Monday, January 31, 2011

Footage of a battle between police and civilians in Cairo

From via YouTube: curious battle over a bridge on the Nile, while police first break the popular resistance they are eventually pushed back (did they run out of ammo or what?)

Tahrir square dawns wrapped in barbed wire

Egypt's dictator moves to repress its people: the center of the Egyptian Revolution, Tahrir Square in Cairo, has been cordoned with barbed wire by the army while the police (which had been absent from the streets except as plain clothes armed looters in the last couple of days) has been redeployed. 

It is easy to fear a Tiananmen-style massacre, however the likelihood of Mubarak's regime surviving whatever they do is nearly zero. Unlike P.R. China in 1989, the Egyptian regime has nothing to offer but misery and repression... and that is a sure recipe for a successful revolution. 

Both Tel Aviv and Cairo have been emphasizing the importance of Egypt's stability, meaning that they are asking their allies to back Mubarak no matter what. It is easy to understand how both the Neo-Pharaonic tyranny and the Jewish apartheid regime in Palestine would feel such a panic: effectively Egypt is the heartland of the Arab World, borders Palestine and controls the Red Sea routes, there is hardly any more strategic state worldwide, and that is specially true for the Zionist colony.

This may mean a violent crackdown by the regime with cautious approval by the Empire. I hope to be wrong about this but it is my fear anyhow. Would it be otherwise, the army would have already kicked Mubarak out and placed an interim national unity government to steer the transition. 

But such a violent solution can only be bread for today and hunger for tomorrow. It should be clear to any observer that Mubarak nor his regime can hold to power as they have done until now. Violence will not solve anything, just aggravate the social and political conflict and make a peaceful smooth transition less likely.

A mega-protest has been called for tomorrow, Tuesday, by the April 6th Movement, reports Al Jazeera.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

South Sudan breaks apart, North Sudan revolts against Bashir

I must welcome this exercise of self-determination by the people of South Sudan, which was put under Islamist and Arab Nationalist boot by the designs of the colonial powers and now, after decades of liberation war can finally exert their fundamental right to decide their own destiny.

While the country is often described in Western or even Arab press as "Christian and Pagan", the reality is that most people are not affiliated to any imperialist Yahvistic religion whatsoever. There do not seem to be more Christians in South Sudan than in, say, Egypt.

Referendum's story at BBC, Al Jazeera.

South Sudan-administrative map PL

Uprising at Khartoum

While South Sudan heads for independence, North Sudan heads, it seems, for yet another revolution with clashes between protesters and security forces at Khartoum, clearly influenced by the nearby Egyptian Revolution. 

Full story at Al Jazeera.

Fifth day of the Egyptian Initifada

As mentioned yesterday, all that Mubarak can think of, like his colleagues from Tunisia or Algeria is in keeping the dictatorship no matter what. In that desperate effort, he enjoys the support of the most powerful forces worldwide: the USA and its empire, the European vassals, Israel and the Zionist International, Saudi Arabia and its cartel of fundamentalist oil-rich aristocrats, Allah-God-Yaveh and the rotten souls of the child-rapist priests and organ-trafficking rabbis, I guess.... 

But they lack one critical element: the support of the people, something even Machiavelli realized as fundamental for any prince to be able to rule. While you may not need a devoted enthusiastic people, you certainly need at least a content people in order to be able to rule in the mid run. That applies as much for tyrants as for elect rulers - in any case the difference between these is often barely a hair thin. 

Police as looters

The most impressive card Mubarak has been able to play so far is appointing the intelligence chief as vice-president. Simultaneously hundreds of armed gangs of plain-clothes policemen have been launched around to loot and inflict fear into the hearts of the people. They have even caused important destruction in Cairo Museum. 

See here, here and here

The Army undecided

All reports I have read tell of an Army that does not want to fire against the people. This is as good as it can get because that's the easiest way for revolutions to succeed: by bringing the Army to the side of the people. In general it seems that the Army is just trying to buffer (without resorting to violence) and to protect property. 

See here and here

Secular revolution

Yesterday I read how the Islamists' chants of God is great! were silenced by others chanting Muslim, Christians: we are all Egyptians. In this and many other details it is apparent that the Egyptian revolution is a secular and popular one, even if the Islamists have some stronger presence in Egypt than in Tunisia. 

Whatever the media says, what is going on is an act of democracy against too long-lasting and unjust tyrannies. It has to be that way: this status quo was in any case totally wrong. And here I mean wrong not just in an ethical way but in the way of efficiency: tyranny is not efficient because the same people will demand the same results one way or another. And tyrants are always weaker, because of lack of legitimacy. Tyrants can save 10 here by imposition at the cost of 100 then in corruption and police costs... and they break easily.

See also Al Jazeera's live blog for details.

Israel murders more people

Probably benefiting from the smoke screen provided by the Egyptian revolution, the racist state in Palestine (Israel) continues its policy of murder and genocide. At least two people have been murdered these days by the Zionist death squads:

Jawaher Abu Rahman, 36, was murdered by Zionist troops/police when protesting against the apartheid wall at Bilin. She breathed too much tear gas. She is not the first one to be killed that way by the Zionist criminals at Bilin: whole families have been murdered with tear gas, including her brother Bassem, killed less than a year ago.

Jawaher Abu Rahman, murdered by Israel
Youshef Ikhlayl was murdered by settler death squads on Friday. Two death squads went into Beit Umar shooting wildly. They injured two: Bilal al-Aqdor was injured in the arm, while Youshef was hit in the head, what caused his death.

Youshef Ikhlayl

In protest people blockaded a road for an hour but then the Zionist army invaded the village and injured many. There was also a protest in Jaffa, as part of an already planned march against settlements.

