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Archive for the category “Government”

Happy Birthday Bobby Seale

Hello!

Today is Bobby Seale’s 73rd birthday. Bobby Seale is one of the co-founders of the Black Panthers Party, (originally the Black Panther for Self Defense). Since the 1960’s Bobby Seale has shown commitment in serving the people of this planet. This is why I wanted to honor his birthday.

The video below features Mr. Seale talking about how he helped establish the Black Panther Party. The interview/speech was facilitated by Professor Harris via three focus topics. But you will notice that the event evolved to be spontaneous, free flowing and fun. Mr. Seale spent about an hour telling us about his early childhood, how he and Huey P. Newton started the Black Panther Party of Self Defense, and why today’s youth should get involved in social issues. The event was filmed at the University of San Francisco (I was there!) on February 24, 2011. You can read more about Bobby Seale here and more about the Black Panther Party here. You can also join the campaign against the Koch Brothers here.

You will notice towards the end of the event, Mr. Seale points out the Koch Brothers. And this was before (late 2011-early 2012) people in this country knew who the Koch Brothers were and how much influence they have in America. I was impressed how current and informed he was.

It is good to be back!

Peace

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Jay-Z must have viewed one of my posts, have you?

In my previous post, “Dr. Cornel West’s response to  George Zimmerman’s acquittal and relative topics,” you will find a video, featuring Dr. West talking with Amy Goodman from Democracy Now. There are two things that Dr. West says in the video that have importance in this post. Just in case you missed it I posted the video below, for your convenience. The first thing that he said was that Stevie Wonder publicly stated that he will never perform in Florida as long as, ‘Stand Your Ground,’ law is active. The second thing that is relevant in this post is that Dr. West also said that Jay-Z has something to learn from Mos Def. Referring to the Yasiin Bey’s decision to under go force feeding as a sign of solidarity with the Guantanamo Bay prisoners; among other things. I wrote this post because I ran into an article posted by on slumz.bosxden.com???? Well, the article says that Jay-Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, The Rolling Stones, just to name a few. Have also decided to to follow Stevie Wonder’s foot steps and Boycott Florida. So I am being sarcastic when I say that Jay-Z read my blog and heard what Dr. West said. Causing him to boycott; I have copied and pasted the article below Dr. West’s video.

  Dr. West: Force-feeding, torture in its core—didn’t our dear brother Yasiin Bey point that out, the former Mos Def? God bless that brother. Jay Z got something to learn from Mos Def. Both of them lyrical geniuses, but Jay Z got a whole lot to learn from Mos Def.

to see how it felt, and broke down and started screaming “Stop! Stop!” in the middle of it, and it was a videotape that went viral.

The article below.

Rihanna, Jay Z, Kanye West Join Stevie Wonder’s Florida Boycott Following George Zimmerman Verdict

> Rihanna, Jay Z, Kanye West Join Stevie Wonder's Florida Boycott Following George Zimmerman Verdict - Photo posted in The Hip-Hop Spot | Sign in and leave a comment below!

Florida concert ticket sales may be plummeting soon.

Performers such as Rihanna, Jay-Z Jay Z, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake and Madonna have reportedly decided to follow Stevie Wonder’s footsteps in boycotting Florida in protest of the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. April Ryan of American Urban Radio Network first broke the news, crediting “a source close to Wonder” for leaking a list of A-listers who’ve vowed to not perform at the Sunshine State in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the 2012 k#lling of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin.

Wonder earlier announced his intention to boycott any state with “Stand Your Ground” laws after a jury found Zimmerman — who police did not arrest weeks after the k#lling due to the law — not guilty of second-degree murk. The “Stand Your Ground” defense also appeared in instructions to jurors during the trial.

“I decided today that until the Stand Your Ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again,” Wonder said during a concert in Canada earlier this month. “As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world.”

According to Ryan, other notable celebs on the boycott list include Usher, Alicia Keys, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and will.i.am.

Jay Z and his wife, Beyonce, also showed their support for Martin, appearing at a recent rally in New York City to support the slain teenager’s family.

I like the article above, because it makes me think, ‘how far can this go?’ Will musicians also boycott states that have laws like, ‘Stop And Frisk,’ or states that have anti-immigration type laws? How many musicians will join?

In memory of Trayvon Martin.

While I was writing this post I found an interesting video on Youtube, posted by FPTV. The video is about FPTV’s coverage of people in River Oaks, protesting Trayvon Martin’s death, the ‘Stand Your Ground Law,’ etc. Watch this video it will make you HAPPY, sad, ffffffffrrrrrrrruuuuusssssstttrrrraaaaateed, ShOcKeD, DISAPOinted, and many other feeling. Some things that are said in this video are interesting, to say the least.

