Thursday, February 28, 2013

Catalonia: violent clashes in student strike

Major clashes ensued in Barcelona between police forces and parts of the civilian society, when police charged against demonstrations by students protesting against the neofascist reforms of the Spanish imperialist authorities, which aim to destroy the principle of free education for all and also to attack the teaching of native languages and national history in the oppressed nations, imposing their imperialist scheme instead.

At least five people have been arrested.

Sources and images:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Honduras: March for Dignity and Sovereignty

The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) is 20 years old and is rather bitter birthday, as the situation of the Central American country is, as I put it days ago, worse than that of a banana republic and resembles more and more a fully failed state, largely thanks to the US-sponsored coup of 2009, which is selling the country off  to private corporations and landowners, local and foreigner.

For that reason the COPINH has begun the March for Dignity and Sovereignty, which demands: 
  • Derogation of the Law of "Special Development Regimes, Areas of Employment and Economic Development", also known as "Model Towns" (but which would be best described as "Law of Extraterritorial Concessions to Foreign Slavers and Pirates").
  • Derogation of the Mining Law
  • Cancellation of all mining concessions
  • Cancellation of environmental licenses for the building of reservoirs that privatize water and energy; rejection of the energy matrix, part of the enclave economy and predator of life. Immediate freedom for imprisoned comrade Chevo Morales.
  • Stop to forester exploitation in the area.
  • Reinstating the Program of Teacher Education for the Lenca People.
  • Stop to violence against women and youths.
  • Immediate registration of the Indigenous lands.
  • True democratization of communication and the radio-electric spectrum.
  • No more violations of Human Rights.
  • No more criminalization of social struggles.
  • Stop to violence and social insecurity.
  • Respect to the application of Covenant 169 on the Indigenous Peoples.
  • Cessation of the impunity and reparations to the victims of human rights' violations.
Source[es]: COPINH (via LINyM).

Spain: raids against antifascist football association

In an apparent attempt to criminalize left-leaning football association (peña) Bukaneros (supporters of Rayo Vallecano), Spanish police has arrested at least 13 members of this association under the accusation of "membership in criminal gang", which would be no other than the very Bukaneros association.

In November 2012 police raided the see of this same association, apparently in retaliation for their lefty activism. One member Alfonso Alfon Fernández was arrested, suffering prison for two months. 

The raids are clearly politically motivated and only aim to generate fear. The reasons why Bukaneros is being persecuted are in fact stuff like this:

It reads:


Source: Antifascista Sevilla[es].

Spain: King was behind 1981 coup (confirmed)

That is what a royal aide, Sabino Fernández Campo, has revealed in his posthumous memories, that the so-called 23-F coup of February 23rd 1981 had the backing of the King of Spain, Juan Carlos Borbón Borbón.

In an excerpt published in the blog of veteran Conservative Basque Nationalist politician Iñaki Anasagasti[es], Fernández, Secretary General of the Royal House, mentions how the King repeatedly said to him and to the direct coup leader, General Alfonso Armada (at the telephone), that "the shoots were not planned". From the context "the shoots" are actually those that Lieutenant-Colonel Tejero (a Guardia Civil commander) executed in the joint Cortes meeting at the Palace of Congress, when holding hostage all the state-level elected representatives of the state (both deputies and senators were present that day), in order to intimidate them. 

Apparently this "intimidation" shooting was not planned and worried the monarch, who called the operative commander Gral. Armada and ordered him to go to his presence for explaining. Three minutes later he revoked his decision on Fernández' advise, who considered that a commander should not abandon his headquarter in such a crisis situation. Fernández did not realize initially, it would seem from his account, that Armada or even the King were involved in the coup. Only later, when alone, he began wondering albeit still confused by the situation. 

Then he recalls how Tejero claimed (and that was filmed by TV cameras who were emitting for two hours surreptitiously) that he was doing that "in the name of the King". The monarch did not like that either, so he said:

Yes, Sabino, it is serious. I think we must summon Armada to Zarzuela [the royal residence] so he explains us in detail what is going on, because I think that there are happening things that were not planned.

Things not planned, what do you mean, your majesty?

Well, it's a way of talking...

And then Fernández says to have noticed certain nervousness for the first time and that the monarch was hiding something.

Then after a most suspicious telephone exchange with some generals and also the reports of the national TV and radio being occupied by the putschists. Fernández entered again the royal office and, to his growing confusion and anger, he saw him there celebrating with champagne.

Fernández remembers to have scolded the King for that, to what he felt ashamed and nervous and ordered everyone to leave (all but the Queen and Fernández did). Then he asked his Secretary General:

Sabino, please save me! Save the Monarchy, right now I don't know even what to say!

He then suggested to talk directly to all captain generals (regional commanders). When he mentioned that the Brunete Division (only armored unit of the Spanish Army) had taken the television and radio, the monarch said:

I knew it, I knew it!

You knew what, sir?

What was going to happen.

At that point the Queen left the room without saying a word.

Fernández claims, after a moment of emotional collapse, to have then suggested to order the coup to stop, so they agreed that the monarch would talk to the captain generals and so he did, speaking first with Jaime Millans del Bosh, one of the most ardent putschists who had unleashed the troops out to the streets of the main towns of his military region (Valencia). The others were more shy, it seems, and were awaiting royal confirmation. 

He then acknowledges that he agreed to choreography a false historical version so the Monarchy could appear as savior of the democracy, as the mainstream media (but not some more serious historians and witnesses) have parroted ever since then.

The real history seems to be that all generals followed the new orders from Zarzuela, although Millans del Bosch only did so reluctantly, after the monarch spoke in TV, but Tejero, a hardcore fascist, considering himself betrayed (they offered him exile in Venezuela, also he did not know that the plan implied a concentration government with the social-democrats and communists as result), did not, so he was the one most severely punished in the trials that followed.

