of American policies, from containing Iran to pushing the peace process and democratic reform.

Source

Protests rise over alleged beating of ‘shoe man’ Muntadhar al-Zeidi

December 18, 2008

The furore over President Bush’s shoe-throwing assailant spread through Iraq and across international borders yesterday, claiming its first political casualty as protests grew over his continued detention and alleged ill-treatment.

The brother of Muntazar al-Zaidi, who secured his place in infamy with his outburst against Mr Bush at a press conference in Baghdad, claimed that the Shia journalist had been so badly beaten in custody that police were unable to produce him in court.

Mr al-Zaidi’s family were told that a court hearing had been held in his jail cell instead and that they would not be allowed to see him for at least another eight days. “That means my brother was severely beaten and they fear that his appearance could trigger anger at the court,” Dargham al-Zaidi said, adding that his brother had been treated for a broken arm and ribs at the military hospital in the green zone.

Anger at Mr al-Zaidi’s treatment erupted in the Iraqi parliament, provoking stand-up rows and prompting the resignation of the assembly’s notoriously hot-tempered Speaker. “I have no honour leading this parliament and I announce my resignation,” Mahmoud al-Mashhadani said after quitting the assembly amid chaos created by Shia politicians.

In three days Mr al-Zaidi has gone from minor television presenter to a hero of Islamic resistance. Thousands of Iraqis, both Sunni and Shia, took to the streets in cities from Mosul to Nasiriyah yesterday in a second day of protests demanding his release. Smaller groups gathered in the Paki-stani cities of Lahore and Karachi. In Beirut university students threw footwear at an effigy of the American President before setting it on fire.

In Egypt Muntazer al-Zaidi was so struck by Mr al-Zaidi that he offered his daughter in marriage, a proposition she wholeheartedly supported. “This is something that would honour me. I would like to live in Iraq, especially if I were attached to this hero,” Amal Saad Gumaa, 20, said.

In Afghanistan, Mr al-Zaidi has become the subject of a Saturday Night Live-style television comedy show that used actors to reconstruct the scene.

Mr al-Zaidi has not been seen in public or by his family since he was hauled out from Sunday’s press conference by the bodyguards of Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister. He is under investigation pending charges of insulting a visiting dignitary, a crime punishable with a jail sentence of up to seven years.

At the press conference, Mr al-Zaidi, a reporter for the Iraqi al-Baghdadia television channel, rose to deliver a question before pulling off his shoes, one after the other, and hurling them at Mr Bush. “This is your farewell kiss, you dog!” he shouted in Arabic, combining two of the harshest insults in Middle Eastern culture. Mr Bush was uninjured but his press secretary, Dana Perino, appeared before reporters in Washington yesterday sporting a faint black eye, the result of a collision with a microphone in the mêlée.

Mr Bush has laughed off the incident, claiming not to understand the implied insult. It was “just a shoe”, he insisted. But nerves were rising in Washington at Mr al-Zaidi’s continued nonappearance, especially after the official spin that Mr Bush had brought Iraqis the freedom to register such protests without risking imprisonment or torture. The State Department said that it would issue a condemnation if it were true that Mr al-Zaidi had been beaten up.

Mr al-Zaidi’s protest has spawned a rash of viral internet games. One, from Dubai, called “Sock and Awe” gives players 30 seconds to hurl as many shoes as they can at Mr Bush, scoring a point for each direct hit.

Source

Related Links

Hundreds of Iraqis protest in Kufa, Iraq 19/12/2008

The shoe-throwing attack on US President George W Bush by Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi has sparked a raft of copycat protests around the world.

Lebanese and Palestinian protesters in Sidon, Lebanon 19/12/2008

This shoe-themed rally in Lebanon followed Sunday’s incident, when Mr Zaidi threw his shoes at Mr Bush during a news conference in Baghdad.

A box of shoes outside the US Embassy at Grosvenor Square, London 19/12/2008

Protesters in London even gift-wrapped a box of their shoes – in keeping with the festive season – and labelled it for “George W Bush” at the White House.

A protest in Cairo, Egypt 18/12/2008

In Egypt, ballet shoes were on offer from this reporter who gathered with her colleagues at the Journalists’ Syndicate in Cairo.

A Code Pink member dressed as President Bush is hit with a shoe during a protest near the White House 17/12/2008

The US president was not spared even on his home turf, where a member of the group Code Pink offered his services for target practice in Washington.

Pasban Pakistan activists protest in Karachi 17/12/2008

Protesters – like these in Pakistan – are demanding the release of Mr Zaidi, who has been detained since Sunday and shows signs of being beaten, according to an Iraqi judge.

Turkish leftists protest outside the US embassy in Ankara 18/12/2008

Mr Zaidi could face imprisonment on charges of insulting and attempting to assault a foreign leader, but he enjoys strong support from people in a wide range of countries.

Filipinos throw shoes at a picture of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during a Migrants Day protest in Manila 18/12/2008

The shoe-throwing trend is catching on in other parts of the world, with images of other world leaders – like the South Korean leader and the Philippines president – already falling prey.

Source

Numerous other reports at link below as well as links to petitions to release Muntadhar al-Zeidi.  Be sure to support Muntadhar.

You may even want to send Bush a Christmas greeting.  Information provided for that as well.

Protesters at White house and Protesters shake shoes at US Embassy in London

Protesters at Acropolis urge Europe-wide protest

By Daniel Flynn and Renee Maltezou
December 17 2008

ATHENS
Protesters hung banners from the Acropolis in Greece on Wednesday and called for demonstrations across Europe, in the 12th day of unrest since police shot dead a teenager.

“Resistance” read one of two pink banners in Greek, German, Spanish, and English, which protesters unfurled from the stone wall of the ancient hilltop citadel in Athens. “Thursday, 18/12 demonstrations in all Europe,” said another.

Greece’s worst protests in decades, sparked by the shooting of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos, have fed on simmering anger at high youth unemployment and the world economic crisis.

“We chose this monument to democracy, this global monument, to proclaim our resistance to state violence and demand rights in education and work,” one protester, who declined to give his name, told Reuters. “(We did it) to send a message globally and to all Europe.”

The demonstrations have sparked sympathy protests from Moscow to Madrid and European policymakers, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy, have expressed concern they might spread as the economic downturn bites and unemployment rises.

