Friday, May 11, 2007


The village of Latrobe is the birthplace of the banana split and professional football, Mister Rogers, Arnold Palmer, and Rolling Rock beer. Comedian Jackie Mason spent three years as a rabbi in Latrobe after his ordainment. Latrobe has a population of 8,994. It is nearly 99% white. The community was named after Benjamin Henry Latrobe Jr., a civil engineer whose father was a celebrated architect. It is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. You'd think George could visit this place quietly, but nooooo.

Bush was in town to give a commencement address at St. Vincent College and those damned anti-Americans who don't support our troops showed up to spoil a good time, as usual.

Typical of the commies was Ronny Menzie who chose to join a protest on the road to the college instead of standing with her fellow graduates.

"I didn't finish my thesis because I didn't want my graduation with him," said Menzie, 35, a philosophy major. "I think it's a blight, an embarrassment on a Catholic college."

Another one of those radicals at the college, often referred to as the Berkeley of southwest Pennsylvania, Thaddeus Pajak, 22, a graduating senior, told the local leftist media that the President's Iraq policy is at odds with the education he has received at the liberal arts college, founded by Benedictine monks 161 years ago.

"What I've learned here is every human life is valuable to the last second," Pajak said. "If Iraqi civilians are dying in the numbers reported in the media, that doesn't go along with what I've learned here."

Yeah, well, Bush got his invite to speak from a former top adviser, Jim Towey, who ran the White House's Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives until he became the school's president nine months ago. So who cares what some chickie like this Menzie broad thinks.

Some alumni threatened to cut off donations. Just let em try.

Thirty current and former faculty members wrote an open letter criticizing Bush on the war, the environment, the poor and the sick and saying that "linking the school to your administration would irreparably tarnish Saint Vincent." I say send them to Guantanamo.

It was even reported that outside agitators from up in Erie, a group of Benedictine nuns, were there protesting. I say let them try that in Bagdad, uh, whatever.

Despite the dangers, the commander in chief, who once had dental work performed while he was in the national guard spoke out.

"The government can't put love in your heart," Bush wisely pointed out. And he ought to know.

The following is from KDKA (Pennsylvania).

President's Visit Picketed By Some Local Groups

Protesters lined the streets along Route 30 in Latrobe this morning to speak out against President Bush’s visit to Saint Vincent College.

About 100 protesters from several different groups came out to picket the visit.

The groups include Benedictine Sisters, Sisters of Mercy, Veterans For Peace, and Code Pink, which is the Pittsburgh chapter of Woman For Peace. They were also joined by some local mothers who lost a child in Iraq.

One protester said it's hard picketing against a part of her community.

“It’s a very difficult thing to be here protesting against another Benedictine community,” said Sr. Marlene Bertke. “In conscious, we could not - not come.”

However, supporters of Bush expressed their unhappiness with the protests.

“I support President Bush,” said local resident, Brian Vitunac. “He protects our families from terrorists.”

School officials tightened security and the picketers were allowed about a 10th of a mile from the entrance to campus.


The leader of the British National party, Nick Griffin, has been barred from speaking at Bath University.

Griffin is from a wealthy family with a history of far right involvement. His father, Edwin, took him to his first NF meeting when he was just 15. Griffin’s mother is the administration secretary of the party and stood in the 2001 general election.

Griffin was invited to address the meeting by first-year politics student and BNP youth leader Danny Lake, who told the Guardian he wanted Mr Griffin to visit the university to explain the BNP's policies to lecturers and students.

However, others said the meeting was part of an wider campaign by the BNP, which failed to make a breakthrough in this month's local elections, to establish a foothold on university campuses.

Paul Jaggers, president of Bath Student Union, said the decision "sends a clear message that students do not want the BNP on university campuses".

Before the announcement was made a joint statement signed by the University of Bath branches of Amicus (largest manufacturing union in the United Kingdom), UNISON (biggest trade union in Britain), and supported by University and College Union (UCU), National Union of Students (NUS), and Unite Against Fascism, has been strong in its condemnation.

"Universities should be havens of learning and safety for students, academics and staff from all backgrounds. We oppose the Secretary of the University of Bath's decision to allow Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist British National Party to speak on campus," it said.

The statement unashamedly said that the BNP is a "racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, Islamophobic" and its "politics threatens the safety of Black, Jewish, Muslim, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and academics and many others".

"These views, if given further legitimacy, provide the framework for physical attacks on a number of groups," it said.

Griffin's mentors are from the terrorist wing of Italian fascism.

Griffin, convicted for inciting race hate, denies that the Holocaust ever took place and believes that Jews are conspiring against white British people.

In 1980, Griffin launched Nationalism Today with the help of Joe Pearce, a convicted racist and editor of Bulldog. Nationalism Today became the springboard for the Third Positionist ideas that the NF later adopted. Through Nationalism Today Griffin and Pearce developed their idea that a “third way” was needed to replace the evils of both capitalism and communism. They felt both were Zionist controlled.

Speaking about the Quran Griffin said, "Their 'good book' tells them that (rape) that's acceptable. If you doubt it, go and buy a copy and you will find verse after verse saying you can take any woman you want as long as they're not Muslim. These 18, 19 and 25-year-old Asian Muslims are seducing and raping white girls in this town right now."

The following then is a bit of GOOD NEWS and it comes from Britain's Love Music Hate Racism.


Late Thursday, the University of Bath refused permission for Nick Griffin, leader of the fascist BNP to give a lecture, which was due to take place on Monday 14th May 2007. Local trade unions including UCU, UNISON and Amicus joined with the National Union of Students and Bath University Students Union - as well as Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and LMHR - to mount a campaign to prevent Griffin from being allowed to speak at the university on the grounds that fascist politics pose a danger to the diversity of students and staff alike. In areas that the BNP target, such as Barking and Dagenham, racist attacks and other hate crimes increase.

The protest called by University of Bath branches of Amicus, UNISON, UCU and supported by UCU, NUS, & Unite Against Fascism against the BNP leader’s presence on campus has therefore been cancelled.

Love Music Hate Racism will be holding an event, sponsored by UCU, at University of Bath to celebrate anti- racism and the diversity on campus. This event is on Monday 14th May, 7pm till 11pm at Elements, Bath University Students Union, Bath University, Bath BA2 7AY and will feature prominent DJ’s and a film screening of the Love Music Hate Racism DVD ‘ Who shot the sheriff ‘and speeches.

Sally Hunt, UCU joint general secretary said:

“We feel this is the correct decision. Allowing the BNP to speak would have compromised the safety of staff and students and sent out a very worrying message about Bath University’s commitment to diversity. The millions of staff and students who cherish academic freedom as a precious right still deplore the presence in an institution of learning of Nick Griffin and his hate-filled messages. Nothing is more important than university campuses remaining environments where staff and students are free from intimidation and the threat of violence, and where they can work and study safely.”