The coup however worked in a sense, pushing the breaks of the decentralizing reforms that the first governments of Adolfo Suárez had promoted. Soon the Organic Law of Harmonization of Autonomies (LOAPA) was passed in an attempt, partly successful after judicial dispute, to curtail the growing self-rule of Catalonia and the Western Basque Country.

Basque Country: going around the Spanish Nationalist imposition with color and imagination

For decades, this oppressed country has seen countless "flag wars", legal disputes but especially massive demos and street guerrilla as the system parties, including those who declared themselves Basque Nationalist, folded to the legal and judiciary demands of the imposed Spanish Nationalist legal system. 

In the past it was a matter of one day every year: that of the local holiday, when the law demanded that the hated fascist Spanish flag was shown in preferential site, along other authorized ones. The rest of the year, most town halls and other institutions simply displayed no flag whatsoever. But the legal frame has become even less pluralist and more fascist and now it demands the Spanish flag to be displayed in preferential location every single day of the year. 

This has been met with great discontent but local institutions are bound to the Spanish law (or else they may suffer all kind of aggressions) so most town halls have eventually conceded, sometimes after judicial requirement. 

However the town hall of Bergara has found a creative way to go around this imperialist imposition: to display the flags of countless countries of origin of people living in the municipality, celebrating the diversity of modern globalized reality in a colorful arrangement. The Spanish flag still holds its legally forced prominent position at the center of the balcony but it is less painful amidst so many other ones.

Town Hall of Bergara
The Spanish Delegate General (in charge of the few competencies still not transferred to the Western Basque Autonomous Community, most notoriously the Spanish police forces) is freaking out. He said that "we won't allow mockery of the Spanish flag". They may need to change the law again for that however.

But as the Spanish saying goes: hecha la ley, hecha la trampa (new law, new trick).

Source: Sare Antifaxista[es].

Basque Country: armed military police in civilian trains, scary

Members of the Spanish military police corps (Guardia Civil, similar to the French Gendarmerie or Italian Carabinieri but with much worse reputation) are these days traveling gratis in the railroad system. This is not the worse thing: it is that they go armed with submachine guns and quietly point their guns to civilians as if it was some sort of military occupation (alright, it is: a 800 years old one in fact).

The armed policemen board the train at an unknown location before reaching Gernika at 10:15 am and travel to Zugastieta (a rural parish not far away), where they find other police vehicles waiting for them. 

The public company Euskotren says that they cannot do anything because the Guardia Civil board the trains where and whenever they wish.

Source: Sare Antifaxista[es].

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Italy elections: hung Parliament of buffoons?

The latest news point to at least a partial lead of 'Bunga Bunga' Berlusconi's list at the Senate, with the ex-communist-converted-to-IMF-tyranny-of-the-markets Bersani's slightly leading at the Chamber of Deputies and a third place for the only list lead by a professionally experienced buffoon, the commedian-turned-populist-cry-foul-with-fascist-backing Beppe Grillo.

The result may well be the hung Parliament of the buffoons, none of which seems able to even agree with the others at all, with two of them not really pliable to the demands of the BCE-IMF tyranny and the third one, Bersani, surely unable to form a majority much less satisfy the demands of his supporters with an obligued IMF-defined agenda of "austerity for the poor". 

I forecast new elections in a matter of months.

Note: the divided real left was expected to be struggling to even reach representation as the new electoral law punishes coalitions very strongly.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Document[es]: National question and worker autonomy in the Basque Country

For those who can read Spanish, this is, in my opinion, a must: "Cuestión nacional y autonomía obrera en Euskal Herria" was a short book that the Basque Worker Autonomy organization Zirikatu published collectively in 1989. Now it has been made available online:

Zirikatu (to bother, to pinch) was a short-lived Autonomist organization in the Basque Country, whose main declared goal was to help to guarantee that the grassroots nature of popular organizations remained that way. In the book, among other things, they make an appeal for the long tradition of worker councils (i.e. soviets) that are not directed by any vertical organization but truly democratic as the only way ahead for the much needed communist revolution.

Source: Agintea Hausten (via Borroka Garaia Da!)

The shadow Capitalist party and the true motives behind the "austerity for the poor" doctrine

I have mentioned on occasion that the real ruling party in the so-called Western democracies is neither the liberal-conservative nor the liberal-progressive electoral organizations that take turns at the governments, giving a vacuous impression of choice, but actually the associations of businesspeople (capitalists) that exist in all them, who push ahead with their agenda no matter what brand rules. 

This has been highlighted now, for example, in the Basque region or province of Gipuzkoa, where ADEGI (the local branch of Western Basque, Spanish and European such bourgeois shadow party) has been fiercely trying to impose draconian cuts in salaries and social rights to workers of elderly homes, which are often private but are subsidized and overseen by the provincial government. This has led to a strong confrontation with the labor unions and has pushed the provincial authorities (held by the Basque Nationalist Left coalition Bildu) to offer an extra € 8.2 million of support in order to reach an agreement that satisfies at least partly the demands of the workers. 

Protest of elderly residences' workers

One would think that this would be all, that an agreement would be soon reached on the greater availability of funds and that the conflict would end happily. 

Not at all. The bourgeois shadow party ADEGI frontally charged against such generous proposal. Why? Because, in their class-belligerent opinion, it erodes their Europe-wide efforts to demolish worker purchasing power and ability to negotiate, what they call the "labor reform".

The secretary general of this capitalist mafioso organization that rots all our societies, José Miguel Ayerza, sent a writ to the Social Action Department of the Chartered Government in extremely harsh terms, demanding that their proposal of solution be immediately retired and that it publicly acknowledges that it has, in their opinion, exceeded its legal functions, being a breach of the limits of their legal capacity harming the ability and right to collective negotiation of the business associations.

This is quite ironical when the latest Spanish "labor reform" precisely dynamites collective negotiation, at least for workers. 

