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Colombia: Piedad Córdoba Ratifies Intention to Run for President

Prensa Latina | June 1, 2013

piedad_cordobaLa Paz – While visiting this capital, Colombian ex senator Piedad Córdoba expressed her intention to run for president in the next elections in her country, according to press reports.

Cordoba visited the cities of Sucre and La Paz to film the next chapters of the program “Causa Justa” (Just Cause) to be broadcast by Telesur television network, and took the opportunity to ratify her position to become the first woman to be at the helm of Colombia.

According to the newspaper Cambio, Córdoba also extolled the transformations undergone by the Bolivian capital in the past few years: “you can really see progress in Bolivia, the big changes and improvements in La Paz!”, she said.

Cordoba, 58, has worked systematically for the rights of women, ethnic minorities and human rights in her country, besides being involved, in 2007, in efforts to reach an agreement between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) guerrillas and the then government of President Alvaro Uribe.

Since 2011, in the wake of her dismissal as senator by the Attorney General’s Office of Colombia, she started to work with Telesur in the Causa Justa program, which highlights conflicts hitting the region, as told by political, social and cultural figures, notes Cambio newspaper.

She is in Bolivia “for a second season of the program in order to film a documentary on discrimination, bilingual education and the indigenous presence of President Evo Morales,” added the source.

June 1, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jewish Chronicle apologises and pays “substantial” damages to CEO and Trustees of British charity

MEMO | June 1, 2013

The London-based Jewish Chronicle has issued an apology to the CEO and trustees of a British relief agency after accusing it of being designated as a terrorist organisation by the US government and diverting donations to fund terror and to support the families of suicide bombers. The newspaper has also paid “substantial damages” to Dr Othman Moqbel, the CEO of Human Appeal International and trustees Dr Hussein Nagi and Mr Mohamad Yousef, as well as their legal costs in respect of action taken in relation to articles published February last year in the JC’s print and web editions.

Dr Moqbel expressed his regret that legal action was necessary. “All of this could have been avoided if the Jewish Chronicle had carried out due diligence,” he said. “We are now focused on rebuilding the reputation and trust of our Charity.”

Human Appeal’s CEO added, “We hope that in future the media will take due care when publishing such serious allegations and will not allow people with an agenda to mislead them.”

Apologising for the offending articles, the Jewish Chronicle said, “We now accept that these allegations are untrue and apologise unreservedly to Human Appeal International and to those individuals who are involved in its operation.” The damages paid to the CEO and trustees are, the JC continued, “an indication of our regret”.

Human Appeal International joins a growing list of Muslim-run British charities which have been successful in challenging through the legal system similar accusations made by the media and other bodies.

June 1, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Turkey’s Erdogan Gets Taste of His Own Medicine?

By Daniel McAdams | LRC | June 1, 2013

After nearly a week of increasing public protests in Turkey, ostensibly over government plans to turn a last bit of green space in Istanbul into another shopping mall, matters became far more serious on Friday. Riot police descended on the protestors with various forms of tear gas (and possibly worse chemical and biological agents — raw sewage?) and water cannon, blasting everyone and everything in sight including non-participants. When they caught protestors, they beat them violently and brutally, as can be seen in this video. Photographs show that police fired tear gas into crowded underground metro stations, leading to panic and worse. Istanbul looks like a war zone.

Today indications are that protests have only increased in number and fury in response to the violence with which they were met yesterday.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come under increased criticism at home over his enthusiastic support for those fighting to overthrow the government in neighboring Syria. Turkish government support for the rebels came early and has included providing safe havens for the Islamist insurgents and safe passage into Syria from Libya, Yemen, and other countries of the insurgents’ origin.

Erdogan’s stated policy of “zero problems with neighbors” has been turned on its head by his support for the rebels fighting next door. Public dissatisfaction with the Turkish government’s policy of encouraging an Islamist insurgency next door has steadily increased.

