Monday, April 30, 2012

Greece: more institutional fascism: concentration camp for immigrants open - Albanian murdered in cold blood with police complicity

A concentration camp for immigrants (newspeak: "closed hospitality center") has been opened by the Greek ministry of police (newspeak: "ministry of citizen protection") at Amygdaleza, a suburb of Athens, reports From the Greek Streets. 56 immigrants have already been dumped in that open air prison.

In the same entry OL-FTGS mentions how a fascist Greek drove his car against a group of immigrant workers yelling insults and threats. Other workers went to the nearby police station to report the attack but police refused to intereven or even pay any attention to them. 

Soon after the murderer returned injuring two more immigrant workers, one in the feet and another in the hip. He then pulled out of the car and shot a third worker, an Albanian man aged 53, killing him. The names of the victims or the murderer are not yet known publicly.

In a separate incident, an immigrant-smuggling truck was chased down by police at the border with Turkey eventually burning and killing the driver and two passengers. The exact details are not and may be never known.

Source: OL-FTGS.

Fukushima birds dying fast - indirect effects as far as New Zealand

Fukushima Diary posts today the images of a small dead bird and a photo which looks like a radiography but with all the radioactive particles showing as dark spots.

The dark spots are radiactive particles, either stuck to the wings or inside the body. I believe it is a radiography (X rays) but neither source explains it well.

From the original site, with the help of Google Translator, I got the following confusing explanation:

Exposure to radio imaging in the bush warbler Autograph village Iidate

Autograph photo of the radio [radiography?] the other day, we ask from Dr. Satoshi Mori has arrived earlier.
Dead body of the nightingale I've been taken in December last year in the village Iidate.
Still had much exposure.

I used to visualize the status of the exposure of the nightingale.
Color picture of a sample.
Autograph radio is something like the X-ray photo of black and white.
Blackened for those black dots and radiation of Cs137 has gone out.
Part of the wings were attached to the surface, where the blackened parts of the belly is that radiation is from the inside of the stomach.
Seems to be concentrated in the food chain has been eaten by insects, such as contaminated.
This is spreading its wings was taken to the stomach.
Photosensitive time it took to shoot a single photo for one month.
Dr. Satoshi Mori

Iidate is in Soma district, just north of the Fukushima NPP.

Also today, Energy News mentions that the nuclear accident may have affected the number of muttonbirds in such a remote location as New Zealand. The birds make long migrations across the ocean and feed also in Japanese waters. This year there are 33% less than normal and the ones who have survived are in pretty bad condition. (See also this article at New Zealand Herald).

USA: Congress approves Internet's permanent state of emergency (CISPA)

In the name of "National Security" the US Congress pased this Thursday the CISPA law, which allows for omni-present Internet snooping without any warrant or court approval. This of course not only affects US citizens but absolutely everyone on Earth because, let's not forget, the Internet is not a UN agency but a US-owned one. 

This is not really new, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation mentioned earlier this week:

... from 2003-2006, the FBI issued more than 192,000 National Security Letters to get Americans’ business, phone or Internet records without a warrant. These invasive letters—which come with a gag order on the recipient so they can’t even admit they received one—have been used to gather information about untold number of ordinary citizens, including journalists.

Of all those almost 200,000 Gestapo-style interventions of communications only one ended up in a conviction for terrorism, which hardly seems to justify the invasion of human and civil rights, never mind your privacy and the scrapping of all the guarantees traditionally applied to telephone and mail communications, requiring court order to intervene.

But even more worrisome is probably the relative lack of reaction: a lot of people just don't seem to care: they take what authorities say as a matter of fact and don't even raise an eyebrow when the fundamental rights on which freedoms and the so-called democracy are founded are being scrapped overnight. Hitler would not have been able to do better. 

It's not just the IBF or the NSA: the info they snoop on you ends up at your state or local police agencies in the name of "information sharing". So your local sheriff is probably aware of your whole Internet life, or he can if he so wishes. 

It's like going naked all the time, knowing that even the most intimate act of your online life will be observed, maybe mocked and very possibly used against you exactly like in Orwell's 1984, where the true crime was to think outside the box (crimethink, all the rest was just the cat playing with its food for greater humiliation and psychological destruction).

What does CISPA that was not done before? Antifascist Calling explains that:

Amongst CISPA's controversial provisions, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the Obergruppenführer of America's 16-agency Intelligence Community, "shall issue guidelines providing that the head of an element of the intelligence community may, as the head of such element considers necessary to carry out this subsection: (A) grant a security clearance on a temporary or permanent basis to an employee or officer of a certified entity; (B) grant a security clearance on a temporary or permanent basis to a certified entity and approval to use appropriate facilities; and (C) expedite the security clearance process for a person or entity as the head of such element considers necessary, consistent with the need to protect the national security of the United States."

Newspeak dictionary:  
  • certified entity means you or any of your service providers where you think (wrongly) that you have some intimacy or security of any sort.
  • cyber threat information means, among other things, whistleblowing because getting your hands on any information that is not your creation or has been declared public domain of some sort is intellectual property theft now. Under CISPA the celebrated hero-journalists of the Watergate scandal would be indicted and probably convicted of intellectual property theft, they and their papers legally gagged and Nixon would have been easily reelected without any negative news at all. 

Sources and more information: Antifascist Calling, the Electronic Frontier FoundationCryptome

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Greece: police keeps attacking social squats

I mentioned earlier in the week, that two occupied social centers had been evicted in Exarchia, Athens and that one of them was re-occupied straight away. 

Now the Panteio social housing squat has been evicted. The Panteio is an abandoned students dormitory building that was occupied by people in need of homes, after being neglected by University authorities, who instead stole the subsidies for its restoration for years... and even the plumbing!

The building was then occupied, or rather liberated from neglect and speculation, by politically active citizens who transformed it in both a social center and a self-managed housing project.