Demo against settlements in Jaffa
Source: Anarchists against the Wall.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Egyptian intifada continues

While the information is limited because of the blackout imposed by the tyrant, it seems that the people have gone out today again against Mubarak, demanding "regimen change, not cabinet change". 

The institutional NDP party's see is ablaze and demonstrators have been reported attempting to assault the Presidency and the Ministry of Interior. A member of the ruling party, M. Reda Boutros, threw invectives Sarkozy-style against the "mobs" that dominate the revolution in Egypt and how they are "low class". 

Yes, it is the class war, Mr. Reda, have no doubt. And also have no doubt that thanks to the ones like you today all Egypt and nearly all the World are "low class", "canaille", as Sarko would put it.

Beijing panics 

Besides, it seems that the Chinese regime has panicked. So much that "Egypt" cannot be searched for in the East Asian country. This is very interesting because a Maoist system like the one supposedly ruling in Beijing, should support a revolution like the one happening in Egypt and across the Arab World. However they are only worried about their own population realizing that things can change, a clear symptom of an exhausted regime, a regime that gave up trying to be communist long ago and is not just fascism under a red banner.

One thing is clear: this revolutionary wave is to shake all the authoritarian regimes still standing. Why? Because these have got like four decades to reform themselves and have not done it. They must pay for it, naturally. 

It's the survival of the fittest and regimes that do not deliver social justice, dignity and freedom are clearly unfit. The jury is on the streets... and the streets are burning.

Update: Israel moves out all its diplomats: the Zionist embassy is empty (more at JSF).

In Palestine too

Well, at least at its embassy in London. Students took over the office of the ambassador of the Palestinian Authority in London demanding new Palestine Council elections (source: Jews sans frontieres, ultimately The Guardian). This happened two days ago but remained hidden (not first page).

Hamas won the last elections in 2006 and was removed by an Israeli-supported bantustan coup by Mahmoud Abbas (Al Fatah), who still rules by decree in spite of his term having expired years ago. No elections have been held in the Palestinian bantustans since then and therefore look like natural terrain for the pan-Arab intifada going on all around. However, it is a country under a terrible racist regime that does not doubt murdering the native people by the dozens. On the other hand it cannot escape the logic in the rest of the Arab World: a bunch of Zionist settlers and the VI Fleet cannot really stop the tide.

Mubarak digs in, the people wants him out

Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak dismissed his government just after midnight and announced a new one for today, while people fought against the army and police forces in the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and other cities. Internet and mobile phone networks are still down in the country of the Nile, which dawned in an eerie calm after dozens have already been killed in the struggle.

Opposition politicians and common citizens demand Mubarak to resign and leave the country. The dictator has been ruling Egypt with an iron fist for 30 years but the once proud country has only sunk in an economic and political decadence that now strives to reach a dignified final. 

Egypt is the third recipient of US military aid after Israel and Colombia (all great democracies, keep it up, Uncle Sam!), however the army was unhappy because the check was recently cut down, as revealed by Wikileaks' cables. It is still the largest paycheck by Uncle Sam to any Arab army, so there will be no doubt strong interest among colonels and generals to remain in their mercenary role under the Empire. 

It is to see if this will be achieved at all and how. 

Egypt is as large by population as Germany, Vietnam, Turkey, Iran or Ethiopia, but in addition to its demographic and economic weight (26th by GDP-PPP), it also controls most strategic assets such as the Suez Canal and the south-western border of Palestine (be it under the name of Israel or Gaza Strip). It is therefore a critical country for the Empire, which is unlikely to accept any government not its vassal.
But they must think of a replacement and fast because the power of Mubarak is obviously slipping away.

Friday, January 28, 2011

And the Intifada reaches Jordan

Thousands of people demonstrated in Amman, Jordan, demanding the resignation of the government.

However in this case it is all organized by the Islamists. But the problems are the same as elsewhere: corruption and nepotism, autocracy, rising prices, increased exploitation of the working classes, etc.

Egypt: repression increases but it's so obviously desperate

There's something everybody agrees about: Egypt is a zillion times more important than Tunisia, Algeria or Yemen.

I'd dare say that it is also a much more clear case of untenable government, so untenable that the USA itself has been coyly supporting option B: El Baradei.

Whatever the case if Mubarak is ousted as he will be (surely in few hours), a lot of people will get very nervous, from Washington to Riyadh, from Brussels to Tel Aviv, from Rabat to Tehran.

Al Jazeera is mapping the latest news from Egypt and reports that a curfew has been imposed, along with communications blackout and that the army is on the streets in Cairo and other cities. 

Demonstrations seem permanent or almost so in Alexandria, Damietta (buildings burned), Port Said, Ismailiya, Suez (police station taken, prisoners freed), Mansoura, Mahalla, Luxor and Cairo. A person killed in Cairo and another in Suez is the latest body count for today only.

Most of the action is happening in Cairo, where the army and special operations police forces are struggling to keep the demonstrators in the west bank of the Nile, a bridge away from the city's center. However demonstrators have been reported near the Presidential Palace less an hour ago or so.

I'd dare forecast that all looks like Mubarak is heading to the airport right now. Otherwise he should not last more than a couple of days in the most optimistic case. It's a very interesting moment: a lot of gates are being opened... we certainly need some air.

Another loot is possible

Forget about another world is possible... the alternative now only seems to be who makes the plunder: whether it is the Sheriff of Sherwood or the Merry Men of the Forest. This is the idea that some people attempted to transmit in yesterday's General Strike at Bilbao:

Another plunder is possible. Choose yours.
From Sare Antifaxista.