Reporter: Wouldn’t it be good, if we let all the black people and all the white people finish each other of?

Reporter: What is your motivation to come out today?

Protester A: Bull****

Reporter: What is your motivation to come out today?

Protester B: I am very upset about the, ‘Stand Your Ground Law!’

Protester C: Some of them, were either leaving! Or arming themselves.

Reporter: Can we ask you some questions?

River Oaks Resident: No!

Reporter: Do you think that Obama is a closet homosexual?

Protester D: I understand from his time in Chicago! That he is well known in the bath-house community!

Protester C: aaawww, it bit me!

Reporter: Can we come together in PEACE, LOVE and HARMONY?

With that said, I am so pumped about playing futball this morning. Then gardening after; have a wonderful day or night. Oh, I had some people from Sri Lanka visit this blog, a couple of days ago. I hope that you found something to take away from this blog. I am really have been working on improving what I do on this blog. As fellow bloggers know, running an active blog is a lot of work. Especially if you are writing about specialized fields, social issues, recent news, literature, politics, etc. In fact, I did not even expect to write this post, I am currently working on at least three other posts. I really do have a lot planned for this blog. Thank you to everyone that has shown support, commented (Charlster!) (Nancy!), liked (Mr. Nguyen), visited, helped (Amico!) etc. Thank so so Much.

Peace!

Dr. Cornel West’s reponse to George Zimmerman’s aqquital and relative topics

Hello!

This post will focus on the conversation between Dr. Cornel West and Amy Goodman. I always welcome the opportunity to listen to Dr. West, there are many scholars who are in the public’s eye but few match up to the  consistency and determination that Dr. West possess. I mean how many scholars do you know, publicly criticize society and how we can improve the state in the world. Dr. West talks about poverty; in the US and abroad, gay marriage, the environment, drones, wars, indigenous rights, etc. Such work and determination is tiring, that is one of the reasons why very few, take up the challenge.

The video is from Democracy Now it was posted on Monday July 22, 2013. Dr. West responds to Amy Goodman’s questions about Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, Drones, President Obama, Anwar al-Awlaki, Ray Kelly Civil Rights, etc.

Give it your all Brazil

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In the previous post, ‘Jumping over the Bandwagon, I had mentioned that it is really crucial that the people of Brazil rose up now because the world is watching the country in anticipation of the World Cup.  Besides hosting the World Cup there are several reasons why we should be watching Brazil: it is the largest economy in Latin America, it takes the seventh position when it’s economy is compared to the rest of the world and it has arguably the best international soccer team in the world. If you look at the growth of Brazil in the recent years you will see that it has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world, according to Trading Economics, this is due to it’s export potential. The country benefits from its diversity in agriculture as well as manufacturing production. Not to forget the country has an enormous supply of natural resources, all these factors helps the country lure in foreign investors. But all this growth is worth nothing if the country is plagued by a weak infrastructure, a failing education system, corruption, greed, and inequality.

940783-130622-brazil-protestsThe Brazilian people know that the country is growing and changing; they currently have in office the first female president, Dilma Rousseff leading the country.  So it is only natural that the people want their livelihood to grow with the country; this is one of the reasons why they are protesting.

The World Cup is going to attract the attention of the public and potential investors, which means growth for Brazil. But who is going to benefit from the growth? According to the article, ‘Grumbling in the Terraces,’ found at The Economist, one of the biggest demands made by the Brazilian people, is that schools, hospitals, and other public service facilities, reach the same building standards that stadiums currently in Brazil are reaching.

Two months back the country hosted the Confederations Cup, during that time, FIFA, took over management of the stadiums. Bringing in money, volunteers and order, many would argue that this was a good thing. I would agree as well but the problem is that it does not last, when the show is over no one cares.  If you want to see how fast things change, here is a quotation from the same article mentioned above, found at The Economist:

The 52,825 people who watched Flamengo play Coritiba on July 6th were treated rather differently to the elites who paid top prices to attend the inaugural Confederations Cup match three weeks earlier. Gone were the neat concession stands, the hundreds of volunteers and the top-class facilities for media. Instead, fans and press had the kind of experience that is depressingly familiar at Brazil’s football grounds.

The internet didn’t work, the radio reporters were forced to narrate the game from the stands, and fans were tossed drinks from a big fridge rather than served from behind counters. Even getting to the stadium was difficult: whereas busy avenues were closed to traffic during the Confederations Cup to improve access to the venue, fans now have to run a gauntlet of cars in order to reach the turnstiles. The promised tramlines have yet to materialise.

