October 1st, 2011
October 1st, 2011
The bankers drink champagne to mock the Wall Street protesters
But you can help feed the Occupy movements in NY, Boston, LA, and San Fran by calling in orders to the following pizzerias, which are giving discounts for protesters. Or Crooks & Liars is collecting contributions.
Al Capone’s in Boston:
Escape from New York Pizza in San Francisco
Liberatos Pizza in New York:
Rocket Pizza in LA:
Here is a longer list of places feeding occupiers in New York.
October 1st, 2011
One of the saddest aspects of the situation in Libya was that, as the nonviolent protests were crushed, the understandable resort to armed struggle and the ensuing civil war created brutalizing forces on all sides. now, with rebel victory, comes word that some of the former rebels are now turning themselves into torturers. a small positive sign is that it appears that civilian authorities are trying to curtail this transformation.
If the rebels turned victors don’t stop their brutality soon, they will both destabilize the country and create a new authoritarianism to replace the defeated old one. Human rights are for everyone or they are secure for no one.
A NYT piece on the new torture replacing the old torture:
Anti-Qaddafi Fighters Are Accused of Torture
By Kareem Fahim
TRIPOLI, Libya — First there were the blindfold, the wrist-scarring handcuffs and the death threats. Then came beatings and electric shocks. In the fog of pain, the detainee, who said he had done nothing wrong, would have confessed to anything, he later recalled.
The techniques were familiar to Libyans, but the perpetrators were not: they were former rebels, according to the detainee, a 36-year-old man who said he had worked in military intelligence for the government of Col.Muammar el-Qaddafi.
The man, who requested that his name not be published because he feared retribution from his former captors, said he was arrested by armed former rebels almost two weeks ago, held in a building for four days and tortured.
His story was impossible to immediately verify, but he displayed what he said was evidence of the torture: huge bruises and welts on his legs, stripes of black and blue across the back of his thighs, and scars on his feet and ankles that he said marked the spots where his captors attached electrical wires.
He was later transferred to another building in Tripoli, across the street from the cabinet offices of the Transitional National Council, the former rebels’ provisional government. There, in cells with fresh blood on the walls, he was held for another day until he was released, with apologies, by a former rebel official, he said.
Now, he is moving to Tunisia, he said. “I do not trust anyone in Libya.”
His case underscores the growing concern about armed brigades of former rebel fighters in the Libyan capital who rushed to fill the power vacuum after Colonel Qaddafi’s forces fled more than a month ago. In a city with weak central authority and a justice system being rebuilt almost from scratch, the fighters have become detectives, prosecutors, judges and jailers, many of whom answer only to their own commanders, or to no one.
The fighters have detained thousands of people; some are criminal suspects, former officials or Qaddafi soldiers. Others simply come from towns that opposed the revolution. Some are being held in prisons, others at makeshift, and sometimes secret, detention centers.
Some are being tortured. The ordeal of the 36-year-old detainee bore similarities to cases recorded by the group Human Rights Watch in six facilities administered by the anti-Qaddafi forces in Tripoli. In a report released Friday, the group said that detainees reported abuse including beatings and electric shocks. None of the 53 detainees interviewed, the group said, had been brought before a judge.
“What we’re seeing is a symptom of a fundamental problem,” said Tom Malinowski, the group’s Washington director. “Civilians have good plans but lack authority over the militia groups.” Mr. Malinowski credited the transitional government with allowing observers to visit detention centers, and said that some were well run. He added, “I doubt there’s a civilian official who knows where all the facilities are.”
Human Rights Watch reported that many of the people arrested by militias, brigades and other security groups associated with the transitional government were sub-Saharan Africans or dark-skinned Libyans. In some cases, the former rebel guards at detention facilities forced sub-Saharan African prisoners to perform manual labor.
Detainees suspected of the most serious crimes, including murder and rape, received the worst abuse, the report said.
The 36-year-old detainee said bad luck, not guilt, had led to his arrest and torture, after he tried to buy a gun to replace one confiscated by the former rebels. Soon, the man found himself accused of supplying arms to a Qaddafi cell.
From their accents, he guessed that some of his captors were from the mountain city of Zintan. One was kind, loosening his blindfold and his handcuffs. Another asked him to write his life story on a few sheets of paper.
He broke down crying, he recalled. “How can I write my whole life story? What do they want from me?”
The beatings started on the third day. Some guards cursed him as a former intelligence officer, and others chanted, “The blood of the martyrs will not be shed in vain.” He was strung from the ceiling and his legs were beaten, he said.
On the fourth day, he was transferred to a former government building in Tripoli. His fellow captives, he said, included someone accused of wearing a pro-Qaddafi hat, several women and a man who had been helping the transitional government secure the former government’s secret files.
A doctor treated him, and one of his captors congratulated him on being cleared of wrongdoing, adding, “This is a clean revolution.”
October 1st, 2011
“OCCUPY WALL STREET” INSPIRES PROTESTS IN BOSTON
*Friday, September 30th, Concerned Citizens Gather for the Kick-off of Occupy Boston*
The conversation that began on Wall Street on September 17 has swept northward to Boston, and inspired a powerful national movement. Joining with nearly 100 actions in cities from Los Angeles to Dallas, Chicago, and Washington D.C., concerned citizens have come to speak out for greater economic equality.
Occupy Boston will gather at Dewey Square in Downtown Boston today Friday, September 30 at 6 p.m., to begin an ongoing protest, discuss the state of the union and develop out of that discussion a list of specific changes to ensure our government actually works for the benefit of all citizens.
Planning this event began with a group of over 200 people from all walks of life who assembled on Boston Common Tuesday evening to discuss taking action. Paul Harris of the Guardian covered the meeting, saying,“[..] the people behind Occupy Boston showed a strong dose of media savvy and organizational skill on [Tuesday] night, as they drew a committed crowd of volunteers to their cause: to occupy a slice of the city.”
Occupy Boston is the beginning of an ongoing discussion about the problems with America’s economic system and how it has damaged government and the fabric of society as a whole. The top 1% owns 50% of the nation’s wealth – and more importantly, how that wealth is used undermines the founding principles of America’s democracy.
Through the use of direct democracy, Occupy Boston is working to define and solve the problems of: an opaque and exclusive government, a Wall Street without conscience, and a state struggling to guarantee basic human rights. Everyone is invited to join this conversation about reforming how business and government operate.
In the coming days and weeks, Occupy Boston will persist in advocating the need for change, defining the change we need, and reaching out to policy-makers, business leaders, and the citizens of our Republic in this mission.
“Our country is owned by the top 1%. We are the 99%. Join the conversation!”
Here’s Occupy Wall Street:
October 1st, 2011
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