Greece’s powerful industrialists’ union SEV called for a strong government after Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, whose conservative party is trailing in opinion polls, came under fire for his hands off reaction to the riots.

“The economic turmoil is here and will worsen in the following months,” SEV president Dimitris Daskalopoulos said, “The country needs a strong, credible and modern government.”

MORE PROTESTS

About two thousand leftists marched through Athens on Wednesday, chanting “No sacrifice for the rich.”

Others occupied the headquarters of the GSEE private sector union federation demanding the release of those arrested in the riots but the intensity of the protests cooled off this week.

Hundreds of shops and cars were wrecked in 10 cities during last week’s violence. An estimated 565 shops were damaged in Athens alone, costing 200 million euros and causing more than 1 billion in lost sales during the Christmas shopping period.

The protests have rocked the conservative government, which has a one seat majority, and have driven Greek bond spreads — a measure of perceived investment risk — to record levels above German benchmark bonds.

The tourism minister said Greece needed to urgently restore its image.

“With the 2004 Olympics we proved we are a civilized, safe country. After the latest events, this has come into doubt,” said Aris Spiliotopoulos.

Protesters hurled firebombs at a police bus in Athens and another group smashed television sets to protest at the media’s coverage of the events. On Tuesday, about 20 students occupied state TV, interrupting a news broadcast to hold up protest banners.

More protests were expected on Thursday, when the ADEDY public sector workers federation goes on a three-hour work stoppage against government policy and the teenager’s killing.

The walkout will ground all but emergency flights into Greece between 1000 and 1300 GMT, air traffic controllers said, and disrupt urban public transport services.

The policeman who shot Grigoropoulos has been charged with murder and jailed pending trial, while his partner was charged as an accomplice. He says he fired a warning shot in self-defense against a group of youths but the family’s lawyer says he aimed to kill without significant provocation.

(Additional reporting by Angeliki Koutantou and Deborah Kyvrikosaios, Writing by Dina Kyriakidou, editing by Richard Balmforth)

Source

Sarkozy defends climbdown on education reform

Greek youths break into TV centre, interrupting broadcast featuring PM

Sarkozy defends climbdown on education reform

By Carole Landry
December 16, 2008

STRASBOURG
French President Nicolas Sarkozy defended on Tuesday the decision to backtrack on education reform in the face of student protests that raised fears of Greek-style social unrest.

The decision to put the overhaul of high school curriculum on hold for a year was seen as the government’s first major retreat from reform since Sarkozy took office in May 2007 on a platform of sweeping change.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks Tuesday at the European Parliament in the northeastern French city of Strasbourg.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks Tuesday at the European Parliament in the northeastern French city of Strasbourg. Patrick Hertzog/AFP/Getty Images

“I support high school reform and it will happen, but we need to take the time to listen and to consult,” Sarkozy told a news conference in Strasbourg following an address to the European Parliament there.

Protests over education reform turned violent last week, with students clashing with police in Brest, Rennes and Lille, all cities in northern France that have fallen on hard economic times.

“When you see people confront each other with such violence, when you see the pillage, when you see what we have seen in a country like Greece, obviously it makes us think twice,” said Sarkozy.

But he added: “If I had to accelerate or halt reforms every time there was social trouble in one of the 27 countries of the European Union, I would not be doing much”.

Sarkozy’s reform drive also came under attack when a group of lawmakers from his governing right-wing party refused to back a bill allowing shops to open on Sundays, forcing him to agree to a watered-down version of the legislation.

A much-touted plan by Sarkozy to ban advertising on French public television meanwhile was approved by the broadcaster’s board of directors, circumventing a parliament filibuster by the opposition.

Socialist lawmakers have filed hundreds of amendments to obstruct the passage of the broadcast bill that would end advertising on France Televisions and see the head of the group appointed directly by the president.

Public radio and television staff have staged protests and a strike against the reform, which they see as a threat to the independence of public broadcasting, although Sarkozy insists it will help boost programme quality.

Education Minister Xavier Darcos announced late Monday he was delaying a broad overhaul of the school curriculum after weeks of protests, but student unions kept up their protest action.

Thousands of students marched in Paris, Bordeaux and other cities across France and more protests were planned for Thursday against the plan that would pare down classroom hours and create a new semester system, modelled after Finnish high schools.

The government’s resolve to push through the plan appeared to wane after rioting erupted in Greece, sparked by the police fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy that laid bare deep discontent among the country’s youth.

On the question of Sunday shopping, the government is set to present to parliament on Wednesday a bill doubling the number of working Sundays from five to 10 per year – on top of the Christmas holiday period.

But the measure falls way short of Sarkozy’s plan to introduce Sunday shopping in the entire retail sector, which ran into fierce opposition from the Catholic Church and unions.

Sarkozy was forced to make concessions after party members came under intense lobbying from small shopkeepers, who are allowed to do business on Sunday mornings and feared competition from supermarkets.

Source

Seems Sarkozy is antagonising a lot of people. He is now his own worst enemy.

Give him an inch he will take a mile.

Greek youths break into TV centre, interrupting broadcast featuring PM

By Nicholas Paphitis
December 16 2008

ATHENS, Greece
Protesters forced their way into Greece’s state NET television news studio Tuesday and interrupted a news broadcast featuring the prime minister so they could urge viewers to join mass anti-government demonstrations.

For more than a minute, about 10 youths blocked a broadcast showing a speech by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

Instead, they displayed banners reading: “Stop watching, get out onto the streets,” and “Free everyone who has been arrested.” No one was hurt, and no arrests were reported.

NET chairman Christos Panagopoulos claimed the protesters violently forced their way into the studio. “This goes beyond any limit,” he said.

It was the latest twist in 11 days of riots and protests after a policeman shot and killed a 15-year-old boy Dec. 6. The violent protests have evolved from being just aimed at Greek police to being highly critical of Karamanlis’ conservative government.

Karamanlis has rejected mounting demands to resign and call new elections.

Earlier Tuesday, masked youths attacked riot police headquarters in Athens and protesters clashed with police in the northern city of Thessaloniki.

Police said 30 youths threw petrol bombs and stones at the riot police building, causing extensive damage to seven cars and a police bus parked outside.

Students blocked streets in Athens and dozens of teenagers gathered outside the capital’s main court complex and a maximum security prison – where some threw stones at police.

