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Tag Archive: Activism


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Before protests, U. of Missouri saw decades of race tension

A woman passes a tent encampment set up by student protesters following an announcement that… Read more

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — This week’s events at the University of Missouri seemed to unfold rapidly, with little warning. But some students, faculty and alumni say the protests and sudden resignation of the president and chancellor are the culmination of years of racial tension on the state’s flagship campus.

The history of racially charged incidents dates back generations.

When the university denied admission to black law school applicant Lloyd Gaines, the issue led to an influential 1938 Supreme Court decision that helped pave the way for the civil rights movement.

Three decades later, during the unrest of the late 1960s, the Legion of Black Collegians emerged at Mizzou to press for increased minority representation among students, staff and faculty — a goal student protesters say remains unmet.

And the 2011 suicide of black swimmer Sasha Menu Courey after she was allegedly raped by several football players led some to question the campus commitment to investigating sexual assaults.

“Who built this university?” asked student government President Payton Head. “Who was building buildings in 1839” when the school was founded?

“Slavery wasn’t abolished until 1865,” Head said. “But we don’t talk about that history here at the University of Missouri.”

Head’s social media accounts of having racial slurs shouted at him from a passing pickup truck helped spark a renewed protest movement at Missouri that culminated Monday with the resignation of university system President Tim Wolfe. Hours later, the top administrator of the Columbia campus, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, was forced out.

 

Read More Here

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Timeline of recent events at University of Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Complaints about the handling of racial and other concerns led to this week’s resignation of University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe and the top administrator of the Columbia campus, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin. A timeline of key events:

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AUG. 14: The university announces the elimination of subsidies that help pay health insurance costs for graduate students employed by the school.

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AUG. 26: Graduate students stage a walkout and rally, in part to oppose the health care cut.

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SEPT. 12: Missouri Student Association President Payton Head posts on Facebook that young people in a pickup truck yelled racial slurs at him. It’s the first of many racial incidents on the Columbia campus this fall. Sit-ins, walkouts and other protests follow, fueled by concern that administrators are not addressing the tension.

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SEPT. 16: The university and Planned Parenthood announce the end of their 26-year relationship after state lawmakers start investigating abortions performed at the university clinics.

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SEPT. 24: A “Racism Lives Here” rally takes place on campus.

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SEPT. 29: An estimated 1,000 protesters turn out for a rally in support of Planned Parenthood.

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OCT. 5: A drunk man yells racial slurs at members of the Legion of Black Collegians. Loftin, on Twitter and in a video message, expresses anger at the slurs.

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OCT. 6: Students and faculty stage a sit-in against racism and administrative inaction.

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OCT. 8: The university announces that freshmen will be required to undergo diversity training beginning in January, and the program will eventually be expanded to include all students, faculty and staff.

 

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 Published time: 25 Sep, 2015 12:20
© Seven LE DUC
The French animal rights group, Cause Animal Nord, has come under fire after a video emerged of the activists taking away a puppy from a crying homeless man in central Paris.

The video shows the man fighting for his dog, but eventually losing out as three members of the group, including the organization’s president, seized the puppy and ran away. The homeless man was left in tears.

The cruel act has been condemned by the media and internet users. A number took to social networks to express their disgust, while others left highly critical messages on the organization’s Facebook page.

View image on Twitter

3 French animal rights activists steal puppy from homeless man, and put it up for adoption under the name “Vegan”:h…

Activist Post

Army Vietnam Veteran, peaceful freedom activist, and local small businessman, Mark Schimdter, has been jailed for 145 days by Judge Belvin Perry. Schmidter’s sentence began Thursday after he was found guilty for distributing jury nullification info outside of Perry’s self-imposed “free speech zone.” during the Casey Anthony trial.

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Mark E. Schmidter is an activist for jury rights whose story we covered one year ago. He was originally facing a year in jail after being found guilty of two felonies: External Criminal Contempt of Court, and jury tampering, for distributing information outside the Orange County Courthouse in Florida.

We noted that Schmidter was not guilty of any actual law, but rather rules written by the acting judge. These rules that Schmidter is in violation of are for demonstrating outside of a “free speech zone” determined by Judge Perry. Schmidter, who was first arrested in June 2011, has maintained his innocence and that the judge’s orders he violated were a direct violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Furthermore, the very rule he was found to be in violation of has been overturned.

Judge Belvin Perry issued Administrative Order # 2011 03 which states that if anyone hands out information, talks or hold a sign outside the courthouse, they would be held in contempt of court and jury tampering.
Administrative Order #2011 07 states that anything that has to do with “Free Speech” may only be done in the free speech zones which are two 10’x30’ remote areas nearly a football field away from the courthouse doors. It is the same rule that was used to jail another jury nullification activist, Julian Heicklen.

Here is Schmidter being interviewed before his court appearance in June, 2011:

 

Read Full Article and  Watch Video Here

India’s youth bulge and its disillusionment with political leaders may have helped drive recent post-rape protests and an anticorruption movement. But it’s not clear the new activism will sustain itself.

By Vaishnavi Chandrashekar, Correspondent

Students shout slogans during a protest against a leader of the ruling Congress party, who was arrested on accusations he raped a woman in a village in the early hours of the morning, in Gauhati, India, Thursday, Jan. 3. Recent post-rape protests have renewed debate over the rise of a new urban middle-class activism in India.

Anupam Nath/AP

Mumbai, India

The large-scale protests triggered by the gang rape of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi has renewed debate over the rise of a new urban middle-class activism in India.

The strength and longevity of those protests, sustained as they were over several weeks and undeterred by police water cannons and teargas, took many by surprise. Student activism has generally been on the decline since the early 1990s, when the economy was liberalized, and the Indian urban middle-class is notorious for its political apathy.

But the recent protests, coming on top of 2011’s massive anticorruption movement led by Gandhian activist Anna Hazare, has some commentators heralding a new social mobilization – one that is fueled by frustration with what is seen as an increasingly corrupt and out-of-touch political system, energized by a new generation of youth, and aided by both old and new media.

“A generation has come of age that has [previously] been linked to a class and an ethos that was supremely indifferent to anything but their own self-interest – consumption and making money,” says Aditya Nigam, a political scientist and senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi. He points out that this generation grew up in the 1990s, a period of economic liberalization that saw rising prosperity but also increased corruption – there have been several high-profile scams in recent years – that was perpetrated with impunity.

 

Read Full Article  and Watch Video Here

 

India to face national strike over death of rape victim

 

Women march during a rally organised by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit protesting for justice and security for women, in New Delhi Photo: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

The whole of India could be hit by a national strike tomorrow following outrage at the death of a 23-year-old woman who was raped by a group of men on a bus in Delhi last month.

