— Heather Cottin via Facebook
Statement Re: Use of Deadly Force By Federal Law Enforcement at Protest Outside the Westwood Federal Building on Sunday, July 13, 2014:
We represent a diverse group of Palestinian, Christian, Jewish and non-religious organizations and individuals involved in organizing a series of peaceful protests in response to the escalating violence by Israel against the Palestinian people.
At this writing, the death toll from Israeli airstrikes on Gaza had reached 185 people — all of them Palestinians — with at least 1,385 wounded, according to Palestinian health authorities.
The casualty list — nearly all civilians —represents a lopsided war on the Gazan people since no Israelis have been killed. Yesterday, there was also a lopsided reaction, this time from a US Federal Protective Service officer who opened fire into a truck holding Arab-Americans. This use of deadly force could have easily resulted in a casualty.
• By firing that shot, something rarely seen in this country, the officer endangered the lives of demonstrators on both sides. Once law enforcement uses deadly force, no one is safe in exercising their first amendment rights.
• Law enforcement will likely scapegoat the arrested Arab-American demonstrators and will create whatever testimony necessary to blame the demonstrators for the officers’ over reaction. Any evidence they produce will be suspect, as they need to deflect the enormous life threatening gravity of their own action in order to avoid further community condemnation.
• Law enforcement has shown obvious bias in their choice of arresting and scapegoating the Arab-American demonstrators. The incident was instigated by pro-Israeli demonstrators who used force to steal a flag from the arrested protesters. Again they stereotype the Arab-Americans as violent, while excusing the behavior of the Israeli supporters, who instigated and encouraged the incident with their violent behavior while being protected by the police.
It’s clear that Palestine is the victim and Israel is the aggressor. What our demonstrators suffered is the most modest of assaults while the death and destruction raining upon the citizens of Gaza, most of whom are women and young children, is a nightmare that anyone with good conscience insists be stopped.
CONTACT: Amani Barakat: 805-390-6480 / firstname.lastname@example.org; Nasser Thabet email@example.com / 805 410 2271; Karen Pomer 310-463-7025 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Kharkov, Ukraine: Pro-NATO fascists block anti-war rally, July 13, 2014.
"Today, the start of the traditional Sunday rally near the monument to Lenin was thwarted by the EuroMaidan, who came to Freedom Square with yellow-and-blue Ukrainian flags, plus NATO and Right Sector flags. Their rally was not successful, as it looked more like a rally of policemen. All attempts by them to arrange provocations were in vain.
"By late afternoon, Kharkovites were able to break through the cordons of indifferent police and lay flowers in memory of the victims of the bloody regime of Kolomoisky-Poroshenko.”
Today, April 15, 2014, people in police uniform and in civilian clothes, without showing any documents, broke into the office of the Union Borotba (Struggle) and started warrantless searches without the presence of witnesses, scattering property of the organization and breaking down doors in storerooms.
People from friendly organizations, driving up to the office, saw Ministry of Internal Affairs (MBU) employees had brought a bag filled with bottles from a nearby basement dumpster to the office.
Then they tried to make provocative charges that Borotba had Molotov cocktails to discredit the organization.
Before representatives of Borotba arrived, the police proceeded to remove the organization’s assets. Namely, sound equipment, campaign paraphernalia, computers and office furniture.
Borotba activists with legal accreditation demanded that the so-called law enforcement agencies present a legal warrant. However, none of those present gave a concrete answer to who they were and on what basis they were in the office and sealing Borotba’s property.
The people in civilian clothes hurried to leave the premise upon the demands of the activists to present some documents. Those wearing uniforms of law enforcement agencies also failed to reply in accordance with the laws of Ukraine.
Thanks to the principled persistence and compliance with the laws of Ukraine by Borotbists, the uniformed men were forced to return the property to the organization.
Borotba sees in a series of provocative incidents from the current illegitimate government of Ukraine a deliberate attempt to extinguish the people’s legitimate protest against the policies of the junta.
Borotba coordinator Denis Levin said: Union Borotba has always acted within the law. It’s criminal that those in power and the enemies of the people’s movement of the Southeast would attempt such provocative and illegal methods to try and discredit Borotba and other organizations that are part of the People’s Unity coalition. We refute any false information that alleges there were Molotov cocktails or materials for their production, batons, and other weapons in our headquarters.”
More than 500 people gathered at the Kiev district court of Kharkov to express their solidarity with the 70 activists detained protesting the Kiev junta.
Among the participants were friends and relatives of detainees, as well as caring Kharkovites and city movement activists.
People picketed the courthouse for several hours. When they brought the first detainees, people began to chant: “Power to the people, freedom for the defenders.” Parents shouted: “Free our children!”
The authorities took unprecedented precautions, with the courthouse surrounded by more than a thousand police. The whole neighborhood was occupied by police.
People demanded an open public trial of the detainees.
"We demand to be present in the courtroom and follow the course of the court hearing," said Union Borotba (Struggle) organizer Denis Levin.
It is expected that the first session of the court is to choose measures of restraint for the detainees. The meeting is still going on.
Simultaneously in the center of Kharkov’s Freedom Square, several hundred people have gathered. There Borotba Coordinator Sergei Kirichuk informed participants about the course of the trial.
