Saturday, 29 November 2014

Another injustice in Egypt


Injustice for the people and justice for guilty


As though the events in Ferguson and protests around the world against state violence (at local and national levels) has not been learned, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was freed on acquittal from his 3 year long imprisonment and trials. Originally he was charged for corruption than murder against many civilians throughout the Egyptian Revolution in 2011. For three long years, Mubarak was shuttled back and forth from prison to the Supreme Court to the anger of many Egyptians who wanted a quick jail sentence involving life imprisonment. 

Police fear tear gas at Mubarak Verdict protesters



Many Egyptians see the Mubarak verdict by the Supreme Court as an insult and disrespect to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution that broke Mubarak's generational regime and led to his downfall. The remaining Mubarak supporters from 2011 have cheered the former, ailing president's release with glee while a majority of Egyptians have taken to the streets in Cairo, Alexandria, Helwan and elsewhere to condemn the trial and final verdict. Across Africa's most famous country, protesters from diverse political parties, religious and minority groups have continuously protested against political and judicial corruption, nepotism, hypocritical double standards in court proceeding and the courts bowing to wealthy defenders and jailed politicians while condemning human rights activists, the poor, political scientists, writers,etc to years if not live imprisonment for simply critiquing Mubarak, Mohammad Morsi, Sisi and standing up to the current military government. The future of Egypt continues to be discuss and debated by ordinary people in the face of the acquittal and protests against police violence and military.

Friday, 28 November 2014

World stands with Ferguson and justice


London in Solidarity


From North Korea to Palestine, London to France, the world has been and continues o watch the events in Ferguson and the United States in general. It is easy to forget for many who live in the U.S. that the rest of the world does watch and recieve news from the U.S. through their own local news programs and international news network ie Al Jazeera, CCTV from China, Japan International News, Zee Tv (India), CNN International and BBC. The mentioned channels can be viewed in the US through special satellite TV programing or online. As much as the U.S. would like to look inward when talking about the world, the world is also looking in at the United States.

The UN Torture Committee condemned Michale Brown's shooting as "excessive force and a tragedy." Of all the condemnation, North Korea came as a surprise critique of U.S. record on Human Rights. N. Korean Foreign Minister denounced the U.S. as a "tundra of human rights," rightfully pointing out that discrimination is openly practiced. Russia too also added its condemnation of the excessive use of force by police.

The French  Justice Minister Christaine Taubira, the first Black woman to become Justice minister was slammed by the French media and other ministers after condemning police brutality and violance against African Americans in the United States. She has also experienced discrimination and racism, being caricatured with bananas and references equating her with a monkey. Right wing and moderate cartoonists and pundits in France and across Europe have been reviving negative stereotypes from colonial images of African women as monkeys in subtle but direct ways and Africa is still portrayed in comedy as a tarzan like chaotic place. Stereotypes and jokes do have a real affect on people and it is these same stereotypes that have made many American police officers disregard African American children both boys and girls as lesser human beings. Nevermind the fact that officers would see a 12 year old kid with a toy gun as an automatic threat to adult men even when the kid is playing around.

No one knows the tribulations that Ferguson is going through like Palestinians who have also protested against violence in Ferguson and history of violence across the United States. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine recently denounced the racist injustice and supported resistance via protests by the people of Ferguson and United States. In London, hundreds of British youth and parents of all colors protested outside the United States Embassy to show solidarity and protest against police brutality in London and across the UK against Britons of color. The protesters held signs and chanted that "Black lives matter" to remind people that African people are part of humanity too. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ferguson Cartoons by Latuff

Cartoonist Carlos Latuff presents some great insights on the situation Ferguson that speak the truth. Please enjoy and share.

An Earthquake called Mike Brown



The laughing judge




Darren Wilson, murderer of Mike Brown acquitted



Mike Brown Murder verdict



Ferguson Police





The people have spoken






Missouri Governor Jay Nixon-Ferguson


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

USA protests the people want



Photo by Real News Network Baltimore protest in solidarity with Ferguson. The T-shirt reads, "I am Black, a part of Humanity."

