is an opportunity to assess the current situation, discuss good practices
implemented by different actors
around the world and identify
gaps and urgent measures
needed to accelerate the
eradication of both child
and forced labour.
Greek Communist Party members
block a train with US and NATO
April 6th, 2:51pm
Members of the Communist Party of Greece
(CPG) and the Communist Youth of Greece
(KMG) blocked a train carrying US and
NATO military equipment and
machinery at the exit of
Shouting anti-imperialist slogans, the protesters
blocked the railway and demanded an end to
Greece’s involvement in the ongoing
imperialist war in Ukraine and in
making Alexandroupolis -- a
centre of NATO aggression.
Recall that for several weeks now, the port of
Alexandroupolis in north-eastern Greece has
been a key hub for US and NATO troop
deployments in Eastern Europe. U.S.
Army armoured vehicles and other
combat vehicles arrive by ship
and are then transported by
road and rail to Romania
GET THE REAL (peace) NEWS - from TeleSUR english
If supporting peace and stopping yet another rape of a resource-rich country isn't for you, because YOU read the Guardian - remember Libya, Iraq, etc...
Same game - lies, economic sanctions, demonisation --- then the call for a coup - to save the poor people!
Such a shame people in the
US will never see this video... it's John Pilger warning us all about US plans to wage war on China... but Youtube has stopped it being seen.
Mainstream Media's Go-To Syria Monitor
Revealed to Be Funded by UK Gov't -- Nobody Bats an Eyelid
The mainstream media, which has been uncritically citing the pro-opposition SOHR for years, has failed to report it has come to be known - the outfit has taken money from the Foreign Office (Sources - Media Lens/Russia Insider) Wednesday June 6th, 2018
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, journalist Peter Hitchens commented last month on the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR):
'Talking of war, and Syria, many of you may have noticed frequent references in the media to a body called the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights", often quoted as if it's an impartial source of information about that complicated conflict, in which the British government clearly takes sides. The "Observatory" says on its website that it is "not associated or linked to any political body."
'To which I reply: Is Boris Johnson's Foreign Office not a political body? Because the FO just confirmed to me that "the UK funded a project worth £194,769.60 to provide the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights with communications equipment and cameras." That's quite a lot, isn't it? I love the precision of that 60p. Your taxes, impartially, at work.'
This figure was confirmed in communication with the Foreign Office by independent political journalist Ian Sinclair. (Email to Media Lens, May 17, 2018)
In 2011, Reuters reported that Rami Abdulrahman is 'the fast-talking director of arguably Syria's most high-profile human rights group', SOHR:
'When he isn't fielding calls from international media, Abdulrahman is a few minutes down the road at his clothes shop, which he runs with his wife.'
Given the tinpot nature of the organisation, SOHR's influence is astonishing:
'Cited by virtually every major news outlet since an uprising against the iron rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began in March, the observatory has been a key source of news on the events in Syria.'
Described by Reuters as an 'opposition group', SOHR is openly pro-regime change:
'After three short spells in prison in Syria for pro-democracy activism, Abdulrahman came to Britain in 2000 fearing a longer, fourth jail term.
'"I came to Britain the day Hafez al-Assad died, and I'll return when Bashar al-Assad goes".'
In December 2011, Stratfor, an influential research institute formed of former US security officials, cautioned:
'Most of the [Syrian] opposition's more serious claims have turned out to be grossly exaggerated or simply untrue ... revealing more about the opposition's weaknesses than the level of instability inside the Syrian regime.'
Reports from SOHR and other opposition groups, 'like those from the regime, should be viewed with skepticism', Stratfor argued: 'the opposition understands that it needs external support, specifically financial support, if it is to be a more robust movement than it is now. To that end, it has every reason to present the facts on the ground in a way that makes the case for foreign backing.'
The Los Angeles Times described SOHR as 'a pro-opposition watchdog'. And yet, as Reuters reported, Abdulrahman... claims neutrality:
'"I'm between two fires. But it shows I'm being neutral if both sides complain," he said, insisting he accepts no funding and runs the observatory on a voluntary basis.'
Two years later, the New York Times described a modified funding model:
'Money from two dress shops covers his minimal needs for reporting on the conflict, along with small subsidies from the European Union and one European country, that he declines to identify.'
Thanks to Hitchens, we now know the country in question is Britain --- and the funding in 2012 was £194,769.60.
In 2013, we compared the reflexive respect afforded SOHR with the earlier casual rejection of reports on the death toll in Iraq published in 2004 and 2006 by the Lancet, the world's leading medical journal:
'Figures supplied by SOHR, an organisation openly biased in favour of the Syrian "rebels" and Western intervention, is presented as sober fact by... the world's leading news agencies. No concerns here about methodology, sample sizes, "main street bias" and other alleged concerns thrown at the Lancet studies by critics.'
In 2004, one of the Lancet co-authors, Gilbert Burnham of the prestigious Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, told us:
'Our data have been back and forth between many reviewers at the Lancet and here in the school (chair of Biostatistics Dept), so we have the scientific strength to say what we have said with great certainty. I doubt any Lancet paper has gotten as much close inspection in recent years as this one has!' (Dr. Gilbert Burnham, email to Media Lens, October 30, 2004)
Despite this, the Lancet reports were subjected to ceaseless attacks from the US and UK governments, and dismissal by corporate journalists. David Aaronovitch wrote in The Times:
'And Harold Pinter invents a statistic. "At least 100,000 Iraqis were killed by American bombs and missiles before the Iraqi insurgency began." This is probably some mangling of a controversial estimate of Iraqi civilian fatalities published in The Lancet in 2004 and based, it was claimed, on standard epidemiological methods.' (Aaronovitch, 'The great war of words,' The Times, March 18, 2006)
An op-ed in the Washington Times commented in December 2004:
'Or how about the constantly cited figure of 100,000 Iraqis killed by Americans since the war began, a statistic that is thrown about with total and irresponsible abandon by opponents of the war.' (Helle Dale, 'Biased coverage in Iraq,' Washington Times, December 1, 2004)
As we described at the time, the 'mainstream' hosted all manner of confused and baseless criticisms of this kind.
By contrast, a recent BBC article noted of the Syrian war:
'Over seven years of war, more than 400,000 people have been killed or reported missing, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.'
No-one, it seems, would dream of challenging such a high figure supplied by a clothes shop owner supporting regime change in Syria from Coventry. Nobody challenges the SOHR's methodology, or complains of statistics being thrown about with irresponsible abandon.
Why? Because the 2004 and 2006 Lancet reports seriously undermined the US-UK case for conquering Iraq, whereas a high Syria death toll is used to damn the Assad government and to make the case for Western 'intervention'.
In a 2015 interview with RT, Abdulrahman was asked how he could trust the hundreds of 'activists' supplying information from Syria. Claiming that 'I know all of the activists working for the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights', Abdulrahman said that he had last visited Syria in 2000. He added: 'But I know some of the Observatory activists through common friends.'
Innumerable 'mainstream' reports of atrocities blamed on Syrian government and Russian forces have used SOHR as a key source. One of the highest profile claims concerned an alleged massacre of 108 people, including 49 children, in Houla, Syria on May 27, 2012. The claim dominated the Independent on Sunday's front cover, which read:
'SYRIA: THE WORLD LOOKS THE OTHER WAY. WILL YOU?'
The text beneath read:
'There is, of course, supposed to be a ceasefire, which the brutal Assad regime simply ignores. And the international community? It just averts its gaze. Will you do the same? Or will the sickening fate of these innocent children make you very, very angry?'
As so often, SOHR loomed large in these accusations.
The BBC reported:
'The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 90 people had died in the 24 hours since midday on Friday.'
The Guardian described how SOHR was condemning Western 'silence':
'The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights issued an unusually harsh statement in the wake of the deaths --- accusing Arab nations and the international community of being "partners" in the killing --- "because of their silence about the massacres that the Syrian regime has committed".'
But the picture was not quite so clear cut. Two weeks later, the BBC reported the head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria, Major General Robert Mood, as saying of Houla:
'the circumstances that led to these tragic killings are still unclear'. Mood commented significantly:
'Whatever I learned on the ground in Syria... is that I should not jump to conclusions.'
On June 27, a UN Commission of Inquiry said that in apportioning blame, it 'could not rule out any of these possibilities': a local militia, possibly operating together with, or with the acquiescence of, government security forces; anti-government forces seeking to escalate the conflict; or foreign groups with unknown affiliation. In August of the same year, UN investigators released a further report, which stated that they had 'a reasonable basis to believe that the perpetrators... were aligned to the Government'. (Our emphasis)
SOHR is omnipresent in the great Syrian atrocity claims that have gripped our media for years. On April 14th, Donald Trump bombed Syria, in response to an alleged Syrian government chemical weapons attack on Douma one week earlier. Reuters reported:
'Heavy air strikes on the Syrian rebel-held town of Douma killed 27 people including five children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.'
On April 7, 2017, Trump launched a missile assault on Syria just 72 hours after an alleged chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhoun. Reuters reported:
'The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack killed at least 58 people and was believed to have been carried out by Syrian government jets. It caused many people to choke and some to foam at the mouth.
'Director Rami Abdulrahman told Reuters, the assessment that Syrian government warplanes were to blame, was based on several factors such as the type of aircraft, including Sukhoi 22 jets, that carried out the raid.'
In August 2013, Barack Obama came close to launching a massive attack on Syria in response to an alleged Syrian government chemical weapons attack on Ghouta. The BBC reported:
'The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK- based group that gets its information from a network of activists across Syria, later said it had confirmed at least 502 deaths.'
The Los Angeles Times reported:
'The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, generally regarded as one of the most reliable sources of information on casualty figures in Syria, says ithas confirmed 502 deaths, including 80 children and 137 women.'
Last February, the BBC reported:
'The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said at least 250 people had been killed in [Syrian government and Russian] air strikes and artillery fire, since then.
'It said it was the highest 48-hour death toll since a 2013 chemical attack on the besieged enclave.'
The power of these claims lies in the fact that Western journalists have been unable to report from 'rebel'-held areas in Syria. Veteran Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn, made the point:
'All wars always produce phony atrocity stories – along with real atrocities. But in the Syrian case, fabricated news and one-sided reporting have taken over the news agenda to a degree probably not seen since World War One... The real reason that reporting of the Syrian conflict has been so inadequate is that Western news organisations have almost entirely outsourced their coverage, to the rebel side.'
'Rebel' claims relayed by SOHR and others have been uncontested, because they originated from 'areas controlled by people so dangerous, no foreign journalist dare set foot among them'.
Many atrocity claims relayed by SOHR and others have been sourced from the White Helmets group in Syria.
Former Guardian journalist Jonathan Cook comments:
'In the western corporate media narrative, the White Helmets are a group of dedicated and selfless rescue workers. They are supposedly the humanitarians on whose behalf a western intervention in Syria would have been justified – before, that is, Syrian leader Bashar Assad queered their pitch - by inviting in Russia.
'However, there are problems with the White Helmets. They operate only in rebel – read: mainly al-Qaeda and ISIS-held – areas of Syria, and plenty of evidence shows that they are funded by the UK & US to advance both countries' far-from-humanitarian policy objectives in Syria.'
In 2016, political analyst Max Blumenthal wrote:
'The White Helmets were founded in collaboration with USAID's Office of Transitional Initiatives — the wing that has promoted regime change around the world — and have been provided with $23 million in funding from the department.'
Liberal corporate journalists and politicians have been impressed by the fact that SOHR and White Helmets claims have been supported by ostensibly forensic analysis supplied by the Bellingcat website, which publishes 'citizen journalist' investigations. As we noted in a recent alert, Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which is funded by the US government and is 'a notorious vehicle for US soft power'.
We could link to thousands of corporate media articles citing SOHR as a source. As in the above examples, the vast majority of these claims are directed at the same targets – the Syrian government and its Russian ally. To monitor the BBC website in 2013, for example, was to witness what appeared to be a relentless propaganda campaign promoting (yet one more) Western 'humanitarian intervention'.
This would seem to be an extraordinary scandal, not just for the BBC, not just for British corporate media and democracy, but for media & democracy globally.
And yet, our media database search finds exactly one national UK newspaper article containing the terms 'Peter Hitchens' and 'Syrian Observatory'. That, of course, was the original May 13 piece in the Mail on Sunday in which Hitchens reported the UK government's £194,769.60 funding of SOHR.
His report has been ignored.
US support of violent neo-Nazis in Ukraine: and how NGOs Pretend to be on "the Left" Watch this video before you attend any of the events.
CARDIFF Every day of the week Free Food available for the vulnerable and homeless. See below for details. Pass this on to anyone who might find it helpful: ....................................
FREE FOOD AND SUPPORT AVAILABLE TO THE HOMELESS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR Here's a list of where free food is available for homeless and vulnerable within Cardiff. Please feel free to comment on any incorrect information, add details or point out any omissions. Thank you.
EVERY DAY 8.30 till 7.30pm - The Huggard Centre - Provides free soup (home-made) and bread to anyone who calls in 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. Huggard offers free meals on many days of the week (including weekends) which are cooked by volunteers and served late afternoon. Huggard also provides home cooked meals and hot/cold drinks at greatly subsidised (a typical meal is £1.50) prices and ‘give-aways’ on a (first come first served) regular basis through food stuffs nearing their sell-by-date. If a homeless person has no income we may be able to provide free food vouchers. A visit to our centre and a chat to our kitchen staff will keep you in touch with what’s on offer. The morning breakfast run - provided by The Wallich, 7.30am – Central Station, car park behind Burger King, 8am – Top (where it meets Queens Street) of St. Johns Street, the Hayes, 8.30am – Museum steps. 8pm till 9pm - Paradise Run behind M & S.
MONDAYS 10am till 12noon - Conway Road Methodist church in Canton. 6.30pm till 8pm - Salvation Army, Purple Bus opposite Museum. 5.30pm till 7.30 pm - The Tavs Centre, Tavistock Road, Roath. 11pm till 12 Midnight - Private run by Hamish, who drives around.
TUESDAYS 6.30pm till 8pm - Salvation Army, Purple Bus opposite Museum. 9pm till 10pm - Private run by Coffee4Craig, Museum steps.
WEDNESDAYS 6.30pm till 8pm - Salvation Army, Purple Bus opposite Museum. 11pm - Private run by Margaret Ashford, Cyncoed Methodist Church, who drives around.
THURSDAYS 11am - Calvary Baptist Church, Cowbridge Rd East. 6.30pm till 8.30pm - Salvation Army, Purple Bus opposite Museum. 12 Midnight - Private run by Andy Webb, who drives around.
FRIDAY 11am - Brunch - The Tavs Centre, Tavistock Road, Roath. 12 Noon till 3.30pm - Food not Bombs, Vegan food outside Central Market. 6.30 till 8.30pm - Salvation Army, Purple Bus opposite Museum.
SATURDAY 12 Noon - Rainbow of Hope, Broadway, off Newport Road. 12 Noon - St Peters Youth Hall, Bedford St, off City Road. 3pm - Amerpreet Singh Khalsa, Langer Seva society, the Queen Street end of Newport Road, outside Greggs and Coffee#1. Any leftovers are then taken around those who sleep rough on the streets, but are reluctant to give up their spots. 6.30pm - The City Temple, Cowbridge Rd East.
SUNDAYS 3pm till 4pm - The City Tabernacle on the Hayes. 5.30pm till 7pm - The Tavs Centre, Tavistock Road, Roath. 6.30pm till 8.30pm – Salvation Army, Purple Bus opposite Museum.
SPECIFIC DAYS 11am - 1st, 3rd and 4th Saturday of every month, The Saturday service, ‘Christian worship with a hot meal’, Dewi Sant, St Andrews Crescent.
12 till 2.00pm, meal served at 12:30pm – 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, Quaker House, Charles Street
10.00am till 3.00pm, Mon to Friday - The Real Junk Food Project, Embassy Cafe, Cathays Youth & Community Centre – Pay what you can afford.
Cuadrilla have no social licence to frack here or anywhere in Lancashire. We need to let them know this!
Doyle Vic posts: Cheeky publicly funded profiteers cuadrilla are bypassing environmental laws - make sure the environment agency know that tax payers and citizens will not allow such filthy shabbiness - https://act.foe.co.uk/act/stop-cuadrilla-breaking-rules- fracking?utm_campaign=dbc6b7e756-LM1702026& utm_medium=email&utm_source=Friends+of+the +Earth+Communications&utm_term=0_383af65c 6b-dbc6b7e756-21725873 Stop Cuadrilla from breaking the rules on fracking
Faslane peace camp always welcomes visitors... you can come, any day. We are located at Shandon near Helensburgh the postcode is G84 8HL Jump on the 316 bus to Coulport ...hope to see you soon.
Everywhere It's Our NHS There's a lot of anger about the chaos in the NHS. A great letter in the Peterborough Telegraph comes up with a very practical solution. Shall we have a referendum? SIGN UP bit.ly/2kWyuW8
LONDON forward planning and action to take in... http://www.makewarshistory.co.uk/?p=3688 Keep up to date with CAAT’s campaigns – Sign up to our email bulletin and follow latest developments on Twitter.
Beit Sahour - Palestine! Hosted by To Be There and Singer cafe CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION. SEE YOU IN PALESTINE! www.tobe-there.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance Community An alliance of people spied on by Britain's political secret police.
Follow us on Twitter @copscampaign
**DID YOU WITNESS AN ARREST OR POLICE VIOLENCE AT THE STOP THE ARMS FAIR PROTESTS?** WE NEED YOUR WITNESS STATEMENTS!
The sooner you can send in an account and any photos/video of arrests to Green and Black Cross (GBC), the better. Key information to include for a witness statement is:
- When, where, who - What else was happening on site? E.g. was the road closed bypolice, were other people/actions blocking the road? - Any photos or videos of arrests or immediately before/after
You can find a witness statement template and some advice on drafting statements on the GBC website here: https://greenandblackcross.org/guides/witness/
Please send all materials email@example.com.
