Bolivia Rumble

Well right now the media are again indulging in their fetish to report on Latin America through a lens provided by US hegemony. Morales expelled the US ambassador, this is reported without reference to the secret meeting with secessionist leaders and whorehouse gun toting arrests of covert US assets. As ever Uncle Sam can do no wrong in ‘his backyard’. Some wilder headlines are going for the full Civil War pimpage. They unerringly refer to groups of fascist thugs as ‘right wing youth groups’ (bless) and the resounding victory of Morales in the recent referendum is forgotten (by a margin our leading parties could only dream of) as it would rather impinge on the legitimacy of the secessionist movement which is a combination of fascism, wealth worship, slavery and bending over backwards for the Empire. Bolivia also has some important resources, try and act surprised, the US destabilising a country and backing right wing militants while coveting its resources, who’d a thunk it? See, quite apart from the historical & geopolitical factors, oil, gas, the global corporate community are getting excited about…

Bolivia holds half the World’s lithium reserves, but is reluctant to damage its untouched salt flats in order to exploit this potentially lucrative resource. Almost all new electric car models appear to rely on Lithium for their batteries and one of Japan’s leading battery makers is warning there could be a shortage of Lithium within just a few years.

Ain’t the future grand? While still fighting oil wars the next generation of conflict is being set up. Combined with the Empire’s distaste of anything remotely leftish and its manifest destiny ordained by God!! to have an uninterrupted sphere of influence stretching the length of the continent, the new strategy of backing rightwing, greedy & racist secessionists seems it is about to be tested. The craptastic media have the expulsion of the Ambassador to hang their standard narrative of dangerous Bolshie foreign types who need controlling require a robust response in defence of freedom & democracy ™ Won’t someone save the poor ickle rich people from such dangerous uppity indigenous pinkos? But Morales has been dealing with this provocation for a while and as the New Latin Left is showing, Washington no longer calls the shots even if the North’s media is still pretty obedient.

Amy Goodman & 2 Producers Arrested At RNC

ST. PAUL, MN—Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her.

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfuly detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sherrif Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amenmdent rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which they were arrested law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this action.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism’s top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists from the nation’s leading independent news outlet.

Democracy Now! is a nationally-syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.

The Best Little Whore House in Santa Cruz

Wherein a US Iraq War veteran armed and drunk is arrested in Santa Cruz’s finest brothel only hours after the US ambassador Philip Goldberg secretly meets with Prefect Ruben Costas -leader of the ‘breakaway’ movement and racist (his macaco moment) who is being used to destabilise Evo Morale’s administration (which only recently got a resounding approval in the polls). Drunky McArmed-Vet is then whisked out of custody under US diplomatic immunity and a (cover) story of the Ambassador meeting Costas to talk about the Special Olympics is released, no really.

News of the Restless:- The prefect of Santa Cruz, Ruben Costas, secretly met on Monday with the US ambassador to Bolivia, Philip Goldberg. The meeting comes nine days after Costas’s radical speech, in which he insulted President Evo Morales and announced a series of measures that skirt the edges of the constitution. Although there was no official mention of what the two discussed, the meeting occurred amid the beginning of the measures with which Costas and his colleagues of the so-called “Media Luna” region sought to put pressure on the Morales government, which was ratified with two-thirds of the popular vote at the polls (67.4%).

According to a report by the Gigavision network, the encounter took place in the Prefectural Palace, a location where the press was barred from entering.

The TV report informed that the Costas-Goldberg meeting went on for at least an hour and 30 minutes, and proved the encounter had taken place with images taken before and after.

Having been caught on camera Goldberg sez-

“I went to Santa Cruz for various reasons; to deliver aid packages, I was at the inauguration of the special Olympics with the Prefect (Ruben Costas), and I also showed via tele-info the aid in this sector and the aid given in computing. I also took advantage of this visit to meet, in public, with the prefect Costas, only because this is part of my diplomatic duties.”

Inca Kola News though-

…that thing about “public meeting” is total bull, as according to all sources they had a one-on-one private, closed door meeting that went on for an hour and a half and nobody but nobody was even let into the corridor that leads to the door they were behind. Are the Special Olympics such an interesting subject of conversation?

Then-

In the wee small hours of that same Monday/Tuesday, at 3:30am to be precise, a drunken man was arrested for causing a disturbance at a Santa Cruz nightclub. He barged his way in to the late night establishment (that’s Otto’s nice way of saying ‘whorehouse’, ok?) known as ‘Curris Internacional’ and started threatening both public and staff. When the police were called in and arrested him they found that;

  • His name is Gregory Gordon Michel
  • He is a US citizen
  • He is a member of the US military
  • He was carrying a loaded .45mm handgun with three spare clips
  • He was also carrying a folding police officer’s nightstick

He was taken to the local police station when just 30 minutes later a posse of his fellow citizens arrived, claimed Gregory Michel was protected by Diplomatic Immunity and spirited him away.

[ABI report here]

So..the US destabilising a Latin American country and using a separatist right wing (proto-facist) leader to do it while also having armed military in country under diplomatic protection…the War on Democracy continues apace. Pictures and more at Inca Kola News, News of the Restless, Abiding in Bolivia & BoRev.

Culture For ‘Em- G8 Leaders As Popular As Leprosy

Huddled alone on an island the world’s most powerful political leaders (slumming it without all of their corporate chums) overrun the place with 21,000 security & police. A perspicacious leader might at some point ask themselves while any figurehead may be a target of assassination simply from fame seeking sniping enthusiasts, there is a point where the security and isolation of your presence is indicative that you are not perhaps doing things in the best interests of the people and the people have twigged. The question is having realised that are you overcome with regret and radically change your ways to represent the will of the people, or do you say- Fuck it I’m rich, give them riot police more guns. And as ever from the realms of the exploited you can always co-opt enough vicious suckers (I said suckers!) to put on those uniforms of the mid-level overseer.

