nightslantern * * *
2016 suppressed news
2016 suppressed news
concerned with the prevention of genocide
by j. b. gerald
February 10, 2017 Syria Colombia
Syria: (updated). Night's Lantern has provided genocide warnings concerned for Syria since 2012. A new report by Amnesty International alleges 13,000 prisoners have been hung by the government in Syrian prisons since 2011. Over 17,000 others are thought to have died in prison. It's apparent that Syria is increasingly subject to a propaganda war: Amnesty's allegations shift some responsibility for the immense amount of raw death in Syria to its President Assad. Allegations of horrible war crimes increase international pressures for intervention under "the right to protect." The truth is acutely necessary because propaganda for war (intervention) leads to continuing the slaughter and displacement of the Syrian population. The Assad government denies the claims of Amnesty's report and declares the executions of any prisoners follow due process of law. One notes that Amnesty's claims serve U.S. and NATO policies (Amnesty's an Anglo-American NGO with a combined U.K and U.S. income of 86.9 million dollars in 2015). For many years it didn't include the U.S. and Canada in its listing of countries where human rights violations might even occur. Syria won't let Amnesty or other U.S. and NATO oriented human rights organizations enter the country. So this Amnesty report has to rely on sources outside Syria; it draws its witnesses from refugees who have chosen to support NATO countries. The terrible details of Amnesty's "Human slaughterhouse" report, are coldly pieced together allegations assumed to be facts. The report is accompanied by a video with technologically impressive computer simulations of what Syrian prison is like and selected sound clips from survivors. Appearing at the same time is Amnesty's short cartoon describing the injustice and horror of the imprisonment. Animation as reporting is emotionally manipulative, a purposeful step aside from reality, and useful tool for propagandists. The cartoon is emotive propaganda. Those who trust Amnesty for non-partisan reporting of human rights abuses will be disappointed. Evidence as proof is needed. Without entirely discounting the report one notes that it coincides with the formula of propaganda warfare previously used against Iraq's Saddam Hussein, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's Slobodan Miloševic (who was later found to be innocent at international court after his curious death in the court's prison), Libya's Muammar Gaddafi - leaders purveyed as terrible war criminals by the Western media but supported by their own people. Subsequently their countries were bombed. Tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of innocent people were killed. The leaders were killed. The information wars initiated terrible crimes. An objective report on Syria's prisons would make some effort to present both sides of the conflict in Syria and look for a way to release other prisoners. Instead the Amnesty report and videos escalate the seriousness and irrationality of possible war crimes by the Assad government in suggesting that the prisoners were/are civilians, while its report clarifies Saydnaya Prison as a military prison for military people. Any torture and abuse of a prisoner is a crime, and any prisoner's death is also a tragedy, whether the victims are Assad's military opposition and linked with ISIS, or innocent civilians found guilty by a "court." What is being ignored is that these prisoners, their alleged mass hangings, their deaths from jail conditions, are the result of destabilization and war brought to Syria by foreign countries wanting regime change, England, France and the U.S. among the countries who have covertly attacked Assad's Syria to displace him and in 2012 officially recognized the rebel terrorist opposition as Syria's legitimate government. Partial sources online: "Amnesty Report Accuses Syria of Executing Thousands Since War Began," Anne Barnard, Feb. 6, 2017, The New York Times; "Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria," 2016, Amnesty International London; "Human slaughterhouse: Mass hangings and extermination at Saydnaya prison, Syria," Feb. 6, 2016, Amnesty U.S.A.; "Harrowing accounts of torture, inhuman conditions and mass deaths in Syria's prisons," Aug. 18, 2016, Amnesty International; "Inside Saydnaya: Syria's Torture Prison," Aug. 18, 2016, Amnesty International Youtube [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysgnadic3Yo >]; "NGOs and Media Disinformation: How We Were Misled About Syria by Amnesty International," Tim Hayward, Jan. 23, 2017, Tim Hayward; "Amnesty International Admits Syrian "Saydnaya" Report Fabricated Entirely in UK," Tony Cartalucci, Feb. 9, 2017, Land Destroyer; "Up to 13,000 secretly hanged in Syrian jail, says Amnesty," Martin Chulov, Feb. 7, 2017, theguardian; "'They treated us like animals': Nearly 18,000 have died in Syrian prisons since 2011, report finds," Aig. 17, 2016, CBC News; "Hearsay Extrapolated - Amnesty Claims Mass Executions In Syria, Provides Zero Proof," Feb. 17, 2017, Moon of Alabama; "Recognition of Opposition Groups as the Legitimate Representative of a People," Stefan Talmon, May 5, 2013, Chinese Journal of International Law; "Human Slaughterhouse: Amnesty International Says Up to 13,000 Hanged at Syrian Prison" Nermeen Shaikh / Nicolette Waldman, Feb. 9, 2017, Democracy Now!; "Syria rejects Amnesty report on hangings at Saydnaya prison," Feb. 8, 2017, BBC News.Europe: while forced sterilization is no longer permitted, it is being forced on some transgender people in order for them to legally change their sexual identity, and in some cases to receive health care and other services of the State. By 2016, 23 European countries are listed on the Trans Rights Europe Map, 2016, as requiring sterilization of transgender people for gender recognition; not requiring sterilization: Iceland, Ireland, U.K., Norway, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Estonia, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Lichtenstein, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Malta. TGEU warns that transgender rights and protection within Europe remain low. The Washington Blade reports that on January 1, 2017, Denmark became the first nation of the world "to officially remove transgender identities from its list of mental health disorders." The World Health Organization's classification of transsexualism in its International Classification of Disorders is under revision. Some consider treatment of the LGBT communities an index of a country's fascism. TechCrunch reports that within an hour of U.S. President Trump taking office the White House web site deleted its page concerned with LGBT rights - whitehouse.gov/lgbt; also noted: the words "climate change" no longer appear on the site. Partial sources online: "Trans Rights Europe Map, May 2013," May 17, 2013, TGEU Transgender Europe; "Trans Rights Europe Map, May 10,2016," TGEU Transgender Europe; "Denmark no longer considers transgender people mentally ill," Maximilian Sycamore, Jan. 4, 2017, The Washington Blade; "Denmark to declassify being transgender as mental disorder," Agence France-Presse, June 1, 2016, theguardian; "The White House’s LGBT rights page has disappeared," Sarah Buhr, Jan 21, 2017, TechCrunch.Colombia: the peace treaty between the Government and most guerrilla groups in Colombia's long war with itself, is accompanied by renewed efforts for justice in the courts. 200 cases are being brought against domestic and multi-national companies, many of them familiar to the U.S., and many of them who have allegedly used paramilitary death squads to enforce corporate policies in labor relations: the murder of labor leaders and workers protesting for their rights. Despite the fact that it is difficult to bring large international corporations to trial, cases of crimes against humanity are initiated against Chiquita's (Chiquita Brands International was previously known as United Fruit Company) subsidiary among others (possibly Dole, Del Monte, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Drummond, as well as the large locals Postobon, Cementos Argos). Partial sources online: ''Para-economics | Fact sheet,'' Brian Levesque,Sept. 22, 2016, Colombia Reports; "Dole and Del Monte also facing crimes against humanity charges for financing death squads in Colombia: report," Adriaan Alsema, Feb. 4, 2017, Colombia Reports; "Colombia Charges Corporations with Crimes Against Humanity," Callum Cleary, Feb. 9, 2017, Law Street.
