Ezra Nawi Sentenced To 1 Month

(via Facebook) This morning the judge, Eilata Ziskind, sentenced Ezra as follows:
– 30 days in prison
– 750 NIS fine which he will not pay and thus get extra 7 days in prison.
– 500 NIS to each of the border police officers he “assaulted”.
– 6 months if he violates law in the occupied territories in the next 3 years. The judge knew he would violate this parole.

Note the prohibition which is clearly meant to stop Ezra Nawi from demonstrating against ethnic cleansing and also to deter others from doing so.

Most of Ezra’s work and that of Ta’ayush in the occupied territories is about protest and nonviolently opposing the occupation, which in many cases translates to violation of law according to the Israeli legal system. In this way the state got, in my estimation, exactly what it was after.

Where are the US progressives who flock to associate themselves with Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela etc yet when it comes to supporting people in the here and now fighting oppression… they are Progressive Except for Palestine. Like polite white Southerners who professed to be liberally dismayed at segregation but hey, you should respect the police and not cause trouble.

G20 Shindig

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‘Guns have no place at all in our community’

Note the police (who us H&K firearms) tried to silence media coverage-

Interestingly, local media also came under pressure; Trent FM, who had shown some enthusiasm about reporting these demos, received a word in their ear from both H&K’s press office as well as the police, warning hacks that it would be ‘irresponsible’ to publish the fact that H&K has a warehouse full of weapons in Nottingham, as it may prompt criminals to try and steal them. 

In response the campaigners pointed out to the radio station that H&K’s address was published at Company House, as well as in several business directories. About the radio station being leaned on, the campaigners said that “If the security policy of H&K and Notts police relies on no-one finding out the company’s location, then clearly it is they who are irresponsible, not our campaign and not the media. A large warehouse stocked with high-power assault rifles and submachine guns with inadequate security to prevent a robbery is clearly a significant danger to the public, and publicisng such a danger is very much in the public interest.” 

The H&K warehouse, located at Easter Park, Lenton Lane, Nottingham, is next to the ‘Trent Vineyard’, an evangelist church that held the funeral of Danielle Beccan, a 14 year old girl who was killed in a drive-by shooting. At her funeral service the then mayor of Nottingham said, “Guns have no place at all in our community – not in Nottingham, not in my city nor any other city in Britain.” 

Two Thirds of UK Tamils Marched

As usual the police figures were a lot lower than other estimates, tamilnet.com reckons 200,000+ which was an amazing two thirds of the British Tamil population!

In a historic show of solidarity, more than 200,000 British Tamils, nearly two thirds of Tamils resident in Britain, marched through the streets of London Saturday demanding immediate ceasefire and recognition of Tamil Eelam. Sparked off by the initiative of second generation diaspora Tamil youth and students four days earlier, the Saturday’s march became an unprecedented rallying point for the entire community, attracting the old students associations of the educational institutions of Eezham Tamils, functioning in London. The spirited participation of teens and mothers with babies in pushchairs significantly marked the level of community involvement in the agitation.

Whatever figure you want to choose it was a huge event and demands a serious and engaged response from the government. If only they can stop shipping arms to the Sri Lankan military for a few seconds.

Posted in Media. Tags: , . 7 Comments »

Free Country

From Indymedia

Staff who work for the Welsh Train company Arriva were handed this message today, I’m presuming other rail staff across the UK were given similar messages:

“As you are most probably aware from news reports it is anticipated that there may be some public disorder asocaited with the G20 meeting in London on Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd April 2009.

Whilst our services are very unlikely to be directly affected by the event, it is possible that they will be used by passengers intending to make their way to demonstrate in London.

Therefore British Transport Police are asking staff to report any sightings that meet the following general description of activities:

* Groups of travellers wearing noticeable themed clothing, for example same large logo or coloured shirts etc
* Any noticebale groups who are beleived to be travelling to London
* Any groups carrying banners or posters
* Any group bookings to London that day/s

If any groups are seen that meet the above please forward details of time, locatins, description and numbers to BTP control Rooms on wither the normal control room number

0800405040 or

ON THE DAY of the event a direct phone line of Intenral 004 1123 or External 02078301123

BTP welcome any possible information that can be supplied and emphasise that even the smallest piece of information can be useful

Can you please pass on this request to all relevant staff”

London Welfare, Manchester Gaza

Reminder about Lobby of Parliament on the 3 March 2009.

Rally in Committee Room 14 from 12:30pm and lobby your MP from 2:30pm.

Speakers at the Rally include: Bob Crow (RMT), Phil Davies (GMB), Harry Fletcher (NAPO), Janice Godrich (PCS), Kate Green (CPAG), Colin Hampton (Unemployed Workers Centres), John McDonnell MP, Frances O’Grady (TUC), Mark Serwotka (PCS), and Mick Shaw (FBU). Everyone welcome.

