dark forces

Denmark’s police and the end of the rule of law: This is what it looks like!

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Some people still have a romantic idea about Denmark as a little social-democratic haven in Scandinavia where people are free, no one is poor and the rich pay a lot of taxes.

That is a long time ago.

In 1982 Denmark followed the U.S. and the U.K. into the Reagan-Thatcher era with Poul Schlüter as Prime Minister.

That was the end of the social-democratic experiment.

Notable, for instance, in the destruction of what was once – as far as a nation state goes – a relatively benign state of affairs was Bertel Haarder (currently the Interior and Health Minister in the Cabinet of Lars Løkke Rasmussen). From 10 September 1982 to 25 January 1993 he was Education Minister and orchestrated the destruction of the educational system and returned in November 2001 and remained until February 2005 as Minister for Refugees, Immigrants and Integration in the Cabinet of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, which helped elevate Denmark to one of the primary targets of islamist extremism and made Denmark known as one of the most racist, xenophobic right-wing, imperialist warmongering countries in the world – just a couple of steps step down the totalitarian ladder from Iran and North Korea, one is tempted to suggest.

This is what it looks like (and sounds like) today as the police enters a bicycle workshop where people are playing music, repairing bikes and cooperating and sharing skills (notice the comments: “We don’t need any papers AT ALL … I am aware that you have another system in those countries where you are from”, spoken with that typical Danish superior attitude to foreigners..):

Threatening a Fascist: A Threat to Democracy? The Danish Saga Continues..

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In today’s Politiken we are told that several people have been arrested for threats against “Dansk Folkepartis formand, Pia Kjærsgaard“, that is the ring leader of the fascistic, ultra right-wing, Islamophobic and generally xenophobic and racist, socalled Danish People’s Party. The first article tells no more than that, but soon others were to follow.

It is now declared that the five people arrested are supposed to have a Somalian background and that threatening a hate speaker is a threat to democracy. “If you threaten an elected politician you threaten all the people who voted for them”, says an appeaser of the Conservative Party, while the Prime Minister, also in dire need of some popularity, calls the threats “totally unacceptable“.  (EDIT: It has now been stated that one of the Somalians is a “self-taught imam” another is a director of a bank, allegedly with connections to al-Hikmah, that in turn relates to a school in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, called Ibnu Baz Islamic Center, and that “some of the school’s youth are suspected of having joined Hisbul Islam og al-Shabaab“).

Although colonos are not in favour of threatening people, we are also not in any possible way surprised: When you threaten an entire religion and way of life, then you threaten – or at least insult – all of those people who identify with that religion and way of life. How difficult can it be to understand that? Moreover, the vice-president of the party’s youth organisation, a local council member, has just been excluded for violent threats against named Danish individuals who are said to collaborate with legal muslim activities, such as the building of a mosque. In this case, the party does not deem it relevant to report the threat to the police – “they leave such doing to others“?!?

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The Last Frontiers of a Killing Economy: Capitalist Democracy’s Sad Finale

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Another press release:

RIGHTS: U.N. Condemns Land Grabs in Native Territories, By Haider Rizvi.

http://sec.11alive.com/quote/04T44x81tc86J
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=49986

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 14, 2010 (IPS) – Millions of people around the world who belong to indigenous communities continue to face discrimination and abuse at the hands of authorities and private business concerns, says a new U.N. report released here Thursday.

It is happening not only in the developing parts of the world but also in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which champion the causes of human rights and democracy, the report says.

Despite all the “positive developments” in international human rights setting in recent years, the study’s findings suggest that indigenous peoples remain vulnerable to state-sponsored violence and brutality, which is often aimed at confiscating their lands.

“This carbon market insanity privatises the air and sells it to climate criminals like Shell so they can continue to pollute and destroy the climate and our future, rather than reducing their emissions at source…”

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Fascistic Danish Police Force Threatens to Shoot Activists!

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The policing of COP15 has been totalitarian and democratic rights routinely suspended: no one is considered innocent until proven guilty, but simply arrested “preventatively”. Close to two thousand – 968 in one swoop – were  arrested without committing any offence and been left to sit for hours in a freezing cold street, in their own piss and shit, with plastic strips around their bleeding wrists. Some, including delegates, have been severely beaten.

