Thursday, June 30, 2011

Greek traitor Parliament approves selling off the nation while this one burns in rage

The infamous Delta motorcycle police attacked Syntagma Square while the metro stations cried unanimously that the Junta did not end in 1973. That's how the first hours after midnight of the second journey of general strike went. 

The violence of the police came from the day before and continued along the whole day. The incidents of beatings, arrests, clashes, marches, gasings... are many, the images and videos pile up. 

The government offices of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace are occupied by thirty people in Komotini.

People cry: Bread, education, freedom! The junta did not end in 1973!

Accesses to Parliament are blockaded for hours in spite of police violence.

Social expropriation of Church property is announced in Thessalonikí by the brave Autonomists who take the offices of "God" in the capital of the North. 

By noon the barriers sent by the police before Parliament no longer exist: people tore them down. Clashes grow in Syntagma Square as result.

In Chania, Crete, the town hall is occupied and the offices of PASOK (ruling party) vandalized.

Barriers are re-erected and police attack the people with more and more tear gas. The sun is high over Athens. The People resist in spite of all.

Bread, Education and Freedom! The Junta did not end in 1973! 

The Labor Center at Kozani (West Macedonia's capital) is occupied to serve as information point. 

Police attack medics and nurses repeatedly. 

New weapons are reportedly used by motorcycle cops: rubber bullets and an unspecified new type of grenade. 

They also throw stones back at demonstrators - the marbles of the five star hotels recycled as ammunition...

In spite of all police charges, the blood, the anger, the exhaustion... in the evening Syntagma Square is as full of people as at dawn.

Tear gas everywhere, even inside train stations. There is obviously enough budget for that. 

The infamous Delta motorcycle riding cops run after demonstrators in the Old Quarter. 

Gratuitous police beatings in Syntagma, ambulances prevented to enter.

Hundreds demonstrate in Heraklion, Crete, against police violence in Athens.

No work leaves for riot police this week. 

Demonstrations in Lesbos, Chios, Patras...

Thousands march in Thessalonikí to the city hall, they aim to occupy it. Police take positions... 

It is already midnight again. 

A Popular Assembly takes place in the occupied city hall of Chania. 

If this is not a revolution I do not know what it is. 

And ah, yes, in the meanwhile an irrelevant Parliament with zero legitimacy passed a law of robbery permission for foreign and local banksters at the expense of the people and the nation. Will they succeed in this betrayal?

OXI means NO in Greek, ixo rai means fuck off in Aragonese.

Based on the minute to minute chronicle at Contra Info. Photos from La Haine, which also has a video gallery.

La Haine also has a communication[es] by the Media Center of Syntagma Square denouncing the violent attempt of clearing the square and calling for a return. They end in relation to the illegitimate Parliament:

We do not leave until they leave. They are 155, we are millions.

Update: very impressive photos at Cryptome.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mandatory evacuation around Fort Calhoun NPP as waters seriously threaten the reactor

The USA has decreed a mandatory evacuation of 10 miles (16 kilometers) around the Ft. Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska, as Missouri has already flooded all around the building.

So far there seems not have yet been any accident but the waters keep growing and there is clear risk because even if the plant has been in cool shutdown since April, it still needs the appropriate conditions to keep the beast under control: all working properly and a continuous power supply.

The following video gives an idea of the reality of the threat as brief images of the flooded plant are shown:

I must say that, assuming it is true that no accident has occurred yet, I must commend the US reaction, specially comparing with the over-shy one at Japan, that is risking so many lives. On the other side, I hope this is not intended to prevent press from reporting and taking pictures of what is going on.

Unconfirmed rumors claim that Ft. Calhoun NPP is a huge spent fuel depot and that makes it more dangerous than Fukushima. It is in fact in the list of nuclear waste depots but it is unclear how much it hosts.

I could not yet figure out how big is the area affected by the mandatory evacuation but this is a map of how to evacuate the zone:

Source: Nebraska Emergency Management Agency.

From Google Maps I gather that the mandatory evacuation zone includes the towns of Blair, Ft. Calhoun, Kennard, Missouri Valley and Modale.

Update (Jun 30): 840 metric tons of spent fuel are effectively stored in Ft. Calhoun and Cooper NPPs (Midlands Voices).


Gay Pride demo at St. Petersburg violently repressed

It is in these occasions when we can see the actual quality of Russian pretense of democracy: the Gay Pride demo at St. Petersburg (former Leningrad) was violently repressed by police and Nazi squads.

The quality of democracy in Russia becomes evident when the victim of a Nazi attack, Alexander Sheremetyev, was arrested and his attacker was released soon after detention. Some 14 people were arrested, all them demonstrators for equal rights.

China represses two strikes in Guangdong province

4000 workers at a South Korean handbag manufacturer (Simone Handbags Ltd.) in Guangzhou's Panyu district walked out demanding a rise of 1300 yuan because of rising prices. They also complained of working 12 hours a day standing with only one break to go to the toilet and earn a mere 1100 yuan ($169, the minimum salary). From the miserable salary, the company still deduces 300 yuan: 200 yuan for social security and 100 yuan if they dine in the plant (the food is unfit for human consumption but they have no choice). There are also denounces of ill-treatment and disrespect for female privacy (male managers walk into female toilets at whim).

By Thursday most workers returned to work without getting any concessions but 900 remained on strike. More than six of them were arrested, some of them after being brutalized.

