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2012 February 13 | 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 13, 2012

OccupyKXL: The 99 Percent Takes A Stand With 24 Hours Against Keystone

Think Progress
Feb. 13, 2012
By Brad Johnson

A broad coalition of the grassroots progressive movement is launching a 24-hour effort to mobilize 500,000 people opposing Republican efforts to approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. GOP senators “plan to file an amendment mandating the project to the Senate transportation package Monday,” the Hill reports. In a Daily Kos diary, 350.org founder Bill McKibben — who led thousands of Americans who got arrested last summer in front of the White House in opposition to the pipeline — explains the “powerful, unified fight” to “keep this pipeline dead“:

We’re going to war at noon eastern today–non-violent war, but a powerful, unified fight against the heart of right-wing power, the fossil fuel industry. We’re out to collect half a million emails in 24 hours telling the Senate: back up the president and keep this pipeline dead. It’s going to be the most concentrated burst of environmental activism this millennium–and it needs you.

This effort includes a diverse coalition of the national environmental movement — including the Environmental Defense Fund, Rainforest Action Network, the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation and Green For All. As McKibben said, it’s “everyone else who’s ever tried to save a whale, clean a lake, build a park, find a solar job.”

The 24-hour push isn’t just a “green” cause, but one of the American progressive movement. Other organizations participating in the petition drive include MoveOn, Credo, Democracy for America, Public Citizen, Change.org, the Labor Network for Sustainability, and businesses like Patagonia.

Bill McKibben will be on the Colbert Report tonight to discuss the effort to prevent the destruction of our climate for the profit of foreign oil companies.

Full Article Here – http://thinkprogress.org/green/2012/02/13/423901/occupykxl-the-99-percent-takes-a-stand-with-24-hours-against-keystone/?mobile=nc

Bahrain police fire tear gas at protesters

Associated Press
Feb. 13, 2012

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Security forces in Bahrain fired tear gas and stun grenades at protesters trying to occupy a landmark square in the nation’s capital on Monday ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Gulf kingdom’s Shiite-led uprising.
Thousands of opposition supporters marched through Manama’s streets in the largest attempt in months to retake Pearl Square, the central roundabout that served as the epicenter of weeks of protests last year by Bahrain’s Shiite majority against the ruling Sunni dynasty.
Thousands of riot police and other security forces have staked out positions around the square and across the Gulf island nation to prevent the opposition from staging a mass rally in or near the plaza to mark Tuesday’s one-year anniversary of the revolt.

Opposition supporters were undeterred by the authorities’ warnings of zero tolerance for anti-government activities around the strategic island that is the home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.
“We will not back down,” said Nader Abdulimam, who had taken refuge in a house just outside of Manama with other protesters overcome by tear gas. “This has gone on for one year and it will go for another year or more.”
Some protesters hurled firebombs and rocks after the security forces fired tear gas. In an area about six miles (10 kilometers) west of central Manama, some demonstrators stood atop Bahrain’s ancient burial mounds — some more than 5,000 years old — waving flags featuring the image of Pearl Square’s six-pronged monument.
More than 50 police vehicles filled a site that protesters have dubbed “Freedom Square,” which hosted several government-sanctioned opposition gatherings last week.

After the government imposed martial law last March in response to the demonstrations, security forces stormed the protesters’ encampment at the landmark square in a bid to crush the uprising. The authorities then razed the towering white monument that stood in the center of the plaza.

The now heavily guarded square holds great symbolic value for Bahrain’s opposition movement, and protesters have repeatedly tried to reoccupy it. But authorities have effectively locked off the capital to demonstrations since March.
Emergency rule was lifted in June, but street battles between security forces and protesters still flare up almost every day in the predominantly Shiite villages around the capital.
At least 40 people have been killed during months of unprecedented political unrest in Bahrain, the Gulf country hardest hit by upheaval during last year’s Arab Spring protests. Neighboring Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-ruled Gulf states dispatched troops to Bahrain in March to help crush the protests.