Land Ownership in Britain is one of the most unequal in the world. 0.3% of the population owns 69% of the land. More than a third is still owned by the aristocracy whose ancestors seized it during the Norman Conquest. During the enclosures our ancestors were violently thrown off the land and much of our current common land is being privatised. This affects us all, making our lives unaffordable and limiting our choices. As a contribution to the week of action for land rights called by the Land Justice Network we organised a peaceful stroll in the countryside around Stroud, Gloucestershire.
Remember that access to the land in the UK has been won by mass trespass in the past and this peaceful and symbolically powerful tool can work for us again. #RisingUp
Learn more about the issue here: https://youtu.be/WlIxCDK94ds
Our demands for change centre around:
1 – Distributed Ownership and Control 2– Long Term Stewardship, Not Short Term Profit 3 –Increases in Land Value should be Given to Society 4 – Proactive Community-centred Planning 5 – Transparency
For more details: https://www.landjustice.uk/our-common-ground-statement/
1932 and 1992 – Kinder Scout Trespass UK
Workers in cities and towns were not allowed access to walk on land around their homes and areas of natural beauty nearby. The land was privately held and often used as hunting grounds for the wealthy. In 1932 over 400 people from Manchester and Sheffield participated in a mass trespass on Kinder Scout in the Peak District. They notified the local press and as a result were met & had scuffles with game keepers & then the police; five men were subsequently jailed. The movement that was kick started by this action led to the creation of our National Parks after World War II. The 60th anniversary of this event in 1992 was celebrated with another mass trespass. This started a new movement that lead to the 'Right To Roam' Countryside and Rights of Way Act of 2000. This act gave a new right of access to most areas of open country in England and Wales.
Tony Benn - 10 min History Lesson for human beings
HERE ( where you are) NOW! (When you see this / have a moment - only a moment) Please paste the link & easy as pie, send a letter to your MP.
Open University Closed to Cubans – End the OU ban on Cuban students
It is Cubans who continue to help with medical support, in disasters around the world. Trump wants the US blockade continued, yet Cuba is a wonderful country with superb people who deserve to widen their education and feel accepted by the world. And anyway, is the OU no longer British? What would Harold Wilson have said about all this nonsense?
JOIN THE VALLEY's PEACE MOVEMENT NOW!
The news most see is massaged by an elite which feeds off death & destruction (the BBC's Deputy Head, for example, is the ex head of BAE, the UK's near monopoly arms exporting company).
We need a strong committed Peace Movement in Wales, which is not afraid to challenge the Guardian-reading middle-class "leaders" --- who keep backing the elite's wars in the name of a fake "humanitarianism".
Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org and we can hold a meeting to found a valleys led Peace Movement, that walks the walk.
In the meantime, paste this link into your browser if you'd like to see the pictures the BBC and UK's boss media did not want you to see -- it explodes the lies of an "evil Syrian regime" -- by showing Aleppo people after Syria's army liberated them.
Syria: Civil War or NATO War of Aggression for Regime Change?
Speakers: Journalist Vanessa Bealey & Rev. Andrew Ashdown
Since 2011, Syria has been in the grip of a most vicious war which has left hundreds of thousands dead, millions displaced internally, in appalling conditions in refugee camps in neighbouring countries, or perishing on their hazardous journey to seek safety in Europe. The ramifications of this war which has targeted Syria’s infrastructure, its multi-ethnic, multi- faith social fabric, and its territorial integrity, reaches far beyond Syria’s borders and threatens regional and global peace.
Journalist, Vanessa Beeley, and Rev. Andrew Ashdown who have returned from recent peace and fact-finding missions in Syria, will discuss the origins and nature of the war in Syria, the role of the media and humanitarian NGOs in constructing public opinion in favour of a western military intervention, and the current prospects for reconciliation and peace.
Vanessa Beeley is a contributor to 21WIRE. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement, and a volunteer with the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. She represented Yemen at the UNHRC in March 2016 testifying on Saudi Coalition use of cluster bombs on civilian targets. Vanessa lived in Gaza during 2012 Israeli bombardment and after several trips to Gaza, launched the FB page, the Wall Will Fall “to raise awareness but also to convey the idea that through education, awareness and the development of our own consciousness we can bring down all walls that keep us in ignorance and far from the Truth”. In August 2016, she spent a week in Syria with the US Peace Council, and a further 3 weeks travelling independently throughout Syria, including Aleppo.
Rev. Andrew Ashdown led a UK peace delegation for a fact-finding and pastoral visit to Syria in August. This was Rev Ashdown’s fifth visit to Syria since April 2014. The delegation included Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester and cross bench peers, Baroness Cox and Lord Hylton. Rev. Ashdown describes the journey which has been heavily criticized in the mainstream media and by establishment politicians as “a pastoral visit, to visit the people and listen to their voices. We were invited by Church leaders and faith leaders. We met an enormous number of people from right across the religious and sectarian spectrum and different political views. The purpose was to listen to the people and to see the situation for ourselves and to share the message when we return”.
Let's invite them to Wales!
PEACE MOVEMENT LEADERS needed now in WALES
Please read this article and then ask yourself if YOU could be a Peace Movement 'leader' in Wales, mobilising people to demand that the UK government --- stop helping terrorists !!!
US UK and France now air force for terrorists in Syria by Finian Cunningham
For nearly 6 years, Washington & its allies have got away with playing a cynical double game in Syria’s war. But now the mask is slipping...... to reveal the ugly face of Western involvement – it is openly siding with terrorists.
Russia was correct to veto a French-sponsored draft resolution at the UN Security Council this weekend. Along with the US and UK's vigorous support, the French proposal centred on halting military flights over the besieged northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
As Russia’s foreign ministry commented, the French initiative was tantamount to giving air cover for insurgents, dominated by the internationally proscribed terrorist group Jabhat al Nusra.
In short, a no-fly zone protecting terrorists would have been imposed --- in violation of Syria's sovereign rights, and international law.
An alternative draft resolution put forward by Russia was subsequently nixed by the US, UK and France. The Russian proposal was aimed at reviving the ceasefire arrangement declared last month by US Secretary of State John Kerry & Moscow’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. It reiterated the need for anti-government militants to dissociate from the proscribed terrorist groups affiliated with al Qaeda, including al Nusra and Daesh (ISIS).
Russia is calling for a general ceasefire, but it does not specify the condition of halting military flights over Aleppo.
If France and its Western allies were genuine about wanting to stop the violence, then why don’t they get behind the Kerry-Lavrov deal? They have evidently abandoned that ceasefire arrangement because it was exposing Western claims about supporting “moderate rebels” as distinct from “extremists” as a fallacy.
That the Kerry-Lavrov truce was immediately violated by the insurgents and that there was no separation of “moderates” and “extremists” showed once and for all that Western claims of supporting “legitimate rebels” are a farce. Washington, London and Paris are patently backing a terrorist army fighting for their objective of regime change in Syria.
Since Syria and its Russian ally resumed offensive operations to take the key battleground city of Aleppo on September 22, the Western sponsors of the terror proxies have become increasingly shrill, in a media blitz to thwart that offensive.
The US, UK and France have decried “war crimes” allegedly committed by Syrian and Russian air strikes. John Kerry, ahead of the weekend spat at the UN, called for a probe into suspected war crimes attributed to Russia.
The Western media has been saturated with unverified reports from the militant-held east Aleppo, purporting to show Syrian & Russian air strikes on civilian centres --- including hospitals. Much of the information coming out of east Aleppo is sourced from Western- funded “activists” who are embedded with the Nusra terrorists. Tellingly, Western media and governments are, in effect, peddling what is terrorist propaganda.
The Russian and Syrian governments deny the West's claims. They say their military operations are targeting terrorist groups deliberately using the 250,000 civilian population in east Aleppo, as human shields.
It is significant that the more the Syrian army and its allies among Iranian, Lebanese & Iraqi militia, as well as Russian air support, make advances to retake Aleppo, the more hysterical Western governments and media become, about “war crimes”.
If we start from the premise that the conflict in Syria has - from the outset - been a Western-orchestrated covert war for regime change involving sponsoring a terrorist mercenary army --- then the Western hysteria on Aleppo is perfectly understandable.
A defeat for the insurgents in Aleppo means an end to the Western criminal enterprise to install a pro- Western puppet regime in Syria. That would mark an historic blow to the prestige of Washington & its European allies in the Middle East. It would also further expose their criminal complicity.
By contrast, Russian influence in the strategic region would be elevated, & for good reasons too. Moscow will be seen as having stood by a sovereign nation to vanquish Western powers -- who have wreaked havoc in the region with illegal wars and regime-change subterfuges.
Given the high stakes, this is why Western powers are evidently becoming more desperate to impede Syrian and Russian military success against the insurgents. Western emotive denunciations of Syria & Russia have nothing to do with concern for human suffering. It is all about contriving a moralistic political pressure --- to hamper the campaign against the West’s terrorist project.
Seen in this context, France's call at the UN for a no-fly zone around Aleppo is a startling admission by Western powers that they are trying to protect terrorist al Qaeda-affiliated organizations. It is a stunning revelation of the fraudulent & criminal nature of Western governments. Their claim of 'fighting terrorism' which has justified overseas wars over the past 15 years, are self-evidently bogus. Their claim to be supporting a “pro- democracy uprising” in Syria, is grotesque.
This gigantic fraud has, of course, been made possible because Western media corporations have gone along with the vile charade. These media organizations are equally complicit. Giving succor to war crimes, is in itself a war crime, as the international attorney, Christopher Black, points out.
Meanwhile, away from Aleppo and the West's distortion of what is happening there, the alternative media report that the US-led military coalition is destroying bridges over the Euphrates, in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor.
According to the Syrian Free Press & others, US air strikes have demolished seven major river crossings over the past week. The latest strike was on al Syasia bridge north of the city of Deir ez-Zor, the largest bridge in the province.
Targeting civilian infrastructure is a war crime. It will prevent humanitarian aid convoys reaching civilians in government-held Deir ez-Zor. But, more significantly, the French & USUK coalition – which is operating illegally in Syria in the first place – is working to block the Syrian army and Russian offensive against the Daesh terrorist stronghold of Raqqa. The bridges knocked out were providing key links for the Syrian and Russian forces to move from Deir ez-Zor, towards Raqqa.
The US-led air strikes also give full meaning to the deadly US attack on the Syrian army base at Deir ez-Zor on September 17. Over 60 Syrian troops died & nearly 200 more were wounded, when US, UK & Australian warplanes blasted the base in a sustained attack. Washington claimed it was an “accident”.
But to many other observers, the massacre was no accident. It was a deliberate assault by the Western coalition to end the Kerry-Lavrov pact, because the failing ceasefire, was exposing the systemic terror connections of the Western governments in Syria.
Washington & its allies aren't just trying to give air cover to the terrorists in Syria, indirectly, by setting up so-called no-fly zones. They are now, evidently, giving the terrorists air fire-power.
As in the NATO regime-change war in Libya, in 2011, the US, UK and France, are riding shotgun in the air for terrorists on the ground.
And the truly disgusting thing about this criminal collusion, is that the Western powers claim to be concerned about international law, war crimes and human suffering.
A newsletter from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
CND was disgusted by Clive Lewis's speech at Labour Party Conference, as a review looks like being ducked, and we call on all local constituency parties to hold meetings and make their positions known.
Unreliability, spinelessness of the western 'left' by: Andre Vltchek
It is tough to fight any real war. And it takes true guts, discipline & determination to win it. For years and decades, the so-called 'left' in the West has been moderately critical of North American (and sometimes even of European) imperialism and neo- colonialism. But whenever an individual or country rose up and began openly challenging the Empire, most of the Western left-wing intellectuals simply closed their eyes, and refused to offer their full, unconditional support to those putting their lives (and often even the existence of their countries) on the line.
I will never forget all those derogatory punches directed at Hugo Chavez, punches coming from members of the 'anti-Communist left', after he dared to insult George W. Bush at the United Nations in 2006, calling him a "devil" and choking, theatrically, from the sulfur that was still 'hanging in the air' after the US President's appearance at the General Assembly.
I will not be dropping names here, but readers would be surprised if they knew how many of those iconic leaders of the US left described Chavez and his speech as --- 'impolite', 'counter-productive', and even 'insulting'.
Western Imperialism killed tens of millions
Tens of millions of people have died because of Western imperialism, after WWII. Under the horrid leadership of George W Bush, Afghanistan and Iraq have been reduced to ruins... But one has to remain 'polite', 'objective' and cool headed?
Well, that is not how real revolutions have been ignited. This is not how the successful anti- colonialist wars are fought. When the real battle begins, 'politeness' is actually mostly unacceptable, simply because the oppressed masses are endlessly pissed off, and they want their feelings to be registered and expressed by the leaders.
Even the search for 'objectivity' is often out of place, when still fragile revolutions have to face the entire monumental hostile propaganda of the regime - of the Empire.
But the question is: do most of the Western leftists really support revolutions and anti-colonialist struggles of the oppressed world?
I believe they don't. And this is clearly visible from reading most of the so-called alternative media in both North America and Europe.
Whoever stands up, whoever leads his nation into battle against the Western global dictatorship, is almost immediately defined as a demagogue. He or she is most likely christened 'undemocratic', and not just by the mass and 'liberal' media, but also on the pages of the so-called 'alternative' and 'progressive' Western press. Not all, but some, and frankly: most of it!
Chavez actually received very little support from Western 'left-wing' intellectuals. And now when Venezuela is bleeding, the 'Bolivarian Republic' can only count on a handful of revolutionary Latin American nations, as well as on China, Iran and Russia; definitely not on the robust, organized and militant solidarity from Western countries.
Cuba received even less support than Venezuela. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, no attempt was actually made by Western leftists to bail the heroic nation out. It was China, in the end, which ran to its rescue and saved Cuban socialism.
(When I wrote about it, I got hundreds of Western leftists at my throat, and in the end it took Fidel to confirm, in his 'Reflections', what I was saying, to get them off my back). Then, when the Obama administration began making dangerous advances on Havana, almost everyone in the West began screwing those cynical grimaces: 'you see; now everything will collapse! They will buy Cuba!'
They didn't. I travelled to the beloved green island, and it was so clear from the first moment there, that the 'revolution is not for sale'. But you will not read it often in the Western 'progressive' media. * It is of course not just Latin America that is 'disliked' by the progressives in the West. Actually, Latin America is still at least getting some nominal support there.
Western Left despises China and Russia
China and Russia, two powerful nations, which are now standing openly against Western imperialism, are despised by virtually all 'liberals' and by most of the Western 'left'. In those circles, there is total ignorance about the Chinese type of democracy, about its ancient culture, and about it's complex but extremely successful form of Communism (or 'socialism with Chinese characteristics').
Like parrots, the Western leftists repeat 'liberal' propaganda that 'China is being capitalist', or that it is being ruled by 'state capitalism'. The internationalism of Chinese foreign policy is constantly played down, even mocked.
The hostility of the Western 'left' towards China has disgusted many Chinese leaders and intellectuals. I only realized the extent of this revulsion, when I spoke last year at the First World Cultural Forum in Beijing, and mingled with the thinkers at the China Academy of Social Sciences, the right (intellectual) arm of the government and the Party.
China can count on its allies in Russia, Latin America, Africa and elsewhere, but definitely not in the West.
It is pointless to even mention Russia or South Africa.
Russia, 'the victim' during the horrid Yeltsin years was 'embraced' by the Western left. Russia the warrior, Russia the adversary to Western imperialism, is, once again, loathed.
It appears that the 'progressives' in the United States and Europe really prefer 'victims'. They can, somehow, feel pity and even write a few lines about the 'suffering of defenseless women and children' in the countries that the West is plundering and raping. That does not extend to all countries that are being brutalized, but at least to some...
What they don't like at all, are strong men and women that have decided to fight: to defend their rights, to face the Empire.
And now...Syria and DPRK
The Syrian government is hated. The N. Korean government is despised. The President of the Philippines is judged by Western liberal media measures: as a vulgar freak who is killing thousands of 'innocent' drug pushers and consumers (definitely not as a possibly new Sukarno, who is willing to send the entire West to hell).
Whatever the Western 'left' thinks about North Korea and its government (and in fact, I think, it cannot really think very much, as it is fully ignorant about it), the main reason why the DPRK is hated so much by the West regime, is because it, together with Cuba, basically liberated Africa. It fought for the freedom of Angola and Namibia, it flew Egyptian MIGs at Israel, it struggled in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) -- as well as in many other countries, and it sent aid, teachers and doctors to that continent: devastated by the Western colonialist barbarity.
Much good it received in return! At best, indifference, at worse, total spite! * Some say that the Western 'left' doesn't want to take power, anymore. It lost all of its important battles. It became toothless, impotent, and angry about the world and itself.
When in January 2016 I spoke at the Italian Parliament (ending up insulting the West for its global plunder, hypocrisy), I mingled a lot with the 5 Star Movement, which had actually invited me to Rome. I spent time with its radical left wing. There are some great people there, but overall, it soon became clear that this, potentially, biggest political movement in the country, is actually horrified of coming to power! It does not really want to govern.
But then, why call those weak bizarre selfish Western entities - the 'left wing'? Why confuse terms, and by that, why discredit those true revolutionaries, those true fighters, who are risking, sacrificing their lives, right now, all over the world? * Wars are all extremely ugly. I have covered many of them, and I know.. But some of them, those that are fought for the survival of humanity, or for survival of particular countries, are inevitable. One either fights, or the whole Planet ends up colonized and oppressed, in shackles.
If one decides to fight, then there has to be discipline and single-mindedness; total determination. Or the battle is lost from the very beginning!
When the freedom and survival of one's motherland is at stake, things get very serious, 'dead-serious'. Battle is not a discussion club. It is not some chat.
If we, as 'leftists', have already once decided that imperialism and colonialism (or 'neo-colonialism') are the greatest evils destroying our humanity, then we have to show discipline and join ranks, and support those who are at the frontline.
