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2012 February 5 | Activist News

The Road to World War 3

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Edward Snowden

Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »


U.S. Companies Pay Just One-Third Of The Legal Tax Rate: GAO Study

Huffington Post July 1, 2013 By Mark Gongloff Big, profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of less than 13 percent in 2010, according to a new study — or More »

jeff olsen

Man Tried for Chalk Drawings Found Not Guilty

NBC San Diego July 1, 2013 By Christina London The man accused of vandalism for drawing with chalk outside banks has been found not guilty on all charges. A jury returned its More »


The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

Washington’s Blog/Global Research May 20, 2012 By George Washington Attack on the Press You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press. You might have More »

Daily Archives: February 5, 2012

Occupy Austin rallies on city hall plaza

Feb. 4, 2012

AUSTIN — After the enforcement of a new city policy removing Occupy Austin from city hall Friday night, protesters and the city were unsure what to expect Saturday night. In response, Occupy Austin began rallying at 7 p.m. on the city hall plaza.

The focus of Saturday night’s meeting will be how to handle new rules released by the city Thursday. For the first time since starting almost four months ago, Occupiers face a curfew of 10 p.m.

According to the protesters, it’s a move by the city that takes away their home, but not their cause. Occupiers stressed while numbers may appear to dwindle in public, much of their organization continues behind the scenes.

Full Article Here – http://www.kvue.com/news/local/Occupy-Austin-rallys-on-the-city-hall-plaza–138720029.html

Greek public snatches free potatoes

Associated Press
Feb. 4, 2012

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Farmers protesting the low prices they get for their potatoes handed over 12 tons to an eager public in this northern Greek town.

Farmers from the province of Central Macedonia were doling out 6-kilogram (13-pound) potato bags to members of the public in the center of the town, outside a farming exhibition. They said they were protesting middlemen who force them to sell their produce at very low prices.

“It costs us 20 cents per kilo to produce and (the wholesalers) offer us 10 to 11 cents, said Nikos Stephanidis,” an official with the farmers’ association. “It’s better to hand them out to the people than to the merchants. People are getting hungry these days,” he said, referring to the deepening financial crisis.

Full Article Here – http://news.yahoo.com/greek-public-snatches-free-potatoes-133304826.html

We Need Copyright Reform, Not ACTA!

Feb. 4, 2012

As a Member of the European Parliament, I very much welcome the increased attention the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has received in the past weeks. It has taken a while for massive outcry to emerge, but we are seeing protest voices getting louder and louder.

The internet is a great tool to alert politicians to all the dangers of this treaty, just as the internet was a tool to mobilize people against the SOPA and PIPA bills in the US. For any lobby to be effective, however, it must be fact based. Misinformed criticism helps those supporting ACTA.

The dangers and threats of the ACTA treaty are shared by free-speech advocates and access to medicine groups alike. ACTA is seeking to deal with a number of widely differing issues, and hence does not do a good job at any of them. Additionally, there are serious concerns about the collateral damage that ACTA would cause.

Regrettably, concerns by businesses, NGO’s and politicians have not led to a better result. This is partly due to the intransparant way in which ACTA has been established and negotiated. As a democratically elected representative, I believe it is not the role of government to protect outdated business models, and I do believe it is our job to ensure democratic oversight.

Besides zooming in on the details of what ACTA will and will not do, taking a step back and looking at the broader picture is also important. As someone who advocates copyright reform, notably the harmonization of copyright laws in Europe, I do not believe stricter enforcement of outdated systems is helpful or relevant. Enforcement is not even possible in many cases, and not without violating people’s fundamental rights.

Yet there is a big push towards enforcing outdated legal structures of copyright by the entertainment industry. ACTA will lock any signatory country into a system of copyright enforcement, leaving the democratic process disadvantaged to enact necessary reform of our laws to suit the digital age.

The fast development of the information society and all the innovations we have seen in the last 15 or so years have changed the way we live. People can enforce their fundamental rights of access to information, and free speech with the help of the internet. Human rights violations are documented and shared across the world, and the way we access and share information and culture such as news, music and films has changed forever. Most copyright rules were developed for the printing press and codified internationally before radio had even been invented.

Full Article Here – https://torrentfreak.com/we-need-copyright-reform-not-acta-120204/ 

Pacifists protest possible war against Iran

Feb. 4, 2012

NEW YORK — Hundreds of protesters demonstrated Saturday in New York and pacifist groups took to the streets in dozens of other US and Canadian cities in a “Day of Mass Action” against a possible war with Iran.

About 500 protesters gathered in Manhattan’s Times Square and marched to the headquarters of the US mission to the United Nations and to the Israeli consulate.

“No war, no sanctions, no intervention, no assassinations,” read a banner leading the march.

The demonstrations came as Europe and the United States slapped tough new sanctions on Iran, and Israel this week launched new threats of military intervention if the Islamic republic fails to rein in its suspected nuclear development program.

There is heightened speculation that Israel is contemplating air strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities, fueled in part by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s comments to the Washington Post in which he said he believes there is a “strong possibility” that Israel will launch such air strikes this spring.

Iran admits it has a nuclear program but insists it is for peaceful purposes like generating electricity.

“The actions of the Iranian government in no way justify a US war on Iran,” Debra Sweet, director of the organization “The World Can’t Wait,” told AFP at the New York march.

