MONTREAL RISING

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Occupons l’éducation – 100e journée de grève étudiante / Occupy Education – 100th Consecutive Day of Student Strikes

This is what happens when the SPVM tell you to move and you don’t move fast enough. On May 22, 2012, Tuesday evening, after 10 pm, riot police formed a line across along Ste. Catherine Street to disperse a crowd eastward, between Metcalfe and McGill College. Midway on the north side of Sainte-Catherine, a man was trying to remove a couple of bicycles locked to a parking meter when he was tackled to the ground and held by at least four riot police officers for not complying with the order to disperse. All he did was to try to tell them he wanted to take his bikes. The man struggled for at least two minutes as the officers tried to handcuff him as he lay on the sidewalk. I don’t what happened afterwards because the police managed to move and block people from continuing to witness the event.

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After almost 10 minutes, the police continued eastward on Sainte Catherine and I returned to the scene of the altercation. I was told to mind my step because of the blood on the sidewalk. I noticed an Urgences Sante EMS vehicle and crossed to the south side of the street. The man was being tended to by two EMS technicians. A SPVM riot police officer was also talking to the man who was in handcuffs.

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About two minutes later, the officer removed the handcuffs and the man was man allowed to leave. He took his two bicycles, one of which had a child seat attached in the rear, and left the scene. The sequence of these 15 photos took place between 10:20 pm to 10:24 pm according to the date/time stamp on the photos.

100th Consectutive Day of Student Strikes May 22, 2012, Montréal, Québec, Canada. ©Copyright John Jantak

100e jour consécutif de grève des étudiants le 22 mai 2012, Montréal, Québec, Canada. © Copyright John Jantak

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Mouvement Historique
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Montreal Rising!
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This is Montreal
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Montreal Spring
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All of the above submitted by VAS
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More photos HERE and HERE

A WEEKEND IN OCCUPIED CHICAGO

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Submitted by VAS

JUST ONE WEEK IN PALESTINE ~~ REPORTS AND VIDEOS

 The following reports deal with situations of the past week. Can you even think of another nation that suffers this much as the ENTIRE WORLD watches in silence?
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Click on headings to access reports…
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78 percent of Jerusalem Palestinians living in poverty

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WATCH: Settlers shoot Palestinian in head while soldiers stand by

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Palestinians asked to close their shops for Jerusalem Day

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Two Injured As Settlers Attack Nablus Village

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Israeli Plan to Construct 2100 New Settlement Unit

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Nakba Action

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All of the above via URUKNET

ACTIONS OF THE WEEK ~~ ISRAELI WATER AND DRONES

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What’s the connection?
Both are call to action!
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Existence is Resistance and Artists Against Apartheid along with other organizations came together to offer Free Israeli Water for the Israeli Jazz Festival :)

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Code Pink Activist Medea Benjamin speaks out against civilian casualties and human rights violations before John Brennan.

MAY DAY’S COMEBACK ~~ THE MUSICAL

Be sure not to miss THIS Photo Essay posted yesterday

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Sent by a reader, Vas.

With much appreciation.

THE ZIONIST DOGS

IDF soldiers release attack dog on unarmed Palestinian protesters (video)

Lisa Goldman

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An attack dog released on unarmed Palestinians by Israeli security forces sank its teeth into the arm of a Palestinian man and refused to release it for several minutes.

Soldiers released an attack dog on unarmed Palestinians at a Friday anti-occupation demonstration in the West Bank village of Kufr Qaddoum, report eyewitnesses that include an AP photographer. According to a report from Jonathan Pollack, a political activist, Border Police officers released an army dog at a group of protesters who were standing several dozen meters away. The dog chased the protesters, then locked his jaw on the arm of one of them – Ahmad Shtawi – sinking his teeth into the man’s arm. The dog refused for several minutes to respond to his handler’s order to release Mr. Shtawi’s arm.

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IDF attack dog refuses to release his grip on Ahmad Shtawi’s arm (photo: PSCC)

Although he was bleeding, in pain and in need of medical attention, soldiers decided to arrest Mr. Shtawi  after the dog finally released his arm. When Morad Shtawi, a member of the village’s popular committee, tried to reason with the commanding officer and convince him to release the wounded man, he was thrown to the ground, handcuffed and pepper sprayed – as documented in the video below.

Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem has called several time for the Israeli army to stop using attack dogs on unarmed Palestinians. In February 2012 a 19 year-old Palestinian was attacked by an IDF dog; B’Tselem reported another five such incidents in 2011.

Source

EIGHT MESSAGES TO THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY FROM ISRAEL

Timely messages for the Easter Season ;)
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It is becoming a common occurrence in Israel to hear about Jews burning churches, spitting on Christian clerics, burning Christian Bibles and intimidating and harassing other Jews who believe in Jesus. Unfortunately this is almost unheard of from the Western media. If it was not for the internet this would be unknown to millions of people around the world.
Here I am presenting one example of the rampant discrimination and xenophobia against Christians that exists in the “Jewish state”. Please feel free to copy and post this video in other sites.
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Yet…
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The following is what the Israeli Ambassador to the US said just a week ago…. (is he dreaming?)
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Israel is only Mideast state safe for Christians, envoy to U.S. says

In Wall Street Journal op-ed, Michael Oren compares what he calls the current repression of Christians in the Muslim world to the expulsion of Jews from Arab states.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East that is safe for Christians, Israel’s ambassador to the United States Michael Oren wrote in an op-ed column for the Wall Street Journal on Friday, comparing what he said was the suppression of Christian communities in Arab states to the twentieth-century expulsion of Jews from these nations.

In his article, Oren cited the continuing violence against Egypt’s Coptic Christians, the burning of Iraqi churches, a Saudi ban on Christian worship and the desecration of the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank as instances indicating a threat to Christianity in the Muslim world, adding that conversion “to Christianity is a capital offense in Iran, where last month Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was sentenced to death.”

The Israeli official went on to compare what he called a sweeping action against Christian communities in the Arab world to the expulsion of 800,000 “from Arab countries, mostly following the Six-Day War.”

Ultimately, Oren concludes, the only place in the Middle East where Christians aren’t endangered, but are actually flourishing, is in Israel.

“Since Israel’s founding in 1948, its Christian communities (including Russian and Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Armenians and Protestants) have expanded more than 1,000%,” he added.

Oren concluded the article, in which he cites the exodus of Palestinian Christians from the West Bank and Gaza over increased pressure by Islamist groups such as Hamas, by syaing that the “extinction of the Middle East’s Christian communities is an injustice of historic magnitude.”

“Yet Israel provides an example of how this trend can not only be prevented but reversed. With the respect and appreciation that they receive in the Jewish state, the Christians of Muslim countries could not only survive but thrive,” Oren wrote.


Source

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And let’s not forget these attitudes…

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Perhaps this Oren guy should take a daytrip to the illegal settlements  (including Jerusalem) to see the reality he seems ignorant of.

THE ONLY DEVIANT DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

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Israel is gearing up to its 64th birthday celebrations. It is traditional among Jewish people to wish the celebrant ‘ad mea v’esrim’ (until 120).
Does this mean that Palestine has to wait another 56 years to be free?
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Israel prides itself on being ‘the Only Democracy in the Middle East’. There is a Yiddish expression that goes ‘es’redt zich azoi’ (say it enough times and you will believe it). That’s exactly what Israel is doing, as in reality, the ‘Democracy’ that (does not) exists there is  deviant one. A year ago, Israel’s right-wing daily, the Jerusalem Post published an interesting piece they titled ‘Israel’s democratic veneer’. It’s worth reading and can be accessed HERE.
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Interesting to see that even Israel’s ‘right’ have their doubts about it’s Democratic character.
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But, overlooked by them and many others is at whose expense this is at … the following video might help explain that. Listen carefully to the words of Mahmoud Darwash’s poem.
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A Land that was Abducted by Myths
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ISRAEL IS STEALING A NATION’S IDENTITY TO CREATE THEIR OWN

A professionally made YouTube video released by the “Matteh Binyamin Regional Council” – an entity that represents dozens of illegal Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank – aims to convince Israelis that Jewish settlers, not Palestinians, are the true caretakers of the region’s olive trees and the historic heirs of its olive culture.
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Hummus and falafel are already “Israeli.” Now they’re coming for Palestine’s olive oil too

Submitted by Ali Abunimah
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Zionism’s cultural appropriation of indigenous Palestinian folklore and cuisine – such as hummus, falafel and maftoul – as “Israeli” has long irked Palestinians, especially when these same cultural products are used in international propaganda and marketing efforts which deny Palestinians’ rights and history.

