nightslantern * * *
concerned with the prevention of genocide
by j. b. gerald
December 6, 2013
rance: with the weather turning cold, armed police evicted 50 Roms from a derelict building in Lyons, Dec. 2nd. On Nov. 27th, as many as 800 Rom people were evicted from their camp in Saint Ouen near Paris. The Associated Press traced motivating complaints to the landholder, France's National Railway. Two days later, Amnesty found a majority of the evicted - entire families, children, still on the street. French politicians are gradually putting an ethnic group on the streets without money, food, access to schooling, an address required for work, legal means of survival. This may explain traditional European stereotypes used to persecute Roms. It is a "slow kill" policy, with dehumanization of the ethnic group by deprivation. It should be approached as genocide. Lethal policies against Roms are mirrored in the country's increasing Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Throughout Europe, austerity programs are accompanied by the rise of an extremist right wing, ie. Golden Dawn in Greece, Jobbik in Hungary, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, the Le Pens in France. Politicians of the right and left have attacked the Minister of Justice, Christiane Tauber, with racial slurs. Contradicting Minister of the Interior Valls, Archbishop Pontier of Marseille, finds many Roms willing to learn French and integrate. He urges France's Bishops toward fraternity with the poor. Historically the European Church has accommodated policies which sacrifice the vulnerable. A moral equilibrium would mandate excommunication of politicians encouraging the genocide of any group, and provide food and shelter to all refused freedom, equality and brotherhood by the State. Previous - "Roma in France," Sept. 21, 2013. Previous - "First they came for the 'gypsies'," Oct. 14, 2012 and earlier. Partial sources online: "France dismantles Roma camp, evicts 800 immigrants," Nov. 28, 2013, Press TV; "Demonstrators march through Paris against racism," RFI, Dec. 2, 2013, RFI; "Roma camp evacuated near rail lines to Paris," AP, Dec. 2, 2013, Las Vegas Sun; "Call for France's Interior Minister to resign printed on banknotes," Dec. 4, 2013, France24; "Rom: l'un des plus grands bidonvilles en France évacué à Saint-Ouen," Jacques Chevalier, Nov. 27, 2013, Le Point.fr; "France: évacuation du campement rom de Saint-Ouen. Une politique cruelle," Nov. 29, 2013, Amnesty International; "14 unbelievably racist things European politicians are saying about the Roma," Sarah Dougherty, Nov. 21, 2013, globalpost; "French archbishop urges church to lead way in justice for poor, Roma," Catholic News Service, Dec. 5, 2013, Catholic Sentinel; "French police remove Roma squatters in Lyon," Dec. 2, 2013, world bulletin.
Quebec: under Bill 52 Parliament is considering legalizing euthanasia. Initiated in the Netherlands (2001) and Belgium (2002) to provide the right to die with dignity in exceptional cases of medical suffering, the program risks expanding to become a tool of a State ridding itself of the elderly and disabled. In Belgium a Parliamentary committee has recently approved a bill including minors. Quebec's bill is ambivalent about its application to minors. The Third Reich of Germany taught the uses of euthanasia in ethnic cleansing, eugenics and genocide. With respect for human life removed, pressure increases for harvesting of organs for transplant, a process welcomed by the privileged and feared by immigrants and the poor. Providing mild resistance to euthanasia in Canada are Catholic bishops, anti-euthanasia organizations, Canadian law, and the Conservative Party which passed a motion at the Party Convention in Calgary to refuse support to legislation legalizing euthanasia. Partial sources online: "Conservative Party resolutions please social conservatives," Deborah Gyapong, Nov. 7, 2013, The B.C. Catholic; "Belgium's experience with euthanasia teaches bitter lessons," Tom Mortier, Dec. 5, 2013, montrealgazette.com; "Belgium: Activist Admits Euthanasia Law Designed to Target Disabled People," Alex Schadenberg, Nov. 17, 2013, LifeNews,.com.
November 29, 2013
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: see previous. The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal has found former General Amos Yaron guilty of a crime against humanity, and genocide, and has found the State of Israel guilty of genocide. The decision is based on presentation of testimony concerning recurring actions of Israel since 1948. Without the power to enforce its decisions as law, the Tribunal's value is partly in providing a consensus of what humanity finds unacceptable, helping to maintain a standard of decency to return to. The court's judgement finds Yaron's guilt derives in part from the criminal responsibility of the State (Israel). Partial sources online: "West Bank Victims Give Testimony," Press Release, Nov. 22, 2013, Criminalise War; "Prima Facie Case Established," Press Release, Nov. 23, 2013, Criminalise War; "Tribunal to Deliver Judgement on Genocide and War Crimes charges," Press Release, Nov. 24, 2013, Criminalise War; "Israel Found Guilty of Genocide," Press Release, Nov. 25, 2013, Criminalise War; "Case No. 3 - CHG - 2013, and "Case No. 4 - CHG - 2013," The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal 20-25 November 2013.
U.S.: in war, there are no unwounded soldiers - "under the hood".
GI coffeehouses, effective means of resistance during Vietnam, are back at work. "Under the Hood Cafe and Outreach Center," outside Ft. Hood in Killeen Texas provides military personnel and veterans with a GI rights hotline, psychological, informational, legal and organizational support, peer counselling, community interface, poetry slams, writing workshops, ways to heal. "Coffee Strong" works out of Washington State, near Joint Base Lewis-McChord with MIT professor Noam Chomsky on its parenting organization's board. "The Clearing Barrel" is located on Richard Wagner-Strasse in Kaiserslautern, Germany, near the U.S. Army Garrison. The current U.S. G.I. Rights Hotline number for military discharges and counseling is 1-877-447-4487; its' website: http://girightshotline.org/en/. The National Lawyers Guild's "Military Law Task Force" website at http://nlgmltf.org/ carries a compendium of "military law essentials" and "guide to discharges." Partial sources online: "Spotlight on the Under the Hood Cafe, Bob Meola, Nov. 13, 2013, Courage to Resist; "Under the Hood joins West Coast GI Coffeehouse Tour," Nov. 5, 2013, Under the Hood [access:< http://underthehoodcafe.org/ >].
November 23, 2013 The Holodomur Memorial Day
Canada: the Government's Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day Act of 2008, and among other Provinces, Ontario's The Holodomor Memorial Day Act of 2009 declare today a day of remembrance for victims of the Ukraine's famine, 1932-1933. Wikipedia explains the Ukrainian word "Holodomur" as "extermination by hunger." By considering the Ukrainian famine, genocide, both Canada and Ontario (as well as the Ukraine, Quebec, the U.S. House of Representatives etc.) hold government criminally responsible for the loss of its citizens' human rights, finding that the millions of famine deaths were engineered as the intention of the Soviet State under Joseph Stalin. But a great many other than Ukrainian Soviet people died through effects of industrial and agricultural collectivisation, which also allowed the Soviet Union to meet and drive out Hitler's invasions. In August the Harper government funded a statue to be placed next to the Supreme Court honouring all the victims of Communism (previous), while so far, no Act of Parliament or memorial statue commemorates the world's millions starved to death under capitalism.
November 22, 2013
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia : The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal has resumed. After the August attempt at hearings was interrupted by procedural difficulties, the rescheduled trial charging Yaron and the State of Israel began Nov. 20th, with survivors' testimony of the Sabra and Shatila massacres. Like the Nuremburg trials and the Convention on Genocide itself the War Crimes Commission is not time-bound. Witness testimony speaks of the gratuitous slaughter of mothers, children - civilians, and their bodies strewn through the streets. These years later the sadness at the treatment of victims who were not understood as human beings equals the horror of the crime, but part of the difficulty of this issue is that the crime is ongoing since 1948, and the inhumanities of one massacre appear in another. Amid evidence of the second day's testimony Dr. Paola Manduca a geneticist and retired professor from the University of Genoa Italy, testified on the effects of metal compounds and phosphorous weapons on the Gaza victims of Israel's military operations. There is a correlation between the weaponry used and birth defects and damage to the reproductive systems of the victim population. Concerning the alleged effect of "toxic, carcinogen and teratogen (development interfering) agents": intentional damage to a population group's ability to reproduce - to continue - is a tripwire for application of the Convention on Genocide. This affirms the current genocide warning for Palestinians and Gazans. The Hearings are open to the public from Nov. 20th through Nov. 25th at the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War. The population of Kuala Lumpur is predominantly Muslim and Buddhist. Partial sources online: "Tribunal Hearing Against Israel and Yaron to Commence," Press release, Nov. 19, 2013, Criminalise War; "Tribunal Hearing Against Israel and Yaron Begins," Press release, Nov. 20, 2013, Criminalise War; "Gaza War Victims Give Testimony," Press release, Nov. 21, 2013, Criminalise War.
November 20, 2013
New Brunswick: aptn reports the court's refusal to stop the testing for gas fracking operations. The Elsipogtog Band (see previous) took U.S. owned SWN Resources Canada to court claiming the company's duty to the Aboriginal community isn't honoured, claiming that plans for fracking damage the Band's future survival, and that a temporary injunction is needed to avoid violence. Judge Judy Clendenning refused to approve an injunction, finding a lack of evidence that SWN's activities were harmful; New Brunswick's attorney general's office previously instructed the judge she shouldn't act out of fear of protests which are only 'hearsay.' However the Aboriginal band is standing on ancestral unceded land and with other communities has made clear SWN's efforts are not allowed. The legal system's reluctance to honour Canada's commitment to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, its refusal to provide the native community and people of New Brunswick legal means to defend their children's future, its decision to allow fracking tests despite the reasonableness of protest, suggest the government's intention to rely on force. The Aboriginal communities do not give their consent to SWN's operations. The company states it loses 54,000/day if its crews are unable to work, as though the Elsipogtog, the people of New Brunswick, Canada and the bedrock, owe strangers an employment that some consider rape. Revenue Canada is not pursuing at the moment nearly 2 million dollars it claims owed by the Elsipogtog Band. Payment would force the Band into bankruptcy and place numbers of its people on the street. Partial sources online: "New Brunswick judge rejects application from Elsipogtog First Nation for injunction to stop shale gas testing," Canadian Press, Nov. 18, 2013, National Post; "N.B. shale-gas fight will go on, Elsipogtog chief vows despite ruling," Kevin Bissett, Nov. 18, 2013, The Globe and Mail; "After court loss, Elsipogtog braces for SWN’s return," Jorge Barrera, Nov. 18, 2013, aptn; "Elsipogtog averts financial crisis," Nov. 5, 2013, CBC News.
November 19, 2013
Guatemala: edging toward impunity the Guatemalan court which was to re-try Ríos Montt for genocide in April of 2014 has found its schedule too full, and delayed the case until 2015. After Ríos Montt was convicted of genocide (previous), Guatemala's Constitutional Court intervened, nullifying the verdict, freeing Ríos Montt, returning the case to pre-conviction status at the criminal court which found him guilty (previous). Contrary to allowances of existing law, the Constitutional Court recommended the lower court consider granting the convicted war criminal amnesty. The genocide victims' representatives have made a complaint to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights. Refusal by Guatemala's elite to allow justice affirms a current genocide warning for the people of Guatemala, and in particular the Ixil Indians. The lack of swift justice which has allowed war criminals of the Americas to grow old and die unpunished, encourages the use of genocide as a military tactic of powerful rulers. In Argentina the people firmly repudiated the war criminal octagenarian Jorge Videla who like Rios Montt was also once head of state: on May 17, 2013, Videla died in prison from massive internal bleeding after slipping in a shower. Partial sources online: "Guatemala: Ríos Montt trial delay is a letdown to genocide victims," Sebastian Elgueta, Nov. 6, 2013, Amnesty International; "Rios Montt edges closer to escaping accountability for genocide," Lauren Carasik, Nov. 14, 2013, Al Jazeera America.
U.S.: since 2006 over 76,000 military personnel have been dismissed from the service without honourable discharge, veterans benefits, or a way to pay for their medical care. Many are combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan with physical and psychological wounds. Found guilty of behavioral infractions they're "chaptered out" so the military won't have to provide necessary care, and so their commanders can find undamaged replacements. The veteran and active duty personnel suicide rate is 22 a day. Of active duty personnel the rate in 2012 (about 1 a day) was higher than deaths in combat. The suicide rate for the overall U.S. population is up 31% since 1999. Neither the criminal wars, nor sacrifice of the veterans, benefit the people. Survivors require prolonged care and suicides of veterans or military personnel should be treated as combat-related deaths. Partial sources online: "76,000 soldiers 'chaptered out' of veterans' benefits since 2006," Sheila MacVicar, Nov. 11, 2013, Al Jazeera America; "The Untold Story of War: U.S. Veterans Face Staggering Epidemic of Unemployment, Trauma & Suicide," Amy Goodman, Ann Jones, Nov. 11, 2013, DemocracyNow!; "2012 Military Suicides Hit Record High of 349," Robert Burns, AP, Jan 14, 2013, military.com; "Suicide Rate Among Vets and Active Duty Military Jumps - Now 22 A Day," Melanie Haiken, Feb. 5, 2013, Forbes.
Songs:"Rebel Soldier" [access:< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NOedfyqIig >].
"Latinoamérica" [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkFJE8ZdeG8 >].
"Me llaman calle" [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZivK8PmxPWQ >].
"Farther Down the Line" [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMOtUV5N9dQ >].
"Yolanda" [access:< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2gBXiz6wdA >].
"Ejército del Pueblo" [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHetaemIf7M >].
November 16, 2013
Bugalagrande, Colombia: another trade union leader was murdered on Nov. 9th. Oscar López Triviño among others of the Union SINALTRAINAL, on a hunger strike against Swiss-owned Nestlé Company, was under death threat from paramilitaries. He was shot four times. Nestlé finds the union's attempt to link Nestlé to any violence 'unacceptable'. Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. Partial sources online: "Colombian trade unionist murdered, others face immediate risk," Act now, Nov. 13, 2013, www.iuf.org; "Colombian trade unionist murdered, others face immediate risk," Eric Lee, Nov. 13, 2013, LabourStart; "Nestlé denies link to Colombian anti-union violence as murder probe begins," Mark Astley, Nov. 14, 2013, DairyReporter.com; "Nestlégate: Court convicts Nestle of 'spying' on Swiss activists," Attac, Jan. 30, 2013, Grain.l Salvador: another (see previous) human rights organization has closed. Assailants described as "armed men" entered the offices of Pro-Busqueda Association for Missing Children, before dawn on Nov. 14th and set the place on fire. Pro-Busqueda is devoted to finding parents and children of families separated by the war of 1982-91. While the military's practice of taking children of the disappeared to raise as their own is noted in Argentina (ie.), in El Salvador the military has refused to provide DNA samples. Children under care of Red Cross camps who were put up for adoption often found their way to North American and European families. Through efforts of Pro-Busqueda about 235 children have found their birth parents. Pro-Busqueda's work has some interface with the Convention on Genocide which prohibits the forced removal of children from one group to another; the data should be protected by international law. A human rights advocate notes all human rights documentation in El Salvador may be at risk. The threat extends to human rights archives everywhere. El Salvador's Supreme Court is currently considering overturning (as required by a ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights) an amnesty placed by the U.S. supported Arena government, for human rights atrocities. A thought about human rights documentation: paper copy records should be maintained in several locations. Electronic records are vulnerable to electromagnetic weaponry; data files of war crimes evidence may survive longest stored online with worldwide public access and encouragement to download. A successful example is Peter Erlinder's "The Rwanda Documents Project [access:< http://www.rwandadocumentsproject.net/gsdl/cgi-bin/library >], concerned with Rwandan genocide despite the Government of Rwanda's opposition. Partial sources online: "Burning the Evidence: Gunmen Torch Records Documenting War Crimes, Missing Children in El Salvador," Gonzalez & Goodman, Nov.15, 2013, DemocracyNow!; "Gunmen torch vital records of rights group in El Salvador," Tracy Wilkinson, Nov. 14, 2013, LATimes.com; "Armed men burn records of El Salvador war missing," Marcos Aleman / AP, Nov. 14, 2013, Miami Herald.
November 14, 2013
El Salvador: the Tutela Legal (Human Rights Office) founded as Socorro Juridico, 1977, by the martyred Archbishop Oscar Romero was closed without warning or explanation by current Archbishop Jose Luis Escobar, Sept. 30, 2013. Guards permitted workers entry to clear their desks. Lawyers with cases in court have no access to the archives which are the principal depository of evidence concerning crimes in the CIA/DIA supported Army's war against the people of El Salvador. The war was responsible for the deaths of 75,000 civilians. The amnesty law passed by the Arena government in 1993 made it impossible to prosecute crimes committed by the Atlacatl Battalion. The battalion was allegedly active as death squads from 1981 until 1992. It was trained by the School of the Americas and several military groups in the U.S.. Last year a ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IAHCR) found that the amnesty law can't protect those guilty of war crimes who are now with those who found asylum in the U.S., vulnerable to prosecution. Relevant to any charges brought at the International Criminal Court, those impeding access to evidence would be guilty of a crime. Previous. Partial sources online: "Salvadoran archbishop closes legal aid office," Mary Jo McConahay, Oct. 4, 2013, National Catholic Reporter; "Massacres of El Salvador's past haunt the present," Mary Jo McConahay, Oct. 4, 2013, National Catholic Reporter; "El Salvador shutters historic rights clinic," Nina Lakhani, Oct. 12, 2013, Al Jazeera; "El Salvador colonel faces jail time in US," Nina Lakhani, Aug. 22, 2013, Al Jazeera; "Pax Christi statement on the decision of closing the office of Tutela Legal," Oct. 2013, Pax Christi International
November 11, 2013
Colorado: war resister Private Kimberly Rivera, currently serving a sentence of 10 months in Fort Carson military prison for desertion has appealed to the courts to reduce her sentence by 45 days so her child won't be born in prison, deprived of nursing, taken away from his mother at birth. Kimberly applied for asylum in Canada because she didn't want to kill people but after some deliberation her request was denied by Immigration Canada and the courts (previous 1 2 3). Partial sources online: "Imprisoned pregnant war resister seeks early release for birth of son," James Branum & Courage to Resist, Nov. 4, 2013, Courage to Resist.
