nightslantern * * *
2016 suppressed news
2016 suppressed news
concerned with the prevention of genocide
by j. b. gerald
2017April 17, 2017 Easter Monday
Ireland: Irish First Mothers has asked Ireland's Attorney General to initiate a case against those responsible for genocide against unwed mothers of the poor, forced into detention, whose children were stripped from them and placed for adoption. Circa 1945 to 1975, 2200 Irish babies were placed for adoption in the U.S. without respecting laws protecting the human rights of the mothers. A letter of request for action was also sent to the International Criminal Court not requesting charges but requesting help for Ireland's Attorney General with advice and procedural facilitation. The Attorney General's response was that her offices couldn't initiate charges. On April 4th Irish First Mothers wrote the Attorney General demanding action: We now charge that a religiously founded and motivated, State-funded, mass system of de facto incarceration caused us grievous life-long injury; then forcibly removed our children by means of systemically uninformed, impaired consents to adoption. Our children were with intent transferred from us as unmarried mothers to couples married in civil law under religious ceremonies. The Convention on Genocide includes as genocide under Article II - e., Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. The Irish First Mothers' argument relies on the customs and enforcement of the Catholic Church in placing unwed mothers in detention and taking away their children. On March 3rd the Mothers and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation reported evidence of the remains of children at Tuam Mother and Baby Home run by the Bon Secours order. Partial sources online: "Homes survivors’ group ceases co-operation with commission," Conor Lally, March 13, 2017, The Irish Times; "Call for genocide prosecution over mothers’ homes," Justine McCarthy, April 9, 2017, The Sunday Times; "Formal Genocide Charges v. Irish State, Religious Institutions and Persons," Kathy McMahon Founder, Irish First Mothers, April 4, 2017, IrishFirstMothers.com; "Heart-wrenching documentary shines light on adoption trade of Irish ‘illegitimate children’," Christina Finn, Sept. 18, 2014, thejournal.ie; "What's The Difference Between Long Kesh and a Mother And Baby Home?" Finfan Dunne, March 20, 2017, Irish First Mothers.
April 11, 2017 Democratic Republic of the Congo Syria
Democratic Republic of the Congo update: the Globe and Mail reports that Canadian mining companies Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., Banro Corp. and Alphamin Resources Corp., are among those increasing their operations. Specifically in the Eastern Congo (see previous) Banro which is based in Toronto took 200,000 ounces of gold from its Twangiza mine and Namoya mine during 2016. 70% of all Congolese live under the poverty line. Despite "incidents" targeting Banro's personnel it plans two additional mines to double production. Dan Gertler, the Israeli billionaire is heavily invested in Congo, and has been a principle supporter of the Kabila governments as well as an alleged purveyor of enormous bribes. While the Catholic Church has taken credit for the current peace in the Congo, the country waits for President Joseph Kabila who has outstayed his mandate in power, to step down at the end of 2017; there's increasing violence against church personnel throughout the country. Rwandan President Paul Kagame, alleged responsible for the genocide of Hutu in the DRC, has addressed AIPAC in New York City, asserting common ground between Rwanda and Israel in their populations of Holocaust survivors. The Dan Gertler owned mining company, Oil of DRCongo (of his Fleurette Group), reports discovering an oil reserve of 3 billion barrels under Lake Albert near the border of Uganda. Drilling plans require the "relocations" of villages. Partial sources online: "Canadian mining companies turn bullish on Congo, despite its violence," Geoffrey York, May 19, 2017, The Globe and Mail. "Diamonds forever: Will Israel stay away from Congo?" Daniel Brett, Jan. 11, 2017, Al Arabiya English; "Israeli-Owned Mining Company Discovers Vast Oil Reserves in DRC," AFP. March 25, 2017, Arutz Sheva; "Deteriorating security situation in DR Congo 'a source of major concern,' warns UN envoy," March 21, 2017, United Nations News Centre; "Genocide des Hutu au Congo: Temoignage d'un Rescape," Gaspard Musabyimana, Nov. 2, 2010, musabyimana.net.
Syria: (previous). Three articles by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky question the official accounts currently preparing the Euro-North American public for war:
* "Pentagon Trained Syria’s Al Qaeda 'Rebels' in the Use of Chemical Weapons"
* "When America’s 'Progressives' Pay Lip Service to Imperialism. The Anti-War Movement is Dead"
* "Washington’s False Flag: United Nations Confirmed that US Supported Syrian “Rebels” Were Using Chemical Weapons"
April 7, 2017
Syria: Without legal mandate and under orders of the U.S. President, the U.S. Navy has launched 59 cruise missiles at Syria's Shayrat air base in an act of war. The missiles were fired from the USS Ross and the USS Porter. Background: in response to US/NATO media accounts of civilian deaths in northern Syria (the town of Khan Sheikdom) attributed to chemical weapons (the reports were not verified by international agencies) and blaming the Syrian government, attempts to provoke global outrage at Syria's President Assad have taken precedence over calls for investigations of this war crime. A spurious use of chemical weapons is apart from any tactical interests of the Syrian Army. Images of injuries to children were widely disseminated by Western news services. Russian sources have claimed that a poison gas factory and storage depot of anti Assad forces was damaged. In 2013 President Assad turned over Syria's chemical weapon production facilities and stockpiles to the international community for destruction, and in 2014 these were entirely destroyed according to The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Our previous posting on Syria notes U.S. forces on the ground in Syria, without Syrian Government consent, a crime of aggression under international law. Previous allegations against the Syrian government for use of chemical weapons against its own people were never verified. Recent evidence of a propaganda campaign to vilify President Assad includes allegations of war crimes in the mistreatment of prisoners, a facet of his regime recognized as early as 2002 in the torture of Canadian Maher Arar. A genocide warning for the people of Syria is maintained (I believe a genocide of Syrian people as a national group is in progress). For perspectives suppressed by establishment media:
"Ray McGovern: The Inside Scoop on the Middle East & Israel" (Regis Tremblay, 2016) [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnITcUQiK1Y >]
"Ex-UK Ambassador: Assad wasn't behind the chemical attack" (Syriana Analysis)[access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS6Oa_aDS6E >]
"Syrian Rebels Behind Sarin Gas Attack" (Israeli Live News) [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS6Oa_aDS6E >]
"Repaired Audio MP3: US Syrian Invasion Planned Months in Advance" (Israeli Live News) [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdQqAFD_rJ4 >]
Partial sources online: "Swedish Medical Associations Says White Helmets Murdered Kids for Fake Gas Attack Videos," Gordon Duff, April 6, 2017, Veterans Today; "Tillerson: Steps Already Underway for US Removal of Assad," Jason Ditz, April 06, 2017, antiwar.com; "U.S. launches missiles on Syria in response to deadly gas attack," Julie Pace, Vivian Salama, Lolita C.Baldo, April 6 & 7, 2017, The Globe and Mail "Syria’s Chemical Arsenal Fully Destroyed, U.S. Says," Alan Rappeport, Aug. 18, 2014, The New York Times; "MIT Study Further Destroys Washington’s Syria Chemical Weapons Claim," 21WIRE, Jan. 201, 2014, 21rst Century Wire; "Removal of Chemical Weapons From Syria Is Completed," Naftali Bendavid, June 23, 2014, Wall Street Journal; "Does ISIS Have Access to Chemical Weapons in Iraq and Syria?" Alastair Jamieson, Oct. 28, 2014, NBCNews; "The Truth Behind the Khan Sheikhoun Chemical Attack," trans. Samer Hussein, April 5, 2017, Fort Russ.