 National Guard entering Ferguson



Day 2 of Ferguson protest and the whole country has literally joined the Ferguson protesters in solidarity demanding not only Justice for Michael Brown but also justice in general and a fix to the corrupt judicial system where cops who lie or exaggerate injuries go free. No matter if the victim is an unarmed citizen: African American, Latino, women, homeless, White, mentally handicap or youth in the wrong place at the wrong time. National Guard (2,200 in Ferguson) is currently guarding the Police Department and a few shopping centers seeming to blend together with the city police its hard at times to tell the difference in the crowd. PS the National Guard has not been used to aid in controlling and quelling protests since the 1960s.
From New York to Los Angeles to Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Brentwood, Missouri and Minneapolis and other cities and small towns, the youth especially youth of color and women are fed up with police, institutionalized racism and white supremacy system, the double standards in how the courts treat the young and old, voter suppression during the recent and previous national state elections, immigration, unemployment, rising tuition and crushing student debt, homelessness and the list of austerity measures can fill up a book.


Oakland joins the Solidarity protests and has a long history of protesting for human rights and against police brutality.

 



 Nation wide protests solidarity with Ferguson




The 101 (Highway 101 which is the lifeblood of LA and Pacific Coast) in LA county, the I-44 in Ferguson and St. Louis and smaller highways and major avenues have been blocked by thousands of people. Hundreds have marched to Times Square to the UN Plaza and down the usually congested FDR Drive and NYC's main avenue. Many are voicing their anger with their feet. The police some arm and others not are either walking alongside the protesters or have the roads and highways blocked to keep the protesters in line. No pun intended. The mainstream media and pundits for once are paying close attention to the protesters not taking the mass movement of youth and people both young and old. Keep in mind the protests are majority peaceful. Ferguson residents like their counterparts in CA, NY, GA and other states have been protecting local businesses.



British MP Diane Abbot protests in earlier months with Ferguson in London


New Yorkers protest the verdict and police violence
 
As for Thanksgiving, the protesters may be marching than to remind the country that there are still unaddressed issues.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Ferguson rising and on fire


Map of Ferguson in its relations to St. Louis and wider Missouri from oppeace.org


 Michael Brown's father calls for peaceful demonstrations



 Ferguson teens use drums to protest

The decision is in...And it comes as no surprise to anyone that Officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted. It does not mean that he won't be tried again or karmic justice won't find him. The jury deliberated for weeks now to deliver their decision anticipating the reaction from the people of Ferguson. Men, women and children in Ferguson have been peaceful and going about their lives even during the preceedings. Peaceful protesters and community activists have been holding candle light vigils and pleading with other less peaceful residents and outside instigators from near and  neighboring cities or states not to cause chaos. Michael Brown's parents have asked and called for calm protests and expressing anger without the police using military style force or Missouri governor Jay Nixon relying on the national guard. For weeks, the peaceful spoke, demanded and plead for calm, collective protest.

Peaceful protests in Ferguson prior to Verdict


Bassem Masri, filming Ferguson protests and arrests

Masri is citizen journalist from the Ferguson-St Louis area now known for his unconventional streaming journalism


However, tonight the deaf and violent instigators and protesters who refuse to heed the warning of Brown's parents or thousands of non violent demonstrations have made Ferguson look terrible with the police car burnings and smashing African American owned businesses. The violent actions go against the collective movement of Ferguson and the pro-peace protests occurring for over 105 days in Ferguson since the protests in August. Many people around the country and around the world especially in Palestine understand the frustrations and hypocritical nature and injustice American judicial system. Many peoples around the world emphasize with the humanity of African American people. The world sees with their own eyes and have spoken out against the violence, police brutality, dehumanization and character assassination faced by African Americans in Ferguson and elsewhere across the United States. African Americans emphasize and understand police brutality around the world. Ferguson is rising and many people are waking up to the injustice system that has long dehumanized and denied overdue protection for African Americans. Ferguson rebellion, uprising or protests.