The Chartered Government's proposal intended to guarantee financing capacity so the salaries of workers would be updated according to the increase of the CPI, as well as to consolidate the labor rights of workers. Nothing more, nothing less. 

The bourgeois shadow party is however concerned for the wider implications of this proposed arrangement, showing that they are operating concertedly in agreement with their Spanish and European colleagues to sap the overall standards of living of Basque workers. In their own words the real problem is that the constructive attitude of the Gipuzkoan Government:

... affects labor issues of great relevance, depth and incidence in the future, exceeding clearly its administrative capabilities, in an act with clear political connotations, which only pretends to show their opposition to the recent labor reforms. 

You get the idea, right? This is the real single party that controls the bourgeois regime and they do not like it at all when any democratically elected ruler challenges their privileged status as petty and murderous dictators, even in the slightest. Parties and elected managers are there only to serve their interests and diktats, otherwise... same in Venezuela as in Gipuzkoa.

Source: Gara[es].

Palestinian murdered in Zionist jail

His alleged crime? Throwing stones.

Arafat Jadarat (pictured), 30, died in Zionist custody allegedly of cardiac arrest. His family assures he had no health problems whatsoever before his arrest.

Arafat was taken from his home on February 18, and was held in interrogation in Jalameh Detention Center, and then was transferred to Megiddo Prison. His brother says the Israelis who came for Arafat told him to "say goodbye " to his children. He was accused of throwing stones.


Palestinian Authority Minister of Detainees Issa Qaraqe said Jadarat died after being interrogated by Israeli forces and demanded an international investigation into his death, which has caused outrage in the West Bank and Gaza.

Over 4,000 Palestinian prisoners have staged a 24 hour hunger strike on hearing of the young man's death.

There have been marches in protest in Gaza, and Israeli forces in the West Bank clashed with demonstrators in Hebron, Beit Ummar, al-Arrub refugee camp, and Tulkarem, with soldiers firing tear gas and sounds grenades at demonstrators, locals said.

Source and more details at Random Pottins.

Update (Feb 25): the Electronic Intifada has more details on this case or racist colonialist torture and murder. The evidence of torture is clear.

Arafat’s family stated that their son was heavily beaten by the IOF [Israeli occupation forces] during his arrest at the entrance of Sa’eer and that he was screaming from the difficult torture he was subjected to. The martyr’s wife, Ms. Dalal Ayayda, added that the intelligence officer that accompanied the IOF during the arrest requested that they allow[ed] him to return to his home for a moment to say goodbye to his wife and children. She considers this to be an indicator that his death in the prison was premeditated.

Human Rights activist Hassan Karajah is being tortured by the same "investigators" who killed Jadarat and the abuses are similar:

Addameer’s lawyer Samer Sama’an confirmed that Hassan has been subjected to long interrogations by the Shin Bet security forces in Jalameh, and that he is being interrogated by the same investigators that were involved in the martyr Arafat Jaradat’s case. 

Also last minute reports say that the autopsy of Jadarat's body shows that he did not die of a heart attack as was shamelessly claimed by the Zionists.

Nazi cell in Athens police

From I can't relax in Greece:

Golden Dawn ‘cell’ in the Municipal Police of Athens

Local government unionists reported the existence of a far-right cell named ‘Group K’ that functions in a para-state fashion and is in co-operation with Greek police.

Local government unionists from the Municipality of Athens reported the existence of an organised cell of Golden Dawn in the force of Municipal Police of Athens, active under the codename ‘Group K’. One week after the death of Senegalese immigrant Cheikh Ndiaye while being chased in Thisseion [Athens] by a group of municipal police officers, the Union of employees in the Municipal Authorities published an angry statement where for the first time they reported the existence of a Golden Dawn cell in the municipal police force.  They also reported that 15 members of Group K, bullied one of their colleagues that spoke out against them during the meeting of the general assembly of municipal policemen on the 5th of February: “The group is known and tolerated by the Local Authority of the Municipality of Athens; they enjoy special privileges and specialise in the area of ‘illegal trade’ [an area that mainly involves immigrants]. They are also engaged in joint operations together with the Greek police”.

... continue reading at I can't relax in Greece.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Human tide against the Financial Coup takes over Spanish, Catalan and Galician cities

In spite of the extremely cold temperatures, yesterday the main avenues of most cities in the Kingdom of Spain were packed with people. Shopping? Fiesta? Not at all: another massive demonstration against what has already been dubbed the Financial Coup against social rights, creating massive unemployment while the elites remain at large and getting even richer, and allowing, even favoring the destruction of the economic fabric to levels not remembered by anyone still alive.

A Coruña

The protests began at 14:30 in Valladolid (Castile), followed by A Coruña (Galicia), where they set fire to an effige of the Spanish Nationalist Minister of Education J.I.  Wert, who is pushing against peripheral languages, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands), with a banner that read:

Against the Dictatorship of Capital: Popular and Direct Democracy

At 17:00 four columns of thousands began marching from the periphery to the center of Madrid.

To these protests, the speakers of the ruling party replied with the vacuous and fascist claim that they are a "threat to democracy" by which they mean their ample majority in parliament with just a 31.6% of the popular support (prior to the "austerity" measures, barely 52% among the two main parties).

By 18:00 the columns and newly arrived people converged in Neptuno Plaza, near Congress, where there are masses of police forces.

Madrid, Neptuno Plaza (early)
As people arrived, loudspeakers mentioned the more than 50 cities that have mustered protests this Saturday, which was cheered by the crowd.

In Santander (Castile) for example more than 8000 people marched through the streets.


In Bilbao (Basque Country) some 3000 people marched. Another protest took place in Donostia (San Sebastian).

In Catalonia there were also demonstrations in Barcelona, Tarragona, Reus, Lleida and Girona but these were not very numerous.

In Mérida (Castile) hundreds marched for the social salary, while in Cáceres the demo was much larger, gathering some 6000 people.


