#311: Copenhagen – highs and lows

GLOBALPEACE AND JUSTICE AUCKLAND
NEWSLETTER No.311, December 31, 2009

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

BOSSES SHOULD SHARE THEIR OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNES! LIVING WAGEPETITION

Win tickets to the Big Day Out
Living Wage Petition: We have two tickets for the Big Day Out, whichis headlined by pro worker bands like Muse
If you’d like to enter the draw for the BDO tickets, Download a copyof the petition and get it filled in with 10 names – one sheet = one entry(multiple entries allowed!), and write your name, address and mobile number onthe back. We’ll be pulling the names out of the hat on Jan 10th, so ifyou want to go, get them in soon!

Stalls in your area:
AUCKLAND: Contact Joseph – 029 4455702 joseph@unite.org.nz
WELLINGTON: Contact Joel – 027 600 9282 joel.cosgrove@gmail.com TheWellington crew operate their own e loop 15dollarwgtn@googlegroups.comand regular stalls in different areas and events.
WHANGEREI: Contact Vaughan – 021 041 5082 svpl@xtra.co.nz
ROTORUA: Contact Bernie – bernieh@clear.net.nz 07 345 9853
CHRISTCHURCH: Contact Joe – 029 201 3859 joe@unite.org.nz
DUNEDIN: Contact Chris – 027 781 0371 mr_matahaere@hotmail.com
HAMILTON – Contact Jared – 029 494 9863 jared@unite.org.nz

FOREIGN CONTROL WATCHDOG ONLINE
Just when you were wondering what you are going to read during the holidays,we’ve come to the rescue, advising you of a fascinating treasure trovenewly accessible online. Thanks to Lynda Boyd, who has laboured long and hardto upload a complete set of historical issues Foreign Control Watchdog,covering the years 1974-99 (Watchdog went online that year and issues from 1999onwards can be read at http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdogTo access these oldies but goodies, just click on this link: http://www.historicalwatchdog.blogspot.com/

WAIHOPAI SPYBASE PROTEST JANUARY 22-24, 2010
The Waihopai spybase was dragged into the public spotlight in April 2008 whenthree Ploughshares peace activists penetrated its high security and deflatedone of the two domes concealing its satellite dishes from the NZ public. TheAnti-Bases Campaign was happy to support this non-violent direct actionanti-war activity (which is yet to come to trial). The public face of NewZealand’s role as an American ally is the NZ military presence inAfghanistan. But New Zealand’s most significant contribution to that, andother American wars, including the one in Iraq, is the Waihopai electronicintelligence gathering base, located in the Waihopai Valley, near Blenheim. Itis controlled by the US, with New Zealand (including Parliament and the PrimeMinister) having little or no idea what goes on there, let alone any control.Join us for the weekend of anti-war protest at this spybase. Come prepared forroughing it and camping out. We provide the food (we cater for vegetarians butvegans will have to bring their own). Bring sleeping bag, groundsheet, a tent,torch, water bottle, eating utensils, clothing for all weather, and $40 (or $20unwaged) to cover costs. No open fires. How to find our camp at Whites Bay:turn off SH1 at Tuamarina (9km north of Blenheim or 20 km south of Picton) anddrive to Rarangi on the coast. Follow the steep Port Underwood Road over thehilltop before descending to the Whites Bay turnoff. There is a DoC public campat the bay with basic facilities. ABC has to pay a fixed charge per head.
This will be the first Waihopai spybase protest since the Domebusters’courageous 2008 citizens’ deflation action. Waihopai does not operate inthe interests of New Zealanders or our neighbours. Basically it is a foreignspybase on NZ soil and directly involves us in America’s wars. Waihopaimust be closed. Register to take part in the protest ($40 waged / $20 unwaged).Writre to: CLOSE THE WAIHOPAI SPYBASE NOW! Organised by the Anti-BasesCampaign, P.O. Box 2258, Christchurch. E-mail cafca@chch.planet.org.nz http://www.converge.org.nz/abcMake all cheques to ABC

STOLEN – DOCUMENTARY?
Dear friends, Stolen was made up to promote its makers and to create sensationand drama to sell the film. The film doesn’t reflect reality in theSaharawi refugee camps and it is not based on facts. Therefore, it’s nota documentary. It’s fiction film and has no place in a documentaryfestival. Please check this website for more information about Stolen: http://www.therealtruthaboutstolen.com/It’s a shame that those behind the festival in NZ selected this dodgyfilm.

