Syrian troops kill more protesters

 Protesters continue to take to the streets despite the bloody military crackdown

Syrian security forces have shot dead at least nine people as mass protests have again swept across the country after Friday prayers, activists say.

Witnesses said at least three people were killed when shots were fired into a protest in the central city of Homs.

Fatalities are also being reported at protests in other parts of Syria.

Activists Dump GMO Foods at shops

Activist Dump Genetically-Modified Groceries

If you’re walking past the Lincoln Park Whole Foods this morning and see a huge heap of food sitting on the ground, it’s not a sale. The Organic Consumers Association, as part of their “Millions Against Monsanto” campaign, is dumping genetically modified foods in front of Whole Foods at noon. They’ll also be holding a press conference, in an attempt to convince more of the food-shopping public that GMO foods should be labeled.The “Millions Against Monsanto” campaign is fighting for transparency in labeling, an issue which causes tremors amongst the food industry. While almost all of us have eaten genetically modified food of some sort, a 2006 survey by Pew indicates that less than 30% of consumers think they have – probably because there is no requirement that genetically-modified food be labelled. On the other hand, food producers are worried consumers are much less likely to buy foods if they have scary labels with scientific terms on them, and Monsanto claims that genetically modified foods have no proven health risks. [Full Disclosure – I am a member of the OCA, but do not plan to participate in this protest.]

The problem gets even more complicated. In order to get USDA organic certification, a product cannot contain GMOs. Whole Foods also has started a program, through the Non-GMO project, to make sure that their store-brand products are GMO free. But, Whole Foods (despite its environmental credentials) still carries many conventional products, which may contain GMOs. Should they be forced to label them?

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Diss 21 Can Vies: Kafeta de suport al projecte feminista

Diss 21 maig a Can Vies: Kafeta de suport al projecte feminista del carrer ample
per una 19 mai 2011
Aquest dissabte al CSOA Can Vies a partir de les 20h de la tarda fem una kafeta de suport al projecte feminista del carrer ample que va ser desallotjat diumenge passat (mira més abaix).

Esteu totes convidades!!

Si toquen a una, ens toquen a totes!
Contra l’especulació, feministes en acció !!

Clica la imatge per una versió més gran

Acampadas prohibido para sabado. Camps face eviction!!

Asistentes reciben al grito de “insumisión” la decisión de la Junta Electoral Central de vetar las concentraciones

Electoral Commission bans protests for weekend.. calls for TOTAL DISOBEDIENCE

Los asistentes a la concentración en la Puerta del Sol han recibido al grito de “insumisión” la decisión de la Junta Electoral Central de vetar las concentraciones para el próximo sábado y domingo.

Tras conocer la decisión de la Junta Electoral, en la emblemática plaza madrileña se han conformado pequeñas asambleas por parte de los organizadores y se han desencadenado gritos de “insumisión” por parte de los asistentes.

Según han confirmado fuentes de la plataforma a Europa Press, se ha convocado paraº a las 13.00 horas una asamblea general con el objetivo principal de confirmar la insumisión.

La Junta Electoral Central ha determinado que las concentraciones y manifestaciones del movimiento 15 de mayo no se podrán celebrar entre las cero horas del sábado, jornada de reflexión, hasta las 24 horas del domingo, fin del día de votación en las elecciones autonómicas y municipales.

Revolt burns in us. The time is now.

Goldman-Sachs in Seattle Attacked

 From PugentSoundAnarchist: Revolt burns in us. The time is now. From the first sparks, we are with you. Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 05/16/2011 – 8:15pm

Revolt burns in us on this day, Monday May 16th, because to live is to rebel. Thus, in the spirit of solidarity with those in struggle in Greece, we blocked a busy intersection in the business district of Seattle during rush hour with a banner that read: “Revolt burns in us. The time is now. From the first sparks, we are with you.”

This intersection is outside an office of Goldman Sachs, architects of the financial crisis that set the stage for the IMF takeover of Greece.

Hundreds of leaflets were afloat as the citizens gaped, open mouthed, but our actions are not for them.

This brief halt in the normal movement of the city traffic was a small gesture committed out of our hatred for this world.
The time is now.

From the first sparks of rebellion we conspire because the only reason to live is for a dream of what is not.

We are with you. Not out of pity or duty but because solidarity is our weapon.