Protesters have called for riot officers to be pulled off the streets, for police to be disarmed and for the government to revise its economic, social and education policies.

The protests have brought higher education in Greece to a standstill. Lessons have stopped at more than 100 secondary schools that are under occupation by students, according to the Education Ministry. Scores of university buildings across Greece are also occupied.

After the shooting death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos, furious youths smashed and burnt hundreds of shops in Athens’ main shopping area, and attacked riot police who responded with massive tear gas.

Dozens of people have been injured in the rioting, while more than 300 people have been arrested. The policeman accused of killing the teenager has been charged with murder and is being held pending trial.

Source


Greek rights activists protest over Pakistani’s injury

December 15 2008
ATHENS

Activists in Greece demanded the interior minister’s resignation on Monday over the severe injury of a Pakistani man in an alleged police attack on asylum-seekers.

The 24-year-old Pakistani man has been in a coma since December 6.

Petros Constantinou, an organiser with the Socialist Workers Party, said the migrant suffered head injuries when he fell into a dry riverbed trying to avoid a police charge.

The allegations came as Greece faced its worst riots in decades, sparked by the fatal police shooting of a 15-year-old boy in Athens – also on Dec 6. Activists called for concerted protests over the two incidents.

Constantinou said the Pakistani was injured when police attacked 5,000 immigrants lining up overnight to submit asylum applications at a western Athens police office.

Police say they are investigating the incident. They say riot police repulsed asylum-seekers who tried to jump the line.

“It was a brutal and obscene attack,” Constantinou said. “We want (Interior Minister Procopis) Pavlopoulos to resign.”

In October, another Pakistani asylum-seeker died after falling into the same riverbed while allegedly trying to avoid police.

Source

A glimps into the minds of Greek Teenagers

Published in: on December 17, 2008 at 3:53 am  Comments Off on Greek youths break into TV centre, interrupting broadcast featuring PM  
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Workers protest massive wave of job cuts

Holding a banner reading, “Destruction of employment,” Japanese workers shout slogans during a protest rally against job cuts by top Japanese companies in front of the headquarters of Nippon Keidanren, Japan’s largest business federation, in Tokyo Tuesday, Dec . 16, 2008. About 200 protesters accused Japanese corporate leaders of sacrificing their jobs to protect their profits amid the global slowdown. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Holding a banner reading, “Destruction of employment,” Japanese workers shout slogans during a protest rally against job cuts by top Japanese companies in front of the headquarters of Nippon Keidanren, Japan’s largest business federation, in Tokyo Tuesday, Dec . 16, 2008. About 200 protesters accused Japanese corporate leaders of sacrificing their jobs to protect their profits amid the global slowdown. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

A group of Japanese women workers participate in a protest rally against job cuts by top Japanese companies with banners and placards in front of the headquarters of Nippon Keidanren, Japan’s largest business federation, in Tokyo Tuesday, Dec . 16, 2008. About 200 protesters accused Japanese corporate leaders of sacrificing their jobs to protect their profits amid the global slowdown. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

TOKYO

Hundreds of unionized workers rallied in Tokyo on Tuesday to protest massive job cuts, accusing the country’s biggest companies of sacrificing jobs to protect profits.

The global financial crisis has forced some of Japan’s corporate giants to take drastic measures including job cuts, suspending production, postponing projects and closing factories. Sony Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. are among the major employers to trim thousands of workers from their payrolls.

About 200 protesters waved banners and shouted slogans through loudspeakers outside the headquarters of the Nippon Keidanren — Japan’s largest business lobby group — in Tokyo’s main business district.

“Toyota, stop cutting seasonal workers! We workers are not disposable!” they chanted. “Sony, stop massive firing!”

Most of the job cuts have targeted temporary contract workers, but lately they have included full-time salaried workers.

Speakers at the protest said some newly unemployed contract workers also lost their company-owned housing, leaving them jobless and homeless.

“We do not accept job cuts in the name of the economic crisis,” said Kazuko Furuta, a representative of New Japan Women’s Association, a women’s rights group that organized the rally with dozens of labor unions. “Shame on the Japanese companies that dump their workers like objects.”

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshihiro Nikai told reporters Tuesday that the government was doing its “utmost to support small businesses and ensure job security.”

Fujio Mitarai, head of Keidanren and also chairman of Canon Inc., said the influential lobby “will cooperate with the government” to implement job security measures.

Japanese exporters have been hit hard by slowing consumer demand from abroad and the yen’s appreciation, which erodes their overseas earnings.

Sony announced plans to slash 8,000 jobs around the world — about 5 percent of its work force — and lowered its full-year earnings projection 59 percent from the previous year.

Major automakers including Toyota and Nissan have terminated contracts with thousands of seasonal workers at their factories and parts makers.

Citing their own tally, union members say more than 18,800 people, mostly contract workers, have lost their jobs in recent months.

The government last week announced a 23 trillion yen ($256 billion) stimulus package to shore up the economy, including measures to encourage employment.

Source

Renault workers in Spain protest work reduction plan

December 13 2008

MADRID

Thousands of Renault workers braved heavy rain to march through the central Spanish city of Valladolid Saturday to protest a work reduction plan by the French automaker at its four plants in the country.

Renault management in Spain on December 3 proposed the 2009 cuts at its two factories in Valladolid, one in the nearby town of Palencia and another in the southern city of Sevilla.

Workers at one of the Valladolid plants are also waiting for Renault to assign it a new vehicle for production that would ensure its survival.

The protesters, who numbered 25,000 according to unions and 16,000 according to police, marched through the city in driving rain before a statement was read out calling on Renault to guarantee staff levels, Spanish media said.

“If this isn’t resolved, war, war and war,” the protesters chanted.

Renault employs around 11,000 people in Spain, Europe’s third-largest automaker, of whom 9,800 work in its four factories.

The company proposed a 60-day work reduction plan at one Valladolid plant and a 30-day cut at the other three factories.

The company blamed “the strong and continued fall in European markets, the main destinations of Renault Spain products” for its decision.

The auto manufacturing sector accounts for just under 10 percent of Spain’s economic output and 15 percent of exports.

Several large automakers in the country have already taken measures to cut their workforce, such as Japan’s Nissan and US group Ford.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero late last month announced an 800-million-euro cash injection for the country’s auto sector, part of an 11-billion-euro (14.3-billion-dollar) stimulus package to help the country cope with the global financial crisis.