The eviction is evaluated in the pre-electoral context of Greece marked by fascist violence, essentially by the police forces, against immigrants and the fast-growing radical left, whithout doubt the most important such political current in all Europe. 

Sources: Contra Info, OL-FTGS

The liberated building

Nazis expelled from Cretan towns

On the more positive side, groups of Neonazis from the Golden Dawn in electoral campaign have been chased out of several Cretan towns. The feeling of outrage against Nazism is particularly strong in Crete, where the German occupation forces made many massacres not so long ago.

Source: OL-FTGS.

Nazi terrorist cell rounded up in Germany

Sare Antifaxista mentions today[es] that three individuals aged 18-20 have been arrested in Düseldorf for organizing to commit acts of terror in the name of Nazism. The name of their organization was Freundeskreis Rade.

One of the arrested is regional councilor by the neonazi party Pro-NRW. According to police there are financial links between the two organizations.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Basque Country: Northern and Southern independentists join forces

In a joint presentation in Irun, the Basque-nationalist forces (to the exclusion of the always dubious conservatives of EAJ-PNV) from both South and North have signed a joint document for joint action in search of freedom.

The Basque Nationalist Left, Basque Solidarity (EA), Aralar and Alternatiba have been already working together with electoral, as well as other quite broader political goals in the South. However the northern Abertzale landscape is dominated by a different, locally-rooted, force: Abertzaleen Batasuna (AB, Patriots' Union). With this document the principles of joint action have been formally set  at national level for the first time. 

Compromise - Engagement

The signed document establishes as goals:
  1. The Basque Country as a sovereign nation within Europe
  2. Peace, civil and political rights
  3. An economic model that is sovereign, fair and ecological
  4. The construction of the Basque Country as unified entity, overcoming the imposed border
  5. Officialness and normalization of the Basque language
As principles:
  1. Human rights, including the right to decide as people
  2. Democratic plurality
  3. Equality
  4. The defense of the principle of democracy
  5. Internationalism
The short conclusion reads:
We adopt the compromise to develop a joint work based on mutual respect to materialize the goals and principles of this agreement.
The agreement can be read in Basque, Spanish and French languages (PDF format).

Source: Gara[es].

Friday, April 27, 2012

Gernika 75th anniversary

Sorry: I have been busy with other stuff so I actually let the actual date of the anniversary slip through. But I certainly want to pay my little homage to this highly symbolic instance of war crimes against civilians. 

The town of Gernika-Lumo, most commonly known as simply Gernika, commemorated yesterday the 75th anniversary of the fascist bombing, later immortalized by Pablo Picasso. It was just advance notice of the horrors that would come with World War II but it was the very first town completely razed by an air bombing.

Among the many activities scheduled through the year, yesterday was central and silence overcame the town as alarms and bells sounded as they did 75 years before (video).

Four minutes of alarms and silence

This is made every year. At 15:45, four minutes of silence are dedicated to the memory of the victims of this and so many other military crimes, four minutes in which only alarms and bells are heard.

Additionally the Basque-made film Gernika under the bombs has been presented to the public and a monument by one of the great Basque sculptors still alive, Nestor Basterretxea, was uncovered for the occasion:

Nestor Basterretxea inaugurates his Agony of Fire

Later mass citizen street theater Gernika sutan (Gernika on fire) was represented and the journey concluded with a silent demonstration. 

A declaration was presented before a mural that reads: self-setermination, freedom, peace...

Source: Gara[es].

More than 130 farmers arrested in Honduras

The class war in the fascist Honduras of Porfirio Lobo, supported by the likes of Pay Pal or the Milton Friedman mock-economists' clan in the name of "freedom" (freedom for them to rob you, beat you, kill you, they mean), continues everyday even if it does not normally make it to your TV (and that's why I do not watch almost any TV anymore).

Some 130 farmers from the Movimiento Campesino de San Manuel Cortés (MOCSAM), constituted some two years ago and organizing some thousands of farmer families from Northern Honduras, have been rounded up and arrested in a forced eviction by the forces of the Capitalist dictatorship.

The arrests happened even when the farmer movement had already abandoned the occupation of the reclaimed lands, legally under control of sugar company CAHSA.

The arrested have denounced strong pressures and threats to sign self-inculpations and have been divided in smaller groups for interrogation.

Source: LINyM[es].

Quebec: protests against the "Plan Nord"

Protesters fought their way into the heavily guarded Palais de Congrais  and police responded with heavy shooting of rubber bullets, tear gas and flash bang grenades.

However there were moments when demonstrators were actually driving police back and not the other way around. Of this substance is what revolutions are made. 

Protesters chanted:

Capitalism makes war on us, let us make war to Capitalism!

The protests were directed against the developist (extractivist) Plan Nord to expropriate the natural wealth of northern Quebec, a mostly Native American and Inuit area, in order to extend the lifeline of agonizing Capitalism a bit more into the future.


Source: Contra Info.

Massive clashes in Chile between students an police

The struggle of Chilean students for the right to education continues. The number of students involved is say to be some 80,000 and from what we see in the images, the claim may well be true.

Police tried to repress the protests, resulting in multiple clashes.

Student leaders, Camila Vallejo and Gabriel Boric, declared that the student struggle is far from exhausted and demanded the right-wing government to offer true structural solutions and not mere make up.

More images at Contra Info.

Complementary source: Kaos en la Red[es].

The People of Athens recycles cop junk... profit for political prisoners

I mentioned yesterday that police attempted on Friday to close the social centers in the popular district of Exarchia. The result: a scare and lots of high quality steel junk in form of planks used to seal the buildings after eviction.

Well, they "sealed" the evicted buildings with high quality steel planks as seen in the photo:

The result has been some extra money (€300) for the comittees of support of political prisoners. Keep them coming, LOLcops.

Source: Contra Info

Japanese mothers fight against Nuclear Tyranny

From Alternet:

How a Group of Japanese Mothers Are Saying No to Nuclear Power

The Fukushima disaster has brought a powerful new demographic to Japan's anti-nuclear movement: mothers. 