Canada: Canadian Security Certificate detainee Mohamed Mahjoub has spent the last 13 years teaching Canadians how to suffer injustice. He did not intend to. He has had no choice in the matter. And he is only one of five Muslim men, illegally imprisoned under application of Canadian Security Certificates, who have shown the people that innocence can survive oppression even when it attempts to destroy your family, your own life, your mind. The other men are Mohamed Harkat, Hassan Almrei, Adil Charkaoui, Mahmoud Jaballah.... (continue "Coping with the Canadian Security Certificate").
Lindsay, Ontario: 191 immigrant detainees at the maximum security prison, Central East Correctional Centre, are on strike against indefinite detention. Some have been held for up to 7 years. Several have been granted refugee status without release action. Indefinite detention of immigrants violates international standards of 90 days, as discovered by Canadian activists John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani on route to Gaza when detained by Egypt. Partial sources online: "PressTV: Canadians demand end to ‘unjust’ detentions," Nov. 8, 2013, End Immigration Detention; "Global News: Loubani, Greyson lend support to migrants detained ‘indefinitely’ in Ont. prison," Heather Loney, Nov. 8, 2013, End Immigration Detention; "Tarek Loubani and John Greyson go to bat for immigrants jailed endlessly in Canada," Debra Black, Nov. 4, 2013, thestar.com; apprec. No One Is Illegal Toronto.
November 8, 2013
Central African Republic: in March 2013 Islamist rebels from the north with a very loose coalition called Séléka replaced the sitting government of Francois Bozize who fled to Cameroun then France. The U.S. government did not recognize Michel Djotodia, the Séléka Head of State. About 10% of the CAR population is Muslim, and Séléka is thought to be bolstered by recruits from Tchad and the Sudan. To counter Séléka rebels a resistance movement, "anti-balaka" forces, draws heavily on CAR's majority Christian communities. With large numbers of people displaced, the country is reportedly in chaos. Amnesty International warns of Séléka fighters persecuting Christians; its recent report, "Human Rights Crisis Spiralling out of Control ," purveys Séléka as basically criminal and composed of factions not controlled by the Séléka government of CAR. Amnesty finds government officials requesting international intervention. According to the Christian Broadcasting Network Islamists incite violence against Christian communities. But from a distance the religious conflict seems more due to political, tribal, regional loyalties than the result of religious hatred. Anti Séléka resistance protests a genocide of Central Africans by Arabophones while asking for better arms than machetes ("Luttez ensemble ou mourez tout seul"). On Nov. 1, UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng warned the UN Security Council of the possibility of genocide in CAR. Both the French and the UN already have small military presences in the country. French forces as usual, are there to protect French interests. UN forces are ostensibly peace keepers. Both forces will be increased, the French to 1200, the UN to 560. A hundred U.S. Special Forces are covertly on the ground with Ugandan Forces operating against the Lord's Resistance Army (a longstanding resistance movement against the Ugandan government). African countries have maintained peacekeeping forces in CAR for years (ie. MICOPAX) with the 1100 peacekeepers currently under the African Union to increase to 3600. Western advocates of the 'responsibility to protect,' which would provide militarily powerful countries grounds to legally intervene (invade) destabilized countries, are moving toward proposals of intervention. The mechanism of disaster, destabilization and chaos requiring outside controls is familiar. One remembers Paul Kagame's minority army with substantial foreign support taking over Rwanda amid genocide. In Ivory Coast (previous) an Islamic leader from the north with assistance from the French military and IMF backing deposed an African nationalist Christian ruler: the destabilization resulted in conflict between religious groups initiated for the gain of neither group, rather for the control of both by outside forces. NATO policies in Libya and Syria are understood as aggressive. French policy in Mali can be described as aggressive in protecting longstanding French interests. Extremes of religious conflict might be provoked to encourage R2P intervention that would better stabilize the Central African Republic for corporate resource development. This may be more of a problem than differences of religion. A genocide warning for the people of CAR. Partial sources online: "UN officials warn of CAR 'genocide' risk," Nov. 2, 2013, Al Jazeera; "'Risk of Genocide' in Central African Republic," Nov. 5, 2013 CBNNews.com; "Rebels, Anti-Rebels and Refugees in the Central African Republic," Nov. 5, 2013, Think Africa Press; "Why the threat of genocide hangs over the Central African Republic," Martin Plaut, Nov. 4, 2013, New Statesman; "Central African Republic: Human Rights Crisis Spiralling out of Control," Amnesty, 2013, Amnesty International; “'Responsibility to Protect' (R2P): An Instrument of Aggression. Bogus Doctrine Designed to Undermine the Foundations of International Law," Edward S. Herman, Oct.30, 2013, Global Research; "Le Génocide des Centrafricains," Oct. 6, 2013, centrafrique.com.
November 2, 2013 Assata Shakur Liberation Day
New York City: the British artist Banksy was in NYC for the month of October, using its neglected beauty for canvas. His blog "better out than in," [access:< http://www.banksyny.com/ >] records daily efforts to wake up those paid to sleep. He has a near perfect interface with reality. He compares the new World Trade Center to a "non-event," vanilla - "It looks like something they would build in Canada." A Nazi soldier inserted into a North American snow peaked landscape seems disturbingly at home.
Toronto: see previous; Richard Cheney entered Canada, spoke in Toronto and wasn't arrested. There was a small nonviolent protest outside the Convention Centre. The "normalcy" of the Cheney visit translates into a reminder for Canadian minorities of North America's racist over-controls. By appearance, the Harper government suggests that if politicians are "white" enough they won't be held to international laws concerning for example, torture. Economically linked caste bonding continues to assure the "legal" destruction of indigenous lands. The Harper government's somewhat klannish understanding of law and justice damages Canada's future.
October 28, 2013 Impunity in the face of torture ?
Toronto: Lawyers Against the War has written the Toronto Chief of Police and Attorney General of Ontario, stating the simplicity of laws against torture, Richard Cheney's violation of those laws, and requesting Cheney's arrest if he is allowed to enter Canada (Letter of October 27th). The RCMP was informed by previous letter. Canada's Harper government was informed by previous letter. If Cheney is allowed to enter Canada without arrest, the government and police forces will have subverted the rule of law, specifically laws which protect people from being tortured by the nazis of our times. Continuing refusal to apply laws against torture to members of a powerful and privileged U.S. elite, becomes a distinct threat against the people. A protest rally is called by the Canada Peace Alliance and Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, Oct. 31, 11 AM, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. See previous.
October 27, 2013
Kuala Lumpur: the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) will hear charges against retired Israeli General Amos Yaron and the government of Israel, for genocide and crimes against humanity. General Yaron was the Israeli officer in charge of occupied Lebanon in 1992 when the massacres took place at Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. The charges against Israel extend to the treatment of the Palestinian people and present a case for genocide. The charges, listed more fully previously, reinstate those of the Commission hearings August 21-24 which were brought to a close by internal procedural dissent. According to KLWCC's official report, the massacre victim witnesses who hoped to return home after testifying were afraid to present evidence before Judge Eric David. Prof. David is strongly affiliated with NATO country lawyers protesting the massacres of Iranians at Iraq's Camp Ashraf. The targeted group, PMOI/MEK, has been blamed for the killing of American contractors as well as Iranian nuclear scientists. Its long term opposition to the government of Iran has made covert allies in the U.S., Europe and Israel. MEK was removed from U.S. and Canadian lists of terrorist organizations in 2012. In any event the witnesses against Israel were scared. As a prosecutor Francis Boyle who is respected for his integrity as well as understanding of international law, was blamed by the Court for absolutely refusing to force the witnesses to testify unless Judge David withdrew. The press release for new hearings makes no mention of either Prof. Eric David or Prof. Francis Boyle among participants of the Commission which will now reconvene Nov. 20 to 25th in Kuala Lumpur. While evidence presented and the Commission`s decisions cannot force legal action, these become permanent international record of a crime with no statute of limitations. Partial sources online: "Genocide Charges Against Yaron and The State of Israel," Press Release, Oct. 25, 2013, Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War; "Case No. 3 - CHG -2013 & Case No. 4 - CHG -2013, The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal.
October 19, 2013
ndian country, Canada: on October 17th in a pre-dawn raid RCMP officers, some in battle gear, attacked a sleeping Mi'Kmaq Warrior Society encampment near Rte 134 outside Rexton New Brunswick. This began the RCMP crackdown on the Elsipogtog protest against U.S. owned SWN Resources fracking ancestral lands (previous). Members of the Warrior Society were arrested, their legally held rifles and ammunition confiscated. Also arrested were Elsipogtog Chief Arren Sock, others of the Band council, and Halifax Media Coop reporter Miles Howe who has followed the protest in-depth since this summer. Media were subsequently barred from access while armed police teams destroyed the nonviolent supporter encampment, surrounded and pepper sprayed those on the road; 5 police cars were burned. The RCMP is under court order to remove those impeding traffic to SWN's operation. The court action subverts the interests and future of the people, the water, and Aboriginal land claims to unceded traditional land (currently under negotiation) where the Band is asserting its stewardship. On October 18th Chief Sock and New Brunswick Premier David Alward asked for a cooling down. The Premier could have declared a moratorium on fracking. On October 19th, a press vehicle was briefly confiscated by activists in response to media bias. The CBC reports an increasingly large presence of Mi'Kmaq and anti-fracking supporters including Acadian and English communities, to continue a nonviolent refusal of gas fracking. Solidarity actions and protests have appeared across Canada. The establishment's response to the Elsipogtog assertion of people's survival needs instead assures gas fracking development and destruction of the water table, with the same lack of responsibility evident in projects for uranium mining and waste storage. All threaten the health and existence of future generations. Since 2005 Nightslantern.ca has noted sixteen genocide warnings for Canada's Aboriginal people. The UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous rights indicates Canada's Aboriginals are in crisis. A genocide warning for peoples on Mi'Kmaq ancestral lands extends to Acadian and English communities. Partial sources online: "Dene nation calls for solidarity with the Elsipogtog people," George Lessard, Oct. 18, 2013, rabble.ca; "Justice for Indigenous Peoples, Solidarity with Mi'kmaq Anti-Fracking Protest!" Oct. 18, 2013, Canadian Peace Alliance; "Seize the Moment, Stand with Elsipogtog," Derrick O'Keefe, Oct. 19, 2013, The Bullet; "Sacred Fires Lighting for Elsipogtog First Nation," James Murray, Oct. 17, 2013, NetNewsLedger; "Shale gas clash: Explosives, firearms seized in Rexton," Oct. 18, 2013, CBC News; "Serving a Corporate Agenda: Canada’s RCMP Brutalize Indigenous People for Opposing Fracking on Their Land," Miles Howe, Oct. 18, 2013, Global Research; "Fracking in BC: A public health concern," Michael A Benusic, June 2013, BCMJ.
October 16, 2013
Toronto: a Lawyers Against the War (LAW) press release: "Canada Must Arrest & Prosecute Cheney for Torture if He Enters Canada, Say Lawyers," urges the Harper government to honour Canada's commitments to the UN Convention Against Torture. Supportive Lawyers groups included are Lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild (U.S.), International Association of Democratic Lawyers, European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (Germany), Brussells Tribunal (Belgium), International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq (Iraq, Egypt, Spain), and Rights International Spain (Spain). The issue is suppressed by Canadian media, and LAW's letter of September 30, ignored by the government. A street rally protesting the presence of war criminals in Toronto will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre 11: AM, Oct. 31. The facebook rally page is available at https://www.facebook.com/events/340271606118720/?ref=22.
Ottawa: providing preliminary observations on his Canadian visit (adjusted to Oct.7-15) UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous rights James Anaya praised the paper rights Canada affords First Nations, yet finds Aboriginal peoples in crisis. He notes the wealth of the country and impoverishment of natives, and Aboriginal peoples consequent mistrust, that 20% live in unfit housing, the "alarming" high suicide rate, the high rate of violence against women, of incarceration, and funding disparities between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals. He notes the underfunding twice. He finds Federal and Provincial attempts at improvement so far, insufficient. The official Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports apparently shocked him though these are milder than reports without government vetting. He clearly supports a national inquiry for missing aboriginal women (previous). There is a lack of inclusion of Aboriginal input and perspective in the government's First Nations Education Act. He notes only in passing the fast rate of resource development in areas under protracted negotiations, but in fact, where Canada hasn't provided the people adequately with the tools to successfully resist. He encourages reconciliation but it is reconciliation now that the damage is done. He specifically upholds indigenous rights concerning resource extraction but his visit did not include the Maritimes. His official report to be presented next year will focus more closely on how Canada might effect its commitment to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Partial sources online: "Statement upon conclusion of the visit to Canada," Oct. 15, 2013, James Ananya [access:< http://www.unsr.jamesanaya.org/ >]; "Canada faces a 'crisis' on aboriginal reserves: UN investigator," Christina Commisso, Oct. 15, 2013, CTV News; "UN human rights investigator says Canada needs inquiry into missing aboriginal women," The Canadian Press, Oct. 15, 2013, The Globe and Mail.
exton, New Brunswick: the Mi'kmaq Warrior Society has asked solidarity and support for Elsipogtog actions opposing Southwestern Energy Company's SWN Resources fracking. Background. "Warrior Society Call to Support Elsipogtog Seizure of Fracking Equipment" [access:< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um_G-iNeXkI >].
October 13, 2013
erman Wallace of the Angola 3, terminally ill with liver cancer, died, October 4, 2013, three days after his release from forty years of solitary confinement in prison after his conviction was overturned on the grounds that he didn't receive a fair trial and the State would have to try him again. Despite forty years in solitary confinement which can only be understood as torture, he always maintained his innocence.
ynne Stewart's birthday on October 8th was met with letters of greeting and appreciation from Fr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dick Gregory, Richard Falk, Ralph Schoenman among many others. She remains in prison at Federal Medical Center Carswell, Texas, with terminal cancer. The request for her compassionate release is bogged down in the hands of Bureau of Prisons Director Samuels. The mechanisms are in place for her immediate release to the care of her family, and delayed only by the cruelty of a system that used a lawyer for the dispossessed as a propaganda victim in its 'war on terror.' Lawyers Rights Watch Canada has informed both Director Samuels and Attorney General Holder of violations in their legal obligations to Lynne Stewart under international law.
Historical note: Indications that the medical condition of political prisoners is used as a political control are available in the prison histories of Tom Manning who was hurt in custody, another of the Ohio 7, Richard Williams who died of a heart attack, Leonard Peltier with a broken jaw, among others. A code of silence covers the gray area where appropriate medical concern is denied. The silence is partly because the prisoner remains at the mercy of the prison system. Like solitary confinement, withholding of necessary medical care can become an extrajudicial punishment. Conditions which cause illness are also a concern. In an unpopular example, Jack Ruby awaiting trial for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, developed a fast acting cancer which silenced him before he reached court. There are unlikely "suicides" after the Georgia Prison Strike and Pelican Bay hunger strikes. One of the strongest Catholic forces of resistance in America, Phil Berrigan served about 11 years altogether in prison for acts of conscience. After release December 2001 from his last sentence (30 months) he was ill, was diagnosed with cancer and died with his spirit entirely unbroken in December 2002. With 40 years in solitary confinement, Herman Wallace contracted cancer in a prison system which allowed him 3 days of freedom before his death. Under an eighty year sentence Marilyn Buck was granted early release on "presumptive parole." Her spirit was unbroken (with her permission Night's Lantern carries her poem "Bones"). Then in October 2009 she learned she had cancer. In late January 2010 she underwent surgery at Dublin (FCI) California (previous), and was transferred to Federal Medical Center Carswell in Texas. After her release July 15, 2010 she died within three weeks. It is as though political prisoners are removed from society to extinguish the flame of their visions. Some are kept in solitary to keep them from sharing understanding with other prisoners. If their spirits aren't broken they're not allowed to return to their communities and society. Sundiata Acoli, overdue for parole but believing in his principles, was denied parole after 40 years because the board found him 'insufficiently rehabilitated'. The Bureau of Prisons attempts to mind control the American public. Despite the injustice of her continuing imprisonment, her age, being stripped of her standing as an attorney, the physical suffering of terminal cancer, deprived of the presence of her family, Lynne Stewart's spirit isn't broken. Shame on the cowards who refuse her mercy.