Complaints are not aimed at FIFA, which during the Confederations Cup provided a level of service to match the ticket prices. Rather, it is aimed at the Brazilian stadium managers who seem to be incapable of providing the same treatment.

The quotation above shines light on one of the problems that surrounds competitions like the World Cup or the Olympics. These games/competitions bring money and build stadiums but they also have a dark side that negatively affects the poor people in the hosting country.

Housing-rights-workshop-300x275A Geneva-based advocate group, Center on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), publicized in 2007 that it had an on-going three year study that covered seven past and at that time future events hosted by the Olympics. These events took place Beijing, Atlanta, Seoul, Sydney, Athens, London, and Barcelona; the topics covered included homelessness, crime, and cost of housing.

The study included very credible information which would be crucial in bringing justice to events like these:

For the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, 720,000 people were forcibly evicted from their homes and homeless people were rounded up and detained in facilities outside the city, the report said. Development and urbanization led to unaffordable housing.

Leading up to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, more than 400 families were displaced to make room for the Olympic Village, 20 families were evicted from the site of the Olympic stadium and 200 other families were displaced for the construction of ring roads. Housing prices and rents increased 139 and 149 percent respectively during the six-year period before the games and the lack of affordable housing forced low-income earners out of the city.

For the 1996 Atlanta Games, some 30,000 poor residents were displaced due to gentrification. About 2,000 public housing units were demolished.

Legislation was introduced to criminalize homelessness, the report said.Legislative measures also were introduced ahead of the 2004 Athens Olympics to simplify the expropriation of private property. Hundreds of Roma were evicted from their settlements.

 Because the main sporting complex for the 2000 Sydney Games was built on surplus government wasteland, no one was directly evicted or displaced for those games. But the city’s gentrification caused housing prices to more than double between 1996 and 2003. Rents soared 40 percent, forcing many to move to the city’s fringe.

The quotation is from COHRE’s study. You can see that the in justice is something that is not new. Erica Brazil protest 1 RTBulman (2007) wrote in an article for USA Today, that COHRE’s same study had details about 1.5 million people being displaced in Beijing ahead of the 2008 Olympics. The media following this were few because we are talking about China (the countries censorship is ridiculous) this is why the upraising in Brazil is necessary; because the world is watching.

The world was watching South Africa but corruption being the blame for many problems in Africa discourages many from expecting any change in Africa. You know that excuse that some people use when the words change and Africa are put in the same sentence. But I will be the first to admit that corruption does run deep in the South African government but the same goes for the Olympics and World Cup organization.

In an article by Gary Anderson called, “South Africa to kick homeless off  streets before the World Cup (2010),” written for Global Research. Mr Anderson wrote this:

More than 800 tramps, beggars and street children have already been removed from Johannesburg and sent to remote settlements hundreds of miles away.

And in Cape Town, where England face Algeria on June 18, up to 300 have been moved to Blikkiesdorp camp where 1,450 families are crammed in a settlement of tin huts designed for just 650 people.

Johannesburg councillor Sipho Masigo was unrepentant. “Homelessness and begging are big problems in the city,” he said. “You have to clean your house before you have guests. There is nothing wrong with that.

You can see that the fault is on both sides, both are necessary for the system to continue. Some of these stadiums in South Africa, which cost at least 30 million US dollars, were only used four times throughout the whole competition. If Sipho Masigo was homeless he would have a problem with being relocated instead of being taken care of.

Mbombela-Stadium-006

Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, is kept up by 18 orange iron, ‘giraffes.’

The article, “Human cost of the World Cup (2010),” posted by Al Jazeera, provided more proof of the collaboration of local officials and the representatives of the Olympics and the World Cup. The article showed corruption in England, “In Britain, 400 people were forced out of the Clays Lane estate, which was demolished to make way for the 2012 Olympic Park in East London.” So far it seems like it does not matter where they go these people continue to prey on the vulnerable.

There was some positive news in the article posted by Al Jazeera (2010), the news is that Chicago ahead of the 2016 Olympic bid pledged to be the first city to disallow evictions. The city lost the bid of course but what a moment.

Give it all you got Brazil;Peace!