February 5, 2017 Ukraine Quebec City update
Ukraine: anti-Semitism is increasing. Night's Lantern re-affirms its genocide warning of March 2014 and September 2015 for Ukrainian Jews. Haaretz reports efforts to recruit neo-Nazis in Brazil to fight pro-Russian forces in the Ukraine; southern Brazil is believed to host about a hundred thousand supporters of Hitler. On New Years Day 2017 Ukrainian nationalists with portraits of Stephen Bandera marched through the streets of Kiev in a torchlight parade shouting "Juden raus!" while police looked on. In 1939 and 1940 Bandera helped prepare the Ukraine for the Nazi invasion, and a week after operation Barbarossa became chief of the new Ukrainian State. As a leading Nazi collaborator he is held responsible for the genocide of thousands and thousands of Jews and Poles. In 2017 the Ukraine's Jewish community is partially dispersed and feels a lack of support from Israel; Ukrainian nationalist pro-Holocaust sentiments increase (TV-Novosti). In early November the graffiti -"Death to the Jews" was found on Chernivtsi's Central Synagogue, as was a cross. On November 19th the monument to six thousand Jews murdered at Mogileve (Belarus) in 1941 was defaced with black paint. Arutz Sheva7 reports that mass graves with thousands of victims of the Holocaust throughout the Ukraine are being desecrated and looted for gold (teeth), jewelry, and "gruesome souvenirs." U.S. Senators Graham and McCain are reported in the Ukraine urging the Ukraine Government's army to act against the defenders of ethnic Russians. In WWII the Ukraine's nationalists fought against the Russians - alongside the Nazis. During postwar Ukrainian immigration to Canada, Ukrainians fronted Canada's admission in 1950 of up to 2000 members of the Nazi Waffen-SS Galician Division held in British P.O.W. camps, to strengthen Canada's anti-communism during the cold war. Canada's attachment to right-wing Ukrainians runs deep since a third of Canada's Communist Party membership was said to be left-wing Ukrainians back in the 1930s. This tension is partly responsible for official Canada's overbearing anti-Communism and denigration of Russia. Russia Insider reports that a Ukrainian grandfather of Canada's current Foreign Secretary Christy Freeland, said to have brought his family to Canada to 'escape the Russians,' was in fact a Nazi collaborator in the Ukraine during the mass murders of Jews and Poles in WWII. Partial sources online: "Brazilian Neo-Nazis Recruited to Fight pro-Russian Rebels in Ukraine ," JTA, Jan. 12, 2017, Haaretz; "‘Lights going out on Jewish community in Ukraine’ – Ukrainian Jewish Committee head," Feb. 3, 2017, TV-Novosti; "Ukrainian Jewish leader says community in danger of extinction," Tamara Zieve, Feb. 2, 2017, Jersualem Post; "Graves of Holocaust victims looted, desecrated across Ukraine," Staff, Feb. 2, 2017, Arutz Sheva7; "Sens. Graham and McCain Visit Ukraine Troops, Urge Offensive," Jason Ditz, Feb. 3, 2017, antiwar.com; "‘Death to Jews’ sprayed on Ukrainian synagogue," Nov. 25, 2016, JTA; "Russia Cringes as Kiev Commemorates Nazi Patsies Who Terrorized Wartime Ukraine," Jan. 6, 2017, Sputnik International; "Canada, Ukraine, and the Ghosts of Babi Yar," J. B. Gerald, Mary 22, 2014, nightslantern.ca [access:< http://www.nightslantern.ca/canada-ukraine-and-the-ghosts-of-babi-yar.htm >]; "Banned in Russia, Goebbles’ Diaries to be Published in Ukraine," JNi.Media, Jan. 26, 2017, The Jewish Press; "SCOOP: Canada's New Foreign Minister Lying About Family's Ukrainian Nazi Past," John Helmer, Jan. 19, 2017, Russia Insider; "Liberals brought Nazi vets to Canada: Glorifying Ukrainian-Canadian Veterans of OUN/UPA Terrorism," Richard Sanders, Dec. 14, 2016, "babble" rabble.ca; "Left-Right Camps: A Century of Ukrainian Canadian Internment," Richard Sanders, March 2016, (Issue # 68) Press for Conversion!.