Gemma Tumelty NUS President said:

“The defeat of the BNP being allowed to spread its message of hatred from an academic institution represents a massive victory for all those who value democracy. This shows the importance of building a broad coalition between trade unionists, students, community groups and all those who oppose the BNP. The University was right to withdraw its invite to the BNP but NUS also believes it is necessary for the university to recognise the danger that fascism poses to the safety of students and all of those within the campus community. NUS will continue to campaign to ensure that fascism never gains a foothold on our campuses.”

Weyman Bennett, Joint National Secretary of Unite Against Fascism said:

“The fascist BNP craves legitimacy but it is an organisation of violent thugs riddled with criminal convictions, which admires Hitler and the Nazis. Allowing its leader the legitimacy of speaking at an academic institution would only further its aims of making the politics of hatred more palatable. The racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic politics of the BNP pose a danger to many of the staff and students who make up the diversity of the university. This was the right decision by the university and the overwhelming and immediate opposition expressed to Griffin speaking is a reflection of how unacceptable he is to the majority of people.”


Freedom—Or Death?

Mumia Abu-Jamal has been unjustly imprisoned, under a death sentence, in Pennsylvania for nearly 26 years. Demands for at least a new trial have gained widespread support across the world. He faces a crucial hearing before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on May 17.

You have an opportunity to learn more about the case--and show Mumia support--at a meeting

Friday, May 11, 7PM
All Souls Unitarian Church
4501 Walnut

Speaking will be

Jeff Mackler,
director of the Northern California Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mackler is a long time collaborator, friend, and visitor of Mumia. He is intimately acquainted with all the facts of the case and the latest legal and political developments of the defense.

Sponsored by:

Kansas City Community Media
Greens of Kansas City

Meeting Space Provided by All Souls Racial Justice Committee

After the talk and open discussion,

A Fund Raiser For Mumia Defense Work

YucaRoots and Sista G will Roots Rock Reggae for you at

The Embassy 3945 Main 9 PM


China's booming economy and huge thirst for energy is causing another spike in industrial accidents in that country. Addressing a national teleconference, Li Yizhong, minister of the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), said "The booming coal market is fanning the impulse of coal mines and other companies to increase production," he said.

"That will put more pressure on workers," he said, "as the phenomena of illegal production and illegal operation become rampant."

Companies tend to ignore work safety rules and surpass their production capacity, overworking their employees and overloading equipment to meet the demand, he said.

Li made specific reference to the disordered management and deliberate delay in reporting a gas explosion at a colliery in Linfen in North China's Shanxi Province on Saturday, which killed 30 miners.

"These frequent accidents expose the loopholes and deep-rooted problems relating to work safety in key industries," Li said.

He said that SAWS would launch a special campaign to improve work safety in key industries over the coming months.

Last August the Chinese government announced that it would invest nearly 60 billion U.S. dollars to reduce the country's notorious industrial accident rate over the next five years.

In its first ever five-year plan on workplace security, the government said it would reduce the death rate per 100 million yuan (12.5 million U.S. dollar) of gross domestic product from 0.70 last year to 0.45 in 2010.

The accident death rate of every 100,000 employees is set to drop from 3.85 last year to 2.8 in 2010 in mining sector and other industries.

The State Administration of Work Safety said the plan aims to reduce the number of accidents with more than ten deaths by at least 20 percent. China reported 73 such cases last year.

The total sum of 467.4 billion yuan (58.6 billion US dollars) to be invested in the future five years will go to nine safety projects including coal mine accident prevention, which is the top priority task in the five-year layout on work safety.

This week at least 15 workers were killed after an explosion in a coal mine in the northern province of Shanxi.

The following from the "its about time department" comes from

133 Officials Punished for Serious Accidents

Following a host of industrial accidents in April, authorities yesterday handed down punishments to scores of officials and businessmen involved in five mining and traffic accidents that led to the deaths of 249 people.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Li Yizhong, minister of State Administration of Work Safety, said that negligence, cover-ups, bribery and other acts of corruption by the 133 officials and executives held responsible for the five accidents also caused 95.1 million yuan (US$12.4 million) in economic losses.

For example, the gas explosion in Tangshan, Hebei Province, in December 2005, which cost 108 lives and caused 48 million yuan in economic losses could have been avoided if the unlicensed mine had been properly supervised, Li said.

"The five accidents mentioned in today's announcement inflicted huge losses and exerted an awful impact, leaving heartbreaking lessons paid for in blood and lives," Li said.

Chen Cangzhi, vice-minister of supervision, said at the press conference that of the 133 people named, 51 were facing criminal charges. The remaining 82 were given Party or administrative penalties.

Of the 27 officials removed from office, six held positions at the prefecture level and 42 at county level.

Corruption and trading power for money have become the focus of our investigations, Chen said.
The announcement of yesterday's punishments came at a time when the country is experiencing a rebound in the number of industrial accidents, fuelled by an escalating demand for energy as the economy continues to expand.

Despite a clampdown on illegal industrial activities, the 20-percent rise in fixed asset investment in coal-consuming industries contributed to the 33-percent surge in the number of accidents in April compared with last year, Li said.

On Saturday, a blast at the Pudeng coal mine in Shanxi killed 28.

Its owner, who has since been detained, is said to have cheated inspection officials by showing them only that part of the mine that adhered to work safety rules.

Li, who is the public face of the government's anti-accident campaign, said the rules so often ignored by mine owners obsessed with profits should be more strictly enforced.

A new rule on the handling of accidents, which comes into effect next month, will form part of a national policy on the punishments to be issued for cover-ups, dereliction of duty and fraud, Li said.