Now, Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank are attempting to steal perhaps the most important symbol and source of economic sustenance for rural Palestinians: olive oil and olive culture.

A professionally made YouTube video released by the “Matteh Binyamin Regional Council” – an entity that represents dozens of illegal Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank – aims to convince Israelis that Jewish settlers, not Palestinians, are the true caretakers of the region’s olive trees and the historic heirs of its olive culture.

The video is an example of the of the increasingly slick and sophisticated propaganda efforts being aimed at the Israeli population as well as the outside world.

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Synoposis of the settler video

The title of the video is “The miracle of the oil canister and the plate of hummus,” an allusion to the Hannukah myth known as the “Miracle of the Oil.”

The action is a comedy sketch set in what appears to be a restaurant in a Palestinian town within Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries.

An Israeli is seated at a table eating hummus and olive oil. He is a caricature of a naive liberal and secular Israeli.

He finds the olive oil delicious and asks one of the two Arab waiters (the Arabs are also depicted in a stereotypical fashion as among other things deceptive) how the oil is made.

The Arab waiter tells how oil has been made for “thousands of years.” While he is speaking, the video cuts not to scenes of Palestinians harvesting olives and making oil, but rather to religious settlers wearing skullcaps doing it using modern technology.

The gag is that at the end: the Israeli diner finishes his meal thinking he ate delicious oil made by Palestinians. But then the two waiters go to the kitchen and have a joke about the fact that the oil is made by settlers and they serve it in their restaurant. They reveal the Hebrew label on the bottle which says “Binyamin Oil, Olive Oil, Fine cold-press.”

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A reminder: Israel’s destruction of olive trees and olive culture

Israeli settlers and the Israeli state routinely destroy Palestinian olive trees, and the settlers regularly attack Palestinians attempting to care for their trees or harvest them as The Electronic Intifada has reported. B’Tselem has also documented and filmed the settlers’ regular attacks on Palestinian olive farmers.

But there’s nothing new in this. After Zionists expelled much of the Palestinian population from the country in 1948, they had to decide what to do with olive groves all over the country. As Meron Benvenisti recounts in his book Sacred Landscape (2000):

At first officials responsible for Jewish settlement thought that the production of olive oil might constitute a profitable venture, but it very quickly became clear that the Jewish agricultural sector was not set up to sustain this labor-intensive branch.Only a fraction of the olive groves were cared for and cultivated, whereas the vast majority were neglected. Tens of thousands of dunams of olive trees were uprooted to make room for field crops. (165)

It is in this historic and present-day context that the settlers are now claiming to care for the olive trees.

Settlers cloak themselves in stolen Palestinian culture

At the end of the video, the following messages appear:

To the mountains of Binyamin and Shomron, Hebrew farmers returned, to grow olive trees lovingly as per the traditions of their forefathers, which is thousands of years old.

The olive groves cover 3,000 dunams and the olive presses produce 500 tons of fine olive oil per year.

Who made the video?

As mentioned, the video is “Presented by the Matteh Regional Council,” but toward the end, a logo appears for an online public relations firm called Rogatka. The company’s website states:

Our clients include the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Likud, ‘Latma’ – media watchdog and satire, and others.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is a think tank for Israel’s military establishment and it was there that NGO Monitor, an extreme group that launches defamatory attacks on Israelis, Palestinians, Jews and others who criticize Israel, was founded.

Latma TV is a “satirical” web-based show, run by The Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick. But rather than producing satire, it disseminates Islamophobic and racist incitement,including a recent video that spread the lie of a Muslim “rape epidemic” in Norway.

And of course the Likud is the political party of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Rogatka, it would seem, is one of the key shops pumping out propaganda for Israel (Phan Nguyen has more about Rogatka and who is behind it, on Mondoweiss).

And here’s another interesting connection. One of Rogatka’s clients is the Adelson Center for Strategic Studies in Jerusalem, which was established with a $4.5 million gift from billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson was recently in the news for giving a campaign group linked to US Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich a $5 million gift, soon after Gingrich claimed the Palestinians are an “invented people.”