Briefing from the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group regarding the Welfare Reform Bill.

Then on the 4th in Manchester!-

manunigaza1

A national demonstration has been called in support of the student occupations. It’s crucial that we have as much representation from different Universities, Colleges and Schools as possible.

We in Manchester have been in occupation for almost four weeks now, yet the University has so far refused to negotiate with us. The University still invests in the arms trade, leading to some students having to disrupt a DSTL stall (an agency of the MoD) at an official graduate recruitment fair.

The Vice Chancellor Alan Gilbert has threatened expulsion for students who are involved.

Our demands are in line with current Union policy having received an overwhelming majority at an Emergency General Meeting, attended by over 1,100 students.

Being the biggest university in the UK, all eyes are on Manchester, and the success of the occupation here is critical to the success of the national movement.

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Nottingham University Occupation Ended By Suppressive Authorities

After the forceful eviction of the peaceful protesters. The situation is getting more and more sinister.

1) The Security officials are refusing to take statements from the students have been assaulted/injured during their removal.

2)The Media have been barred from campus in a clear attempt to stop the story getting out.

3) Students have been kept outside in the snow and prevented from retrieving their property (including their Jackets). Security have said they will eventually have them upon identification via student cards but since many haven’t got their cards on them they’ve been forced to stand in the cold in tshirts.

4) The police have refused to take statements from those students who have been injured/assaulted on removal. This is a clear breach of their duty of care. Local MPs have been informed of the fact.

5) Police have refused to facilitate the process of students identifying those security officers who have assaulted them.

6) Names and id’s taken of those present, in a clear attempt at intimidation.

Once again, the University of Nottingham distinguishes itself by acting in the most repressive and disgraceful manner against what was a very peaceful, very civil expression of dissent. This is yet another example of the University Authorities trying to enforce a homogeneous culture of apathy and consent across the student body. Students who engage with the realities of this world are seen as a threat to the University’s PR image of enforced servility parading as stability.

The protest has not disrupted any lectures. The room was available for lectures at all times and many lecturers and students verified the fact themselves. The University is to blame for any disruption as they are the ones who cancelled the lectures without consulting the students or the lecturers. As seen in previous episodes such as the AUT graylisting and the Freedom of Speech protests, it is obvious the views and opinions of staff and students mean nothing to the authorities of this institution.

Also see Lenin.

Posted in Media. Tags: , . 5 Comments »

Fight The Power- Gaza Protests

National Demonstration: London Saturday 3 January

Stop Gaza Massacre
(STWC) Hands Off Gaza: Stop the Bombing: Free Palestine
Assemble 12:30pm Embankment, WC2
Nearest tube Embankment.
Called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative and many other organisations. Israel has launched a terror bombing against the people of Gaza, with over 350 dead and many more injured. Not content after 3 days of devastating slaughter, the Israeli government promises more barbarity to come. The head of the Israeli military says, “This is only the beginning”.

The people of Gaza are asking, if this is only the beginning, what will the end look like?

Other demonstrations in London

  • Wednesday 31 December, 2 – 4pm outside Israeli Embassy
  • Thursday 1 January, 2 – 4pm outside Israeli Embassy
  • Friday 2 January 2 – 4 pm outside the Egyptian Embassy, 26 South Street, London, W1K 1DW.
    Call for Egypt to open the border immediately.

Demonstrations round the country

  • Glasgow
    Saturday 3 january 12 noon outside Lloyds TSB St Vincent Street then assemble for demo at Blytheswood Square 2pm
  • Edinburgh
    Saturday 3 January 12 noon. Foot of the mound, Princes Street
  • Bristol
    Centre, opposite the Hippodrome, Tuesday – Friday 5.00 – 6.00 and Saturday 3.00 – 4.00
  • Cardiff
    Tuesday 30 december 12 to 1pm. Outside Cardiff market / St John’s church, the Hayes.
    Wednesday 31 December new year vigil. Nye bevan statue, Queen street
  • Nottingham
    Tuesday 30 December 12 noon, Market Square
  • Southampton
    Tuesday 30 December 12 to 2pm, West Quay entrance, High Street
  • Portsmouth
    Saturday 3 January 11am, Guildhall Square Organised by Portsmouth Network for a Just settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and Portsmouth Stop the War Coalition
  • Hull
    Saturday 3 January, 11am. Queen Victoria Square.
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Greece, Out Of Tear Gas

ATHENS — Greece, engulfed by civil unrest, is urgently seeking to procure tear gas from neighboring countries. “We have contacted a number of allies for non-lethal equipment,” an official said.