He said several State Council and ministerial-level rules and judicial interpretations had already been put in place to punish those responsible for such accidents.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Mass rage murders seem to come as a great shock in this country even though they happen all the time. The experts, media and the authorities are always groping for answers. Usually they blame video games, music, guns, hate, craziness etc. Yet as is pointed out in the book Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine and Beyond by Mark Ames few simply blame the school culture or the workplace culture. It was the same as in its time no one blamed slavery for slave rebellions and murder. In an interview with Abe Books and published at Reading Copy Ames states:

Everyone keeps crying “Why?” after each rage massacre. For 20 years now they’ve been repeating this “why” as if they plan to really answer it. My question is, “Why the hell are you still asking why?” We know from FBI and Secret Service studies that there is no way to profile rage murderers in workplaces or schools. That’s because every type of person has carried them out. We also know that this type of crime has a specific time and place, a specific context: mid-1980s America. So I propose we profile the socio-economic conditions, and what changed in 1980s America, as a possible cause. Then it becomes fairly obvious. Since the Reagan Revolution, life has become quantifiably worse for most Americans – more work, less pay, far less leisure time, less security, exponentially greater stress, a massive shift of wealth from the middle-class to the very top layer of the plutocracy, all whitewashed by a culture that celebrates these violent appropriations as if it’s all just swell, and only losers complain. Just to give one telling statistic: in 1978, CEOs of large US corporations made on average 30 times their workers’ salaries; by 2001, CEOs made 571 times their average workers’ salaries. American workers work 184 hours more per year than 30 years ago, but they earn almost the exact same in real terms, with far fewer benefits. Management consciously instills fear and stress into their workforce in order to squeeze more and more for less. Obviously this creates an unbearable situation. And unbearable situations sometimes lead to violent reactions. This type of crime began in the mid-1980s in the workplace, that is just as the Reagan Revolution’s effects first started taking place, and has spread ever since. The same dynamic of increased stress and rage worked its way down to the schoolyard, where they prepare you for a life in the workplace, with the same tragic results.

I'm just about done reading the book and I would recommend it.

Anyway the article below makes an attempt to put the shootings Virginia Tech in some sort of historical perspective. It is in no way, in my opinion, as incisive of the thesis laid out by Ames, but it is interesting in its own right.

The following was taken from
ChickenBones: A Journalfor Literary & Artistic African-American Themes. It appeared originally in Black Agenda Report.

The Origin of Violence in Virginia: A Brief History
By Jonathan Scott

The present is also history.
—José Carlos Mariátegui

While Seung Hui Cho was purchasing the two Glock 9 mm handguns as well as fifty hollow point bullets he would use a few months later on his classmates and professors at Virginia Tech, the state of Virginia was into its third month of spirited quadricentennial festivities dubbed by the state "America's 400th Anniversary."

There is certainly a great deal of distance between the two events, and Seung Hui Cho himself appears to have been either oblivious or completely indifferent to the fact that he was carrying out single-handedly one of the worst massacres in Virginia history at the exact same time the state was proudly remembering its historical beginning.

All the same, Seung Hui Cho's elaborately planned act of gruesome revenge against Virginia Tech is now having the effect of a sudden paradigm shift, from romantic and windy invocations of Jamestown's iron-willed Captain John Smith and his enabling and admiring Indian mistress Pocahontas, to Virginia's totally unregulated gun weapon market: in a word, to America's culture of blood-curdling violence.

In this spirit, let us review Virginia's history of violence, for it's truly second to none. Before that though it should be noted that so-called "Pocahontas" and the precious legend of her passed down for the past three centuries is pure fiction. As many American Indian historians have pointed out, "Pocahontas" was entirely the invention of Captain Smith. In fact, as Jill Lepore points out in recent article ("Jamestown at four hundred," New Yorker, April 2, 2007), American historian Henry Adams had already proved in 1867 that Smith made it all up. Smith's story, wrote Adams, is nothing more than a collection of "falsehoods of an effrontery seldom equaled in modern times."

Virginian violence is by now a many-headed hydra, yet it has a singular historical origin. Because of the necessarily schematic presentation here, I've reduced violence in Virginia to three salient characteristics: (1) the preference for mass murder along ethnic lines or genocide; (2) capitalist barbarism aimed at workers; and (3) racial terror of the kind that in the late 1930s had an envious Hitler sending Nazi scouts to the US to closely study. This distinctly Anglo-American style of violence is intimately familiar to most of the world's poor and oppressed, but unfortunately it continues to be barely recognizable by most Americans themselves.

In terms of the first, the systematic slaughter of the Powhatan Indians by Governor Berkeley's colonial militiamen reached its apogee in Virginia during the 1650s, yet it proceeded without interruption until the entire Chesapeake had been ethnically cleansed of its diverse indigenous peoples. Estimates vary on the number of Chesapeake Indians dispossessed and massacred for their rich tidewater lands, but whatever figure to which historians eventually agree is beside the point. All acknowledge it was conscious and deliberate genocide. By the end of the seventeenth century only charred remains were left of Chesapeake Indian society. Virginia colony administrators referred to the genocide as "land improvement."

The second is the massacre of Virginia's tenantry. While massacring the Chesapeake Indians, colony elites were also seeing to the massacre of Virginia's laboring classes. Here they didn't use long smooth bore-iron guns, for the aim of course was not to murder the new emigrants but rather to reduce them to chattel. Between 1607 and 1625 only one of out every six of the immigrants who came during that period was still breathing by the end of it. The death rate was seven times that of the England, around 80 percent. It takes no genius to understand why. The English emigrants arrived in Virginia in the midst of the English imperialists' rapid and aggressive encroachment upon the land. The new immigrants from England were mere cannon fodder. The Anglo-American plantation bourgeoisie achieved the massacre of the tenantry by attacking the social status of the laboring people in the colony. They used two tactics.

First, every share of Virginia stock entitled each capitalist investor a free title to 100 acres of land. The four incorporators of Berkeley Hundred, for example, purchased forty-five shares of the company and were given a patent for 4,500 acres of Virginia's finest soil. That is, the newly arrived laborers had no rights that a wealthy planter was bound to respect: unless they were capitalist investors, they had no legal claim to either land or civil rights.

Second, the wealthy planters devised a "headright" system whereunder each laborer they brought to the colony earned them fifty acres of free land. This is how America's slave trade began, not along the coast of West Africa (that would come next) but rather from London and Liverpool, where tens of thousands of poor English were "spirited away," as they called the practice of legal kidnapping, to Virginia by slave traders. Consequently, by the end of the seventeenth century Virginia's laboring people consisted mostly of bond laborers, 70 percent from England, Scotland, and Ireland and the other 30 percent from Africa via Barbados colony.

A traveling London merchant to the area in the late seventeenth century recorded his impressions. Those in bondage, comprising more than sixty percent of the people in Virginia colony, endure conditions "far worse than the poorest gypsy in England," he noted. "Their usual food is maize bread to eat, and water to drink, which sometimes is not very good and scarcely enough for life, yet they are compelled to work hard. Thus they are by hundreds of thousands compelled to spend their lives in Virginia in planting that vile tobacco, which all vanishes into smoke, and is for the most part miserably abused. The servants and negroes after they have worn themselves down the whole day, and gone home to rest, have yet to grind and pound the grain, which is generally maize, for their masters and all their families as well as themselves" (see James Horn, Adapting to a New World, Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1994, p. 275).

