I made it to the US Government Watch List, or as the nice woman at the BA check-in counter says: “The hit list”.
I made the US Government Watch ListSeptember 18, 2008
The battle in St Paul – eyewitness accountSeptember 7, 2008
I’m reposting this from a newslist I belong to. It’s grim reading.
I thought you would be interested in reading this first-person account of the heavy-handed response to activism at the RNC this week. This is from Colleen Mihal, currently a Ph.D. student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado-Boulder:
When you wake up this morning and read the headlines about McCain’s speech, the latest horserace tally, and political predictions, I want you to be aware of events you may not read about, events that illuminate the real state of our democracy, events that brought me to tears (and it wasn’t just from the gas). I want to tell you about battle that raged on the streets of St. Paul- A battle waged by the police, backed, funded, and organized by the Department of Homeland Security, a battle against peaceful protesters, war veterans, concerned citizens, and journalists.
Georgia on my mind – gangsters, oil and bloodAugust 16, 2008
Warning: this post contains some AO language and is not really about taxi drivers at all.
I have a lot of respect for cab drivers. Most of the time they’re really well-educated and they’re all very, very street-smart. Last night I got a ride home with Ahmad. He’s from Afghanistan and he was listening to the BBC World Service.
There were items about the conflict in Georgia and so we got to talking. It was quite funny to realise that my chat with Ahmad was the perfect dessert to my main course argument with my colleague Wayne at the Brooklyn.
Wayne and I had been talking about Russia, Georgia, gangster capitalism, transnationals and failed or failing states. Ahmad segued straight into that line of thinking off the back of the World Service reports from Georgia. Ahmad has been all over the world. He thinks the Russians are crazy and hates the American presence in his homeland. There’s a nice, balanced logic to his position and I’m instantly drawn to a stranger who’s making my journey smooth on a soggy Auckland night.
My conversations with Wayne and Ahmad led to this little tome: gangster capitalism, the looming resource wars and ‘regime change’.
What happens when you give gangsters access to new-killer weapons of mass distraction?
Australian Jihad: Now you read it, now you don’tJune 15, 2008
For some time I’ve been wanting to do a series of posts about a book that’s been withdrawn from sale, but I couldn’t find the right peg.
This morning I decided that I’d start a post on the book, Australian Jihad, regardless of the peg issue; and as coincidences are, this other story was kicking around about three men in Ohio who, on Friday 13 June, were convicted of a terrorist plot on the strength of evidence gathered by an undercover agent.
What’s the link? Australian Jihad is a journalistic account of “the battle against terrorism from within and without”, by Martin Chulov – a journalist with Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian. The link is that the main characters are also now on trial, facing similar charges to the three Ohioans.
The Ohio case too contains allegations of insider-trading within the so-called Jihadist organisations that are an issue “uncovered” in Australian Jihad.
Blogger going back to the Iraq frontlinesJune 10, 2008
Warblogger Colby Buzzell has been recalled into the US military for another tour of Iraq.
The freelance journalist who’s CBFTW blog, since renamed My War, was a pain in the arse for American generals, has been recalled, even though he’s on the inactive list.
The recall is legal under the American “Stop Loss” policy and every recruiting contract apparently contains the “Stop Loss” clause in the fine print.
In an op-ed article for the San Francisco Chronicle, Buzzell writes:
“If the Army thought I was a problem last time wait until they send me back there again. I’m going to be blogging about everything.”
We’ll come back to this.
“Deradicalisation”: What the fcUK is this about?June 3, 2008
I’ve got no idea how this is going to work, it seems like the most bizarre and twisted form of social engineering to me.
This is from The Guardian, but what the fcuk is the British government up to?
I can’t help but have a very sad laugh at this effort.
What does this mean? It seems, from the Guardian report it means a whole new era of racial and religious profiling right across the UK.
The document publicly confirms for the first time an attempt within Whitehall to map the country by the religious denominational background of the population, to better understand where radicalisation is taking place. However, last month’s attempted bomb attack in Exeter, which does not have a significant Muslim population, demonstrates the limits of this approach.
