Corruption

2011-08-02 Sol Square evicted in the morning, thousands demonstrating during the night in #Madrid #spanishrevolution #nopararemos

Eviction

Image Today around 6:30 in the morning, a large police presence, consisting of national police and local police, appeared in Sol square, where the info point Sol still was present, as well as a great oil painting which some called the “new Guernika”(new version of Picasso's one at Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid) and the metal plate that read “We were asleep, we woke up, square taken”.

Since the people's assembly of Sol decided to dismantle the encampment, the info-point was a permanent stand to provide information related to the movement in the Square. Cleaning services arrived escorted by 20 riot police vans, their job was to clean everything up and leave no sign of the 15 May Revolution Movement at Sol.


Police blocking access to #Sol Square.

Reaction of people

During the day, people organized in Assemblies in Madrid to plan what to do after the eviction of Sol. It was decided to organize an attempt of re-occupation of the square at 20:00 local time.

2011-08-01 United States Day of Rage and Occupy Wall Street #usdor #occupywallstreet

ImageOne citizen. One dollar. One vote.

The US Day of Rage, a movement launched on March 10 of this year, appears to be taking off with the anger and frustration surrounding the ongoing debt crises this week. The movement describes itself as an "assymetrical self organizing political movement of ordinary citizens", believes in non-violence and principles before parties (they are not affiliated with any political organization) and is volunteer only. They encourage individual state, city, and federal demonstrations to be autonomous, except in matters affecting the whole.

Tomorrow is the first US Day of Rage protest, in Tennessee. "I have an army of teens who will help me....good kids wanting to do something about all this," said Tennessee Organizer Lara Jennings. More states are organizing every day. Currently, Kansas, Tennessee, Idaho (September 16 Day of Rage), Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Seattle, Portland and Oregon are officially planning protests, and on September 17 the #occupywallstreet protest is scheduled to create an encampment protest at what is seen by many to be the epicentre of the problem. This is being planned here on reddit as well as Twitter. The official Twitter account is announcing all of the upcoming events and has just announced 8/2 at 4:30pm Gather at the Charging Bull (Bowling Green Park) Logistics for #Sept17 #OccupyWallStreet.

Some sites are encouraging occupation of financial districts around the world on the same day.

2011년 7월 28일 지상 35미터에서부터의 투쟁

올해 1월 6일, 한국의 한 여성이 85호라고 번호가 붙여진 크레인 위로 올라갔다. 지상 35미터가 되는 곳에서, 그녀는 최대 조선업체 중 하나인 한진중공업 (출처: (Hanjin))에 의해 행해진 강제대량해고에 대항하는 전쟁을 선포하였다.

Image(출처: source)

BBC가 '외로운 한 명의 시위자' (출처: depicts) 라고 표현하였던 김진숙 씨는, 전국노동조합총연맹 (민주노총) 부산지부 지도위원인데, 부산은 한진 영도 조선소가 위치한 곳이다. 그녀는 크레인 위에서 고구마와 죽만으로 연명하고 있으며, 태양열 (휴대폰) 밧데리만이, 그녀가 의지하고 있는 소중하고 유일한 세상과의 의사소통 끈이다. 회사측은 크레인 주변에서 농성을 하고 있는 해고 노동자들에 대한 음식, 물, 전기의 공급을 중단하고자 수차례 시도하였고 (출처: attempted), 그때마다 사람들은 회사측의 시도들에 대해 결사적으로 항의해야 했다. 혹독한 폭염은 단지 만지기만 하여도 피부가 데일 정도로 크레인을 달구고 있다.

200일이 지났다. 한진이 정부에게 공권력 사용을 요청하자, 전쟁은 더욱 치열해졌다. 그것은 85호 크레인에 대한 연대와 지지를 보여주기 위해 전국에서 모여든 사람들로 이루어진 대규모 집회인 '희망버스'를 막기 위해, 경찰병력이 지원되는 것을 가리킨다. 2차 희망버스는 이미 매우 심각한 진압으로 인해 고통을 받았는데, 이 때 시위집회자들을 해산시키고, 참가자들이 그들의 목적지인 85호 크레인에 다다르는 것을 막기 위해, 최루액과 물대포로 무장했던 경찰과 한진측이 개별적으로 고용한 용역들로 인해, 시위는 전쟁터로 변했었다.