In Logroño there was also one quite strong demo.


Further down the Ebro, in Zaragoza (Aragón) lots of people also marched against austerity.

Madrid (Neptuno Plaza)
In spite of some clashes and some 40 arrests (see videos here) the Madrid march dissolved some time after 20:00 (end of legal authorization) without much fuss.

Source: Kaos en la Red[es].

Chile: union leader murdered

Juan Pablo Jiménez, president of the main worker union of AZETA, subcontractor of Chilectra (electric company of Chile), was found death by bullet inside the facilities of the company last Thursday February 21st, just the day before he was called as witness to the Labor Directorate on reports of unjustified layoffs, anti-union practices and other irregularities upon the strike held on December 2012. 

The Chilean police has been quick to declare that it was a loose bullet, discarding murder. But the public does not believe them, even if the media has (mis-)informed sparsely on the matter. 

Colleagues saw him sitting on a bench parsing documentation related to union activity just before the office of his chief of department. Minutes later another worker found him sitting there dead with a pool of blood around.

He was moved to hospital where he was declared dead. Later it was known that the deadly injury in his head was caused by a single bullet. 

Is Chile also degenerating from a "normal" bourgeois state into a terrorist one?

Source: Disidente del Capitalismo[es].

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Honduras: 70,000 armed private guards (UN report)

The UN estimate is of 60-70,000 armed "security guards" in Honduras, what is a figure much greater than the Armed Forces (20,000) and police (12,000) together. And they are not even counting illegal militias nor armed gangs. Often these armed units are involved in murders, as this blog has denounced repeatedly, but invariably the judiciary fails to properly investigate the cases, with more and more not being even denounced anymore.

The situation of Honduras is worse than that of a banana republic, where the structures of the state are corrupted by the influence of corporations: the state has effectively collapsed for all practical purposes reaching a stage of Fascist-Libertarian dystopia, more commonly known as "failed state". 

Source: LINyM[es].

USA: six tanks at radioactive waste storage leaking

Salmon at Hanford site
The damaged site is at Hanford (Washington state), which has 177 tanks of radioactive waste. Of the 177, six (and not just one, as was reported initially) are leaking their deadly cargo to the environment.

The leak may pollute the atmosphere and the Columbia River, which runs through the inner area of Washington state and then marks the border between this one and Oregon before reaching the Pacific Ocean.

The tanks are made of regular steel (subject to oxidation and corrosion) surrounded by reinforced concrete layers.

The tanks are leaking due to poor tank integrity – the waste is corroding the carbon steel lining. When the tanks were built during the World War II, a shortage of stainless steel necessitated the use of cheaper, less robust carbon steel – this practice continued long after stainless steel was again available.
Carbon steel corrodes in highly acidic environments like those in Hanford’s tanks, so large amounts of other chemicals were added to neutralize the pH in the tanks, minimizing the corrosion problem but making the waste very difficult to stabilize.

The tanks were built to last 20 years. They were never designed to permanently store high-level radioactive waste. Most of these tanks, 149 of them, are single-shelled and built between 1943 and 1964. These have far exceeded this 20-year projection. It is no surprise that they are failing. The double-shell tanks, 28 of them, are double-shelled, built between 1977 and 1986. The double shell tanks are more robust, but are also made of carbon steel. To date, none of the double-shell tanks have leaked, but a more secure solution is needed to contain this waste and prevent even more waste from leaking into the groundwater.

This is one of the big problems of nuclear industry all around the world: you build stuff to last 20 years, then extend for some other 10, 20 or 30 years because they don't know what else to do that is not extremely expensive and still not efficient enough, then... 

Eventually it all collapses one way or another, naturally.

Sources: Ex-SKF, Energy News.

Update: at least 67 tanks are "suspected leakers"!!!  More details at Sunday Spin (via EneNews)

Bahrain: dictator's forces murder yet another citizen

From the Bahrain Center for Human Rights:

Bahrain: Weaponizing Teargas by Bahrain Authorities Kills Another Victim: 20 Year-Old Mahmood Al-Jazeeri


Photo : Right Mahmood Al-Jazeeri,
Left: Mahmood Al-Jazeera while in Coma at Hospital

Date: 22nd February 2013

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses its grave concern over the death of a Bahraini citizen Mahmood Al-Jazeeri due to the authorities’ efforts to weaponize teargas by directly targeting protestors’ heads and necks, which appears to be an attempt to extra-judiciously kill them, or to cause maximum damage. [1]
Since the 14th of February 2013, which marked the 2nd anniversary of Bahrain’s pro-democracy movement, protests against the government have increased in different areas around Bahrain. The BCHR documented many cases of severe injuries inflicted by government forces. Other injuries have proven fatal and lead on the 14th of February 2013 to the death of Hussain Ali Ahmed Abrahim: a 16 year-old teenager killed by shotgun wounds in several areas of his body. [2]

Another fatal injury was caused by a direct shot to the face from a teargas canister at a close range on an unarmed protestor in the village of Nabih Salih: the 20 year-old, Mahmood Al-Jazeeri

The BCHR was informed that Mahmood Al-Jazeeri was brought to Salmaniya Medical Complex unconscious after suffering a high-velocity direct injury to the brain from a heavy object. Mahmood was found to be suffering from a fractured skull, intracerebral bleeding, multiple brain contusions & severe brain edema. He was operated on after admission to relieve the pressure and bleeding in the brain but the damage was so severe that he did not come out of the coma he was suffering from initially & succumbed to his injuries which lead to his death on the 22nd of February 2013. 

... continue reading at BCHR.

Friday, February 22, 2013

USA: federal cops piling up ammo

While the US administration continues trying to remove weapons from the hands of the citizens, their forces (the Gestapo-like US Homeland Security Department, specifically) are piling up ammunition enough to shoot every US resident five times with no obvious or known reason. 