SUPPORT FOR THE WAIHOPAI PLOUGHSHARES TRIAL – MESSAGE FROMPMA

11 December 2009: Kia ora, As you may be aware, the trial date for theWaihopai Ploughshares team has been set and the trial will begin in Wellingtonon 8 March 2010. The Wellington Ploughshares Support group has begun planningsome of the events that will take place before and during the trial, and thismessage is to invite you and your organisation to become involved – whereveryou are based, you do not need to be in Wellington to support WaihopaiPloughshares before or during the trial. There are four sections below: somebackground information; support around the Waihopai Ploughshares trial; detailsof the planning meeting in Wellington on Tuesday, 15 December; and a copy ofthe Waihopai Ploughshares statement. This message will be online at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/pldec09.htmlater today.

Background information
At 6am on the morning of 30 April 2008, three members of a ChristianPloughshares team entered the Waihopai spy base and used sickles to deflate oneof the two 30 metre domes covering satellite interception dishes. They thenbuilt a shrine and prayed for the victims of the war with no end – theso-called ‘War on Terror’ led by the United States government which alsocontrols the NZ taxpayer funded Waihopai base. More information about WaihopaiPloughshares is available at http://ploughshares.org.nz and http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/plshares.htmand information about the Waihopai spy base is at http://www.converge.org.nz/abc/waihopai.html

Support for the Waihopai Ploughshares trial
As mentioned above, the Wellington Ploughshares Support Group hasbegun planning events around the trial in Wellington, as has the Anti-BasesCampaign. There will be a range of activities and events in the run-up to, andduring the trial – currently being discussed are some Fundraising for Iraqevents in February (see http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/pl200808.htmfor details of the previous event), workshops and other activities during theweekend of 6 – 7 March, a support gathering on the Monday morning as the trialopens, with a ‘Women say no to spy bases’ action in the early evening to markboth the opening of the trial and International Women’s Day, Stations of theCross around relevant Wellington institutions on the Tuesday early evening, anda public meeting organised by the Anti-Bases Campaign on the Wednesday evening.In addition there will be vigils, including prayer vigils, at various times ofthe day during the trial.

As well as the events in Wellington, it would be great if you or yourorganisation can begin planning what you might do in your community, your placeof worship, or your town / city in the run up to and / or during the trial -keeping in mind and respecting the non-violent philosophy of Ploughshares.There are any amount of things you could do – writing letters to the editor ofyour local or national print media; organising a public vigil or picnic orother public demonstration of support for the trial; arranging for prayers tobe said in the run up to, and during the trial, in your place of worship;organising a public meeting to spread the word about the Waihopai spy base andPloughshares; supporting the sign-on support statements which will becirculated early next year … and we’re sure you can think of more.

Please feel free to contact the Wellington Ploughshares Support Group c/oemail pma to discuss your ideas,or to let us know what resources might be useful for you, or other ways we canhelp.

If you do not wish to become involved in organising a support event oractivity, there are still ways you can help: •Prayer: karakia for peace,revelation and discernment are all essential prayers that people of faith canjoin us in; •Advocacy: people to learn and share more about the businessand politics of war – to expose the powers that support the domination systemand perpetuate military and economic violence against innocent people aroundthe world; •Join the mailing list: send an email to ploughshares08@gmail.com to be addedto the Ploughshares mailing list for occasional updates; •Finances: if youwould like to make a donation to Waihopai Ploughshares, please send your chequepayable to ‘Peace Movement Aotearoa – Special Projects’, with a note saying itis for Ploughshares, and your name and address (if you’d like a receipt) toPeace Movement Aotearoa, PO Box 9314, Wellington 6141. If you would like tomake a direct credit to the account, please contact email pma@xtra.co.nz for the details.

