Tuesday, August 22, 2006

No Fortress Europe

"The escalating hunt for refugees along the coasts of Africa, with German participation, is encountering resistance. The governments of Senegal and Libya, indicating inhumane practices by the European states, are refusing to place their territorial waters at the disposal of EU "border commandos"."
This is the hopefull begin of Master of the Seas a shocking report on www.german-foreign-policy.com. The article describes that in recent times a minimum of 5.000 people have died from trying to enter Europe. "According to official data of international observers, the EU migration policy in the Mediterranean has currently caused the death of around 5,000 people. Other sources estimate that , alone in the Straits of Gibraltar, between 12.000 and 14,000 have lost their lives. Several, who had drowned, were washed ashore onto the Canary Islands over the past few days."
This is a horrible genociede taking place in front of us without anyone taking notice of it. The European countries mist be stopes from contiuing their barbaric border regime.


These days, immigration is one of the main issues on the European Union's agenda. Soon, the European Parliament will begin debating a proposal for a directive establishing "Common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegal staying third-country nationals".

Watch this video about the mishandling of refugees by the Spanish Guardia Civil at the border fence of Ceuta, Spains remaining colony on African ground:

Monday, August 21, 2006

Vigil of Iranian Refugees was attacked by Nazis

For two month now, refugees from Iran are protesting in front of the Lünen town hall against their compulsory accommodation. The four Iranians, living in Lünen for up to 9 years, were accommodated in a 3-room flat. On June 20, they were forceibly evicted in order to be accommodated together in a refugees? home in one small room. Since then, the refugees are spending both days and nights in front of the Lünen town hall in order to demand their right to adequate housing, consistent with human dignity.

Again and again, the town of Lünen tried to make the protest of the Iranians impossible: Among other things, they tried to ban the information stand (with the argument, the Greens who applied for the stand had left it to the Iranians without having a corresponding permission) and the refugees themselves were already once driven away (the Administrative Court, however, was of the opinion the four refugees should be able to exercise their right to demonstrate). In Lünen, signatures were collected to support the refugees? demands and postcards were sent to the mayor - up to now, everything was in vain. At the same time, a fifth of the living space rented and paid for by the town of Lünen is empty.

In the night from August 11 to August 12, the Iranians were attacked by five neo-nazis. Beer bottles were thrown, nazi slogans were shouted, and the information stand with the pavilion where the refugees slept was vandalized. One of the Iranians was slightly injured. The nazis were later detained by the police.

After that, the Lünen mayor finally felt impelled to give his view. The attack, he wrote, was a "deplorable scandal" and the "freedom to demonstrate a valuable asset" (hear, hear), the refugees, however, were "foreigners obliged to leave the country". Also, an improvement of the Iranians? situation would not be possible "within the scope of equal treatment of the group of persons living here".

A cynical statement, to reject the right to adequate living space with the argument that other refugees? situation is not better: of course, all refugees living in Lünen must have the right to live in a situation consistent with human dignity!

Since the refugees continue with their protest in front of the town hall, we would like to ask you to express your protest against the refugees? accommodation in Lünen ? in the hope that the Iranians can soon end their camping under the open sky:

Please send an email or a fax to the mayor of the town of Lünen

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The massacres of Tamils in Sri Lanka start again

It has realy looked like as if Sri Lanka would manage to move into a peacefull future and the Tamils would manage to achieve self determination in a peacefull way. But the ceasfire, officialy still in continuation, was broken more and more until open battles with many people being killed took place in the recent days.

Meanwhile the whole world was witnessing the racist attitude of the Israeli Army in the war staged against the people of Lebanon, but Sri Lanka remains out of the focus. There we can see the Sinhala chauvinism leading to an incedible carnage...

61 schoolgirls killed, 129 wounded in airstrike

[TamilNet, August 14, 2006 04:15 GMT]
At least 61 schoolgirls were killed and 129 were wounded when Sri Lankan Kfir jets bombed a children's home compound in Mullaithivu district Monday morning where schoolgirls were attending a residential course on first aid, reports said. Ambulances were rushing the wounded, many of whom are bleeding badly, to hospitals, sources said. Officials of the Liberation Tigers’ Peace Secretariat, briefing reporters in Kilinochchi, described the attack as “a horrible act of terror” by the Sri Lankan armed forces. UN’s child agency, UNICEF, and international truce monitors have visited the scene of the carnage.

Read the full text on TamilNet...

The world must not remain silent to the Sri Lankan Armys war on the Tamil people!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Stop Germanys Apartheid Law

Caravan for the rights of refugees and migrants

The VOICE Refugee Forum

Schillergässchen 5,07745 Jena,

Jena, 06/2005

Residential Obligation law “Residenzpflichtgesetz” at the European Human Rights Court

Open letter to Human Rights, political activists, migrants and Refugee groups or Organisations in Germany.

Dear friends,

Five years ago, (4/2000) The VOICE Refugee Forum hosted the Refugee and Migrant Congress in Jena on behalf of the Caravan-for the rights of refugees and migrants. A major decision from that Congress was the campaign against the residence obligation law, otherwise known as the “Residenzpflicht”.

Activists from the VOICE like Cornelius Yufanyi, Sunny Omwenyeke, Akubuo Chukwudi and later Ahmed Sameer and others have decided to resist that law with civil disobedience. They defend their freedom of movement before the authorities and the courts. From the accused, they turned “accuser”-accusing the German government of violating their fundamental human rights to freedom of movement. They refuse(d) to pay any fine for violating the residenzpflicht and were ready to defend their natural rights even if it meant going to prison as Sunny Omwenyeke did for two weeks in December 2004 in Bremen.

Sunny Omwenyeke and Cornelius Yufanyi have now taken their cases to the European court of Human Rights in Strassburg after their appeals were refused last year by the German constitutional court in Karlsruhe. They are being represented by their lawyers: Gabriele Heinecke, Ulrich von Klinggraeff and Nuala Mole, a renowned Human Rights Lawyer from London (AIRE Centre, London), who is very experienced with cases at the European Court.