October 11, 2013
Rexton, New Brunswick: the Signigtog Mi'kmaq are protesting SWN Resources Canada attempts at shale gas development on their lands, by blocking Route 134. SWN Resources along with Corridor Resources, Contact Exploration and Windsor Energy and Geokinetics Exploration were warned by an open letter from New Brunswick community groups, unions, environmentalists in April. The development which requires hydro-fracking does not have the permission of Aboriginal communities. SWN Resources Canada is a subsidiary of Houston Texas based Southwestern Energy Company, fifth largest natural gas supplier in the U.S., and the Mi'kmaq warrior society has presented SWN's head office in Houston a letter of Oct. 7, 2013, warning SWN CEO Steven Mueller of the circumstances of life in L’nu/Mi’kmaq/Wabanaki communities where 85% of the population is in poverty and reliant on land and water for survival. Effects of development could be considered under the Convention on Genocide. On October 1, Elsipogtog Chief Arren Sock announced a Band Council resolution reclaiming stewardship of their native lands and resolving to evict SWN Resources Canada. The declaration begins: “Whereas Prime Minister Harper and the Canadian Government have washed their hands with regards to the environmental protection of our lands and waters...". A court injunction lasting the month has ordered the protestors be removed, but with talks in progress between Province and Band Council the RCMP has not immediately intervened. An Elsipogtog First Nation media release states “We will respect everyone who lives and works in our territories and respects the Treaties of Peace and Friendship and our authority over our lands. We intend to be fair to everyone.” Partial sources online: "Mi’kmaq Warrior Society says it was 'cut out' of meeting with NB Premier," Jorge Barrera, Oct. 6, 2013, aptn; "RCMP explain lack of intervention in Rexton protest," Oct. 11, 2013, CBC News; April 30, 2013, CBC News; "Talks continue in New Brunswick to end shale gas exploration blockade," Ossie Michelin, Oct. 11, 2013, aptn; "Shale gas protesters say SWN Resources lacks ‘social licence’," April 30, 2013, CBC News; "Lettter to SWN Energy," Mi'kmaq Warrior Society, Oct. 7, 2013, apprec. "Anti-frack Letter of Opposition hand delivered to SWN's Houston office," Miles Howe, Oct. 7, 2013, Halifax Media Co-op; "Activist Communique: News Release - Elsipogtog First Nations-Signigtog Mi'kmaq Reclaim Stewardship of Native Lands," Media release, Oct. 1, 2013, rabble.ca.
Toronto: with the deftness of rule Canada's media is thoroughly suppressing the issue of Dick Cheney's proposed visit to Toronto, October 30-31. Cheney's entry to Canada would violate both Canada's laws and United Nations treaties against torture. Previous
Ottawa: at 7:30 in the morning October 10th some forty people gathered in front of the Supreme Court with signs supporting Mohamed Harkat and denouncing secret trials. Mohamed Harkat was one of five Muslims in Canada arrested on a Security Certificate mechanism in 2002, which detains without explanation, imprisons without charges, and doesn't let go, claiming 'national security.' The five have gradually been returned to the outside world through the efforts of ongoing court battles, after years of incarceration, hunger strikes, and puzzlement. Harkat's lawyers are pressing the Supreme Court to find the Security Certificate process unconstitutional. The Court previously found Security Certificates illegal as applied, so the Harper government modified certain conditions to include 'special advocates' who would have some access to classified information though they can't share this knowledge with defense attorneys. Since this mechanism is essentially one of secret trials, the challenge is a service to the people. At the October 10th public hearing the government's position insisted detainees receive "fundamental" justice, a concept which might include bread and water. The Court holds a closed-door (secret) hearing October 11th, at an unannounced location. Previous. Partial sources online: "Supreme Court urged to accept revamped national security certificate rules," "Mohamed Harkat challenges use of security certificates," Tonda MacCharles, Oct. 10, 2013, thestar.com, Oct. 10, 2013, CBC News; "La cause de Mohamed Harkat en Cour suprême," Oct. 10, 2013, Métro.
September 30, 2013
Canada: listing evidence of his involvement in torture, Lawyers Against the War (LAW) has reminded the Canadian government of its obligation to bar Dick Cheney from entering Canada, Oct.30. Cheney is to address the Toronto Global Forum on Oct. 31, under the auspices of the International Economic Forum of the Americas. In a letter of Sept. 30th to Prime Minister Harper, Attorney General McKay, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Alexander, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Baird, ("Duty to Bar Dick Cheney from Canada and to Arrest him on Entry"), LAW spells out Canada's legal obligations under domestic law and the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. In response to Canada's periodic report to the Convention's Committee Against Torture of May 21-22, 2012, The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures with a view to ensuring the exercise of the universal jurisdiction over persons responsible for acts of torture, including foreign perpetrators who are temporarily present in Canada.... In summary, if Cheney is able to enter Canada, under law Canada is obliged to arrest him. The Harper government refused to apply the law at Cheney's previous visit to address Le Bon Mot Book Club in Vancouver, Sept. 26, 2011 (previous 1 and 2). LAW's letter to the government of Canada to assure observance of the law at the entry of George Bush was noted in a letter of August 25, 2011. The law was not applied. The Harper government's selective application of the law against an extreme crime, the Prime Minister's prorogation of Parliament during investigation of Canada's complicity in rendition of Afghan detainees to torture in Afghanistan (previous 1, 2), the lack of RCMP action to investigate what seems a policy of Canada's defaults on the Convention against Torture (see McNamer), places the government in an equivocal position. The UN Human Rights Council's "Universal Periodic Review" of 2013 recommended Canada establish more mechanisms to assure human rights, in particular to stem violence toward Aboriginal women, a fault also noted by the Committee Against Torture report which requested additional reporting from Canada by June 1, 2013. The Harper government's refusal to accept the recommendations ignores the problems. The reluctance to apply the laws against torture extends to the issue of societal violence against women and Aboriginal women in particular. The refusal to bar from Canada war criminals who have instigated policies of torture in other countries bends Canada toward accepting extremes of violence as a norm or permissable if the perpetrators are powerful. The issue of torture is relevant to these pages since the same legal mechanisms apply to torture as a crime against humanity, as war crimes, as the crime of genocide. Partial sources online: Report of the Committee Against Torture, 48th Session, 7 May-1 June, 2012, "Canada" #14, (pp. 118-119); LAW brief: Duty to Bar Dick Cheney from Canada and to Arrest him on Entry," Sept. 30, 2013, Lawyers Against the War [access:< http://www.lawyersagainstthewar.org/letters/barcheney300913.pdf >]. "Document - Canada's response to the UPR: a lost opportunity for progress and leadershp," Public Statement, Sept. 19, 2013, Amnesty International; Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (S.C. 2000, c. 24), current, Government of Canada.
September 22, 2013
France: At what point does France's ethnic cleansing of the Roma show the intention of genocide ? The treatment of an increasingly dehumanized group, the razed communities, the families placed on the street, the bureaucrats' excuses, gather into the crime of ethnic cleansing which continues to be quietly noted by the French press...(continue "Roma in France"). See previous concerning policies toward Muslims.
September 20, 2013
South Africa: a commission of inquiry has found that police reports lied about the at least 34 striking workers killed at the Marikana mine (owned by Lonmin, U.K.); this suggests the miners were not resisting but murdered. Generally the mining industry is in trouble with numerous wildcat strikes, mine shafts having to go too deep, and a lack of equitable distribution of the proceeds. 60% of South Africa's export revenue derives from mining. In the coal-mining town of Witbank "dehumanizing" hate-crimes against working class Afrikaners increased considerably in August. Outside of efforts by Genocide Watch, there's little interest in the persecution of minority Afrikaners unable to leave their country at Independence. The dynamics of apartheid are now inflicted on poor and working class whites, deeply affected by "black empowerment" employment laws. Afrikaner websites note widely varying statistics of whites murdered by blacks over the past two decades, yet these are substantial. The popular song "Shoot the Boer" has after much controversy and debate been banned as hate speech. At a recent university performance by an Israeli jazz musician, a student Boycott-Israeli-Apartheid leader re-phrased the song to - "Shoot the Jew." The scapegoating of one minority group proceeds easily to another. Beyond the blind righteousness of societal retribution for the inhumanity caused by Boer apartheid, South Africa is failing to assure the poor of its former oppressors, survival. Genocide warning. (Previous). Within these pages, the repeated mechanism of political parties gaining or maintaining power through persecution of a vulnerable minority, is clear. European and North American persecution doesn't rise from vengeance for historical crimes (Rom peoples for example never oppressed the French) but from a strange sense of cultural/racial superiority if not supremacy. In South Africa persecution rises from an Independence which freed the people from racial oppression but not from economic slavery. Partial sources online: "Marikana: South Africa police 'lied over mine shootings,'" Sept. 19, 2013, BBC News; "South Africa mining bill sparks controversy," William Wallis & James Wilson, Sept. 17, 2013, Financial Times;"South Africa BDS leader defends call to 'kill the Jew'," SamSokol, Sept. 2, 2013, Jerusalem Post:"‘Dubul’ ijuda/Shoot the Jew’ and the local architecture of anti-Semitism," Rebecca Hodes, Sept. 12, 2013, Daily Maverick (S.A.); "What is the difference between South African Crime and Boer, white man's Genocide," boervrou58, March 29, 2013, CNN ('not vetted'); "A Week in August in South Africa," Leonard Gentle, Sept.17, 2013, The Bullet; "557 whites killed since 1993 in multiple-family murders by blacks:SA," Aug. 26, 2013, Censorbugbear reports blog.
September 19, 2013
France: the first Western country to take issue with Islamic dress, headscarves were banned from schools in 2004. The full face veil (niquab) was banned by law in public places in 2010. Non-compliance risks a fine and 'citizenship instruction'. The French government is considering extending banning of the headscarves to universities. Paris has already banned Muslims from praying in the street when the mosques are full. The Government's shaping of 'French culture' is reflected in the streets. Russia Today reported August 14th a young French Muslim woman attacked by two men in Trappes, suburban Paris, her veil ripped off, struck, and forced to the ground. Attacks on Muslims have risen 35 to 50 % in 2013, and up 60% in the past few months. A 23 year old soldier was arrested in August for his alleged attempted bombing of a mosque in Lyon. In Argenteuil, in June, a Muslim woman miscarried after an assault. Less exacting burqa bans are proposed or effected in other European countries as a result of pressures from extreme right Islamophobic and anti-immigrant Parties which raise the level of all religious intolerance. Belgium, banned the full face veil in 2011 and in December 2012 its Constitutional court ruled a burqa ban was not a human rights violation. 80 anti-Semitic attacks were reported in Belgium during 2012, a 23% rise from the previous year. The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe (Austria) reports that in 2011, 85% of religious hate crimes in Europe were directed at Christians, and 84% of the vandalism of places of worship in France were against Christian Churches. The report, as noted by Catholic News Agency omits the possibility of destabilizing actions intended to assure persecution of non-Christians. A burqa ban is under consideration in the Netherlands, proposed by the MP Geert Wilders who acts as an agent provacateur of fear and hatred toward Islam in countries which allow him entry, and is remembered from his visit to Canada for the particular ugliness of his insults (previous). Marine Le Pen, leader of France's extreme right Front National indicated Sept. 14th, her hopes to collaborate with Mr. Wilders in campaigning for the 2014 European elections.tockholm, Sweden, on August 17 a young pregnant Muslim woman was attacked, her hijab ripped off, her head struck against an auto while the attacker yelled racist insults. She was taken to a hospital, unconscious. In response to the hate crime and attack on religious freedom Swedish women of several faiths, and among them politicians and broadcasters, opened a campaign of "hijab outcry" by wearing headscarves.
Partial sources online: "Swedish women don headscarves after assault on Muslim," Aug. 19, 2013, BBC; "Headscarf outcry after pregnant woman beaten," Aug. 19, 2013, The Local (Sweden); "The women defying France's full-face veil ban," Christian Fraser, Sept. 22, 2011, BBC; "The Islamic veil across Europe," Sept. 22, 2013, BBC; "Air force sergeant accused of planning mosque attack as Muslim leader denounces 'Islamophobic' France," Aug. 13, 2013, ICARE; "‘Climate of Islamophobia’: Two attackers rip veil off French girl," RT, Aug. 14, 2013, ICARE; "France debates extending headscarf ban to universities," Aug. 7, 2013, The Malay Mail; "Europe: 85 Percent Of Hate Crimes Committed Against Christians," Catholic News Agency, March 22, 2012, eurasiareview; "Marine Le Pen veut collaborer avec le populiste néerlandais Geert Wilders," Jean-Pierre Stroobants, Sept. 15, 2013, Le Monde.
September 14, 2013
U.S.:"Pelican Bay, Lynne Stewart, Ramsey Muñiz, Assata Shakur: Updates"
Historical note: "Open Letter from Assata Shakur" (1998).
September 10, 2013
U.S.: "U.S. Journalists and War Crime Guilt," by Peter Dyer.
U.K: The Hammarskjöld Commission has released its report on the death of Dag Hammarskjöld, the UN Secretary-General whose plane crashed in the Congo in 1961. Material is being withheld by the U.S. national security apparatus. Presenting various possible causes of the disaster the report leans toward the shooting down of Hammarskjöld's plane, and deals realistically with identifying his opposition as the corporations involved in Tschombe's break-away state of Katanga (rich in industry and Euro-American corporations). Within substantial evidence gathered through the years, the principal suspects remain: covert operations by the C.I.A., the Rhodesian military, the U.K.. The Commission recommends another U.N. investigation. Partial sources online: "UN 'should reopen inquiry into Dag Hammarskjöld's death'," Sept. 9, 2013, BBC News; "Report of the Commission of Inquiry," Sept. 9, 2013, The Hammarskjöld Commission.
Kenya: on Sept. 5th, Parliament voted to withdraw Kenya from the International Criminal Court. The ICC's focus on Africans and its indictment and prosecution of African leaders (ie. Sudan, Mali) continues with the current trial of Kenya's Vice President William Ruto and November trial of its President, Uhuru Kenyatta. They are charged with crimes against humanity rising from the election disputes of 2007. Kenya's major suppliers in trade are China and India. Partial sources online: "Kenya parliament approves motion to withdraw from ICC ," Sept. 6, 2013, Jurist; "William Ruto, Kenya's deputy leader, on trial for alleged crimes against humanity," Faith Karimi and Laura Smith-Spark, Sept. 10, 2013, CNN.
September 9, 2013
Canada: Jusqu’à ce que le Gouvernement mette fin, en 2010, à son aide financière, l’Association des femmes autochtones du Canada, a fait une enquête à travers le Canada, et dénombré, à partir des années 1960, 582 cas de femmes disparues ou assassinées...(continuer "Femmes autochtones disparues", the French translation of "On Missing Aboriginal Women," posted August 27th).
September 4, 2013
"On the Perception Management of Genocide."
August 29, 2013
Syria: the government previously requested UN investigation of chemical attacks March 19th at Aleppo, and at Ghouta, suburban Damascus, August 21. Tracing to rebel forces three recent attacks using nerve gas (at Jobar, Sahnaya, and al-Bahariya) the 22nd, 24th, 25th of August, the Government of Syria asked UN investigators gathering information on the Ghouta attack to stay. According to The Washington Post the U.S. refused. Reuters reports Syria's warning that rebel forces may extend use of chemical weapons to Europe. U.S. plans for an allied military strike on Syria can't exclude bombing hidden chemical weapon stockpiles with predictable effects on the civilian population (additional genocide warning). The global media notes possibilities of widespread retaliation including the destruction of Israel (genocide warning). Without United Nations approval NATO country plans for attack risk the war crime of aggression, included with the crime of genocide under the International Criminal Court's Rome Statute. Canada's Prime Minister Harper states Canada isn't currently planning military intervention. In the U.K. the House of Commons refused to support Prime Minister Cameron's request for military action. Previous. Partial sources online: "Syria asks UN to immediately investigate 3 new ‘chemical attacks’ by rebels," Reuters / Abo Alnour Aslhaji, Aug. 28, 2013, RT (TV-Novosti); "Syria says 'terrorists' will strike Europe with chemical weapons," Oliver Holmes et al/ Reuters, Aug. 28, 2013, Thomson Reuters; "Iran commander: U.S. strike on Syria would bring Israel's destruction," Yeganeh Torbati/ Reuters, Aug. 29, 2013, Thomson Reuters; "U.S. rejects Syrian request that U.N. inspectors stay longer, possibly delaying military strike," Karen DeYoung, Aug. 28, 2013, Washington Post; "Stephen Harper: Canada has no plans to join Syria military mission," Jessica Hume, Aug. 29, 2013; Toronto Sun; "Syria military response vote defeated in U.K.," Aug. 29, 2013, CBC News.
August 27, 2013
Canada: Before its government funding was cut (2010), the Native Women's Association of Canada documented throughout Canada and starting in the 1960's, 582 missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Undocumented and unreported instances are thought to run much higher. In Ontario 70 native women were missing or murdered and of these 90% were mothers, three so far in 2013; 45% of the cases remain unsolved....(continue "On Missing Aboriginal Women").
ttawa: the Harper government continues to force Canadian culture toward the far right , announcing today a memorial near Parliament Hill for victims of Communism. Assisted by the National Capital Commission and Public Works and Government Services Canada, an organization called Tribute to Liberty will receive funding of one and a half million dollars for the memorial to be constructed next to the Supreme Court before the end of 2014. Tribute to Liberty's "Pathway to Liberty Fundraising Campaign" is also asking the public for 200 dollar a brick donations accompanied by "a story of a victim of Communism." A competition for collaborating artists will be announced to choose the monument's design. The announcement coincides with Europe's Day of Remembrance, which commemorates victims of both Nazism and Communism. While there is a memorial on Parliament Hill to fallen law enforcement officers, there's none specifically for the victims of Canada's Aboriginal policies, nor for labourers, nor for 20 million Soviet allies who died fighting Hitler, nor victims of Third Reich concentration camps, nor for Armenians, none for the Congolese, nor Sudanese, nor Somalis, nor the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, nor a place in that stretch along the River watched over by Parliament, its offices, the Supreme Court and Library and Archives Canada that gives Canadian veterans their due. Partial sources online: "Memorial to victims of communism to be built near Parliament Hill ,"Canadian Press, Aug. 23, 2013, The Gazette; "A Canadian Memorial to Victims of Communism," current, truetoliberty.ca; "Government of Canada supports memorial project to commemorate victims of Communism," CNW, August 23, 2013, CNW; "Who Do Modern-Day European Nazis Hate the Most?" Andrew Connelly, Aug. 22, 2013, The Atlantic.