Otherwise we will become an irrelevant laughingstock, and history will and should, judge us harshly! * Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: "Exposing Lies Of The Empire" and "Fighting Against Western Imperialism". Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. Point of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania - a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: "Indonesia - The Archipelago of Fear". Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.
Dear friends, HP is the technology behind Israel's regime of occupation and segregation. With our week of action we showed them that no matter where they operate across the world, we will be there to say that profiting from apartheid and human rights abuses is not acceptable.
Why are people all over the world taking action against HP?
HP (Hewlett Packard) plays a key role in the occupation and violation of Palestinian rights. HP profits from oppression, by providing the Israeli naval forces the technology to enforce the siege of Gaza. HP also enables Israel's mass detention and imprisonment of Palestinians, through biometric ID systems that segregate Palestinians from Jewish Israelis, and much more.
Israel harvesting slain Palestinians' organs: Palestine’s UN envoy
The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations says the Tel Aviv regime is harvesting the organs of Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied territories.
Riyad Mansour says in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, that the bodies of those Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, are being “returned with missing corneas and other organs --- further confirming past reports about organ harvesting by the occupying power.”
“A medical examination conducted on bodies of Palestinians returned after they were killed by the occupying power, found that they were missing organs,” Mansour wrote in the letter.
The Palestinian envoy further protests Israel’s “persistent aggression against the Palestinian people” over the past month and the regime’s “insistence on the use of violent force and oppressive measures.”
The issue of organ theft by Israel was first exposed in a report published by Sweden’s most popular daily, Aftonbladet, in 2009.
The New York Times also said, in an August 2014 report that transplant brokers in Israel have pocketed enormous sums of money.
Based on the Times analysis of major organ trafficking cases since 2000, Israelis have played a ‘disproportionate role’ in organ trafficking.
The Palestinians Mansour was referring to were killed in the occupied territories, where tensions have dramatically risen in recent weeks.
The Israeli regime’s imposition of new restrictions in August on the entry of Palestinian worshipers to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) has become a lightning rod for the surge in confrontations.
According to the latest figures by the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 74 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since the beginning of October. At least 11 Israelis have also been killed during that period.
The bodies of Palestinian victims, are most often held in Israeli custody for long periods of time, before they're returned to relatives.
William Spring, a human rights activist from London, says that this revelation will “deal a terrible blow” to Israel, and particularly among its US supporters.
Referring to the supporters of Israel in the US, as “Christian-Zionists,” the commentator says that, despite all their enthusiasm for the Israeli regime, they are against such measures as: experiments on fetuses, abortion, or harvesting organs.
“I can see a great defection and a great falling away of Christian-Zionists, who've supported Israel - up until now,” he says.
Corporations Are Running The World by Aisha Dodwell
Of the 100 wealthiest economic entities in the world, 69 are now corporations and only 31 are countries. This is up from 63 to 37 a year ago. At this rate, within a generation we will be living in a world entirely dominated by giant corporations.
As multinationals increasingly dominate areas traditionally considered the primary domain of the state --- we should be afraid. While they privatise everything from education & health to border controls and prisons, they stash their profits away in secret offshore accounts.
And while they have unrivalled access to decision makers they avoid democratic processes by setting up secret courts enabling them to bypass all judicial systems applicable to people.
Meanwhile their raison d’etre of perpetual growth in a finite world is causing environmental destruction and driving climate change.
From Sports Direct’s slave-like working conditions to BP’s oil spill devastating people’s homes, stories of corporations violating rights are all too often seen in our daily papers.
Yet the power of corporations is so great within our society, that they have undermined the idea that there is any other way to run things. We're all too familiar with hearing about the threat of “losing corporate investment” or companies “taking their business somewhere else” as if the government’s number one task is to attract corporate investment.
It is this corporate agenda that permeates the governing institutions of the global economy -- like the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund - whose policies and operations have given more importance to the “rights” of big business than the rights and needs of people and the environment.
The problem of unrestrained corporate power is massive, and it requires a massive solution. That is why Global Justice Now has launched a petition to the UK government --- demanding that it backs the new UN initiative for a legally binding global treaty on transnational corporations and human rights.
This UN treaty is the result of campaigning by countries from across the Global South --- for international laws to regulate the activities of transnational corporations. In June 2014 they successfully got a resolution passed in the UN Human Rights Council, establishing the need for such a treaty.
A working group of member states has been set up to take the treaty forward, chaired by Ecuador, they have met once already in 2015, and have the next meeting scheduled for October 2016, to discuss the scope and content of the treaty.
Meanwhile, civil society groups from across the world have come together and formed the Treaty Alliance movement --- which aims to make sure the treaty comes into being with truly meaningful content.
Although it may sound like a boring technical process, this treaty is something we should be excited about because it provides a huge opportunity in the fight to restrain corporate power. It has massive potential to withdraw the privileges that corporations have gained over recent decades --- and force them to comply with international human rights law, international labour law, and environmental standards.
It would oblige governments to take the power of corporations seriously, and hold them to account for the power they wield.
This would standardise how different governments relate to multinationals --- which means that rather than allowing them to play countries off against one another in a race to the bottom, it would force minimum standards.
But the UK government, well known for its cosy relationship with corporations, has so far refused to take part in this UN treaty. And the UK are not alone: most other EU countries are also opposed to the treaty.
We need to make sure our government does not pass up this rare opportunity: to provide genuine protection for the victims of human rights abuses committed by multinational corporations & place binding obligations on all governments, to hold their corporations to account for their impact(s) on people and the planet.
That’s why groups across the continent are joining forces to make sure their leaders participate in the Geneva talks this October.
The petition urges governments across Europe to participate in the Geneva talks --- and will be delivered to national & EU leaders on October 12.
Of course, the battle against corporate power has many fronts and the UN treaty is only one part of it. At the same time, we need to continue to develop alternative ways to produce and distribute the goods and services we need.
We need to undermine the notion that only massive corporations can make the economy and society “work.”
Food sovereignty and energy democracy are just two examples of how it is possible to build an economy without corporations.
But as long as corporations do play a role in our economy, we need to find ways to control their activity and prevent abuses.
This is why we need to fight for this UN treaty.
The alternative is that we continue to rush towards the dystopian vision of unchallenged corporate power. We cannot allow this to happen. We must fight back.
Aisha Dodwell is campaigns and policy officer at Global Justice Now.
New email leaks show Jack Straw was very grateful for Brexit -- for the most vile reason.
The Canary - New email leaks reveal that Straw, the Foreign Secretary in Blair’s government, was very grateful for Brexit. Not because it gave the UK public a say in the direction of their country, but because it created a distraction from the publication of the Chilcot Report !
Brexit’s “silver lining”, according to Blair’s co-architect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, was that it buried the Chilcot Report, alongside the millions who died as a result of the war.
Straw tells Powell: ‘We’ve got to spin this right’
According to the leaks, on 4th July (2 days before publication of the Chilcot Report), Straw emailed former US Secretary of State Powell, his accomplice in the Iraq invasion.
He wanted to discuss an ''appropriate response'' to the upcoming release of the inquiry.
Straw had drafted a statement which he thought Powell “should see”, as it referenced him. After welcoming Powell’s feedback on the statement, Straw turned his attention to the current political climate in the UK, and the effect it might have on the reception of the Chilcot Report:
"Meanwhile, as you will have seen, British politics is in the most extraordinary phase I’ve ever known. The only silver lining of the Brexit vote is that it will reduce medium term attention on Chilcot – though it will not stop the day of publication being uncomfortable."
For Straw, who had campaigned for the ‘Remain’ camp in the EU referendum, there was a bright side to Brexit. He believed that it would take the heat off the report into his government’s actions in Iraq.
Was Straw right? Did the report on Blair’s invasion fall flat?
6 July, the day the Chilcot Report was published, there was wall-to-wall coverage. The Guardian alone published over 40 articles that day. But by 8th July, that number had shrunk to 11. And within one week, the coverage had whittled down to almost nothing.
The BBC also published dozens of news articles on the report the day it was released. But its top-listed “Editor’s choice” section on the Chilcot Report, points its readers to very little coverage after that date.
Of course, there was an avalanche of other news to cover: the Brexit fallout; the Labour coup; the Conservative Party’s own leadership battle after David Cameron resigned. But it does appear that -- after an initial flurry of reporting on the Chilcot findings, interest in it quickly dispersed.
Phew, we made it!
Straw and Powell communicated again about a month later, musing on their countries’ reaction to the report. On 3rd August, Powell emailed the previous Foreign Secretary to tell him the Chilcot Report “didn’t amount to anything over here”. He explained that, in the US, Blair “was mentioned a lot for a short period of time”, but all was quiet on the western front now.
"Yes, the Chilcot story has faded altogether here too. It was unpleasant on the day but almost all the focus was on Tony [Blair]. But even for him it seems to have gone."
"There is some stuff about some relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq trying to get a legal action against Tony on its feet buy [sic] it’s hard to see how that could work."
Families of British soldiers killed in Iraq have launched an appeal to fund a prosecution of Tony Blair & other state officials “who might have acted unlawfully, or in excess of their powers”. If they succeed, which Straw obviously doubts, Blair’s defence will be paid for by the taxpayer, despite the former PM being a millionaire.
Scorched on our souls
Straw’s relief that the “unpleasant” attention surrounding the Iraq War report had “faded” reveals an unsettling attitude towards one of the UK’s most disastrous decisions.
The invasion of Iraq was an absolute catastrophe. Countless lives were lost, an entire region was thrown into chaos, terrorism blossomed, and the UK's reputation around the world, was ruined.
But seemingly, all Straw can focus on is saving his own skin.
UK citizens, and all those around the world affected by the decisions made here in the UK, deserve better architects than this.
The fact that we are all now acutely aware of that -- is the only true ‘silver lining’ of this disgusting episode in UK history.
Get Involved, please:
– Donate to the crowdfunding appeal seeking to hold those responsible for the war to account.
(they've now raised about £170,000)
– Take action with the Stop the War Coalition against the militarisation of our world.
Plaid Cymru's Adam Price has started a petition aimed at securing a House of Commons debate on the motion that Tony Blair acted in contempt of Parliament when taking Britain to war in Iraq.
The petition reads:
“The Chilcot Report has presented a range of evidence that demonstrates that Parliament and the country were misled by Tony Blair in the run up to the war in Iraq.
"Parliament should now agree a process by which it can hold the former Prime Minister to account.”
To get this Parliamentary debate considered, needs 100,000 signatures by Jan. 20th, 2017.
To sign the petition, please go here:
Here's John McDonnell, in a speech congratulating DPAC and explaining how solidarity can defeat these cuts.
What's disability got to do with peace? Try being disabled, or a woman, or elderly, or of a different race, or gay, or vulnerable, in a land where "dog eats dog" !!!
Protestors block Westminster Bridge over government disability cuts
A group from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) blocked Westminster bridge for several hours last Wednesday, in protest against government cuts to disability benefits.
Protesters held large banners reading “No more deaths from benefit cuts.” The protest was met with a heavy police presence, which eventually broke it up and at least 2 people were arrested.
DPAC said over 150 people, many in wheelchairs, attended the protest -- to call for better financial support. The protest also drew attention to the treatment of disabled athletes at the Paralympics’ games in Rio.
On its website, DPAC claimed, in 2015, that the UK became the first country in the world to be investigated by the United Nations for grave, systematic violations of disabled people’s rights.
"This is a direct result of the disproportionate impact of austerity on disabled people, and the ideological attacks, waged by the Tory government, which have seen disabled people and the poorest members of society hit by cut after cut after cut.”
Another DPAC official said the protest was part of a week of action to highlight changes to the Personal Independence Payments (PIP) to help people aged 16 to 64 cope with extra costs, as well as the significant cuts of up to £30 a week for some, who claim the Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
"It's the opening of the Paralympics tonight & we're celebrating all the athletes, but the cuts that they're bringing through, mean that other peoples' lives, are going dramatically backwards," Ellen Clifford said, at the event.
There are almost half a million sick and disabled people receiving the ESA benefit; these people are likely to be unemployed for longer than other jobseekers - who are not struggling with disabilities or health difficulties.
Last year, the United Nations held an inquiry into whether the UK government welfare cuts led to rights abuses and the death of over 2,000 disabled Britons.
This came after the Department of Work and Pensions, revealed that 2,380 people have died within six weeks of being declared "fit to work" by the government between 2011 and 2014.
For more information see:
For access needs please contact
or07505144371 (text only)
All donations however small to help are extremely valuable. To donate you can go via the paypal button on the DPAC website...
or to make a direct transfer contact:
Twenty-Four Hours in Yemen: UN, US, UK Devastation, Complicity, Double Standards 10.09.2016 "Let me ask you one question. Is your money that good? Will it buy you forgiveness? Do you think that it could?" (Bob Dylan, b 1941, Masters of War.)
On Tuesday the 6th of September, twenty-four hour monitoring by the country's Legal Centre for Rights and Development (LCRD), recorded the bombings by the Saudi led "coalition", armed by the US and UK, and ''advised'' by their military specialists.
Thus, the collusion and co-operation of both countries -- renders them both equally culpable for the carnage. by Felicity Arbuthnot
Yemen has a population of just 24.41 million (2013 figure) and according to the Rural Poverty Portal: "is one of the driest, poorest and least developed countries in the world. It ranks 140 out of 182 countries on the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Index (2009).
An estimated 42 percent of the people are poor, and one Yemeni in five is malnourished. Poverty is endemic, particularly in more remote and less accessible areas."
In the one day and night period covered here, the capital Sana'a and Sa'dah, Marib, AlJawf, Hajjah, and Hodeidah, were attacked. Victims and damage:
Sana'a: Fourteen attacks, four air raids targeted the communications network in Nqil Yeslih in Sanhan Directorate.
Six air strikes targeting al Madfoon district in Nehm Directorate.
Four strikes targeting Daboa'h in Nehm Directorate.
Sa'dah province: Sixty nine attacks:
Forty five air raids targeted areas of Mandabah, al-Magda and Asharaf and Gulal Shaibani in Baqem district.
Airstrike targeted a government complex building led to the destruction of the building in Al-Daher Directorate.
Another airstrike targeted a private sector stone crusher in A-Daher Directorate.
Two air raids targeted Malaheeth District in Al-Daher Directorate.
Two air raids targeted the Alhesamah District in Shada'a Directorate . Five air raids targeted Al-Boqa' District in Kitaf Directorate.
Seven strikes on houses and farms destroyed three houses and four farms in Ibad area, Baqim Directorate.
A strike targeted a house in the area of Souda, Baqim Directorate.
Saudi rockets and artillery shelling targeted scattered areas in Razih District.
Five air strikes targeting Maran area in Haydan district.
Hodeidah Province: One air raid led to a death in the area Alhemah District, al Khokhah Directorate.
Al-Jawf province: Eight strikes with a woman injured, the targeting of a house resulted in the destruction and damage to 15 nearby houses in Al Ghayl District.
Twelve mercenaries loyal to Saudi Coalition were killed and nine injured by Saudi air raid targeting a house in Al Ghayl District.
Three air strikes destroyed a house and damaged eighteen adjacent houses also in Al Ghayl District.
Three air strikes further targeted three farms in Al Ghayl District.
Marib province: Two air raids targeting Sirwah District and an air strike on Hylan Mountain in Sirwah District.
This heartbreak, fear & destruction has rained down, in commensurate devastation, nearly every 24 hours since March 2015.
Saudi Arabia is the lead culprit, but in the "coalition" are also Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.
Kuwait's theft of Iraqi oil
Ironic to remember Kuwait's "victim" status in 1990, when Iraq was threatened with being "reduced to a pre-industrial age" - for taking revenge for Kuwait's slant drilling theft oil from Iraq's Rumaila oil fields.
Now Kuwait, population just 3.369 million (2013) is now in the gang of murderous bullies decimating a poverty stricken country - no doubt as a thank you to Saudi Arabia for extending hospitality to their ruling family when they fled ahead of the Iraq troops --- leaving their subjects to face the onslaught which their theft had generated.
Those who unleashed near Armageddon on Iraq over an oil dispute, are either silent on, or participating in, Yemen's nightmare - and, as ever, money is talking -- and the US and Britain are selling the arms and the 'planes, in billions of $s.
The further irony, is that, in September 2015, Faisal bin Hassan Trad, Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, was elected Chair of a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) panel.At the time UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said: "It is scandalous that the UN chose a country that has beheaded more people this year than ISIS, to be head of a key human rights panel. Petro-dollars and politics have trumped human rights."
In June this year Amnesty International called for Saudi Arabia to be stripped of its place on the UNHRC, with Richard Bennett, heading Amnesty's UN Office saying:
"The credibility of the UN Human Rights Council is at stake. Since joining the Council, Saudi Arabia's dire human rights record at home has continued to deteriorate - & the coalition it leads has unlawfully killed and injured, thousands of civilians in the conflict in Yemen. To allow it to remain an active member of the Council, where it has used this position to shield itself from accountability for possible war crimes, smacks of deep hypocrisy. It will bring the world's top human rights body into disrepute."
Strong evidence of war crimes
He continued: "The strong evidence of the commission of war crimes by a Saudi Arabian-led coalition in Yemen should have been investigated by the Human Rights Council. Instead, Saudi Arabia cynically used its membership of the Council, to derail a resolution to establish an international investigation. As a member of the Human Rights Council, Saudi Arabia is required to uphold the highest standards of human rights. In reality, it has led a military coalition's unlawful and deadly airstrikes on markets, hospitals and schools in Yemen. The coalition has also repeatedly used internationally banned weapons in civilian areas."
The double standards of the "international community" and its UN "umbrella" is ever breathtaking.
Equally breathtaking is that in July, the UK refused to rule out electing Saudi to its place in the UNHRC for a 2nd time -- in spite of Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, having stated that the "carnage" caused by some Saudi coalition airstrikes appear to be war crimes.
