“Social justice groups everywhere are using new technologies to fundamentally change society,” says Africa blogger Minna Salami.Continue reading...
Turkey has been experiencing what seems to be a repeat of events from the many pogroms and national-lynching campaigns that the country has witnessed several times in the past century. Angry mobs took to streets under the leadership of AKP youth organizations, right after President Erdoğan said “if a particular party [as I had wanted Read More
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Demonstrations outside local government offices to highlight corruption after equipment for slaughterhouses procured at more than 30 times market price
Protesters in Kenya marched on local government offices after officials bought 10 wheelbarrows at a total cost equating to around £6,500.
County officials in western Kenya’s Bungoma district reportedly splashed out over a million shillings (US$10,000/€9,000) on the wheelbarrows, more than 30 times the market price and roughly enough to buy a small secondhand car.Continue reading...
Urging that the following information may be of vital importance to traveling refugee’s and under-reported in English media, the Refugee Relief Action Forum has translated the following report from Hungarian media about the upcoming changes in Hungary’s refugee policies. Hungary – Beginning Tuesday, the authorities in Hungary will adopt a completely different approach to the refugees. Read More
The post Transit Zones, Jail & Deportation Await Refugees Crossing into Hungary appeared first on revolution-news.com.
Around 15,000 people gathered in Gothenburg Wednesday for a Refugee’s Welcome rally. The large turnout of citizens, the second in Sweden in less than a week, was inspired by similar recent events offering support to refugees in Germany and Austria. An effort to show the numbers of people who support a Sweden and Europe that is Read More
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by Ali IssaView image | gettyimages.com
This August, a harsh heat wave across Iraq came alongside electricity blackouts, sending tens of thousands of people onto the streets in an ongoing protest. Six weeks of massive — and still growing — rallies across central and southern Iraq called not merely for reliable electricity, but for an end to the sectarian power-sharing agreement that many consider to be the culprit behind ongoing problems in Iraq. This sectarian system had been set up by U.S. envoy Paul Bremer in 2003, and mandates “power sharing” among representatives from Iraq’s many religious and ethnic communities at every level of government. Popular unrest against this system has gripped the country for the past decade because — among other faults — it so clearly disrupted politics across Iraq’s ethnic and religious divides. This time, with people at his doorstep, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi claimed to hear them. He proposed reforms to “distance all top government posts from sectarian and party quotas.”
Religious sect is a real force in Iraqi society, all the more since regional players have poured billions into hyper-sectarian militias and media outlets. At the same time, Iraqis have consistently fought against the imposition of a quota system for government positions, as well as the culture of animosity that political sectarianism brings. Iraqis identify politically and socially in many ways — geographically, generationally and ideologically. They organize for gender justice, public sector jobs, cultural flourishing, environmental protection and more. Faith is only one aspect of these identities, though one that the world seems obsessed with boxing Iraqis into.
“We want an end to this sectarian quota system,” Uday al-Zaidi, the brother of famed shoe-thrower and journalist Muntazar al-Zaidi, told me back in 2011. That was in the midst of one of Iraq’s earlier protest moments, when the al-Zaidi brothers played a prominent role in leading calls for Iraqi unity and independence from the United States and regional powers, most prominently the Iranian government. And that’s just one example.
The Federation of Oil Unions in Iraq prominently called out the sect in 2007 as “a distraction” from their fight for labor rights and a say in Iraq’s oil contracts. Five years later in 2012, I interviewed Hashmeya al-Saadawi, president of the Electrical Utility Workers Union in Iraq, when then, as now, many Iraqis only get a few hours of power every day. While describing the scandalous Iraqi budget surplus — which totaled in the tens of billions of dollars — she called the sectarian system “hated” and asserted it was at the heart of the government’s dysfunction.
Perhaps the most crucial example is from 2013, when yet another protest upsurge that began in al-Anbar province, spread north and gained support across Iraqi society. The demonstrations, which were tragically transformed and infiltrated by al-Qaeda-affiliated groups that became ISIS, began as a struggle against sectarianism. “No to sectarianism … exclusion, marginalization and the politicization of the judiciary,” read a banner from a January 2013 demonstration.
