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When War has Passed – Vietnam

| April 3, 2008

October 23, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

South Africa gold mine fires 8,500 striking workers

Press TV – October 23, 2012

South African miner Gold Fields has sacked over 8000 of striking workers after they refused to return to work at the KDC East mine near the city of Johannesburg, a spokesman says.

“All 8,500 people who were on strike did not come back. They did not return to work, so we have issued dismissal letters to all of them,” spokesman Sven Lunsche announced on Tuesday.

“We have now reached a stage where we can’t hold off anymore. Our hands were forced and we have now done it.”

Lunsche further stated that the workers have 24 hours to appeal their dismissal.

Workers at the last striking mine of the world’s fourth gold producer in Carletonville, southwest of Johannesburg, ignored a final deadline set for 4:00 pm (14:00 GMT).

Tens of thousands working in South African mines –mostly located near the commercial hub of Johannesburg– have been on strike for more than a month.

The strikes have paralyzed production in the country, which accounts for around seven percent of global mine products.

In August, clashes between striking miners and police left 46 miners dead at Lonmin platinum mine in the South African North West Province.

The strikes have damaged South Africa’s reputation as an investment destination.

South Africa possesses nearly 80 percent of the world’s known platinum reserves. The country’s mining sector directly employs around 500,000 people and accounts for nearly one-fifth of the country’s gross domestic product.

October 23, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honduras: Court Quashes “Model Cities”; Investors Eye Jamaica

Weekly News Update on the Americas | October 21, 2012

By a 13-2 vote on Oct. 17, the Honduran Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) ruled that Decree 283-2010, the constitutional change enabling the creation of privatized autonomous regions known as “Model Cities,” is unconstitutional. The decision confirmed an Oct. 3 ruling by a five-member panel of the CSJ; the full court had to vote because the panel’s ruling was not unanimous [see Update #1147]. The “model cities” concept was promoted by North American neoliberal economists as a way to spur economic development in Honduras. The autonomous zones, officially called Special Development Regions (RED), would “create hundreds of thousands of jobs in Honduras,” according to Grupo MGK, the US startup that was to manage the first project. (Honduras Culture and Politics 10/17/12)

Grupo MGK reacted to the CSJ decision by pulling out of Honduras. “Michael Strong, MGK’s president, went to Jamaica and met with high officials of that country and will bring the money that he was thinking of investing in Honduras,” the company’s Honduran representative, Guillermo Peña, said on Oct. 19 during an appearance on Channel 10 television. “Since there aren’t the conditions we asked for [in Honduras], we’ll bring the capital to other countries of the world,” Peña added. MGK was carrying on conversations with various Caribbean and Eastern European countries, according to Peña, who claimed that Greece would be attractive for investment, since “this plan allows them to get out of the economic crisis.” (El Heraldo (Tegucigalpa) 10/19/12; La Prensa (Tegucigalpa) 10/19/12)

October 23, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Illegal Occupation | , , | Leave a comment

Those Despicable Foreigners

By Craig Murray on October 23, 2012

I have travelled this world much more extensively than either Obama or Romney, and I still do. I find everywhere, even in areas of conflict and economic difficulty, the vast majority of people are friendly, even kind, and have very similar aspirations, across cultures, to personal development and emotional fulfilment.

The striking thing about tonight’s US Presidential “foreign policy” debate, is when it did occasionally discuss foreign policy, the world out there was discussed not as a place of vast potential, but as a deeply disturbing place full of foreigners who are, apparently, all evil except the Israelis, who are perfect.

The vast benefits from cooperation and trade with “abroad” were not mentioned once that I noticed (though I confess the thing was so awful my attention wandered occasionally). Europe apparently doesn’t exist, other than Greece which is nothing more than a terrible warning of the dangers of not being right wing enough.

The correct attitude to all these foreigners that God so unfortunately and inexplicably placed on this planet, is apparently to maintain incredibly large armed forces, murder people with drones (they were both very enthusiastic on this one), place sanctions on them and declare them “currency manipulators”. The only surprising note was that both agreed that they could not kill everyone in Iran.