April 2, 2017 Canada France Russia Guatemala
Canada: concerning the planned transfer of HEU (highly enriched uranium) stored at Chalk River nuclear plant, to South Carolina where it can be processed, RCI reports the shipment of liquid radioactive waste requires 150 truckloads. Iroquois Confederacy communities are against the transportation which they find needless when modern technology for processing HEU now exists; the transportation in liquid form may be life threatening to forty million people. There is also doubt that the containers are adequate for safety. Partial sources online: "Stalled nuclear shipments back on the road," Nicholas Camilleri, Feb 9, 2017, Today's Trucking; "Highly Enriched Uranium transport objected to by First Nations," Carmel Kilkenny, March 2, 2017, Radio Canada International; "Nuclear shipment not safe," March 14, 2017, Niagara this Week- St. Catherines
France: news about France's program to ethnically cleanse the country of French Roma no longer reaches international pages. A report by the European Roma Rights Centre and the Ligue des droits de L’Homme notes 6 out of 10 French Roma families have been evicted, and last year ten thousand Roma were put on the street, the majority in mid-winter. While the European Union has condemned France, no resistance has fought for Roma rights, despite the history of France's WWII turning over the Roma people to the Nazis. Night's Lantern has noted genocide warnings for France's Roma since 2010. The contemporary persecution of French Roma has forewarned of the resurgence of anti-Semitism - not at the hands of Muslim communities but caused by politicians seeking popular support, and by the corporate state, and by government inaction. Many French Jews are currently fearful of far right populist presidential candidate Marine Le Pen who leads in the polls. LePen is wooing the Jewish community by appealing to a fear of Islam, supporting the JDL in France, and a strongly Zionist political teammate, former police inspector Michel Thooris. However she has also indicated her government would ask dual citizens of France and Israel to choose. And she has supported banning the wearing of yarmulkes in public. In 2015, 8000 Jews left France to live in Israel. After a terrorist attack five years ago which killed a rabbi, his two children and another child, 300 Jewish families left Toulouse. Of recent French anti-Semitic crimes, an ancient Jewish cemetery in Waldwisse (bordering Germany) was vandalized with damage to 80% of its gravestones. The cemetery was previously desecrated in 2014. Partial sources online: "Thousands of Roma Forced onto Streets of France in 2016," Feb. 7, 2017, ERCC; "Vandals desecrate 80% Jewish graves at small French cemetery," April 1, 2017, RT; "Jews are safer in Israel’s bunkers than in French ghettos," March 25, 2017, Arutz Sheva 7; "What if the US had a French President?" Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, March 29, 2017, JewishPress.com; "Report: Le Pen Boosting Appeal to French Jews," David Israel, March 22, 2017, JewishPress.com; "Le Pen: French Jews Will Have to Give Up Israeli Citizenship," Roni Bar, Feb. 10, 2017, Haaretz.
Russia: still honoured by Russia where poets are a voice of a people, Yevgeny Yevtushenko has died in Oklahoma. The poet, best known for his poem "Babi Yar," was teaching at the University of Tulsa. While hiring Russia's cultural icons to educate young Americans, the West's campaign against all things Russian continues. For example, Professor of law Eric Heinze (Queen Mary University of London) writes of Russia as "history’s top purveyor of global antisemitism," blaming as well the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro, and leftists in general. Partial sources online: "Acclaimed Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko dies in Oklahoma," Ken Miller, (AP), April 1, 22017, News1130. "Russia is the global leader in Jew-hate," Eric Heinze, Feb. 24,2017, The Jewish Chronicle."Yevgeny Yevtushenko Recites Babi Yar" <[access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJEGrgdGzPE >].
Guatemala: the Associated Press reports that a second trial on charges of genocide against former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt is being initiated. The first trial remains out of the news - its finding of Ríos Montt guilty on charges of genocide of Ixil Indians was overturned by a curious high court procedure and then re-initiated - that case may be in legal limbo as one legal technicality after another impedes its progression (previous). The new trial under charges of genocide involves the murder of 201 civilians at Las Dos Erres, Petén, a village in northern Guatemala. Ríos Montt, shielded by his senility and legal impunity of the privileged, isn't likely to appear at either trial: a defense lawyer contends that the new trial can only verify the facts of the genocide but can't impose a sentence. Background. Partial sources online: "Guatemala ex-dictator Rios Montt to stand 2nd genocide trial," Associated Press, March 31, 2017, Fox News; "Defensa: Ríos Montt no puede ser condenado," José del Águila, April 1, 2017, La Hora.
March 16, 2017
Africa: "The Politics Of Genocide," Keith Harmon Snow (2013) offers a realistic perspective on contemporary colonialist interests and tactics in Africa. The video concludes by noting a specific unprosecuted act of genocide by Rwandan President Paul Kagame's forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1996, against Hutu refugees. The crime has no statute of limitations. Snow has consistently provided honest, deep, well informed reporting on Central Africa. The Genocide of Hutu refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1996 is well documented in United Nations genocide mapping by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. I believe Snow's statement is corroborated by 5DRCSectionIChapterTwoPart1 which is found in Peter Erlinder's Rwanda Documents Project at http://www.rwandadocumentsproject.net. The work is a heart breaking effort to document in order to counter, the horror humankind can create. Year after year the killing of refugees and innocent civilians of one ethnic group then another blends into a sea of blood, senseless, until it appears the sole purpose of the Congo wars was/is depopulation. The responsibility for the terrible acts of continual massacre shifts from one or another group of troops to the tactics and purposes of the ongoing warfare. We are left with the awareness that the Democratic Republic of the Congo was invaded in a war of aggression by Ugandan and Rwandan troops, and their leadership bears the responsibility for part of the genocide occurring in the Congo. The subsequent genocide warnings by Night's lantern for Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo, are inadequate. See also my "Tactical Use of Genocide in Sudan and the Five Lakes Region" (2006). See also the case of U.S. attorney Peter Erlinder, who barely survived an arrest by Kagame while Erlinder was defending a presidential candidate who opposed Kagame and tried to share information about the genocide of the Hutu as well as Tutsi, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza (she remains in prison): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. Apparently protected from prosecution under the genocide convention, on March 10th, 2017, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, gave his fourth lecture since 2011 to the Harvard Business School class of Prof. Michael Porter and Prof. Laura Alfaro, “Microeconomics of Competitiveness.” Partial sources online: "Video: Kagame speaks at Harvard Business School class," Collins Mwai, March 12, 2017, Rwanda New Times; "President Kagame at Harvard Business School Class | Boston, 10 March 2017," Paul Kagame [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGv5-v87UhA >]; "The Politics Of Genocide - Must See! (KHS)," Keith Harmon Snow, 2013 Youtube [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF0Z_OEkuuE >].
March 13, 2017 Israel/Palestine Syria USA
Israel/Palestine updates: according to the CJPME (Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East) a new poll which it co-sponsored with Independent Jewish voices, Dimitri Lascaris and Murray Dobbin, indicates an overwhelming majority of Canadians believes that criticism of Israel's policies isn't necessarily anti-Semitic. The poll also finds most Canadians have a negative view of Israel's government while they believe the Canadian government is biased in Israel's favour. The Middle East Monitor carries word from Palestine's Ministry of Health that anaesthetic gas is currently banned from Gaza. This halts surgeons' ability to operate. The Guardian reports a new law which bars entry to those who have called for or pledged to uphold the boycott of Israel. News of Israel's peace movement and anti establishment resistance generally doesn't appear in the Euro-American media. Partial sources online: "New Survey: On Israel, Canadian Gov’t out of touch / Nouveau sondage: Sur Israël, le gouvernement canadien est hors de contact," CJPME, Feb.16, 2017, CJPME email; "2017 Survey: On Israel-Palestine, Canadian Gov’t is out of Touch," CJPME / EKOS, current (Feb.10, 2017), www.cjpme,org/survey; "Israel bans delivery of anaesthesia gas to Gaza hospitals," Feb. 8, 2017, Middle East Monitor; "Israel passes law barring entry for supporters of boycott of Jewish state," Jerusalem AFP, March 6, 2017, theguardian.
Syria: the United States has confirmed its use of depleted uranium weapons in Syria. According to World Bulletin the long lasting slow acting lethal weapon was used in air raids by four A-10 warthogs in November 2015, against oil convoys . The locations "near al-Hassakah, and Deir Ez-Zour" may affect Syrians locally as well as the increasing number of U.S. ground forces. Due to the damages to the civilian population and environment, use of DU is a war crime. U.S. presence on the ground, uninvited by the Syrian government would be the more immediate crime of aggression and risks prolonging a war that is destroying the people of Syria: genocide warning. Due to lack of credibility in mass media reporting on Syria, government reporting of its own war crimes may provide the most accurate documentation available. Some background on the effects of depleted uranium in Afghanistan: "The Silent Genocide from America" (2001) & "The Perpetual Death from America" (2002); "Depleted uranium," painting by Julie Maas (2001). Partial sources online: "US confirms use of depleted uranium in Syria," World Bulletin; Feb. 15, 2017, World Bulletin; "Weapon of Genocide: US Confirms It Used Depleted Uranium in Syria," Richard Brandt, Feb. 16, 2017, wgrovenet; "US Troop Increase Risks Tangling in Syria's War," Zeina Karam /AP, March 10, 2017, Military.com.
U.S.A.: PEN American Center asks to be alerted to any artist at risk or denied entry to the U.S. under the new Executive Order concerning immigration. See "Alert us" at PEN American Center.