But then, according to The Independent, the official figures in January this year showed sales of British bombs and missiles to Saudi Arabia: "increased 100 times in the three-month period since the start of the attacks on Yemen. The sales jumped from £9 million in the previous three months to £1 billion."
Arms sales above flesh and blood, terror, heartbreak and humanity, every time.
The writer is indebted to the LCRD for the documentation of the attacks and for the careful translation by Ameen Alharazi.
The UK government has become the world’s second biggest arms dealer, with the bulk of its weapons fueling deadly conflicts in the Middle East, according to official data.
According to the latest data, by the UK Trade and Investment body, a government unit that promotes UK exports overseas, in the last ten years the UK’s average arms sales exceeded that of Russia, China, or France - and is second only to the United States.
According to a joint analysis by The Independent and Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), from 2010 to 2015, the UK government has sold £10 billion in arms licenses, to at least 39 of the 51 countries ranked “not free” on the (US-based) Freedom House’s "Freedom in the world" report.
London has gone a step further and conducted £7.9 billion worth of arms deals, with 22 of the 30 states that are blacklisted by the UK government’s own human rights watch list.
Interestingly, two-thirds of all exports over the five years were sold to the Middle East, where many countries are now ravaged by wars, resulting from Western intervention.
“The UK is one of the world’s most successful defense (sic) exporters, averaging second place in the global rankings on a rolling ten-year basis, making it Europe’s leading defense exporter in the period,” the UK government organization boasts, in its report.
The Foreign Office keeps a “human rights priority countries” list --- which includes countries that it deems as having “the worst, or greatest number of, human rights violations.”
Saudi Arabia, Israel and Bahrain are some of the customers on the controversial government list.
According to the Independent, the Saudis have gained British bombs, missiles, and fighter jets -- which it has been using in its military aggression against Yemen -- which has killed about 10,000 people, since it began, in March 2015.
Last year alone, London approved the sale of over £3 billion worth of weapons, to the Riyadh regime.
The UK has provided the Israeli regime with drone components and targeting equipment.
Bahrain, another repressive Arab monarchy, has also received machine guns from the UK, along with special police training, that it has actively been using to curb a years-long popular up- rising against the ruling Al Khalifa family.
“These terrible figures expose the hypocrisy at the heart of UK foreign policy,” says Andrew Smith, of CAAT.
“These regimes aren't just buying weapons, they are also buying political support and legitimacy.
How likely is the UK to act against human rights violations in these countries --- when it is also profiting from them?” he asks.
Corbyn's campaign is for a peaceful world -- which is why warmongers and profiteers are determined to turn us all against him... . Join CAAT and help with direct action too.
SUPPORT THE WORLD PEACE COUNCIL (& request the dissolution of NATO.)
The secretariat of the World Peace Council, chaired by Brazilian activist Socorro Gomes, met in Brussels, to assess the latest events in the world, recent challenges in the struggle for peace, and to assess the NATO summit.
The meeting also addressed the question of US bases around the world, and especially their recent installation on Colombian territory.
Socorro Gomes states, "we must examine the latest events in the world, the new targets of US policy in Afghanistan, Pakistan and recently, in Yemen."
"Peace today is threatened more than at the end of the Cold War, because imperialism is following its plans with a new concept of NATO, which contends that the military pact is essential to the defense of Europe. It has militarized the European continent and now seeks to achieve greater unity between the US and EU," says Socorro.
According to the Brazilian activist, NATO is an instrument of US imperialism, as the US holds the key command & several important positions in the hierarchy of the military pact.
NATO was created in 1949 as a military instrument to respond to the threat of the Soviet Union.
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its allies in Europe, NATO no longer has an excuse to stay in existence. "NATO is a weapon of war used to harm people and nations. Its policy is to remain as an armed wing in favor of looting the natural wealth of the countries attacked, to ensure American hegemony," says Socorro.
"The organization's summit.. further discusses its role as "world policeman," adds Socorro. "The World Peace Council, besides discussing broad issues for world peace, proposes the dismantling of the North Atlantic military pact, something that is essential for peace".
Read below the "Appeal against NATO and the realization of their summit in Portugal," made by the World Peace Council (WPC) and its counterpart organization in Portugal:
The World Peace Council (WPC) & the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC), welcome peace-loving people around the world and the peace movements that fight & continue to denounce imperialist wars, illegal occupations and social injustice, and urge them to continue, & to strengthen their efforts & common struggles against imperialism and its apparatus, especially NATO, the greatest war machine in the world.
The WPC denounces before the people of the world the crimes committed by NATO, and continues to commit against humanity under the guise of protecting "human rights" & fighting "terrorism," according to their own interpretation.
Since its founding in 1949, NATO has been an offensive organization. After 1991, with its new military doctrine, it became the "sheriff" of imperialist interests in the world.
It was often linked to bloody & dictatorial regimes, reactionary forces and military juntas. It actively participated in the dismemberment of Yugoslavia in the barbaric bombing of Serbia for 78 days, in the overthrow of governments by "orange revolutions" and in the Afghan occupation.
NATO is continuing its plans for a "Greater Middle East," broadening its scope of action through the "Partnership for Peace" and "special co-operation" in Asia and Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa & the "European Army."
All governments of the member countries share responsibilities in NATO, regardless of the leading role of the US administration.
Any different approaches on some issues hardly reflect points of view and rivalries of their own, but they always lead to a joint aggressive confrontation set against the people.
We condemn the policy of the European Union, which coincides with NATO and the Lisbon Treaty, which goes hand in hand in political & military aspects. The military spending of EU missions abroad between 2002 and 2009, increased from 30 million to 300 million euros.
The people and the peace loving forces around the world will not accept NATO and its role of "sheriff" of the world.
They reject any attempt to incorporate NATO into the UN system. They demand the dissolution of this offensive war machine. Even the false pretext of the Warsaw Treaty no longer exists today.
The World Peace Council & its members & friends will host dozens of countries in various national and international initiatives against NATO and its new strategic concept.
We will organize, jointly with the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC), initiatives and conferences in Portugal, and mass action before and during the days of the NATO summit.
Under the motto:
DISSOLVE NATO, Enemy of the People. Peace!!!
WPC calls on all organizations in member countries of NATO and around the world, to support this, stressing the following aspects: NATO has been an aggressive and reactionary force since its founding in 1949. The Warsaw Treaty was created and then dissolved, earlier.
NATO has its hands stained with the blood of many people from over 60 years & can't constitute "a force for peace" in the UN framework.
Despite US dominance, aggression is carried out in conjunction with other imperialist powers, which does not change the character of NATO.
NATO is directly linked to the EU & vice versa, since a large number of EU countries are also NATO members, as well as through the militaristic tendencies and obligations contained in the "Lisbon Treaty."
All governments of NATO member states are responsible for their actions; they support NATO's imperialistic plans.
The NATO war against Yugoslavia in 1999, was a milestone for a new dogma during the summit in Washington in 1999. It then became clear that the EU isn't a "democratic counterweight" to the US.
NATO acts as a global policeman with employees on all continents, executing its plan for a "Greater Middle East" and it actively intervened in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and elsewhere.
We fully support & endorse the campaign in Portugal "Peace yes, NATO no" which brings together dozens of social movements and organizations.
We call upon all peace-loving organizations to join with their voices and forces.
You can find the World Peace Council at:
NATO READY TO CRUSH EUROPEAN DISSENT
(Is THIS why our so-called "Peace Movement" in the UK refuses to oppose NATO's aggression?)
On May 16th, the leader of the political party Zmiana (“Change”), Mateusz Piskorski, in Poland, issued a prescient warning on his blog that NATO’s newly deployed Very High Readiness Joint Task Force is going to “pacify” protests and opposition groups according to the North Atlantic Treaty’s Article 4 on the pretext of fighting a “Russian hybrid war.”
Piskorski warned that NATO’s repressive plans, admitted by the Multinational Corps Northeast’s General Krol himself, would ultimately render any forms of protest in the country, whether on the streets or on the internet, subject to suppression, by order of US-NATO advisors.
Two days later, on May 18th, armed agents of the Internal Security Agency raided Zmiana’s office and its activists’ homes, & arrested & imprisoned Piskorski as a media campaign hurled the ridiculous charge that he was a “Russian, Chinese, and/or Iraqi spy.”
In a telling and foreboding instance, officers even confiscated ordinary Polish flags from Zmiana activists, a move which in Poland's history, has usually accompanied a war on Polish soil.
With no official charges brought against him, Poland’s main anti-NATO figure who in 2015 declared that “a Poland without NATO is a Poland without wars”, to this day, remains in isolation in prison, from where he has stressed in 2 urgent letters, that Poland is being converted into a launch pad and target for WWIII.
French people gather signatures - Petition to get France out of NATO
At Warsaw they got set for war. Let's get out of NATO!
"The last NATO summit in Warsaw, was just one more provocation against Russia.
With this appeal, the signatories mean to say "STOP" to this nuclear escalation ---- before something un-do-able gets done."
The hour is grave. A new missile crisis is brewing against Russia, a mirror image of the 1962 missile crisis when the Soviet Union deployed missiles in Cuba, at the very portals of the United States. The situation has gone upside down: then, NATO was struggling against the Warsaw Pact; this time, it met in Warsaw!
Therefore, we the undersigned, find that we are faced with a provocative policy of encirclement:
1. continuous expansion of NATO to Russia's borders, despite the guarantees given by the West to Gorbachev, in 1989, that this would not happen;
2. deployment of the Aegis missile defense shield in Romania, Poland, Turkey, and Spain. Featuring MK41 launch systems, these weapons can be used for defense missions (anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, anti-ship), but also for attack missions against ground targets;
3. deployment in the Baltic countries, Poland, and Romania, by rotation, of four regiments of a thousand men each, with permanent military equipment;
4. constitution of a "northern" front against Russia, bringing together NATO members (Denmark, Iceland and Norway) --- or its Partnership for Peace (Sweden & Finland).
To end this menace we demand:
That it announce its decision to leave the organization, which no longer has any raison d’être.
We call on France to create the conditions for a return to a peaceful order in the world based on "win-win" cooperation proposed by the BRICS, which Europe and the US have an interest in joining.
Let us mobilize today, all those means that we committed in the twentieth century, for war, to peace through mutual development!
Talking To the Common People (in the end... kick out the NGOs)
Still believe we are the Free good, loving, honest West?
Watch Australia and Canada's leaders joining the war on Iraq.
Did one copy the other, or were they sent the same CIA speech?
Either way, it's a scream!
THIS IS YOUR WARNING !!!
If you want to avoid all life disintegrating and your children and grandchildren slowly... sliding... into a World War
take action now - join a Peace movement.
Replace the ego-centric individuals now pretending they are good people because they pose at truly opposing the militarists and venal political class.
Then act- now, today - or this week!
Join a peace movement near you - and if you're looking to find a saintly person there, with hardly any faults...
it'll have to be you!
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY NO LONGER EXISTS
And an orchestrated war with Russia has all of us marked for extinction
by Paul Craig Roberts
The Democratic Party that once was concerned with workers’ rights, the elderly, civil rights, and the constitutional protections of America liberty no longer exists. As the completed Democrat's presidential primaries & Democrat presidential convention have clearly demonstrated, the US now has two Republican parties in service to the One Percent.
The organized Democrats - the Democrat National Committee - show themselves as even more venal and corrupt than the Republicans. Leaked emails document that the Democrat National Committee conspired with the Hillary campaign to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders. It is clear that Sanders was THE choice of Democrat Party voters for president, but the nomination was stolen from him by vote fraud and dirty tricks.
The DNC and the media whores have tried to discredit the incriminating emails by alleging that the leaked emails resulted from a plot by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on behalf of “Putin’s American agent,” Donald Trump. “A vote for Trump is a vote for Putin,” as the presstitute scum put it.
This diversionary tactic has not worked. Not even Americans are stupid enough to fall for it.
Consequently, the corrupt “leader” of the DNC had to resign, and was unable to deliver her speech at the nominating convention, for fear of being booed off the stage.
Sanders’ supporters have abandoned Hillary & the fake “Democrat Party.”
Organized Republicans - the Republican National Committee–and zionist neoconservatives wanted to block Donald Trump from the nomination, just as the DNC blocked Sanders, but could not. The neoconservatives are organizing for Hillary as she is their warmonger & Trump says he is not, but as the Presidential contest is really a contest between the two Republican parties about which gets to be the whore for the 1 Percent, the RNC, impressed with Hillary’s lack of voter support, seems to be sticking with Trump. Better to be a well-paid whore, than to be out in the cold.
Donald Trump is the American people’s choice, because he opposes the offshoring of American jobs–a corporate practice that has enriched the 1% at the expense of the American middle class.
Donald Trump is the American people’s choice, because he opposes the fabricated, gratuitous conflict with Russia. Even Americans understand that taking war to a major nuclear power will not end well.
Donald Trump is the American people’s choice because he realizes that NATO–an organization whose purpose disappeared 25 years ago when the Soviet Union collapsed as a result of a coup against Gorbachev, by extreme elements of the Soviet Communist Party–now serves as a vehicle and cover for Washington’s aggressions, which are war crimes under the international statutes which Washington created. Washington’s wars benefit some of the One Percent at the expense of both the 99 Percent and millions of innocent people, in many countries.
What will happen now is the presstitutes will demonize Donald Trump ---- even more than they have demonized Vladimir Putin. These Scum presstitutes will do everything they can do, to make supporting Trump into an act of treason against America.
Now the presstitutes have learned they can tell the most blatant lies–Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Iranian nukes, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Russian invasions–without being held accountable, they know that they can lie about Trump.
And they will. To the hilt.
But the presstitutes have lost credibility. A person has to be an imbecile to believe a word that they say.
“Progressives” will wander off the track. They will be turned off by Trump’s stand on immigration, which is where the American people stand. “Progressives” will be worried about whether the ‘fascist” Trump will persecute transgender & homosexual people or revoke the right of women to abort the unborn. To “progressives” this will seem all important, as Washington and its NATO vassals hurl the world into nuclear war.
Neither can any intelligence be expected from the defunct American left-wing. The American left-wing supports the official story of 9/11, the excuse for the last 15 years of illegal wars and the American Police State. To find the American left-wing totally allied with the official explanation of what is in reality a false flag event, committed so neoconservatives would have their new Pearl Harbor -- in order to invade the Middle East, is demonstrable proof that the American left-wing is irrelevant.
The American left interprets 9/11 and subsequent false flag events as oppressed people hitting back at their oppressors. The emotional satisfaction of this takes the impotent American left-wing out not only of action but out of relevance in commentary. The American left-wing has become an asset of the enemy–the neoconservatives who control policy in Washington.
So, where do we stand? The answer is that we are closer to nuclear annihilation than ever before. I know of what I speak. I held the highest security clearances. I was a member of a secret committee that enabled President Reagan to end the Cold War.
The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is doing everything he can possibly do to avoid a nuclear war that the crazed American neoconservatives are bringing to humanity. For his efforts on behalf of planet Earth he is demonized 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year after year. For simply stating facts, I'm described by the presstitutes as “an apologist for Putin.”
The endless lies about Russia have convinced the Russian media, that Washington is mobilizing its NATO vassals for an attack on Russia.
If you aren’t scared, you are stupid beyond belief. The message is clear: the West has declared war on Russia, but is trying to keep Russia off guard by denying it.
Russian news shows the dismissive way the Russian media was treated at a recent NATO conference in Poland. Non-entity delegates of the non-entity countries of Latvia, which the West ruthlessly looted, plus Estonia, Poland, Lithuania, & Ukraine delegates, refused to speak to the Russian media or used interviews to echo the US’s false accusations against Russia.
These imbeciles insulting Russia are represent- atives of countries that Russia could destroy in a few minutes. If these idiots think Washington can save them, they're as stupid as the Polish colonels who thought the British guarantee in March 1939 meant anything --- and could save Poland from the rash action of sticking Poland’s fingers in Hitler’s eye. This Polish stupidity provoked by the stupid British set off World War II with the British and French declaration of war against Germany, thus consigning Poland to Soviet rule for a half century. Some guarantee! The imbecile Chamberlain -- who wanted peace -- started WWII, with Britain’s worthless “guarantee.”
Does it make you feel safe that the arrogant warmongering imbeciles in Washington have convinced a nuclear power the equal of the United States that America is going to attack?
Moreover, Russia is a nuclear power allied with another nuclear power, China, which has had enough of the US’s imbecilic provocations.
Are you willing for “your” government to lead your future into nuclear war, with two nuclear powers?
Here we Americans went into the presidential election and the overpowering fact of our time– that Washington is threatening humanity with nuclear war–wasn't a subject for discussion!
What is the matter with us Americans? Are we stupid beyond all belief? We sit, thinking that issues of no importance are the most important issues of our time while “our” insane government provokes nuclear war. Have any people in history failed their obligation to this extent? If so, who?
My case rests. There is no countervailing evidence against the fact that unadulterated evil rules the West ----- and is driving the world to extinction. Western democracy is a total failure. Democracy could not prevent the crazed warmonger Hillary from presidential nomination, despite the opposition of the American people.
How long can Russia, & China, wait before they conclude that they have to pre-empt the coming attack from Washington? Does anyone, even stupid Americans, think that once Russia and China are convinced that they are targets for attack, that they will just sit there and await the attack?
Do people as guilty of dereliction of duty as Western people are, have any right to survive?
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, & Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.
What was the 'Cuban missile crisis'... really all about?
The US spun it then and spins it now as "Russian aggression beaten by the US". Yet Russians say the US put missiles in Turkey, so they put theirs in Cuba.
Russia removed their missiles from Cuba -- on the condition that the US took their Pershing nuke missiles out from Turkey.
There are now fifty US nuclear warheads in Turkey -- but Russia is the aggressor?