Source

Join the Calls to release Iraqi Journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaydi

Here is UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE Petition

The 50,000 Signatures Campaign for the release of Muntadhar Al-Zaydi

This signature campaign demands of the release of the Iraqi Journalist, Montadhar Al-Zaydi who hurled a pair of shoes at George Bush on 12/14/2008 in Baghdad in reaction to Bush’s immoral invasion of Iraq and the war-crimes committed by the occupying forces with the aid of local warlords.

We hereby sign below to demand the immediate release of the Journalist Montadhar Al-Zaydi, without any constraints or conditions.  We also hold Al-Maliki’s government and the Bush administration accountable and responsible for his life, dignity, and well-being.

للتوقيع اضغط على الرابط ادناه To add your signature, click on below link Everyone can sign

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/iwffomuntatharalzaidi


Here is a Care2 petition!

To Iraqi embassy in the U.S., Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch

We, the undersigned, sympathise with Mr. Montather Al-Zaidi’s action in throwing a shoe at George W. Bush. It was well deserved and symbolizes the sentiment of many people not only in Iraq, but around the world.

Bush’s policies have reaked havoc all over the world, and the Bush administration is responsible for unprecedented levels of violence worldwide, resulting in the death of large numbers of innocent civilians in Iraq and around the world. Instead of working towards peace and stability, the United States has become a rogue nation and has created

Everyone can sign

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/9/in-support-of-the-iraqi-shoe-throwing-journalist%20

Here is the  Code Pink Petition!

Sign-up below to support Muntadar al-Zaidi! Your signatures will be delivered to the Iraqi Embassy this week!

We, the undersigned, understand and sympathize with the sentiment expressed in the action of Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, who hurled his shoes at President Bush, shouting, “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.

” We, too, feel for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq, thanks to the policies of the Bush administration.

It’s outrageous that al-Zaidi could get two years in prison for insulting George Bush, who is directly responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqis and 4,200 U.S. troops, and for the displacement of 5 million Iraqis. The one who should be in jail is Bush, not Muntadar al-Zaidi.

We call on the Iraqi government to immediately release al-Zaidi without charges.

Canada and Us Only

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/424/signUp.jsp?key=3909

You can sign all three if you wish to.

By now, you’ve all seen the footage of the Iraqi journalist hurling his shoes at George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad this past Sunday.

What has not been so widely reported are the words Muntadar al-Zaidi, a correspondent for Cairo-based al-Baghdadiya TV, shouted out. As the first shoe was thrown at Bush, he said: “This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog.” And with his second shoe, which the president also dodged,  al-Zaidi said: “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.”

This bold statement also has to be understood in its cultural context. Showing the soles of your shoes to someone, let alone tossing your shoes at them, is a sign of contempt in Arab culture.

After throwing his shoes, al-Zaidi was wrestled to the ground by security personnel and hauled away. According to Democracy Now! this morning, “Muntadar al-Zaidi has been held without charge for over twenty-four hours and has been reportedly beaten in jail.

His brother said al-Zaidi has suffered a broken hand, broken ribs and internal bleeding, as well as an eye injury. Earlier today, al-Zaidi was handed over to the Iraqi military command in Baghdad.”


Call for leniency for Muntadar al-Zaidi after shoe throwing protest

December 16 2008

Reporters Without Borders today called for the release of Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, of al-Bagdhadia television arrested after hurling his shoes at George W Bush at a Baghdad press conference during a surprise visit by the US president on 14 December 2008.

“We obviously regret that the journalist used this method of protest against the politics of the American president”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “But for humanitarian reasons and to ease tension, we call for the release of Muntadar al-Zaidi who has been held by the Iraqi authorities for two days.”

“Given the controversy surrounding this incident, we urge the Iraqi security services to guarantee the physical wellbeing of this journalist, who was clearly injured during his arrest”, it added.

“While we do not approve of this kind of behaviour as a means of expressing an opinion or convictions, the relaxed way in which George W Bush spoke about the incident afterwards, should give the Iraqi authorities all the more reason to show leniency”, the organisation concluded.

Head of operations at the interior ministry, Abdel Karim Khalaf, told Reporters Without Borders that Muntadar al-Zaidi had been caught red handed and that he faced proceedings under Articles 223, 225 and 227 of the Iraqi criminal code. The journalist could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison for “insulting a foreign head of state”. Muntadar al-Zaidi is being examined by judges in connection with the investigation. Abdel Karim Khalaf said the he had not been subjected to any ill-treatment before concluding, “A journalist’s only weapons are words”.

Muntadar al-Zaidi achieved instant notoriety as a result of his gesture seen on television screens around the world.

Source


Angry Iraqis call for shoe thrower’s release

BAGHDAD
December 17 2008

Thousands of Iraqis have taken to the streets to demand the release of a reporter who threw his shoes at President George W.Bush. ! The protests came as suicide bombers and gunmen targeted Iraqi police, and US-allied Sunni guards and civilians, in a series of attacks that killed at least 17 people and wounded more than a dozen others, officials said.

An Iraqi official said the journalist, Muntadhar al-Zeidi, was being held by Iraqi security yesterday and interrogated about whether anybody had paid him to throw his shoes at Mr Bush during a press conference in Baghdad on Monday.

He was also being tested for alcohol and drugs, and his shoes were being held as evidence, the official said.

His brother said the reporter had a broken arm and ribs after being struck by Iraqi security agents. Durgham Zaidi was unable to say whether his brother had sustained the injuries while being overpowered during the protest against Mr Bush’s visit to Baghdad or while in custody later.

Showing the sole of your shoe to someone in the Arab world is a sign of extreme disrespect, and throwing your shoes is even worse.

Al-Zeidi was immediately wrestled to the ground by Iraqi security guards after throwing the shoes, But the incident raised fears of a security lapse in the heavily guarded Green Zone where the press conference took place. Reporters were repeatedly searched and asked to show identification before entering the compound, which houses Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office and the US embassy.

Newspapers across the Arab world printed front-page photos of Mr Bush ducking the flying shoes, and satellite TV stations aired the incident, which was hailed by the President’s many critics in the region.

Many are fed up with US policy and still angry over Mr Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein.