Statement of the Waihopai ANZAC Ploughshares, 30 April 2008
"
They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, their spears intopruning hooks; nation shall not lift sword against nation; and there shall beno more training for war." Isaiah 2/4

This morning, 30 April 2008, we entered the Waihopai Spy Base near Blenheim.Our group, including a Dominican Priest, temporarily closed the base bypadlocking the gates and proceeded to deflate one of the large domes coveringtwo satellite dishes. At 6am we cut through three security fences surroundingthe domes – these are armed with razor wire, infrared motion sensors and a highvoltage electrified fence. Once inside we used sickles to cut one of the two30-metre white domes, built a shrine and knelt in prayer to remember the peoplekilled by United States military activity. We have financed our activitiesthrough personal savings, additional part-time employment and a smallinterest-free loan from one of our supporters. We are responding to the Bushadministration’s admission that intelligence gathering is the mostimportant tool in the so-called War on Terror. This war will have no end untilcitizens of the world refuse to let it continue. The ECHELON spy networkincluding Waihopai, is an important part of the US government’s globalspy network and we have come in the name of the Prince of Peace to close itdown. The base is funded by New Zealand tax payers and located on New Zealandsoil which makes New Zealand a target through our association with the UKUSAintelligence cooperation agreement. Five years ago the Clark government opposedthe US-led invasion of Iraq. Yet at the same time the Bush administration wasusing the National Security Agency’s ECHELON system, of which Waihopai isan integral component, to spy on UN Security Council members so it could moreeasily swing them in favour of an invasion. There have been over 100Ploughshares actions over the last twenty years around the world. Ploughsharesdirect actions are linked through the common factors of: entry to locationsconnected to military activity, Christian prayers and most involve some form ofproperty destruction.

Peace Movement Aotearoa (PMA), the national networking peace organisation,PO Box 9314, Wellington 6141, Aotearoa New Zealand. Tel +64 4 382 8129, fax 3828173 email pma PMA website – http://www.converge.org.nz/pma Not inOur Name – http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nionnz.htm

JOIN ANTI-BASES CAMPAIGN IN SOLIDARITY WITH WAIHOPAI DOMEBUSTERSTRIAL STARTS MONDAY MARCH 8, WELLINGTON DISTRICT COURT
Monday March 8, 2010 has been set as the opening day for theWellington District Court jury trial of the Waihopai Domebusters – SamLand, Adrian Leason and Peter Murnane, the Ploughshares activists who deflatedone of the domes at the Waihopai spybase in April 2008. The trial has been setdown for a week (and may last several days longer). Anti-Bases Campaign urgesall our members and supporters, and everyone who believes that the Waihopaispybase should be closed, to come to Wellington to show active solidarity withthe Domebusters. It was a Ploughshares action, not an ABC one and we were assurprised by it as the rest of the country, but it was an action that we fullyendorse, the perfect example of non-violent direct action. At this stage wehaven’t worked out the details of what we are going to do in Wellington,but we want to get the word out now, and we will release details as they cometo hand. Activities will, hopefully, include:
•Being spectators at the actual trial, being there in court to support thethree of them
•Holding a picket outside the Wellington District Court for at least partof the trial
•Holding a protest action at the nearby HQ of the NZ GovernmentCommunications Security Bureau (GCSB), the top secret agency which runsWaihopai
•Holding a public meeting in central Wellington one night of the trial todiscuss Waihopai and related issues
These are just some of the ideas that we already have. There are others –we would like to have our excellent Waihopai spybase display in Wellingtonduring the trial, if a venue can be arranged. And there are other worthytargets for pickets, such as the US Embassy. We need help from Wellingtonians.ABC is a Christchurch group and it is difficult to organise a range ofactivities like this from long distance. There are a number of things that canbest be done by locals. And we urge people from all around the country to joinus in Wellington from Monday March 8 to show active solidarity with theDomebusters. What these brave guys did had not only national, butinternational, significance. This trial could, quite literally, be a once in alifetime event. You will have to arrange and finance your own travel andaccommodation. Bring appropriate placards and banners. The trial is, of course,on weekdays and during work hours. And it’s worth noting that courthearings can be subject to delays at short notice. But we are proceeding on thebasis that the trial has been set to start on Monday March 8.
SEE YOU IN WELLINGTON MARCH 8, Murray Horton, Anti-Bases Campaign, Box 2258,Christchurch, New Zealand. cafca@chch.planet.org.nz http://www.converge.org.nz/abc

