Oregon militia

Jan 7, 2016

Mass attitudes towards the other are influenced by the Media. In this day and age of information overload our brains are struggling to keep up with the demands of the digital age. Moreover, the Media is not a neutral player, but an instrument of the power elite.  Thus, we are ripe for the simplifying power of the sound bite and the Media is more than willing to provide us with a boogeyman .
The neat and sharp-focused World offered by the establishment  – where God is on our side, and The Others are evil Muslims and political correct Marxists conspiring to take away our freedom and wealth-  is compelling and comforting; we have the firepower to do what needs to be done.
While the political ideology of the Tea Party is not an exact match of the European fascism of the 1930´s, there are troubling parallels between the events that lead to the Second World War and the circumstances of the early Twenty-First Century. The Tea Party movement shares with Fascism an obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, and victim-hood, as well as compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants embrace a credo of violence and ideology-driven armed militias .
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants:
Thomas Jefferson.
Gun owners tend to be among the political right, and Second Amendment support is a common thread among Tea Party demonstrators. One of the fundamental mantra of them is guns as a mechanism of check and balance against tyranny.   It sounds like sedition.  There is a not only idle talk, there is a trail of actual terrorist activity. The Hutterite militia in Michigan was planning to kill police officers but they had not actually done anything violent before they were arrested, and their ultimate goal was to war against the anti-Christ.  Timothy McVeigh in 1995 blamed the US Government for attacks against American citizens at Waco and Ruby Ridge.
The gun crowd likes to wax eloquent about protecting our natural rights with our weapons when the government becomes unconstitutional, and all other avenues have failed. They see themselves as law abiding insurrects that do not use violence and have confidence in the ballot box, and that that ensure that the government can’t stray too far toward tyranny. Fools playing with fire; a fire that will get us all burned.
In the NRA’s world, we are only free to the extent that our guns allow us to impose our will on others.”
Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign,  “Gun Rights and Political Violence”
More guns were sold in December 2015 than almost any other month in nearly two decades, continuing a pattern of spikes in sales after terrorist attacks and calls for stricter gun-buying laws, according to federal data released on Monday.
The heaviest sales last month, driven primarily by handgun sales, followed a call from President Obama to make it harder to buy assault weapons after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif.
Fear of gun-buying restrictions has been the main driver of spikes in gun sales, far surpassing the effects of mass shootings and terrorist attacks alone, according to an analysis of federal background check data by The New York Times.
During the previous record month, December 2012, President Obama called for new buying restrictions after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Several days ago a group of right wing militiamen stormed a building on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. The group is engaged in an armed occupation claiming to be opposing the U.S. government for perceived violations of their rights. They have also made the demand that two rancher brothers convicted of arson, Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, be released from prison. The 150-man strong occupation force is being led by three of Cliven Bundy’s sons, specifically Ammon Bundy. As you may recall they were engaged in an armed standoff with the F.B.I. in 2014 over a dispute involving cattle grazing land.

The militia men are arguing that they should own public land simply because they feel the government hasn’t been kind to them. Their goal is to build private businesses on the protected land. They’re trying to take away land that is being held in common for their own exploitation of it.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon and says it will work with local and state authorities to seek “a peaceful resolution to the situation.” The White House considers it “a local law enforcement matter,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said in a report on that standoff that the militiamen and the federal land-return movement are part of the same spectrum.

“Anti-government extremists have long pushed, most fiercely during Democratic administrations, rabid conspiracy theories about a nefarious New World Order, a socialist, gun-grabbing federal government and the evils of federal law enforcement,” the center said.

Law enforcement officials said that the occupiers came to the region with a specific goal:

“These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers,” Harney County Sheriff David M. Ward said in a statement Sunday. “When in reality these men had alternative motives, to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States.”

Clownish as such stunts unquestionably are, it bears remembering that the activities of such violent abolitionists as John Brown looked just as pointless in their time; their importance was purely as a gauge of the pressures building toward civil war—and that’s exactly the same reading I give to the event just described. The era of rural and urban guerrilla warfare, roadside bombs, internment camps, horrific human rights violations by all sides, and millions of refugees fleeing in all directions, that will bring down the United States of America is still a little while off yet.

Jan 7, 2016

Mass attitudes towards the other are influenced by the Media. In this day and age of information overload our brains are struggling to keep up with the demands of the digital age. Moreover, the Media is not a neutral player, but an instrument of the power elite.  Thus, we are ripe for the simplifying power of the sound bite and the Media is more than willing to provide us with a boogeyman .
The neat and sharp-focused World offered by the establishment  – where God is on our side, and The Others are evil Muslims and political correct Marxists conspiring to take away our freedom and wealth-  is compelling and comforting; we have the firepower to do what needs to be done.
While the political ideology of the Tea Party is not an exact match of the European fascism of the 1930´s, there are troubling parallels between the events that lead to the Second World War and the circumstances of the early Twenty-First Century. The Tea Party movement shares with Fascism an obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, and victim-hood, as well as compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants embrace a credo of violence and ideology-driven armed militias .
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants:
Thomas Jefferson.
Gun owners tend to be among the political right, and Second Amendment support is a common thread among Tea Party demonstrators. One of the fundamental mantra of them is guns as a mechanism of check and balance against tyranny.   It sounds like sedition.  There is a not only idle talk, there is a trail of actual terrorist activity. The Hutterite militia in Michigan was planning to kill police officers but they had not actually done anything violent before they were arrested, and their ultimate goal was to war against the anti-Christ.  Timothy McVeigh in 1995 blamed the US Government for attacks against American citizens at Waco and Ruby Ridge.
The gun crowd likes to wax eloquent about protecting our natural rights with our weapons when the government becomes unconstitutional, and all other avenues have failed. They see themselves as law abiding insurrects that do not use violence and have confidence in the ballot box, and that that ensure that the government can’t stray too far toward tyranny. Fools playing with fire; a fire that will get us all burned.
In the NRA’s world, we are only free to the extent that our guns allow us to impose our will on others.”
Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign,  “Gun Rights and Political Violence”
More guns were sold in December 2015 than almost any other month in nearly two decades, continuing a pattern of spikes in sales after terrorist attacks and calls for stricter gun-buying laws, according to federal data released on Monday.
The heaviest sales last month, driven primarily by handgun sales, followed a call from President Obama to make it harder to buy assault weapons after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif.
Fear of gun-buying restrictions has been the main driver of spikes in gun sales, far surpassing the effects of mass shootings and terrorist attacks alone, according to an analysis of federal background check data by The New York Times.
During the previous record month, December 2012, President Obama called for new buying restrictions after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Several days ago a group of right wing militiamen stormed a building on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. The group is engaged in an armed occupation claiming to be opposing the U.S. government for perceived violations of their rights. They have also made the demand that two rancher brothers convicted of arson, Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, be released from prison. The 150-man strong occupation force is being led by three of Cliven Bundy’s sons, specifically Ammon Bundy. As you may recall they were engaged in an armed standoff with the F.B.I. in 2014 over a dispute involving cattle grazing land.

The militia men are arguing that they should own public land simply because they feel the government hasn’t been kind to them. Their goal is to build private businesses on the protected land. They’re trying to take away land that is being held in common for their own exploitation of it.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon and says it will work with local and state authorities to seek “a peaceful resolution to the situation.” The White House considers it “a local law enforcement matter,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said in a report on that standoff that the militiamen and the federal land-return movement are part of the same spectrum.

“Anti-government extremists have long pushed, most fiercely during Democratic administrations, rabid conspiracy theories about a nefarious New World Order, a socialist, gun-grabbing federal government and the evils of federal law enforcement,” the center said.

Law enforcement officials said that the occupiers came to the region with a specific goal:

“These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers,” Harney County Sheriff David M. Ward said in a statement Sunday. “When in reality these men had alternative motives, to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States.”

Clownish as such stunts unquestionably are, it bears remembering that the activities of such violent abolitionists as John Brown looked just as pointless in their time; their importance was purely as a gauge of the pressures building toward civil war—and that’s exactly the same reading I give to the event just described. The era of rural and urban guerrilla warfare, roadside bombs, internment camps, horrific human rights violations by all sides, and millions of refugees fleeing in all directions, that will bring down the United States of America is still a little while off yet.

women in Islam

The Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise Forced Child Marriage1.
The specifics of the legislation (part of the Jaafari Personal Status Law) are terrifying:

  • There will no longer be a minimum age to legally marry (it’s currently 18) but the law provides policies for divorcing a 9-year-old girl;
  • A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal on her behalf; and
  • The girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission.

It’s a recipe for a life in domestic and sexual slavery.

The law was sent to the Council of Representatives yesterday, and the vote could happen any time now. To prevent Iraq’s girls from becoming vulnerable to forced child marriage it is crucial that we act now.

Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East — setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage2.

Any minute now, the Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise forced child marriage. 1
The specifics of the legislation (part of the Jaafari Personal Status Law) are terrifying:
  • There will no longer be a minimum age to legally marry (it’s currently 18) but the law provides policies for divorcing a 9-year-old;
  • A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal; and
  • The girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission.
It’s a recipe for a life in domestic and sexual slavery.
Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East — setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage.2
Brave Iraqi women have been fighting against removing the minimum age for marriage, for their sake and for the sake of their daughters. Last month on International Women’s Day, countless women attended demonstrations in Baghdad protesting the Jaafari Personal Status Law. They called it the “Day of Mourning”.3
We may not have much time to stop Iraq from legalising forced child marriage and a lifetime of domestic and sexual slavery for girls and women. Call on the the Iraqi Council of Representatives to vote “no” to the Jaafari Personal Status Law today.


PUBLISHED: 14:41 GMT, 24 January 2013 | UPDATED: 14:42 GMT, 24 January 2013

Saudi Arabia’s feared morality police say they will not punish men who walk around in their underwear – but women still face harsh punishments if they violate strict laws on women’s dress codes.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has denied reports of a ban to counter the controversial trend of young men frequenting shopping malls in their undershirts and long pyjamas.