Image최루액을 발사하며 집회 참가자들이 85호 크레인으로 다가가는 것을 막고 있는 경찰병력 (출처: source)

전쟁은 치열해졌고, 지금도 더욱 치열해지고 있지만, 그녀는 더이상 '외로운 시위자'가 아니다.

한진 강제해고, 사법절차를 따르지 않는 불법 폭력, 그리고 노동자들의 권리를 위한 투쟁의 짧은 역사

2011-07-28 Lulz, Security, Justice and the FBI

The recent news of alleged LulzSec spokesperson Topiary's arrest took the media spotlight away from WikiLeaks supporters' demonstration against PayPal. But it also raises questions about how online laws are applied, and the credibility of those who enforce them.

While doubts remain over whether the police have arrested the right person, Topiary's twitter account has been reduced to a single tweet: "You cannot arrest an idea."

Topiary served as LulzSec's witty media front-man and his clever humour was tempered by a strong sense of justice.

"Laws are to be respected when they're fair, not obeyed without question," he said in a recent interview. "Revolution, to me, is bringing down the big guy while not forgetting to stand up for the little guy."

Topiary's arrest is just the latest in a string of arrests which are set to turn the spotlight back onto the US justice system. Many Anonymous supporters doubt the evidence being used against alleged juvenile hackers, while the WikiLeaks legal case against financial services like Visa, PayPal and Mastercard will generate even more public scrutiny.

2011-07-19 Wall Street Journal's Murdoch-Shilling Ratchets Up

ImageThe Wall Street Journal - a News Corporation outlet - is again engaging in aggressive damage control for the Murdoch empire by attacking Wikileaks. WL Central addresses the mendacity.

It appears that the Wall Street Journal - which publishes from News Corp's Celanese Building headquarters in New York city - is suing for the title of "Murdoch's Bulldog." Thinly veiled and deceptive attempts to control the message on the escalating News of the World scandal have been issuing from the once-respected news outlet. And the tactic seems to be diversionary. The second article in two days to defend News Corp by attacking Wikileaks was published today, penned by Bret Stephens.

Trevor Timm has already written here at WL Central about yesterday's clumsy WSJ editorial, which alleged hypocrisy at the Guardian, in that it criticized News of the World while publishing material from Wikileaks. Today's article belaboured the same spurious argument even further, as the air of desperation at News Corp intensified in advance of the Murdoch hearing today. Keen to deny his motives preemptively, Stephens notes:

It's probably inevitable that this column will be read in some quarters as shilling for Rupert Murdoch. Not at all: I have nothing but contempt for the hack journalism practiced by some of the Murdoch titles.

2011-07-18 News International chief Brooks arrested over hacking scandal

Former Murdoch chief Rebekah Brooks was arrested and detained last night by British police on charges of conspiring to illegally intercept communications as well as corruption, in the form of bribing police.

Brooks was apprehended by detectives working on Operation Weeting – the UK Metropolitan Police’s phone hacking investigation, and Operation Elveden – the investigation into illicit payments to police officers, a July 18 Guardian article reported.

Until recently, Brooks had been defended by both Rupert and James Murdoch from the very outset of the now-widespread hacking scandal that began within the Murdoch-owned newspaper News of the World.

One of the most contentious cases in the scandal so far is that of teenager Milly Dowler, who was abducted on her way home from school and subsequently murdered. Milly Dowler’s family’s phone messages were illegally intercepted by News of the World staff.

Mark Lewis, the lawyer for Milly Dowler’s family has questioned the timing of the arrest, as Brooks is due to be questioned by a parliamentary committee next Tuesday.

“Undoubtedly, she will have the option of saying on Tuesday ‘I’m sorry I can’t answer that because I’m under police investigation ‘,” he said. “The timing stinks...it gives the impression that those questions can’t be asked [at this time]...it looks deliberate.”

