Sunday, February 22, 2009

Scent of revolt

From Children of the Revolution by Ed Vulliamy and Helena Smith

A heavy chain binds the iron gates of the philosophy faculty of the university of Athens, the city where the notions of philosophy and of university were invented in the shadow of the Acropolis. But this does not mean that the building is empty, or that there is not effervescent discourse in progress; quite the reverse, the place is teeming with people and ideas. It has been - as have thousands of colleges, schools, city halls, offices and every other kind of building across Greece - occupied. Put under occupation by, in this case, the students. So that the walls, inside and out, like every wall in Athens, are lined with the slogans of the insurrection which propelled the most tumultuous and prolonged riots in a European city since 1968, after the killing by police of a 15-year-old, Alexis Grigoropoulos, as he chatted with friends on a street corner on 6 December 2008.

Many of the axioms are reminiscent of 1968, blending humor and mischief: "Merry Crisis and a happy New Fear" and "Kill the cop inside you". Others are merely enraged: "Fascist state, you are deaf - the gallows await you!" Others are relevant to the moment: "Billions for the banks, bullets for the children." And one dismisses that era of revolt by their parents: "May '68 is dead. Fight Now!"

Inside what is properly known as the Faculty of Philosophy, Psychology, Pedagogy, Music and Mathematics, students discuss the origins of the uprising, and its causes. They talk first about the "precarity" of their lives, and the fact that in Greece a quarter of those aged between 17 and 25 are unemployed. One student, Alexis, explains how for two years they have been occupying campuses all over Greece in protest against the government giving formal university status to private colleges (many of which have franchising agreements with British universities). Another student, Chariklia, says, "Half of all women who leave high school are out of work. What is the future for them and what does that say to the school kids who came on to the streets with us?" They talk about short-term contracts, "outsourcing", work without security or representation, of the impossibility of finding a good job unless connected in a client system of patronage and who-you-know. Then the conversation becomes more general. "Society has the face of freedom and choice," says Angeliki. "But that is all it is, a facade. This bad job or that bad job, this rubbish on television or that rubbish on television, this product or that product. We are rebelling against that false choice." Time after time, students and activists pleaded with us not to make cliched references to Ancient Greece, but then a girl named Yianna said: "Don't forget that in Greek myth, chaos was not disorder, it was a vacant space awaiting occupation. Chaos was the space into which the silver egg was laid which hatched Eros." We laughed, because now that cliched reference is unavoidable, and a hint of the complexity and intelligence behind the chaos of December's uprising, and the aftermath it has unleashed, is out in the open.

Much has been written about the ferocity of the attacks on shops, the destruction of property and its cost to the Greek economy and image (Athens has been less affected by criminal violence than any other capital in Europe). And more will be written in retrospect as it becomes clear that the uprising is not against anything that is uniquely Greek, but against postmodern society and a system of globalised capitalism. There were riots in support of the Greeks outside the country's embassies as far away as Brazil, and as rioting now spreads to Bulgaria, Latvia, Iceland and Russia, the Greek uprising has been called "the first credit-crunch riot". They are certainly the first riots against the "cult of greed" about which we hear so much these days. But, it emerges, they are also about much more than that.

In Greece, the insurgents have been given a collective name, the koukouloforoi - the hooded ones, because they hide their faces with balaclavas, gas masks, crash helmets and Palestinian keffiyehs to conceal their identity, but also as protection against the regular soakings with tear gas. But what if the violence of the koukouloforoi is not "mindless", as Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis put it, but mindful What if their contempt for society, politicians and consumerism has a lexicon that is not just revolutionary dogma? And, as the authorities in Bulgaria, Iceland and Latvia failed to ask before the riots came their way, and Britain has so far failed to ask: what if it happens here?

