Friday, January 22, 2010


Some old canards never die. Rush Limbaugh decided now was a good time to bring up the one about Jews owning all the banks. Needless to say this isn't going over so well in the Jewish community. The ADL, not my favorite organization itself, criticized the big mouth radio jerkwater for his remarks. However, since Rush is no doubt aware that the number of Jews in his audience is small, I doubt that he could give a rat's ass...

In his defense Rush pointed out that one of his best friends is a Jews, referring to ultra right wing nut Mark Levin who most of us consider to be a complete embarrassment to himself and other Jewish people. Limbaugh reportedly also has a friend who is Black, one who is Hispanic, one who is a woman, as well as some guy who lives in San Francisco. He has said he has been searching for an an American Indian to, also, be his friend.
Friends of Rush:From left to right Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh (smoking a turd), Glenn Beck crying, Michael Savage, local radio host and Rush fill-in Jason Lewis, and Ann Coulter just for the heck of it. The above is a painting by Dan Lacey.

The following is from Media Matters.

Limbaugh's false defense of his comments about Jewish people on Wall Street

Calling for Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to apologize to him, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that he was referring only to what "Jew-haters" believe when he made comments about Jewish people on Wall Street. In fact, while Limbaugh did discuss what he said people with prejudice believe, he also clearly stated -- as fact and in his own voice -- that "a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse there."

Limbaugh falsely claimed he was referring only "to the Jew-haters"

Limbaugh falsely claimed his comments about Jewish people on Wall Street referred only to what "Jew-haters" believe. On January 22, Limbaugh responded to ADL national director Abraham Foxman's press release calling on Limbaugh to apologize for his January 20 statement that a "lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse there." On more than one occasion on January 22, Limbaugh said he "was referring to Jew-haters" in his January 20 comments. For instance, Limbaugh stated: "I was referring to the Jew-haters, the bigots. Twice I referred to prejudiced people":

LIMBAUGH: I was referring to Jew-haters, and Mr. Foxman, this is what's been omitted from what you read that I said. I was alluding to what you know exists. You know that there are Jew-haters out there and I know there are Jew-haters out there and many of them are in the Obama administration or in his circle of friends.

And Mr. Foxman, if you really want to go after anti-Semitism, you should first start looking at it on the left and within the Obama administration and within his circle of friends because that's where you're going to find it. You're not going to find anti-Semitism on this radio show. You're going to find nothing but love and respect and admiration for the Jewish people and an unwavering support for Israel. That has not ever shaken. I was referring to the Jew-haters, the bigots. Twice I referred to prejudiced people.

Limbaugh's comment that "a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish" was made in his own voice. While Limbaugh did mention what "people who have prejudice" think, he clearly made the following comment in his own voice: "[A] lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse there." From the January 20 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: If you have often wondered just out of, you know, a legitimately curious political sense -- if you have asked yourself why are so many Jewish people, liberal, what when it seemed so much of what liberals do would be anathema to Jewish people, particularly abortion, but any number of things -- taxes, tax increase. Look it -- you know something, folks?

There are a lot of people, when you say banker, people think Jewish. People who have prejudice, people who have, you know -- what's the best way to say -- a little prejudice about them. To some people, bankers -- code word for Jewish -- and guess who Obama's assaulting? He's assaulting bankers. He's assaulting money people. And a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse there.

Anyway, if you've -- if you have often asked that question, if you've been puzzled by so many Jewish people vote liberal or vote Democrat, you -- give Norman's book a shot. It's called, Why Jews are Liberals? He's Jewish and he would know. And it's -- look, it's a good read. And Norman [Podhoretz] is a -- there's no other way to say it -- he's a profound intellectual but he's not an egghead elitist. And he's written this book with an effort to have anybody that reads it understand exactly what he is talking about.

Limbaugh: Many "Jew-haters" are "in the Obama administration." During his attack on Foxman, Limbaugh also said that many Jew-haters "are in the Obama administration or in his circle of friends":

LIMBAUGH: I was referring to Jew-haters, and Mr. Foxman, this is what's been omitted from what you read that I said. I was alluding to what you know exists. You know that there are Jew-haters out there and I know there are Jew-haters out there and many of them are in the Obama administration or in his circle of friends.

Limbaugh: "[O]ne of my closest friends is Mark Levin. Everybody knows this. Mark Levin is Jewish." On January 22, during his attack on Foxman, Limbaugh also stated: "I have to tell you, folks, one of my closest friends is Mark Levin. Everybody knows this. Mark Levin is Jewish. Mark Levin is disgusted with Abraham Foxman. What I've come to learn through this episode is how many Jewish people are disgusted with Abraham Foxman and have been for many years."


One of six anarchists being held in a Belgrade prison has been brutalized in his cell by "fellow inmates" who were attempting to force him to get money from his family and give it to them. Although Tadej Kurepa was not present at the alleged scene of a bombing in which no one was hurt, he has been held in detention for... five months without trial. In fact, damages at the site of the Greek embassy in Belgrade as a result of the firebombing amounted to less than 18 euros.

The following is from OneWorldSee and the translation is a little less then perfect.

Anarchist Mistreated in Detainment

The Group for Monitoring of Process against Six Anarchists strongly condemned the physical violence that the anarchists accused for terrorism suffer in the prolonged detention, after Tadej Kurepa (25), one of the six, was mistreated and blackmailed by his cell-mates in the Belgrade Central Prison Unit.

At the end of December 2009, Kurepa’s lawyer Nikola Barović found his client all bruised in the face. Earlier that month, several inmates from Kurepa's cell used physical violence to coerce Kurepa to tell his mother to give 2,000 Euro to their "mates outside". After Barović intervened, Kurepa was transferred to another cell.

Kurepa was arrested, together with Ivan Vulović (24), Sanja Dojkić (19), Ivan Savić (25), Ratibor Trivunac (28) and Nikola Mitrović (29), for his role in the incident when two "Molotov coctails" were thrown at the Greek Embassy in Belgrade, August 24-25, 2009. Kurepa is the second charged in the process for international terrorism, in spite of the fact that the prosecution itself noted he was not present during the incident.

The "Campaign Against Political Repression”, coordinated by activists of left-wing organisations, comments that Kurepa was second-charged in the process, although he wasn’t present during the ‘terrorist attack’ in which there were no injured or casualties and the total material damages were estimated at 18 Euro. The Campaign protests the fact that Kurepa was held in detention for five months, denying him the right to defend himself from freedom. As they say, “it was likely to prevent him from repeating the action for which he was charged ‘communication with mobile phone and SMS’”.

The Group for Monitoring of the Process organized a signing of a declaration, supported by dozens of public figures, which states that the process against the Belgrade Six is political and demands dismissal of charges for international terrorism. On January 3, the Group held a protest in front of the Ministry of Justice and the Central Prison Unit, and new protests are announced.

The Group that gathers individuals from a variety of antiauthoritarian, left-wing and student organizations aims to present regular information on the political process to the public and to get the accusations for international terrorism dismissed. (Source: Građanske inicijative)


Here is something new - a government bureaucracy dissing a long standing treaty with American Indians. Here is something new - a corporation and a state dissing a place of spiritual importance to American Indians. Here is something new - it's all in the name of making a buck. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community's treaty rights were cast aside so that Kennecott could mine some nickel and copper sulfide.