Liberal Democrat MP Adrian Sanders has also expressed grave concerns over the timing of the arrest, according to a July 18 article in The Age.

The House of Commons select committee maintained that it would not canvass material that affected any criminal investigation and Brooks now appears to be protected by that. Brooks has been offering to help the police since January, yet two days before she is due to stand before a parliamentary committee she was arrested.

2011-07-17 Interview with Atanas Tchobanov, Balkanleaks' spokesman and Bivol.bg co-editor

ImageAtanas Tchobanov is the spokesman for balkanleaks.eu and co-editor of Bivol.bg as well as a regular writer on WL Central.

Balkanleaks.eu is a whistleblowing Web site modeled on WikiLeaks, and formed to "promote transparency and fight the nexus of organized crime and political corruption in the Balkan states." The site solicits "confidential documents related to political, criminal or financial topics, by offering a manner of collection that is secure and anonymous." Bivol.bg is a Web site devoted to investigative journalism.

In a climate where only three years ago, the editor in chief of a Bulgarian online news provider was severely beaten following several attacks on journalists the same year, both balkanleaks.eu and Bivol.bg have been instrumental in exposing corruption and the abuse of power by organized crime and politicians. You can read some of Bivol's coverage here at WL Central and also here in Bulgarian and Macedonian.

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW

2011-07-16 How Wired Magazine Tried (And Failed) To Help The US Government Frame Julian Assange

We've learned a few important things from the full transcripts of Bradley Manning's online chats with Adrian Lamo. Glenn Greenwald has already focussed on how Wired magazine's decision to with-hold the full transcripts has damaged the reputations of Manning, Assange and WikiLeaks. But it's worth examining in more detail exactly how Wired's subterfuge has affected Julian Assange and WikiLeaks in particular.

Firstly, and most importantly, it's now clear that Julian Assange did NOT know if Bradley Manning was the source who leaked the US cables to WikiLeaks. Manning tells Lamo that Assange “knows little about me” and “he takes source-protections uber-seriously.” Furthermore, he says, Assange "won’t work with you if you reveal too much about yourself.” Assange even instructs Manning to lie about his identity!

This blows apart the US government's protracted efforts to suggest that Assange actively enticed Manning to hand over the cables, and thereby charge the Australian with criminal activity. In fact, it was only through his own protracted sleuth work that Manning even knew who HE was talking to: "it took me four months to confirm that the person i was communicating [with] was in fact assange".

Why would Wired with-hold this critically important information, unless they were actively co-operating with US agents trying to fabricate charges against Assange? Given that Lamo had notified authorities of Manning's alleged actions while still continuing to chat with him, it's logical to assume the Feds would have wanted to censor any published details. Wired appears to have willingly complied.

2011-07-02 Cables reveal the logic of Nicaragua’s social welfare programs for street children: ‘Cut the budget and hide it in secrecy’

Along with insight on Hambre Cero ('Zero Hunger'), cables released by WikiLeaks provide previously unreported dark sides in inner management of social welfare programs launched by the Ortega government. This article reports the way social welfare programs are dealt with in the midst of budget deficits based on the cables, mainly focusing on one of the major social welfare projects of Ortega government, Programa Amor ('Program of Love') and other social welfare programs for street children in 2007-2010.

Image

What is Programa Amor?

Programa Amor is one of many social welfare programs that President Ortega and his FSLN party presented to the public in 2007. The stated goal of the program was to provide education and other opportunities to 25,000 street children to break away from some of the worst forms of child labor. Programa Amor has been headed by the First Lady Rosiario Murillo and Ministries of Family, Health, Education, and the government.

Cable: Concerns of Ministry of Family insiders on Programa Amor; It forces children to their home which drive them back to the street

09MANAGUA1318 reveals that people inside the Ministry of Family (MiFamilia), which is a focal point of implementation of Programa Amor, confessed their concerns on the program’s general operating style. The program sends children back to their home in the evening after daytime education courses of the shelters, and this poses a serious threat to the children, since most of them are forced to find places at night other than their homes, which they originally ran away from.

