August, 2014

 

Speak Up for Hussain Hubail, a photographer illegally detained and dying in Bahrain Jau Prison

Hussain Hubail, is struggling to get medical care and survive in Jaw Prison. If he gets a consultant’s appointment the prison refuses to provide transport. Hussain’s Appeal on 20th August against his 5 year sentence was postponed until 21st September.
If the US and UK Governments don’t want this young man to die in prison, they should use their influence to get him released on medical and humanitarian grounds.

Hussain’s crime, like all the photographers, is to take pictures of the attacks on unarmed demonstrators by the Bahraini police force, most of whom aren’t Bahrainis. They have documented the Khalifas’ attack on freedom of speech and assembly so the world knows what is going on. The Khalifas want them silenced, so they have detained and tortured them. This is dangerous work with three journalists killed and 25 sent to prison. 14 photographers are in prison today with sentences from 3- 10 years.

Professor Abhi Prasad at St Georges Hospital, Tooting has agreed to treat Hussain if we can get him released. What can you do to help? This is URGENT – Hussain has had no medicine since April 2014 when he left Dry Dock Detention Centre and was moved to Jaw Prison.

Please contact your Congressmen or MP and ask them to ask the al Khalifa regime to allow treatment.


US Militarizes Racism and Neoliberal Violence

The Militarization of Racism and Neoliberal Violence
18 Aug. 2014 15:43 By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout

policestate
Police form a line during a standoff with protesters in Ferguson, Mo. – Photo: Whitney Curtis – NYT

The recent killing and then demonization of an unarmed 18-year-old African-American youth, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri by a white police officer has made visible how a kind of military metaphysics now dominates American life. The police have been turned into soldiers who view the neighborhoods in which they operate as war zones. Outfitted with full riot gear, submachine guns, armored vehicles, and other lethal weapons imported from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, their mission is to assume battle-ready behavior. Is it any wonder that violence rather than painstaking, neighborhood police work and community outreach and engagement becomes the norm for dealing with alleged “criminals,” especially at a time when more and more behaviors are being criminalized?

But I want to introduce a caveat. I think it is a mistake to simply focus on the militarization of the police and their racist actions in addressing the killing of Michael Brown. What we are witnessing in this brutal killing and mobilization of state violence is symptomatic of the neoliberal, racist, punishing state emerging all over the world, with its encroaching machinery of social death. The neoliberal killing machine is on the march globally. The spectacle of neoliberal misery istoo great to deny any more and the only mode of control left by corporate-controlled societies is violence, but a violence that is waged against the most disposable such as immigrant children, protesting youth, the unemployed, the new precariat and black youth.

Neoliberal states can no longer justify and legitimate their exercise of ruthless power and its effects under casino capitalism. Given the fact that corporate power now floats above and beyond national boundaries, the financial elite can dispense with political concessions in order to pursue their toxic agendas. Moreover, as Slavoj Žižek argues “worldwide capitalismcan no longer sustain or tolerate . . . global equality. It is just too much.” (1) Moreover, in the face of massive inequality, increasing poverty, the rise of the punishing state, and the attack on all public spheres, neoliberalism can no longer pass itself off as synonymous with democracy. The capitalist elite, whether they are hedge fund managers, the new billionaires from Silicon Valley, or the heads of banks and corporations, is no longer interested in ideology as their chief mode of legitimation. Force is now the arbiter of their power and ability to maintain control over the commanding institutions of American society. Finally, I think it is fair to say that they are too arrogant and indifferent to how the public feels.

Neoliberal capitalism has nothing to do with democracy and this has become more and more evident among people, especially youth all over the globe. As Žižek has observed, “the link between democracy and capitalism has been broken.” (2) Theimportant question of justice has been subordinated to the violence of unreason, to a market logic that divorces itself from social costs, and a ruling elite that has an allegiance to nothing but profit and will do anything to protect their interests. This is why I think it is dreadfully wrong to just talk about the militarization of local police forces without recognizing that the metaphor of “war zone” is apt for a global politics in which the social state and public spheres have been replaced by the machinery of finance, the militarization of entire societies not just the police, and the widespread use of punishment that extends from the prison to the schools to the streets. Some have rightly argued that these tactics have been going on in the black community for a long time and are not new. Police violence certainly has been going on for some time, but what is new is that the intensity of violence and the level of military-style machinery of death being employed is much more sophisticated and deadly. For instance, as Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers point out, the militarization of the police in the United States is a recent phenomenon that dates back to 1971. They write:

The militarization of police is a more recent phenomenon [and marks] the rapid rise of Police Paramilitary Units (PPUs, informally SWAT teams) which are modeled after special operations teams in the military. PPUs did not exist anywhere until 1971when Los Angeles under the leadership of the infamous police chief Daryl Gates, formed the first one and used it for demolishing homes with tanks equipped with battering rams. By 2000, there were 30,000 police SWAT teams [and] by the late 1990s, 89% of police departments in cities of over 50,000 had PPUs, almost double the mid-80s figure; and in smaller towns of between 25,000 and 50,000 by 2007, 80% had a PPU quadrupling from 20% in the mid-80s. [Moreover,] SWAT teams were active with 45,000 deployments in 2007 compared to 3,000 in the early 80s. The most common use . . . was for serving drug search warrants where they were used 80% of the time, but they were also increasingly used for patrolling neighborhoods. (3)