April 25th 2010 | On the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japanese women in New York City gathered for a rally they called Pregnant With Fear of Radiation. Protestors wore fake pregnant bellies, or carried posters with images of pregnant women wearing face masks.

Well aware that fetuseschildren under five, and women are at the greatest risk from radiation exposure, mothers have emerged as a powerful voice in Japan’s growing anti-nuclear movement.

... full story at Alternet.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spanish Army makes drills in the outskirts of Barcelona

The fascist arrogance of the Spanish Armed Forces is not only designed to insult Basques in the 75th anniversary of the fascist bombings but also against Catalans.

Units of the Spanish Army took over a natural park in the outskirts of Barcelona (Collserola). Not only they damaged Nature but they dared to insult and threatened people who spoke in Catalan.

As result the consortium of the park has banned military drills other than marches through the established paths.

Source: Sare Antifaxista[es].

Troops running through Girona (a different but equally provoking incident)

And the core of the Euro-problem is... Germany

Very very interesting read the article I just stumbled upon at Yanis Varoufakis' blog:

I believe it is very worth reading in full but I will entice you with some key excerpts that, in my opinion, represent the best of this thoughtful economic and political analysis (plus my own observations):

The question οn almost everyone’s lips is: “How long before Germany recognises that a new architecture is necessary to keep the Eurozone together?” Implicit in the question is a mistaken premise: that Germany’s view of the Eurozone is wrong, that its stance is predicated upon a mistaken analysis concerning the nature of Europe’s macroeconomy.

Yes, I also fell for that fallacy at times but I believe I do for didactic purposes: I'm assuming that European politicians/managers/statespeople know what they are doing and have the prosperity and social stability of Europe as their main objective. Not correct enough, I guess. 


When Bretton Woods died, in 1971-2, and the DM rose in value (as it would now if the euro breaks down), the Bundesbank oversaw a large shift in German finance from what Halevi describes as ‘extensive’ to ‘intensive’. From a situation where Germany was exporting industrial goods and importing labour (including Greeks) plus finance capital from abroad, it shifted to a new posture: it exported advanced industrial products plus financial capital (now that the DM had appreciated) while importing low level industrial goods. It was indeed the Bundesbank that, during that transition, pressurised German companies to turn to financing external to their usual ‘comfort zone’. How? By guiding Frankfurt, i.e. Germany’s large banks, to extend the length of their money contracts.

So this is how the Germany and Europe we know arose. Earlier it is explained that this was the culmination of a three-phase process. 

This position of Germany as overlord of international markets is strong but not immune to normal crisis:

[Halevi] challenges the views of two great scholars that he evidently admires: R. Hilferding and J. Schumpeter. The two men had presumed that, because German capitalism had utilised effectively corporatist structures for planning markets, Germany’s ‘trustified’ capitalism would be immune to crises of aggregate demand. Halevi challenges this view, arguing with Kalecki that, while trustification and corporatism did give German capitalism a capacity to accumulate and hoard productive capital over and above the level of its neighbours, it does not shield it, in the end, from recessionary forces. Indeed, German corporatism generates recessionary forces from within and has a tendency to export them without.

But it is not something created by markets but planned by the Bundesbank:

Turning again to the Bundesbank’s crucial role, Halevi argues that during the post oil-crisis global stagnation, the Bundesbank was dead keen to avert a situation in which German foreign direct investment abroad was financed through liabilities against Germany itself. So, the only way that German industry could extend its reach, and establish foreign productive facilities, without such liabilities, was to finance their outward expansion through aggressive trade surpluses with the [Rest of Europe]. Halevi’s interesting point was that this did not simply transpire; that it was not just a result of markets-at-work, but that it was an outcome designed and directed, to a large extent, by a Bundesbank dead keen to preserve German finance under strict German (and Bundesbank) control.
The strategy worked well from 1980 to 1985, at a time when the dollar was rising and the US was sucking in Germany’s net exports. In the meantime, with Germany sitting on its surpluses and with European currencies pegged on the DM, the RoE was becoming a source of increasing demand for Germany while transforming itself into Germany’s periphery. And what does periphery mean in this context? Halevi’s answer is: an economic vital space that provides demand but which grows slower (than Germany) during the good times and contracts faster during the downturn.

And that's the root of the current European social, political and economical puzzle. A puzzle whose solution can't be unlocked easily because it implies displacing Germany from its hegemonic position, something that the whole political class is dead set not to allow, no matter who dies in the process.

The EMS and later the euro were created and, from the viewpoint of the German oligarchy, the goal was to prevent that countries like France or Italy could compensate against the German hegemonic position by means of controlled inflation (competitive currency devaluation). The deal was so good that Bundesbank was even willing to drop their beloved Deutsche Mark.
The problem is that the Rest of Europe was stuck with a Deutsche Mark of sorts, a useless (too strong) currency for them, that, in the long run, when things turned ugly as do now, could only make them horribly non-competitive in the international markets. Germany however could extend and pretend for longer because the DM, oops the euro, allows them to import cheap (not anymore from the Rest of Europe but from outside the Eurozone at the very least) and sell expensive (because of the very specific high-value products they are specialized in). 

But the problem is that, as their markets collapse, the crisis also reaches Germany and by now everybody is more or less angry at them for their lack of commitment to European solidarity, for using the EU as a colonial empire of sorts. True that much of the blame falls on the shoulders of the oligarchies and political classes of the other European states, apparently unable to understand and/or correct this vicious system... it is hypothetically plausible that these "national" political classes could impose their own terms to Germany... as they do not we can only assume that they are being bribed to behave as neocolonial minions. 

But the "national" bourgeoisies (never mind the working classes, of course) are not being bribed, however their elites are still allowed to mass up huge amounts of wealth and that way they are kept at bay: as long as their banks pay dividends, they won't complain too much. 

But for how long can this farce, in which the citizens are squeezed to near death to pay a handful of stagnated decadent banksters, continue? In the end money is just a tool for an economy to work (and within such a working economy to mass up power): if the economy does not work, then what? 