2011-07-01 Gaza Flotilla: a fight to take a stand [Updated]

The fight enroute to Gaza between the worldwide volunteers and the governments of Israel, the United States and Greece—has been portrayed from two opposite sides, yes, but opposite in a political and moral compass completely broken: on one side, the flotilla argues the desperate need of help and hope with which the Gazans live every day while, on the other side, the authorities trying to block the flotilla have accused it of being “ready to kill Israeli soldiers” or—more rhetorically convenient—“ready to kill Jews” due to the allegedly obscure intentions behind “Muhammad Sawalha, a senior UK-based Muslim Brotherhood figure connected to Hamas”, according to the website Gaza Flotilla 101.

2011-07-01 Cables reveal hidden sides of Nicaragua’s ‘Zero Hunger’: budget deficit from the very beginning due to lack of transparency

Hambre Cero (“Zero Hunger”) has been an ambitious social welfare program that president Ortega’s FSLN(Sandanista National Liberation Front) party declared in 2007. More than 3 years after that, cables released by WikiLeaks reveal hidden mechanisms and progression of the programs throughout 2007-2010.

Hambre Cero ‘veiled in secrecy’ in discriminatory selection of beneficiaries with no independent monitoring systems

Hambre Cero(“Zero Hunger”) is a state-led welfare program to help ‘eradicate poverty until 2012’ by providing Productive Parcels, which is a packet of livestock, goods, and services including various training needed to establish a self-supporting production of food in the poor areas. The government’s goal is to reach 75,000 families. And since the reported number of people living below the poverty line is 2,300,000 individuals in the country, the process of selecting beneficiaries is an important factor that should be impartial and transparent. However, recently released cables detail how the progression of planning the program and defining standards had been opaque since the first step.

2011-06-23 Obama's Latest Afghanistan Speech: Bridging the Say/Do Gap to End the War

Those who read President Barack Obama’s speech will likely be reading to find hints of when the conflict might finally come to an end. Support for a pullout from Afghanistan is at an all-time high, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll. But, there is little reason to put much stock in the fact that ten thousand troops will be leaving Afghanistan this summer. Withdrawing a number of troops around July of 2011 was always part of a plan, a way of deftly managing public opinion.

When Obama went ahead and added thirty thousand troops, he knew, as shown in Bob Woodward’s book Obama’s Wars he had two years with the public. He understood the perils of escalating a war, as retired Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry,  retired Gen. James L. Jones and Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute all offered a level of dissent against Admiral Mike Mullen, Gen. David Petraeus and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. And, Obama allegedly told Vice President Joe Biden in private to oppose a big troop buildup but could not stand up to military brass. In the end, though, he was able to set a withdrawal timetable of ending the war by 2014.

2011-06-23 Interview with WikiLeaksWorld in Brussels where demonstrators overtook European Parliament #europeanrevolution

ImageI spoke with WL Central reporter Wikileaks World, currently reporting on the #revolution across Europe. They were present today in Brussels where 200 demonstrators overtook European Parliament to protest the Euro Pact - in like manner to the protests in Spain and Greece against financial measures that grant greater power to corporations vis a vis employess, and erode the sovereignty of nation states.

INTERVIEW

2011-06-19 #Spain responds to the call, masses take the streets against the Euro-Pact #19J #europeanrevolution

As the protests around Spain come to an end, the signs of weakness shown by the 15M movement over the past weeks - the frustration against the slow assemblies, the possibility of violence inside of the pacifist ideals (violence in Barcelona http://www.europeanrevolution.net/?p=539) or the lifting of the camps - have been forgotten after the massive protest carried out in over 30 cities nationwide. According to the techno ant map (here ) the protest happened in 98 cities internationally. The number of protesters is, as always, hard to know for certain. The main media source in Spain, El Pais, claims that around 200,000 people participated in the major protests, making the number probably higher.

In Barcelona a whopping 100,000 people marched according to most sources. It was larger than in Madrid where 35,000 to 50,000 people participated in the event. Some say, however, that over 100,000 were present throughout the day. It is truly hard to tell. Six columns initiated the protest marching towards Congress from different neighborhoods around Madrid.

