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Starbucks and palm oil, wake up and smell the coffee

The Guardian | Protest -

Consumer action is vital if we’re going to tackle deforestation and social exploitation in the palm oil supply chain

Two years after Starbucks stated publicly that it was committed to using 100% RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified sustainable palm oil in products such as its raspberry chocolate chip scone and Mallorca sweet bread by 2015, customers are in the dark. Has or hasn’t the coffee giant eliminated conflict palm oil from its supply chain?

Starbucks’ public commitment, made in 2013, followed a shareholder resolution requesting the board of directors adopt and implement a comprehensive sustainable palm oil policy.

Related: Life in and around a palm oil plantation in Cameroon – in pictures

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Jackass star Steve-O facing criminal charges for 'SeaWorld Sucks' protest

The Guardian | Protest -

The 41-year-old climbed a crane 100 feet high on Sunset Boulevard, inflating a killer whale balloon emblazoned with ‘SeaWorld Sucks’ and lighting fireworks

Jackass star Steve-O will face five criminal charges after he climbed a crane in Hollywood to protest SeaWorld and drew dozens of emergency responders to a construction site earlier this month.

The city of Los Angeles will also seek financial restitution for the cost of the police and fire response, said Frank Mateljan, spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office.

Related: Jackass star arrested for anti-SeaWorld stunt in Hollywood

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‘Show Israel red card!’ Pro-Palestine protests at European Championships qualifier

ikkevold (Nonviolence) -

Pro-Palestine activists plan to protest against Israel at the country’s European Championships soccer qualifier against Wales next month. Israel will play the Welsh team at Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday, September 6.

The Palestine Solidary Campaign (PSC) will demonstrate against Israel’s treatment of Palestinian footballers and the country’s ongoing occupation of West Bank and Gaza on the same day of the match.

Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn is among those planning to attend the protest, which will take place less than a week before the party unveils the result of its election.

PSC has called on football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA to expel Israel from its competitions over its treatment of Palestinians.

The group accuses Israel of being an apartheid state which treats Palestinians as second-class citizens, denying them basic rights such as freedom of movement.

PSC advocates the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to mount pressure on Israel by embargoing its goods and institutions and pushing for sanctions against it.

Supporters of BDS compare Israel to apartheid South Africa and argue for the state to be isolated on the global stage until it complies with international law.

Labour leadership favorite Corbyn will join Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans, Welsh Green Party chief Pippa Bartolotti and Palestinian Ambassador to the UK Manuel Hassassian at the lobby.

Corbyn has been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism during his leadership campaign, allegations he rejected as “ludicrous.”

Cardiff Stop the War Coalition secretary Adam Johannes accused Israel of bombing Palestinian stadiums and raiding its Football Association’s Headquarters.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) executed a surprise search of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) headquarters in the West Bank in November 2014.

Asian Football Confederation President Sheik Salman Bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa condemned the raid at the time as setting “a dangerous precedent that requires the international sporting family to stand together and support the PFA.

Johannes also pointed to the case of Palestinian football player Mahmoud Sarsak, who was imprisoned in Israel for three years for allegedly having links with Islamic extremists. Sarsak was later released without charge.

Imagine if players in Wales’ national football team were regularly prevented from playing football and competing in tournaments by a military occupation, blocked from leaving Wales to play matches, some held in prison for months or years on end without trial, with armed forces sent to invade the headquarters of the Welsh FA, and Cardiff City Stadium bombed,” Johannes said.

This is what Israel does to Palestinian football. On September 6 Wales will play a country which regularly blocks Palestinians from participating in the beautiful game, competing in tournaments, and stops players traveling to matches.”

A petition calling for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to the UK next month has reached close to 80,000 signatures, double the figure it stood at ten days ago.

The e-petition calls for Netanyahu to be arrested for “war crimes” committed during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge military incursion into Gaza, which saw 2,251 Palestinian and 72 Israeli deaths.

The UK government has issued a statement clarifying that under international law “visiting heads of foreign governments, such as Netanyahu, have immunity from legal process, and cannot be arrested or detained.”

It went on to back Israel’s right to self-defense and condemned Hamas.

The prime minister was clear on the UK’s recognition of Israel’s right to take proportionate action to defend itself, within the boundaries of international humanitarian law.

We condemn the terrorist tactics of Hamas who fired rockets on Israel, built extensive tunnels to kidnap and murder, and repeatedly refused to accept ceasefires,” the government statement said.

 

‘Show Israel red card!’ Pro-Palestine protests at European Championships qualifier — RT UK.

International court rules in favour of Greenpeace activist Colin Russell

The Guardian | Protest -

Tasmanian man held prisoner for two months after Russian commandos stormed Arctic Sunrise in 2013 says ‘I’m vindicated’

A Tasmanian man held prisoner for two months after Russian commandos stormed a Greenpeace ship is feeling vindicated after an international court ruled in his favour.