In light of the litigation at the European Court and to further back up our campaign against the residenzpflicht, we are inviting human rights and refugee groups or organisations and activists to document with us the cases of other asylum seekers or refugees that have been sentenced to prison or punished (with fines or hard labour) because of the Residenzpflicht. Or whose applications to travel have been refused by the foreign authority.

We want to ask you to support the cmapaign by sending to us information on the legal cases of the residential obligation law “Residenzpflicht” and on the cases of denial of permission to travel you may know about. We are looking for recent cases as well as for cases of the last years. It would be good if you could give us the reports and information about the persons, the countries of origin, the names of the lawyers and a short description of the case.

Since 1982, which is more than 20 years, the residential obligation law restricts the freedom and the personal and political rights of thousands of people seriously. The daily restriction of movements without choice of settlement violates our freedom and basic rights as human beings and as groups of refugees and migrants. Germany is the only country in Europe with this extreme restriction.

The campaign for the abolition of the residence obligation law has created public awareness of the ill sufferings and the abuses in our every day life as refugees. It has also “shamed” many of the authorities into dropping some of these cases against refugees in court.

Please respond with any available information that could further this campaign, you can also make public the cases of violation by residence obligation law.
Information should be sent to the address above or/and via email to the following addresses: thevoiceforum@emdash.org.

Please ensure a wider circulation of this appeal. More information/materials are available on request:http://www.thevoiceforum.org.

The VOICE Refugee Forum, Germany

The VOICE Refugee Forum on Anti - Residenzpflicht Campaign

The VOICE Refugee Forum - a network of refugee political activists

We, The VOICE Refugee Forum, are a group of human rights activists that have been actively engaged publicly in protesting the inhuman situation of refugees since 1994 in Thueringen and Germany as a whole. The members are actively engaged for persecuted human rights activists in their home countries.

We are informed about the difficult living conditions of refugees in Germany and the human rights situation in their home countries.

The forum was initiated by Africans in Thueringen as "The VOICE Africa Forum". Our group in Jena provides in the meantime a forum for all refugees involved in our common struggle in different towns and cities of Germany in:

1. Protesting human rights abuses in the home countries of refugees/migrants and in Germany.
2. Against Deportation and deportation threats of refugees and migrants
3. Against the social exclusion of refugees and migrants.
4. Against the daily racism by the authorities and the society
5. Against racist controls and police brutality against refugees and migrants.
6. For the abolition of deportation prisons and detention centres/camps.
7. For the universal rights for freedom of movement which is violated in Germany by deportation and deportation threats, and by the imposition of the so-called "Residenzpflicht", the restriction of the movement of refugees to their "landkreis" or local districts.

The daily life of refugees is designed by isolation and social exclusion with the permanent threat of deportation.

Since the foundation of "The VOICE Forum in October 1994 in Mühlhausen in East Germany, and (since 1998 that we joined the network of The Caravan for the rights of refugee and migrants) hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants have been deported from Germany without political or humanitarian consideration.

At present, we focus on the racist “Residenzpflicht” (residence obligation) for asylum seekers in Germany that violates our human rights. This obligation is stated in paragraph 58 of the Asylum Procedure Law (Asylverfahrensgesetz). It means that during the asylum procedure for the recognition as a refugee, asylum seekers are only allowed to leave the district they have been assigned to with the permission of the Foreigners’ Office.

Due to the residence obligation, asylum seekers are subject to special repression. They are controlled by police and Border Protection Police (BGS) at stations, mostly due to the colour of their skin. These controls are racist in nature. Furthermore, asylum seekers receive a permission to leave their district only under special circumstances which are defined by the Asylum Procedure Law. Permissions for visiting relatives – except for parents and children – are within the discretion of the case manager.

Permissions for visiting friends or for taking part in political events are almost never given. Violation of the residence obligation leads to criminal prosecution and even to imprisonment. Therefore, refugees are criminalized to a large extent. Racists and fascists have further arguments against so called criminal foreigners at their disposal. -“ The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”(George Orwell)

We demand freedom of movement for everybody everywhere. We demand the abolition of the “Residenzpflicht” which isolates, excludes and criminalizes refugees in Germany. We invite everybody, who is interested, to participate in the campaign for the abolition of the residence obligation law in Germany. Everybody can take part. Go to refugee homes, inform yourselves and others about the situation of the people living there.

For those interested we offer the program of the “Forst – Film Tour”, which has already been to several cities in Thüringen. Information about the movie: http://www.forstfilm.com - an experimental movie by Ascan Breuer, Ursula Hansbauer, Wolfgang Konrad in cooperation with The VOICE Refugee Forum, A/D, 2005, s/w, 50 min. (won the „best documentary at the film festival “diagonale 2005” in Graz/ Austria) with discussion and information on strategies against social isolation of refugees in Germany and on the legal cases of Cornelius Yufanyi and Sunny Omwenyeke at the European Court for Human Rights against the residency obligation law. “Forst – the refugees’ way out of the forest”. More information

Online: Anti-residence-obligation campaign under:
Umbruch Bildarchiv
e-mail: thevoiceforum@emdash.org,

Förderverein The VOICE e.V., Kontonr. 127829, BLZ 26050001 (Sparkasse Göttingen)

The VOICE Refugee Forum Jena. Schillergäßchen 5, 07745 Jena
Tel.: 0049 (0) 3641 665214. Fax. 0049 (0) 3641 420270, E-mail.: voice_mail@emdash.org,
Caravan for the rights of refugee and migrants, http://www.thecaravan.org

Activist against Israels Apartheid Wall was nearly killed by the army

video of shooting of Israeli activist
Traprock Peace Center homepage

Israeli activist heavily injured, probably brain damaged
original israel.indymedia.org article
12 Aug 2006

In an international demonstration against the occupation of Palestine and the war in Lebanon, an Israeli activist has been seriously injured, apparently brain damaged, by Israeli police. He is presently undergoing emergency surgery in a Tel Aviv hospital.

On 11 August 2006 a demonstration took place in the Palestinian village of Bil’in (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bil'in), carried out by Palestinian and Israeli activists together with about 100 international activists from the International Solidarity Movement and from the Queeruption festival. The aim of the demonstration was to oppose the occupation of Palestine and the war in Lebanon.