Today, there were demonstrations across the capital with protesters calling for tougher laws on sex crime. There have been almost continuous protests since the attack happened almost three weeks ago.

ITV News’ correspondent Geraint Vincent reports from Delhi.

 

Read Full Article  and Watch Video Here

 

Political activists sue Met over relationships with police spies

    Mark Kennedy

    Mark Kennedy, in environmentalist mode: three of the women referred to in court had intimate relationships with him. Photograph: Guardian

    Undercover police officers had long-term sexual relationships with political activists and joined them at family gatherings and on holidays to make their targets “emotionally dependent” on them, according to papers submitted to the high court.

    The allegations were revealed at the start of a legal attempt by the Metropolitan police to have the claims heard in secret.

    Ten women and one man have launched a legal action claiming they were conned into forming “deeply personal” relationships with the police spies.

    The case is the first civil action to be brought before a court since the Guardian revealed police officers frequently slept with political campaigners as part of a spy operation over four decades.

    Lawyers for the police are applying to have the cases struck out of the high court and moved to a little-known tribunal that usually deals with complaints about MI5.

    The solicitor Harriet Wistrich, who is representing most of the claimants, said: “These women are suing for a gross invasion of privacy, and the Met’s response is to try and hive it off into a secret court.”

    Most of the claimants had long-term and serious relationships with police spies, one lasting nearly six years. One was a man who had a close personal friendship with a police spy who ended up having a sexual relationship with his girlfriend.

    The submissions also refer to the case of a woman who had a child with an undercover officer who was spying on her and who vanished from her life when the deployment came to an end.

    Three of the women referred to in court had intimate relationships with Mark Kennedy, who spent seven years living as an environmental campaigner. Details of Kennedy’s deployment were made public last year after activists worked out he was a police mole.

    Two other women in the case had sexual relationships with a colleague of Kennedy’s who served undercover alongside him. The police spy claimed to be a truck driver called Mark Jacobs when he infiltrated a small anarchist group in Cardiff until 2009.

    As Jacobs, he had taken part in “deeply personal aspects of their lives”, even attending the funeral of one woman’s father after he died of cancer, barristers told the court in their written legal submissions.

    “In doing so, he had exploited the vulnerabilities of the claimants and sought to encourage them to rely on him emotionally,” the documents added.

    “Jacobs” had instigated a sexual relationship with one of the women, the court was told, while she was going out with another male activist, who is part of the legal action.

    “During the course of those relationships, Jacobs purported to be a confidant, empathizer and source of close support to each of the claimants,” the barristers said.

    Lawyers for the 10 women involved in the joint legal action against the Met, which had overall responsibility for the deployment of the spies, claim the deception caused their clients “serious emotional and psychiatric harm”.

    They told Mr Justice Tugendhat the undercover officers had used the long-term relationships to gather intelligence on the women or for their own “personal gratification”, while pretending to support them emotionally.

    They said the “grave allegations” of police misconduct raised serious questions about the “extent to which covert police powers have been and may in future be used to invade the personal, psychological and bodily integrity” of members of the public.

    There is confusion over the rules governing the conduct of police spies. Senior officers have claimed it is “never acceptable” and “grossly unprofessional” for undercover officers to sleep with their targets; however, a government minister recently told parliament the tactic was permitted.

    The evidence uncovered by the Guardian suggests the practice is routine. Eight of the nine undercover officers identified over the past 21 months are believed to have had intimate sexual relationships with protesters they were spying on.

    Documents submitted to the court allege that Kennedy attended intimate family gatherings with all three women and joined them on holidays.

    “He discouraged [them] from terminating the intimate sexual relationships,” their barristers said.

    Kennedy, who was married with two children, had one relationship with an activist for two years. Another activist, who became his long-term girlfriend, was in a relationship with the police spy for six years.

    Phillippa Kaufmann and Heather Williams, QCs for the women, who want to remain anonymous, said none of them would have had agreed to have had sex or entered “the most intimate of relationships” if they had known the men were police officers.

    Monica Carss-Frisk QC, for the police, said their argument was not about denying the women remedy, but determining the correct forum for determining their claims.

    The police argue the case should be heard in the investigatory powers tribunal, as it was set up specifically to consider allegations of unjustifiable surveillance by the state.

    They also argue they may be unable defend the case because they have a long-established policy of neither confirming nor denying the identity of undercover police officers.

    Dr. Cornel West Speaks in Arizona

    Uploaded by on Oct 10, 2010

    “Justice is what Love looks like in public.” -Brother Cornel West
    A Conversation with Cornel West – How We Got Here: Historical Roots of SB1070
    Saturday, October 2, 2010 North High School Auditorium, Phoenix, AZ

    Puente Movement & NDLON hosted a Panel Discussion and Lecture by the distinguished Dr. Cornel West, Professor at Princeton University. Dr. West is an African American philosopher, author, critic, actor, and civil rights activist. He is known for his combination of political and moral insight and criticism, and his contribution to the post-60s civil rights movement.

    Shot by:
    Dennis Gilman, http://www.youtube.com/humanleague002 & Puente
    J.M. Aragon, PanLeft & Derechos Humanos
    Shot & Edited by:
    Barni Qaasim, Iftiin Productions & Puente

    Published on May 31, 2012 by

    Hip-hop artist Immortal Technique is a self-described social guerrilla. Felipe Coronel is the real name of the Peruvian-born, Harlem-raised political activist who raps about politics, religion and racism. Since the genesis of the OWS movement, Tech has been an active voice for the cause, and on July 10 a documentary will be released showing his everyday life. He now joins us with more on his beliefs and his work.

    Environmental

     

    Thawing permafrost may have led to extreme global warming events

     

    by Staff Writers
    Sheffield UK (SPX)

     


    File image: thawing permafrost.

    Scientists analysing prehistoric global warming say thawing permafrost released massive amounts of carbon stored in frozen soil of Polar Regions exacerbating climate change through increasing global temperatures and ocean acidification.

    Although the amounts of carbon involved in the ancient soil-thaw scenarios was likely much greater than today, the implications of this ground-breaking study are that the long-term future of carbon deposits locked into frozen permafrost of Polar Regions are vulnerable to climate warming caused as humans emit the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels for energy generation.

    Researchers in centres across America, Italy and the University of Sheffield, analyzed a series of sudden, and extreme, global warming events – called hyper thermals – that occurred about 55 million years ago, linked to rising greenhouse gas concentrations and changes in Earth’s orbit, which led to a massive release of carbon into the atmosphere, ocean acidification, and a five degrees Celsius rise in global temperature within just a few thousand years.

    It was previously thought that the source of carbon was in the ocean, in the form of frozen methane gas in ocean-floor sediments but now the experts believe the carbon released into the atmosphere millions of years ago came from the Polar Regions.