Colin Russell was held in a Russian prison after the Dutch-flagged Arctic Sunrise was boarded in September 2013 and the 30 Greenpeace activists and journalists were detained.

Related: Greenpeace activist Colin Russell may be asked to pay, hints Julie Bishop

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Sea Shepherd anti-whaling ship Bob Barker refused entry to Faroe Islands

The Guardian | Protest -

Territory says it banned activist group’s entry after it had ‘deliberately attempted to disrupt the legal and regulated activity of driving and killing pilot whales’

Denmark’s autonomous Faroe Islands announced on Monday that they had refused entry to a ship carrying 21 activists from the militant conservation group Sea Shepherd who were trying to disrupt traditional whale hunts.

The territory’s government said in a statement that it had barred the ship, the Bob Barker, “with a basis in immigration legislation and in the interests of maintaining law and order”.

Related: Scottish town cuts twinned link to Faroe Islands over whale killings

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Scientists alarmed by ‘seismic blasting’ by oil industry in the Arctic Ocean

Revolution News -

Imagine dynamite exploding in your living room every ten seconds, for days to weeks on end. You could suffer serious health issues such as deafness, and you would likely abandon your home. Greenland Sea — Firing seismic airguns to find new oil reserves in the Arctic Ocean is ‘alarming’ and could seriously injure whales and Read More

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The protest movement is failing: it's fighting the same old battles with the same poor results

The Guardian | Protest -

Activists’ tendency to turn every issue into a fight against government or big business won’t create long term change

Does campaigning work? I’m often asked this question. In 2010, when I was director of the World Development Movement, I was interviewed by the Ecologist magazine and was optimistic about the rise of activism and the opportunities to build solidarity under a Tory government. But I’m increasingly convinced that either we’ve been using the wrong methods in our campaigns, or we’re missing something altogether.

The evidence? Environmental groups fighting U-turns on hard fought policies, like renewable energy; garment factory workers still facing working conditions that were highlighted two decades earlier; strong anti-World Trade Organisation campaigns, but yet another unjust free-trade policy, the Transatlantic Trade Partnership, looming on the horizon. We win a few campaigns, some of which I’m proud to have been involved with, but the overall direction of travel remains the same.

Related: Do we still need boycotts when you can send an angry tweet?

Related: Should business leaders speak out more on climate change?

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NAACP's Journey for Justice: why a disabled veteran is marching 860 miles

The Guardian | Protest -

Middle Passage, 68, is joining walk across five states for the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement, to call for ‘better jobs, better schools, better justice’

Nearly every day in August, Middle Passage has started his morning the same way: eating some grits and bacon, putting on his walking shoes and hitting the pavement before sunrise. Roughly 20 miles of marching follows.

After walking hundreds of miles through Alabama and Georgia, the 68-year-old disabled veteran is now in South Carolina, on his way to Washington DC.

Related: Black votes matter: the North Carolina electors who say new law is unfair

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Citizens of Hamburg Welcome Refugees With Celebration

Revolution News -

A neighborhood initiative called Refugees welcome – Karoviertel organized a meal and celebration to welcome refugees to the community of Hamburg, Germany. Citizens of Hamburg brought food and drinks to celebrate the arrival of what they hope to be, new fellow citizens. More than 500 refugees from Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan, Eritrea and other countries participated in the Read More

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Huge Explosions at US Army base near Tokyo, Japan

Revolution News -

A series of huge explosions erupted around 1am Monday morning, at Sagami General Depot, a US army base in Kanagawa Prefecture, on the outskirts of Tokyo. Photos and video footage circulating on social media show large explosions and smoke rising from the facility. Unconfirmed reports suggested that it was an ammunition depot that had exploded. Read More

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Topless protesters march through Manhattan in call for equality

The Guardian | Protest -

Activists take to streets of midtown after Mayor Bill de Blasio and other top officials condemn body-painted women seeking tips in Times Square

Broadway put on a very different kind of matinee on Sunday: bare-chested men and women parading down the Great White Way.

The GoTopless Pride Parade took to the streets of midtown Manhattan to counter critics who are complaining about topless tip-seekers in Times Square.

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Violent Repression of Corruption Protest in Lebanon Injures Dozens

Revolution News -

Thousands gathered in downtown Beirut on Saturday to demonstrate against governmental corruption which has led to garbage piling up on the streets since the closure of the city’s main landfill a month ago. Live ammo, water cannon’s, rubber bullets, tear gas and batons were deployed by police. Around 30 people, including a police officer, have Read More

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Chile’s Metro workers protest on the job for better working conditions

Waging Nonviolence -

by Ashoka Jegroo

Metro workers announced their demands to rush hour crowds of passengers in Santiago and asked for their support on August 19. (Twitter)

Chilean workers from the Santiago Metro, the subway system of the country’s capital, staged a demonstration on August 19 inside a major Metro station in order to bring awareness to their campaign for better working conditions.