Alexis Grigoropoulos was shot dead at the corner of Messolongiou and Tzavela streets, but the signs above the shrine to the dead boy now call both thoroughfares Alexis Grigoropoulos Street. Football scarves, candles and flowers are laid at the spot, at which people linger in silence. There are thousands of messages and tributes. To quote a few of them is to articulate the mood: "Let beauty bloom from your blood"; "You hold your head up just enough to see the sky"; "And we go on, but we won't go slow, we'll put up such a fight. Keep your head high, kiss your fist, and touch the sky. It is not too late."

The corner is in an alleyway of a quarter of Athens called Exarchia, described by visiting reporters as a "ghetto" of "self-styled anarchists". As a neighbourhood, Exarchia is more complicated than that. It resembles the Lower East Side of Manhattan: a vortex of alternative culture, lifestyle and politics, but with more political edge, peppered by fancy bars and bistros, so that elegant, non-rioting couples might venture out for a daring date by crossing the triangular square - in which youths huddle around fires and where riot police patrol their quarry - in search of some nice gastro bar.

At the western edge of Exarchia is the polytechnic, where thousands flocked after Grigoropoulos was killed. Only fine art and architecture are taught on this campus now, students lurk in the shadows of recent history beneath graffiti reading "Kill the cops". It's a place that only weeks ago was an urban battlefield of burning cars and torched property. The smell of charred masonry still lingers in the air. In the district's heart is the square around which the little streets are lined with bars, cafes and squats. Streets like Themistokleous, which climbs past sexy lingerie boutiques, cellar tavernas, a shop named Dark Cell Records and a bustling Saturday-morning fruit market to a place called Nosotros, from the balcony of which flies a red and black flag. It is the meeting place for some of those whose creed formed an iconic expression, if not a kernel, of the December uprising - anarchism.

Nosotros is a place of meetings, film screenings, endless political discourse and quite a few beers, where migrant workers can get free evening classes in the Greek language. It is here that Niko, a youth who works in a bookshop, draws the starting line for several nights of conversation: "When they killed Alexis, everyone felt it could have been any of us, so we made it all of us. The riots, then the uprising, went from there."


From Chicago Tea Party: Belated Revolt Against Stimulus Spending by Carol Bengle Gilbert 

CNBC's Rick Santelli captured the sentiments of many Americans when he stood on the floor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) this morning and announced plans for a Chicago Tea Party in July to protest stimulus spending. Asked by

CNBC's anchor what he would dump in Lake Michigan during the Chicago Tea Party, Santelli resourcefully took advantage of his surroundings, exclaiming "derivative securities."

In what began as a spontaneous outburst against stimulus spending, but quickly took on the air of a publicity stunt, Santelli asked traders preparing for the exchange's opening to voice their opinions of stimulus provisions that use tax dollars for mortgage relief. Prodded by Santelli as to whether they would willingly pay their neighbors' mortgages, the traders erupted in spontaneous boos.


From Op-Ed: Time for taxpayers' revolt by Donald and Frances Rae

The so-called stimulus bill provides about $8 a week for everyone, I guess by means of a tax credit, which won't be seen until you file your taxes. In fact, you won't ever see it unless you adjust your withholding.

Take a hard look at your weekly check. Usually you only pay attention to the amount you receive. You probably don't look too carefully at the amount withheld. That part of your money you never get to use.

Assume you make $14 an hour. That means you gross $556 weekly working full time. How much of that is taken by government from you and you never see? There's Social Security (which does not go into a trust fund, but is used by Congress as a slush fund); state disability insurance, and California income taxes. Add all that up. What do you see? Government is taking $125 of your hard-earned wages every week to do with what the politicians want. And what do the politicians want? To reward their friends, families and contributors. And they are doing it with your money.


From The president and the philosopher: socialism in the 21st century, a review by Jeremy Smith

Part of the revolt against capitalism and the creation of a new social order must involve a new type of historical time, “a radical openness to history”, as Meszaros puts it. In contrast, the ideologues of capital would prefer that we believe that history is closed.

Francis Fukuyama expressed this sort of opinion in the early 1990s in a representative philosophical tract that captured the general outlook of ruling elites at that moment of the fall of “communism” in the USSR and eastern Europe.