Now while obviously they’ll not do anything materially to halt the flow of capital to the elite as the biosphere collapses they should pull the usual ploy of a PR makeover because, well there’s one born every minute plus it helps the hacks who geisha them retain a modicum of self respect, hey look they’re different stop being such a downer you rabble rouser’s (I mean Davos lets you put youtube clips of questions to ask the great and good, imagine it, so democratic!). So the G8 should become The Gr8t! Maybe using Queen’s ‘One Vision’ as a theme, a song so incredibly fascistic it took Laibach the arch Slovenian situationists (or anti-situationist depending on your mood) & satirists to bring out its latent shallows-

Next they will need to sucker in those ever gullible youths and this might be where Hokkaido comes in, emulating the climax of Godzilla movie- scientists in one last ditch attempt gather at the island base to defeat the rampaging monsters. The Gr8t! will produce a graphic novel (soon to be a major motion picture) where they fight terror, crime and gigantic atomic monsters (possibly Iranian ones) from this island fortress. And the protesters will be revealed as zombie slaves of the evil forces of Anti-Neoliberalism, mindless drones intent on depriving the North’s consumers of shiny things that use batteries…or something. Of course you might be suspicious that his has already taken place looking at what is exhibited in cinemas now, which is doing a far better job for it being less explicit. But I’m sure The Gr8T! would like to be immortalised as super heroes directly, because while the ability to enjoy any depravity coupled with the power to indulge without consequence will keep them sated for a while, it’s always better to have the lower orders marvel at your supremacy, to see your glory and cruelty reflected in their terrified, institutionalised yet adoring eyes.

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India Dammit!

India has agreed to build a $120m seaport and transportation system in Myanmar. 

Senior General Maung Aye, second-in-command of Myanmar’s military government, and Mohammad Hamid Ansari, India’s vice president, signed the accord. India also called for Myanmar to push forward with plans for national reconciliation, saying the country’s rulers should engage Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s detained pro-democracy leader, the statement said.

During his visit, Maung met Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, who reiterated New Delhi’s commitment to support Myanmar in telecommunication and IT sectors, the Indian statement said. An Indian defence ministry official separately told the AFP news agency that Maung “reviewed bilateral military co-operation” in his talks with the Deepak Kapoor, the Indian army chief.

“The talks included Indian military exports to the government in Yangon,” the official said. Over the past decade, India has increased its economic and military ties with Myanmar. New Delhi has been eager to secure the co-operation of the Myanmar military to help contain separatist groups fighting New Delhi’s rule in northeastern India near the Myanmar border.

The infrastructure agreement was signed the same day as Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party urged voters to reject a military-backed draft constitution, saying it was undemocratic and written under the government’s direct control.

Yes I’m sure saying the junta should engage with the democracy movement really puts the sting in the $120 million deal.

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Paddington Gitmo

They want 42 days detention without charge, what that means is six weeks of interrogation, here is what they did in just 12 days to one woman, it might seem familiar-

When Farrah arrived at Paddington Green, her clothes were taken from her. Suffering from diarrhoea, she was in constant pain. She described the basic washing and hygiene facilities in detention. “There was no toilet roll and only paper towels for body drying. I wasn’t even allowed to comb my hair.”

Exercise consisted of walking around in a circle in a small yard behind the station for five minutes while officers held guard dogs in each corner. Farrah said: “I was frightened of the dogs so rather than getting any exercise, I just found these exercise periods really frightening.”

She became unwell, suffering from diabetes, and a doctor was called on numerous occasions. He confirmed that an existing condition had been exacerbated by the stress of her arrest and detention.

She was not allowed to speak with her family for four days. Eight days had passed before the police disclosed the reason she was being held.

Farrah claimed the guards were constantly rude and aggressive when dealing with her. She was effectively held in solitary confinement and not allowed to communicate with or pass another prisoner when being taken to and from her cell between questioning. After four days, she was permitted to make a telephone call to her parents. They speak English but she was told to make sure she spoke in English and not in “your language”.

After 12 days of 24-hour detention in a cell and repeated questioning in a room with no natural light, Farrah was released without charge. No explanation was given and no apology made. She had no way of travelling home and was not offered assistance; her solicitor organised a taxi. She said she felt “tired, shocked and exhausted”, and had thought she was never going to get out. Her clothes were never returned.

After release, Farrah said she became increasingly paranoid, not wanting to leave the house alone. Her employers were understanding but the pressure of colleagues knowing what had happened to her, the increasing paranoia and her poor health forced her to quit her job. Friends and family stopped visiting, terrified they would become suspects by association.

The Heart Of Saturday Night

It’s just raining and raining here, not windy just a relentless rain. It’s about to go down in Tibet, Chinese deadline set for Monday, the Olympic PR machine whining about please don’t mention boycotts. Dalai Lama statement and quick timeline @ Jotman. Winter Soldier is broadcasting-

One of the veterans testifying Adam Kokesh is taking part in the Iraq War Blogswarm, almost 250 now, the Freeway blogger just joined.

Join the March 19 Blogswarm Against the Iraq War

Pics from the London demo @ Lenin. The BBC report was quite good a few hours ago but has since been re-edited to add more establishment ‘balance’, as if agitating for wars of aggression is a reasonable position. Ho-hum.

Take it away Tom…

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