The third component of Virginian violence is racial slavery. As seen in components one and two, the English capitalists that founded Virginia colony in 1607 possessed a singular vision of America, in which all the indigenous were violently disappeared, all the laborers violently reduced to chattel, and gargantuan profits accumulated instantly without the annoying presence of parliaments and other such regulatory bodies. They were corrupt and scheming right-wing royalists recently forced out of England by Cromwell's army, their sights set solely on fertile Virginia tidewater land and how they might exploit it to the fullest.

Thus it comes as no surprise that these particular men were eager to get in on the African slave trade. Yet they soon found themselves in a very difficult dilemma, for the newly transported Africans entered an already chattelized labor force. It's true that the kidnapped Africans were sold into lifetime hereditary slavery whereas the kidnapped English, Scots, and Irish had been sold into limited-term slavery. Yet in the oligarchic plantation monoculture of seventeenth-century Virginia, the two groups of bond laborers found themselves in exactly the same boat. They lived together in the same slave quarters, fell in love together, escaped together, revolted together. Bacon's Rebellion of 1676-77 was the outcome of their common chattelization under Virginia's plantation bourgeoisie in which thousands of African slaves and thousands of European slaves took up arms together (15,000 in total), seized control of Virginia colony, murdered slave-owners, and drove the entire ruling class of capitalist planters into exile for more than eight months straight.

This third component of Virginian violence, racial slavery, is the most barbarous for obvious reasons and it's not necessary to delve into it here. Suffice it to say that Virginia's planter elite responded to Bacon's Rebellion by masterminding a system of racial slavery through which they could continue the chattelization of Virginia's laboring people by now imposing it exclusively on African Americans.

Bacon's Rebellion had forced the capitalist planters' hand: to continue with chattel slavery in Virginia they had, from now on, to prevent such bond-labor uprisings in advance, preemptively. This they achieved by passing laws in the early eighteenth century prohibiting the enslavement of European Americans (now called "whites," for the first time incidentally). In return, that is to say the condition on which they had the right of non-enslavement conferred on them, these poor and propertyless European Americans were to make certain that African American bond laborers stayed under the lash and had their labor exploited by capitalist planters as efficiently as possible; thus the birth of the "poor whites" as overseers, patrollers, slave-catchers, county sheriffs, and lynch mobs.

The scarcely comprehensible scale of violence in Virginia that followed the imposition of racial slavery and racial oppression, the hundreds of thousands of nameless African Americans starved, raped, lashed, kicked and beaten, tortured, and murdered, which then spread like a cancer everywhere else in America, is really just beginning to be felt and understood by Americans, thanks largely to our greatest writers, beginning with the antislavery activists and authors of the nineteenth century (Sojourner Truth, Harriet Jacobs, Fred Douglass, Ida B. Wells), down to Charles Chesnutt (his 1901 masterpiece The Marrow of Tradition is one of the fullest descriptions of it) and W.E.B. Du Bois. Then Mark Twain, Richard Wright, Sinclair Lewis, Langston Hughes, William Faulkner, John O. Killens, Margaret Walker (Jubilee), William Styron (The Confessions of Nat Turner), August Wilson, Toni Morrison (Beloved, of course, but it's in all her novels). There are many others. It's difficult to come up with a good American writer who hasn't been preoccupied with this society's most dominant tendency, that of violence on a mass scale.

Yet and still, we can expect the corporate media to go on calling Seung Hui Cho an unfathomably bizarre lunatic and all that. He was clearly a sociopath, but compared to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who said she felt the mass murder of 500,000 Iraqi children, through starvation, under her and Clinton's sanctions policy was "worth it," he's small fry. And with the so-called US Left, we're already seeing their predictable response: they blame it all on non-existent gun laws in Virginia and are barking again for tighter restrictions.

In a country whose origin is so deeply drenched in the blood of workers, Indian, European, and African, and that has never for a moment strayed from this origin but rather expanded and systemized it in the most horrific and catastrophic ways imaginable, including against the nation of Korea where between 1950 and 1953, the US military murdered more than a million civilians, through death squads and napalm, tighter gun laws are at best a political diversion and at worst a transparent means to keep America's laboring people in the same defenseless position they've always been, where the sociopaths above have all the guns and everyone below is at their mercy. American violence and mass murder, which began in Virginia, will not be prevented by gun control laws in Virginia today or any time in the future. This kind of violence can only be ended by putting a stop to the law superseding it and every other one, the law of rich eat the poor and the use of imperialist war to keep the rule of money continuously functioning.

In communiqués to NBC that the network aired and that the authorities are now trying to suppress, Seung Hui Cho returned again and again to the class character of his violent rage. While the comparison of himself with Jesus Christ seems outrageous and beneath contempt, it was after all Jesus who said, "Woe unto the rich! For ye have received your fill." He was also known to violently attack loan sharks doing business in the temple of God.

Only the faint-hearted and delusional will try to twist Seung Hui Cho's massacre at Virginia Tech and his explicitly stated reasons for doing it into the work of an isolated psycho. Had we only acted more decisively on his obvious cries for help, so they say, he could have been heavily medicated and then properly disposed of in some local lunatic asylum.

What he did was barbaric, and this barbarism is what made Seung Hui Cho finally into the true American he always wanted to be.

Source: Black Agenda Report

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


"I am free," exclaimed Posada Carriles, 79, on Miami's Radio Mambi, shortly after the judge in El Paso, Texas dismissed all seven charges linked to his sneaking into the United States and lying to immigration authorities.

As you've probably heard the US released completely terrorist Luis Posada Carriles yesterday. The release has sparked outrage around the world.

In the US Congress Democratic representative from Massachusetts William Delahunt, stated Posada Carriles impunity questions the US commitment of fighting terrorism. He has called for an investigation. A letter sent by Delahunt to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales demands an explanation from the Justice Department about why the Patriot Act was not used to prevent the freeing of a notorious international murderer

Argentinian Deputy Chamber Human Rights Committee President Remo Carlotto said, "we join those that internationally demand that this individual should remain jailed and be tried for his crimes."

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced he requested the terrorist's extradition some days ago, to judge him for the crimes that he committed in Nicaragua, during the dirty war the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) financed against the Sandinista Revolution in the 80´s.

Vanesa Grazziotin, president of the Brazilian House Parliamentary Group condemned the US government and commented, "In my name, and on behalf of the Brazil-Cuba Parliamentary Group, I want to express rejection of the US decision to release one of the world s most infamous terrorists."

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said his government planned to seek international support for the extradition of 79-year-old former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles.

"What will happen to Posada Carriles is in the hands of the U.S. government," Maduro said, calling the U.S. "that terrorist-protecting government."

He held a news conference alongside Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, who said the fact that Posada is now free shows the "hypocrisy" of U.S. President George W. Bush's government.

Maduro called on Americans to protest the White House's handling of the case and demand that "this terrorist be put behind bars where he should be."