At the same time, the impact of the rapid militarization of local police forces on poor black communities is nothing short of terrifying and symptomatic of the violence that takes place in advanced genocidal states. For instance, according to a recent report entitled “Operation Ghetto Storm,” produced by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, “police officers, security guards, or self-appointed vigilantes extra judicially killed at least 313 African-Americans in 2012. . . . This means a black person was killed by a security officer every 28 hours. The report suggests that “the real number could be much higher.” (4) …more


Ferguson, MO and Police Militarization


Ferguson Riot Police Stoke Flames of Discord with agitation and violation of Civil Rights


Ferguson, MO enjoys Neoliberal Repression shared by Bahrain

What The Police’s ‘Non Lethal Weapons’ Can Do To Human Bodies
by Tara Culp-Ressler – 18 August – Think Progress

riotpoliceferguson
Police advance after tear gas was used to disperse a crowd of protesters in Ferguson, MO on Sunday – AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

The ongoing unrest in Ferguson over 18-year-old Mike Brown’s shooting has illustrated the increasingly blurry line between law enforcement and military combat, as heavily armed police forces in riot gear have repeatedly clashed with unarmed protesters. On Sunday night, that tension was on full display, and police reportedly fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowds well before the town’s midnight curfew.

U.S. police are increasingly relying on those so-called “non lethal weapons” for crowd control, a dynamic that’s inspired a national conversation about whether it’s appropriate to arm cops with weapons that are typically used in combat. Indeed, there’s increasing evidence that non lethal weapons can actually inflict serious pain and, in some rare cases, even kill people. Here’s how the police in Ferguson are potentially putting protesters’ health in danger:

fergusongassed
People run from tear gas after police dispersed protesters in Ferguson on Sunday night – AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Although tear gas is a chemical agent that’s banned in warfare, it’s perhaps the most common method of crowd control at protests around the world. Tear gas activates pain receptors in the body, causing a sensation of burning in subjects’ eyes, noses, and throats. In response to the pain, victims typically cough and choke, and their bodies produce excessive tears and mucous in an attempt to flush out the chemical. Because there are so many pain receptors in the cornea, it’s usually impossible for them to keep their eyes open, and some people report temporary blindness. People who suffer from asthma, or people who have been sprayed with tear gas in an enclosed space, often struggle to breathe.

Although tear gas is classified as non lethal because it’s generally considered to have only short term consequences, some scientists warn that things can quickly go wrong if it’s deployed incorrectly. There have been several reports of people dying in Egypt and Israel after inhaling too much tear gas.

Opponents of this particular chemical agent point out that there hasn’t been enough conclusive research into its potential long term health effects. Physicians for Human Rights has documented several cases in which people in Bahrain have suffered miscarriages, respiratory failure, and persistent blindness after being exposed to tear gas. The Chilean government suspended the use of tear gas in 2011 over concerns that the chemicals could damage women’s reproductive systems and harm their fetuses.

“These agents are certainly not benign,” Sven-Eric Jordt, a professor of pharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine, told the National Geographic in an interview last year. “There is no way to disconnect the pain that is induced from the physiological inflammatory effects of these agents.” …more


Voices Grow Louder Calling for Release of Blind Detainee Jafar Matooq

9 Bahraini Human Rights Organisations Launched a Campaign for the Release of the Blind Detainee Jafar Matooq
18 August, 2014

SHAFAQNA – 9 Bahraini human rights organisations along with human rights activists in Bahrain have launched a campaign for the release of Bahraini blind detainee Jafar Matooq, who is in urgent need of treatment.

This campaign was launched because of the deteriorating situation in Bahraini prisons in terms of the treatment provided for prisoners, as many of them live in therapeutic crisis and neglect of their health.

The right to receive treatment is guaranteed by international charters and conventions, as it is a fundamental human right. The government of Bahrain ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that receiving treatment is a right of each person just as the other residual rights enshrined in the Covenant.

Participating organisations see that the human rights situation in Bahrain has reached a very dangerous level at all aspects in a way that the institutions of civil society and human rights organisations are not being able to take care of each individual case despite the fact that many of the victims of the Government are suffering as a result of the systematic persecution. Therefore, a group of human rights and civil society organisations, activists and bloggers in Bahrain and abroad initiated a step to adopt the case of a blind detained Bahraini citizen Jafar Matooq, through a human rights media campaign that will include several events, which will be announced soon. Hoping that this will be the beginning of a continues work on similar cases in order to get the victims their right, and to not let them convert to numbers in the escalating list of human rights violations.

The victim Jafar Matooq, lost both eyes in a painful unclear accident, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison without questioning and with no genuine charges, as he was receiving treatment in the hospital. A court decision was issued for him to be viewed by an eye specialist to examine the extent of his health. This decision was issued in May 2014; however, it has not been implemented yet, which forced his lawyer to submit a complaint against the Criminal investigations unit. This campaign is to demand his release and the necessity of granting him the right to treatment that is available outside of Bahrain to work on recovering his eyesight before it becomes too late.

