September 28, 2009
Please take a few minutes to voice your concern over human rights abuses in Honduras
Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was forced into exile following a military coup in the country on June 28, defied the coup regime's efforts to keep him out of the country by staging a return to Honduras on September 21. Despite a hastily-imposed curfew, thousands of Hondurans defied the coup regime's orders and gathered in front of the Brazilian embassy in the capital, Tegucigalpa, where Zelaya is currently in refuge, to support the democratically-elected President.
The coup regime is responding with a brutal crackdown on the Honduran democracy movement. We are receiving reports by the hour of cases of brutal military repression and assaults which have resulted in a large number of injuries and an unconfirmed number of deaths, including that of an eight year old child. The military has surrounded the Brazilian embassy and is out in force in poor neighbourhoods. The national stadium is reported to have been converted into a large holding center for the detained.
The coup regime leader, Roberto Micheletti, has threatened to cancel the embassy's immunity if Zelaya is not handed over to the de facto regime.
In the face of this escalation of violence, Canada is one of the only countries that has failed to act effectively to isolate the coup regime. We need to speak out now and demand action from the Canadian government, before it's too late.
Call Canadian Minister of State for the Americas Peter Kent and deliver the following message:
"I want Canada to work for the unconditional immediate reinstatement of President Zelaya and to pressure the Honduran military to stop the violence against the people and their democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya. Canada should make clear that it will not recognize the November elections and announce further sanctions against the coup regime and its leaders."
Call Minister Kent at: 613-944-2300.
Send a message to Minister Kent here: http://en.maquilasolidarity.org/node/895
Maquila Solidarity Network
606 Shaw St. Toronto, ON M6G 3L6 Canada
Labels: ahmad saadat
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat received and is distributing the important alert below from the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign. The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat fully supports this call to free Mohammad Othman and all of the nearly 11,000 Palestinian prisoners held within the occupation jails. We encourage our supporters to take action in response to this call, and to support justice and freedom for Mohammad Othman and all Palestinian political prisoners!
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat
Stopthewall.org - Action Alert : September 25, 2009
FREE MOHAMMAD NOW !
A prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for his human rights work
Online Petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/stopwall/petition.html
On September 22, Mohammad Othman was arrested by soldiers on the Allenby Bridge Crossing, the border from Jordan to Palestine. He is now being held in Huwara prison as a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for his human rights work.
Mohammad, 33 years old, has dedicated the last ten years of his life to the defense of Palestinian human rights. He has campaigned with the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign against the dispossession of Palestinian farmers and against the involvement of Israeli and international business in the violations of Palestinian human rights.
His village, Jayyous, has been devastated by the Apartheid Wall and Zufim – a settlement, built by Lev Leviev’s companies. These companies are facing a successful boycott campaign because of their violations of Palestinian rights.
Mohammad was returning from one of his trip to Norway, during which he met with senior officials, including Norwegian Finance Minister Kristen Halvorsen. Norway’s national Pension Fund recently announced that it had divested from Elbit, the Israeli company which provides both Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and other military technology for Occupation forces, as well as security systems for the Wall and settlements.
This is not the first time Palestinian human rights defenders have been arrested after trips abroad. Recently, Muhammad Srour, an eye witness at the UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza, was arrested on his way back from Geneva. This arrest was a clear act of reprisal against Srour for speaking out about Israel’s violations of international law. Arresting Palestinians as they return from travel is yet another Israeli tactic to try to silence Palestinian human rights defenders. It complements the overall policy of isolation of the Palestinian people behind checkpoints, walls and razor wire.
We call on international solidarity and human rights organizations to act immediately to bring attention to this case and advocate for the release of Mohammad Othman by:
* Encourage others to join this campaign through petitions, demonstrations and / or letter writing / phone calling. Please provide them with contact information and details;
* Urge your representatives at consular offices in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem/Ramallah to demand the immediate release of Mohammad Othman. (For your consular contacts, see: http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-in/Israel#11725 );
* Let the Israeli Embassy in your country know that you are campaigning for Mohammad’s release and for a just and lasting peace based on international law.
* Sign the online petition for Mohammad on: http://www.petitiononline.com/stopwall/petition.html
* Bring the case of Mohammad to the attention of local and national media outlets;
* Follow the blog and facebook to free Mohammad Othman to see the latest updates and action alerts.
* Blog: http://freemohammadothman.wordpress.com/
* Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=36429272741&ref=ts
Mohammad Othman represents only one of the 11,000 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons. More than 800 are being held in “administrative detention”, meaning that they are imprisoned (indefinitely) without charge. International solidarity and governments have to hold Israel accountable and achieve an end to the large scale repression and mass imprisonment of Palestinians as part of their efforts to bring about an end to the occupation and the restoration of Palestinian rights.