Women, however, are still expected to cover their body with a cloak, head covering and a veil according to the country’s strict Islamic laws.


Friday, 15 March, 2002, 12:19 GMT  

Saudi police ‘stopped’ fire rescue
 
Saudi Arabia’s religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.

In a rare criticism of the kingdom’s powerful “mutaween” police, the Saudi media has accused them of hindering attempts to save 15 girls who died in the fire on Monday.

An inquiry was launched by the Saudi government in wake of the deaths. The investigation was led by Abdul Majeed, the governor of Makkah. The Interior Minister, Prince Nayef, promised that those responsible for the deaths would be held accountable.[7] Nayef, at the time, stated that the deaths didn’t happen as a result of the fire, but rather the stampede caused by the panic. He acknowledged the presence of two mutaween and that they went there to prevent “mistreatment” of the girls. He asserted that they didn’t interfere with the rescue efforts and only arrived after everyone had left the building.[7]
On March 25, the inquiry concluded that while the fire had been caused by a stray cigarette, the religious educational authorities responsible for the school had neglected the safety of the pupils.[3] The inquiry found that the clerics had ignored warnings that overcrowding of the school could cause a fatal stampede. It also found that there was a lack of fire extinguishers and alarms in the building. Accordingly, the cleric in charge of the school was fired, and his office was merged with the Ministry of Education. The report dismissed allegations that the mutaween (of CPVPV) had prevented the girls from fleeing or made the death toll worse.[3]
Many newspapers welcomed the merger of the agency responsible for girls’ education with the Ministry of Education. Previously, the agencies had been separate and girls’ education had been in the hands of the religious establishment. The newspapers saw the merger as a step towards “reform”.


Elham Asghari is an Iranian swimmer who began swimming at the age of five. She holds several national open-water swimming records. Elham swims wearing a full-body swimsuit she designed that fully adheres to Iran’s Islamic dress code for women. She says the suit hinders her performance and causes her pain, adding a hefty six kilograms to her weight in water. Still she wears it in order to pursue her lifelong dream of being an open-water swimmer.
Achieving that dream has not been without its challenges for Elham. In Iran women are only allowed to swim in gender-segregated pools and are banned from participating in international swimming competitions. During a previous open-water record-attempt, Iranian police chased Elham in a boat in order to stop her from swimming. The propellers on the police boat sliced her legs and hip.
Elham broke her previous 20km open-water record, in June of 2013, by completing a swim in the Caspian Sea in just over eight hours. She swam in a private, women-only beach to avoid another run in with the police. Yet, Iranian officials have refused to recognize her record, stating that her swimming costume, which she had worn when setting her previous records, was illegal because “the feminine characteristics of her body were visible when she came out of the water.

As an Iranian-American woman living in the United States, I feel it is my duty to raise the publics’ awareness on the issue at hand. I’m asking the International Swimming Federation (FINA) to require the Iranian Swimming Federation to register the record Elham Asghari rightfully earned.
Elham Asghari is a talented, accomplished athlete who has worked tirelessly as an open-water swimmer. She continues to face obstacles and challenges that most athletes would never have to deal with on a daily basis. Like any other athlete she deserves to be recognized for her accomplishments. Please join me in asking FINA to help get Elham’s record recognized.


(CNN) — Women stood at the forefront of the Arab Spring, taking to the streets shoulder to shoulder with men in an effort to overturn oppressive old orders.

But while their efforts have seen dictators ousted and reforms introduced, the greater rights for women many hoped would emerge from the upheaval have not materialized.

Indeed, says Lebanese activist Diala Haidar, the rise of political Islam throughout the region in the wake of the uprising has raised the specter of hard-won gains for women being lost.

Haidar and four other women’s rights activists across the region started a campaign, The Uprising of Women in the Arab World, on Facebook in October 2011, to highlight injustices against women throughout the region.

“The Arab Spring took place under the banner of freedom, dignity and equality, and the three can’t be established if women are left behind,” said Haidar, 28, a laboratory supervisor.

“At every stage of history we have been given the excuse, ‘It’s not the time to discuss women’s issues — we are at war, it’s a revolution,’ or whatever. It’s our time to say ‘We need our rights,'” she added.


RIYADH — Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women’s male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.


International Olympic Committee rules require that countries allow both men and women to compete as a prerequisite for their participation in the Olympic Games. Saudia Arabia, a country that has never sent a female athlete to the games, has been warned of this, promised to correct the situation, and then sort of did nothing for awhile and hoped that no one would notice.

Now, one human rights group says enough is enough and is encouraging the IOC to bar the Middle Eastern Kingdom from the Games, on account of the fact that they’re clearly dragging their feet on this. In a letter to the IOC on Wednesday, the organization demanded Saudi Arabia be barred from the upcoming London Olympic Games if they fail to send a lady to compete.

For awhile, it looked as though Saudi Arabia would actually comply with the IOC’s warning. Equestrian Dalma Rushdi Malhas competed for the kingdom in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, where she took home a bronze medal. Some analysts believed that she had the best chance to qualify for the Olympics, but now, it seems that the country’s all-male equestrian team is deep into training in Europe— without her.

Further, Olympic rules have bent over backward to allow countries with fewer highly trained athletes to send participants to the games by offering universality slots in many track and field and swimming events. The slots are reserved for countries that can’t produce any athletes that meet the qualifying standards. Saudi Arabia has not opted to fill any of those slots with female athletes.

A spokesperson from the IOC rejected the call for a Saudi ban, saying that the Games don’t issue ultimatums or deadlines to countries who wish to participate, that Malhas’s participation in the Youth Olympic Games was a positive sign that Saudi Arabia was serious about including ladies.

But Human Rights Watch isn’t not so sure this is the case. Girls and boys are strictly segregated in the country, and all girls schools do not offer any sort of physical education, exercise, or sports teams. For a Saudi woman to have any hope of training, she’d have to do it in another country. Saudi Arabia was never serious about including women in sport, and may never be.

Ban Urged on Saudi Arabia over Discrimination [NYT]

The Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise Forced Child Marriage1.
The specifics of the legislation (part of the Jaafari Personal Status Law) are terrifying:

  • There will no longer be a minimum age to legally marry (it’s currently 18) but the law provides policies for divorcing a 9-year-old girl;
  • A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal on her behalf; and
  • The girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission.

It’s a recipe for a life in domestic and sexual slavery.

The law was sent to the Council of Representatives yesterday, and the vote could happen any time now. To prevent Iraq’s girls from becoming vulnerable to forced child marriage it is crucial that we act now.

Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East — setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage2.

Any minute now, the Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise forced child marriage. 1
The specifics of the legislation (part of the Jaafari Personal Status Law) are terrifying:
  • There will no longer be a minimum age to legally marry (it’s currently 18) but the law provides policies for divorcing a 9-year-old;
  • A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal; and
  • The girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission.
It’s a recipe for a life in domestic and sexual slavery.
Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East — setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage.2
Brave Iraqi women have been fighting against removing the minimum age for marriage, for their sake and for the sake of their daughters. Last month on International Women’s Day, countless women attended demonstrations in Baghdad protesting the Jaafari Personal Status Law. They called it the “Day of Mourning”.3
We may not have much time to stop Iraq from legalising forced child marriage and a lifetime of domestic and sexual slavery for girls and women. Call on the the Iraqi Council of Representatives to vote “no” to the Jaafari Personal Status Law today.


|

Saudi Arabia’s feared morality police say they will not punish men who walk around in their underwear – but women still face harsh punishments if they violate strict laws on women’s dress codes.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has denied reports of a ban to counter the controversial trend of young men frequenting shopping malls in their undershirts and long pyjamas.

Women, however, are still expected to cover their body with a cloak, head covering and a veil according to the country’s strict Islamic laws.


Friday, 15 March, 2002, 12:19 GMT  

Saudi police ‘stopped’ fire rescue
 
Saudi Arabia’s religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.

In a rare criticism of the kingdom’s powerful “mutaween” police, the Saudi media has accused them of hindering attempts to save 15 girls who died in the fire on Monday.

An inquiry was launched by the Saudi government in wake of the deaths. The investigation was led by Abdul Majeed, the governor of Makkah. The Interior Minister, Prince Nayef, promised that those responsible for the deaths would be held accountable.[7] Nayef, at the time, stated that the deaths didn’t happen as a result of the fire, but rather the stampede caused by the panic. He acknowledged the presence of two mutaween and that they went there to prevent “mistreatment” of the girls. He asserted that they didn’t interfere with the rescue efforts and only arrived after everyone had left the building.[7]
On March 25, the inquiry concluded that while the fire had been caused by a stray cigarette, the religious educational authorities responsible for the school had neglected the safety of the pupils.[3] The inquiry found that the clerics had ignored warnings that overcrowding of the school could cause a fatal stampede. It also found that there was a lack of fire extinguishers and alarms in the building. Accordingly, the cleric in charge of the school was fired, and his office was merged with the Ministry of Education. The report dismissed allegations that the mutaween (of CPVPV) had prevented the girls from fleeing or made the death toll worse.[3]
Many newspapers welcomed the merger of the agency responsible for girls’ education with the Ministry of Education. Previously, the agencies had been separate and girls’ education had been in the hands of the religious establishment. The newspapers saw the merger as a step towards “reform”.


Elham Asghari is an Iranian swimmer who began swimming at the age of five. She holds several national open-water swimming records. Elham swims wearing a full-body swimsuit she designed that fully adheres to Iran’s Islamic dress code for women. She says the suit hinders her performance and causes her pain, adding a hefty six kilograms to her weight in water. Still she wears it in order to pursue her lifelong dream of being an open-water swimmer.
Achieving that dream has not been without its challenges for Elham. In Iran women are only allowed to swim in gender-segregated pools and are banned from participating in international swimming competitions. During a previous open-water record-attempt, Iranian police chased Elham in a boat in order to stop her from swimming. The propellers on the police boat sliced her legs and hip.
Elham broke her previous 20km open-water record, in June of 2013, by completing a swim in the Caspian Sea in just over eight hours. She swam in a private, women-only beach to avoid another run in with the police. Yet, Iranian officials have refused to recognize her record, stating that her swimming costume, which she had worn when setting her previous records, was illegal because “the feminine characteristics of her body were visible when she came out of the water.

