29th June 2009 Video Free Gaza SPECIAL EDITION DEPARTING

The Spirit of Humanity left Cyprus on the 29th June at 7:30am. Will arrive in Gaza on 30th afternoon.

You can see their latest position by clicking on the following link :

update at 8.30pm 29th June:

Dear Friends,We’ve just heard from everyone on board the Spirit of Humanity. They are almost halfway to Gaza, a little over 100 kilometers off the coast of the Lebanon/Israel border. They’re a bit tired, but everyone is in good spirits and determined to reach Gaza. So far they have not seen any Israeli warships or had any radio contact with the IDF. From aboard the Spirit, Free Gaza organizer Lubna Masarwa stated that,”We’re intent and unworried – we’re sailing on. We will go to Gaza, in solidarity with the people. We want to break the Israeli siege in a practical way, and not just with words. Our message to Gaza – from all the Palestinians in ’48 and in the West Bank, and from all the good people inthe world is – You are not alone!”


Images by Greta Berlin
the song “Free Gaza” by Anis Hamadeh

more about “29th June 2009 Video Free Gaza SPECIA…“, posted with vodpod

Honduran president overthrown, new leader voted in

29 June, 2009 – Spacewar.com

honduras.jpgHonduran soldiers remain standing guard at the presidential palace following a coup d’etat that saw Honduran President Manuel Zelaya ousted, in Tegucigalpa on June 28, 2009. The Honduran National Congress has assigned president of congress, Roberto Micheletti, as the new Honduran head of state, having taken the decision unanimousily due to Zelaya’s ‘irregular conduct’ and ‘repeated violations to the Constitution’. Zelaya insisted from exile in Costa Rica that he remains the rightful leader of Honduras, after being deposed by his country’s military. Photo courtesy AFP.

New Honduran leader says there was no coup

The newly-appointed leader of Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, denied Sunday there had been a coup d’etat, saying President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a legal process. ‘I came to the presidency not by a coup d’etat but by a completely legal process as set out in our laws,’ Micheletti said after being sworn in by Congress. ‘What we have done here is an act of democracy, because our army has complied with the order of the court, prosecutors and judges,’ Micheletti said, winning loud applause from lawmakers. ‘Our national army… complied with the constitution,’ added Micheletti, who is also from Zelaya’s Liberal Party. Honduran troops ousted Zelaya Sunday and flew him out of the country to Costa Rica, ending a bitter power struggle with the military as parliament swiftly voted in a new leader. The Supreme Court said Sunday that it had ordered the president’s ouster in order to protect law and order in the nation of some seven million people. As Congress approved speaker Micheletti as the new interim president, it said it had voted unanimously to remove Zelaya from office for his ‘apparent misconduct’ and for ‘repeated violations of the constitution and the law and disregard of orders and judgments of the institutions.’ Micheletti promised to govern with ‘transparency and honesty’ and ‘work tirelessly to restore peace and tranquility that we have lost.’ He will stay in office until January 27, 2010, when the new president elected in November elections is due to take over. Zelaya, who was elected in November 2005 to a non-renewable four-year term, had sought to revise the constitution through a referendum to allow him to run again in the next elections. The Supreme Court had ruled such a referendum illegal, but Zelaya had tried to press ahead with a vote on Sunday anyway.
By Staff Writers

Tegucigalpa (AFP) June 28, 2009
Honduran troops ousted President Manuel Zelaya Sunday and flew him out of the country, ending a bitter power struggle with the military as parliament swiftly voted in a new leader.

Zelaya insisted as he arrived in regional neighbor Costa Rica that he remained the president of his Central American nation, but just hours later the Congress voted in the parliamentary speaker as the country’s new leader.

The first such major upheaval in several decades in the impoverished country was triggered by a tense political standoff between Zelaya and the country’s military and legal institutions over his bid to secure a second term.

