(White) Anarchists in Ferguson?!?

See also : From Anarchists to Tibetan Monks, Here Are Some of the Outsiders Joining Protests in Ferguson, Josh Harkinson, Mother Jones, August 20, 2014 | Ferguson. Over one week in., Anti-State STL, August 20, 2014 | Love Me, Ferguson, I’m a Liberal, Douglas Williams, Jacobin, August 21, 2014.

Blah. Blah blah. Blah blah blah.

The police murder of black teenager Michael Brown on August 9 in Ferguson, St Louis triggered a wave of angry protests — which in turn has created a media storm. One of the curious aspects of this reportage was the claim by St Louis police on late Sunday night/early Monday morning August 17/18 that:

This was soon picked up by CNN, among others: “Late Sunday night, a day of peaceful protests devolved into a night of gunfire, Molotov cocktails and tear gas”. The claim re Molotovs was disputed by others (‘Missouri national guard to be deployed at Ferguson protests’, Jon Swaine and Rory Carroll in Ferguson, Teh Grauniad, August 18, 2014):

Police launched their first barrage of gas and smoke at about 9pm on Sunday after fearing an advance on their command post – in a mall parking lot just south of the centre of the clashes – by a largely peaceful protest march, according to Johnson. He said several molotov cocktails were thrown by those taking part in the march, which included children.

This was sharply disputed. “You need to pull these officers back,” Renita Lamkin, an episcopal pastor who has been trying to control the protests, told a police chief by phone, as teargas fell on the march. “There were no molotov cocktails,” she said.

Curiously, journalist Sarah Kendzior tweeted:

I’ve been unable to find any footage or stills of any white “anarchists” throwing Molotovs at either police or restaurants, but The New York Times uploaded footage from several days previous which shows a black man (an “anarchist”?) throwing one. See : Standoff in Ferguson by Brent McDonald (August 13/14).


The ‘chop suey place’ Sarah tweets about may be a reference to the fact that on August 11: “At Northland Chop Suey on West Florissant, Paul Fletcher helped owner Booen Jang sweep broken glass from the restaurant. Nothing was stolen from the restaurant and the interior was left intact. But the bill just for boarding the windows came to $2,700. Fletcher said the total cost for replacing the windows is expected to reach $10,000.” Then again, given the distance of a week (August 11 > August 18) between the broken window and the burning, maybe not.

As for (white) anarchists, a few Twitter users have made reference to whites being bad, but others appear to confuse “anarchists” with the followers of cult leader Bob Avakian, a/k/a the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Which, if nothing else, is at least mildly amusing.

Otherwise, the media machine grinds on.

For news and views from anarchists in St Louis, see : Anti-State STL.

Bonus Beck!

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The (Australian) Anarchists on Chinese Labor (1887)

‘Chinese Labor’, Honesty, Melbourne, August 28, 1887.

[Honesty was published from April 1887 to November 1888. It was the first anarchist newspaper in Australia, produced by the Melbourne Anarchist Club. Contributors included David Andrade, his brother Will (later well known as a radical bookseller), J.A. Andrews and Chummy Fleming. Source : Reason in Revolt.]

The visit of the Chinese commissioners to Australia [May--September 1887] has afforded a fresh opportunity for the labor agitators to raise the old familiar anti-Chinese cry. Again do we hear the outcry against their vicious habits — their smoking of the opium which we thrust upon them, their simple mode of living, and their industrial success. It is time that the laborers looked this matter squarely in the face, and took a rational view of the matter.