    Professor David Beerling, of the University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, said: “For the first time, we have linked these past global warming events with a climatically sensitive terrestrial carbon reservoir rather than a marine one. It shows that global warming can be amplified by carbon release from thawing permafrost.”

    “The research suggests that carbon stored in permafrost stocks today in the Arctic region is vulnerable to warming. Warming causes permafrost thaw and decomposition of organic matter releasing more greenhouse gases back into the atmosphere.

    “This feedback loop could accelerate future warming. It means we must arrest carbon dioxide emissions released by the combustion of fossil fuels if humanity wishes to avoid triggering these sorts of feedbacks in our modern world.”

    The breakthrough was made through cross-disciplinary collaborations with climate and vegetation modellers, isotope geochemists and permafrost experts led by Rob DeConto at the University of Massachusetts, in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, Yale, the University of Colorado, Penn State, and the University of Urbino, Italy.

    Rob DeConto added: “Similar dynamics are at play today. Global warming is degrading permafrost in the north Polar Regions, unlocking once-frozen carbon and methane and releasing it into the atmosphere. This will only exacerbate future warming in a positive feedback loop.”

    The temperature of Earth’s atmosphere is a result of energy input from the sun minus what escapes back into space. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere absorbs and traps heat that would otherwise return to space.

    The global warming events were accompanied by a massive input of carbon to the atmosphere plus ocean acidification, and were characterized by a global temperature rise of about five degrees Celsius within a few thousand years.

    Until now, scientists have been unable to account for the massive amounts of carbon required to cause such dramatic global warming events and Antarctica, which on today’s Earth is covered by kilometres of ice, has not been appreciated as an important player in such global carbon dynamics.

    The research is published in the journal Nature.

     

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    Cyber Space

     

    Internet can help, not start, democracy

     

    by Staff Writers
    Columbus, Ohio (UPI)

     


    disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

    The use of the Internet to promote democracy is most effective in countries already enacting reforms to move in that direction, U.S. researchers say.

    The common assumption that the Internet played a major role leading to democratic revolutions in the Arab world and elsewhere is likely an exaggeration, they said.

    “Instead of the Internet promoting fundamental political change, it seems to reinforce political change in countries that already have at least some level of democratic freedoms,” researcher Erik Nisbet, a professor of communication at Ohio State University, said.

    “Internet use is a less effective means to mobilize citizens for democracy in extremely authoritarian countries,” he said in an OSU release Wednesday.

    Demand for democracy is highest in countries where more people are connected to the Internet, the researches said, and in countries where Internet users spend more time on the Web.

    “Internet penetration in a country matters in terms of how much people want democratic reforms, but it is even more important that people are spending greater amounts of time on the Internet and that they are connected to other people in their community,” study co-author Elizabeth Stoycheff said.

    The researchers analyzed data on 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia that evaluated how much the citizens in each country demanded democracy and their frequency of Internet use.

    Some countries have the right political and technological mix for the Internet to play a role in social and political change, the researchers said, but countries with highly authoritarian regimes are not likely to see democracy flourishing anytime soon regardless of use of the Internet.

    “Our results suggest that the Internet can’t plant the seed of democracy in a country,” Nisbet said. “However, the Internet may help democracy flourish if it has already started to grow.”

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    Survival / Sustainability

     

    Useful lessons learned from the Great Depression

     

    by M.D. Creekmore


    This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest  by MtWoman

    (Note: the numbers in certain places are references to the links and info provided at the end.)

    Recently, there was a discussion here on the SBlog (as I like to call it) about what knowledge and wisdom our parents and grandparents may have to share with us from their experiences during the depression. I decided to “interview” my father on the subject, using the specific questions that Hunker-Down and Bam-Bam proposed, and expanding from there using my own questions.

    It was a very good experience for me. My father is a tough German man, and is seldom open to such things, especially because having to ‘think back’ reveals to him how his memory is failing. But I was gentle and patient and this time he opened up quite a bit. I learned a lot about him, other members of our family, and myself. Discussing my family of origin, and what their lives were like has given me a better understanding of how I am, and what life was like ‘back then’…and what I can do to ‘prep’ for my own future. I’ll share with you here what I found out.

    First a little history:

    It seems that my father, who was born in 1925, making him 4 years old when the market crashed at the start of the Depression, didn’t have a very hard time of it, really.

    His parents were German immigrants, who had been “sponsored” (1) by some other family members to come to the US. In those days, immigrants had to be “sponsored” for a year, which meant someone vouched that you would not become a “burden to society” and they would cover your financial needs until a job was found. There were other requirements, like taking the “umlaut” (those two little dots over some letters) off your name if you had one, which my grandparents had to do. My grandfather came over first (1922), and my grandmother came a year later. They were married here in the US in 1924.

    When my father was born and through his childhood, my grandfather worked, and my grandmother was a housewife. They had a small house in Minnesota (one of my most favorite places to go in the summer as a kid). It had a couple of bedrooms, a kitchen, a ‘sitting’ room, and – my favorite – a screened in front porch where I would sleep on a cot sometimes in the Summer, and watch the train go by on the tracks just across the street.

    There was electricity in the house and running water and ‘flush’ toilets. They had an apple tree, a good garden, and a ‘cellar’…a space under the house with a hardened dirt floor. I remember there being bushel baskets of root vegetables down there and some jars on shelves. My grandfather had some barrels at the corners of the eaves of the garage which gathered rain water. Their house was 1-2 miles from downtown…..

     

    Read The  Full Article Here

     

     

    How much water is enough?

     

    by M.D. Creekmore


    This is a guest post by Tom Sciacca of CampingSurvival.com Yes .

    If you like food as much as I do, it’s hard to imagine that our body can actually go weeks without food. It wouldn’t be fun, of course, but it can be done. But without water, our bodies can get into serious trouble quickly – just a matter of days before dehydration can set in. So why is it that many people keep lots of extra food stored in their houses, but neglect to store any water?

    This subject came to mind recently when my cousin told me about having to endure a power outage with no drinkable water. Since power outages often impact water treatment facilities, tap water can be unsafe for drinking. The situation was made worse by the fact that her child had vomiting and diarrhea, which meant that there was an even greater need for drinking water, as well as water for cleaning, sanitation and hand washing.

    For instance, a mixture of water and chlorine bleach would have greatly assisted in sanitizing around her child, helping to ensure that others didn’t also get sick. And obviously, you wouldn’t want to clean up after such a mess without being able to thoroughly wash your hands. (As a dad, I know that’s NOT fun!) Finally, water for food preparation is a supply you’ll need over and above what you plan to drink.

    Now if you look at the conventional wisdom out on the internet, you’ll find guidelines such as the following:….