Full Article Here – http://news.yahoo.com/bahrain-police-fire-tear-gas-protesters-141027194.html  

Amazon defenders face death or exile

Feb. 13, 2012

A single shot to the temple was Mouth Organ John’s reward for spilling the beans. His friend, Junior José Guerra, fared only marginally better.

Guerra’s prize for speaking out against the illegal loggers laying waste to the greatest tropical rainforest on Earth? A broken home, two petrified children and an uncertain exile from a life he had spent years building in the Brazilian Amazon.

“I can’t go back,” said Guerra, one of the Amazon’s newest environmental refugees, three months after his friend’s brutal murder forced him, his wife and his two children into hiding. “We’ve been told that they are trying to find out where I am. The situation is very complicated.”

Mouth Organ John, 55, and Guerra, 38, lived along the BR-163, a remote and treacherous highway that cuts from north to south through the Amazon state of Para. They were migrants from Brazil‘s south who came in search of a better life.

Neither man was a card-carrying environmentalist and both had reportedly been previously involved with environmental crimes. Still, they opted to commit something widely considered a cardinal sin in this isolated corner of Brazil – they informed on criminals allegedly making millions from the illegal harvesting of ipê trees from conservation units in a corner of the Amazon known as the Terra do Meio, or Middle Land.

In a region often compared to the Wild West, betraying those pillaging the rainforest all too often leads to a coffin or to exile.

Mouth Organ John, an amateur musician and mechanic whose real name was João Chupel Primo, met his fate first.

Last October, he and Guerra handed the authorities a dossier outlining the alleged activities of illegal loggers and land-grabbers in the region. Within days two men appeared at Primo’s workshop in the city of Itaituba and shot him dead. A bloody photograph of his corpse, laid out on a mortician’s slab, made a local tabloid. “There are signs this was an execution,” the local police chief, José Dias, told the paper.

Guerra escaped death, but he too lost his life. Told of his friend’s murder, he locked himself indoors, clutching a shotgun to ward off the gunmen. The next day, he was spirited out of town by federal police. Since then Guerra has embarked on a lonely pilgrimage across Brazil, journeying thousands of miles in search of support and safety. He became the latest Amazonian exile – people forced into self-imposed hiding or police protection because of their stance against those destroying the environment.

“They will order the murder of anyone who reports them [to authorities],” Guerra said this week over a crackly phone line from his latest hideout. “We thought that … if we reported these crimes they [the government] would do something … But actually João was murdered as a result.”

Full Article Here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/12/brazil-amazon-rainforest-activists-murder  

Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning in France

Feb. 13, 2012
By Marion Douet

A French court on Monday declared U.S. biotech giant Monsanto(MON.N) guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer, a judgment that could lend weight to other health claims against pesticides.

In the first such case heard in court in France, grain grower Paul Francois says he suffered neurological problems including memory loss, headaches and stammering after inhaling Monsanto’s (MON.N) Lasso weedkiller in 2004.

He blames the agri-business giant for not providing adequate warnings on the product label.

The ruling was given by a court in Lyon, southeast France, which ordered an expert opinion of Francois’s losses to establish the sum of damages.

Lawyers for Monsanto could not immediately be reached for comment.

Previous health claims from farmers have foundered because of the difficulty of establishing clear links between illnesses and exposure to pesticides.

“I am alive today, but part of the farming population is going to be sacrificed and is going to die because of this,” Francois, 47, told Reuters.

He and other farmers suffering from illness set up an association last year to make a case that their health problems should be linked to their use of crop protection products.

The agricultural branch of the French social security system says that since 1996, it has gathered farmers’ reports of sickness potentially related to pesticides, with about 200 alerts a year. 