Greece has exhausted its supply of 4,600 tear gas units in 10 days of rioting. Officials termed urgent the Greek request for tear gas and other non-lethal equipment, including stun grenades.

Israeli officials said the government in Athens has requested that Israeli companies send tear gas grenades to help police battle the massive riots in Athens. They said Greece has already exhausted its tear gas supply. Officials said Athens has turned to Israel, Germany and other European Union members for non-lethal, anti-riot equipment. They said Israel has a huge arsenal of tear gas for military and police operations in the West Bank.

Greece and Israel have increased their military and security cooperation over the last five years. The two countries have conducted military exercises as well as counter-insurgency training.

ht2 jews sans frontieres-

In 1946, the U.S. government, headed by Harry Truman, decided that Greece should be be ruled by Nazi collaborators. And so it was, in keeping with the the same U.S. commitment to liberty that we see on display in Iraq, Palestine, Somalia and everywhere else.

A brief background via James

Chronis Polychroniou– The killing on the night of December 6 of a 15-year-old schoolboy by an armed special patrol officer on duty in Exarchia, the bohemian district of downtown Athens and a home base of various self-styled anarchist groups, was the spark that produced the spontaneous and unprecedented in scale student mobilizations and the riots that immediately followed and engulfed in flames part of the city of Athens and many other cities throughout Greece, leaving in their wake a rather conservative society in a state of shock and the political establishment in complete disarray.

What really lies behind the demonstrations is the deep-seated frustration on the part of the nation’s youth over a social system structured in a way that caters almost exclusively to the interests of the rich and powerful, unrestrained anguish over the direction of the country in the hands of a most corrupt and incompetent neoliberal government headed by Prime Minister and New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis (the latest government scandal involves illegal public land swapping with a powerful monastery on Mount Athos, with senior ministers having allegedly pocketed money out of this deal) and whose social agenda consists of dismantling public education and social services and privatizing at the same time major and even profitable public enterprises in the name of neoliberal market efficiency, and unaddressed fears about the future. Other elements are also at work, especially when it comes to assessing the riots which bear distinct elements of hooligan-related violence and are in no way linked to the student movement, but they merely reinforce the conditions of social malaise and decomposition that prevail today in Greece.

For starters, Greece has the highest youth unemployment rate in the European Union, hovering between 28-29 percent, with its young people being dependent on their parents way past their adolescent years. To be sure, it is common in Greece, given the state of the job market and that of wage structures (700 euros is considered to be the average monthly salary for the new generation of the labor force), for young people to live at home with their parents even though they are in their late 20s, 30s or even 40s. So much for one’s self-esteem living in a society that carries to great lengths the illusion that it is a developed Western European society.

The high unemployment youth rate occurs against the background of a family culture which views education as a means of social and economic mobility and with parents willing to make great financial sacrifices in order to help their sons and daughters gain a competitive edge in the job market. Thus, the provision of private educational services in Greece is a booming business while the system of public education lays in ruins and constitutes the social site through which generation after generation of students gets initiated into political activism, which frequently involves converting the school and the university campus into occupied territories for symbolic resistance against the system.

Further, Greece has a grim legacy of state administrative authoritarianism and police brutality which not only haven’t been eradicated but, on the contrary, are recreated, manifested and reconstituted whenever the social conditions are unfavourable to the imposition of unpopular economic and social policies. Civil servants in all agencies, lacking training and professional skills, often display arrogance and a form of power that both alienates and angers the citizenry. This is especially the case with the police force which often resorts to brute force against students, immigrants and various other marginalized elements in Greek society. In the eyes of the youth, the police are regarded as the personification of structural state violence even if in pure technocratic terms the Greek police officers tend to be, more than anything else, untrained, unskilled, and underpaid public officers, moonlighting in order to make ends meet, and, like most civil servants in Greece, devoid of a sense of a duty towards the public interest.

In this surrealistic social and cultural environment, provoking the police is a game of sorts for many of the self-styled anarchists who are largely responsible for the fires and the destruction of property that follows whenever public demonstrations take place. Neofascist groups, which often act as a phalanx of the riot police in clashes with leftist groups, also occupy a central if shadowy role in the dramas that unfold in the streets of Athens, making the capital resemble, at times, a civil war zone.

The ongoing student demonstrations and riots in Greece that have captured public imagination around the world reflect the condition of a country in deep political, social, economic and cultural crisis — a consequence of serious malfunctions in Greek polity and social culture — -and represent only a small segment of public discontent directed towards a corrupt and incompetent group of neoliberal politicos who use power and state resources for personal gain and against a social system which has extinguished hope for the future and relies increasingly now on state violence in order to suppress civil disobedience.