The following is from Intercontinental Cry.

Dept. rules against native rights, says Eagle Rock isn't sacred

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, has shamelessly and underhandedly given its final approval for Kennecott’s proposed Eagle Mine project, a nickel and copper sulfide mine on the Yellow Dog Plains.

In issuing the approval, the MDEQ overstepped the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community’s treaty rights, and dismissed a 2009 ruling by Administrative Law Judge Richard Patterson, who found that Eagle Rock is a place of spiritual importance to Keweenaw Bay Community and should be protected.

Judge Patterson, in his ruling, stated that both Kennecott and the MDEQ “did not properly address the impact on the sacred rock outcrop known as Eagle Rock” and suggested that they move the mine’s entry point somewhere “away from the rock”.

The MDEQ unilaterally decided that the judge’s ruling was unnecessary “…because it pertained to Eagle Rock as a place of worship. They believe that a place of worship must be a building and therefore negates comments that were not in favor of the mining company,” explains the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, who works along side the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and others opposed to the mine.

However, the MDEQ did much more than dismiss the ruling and deny the sacredness of Eagle Rock. First, it handed the matter down to a Senior Policy Advisor, who made the decision on his own and just two days before the MDEQ was formally dissolved.

Cynthia Pryor, Campaign Director for the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, comments:

“What just happened here? The DEQ, as party to a State of Michigan Administrative Contested Case process, just unilaterally bypassed both the legal process and Administrative Law Judge Patterson in making a sweeping declaration and finding of law. This sweeping “judgment” was made not by Judge Patterson, not by past DEQ Director Stephen Chester, not by the interim DEQ Director Jim Sygo, but by a Senior Policy Advisor within the DEQ. This was done as a final DEQ action on the matter – on the day before the DEQ was to be dissolved and the new DNRE Director was to take office.

“How blatant can this be? This is the dramatic action of a DEQ that hopes as a last ditch effort to resolve the Kennecott issue and allow this mine on the Yellow Dog Plains – before their authority is superseded by a new agency. Delegation of DEQ Director ‘final decision’ on the matter, was given to Senior Policy Advisor Frank J. Ruswick, Jr. two weeks ago. There was no known correspondence from Judge Patterson to the DEQ, Kennecott or the petitioners during this time frame. But out of the blue, a day before DEQ dissolution, this DEQ policy advisor made a judgment, ruling and order granting Kennecott both a Part 632 mining permit and a ground water discharge permit AND vacating a remand order made by then Director Stephen Chester concerning Eagle Rock as a “place of worship”. A policy advisor of the DEQ became a Judge and a DEQ Director and has so ruled – and we must accept that?

This is an egregious act that now will absolutely require appeal to a higher court and should require an appeal to the new DNRE Director Rebecca Humphries and the Governor of this state. We should not sit by and accept such action as the accepted mode of “lawfulness” in this state.

For more information, please visit:,,

What You Can Do

To lodge a complaint against the MDEQ’s shameful move, contact Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm:

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909

PHONE: (517) 373-3400
PHONE: (517) 335-7858 – Constituent Services
FAX:(517) 335-6863

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The revolution in Iran is also a women's revolution. Women are playing a key role in attempts to cast off the feudal regime of the Islamic Republic. Gender slavery is not something that can be overlooked or defended by some weird post modern approach to culture. Women are not to be sacrificed to religious, political or economic ideology. Chairman Mao used to say, "Women hold up half the sky." I'd say we'd all be better off if they actually held up a bit more. Men have done a real bang up job over the years.

The following is from the Worker-Communist Party of Iran.

International solidarity with the "women's revolution" in Iran!

To women’s rights and human rights organizations and progressive people around the world!

At the forefront of the revolution of the people of Iran for liberation from despotism and religious reaction are women who are fighting to break the chains of gender slavery. This revolution and the role of women in it are political events of utmost importance, which have stirred great enthusiasm around the world. They deserve your wholehearted support!

A total gender apartheid rules in Iran. The atrocities committed against women by the Islamic regime are beyond description. Under the laws of the Islamic Republic, sex with underage girls is perfectly legal, while sex outside marriage is punishable by death by means of stoning; in Iranian prisons women are raped and executed… No wonder women are bravely fighting at the forefront of the revolution to put an end to this regime.

The revolution of the people of Iran deserves your enthusiastic support. We call on you to turn 8 March 2010 into a day of solidarity with the revolution in Iran; into a day of remembering Neda and all those who have lost their lives in the struggle for freedom, for getting rid of one of the most murderous regimes of contemporary history. We call on you to take part, wherever you are, in actions in support of the revolution in Iran, be the initiators of such actions yourselves, and in symbolic gestures burn the Islamic veil, this symbol of gender apartheid and women’s slavery. Shout out that the Islamic Republic as the most murderous and misogynist regime in the world must go!

Long live 8 March!
Long live international solidarity with women in Iran!

Worker-communist Party of Iran – Organization Abroad
January 2010


Protesters associated with Climate Ground Zero and Mountain Justice have utilized a tree sit to bring the destruction of Coal River Mountain to a halt...for now. At last word, two people are are being held on $1500 bail. They have been charged with conspiracy and trespassing.

According to Coal River Wind, "In 2007 a wind potential study was commissioned to see if there was the potential to place wind turbines on Coal River Mountain. The wind potential study and the following economic study found that it is possible to place 328 MW of wind energy on Coal River Mountain. That's enough to power 70,000 West Virginia Homes and provide permanent jobs and $1.7 million in taxes to the county every year" Massey would rather blow up the mountain, destroy the environment and get their hands on some dirty coal and some dirty profits.

The following is from Mountain Justice.

Tree sit stops blasting on Coal River Mountain!


Contact: Kim Ellis – 304 854 7372


Note: and

"Coal River Mountain was the last mountain around here that hasn't been touched and they could've been using it for windmills… But Massey wants to get that coal. It seems like they just don't care about the populace. Just the land and their checkbook."

- Richard Bradford

Mountain Justice

MARFORK, W.Va. – Protestors associated with Climate Ground Zero and Mountain Justice halted blasting on Coal River Mountain today with a three-person tree-sit. David Aaron Smith, 23, Amber Nitchman, 19 and Eric Blevins, 28 are on platforms approximately 60 feet up two tulip poplar trees and one oak tree. They are located next to where Massey Energy is blasting to build an access road to the Brushy Fork Impoundment on its Bee Tree Strip Mine. Their banners state: "Save Coal River Mtn.," "EPA Stop the Blasting" and "Windmills Not Toxic Spills."

"Massey Energy is a criminal corporation with over 4,500 documented violations of the Clean Water Act, yet the government has given them permission to blast next to a dam full of toxic coal waste that will kill 998 people if it fails." said Blevins. This action comes at the heels of a rigorously peer-reviewed study published in Science Magazine which states "Mining permits are being issued despite the preponderance of scientific evidence that impacts are pervasive and irreversible and that mitigation cannot compensate for the losses."

The sitters are calling for the EPA to put an end to mountaintop removal and encourage the land-holding companies to develop clean energy production. The lack of EPA enforcement in mountaintop removal encouraged Josh Graupera, 19, member of the support team, to take part in this action "I knew that until I took an active role in the struggle to end MTR, I was passively condoning the poisoning and displacement of countless communities and in the obliteration of one of the oldest and most diverse ecosystems on this continent." Graupera said. Nitchman added, "I act out of personal concern for the safety of water from toxic sludge, air from smog, and mountains from annihilation."