There have been riots in the animal cage prisons (illegal according to Amnesty) and some spokespeople have been arrested and will be charged with – so far all taking place behind closed doors! -  the intentions to be violent against the police and for the intentions to incite riots. In part based on phone tapping of interviews with journalists and  alleged illegal tapping of Greenpeace. This is what democracy looks like! The police has since admitted that they “only performed two illegal acts of surveillance of phones, nothing more” and Johan Martini Reimann, Director of Copenhagen Police, in order to calm the waters with an unwitting irony, ensures the public that “they have not operated in a manner differently from normal“. Nice to know that the Danish Police routine breaks the law – and as usual revealing to hear what total disregard for the rule of law that this institution has!

In other words, the rule of law no longer rules (did it ever?) the little rotten Duck Pond. There has been world wide reporting of the fascistic policing measures (see for instance: “Copenhagen: the sound of silence: Denmark’s reputation is being destroyed by police action outside the summit and the gagging of NGOs and poor nations inside“), which, of course, does not really surprise those familiar with the Danish police force and political system. Chavez has interestingly stated that Denmark is more repressive than Venezuela.

In connection with a funny, rather innocent, yet cheeky and coordinated Greenpeace action last night in front of and inside the Danish Parliament – Christiansborg – the Chief Inspector of Copenhagen Police, Per Larsen (currently accused of covering up a terrorist act for political gain) , now severely threaten people. First he states that such an action is “as stupid as anything can be. When you do that kind of thing, you are going to pay for it. And that bill is being prepared now“:

»Det er så dumt, som noget kan være. Når man laver den slags, så kommer man til at betale for det. Og den regning er ved at blive udstedt nu«, siger chefpolitiinspektør Per Larsen fra Københavns Politi.

That’s not enough for Per Larsen, however, who also threatens to shoot activists. He says that “the risk is present if anyone feels threatened. When you do such a thing you expose yourself to risks”:

»Den risiko er også til stede, hvis nogen havde følt sig truet. Når man gør den slags, så udgør man da en risiko for sig selv«, siger Per Larsen.

As we have seen throughout COP15 the Danish police do whatever they can, whatever the want, with whatever means necessary to repress protests and to intimidate and scare people from participating in saving the world from corrupt politicians and greeedy corporate pigs, but this is the first time that they directly threaten to shoot people. (Of course they have infamously shot at protesters in Copenhagen before – in 1993 when 113 rounds were fired at an anti-EU demonstration. Denmark just is like that!)

Obviously poor little Per Larsen is upset that the Greenpeace activists took the piss out of him and his imbecile force and now he wants revenge and speaks like a little boy who has had his toy taken away.

While activists climbed lamp posts etc. in front of the parliament building, three others, dressed in appropriate galla fashion entered the fine dinner where the Danish Queen were receiving the “leaders” of states for some pompous food and drink. The exact same style of action was carried out a week earlier in Brussels. EDIT: The four Greenpeace activists have still not been released, causing the Spanish state to “help” one of them, namely the Spanish head of Greenpeace, Juan Lopéz de Uralde.

All bets are off now, all targets – by any means necessary – are legitimate, it seems.

Johan Martini Reimann, politidirektør, Københavns Politi

»Der er ikke andre tilfælde i nogle andre sager om anholdelser af klimaaktivister, hvor aflytninger er underkendt«, siger Carsten

COP15: Release Tadzio Mueller and the other climate prisoners!

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To:  The Danish Parliament

Sign petition @http://www.petitiononline.com/Tadzio/petition.html

See also: http://indymedia.dk/

Over the past week, tens of thousands of people from across the planet have taken to the streets of Copenhagen demanding real and just solutions to climate change. But on the streets, as well as inside the UN Climate Change Conference, delegates and ‘outsiders’ alike are doubting that the conference will reach a deal that isn’t a disaster for most of the world.

Inside the Bella Centre, where the UN delegates are meeting, numerous critical voices have been marginalised through technical and procedural manoeuvres. Others, like Friends of the Earth International, have had their accreditation revoked. Outside, the policing of protest has been consistently draconian and occasionally brutal.