‘I will never give up since I was elected the president by the people,’ Zelaya said from San Jose, accusing Honduran troops of kidnapping him and denouncing what he called a ‘political conspiracy.’

But Congress said it voted unanimously to remove him from office for his ‘apparent misconduct’ and for ‘repeated violations of the constitution and the law and disregard of orders and judgments of the institutions.’

In his place they appointed speaker Roberto Micheletti as the new leader to serve out the rest of the term, which ends in January. New general elections are planned for November 29.

Zelaya, elected to a non-renewal four-year term in 2005, had planned a vote Sunday asking Hondurans to sanction a future referendum to allow him to run for reelection in the November polls.

The planned referendum had been ruled illegal by the country’s top court and was opposed by the military, but the president said he planned to press ahead with it anyway and ballot boxes had already been distributed.

The Supreme Court said Sunday that it had ordered the president’s ouster in order to protect law and order in the nation of some seven million people.

‘Today’s events originate from a court order by a competent judge,’ the country’s highest court said in a statement read by spokesman Danilo Izaguirre.

The drama unfolded just about dawn on Sunday when some 200 troops swooped on Zelaya’s home. He was bundled away in his pyjamas and flown out of the country.

A leading government official, Armando Sarmiento, told AFP that at least eight cabinet members were also detained including Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas.

As planes and helicopters overflew the capital, several hundred Zelaya supporters ignored warnings to stay home and flooded onto the streets of Tegucigalpa shouting out, ‘We want Mel,’ the president’s nickname.

But the demonstration was halted in front of the presidential palace when the way was barred by a cordon of troops and armored vehicles.

US President Barack Obama said he was deeply concerned about the events in Honduras, as US officials said they recognized Zelaya as the country’s legitimate president.

‘We recognize Zelaya as the duly elected and constitutional president of Honduras. We see no other,’ the Obama administration official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he wanted Zelaya to be reinstated and human rights in the country to be fully respected.

‘The Secretary-General… expresses his strong support for the country’s democratic institutions and condemns the arrest today of the constitutional President of the Republic,’ a UN statement said.

Sunday’s dramatic events were the culmination of a tense political standoff over the past several days.

Last week Zelaya sacked the country’s top military chief, General Romeo Vasquez and also accepted the resignation of Defense Minister Edmundo Orellana, after military commanders refused to distribute ballot boxes for Sunday’s vote.

The heads of the army, marines and air force also resigned.

The Honduran Supreme Court then unanimously voted Thursday to reinstate Vasquez and hundreds of troops massed late last week in the capital Tegucigalpa.

Zelaya, who was elected as a conservative, has shifted dramatically to the left during his presidency.

He is the latest in a long list of Latin American leaders, including Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, to seek constitutional changes to expand presidential powers and also ease term limits.

Chavez also denounced Sunday’s arrest as a ‘coup d’etat’ and alleged that the United States had a hand in Zelaya’s overthrow.

And he warned that if Venezuela’s envoys to Honduras were harmed he would be prepared to intervene militarily. Cuba’s ambassador to Honduras, Juan Carlos Hernandez, said he had been briefly detained and hit by troops.”

GUEST MEDIA LENS ALERT: Turning Children Into Consumers By Sharon Beder

29 June, 2009 – MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media


Sharon Beder, visiting professor at the University of Wollongong, Australia, is one of our favourite political analysts. Her book ‘Global Spin’ (Green Books, 1997), is a devastating exposé of corporate, including corporate media, manipulation of politics and culture. Like Mark Curtis’s ‘The Ambiguities of Power,’ it is a book that defies attempts to underline the interesting bits – it’s all interesting!