Source: IBD

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Slavery, rape and murder in luxury cruises

LINyM[es] has a striking report borrowed from REL-UITA[es], on the horrors that many young workers, particularly women, suffer while working in luxury cruises. While everything may look like leisure in the passenger areas, in the lower cabins where the crew lives the situation is often very different. 

With the expectation of a decent salary many young people are eager to work in these leisure ships for the rich and upper middle classes, most often however they end up being slaved out in endless 14-16 hours journeys under moral and even sexual aggression from the people in charge.

The most extreme cases are those that end in death, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. A Brazilian worker apparently killed herself (? under investigation) after such abuses jumping to the sea near Italy. Another horrific case happened to a girl who was brought to hospital bleeding from all her orifices (you can imagine why), dying soon after. Witnesses also report the murder of a young female worker in another cruise but no investigation was ever carried on. 

These cruises, being owned by Brazilia, British or Danish companies, for example, have however convenience flags from lawless states like Liberia or Panama. This makes legal intervention harder, along with the principle of the captain being the sole ultimate commander on any ship.

Many workers are from poor countries, typically South and SE Asian. While the minimal salary in that sector in Brazil is $800, Filipinos for example accept to work for as little as food and $300 and often they don't even get paid at all.

Lack of class consciousness and therefore unionization is another cause of this abusive situation.

Honduras: farmers re-occupy lands taken by SAB-Miller

In the night of February 18th some 1500 farmers, who were expelled against the law by the the British/South African beverages multinational SAB Miller last August, took back part of the 3644 Ha. robbed by the bourgeois mafiosi, who also destroyed the harvest. 

Back in August, the influence of SAB Miller managed to get 42 farmers arrested and to keep the matter of the ownership of the lands in court. But the struggle of the peasants has now taken new strength and they have taken the initiative. Freddy Membreño, member of ADCP, said:

We decided to take back these lands because it is not acceptable that foreign companies continue land-grabbing our country, while thousands of farmer families suffer misery and hunger.

According to the the FAO, 40% of Hondurans suffer malnutrition. The concentration of lands and their dedication to cash crops is the reason why 300,000 farmer families don't have access to land and the country lacks food sovereignty. 68% of children are in dire poverty.

Recently the illegitimate putschist government of Porfirio Lobo reached an agreement with Azunosa, the brand of SAB Miller in the country, to give 433 Ha to farmers who took part in the recuperation action last year. This is barely above 10% of all the lands in dispute and has been rejected by the INA as a mere media show.

As of now it seems that the situation is calm, as the private guards of Azunosa have pulled back but there is fear of another illegal eviction at any time.

Source: LINyM[es].

USA: African-American political prisoner being pushed to death by prison authorities in Oregon

Kasama just published the following:

EMERGENCY: Fight to save the life of Kevin Rashid Johnson

Kevin Rashid Johnson is a political prisoner and leader of a prison organization called the New Afrikan Black Panther Party. He is an outspoken communist revolutionary whose life is in danger.

Kasama recieved the following from Victor:

CALL IMMEDIATELY: 541-881-5000 and then press "0"
Kevin Johnson #19370490
777 Stanton Blvd.
Ontario, OR 97914

I have not heard from Rashid for about two weeks, which is surprising, because he normally sends me 2 or 3 letters a week, sometimes for other prisoners. I just received a letter written Feb. 11, at Rashid's request, by another Snake River prisoner, Corey Freiberg (#15863498). Corey's letter begins as follows (edited for spelling etc):

"This is about Rashid. We need a lot of help. They are trying to kill him. On Jan. 31 they put something in his food that made him crazy. On Feb. 2 he took 30 pills. They did not do anything to get the pills out of him.... On Jan. 4 [sic; I assume he means Feb. 4] he ate 3 razor blades. This is all on videotape. They lied and said the X-ray showed nothing. The [blades] are still in him right now. He has not eaten since Feb. 3. He has not drunk anything since Feb. 5.... He is passing out and they won't do anything to help him.... Said he is the one that won't eat or drink so they are not helping him at all. He is peeing blood and has bad kidney pains.... Med staff will not give him IV fluids.... [As of Feb. 10 he had] lost over 16 pounds. His blood pressure is 191/100 and his urine is the color of coffee...."

I phoned Snake River immediately. If you want to speak with anyone, you have to dial 541-881-5000 and then press "0". I left messages with his counselor, Alice Tomlinson and also with a staff member named José Delgado. So far I have not heard back from either of them. I then called again, saying that it's an emergency and I needed to speak to someone who would pick up (I mentioned the warden's office). They connected me with a Sergeant Di Andrea. He looked up Rashid on his computer and said he was "all right"; I said I wanted to know more specifically, so he put me back onto the counselor's answering machine. Obviously he is not "all right"; on the other hand, I think that if he had died, they would have had to tell me. I will keep trying. We should make many calls, reaching as high up as possible.

There are obviously a lot of questions here. How could it have been on videotape? How could he have obtained all those pills? etc etc. The idea that he would try to destroy himself is totally out of character; on the other hand, I suppose that with certain kinds of drug, many strange things are possible. Let's all stay in touch if we get any news.

I am sending this both to the listserv and to the individual addresses I have, just to make sure everyone gets it.

Ironically, just 2 days ago I mailed Rashid the proofs for the article of his that we will be publishing in the July issue of Socialism and Democracy.

Let's all write to him (address below). Even if the letters aren't delivered, the officials will know that a lot of people are ready to protest whatever abuses they inflict.


Is this a new Mengelian way to push incommodating prisoners to cause their own deaths under some kind of psychosis-inducing drug?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

USA: three nuclear workers have died in strange circumstances in few weeks

The news have been echoed by Energy News, at first it looked just like a strange event. On February 7th it was reported that:

A man working at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Lake County died while on the job Tuesday...