The insurgents fighting the Syrian government were still unsatisfied by the level of support they received from their Turkish hosts and they took to false flag attacks in places like Reyhanli and a planned false-flag sarin gas attack on southern Turkey in Adana in attempt to provoke a Turkish (and NATO) military response against Syria.

Suddenly the tables are turned at home.

Faced with a nascent but growing protest movement of his own, Erdogan expresses a very different view toward the people in the street. The Prime Minister strongly supported the “Arab Spring” overthrow in Egypt and supports the overthrow of Assad next door because he said the leaders of these countries did not listen to their people. Just last week he met with President Obama and agreed that “Assad must go.” Now with protesters in Turkey chanting “Erdogan must go” he is singing a different tune. Now “the people” he claimed to speak for — on the streets in Egypt and Syria, at least — were, in Turkey, “with terror, have dark ties,” in his words.

Suddenly “the people” are not so noble when they are calling for his ouster. With the tables turned on Erdogan, he can only demand order! “I call on the protesters to stop their demonstrations immediately,” he thundered yesterday.

Erdogan caught the tiger by the tail and thought he would become a new Ottoman Sultan. Reality bites back hard on the streets of Istanbul and elsewhere. This is far from over.

June 1, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Canadian church boycotts companies in Israeli settlements

MEMO | May 31, 2013

Canada’s largest Protestant church, the United Church of Canada, has decided to boycott three Israeli companies as part of its campaign against products manufactured in illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The “Unsettling Goods: Choose Peace in Palestine and Israel” campaign is set to start on Saturday and will last for a year. It calls for “education and for economic action by United Church members to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories.”

Last week, the church’s governing General Council approved the proposal to boycott Keter Plastic, SodaStream and Ahava which all operate in illegal settlements. The move builds on last year’s agreement to boycott products manufactured in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem which the Church regards as the principal obstacle to peace in the region.

A statement on the United Church’s website said that in the coming months it “will engage in dialogue” with the three companies and request them to cease production in settlements: “They will be informed that failure to do so will result in economic action against their products.”

June 1, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Democracy in Turkey: Peaceful Protest Turns Violent as Police Fire Teargas

Al-Manar | June 1, 2013

Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon on Friday at demonstrators in central Istanbul, wounding scores of people and prompting rallies in other cities in the fiercest anti-government protests in years.

Thousands of demonstrators massed on streets surrounding Istanbul’s central Taksim Square while protests erupted in the capital, Ankara, and the Aegean coastal city of Izmir.

Broken glass and rocks were strewn across a main shopping street near Taksim. Primary school children ran crying from the clouds of tear gas, while tourists caught by surprise scurried to get back to hotels lining the square.

The unrest reflects growing disquiet at the authoritarianism of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Riot police clashed with tens of thousands of May Day protesters in Istanbul this past month. There have also been protests against the government’s stance on the conflict in neighboring Syria.

“We do not have a government, we have Tayyip Erdogan. … Even AK Party supporters are saying they have lost their mind, they are not listening to us,” said Koray Caliskan, a political scientist at Bosphorus University, who attended the protest.

The protest at Taksim’s Gezi Park started late on Monday after trees were torn up under a government redevelopment plan, but has widened into a broader demonstration against Erdogan’s administration. Friday’s violence erupted after a dawn police raid on demonstrators who had been camped out for days.

“This isn’t just about trees anymore, it’s about all of the pressure we’re under from this government. We’re fed up, we don’t like the direction the country is headed in,” said 18-year-old student Mert Burge, who came to support the protesters after reading on Twitter about the police use of tear gas.

Thousands chanting for the government to resign gathered at a park in the center of Ankara, where police earlier fired tear gas to disperse several dozen opposition supporters trying to reach the AKP headquarters. Protesters also rallied at two locations in Izmir, according to pictures on social media.

A woman was in critical condition last night after being hit by a police gas canister and underwent an operation after suffering a brain hemorrhage.

A total of 12 people, including a pro-Kurdish MP and a Reuters photographer, suffered trauma injuries and hundreds suffered respiratory problems due to tear gas, doctors said.

Some people were injured when a wall they were climbing collapsed as they tried to flee clouds of tear gas.