The goal of this particular video – aimed as it is at Israelis – is first to convince the local population that all of the olive trees, like the land, belonged always and only to Jews, perhaps before taking the same campaign internationally. In effect, it is part of a campaign to ‘un-invent’ the Palestinians, to destroy their culture and claim what’s left as “Jewish.”

With thanks to Dena Shunra for providing translation and contributing analysis.

Videos documenting settler attacks on farmers and destruction of olive trees

A couple of reports remind us how settlers really feel about olive trees.

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Written FOR

SPEAKING OF INVENTED NATIONS….

Here’s one the Newt overlooked … created and paid for with YOUR tax dollar$
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‘Israelis’ in Jerusalem answer the question “Where ya from?”
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AN ANIMATED LOOK AT PALESTINE

First, what Newt would have us believe …
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What Palestinians have to put up with every day of the year because of such attitudes …
(not animated)
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Despite the above, Palestine celebrates Hope, while celebrating the birth of the Prince of Hope, because this positive sentiment has long been our way of life; Hope and sheer will explains how despite the illegal Israeli acts of colonialism, aggression, and unilateralism, Palestinians continue to march forward believing that independence is eventual and inevitable.
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HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE!

BEST VIDEO OF 2011

This has got to be the best video of 2011 with the most meaningful message…
A must watch from beginning to end.
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Dedicated to All people who fight For Freedom and Justice
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Produced by friends in Venice,Italy,
 Linda and Maurizio Morselli

IMAGE AND VIDEO OF THE DAY ~~ STONES vs BULLETS

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene before this ongoing warcrime is stopped once and for all.
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HEY NEWT ….. WATCH THESE BEFORE YOU MOUTH OFF AGAINST PALESTINE!

Are these the people you want to support?
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Now look at this one Newt!
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Palestine has FRIENDS …. more than you can imagine!
Rachel Corrie’s dream WILL come true Newt …. your’s WON’T!!
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Palestinians are NOT the invented people you claim they are…. YOUR IGNORANCE IS INVENTED!
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Newt Gingrich: Palestinians are an ‘invented’ people

U.S. Republican presidential candidate differs with official U.S. policy that respects the Palestinians as a people deserving of their own state based on negotiations with Israel.

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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich thrust himself into controversy on Friday by declaring that the Palestinians are an “invented” people who want to destroy Israel.

The former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives predictably sided with Israel in its decades-old dispute with the Palestinians but took it a step further in an interview with the Jewish Channel.

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The cable station posted online its interview with Gingrich, who has risen to the top of Republican polls with voting to start early next year to pick a nominee to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 2012 election.

Gingrich differed with official U.S. policy that respects the Palestinians as a people deserving of their own state based on negotiations with Israel.

“Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire” until the early 20th century, Gingrich said.

“I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs, and who were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places, and for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and it’s tragic,” he said.

Gingrich along with other Republican candidates are seeking to attract Jewish support by vowing to bolster U.S. ties with Israel if elected.

Gingrich said the Hamas militant group, which controls the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinians’ governing body, the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, represent “an enormous desire to destroy Israel.”

The U.S. government has sought to encourage the Palestinian Authority to negotiate with Israel but has labeled Hamas as a terrorist group.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has long forsworn violence against Israel as a means to secure an independent state, pinning his hopes first on negotiations and more recently on a unilateral bid for statehood via the United Nations.

Gingrich said he would be willing to consider granting clemency to Jonathan Jay Pollard, who has been serving a life prison term since 1987 for passing U.S. secrets to Israel. Successive U.S. presidents have refused Israeli entreaties to free him.

“If we can get to a point where I’m satisfied that there’s no national security threat, and if he’s in fact served within the range of people who’ve had a similar problem, then I’d be inclined to consider clemency,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich sharply criticized the Obama administration’s approach to Middle East diplomacy, saying it is “so out of touch with reality that it would be like taking your child to the zoo and explaining that a lion was a bunny rabbit.” 

Source

THE TOUR YOU WON’T BE TAKING WHEN VISITING ISRAEL ~~ VIDEO ESSAY

 Watch them all … then try to answer the questions at the end …
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The settler’s Tour of Hate …
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Israel doesn’t even want you to take this ‘virtual tour’ or  see videos such as those presented above …
Watch this shocking footage of an extremist settler attacking the news crew of channel 2 Israel.
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This ‘mentality of hatred’ lives on in America …
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Until they eventually move to Israel …
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To join forces with these …
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Now ask yourself how your government supports these mongers of hate … and will you continue to be silent about that support?

