Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Jersey: Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant in serious trouble

It is not the only NPP in the BosWash megalopolis to suffer incidents and alerts, other four ones (Indian Point, Nine Miles Point, Limerick and Salem) are affected one war or another, however the difficulties faced by Oyster Creek NPP look like very big deal and I'm beginning to wonder if we face another Chernobyl/Fukushima level accident on the making (hopefully not). 

Oyster Creek NPP (CC KyleandMelissa22)

First of all the devastation in New Jersey's coast, where the plant is located, is in the words of the state governor, unthinkable, comparable in all to the tsunami that shattered Japan a year and a half ago. 

On the less negative side the plant only hosts one reactor (not six like Fukushima) and it was in refueling stop. Still the spent fuel, ilogically kept in the plant, needs permanent cooling, what is a serious problem when the electricity fails as happened with the hurricane. 

So far the worst we know that happened was that the NPP released steam to the atmosphere, what probably mean a radioactive release, even if radioactivity is low (what I do not know for sure yet). 

Source: EneNews (links: 1, 2, 3, 4).


Nuclear engineer Arnie Gunderssen admitted (podcast) that the Oyster Creek situation is almost identical to Fukushima in the sense that loss of power is causing all the problems.

There are some nuances in relation to the refueling stop (which may be a good thing overall) but, whatever the case, "stopped" or "spent" fuel rods still need cooling and it was surely the cause of the steam vent. 

Update (Nov 1):

The US authorities have lifted the alert as waters are receding and the plant has been reconnected to external power sources again. 

Source: Ex-SKF.

Housing squat evicted in Athens

From Contra Info:

Athens: Eviction of the housing squat on Spyridonos Trikoupi street in Exarchia

On October 30th, at around 10am, anti-riot squadrons stormed the streets surrounding Exarchia square and violently evicted the housing squat on Spyridonos Trikoupi street. According to the initial information, approximately ten people were taken to the Exarchia police station, while the ‘legal’ owners of the building have not (yet) filed a lawsuit against the detained squatters.

Update, 18.00 (GMT+2): The ‘landlords’ filed a lawsuit against the squatters. All detainees will be held at the police station until tomorrow, 31/10, when they are expected to appear before prosecutor.

Just in case anyone had doubts... North Korea removes Marx and Lenin all over the place

The North Korean regime is founded on a peculiar ideology known as Juche, not too different from the fascist autarchy (militarist and nationalist self-reliance) of Franco, of arguable Marxist (or rather Stalinist) influences but in practice acting as a totalitarian nationalist fascism. 

It was already well known to those interested that North Korea discreetly welcomes foreign private "investment", i.e. exploitation of a most cheap and defenseless working class, business that is managed by a select few foreigners' club like the aristocratic and eccentric Spaniard Alejandro Cao de Benos, who get good benefits from their mediator role. 

But now is wholly official: the Korean authorities have removed the portraits of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin from the Kim Il Sung Plaza, signaling that they no longer consider them influential in any way. 

Before and after: no difference in practice

Source: Disidente del Capitalismo[es].

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nuclear Plants with problems in hurricane-battered USA

Among the lessons of Sandy, the frankenstorm, is that nuclear power plans are very much vulnerable, what implies that sooner than later one will just go very much wrong, as happened in Chernobyl and Fukushima. I sincerely expect that this is not the case with the affected US plants but the fact is that at least two of them are having problems already. 

New Jersey's Oyster Creek NPP, the oldest nuclear station still at work in the USA,  and New York's Indian Point and Nine Mile Point NPPs are in alert and in the two last cases in automatic shutdown (Oyster Creek was already shut down for refueling). All them have suffered too much water and/or winds for what they can actually withstand without problems. Less dramatic problems were reported at Limmerick reactor in Pennsylvania.

Sources and more details: Bloomberg, Energy News (links: 1, 2, 3, 4).

Galicia: attack against military police station

Unknown attackers piled up flammable materials and set them fire tonight at the Guardia Civil (military police) station in the town of Camariñas. The exact motivation of the attackers is unknown but class war and/or nationalist motivations are suspect - although the military police corps claims it was done as "revenge". 

The damages in any case were not too serious but the fact that the station could be attacked at all with such home-made methods underlines the relaxation that the military police corps sports out of the Basque Country. It also underlines that they are not so beloved of the people as the neo-fascist propaganda pretends. 

Paris vetoes again a distinct Basque region in the North

If anything has achieved the French Minister of Interior (police) Manuel Valls rejecting upfront any sort of Basque distinct administration within the upcoming decentralization law, it has been to unite all the Basque representatives from the Nationalist Left (Batasuna, AB) to the Unionist Right (UDF, UMP) against his inflexibility. 

Valls declared that he frontally opposes any sort of distinct administrative entity in the Northern Basque Country, linking it to ETA, something that everyone else considers a pathetic pretext for imperialist persistence. 

His party comrade Colette Capdevielle (state deputy, Bayonne) denounced that ETA and Northern Basque self-administration are not linked and that the minister was acting outside his role, because there is already another minister in charge of the design of the new law under preparation. 

She also criticized Valls in relation with ETA's disarmament because his positions are clearly against the declaration of Aiete (by high profile international facilitators), and therefore a sabotage of the peace process. 

She wished that Valls would come in person to see what's going on here in the Basque Country. 

Another PS representative to criticize Valls was Sylviane Alaux, as well as senator Frédérique Espagnac.