Amnesty International said it was concerned by “the use of excessive force” by the police against what had started out as a peaceful protest. Ria Oomen-Ruijten, the European parliament rapporteur on Turkey, also voiced concern.

In Washington, the State Department said it was concerned with the number of injuries and was gathering its own information on the incident.

“We believe that Turkey’s long-term stability, security and prosperity is best guaranteed by upholding the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly and association, which is what it seems these individuals were doing,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

Interior Minister Muammer Guler promised that allegations that police had used disproportionate force would be investigated.

Hundreds of military officers have been jailed for plotting a coup against Erdogan in recent years. Academics, journalists, politicians and others face trial on similar charges.

He has made no secret of his ambition to run for the presidency in elections next year when his term as prime minister ends, increasing opposition dismay.

“These people will not bow down to you” read one banner at the Gezi Park protest, alongside a cartoon of Erdogan wearing an Ottoman emperor’s turban.

Postings on social media including Twitter, where “Occupy Gezi” – a reference to protests in New York and London last year – was a top-trending hashtag, and Facebook said similar demonstrations were planned for the next few days in other Turkish cities including Ankara, Izmir, Adana and Bursa.

June 1, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Argentina: Work To Remove Columbus Statue Begins

By George Nelson | The Argentina Independent | May 31, 2013

Work has begun to remove the Cristopher Columbus monument from behind the Casa Rosada and transport it to Mar del Plata. A press conference is due later today to explain the move, which has attracted criticism from a number of social organisations. The statue is due to be replaced with a figure of Juana Azurduy de Padilla, a Latin American guerrilla military leader.

A crane and container started preparation work this morning but many regard the monument as part of Argentina’s cultural heritage and are concerned the statue might be damaged during the move. A quiet protest of “symbolic hugs” took place earlier this year under the monument in a bid to stop the removal from taking place.

However, a large group of protestors gathered metres away from the Casa Rosada today to vent their anger. Federal Police officers are guarding the statue while Buenos Aires mayor, Mauricio Macri, of the party PRO, has stated his desire to keep the monument where it is.

A PRO spokesperson said: “If the government wishes to remove the Christopher Columbus they must go through the necessary legislation. It belongs to the city.”

The statue is made of Carrara marble, weighs around 38 tonnes, and stands at over six metres tall. The monument has been declared part of the Buenos Aires’ cultural and historical heritage and city officials are therefore claiming the government does not have the authority to remove it.

Bolvian president Evo Morales approved the move and has donated US$1m towards the transfer project.

June 1, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stockpiling inmates

By Charles Davis | False Dichotomy | May 31, 2013

I was unaware that Sarah Palin was still a meme, but the Democratic Party is apparently still using her to raise money and build their email lists. Apparently, because who cares enough to look it up, the former Alaska governor said the US government is “stockpiling bullets” to use against the public. And so a petition has been launched by the Democratic Governors Association to demand an apology because that is important:

Accusing our government of actively stockpiling weapons to use against its own people is not only offensive and wrong — it’s downright dangerous. For Sarah Palin to insinuate that the United States is similar to the tyrannical governments in Syria and Iran who do carry out those types of atrocities is completely reprehensible.

Good on the governors for looping Iran into the mix, rather than a Bahrain or Saudi Arabia. President Hillary  may have to bomb them someday, so it’s important to lay the groundwork now. Sarah Palin and Iran: Bad. Got it.

Of course, the unfortunate thing is that the US government is “actively stockpiling weapons to use against its own people” (no one cares about it using them against other people). You don’t end up with 2.3 million Americans in prison cells by asking them nicely. You force them in at the point of a gun. The FBI alone gets over $8 billion a year to do this. Federal prisons get over $8 billion to keep them there.

Is that the same as the sort of political repression that goes on in Syria or Iran? No, it’s different. The people getting shot in the streets by security forces are usually Black or Latino. And no one has anywhere near the size prison population that America does.

(via @FireTomFriedman)

June 1, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , | Leave a comment