FIRST IRAQ --- NOW SYRIA
If you think - like Blair - that launching wars in pursuit of 'Democracy and Human Rights' is "a good thing" - then you will believe the latest lies and support the current US/UK bombing of civilians and infrastructure in Syria...
as the liberals who dominate Wales' peace movement do.. apparently.... Damascus denounces US-led ‘massacre’ in Syria ---- and calls on UN to intervene
Syria has called on the United Nations to take immediate action against the so-called US-led coalition: to stop it conducting more airstrikes in the country, after the US/UK coalition’s latest airborne assault claimed the lives of over 40 civilians.
In two separate letters sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council President Koro Bessho,, the Syrian Foreign Ministry strongly denounced the coalitions new “atrocities committed against civilians” and called to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The letters were written after US-led warplanes launched airstrikes on Ghandour town, which is over 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) away from the violence-ridden city of Manbij, in Syria’s strategic northern province of Aleppo.
At least “45 civilians were brutally killed and 50 others were injured” --- in the deadly airstrikes.
The development came, after at least 15 people were killed/injured in US-led airstrikes against al-Nawajah village east of Manbij, on July 23rd, a few days after another deadly US-led raid left 120 civilians dead, near Manbij.
On July 22nd, the military coalition also killed at least 20 civilians in Manbij and claimed the lives of at least 30 more, including 11 children, in the same city, on June the 9th, in aerial attacks purportedly conducted against the Daesh positions in the area.
Syria's Foreign Ministry also censures the endless support of France, the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar for so- called “moderate opposition” groups: - calling it overt support for terrorists who are wreaking havoc across the world --- and, specifically, in Syria.
The letters also say that any anti-terror campaign in Syria is doomed to fail --- unless done in cooperation with Syria's government --- and in accordance with international law and the UN Charter.
The ministry cites the remarkable similarity between the “massacres” perpetrated by the US-led coalition - and terrorist groups operating in Syria, saying both sides are trying to exacerbate the situation over the country... since the Syrian army’s recent victories in Aleppo city.
It also calls on "the UN Security Council to enforce its anti-terrorism resolutions against those states backing terrorism.”
The letters state in conclusion:Syria will not give up its fight against terrorism and pursuing a political solution to the crisis "without foreign interference."
The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes.... on what are said to be Daesh terrorists in Syria since September 2014 --- without authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. They have repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians.
The so-called Coalition has also been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim ----- of destroying Daesh.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy, since March 2011. UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, now estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria --- citing its "inability" to verify the figures that it receives... from various sources.
WALES PEACE MOVEMENT?
Activists urged protest rallies over the deadly US-led airstrikes in Syria --- for Sunday, July 24th. NO-ONE showed up in Wales at all ! __________________________
Working-class socialists Needed! Once I had the unfortunate experience to visit Cardiff as the illegal Iraq war broke, and the "peace" activists there spent an hour... just bitching at each other - in front of a young lady from Iraq who'd travelled all over the UK, asking for help.
I caught her smiling, as I chewed them out for their lack of sincerity and their childish egos - although their only response was... "Well! If you're going to be unpleasant..."
It seems that MOMENTUM is needed within the peace movement in Wales...
Phone NOW to complain about so-called organisers' inactivity!
Blairites' illegal war --- in Syria!
The Syrian government has written to the United Nations, asking the world body to condemn the US / UK airstrikes which are carried out without authorization from Damascus, or a UN mandate.
The US-led coalition has been backing the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish & Arab forces, to capture Manbij since last May.
The Syrian government has criticized the unauthorized aerial campaign, saying it has damaged Syria's infrastructure instead of making a dent in the terrorists' capabilities.
PATRIARCHS YAZIGI, LAHAM, APHREM II APPEAL TO THE WORLD TO LIFT THE ANTI-SYRIAN SANCTIONS
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch & All East, John X Yazigi, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Gregorios III Laham, and Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch & All East, Mar Ignatius Aphrem II, issued an appeal on Tuesday, calling on the world and relevant states, to lift the siege and sanctions imposed on the Syrian people.
In the appeal, the Patriarchs say, if the goals for imposing sanctions are political ones, the sanctions affect the Syrian people, & mainly the impoverished and the working class in a drastic manner, particularly in their daily lives and ability to buy food and receive medical services.
The appeal notes that, although Syria's people remain steadfast in the face of this ordeal, the social condition is deteriorating and poverty and suffering are increasing, which is what prompted the Damascus-based Patriarchs to issue this humanitarian appeal, given that they are in touch with the suffering of the Syrians.
The Patriarchs call for the taking of unusual steps and brave, wise, and responsible decisions -- that take into account humanitarianism, human rights, and international accords, and lift the economic sanctions imposed on Syria --- adding that this would restore unity among Syrians and curb the exploitation of the Syrians’ ordeal, by sides that have no good intentions for Syria --- in addition to helping clerical establishments perform their humanitarian work.
The Patriarchs stress the appeal is in line with the desire of several states and humanitarian organizations who want to help Syria's people, & they hope the international community will react to this appeal & end the sanctions that constitute another aspect of the crisis, and which seek to pressure individuals, establishments, and companies -- thereby pressuring the entire Syrian population.
They point out that the lack of new investments, blocking of international flights to Syria, cutting exports to it, and blacklisting some of its firms, isolate Syria from the international community, as does closing most Western embassies in it, and they add that stopping bank transactions with Syria further exasperates the economic conditions and threatens the Syrian people's livelihood and dignity.
Please start a support group --- contact your local and national representatives - os gwelwch yn dda!
With 640,000 members - and growing - Labour was the largest left-wing party in Europe.
With the overwhelming majority joining to say #CorbynStays, the #ChickenCoup was not called off.
YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO BE A LABOUR PARTY MEMBER? - so join the Anti-Austerity Movement!
‘How Can I Deselect My Labour MP?’ A Short Guide to Reselection and Democratic Accountability by Eric Sim
Unlike local councillors and those who sit on internal party committees, Labour MPs are not expected to renew their party mandate through regular candidate reselections. However, there is one means by which MPs are held democratically accountable to the party: the trigger mechanism.
Step 1: At some point in the run up to a general election the national executive committee (NEC) sets a timetable for re-selections. The NEC also sets the guidelines for this process, within the very broad parameters set out in the Labour rule book.
Step 2: If the sitting MP wishes to re-stand for election the ‘trigger ballot’ process begins. This is organised by a nominated officer of the constituency Labour party (CLP), normally the secretary, and overseen by the regional office (appointed staff members).
Step 3: All the constituency’s branches and its affiliates (trade unions, socialist societies, co- operative organisations) are entitled to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to re-selecting the sitting MP.
Branches will meet in person to vote. Affiliates will decide their own process for deciding this matter.
Step 4: Each branch and affiliate is counted equally, irrespective of the number of members. If a majority of branches/affiliates vote ‘No’ then a full selection procedure takes place. The sitting MP has the right to appeal this decision to the NEC.
Step 5: In the event of a ‘No’ vote a selection procedure takes place. The sitting MP is eligible to stand in this selection and is guaranteed a space on the final shortlist.
The obstacles(and their solutions).
The process above is not simple, and any campaign to open a selection procedure in a constituency will face a series of obstacles.
Obstacle 1: The NEC has the right to set the guidelines for the trigger procedure. An NEC that is sympathetic to the need for greater accountability could set guidelines that empower party members. An NEC which is keen to minimise the risk of challenges to sitting MPs, could set guidelines that make this difficult: for instance, a short timeframe close to the general election.
Solution: Be sure to elect to the NEC supporters of member-led party democracy.
Obstacle 2: Each constituency will have the trigger procedure managed by a CLP officer. Like the above point concerning the NEC, the person overseeing this process will have some discretion over how it is done. If this person is not sympathetic to reselections, it will be possible for them to make it difficult to call one.
Solution: Make sure CLP committees and officers are supporters of member-led party democracy.
Obstacle 3a: Branches are weighted equally, regardless of membership, so it is possible for a majority of members to support reselection but for a majority of branches to vote against it (the opposite is, of course, also possible).
Solution: Work hard to build an active membership across all branches. This will support the goal of reselection but more importantly will develop our party into an activist force that can transform society.
Obstacle 3b: Trade unions and other affiliates decide their own processes for the trigger ballot, and this might be decided nationally not locally.
Solution: Be active in your affiliate and trade union branches and submit motions for greater accountability for Labour MPs to their national decision-making bodies (conference or executive normally).
Obstacle 4: A deselected MP can appeal to the NEC.
Solution: Appeals to the NEC should only be on the grounds that proper procedures weren't carried out. It is important to elect NEC members who comply with this ruling, and do not use this power to their factional advantage.
Obstacle 5: The MP defects and stands against the official Labour candidate. Even where they have no hope of winning, this could split the Labour vote and allow another party to win the seat.
Solution: This might be the biggest obstacle. And the only solution, is for the local party to be mobilised in support of the party’s decisions. If a defecting MP takes a large chunk of the local activists with them then that will hit the party’s organising capacity in a big way. But if an atmosphere of inclusivity and democracy is developed in the party then this will not be possible. This requires years of hard work in branches and constituencies across the country.
Should you deselect?
It is worth thinking long and hard about whether you want the sitting MP to be deselected (of course, you might argue that as a democratic principle, there should be a selection ballot either way). In addition to consideration of the MP’s politics, their attitude towards party democracy and their demographic identity (are they from an underrepresented group?), it is also worth considering the following:
How popular is the MP?
If the MP has a big ‘personal vote’ in the electorate then deselection might have a big effect on Labour’s vote share and hand the seat to a rival party. It might also encourage the deselected MP to defect and stand against the party.
How long have they been there?
There is lots of data to suggest that first-term MPs find it much easier to win re-election. Some suggest that this is because they are keen and work harder, but whatever it is, it’s an argument against deselecting a recently-elected MP.
How safe is the seat?
Deselecting a Labour MP in a Labour safe seat will likely end in the subsequent Labour candidate being elected. Deselecting a Labour MP in a marginal seat will likely end in the seat going to a rival party. This is more likely if the sitting MP has a personal vote, and more likely still if they then stand against the party.
If you decide to open a reselection procedure in your local party it is not enough to begin planning the week before. It requires years of work.
You need to:
Work to get pro-democracy candidates elected to the NEC. See here for more information about such candidates: http://grassrootslabour.net/
Win the argument for democratic accountability and reselection, in trade unions and affiliates. This means winning the argument in branches across the country, now, so that they can be fed up to the national level.
Develop local parties in every branch and constituency in the party that are a) committed to party member-led democracy and accountability, and b) able to campaign hard against not only other parties, but also against a defecting MP, even if some members follow said MP.
Again, this is hard work that needs to start right now: knocking on doors in our communities and winning arguments in our CLPs.
Where is the Peace Movement?
In prior articles I have argued that Putin has little choice but to launch nuclear strikes ----- should a war between Russia and NATO occur. That is so, precisely because Russia cannot win a protracted, conventional war of attrition. The anaconda would simply keep squeezing and squeezing with all its combined military and economic muscle, in the event of a WWII-style war.
The march toward a showdown between NATO and Russia -- due to conflicts in Syria and the Ukraine -- is therefore a march toward nuclear holocaust.
Atomic scientists have the Doomsday Clock set at 3 minutes until midnight. Where is the international peace movement?
We are on the verge of extinction, yet seem incapable of responding as an intelligent, organized collective, to stop this insanity.
Are we thinking that our leaders, and I mean all of them, are going to have an epiphany and suddenly put on the brakes and reverse course?
That is a fantasy. The end of the Cold War was supposed to produce a peace dividend & end any chance of future hostilities between the combatants. That never materialized. In fact, we are in a far more dangerous situation now than at any time in the past.
But the mass media is not reporting the truth of it now, and the population, east and west, is half asleep in blissful ignorance.
We are running out of time and the clock may strike midnight, and then we shall all wake up to witness our own demise. Yet too late, then, to demand peace...
The War Masters see this as an elaborate chess game --------- but it is no game for the rest of us.
When aggressors illegally invaded last time, the League of Nations refused to act with honour - leading us straight to World War 2.
I bet if we had been alive then, we'd have done SOMETHING, even if it was simply to write urgently to the League of Nations.
Please read the article below -- and then contact the UN Secretary General to demand a more principled stand....
Yemen Echoes of 1930s Aggression and Descent into Barbarism
by Finian CUNNINGHAM
Both the Arab League and the United Nations have fully transformed themselves into the ill-fated League of Nations that more than 70 years ago disgraced itself into oblivion when it failed to condemn foreign aggressions that eventually led to the cataclysm of World War 2.
As delegates gathered in Egypt’s resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh for the Arab League last week-end, nearly half of its member states were at the same time openly engaged in an aerial blitz on one of the League’s weakest countries – Yemen.
Far from issuing any misgiving, or appeal for restraint, the League fully endorsed the on- slaught on Yemen and even went on to call for a new "unified military force" to repeat the action in other countries where a "security risk" is deemed. This is a cart blanche for further foreign military inter- ventions bypassing the United Nations Security Council. In other words, it is open season for lawless aggression.
With a population of only 24 million, and half of them living in poverty, Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Arab region. It is also a founding member of the Arab League, which was formed in 1945 at the end of World War 2.
Since last week, scores of Yemeni civilians, including children, have been killed in a massive bombing campaign led by Saudi Arabia & co-ordinated by the United States.
The bombing coalition of 10 countries includes Egypt, North Sudan, Morocco and the Persian Gulf Arab states of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain.
Over 200 fighter jets from those countries have been reported carrying out air strikes on the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, as well as on the southern port city of Aden and its surrounding countryside.
Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab countries claim that the Houthi-led uprising in Yemen is being orchestrated by Iran. But the claims are far from substantiated and most likely trumped-up self-serving reasons -- providing justification for what is otherwise simply criminal aggression toward Yemen.
The Washington Post reported: "The Saudis and their allies think [sic] that the Shiite rebels are backed by Iran and that Tehran is trying to exert control over a country [regime] that has been an an ally of Riyadh and Washington."
The latter factual detail about the erstwhile Yemeni regime being an ally of Riyadh and Washington, is the real key to the latest Saudi-led offensive, not the speculative hearsay about Iran.
So, Yemen is being bombed and civilians are being massacred merely because the Saudis and their allies "think" that Iran is somehow involved. No proof, no legal case, just bombs away.
The Houthis are a Shia sect and reportedly keep friendly political, diplomatic relations with Shia Iran. But both categorically deny any military involvement.
Rather, the Houthis, (Ansarullah), appear to be the vanguard of popular rebellion against the ousted Yemeni regime, long-supported by Saudi Arabia and the US.
Last week, the deposed president Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled the country to take refuge in Saudi Arabia.
Even if Iran was supporting the Houthis, it still does not legitimise an all-out bombing of Yemen -- led by a consortium of Arab monarchies armed and guided by the US.
In Sanaa over the past week family homes, shops and offices have been demolished during hundreds of sorties by warplanes as the Saudi-led coalition pounded the city on nightly raids. Yemen’s international airport was so badly hit it is no longer functioning, thus cutting off the country.
A naval blockade by Saudi, Egyptian and US warships has also severed Yemen’s access to the Red Sea to its west.
While in on the southern coast, in Aden, bodies of civilians were reportedly strewn on streets as hospitals filled up with the wounded, and as US warships patrolled the Gulf of Aden.
Against this background of slaughter, the Arab League endorsed the Saudi-led military attacks. Saudi King Salman told the summit that the bombing campaign would continue until Houthi rebels are defeated.
Meaning there is no end in sight to the onslaught. Indeed, it is now anticipated that the extensive aerial bombardment and naval siege is paving the way for a massive ground invasion of 150,000 Saudi troops that were mobilised last week along the north Yemeni border.
Attending the Arab League convocation, & royally received, was the discredited president of Yemen, Mansour Hadi.
He called on the Saudi military coalition to not relent in its strikes against his own country until the Houthi 'Iranian stooges' are crushed. The irony is, that Mansour Hadi is widely excoriated within Yemen, and not just by the Houthis, as a stooge of Saudi Arabia and Washington.
His steadfast refusal to deliver on popular demands for a democratic transition in Yemen over the past three years, led to the Houthis seizing the capital and government institutions, as 2014 ended.
The latest Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen - overseen by Washington - has been condemned by Iran, Russia & China.
But the United Nations has shown lamentable passivity in the face of this foreign aggression on Yemen. Speaking at the Arab League summit, UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon failed to make any condemnation of the aerial bombardment of that country.
"It is my fervent hope that at this Arab League summit leaders will lay down clear guidelines to peacefully resolve the crisis in Yemen," said Ban Ki-Moon, with a complacency bordering on cynicism.
He urged Arab members to engage in peace talks supposedly brokered by his special envoy, Jamal Benomar. This was said as Saudi Arabia and others were openly vowing to continue their blitzkrieg.
The naked aggression on Yemen, with the complicity of the US & European capitals, is perhaps the nadir for the Arab League and the United Nations.
The descent of these organisations into disgraceful irrelevance has been decades in the making. Their despicable transform- ation into tools of aggression, is now clear in the eyes of the world.
The UN and Arab League have remained silent while the US & its allies launched war after war on countries over the past 2 decades, most notably on Iraq during the 1990s and 2000s, which resulted in over one million dead, mainly civilians.
Worse, the UN and the Arab League stand accused of complicity by giving Washington a de facto green light - & on some occasions logistical support - to wage its wars across the Middle East.
In 2011, the Arab League expelled Libya & Syria, even though these countries were being subjected to US-NATO aggression, along with the collusion of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states, including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was murdered by NATO-aided and Gulf-financed extremists in 2011, denounced the Arab League, before his death, as "finished".
Syria, like Yemen, was a founding member of the Arab League, yet the government of President Bashar al Assad remains to this day, suspended from the 22-member organisation.
The Syrian government’s seat has been given over to the Western-backed Syrian National Council, which is comprised of non-entity exiles who have no popular mandate in Syria.