     

    Read Full Article Here

     

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    Activism

     

    The Wonderful, Unpredictable Life of the Occupy Movement

     

    By Arun Gupta, Truthout

    Occupy Wall StreetOccupy Wall Street demonstration on March 15, 2012. (Photo: Sunset Parkerpix)

    I met Nomi on a bus in Baltimore. She was from Wisconsin and had been involved with Occupy Wall Street. She was part of Occupy Judaism and fondly recalled the Yom Kippur services she attended at the Wall Street occupation with hundreds of other people. Nomi said that, for the first time, she and her friends felt like they could combine the religious and radical dimensions of Judaism. The conversation fell silent as the bus rolled along. Suddenly she turned to me and excitedly announced that she met her girlfriend at Liberty Plaza. I smiled and responded, “That’s why Occupy Wall Street matters.”

    By enabling people to find fulfillment in all parts of their lives, whether romantic, spiritual, political or cultural, the Occupy movement is more than a movement. It is life-changing. People experience themselves as complete social beings, not just as angry, alienated protesters. Nomi said she was no longer involved in the movement, which I thought was more evidence of why the actual occupations were so important.

    The emergence of every mass movement makes sense in hindsight, but no one could have predicted hundreds of occupations and thousands of groups would pop up across the United States just weeks after a ragged encampment secured a tenuous foothold on Wall Street last September. Sure, anger was boiling over prior to the takeover of Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan, but the occupation crystallized who is to blame for the economic crisis and who are the legitimate people. Anyone could walk into the public space, share their stories, find people with similar grievances and help build micro-societies. Occupy wasn’t just a rejection of Washington and Wall Street. It revealed the failings of liberals, unions and the left. New activists didn’t first have to master volumes of social and cultural theory, attend grueling anti-oppression workshops and learn how to pepper their comments with academic jargon before joining. Nor did the movement require consultants, focus groups or polling to occupy the center of American politics with a radical left message. And the form was not the same old rallies with canned chants, pre-printed protest signs and preaching to the choir.

    It’s worth considering why Occupy Wall Street was such a smashing success last fall, as well as where it is headed. While the media lens has shifted away, Occupy has spawned a menagerie of energized movements and ambitious plans. Veteran organizer David Solnit, who is involved with Bay Area Occupy movements, sums up the current state: “The numbers showing up at GAs have dropped. Any movement has its mass mobilization and its in-between times. The organizing a lot of people are doing around housing and education are less visible but go much deeper. We need a better measuring tape than numbers and public space and whether it’s amplified through media owned by the 1 percent.”

    Like plants that lay dormant for the winter conserving energy, many occupations are blossoming anew with ambitious plans now that it’s spring. Solnit says in San Francisco the movement is defending a dozen families in foreclosure, and is working toward a citywide moratorium on bank foreclosures and evictions. In Los Angeles, organizers say May Day plans include large-scale marches by immigrants and unions, rolling street blockades and even an attempt to disrupt the main airport. In New York and around the country, a campaign has been launched called “F the Banks” to force the government to dismantle Bank of America, which is still receiving taxpayer subsidies. In Chicago, after the G8 summit set for May was moved to Camp David because of fear of large-scale protests, activists are moving forward with large-scale demonstrations to coincidence with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meeting the same month.

    Challenging the status quo comes with costs. As the Occupy movement struggles to effect radical social change, it faces persistent police attacks and co-optation by Democratic Party forces from the outside and divisions over identity politics, militancy, localism and diffusion from the inside.

    Read Full Article Here

     

     

    Writer fled China to ‘publish book’ on dissident

    by Staff Writers
    Hong Kong (AFP) April 6, 2012

     

    A Chinese dissident who wrote a book critical of the country’s leadership has said he fled into exile after being warned against publishing a biography of a jailed Nobel laureate.

    Yu Jie, a writer who in 2010 published “Wen Jiabao: China’s Best Actor” despite threats of jail time, fled to Washington with his family in January after he was “subjected to torture” and faced restrictions on publishing.

    In an interview aired Friday on Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK, Yu said that his decision to flee Beijing was also prompted by his urge to pursue a book project on fellow dissident Liu Xiaobo, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

    “The secret police told me I will be jailed if the book is published,” he said.

    “(I fled)… to make sure the biography can be published overseas,” the 38-year-old told RTHK without saying when the book will be released.

    He described the decision to flee as “painful” and said he believed he would not be able to return to Beijing within the next five years.

    The writer said he had been warned against criticising the Communist Party or speaking out against China abroad.

    Yu has previously said he came under tighter surveillance after Liu won the Nobel Prize.

    He has also complained that he was forbidden from publishing or practicing his religion. He is a member of a Protestant church which is not authorised by the Chinese government.

    Liu, 56, is the only Nobel Peace Prize winner in prison. He wrote a bold manifesto for democracy called Charter 08 and was jailed for 11 years for subversion on Christmas Day 2009.

    Human rights groups frequently voice concern about Chinese dissidents who remain in the country including prominent rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.

    Gao, who has defended some of China’s most vulnerable people including Christians and coal miners, was detained in February 2009 and had been held largely incommunicado by authorities except for a brief release in March 2010.

    Gao’s brother said last week that was allowed to meet with him in a remote jail for the first time in nearly two years, allaying fears for his well-being.

    China rights couple hear trial verdict on Tuesday
    Beijing (AFP) April 7, 2012 – The verdict in the trial of rights activists Ni Yulan and her husband will be announced on Tuesday, a year after the couple were detained amid growing unrest in China, their daughter said Saturday.

    Ni and Dong Jiqin, who have long helped victims of government-backed land grabs, were detained in April last year as authorities rounded up scores of activists amid online calls for protests similar to those in the Arab world.

    In a brief December trial they were charged with “picking quarrels, provoking trouble and willfully destroying private and public property” — charges lawyers and supporters say were trumped up to silence them.

    “Our lawyer told me the verdict will be read by the Beijing Western District court on Tuesday morning,” daughter Dong Xuan, 27, told AFP.

    “They are not guilty and should be released, but I fear that my mother will be sentenced to at least three years as a repeat offender. I am hoping that my father will be released for time served.”

    The couple’s lawyer last visited them in February, she said. Ni, 51, remains ill and is suffering from fever, a swollen neck and has trouble speaking.

    Ni spent much of the trial lying on a bed in the courtroom due to her poor health and needed a respirator to breathe.

    The couple have provided legal assistance to numerous families around China who have been forcibly evicted from their homes in government-backed land requisitions, a major cause of unrest in China.

    Their battle to oppose the land grabs began in 2001 after their courtyard home in central Beijing was requisitioned and marked for demolition.