Simultaneously, police was sent to nearby, Japanese-owned manufacture Citizen Watch (Dongguan, another suburb of Guangzhou) to break another strike for similar reasons. The 200 remaining strikers, who had managed to stop production for 10 days, were forced to return to work under strict police surveillance. 

The immediate trigger for this second strike was an imposition by management to recover for free in a weekend a journey that had an electricity blackout. Workers also complain of being forced to do 5-6 hours overtime every day, being withheld wages if they are even just 10 minutes late and lacking basic safety gear such as gloves.

Vague promises of improvements made some 600 workers to return initially. Later the threat to retain three days of wages for each day of strike forced most to return, however the polishers remained defiant until police forced them to return to work. 

Source: World Socialist Web Site, which comments that, while last year's Honda strike in the North managed to get concessions, now the "Stalinist" regime seems to be determined to force the hand of workers. 

I think that this may cause even greater unrest, as the conditions are extreme and strongly discordant with the rapidly growing wealth of the East Asian super-state, which obviously goes to other pockets.

No need to mention that China is NOT communist but merely fascist.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Greek General Strike report (first day) at Contra Info

Today was the first journey of the 48 hrs. general strike in Greece, considered a total success so far, with more than 80% workers walking out. It has been a hot day full of clashes as well.

The narration hour by hour is available in English (and many other languages) at Contra Info.

Occupied London has great photo galleries, of which I borrowed two.

Fuck May 68 - Fight! (I can understand that)

This is quite curious: desertion attempts among policemen repressed with military zeal:

17.45 GMT+2 According to eyewitnesses, one police squad’s officer threw away his helmet and shield, giving up his democratic duty of massive crowd suppression. Other police squad’s cops have beaten him fiercely, forcing him not to leave.

And it's not the only symptom of police going totally nuts:

15.02 GMT+2 Syntagma: The police are throwing broken marble against protesters.


And prisoners supported the strike too:

14.02 GMT+2 Prisoners’ mutiny in the A wing of Koridallos men’s prisons; they refuse to enter the prison cells.

Previously they had issued a communication demanding the release of all prisoners.

Also The Guardian reports of this new occupation of the Parthenon by communists:

Update (Jun 29): Reuters' video of the clashes at Syntagma Square (not embeddable).

Wildfire threatens biggest US military nuclear facility at Los Alamos, New Mexico

A wildfire has grown extreme in Northern New Mexico and clearly threatens a major nuclear research facility: Los Alamos National Laboratory, best known for the Manhattan Project, that created the first atomic bomb ever.

The news on this matter pile up and I'm having a bad case of unexpectedly slow Internet connection, so I'd be succinct and redirect you to Energy News for further information. The facts are that fire crossed yesterday into the property of the LANL, causing forced evacuations, that it has been acknowledged officially that the fire is going to stay for some time and may grow to several times its current size.

More from yesterday evening (American time):

Also yesterday it became known that some 30,000 barrels (drums) of plutonium and contaminated waste was stored in the LANL above ground level in fabric tents. This contradicts previous claims that all nuclear material in the facility is in safe vaults underground. Eventually, it was acknowledged by officials that there is indeed nuclear material stored above ground in Area G. It was also known that LANL holds largest number of nuclear weapons on Earth


See also: US nuclear plant flooded for the other looming nuclear danger now in North America (updated).

Update (June 29): Effectively the uncontrolled fire is reaching the nuclear facility, where 20 or 30 thousand barrels of nuclear material are virtually in the open. See also Energy News for regular news updates.

Simultaneous Nazi attacks in 'Spanish' islands cause several injured

A German homeless man is in severe condition after Spanish Nazis attacked him with paint, which he drank and breathed as result. This happened in Palma de Mallorca tonight.

In La Laguna (Tenerife, Canary Islands), about the same time, 4:00 am, a group of Nazis attcked youths who tarried in the leisure area of the city known as El Cuadrilátero, yelling "ultras!" and injuring four, none severely. Police intervened but arrested nobody.

Source: Sare Antifaxista[es] (Majorca, Tenerife).

Italian police attack demonstrators with excavators and brutal amounts of tear gas

The brutality of the Capo di Capi Silvio Berlusconi knows no bounds. The police forces he commands caused 80 injured, 50 of them demonstrators but other 30 police agents by throwing such massive amounts of tear gas that people lost breath and were in true danger of death. 

That was not enough: the repressive forces also attacked the barricades set up by protesters with excavators, disregarding that there were people behind them. 

All this happened in Val de Susa, a small community of the Italian Alps, where a giant tunnel is being built to allow the irrational high speed train project promoted by the European Union. 

Source: Sare Antifaxista[es].

Political trial against Otegi and other Basques begins in Madrid

The political trial against several Basque activists for allegedly having political meetings, which had been forbidden by the impossible to explain arbitrariness of Spanish laws and judiciary decisions, has begun today in Madrid. 

The accused are all in this photo:

From left to right, front to bottom: Miren Zabaleta, Arnaldo Otegi, Sonia Jacinto, Arkaitz Rodríguez, Txelui Moreno, Rafa Díez, Amaia Esnal and Mañel Serra. The last four are free on bail, while the rest are in prison. 

The Spanish accusation demands 10 years of prison for each of them, accusing them of forming an organization known as Bateragune (unity zone in Basque), whose objective would be to bring political confrontation to some sort of summit by means of neutralizing any space of the Basque Nationalist Left without ETA and the accumulation of forces through the constitution of a sovereignist pole under the subordinated to the goals and means of ETA.