On Saturday 12 December, almost 1,000 participants in a ‘Climate March’ through Copenhagen were arrested. On Monday 14 December, hundreds more were arrested at a party in the city’s Christiania district following a public meeting, addressed by Canadian journalist Naomi Klein and others. On Tuesday 15 December, Tadzio Mueller, a spokesperson for Climate Justice Action, was arrested by undercover police officers following a press conference at the Bella Centre.

This morning, on Wednesday 16 December, Tadzio appeared before a judge on a number of charges relating to his public support for today’s Reclaim Power demonstration. The declared aim of Reclaim Power – also supported by social movements, many conference delegates and other civil society actors – is to hold a People’s Assembly at the Bella Centre, to discuss real solutions to climate change. At this morning’s court hearing the judge decided to hold Tadzio for a further three days, after which he will reappear in court. There are reports that the hearing was closed to the public.

Meanwhile, hundreds more protesters have been arrested today and there have been numerous reports of police brutality and the extensive use of batons, pepper spray and tear gas. We have also heard of further arrests of individual activists by undercover police officers.

We, the undersigned, not only lend our support to those in Copenhagen seeking to push for real and just solutions to climate change, but also demand the following:
• The immediate release of Tadzio Mueller and all other climate prisoners;
• A halt to the criminalisation and intimidation of activists, including the pre-emptive detaining of protesters in Copenhagen;
• The immediate re-instatement of accreditation withdrawn from NGOs and other critical voices at the Climate Summit

(This Open Letter was drafted by the editors of Turbulence: Ideas for Movement, of which Tadzio Mueller is an editor.)

Initial Signatories (name and affiliation):
• Ben Trott (Turbulence editor)
• David Harvie (Turbulence editor, University of Leicester)
• Michal Osterweil (Turbulence editor, US based lecturer, UNC Chapel Hill)
• Keir Milburn (Turbulence editor)
• Rodrigo Nunes (Turbulence editor)
• Kay Summer (Turbulence editor)
• Naomi Klein
• Katja Kipping (Member of the German Bundestag)
• Ulla Jelpke (Spokeswoman for internal affairs of the faction DIE LINKE in the Bundestag)
• Alexis Passadakis (Member of the Coordination Committee of Attac Germany)
• Dr. Simon Lewis (University of Leeds and UN accredited science advisor in COP15)
• Emma Dowling (Lecturer, University of London)
• Ingo Stützle (editor, ak – analyse & kritik)
• Zoe Young (writer and film maker)
• Friends of the Earth International

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

Call for napalm bombing of ‘savages’ wins Survival racism award

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A press release by Survival International:

“An article implying Peruvian Indians should be bombed with napalm has been named by human rights organisation Survival International as the ‘most racist article’ published in the last year by the mainstream media.

The article was published in the Peruvian national newspaper Correo. It calls indigenous people ‘savages’, ‘Palaeolithic’ and ‘primitive’; says that their languages have no more than eighty words; and declares that, in the protests that have recently engulfed much of Peru’s Amazon, they were manipulated by ‘communist excrement’.

‘For those of you who still think of these ‘ethnic groups’ as ‘good’, ‘naïve’ and ‘pure’, I will remind you that it was these same people who perfected the art of shrinking the heads of their enemies and wearing them on the belts holding up their loincloths. If the ‘natives’ didn’t shrink the heads of the policemen they killed (in the recent protests) and eat their remains, it was only because there wasn’t time.’

The article also attacks three indigenous congresswomen, ridiculing their names and referring to them as the ‘three starlets in the parliamentary sewers’. Its response to the indigenous protests against the exploitation of natural resources on their land is: ‘Get f****d, loincloths and all’. The penultimate sentence is: ‘I don’t know what keeps the president from providing the air force with all the napalm necessary.’

The ‘most racist article of the year’ award is part of Survival’s ‘Stamp it Out’ campaign which aims to challenge racist descriptions of indigenous peoples in the world’s media. The winner receives a certificate inscribed with a quotation from Lakota Sioux author Luther Standing Bear: ‘All the years of calling the Indian a savage has never made him one.’

Stamp it Out is supported by eminent journalists such as the BBC’s World Affairs correspondent John Simpson, George Monbiot, John Vidal, and best-selling authors Tim Butcher and Simon Garfield.