Québec City update (see previous): it is now seven days since six Muslim worshippers in Quebec City were murdered at their place of worship. In Canada many are still mourning. Many others are protesting the politics of hate. Government politicians have made efforts to assure the Muslim communities how welcome Muslims are in Canada. How do we know the politicians' words are genuine? (to continue "Canada and the politics of Islamophobia").
February 3, 2017
Québec City, update: (see previous) the media narrative of the Québec shootings has evolved, from the initial report of a witness claiming two masked attackers who shouted "Allahu akbar" in a Québecois accent and shooting worshippers, to the arrest of two suspects. One claimed to be "involved" and turned himself in at some distance from the crime scene. The other apprehended near the mosque was found to be a good Samaritan who had fled after confusing an armed policeman with the attacker(s). With the release of this good Samaritan no explanation was available for the witness statement of two masked men and the story was dropped from North American media despite its corroboration by other witnesses. The original witness of two attackers is "convinced" that he saw two attackers despite the official story (The Irish Sun). Current media reporting claims police find Alexandre Bissonnette the only suspect and no other attackers are sought... Media coverage of this suspect suggests he is right wing, pro-Donald Trump, pro-Marine Le Pen (whose party is finding the Québec massacre "deplorable"), pro-Israeli Defense Forces, and known for anti-immigrant and anti-feminist statements. He has an interest in guns. But his interests include Jack Layton (serious, inclusive and on the left when compared to the others, an effective leader of the NDP who died too quickly from prostate cancer as he neared power); a student of anthropology and political science, he was interested in saving the environment and worked for Québec's blood services. The mass killing and wounding steps into another behavioral dimension, and from information supplied the public so far this suspect could be simply a "sacrifice", a scapegoat to satisfy the public's need for some answer to a horrible crime. A recent CBC encapsulation of witness statements about the shootings finds the shooter loading and reloading professionally. While police security was said to be increased at Québec mosques, shortly before the large memorial service in Montreal for three of the victims February 2nd, a window was smashed and eggs thrown at the mosque in Pointe-Saint-Charles. Montreal police report 14 hate crimes since the Québec shooting. Partial sources online: "Only 1 suspect in deadly Québec mosque shooting, police say," Jan 29 / Jan. 30, 2017, CBC News; "‘I FEEL BAD’ What ‘student’ gunman who stormed Québec mosque told cops as he gave himself up after killing six – as cops reveal they now have only ONE suspect," Simon Tomlinson, Paul Harper, Sam Webb, Jan. 30, 2017, The Irish Sun; "Québec mosque terror attack: Six dead after gunmen shout "Allahu Akbar" and open fire during evening prayers," Steve Robson and Chris Kitching, Jan 30, 2017, The Irish Mirror; "Montreal mosque has window smashed, eggs thrown at it," CTVNews.ca Staff, Feb. 2, 2017, CTV News; "10 minutes of terror: What happened in the Québec City mosque Sunday night," Jonathan Montpetit, feb.1 /Feb 2, 2017, CBC News; "What They Won’t Tell Us About Quebec Mosque Attack," Faith Goldy, Jan. 31, 2017, therebel.media[access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=18&v=gV62pqS7AAA >].
January 31, 2017 Yemen Ontario & Québec Québec City
Yemen: early Sunday morning , Jan. 29th, a U.S. commando unit attacked an alleged terrorist headquarters in Baida Province, central Yemen. Described as an anti-terrorist action the incident verifies commitment of U.S. forces to the conflict in Yemen; one U.S. military person is reported killed and four wounded. While U.S. sources are reporting no civilian wounded and the deaths of 14 alleged militants, subsequent non U.S. sources report Apache helicopters attacking the homes of 3 tribal chiefs, a school, a mosque, a medical facility all linked to Al-Quaeda, and resulting in the deaths of 41 suspected militants, 8 women and 8 children including an eight year old girl who is the daughter of Anwar al-Aulaqi, reported by her grandfather to have died slowly after being shot in the neck. Her death follows a drone attack under President Obama which killed Imam al-Aulaqi's American born son, age 16, on a picnic with friends. Imam al-Aulaqi, a cleric and American citizen was placed on the U.S. President's killing list in 2010 and murdered without a trial in 2011. A report from Democracy Now! mentions the current President's election threats to wipe out the families of alleged terrorists - a war crime. The murder of innocents is unacceptable. The assassination of suspected individuals is unacceptable. The intentional murder of a suspect's family is unacceptable. Extra-judicial killing is unacceptable. The United States is not at war with Yemen. The UN has declared that 18.8 million people in Yemen urgently require humanitarian assistance and protection. Partial sources online: "Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. Trump Just Killed His 8-Year-Old Sister," Glenn Greenwald, Jan. 30, 2017, The Intercept; "One U.S. commando dead, four wounded in raid on Al Qaeda in Yemen," W.J. Hennigan, Jan. 29, 2017, Los Angeles Times; "UN: Yemen could face famine in 2017, over 2/3 of population in urgent need of aid," Jan. 28, 2017, TV-Novosti; "UPDATED: '57 dead' in first US raid on Qaeda in Yemen under Trump," AFP, Jan. 29, 2017, ahramonline; "Against the killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi & others," J.B.Gerald, April 19, 2010, nightslantern.ca.
Ontario & Québec: following a day of nationwide protests at international airports in the U.S. all in growing opposition to U.S. President Trump's refusal to admit citizens from seven Muslim countries as well as any refugees, on January 30th Canada's primary U.S. consular and embassy offices became the focus of midday demonstrations in Toronto , Ottawa and Montreal. The consulate in Toronto closed for the day. Speaking in Ottawa, Alex Neve, secretary general of Canadian Amnesty International, asked for Canada to immediately rescind its designation of the U.S. as a "safe State." This might open refugee status to asylum seekers from the U.S. or some entering Canada through the U.S.. The emphasis on protest was muted by national mourning at the deaths of the Muslims killed in the attack on worshippers at the Québec Islamic Cultural Centre in Québec City (see below).