Not only did Fukuyama urge an erasure of alternatives from political debate and action, he presented collective amnesia as the condition of the new world order after “communism”.

While the past is slowly forgotten (time is “annihilated”, “degraded”), capitalism orients people to “short termism” pithily summed up by great German philosopher Georg Hegel's phrase the “eternal present”.

Meszaros battles ideas that are inherent in capitalist conceptions of time. He argues for “socialist historical time” and demands us to accept the challenge to transform the world entirely. This goes beyond the patterns of ownership of production — important though these are — to reach for a thorough remaking of the world's economy and human relationships with the global environment.

However, this represents not only today's challenge. It is also the socialist burden. The endless growth of obscene inequalities and the threat to the planet's fragile ecology mean that the socialist project is not a luxury option for humanity or an aspiration for a future age, but a pressing necessity for survival right now.

From It's Time for American Freedom Fighters to Unite by JB Williams

For almost eighty years now, Washington DC has wasted the labors of the people under the false pretense of taking care of them. Over the last seventy years, America has gone from the most peaceful prosperous free nation on earth to an increasingly violent bankrupt example of world class political corruption. In the next two years, irreversible damage will be done.

The people responsible for bringing the greatest nation on earth to the brink of third world status now control the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the federal government and they are using their unbridled power to ram pure global secular socialism down the throat of every American.

They just passed the biggest leftist spending spree in world history without a single bi-partisan supporter across the aisle. Obama's promise of bi-partisanship was just one of many campaign lies. Not a single legislator or American voter was allowed to fully read the bill before being forced to vote on it. Obama will sign it in to law today, before anyone knows what the bill says.


From A history of rebellion

China's history is punctuated by social unrest and uprisings, often with an economic underpinning. Here are some examples:

White Lotus Rebellion 1796–1804

This was an anti-Manchu uprising that occurred during the Ch'ing dynasty. It broke out among impoverished settlers and apparently began as a tax protest. It was led by the White Lotus Society, a secret religious group that forecast the advent of the Buddha, advocated restoration of the native Chinese Ming dynasty and promised personal salvation to its followers. At first, the Ch'ing administration sent inadequate and inefficient imperial forces to suppress the rebels. Manchu commanders finally crushed the rebellion, but the myth of the military invincibility of the Manchu was shattered, perhaps contributing to the greater frequency of rebellions in the 19th century.


China tries to suppress Tibetan revolt

From World Watch

China - Authorities have closed wide areas of Tibetan regions in western China to foreigners as the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising approaches. March 10 marks the date that the Dalai Lama fled into exile after the failed revolt in 1959. Chinese officials cracked down on potential dissent in January by detaining 81 people in Tibet. Authorities now have prohibited foreigners from the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu province until late March, from many areas in Sichuan province until April and from numerous areas of Qinghai province.


From A year after China quashed revolt, Tibetans simmer with resentment by Tim Johnson

On the cusp of the first anniversary of a mass revolt on the Tibetan Plateau that marked the worst ethnic unrest in China in nearly two decades, many Tibetans still seethe at living under China's thumb. Some engage in small-scale civil disobedience. Others, including monks, brazenly display photographs of the Dalai Lama, the exiled leader they revere as a God-king but that China maligns as a "beast." Nearly all gripe about a lack of religious and political freedom.

Another imminent anniversary date adds to the sensitivity of the Tibet issue. March 10 marks 50 years since the Dalai Lama fled across the Himalayas to exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. Fearful of a spasm of new unrest, Beijing has closed off many ethnic Tibetan areas to journalists and made scattered arrests of organizers of resistance campaigns.

Tibetan monks, nomads and students interviewed recently by McClatchy Newspapers said ethnic tensions have deepened in this eastern region of Qinghai province, which still remains open to reporters.

More than 1,200 miles separate this mountain town from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Ethnic Tibetans still predominate in this region, though, and two of the six most important Tibetan monasteries are in the dry, arid mountains that rise at the edge of the Tibetan Plateau.

