Burma- NLD Mark 20 Years

NLD 20th Anniversary (AFP)

Police in Myanmar are keeping a close watch on the headquarters of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) as the party marks its 20th anniversary. A number of recently released political prisoners, including Win Tin, Myanmar’s longest-serving political prisoner, were among the 350 people attending Saturday’s ceremony.

Those attending the ceremony were videotaped and watched by at least 50 plainclothes security personnel. Witnesses said that between three and six NLD members were detained by members of the pro-government Swan Ah Shin group. Party officials said they were forced into a truck and taken to their homes.

In a statement to mark the anniversary, the party reiterated its call for the immediate release of all political prisoners, including Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for most of the last 19 years, and her deputy Tin Oo. It also demanded the freedom of Buddhist monks and ethnic leaders arrested by the military government.

“An indelible black stain will be tainted in the political history of Burma by the omission of the authorities to perform according to the laws enacted by themselves,” it said, referring to the country by its former name.

Bolivia, Race & Class

Via Otto @ Inca Kola News an essential article- Racism, Domination and Revolution in Bolivia by Adolfo Gilly– on the deep cultural roots of what is emerging and the racial and class dynamics so ignored by our media, as Otto says ‘If you are reminded while reading of the situation in Apartheid-era South Africa and the industrialized nations’ attitudes towards the black majority movement at that time, I wouldn’t be surprised.’ A wee excerpt [full article here]-

That dividing line is sharp and deep in Bolivia. It is not only a class domination, although that does exist. It is above all about a racial domination that was shaped in the colonial times and reaffirmed in the ogliarchic Republic from 1825 onwards.

In that domination, being a full citizen means being white or an assimilated mestizo. To become a citizen, an Indian must stop being Indian and see themselves and be seen as being white; break from their concrete historical community, that of the Aymaras, the Quechuas, the Guaraníes or another one of the many indigenous Bolivian communities; and enter as a newly-arrived subordinate into the abstract community of the citizens of the Republic. The Indian does not expect that the Republic will change and be like his people. Instead, it is required that these people change their men and women, renounce their identity and their history and be like the Republic of the whites, the rich, the eucated, the Spanish-speakers – where, for everyone else, the inerasable color of their skin will forever condemn them (those men and women) to second-class citizenship. That is the nature of this domination.

The strength of the revolution taking place in Bolizia is supported by an ancient civiliation, invisible in the law but one that persists in the languages, customs, belief, relationships of solidarities and communities, both rural and urban. The dominated brown-skinned people were not brought from other lands. There were there before, they were and they continue to be the native civilization. The filmmaker Jorge Sanginés, in an unforgettable film, called it “The Clandestine Nation.” Guillermo Bonfil named it “Deep Mexico: A Civilization Denied.” Following in their steps, I have named it “a subaltern civilization” in my book, “Historia a contrapelo.”

Clandestine, denied or subaltern, the social and cultural framework of those native civilizations appears at the moment of organizing the uprisings and the rebellions of their heirs and bearers, because those rebellions and uprisings are roots as deep as the root of racial domination.

Fascist FC

One of Silvio Berlusconi’s players at AC Milan has declared he is a fascist. Christian Abbiati, 31, an Italian international, said: “I am not ashamed to proclaim my political beliefs. I share [the] ideals of fascism, such as the fatherland and the values of the Catholic religion.”

The goalkeeper’s remarks, published today in Sportweek magazine, come amid debate over Italy’s fascist past and rightwing present under the leadership of AC Milan’s billionaire chairman.

The minority partner in Berlusconi’s parliamentary alliance, the Freedom People, is a party spun out of the country’s neo-fascist movement. Some members remain unabashed apologists for the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini.

The defence minister, Ignazio La Russa, sparked a row this month after he paid tribute to Italian soldiers who fought alongside German troops in the second world war. His comments came after the mayor of Rome, Gianno Alemanno, told a magazine he did not consider fascism an “absolute evil”. Berlusconi dodged a question on his own views, replying: “I think only of working to resolve the problems of the Italian people.”

Troops on the streets, Roma being persecuted. So how will the EU deal with the fascism of in its midst? Fascism we helped keep ticking over.

Colombia Body Count

(Reuters) – Some Colombian army officers are pressuring soldiers to kill people in combat as proof of their success in fighting illegal militias, a practice that may have caused rights abuses, the government admitted on Friday.The statement by Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos was the first acknowledgment by the U.S.-backed government that complaints long made by human rights groups may be accurate.

The groups say President Alvaro Uribe’s all-out military push against leftist rebels and other cocaine-funded groups has resulted in noncombatant civilians being shot by soldiers and passed off as guerrillas killed in battle. Santos’ comments come during a outcry over the deaths of at least 19 young men who the army said died in combat but whose families say were never involved in Colombia’s conflict.

The 19 youths were recruited near the capital, Bogota, by mysterious men promising jobs in the northeast of the country. Their bodies were found this month in mass graves. “It is likely that they were recruited to work on coca plantations or in cocaine laboratories,” said Cesar Restrepo, an analyst with Bogota think tank Security and Democracy. “It is clear that they were killed by the army. But under what circumstances? Were they shot in combat or executed?”

may be accurate‘ d’you think?

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Free Movie! DNC 2008 Doco

Nezua, The Unapologetic Mexican has premièred his 25 minute documentary of his excellent adventures at the DNC in Denver. A very different experience from the mainstream coverage and with terrific integration of blogs/im’s into the film itself, it melds lots of new media together into the narrative. And as Michael Moore is giving his latest away only within North America, enjoy this instead-

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