From Ferguson to Palestine: Solidarity and support in pictures and words 

Acronym TV


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Liberia's Image rebranding following Ebola

 Liberia and its neighbors Sierra Leone, Guinea are currently recovering from the Ebola outbreak earlier this year. All three countries have reported fewer cases and more citizens are suffering the 21 incubation period. Liberia has taken a heavy hit in how the world (not just China, US) views it. Liberia and its neighbors have been stigmatized by Ebola and negatively stereotyped as though nothing else positive has occurred in the country. The Liberian economy has also taken a blow from the outbreak and it will take awhile for the economy to revive itself. Many positive things have been happening around Liberia such as economic growth, new construction works, reopening of second larger hospitals and universities, upcoming elections (now postponed due to Ebola) and reviving airline routes to Monrovia from airlines who originally closed their routes when the outbreaks began in August. The article was first published on TLC Africa and written by Liberian author and policy analyst Francis. W. Nyepon. Enjoy.



One of the many new constructions around Monrovia, Liberia


LIBERIA: Rebranding Our Nation’s Image from Ebola
Francis W. Nyepon
Liberia has an international problem. Ebola has marred the image and identity of our country shoddily. The virus has shaking the country to its core. It has become a nuisance to our democratic governance process and remarkable GDP growth, which was trumpeted just a few short months ago, as one of the ten fastest growing economies in the world. Regrettably, Ebola has trashed and stained that progressive record and image of Liberia by defining the country, as a place of contagious epidemic, marked by devastation, annihilation and death.
This tragic misfortune has become a source of unwanted stigma, shame and humiliation for our country and people the world over. This global misconception about Liberia needs to be debunked and that negative image about our country refashioned. For example, Say the name Liberia in any part of the world and immediately people have a negative stereotypical image and false sense of what our country has become. Overnight, Ebola has negatively defined what Liberia is and who Liberians are. This is not right. Global attitudes and behaviors are having direct negative consequences on our people, economy, travel and culture.
If immediate action isn’t taken, the stigma will make it more difficult to fashion the necessary changes that are required to improve the lives and living standards of our people. The distinctive characteristic of ‘our Land of Liberty’ as Africa’s first independent republic endowed with an abundance of natural resources, precious extractive raw materials and friendly people have been relegated to appalling ideas like travel ban and visa restrictions that reflect the global reality of essentially wanting to quarantine every Liberian because of Ebola.
Now, Liberia is faced with the need to address the crippling impact of this negative image of our country brought on by Ebola. It is therefore imperative to Rebrand Liberia. The aim of this campaign should be to improve our country’s image and reputation. As Liberians, we cannot simply wait and expect things to turn out for the better. Our country has been sensationalized by western media, which is not a reflection of what is really happening on the ground. We need to adopt a proactive stance in rebranding our country’s image. By Rebranding Liberia, perhaps we will all realize that when it comes to image, being in possession of the truth is not enough; the truth has to be sold. And, this is what we must do for ourselves and for our country. If we are to survive this negative image of Ebola, then we must market Liberia to the world. We are capable of escaping this stigma by strategically targeting and marketing an all-inclusive and sweeping message to a global audience. Liberia needs to be rebranded globally as a place that is open for business and investment with tranquility offering political stability, liberalism and free market.
Promoting this new image; however, calls for broadcasting a global declaration that visitors and investors must be made to realize that they aren't going to enter Liberia from the Roberts International Airport and go directly into an Ebola infested, disease-ridden and contaminated death-trap. We can begin by first identifying our competitive advantages and build on them. Second, we need to put Liberia in the position to once again compete and successfully attract foreign healthcare volunteers, tourists, trade, investment, exports and even better relations with other countries. Rebranding Liberia should seek to emphasize our country’s distinct characteristics in order to change the global perception as an Ebola infested nation. This can be accomplished by creating more favorable conditions and targeted messages at specific audiences. Living in Liberia does not mean that one is infected or contaminated with Ebola or on death row serving a life sentence of ultimate death. Liberians must no longer accept stigmatization as the cost for survival. And, we cannot sit idle and continue to allow others to narrowly define who we are as a people and country. This stigma and negative global image cannot be allowed to follow our country and people. It must be shaken-off. Our success or failure can accurately be chartered, and questions of reputation, image, identity and hence marketing and branding will become central to our competitive edge of removing the stigma of Ebola.
Liberia have lots of products that speak volume about the strength, heritage and possession of  our country, which goes far beyond the sudden outbreak and rapid spread of Ebola that have fatally claimed many innocent lives. The virus has never before been known to West Africa. Consequently, the world needs to know that Ebola is not holding Liberians hostage. We’ve got a fix on the virus and we are making progress with fewer cases and low infection rates evident by empty beds at Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) due to remarkable policies and programs being implemented by our government and international partners.
Let the world know that the majority of Liberians are living a full and productive life. And that our country is filled of diversity, where over 4.4 million people live, work play and perform daily routines filled with pleasant, dynamic and vibrant lives chock-full with vivacious and exciting lifestyles. The world must be reminded that English is the official language of Liberia with 1.9billion in GDP and 0.4billion in debt. Liberians should also tell the world that our country is endowed with an abundance of natural resources, which includes diamonds, gold, iron ore, rubber, oil, gas and NOT Ebola. Liberia has the world’s largest plantation of planted natural rubber, responsible for over one third of all automobile tires manufactured in the world. Our Flag of Convenience, allows over one fourth of the world’s ocean bound maritime fleet to sail the seven oceans of the world with pride, security and peace.  
Liberian can pompously proclaim to the world that we are a resilient people. Nothing can stop us from thriving after Ebola. The virus is a short-term challenge, but in the long-term Liberia will rise again and always be an attractive place to live, work, play and do business. Liberia is a small country, but in this case, small is good because it can easily be managed and governed with requisite democratic principles aligned with the formulation of required economic and social policies to deal effectively with ignorance, disease and poverty; hence Ebola.
In order to change the negative global perception of Liberia and the outbreak of Ebola, we need to dispel the common myths that exist by building a superior education and healthcare delivery system. We must also do this by building affordable public housing and instituting community-based investment programs that are strengthen adequate resources to prepare ordinary Liberians for future challenges. This author believes that our core values must shape our country because those ideals have longevity, and must engage citizens and national organizations at home while winning recognition and respect abroad.  Those values inevitably transcend our growing democracy, election cycles and special interests by capturing the core of our country and people and what we offer the world.
The main challenge to rebranding Liberia and bringing this global misconception to an immediate end is overcoming the stigma that Liberia is consumed by Ebola and anyone coming in contact with Liberians or anyone visiting Liberia foretells instant death. This global misconception can be solved by bringing a considerably higher volume of adjusted messages to target audiences in order to change hearts and minds. We need to break down audiences, get them to know us better, send the right message to them, and then get them to visit Liberia to show just how spectacular Liberia still is. At the end of the day, we want people to say, ‘Wow! I didn’t know this about Liberia. Liberians everywhere, have a moral obligation and responsibility to educate the world about Ebola and how it can be controlled and eradicated. The main challenge is to encourage people to visit Liberia and share benefits of what Liberia offers the world in order to tear down all the walls of misconception about Liberia and the Ebola virus.

