Judge rules police at Lieberman protest acted unlawfully

6 October, 2009

Dear all,

Here’s the news release about my trial today. It was wonderful watching my solicitor demolishing the 2, lying policemen, and the judge agreeing with him on points of law.

This is a victory for free speech. And I’d like to put this to those (few) who disapproved of my behaviour: had I not put up a resistance to the police moving me and got arrested, the police would have once again, go away with depriving us of the right to demonstrate. I was making a stand, verbally and physically.

There should be some press coverage of this.


News Release

A Jewish peace activist was today found not guilty of using threatening and abusive words and behaviour and of assaulting a police officer.

Deborah Fink, a founder of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods was arrested on May 12th while protesting against the visit of Avigdor Lieberman, the right wing former nightclub bouncer, now foreign minister of Israel.

About 15 mainly Jewish protesters, between the ages of 25 and 70, had gathered outside a house in a residential street in South Hampstead where Lieberman was due to attend a garden party organised by the Jewish National Fund. Claiming that the demonstration posed a security risk, police officers demanded that the protestors move. When they refused, the police lifted and dragged protestors to a cordoned area largely out of sight of the venue.

Fink was vocal in her objections and put up a strong physical resistance when the police tried to move her, whereupon she was arrested. Fink, who is 5 foot 3, was later accused of assaulting one of the 6 foot tall officers.

However, dismissing the charges, District Judge Baker ruled that in the circumstances, the police had no power to require the protestors to move and certainly not to move them by force. The demonstrators were protesting peacefully and posed no threat to public order. They had taken advantage of Mr Lieberman’s visit to express their support for Palestinian human rights and disapproval of events in Gaza but had not sought to stop anyone from attending the garden party. In preventing Fink and her fellow protestors from exercising their fundamental right to protest, the police had not been acting in the execution of their duty.

Her solicitor, Simon Natas said: “This decision is an important endorsement of free speech. As the District Judge said, the right to protest is fundamental in our democracy. My client was absolutely entitled to express her views to Mr Lieberman and the police should not have interfered with that right’.

Fink, a professional musician, said: “I am pleased that I have been vindicated after several months awaiting trial. I will now be looking into taking action against the police not only for wrongful arrest, but also in respect of injuries sustained on arrest.”

Video: Catastrophe in the Making

6 October, 2009 — Levees.org

A just-released book describes the most dangerous project built by the US Army Corps of Engineers in regional New Orleans. Catastrophe in the Making describes how the MRGO (Mississippi River Gulf Outlet) put New Orleans and nearby St. Bernard Parish in harm’s way by allowing salt water intrusion that killed protective cypress forests and buffering wetlands. The book also explains how similar, equally harmful projects are going on in many places including the California Delta and metro St. Louis. For more information, go to www.levees.org


more about “Video: Catastrophe in the Making“, posted with vodpod

Coups, UNASUR, and the U.S. By Noam Chomsky

9 September, 2009 — Z Magazine

From a talk given in Caracas, Venezuela on August 29 (updated September 9)

The last time I had the opportunity to speak in Caracas — at long-distance that time — was about a year ago, right after the UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) meeting in Santiago in September 2008. That meeting was called “with the purpose of considering the situation in the Republic of Bolivia,” after an uprising backed by the traditional elites who had lost power in the impressive democratic elections of 2005. UNASUR condemned the violence and the massacre of peasants by the quasi-secessionist elements, and declared, “Their fullest and decided support for the constitutional government of President Evo Morales, whose mandate was ratified by a wide margin in the recent referendum.” These are the words of the final Declaration, which also warned that the participating governments — all of the South American Republics — “energetically reject and do not recognize any situation that implies an intent of civil coup d’état, the rupture of institutional order, or that compromises the territorial integrity of the Republic of Bolivia.” In response, President Morales thanked UNASUR for its support and observed that, “For the first time in South America’s history, the countries of our region are deciding how to resolve our problems, without the presence of the United States.”

True, and a fact of historic significance.

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A MEDIA FAILURE COMPOUNDS THE FINANCIAL FAILURE: The Press Is Still Missing The Story Of Fraud and Economic Decline Ahead By Danny Schechter

We know that Wall Street has not learned much from the crash it helped instigate. We know that our government, whatever its stated desire to clean up the markets and reform the financial behemoths, lacks the willingness and perhaps the clout to rein in the real power centers. We are not sure if they have been “captured” by them, or just lack the guts to take on institutions and individuals that helped fund their rise to power.

But do we know that, even now, much of our media, despite the sheer volume of coverage may be missing the real story? Do we know that if we want to find missing facts and the real context we have to turn away from the failed media system that never really investigated the failed financial system.

The Project on Excellence on Journalism that examines media trends released a study charging “that the gravest economic crisis since the Great Depression has been covered in the media largely from the top down, told primarily from the perspective of the Obama administration and big business, with coverage reflecting the concerns of institutions more than the lives of everyday Americans.”

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