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

"If the climate was a bank, they would have already saved it." Hugo Chavezat Climate Summit

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will knowpeace." Jimi Hendrix

"If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’dbe peace." – John Lennon

"The great only appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise." :James Larkin – Source: Statue on O’Connell Street, Dublin, Ireland.

"If they do it, it’s terrorism, if we do it, it’s fighting for freedom." -Anthony Quainton, U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, 1984

BEST ONTHE WEB

NEW ZEALAND

Welcome to the Jobless Recovery – GDP growth without jobs is no recovery atall – By Gordon Campbell http://werewolf.co.nz/2009/12/welcome-to-the-jobless-recovery/

Top billing for these acts from the halls of power By Matt McCarten http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10617480

John Minto: Xmas hope lies in stroppy Copenhagen protest http://johnminto.org.nz/xmas-hope-lies-in-stroppy-copenhagen-protest/

Here’s a great video from the Climate Change protest on Monday for the GPJAnewsletter

Government To Cut Holiday Entitlements http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0912/S00273.htm

John Minto: TVNZ has retarded attitude to Paul Henry http://johnminto.org.nz/a-cheap-distraction-to-fill-the-gap-between-the-adds/

Climate Activists Blockade NZ Stock Exchange http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0912/S00188.htm

IMAGES: Climate Change Demonstration Outside MOFAT http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0912/S00187.htm

Mining: Coromandel Assessed As Unsuitable For Mining – A peer-reviewedLandscape Assessment of the Coromandel Peninsula completely contradictsstatements by Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee, that someCoromandel conservation land presently close to mining has low conservationvalues and could be mined for gold. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0912/S00271.htm

New Zealanders voice outrage over massacre http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/letterstotheeditor/view/20091219-242864/New-Zealanders-voice-outrage-over-massacre

Pay Equity Challenge Coalition website ……. http://payequity.wordpress.com/

Pay-as-you-go way to go for ACC http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/pay-you-go-way-go-acc

90 Day picket success! http://www.indymedia.org.nz/article/78092/90-day-picket-success

Pay equity debate still raging http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/pay-equity-debate-still-raging-3287482

Matt McCarten: Naughty banks need more than a slap on the wrist http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10615121

Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Plans For Welfare Reform – At a timeof the year when family care and social generosity should be oneveryone’s mind, we find Finance Minister Bill English announcing thegovernment’s intention to get tougher on welfare in 2010. http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2009/12/21/campbell-on-the-govt%E2%80%99s-plans-for-welfare-reform/

WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS

Owning Upwards – How workers in Argentina have taken over failing firms, andturned them around – by Nina Fowler http://werewolf.co.nz/2009/12/owning-upwards/

Elegant Theories That Didn’t Work: The Problem with Paul Samuelson byMichael Hudson – Paul Samuelson, America’s best known economist, died onSunday. He was awarded the Nobel prize for economics, (founded one year earlierby a Swedish bank in 1970 “in honor of Alfred Nobel”). That awardelicited this trenchant critique, published by Michael Hudson in Commonweal,December 18, 1970. The essay was titled “Does economics deserve a Nobelprize? (And by the way, does Samuelson deserve one?)” http://sociologias-com.blogspot.com/2009/12/elegant-theories-that-didnt-work.html

What’s Wrong with a 30-Hour Work Week? by Don Fitz http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/fitz161209.html

Winners and losers: the human costs of "free" trade http://www.globalpolicy.org/empire/economic-expansion/international-trade-agreements-8-22/48553.html

Socit Gnrale tells clients how to prepare for potential ‘globalcollapse’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/6599281/Societe-Generale-tells-clients-how-to-prepare-for-global-collapse.html