François Maitia, President of the Aquitaine Regional Council, was also strongly critical, emphasizing that ETA already declared a year ago that is abandoning armed struggle irreversibly. 

From the Unionist Right also, J.J. Lasserre (UDF senator and president of the Council of Basque Elects), Max Brisson (UMP) considered Valls declarations totally out of place.

Batasuna speaker Xabi Larralde said that Valls is not really socialist because his attitude is exactly the same as Sarkozy's, being completely under the clout of the Spanish neo-fascists in power in Madrid.

Against prisoner repatriation

Manuel Valls also declared to be against prisoner repatriation in the Basque as in the Corsican conflict.

His police forces recently arrested three ETA members in what has been perceived as yet another attempt to force the collapse of the Basque peace process, stagnated before French and Spanish intransigence. 

Source: Gara[es].


The PS Basque elects have written a letter to Minister Valls demanding retraction, very specially in linking ETA to Basque self-rule.

The letter can be read in the original French version at Kazeta or in an Spanish translation at Gara.

Turkey: fundamentalists repress secularist demo

In an unprecedented repressive move, Turkish police attacked a secularist demonstration celebrating the 89th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. While the media are stepping on this fascist institutional violence as a mere side story eclipsed by Sandy, Syria and Ukraine, this may be a step too far for the neo-Ottoman government, which courts this way the ideological partition of the country, already much shattered by the endless war of Kurdish independence. 

Image from the repressed demo (Al Jazeera)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Greece: journalist jailed for publishing list of tax evaders

C. Vaxevanis
Costas Vaxevanis was jailed today for daring to publish the list of 1991 tax evaders with large accounts in Switzerland. The so-called "Lagarde List" had been sitting for two years in the Prime Minister's office without any of them (neither Papandreou, nor Papademos, nor Samaras) doing anything on the matter.

While the rotten capitalist tax evaders get away with impunity, those who dare to expose them are jailed overnight. 

And they call it democracy, what in Greek comes to mean people's power... how ironic!

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

Update: In a video filmed soon before arrest, Costas Vaxevanis explains how police action against him preceded the judicial order of arrest. He defends that the publishing of the list is wholly legal because he did not publish any single money amount, just stating that these are the citizens in the Lagarde List and their banks.

Drones are here to stay... for good or bad

Interesting documentary (h/t Naked Capitalism) on the generalization of cheap small drones (robotic air craft) for all.

They will be legalized for commercial uses in the USA in three years but the reality of privately controlled drones exists already and legalization appears to be a mere rubberstamp on a fait accompli. 

While the drones may indeed be a risk  for privacy (and are already being used in that way by police and military forces), like the now-ubiquitous cameras there are two or more sides to them and can potentially be also used by investigative journalists for example, denouncing authority abuses.

Whatever the case, it seems that they will be a common sight in the skies very soon. If you can even spot them at all.

'No Monti Day' brings hundreds of thousands to the streets

Some 100-150,000 people marched in Rome alone in the so called "No Monti Day", against Mario Monti the Goldman Sachs' appointed manager of Italy.

A sea of red banners combined with egg and firecracker hatching in the Italian capital.

"We are here against Monti and his politics, the same politics as all over Europe, that brought Greece to its knees and that is destroying half of Europe, public schools, health care," said a demonstrator.

But Rome was not the only town to march, there were protests elsewhere in Italy. In the Northern town of  Riva del Garda, where Monti was babbling about "family values" (oh, so he's not apolitical after all?) the military police (carabinieri) attacked the citizens protesting outside, as can be seen in this Euronews video:

Sources: Reuters, DW, Cuatro[es],

Refusing to be conscripted by the Apartheid regime in Palestine

While traditionally Muslim and Christian Palestinians, as well as Fundamentalist (Hasidic) Jews, are exempt from conscription into the colonial army (IDF), the Druze minority of Gallilee are not. One of such recruits however will not go. 

From IMEMC News:

To the Israeli Prime Minister,
To the “Defense Minister”,
Subject: refusal to appear for compulsory military recruitment.

I’m the undersigned, Omar Zahr Eldin Mohammad Saad from the village of Mughar – Galilee, have received a notice to appear in the military recruitment offices on 31.10.2012 to conduct tests according to the conscription law imposed on the Druze community. I would like to make the following points:

I refuse to appear for tests, because I oppose the law of conscription imposed on my Druze community. I refuse because I am a man of peace and I hate all forms of violence, and the military institution represents for me the peak of physical and psychological violence. Since I received the notice to appear for tests, my life has changed, I became more nervous, my thoughts were distracted, I remembered thousands of cruel images, and I couldn’t imagine myself wearing military uniform and participating in the suppression of my Palestinian people or fighting my Arab brothers. I oppose the recruitment to the Israeli military and any other military for conscience and nationalistic reasons. I hate the injustice and oppose the occupation; I hate intolerance and restriction of freedoms. I hate those who detain children, the elderly and women.

I am a musician, I play the Viola , I have played in many places, I have musician friends from Ramallah, Jericho, Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus, Jenin, Shfa’amr, Eilabun, Rome, Athens, Amman, Beirut, Damascus, Oslo, and we all play for freedom, humanity and peace, our weapon is the music and we shall not have any other weapon.

I am from a community that was unjustly treated by an unjust law, how can we fight our relatives in Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon? How can I hold arms against my brothers and people in Palestine? How can I be a soldier standing at Qalandia checkpoint or any other checkpoint, after I experienced the injustices at these checkpoints? How can I prevent someone from Ramallah to visit his city, Jerusalem? How can I guard the apartheid wall? How can I be a jailer to my own people while I know that the majority of prisoners are freedom prisoners and seekers of rights and freedom?