The Brushy Fork Impoundment is permitted to contain over nine billion gallons of the toxic coal waste, and currently contains 8.2 billion gallons. Brushy Fork's foundation is built on a honeycomb of abandoned underground mines. If the foundation were to collapse the slurry would blow out from all sides of the mountain. According to Marfork Coal Co.'s emergency warning plan regarding the impoundment, in case of a frontal dam breach, a 40 ft wall of sludge, 72 ft at its peak height, would engulf communities as far as 14 miles away.

"Brushy Fork sludge dam places the downstream communities in imminent danger. The threat of being inundated by a wall of toxic sludge is always present. Blasting next to this dam increases the risk as well as destroying the opportunity for renewable wind energy," said Coal River Mountain Watch's Vernon Haltom. According to the Coal River Wind Project, the wind energy produced by a turbine farm on Coal River Mountain could power 70,000 homes, provide more permanent jobs for local residents and annually bring over a million more dollars in tax breaks revenue to Raleigh County than coal currently does.

The sitters plan to remain in the trees as long as it takes to stop blasting on Coal River Mountain. Climate Ground Zero's action campaign, begun in February of last year, has kept up a sustained series of direct actions since that time continuing decades-long resistance to strip mining in Appalachia.


I don't know how much the women of Afghanistan can take. It seems that almost no matter who is in power, the results are the same for women - repression, violence, torture, death. Actually there was one exception to this, but no one wants to talk about it. When the government of Afghanistan was controlled by communists, the situation of women was much improved. I'm just saying. Not that the communist government was without fault. However, the government of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan moved to prohibit traditional practices which were deemed feudal in nature, including banning bride price and forced marriage. The minimum age for marriage was also raised. Education was stressed for both men and women and widespread literacy programs were set up. The reforms which were forcibly imposed by the communist government were met with resentment and resistance by many, especially in rural ares.

The following is taken from RAWA News. The article originally appeared at Truthout.

Afghanistan: Women Dying and Torture Run Amuck

By Jeffrey Kaye

Two reports coming out of Afghanistan illustrate the depth of hypocrisy and subterfuge characterizing the US/NATO intervention in that country. One could cite a myriad of such examples, so immoral and wrong is the US war there.

In the first report, a 2009 human rights assessment prepared by Canada's Foreign Affairs Department, obtained by The Canadian Press and reported at CBC News, revealed a skyrocketing suicide rate among Afghan women:

"Self-immolation is being used by increasing numbers of Afghan women to escape their dire circumstances and women constitute the majority of Afghan suicides," said the report, completed in November 2009....

The director of a burn unit at a hospital in the relatively peaceful province of Herat reported that in 2008 more than 80 women attempted suicide by setting themselves on fire, many of them in the early 20s.

It's not as if the plight of Afghan women under the US-backed Karzai government hasn't gotten some attention. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) recorded 184 cases of self-immolation by Afghani women in 2007, versus 106 in 2006. In Herat alone, in the first six months of 2008, 47 women, desperate from an escape from a life of domestic servitude, violence, rape, injustice, and other crimes, set themselves on fire and ended up in the emergency room of the local hospital. Ninety percent died from their serious burns.

The police and judiciary do not launch any formal investigations to determine the causes and motivations of suicide and self-burning by women, according to the AIHRC.

As a result, men who force and provoke women to self-immolation and other forms of suicide remain immune from all legal and penal repercussions.

Samia, rape victim in Afghanistan
RAWA: Samia, a 14-year-old Afghan girl victim of gang-rape by warlords in Sar-e-Pul province in Northern Afghanistan. She told to an Afghan TV Channel on November 24, 2009, that the warlords not only raped but also imprisoned her father and brother when they publicized the issue and asked for justice.

To delve into the statistics only reveals a more doleful picture: almost 90 percent (!) of Afghan women have been victims of violence, 60 percent of all marriages are forced. The US-backed regime has made some token moves to assist women, such as creating police task forces staffed by women officers. But the female officers aren't allowed to do any outreach. Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai infamously supported a law that allows for spousal rape. (Afghanistan is not alone in this, however, as Bahrain, too, "offers women no protection from spousal rape.")

US/NATO-Backed Afghan Regime Practices Torture

As the US plans to transfer administrative control of its Bagram detention facility to the Afghanistan government, a separate scandal links the Afghan government to the torture and murder of a prisoner in its custody. According to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), Afghan citizen Abdul Basir was tortured while in custody of Afghani security forces last December, and killed when he was pushed or thrown out a window. His family was told he committed suicide. But HRW has posted pictures of the tortured marks on Basir's body.

It wasn't easy to try and get an investigation of Basir's death in Afghanistan - from this brave new government ("elected" by massive fraud) that has guaranteed justice and due process to the Bagram prisoners, once they get their hands on them. According to HRW's report on Basir's death:

An NDS official told family members that Basir's father, Zalmai, signed a statement confirming that Basir had committed suicide and that an autopsy was not required. The family told Human Rights Watch that NDS officials told them that if they buried the body, Basir's brothers and father would be released.

However, concerned that the marks on Basir's body may have been signs of torture, the family took the body to the Forensic Department of the Health Ministry where an autopsy was carried out. The findings have not been made public. The family reported that security agency officials later came to the house where the body was held and gave them a message to bury the body. When the family tried to take the body to parliament, they said, agency vehicles blocked their way.

While the Afghan defense ministry assures the world press that "all international conventions on prisoners' rights would be implemented" once it gets control of Bagram, the many reports of arbitrary arrest, torture, and other ill-treatment by Afghan security forces suggest otherwise. In fact, there is nothing very trustworthy about either the Afghan government or its US/NATO backers, who have averted their eyes from anything that would besmirch the credentials of their war purposes in Afghanistan.

This leads the leaders of the Western alliance to some pretty strange places. Take Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Talking to interviewers for the French-language television network TVA about the many reports that prisoners captured by Canadian forces and turned over to Afghani authorities were tortured, even killed, Harper said:

"We are speaking here of a problem among Afghans. It's not a problem between Canadians and Afghans. We're speaking of problems between the government of Afghanistan and the situation in Afghanistan. We are trying to do what's possible to improve that situation, but it's not in our control."

For Harper, the system of transferring prisoners to the Afghans "works very well," though he admits there are "problems from time to time." As an example of some of these problems, read the over 40 redacted emails sent from former Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin to then-Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay alleging the torture of detainees transferred by Canadians to Afghan prisons.

While trumpeted as a blow against the idea of turning Bagram into a second Guantanamo, the likelihood is that things will not get any better for the 700 plus prisoners at the US facility there. Nor does it speak to the ongoing management by Special Operations forces of a black site prison, also on the Bagram Air Base. US Special Operations forces are granted special privileges to hold prisoners in indefinite detention. Evidence of torture at the SO black site prison, published in both The New York Times and The Washington Post last November, has not produced any follow-up in terms of Congressional hearings or further investigations. Instead, the handover of the Department of Defense's primary Bagram detention site appears likely to even further reduce oversight and investigation into the plight of prisoners there, once under Afghan jurisdiction, as the promises of the Afghanistan government are not to be trusted.