The League is thus nothing more than a self- serving talking shop, dominated by Saudi Arabia and the other oil-rich Gulf Arab kingdoms. As client regimes of Washington, that, in turn, makes the League a tool of the US: to give a thin cover for its imperial predations in the Middle East & N. Africa.
Ironically, one of the founding principles of the Arab League is to protect the 'sovereignty and independence' of its members.
Ominously, the lawlessness and outright aggression that has gripped international affairs – with the latest manifestation in the collective bombing of Yemen – is reminiscent of the 1930s.
That perilous period saw a series of inter- national aggressions carried out by fascist powers with impunity. The League of Nations – a forerunner of the UN – facilitated these aggressions through its shameful silence and connivance.
When Japan annexed large swathes of China’s Manchuria in 1931, the League of Nations, including the US, Britain and France, largely turned a blind eye.
As they did when fascist Italy bombed its way into Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935-36, Franco’s Spain subjugated Catalonia in 1938, and Hitler’s Nazi Germany annexed Austria & Czech Sudetenland, also in 1938.
The complete breakdown in any semblance of international law during the 1930s & the rise of state-sponsored gangsterism paved the way for the Second World War.
A similar process of degeneration is also well underway in the present day, led largely by the US and its coterie of allies among the NATO alliance -- plus oil-rich Arab dictatorships.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen are but some of the evil fruit from the poison that is coursing through international relations. And yet, ludicrously, Washington accuses Putin and Moscow of behaving like Hitler with a malign 20th Century atavism.
That a defenceless, impoverished country such as Yemen can be openly bombed by hundreds of US-supplied F-15 fighter jets – & for that criminality to be widely endorsed – is a sure sign that the world is once again sliding into the abyss of rampant criminality and the possibility of a more catastrophic all-out war.
Doyle Vic 25 January at 21:51
The worst form of fracking, which was previously licensed for exploration in South East Wales, has been banned.
Underground coal gasification will not go ahead in UK
May's Bribe For Frack Site Locals by Peter Lazenby
The PM’s fracking free-for-all slush fund ‘will set neighbours against each other’ in a nightmare dash for gas.
Theresa May stands accused of offering “blatant bribes” to householders to accept fracking near their homes, using millions of pounds of public money.
The PM proposes offering “incentives” of £10,000 to £20,000 from the public purse to locals to allow shale gas fracking operations to be carried out by profiteering companies.
Ex-chancellor George Osborne had previously suggested handing 10% of taxes from fracking companies to communities blighted by fracking.
Ms May has gone further, by suggesting that the bribes be offered to individuals.
But Greenpeace chief scientist Doug Parr warns that “public opposition has soared and support for shale has tanked,” and “people’s concerns over climate change & their local environment cannot be silenced with a wad of cash.”
The proposals have also been condemned by Labour and the Green Party.
Anti-fracking campaigners in North Yorkshire - where one small area alone, Ryedale, is now threatened by 4,000 fracking wells - urges all communities to stay solid in their opposition to fracking.
The practice is banned in Scotland, France and Germany.
Frack Free Ryedale activist Sue Gough, who lives near a proposed fracking site:
“This is a cynical attempt by the Tories, to bribe local people to accept fracking by offering them hard cash.
“People need to know that by accepting this money they are selling their communities down the river and condemning them to industrialisation and ruination by the frackers, who have no respect for our environment, our livelihoods or health.”
The site will be operated by the company 'Third Energy'.
“If Third Energy is allowed to frack in Ryedale it will open up the floodgates to all the other companies who are waiting in the wings to move into North Yorkshire and will bring about the widespread industrialisation of the county — we need to continue to oppose the industry and persuade people to see through this blatant bribe,” she said.
Shadow energy and climate change secretary Barry Gardiner said: “An incentive to do the wrong thing is properly called a bribe and Theresa May is using this bribe to set neighbour against neighbour.
“It is not right for communities and it is not right for the country.”
Green Party MEP Molly Scott Cato said: “By calling the EU referendum, Cameron showed the Tories’ talent for dividing communities. Prime Minister Theresa May is now taking this forward -- by offering individual payments, little more than bribes, to households in areas affected by fracking.”
Fracking works by pumping a toxic sludge into the ground under high pressure to smash layers of shale and release trapped gas.
Opponents say it threatens water supplies, health and the environment, at a time when the government should be lining up behind Britain’s fledgling renewables industry.
Doyle Vic in Wales writes:
Apply pressure --- maintain pressure we have a Welsh moratorium, for now.
The 10k deal is also designed to be the end of the NHS, as they will never treat the radiation & water toxicity victims fairly: this fracking is long term war on humanity.
implement a Law that would ban all hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for 20 years
fracking is still in the early stages of development compared with other mining methods, but seems to already be implicated in various environmental problems... a Law that would ban all hydraulic fracturing for a minimum of 20 years will give time to show the long term implications for the environment
Go here to sign this Petition:
‘Declaration of war’: North Yorkshire fracking approval sparks outrage
Anti-fracking campaigners are lambasting North Yorkshire council for unleashing an assault on citizens’ rights to fresh air and clean water, after the local authority approved the UK’s first fracking operation since 2011.
Doyle Vic posted in Llanwynno and Rhondda Cynon Taff oppose inland gas and oil drilling.. https://www.facebook.com/vic.doyle.9 Doyle Vic 4 July at 20:18 "While still concerned about the development of fracking in Northallerton, Yorkshire, I am proud to announce that on top of the "moratorium" in Wales, (which excludes test drilling) today 3 site licenses have been withdrawn":
Good News for Wrexham, Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taf
The latest review of Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDLs) by the Oil ajnd Gas Authority has resulted in 3 licence areas in Wales being withdrawn; a further 5 have been given extended terms.
The withdrawn licences are:
PEDL 187 (IGas) – covering the site at Borras and Holt near Wrexham
PEDL 219 (Coastal Oil & Gas) – covering the sites at Dyffryn and Llantrithyd in the Vale of Glamorgan
PEDL 220 (Coastal Oil and Gas) – covering the site at Llantrisant in Rhondda Cynon Taf
ACTION ON ‘Yemen war crimes’:
BAE evicts shareholders from AGM over human rights criticisms
BAE Systems evicts a number of shareholders from its AGM on Wednesday who criticised the firm’s sale of deadly arms to Saudi Arabia that may have been used to commit war crimes against innocent Yemeni civilians.
Two shareholders-come-activists, who are affiliated with Campaign Against the Arms Trade, staged an intervention just after the arms giant’s chair, Roger Carr, took to the stage.
Just 5 minutes into his address, they stealthily walked to the front -- carrying placards -- and denounced BAE’s complicity in Saudi Arabia’s brutal military campaign against Yemen.
The posters, visible for all present to see, had the caption: “900 children killed in Yemen. Stop arming Saudi Arabia!”
Hannah Brock, 30, dragged out of the AGM by security staff soon after the political act of protest, told RT the actions of herself & her fellow campaigner, were justified:
“BAE Systems is one of the biggest arms dealers in the world. The firm doesn’t just profit from war, it incentivizes it,” she said.
“The only time that BAE are legally obliged to face public scrutiny is at their AGM. It is our only chance to question the firm.”
Brock, who is a Right to Refuse to Kill program officer at global antimilitarist network, War Resisters’ International, went on to explain she felt compelled to draw attention to BAE’s complicity in grave violations of international law.
“It’s particularly vital BAE is challenged on Saudi Arabia’s horrendous human rights abuses --- as it continues to bombard Yemen, causing an enormous death toll,” she said.
The peace activist accuses the UK’s conservative government of protecting & supporting the arms giant. She calls on MPs to place an “outright embargo” on UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and to begin an inquiry into the UK’s role in facilitating possible Saudi war crimes against Yemeni civilians.
BAE’s AGM kicked off at 1100 BST at a conference centre in Farnborough, Hants.
Roughly 30 activists linked to CAAT bought shares in BAE to gain access to the annual affair.
They reportedly brought in a range of banners with quotes from people who'd experienced airstrikes in Yemen, which they displayed to other shareholders.
As the day progressed, more activists were reportedly removed from the venue.
'Serious breaches of international law'
The UK cross-party international development committee says on Wednesday that it seeks an independent international inquiry into the serious human rights breaches committed by 'all sides' in the Yemen conflict.
BAE's stake in Saudi arms market
Saudi Arabia is BAE's third biggest market, according to CAAT. Large-scale arms sales go back decades & include BAE’s Tornado & Typhoon combat planes now being used in Yemen.
BAE employees 5,300 staff in Saudi Arabia, to support the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) and the Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF).
A spokesperson for the arms giant initially declined to confirm or deny the activist incident had even occurred.
A second spokesperson for the firm later said: “There were a number of protesters removed from the meeting today. The AGM is the one time in the year that shareholders have the opportunity to hear from the board and ask questions about the business and we welcome all those who want to do that in a way that is courteous to other shareholders.”
BAE Systems CEO, Ian King, stated at the meeting, “In 2016 and beyond, we are well placed to continue to generate attractive returns for shareholders.”
Mick Antoniw AM underlines the Welsh Government's strong position;
“The Welsh Assembly is overwhelmingly opposed to the Trade Union Bill as an uneasy and vindictive law that will undermine decades of partnership building between employers and trade unions in wales.”
“It is also a direct attack on the devolution settlement. The Welsh Government will over- turn any attempt to apply this ridiculous law to Wales”
If we fight together - we win together!
"I’ve been a member of Unite Community for the last 2 and a half years. In that time we have had, in conjunction with Unite, & the unhesitating support of other unions, like PCS, who're hugeCommunity supporters of organisations like the Cardiff People’s Assembly ------ with many successes in campaigning against social injustice."
"We’ve had councils in South East Wales sign Unite’s pledge not to make use of Workfare labour, a massive achievement! And one readily agreed to by the councils, with one exception, who shall remain nameless, but they know who they are… and we’re not done with that particular meal yet."
"On a national scale, Victorian work practices Sports Direct staff have to endure, have been laid out by Unite Community, for all the world to see. It’s also shown the work force that we care deeply about what they have to do to earn a living, and we are not about to see their dignity or right’s stripped away.
It also sent a message in the clearest terms to the millionaire owner Mike Ashley. Last month share prices for the company dropped by over 50%, following an extraordinary meeting of share holders, who say they knew little about their draconian treatment of manufacturing and retail staff.
Ashley has been urged to make the company private again: we’ll be watching to see what he does and the way the workforce is treated - whatever the outcome now - as a lot of the factory staff joined Unite the Union. Score!"
"The sanctioning of social security claiments because they don’t meet ever changing criteria, is of great concern to us.
That’s an understatement; we’re outraged by the sanctioning of claimants under any circumstances. It’s immoral, wicked, evil, unprincipled, unscrupulous dishonorable, dishonest, unconscionable, iniquitous, corrupt, depraved, vile, villainous, foul, and just plain wrong!
We want action to stop this, like, yesterday."
"To starve families already facing hardship is criminal. Our Unite Community members find themselves at the sharp end of the austerity measures, along with the workers trapped in zero hour contracts and minimum wage jobs.
What a legacy this government will leave. Ricketts - there’s one to be especially proud of. Dysentery is another. Scurvy another. Deaths caused by terminal despair at being cornered marginalised and cut out of society, pushed to the edge to spectate and not participate."
"They've left no working class stone unturned. They were cavalier with the economy first --- what are hundreds of thousand of jobs between banker friends or billion upon billions, between us the tax payers and the bankers? Need to save your business? Shed your work staff, they are expendable. Be lean and mean, cut corners, rob their pension funds. Keep wages so low, people can’t keep up their mortgage repayments.
Then it was our council & housing association homes, with the bedroom tax, driving many to a private renters market. How many Tory MP’s are private sector landlords? 128! That’s 39% of Conservative MP’s currently in the commons and includes George Osborne, & the PM David Cameron, who in 2009, wasn’t sure how many houses he owned. What a wanker!
The NHS is being made to look bad, starved of cash and managed so badly, it can’t help but fail, ready to be scooped up at a snip by the Conservative party’s rich friends, or any company with strings of law suits out- standing in other countries.
It will be like Royal Mail all over again… unless we stand up and say no. There are other horror’s awaiting us, Universal Credit being another fubar in the making. Now they are coming for the unions, again. The Trade Union Bill is a cancer that needs zapping with extreme prejudice."
"These are just some of the reasons I joined a union. Strength in numbers. For too long we have been divided, weakened & manipulated by the opinions printed in right wing rags I wouldn’t wipe my cat’s arse with, let alone mine, and a biased tv corporation WE own."
"Luckily we live in Wales and have devolution, so up yours Dave, you can take the trade union bill and, um, yeah."
4th International Anti-Fascist Conference In Novorossia !
All progressive forces who fight against fascism, Nazism, capitalism and imperialism, to take part in the 4th International Anti-Fascist Conference in Novorossiya.
In recent years the world has witnessed once again the rise of fascism and fascist groups all over the world. Western states’ military attack on Libya, the arming of the pseudo-Islamic clerical fascist rebels in Syria, and the fascist takeover in Ukraine, were a series of events, which unleashed fascism all over the world.
NATO and EU imperialists use these fascist movements to impose their neo-liberal agenda over the peoples of sovereign nations. Growing economic pressure within the European Union is able to lead to the same events that happened already in Ukraine, Syria and Libya.
The attacks on these states were only the beginning. The greater goal, is to destroy and split up all remaining countries, which are not yet completely bowing to the neo- liberal agenda --- like Russia, Iran, North Korea and China.
The parallels between historical & contemporary fascism are undeniable. While the German Nazis disbanded trade unions on the 2nd of May 1933, Ukrainian nationalists burned the Trade Unions House of Odessa 81 years later on the same date, killing dozens of people in the flames.
However, there's been growing resistance against this global spread of fascism. The people of Eastern Ukraine, in the Donbass region took up arms to fight fascism in Ukraine. They founded the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, and are able to defend them;- while in Syria, the Syrian Arab Army was able to inflict heavy casualties on the fascist groups trying to destroy the Syrian state.
But the global struggle against fascism & imperialism, does not end in these states, as fascism will also not stop there.
We have to organize and coordinate the international antifascist movement, in order to protect the world against these threats.
That is why we appeal to all progressive forces who fight against fascism, Nazism, capitalism & imperialism, to take part in the 4th International Anti-Fascist Conference, in Novorossiya.
**** The schedule for date, times & location will be announced on their web site ~
Please visit the site for updates and all other information as well as photos of past events .
Boycott, divestment and sanctions is a peaceful yet effective way for us to support Palestinians as they strive for lives of peace, justice and hope. Help us to make a difference.
BBC bias - take action
The BBC’s Director of Television, Danny Cohen, has called for Israel to be protected from cultural boycotts.
Cohen joined senior figures from the Parliamentary lobby groups, Conservative Friends of Israel and Labour Friends of Israel, in signing a letter published in the Guardian in October which claims that Israel is being singled out as a boycott target.
Cohen is a member of the BBC’s executive board and one of the most senior figures in the organisation. His role within the BBC demands neutrality and yet he has publicly made known his support for Israel.
He has faced no public censure from the BBC Trust – the governing body of the BBC – for doing so.
Will you take action?
Write now to the BBC Trust and demand to know if the Trust will be taking action against Cohen for breaching BBC rules on impartiality.
Cohen has huge influence within the BBC. He oversees the BBC’s four main channels, BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, and BBC Four in addition to BBC iPlayer, and online content for BBC Television. He also oversees the Drama, Entertainment, Knowledge and Comedy genres and BBC Films. Further responsibilities include the BBC Television archive and BBC Productions, Europe’s largest television production group.
His fellow signatories to the Guardian letter include Eric Pickles MP, Chair of Conservative Friends of Israel, and Michael Dugher MP, Vice Chair of Labour Friends of Israel.
Of 12 other MPs who have signed the letter, seven are Parliamentary Officers of Conservative Friends of Israel and five are either members of the lobby group or have been on one of its delegations to Israel. There are no pro-Palestinian MPs among the signatories.
The letter states: “Cultural boycotts singling out Israel are divisive and discriminatory” and goes on to call for “cultural engagement” in place of boycotts.
Write to the BBC Trust:
Rona Fairhead, Chair, BBC Trust, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA
Sarah Colborne, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: “It is highly disturbing to see Danny Cohen, who has huge influence within the BBC and is a member of its executive board, publicly speaking out against a cultural boycott of Israel.
“This is a highly politicised letter, dealing with controversial subjects, and the decision of the BBC’s Director of Television to get involved calls not just his impartiality into account, but also his judgement.”
Sarah added: “The Royal Charter, which is the constitutional basis of the BBC, demands that the organisation must be impartial in its reporting, and impartiality must also be a key requirement of its staff. The fact that Danny Cohen has signed this letter, in the company of openly pro-Israel figures, without subsequent censure from the BBC, reveals that this does not appear to be the case.”
Cohen recently announced that he would be leaving the BBC, but is currently still in post.
‘Stop arming Israel!’ Campaign --- ahead of London arms fair
Anti-arms campaigners are set to once again disrupt one of the world’s largest arms fairs and highlight the UK’s role in arming repressive regimes around the globe.
One of the largest arms fairs in the world, it's expected to attract over 1,000 global arms firms and 30,000 attendees.
Campaigners say the DSEI arms fair provides a platform for Israeli & international arms firms, to profit from oppression and destruction.
Sarah Waldron of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), condemns the UK government’s sale of arms to Israel.
“In one week one of the world’s biggest arms fairs will be taking place just across the road and the UK government has consistently facilitated weapon sales to the Israeli government, who will have a massive pavilion at this fair --- where their biggest arms companies will be displaying their battle- tested weapons,” she says to RT.
“The UK government has a very confused attitude to democracy and human rights. On the one hand, it talks of wanting to promote democracy in the Middle East and, on the other, it’s inviting the companies - and the governments - which are causing violence & conflict in these regions.”
Simon Morris of Occupy Democracy:
“The occupy method is to take a space & hold it. We hold it to either facilitate discussions or have a meeting point where people can come down & talk about the issues,” he says.
