Sunday, May 18, 2008

Boycott British Airways from May 15th


Click here to download a flyer and pass on to others

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, we are issuing this Statement on behalf of Respect Nigerians Coalition (RNC), a coalition of organizations and persons championing the campaign against British Airways’ discriminatory and indecorous treatment of its Nigerian customers. You all know that on Thursday, 27 March 2008, British Airways officials and the police subjected Mr Ayodeji Omotade to degrading treatment and went further to eject the other 135 passengers (overwhelmingly Nigerians) from BA075 flight bound for Lagos Nigeria from London Heathrow Airport. Of course, we are acutely aware that without your unstinting support, this story would have been swept under the carpet. That is why today, we are once again calling on you to help deepen international consciousness about the campaign.

On Tuesday, April 15 2008, we made five specific demands on British Airways over this issue and asked that they address these before Wednesday, April 30, 2008. We asked British Airways to:

  • tender a clear and well-worded apology to all passengers affected by their discriminatory and intimidatory conduct aboard flight BA075 on 27 March, 2008 in a Nigerian national newspaper;
  • tender a clear and well-worded written apology and appropriate compensation to Mr Ayodeji Omotade for financial and emotional losses suffered as a result of the conduct of British Airways and its agents on the day;
  • withdraw all adverse statements made to the police about Mr. Ayodeji Omotade over this incident;
  • lift the ban imposed on Mr Ayodeji Omotade, even as he would still retain his right to decide whether or not to fly British Airways in the future, and
  • issue an undertaking that British Airways shall improve its customer care culture and desist from such practices that give the impression that the airline is arrogant, uncaring and discriminatory.

So far, British Airways has failed to do any of the above or give any indication of its intention to do any of the above. The terrible statements its faceless officials have been making in the press over this issue, both in the United Kingdom and Nigeria, attest to the unwillingness of those who run the airline to see reason. In the face of British Airways’ stonewalling, it is therefore our intention to now inform you of our next line of action.

We members of the Respect Nigeria Coalition (RNC) have resolved to officially commence the worldwide boycott of British Airways goods and services as from Thursday, 15 May, 2008. We are calling on every Nigerian and friends of Nigeria, every person who loves justice and fairness and every person who has a social conscience to vote against British Airways with the power of their purse. We are calling on people to educate British Airways on the virtues of good corporate citizenship. Nigerians and friends of Nigeria all over the world will continue to sign the Petition/Protest Letter posted on our two websites – www.nigeriavillagesquare and as long as the protest continues.

We recognize the concern showed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and the Nigerian Federal Government over this issue. We are aware that discussions are ongoing between agents of the Federal Government and British Airways, the details of which are unknown to us at this time. But we are not waiting for the Federal Government to teach British Airways that the customer is king. They will find that out as they continue to test our resolve, because we are absolutely determined to prove that it’s possible for people’s power to trounce corporate tyranny.

Finally, you, members of the press, are the most important pillars of support we have throughout this struggle. It is you that put our issue on the front-burner of national and international discourse. Your reports have roused the consciousness of the British and international public and we know that the endless stream of messages of support we are receiving and the thousands of signatories supporting our protest have been largely due to the publicity and support you have given our campaign from the beginning.

Please, stand solidly with us, for the man dies in him who keeps silent in the face of tyranny of any sort.

Thank you for your support, care and attention.


Kennedy Emetulu
Michael Egbejumi-David
Tosin Awotesu.

(For and on behalf of Respect Nigerians Coalition)

Extradite the terrorist Posada!

Extradite or prosecute the terrorist Posada,
Free the Cuban Five anti-terrorists!

How long will the Bush administration continue to harbor terrorist Luis Posada Carriles?

We are writing to urge you to join the campaign to demand the extradition and prosecution of anti-Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. We are asking you to send a letter today in support of the demand that Posada be extradited to Venezuela, or prosecuted in the United States for the bombing in a civilian Cuban airliner in mid-flight, and other terrorist acts. Right now Posada is being treated as a guest of honor by the Bush administration, which is planning new aggressions against the people of Cuba.

Take a moment to send a letter today by clicking this link. People all over the country and the world are mobilizing. It will only take a minute, but your action can help make a difference.

If you can make an urgently needed donation to help this campaign, please do so now.


Should a man who is responsible for killing 73 people in a plane bombing, be honored with a dinner and an art gallery exhibit of his paintings?

That is precisely what has happened in the city that knows best how to protect and honor terrorists—Miami. The terrorist is Luis Posada Carriles, and the Miami dinner held in his “honor” on May 2nd, is just the beginning.