I play for joy, for freedom, for a just peace based on halting settlements, the end of the occupation in Palestine, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem its capital, the release of all prisoners in prisons and the return of displaced refugees to their homes.

Many of the youth from my community have done the compulsory service in the army, what have we received? Discrimination in all areas, our villages are the poorest, our lands were confiscated, there are no master plans, and no industrial zones. Percentages of university graduates in our villages of the lowest in the region, the unemployment rates in our villages are the highest. This mandatory law has kept us away from our Arab connection.

This year, I will finish high school, and I seek to complete my university education. I’m sure you will try to make me concede my human ambition, but I announce it loudly:

I’m Omar Zahr Eldin Mohammad Saad will not be the fuel to the fire of your war, and will not be a soldier in your army .

Signature: Omar Sa'ad

Thousands march again in Madrid against austerity

In a yet another illegal demonstration, thousands attempted to reach Congress once again today. This time there have been no incidents. 

Source: Kaos[es] (incl. more photos).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ding! Spanish unemployment hits 25%!

Surrealist Bourbon dose today
One of every four workers in Spain cannot find work, any work at all, not even in McDonald's. The dramatic record was known yesterday.

Meanwhile all (housing, food, electricity, etc.) remains so extremely expensive that they can't work for less either. No matter how much public budget "austerity" they impose while housing, food, electricty and other basic costs of life remain high, people can't work for less. You have to feed and house your children at the very least if you're going to work 10 hours a day, six days a week... otherwise it's not worth it. 

The situation is so bad that the senile monarch of the European realm, while visiting India, made very strange declarations that, oddly enough, seem to make some sense, even if  surrealistically so:
  • From inside Spain feels like crying
  • Spain will get out with a knife in the mouth and a smile (Rambo rantings now, Mr. Double Bourbon?) 
  • There is people who wants to hit us hard on the head (Fat Angela maybe?)

Not Springfield, Tony
That's the kind of things that happen when you have an unqualified person on a major job for life just because... Still it does give a strange feeling of well, he's gone totally nuts and is speaking the truth...

Whatever went through the head of the man with the best job in the realm, it's clear that the situation in Spain does feel like crying. 

But for most people simply crying is not an option... they need solutions and need them now.

Refs[es]: Gara, Público.

Panama: massive protests force the hand of the government

The Martinelli government had passed a law (law 72), which allowed the state to sell to private owners lands in the Colón free trade zone, triggering a massive uprising in the impoverished city (followed by brutal murderous repression) that had begun extending through the rest of the country, specially as the Native American tribes had decided to join[es] the revolt.

Today it has been known that the arrogant President, who force-fed the law with the proponent saying: "go to cry to the cemetery" as it was voted, maybe foreseeing the victims it would cause, is retracting and will proceed now to impel the derogation of the law. 

However in Panama, for a law to be removed, three parliamentary sessions must take place and hence the uprising people of Colón continues on the streets, with the riots showing no sign of receding. 

Source: LINyM[es].

Friday, October 26, 2012

Spain: three suicides in few hours caused by foreclosures

Capitalism kills and the two suicides of the last days in Andalusia and the Valencian Country, just before foreclosure was enforced, are just the tip of the iceberg:

Miguel Ángel Domingo, 53, was found dead by hanging yesterday at his home of Granada. Police confirmed that the eviction of his home was scheduled to take place in the next few days.

Also yesterday Manuel G. B., also 53 y.o., answered the bell at his home of Burjassot, Valencian Country, and, finding out it was the judiciary agent with order of eviction, kissed his son, 23, on the cheek and jumped out the balcony, dying hours later at hospital. 

In Spain, even if you lose your home to foreclosure proceedings, you remain indebted for life to the banksters. 

Update: a third man, this one younger, killed himself on Tuesday in Tenerife (Canary Islands) by jumping from a bridge as he lost job, girlfriend and home (foreclosured) all in a row.

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Obituary: Txomin Ziluaga

Historical Basque socialist and nationalist political leader Txomin Ziluaga died today, at the age of 72, after suffering a fall injury two days ago.

Txomin Ziluaga in a recent photo (source)

Txomin was one of the founders of the People's Socialist Revolutionary Party (HASI) and its secretary general between 1978 and 1987, a never legalized political organization that was the core of the coalition Herri Batasuna (People's Union, which gathered some other parties as well as a growing number of "independents"). The coalition was created in 1978 frontally opposed to the neo-fascist reforms in Spain and with the declared intention of impelling a distinct Basque constituent process. 

Previously he had been in jail seven years, benefiting from the General Amnesty of 1976. 

Txomin Ziluaga when he still had all his hair (source)
In 1980 Ziluaga was among those elected as part of the second political force in the new Western Basque Parliament, semi-autonomously chained to the Spanish legal frame, where they greeted the Spanish monarch with the hymn to Basque fighters Eusko Gudaria. After that and other incidents HB decided to boycott the Western Basque and Spanish parliaments altogether, however working in the municipal and provincial institutions. 

Ziluaga and Brouard (source)
He was very close to Santi Brouard, who was murdered by the Spanish death squads in 1984. 

In a never well explained Stalinist-like political purge, Ziluaga and others were separated from HASI and Herri Batasuna in 1988, only to be welcomed again in 1998 with the formation of Euskal Herritarrok (We Basque Citizens).