At the Kumbum Monastery, which once housed 4,000 monks but is down to 800 today, a 29-year-old monk said Tibetans were defying China by refusing to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which Han Chinese celebrated Jan. 26 and which many Tibetans celebrate under a different calendar system on Feb. 25-27.

"How could there be celebrations? Last year, they shot so many of us," said the monk, who is not being identified to avoid reprisals against him. "Tibetan people are trying to stand up for ourselves by not celebrating."

Authorities in Beijing say rioters killed at least 20 people, including two police officers, during the March 14 riots, while Tibetan exile groups say as many as 200 people died, mostly Tibetan. The dueling versions underscore the dramatic gap in perceptions between the two sides.

China is eager to portray ethnic Tibetan regions as stable. Residents here said that local officials have handed out money so that Tibetans can buy fireworks for New Year festivities even as they arrest those urging a boycott of celebrations, seeing it as a loss of face.

Beijing says last year's revolt justifies shutting the doors on Tibetan regions.


From Crackdown Greets Tibet Revolt's 50th

The Tibetan government-in-exile said dissidents are being arrested in the region as a human rights group cited China's state media announcing a crackdown to mark the 50th anniversary of a failed uprising.

Several youths were detained for carrying Tibetan national flags and staging a peaceful protest on Jan. 20 in the Chamdo prefecture of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, the exiled government said Wednesday on its Web site. Torture by security officials led to the death of detainee Pema Tsepak, a painter aged about 24, it said.

Chinese police “thoroughly checked” 5,766 suspects and detained 66 of them over a three-day period from Jan. 18 in Lhasa, Tibet's capital, in a series of dawn raids on rented accommodation, hotels and Internet cafes, the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet, or ICT, said in a statement earlier this week. It cited a Jan. 23 report in the Lhasa Evening News.

The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader who fled to India after the failed uprising against Chinese rule in March 1959, has campaigned for the region's “genuine autonomy” within the framework of the People's Republic of China. China says it peacefully liberated Tibet and saved its people from feudal serfdom.

China deployed troops in Tibet in 1950 and annexed the Himalayan region a year later. The Dalai Lama accuses the government in Beijing of committing “cultural genocide” there.

Stamata Revithi - the unknown first female Marathon runner of the modern era

According to Wikipedia:

Stamata Revithi (Greek: Σταμάτα Ρεβίθη) (1866 – after 1896) was a Greek woman who ran the marathon course of 40 kilometers (26.2 miles) during the 1896 Summer Olympics, one day after the men had run the official race. The organizers of the Games excluded women from competition, but Revithi insisted on running. Although she was not allowed to enter the Panathinaiko Stadium at the end of her race, Revithi finished the marathon in about 5 hours and 30 minutes, and found witnesses to sign their names and verify the running time. She intended to present this documentation to the Hellenic Olympic Committee, in the hopes that they would recognize her achievement, but it is unknown whether she finally did that or not. There is no account of Revithi's life after the end of the Games.

According to certain contemporary sources, another woman called "Melpomene" also ran the marathon race in 1896. There is some debate among Olympic historians as to whether or not Revithi and Melpomene are the same person.

Biographical elements

Before the 1896 Olympics

Stamata Revithi was born in Syros in 1866. Records of her life in 1896, show that she lived in poverty in Piraeus. At that point she had given birth to two children, a son who died in 1895 aged seven and another child who was seventeen months old at the time of the 1896 Olympics. Contemporary sources do not mention her having a husband, so she was likely widowed. Olympic historian Athanasios Tarasouleas described Revithi as blonde and thin with large eyes, looking much older than her age.

Revithi believed that she could gain employment in Athens and walked there from her home—a distance of 9 kilometers (5.6 mi). Her journey took place several days prior to the Olympic marathon, a special race of 40 kilometers (25 mi) invented as part of the athletics program, and based on a Michel Bréal's idea of a race from the city of Marathon to the Pnyx.

