Archive for the ‘Human rights’ Category

Last week was the deadliest week in Philippines’ president Duterte’s war on drugs so far. At least 81 people were killed, including a 17 year old boy called Kian Delos Santos.  CCTV and witness accounts show Kian was dragged by cops into an alleyway, handed a gun and told to run.  When he followed their instructions he was shot dead.  

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Auckland Philippines Solidarity group protesting extrajudicial killings 25 August 2017

This case has prompted unprecedented anger in the Philippines, even among some previous Duterte supporters.  On August 25th the Auckland Philippines Solidarity group joined the an international day of action for Kian Delos Santos.  

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Thomas Suarez, State of terror: how terrorism created modern Israel, London: Skyscraper Publications, 2016, pp418, £20.  Reviewed by Tony Greenstein.

The state of Israel prides itself on being at the forefront of the ‘war against terror’ and the war on Islam and it is this which makes Israel the darling of Europe’s far right. But this book documents how the Israeli state was born in a wave of terror that makes Palestinian guerrilla groups seem like children at play.

Terror was remorselessly directed at the indigenous Palestinians by the three main Zionist militias – the Labour Zionist Haganah and its Palmach shock-troops; the revisionist Irgun, a split-off from Haganah in 1931 (Haganah Bet); and Lehi or the Stern Gang, a breakaway from Irgun in August 1940. The Irgun was commanded by Menachem Begin, who in 1977 was elected prime minister of Israel. Lehi, which parted from Irgun on the question of continuing the war against the British, was initially commanded by Avraham Stern and later a triumvirate, which included future Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir (1983-84, 1986-92). Lehi distinguished itself by making two proposals in 1940 for a military pact with Nazi Germany against the British!

Suarez’s book is based on copious research from the Public Record Office at Kew. A clue to this book’s importance is the fierce campaign waged by the Zionist movement against it and its author. In Cambridge the Zionists managed to get a meeting relating to it cancelled.1 In Portsmouth the Zionists enlisted the aid of the Council’s Prevent officer, Charlie Pericleous, in order to put pressure on venues to cancel such talks. Presumably opposing Zionism makes you an ‘extremist’ and therefore a potential terrorist – a good example of how anti-terror laws are used to attack free speech. A talk at the School of Oriental and African Studies was disrupted by a group of Zionists led by Jonathan Hoffman, a well known activist, former Zionist Federation official and someone who has no problem with working with fascist and anti-Semitic groups, such as the English Defence League.

A talk held at the House of Lords on December 15 2016, hosted by Baroness Tonge, was subject to the same bogus complaints of anti-Semitism (on March 15 2017 an ethics committee of the House of Lords dismissed the allegations as baseless).

The Daily Mail, the paper which waged a campaign against Jewish immigration from Nazi Germany and tsarist Russia, became (more…)

by Daphna Whitmore

Yesterday Jacinda made  a pretty speech in parliament about how she doesn’t like unfairness.  One time she lived for a little while in a small forestry town plagued by poverty.  Jacinda thinks poverty is unfair and she doesn’t like that.  Most of all Jacinda doesn’t think it is fair that anything should get in the way of her ambition to be Prime Minister. She “didn’t come in to parliament to be in opposition,” she said.

Today she made it clear that under no circumstances would she be sticking her ambitious neck out to defend Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei. For days on end Metiria has been under a barrage of right-wing attacks for getting a little extra allowance while trying to survive on a sole benefit in the 1990s.  Jacinda showed her solidarity by sending a message to Metiria to fall on her sword, and that she would not be getting a cabinet position in a Labour-led government.

The vicious welfare cuts of the early ’90s made benefits impossible to live on. Metiria was not simply a student in a flatting situation, she had a child she was raising while studying law.  Those benefit cuts were never reversed by Labour in government from 1999 to 2008. Jacinda hasn’t got anything to say about that unfairness.

Jacinda grew up a Mormon girl whose dad was the local policeman in the town. She worked for a while in a fish and chip shop and she went on to do a nice light degree at Waikato University. No getting bogged down in a hefty law degree. Then Jacinda went to a well-paid job in parliament. From there she went to a very well-paid job in London and then back to New Zealand in to a very, very well-paid job as an MP.

Jacinda is not going to let the issue of (more…)

by Susanne Kemp

Palestinian revolutionary leader Khalida Jarrar has once again been locked up.  She is the subject of an Israeli administrative detention order, imprisoning her for six months without charge or trial.  Forces from the illegal Israeli occupation on the West Bank raided her home on July 2.  She was then imprisoned by an Israeli occupation military court.

Khalida is a central leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the largest of the secular-left currents among Palestinians and a prominent fighter for women’s rights.  She is also a member of (more…)

The following was written by the editors of the US left-wing journal Against the Current, in the July-August issue of that publication, here.

by Daphna Whitmore

When Winston Peters praises your immigration policy you know you have hit a new low. This week Labour announced it will slash immigration numbers and Peters teased they were being a bit xenophobic, and then praised them for putting New Zealand First.dog whistle

Andrew Little explained Labour’s new policy with claims that migrants are clogging up the roads, filling the houses and taking jobs. It’s time for a breather on immigration the Labour Party website announced. They will cut immigration by tens of thousands. (more…)

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat has released a new statement from imprisoned Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, on the suspension of the Strike of Freedom and Dignity. The statement is republished below: 

Statement by the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Sa’adat

The prisoners have made a new epic from their will and determination and have proven that their rights must be taken and not pleaded for

To the masses of the Palestinian people, the Arab nation, and the forces of freedom in the world…

The striking prisoners mustered their steadfastness, will and resolve to thwart and resist all attempts to abort and dismantle the strike. No oppression has been spared against the strikers, which has contributed to the deterioration of the prisoners’ health through repressive policies and measures against the strikers, especially the policy of arbitrary transfer which did not cease until the last moment, apart from the occupation’s attempts to spread lies, rumors and misinformation. The heroic prisoners have confronted all of these policies and practices and have, for 41 days, made of their own will of steel a new epic in confrontation of the occupation, adding to the historic landmarks of the struggles of our people in the national liberation movement.

To our Palestinian masses…

This victory was the (more…)