A doctor in the West Bank town of Nablus, Wafa Khayat, 48, called the attack ”a message to Bush and all the US policymakers that they have to stop killing and humiliating people”.

Al-Zeidi’s TV station, Al-Baghdadia, repeatedly aired pleas to release the reporter while showing footage of explosions and playing background music that denounced the US military presence in Iraq.

Source

Odd how someone is arrested for throwing shoes and Bush and company  get away with killing over million people in an illegal war, based on lies and propaganda.

There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction.

What is wrong with this picture?

Where is real justice?

I am sorry,  but I have to side with the shoe throwing Journalist.

I can only imagine, how many times he was a witness to the atrocities in Iraq,  perpetrated by the US.  One can only take so much death and destruction. He was watching the destruction of his country and fellow Iraqis  being  killed, maimed and living in a horrifying nightmare.

Bush and his cronies should be in jail for “War Crimes” among other things.

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq “1,284,105”
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html

Dec 17: Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist

Senate Report Links Bush to Detainee Homicides; Media Yawns

Media Search in the US

Write your local paper and denounce any possible planned pardons for crimes committed in the “war on terror”. Here are some sample letters and talking points you can follow.

Cheney admits authorizing detainee’s torture

A series of political rallies were held in cities across Canada

Demonstrators hold signs at a rally in support of the Bloc Quebecois supported Liberal-NDP coalition to replace the Conservative minority government, in Montreal on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Demonstrators hold signs at a rally in support of the Bloc Quebecois supported Liberal-NDP coalition to replace the Conservative minority government, in Montreal on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Demonstrators hold signs at a rally in support of the coalition to replace the Conservative minority government in Montreal on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Demonstrators hold signs at a rally in support of the coalition to replace the Conservative minority government in Montreal on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Nancy Szkurhan, of Kanata, Ont., holds a sign as she takes part in an anti-coalition rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Saturday Dec. 6, 2008. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Sean Kilpatrick)

Nancy Szkurhan, of Kanata, Ont., holds a sign as she takes part in an anti-coalition rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Saturday Dec. 6, 2008. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Sean Kilpatrick)

Coalition and Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and NDP leader Jack Layton raise their joined hands at a pro-coalition rally in Toronto on Saturday Dec. 6, 2008. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Coalition and Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and NDP leader Jack Layton raise their joined hands at a pro-coalition rally in Toronto on Saturday Dec. 6, 2008. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

A protester holds up a drawing of Liberal Leader Stephane Dion stylized as Stalin during an anti-coalition rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday Dec. 4, 2008. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

A protester holds up a drawing of Liberal Leader Stephane Dion stylized as Stalin during an anti-coalition rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday Dec. 4, 2008. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

December 6 2008

A series of political rallies were held in cities across Canada on Saturday, some in support and others in protest of the opposition coalition that threatened to topple the Conservative government earlier this week.

In some cases, both pro- and anti-coalition rallies took place in the same city.

In Toronto, Canada’s federal Liberal and NDP leaders addressed several thousand supporters in Toronto on Saturday afternoon.

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion told a pro-coalition crowd at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square that Canada urgently needs a plan to help the country’s economy.

“We want to help our country to fight the economic crisis that is coming, and for that we need to pull together,” he said Saturday afternoon.

He also said Prime Minister Stephen Harper had “wasted time on partisan games and locked the doors of Parliament.”

NDP Leader Jack Layton followed Dion and told the crowd that the prime minister had put “a padlock on Parliament Hill” and was “desperately clinging to power.”

“By closing down Parliament, he has silenced your voice,” Layton said. “He has turned his back on the economy and on the people who are being thrown out of work.”

Layton criticized Harper for delivering “an ideological plan” in the government’s fiscal update, when Canadians needed the prime minister to look after their best interests.

About two kilometers north of the pro-coalition rally featuring Layton and Dion, a crowd of more than 500 held an anti-coalition rally at the provincial legislature buildings in Queen’s Park.

In Ottawa, an anti-coalition rally saw an estimated 3,000 people gather on Parliament Hill in the bitter cold, in order to protest the Liberal-NDP coalition that is backed up by the Bloc Quebecois.

CTV’s John Hua said crowd members had told him “the people here are for Stephen Harper, but for the most part they are here for democracy.”

“They have come because they have chosen a government, they have chosen the specific people to lead this country, and that it’s…not up to backroom deals for people to come together and pull that majority away from Stephen Harper,” he told CTV’s Newsnet in a phone interview from Ottawa.

Another rally in Calgary saw about 2,000 people gather in support of the existing Conservative government, and just over 200 people showed up to a similar rally in Halifax.

Another 200 people showed up at anti-coalition rally held in front of the New Brunswick legislature in Fredericton.

In Halifax, protesters held placards urging federal politicians to respect their votes, using slogans like “My Vote Counts,” “No Secret Deals” and “Respect Our Votes” to convey their message.

Conservative MP Gerry Keddy, who was present at the Halifax rally, called on the coalition to give “its head a shake.”

In Montreal, just under 1,000 people showed up to a pro-coalition rally that was organized by three major Quebec unions.

That rally was attended by Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe, as well as NDP and Liberal party representatives.

Duceppe told the crowd that Harper is “trying to make Canada a banana republic” by proroguing Parliament.

Also in Montreal, a crowd of about 30 people held a demonstration outside Dion’s Montreal offices, in support of the Conservative government.

All of the protests began at noon ET on Saturday, including about 20 organized by Canadians for Democracy, which opposes the proposed Liberal-NDP-Bloc Quebecois coalition.

On its website, rallyforcanada.ca, the group accuses the NDP and Liberals of getting into bed with separatists and warns that the threat of a coalition taking power will resume once Parliament returns on Jan. 26.

“Let’s rally to show the proposed coalition that this isn’t a good option,” reads a message on the website.

The Canadian Labour Congress, which supports the coalition, held rallies in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, as well as in Montreal and Sudbury, Ont.

A radio ad that also appears on the CLC’s website encourages supporters to attend Saturday’s rallies by slamming Harper’s inability to work with the opposition parties to devise solutions for a sluggish economy.

“During the election, Stephen Harper told us he would make a minority Parliament work and put our economy first. He has failed.”

The rallies come at the end of a whirlwind week in Ottawa, as the three opposition parties threatened to overthrow Harper’s Conservative minority and take power after a confidence vote that had been scheduled for Monday.