I recall that I was attempting to work as door-to-door salesman (totally not my thing, nor anyone's for what I care, I just lasted a few days) in what was maybe 1989 or 1990 and I just happened to knock at his door in the neighborhood of Indautxu (Bilbao). He was not interested in my wares at all but he did invite me to a coffee and some conversation of which I have only fragmentary memories now; I recall I asked him about the division with HB and he tried to explain me his point of view. I don't recall the details but I do remember him as a very accessible and seemingly honest person. Someone you could definitely trust with your vote. 

Since his return to politics in 1988 he remained a solid supporter of the Basque Nationalist Left although he never returned to first line. His daughter Haizea Ziluaga is a compromised lawyer and was recently arrested in a political persecution.

Recent video in which Ziluaga ratifies his all-life convictions (Spanish language)

As we say here, gogoan zaitugu, Txomin: we have you in our mind/soul (or just we remember you), Txomin.

Greece: brutal police repression in Chalcidike mine conflict

Thousands of people marched this weekend again against the gold mine that big capitalists plan to open in the Chalcidike peninsula destroying a forest and polluting the environment.

Police this time tolerated the march of 8 km to the village of Skouries but there police set up a fire (unbelievable, right? - true however) and attacked the marchers with unusual brutality, abusing specially the use of teargas, which was thrown inside cars systematically.

One victim of criminal tear gas attacks, who lost control of his car and hit a policeman, has been charged with grievous bodily harm. Some other 15 people were arrested and charged with rebellion against the state

Source: first person narration (and video, although not of the repression, just the march) at Occupied London - From the Greek Streets.

Greenpeace accuses Japan on Fukushima catastrophe

Different versions of the same story today at Ex-SKF and Fukushima Diary: Greenpeace speaks out on Fukushima and rejects the Japanese government's criminal policies for what they are. 

They criticized surveillance as clearly biased and misleading and the so-called decontamination efforts as a useless farce with serious consequences for the population. 

Some excerpts:

Greenpeace found that in some parks and school facilities in Fukushima city, home to 285 000 people, radiation levels were above 3 microsieverts (mSv) per hour. Japan's recommended radiation limit is 0.23mSv per hour.


"Decontamination efforts are seriously delayed and many hot spots that were repeatedly identified by Greenpeace are still there," Teule said.

"It is especially disturbing to see that there are many hot spots around playground equipment, exposing children who are most vulnerable to radiation risks," she said.


"The government continues to downplay radiation risks and give false hope [of returning home] to victims of this nuclear disaster," said Suzuki.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Galicia: only 54% voted - real figure was hidden

The great winner in the Galician elections was actually not Feijóo nor Beiras but abstention. The real figure for electoral participation this year in Galicia was of  54.42% but, by means of statistical trickery, it was presented as much more acceptable figure: 63.29%. 

As Paco Bello shows in Iniciativa Debate[es] there's some major statistical manipulation going on here:

2009 census: 2,691,570 - Participation: 1,706,198 (63.39%) - Official: 64.43%
2012 census: 2,696,513  - Participation: 1,467,657 (54.42%) - Official: 63.80%

How is this possible? Simple: 238,541 expatriate Galicians who abstained were not counted this year (while those expatriate Galicians who voted were counted, of course).

This is of course just an illusionist trick for the gallery that pretends to hide great discontent in the Galician People. Discontent that no party or coalition seems able to mobilize electorally.

The legitimacy of the Xunta (Galician Parliament) is therefore limited to a mere 47.95% for all parties with representation. 

The "winning" People's Party (PP, ultra-conservative to neo-fascist) lost 17.5% of its real voter base since 2009. It represents 24.25% of Galicians.

The loser Socialist Worker Party of Spain (PSOE, center-something) lost 44% of its real voter base of 2009. It represents 10.89% of the citizenry. 

I think we can end this entry with a meaningful (i.e. surrealistic) clip from the always unique Os Resentidos, more in line with the true and less obvious flavor of the country of the End of the World, where it always rains... except when it drizzles. Something like Galicia Sitio Distinto (Galicia Different Place):

Another week of protests in Madrid

The 25-S movement, aka "Surround Congress", which is essentially grassroots assemblies of angry citizens as far as I can tell, has called for another week of protests in Madrid against the new round of criminal austerity budget (except for the Army, Police, prisons, banksters, politicians and monarchy).

All demos are illegal because the authorities have been punishing those who made legal calls with sheer fines. Not that the legal status is deterring people from taking part and that, I'd say is important in itself, as it was last year with the plazas movement, because tyrannic laws deserve to be breached (this is a long held legal-philosophical doctrine since Vitoria at least, I'm not making up anything new). 

The demands? The people wrote them on cardboard pieces and hang on police fences:

Resignation PPSOE [hybrid acronym of the twin ruling parties: PP and PSOE]
We won't believe anything
I don't want a king
[Banco Santader owner] Botín to the mine
Tired of putting up with this criminal system!!

Let the bailed out ones pay for the bail out
Not to fulfill electoral promises must be illegal, besides of immoral
From my taxes to the Church: 0 - secular, universal and free education
Dignified salaries for the politicians - suppression of the Senate
Effective struggle against tax fraud
I don't want a king

Right now (c. 21:00 CET) there should be an attempt to physically surround the Congress, which may end up in violent police intervention, I presume.

Source: Público live coverage[es].

Many were blocked out of Neptuno Plaza

Police used diverse tactics like cutting access streets so people could not arrive to Neptuno Plaza and threatening with hefty fines to those who remained there after 21:00. 