    Trained as a lawyer, Ni was sentenced to a year in jail in 2002 for “obstructing official business,” and for two years in 2008 for “harming public property” — charges brought against her as she tried to protect her home.

    She was also disbarred in 2002.

    In January, Dong Xuan was barred by police from leaving China to collect a 100,000-euro (131,000) human rights award for her mother in the Netherlands.

    She says she remains under police surveillance.

    Ni’s case has been championed by numerous Western governments, including the United States and the European Union, which sent representatives to meet with her during her brief period of freedom in 2010.

    Related Links
    China News from SinoDaily.com

     

     

    Day 207: Live Coverage of the Occupy Movement

    Josh Harkinson, Special Coverage:

    As we enter Day 207 of the Occupy movements the protests have spread not only across the country but all over the globe. Thousands of activists have descended on Wall Street these past weeks as part of the #OccupyWallStreet protest organized by several action groups. What follows is a live video stream and live Twitter feed of this event….

    Read Full Article Here

     

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    Articles of Interest

     

    Bald eagle in crosshairs of US fight over lead bullets

    by Staff Writers
    Boyce, Virginia (AFP) April 7, 2012

     

    The bald eagle that came into wildlife rehabilitator Belinda Burwell’s care last month, just as the hunting season was coming to a close in North America, was a shadow of its former self.

    The stiff and wobbly bird clung to life but showed distinct signs of lead poisoning, likely from scavenging the remains of big game left by hunters who killed their prey with lead bullets.

    “She couldn’t walk, couldn’t fly,” said Burwell. “If she tried to move, she would fall over, she would stumble.”

    Environmental groups say 20 million birds die worldwide each year from eating bits of lead in animal carcasses, because many US hunters use lead ammunition which leaves 3,000 tons of toxic fragments in gut piles and unclaimed kills.

    The dangers of lead have been well known for decades, and steps have been taken to prevent human consumption by removing it from paint, gasoline, pipes, children’s jewelry and more.

    A ban on hunters’ use of lead shot for killing waterfowl was passed in the United States in the early 1990s because birds were being poisoned by ingesting the pieces that fell into waterways and ponds.

    But the question of whether to do the same for hunters on land has thrust the eagle, the national symbol of America, into a fresh political battle over gun rights and environmental protection.

    On one side is the powerful US gun lobby, which disputes science on lead poisoning and insists that any measures to regulate lead ammunition would spell a ban on hunting in all its forms, infringe on gun rights and raise costs.

    On the other is a dogged but weary wildlife protection movement that is pressing the Environmental Protection Agency to take steps to regulate the use of lead ammunition in order to protect birds and humans against lead poisoning.

    Both have adopted the bald eagle as a symbol of their efforts, with the bird featuring on the cover of the Center for Biological Diversity’s petition to the EPA as well as on the web page of the National Rifle Association.

    “This is the last unregulated, widespread distribution of toxic lead into the environment,” said Jeff Miller of the Center for Biological Diversity, which is seeking US federal rules to require non-toxic bullets in hunting and shooting sports.

    — Gun-grabbers disguised as nature lovers —

    “We know it is getting into the food chain. We also know that humans are eating it and there is no safe level of lead in the human body so it is most certainly a human health issue too.”

    Miller said 150 groups in 40 states now support the petition, including hunters, scientists, American Indians, conservationists and veterinarians.

    The EPA turned down a similar request for a ban on lead bullets in 2010, saying it did not have the authority to regulate ammunition. However, environmental advocates say the EPA does have the right to regulate components of ammunition.

    More than a dozen countries in Europe have banned lead ammunition for hunting waterfowl and Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are among a handful of countries that have totally banned lead bullets.

    Germany, Japan and Belgium have passed limited restrictions on their use.

    The Peregrine Fund, a nonprofit group in Idaho, has posted online a host of peer-reviewed studies on the effects of lead on wildlife, with some figures showing as many as 10-15 percent of young eagles die each year from lead poisoning.

    While the bald eagle is no longer a threatened population in the United States, it and other birds that scavenge like the endangered California Condors, vultures, herons and golden eagles, are among the species most at risk.

    One study by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources showed how a lead ballistic tip bullet could fragment into an average of 141 pieces per carcass, reaching as far as 14 inches from the wound (35 cm), indicating a danger for humans who eat meat killed with lead bullets, too.

    Pro-gun groups like the National Shooting and Sports Foundation say there is no “sound science” to support a ban.

    “If wildlife management decisions become about preventing harm to individuals within a species and not about managing a species itself, then you have essentially made the argument to ban hunting,” said Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of the NSSF.

    The NRA has urged Congress to “step in and ensure this restriction never happens,” asserting that the effort is being headed by “gun-grabbers… disguised as nature lovers.”

    A House subcommittee in late February approved a bill that would prevent the EPA from taking action on the CBD’s petition, and some senators with ties to sportsmen’s groups are considering the same.

    Rick Watson of the Peregrine Fund said switching to copper bullets costs the same as buying a box of premium lead ammunition, about $45 a box, while the cheapest lead ammo can be had for $15.

    “Hunters historically and traditionally have been some of the best conservationists this country has had. And given accurate facts we believe the vast majority will choose to use lead-free ammunition because it protects the wildlife they so enjoy,” he said.

    Matt Miller, an outdoor writer and hunter, said he switched to copper bullets years ago after learning of the dangers of lead, and is pleased with the results.

    “It has not increased the cost of my hunting. The bottom line is if you know your rifle and you shoot it well, a big game hunting trip costs you one bullet.”

    Burwell, who has been treating her eagle for three weeks and is ready to release her into the wild on Saturday, said she is not optimistic that the EPA will act.

    “With the NRA pushing to prevent any type of regulation, the word on the wildlife side is it will never happen,” she said.

    “It depends on who has the most money. Doesn’t it seem sometimes that that is who wins these things?”

    Related Links
    Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com

     

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    [In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

    Environmental

     

    Two years later: the oil is still here and so are we

    Published on Apr 11, 2012 by

    Two years ago the BP drilling disaster began, killing 11 workers and threatening an ecosystem and the unique communities which rely upon it. Musicians, GRN supporters and community members are reminding you that BP’s oil is still affecting the people and places of the Gulf. Despite this fact, neither BP nor DC have taken adequate steps to protect or restore this precious natural resource.

    Take action today at http://healthygulf.org

    Shot at and around Voodoo Experience 2011 by Greenhouse Collective. See their work at http://www.youtube.com/user/GreenHouseNOLA

    Thanks to Portugal. the Man, Dr. John, Ani Difranco, Scott Fujita, Fishbone, Blind Pilot, Bonerama, Honey Island Swamp Band, Zack Smith, Fleur De Tease, Stanton Moore, Sheepdogs, Danny Phillips, John Taylor, Rosina Phillippe, John Michael Rouchel, Helen Gillet, Clint Maedgen, and all who took part.

