Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The 2012 Mother of All Marches

Nancy Davies commens from Oaxaca for Narconews :

On the chilly Sunday evening of March 1 I learned that the mother of all marches is being promoted by three men traveling the world to organize organizers. Before coming to Oaxaca the group, called Gandhi International, spent four days in Chiapas, stopping in the Zapatista towns of Oventic, San Cristobal de Las Casas and Acteal. Prior to their Mexico visit (next stop Mexico City), they met with organizers in Latin America, contacting the poor and landless in Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama.

Who are these intrepid pilgrims? The three came to Oaxaca at the invitation of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO as it is known in its Spanish initials), one of which is Ramesh Sharma of India, whose role model is Mahatma Gandhi. Sharma led a 350 kilometer march of 100,000 (a figure cited by Christophe Grigri, the multilingual organizer on this tour) landless Indian campesinos who after a month on foot arrived in the capital, Delhi, to demand agrarian reform. As Sharma told me, the government granted two hectares to each participant family, finally complying with a law of 1894.

From that experience Sharma, one of the leaders of Ekta Parishad (Unity Forum), says that non-violence need not and should not be passive. He believes that a global display of dissent by the world's poor will warn governments that they can no longer ignore the vast numbers of human beings living in poverty and distress.

The two men accompanying Sharma are the French president and founder of Association Gandhi International, Louis Campana; and the organizer Chrstophe Grigri. All three see a similarity not only with the Oaxaca movement initiated in 2006, which Sharma said he learned about in India, but all the social movements which sprang to life after the neoliberal economic model was imposed globally. Sharma said it was easy for him to link India and Oaxaca, sharing information and experiences. Contact was made through the non-violent Investigadores Descalzos (Barefoot Investigators) the Revuelta Cultural Mexicano (Mexican Cultural Revolt), Universidad de la Tierra (University of the Land), VOCAL (Oaxaca Voices Constructing Autonomy and Liberty), La Casota, and Marabú Ediciones, all of whom assisted in programming the Sunday evening event with a discussion of strategies such as civil disobedience and the boycott.

The panel discussion was introduced by Dr. Bertha Muñoz who referred to the first non-violent resistance as that of the women in Aristophane's play “Lysistrata” who practiced, as she informed the audience, a “closed legs” policy of resistance to all their men until the men would agree to end war. From Ancient Greece she made the leap to India in the 20th century, enjoining us to see the movie “Gandhi.” I thought that probably there were few in the audience of less than 200 who recognized her references from their formal education, but all of those understood “la doctora” from first hand experience of non-violent action.

Association Gandhi's current plan is to contact all the popular organizations six months prior to the march, to give each an opportunity to be in contact with the network. During the march a popular court of justice will be held because, “It is very important that the people have the courage and ideas to accuse… we will try to coordinate all the marches by internet to organize in a sustainable way. Any repression will be met with world response,” Grigri told me. He also said that he found Mexico, especially Oaxaca and Chiapas, better organized than other groups in Latin America. As an example he cited the president of Paraguay who told Grigri that Monsanto has the power to overthrow the president in an instant, the “most desperate” observation Grigri had come across.

Luis Campana explained, “The world in which we are living is violent. It is structured for violence, since the Turkish genocide against the Armenians and then to Stalin in the Soviet Union where 200 million died so that he could establish his power. ..Cambodia, Africa…World War II with 40 millions dead… The Nuremburg Court established that we need not obey unjust laws or orders. Civil disobedience is a human right. Each time a man resists he is on the path to truth. There is no peace without justice and we are within our rights to struggle for justice…. The World March of 2012 is to gain the right to land and national resources, taking them back from world capitalism and corruption.”

~ more... ~

The threat of emerging ocean diseases

Much attention has been paid to newly emergent diseases that have afflicted humans in recent decades--HIV/AIDS, SARS, avian influenza, etc. Conversely, deadly diseases that have emerged in the world's oceans during the same time period have been largely ignored. While these diseases haven't caused epidemics in humans, they have proved troublesome to marine animal populations and to susceptible humans who have ventured into contaminated waters. Therefore, we should pay closer attention to what's happening in the world's oceans since it could be an important sentinel for global environmental health.