En fin...

Greece: police take over the popular quarter of Exarcheia, evicts two occupied social centers but one is reoccupied in hours

This happened on Friday but I was not aware until now (blame Google Reader, on which I rely for most alerts). 

Police took over the popular and rebellious district of Exarcheia (Athens) and evicted two social centers.

Police occupation or popular occupation

However people reoccupied the former VOX cinema just hours later and could even celebrate a solidarity concert in it.

Source: Occupied London - From the Greek Streets (link 1, link 2).

More on the Police Kristallnacht of Athens

This entry acts as sort of update of this previous one, reporting and denouncing massive police violence against immigrants in Athens today.

All the info comes from Occupied London - From the Greek Streets.

First we are told what happens with immigrants when they can't be expelled from Greece, usually because their home countries are at war, like Syria, Afghanistan or Somalia. These people should be considered war refugees but they are considered mere criminals because they don't have visa.

When the legal time for them to be kept in prison expires, they are not set free, no: they are kept in prison (an extra cost for the Greek public arcs) illegally for as much as 12 months.

Oddly enough this info was only made public because it is expected to support the plans of the Greek government of building 30 new prisons.

What?! The country is bankrupt, it can't pay pensions and you're wasting the money in prisons?

As you read it. 

That's the kind of state and society that Capitalism offers us as we enter the 21st century: a prison state, where you and I have no rights but can be arrested at any moment for no reason. And immigrants are used as pretext.

Then we are faced with a tiny bit of the ugly reality of the Greek police state: cops beating a peaceful foreigner incidentally captured in video:

It's from some days ago and I believe I already posted it but still it is relevant considering that police is doing the same at big scale these days.

Manifesto of Savas Metoikidis, who took his life on April 21st, out of desperation and rage, in Athens

As mentioned back in the day, Savas Metoikidis (pictured), who had been active fighting against the socio-economic destruction of Greece by Capitalism, eventually took his life on April 21st. It was known that he had left a manifesto of sorts but the contents have not been known until today:

Who are, after all, the hoodlums? 

Violence is to work for 40 years for crumbs and to wonder whether you will get to retire.

Violence are the financial bonds, the looted insurance funds, the stock exchange scam.

Violence is to be forced to take out a mortgage which you end up paying as if it was made out of gold.

Violence is your boss’ right to sack you at any moment they please to do so.

Violence is unemployment, precarity, the 700 euros [monthly wage] with or without insurance contributions.

Violence are the labour “accidents” because bosses cut down their running costs at the expense of the safety of the workers.

Violence is to take psychiatric drugs and vitamins in order to cope with the exhaustive schedules.

Violence is for you to be a female migrant, to live with the fear that you might be kicked out of the country at any moment and to live through a constant insecurity.

Violence is for you to be a worker, housewife and mother at the same time.

Violence is for you to be groped at work and for them to tell you, ‘smile dammit, is that too much to ask?’

What we lived through I call a revolt. And just like any revolt it looks like a Civil War rehearsal; it smells of smokiness, tear gas and blood. It cannot easily be harnessed or controlled. It ignites consciousnesses, it reveals and polarises contradictions, it promises, at least, moments of camraderie and solidarity. It traces paths toward social emancipation.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the metropolises of chaos! Install secure doors and alarm systems to your homes, turn on the TV and enjoy the spectacle. The next revolt will sure be fiercer even, as the rottenness of this society deepens… Or, you can take out to the streets on the side of your kids, you can strike, you can dare to assert the life they are robbing you of, you can remember you once were young people who wanted to change the world.

Savas Metoikidis

Source: Occupied London - From the Greek Streets.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gernika 75th anniversary: homage to George Steer

Tomorrow April 26th is the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Gernika by the Luftwaffe. But commemoration activities have already began including some most offensive and insulting to the memory of the victims of such a heinous crime, who are all us in a sense, by the always fascist and imperialist Spanish Army, as mentioned yesterday.

Equally the undemocratic Western Basque mock parliament rejected[es] (with only Spanish Nationalist votes) a proposal to demand the King of Spain, heir of the fascist dictator Francisco Franco, an apology for the crime. Currently the parliament does not represent the free will of the citizenry but only list previously vetted by the Spanish Inquisition (Audiencia Nacional, successor with a mere change of name of the fascist Tribunal de Orden Público). 

But, insults apart, the Basque society in general and most of the World that is aware of this historic crime have paid respects to the victims and showed the rejection of Fascism then, now and ever. 

Today a bust of the journalist who made the World know the razing of Gernika, George Steer, was inaugurated in the Biscayan town:

As you can see international representation from Nagasaki, sister city of Gernika, have been present, and also explaining their own history anddestruction by a mindless bombing, in that case a nuclear one.

The whole program can (1.3 MB, PDF) can be found HERE[eu/es]. There are scheduled activities until October.

Source: Gara[es].

USA: "Private Prison Corporations Are Slave Traders" (BAR)

Private Prison Corporations Are Slave Traders

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
The Corrections Corporation of America believes the economic crisis has created an historic opportunity to become the landlord, as well as the manager, of a big chunk of the American prison gulag.”
The nation’s largest private prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America, is on a buying spree. With a war chest of $250 million, the corporation, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, this month sent letters to 48 states, offering to buy their prisons outright. To ensure their profitability, the corporation insists that it be guaranteed that the prisons be kept at least 90 percent full. Plus, the corporate jailers demand a 20-year management contract, on top of the profits they expect to extract by spending less money per prisoner.
For the last two years, the number of inmates held in state prisons has declined slightly, largely because the states are short on money. Crime, of course, has declined dramatically in the last 20 years, but that has never dampened the states’ appetites for warehousing ever more Black and brown bodies, and the federal prison system is still growing. However, the Corrections Corporation of America believes the economic crisis has created an historic opportunity to become the landlord, as well as the manager, of a big chunk of the American prison gulag.