A. Esnal, T. Moreno (glasses) and R. Díez (beard) arriving to tribunal
The first one to declare was labor union LAB's former Secretary General Rafa Díez, who did not reply to the prosecutor. Answering to the defense, he declared that he has indeed a wide relationship with Otegi in all dimensions and that they both agreed after the failed peace processes of earlier in this decade that a debate had to take place inside the Basque Nationalist Left. As Otegi was soon jailed, it was Díez who translated that debate through the political current, as well as to other political and social actors. 

This debate implied a rejection of the previous acceptance of armed struggle. Díez rejected that there was any sort of dependence of ETA in this process. He also rejected that they were part of any organization known as Bateragune (unity zone on Basque) as the prosecution claims.

He confirmed they had a meeting in August 5 2009, where they drafted what would later become the Declaration of Altsasu[es] agreed by the Basque Nationalist Left after due discussion.

Arkaitz Rodríguez was the second to declare, also ignoring the questions of the prosecution and confirming that there was an informal, open and unstructured group of discussion that promoted internal debate in the Basque Nationalist Left. He confirmed being in that meeting in August 2009 in LAB's see and rejected any sort of tutelage by ETA. 

A. Otegi
In the afternoon the trial continued with the declaration of Arnaldo Otegi, who did reply to the state attorney, unlike the other accused. 

He said that it was the former secretary general of Eusko Alkartasuna (EA, Basque Solidarity, social-democrats and separatists, now part of Bildu), Unai Arrieta, who proposed to him the formation of a sovereignist pole, while in a visit to prison. He acknowledged that initially we were not enthusiastic about the idea, because EA was then part of the Western Basque autonomous government together with the (right wing) EAJ-PNV.

Otegi also said that ETA believed that was possible to accumulate forces while keeping armed struggle and we did not.

He also admitted to have traveled to the Northern Basque Country in spite of a judicial ban because the challenge was to win that debate and there are causes that ask for risks.

When the state attorney, Vicente González Mora, suggested that the change of strategy in the Basque Nationalist Left was caused by police pressure, Otegi has rejected the idea accusing some factions of being needy of the pretexts that violence and ETA provide: the factions with no political arguments need imperatively that violence is possible. He added that the reality of the last two years (since the arrest): gives me the reason, not to you.

Answering to the defense, Arnaldo Otegi denied the existence of Bateragune nor that the entity so-called was supposed to replace the National Board of Batasuna.

Sonia Jacinto rejected the questions of the accusation but answering to the defense explained how was the debate and how police was keeping track of them all the time. 

Then Amaia Esnal made a brief declaration (only replying to the defense) where she rejected being member of the Basque Nationalist Left, claiming to be member only of Etxerat (back home, a platform claiming the return to the Basque Country of the many Basque prisoners scattered through Spain and France, many hundreds of kilometers away from their relatives and friends). She rejected ever having any meeting with the other accused. 

Demo in Donostia today: Basque Country Free!
Finally, Txelui Moreno has been unapologetic for taking part in the process of strategical change towards peaceful and democratic ways. He said that, for good or bad, when the Basque Nationalist Left makes a decision, it makes it happen. He acknowledged that the leader of this strategical change was surely Otegi first of all: I had the impression that he had something in mind and wanted to make sure if more people agreed with him.

The trial will continue tomorrow.

There have been demonstrations in all four Southern Basque regional capitals, plus Elgoibar. A national demonstration has been called for this weekend in Donostia. 

Source: Gara[es] (link 1, link 2, link 3, photo gallery).

Update (Jun 28th):

In the second journey of the trial, the last accused finished with their declarations and came the turn of the first witnesses.

Mañel Serra rejected to answer to the accusation. He rejected to know what was Bateragune at all and declared that he visited LAB offices several times that year for work reasons. Several patrol cars crossed his path when he left a school meeting and he was arrested then to his surprise.

Miren Zabaleta also replied only to the defense. She confirmed that she is a licensed attorney since 2006 and that she had a long activist record in the student movement before that. She declared that it was Sonia Jacinto who put her in touch with Arnaldo Otegi with the intention of forming an intergenerational lobby of sorts.

She said that she agreed soon with this one on the need to change the strategy of the Basque Nationalist Left in order to unblock the political cul-de-sac. Then she and the rest proceeded to make consultations with other people, such as Adolfo Araiz, Floren Aoiz, Koldo Castañeda, etc. and that all opinions converged and reinforced their own.

She said that  none of the meetings was secret at all.

Later the first witnesses where questioned.

Rufi Etxebarria and attorney Jone Goirizelaia
Rufi Etxeberria emphasized that the debate now under trial was critical in deciding that armed struggle had to end for good. He added that the people new accused are the key people for this critical advance.

He said that this debate was the most important one in his life as political activist, something historical and of great transcendence.  He said that the very day in which Otegi was arrested, he asked him to take the rudder of the debate. 

Questioned by the judge, he rejected that ETA had any involvement whatsoever.

Replying to the accusation, he denied that there was any Bateragune coordinating this debate. He said that there was once upon a time an organ known by such name but that it was part of Ekin, a dissolved organization not anymore extant.

He said that the accused had forged a web of relationships that was crucial in the debate. He admitted to be one of the dynamizers of the later debate in which thousands took part.

Asked if ETA is part of the Basque Nationalist Left, he said that they are coincident in strategical goals, independence and socialism, but have no organic relation.

Ainara Oiz, childhood friend of Miren Zabaleta, declared that the she took letters from her home after the arrest in order to protect her privacy and no other reason.