10 Greediest People of 2009 – As ordinary Americans reel from the GreatRecession, these gluttonous all-stars continue to claw in absurd amounts ofmoney. http://www.alternet.org/story/144718/10_greediest_people_of_2009

FOOD, FARMING AND THE ENVIRONMENT

A climate con: Analysis of the "Copenhagen Accord" By David Spratt andDamien Lawson http://climatecodered.blogspot.com/2009/12/climate-con-analysis-of-copenhagen.html

Copenhagen: Morales and Chavez a `smashing success’ — an insider’s reportfrom the ALBA delegation http://links.org.au/node/1433

How to cure the post-Copenhagen hangover by Patrick Bond http://links.org.au/node/1426

George Monbiot: If you want to know who’s to blame for Copenhagen, look tothe US Senate – Obama’s attempt to put China in the frame for failure had itsorigins in the absence of American campaign finance reform http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/21/copenhagen-failure-us-senate-vested-interests

Bolivian President Evo Morales: “Shameful” for West to SpendTrillions on War and Only $10 Billion for Climate Change http://i2.democracynow.org/2009/12/16/bolivian_president_evo_morales_shameful_for

For Obama, No Opportunity Too Big To Blow by Naomi Klein http://www.thenation.com/blogs/copenhagen/508215/for_obama_no_opportunity_to_big_to_blow

Copenhagen: `Imperial’ climate deal rejected by poor-country delegate http://links.org.au/node/1418

Johann Hari: Leaders of the rich world are enacting a giant fraud -Corporate lobbyists can pressure or bribe governments to rig the system intheir favour http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-leaders-of-the-rich-world-are-enacting-a-giant-fraud-1837963.html

George Monbiot: This is bigger than climate change. It is a battle toredefine humanity – It’s hard for a species used to ever-expanding frontiers,but survival depends on accepting we live within limits http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/dec/14/climate-change-battle-redefine-humanity

Mark Steel: Sussex will be desert before the climate deniers accept realityhttp://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-steel/mark-steel-sussex-will-be-desert-before-the-climate-deniers-accept-reality-1841895.html

Copenhagen: People’s summit develops a people-powered response to theclimate crisis http://links.org.au/node/1408

Copenhagen: People vs. Polluters http://www.socialistvoice.ca/?p=845

Copenhagen: System change — not climate change: the Klimaforum09Declaration http://links.org.au/node/1399

Fight Climate Change Not Wars By Naomi Klein http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2009/12/fight-climate-change-not-wars

How hyper-capitalism may hobble the Copenhagen summit by Walden Bello http://www.tni.org/article/how-hyper-capitalism-may-hobble-copenhagen-summit

How Monsanto Takes Control Over Seed By Devinder Sharma http://www.countercurrents.org/sharma141209.htm

Tens of thousands Stage World’s Largest Climate March In Copenhagen By BenFerguson & Jonathan Owen http://www.countercurrents.org/owen131209.htm

`The main issue for us is Mother Earth’ — Bolivia’s delegation toCopenhagen climate talks http://links.org.au/node/1405

Food crisis: Causes, consequences and alternatives by Esther Vivas http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article1774

FEATURES

John Pilger: Welcome to Orwell’s World 2010 – In Nineteen Eighty-Four,George Orwell described a superstate called Oceania, whose language of warinverted lies that "passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls thepast’, ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the presentcontrols the past’. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24286.htm

A tale of two Nobel Prize speeches – Obama and Pinter http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/derrick/2009/12/tale-two-nobel-prize-speeches

Johann Hari: Amid dark times, meet the most inspiring people of 2009 http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-amid-dark-times-meet-the-most-inspiring-people-of-2009-1852835.html

UN News ‘Torture still rife 25 years after adoption of treaty banning it, UNexperts warn’ is at http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=33211&Cr=torture&Cr1= with the UNOG report, text below, at http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/(httpNewsByYear_en)/5E280983E53908B7C1257688005664FC?OpenDocument