ONCE UPON A TIME ~~ THE STORY OF A LAND AND ITS PEOPLE BETRAYED BY HUMANITY

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Tomorrow, the 29th of November is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Please circulate the following video wherever possible. Repost it on your Blogs,Websites, FaceBook and Twitter pages, etc.,etc… 
The URL for the video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE1A3WrMHdI&feature=player_embedded
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When the United Nations, in 1977, proclaimed 29 November of each year as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, it was a clear admission of guilt towards this people. It was recognition that the Palestinian people deserve international solidarity and support, in the name of justice and rights. This was merely one small event in a long story.

The story of Palestine and its people is one that will go down in history. In fact it has already started to do just that. One might say that the victor is the one that writes history. The victor in this case will inevitably be justice, and justice is at the core of the Palestinian struggle against apartheid, colonialism and oppression. And as in every episode in history, everyone will be mentioned according to their positions, and more importantly their deeds with respect to each story.

In the day of solidarity, let us remember that.

THE ART OF FASCISM AND MORE …. DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GET YOU DOWN!

 University of California at Davis campus police, who used pepper spray on protesting students, have inspired Photoshop artists to create pieces from the most famous works of art.
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The results…..
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For more ‘fun’ with pepper spray, check out the following;  More pepper spray fun: Testimonials go wild on Amazon.com from +972mag.com
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The not fun part has spread to Israel, THE ONLY OCCUPATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST, …. here you can see Tel Aviv police using pepper spray at a pro Democracy rally…
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and here ….
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No longer ‘Conning the World‘, the fascists are now Pepper Spraying the World …
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Nothing really to laugh about, but we must put on a happy face ….. that bugs the authorities more than anything!
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Don’t let the bastards get you down!

THE OCCUPATION ‘VIRUS’ IS SPREADING ~~ PHOTOS AND VIDEO

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It’s spreading like wildfire…. from banks to corporations to college campuses… Building to building
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Fifth Avenue and 14th St. …. NYC
Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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And this is the corporate ‘fightback’ …. Remember Kent State? Here you can watch the criminal activity caught on video ….
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This time the scene of the crime was the University of California, Davis. Police once again sprayed fuel on the fire in the form of pepper spray, and lots of it. The target? Students sitting peacefully with arms interlocked on the University’s quad. Some were positioned across a pedestrian walkway. It is wide enough for small utility vehicles, but is clearly not a roadway open to traffic.
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The students had gathered around an area that had earlier housed their tents. What an ominous threat to the community! Beware of students protesting in the quad instead of throwing a kegger party in a dorm!

The police had already removed the tents. All that remained of Occupy Davis was a banner hanging from a tree that read “Save Public Education.” How dare they call for such a radical agenda on a campus in the California University system? The students sitting across the campus walkway chanted the subversive line: “Don’t shoot students.” How is this a threat to riot-clad police?

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Perhaps the really subversive, supposedly “threatening,” act was in the simple interlocking of their arms.

Last week The San Francisco Chronicle quoted UC Berkley Police Capt. Margo Bennett:

“The individuals who linked arms and actively resisted, that in itself is an act of violence. I understand that many students may not think that, but linking arms in a human chain when ordered to step aside is not a nonviolent protest.”

In fact, Captain Bennett thought that it was okay to use batons to push back the Berkeley crowd, so we shouldn’t be surprised that the UC Davis police took it one step further and used pepper-spray to pry apart those threatening arms.

In Berkeley and in Davis, the goal was to break up Occupy encampments. In Berkeley, the police were trying to get to tents. In Davis, the tents were already gone. In both cases one wonders what exactly is so threatening about students camping on the quad? What is so “violent” about sitting with arms joined together?

Wait … they might just learn something! But it’s a lesson plan not approved by the Board of Regents.

Apparently, it would be better to force them back into their frat houses and sorority houses so they can get drunk before returning to their corporate-funded classrooms on Monday morning. We can’t have them learning about the effects of corporate greed all weekend, out in the open air of the campus commons. That must be why they moved in at 5pm on a Friday afternoon. What would the town pubs do if the students were camping on the quad instead of doing shots ’til they passed out?