Reference:

Anderson, Gary. (2010, March 28). South Africa to kick Homeless off streets before World Cup. Global Research. http://www.globalresearch.ca/south-africa-to-kick-homeless-off-streets-before-world-cup/18401

Bulman, Erica. (2007, June 5). Rights group: 1.5 million people displaced by preparations for 2008 Beijing Olympics. USA Today. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/2007-06-05-3431055449_x.htm

Smith, David. (2010, June 2). Nelspruit’s brutal inequalities test World Cup’s legacy. The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2010/jun/03/nelspruit-world-cup

http://www.aljazeera.com/sport/2010/03/20103816395976656.html

What will it take for the youth to take over the American government?

I do not know about you but for me the result of the George Zimmerman trial was a real disappointment. In the last post, I put up videos and did not write anything because I wanted to take sometime away from the blog, so that I could think about the case. I have decided to break down the issues surrounding the case over several posts.

This post will touch light on why the American government looks like this.
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and not like this.

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When Trayvon Martin was killed, people took to the streets because George Zimmerman was not arrested right away; he was arrested about 45 days after the incident. I believe the youth represented a large majority of the protesters in 2012 and they make up the majority of protesters today. So with that said I want to continue fueling that youth power.

One would think, after seeing the public outcry after Trayvon Martin’s death, that George Zimmerman’s trial would result in the prosecution of Zimmerman. Because the public through petitions and protesting expressed that they wanted to see a fair system. On Change.org, about 2.2 million people signed a petition for the prosecution of  George Zimmerman. Any one in their right mind would just look at the number of petitions and see that the public have spoken. Than how is possible that the trial ended the way it did?

The video below is Democracy Now’s coverage of George Zimmerman’s Trial. The person of focus (the person who I want you to pay attention to) in the video is executive director of Dream Defenders, Philip Agnew. Mr. Agnew is a young black man who is sharing knowledge, wisdom and hope with other youths.  Phillip Agnew points out many important things but for this post I will isolate quotes that will benefit my argument. Which is that the current judicial system is old and out-dated. The system needs more youth, people of color and women who are able to think differently than the ‘old white man mentality.’

Crucial statements made by Philip Agnew:

I watched CNN, as I watched HLN, I never saw a young person of color on there able to speak.

And what we see is a system not built for people of color, not built for the poor, and not built for young people.

I think we need to look at the environment that created a situation that grew a George Zimmerman and that snuffed out a Trayvon Martin.

The quotes above represent the reality of the system,  the youth are rarely given a chance to directly influence the present and future of this country. Which is important because the youth are the ones who have to live in the future America, not the older people who take up room in the American government now.

Below is a video about a group of African Americans and Latino teenagers, who were falsely accused and charged with raping a woman in 1989. The video below is  Democracy Now‘s coverage of the documentary called, The Central Park Five (2012).

Nermeen Shaikh: Donald Trump took out full-page ads in four city newspapers calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty so they could be executed.

Nermeen Shaikh: But in 2002, the convictions in the Central Park Five case were vacated after the real rapist came forward and confessed to the crime. DNA evidence confirmed he was the sole attacker. This came after the five defendants had already served sentences of almost seven to 13 years for the assault. To this day, their case continues to impact how the criminal justice system treats juvenile offenders.

Jim Dwyer: A lot of people didn’t do their jobs—reporters, police, prosecutors, defense lawyers.

Amy Goodman: Right now New York City is refusing to settle a civil lawsuit brought by the five men whose convictions were overturned after they spent years in prison, and now lawyers for the city are seeking access to footage gathered for the new film.

Sarah Burns: -I became fascinated by this story, this miscarriage of justice and how it had happened.

Nermeen Shaikh: One of the people, Jim Dwyer, I believe, from the New York Times in the documentary says that the way this case was represented in the media had to do—like the people who were actually convicted were proxies for other wars that were being fought in the city, had to do with crack cocaine coming into these neighborhoods, increasing rates of poverty, etc.

I thought that it was important to include the video above because it works as a reminder of how cruel the American judicial system has been to people of color in the past. America has changed since its birth, it was once a country that allowed slavery, than slavery was abolished but still a black man was prevented from being seen in public with a white woman. It took some time for segregation to be seen as something that is wrong, but still America was not an innocent country. Because it took part in immoral activities like using the war on marijuana as a tool to deport unwanted Mexicans. In 1989 America was a country that wrongly accused young black and brown boys of raping a young white woman. Because we all know that a white man would never do anything like that. This cruelty is in many ways is still present even though today we have a different America. The racial demographic of America is changing, the Census Bureau estimates that by 2050, one in three people living in America will be of Latin descent. And if the current trend continues, as it is now, by 2100 half of the entire population in America will be of Latin descent. So the judicial system should reflect the changing racial demographic of America.

The next videos below feature Democracy Now‘s coverage of Kenneth Chamberlain’s death.