Québec City: in a widely reported incident the Québec Islamic Cultural Centre was entered on the evening of January 29th by - according to initial reports at least two masked gunmen who shot and killed six worshippers with others wounded and five in critical condition. Canada is in mourning for the Muslim community with vigils across the country through the evening of January 30th. A premeditated killing of worshippers as they pray is uncharacteristic of terrorist attacks [Editor's note 02.08.2017: this isn't strictly true; on September 15, 1963 just before the 11 o'clock morning service a bomb we set off in Birmingham Alabama's 16th Street Baptist Church; four young girls were killed and over twenty other people injured; the identity of the killers was covered by the FBI until after FBI Director Hoover's death in 1972 and three Ku Klux Klansmen were eventually convicted of murder; on March 24, 1980 in El Salvador, while celebrating mass in a hospital chapel Archbishop Óscar Romero was shot and killed by an El Savadorian death squad; Roberto D'Aubuisson was accused of ordering the assassination but no one was ever prosecuted] and unlike Canada (It may remind Americans of the Charleston South Carolina murder of nine in a Christian prayer group by white supremacist Dylann Roof, sentenced to death January 11). There is some history of Islamophobia in Québec causing Québec's National Assembly to unanimously pass a bill October 3, 2015, condemning Islamophobia (previous). The January 29th attack in Québec City follows destruction by fire of a mosque in Victoria Texas in the early hours of January 28th. The Muslim cultural centre at Sept-Iles Québec suffered a fire on September 23, 2016, considered a probable arson; the centre was previously vandalized and damaged in October. Again in Québec City, June 2016, someone left a pig's head on the steps of the Québec Islamic Cultural Centre. Evidence of extreme anti-Islamic sentiment in Québec, parallels the sentiments of European and U.S. neo-fascist anti-immigrant movements (Le Pen in France, Wilders in the Netherlands, and Trump in the U.S.) which neo-fascist Québec movements look to and several align with. Among the extreme right groups in Québec - Soldiers of Odin, La Meute, Atalante Québec, PEGIDA Québec, the Fédération des Québécois de Souche (FQS), are those known to oppose Islamic immigration while some will defend corporate use of Canadian resources and ... pipelines. A suspect in the Québec City killings who is reported to have escaped the crime scene and peacefully 'turned himself in' five kilometres away without incident, Alexandre Bissonnette, was charged with six counts of first degree murder and five counts of attempted murder. No mention is currently made of at least one other masked gunman consistently mentioned in early reports; ie. there seems to be at least one masked shooter who was not caught. Update. Partial sources online: "Texas mosque destroyed in early-morning blaze; cause unknown," AP, Jan. 28, 2017, Daily Sabah; "Québec mosque shooting: Suspects not known to police," Jan. 30, 2017, Montreal Gazette; "Muslim cultural center in Canada attacked for fourth time," Dec., 26, 2016, Daily Sabah; "6 dead, 2 arrested after shooting at Quebec City mosque," Jan. 29, 2017, CBC News.
from River with Lights, poems
January 27, 2017
"Thirty Seconds To Midnight - The Final Wake Up Call"
a film by Regis Tremblay 1:38:36 minutes [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0bsrFyLz6U >]
January 26, 2017 Yemen U.S. U.K.
Yemen: the death toll in Yemen has reached ten thousand people, with forty thousand injured, three million displaced and nearly 18 million people requiring humanitarian assistance. The conflict between the government and Houthi rebels is understood as a proxy war by Saudi Arabia against the people. Among arms suppliers, a 15 billion dollar arms contract between the Saudis and Canada (the deal made with General Dynamics Land Systems of London Ontario under the previous Conservative government and furthered by Prime Minister Trudeau's Liberal government), was restrained by a lawsuit which has been rejected by Federal Court. Common sense suggests that supplying arms to Saudi Arabia during its destruction of Yemen is a war crime. The Globe and Mail article doesn't name the company which will make the armoured vehicles. A genocide warning for the people of Yemen continues. Partial sources online: "10,000 People Have Been Killed In Yemen’s Bloody War, U.N. Confirms," Joseph Hincks Jan. 17, 2017, Time; "Yemen civil war: Widespread starvation forces people to eat food from rubbish dumps," Peter Walker, Jan. 9, 2017, Independent; "Federal court rejects suit to block Liberals’ Saudi arms deal ," Steven Chase, Jan. 24, 2017, The Globe and Mail; "Federal court rejects bid to block $15B Saudi Arabia arms deal with General Dynamics," Jacquelyn LeBel, Jan. 24, 2017, AM980; "Genocide In Yemen: Media Complicit In US-Saudi War Crimes," Mnar Muhawesh, Jan. 17, 2017, Mintpress News; "Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen," current, Wikipedia.
1. In a direct threat to freedom of the press, during counter inauguration demonstrations in Washington D.C. 6 media workers covering the demonstrations were arrested and charged with felony counts which could carry sentences of 10 years or $ 25,000 fines. This attempt to silence press covering demonstrations suggests police foresee using tactics which violate the law. Partial sources online: "Four more journalists get felony charges after covering inauguration unrest," Jon Swaine, Jan.24, 2017, theguardian; "Journalists Covering Inauguration Protests Face ‘Felony Riot’ Charges," Hilary Hanson, Jan. 24, 2017, Huffington Post.
2. Trump has signed executive orders approving the Keystone XL pipeline (reversing Obama's decision), and the Dakota Access pipeline. News of the Keystone XL approval was welcomed by Alberta's Premier and Canada's Prime Minister Trudeau. The rights of the companies and U.S.government to continue Dakota Access pipeline (previous) without Indigenous approval will be challenged in court and on the land. Partial sources online: "Trump gives OK to Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines," Jan. 24, 2017, CBC News; "Trudeau welcomes Trump's Keystone XL decision," John Paul Tasker, Jan.24, 2017, CBC News.