The move was largely a response to last week’s economic update, delivered by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, which withdrew public funding for the federal parties and failed to include details of an economic stimulus package.

Harper responded by asking Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to prorogue Parliament. That gives him until Jan. 26 to prepare a budget that will contain a plan for stimulating the economy. Jean agreed and Harper will now present a budget on Jan. 27.

He has said he would like input from the opposition parties as he prepares his economic plan.

Saturday’s rallies follow a series of pro-coalition protests Thursday, including one on Parliament Hill that drew about 2,000 supporters.

Source

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces that Governor General Michaelle Jean approved his recommendation to prorogue Parliament at Rideau Hall in Ottawa Thursday, Dec. 4 , 2008. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Tom Hanson)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper prepares his speech to the nation from his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec.3, 2008. (Tom Hanson / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper prepares his speech to the nation from his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec.3, 2008. (Tom Hanson / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion reads his speech in reaction to the prime minister's televised speech to the nation from his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion reads his speech in reaction to the prime minister’s televised speech to the nation from his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Harper wrong on democracy claims: experts

December 4 2008

By Jim Brown

OTTAWA — If there’s one point on which Stephen Harper has been adamant, it’s his claim that the opposition politicians trying to strip him of power are undermining democracy.

“The Canadian government has always been chosen by the people,” the prime minister declared in his mid-week televised address to the country.

But now, he told viewers, a coalition of opposition parties is trying to oust him through a backroom deal “without your say, without your consent and without your vote.”

Just how valid is Harper’s claim that changing governments without a new election would be undemocratic?

“It’s politics, it’s pure rhetoric,” said Ned Franks, a retired Queen’s University expert on parliamentary affairs. “Everything that’s been happening is both legal and constitutional.”

Other scholars are virtually unanimous in their agreement. They say Harper’s populist theory of democracy is more suited to a U.S.-style presidential system, in which voters cast ballots directly for a national leader, than it is to Canadian parliamentary democracy.

“He’s appealing to people who learned their civics from American television,” said Henry Jacek, a political scientist at McMaster University.

Harper signed similar document in 2004

In Canada, there’s no national vote for prime minister. People elect MPs in 308 ridings, and a government holds power only as long as it has the support of a majority of those MPs.

“We have a rule that the licence to govern is having the confidence of the House of Commons,” said Peter Russell, a former University of Toronto professor and adviser to past governors general.

“I’m sorry, that’s the rule. If they want to change it to having a public opinion poll, we’d have to reform and rewrite our Constitution.”

Harper himself signed a letter to then-Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in 2004, claiming the right to form a government if Paul Martin’s minority Liberals could be defeated in a confidence vote in the Commons.

His ostensible partners would have been NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe — now derided by Harper as the “socialist” and the “separatist” in Liberal Leader Stephane Dion’s coalition.

“I was just as much a sovereigntist then as I am now,” Duceppe sniffed Thursday in a reference to Harper’s new-found aversion to any deals with the Bloc.

Such facts are conveniently forgottenby some members of Harper’s cabinet who have been even more vocal than their boss in the current crisis.

Revenue Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn has characterized the opposition effort to bring down the Tories as a “coup d’etat.”

Transport Minister John Baird spoke Thursday of the need for the Conservatives to go “over the heads” of both Parliament and Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to take their case straight to the people.

There’s no doubt the central Harper claim — that he can’t legitimately be dumped from office without a new election — is dead wrong, said Jonathan Rose, a Queen’s University political scientist.

But as a communications strategy it has the virtue of being simple, direct and powerful.

“He’s using this bludgeon of an argument (but) most people just see the word democracy and have some intuitive connection to it,” said Rose.

By contrast, the theory and practice of parliamentary confidence and responsible cabinet government take some explaining.

But Harper may have undermined his own effort Thursday with his visit to the Governor General to get permission to shut down Parliament for seven weeks.

It was the only way he could dodge a confidence vote that would have toppled his government next Monday. But it also presented the Liberals, NDP and Bloc with a ready-made response to the prime minister’s claim of democratic superiority.

“You need something visceral and simple,” said Rose. “The opposition metaphor of locking the doors to Parliament does it. I think people understand that.”

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Harper ‘lies’ about coalition details

Climate protesters demand swifter U.N. action

December 6 2008

POZNAN, Poland

Thousands of climate protesters, some dressed as polar bears, devils or penguins, demanded on Saturday swifter action from the United Nations to combat global warming.

Outside U.N.-led talks in Poland aimed at pushing 187 countries toward stiffer targets to fight global warming, some 1,000 demonstrators said governments were risking the planet’s future by delaying action to squabble over who was to blame.

Several thousand more protesters took part in a march through London to demand “urgent and radical action” from the British government on climate change.

“So far I think it’s going really slowly,” Susann Scherbarth from Friends of the Earth in Germany said of the talks in the western city of Poznan.

She and other protesters in Poznan waved a banner reading: “Stop clowning around, get serious about climate action.”

Others carried pictures of seas inundating cities and villages, and the suited hand of a businessman squeezing the planet.

The march fell short of organizers’ predictions of a turnout of several thousand and many inside the talks did not see it.

“It’s not a matter for negotiators, it’s a matter for politicians. They are the ones who have been blocking the whole process,” said Rae-Kwon Chung, South Korea’s climate change ambassador, adding that he was unaware of the event outside.

Marches, bicycle rides and other events were scheduled around the world on Saturday to mark a “Global Day of Action on Climate,” said the Global Climate Campaign, an umbrella group for participants.

London police said between 4,000 and 5,000 people took part in a rally which organizers said was aimed at reminding governments not to let the issue of climate change slip down a global agenda dominated by the financial crisis.

“The current economic downturn does not make the catastrophic consequences of failing to deal with the climate crisis any less catastrophic,” said Phil Thornhill, Britain’s national coordinator of the Campaign Against Climate Change.

(Reporting Gerard Wynn and Megan Rowling, additional reporting by Kate Kelland in London, editing by Michael Roddy)

Source

List of Countries participating.

International Demonstrations on Climate Change

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Icelanders Take to Streets to Protest Government’s IMF Loan Failure

By Tasneem Brogger and Helga Kristin Einarsdottir

November  14 2008

Icelanders will take to the streets in their thousands tomorrow to protest the government’s failure to clinch a $6 billion International Monetary Fund-led loan while countries in less dire economic straits jump the IMF queue.

