‘Lucky’ is an Understatement

Something worse than yelling fire in a crowded theatre-

On the opening night, the theatre got a last-minute call saying that Mukhu Aliev, the Dagestani president, would attend. Mr Aliev arrived with his security detail and, just before the curtain rose, says Pelevine, someone thought to warn the bodyguards that the play involved actors dressed as terrorists running on to the stage. “Lucky you told us,” said one guard, “or we would have shot them dead immediately.”

Holy fuck! Having worked in the theatre I can imagine the kind of edgy confrontation the play was staging, [Natalia Pelevine’s play includes actors dressed as terrorists running through the audience to recreate the events.] but in ‘waronterror’ times (in fact I would suspect a lot of innovative staging is now limited by ‘waronterror’-ism, and that Mary Poppins better watch her step too) with a protected president in the city with recent history in the conflict, man you could easily be reading about actors shot dead. Whoever remembered to warn the bodyguards, if they ain’t stage manager, they should be. This was a Brandon Lee moment (in a phrase I coined on a film set and didn’t catch on but was meant to indicate a complex activity usually involving explosives/firearms/stunty prop stuff in a showbiz production that if not done properly could get someone hurt or killed so let’s just pause and make sure we have this right) after Brandon Lee (obviously) the really quite gifted son of Bruce Lee who died because of a firearm prop fuck up while filming The Crow (my understanding is the pressures put on by producers had some contribution to it, but still). Anyway back to Russia-

A British playwright says her play about the Moscow theatre siege has been banned by Russian authorities after one performance. The play, In Your Hands, seeks to recreate the horror of the 2002 theatre siege when Chechen rebels took more than 800 theatre-goers hostage in what was one of their worst attacks on Russian soil. More than 100 people died, many from the effects of the gas that the Russian authorities pumped into the building to disable the attackers and end the siege

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Vichy Forces Fight Militia

Chancellor Hitler said-

“It’s going to take awhile, but it’s a necessary part of the development of a free society,” a “positive moment”

Excuse the broad strokes but that is how the Iraq fighting is being reported, the fighting which is the puppet government of the occupier attacking nationalist elements. Ok that’s simplified too but more valid than the bullshit raining down from the corporate media. The coverage invites the consumer to identify with the Maliki govt forces (and now as they are failing the US reinforcements). We’re being asked to cheer lead along the balkanisation of Iraq- Maliki being ordered to remove nationalist opposition ahead of ‘elections’, 5 years from now it will be separate ethnic regions, permanent US bases and a client regime being called a democracy.

And another thing (I really shouldn’t listen to the news) just how long have journalists known the UAE had forces in Afghanistan? After five years the BBC ‘reveals’ (in such glowing terms it really belongs in a b&w newsreel circa 1943) their deployment, what were they fucking invisible? Grrrrr.

As Taser Use Increases The RCMP Redact Details

I think maybe authoritarians think of Tasers as like remote controls… for humans. And as their use rolls out across the world by uniformed goons everywhere such lack of transparency is a big red FLAG! Our own trials here at the four month stage lack many specifics, something that should be remedied (*begins researching FOI procedure*). There is much more to the below article and it is worth reading in full (full version below the fold or click link), this is not how a police service should act in a democracy-

A joint investigation by The Canadian Press and CBC found the Mounties are now refusing to divulge key information that must be recorded each time they draw their electronic weapons. As a result, Canadians will know much less about who is being hit with the 50,000-volt guns, whether they were armed, why they were fired on and whether they were injured. Taser report forms obtained under the Access to Information Act show the Mounties have used the powerful weapons more than 4,000 times since introducing them seven years ago.

Information stripped from the forms includes details of several Taser cases the Mounties previously made public under the access law. In effect, the RCMP is reclassifying details of Taser use – including some telling facts that raised pointed questions about how often the stun guns are fired and why.

A Canadian Press analysis last November of 563 incidents between 2002 and 2005 found three in four suspects Tasered by the RCMP were unarmed. Several of those reports suggested a pattern of stun-gun use as a handy tool to keep drunk or rowdy suspects in line, rather than to defuse major threats. But the Mounties are now censoring Taser report forms to conceal related injuries, duration of shocks, whether the individual was armed, what police tried before resorting to the stun gun, and precise dates of firings.

Read the rest of this entry »

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An Exit What?

Exit polls, y’know the means by which elections can be judged ahead of final counts and can help expose fiddling, so consequently since the Bush era came about they are no longer published and/or published unadjusted by compliant media networks, not just in the US but in various elections across the world (ain’t globalisation cool?). Well one for the Spanish election says the lefty-ish PSOE have retained power. Korova was over there and reported the dynamic was depressingly familiar (perhaps that’s why they can win and exit polls are published, hmmm)-

The current period of pre-election campaigning had Zapatero’s PSOE virtually guaranteed of victory. They are roughly 5 percentage points ahead of the Popular Party, and it is inconceivable that this lead will be surrendered. However, from a progressive’s point of view, there is little to rejoice in these elections. Replace the PSOE with New Labour and the Popular Party with Cameron’s Conservatives, and you have an almost identical political situation. As in the UK, there is very little to choose between the two parties. It would make little difference who was in power, as both parties are beholden to the capitalist economic system. The only other party remotely capable of challenging these two, is Izquierda Unida (or United Left). Much like the Liberal Democrats, they hover around the fringes of the political debate. However, unlike the libs, IU is a viable left-wing alternative to the parties of the establishment. One hopes very much that IU increase their vote across Spain and begin to wield influence although, for the moment at least, this seems unlikely.