Meanwhile, the propaganda from Washington continues unabated. "Surge turning tide against Taliban, says McChrystal," blared ABC news on Monday. But no amount of propaganda is going to fill up the moral bog that is the US war in Afghanistan. Whether its targeted assassinations, leading to rounds and never-ending rounds of assassination and bombings, as at Khost, or the counterinsurgency attacks that target school-age children, as at Ghazi Khan, the campaign in Afghanistan has nowhere to go but down.

Even its vaunted aim of improving the lives of Afghan women is proven to be a lie. As a statement by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) reported recently:

The US "War on terrorism" removed the Taliban regime in October 2001, but it has not removed religious fundamentalism which is the main cause of all our miseries. In fact, by reinstalling the warlords in power in Afghanistan, the US administration is replacing one fundamentalist regime with another. The US government and Mr. Karzai mostly rely on Northern Alliance criminal leaders who are as brutal and misogynist as the Taliban....

Last month, Malalai Joya, a former member of the Afghan parliament, told Michelle Goldberg of the Daily Beast that the situation for Afghan women is every bit as bad under Karzai as it was under the Taliban. Joya is also concerned that civilian casualties are fueling popular support for the Taliban.

Thus far, no significant antiwar movement has emerged to seriously challenge the Obama administration's prosecution of the Afghanistan war. Meanwhile, the administration has clearly expanded its military operations to Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. But support by the US electorate of this war policy appears shaky at best, as the population suffers under an unemployment rate approaching 20 percent, and an array of service cutbacks in many US states.

Whether protests against the economy will be linked to the bellicose policies of the Obama administration in its own version of Bush's "war on terror" remains to be seen. But one doesn't have to look very far to see that the premises of prosecuting a democratic, human rights war is no more tenable under Obama than it was under Bush.


Violence by French police against youth has turned into violence from French yough against police. The rebellion began after a march in homage to the death of Malek Sauouchi who died while trying to flee on a motor scooter which the police allege was stolen. Two other young people were seriously injured. Many youth ...believe the accident was intentionally caused by police who one young person said, "...behave like cowboys...provoke us and harass us constantly." The mother of they youth who died said, "I do not know exactly what happened, but it is necessary that these chases end. Jusqu'où ça va aller ?» How far will it go? "

The following is from EuroNews.

French Youths Riot After Scooter Rider Dies

Un gendarme monte la garde, à Woippy, à la suite d'affrontements entre manifestants et forces de l'ordre survenus après une manifestation en hommage aux trois victimes d'un accident de scooter.

France 24 Photo

Social tensions have erupted in France, amid anger at the death of a teenager killed as he tried to flee police on a stolen scooter.

Cars, trucks and a bus were set on fire while phone booths and windows were smashed during clashes on the streets of Woippy near the north-eastern city of Metz.

Attacked with Molotov cocktails and stones, riot officers responded with tear gas.

The unrest was triggered by events the previous night when police tried to stop the stolen scooter.

The vehicle, with no lights on, was carrying three youths, none of whom were wearing helmets. It crashed, seriously injuring two of them and killing a third.

A peaceful demonstration paying tribute to 19-year-old Malek Saouchi was followed by the disturbances.

Three police officers initially taken into custody for the purposes of the enquiry have now been allowed home.

Copyright © 2010 euronews


Ken Ward of the Charleston Gazette reported this week that Bayer CropScience has put the community around their Institute, WV plant at a high risk for a Bhopal-like disaster. According to the article, Bayer has "not properly maintained or tested the underground storage tank where it keeps roughly 200,000 pounds of methyl isocyanate, the deadly chemical that killed thousands of people in Bhopal, India, in 1984."

The following is from Students for Bhopal. Actually, so is the preceding.

Charleston Gazette: Bayer cited for MIC tank violations
The Bayer CropScience Plant

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bayer CropScience has not properly maintained or tested the underground storage tank where it keeps roughly 200,000 pounds of methyl isocyanate, the deadly chemical that killed thousands of people in Bhopal, India, in 1984, state inspectors have alleged.

Department of Environmental Protection inspectors issued four citations to Bayer for alleged mismanagement of the MIC tank. Inspectors discovered the problem during a June 2009 inspection, and formal violation notices were issued in late September.

No fines have been issued, and DEP officials said last week they don't know if Bayer has fixed the problems.

Tom Dover, a Bayer spokesman, said in an e-mailed response that the company "is in discussions" with DEP and wanted to "emphasize that the integrity of the referenced tanks is not in question, nor is the safe storage of our materials."

But officials from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, who reviewed the DEP violation notices at the Sunday Gazette-Mail's request, said the allegations concerned them.

"It doesn't give us a warm and fuzzy feeling," board Chairman John Bresland said Friday. "I would have thought if you were dealing with a tank containing methyl isocyanate, you would always want to have the best practices in place."

CSB investigators have been examining the Institute plant's operations in the wake of the August 2008 explosion and fire that killed two plant workers and forced thousands of Kanawha Valley residents to take shelter in their homes.

For years, the Institute facility has been the only one in the nation to store large quantities of MIC onsite.

Last April, congressional investigators concluded the explosion could have easily damaged a nearby MIC storage tank and triggered a disaster that would have been worse than Bhopal. CSB officials described the incident as "potentially a serious near miss, the results of which might have been catastrophic for workers, responders and the public."

In late August, as the one-year anniversary of the deadly explosion in Institute neared, Bayer announced it was cutting its MIC storage by about 80 percent. After the changes, Bayer hopes to keep its daily maximum MIC inventory below 50,000 pounds -- still far more than any other chemical plant in the nation.

The DEP violation notices concern corrosion protection systems installed on the underground storage tank where Bayer keeps most of its MIC stockpile.

According to DEP, the tank is equipped with cathodic protection, a system that is meant to control corrosion of a metal surface by making it work as a cathode of an electrochemical cell.

But DEP inspectors discovered that the contractors who installed the system in 2003 did not have proper state certification to perform that kind of work. Uncertified workers also performed required periodic tests to determine if the system was working properly, DEP inspectors found.

DEP inspectors also cited Bayer because the tests the uncertified workers performed showed the corrosion protect system wasn't working properly. Agency officials instructed Bayer to have tests performed by qualified workers.

Mike Zeto, DEP's chief environmental enforcement inspector, said he doesn't know if that has been done, and that Bayer has not formally responded to the violation notices. DEP has not yet taken any further action, but Zeto said the issue is "an active matter that we are pursuing.

"The proper handling and protections associated with that material, given the nature of that material, is vitally important for the protection of the workers and the people who live nearby," Zeto said. "These are serious issues in our mind."

Maya Nye, spokeswoman for the group People Concerned About MIC, said she was concerned that DEP hasn't taken additional action and also upset that the agency hasn't told the public about the violations.

"I'm concerned about why this information wasn't made public before now," Nye said this week. "What gives them the right to call that confidential information? DEP is trying to keep confidential some very serious information."

Reach Ken Ward Jr. at or 304-348-1702.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Remember when they, the media, told us all about the looting, rapes, and violence in New Orleans. Remember when it turned out to be a lie. It's no different then the reporting we are getting from Haiti.

The following is direct from Lenin's Tomb.