En route to Athens, Revithi encountered a male runner along the road. He gave her money and advised her to run the marathon and win, in order to become famous, and, consequently, earn money or find a job more easily. After this discussion Revithi decided to run the race: she had enjoyed long-distance running as a child, and believed that she could beat the male competitors.

The 1896 Olympic Games were the first Olympic Games held in the Modern era, and the most important international multi-sport event Greece had ever hosted. The rules of the Games generally excluded women from competition. Influenced by both his times—in the Victorian era women were considered to be inferior to men—and his adoration of the ancient Olympic Games, when only men were allowed to participate in the events, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the visionary of the modern Olympic Games, was not in favor of women's participation in the Olympic Games or in sports generally. He believed that a woman's greatest achievement would be to encourage her sons to be distinguished in sports and to applaud a man's effort.

1896 marathon

Revithi arrived at the race location, the small village of Marathon, on the Thursday, 9 April [O.S. 28 March]. The athletes had already assembled for the following day's race. Revithi attracted the attention of the reporters, and was warmly greeted by Marathon's mayor, who sheltered her in his house. She answered the reporters' questions, and was quick-witted, when a male runner from Chalandri teased her, predicting that, when she would enter the Stadium, there would be no crowds left. Revithi retorted that he shouldn't insult women, since male Greek athletes had already been humiliated by the Americans.

Prior to the start of the race on the morning of Friday 10 April [O.S. 29 March], the old priest of Marathon, Ioannis Veliotis, was scheduled to say a prayer for the athletes in the church of Saint John. Veliotis refused to bless Revithi because she was not an officially recognized athlete. The organizing committee ultimately refused her entry into the race. Officially, she was rejected because the deadline for participations had expired; however, as Olympic historians David Martin and Roger Gynn point out, the real problem was her gender. According to Tarasouleas, the organizers promised that she would compete with a team of American women in another race in Athens, which however never took place.

Aftermath

There is no account of Revithi's life after running the marathon. Although some newspapers printed articles about her story in the buildup to the marathon, these reports never followed up on her life after the race. It is not known whether she met Philimon or if she found a job. As Tarasouleas stated, "Stamata Revithi was lost in the dust of history". Violet Piercy, of the United Kingdom, was timed in the first officially recognized marathon race completed by a woman, when she clocked a time of 3 hours and 40 seconds in a British race on 3 October 1926. Women were finally allowed to run the Olympic marathon at the 1984 Summer Olympics, when American Joan Benoit, won the inaugural race in a time of 2 hours and 24 seconds.

Melpomene

In March 1896, a French-language newspaper in Athens (the Messager d' Athènes) reported that "there was talk of a woman who had enrolled as a participant in the Marathon race. In the test run which she completed on her own [...] she took 4½ hours to run the distance of 42 [sic] kilometers which separates Marathon from Athens." Later that year, Franz Kémény, a founding IOC member from Hungary, wrote in German that, "indeed a lady, Miss Melpomene, completed the 40 kilometers marathon in 4½ hours and requested an entry into the Olympic Games competition. This was reportedly denied by the commission." According to Martin and Gynn, "a peculiarity here is why there is no first name for Melpomene". The Messager report faded into obscurity for about 30 years before it was revived in 1927 in an issue of Der Leichtathlet.

Painting of the Muse Melpomene by Edward Simmons (1891, Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.). According to certain modern Olympic historians and journalists, Melpomene and Revithi are the same person, and the Greek woman was attributed the name of the Muse.


Olympic historian Karl Lennartz asserts that two women ran the marathon in 1896, and that the name "Melpomene" is confirmed by both Kémény and Alfréd Hajós, two-time Olympic swim champion of 1896. Lennartz presents the following accounts of events: a young woman named Melpomene wanted to run the race, and completed the distance in 4½ hours at the end of February or the beginning of March. The organizing committee did not allow her, however, to run, and the newspaper Akropolis criticized the committee for its decision. The Olympic Marathon took place on 10 April [O.S. 29 March] 1896, but another female runner, Stamata Revithi, took 5½ hours to run the course on 11 April [O.S. 30 March] 1896. The newspapers Asti, New Aristophanes and Atlantida reported this on 12 April [O.S. 31 March] 1896.