Survival’s director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘This article makes depressing reading for anyone who thinks newspapers should educate and inform their readers. We hope the publicity this award receives will make the paper think twice before printing such offensive rubbish again.’

Read an English translation of the article

For more information and images please contact Miriam Ross:
(+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or (+44) (0)7504543367
mr@survival-international.org

An Open Letter to Obama: On Danish Racism

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If you can see through fingers with the way in which one political party is singled out (when in fact the rest of the parliament and the country hide many racists as well) and the melodramatic, pathetically glorifying believe in and appeal to Obama bin Ltd., the representative of Goldman Sachs, – if you can distract your attention from that, then this video is a good introduction to the state of affairs in Denmark where things are most certainly rotten.

Danish: a language that in its native culture is infused with racism and homophobia, linguistically embedded in jokes, sayings and exclamations.

Peru’s Congress Suspends Destructive Decrees: Not a victory, just one less defeat!

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Today the world’s media carry the story of the Peruvian Congress having suspended the destructive decrees that caused a non-violent, yet forceful uprising by indigenous peoples organising to defend the Amazon from the oil and gas industry. It is not a victory – merely one less defeat! The forest continues to be destroyed. Drilling, pumping, spilling roads building and Christian conquest of hearts, souls and minds through concerted violence, repression, manipulation, false promises (“Jesus will buy you a fridge and a car”) and disrespect for the inhabitants of what was once the world’s largest (rain) forest, but which is now better described as a region threatened by destruction, deforestation, desertification, in brief, death. However, at least, for now the attempt to accelerate further the destruction has been pushed back, but not stopped. The struggle continues…..

June 11, 2009
World Briefing | The Americas
Peru: Decrees to Open Jungle Area to Investment Are Suspended
By SIMON ROMERO

Congress temporarily suspended two decrees issued by President Alan García that had helped set off recent protests by indigenous groups fearful of large oil and logging investments in the Peruvian Amazon. The decrees would open vast jungle areas to investment and allow companies to bypass indigenous communities to get permits for projects. The protests resulted in repression by security forces and apparent reprisals by Indians last week that left dozens dead.

See also: Top name brands implicated in Amazon destruction, New Greenpeace report shows how the cattle industry in Brazil is feeding demand for raw resources and “Slaughtering the Amazon

GP01JWC

greenpeace-amazonia-campainger

Tarnac 9 and Anti-terrorism: it “positively produces the political enemy as terrorist”

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The following interview was published in Le Monde on 25 May 2009 and translated by NOT BORED! 27 May 2009. It also appears in the Tarnac9 blog, and here, as well as in this tag collection. Spread the word!

LeMonde | 5.25.09 – Here are the responses to the questions that we [Isabelle Mandraud and Caroline Monnot] posed in writing to Julien Coupat. Placed under investigation on 15 November 2008 for “terrorism,” along with eight other people interrogated in Tarnac (Correze) and Paris, he is suspected of having sabotaged the suspended electrical cables of the SNCF. He is the last one still incarcerated. (He has asked that certain words be in italics.)

Q. How are you spending your time?

A. Very well, thank you. Chin-ups, jogging and reading.

Q. Can you recall the circumstances of your arrest for us?

A. A gang of youths, hooded and armed to the teeth, broke into our house. They threatened us, handcuffed us, and took us away, after having broken everything to pieces. They first took us into very fast cars capable of moving at more than 170 kilometers an hour on the highways. In their conversations, the name of a certain Mr Marion (former leader of the anti-terrorist police) came up often. His virile exploits amused them very much, such as the time he slapped one of his colleagues in the face, in good spirits and at a going-away party. They sequestered us for four days in one of their “people’s prisons,” where they stunned us with questions in which absurdity competed with obscenity.