There are no security issues

Once again, just for emphasis and instruction, the security crisis is fabricated:

One thing that I think is really important for people to understand is that misinformation and rumors and, I think at the bottom of the issue, racism has slowed the recovery efforts of this hospital. Security issues over the last forty-eight hours have been our—quote “security issues” over the last forty-eight hours have been our leading concern. And there are no security issues. I’ve been with my Haitian colleagues. I’m staying at a friend’s house in Port-au-Prince. We’re working for the Ministry of Public Health for the direction of this hospital as volunteers. But I’m living and moving with friends. We’ve been circulating throughout the city until 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning every night, evacuating patients, moving materials. There’s no UN guards. There’s no US military presence. There’s no Haitian police presence. And there’s also no violence. There is no insecurity.

This message, now coming from aid workers in the Red Cross and Partners in Health, starkly contradicts the racist coverage of the wire services, the mainstream newspapers, and the television channels and the websites belonging to all of the above - the capitalist media in toto. Take this, for example: a wire story, reproduced in newspapers and on television programmes across the world, uncritically reproducing the claims of the Haitian police, using less than a handful of named and unnamed witnesses as editorial sock puppets to justify the attempts to spread terror and organise vigilante violence - to actually create the very suspicion, mayhem, and bloodshed that has so far been notable by its absence. Of course, the give-away is the reference to 'gangs' and 'gang leaders'. In the vernacular of the White House, the US press corps, wire services, and the Group of 184 (essentially a delegation of Haiti's comprador capitalist class), these vocables refer to activists belonging to Lavalas, the most popular and rooted political party in Haiti, and the most conspicuously excluded from recent elections.

There will be some real violence, alongside the desperate efforts by starving people to secure food and water for themselves. There is no society in the world that doesn't have violence on a regular, daily basis, never mind in the middle of a horrendous tragedy and a reloaded military occupation. But what we are seeing here is the entirely justifiable expropriation of hoarded goods in stores and other situations being used to characterise the situation as a security crisis. In a scandalous if barely reported manipulation of aid workers, it has emerged that both UN and US authorities instructed people not to deliver relief directly to the victims, because doing so will lead to them being attacked by an 'angry mob'. Such sick conduct, depriving the needy of aid by means of racist scapegoating, constitutes an incitement, among other things, to the organisation of 'angry mobs'. However intelligently said 'mobs' go about trying to secure the means of existence, the right to life in other words, they can be shot without the world batting an eyelid - as recent HNP and MINUSTAH actions demonstrate. (Here, I use the phrase 'the world' in the same sense that the media does, in which 'the world' is just that combination of images and text that are generated by the news corporations themselves, and which in fact mediate our experience of the 'real world'. 'The world' does not bat an eyelid, in other words, so long as the Anglophone media remains unshaken by it.)

This 'security' mytheme has also been used to justify the imposition of martial law, at the behest of the United States, which will be enforced by the US military:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had demanded the imposition of the emergency decree during her visit to Haiti on Saturday. “The decree would give the government an enormous amount of authority, which in practice they would delegate to us,” Clinton declared.

Haitian police and UN troops have already been firing at crowds characterised as 'looters', even if they didn't necessarily have any purloined goods on them at the time. However, the US government is profoundly aware of its PR predicament, inasmuch as many people may refuse to be dazzled by the propaganda and notice the fact that the US has actually just invaded, taken control of the aid, blocked the entry of field hospitals and aid equipment on spurious grounds, and is now in the position of using its immense military advantages to impose martial law on an occupied country. So, the military bosses are telling anyone who will listen that "we're not in Haiti to fight". Well, of course they're not. They genuinely expect people to do as they're told without the question of a fight coming into it. Commentators can fulminate about machetes in Haitian hands, but 82nd Airborne has assault rifles and, if they consider it necessary, helicopter gunships, missiles, fighter jets, and behind them the entire galactically enormous arsenal of US imperialism. They are in a country whose GDP is a mere 1% of the US military budget in a single year. They are in a country that they have already tortured with death squads and terrorised under a UN mandate. Of course they don't expect a fight.

On top of the 10,000 US troops taking over, 3,500 extra UN troops are being sent to combat "lawlessness". This reminds us that the overthrow of Aristide and the imposition of a UN MINUSTAH ocupation was itself already a 'security' operation. It was, moreover, one with a multilateral mandate, construed as a humanitarian operation and by no means an abridgment of anyone's sovereignty. The point is made emphatically by China Mieville in this racy chastisement of international law, which notes that John Yoo, justly anathematized over the torture memos, risks no censure from liberal internationalist opponents when he describes the occupation of Haiti as an attempt to prevent a bloody civil war.

Recall that according to the spurious story originating from the White House, Aristide had 'fled' Haiti amid turmoil and unrest resulting from his poor governance and corruption. According to the imperialist narrative, the UN then helpfully intervened at the behest of the US and other concerned members of the 'international community', to put a stop to this turmoil and unrest, and facilitate the development of democratic institutions (they never seem to catch on in some countries, though we never lose faith that they might). The UN has since faced a difficult struggle against 'gangs' (see passim), but is determined to continue to protect the slum-dwellers from such predators. That the 'turmoil' had itself resulted principally from US intervention in the form of Dominican Republic-based death squads, that Aristide was the elected president and was kidnapped, and that the processes set in motion under the UN's violent occupation constituted a massive net curtailment of democracy, need not detain us for long. Nor need we malinger around the facts of the recent senatorial and congressional elections in Haiti which, even as Haiti's most popular party was banned from participation causing turnout to sink to approximately ten percent, are represented as a signal of the international community's determination to facilitate the democratic process. The point is that 'security' in this sense functions as a cynosure in a profoundly authoritarian and usually imperialist discourse in which populations rather than opposing armies, or even armed insurgencies, are construed as the source of illegitimate antagonism to be repressed. That is what 'security' is for.

This is important to understand because it is already a keyword of the Obama administration - in Afghanistan, the North-West Frontier Province, and now in Haiti. The new president's language is expunged of some of the exaggerated, triumphalist self-righteousness of the hard right. The pseudo-messianic, missionary language has been subject to de-emphasis. The contention that the US is a fervent champion of democracy, and that its opponents are in some sense evil, is not entirely abandoned, but it is more carefully deployed. Liberals breathed a sigh of relief when it was announced last year that Obama was abandoning the obsession with democracy-promotion and focusing on security. But the language of security, while possessing reassuringly technocratic cadences, is not less dangerous for that. It is a primary moral and legal justification for violent repression.


In Uruguay the fight against the privatization of precious life giving water has won a legislative victory. We can learn from the struggle there and we can learn from those who have been in the fight declare that a legislative victory can never be the end of the battle.

The following is from Rabble.

Lessons from Uruguay's water victory

I am back from Uruguay now and trying to think about how we can incorporate lessons learned from the Uruguayan campaign on the right to water into our own work at the Council of Canadians.

I am back from Uruguay now and trying to think about how we can incorporate lessons learned from the Uruguayan campaign on the right to water into our own work at the Council of Canadians.

I have been extolling the merits of the referendum that lead to the recognition of public water as a human right, but as someone commented on one of my previous blogs, referenda are not necessarily a magical solution for positive change.

Not even in Uruguay.