“Part of our list of demands, part of what we wish to change in the world, is a shift away from the huge amount of military spending and war, that causes misery and mayhem around the world,” he added...
“If our country had a more democratic system, like direct democracy, we would see a lot less conflict, a lot less spending on military hard- ware, and a lot more peace in the world.”
Hilary, a Pro-Palestine campaigner who has spent time in the Occupied Territories, says she is angry with the UK government:
“We don’t want Israeli arms companies here. We don’t want Britain to be selling arms to Israel, or components for weapons, and we don’t want to be buying arms and drones -- to fuel more conflicts in countries around the world,”she says.
Stop the Arms Fair is set to feature a mixture of creative activities and direct action all week ----- to raise awareness about the destructive impact of the global arms trade.
Activists will argue that the UK must redirect spending from arms to renewables, and from warfare, to welfare.
They will also highlight the link between the global arms trade and the global refugee crisis, and host a 'mass day of action', of opposition to the DSEI fair.
Freedom for Germany!
COMPACT has the “Courage to Truth” to state loud and clear: Germany is still an occupied country. We are a military protectorate and an economic colony of the United States. TTIP is the Versailles treaty of the 21st century. The new NS-dictatorship is NSA's dictatorship. Our mission: Freedom for Germany!
Edward Snowden proved with documents what many have previously only suspected: The US has built on every continent a colonial dictatorship. We're being spied on, overheard, monitored. The Empire's censors dominate our media. Google, Facebook and Apple control our secret thoughts. Virtual footprints that we leave behind are like traces of blood, which the NAS sleuths eagerly snoop after.
This campaign of Anglo-Saxon predator capitalists started a hundred years ago. With the founding of the Federal Reserve, by the most powerful private financial sharks, a paper money juggernaut arose that survives solely through constant destruction of material resources. Any country that refuses to hand over these goods voluntarily is covered with war.
Germany is an irreplaceable cornerstone in this strategy. From Ramstein air base, heavy US military equipment is sent off to supply the new eastern front & from Stuttgart, the killer drones' targets are programmed.
But the elite of “God's Own Country”, who want to rule the entire planet, also understand very clearly: We are the people of “Putin-understanders”. Even German business people, do not believe in the demonization of the Kremlin chief. If we get rid of the US occupation, Uncle Sam can 'close shop'. That is why they deny us our sovereignty, democracy and constitution.
Shall we tolerate this any longer? COMPACT says no to the dictatorship by NSA, CIA and US-Army & presented at the 4th Conference for Sovereignty strategies for peace and freedom in Germany, and all of Europe!
Translation by Jurij Kofner, COMPACT correspondent.
Oleksiy Zhuravko is a former Ukraine MP. He was ombudsman for the disabled in Ukraine, and started several foundations employing over 3,500 disabled people all across Ukraine.
He was kicked out of Ukraine last year for his politics - he did not agree with the Maidan overthrow.
Albeit a disabled man with no legs & only one arm, he is charged with terrorism in Ukraine --- for speaking out against the Ukrainian government killing & maiming its own citizens - and making countless more, disabled.
Good and horrible pictures.
First we see a young mother playing with her baby daughter, and then we see the mother and the daughter walking together towards the sun – a metaphor for moving together towards a bright future.
The last photo is beyond horrible: war has taken the lives of both the mother and her young child.
It's 8,494 km from Donetsk to Washington, DC. The distance between Lugansk & Brussels, is 2,880 km. The distance between Gorlovka & Berlin, is 2,059 km. It is easy to live in those wonderful cities so far from this war, and talk about how horrible the Donbass people are, without seeing the horror Kiev's government (with the support of the above capitals) inflicts on women & children on a daily basis.
Dear friends, I, a citizen of Ukraine, do not want to see horrible pictures like these ones. I do not want to hear the word “war”. I don’t want to see blood: & my biggest dream today, is for this war to end, as soon as possible.
I want see love and happiness. I want to hear children laughing. I want to see young mothers playing with their kids in parks - smiling parents and happy children. That's what I wish all of you.
I know that the vast majority of Ukrainians don’t want this war – we are a peaceful people. People with a long history of creating things, and not destroying them. So why do we let our government send young Ukrainian men to kill other Ukrainians in this civil war?
I know that people of the world, of the US & Europe are peaceful people, who hate war. However, I also know that most in the West are misled about this war & don’t see the pictures of innocents suffering at the hands of the Ukrainian army. A Ukrainian army and government that have unconditional support from the West.
Dear friends! War is a very profitable business. Vast riches can be made on human suffering (President Poroshenko, for example, made 7 times more money last year, than he had made the previous year). We can't wait until the people profiting from the deaths of Ukrainians get tired of this war --- they won’t.
They will never stop this war until people speak up - both Ukrainians at home, and people in the West - against their governments’ support of Kiev’s war.
When thousands of people have already died, staying quiet & doing nothing is unacceptable.
Ukrainians! People of the world! We want peace! But only together can we stop this war! Stop being quiet while thousands perish, and hundreds of thousands suffer! Stop quietly waiting for all of this to stop by itself. Speak up! Write to your politicians! Come out to protest! Demand an end to this war!
Only together can we make sure that a road to the future for other mothers and kids, is not tragically cut short --- like it was in these pictures!
Another Heart-breaking Catalog of Kiev War Crimes WESTERN Media Will Ignore
These War Crimes will be reported in the Chinese, Latin American, Asian, African, and, of course, Russian Media !
Russia's government publishes their second white book: an account of the continuing & unabated warcrimes being committed by the Ukraine army and by neo-nazi paramilitaries.
The first one -- published 10 months ago -- was roundly ignored by the west's media. Eventually they are going to have to address these charges.
The Russians insist that they will not let the matter drop, and will relent only when the guilty are brought to justice. The media's ignoring of war crimes is a crime in itself.
The article below appeared originally in Russia Today
Russia’s Major Crimes agency presents a major report on war crimes committed by Kiev military and volunteers in the south- eastern regions of Ukraine that seek self- determination, after the 2014 Kiev coup. The head of the Investigation Committee, Aleksandr Bastrykin, says in the Monday press release, that the main objective of the project is to attract the attention of the world community and international Human Rights Groups, and tell the truth about a “terrible fratricidal war, started by the nationalist regime of Ukraine.”
He adds that the Investigative Committee is looking into 54 criminal cases connected with the civil war in Ukraine --- and that the combined material fills 2,500 volumes, and includes the testimonies of over 100,000 witnesses.
The White Book of Crimes is based on evidence collected in cases where Ukrainian authorities, and volunteers, are suspected of using banned methods of warfare. The evidence includes the testimony of eyewitnesses and participants at these events, and photos and various material presented by international organizations.
The document also states that the agency continues to investigate suspected crimes committed on Ukrainian territory, and that a special department has been created for it within the Investigative Committee.
Bastrykin writes that the ultimate goal of the project is to ensure that all those involved in crimes, are justly punished.
In December 2014, the Russian Foreign Minister's plenipotentiary for Human Rights, Konstantin Dolgov, said that international organizations have confirmed the human rights violations by Kiev's troops in eastern Ukraine, that are detailed in the White Book.
Dolgov also noted then, that Russia expects rights activists to pressure the West and the Kiev authorities -- to prevent further crimes.
please let me know if there are any events - for the next 4 or 5 months or further ahead - you would like to see publicised in 'heddwch'.
They can be peace, social justice / human rights, anti-nuclear or anti-austerity events (talks / protests / marches) - if you are unsure, send it anyway.
Just to encourage you:
Date & Time Venue Short description or not - any particular details or requests.
Contact details: email and /or phone / mobile no. and if applicable - website.
If you are uncertain if I may already know, err on the side of doubt and re-send it me anyway! As an aside, John M., I do have the Newport Chris Barber gig already!
Many thanks, Looking forward to hearing from you, Jill
Jill Gough Ysgrifennyddes Genedlaethol National Secretary CND Cymru email@example.com www.cndcymru.org www.facebook.com/cndcymru
Michael Mariotte 23 June at 07:30
There are lots of petitions for lots of issues out there, we know. But we ask you to take just a moment to sign this one to support the campaign to build a nuclear-free, carbon-free future at December's COP21 climate summit in Paris.
Nuclear power is not a solution to the climate crisis-- in fact, its use is counterproductive and pre...
Stop Hinkley Newsletter.
Download printable version here:
Jill Gough shared Jane Davies's post.
The building of 2 new reactors at Wylfa on Ynys Mon (Anglesey) would destroy most of this beauty (and maybe irradiate the rest).
Our values - to 'need' more electricity to create more junk and stuff for the population who are 'told' it is what they must have & what they 'need' - are up the spout.
This is a photo of cestyll gardens on the proposed new wylfa site.
It was started in the 1920's by violet vivian; & princess victoria, daughter of edward vii, designed part of the garden. Violet & her uncle's ashes are scattered in the gardens.
See welsh historic garden trusts bulletin 66 about it and read horizons glossy brochures, because they do tell you the whole scale of what they are going to do.
Footpaths gone, roads gone, wildlife - like chough, red squirrels - gone, terns... gone.
TheyWorkForYou is a website which makes it easy to keep track of your local MP's activities.
Bilingual Leaflets for Street Leafletting.
Available from CND Cymru:
GET INVOLVED --- ACT NOW
Keep arms companies out of the BBC
The Chair of BAE Systems, Roger Carr, has just been appointed as Vice-Chair of the BBC Trust. It's a position that comes with a lot of prestige, and puts him at the heart of the organisation.
Please add your name and demand that Roger Carr step down as Vice Chair of the BBC.
The BBC is supposed to be run in the public interest. Arms companies don't care about culture or broadcasting, they just care about gaining legitimacy as they line their pockets.
BAE Systems is Europe's biggest arms company and has armed dictatorships and human rights abusers across the world, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Israel. Its chair should not be paid £70,610 a year to 'represent license fee payers views'.
The BBC needs to cut its ties with Carr and the arms trade.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that almost 380,000 Syrians are in desperate need of resettlement.
Amnesty International projects that 5,000 people flee Syria every day under desperate circumstances:and 75% of them are women and children.
Another UN-backed study released shows a drastic decline in life expectancy, from 76 years in 2010 to under 56, last year.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, said -- in February -- that Syria’s humanitarian crisis is the most dramatic the world has encountered for a long time.
KEEP PUSHING FOR PEACE NOW !!!!
The leading UK anti-war group Stop the War Coalition has called for continued campaigns to “keep up the pressure against an attack on Syria”.
Stop the War founding member Chris Nineham called for locally-organized public meetings in the UK, by opponents of a strike on Syria, either in cooperation with Stop the War or separately, to show the depth of opposition to this military adventurism.
He says US President Barack Obama was forced to shelve plans for an immediate attack on Syria by huge public pressure and for fear of humiliation, in case of a no vote to an attack, in Congress.
Nineham says fear struck Obama after UK MPs humiliated David Cameron by rejecting his plans for a military action against Syria, and that came 'thanks to public protests'.
“Whatever their rhetoric, it is clear to the world that Cameron's plans were blocked because of public opinion, and Obama blinked because of potential defeat in Congress,” Nineham says.
“But the threat of an attack remains. Trump and Washington still talk of regime change and the US is openly arming the 'rebels'.
Negotiations with Russia and Syria can break down at any time,” he underlines.
Now Trump is bombing in Syria, 'attacking' I.S. Keep up the pressure!
8/09/2015 On Facebook:
Doyle Vic posts in
Llanwynno and Rhondda Cynon Taff oppose inland gas and oil drilling..
Scottish moratorium on Underground Coal gasification confirmed - BBC News
The Scottish government extends its fracking moratorium to include underground coal gasification (UC...
If you enjoy looking into the arguments, paste the link below into your browser:
Greenpeace’s fracking campaigners will answer as many of your questions as possible.
To ask your question, visit the Greenpeace UK Facebook page and post your question as a comment on the fracking Q&A post.
Doyle Vic posted in Llanwynno and Rhondda Cynon Taff oppose inland gas and oil drilling.
FRACK FREE WALES: You might be thinking that now we have a moratorium on fracking in Wales, we can all relax and find something else to do with our time.
Unfortunately this is not the case.
A moratorium is just a temporary, and in this case limited, measure, which could be lifted at any time.
As Carwyn Jones’ statement at the Welsh Labour Conference shows, the Welsh Government’s stance on fracking has not changed. They’re not opposed to fracking per se; they just want stronger regulation.
Once they have the new regulations in place, they fully intend to press on with unconventional gas development in Wales.
Meanwhile, the moratorium does not cover test drilling, and the status of Underground Coal Gasification is unclear (is it onshore or offshore?).
There’s still work to be done to convince our elected representatives that there should be no welcome in the hillsides for frackers. We need to press on and convert the moratorium into a permanent ban.
We need to continue:
Opposing, blocking, protesting and delaying every attempt to move forward with unconventional gas development, including applications for test drilling.
Raising awareness of the dangers of unconventional gas development and its likely impact on communities in Wales
Contacting MPs asking them support a UK-wide ban on unconventional gas development
Contacting AMs and candidates for the Assembly Election in 2016 to tell them that we need a ban on fracking in Wales – a moratorium is not enough. Petitioning our local councils to declare their area a ‘Frack Free Local Authority’ and all the other things you’ve been doing to bring us to where we are.
But before we get on with that let’s take a moment to mark what we’ve achieved so far.
Five years ago most politicians had no idea what fracking was. The fact that it is now centre stage and being debated at the highest levels in the land is a testament to all the hard work of campaigners and supporters – and that means YOU!
Just a few weeks ago the Welsh Government were maintaining that they did not have the power to introduce a moratorium using Planning. The fact that they have been forced to reverse that opinion and use planning powers to block fracking is a testament to the sustained pressure from local and community groups across Wales – and that means YOU!
So we should take a little time to congratulate each other and ourselves, and celebrate – and then the fight goes on!
Doyle Vic 1 September at 00:54 pse healthy energy have done more credible research and reporting on the monstrosity of fracking and coal bed methane extraction/underground gasification of coal (UGC) - more research than anyone - and their findings are a damnation of the whole political/ corporate destruction of landscapes and the people who live on them...
Jill Gough posted in South Wales Anti-Nuclear Alliance 8 January 04:13
Welsh Reviews Policy on Radioactive Waste - Say NO to Geological Disposal and New Build!
For the Attention of: RADIOACTIVITY AND POLLUTION PREVENTION WELSH GOVERNMENT This is a Response to ...
Jill Gough posted inSouth Wales Anti-Nuclear Alliance 18 December 04:47
PLANS to begin reprocessing nuclear waste at Hinkley point, just 14 miles across the sea from Barry Island, pose "a direct threat" of increasing levels of radioactivity in Barry a marine consultant has warned.
When plans were approved for Britain's first new nuclear reactor in 18 years to be built at Hinkley Point, Somerset - which can be seen from Barry Island on a clear day - environmental groups reacted with concern. However, expert Tim Deere-Jones says that equally concerning are plans to reprocess nuclear waste from Hinkley's decommissioned reactors. The liquid waste would be discharged into the Bristol Channel delivering what Mr Deere-Jones calls "significant quantities of radioactivity" to Barry & south Wales.
World War II: The unknown war By Paul Craig Roberts
In my column, “The Lies Grow More Audacious,” I mentioned that Obama and the British prime minister, who Obama has as a lap dog, just as George Bush had Tony Blair as lap dog, had managed to celebrate the defeat of Nazi Germany at the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion without mentioning the Russians.
I pointed out the fact, well known to historians and educated people, that the Red Army defeated Nazi Germany long before the US was able to get geared up to participate in the war.
The Normandy invasion most certainly did not defeat Nazi Germany. What the Normandy invasion did was to prevent the Red Army from overrunning all Europe.
As I have reported in a number of columns, many, if not most, Americans have beliefs that are not fact-based, but instead are emotion-based. So I knew that at least one person would go berserk, and he did.
JD from Texas wrote to set me straight. No one but “our American boys” won that war. JD didn’t know that the Russians were even in the war. JD had the option of consulting an encyclopedia or a history book or going online and consulting Wikipedia prior to making a fool of himself. But he chose instead to unload on me. JD epitomizes US foreign policy: rush into every fight that you know nothing about and start new ones hand over fist that someone else will win.
It occurred to me that World War II was so long ago that few are alive who remember it, and by now even these few probably remember the propaganda version that they have heard at every Memorial Day and July 4th occasion since 1945.
Little wonder that neither Obama nor Cameron or their pitiful speech writers knew nothing about the war that they were commemorating.
Propaganda has always been with us. The difference is that in the 21st century Americans have nothing but propaganda. Nothing else at all. Just lies. Lies are the American experience. The actual world as it exists is foreign to most Americans.
In 1973 a British television documentary series was released that chronicled WW II. Of the 28 episodes, only 3 and part of a 4th acknowledge Russian participation in the war. From the British standpoint, victory was an Anglo- American victory.
This did not sit well with the Soviet government. The Soviets offered their film archives to the West. In 1978 a 20 part series of 48 minutes per episode was released in an American documentary television series narrated by Burt Lancaster.
The documentary was titled: “The Unknown War.” Certainly, it was a war unknown to most Americans, raised as they are on propaganda. The Unknown War was a revelation to Americans because it demonstrated beyond all doubt that Nazi Germany lost World War II on the Russian front.
Of the 20 episodes, “The Allies,” that is, the Anglo-Americans and free French, feature only in number 17. One out of twenty is about a correct proportion of the West’s participation in the defeat of Nazi Germany.
If you google The Unknown War you will find an entry on Wikipedia. The series might still be available on YouTube. It was taken off the air when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, a folly repeated by dumbshit Washington.
It was more important to Washington that Russia be demonized than any truths should be presented, so the truth revealed in The Unknown War was removed from US TV. Later the documentary reappeared on the History Chanel.
In my June 6 article, I said, following the consensus of historians, that Nazi Germany lost the war at Stalingrad. In this article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/70-years -ago-december-1941-turning-point-of- world-war-ii/28059 historian Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels says that Germany lost the war 14 months earlier at the Battle of Moscow in December 1941.