"The United States makes a mockery of international organizations, international law and the world's conscience about this case," Maduro said.

Dagoberto Rodriguez, Cuba's top diplomat in Washington, said, "If the well-known terrorist Posada Carriles is free without charges it is the full responsibility of the White House."

Odalys Perez, daughter of the pilot of the Cubana 455 flight sabotaged in 1976, killing 73 persons on board, warned of an escalation of violence against Cuba with the liberation of terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.

"Posada Carriles walks the streets of Miami freely and we are not exempt from actions directed by this terrorist," she told Prensa Latina in an interview in this capital.

The following is from Ahora (Cuba).

Cuba will Continue to Demand Justice in Posada Carriles Case

Despite the dismissal by a US judge of all charges against Luis Posada Carriles on Tuesday, the Cuban people will continue to demand that justice be made against such a notorious terrorist.

The information about the decision by a US federal judge to dismiss all the migratory charges against Posada, setting him free and suspending the trial scheduled for next May 11, was announced to the Cuban people during the prime-time TV show The Round Table Tuesday evening.

Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, who now walk freely on US territory, were the masterminds of the 1976 bombing in mid air of a Cubana airliner that killed 73 people on board.

In a 38-page ruling, Judge Kathleen Cardone described as so grossly shocking and so outrageous the tactics used by the US administration to try Posada Carriles on seven counts of immigration fraud, though she did not criticize Washington for not having processed the defendant for his huge terrorist background.

Cardone said that the core of the case was not terrorism, as it was suggested, and she called the defendant a "hot potato" in political terms.

During the TV show, analysts denounced the passive behaviour adopted by the US prosecution as part of maneuvers aimed at guaranteeing impunity for Posada Carriles, who carried out terrorist actions ordered and allowed by successive US administrations for more than 40 years.

Rogelio Polanco, director of Juventud Rebelde Newspaper said the decision stems from the White House determination to not accuse Posada of terrorism. He recalled different terrorist actions undertaken by Posada Carriles against Cuba and other countries of this hemisphere, which included bomb attempts against Havana hotels in 1997, torture and murder of Venezuelan political activists in the 1970's.

Eduardo Dimas, TV commentator said that the decision reveals the double standard of the US administration's anti-terror policy. It is a decision aimed at preventing the terrorist from speaking about what he knows of the Bush clan, said the Cuban journalist and he asked: Who was the CIA chief when former Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier was the victim of a life attempt, or when the Cubana airliner was bombed off the coasts of Barbados?, and who ordered the release of Orlando Bosch? The answer is George H. Bush, who was US president from 1998 to 1992 and father of George W. Bush.

Cuban President Fidel Castro denounced, in March 2005, the impunity and protection offered to Luis Posada Carriles, who had travelled on board the Santrina boat and had entered US territory, said Reinaldo Taladrid, also Cuban TV journalist. Posada Carriles was arrested in May of that year, but since that moment many maneuvers have been undertaken in order to prevent him from facing justice and to keep many issues in secret, explained the journalist.

Although there is a pending extradition request by Venezuela, presented since 2005, and there is the chance that a New Jersey court could accuse Posada for his connections to bomb attempts against Cuban tourist facilities in 1997, the journalist considered that the release of Posada marks the end of the legal process and the beginning of the political stage of the case.

Taladrid referred to statements by several US congress people like William Delahunt, Jim McDermott and Jose Serrano on taking the case to the US Congress due to the danger it represents for the United States and the World. He cited a letter sent by Congressman Delahunt to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez asking why Posada was not labelled a terrorist, and affirming that his release puts at stake the US commitment to fight terrorism while increases concern about a US double standard in dealing with terrorists.


Hundreds of Chinese workers who are facing the loss of their garment factory jobs marched several miles to protest their treatment by the factory, a day after they took some management staff hostage during a protest. The workers say they were mistreated by police during their sit-in yesterday.

On Tuesday afternoon, protesters marched from Top Fashion Corp.'s factory in Tanapag village to Saipan to meet with U.S. Labor Ombudsman Jim Benedetto.

Dozens of them said they were recruited from different parts of China about six months ago and paid between $3,000 to $4,000 each to recruiters who promised them lucrative factory jobs in Saipan, they say. All of them will lose their jobs July 2, when the factory closes. .

According to Marianas Variety federal Labor Ombudsman Jim Benedetto says it would be “prudent” for the Department of Public Safety to conduct an investigation into the allegations of Top Fashion Corp. garment workers that police officers used “unnecessary” force on the workers at the Tanapag factory on Monday night after he watched video footage, saw photos, and heard personal stories from workers and witnesses.

Yesterday, hundreds of Top Fashion workers met with Benedetto, Department of Labor officials and Top Fashion counsel Michael Dotts at the Tanapag factory, wanting to hear direct answers to their questions — including those pertaining to the reimbursement of portions of the $3,000 to $4,000 in recruitment fees they paid in China to work at Top Fashion, and why police officers allegedly used unnecessary force against them.

Top Fashion manufactures Sears, Liz Claiborne and Kohl brands of apparel. Previously, they were also manufacturing clothes for Limited, among others.
An investigative report last year by Ms. Magazine stated:

Coming from rural villages and the big city slums of poor Asian countries, these garment workers began their sojourn in the Marianas with a huge financial deficit, having paid recruiters as much as $7,000 to obtain a one-year contract job (renewable at the employer’s discretion). Many of them borrow the money—a small fortune in China, where most are recruited—from lenders who charge as much as 20 percent interest.

In a situation akin to indentured servitude, workers cannot earn back their recruitment fee and pay annual company supplied housing and food expenses of about $2,100 without working tremendous hours of overtime. Before being able to save her first dollar, a worker who owes, say, $5,000 to her recruiter has to work nearly 2,500 hours at Saipan’s current minimum wage—which equals six more 40-hour workweeks than exist in a year.

Ms. pointed out: 1975, the islands’ indigenous population of subsistence farmers and fishermen voted to become a commonwealth of the United States—a legal designation that made them U.S. citizens and subject to most U.S. laws. There were two critical exceptions, however: The U.S. agreed to exempt the islands from the minimum wage requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (allowing the islands to set their own lower minimum wage, currently $3.05, compared to $5.15 in the U.S.) and from most provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This has allowed garment manufacturers to import thousands of foreign contract guest workers who, ironically, stitch onto the garments they make the labels “Made in Saipan (USA),” Made in Northern Marianas (USA)” or simply “Made in USA.”

The USA label tells customers “the quality is really good,” insists Cleofe de Guzman, a Filipina manager, as she walks down long, neat aisles past women pushing thin fabric through sewing machines. But to many Americans, adding USA to the label implies that goods are produced by Americans, not by foreign guest workers toiling under sweatshop conditions thousands of miles away.