At that time, former Prime Minister Al-Maliki’s use of security forces and prisons in a blatantly discriminatory manner pushed people into the street, and the harsh government crackdown provided an opening for armed and brutally divisive groups. Although Mosul is now controlled by the sectarian and vicious ISIS, it is not surprising that Iraqis I have spoken with from there feel good about the recent demands for a post-sectarian future. After all, it was a series of tragic turns of history — from the United States’ empowering of sectarian and patriarchal Islamist parties in Iraq to the exclusive targeting of progressive opposition in Iraq and Syria by both regimes respectively — that led to the ISIS phenomenon to begin with.
Since a new wave of protest in Iraq — the largest in decades — has forced the Iraqi government to finally begin acknowledging the fundamental problems with the now 12-year-old quota system, Iraqis across sectors and at the grassroots are striving to chart a new political course. It’s also time for the world at large to see Iraqis in a new way. Not as simply Sunni, Shi’ite or Kurd, Gulf-backed or Iran-backed, terrorist or victim. Iraqis are asking us to do much better than that.
Help us map community action in response to the refugee crisis in Europe by sharing details of events, and find out what’s being organised near you
Supplies are being donated across Europe to help support people who have arrived on the continent this summer as refugees. Grassroots organisations are advertising collections and drop-offs, as well as demonstrations and vigils, to show support for thousands of refugees travelling through and staying in temporary camps in Greece, France, Germany, Hungary and Austria.
One of these groups, Calais Action, which began delivering donations to refugees in Calais in August, has been charting these community efforts in the UK and Europe. To raise awareness of the ways in which the public can help, people can submit details of organised collections and trips to donate using this form. Calais Action has produced a crowdsourced map of activities so far with all major giving groups contributing, according to the organisation.Continue reading...
Campaigning against CSG exploration is an all-ages affair for the ‘mini Walter Whites’ dressing up as the accidental activist from the Australian documentary
Australian schoolchildren are voicing their opposition to coal seam gas by dressing up in costumes inspired by “accidental activist” Dayne Pratzky from the powerful anti-CSG documentary Frackman.Continue reading...
06:45 Riotcops drive into the street
07:13 Water canon is throwing water on the roof, and almost hits the people.
07:15 More Riotcops are arriving
07:30 Riotcops are waiting to start the eviction. Riotcops are attacking the front wall with a bulldozer
07:40 Riotcops are starting to cut through the roof
De Vloek, Hellingweg 127, 2583 DZ Den Haag
Manavgat ve Çorlu HDP binaları saldırıya uğradı, tabelaları indirildi, eşyaları yakıldı. http://t.co/I5Ys8QHfrm pic.twitter.com/1UZnw1fIHz — Evrensel Gazetesi (@evrenselgzt) September 7, 2015 Turkey – As the frequency of bombings increase and the country slips closer to war, waves of attacks on the Kurdish population have swept the nation, leaving many to question if further conflict, could even Read More
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Petra Lazlo, a camerawoman with Hungary’s N1TV was caught on video kicking and tripping Syrian refugees as they fled Hungarian police at the Röszke temporary refugee camp on the Hungary-Serbia border. Videos capture the camerawoman kicking a young girl who is running past her while holding the hand of who appears to be her father. Moments Read More
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Belgium – About 6000 European farmers protested in the Belgian capital on Monday to demand the European Union take action to counter the slumping prices they get for milk and pork. Farmers converged on the EU headquarters from across the 28-nation bloc, arriving on hundreds of tractors. Farmers have been hard-hit by a Russian ban Read More
A protester interrupted the former US vice-president while he was speaking about the Iran nuclear deal, yelling: ‘Why should we be listening to him? He was wrong on Iraq, he’s wrong on Iran.’ The woman was forcefully removed. Cheney says the deal will have dire consequences for the US and Middle EastContinue reading...
by Phil Wilmot
Tumuhimbise Norman is one of those relentless characters. You know the type. He’s the kind of activist who will keep pushing and pushing — not minding the risks or burdens — until his demands are met.