The protest joined efforts from a coalition of about 60 pacifist and human rights organizations.

A leaflet distributed at the New York demonstration said “in many ways, US war on Iran has already begun,” citing as examples “harsh economic sanctions” against Tehran, “killing Iranian scientists in car bombings” and that “US aircraft carriers are right off Iran’s shore.”

“I don’t know what (US President Barack) Obama will do but I do know what he has done, which is very hard sanctions that only will hurt ordinary people,” Sweet said.

Full Article Here – http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gCPmDGVDmeurx_7Q-ZVcNcnvaBCg?docId=CNG.a0020ad8559deea80878b0afe48e154f.e1 

China cut off internet in area of Tibetan unrest

Feb. 3, 2012

Chinese officials cut off mobile phone and internet connections to areas where Tibetans were shot dead amid unrest last month, state media has reported.

Officials say security forces fired in self-defence after mobs of rioters attacked police and official buildings in the south-western province of Sichuan, resulting in two deaths.

Tibetan exiles and campaign groups say police fired at peaceful protesters and killed at least three people.

It has been impossible to verify accounts of the unrest. Foreign reporters attempting to visit the region have been turned back, with officials blaming bad weather and the state of the roads.

Friday’s English-language edition of the Global Times newspaper published a report from the region titled Monks Run Amok. The police chief of Luhuo in Ganzi – a county known to Tibetans as Drango – said police first tried to disperse rioters with high-power water guns and rubber bullets, but failed.

“Rioters continued to attack and tried to grab the guns from the police,” he told the paper. “[Officers] first shot in the air as a warning, but it was completely ignored, so we had no other choice but to open fire.”

The newspaper said the incident began with a protest that became violent. It said other Tibetan-populated counties had quickly tightened security, allowing police to quickly control the next day’s unrest in Seda, known to Tibetans as Serthar, where another Tibetan was shot dead.

“After the riots, internet connections and mobile phone signals were cut off for over 50km [30 miles] around the riot areas. Police believe external forces played a part in the riots,” the newspaper said.

In 2009, China cut off internet and text messaging services across the north-western region of Xinjiang after ethnic riots in the capital, Urumqi, left almost 200 dead.

Officials blamed “trained separatists” for instigating the events in Ganzi. They have also sought to blame outsiders for a string of self-immolations by Tibetan clergy and laypeople over the last year, mostly in Sichuan.

China appears to have stepped up security across other Tibetan areas, with the top party official in Lhasa urging security forces to increase surveillance of monasteries and main roads in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Full Article Here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/03/china-internet-links-tibetan-unrest 

Turkish jails filling up with journalists

Jerusalem Post
Feb. 4, 2012

Aziz Tekin, a correspondent for the Kurdish-language newspaper Azadiya Welat, had the misfortune of becoming a news item himself over the weekend when he became the 105th journalist in Turkey to be put behind bars.

That places Turkey – a country usually hailed as an exemplar of democracy and Islam – ahead of such repressive regimes as Iran and China with the largest number jailed journalists in the world according to the Platform of Solidarity with Imprisoned Journalists.

Others take issue with exactly how many of the detainees are being held purely for doing their jobs, but they don’t deny that scores of media professionals are being detained and face laws and a judicial system that makes it easy to put and keep them behind bars.

“The press is quite pluralistic and rather free, but it remains dangerous for a journalist who writes a critical article against the government, especially on the Kurdish issue or criticizing the judiciary. The risk of getting arrested is really high,” Johann Bihr, head of the Europe desk at the international press freedom group Reporters Without Borders, told The Media Line.

The number of detentions has increased “exponentially” in recent months, he said. Turkey fell 10 places on Reporters’ International Press Freedom Index to 148 among 179 countries. 

In December, some 30 journalists were rounded up in raids across the country targeting the Kurdish separatist movement. A day before Tekin was hauled in, a court in Istanbul refused to release 13 journalists including Ahmet Sık and Nedim Sener of the Oda TV news portal.

The wave of arrests prompted the US author Paul Auster, whose books are popular in Turkey, to declare he is boycotting the country. “I refuse to come to Turkey because of imprisoned journalists and writers. How many are jailed now? Over 100?” Auster told the Istanbul daily Hurriyet this week.

The arrests come against a background of a changing power dynamic in Turkish politics. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), the first Islamist movement ever to rule in Turkey, is marking a decade in power, presiding over a booming economy while it gently inserts more religion into public life and its backers into key institutions like the courts and the military.

The army, which once dominated Turkish politics and served as a guardian of the country’s secularism, is in retreat.

Erkan Saka, who teaches at Istanbul Bilgi University’s communications school and blogs at Erkan’s Field Diary, said the arrests are part of that realignment, which is now encompassing the secular, establishment media. “Under normal conditions, mainstream media has values in parallel to establishment, but now establishment itself is changing,” he said.

The arrests almost always involve journalists linked to Kurdish separatism or a shadowy anti-government conspiracy called Ergenekon that officials have been investigating in what they say was a wide-ranging plot by the army and other members of the old elite to overthrow the AKP.

Critics say the judiciary, which is directly responsibility for the arrests, makes little effort  to distinguish between people covering controversial issues and the people and movements they are covering. Thus last December, the scores people rounded up for alleged links with a Kurdish separatist movement included journalists and Kurdish activists alike.

Full Article Here – http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=256433