Officer Stephen Hart: Mr. Chamberlain!

Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.: Don’t do that, sir. Don’t do that. Don’t do that, officer. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Do not do that! I’m telling you I’m OK!

Officer Stephen Hart: Open up the damn door, nigger!

Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.: I’m telling you I’m OK!

Officer Stephen Hart: [inaudible]

Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.: I’m telling you I’m OK.

Mayo Bartlett: But when you have the complete tapes, you know that he’s telling them repeatedly, for at least 15 minutes, that he’s fine, he’s OK, and he doesn’t need help.

Mayo Bartlett: And it’s clear that the White Plains Police Department and the city of White Plains as a whole turns a blind eye to these things.

Juan Gonzalez: The vice president of a bank, who claimed that he threw him to the pavement, beat his head on the pavement, broke his nose, while arresting him for disorderly conduct.

Juan Gonzalez: And then, finally, Sergeant Fottrell, one of the supervisors on the scene, who is facing a—who just finished a trial from an African-American woman who claimed that he used a stun gun on her while arresting her, although he was acquitted in that trial.

Juan Gonzalez: Three of them were facing, at that very moment that they were in Chamberlain’s house, charges by citizens who claimed that they had abused them. So, this is part of what you’re looking at in terms of calling for a federal investigation of the White Plains Police Department?

I included the videos above because it shows where the American government is at today. It does not matter that a black man occupies the presidential seat, people of color are still considered second class citizens through the eyes of the judicial system.

The video below features Democracy Now‘s coverage of a documentary called, Gideon’s Army. This documentary follows the lives of young public defenders who work in the deep south, helping people of color  and the poor.

Amy Goodman: In some states, it’s estimated 80 percent of people facing felony charges cannot afford to hire their own lawyers.

Amy Goodman: Often the lawyers appointed to handle their cases are faced with overwhelming caseloads and virtually no resources. The problem is especially bad in the South. The average caseload for a public defender in Miami-Dade County, Florida, at any one time is 500 felonies and 225 misdemeanors.

Amy Goodman: I mean, the figures are astounding. The U.S. has the largest imprisoned population in the world—what, two million people.

Travis Williams: I really became a public defender to fight the system, to make sure the police are held accountable, to make sure that the court system is held accountable to make justice work.

Amy Goodman: Talk about the significance of what it means to say 90 percent of people charged with a felony actually plead guilty. They don’t go to trial.

Travis Williams: They do not go to trial. You know, we have an FBI statistic, is 12 to 13 million people get arrested. So, from those people, many millions will be charged. If 90 percent of those people are pleading guilty, we are funneling people into the prison system. We are not giving them their day in court, which is what the Sixth Amendment—you know, you have the right

Amy Goodman: The facts and figures in this film—I mean, the average caseload for a public defender in Miami-Dade County—I read this already, I’m going to read it again. In Florida, Miami-Dade County, at any one time, 500 felonies, 225 misdemeanors—what, 725 cases. How is it possible? If you’re working 40 hours—and I know you work more, but 40 hours, this is like three minutes a case. How do people deal? How do lawyers deal with this?

The story about the public defenders above is an important one. Because it shows how hard one has to fight if they want to bring change to the system. The young people featured in the video represent the change that we need to see in the judicial system. Instead of the system fighting the change it sees by throwing people in jail, it should welcome the change by educating people, provide jobs, providing universal healthcare, etc. Because the people who are being criminalized (people of color and youths) are the ones who are going to guide America in the future. The only way we will get to see a better America is if everyone is welcomed to the table.

Peace!

What will it take?

Below are videos of Democracy Now’s coverage of the peoples reaction to George Zimmerman’s Trial.

Posted on July 15, 2013

Posted on July 15, 2013

Posted on July 16, 2013

Peace!

Egyptians are not Satisfied

I woke up to news about peaceful protests that turned violent in Egypt. I personally did not think that there was going to be so much friction in Egypt this early. I did anticipate some friction due to the journey that Egypt took  to get to this point. As well as the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood rose from the ashes of the 2011 uprising. It is not easy for a country to go from so much unrest to peace. Not to forget it is really hard to make everyone happy.

So, from what I have read, it seems that the Egyptian military suspended the constitution and ousted elected President Morsi. The reaction from the world is split. I have supported the uprising in Egypt since day one but I have to admit, the region to me is very complex.

Below I have provided a video that hosts individuals digging deeper into the issue surrounding Egypt. It was posted on Al Jazeera on July 4, 2013.