The Chinese have been persecuted long enough. Not only have they had poll-taxes imposed upon them, and other legislative obstacles thrown in the way of their immigration to these shores; but a constant effort is being made to drive them from their employment, if not from the colonies altogether. Meetings are constantly being held in Queensland protesting against the employment of them; Victorian trades’ unions are forever trying to devise means to drive away “the yellow agony;” and everywhere are evidences of determined hostility towards them. It is feared that they are superseding the European races, and the descendants of “the noble Britons” are recoiling in horror at their number, although, as a matter of fact, there are not fifty thousand Chinese in the whole of Australasia, as against two million eight hundred thousand Europeans, — sixty-five of us to every Chinaman. Think of it: sixty-five white men afraid to compete with one yellow skin! They are actually alarmed at the fact that the Chinese are setting up as gardeners, carpenters, miners, hawkers, storekeepers, cooks, laborers, and probably will soon be doing our washing and laundry work. What matters it to the laborer that his Chinese neighbor is also a laborer? — were he an idler instead, there would be some grounds for complaint. The Chinese are admitted to be industrious and persevering, and yet condemned for this very perseverance. If they excel as cabinet-makers, owing to their cheap production, it is clearly of advantage to us who buy their articles. If they sell at low prices, it is at their own loss, and to the advantage of our poorly remunerated laborers, who can only buy cheap articles, or none. If they transport their money — a valueless thing in itself — to China, we are again the gainers, for they have consumed the less of our produce. If they work so diligently, and such long hours, to produce so much, it is to the advantage of ourselves who thus have more to consume. If they are economical — if they live so simply, and fare so poorly, we suffer nothing by their lack of consumption. And yet the European laborer is fighting poor “John”, because he produces too much and consumes too little!

If the Chinese being employed is the cause of a European starving, it is clearly not the Chinaman, who produces much and consumes little, who is to blame. We must seek further. We must seek out the exploiter who produces nothing and consumes much. The fact is that statute law has monopolised the wealth of nature in the hands of a few idlers; and the workers — Chinese and European — are cutting each other’s throats for the crumbs from the rich man’s table, when they might more advantageously cease piling the fruits of their labor upon that table. The Chinese, like ourselves, are the victims of monopoly and exploitation. Were every Chinaman banished from Australasia tomorrow, the evils would still exist as bad as ever. Instead of the Chinese being the scapegoats of economical blundering as they are now, their places would be filled by European scapegoats. While monopoly is supported some must go to the wall, the weakest must decline, a huge number of the workers must be sacrificed upon the altar of Usury.

Stump orators and professional labor agitators propose that the “difficulty” be met by compelling the Chinese to adopt our manners and customs. Could absurdity go much further? Does any intelligent laborer imagine for a moment that the labor troubles will even be minimised by compelling the Chinese to eat flesh and wear European clothing (when the other workers have already not enough), to cut off their pigtails (which harm no one), and to practice the “civilized” customs of tobacco-smoking, beer-drinking, alcoholic intoxication, wanton luxury and indolence? We must seek other “remedies” than these.

The Chinese labor question must be settled by reversing the aims of the trades-unionists, who seek high wages and high prices,–two principles which destroy each other. We must aim at high wages and low prices, or in other words, the Cost Principle. When the workers combine together to exchange equivalent for equivalent, boycotting all capitalists, usurers, and profit-makers generally, we shall hear no more of the Chinese labor question, which is one of the most hollow delusions by which the monopolists hold the laborers in subjection.

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antifa notes (august 17, 2014)



The boofheads at the Australia First Party have finally conceded that they got it wrogn — again (see : Antifa ‘Slackbastard’ Outed And Named. By Morons., October 11, 2010.). Their latest Big Idea is that I’m James Hutchings’ brother.


Otherwise, the Australianists have organised a get-together in Ipswich on Saturday September 6 to piss and moan about bloody foreigners et al.



Spencer Sunshine has written a piece for Souciant on Nazi Skinhead Economics (August 7, 2014); Robert Parry writes about how The New York Times Discovers Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis at War (August 14, 2014); Niles Williamson, a scribe for The Leadership of the World Socialist Movement, writes that Kiev deploys fascist militias against Donetsk (August 12, 2014).