“We are demanding minimum standards for the workers and also for the passengers,” Jorge Ávila, head of the Unified Santiago Metro Union, told BioBioChile.cl. “What we are asking the Metro’s management for today is not a raise. We are requesting that the Metro pay us for the actual hours we work.”

Among the demands being made by the workers are compensation for unpaid overtime and night shifts, improved access to clean bathrooms, and for the Metro to meet basic working standards.

The demonstration on Wednesday began at 8 a.m. with a banner drop at the Baquedano station for the 1 Line. The banner read: “Because you deserve a decent transport, support us! We move Santiago!” The workers then had a speakout where they announced their demands to big rush hour crowds of passengers and asked them to support the #MovemosSantiago campaign. Despite the congestion in the station, many of the passengers at the station showed support to the workers and their campaign.

“Today’s demonstration spread a sort of awareness to citizens so that they are aware of the mistreatment of Metro workers due to unsafe policies,” Daniela Pérez, president of the Unified Conductors Union, told Emol.com.

The information campaign officially began on Monday with workers using the public announcement system on the train to spread their message, but workers have been making these kind of demands since at least late July.

Workers allege that they are often forced to work overtime and night shifts without compensation and are even denied access to bathrooms. Because of protocols that require permission before workers can use the bathroom, some workers have even urinated on themselves and have been forced to wear diapers at work just to do their job. They also accuse management of engaging in anti-union practices and violating maternity and safety policies. Workers claim that they have even been forced to transport explosive materials, work sick, and drive trains with missing doors. All this, they say, ultimately threatens the safety of the passengers and the normal functioning of the Metro system.

“We are not asking for a salary raise. We are asking for a decent place to work and for workers to have a bathroom. It’s unbelieveable that they are urinating in the conductor and cashier booths and that they have to use diapers,” Pérez told Cooperativa.cl. “We are demanding safety. We empathize, at all times, with the citizens, with the people being transported on the Metro. If the Metro were to stop at some time, it is only because the management has been lacking.”

The Metro’s management denies the allegations and insists that workers are treated better than most working people in Chile. They also accuse the protesting workers of causing delays during their protest.

“We respect the right of workers to protest and voice their labor concerns but we understand that affecting passenger service is not the way to channel these concerns,” Rubén Alvarado, the Metro’s general manager, told Cooperativa.cl. “They have salaries that are well beyond the average Chilean worker. They have benefits, and let’s make one thing clear, voluntary resignations amongst our conductors is close to zero. They are less than one percent.”

The workers deny that they caused any delays and say that they are planning to “exert pressure” on management with more protests in the near future. The toll booth cashiers’ union also decided on August 21 to go on strike. This unified front of conductors, cashiers and other Metro workers has given management until August 31 to meet their demands and has promised to stage more demonstrations if working conditions aren’t improved.

“This is an unacceptable and unsustainable situation,” Ávila told BioBioChile.cl. “We are calling on the Metro’s management once and for all to man up and have a talk with the workers.”

Macedonian Police Attacked Refugees with Tear Gas and Stun Grenades

Revolution News -

Macedonian police used tear gas and stun grenades against refugees and immigrants that were trying to enter the country on the Macedonian-Greek border. The exact number of injured during the police attack is unknown but it is more than a dozen. This attack comes just one day after Macedonia declared a “state of emergency”, which opens the Read More

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In Effort to Stifle Dissent, St. Louis County Charges At Least 100 Protesters One Year Later

Revolution News -

Legal coalition condemns recent move after multiple jurisdictions chose not to charge activists NLG – FERGUSON, MO.— In a surprise move, just before the statute of limitations was about to expire, St. Louis County Counselor Peter Krane filed charges last week against at least 100 people who were arrested a year ago while peacefully protesting Read More

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CCTV Captures Brutal Cyprus Police Beating

Revolution News -

A video which shows two police officers brutally beating and kicking a prisoner in a holding cell has caused outrage and shock in Cyprus. The video that was released on 19 August 2015 from the closed-circuit cameras of a police station in the Greek Cypriot town of Polis Chrysochous, depicts a 26 years old man Read More

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Protesters unveil demands for stricter US policing laws as political reach grows

The Guardian | Protest -

Leaders of influential civil rights movement release most comprehensive set of policy proposals yet calling for federal and state laws to combat police killings

Leaders in the new civil rights movement campaigning against the killings of African Americans by police set out their most comprehensive set of policies and demands so far on Friday, as they moved to intensify their rapidly increasing influence on US politics.