As an Iranian-American woman living in the United States, I feel it is my duty to raise the publics’ awareness on the issue at hand. I’m asking the International Swimming Federation (FINA) to require the Iranian Swimming Federation to register the record Elham Asghari rightfully earned.
Elham Asghari is a talented, accomplished athlete who has worked tirelessly as an open-water swimmer. She continues to face obstacles and challenges that most athletes would never have to deal with on a daily basis. Like any other athlete she deserves to be recognized for her accomplishments. Please join me in asking FINA to help get Elham’s record recognized.


(CNN) — Women stood at the forefront of the Arab Spring, taking to the streets shoulder to shoulder with men in an effort to overturn oppressive old orders.

But while their efforts have seen dictators ousted and reforms introduced, the greater rights for women many hoped would emerge from the upheaval have not materialized.

Indeed, says Lebanese activist Diala Haidar, the rise of political Islam throughout the region in the wake of the uprising has raised the specter of hard-won gains for women being lost.

Haidar and four other women’s rights activists across the region started a campaign, The Uprising of Women in the Arab World, on Facebook in October 2011, to highlight injustices against women throughout the region.

“The Arab Spring took place under the banner of freedom, dignity and equality, and the three can’t be established if women are left behind,” said Haidar, 28, a laboratory supervisor.

“At every stage of history we have been given the excuse, ‘It’s not the time to discuss women’s issues — we are at war, it’s a revolution,’ or whatever. It’s our time to say ‘We need our rights,'” she added.


RIYADH — Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women’s male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.


International Olympic Committee rules require that countries allow both men and women to compete as a prerequisite for their participation in the Olympic Games. Saudia Arabia, a country that has never sent a female athlete to the games, has been warned of this, promised to correct the situation, and then sort of did nothing for awhile and hoped that no one would notice.

Now, one human rights group says enough is enough and is encouraging the IOC to bar the Middle Eastern Kingdom from the Games, on account of the fact that they’re clearly dragging their feet on this. In a letter to the IOC on Wednesday, the organization demanded Saudi Arabia be barred from the upcoming London Olympic Games if they fail to send a lady to compete.

For awhile, it looked as though Saudi Arabia would actually comply with the IOC’s warning. Equestrian Dalma Rushdi Malhas competed for the kingdom in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, where she took home a bronze medal. Some analysts believed that she had the best chance to qualify for the Olympics, but now, it seems that the country’s all-male equestrian team is deep into training in Europe— without her.

Further, Olympic rules have bent over backward to allow countries with fewer highly trained athletes to send participants to the games by offering universality slots in many track and field and swimming events. The slots are reserved for countries that can’t produce any athletes that meet the qualifying standards. Saudi Arabia has not opted to fill any of those slots with female athletes.

A spokesperson from the IOC rejected the call for a Saudi ban, saying that the Games don’t issue ultimatums or deadlines to countries who wish to participate, that Malhas’s participation in the Youth Olympic Games was a positive sign that Saudi Arabia was serious about including ladies.

But Human Rights Watch isn’t not so sure this is the case. Girls and boys are strictly segregated in the country, and all girls schools do not offer any sort of physical education, exercise, or sports teams. For a Saudi woman to have any hope of training, she’d have to do it in another country. Saudi Arabia was never serious about including women in sport, and may never be.

Ban Urged on Saudi Arabia over Discrimination [NYT]

the most dangerous country to practice journalism

Main article: List of journalists killed in the Mexican Drug WarIn the first years of the 21st century, Mexico was considered the most dangerous country in the world to practice journalism, according to groups like the National Huma…

In the first years of the 21st century, Mexico was considered the most dangerous country in the world to practice journalism, according to groups like the National Human Rights Commission,Reporters Without Borders, and the Committee to Protect Journalists. Between 2000 and 2012, several dozen journalists were murdered there for covering narco-related news.[183][184][185]
Offices of Televisa and of local newspapers have been bombed.[186] The cartels have also threatened to kill news reporters in the U.S. who have done coverage on the drug violence.[187] Some media networks simply stopped reporting on drug crimes, while others have been infiltrated and corrupted by drug cartels.[188][189] In 2011, Notiver journalist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco and his wife and son were murdered in their home.[190]
About 74 percent of the journalists killed since 1992 in Mexico have been reporters for print newspapers, followed in number by Internet media and radio at about 11 percent each. Television journalism only includes 4 percent of the deaths.[191] These numbers are not proportional to the audience size of the different mediums; most Mexican households have a television, a large majority have a radio, but only a small number have the internet, and the circulation numbers for Mexican newspapers are relatively low.[192][193][194] There is no clear explanation of why a medium that reaches a much smaller portion of the population is statistically much more dangerous.[citation needed]
Since harassment neutralized many of the traditional media outlets, anonymous blogs like Blog del Narco took on the role of reporting on events related to the drug war.[195] The drug cartels responded by murdering bloggers and social media users. Twitter users have been tortured and killed for posting and denouncing information of the drug cartels activities.[196] In September 2011, user NenaDLaredo of the website Nuevo Laredo Envivo was murdered allegedly by the Zetas.[197]
In May 2012 several journalist murders occurred in Veracruz. Regina Martinez of Proceso was murdered in Xalapa. A few days later, three Veracruz photojournalists were tortured and killed and their dismembered bodies were dumped in a canal. They had worked for various news outlets, including Notiver, Diario AZ, and TV Azteca. Human rights groups condemned the murders and demanded the authorities investigate the crimes


Proceso magazine’s Regina Martinez was found dead in her Veracruz, Mexico home over the weekend, apparently beaten and strangled.
It is too soon to know who killed her or why, but her death was brutal and she was known for reporting on crime and drug trafficking in a state that like other parts of Mexico has been rife with violence.
Authorities have vowed to thoroughly investigate the case, but murders are rarely solved in Mexico, and when they are, there are many doubts that authorities have even charged the right person.

The scope of the crisis is our hope: wake up

Russian Facebook users have poured scorn on a promise by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to investigate reports of electoral fraud.

At least 7,000 comments had appeared under his post by 20:00 GMT on Sunday, a day after the biggest anti-government protests since Soviet times.

An early random sample showed the comments were equally divided between hostility, support and neutrality.

Mr Medvedev prides himself on using social media.

He recently suffered an embarrassment on Twitter.

Having already conceded that some violations of electoral law had taken place at the parliamentary elections last Sunday, he went on Facebook to say he had issued instructions for all official reports on the conduct of the polls to be checked.

It was his comments on Saturday’s election protests – some 50,000 people turned out in Moscow alone – which drew particular anger.

‘Pathetic liar’

“I do not agree with either the slogans or statements heard at the rallies,” Mr Medvedev wrote.

Facebook users pointed out that the chief, official slogan of the rallies had been “For Honest Elections”.

Thousands of people have attended the biggest anti-government rally in the Russian capital Moscow since the fall of the Soviet Union.

As many as 50,000 people gathered on an island near the Kremlin to condemn alleged ballot-rigging in parliamentary elections and demand a re-run.

Other, smaller rallies took place in St Petersburg and other cities.

Communists, nationalists and Western-leaning liberals turned out together despite divisions between them.

The protesters allege there was widespread fraud in Sunday’s polls though the ruling United Russia party did see its share of the vote fall sharply.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote
The time has come to throw off the chains”
End Quote
Alexei Navalny

Jailed protest leader, in message posted on his blog

Demonstrations in the immediate aftermath of the election saw more than 1,000 arrests, mostly in Moscow, and several key protest leaders such as the anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny were jailed.

A message from Mr Navalny was released through his blog, saying: “The time has come to throw off the chains. We are not cattle or slaves. We have a voice and we have the strength to defend it.”

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has never experienced popular protests like these before, the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg reports from Moscow.

During his decade in power, first as president then prime minister, he has grown used to being seen as Russia’s most popular and powerful politician.

But as one of the protesters put it to our correspondent, Russia is changing.

Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics  

eurozone members and others will adopt an accord with penalties for breaking deficit rules. It will be backed by a treaty between governments, not an EU treaty.

Moscow is braced for what the opposition claims will be the biggest demonstration in Russia for 20 years.

Tens of thousands are expected to gather in a square south of the Kremlin, in the latest show of anger over disputed parliamentary polls.

Smaller rallies are taking place in cities across the country.

The protesters allege Sunday’s elections – which gave Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party a small lead – were fraudulent.

Hundreds of people have been arrested during anti-Putin protests over the past week, mainly in Moscow and St Petersburg.

At least 50,000 police and riot troops have been deployed in Moscow ahead of Saturday’s protests.

The opposition says it is hoping for a turnout of 30,000 in the capital in the demonstration dubbed “For Fair Elections”, due to begin at 14:00 (10:00 GMT).

Protests have already begun elsewhere, with several hundred marching in Vladivostok, seven timezones to the east of Moscow.

The BBC’s Daniel Sandford in Moscow says in the past week, the city has resembled a police state rather than a democracy.

If the protests come even close to expectations, they will shake the 12-year-long political domination of Mr Putin, he says.

The authorities agreed to allow Saturday’s demonstrations to go ahead following negotiations with opposition leaders.

The two sides reached a deal in which Moscow would allow a high-turnout if the rally was relocated from downtown Revolution Square to Bolotnaya Square, a narrow island in the Moscow River.

In St Petersburg, 13,000 people have pledged on the social networking site Vkontakte to take part in protests, with another 20,000 saying they might take part.

Authorities have granted permission for a demonstration in one location, but say protests anywhere else will be illegal and will be dealt with.

The top US military commander, Gen Martin Dempsey, says he is concerned about “the potential for civil unrest” as Europe’s financial crisis unfolds.

Gen Dempsey said it was unclear the latest steps taken by EU leaders would be enough to hold the eurozone together, adding that a break-up could have consequences for the Pentagon.