CUBA Sexual Diversity in a Sexist City

Sexual Diversity in a Sexist City
By Dalia Acosta

SANTIAGO DE CUBA, May 19, 2011 (IPS) – Known as the cradle of the revolution and of the conga, but also as one of the most machista places in Cuba, the city of Santiago in the east of the island was the scene of two days of activities demanding respect and freedom for different sexual orientations and gender identities.

Panels, debates, workshops and other awareness-raising exercises were joined by the Conga de los Hoyos, a famous local carnival group, which paraded down several blocks of downtown Santiago Tuesday followed by a crowd of hundreds of people, some waving Cuban and rainbow flags, others frowning and gesturing their disapproval….


Illegal Logging Spreading in Madagascar

Illegal Logging Spreading in Madagascar
By Lovasoa Rabary-Rakotondravony

ANTANANARIVO, May 19, 2011 (IPS) By Lovasoa Rabary-Rakotondravony

– The transitional authorities in Madagascar are struggling to overcome the problem of illegal logging of precious wood. In spite of an April 2010 decree that prohibits the logging, transporting, trading and export of precious woods, felling in the forests is still continuing.

In mid-April, the heads of the police force of Antalaha, a town on the northeastern coast of Madagascar – the area most affected by the phenomenon – seized 30 tonnes of rosewood being transported in two trucks.

But this is far from the only place where trafficking in illegal timber is taking place on this island, which has the biggest rosewood reserves in the world. A few days earlier, three other trucks transporting 115 rosewood logs, were intercepted in Tolagnaro, in the southeast. Before the raid, more than 1,000 pieces of another kind of precious rosewood found in Malagasy forests, were seized in the same region.

In Mahajanga in the northwest, more than 250 containers full of rosewood destined for export have been held at the port since December 2010. Most of this wood comes from Mampikony, an area situated about 250 kilometres southeast of Mahajanga, Ndranto Razakamanarina, a forestry engineer and president of the Voahary Gasy alliance, an umbrella body of civil society organisations working for the protection of the environment, told IPS.

Deforestation Devours Rich Ecosystems

Deforestation Devours Rich Ecosystems
By Franz Chávez.LA PAZ, May 19, 2011 (IPS) – Occupations of land for agriculture over the last four decades in Bolivia, whether by individuals or in organised collective initiatives, have led to severe ecological damages and low levels of productivity because of the intensive use of machinery and the failure to take into account the limitations of the soil, said environmentalist Marco Ribera.

“To this aggressive approach towards ecosystems is added the irregularity of many processes of obtaining land, in murky periods in which the phenomenon flourished under dictatorships or in a context of political favours,” Ribera, research coordinator for the Environmental Defence League (LIDEMA), a local environmental group, told IPS.
Ribera is an interdisciplinary biologist who, after reviewing statistics, land occupation records, and studies on environmental damages, concluded that misguided state management and land occupations carried out without adequate planning continue to occur today in the process of colonisation of the Amazon jungle in the northern province of Pando.

Of Bolivia’s total area of nearly 1.1 million square kilometres, 25 percent is Andean highlands, 15 percent is made up of valleys, and the rest is lowland plains and rainforest. Since the second half of the 1980s, the Bolivian economy has been driven by intensive agribusiness in the lowlands, where soy has become the star crop.
Soy exports brought the country 554 million dollars in export earnings in 2010, making the crop the third-biggest foreign exchange earner after natural gas and minerals. Bolivia’s total exports in 2010 amounted to 6.96 billion dollars, just over one-third of GDP.  CONTINUED

Spanish Revolution camps.. the details

Spain’s Tahrir Square

Pablo Ouziel’s ZSpace PagSpain’s people’s movement seems to be finally awakening as la Puerta del Sol in Madrid begins to look like it may become the country’s Tahrir Square, and the ‘Arab Spring’ may be joined by what is now bracing to become a long ‘European Summer’. As people across the Arab world continue their popular struggle for justice, peace and democracy, Spain’s disillusioned citizens have finally begun to catch on as well. Slow at first, hopeful that Spain’s dire economic conditions would magically correct themselves, the Spanish street has finally begun to understand that democratic and economic justice and peace will not come from the pulpits of the country’s corrupt political elite.