That is on February 5th, near Cleveland (Ohio). The facility was under intense scrutiny by Nuclear Regulatory Commission but what can one think without being alarmist? 

Ten days later, on February 17th, another nuclear worker was found dead at Cook nuclear power plant (Michigan). Also human remains had been found among the debris collected by water intake filters at that same facility, surely just a rare coincidence but the macabre tone of the workers' deaths was anyhow enhanced. 

Yesterday it was known that, at Brunswick nuclear power plant (North Carolina), a man collapsed inside the protected area and was later declared dead. 

All coincidences? Or something is going very wrong at US nuclear facilities?

Source: Energy News (link 1, link 2, link 3).

Update (Feb 20): Allegedly no trace of radioactive contamination was found in the Brunswick deceased worker, even if he fell death in his protection clothing inside a contaminated area. → EneNews.

Greece: General Strike today

So far there are only a few updates at From the Greek Streets but watch it for later increase in the information. 

There were some incidents in Crete early on, with a police car being flipped over by protesters. In Athens the clashes seem to have begun only after the formal parade of the Stalinist PAME union finished, already in the afternoon.

Attack against gold mines in Northern Greece

An arson attack took place in the unpopular gold mines of Skourias, near Thessaloniki (Macedonia, Greece), which are accused of heavy pollution and health damage. Some 40 people set in fire some of the facilities but exact extent of the damage is not known. Several anti-mine activists have been arrested but there seems to be no evidence against them, so it is just arbitrary repression. While some of them have been already set free the spat of arbitrary arrests continues in the district as of now. No formal accusations have been pushed against any of them. 

Source and more details: From the Greek Streets.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New solar cells from wood pulp brutally cheaper than standard ones

Their main handicap is that their conversion rate is very low, of just 3% (10-20% in conventional ones, some recent advances may be even more efficient) but their extremely low production cost makes them still very interesting.

The manufacturing cost is 1/100,000 of the one with glass substrates, 1/500 ~ 5,000 of the one with plastic. 

In other words: ridiculously cheap!

This technological advance was achieved by Associate Professor Nogi, from Osaka University (Japan).

It is more and more clear that solar energy (along with other renewable sources) is the immediate future. Germany, for example, has greatly benefited in many aspects from investing in this and it can only get better in the future. Instead the prospects of oil and nuclear are very gloomy, while coal is the main cause of China's horrible pollution troubles, for example (never mind its climate warming impact). 

Source: Fukushima Diary (citing Mato Metanews[jp]).

Guatemala: Native Americans get their crops destroyed by Nicaraguan fuel-crop multinational

On March 13th, Native American renter farmers from Polochic Valley, Verapaz, saw their crops, worked by their ancestors for many generations, destroyed by heavy machinery of the Chabil Utzaj company, owned by Nicaraguan multinational Grupo Pellas. The oppressor corporation aims to make them into fuel crop fields (sugar cane, oil palm). 

This is not the first time that this corporations attacks the People, in 2011, the same company, with support of the police, evicted 14 communities, totaling 800 families, in the same area and with the same purpose. In spite of the OAS' human rights committee (CIDH-IACHR)  mandate to Guatemala to guarantee the evicted people food and shelter, the government of this country has not done anything for them at all.

Sources[es]: LINyM, Albasud (larger report with many photos).

Update (Feb 20):

Carlos Pellas Chamorro
President of Grupo Pellas
I found (thanks to Nicaraguaymas) something more about this Nicarguan agricultural mega-corporation that has been for some years now investing, at the cost of farmers' lands and health (pesticides kill), in important projects of crops (for fuel and other industrial uses) in several countries: Nicaragua itself, Honduras (where they were backed by President Zelaya) and Guatemala. It also owns the rum company Flor de Caña, exports most of its orange juice production for Minute Maid, a company of Coca-Cola Inc. and is major shareholder of some Central-American concessions of Toyota and IBM.

Its President and strongman is Carlos Pellas Chamorro, who is the obvious main culprit here.

Source: REL-UITA[es].

Monday, February 18, 2013

Two more farmers murdered in Honduras

Santos Jacobo Cartagena, 42, and José Trejo Cabrera, 58, were murdered in drive-by shootings in the last days in the district of the Bajo Aguán, Honduras.

One was member of the MUCA and the other of the MARCA but they had the same enemies: the landowner mafia of the oil palm led by Miguel Facussé and René Morales, who act as feudal lords of the worst kind in the area.

They increase a large list of murders, most of them in the Bajo Aguán, by right-wing mafioso paramilitary groups since the 2009 coup by Porfirio Lobo and his clique, supported by the USA.

Source: LINyM[es].

Greece: the harsh reality of power cuts (video: 7 mins)

Hundreds of thousands of Greeks are suffering this now, as the price of electricity is soaring on state decrees to raise money for the unpopular regime and the rapacious private monopolies. This video is a must-watch and won't take much of your time (just 7 mins., in Greek with very readable English subtitles):

It's not of course a threat only happening in Greece. I had recently two successive confrontations with the workers of local electricity company Iberdrola, who tried to cut the electricity of my neighbor (the second time they succeeded in flagrant violation of the law, next time I may throw bleach to their faces, pigs!) Some of the recent misery-caused suicides also included electricity cuts among the many burdens of the victims, although losing the home seems to be the worst of all. 

More and more of Europe is becoming a place of poverty and desperation, with huge and quickly growing numbers of desperate unemployed, trampled or not in mortgages, with thousands and thousands of business being closed for good, with the depression rapidly extending now northwards to nearly every state of the European Union (even Germany is trembling already!)

But things can change and will almost unavoidably change. The only realistic solution right now for the continent is socialism. There are also the dark shadows of fascisms but these offer no solution whatsoever just thuggish bourgeois violence and more of the same in terms of economy.

Source: From the Greek Streets.