Weekly protests in downtown Reykjavik may swell to 20,000 soon, or 6 percent of the population, said Andres Magnusson, chief executive of the Icelandic Federation of Trade and Services. The islanders are venting their anger on politicians as prices soar, the krona collapses and the economy goes into reverse.

“Enormous mistakes were made, but those who made them are still in the same place,” said Hildigunnur Runarsdottir, a music composer who has attended five protests since the country’s banking system collapsed last month. “They don’t seem to be doing anything at all about the situation.”

The Atlantic island, which had the fifth-highest per capita income in the world last year, needs the money to finance imports and revive the banking system. Central bank forecasts that the economy will contract 8.3 percent next year may prove optimistic if the loan isn’t approved soon, said Lars Christensen, chief analyst at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen.

This “isn’t sustainable,” Christensen said. “You can’t starve the economy, and that’s what the government’s doing at the moment. Every day that passes makes the economic outlook worse.”

`Depressed’

Many retailers are relying on credit from their suppliers to keep their shops stocked.

“I have a long-standing relationship with suppliers, who have given me 30-60 days credit,” said Gudrun Steingrimsdottir, who runs a lingerie store in central Reykjavik. “If the situation persists another month, I don’t know what is going to happen.”

Trouble is, neither does anyone else.

“The main thing that is creating unrest is that the government doesn’t come forward and inform the public what is on the agenda,” Magnussen said. “Nobody can get any information.”

As the currency fell and imports shrank, the inflation rate reached an 18-year high of 15.9 percent in October. Delays in sealing a loan package mean the central bank can’t return the currency to free float. The bank now holds daily krona auctions, with the currency trading for 178 against the euro on Nov. 12, compared with about 90 kronur per euro at the start of the year. The traded volume at that auction was 13.8 million euros.

“What I notice is how depressed people have become,” said Steingrimsdottir. “We know nothing. People seem to have lost all hope.”

IMF Rescue

The IMF is withholding approval of its $2.1 billion loan until other lenders agree to fulfill their commitments to a wider bailout, Fund spokesman Bill Murray said on Nov. 11.

Norway has pledged 500 million euros ($635 million), the Faroe Islands 300 million kronor ($50 million) and Poland $200 million. That leaves Iceland well short of the $6 billion it says it needs.

Complicating talks are U.K. and Dutch demands that the government repay depositors at the Internet unit of Iceland’s collapsed Landsbanki Island hf. Those debts may amount to as much as 5.5 billion pounds ($8.2 billion), the size of Iceland’s economy, according to a report by Jon Danielsson, an economist at the London School of Economics.

“By comparison, the total amount of reparations payments demanded of Germany following World War I was around 85 percent of GDP,” Danielsson said.

Iceland’s government has accepted it will have to reach a negotiated solution to the dispute with the U.K. and the Netherlands to get the IMF loan, the newspaper Morgunbladid said yesterday, without saying where it got the information.

Envy

Icelanders are shooting envious glances at Eastern Europe where Hungary and Ukraine received loans from the IMF within two weeks of asking. Iceland has little to show for its efforts, six weeks after its banking system started to collapse.

“It’s worrying enough that they’re not getting the $6 billion they’re talking about, but the fact they’re not even getting the $2 billion is very worrying,” Christensen said. “It’s amazing that Ukraine is able to get a $16 billion loan, one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and Iceland is not able to pull it off.”

Ukraine had its $16.4 billion loan from the IMF approved on Nov. 6. Hungary said on Nov. 11 it’s already drawn on the first 4.9 billion euro ($6.16 billion) tranche of its IMF-led 20 billion-euro loan.

While the IMF loans to Hungary and Ukraine make up less than 20 percent of those countries’ gross domestic products, Iceland needs loans worth more than its entire GDP to repay debts built up through five years of economic boom.

“We should have turned the music down when the party got out of hand,” Runarsdottir said.

Source

Bottom line, it all started in the US.

Iceland has be hit extremely hard and things don’t seem to be improving.

Protests against Crisis in Iceland Get out of Hand
November 10 2008

People ganged up on police during the latest in a series of protests outside Iceland’s Althingi parliament in central Reykjavík on Saturday. Police were having problems with keeping the situation under control and one man was arrested.

From the protests on Saturday, November 8. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

Demonstrators were demanding actions to improve the economic situation, Fréttabladid reports.

“There is nothing wrong with people protesting in a democratic society but one also has to differentiate between legal peaceful demonstrations and riots,” Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde told Morgunbladid. “A demonstration is in real danger of becoming a riot when the parliament building is pelted with stones.”

Among actions undertaken by protestors was raising the Bónus supermarket-chain flag (a pink piggybank on a yellow background), from the parliament building roof.

Haarde said his government was trying to inform the public on the status of the situation as quickly as possible—lack of information is one of the issues angering demonstrators—with regular press conferences, via the websites of the ministries and elsewhere.

“People who ask for information should be able to receive it,” Haarde stated.

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More on Protests

One problem leads to yet another.

Iceland Cuts Funds to Foreign Aid

Iceland’s Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir presented yesterday a strategy for limiting expenses at her ministry in light of the economic depression, including cutting funds to development assistance.

Well you do what you have to do.

By Alex Elliott
November 13 2008

Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir, Icelandic Foreign Minister, says she is hopeful the negotiations currently underway in Brussels to work out a satisfactory settlement with the British and Dutch governments over Icesave compensation can be completed tonight or tomorrow, MBL.is reports.

Stod 2 television news reported this evening that the Icelandic delegation has adjourned the meeting until midnight, when their conclusions may be delivered. According to sources, the British government is reported to be demanding the equivalent of ISK 600 billion (USD 4.7 billion) to pay British Icesave customers up to the EUR 20,000 state guarantee. If an agreement is reached, it is thought Iceland will be free to take control of Landsbanki’s UK assets and sell them – generating crucial revenue. The burden on the Icelandic tax payer will likely be less than feared.

The Foreign Minister said in an interview with the Icelandic state broadcaster RÚV, that the government has received a very clear message on just how important it is to resolve the Icesave issue with the Dutch and British. It is important for the entire European economy. A lot is at stake if the issue is not successfully resolved very soon, she said.