On the other hand, Tarasouleas argues that no contemporary press reports in Greek newspapers mention Melpomene by name, while the name Revithi appears many times; Tarasouleas suggests that Melpomene and Revithi are the same person, and Martin and Green argue that "a contemporary account referring to Revithi as a well-known marathon could explain the earlier run by a woman over the marathon course—this was by Revithi herself, not Melpomene". The daily Athens newspaper Estia of 4 April [O.S. 23 March] 1896 refers to "the strange woman, who, having run a few days ago in the Marathon as a try-out, intends to compete the day after tomorrow. Today she came to our offices and said 'should my shoes hinder me, I will remove them on the way and continue barefoot'." Moreover, Tarasouleas notes that on 13 March [O.S. 1 March] 1896, another local newspaper indicated that a woman and her baby had registered to run the Marathon, but again the name of that woman is not mentioned. Trying to resolve the mystery, Tarasouleas asserts that "perhaps Revithi had two names, or perhaps for reasons unknown she was attributed the name of the Muse Melpomene".

Who's keeping Burger King workers below the poverty line?



http://warongreed.org/

What would you do with an extra $18,000 in your pocket?

That's the amount of extra cash each and every Burger King employee in America would have received last year if Goldman Sachs (one of the fast-food chain's largest owners) had shared its bailout billions with rank-and-file workers. Instead, Goldman Sachs squandered 6.5 billion of our taxpayer dollars on bonuses for their financial staff. These were some of the highest bonuses on Wall Street! Meanwhile, Burger King workers earn wages averaging just $14,000 a year -- well below the federal poverty line for a family of three.

Goldman Sachs has been having it their way with Burger King workers for too long. It's high time you had it your way with Goldman Sachs. Tell the Wall Street giant how they could have used the $6.5 billion blown on bonuses. We're looking for the most creative, constructive, or comical ideas to curb corporate greed and help fix the financial crisis. We will send all ideas to Goldman Sachs as a reprimand for their wastefulness. The winner of the Have It Your Way with Goldman Sachs contest will have their idea featured in our next video. The contest ends March 3.

Enter the contest: http://warongreed.org

Pass this video and contest to your friends and family. Tell them working people all over the country are pushing back against Wall Street excess. We're joining with SEIU and others to stage demonstrations and hold Goldman Sachs accountable! And tell them it's time to end this era of corporate greed and impunity.

Geronimo's kin sue Skull and Bones over remains

Geronimo's descendants have sued Skull and Bones — the secret society at Yale University linked to presidents and other powerful figures — claiming that its members stole the remains of the legendary Apache leader decades ago and have kept them ever since.

The federal lawsuit filed in Washington on Tuesday — the 100th anniversary of Geronimo's death — also names the university and the federal government.

Geronimo's great-grandson Harlyn Geronimo said his family believes Skull and Bones members took some of the remains in 1918 from a burial plot in Fort Sill, Okla., to keep in its New Haven clubhouse, a crypt. The alleged graverobbing is a longstanding legend that gained some validity in recent years with the discovery of a letter from a club member that described the theft.

"I believe strongly from my heart that his spirit was never released," Harlyn Geronimo said.

Both Presidents Bush, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and many others in powerful government and industry positions are members of the society, which is not affiliated with the university.

After years of famously fighting the U.S. and Mexican armies, Geronimo and 35 warriors surrendered to Gen. Nelson A. Miles near the Arizona-New Mexico border in 1886. Geronimo was eventually sent to Fort Sill and died at the Army outpost of pneumonia in 1909.

According to lore, members of Skull and Bones — including former President George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush — dug up his grave when a group of Army volunteers from Yale were stationed at the fort during World War I, taking his skull and some of his bones.