Sign the Petition
To sign the petition for the immediate and unconditional release of Mohammad, click here: http://www.petitiononline.com/stopwall/petition.html
Write to your embassy or consulate
If you want to write to your diplomatic office, you can use the following sample letter:
I am writing to you to express my deepest concern about the detainment of Mohammad Othman on, September 22, at the border between Jordan and the West Bank. He was returning home after a visit in Norway.
I fear that the detainment of Mohammad Othman is a result of his peaceful criticism of violations of international law by Israeli authorities. The charges against him have not been made clear, but there is reason to believe that he is a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for his human rights work through legal organizations.
I ask you to take all appropriate measures, including official inquiries and protests, to ensure Mohammad’s immediate and unconditional release. Furthermore, whilst being held, he should be protected from any form of torture or ill-treatment, and the conditions of his detention should fulfill the requirements of international law.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this urgent matter.
Write to the Israeli embassy or consulate
Let the Israeli Embassy in your country know that you are campaigning for Mohammad’s release and for a just and lasting peace based on international law. (Click here to find contact information for the Israeli Embassy in your country)
Get creative !
Norway protests against the release of Mohammad Othman
Approximately 250 people participated in a demonstration in Oslo today calling for the immediate and unconditional release of prisoner of conscience Mohammad Othman. The demonstration was held in front of the Israeli embassy, but demonstrators were prevented from reaching the embassy by police. Speeches were given by MP Ågot Valle (Socialist Left Party) and MP Truls Wickholm (Labour).
Demonstrators and speakers accused Israel of repressing freedom of speech and human rights, and called for the continuation of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. On Monday activists from the Socialist Youth of Oslo will launch a week of direct action in response to the detention of Mohammad. The first day will include targeting local vegetable and import stores to convince them to remove Israeli goods from their shops.
See pictures at the facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=36429272741&ref=ts
Contact email@example.com with your actions and for further information!
www.StopTheWall.org - Visit the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign web site.
September 27, 2009
this is the last installment in our series on social conditions leading to movements for change.
This film premiered at the Steel Workers' Organizing Committee convention in Chicago on May 14, 1940. It discusses factory closure during the Great Depression of the 1930s and the role of new technologies in keeping them from resuming production and their jobs. More importantly, the role of corporate management's decisions to move to non-union low wage areas, or failure to retool the existing plants to new technologies is the next logical question.
The film portrays the stress and low morale that job loss forces upon a family. In one scene, while discussing the wonders of the modern machine age and all the gadgets available to consumers, the unemployed worker sneaks out of the home with an electric toaster to take to a pawn broker. This scene, clearly a point of irony, shows how in a age of so called progress, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer, and is a built in flaw of the capitalist system. A capitalist economic engine overheats and either seizes to a stop, runs out of consumers to fuel it, or shakes itself to pieces.
One sees many metal working machines in the film. One, a turret lathe, is a semi-specialized machine used in mass production of parts. Yet manual turret lathes have been largely replaced by computer controlled, CNC lathes etc. The machinist of old is trained to be a programmer of CNC lathes today, along with making more parts per machinist (higher productivity), and contributing to the layoff of some co-workers. New technologies like desktop publishing software have made typesetting a dead trade, while spreadsheet programs on computers have made the need for comptometer operators obsolete in the office. As a result, retraining is needed. These workers get higher skilled work (research, administration, etc.) or they find work in jobs with lesser pay (retail, fast food, etc.), usually the latter.
This movie was made at the tail end of the depression and before the boom of needed war production and post-war times. What this film had be warning about has slowing became true as far as heavy industry is concerned: the development of the Rust Belt in Eastern Canada, the adjustment of economies to reflect these changes due to globalization, and the resulting human wreckage capitalism has left behind.
The movie stresses the need for education to cope with changing economies as a "national problem". In fact education and retraining is the final message of the film. The replacement of skilled artisans and cottage industries with mass production assembly lines, of cheap semi-skilled workers and the use of job specific training is discredited as short sighted here. The ford system is cheap on human resources for the sake of the profit margin. On a wider scope, the economy of a nation requires educated workers who can easily make job changes into other industrial sectors.
Further, to criticize conventional ideas of "progress" includes the negative effects of boom economies that are rapidly industrializing. Examples this are the social conditions in both the United Kingdom during the Industrial Revolution, and booming industrial economies in countries in the Pacific Rim today. The final question: Is all this waste of resources (global transportation, factory ruins, casual and idle workers) really necessary?
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