... full article and podcast at Black Agenda Report

Kristallnacht in Athens

From Occupied London - From The Greek Streets

Police pogrom in central Athens

Since today morning large police operations are taking place in Athens. Police buses with hundreds of police officers start blockading entire building blocks and invading buildings, they stop and search violently everyone who looks foreigner. The people arrested without documents will be moved to the new detention centres. The minister of Citizen Protection M. Chrysochoidis stated: ”Athens will be cleared in a few days, We must re-occupy the public space”.

Isolate Indian tribe thought that the Guerrilla was the legitimate government

The Muria tribal village of Bodiguda is so isolated, deep in a thick jungle unexplored since the colonial period, that the Indian authorities imagined it as a mere provisional guerrilla camp when they detected it via Google Earth.

However the Maoist guerrillas had contacted them long ago and the village imagined them being the only governmental authority. Therefore they were very surprised when Indian Army troops almost attacked them. 

There is a police station in the nearby village of Behramgarh, 29 km. away, but the Muria seldom go there at all.

Source and more details at Revolution in South Asia.

Anarchist prisoner in hunger strike hospitalized

As you may know ten Anarchist prisoners, accused of armed resistance (Cells of Fire conspiracy), are in hunger strike demanding the release of one of them Stella Antoniou on health grounds and the transfer of two others to a less ominous prison facility. They have yet to be judged. 

Well, one of them, Giorgos Karagiannidis, has suffered a health crisis because of the fast in its 18th day and has been transferred to hospital where he is held in a special room-cell in isolation.

Source and more info at Contra Info.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Amazon basin way to many and way too big reservoirs threaten the Amazon basin itself

From Everyone (PLoS ONE community blog)

Note: the Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a leading open access (free) scientific publisher and PLoS ONE is their lead magazine (the 21st century's Nature, so to say).

Although the nationally celebrated Earth Day has just passed, it’s important to consider our impact on the environment every day.  In their recently published article “Proliferation of Hydroelectric Dams in the Andean Amazon and Implications for Andes-Amazon Connectivity,” authors Matt Finer and Clinton N. Jenkins highlight a constant environmental concern; meeting the world’s growing energy demands. Finer and Jenkins developed a strategic ecological impact assessment of planned dams from the Andes to the Amazon. Their findings point to the need for this kind of heightened environmental awareness every day.

Due to rising energy demands and abundant untapped potential, hydropower projects are rapidly increasing in the Neotropics. This is especially true in the wet and rugged Andean Amazon, where regional governments are prioritizing new hydroelectric dams as the centerpiece of long-term energy plans. However, the current planning for hydropower lacks adequate regional and basin-scale assessment of potential ecological impacts. This lack of strategic planning is particularly problematic given the intimate link between the Andes and Amazonian flood plain, together one of the most species rich zones on Earth. We examined the potential ecological impacts, in terms of river connectivity and forest loss, of the planned proliferation of hydroelectric dams across all Andean tributaries of the Amazon River. Considering data on the full portfolios of existing and planned dams, along with data on roads and transmission line systems, we developed a new conceptual framework to estimate the relative impacts of all planned dams. There are plans for 151 new dams greater than 2 MW over the next 20 years, more than a 300% increase. These dams would include five of the six major Andean tributaries of the Amazon. Our ecological impact analysis classified 47% of the potential new dams as high impact and just 19% as low impact. Sixty percent of the dams would cause the first major break in connectivity between protected Andean headwaters and the lowland Amazon. More than 80% would drive deforestation due to new roads, transmission lines, or inundation. We conclude with a discussion of three major policy implications of these findings. 1) There is a critical need for further strategic regional and basin scale evaluation of dams. 2) There is an urgent need for a strategic plan to maintain Andes-Amazon connectivity. 3) Reconsideration of hydropower as a low-impact energy source in the Neotropics.

"Massive Theft of Developing World's Farmland" (J, Gody at IPS)

From IPS News.

BERLIN , Apr 23, 2012 (IPS) - The mass acquisition or lease of arable land in developing countries, especially in Africa, by foreign investors – a practice aggravated by the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2007 – has reached record highs, according to several new studies.

A study by the Spain-based group Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN), released late February, estimates that some 35 million hectares of land have been sold or leased in 416 recent, large-scale land grabbing deals in 66 countries, mostly in Africa.

Another analysis of land grabs, carried out by the International Land Coalition (ILC), released last January, found that between 2000 and 2010 some 203 million hectares were leased or sold in developing countries, mainly in Africa, but also in Latin America, Asia, and even Eastern Europe, to foreign investors.

"This land area is equivalent to over eight times the size of the United Kingdom," the ILC said in its report 'Land Rights and the Rush for Land - Findings of the Global Commercial Pressures on Land Research Project.'

Most land is used to produce inputs for so called biofuels, ILC pointed out. 

... full story at IPS News.

Honduras: another journalist murdered

Noel Valladares (pictured) was murdered yesterday when he left his workplace (a TV station). Other two people who traveled with him were also killed while his wife, Nelly Pavón, was injured. 

The attackers, who wore sky masks, shot them from another vehicle and then run away. 

The safety of Honduran citizens has become a major problem since oligarchs, with US and Pay-Pal support, performed a coup in 2009. Lots of working class activists and journalists have been murdered since then, making Honduras the most dangerous American country for people who dare to exert their rights. 

Source: LINyM[es].

Spanish Army mocks Basques by making drills in Elgeta in the exact 75th anniversary of the occupation by the Fascists

Press conference
Today 75 years ago the fascist troops took the village of Elgeta, near Eibar. A sad date we must agree, as we'd prefer that fascism would have been eradicated from Earth altogether, as the pernicious illness it is.

But for the Spanish Army (which incidentally has absolutely no Basque officers, being tacitly excluded) that seems to be another opportunity to mock and offend Basque citizens. Today they have been messing around with superfluous drills of the kind they only do to spread the feeling of invasion and occupation: we are ugly and menacing and you can't do anything about it, they seem to say with their provocative actions.