Take for instance, recent epizootics (epidemics in animals) of Atlantic Ocean bottlenose dolphins and endangered Florida manatees. They perished because of the neurotoxins produced by Karenia brevis, a marine plankton that lives year-round in the Gulf of Mexico. (See "Emerging Diseases in Marine Mammals: From Dolphins to Manatees." PDF)

A single-celled organism (called a dinoflagellate), K. brevis has two whip-like appendages, or flagella, it uses to swim through the water. The neurotoxins produced by K. brevis can kill fish and birds, as well as marine animals.

When they become aerosolized in sea spray and inhaled by humans, these organisms can cause people to develop respiratory and eye irritations. The toxins can also accumulate in shellfish such as clams, coquinas, and oysters, causing food poisoning in those who eat them. Symptoms usually begin a few hours after ingestion and include tingling and numbness in the tongue, lips, throat, arms, and legs and dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea. The symptoms usually go away after a few days.

Red tides--gigantic masses of seawater microorganisms such as K. brevis--aren't limited to Florida's coastal waters. For example, in 1995, a massive red tide stretched for 500 miles off the coast of California, and three years later, a red tide killed more than 50 sea lions in Monterey Bay, about 120 miles south of San Francisco. (See "Studies Bring New Data to Mystery of Red Tides.") In addition, there's evidence that other dinoflagellate species are expanding their range off of the Australian and Tasmanian coasts and in the Mediterranean Sea. Severe hurricanes can expand their distribution, and hurricanes and coral bleaching increase the risk of ciguatera fish poisoning, which, once rare, is now reaching epidemic levels--especially in French Polynesia.

~ more... ~

How to speak like a true blue Aussie battler

Flat Out Like a Lizard Drinkin
Written and performed by Outback Jack

FKN Newz - Laughing all the way from the bank

Hello blank cheques welcome to the fkn newz Im wildly innacurate here are the headlies tonight..

Best economic crisis since the thirties say bankers and bailout bandits.

Heartwarming riches to super riches tale Scumhog billionaires wins all the oscars.

In the UK Jade goody sells rights to her afterlife and pleads for more cancer profits.

Suheir Hammad - What I Will - Def Poetry

Dave Chappelle - Def Poetry Jam

Musical Innerlube: Blank Inverse - 'Live Rodrigo'

Live at the Principal in Thessaloniki

Fanning the flames - What makes the arsonists tick?

Amid suspicions that some of Australia's bushfires were deliberately started, Jon Henley examines arson pyschology

Police suspect several of the 400-plus bushfires that have devastated Victoria state in Australia are the work of arsonists. The same was true of last November's wildfires in California, and of the blazes that ravaged large areas of southern Greece two summers ago. One of the world's fastest-growing crimes (up 135% in Britain from 1990 to 2000), it is also among the least detected and the costliest: in the UK, fewer than 8% of the 100,000-plus maliciously lit fires each year end in prosecution, while arson is estimated to cost our economy some £2bn annually.

So who are the arsonists, and what drives them?

The Home Office's Arson Scoping Study defines four primary motivations: youth disorder and nuisance; malicious; psychological; and criminal. The first covers vandalism, boredom and thrill-seeking. In Britain, it accounts for 80% of all cases and is generally spur-of-the-moment, targeting empty property such as schools or abandoned cars.

Some 5% of arson cases are malicious: fires set through revenge (against a partner or family member), retaliation (against an institution or an employer), rivalry, racism, or clashes of belief. An even smaller percentage of arsonists have psychological problems; about two in every hundred convicted arsonists in Britain receive a court hospital order each year, while about 10% of those arrested are considered mentally ill. Genuine pyromania (an "unnatural fascination" with fire; deliberate and repeated fire-setting; arousal prior to the crime and intense gratification afterwards) is very rare.