Over the course of several months, Norman and his colleagues plotted a successful attempt to sneak yellow-painted pigs into Uganda’s Parliament in protest of greedy politicians. Since then, he’s been hopping between prisons, courts, talk shows and the streets without any sign of being deterred.
On August 19, Norman and his associates with the Kampala-based youth activist group The Jobless Brotherhood, or TJB, staged another dramatic display by painting their iconic guerrilla piglets many colors and setting them free in the city. They wanted to make it clear that the opposition politicians, symbolized by multiple colors representing various political parties, were doing just as little as those from the ruling party, which sports yellow attire.
Attached to the pigs was a “last letter to government” directed toward the nation’s dictatorial leadership, in which TJB threatened to initiate a period of civil disobedience in response to the failure of parliamentarians to pass electoral reforms. “We had given you a little benefit of doubt, thinking you would come back to your senses,” read the note. “We may resolve to have temporary instability if it can guarantee permanent stability of our motherland Uganda.”
The very evening these messenger piglets were scattered in the city, Norman disappeared.
Activists, organizers and civil society organizations went into crisis mode, running around from one police station to the next to inquire whether Norman had been detained there. Some of his associates were facing threats and were advised to sleep in guest houses in various places throughout the city so as not to be snatched by the plain-clothes agents frequenting their homes.
Through Whatsapp and Facebook correspondences, a press conference was convened within 48 hours, through which the public was asked to provide any information that may lead to the recovery of Norman — or at least his corpse. The rumor began surfacing that Norman was abducted near his home by disguised agents of the Special Forces Command, an anti-terrorism division of the Ugandan military that received counter-terrorism training with the U.S. military.
The kidnapping was totally believable, as the Special Forces Command has a reputation for harassing politically active youths and torturing those who criticize President Yoweri Museveni’s three-decade military regime. A feeling of defeat trickled around Norman’s social circles, as he had long been hailed as a kind of indomitable force on the frontlines of political change.
Nevertheless, total despair had not yet set in. TJB members visited Norman’s wife, sister and two-year-old daughter, asking them to join a public effort to make an inquiry concerning Norman’s whereabouts at Kampala’s Central Police Station, which they agreed to do. This new search party bombarded their media contacts, which put the police in a situation of crisis when Norman’s wife began crying and begging them to return her husband’s body for a proper burial.
In a typically unprofessional move, the Ugandan police detained the coalition. Their phones, however, were not confiscated, so the detainees were able to use Facebook to call for immediate outside assistance. After a few hours, police realized they were getting too much attention and released the group.
Yet, Norman’s family and colleagues were nowhere closer to locating him. There were talks about organizing an interfaith prayer, but those plans were only inching along slowly. Something more drastic and alarmist had to be done. Every second Norman was gone increased the likelihood of finding his remains washed up on the shores of the Nile River.
Almost a week after Norman’s disappearance, social media coordinators for various youth groups in Kampala announced that Norman was dead. A picture of his face was posted on Facebook, crossed out with a red “X,” and accompanied by a few words explaining how he had been killed by “Dictator Museveni.”
This forced the state to act. The only way it could refute allegations of murder was to produce Norman himself. Within a few hours, Norman was pushed out of a white double-cabin vehicle in the late hours of the night. He stumbled home in terrible condition, dehydrated and unable to talk.
Norman was immediately rushed to obtain proper care. Medical reports indicated he had suffered ocular damage. There were chemicals still dripping from his eyes, which had also been pushed deep into their sockets. His spine was misaligned, and he suffered a visceral rupture. Doctors put him on a drip to replenish his body with the necessary fluids.
“I blacked out as soon as I was forced into their vehicle,” Norman explained to me during a visit I made to his home after he was well enough to talk. “I woke up some unknown amount of time later in a completely black room where I was repeatedly asked the same three questions and tortured for my responses to them.”
The first thing his captors wanted to know concerned the funding sources behind TJB. Norman asked those interrogating him whether they had seen the activist group build any buildings or start any businesses in Kampala. After all, piglets can be purchased for less than $20 in the local market. Very little capital was needed to organize, Norman explained, so there were no major funders behind the movement.