August 23, 2013
August 21, 2013
California: previous. Extending practices of Guantanamo to U.S. civilians, the California prison system is allowing with court approval, forced feeding of inmates who risk death from the hunger strike. About fifty prisoners are still refusing food. While the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has acceded to secondary points of prisoner demands (for instance allowing one telephone call a month) it continues to refuse the 5 core demands. If not agreed to by August 23rd, Calipatria State Prison has threatened to renew "in full" the hunger strike on August 26th. Partial sources online: "CDCR has negotiated and has met Calipatria ASU’s Hunger Strikers' Humane Demands," Kendra Castaneda, Aug. 19, 2013, California Prison Watch; "We dare to stand united with all racial groups to say enough is enough, while CDCR and FBI collaborate to break our hunger strike," Arturo Castellanos, August 16, 2013, SF Bay View.
Japan: nuclear contamination from Fukushima is not under control. Russia Today reports that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) estimates 20 to 40 billion bequerels of tritium entered the Pacific Ocean since the disaster began in March 2011; in the past weeks radiation levels of the bay around Fukushima have reached 4700 bequerels/litre; the European Union sets the safe limit at 100 bequerels/litre while the UN's World Health Organization's limit is 10,000 bequerels per litre; radiation at the reactor site is 100 millisieverts/hour; "acceptable" levels of radiation are considered to be 1 to 13 millisieverts/hour. Fukushima prefecture's governor calls the new massive storage tank leak of unknown location, a national emergency. No adequate project has been undertaken to stop the flow of radiated groundwater into the ocean. With no appropriate disaster management available after two years, plans for nuclear plant construction anywhere are threats to people's safety. A report by the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project, University of Texas finds 107 U.S. nuclear plants vulnerable to terrorism, which may be less of a threat than aging and inadequate structural strength. On August 15th the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Vermont nullified three Vermont statutes regulating nuclear power safety. The statutes gave Vermont some ability to protect its people from nuclear mismanagement at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, placing sole authority in federal agencies including the NRC which granted the old plant a twenty year license extension. Canadian nuclear energy policies as well, show no signs of adapting to new facts. Partial sources online: "Probabilité d’un accident nucléaire grave au Canada: 100 fois plus élevée que socialement acceptable," Michel Duguay, Aug. 2, 2013, Mondialisation, "Second Circuit strikes down Vermont nuclear power laws," Aug. 16, 2013, Jurist; "Radiation levels in Fukushima bay highest since measurements began - reports," Aug. 19, 2013, RT; "Fukushima's Radiation: BC Health Risk, or Fish Tale?" Stanley Tromp, April 27, 2013, Tyee; "Fukushima radiation leak not a concern to Canada, officials say," Jeremy Nuttall (QMI), Aug. 14, 2013, Sun News; "Latest Fukushima Radiation Leak Called a National Emergency," Kurt Nimmi, Aug. 20, 2013, Infowars.com; "Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation," Michel Chossudovsky ed., Aug. 15, 2012, Global Research; "There is no Way to Stop Fukushima Radioactive Water Leaking into the Pacific - expert," Arnie Gundersen, Aug. 7, 2013, The Voice of Russia; "Report: All U.S. Nuclear Facilities Vulnerable to Terrorism," Ethan Rosenberg, Aug. 15, 2013, US News.
U.S.: on August 21, military judge Colonel Denise Lind sentenced Private Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison. Manning released to Wikileaks a video of American soldiers in Iraq murdering civilians and two Reuters journalists in Iraq. The footage became internationally distributed. He was convicted of 20 counts of espionage and theft. However, under apolitical application of domestic, military or international law, it would have been a crime for Manning not to report the war crime, or evidence of crimes revealed in the 700,000 military documents. With this sentence the military proves itself incapable of dealing with the essential crimes Manning helped expose; the judge found Manning's bravery "wanton and reckless." Military court treatment of Manning, as well as conditions of his pre-trial imprisonment, indicate a policy of information suppression to strip the people of knowledge about their government, also evident in the attempts to criminalize Edward Snowden and Julian Assange and the increasing direct threats to journalists questioning U.S. policies. Previous. Partial sources online: "U.S. soldier Manning gets 35-year prison sentence," Aug. 21, 2013, Reuters; "Bradley Manning's leaks 'wanton and reckless', judge says," Reuters, Aug. 16, 2013, The Guardian.
August 14, 2013
California: on the 38th day of the California prison hunger strike, 287 who still refuse food are entering a medical emergency, amid reports of abuse of strikers and their families. Since the strike started July 8th numbers have decreased through hospitalization, withholding of medical treatment, threats, abuse, personal decision. The prisoners are striking for changes in policies of solitary confinement which are against international standards of humane treatment. Justice remains denied by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and Governor Jerry Brown. The CDCR position is that solitary confinement is necessary to stop gang violence. Yet on August 12, 2012, prisoners of the PBSP-SHU Short Corridor Collective issued a statement to all California prisoners: "Agreement to End Hostilities" [access:< http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/agreement-to-end-hostilities.pdf >]. It's one of the strongest refusals of violence from a U.S. movement since the statement Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made with his life. Three of the four prisoners who died as a result of the 2011 hunger strikes as well as the death of hunger striker Billy Sell on July 22nd, are being listed as suicide. Previous. Partial sources online: "Mediators Talk with Prisoners as Hunger Strike Reaches One Month, Situation Critical, Negotiations Crucial," August 8, 2013, Prisoners Hunger Strike Solidarity; "Day 37 Countdown for Humane Conditions," Aug. 13, 2013, Prisoners Hunger Strike Solidarity; "California prison hunger strike appears headed for stalemate," Paige St. John, Aug. 13, 2013, Los Angeles Times; "Negotiate, Gov. Brown! How many more prisoners must die?," Isaac Ontiveros, Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition, July 29, 2013", SF Bay View.
South Dakota: The Red Phoenix finds the removal from their homes by the State of 700-per-year Sioux Indian children, evidence of a program of genocide. Many Indian children are sent to white foster homes or are adopted by white families. "Of the hundreds of Native children in foster care in 2011, 87 percent were placed in non-Indian homes while Native foster homes went empty." The policy trips over the Convention on Genocide's prohibition against forcibly transferring children from one group to another (Article II, e). "A Report to the U.S. Congress from the Coalition of Sioux Tribes for Children and Families," finds the forced removal of their children fuels the State's foster care industry receiving 100 million dollars yearly of federal funding, which helps explain the placement of children in white foster care. In response to the historical crime of removing Indian children from their parents, the Indian Child Welfare Act was passed by Congress in 1978, both to stop mass removal programs and to assure that children removed of necessity were placed with families of similar tribe or culture. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has not responded to reports of the problem. Ongoing genocide warning. News of this story was brought to public attention by Laura Sullivan's National Public Radio series in 2011. Her reports were derided by neo-conservatives (one glib response to native suffering was that Minnesota among five other States has a higher per capita ratio of Indian children in foster care than South Dakota), and after nearly two years of deliberation, NPR Ombudsman, corporate media icon Edward Schumacher Matos, found Ms. Sullivan at fault for getting the story wrong. NPR stands by the reporting. Partial sources online: "South Dakota commits shocking genocide against Native Americans," Albert Bender, July 10, 2013, The Red Phoenix. "Reviewing the Facts: An Assessment of the Accuracy of NPR’s Native Foster Care: Lost Children, Shattered Families," "A Report to the U.S. Congress from the Coalition of SiouxTribes for Children and Families,"January 22, 2013, Lakota People’s Law Project [access;< http://lakotalaw.org/reports-to-congress/ >]; "Slandering the Red States: Part 1, John Hindrecker, Nov. 6, 2011, Powerline; "S. Dakota Indian Foster Care 1: Investigative Storytelling Gone Awry," Edward Schumacher-Matos, Aug. 9, 2013, NPR; "Edward Schumacher-Matos, NPR Ombudsman, Blasts 'Deeply Flawed' Foster Care Report," August 12, 2013, Huffington Post; "Editors' Note," August 09, 2013, NPR.
Ottawa: a Canadian poem for Black August. To remember the longest held U.S. political prisoner, see Ruchell Cinque Magee.
August 7, 2013
Libya: on July 31, the educator Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim, former Secretary of the World Green Book Research Center and a Minister of Education for Gaddafi, was sentenced to death by a Misrata court. His convictions include inciting the people to defend Sirte from the 'rebels'. Dr. Ibrahim was captured at Gaddafi's final defense of Sirte and subjected to torture. The Supreme Court has yet to ratify the verdict, arguable due to the Misrata court's bias against a native of Sirte, arguable as political vengeance, arguable as the result of Western policy in targeting Dr. Ibrahim as a socialist pan-African, arguable in the absence of NATO concern for mistreatment of and possible death sentences for Gaddafi loyalists under the current government of Libya, arguable in that the Misrata court lacks credibility due to the inability of Libyan justice to find Gaddafi's death a war crime. On May 31rst, the International Criminal Court found Libyan justice incapable of a fair trial for two other Gaddafi loyalists the ICC wants tried at the Hague. Libya does not yet have a constitution. The concern of academics among others in NATO countries is urged. Partial sources online: "Ahmed Ibrahim: Silence of the Lambs," Aug. 1, 2013, Adam King, Mathaba; "An Urgent Appeal: Dr Ahmed Ibrahim Sentenced to Death by Kangaroo Court," Yahaya Ezemoo Ndu and Gerald A. Perreira, Aug. 2, 2013, Mathaba; "Ahmed Ibrahim, former Libyan education minister, sentenced to death," July 31, 2013, globalpost; "Death Sentences And The International Criminal Court,"Vijay Prashad, Aug. 2, 2013, The Sri Lanka Guardian; "Gaddafi minister Ahmed Ibrahim sentenced to death," July 31, 2013, BBC News; "Amnesty International condemns 'Revenge Killing' and Death Penalty for Libya's Political Prisoners," Alexandra Valiente, Aug. 3, 2013, 2013, Viva Libya.Historical note: for a sequence of entries concerned with war crimes in Libya: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.
August 4, 2013
Kuala Lumpur: charges of Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, are being brought against Amos Yaron and the State of Israel at the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, August 21 to 24, 2013. Yaron who attended the US Marine Command and Staff College in 1974, and later became director general of Israel's Ministry of Defense from 2000 to 2005, was investigated by Israel's Commission of Inquiry for doing nothing to stop the 1982 massacres of Sabra and Shatila refugees by Christian Phalangists. Taken to court in Belgium by survivors, the case against Yaron, Ariel Sharon and other Israelis was closed when Parliament altered Belgian law on universal jurisdiction in 2003. The principal judge for the current trial is Tan Sri Dato Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus Lamin, a retired Federal Court Judge of Malaysia and former (ad litem) judge for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Republic of Yugoslavia. Other judges include Prof. Eric David, a former counsel at the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. While this court lacks power to arrest and sentence, names of those convicted are entered in the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission Register of War Criminals and the legal proceedings become permanent record concerning crimes with no statute of limitation. In November of 2011 the Commission's Tribunal found George Bush and Anthony Blair guilty of Crimes against Peace (previous). In May 2012 Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzalez, Addington, Haynes, Bybee, and Yoo, were found guilty of Torture (previous). According to the Tribunal's press release, charges against Amos Yaron and the State of Israel are:
Amos Yaron. The defendant Amos Yaron perpetrated War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide in his capacity as the Commanding Israeli General in military control of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Israeli occupied Lebanon in September of 1982 when he knowingly facilitated and permitted the large-scale Massacre of the Residents of those two camps in violation of the Hague Regulations on Land Warfare of 1907; the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949; the 1948 Genocide Convention; the Nuremberg Charter (1945), the Nuremberg Judgment (1946), and the Nuremberg Principles (1950); customary international law, ‘jus cogens’, the Laws of War, and International Humanitarian Law.
The State of Israel. From 1948 and continuing to date, the State of Israel (hereafter ‘the Defendant’) carried out against the Palestinian people a series of acts namely killing, causing serious bodily harm and deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction.Partial sources online: "War Crimes Charges against Israel and Yaron," Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission press release, July 30, 2013, Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War; "Amos Yaron," current, Trial; The Convention on Genocide; Night's lantern 1, 2, 3.
July 25, 2013
U.S.: on July 24, 2013, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada wrote the US Attorney General, Eric Holder, and Charles Samuels, Jr., the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, concerning their obligations under international law to release Lynne Stewart from prison to receive the medical care she needs. Ms. Stewart at 73, is currently imprisoned at FMC Carswell Prison in Texas with terminal cancer. An appeal for her "compassionate release" was previously denied. Signed by LRWC's Executive Director Gail Davidson, Grace Chen and Marjorie Cohn, their letter clarifies the responsibility of U.S. law to international law, as violated in refusing Ms. Stewart's release. Citing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (UN) and American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man (Ninth International Conference of American States), noting this "American Declaration" is considered binding by the Inter-American Human Rights system as parallel principles are by the European Convention on Human Rights, they provide precedent in numerous cases where the prisoner's right to life was found to be violated by the State. The full text is available: "Re. International law obligations to release of Lynne Stewart for medical treatment" (.pdf). See previous.
July 24, 2013
Syria (Iraq): as the U.S. considers expanding its war on Syria to overt military aggression, Iraq provides some warning of the human cost of accepting the policies of madmen. In Iraq military action starting with "Desert Storm" in 1991, caused the near total destruction of Iraq's society, culture, environment and eventual losses of millions of innocent people. Health and mortality information risks heavy suppression and manipulation since it provides evidence concerning a crime...(continue "Syria, Iraq and Depleted Uranium").
July 19, 2013yria: as foreseen the refugee crisis has become extreme, with the greatest number of refugees since the Rwandan genocide. Syrian President Assad's government has held against the "Rebels" and covert operations of the Western powers. The U.S. is considering direct military action against the national group. According to the United Nations 5000 in Syria are being killed each month, and 6000 a day are leaving their homes. The UN's Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic has informed the Security Council that 92,901 people in Syria were killed in the period March 2011through April 2013 (Jerusalem Post). The media express puzzlement at the world's inability to halt a conflict which has endured because of English, French, U.S, recognition as the legitimate government, a covert "Rebel" group fueled by foreign fighters with illegal arms. A genocide warning remains in effect for the people of Syria as a national group. See previous. Countries party to the Convention on Genocide, which have recognized the Rebel government should identify for accountability those responsible within their own governments. Partial sources online: "Syria's refugee crisis 'is worst since Rwanda Genocide in 1994'," Alistair Dawber, July 17, 2013, The Independent; "Syria death toll hits 5,000 a month: UN," AFP July 18, 2013, The Daily Star; "UN: Syrians fleeing at rate not seen since Rwandan genocide," Reuters, July 16, 2013, The Jerusalem Post; "US preparing for military action in Syria, top US general says." July 18, 2013, RT; "Britain’s Top Military Brass: The UK Must be Prepared 'To Go to War'. 'We Must Risk War with Syria'," GRN, July 19, 2013, Global Research News.
Canada: Ian Mosby, a food historian at the University of Guelph has uncovered a government program which began in 1942 with the discovery of severe malnutrition among the Cree in northern Manitoba. Instead of feeding them, programs were developed for northern Manitoba and residential schools in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia, involving over 1300 children and adults, and which supplied and/or withheld nutrition, vitamins, minerals, milk, calories, flour, and dental services, so the effects of deprivation could be studied. Mosby's research covers the years 1942 to 1952. The studies, subsequently hidden, involved Canada's leading experts in nutrition, but with little information available it's unclear when these studies stopped. New Democrat Minister of Parliament Jean Crowder has pointed out that half of Canada's First Nations children continue to live in poverty (National Post). While the Conservative government expresses shock, its policies favour the well-fed; it proved particularly unfriendly to concerns of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter, at his visit in May 2012 (previous 1 and 2). On July 18th the Assembly of First Nations passed an emergency resolution demanding restitution for those subject to the experiments. Derek Nepinak, Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba chiefs, has asserted the need for First Nations to move toward independence and sovereignty of their people. Partial sources online: "Hungry aboriginal kids, adults were subject of nutritional experiments: paper," Bob Weber, The Canadian Press, July 16, 2013, Winnipeg Free Press; "Harper must acknowledge ‘horrors’ of experiments done on hungry aboriginal children: AFN," Bob Weber, The Canadian Press, July 17, 2013, National Post; "Shameful research on starving First Nations communities," editorial staff, July 16, 2013, Ottawa citizen. "New rival to AFN pushes ahead for indigenous sovereignty," Gloria Galloway, July 19, 2013, The Globe and Mail; "Assembly of First Nations passes emergency resolution on nutritional experiments," Bob Weber, The Canadian Press, July 18, 2013, The Globe and Mail.