Recently, in the November 2009 election, a majority of Uruguayans voted against the annulment of an impunity law that prevents the investigation and punishment of human rights abuses committed during the military regime that lasted from 1973 1984. It’s hard to understand why such a straightforward attempt to achieve justice and correct historical wrongs was rejected in a country where, I’ve been told, almost everyone has a family member who has disappeared or been imprisoned and tortured or otherwise ill-treated by the military dictatorship.

Lesson 1 – Involve all sectors of society

As Ana Dominguez and Marcel Achkar, two Geography professors involved in the right to water campaign explain, the fact that 60% of Uruguayans voted to ban the privatization of water services is a testimony to the strength of a four-year campaign that involved all sectors of society including unions, environmental organizations, progressive academics, writers, musicians and others. It took more than a hundred workshops held across the country, door-to-door campaigning, television advertisements, political lobbying, poster campaigns, in short every popular education tool, media outreach strategy, political campaigning tactic they could think of was employed to bring 60% of the population on board.

Lesson 2 – Learn from international examples

Initially, according to Adriana Marquizo, president of the water workers’ union, FFOSE, even the water workers were not convinced that water privatization was a bad idea. Uruguay, like Canada is a water-rich country where the majority of citizens already benefited from strong public water services. “We had to learn from the experiences of our neighbours in countries like Bolivia,” she says referring to the Bolivian town of Cochabamba where massive protests were held in 2000 by members of the community who were unable to pay water rates charged by water corporation Bechtel.

Lesson 3 – Prepare for strong opposition

Water justice challenges the core of the neoliberal agenda and has powerful opponents. Uruguayan water justice activists had to work against opposition from the IMF, Suez and local politicians. They had to deal with the threat that corporations would sue. The public utility wound up challenging the Spanish corporation that ran Aguas de Bilbao for failing to meet the obligations outlined in its contract with the state and buying out Suez.

Then they had to deal with their language being co-opted by a right-wing opposition party, el Partido Independente which threatened to put forward an alternative proposal for a reform on the right to water that would resemble the civil society proposal closely enough to confuse the population while leaving loopholes that would allow for water privatization. In the end, the civil society coalition had built enough support within government to prevent this from happening explains Karin Nansen of REDES (Friends of the Earth Uruguay). The electorate ended up voting on the text that was drafted by civil society actors in consultation with the general public.

Lesson 4 – Legislative change is just the beginning

For many involved in the campaign however, this was only the first step. The referendum was a tool and the privatization of water services was the low hanging fruit that allowed civil society to engage the public and the government in developing a broad-ranging policy that went well beyond the privatization of water services according to Maria Selva Ortis of REDES. There is still much to be done says Javier Taks of the Casa Bertolt Brect, an NGO that remains active within the water coalition. “Water continues to be considered an economic resource and the movement needs to go from resistance to concrete proposals to address the emerging issues,” Taks explains.

REDES is currently working to raise awareness on the impacts of agribusiness on water resources in Uruguay. The Family farmers union recently announced that they could not co-exist with the large monocultures of soy, eucalyptus and rice that dominate rural Uruguay and use much of its water resources.

Nonetheless the 2004 reform provides solid legal grounds to protect water and the human right to water against corporate interest according to Alberto Villareal who is currently working for the Washington-based Food and Water Watch in Montevideo. And many concrete proposals are well underway.

The water reform of 2004 provided the building blocks for water justice in Uruguay, but the building of a society free from corporate control over water resources continues.


Cargill and General Mills' destructive and unsustainable practices were the target of protests by members of the Rainforest Action Network (RAIN) in Minneapolis yesterday where General Mills maintains its corporate headquarters. Global production of palm oil has risen in recent years, a trend that comes at the expense of tropical forests in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.

The following is from the Rainforest Action Network.

Unfurling Minnesota's Demand: Protect Rainforests

“Can you imagine sitting down to breakfast with your Cheerios and then reading this in the newspaper?”

WARNING: General Mills Destroys Rainforests

Well, don’t choke, but you deserve to know that one of America’s most well known brands- General Mills- is destroying rainforests.

Now, this company is going to be famous not only for Cheerios, Betty Crocker and Hamburger Helper, but also for their sizable contribution to rainforest destruction! General Mills isn’t as wholesome as they look.

Fortunately, the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is full of incredible grassroots communities intertwining movements for local agriculture, social justice, and a safe climate. There are so many inspiring people walking their talk, and ready to acknowledge and address how environmental and social distress to sneak into our responsibility chain via the food on our tables.

Its 19 degrees!

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 42 activists unfurled a HUGE 30 x 70 foot banner reading: “WARNING: General Mills Destroys Rainforests” at the General Mills corporate headquarters. General Mills purchases the controversial palm oil from Cargill Incorporated. Cargill is sourcing palm oil from Indonesia where rainforests are being torn down and forest-dependant peoples are being ruthlessly kicked out of their homes all for an unsustainably-grown cash crop called palm oil. For the full story, visit and see Rainforest Agribusiness campaigner Ashley’s blog about why we are zooming in on General Mills. Hey, you can sign the petition while you’re at it!

Activists here in the Twin Cities are thinking globally and acting locally in rapidly growing numbers. As our Twin Cities chapter grows and branches out, people from faith-based groups, food co-ops, political organizations, and art collectives are all stepping up to hold these local corporations accountable.

The result is incredible. General Mills has gotten the message loud and clear. And they know that we aren’t going anywhere until they not only commit to getting dirty palm oil out of their supply chains, but until they follow through and do it.

Until then, we look forward to planting seeds of awareness across the country and watching people spring up to stop big agribusiness from disrespecting rainforests, family farmers, and the climate. The flowers of this work is in the connections, the friendships, and the collective power we are reclaiming person to person, company to company, and country to country, from Minneapolis to Kalimantan.

We'll be back!

P.S. If you are based in/around the Twin Cities and want to join the local uproar, plug in to the RAN-Twin Cities chapter or Facebook group


I'm not a big petition person, but maybe this will help open the cell house door for Carlos Alberto Torres.

The following is from ProLibertad-Free the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners!! facebook site.

Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres: Parole Hearing

On January 19, 2010, Carlos Alberto Torres attended a video hearing presided over by a U.S. Parole Commission hearing examiner whose task was to consider the disciplinary charges stemming from last January, and to make a recommendation for what should happen with respect to his request to be released on parole. Carlos Alberto answered the questions posed, and his attorney Jan Susler asked that the Parole Commission release him on parole as previously recommended, regardless of the wrongful charges. She pointed out the vast, ongoing support for his release, and argued that there is absolutely no risk in releasing him, as evidenced by the impressive example of his compatriots who were released by presidential commutation in 1999. The hearing examiner then made a favorable recommendation. The Parole Commission will make the final decision, hopefully within the next 30 days.

The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign is launching a 30 day online petition campaign! We want 1000 people to sign our petition within the next 30 days showing their support for Carlos Alberto Torres.

At the end of the thirty days the petition will be mailed to the Parole Commissioner.

Sign this petition and forward it out to everyone you know!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


It's amazing the ability of capitalism to reproduce itself out of just about anything. Hundreds of thousands die and Security Companies find a way to profit. And I ask myself why I'm so angry all the time and can't sleep.

The following is from Rebel Reports.