In the US, Luke O’Donovan was last week sentenced to two years prison and eight years probation after successfully defending himself from a group assault:

On New Year’s Eve of 2013, Luke O’Donovan attended a house party in Reynoldstown, a neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia. Luke was seen dancing with and kissing other men at the party. Later in the night he was insulted with homophobic slurs, and attacked by several people at once. Luke unsuccessfully attempted to escape, at which point several witnesses reported watching between 5 and 12 men ganging-up on Luke and stomping on his head and body, evidently with the intent to kill him. Luke was called a faggot before and during the attack. Throughout the course of the attack, Luke and five others were stabbed. Luke was subsequently imprisoned and charged with five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as well as one count of attempted murder. He spent two and a half weeks in jail without bond before being released under bond conditions that drastically affected his life. None of the other individuals involved in the altercation were charged.

Luke is a young queer man previously residing in metro Atlanta. At the time of his arrest, Luke was a student at Georgia Gwinnett College and planned on transferring to Georgia State University — a plan he subsequently had to abandon because of legal fees, medical costs, and bond conditions. The conditions of Luke’s bond caused him to move out of the house he was staying in, as well as preventing him from interacting with a large section of his community in Northeast Atlanta.

Luke’s trial concluded on August 12, 2014, when he accepted a plea deal. The negotiated deal was as follows: Luke will be in the Georgia prison system for 2 years beginning on August 12, after which he will begin eight years of harsh probation. At the time of sentencing, the judge added to the negotiated plea that Luke will be banished from the state of Georgia for the eight years of his probation …

For more infos on Luke’s case and how to show support see : Support Luke! Defense Committee website.


Speaking of homophobes, the “World Congress of Families” conference, which Kevin Andrews, Robert Clark, Bernie Finn, Fred Nile and other anti-choice, anti-LGBTI speakers will be attending, will be taking place on Saturday, August 30 in Glen Iris. See The Block Party Against Hate for fun-filled counter-activities.

NB. The Southern Poverty Law Centre has classified the WCOF as a hate group; People for the American Way and Political Research Associates have moar.

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antifa notes (august 7, 2014)


Vice has published an article exploring Dr Jim Saleam’s Wonder World aka ‘The Bunker’ in Tempe: headquarters of the Australia First Party. It fails as an act of spotting (SAlt was absent from the counter-protest the other week), but it was curious to read that the Party for Freedom’s Chairman, Nick Folkes, is seemingly attempting to ingratiate himself with the AF mob, especially as the PfF split from APP, which was in turn a split from AF (supposedly because AF contained a few too many anti-Semites and not nearly enough Islamophobes). In any case, Folkes don’t mind hangin’ with Jew-haters, the PfF’s Vice Chairman, Martin Fletcher, once having halped distro Down Under WWII-era Serbian Nazi propaganda as well as that produced by Tom Metzger‘s White Aryan Resistance.

In other news, as well as providing antifa the personal details of its fuehrer, the split in neo-Nazi groupuscule Nationalist Alternative has produced another tiny grouplet, this one calling itself NRG (‘National Republican Guard’). Hitler-loving fans of uptempo disco or electronic dance music will be thrilled.

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God Hates Fags (et al) : World Congress of Families conference, August 30


A right-wing mob known as the World Congress of Families (AKA the World Cavalcade of Stupidity) is meeting in Melbourne in a month’s time. The ‘World Congress of Families: Melbourne Regional Conference: Life, Family & Freedom’ is taking place from 9am to 5.30pm on Saturday August 30, 2014 @ St. Cecilia’s Hall (cnr Van Ness Ave & Hillside Pde) in Glen Iris. The conference brings together various worthies from the the right, religious and secular. According to the Endeavour Forum (a group which ‘started out as Women Who Want to be Women’), sponsoring organisations include Focus on the Family, Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, Christian Democrat Party, Australian Christians, Right to Life Australia, Memucan Institute Defending Traditional Masculinity (which wins my vote for best name), Salt Shakers, (Peter Costello’s BFF) Catch the Fire Ministries, and Connor Court Publishing.