Honduras: a leading Lenca indigenous human rights proponent, Thomas Garcia, was murdered by government troops. His son was also shot and is hospitalized in critical condition. Among other civilians against DESA's (Desarrollos Energéticos SA) attempt to dam the Gualcarque river, Garcia was on his way to DESA offices to negotiate with the people who had threatened their lives when shot by members of the Batallón de Ingenieros de Siguatepeque. A group of dam building companies supports DESA's building of the dam, including the world's largest dam construction company, Sinohydro, a Chinese government owned corporation. DESA is Honduran owned within an economy bolstered by the U.S. supported coup which ousted the country's democratically elected president in 2009 (previous), at which point the murders of human rights activists began again (1 2 3). Partial sources online: "¡El ejercito de Honduras asesino al compañero Tomas Garcia del COPINH!" 16 julio, 2013, Desde el Pueblo; "Ejercito hondureño asesina a dirigente indígena lenca," Red Morazánica de Información, 17 julio, 2013, Desde el Pueblo; "Honduran Army Kills Indigenous Leader of COPINH Who Resisted Dam in Rio Blanco," Real World Radio, July 16, 2013, Intercontinental Cry; "Sinohydro Corporation," current, International Rivers.
July 18, 2013
St. Gabriel, Louisiana: a July 18th mailing from Amnesty International USA reveals on July 12th Herman Wallace's status was changed from maximim security prisoner to medium security prisoner, relieving him of wearing leg restraints and providing access to the "day room." See previous. Partial sources online: "Urgent: Don't let Herman die alone," July 18, 2013, Amnesty International USA.
July 17, 2013
St. Gabriel, Louisiana: injustices of the U.S. "war on terrorism" predate the World Trade Center's demolition, and are an extension of previous controls-by-fear in grossly depriving individuals of human rights despite U.S. Constitutional safeguards. Herman Wallace has spent the past 41 years of his life in solitary confinement. He was diagnosed in June with liver cancer. Amnesty International has mounted a campaign for his release at http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=6645049&aid=520059 . Wallace was one of the Angola 3, young Black Panther members in the early Seventies who tried to organize within the Louisiana State prison system. The other two were Robert King, whose original conviction was overturned and he's been released, and Albert Woodfox whose trial was found unjust by the court yet he remains in solitary under threat of the State's appeal. Herman Wallace was a chosen guilty party in the death of a prison guard in 1972 and placed in isolation. With the injustice of the Angola 3 trials a matter of court record (Woodfox and Wallace's cases are both under federal court review), and isolated confinement increasingly understood as a form of torture surpassing "cruel and unusual punishment," U.S. Congressmen Cedric Richmond, John Conyers Jr., Jerrold Nadler, and Robert Scott, have written the Department of Justice a letter of July 12, 2013, questioning Louisiana Department of Corrections practices (ref.: the website of the Honorable Cedric Richmond [access:< http://richmond.house.gov/sites/richmond.house.gov/files/documents/7 12 13 Letter to DOJ re Angola 3.pdf >]. ). They find the treatment of prisoners in solitary particularly unconstitutional, Wallace's medical treatment "sub-standard," and his lockdown "unconscionable." They also find evidence of collusion between the Department of Corrections and the State's Attorney General's office in fabricating "violations of prison rules to unjustifiably punish inmates." The Congressmen ask for an investigation to see that Louisiana complies with the Constitution (see the somewhat battered U.S. "Bill of Rights"). Partial sources online: "Herman's story," current, "Who is Herman Wallace ?" / hermanshouse.org; "End the nightmare. Free Herman Wallace!" current, Amnesty International; "Amnesty International Appeals for Release of Terminally Ill 'Angola 3' Prisoner, after 40 Years in Solitary Confinement," July 10, 2013, Amnesty; "Reps. Richmond, Conyers, Nadler, and Scott Lead Letter Calling for Investigation into Several Louisiana Prison Facilities," July 12, 2013, Congressman Cedric Richmond; note also: "Solitary Watch: news from a nation in lockdown," current [access: < http://solitarywatch.com/ >]. Updated
July 10, 2013
akland, California: the Pelican Bay Prison Strike resumed [July 8th] with 30,000 prisoners on hunger strike throughout the State's prison system. The strike is accompanied by refusals to work. It is a nonviolent action by participants who risk their health, lives and retribution by the prison system, in response to conditions the prison populations know are torture. Prisoners in Washington, Oregon, and Palestine are joining in support of the largest prison strike in California's history. The action was called by Pelican Bay inmates held in segregation. The Los Angeles Times lists prisoners demands rising from the State's failure to reasonably negotiate the demands of the strike in 2011. Current demands for basic rights overlooked by the prison system, include: limiting solitary confinement to 5 years maximum, 90 days maximum for the temporary isolation cells, better visitation rights, better education, better rehabilitation, a shorter time for transition from solitary confinement to the general prison population. In March 2013 California prisons held 10,192 prisoners in solitary confinement; for many the punishment is indefinite until the prisoner accepts "debriefing," ie. reveals suspected connections to gangs. While a five year sentence in solitary is applied for killing a guard, some prisoners suspected of gang alliances are confined in solitary for over twenty years. This mechanism of information gathering is a human rights violation. Beyond law, the prison is claiming a person's soul / identity / self. Responding with an ethic deeper than American politics, in September of last year Pelican Bay Solitary Housing Unit prisoners issued a call for an end to acts of racial hatred. See "California rises to prisoners’ challenge to end racial hostilities," by the editor of San Francisco Bay View. Gerald and Maas supports the strike. Partial sources online: "California prison officials say 30,000 inmates refuse meals," Paige St. John, July 8, 2013, Los Angeles Times; "Prison protests begin with list of demands," Paige St. John, July 8, 2013, Los Angeles Times; "California prisoners inspire the world," Willie Ratcliffe, July 3, 2013, Bay View; "Support the Pelican Bay hunger strike," Shaka At-thinnin, July 3, 2013, SF Bay View; "Interview With Carol Strickman about Pelican Bay Hunger Strike," Revolution Newspaper, July 6, 2013, The World Can't Wait; "Lawsuit Challenges Solitary Confinement at California Prison," May 31, 2012, center for constitutional rights.Note: "Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part" (Article II, c) brings the perspective of the Convention on Genocide to bear on mass actions of an ethnical or racial group whose members find their lives unbearable to the point of risking death or dying, particularly when confined by a government.
July 9, 2013
hiapas, Mexico: after the Zapatista uprising of 1994, the people who are primarily Maya organized large areas of the countryside into community cooperatives independent of government. The government's Secretary of Public Security for Chiapas, Jorge Llaven Abarca, stated last May he met with Israeli officials to coordinate Israel's military assistance in Chiapas. Abarca has been accused of numerous crimes of power including torture. Israeli officials deny they are involved in the region or training its police. Since the Seventies Israel supplied military assistance to counter-insurgency programs with notable effects in El Salvador, Columbia, Argentina, Nicaragua, Guatemala among other Latin American countries whose regimes relied on death squads. Across the border from Chiapas the Mayan population of Guatemala, particularly Ixil Mayans, was targeted for genocide by counter-insurgency operations under Ríos Montt in 1982-83, recently found guilty of genocide by a Guatemalan Court. Guatemala's legal system's inability to uphold the verdict (previous) may encourage other military and paramilitary crimes. Israel supplied weapons, training, surveillance and identification technology able to map out homes and identify the politics of occupants (1980's) to Ríos Montt's program when overt U.S. assistance was forbidden by the U.S. Congress. The government of Israel's inability to view its policies within a perspective of the Convention on Genocide (ie. Palestine, Gaza, Bedouins), the previous results of Israel's military assistance and counter-insurgency training in Guatemala and Columbia, Guatemala's inability to assure justice to the Ixil genocide-victim group, failure of the international community to prevent or punish genocide in Guatemala, Mexico's previous violation of the Convention on Genocide, suggest a genocide warning for Mayan peoples and their supporters in Oaxaca and Chiapas. Due to advanced information technology applied in the identification and targeting of Ixil Mayan families as insurgent supporters in Guatemala's civil war, the failure of Guatemala's judicial system to withstand the pressures of an elite impeding the course of justice, the reluctance of the U.N. to regulate corporate resource extraction interests, a tentative genocide warning for the Maya in Guatemala is confirmed. Poster (.pdf). Himno Zapatista (YouTube). Partial sources online: "Death by 'security': Israel's services in Latin America," Belen Fernandez, July 7, 2013, Al Jazeera; "'Mexico talked to Israel official on ways to crack down on Zapatistas’," June 11, 2013, Press TV; "Israel's Latin American trail of terror," Jeremy Bigwood, June 5, 2013, Al Jazeera; "Parecen repetirse los sucesos de 1997, que terminaron con la matanza de Acteal," Hermann Bellinghausen, 11 de Junio 2013, La Jornada; "Mexico's Chiapas Says It Receives Police Training From Israel, But Israel Embassy Denies It," Andrew O'Reilly, June 14, 2013, Fox News Latino; "Mexico: Israel training Chiapas police?," June 20, 2013, Word War 4 Report; "Guatemala case casts spotlight on indigenous group," AP, July 3, 2013, El Paso Inc..
July 3, 2013
U.S.: Previous. The application for compassionate release of Lynne Stewart was denied by the Bureau of Prisons despite the recommendations of the Carswell Prison Warden and the Director of the Bureau's South Central Regional Office. Bureau of Prisons Director Charles E. Samuels bears responsibility for the decision written by the Bureau of Prisons legal offices. According to a recent bulletin from Ms. Stewart's husband, Ralph Poynter: "Lynne Stewart’s condition is deteriorating rapidly. Medical treatment to arrest the cancer that is metastasizing in her body has been halted because she is too weak to receive it. She remains in isolation, as her white blood cell count is so low that she is at risk for generalized infection." In an attempt to reverse the Bureau of Prisons decision, all are encouraged to sign the petition to free Lynne Stewart, available through Justice for Lynne Stewart [access:< http://lynnestewart.org >].Historical note: on June 21, 2013 President Obama announced his selection for new Director of the FBI, James B. Comey. Praised for standing against surveillance excesses of the Bush agenda, in surreal fact Comey covered the NSA's reinstatement of its surveillance program after it was initially challenged. His aggressive prosecution and imprisonment of Martha Stewart for obstructing justice seemed arbitrary to some, making headlines at the public's expense. He is considered responsible for attempts to prosecute Dr. Steven Jay Hatfill on false charges of anthrax mail attacks, attempts to prosecute José Padilla, on false charges for a crime he couldn't have committed (a radiological bomb attack). Though Padilla was subsequently found guilty of less sensational crimes, interrogation techniques used on him amounted to torture. Under Comey as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the decision was made to prosecute Lynne Stewart, after her representation of Sheik Abdel-Rachman, initially on charges of material support, then for material support to terrorism, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Comey's offices re-instigated prosecution in November 2003, shortly before his promotion to U.S. Deputy Attorney General in December 2003. Unnecessary prosecution of a protocol violation with high propaganda value to the administration's "war on terrorism" suggests Comey is committed to a government propaganda initiative outside the purposes of the law. He left public service in 2005, to work with the defence industry's Lockheed Martin as Senior VP and General Counsel. Forbes Magazine lists his Lockheed Martin total compensation (salary plus benefits) for the year 2009 as $6,113,797. The amount should remove him from consideration for public service. He left Lockheed to become General Counsel for Bridgewater Associates, noted by Wikipedia as an investment management company handling foreign government investments among other institutional funds, managing 122 billion dollars. In 2013 he left to become a "Senior Research Scholar and Hertog Fellow on National Security Law" at Columbia Law School in New York, and on March 4, 2013 was appointed to the Board of Directors of the British HSBC Holdings (offices in 80 countries, 58 million customers). Comey is particularly well prepared to wage war on America's poor. His Presidential appointment awaits confirmation by the Senate before September, for a ten year term, the length of Lynne Stewart's death sentence.Partial sources online: "The Political Mr. Comey," unsigned, June 23, 2013, The Wall Street Journal; "James Comey remained at Justice Department as monitoring went on," Spencer Ackerman, June 27, 2013, The Guardian; "The Sentencing of Lynne Stewart," Michael Steven Smith, no date, Center for Constitutional Rights [access:< http://ccrjustice.org/sentencing-of-lynne-stewart-michael-steven-smith >]; "James B. Comey," current, Forbes [access:< http://www.forbes.com/profile/james-b-comey/ >]; "More Questions for James Comey," Rick Perlstein, June 24, 2013, The Nation; "Leadership," current, HSBC.com; "James Comey," current, Wikipedia; "Lynne Stewart," current, Wikipedia; "Obama's FBI Pick No Friend of the Constitution," Jack Kenny, June 2, 2013, New American; "Re: Confirmation Hearing for James B. Comey," Human Rights Watch & others, July 1, 2013, Human Rights Watch; "New FBI Director," June 21, 2013, The FBI.
June 14, 2013
U.S.: according to her family's website [access:< http://freeaafia.org/ >], Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a citizen of Pakistan, was found unconscious and bleeding in her cell at Carswell prison in Texas after a physical assault. On Sept. 25, 2010, Night's Lantern notes "in Afghanistan, 2008, U.S. authorities shot a young mother in the stomach (a signature of genocidal intent) while she was in their custody; the victim, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Muslim, MIT graduate, former Brandeis student, mother of three, was convicted in New York City Feb. 3, 2010 of attempted murder against her captors in Afghanistan. The prisoner was not armed. Her captors were. The attempted murder of the prisoner was not addressed. In New York City on September 23rd, she was sentenced to 86 years in prison by Judge Richard M. Berman, a Clinton appointee. The severity of her sentence doesn't jibe with a lack of evidence against her as presented the public. The case should be judged at International Criminal Court."
The Transform Now Plowshares Sr. Megan Rice (82), Michael Walli (63) and Greg Boertje-Obed (57), were found guilty of damaging government property worth more than 1000., and of sabotage, a charge added when the defendants refused a plea bargain. The elders entered the Y-12 nuclear bomb making facility at Oak Ridge Tennessee in a symbolic action. The court refused to allow evidence of moral justification or introduction of the Nuremburg principles. Each risks thirty years in prison at sentencing September 23, 2013. More about the Plowshares movement.
June 12, 2013
A RESOLUTION FOR THE COMPASSIONATE RELEASE OF LYNNE STEWART:
Where as the US prison system practices a for profit healthcare PROGRAM as a form of warfare to enact genocide, torture, and enforced political subterfuge to deliver a death penalty against political prisoners.
Where as the imprisonment of Lynne Stewart in and of itself is unjust since she has broken no laws and has committed no crimes other than defending the six amendment to the constitution which guarantees that everyone has the right to a rigorous defense.
Where as prior to and after Lynne Stewart’s arrest for allegedly violating The SAMS carried no legal consequences.
Where as the relentless, selective prosecution of Lynne Stewart for the alleged violation of The SAMS represents a targeted killing of a political prisoner, given the serious consequences of Lynne Stewart’s health crisis (stage four cancer) and the fact that other attorneys have committed the same violations and suffered absolutely no governmental consequences.
Where as in a blatant display of aggression and utter contempt for common decency, upon sentencing the state forced postponement of her much needed surgery for 19 months. And when the growth of more tumors were discovered, prison officials maliciously prevented her from seeing an oncologist for four more months.
Where as subsequently her cancer has metastasized and has now spread to her lymph nodes, her shoulder, her bones and her lungs.
by Ralph Poynter (Lynne Stewart Defense Committee) & Lisa Davis (Black Is Back) & Betty Davis (New Abolitionist Movement)
May 28, 2013
U.S.: A letter from Lawyers Rights Watch Canada to Mr. Charles E. Samuels, Jr., Director Federal Bureau of Prisons: "Re: Ms. Lynne Stewart: Release on compassionate grounds pursuant to 18 USC §3582 (c)(1)(A)(i)" (.pdf). Previous.
May 21, 2013
Guatemala: Guatemala's Constitutional Court has overturned the Ríos Montt guilty verdict of May 10th, setting the legal proceedings back to April 19th - after the evidence was presented but before Ríos Montt was declared guilty. The 3 to 2 decision relies on a technicality brought into play when Ríos Montt's lawyers walked out of the court leaving him temporarily without representation. The New York Times reporting suggests the business federation, Cacif, brought extreme pressure to bear on the Constitutional Court... (continue "Genocide Denial in Guatemala").
May 10, 2013
Guatemala: today in a Guatemalan court the former ruler of Guatemala, Efraín Ríos Montt was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to 80 years in prison. His chief of intelligence, José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, also charged with these crimes, was found not guilty. Background, Feb. 23, March 12, March 19, April 5, April 21.
May 8, 2013
Belo Monte dam, Brazil: on May 2nd, two hundred indigenous protesters occupied the Belo Monte dam principle construction site, demanding the work stop until the indigenous peoples are consulted. The action is finding some support among the 6000 construction workers, who have waged periodic independent strikes. Protesting Bands include the Munduruku, Juruna, Kayapó, Xipaya, Kuruaya, Asurini, Parakaná and the Arara (Prensa Latina). The people are under threat of extinction. Background 1 2 3 4 5. Partial sources online: "Belo Monte Dam - Good News!" Jon Helander, May 6, 2013, Minmlimpact; "Tribesmen launch 'occupy' protest at dam site in the Amazon rainforest," mongabay.com, May 03, 2013, Mongabay.com; "Indígenas paralizaron construcción de represa brasileña Belo Monte," May 3, 2013, Prensa Latina.