Ms. found workers at Saipan garment factories labor six days a week, sometimes up to 20 hours a day.

“One or two days a week we’d work through an entire night, and I was exhausted,” Chen Xiaoyan, 26, told MS. “Sometimes we had no Sundays off either, but if you didn’t want to work they’d allow you no overtime at all as a punishment.”

What a deal.

The following is from the Saipan Tribune.

Top Fashion workers in scuffle with police - Disgruntled workers protest factory closure
By Ferdie de la Torre

Disgruntled workers at Top Fashion Garment in Tanapag allegedly held a sit down strike and prevented some members of the management from leaving the factory Monday night to protest the impending closure of the factory.

As a result, police came in and arrested seven Chinese men at the scene.

Some workers, however, complained of police brutality when the officers allegedly sprayed them with pepper mace, and kicked and hit many of them, including women.

Department of Public Safety spokesperson Lei Ogumoro said yesterday that DPS received a call at 6:03pm Monday asking for police assistance at Top Fashion.

Ogumoro said preliminary investigation showed that disgruntled employees had blocked all exits of the office and refused to let the management or any other staff members leave.

Ogumoro said eight to 10 staff members were inside the office at the time.

The spokesperson said that Top Fashion management announced to its employees Thursday the impending closure of the factory. The shutdown will take effect on July 2.

“Employees became dissatisfied after being notified of this matter. The management has been trying to settle the issue with the employees,” Ogumoro said.

She said the case is under further investigation.

The workers walked toward the office of Federal Ombudsman Jim Benedetto in Puerto Rico yesterday to seek assistance.

Many of the workers told Benedetto that they had just arrived on Saipan and they haven't recouped the large sums of money they paid recruiters in China just so they could get a job here.

Top Fashion will be the 15th garment factory to close down on Saipan since January 2005, when the World Trade Organization lifted trade quotas.

The liberalization of trade rules has allowed Third World countries to export their garments to the U.S. As a result, many garments in the CNMI shut down operations.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I gotta tell y'all back in the 80s I worked on this anti-racist, anti-fascist magazine THE HAMMER. I remember reading Willis Carto's The Spotlight to get all the news the anti-semites saw fit to print. Even then old man Willis who had founded the Liberty Lobby had been around for about a thousand years. So you can imagine my surprise to find this crotchety ancient racist is still out there. Shit, I figured he was long dead along with his precious Spotlight (which did pass on in 2001).

Lenny Zeskind, a guy I used to know and get along with back then in HAMMER days, a few years ago described Carto as "America's most successful professional anti -semite and racist."

What a guy?

There is a special place in hell for this piece of crap.

Anyway, you'll find mention of Willis in the report below.

We wish to thank
One People's Project for the following story.

Written by One People's Project
Tuesday, 08 May 2007

Monday's rally outside the German Embassy proved that the neo-Nazis in this country have had enough, ENOUGH! we say...of looking at huge throngs of antifa coming at them whenever they decide to protest something. Over the past two years, the only ones that have been doing public rallies were a the people and organizations that never had and never will had any influence in the WP scene. The ones that do have some stake in the game laid low, and did their things away (they hope) from prying eyes. That's why Monday's rally for Ernst Zundel was important. Never mind the fact that they had 35 attendees to only 7 counter-demonstrators. This rally brought out Willis Carto. That's Willis Carto, the founder of the Liberty Lobby in 1955, Willis Carto, the former editor of the Spotlight newspaper. Willis Carto, notorious recluse, so notorious that on his Rogues' Gallery entry, we have been using a picture of him from the sixties because only until recently, now that he is 81 years old and about to die soon, it was the only one we could find! Bottom line: the people who participated in this rally are not too keen on opposition and articipated only because they didn't expect any on a Monday morning when everyone was at work. That says a lot about these cowardly jackasses, which also included National Alliance's Erich Gliebe and the Maryland and Keystone State "Skinheads". Let's see if they will try and pull this off again on a weekend maybe!

One People's Project

WASHINGTON, DC, May 7 - White supremacists found a novel way to keep opposition to their rallies down to a minimum: have those rallies on a weekday while that opposition is working. The end result was seen Monday as 35 neo-Nazis, anti-semites and other assorted hatemongers, many of them making the rarest of appearances at a rally, stood outside the German Embassy to protest the incarceration of Ernst Zundel, a holocaust denier that is serving five years in Germany for the crime.

The rally brought out only seven to oppose them. Among them were representatives of the DC Chapter of Anti-Racist Action, Students for a Democratic Society, and WQST-Radio, an underground radio network. There were also representatives of the Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service at the rally.

Because the rally all but ensured little to no opposition, this rally was able to attract well-known hatemongers that are just as well known for staying away from events such as this. Erich Gliebe, Chairman of the National Alliance, was in attendance as was longtime anti-Semetic activist and recluse Willis Carto who was there representing the American Free Press as was Steve Lombardo who wore a shirt saying that 9-11 was an inside job. Also there were a group representing both the Maryland Skinheads and Keystone State Skinheads, whose were last seen publicly together attempting and failing to cause trouble at Pridefest in Philadelphia in 2005 before they were chased away by police and antifa. The last hate rally they participated in was the National Socialist Movement's (NSM) rally in Yorktown, VA on June 25, 2005, when participants were protected by police who kept counter-demonstrators 200 yards away from them. Before that was the NSM rally at Valley Forge, PA in August of 2004, and there, Nazis who drove in and out of the park had to run a gauntlet of activists who attacked their vehicles.

For those hatemongers who have participated in either rallies at the German Embassy in July 2002, or at a pro-Zundel rally at the Canadian Consulate in February 2005, when Zundel who was a naturalized Canadian citizen was at that time about to be deported to Germany, it had a less than desired outcome. At the German Embassy, the neo-Nazis clashed with antifa, resulting in then National Alliance Deputy Membership Coordinator Billy Roper with a tire iron. The Canadian Consulate only brought out nine Zundel supporters, but 60 antifa, many of them participating in the National Conference on Organized Resistance, turned out to oppose them. Both rallies happened on a Saturday.

There was a rumor that David Duke was supposed to participate, stemmed from his wide publicity of the rally, but he was a no-show.

"The day was not a total loss, as a lot of good intel was collected for later use," WQST reported. "Since the Nazis are in the stupid habit of traveling by car, activists were able to collect some of their license plate numbers. Especially stupid was their practice of driving by some of us on the way out and yelling at us, giving us the opportunity to quietly record their license plate numbers then and there.

"Still, the Nazis will leave today with far better memories than the last time they went to the German Embassy."