March 8, 2017
by julie maas
February 22, 2017 Montreal Yemen South Sudan
Montreal. Under the guidance of Mayor Denis Coderre the City Council has voted unanimously to designate Montreal a "Sanctuary City," joining Vancouver, London, Hamilton, and Toronto (Ottawa is currently considering). The "sanctuary" status should give undocumented people access to city services and to provincial health care, but without fear of being deported. Intended to protect the undocumented from undue hassles by police and Canada's Border Services Agency, this may also have to rely on the efforts of Montrealers and the people of Quebec. Montreal's Solidarity Across Borders, has indicated that Montreal's designation as a "Sanctuary City" needs more than symbolic application. Quebec as a province is traditionally more selective with its immigration policies than Canada. Recently groups such as the Quebec wide La Meute, with 43 thousand members in a Facebook group online, is considered anti-immigrant (it fears a mass influx of Muslims) and is expanding into Ontario; a former NDP Minister of Parliament who became Bloc Québécois, has posted a picture of himself with La Meute's logos of wolf's paw, on his Facebook page - the CBC reports that Claude Patry has become leader of Clan (read "chapter") 02 of La Meute. Charles Taylor a Québécois philospher and former McGill professor who strongly influenced a Parti Québécoise secularism charter in 2013 attempt to ban the wearing of religious symbols by state employees, has had to reconsider. After the murder of six in a Quebec City mosque, he now advises against any state actions which might "stigmatize minorities." Night's Lantern has advised against burqa bans and similar attempts by a state to control religious and cultural symbology since 2010. In the U.S. about 400 cities have declared as sanctuary cities, including New York City, but application of the declaration remains unclear enough to encourage immigrants to risk their lives in efforts to enter Canada illegally. Democracy Now! carries McClatchy's report that hundreds of thousands may be subject to a vastly expanded application of "expedited removal proceedings," spelled out in Homeland Security papers near signing by the White House. The McClatchy report is verified by Homeland Security memos according to Reuters. The expanded threat of deportations is likely to cause a flood of refugees needing asylum in Canada. Partial sources online: "Former NDP, Bloc MP takes leadership role in far right Quebec group La Meute," Elysha Enos, Stephen Smith, Feb. 18, 2017, CBC News; "Montreal becomes 'sanctuary city' after unanimous vote of approval," Benjamin Shingler, Feb. 20, 2017, CBC News; "Groups call Montreal's move to become sanctuary city positive but symbolic," the Canadian Press, Feb. 20, 2017, News 1130; " "Quebec philosopher changes mind on religious symbols after mosque shooting," The Canadian Press, "Feb. 14, 2017, CTV News; "Why Denis Coderre wants to make Montreal a sanctuary city," Benjamin Shingler, Feb. 16, 2017, CBC News; "DHS Memos: Speed Up Mass Deportations & Prosecute Parents Who Help Undocumented Children Enter U.S.," Juan Gonzalez/ Franco Ordonez, Tim Warden-Hertz, Feb.20, 2017, Democracy Now!; "Trump administration to expand groups of immigrants to be deported -documents," Julia Edwards Ainsley & Diane Bartz, Feb. 21, 2017, Reuters.
Yemen: according to the UK's Ministry of Defence, Saudi Arabia has committed an alleged 252 violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen. The Independent reports that UK weapons exports to Saudi Arabia since its Yemen offensive began amount to 3.3 billion pounds, and weapons can't be legally supplied to actions breaking international law, and that the UK's Campaign Against the Arms Trade is taking the government to court. In Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Somalia 1.4 million children are at risk of death from malnutrition. Specifically in Yemen the UN Children's Fund has reported 63,000 children died in 2016 from malnutrition, half a million are about to die with "severe acute malnutrition," while 2.2 million children suffer acute malnutrition (EIRNS). Humanitarian aid is not being allowed to reach the people. Ongoing genocide warning. Previous. Previous. Partial sources online: "Ministry of Defence finds ‘staggering violations of humanitarian law’ by Saudi coalition forces in Yemen," Bethan McKernan, Jan. 27, 2017. The Independent; "Yemen Genocide Accelerates: Worst Humanitarian Crisis in the World Now, Says UN OCHA," Press Release, Feb. 3, 2017, EIRNS; "UNICEF: ‘63,000 Yemeni Children Died in 2016 from Malnutrition’," Feb. 1, 2017, Asharq Al-Awsat.
South Sudan: UN humanitarian aid convoys are being blocked at government checkpoints and by opposition forces as well. Food and medical supplies are not reaching the people (A similar impediment to humanitarian aid occurs in Yemen). A famine is declared by the government and the UN as 100,000 face starvation and a million risk famine. By summer, without relief 5.5 million risk severe food shortages. The Washington Post notes that the cause of this famine is warfare disrupting the agriculture in the two counties most affected, - "in Unity, an important oil producing state in the north." Our genocide warning follows a recurring pattern affecting the native peoples of resource rich regions. The formation of South Sudan can be seen as a U.S. State Department service to International resource corporations. This pattern is not likely to cease until the NATO country genocide prevention organizations recognize this and lobby for application of the law to resource corporations invested in the area. In Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Somalia 20 million people risk death from starvation in the next six months according to the chief economist of the World Food Program; 1.4 million children are at risk of death from malnutrition. Previous. Partial sources online: "Aid convoys blocked in South Sudan, U.N. says," Denis Dumo, Dec. 1, 2016, Reuters; "Famine declared in South Sudan, with 100,000 people facing starvation," Rael Ombuor, Feb. 20, 2017, The Washington Post; "Four famines mean 20 million may starve in the next six months," Tom Miles, Feb. 16, 2017, Reuters.
February 10, 2017 Syria Colombia
Syria: (updated). Night's Lantern has provided genocide warnings concerned for Syria since 2012. A new report by Amnesty International alleges 13,000 prisoners have been hung by the government in Syrian prisons since 2011. Over 17,000 others are thought to have died in prison. It's apparent that Syria is increasingly subject to a propaganda war: Amnesty's allegations shift some responsibility for the immense amount of raw death in Syria to its President Assad. Allegations of horrible war crimes increase international pressures for intervention under "the right to protect." The truth is acutely necessary because propaganda for war (intervention) leads to continuing the slaughter and displacement of the Syrian population. The Assad government denies the claims of Amnesty's report and declares the executions of any prisoners follow due process of law. One notes that Amnesty's claims serve U.S. and NATO policies (Amnesty's an Anglo-American NGO with a combined U.K and U.S. income of 86.9 million dollars in 2015). For many years it didn't include the U.S. and Canada in its listing of countries where human rights violations might even occur. Syria won't let Amnesty or other U.S. and NATO oriented human rights organizations enter the country. So this Amnesty report has to rely on sources outside Syria; it draws its witnesses from refugees who have chosen to support NATO countries. The terrible details of Amnesty's "Human slaughterhouse" report, are coldly pieced together allegations assumed to be facts. The report is accompanied by a video with technologically impressive computer simulations of what Syrian prison is like and selected sound clips from survivors. Appearing at the same time is Amnesty's short cartoon describing the injustice and horror of the imprisonment. Animation as reporting is emotionally manipulative, a purposeful step aside from reality, and useful tool for propagandists. The cartoon is emotive propaganda. Those who trust Amnesty for non-partisan reporting of human rights abuses will be disappointed. Evidence as proof is needed. Without entirely discounting the report one notes that it coincides with the formula of propaganda warfare previously used against Iraq's Saddam Hussein, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's Slobodan Miloševic (who was later found to be innocent at international court after his curious death in the court's prison), Libya's Muammar Gaddafi - leaders purveyed as terrible war criminals by the Western media but supported by substantial portions of their people. Subsequently their countries were bombed. Tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of innocent people were killed. The leaders were killed. The information wars initiated terrible crimes. An objective report on Syria's prisons would make some effort to present both sides of the conflict in Syria and look for a way to release other prisoners. Instead the Amnesty report and videos escalate the seriousness and irrationality of possible war crimes by the Assad government in suggesting that the prisoners were/are civilians, while its report clarifies Saydnaya Prison as a military prison for military people. Any torture and abuse of a prisoner is a crime, and any prisoner's death is also a