Police declared the village to be a closed war zone and immediately attacked the demonstration with rubber bullets and sound grenades. There was a confrontation when police tried to remove people from the village. After some time they succeded.

During the police attack, an Israeli activist was heavily wounded in the head and neck. According to doctors, he has suffered permanent brain damage. At the moment he’s in a hospital in Tel Aviv, where a complicated operation is taking place.


even if it seems not to interest anybody what is going on in the westbank because it is war...

friday in the weekly Bil'in demonstration against the fence and annexing land of the village, a friend of us got seriously injured by a rubber bullet shot in the head in short distance! the soldiers were shouting that there isn't a demonstration today and started immediately shooting teargas and rubberbullets!

Limor got shot out of ten meters range, the soldiers refused to evacuate him and continued shooting! The bullet cracked his skull and entered the head, he got operated at the same day and it wasn't clear if he could see or move because of braindamage. fortunatly he woke up saturday and was kind of ok, recognizing us, able to move...

he was lucky as hell that the bullet didn't cause seriously damage to the brain or his death!


Saturday, August 12, 2006

300 march against the war on Lebanon and Palestine in Bremen

On Thursday 10th of August about 300 persons came out to march against Israels war on Lebanon and Palestine.
Leavlet for the Demo (German)

After the demonstration the Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants Bremen group invited to their monthly Culture Dinner which had a mediterranean dinner and schowed the Film Latitude 36. The drawings of Mazen Kerbaj from Beirut on the war are exibited there.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Happy birthday, Fidel - Feliz Cumpleaños, Fidel

13th of August the leader of the cuban revolution Fidel Castro will turn 80. He has lead an enormous revolutionary process which lead to Cuba being the Latin American country with the best nourished population, the best health care, the highest living expectance and about the best public education system world wide. Despite many problems Cuba provides the most dignite live for its masses if you compare to the other Latin American countries where the masses are diying of easy curable deseases, are killed by death squads if they resist the exploitation they are facing. Despite all its problems, Cuban people do not have to face this any more.
This because of its revolution lead by Fidel Castro.

Happy birthday, Fidel - Feliz Cumpleaños, Fidel

Fidel Castro, Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez

The sovereignity of Cuba must be respected

Sign this Petition
As a result of the communication of Fidel Castro on his state of health and the provisional delegation of his responsibilities, high ranking U.S officials have formulated more explicit statements about the immediate future of Cuba. The Secretary of ommerce Carlos Gutierrez said that “the moment has arrived for a true transition towards a true democracy” and the White House spokesman Tony Snow said that his government is “ready and eager to provide humanitarian, economic and other aid to the people of Cuba", as was recently reiterated by President Bush.

Already the “Commission for Assistance to a free Cuba”, presided over by the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, pointed out in a report issued on June “the urgency of working today to ensure that the Castro regimen's succession strategy does not succeed” and President Bush indicated that this document “demonstrates that we are actively working for change in Cuba, not simply waiting for change”. The Department of State has emphasized that the plan includes measures that will remain secret “for reasons of national security” and to assure its “effective implementation”.

It is not difficult to imagine the character of such measures and the “announced assistance” if one considers the militarization of the foreign policy of the present American administration and its performance in Iraq.

In front of this increasing threat against the integrity of a nation, and the peace and the security of Latin America and the world, we the signatories listed below demand that the government of the United States respect the sovereignty of Cuba. We must prevent a new aggression at all costs.