Twenty-six of the 27 EU countries have agreed to forge a tighter fiscal union.

Only the UK refused to sign up to a new treaty, citing national interest.

Gen Dempsey, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an event hosted by the Atlantic Council, a Washington think-tank: “The eurozone is at great risk.”

“I know that they’ve taken some measures here with the 17 members of the eurozone to try to better align… monetary and fiscal policy. But it’s unclear, to me at least, that that will be the glue that actually holds it together.”
Funding impact?

Gen Dempsey previously served as the Army’s Chief of Staff and as a general in Iraq.

He suggested that part of his concern was that the US military could be exposed to any unravelling of the eurozone “because of the potential for civil unrest and the break-up of the union”.

The US military has more than 80,000 troops and 20,000 civilian workers in Europe, many based in Germany.

Gen Dempsey also said he was concerned that an international project to develop the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft could be put in jeopardy if European national defence budgets were cut.

“It will clearly put [budgets] at risk if all the economic predictions about a potential collapse were to occur,” Gen Dempsey said.

At an emergency EU summit that ended in Brussels on Friday, the UK effectively used its veto to block an attempt, led by the French and Germans, to get all 27 members states to support changes to the union’s treaties.

Instead, eurozone members and others will adopt an accord with penalties for breaking deficit rules. It will be backed by a treaty between governments, not an EU treaty.
Austerity measures

The announcement on Friday produce little reaction from financial markets, which are still hoping for more intervention by the European Central Bank (ECB).

The BBC’s Chris Morris says that without further action to lower the cost of borrowing, likely by the ECB, the eurozone still faces a threat.

The rising costs of borrowing in some eurozone countries have pushed governments to pass new austerity measures and to the International Monetary Fund as they struggle to pay their debts.

Europe’s debt crisis has already unseated two political leaders and their governments: former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi.

Russian Facebook users have poured scorn on a promise by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to investigate reports of electoral fraud.

At least 7,000 comments had appeared under his post by 20:00 GMT on Sunday, a day after the biggest anti-government protests since Soviet times.

An early random sample showed the comments were equally divided between hostility, support and neutrality.

Mr Medvedev prides himself on using social media.

He recently suffered an embarrassment on Twitter.

Having already conceded that some violations of electoral law had taken place at the parliamentary elections last Sunday, he went on Facebook to say he had issued instructions for all official reports on the conduct of the polls to be checked.

It was his comments on Saturday’s election protests – some 50,000 people turned out in Moscow alone – which drew particular anger.

‘Pathetic liar’

“I do not agree with either the slogans or statements heard at the rallies,” Mr Medvedev wrote.

Facebook users pointed out that the chief, official slogan of the rallies had been “For Honest Elections”.

Thousands of people have attended the biggest anti-government rally in the Russian capital Moscow since the fall of the Soviet Union.

As many as 50,000 people gathered on an island near the Kremlin to condemn alleged ballot-rigging in parliamentary elections and demand a re-run.

Other, smaller rallies took place in St Petersburg and other cities.

Communists, nationalists and Western-leaning liberals turned out together despite divisions between them.

The protesters allege there was widespread fraud in Sunday’s polls though the ruling United Russia party did see its share of the vote fall sharply.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote
The time has come to throw off the chains”
End Quote
Alexei Navalny

Jailed protest leader, in message posted on his blog

Demonstrations in the immediate aftermath of the election saw more than 1,000 arrests, mostly in Moscow, and several key protest leaders such as the anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny were jailed.

A message from Mr Navalny was released through his blog, saying: “The time has come to throw off the chains. We are not cattle or slaves. We have a voice and we have the strength to defend it.”

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has never experienced popular protests like these before, the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg reports from Moscow.

During his decade in power, first as president then prime minister, he has grown used to being seen as Russia’s most popular and powerful politician.

But as one of the protesters put it to our correspondent, Russia is changing.

Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics  

eurozone members and others will adopt an accord with penalties for breaking deficit rules. It will be backed by a treaty between governments, not an EU treaty.

Moscow is braced for what the opposition claims will be the biggest demonstration in Russia for 20 years.

Tens of thousands are expected to gather in a square south of the Kremlin, in the latest show of anger over disputed parliamentary polls.

Smaller rallies are taking place in cities across the country.

The protesters allege Sunday’s elections – which gave Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party a small lead – were fraudulent.

Hundreds of people have been arrested during anti-Putin protests over the past week, mainly in Moscow and St Petersburg.

At least 50,000 police and riot troops have been deployed in Moscow ahead of Saturday’s protests.

The opposition says it is hoping for a turnout of 30,000 in the capital in the demonstration dubbed “For Fair Elections”, due to begin at 14:00 (10:00 GMT).

Protests have already begun elsewhere, with several hundred marching in Vladivostok, seven timezones to the east of Moscow.

The BBC’s Daniel Sandford in Moscow says in the past week, the city has resembled a police state rather than a democracy.

If the protests come even close to expectations, they will shake the 12-year-long political domination of Mr Putin, he says.

The authorities agreed to allow Saturday’s demonstrations to go ahead following negotiations with opposition leaders.

The two sides reached a deal in which Moscow would allow a high-turnout if the rally was relocated from downtown Revolution Square to Bolotnaya Square, a narrow island in the Moscow River.

In St Petersburg, 13,000 people have pledged on the social networking site Vkontakte to take part in protests, with another 20,000 saying they might take part.

Authorities have granted permission for a demonstration in one location, but say protests anywhere else will be illegal and will be dealt with.

The top US military commander, Gen Martin Dempsey, says he is concerned about “the potential for civil unrest” as Europe’s financial crisis unfolds.

Gen Dempsey said it was unclear the latest steps taken by EU leaders would be enough to hold the eurozone together, adding that a break-up could have consequences for the Pentagon.

Twenty-six of the 27 EU countries have agreed to forge a tighter fiscal union.

Only the UK refused to sign up to a new treaty, citing national interest.

Gen Dempsey, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an event hosted by the Atlantic Council, a Washington think-tank: “The eurozone is at great risk.”

“I know that they’ve taken some measures here with the 17 members of the eurozone to try to better align… monetary and fiscal policy. But it’s unclear, to me at least, that that will be the glue that actually holds it together.”
Funding impact?

Gen Dempsey previously served as the Army’s Chief of Staff and as a general in Iraq.

He suggested that part of his concern was that the US military could be exposed to any unravelling of the eurozone “because of the potential for civil unrest and the break-up of the union”.

The US military has more than 80,000 troops and 20,000 civilian workers in Europe, many based in Germany.

Gen Dempsey also said he was concerned that an international project to develop the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft could be put in jeopardy if European national defence budgets were cut.

“It will clearly put [budgets] at risk if all the economic predictions about a potential collapse were to occur,” Gen Dempsey said.

At an emergency EU summit that ended in Brussels on Friday, the UK effectively used its veto to block an attempt, led by the French and Germans, to get all 27 members states to support changes to the union’s treaties.

Instead, eurozone members and others will adopt an accord with penalties for breaking deficit rules. It will be backed by a treaty between governments, not an EU treaty.
Austerity measures

The announcement on Friday produce little reaction from financial markets, which are still hoping for more intervention by the European Central Bank (ECB).

The BBC’s Chris Morris says that without further action to lower the cost of borrowing, likely by the ECB, the eurozone still faces a threat.

The rising costs of borrowing in some eurozone countries have pushed governments to pass new austerity measures and to the International Monetary Fund as they struggle to pay their debts.

Europe’s debt crisis has already unseated two political leaders and their governments: former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi.

Bahrain protests

Bahrain’s government continued to face demonstrations and political unrest as the majority Shiite community campaigns for a more equitable constitution. The US was forced to reduce the number of navy and other military personnel stationed in Manama. The hard line Sunni monarchy accuses its Arab Shiites of being cat’s paws of Iran, but this is a red herring. The regime has resorted to the most despicable arbitrary arrests, absurd charges, punishments for thought crimes, and torture. The US has not done enough to condemn this situation or dissociate itself from the monarchy.

Juan Cole


The US State Department took the unusual step this week of warning the Bahrain government that the country could break apart if the monarchy went on with its heavy-handed repression of protesters. The Shiite majority in Bahrain wants constitutional reform and a greater say in governing, whereas the Sunni monarchy insists on something close to absolute monarchy and Sunni dominance. (There is a show parliament, but the king can overrule it and the Shiites have never had a majority even in the elected lower house, because of regime gerrymandering).


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Bahraini police fired tear gas and stun bombs to break up protests overnight in Shiite-populated villages around Manama, leading to arrests and injuries, witnesses said on Saturday.

The protesters took to the streets in response to a call by the February 14 Youth Coalition for rallies against a blockage imposed on the Shiite locality of Mahazza, near the capital, since November 7.

“The blockade will not make us afraid” and “Down with Hamad,” chanted the protesters, in reference to King Hamad.

The protesters, some of whom wore masks, waved the Bahraini flag and pictures of prisoners.

Police responded by firing tear gas, sound bombs and buck shot, injuring some of the protesters, according to the witnesses who did not specify the number of casualties.

People injured at anti-government demonstrations in Bahrain avoid going to hospital for fear of being arrested.

In the latest clashes, police detained several demonstrators, and the skirmishes continued until dawn on Saturday, according to the witnesses.

Demonstrations have shaken Bahrain since its security forces crushed a Shiite-led uprising against the ruling Sunni regime in March last year.

The United States last week expressed concern about rising violence in Bahrain, one year after an inquiry report was issued on the violence, saying the country needed to put more of its recommendations into effect.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Dec-01/196821-bahrain-police-break-up-shiite-demos.ashx#ixzz2Du88i1Jl
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)


A heavy police presence is preventing people marking the first anniversary of pro-democracy demonstrations in Bahrain’s capital, Manama.

Opposition activists have called on protesters to march on the site of the now-demolished Pearl Roundabout – the focus of last year’s unrest.

A BBC correspondent says the area is quiet, but that in outlying villages there have been violent clashes.