3. A bill requiring the U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations, the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017 was introduced in the House of Representatives, January 3rd. Partial sources online: "Trump’s Plan to Kill UN Begins with Withdrawal Bill," GPD, Jan. 23, 2017, Veterans Today; "US Exit from United Nations Could Become Reality with Fresh Bill," RT News / Jan. 23, 2027, Jan. 24, 2017, Global Research.
4. Rex Tillerson, nominated for Secretary of State has indicated he'll seek repatriation of Assata Shakur from Cuba, to continue her imprisonment in the U.S.. The two million dollar reward currently offered for Ms. Shakur is generally ignored by everyone. Cuba has previously stated and reiterated its refusal to give up Shakur and is unlikely to betray Fidel's guarantee of asylum, the Cuban struggle, and Cuba's influence on the future of the Americas. Background. Partial sources online: "Trump’s Secretary of State Wants Assata Shakur Re-Imprisoned," Jan. 23, 2017, TeleSur; "Pelican Bay, Lynne Stewart, Ramsey Muñiz, Assata Shakur: Updates," J.B.Gerald, Sept. 14, 2013, nightslantern.ca; "Who Is Assata Shakur? Rex Tillerson Wants Cuba To Hand Over Black Lives Matter Hero And Fugitive," Josh Keefe, Jan.24, 2017, IBT.
5. In accord with his campaign statements Trump has signed an executive order to start building a wall along the U.S. Mexico border. The New York Times claims to have received a draft document for the President's announcement to stop the refugee admission program entirely for four months, when it is expected the number of refugees admitted will be halved. Round up and deportations of undocumented immigrants will proceed. The expected order plans to ban outright the admission of any person from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, in to the States for the period of a month. The NYT points out the wording of the order may change before publication expected later this week. A draft of the order was published by the Los Angeles Times. Partial sources online: "Trump orders moves on border wall and 'sanctuary cities' and is considering a refugee ban," Brian Bennett & Noah Bierman, Jan.25, 2017, Los Angeles Times; "Donald Trump signs executive order to build wall with Mexico: 'Beginning today the United States gets back control of its borders'," Harriet Alexander & David Lawler, Jan. 25, 2017, The Telegraph; "Trump Orders Mexican Border Wall to Be Built and Is Expected to Block Syrian Refugees," Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Jan. 25, 2017, The New York Times
6. On January 25th, in parallel to the increasing loss of people's rights, the Dow Jones Industrial Average of blue chip stocks exceeded the 20,000 point mark for the first time in history. Partial sources online: "Dow Jones industrial average finishes above 20,000 for first time," Pete Evans, Jan. 25.2017, CBC News.
7. The Environmental Protection Agency has been ordered not to release any information to the public without prior approval from political appointees. And the EPA has been ordered to take down its climate change page from the department's website. In Canada the Conservative Harper government used a similar tactic to muzzle scientists in order to hide from the public the effects of climate change and other threats to the environment by corporate industry and the military. Partial sources online: "Trump issues gag order on Environmental Protection Agency staff," Brady Dennis & Juliet Eilperin (The Washington Post), Jan. 24, 2017, The Toronto Star; "Trump administration: EPA studies, data must undergo political review before release," AP, Jan. 25, 2017, theguardian; "EPA Reportedly Ordered To Remove Climate Change Webpage," David Kroll, Jan. 25, 2017, Forbes.
U.K.: the growing strength of nationalism and populism shown in the Brexit vote is accompanied by a continuing increase in hate crimes , including those toward the LGBT community and disabled people. Last October The Washington Post reported a sharp rise in U.K. homophobic attacks. Partial sources online: "Homophobic attacks in the U.K. have risen 147% since Brexit, report says," Jennifer Hassan, Oct. 12, 2016, The Washington Post; "UK: 20 homophobic hate crimes a day in England and Wales," The Pink News, Jan. 19, 2017, ICARE.
January 22, 2017 Uzbekistan Europe Belgium The Netherlands U.S.
Uzbekistan & Tashkent: reports indicate a State medical policy for the sterilization of women who have two or more children. Sterilizations are being performed without consent. Women of minority groups and lower income groups are the primary victims, and are increasingly bearing their children at home. According to a correspondent linked to the Open Society Foundation, the program has affected tens of thousands. Partial sources online: "Uzbekistan: Tashkent Pursuing Forced Sterilization Policy," Deirdre Tynan, March 22, 2010, Eurasianet.org; "Forced sterilization of women reportedly widespread in Uzbekistan," RFE/RL, Dec. 16, 2013, Asia Plus Media Group.
Belgium: Tzipi Livni was Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs during Israel's Operation Cast Lead which killed 1400 Palestinians. She and other Israeli officials are accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Gaza, by a group of the victims, in a Belgian court action of June 23, 2010 (In July 2010 a similar complaint was made at court in Morocco). Planning to attend European Parliament on January 23rd, 2017, she was to be interrogated by court order and arrested. Ms. Livni has cancelled her appearance because of "illness." Partial sources online: "Belgium to Arrest Former Israeli Foreign Minister for 'War Crimes'," Middle East Monitor, Jan. 20, 2017, Global Research; "Ex-Israeli FM Tzipi Livni cancels Brussels visit after Belgian court's arrest order," Jan. 21, 2017, Ummid.com.U.S., historical note:
The Netherlands: On December 16th 2016, Geert Wilders was given no sentence by the court which convicted him of inciting racism and group defamation (he asked a crowd if they would like fewer Moroccans around - see previous). The Islamophobic leader of the PVV far right political party is currently leading in polls for the country's next election March 15, 2017. He tweets, "The Netherlands will be strong again !" On Jan. 21rst Europe Online magazine reports him in Germany telling supporters in German that Europe needs a "proud Germany;" and because of Islamization European women are "frightened of showing their blonde hair." Partial sources online: "Netherlands: The conviction of Geert Wilders," eds. Vonk, Dec. 21, 2016, In Defence of Marxism; "EXTRA Dutch anti-Islam leader Wilders tells Germans to stand proud," Jan 21, 2017, Europe Online magazine; "Conviction for Racist Speech Could Help Make Geert Wilders Dutch Prime Minister," Robert Mackey, Dec. 9, 2016, The Intercept.