Of course, the story of neoliberal measures and social discontent is not unique to Greece. In the context of the current global economic crisis, one should not be surprised to see similar developments elsewhere, including other parts of Europe. So to paraphrase the catch title about Greece’s mayhem in a recent issue of The Economist, “beware. . . . of the youth bearing petrol bombs.”

And if you haven’t already, always worth seeing Costa Gavras’ brilliant film Z

Protest The Treatment of Muntadar Al-Zaidi

Via Dave.

Media Workers Against the War, and the International Federation of Journalists have called for the immediate release of Muntadar Al-Zaidi, the journalist who hurled his shoes at George Bush in protest at his bloody occupation. Al-Zaidi has not been seen since he was arrested. The BBC reports he has been severely beaten.

The swift incarceration of this journalist contrasts sharply with the treatment of war criminals Bush and Blair. Their decision to go to war in 2003 has led to the deaths of up to a million Iraqi civilians.

Muntadar Zaidi’s life is now in great danger. Not even his family know his whereabouts. We must speak out for the right of Iraqis to protest this criminal occupation.

Supported by Media Workers Against the War, Iraqi Democrats Against the Occupation and Stop the War Coalition. All welcome, please forward widely.

Time and Place
Date: 19 December 2008
Time: 13:00 – 14:00
Location: US Embassy
Street: Grosvenor Square
Town/City: London, United Kingdom

Update: Also in Manchester, 1pm on Sat in front of the BBC.

The Shoe That Was Heard Around The World

“This is a farewell kiss, you dog,” al-Zeidi yelled in Arabic as he threw his shoes. “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”

The latest via Raed Jarrar is-

Albaghdadia, the TV channel where the Iraqi Journalist Montather Al-Zeidi works, reports that an Iraqi MP (Ms. Zainab Al-Kanani) informed them that Montather’s hand was broken in jail. This confirms a lot of reports and rumors about Montather being subject to torture while the Iraqi authorities are interrogating and detaining him in some unspecified location.

Two petitions active, Chomsky signed up to Raed’s,

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/montather/

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/iwffomuntatharalzaidi/

This is about making enough of a publicity/fuss they will not get away with more and a mooted 7 year sentence. And in the end this guy threw his shoes, Bush remains at large un-indicted for any of his numerous crimes, how the hell do you explain that logic without the human race coming off like total fucking idiots- Yeah well mass murder is fine, it’s airborne footwear we have to crack down on.

Embarrasing.

NYT- While he has not been formally charged, Iraqi officials said he faced up to seven years in prison if convicted of committing an act of aggression against a visiting head of state.

The incident has been a source of embarrassment for the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who, in a statement on Monday, called the shoe throwing a “a shameful savage act” and demanded a public apology from Al-Baghdadia.

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Free Muntadar al-Zeidi

“The flying shoe speaks more for Arab public opinion than all the despots/puppets that Bush meets with during his travels in the Middle East,”

Asad Abu Khalil (angryarab.blogspot.com) Professor at Stanislaus University in California

The journalist who threw his shoes at Bush has not only been arrested but beaten. However much fun the shoe spectacle might be, one man actually stood up and showed Bush what the world thinks of him. So now let’s show our appreciation and ensure he does not end up in jail and tortured. Raed Jarrar has a petition link, you can sign here. He will- print the petition and hand it over to the Iraqi embassy in DC in case he was not released this week.

[Update: There is also this petition @ Uruknet Free Muntather al-Zaidi: The 50,000 Signatures Campaign for Muntather al-Zaidi here.]

The journalist Montather Al-Zeidi/Muntadar al-Zeidi/Muntader al-Zaidi, (depending on who you want to read) was kidnapped last year and held, Reporters Without Borders called for his release. Contact them again and make sure they look after his welfare.

The journalist’s exact whereabouts were unclear, although one Iraqi official said that he was being held for questioning at Mr al-Maliki’s residence, his shoes having been kept as evidence.

The Iraqi government however branded al-Zaidi’s actions as “shameful” and demanded an apology from his Cairo-based employer, which in turn called for his immediate release from custody.

“Al-Baghdadia television demands that the Iraqi authorities immediately release their stringer Muntazer al-Zaidi, in line with the democracy and freedom of expression that the American authorities promised the Iraqi people,” it said in a statement. “Any measures against Muntazer will be considered the acts of a dictatorial regime.”

An Iraqi lawyer said that al-Zaidi risked a miminum of two years in prison if he is prosecuted for insulting a visiting head of state, but could face a 15-year term if he is charged with attempted murder.

Update again: Thanks to Pete in comments there is this 7 minute account by an Iraq journo at the NYT

and also this interview with Muntader al-Zaidi’s brother with details of what led him to his shoe throwing epiphany.

Posted in Iraq. Tags: , . 45 Comments »