Initial signatures:
José Saramago, Portugal; Wole Soyinka, Nigeria; Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Argentina; Dario Fo, Italia; Desmond Tutu, Sudáfrica; Rigoberta Menchú, Guatemala; Nadine Gordimer, Sudáfrica; Zhores Alfiorov, Rusia; Noam Chomsky, EEUU; Oscar Niemeyer, Brasil; Harry Belafonte, EEUU; Mario Benedetti, Uruguay; Ignacio Ramonet, España-Francia; Danny Glover, EEUU; Samir Amin, Egipto; Alfonso Sastre, España; Francois Houtart, Bélgica; Eduardo Galeano, Uruguay; Juan Gelman, Argentina; Frei Betto, Brasil; Pablo González Casanova, México; Russell Banks, EEUU; Bernard Cassen, Francia; Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaragua; Angela Davis, EEUU; Ariel Dorfman, Chile; Tom Morello, EEUU; Walter Salles, Brasil; Manu Chao, Francia; Blanca Chancosa, Ecuador; Egberto Gismonti, Brasil; Andrés Gómez, Cuba; Alice Walker, EEUU; István Mészáros, Hungría; Fredric Jameson, EEUU; Pedro Casaldáliga, Brasil; Franz Hinkelammert, Alemania; Joao Pedro Stedile, Brasil; Jorge Enrique Adoum, Ecuador; Fernando Birri, Argentina; Leonardo Boff, Brasil; David Viñas, Argentina; Emilio Carballido, México; José Luiz del Roio, Italia; Hebe de Bonafini, Argentina; Thiago de Mello, Brasil; Eugenio Barba, Italia-Dinamarca; Amiri Baraka, EEUU; Pedro Rivera, Panamá ; Amina Baraka, EEUU ; Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Portugal; Armand Mattelart, Bélgica; William Blum, EEUU; Miguel Bonasso, Argentina; Chico Whitaker, Brasil; María Rojo, México; Idea Vilariño, Uruguay; Belén Gopegui, España; Diamela Eltit, Chile; Atilio Borón, Argentina; Luciana Castellina, Italia; Ramsey Clark, EEUU; Luis Britto García, Venezuela; Stephen Rivers, EEUU; Miguel D’Escoto, Nicaragua; Stella Calloni, Argentina; Emir Sader, Brasil; Daniel Viglietti, Uruguay; Lucius Walker, EEUU ; Piero Gleijeses, Italia-EEUU; James D. Cockcroft, EEUU; Aníbal Quijano, Perú; Theotonio dos Santos, Brasil; Pablo Guayasamín, Ecuador; Leonard Weinglass, EEUU; Susu Pecoraro, Argentina; Francisco de Oliveira, Brasil; Graciela Duffau, Argentina; Fernando Rendón, Colombia; Luis Sepúlveda, Chile; Andy Spann, EEUU; Hildebrando Pérez Grande, Perú; Fernando Pino Solanas, Argentina; Santiago García, Colombia; Michael Löwy, Brasil; Juan Manuel Roca, Colombia; Pascual Serrano, España; León Rozitchner, Argentina; Jorge Rufinelli, Uruguay; Franca Rame, Italia; Alfredo Vera, Ecuador; Patricia Ariza, Colombia; Leslie Cagan, EEUU; Noé Jitrik, Argentina; Tununa Mercado, Argentina; Eric Nepomuceno, Brasil; James Petras, EEUU; Keith Ellis, Jamaica- Canadá; Tristán Bauer, Argentina; Ferreira Gullar, Brasil; Marco Martos, Perú; Lorgio Vaca, Bolivia; Eric Toussaint, Bélgica; Georges Labica, Francia; Octavio Getino, Argentina; Richard Levins, EEUU; Martin Almada, Paraguay; Elmar Alvater, Alemania; Roberto Montoya, Argentina; Víctor Heredia, Argentina; Víctor Víctor, R. Dominicana; Tomás Borge, Nicaragua; Eva Forest, España; Michele Mattelart, Francia; Leticia Spiller, Brasil; Javier Couso, España; Fernando Suárez, México ; Salim Lamrani, Francia; Montserrat Ponsa, España; Jean Pascal Van Ypersele, Bélgica ; Verenice Guayasamín, Ecuador; Marilia Guimarães, Brasil; Gioconda Belli, Nicaragua; Tarek Williams Saab, Venezuela ; Isidora Aguirre, Chile; Suzy Castor, Haití; Claribel Alegría, El Salvador; Andrés Sorel, España; Ann Sparanese, EEUU; Denisse Stoklos, Brasil; Alessandra Riccio, Italia; Carlos Fernández Liria, España; Alex Cox, Reino Unido; Michel Collon, Bélgica; Danny Rivera, Puerto Rico; Tato Pavlovsky, Argentina; Román Chalbaud, Venezuela; James Early, EEUU; Jean Brigmont, Bélgica; Anthony Arnove, EEUU; Carlo Frabetti, Italia-España; Fernando Buttazoni, Uruguay; Fernando Morais, Brasil; Ramón Chao, España-Francia; Silvio Tendler, Brasil; Hanan Awwad, Palestina; Orlando Senna, Brasil; Saul Landau, EEUU; Francisco Jarauta, España; Adolfo Colombres, Argentina; Roberto Amaral, Brasil; Pilar del Río, España; Fernando Ainsa, Uruguay; Alcira Argumedo, Argentina ; Carmen Bohorquez, Venezuela ; Steve Williams, EEUU ; Hernando Calvo Ospina, Colombia-Francia; Gilberto López y Rivas, México; Juan Carlos Camaño, Argentina; Michael Parenti, EEUU; Marta Palau, México; Italo Ordóñez, Ecuador; Gloria la Riva, EEUU; Francisco Villa, Chile; Gennaro Carotenuto, Italia; Edward Sanders, EEUU; Ersi Sotiropulos, Grecia; Constantino Bértolo, España; Manuel Cabieses, Chile; Jose A. De Frietas (Tunai), Brasil; Thelma Nava, México; Hugo Urquijo, Argentina; Isaura Navarro, España; Cecilia Conde, Brasil; Igor Jinkings, Brasil; Iosu Perales Arretxe, País Vasco; Issa Makhlouf, Líbano; Marcos Roitman, España; Héctor Díaz Polanco, R. Dominicana; Antonio Maira, España; Arturo Andrés Roig, Argentina; Roy Brown, Puerto Rico; Al Campbell, EEUU; Luisa Vicioso, R. Dominicana; Carlos Fazio, Uruguay; Luciano Vasapollo, Italia; John Beverley, EEUU; Carlos Varea, España; Víctor Flores Olea, México; Hassan El Ouazanni, Marruecos; Jitendra Sharma, India; José Mulligan, Nicaragua; Beto Almeida, Brasil; Juan Madrid, España; Sonja de Vries, EEUU ; Red Ronnie, Italia; Juan Kalvellido, España; Miguel Urbano, Portugal; Nora de Izcue, Perú; Raúl Pérez Torres, Ecuador; Santiago Alba Rico, España; José Steinsleger, México; Setsuko Ono, Japón-EEUU; Susan Willis, EEUU; Vicente Romano, España; Néstor Kohan, Argentina; Pedro de Castro Amaral, Brasil; Angeles Maestro, España; Vicente