In addition, it is expected that at 19.00 today a meeting of the Kharkov District Administrative Court will begin, which is going to ban peaceful assembly in the center of Kharkov.
The court has summoned Borotba organizers Denis Zaitsev and Svetlana Tsiberganova.
"Today, over the phone, we received an invitation to the hearing on the prohibition of mass peaceful assembly in the center of Kharkov. The ban is aimed not only at us, but at all Kharkovites. The hearing violates the principles and proceedings, and the principles of freedom of peaceful assembly. Therefore, we will try first to postpone the meeting to at least become acquainted with the case. We do not even know the case number," said Svetlana Tsiberganova.
We will inform you on the results of the hearing.
Via Union Borotba
Secretive special forces from Kiev have arrived in Donetsk under orders of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, headed by the fascist Arsen Avakov.
The plane arrived in Donetsk April 7 after acting President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov announced the beginning of anti-terrorist operations directed against protesters in eastern Ukraine.
The footage shows fighters wearing unmarked maroon berets opening boxes of weapons, checking grenade launchers, sorting and hauling cartridges.
The plane with weapons and military personnel flew from Kiev, according to LifeNews. Maroon Berets in Ukraine are always worn only by special forces soldiers - “Golden Eagle” and “Titan”. Despite the fact that “Berkut” troops were disbanded, many of the soldiers of the unit joined the side of law enforcement agencies formed by the new Ukrainian authorities.
Acting President Alexander Turchinov said on April 7 that coercive measures will be applied against the supporters of the referendum.
- Tonight a crisis management headquarters was established, and anti-terrorism measures will be used against those who took up arms, said Turchinov.
- Given the passive behavior of some local law enforcement agencies, they will be supplemented by units from other regions, said the Acting President of Ukraine.
Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov was appointed commander of the counterterrorist operation. He will coordinate security forces.
By Pankov Vladlen
The procession in Moscow began half an hour before the official start of the rally at the Samotechnaya Square monument to Suvorov. It was attended by various organizations: feminist, anarchist, communist, and those campaigning for gender equality, against discrimination toward women in the workplace and in everyday life, under the slogan “Freedom! Equality! Sisterhood!”
Around 100 people gathered and participated in the march and rally. The procession passed quietly until it was interrupted by the provocations of ultraconservative-minded figures, one of whom seized and burned a banner that read, “No church, no kitchen, no state.” He was detained by the police. The next incident occurred shortly afterward, when a group of people were detained wearing orange vests, worn wipers and wading boots, and one was found carrying a scraper and cleaver. At some point before the front rows of marchers a man appeared, possibly mentally ill, pronouncing prayers or religious texts.
Throughout the column, information had already passed that near the site of the planned rally there had gathered a group of several dozen people who disagree with the views of the participants. This group was standing at the bus stop outside the fence and metal detection devices, apparently waiting for the end of the event to attack the protesters, of which more than half were women. It is very likely that these people with extreme right-wing views were armed.
During a speech by one of the International Women’s Day marchers, who raised the theme of discrimination against women in the workplace and in everyday life, domestic violence, sexual harassment, etc., strange people scurried among the participants with cameras, asking male participants: “What is your flag?”, “Why are you here, if it’s a girly holiday?” Attempts were made to explain to them in a civilized way that working-class men stand in solidarity with women workers, and support their class, regardless of gender, and so on. These individuals kept asking disconnected questions in the spirit of “you’re still undecided?” and then said they would distribute these photos on the internet reading “traitors.”
In the end, after all the above statements, police surrounded the group behind the fence and led them into the subway, preventing possible excesses. However, they also threatened the rally that “if you are not gone in 30 seconds, you will have to deal with them yourself.”
In the end about 10 people were detained, including one who broke through the fence shouting, “I am fascism. Stop me.”
Does anyone know this group: Red Guard Spartacus / Anti-Fascist Action, active in Russia and Ukraine? Their Crimea branch put out a good statement on the referendum. They don’t appear to be connected to the Spartacist League we all know and loathe. Besides the interesting report on the IWD action, I was struck by the communist and LGBTQ rainbow flags flying side be side — a nice sight to see in Russia. - FYML
On March 7, members of Northeastern University’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) were informed by the school’s Center for Student Involvement that their chapter had been suspended for at least a year.
In a letter sent to the SJP chapter and provided to me by Max Geller, a second year Northeastern University School of Law student who actively campaigns with SJP, the school’s Director of the Center for Student Involvement, Jason Campbell-Foster, offered a litany of charges against the students. At the top of the list was the SJP’s February 24 distribution of notices across Northeastern campuses that mocked the sort of eviction notices slapped on Palestinian homes slated for Israeli demolition – an awareness-raising tactic increasing in popularity among SJP chapters nationwide.
At 10 AM that same day, members of Northeastern SJP received phone calls and visits from campus police officers. “All of the sudden the school was accusing us of an act of criminality for simply [an] act of leafleting,” remarked Geller. “A special investigation was launched for what the university claimed was a petty handbook violation and NYPD-style tactics were used against students. It was so disproportionate to what happened and a complete misappropriation of university funds.”