Police have been firing rubber bullets and tear gas at stone-throwing youths.

Most of the demonstrators are from the Gulf kingdom’s Shia Muslim majority, which has long complained of discrimination at the hands of the Sunni royal family, the Al Khalifa, and wants democratic reforms.
‘Reforms’

The BBC’s Bill Law, who is in Manama, says the centre of the capital remains quiet, with no sign of the mass protest called by the opposition a year on from the peaceful takeover of Pearl Roundabout.

Bahrain’s government continued to face demonstrations and political unrest as the majority Shiite community campaigns for a more equitable constitution. The US was forced to reduce the number of navy and other military personnel stationed in Manama. The hard line Sunni monarchy accuses its Arab Shiites of being cat’s paws of Iran, but this is a red herring. The regime has resorted to the most despicable arbitrary arrests, absurd charges, punishments for thought crimes, and torture. The US has not done enough to condemn this situation or dissociate itself from the monarchy.

Juan Cole


The US State Department took the unusual step this week of warning the Bahrain government that the country could break apart if the monarchy went on with its heavy-handed repression of protesters. The Shiite majority in Bahrain wants constitutional reform and a greater say in governing, whereas the Sunni monarchy insists on something close to absolute monarchy and Sunni dominance. (There is a show parliament, but the king can overrule it and the Shiites have never had a majority even in the elected lower house, because of regime gerrymandering).


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Bahraini police fired tear gas and stun bombs to break up protests overnight in Shiite-populated villages around Manama, leading to arrests and injuries, witnesses said on Saturday.

The protesters took to the streets in response to a call by the February 14 Youth Coalition for rallies against a blockage imposed on the Shiite locality of Mahazza, near the capital, since November 7.

“The blockade will not make us afraid” and “Down with Hamad,” chanted the protesters, in reference to King Hamad.

The protesters, some of whom wore masks, waved the Bahraini flag and pictures of prisoners.

Police responded by firing tear gas, sound bombs and buck shot, injuring some of the protesters, according to the witnesses who did not specify the number of casualties.

People injured at anti-government demonstrations in Bahrain avoid going to hospital for fear of being arrested.

In the latest clashes, police detained several demonstrators, and the skirmishes continued until dawn on Saturday, according to the witnesses.

Demonstrations have shaken Bahrain since its security forces crushed a Shiite-led uprising against the ruling Sunni regime in March last year.

The United States last week expressed concern about rising violence in Bahrain, one year after an inquiry report was issued on the violence, saying the country needed to put more of its recommendations into effect.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Dec-01/196821-bahrain-police-break-up-shiite-demos.ashx#ixzz2Du88i1Jl
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)


A heavy police presence is preventing people marking the first anniversary of pro-democracy demonstrations in Bahrain’s capital, Manama.

Opposition activists have called on protesters to march on the site of the now-demolished Pearl Roundabout – the focus of last year’s unrest.

A BBC correspondent says the area is quiet, but that in outlying villages there have been violent clashes.

Police have been firing rubber bullets and tear gas at stone-throwing youths.

Most of the demonstrators are from the Gulf kingdom’s Shia Muslim majority, which has long complained of discrimination at the hands of the Sunni royal family, the Al Khalifa, and wants democratic reforms.
‘Reforms’

The BBC’s Bill Law, who is in Manama, says the centre of the capital remains quiet, with no sign of the mass protest called by the opposition a year on from the peaceful takeover of Pearl Roundabout.

Muslim fundamentalist governance

Egypt moved decisively from military to civilian rule. For the first time in its history, Egypt elected its president, Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.(There had been indirectly elected prime ministers in the Liberal Age, 1922-1952). Since the young officers coup of July, 1952, Egypt’s president had come from the upper ranks of the officer corps. As 2012 opened, the 23-member Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) was the de facto executive of the country, which had appointed the prime minister and approved his cabinet. In June 2012, the supreme administrative court dissolved the parliament that had been elected late in 2011, and SCAF promptly declared itself the interim national legislature, attempting to limit the powers of the incoming elected president, Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi gradually made senior officers retire and got an agreement from the junior generals that he promoted that they would return to the barracks. On August 15, Morsi abrogated the SCAF decree on the legislature. By the crisis of the referendum on the constitution from November 22 until December 22, the military had been effectively sidelined or turned into an instrument of the Muslim Brotherhood president. Egypt has many problems, including the question of whether the Muslim Brotherhood really respects individual human rights. But it is indisputable that the country’s basis for legitimate government has become free and fair parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, Egypt moved decisively toward Muslim fundamentalist governance, with the passing in December of a new constitution, crafted in large part by supporters of political Islam.


By George Friedman

The Egyptian presidential election was held last week. No candidate received 50 percent of the vote, so a runoff will be held between the two leading candidates, Mohammed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq. Morsi represented the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and received 25.3 percent of the vote, while Shafiq, a former Egyptian air force commander and the last prime minister to serve in Hosni Mubarak’s administration, received 24.9 percent. There were, of course, charges of irregularities, but in general the results made sense. The Islamist faction had done extremely well in the parliamentary election, and fear of an Islamist president caused the substantial Coptic community, among others, to support the candidate of the old regime, which had provided them at least some security.

Morsi and Shafiq effectively tied in the first round, and either can win the next round. Morsi’s strength is that he has the support of both the Islamist elements and those who fear a Shafiq presidency and possible return to the old regime. Shafiq’s strength is that he speaks for those who fear an Islamist regime. The question is who will win the non-Islamist secularists’ support. They oppose both factions, but they are now going to have to live with a president from one of them. If their secularism is stronger than their hatred of the former regime, they will go with Shafiq. If not, they will go with Morsi. And, of course, it is unclear whether the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the military committee that has ruled Egypt since the fall of Mubarak, will cede any real power to either candidate, especially since the constitution hasn’t even been drafted.

This is not how the West, nor many Egyptians, thought the Arab Spring would turn out in Egypt. Their mistake was overestimating the significance of the democratic secularists, how representative the anti-Mubarak demonstrators were of Egypt as a whole, and the degree to which those demonstrators were committed to Western-style democracy rather than a democracy that represented Islamist values.

What was most underestimated was the extent to which the military regime had support, even if Mubarak did not. Shafiq, the former prime minister in that regime, could very well win. The regime may not have generated passionate support or even been respected in many ways, but it served the interests of any number of people. Egypt is a cosmopolitan country, and one that has many people who still take seriously the idea of an Arab, rather than Islamist, state. They fear the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamism and have little confidence in the ability of other parties, such as the socialists, who came in third, to protect them. For some, such as the Copts, the Islamists are an existential threat. The military regime, whatever its defects, is a known bulwark against the Muslim Brotherhood. The old order is attractive to many because it is known; what the Muslim Brotherhood will become is not known and is frightening to those committed to secularism. They would rather live under the old regime.

What was misunderstood was that while there was in fact a democratic movement in Egypt, the liberal democrats who wanted a Western-style regime were not the ones exciting popular sentiment. What was exciting it was the vision of a popularly elected Islamist coalition moving to create a regime that institutionalized Islamic religious values.

Westerners looked at Egypt and saw what they wanted and expected to see. They looked at Egyptians and saw themselves. They saw a military regime operating solely on brute force without any public support. They saw a mass movement calling for the overthrow of the regime and assumed that the bulk of the movement was driven by the spirit of Western liberalism. The result is that we have a showdown not between the liberal democratic mass and a crumbling military regime but between a representative of the still-powerful regime (Shafiq) and the Muslim Brotherhood.

If we understand how the Egyptian revolution was misunderstood, we can begin to make sense of the misunderstanding about Syria. There seemed to be a crumbling, hated regime in Syria as well. And there seemed to be a democratic uprising that represented much of the population and that wanted to replace the al Assad regime with one that respected human rights and democratic values in the Western sense. The regime was expected to crumble any day under the assaults of its opponents. As in Egypt, the regime has not collapsed and the story is much more complex.

Syrian President Bashar al Assad operates a brutal dictatorship that he inherited from his father, a regime that has been in power since 1970. The regime is probably unpopular with most Syrians. But it also has substantial support. This support doesn’t simply come from the al Assads’ Alawite sect but extends to other minorities and many middle-class Sunnis as well. They have done well under the regime and, while unhappy with many things, they are not eager to face a new regime, again likely dominated by Islamists whose intentions toward them are unclear. They may not be enthusiastic supporters of the regime, but they are supporters.

The opposition also has supporters — likely a majority of the Syrian people — but it is divided, as is the Egyptian opposition, between competing ideologies and personalities. This is why for the past year Western expectations for Syria have failed to materialize. The regime, as unpopular as it may be, has support, and that support has helped block a seriously divided opposition.

One of the problems of Western observers is that they tend to take their bearings from the Eastern European revolutions of 1989. These regimes were genuinely unpopular. That unpopularity originated in the fact that the regimes were imposed from the outside — from the Soviet Union after World War II — and the governments were seen as tools of a foreign government. At the same time, many of the Eastern European nations had liberal democratic traditions and, like the rest of Europe, were profoundly secular (with some exceptions in Poland). There was a consensus that the state was illegitimate and that the desired alternative was a European-style democracy. Indeed, the desire to become part of a democratic Europe captured the national imagination.

The Arab Spring was different, but Westerners did not always understand the difference. The regimes did not come into being as foreign impositions. Nasserism, the ideology of Gamal Abdel Nasser, who both founded the modern Egyptian state and set the stage for an attempt at an Arab revolution, was not imposed from the outside. Indeed, it was an anti-Western movement, opposed to both European imperialism and what was seen as American aggression. When Hafez al Assad staged his coup in Syria in 1970, or Moammar Gadhafi staged his in Libya in 1969, these were nationalistic movements designed to assert both their national identity and their anti-Western sentiment.

These were also unashamedly militaristic regimes. Nasser, inspired by the example of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, saw his revolution as secular and representing mass sentiment, but not simply as democratic in the Western sense. He saw the military as the most modern and most nationally representative institution. He also saw the military as the protector of secularism.