The coalition of protesters outlined proposals for new laws at federal and state levels such as restricting the use of deadly force by officers, outlawing the supply of military equipment to police departments, instituting training to prevent racial bias and forcing the US government to keep a comprehensive record of fatal incidents.

Related: 'Things will never be the same': the oral history of a new civil rights movement

Related: Black lives don't matter, apparently, to Republican candidates for president | Steven W Thrasher

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Turkey’s Digital Crackdown on Media, Censors Hundreds of News Sites

Revolution News -

Turkey recently started a new digital crackdown on critical and independent media. However, Turkish government has been involved in ‘online security’ policies as far back as 2007 with the law numbered 5651, Law Regulating Digital Publications which has very quickly expanded from its original aim and started targeting political dissent and criticism. The law originally Read More

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Where is international outcry for jailed Bahraini opposition leader?

Waging Nonviolence -

by Alya Radhi

Protesters in Manama capital light candles marking 200 days since the imprisonment of Bahraini opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salam. (WNV/Alya Radhi)

On June 16, my husband Sheikh Ali Salman was sentenced to four years in prison for publicly inciting hatred, disturbing public peace and inciting civil disobedience of the law in Bahrain. His lawyers issued several statements in which they complained that the court prevented them from making an argument. The ruling received wide international condemnation.

As the secretary general of al-Wefaq, the largest political party in Bahrain, Sheikh Ali is a prominent and influential political leader. He took his first steps on the path of nonviolent struggle for freedom and equality 20 years ago. Ever since, he has maintained a firm vision that a democratic transition can be achieved in Bahrain through a peaceful movement.

His strong belief in tolerance and pluralism can be seen in the speeches he gave during the popular protests that erupted on February 14, 2011. “We’re in no need for Molotov cocktails or stones, but we need courage to continue in our peaceful and nonviolent activism,” he said in a famous speech before his arrest in 2014. “Our slogan is nonviolence, even if we’re imprisoned or killed. One day, the global conscience will move and we will be victorious by God’s will.”

Since 2011, Bahrain has been rocked by nationwide demonstrations demanding major political change in a state that has seen a single prime minister since its independence from British colonialism in 1971. At least seven men were killed, as the regime carried out multiple attempts to crush the protests centered at Pearl Roundabout, the historic monument in the capital city Manama.

In March 2011, the regime finally called in foreign troops from neighboring states, which led to the deadliest and most brutal crackdown in Bahrain’s modern history. The gigantic protest was shattered and the Pearl monument was demolished.

Following international pressure and criticism, Bahrain called in an independent commission of inquiry, which released a damning report that documented extrajudicial killings and deaths resulting from torture in police custody. But this did not lead to any easing of the regime’s iron fist on the popular movement, which is still ongoing. International reports continue to document arbitrary arrests and harsh court rulings by what Human Rights Watch described as “a system of injustice.”

Sheikh Ali is being prosecuted for his open disapproval of the exclusion of citizens based on ethnic and sectarian grounds, and for his harsh criticism of the autocratic rule under which Bahraini citizens are deprived of the right to democratically choose their government.

His case is part of a larger crisis that has rocked this country over the past four years. Who is paying the price? Without doubt, it is the people, who must bear arrest, detention, exile, layoffs from their jobs, repression and the loss of loved ones. Sheikh Ali’s case is a people’s cause and tells the story of a nation’s struggle for legitimate demands.

The Court of Appeals is to review his sentence on September 15. Will the Bahraini government move closer to political agreement with the opposition? The release of Sheikh Ali Salman could be a start. The court’s decision will be an indicator on where Bahrain will be heading in the coming years.       ​

More than 200 days after his arrest, the people of Bahrain who have taken bullets with bare chests remain committed to the peaceful movement for democracy, freedom and equality. This nation deserves attention and support from the international community and international rights organizations for its legitimate demands by working to reach an agreed-upon political solution. It is not in Bahrain’s interest — nor would it be good for the region — for the four-year-old turbulent situation in the country to continue.

My husband, Sheikh Ali Salman, is facing a politically-motivated trial for his patriotic stance and his criticism of the state’s suppression of the people. Most importantly, however, he is the key to any consensus, dialogue and negotiation to reach a resolution in Bahrain. I therefore remind the international community of its responsibility to press for his immediate release and to have his charges dismissed.

A Glimpse into the Immigrant Struggle in the Balkans (Video)

Revolution News -

Macedonia and Serbia have been faced with a large influx of immigrants in recent months. In a video, taken on the 14th of August, immigrants in Macedonia are trying to enter the train for Serbia, from where they hope to reach western countries. Several people were injured in a human stampede when entering the train, Read More

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