“In Honduras, the rightwing has kept the masses of poor people at bay not through indiscriminate killing but through carefully targeted repression designed to decapitate social movements. Throughout the late Cold War, elite squads in the Honduran military, with direct assistance from the United States, gathered intelligence and tracked down leaders of groups clamoring for justice and systematically eliminated them. This surgical repression often fails to spark the moral outrage of the international community and allows the Honduran elite to continue ruling the country with little regard for the poor and less regard for the country’s democratic institutions. As the ghosts of those fallen in the long struggle for a more just Honduras come back to haunt the present moment, the Honduran elite must be worried that this time they may have overplayed their hand. As defenders of the coup invoke Gandhi, M.L.K., and Israel in their piously absurd attempt to hold on to power, they increasing sound like cartoons themselves. This time the Honduran people are not so easily bullied. This time they are not accepting the emaciated and exclusionary form of “democracy” that they are being offered by the Micheletti regime. This time they are demanding not only the restitution of their elected leader but a participatory democracy that responds with concrete action to their long forgotten plight.”—A Chance for Real Democracy in Honduras (via azspot) (via monkeytypist) (via jhnbrssndn)
‘Piece by piece, the truth is finally coming out about Britain’s own Guantánamo Bay – Diego Garcia. Today the human rights lawyers group Reprieve began a legal case on behalf of Saad Iqbal Madni, who they say was transited through the UK-controlled Indian Ocean island as part of the CIA’s secret rendition programme.’
‘Months later, however, Reprieve and the Spanish newspaper El País offered new evidence that the US may have held large numbers of detainees on secret prison ships in Diego Garcia’s lagoon or its surrounding waters. Subsequent Time and Guardian articles, citing interviews with intelligence officials, indicated that as many as 10 detainees had been held on or around the island from 2002 until as late as 2006.
Other recent revelations are showing the broader extent of UK complicity in US interrogation and torture policies. The Liberal Democrats and Reprieve have found evidence that the British government systematically destroyed flight logs for Diego Garcia, possibly covering up more proof of UK involvement in secret detention. It is increasingly difficult to believe officials’ claims that they’ve been unaware of US activities on the island.
This is not how democracies are supposed to operate. The tawdry back and forth of denials and revelations, of lies and cover-ups, is a stain on the governments of both nations. Sadly it’s an all too familiar tale on an island base created when, from 1968 to 1973, UK and US officials conspired to expel the entire local population of Chagossians, to hide the expulsion from the world, and to callously stymie the people’s struggle to return home.’
‘Norfolk magistrates were unaware that the police had accredited bouncers in the Prince of Wales Road area of Norwich, which contains many of the city’s clubs and pubs, because the police had not consulted either JPs or local judiciary. Suddenly bouncers belonging to a firm called Eventguard were handing out fines without any kind of formal procedure or transparency. Paul Allen, chairman of the local magistrates, suggests that this bypasses the authority of magistrates courts and may result in people being fined unfairly or not receiving the proper punishment.
At Addenbrooke’s hospital there are now eight staff who have been “trained” by police and are empowered to issue on-the-spot fines to patients, an astonishing development sanctioned by the chief constable of Cambridgeshire, Julie Spence. Under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) , introduced by the Police Reform Act in 2002, they have the power to demand the name and address of a person and fine them for disorder. In Cambridgeshire, people are concerned about the spread of unaccountable policing and the creation of a “private police force”. The police committee expressed worries that “no local democratic or public debate has occurred”.
One of the significant powers given to the 1,500 accredited security guards, park wardens and bouncers is access to the Police National Computer, which must surely increase the risk of abuse of the database.’
“Socrates said that manual laborers make bad friends and bad citizens because they have no time to fulfill the responsibilities of friendship and citizenship. He was right. Because of work, no matter what we do we keep looking at our watches. The only thing “free” about so-called free time is that it doesn’t cost the boss anything. Free time is mostly devoted to getting ready for work, going to work, returning from work, and recovering from work.”—
‘Independent negotiators should settle disputes between police and protesters to stop a repeat of the violence at the G20 summit where thousands of demonstrators were contained for hours using the controversial tactic of kettling, a parliamentary inquiry proposes today.
The report, by the joint committee on human rights, says police and demonstrators were to blame for failure to communicate in advance of the protests in the City of London in April.’
I find the idea that the general public need an arbitration service in order to effectively communicate with the official keepers of law and order … interesting.
Me too - are they gonna let the mediators into the kettling pen to do their magic, or give everyone time out before the mediation starts?
‘The Big Green Gathering was cancelled when the organisers voluntarily surrendered their license to hold a festival, granted by Mendip council on 30 June, after taking legal advice which told them they were powerless to stop a court injunction which would ruin the festival as a whole and several people in particular; namely the organiser Brig Oubridge and the farmer who had offered his fields.’
‘Some 20,000 people were due to meet: a convergence of emerging tribes to show that ecological concern is both local and global. Friendships would have been made, families would have reconnected, people would have shared time and laughter.
This is what authority fears, because for all the fences, group festivity is beyond their control. The Big Green Gathering has been stopped, but those who are committed to what it represents will keep on. If we don’t want to live in a police state, it is up to us to sort it out. For me, not to be permitted to gather with other people is the most unhealthy and unsafe terror around.’
“You want to help the poor? Instead of giving GAP some cheap PR, get them to stop using slave labour. Instead of giving American Express a new marketing scheme, how about fighting against the far right neoconservative ideology which they aggressively help promote through the American Enterprise Institute? How about tackling bio-piracy, privatisation (of water and anything else up for grabs), the destruction of welfare systems and labour protections and so on? Instead of encouraging rich Westerners to buy mobile phones, how about considering the way class cuts across from the ‘developing’ world to the ‘developed’ world - how can it be that the US is second highest in the world for newborn mortality? How can it be that New Orleans is allowed to be held to ransom by a corporation? How can it be that TB has been making a comeback in parts of the UK where levels of the disease are now higher than in China or India? Why does it fall to the elected leader of a poor country like Venezuela to help out poor Americans and Europeans? Oh, nothing but the usual - capital is the problem and no part of the solution.”—That reminds me of this, written by Richard Seymour in 2006 on the launch of Product (Red). Or (Product) Red, whatever the fuck it was called. What happened to that anyway? (via errorgorilla) (via jhnbrssndn)
From the 1971 album World Galaxy, which I am currently listening to. Amazing stuff - her string arrangements are bedazzling, as always. I love the organ on this track with the dirty ominous bass - a brave choice of tune for her to do, but she well & truly puts her own mark on it, playing organ, harp AND piano!