Madrid today:

2011-06-04 Baba Ramdev taken into police custody detained in Delhi and taken to Haridwar

The popular Indian yoga guru Baba Ramdev went on a hunger strike June 4, 2011 to protest corruption in India. Thousands of supporters gathered in Delhi and other locations around the country to join the protest.

The police cracked down on the protest using tear gas shells upon the crowd after protesters apparently threw rocks at them. Ramdev was taken into custody and detained in Delhi and then taken to Haridwar. This comes after the government pleaded with Ramdev to end the hunger strike which is set to continue to the death until the popular Swami's demands were met.

The swami has demanded:

  • 1) Black money stashed in banks abroad returned to India
  • 2) Death penalty for those guilty of corruption
  • 3) Currency of high denomination be withdrawn.

Similar hunger strikes took place in a number of cities all across India, including Orissa and Mumbai.

This is coming amid the heated debate over the Lokpal bill, in which members of the Civil Society threatened to walk out of the discussions if their demands were not met. Primarily at issue, is for the PM and other high level officials to be included in the purview of the law which seeks to deal with the black money issue.

The current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has grown increasingly unpopular because of corruption, the Commonwealth Games problems in 2010 and the telecoms scandal.

2011-05-23 UPDATE: Omar Khadr Supreme Court review denied, request for clemency still to be heard #cdnpoli

Updated information from Khadr's legal counsel states that the Supreme Court dismissal this morning related to a years old appeal from Khadr that was actually disallowed last fall by the terms of his plea deal, which ordered "he must dismiss all presently pending action."

“As part of his pre-trial agreement, he had to dismiss his claim against the government,” said his US military defense attorney Lt.-Col. Jackson. “Once the claim was dismissed, and the government accepted the dismissal, they still keep the caption (or heading) of the case as Khadr vs. Obama (as a way to keep the process) consistent, but he’s no longer a plaintiff on that.” Khadr's request for review was bundled with several other requests from other Guantanamo prisoners.

The request for clemency still stands and may be heard this week.


The US Supreme Court denied Guantanamo inmate Omar Khadr's request for clemency today. While a majority voted against granting the petition, Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor "indicated that they wanted to review the case." Courthouse News opines "Monday's contribution affirms the appearance that the court will defer to the mostly conservative D.C. Circuit on Guantanamo detention matters. The justices have not decided a detainee case in nearly three years."

2011-05-23 Corrupção, Violação de Direitos Humanos e Censura no #SaaraOcidental

O Sahara Ocidental é um território em disputa desde a década de 60 no norte da África, desde lá sendo palco de diversos conflitos. A área disputada localiza-se numa região no Sul do Marrocos, fazendo fronteira também com a Argélia e a Mauritânia. Na área de Tindouf, no sudoeste da Argélia, estão campos de refúgio da população Saaráui operados pela Polisario.

A Frente Popular de Liberação de Saguía-Hamra e Rio de Ouro, POLISARIO, www.saharalibre.es, é um movimento para a independência do Saara Ocidental ante o Marrocos. Constituída oficialmente em Maio de 1973 para forçar o fim da colonização espanhola, é uma derivação de organizações existentes desde os anos 50 na região. Desde 1979, a organização com sede em Tindouf é reconhecida pelas Nações Unidas desde 1979 como representante do povo do Saara Ocidental.

Telegramas recentemente divulgados pela organização Wikileaks denunciam extensa corrupção, violação de direitos humanos e de informação por parte da POLISARIO. O documento 09ALGIERS1117 aponta que "Contatos da Embaixada[Estado-unidense] com a UNHCR e ONGs Americanas trabalhando nos campos da Polisario perto de Tindouf dizem que indivíduos Saaráuis estiveram envolvidos em atividades de contrabando, mas o "governo" da Polisario pune severamente qualquer um que é pego traficando pessoas ou armas que poderiam ajudar terroristas". O mesmo documento reafirma posteriormente que "A Frente da Polisario responde violentamente a qualquer envolvimento com tráfico de armas, pessoas ou drogas".