During meetings on climate change among representatives from over 100 countries, specialists said global warming is confusing the biological clocks of birds, whales, and other migratory animals -- disrupting their migration patterns.

Moulay Lahcen El Kabiri, deputy head of the United Nation's Bonn-based Convention on Migratory Species, said that warmer climates are confusing migratory species including bats, dolphins, antelopes and turtles, causing them to end up at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Not only are birds and animals mistiming their migrations, El Kabiri said, some of them do not even make the attempt as seasonal changes become less clear. Yet unpredictable or extreme weather, such as heatwaves, droughts or cold snaps, could make them vulnerable.

Deutsche Welle reports in addition Birds are also reported to be hatching earlier in warmer climates, but are still not keeping up with the insects they feed on and which are flourishing even earlier.

Don't the fools who rule us understand that this spells ultimate doom for all animals species including us - and even them.

Of course they do. They just don't give a damn! They figure they'll survive their little lives and to hell with those who follow them.

It's sick!

The following is from EiTB (Spain).

Warmer climate puts migratory animals in wrong place at wrong time

A warmer climate disrupts the biological clock of such species as bats, dolphins, antelopes or turtles, and many creatures are mistiming their migrations or failing to bother as changes between seasons become less clear.

Dolphins Birds, whales and other migratory creatures are suffering from global warming that puts them in the wrong place at the wrong time, a U.N. official told 166-nation climate talks on Monday.

A warmer climate disrupts the biological clocks of migratory species including bats, dolphins, antelopes or turtles, said Lahcen el Kabiri, deputy head of the U.N.'s Bonn-based Convention on Migratory Species.

"They are the most visible warning signs, indicators signalling the dramatic changes to our ecosystems caused in part by climate change," he told delegates on the opening day of a May 7-18 U.N. meeting searching for new ways to offset warming.

Many creatures are mistiming their migrations, or failing to bother as changes between seasons become less clear. The shifts make them vulnerable to heatwaves, droughts or cold snaps.

Among birds, for instance, cranes are starting to spend the winter in Germany rather than fly south to Spain or Portugal. "A harsh winter could decimate the population," he said.

Migratory species are particularly vulnerable because they need separate breeding, wintering and stopover sites. Changes to any one of the habitats can put them at risk.

Global warming, blamed by almost all experts on a build-up of gases from burning fossil fuels, adds stresses for migratory species such as pollution, overfishing or destruction of habitats on land for farming, roads or towns.

El Kabiri said governments should cooperate more to create and protect international migration corridors. Birds are sometimes hatching early in a warmer climate, but sometimes insect food can flourish even earlier. Pied flycatcher birds in Europe, for instance, have suffered from a lack of caterpillars for their chicks.

The Convention on Migratory Species and the U.N.'s African Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds Agreement said they will highlight the problems for birds and climate change around the world with a series of events on May 12-13.


All they want are decent city services.

In South Africa following militant protests near Lenasia, the Democratic Alliance has urged government to improve service delivery.

"These protests can easily be stopped before they even start by simply ensuring that the basics such as tapped water and electricity connected to pre-paid meters are up and running as quickly as possible," said Paul Willemburg, DA spokesperson on local government.

He told the media the protesters voted because promises were made and they believed the ANC slogan in the last election that there was a plan to make local government work.

"It is no use bragging about delivering services to a few hundred residents in far flung regions when millions are still without," he said.

Lenasia is large Indian township south of Soweto in Gauteng Province, South Africa. It has now become part of the City of Johannesburg.

Many communities in the greater Johannesburg area have been protesting against the ANC (African National Congress) governments inability to deliver the housing and basic service needs of people.

The following is from IOL.

Community hall razed in Lenasia protest

A community hall was burnt down and police cars damaged during a protest by informal settlement dwellers near Lenasia South on Tuesday, Vaal Rand police said.

Captain William Mcera said police vehicles were stoned and six were damaged. "No arrests have been made but cases have been opened," said Mcera.

No-one was injured in the protest.

The marchers were protesting against poor service delivery from their local municipality.

Mcera said the protesters gathered at a stadium and handed over their memorandum to a municipality official, giving the mayor 14 days to respond to their grievances.

Earlier, the protesters blockaded the Golden Highway with stones and burning tyres, Johannesburg metro police Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.

Traffic had to be diverted to the N1 and K43 in Lenasia South.

Mcera said the highway had been cleared and is open to traffic.


Jeez, how many of these plots have we seen turn out to be absolutely nothing.

Six held in plot to attack U.S. army base
Tue May 8, 2007 7:02PM BST
By Jon Hurdle

CAMDEN, New Jersey (Reuters) - Six suspected Islamic radicals have been arrested on charges of plotting an attack on New Jersey's Fort Dix army base with the aim of killing American soldiers, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Huge Rally of Nurses and Patients to Push Campaign for Guaranteed Healthcare--May 8 in California - Debuts to Give Patients a Voice in National Healthcare Debates

More that 1,000 nurses, patients, and other healthcare and community leaders from across the country will gather in California on Tuesday May 8 to step up the campaign to secure guaranteed healthcare for all Americans. The activists are demanding genuine healthcare reform that focuses on the needs of patients rather than small changes that reinforce the role of an insurance industry that has helped create the current crisis by profiting from denying care.

The rally is sponsored by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, which is working for passage of comprehensive reforms: HR 676 in Congress and various state laws, including SB 840 in California, that would establish a system similar to "Medicare for All" with genuine universal coverage, comprehensive and uniform benefits, effective cost controls, and an end to insurance industry interference with delivery of care.

What: National Nurses' Rally for Guaranteed Healthcare
When: Tuesday, May 8, 12 Noon
Where: California State Capitol, Sacramento

In conjunction with the event, CNA/NNOC will debut, an online campaign that will feature videos of patients telling their stories of abuse, injury and mistreatment at the hands of a medical industry driven by corporate rather than human needs. Patients will have the power to upload and share their own stories, a crucial tool in building a grassroots movement to stand up to the powerful insiders setting the terms of our national healthcare debate.

"Nurses have fought insurance companies, HMOs, hospital chains, and anyone else who would let our patients suffer from inadequate care. Genuine reform, like HR 676 or SB 840, is the only effective way to ensure we achieve the humane healthcare system Americans want and deserve," said Deborah Burger, RN, and CNA/NNOC president.

Both the May 8 rally and the patient videos featured at will reflect the view held by the nurses of CNA/NNOC and patient activists that any healthcare reform must guarantee that all patients receive a single standard of high-quality healthcare for all.