Related: four people were arrested after they caused a major traffic blockade by throwing oil barrels to an important road access to Bilbao.  They also placed a banner reading "Yesterday strike what for? It's struggle day!"

Source: SA.

Revolution continues in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia

Most notably Egypt had cut all Internet access since yesterday, though workarounds are possible by using dial up routers. Regardless the protests continue in the country of the Nile and it does not look like abasing any time soon unless Mubarak leaves. Sadly in the Arab World many believe that "the regimes that fight, are regimes that survive", what may make the natural outcome slower and more painful. 


In this sense, in Tunis, continuity PM M. Gannouchi accepted to remove all of Ben Ali's regime politicians from his government... all but himself. It is not clear how comprehensive the new government will be as no communist presence is mentioned and a liberal-islamist coalition has already been denounced as the plan B of the CIA.

Much better would be if the PCOT and UGTT joined forces to create a working class soviet-style direct democracy. However I imagine that the UGTT is not ready for such a radical change. 

But really this impasse created by Gannouchi and other NATO puppets can only be solved by the formation of worker councils in every town and neighborhood, eventually replacing the obsolete old regime structures from bottom up. 

Source: Al Jazeera.


Peaceful civic protests continued in Yemen, where the regime is pretty weak and faces separatism from the South (former Democratic Republic of Yemen) and the Shia minority (Houtis). However here the regime managed to organize counter-marches in a sign of strength, saying Yemen is not Tunisia.

They also said Ireland is not Greece... right?

Source: Al Jazeera.


The hottest is anyhow right now in Egypt, where, as said, internet access has been cut and protests continue for the third or fourth day in a row.

The semi-illegal Muslim Brotherhood (akin to Hamas and a major opposition force) had avoided taking part in the protests so far but now they have decided to join them. 

Clashes between protesters and police continue along the cities of Egypt. 

Sources: BBC, BBC, Al Jazeera.

Basque, Catalan and Galician general strike report

Demo in Pamplona
In the Basque Country the following was pretty much general. 61% of companies with more than 50 workers were stopped in the Western Country, while the incidence in Navarre was also very high, specially in the central, western and northern areas.

Unions have complained of abusive imposition of minimal services, specially in transport and hospitals.

The effect of the strike in education was between 65% and 100%, with higher impact in the private sector (80%) than in the public one (65%). In the public administration the impact was between 40% and 55%.

Pensioners demonstrated too
In the public healthcare service, Osakidetza, the minimal services imposed reached 80% of the workers, what effectively neutralized the strike. Still the impact was significant where possible.

In the services sector it is notable that this time cooperativist workers have joined the strike, what caused many supermarkets of  the major company Eroski (a workers' cooperative) to close. Also private markets like Carrefour and Alcampo have been closed.

Public TV and radio also joined the strike, even if sabotaged by abusive minimal services' decrees.

Source: Gara.

This nonviolent picket at Gasteiz was attacked by police
There were some incidents as Capital's pickets, the police, were quite active, harassing union activists. In Gasteiz they charged against pickets and arrested a woman. Similarly they charged in Sestao against an informative picket beating a worker on the ground, who was later arrested accused of public disorder.

Further arrests are reported in Trapagaran, Gernika and Donostia.

In Bilbao a picket managed to irrupt into the mafioso fascist retailer El Corte Inglés, throwing some eggs, what prompted a charge by the police, this time without arrests.

Source: Gara.

Also three people (left) chained themselves at the entrance of the Volkswagen factory at Landaben industrial zone, near Pamplona, retarding production by 15 minutes. They were arrested. Police was particularly active protecting the German multinational. (Gara)

In Catalonia

The CGT reported following of 20-40% in transport, including subway, buses and air logistics. Lesser impact was reported for public administration, post services and university, as well as important industries like SEAT, Roca, Prismia, Mahle, Gearbox and Nestlé. (Gara)

From La Haine:

Police repression was apparent since early on in the morning. Sabotages helped to block some railroads (video below). The see of yellow unions CC.OO. and UGT was occupied, as well as several sees of La Caixa savings bank.

More photos from the morning pickets in Catalonia:

In Galicia

Police violence at Ourense
The biggest impact was in public transport, almost totally stopped, trash collection and industry.

Notable in this regard have been the naval sector of Vigo, Ferrol, Ourense, Vilagarcia d'Arousa, Compostela, Pontevedra, Marín... The impact of the walkout is reported to be in some companies above 50% or even 70%, with almost total stoppage as mentioned in public services like transport or trash collection, including closure of the Compostela airport. 50-60% was also the reported walkout among public servants.

In all places, violent police repression and silence in the media were reported. Also there are reports of the officialist twin unions, UGT and CC.OO., organizing counter-pickets encouraging people to go to work the very day they signed the renounciaton to the social rights so hardly obtained and maintained.

In general my perception is that, in spite of the modesty of the reports, Galicia went pretty much massively to the strike, even if the major Spanish unions boycotted it.

Sources: Diario Liberdade (1, 2, 3), La Haine.

Police attacks large demo in Madrid. Other demos in Valencia, Valladolid...

While the rest of the state did not join the strike, there was a journey of struggle called anyhow, gathering many people in Madrid. The demonstration was attacked by Spanish anti-riot police, who violently beat many demonstrators. A victim is reported to have suffered some 50 canings with the police baton.

There was a failed attempt to march to Parliament after the demo had been officially dissolved, while other people instead reacted to police presence raising barrickades (photo).

Source: La Haine.

Numerous people also demonstrated in Valencia and Valladolid:



Thursday, January 27, 2011

On strike

January 27th is a struggle journey in the Southern Basque Country against the attempts by the Spanish state and the Euro-banksters to demolish the system of pensions... just because... because they will make no money out of this reform: it is just a sign of bowing before the masters of International Capital without any purpose at all.