Battista, Argentina; Stefania Mosca, Venezuela; Clifton Ross, EEUU; Zlatko Krasni, Serbia; Wim Dierckxsens, Costa Rica; Sérgio Saboya, Brasil; Claudio Katz, Argentina; Luciano Alzaga, Argentina; Corium Aharoniam, Uruguay; Donatella Mészáros, Italia; Carol Cross, EEUU; Raly Barrionuevo, Argentina; Kali Akuno, EEUU ; Gloria Berrocal, España; Rodolfo Livingston, Argentina; Remy Herrera, Francia; Mano Melo, Brasil; Irene Amador, España; Paul Emile Dupret, Bélgica; Jaime Losada, España; Marcelo Resende, Brasil; Pablo Marcano García, Puerto Rico; Miguel Martín Ayllón, España; José C. Rovira, España; Alvaro Castillo Granada, Colombia, Natalia Toledo, México; Consuelo Sánchez, México; José Heleno Rotta, Brasil; Shirley Pate, EEUU; Gerardo Cerdas Vega, Costa Rica; Carlos Marés, Brasil; Clarisse Chiappini Casthilos, Brasil; Michael S. Smith, EEUU; José Luis Tagliaferro, Argentina-Italia; Claude Marks, EEUU ; Iñaki Errazkin, España; Eduardo Ebendinger, Brasil; León Ferrari, Argentina; Guy Bajoit, Bélgica; Lia Sessy, Italia; Ricardo Antunes, Brasil; María Toledano, España; Robert Franck, Bélgica; Verena Graf, Suiza; Eva Björklund, Suecia; Raúl Vallejo, Ecuador; Eduardo Guimarães, Brasil; Aitana Alberti, Argentina-Cuba; Sara Rosemberg, Argentina; Beatriz Bissio, Brasil; Bert de Belder, Bélgica; Jaime Mejía Duque, Colombia; Jane Franklin, EEUU; Alicia Hermida, España; Ana Esther Ceceña, México; Angel Parra, Chile; Branca Eloysa P. Ferreira, Brasil; Dionne Brand, Canadá; Sergio J. Dos Santos França, Brasil; Lêdo Ivo, Brasil; Rosario Murillo, Nicaragua; José Antonio Barroso Toledo, España; Christine Fayart, Bélgica; Caique Botkay, Brasil; Angelica Malinarich-Dorfman, Chile; Manuel Fernández-Cuesta, España; Sidnei Liberal, Brasil; Carlos Takeshi, Brasil; Jean Pestiaux, Bélgica; Aderbal Ashogun, Brasil; Carlos Baron, Chile; Alejandro Moreano, Ecuador; Hans-Otto Dill, Alemania; Carmem Regina de Vargas, Brasil; Richard Becker, EEUU; David Lagmanovich, Argentina; Carmen Vargas, Brasil; Jean Philippe Peemans, Bélgica; Aderbal Moreira Costa, Brasil; Claudia Korol, Argentina; Teodoro Buarque de Hollanda, Brasil; Enrique Dacal, Argentina; Célia Ravero, Brasil; Nico Hirft, Bélgica; Andrea Duffour, Suiza; Ana Tendler, Brasil; Carolina Virguez, Colombia; Terezinha Lameira, Brasil; Juan Carlos Volnovich, Argentina; Clarissa Matheus, Brasil; Hugo Achugar, Uruguay; Michael Steven Smith, EEUU; Nicolas Bardos, Bélgica; Anisio Palhano P. Ferreira, Brasil; Vera Malaguiti, Brasil; Danielle Bleitrach, Francia; Rafael Spregelbud, Argentina; Augusto Boal, Brasil; Bob Stone, EEUU; Pierre Beaudet, Bélgica; Clarisse Mantuano, Brasil; Vivaldo Franco, Brasil; Claufe Rodrigues, Brasil; Alicia Jrapcko, EEUU; Waldir Leite, Brasil; Dácio Malta, Brasil; Anne Waldmann, EEUU; Danon Lacerda, Brasil; Betsy Bowman, EEUU; Denise Fraga, Brasil; Bryan Becker, EEUU; Echaterina Brasileiro, Brasil; Joy Harjo, EEUU; Jorge Fons, México; Emilio Mira y Lopez, Brasil; Fábio Basilone, Brasil; Mary Lou ise Pratt, EEUU; Andrés Linares, España; Geraldo Moreira, Brasil; Angeles Diez Rodríguez, España; Ana Lydia Vega, Puerto Rico; Susana Fiorito, Argentina; Joseph Mutti, EEUU ; Haroldo Costa, Brasil; Margot Pepper, EEUU ; Isadora Jinkings, Brasil; Carlos Tena, España; Andrés Ordoñez, México; Ivair Itagiba, Brasil; David Acera Rodríguez, España; Ivana Jinkings, Brasil; Eduardo Hernández Fernández, España; Jalusa Barcelos, Brasil; Iñaki Markiegi, España; Jaqueline da Silva, Brasil; Jorge Lopez Ave, España; Jesús Chediak, Brasil; Justo Carracedo, España; Jean Portante, Luxemburgo; José Vicente Tavares dos Santos, Brasil; José Braga, Brasil; Jussara Freire, Brasil; Miguel Riera Montesinos, España; Leila Jinkings, Brasil; Pepe Mejía, España; Luis Carlos Cseko, Brasil; Alain Ruscio, Francia; Mãe Beata de Yemoja, Brasil; Susana Vellegia, Argentina; Marcello Guimaraes, Brasil; Beatriz Stolowicz, México; Marcellus Machado, Brasil; Horacio Verzi, Uruguay; Elvira Concheiro, México; Mário Augusto Jakobskind, Brasil; Luciano Concheiro, México; Isabel-Clara Simó, España; Xavier Dalfó, España; Michele Victer, Brasil; Monique Lemaitre, México; Miwa Saboya, Brasil; Natalia Toledo, México; Nilo Batista, Brasil; Hane Haga, Noruega; Olny de Freitas, Brasil; Clemente Padín, Uruguay; Raymundo de Oliveira, Brasil; Hernán Rivera Letelier, Chile; Quintín Cabrera, Uruguay; Regina Libonati, Brasil; Douglas Bohórquez, Venezuela; Zezé Sack, Brasil; Catherine Murphy, EEUU; Maximilien Laroche, Haití; Hiber Conteris,Uruguay; Joao Ubaldo Ribeiro, Brasil; Marita Fornaro, Uruguay; Graciela Paraskevaidis, Uruguay; Rafael Aponte Ledée, Puerto Rico; Daisy Zamora, Nicaragua; Mauricio Kartun, Argentina; Cecilia Boal, Brasil; C. K. Otead, Nueva Zelanda; Chiranan Pritpeecha, Tailandia; Gerhard Falkner, Alemania; Quincy Troupe, EEUU; Neshe Yashin, Chipre; Koulsy Lamko, Chad; Nicole Cage Florentiny, Martinica ; Leslee Lee, Perú; Andrés Rivera, Argentina; Juan Cristóbal, Perú; Frèdèric Debuyst, Bélgica ; Jean Claude Fritz, Francia; Gérard Fritz, Francia; Jacques Bidet, Bélgica; Milagros Rivera, Puerto Rico; Katalina Montero, EEUU; Luis Fernando Eyerbe, Argentina-Brasil; Daniel Veronese, Argentina; Pat Murphy, EEUU Kendell Hoppolyte, Santa Lucía; Breyten Breytenbach, Sudáfrica; Ingibjörg Haraldsdóttir, Islandia ; Clara Algranati, Argentina; José Seoane, Argentina; David Franco Monthiel, España