tragedy, whether the victims are Assad's military opposition and linked with ISIS, or innocent civilians found guilty by a "court." What is being ignored is that these prisoners, their alleged mass hangings, their deaths from jail conditions, are the result of destabilization and war brought to Syria by foreign countries wanting regime change, England, France and the U.S. among the countries who have covertly attacked Assad's Syria to displace him and in 2012 officially recognized the rebel terrorist opposition as Syria's legitimate government. Partial sources online: "Amnesty Report Accuses Syria of Executing Thousands Since War Began," Anne Barnard, Feb. 6, 2017, The New York Times; "Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria," 2016, Amnesty International London; "Human slaughterhouse: Mass hangings and extermination at Saydnaya prison, Syria," Feb. 6, 2016, Amnesty U.S.A.; "Harrowing accounts of torture, inhuman conditions and mass deaths in Syria's prisons," Aug. 18, 2016, Amnesty International; "Inside Saydnaya: Syria's Torture Prison," Aug. 18, 2016, Amnesty International Youtube [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysgnadic3Yo >]; "NGOs and Media Disinformation: How We Were Misled About Syria by Amnesty International," Tim Hayward, Jan. 23, 2017, Tim Hayward; "Amnesty International Admits Syrian "Saydnaya" Report Fabricated Entirely in UK," Tony Cartalucci, Feb. 9, 2017, Land Destroyer; "Up to 13,000 secretly hanged in Syrian jail, says Amnesty," Martin Chulov, Feb. 7, 2017, theguardian; "'They treated us like animals': Nearly 18,000 have died in Syrian prisons since 2011, report finds," Aig. 17, 2016, CBC News; "Hearsay Extrapolated - Amnesty Claims Mass Executions In Syria, Provides Zero Proof," Feb. 17, 2017, Moon of Alabama; "Recognition of Opposition Groups as the Legitimate Representative of a People," Stefan Talmon, May 5, 2013, Chinese Journal of International Law; "Human Slaughterhouse: Amnesty International Says Up to 13,000 Hanged at Syrian Prison" Nermeen Shaikh / Nicolette Waldman, Feb. 9, 2017, Democracy Now!; "Syria rejects Amnesty report on hangings at Saydnaya prison," Feb. 8, 2017, BBC News.Europe: while forced sterilization is no longer permitted, it is being forced on some transgender people in order for them to legally change their sexual identity, and in some cases to receive health care and other services of the State. By 2016, 23 European countries are listed on the Trans Rights Europe Map, 2016, as requiring sterilization of transgender people for gender recognition; not requiring sterilization: Iceland, Ireland, U.K., Norway, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Estonia, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Lichtenstein, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Malta. TGEU warns that transgender rights and protection within Europe remain low. The Washington Blade reports that on January 1, 2017, Denmark became the first nation of the world "to officially remove transgender identities from its list of mental health disorders." The World Health Organization's classification of transsexualism in its International Classification of Disorders is under revision. Some consider treatment of the LGBT communities an index of a country's fascism. TechCrunch reports that within an hour of U.S. President Trump taking office the White House web site deleted its page concerned with LGBT rights - whitehouse.gov/lgbt; also noted: the words "climate change" no longer appear on the site. Partial sources online: "Trans Rights Europe Map, May 2013," May 17, 2013, TGEU Transgender Europe; "Trans Rights Europe Map, May 10,2016," TGEU Transgender Europe; "Denmark no longer considers transgender people mentally ill," Maximilian Sycamore, Jan. 4, 2017, The Washington Blade; "Denmark to declassify being transgender as mental disorder," Agence France-Presse, June 1, 2016, theguardian; "The White House’s LGBT rights page has disappeared," Sarah Buhr, Jan 21, 2017, TechCrunch.Colombia: the peace treaty between the Government and most guerrilla groups in Colombia's long war with itself, is accompanied by renewed efforts for justice in the courts. 200 cases are being brought against domestic and multi-national companies, many of them familiar to the U.S., and many of them who have allegedly used paramilitary death squads to enforce corporate policies in labor relations: the murder of labor leaders and workers protesting for their rights. Despite the fact that it is difficult to bring large international corporations to trial, cases of crimes against humanity are initiated against Chiquita's (Chiquita Brands International was previously known as United Fruit Company) subsidiary among others (possibly Dole, Del Monte, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Drummond, as well as the large locals Postobon, Cementos Argos). Partial sources online: ''Para-economics | Fact sheet,'' Brian Levesque,Sept. 22, 2016, Colombia Reports; "Dole and Del Monte also facing crimes against humanity charges for financing death squads in Colombia: report," Adriaan Alsema, Feb. 4, 2017, Colombia Reports; "Colombia Charges Corporations with Crimes Against Humanity," Callum Cleary, Feb. 9, 2017, Law Street.
February 5, 2017 Ukraine Quebec City update
Ukraine: anti-Semitism is increasing. Night's Lantern re-affirms its genocide warning of March 2014 and September 2015 for Ukrainian Jews. Haaretz reports efforts to recruit neo-Nazis in Brazil to fight pro-Russian forces in the Ukraine; southern Brazil is believed to host about a hundred thousand supporters of Hitler. On New Years Day 2017 Ukrainian nationalists with portraits of Stephen Bandera marched through the streets of Kiev in a torchlight parade shouting "Juden raus!" while police looked on. In 1939 and 1940 Bandera helped prepare the Ukraine for the Nazi invasion, and a week after operation Barbarossa became chief of the new Ukrainian State. As a leading Nazi collaborator he is held responsible for the genocide of thousands and thousands of Jews and Poles. In 2017 the Ukraine's Jewish community is partially dispersed and feels a lack of support from Israel; Ukrainian nationalist pro-Holocaust sentiments increase (TV-Novosti). In early November the graffiti -"Death to the Jews" was found on Chernivtsi's Central Synagogue, as was a cross. On November 19th the monument to six thousand Jews murdered at Mogileve (Belarus) in 1941 was defaced with black paint. Arutz Sheva7 reports that mass graves with thousands of victims of the Holocaust throughout the Ukraine are being desecrated and looted for gold (teeth), jewelry, and "gruesome souvenirs." U.S. Senators Graham and McCain are reported in the Ukraine urging the Ukraine Government's army to act against the defenders of ethnic Russians. In WWII the Ukraine's nationalists fought against the Russians - alongside the Nazis. During postwar Ukrainian immigration to Canada, Ukrainians fronted Canada's admission in 1950 of up to 2000 members of the Nazi Waffen-SS Galician Division held in British P.O.W. camps, to strengthen Canada's anti-communism during the cold war. Canada's attachment to right-wing Ukrainians runs deep since a third of Canada's Communist Party membership was said to be left-wing Ukrainians back in the 1930s. This tension is partly responsible for official Canada's overbearing anti-Communism and denigration of Russia. Russia Insider reports that a Ukrainian grandfather of Canada's current Foreign Secretary Christy Freeland, said to have brought his family to Canada to 'escape the Russians,' was in fact a Nazi collaborator in the Ukraine during the mass murders of Jews and Poles in WWII. Partial sources online: "Brazilian Neo-Nazis Recruited to Fight pro-Russian Rebels in Ukraine ," JTA, Jan. 12, 2017, Haaretz; "‘Lights going out on Jewish community in Ukraine’ – Ukrainian Jewish Committee head," Feb. 3, 2017, TV-Novosti; "Ukrainian Jewish leader says community in danger of extinction," Tamara Zieve, Feb. 2, 2017, Jersualem Post; "Graves of Holocaust victims looted, desecrated across Ukraine," Staff, Feb. 2, 2017, Arutz Sheva7; "Sens. Graham and McCain Visit Ukraine Troops, Urge Offensive," Jason Ditz, Feb. 3, 2017, antiwar.com; "‘Death to Jews’ sprayed on Ukrainian synagogue," Nov. 25, 2016, JTA; "Russia Cringes as Kiev Commemorates Nazi Patsies Who Terrorized Wartime Ukraine," Jan. 6, 2017, Sputnik International; "Canada, Ukraine, and the Ghosts of Babi Yar," J. B. Gerald, Mary 22, 2014, nightslantern.ca [access:< http://www.nightslantern.ca/canada-ukraine-and-the-ghosts-of-babi-yar.htm >]; "Banned in Russia, Goebbles’ Diaries to be Published in Ukraine," JNi.Media, Jan. 26, 2017, The Jewish Press; "SCOOP: Canada's New Foreign Minister Lying About Family's Ukrainian Nazi Past," John Helmer, Jan. 19, 2017, Russia Insider; "Liberals brought Nazi vets to Canada: Glorifying Ukrainian-Canadian Veterans of OUN/UPA Terrorism," Richard Sanders, Dec. 14, 2016, "babble" rabble.ca; "Left-Right Camps: A Century of Ukrainian Canadian Internment," Richard Sanders, March 2016, (Issue # 68) Press for Conversion!.
Québec City update (see previous): it is now seven days since six Muslim worshippers in Quebec City were murdered at their place of worship. In Canada many are still mourning. Many others are protesting the politics of hate. Government politicians have made efforts to assure the Muslim communities how welcome Muslims are in Canada. How do we know the politicians' words are genuine? (to continue "Canada and the politics of Islamophobia").