The video below is news coverage from Al Jazeera about the ousting of President Morsi; it was posted on July 3, 2013.

I wanted to add comments from world leaders about the steps that the Egyptian military took. I copied this from Al Jazeera. It was posted on July 4, 2013.

———————————————————————————————————

The Egyptian army’s suspension of the constitution and removal of President Mohamed Morsi has drawn mixed responses from world leaders:

European Union

The EU has called for a rapid return to democracy in Egypt.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said: “I urge all sides to rapidly return to the democratic process, including the holding of free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections and the approval of a constitution, to be done in a fully inclusive manner, so as to permit the country to resume and complete its democratic transition,”

“I strongly condemn all violent acts, offer my condolences to the families of the victims, and urge the security forces to do everything in their power to protect the lives and well-being of Egyptian citizens.”

Saudi Arabia

Saudi King Abdullah sent a message of congratulations to Adly Mansour ahead of his appointment as interim president.

“In the name of the people of Saudi Arabia and on my behalf, we congratulate your leadership of Egypt in this critical period of its history. We pray for God to help you bear the responsibility laid upon you to achieve the ambitions of our brotherly people of Egypt,” the message said.

Turkey

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted government, which had formed an alliance with Morsi, spoke out in favor of the ousted leader. Turkey’s foreign minister slammed the overthrow as “unacceptable” and called for Morsi’s release from house arrest. Turkey itself was hit last month by a wave of protests against Erdogan’s perceived authoritarianism and attempts to impose his conservative views on secular society.

Iran

Iran was disappointed at the fall of Morsi, with a prominent legislator saying the leader failed to reshape Egypt’s powerful military and other security agencies. After Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, the new leadership formed military and security forces loyal to the clerics and others. Morsi’s government had ended more than three decades of diplomatic estrangement with Iran dating back to the revolution, when Egypt offered refuge to Iran’s deposed shah.

Tunisia

The ruling Islamists in Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring, condemned the overthrow as a “flagrant coup”. Ennahda party leader Rachid Ghannouchi expressed astonishment, saying the overthrow undermined democracy and would feed radicalism.

Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki expressed support for the Egyptian people’s choices and congratulated Egypt’s interim president, a spokesman said. The spokesman, Ali al-Moussawi, added that Iraq is “looking forward to boosting bilateral relations” and is “certain that the new president will move on with the new plan in holding elections and safeguarding national reconciliation”.

Syria

Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday praised Egypt’s protests against their leader and said his overthrow by the military means the end of “political Islam”. Assad, who is seeking to crush a revolt against his own rule, said Egyptians have discovered the “lies” of the Muslim Brotherhood. He spoke in an interview with the state-run Al-Thawra newspaper.

“What is happening in Egypt is the fall of so-called political Islam,” Assad said. “This is the fate of anyone in the world who tries to use religion for political or factional interests.”

United Arab Emirates

The UAE welcomed the change in Egypt, according to state news agency WAM, and praised the Egyptian armed forces.

“His Highness Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the foreign minister of the UAE, expressed his full confidence that the great people of Egypt are able to cross these difficult moments that Egypt is going through,” WAM said in a statement.

“Sheikh Abdullah said that the great Egyptian army was able to prove again that they are the fence of Egypt and that they are the protector and strong shield that guarantee Egypt will remain a state of institutions and law,” it added.

Qatar

Qatar’s new emir congratulated Egypt’s Adli Mansour after he was sworn in as an interim leader. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, “sent a cable of congratulations” following the swearing in.

The foreign ministry said: “Qatar will continue to respect the will of Egypt and its people across the spectrum,” the source said. Qatar was alone among Gulf Arab states in celebrating the 2011 Arab Spring revolt that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

United Kingdom

The UK urged for calm in Egypt, but stopped short of calling the military intervention a coup.

“The situation is clearly dangerous and we call on all sides to show restraint and avoid violence,” said Foreign Secretary William Hague. “The United Kingdom does not support military intervention as a way to resolve disputes in a democratic system.”

The UK called on all parties to move forward and “show the leadership and vision needed to restore and renew Egypt’s democratic transition”.

“It is vital for them to respond to the strong desire of the Egyptian people for faster economic and political progress for their country,” stressed Hague.

This must involve early and fair elections and civilian-led government, he said.

United States

The US State Department expressed concern over the military intervention.

The US ordered the mandatory evacuation of its embassy in Cairo, just hours after the army deposed Morsi. A later travel advisory confirmed that “the Department of State ordered the departure of non-emergency US government personnel and family members from Egypt due to the ongoing political and social unrest.”