Finally declared the Spanish policemen who executed the arrests. They could not produce any coherent picture of what happened, contradicting each other and confusing the incident with some followings to members of Segi (youth movement) in Sestao (an unrelated locality).

The trial will continue tomorrow with more police declarations.

Source: Gara[es] (link 1, link 2, link 3).

Update (Jul 5): Police witness 19,242 (key in most political trials, probably a high secret services officer) sustains that all is exactly as in the 1960s and 1970s, which he interprets as  ETA being the avant-guard and the political movement a mere chorus, all the rest being mere adjustments.

Most of the accused were not even born in those dates of the fascist dictatorship and a police leak says that ETA has accepted that the political movement takes the lead.

Whatever the case, what 19,242 says is ultimately just his opinion because he has provided no evidence whatsoever. 

Source: Gara[es].

Monday, June 27, 2011

Basque Punk (I): Hertzainak

Now that Jello Biafra's journey to the Zionist colonies means for some some sort of funeral of Punk or at least Anglosaxon Punk (I'd say that there's much more than that opportunist leech, but there's some who are really mourning Punk altogether after that), maybe it is time to make a paused review of the other great Punk movement worldwide: the Basque one.

I'll start with Hertzainak. No wonder they gave the name to the book that reviewed what happened in those crazy years of the 1980s, when I was just a teenager: they were of all the bands the most emblematic one.

The name Hertzainak is an obsolete form of Ertzainak, meaning The Police. Surely a pun to the English band as well but a denunciation of the then new Western Basque autonomous police corps then being organized under Zionist, German and Spanish command and training.

Their first video (as far as I can recall) was this one:

The lyrics[eu] are very difficult for me to translate (because of the kind of grammar involved that sounds forced in English) but essentially they say: in spite of repression and business we are here to party. The chorus says:

Txoriek zelaietan mokoka garia,
Guk kanutotarako nahiago maria
Gaur mozkortu baino lehen, presta afaria
Hori duzu Hertzainok nahi dugun saria.

The birds in the fields 'beaking' the wheat
We rather prefer the marijuana for the joints
Before we get drunk tonight, let's make supper
that way you are the prize that we Hertzainak want.

A later song had a more clear message for the Basque police. It was titled Si vis pacem, para bellum (if you want peace, ready for war). This video is unofficial with recent images:

The lyrics in Basque are in the YouTube link, I provide here a translation only:

All day you endure
tied to your gun
you are scary because you are masked
so nobody knows who you are
it does not matter handsome one
because everybody has a name and
yours: dog!
The smell of blood, the synthesis of violence.
'Si vis pacem, para bellum',
told you your payroll sergeant
'si vis pacem, para bellum':
a 9 mm [caliber gun] for you.
For your fame, above the tears,
hatred cries come
at the end of all protocols,
because what to show:
one less or it seems
they will have to replace compulsorily the last
'Si vis pacem para bellum'
for how long will the dance go on
'si vis pacem...'

You can listen to a third Hertzainak's song in this blog here. Or, why not, use You Tube or stuff like that.

Next possibly Eskorbuto (we'll see but they are a must).

Leonardo Boff: Terminal Crisis of Capitalism?

I reproduce here (my translation from the Spanish original) an important new article of Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff, who, to my surprise, pretty much nails it this week with his article ¿Crisis terminal del Capitalismo?[es] (Terminal Crisis of Capitalism?):

I have been postulating as of late that the ongoing crisis of Capitalism is more than circumstantial and structural: it is terminal. Has the end of capitalist ingenuity, able to adapt itself always to any circumstance, finally arrived? I am conscious that very few people sustain this thesis. Two reasons however bring me to this interpretation.

The first reason is as follows: the crisis is terminal because all us, but particularly Capitalism, have trespassed the limits of Earth. We have occupied, predating, all the planet, undoing its subtle balance and exhausting its goods and services up to a point that it is not anymore able to replace on its own what has been stolen. Already in the mid 19th century, Karl Marx wrote prophetically that the tendency of Capital was in the direction of destroying its two sources of wealth and reproduction: Nature and Work. That is what is happening now.

Nature effectively is being subjected to a great stress, as it was never before, at least in the last century, not counting the 15 great extinctions that knew through its history of more than four billion years. The extreme phenomena that can be verified in all regions and the climate changes, which tend to a growing global warming, talk in favor of Marx' thesis. Without Nature how is Capitalism going to reproduce itself? It has hit an insuperable limit.

Capitalism makes work precarious or does without it altogether. There is a lot of development without work. The producing computerized and robotized industry produces more and better, almost without any job at all. The direct consequence is structural unemployment.

Millions of people will never reach at all the realm of work, not even as reserve army. In Spain unemployment reaches 20% of all population, and 40% of the young ones. In Portugal it 12% through the country and 30% among the youth. This means a severe social crisis, like the one that ravages Greece nowadays. All society is sacrificed in the name of an economy made not to attend human demands but to pay a debt with banks and the financial system. Marx is right: exploited work is not anymore source of wealth, machine is.

The second reason is linked to the humanitarian crisis that Capitalism is generating. In the past it was limited to peripheral countries, today it is global and has already reached the central ones. The economic question cannot be solved dismantling society. The victims, interwoven through the new communication avenues, resist, rebel and threat the existing order. Every day more people, specially youths, do not accept the pervert logic of Capitalist political economy: the dictatorship of finances, which, by means of the market, forces the submission of states to its interests, and of profiteering of speculative capitals, which circulate from one pocket to another obtaining benefits without producing anything at all, except more money for the rentiers.