PS. Spain dropped its extradition request of former Gitmo inmates Jamil El-Banna (threatened with Gitmo to force him to work for MI5 then kidnapped by the CIA when he refused) and Omar Deghayes (more here) a few days ago, looks like being onside with the Bush gulag is not politically favourable, good-

Baltasar Garzón, the prominent judge who agreed to shelve the case against the two men, explained that he was doing so because of medical reports filed by the men’s lawyers at their last hearing in February. Two doctors, Jonathan Fluxman and Helen Bamber, had examined the men earlier in the month and had concluded that they were suffering from severe medical conditions caused by torture at the hands of their US captors and the inhumane conditions in which they were kept for five years.

Fuck Your Militarist Propaganda

Only a short time ago the government was making noises of a review of whether to encourage the military to wear uniforms while out in public, well it seems that review is ongoing but the government has already concluded to encourage uniforms. And just in time for stories of personnel getting some aggro for wearing uniforms off base of RAF Wittering. What is the source of these reports? The MOD, are they spinning some weekend drunken shouting into patrio-porn enabling militarism? Vietnam vets being spat on redux? No police record of abuse just reports via the government and the CO (officers!) that claim verbal abuse. ‘Churnalism‘ in service of the establishment. Up pops Gordon and before you know it we have the ‘Queen & country’ spiel, combined with the recent well staged Prince Harry media campaign. This is clearly a coordinated push to use the respect and sympathy we have for troops who have been used to support America’s imperialism (and keep memories alive of ours) to quash dissent towards these wars (and mention of the lies perpetrated) as the 5th anniversary approaches. But the worship of empty uniforms does not extend to Ben Griffin, he is still gagged, one report today said the gag had been extended but the link to that story comes up error ridden.

Gag bid against ex-SAS man
TeleText – Scotland,UK
At an earlier hearing an interim order granted to the MoD in relation to Ben Griffin was continued by consent pending further argument in the case. …

Link (not working as far as I can see, the above text is from the email alert I got)
So the fascistic fetishising of the military is about forcing us to identify with the agenda of the ruling class by means of our feelings for those in the military. When a soldier speaks truths that conflict with establishment narratives he has the entire legal might of the government’s apparatus gag him under threat of prison. Where is their respect for the service of that soldier? This country was manipulated to show solidarity with a Royal Prince who revelled in his role in killing people while an exceptional soldier (both in his professional abilities and in his character and personal morality) from a more humble background is attacked and silenced, hidden from view lest people start to…God, Queen & Country forbid…identify with something other than the elite’s simulacrum.

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Amnesty On Ben Griffin, Avaaz On Gaza

Following the injunction granted on 28 February 2008 by the High Court of England and Wales to prevent Ben Griffin, a former member of the UK Special Forces (UKSF) Special Air Services (SAS), from making any further disclosures relating to the work of the SAS, Amnesty International’s Senior Adviser, Anne FitzGerald, said:Rather than seeking to silence people who might have credible evidence of alleged human rights violations, which may include war crimes, the UK authorities should be seeking to investigate those allegations.’

‘Amnesty International repeatedly makes calls for the UK to ensure that full and independent investigations are carried out wherever there are credible allegations that agents of the UK, including members of the armed forces, may have been responsible for grave violations of human rights law or for war crimes. Those calls all too often go unheeded: only last week Amnesty International repeated its call for such an investigation into the UK’s alleged involvement in the US-led programme of renditions and secret detention, following official confirmation, after years of denial, that rendition flights did indeed touch down in the UK territory of Diego Garcia.’

‘There can be no accountability without transparency: people – including former soldiers – who have information that may constitute evidence of war crimes or of grave human rights violations must be reassured that they can safely make that information public, without fear of punitive legal action against them. If the government of the UK succeeds in gagging Ben Griffin and burying any significant information he may possess, it risks preventing others from coming forward who may have evidence of serious violations.’

And AVAAZ have a petition should you feel it might have an effect on any parties involved-

The Gaza-Israel crisis is out of control. It’s come to this: bloody full-scale invasion, or a cease-fire. With rockets raining down on both sides, Israel launched a ground assault into the Gaza Strip this weekend. Over a hundred combatants and civilians from both sides lie dead. The next 48 hours are crucial — Israel’s cabinet will discuss a larger invasion Wednesday. But Hamas floated a Gaza ceasefire months ago, and 64% of Israelis support the idea.


Ben Griffin Banned Speech Video

This speech is from the World Against War rally the night before the UK government obtained an injunction gagging him and is in addition to the statement he had previously made. Then Stop the War posted the video and this statement-

“As of 1940hrs 29/02/08 I have been placed under an injunction preventing me from speaking publicly and publishing material gained as a result of my service in UKSF (SAS). I will be continuing to collect evidence and opinion on British Involvement in extraordinary rendition, torture, secret detentions, extra judicial detention, use of evidence gained through torture, breaches of the Geneva Conventions, breaches of International Law and failure to abide by our obligations as per UN Convention Against Torture. I am carrying on regardless ”
Ben Griffin, Former UK Special forces trooper

Text of Statement posted previously click here.