If they are so needy of budget cuts (lies!), first they should lower the salaries of the king, the ministers, the state councilors, parliament members, generals, subsecretaries, judges, etc. The next one is to cut the military budget: bring the troops from Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Ceuta and Melilla, then police budget, and so on.

Ultimately it will be unavoidable to declare bankruptcy, just not to bear the burden of loans, but first of all is to cut the salary of the king, of the prime minister, of the generals and the judges. They can afford a little haircut or a dozen, believe me.

The strike has been extended to other parts of Spain as anarcho-syndicalist, Catalan and Galician unions have joined this call.

But the strike begins now.

General strike - closed

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Xabier Beortegi tells how the Guardia Civil tortured him

Xabier Beortegi was the only member of watchdog site that was set free after being tortured by Spanish police. His change of mind, not ratifying the police declaration before the judge, after being tortured and brainwashed for 85 hours, may be why he is now free, unlike most of his comrades.

From the press conference as reported by Gara:

It has bee the experience most to the edge of my whole life and I just hope that this happens to nobody else ever. We cannot allow such a gang of psychopaths to be at large doing whatever they want.

After the preliminary arrest phase, when the treatment was "correct", he was given away to a distinct group of policemen who told him that they were a special group, adding:

Until now it has all been laughter but now the nightmare begins.

He was under the custody of this special group of policemen in all the journey to Madrid. He does not even know how long they took to bring him to Madrid.

It must take some 5 hours but for me it was eternal, it could have been 24 hours, I do not know.
In the transportation he was beaten and abused sexually:

They were obsessed with the testicles and touching but they also beat me on the head. 

Upon arrival he could not stand and had to be carried by several of his torturers. He was sent to the dungeon, the hole, kept in total obscurity and silence with the help of a blindfold. Now and then he got him for interrogation:

It was continuous beatings on the head. And they forced me to remain in squatting position until extenuation; then, when I could not even breath anymore, they placed a bag on my head. All this was continuous.


Eventually a moment came when I said: alright, I will cooperate, I will do what you want, I will say that I killed Manolete [a famous bullfighter who died in action, Spanish expression implying self-accusing beyond what can be believed]. Then the written questions and answers showed up. I had a whole evening to learn them. You accuse yourself, you accuse others, whatever... Then they send you back to the hole and things get calm for a while. Then they came and said: alright, this is easy, now ratify this before the judge and you will get out free. 

Right then I assumed it was that way. But in the last moment I decided that no way: that I was going to tell the truth to the judge. 

Unlike his colleagues, he was set free. Never trust a Guardia Civil.

Members of Torturaren Aurkako Taldea (TAT, Team Against Torture) also took part in the press conference. They denounced the attitude of super-judge Fernando Grande-Marlaska who is obviously helping and protecting torture and unbelievable self-accusations, even ignoring the denunciation by state appointed defense lawyers and sending victims of torture to prison on nothing but forced confessions.

They also denounced that, while the Basque People is taking solid steps in favor of peace and democracy, the Spanish and French states are responding with arrests and tortures.

Also US watchdog Human Rights Watch denounced yesterday that Spain has rejected the recommendations made by this organization in order to prevent torture, which included the suppression of the incommunication regime.

Video of the press conference (in Spanish):

Thanks to Ateak Ireki (open the doors), a new Navarrese watchdog site, created by journalists, that is paying particular attention to this persecution.

Related (background) posts: here, here, here, here and here.

Intifada reaches Egypt

As expected it would happen, yesterday thousands went out to the streets causing Mubarak's family to run like cowards to their refuge in London. The figures mentioned are of several hundred thousands demonstrating across the country, often clashing with the police.

Three dead have been reported, two of them in Suez, where police unleashed the dogs against demonstrating citizens (yet the causes of death are said to be inhaling gas and a rock, according to police). A policeman was apparently killed in Cairo by a rock (again according to police sources).

The protests were called by mobile phone and the internet, using the holiday of the police (Jan 25th) to underline the brutality of Egypt's police state where arbitrary arrests, torture chambers and general police brutality is the norm. 

It is quite clear to any observer that Mubarak's regime is a walking-dead, as his own health is vanishing and the people's tolerance towards islamo-fascist dictatorships promoted by the Washington-Tel Aviv-Riyadh triad has worn thinner than a hair. In a sense it reminds of what happened in Latin America in the late 20th century, though some have also compared with the popular revolts of Eastern Europe in the early 90s. 

Whatever the case, a whole era is finishing these days, I have no doubt about it. These revolutions in North Africa may be even more important than the equivalent in Europe in global relevance and in any case they are clearly related, as in both cases we have a scenario in which the establishment cannot (or does not want to) deliver anymore to the people... and the people in turn takes over in a beautiful exercise of democracy, of people's power. 

BP denounced as racketeering mafia in Louisiana oil catastrophe case

“BP engaged in a pattern of fraudulent conduct directed at regulators from the inception of the Macondo project, continuing through and after the spill and to this day,” victims’ lawyers Stephen Herman and James Roy, said yesterday in a court filing in New Orleans. “BP’s fraudulent actions and omissions were part of a broader pattern of unlawful conduct that it has employed over the years to place profits over safety.” 

Full story at Bloomberg.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hot Mediterranean winter (news roundsup)

Not for the weather, not particularly warm that I know of but because the waters and even the sands are boiling. 

From Ireland to Yemen, from West Sahara to the Caucasus... Not strictly always just by the Mare Nostrum but not too far away in any case.