Capitalism alone created the venom that can kill itself: by demanding from workers an each day better technical formation, so they could be at the level of accelerated growth and greater competitiveness, it unwillingly created people able to think. These, slowly discover the perversity of the system that skins people in the name of a purely material accumulation, that shows itself as heartless by demanding more and more efficiency up to the point of bringing workers to a deep stress, to desperation and, in some cases, suicide, as happens in several countries and also in Brazil.

The streets of several European and Arab countries, the "indignant" that fill the squares of Spain and Greece are expression of a rebellion against the extant political system, towed by the markets and capitalist logic. The Spanish youths cry: "it is not any crisis, it is a robbery". The thieves are established in Wall Street, in the IMF and the European Central Bank, that is: they are the high priests of globalized and exploiting Capital.

As the crisis worsens, throughout the whole world will grow the multitudes that do not bear anymore the consequences of overexploitation of their lives and the life of Earth and will rebel against this economic system that now agonizes, not because of aging but because of the power of the poison and the contradictions that has created itself, punishing Mother Earth and afflicting the lives of its sons and daughters.

Note: after doing all the translation I realized that the article was already translated in the same blog. However I like better my own version (though admittedly not perfect either), so I'll leave this one as it is, and you can check Boff's own(?) translation anyhow here: Is the Crisis of Capitalism Terminal? The original version, published in June 22, was in Portuguese.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

US nuclear plant flooded - power cut

The river Missouri is now totally surrounding the threatened nuclear plant of Fort Calhoun (Nebraska, USA) after flood containment walls (berms) collapsed today. 

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) claims that inspectors in the plant when the flooding happened have confirmed that the water had impact in the planned reactor or spent pool cool shut down. But considering how much more worried are authorities about saying anything that could create any form of scare or damage the reputation of the nuclear industry, I am skeptic and hence worried. 

In any case it is clear that in this case, unlike in Fukushima (now admitted to be the worst industrial disaster ever, no matter what lies they said at first), the technicians had time to prepare for the problem. Hope this is enough. 

Source: Action 3 News (via Energy News).

Important Update:  the transformers providing electricity to the plant are flooded, so the reactors are being kept cool only with generators. As far as I know there was a lot of combustible stored in case something like this happened but there is danger if the buildings where the cooling pumps are are flooded, according to what has surfaced these tense days.

Sources: Victoria Advocate, NYT (all via Energy News).

Update: I'm definitively taking the BBC out of my list of news sites: this potentially critical incident is just not happening at Cameron's outlet. The BBC used to be "god" now it's not even worth reading anymore.

Update: video of mostly NRC chief speaking to the press and saying like "all is ok... I hope". But there are a few images of the outside of the power plant and we can briefly see the flooded transformer at about half of the film:

Update (Jun 27): some 100 gallons (roughly 500 liters) of combustible were spilled to the river as well from the threatened nuclear plant.

In a totally distinct but also nuclear incident Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory (New Mexico) had to be evacuated because of threat of uncontrolled fires.

Update: external power has been connected but it's not yet an all clear, as the flood continues and the berm has not been repaired. Water entered  the turbine building but allegedly this poses no real risk (HuffPost).

The 'Dignité' begins the naval march to Gaza this year

The Dignité - Al Karama (Dignity in French and Arabic) departed from Ajaccio (Corsica) towards international waters, where it will meet other ships from various origins, all converging with a single goal: to break the brutal Zionist siege against the Gaza Strip, where the refugees from what is now allegedly Israel barely survive in what has been described as the largest concentration camp on Earth ever.

Their goal is to bring to Gaza the materials needed to build 1,200 homes and  18 schools.

This ship gathers the efforts from the French state, another ship from the Spanish state, the Gernika,  is also getting ready for their own departure.

Source: LINYM[es].

Students fight against police in Santiago de Chile (video)

From Sare Antifaxista, where they explain that they are asking for greater expenditure in education and a student card that allows for reduced transport fares all year long.

A week ago 70,000 students marched onto Santiago de Chile. Now some 20,000 high school students took over the capital of the South American state, clashing with police as we can see below.

Nine people were injured and 107 people arrested in the riots.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Other four people dead and 74 injured yesterday in Peru students' protest

Alan García seems to want to be put to trial for crimes against humankind: his last days of mandate are all covered in blood. I just mentioned that five people were killed in Juliaca and I read now that other four were murdered in Huancavelica, further Northeast, in the center of Peru. 

Three of them killed by police forces either by shot or beatings: Oswaldo Quispe Lázaro, 22, Iván Cora Quispe, 30 and Davyi Huallalani Martínez, 14. A fourth demonstrator, Julio Páucar, died accidentally while flipping a truck over a to set up a barricade.

Local police admitted that there were police infiltrated among the protesters and that the deaths happened in the context of fights between these plain-clothes policemen and demonstrators. They admitted to have live ammunition (bullets and pellets) to repress the protests.

The protests mean to prevent that half of the local university's budget goes to a semi-private project that they consider unnecessary in nearby Tayacaja, in the same region, that has only 450,000 inhabitants as a whole. They argue that this project only obeys to political reasons and that it does not consider the real educative needs of the region. 

According to Ana Delgado (La Haine), some 270 social conflicts are extremely hot around the country as outgoing President Alan García faces his last 40 days in power. Then President elect Ollanta Humala will assume power, hopefully for the better.

Police kills five in Peru anti-mining protest

Peruvian police has killed five anti-mining protesters who, in a group of at least one thousand, attempted to blockade twice the international airport of Juliaca, at Lake Titicaca, not far from the Bolivian border. After these massacres protesters stormed a police station in the nearby town of Azángaro.

