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2019 suppressed news
concerned with the prevention of genocide
by j. b. gerald
graphics by j. maas
January 18, 2020
Quebec: The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the National Council of Canadian Muslims, and Ichrak Nourel Hak have filed a 27 page brief with the Supreme Court of Canada, asking the Court to consider ruling on the legality of Quebec's Bill-21. As a Provincial law it outlaws the wearing of religious symbols by those in authority. The outlawing of Muslim religious symbols became politically fashionable as European countries moved to the right in response to a heavy influx of refugees from countries destroyed by NATO destabilization and bombing. The current (Coalition Avenir Quebec) Government of Quebec considers this law a way to prevent secularism in politics, to keep state and religious issues apart. There is some latitude; those wearing religious symbols at the passing of the law are allowed to continue. However the law deprives some people of their religious freedom. Judges of Quebec's appeals court where this issue was tested in December, while recognizing damage to individuals, ruled that the law will remain in effect until the issue is heard by Quebec Superior Court. Some background: 1 2 3 4 5 6. Night's Lantern first noted this as a danger to Muslim women's human rights March 11, 2010 (Partial sources: "Civil rights groups challenging Quebec's religious symbols ban file appeal to Canada's top court," Jan. 17, 2020, CBC News; "'I Feel Like a Stranger Here Now,'" Alia Youssef, Dec. 21, 2019, Globe and Mail; "Groups seek leave to appeal Quebec's secularism law to Supreme Court," The Canadian Press, Dec. 18, 2019, Globe and Mail).
Iraq. Historical note: at this time 29 years ago the massive bombardment of Iraq was just beginning. On January 12th 1991 the U.S. Congress authorized war on the sovereign nation of Iraq. The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution was approved in the Senate by 52 to 47 votes, and in the House by 250 to 183. In debate, with some thought to the future, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California (D) noted, "The King of Jordan last night on 'Nightline' said that if we go to war, we could have an ecological disaster of the first order." The bombardment of Iraq began about 6:30 PM January 16th and the January 17th headlines of The Boston Globe read "Gulf War Begins: US leads massive bombing of strategic sites in Iraq, Kuwait." The Globe January 18th headline read," Iraqi missiles strike Israel; region braces for retaliation."On February 24th U.S. and Coalition ground forces invaded: U.S. and Saudi forces are reported 40 to 50 miles inside Kuwait, while U.S., British and French forces are reported 70 miles within Iraq. By March 1 a cease fire was in effect. A UN team visiting Iraq from March 10th to 17th reported that the Allies had bombed Iraq into a "pre-industrial age"; the report found 72,000 homeless, and 9000 homes destroyed (NYTimes International). In 2010, Souad Al-Azzawi, distinguished Iraqi scientist and expert on depleted uranium, reported that Iraq's Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs numbers Iraqi orphans at 4.5 million with half a million living in the streets. The 700 children in Iraq's prisons and 100 in U.S. prisons were allegedly raped tortured and otherwise brutalized ("Violations Of Iraqi Children Rights Under The American Occupation," Souad Al-Azzawi, March 20, 2010, countercurrents.org). By 2019 Prof Souad Al-Azzawi notes 1.5 million Iraqi deaths caused by the war. She notes as well 940,000 Depleted Uranium "projectiles" fired with an additional 14,000 by the British, 210,004 bombs on cities, 39,336 cluster bombs dropped, 9342 smart bombs, in addition to missiles. She lists among everything destroyed these components of the civilian infrastructure: 833 sewage and drinking water facilities, 205 dams and water services, 145 radio & tv stations and museums, 44 orphanages & old age facilities, 159 religious buildings, 251 food related facilities, 421 hospitals and medical service facilities, 3968 educational facilities, etc.. ("Twenty-Eight Years of Continuous Aggression Against Iraq," Prof Souad N. Al-Azzawi. Jan. 21, 2019, Global Research). These remain unaddressed war crimes. A case was attempted before the Audiencia Nacional de Espana in 2009, but was not accepted. Its full text is available at http://usgenocide.org/the-legal-case/ . The crime of genocide has no statute of limitations.
January 8, 2020
Night's Lantern starts the year with updates for U.S. political prisoners. Some are suffering inhumanly long sentences as targets for law enforcement control programs. Some are prisoners of war in our society's ongoing war on the poor. Many are pawns in a corporate prison industry that places as many people in prison as possible for profits, where imprisonment becomes a way of life for the survivors, or a kind of death sentence. In part political prisoners represent all prisoners and all peoples subject to the over-ruling greed of the unjust.