The tactics seems to have worked because the overall affluence was smaller than in previous such protets.

The protest was called out at 22:00 but there are new protests planned for the 25th and the 27th.

Source: Kaos[es].

Belated mention of the Greek General Strike of the 18th

For some reason (feeds strangely not working in time) I did not read this info until five days after it was published. And mainstream media just do not mention anymore Greek struggles or barely so.

Tens of thousands joined the mobilizations in Athens and elsewhere (Patras, Thessaloniki, Lesvos...)

103 citizens were arrested, mostly in preemptive police raids. Seven of them were sent to prison, one of them with a broken nose.

Very large anti-war demo in Istanbul

Thousands of protesters marched though Istanbul against war: war against Syria and war against the Kurdish People. 

Demonstrators held an evening gathering in Taksim square to protest the new act of the Turkish military after the bombings against Syria (in early October). Then, the anti-war march passed though central streets and ended in Galatasaray square, where people carried out a sit-in demonstration.

Source: Contra-Info

Russia: Pussy Riot members sent to forced work camps

Members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot were sent to forced work camps in Mordovia (Nadya Tolokonnikova) and Perm (Maria Alyokhina). They are considered to be the worst of the Russian prison system. 

Forced work is a penal variant of slavery that is at the very least rare in Europe, being a clear case of slavery, i.e. a crime against humankind. 

As you probably know, the members of Pussy Riot are victims of an inquisitorial persecution by the fascist regime of Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. 

Source: Sare Antifaxista[es].

Warning: EU will allow Japanese food imports since November

So far EU imposed strict controls to the area around Fukushima. Now for no reason at all (the situation is not any better) this is going to end. According to Fukushima Diary (citing Japanese-language sources):

On 10/22/2012, EU is going to lift the regulation of importing food from 11 prefectures in Japan except for Fukushima.

The restriction will be lifted as of 11/1/2012, they will import Japanese alcohol drinks, such as wine, beer, and plum liquor, and seaweed without radiation measurement.

While the import of alcohols can easily be dribbled (because they have a very limited market in Europe), the allowance of seaweed (algae) is most dangerous in my understanding because they are used to make a lot of synthetic foods and a scare can harm local algae production (much like avoidance of unlabeled transgenic maize/soy harms regular maize/soy production, etc.) 

The situation in the region is anything but under control. The Japanese government's criminal policies of hide, extend and pretend (instead of containment) should not be rewarded but punished, and certainly not at our expense.

I must denounce this irresponsible attitude by the EU authorities which opens the gate for even greater flooding of Japanese radioactive foods to our supermarkets, tables and guts (and those of our children too).

I would suggest to raise awareness around ourselves and to write respectful but firm emails or letters to the department of General Health and Consumers of the EU:

Snail mail:
Directorate-General Health & Consumers
B - 1049 Brussels

Form at this address.

+32 2 299 11 11

The office right now has no head, so I wonder who is making the decisions. You can contact also your trusted consumers' association an your trusted MEPs, if any.

Spain: growing military and police budgets

While there are budgetary cuts for every sector, the Armed Forces are instead being well fed in what the Basque antimilitarist committee Gasteizkoak compares to a military coup against the populace and their interests. While everything else is cut down brutally, no matter if its pensions or solar energy, the Armed Forces and the Police are totally unscathed (at most with purely aesthetic retouches).

They also warn to the very unusual accumulation of military voices, very specially against Catalan independence, in what seems a clear attempt to take the power back into military hands.

In 2012 alone the real military budget has grown 40% by means of extraordinary credits which total € 2,537 billion. These include € 755 billion for foreign missions (notably Afghanistan but also Bosnia and Kosovo), while € 1,783 were approved, in the very eve of the two-million demo of Barcelona for Catalan independence, to buy new weaponry, in what Gazteizkoak interpret as an attempt to limit military discontent by buying new toys for the angry kids. 

The situation is similar in the Police Forces, which are the only state body that has offered new employment (45,300 new jobs in the National Police and Guardia Civil) in 2012 and will repeat in 2013 according to all predictions. 

In the Western Basque Country, some 520 new regional police have been recruited in the last few years as well. The Interior Department (essentially: police) has seen its budget cut since 2009 in a mere € 29 million, a totally symbolic amount.

Gasteizkoak also denounces the military industry, which they denounce as useless and parasitic, being the only sector with a clear growth in these times of crisis. A clear sign that public budget, even if camouflaged, has not decreased at all for the weaponry industry. Among them are Basque companies ITP, Sener and Sapa, whose profits have grown strongly in the crisis. 

Source: Gara[es].

Monday, October 22, 2012

Panama: police kills, beats and terrorizes citizens in Colón

Colón one of the largest cities of Panamá and the main Caribbean port of the country has been these days scenario of major clashes between the police forces and citizens who oppose the sell-off of the state land property in the Free Trade Zone. One minor has been killed and nightmarish scenes of police brutality can be seen in this video (just an example):

Source: Kaos[es].

Western Basque elections: nationalists claim back their place after three-plus years of shameful undemocratic insitutions

In 2009 the Spanish Unionist parties executed a legal coup in the Western Basque Country, with the help of their imposed Law of Political Parties, which was designed to ban a major Basque force only because they did not bow to the impositions of the neofascist regime in Spain, promoted by dictator Franco and his political successors (the Double Bourbon monarch, Suárez, Fraga, González, etc.)