February 3, 2017
Québec City, update: (see previous) the media narrative of the Québec shootings has evolved, from the initial report of a witness claiming two masked attackers who shouted "Allahu akbar" in a Québecois accent and shooting worshippers, to the arrest of two suspects. One claimed to be "involved" and turned himself in at some distance from the crime scene. The other apprehended near the mosque was found to be a good Samaritan who had fled after confusing an armed policeman with the attacker(s). With the release of this good Samaritan no explanation was available for the witness statement of two masked men and the story was dropped from North American media despite its corroboration by other witnesses. The original witness of two attackers is "convinced" that he saw two attackers despite the official story (The Irish Sun). Current media reporting claims police find Alexandre Bissonnette the only suspect and no other attackers are sought... Media coverage of this suspect suggests he is right wing, pro-Donald Trump, pro-Marine Le Pen (whose party is finding the Québec massacre "deplorable"), pro-Israeli Defense Forces, and known for anti-immigrant and anti-feminist statements. He has an interest in guns. But his interests include Jack Layton (serious, inclusive and on the left when compared to the others, an effective leader of the NDP who died too quickly from prostate cancer as he neared power); a student of anthropology and political science, he was interested in saving the environment and worked for Québec's blood services. The mass killing and wounding steps into another behavioral dimension, and from information supplied the public so far this suspect could be simply a "sacrifice", a scapegoat to satisfy the public's need for some answer to a horrible crime. A recent CBC encapsulation of witness statements about the shootings finds the shooter loading and reloading professionally. While police security was said to be increased at Québec mosques, shortly before the large memorial service in Montreal for three of the victims February 2nd, a window was smashed and eggs thrown at the mosque in Pointe-Saint-Charles. Montreal police report 14 hate crimes since the Québec shooting. Partial sources online: "Only 1 suspect in deadly Québec mosque shooting, police say," Jan 29 / Jan. 30, 2017, CBC News; "‘I FEEL BAD’ What ‘student’ gunman who stormed Québec mosque told cops as he gave himself up after killing six – as cops reveal they now have only ONE suspect," Simon Tomlinson, Paul Harper, Sam Webb, Jan. 30, 2017, The Irish Sun; "Québec mosque terror attack: Six dead after gunmen shout "Allahu Akbar" and open fire during evening prayers," Steve Robson and Chris Kitching, Jan 30, 2017, The Irish Mirror; "Montreal mosque has window smashed, eggs thrown at it," CTVNews.ca Staff, Feb. 2, 2017, CTV News; "10 minutes of terror: What happened in the Québec City mosque Sunday night," Jonathan Montpetit, feb.1 /Feb 2, 2017, CBC News; "What They Won’t Tell Us About Quebec Mosque Attack," Faith Goldy, Jan. 31, 2017, therebel.media[access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=18&v=gV62pqS7AAA >].
January 31, 2017 Yemen Ontario & Québec Québec City
Yemen: early Sunday morning , Jan. 29th, a U.S. commando unit attacked an alleged terrorist headquarters in Baida Province, central Yemen. Described as an anti-terrorist action the incident verifies commitment of U.S. forces to the conflict in Yemen; one U.S. military person is reported killed and four wounded. While U.S. sources are reporting no civilian wounded and the deaths of 14 alleged militants, subsequent non U.S. sources report Apache helicopters attacking the homes of 3 tribal chiefs, a school, a mosque, a medical facility all linked to Al-Quaeda, and resulting in the deaths of 41 suspected militants, 8 women and 8 children including an eight year old girl who is the daughter of Anwar al-Aulaqi, reported by her grandfather to have died slowly after being shot in the neck. Her death follows a drone attack under President Obama which killed Imam al-Aulaqi's American born son, age 16, on a picnic with friends. Imam al-Aulaqi, a cleric and American citizen was placed on the U.S. President's killing list in 2010 and murdered without a trial in 2011. A report from Democracy Now! mentions the current President's election threats to wipe out the families of alleged terrorists - a war crime. The murder of innocents is unacceptable. The assassination of suspected individuals is unacceptable. The intentional murder of a suspect's family is unacceptable. Extra-judicial killing is unacceptable. The United States is not at war with Yemen. The UN has declared that 18.8 million people in Yemen urgently require humanitarian assistance and protection. Partial sources online: "Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. Trump Just Killed His 8-Year-Old Sister," Glenn Greenwald, Jan. 30, 2017, The Intercept; "One U.S. commando dead, four wounded in raid on Al Qaeda in Yemen," W.J. Hennigan, Jan. 29, 2017, Los Angeles Times; "UN: Yemen could face famine in 2017, over 2/3 of population in urgent need of aid," Jan. 28, 2017, TV-Novosti; "UPDATED: '57 dead' in first US raid on Qaeda in Yemen under Trump," AFP, Jan. 29, 2017, ahramonline; "Against the killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi & others," J.B.Gerald, April 19, 2010, nightslantern.ca.
Ontario & Québec: following a day of nationwide protests at international airports in the U.S. all in growing opposition to U.S. President Trump's refusal to admit citizens from seven Muslim countries as well as any refugees, on January 30th Canada's primary U.S. consular and embassy offices became the focus of midday demonstrations in Toronto , Ottawa and Montreal. The consulate in Toronto closed for the day. Speaking in Ottawa, Alex Neve, secretary general of Canadian Amnesty International, asked for Canada to immediately rescind its designation of the U.S. as a "safe State." This might open refugee status to asylum seekers from the U.S. or some entering Canada through the U.S.. The emphasis on protest was muted by national mourning at the deaths of the Muslims killed in the attack on worshippers at the Québec Islamic Cultural Centre in Québec City (see below).
Québec City: in a widely reported incident the Québec Islamic Cultural Centre was entered on the evening of January 29th by - according to initial reports at least two masked gunmen who shot and killed six worshippers with others wounded and five in critical condition. Canada is in mourning for the Muslim community with vigils across the country through the evening of January 30th. A premeditated killing of worshippers as they pray is uncharacteristic of terrorist attacks [Editor's note 02.08.2017: this isn't strictly true; on September 15, 1963 just before the 11 o'clock morning service a bomb we set off in Birmingham Alabama's 16th Street Baptist Church; four young girls were killed and over twenty other people injured; the identity of the killers was covered by the FBI until after FBI Director Hoover's death in 1972 and three Ku Klux Klansmen were eventually convicted of murder; on March 24, 1980 in El Salvador, while celebrating mass in a hospital chapel Archbishop Óscar Romero was shot and killed by an El Savadorian death squad; Roberto D'Aubuisson was accused of ordering the assassination but no one was ever prosecuted] and unlike Canada (It may remind Americans of the Charleston South Carolina murder of nine in a Christian prayer group by white supremacist Dylann Roof, sentenced to death January 11). There is some history of Islamophobia in Québec causing Québec's National Assembly to unanimously pass a bill October 3, 2015, condemning Islamophobia (previous). The January 29th attack in Québec City follows destruction by fire of a mosque in Victoria Texas in the early hours of January 28th. The Muslim cultural centre at Sept-Iles Québec suffered a fire on September 23, 2016, considered a probable arson; the centre was previously vandalized and damaged in October. Again in Québec City, June 2016, someone left a pig's head on the steps of the Québec Islamic Cultural Centre. Evidence of extreme anti-Islamic sentiment in Québec, parallels the sentiments of European and U.S. neo-fascist anti-immigrant movements (Le Pen in France, Wilders in the Netherlands, and Trump in the U.S.) which neo-fascist Québec movements look to and several align with. Among the extreme right groups in Québec - Soldiers of Odin, La Meute, Atalante Québec, PEGIDA Québec, the Fédération des Québécois de Souche (FQS), are those known to oppose Islamic immigration while some will defend corporate use of Canadian resources and ... pipelines. A suspect in the Québec City killings who is reported to have escaped the crime scene and peacefully 'turned himself in' five kilometres away without incident, Alexandre Bissonnette, was charged with six counts of first degree murder and five counts of attempted murder. No mention is currently made of at least one other masked gunman consistently mentioned in early reports; ie. there seems to be at least one masked shooter who was not caught. Update. Partial sources online: "Texas mosque destroyed in early-morning blaze; cause unknown," AP, Jan. 28, 2017, Daily Sabah; "Québec mosque shooting: Suspects not known to police," Jan. 30, 2017, Montreal Gazette; "Muslim cultural center in Canada attacked for fourth time," Dec., 26, 2016, Daily Sabah; "6 dead, 2 arrested after shooting at Quebec City mosque," Jan. 29, 2017, CBC News.
from River with Lights, poems
January 27, 2017
"Thirty Seconds To Midnight - The Final Wake Up Call"
a film by Regis Tremblay 1:38:36 minutes [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0bsrFyLz6U >]
January 26, 2017 Yemen U.S. U.K.