Bulgaria: Nazis with torches march through the streets of Sofia

A horrific sight was tolerated by the authorities of the Balcan republic: hundreds of Nazis with torches were allowed to march through the center of its capital, Sofia. The relatively weak antifascist movement of Bulgaria could do nothing to stop it.

Zero tolerance against fascism!

Source (and photos that I prefer not to publish): Sare Antifaxista[es].

Asturias: fascists and police join forces against popular protest for the right to a dignified home

The march of the Platform of Mortgage Affected People (PAH) in Xixon (Asturias, Kingdom of Spain) suffered yesterday the aggression of several fascist thugs who attempted to march along them under the xenophobic populist slogan of "No Spaniard without home". This strongly offended the sensibility of the PAH members and sympathizers, who believe that the right to a dignified home is independent of the passport and therefore attempted to push them out of the march.

When these fascists were already surrounded by the protesters, the Spanish police forces charged against the latter while the intruders performed the fascist salutation.

After the incident, and once the fascists moved out, the march proceeded with relative calm through the streets of Xixon after a banner reading: For the right to a home. Against financial genocide.

Other slogans chanted were "we want an apartment like the prince", "Rajoy resign, the people is against you" and, before the bank offices and the offices of the ruling PP party, also "assassins!".

Source: Sare Antifaxista[es].

Morocco's military trial issues heavy punishment against Sahrawi activists

You may recall that in 2010, Moroccan armed forces attacked the Justice and Dignity Camp near El Aaiun, murdering many. The subsequent popular uprising at El Aaiun and other Sahrawi occupied towns was met with a military backed pogrom. Now the fascist regime of Morocco has pretended to close that chapter, the first episode of the so-called Arab Spring, preceding the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions only by a matter of months, by holding a mock military trial in which 24 arrested Sahrawis have been sentenced only on the "evidence" of contradictory confessions obtained by means of torture. 

The 24 Sahrawis have been punished with life sentences or 20 years in prison, depending on the case. While no original source talks of dead occupant forces, Morocco pretends that eleven of their uniformed thugs were killed, and these people have been arbitrarily accused of their unreal deaths. To add injury to this mockery, the prosecutor presented TV images of Palestinian dead children as evidence, pretending that they are victims of the Justice and Dignity Camp, caused not by the Moroccan criminals but by the accused. 

The defense, naturally, asked for acquittal on the grounds that the self-accusations were totally contradictory. They also argued that the photos in which the accused appeared together with members of the POLISARIO Front (in useless unilateral truce since 22 years ago) are the real reason behind the persecution of these people specifically. 

Source: Gara[es].

See also for background:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

India: ecological farmers break the World record of rice, wheat and potato harvest

Sumant Kumar
GM crops? Pesticides? None of that: just lots of love for their work some strictly ecological innovation and maybe a bit of  luck with the weather. Nalanda district farmers in Bihar have achieved the Guinness World Record of rice productivity with rather traditional ecological methods.

Sumant Kumar achieved last year the record yield of 22.4 tons of rice per hectare, beating the previous one by Chinese agricultural scientist Yuan Longping (19.4 tons) and also any other such try by World Bank subsidized projects in Philippines, let alone the GM crop multinationals.

Not only Kumar, his neighbors also achieved very large harvests above 17 tons, double than usual.

Six months later they smashed the World record for potato yields as well. And then, in a neighboring village, the World record for wheat yields was achieved too.

What happened in Darveshpura has divided scientists and is exciting governments and development experts. Tests on the soil show it is particularly rich in silicon but the reason for the "super yields" is entirely down to a method of growing crops called System of Root Intensification (SRI). It has dramatically increased yields with wheat, potatoes, sugar cane, yams, tomatoes, garlic, aubergine and many other crops and is being hailed as one of the most significant developments of the past 50 years for the world's 500 million small-scale farmers and the two billion people who depend on them.
Instead of planting three-week-old rice seedlings in clumps of three or four in waterlogged fields, as rice farmers around the world traditionally do, the Darveshpura farmers carefully nurture only half as many seeds, and then transplant the young plants into fields, one by one, when much younger. Additionally, they space them at 25cm intervals in a grid pattern, keep the soil much drier and carefully weed around the plants to allow air to their roots. The premise that "less is more" was taught by Rajiv Kumar, a young Bihar state government extension worker who had been trained in turn by Anil Verma of Professional Assistance for Development Action, an Indian NGO which has introduced the SRI method to hundreds of villages in the past three years.

Very interesting to say the least. 

Source and more details at The Guardian.

GM crops are not working

GM watch has a very interesting article on the fact that GM crops are not the panacea that Monsanto and the likes pretend us to believe.

In fact they do not work as promised.

In the USA the only result has been a heavy increase use of (very costly) pesticides and herbicides, with the side effect that weeds have soon adapted to them, causing a spiral of dose intensification that goes nowhere but to increased pollution.

"We were surprised not to find strongly positive transgenic yield effects." Both the glyphosate-tolerant (Roundup Ready) and the Bt trait for corn rootworm caused yields to drop.

It seems to be even worse when several genetic modifications are implemented in the same crop (for example herbicide resistance plus pesticide production): the modified genes stack up but not only for the intended traits but also for other ill-understood ones that actually reduce the yield.

Overall, the report uncovers evidence of what is known as "yield drag"—the idea that manipulating the genome of a plant variety causes unintended changes in the way it grows, causing it to be less productive.

Also the hyper-technological management of soils is harmful:

"Soils managed with organic methods have shown better water-holding capacity and water infiltration rates and have produced higher yields than conventional systems under drought conditions and excessive rainfall."

Spain: pseudo-socialists expelled from anti-evictions protest (video)

Members of the main opposition (and formerly ruling) Spanish Socialist Worker Party (PSOE) were nonviolently expelled from a demonstration in Madrid against the ongoing widespread home evictions, which include a clause that allow lenders to retain much of the debt as unpaid, clause never altered by the often ruling PSOE.