US President Barack Obama released a statement saying he was deeply concerned by the decision by Egyptian military to depose Morsi, and called for a swift return to civilian government.

“No transition to democracy comes without difficulty, but in the end it must stay true to the will of the people. An honest, capable and representative government is what ordinary Egyptians seek and what they deserve,” Obama said.

“The long-standing partnership between the United States and Egypt is based on shared interests and values, and we will continue to work with the Egyptian people to ensure that Egypt’s transition to democracy succeeds.”

However, the US also stopped short of calling the military intervention a coup.

Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane, reporting from Washington, noted that any country involved in a coup was not entitled to aid from the US.

Germany

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the military intervention was “a major setback for democracy in Egypt” and called for “dialogue and political compromise”.

“This is a major setback for democracy in Egypt,” Westerwelle said during a visit to Athens. “It is urgent that Egypt return as quickly as possible to the constitutional order… there is a real danger that the democratic transition in Egypt will be seriously damaged.”

“We call on all sides to renounce violence. We will watch developments in Egypt very closely. And then make our political decisions.

“Political detentions and a political wave of repression must be avoided at all cost. Now this is about returning to the path of democratic order.”

France

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Paris took note that elections had been announced in Egypt following a transition period after the army ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

“In a situation that has worsened seriously and with extreme tension in Egypt, new elections have finally been announced, after a transition period.”

France hoped a timetable would be drawn up respecting “civil peace, pluralism, individual liberties and the achievements of the democratic transition, so that the Egyptian people can freely choose their leaders and their future”, he added.

 

We hope for Peace.

San Francisco Celebrates Gay Marriage

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Last week was a huge week for supporters of gay marriage. This is because on Wednesday (I believe it was on this day), supreme court justice Anthony Kennedy, denied voter-approved Proposition 8, which went against gay marriage. The argument behind the rejection is that private backers, who are the voters, had no legal standings to fight a case in court. The LGBT community have been waiting 4 1/2 years since the last time they had freedom to marry.  In 2008 was when Proposition 8 was passed.

The timing for this ruling could not be more perfect because this past weekend (June 29-30) was PRIDE weekend in SF. So the city went bananas this past weekend. I had to work out of the city but I could tell that everyone from around the Bay Area and from around the world was in San Francisco; the areas around SF were empty.

This was a crucial step but of course there is more to do. Thumbs up for Equality!

Here are articles and links to more information on this matter:

From The SF Examiner

And from The Guardian

Below are PRIDE pictures.

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Peace!

Jumping over the Bandwagon

I have noticed that fellow bloggers have been writing about Immigration in America . This should not be a surprise because the topic of immigration (mostly focused on Latino Immigrants) has been the cause for many debates for a long time now, even before the recent election. But the dialogue, I believe is always the same for example, there is always a debate over how much money has been spent of border security. But the problem is no real solid solutions are being brought up in the mainstream media. This is because the root causes of immigration are not being debated and discussed.

I want to present some (not a lot) information that looks at the history behind Latino Immigrants and America. Juan Gonzalez, co-host on Democracy Now, wrote a very good book called, “Harvest of Empire,” it really dissects the history of Latino Immigrants and their relationship to America. His book was originally published in 1999, it has since then been revised and most recently a documentary was made based on it.

Below I provide videos on this matter.

Footage from the Documentary.

The video below sort of forecasts (this is from April 11, 2013) what is happening now.

Last but not least is headline news from Democracy Now; it was released today (July 25, 2013).

Senate Backs Amendment to Increase Border Enforcement in Immigration Bill

Senate lawmakers have backed an amendment to the immigration reform bill that would dramatically increase enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border. The proposal by Republican senators Bob Corker and John Hoeven would nearly double the number of border agents, expand the use of drones and construct hundreds of miles of border fencing. In total, the plan would cost roughly $40 billion over the next decade. The proposal reportedly spurred roughly a dozen Republicans to throw support behind a reform bill that would extend an eventual path to citizenship to millions of undocumented people.

Peace!

Reference:

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/6/25/headlines#6257

More than One Million Protesters Shake up Brazil

So, I do not know if you have heard but about 1.2 million people all over Brazil took to the streets. In protest of a number of things but we can just simply say economic inequality. I have been meaning to write something regarding the economic inequality in Brazil and its relationship to the World Cup but I couldn’t. This is because, ‘I have not been able to find this documentary,’ that I watched a couple of years ago; I have been looking for it for at least one month and fifteen days (I feel that it is really important). I know, I have said those words several times before, I wish I had anticipated that I was going to start this blog because I would have kept a record of information on how to find it. I am going to explain it a little bit of it, just in case someone reading this would know what documentary I am talking about; please share if you do.