Just as former Treasurer Peter Costello was clap-happy to join with Catch the Fire in wishing Strayans well, the conference will be blessed with the presence of Tory federal Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews — the ‘international ambassador’ for the Congress — and Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark. See : Ministers to join pro-lifer who believes the ‘pill kills’ at World Congress of Families, Heath Aston, The Sydney Morning Herald, July 25, 2014. Also gracing the Congress will be His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke who will deliver an address on the subject of the Catholic Church’s systemic cover-up of child sex abuse by its clergy ‘Natural Law and Conscience: Key to Freedom and to the Integrity of Marriage and the Family’. (Someone may want to point out to His Eminence that if you go against Nature, that’s part of Nature too.)

In any event, the conference will not go unopposed, and any number of fun-loving frightbats will be organising to let the hate-mongers know they’re not welcome …

See also : No anti-abortion activist should be able to mislead women to ‘rescue’ them, The Grauniad, July 24, 2014 | People Are Flooding This Nuthouse Religious Conference With Fake RSVPs, Alex McKinnon, Junkee, July 21, 2014.

Posted in !nataS, Sex & Sexuality, State / Politics, That's Capitalism! | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The SUWA Show, July 25 w Antony Loewenstein

This month’s edition of FlOaTiNg AnArChY features an interview with author and journalist Antony Lowenstein on his recent trip to Greece and the current situation in Gaza. We also chat to Rafi Alam about far-right shenanigans in Sydney this weekend and to director Ben Fuller about the new stage production by Renegade Theatre of Oh What A Lovely War. On 3CR, 855AM, Friday, July 25 @5.30pm AEST, streaming live on 3CR.


Antony Lowenstein | Jews Say: End the War on Gaza — No Aid to Apartheid Israel! BDS! | What resistance looks like in austerity-captured Greece | The toxic Greek brew of racism, fascism and hatred of refugees
Oh What A Lovely War : July 24 – 3rd August 2014, New Ballroom Trades Hall Building, Carlton | Renegade Activist Action Force : renegadeactivist[at]gmail[dot]com
• Rafi’s blog — DISCOBEDIENCE — and Twitter
Benefit for Jock Palfreeman, July 27, Melbourne Anarchist Club, 62 St Georges Rd, Northcote | Free Jock
Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair, August 9, Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford

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Fourth Annual Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair : August 9, 2014


The fourth annual Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair will be taking place at the Abbotsford Convent on Saturday, August 9 this year. The Bookfair consists of around 40 or so stalls by independent and radical booksellers and activist groups. Alongside the stalls, there’ll be around 20 or so workshops running all day, on a range of topics of interest to anarchists.

Entry is free and kick-off is 10am.

For more information please see the Bookfair website and Facebook event page.

See also : 2014 Sydney Anarchist Bookfair +++ (March 27, 2014) | 3rd Annual Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair, Saturday, August 10, 2013 (July 31, 2013) | Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair 2012 (Review) (August 6, 2012) | Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair : August 13, 2011 (June 17, 2011).

Oh yeah …

Anarchist bookfairs take place all over this dying world, from the Balkans, Barcelona, the Bay Area, Belfast, Biel, Bochum, Bradford and Bristol to Winnipeg, Zagreb and Zrenjanin. See the Anarchist Bookfairs of the World blog for a much more complete line-up.