The one who seemed to be the brains of the operation vaguely excused himself from this circus by explaining that it was the fault of the “services,” the higher-ups, all kinds of people who want [to talk to] us very much. Today, my kidnappers are still free. Certain recent and diverse facts attest to the fact that they continue to rage with total impunity.
Q. The sabotage of the SNCF cables in France was claimed [by someone] in Germany. What do you say about that?
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Obama: A Mad Men Creation of Lies, Wars and Torture for Profit

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When the Obamamania swept the public imagination of TV watching, non-critical minds and those so desperate for change that anything? seemed believable, the colonos blog, as so many others outside of the corporate conspiracy practices, pointed out that – if any change at all – Obama was for the worse. More intimately linked to zionist extremists, particularly through Rahm Emanuel, deeper in bed with corporate banks, particularly the zionist Goldman Sachs, and the elite intelligentsia, such as the racist, misogynist Larry Summers, who no longer need to be embarrassed  about their president’s IQ, Obama is quite possibly the worst thing that has ever happened in political terms to the Planet Earth.

Uncle Tom the Warmonger in the White House of Profit. Calling him black is in itself a form of (warped) racism. Born by a white woman, raised by a white woman, taught by white men, elected by white people, he walks the walk and talks the talk of the White Man. What makes him black? The genetic input of an absent father? His “tainted” skin colour? White is as white does.

What is the point of repeating these so god damn obvious aspects of the elite’s new face of control? Well, they merely serve as an introduction to a recent summary of Obama, the Mad Men business as usual leader, by journalist John Pilger, which I shall leave you with:

Obama’s First 100 Days:
The Madmen Did Well

John Pilger, On April 28, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

The American soap Madmen offers a rare glimpse of the power of corporate advertising. The promotion of smoking half a century ago by the “smart” people of Madison Avenue, who knew the truth, led to countless deaths. Advertising and its twin, public relations, became a way of deceiving on a scale imagined by those who had read Freud and applied mass psychology to anything from cigarettes to politics. Just as the Marlboro Man was virility itself, so politicians could be branded, packaged, and sold.

It is 100 days since Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. The “Obama brand” has since been named Advertising Age’s “marketer of the year for 2008,” easily beating Apple. David Fenton of MoveOn.org describes Obama’s election campaign “an institutionalized, mass-level, automated technological community organizing that has never existed before and is a very, very powerful force.” Deploying the Internet and a slogan plagiarized from the Latino union organizer Caesar Chavez – Si se puede! – “yes, we can,” the “mass-level, automated technological community” marketed its brand to victory in a country desperate to be rid of George W. Bush.

No one knew what the new brand actually stood for. So accomplished was the advertising – a record $75 million was spent on TV commercials alone – that many Americans actually believed Obama shared their opposition to Bush’s wars. In fact, he had repeatedly backed Bush’s warmongering and its congressional funding. Many Americans also believed he was the heir to Martin Luther King’s legacy of anti-colonialism. Yet if Obama had a theme at all, apart from the vacuous “change you can believe in,” it was the renewal of America as a dominant, avaricious bully. “We will be the most powerful!” he declared.

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The Pirate Bay Guilty of Helping Sharing People?

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The Swedish legal system – running errands of Hollywood and the recording industries – have decided that helping people to share their digital data across the Internet is illegal. They might be guilty in the eyes of a corrupt court of law and in the corporate press, but in my book they are fine people, caring and sharing. It is the new world against those of old who hold on to their power and money – accumulated through exploitation over centuries and generations.

In a landmark ruling, the Stockholm district court sentenced Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom to one year each in prison.

They were also ordered to pay damages of 30 million kronor ($3.6 million) to a series of entertainment companies, including Warner Bros, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI and Columbia Pictures.

The Pirate Bay provides a forum for its estimated 22 million users to download content through so-called torrent files. The site has become the entertainment industry’s enemy No. 1 after successful court actions against file-swapping sites such as Grokster and Kazaa.”

- more here from a Wired blog (see also BBC) as well as Alan Toner’s two extensive commentaries [1/2].

“The Pirate Bay founders got their start in Sweden, a country that once was considered a bastion of piracy. The trial changed that image, along with a new law that took effect April 1 that allows content owners to force internet service providers to reveal subscriber data in piracy investigations.

The defendants, though, say their servers are scattered throughout the world– hidden out of reach of the Swedish authorities.

One minute after the judgment was public Friday, Sweden’s Pirate Party issued a press release claiming: “The verdict is our ticket to the EU Parliament”, referring to the election that takes place in the beginning of June.