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IMF approves $16.5 billion Ukraine loan

By Lesley Wroughton and Sabina Zawadzki

November 6 2008

The International Monetary Fund approved a $16.5 billion (10.4 billion pound) loan program for Ukraine that includes monetary and exchange rate policy shifts to ease strains from the global financial crisis.

The IMF, in a statement issued late Wednesday, said it would immediately disburse $4.5 billion to the government under the two-year loan agreement.

“The authorities’ program is designed to help stabilise the domestic financial system against a backdrop of global deleveraging and a domestic crisis of confidence, and to facilitate adjustment of the economy to a large terms-of-trade shock,” the Fund said.

“The authorities’ plan incorporates monetary and exchange rate policy shifts, banking recapitalization, and fiscal and incomes policy adjustments.”

In Kiev, President Viktor Yushchenko welcomed the decision, taken after Ukraine’s fractious parliament approved enabling legislation. He said it provided a “signal to the international community to boost the rating of trust in our country.”

“The economy is getting a powerful resource to develop priority sectors and guarantee the liquidity of the banking system,” he said in a statement on the presidential Web site.

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the president’s former ally turned rival, described the loan as a “great victory” and said it would “allow us to stabilise completely the financial situation in Ukraine.”

The IMF decision was issued along with forecast indicators predicting that Ukraine would sink into recession next year, with a 3 percent fall against 6 percent growth this year.

In a statement, Murilo Portugal, IMF deputy managing director, said Ukraine’s economy, especially its banking system, was under severe stress, caused by a drop in global steel prices, the country’s main export, and global financial turmoil.

INTERVENTION, RECAPITALISATION

He said Ukraine’s program would seek to restore financial and economic stability through a more flexible exchange rate regime with targeted interventions, so-called ‘pre-emptive’ recapitalisation of banks, and tighter monetary policy.

“The flexible exchange rate regime, backed by an appropriate monetary policy and foreign exchange intervention, will help absorb external shocks and avoid disorderly exchange market developments,” Portugal said.

“The recent unification of official and market exchange rates should increase clarity about the regime.”

Exchange controls recently imposed, he said, would be phased out as confidence returns to the economy.

Ukraine’s central bank has been intervening since early October to lift the hryvnia currency from record lows last week. It began offering buy-sell rates for currencies this week after previously only selling or buying a currency.

Portugal said as credit pressures abate, tighter monetary policy will be needed to guard against inflation.

He said the government’s target of a balanced 2009 budget would be reviewed, although it could be achieved through expenditure restraint and a phased increase in energy tariffs.

Portugal said recapitalisation efforts for banks would ease liquidity pressures that could prolong an economic downturn.

“Decisive measures that have been taken to allocate public funds to recapitalise banks and to facilitate bank resolution processes will ensure that problems can be dealt with promptly,” he said.

“A proactive strategy to resolve corporate and household debt problems will also be essential to reduce banking sector vulnerabilities.”

(Editing by Andy Bruce)

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Key facts on Ukraine’s finances and politics
The International Monetary Fund approved a $16.5 billion (10.5 billion pound) loan programme for Ukraine late on Wednesday that includes monetary and exchange rate policy shifts to ease strains from the global financial crisis.

Following are key facts about why Ukraine is vulnerable to heightened risk aversion among international investors.

POLITICS

* Ukraine has been plagued by political turbulence since “Orange Revolution” protests in 2004 brought to power President Viktor Yushchenko and a team committed to moving closer to the West and joining NATO and the European Union.

Rows pitting Yushchenko against his former ally Yulia Tymoshenko, who twice served as his prime minister, undermined the “orange” camp and brought down governments.

Although the president dissolved parliament last month and called a December parliamentary election, he has since suspended that decree and a vote this year now seems unlikely.

* Upheaval — and trouble forming a stable ruling coalition — reflect Ukraine’s longstanding division into the nationalist west and centre, which looks to the EU and United States, and the Russian-speaking east and south, friendlier towards Moscow.

* Relations with Russia, bumpy throughout the post-Soviet period, have sunk to unprecedented lows over Yushchenko’s denunciation of Moscow’s military intervention in Georgia. Ukraine depends heavily on Moscow for energy supplies.

* The hryvnia currency hit an all-time low of 7.2 to the dollar on October 29, weakened by growing global risk aversion and regional tensions after Russia’s conflict with Georgia.

* Authorities have said they will formulate a new mechanism which would unify the market, cash and official rates.

* In mid-2008, the hryvnia had strengthened as far as 4.5/$, after the central bank abandoned a policy of keeping it in a corridor of 5.00-5.06 per dollar within a 4.95-5.25 band.

FINANCES

* Foreign exchange reserves fell to $33 billion at the end of October from $37.5 billion end-September, when they covered 3.7 months of imports.

* The current account deficit more than quadrupled in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period last year to $8.4 billion, or 5.8 percent of GDP.

* Analysts based outside Ukraine forecast its current account deficit at $21-25 billion, or 10-12 percent of gross domestic product, by year-end; Ukraine-based analysts give lower forecasts of about 6 percent of GDP.

* Prices for Ukraine’s steel exports are dropping, while Russia’s Gazprom has suggested next year’s price for gas imports could soar to $400 per 1,000 cubic metres from $179.50 now.

* The central bank risks encouraging imports and further widening the trade gap if it supports the hryvnia. However, letting it float would remove an important anchor for domestic and foreign businesses in Ukraine’s export-driven economy.

* Many people hold debt in foreign currency and would have to pay more to service it if the hryvnia weakened.

* Consumers are extremely sensitive to currency movements — they lost savings when the Soviet Union collapsed and again through hyper inflation and a currency crisis in the 1990s that more than halved the hryvnia’s value to about 4/$ and beyond.

* Ukraine was forced to restructure its debts in 2000 and made the final payments on that restructuring just last year.

FOREIGN DEBT

Ukraine’s foreign debt totalled just over $100 billion as of July 1, of which about $15 billion was government debt.

* Analysts estimate Ukraine’s 2009 external financing requirement to be $55-66 billion, of which $32-40 billion is in the private sector. Foreign banks own 40-42 percent of total banking assets and 25 percent of short-term banking debt is owed to parent banks.

(Compiled by Sabina Zawadzki)

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