Canada: the Harper government's Statistics Canada has released a portion of the results for its 2011 National Household Survey (which replaced the census) showing the Aboriginal population of Canada increasing from 3.8% in 2006 to 4.3% in 2011, with 1.4 million people claiming "aboriginal identity" (CBC). Previous. An expert claims the increase is due to problems of definition, and people of mixed heritage considering themselves "Aboriginal." Only 17% can speak an Aboriginal language. Of the 30,000 under 14-year-old children in Canada, removed from their homes and in foster care, almost half are Aboriginal. The statistics confuse Aboriginals who claim a cultural heritage as a group with those who don't. Historically, the issue of bloodlines is tied to resource extraction requiring Aboriginal approval. So far rates of poverty, disease, malnutrition, among the groupings of Aboriginal, non-Aboriginal, and immigrants (6.8 million among Canada's 30 million people) are not included in the survey results. Among the Inuit the tuberculosis rate is 186 times native born non-Aboriginals. In 2012 the Harper government cut off funding to the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO), responsible for 60 million dollars worth of research and statistics on Aboriginal health. Partial sources online: "Aboriginal population soaring, getting younger: survey," May 8, 2013, CTV News; "Canada's foreign-born population soars to 6.8 million," The Canadian Press, May 8, 2013, CBC News; "‘Tragic’ number of aboriginal children in foster care stuns even the experts," Michael Woods & Sharon Kirkley (Postmedia News), May 8, 2013, Calgary Herald; "Aboriginals in Canada face 'Third World'-level risk of tuberculosis," Bill Curry, March 10, 2013, Globe and Mail.
May 5, 2013
Ontario: No one admits that European concepts of dwellings and common space applied to a native people in regions of extremes in climate, fail. Natural disasters such as flooding point up the wisdom of migratory lifestyles. European answers are applied to First Nations needs with the contempt of making profit, while failing to provide sound location for long term settlement, failing to provide proper infra-structure of water and sewage, failing to provide communities with the means of self sufficiency, healthy food sources, or self-sustaining industry/employment to purchase food. The inevitable result of European culture's government planning and funding so far is the eradication of a people.[update] (... from "Flooding in the North and the Future").
May 1, 2013
"l'Internationale"- Pete Seeger [access:< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHNsRZ8iqFc >]
.S. Gulf Coast States: Corexit oil dispersant used in the BP oil spill cleanup has proven hazardous to health. A State University of Louisiana Department of Oceanography and Coast Sciences report finds millions of eyeless shrimp, and deformed crabs; University of South Florida scientists report a massive "die-off" of aquatic life including dolphins; there are up to 80% declines in commercial catch. A nonprofit organization, EcoRigs, which notes hydrocarbon levels of seafoods 3000 times edible safety thresholds, finds ongoing symptoms of human illness include bleeding from orifices and "cognitive damage". NALCO which supplied BP with Corexit (1.84 million gallons were dispersed in the oil rig 'cleanup') makes clear in its manual that the substance is hazardous. Individual scientists and groups have noted its debilitating effects on cleanup workers. Public health studies correlating illness with the oil spill, cleanup efforts, the contamination of the food chain, are not easily available. There may be a long term increase in cancer, breathing difficulties, liver and kidney damage. Previous. Partial sources online: "Corexit, Oil Dispersant Used By BP, Is Destroying Gulf Marine Life, Scientists Say," David Kirby, April 25, 2013, Huffington Post; "Three years after BP oil spill, USF research finds massive die-off," Craig Pittman, April 4, 2013, Tampa Bay Times; "The worst part about BP's oil-spill cover-up; It worked," Mark Hertsgaard, April 22, 2013, grist; "BP profits more than triple in Q1 as company continues with disposal plan after U.S. spill," AP, April 30, 2013, CTV News.
Political prisoners: Lynne Stewart update: with support from Dick Gregory (who remains on hunger strike until she is given "compassionate release"), Fr. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, Pete Seeger, Ed Asner, Kathleen Chalfant, Desmond Tutu, among thousands of others, the Warden where Lynne Stewart is held in Federal prison has appealed to his superiors for her "compassionate release" to return home for medical treatment under care of her family. A petition is available at www.lynnestewart.org. Pfc. Kimberly Rivera, U.S. war resister, after settling with her husband and children in Canada was denied refugee status by the Harper government (previous). Ordered to leave the country she turned herself in to U.S. border guards in September 2012. Faced with a prison term of five years at her court martial on charges of desertion, April 29th, she received 10 months in military prison and a bad conduct discharge. Partial sources online: "Female soldier who fled U.S. to avoid Iraq war faces trial," AP, April 28, 2013, Army Times; "Kimberly Rivera Pleads Guilty To Desertion Charges," AP, April 29, 2013, Huffington Post.
April 30, 2013
Janos Starker, born in Hungary, July 5, 1924, died April 28, 2013, Illinois, U.S..
"Suite No. 1 in G major Bach" [access:< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQg2TnYnxnI >].
April 26, 2013
France: President Hollande held firmly to the gay marriage bill which has passed into law. The legislation which includes same-sex adoption drew vehement opposition in the legislature and in the streets, accompanied by assaults on members of the LGT community and legislators targeted and harrassed. Some 15,000 mayors pledged not to perform gay marriages even if the bill passed. LGT opposition is right-wing, oriented to 'traditional family values', and Catholic church-backed with Jewish and Muslim religious representation. Yet two-thirds of the French public supports gay marriage. Islamophobia (see previous) continues , enhanced by state supported anti-burqa, anti-hijab legislation and convenient in furthering foreign policy objectives in Libya, Syria and Mali. According to a railway workers union, SUD-Rail, Black and Arab workers were specifically excluded from the Gare du Nord, March 8th, at the arrival from Brussels of Israel's president Shimon Peres and his delegation. The Telegraph U.K. reports workers excluded from the event because they might be "Muslim". On the weekend of April 13th a mosque under construction in Coulommiers near Paris, was vandalised with racist graffiti, swastika, and a pig's head . Anti-Semitism continues. The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) and J'ACCUSE have had to register a second complaint with the Public Prosecutor, against Twitter for carrying anti-Semitic content, specifically tweets that call for the killing of Jewish people. In Paris April 23rd, a rabbi and his son survived stabbings by a mental patient as they entered synagogue. Antiziganism continues. The government's policy of evicting Roms from their camps (previous) under color of law, remains a disgrace. Historical note: in 1933 there were between 500,000 and 600,000 Jews in Germany, under 1% of a 65 million person population. Jews were "legally" excluded from the economy under Nazi laws as a prelude to emigration, or death camps and labour camps where they were joined by political and ethnic minorities, and other groups found undesirable by the Third Reich. Partial sources online: "Black workers 'banned from Gare du Nord during Israeli president visit'," Nabila Ramdani, April 14, 2013, Telegraph(UK); "Pas de Noirs ni d'Arabes pour accueillir Shimon Peres à Paris," April 15, 2013, France 24; "'Ni Noirs ni Arabes' : discrimination à la gare du Nord ?" Staff, April 15, 2013, Le nouvel Observateur; "Racist graffiti targets future Paris-region mosque," April 17, 2013, France 24 / ICARE; "Jewish group sues Twitter in France again over anti-Semitism," April 15, 2013, JTA News/ ICARE; "France’s Hollande blasts ‘homophobic’ violence following same-sex marriage protests," AFP, April 18, 2013, The Raw Story; "Homophobic attack sparks Paris protests," April 11, 2013, Euronews / ICARE; "French right rises against gay marriage in street marches," Henry Samuel April 20, 2013, Ottawa Citizen; "The War on Freedom of Speech: France’s “Left” Silences Anti-war Intellectuals," Gearóid Ó Colmáin, Sept. 24, 2012, Global Research; "Nearly 15,000 French mayors will refuse to marry gay couples," April 19, 2013, Catholic News Agency; "Escaped psychiatric patient attacks rabbi in Paris," AP; April 23, 2013, Public Opinion (South Dakota); "France approves gay marriage after surprisingly violent debate," April 23, 2013, ICARE; "Remember Never Again," Ed. Ziegler, April 12, 2013, Heritage Florida Jewish News.
April 25, 2013
raq: international media have avoided coverage of numerous protests for the past 120 days. On April 20 Iraq held its first elections since the U.S. officially withdrew. On April 21 at Hawija , near Kirkuk, an encampment of about 4000 opposed to policies of the Shia government and sectarianism, was surrounded by government troops. On April 22, several provinces were shut down in a general strike called by Sunni Muslims. On April 23rd there was a peaceful demonstration next to Hawija, protesting any plan to partition Iraq, sectarianism, and a divisive constitution. Camp leaders say the protesters were unarmed. The protest was attacked by government forces and from 38 to 50 protesters were killed with over a hundred wounded. Cooking facilities of the protest area as well as its medical facilities were destroyed. The injustice of the Hawija attack encourages the government's opposition to forego nonviolent tactics of general strike and demonstrations. The opposition party has withdrawn from Parliament. In Fallujah and other cities groups previously oriented to nonviolence may believe it's necessary to arm in self-defense. The timing of what The New York Times calls a "Sunni uprising," coincides with Euro-American policies to replace the elected government of Syria. The governments of Iraq and Iran support the elected Syrian government rather than a Euro-American recognized government of "rebel" forces (previous). In Syria the attempt to install a government serving Western interests has cost the lives of 70,000 (mostly civilians) since the operation began in 2011; 3 million people have been displaced, and according to UNICEF, 4 million are "in need" - half of which are children, as relief funding runs out. Over twenty years after the U.S. and Coalition's initial attack on the people of Iraq, IRIN reports a million Iraqis remain refugees, a million internally displaced, women now excluded from education and employment, living conditions substantially below those before the 1991 bombing and invasion. Currently the UN finds "most Iraqis have limited access to clean water," and "the Tigris and Euphrates rivers - down to one-third of their normal capacity" (IRIN). Water facilities were targeted by U.S. forces in 1991. It's difficult to separate U.S. and NATO country foreign policy from a clear intention to destroy the predominantly Muslim national groups of Iraq and of Syria. Nightslantern carries ongoing genocide warnings for both. Background: children; poem by Daniel Berrigan; The BRussells Tribunal [access:< http://www.brusselstribunal.org/ >]. Partial sources online: "Are the taps flowing ?" April 22, 2013, Iraq 10 years on / IRIN; "Iraq 10 years on: the humanitarian legacy," IRIN, April 22, 2013, reliefweb; "Hawija: Chronicle of an Announced Mass Murder," BRussells Tribunal, April 23, 2013, The BRussells Tribunal; "Rising Violence in Iraq Spurs Fears of a New Sectarian War," Tim Arango, April 24, 2013, The New York Times; "Assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan threatened by lack of funding - UN," UN News, April 5, 2013, reliefweb; "UN agency 'broke' as Syria refugee funds run out," April 5, 2013, BBC News.
April 21, 2013
Guatemala: (previous). Current Guatemalan president, Otto Pérez Molina, was formerly "Major Tito," a field commander allegedly responsible for acts of genocide against Ixil Indians in 1982. Currently under "Presidential immunity", a status not permitted by the Convention on Genocide, the Guatemalan President may be responsible for stopping the trial of Ríos Montt. According to Democracy Now! Journalist Allan Nairn was to present evidence before the court on April 22nd verifying testimony of a previous witness that President Molina had participated in the genocide, and further implicating President Molina as well as U.S. operations and officials.... (continue "Good vs. Evil in Guatemala").
April 19, 2013
Canada, Northern Ontario: in January Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation was on prolonged hunger strike to bring the endangerment of her people to national attention. While she avoided death and was recognized by the Governor General, she was less than honoured by the Prime Minister's sense of priorities. The same month seven young Cree began a 1600 kilometer walk through mid-winter from Hudson Bay in Quebec to reach Ottawa March 25th. The welcoming Anishinabek Grand Council Chief praised the walk for encouraging First Nations unity while instead of welcoming the walkers the Prime Minister welcomed panda bears at the Toronto zoo. The Conservative government has not responded adequately to the warning of necessity presented by the Idle No More movement. On April 17th, Neskantaga First Nation (Ojibway) called a state of emergency. There was a suicide last week and a suicide this week and so far this year 7 dead, with 20 unsuccessful suicide attempts (CBC). Of about 400 in the community, half struggle with drug abuse, predominantly prescription drugs usually OxyContin. Reliance on drug use in Neskantaga could be noted within a perspective of laws against genocide. Mining companies are asserting increasing pressure on the region but national media reporting is not naming the companies. The government is assigning additional health personnel and offering 'sympathy'. The community is said to have been under a 'boil water' emergency for 18 years. From a historical perspective suicide is a way of dying when a people are too oppressed and without hope. Patterns of native hopelessness are so knit into expansion of the resource extraction industry they're considered 'normal.' The suicide rate is five times greater among First Peoples than Canadians in general. The Neskantaga state of emergency is a moment amid years and generations where one culture deprives another of a future. Both Government and expanding mining companies should be warned of eventual accountability for what may be viewed as complicity in a crime. Genocide warnings have not been addressed as a priority. With Canada's cutbacks of public service and the advancement of Corporate priorities, loss of First Nations communities would foreshadow the future of Settler and immigrant peoples as well. Partial sources online: "Suicides prompt First Nation to declare state of emergency,"April 18, 2012, CBC News; "Suicide crisis prompts remote First Nation to declare state of emergency," Heather Scoffield, The Canadian Press, April 17, 2013, CTV News; "Native group walks 1,600km to Ottawa; Harper leaves to see Pandas," March 26, 2013 Local2 (sault st. marie).
April 14, 2013
France: ignoring destruction of Rom encampments as a government program of ethnic 'cleansing', French media are noting some occurrences within a context of daily news, or normalcy. Several courts are insisting on the rights of the dispossessed. According to Le Figaro a Versailles tribunal ordered the prefect responsible for the Ris-Orangis camp removal, to provide immediate alternative lodgings or the State will pay fines. The Inter-ministry "Circular of Aug. 26, 2012" requires as much as possible, social diagnostics and resettlement in such cases. On April 11, a court in Lyon ordered ten Rom families be immediately resettled after their expulsion of April 10th. About fifty Roms were provided refuge by a priest. Le Monde notes on April 5, 2013 that 4000 Roms were expelled from their camps since January 1 ("Quatre mille Roms déplacés depuis le début de l'année") and observes that the "Circular of August 26" is usually back-burnered. According to Nord Pas-de-Calais, in Lille an encampment of 200 Roms has an extension - until April 30th before forced expulsion is applied. Previous. In Ireland for the year 2011, State expenses to care for Rom peoples amounted to 111 million euros. Partial sources online: "Les préfets contraints de reloger les Roms," Jean-Marc Leclerc, April 14, 2013, Le Figaro; "Le préfet du Rhône condamné à reloger des Roms," Reuters, April 5, 2013, Le Figaro; "Quatre mille Roms déplacés depuis le début de l'année," avec AFP, Le Monde; "Lille : la justice laisse jusqu'au 30 avril à des Roms pour quitter la plaine Winston-Churchill," aved AFP, April 4, 2013, Nord Pas-de-Calais; "Roms : les expulsions à répétition, une catastrophe humanitaire," March 28, 2013, Secours Catholique; "State pays €370m over 10 years for Traveller housing," Jim Cusak, April 145, 2013, Independent.ie.
April 12, 2013rance: aspects of the Hollande government policy continue to smile on fascism, forcibly evicting Roma peoples from their settlements, taking over Mali by military force, enforcing France's hold on the Central African Republic, deeply supporting the destabilization of Syria with disastrous effect, all the while applying at home increased pressures on France's Muslim community of six million. French law doesn't permit census data on race or belief; a great number of Muslims are French citizens yet referred to in the media as Muslims. With wearing the Hijab by public employees criminalised in 2004, and in public places for the face veil as well in 2011, the Hollande government is considering extending the ban to headscarves and the private sector. Depriving Muslims of the freedom to respect themselves, banning laws have been accompanied by hate attacks on individual Muslims and religious institutions. Islamophobia Watch reports a history of harassing acts at Meximieux in Rhône-Alpes, and graffiti attacks on the mosques at Provins in Seine et Marne, Ozoir-La-Ferrière (graffiti with swastika), Besançon (graffiti with star of David), Val-de-Reuil in Normandy (graffiti), Contrexéville (graffiti with swastika), so far this year. Last Fall, right wing extremists occupied a mosque in Poitiers. Collectif contre l'Islamophobie en France has asked the government for a security plan to protect mosques. In Spain, on Feb. 28th, a Supreme Court challenge overturned the Catalonian city of Lleida's ban on Islamic veil coverings. French government policy of evicting Roma settlements continues, ignored [update] by the media. According to Amnesty International on April 3rd at least 230 residents were evicted on 24 hour notice from their settlement at Ris-Orangis, suburban Paris, following a stepped up campaign of removals in March. Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls, whose socialism may be a particularly national socialism, attempts to justify the ethnic 'cleansing' of a people, observing in Le Figaro that some of "les occupants de campements ne souhaitent pas s'intégrer dans notre pays pour des raisons culturelles ou parce qu'ils sont entre les mains de réseaux versés dans la mendicité ou la prostitution...". (Previous: "First they came for the 'Gypsies'"). Official intolerance is likely to reflect in attitudes toward immigrant communities and all other minorities despite attempts to assure equality to the LGT community; in 2012 anti-Semitism in France increased 58% over 2011. Partial sources online: "Spanish city's ban on Islamic veils overturned," AP, Feb. 28, 2013, theguardian; "French government seeks stricter headscarf ban," April 6, 2013, Press TV; "‘Mosque Occupation’ Outrages France," Oct. 21, 2012, OnIslam.net; "Muslims worry about broader France headscarf ban," April 5, 2013, I CARE; "French President Hollande Seeks to Outdo Sarkozy in Excluding Muslim Women from French Society," Press release, April 7,m 2013, Lankaweb; "France: New Roma forced evictions ‘shameful’," April 3, 2013, Amnesty International; "French minister accused of racism following Roma comment," March 18, 2013, euractiv.com; "Roms : Manuel Valls affiche sa fermeté," Christophe Cornevin, March 14, 2013, Le Figaro; "Increase in Anti-Semitism in France," April 7, 2013, Arutz Sheva 7; "Sharp rise in global anti-Semitism, France leads," Shahar Chai, April 7, 2013, ynetnews.com.