Posted in Anarchism, Anti-fascism, Art, Broken Windows, Cats, Collingwood, Death, Film, History, Media, Music, Poetry, Sex & Sexuality, State / Politics, Student movement, Television, That's Capitalism!, Trot Guide, War on Terror | Tagged , | Leave a comment

antifa notes (july 21, 2014) : protest and counter-protest, ADE, SYD …

Update (July 29, 2014) : Sadly, Patriots in Adelaide failed to turn up (their clown car broke down); antifascists had a nice picnic and a kick of the footy instead. In Sydney, half-a-dozen or so bozos belonging to Nicholas Hunter Folkes’ support group — a/k/a the Party for Freedom — rocked up outside Woolworths only to be confronted by 10 times as many counter-protesters, promptly lost a number of their placards and leaflets and went home with their tail between their collective legs. Later, an Australia First Party meeting (“Boo international students!”) was picketed and police detained an antifascist after rescuing a suspected neo-Nazi from the crowd. See : A Day of Anti-Racist Anarchy with Antifa, Nelson Groom, Vice, July 29, 2014.

Looks like it’ll be a busy weekend …


In Adelaide on Sunday, July 27 the Adelaide franchise of the Patriots Defence League (a splinter of the Australian Defence League) is planning on holding a BBQ at Bonython Park/Tulya Wodli. Joining the Patriots will be some anti-fascists:

Racists are organising a recruitment BBQ to create a network of fascists in SA. We’re organising a counter-meeting on the same day where people who are motivated by inclusiveness and compassion can meet, share food, listen to music and participate in a group discussion on how to tackle issues relating to racial division in SA. Bring friends and confront hatred with humanity.


On the same day in Melbourne the Melbourne Anarchist Club is holding a benefit gig for imprisoned anti-fascist Jock Palfreeman. Kick-off is 3pm, entry is $10 and all proceeds are going to the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Association. See also : Continued Assaults on Asylum Seekers in Sofia Central Prison (July 21, 2014) | Free Jock Palfreeman : July 2014 Update (July 4, 2014).


In Sydney, RASH Sydney has organised a counter-protest in Marrickville.

Racist scum are trying to intimidate & drive out religious minorities from Marrickville, while promoting white nationalism.

They have decided to target the Marrickville Woolworths (for the grievous crime of wishing its customers ‘Happy Ramadan’) on the 26th July at 11am.

We are standing up against these hateful people to let them know their views are not welcome.

The Patriots Defence League are a newly formed group of people targeting religious freedom & culture. They see themselves as a patriotic, nationalist street movement that are ‘defending our beautiful way of life’. They do this by openly expressing their hatred of all other races and cultures.

This is not about expressing freedom of speech, it’s about causing fear & division. That’s why it must be opposed. They are targeting a religious minority, in exactly the same way Jewish people were targeted in the last century. We oppose this because unless you’re white, straight & Protestant-Christian, you’ll be next …

The ‘Boo Woolworths!’ Patriots will also be joined by the dregs in the Party for Freedom. Note that Martin Fletcher, the Vice Chairman of the Party for Freedom (a splinter from the Australian Protectionist Party, which was in turn a splinter from the Australia First Party), first came to the attention of anti-fascists when he began publishing Nazi and neo-Nazi propaganda on his website, ‘Downunder Newslinks’.

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Continued Assaults on Asylum Seekers in Sofia Central Prison

[Below is an account by Jock Palfreeman of recent assaults by Sofia prison guards on imprisoned asylum seekers and others. On July 25 NYC ABC is holding a meeting to discuss Jock's case; on July 27 MAC is holding a benefit gig to raise funds for the Bulgarian Prisoners' Rehabilitation Association (of which Jock is Chairman).]


On the 6/7/14 at 8.30am the guard Peter Petrov performed the morning roll call, he entered Cell 11 and started shouting in Bulgarian, a language no one present understood. As the roll call finished for that cell he then started to assault a mentally ill man from behind as he was not moving fast enough. The mentally ill man is about 45kgs, about 55 years old and a citizen of Comoros. He then retaliated and slapped the guard back after the guard Peter Petrov hit him and kicked him again, the guard came at the Comoros Islander again and the African took a chair to keep the guard away from him. Three other guards came and only saw the Comoros islander with the chair and so they beat him too. Peter Petrov then ran out of the cell, locked all the cell doors and called for “assistance”. Forty guards came from two work shifts, from the Saturday evening shift and the incoming Sunday day shift (as now shifts are 12 hours). The forty guards summarily beat everyone in the cell – the man from Comoros, four Afghanis, one Pakistani, one Dutch man and an Algerian. They were not resisting in any way and most of the wounds inflicted by the guards are on their backs as they tried to cover their faces on the ground. All of these victims are incarcerated for illegal border crossing: they are all asylum seekers.