But “We can’t just kill our way out of this mess” was spoken with regret, rather than as an affirmation of the possibilities of cooperation instead. What a grim and joyless world view. Maybe I had better not step out of this hotel into Africa this morning; those Islamists might get me.

October 23, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

Four fishermen arrested in the Gaza Sea, fishing boat confiscated

PCHR | October 22, 2012

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns continued Israeli violations against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip, and expresses concern about the escalation of these violations, which have resulted in the arrest of four fishermen and the confiscation of a fishing boat belonging to a fisherman from the Gaza Strip.

According to the findings of investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 10:00 on Monday, 22 October 2012, Israeli naval forces positioned off Al-Waha resort northwest of Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire on a group of fishermen and arrested four fishermen while they were fishing 2 nautical miles offshore. The arrested men were identified as: Ramez Izat Baker (41), Khamis Sobhi Baker (43), Arafat Mohammad Najib Baker (20), Bayan Khamis Baker (17). In his testimony to a PCHR fieldworker, ‘Eid Mohssen ‘Eid Baker (23) from the northern Rimal neighborhood in Gaza City, who was near the scene at the time of the attack, reported the following:

“At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 22 October 2012, I was fishing with my brothers on my father’s boat near al-Soudanya area, in the north of Gaza, nearly 2 nautical miles off the shore, while my cousins’ boat was fishing approximately 200 meters away from us, when I saw an Israeli gunboat approaching us. One of the soldiers used a speakerphone and told us to sail towards the north, however, we went south and continued fishing. 15 minutes later, the gunboat came again at great speed and suddenly they started shooting randomly at us. One of the soldiers ordered us to stop, but we kept sailing south in escape of the open fire. My cousin Ramez Baker’s boat suddenly stopped after a bullet hit the boat engine, and the Israeli gunboat approached it, to a distance of nearly 30 meters. I saw the four fishermen, Ramez, Arafat, Khamis and his son Bayan, take off their clothes, jump in the water amidst the continuous shooting, and swim towards the Israeli gunboat. The soldiers confiscated the fishermen’s boat and transported it towards the northern side.”

It should be noted that Israeli forces have recently imposed more restrictions on the work of fishermen in the Gaza Strip. Since 2000, fishermen have been denied their right to sail and fish freely. Israeli forces reduced the area of fishing from 20 nautical miles, which was established upon in the agreements signed between Palestinians and Israel, to 6 nautical miles in 2008. However, Israeli forces have continued to prevent fishermen from going beyond 3 nautical miles since 2009. As a result, fishermen are prevented from reaching areas beyond that distance where fish is abundant. Sometimes, Israeli forces also chase fishermen within the 3 nautical mile area. Consequently, Palestinian fishermen have lost 85% of their source of income, because they are denied access to Palestinian waters.

PCHR condemns the recurrence of violations committed by the Israeli naval forces against Palestinian fishermen. PCHR believes that these violations are committed in the context of a policy of collective punishment against civilians, and that they are aimed at preventing civilians from meeting their subsistence needs. Such actions are prohibited under international humanitarian and international human rights law.

PCHR holds that the closure imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip is illegal and constitutes a form of collective punishment, prohibited under Article 33 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. It is also a war crime, the recurrence of which must be prevented by all parties, including the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention. This view is maintained in legal opinions issued by many international legal experts and UN bodies concerned with human right and international humanitarian law.

In light of the above, PCHR:

  • Calls upon Israel to immediately release the arrested fishermen, return the confiscated boat to its owners, and compensate the victims for any material or psychological damages caused by the attack;
  • Calls upon Israel to respect the right to freedom of movement of fishermen in the Gaza Strip, to immediately put an end to its policy of chasing and arresting Palestinian fishermen, to allow them to sail and fish freely in the Gaza Sea;
  • Calls upon Israel to put an end to the illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which constitutes a form of collective punishment, prohibited under Article 33 of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War; and
  • Calls upon the international community and the High Contacting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfil their legal and moral obligations, apply the rules of international law, and put a just end to the suffering of the Palestinian people.

October 23, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment