Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala were arrested after being denied entrance to the US presidential debates

“Corporate-sponsored American politics have stifled true democracy,” says Cheri Honkala, Green Party vice-presidential candidate. “We really need the outside help” to ensure fair debates and return democracy to America, she told RT.

­Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala were arrested Tuesday after being denied entrance to the US presidential debates, despite being on 85 per cent of the ballots. “Democracy was taken away from us,” Honkala, told RT.

“Jill and I had decided to go before the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), we wanted to go in [to the debates], we’re on 85 per cent of the ballots in this country, and so we thought it should be up to the American people, so that they could listen to us and decide who they wanted to have as their president and their vice-president,” Honkala said.

The CPD was established in 1987 to monitor the presidential debates. CPD regulations stipulate that in order to be represented at the debate, a candidate must have at least 15 per cent support across five national polls and have the mathematical possibility to win the election. Tuesday’s debates were held by the CPD at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

“We’ve done our homework, it’s mathematically possible for Dr. Jill Stein and I to win the presidency, so we should be a part of the debates,” Honkala said.

However, despite being on 85 per cent of the ballots, Stein and Honkala were not invited to the big debate that took place Tuesday night.

“We thought it should be up to the American people, so that they could listen to us and decide who they wanted to have as their president and their vice-president.”

However, after being denied entry, Stein and Honkala were arrested for blocking traffic.

“We didn’t block traffic. We were at a stand-still because we were greeted by tons of officers who did not let us go in to the CPD, did not let us talk to somebody from the CPD.”

“We were then arrested by the police officers and then we were taken by secret service to a secret location and we were handcuffed to metal chairs for eight hours in a very cold warehouse,” she said.

“It just seemed like an absolute waste of taxpayer dollars. Homeland Security is continuing to be used to preempt the civil liberties of people here in this country.”

­

Mainstream media silence

Honkala told RT that she and Stein have been charged and will have to face trial for what they say is a fight to bring real democracy to America.

“We will have to face trial. We were charged with disorderly conduct. It became very clear to the both of us that this was very political and they wanted us to be silenced,” she said.

“Jill and I, we speak to the 99 per cent in this country. We have a program that’s about eliminating the student debt, it’s about taking money out of politics, it’s about making sure that everybody has access to a job; it’s about ending climate change and it’s about ‘greening’ America,” she told RT.

Mainstream media seems to have mostly turned a blind eye to the arrest of the US presidential and vice-presidential candidates, as well as to their party platform, as the airwaves continue to be dominated by the two-party system in America.

“We have a problem with a small number of corporations owning most of our major media outlets here in this country and we really need the outside help from different international media outlets to tell the real story of the American people. We are fighting for democracy here – it doesn’t exist. We do not have fair elections. We need elections monitors here and we need help from the international community,” she says.

Should the system change and Americans elect Green Party candidates, democracy would come to America, Honkala believes.

“Not only people in the US would  benefit, but people throughout the entire world, because no longer we would have a foreign policy that would be about bombing and killing people in other parts of the world just for oil and for the 1 per cent [the wealthy few]. The international community would benefit as well from our foreign policy, which would be about other countries’ need to police their own countries, and work on their own democracies. We need to bring democracy back here to the United States, we need access to the media, and we need fair elections and debates.”

 

Naming the Dead Bring the troops home by Christmas

Afghanistan Protest
Sunday October 7
Trafalgar Square London

On the 11th anniversary of the start of the war on Afghanistan, Stop the War is organising a Naming of the Dead ceremony in Trafalgar Square, commemorating those killed — both Afghan civilians and British soldiers.

The protest will also demand that the British government end its involvement in an unjustifed and futile war now and bring all the troops home by Christmas.

The ceremony will be led by Joan Humphries, whose grandson was killed in Afghanistan. She will be joined by Paul Flynn MP, who was recently expelled from parliament for accusing the government of lying about Afghanistan

Also participating will be Mitra Quayoom from Afghans for Peace, actor Celia Mitchell, journalist Victoria Britain, Jeremy Corbyn MP, actor Miriam Margolyes, musician Dave Randall

 

Is the U.S. Government at War with the Muslim World?

The massive, angry demonstrations and attacks on U.S. embassies sweeping through the Muslim world comes in the context of a campaign against Muslims carried out by the U.S. government in an attempt to justify their wars against Muslim countries. This campaign includes preemptive prosecutions where FBI agents create phony plots and encourage behavior that can be prosecuted and attacks on civil liberties at home; the Peter King hearings; NYPD spying on Muslims; raids and detentions; and states that have passed anti-Muslim laws. It includes the physical attacks on Muslims, on mosques and on people who racist whites think are Muslims, like Sikhs, and opposition to Muslim building projects like Park 51 and much more.

This atmosphere encourages the kind of hateful anti-Muslim video that was produced. At some point, it had to be expected that Muslims around the world would react. The U.S. will spin this by focusing on the film and implying that all Muslims are crazy and do not support freedom of speech. However, this is a self-serving lie and a diversion from the real root causes. Humiliation is a necessary component of the cycle of abuse. It should be noted that similar attacks on Judaism and the Holocaust are prosecuted as hate crimes and that artists and musicians who have created work offensive to many Christians have been vilified and threatened.

We need to put the blame squarely where it belongs — on the U.S., which has been at war with the Muslim world in order to dominate and control resources and power. We have seen the utter destruction of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan; drone attacks on Muslim countries we are not at war with, including Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; and the persistent economic starvation and political suffocation of the Muslim people in Egypt, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and other countries by US backed dictators enforcing Western dominance in the region. So-called “targeted assassinations” kill many innocent non-combatants and are viewed simply as “collateral damage” rather than murders, demonstrating how little the U.S. government values non-Western lives.

The fact that these protests came as a surprise to the U.S. State Department is a reflection of the arrogance and stupidity of a government that claims it is bringing freedom and democracy to the region through drone missiles, sanctions, assassinations, and occupations and expects the people to be grateful.

The unfortunate deaths of the American Ambassador in Libya and members of his security team are the direct result of violent, hypocritical, internally conflicted US policies in the region, whether the unanticipated result of the rioting triggered by the film or blowback for longstanding U.S. atrocities rooted in the ongoing wars. It is long past time to reject those policies and begin a new era based on respect for the dignity and humanity of every individual and of all the various cultures and religions of the world.

We must stand in solidarity with all the victims of U.S.-sponsored violence and repression.

END THE WARS & OCCUPATIONS! BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

NO DRONE ATTACKS! NO SANCTIONS! HANDS OFF SYRIA & IRAN!

END RACIST REPRESSION, RAIDS, FRAME-UPS & ISLAMOPHOBIA AT HOME!

 

Obama in Pittsburgh: Peace Action: STOP DRONE ATTACKS | FUND PITTSBURGH TRANSIT

People have to have heroes, but no person can ever be as big as the
need, and so a legend grows around a grain of truth, like a pearl.”

–Peter S. Beagle

STOP DRONE ATTACKS | FUND PITTSBURGH TRANSIT

STOP DRONE ATTACKS | FUND PITTSBURGH TRANSIT

 

My cell phone alarm clock went off at 5am.

I slowly took a shower and began to wake up to the day’s work. I drove
to a residential area that bordered Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
campus. I emptied the contents of my pocket into the back seat. I
folded up an 11 by 17 inch piece of paper till it was a small square
and placed it in my back pocket. I took off my sandals and slowly put
on my steel toed work boots. i walked down the street and rested on a
wall by a bus stop, I sat there for a very long time and thought.
Because of a car accident I had as a pedestrian in 2001, I still have
trouble walking even a few blocks and have to stop to catch my breath. I
walked from the bus stop to my fave coffee shop, the 61c. Out of a
sense of nervousness I began devouring all of its cafe food, fresh
squeezed orange juice, hot croissants and a chocolate raspberry scone
together with a pond of decaf ice coffee. The Barista glanced at me wondering if
I was a Rothschild and this was my normal morning tribute to
consumerism. I sat and collected my thoughts. As the morning progressed a
friend walked in and asked, “hey aren’t you going to hear Obama speak
this morning?” I laughed a little bit too loud and gave him some vital phone
numbers. The activist lawyer shook his head and stated, “well Vincent
you will never be out of a job. Here is my private cell phone number, call
collect from jail and I’ll come visit.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Unimaginable horrors in Syria —

Amnesty researcher just returned from Syria, where she uncovered shocking crimes against humanity.

Syrian government forces are killing civilians in organised attacks on towns and villages that amount to crimes against humanity

Devastating brutality. Shattered families, shattered futures. Syria is descending further into chaos — a human rights catastrophe in the making.

 

“They killed my sons, the dearest things I had… How can a mother endure such pain?” The words of one mother interviewed by Amnesty researcher Donatella Rovera after her three sons were dragged from their home, brutally killed and burned.

She is one of many mothers in Syria who right now are facing the unendurable. And her story is just one of many heartbreaking, firsthand accounts of cold-blooded killings and destruction gathered by Amnesty International on the ground in Syria, documented in the new report Deadly Reprisals.

The bloodshed must end. There are no easy solutions. But one thing is certain — there must be accountability for these attacks on Syria’s civilians.