Norman’s torturers then questioned him about his recently published book, “Unsowing the Mustard Seed,” which chronicles Museveni’s crimes against humanity in his quest to take power in the country, as well as Norman’s personal encounters with poverty and political oppression. (I also contributed a section to the book on the strategic benefits of nonviolent tactics and movement-building in Uganda.) The book’s title is a direct challenge to Museveni’s own book “Sowing the Mustard Seed,” in which he describes how he became Uganda’s successful liberator in the mid-1980s. The interrogators asked Norman where he had obtained the information in his literary rebuke. He explained, truthfully, that there were some former associates of the president who had defected and offered their stories to him.
Finally, the captors asked Norman about the campaign of civil disobedience TJB intended to launch, as indicated in the letter affixed to their pigs. They accused Norman of stockpiling weapons to initiate an armed rebel movement. “I told them that even if I die, the cause will never die,” Norman later explained to me. “There are more than 1,000 people ready to champion the same causes with the same tenacity. This response won me heavy beatings and slaps, but I just kept asking them whether they wanted to hear answers that pleased their ears or if they wanted to hear the truth.”
Norman’s resolve is clearly not shattered. He and his associates were busy brainstorming other ideas that could pester their dictator, which is an especially useful approach in sub-Saharan nations that tend to have patriarchal and ageist mainstream cultures in which old men in positions of leadership are not to be confronted or even questioned by females and youths.
Supporters across the nation and abroad are currently advocating for an international dialogue concerning Norman’s abduction and torture. “We want to see foreign countries blacklist our leaders who are, at best, complacent with the present conditions under which activists and advocates like me are suffering,” Norman said. “In many cases, they are the ones perpetuating injustice directly. They have bank accounts in foreign countries and travel there for both business and vacation. They have no interest in improving their own country. Let the foreign countries block them from entering so that they learn a lesson.”
“Unsowing the Mustard Seed” is now available online, and TJB intends to continue promoting the book to generate a cash flow that can support their activities. “People are wary of just making contributions, especially if they don’t know us,” said Norman’s fellow TJB coordinator Mayanja Robert. “Now that we have something for sale, it can generate some financial support for us and the buyer can go home with a book that sensitizes him or her on the true stories of Uganda’s political history.”
Norman’s “resurrection” is no doubt a win for TJB and other progressive groups throughout Uganda, but the activist continues to face challenges. His landlord of several years finally succumbed to the pressure from authorities, coupled with an alleged bribe of a few thousand dollars, to evict Norman’s family by the end of this month. Norman is currently seeking civil society stakeholders who can help his family find a secure residence that can also accommodate other at-risk activists and organizers from time to time.
Although Norman was repeatedly told by his captors that they could snatch him any time they needed him, he seems to almost disregard this threat. To see Norman emboldened by his recent experiences is something that will kindle the flames of change in young Ugandans across the nation. They’ve already raised him from the dead. There’s no telling what other nonviolent miracles are in store with elections approaching early next year.
Baltimore City officials have reached a $6.4 million wrongful death settlement with the family of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old man who died in April from a neck injury he suffered in police custody, according to two people with knowledge of the agreement. Baltimore officials could announce details of the proposed settlement as early as Tuesday. Read More
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By Guilhotina Collective The stories coming to us from the people running from the Syrian war are tragic, full of horror and death. But they don’t tell us everything and thus space has been created for baseless rumours, lies and fears to spread. #RefugeesWelcome: Deconstructing the miserablist and petty propaganda against refugees. REFUGEES REFUSED HELP Read More
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By the ’70s American culture had been made to forget that the Industrial Workers of the World had ever existed, just as in the century’s first decades the segregated union utopia was condemned, brutalized, legislated against, campaigned against, and demonized. Today, things haven’t changed much. This film stands among a scant handful of books detailing Read More
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Candlelit gatherings spring up in towns and cities to remember drowned Turkish boy Aylan Kurdi and call on politicians to tackle unfolding humanitarian disaster
Tens of thousands of people gathered at events across the country on Monday evening to urge action on the humanitarian crisis arising from the conflict in Syria.