Fidel, 80 años

Frei Betto

Si hubiera una fábrica de productos lúdicos destinados al mercado político, quizás "¿Dónde está Wally?" ganase la versión "¿Dónde está la izquierda?"

Una parcela de la izquierda se siente avergonzada porque no es tan ética como ella misma propala; otra, porque falló el socialismo, excepto en Cuba. En Corea del Norte predomina un régimen totalitario y en China el capitalismo de Estado.

Las plañideras del desastre del socialismo no se preguntan por sus causas ni denuncian el fracaso del capitalismo para los dos tercios de la humanidad que, según la ONU, viven por debajo de la línea de pobreza. De ese modo abrazan el neoliberalismo sin culpa. Y lo adornan con el eufemismo de "democracia", aunque acentúe la desigualdad mundial y niegue valores y derechos humanos cultivando la idolatría del dinero y de las armas.

¿Qué es ser de izquierda? Todos los conceptos académicos -ideológicos, partidarios y doctrinarios- son palabras huecas ante la definición de que ser de izquierda es defender el derecho de los pobres, aunque aparentemente ellos no tengan razón. Por eso, causa escalofrío ver a alguien que se dice de izquierda aliarse con la derecha.

Fidel es un hombre de izquierda. No hizo, entre 1956 y 1959, una revolución para implantar el socialismo. Su motivación fue librar a Cuba de la dictadura de Batista, rescatar la independencia del país y liberar al pueblo de la miseria. Cuando visitó los Estados
Unidos, poco después de su llegada al poder, fue ovacionado en las avenidas de Nueva York.

La élite cubana se resistió a ceder los anillos para que toda la población tuviera dedos. Apoyada por la Casa Blanca, instauró el terror, empeñada en detener las reformas agraria y urbana y la campaña nacional de alfabetización. Kennedy, vitoreado como baluarte de la
democracia, envió diez mil mercenarios para invadir Cuba por Bahía Cochinos en 1961. Fueron derrotados. Y la Revolución, para defenderse, no tuvo otra alternativa que aliarse con la Unión Soviética.

Cuba es el único país de América Latina que logró generalizar la justicia social. Toda la población de once millones de habitantes goza de los derechos de acceso gratuito a la salud y a la educación, lo que mereció elogios del papa Juan Pablo 2º en su viaje a la isla en 1998.

¿Acaso será el paraíso? Para quien vive en la miseria en nuestros países -¡y son tantos!-, la forma de vida de los cubanos es envidiable. Para quien se considera clase media, Cuba es el purgatorio; para quien es rico es el infierno. Sólo soporta vivir en la isla quien
tiene conciencia solidaria y sabe pensar en sí a través de la óptica de los derechos colectivos. ¿O alguien conoce a un cubano que le diera la espalda a la Revolución para defender a los pobres en otra parte del mundo?

En el trayecto desde el aeropuerto de La Habana al centro de la ciudad hay una pancarta con el retrato de una niña sonriendo y la frase: "Esta noche 200 millones de niños dormirán en las calles del mundo. Ninguno de ellos es cubano". ¿Algún otro país del continente podría exhibir semejante anuncio a la mera puerta de entrada?

La simple mención de la palabra Cuba provoca escalofríos en los espíritus reaccionarios. Critican la democracia de la isla, como si lo que predomina en nuestros países -corrupción, nepotismo, malversación- fuera modelo de algo. Entonces, ¿por qué no exigen que, primero, el gobierno de los Estados Unidos deje de profanar el derecho internacional y suspenda el
bloqueo y cierre de una vez el campo su concentración en Guantánamo?

Se protesta contra los fusilamientos de la Revolución, y me sumo a esa crítica, pues soy contrario a la pena de muerte, pero ¿dónde están las protestas contra la pena de muerte en los Estados Unidos y contra el fusilamiento sumario practicado en Brasil por policías

Cuba es hoy el país con mayor número de médicos y bailarines de ballet clásico por habitante. Y tiene en perspectiva un programa para atender gratuitamente, en los próximos años, a seis millones de latinoamericanos con deficiencia visual.

Fidel está internado en un hospital. ¿Qué sucederá cuando muera, después de haber sobrevivido a una decena de presidentes de los Estados Unidos y a 47 años de esfuerzos terroristas de la CIA para eliminarlo? El buenhumor de los cubanos tiene la respuesta a flor de labios: "Como personas civilizadas, primero trataremos de enterrar al Comandante". Pero ¿será que el socialismo bajará a la tumba en su ataúd?

Todo indica que Cuba se prepara para el período pos-Fidel. Lo que no significa, como esperan los cubanos de Miami, que eso sucederá en breve. En noviembre, en la universidad de La Habana, el líder revolucionario advirtió que la Revolución puede ser víctima de sus propios errores y dejó en el aire una pregunta: "Cuando desaparecen los veteranos, ¿qué
hacer y cómo hacerlo?"

En vísperas de su cumpleaños, el 13 de agosto, Fidel ya comienza a manifestar su testamento político. La mayoría de los miembros del Buró Político del Partido Comunista tiene entre 40 y 50 años, y cada vez son llamados más jóvenes a ocupar funciones estratégicas. Dado que el 70% de la población nació en el período revolucionario, no hay indicios de anhelo popular por el regreso al capitalismo. Cuba no quiere como futuro el presente de tantas naciones latinoamericanas, donde la opulencia convive con el narcotráfico, la miseria, el desempleo y la decadencia de la salud y la educación.

Feliz cumpleaños y pronta recuperación, Comandante.

Fidel Castro, Che Guevara

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Six persons hunted into death by German border police

Five immigrants from Vietnam and a driver from Chech Republic died in the night to the 2nd of August, because police have intercepted them and tried to arest and deport them because of "illegal" immigration to Germany in the state of Brandenburg. By trying to espape their car crashed into some trees and only two of the eight persons inside the car survived. This is another chapter of the deadly border regime of Fortress Europe. Those who die inside the fortress and get known to an extent are only the peak of the iceberg. Thousands are dying in the seas in the desserts and inside the prisons along their way. Inside Germany the border regime has already caused many more deaths than the Berlin Wall.

Bring down the border regime!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Lebanon Links

Definitively not a complete list of Links from Lebanon. But theese sites might give a hint about the reality of the war on Lebanon.