All kidding aside, the scary thing is some of my sarcasm is probably not far from the truth. But the real effect of Friday’s police action at UC Davis is that this coming Monday at noon the students will be back, likely in much larger numbers. The pepper-spray fired by the police on Friday further fanned the flames of the revolution. When will they learn the relationship between cause and effect?

Watch the end of this video if you have any doubts about the outcome.

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Source

THE OCCUPATION OF AMERICA ~~ SOME NEWS AND VIEWS

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Occupy America
by Michael Parenti

Beginning with Occupy Wall Street in September 2011, a protest movement spread across the United States to 70 major cities and hundreds of other communities. Similar actions emerged in scores of other nations.

For the first two weeks, the corporate-owned mainstream media along with NPR did what they usually do with progressive protests: they ignored them. These were the same media that had given the Tea Party supporters saturation coverage for weeks on end, ordaining them “a major political force.”

The most common and effective mode of news repression is omission. By saying nothing or next to nothing about dissenting events, movements, candidates, or incidents, the media consign them to oblivion. When the Occupy movement spread across the country and could no longer be ignored, the media moved to the second manipulative method: trivialization and marginalization.

So we heard that the protestors were unclear about what they were protesting and they were “far removed from the mainstream.” Media cameras focused on the clown who danced on Wall Street in full-blown circus costume, and the youths who pounded bongo drums: “a carnival atmosphere” “youngsters out on a spree,” with “no connection to the millions of middle Americans” who supposedly watched with puzzlement and alarm.

Such coverage, again, was in sharp contrast to the respectful reportage accorded the Tea Party. House Majority Leader, the reactionary Republican Eric Cantor, described the Occupy movement as “growing mobs.” This is the same Cantor who hailed the Tea Party as an unexcelled affirmation of democracy.

The big November 2 demonstration in Oakland that succeeded in closing the port was reported by many media outlets, almost all of whom focused on the violence against property committed by a few small groups. Many of those perpetrators were appearing for the first time at the Oakland site. Some were suspected of being undercover police provocateurs. Their actions seemed timed to overshadow the successful shutdown of the nation’s fourth largest port.

Time and again, the media made the protestors the issue rather than the things they were protesting. The occupiers were falsely described as hippie holdovers and mindless youthful activists. In fact, there was a wide range of ages, socio-ethnic backgrounds, and lifestyles, from homeless to well-paid professionals, along with substantial numbers of labor union members. Far from being a jumble of confused loudmouths prone to violence, they held general assemblies, organized themselves into committees, and systematically took care of encampment questions, food, security, and sanitation.

One unnoticed community protest was Occupy Walnut Creek. For those who don’t know, Walnut Creek is a comfortable conservative suburb in northern California (with no known record of revolutionary insurrections). Only one local TV station gave Occupy Walnut Creek brief attention, noting that about 400 people were participating, average age between 40 and 50, no clowns, no bongos. Participants admitted that they lived fairly prosperous lives but still felt a kinship with the millions of Americans who were enduring an economic battering. Here was a contingent of affluent but rebellious “middle Americans” yet Walnut Creek never got mentioned in the national media, as far as I know.

The Occupy movement has promulgated a variety of messages. With a daring plunge into class realities, the occupiers talk of the 1% who are exploiting the 99%, a brilliant propaganda formula, simple to use, yet saying so much, now widely embraced even by some media commentators. The protestors carried signs condemning the republic’s terrible underemployment and the empire’s endless wars, the environmental abuses perpetrated by giant corporations, the tax loopholes enjoyed by oil companies, the growing inequality of incomes, and the banksters and other gangsters who feed so lavishly from the public trough.

Some occupiers even denounced capitalism as a system and hailed socialism as a humane alternative. In all, the Occupy movement revealed an awareness of systemic politico-economic injustices not usually seen in U.S. protests. Remember, the initial and prime target was Wall Street, finance capital’s home base.

The mainstream news outlets not only control opinions but even more so opinion visibility, which in turn allows them to limit the parameters of public discourse. This makes it all the more imperative for ordinary people to join together in demonstrations, hoping thereby to maximize the visibility and impact of their opinions. The goal is to break through the near monopoly of conservative orthodoxy maintained by the “liberal” media.