Francis Nyepon: Author, Policy AnalystEnvironmentalist & Entrepreneur
<> fnyepon@aol.com / ducorwaste@aol.com

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Un fracaso in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso and its famous neighbors in West Africa

Burkinabe people's attempt to overthrow Blaise Compaore overshadow by military coup



Burkina Faso: Un Coup consititutionel?




West Africa has the misfortune of making the mainstream news when something goes wrong. Rarely does a West African country's positive side and ordinary coming and goings of the people make it to media pundits' desktops. The region also holds the record for witnessing over twenty plus coups in the past fifty years carried out covertly by CIA, MI5, French intelligence and indirectly by military leaders supported by Western powers against existential threats from progressive leaders who attempt to deliver on their promises of justice for ordinary people in the region. Western support for military and civilian coups used to be based on "saving" the world from the threat of communism and socialism that was turned into the ultimate existential threat to the world. Now the argument is the rise and spread of terrorism which has replaced communism as the new red scare and greenlighted military intervention in West Africa and Middle East as a method of containing terrorism. NATO still exists to enforce regime change to regional leaders and powers that threaten US hegemony or do not care for Western political or economic systems. Even when the UN calls for diplomacy or a peaceful resolution to coups or military conflicts, the United States and its European allies supersedes the wishes of most UN members by having the final say in how it responds to coups and power struggles.