~ more... ~

[ via Links by George ]

A call out for common actions against the construction of a new nuclear power station in Belarus


26 April, anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident


Present-day Belarus is a post soviet country, on which territory a regime, police state in form and neoliberal in essence, fortified its position. For already 14 years the country is run by one and the same person Alexander Lukashenko, a populist at the beginning of his governing and openly pursuing antisocial reforms now.
The freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly is not about our country. These basic values as well as the political opposition are suppressed. Peaceful gatherings dispersions, political trials, preventive detentions all this has become a norm of political practice in Belarus.

A few years ago the ruling top started to consider another venturesome project the construction of a nuclear power station (NPS). Lukashenko took a decision regardless of the public wishes and common sense. The
decision was made with the active support of the international nuclear lobby. The construction is to be undertaken by a Russian corporation Rosatom. It is to be held in a seismically active zone, in a dozen
kilometers away from Lake Naroch the largest lake in Belarus, which is ecologically unique for our country and is a tourists and holiday-makers attraction. On the construction will be spent $4 billion, which otherwise
could be outlaid for alternative energy means development.

But the above-listed points pale before the fact that Belarus shared 70% of radioactive contamination after Chernobyl nuclear accident. But the government and the president are absolutely not concerned about that. They want to create a delayed-action bomb in the country, where one third of the territory is unfit for farming and berries/mushrooms gathering.

We, Antinuclear resistance, an anarchy group, come out against nuclear power engineering on the whole and against the NPS construction specifically in Belarus. A part of political forces in Belarus, including
opposition, supported the NPS construction. Unlike them we do not believe in NPS safety irrespective of the political regime, within which it is functioning and being constructed. Our activity is based upon
non-authoritarian principles, we do not cooperate with any political parties on a regular base, but with ecological organizations and grassroots initiatives.

On 26 April, the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, an annual demonstration Charnobylski Shlah (The Chernobyl Path) takes place in commemoration of the accident and the people who fell the immediate and lingering victims of it. Starting with the year of 1996 anarchists take part in the demo with ecological and antinuclear slogans. But nowadays the demonstration, instead of just mourning and commemorative event, is
gaining a protest mood: in the country, where dozens of thousands people have died as a result of the nuclear accident aftermaths and hundreds of thousands have acquired accident-caused illnesses or become handicapped, a new NPS is to be constructed! And that is done according to the common regulations of an authoritarian police state not asking the peoples opinion, but just confronting them with the fact.

On 26 April we will again take a most active part in the Charnobylski Shlah (The Chernobyl Path), well try to pass along to everyone our clear antinuclear position, will inform as many people as possible of the
approaching danger. But now it is not enough! As an instrument of struggle against the state lawlessness we rely on the international support. We urge anarchists, environmentalists, antiauthoritarians of the world to
carry out solidarity actions on 26 April 2009. We call for a decentralized day of action of any form, which could help people learn something about our problem and stop the impudent authority and their sponsors from IAEA.

If you already take actions on 26 April on your local problems concerning nuclear power engineering, please put on your list the demand for abolition of the NSP construction in Belarus. You are also welcome to
participate in The Chernobyl Path in Minsk and other actions in Belarus.

Together we will be able to stand up for the right for life on a clean and ecologically safe planet!

If you have any intention to make solidarity actions with the Belarussian antinuclear movement or participate in the demonstration in Belarus please contact us:

antiatombel@riseup.net

Spread out the call out through any accessible for you information channels.

~ Source: Athens Indymedia ~

Thailand declares 13 herbs as "hazardous" substances

Farmers and traditional medicine experts have reacted angrily to the listing of 13 widely used herbal plants as hazardous substances, suggesting there is a hidden agenda that favours chemical companies.

The Industry Ministry listed the 13 plants as hazardous substances to control production and commercialisation.

The plants are widely used among farmers as alternatives for expensive and toxic farm chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.

The announcement on listing the plants as "hazardous substances type 1" under the 1992 Hazardous Substances Act was approved by Industry Minister Charnchai Chairungruang last month. It took effect on Feb 3.

~ more... ~

[ via Sepp Hasslberger, hat tip to Links by George ]

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