Pentagon Preps for Conflicts Sparked by Climate Change – The Nile Delta inEgypt is being dramatically transformed by the Mediterranean, which has risenone foot in about 70 years, creeping into aquifers and transforming fields intomarshland. Meanwhile, the Nile itself is shrinking. Ethiopia is damming theriver upstream, while Sudan is selling millions of acres of land to China foragriculture, which will require enormous amounts of water. Tellingly, thePentagon is taking the issue seriously and increasingly includes climate-drivenconflicts in its military planning. http://www.globalpolicy.org/security-council/dark-side-of-natural-resources/water-in-conflict/48559.html

International Law: The First Casualty of the Drone War http://www.globalpolicy.org/international-justice/us-un-and-international-law-6-32/48551.html

REVIEWS

Unravelling complexity – New theories about networking in natural and socialsystems can help us visualise not-for-profit production and exchange, saysStuart Barlow http://www.aworldtowin.net/reviews/complexity.html

Disgrace – Film Review by Elane Heffernan — Director Steve Jacobs http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=11081

New documentary about Fidel at Havana Film Festival http://www.cbc.ca/arts/film/story/2009/12/11/fidel-film.html

CRIME FICTION Sjwall and Wahloo’s denoument for the post war boom http://leftclickblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/crime-fiction-sjowall-and-wahloos.html

Artists for the revolution By Corinna Lotz – The revolutionary decades thatswept Mexico in the first half of the 20th century spring to life at theBritish Museum and reveal a new aesthetic and social order entering the scene.http://www.aworldtowin.net/reviews/RevolutionOnPaper.html

AFGHANISTAN

The 9 Surges of Obama’s War By Tom Engelhardt, Tomdispatch.com – The troopsurge is only one part of the escalation of the Afghanistan war. Here are 8more signs of how fully the President has committed us. http://www.alternet.org/story/144539/the_9_surges_of_obama%27s_war

Stunning Statistics About the War in Afghanistan Every American Should Know- Contrary to popular belief, the U.S. actually has 189,000 personnel on theground in Afghanistan right now — and that number is quickly rising. http://www.alternet.org/story/144694/stunning_statistics_about_the_war_in_afghanistan_every_american_should_know

AUSTRALIA

Penny Wong jeered, Hugo Chavez cheered http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/penny-wong-jeered-hugo-chavez-cheered/story-e6frgczf-1225811179614

BOLIVIA

Native People Take First Steps Towards Self-Government http://boliviarising.blogspot.com/2009/12/bolivia-native-people-take-first-steps.html

Why did Evo Morales win? http://links.org.au/node/1404

Bolivia: We Must Support a Universal Declaration of the Rights of MotherEarth http://boliviarising.blogspot.com/2009/12/bolivia-we-must-support-universal.html

CANADA

Confronting the War on Terror: a Canadian union leader speaks out http://lifeonleft.blogspot.com/2009/12/confronting-war-on-terror-canadian.html

Canada: Afghan torture scandal deepens by Roger Annis – The Canadiangovernment’s moral case for waging war in Afghanistan is collapsing withastonishing speed. Its clumsy effort to deny and cover up the torture and abuseof Afghans detained by Canadian and other NATO forces has exploded in its facehttp://www.socialistvoice.ca/?p=854

CHINA

Why is Beijing Afraid of Liu Xiaobo? http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2215&Itemid=171

Deep Concerns Amid Rapid Economic Growth http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=49827

CONGO

US Company Helps Fuel Congo War: UN Report – Both sides of Congo war getfunds from sale of minerals used in mobile phones. http://www.truthout.org/topstories/120309vh06

CUBA

Fidel Castro’s Reflections: Humanity’s Right to Life http://www.cadenagramonte.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1334:fidel-castros-reflections-humanitys-right-to-life&catid=24:reflections-by-comrade-fidel-castro&Itemid=17

Reflections by comrade Fidel – THE TRUTH OF WHAT HAPPENED AT THE SUMMIT http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/reflexiones/2009/ing/f191209i.html

Cuba Cuba’s other revolution is green, not red – In Copenhagen they aredebating how to end deforestation, but in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio they werereplanting 50 years ago, creating lush, unspoilt valleys http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2009/dec/12/cubas-green-revolution