So the documentary was about the what the government is doing to the poor people living in the flavelas. Which is locking up young black Brazilian males from the flavelas. One of the  worst parts of the situation was the prison conditions; they were unbelievable. The documentary stated that the young men and boys were being stuffed in these cells; it was at least 16 people in one small cell. The governments argument was that the boys and men were involved in violence, crime, drugs, etc. But really, the real reason is because they are poor. I am going to write another post when I have a little more time to think about this; for now this works.

With that said, I had hoped that the people in Brazil would take to the streets, anytime before the World Cup would have worked for me. I did not expect some action this early. The timing is perfect because the World Cup will help the story reach more people. This is a fight for all of humanity not just Brazilians. This is all I will say for now, below is a video and an article from Al Jazeera on the matter.

Notice the medical student, I personally am proud of the youth all over the world for rising up. If you look at all the uprisings that we have watched take place in the twenty first century, the youth have really been an important factor, even in Europe, just look at Greece. This is also a good time to point out how important education is because the youth are students. We also cannot forget the youth of the sixties for their courage as well because they are in the streets today; I have protested with them.

Article below!

Clashes with police mark biggest day of demonstrations as President Rousseff calls for emergency meeting amid pressure.

Last Modified: 21 Jun 2013 16:54
Hundreds of thousands of people have rallied across Brazil as part of a protest movement over the quality of public services and the high cost of staging the World Cup.President Dilma Rousseff called for an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday amid mounting pressure on her government in the face of the biggest street protests the South American country has seen in 20 yearsThe demonstrations have also prompted her to cancel a trip to Japan planned for next week.Local media reported that 1.2 million people took part in rallies across the country of 194 million people – an intensification of the movement which started two weeks ago to protest at bus fare increases.Police fired tear gas in Rio de Janeiro, scene of the biggest protest where 300,000 people demonstrated near City Hall, to disperse stone-throwing protesters. At least one person was injured in the clashes. Demonstrators also set ablaze a vehicle owned by the SBT television station.On Friday, CBN radio and the website of the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, both respected, mainstream media carried reports speculating on the suspension of the Confederations Cup, an eight-nation football tournament considered a dry run for next year’s World Cup.

Violence in Brasilia

In the capital Brasilia, security forces including military police blocked protesters trying to break into the foreign ministry building and throwing burning objects.

In Sao Paulo, an estimated 110,000 people flooded the main avenida Paulista to celebrate the fare rollback and keep the pressure on Rousseff’s leftist government to increase social spending.

Al Jazeera’s Mariana Sanchez reports on the people behind the Brazil protests.

But clashes erupted between a group of ultra-leftists marching behind their red banners and a majority of demonstrators who objected to the presence of political parties.

One of the leftists was hit in the head by a projectile and blamed a member of the ruling Workers Party. Police were forced to intervene to put an end to the clashes.

The protests have escalated into a wider call for an end to government corruption in the world’s seventh largest economy, a call prompted by resentment over the $15bn cost of hosting the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.

Those opposing the hosting of the World Cup are planning a march to Rio’s Maracana stadium on June 30, the day of the Confederations Cup final.

Protesters say they want higher funding for education and health and a cut in salaries of public officials. They are also protesting against what they viewed as rampant corruption within the political class.

About 15,000 people, most of them in their 20s, gathered just before dusk on Thursday the Alfonso Pena thoroughfare in Belo Horizonte, but a prompt police response of rubber bullets sent them scuttling for cover.

“Brazil, country of corruption,” “We want a serious economic policy,” “Enough, it’s time to speak” and “Brazil is waking up,” were just some of the slogans marchers held aloft as they wound their way through the city centre.

Recife and Salvador rallies

Thousands more marched in Salvador, the capital of Bahia state, and Recife.

Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from Sao Paulo, said police in Recife said marches there attracted more than 100,000 people, while a small protest in the northeastern city of Salvador resulted in clashes between police and protesters.

Many marching against corruption and the cost of the 2014 World Cup are also angry at the media, including the influential Globo network, accused of belittling their movement.

In Sao Paulo, Globo TV crews have been jeered while covering protest rallies and on Tuesday demonstrators set the satellite van of another station ablaze.

Social media networks have been key to the organisation of the mass protests, with demonstrators using the slogan “It’s more than just 20 cents” – a reference to the bus fare rises – to rally people to their cause. The movement has no political hue and no clear leadership.

 

Peace!

Reference:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/06/201362022328194879.html

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