Yemen: next in line for the Great Arab Intifada? Yemeni police arrests students rallying against the government in Sana'a, the capital. 

Irish Greens leave cabinet in a clear case of too little, too late. If the Greens would have abandoned Cowen a month ago, Ireland would be a lot better. They had the chance of doing what the President of Iceland did: veto an imposition of foreign powers against their people and they failed to do so. But what can you expect of a party which did not even manage to save the most emblematic archaeological and natural space of Ireland (Tara) against destructive developism. They clearly deserve to die out politically after such a continuous failure.

An Poblacht depicts Cowen as Nero today

Algerian police injures many in Intifada crackdown. 

Six Republican Guards arrested in Albania as suspect for the killing of protesters on Saturday.

Former prison of Torrero (Zaragoza) squatted again by neighbors who drove off the police. 

Al Fatah's negotiators exposed by Al Jazeera as giving away everything... yet Israel would not agree (as the negotiations are only a pretext for them to keep the apartheid and genocide ongoing).

Sunday, January 23, 2011

All remainding human rights activists arrested report tortures, in jail now. Large demo in Pamplona

The four human rights activists or reporters remaining in police custody were sent to prison (totalling 6 out of 10, plus two others released on bail). They all have reported tortures in the five days they have remained incommunicado.

The only accusation is an obvious political montage by which they are accused of belonging to a ghostly and likely non-existent (never proven in any way) political branch of ETA called Ekin ((to) take action). In some cases, they have also been accused of belonging to Segi, a Basque Youth movement declared illegal years ago (however they are all in their 30s).

State-appointed defense attorneys have also denounced the tortures, giving all possible credence to them being real. The reported tortures consisted, as mentioned yesterday, in "the bag" (asphyxiation with a plastic bag), beatings and threats of rape and electrocution, as well as against relatives.

The evidence listed by Inquisitor Grande-Marlaska includes: confession under tortures, participation in meetings, demonstrations and press conferences, notably one in which the Basque Nationalist Left expressed their intent to continue the fight by peaceful and political means.

Ten thousand demonstrate in Pamplona in solidarity

Source: Gara

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Arrested journalists report tortures. Four remain incommunicado

Spain's Great Inquisitor Grande-Marlaska has distributed injustice randomly among the 10 watchdog journalists arrested: four remain incommunicado, two have been sent to prison without bail, two have been granted freedom on bail of €12,000 and two others have been set free without conditions. 

Iker Moreno (in prison) and Xabier Beortegi (free) have denounced tortures, notably "the bag" (axfisiation with a plastic bag), complementary to having several (up to seven) policemen sitting on oneself after being wrapped in styrofoam and being obligued to stay in forced positions for hours. 

The four who remain incommunicado will have to pass by the judge today. Today there is also a demonstration at Pamplona in solidarity with the arrested.

See also previous posts here, here and here.

Albania: government murders protesters

The government of Sali Berisha, whose quasi-fascist Democratic Party of Albania (member of the EPP, the pan-European right wing party) rigged the elections in 2009 (following the example of Republicans in the USA, and the PAN in Mexico) has faced popular unrest as follows:
1. They murdered four protesters

2. They proclaimed peace

One of those murdered by police

At Al Jazeera, Karolina Risto, chief editor at pro-government Vision Plus TV, is quoted as saying: 
Albania is finally calm now after more than six hours of violent clashes. Four people are reported dead, all of them young men among the demonstrations in Albania's capital. The whole purpose of this gathering is because the opposition is accusing the government of stealing their votes in the last election.

Obviously the calm can only be temporary. 

The uprising, which has been paralleled to that of Tunisia, got demonstrators attacking police vans and trying to storm the government's offices. The opposition demands new fair elections. 

Sali Berisha's ultra-capitalist authoritarian regime is maybe most infamous worldwide by managing to scam most Albanians upon the transition to Capitalism with a pyramid scheme a la Madoff (or Rockefeller for the case). For that reason he was ousted in 1997 but came back to power in 2005 and has not eased his grip since then. 

Berisha dumped Albania into NATO in 2009 and is a clearly the man of the Empire in that corner of Europe, yet he had to cheat to stay in power and now he is murdering his own people in a desperate attempt to stay as top dog.

North Africa: the struggle continues

While people keep pressing in Tunisia for the total removal of the dictatorship's party from all institutions, specially government, the street of Algeria continue very hot. 

Algiers: several injured in government crack down of demonstration

Hundreds defied a ban against demonstrations in Algiers but were attacked by almost the same number of policemen, who injured several and arrested many.

Source: BBC

Tunisia: Gannouchi the hypocrite

This is one of those sentences that would send you to the deepest Hell of liars if such mythical dungeon would be real. Mohammed Gannouchi, Prime Minister under Ben Ali since 1999 and direct responsible for all the repression and lack of perspectives Tunisians face, said that he was afraid like all Tunisians under Ben Ali.

C'mon, if Justice would exist in this World you'd have been fulminated on the spot while saying that. What a hypocrite!

But it's not only Gannouchi, all cadres of the regime, from policemen up, are saying the same thing, passing the blame up to whoever commanded them. There should be another Hell for those coward minions who are the pillars of fascism.  

Gannouchi is trying to stick to a constitutional frame which demands presidential elections in 60 days after Ben Ali fled the country and does not allow for parlamentary elections instead. However opposition forces demand parliamentary elections for a constituent assembly and reject the promised  presidential elections, which are not likely to take place at all in fact. 

Policemen have now also joined the demonstrations but nobody is sure what to expect from them. 

Sources: BBC, Al Jazeera.

Meditation changes the brain

A new study has confirmed that meditation, reported to increase awareness and calmness, actually does alter the brain. 