The project belongs to Bear Creek mining company, from Canada. Local citizens, mostly of Aymara ethnicity, oppose the project because it should cause major environmental destruction while bringing very few benefits at all for the affected communities. 

Source: AFP.

Demonstration against the mining project

Update (Jun 27): the mining license was revoked by President García. Bear Creek will sue the government for this reason  - Reuters (via PO)

Friday, June 24, 2011

King's portrait removed from San Sebastian's City Hall

The portrait of the King of Spain, Juan Carlos Bourbon Bourbon, appointed by the late fascist fundamentalist dictator Francisco Franco, has finally been removed from the City Hall of Donostia (San Sebastian). 

This is one of the first measures adopted by the new mayor Karlos Izagirre (pictured), elected in a broad spectrum Left-wing Basque-Nationalist coalition (Bildu). 

May this be the first step to the removal of all Spanish-imposed symbols and institutions. May they walk soon back the road of Burgos they used to invade us by treason 812 years ago.

Southern Europe lost 8-17% industrial output since 2005

That's what a graph at Der Spiegel shows: that Southern Europe, including France, have lost a lot of industrial output since 2005:

This is surely because of loss of international competitiveness because of a too strong euro, which has increased its exchange value some 40% since its inception in 1999 - what is almost the same as saying that the EU as a whole has lost 40% of competitiveness in that period.

Oddly enough Germany and the small satellite states around it have increased their industrial output, which in most cases they surely sell in Southern Europe charging it to increased debt. 

The fact that France and Italy are not exempt (at all) from these bad figures (not either from low growth in general nor increased debt) offers at least some hope because the states affected negatively by the bad German-led EU policies makes up a vast majority of EU citizens, specially of those in the Eurozone. But France and Italy, and Spain too, should begin forging an alliance against the bad EU policies and not just bow to German hegemony. 

In fact, they either face Germany upfront or they are done because by now it is clear that Germany holds no interest in a EU of equal partners in which the interests of all are treated equally but one in which the Germanic powers are hegemonic and treat the rest as mere colonies: Hitler's dream.

But the blame must fall also on Latin (and other peripheral) Europeans for not realizing what they were signing to. At least the French voted "no" to the Euro-scam in 2005 but the Spaniards were so blind that only the Basques opposed. My conservative brother, who has pro-Spanish ideology also, argued that he was against the constitution but that he believed that Spaniards should not appear as opposing the EU, that such role should be of others. What a cowardice and duplicity! But I presume that Spaniards in general genuinously believed that the EU was a desirable project, even if the constitution included no bill of rights whatsoever nor made the decision-making process more democratic at all.

I voted against, you can imagine. And not because I am against a continental confederation but because I am for a democratic and socialist one, and not this rotten nest of vampires.

Shame on us, shame on Europeans for not being able to force things straight, for bowing to the predetermined plans of our Capitalist masters. 

Now we pay for it.

The data is horrible also for the future because youth unemployment is extreme: 

As a Portuguese mentions in the associated article: the prospect for many is to get occasional jobs while young and then stop being hired altogether after hitting the 40s, still 20 or more years away from a retirement that will never come in any proper terms. 

It does not matter if you have a degree in Physics and speak several languages, as the Catalan interviewee, who is forced to live with his parents for lack of a job: there are simply no jobs, there were never many but now is much worse. 

And don't deceive yourself by colors above, green states like France, Belgium or Finland are still bad with youth unemployment figures above 20% in most cases. It's not the extreme Spanish case but it's still very bad. We must not get used to people not being able to find jobs - even if it actually happens that no so many workers are needed, then we MUST proceed to a leisure society in which work is split more or less equally and benefits are as well. We cannot accept that maybe as many as half the people is condemned to marginality just because the system does not work. 

In brief: the Capitalist system on which the European Union we know of was built cannot deliver anymore. In addition to that the European Union has a too strong pro-German bias, even for Capitalist parameters, and the euro is extremely overvalued. Something must be done: if within Capitalism, devalue the euro a lot, even if that means kicking Germany out of it; if beyond Capitalism... then the options are wide open and hope may be restored completely. But that first needs to permeate in the consciences of Europeans and people around the World in general.

Maju's Failed State Index (II - Europe)

Continuing with my own version of the Failed States Index (see here for background and methods), here we have the Europe map (including Caucasus, Cyprus and Turkey but not Central Asia):

Notice that I may have used somewhat different criteria in the cases of Serbia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Cyprus, all them affected by the formation of separate ethnic states by means of foreign intervention. In the cases of Azerbaijan and Georgia I considered the conflicts opened and the states subject to foreign military intervention (by Armenia and Russia respectively), in the cases of Moldova and Cyprus I considered the conflict contained and the states subject to foreign military intervention (by Russia and Turkey respectively), in the case of Serbia I considered Kosovo as a de facto separate state (even if Serbia is reluctant to accept the status quo, it is not likely that will do or even will be able to do anything about it either). These decisions, admittedly subjective and arguable, have probably affected to some extent the stability index of these countries (re-evaluate at will).

We can in any case say that Serbia without Kosovo is more stable than with it. Even if it still has latent ethnic conflict in Vojvodina and a small town at the Kosovan border, this is not enough to damage its stability overall. But with Kosovo it'd be quite different: Serbia would be more unstable, possibly even as much as Georgia.

And vice versa: Georgia might want to sign peace with its breakaway nations and Russia in order to improve its stability, though this would also ask for greater democracy and income distribution. 