Sacco and Vanzetti (Woody Guthrie) 2011 [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brhzBlyJgqo >]
Sacco's letter to his son [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKY1o_XOqDs >].
January 20, 2017 Italy U.S.
Italy: (see previous Argentina) an Italian court has found the former president of Bolivia, Luis Garcia Meza Tejada , and the former president of Peru, Francisco Morales Bermudez, guilty of war crimes and sentenced them in absentia to life in prison. Garcia is already serving 30 years in Bolivia. These are among eight life sentences handed down by the court for murdering 23 Italians under Operation Condor, a 1970s and 80s collaboration among South American governments to kill left wing representatives and activists internationally. Operation Condor is legally relevant to the U.S. since it is believed to have been initiated by the U.S., partly through the inception of Chile's feared DINA with the help of the CIA station chief in Chile and its early collaboration with the Argentine right wing; DINA commander Manuel Contreras who called together the formative meeting of Operation Condor on November 28, 1975, was in the pay of the CIA; a U.S. military base in Central America provided the encoded communication facilities for Operation Condor; in the late 70's Argentina's Extraterritorial Task Force provided covert support for Operation Condor - out of Florida. Currently released CIA memos are providing detailed information of CIA knowledge of and participation in Operation Condor's activities. At the Italian court Operation Condor is considered a criminal enterprise. Media reports of Operation Condor related trials in Italy and South America carry no mention of Americans. The shielding of embassy officials, military attachés, military personnel engaged in torture, CIA field agents, U.S. handlers and effectors of the policy locally, maintains the power of a class of war criminals within these South American countries, and within the U.S.. In Italy the initial list of defendants included 140 military officers, but through death and age the list of remaining defendants was reduced to 27, and 19 were absolved of involvement. Background. More background. "Desaparecidos." Partial sources online: "Italy sentences two former South American leaders to life in prison for Operation Condor murders<" Steve Scherer, Jan. 17, 2017, Reuters; "Expectation in Uruguay For Sentence of Military Officers in Italy," Jan. 17, 2017, Prensa Latina; "Italy convicts eight South Americans in Plan Condor trial," Jan 18, 2017, BBC News; "The Undead Ghost of Operation Condor," J. Patrice McSherry, Spring 2005 Logos 4.2 online; "Released ‘Operation Condor’ Files Show CIA Torture in Argentina," Dec. 12, 2016, TeleSur.
U.S.: before leaving office President Obama granted clemency to an additional 330 "nonviolent drug offenders." See previous. Political prisoners Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Sundiata Acoli, Imam Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, Dr. Rafil Dhafir, David Gilbert, Imam Sheik Abdel-Rahman, Abu Hamza al-Masri, Fahad Hashmi, Robert Seth Hayes, Jaan Laaman, Tom William Manning, Tarek Mehanna, Ramiro "Ramsey" Muñiz, Jose Padilla, Russell Maroon Shoatz, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Aafia Siddiqui, Juvenal Ovidio Ricardo Palmero Pineda, Anayibe Rojas Valderrama, among others, remain imprisoned without benefit of trials free from the State's political uses, or compassion. As for the prison camp of Guantanamo, elected to close Guantanamo and after consistently lying for eight years that the torture camp would be closed, Barrack Obama leaves office with his campaign promise unfulfilled. It should be noted that in the year 2016 the former Nobel peace prize winner dropped at least 26,171 bombs primarily on Syria and Iraq, as military actions continue to present the greatest threat to the environment and global warming. He is replaced this January 20th, by Donald John Trump, a New York businessman with no prior political experience. Partial sources online: "Obama grants final 330 commutations to nonviolent drug offenders," Sari Horwitz, Jan. 19, 2017, The Washington Post; "White House Concedes It Won't Close Guantanamo After All," Josh Lederman and Ben Fox, AP, Jan. 18, 2017, Military.com; "America dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016. What a bloody end to Obama's reign," Medea Benjamin, Jan. 9, 2017, the guardian.
January 18, 2017 Guatemala U.S.
#19Guatemala: the re-trial of José Efraín Ríos Montt, scheduled to begin January 11th was postponed this year once again, to resolve procedural complications. Ríos Montt's conviction on charges of genocide in 2013 was set aside by a superior court of questionable standing in a spurious decision. The case of Ríos Montt presents a study in the ineffectiveness of applying justice to the worst war criminals of the elite, in countries where the system of justice is managed by the elite. The impunity of Ríos Montt's escape from justice suggests an ongoing genocide warning for Guatemala's Indigenous peoples and provides encouragement for other criminal rulers. To deflect this awareness Guatemala dealt with last year's postponement by charging others, including a regional military commissioner and a base commander with sexual violence during the Ríos Montt regime, re-couching the most shameful crime of genocide into the awful but more familiar crimes of sexual slavery. The system continues prosecution of lower ranking military for specific ugly crimes. In early January of this year U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested a Guatemalan special forces corporal (at-the-time), now a permanent resident of the U.S. with a job in the mailroom of Johns Hopkins University for ten years, wanted for his role in the Dos Erres massacre, a crime under the Ríos Montt regime where the 20 commandos dressed as rebels walked into a village and for two days tortured the men, raped the women, and murdered all two hundred and one including 113 children. Night's Lantern has noted on(Sept. 20, 2015) that Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Rockefeller Foundation were sued for alleged connection to experiments on unwitting Guatemalans intentionally infected with syphilis. Previous. Of the five 'Dos Erres fugitives' arrested in the U.S., two who became U.S. citizens are serving ten years apiece in the U.S. for immigration fraud; of the two returned to Guatemala, one tried so far was sentenced in 2012 to 6,060 years in prison (ProPublica). There is some effort to blame low ranks for carrying out crimes of policy, in a crime that began with their training. In other news of Guatemala, Canada's Goldcorp has agreed to sell its Cerro Blanco mining project to Canada's Bluestone Resources, with an option on certain aspects of Goldcorp's Marlin mine which is being closed out while attempting repair to the habitat. The Supreme Court has stopped for now the construction of Oxec I and Oxec II, two hydroelectric dams which the Mayan people of the land are strongly against. Previous. Partial sources online: "Shameful decision to postpone Ríos Montt trial a new stain on Guatemala’s justice system," Jan. 11, 2016, Amnesty International; "Genocide trial for Guatemala ex-dictator Rios Montt suspended," Jan. 11, 2016, Reuters; "Guatemalan soldiers to answer civil war sexual slavery charges in historic trial," Nina Lakhani, Feb. 1, 2016, theguardian; "ICE Arrests Former Kaibiles Linked to Dos Erres Massacre in Guatemala," Jan 10, 2017, TeleSur; "Federal Agents Arrest a Former Guatemalan Soldier Charged With Massacring Civilians," Sebastian Rotella, Jan 10, 2017, ProPublica; "Goldcorp To Sell Cerro Blanco Project In Guatemala To Bluestone Resources," RTT News, Jan.11, 2017, Nasdaq; "Victory for Guatemala's Mayan People," Jan. 15, 2017, TeleSur.