My favourite Link! Mazen Kerbaj, an exellent artist from Beirut upoads every day a few more of his drawings. A live documentation of the war, very differently than the usual ones...
(The drawing on the right side is from there).

Live audio/video streaming transmission from Waag Society in Amsterdam, in direct connection with Beirut and surrounding localities. The event was initiated by Streamtime, a web support campaign for Iraqi bloggers.
Offers many more links!

An artistic movie message to the world.

grassroots group working with refugees in central Beirut
The Relief Centre - Sanayeh is a gathering of a number of groups who were in the field from the beginning of the Israeli attack on Lebanon. The centre is coordinating relief efforts in Beirut and gathering and transmitting information from the field, as well as organizing political activities on the local and international levels to challenge the complicity of the so-called "international community".


This blog is for anyone who can provide information on the situation in Lebanon. If you want to contribute please contact christianhenders@hotmail.com to ask for a user name and password.


SAMIDOUN is a grassroots coalition that aims to work in a democratic and participatory atmosphere. The coalition is multi-confessional and diverse in terms of nationality. The coalition is also diverse in its composition in terms of supporting organizations, from student groups, to the gay and lesbian center, to arts and film production collectives, to small political parties, to environmental groups. But the bulk of the work is through young volunteers from all over the country, some of whom are refugees themselves.


Tool of Beiruts Blogging Comunity since the pre war times. Now it has changed ino an anti war site.


News updates from Lebanon. Unless stated otherwise, these are headline items from NewTV, one of the main Lebanese television stations.

Another Link contains also photos from Lebanon (Caution! shocking

Very Interesting analisis from 'A World To Win' News Service
The interests behind Israel’s attack on Lebanon, and the interests of the people

Since the worlds attention is now focused on Lebanon we must not forget Palestine. A good Information site on Palestine: http://www.imemc.org/

Racism and the Massacre of Qana

Yesha Rabbinical Council: During time of war, enemy has no innocents
The Yesha Rabbinical Council announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that "according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as 'innocents' of the enemy."
All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians," the statement said. (Efrat Weiss)
"And in the general hardening of outlook that set in . . . practices which had been long abandoned - imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions . . . and the deportation of whole populations - not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive."
- George Orwell (1984)

Was Racism and Fundamentalism a Factor?

The Massacre at Qana


08/01/06 "Counterpunch" -- -- Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora condemned Israel's massacre in Qana today as a "heinous crime" and called Israeli leaders "war criminals." Reacting to an earlier atrocity, he wondered: "Is the value of human life in Lebanon less than that of the citizens of other countries?"[1] The answer, at least as far as Israel is concerned, is an unambiguous "yes!" Israel's latest bloodbath, which claimed the lives of dozens of children and women hiding from the relentless bombing in what they hoped was a secure basement in Qana, betrays not only Israel's criminal disregard for the value of Arab human life, a typical colonial attitude towards natives, but also its increasingly fundamentalist perception of Gentiles in general as lesser humans.

Israel apologists who will try to spin this new massacre as yet another "mistake" must expect their audience to have an awfully short memory or a very low IQ. Israel has explicitly indicated in the past few days that it may resort to such atrocious measures, especially since its armed forces have failed to achieve any tangible military gains after 19 days of rolling massacres and wanton destruction across Lebanon. Israeli minister of justice, Haim Ramon, issued a stern warning [2] only days ago that a large area in south Lebanon was regarded by his government effectively as a free-fire zone, advocating indiscriminate bombing of villages inside it to ease the so-far unsuccessful advance of the Israeli army. "These places are not villages. They are military bases in which Hizbollah are hiding and from which they are operating," he said, adding that, since Israel had ordered Lebanese civilians to leave the area, "All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hizbollah."

Israel's biggest-selling paper, Yedioth Ahronoth, advocated [3] raising the threshold of Israel's response to Katyusha rockets: "In other words: a village from which rockets are fired at Israel will simply be destroyed by fire." It is worth noting that all available evidence points to the fact that no Katyusha was fired by the Lebanese resistance from Qana before the bombing.

Among Israel's staunch Zionist supporters in the West, the same "talking points" were parroted. Harvard academic Alan Dershowitz recently argued [4] that, "Hezbollah and Hamas militants [] are difficult to distinguish from those 'civilians' who recruit, finance, harbor and facilitate their terrorism. Nor can women and children always be counted as civilians, as some organizations do. Terrorists increasingly use women and teenagers to play important roles in their attacks." He concluded saying, "The Israeli army has given well-publicized notice to civilians to leave those areas of southern Lebanon that have been turned into war zones. Those who voluntarily remain behind have become complicit."

Thus the massacre in Qana.

Qana's name is associated with an earlier Israeli massacre. In 1996, during its military offensive codenamed "Grapes of Wrath," Israel's air force bombed a UN shelter in the village, slaying more than 100 civilians, mostly children, and inviting almost universal verbal condemnation but no real threats of sanctions or any other form of effective punitive measures from the international community. In the current Israeli war on Lebanon this is only the most recent episode in a series of smaller atrocities deliberately committed by the Israeli army against Lebanese civilians in an attempt to collectively "punish" them for the humiliating defeat its elite military units have so far experienced at the hands of the formidable Lebanese resistance, most noticeably in the legendary town of Bint Jbeil.

This intentional and coldly calculated Israeli policy of targeting innocent Lebanese civilians and civilian infrastructure stems from a time-honoured, but hardly ever successful, Israeli doctrine of applying intense "pressure" against a civilian population in order to compel them, in-turn, to pressure the resistance into submitting to Israeli dictates, thereby doing Israel's bidding by proxy. It has been consistently used against the Palestinians ever since the Nakba of 1948, and is still applied now in the ongoing barbaric offensive and hermetic siege against Gaza. Israel may have plagiarized this doctrine from the legacies of previous oppressors, but it has refined it to a degree that it no longer raises any moral qualms in most of Israeli society, where it is widely accepted by the public as a right, even a duty in the fight for Israel's "security."