Yemen: the death toll in Yemen has reached ten thousand people, with forty thousand injured, three million displaced and nearly 18 million people requiring humanitarian assistance. The conflict between the government and Houthi rebels is understood as a proxy war by Saudi Arabia against the people. Among arms suppliers, a 15 billion dollar arms contract between the Saudis and Canada (the deal made with General Dynamics Land Systems of London Ontario under the previous Conservative government and furthered by Prime Minister Trudeau's Liberal government), was restrained by a lawsuit which has been rejected by Federal Court. Common sense suggests that supplying arms to Saudi Arabia during its destruction of Yemen is a war crime. The Globe and Mail article doesn't name the company which will make the armoured vehicles. A genocide warning for the people of Yemen continues. Partial sources online: "10,000 People Have Been Killed In Yemen’s Bloody War, U.N. Confirms," Joseph Hincks Jan. 17, 2017, Time; "Yemen civil war: Widespread starvation forces people to eat food from rubbish dumps," Peter Walker, Jan. 9, 2017, Independent; "Federal court rejects suit to block Liberals’ Saudi arms deal ," Steven Chase, Jan. 24, 2017, The Globe and Mail; "Federal court rejects bid to block $15B Saudi Arabia arms deal with General Dynamics," Jacquelyn LeBel, Jan. 24, 2017, AM980; "Genocide In Yemen: Media Complicit In US-Saudi War Crimes," Mnar Muhawesh, Jan. 17, 2017, Mintpress News; "Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen," current, Wikipedia.
1. In a direct threat to freedom of the press, during counter inauguration demonstrations in Washington D.C. 6 media workers covering the demonstrations were arrested and charged with felony counts which could carry sentences of 10 years or $ 25,000 fines. This attempt to silence press covering demonstrations suggests police foresee using tactics which violate the law. Partial sources online: "Four more journalists get felony charges after covering inauguration unrest," Jon Swaine, Jan.24, 2017, theguardian; "Journalists Covering Inauguration Protests Face ‘Felony Riot’ Charges," Hilary Hanson, Jan. 24, 2017, Huffington Post.
2. Trump has signed executive orders approving the Keystone XL pipeline (reversing Obama's decision), and the Dakota Access pipeline. News of the Keystone XL approval was welcomed by Alberta's Premier and Canada's Prime Minister Trudeau. The rights of the companies and U.S.government to continue Dakota Access pipeline (previous) without Indigenous approval will be challenged in court and on the land. Partial sources online: "Trump gives OK to Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines," Jan. 24, 2017, CBC News; "Trudeau welcomes Trump's Keystone XL decision," John Paul Tasker, Jan.24, 2017, CBC News.
3. A bill requiring the U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations, the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017 was introduced in the House of Representatives, January 3rd. Partial sources online: "Trump’s Plan to Kill UN Begins with Withdrawal Bill," GPD, Jan. 23, 2017, Veterans Today; "US Exit from United Nations Could Become Reality with Fresh Bill," RT News / Jan. 23, 2027, Jan. 24, 2017, Global Research.
4. Rex Tillerson, nominated for Secretary of State has indicated he'll seek repatriation of Assata Shakur from Cuba, to continue her imprisonment in the U.S.. The two million dollar reward currently offered for Ms. Shakur is generally ignored by everyone. Cuba has previously stated and reiterated its refusal to give up Shakur and is unlikely to betray Fidel's guarantee of asylum, the Cuban struggle, and Cuba's influence on the future of the Americas. Background. Partial sources online: "Trump’s Secretary of State Wants Assata Shakur Re-Imprisoned," Jan. 23, 2017, TeleSur; "Pelican Bay, Lynne Stewart, Ramsey Muñiz, Assata Shakur: Updates," J.B.Gerald, Sept. 14, 2013, nightslantern.ca; "Who Is Assata Shakur? Rex Tillerson Wants Cuba To Hand Over Black Lives Matter Hero And Fugitive," Josh Keefe, Jan.24, 2017, IBT.
5. In accord with his campaign statements Trump has signed an executive order to start building a wall along the U.S. Mexico border. The New York Times claims to have received a draft document for the President's announcement to stop the refugee admission program entirely for four months, when it is expected the number of refugees admitted will be halved. Round up and deportations of undocumented immigrants will proceed. The expected order plans to ban outright the admission of any person from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, in to the States for the period of a month. The NYT points out the wording of the order may change before publication expected later this week. A draft of the order was published by the Los Angeles Times. Partial sources online: "Trump orders moves on border wall and 'sanctuary cities' and is considering a refugee ban," Brian Bennett & Noah Bierman, Jan.25, 2017, Los Angeles Times; "Donald Trump signs executive order to build wall with Mexico: 'Beginning today the United States gets back control of its borders'," Harriet Alexander & David Lawler, Jan. 25, 2017, The Telegraph; "Trump Orders Mexican Border Wall to Be Built and Is Expected to Block Syrian Refugees," Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Jan. 25, 2017, The New York Times
6. On January 25th, in parallel to the increasing loss of people's rights, the Dow Jones Industrial Average of blue chip stocks exceeded the 20,000 point mark for the first time in history. Partial sources online: "Dow Jones industrial average finishes above 20,000 for first time," Pete Evans, Jan. 25.2017, CBC News.
7. The Environmental Protection Agency has been ordered not to release any information to the public without prior approval from political appointees. And the EPA has been ordered to take down its climate change page from the department's website. In Canada the Conservative Harper government used a similar tactic to muzzle scientists in order to hide from the public the effects of climate change and other threats to the environment by corporate industry and the military. Partial sources online: "Trump issues gag order on Environmental Protection Agency staff," Brady Dennis & Juliet Eilperin (The Washington Post), Jan. 24, 2017, The Toronto Star; "Trump administration: EPA studies, data must undergo political review before release," AP, Jan. 25, 2017, theguardian; "EPA Reportedly Ordered To Remove Climate Change Webpage," David Kroll, Jan. 25, 2017, Forbes.
U.K.: the growing strength of nationalism and populism shown in the Brexit vote is accompanied by a continuing increase in hate crimes , including those toward the LGBT community and disabled people. Last October The Washington Post reported a sharp rise in U.K. homophobic attacks. Partial sources online: "Homophobic attacks in the U.K. have risen 147% since Brexit, report says," Jennifer Hassan, Oct. 12, 2016, The Washington Post; "UK: 20 homophobic hate crimes a day in England and Wales," The Pink News, Jan. 19, 2017, ICARE.
January 22, 2017 Uzbekistan Europe Belgium The Netherlands U.S.
Uzbekistan & Tashkent: reports indicate a State medical policy for the sterilization of women who have two or more children. Sterilizations are being performed without consent. Women of minority groups and lower income groups are the primary victims, and are increasingly bearing their children at home. According to a correspondent linked to the Open Society Foundation, the program has affected tens of thousands. Partial sources online: "Uzbekistan: Tashkent Pursuing Forced Sterilization Policy," Deirdre Tynan, March 22, 2010, Eurasianet.org; "Forced sterilization of women reportedly widespread in Uzbekistan," RFE/RL, Dec. 16, 2013, Asia Plus Media Group.
Belgium: Tzipi Livni was Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs during Israel's Operation Cast Lead which killed 1400 Palestinians. She and other Israeli officials are accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Gaza, by a group of the victims, in a Belgian court action of June 23, 2010 (In July 2010 a similar complaint was made at court in Morocco). Planning to attend European Parliament on January 23rd, 2017, she was to be interrogated by court order and arrested. Ms. Livni has cancelled her appearance because of "illness." Partial sources online: "Belgium to Arrest Former Israeli Foreign Minister for 'War Crimes'," Middle East Monitor, Jan. 20, 2017, Global Research; "Ex-Israeli FM Tzipi Livni cancels Brussels visit after Belgian court's arrest order," Jan. 21, 2017, Ummid.com.U.S., historical note:
The Netherlands: On December 16th 2016, Geert Wilders was given no sentence by the court which convicted him of inciting racism and group defamation (he asked a crowd if they would like fewer Moroccans around - see previous). The Islamophobic leader of the PVV far right political party is currently leading in polls for the country's next election March 15, 2017. He tweets, "The Netherlands will be strong again !" On Jan. 21rst Europe Online magazine reports him in Germany telling supporters in German that Europe needs a "proud Germany;" and because of Islamization European women are "frightened of showing their blonde hair." Partial sources online: "Netherlands: The conviction of Geert Wilders," eds. Vonk, Dec. 21, 2016, In Defence of Marxism; "EXTRA Dutch anti-Islam leader Wilders tells Germans to stand proud," Jan 21, 2017, Europe Online magazine; "Conviction for Racist Speech Could Help Make Geert Wilders Dutch Prime Minister," Robert Mackey, Dec. 9, 2016, The Intercept.
Sacco and Vanzetti (Woody Guthrie) 2011 [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brhzBlyJgqo >]
Sacco's letter to his son [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKY1o_XOqDs >].
