Prophets have existed since ancient times. Religions and cultural traditions from time immemorial have acknowledged their existence. Traditionally, prophets were seen as those who play a role of forecasting epochal change in society through their messages and insight.
In moments of crisis, people look for prophets. With expanding environmental degradation, political corruption and deepening economic turmoil, where can we find prophets in this modern age of crisis?
Many regard prophets as those who see the future and receive a vision. Yet, there is more to acting prophetically than this.
Prophets can be found in unexpected places. In a combat zone, where life and death converge, one can be closest to the threshold between past and future. The acts of war resisters, veterans and soldiers who from out of their moral convictions choose not to carry on killing or support war can be seen as prophetic.
There are soldiers who refused to be deployed as a result of a moral awakening. They stand at a threshold between a certain reality and the potential to transform it. It is like the voice of Dr. King was speaking to the core of their being when he said:
Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right.
Last week's arrests of a dozen alleged CIA agents in Iran threw a spotlight on long-standing, covert U.S.-Israeli actions in the Islamic republic -- including purported involvement by the CIA and Mossad in the recent killings of Iranian nuclear scientists. Though enduring, the collaboration between Western and Israeli intelligence agencies in intelligence and assassination operations reveals a relationship of cooperation and distrust.
The Mossad (Hebrew for "institution") is Israel's main intelligence agency. According to the Global Security site, Mossad also oversees "covert action and counterterrorism"; its operations are widely held to include targeted killings. At the time of its founding, the Mossad's motto was the biblical quote "By way of deception thou shalt make war." The motto was later changed to a different Proverbs passage: "Where no counsel is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." Sources refer variously to the Mossad's international assassination unit as "Metsada," "Caesarea," or "Kidon" ("Kidon" is Hebrew for "bayonet"). Rafi Eitan, a former director of Mossad operations, compared its assassins to "the official hangman or the doctor on Death Row who administers the lethal injection. We are simply fulfilling a sentence sanctioned by the prime minister of the day."
Julian Assange’s next hearing will be on December 5 (Monday), as an historic debate on extradition reform in the UK takes place. This debate could affect the likelihood of a Supreme Court appeal against his extradition. In order for this to happen, the High Court of London must first consider his appeal to be of general public importance, as such, your support truly is crucial. Please take action today!
If you can be in London, be sure to also make it to the Demo planned outside the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday, starting at 8:30AM.
Occupy Los Angeles was raided last night by the LAPD. By the time of the General Assembly at 7:30pm everyone knew that the promised eviction of the encampment around Los Angeles City Hall was coming that night.. Even during the GA and after city cops circulated among the occupiers and their supporters, over a thousand people had responded to the call to come out and support the occupation. Many voiced their willingness to be arrested.
The protesters moved out into the streets around city hall, as they had done Sunday night, as the police blocked off the streets and formed a encirclement of city hall designed to keep move arriving protesters from joining those already there. Twitter and the [occupy la] listserv were alive with information about alternate routes still open to city hall, such as thorough little Tokyo, or an alley near Temple.
The encirclement of the protesters deepened as hundreds of cops in riot gear arrive on buses from their staging area at Dodger Stadium but the raid began in earnest in a move that surprised everyone. Hundred of cops in riot gear that must have been prepositioned , or moved in via the tunnels connecting city hall to neighboring buildings`, came storming out of city hall and down the steps.
"WikiLeaks is building a state-of-the-art secure submission system. Constructing the system is very complex. Due to the deteriorating state of internet security which directly impacts the ability of sources to communicate with journalists and human rights activists securely, WikiLeaks has decided to postpone the launch initially scheduled for Monday 28th 2011 in the interest of source protection. WikiLeaks' new public electronic drop box is substantially more advanced than its predecessor.
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) began in September and quickly spread, becoming a unifying force worldwide. This movement was initially ignored and ridiculed by the US corporate media. Yet as it grew, it became harder to ignore. Repeated police brutality against peaceful protesters has pulled the Occupy Movement even more into the limelight and galvanized support for it.
A powerful contrast emerged between the militarized police violence and the occupiers’ courage and commitment to peaceful action. As the excessive force on peaceful citizens increased, instant YouTube videos capturing blatant abuses of power with chemical agents and truncheons went viral. The scenes displayed the violence, yet at the same time revealed the strength of ordinary people. Is the Occupy Movement creating a new kind of leader? Perhaps what we are seeing is a birth of the ordinary hero. They are everyday people, young, old, foreclosed, students and unemployed, showing how each of us can become our own leaders. Here are some of the faces and stories of these ordinary heroes:
Kettled and Sprayed
Occupy Wall Street was in its second week when a group started to march from Zuccotti park to Union Square. Two women were kettled in an orange net and maced by NYPD. This disturbing scene was caught on tape, uploaded onto YouTube and widely circulated. Just as the iconic photo of a little girl running from the napalm was a catharsis moment for the Vietnam anti-war movement during the 60’s, similarly this video of two women kept in a cage became symbolic, showing the police working for the 1% and brought public attention to the abuse of power and strengthened the movement.