The involved organisations hope for an extensive interaction with this campaign including its programs and events to succeed and to establish a collective action to defend the victims and try to let them receive their rights and to stop the injustice actions against them. The organisations indicates that the campaign is to be launched on the 19th of August, 2014.

Human rights organisations participating in the campaign:
Bahrain Human Rights Observatory
Bahrain Human Rights Society
Bahrain Center for Human Rights
Bahrain Salam for Human Rights
Bahrain Forum for Human Rights
Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights
European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights
“BRAVO” Organisation
“I am free” Campaign
The detainee’s Family
Human Rights activists
August 15, 2014


Michael Brown Killed 9 August, 2014 – will they ever learn, No Justice, No Peace

michaelbrown


Got Gas? Welcome to Revolution's Morning

Around the world in tear gas: Protests stifled in 2014
14 August, 2014 – Al Jazeera

As a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, seethes with anger after the murder of an unarmed black teenager over the weekend, images of demonstrations are reminiscent of protest zones across the globe. With security forces lobbing tear gas canisters at people to quell unrest, individuals sometimes simply pick up the devices intended for crowd control and throw them back at the riot police.

The images below show similar circumstances in many different locales where political discourse is expressed in street clashes. From anti-occupation rallies in the West Bank and sectarian protests in Bahrain to anti-government agitation in Ukraine and Venezuela, marchers are often eager to turn law enforcement’s own techniques against police.

While such photographs may be familiar in unstable Egypt, perhaps they are more shocking emerging from the Midwest of the U.S.

gotgas1
West Bank. A Palestinian protester throws a tear gas canister back towards Israeli police close to the Israel’s Ofer military prison in the West Bank town of Betunia on April 4, 2014, during clashes after Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas rejected appeals from US Secretary of State John Kerry to halt applications to join international treaties to salvage peace talks with Israel.Abbas Momani / AFP / Getty Images

gotgas2
Bahraini protestor throws a tear gas canister back at riot police during clashes following a protest condemning the deaths of Ahmed Al-Mosajen and Ali Abbas, in the village of Al-Maqsha, west of Manama, on April 25, 2014. The two men were killed on April 19, when their car exploded in a Shiite village in Bahrain.Mohammed Al-Shaikh / AFP / Getty Images

more…


'Contractual Constitution', latest in rhetorical spin from Bahrain's Reformist Wing

Bahrain opposition: A contractual constitution is a necessity to end the political crisis in Bahrain
18 aug. 2014 – ABNA

The national democratic opposition parties in Bahrain staged a mass rally on Friday August 15th , 2014 marking Bahrain’s independence day anniversary from British mandate in 1971.

The national democratic opposition parties in Bahrain staged a mass rally on Friday August 15th , 2014 marking Bahrain’s independence day anniversary from British mandate in 1971.

In the final communiqué, the opposition parties called for a contractual constitution laid freely by the people to put an end to the political crisis in the country.

“The continuous arrests against dissidents, expulsion, punishment for calling for democracy clearly violates freedom of expression” the opposition parties said.

The national opposition parties stress that the current political crisis has led to many setbacks in the national economy, ignited sectarian strife between citizens as many citizens have chosen to flee Bahrain because of the regime’s policy of nourishing the culture of impunity, encouraging more abuses to take place against human rights.

“The need for contractual constitution is so essential in Bahrain to enable the people to be the source of all powers”, they added, ” the people must be able to elect their own government and their own legislative power through fair elections, to form their independent judicial system”, they stressed

Finally, they emphasized that the popular movement will continue to take to streets until all legitimate demands of the people are fully realized. …source


Saudi Injustice toward Sheik al-Nimr addressed by Hezbollah

Hezbollah warns Saudis on Sheikh Nimr’s trial
15 August, 2014
Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has demanded a halt to the prosecution or any legal pursuit of prominent Saudi cleric Ayatollah Nimr Baqer al-Nimr by the Riyadh regime, vowing that continuing with the fabricated legal case against the Shia scholar will further deteriorate the regional situation.

In a Wednesday statement on the case, Hezbollah has called on the Saudi Arabian authorities to stop the trial of Sheikh Nimr based on trumped up charges, al-Alam news network reported Thursday.

The statement added that the objective of Saudi authorities in insisting on following up with the prosecution of Sheikh Nimr, who has been in detention since 2012 based on false accusations, is to issue harsh sentences against him.

“The continued detention of this great scholar and prosecuting him for [engaging in] natural political activities comes while such rights exist for every individual and every scholar and expression of ideas and views is a natural right of all individuals, underlined by all international regulation and divine faiths,” said the Hezbollah statement.

The Lebanese resistance group further emphasized in the statement that the issuance of any unjust ruling in the case will be harmful to Islamic relations and may lead to deterioration of the regional atmosphere.

It further emphasized that the region is in need of cooperation and collaboration among Arab and Muslim nations in efforts to encounter threats they are facing today. …more