Amidst local and regional election campaigns, with the banners of the different political parties plastered across the country’s streets, people are saying ‘enough!’ Disillusioned youth, unemployed, pensioners, students, immigrants and other disenfranchised groups have been inspired by the Arab world and are now also demanding a voice – demanding an opportunity to live with dignity.  

As the country continues to implode economically, unemployment grows incessantly leaving one in two young people unemployed across many of the country’s regions. With many in the crumbling middle class on the verge of losing their homes while bankers profit from their loss and the government uses citizen taxes to expand the military industrial complex by going off to war; the people have begun to grasp that they only have each other if they are to rise from the debris of the militarized political and economic nightmare in which they have found themselves. Will thousands in protest become tens and hundreds of thousands? It is beginning to look like they might.  

And in this way, Spain is finally, one hopes, re-embracing its radical past, its popular movements, its anarcho-syndicalist traditions and its republican dreams. Crushed by Generalissimo Francisco Franco seventy years ago, it seemed that Spanish popular culture would never recover from the void left by a rightwing dictatorship, which exterminated anyone with a dissenting voice; but the 15th of May 2011, is the reminder to those in power that Spanish direct democracy is still alive and has finally begun to awaken.

In the 1970s a transition through pact, transformed Spain’s totalitarian structures into a representative democracy in which all the economic structures remained intact. For the highly illiterate generations of the time, suffering in the reality of a poverty-stricken country, the concessions made by the country’s elite seemed something worth celebrating. Nevertheless, as the decades passed, the state-owned corporations were privatized robbing the nation of its collective wealth, and the political scene crystallized into a pseudo-democracy in which two large parties — PP and PSOE — marginalized truly democratic alternatives. As this neoliberal political project materialized, the discontent began to resurface, but the fear mongers — Spain’s baby-boomers who had once fought for democracy — were quick to remind the youth of the dangers of rebellion. For many decades in Spain the mantra was, ‘it is better to live as we are than to go back to the totalitarianism of the past, and if you shake the system too much, it will take away our hard-earned rights’. So the youth remained silent, fearful of what could happen if they spoke, and the baby-boomers in their compromise blamed the youth for their indifference. According to them, it was the youth — who were unwilling to work — which were bringing the country to its knees. But the youth have stopped this blame game, and aware of the true risks to their future are finally enticing the whole country to mobilize.

A failed European project, with its borders quickly being reinstated, a collapsing Euro currency, and the examples of Greece, Portugal and Ireland are the reminders to those on the streets of what it is they are fighting to disassociate themselves from, and of the freedoms they are working towards. The economic and political project of the country’s elite has destroyed the economic dreams of whole generations of naïve and apathetic Spaniards.  It has left the country in the hands of bond speculators and central bankers, and Spaniards will have to pay that price. Nevertheless, the debt accumulated by the Spanish family, has also earned it the education with which it can understand what is going on, and through it Spanish people appear to be ready to liberate themselves from the tyranny of their government.

What has begun in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol and has been echoed in fifty-two cities across the country is the birth of a popular movement for freedom, which has no intention of fading away. The people have no choice, either they take city squares as symbols of their struggle, or their message is never heard. The government knows this and that is why it has quickly responded by trying to disperse the crowds with its repressive police force. But following some arrests, the people are back with more strength.

A silent revolution has begun in Spain, a nonviolent revolution which seeks democracy through democratic means, justice through just means, and peace through peaceful means has finally captivated the imagination of the Spanish people, and now there is no turning back. The challenge ahead will be in keeping the collective spirit nonviolent as the police force does everything in its power to disintegrate the movement into a violent chaos that can justify its repression. The popular movement will also have to be alert as the bond speculators threaten the country with economic sanctions in order to scare the population into submission, and a constructive program will have to be articulated so that the movement can continue to function whilst providing sustainable alternatives for a different Spain.

Hopefully an articulate steering committee will flourish soon from amongst the crowds, which is capable of making clear and viable demands that grab the imagination of the country and force the political elite to comply. These are delicate times in Spain, if this spontaneous nonviolent movement succeeds, Spain may welcome a brighter future. If it fails, I fear violence will become the only option for those in pain. What those outside of the country can do for Spain is to echo the shouts of indignation coming from the country’s streets. So far both mainstream and progressive international media channels have opted for silence. Let us hope this silence breaks.

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