January 20, 2017 Italy U.S.
Italy: (see previous Argentina) an Italian court has found the former president of Bolivia, Luis Garcia Meza Tejada , and the former president of Peru, Francisco Morales Bermudez, guilty of war crimes and sentenced them in absentia to life in prison. Garcia is already serving 30 years in Bolivia. These are among eight life sentences handed down by the court for murdering 23 Italians under Operation Condor, a 1970s and 80s collaboration among South American governments to kill left wing representatives and activists internationally. Operation Condor is legally relevant to the U.S. since it is believed to have been initiated by the U.S., partly through the inception of Chile's feared DINA with the help of the CIA station chief in Chile and its early collaboration with the Argentine right wing; DINA commander Manuel Contreras who called together the formative meeting of Operation Condor on November 28, 1975, was in the pay of the CIA; a U.S. military base in Central America provided the encoded communication facilities for Operation Condor; in the late 70's Argentina's Extraterritorial Task Force provided covert support for Operation Condor - out of Florida. Currently released CIA memos are providing detailed information of CIA knowledge of and participation in Operation Condor's activities. At the Italian court Operation Condor is considered a criminal enterprise. Media reports of Operation Condor related trials in Italy and South America carry no mention of Americans. The shielding of embassy officials, military attachés, military personnel engaged in torture, CIA field agents, U.S. handlers and effectors of the policy locally, maintains the power of a class of war criminals within these South American countries, and within the U.S.. In Italy the initial list of defendants included 140 military officers, but through death and age the list of remaining defendants was reduced to 27, and 19 were absolved of involvement. Background. More background. "Desaparecidos." Partial sources online: "Italy sentences two former South American leaders to life in prison for Operation Condor murders<" Steve Scherer, Jan. 17, 2017, Reuters; "Expectation in Uruguay For Sentence of Military Officers in Italy," Jan. 17, 2017, Prensa Latina; "Italy convicts eight South Americans in Plan Condor trial," Jan 18, 2017, BBC News; "The Undead Ghost of Operation Condor," J. Patrice McSherry, Spring 2005 Logos 4.2 online; "Released ‘Operation Condor’ Files Show CIA Torture in Argentina," Dec. 12, 2016, TeleSur.
U.S.: before leaving office President Obama granted clemency to an additional 330 "nonviolent drug offenders." See previous. Political prisoners Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Sundiata Acoli, Imam Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, Dr. Rafil Dhafir, David Gilbert, Imam Sheik Abdel-Rahman, Abu Hamza al-Masri, Fahad Hashmi, Robert Seth Hayes, Jaan Laaman, Tom William Manning, Tarek Mehanna, Ramiro "Ramsey" Muñiz, Jose Padilla, Russell Maroon Shoatz, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Aafia Siddiqui, Juvenal Ovidio Ricardo Palmero Pineda, Anayibe Rojas Valderrama, among others, remain imprisoned without benefit of trials free from the State's political uses, or compassion. As for the prison camp of Guantanamo, elected to close Guantanamo and after consistently lying for eight years that the torture camp would be closed, Barrack Obama leaves office with his campaign promise unfulfilled. It should be noted that in the year 2016 the former Nobel peace prize winner dropped at least 26,171 bombs primarily on Syria and Iraq, as military actions continue to present the greatest threat to the environment and global warming. He is replaced this January 20th, by Donald John Trump, a New York businessman with no prior political experience. Partial sources online: "Obama grants final 330 commutations to nonviolent drug offenders," Sari Horwitz, Jan. 19, 2017, The Washington Post; "White House Concedes It Won't Close Guantanamo After All," Josh Lederman and Ben Fox, AP, Jan. 18, 2017, Military.com; "America dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016. What a bloody end to Obama's reign," Medea Benjamin, Jan. 9, 2017, the guardian.
January 18, 2017 Guatemala U.S.
#19Guatemala: the re-trial of José Efraín Ríos Montt, scheduled to begin January 11th was postponed this year once again, to resolve procedural complications. Ríos Montt's conviction on charges of genocide in 2013 was set aside by a superior court of questionable standing in a spurious decision. The case of Ríos Montt presents a study in the ineffectiveness of applying justice to the worst war criminals of the elite, in countries where the system of justice is managed by the elite. The impunity of Ríos Montt's escape from justice suggests an ongoing genocide warning for Guatemala's Indigenous peoples and provides encouragement for other criminal rulers. To deflect this awareness Guatemala dealt with last year's postponement by charging others, including a regional military commissioner and a base commander with sexual violence during the Ríos Montt regime, re-couching the most shameful crime of genocide into the awful but more familiar crimes of sexual slavery. The system continues prosecution of lower ranking military for specific ugly crimes. In early January of this year U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested a Guatemalan special forces corporal (at-the-time), now a permanent resident of the U.S. with a job in the mailroom of Johns Hopkins University for ten years, wanted for his role in the Dos Erres massacre, a crime under the Ríos Montt regime where the 20 commandos dressed as rebels walked into a village and for two days tortured the men, raped the women, and murdered all two hundred and one including 113 children. Night's Lantern has noted on(Sept. 20, 2015) that Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Rockefeller Foundation were sued for alleged connection to experiments on unwitting Guatemalans intentionally infected with syphilis. Previous. Of the five 'Dos Erres fugitives' arrested in the U.S., two who became U.S. citizens are serving ten years apiece in the U.S. for immigration fraud; of the two returned to Guatemala, one tried so far was sentenced in 2012 to 6,060 years in prison (ProPublica). There is some effort to blame low ranks for carrying out crimes of policy, in a crime that began with their training. In other news of Guatemala, Canada's Goldcorp has agreed to sell its Cerro Blanco mining project to Canada's Bluestone Resources, with an option on certain aspects of Goldcorp's Marlin mine which is being closed out while attempting repair to the habitat. The Supreme Court has stopped for now the construction of Oxec I and Oxec II, two hydroelectric dams which the Mayan people of the land are strongly against. Previous. Partial sources online: "Shameful decision to postpone Ríos Montt trial a new stain on Guatemala’s justice system," Jan. 11, 2016, Amnesty International; "Genocide trial for Guatemala ex-dictator Rios Montt suspended," Jan. 11, 2016, Reuters; "Guatemalan soldiers to answer civil war sexual slavery charges in historic trial," Nina Lakhani, Feb. 1, 2016, theguardian; "ICE Arrests Former Kaibiles Linked to Dos Erres Massacre in Guatemala," Jan 10, 2017, TeleSur; "Federal Agents Arrest a Former Guatemalan Soldier Charged With Massacring Civilians," Sebastian Rotella, Jan 10, 2017, ProPublica; "Goldcorp To Sell Cerro Blanco Project In Guatemala To Bluestone Resources," RTT News, Jan.11, 2017, Nasdaq; "Victory for Guatemala's Mayan People," Jan. 15, 2017, TeleSur.
U.S: President Obama has commuted the sentences of 209 prisoners with a pardon or reprieve for an additional 64. This brings to a total of 1385 commutations by this President including 504 commutations of prisoners with life sentences, and a total of 212 pardons. Most of those receiving clemency were serving long sentences for cocaine related charges, usually distribution. Also receiving clemency is Chelsea Manning who managed to release to the American people evidence of war crimes by U.S. military personnel; her sentence is to expire May 17, 2017. Julian Assange, an Australian whose Wikileaks released Chelsea Manning's materials, has said he would allow his own extradition if President Obama released Chelsea Manning, and appropriate strong resistance should be prepared in the event Assange is brought to the U.S.. Oscar Lopez Rivera, the respected Puerto Rican nationalist serving a term of 55 years, is also to be released May 17, 2017. Long term political prisoners (see our "political prisoners updates") who were targeted by COINTELPRO programs and often framed or falsely convicted, have been overlooked for clemency. For example Tom Manning of Massachusetts who shot back when a police person tried to murder him is slated to spend the rest of his life in prison. Early supporters of Mandela, Tom Manning and Jaan Laaman amid their New England working class group were never forgiven for supporting Black Liberation movements. Many of those without clemency are former Black Panthers and others who struggled for the human rights of U.S. Black or Native American communities. A difficulty with the life sentences for unintended crimes, is that no leverage beyond an outdated death penalty is left to counter intentional crimes of terrorism. Partial sources online: "Obama Pardons 2017 Full List: Chelsea Manning, Oscar Lopez Rivera And Others To Get Shortened, Reprieved Sentences," Bruce Wright, Jan. 17, 2017, IBT; "President Obama Has Now Granted More Commutations than Any President in this Nation’s History," Neil Eggleston, Jan. 17, 2017, The White House.