Urge U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to call for UN Security Council action on Syria, while there is still hope. There is much more that world leaders can do to stop the wanton assault on Syrian civilians before the crisis deteriorates even further, including:

  • Freezing the assets of President Bashar al-Assad and other senior Syrian government officials
  • Ensuring an effective arms embargo to stop the flow of weapons to the Syrian government
  • Referring the situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

Secretary Clinton, the UN Security Council, and all the world’s leaders need to know you have your eyes on Syria, and that you expect action. Real consequences for President Bashar al-Assad and his associates. No more weapons to commit abuses. And a full investigation into the rampage of atrocities being committed in Syria by the International Criminal Court.

Syria’s people are crying out for our help. There is more we can do — and it’s time to act.

For peace and justice,

Sanjeev Bery
Advocacy Director, Middle East & North Africa
Amnesty International USA

P.S. Join us tomorrow for an exclusive inside account of the Syrian crisis from Amnesty researcher Donatella Rovera, who recently returned from the country. Get your questions ready — the live online chat will run at amnestyusa.org/amnestylive from Noon-1PM Eastern/9-10AM Pacific on Friday, June 15.

 

Beekeepers Win Ban on Monsanto’s GMOs in Poland

Monsanto’s Mon810 corn, genetically engineered to produce a mutant version of the insecticide Bt, has been banned in Poland following protests by beekeepers who showed the corn was killing honeybees.

Poland is the first country to formally acknowledge the link between Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn and the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that’s been devastating bees around the world. Many analysts believe that Monsanto has known the danger their GMOs posed to bees all along. The biotech giant recently purchased a CCD research firm, Beeologics, that government agencies, including the US Department of Agriculture, have been relying on for help unraveling the mystery behind the disappearance of the bees.

Now that it’s owned by Monsanto, it’s very unlikely that Beeologics will investigate the links, but genetically engineered crops have been implicated in CCD for years now.

Take action!

 

 

Stop Feeding Our Babies Genetically Engineered Infant Formula and Baby Food

Gerber, Abbott Nutrition Labs, Mead Johnson, Walmart, Kellogg’s and the Federal Government are force-feeding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to the most vulnerable among us: our children.

SIGN NOW »

Nearly all of our infant formula, including every one of the millions of bottles distributed free by the government, contains genetically engineered corn or soy, as well as milk from cows injected by bovine growth hormone.

The FDA doesn’t conduct or even require a single safety study on GMOs. They allow companies like Monsanto to do their own safety tests. Keep in mind that the FDA also assured us that Monsanto’s past products – DDT, PCBs and Agent Orange – were perfectly safe. This was before they were banned. Today, Monsanto can put GMOs into baby bottles, sippy cups, and breakfast cereal, without even telling the FDA or consumers.

Because of their less-developed immune systems, infants and young children are more sensitive to toxins found in GMOs. And diseases linked to GMOs in animal-feeding studies are skyrocketing among America’s children. This can’t be a coincidence.

Children are More Vulnerable
• Infants and young children are more sensitive to toxins found in GMOs.
• Their immune system and blood brain barrier are not fully developed.

Again, diseases are skyrocketing among America’s children. Their disorders include the same ones identified in GMO animal feeding studies by the physicians group, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.

Enough is enough. Tell the FDA that they must stop companies from feeding our babies genetically modified infant formula and baby food and to stop using our kids as guinea pigs.

 

Rebuilding a Home for the Homeless in Pittsburgh

January 16th is Martin Luther King’s Birthday – that means our annual benefit for the homeless! This the 23rd year of celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern. Musicians have donated their time and talent. Life would be different if Dr. King were still alive and an elder statesman among us. This is an attempt to honor his life, and belief in non-violent change in an era that only knows war and indifference. funds raised will go to a new house for the homeless in pittsburgh.
— vincent scotti eirene

During this evening we will have music and poetry, as well as speeches by Dr. King.
Lineup:
1. Bob Ziller
2. Renee Alberts
3. Mike and Laura, from Soft Money
4. Jonnyflower
5. Paul Labrise
6. Ben Hartlage
7. Chris Serra and friends
8. PhatManDee (and Miguel)
9. The Grifters
10. The Stillhouse Pickers
11. The BEATLESs
12. Dylan Rooke
$10 Admission (NO ONE WILL BE TURNED AWAY FOR LACK OF FUNDS)

 

Occupiers Are Back and Won’t Be Pepper Sprayed Away!

Occupy: Pepper spray incident shocks UC Davis

Occupy: Pepper spray incident shocks UC Davis

WATCH CBS VIDEO »

 

Occupy protests are a wakeup call