Such blatant racism, which may have been frowned upon in the past by many Jewish-Israelis as a pathological anomaly, is now quite popular in the Israeli mainstream, including among lawmakers, academics, journalists and, of course, military leaders. While it has become normal to read scathing -- occasionally valid -- critiques of the hateful and chauvinistic discourse "inherent" in Islamic and even Christian brands of fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, which is among the key factors informing current Israeli apartheid policies and laws, remains a taboo subject that is rarely discussed or debated in the West. It is rooted in a long tradition of fanatic, yet popular, fundamentalist interpretations of Halakhah, or Jewish law, propagated by influential rabbis and internalized by a widely acquiescent Israeli society, secular and religious sectors alike. Even before the creation of Israel, the core concept in this fundamentalist worldview was publicly espoused by Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak Kook, the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Palestine, who said, "The difference between a Jewish soul and the souls of non-Jews...is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle."[5]

The late Israeli academic and human rights advocate, Israel Shahak, traced the roots of Israeli public justification for killing Palestinians, for instance, to similar readings of the tenets of Halakhah. While the murder of a Jew is considered a capital offence in Jewish law, the murder of a Gentile is treated quite differently. "A Jew who murders a Gentile," Shahak reveals, "is guilty only of a sin against the laws of heaven, not punishable by court." Indirectly, but intentionally, causing the death of a Gentile is "no sin at all." [6] A booklet published in 1973 by the Central Region Command of the Israeli army subscribes to this same doctrine. In it, the Command's Chief Chaplain writes:

"When our forces come across civilians during a war or in hot pursuit or in a raid, so long as there is no certainty that those civilians are incapable of harming our forces, then according to the Halakhah they may and even should be killed Under no circumstances should an Arab be trusted, even if he makes an impression of being civilized In war, when our forces storm the enemy, they are allowed and even enjoined by the Halakhah to kill even good civilians, that is, civilians who are ostensibly good. [7]

In 1996, the same year the first Qana massacre was committed, Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh, a leader of the powerful Lubavitch Hassidic sect, echoed the same principle, rhetorically asking, "If a Jew needs a liver, can he take the liver of an innocent non-Jew to save [the Jew]?," answering, "The Torah would probably permit that. Jewish life has an infinite value. There is something more holy and unique about Jewish life than about non-Jewish life." [8] Moreover, Ginsburgh coauthored a book defending the 1994 massacre of Muslim worshippers in Al-Ibrahimi mosque (Patriarchs' Cave) in Hebron, in which he argued that when a Jew kills a non-Jew the act does not constitute murder according to the Halakhah, adding that the killing of innocent Palestinians as an act of revenge is a Jewish virtue.

During the first months of the current Palestinian initfada, it was common for Israeli army spokespeople to justify killing Palestinian children throwing stones by saying that they "threatened human life." (B'Tselem Report) Not soldiers' lives, not Israeli lives, but human life. One cannot escape the implication that the alleged sources of the threat are not exactly eligible to be called human in the army's common diction.

In this context, it is entirely justified to see Israel's second massacre in Qana as the rule, not the exception.

This often ignored menace of Jewish fundamentalism needs to be addressed as seriously as other forms of fanatic religious thought which sows racial hatred, animosity and war mongering. While adhering to moral principles alone will certainly not bring any of Qana's murdered children back to life or compensate any bereaved parent or loved one anywhere, perhaps insisting on the equal worth of all human lives, regardless of ethnicity or religion, and rejecting racism from any source, including from sanctimonious former victims, can help diminish the chances of such ruthless crimes recurring in the future. Irrespective of the Holocaust, or precisely because of it, Israel should not be allowed to get away with its racist, at-will flaunting of international law and its state terrorism against defenseless civilians. It is time to go beyond mere condemnation to properly channel irrepressible grief and simmering anger into morally sound acts of intervention. Just as it worked against apartheid South Africa, a comprehensive regime of boycott against Israel is urgently called for. People of conscience everywhere share the responsibility of stopping this unrestrained behemoth before it scorches everything in its blind quest for hegemony and colonial control.
Omar Barghouti is an independent political analyst.


[1] Jonathan Steele and Rory McCarthy. "Strike on bunker failed, says Hizbullah. The Guardian, July 20, 2006.
[2] Patrick Bishop. Diplomats argue as all of south Lebanon is targeted. Telegraph, July 28, 2006.
[3] Harry de Quetteville. You're all targets, Israel tells Lebanese in South. Telegraph, July 28, 2006.
[4] Alan Dershowitz. 'Civilian Casualty'? It Depends. Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2006.
[5] Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky. Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. Pluto Press, London, 1999. P. ix.
[6] Israel Shahak. Jewish History, Jewish Religion-The Weight of Three Thousand Years. Pluto Press. London, 2002. P. 75-76.
[7] Ibid. P. 76.
[8] Ibid. P. 43.

More Reading:

Empire: War and Propaganda

Who Are the Real Terrorists?

The Spirit of Resistance

How Can We Allow This to Go On?

Why Do They Hate Us? Listen To Qana

The Pathology of Israeli Power

Beware of the New World Order Israel is Imposing

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hunger strike in deportation centre Bramsche Hesepe

For months the tension about the inhuman conditions in the deportation centre in Bramsche Hesepe in the German state of Lower-Saxony is boiling. As the protests of the refugees and their supporters is getting more and more attention. the authorities are trying an old nasty trick. Those who are protesting are to be transfered to another camp. Michail, a refugee from Palestine was regarded as one of the main "trouble makers", because he never shied talking to the press about the scandalous conditions in the deportation centre and was to be punished by transfer to a different place.

When he received the transfer order on Wednesday 26th of July 2006 he first was climbing a tall tower on the compound of the lager he is living inside, redy to make an end to his life. After three hours on the tower ready to jump he received a written statement that the transfer was canceled and Michail climbed down to the ground again and he was brought to the hospital.

In the hospital the police were coming on the 27th of July, and they have beaten up Michail there they handcuffed him and brought him to the psychiatry in Oldenburg. Since then he is on an unlimited hunger strike.

He escaped psychiatry and he spoke in a Rally in Bramsche organised by his friends and political supporters. (Listen the Interview in German)

But after the rally he has collapsed and had to be brought to hospital again.

From there they have brought him again into the psychatry where he is continuing the hunger strike.

More protests will follow! Close down Bramsche Hesepe deportation centre.

more infos in German...
recent report from Bramsche Hesepe