U.S: President Obama has commuted the sentences of 209 prisoners with a pardon or reprieve for an additional 64. This brings to a total of 1385 commutations by this President including 504 commutations of prisoners with life sentences, and a total of 212 pardons. Most of those receiving clemency were serving long sentences for cocaine related charges, usually distribution. Also receiving clemency is Chelsea Manning who managed to release to the American people evidence of war crimes by U.S. military personnel; her sentence is to expire May 17, 2017. Julian Assange, an Australian whose Wikileaks released Chelsea Manning's materials, has said he would allow his own extradition if President Obama released Chelsea Manning, and appropriate strong resistance should be prepared in the event Assange is brought to the U.S.. Oscar Lopez Rivera, the respected Puerto Rican nationalist serving a term of 55 years, is also to be released May 17, 2017. Long term political prisoners (see our "political prisoners updates") who were targeted by COINTELPRO programs and often framed or falsely convicted, have been overlooked for clemency. For example Tom Manning of Massachusetts who shot back when a police person tried to murder him is slated to spend the rest of his life in prison. Early supporters of Mandela, Tom Manning and Jaan Laaman amid their New England working class group were never forgiven for supporting Black Liberation movements. Many of those without clemency are former Black Panthers and others who struggled for the human rights of U.S. Black or Native American communities. A difficulty with the life sentences for unintended crimes, is that no leverage beyond an outdated death penalty is left to counter intentional crimes of terrorism. Partial sources online: "Obama Pardons 2017 Full List: Chelsea Manning, Oscar Lopez Rivera And Others To Get Shortened, Reprieved Sentences," Bruce Wright, Jan. 17, 2017, IBT; "President Obama Has Now Granted More Commutations than Any President in this Nation’s History," Neil Eggleston, Jan. 17, 2017, The White House.
if i could warn you© 1985 john bart gerald, - from plainsongs
where i once came from
not the places where the land is gentle to the people
or the bedrock holding staunchions
but the hearts of grown-up children playing
the victors of the middle class
confused with royalty in their dreams
come true of wasn't that enough
a domain where life was bought
oh those victors of the middle class
if you loved or tried to love or christian loved
or treated with all the tolerance and wisdom
of the religious book they
would fight like death itself
and loving less, won
a momentary victory to say
"you see i am stronger
i belong here"
U.S. Historical note: researching the Voting Rights Act I find that on March 7th, 2015, U.S. President Obama signed H.R. 431, and three in our family, among 8000 for civil rights participating in the March 1965 "Bloody Sunday," or "Turnaround Tuesday," or the Selma to Montgomery March, received the Congressional Gold Medal as "foot soldiers for voting rights." President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act August 6, 1965. The Voting Rights Act was seriously undermined by a Supreme Court decision to remove Justice Department monitoring of States with a history of unjust voting practices. New efforts are needed to re-establish minority voting rights. Our three who went South from New York to stand for the equal right to vote were Elmer Maas, my wife's uncle, who subsequently lost his college teaching job, was excluded from college teaching work, then joined with the Berrigans in Plowshares Movement actions until his death in 2005; Michael Shields, my friend and wife's first husband, arrested with me in Alabama, who died of illness in the Sixties; as for me I was made a "marshal" by the Movement for the Selma to Montgomery March, was falsely arrested with four other whites on the way home, later - falsely arrested twice in New York City, and gradually excluded from employment as a college teacher and writer. I find no mention of H.R. 431 in archives of The New York Times. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday approaches January 15th - for a note on his assassination see previous. - John Bart Gerald. Partial sources online: "Foot Soldiers Voting Rights Marches Congressional Gold Medal: Public Law 114-5," March 7, 2015, 114th Congress; "Selma marchers awarded Congressional Gold Medal," March 7, 2015, 14 News (Indiana); "Selma marchers awarded Congressional Gold Medal," Raycom News Network, March 7 / April 5, 2015Fox 8 (New Orleans); "Notes from a Montgomery Jail," John Bart Gerald, May 6, 1965, The New York Review of Books.January 11, 2017 Judith Clark Burundi Democratic Republic of Congo U.S. Argentina
New York State: Governor Andrew Cuomo commuted the sentence of Judith Alice Clark who has served 35 years of her 75 year sentence. She is eligible for parole in 2017. Involved in the 1981 Brinks robbery (previous) she didn't commit a crime of violence yet through association was blamed by the families of the Nyack police officer and the Brinks guard who were killed. She received one of the most severe punishments of those involved in the robbery. Despite pleas for clemency from former heads of the New York Bar association her situation looked hopeless until the Governor's compassionate action which also extended clemency to 101 people convicted of non-violent crimes as minors. Partial sources online: "Cuomo Commutes Sentence of Judith Clark, Driver in Deadly Brinks Robbery," Eli Rosenberg, Dec. 30, 2016, The New York Times; "Cuomo’s contemptible pardon for a terrorist," Post Editorial Board, Jan 3, 2017,
; "Seven felons, including Weather Underground member, and 101 others convicted as minors get clemency from Cuomo," Glenn Blain, Dec. 30, 2016, Daily News.