~ more... ~

Greece condemns attack on Greek tourist coaches in FYROM

Greece on Monday condemned an organized attack against three Greek tourist coaches in FYROM the previous night, warning that such actions hurt relations between the two peoples.

A group of some 20-30 people attacked three Greek tourist coaches in downtown Ohrid as they were waiting for Greek holiday[m]akers to return from a tour.

According to local media in FYROM, the assailants spray-painted various ant-Greek slogans on the coaches, while eye-witnesses said they also threw stones and sticks, causing damage to one of the coaches.

The incident was also condemned by Ohrid residents, who noted that such actions mar the lake-side town's tourism image.

The incident was being investigated by Ohrid police.

In Athens, foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos strongly condemned the "organized attack by unidentified perpetrators against Greek visitors and their property".

"Such actions unfortunately harm the communication betweel peoples, and are the visible result of the ethnicism and the bigotry against Greece that is purposely being cultivated recently in Skopje," Koumoutsakos said.

Greece, he added, "calls on the authorities of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to protect the Greek citizens who visit their country, and for the arrest and punishment of those guilty of yesterday's (Sunday's) unprovoked attack".

~ Athens News Agency ~

Announcing the Tapatio Project

In the lead up to this summer's mass mobilizations surrounding the political conventions, we are pleased to announce the founding of a communications software development project called Tapatio. It is the goal of Tapatio to help provide street-level protesters with timely and accurate information by receiving, vetting, and disseminating important logistical and tactical reports. We believe that this is the next step in protest communications. In the past we have been able to use sms txt messaging to rapidly spread essential data. Through, Tapatio we aim to increase this functionality by also being able to receive data, and then being able to assess the accuracy of information, categorize it, and then send it out to those that it applies to. We hope that this will allow protesters to receive timely information that is specifically relevant to their interests. Please read on to learn more and find out how you can help!

About Tapatio

Tapatio is intended to be a communications resource for the radical anti-authoritarian community. We are attempting to develop a system that can be used in mass direct action scenarios to gather tactical information, categorize that information based on type and urgency, vet the information for reliability, and then dispatch reliable information to individuals in the streets based on the criteria they request (for example, maybe the user only wants information about legal updates, or maybe they want to hear about police mobilizations and medical information). We envision that the information flow will work like this: 1.an individual will submit a report from the streets via txtmessage 2.an operator will receive the report, categorize it based on certain pre-existing tags (for example: food info, downtown, legal support, etc) and give the report an urgency rating. 3.Either the operator will attempt to verify the report by contacting a known scout, or it will be verified by receiving multiple reports. The criteria for verification will need to be worked out by the collective. 4.Verified reports will be dispatched via sms to users that have subscribed to groups that correlate to the tags on the report. Other users will also be given different hooks into the system. Known scouts for example will be given higher authority than unknown reporters. Others groups such as the legal team, the convergence space collective, the food collective, etc. will be given access to a console system to tag and post their own messages. This is an extremely ambitious project, and we hope to have a functional version of it online for the political conventions this summer. However, we also hope to continue development after the conventions to improve the system's functionality, and ease of integration and we also hope to work on protocol that can reduce the reliance on operators and eliminate the hierarchy inherent in the information vetting process.

How You Can Help


We are very much in need of web developers to help us get a working version of this system online before the conventions. We especially are looking for individuals with experience in php programming, and those with drupal experience. Below you will see a list of functional requirements for the project. We are asking that developers adopt functions to work on. If you are interested in working on one or more function, please contact us at tapatio[at]hackbloc[dot][org]