April 5, 2013
Guatemala: (previous). The trial of Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt and his military intelligence chief, José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, proceeds with testimonies of surviving Mayan victims; a soldier has given testimony implicating the current President of Guatemala, Otto Pérez Molina, a major at the time, in crimes of the Ixil area under his responsibility. The trial can be followed online at http://www.riosmontt-trial.org/ (...continue "Masks of Investment: a Trial in Guatemala").
April 4, 2013
U.S.: on this day in 1968 Martin Luther King was murdered. No one has claimed responsibility for the assassination.
Dick Gregory has declared: "on this day commemorating the life and sacrifice of my friend and brother in struggle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that in the spirit of his moral legacy, I demand the immediate release from prison of the legendary lawyer Lynne Stewart, who devoted her entire professional life to the poor, the oppressed and those targeted by the police and a vindictive State. I further declare that from this day forth, I shall refuse all solid food until Lynne Stewart is freed and receives medical treatment in the care of her family and with physicians of her choice without which she will die." A petition for Lynne Stewart's release is available through www.lynnestewart.org. See previous.
In Guantanamo Bay the inmates' hunger strike may now include 130 of the 166 Muslim men illegally incarcerated. Some inmates are being fed intravenously to keep them alive, some with no charge against them, some found innocent of terrorism, 86 of them (unverified) cleared for release, many subjected to what international standards find torture, all without sure hope of release, some awaiting 'trial', all held illegally and without their legal right of habeas corpus, all lied to by U.S. President Obama's campaign and election pledge to close Guantanamo. An issue of the prisoners' grievances is the abuse of their Koran. Spokesperson for Guantanamo Bay, Navy Captain Robert Durand told CBC that the hunger strike is basically a media attention-getting tactic. This is the camp's standard response to extreme forms of protest. However, if physical and psychological conditions at Guantanamo force additional self-inflicted loss of life at Guantanamo, an inevitable result of this prolonged hunger strike, Guantanamo Bay could be interpreted as an intentional mechanism of genocide against a specific ethnic and religious group. See previous 1, 2, 3. Ongoing genocide warning. Partial sources online: withheld.
March 28, 2013
Corsica: Alma viva [access:< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTlxqaRVO9o >]
March 26, 2013
yanmar (Burma): news reports confirm increasing persecution of minority groups. In neighbouring Thailand a fire at a northern refugee camp of 3800 Karen Muslims from Myanmar, killed between 42 and 60 people, and displaced 2000. The deaths of Muslim refugees who continue to leave coastal Myanmar's Rakhine State by boat may be traced to a tradition of the naval forces. Buddhist extremists claiming that Muslim Rohingya are "newcomers" who don't belong in the Rakhine State are displacing them. Meiktila, 30% Muslim, in the central (Mandalay) region, is currently under martial law after the burning of 5 mosques, displacement of 12,000 and murder of 32. Persecution of the Karen people, extreme in 2009 and 2010, continues. While the government has proclaimed a unilateral ceasefire, its miitary is fighting the Kachin people, bordering China. Christian sources describe the Kachin as predominantly Christian. A genocide warning for Rohingya Muslim people extends to Christians, Karen, Kachin peoples. The corporate agenda initially affects only the vulnerable minorities; the people of Myanmar derive from a multiplicity of linguistic, ethnic, racial groups. Attacks on minorities have followed the government's re-allocation and privatisation of farming land in the South (previous) which may decrease the food supply and raise the cost of food. The BBC has noted Aung San Suu Kyi's silence amid increasing evidence of genocide. Her support by Amnesty USA and Harvard (previous) and the influence of right wing US NGO's on Myanmar are previously noted. British colonial influence on the country is suggested by parsing the name of its president, Thein Sein, who officially disapproves of some crimes against minorities while the military commits others. Partial sources online: "Burma's Rohingya: Aung San Suu Kyi surprisingly 'quiet'," March 8, 2013, BBC News; "Myanmar pledges to halt violence in wake of anti-Muslim riots," Aye Aye Win, March 25, 2013, Globe and Mail; "Burma’s Kachin War: Renewed Ethnic Strife Threatens Regional Stability," Hannah Beech, Jan. 28, 2013, Time; "Christian genocide in Myanmar continues to be ignored," March 22, 2010, Mission News Network; "Burma Government Admits Bombing Christian Kachin," Jan. 4, 2013, BosNewsLife / Worthy News; "News Alert: 'Burma Troops Kill, Rape Christian Civilians; Churches Burned’," BosNewsLife Asia Service / Stefan J. Bos, March 22, 2013, BosNewsLife; "'Burma Troops Kill, Rape Christian Civilians; Churches Burned'," George Whiten, March 24, 2013, Worthy Christian News; "Discrimination against Rohingyas in Myanmar persists: UN," UN special correspondent, March 12, 2013, The Nation Newspaper (Pakistan); "The Rohingya of Burma are on the edge of disaster. Why won't the world act?" Emanuel Stoakes, Feb. 27, 2013, The Independent; "60 Muslim Myanmarese killed in fire at Thailand refugee camp," March 25, 2013, Pakistan Today; "Thailand refugee camp fire kills 36," Reuters March 24, 2013, guardian.co.uk.
March 23, 2013
olitical prisoners (U.S.):
These pages hold that political prisoners are those currently in prison because of their race, religion, political convictions, or care for others. Removed from community because they seek justice for their people, some are branded with inappropriately long sentences and are often in solitary confinement to destroy their beliefs. Some are falsely charged or unjustly convicted. Others are guilty of their innocence and of caring for others. Their imprisonment reveals points where the people's conscience and necessity are greater than society's injustice can sustain. Political prisoners (the status is not officially recognized under North American law) provide a country with its first defense against extremes of injustice, war crimes, crimes against humanity, economic crimes, and genocide. Often these men and women are simply the most articulate and innocent of those society assigns to pay for its faults...(For updates and notes concerning Albert Woodfox, Lynne Stewart, Bradley Manning, Imam Jamil al-Amin, among others continue American political prisoners: updates...)
March 19, 2013
Guatemala: on March 13th The Center of Legal Action in Human Rights, revealed the Court of Constitutionality (Guatemala's highest court) had ruled in its favour, refusing amnesty to Efraín Ríos Montt. The country's Supreme Court previously denied Montt amnesty. The trial of the ex-dictator on charges of genocide among other crimes against Mayan peoples resumes March 19th after numerous challenges (previous 1, 2). The Associated Press reports the prosecution holds that Montt failed to stop the crime when he had the power to, while Montt's defense claims he knew nothing about the crimes. Co-defendants are General José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez. (ret., former chief of military intelligence), Montt's defense minister Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes (reported by the National Institute of Forensic Sciences to be mentally unfit for trial), and Luis Enrique Mendoza - vice-minister of defense (who is still 'at large'). ...more.
March 12, 2013
Guatemala: Judge Miguel Angel Galvez has temporarily delayed the genocide trial of Ríos Montt which was to start March 19th (previous). The judge's pre-trial decisions to exclude inadequately prepared evidence and poorly documented "expert" witnesses for Ríos Montt's defense, resulted in challenges by his lawyers which have apparently caused the delay. The previous judge Carol Patricia Flores who rendered the decision to charge Ríos Montt was forced to step down. Background. Partial sources online: "Guatemala judge steps down in ex-dictator's case," AP, Feb. 12, 2012, CBS News; "Genocide trial delayed for ex-Guatemalan leader," The Associated Press, Mar. 9, 2013, The San Diego Union-Tribune; "Rios Montt on Trial for Genocide in Guatemala," Kate Doyle, Feb. 7, 2013, Americas Program.
rgentina: "Operation Condor" (about 1974 through - the program's termination is unsure) was a U.S. supported joint Latin American program to exterminate leftists. Starting in 1975, ten years after official inception of the U.S. "Operation Phoenix," "Operation Condor" is usually attributed to Pinochet's Chile, suppressing a trace to Argentina and French policies in the Battle of Algiers; France provided training for Argentinian military officers throughout the 1960's and 70's, discontinued by Mitterand on election in 1981. On March 5th, 2013, twenty-five defendants accused of disappearing, kidnapping, torturing leftists and dissidents under "Operation Condor" were brought to trial. A full list of names is currently suppressed but press reports include Argentina's former rulers Reynaldo Bignone and Rafael Videla - both in their eighties, Col. Manuel Cordero (of Uruguay), Santiago Omar Riveros, Carlos Humberto Caggiano Tedesco, Juan Antonio Beltrametti, Luciano Benjamín Menendez, Antonio Vanek. 400 to 500 witnesses are expected to offer evidence of torture by personnel of countries cooperating in "Operation Condor": Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru; attorneys in Uruguay have previously attempted to extradite Henry Kissinger for his role in the operation's extermination plan (previous). Reporting by Aljazeera refers to the above countries' joint project as initially a computerised intelligence data bank - known as 'Operation Condor'… Previous: Argentina 1, 2, 3; Chile 1, 2; Peru 1; Uruguay 1, 2, 3. See nightslantern links for the vanished gallery ~ desaparecidos. Partial sources online: "Argentina opens trial over ‘Operation Condor,’ the 1970s plan to eliminate leftists," AP, Mar. 5, 2013, The Washington Post; "Tracing the shadows of 'Operation Condor'," Mar. 6, 2013, aljazeera; "Kissinger's extradition to Uruguay sought over Operation Condor," Agence France Presse, Mar. 26, 2007, prisonplanet.com/; "Argentina's former dictators on trial for Operation Condor," Jonathan Gilbert, Mar. 5, 2013, Telegraph.co.uk; "Operation Condor," current, Wikipedia; "Argentine - Escadrons de la mort : l’école française," Ana Bianco, Oct. 22, 2004, RISAL.info; "Operation Condor Still Alive in South America," Diana Cariboni, Aug. 19, 20014, antiwar.com.
March 10, 2013
enezuela: "What does it mean: Chávez vive, la lucha sigue!"
In Canada where early March brings no good news, Prime Minister Harper has used the Venezuelan leader's death for ideological propaganda favouring his own brand of economics. At Venezuela's first shock into mourning the Prime Minister responded - “At this key juncture, I hope the people of Venezuela can now build for themselves a better, brighter future based on the principles of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.” The Ottawa Citizen headlined an article by Terry Glavin, "Hugo Chavez: Venezuela's incompetent fake socialist." The Canadian Broadcasting Company's initial reporting took pains to present the opposition's challenges to the succession of interim President Nicolás Maduro, and Human Rights Watch objections to the Chávez human rights record. As the West's media opened a one-note program sustaining the importance of corporate profit and inefficiency of any socialism which includes people, faces of newscasters morph into the perfection of Venezuela's elite with perfect teeth and coiffes, the select malls of designer dresses, falsely clean banks, the privilege of not understanding, the outrage at challenges to previous advantage. It's impossible to respect the casual contempt of the Canadian Prime Minister's response to the death of a world leader who both took care of the poor and by embracing his own multi-racial ancestry challenged the psychological trap of colonialism's caste system and its stigmatization of 'mixed' blood... (continue).
March 8, 2013 International Women's Day
U.S.: petitions for women political prisoners:
Lynne Stewart, Petition to Free Lynne Stewart [updated 11/03/2013].
[access:< http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-free-lynne-stewart-save-her-life-release-her-now-2 >] .
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, Repatriate Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to Her Home in Pakistan, petition
[access:< http://iacenter.org/SiddiquiPetition/ >].Historical note (excerpt):
peak not ill of womankind...
Bloody treason, murderous act,
Not by women were designed,
Bells o’erthrown nor churches sacked,
Speak not ill of womankind.
- Gearóid Iarla (1333 – 1398)
Earl of Longford version (Montague, John. The Faber Book
of Irish Verse. London: Faber and Faber, 1974, p. 101)
March 6, 2013
Venezuela: President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frias died March 5, 2013 from the effects of cancer contracted while in office. Both Chávez and his vice president Nicolás Maduro, have implied the sickness was inflicted. Chavez, briefly removed from office in a putsch by Venezuela's elite in 2002, was placed back into power by the people amid ongoing efforts by the U.S. to return the country to corporate rule. His long time friend and ally, Nicolás Maduro, is likely to succeed him as president. Chávez may have embarrassed North American politicians. When the people insisted on returning him to the Presidential Palace he championed the Constitution of his country:
"Those of you who oppose me -- fine, oppose me! I wish I could change your minds. But you cannot oppose this Constitution. This is the people's book. It's like the Popol Vhu, the book of the Mayas. The book of the community. You have to recognize this. But most importantly, don't be poisoned. Don't let them poison you with their lies."Partial sources online: "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Chavez: Inside the Coup," photog. Kim Bartley, Donnacha O'Briain, 2003, RTÉ [access:< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Id--ZFtjR5c >]; "Chavez: U.S. May Be Behind Leaders’ Cancer," Daniel Cancel, Dec. 28, 2011, Bloomberg; "Hugo Chavez dies from cancer," Mar. 5, 2013, thestar.com; The Bill of Rights, 1791-1992, United States Constitution; Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Justice Laws Website, Government of Canada [access:< http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html >].
March 1, 2013
U.S.: 76 year old political prisoner Sundiata Acoli was denied parole again, and is not eligible for another parole hearing until 2021. Initially he became eligible for parole in 1992. The decades of extra time may rise from his refusal to change his political thinking. He hasn't renounced his history with the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, or given up his constant concern for community. His bio states that In the summer of 1964 he worked voter registration in Mississippi. Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney worked voter registration in Mississippi until June 1964 when the police murdered them. In the late Sixties Acoli worked the Harlem community with the Black Panthers. In 1973 his freedom ended when the car he was riding in was pulled over on the Jersey Turnpike for a broken tail light and a shootout followed. The driver and a policeman were killed. Another policeman and Acoli were wounded. Court evidence suggests another passenger, Assata Shakur, was shot three times from behind with her hands in the air. Shakur survived and escaped from prison, and eventually found sanctuary in Cuba. Forty years later in a February 2013 article in BayView Acoli defines political prisoners as people who fight injustice in society and calls for mass decarceration of prisons in a country where he finds mass incarceration the problem. His continuing imprisonment is cruel, vindictive, racist, oppressive and a political use of the correctional system. Partial sources online: "Sundiata Acoli," current, SundiataAcoli.org; "Sundiata Acoli, political prisoner for 39 years, wins appeal and is up for parole again," April 29, 2012, Prison Radio; "Political prisoners, mass incarceration and what’s possible for social movements," Sundiata Acoli, Feb.7, 2013, BayView; "Sundiata Acoli Given an 8 Year Parole Hit," Sundiata Acoli, Nov. 21, 2012, SundiataAcoli.org; "New Jersey and the Nazis," Hans Wolff, August, 1998, AfroCubaWeb.
Canada: three members of what media named "the Toronto 18" (see "political prisoners updates") took their appeal of sentencing to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Court refused to hear their case. Zakaria Amara is serving a life sentence, Saad Khalid 20 years, Saad Gaya 18 years, all with the possibility of parole. The group is listed among Night's Lantern political prisoners because: no act of violence was committed; conspiracies of projected criminal acts were beyond their capabilities without input from the police informants; one police informant received 4 million dollars from the government; the group was used to advance propaganda warfare of the government's "war on terrorism"; the extreme length of sentences was applied to first offenders; within an historical context, Canada's means of legal protest against war crimes by major powers against Muslim states were rendered dysfunctional. Partial sources online: "'Toronto 18' member says Afghanistan an unjust war," The Canadian Press, Sept. 13, 2010, CTV News; "Canada's top court won't hear Toronto 18 appeal," The Canadian Press, Feb. 28, 2013, CTV News; "Supreme Court won’t hear appeals from Toronto 18 plotters," The Canadian Press, Feb. 28, 2013, Globe and Mail; "Convicted Toronto 18 member was not entrapped," The Canadian Press, Feb. 16, 2010, CTV News; "US Troops Attacked Afghan Hospital Before Provincial Banning," Jason Dietz, Feb. 26, 2013, antiwar.com.