In Solidarity with the Real Anti-Racist Movement in Cuba http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/cuba281209.html

DIEGO GARCIA

New phase in the struggle for Diego Garcia http://links.org.au/node/1397

HONDURAS

Killing Activists in Honduras http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/2278/1/

INDIA

Bhagat Singh On Dalit Question By Ashok Yadav – Bhagat Singh’s article‘Achoot Samasya’ (The Untouchability Problem) is very importantbecause we get glimpses of his revolutionary thoughts on this basic problem ofIndian society. Now when in the post-mandal phase caste and dalit questionshave acquired paramount importance in socio-political discourse it has becomerelevant to understand his thoughts on this question http://www.countercurrents.org/yadav231209.htm

INDONESIA

Anti-corruption protests follow bank bailout http://links.org.au/node/1403

IRAN

Iran’s Growing Revolution vs. The Democrat’s Intervention ByShamus Cooke http://www.countercurrents.org/cooke281209.htm

PACIFIC

THOUSANDS MARCH IN PAPEETE AGAINST NUKE BILL – Test veterans callcompensation provisons insufficient http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/2009/December/12-22-01.htm

PAKISTAN

International Law: The First Casualty of the Drone War – A comprehensivelegal analysis of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/23346

PALESTINE

Aid Convoy Struggles to Reach Gaza – Viva Palestina Report on Al JazeeraEnglish – Sohail Rahman reports and discusses Egypt’s decision to block theViva Palestina Convoy from entering Egypt at Nuweiba. Includes commentary fromInstitute of Palestinian Studies’ Mouin Rabbanu and a live(ly!) phone interviewwith George Galloway at the Jordan/Syria Jaber border crossing. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24276.htm

Gaza March Puts Spotlight on Civilian Suffering http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=49785

Israel is a Democracy – on Condition http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0912/S00116.htm

Corporate American Media and Israel’s 2008-09 Gaza Invasion – Thefollowing piece is an excerpt from a talk Steven Salaita gave at the School ofOriental and African Studies on December 7, 2009. http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/12/corporate-american-media-and-israels-2008-09-gaza-invasion/

The impunity of Israel and its allies will carry a price – Outrage overTzipi Livni’s arrest warrant would be better directed to the suffering of Gazaand the risks of a new eruption http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/17/tzipi-livni-arrest-warrant-israel-gaza

Gaza, Afghanistan and International Law – Interview with Richard Falk -Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton Universityand author of "Crimes of War: Iraq" and "The Costs of War: International Law,the UN, and World Order after Iraq" recorded October 17, 2009 in Seattle. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24237.htm

The Story of One Palestinian Family: Displaced, Dispossessed, Separated http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jillian-york/the-story-of-one-palestin_b_401581.html

Breaking Palestine’s Peaceful Protest – Palestinians have a long history ofnonviolent resistance but Israel has continuously deployed methods to destroyit http://www.countercurrents.org/gordon231209.htm

SRI LANKA

The Continuing Crisis in Sri Lanka – Out of sight of the world, hiddenbehind the barbed wire, are appalling human violations that have taken place inSri Lanka. On November 21 the government announced that the Sri LankanDetention camps would be opened and that all detainees released by December 1;However, there are still over 100,000 of the initial 300,000 Sri Lankan Tamilpeople who still remain in these dirty, overcrowded military-controlled campsagainst their will. It should also be noted that some of the“released” civilians, have been moved to other military-rundetention camps. The Sri Lankan Government has made promises on numerousoccasions to release all 300,000 civilians from these camps but after months ofliving in squalid conditions, they still have no guarantees for their future.The Sri Lankan Government has also given conflicting reports of the whereaboutsof the released detainees. A church group reported some of the detainees were“dumped, left on the road”. The Sri Lankan Government detainswithout charge more than 11,000 persons on suspicion of LTTE involvement. TheSri Lankan Government have denied their right to seek legal representation. TheSri Lankan Government have also failed to inform relatives of these detainees.Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the UN, EU, Reporters withoutBorders, and the International Committee of the Red Cross have all expresseddeep concern over the culture of impunity and the lack of human rights in SriLanka. To add, reports of sexual harassment including raping of young women bythe military personnel and torture and killings still continue to emergerapidly from these camps. There are also continued reports of extra-judicialexecutions and forced "disappearances," and the fate of thousands ofdisappeared Tamils remains unknown. On May 7th, reports emerged of over 13,000Tamil youth that went missing from these camps. Furthermore, On December 15, UKTimes Newspaper reported the video of Sri Lankan Army executing Tamil men,authentic after careful analysis by international personnel. I have attachedthe true story of a 9 year old girl who managed to escape from the camps to UK.Please understand that the crisis for Tamils in Sri Lanka are not over.Links:
Amnesty International: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/sri-lankan-government-must-permanently-release-all-civilians-20091202
Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/11/24/sri-lanka-free-all-unlawfully-detained
News: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6939183.ece
Execution Video: http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=30080
Authentic findings: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6956569.ece
Eyewitness account: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/20/tamil-tigers-sri-lanka-refugees