Take Action Now!
Write to Congress

We urge you to send a letter to your representatives in Congress, to demand that the U.S. government act immediately to extradite or prosecute Posada, and allow the Cuban Five to return home to Cuba.
Posada made a brazen statement at the May 2 Miami dinner, evoking a call to terrorism once again. “We must not wait for Fidel Castro to die… for Raul to make mistakes.”

Misappropriating the words of Cuban independence fighter Antonio Maceo, Posada then said, “‘liberty is not something we must beg for. It is conquered with the sharp edge of the machete.' We ask God to sharpen our machetes because difficult times are arriving.”

Posada and the CIA

These are not idle words.

For over 40 years as a CIA operative, he has used explosives to carry out brutal attacks on unsuspecting victims, in the name of bringing “democracy” to Cuba. An Italian tourist, Fabio Di Celmo, was killed when one of the bombs that Posada made himself, exploded in a Havana hotel in 1997.

Although he bragged about Di Celmo’s murder in 1998 to The New York Times, he has never been charged. A New Jersey grand jury investigation on Posada's terrorist bombing in Cuba is still underway, but it is three years, and there is still no indictment.

Posada is not alone in his terrorist objectives. There is a network of Miami terrorists with whom he continues to work.

As late as 2000, Posada planned, along with three other Miami terrorists Pedro Remón Rodríguez, Guillermo Novo Sampol and Guillermo Jiménez Escobedo, to bomb an auditorium in Panama City, in order to assassinate Fidel Castro. That attempt would have killed hundreds of people. Fortunately that terrorist attack was thwarted, but now those four terrorists are living in Miami, after they were pardoned by the outgoing Panamanian pro-Bush president, Mireya Moscoso.

Remember George Bush's own words

It is an absolute outrage for Posada Carriles to be free in the streets, free to organize more terrorist attacks against the people of Cuba, or anyone else he deems an enemy.

George W. Bush’s own words, “If you harbor a are as guilty as a terrorist” brings into focus the question: Why has Bush not acted against Posada?

The Bush administration has guided Posada out of jail through a series of deliberate steps since he entered the United States in 2005.

When Posada sneaked illegally into Miami’s harbor in late March 2005, it took two months for Homeland Security to detain him, despite worldwide cries for his arrest and prosecution. Now he has been released, allowing him to openly organize new terrorist attacks.

George W. Bush and his father -- shielding anti-Cuban terrorists

After three years, the Bush government still refuses to honor Venezuela’s request to extradite Posada for the 1976 Cuban airliner bombing in Caracas. Bush’s father was CIA director at the time.

George W. is following in his father’s footsteps. Orlando Bosch—Posada’s accomplice in the plane bombing—was about to be deported from the United States in 1990 when president George H.W. Bush overrode the deportation order. Thus, the two architects of the Cubana plane bombing both live free in Miami.

Even if the U.S. government refuses to extradite with some nefarious pretext that it can’t trust Venezuela to respect Posada’s human rights, Washington is bound by international law to prosecute him in the United States, according to the Montreal 1971 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation, “without exception whatsoever and whether or not the offense was committed in its territory…”

Cuban Five imprisoned, while Posada walks free

But even more outrageous is the continued U.S. imprisonment of the five Cuban men who were stopping the Miami terrorists’ plots.

The “Cuban Five” are Cuban nationals who came into Miami in the early1990s, to infiltrate, keep a vigilant eye on the Miami terrorists, and stop their attacks. The Cuban Five were doing what the U.S. government has refused to do, act against the Miami extremists. More than 3,400 Cubans have died by terrorist attacks of the Miami ultra-right.

Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, whose mission was to save lives, are serving 15 years to double life, falsely convicted on federal conspiracy charges. Hernández and Fernando González had the specific mission of keeping an eye on Bosch.

The Cuban Five won the right to a new trial in 2005 when a federal court ruled that they were improperly tried in Miami, due to 'pervasive prejudice' towards defendants related to Cuba. Then the Bush administration appealed the decision. The five remain in prison.

The story doesn’t end there. Alexander Acosta—the U.S. Attorney in Miami who represented the government in arguing against a new trial for the Cuban Five—is the same prosecutor who requested a sentence reduction for the two terrorists who illegally sneaked Posada into the United States in March 2005.

Despite illegally possessing massive weapons caches and refusing to testify before an El Paso grand jury about Posada’s illegal entry, Santiago Alvarez and Osvaldo Mitat won a reduction in their already-short prison sentences, thanks to Miami prosecutors.