The members of the PSOE were expelled by means of repeated and massive cries of "out, out", "they are neither worker nor socialist", "PSOE, PP: they are the same shit", "they don't represent us", etc.

The populist leader of the "Socialist Youth", Beatriz Talegón, who days ago scolded publicly the whole "Socialist International" for their neoliberal attitude (but was criticized in the Internet and some media as a hypocrite because of her huge salary), attempted to stay but was repeatedly attacked verbally until a police cordon removed her out of sight.

Then the march continued at the class-war cry of "sí se puede!" ("it can be done!").

Recently the Platform Against Evictions managed to get their legal popular initiative debated in Congress, after the ruling party members (PP, holding a full majority) yielded to continuous street and online protests. However it is feared that the bill  will be rejected or horribly deformed when it goes through parliamentary process.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

USA: 'uncontrolled flow' of natural gas off Florida shores

Energy News reports today, citing numerous radio broadcasts, that a gas platform may have suffered an accident that has left an uncontrolled flow of natural gas into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and, surely, the atmosphere as well (the main gas bubble seems to have reached the shallow depth of 300 m, from an original depth of almost 1000 m below sea level). 

The accident happened 50 nautical miles East of Venice, Florida.

In another report, the same site, indicates that news suggest that there is no breach in the seafloor and that the giant gas bubble may be an isolated incident, a "burp", so to say, from an abnormally pressurized gas zone. If that is all, then maybe it is not so severe. We'll see.

Update (Feb 17): Energy News mentions that the flow has been ongoing since February 4th and that the preparedness to drill a relief well indicates that the authorities keep at least open the possibility that it is not a mere burp but a real leak.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Germany: thousands of antifascists block Nazi demo in Dresden

More than 10,000 people gathered in Dresden to make sure that the march that the Nazis had called for the anniversary of the dreadful allied bombing of the city in 1945 could not take place. They succeeded.

Every year the Nazis try to use this war crime as a pretext to march through the Saxon city. In response the platform Dresden Nazi Frei (Dresden free of Nazis) calls for a counter-demo also every year. And every year they are more successful.

Yesterday, the few hundred Nazis that had arrived from all Germany to Dresden could not go far away from the train station. The only incidents happened between the police, which protected the Nazis, and some of the demonstrators. 

Source: Madrid Rebelde[es]. Inc. used Nazi bodyguards to intimidate workers

Zero tolerance against fascism: boycott Amazon!

It has been known these days that the online shopping giant used the more than dubious services of a company named HESS Security (for the war criminal Rudolf Hess), who wore SS-style black uniforms, military boots and haircuts, to "keep order" at the hostels where immigrant workers from across Europe stayed. 

The Neonazi guards regularly searched the bedrooms and kitchens of the workers, claiming to be "the police here". The abuses were totally arbitrary like throwing out a worker for drying her clothes on a wall heater.

Some of the guards even wore clothing of a brand clearly identified with the Neonazis, which has been banned by the Bundesliga (German football championship) and the Bundesrat. Ironically Amazon itself stopped selling this particular brand for the same reasons in 2009. 

The Nazi guard harassment is not the only aspect of Amazon management in Germany which has been denounced: workers had often to walk up to 17 kilometers to and from work and they had no job security whatsoever. While being promised relatively high salaries in their countries of origin, as soon as they arrived to Germany, they were notified of a severe "salary cut".

Naturally all workers in this decadent late ultra-Capitalist Europe were too frightened to protest, risking being fired and left with nothing. 

Source: The Independent (via Naked Capitalism).

Bharain: minor murdered by police while protests continue in the 2nd anniversary of the beginning of the revolution

I say the beginning because, quite obviously, it is still ongoing in spite of all the repression. The popular movement's claims have also escalated from demanding mere democratic reforms to now calling for the overthrown of a most hated regime that nevertheless sticks to its guns with the help of very powerful allies (USA, Saudi Arabia, UK). 

Notice also that Cypriot, Italian and German weapons were used in the latest crimes of the Khalifa totalitarian regime. Incidentally Cyprus has the only communist-led government in all the European Union, someone should tell them.

From the Bahrain Center for Human Rights:

Bahrain: Minor Killed And Human Rights Violations Escalate During the 2nd Anniversary of 14Feb Mass Protests

European Weapons Aid the Authorities’ Crackdown

Photo: Peaceful protestor standing in front of riot police on 14Feb in Duraz Village Date: 14 February 2013

(Bahrain) – The human rights situation is rapidly deteriorating in Bahrain on the second anniversary of the pro-democracy movement. Security forces in full riot gear have swarmed the streets with armored vehicles and helicopters; many streets are filled with tear gas. The government’s response has been, throughout the day, wildly out of proportion to the largely peaceful demonstrations.

Since the earliest hours of the day around dawn, protesters took to the streets in large numbers, groups of hundreds gathered in all parts of the country, the vast majority of which were peaceful. Protesters have established roadblocks of their own to prevent riot police from driving at high speed into the villages. The security forces used consistently excessive and disproportionate force against protesters across Bahrain throughout the day.

Photo: Hussain Al-Jazeeri photos

Due to the culture of impunity being practiced by Bahrain authorities and the continued use of excessive force, a 16 year-old protester, Hussain Ali Al-Jazeeri, died this morning as a result of a close-range direct hit from a police officer’s shotgun to his abdominal area (Copy of the death certificate). He was shot while he was peacefully protesting in the area of Daih. There is no evidence that AlJaziri was representing any kind of threat to the policeman who fired on him and killed him. Al-Jazeeri died in the ambulance before reaching the hospital. This video shows the medic who was trying to rescue Al-Jaziri in the ambulance ( ). The Bahraini riot police continue to use the birdshots against the peaceful protests in Bahrain even after 2 years, during which dozens were killed with shotgun, including the first man who was killed on Feb 14, 2011, Ali Mushiama.

... continue reading at BCHR.