Participants in an 8 week meditation program practiced some 30 minutes of the exercises (similar to yoga) every day. As result their brains showed increase of grey matter in the hippocampus (learning and memory) and decrease of grey matter in the amygdala (fear and stress). No change was detected in the insula (self-awareness), reported to have changed in previous studies. The authors suspect that longer practice is needed for this last.

No such changes were detected in the control group, showing that the plastic changes in the brain were caused by the meditation exercises. 

Full story at Science Daily.

Ref. (pay per view): Britta K. Hölzel, James Carmody, Mark Vangel, Christina Congleton, Sita M. Yerramsetti, Tim Gard, Sara W. Lazar. Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 2011; 191 (1): 36 DOI: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2010.08.006

Friday, January 21, 2011

Navarrese journalists condemn that Inquisitorial attack against

Forty journalists from Navarre have signed a joint declaration condemning that attack by the Spanish political tribunal against the website, dedicated to inform critically about abuses in the prison system and under police custody. Abuses that the members of this watchdog group are surely suffering themselves right now as all the incommunication procedures under which torture typically happen have been applied against them by special judge Grande-Marlaska. 

The journalists in press release declared that the goal of this group was to inform, not to make threats, and therefore its closure affects all of us who work in the media in Navarre. The journalists also wonder why these people dedicated to inform and nothing else are being deprived of all procedural guarantees, including habeas corpus. 

Warming up engines for the strike of the 27th

Hundreds concentrated in Bilbao's Plaza Eliptikoa against the reform of the pension system against workers' interests.

Source and more photos at Bilboko Branka

The general strike called for the 27th is a last attempt to stop the pensions' reform. It was originally called by the Basque unions but several unions from other parts of the Spanish state have joined, as far as I know: CUT (Galicia), CNT, CGT, SO (all these three anarcho-sydicalist unions), COS (Catalonia). Maybe others. 

Instead the yellow unions UGT and CC.OO., akin to US AFL-CIO and other such pro-Capitalist demobilizing pseudo-unions,  have renounced to present any battle and are "negotiating"... pretending to negotiate. They are trying to demobilize the working class in the Peninsula because this attack is only the beginning of a much bigger planned attack against workers' rights and they know it and they know which is their role: to demobilize the working class so the bosses can proceed with their increased exploitation.

So it is important, in Bilbao as in Seville, to join this strike and draw a clear red line to the bourgeois and their minions. Otherwise they will keep attacking us and robbing us more and more. A lot of peoples in our area, from France to Tunisia, from Greece to Iceland, are reacting against the "solution" of the crisis in favor of the oligarchies, now there is a serious opportunity for the workers of the various nations under the Spanish boot to show that they are not sheep waiting at the slaughterhouse, that they can bite too. 

A turning off lights has also been called for the same day against the abusive growth of electrical tariffs. 

Demo called for tomorrow in Pamplona against the latest political arrests (and likely tortures)

The relatives and friends of the young amateur journalists arrested three days ago call for a demo tomorrow.

They make the delegate of the government in Navarre responsible for whatever may happen to the arrested. There is strong fear that they may be tortured while in the hands of Spanish police, as they usually beat, threaten and sexually abuse prisoners, as described on several occasions in this blog.

Source: SA

Thursday, January 20, 2011

2010 hottest year ever

After the unusually lengthy Solar minimum is over, 2010 retook the pre-2008 tendency of greater and faster warming becoming the hottest year ever, though tied with 2005 and 1998 because of uncertainty margins. 

And the new solar 11-year cycle has just begun, I'd expect by 2015-16 (solar maximum) to be much hotter because, in general, solar sunspots correlate with temperature on Earth, everything else equal, as they increase solar radiance. So it was totally logical to have a short break in increasing temperatures and arctic loss of ice these last two years, as we went through one of the strongest solar minimums ever, with almost no documented sunspots in two years.

But now we are "back to normal" in the Sun and that means that the escalation of Earthly temperatures should continue, as we have done nothing to reduce the hothouse effect.

Source for the global temperature data: BBC. The rest is my elaboration. 

See also at Leherensuge (my old blog): 

Basque inter-towns assembly "was not ETA's project"

According to the Spanish Inquisition (Audiencia Nacional), after a persecution of some eight years, including arbitrary prison and other abusive measures, the assembly of Basque municipalities, Udalbiltza, was not "ETA's project". 

Udalbiltza members were attacked by the Spanish Inquisition and adjutant police forces in 2003 in the context of the increased judicial persecution against everything Basque, which charged against media (Egin, Egin Irratia, Egunkaria), nonviolent organiations (Joxemi Zumalabe Fundazioa), political parties (Batasuna, EAE-ANV, EHAK, Solidaridad Internacionalista and many local independent lists), human rights groups (Askatasuna), youth groups (Segi) and surely others that I forget. 

Among the targets of this political repression was Udalbiltza (udal: municipality, biltza: gathering, assembly - assembly of towns or communes), which gathered local elects from a host of Basque towns from south and north, west and east, regardless of imposed borders. This threatened to become (at some stage) a constituent assembly of the Basque Nation and this is obviously a reason why it was attacked and destroyed, both from inside (PNV-EAJ moved out after failing to delay its proceedings) as from outside (persecution from Madrid).

Today the first tribunal of the Audiencia Nacional has declared not guilty all the accused for being members of Udalbiltza. The sentence includes the important consideration acknowledging that opinion cannot be persecuted penally:

... quedan fuera del ámbito penal la acción política y las opiniones y manifestaciones ideológicas, gusten éstas o no, sean mayoritaria o minoritarias, sean compartidas o no.