     

     

    The Folly of Big Agriculture:

    Why Nature Always Wins

    Large-scale industrial agriculture depends on engineering the land to ensure the absence of natural diversity. But as the recent emergence of herbicide-tolerant weeds on U.S. farms has shown, nature ultimately finds a way to subvert uniformity and assert itself.

     

    by verlyn klinkenborg

     

    In its short, shameless history, big agriculture has had only one big idea: uniformity. The obvious example is corn. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that American farmers — big farmers — will plant 94 million acres of corn this year. That’s the equivalent of planting corn on every inch of Montana. To do that you’d have to make sure that every inch of Montana fell within corn-growing parameters. That would mean leveling the high spots, irrigating the dry spots, draining the wet spots, fertilizing the infertile spots, and so on. Corn is usually grown where the terrain is less rigorous than it is in Montana. But even in Iowa that has meant leveling, irrigating, draining, fertilizing, and, of course, spraying.

    You can argue whether uniformity is the result of efficiency or vice versa. But let’s suppose that efficiency is merely the economic expression of uniformity. The point is this: When you see a Midwestern cornfield, you know you’re looking at nature with one idea superimposed upon it. This is far less confusing, less tangled in variation than the nature you find even in the roadside ditches beside a cornfield or in a last scrap of native prairie growing

    Rather than change the earth to suit a crop, a reasonable agriculture would diversify crops to suit the earth.

    in a graveyard or along an abandoned railroad right-of-way. Nature is puzzling. Corn is stupefying.

    Humans have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the big idea behind nature is. It’s hard to tell, because we live at nature’s pace and within the orb of human abstraction. We barely notice the large-scale differences from year to year, much less the minute ones. But if we could speed up time a little and become a lot more perceptive, we would see that nature’s big idea is to try out life wherever and however it can be tried, which means everywhere and anyhow. The result — over time and at this instant — is diversity, complexity, particularity, and inventiveness to an extent our minds are almost unfitted to conceive.

    A reasonable agriculture would do its best to emulate nature. Rather than change the earth to suit a crop — which is what we do with corn and soybeans and a handful of other agricultural commodities — it would diversify its crops to suit the earth. This is not going to happen in big agriculture, because big agriculture is irrational. It’s where we expose — at unimaginable expense — our failure to grasp how nature works. It’s where uniformity is always defeated eventually by diversity and where big agriculture’s ideas of diversity are revealed to be as uniform as ever.

    To a uniform crop like corn, farmers have been encouraged to apply a uniform herbicide to kill weeds. Modern corn is genetically engineered to not be killed by the herbicide in ubiquitous use. Mostly, that herbicide has been glyphosate, marketed under the Monsanto trade name Roundup. Farmers have sprayed and over-sprayed billions of gallons of Roundup thanks to an

    To broad leaf weeds, Roundup is not the apocalypse. It is simply a modest, temporal challenge.

    economic and moral premise: corn good, weeds bad. And yet you can’t help noticing that it has done nothing to stop the endless inventiveness of nature.

    To broad leaf weeds and soil microorganisms, Roundup is not the apocalypse. It is simply a modest, temporal challenge, which is why, 15 years after genetically-engineered, Roundup-tolerant crops were widely introduced, it’s no longer working against spontaneous new generations of Roundup-tolerant weeds, especially in cotton fields. This is because research, in nature’s laboratory, never stops. It explores every possibility. It never lacks funding. It is never demoralized by failed experiments. It cannot be lobbied…..

     

     

    Read Full Article Here

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    Cyber Space

     

    ACTA: The State of Play in the US

    In the last few weeks, we’ve seen surprising and significant developments with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in both the US and the EU. As we’ve noted before, ACTA is a plurilateral agreement designed to broaden and extend existing intellectual property enforcement laws to the Internet. In both process and in substance, it is a deeply undemocratic initiative that has bypassed checks and balances of existing international IP norm-setting bodies, without any meaningful input from national parliaments, policymakers, or their citizens.

    This is the first in a series of posts detailing the current state of play. Today, we’re reviewing recent U.S. developments and what we and others are doing to highlight the illegitimacy of this controversial agreement. In February, EFF submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the U.S. State Department, seeking a copy of the “Circular 175” memorandum for ACTA, and the accompanying Memorandum of Law – key documents regarding the constitutionality of ACTA.  The State Department is due to respond tomorrow.

    The U.S. Trade Ambassador, Ronald Kirk, signed ACTA in October 2011 at a much-heralded ceremony in Tokyo. However, that does not necessarily mean that ACTA is a done deal in the U.S. Whether ACTA is now binding on the U.S. government, and whether Congress should have any role in reviewing ACTA, continue to be much-debated questions. Several U.S. Congressional representatives have recently taken action to highlight the unusually secretive process used to negotiate ACTA as compared to other IP agreements, and the particular efforts that were taken to evade normal Congressional review of the agreement.

    Since 2008, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) has repeatedly stated that ACTA was negotiated as a “sole executive agreement” under the President’s power to conclude agreements regarding matters delegated to the President under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, and therefore does not need to be put before Congress for review and approval. That view has been criticized by leading U.S. Constitutional Law professors on several occasions (see here, here, and here, and our views).

    As Senator Ron Wyden pointed out in his letter to the President last October, the question is not whether ACTA would or would not require changes to U.S. law (which is far from clear), but rather, whether the U.S. Executive Branch (of which the USTR is a part) has constitutional authority to negotiate and enter into an agreement dealing with issues  within the powers delegated exclusively to Congress under the Constitution, like the power to make new IP laws:

     “The statement by the USTR confuses the issue by conflating two separate stages of the process required for binding the U.S. to international agreements: entry and implementation. It may be possible for the U.S. to implement ACTA or any other trade agreement, once validly entered, without legislation if the agreement requires no change in U.S. law. But, regardless of whether the agreement requires changes in U.S. law, a point that is contested with respect to ACTA, the executive branch lacks constitutional authority to enter a binding international agreement covering issues delegated by the Constitution to Congress’ authority, absent congressional approval.”

    This is more than just an academic question. If ACTA were characterized as a treaty, it would need approval of two-thirds of the Senate before it could be ratified. As Congressional Representative Darrell Issa stated on March 6, when he posted the text of ACTA on his KeepTheWebOpen platform for public comment, the decision to negotiate ACTA as a sole executive agreement can be seen as a power grab by the U.S. executive branch, to bypass Congress’ constitutional power over international commerce and intellectual property law.