The man from Comoros was most badly beaten, with a cut face, bleeding eye, bleeding nose, cut lips and swollen and cuts and swelling to his head. All over his body was covered in welts from the batons. The Pakistani too had welts and pink bruises as did the others in perfect shapes of batons; the Pakistani received a cut head and several of the Afghanis, apart from the welts on their backs and forearms, had black and bleeding eyes. The seven men were beaten with batons, boots; they were stomped, hit and hit into walls and the ground.

The beating continued for about 20-30 minutes. The guards then indiscriminately started to break furniture used by prisoners for playing cards in the corridor.

After the bulk of the guards left, the guards called the prisoners Hisham Karmo and Budimir Kjovic, a Syrian national and a Serbian national. Together with the guards they wrote witness statements or “explanations” for the victims and intimidated the victims to sign the statements. The victims were told if they complained they would get extra prison sentences and that the guards would beat them again.

In these “witness statements” written by Hisham and Budimir, it states that the Comoros man attacked the guard unprovoked and the guard had to defend himself. A deal was struck between Hisham and Budimir and the guard Peter Petrov and the rest of the guards that this would be the official version that Hisham and Budimir would testify to but also help maintain through intimidation of victims.

Only the man from Comoros was allowed to see a doctor. As the official version of events did not include the other seven victims as having been assaulted they were not permitted to see a doctor for the entirety of Sunday. At 8.30pm the guards changed shifts and again the new guards would not allow the other 6 victims to see the duty doctor. On the same day as the assault the victims came to me (Jock Palfreeman) as the chairman of the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association and as a known human rights activist and asked me for help. I immediately called the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee to inform their chairman Krassimir Kanev of the assault and he supplied valuable legal advice as to how to proceed.

With prisoners acting as translators the victims wrote real statements testifying the details of the assault free of intimidation by the prison’s auxiliary bullies. We brought many prisoners together and discussed how to proceed. Many prisoners supported the victims and we promised to support the victims if any prisoner working for the prison administration tried to intimidate them or use physical violence to silence them.

On 7/7/14 (the next day) members of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee came to meet with the victims. They took their statements and conveyed an official complaint to the prosecutor’s office. The members of the Helsinki Committee then personally escorted the victims to the prison infirmary and supervised as medical injury reports were written, although copies of said medical reports were not made or given to the victims or their representatives.

The evening of the 7/7/14 the guard Peter Petrov was returned to work in 10th and continued his attempt to intimidate me, Jock Palfreeman, as he had been informed of my complaint against him the previous Wednesday (on 2/7/14), after he assaulted me by kicking me with his boots, hitting me with a large metal key, pushing and pulling me in an attempt to provoke physical confrontation. However I did not react as the man from Comoros did; had I, I would have suffered the same fate as the other victims. I realised that this guard is highly violent and dangerous.

Whether it was his character or he was a racist or he was drunk or on drugs no one could say but I realised after he assaulted me on two separate occasions that the assaults would continue and only get worse. So on the 3/7/14 I sent a complaint to the Director of the prison Peter Krester and a request to have this violent and dangerous guard moved from our block.

No measures were taken and the guard Peter Petrov four days later subsequently attacked the man from Comoros and instigated the mass assault on the other seven victims.

I, Jock Palfreeman, have now again become a target of Peter Petrov, the guard and as of the date of writing this, 9/7/14, the prison authorities have failed to take any measures to prevent the guards from assaulting prisoners or to protect me or the other 8 victims.