The military coups that swept the Arab world from the 1950s to the early 1970s were seen as nationalist, secularist and anti-imperialist. Their opponents were labeled as representing Western interests and corrupt and outmoded regimes with close religious ties. They were not liberal regimes, in the sense of being champions of free speech and political parties, but they did claim to represent the interests of their people, and to a great extent, particularly at the beginning, they earned that claim.

Since the realignment of Egypt with the United States and the fall of the Soviet Union, with which many of these states were allied, the sense that these regimes were nationalist declined. But it never evaporated. Certainly they were never seen as regimes imposed by foreign armies, as was the case in Eastern Europe. And their credentials as secularists remained credible. What they were not were liberal democracies, but they weren’t founded as such. From the Western point of view, that delegitimized everything else.

What the Westerners forgot was that these regimes arose as expressions of nationalism against Western imperialism. The more that Westerners intervened against them, as in Iraq, the more support at least the principle of the regime would evince. But most important, Westerners did not always recognize that the demand for democratic elections would emerge as a battleground between secular and religious tendencies, and not as the crucible from which Western-style liberal democracies would emerge. Nor did Westerners appreciate the degree to which these regimes defended religious minorities from hostile majorities precisely because they weren’t democratic. The Copts in Egypt cling to the old regime as their protector. The Alawites see the Syrian conflict as a struggle for their own survival.

The outcome of the Egyptian election, which now pits a former general and prime minister of the Mubarak regime against the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, demonstrates this dilemma perfectly. This is the regime that Nasser founded. It is the protector of secularism and minority rights against those who it is feared will impose religious law. The regime may have grown corrupt under Mubarak, but it still represents a powerful tendency among the Egyptians.

The Muslim Brotherhood may win, in which case it will be important to see what the Egyptian military council does. But the idea that there is overwhelming support in Egypt for Western-style democracy is simply not true. The issues Egyptians and those in other Arab countries battle over derive from their own history, and in that history, the military and the state it created played a heroic role in asserting nationalism and secularism. The non-military secular parties don’t have the same tradition to draw on.

As in many Arab countries that underwent Nasserite transformations, the army remains both a guarantor against Islamists and of the rights of some religious minorities. The minorities are the enemy of the resurgent religious factions. Those factions may win, but regardless of who prevails, the outcome will not be what many celebrants of the Arab Spring expected. We are down to the military and the Islamists. The issue is no longer what they are against. This year’s question is what they are for. This is not Prague or Budapest and it doesn’t want to be.

Read more: The Egyptian Election and the Arab Spring | Stratfor

Egypt moved decisively from military to civilian rule. For the first time in its history, Egypt elected its president, Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.(There had been indirectly elected prime ministers in the Liberal Age, 1922-1952). Since the young officers coup of July, 1952, Egypt’s president had come from the upper ranks of the officer corps. As 2012 opened, the 23-member Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) was the de facto executive of the country, which had appointed the prime minister and approved his cabinet. In June 2012, the supreme administrative court dissolved the parliament that had been elected late in 2011, and SCAF promptly declared itself the interim national legislature, attempting to limit the powers of the incoming elected president, Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi gradually made senior officers retire and got an agreement from the junior generals that he promoted that they would return to the barracks. On August 15, Morsi abrogated the SCAF decree on the legislature. By the crisis of the referendum on the constitution from November 22 until December 22, the military had been effectively sidelined or turned into an instrument of the Muslim Brotherhood president. Egypt has many problems, including the question of whether the Muslim Brotherhood really respects individual human rights. But it is indisputable that the country’s basis for legitimate government has become free and fair parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, Egypt moved decisively toward Muslim fundamentalist governance, with the passing in December of a new constitution, crafted in large part by supporters of political Islam.


By George Friedman

The Egyptian presidential election was held last week. No candidate received 50 percent of the vote, so a runoff will be held between the two leading candidates, Mohammed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq. Morsi represented the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and received 25.3 percent of the vote, while Shafiq, a former Egyptian air force commander and the last prime minister to serve in Hosni Mubarak’s administration, received 24.9 percent. There were, of course, charges of irregularities, but in general the results made sense. The Islamist faction had done extremely well in the parliamentary election, and fear of an Islamist president caused the substantial Coptic community, among others, to support the candidate of the old regime, which had provided them at least some security.

Morsi and Shafiq effectively tied in the first round, and either can win the next round. Morsi’s strength is that he has the support of both the Islamist elements and those who fear a Shafiq presidency and possible return to the old regime. Shafiq’s strength is that he speaks for those who fear an Islamist regime. The question is who will win the non-Islamist secularists’ support. They oppose both factions, but they are now going to have to live with a president from one of them. If their secularism is stronger than their hatred of the former regime, they will go with Shafiq. If not, they will go with Morsi. And, of course, it is unclear whether the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the military committee that has ruled Egypt since the fall of Mubarak, will cede any real power to either candidate, especially since the constitution hasn’t even been drafted.

This is not how the West, nor many Egyptians, thought the Arab Spring would turn out in Egypt. Their mistake was overestimating the significance of the democratic secularists, how representative the anti-Mubarak demonstrators were of Egypt as a whole, and the degree to which those demonstrators were committed to Western-style democracy rather than a democracy that represented Islamist values.

What was most underestimated was the extent to which the military regime had support, even if Mubarak did not. Shafiq, the former prime minister in that regime, could very well win. The regime may not have generated passionate support or even been respected in many ways, but it served the interests of any number of people. Egypt is a cosmopolitan country, and one that has many people who still take seriously the idea of an Arab, rather than Islamist, state. They fear the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamism and have little confidence in the ability of other parties, such as the socialists, who came in third, to protect them. For some, such as the Copts, the Islamists are an existential threat. The military regime, whatever its defects, is a known bulwark against the Muslim Brotherhood. The old order is attractive to many because it is known; what the Muslim Brotherhood will become is not known and is frightening to those committed to secularism. They would rather live under the old regime.

What was misunderstood was that while there was in fact a democratic movement in Egypt, the liberal democrats who wanted a Western-style regime were not the ones exciting popular sentiment. What was exciting it was the vision of a popularly elected Islamist coalition moving to create a regime that institutionalized Islamic religious values.

Westerners looked at Egypt and saw what they wanted and expected to see. They looked at Egyptians and saw themselves. They saw a military regime operating solely on brute force without any public support. They saw a mass movement calling for the overthrow of the regime and assumed that the bulk of the movement was driven by the spirit of Western liberalism. The result is that we have a showdown not between the liberal democratic mass and a crumbling military regime but between a representative of the still-powerful regime (Shafiq) and the Muslim Brotherhood.

If we understand how the Egyptian revolution was misunderstood, we can begin to make sense of the misunderstanding about Syria. There seemed to be a crumbling, hated regime in Syria as well. And there seemed to be a democratic uprising that represented much of the population and that wanted to replace the al Assad regime with one that respected human rights and democratic values in the Western sense. The regime was expected to crumble any day under the assaults of its opponents. As in Egypt, the regime has not collapsed and the story is much more complex.

Syrian President Bashar al Assad operates a brutal dictatorship that he inherited from his father, a regime that has been in power since 1970. The regime is probably unpopular with most Syrians. But it also has substantial support. This support doesn’t simply come from the al Assads’ Alawite sect but extends to other minorities and many middle-class Sunnis as well. They have done well under the regime and, while unhappy with many things, they are not eager to face a new regime, again likely dominated by Islamists whose intentions toward them are unclear. They may not be enthusiastic supporters of the regime, but they are supporters.

The opposition also has supporters — likely a majority of the Syrian people — but it is divided, as is the Egyptian opposition, between competing ideologies and personalities. This is why for the past year Western expectations for Syria have failed to materialize. The regime, as unpopular as it may be, has support, and that support has helped block a seriously divided opposition.

One of the problems of Western observers is that they tend to take their bearings from the Eastern European revolutions of 1989. These regimes were genuinely unpopular. That unpopularity originated in the fact that the regimes were imposed from the outside — from the Soviet Union after World War II — and the governments were seen as tools of a foreign government. At the same time, many of the Eastern European nations had liberal democratic traditions and, like the rest of Europe, were profoundly secular (with some exceptions in Poland). There was a consensus that the state was illegitimate and that the desired alternative was a European-style democracy. Indeed, the desire to become part of a democratic Europe captured the national imagination.

The Arab Spring was different, but Westerners did not always understand the difference. The regimes did not come into being as foreign impositions. Nasserism, the ideology of Gamal Abdel Nasser, who both founded the modern Egyptian state and set the stage for an attempt at an Arab revolution, was not imposed from the outside. Indeed, it was an anti-Western movement, opposed to both European imperialism and what was seen as American aggression. When Hafez al Assad staged his coup in Syria in 1970, or Moammar Gadhafi staged his in Libya in 1969, these were nationalistic movements designed to assert both their national identity and their anti-Western sentiment.

These were also unashamedly militaristic regimes. Nasser, inspired by the example of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, saw his revolution as secular and representing mass sentiment, but not simply as democratic in the Western sense. He saw the military as the most modern and most nationally representative institution. He also saw the military as the protector of secularism.

The military coups that swept the Arab world from the 1950s to the early 1970s were seen as nationalist, secularist and anti-imperialist. Their opponents were labeled as representing Western interests and corrupt and outmoded regimes with close religious ties. They were not liberal regimes, in the sense of being champions of free speech and political parties, but they did claim to represent the interests of their people, and to a great extent, particularly at the beginning, they earned that claim.

Since the realignment of Egypt with the United States and the fall of the Soviet Union, with which many of these states were allied, the sense that these regimes were nationalist declined. But it never evaporated. Certainly they were never seen as regimes imposed by foreign armies, as was the case in Eastern Europe. And their credentials as secularists remained credible. What they were not were liberal democracies, but they weren’t founded as such. From the Western point of view, that delegitimized everything else.

