Danger: Popular struggle By Amira Hass

23 December, 2009 — Haaretz

There is an internal document that has not been leaked, or perhaps has not even been written, but all the forces are acting according to its inspiration: the Shin Bet, Israel Defense Forces, Border Police, police, and civil and military judges.  They have found the true enemy who refuses to whither away: The popular struggle against the occupation.

Over the past few months, the efforts to suppress the struggle have increased.  The target: Palestinians and Jewish Israelis unwilling to give up their right to resist reign of demographic separation and Jewish supremacy.  The means: Dispersing demonstrations with live ammunition, late-night army raids and mass arrests.  Since the beginning of the year, 29 Palestinians have been wounded by IDF snipers while demonstrating against the separation fence.  The snipers fired expanding bullets, despite an explicit 2001 order from the Military Adjutant General not to use such ammunition to break up demonstrations.  After soldiers killed A’kel Srour in June, the shooting stopped, but then resumed in November.

Since June, dozens of demonstrators have been arrested in a series of nighttime military raids.  Most are from Na’alin and Bil’in, whose land has been stolen by the fence, and some are from the Nablus area, which is stricken by settlers’ abuse.  Military judges have handed down short prison terms for incitement, throwing stones and endangering security.  One union activist from Nablus was sent to administrative detention – imprisonment without a trial – while another activist is still being interrogated.

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Viva Palestina Gaza convoy has received a grand welcome at the Jaber crossing in Jordan!!!

23 December, 2009 — Viva Palestina


AMMAN – Activists on Tuesday gave a grand welcome to a humanitarian aid convoy en route to Gaza to mark the first anniversary of Israel’s offensive on the coastal enclave.

Some 200 trucks entered the Kingdom through the Jaber border crossing yesterday afternoon, and were greeted by professional association and opposition activists.

The Professional Associations Council (PAC) organised a special event for the convoy, named “Viva Palestina” at the border crossing, including a press conference in which activists called for lifting the siege on Gaza.

Among the speakers was PAC President Abdullah Obeidat, who is also president of the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA), British MP George Galloway and former Islamist MP Ali Abul Sukkar, who also heads the JEA freedoms committee.

Obeidat said popular pressure by Arab people on their governments must be stronger in order to lift the siege on the Hamas-controlled strip.

He also called on Palestinian factions to reach reconciliation very soon, warning of dire results if the status quo continues.

“The humanitarian condition in Gaza is deteriorating from one day to the next. In the meantime, Gaza continues to suffer under siege while Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are unable to reach an agreement… Reconciliation is the answer to Israel’s agenda,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Galloway lauded efforts to help the Gazans and called for international pressure on Israel to open Gaza borders.

They said the humanitarian aid is a good step “but not enough”.

Nicknamed “Return to Gaza”, the convoy is the third of its kind following the 2008-2009 Israeli military offensive in Gaza.

The 210 trucks – 100 from Britain, 50 from Turkey and the rest from other parts of the world – left London on December 3 and are expected to enter Gaza by December 27, the first anniversary of the attack, which left over 1,300 Palestinians dead and injured 5,000.

The humanitarian aid includes basic food items and medical assistance, according to Obeidat.

He said a festival will be held at the Professional Associations Complex on Tuesday and a similar event is planned near Karak and Aqaba.

“This is the least we can do to honour these people who gathered to help our brothers in Gaza,” Obeidat noted.

The convoy, organised by the charity Viva Palestina and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), includes ambulances, trucks, vans and jeeps, hopes to land in Egypt on Christmas day, following a ferry crossing from Aqaba, according to a PSC statement sent to The Jordan Times.

It will attempt to break Israel’s three-and-a-half year blockade of Gaza by passing through the Rafah crossing to deliver its cargo of medical, humanitarian and educational aid, the statement said.

More than 400 people from around the world are now travelling on the convoy after volunteers from as far afield as Italy and Malaysia joined up in Damascus, according to the PSC.

By Mohammad Ben Hussein at The Jordan Times

Alice Howard
Viva Palestina UK – Administration Manager
Tel: 07944 512 469
Email: alice@vivapalestina.org
Website: http://www.vivapalestina.org/

Curing Post-Copenhagen Hangover By Patrick Bond

22 December, 2009 — Climate and Capitalism

Uncivil society will have to take up the slack and apply direct pressure, starting with the slogan ‘leave the oil in the soil, the coal in the hole and the tarsand in the land!’

In Copenhagen, the world’s richest leaders continued their fiery fossil fuel party last Friday night, ignoring requests of global village neighbors to please chill out.

Instead of halting the hedonism, Barack Obama and the Euro elites cracked open the mansion door to add a few nouveau riche guests: South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, China’s Jiabao Wen (reportedly the most obnoxious of the lot), Brazil’s Lula Inacio da Silva and India’s Manmohan Singh. By Saturday morning, still punch-drunk with power over the planet, these wild and crazy party animals had stumbled back onto their jets and headed home.

The rest of us now have a killer hangover, because on behalf mainly of white capitalists (who are having the most fun of all), the world’s rulers stuck the poor and future generations with vast clean-up charges – and worse: certain death for millions.

The 770 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere envisaged in the Copenhagen Accord signatories’ promised 15% emissions cuts from 1990 levels to 2020 – which in reality could be a 10% increase once carbon trading and offset loopholes are factored in – will cook the planet, say scientists, with nine out of ten African peasants losing their livelihood.

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