While all Spanish military presence and maneouvers, very specially inside towns, are clearly hostile and offensive, the choice of date is a clear case of aggravating insult. 

Both the Town Hall and the Provincial Government have protested. 

Sources: Gara[es], Elgeta Town Hall[eu].

Basque Country: Evicted from Parliament people on trial for attempting to run for office

Amparo Lasheras run in the list Democracy Three Million (D3M), which was one of the several attempts of Basque citizens aligned with one of the major political blocs to run for office against the dictates of the Spanish Inquisition in this last decade. 

Lasheras was arrested two years ago just for trying to play by the rules of the game of formal democracy and being the main speaker of an ample platform that demanded civil right and a semblance of democracy for the Southern Basque Country. 

Her trial begins now.

For that reason she and two supporters, Txerra Bolinaga and Imanol Olabarria, intiated today a protest in the Western Basque Parliament (which is still today non-representative of the popular will) which consists of a hunger strike in the office of the MPs of a distinct but less important legal party: Aralar. They also had the support of Basque Solidarity, EA (all three political blocs are now running together to elections in the context of unilateral peace process by ETA, which is spitefully ignored by Spain).

For the three protesters, this trial that now begins in the halls of the Spanish Inquisition (Audiencia Nacional) in Madrid emphasizes the lack of civil rights in the Basque Country under the boot of the Spanish occupation, 812 years after the conquest of Vitoria-Gasteiz. 

The Spanish proconsul (pretending to be Lehendakari) has got them evicted by force. 

Source: Gara[es].

Basque Country: Police claims now that Xuban Nafarrate injured himself by falling to the ground agains witnesses and video evidence

Against the testimony of witnesses and video cameras, the brutal and murderous Western Basque Police Corps (Ertzaintza) now claims that the head injuries to Xuban Nafarrate, who was spasming on the floor for some 15 minutes while police beat and insulted him instead of calling an ambulance, on the day of the General Strike, March 29th, were not caused by a rubber bullet shot at short distance but by him falling to the ground.

Source: Gara[es].

Monday, April 23, 2012

Netherlands, with growing economic problems, moving away from the Austerity Party

Negotiations among coalition members on further budgetary cuts collapsed yesterday as the Neonazi Freedom Party reclaimed early elections rather than committing to unpopular measures.

The Dutch state among the few hard-core supporters of the German-led Austerity Party of the Eurozone (the other member is Austria) but its economy has been performing poorly as the euro-crisis extends to every single state, making the likelihood of budgetary cuts lower, as public investment and social protection are understood as necessary to compensate for the failures of Capitalist economy that is unable right now to bring prosperity and social peace to anywhere on Earth.

Recently some of the US-based so-called rating agencies (global usury ringleaders who deserve only spite and rejection)  threatened the Netherlands with downgrading its credit rating if budgetary cuts were not approved.

Besides of a budget deficit slightly over the EU hopes of just 3% of GDP (4.6%), the Netherlands also face one of the most brutal mortgage bubbles of Europe. 

Egypt cuts the gas to the Zionist colony

Hopefully this measure will be followed by re-opening normal transit to Gaza strip, which is not just besieged by the Zionist regime but also by Egypt.

The pipelines bringing Egyptian gas to the Apartheid conglomerate have also been attacked repeatedly by unknown commandos.

It is not clear why Egypt, still largely under control of the Mubarak military clique, has decided to cut the gas but they claim it is a matter of non-payment, just the pretext Russia used with Ukraine in the past. Egypt complains that the deal has cost Egypt some 714 million dollars in losses.

40% of the gas consumed in the Zionist colony comes from Egypt. Other gas comes from offshore exploitations in waters claimed by Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority.

The Zionist generals are all jumping from their chairs and with no idea of what to do. The issue is potentially very important for the sustainability of the Zionist regime, which is quite more expensive than your normal state, as the occupation army and the need to import much of what they consume from overseas (never mind that Israel produces almost nothing other than weapons and killer commandos) make the Zionist experiment extremely unstable in the economic aspect, always dependent from external subsidies like those sent by the Zionist International and the de-facto colonial motherlands: USA and Germany notably.

Source: Al Jazeera.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Protest in Katowice, Poland, against the European Economic Congress

The people of Eastern Europe is angry and wary of the future of our continent being discussed behind closed doors, as if the word "democracy" ("people's power" in Greek), would have lost all meaning. Therefore they are going out to the streets in protest:

Source: Contra Info.

More info (in Polish language) HERE.

75th anniversary of the bombing of Eibar

While the bombing of Gernika is the most famous for the emotional importance of the town for Basque identity (historical seat of the Parliament and Government of Biscay), many other towns were bombed in the fascist advance of 1937 with the implicit support of Great Britain (imposing the international blockade to both sides, as if both sides would be morally comparable at all, but not enforcing it for the fascist side). 

Today we remember Eibar, an industrial town of Western Gipuzkoa, which was quite damaged as well:

Credit: Indalecio Ojanguren - Source: Ikuskatu - Documentary Filmmakers without Borders

Socio-economical situation of the Southern Basque Country in the context of the European Union

Notes derived from: Eurostat regional yearbook 2011.

While the yearbook is dated to 2011, most of the data is from 2008-09 and things have changed quite a bit since then. 

In some cases we have detailed data for the Western Basque Country (WBC) and Navarre (separately), as these are considered NUTS 2 (statistical units of level 2). In other cases the Southern Basque Country is merged with Aragon and La Rioja into a single NUTS 1 area.  In a few maps the provinces (NUTS 3) are detailed. The exact figures are not provided but the maps are almost invariably divided into five segments so we can actually compare where we stand.