What the Westerners forgot was that these regimes arose as expressions of nationalism against Western imperialism. The more that Westerners intervened against them, as in Iraq, the more support at least the principle of the regime would evince. But most important, Westerners did not always recognize that the demand for democratic elections would emerge as a battleground between secular and religious tendencies, and not as the crucible from which Western-style liberal democracies would emerge. Nor did Westerners appreciate the degree to which these regimes defended religious minorities from hostile majorities precisely because they weren’t democratic. The Copts in Egypt cling to the old regime as their protector. The Alawites see the Syrian conflict as a struggle for their own survival.

The outcome of the Egyptian election, which now pits a former general and prime minister of the Mubarak regime against the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, demonstrates this dilemma perfectly. This is the regime that Nasser founded. It is the protector of secularism and minority rights against those who it is feared will impose religious law. The regime may have grown corrupt under Mubarak, but it still represents a powerful tendency among the Egyptians.

The Muslim Brotherhood may win, in which case it will be important to see what the Egyptian military council does. But the idea that there is overwhelming support in Egypt for Western-style democracy is simply not true. The issues Egyptians and those in other Arab countries battle over derive from their own history, and in that history, the military and the state it created played a heroic role in asserting nationalism and secularism. The non-military secular parties don’t have the same tradition to draw on.

As in many Arab countries that underwent Nasserite transformations, the army remains both a guarantor against Islamists and of the rights of some religious minorities. The minorities are the enemy of the resurgent religious factions. Those factions may win, but regardless of who prevails, the outcome will not be what many celebrants of the Arab Spring expected. We are down to the military and the Islamists. The issue is no longer what they are against. This year’s question is what they are for. This is not Prague or Budapest and it doesn’t want to be.

Read more: The Egyptian Election and the Arab Spring | Stratfor

?????

In revolutionary Tunisia, 2012 saw a political struggle between the small but violent minority of Salafis or hard line fundamentalists, and, well, everybody else. Salafi attacks on unveiled women provoked a huge anti-Salafi rally in the capital, Tunis. In summer, some Salafis attacked an art exhibit in tony LaMarsa. In September, Salafis of a more al-Qaeda mindset set fire to the parking lot of the American embassy and looted some of its offices. The leader of the movement for political Islam in Tunisia, the al-Nahda Party’s Rashid Ghanoushi, was caught on tape warning the Salafis that if they continued to be so provocative, they risked instigating a civil war like that in Algeria (where some 150,000 Algerians died in a struggle between secularists and Muslim fundamentalists in 1991-2002).


A Salafi (Arabic: سلفي‎) is a Muslim who emphasises the Salaf (“predecessors” or “ancestors”), the earliest Muslims, as model examples of Islamic practice.[1] The term has been in use since the Middle Ages but today refers especially to a follower of a modern Sunni Islamic movement known as Salafiyyah or Salafism, which is related to or includes Wahhabism, so that the two terms are often viewed as synonymous.[2] Salafism has become associated with literalist, strict and puritanical approaches to Islam and, in the West, with the Salafi Jihadis who espouse violent jihadagainst civilians as a legitimate expression of Islam.[3] It’s been noted that the Western association of Salafi ideology with violence stems from writings done “through the prism of security studies” that were published in the late 20th century, having persisted well into contemporary literature. [4] More recent attempts have been made by academics and scholars who challenge these major assumptions. Academics and historians use the term to denote “a school of thought which surfaced in the second half of the 19th century as a reaction to the spread of European ideas,” and “sought to expose the roots of modernity within Muslim civilization.”[5]
Just who, or what groups and movements, qualify as Salafi remains in dispute. In the Arab World, and possibly even more so now by Muslims in the West, it is usually secondary to the more common term Ahl-as-Sunnah (i.e., “People of the Sunnah“) while the term Ahl al-Hadith (The People of the Tradition) is more often used in the Indian subcontinent to identify adherents of Salafi ideology, a term which in the Middle-East is used more to indicate scholars and students of Hadith. All are considered to bear the same or similar connotation and have been used interchangeably by Muslim scholars throughout the ages, Ahl al-Hadeeth possibly being the oldest recorded term used to describe the earliest adherents[6] while Ahl as-Sunnah is overwhelmingly used by Muslim scholars, including Salafis as well as others, such as the Ash’ari sect, leading to a narrower use of the term “Salafi”.[7] The Muslim Brotherhood includes the term in the “About Us” section of its website[8] while others exclude that organisation[9] in the belief that the group commits religious innovations. Other self-described contemporary salafis may define themselves as Muslims who follow “literal, traditional … injunctions of the sacred texts” rather than the “somewhat freewheeling interpretation” of earlier salafis. These look to Ibn Taymiyyah, not the 19th century figures ofMuhammad Abduh, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, and Rashid Rida.[5]
According to the 2010 German domestic intelligence service annual report, Salafism is the fastest growing Islamic movement in the world.


In a recent crackdown on radical Islam, German authorities have launched nationwide raids on an ultra-conservative religious group – the Salafists. They’re suspected of having links to extremists and posing a threat to democracy. But for years the movement has enjoyed conditions that’ve made it thrive, as Oksana Boyko reports.

A group of Salafists attacked an art exhibition, Le Printemps des Arts, in La Marsa, (north suburb of Tunis) destroying some of the art works deemed blasphemous to Islam. The small, yet grave incident, soon grew in proportion when hundreds of Salafists – or thugs – attacked a police station in La Marsa, burnt a tribunal in Sidi Hussein (south of Tunis) and stopped police and firefighters from intervening. Clashes with police were reported in two neighborhoods throughout metropolitan Tunis and coastal city Sousse.

The aftermath led to a curfew, starting from Monday, June 12th, after the escalation of violence, in Metropolitan Tunis, Sousse, Monastir, Tabarka, and in other inland regions, including Gabes and Ben Guerdane.

An Interior Ministry official was quoted by the media as saying 162 people had been detained and 65 members of the security forces wounded in the incident.

In revolutionary Tunisia, 2012 saw a political struggle between the small but violent minority of Salafis or hard line fundamentalists, and, well, everybody else. Salafi attacks on unveiled women provoked a huge anti-Salafi rally in the capital, Tunis. In summer, some Salafis attacked an art exhibit in tony LaMarsa. In September, Salafis of a more al-Qaeda mindset set fire to the parking lot of the American embassy and looted some of its offices. The leader of the movement for political Islam in Tunisia, the al-Nahda Party’s Rashid Ghanoushi, was caught on tape warning the Salafis that if they continued to be so provocative, they risked instigating a civil war like that in Algeria (where some 150,000 Algerians died in a struggle between secularists and Muslim fundamentalists in 1991-2002).


A Salafi (Arabic: ?????) is a Muslim who emphasises the Salaf (“predecessors” or “ancestors”), the earliest Muslims, as model examples of Islamic practice.[1] The term has been in use since the Middle Ages but today refers especially to a follower of a modern Sunni Islamic movement known as Salafiyyah or Salafism, which is related to or includes Wahhabism, so that the two terms are often viewed as synonymous.[2] Salafism has become associated with literalist, strict and puritanical approaches to Islam and, in the West, with the Salafi Jihadis who espouse violent jihadagainst civilians as a legitimate expression of Islam.[3] It’s been noted that the Western association of Salafi ideology with violence stems from writings done “through the prism of security studies” that were published in the late 20th century, having persisted well into contemporary literature. [4] More recent attempts have been made by academics and scholars who challenge these major assumptions. Academics and historians use the term to denote “a school of thought which surfaced in the second half of the 19th century as a reaction to the spread of European ideas,” and “sought to expose the roots of modernity within Muslim civilization.”[5]
Just who, or what groups and movements, qualify as Salafi remains in dispute. In the Arab World, and possibly even more so now by Muslims in the West, it is usually secondary to the more common term Ahl-as-Sunnah (i.e., “People of the Sunnah“) while the term Ahl al-Hadith (The People of the Tradition) is more often used in the Indian subcontinent to identify adherents of Salafi ideology, a term which in the Middle-East is used more to indicate scholars and students of Hadith. All are considered to bear the same or similar connotation and have been used interchangeably by Muslim scholars throughout the ages, Ahl al-Hadeeth possibly being the oldest recorded term used to describe the earliest adherents[6] while Ahl as-Sunnah is overwhelmingly used by Muslim scholars, including Salafis as well as others, such as the Ash’ari sect, leading to a narrower use of the term “Salafi”.[7] The Muslim Brotherhood includes the term in the “About Us” section of its website[8] while others exclude that organisation[9] in the belief that the group commits religious innovations. Other self-described contemporary salafis may define themselves as Muslims who follow “literal, traditional … injunctions of the sacred texts” rather than the “somewhat freewheeling interpretation” of earlier salafis. These look to Ibn Taymiyyah, not the 19th century figures ofMuhammad Abduh, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, and Rashid Rida.[5]
According to the 2010 German domestic intelligence service annual report, Salafism is the fastest growing Islamic movement in the world.


In a recent crackdown on radical Islam, German authorities have launched nationwide raids on an ultra-conservative religious group – the Salafists. They’re suspected of having links to extremists and posing a threat to democracy. But for years the movement has enjoyed conditions that’ve made it thrive, as Oksana Boyko reports.

A group of Salafists attacked an art exhibition, Le Printemps des Arts, in La Marsa, (north suburb of Tunis) destroying some of the art works deemed blasphemous to Islam. The small, yet grave incident, soon grew in proportion when hundreds of Salafists – or thugs – attacked a police station in La Marsa, burnt a tribunal in Sidi Hussein (south of Tunis) and stopped police and firefighters from intervening. Clashes with police were reported in two neighborhoods throughout metropolitan Tunis and coastal city Sousse.

The aftermath led to a curfew, starting from Monday, June 12th, after the escalation of violence, in Metropolitan Tunis, Sousse, Monastir, Tabarka, and in other inland regions, including Gabes and Ben Guerdane.

An Interior Ministry official was quoted by the media as saying 162 people had been detained and 65 members of the security forces wounded in the incident.

We are the 99 per cent

WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation used counterterrorism agents to investigate the Occupy Wall Street movement, including its communications and planning, according to newly disclosed agency records.