We Are All Scott Olsen
Mayor Villaraigosa & Police Chief Charlie Beck announced today at a afternoon press conference that the LAPD would forcefully throw Occupy Los Angeles off of the park areas surrounding Los Angeles City Hall Monday, November 28th at 12:01am. This move is being made although there have been no major incidents to marred the record of 56 consecutive days of peaceful protests at City Hall since the encampment first started on October 1st.
It is being done in spite of the vote by City Council in October to:
ADOPT the accompanying RESOLUTION to SUPPORT the continuation of the peaceful and vibrant exercise in First Amendment Rights carried out by "Occupy Los Angeles"
At the time City Council President Eric Garcetti told the campers on the city hall front lawn "Stay as long as you need, we're here to support you," Now it would seem that the city's tune has changed.
To it's credit both the City of LA and the LAPD have taken a decidedly different approach to the occupy movement compared with other major cities, including New York, Chicago, Oakland and Portland where the movement was faced with eviction and police violence almost from the beginning of those encampments. Until now, the City of Los Angeles has allowed the encampment at city hall to establish itself and to grow with a minimum of police and city interference.
Specifically regarding the extradition of Julian Assange, two primary issues were raised:
1) despite facing extradition, Julian Assange has not been charged with a crime (the EAW was therefore incorrectly applied as it was not issued for the purpose of prosecution, but investigation)
2) the European Arrest Warrant for Julian was requested by a private prosecutor who is not an official representative.
This article is in lieu of the long delayed fourth part of the Omar Khadr series written on WL Central last May. The original fourth part consisted of hours of interviews regarding the astoundingly corrupt and illegal military process which culminated in a verdict which allows the Canadian press to refer to Omar Khadr as a 'convicted terrorist'. One day the information in those interviews will be widely known, but today we are still prevented from publishing any of it for fear of retribution to those we do not wish to harm.
Today, Omar should be at home in Canada, as promised by the Canadian government as a term of his acceptance of a plea deal. Today, he is still in Guantanamo Bay serving what the US military terms “punitive post-conviction confinement.”. A little known fact regarding the Guantanamo sentences is that time served before sentencing is not considered 'punitive' and therefore does not count as time served towards his sentence. Omar's sentence is to be carried out in a solitary confinement 'enhanced interrogation' environment, and at the end of his sentence he can be placed back in 'Prisoner Of War' status in the Guantanamo cells he has spent his life in since he was 15 years old. Without repatriation to Canada, his eight year plea deal is just an eight year sentence to solitary confinement in the middle of a lifetime sentence in Guantanamo.
WikiLeaks Truck is still missing after it was taken from its owner by the NYPD at Occupy Wall Street. Artist Clark Stoeckley, the owner and driver, was pulled over and subsequently arrested, possibly unlawfully, for ‘obstructing government administration’.
Clark refused to consent to a search [video here] and the truck was towed by the NYPD. He was released from jail on November 18 but the truck, containing his personal belongings, is still in an unknown location. Although Police assured Clark Stoeckley the WikiLeaks Truck was to be found in an impound lot in Brooklyn, the truck never made it to said impound lot.
After 17 months in confinement, Bradley Manning will appear before court on December 16, for an Article 32 pretrial hearing, his lawyer announced today.
The hearing, expected to last 5 days, will take place at Fort Meade, Maryland and will be held publicly “with the exception of those limited times where classified information is being discussed”.
The primary purpose of this hearing is to evaluate the US Government’s case against Manning.
Supporters will be outside the Court as he arrives, for a demonstration also tied to the celebration of his 24th birthday on the following day, December 17.
In the last few days, many have seen the shocking video of a police officer, one Police Lt. John Pike, pepper spraying a line of seated, peaceful non-violent students at the University of California (Davis.) ...one female protester was rushed to hospital in an ambulance for treatment of chemical burns. Ten protesters were arrested.
This use of chemical weapons on peaceful students representing no threat to the community such as a breach of the peace, or any other sign of potential violence, riot, affray or public disorder escalates the 'war' against the #OWS movement to frightening new levels.
I use the words "Chemical Cops" noting that pepper spray is banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and that being so, (given also that the Los Angeles Times in 1995 reported 61 deaths attributable to pepper spray since 1990) recklessness in its use may lead to a homicide being made out.
The question is immediately raised that if this substance is banned for war use, how do we allow it to be used on fellow citizens in time of peace? How do we allow its use for what is - obviously in this case - a method of extra-judicially punishing dissent?
The risk of death being ever present in its use; the culpability of its wantonly reckless use on innocent people by officer Pike is palpable.