Because of that we have suffered for these years a most oppressive situation in which the social-democrats (PSE-PSOE) revealed themselves as the fascists they actually are, wasting money in hyper-expensive Spanish flags, using police to repress the citizenry with even more brutality than before (with one person killed this Spring), destroying the Basque welfare system, Basque radio-TV so extremely biased, even in a sexist sense (promoting female anchors with stiletto high heels and very long hair, as if this would be some sort of Western version of Talibanistan) that audience simply collapsed to half the traditional levels and in general acting as a the fascist appointed puppet government they are.

This nightmarish situation is finally coming to an end and we go back to the political normality that, with minor changes, existed in the Western Basque Country for decades: the Basque Nationalist Party rules one way or another, always in minority, always needed of supports, always lacking a credible alternative.

The Western Basque elections have again produced a very divided parliament, albeit a normal and democratic one for a change:

It is interesting anyhow not just looking to the seats attained but very specially to the votes gained and lost, and not in percentage but in raw numbers:

Western Basque (E.A.E.) elections October-21st-2012

Compared results but party (using both 2009 farce vote and the 2005 more real elections):

  1. EAJ-PNV: the "winner" lost  16,000 votes re. 2009 and 84,000 votes re. 2005 (when it run together with Basque Solidarity, EA, now in EH Bildu)
  2. EH Bildu: impossible to compare with 2009 (legal ban of its backbone) but its more distinctive approximate components (Basque Nationalist Left, then running in two different parties) gathered 179,000 votes in 2005, what means an estimate gain (very much arguable, I know) of some 98,000 votes, being the only major list to improve results.
  3. PSE-PSOE: loses 106,000 relative to the 2009 farce and 75,000 relative to 2005. It is a major collapse (35% of 2009 voters have deserted them), paying dearly their disastrous fascistoid rule in Gasteiz as in Madrid.
  4. PP loses only 16,000 votes re. 2009 but 82,000 votes relative to 2005. They seem to resist but their long term photo is of clear decline.
  5. (dis-)United Left: the Spanish true left coalition recently faced disintegration in the Basque Country, with a major faction (Alternatiba) joining Bildu (then Amaiur, now EH Bildu), another major faction remaining loyal to the all-Spain project and yet another fraction, totally delegitimized by corruption scandals, retaining the legal name. The main surviving distinct fraction (EzkA-IU) lost some 6000 votes re. their 2009 results (the corrupt fraction EB got 17,000 votes so they actually gained 11,000 overall) and 35,000 the 2005 election. They lose all representation and may be a while before they recover it.
  6. UPyD: the former Basque Councilor Rosa Díez' maverick populist party with clear fascist tendencies, loses a few hundred votes, essentially repeating results. Unlike United Left, they managed to keep a seat even if they have less votes (but not in the key province of Araba, where each vote is worth four times as one in Biscay and twice one in Gipuzkoa). 

Overall... well, Ken Brockman welcomes our new overlords from outer space, which are the same as always: Zionist International, NATO, EU, IMF, Goldman Sachs, the Bundesbank, BBVA, Iberdrola, Petronor, etc.

We should expect a PNV-PSOE pact... unless suddenly the ghost of Sabin Arana awakens and shatters the Basque Nationalist Party into walking the path of independence, maybe by the hand of the Catalans...

But I'm dreaming awake I reckon.

Main source for the graphs: Naiz Info.

Update (Oct 22): a bit of analysis:

Iñaki Iriondo has today a somewhat interesting analysis[es] at Naiz Info. I'll reflect here some of his key observations:

  • Compared with the all-Spain elections of Nov. 2011, the People's Party (PP, unionist right) lost 2/5 of supports: from 210,000 to 130,000 votes. In general their position keeps being eroded and they only represent 7.5% of the census, no matter what they say.
  • EH Bildu grows in Araba and Biscay, where it is opposition, and declines somewhat in its stronghold of Gipuzkoa, where it is governing in minority (retaining however 88% of the 2011 voters for Amaiur - same forces, different name).
  • Left and Right are technically tied in the new parliament effectively preventing any temptations for the PSOE to break ranks with the IMF directives and align with the sociological majority. This situation is caused by the political suicide of the PSOE (discussed above) and the factional disintegration of United Left, rather than any non-existent advance of the unapologetically bourgeois parties. 
  • Urkullu (PNV) can even choose to be elected Lehendakary by its own minority (in third vote, per the Western Basque electoral law) and then sort out the pacts for each law or budget (he most probably won't but the option is there, reinforcing his position). 
  • While the defeated Galician leader of the PSOE, Pachi Vázquez, has resigned overnight, his Basque homologue and namesake, Patxi López, has not even considered resignation but is even postulated by some of his Spanish comrades for top leadership positions in Spain. Iriondo does not say but this is obviously because he has served well our Spanish overlords in the rather uncomfortable position of fascist proconsul. It's also disturbing to watch the PSOE so completely lost in their neoliberal suicide by internal loss of all substance, so unable to imagine any alternative that they want to create a "leader" out of the grey nothingness that is Patxi López.
  • UPyD is another failure, totally unable to collect dissident votes from the PP and PSOE, no matter if they try to capitalize the victims of ETA or the many abandoned by the demolition of welfare... nobody else puts their trust on them. 

Update: voting in Bilbao

Bilboko Branka[eu] has a map showing leading party in each neighborhood and also results in bar graphs (click at "emaitzak grafikoetan" links for each district's gallery).