So demonstrations are important. They have an energizing effect on would-be protestors, bringing together many who previously had thought themselves alone and voiceless. Demonstrations bring democracy into the streets. They highlight issues that have too long been buried. They mobilize numbers, giving a show of strength, reminding the plutocracy perched at the apex that the pyramid is rumbling.

But demonstrations should evolve into other forms of action. This has already been happening with the Occupy movement. It is more than a demonstration because its protestors did not go home at the end of the day. In substantial numbers they remained downtown, putting their bodies on the line, imposing a discomfort on officialdom just by their numbers and presence.

At a number of Occupy sites there have been civil disobedience actions, followed by arrests. In various cities the police have been unleashed with violent results that sometimes have backfired. In Oakland ex-Marine Scott Olsen was hit by a police teargas canister that busted his skull and left him hospitalized and unable to speak for a week. At best, he faces a long slow recovery. The day after Olsen was hit, hundreds of indignant new protestors joined the Occupy Oakland site. Police brutality incites a public reaction, often bringing more people out, just the opposite of what officials want.

Where does this movement go? What is to be done? The answers are already arising from the actions of the 99%:

  • Discourage military recruitment and support conscientious objectors. Starve the empire of its legions. Organize massive tax resistance in protest of corrupt, wasteful, unlawful, and destructive Pentagon spending
  • Transfer funds from corporate banks to credit unions and community banks. Support programs that assist the unemployed and the dispossessed. It was Giulio Tremonti, Italy’s embattled finance minister who declared: “Salvate il popolo, non le banche” (“Save the people, not the banks”). It would be nice to hear such sentiments emanating from the U.S. Treasury Department or the White House.
  • Coordinate actions with organized labor. Unions still are the 99%’s largest and best financed groups. Consider what was done in Oakland: occupiers joined with longshoremen, truckers, and other workers to close the port. Already there are plans for a general strike in various communities. Such actions improve greatly if organized labor is playing a role.
  • We need new electoral strategies, a viable third party, proportional representation, and even a new Constitution, one that establishes firm rules for an egalitarian democracy and is not a rigmarole designed to protect the moneyed class. The call for a constitutional convention (a perfectly legitimate procedure under the present U.S. Constitution) seems long overdo.
  • Perhaps most of all, we need ideological education regarding the relationship between wealth and power, the nature of capitalism, and the crimes of an unbridled profit-driven financial system. And again the occupiers seem to be moving in that direction: in early November 2011, people nationwide began gathering to join teach-ins on “How the 1% Crashed the Economy.”

We need to explicitly invite the African-American, Latino, and Asian communities into the fight, reminding everyone that the Great Recession victimizes everyone but comes down especially hard on the ethnic poor.

We need to educate ourselves regarding the beneficial realities of publicly owned nonprofit utilities, publicly directed environmental protections, public nonprofit medical services and hospitals, public libraries, schools, colleges, housing, and transportation–all those things that work so well in better known in some quarters as socialism.

There is much to do. Still it is rather impressive how the battle is already being waged on so many fronts. Meanwhile the corporate media ignore the content of our protest while continuing to fulminate about the occupiers’ violent ways and lack of a precise agenda.

Do not for one moment think that the top policymakers and plutocrats don’t care what you think. That is the only thing about you that wins their concern. They don’t care about the quality of the air you breathe or the water you drink, or how happy or unhappy or stressed and unhealthy or poor you might be. But they do want to know your thoughts about public affairs, if only to get a handle on your mind. Every day they launch waves of disinformation to bloat your brains, from the Pentagon to Fox News without stint.

When the people liberate their own minds and take a hard clear look at what the 1% is doing and what the 99% should be doing, then serious stuff begins to happen. It is already happening. It may eventually fade away or it may create a new chapter in our history. Even if it does not achieve its major goals, the Occupy movement has already registered upon our rulers the anger and unhappiness of a populace betrayed.

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David Crosby and Graham Nash on Occupy Wall Street

Musicians David Crosby and Graham Nash discuss their impressions of the Occupy Wall Street movement with Keith. The duo also performs an original song a cappella.

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“Keep Going! Keep Going! Keep Going!”

Graham Nash and David Crosby sing to protesters in Zuccotti Park today, “Teach Your Children Well”

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BEST SIGN OF THE MONTH AT OCCUPY WALL STREET

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Reminds me of the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius …
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