2011-05-21 Omar Khadr Part 3 of 4: “The world doesn't get it”

ImageDennis you always say that I have an obligation to show the world what is going on down here and it seems that we've done every thing but the world doesn't get it, so it might work if the world sees the US sentencing a child to life in prison, it might show the world how unfair and sham this process is, and if the world doesn't see all this, to what world am I being released to? A world of hate, unjust and discrimination! I really don't want to live in a life like this. - Omar Khadr in a letter to defense attorney Dennis Edney.

Omar Khadr was the first child soldier to be charged with a war crime since world war two. The non-existent crime that he was charged with, “murder in violation of the law of war” can be summed up as: It is legal for US soldiers to kill children. It is a war crime for children to kill US soldiers.

After eight years of delays while the US government searched for a possible crime and changed courts and judge, Omar found himself in front of a military tribunal with seven military officers who decided his fate ought to be another forty years of imprisonment. (For a sentence of ten years or more, six of the seven jurors had to agree.) Human Rights Watch said of the fifteen officers selected as potential jurors, All of the 15 indicated that Khadr's age held no significance for the case. ... An Air Force Captain said that in his opinion, a child would need to be as young as five or six to avoid adult courts if accused of a homicide.

The plea deal

2011-05-21 Updates from defense attorney Dennis Edney regarding Moazzam Begg flight refusal, Abdullah Khadr and the Toronto 18 trials

Canadian defense attorney Dennis Edney is involved in four of the cases we are currently covering. WL Central has received updates from him on three of them.

Moazzam Begg, a high profile advocate for Guantanamo inmates and international lecturer and author, was denied board on a direct Air Canada flight from London to Toronto on the grounds that the plane could possibly be diverted to the US where Begg is on a no-fly list. Begg, a British citizen, was imprisoned in Guantanamo for three years and released in 2005 with no charge. Edney had invited him to Canada to speak.

You were attempting to get him a flight over the north pole to avoid the excuse of a possible diversion into US air space - has there been any response from the Canadian authorities on that?

We have attempted to get clarification from Canadian authorities to state whether they would challenge his entry if he took a flight over Greenland so no fear of being close to U.S. airspace - with no clarification.

Who exactly have you spoken to in the Canadian government or Air Canada regarding this policy?

We have spoken to people at the Canadian High Commission and I have asked Moazzam to go to the London office to get an official response why he was not allowed to fly.

He was to attend 3 conferences in Toronto/ Montreal and Edmonton.

Abdullah Khadr, older brother of Omar, won against the Canadian government's appeal on May 6. The Canadian government was arguing in support of the US government who are trying to extradite Abdullah based on testimony obtained under torture. Edney represents both Khadrs.

2011-05-20 Moazzam Begg refused board on Air Canada #cdnpoli

ImageMoazzam Begg, a British citizen who was held at Guantanamo Bay for three years with no charge, was barred from boarding an Air Canada flight to Toronto today. Omar Khadr's defense attorney, Dennis Edney, had invited Begg to speak at a conference on fear and justice in Toronto on Saturday as well as other events in Quebec and Edmonton later this week.

The Canadian Press reports that the Canadian High Commission refused permission on the basis the plane could be re-routed to the U.S. Edney contacted the high commission and was told to contact the US embassy. Edney told the Toronto Star that a Canadian foreign affairs official informed him that Begg was denied entry due to a “U.S. policy.”

Begg was released from Guantanamo Bay in 2005 and is one of the most high profile advocates for the people currently imprisoned there. He wrote a book, Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim's Journey To Guantanamo and Back (ISBN 0-7432-8567-0), is a director of Cageprisoners, and has given many interviews and lectures, written articles, and appeared as a commentator on BBC's Panorama, BBC's Newsnight, PBS's The Prisoner, Al-Jazeera's Prisoner, Taking Liberties, Torturing Democracy, and National Geographic's Guantanamo's Secrets, traveling throughout the world to do so. He has never been charged with anything. He was released by the US.

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