The map:

(click to expand)

The dominance of the Christian-Dems is overwhelming, even in large neighborhoods that are clearly working class (Santutxu, Errekaldeberri, Uribarri, Basurtu, etc.) The PSOE's lead is restricted to the slums erected under Fascism to host the hordes of immigrants like Otxarkoaga, while the influence of EH Bildu is strongest instead in the Old Quarter, also very much working class, albeit of Basque identity mostly.

In general, if you look at the neighborhood bar graphs, we can see that the PSOE collapsed everywhere, while EH Bildu is not strong enough in this city to take their role, resulting in a PNV victory by default.

Update: results town by town and evolution of the Left-Nationalist vote in the last elections:

Naiz Info offers the detailed results town by town in PDF format.

It also provides this graph (PDF) of the evolution of the Left-Nationalist vote in the last elections (2011-12). Notice that Aralar run separately in the provincial elections ("forales 2011"):

We can see that it is essentially the same with only minor fluctuations and, if anything, slight loses, even if it has gathered more people (Aralar) under the same banner.

This may be a clear example of how integrating social-democrats and evolving towards an obsolete integrated social-democratic discourse is actually harmful in these times of deep violent crisis. But, of course, the matter is subject to interpretation.

Update: Electoral history of the Western Basque Country (autonomous Parliament):

Creative Commons License
'Western Basque Electoral History' 1980-2012 by Maju
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Another version of the same data graph, maybe easier to read:

Creative Commons License
'Western Basque Electoral History v2' 1980-2012 by Maju
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Galician elections: conservatives consolidate, left-wing nationalism advances

Somewhat surprisingly, the Spanish conservative party (PP) consolidated and even reinforced their strong majority in the Galician autonomous Parliament. 

Meanwhile the left-wing nationalists also gained important positions in spite of running divided: the wider coalition Galician Left Alternative (AGE), born this very year and led by historical and charismatic Xoxé Manuel Beiras, got nine seats, while their former comrades of the Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) lost five, retaining seven. 

Together AGE and BNG gathered more than 24% of the votes, more than the social-democrat unionists (PSdG, 21%) but, running separately, they are hurt by the D'Hondt method of seat apportionment, which favors larger parties. 

The Spanish social-democrats (PSdG-PSOE) simply collapsed, losing seven seats. It seems that you cannot claim to be a left-wing "worker" party and then apply the politics of Big Capital without even an aspirin. Its leaders are already in "penance mode".

Overall the results appear to send a message of calm to the beleaguered Spanish government (PP), even if the peculiarities of Galicia do not really make this result easy to extrapolate to core Spain, where it is Rajoy and not Feijoo who matters.

The overall advance of the nationalist left divided project actually reminds of the record electoral triumph of the BNG led by Beiras in 1997, at least in number of votes. However it seems apparent that such is the ceiling that independentism can muster in Galicia: c. 25%. 

Main sources: La Voz de Galicia, Wikipedia (several languages and articles).

Update (Oct 23): massive abstention:

The participation figures were brutally retouched so they looked "normal". In reality there was a massive abstention of more than 45%, with all parties losing major shares of votes in raw numbers.

Discussed in more detail here

Pedohile impunity at the BBC for decades

Famous BBC personality Jimmy Savile ("Sir James"), who presented programs for young audiences since the 1970s, has been posthumously acknowledged as a sexual predator against children (pedophile), evidencing the impunity that the oligarchs and their lackeys enjoy in our bourgeois regime, in which, as someone say, reputation can be bought and imposed hierarchically. 

A dangerous criminal who should have been in jail for most of his life, Savile instead enjoyed popularity, the friendship of that international criminal who is Margaret Thatcher, money and even an ad-hoc aristocratic honors granted by the Queen and the Pope (and what not!)

This can only be the tip of a much larger iceberg: the great bourgeois oligarchs enjoy such impunity that they get away with almost anything. 

In fact musician Pete Townshend (The Who) denounced recently that British banks are actively helping to cover up pedophile rings, earning substantial money with it.

A much more extensive report on the Savile scandal can be read and visioned at EneNews.

Bahrain: Al Ekre village under police siege for days

Following an alleged bomb attack that would have killed a police agent (so far unconfirmed), police has put siege to the village of Al Eker, south of Manama, for at least 48 hours, imposing a de facto curfew, injuring people with beatings but also sound bombs, tear gas and other terror devices, vandalizing the local mosque, banning the entrance of food or the exit of those injured, arresting physicians, etc. 

Tear gas by night in Al Eker (Bahrain)

A much more complete report can be read at Bahrain Center of Human Rights.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ship to Gaza attacked by Zionist troops

The Zionist armed forces attacked the Estelle in international waters (N 31º26' - E 33º45') at 10:15 CET. No less than five ships took part in the operation, nothing else is known as of yet of this act of piracy. 

Source: Ship to Gaza Sweden (the website has also been subject to intermittent DOS attack along the day).

See also: solidarity videos.

Swedish ship to Gaza approaches destination

This year the naval civilian effort to breach the blockade of Gaza Strip (where the natives of what is now Israel and their descendants languish in what has been dubbed the largest concentration camp on Earth) has been smaller than in previous years but still the Swedish ship Estelle is now (at 9:00 CET) at only 38 miles of Gaza Strip and can be attacked by the Zionist forces at any moment.

The brave crew, as well as the Palestinian Natives, in Gaza and elsewhere under the boot of the genocidal Zionist Apartheid Regime (Israel), need all our support and attention.

Sadly in Navarre, the Spanish neo-fascist authorities have forbidden all demos in solidarity with the Estelle and the Palestinian People, showing, like so many other governments their bootlicking reverence for the Zionazi oppression.