    Not satisfied with the response he received last year, in January, Senator Wyden asked the  State Department for its analysis of why the USTR’s negotiation of ACTA complies with US constitutional law. The Legal Advisor to the State Department, Howard Koh, responded to Senator Wyden on March 6. His letter implied that Congress had authorized the Executive to negotiate ACTA in response to the 2008 Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act. …

    Read Full Article

     

     

    Phone hacking scandal comes to U.S. as lawyer vows to take on Rupert Murdoch – but who were the celebrity targets?

    Three lawsuits set to be filed on behalf of unidentified clients, but they are suspected to be David Beckham, a friend of Jude Law’s, and Princess Diana’s butler Paul Burrell

    Three civil lawsuits are to be filed in the U.S. over alleged phone hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the first time the scandal has reached the American courts.

    Though the individuals at the center of the lawsuits have not been named, there is speculation that they are Princess Diana’s butler Paul Burrell, football star David Beckham, and someone who is friends with or works with the actor Jude Law.

    Mark Lewis, the lawyer for the unnamed trio, did give hints which seem to match up with the suggested names.

    Mr Lewis said that one of the alleged victims was connected to Princess Diana and the Royal household whilst a second is linked to the England football team. The third is described as a ‘Hollywood case’ as the person was in touch with a well-known celebrity which made him a target….

    Read Full Article Here

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    Survival / Sustainability

     

    Prepper List : 10 Things To Do Now!

     

    by M.D. Creekmore

     

    No matter how much I beg, some of you, no doubt haven’t done anything to prepare (you know who you are). I don’t know what else to do. All I can do is give you the information, it’s up to you to act. No one can do it for you.

    No doubt some of you are intimidated by my repeated suggestions of storing and using whole grains. If it doesn’t come from the supermarket shelf it’s strange and unfamiliar and you want no part of it. Fair enough.

    But you still need to prepare. Here are ten things that you can do right now  that will make you better prepared than probably 90% of the population.

    And everything is available at your local shopping center – so it’s easy. You can do all ten steps at once or divide each into a separate week and shopping trip. But you need to get it done as soon as possible.

    Keep in mind that this is only a starting point and isn’t presented here as a completed list…..

     

    Read Full Article and  See  List  Here

     

     

    Top 14 Survival Downloads You Should Have

     

    by M.D. Creekmore

     

    Here are fourteen free PDF downloads that you might find useful – If you know of others please share with us in the comments below…

    1. It’s the End of the World As We Know It – and I Feel Fine – My free e-book covering, food storage, water, weapons etc. I put this together a few years ago and it received some great reviews, but I will admit it is in need of editing and reformatting. The book was a quick first draft without a lot of thought given to  spelling or grammar. Any volunteer editors?
    2. FM 21-76 US Army Survival Manual – How to find water, food, shelter, build a fire, first aid, navigation and other survival skills necessary to survive on your own in the wild. A must for any survival library.
    3. FM 4-25-11 First Aid – While I suggest everyone take a dedicated first-aid class under qualified instructors, this manual by the U.S. Army is a good start for anyone wanting to learn life saving first aid skills…..

     

    See Complete  List Here

     

     

    Seeds: How many do you need?

    Bloody Butcher Corn-BLOG

    Bloody Butcher Corn

    As you are planning your garden, what to grow would be the first thing that comes to mind.  Then, of course, the area you have available, which leads to making a garden map.  With the map done, you know how much space you have for each crop.  Next is figuring out how many seeds you need.  If you are just starting out in gardening, the number of seeds in a packet are probably more than you need for the year.  However, as your garden grows and you are more interested in really growing a substantial part of your diet, exactly what to expect from a seed packet is important.

    You probably already know that not every seed you have is going to germinate.  There is a minimum legal germination rate that the seed companies have to abide by.  Their seeds can be over that rate, but not under.  You can find the minimum legal germination rate in the Master Charts of How To Grow More Vegetables (HTGMV) by John Jeavons.  If you buy from reputable sources, most often the seeds are well over that rate.  In fact, some companies label the packages with the tested germination rate and when they tested it.  On the other hand, I have heard of companies combining old seed with their new batch, getting rid of the old seed and lowering the germination rate.   All they are concerned about is making sure it meets the minimum legal rate.  Being aware of what the minimum rate is helps you plan.  You might be using seed leftover from a previous year or seed that you have saved yourself.  Since seed loses viability over time, you might want to test the germination rate.  Information on how to do that is available many places, including my video Develop a Sustainable Vegetable Garden Plan.

     

    Read Full Article Here

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    Activism

    Explosive: Monsanto ‘Knowingly Poisoned Workers’ Causing Devastating Birth Defects

    Anthony Gucciardi
    NaturalSociety

    In a developing news piece just unleashed by a courthouse news wire, Monsanto is being brought to court by dozens of  Argentinean tobacco farmers who say that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children. The farmers are now suing not only Monsanto on behalf of their children, but many big tobacco giants as well. The birth defects that the farmers say occurred as a result are many, and include cerebral palsy, down syndrome, psycho motor retardation, missing fingers, and blindness.

    The farmers come from small family-owned farms in Misiones Province and sell their tobacco to many United States distributors. The family farmers say that major tobacco companies like the Philip Morris company asked them to use Monsanto’s herbicides and pesticides, assuring them that the products were safe. Through asserting that the toxic chemicals were safe, the farmers state in their claim that the tobacco companies ”wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects.”

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    [In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

     

    Environmental

     

    Poland Announces Complete Ban on Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Maize

     

    Anthony Gucciardi
    NaturalSociety

     

    Following the anti-Monsanto activism launched by nations like France and Hungary, Poland has announced that it will launch a complete ban on growing Monsanto’s genetically modified strain MON810. The announcement, made by Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki, sets yet another international standard against Monsanto’s genetically modified creations. In addition to being linked to a plethora health ailments, Sawicki says that the pollen originating from this GM strain may actually be devastating the already dwindling bee population.

     

    Read Full Article Here

     

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    Cyber Space

     

    Expect more online attacks, Anonymous hackers say

     

    The hacking group Anonymous says it will launch online attacks every weekend, following claims it disrupted access to the Home Office website.

    Anonymous Twitter messages warned of the attack on 4 April, and said: “Expect a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) every Saturday on the UK Government sites.”

    The Home Office site was inaccessible for several hours on Saturday night.

    Officials say no sensitive information was lost, and it is now back to normal.

    A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack floods a web-server with so many requests that it can no longer respond to legitimate users.

    The Home Office website became inaccessible around 21:00 BST on Saturday, and was patchy from 05:00 on Sunday.

    It is not clear whether the protest was against email surveillance or extradition, but it could be both.

    One message on Twitter said it was a protest against “draconian surveillance proposals”, but another claimed it was over extradition from the UK to the US.