... political action and ideological opinions and manifestations, be them liked or not, majoritary or minoritary, are out of the penal sphere.

Members of Udalbiltza upon knowing the sentence

A particular vote agreed with the sentence except on who should pay the costs of the lenghty trial. This magistrate argued that it should be the private accusation of the fascist organization Dignidad y Justicia.

Sources: Bilboko Branka, Gara, Kazeta...

Louisiana minister: oil will be here for "longer than anyone here will be alive"

Finally some authorities acknowledging the terrorist abuse by BP and their White House and Pentagon accomplices in the Gulf of Mexico. Robert Barham, Louisiana minister of fisheries and wild stuff:

“We opposed the sub-sea dispersants from the first day, but BP poured more than a million gallons into that column of oil,” he said. “My feeling is BP wanted that oil out of sight and mind. They didn’t want people to see that oil on the surface heading for the marshes and beaches.

“The dispersant worked in fragmenting the oil, but LSU scientists tell us there will be traceable quantities of oil longer than anyone here will be alive.”

He also attacked the federal authorities for letting BP mismanage the catastrophe:
Barham, whose agency led the in-state fight against the spill, said he’s frustrated with both BP’s response and the U.S. Coast Guard, the lead federal agency in cleanup.

“I’m not satisfied,” he said. “I think the Coast Guard has deferred to BP since Day One. They’ve gone along with whatever BP said, including the dispersant.”

However the recognition of the extreme disaster is not as throughout as would be, he still dares to claim "some success" and also pretends to "rescue the seafood market" when there's not even seafood left at all. 

These people have to get real: this is Chernobyl in the USA (or worse) and the same you could not sell contaminated milk after Chernobyl's catastrophe, you cannot sell toxic seafood  after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, much less after poisoning the waters with corexit day after day. 

And the same you had to offer some sort of exit for the victims of Chernobyl, you have to devise a plan for the populations of the Gulf of Mexico who are suffering the poisoning and the economic disaster. And this does not exist, because the only thing they have in mind since day one is to avoid liabilities and indemnifications, to get rid of the problem at the lowest possible cost, very specially for BP but also for the main responsible agent: the US Government. 

So they are basically murdering their own citizens, sacrificing them to the Moloch of oil industry. It's so extremely abusive that one knows exactly why the US Empire is no more and is disintegrating as we speak: no serious polity would allow such abuse against its own citizens and ecology. It's so ridiculously extreme that seems more proper of a B-series dystopia movie than reality. 
But, as Brecht said, reality always surpasses fiction

He meant it in a positive sense however:

Whoever is still alive do not say never ever:
what looks firm is not firm, all will not be always the same.

Eurointelligence: at least a bit smarter than Barroso, Trichet and Merkel.

I just discovered this economic news site: Eurointelligence. Not bad for a liberal economics site, really, some of the stuff I'm reading are much in the line of what I have been saying since the eurocrisis began last year.

Maybe the most important article of those on first page today is Pilippe Legrain's, who states: this is a crisis of the banking system, not the euro. He argues, correctly, that it was banks who miscalculated their risks and yet it's taxpayers and workers who are being forced to pay for those errors:

At heart, the “euro crisis” is a wrestling match over who will ultimately bear these bank losses. So far, EU governments have decided that banks’ bondholders must be protected at all costs, preferring to impose losses on taxpayers instead – even if this stretches governments’ solvency to breaking point. This is explicit in Ireland, much less so elsewhere. Because voters’ tolerance for bank bailouts has worn thin, governments are acting covertly: lending huge sums to Greece and now Ireland so that they can repay German, French and UK banks in full – all under the pretence of “defending the euro”. 
This strategy is not just unfair, costly and dangerous; it is ineffective.

Then he goes to say nonsense charging against Sinn Feinn, calling it "populist and extremist", when in fact is the only party of Ireland with some common sense and when we should be much more concerned by the advance of the fascists in Sweden or the Netherlands, who are indeed populist and extremist of the worst kind. But that's the kind of bias you find in the liberal media.

Still glad that some of those market hooligans are realizing that this is nothing but a scam by the banksters and their political minions.

There is also some notice of alleged desperate calls by Portuguese PM José Socrates to his colleague in Berlin and EPP comrade A. Merkel as the sharks' circle closes on Portugal, what will affect specially Spanish banks. Meanwhile, another Portuguese, European Commission's President Joao Barroso lost his temper when replying to accusations by Irish politicians that EU is doing nothing but forcing Irish people into vassalage. As expected from a Brussels' minion of the bankster mafia, he replied accusing the Irish people instead of German, British and French bankers.

In any case another site to follow the track of blood left by the Euro-sharks in their desperate attempt for survival... at the expense of you and me.

Nazi attacks in Lyon

A group of some 10 nazis ambushed and beat with sticks two antifascists when they left a concert in support of social centers. One of the victims ended up with brain hemorrhage, though it is expected she will be able to leave hospital next week.

In the last months nazi attacks have grown in intensity in the city of the Rhône:
  • a young man was attacked for wearing a Che Guevara button, being incapacitated as result for 45 days
  • in September 25th some nazis at Rebeyne attempted to break up a demo against the new anti-immigantion law
  • in October nazis infiltrated the pension defense demonstrations, acting violently in an attempt to discredit the labor movement
  • in October 1st, under police protection, a nazi gang attempted to break a feminist demo
  • in October 22nd the nazis of Rebeyne and the Olympique Lyonnais hooligans staged an anti-immigration demo in the city, clashing with the general strike demos. The clashes resulted in two arrested antifascists, who are being judged these days, and not a single effective arrest among the hundreds of armed nazis who marched by the city that day

All this implies that these acolytes of Ratzinger (I say for the Hitler's Youth  and Inquisition hobbies, which they share) would not be at large if the "democrats" in power would not allow them to or even encourage them to. 