The assault on the 8 men was extremely vicious and so I started the explanations from that point as opposed to the first assaults upon myself.


On the 10/7/14 (Thursday), the guard Peter Petrov was moved to a different part of the prison.

On the 14/7/14 representatives from the Ombudsman’s office entered the prison to conduct an investigation into the mass assault, they met with the victims and witnesses and briefly with myself.

On the 16/7/14 the vice-minister of justice, responsible specifically for the running of prisons, met with the victims of the mass assault (although there are concerns about the vice-minister’s personal connections with Budimir Kjovic, who was also called to the meeting as a friend of the vice-minister of justice).

On the 17/7/14 the state prosecutor met with the victims to collect their statements from them personally.

The continued pressure and intimidation from the prisoners Budimir Kjovic and Hisham Karmo upon the victims to give false testimonies is a continuing concern, not to mention their attempt to also intimidate me into not showing solidarity to the victims. It’s just another example of mafia criminals working with the state apparatus of oppression. The prison allows these bullies to continue their drug businesses within the prison, the prison staff take a cut and in exchange it is in their interest to protect the prison administration and guards as they provide the protection for their business.

Earlier this year a director Yosofifov, director of work and pay of Sofia Central Prison, was arrested along with the friend of Budimir Kjovic for trafficking contraband into the prison. Earlier this month the director Yosofifov was formally fired for violating the ethics code.

There can never be any compromise with violators of human rights and mafia!

When injustice becomes law resistance becomes duty!

~ Jock Palfreeman
Chairman, Bulgarian Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Association

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Chomsky on Gaza conflict

Gaza’s Torment, Israel’s Crimes, Our Responsibilities
Noam Chomsky
July 12, 2014

At 3am Gaza time, July 9, in the midst of Israel’s latest exercise in savagery, I received a phone call from a young Palestinian journalist in Gaza. In the background, I could hear his infant child wailing, amidst the sounds of explosions and jet planes, targeting any civilian who moves, and homes as well. He just saw a friend of his in a car clearly marked “press” blown away. And he heard shrieks next door after an explosion but can’t go outside or he’ll be a likely target. This is a quiet neighborhood, no military targets – except Palestinians who are fair game for Israel’s high tech US-supplied military machine. He said that 70% of the ambulances have been destroyed, and that by then over 70 had been killed, and of the 300 or so wounded, about 2/3 women and children. Few Hamas activists have been hit – or rocket launching sites. Just the usual victims.

It is important to understand what life is like in Gaza when Israel’s behavior is “restrained,” in between the regular manufactured crises like this one. A good sense is given in a report to UNRWA [Brief report to UNRWA: The Gaza Health Sector as of June 2014: PDF] by Mads Gilbert, the courageous and expert Norwegian physician who has worked extensively in Gaza, also throughout the vicious and murderous Cast Lead operation. In every respect, the situation is disastrous. Just keeping to children, Gilbert reports: “Palestinian children in Gaza are suffering immensely. A large proportion are affected by the man-made malnourishment regime caused by the Israeli imposed blockage. Prevalence of anaemia in children <2yrs in Gaza is at 72.8%, while prevalence of wasting, stunting, underweight have been documented at 34.3%, 31.4%, 31.45% respectively.” And it gets worse as the report proceeds.

When Israel is on “good behavior,” more than two Palestinian children are killed every week, a pattern that goes back over 14 years. The underlying cause is the criminal occupation and the programs to reduce Palestinian life to bare survival in Gaza, while Palestinians are restricted to unviable cantons in the West Bank and Israel takes over what it wants, all in gross violation of international law and explicit Security Council resolutions, not to speak of minimal decency. And it will continue as long as it is supported by Washington and tolerated by Europe – to our everlasting shame.

Posted in Death, State / Politics, That's Capitalism!, War on Terror | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments