Tagged: human rights

Solidaridad con Peru

“The government of Alan Garcia in Peru is implementing free trade policies that are demeaning the rights of Indigenous peoples to their territories in the Amazon forest and the Andes mountains. Mining, oil, gas, logging and other extractive industries are damaging the environment, leaving hundreds of thousands of people sick with high levels of air, water and food pollution. Thousands of Andean Indigenous peoples are dying because of freezing temperatures, but the government doesn’t want to invest in social infrastructure even though it exported over $37 billion dollars of natural resources in 2008.

Since 2007 the social protest has been criminalized by the government of Peru, and over 1,000 community leaders have been prosecuted as criminals. Media in Peru is being manipulated, the rights of most Peruvians are not considered, campaigns criminalize Indigenous peoples protests. Violent repression has caused dozens of civilian casualties since 2006.

Racism in the media and government policies, in education and in every level of society have created a huge gap in living conditions and opportunities, discriminating people of Indigenous and African heritage, especially rural communities where over 70% of people live in poverty. Meanwhile corruption is wide spreading.

Join this group to coordinate simple but effective actions of protest and to advocate for social justice in Peru, and to create worldwide awareness of the negative impact of free trade and racist policies of the current government in Peru.”

Dedicated to Dick Cheney

I saw a newspaper picture from the political campaign
A woman was kissing a child, who was obviously in pain
She spills with compassion, as that young child’s
face in her hands she grips
Can you imagine all that greed and avarice
coming down on that child’s lips

Well I hope I don’t die too soon
I pray the Lord my soul to save
Oh I’ll be a good boy, I’m trying so hard to behave
Because there’s one thing I know, I’d like to live
long enough to savour
That’s when they finally put you in the ground
I’ll stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down

When England was the whore of the world
Margaret was her madam
And the future looked as bright and as clear as
the black tarmacadam
Well I hope that she sleeps well at night, isn’t
haunted by every tiny detail
‘Cos when she held that lovely face in her hands
all she thought of was betrayal

And now the cynical ones say that it all ends the same in the long run
Try telling that to the desperate father who just squeezed the life from his
only son
And how it’s only voices in your head and dreams you never dreamt
Try telling him the subtle difference between justice and contempt
Try telling me she isn’t angry with this pitiful discontent
When they flaunt it in your face as you line up for punishment
And then expect you to say “Thank you” straighten up, look proud and pleased
Because you’ve only got the symptoms, you haven’t got the whole disease
Just like a schoolboy, whose head’s like a tin-can
filled up with dreams then poured down the drain
Try telling that to the boys on both sides, being blown to bits or beaten and
maimed
Who takes all the glory and none of the shame

Well I hope you live long now, I pray the Lord your soul to keep
I think I’ll be going before we fold our arms and start to weep
I never thought for a moment that human life could be so cheap
‘Cos when they finally put you in the ground
They’ll stand there laughing and tramp the dirt down

— Elvis Costello
[thanks, abby]

With Victories, Gay Rights Groups Expand Marriage Push

“…[M]omentum from back-to-back victories on same-sex marriage in Vermont and Iowa could spill into other states, particularly since at least nine other legislatures are considering measures this year to allow marriage between gay couples.” via NYTimes.

Wikileaks needs your support

Wikileaks is currently overloaded by readers. This is a regular difficulty that can only be resolved by deploying additional resources. If you support our mission, then show it in the way that is most needed. On average, each donation catalyzes the publication of around 150 mainstream press articles, exposing human rights abuses and corrupt government around the world.Wikileaks is overloaded. We need your support for more servers.”

Justice Department Ends “Enemy Combatant” Definition For Gitmo Detainees, But….

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, CUBA - JULY 23:  In...

“The Obama administration said Friday that it is abandoning one of President George W. Bush’s key phrases in the war on terrorism: enemy combatant. But that won’t change much for the detainees at the U.S. naval base in Cuba _ Obama still asserts the military’s authority to hold them. Human rights attorneys said they were disappointed that Obama didn’t take a new stance.

The Justice Department said in legal filings that it will no longer use the term “enemy combatants’ to justify holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

“This is really a case of old wine in new bottles,” the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has been fighting the detainees’ detention, said in a statement. “It is still unlawful to hold people indefinitely without charge. The men who have been held for more than seven years by our government must be charged or released.”

In another court filing Thursday criticized by human rights advocates, the Obama administration tried to protect top Bush administration military officials from lawsuits brought by prisoners who say they were tortured while being held at Guantanamo Bay.” via Huffington Post.

Archbishop Tutu: Use violence to remove Mugabe

Archbishop Desmond Tutu launched a stinging attack on South Africa Wednesday, accusing it of failing to stand up to Zimbabwe‘s President Robert Mugabe and betraying its apartheid legacy.

Tutu, the retired archbishop of Cape Town, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and anti-apartheid campaigner, told BBC radio he was “ashamed” of his homeland.

He suggested that South Africa had surrendered the “moral high ground” which it gained in the post-apartheid era.

Tutu also told BBC radio that violence could be used to remove Mugabe, who should then be indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).”

via The Raw Story.

Will Obama Press For End Of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’?

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‘Mr. President-elect, you rarely spoke out as a candidate against the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that excludes openly gay people from the military. But when the group Human Rights Campaign asked you about it a year ago, you said this: “America is ready to get rid of the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. All that is required is leadership.”

Then in July, when The Military Times asked you about ending that policy, you sounded a bit more conciliatory. “This is not something that I’m looking to shove down the military’s throats,” you said…’

via NPR.

Cheney Taunts Bush, Pardon Me or Else

Beavis & Butt-head as George W. Bush & Dick Cheny

“With his ABC interview Vice President Dick Cheney put a smoking gun on the table. He admitted that he, along with other top administration officials, personally approved the CIA’s waterboarding of prisoners. That he said it unapologetically is merely his low-keyed way of declaring open war.

President Bush has been working on his legacy by circulating an upbeat, 2-page talking point memo with a description of his successes in office. Bush likes to white-wash and obfuscate. Cheney prefers a more aggressive approach.

Always blunt, two-fisted, and condescending, the question is, why admit that he approved waterboarding? And why now? Maybe it was egotism, pure and simple, his own version of a legacy campaign where he takes credit for a policy that he asserts made America safe. But to his detractors it is an admission of guilt that is prosecutable, as damning as Jack Kervorkian’s 60 Minutes interview that landed him in prison.”

via David Latt in HuffPo.

Sign the ACLU’s Petition to Shut Down Guantanamo Bay

Five high-profile detainees this week attempted to submit guilty pleas before the government’s ill-conceived military commissions at Guantánamo Bay. But, by the end of the day, their pleas were tied up in a blizzard of confusion over unresolved legal questions.

Whatever happens, it is abundantly clear is that, no matter how hard the government tries to advance the military commissions, this process doesn’t work.

What’s happening at Guantánamo flies in the face of justice, fairness and our American ideals. Please take a moment to tell President-elect Obama to close the prison at Guantánamo. Click here: http://action.aclu.org/openletter

It will take just a few minutes –and the public pressure is critical.

ACLU.