    One tweet claiming to be from Anonymous said: “You should not give UK citizens to foreign countries without evidence. If an offense happened in the UK, so should the trial.”

    There were also claims on Twitter that the 10 Downing Street website had been targeted as part of the same protest…..

     

    Read Full Article Here

     

     

    LulzSec hacker pleads guilty

    Cody Kretsinger, 24, faces jail after admitting in plea bargain to breaching Sony Pictures website and stealing names

     

    Reuters
    The Guardian,

     

    LulzSec hacker Cody Kretsinger has pleaded guilty to charges of taking part in an extensive computer breach against Sony.

    Kretsinger, 24, pleaded guilty in a California federal court to one count each of conspiracy and unauthorised impairment of a protected computer in a deal with prosecutors. LulzSec, an offshoot of the international hacking group Anonymous, has taken credit for hacking government and private sector websites.

    “I joined LulzSec, your honor, at which point we gained access to the Sony Pictures website,” Kretsinger, who went by the hacking moniker “Recursion,” told the judge after entering his guilty plea.

    Kretsinger testified that he gave the information he got from the Sony site to other members of LulzSec, who then posted it onto the group’s website and on Twitter…..

     

    Read Full Article Here

     

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    Survival / Sustainability

     

    25 Must Know Skills For Surviving The Coming Nightmare

     

    The following article was generously shared with the SHTFplan community by regular contributor ‘Be Informed’ and provides skills that will be essential for surviving any number of catastrophes that may befall us.

    Many people nowadays are quite aware that the world they live in is going to the toilet. Aside from the geophysical part that “seems” to be going haywire and could be nothing other than the planet’s cycles, there are plenty of man made catastrophes that loom on the horizon. Never has the planet had as many people as now and the more people there are the more competition there is for resources. More countries seek nuclear devices than ever before and with advancements in technology this is a much easier process than anytime before. Biological and chemical weapons are also much easier to manufacture because of leaps of technology in regards to computers. Oil markets are much tighter because of the countries of China and India and their increasing need of energy to fuel their booming economies, and new finds of oil fields cannot keep up with the demand. The debacle of the world economies needs no introduction. In short, bad times, really bad times could and probably be coming to a neighborhood near you. Unless you and your family take quite seriously this possibility, if and when something extremely horrible happens, you could very well end up one of the large number of statistics…..

     

    Read Full Article Here

     

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    Activism

     

    Day 203: Live Coverage of the Occupy Movement

     

    Special Coverage: As we enter Day 203 of the Occupy movements the protests have spread not only across the country but all over the globe. Thousands of activists have descended on Wall Street these past weeks as part of the #OccupyWallStreet protest organized by several action groups. What follows is a live video stream and live Twitter feed of this event.

     

    Read Full Article Here

     

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    Psy – Ops

     

    Pupils are recruited to spy on us during our lessons and schools are being ‘run like totalitarian regimes’, say teachers

     

    By Sarah Harris

     

    Pupils are being ‘actively recruited’ by schools to spy on their teachers in the classroom, a union has warned.

    They are being used as ‘management tools’ to carry out covert – and even open – surveillance of members of staff, it was claimed.

    Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, condemned the practice as a ‘form of abuse’ of children.

    She told the union’s annual conference in Birmingham on Saturday that ‘debilitating’ monitoring ‘erodes teachers’ self-esteem and gnaws away at their professional confidence’.

    She said: ‘Children and teachers are diminished and abused by the use of pupils as management tools to carry out surveillance on their teachers.

     

    Read Full Article Here

     

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    Articles of Interest

    Autism and Disappearing Bees: A Common Denominator?

     

    By Brian Moench
    Common Dreams

     

    A few days ago the Salt Lake Tribune’s front page headline declared, “Highest rate in the nation, 1 in 32 Utah boys has autism.” This is a national public health emergency, whose epicenter is Utah, Gov. Herbert. A more obscure story on the same day read: “New pesticides linked to bee population collapse.” If you eat food, and hope to do so in the future, this is another national emergency, Pres. Obama. A common denominator may underlie both headlines.

    A Stanford University study with 192 pairs of twins, with one twin autistic and one not, found that genetics accounts for 38% of the risk of autism, and environmental factors account for 62%.

    Supporting an environmental/genetic tag team are other studies showing autistic children and their mothers have a high rate of a genetic deficiency in the production of glutathione, an anti-oxidant and the body’s primary means of detoxifying heavy metals. High levels of toxic metals in children are strongly correlated with the severity of autism. Low levels of glutathione, coupled with high production of another chemical, homocysteine, increase the chance of a mother having an autistic child to one in three. That autism is four times more common among boys than girls is likely related to a defect in the single male X chromosome contributing to anti-oxidant deficiency……

     

    Read Full Article Here

     

    Operation Midnight Climax : How the CIA Dosed S.F. Citizens with LSD

     

    It’s been over 50 years, but Wayne Ritchie says he can still remember how it felt to be dosed with acid.

    He was drinking bourbon and soda with other federal officers at a holiday party in 1957 at the U.S. Post Office Building on Seventh and Mission streets. They were cracking jokes and swapping stories when, suddenly, the room began to spin. The red and green lights on the Christmas tree in the corner spiraled wildly. Ritchie’s body temperature rose. His gaze fixed on the dizzying colors around him.

    The deputy U.S. marshal excused himself and went upstairs to his office, where he sat down and drank a glass of water. He needed to compose himself. But instead he came unglued. Ritchie feared the other marshals didn’t want him around anymore. Then he obsessed about the probation officers across the hall and how they didn’t like him, either. Everyone was out to get him. Ritchie felt he had to escape.

    He fled to his apartment and sought comfort from his live-in girlfriend. It didn’t go as planned. His girlfriend was there, but an argument erupted. She told him she was growing tired of San Francisco and wanted to return to New York City. Ritchie couldn’t handle the situation. Frantic, he ran away again, this time to the Vagabond Bar where he threw back more bourbon and sodas. From he hit a few more bars, further cranking up his buzz. As he drank his way back to Seventh and Mission, Ritchie concocted a plan that would change his life.

     

    Read Full Article Here

     

     

    Europe’s Austerity Program Spawns ‘Lost Generation’

     

    Julio Godoy, News Report:

     

    The German economy already suffered a slowdown of 0.2 percent during the last quarter of 2011. Given the OECD forecast, such figures suggest that even Germany, the last standing economic powerhouse in an otherwise lethargic continent, might have fallen into recession – experiencing a negative growth rate for two consecutive quarters. To confirm the crisis, the European Commission’s office for youth announced that youth unemployment across the continent went up to 5.5 million in January 2012, a 37.7 percent growth rate since the spring of 2008, at the beginning of the global financial crisis.

     

    Read Full Article Here

     

     

    [In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]