Burundi: (update) the government cabinet Minister of the Environment has been assassinated. This continues a lethal back and forth between the government and its opposition, which threatens the region with a lapse into violence. Euro-American policies suggest military intervention to preclude the possibility of a genocide (see previous), an intervention likely to lead to corporatization of the country's assets. This is a strong factor encouraging a genocide. Calls for intervention have coincided with major mining contracts gained by Russian and Chinese companies. Destabilization is encouraged by the privatisation of Burundi's coffee industry at the insistence of the World Bank; private interests have delayed delivery of pesticides and fertilizers; the crop and industry have been damaged. The Parliament of Burundi has had to place controls on international NGO's in Burundi who are considered to support rebels against Burundi's President Nikurunziza. Burundi has also withdrawn from the International Criminal Court so the Euro-American human rights industry is not well disposed toward President Nikurunziza and any non-African reporting on Burundi should require multiple verification. The attempt to wrest political power from African leaders who are uncooperative with US/NATO corporate takeovers is familiar. Ie.: in Ivory Coast the President was replaced by a former World Bank employee as the people continue to struggle; in Zimbabwe, recovered from colonization, British manipulation of the coffee market, economic disaster and cholera epidemics, Mugabe continues. Partial sources online: "Burundi passes law cracking down on foreign NGOs," AFP, December 24, 2016, Yahoo News; "Coffee sector privatization spells misery to over 4 million Burundians," Jan. 5, 2017, IWACU; "How the West Lost Burundi," Cara Jones, Orion Donovan-Smith, Aug. 25, 2015, FP; "Geopolitics of Central Africa: Relentless Propaganda Attacks on Burundi," Innocent Habonimana, Jan. 8, 2017, Suna Times.
Democratic Republic of Congo: on December 31, 2016 an agreement was reached between the government and the opposition which will allow Joseph Kabila to continue in office until elections at the end of 2017. The Catholic News Agency reports that implementation of the agreement has been worked out by the Catholic bishops of the country. If honoured the accords may save thousands from violence. About 40 people died in the disturbances following President Kabila's refusal to leave office when his term was over on Dec. 19, 2016. During 2016 conflicts displaced over half a million Congolese. Currently approximately two million are internally displaced civilians. The deep Congo adjacent to Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, also hosts refugees and military interests from the neighbouring countries and remains open to de-stabilization by foreign interests and their proxies. A 2016 updated progress report by a UN Group of Experts notes among other violations of international law in the area, Rwanda training Burundi rebels in South Kivu province, and arms entering the region from Rwanda in North Kivu province (see above). Partial sources online: "Catholic leaders in Congo welcome church-mediated accord," Jonathan Luxmoore / Catholic News Service, Jan. 3, 2017, Crux; "Progress Update," Group of Experts on the DRC extended pursuant to resolution 2198 (2015), Jan. 15, 2016, United Nations Security Council Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 1533 (2004) Concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo; "Democratic Republic of Congo - Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #1, Fiscal Year (FY) 2017," US Agency for International Development, Jan. 6, 2017, reliefweb.
Argentina: Telesur notes: a U.S. intelligence report from 1978 reveals U.S. knowledge of the death flights carried out by Argentine authorities under Operation Condor, yet the U.S. continued to supply aircraft; "in 2016, Francisco Bossi, the mastermind of the death flights, confessed to murdering 6,000 people." Batches of U.S. intelligence reports are being declassified providing information affecting the deaths of 60,000 people under the CIA supported Operation Condor administered by Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina in the 1970s and 1980s, with support from Peru and Venezuela. According to Telesur new information reveals Operation Condor's tracking down of political exiles in other countries. According to Serbia's In news the CIA knew beforehand of the 1976 coup which replaced Eva Peron with a military dictator enforcing a 'dirty war' with its years of atrocities. Papers released on the website of the director of the U.S. National Intelligence Agency state Washington's efforts to pressure Argentina into better human rights practices annoyed Argentina, causing it to strengthen ties to France, "communist " and Arab countries; Argentina purchased 170 jet engines from France (Presidential briefing July 19, 1978). The release of more U.S. papers on 'the dirty war' in Argentina was pledged by U.S. President Obama on his visit to Argentine President Mauricio Macri last March and coincides with Argentina's stated intention to upgrade its military equipment to the cost of 2.5 million dollars. See previous. See "Desaparecidos." Partial sources online: "Argentina Declassification Project," Dept. of State, Dec. 12, 2016, IC on the Record / Office of the Director of National Intelligence [access:< https://icontherecord.tumblr.com/ >]; "New Files Reveal US Sold Argentina Military Aircraft to Dump Bodies in Ocean," Dec. 16, 2016, Telesur; "CIA-Backed Operation Condor Tried to 'Liquidate' Human Rights Activists.," Dec. 13, 2016, Telesur; "US declassifies Argentina's 'Dirty War' files amid reports of military upgrade," Dec. 13, 2016, DW; "Argentina: Released Files Show Washington Knew of Impending Coup," Tihomir Gligorevic, Dec 16, 2016, in news (Serbia).
January 1, 2017 Democratic Republic of the Congo: M.N.C. Uhuru (Joseph Kabasselé) - African Jazz 1960 [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2A726KAof8 >]
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 by julie maas
guest contributions as noted
10 february 2017
minor edits 12 february 2017