The title of Beder’s new book is self-explanatory: ‘This Little Kiddy Went To Market – The Corporate Capture Of Childhood.’ (Pluto Press, 2009) Once again, this is a must-read analysis explaining how people and planet are being systematically subordinated to profit. We were so impressed by the second chapter, ‘Turning Children Into Consumers,’ that even before finishing the book we wrote to Beder asking if we could use some of it in a guest media alert. She has very kindly agreed. You can order a copy of ‘This Little Kiddy Went To Market’ at a specially discounted price from Pluto Press here:


Sincere thanks to Sharon Beder and Pluto Press for letting us publish this tremendous material. We invite you to imagine a world in which Beder’s work was “on every school curriculum”, as John Pilger recommends. Imagine if children were provided with tools of intellectual self-defence to counter the relentless campaigns of corporate manipulation. It is simultaneously depressing and heartening to consider how much happier, healthier, more compassionate our society would be as a result.

David Edwards and David Cromwell
Media Lens

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Support the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel

boycott.jpgI am a member of the Organizing Committee for the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. I’m writing to ask you to join more than 50 international scholars, over 300 U.S. academics along with dozens of writers, poets, musicians, and other cultural workers by adding your name to the list of academic endorsers, listed on our website:


There you will find our mission statement and a list of Advisory Board members that include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ilan Pappe, Adrienne Rich, and many others:


We would be grateful for your consideration and would especially appreciate your support.

David Klein
Professor of Mathematics
California State University, Northridge

Tehran, June 2009 By Kaveh Ehsani, Arang Keshavarzian and Norma Claire Moruzzi

28 June, 2009 – Middle East Report Online

(Kaveh Ehsani is assistant professor of international studies at DePaul University. Arang Keshavarzian is associate professor of Middle East and Islamic studies at New York University. Both are editors of Middle East Report. Norma Claire Moruzzi is associate professor of political science and gender and women’s studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago.)

For background on Mousavi and his ‘green wave,’ see Shiva Balaghi, ‘An Artist as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran?’ Middle East Report Online, June 11, 2009.
For more on privatization and the state of the Iranian economy under Ahmadinejad, see Kaveh Ehsani, ‘Survival Through Dispossession: Privatization of Public Goods in the Islamic Republic,’ Middle East Report 250 (Spring 2009).

For background on Ahmadinejad’s right populism, see Kaveh Ehsani, ‘The Populist Threat to Democracy,’ Middle East Report 241 (Winter 2006).

For background on Ahmadinejad’s cultural rollback, see Azam Khatam, ‘The Islamic Republic’s Failed Quest for the Spotless City,’ Middle East Report 250 (Spring 2009).

See also Fatemeh Sadeghi, ‘Foot Soldiers of the Islamic Republic’s ‘Culture of Modesty,’’ Middle East Report 250 (Spring 2009).

Order Middle East Report 250 online.

The morning after Iran’s June 12 presidential election, Iranians booted up their computers to find Fars News, the online mouthpiece of the Islamic Republic’s security apparatus, heralding the dawn of a ‘third revolution.’ Many an ordinary Iranian, and many a Western pundit, had already adopted such dramatic language to describe the burgeoning street demonstrations against the declaration by the Ministry of Interior that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the sitting president, had received 64 percent of the vote to 34 percent for his main challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi. But the editors of Fars News were referring neither to the protests, as were the people in the streets, nor to the prospect that the unrest might topple the Islamic Republic, as were some of the more wistful commentators. Rather, the editors were labeling the radical realignment of Iranian politics that they wish for. This realignment would complete the removal of the old guard, as did the ‘first’ revolution of 1978-1979, and consolidate the rule of inflexible hardliners, as did the ‘second revolution’ symbolized by the US Embassy takeover of 1979.

Whatever history’s verdict on the desiderata of Fars News, neither the institutional structure nor the political culture of the Islamic Republic will emerge unchanged from the crisis following the 2009 election. The stakes are nothing less than these: Should the protesters persevere, the limited traditions of political and civil rights and citizen participation in the Islamic Republic may be considerably strengthened. Should Ahmadinejad and his supporters prevail instead, the political system in Iran may lose all remaining meaningful traits of a republic.

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