The former President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore has been fortunate to still be alive after the landlocked country witnessed yet another coup. Ironically, Compaore himself came to power through a bloody coup against the popular revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara in 1985. He fought tooth and nail to keep his 27 year hold on power in tact unofficially becoming Burkina Faso's President for Life to borrow the euphemism of the pundits and Western leaders. Supported by U.S. and France for most of his rule, Compaore has watched his allies and nemesis removed from office in neighboring countries ie Mali, Niger, Liberia, Cote d Ivoire with the war between Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara.  Compaore was claimed to be tied to war criminal and former Liberian President Charles Taylor and Libyan leader Maumar Gaddhafi through his personal support of Taylor's war against the Liberian people and providing Gaddhafi with political support. Burkina Faso has long fallen behind its neighbors in infrastructure and educational development in Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou and other towns. Economically, it has been growing but suffered from low gold prices, lack of access to sea ports and strong transport infrastructure. Many Burkinabes have migrated to Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Ghana in search of jobs and greater economic opportunities. When post election violence broke out in Cote d'Ivoire following the election of Ouattara, many Burkinabes returned home only to be invited  back by Ouattara as part of Ivorian people. In turn, Blaise Compaore has been welcomed and granted stay in the country by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara as a long time friend. Many West African countries share a fraternal cultural and societal link with their neighbors. Its not uncommon for political leaders and ordinary citizens to move across borders even in times of instability and find some shelter from the chaos in their home countries. Compoare was helped to safety in Cote d'Ivoire by France who has been helping many corrupt West African leaders find refuge in France or other European and neighboring African countries for decades. Mbotu in D.R. Congo is another leader along with Central African Republic's leaders Francois Bozize and Mali's ex leader Amadou Toure.

From the South: Burkinabe military overthrows Blaise Compaore



The Burkinabe people have continuously protested French meddling in the country's local affairs and corrupt and shady rule of Compaore. The Burkinabe military is currently serving as the care taker government and like Egyptian and Central African rebels refuse to step down from power to the anger of Burkinabes. Post coup promises mean little to Burkinabes who see the military as using excessive force against the people. Nevertheless, the military agreed to a transition of power to civilian rule.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

AU medical team arrives in Liberia to battle Ebola

Ebola Prevention from the perspective of some women who wear the niqab. Cartoon by Khalil Bendib

Ebola is slowly dissipating in Liberia and in Sierra Leone and Guinea. However, Mali is currently being hit with a few new cases of Ebola for the past week rising fears of another 2nd Ebola outbreak in neighboring countries ie Senegal, Niger and elsewhere. No country is taking the outbreak in Mali lightly. In the midst of the Ebola cases in Mali, Burkina Faso is also keeping a lid on political instability following the coup of President Bloise Camporare. The virus spread to Burkina Faso would be double chaos for the landlocked country who has many issues on its plate at the moment.

Hundreds of doctors from across the world from Cuba, China, Uganda to other African Union countries and a few EU countries have came to Sierra Leone and Liberia's hospitals' aid to halt the deadly virus in its track. Mother Nature has also helped in the effort with the end of the rainy season and beginning of the dry season will allow emergency vehicles and personnel to reach patients in need of hospitals and clinics. The African Union's ECOWAS Medical division has sent a second team to Liberia. ECOWAS has been following Ebola and planning with deliberations and feet dragging over how to address the chaos and medical service disruption Ebola  has caused. Liberian and other world leaders are constantly reminding the world that Ebola and any global outbreak affects the whole world.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf ended the State of Emergency that had been affect for some three months across Liberia bringing relief to many Liberians who are nervously and cautiously waiting for Ebola's final demise in the country. Community awareness programs and education have played a role in reducing the spread and also calming ordinary people's fears in the cities and countryside. Monrovia has slowly beamed back to life as businesses are beginning to operate at their usual long hours. Schools from preschool to senior high school still remain closes until further notice. Taxi and Pem-Pem drivers are returning to their usual crowded routes across Monrovia and other cities. However, the government wants to remind many people that Ebola isn't entirely gone and the current happiness shouldn't be euphoric just yet. Survivors are still facing stigmatization by family and friends in all three countries and countries reporting new cases.