  1. Jobs:
    1. Employment rate (2009): middle (WBC) or high (Navarre) - this means people working in relation to total population.
    2. Unemployment (2009, only four tiers): very low (<6%) in Gipuzkoa, high (9-12%) in Navarre and Araba and very high (>12% in Biscay). Unemployment grew a lot (>3%) in all the area in the 2005-09 period.
    3. Youth unemployment (2009): high (35-40%)
  2.  Labor costs:
    1. Hourly labor costs (apprentices excluded) (2008, six tiers): middle-high (the Basque-Ebro mega-region): €17-23.
    2. Avg. worked hours (2008): low (the Basque-Ebro mega region): 1850-1725 h/yr. (full time workers only). (Caution: it's low for EU or even Spain but high for Germany or France and average for Italy - only Britain, Malta, Latvia and Romania are in the high or very high tiers, suggesting that the choice of tiers is not adequate but ideological).
    3. Share of employers' social contributions (social security and such) (2008): high (20-25% of the businesses' total economy). 
  3. Education:
    1. Students in University/College (2009): average (55-80% of all 20-24 yr. old citizens).
    2. Students aged 17 (2009, four tiers): very high (>95% of all).
    3. Students aged 4 (2009, four tiers): very high (>95%)
    4. Education attained (2009): very high (>34% of all the population has completed University/College)
    5. Early leavers from education and training (2009, four segments): very high: >20%
  4. Health:
    1. Malignant neoplasms (tumors) (2006-08): average c. 170 per hundred thousand people.
  5. Gross Domestic Product:
    1. GDP per capita PPS (2008): very high (>125% of EU's average)
    2. Change of GDP per capita PPS 2000-08: very high (WBC: >10%) or high (Navarre: 3-10%).
  6. Household accounts:
    1. Primary household income per inhabitant: very high (>125% of EU's average)
  7. Structural business statistics:
    1. Employment in industrial production (2008, four tiers): mid-high (30-40%)
    2. Employment in non-financial services (2008, four tiers): mid-low (WBC: 50-60%) to very low (Navarre: <50%).
    3. Business concentration (2008, four tiers): very low (the five largest non-financial companies gather <37% of employment)
  8. Land use:
    1. Landscape diversity (2009, Shanon-Evenness Index): low (0.60-0.67)
  9. Transport:
    1. Motorization rate (cars per population, Jan 1 2009, four tiers): mid-low (WBC: 40-45%) or mid-high (Navarre: 45-50%)
    2. Public transport (share of all passenger transport, Dec 31 2009): average (20-40%)
  10. Science, tech and innovation:
    1. R&D investment (2008, four tiers): mid-low (1-2% GDP)
    2. Share of researchers (2008, four tiers): mid-high (1.2-1.8% total workers)
    3. Human resources in science and technology (2009, four tiers): mid-high (25-35% of all active population).
    4. Patent applications (2006): low (25-100 per million inhabitants).
Just for the record. 

My impression:
  • Weaknesses: high unemployment , somewhat high labor costs, rather low R&D, innovation
  • Strengths: very high educative level (but also many drop-outs), very high GDP per capita (the economy works comparatively well, effective to very effective), high importance of industry (used to be a handicap but surely not anymore: now that the bubble has been burst, industry is still real stuff)

Megaupload raid: a total fiasco

Judge O'Grady establishes that the Megaupload international raid and attempt trial in the USA was a total fiasco. The cloud storage site (or "cyberlocker") was never provided with the necessary paperwork by US authorities as it was located outside of US jurisdiction. 

Last month the New Zealand High Court declared the decision to seize Dotcom's property (including Megaupload) null and void after it became obvious that the court order allowing it was irregular.

The trial will probably never happen, what does not mean that the harm is not already done. Certainly for all the people around the World who had files stored at Megaupload and saw them overnight taken from them, potentially losing lots of information or even being spied illegally by US police forces or secret services, the harm is done and will never be compensated most likely. 

Source: TorrentFreak.

"Little stories from IMF-run Greece: another political suicide as teacher and left-wing activist Savas Metoikidis ends his life" (OL-FTGS)

In the evening of April 21, 45-year old teacher and left-wing activist Savas Metoikidis hanged himself in his hometown of Stauroupoli, near the city of Xanthi in northern greece. Savas was a committed political individual and he has left behind a long manuscript explaining the reasons for his suicide, which will most likely be published in due course. According to early information about the manuscript, it is a manifesto against the memorandum and its effects upon greek society.

"'They're killing us': world's most endangered tribe cries for help" (The Guardian)

Logging companies keen to exploit Brazil's rainforest have been accused by human rights organisations of using gunmen to wipe out the Awá, a tribe of just 355. Survival International, with backing from Colin Firth, is campaigning to stop what a judge referred to as 'genocide'

Gethin Chamberlain
The Observer, Sunday 22 April 2012 

Trundling along the dirt roads of the Amazon, the giant logging lorry dwarfed the vehicle of the investigators following it. The trunks of nine huge trees were piled high on the back – incontrovertible proof of the continuing destruction of the world's greatest rainforest and its most endangered tribe, the Awá.

Yet as they travelled through the jungle early this year, the small team from Funai – Brazil's National Indian Foundation – did not dare try to stop the loggers; the vehicle was too large and the loggers were almost certainly armed. All they could do was video the lorry and add the film to the growing mountain of evidence showing how the Awá – with only 355 surviving members, more than 100 of whom have had no contact with the outside world – are teetering on the edge of extinction.

It is a scene played out throughout the Amazon as the authorities struggle to tackle the powerful illegal logging industry. But it is not just the loss of the trees that has created a situation so serious that it led a Brazilian judge, José Carlos do Vale Madeira, to describe it as "a real genocide". People are pouring on to the Awá's land, building illegal settlements, running cattle ranches. Hired gunmen – known as pistoleros – are reported to be hunting Awá who have stood in the way of land-grabbers. Members of the tribe describe seeing their families wiped out. Human rights campaigners say the tribe has reached a tipping point and only immediate action by the Brazilian government to prevent logging can save the tribe.