In an effort to garner support from the radical community as a whole, and to help developers feel appreciated. We are asking that individuals that can't contribute to technical aspects of the project help by offering "ransoms" for aspects of the project. We're thinking of it like the gift economy meets free software. For example, maybe you have a bunch of patches lying around and you canned more peaches last summer than you could possibly eat, and maybe you're really into tapatio having the ability to automatically receive sms messages from individuals in the streets. If this were the case you might consider offering a few cans of peaches and some patches to the developer that completes this feature. If you think you might be willing to offer something in this way, please post a comment under the feature you'd like to see, or if you're not sure what feature to support, but you want to support the project as a whole, please email tapatio[at]hackbloc[dot][org]


~ Source ~

Hopi and Japanese water knowledge: Braiding through water

Eighteen internationally acclaimed scientists, teachers, and artists including water science pioneer Masaru Emoto featured in the film What the ##*!!# Do We Know; Quiet Axis creator painter and environmental/space artist Lowry Burgess of Carnegie Mellon University; and artist/muralist Michael Kabotie of the Hopi Tribe will gather this April with Hopi traditional leaders and teachers, including Tobacco/Rabbit Clan at Hotevilla Keeper of the Pipe Jerry Honawa and former Hopi Chairman Vernon Masayesva, to explore what new paradigms of understanding arise from the braiding of Western and traditional Hopi sciences. The dialogue and discussions will be led by Leroy Little Bear, former Director of Native Studies at Harvard University and 2003 Canadian Aboriginal Person of the Year.

Through dialogue and explorations focused on the two systems of knowing and their unique approaches to the nature, actions, and teachings of water, Core Dialogue Participants and Conference Attendees will share knowledge and experience to generate new understandings of the world in which we live. Unlike efforts to blend traditions, work at the conference will be more akin to the way in which dark and light threads are bound together before being woven into Hopi fabric. Like the single black-and-white strand that gives to Hopi weaving its unique character and endurance, the system of inquiry developed through conference dialogue will draw strength and quality from its respect for the integrity of both traditional and Western approaches. As with all Hopi weaving, the work will draw energy from the optimistic hope of the weaver that the braiding of two into one will yield a singularity stronger, more beautiful, and more responsive to contemporary need and challenge than could be created from either on its own.

~ Source with cool video ~

Greek government attempts to shut down internet news sites

The Greek government has made moves to shut down Indymedia sites in the capital, Athens and neighbouring Patras according to local news sources. Following questions in parliament by member of the far right LAOS party, Kyriakos Velopoulos, junior minister for Education and Religious Affairs, Spyros Taliadouros demanded that the National Technical University of Athens (Greece's equivilant of MIT) immediately locate and shut down the site which the MP claimed is hosted on the university's server.

The site still remains in operation, however,  Konstantinos Moutzouris dean of the university has said that while Indymedia sites make use of the universities facilities they have not been given permission to do so. According to national daily, Kathimerini the university is currently making attempts to find and shut down the site.

~ more... ~

Iran prepares to try Israeli war criminals

Iran's Press TV reports:

Iran adds the final touches to a criminal case against top Israeli officials, bringing Tel Aviv's war crimes in Gaza further to the fore.

While evidence is stacking up that the Israeli military committed war crimes during the three week-long war on the Gaza Strip, Iran's Chief Prosecutor Qorban-Ali Dori-Najafabadi, sought criminal charges against twenty-nine Israeli political and military leaders on Sunday.

“The charges brought against Israeli officials include undue aggression, disproportionate use of military force, threatening world peace and security, crimes against humanity, genocide, and blatant violations of human rights and international law,” said Dori-Najafabadi.

Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Mossad Chief Meir Dagan, Chief of the General Staff of the IDF Gabi Ashkenazi, and Attorney General Menachem Mazuz are reportedly among those facing the court case.

The case will go to trial in Tehran in near future.

Tel Aviv launched Operation Cast Lead on December 27 with the declared goal of “self-defense” and toppling the Hamas government.

More than 1,300 Palestinians, including a large number of women and children, were killed in the conflagration.

With nearly two months after Tel Aviv declared an alleged ceasefire, further revelations of the Israeli army's massive violations of human rights has set the wheels turning on an international war crime case.