President Johnson declares end of State of Emergency

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

WAR is NOT a Video game

 

Once Upon a Time: Our enemies were our allies and our allies are enemies. Amazing how Russia was twice the West's ally in two world wars. Poster from World War I.

 

 The Neccessary War : BBC Doc on World War I



It's been a hundred years since World War I, 69 years since the end of World War II and 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. We are all still feeling the affects. Across Europe, the economic recession dare we say a depression is frustrated both the unemployed, retired and fed up youth. Belgium just witnessed a 3 day long protests by some 100,000 people representing workers, youth and unions clashing with the police in Brussels, the capital of the European Union.







Ukraine is still seeing its Eastern half being bombarded by its own government on the pretext that the Russian boogeymen are planning to invade Ukraine to back the Donestsk People's Republic rebels. The Ukrainian government has labeled the rebels as terrorists and Russia by extension as a revived Stalinist inspired dictatorship bent on redrawing the borders of Ukraine and neighboring countries. While Russian and Ukrainian governments go back and forth calling each other out before the world, ordinary Ukrainians are being bombed and hiding in basements and shelters built during World War II and reinforced in Cold War Era. Images from Ukraine and Russia and United States locking horns with each other makes it look like World War III is on the horizon. Meanwhile, Austrian and American soldiers are rushing off to join the Kurds against their fight with ISIS in Syria overriding earlier condemnation of ISIS for recruiting Western youth in their brutal war against the Kurds.

World War I in numbers





Remains of soldiers and artifacts from World War I are still being dug up in Belgium. Even 100 year old bombed left on the trenches in towns such as Ypres are still active. A few years ago an active bomb from World War II caused the evacuation of a German village. Both wars noted for their brutality and use of real Weapons of Mass Destruction from chemicals, aerial bombings, nuclear weapons, mustard gas, etc show how environmentally damaging and polluting wars can be. Even with the evidence, many countries still haven't learned from the consequences of the Great War or the War to end all wars as World War I was named. It was the same post World War I destruction, feelings of frustration and having your country knocked down to nothing and economic collapse that gave rise to fascists in Italy, Franco and his nationalist Republicans in Spain, the Young Turks in Turkey, Stalin's consolidation of power in Russia and of course Nazism in Germany.

Bloody History of Fascism



In the United States, war is harped as a valiant and noble fight for civilization and Democracy. Soldiers are celebrated as heroes of the highest honor. They are worshiped at every level of society even in schools and baseball and football games you will see selected soldiers or decorated veterans singing national anthem or an old patriotic song referencing America's beauty and greatness. There is nothing wrong with supporting the troops or saluting their sacrifices. However, the way the United States keeps jumping into new wars over the last decade, threatening to flex its military muscles at Russia, Syria, ISIS and rising regional powers has some Americans are questioning the frenzy of troop worship. Are the wars worth it? The Marines, Navy and military are advertising for new recruits on a near weekly bases on TV and online despite the end of American military occupation of Afghanistan and reshuffling troops to Syria and sending "advisers" to Iraq. It was the same advisers who eventually gave way to actual American troops landing in Vietnam in the early 1960s. Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are returning home finding difficulty adjusting to civilian life and economic recession in the United States. Many are suffering with PTSD, physiological injuries and experiencing horrific nightmares. Many veterans of all ages have seek helped for their visible and invisible wounds. Few have turned to violent stand offs with the police, hostage taking and recently hopping the White House fence.