I just got out of jail a few hours ago. I was one of 300 people arrested Thursday in Occupy Wall St. protests across the United States. In Los Angeles, a total of 67 people were arrested from Occupy Los Angeles, SEIU and Good Jobs LA which combined forces for two back-to-back protests, both of which had as there centerpieces acts of civil disobedience that brought important sections of downtown to a complete standstill as the biggest occupation in the nation took to the streets.
The first was a march that started at 7:00am to the 4th St. bridge, that brought Figueroa Ave, which at 30 miles, is the longest street in LA, to a complete standstill in the middle of the morning rush hour. This also pretty much shutdown freeway access to downtown, Figueroa is that important. 23 protesters, mostly SEIU members, were arrested in a very orderly, non-violent fashion after the protesters set up tents in the street.
Protesters gathered in Canberra this morning for a rally in support of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning. The protest happened as U.S. President Barack Obama was visiting Canberra to announce the expansion of U.S. military presence in Australia.
Outside the Australian Parliament House, chants of Assange and Manning, let them go - Let us have our right to know were heard.
Christine Assange spoke against the extradition of her son Julian to the United States, declaring: “my son could be extradited to Sweden and then the U.S. in four weeks” where he could face “U.S. style justice”. She then referred to the appalling treatment of alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning - who has been under pre-trial detention in a military prison for 563 days - and the Australian government’s refusal to intervene for Julian Assange’s protection, saying: “The Australian government has done nothing for Julian.” She condemned the attitude of Australian leaders whom she described as ‘star-struck’ by Obama’s presence.
The #N-17 'Day of Action' called for by #OccupyWallSt to protest for the violent eviction of the camp at Liberty Sq. on the 15th started early: at 7:00 AM hundreds of protesters blocked the intersections leading into Wall Street, actually managing to delay the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange by more than 30 minutes. There have been widespread reports of police violence against protesters practicing peaceful civil disobedience. The NYPD has created a partially militarized zone in downtown New York, after bringing out an LRAD audio cannon to disperse protesters and disallowing people to walk on certain streets, despite presenting valid IDs and press passes. There are at least 100 confirmed arrests, although the number could actually be much higher. Once again there have been reports of violence against members of the press. At 3:00 PM EST protesters will attempt to #Occupy the Subway, later they will head to Foley Square.
This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.
Today Julian Assange’s legal team filed an application to have his extradition case taken to the Supreme Court, based on the following points:
1) Whether a European Arrest Warrant issued by a partisan prosecutor working for the executive (i.e. not an independent judge or investigating magistrate in the civil law system) is a valid Part 1 Warrant issued by a "judicial authority" within the meaning of sections 2(2) & 66 of the Extradition Act 2003?
This point argues that the decision goes against parliamentary intent in the 2003 Extradition Act (see SwedenVsAssange).
2) Whether a person in respect of whom no decision to prosecute has been taken can be said to be ’accused’ within the meaning of sections 2(3)(a) of the Extradition Act 2003?
On December 5, in a public hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice (London), the High Court will decide whether these two points are 'of general public importance'. If that is considered to be the case, the appeal will then proceed to the Supreme Court.
At around 1:00 AM, November 15th, police forces arrived in full riot gear, batons, pepper spray and tear gas as well as bulldozers to clear out the park. Protesters resisting peacefully chanting “Whose park? Our park!”. Media was systematically blocked from reporting after being penned in, they complained from receiving rough treatment from police, their credentials were ignored and airspace was closed for helicopters.
Liberty Square (a.k.a. Zuccotti Park) after being evicted.
This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.
Upcoming Appeal Hearing for WikiLeaks whistleblower Rudolf Elmer
On November 17, whistleblower Rudolf Elmer's appeal hearing will take place. Prosecution requests 'convicted on all charges' verdict and increased sentence:
"Prosecution Office Winterthur/Unterland wants to make the case that Swiss Bank Secrecy protects the data in the Cayman Islands and that based on a former employment agreement Swiss Bank Secrecy applies also to Rudolf Elmer working in the Cayman Islands.
Prosecution Office wants to make the case that Swiss industrial secrecy laws also apply to the Cayman Islands in the case of Rudolf Elmer and accuses him of disclosing Julius Baer’s secrets on how it uses the operation in the Cayman Islands providing Trust & Company, Mutual and Hedge Fund services as well as the administering of Special Purpose Vehicles e.g. offshore companies of Carlyle, Washington D.C. within the Julius Baer Cayman office.
While speculating about the fate of Julian Assange -- in the face of U.S. wrath over the massive WikiLeaks disclosures of politically-sensitive diplomatic materials -- most media reports have focused on the likelihood of Assange's extradition to the U.S. to face criminal charges. Less discussed, however, is the possibility of irregular rendition, which could pose a far greater threat to Assange's life and safety. Unfortunately for Assange, the key to his fate lies in the hands of his political foil U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.