Beside these peculiar cases, what I see is that two factors are crucial in Europe: ethnic homogeneity and to a lesser extent foreign military presence (typically as NATO bases). I understand that military bases equate to a mild foreign occupation and show that a state is either too weak to defend itself on its own means or too weak to put down the demands of imperialist powers. 

But the crucial element seems to be open ethnic conflict, which we find in Spain, Turkey, Russia and the other states mentioned above. 

Still there are not obvious failed states in Europe but there are some in the Caucasus that are close and others that are weak enough to be blown to pieces by an intensification of the instability currents eventually.

Maju's Failed State Index (I - America)

You may have heard of the Failed States Index. Admittedly I had not heard of it until a few weeks ago... but today it has hit the news. This index is created yearly by a US think tank, which looks suspicious to say the least. 

I say suspicious because when you look at their index in some detail, it is obvious that it is nothing but a forgery made up on the wishful thinking lies of US imperialist propaganda in most cases. 

Why would be Nicaragua worse than Honduras (maybe because it is ruled by a Sandinista government elected democratically instead of by a military junta with a constitutional varnish?), Costa Rica worse than Canada (with all its barely contained ethnic conflicts)? Colombia comparable to Ecuador (where there is no guerrilla nor death squads)? It is obvious that the parameters and specially evaluation given to each of them by the "think tank" are in many cases at least arbitrary and nonsensical. 

So I decided to do my own index. In order to avoid excessive complexity I established the following parameters:
  • Ethnic strife:
    • 0 - Ethnically homogeneous
    • 1 - Ethnically heterogeneous at peace
    • 2 - Contained ethnic conflict
    • 3 - Armed ethnic conflict
    • 4 - Open ethnic war
  • Income inequality (measured by Gini coefficient):
    • 0 - < 34
    • 1 - 34-43.9
    • 2 - 44-53.9
    • 3 - 54-63.9
    • 4 - > 64
  • Lack of democracy:
    • 0 - Highly reputed democracy (Switzerland, Iceland, Costa Rica)
    • 1 - Other acceptable democracies (most)
    • 2 - Formal democracy but authoritarian (Morocco, Colombia, Russia...)
    • 3 - Autocracy (China, Iran, Cuba...)
    • 4 - Worst dictatorship (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Myanmar...)
  • Guerrilla or Civil War:
    • 0 - No
    • 1 - Rare instances
    • 2 - Intermittent
    • 3 - Persistent but weak
    • 4 - Persistent and strong
  • Foreign intervention:
    • 0 - No
    • 1 - Foreign military alliances
    • 2 - Foreign military bases
    • 3 - Foreign intervention
    • 4 - Extreme foreign intervention (outright war)

  • Strong state: 0-3
  • Stable state: 4-7
  • Unstable state: 8-11
  • Very frail state: 12-15
  • Failed state: 16-20

Of course all this is arguable but as I'm a one-person think-tank, I have no one to contradict me (feel free to drop a line or two in the comments section).

And this is my first regional result: America:

All states/dependencies in grey were not evaluated for several reasons (lack of Gini coefficient data or I could not care enough)

Surprises? Chile is weak, Cuba is strong, Haiti is not failed. Chile is weak mostly because of the Mapuche conflict (added to a poor income equality); Cuba is strong because it scores 0 in all categories but democracy (3); Haiti is not failed because it is ethnically homogeneous and has no kind of civil war (the negative score is therefore in income inequality and foreign intervention). In fact Haiti would surely do fair enough without US/UN "help".

Colombia, as anyone knowledgeable would expect, ranks as truly failed state, Nicaragua is more stable than Honduras (what is a fact) and Canada is not that strong (a mere idealization that ignores the Native-Creole conflicts and also the Quebec-Federation ones, as well as the presence of US military bases).

Silent protesters take the streets of Belarus

In a bid to overcome the repressive police state that dominates Belarus, people has gone out to the streets of central Minsk and other cities of the Eastern European republic walking around without banners nor slogans.

The reaction of the police was to arrest people indiscriminately, as they could hardly know who were just walking and who were protesting. An ingenuous way of showing discontent even in the worst of police states:


Senegal rises up against attempts by president to perpetuate himself

Senegal has for long been considered a model democracy, a reference for Africa and the Muslim World. But nothing is perfect and certainly the former French colony has many issues including widespread poverty and lack of expectations, a common problem nowadays in most of the World but specially in Africa. 

What has triggered these riots was the attempt to reform the electoral aspects of the constitution, allowing a candidate for president to win in first round with as little as 25% of votes. Additionally it created the office of Vicepresident, which was suspected would end in the hands of the President's son.

The current President Abdoulaye Wade is 85 years old and seems to be thinking more in his son than in his country.

All this made the Senegalese People to go out to the streets to protest, chanting "Leave Wade" and "Don't touch my constitution", protests that were violently attacked by police forces:

Anyhow, part of the controversial law has already been dropped.

Sources: Al Jazeera,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Political pressures block Flemish resolution of support to Basque Peace Process

An ample consensus had been achieved in the preliminary work in the Flemish Parliament in support of a resolution that demanded from the Spanish Government and Parliament to take a more constructive approach to the Basque Peace Process (and also to the illegitimate government in the Western Basque Country). The initiative gathered the support of all Flemish political parties (but the fascist Vlaams Belang, isolated by all other parties): the New Femish Alliance, the Christian-Democrats of Flanders, the Socialist Party, the Greens, the Liberal-Democrats and the Flemish Movement.