UK

Cleaners ‘worth more to society’ than bankers – study http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8410489.stm

USA

White House as helpless victim on healthcare – "contrary to Obama’s occasional public statements in support of a public option, the White House clearly intended from the start that the final health care reform bill would contain no such provision and was actively and privately participating in efforts to shape a final bill without it." http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/12/16/white_house

Extent of Blackwater and CIA Collaboration Uncovered http://www.truthout.org/12110909

Why Are We Drugging Our Kids? By Evelyn Pringle, TruthOut.org. Psychiatric drugs are overprescribed and can even make mental symptoms worse in kids. They’re also a goldmine for drug companies. http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/144538/why_are_we_drugging_our_kids/

Growing Up Empty: The Hunger Epidemic in America: Most Americans may find it hard to accept that millions in this nation are suffering from hunger — an affliction most often associated with war-torn Africa or flood-ravaged Bengal. http://motherjones.com/media/2002/11/growing-empty-hunger-epidemic-america

Sound familiar? US refuses to allow UN inspectors to investigate its WMDs: The United States said Wednesday that it remained opposed to international inspections of biological weapon sites, even though it stressed its commitment to a UN treaty covering such arms and invaded Iraq in part over its alleged stalling of — UN weapons inspectors. http://rawstory.com/2009/12/refuses-inspectors-investigate-wmds/

Distortions in the health care debate – Bob Herbert explains the substantive progressive case against the Democrats’ plan. http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/12/29/health_care/print.html

VENEZUELA

US Military Agression against Venezuela escalating http://www.chavezcode.com/2009/12/us-military-aggression-against.html

A Decade of Propaganda? The BBC’s Reporting of Venezuela. Researchers at the University of the West of England, UK, have exposed ongoing and systematic bias in the BBC’s news reporting on Venezuela. Dr Lee Salter and Dr Dave Weltman analysed ten years of BBC reports on Venezuela since the first election of Hugo Chavez to the presidency in an ongoing research project, and their findings so far show that the BBC’s reporting falls short of its legal commitment to impartiality, truth and accuracy http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/5003

WEST SAHARA

Western Sahara hunger striker to fly home-Polisario http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE5BG2ER20091217

A tragedy for Western Sahara – As the world’s diplomats duel over her destiny, Aminatou Haidar, on the 29th day of her hunger strike, could be hours from death http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/dec/14/hunger-strike-aminatou-haidar

We will not bow to this Moroccan king – Hunger striker Aminatou Haidar must have justice. Begging Morocco’s rotten monarch won’t bring it http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/10/morocco-spain-hunger-strike-loach

YEMEN
Obama Takes ‘War on Terror’ to Yemen By Simon Tisdall – Barack Obama’s steely vow to hunt down all those responsible for the attempted bombing of an American airliner on Christmas Day has left a crucial question unanswered: whether it was his personal order to US military forces to attack two suspected al-Qaida bases in Yemen with cruise missiles on 17 December that triggered a "revenge" terrorist operation against the Northwest Airlines plane one week later. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24277.htm


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