The call went out on social media under the hashtags #refugeeswelcome and #LightTheDark, with planned gatherings in major cities as well as more spontaneous events elsewhere.Continue reading...
According to the judge’s verdict, social centre De Vloek [previously on S!N] can be evicted as early as this Monday [TODAY]. For this reason, we find it necessary to declare our independence on this day, September 3rd, 2015! An autonomous zone where equality rules, where refugees are welcome and where capitalism is a thing of the past.
We are calling on everyone to come to the autonomous zone, join us! Read our declaration of independence below, completely in the style of the US Declaration of Independence, written in 1776. This declaration will also be sent to King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands, President Mark Rutte, all members of the Dutch parliament, and all of The Hague city council members.
Viva la Independencia y la Libertad, Viva el Lokal Pirata, Viva De Vloek!
Declaration of Independence: De Vloek, a Free Space, a Free Community
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for a community of people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which they are entitled, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are born equal; that they are by this fact endowed with inalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, political institutions are created, deriving their just powers from the consent of those for whom the institutions make decisions.
That whenever any political institution becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new form of governance, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object of profit and power, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
That is the painful situation of social center De Vloek. Herein lies the root of the necessity which is now forcing the occupants of De Vloek to change the political system. The history of the present and consecutive government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is a history of repeated injustices and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over our social centers and communities, in particular against De Vloek. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
De Vloek is a place where people found living space. The right to shelter, even if continually threatened by landlords, speculators and commerce, was provided here. Court rulings, blackmail and forced evictions by police are a fundamental violation of this right to shelter, a violation that is not insignificant, but fundamental.
De Vloek is a place where people can find an outlet for their creativity, and where other people can learn from these expressions. A society that values freedom encourages these kinds of places. It is not without reason that these places are known as ”free spaces”. A system that denies this is not worthy of being called a free society. No free space owes its loyalty and obedience to such a despotic political system.
De Vloek is a place where people actively strive for precisely the world of equality, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness that even the Kingdom of the Netherlands considers to be inalienable and fundamental rights. By attempting to put an end to this free space, it is in violation of its professed fundamental principles.
For these reasons, De Vloek wishes to no longer in any manner be connected to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which answers its call for freedom with despotism, extortion, and tyranny. De Vloek hereby declares itself to be an independent free space, and extends a hand to all those who share her goals.
De Vloek will regulate her relations with other political entities on the basis of equality, including with the Kingdom of The Netherlands. To begin, we offer the aforementioned Kingdom mutual diplomatic recognition, including an exchange of ambassadors. De Vloek is not looking for a fight. But her members – equal and free citizens of an autonomous community based on solidarity – will defend their independence, by any means necessary. We are calling on every freedom and solidarity loving person to support us in this struggle.
De Vloek Independent and Autonomous zone
Award giving in recognition of services to landlords and their rights. We proudly presented bricks through windows of CJA estate agents in Southville on the night of 31st August. All windows smashed and the international squatter symbol painted on their wall. Because despite the ban on squatting houses everyone should have a decent home.
CJA have showed real resilience and single mindedness to make a stand for maximum profit regardless of the tough conditions faced by tenants everywhere. In a letter to Bristol landlords in March this year they encouraged landlords to hike their rents and cynically take advantage of the housing crisis. Because the crisis is for landlords and property developers another business opportunity. They then arrogantly ignored a campaign by a local community union to hold them to account. So we found another way to encourage them to see the costs of their actions.
Thousands of us are trapped in overcrowded, over priced and chronically undermaintained and decaying rented houses. We constantly struggle to pay the rent under the ever present threat of eviction and homelessness. Gentrification and colonisation of our areas pushes rents ever higher and forces us further out. This is social cleansing and it is a very profitable business. For greedy landlords and estate agents like CJA, decent, affordable homes don’t come into their sums. It’s all about investment opportunities and ruthless profiteering. Meanwhile, there is a huge increase in homelessness and the hostels are full to bursting. We don’t have to take this. Let’s fight for a world without landlords, where people’s homes are not for the profit of the rich.