Only pressure from the people of the United States on the U.S. government will bring Posada to justice.

Take action -- Send a letter today!

1) We urge you to send a letter to your representatives in Congress, to demand that the U.S. government act immediately to extradite or prosecute Posada, and allow the Cuban Five to return home to Cuba

Thursday, May 01, 2008

NYPD go to hell, we are all Sean Bell

n New York, a coalition of civil rights advocates are calling for a permanent state-level special prosecutor to handle police brutality cases following the acquittal of three NYPD detectives in the killing of Sean Bell. The twenty-three-year-old Bell died in a hail of fifty police bullets on the morning of what would have been his wedding day in November 2006. Two of his friends were also injured in the shooting. All three men were unarmed.

Brief summary of Friday April 25th

* Peoples Justice Rally for Justice for Sean Bell & All Victims of Police Brutality
* 2 arrests following formal march

Following yesterday morning's announcement of Judge Cooperman's "not guilty on all counts" acquittal verdict of 3 of the 5 NYPD officers involved in the murder of Sean Bell, hundreds gathered in Queens to express their outrage. Disgusted by the trial process (determined by 1 judge rather than a jury), and the unjust outcome, the Peoples Justice rally began at 5:30pm by the Queens DA's office, with family members speaking of having lost loved ones to police brutality, and others speaking of personal experiences being victimized by law enforcement violence, including: Nicholas Heyward, Sr. spoke of his son - Nicholas Heyward, Jr. - murdered by the NYPD; members of Jayson Tirado's family; Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson and founder of Parents Against Police Brutality; representatives of the Bushwick 32 case; Desis Rising Up & Moving, linking the struggle against police brutality to the struggle against the criminalization of immigrants. In addition to justice for Sean Bell and other specific cases, Peoples Justice is calling for an end to racist & militarized policing of our communities; the creation of a permanent independent prosecutor for all cases of police brutality in NYC; and increased efforts for community control of our safety through creation of community Cop Watch patrols and Know Your Rights work.

Peoples Justice moved the rally from the Queens DA's office with a march to Liverpool, the site of the 50-shot murder of Sean Bell and injuries to his friends Trent Benefield & Joseph Guzman. The unpermitted march, growing to 1,500 on Queens Boulevard, stopped traffic and was greeted by enormous support from community members along the way -- many joined the march; others honked their support from their cars, not seeming bothered to be stopped in traffic; others cheered from rooftops, apartments, stores, and buses.

At the closing rally on Liverpool (site of the shooting), about 500 vowed to continue the struggle for justice for Sean Bell & all victims of police brutality. Co-MC's Jessica Sanclemente (from the Justice Committee) and Thenjiwe McHarris (Malcolm X Grassroots Movement) reminded community members of the need to demand accountability of the police while also taking steps towards community control through Know Your Rights education and Cop Watch patrols. Those interested in developing their own Cop Watch patrols can contact the Justice Committee or Malcolm X Grassroots Movement for more information, and Peoples Justice can be contacted for more information about Know Your Rights training.

Following the close of the formal Peoples Justice march & rally, some continued with an impromptu march through parts of Jamaica, Queens. According to updates Peoples Justice received, at about 11:30pm, following the dispersal of one group at the 103rd Precinct, a protester was arrested as he was leaving, and a legal observer who tried to get badge information of the arresting officers was also arrested. After getting the news last night, Peoples Justice organizers secured an attorney to work with the 2 who were arrested, and also had several Peoples Justice organizers go to the 107th precinct where they were being held before being transported to Central Booking. The attorney attempted to have them released with DAT's (desk appearance tickets), which is often protocol in such cases. The NYPD refused. We expect that the 2 will be released today, and will post additional updates if community mobilization is required.

Murdered by the NYPD

Murdered by the NYPD

The Families

The Families

The People's Verdict

The People's Verdict

Taking It to the Streets

Taking It to the Streets

By Any Means Necessary

By Any Means Necessary

NYPD + ICE = Racists

NYPD + ICE = Racists

Roses for Sean Bell

Roses for Sean Bell

Killer Cops

Killer Cops

Stolen Lives

Stolen Lives

The Fire From Below

The Fire From Below

"We Are All Sean Bell": Images of the People's Justice march that took the streets of Queens on Friday, April 25, 2008. The spark: The acquittal of the three cops who fired 50 shots into an unarmed Black man on his wedding day in 2007.
The demand: Justice for Sean Bell and All Victims of Police Brutality. Community Control of the Police.