The party’s top candidate, Christian Engström, comments: “Sweden has now outlawed one of our most successful ambassadors. We have long been a leading IT nation but with these kind of actions we will be left behind and become dependent on other nations’ arbitrary views”.”

God forbid that people should use the new technologies – Imagine if people had just started printing pamphlets and bibles and things like that, just because the printing press has been invented?!?! Or started to make use of the photographic lense to produce cultural artifacts?!?! That could have led to thriving economies, such as news corporations, movie and music recording industries – Oh, hold on – that DID happen?!?! But this is as far as we go, it seems. The conservative, capitalist shareholders and their lawyers have decided that we have reached the end. They are now – as enemies of progress, sharing and community – legitimate targets for political action by any decent means necessary.

However, they are not sent off to do hard time just yet. The Guardian writes:

A Stockholm court found the four defendants guilty of making 33 specific files accessible for illegal sharing through The Pirate Bay, which means they will have to pay compensation to 17 different music and media companies including Sony BMG, Universal, EMI, Warner, MGM and 20th Century Fox.

All four have pledged to appeal against the decision though the process may take several years.

One of the defendants, Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, admitted on Twitter that Pirate Bay had lost its case.

“Stay calm – nothing will happen to TPB, us personally or filesharing what so ever. This is just a theatre for the media,” he said.

“Really, it’s a bit LOL. It used to be only movies, now even verdicts are out before the official release.”

In Politiken one of the pirates is quoted as saying “a confused and poor judgement” while some lawyer for a musician association reckons that ThePirateBay takes away the “daily bread” of the musicians and that the pirates blow their own trumpets in the name Robin Hood – and typical of his creed he invokes emotional sentiments, when he that musicians cannot buy baby clothes. For crying out loud? Is that the argumentative capacity of a lawyer representing artists?

Funny that, last time I talked to a musician who wasn’t in the pocket of the recording industry they were very enthusiastic about the new distribution and advertising platform that P2P offers. Last time I checked how, say, David Bowie and Madonna were doing financially, they did not seem to suffer AT ALL?!? It has never been too easy to be an artist, but new ways of reaching audiences are great for all, but the corporate shareholders, perhaps, but who in the heaven’s name cares for them?

See also the Wikipedia entry for the Piratebay case.

piratebaySHARE NOW – IT IS A GOOD THING TO DO!

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Little Brother Watching Obama in The Evil House

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Just came across “Obama Watch”, which is a service by the World War 4 Report:

Mission Statement

World War 4 Report has been monitoring the Global War on Terrorism and its implications for human rights, democracy and ecology since the immediate aftermath of 9-11. With an international network of contacts and correspondents, we scan the world press and Internet for important stories overlooked by the mass media, and examine the headlines with a critical eye for distortion, deceit and propaganda.

We report on the forgotten wars outside the media spotlight, and seek out unexamined contexts that go beyond mainstream sound-bite coverage. We endeavor to expose the corporate agendas behind the new military interventions, and to find pro-autonomy, anti-militarist voices we can support in the countries under imperialist assault. We especially seek to loan solidarity to land-rooted, stateless, and indigenous peoples—the “Fourth World.”

Above all, we are committed to real journalism (as opposed to mere opinion-spewing and bloggery), and seek through our example to resist its alarming decline. We are fastidiously non-sectarian, and our first loyalty is always to the truth.

Coca-Cola India Foundation & Shashi Tharoor: Greenwashing at its best!

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The long-running and hard working campaign against the extreme behaviour of the Coca-Cola Company – the makers of soft drinks synonymous with The American Empire (which, of course, included trading with Nazi Germany, just like the Bush family and IBM, Ford etc.) – by the India Resource Center, has written an open letter to the celebrity writer, diplomat and capitalist Shashi Tharoor.