During the offensive, Israel reportedly shelled three clearly GPS-designated UN schools and opened fire on hospitals, ambulances, medical personnel, and civilian homes.

UN human rights investigations have exposed that the Israeli army deliberately used white phosphorus ---which is prohibited "in all circumstances" under Protocol III of the Convention on Conventional Weapons ---on Palestinian civilians.

The most shocking eye-opener, however, came on January 4 when Israeli troops evacuated some 110 Gazans --- half of which were children --- into a single-residence house in the Zeitoun neighborhood and warned them to stay indoors.

Twenty-four hours later, the soldiers shelled the home incessantly, killing more than 30 of the people inside the house.

UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, recently declared that most Israeli actions against the shell-shocked population of Gaza "appear to have all the elements of war crimes".

Tel Aviv has not ratified the 1998 Rome Statute, therefore Israeli leaders cannot be brought before the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Signatories to the Geneva Convention, however, can prosecute those involved in the 23-day assault on Gaza as culpable for war crimes.

G20 Meltdown April 1st 2009

Come to London's biggest ever street party!

On Financial Fools Day, The City of London will form the backdrop for
the biggest mobilisation of the people since more than a million
marched against the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Thousands and tens of thousands are expected to take to the streets to
coincide with the G20 summit of world leaders who are flying into
London. The same bastards who got us into this mess are trying to pull
the biggest April Fools trick in history: to pretend that the global
economic meltdown can be fixed and they are the ones best qualified to
do the fixing. To get away with this effrontery, these bankers will do
all they can to mask themselves with the charisma of Barack Obama, due
to arrive here that morning. We're not fooled.

We have global economic and environmental meltdown. We have home
repossessions and unemployment spiraling out of control. We have
unjust wars. And for what? Presidents and premiers are plotting to
shore up the tottering capitalist system to ensure business as usual
and wealth creation for the few, at the expense of the many.
That's why a lot of angry people, hardworking taxpayers, activists,
pensioners, the unemployed, people who've lost their homes and
savings, small business and shop workers, and all manner of victims of
the economic collapse are joining forces in new and powerful
coalitions to express their rage. On Financial Fool's Day, we will
take our protest to the belly of the beast: the Bank of England in
London's financial square mile.

April Fools Day is hereby declared a public holiday!

On 1st April at 11 a.m. parades will join up at four railway stations
around the edge of the square mile - Liverpool St, London Bridge,
Cannon St and Moorgate - and snake their way though the City to
converge at the Bank of England for 12 noon.

Each procession will be headed by one of the Four Horsefolk of the
Apocalypse, commanding their forces against
1) Climate chaos (Green horse, Liverpool St),
2) War (Red horse, Moorgate),
3) Job/savings/

pensions losses (Silver horse, London Bridge) and
4) Home repossessions (Black horse, Cannon Street).

G20 Meltdown calls for as many people as possible to join us for
Banquet at the Bank, bring food, fun and games to share - a very rare
delicacy will be served, bankers brains! If you want to Eat the
Bankers join the Silver horse in a zombie block!

The Trial of Capitalism, for crimes against the planet : send'em to
the gallows, politicians, war criminals and bankers hanging from every
lamppost! If you want to press the charges for war crimes join the Red

The Rainforest arrives in the City, Giant anacondas up the pillars,
macaws shitting on the statues, polar bears on melting icebergs. Join
the Green horse in animal mask or bring greenery for gorilla invasion
of the urban jungle!

The World Turns Full Circle, The 360th anniversary of the Diggers,
English Revolutionaries for the Earth, a 'Common Treasury for All'.
Join the Black horse with diggers' spades to celebrate!

Can we overthrow this corrupt and despised government? Yes, we can!
Can we live sustainably and avert climate chaos? Yes, we can!
Can we defy the database police state and restore our ancient
freedoms? Yes, we can!
Can we make capitalism history? Yes, we can!


[ via Diggers 350 ]

Musical Innerlube: Jenna Mammina and Brian Gore - 'One hand clapping'


image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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