Many of the reforms proposed in today's healthcare debate will have the opposite effect: mandating the purchase of private insurance, as has been advocated by Governors Mitt Romney and Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others, will only increase the percentage of care dollars going to industry overhead, while subjecting patients to an industry built on the denial of care. By contrast, a single-payer reform, similar to Medicare for All, will allow patients to choose from among private doctors and hospitals who are paid from a national, non-profit risk pool. As has been proven in developed nations around the world, this is the only way to guarantee healthcare for all.

Representing 75,000 RNs from California to Maine, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee is the fastest-growing association of direct-care RNs in the nation. Learn more at


Every year hundreds of women in Iraq and Kurdistan are being brutally murdered.

Kurdish Aspect reports on April 7, 2007, Du'a Khalil Aswad, known by many as Doa - a sweet, 17-year-old girl - was dragged out in broad daylight and publicly stoned to death. Her "crime" was to fall in love with an Arab Muslim man. Doa herself had a background in the Kurdish Yazidi faith. Thus she was not allowed to marry someone from outside her "tribe and religious sect".

Hundreds of women from various parts of Kurdistan Region took to the streets of Erbil on Sunday to protest the brutal killing of Du'a Khalil Aswad, a 17-year-old Yazidi girl, and Kurdistan government called for the murderers to be brought to justice.

"We do strongly condemn the killing of women under the pretext of honor and the killing and mutilating of the body of Du'a on April 7, 2007," a statement released by the protesters read.

The rally came as police in Bashiqa, a district northeast of Mosul where the incident took place, said that two arrests have been made in the murder, and four others who have been implicated, including two of the victim's uncles, have escaped.

Around 40 women and feminist organizations from various parts of Kurdistan Region organized the rally.

"Taking revenge on women under the pretext of honor is a terrorist act," read a banner carried by the demonstrators.

The protesters called upon the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to take decisive action regarding the incident, and work to stop honor killings and set a limitation for the power of tribal chiefs.

Women in Iraq and Kurdistan are victimised even in the way death finds them. Each year, hundreds of women are being murdered deliberately by their husbands, brothers, fathers, or - as in Doa's case - by men from their own faith. Women are less than commodities in Kurdish society.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) spokesperson Dr Khaled Saleh stated "The killing of Doa is a great tragedy for her family and the entire Kurdish community. This is a crime for which there is no religious, social or ideological justification. The Kurdistan Regional Government views this crime as a barbaric act. This should be a reminder that there is still a mind-set which we, as individuals, and as a society, have a duty to wipe out.”

The KRG Spokesman went on to say that "punishment of the people who took part in this evil act is the first step towards eradicating such crimes. Everybody who was directly or indirectly involved in the killing of Doa must be punished immediately. The KRG demands that the Iraqi Federal Government institute legal proceedings in the district where the killing was carried out. We offer our full cooperation in dealing with this issue. For the KRG the problem lies in the fact that the district is not a part of the Kurdistan region and is therefore not under KRG jurisdiction."

Dr. Saleh mentioned that the KRG rejected the Iraqi law legalizing honor killing in 2002. He pointed to the 29 convictions for honor killing in Hawler and 11 in Dohuk, adding that there are still a total of 24 cases awaiting trial in the two cities. Dr. Saleh said the KRG believes only a change in the law and severe punishment will not lead to the eradication of such evil acts.

But talk is cheap.

Rebin Rasul Ismael, a human rights activist from Arbil points out, "The current reality shows that human rights conditions (here) are very bad, and I am not optimistic about the future of human rights in Kurdistan and Iraq."

Honor killings, he said, are no longer a few isolated incidents, "but have reached a level that now women are generally under a big threat in Kurdistan."

The UN figures warn of deteriorating living conditions for women in the north. In Arbil province alone 358 women have burnt themselves to death since 2003. Another 218 have tried to do so.

The prime reason is increasing pressure from male members of the family, the UN report says.

The report criticized the Kurdish regional government for its slow response to these acts of violence against women.

The following was taken from Renegade Eye.

Condemn the brutal stoning to death of Doa - a young girl whose only crime was to fall in love

To sign this petition,

Doa was stoned to death in the centre of the town of Bashiqa, Iraqi Kurdistan, in front of hundreds of people and the authorities did not prevent this crime from happening. On the contrary, they were present and paving the way for this horrific crime to be carried out.

Doa was a 17 year old girl from a family of Yazidi faith; she was snatched from her house by some Yazidi men who discovered that she was in love with a Muslim Arab man and had visited him. They stoned her to death in public on 7th April 2007 in the town of Bashiqa.

It is known that women in Kurdistan and Iraq are oppressed. The few rights they do have are very limited and in most cases they are treated as sub-humans.

Killings, suicide, and violence against women are an every day occurrence in this region. Although a crime of this nature is very new to Kurdistan, this is an indication that such crimes against women are now tolerated. Doa’s killers are still free.

The government’s failure to protect women, and enforce laws against criminals, has created a situation where thousands of women become victims of so called “honour killings”. Violence has risen as result of patriarchal and religious traditions.

We strongly condemn this barbaric act, and call upon all human rights and women’s rights organisations, political parties, and activists in Kurdistan and globally to condemn this crime.

In the 21st century, for such crimes to be carried out in broad daylight is not only a shame on society as whole, but most of all, it is a shame on a government that is unable to protect women from such inhumane and backward practices. The stoning of Doa sets a dangerous precedent for more women to become victims of stoning.

We hold the Kurdistan Regional Government responsible for the lives and protection of women in this region, and we believe that the brutalisation and victimisation of women must come to an end.

We the undersigned therefore demand:

That the Kurdistan Regional Government brings the killers to justice and punishes them.

The Kurdistan regional Government should set laws against terror, killings and oppression of women, and punish criminals.

To avoid this barbaric crime from becoming a norm and a practice in Kurdish society, the Kurdistan Regional Government should criminalise stoning to death.

The initiators of this campaign are:

Houzan Mahmoud: Representative abroad of Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq and campaign coordinator

Raga Rauf: Writer and women’s rights activist and campaign coordinator

Samera Mohammed: Editor of Rasan women’s newspaper in Kurdistan

Yanar Mohammed: President Of Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq

Aram Ali: Coordinator of the Kurdish website

Baker Ahmad: Writer and poet

Dler Colnadar: member of executive board of CHAK organisation

Omar Faris: coordinator of a Kurdish website

Dina Nammi: International Campaign against Honour Killings

Amal Almas: (Iraqi Women’s League) Gothenburg -Sweden

Federation of Workers councils and unions in Iraq/ Kurdistan representative

Chro Sabir: Director of Rasan women’s organisation in Kurdistan

Hana Shwan: Journalist and women’s rights activist in Kurdistan

Hamza Abd: The Iraqi Cultural House in Gothenburg-Sweden

To join this campaign or to show your support pleases contact: Campaign Coordinators: Houzan Mahmoud and Rega Rauf. Or