US Security Company Offers to Perform "High Threat Terminations" and to Confront "Worker Unrest" in Haiti

Here we go: New Orleans 2.0

By Jeremy Scahill

We saw this type of Iraq-style disaster profiteering in New Orleans and you can expect to see a lot more of this in Haiti over the coming days, weeks and months. Private security companies are seeing big dollar signs in Haiti thanks in no small part to the media hype about “looters.” After Katrina, the number of private security companies registered (and unregistered) multiplied overnight. Banks, wealthy individuals, the US government all hired private security. I even encountered Israeli mercenaries operating an armed check-point outside of an elite gated community in New Orleans. They worked for a company called Instinctive Shooting International. (That is not a joke).

Now, it is kicking into full gear in Haiti. As we know, the member companies of the Orwellian-named mercenary trade association, the International Peace Operations Association, are offering their services in Haiti. But look for more stories like this one:

On January 15, a Florida based company called All Pro Legal Investigations registered the URL It is basically a copy of the company’s existing US website but is now targeted for business in Haiti, claiming the “purpose of this site is to act as a clearinghouse for information seekers on the state of security in Haiti.”

“All Protection and Security has made a commitment to the Haitian community and will provide professional security against any threat to prosperity in Haiti,” the site proclaims. “Job sites and supply convoys will be protected against looters and vandals. Workers will be protected against gang violence and intimidation. The people of Haiti will recover, with the help of the good people from the world over.”

The company boasts that it has run “Thousands of successful missions in Iraq & Afghanistan.” As for its personnel, “Each and every member of our team is a former Law Enforcement Officer or former Military service member,” the site claims. “If Operator experience, training and qualifications matter, choose All Protection & Security for your high-threat Haiti security needs.”

Among the services offered are: “High Threat terminations,” dealing with “worker unrest,” armed guards and “Armed Cargo Escorts.” Oh, and apparently they are currently hiring.


I would say this is no surprise. Does anyone really count on the Supreme Court or any part of the U.S. Justice system to free Mumia?

The following is from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

High court tosses ruling favorable to Abu-Jamal

FILE - In this July 12, 1995 file photo, Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981, leaves a Philadelphia court. The Supreme Court on Tuesday Jan. 19, 2010 threw out a court ruling that invalidated Abu-Jamal’s death sentence for killing Faulkner. The justices ordered the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia to take another look at Abu-Jamal's claim that the jury weighing his punishment was given flawed instructions. (AP Photo/Chris Gardner, File)
FILE - In this July 12, 1995 file photo, Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981, leaves a Philadelphia court. The Supreme Court on Tuesday Jan. 19, 2010 threw out a court ruling that invalidated Abu-Jamal’s death sentence for killing Faulkner. The justices ordered the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia to take another look at Abu-Jamal's claim that the jury weighing his punishment was given flawed instructions. (AP Photo/Chris Gardner, File)


The Associated Press
1:35 p.m. Tuesday, January 19, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — The Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a ruling that had set aside the death sentence of Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer in a racially tinged case that has made the former Black Panther an international cause celebre.

The justices ordered the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia to revisit its 2008 ruling that Abu-Jamal deserved a new sentencing hearing because of flawed jury instructions at his 1982 trial. The Supreme Court pointed to its ruling in an Ohio case last week, when it said a neo-Nazi killer did not deserve a new sentencing hearing on those grounds.

Prosecutors called the Ohio case directly on point.

"The order pretty much says it all," Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Hugh J. Burns Jr. said. "I don't see how you can possibly distinguish them."

But Abu-Jamal's lawyer insists the facts differ.

"If our cases are similar, of course it doesn't bode well. But they're different," said lead appellate lawyer Robert R. Bryan of San Francisco. "It's always uphill with a death-penalty case."

The 3rd Circuit could still order a federal trial court to consider Abu-Jamal's case anew on other still-pending defense claims.

A mostly white Philadelphia jury convicted Abu-Jamal of killing white Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981 after the patrolman pulled over Abu-Jamal's brother in an overnight traffic stop.

Prosecutors believe the 25-year-old Faulkner managed to shoot Abu-Jamal during the confrontation. A wounded Abu-Jamal, his own gun lying nearby, was still at the scene when police arrived, and authorities consider the evidence against him overwhelming.

Since Abu-Jamal's conviction, activists in the United States and Europe have rallied in support of his claims that he was the victim of a racist justice system. Abu-Jamal has kept his case in the spotlight through books and radio broadcasts.

"His body's locked up, but his mind is free as a bird," Bryan told The Associated Press. "He has a lot to draw from within that most people similarly situated don't have."

Faulkner's widow, Maureen, did not immediately return phone messages Tuesday.

Abu-Jamal, a former radio reporter born Wesley Cook, has been on Pennsylvania's death row for about 28 years. Hundreds of supporters gathered outside the federal courthouse in Philadelphia when his latest appeal was argued in May 2007.

Bryan unsuccessfully argued for a new trial on grounds the prosecution improperly excluded blacks from the jury, made up of 10 whites and two blacks.

In March 2008, the 3rd U.S. Circuit upheld the first-degree murder conviction but found the jury instructions and verdict form flawed and agreed Abu-Jamal deserved a new sentencing hearing. The Supreme Court rejected Abu-Jamal's appeal of his conviction.

The issue over the instructions relates to whether jurors understood how to weigh mitigating circumstances that might have kept Abu-Jamal off death row. Under the law, jurors did not have to agree unanimously on a mitigating circumstance.

"The verdict form together with the jury instructions were misleading as to whether unanimity was required in consideration of mitigating circumstances," the appeals court wrote.

But last week, the Supreme Court reversed a similar ruling from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. That case dealt with Frank Spisak, the neo-Nazi who killed three people in 1982.

Abu-Jamal's oldest brother argued Tuesday that new evidence that has surfaced over the years should be aired at a retrial.

"I don't think it should ever be too late to hear information that can save someone," said Keith Cook, 66, of Hillsborough, N.C.


January 19, 2010 01:35 PM EST

Copyright 2010, The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The following is translated from the French and come from the site Bellacio.

Sign the petition:

The Supreme Court of the United States has just rejected the recourse of the journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, condemned to died in 1982 at the end of a lawsuit whose iniquity is internationally recognized. Supreme The Court off the United States has dismissed the journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, sentenced to death in 1982 after year to unfair trial which is internationally recognized.

Mumia is thus seen refusing all new lawsuit. Mumia is thus refuses any new trial.

The whole of the recourse legal having been exhausted, the international supports call some from now on with the American president by the means of a petition. Legal Al cure cuts been exhausted, the international support now cal the American president through has petition.

In December, the first 10000 signatures collected in France were deposited with the embassy from the United States in Paris. In December, the 10,000 signatures collected in early France cuts been filed At the Embassy off the United States in Paris. Each Wednesday of 18h with 20h takes place a Place gathering harmony in front of the consulate of the United States. Every Wednesday from 18h to 20h held off has rally Place of the Harmony to the consulate the United States. Everywhere in the world, the many supports of Mumia Abu-Jamal are held ready for actions of protest. Around the world, many supporters off Mumia Abu-Jamal are ready for protest actions.

Site: Website:


I have no problem with using troops to provide relief. They are organized, there is lots of them, they have the means to move quickly. It's a better use for them then fighting wars. However, in Haiti someone can't seem to figure out the difference. Whoever happens to be in charge of the whole US relief effort seems to think their job is more to occupy and secure Haiti then it is to provide relief. This is not a decision made by individual soldiers and sailors. This is a decision being made by their bosses.