He is the perfect “cute”, intellectual poster boy for the celebrity-industrial complex, who after failing to succeed Kofi Annan as Secretary-General of the United Nations (“he came a close second“), has become a figurehead of Coke’s greenwashing front, called the Coca-Cola India Foundation.  Poster-boy responds, showing for all to see just how corporate the UN world and all the rest of those claiming to represent the people (who pay for their extravagant life styles) are:

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Another hard-luck story: Climate Change, the Amazon and the Arctic

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In yesterday’s Guardian there is yet “another hard-luck story that you’re gonna hear”:

“Chris Jones, who led the research, told the conference: “A temperature rise of anything over 1C commits you to some future loss of Amazon forest. Even the commonly quoted 2C target already commits us to 20-40% loss. On any kind of pragmatic timescale, I think we should see loss of the Amazon forest as irreversible.” Peter Cox, professor of climate system dynamics at the University of Exeter, said the effects would be felt around the world. “Ecologically it would be a catastrophe and it would be taking a huge chance with our own climate. The tropics are drivers of the world’s weather systems and killing the Amazon is likely to change them forever. We don’t know exactly what would happen but we could expect more extreme weather.”

Massive Amazon loss would also amplify global warming “significantly” he said. “Destroying the Amazon would also turn what is a significant carbon sink into a significant source.””

Just a few days ago new results came out about the loss of arctic ice showing once again that predictions are continuously shown to be way too conservative – positive feedback loops are upon us:

“Amazon dieback is one of the key positive feedbacks brought about by global warming. These are typically runaway processes in which global temperature rises lead to further releases of CO², which in turn brings about more global warming. In the Amazon this happens on a more localised scale but the result, increased forest death, also releases carbon into the atmosphere.

Experts predict that higher worldwide temperatures will reduce rainfall in the Amazon region, which will cause widespread local drought. With less water and tree growth, “homegrown” rainfall produced by the forest will reduce as well, as it depends on water passed into the atmosphere above the forests by the trees. The cycle continues, with even less rain causing more drought, and so on.

With no water, the root systems collapse and the trees fall over. The parched forest becomes tinderbox dry and more susceptible to fire, which can spread to destroy the still-healthy patches of forest.

Other positive feedback effects expected by scientists, are releases of carbon stored in frozen arctic ecosystems and an increase in the sun’s energy absorbed by the planet as ice melts.”

As already mentioned above, new results from the ice front have arrived and the predictions for an ice free Arctic summer is not far in the future:

“The year “2013 is starting to look as though it is a lot more reasonable as a prediction. But each year we’ve been wrong — each year we’re finding that it’s a little bit faster than expected,” he told Reuters.

The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world and the sea ice cover shrank to a record low in 2007 before growing slightly in 2008.

In 2004 a major international panel forecast the cover could vanish by 2100. Last December, some experts said the summer ice could go in the next 10 or 20 years.

If the ice cover disappears, it could have major consequences. Shipping companies are already musing about short cuts through the Arctic, which also contains enormous reserves of oil and natural gas.”

It’s not looking good.

Mapping Indigenous Mexico for whom?

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US Academics Are Mapping Resources in Mexico; Corporations and the US Military Are the Beneficiaries of the Data

By Silvia Ribeiro

La Jornada February 3, 2009

colonos are reproducing here an investigation by the ETC Group, also posted on NarcoNews

As the Union of Organization of the Sierra Juarez [Unión de Organización de la Sierra Juárez de Oaxaca] has complained (Unosjo, 15/1/09), they have been victimized by a new type of appropriations in their communities: “geo-piracy”. This refers to using (and abusing) the local wisdom of the indigenous and rural villages to make digital highly detailed maps of their geography, resources, (hydrology, natural and cultivated biodiversity, archeology, social, cultural) to place all this on electronic pages with open access, at the disposition of whoever wants to use it. For example, corporations, institutions, or the army of the United States, which financed the project in Oaxaca. What is true, is that previously the project was carried out in nine communities of the Potosi Huasteca, and it is going on in the Sierra Tarahumara.

The implications of this type of activity are so vast, that it is difficult to sum them up. The detailed and precise map of the territories is only possible if it is extracted from local knowledge of those who live there. On processing this knowledge with new technologies, such as systems of digital geographic information, superimposed on satellite maps freely accessible on Google, one obtains an enormous volume of information which is not known or can not be appraised. These maps are of great utility for military ends and for counterinsurgency, but also for industrial purposes (exploitation of resources like minerals, plants, animals and biodiversity; mapping access roads already constructed or “necessary”, sources of water, settlements, social maps of possible resistance or acceptance of projects, etcetera). Read the rest of this entry »