WWI poster targeting kids
The fact that the term "civilization" is thrown around by pro war media pundits and supporters including pro national defense industries is telling. Colonialism and its worldview of civilization vs the unicivilized is treated in such a non chalant way in American media and in schools it is seen as part of the past. something that the victims of colonial brutality should just "get over it" like slavery or Africa's maltreatment by Western states that continue to this day.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Catalunya shows its backbone


 Symbolic Independence: Resultats de Catalunya mes de 80%



Over a million Catalans and 80% of Catalunya voted Yes for Independence in a symbolic poll that had Spain foaming at the mouth and ears blowing smoke. The symbolic vote irked Spain, who has made even de facto independence for any of its unique regions illegal in the 1978 Constitution. In addition, the Spanish Prime Minister Roya, economists and media pundits used the same economic fears and financial anxiety used by the UK PM and London financiers to scare Scotland away from becoming a full blown independent state in the same vein of South Sudan. Catalunya was supposed to vote for independence and becoming its own state last Sunday November 9th. However Spanish judiciary and constitutional experts threatened the Catalan independentistas and Pro-independence leaders including Artur Mes with serious legal persecution if Catalunya showed its backbone and went ahead with formal independence referendum.



For now, Catalunya will press ahead with prepping itself for the real independence vote in the near future. The Catalonians (Catalan) are taking concrete baby steps towards the eventual birth of an independent Catalunya. Currently the region has its own Parliament, police force, contributes more than 10% to the Spanish GDP, its major city Barcelona is a recognized World City and economic hub. Its a coastal region that has access to neighboring markets and a major sea route. As been said before, Cataluyna has its own language, unique culture and hertiage, world renown poets, writers and artists, traditions and so on. Catalonian culture has long been lumped together as representing an overarching and diverse Spanish culture. However, the Catalonians have remained the world that they similar to the Basque are unique and do not feel they are or share anything in common with Spaniards across Spain no matter how long Catalunya has been fused with Spain. For most of the 20th century, the Catalan language and culture was repressed under the Dictator Francisco Franco who emphasized an all encompassing Spanish national identity and stamped out any unique regional identity such as Basque or Catalan. The history of an independent Catalunya throughout the Middle Ages, repressive policy by Franco and current economic recession/ depression like environment still haunting Spain 7 years after the Financial crisis, Catalans have said loud and clear enough with this.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Judiazing Jerusalem



There's been talk for years of Israel's stronghold on all of Jerusalem including Occupied East Jerusalem part of the Old City that is not recognized as part of Israel's legal territory. Jerusalem is not recognized as the "eternal capital" of Israel proper either. Which is why Tel Aviv often serves as the defacto capital for many international diplomatic missions and embassies. Successive Israeli governments even before 1967 War have allowed illegal Jewish settlers from Israel and abroad including the U.S. and France to take over private Palestinian homes under an apartheid like grab of property that in other countries would amount to a quiet ethnic cleansing. Many settler groups have used dubious, false even and shady legal documents and have gotten the High Court of Israel to side with settlers (after aiming to aid individual Palestinian cases) in obtaining Palestinian homes and lands including agricultural lands and schools in Occupied East Jerusalem and other Palestinian neighborhoods such as Silwan, Beit Hanoun, Sheik Jarrah. Israeli government have pressed ahead with new/ continual construction on many empty settlements across Occupied Jerusalem and West Bank violating international law and going against the UN Resolutions holding Israel as accountable occupier and condemning the "Middle East's only Democracy" for its human rights violations against Palestinians.


Lost of Palestinian homes and agricultural lands to illegal Israeli settlements ie colonies

Not welcomed in Jerusalem

Palestinian residents of Jerusalem have been banned entry to Al Aqsa Mosque which is adjacent to the Dome of the Rock known as Haram al Sharif or Temple Mount for the first time ever. Palestinian men from 14 and up are regularly denied entry into Jerusalem as well as the holy sites during Jewish and Christian holidays (despite Palestinian Christians living in Jerusalem and West Bank) on a yearly basis. Israel argues the ban is to prevent terrorism. Half of the world's Muslims and Christians have called out Israeli government on its treatment of religious minorities in Jerusalem and the country. Israel lifted the ban a few days ago. Palestinians both men and women being denied access to holy and cultural sites are not uncommon. Israeli Jews are allowed to enter the Al Aqsa Compound occasionally despite the arguments that such movements go against the unwritten laws and codes about non Muslims entering and praying at Haram Al Sharif. The Islamic Waqf of Palestine that monitors the holy sites in Jerusalem and elsewhere across Occupied Palestine reiterated the argument that Israel is purposely pushing Palestinian people's buttons by provoking Palestinian residents into frustration and anger over their second class treatment in freedom of movement and disregard for Palestine's cultural and religious hertiage. Israel's double standards is part of a half century policy of making Palestinians uncomfortable in their own city and pushing them out in the name of making Jerusalem only accessible to the Jewish people. As though the world's Jews have asked Israel to represent and speak for them every time something is done for Israel's self interest. The whole world including Russia has shamed and exposed Israel's for its hypocrisy and its crying wolf on anti semetism, exaggerating threats and Iran when it is rightfully critique for going against humanism and the rest of the world's demands to end the 47 year old military industrial and structural occupation of what remains of historical Palestine.