However it has been reported now that some of the supporters of this initiative have decided to drop it after pressures of the Spanish political parties. After some attempts to introduce amendments that would turn the resolution into nothing, the initiative was pulled back.

The failed resolution (which had already passed the commission of foreign affairs) asked:
  1. To the Spanish and Western Basque governments to give constructive response to the ceasefire by ETA and promote the Peace Process in a constructive manner.
  2. To the Flemish government to support the Peace Process in the various European forums it belongs to.
  3. To the Flemish government to pay due attention to violations of human, civil and political rights in the Basque Country.
  4. To the Belgian government to follow the Flemish government in all this.
  5. To the Flemish government to increase the direct bilateral relations with the Basque Country.
Source: Gara[es].

Kurdish representatives to boycott Ankara's Parliament

The 35 Kurdish representatives elected in the lists of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) will boycott the Turkish Parliament. This decision has been taken after Ankara's electoral council decided to nullify the election of a 36th elect: Hatip Dicle. 

The imperialist "electoral council" decided that Dicle, who had been sentenced to 20 months of prison barely a few days before election, on grounds of apology of the Communist Party of Kurdistan, PKK, declared illegal by Ankara but felt by many Kurds as their only true representative.

The centralist laws that rule the Turkish Republic difficult Kurds to run in elections because they would need to reach 10% of the vote at state level and that's why the have to look for alliances with parties outside Kurdistan. Still the BDP won essentially in Kurdish majority provinces:

In the above map shaded provinces indicate those with some native ethnic Kurdish presence, not necessarily majority. Blue provinces are those where the BDP won (yellow: Turkish Islamo-Democrats, red: Turkish Nationalist Secularists, green: Turkish Nationalist Fascists). 

Kurds may be as many as 25% of the Turkish population but, outside their core area, they are scattered in smaller pockets or in worker neighborhoods in the large Turkish cities of the West, such as Istanbul.

Source: Gara[es].

Analysis of M-15 movement by activists with ideology

It is not easy to find insider discussion of what has meant the M-15 movement in English. I just found today three analysis by activists of communist and anarchist ideas (i.e. with more clear ideas than most, and also with more experience of self-organization than most). These are:

On the Seville and Barcelona movements (two different articles published together) can be read at The Commune

On the Madrid movement, an article can be read at This one is the longest one and arguably the one with a more clear vision of the pros and cons, of what can be expected and what not yet, of this movement.

Punks Against Apartheid show the middle finger to Jello

Well, some are more polite but anyhow.

There is a campaign going on to dissuade classical punk musician Jello Biafra (former member of Dead Kennedys) from performing in Apartheid Palestine (aka Israel).

Biafra did not look your usual fascist brainless punkster like Johnny Rotten: at least he has made some political activity (run for the Green Party presidential candidature with someone of the dignity level of Mumia Abu Jamal) and coined the popular phrase Don't hate the media, become the media.

He seems to have a couple of neurones, so to say. So why is he breaking the cultural and academic boycott to Israel and traveling there in a gig? Your hunch is as good as mine.

Whatever the case, Punks Against Apartheid has initiated a campaign against this performance: they are collecting signatures HERE and asking for activists to show Jello the finger in France, Switzerland and Finland, where he is performing before going to the Zionist terrorist colonies of Israel.

Biafra has suddenly made his Facebook page private, meaning that you cannot leave comments anymore. 

Some videos telling Jello to refrain himself from showing support for Nazi Israel:

Israeli anarchist (from Anarchists Against the Wall):

Deaf filmmaker Sabina England (Artists Against Apartheid):

Remember that you can sign the Punks Against Apartheid petition.

Update (Jun 29): Eventually Biafra decided to cancel his gig in Tel Aviv but he has issued such a jerky ultra-Zionist statement that I wish he'd done what he had planned to do an let things more clear.

Read what the Electronic Intifada has to say.

My opinion is that this guy is not the compromised lefty that some people feel he is, but actually someone with no idea of what is going on and totally brainwashed by the Zionist propaganda.

He says: This does not mean I or anyone else in the band are endorsing or joining lockstep with the boycott of all things Israel. Erm, then why bother? Either you boycott Israel or yo do not but why then suspend this actuation if you don't give a dime about the boycott to Israel, i.e. to Apartheid in Palestine?

He then charges against something he calls the 'drive all the Jews into the sea' crowd. This is the oldest Zionist trick ever. They even used it against this US veteran journalist Helen Thomas! This is about ending Apartheid and foreign (Jewish) occupation of Palestine. There is no notion of "driving the Jews out to the sea", even if that may be the end result if the Apartheid, the occupation and the genocide continue. What we demand is an end to Israel, a return of the refugees, a unified Palestinian state and that, after returning all stolen property and rights, all those rooted Jews who wish to stay do so.

But first is the Palestinian People, because they, as native people, oppressed people and exterminated people, have a much greater right than the colonists from overseas. These in any non-racist concept of justice come necessarily second, after all the abuses have been repaired.

En fin: I really hate that guy, makes all Punks look bad.

Tito Kayak climbed it in 2007
A small victory: Israel to dismantle one of the most bitterly fought sectors of the Apartheid Wall. 

You may have heard of Bil'in, where weekly nonviolent protests take place demanding farmers' access to their lands. Access blockaded by the wall of shame and the happy trigger of the Zionazi soldiers that guard it.

A court ruling has now forced that sector to be dismantled. The camera tower (left) was already demolished yesterday.

Source: Anarchists Against the Wall.

The tower is down now