Burma and the shock doctrineMay 15, 2008
When the devastating cyclone hit Burma couple of weeks ago I pondered a blog post on the Shock Doctrine. I read Naomi Klein’s great book a few months ago and as soon as it was clear how devastated parts of Burma were, I thought: “this is a time for a shock doctrine intervention”. Well f*c( me with a spade, so it’s come to pass.
I first heard talk of a western military intervention this morning (15 May), so it’s time to join the blog chat on this topic. I found this interesting case for intervention on Slate, dated 12 May. Read the rest of this entry »
Dominion Post charged over terror leaks storyApril 10, 2008
The Dominion Post newspaper editor, Tim Pankhurst, and the publisher, Fairfax New Zeland, have been charged with contempt of court for publishing excerpts of police bugging intercepts collected during the botched raids on alleged terrorist training camps in mid October last year. The offending comments were lifted from a 150+ page affidavit sworn by New Zealand police as a justification for the raids.
In the end no one was charged with terror offences, though a few firearms charges are outstanding.
The story was covered in this morning’s Dom Post in a very bland way. The editor of the paper was somehow not available for a comment. Read the rest of this entry »
Civil rights protest in New Zealand – stop the terror lawsOctober 26, 2007
DEFEND CIVIL RIGHTS
march this Saturday October 27th at 12 noon
from Aotea Square to Mount Eden Prison
For more information Civil Rights Defence Organisation
ABOLISH THE TERROR LAWS-
Socialist Worker (National Exec) statement on Crackdown
If we don’t fight to defend the “Urewera Seventeen” – the activists currently imprisoned without bail or trial – then it could be us next. That’s the simple fact that all of us who believe in social justice have to learn.
Everyone who knows someone who was arrested knows full well that these people are not terrorists. There is no way that these people were planning to kill, maim or destroy in pursuit of their political activism. So why did the cops feel the need to terrorise schoolkids, smash windows and confiscate property on Monday 15th?
It’s surely not a coincidence that that was the week that beefed-up “anti-terror” legislation was up before parliament. And the cops – and the SIS who stand behind them – were probably feeling a bit embarrassed that they hadn’t gotten to use the old legislation yet. So they wanted to give it a go.
But why do we have the “Terrorism Suppression Act 2002” in the first place? Simply put – because the Americans told us we had to.
Using the shock of the aftermath of the attacks on New York and Washington, the United States pushed the demand for “anti-terror” laws through a compliant UN in 2002. New Zealand was “obliged” to adopt these laws, or get in the bad books of the United States.
No New Zealander is on the UN’s list of terrorists or terrorist groups. But Maori activists said at the time that it was only a matter of time before these were used against Maori activists. Looks like they were right.
Some commentators – even some of those “on the Left” – are wagging their fingers at the people who are currently stewing in jail without trial or bail, saying they should have known better than to even look like they were preparing to challenge the State.
But this is a colonial nation. The New Zealand state was founded on acts of violence and dispossession of the tangata whenua. No-one disputes that. And no-one should be surprised that some Maori are not prepared to accept the status of a defeated people. Challenging the New Zealand state is their political birthright – not an act of “terrorism”.
An attitude that says that challenging the authority of the state should be enough to get you put in “Guantanamo of the South Pacific” isn’t about fighting terrorism. It’s about defining within what limits dissent and debate is “acceptable” – and enforcing those limits with ninja police breaking and entering.
There is no good reason for the “anti-terror” laws. They should be called the Terror Laws – their purpose is to sow terror in the hearts of anyone who might think of challenging those in power over us. Ordinary workers who’ve been in union struggles know that the police and courts are not the friends of anyone who wants to rock the boat.
The Terror Laws must be abolished – before they are used against any of us who doesn’t shut up and do what they’re told. We need to build the biggest possible political movement against these anti-democratic laws – and the corporate politicians in Labour and National who support them.