 

Press TV: The Debate - Al-Quds Judaization (P.1) 

 

The Debate - Al-Quds Judaization (P.2)

 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Mare Nostrum: Italy's Migrant Rescue Mission

 Journeyman Pictures on the long journey of African and Mideast migrants



Migrants made up of refugees and asylum seekers have not let the winter season or choppy waves of the Mediterranean stop their long journey to a safe haven in Europe. Syrians, Libyans, Eritreans, Nigerians, Tunisians, Somalis and a diversity of other countries risk their lives to trek across land and sea facing harsh climates, weather, police brutality from their temporary hideouts in transit countries and brutal human traffickers to find safety and survive as human beings. Migrants continue to face alienation, demonization by society and media, scapegoating and unfriendliness welcomes from local people in many of the European countries where they land. EU law requires that migrants and illegal immigrants who travel to a third country be sent back to the first EU country that they originally landed in. Most people don't wake up wanting migrate or leave their countries for foreign soil or territory. Many wouldn't face death to travel thousands of miles through hell and back for greater economic opportunities or necessary safety nets. But people continue to move continual the exodus and migrations from Africa and Middle East to neighboring and Western countries. Economic instability, high unemployment especially among youth, persecution against culture to ethnicity/nationality to religion, feeling of hopelessness, impatience with the high wall of redtape bureaucracy, a lack of justice and judicial merry go around, corruption and hypocritical support for corrupt and oppressive governments and systems by the West, drive the mass movement of migrants toward the developed countries or the Global North.

Mare Nostrum is Latin for Our Sea and was used by the Roman Empire to refer to their dominance over the Mediterranean Sea.


Tiempo de Solea por Ojo de Brujo sobre la historia universal de la migra


El Mediterreneo para todos?

Italy and its large islands Sicily and tiny island Lampedusa not far from Tunisia have seen an influx of some 10,000 migrants throughout the world. The Italian Navy and police have been handling and aiding migrants in seeking medical help. With more frequency, Italian police have been manhandling frighten and disorientated migrants both men, youth and women from capsized and seized boats. Among the migrants are occasionally illegal migrants unable to obtain legal documents to enter the European Union. Europe alongside Japan, has one of the strictest immigration policies in the world making it near impossible for migrants in need to have easier access to long term residency, employment, citizenship, applying for asylum and protection, etc. The right wing in Europe and United States are riding on a tidal wave of anti-immigrant/migrant fear mongering, economic depression and media stereotypes on how large influx of migrants and asylum seekers drain the country or state. Economic depression and high unemployment frustration across the developed countries keeps local people enraged over the prospects of sharing vital critical infrastructure and resources with immigrants. Anger over immigration policy is tied to wages, overcrowd schools, overwhelmed the healthcare system, over flood the welfare system, don't pay taxes, take jobs from native residents, should assimilate and speak the local languages. There are hundreds of other points made about migrants and asylum seekers being a burden on the host country. The litany becomes right wing grievance of being ignored and demonized by the government both national and local.

The irony is when 15th-16th century Europeans went to the Americas and Australia acting holier than thou, they were not met with the fortress attitude of today's Europe towards immigration. Some of the early conquistadors and colonialists claiming someone else's homeland in the name of King, Queen and God would be considered illegal immigrants by today's standards. Europeans never thought that one day that the world's people would migrate to Europe or demand that rights to simply enter Fortress Europe as Europeans had entered and lived freely after massacring or putting down indigenous rebellions "discovered" the so called New World in 15th century.