Imam Jamil Action Network [https://whathappened2rap.com/] has asked those who care, to call and ask friends to call the Bureau of Prisons and request cataract surgery for Imam Jamil Abdullah al-Amin. Diagnosed with Smoldering Myeloma (considered a precancerous condition), treatment is being denied. The number to call at USP Tucson is (520) 663-5000 and al-Amin's inmate number at Tucson is 99974-555. For those concerned with injustices of this case, the Action Network has posted the confession by another man to the killing of officers Imam Jamil Abdullah al-Amin was charged with killing and convicted of: "The Otis Jackson Confession," Imam Jamil Action Network [access:< https://whathappened2rap.com/pages/the-otis-jackson-confession >] ("Imam Jamil Al-Amin denied cataract surgery - Call Bureau of Prisons," Imam Jamil Action Network, Jan. 4, 2020, San Francisco BayView)
Bill Dunne is being added to our Political Prisoners pages. Arrested in 1979 for aiding and abetting the escape of Artie Ray Dufur and auto theft, Bill Dunne was sentenced to 80 years in a federal prison. He received an additional sentence of 15 years when he attempted to escape prison in 1983. This amounted to an inhuman sentence of 90 years in prison for non lethal crimes attempting freedom - release date 2043 ("Dunne, Bill," current, National Jericho Movement).
Denied parole ten times Robert Seth Hayes was released on parole July 24, 2018. He suffered serious and frequently untreated medical difficulties throughout his 45 years in prison; before parole these conditions included hepatitis C, diabetes, bleeding, abdominal growths, trouble breathing. He was 72 years old and at home when he ceased to be of our world, Dec. 21, 2019 ("Rest in Power Robert Seth Hayes!" Freedom Archives, Dec. 23, 2019, Prisoner News).
Last May Russell "Maroon" Shoatz was in hospital unable to keep fluids down, nausea and stomach pain. By August he was found to have stage 4 cancer. He's currently being treated. Donations are requested to help cover the costs: "Free Russell Maroon Shoatz!". His illness follows a successful legal battle against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) (Shoatz was released into the general prison population from an over 22 year stretch of solitary confinement), and a statement by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture that conditions of his imprisonment were uncivilized.
According to a posting by his family and friends, Dr. Mutulu Shakur was diagnosed with malignant bone cancer this past October. After a year delay since he noticed pain and a four month delay since the Doctor requested a CT scan, suspecting cancer, and the diagnosis was confirmed. Dr. Mutulu Shakur at 69 is already known to suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure, high cholesterol as well and his sight is hampered by glaucoma. Compassionate release on health grounds was applied for to the Bureau of Prisons by his legal team and denied this past December 5th. He's currently undergoing chemotherapy. His original trial judge is being petitioned for release. A federal judge in California is being petitioned for his release under a habeas corpus request, due to previous unjust denials of parole. Dr. Shakur joins a number of U.S. political prisoners who have contracted cancer since arrest (" Mutulu Shakur - December 2019 Medical and Legal Update," Freedom Archives, Dec. 14, 2019, Prisoner News).
This suggests prison conditions lead to or advance the illness of political prisoners through contaminated or unhealthy environments, bad water, intentional psychological damage, contaminated food, institutional diets, spatial conditions which prohibit psychological healing and health, and physical regimens including isolation intended to destroy a person's psychological and then physical resistance. I remember that Phil Berrigan died of a fast moving stomach cancer probably contracted in prison. Marilyn Buck contracted cancer in prison which was not addressed quickly and which she died of on compassionate release. The prosecution and unjust long sentence for Lynne Stewart because of cancer became a death sentence though she was also granted a compassionate release. Imam Jamil Al-Amin is known to have contracted blood cancer. And there's the recently diagnosed cancer of Russell Maroon Shoatz. And now Dr. Shakur is among those whose fight against cancer is known to these pages.
2019 suppressed news
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)
at first posting in 2002 this bulletin board was for emergency protests, attempts to counter
genocide, anti-war information, which were suppressed in the media; my interest remains in
how a society is moved into what have become genocidal wars, and how people are able to
resist... it becomes a kind of history in motion and a way to counter enforced forgetfulness,
the lies that say these things never happened, or that there is nothing wrong with the murders
of hundreds of thousands of innocents in other countries, or the continuing move toward
eradication of the poor by death, in north america; this account is against forgetfulness. - jbg 2008
by john bart gerald
graphics by julie maas
guest contributions as noted
January 18, 2020