This week Survival International will launch a new campaign to highlight the plight of the Awá, backed by Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth. In a video to be launched on Wednesday, Firth will ask the Brazilian government to take urgent action to protect the tribe. The 51-year-old, who starred in last year's hit movie The King's Speech, and came to prominence playing Mr Darcy in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, delivers an appeal to camera calling on Brazil's minister of justice to send in police to drive out the loggers.

... full story at The Guardian

Japan: chemical complex with lots of nuclear materials burns uncontrolled

The complex is located at Iwakuni, not far from Hiroshima (Southern Honsu) and has in its premises 3379 units of radioactive waste (200L in each unit), which seems to be depleted uranium which cites Japanese sources.

Ex-SKF mentions that he could not confirm that uranium, specifically depleted uranium (used for "conventional" weapons but still highly toxic) is present but he does confirm as well documented the 3379 units of  radioactive waste (a problem big enough on its own right).

The uncontrolled fire was sparked by lightning. There are five workers injured, one dead and one missing. The depleted uranium cans were eventually found to be safe

Radiation levels have not peaked at any moment, luckily.

Source: Fukushima Diary (includes video), Ex-SKF (link1, link2), EneNews

Update: there is still uncertainty about what happened with the nuclear materials, which were just some 400 meters away from where the deflagration began. However the official stand is that the containers are intact, even if the complex has been razed by the fire. Iori Mochizuki (FD) ponders that uranium alpha rays are most difficult to measure so there may be radioactive release and not have been detected yet (sources: EneNews, Fukushima Diary).

Credit: Kyodo News

Basque Country: large protest against police violence in Bilbao

Lots of people gathered yesterday to diss off Rodolfo Ares and the Ertzaintza police corps for injuring and killing and generally applying very excessive brutality and lack of respect against the citizenry.

Source: Bilboko Branka[eu].

Bahrain: repression around World F1 championship murders one - IAF culprit!

Formula1 Second day: a protester killed, activists arrested, dozens injured

Salah Abbas, victim of the International Automobile Association
21 April 2012

Following statements from Bahraini government officials ensuring that they would provide the safety and security of F1 racers and fans, as well as threats from the Minister of Interior of escalation against protesters, the regime has intensified the crackdown against pro-democracy protesters. Weeks before the scheduled F1, villages were raided and more than 60 activists and democracy movement leaders were arrested and tortured. Collective punishment has been worsening by the use of teargas and shotguns specifically. Dozens of injuries were reported, especially of shotgun, many of which are serious.

On the second day of F1, the dead body of 36 year old Salah Abbas Habib was found. Salah is known to be a pro-democracy activist and leader in his village Abu Saibaa. He was arrested last night by riot police alongside more than 10 others after a peaceful protest when police stormed the village. All of the arrested were released after being brutally tortured, except for Salah. His family searched for him yet they could not find him. This morning, Salah’s body was found on a roof of a building in Al Shakhoura village. Witnesses confirmed shotgun injuries and torture marks on his body.

... read the full story at Bahrain Center for Human Rights.

Boycott F1!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Thousands march in Pamplona against the criminalization of working class and the right to strike

A large demonstration protested the police raids against Navarrese citizens for taking part in the General Strike of March 29th.

The worst, in a sense, is that all arrested have been released already, a clear sign that their "crimes" were not such but at the most mere misdemeanors. However by arresting people at school and such the judicial authorities (who seldom administer justice at all but mostly rubber-stamp repression) attempt to assassinate the social image of the victims of these arbitrary inquisitorial attacks.

The march, which gathered more than a thousand people and was watched closely by heavily armed police, as is apparent in the photo, culminated with a speech by representatives of the Unemployed Workers' Assembly and some unions, who denounced the budgetary cuts as an insult to intelligence, and claimed the sharing of work and wealth.

Source: Gara[es].

Greece police beats a peaceful immigrant (captured in video)

From Occupied London-From The Greek Streets:

The abuses are "normal" (sadly enough), what is rare is to have it registered in video: to be able to show what kind of criminal thugs constitute the bulk of our police forces.

Fukushima: '“Within one day complete meltdown and melt through occurred' (Kenichi Omae - Nuclear Engineer))

From Energy News:

Fukushima Investigation: “Within one day complete meltdown and melt through occurred” — “There is no way that gov’t did not know this” (VIDEO) Title: Lessons Learned From Fukushima Dai-ichi (2. BWR & Interim Report. 2011. 10. 28)

Author: Kenichi Ohmae, Nuclear engineer
Date Uploaded: Mar 21, 2012
Uploaded by: by H2OProjectBBT
English Subtitles: Click ‘CC’ button in toolbar

At 59:48 in
Within one day complete meltdown and melt through occurred.
And that material fell into the containment vessel, and started a gas leak, where gas could escape.
Water also leaks. This is extremely contaminated, and it occurred within a day.
I believe this is an extremely important point.
Even after a month had passed, the government continued to say that meltdown, any meltdown has not occurred.
But as far as we have observed, Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor one has experienced meltdown as well as complete melt through within a day of the earthquake.
And another important issue is the damage to the containment vessel itself.
It was seriously damaged so that radioactively contaminated water and gas came out of the vessel.
There is no way that the government did not know this.
Even in this investigation we ourselves can see that this situation occurred within a day.
If this had not occurred, a hydrogen explosion would not have happened either.
So a complete meltdown has occurred.
Although they must have known that a melt through had occurred, the Chief Cabinet Secretary at the time insisted that it had not.
So, we are concerned if this important information was fully disclosed or not. If we walk through what had happened at reactor No 1, one by one, then what the central government said at the time seems to be much different from what we think had actually happened.
Naturally those on site knew what was occurring, so it is natural to assume that the government was also being notified.
However, both NISA and TEPCO kept saying “a meltdown has not occurred”.
So somewhere in between, the correct information could be shut off and was not being disclosed, at least to the television or press.
I believe that this point is extremely important.
Melt-down and melt-through occurred extremely early on at Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor one.
And later, reactors 2 and 3 experienced the same accidents.