Full Article Here – http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/02/13/france-pesticides-monsanto-idINDEE81C0FQ20120213

NATO says found Afghan children dead after air strike

Feb. 13, 2012
By Rob Taylor and Mirwais Harooni

NATO-led forces in Afghanistan said on Monday they found the bodies of dead children after a coalition air strike that has enraged the Afghan government, and said their deaths may have been linked to an anti-insurgent operation in the area.

The air strike took place last Wednesday near the village of Giawa, in eastern Kapisa province, and followed similar bombings that have stoked tension between the government and NATO over a civilian death toll that has risen annually for five years.

NATO aircraft and ground forces attacked insurgents on open ground in the Najrab district of Kapisa, said Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, a spokesman for NATO’s 130,000-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

“Following the engagement additional casualties were discovered and these casualties were young Afghans of varying ages,” Jacobson told reporters.

“At this point in our assessment we can neither confirm nor deny, with reasonable assurance, a direct link to the engagement. Nonetheless, any death of innocents not associated with armed conflict is a tragedy,” he said.

Afghan government officials showed gruesome photographs of eight dead boys, and said seven of them had been aged between six and 14, while one had been around 18 years old. They were bombed twice while herding sheep in heavy snow and lighting a fire to keep warm, they said.

“Where were the rights for these children who have been violated? Did they have rights or not? Did they have rights to live as part of the world community?” said Mohammad Tahir Safi, a member of parliament sent by President Hamid Karzai to investigate the air strike.

French soldiers in the area were denied permission to call in air support for an attack north of an area called Ahmad Bik hill, Safi said, citing Afghan security officials in Kapisa, northeast of Kabul.

Despite that, the air strike was launched, Safi said.

Jacobson said the anti-insurgent operation had been carried out according to NATO rules on air strikes, which have been tightened and reviewed under pressure from Karzai and the government.

Karzai’s popularity is damaged by civilian deaths and he has repeatedly urged NATO forces to stop killing villagers.

The Afghan government said the Kapisa attack, and a recent air strike in the eastern province of Kunar that killed seven civilians, had people in both provinces demanding curbs on NATO operations ahead of the planned departure of foreign combat troops by the end of 2014.


The United Nations said this month the number of civilians killed and wounded in the Afghan war had risen for the fifth year in a row, from 2,790 civilian deaths in 2010 to 3,021 in 2011.

Most deaths were caused by insurgents, the United Nations said, but civilian deaths due to NATO air strikes also rose nine percent to 187. Air strikes were the main reason behind civilian deaths caused by NATO. 

Full Article Here – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/13/us-afghanistan-airstrike-idUSTRE81C0MU20120213 

Greek protesters, police clash as MPs pass austerity plan

Sydney Morning Herald
Feb. 12, 2012

Greek police used tear gas on petrol bomb-throwing protesters outside parliament where lawmakers were debating a new austerity plan aimed at staving off bankruptcy.

Despite the protests, the Greek parliament voted to pass the austerity bill needed for the bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Police said some 80,000 protesters were massed outside the building and at nearby Omonia Square, with some 3000 police deployed and more protesters arriving. Another 15,000 were gathered in Greece’s second city Thessaloniki.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told parliament that it must approve the government-approved plan needed to unlock a 130 billion euro ($160 billion) rescue fund from the EU and the IMF or Greece would be forced to default.

“The situation is very clear. Tonight at midnight before the markets open the Greek parliament must send the message that our nation can and will (support the debt deal),” Venizelos said.

“Today we must understand, and persuade Greek citizens, that when you have to choose between bad and worse, you will choose the bad to avoid the worst,” he added.

On the eve of the vote, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos warned the country that “we are a breath away from Ground Zero.”

He urged deputies to grasp their “historic responsibility” to secure the country’s financial future and warned of “economic and social catastrophe” if parliament failed to agree to the deeply unpopular cuts needed to secure the international rescue.

Sunday’s protesters included trade unionists, youths with shaven heads waving Greek flags, communist activists and left-wing sympathisers, many of them equipped with gas masks.