The following is from ColorLines.

's No War Here': Haiti's Crisis, From Disaster Site To Military Zone?

As humanitarian relief trickles into Haiti in fits and starts, reports of despair and frustration are trickling out. The situation grows increasingly desperate as hundreds of thousands of disaster-stricken people await emergency help, nearly a week after the emergency began. In some cases, the U.S. presence may actually be hampering the aid effort, according to Al Jazeera, which describes the airport as a quasi-militarized zone:

At the entrance to the city’s airport, where most aid is coming in, there is anger and frustration. Much needed supplies - water and food - are inside, and Haitians are locked out….

Beyond the well-guarded perimeter there’s something else going on. Here the U.S. has taken control; it looks more like the Green Zone in Baghdad than a center of aid distribution. Heavily armed U.S. forces patrol the entrances; even within the airport, these soldiers are never without weapons. There are several thousand on the ground already, and that number is expected to grow. America now decides who lands in Haiti, and there’s a constant stream of U.S. aircraft arriving, with thousands of U.S. boots on ground.

Meanwhile, aid flights from other nations are being turned back. Two Mexican aircraft with vital lifesaving equipment were told they can’t land on Sunday.

Patrick Elie, the former Haitian defense minister, is concerned with the way America has taken over relief efforts.

ELIE: The choice of what lands and what doesn’t land should, you know… the priorities of the flight should be determined by the Haitians. Otherwise it’s a takeover, and what might happen is that the needs of Haitians are not taken into account — but only either the way a foreign country defines the needs of Haiti, or try to push its own agenda.

Medicins Sans Frontieres warned the United Nations and U.S. military that time was running out to deliver critical resources. MSF issued a statement on Sunday complaining that help was literally being turned away:

Despite guarantees, given by the United Nations and the US Defense Department, an MSF cargo plane carrying an inflatable surgical hospital was blocked from landing in Port-au-Prince on Saturday, and was re-routed to Samana, in Dominican Republic. All material from the cargo is now being sent by truck from Samana, but this has added a 24-hour delay for the arrival of the hospital.

A second MSF plane is currently on its way and scheduled to land today in Port- au-Prince at around 10 am local time with additional lifesaving medical material and the rest of the equipment for the hospital. If this plane is also rerouted then the installation of the hospital will be further delayed, in a situation where thousands of wounded are still in need of life saving treatment.

Al Jazeera correspondent Teresa Bo observed:

In the absence of large scale foreign help, Haitians were trying to help each other, our correspondent said, with some turning homes into hospitals to treat the wounded and others giving away food, but food supplies and other resources were running out.

People could see helicopters flying overhead, US military vehicles in the city and aeroplanes arriving at the airport with supplies, so it was difficult to understand why little aid appeared to be reaching the people, she said.

Indeed, from an outsider's viewpoint, the disconnect between the aid and the needy can scarcely be comprehended, until maybe you realize who the White House has installed as figureheads of America's latest military-humanitarian campaign in Haiti:

The BBC's Matthew Price reports on the gritty struggle of one isolated village outside the capital, Leogane:

But instead of being out in the village, the UN representatives at this base are clustered around the front gate, laughing as they buy shampoo from a local salesman.

And while they do this, just a two-minute walk down the road in the village itself, the injured and the homeless are waiting....

They have salvaged what they can and the meagre belongings that they have left are now sitting out in the fields next to the shelters they are putting up - tents made of old sheets and, if they are lucky, some salvaged corrugated iron held fast against a tree branch.

Earthquake refugees from Haiti's only film school, meanwhile, have hit the ground with cameras in hand. CBC reports that activists at the Ciné Institute hope to document for the rest of the world the scene of catastrophe surrounding them.

"They're out on the streets. They're posting reports on a website. It's the only positive story to come out of Haiti, that these students are able to hit the ground using the skills that we taught them and they're just rising above everything," said [Annie Nocenti], a journalist and filmmaker who was once an editor at Marvel.

"They're rising above personal problems and loss of homes to get out there and do what filmmakers do which is report," she said.

Though there are reports that the aid effort is steadily picking up pace, it can't come soon enough for the countless homeless, sick, and hungry survivors. In stark contrast to the bleak images of chaos and disorder painted by corporate media outlets, plenty of Haitians seem to be cobbling together whatever strength they have left to do what they've always done throughout centuries of abandonment by the international community: surviving on their own.

written by Michelle Chen


Would you be ticked off if your water had been shut off for the past five months? Well, the residents of villages across the constituency of La Brea in island nation of Trinidad and Tobago have had it with promises. They want action. They want water to bathe, to wash their clothes, to *******drink. They aren't willing to be polite about it any longer.

The following is from Trinidad and Tobago Express.

Police stoned, roads blocked in water protest

Phoolo Danny Maharaj South Bureau

fiery unrest: Residents of Los Bajos at Palo Seco walk near burning debris during their protest yesterday over the lack of an adequate water supply. - Photo: KRISHNA MAHARAJ

HUNDREDS of residents living in villages across the constituency of La Brea caused chaos yesterday, blocking roads with burning debris to protest dry taps.

The protest escalated into a confrontation between police and the people at Los Charos Village late yesterday.

The police tried clearing a blockade and residents responded by throwing rocks and bottles at them.

Police eventually had to leave the area, the Express was told. Residents from Sobo to Santa Flora have gone without a pipe-borne supply of water for months.

WASA acknowledged yesterday that ’the standard of service is not at an acceptable level’, in the protesting villages.

’Accordingly, the authority is currently seeking to bring about reliability in the service by ensuring the existing schedules are met. Areas such as Debe, Sobo Village and Los Bajos are on schedule for a pipe-borne water supply late evening into tonight,’ WASA stated in a media release.

At daybreak, residents blocked the Southern Main Road, La Brea, and set fire to a backhoe that was being used to lay water lines.

The roads at La Brea were cleared early by police and fire officers.

But in the Palo Seco and Santa Flora, police were overwhelmed by the size of the protest.

Before sunrise, residents scattered piles of debris at several locations along the eight-mile stretch from Santa Flora to Rancho Quemado on the San Fernando/Siparia Erin Road causing traffic gridlock.

Workers were unable to leave the area to go to work and pupils and teachers could not get to schools. Some Petrotrin workers from the area could not reach their work place at Santa Flora either. Protesters were supported by members of the Oilfields Workers Trade Union.

Jimmy Kurt, a resident of Quarry Village, said the village never had a pipe-borne supply for more than two hours at any one time, in months.

Kurt said:

’They say we will get water on Tuesdays, but they do not open the pressure enough for the supply to reach up the hill in Quarry.’ Santa Flora resident Debbie Norbett said:

’We are experiencing extreme water shortages. WASA has been delivering truck supply to a chosen few. We had no water for five months.’

Theophilus Henry, president of the Los Bajos Village Council, said: ’The people of this area had enough patience with WASA. This is a constituency in crisis.

We have no water to drink, bathe or wash clothes. We have children to look after and to send to school. WASA telling us about booster pump problem, but when booster pumps go bad in the north, WASA fix it very fast. So we want WASA to take two days a week supply from those who get water 24-7 and send it down to us.’’

Henry said residents have been buying water from $150 to $250 from private contractors.

Calls to Member of Parliament Fitzroy Geoffrey went unanswered.