Let's not forget that neither Hitler nor Franco would have ever reached power would not have been for the tolerance and support of the so-called "democrats", who at the end of the day are not interested in anything really democratic but just in the persistence of the dictatorship of Capitalism under any form.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tunisia: continuity government already in crisis

From the print version of Gara newspaper, I gather what follows:

The "concentration government" of continuity prime minister M. Gannouchi is sinking as even the pro-government labor union UGTT has commanded all its appointed ministers (three) to resign just after being named. Their complaint: too much continuity, too little change, overrepresentation of the dictatorship's party (RCD) and low, anecdotal, representation for other groups.

The communists (PCOT), still illegal but already out from prison, are calling for a boycot of the presidential elections called for six months now, which they denounce as a farce. They call for a Constitutional Assembly and a parliamentary (not presidential) republic.

Other forces: the liberals of the FDTL, tolerated, have resigned from the concentration government, the social-democrats Ejttadi have threatened to do so if the RCD ministers do not themselves. M. Manzouki of the center-left CPR has called upon arrival from exile to create a concentration government without the RCD. The Islamists, also just returned from exile are also boycotting the presidential elections but plan to run for parliament instead.

France: Michelle Alliot-Marie under pressure

No doubt one of the pillars of North African dictatorships from Rabat to Tunis is France. Interior Minister Michelle Alliot-Marie, well known to Basques among other oppressed peoples, was offering help to Ben Ali until the very moment of his march to exile, at which point Sarko decided it'd be too embarrassing to allow him to land at Orly and sent him to Riyadh instead.

The Ecologist Party is already demanding the resignation of Alliot-Marie, while other politicians, even from her own right-wing bloc are also being very critical, albeit maybe in an opportunist form.

The autocracy in Tunisia has been supported by France (and EU in general, as well as the USA, Israel and the major Arab powers) since its very origins and the Islamist scare has been used as pretext for that support. However now even de Villepin acknowledges that "we should not have allowed ourselves to get blind for fear of Islamism".

The truth is however that Islamism is just a pretext, and often a sock-puppet of Washington, Tel Aviv and Brussels, in order to keep the Arab and Berber peoples oppressed under totalitarian fascist regimes, which are often extremely Islamist themselves.

For that reason the secret services of the Empire launched in the 1990s the ghostly FIS terrorist army in Algeria and for that reason they are launching terrorists attacks against the people of Iraq every other day. And for that reason they constituted Al Qaeda and supported the Taliban against Socialism, of course.

The USA predicted the current scenario in 2006... but they never expected a revolution

Now switching to Al Jazeera, we learn that the USA was already considering PM Gannouchi as Ben Ali's successor in 2006. But they were thinking in a cancer, not a revolution! Another person they considered was Ben Ali's wife, Leila Trabelsi. The Trabelsi family however has been the main target of the anger of the Tunisian Revolution so far because it is perceived as the most rotten single family in all the country, so again the US embassy was pondering the wrong thing.

Also the Qatari news site mentions the Tunisian Communist Workers' Party (PCOT), which is surely the only serious opposition to the RCD tyranny and hence the real enemy the Empire has been trying to keep at bay so far. For its leader Hamma Hammami, who was imprisoned in the height of the revolt and only freed on Friday, the RCD has to go but the Islamists are only opportunists trying to gain where they do not belong:

For Hammami, like many other opposition leaders, former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s hasty departure is nowhere near enough. He called for “the party of Ben Ali” to be disbanded completely, along with all its “repressive apparatuses”.

He called for a provisional government to be established to help pave the way for the transition towards a truly democratic republic.

The communist leader also had words for the Tunisian Islamist movement. He argued that the uprising, which had its one month anniversary on Monday, was a secular one, and called on the Ennahdha party to accept this and not to bring “polemics over theology” into the conversation.

“We want to keep the people united over these aspirations,” Hammami said. “We’re calling on other parties not to divide the people.”

Arundhati Roy at Al Jazeera

It's a curious video because of the mix of ethnicities involved: a British interviewer, an Indian interviewed, a Mexican site and an Arab TV...

But most important is how she analyzes some matters: how the Gandhian ethos is denounced as impossible to implement in the jungle because, after all, it is a performance that requires an audience, or how borders are becoming blurry, with all the elites from different nations having de facto seceded themselves into "a country of their own"...

Found via Revolution in South Asia, originally from Al Jazeera.

New website on the Basque Peace Process (in English)

The site is produced by the Basque Nationalist (Abertzale) Left and in their own words:

The aim of this website is to provide a reliable insight on the opinion and initiatives developed by Abertzale Left in order to overcome the ongoing political conflict. We will also pay special attention to different international initiatives promoted in relation to the peace process.

The International Community has an important role to play on the resolution of the Basque Conflict and Abertzale Left understands that it must establish direct sources for them to understand where Abertzale Left stands.

The meaning of Abertzale is strongly associated with a particular understanding of Basque nationalism as a progressive and internationalist movement involving a wide range of organisations such as political parties, unions, cultural organisations, and significant parts of the women, environment and internationalist movements who believe in the liberation of Basque Country. As republicanism has a special understanding in Irish context, abertzale could not be translated as mere nationalism without understanding this progressive role.

Abertzale Left advocates for an independent and socialist Basque Country. But our priority is to establish a democratic scenario where all political projects can be implemented accordingly to the will of the people. To reach such scenario we believe that the conflict has to be solved through democratic and peaceful means, on a multi party based dialogue, negotiation and agreement process ruled by the Mitchell principles.