February 23, 2013
Guatemala (see previous): an article by Robert Parry in Consortium News clarifies U.S. complicity in Guatemala's genocide of its Mayan Indian population during 1981-1983. Guatemala's former ruler, Ríos Montt faces genocide charges in Guatemala March 19, 2013, with the trial date advanced from August 14th. Parry's research reveals former U.S. President Reagan's encouragement of the Ríos Montt campaign of genocide. Among campaign war crimes were the targeting and massacring of resistance elements and notably their civilian support networks. The destruction of civilian villages in response to any opposition was a criminal tactic employed in the Nazi occupation of France (ie. Oradour-sur-glane), and by the U.S. in Vietnam, more recently in Fallujah. Evidence is offered that both White House and U.S. intelligence agencies were fully aware of the genocide in Guatemala and fully supportive, while military aid was withheld by Congress due to Guatemala's human rights record. Violation of the Convention on Genocide by Reagan contributed to the loss of the Convention's preventive power in the U.S. as policy was formed for Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Parry's article [access: < http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-reagan-promoted-genocide/5323774 >] carries some hard evidence (names, dates, places) of U.S. involvement, support, if not inception of war crimes against the peoples of Central and South America, evidence traditionally concealed by the media. Partial sources online: "How Reagan Promoted Genocide," Feb. 21, 2013, Consortium News apprec. globalresearch.ca; "The Guatemalan Military: What the U.S. Files Reveal," Vol.II Documents, 1966-95, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 32; "Guatemala Moves Up Ex-Dictator’s Genocide Trial," Feb. 20, 2013, Latin American Herald Tribune; "North American game plans and the Convention on Genocide," J.B.Gerald, May 23, 2012, nightslantern.ca.
Israel: a recent article in Haaretz and another in Veterans Today (USA), suggest that Ariel Sharon was aware of his actions within a context of genocide at the massacres in Lebanon's Shatila and Sabra refugee camps. During Israel's 1982 invasion and occupation of Lebanon (Operation Peace for Galilee), Israel was responsible for the area, yet already in violation of law through its act of aggression. In retribution for an assassination, on September 15, 1982, Israeli Defense Forces surrounded and began shelling the Shatila and Sabra Palestinian refugee camps. On September 16th Lebanese Christian Phalangists under Elie Hobeika, by account guided, supported and accompanied by Israeli Defense Forces, entered the Shatila and Sabra camps. With an ugliness past inhumanity up to 3500 men, women and children,were massacred. While the operation could be traced clearly to Ariel Sharon, Israel's Defense Minister, and subordinate responsibility to IDF commanders Yoran, Dori and Eidi, official reports of the crime were heavily managed, protective, legalistic and diversionary. On December 16, 1982, the UN General Assembly voted (123 to 0) to condemn the crime as genocide. The compromised abstentions by Canada and the U.S. suggest a breakdown in their intention to take the Convention on Genocide seriously. Neither Israelis nor Christian Phalangists were tried for genocide or any war crime. A case against Sharon was taken to court in Belgium in 2003 by the lawyer Chibli Mallat at which point Belgium changed its laws of jurisdiction. Partial sources online: "The Kahan Report, Ariel Sharon and the Sabra-Shatilla Massacres in Lebanon: Responsibility Under International Law for Massacres of Civilian Populations," Linda A. Malone, 1985, College of William & Mary Law School Scholarship Repository; "Ariel Sharon feared genocide charges over Israel's role in Sabra and Shatila," Ofer Aderet, Feb. 22, 2013, Haaretz; "Sharon Feared Exposure of Israeli Genocide," Bob Johnson, Feb.21, 2013, Veterans Today; "Why Sharon is a War Criminal: an eye-witness report of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre," Dr. Ben Alofs, June 6, 2001, Media Monitors Network; "Sabra and Shatila massacre," current, Wikipedia; "Elie Hobeika," current, Wikipedia.
February 22, 2013
Pakistan: targeted killings of Hazara Shia peoples in Pakistan (at Quetta in particular) has expanded to include massacres. In neighbouring Afghanistan as NATO forces withdraw, over 7 million Hazara are under increasing pressure while millions have left the region. 1.2 million dwell in Iran. These pages lack adequate understanding of the area to post a genocide warning. A pattern of endangered minority peoples, accompanies both covert and overt actions by various NATO countries against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Mali. Partial sources online: "Green Left TV: Killings of Shia in Pakistan now 'genocide'," Peter Boyle, Feb. 21, 2013, Green Left Weekly; "Poets from 88 Countries Demand Halt to Genocide against Hazara," Feb. 8, 2013,
; "Extermination of the Hazara community," Feb. 22, 2012, The Express Tribune.
February 9, 2013
Canada: individuals and small groups are attempting serious efforts to see that Canada follows her own and international laws against torture (ie. Lawyers Against the War and Related"). On January 31, 2013 John McNamer, a Vietnam veteran and member of Lawyers Against the War, wrote the Commissioner of the RCMP, a "Request for RCMP investigation into possible war crimes by Canadian officials," including his previous request to the government's Privy Council, with an index of over 238 documents submitted to the International Criminal Court, and his presentation to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. McNamer asks for an investigation of Canadian officials and military personnel for alleged war crimes from 2001 to 2013. The evidence concerns torture, complicity in torture, participation in U.S. "extraordinary rendition," the rendition of children, the refusal to prosecute George W. Bush in Canada, specific war crimes, the encouragement of information obtained through torture, dismissal of those objecting to torture, and complicity through intelligence gathering in the U.S. drone deaths of civilians. He is addressing violations of Canada's Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the Rome Statute (Articles 7 and 8). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 5), and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Part III, Article 7), also forbid torture. The media have heavily suppressed McNamer's attempts to connect governing powers with the laws of Canada and the International Criminal Court. See previous.
February 2, 2013
Guatemala: stating "The principle function of the state and its officials is to protect its citizens” (NYTimes), Judge Miguel Angel Gálvez ordered the trial of Efraín Ríos Montt, former dictator of Guatemala and his intelligence chief José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, for genocide. Among other war crimes Ríos Montt is allegedly responsible for the murder of 1771 Ixil Indians between 1982-3 (his term in office), in a war against domestic resistance which killed 200,000 predominantly aboriginal peoples. The U.S. sided with and supported his government. Israel supplied the military with arms and training. Ríos Montt escaped prosecution for many years as a parliamentarian through immunity, the power of the military, and an ambivalent justice system. He was previously charged with genocide by Judge Santiago Pedraz of the Spanish National Court on July 7, 2006 but released when Guatemala proved reluctant to proceed. His background includes training at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC)/ the School of the Americas and ordination in the California based Pentecostal Church of the Word (El Verbo). The military's attempt to murder large portions of Guatemala's Mayan Indian population is currently reflected in the murder of labor leaders, human rights workers, and community leaders facing foreign mining interests. Canadian mining companies have operated in Guatemala since the CIA takeover of the Arbenz government in 1954. Ríos Montt is the first former head of state in North, South or Central America to actually be tried for the crime of genocide. As noted on these pages July 7, 2012,, Jorge Rafael Videla, President of Argentina (1976 - 1981), was found guilty simply of stealing the children of the dissidents he occasioned to be murdered and was sentenced to fifty years in prison. Background: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16.
Historical note: former President Echeverria of Mexico was charged with genocide. The judges tried to apply a statute of limitations to the substantial evidence of his crime. That failed. Previous: 1 2 3 4 5. In July 2007 The New York Times reported Mexican Federal Judge Luna simply granted Echeverria absolute protection against all charges. No foreign nation presented any objection to the United Nations as allowed under Article VIII and Article IX of the Convention on Genocide. In this instance Mexico violated Articles IV, V, VI, joining the United States and Canada in the judiciary's removal of sure application of the Convention to acts of their country's leaders. See “North American game plans and the Convention on Genocide". This continues a genocide warning for aboriginal populations in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.
Partial sources online: "Guatemala ex-dictator to stand trial on genocide charges in civil war killings of Indians,"AP, Jan. 28, 2013, The Washington Post; "Guatemala ex-dictator to stand trial on genocide charges in civil war killings of Indians," Sonia Perez-Diaz, The Associated Press Jan. 28, 2013, The Ottawa Citizen; "Ex-Dictator Is Ordered to Trial in Guatemalan War Crimes Case," Elisabeth Malkin, Jan. 28, 2013 The New York Times; "US-Backed Guatemalan Dictator to Face Charges of Genocide," John Glaser, Jan. 29, 2013, antiwar.com; "Efraín Ríos Montt," current, Wikipedia; "Guatemala ex-ruler Rios Montt to face genocide trial," Jan.28, 2013, BBC News; "Federal Judge Overturns Ruling Against Mexico’s Former President in 1968 Student Killings," James C. McKinley Jr., July 13, 2007, The New York Times.
February 1, 2013
Samian - "Plan Nord" [access:< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgKA7WcPZK0 >]
January 30, 2013
Texas: a U.S. political prisoner, Lynne Stewart is in a life-threatening medical emergency at Carswell Federal Correctional Institute. In her seventies with cancer and diabetes, she serves a 10 year prison term for a procedural infraction while she was part of a legal team representing Sheik Abdul Rachman. Prison authorities have delayed necessary medical procedures for her cancer treatment three months. She needs advanced treatment at her previous hospital in New York; to be with her family; full pardon; her immediate release. "Where We Live" (WBAI) speaks with her husband and daughter: "Where We Live - 24 January 2013 - Lynne Stewart.mp3".
Tennessee: as the Transform Now Plowshares, 82 year old Sr. Megan Rice, Michael Walli at 63 and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, were arrested for trespassing and destruction of government property (previous). Then they were threatened with charges of felonies and half million dollar fines. After refusing a plea bargain, on December 4th they were charged with "sabotage" (basically for cutting the hole in a security fence, and symbolic acts of writing, pouring blood, and hammering on a cornerstone). The government's new charge extends possible terms of the defendants to 35 years. The trial date is May 7, 2013. N.B.: in court Nov. 2, federal prosecutors asked the "Nuremberg defense" as well as evidence concerning international law or nuclear weapons, be forbidden at the trial. See the Hancock 38. The Knoxville News Sentinel reported Jan. 11, that the nuclear weapons plant's security contractor had to deduct 12.2 million dollars from its fee because security was breached. Partial sources online: "The story of the action," July 28, 2012, Transform Now Plowshares website; "Security breach costs Y-12 contractor $12.2M in fee," Frank Munger, Jan. 11, 2013, The Knoxville News Sentinel; "Lengthy Prison Terms Grow More Likely for Peace Activists," Fran Quigley, Jan. 11-13, 2013, Counterpunch; "New Indictment for Peace Activists threatens Life Sentence for Nun and Colleagues," Dec. 6, 2012, oak ridge environmental peace alliance; "Kangaroo Court Looming for Nuclear Weapons Critics," Dec. 1, 2012, Transform Now Plowshares website. corrected 31 jan 2013
Chile: on Dec. 28, 2012, eight former army officers, one currently a resident of Florida, were charged in the death of singer, Victor Jara who in 1973 was tortured, wrists and hands broken, shot 44 times in the basement of Santiago's National Stadium and his body dumped near a railroad track. Partial sources online: "Eight Are Charged With Chilean Singer’s 1973 Murder After Military Coup," Pascale Bonnefoy, Dec. 28, 2012, The New York Times; "Victor Jara murder: Chile arrests ex-army officers," Jan. 3, 2013, BBC News.
Víctor Jara - "Preguntitas sobre Dios" [access:< http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9orT1dgPIQ >]
January 27, 2013
nternational: on Jan. 27, 1945 the Red Army (Soviet Union) liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp from the Nazis. On Nov. 1, 2005 this day was chosen as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day by United Nations Resolution 60/7, reaffirming the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Charter of the United Nations founding principle: "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war."
January 26, 2013
Our "North American Political Prisoners" pages first posted in 2004 continue at "Political Prisoner Updates" with linked entries from "suppressed news" concerned with: 18 Muslims in Toronto, Aboriginal peoples, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Hassan Almrei, Imam Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, Sami Al-Arian, Djamel Ameziane, Lori Berenson, Marilyn Buck, Canadian Security Certificates, Adil Charkaoui, Cuban Five, Dr. Rafil Dhafir, Georgia Prison Strike, David Gilbert, Guantanamo, Sami al-Haj, Hancock 38, Mohamed Harkat, Mahmoud Jaballah, Omar Khadr, Jaan Laaman, Raymond Luc Levasseur, Lucasville 5, Jeffrey Luers, Mohammad Mahjoub, Bradley Manning, Tom William Manning, Tarek Mehanna, Ramiro "Ramsey" Muñiz, Said Namouh, Occupy, Ohio Seven, Joseph Padilla, Pelican Bay, Leonard Peltier, Plowshares, Marcia Powell, Lynne Stewart, Russell Maroon Shoats, Charles Turner, a war on the poor, war resisters, Aafia Siddiqui, Albert Woodfox.
January 18, 2013
Canada: the Idle No More movement is finding a consensus through actions. On January 16th First Nations, Aboriginal, Métis, and supporters throughout Canada asserted pressure on the Government's traditional policies of supremacy by peacefully blocking transport and standing in solidarity. It is a reminder that without serious dialogue and good faith between the Aboriginal peoples and the Government, Canada will continue an historical pattern understood as genocide. For a moment there's the chance for Canada to prepare for a just future. While the Idle No More movement encompasses many paths toward justice, its immediate concern is the Harper government's failure to consult with First Nations leaders on issues affecting Treaty rights and communities (previous). For several introductions to First Nations history in North America: Kahentinetha Horn's "The North American Indian Holocaust"; Daniel N. Paul's "American Indian Genocide" [access:< http://www.danielnpaul.com/AmericanIndiansGenocide.html >]; Kevin Annett's Hidden No Longer: Genocide in Canada, Past and Present [access:< http://hiddennolonger.com/ >]. See also Night's Lantern genocide warnings.
Current: as Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat Band fasts for the honouring of compacts and treaties between the Queen, the State and First Peoples, on January 14th the Province of Ontario appealed a 2011 court decision that both kept the government from taking away indigenous Treaty rights of the Grassy Narrows First Nation and stopped the clearcut logging operations on their territory. That ruling by Judge Mary-Anne Sanderson of the Ontario Superior Court followed about eleven years of legal challenges and blockades. The Government has assumed an adversarial stance by appealing on the grounds that the Judge's ruling is bad for the economy and ignores the Province's rights over the land ("Ontario appeals landmark Native Treaty rights legal ruling in battle over clearcut logging in Grassy Narrows," Press release, Jan. 14, 2013, Free Grassy Narrows). For a detailed consideration of Judge Sanderson's decision, see J. "Kittoh" Stanley's "The Keewatin Judgement: Give an Inch to Take a Mile": 1, and 2 (& 3).
January 12, 2013
U.S.: "On U.S. Intelligence Predictions for 2030".
January 7, 2013
Syria: see previous. In a speech to the people of his country on January 6th, President al-Assad has called on the people's resistance: Each citizen is responsible and able to provide something even if it is simple or limited in his/her view, because the homeland is for everyone; we all defend it, each according to his/her capacity and capability... Syria's Communist Party supports the government, finding the threats against it to be foreign and NATO sponsored: "Ces rebelles ont dévoilé de plus en plus clairement leur agressif et sauvage visage au cours des crimes qu’ils ont commis contre la population civile, en particulier dans les zones qui refusent de se placer sous leur giron." Declaring solidarity with all the free of the Arab world, the CP Central Committee reaffirms the Syrian people's resistance and success, despite suffering. On Dec. 25, the UN announced it would cut food supplies to 1.5 million Syrians due to overburdening demands. Half the hospitals of a once advanced health care system, are destroyed. The U.S. has deployed patriot missiles and troops to Turkey. According to the BBC U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron says, "My message to Assad is go...He has the most phenomenal amount of blood on his hands." Following French recognition of Syrian "rebel" forces, on Dec. 12th U.S. President Obama recognized the opposition coalition as "the legitimate representative of the Syrian people" (Globe and Mail). The U.N. estimates 60,000 dead so far. The UN World Food Programme may have to feed 755 thousand refugees displaced in Syria and surrounding countries. A continuing genocide warning for Syrians as a national group, and particularly for targeted minorities: Adama Dieng, U.N. Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, has shown specific concern for Alawites, Armenians, Christians, Palestinians, Kurds, Turkmen, among other minority groups. Webster Griffin Tarpley has warned of an unimaginably horrible genocide all across Syria targeting Shiites, Alawites, Christians, Melkites, Maronites, Syriacs, Orthodox among all prone to victimization, if the NATO backed "rebel" forces take over the country. For a pattern of mass slaughters accompanying NATO expansion, see "White Collar Genocidaires: an overview of genocide prevention for 2013." Partial sources online: "UN genocide adviser warns of increasing risk of sectarian violence in Syria," U.N., Dec. 21, 2012, United Nations News Centre; "Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Addresses the Country Calling for Full Mobilization Against Western Puppets," Jan. 7, 2013, Pan-African News Wire; "Déclaration du Parti communiste Syrien à la suite des travaux de sa session du 5 décembre 2012," Dec. 18, 2012, Le Lien des ourvriers et paysans; "US-led death squads will unleash genocide across Syria," Webster Tarpley, Jan. 1, 2013 Press TV; "Syria faces Humanitarian Catastrophe," Bill Van Auken, Dec. 29, 2012, Global Research; "UN issues dire new warning on Syrian carnage," Matt Brown, Dec. 31, 2012, ABC News; "Assad speech 'beyond hypocritical': Britain's Hague," AFP, Jan.6, 2013, France 24; "U.S. recognizes Syrian opposition," John Ibbitson, Dec. 11, 2012 & "Canada withholds recognition of Syrian opposition coalition," John Ibbitson, Dec. 13, 2012, The Globe and Mail; "France: 100 Countries Recognize Syria," AP, Dec. 12, 2012, Time.
A branch that comes from violence will not take root;
for a blighted root is on sheer rock, like reeds by the
banks of a river, which are dried up before any grass; but
kindness, like eternity, will never be cut off, and faithfulness
will be established forever - from Ben Sira
(Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, Abegg et al)
This account is against forgetfulness.
by john bart gerald
graphics: julie maas
guest contributions as noted
gerald and maas
update of december 6, 2013