The green revolution in Cuba

21 February, 2009

From December 2008 to January 2009, activists travelled to Cuba for the Southern Cross Solidarity Brigade from Australia and New Zealand, organised by the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society. Resistance member Ash Pemberton was in Cuba for the 50th anniversary of the triumph of the revolution. He spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Jay Fletcher.

Few first World — let alone Third World — countries can match the legislative, planning and educational efforts that Cuba is applying in its commitment to environmental sustainability.
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GAZA CHRONOLOGY June 19 – Dec. 27, 2008

19th June:
Ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Hamas government comes into force for six months. Israel insisted on a verbal agreement. It stated: cessation of all military hostilities on both sides, opening of Gaza’s borders after 72 hours for 30% more trade, unrestricted trade after ten days. Egypt supports the extension of the agreement to the West Bank. (source: International Crisis Group: Ending the War in Gaza. Middle East Briefing No. 26, 5.1.2009, p. 3)

19th June
Israeli warships fire four rockets at Palestinian fishermen in Palestinian waters. On the same day aircraft circling over Gaza City break the sound barrier near the ground and trigger a panic among the people. In the area of Khan Yunis Israeli patrols shoot over the border fence at farmers who work on their fields on the other side of the border. (source: Ma’an, 26.06.2008). This scenario is repeated almost daily.
24th June:
Two young officials of Jihad are murdered in their homes in Nablus by units of the IDF (Israeli Defence Force). On the same day al-Quds Brigades fire three rockets at Sderot in retaliation. (source: Ma’an 24.06.2008) The Israeli side uses the action of Jihad as an excuse to close the border crossings again.

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Ortega murdered by US Marines in Haiti: A Reporter's Notes By Kevin Pina

The family of slain Spanish journalist Ricardo Ortega recently held a press conference in Madrid, Spain where they presented evidence that he was killed by U.S. Marines in Haiti and not by gunmen associated with ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The organization Reporters without Borders (RSF) immediately seized upon the opportunity to release the following statement, “The investigation at first focused on armed supporters of Jean-Bertrand Aristide but in addition to the autopsy carried out in Spain, witness accounts gathered by a journalist colleague on Antena 3, Jesus Martin, who was sent to Haiti six months later, confirmed the thesis that the shooting had come from US troops…”

I found this utterly disingenuous and contemptible given that RSF had been the main proponent of the theory that gunmen associated with ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide were responsible for Ortega’s killing. RSF’s assertion would be uncritically repeated ad nauseum in the international press, and ultimately used by the U.S.-installed government that replaced Aristide, to justify a wholesale campaign of slaughter and mass arrests against his supporters in the following months and years.
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The Deep Politics of Hollywood In the Parents’ Best Interests By Matthew Alford and Robbie Graham

26 February, 2009 – Global Research

Tom Cruise – “the world’s most powerful celebrity” according to Forbes Magazine – was unceremoniously sacked in 2006. His dismissal was particularly shocking for the fact that it was carried out not by his immediate employer, Paramount Studios, but rather by Paramount’s parent company, Viacom. Viacom’s notoriously irascible CEO Sumner Redstone – who owns a long list of media companies including CBS, Nickelodeon, MTV, and VH1 – said that Cruise had committed “creative suicide” following a spate of manic public activity. It was a sacking worthy of an episode of The Apprentice.[i]

The Cruise case points to the overlooked notion that the internal mechanisms of Hollywood are not determined entirely by audience desires, as one might expect, nor are they geared to respond solely to the decisions of studio creatives, or even those of the studio heads themselves. In 2000, The Hollywood Reporter released a top 100 list of the most powerful figures in the industry over the past 70 years. Rupert Murdoch, chief of News Corporation, which owns Twentieth Century Fox, was the most powerful living figure. With the exception of director Steven Spielberg (no. 3), no artists appeared in the top 10.
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Theatre – London: Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea

Until the 14 March 2009

Passion Pit Theatre & Zeitgeist Theatre Present

7pm Mon – Sat

written & directed by Justin Butcher & Ahmed Masoud
designed & co-devised by Jane Frere / film design by Zia Trench / sound design by Sebastian Frost

A vibrant and haunting theatre piece, Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea promises to transport the audience directly to Gaza to experience what happened during the recent Israeli military assault. It seeks to create a highly atmospheric fusion of moving personal testimonies with searing film images and soundscape bearing witness to the dignity, courage and suffering of the people of Gaza.

Supported by Amos Trust, Interpal, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

20% minimum of box-office revenue will go to the Al Ahli hospital, Gaza.

Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Road, London NW1 1TT

Ticket Price: £12.50/£10 concessions

Online Bookings: http://www.stargreen.com/ Tel: 0207 734 8932

More info at: www.gotogaza.wordpress.com

Conference: The Israel – Gaza Conflict: Where Do The Legalities Lie?

The Association of the Palestinian Community in the UK; The Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law and The Sir Joseph Hotung Programme in Law, Human Rights and Peace-Building in the Middle East

Sunday 1 March 2009

10.00am – 5.00pm
Brunei Gallery, SOAS

This one day conference will address the international legal issues raised by this conflict, including the way they have been reported in the media. Panels will examine the laws relating to the use of force, the conduct of hostilities and post-conflict matters. A full list of speakers will be announced in due course at www.soas.ac.uk/lawpeacemideast

All Welcome – For further information please contact Sarah Hibbin at sh84@soas.ac.uk or Victor Kattan at vk1@soas.ac.uk

Empire – Obama’s Middle East Challenge – Pt 1

29 January, 2009

In this episode of Empire, Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, and his guests zero in on the special relationship between the US and Israel.

From its beginning, when it took the US only 11 minutes to recognise Israel, through its difficult early years, to the blossoming bond when the alliance grew based on shared values and strategic goals.

This relationship has provided Israel with over $150bn in aid and military assistance, and in the process changed the nature of Israeli society.

However, despite the obligatory expressions of support by politicians playing to their constituencies, the recent elections in both countries have them seemingly heading in opposite directions.

This second episode of Empire will explore who benefits from the special relationship and whether the status quo will prevail.

Source: Al Jazeera