if i could warn you© 1985 john bart gerald, - from plainsongs
where i once came from
not the places where the land is gentle to the people
or the bedrock holding staunchions
but the hearts of grown-up children playing
the victors of the middle class
confused with royalty in their dreams
come true of wasn't that enough
a domain where life was bought
oh those victors of the middle class
if you loved or tried to love or christian loved
or treated with all the tolerance and wisdom
of the religious book they
would fight like death itself
and loving less, won
a momentary victory to say
"you see i am stronger
i belong here"
U.S. Historical note: researching the Voting Rights Act I find that on March 7th, 2015, U.S. President Obama signed H.R. 431, and three in our family, among 8000 for civil rights participating in the March 1965 "Bloody Sunday," or "Turnaround Tuesday," or the Selma to Montgomery March, received the Congressional Gold Medal as "foot soldiers for voting rights." President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act August 6, 1965. The Voting Rights Act was seriously undermined by a Supreme Court decision to remove Justice Department monitoring of States with a history of unjust voting practices. New efforts are needed to re-establish minority voting rights. Our three who went South from New York to stand for the equal right to vote were Elmer Maas, my wife's uncle, who subsequently lost his college teaching job, was excluded from college teaching work, then joined with the Berrigans in Plowshares Movement actions until his death in 2005; Michael Shields, my friend and wife's first husband, arrested with me in Alabama, who died of illness in the Sixties; as for me I was made a "marshal" by the Movement for the Selma to Montgomery March, was falsely arrested with four other whites on the way home, later - falsely arrested twice in New York City, and gradually excluded from employment as a college teacher and writer. I find no mention of H.R. 431 in archives of The New York Times. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday approaches January 15th - for a note on his assassination see previous. - John Bart Gerald. Partial sources online: "Foot Soldiers Voting Rights Marches Congressional Gold Medal: Public Law 114-5," March 7, 2015, 114th Congress; "Selma marchers awarded Congressional Gold Medal," March 7, 2015, 14 News (Indiana); "Selma marchers awarded Congressional Gold Medal," Raycom News Network, March 7 / April 5, 2015Fox 8 (New Orleans); "Notes from a Montgomery Jail," John Bart Gerald, May 6, 1965, The New York Review of Books.January 11, 2017 Judith Clark Burundi Democratic Republic of Congo U.S. Argentina
New York State: Governor Andrew Cuomo commuted the sentence of Judith Alice Clark who has served 35 years of her 75 year sentence. She is eligible for parole in 2017. Involved in the 1981 Brinks robbery (previous) she didn't commit a crime of violence yet through association was blamed by the families of the Nyack police officer and the Brinks guard who were killed. She received one of the most severe punishments of those involved in the robbery. Despite pleas for clemency from former heads of the New York Bar association her situation looked hopeless until the Governor's compassionate action which also extended clemency to 101 people convicted of non-violent crimes as minors. Partial sources online: "Cuomo Commutes Sentence of Judith Clark, Driver in Deadly Brinks Robbery," Eli Rosenberg, Dec. 30, 2016, The New York Times; "Cuomo’s contemptible pardon for a terrorist," Post Editorial Board, Jan 3, 2017,
; "Seven felons, including Weather Underground member, and 101 others convicted as minors get clemency from Cuomo," Glenn Blain, Dec. 30, 2016, Daily News.
Burundi: (update) the government cabinet Minister of the Environment has been assassinated. This continues a lethal back and forth between the government and its opposition, which threatens the region with a lapse into violence. Euro-American policies suggest military intervention to preclude the possibility of a genocide (see previous), an intervention likely to lead to corporatization of the country's assets. This is a strong factor encouraging a genocide. Calls for intervention have coincided with major mining contracts gained by Russian and Chinese companies. Destabilization is encouraged by the privatisation of Burundi's coffee industry at the insistence of the World Bank; private interests have delayed delivery of pesticides and fertilizers; the crop and industry have been damaged. The Parliament of Burundi has had to place controls on international NGO's in Burundi who are considered to support rebels against Burundi's President Nikurunziza. Burundi has also withdrawn from the International Criminal Court so the Euro-American human rights industry is not well disposed toward President Nikurunziza and any non-African reporting on Burundi should require multiple verification. The attempt to wrest political power from African leaders who are uncooperative with US/NATO corporate takeovers is familiar. Ie.: in Ivory Coast the President was replaced by a former World Bank employee as the people continue to struggle; in Zimbabwe, recovered from colonization, British manipulation of the coffee market, economic disaster and cholera epidemics, Mugabe continues. Partial sources online: "Burundi passes law cracking down on foreign NGOs," AFP, December 24, 2016, Yahoo News; "Coffee sector privatization spells misery to over 4 million Burundians," Jan. 5, 2017, IWACU; "How the West Lost Burundi," Cara Jones, Orion Donovan-Smith, Aug. 25, 2015, FP; "Geopolitics of Central Africa: Relentless Propaganda Attacks on Burundi," Innocent Habonimana, Jan. 8, 2017, Suna Times.
Democratic Republic of Congo: on December 31, 2016 an agreement was reached between the government and the opposition which will allow Joseph Kabila to continue in office until elections at the end of 2017. The Catholic News Agency reports that implementation of the agreement has been worked out by the Catholic bishops of the country. If honoured the accords may save thousands from violence. About 40 people died in the disturbances following President Kabila's refusal to leave office when his term was over on Dec. 19, 2016. During 2016 conflicts displaced over half a million Congolese. Currently approximately two million are internally displaced civilians. The deep Congo adjacent to Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, also hosts refugees and military interests from the neighbouring countries and remains open to de-stabilization by foreign interests and their proxies. A 2016 updated progress report by a UN Group of Experts notes among other violations of international law in the area, Rwanda training Burundi rebels in South Kivu province, and arms entering the region from Rwanda in North Kivu province (see above). Partial sources online: "Catholic leaders in Congo welcome church-mediated accord," Jonathan Luxmoore / Catholic News Service, Jan. 3, 2017, Crux; "Progress Update," Group of Experts on the DRC extended pursuant to resolution 2198 (2015), Jan. 15, 2016, United Nations Security Council Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 1533 (2004) Concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo; "Democratic Republic of Congo - Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #1, Fiscal Year (FY) 2017," US Agency for International Development, Jan. 6, 2017, reliefweb.
Argentina: Telesur notes: a U.S. intelligence report from 1978 reveals U.S. knowledge of the death flights carried out by Argentine authorities under Operation Condor, yet the U.S. continued to supply aircraft; "in 2016, Francisco Bossi, the mastermind of the death flights, confessed to murdering 6,000 people." Batches of U.S. intelligence reports are being declassified providing information affecting the deaths of 60,000 people under the CIA supported Operation Condor administered by Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina in the 1970s and 1980s, with support from Peru and Venezuela. According to Telesur new information reveals Operation Condor's tracking down of political exiles in other countries. According to Serbia's In news the CIA knew beforehand of the 1976 coup which replaced Eva Peron with a military dictator enforcing a 'dirty war' with its years of atrocities. Papers released on the website of the director of the U.S. National Intelligence Agency state Washington's efforts to pressure Argentina into better human rights practices annoyed Argentina, causing it to strengthen ties to France, "communist " and Arab countries; Argentina purchased 170 jet engines from France (Presidential briefing July 19, 1978). The release of more U.S. papers on 'the dirty war' in Argentina was pledged by U.S. President Obama on his visit to Argentine President Mauricio Macri last March and coincides with Argentina's stated intention to upgrade its military equipment to the cost of 2.5 million dollars. See previous. See "Desaparecidos." Partial sources online: "Argentina Declassification Project," Dept. of State, Dec. 12, 2016, IC on the Record / Office of the Director of National Intelligence [access:< https://icontherecord.tumblr.com/ >]; "New Files Reveal US Sold Argentina Military Aircraft to Dump Bodies in Ocean," Dec. 16, 2016, Telesur; "CIA-Backed Operation Condor Tried to 'Liquidate' Human Rights Activists.," Dec. 13, 2016, Telesur; "US declassifies Argentina's 'Dirty War' files amid reports of military upgrade," Dec. 13, 2016, DW; "Argentina: Released Files Show Washington Knew of Impending Coup," Tihomir Gligorevic, Dec 16, 2016, in news (Serbia).
January 1, 2017 Democratic Republic of the Congo: M.N.C. Uhuru (Joseph Kabasselé) - African Jazz 1960 [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2A726KAof8 >]
A branch that comes from violence will not take root;
for a blighted root is on sheer rock, like reeds by the
banks of a river, which are dried up before any grass; but
kindness, like eternity, will never be cut off, and faithfulness
will be established forever - from Ben Sira
(Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, Abegg et al)
This account is against forgetfulness.
by john bart gerald
graphics by julie maas
guest contributions as noted
17 april 2017