Follows short video from Gaza citizens explaining with banners the urgency of breaking the Zionist siege:

Sources: Ateak Ireki[es], Ship to Gaza, Gaza's Ark.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Honduras: Supreme Court declares "model towns" unconstitutional

In a landmark and rather unexpected decision the Honduran Supreme Court voted today that the pet-project of putschist President Porfirio Lobo and murky US speculators of Libertarian (Fascist Ultra-Capitalist) ideology, consisting in legally detaching parts of Honduras for extra-territorial colonies under total private control, the so-called "model towns", is in unconstitutional.

13 judges voted the unconstitutionality of the imperialist project, one voted against (i.e. in favor of the colonial project) and yet another one issued a particular vote

There were more than 50 different claims of unconstitutionality filed before the Supreme Court by different agents against the "model towns" sell-out. At least one person, lawyer Antonio Trejo Cabrera, was murdered for denouncing this project.

Trejo's demand, denouncing that de-facto President Lobo is committing high treason by promoting this colonial project is still awaiting resolution.

Whatever the case, this national sell-out plan was the keystone of the coup promoted by Obama in 2009. While Honduras has for long been considered the main US military ally or rather protectorate in the region, the Ultra-Capitalist Neofeudal project of Paul Romer, Patri Friedman, Peter Thiel and others, clearly offered an economic dimension to all the putschist adventure that now will be lost. Without it, the importance of the putschist regime is clearly weakened and the road to democratic normalization open again. 

Now we only have to wait for the Presidency to be indicted with high treason, which is true no matter how you look at it. If the Supreme Court of Honduras would have the guts to impeach Lobo, then everybody would celebrate. 

Well, everybody except the pirates, of course. 

Source: LINyM[es].

See also:

Money laundering in the Navarrese government

J. Pejenaute (left)
In a short notice, Navarrese counter-information blog Ateak Ireki reports[es] that workers of the Caja de Ahorros de Navarra (CAN, Savings Bank of Navarre), formerly public property but then sold at great loss to a Spanish-Catalan conglomerate led by La Caixa, have denounced that Jesús Pejenaute, Councilor of Social Policies of the current minority government of Navarre (UPN, regionalist-unionist), laundered €180,000 in €500 bank notes. 

In spite of this crime being reported to their superiors, none of them, including those with the highest political responsibilities in the Old Kingdom, like Miguel Sanz or Yolanda Barcina did anything about it.

Naiz Info also mentions the matter[es] in equally brief terms.

Workers seize concrete factory in Katmandu

The state owned Himal Cement Factory, which has been closed for 11 years, was going to be sold-off by parts by the government, which ironically is also historically Maoist - but which has been repudiated by the Maoist grassroots recently, which moved to organize their own party in June.

As reaction to this sell-off, activists from the major union All Nepal Revolutionary Trade Union Federation (ANRTUF). They not just demand that the machinery is not sold to foreign countries but also they would get to manage all state-owned industries closed in the state.

Along with the ANRTUF activists, members of the Maoist militia (National People's Volunteer) have also been deployed.

The union proposed to even relocate the factory elsewhere if the locals would be opposed to it.

Source: Kasama.

Spanish neo-fascist government wants to ban recording of police brutality

Spanish cops in action
The Spanish Police Director, Ignacio Cosidó has declared that they are studying the prohibition of all kind of recordings of police agents in official duty. The pretext? That such records might endanger police agents or police operations, and of course the personal and familial intimacy and grant them the right to their honor and their image.

And what not!

The obvious goal of this neo-fascist government (with not more than 18% of legitimacy (voter intention) less than a year after they managed to secure a majority, thanks to abstention, vote dispersal and an anti-representative electoral law that strongly favors the consolidated parties) is to guarantee total impunity for the police forces in this time and age in which nearly everybody has a camera and can report and denounce police brutality or any other abuses via the Internet. 

That way fascist repression of the kind they would like to implement can only backfire and they are desperate to return to their old thuggish methods.

To this day police agents in Spain do not show any identification almost ever and many corps style sky masks as part of the uniform, specially for those brigades in charge of violent repression. Still, even if the individual police cannot be easily identified (and even if they get away with absolute impunity even when identified), the damage to the image of the police forces and the state for reason of their own brutality and lack of civil behavior and respect for human rights of the constituent citizenry.

Source: Ateak Ireki[es].

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Japanese director dies in car accident after announcing critical movie on TEPCO

Koji Wakamatsu
Koji Wakamatsu was a Japanese director, maybe best known for his role as producer in the once-upon-a-time value-shattering In the Realm of the Senses, directed by Nagisha Oshima.

His own filmography was not meager and, after a long hiatus, he had been recently in several European festivals with his new movies, the latest one being about the freaky failed fascist coup by far-right intellectual Yukio Mishima.

He had declared in Venice Festival that he planned to make a movie about the all-powerful Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO). He would never make it, being killed by a car in an alleged yet suspicious accident.

Fukushima Diary reports how Wakamatsu had previously been offered to make a movie on the nuclear industry but that he had to give up because denouncing TEPCO was absolute taboo:

They requested me not to use the term of “Tepco”. I asked them to make a scene that someone throws a sunflower to Tepco at least, but they even turned it down. so I withdrew from it.

However he was not determined to make his own movie on the matter:

Now I really want to make a film about Tepco. Nobody wants to make one, so I’ll be serious to start a fight against Tepco.

He never made it.