He makes a good case. Whether one agrees or not, the facts he presents are eye openers for the “exceptional, indispensable Americans” who believe nothing happens without them.
Normandy, June 1944, is 2.5 years after Germany lost the war in the Battle of Moscow. As historians have made clear, by June 1944 Germany had little left with which to fight. Whatever was left of the German military was on the Eastern Front.
At the 70th annual Normandy landing celebration in France, Obama informed his French vassal, President Hollande, that he, Obama, the ruler of the Exceptional Country, would not sit down to dinner with the Russian Putin.
Americans are too good to eat dinner with Russians. So Hollande had to have two dinners. One for Obama, and then one for Putin. As food is still good in France thanks to the banning of GMOs, probably Holland didn’t mind. I myself would have enjoyed being at both dinners for the food alone.
Like all news that's important, the dinner for Putin, and its meaning, escaped the attention of the American presstitute media, the world’s greatest collection of whores.
If memory serves, normally the Russians are left out of Normandy commemoration celebrations. If the war was won in the West, what did the Russians have to do with it? Nothing, of course. “Our boys” did it all, just as JD informed me. Russians? What Russians?
But this time France invited Putin to the Normandy celebration, and Putin was not too proud to come. Putin spoke with European politicians in the off moments, and these politicians saw a real person, unlike Obama, a total fake.
The superiority of Russian diplomacy over Washington’s is clear to all. Putin’s position is: “we are here for you, we can work things out.” Washington’s position is: “do as we say or we will bomb you into the Stone Age.”
Russia is accommodating to its client states. Washington is not. Putin says that he is willing to work things out with the billionaire corrupt Oligarch imposed on Ukraine by Washington, but Washington has forced the Bulgarians to stop work on the South Stream Pipeline.
This natural gas pipeline bypasses Ukraine by going under the Black Sea to Bulgaria. As Washington’s new puppet state in Ukraine has not paid its multi-billion dollar natural gas bill to Russia and threatens to disrupt the pipe- line to Europe and to steal gas from it, Russia, despite Western sanctions, made preparations for a new pipeline route in order that Europeans do not suffer from winter cold and have their industries shut down and economies collapse from lack of energy.
Washington sees Putin’s commitment to Europe as a threat and has gone to work to prevent any Russian energy flows to Europe.
In contrast with Putin’s position, Washington’s position is: We don’t give a hoot what happens to our European puppets. Like the rest of humanity, European puppets don’t count and are dispensable, mere collateral damage, in the Indispensable Country’s war for world hegemony.
All that is important to Washington is that Russia is damaged regardless of the damage done to the puppet regimes in Western and Eastern Europe, including the moronic Polish government, possibly the only government on earth more foolish than Obama’s.
Washington is trying to break off Europe’s economic relations with Russia. Washington is promising to supply Europe with US natural gas obtained by fracking. This promise is a lie, like everything else Washington says.
On May 20 the Los Angeles Times reported that “federal energy authorities have slashed by 96% the recoverable oil buried in California’s vast Monterey Shale deposits.” The Monterey Shale formation contains about two-thirds of the nation’s shale oil reserves, and only 4% are recoverable.
William Engdahl has reported that at best the US has 20 years of natural gas from fracking, and that the price of the gas will be the despoiling of US surface and ground waters.
Experts have pointed out that the infrastructure for transporting US natural gas to Europe does not exist and that it would take three years to build the infrastructure.
What will Europe do for three years while it waits for US energy to replace the cut-off Russian energy? Will Europe still be there?
Washington’s European vassals should take note: Washington is prepared to destroy the economies of its vassals in order to score a one up on Russia.
How is it possible that by now Europe doesn’t understand how Washington thinks? Those bags full of money must be very large.
As I have reported several times, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security affairs told me years ago, that Washington purchases European politicians with bags full of money.
It remains to be seen if European “leaders” are willing to sacrifice their peoples and their own reputations in order to be complicit in the war that Washington is planning with Russia, a war that could mean the end of life on earth.
It is Europe’s call. If leaders emerge who tell Washington, “no dice,” the world is saved. If instead European politicians want the money, the world is doomed.
Europe would be the first to go.
YOU COULD HELP STOP A MASSACRE
Please try to help !
contact your representative now.
Russia's Lower House of Parliament (Duma) calls on all the world's parliaments, to stop a humanitarian disaster in Ukraine.
Russian MPs suggest a new international contact group on the basis of PACE, in order to help stop the armed standoff in Ukraine and prevent the looming humanitarian disaster in the country.
The address to the parliaments of the world and international parliamentary organizations, has been prepared jointly by all four parliamentary parties, and signed by their leaders.
"The State Duma MPs are outraged by the fact that the current Kiev authorities are supporting escalation of a civil war and the cruel murders of civilians, by raging nationalist radicals", the letter says.
"Today, the precise number and names of those burned alive in Odessa, remain undisclosed."
"The numbers range from several dozen to several hundred - and this is proof of the authorities’ unwillingness to tell the truth and put those responsible on trial,” the letter reads.
The MPs also write that it is important to let all their colleagues around the world know, that dozens of people have been killed in the towns of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, as well as other places in Ukraine, under the pretext of a counter-terrorist operation, which is, in reality, a punitive raid.
“Millions of Ukrainian citizens have become hostages of the Kiev junta and the potential victims of mass Human Rights violations,” the MPs say.
The Russian politicians state in the address that it is necessary to hold consultations between parliaments, to develop approaches that could contribute to the defusing of tensions and the restoration of security for all Ukraine's citizens.
Their document also mentions the road map drafted by the Swiss chair of the OSCE on May 7th this year, as “worthy of attention.”
Russia's Foreign minister Lavrov today, says that it is a civil war in Ukraine... "right now".
Break the Silence A World War is Beckoning by JOHN PILGER
Why do we tolerate the threat of another world war in our name? Why do we allow lies that justify this risk? The scale of our indoctrination, wrote Harold Pinter, is a “brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis”, as if the truth “never happened even while it was happening”.
Every year the American historian William Blum publishes his “updated summary of the record of US foreign policy” which shows that, since 1945, the US has tried to overthrow over 50 governments, many democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders.
In many cases Britain has been a collaborator. The degree of human suffering, let alone criminality, is little acknowledged in the west, despite the presence of the world’s most advanced communications and nominally freest journalism. That the most numerous victims of terrorism – “our” terrorism – are Muslims, is unsayable.
That extreme jihadism, which led to 9/11, was nurtured as a weapon of Anglo-American policy (Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan) is suppressed. In April the US state department noted that, after Nato’s campaign in 2011, “Libya has become a terrorist safe haven”.
The name of “our” enemy has changed over the years, from communism to Islamism, but generally it is any society independent of western power and occupying strategically useful or resource-rich territory.
The leaders of these obstructive nations are usually violently shoved aside, such as the democrats Muhammad Mossedeq in Iran and Salvador Allende in Chile, or they are murdered like Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. All are subjected to a western media campaign of caricature and vilification – think Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, now Vladimir Putin.
Washington’s role in Ukraine is different only in its implications for the rest of us. For the first time since the Reagan years, the US is threatening to take the world to war. With eastern Europe and the Balkans now military outposts of Nato, the last “buffer state” bordering Russia is being torn apart. We in the west are backing neo-Nazis in a country where Ukrainian Nazis backed Hitler.
Having masterminded the coup in February against the democratically elected government in Kiev, Washington’s planned seizure of Russia’s historic, legitimate warm-water naval base in Crimea failed. The Russians defended themselves, as they have done against every threat and invasion from the west for almost a century.
But Nato’s military encirclement has accelerated, along with US-orchestrated attacks on ethnic Russians in Ukraine. If Putin can be provoked into coming to their aid, his pre-ordained “pariah” role will justify a Nato-run guerrilla war that is likely to spill into Russia itself.
Instead, Putin has confounded the war party by seeking an accommodation with Washington and the EU, by withdrawing troops from the Ukrainian border and urging ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine to abandon the weekend’s provocative referendum.
These Russian-speaking and bilingual people – a third of Ukraine’s population – have long sought a democratic federation that reflects the country’s ethnic diversity and is both autonomous and independent of Moscow. Most are neither “separatists” nor “rebels” but citizens who want to live securely in their homeland.
Like the ruins of Iraq and Afghanistan, Ukraine has been turned into a CIA theme park – run by CIA director John Brennan in Kiev, with “special units” from the CIA and FBI setting up a “security structure” that oversees savage attacks on those who opposed the February coup.
Watch the videos, read the eye-witness reports from the massacre in Odessa this month. Bussed fascist thugs burned the trade union headquarters, killing 41 people trapped inside. Watch the police standing by.
A doctor described trying to rescue people, “but I was stopped by pro-Ukrainian Nazi radicals. One of them pushed me away rudely, promising that soon me and other Jews of Odessa are going to meet the same fate … I wonder, why the whole world is keeping silent.”
Russian-speaking Ukrainians are fighting for survival. When Putin announced the withdrawal of Russian troops from the border, the Kiev junta’s defence secretary – a founding member of the fascist Svoboda party – boasted that the attacks on “insurgents” would continue.
In Orwellian style, propaganda in the west has inverted this to Moscow “trying to orchestrate conflict and provocation”, according to William Hague. His cynicism is matched by Obama’s grotesque congratulations to the coup junta on its “remarkable restraint” following the Odessa massacre.
Illegal and fascist-dominated, the junta is described by Obama as “duly elected”. What matters is not truth, Henry Kissinger once said, but “but what is perceived to be true.”
In US media the Odessa atrocity has been played down as “murky” and a “tragedy” in which “nationalists” (neo-Nazis) attacked “separatists” (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine). Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal damned the victims – “Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says”.
Propaganda in Germany has been pure cold war, with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung warning its readers of Russia’s “undeclared war”. For Germans, it is an invidious irony that Putin is the only leader to condemn the rise of fascism in 21st-century Europe.
A popular truism is that “the world changed” after 9/11. But what has changed? According to the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, a silent coup has taken place in Washington and rampant militarism now rules.
The Pentagon currently runs “special operations” – secret wars – in 124 countries. At home, rising poverty and hemorrhaging liberty are the historic corollary of a perpetual war state. Add the risk of nuclear war, and the question begs: why do we tolerate this?
John Pilger is the author of Freedom Next Time. He can be reached through his website: www.johnpilger.com
Whole Article appeared in 'Counterpunch'
A Russophobic, Failed State Ruled by Fascists Obama’s New Ukraine
by MIKE WHITNEY
“While Russia has been making efforts to de-escalate and resolve the crisis, the Kiev regime has chosen to launch airstrikes on peaceful residential areas, literally destroying the last hope for preserving the Geneva accords.” Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman
“The crisis in Ukraine is not the result of ‘Russian aggression,’ but of a criminal strategy by the US and its European allies to install a hostile regime on Russia’s borders in Ukraine and, ultimately, dismember Russia itself.” Johannes Stern, NATO boosts military build-up against Russia as protests spread in east Ukraine, World Socialist Web Site
Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov:
“We are calling on the European capitals, the United States of America to give an assessment of the current events and are of course calling on those carrying out airstrikes on residential areas to…immediately end the punitive operation and any violence against its own people…”
So far, there has been no response from Washington although it’s clear that the Obama administration had a hand in organizing the crackdown. Not only were the State Department & CIA directly involved in the putsch that removed democratically-elected president Viktor Yanukovych from office, but Washington has also been implicated in punitive operations directed against ethnic Russian protestors in east Ukraine.
Both CIA Director John Brennan and Vice President Joe Biden visited Kiev just hours before two previous crackdowns were ordered by former-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. As Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blandly noted, It’s clear that Washington is “calling the shots”.
The coup-President Oleksandr Turchynov:
“It is hard to accept but it’s the truth, the majority of law enforcers in the east are incapable of performing their duties.”
Turchynov was referring to the fact that Ukrainian troops refused to attack their own countrymen. The mutiny spread from elite airborne units to local police sympathizing with the protestors.
The only group willing to carry out Washington’s proxy war are Right Sector neo-Nazis who helped topple the Yanukovych government. Members of this openly fascist party, commemorated “the perpetrators of the massacre of Yanova Dolina,” where “600 Poles were murdered by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) in what is now Bazaltovoye.
The massacre marked the beginning of ethnic cleansing in what is now western Ukraine, where tens of thousands of Poles were killed in a few months.” (World Socialist Web Site)
These are Obama’s new allies in America’s war against Russia. Now check this out from Reuters:
“The International Monetary Fund warned that if Ukraine lost territory in the east it would have to redesign a $17 billion bailout of the country, probably requiring additional financing.”
Tell me, dear reader, when was the last time you heard of the IMF threatening to withhold funds if a political leader didn’t wage war on his own people?
Anyone with half a brain can see that the IMF is just acting on orders from the White House. It's Obama’s war. His fingerprints are all over the policy. Obama is determined to draw Russia into a bloody guerilla war that leaves Ukraine in the same condition as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria.
Here’s a clip from the New York Times:
“Through stealth and misdirection, and in defiance of Western sanctions, Russia managed to achieve its immediate goal of what Western and Ukrainian officials believe, is rendering Ukraine so chaotic that it cannot guarantee order, mend its teetering economy or elect new leaders to replace Turchynov.” (Not Getting Through to Mr. Putin, New York Times)
Putin wants a “chaotic” failed state on Russia’s border? Have you ever read such nonsense in your life?
Putin didn’t topple the Ukrainian government. The US State Department did. (Victoria Nuland’s hacked phone calls prove it.) And Putin didn’t violate the Geneva agreement under 24 hours after the deal was signed by launching a crackdown on civilian protestors in the east. That was US-puppet Yatsenyuk. Nor did Putin deploy the military to surround cities, cut off their water supplies and deploy helicopter gunships to fire missiles at civilian infrastructure and terrorize the local population.
That was the work of Obama’s fascist junta in Kiev. Putin had nothing to do with any of the trouble in Ukraine. It’s all part of the US “pivot to Asia” strategy to encircle and (eventually) dismember Russia in order to seize vital resources and control the flow of energy to China.
Washington wants to reduce Ukraine to Mad Max-type pandemonium to justify establishing NATO bases on Russia’s perimeter. It’s all part of the plan to control Central Asia and rule the world.
Putin has acted as peacemaker throughout the crisis, but Obama is determined to provoke the Russian president by attacking and killing ethnic Russians. Consider the statement by Russia’s Foreign Ministry:
“As we have warned many times before, the use of the army against its own people is a crime and is leading Ukraine to catastrophe…
By supporting the organizers of the Kiev coup in their strategy of violently putting down protests, the US and EU are taking on a huge responsibility, essentially closing the door to a peaceful solution to the crisis.” (Putin says Geneva agreement no longer viable after Ukrainian military action, Guardian)
It’s clear now that Obama merely used the Geneva agreement to buy time to move troops and military hardware to Poland and the Balkans. It’s also clear that Obama invited German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Washington so that it would appear that Europe is united behind the US in its proxy war on Russia.
But what does Obama hope to achieve by stirring up this hornet’s nest? He knows that Putin cannot afford to back down on Crimea, so what’s the point? And, more importantly, what is Ukraine going to look like when Washington is finished using it as a staging- ground for its geopolitical landgrab?
Here’s an insightful piece by Russian academic, Andrei Fursov, who thinks he knows what Obama wants and explains the impact the policy is going to have on Ukraine for years to come.
“The Americans need controlled chaos and civil war. Moreover, it is clear that this country (post-coup Ukraine) is intended to be absolutely anti-Russian, nationalist, Banderite and neo-Nazi. So the dual goal of establishing this anti-Russian state is to constantly apply pressure on the Russian Federation.
As Bismarck (said) ‘We must cultivate among the Ukrainians, a people whose consciousness is altered to such an extent, that they begin to hate everything Russian.’
Thus we are talking about a historical psy-op, an information-psychological sabotage, whose purpose is to establish Russophobic Slavs.
They are the means to separate Ukraine from Russia and to oppose Russia as a kind of totalitarian empire.
This was all devised under the Galician Project, on which the intelligence services of Austro-Germany & Kaiser German worked, followed by the intelligence service of the Third Reich, later – the CIA and BND.
Banderastan, if that’s what Ukraine is fated to become, as designed by the puppet-masters across the ocean, is to be an oligarchic, terroristic, Russophobic state.
An oligarchic Banderite oligarchy is the ideal vehicle for external control. Clearly, this will suit both the oligarchs and the West.” (Battleground Ukraine: A Comprehensive Summary, Zero Hedge)
So, there it is: Divide and rule. We saw the Bush administration pull it off with the Shia & Sunnis in Iraq, and now Obama wants to do the same with the Ukrainians and Russians. Same strategy, different continent.
This is Obama’s plan for the “New Ukraine” a fascist-ruled failed state that follows Washington’s directives and puts pressure on Russia through endless provocations, belligerence, and war.
Ukraine will be Washington’s pit bull in the East, separating Moscow from crucial sources of revenue and thwarting efforts at greater EU-Russia economic integration. This is how Washington hopes to insert itself into Eurasia, to improve its prospects in the Great Game, and to establish global hegemony into the next century.
(Note: “Banderite” refers to Stepan Bandera, who was a Ukrainian nationalist leader who collaborated with the Nazis. Bandera headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) According to the World Socialist Web Site: “The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) carried out numerous massacres of the Polish population in western Ukraine.
The UPA served as a military executive organ of the OUN. It was founded in the spring of 1943 & recruited primarily from Nazi collaborators, previously active in the SS.”)
MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at
Carl Spiby posted in South Wales Anti-Nuclear Alliance
Nuclear waste plans make 'mockery' of localism, MP says
Government plans to stop councils from being able to veto construction of underground radioactive wa...
Jill Gough South Wales Anti-Nuclear Alliance
The new street leaflet below is available for distribution from firstname.lastname@example.org.