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The F.B.I. records show that as early as September 2011, an agent from a counterterrorism task force in New York notified officials of two landmarks in Lower Manhattan — Federal Hall and the Museum of American Finance — “that their building was identified as a point of interest for the Occupy Wall Street.”
That was around the time that Occupy Wall Street activists set up a camp in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, spawning a protest movement across the United States that focused the nation’s attention on issues of income inequality.
In the following months, F.B.I. personnel around the country were routinely involved in exchanging information about the movement with businesses, local law-enforcement agencies and universities.
An October 2011 memo from the bureau’s Jacksonville, Fla., field office was titled Domain Program Management Domestic Terrorist.
The memo said agents discussed “past and upcoming meetings” of the movement, and its spread. It said agents should contact Occupy Wall Street activists to ascertain whether people who attended their events had “violent tendencies.”
The memo said that because of high rates of unemployment, “the movement was spreading throughout Florida and there were several Facebook pages dedicated to specific chapters based on geographical areas.”
The F.B.I. was concerned that the movement would provide “an outlet for a lone offender exploiting the movement for reasons associated with general government dissatisfaction.”
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the F.B.I. has come under criticism for deploying counterterrorism agents to conduct surveillance and gather intelligence on organizations active in environmental, animal-cruelty and poverty issues.
The disclosure of the F.B.I. records comes a little more than a year after the police ousted protesters from Zuccotti Park in November 2011. Law-enforcement agencies undertook similar actions around the country against Occupy Wall Street groups.
Occupy Wall Street has lost much of its visibility since then, but questions remain about how local and federal law-enforcement officials monitored and treated the protesters.
The records were obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a civil-rights organization in Washington, through a Freedom of Information request to the F.B.I. Many parts of the documents were redacted by the bureau.
The records provide one of the first glimpses into how deeply involved federal law-enforcement authorities were in monitoring the activities of the movement, which is sometimes described in extreme terms.
For example, according to a memo written by the F.B.I.’s New York field office in August 2011, bureau personnel met with officials from the New York Stock Exchange to discuss “the planned Anarchist protest titled ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ scheduled for September 17, 2011.”
“The protest appears on Anarchist Web sites and social network pages on the Internet,” the memo said.
It added: “Numerous incidents have occurred in the past which show attempts by Anarchist groups to disrupt, influence, and or shut down normal business operations of financial districts.”
A spokesman for the F.B.I. in Washington cautioned against “drawing conclusions from redacted” documents.
“The F.B.I. recognizes the rights of individuals and groups to engage in constitutionally protected activity,” said the spokesman, Paul Bresson. “While the F.B.I. is obligated to thoroughly investigate any serious allegations involving threats of violence, we do not open investigations based solely on First Amendment activity. In fact, the Department of Justice and the F.B.I.’s own internal guidelines on domestic operations strictly forbid that.”
But Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, said the documents demonstrated that the F.B.I. had acted improperly by gathering information on Americans involved in lawful activities.
“The collection of information on people’s free-speech actions is being entered into unregulated databases, a vast storehouse of information widely disseminated to a range of law-enforcement and, apparently, private entities,” she said. “This is precisely the threat — people do not know when or how it may be used and in what manner.”
The records show little evidence that the members of the movement planned to commit violence. But they do describe a discussion on the Internet “regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement about when it is okay to shoot a police officer” and a law-enforcement meeting held in Des Moines because “there may potentially be an attempt to stop the Iowa Caucuses by people involved in Occupy Iowa.”
There are no references within the documents to agency personnel covertly infiltrating Occupy branches.
The documents indicate, however, that the F.B.I. obtained information from police departments and other law-enforcement agencies that appear to have been gathered by someone observing the protesters as they planned activities.
The documents do not detail recent activities by the F.B.I. involving Occupy Wall Street.
But one activist, Billy Livsey, 48, said two F.B.I. agents visited him in Brooklyn over the summer to question him about planned protests at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., and about plans to celebrate the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street in September.
The agents, Mr. Livsey said, told him they knew he was among a group of people involved in the Occupy Wall Street “direct action” group that distributed information about the movement’s activities.
He said he felt unnerved by the visit.
“It was surprising and troubling to me,” Mr. Livsey said.


Occupy Wall Street activists returned to Zuccotti Park on Thursday to protest trespassing charges against activists who were arrested at New York’s Trinity Church on December 17. The protesters had scaled a fence onto church-owned property after Trinity refused to give them sanctuary following their eviction from Zuccotti at the time. Thursday’s rally was held as part of a campaign to pressure Trinity to drop cooperation with prosecutors ahead of the protesters’ trial next week. A group of New York pastors led a prayer vigil in support.

Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt: “I must take issue with Trinity Church today. I must take issue with their desire to prosecute people for acting in a way that churches and houses of worship [have] acted for centuries. I must take issue with those people, for whatever reason, who have decided that prosecution of free speech and prosecution in the service of human life and human flourishing is a good idea.”

Also speaking at the event on Thursday was the priest, poet and activist, Father Daniel Berrigan.

Father Daniel Berrigan: “Real estate is real when it is in service to the common good. And when people are being served by the real estate, it becomes real once more. We are witnessing, in the case of Trinity, the unreality of real estate out of all control, which is to say, the real estate is growing unreal by playing God, by the way in which it’s trying to be in charge — and failing utterly. One way of putting our project today is to say, we are here to restore the reality to real estate.”


The Occupation of Wall Street, which has successfully and peacefully resisted an eviction attempt by New York police by sheer weight of numbers, has inspired similar occupations across the United States and across the world.

A demonstration which began with a handful of protesters getting pepper-sprayed on the pavements of Manhattan’s financial district has mushroomed into a national phenomenon, with labour unions rushing to offer solidarity and high-profile supporters lending advice and assistance.

After a year of police violence and savage crackdowns on protest across Europe, the injection of energy from across the Atlantic is more than welcome.

There are good reasons to be watching what’s happening in Lower Manhattan right now. The idea of Wall Street as the heart of a global financial system whose collapse threatens the future of human civilisation is as important as the space itself, and while this is no Tahrir Square – the occupiers are hardly storming the skyscrapers above them – the brash symbolism of the protest is hard to ignore.

At the demonstration on London’s Westminster bridge last weekend, I was handed flyers reading “We are the 99 per cent”. As Britain gears up for a fresh wave of student demonstrations beginning on November 9, the mantra of the Occupy America movement, somewhere between an cry of rage and a threat, has begun to resonate around the world.

What does it mean?

As a slogan, “We are the 99 per cent” is inclusive to the point of inarticulacy. It is neither a demand nor an ideology, simply a statement of numbers. While intended to set the majority of ordinary citizens against the elite “one per cent” who, it is alleged, own and control most of the world’s wealth, the slogan has been criticised for its formlessness: Does it mean: “We are the 99 per cent, and we’re here to take back the money you stole?” Does it mean: ”We are the 99 per cent, and we will be pleased to serve you dinner whilst you confiscate our homes?” Does it simply mean “we are the 99 percent, and we’re screwed?”

It means none of these things: The slogan is a statistic, a simple statement of majority. “We are the 99 per cent,” it says. “Why aren’t we represented?”

At their heart, these protests are about democracy. They are about the crisis of representative democracy taking place across the world, as party politics consistently places the interests of business above the interests of society.

Police in New York have arrested about 70 people, as Occupy Wall Street protesters moved to Times Square.
Forty-five were detained in the square, with another 24 held for alleged trespassing at a branch of Citibank in Washington Square Park.
The protests came on a day of worldwide protests against austerity and what protesters call corporate greed.
At least 70 people were injured after a peaceful rally in the Italian capital Rome descended into street battles.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called the violence a “worrying signal” and said the perpetrators “must be found and punished”.
Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno blamed the violence on “a few thousand thugs from all over Italy, and possibly from all over Europe, who infiltrated the demonstration”.

Series of rallies

Organisers of the New York march from Zannotti Park in Lower Manhattan to Times Square said about 5,000 people took part.
Police arrest woman in Times Square 15 October 2011Polilce made 45 arrests in Times Square alone
Protesters chanted: “We got sold out, banks got bailed out” and “All day, all week, occupy Wall Street.”
There were also protests in a number of other US cities, including 5,000 people who rallied outside City Hall in Los Angeles and 2,000 who marched in Pittsburgh.
The New York protests began on 17 September with a small group of activists and have swelled to include several thousand people at times, from many walks of life.

Festive

The Rome protests began when tens of thousands of people gathered under anti-austerity banners, close to the ruins of the Colosseum.
However militants dressed in black, some of them wearing balaclavas and crash helmets, soon appeared in the crowd and began attacking property.
Cars were burnt, and cash dispensers, banks and shops were attacked, with windows smashed.
A huge rally in Madrid had a more festive atmosphere.
Tens of thousands of people filled the Puerta del Sol Square on Saturday evening, the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford reports from the Spanish capital.
Rally in Madrid's Puerta del Sol 15 October 2011Madrid was one of several European cities to see large-scale protests on Saturday
People of all ages, from pensioners to children, and many of the young unemployed, filled the square, where the “Indignant” movement was launched in May.
In Portugal, 20,000 marched in Lisbon and a similar number in Oporto.
In Greece, about 2,000 people rallied outside parliament in Athens and a similar number reportedly turned out in the second city, Thessaloniki.
At least 1,000 people demonstrated in London’s financial district but were prevented by police from reaching the Stock Exchange, and five arrests were made.
About 500 protesters spent the night camped outside St Paul’s cathedral
Protests were also held in a number of cities across Asia.

This morning may turn out to be the “Millbank moment” for the “Occupy America” movement. When union activists arrived to swell the numbers defending Liberty Plaza, prompting the city authorities to back down from their planned eviction, reports from the occupation were wild with triumphant energy, and the chanting of: “All day, all week, occupy Wall Street!” is probably still going on right now. What I saw and heard in Liberty Plaza when I visited was the same shocked excitement I saw in London almost a year ago, when student demonstrators smashed into the headquarters of the party in government at Millbank: It was young people who have spent their entire lives feeling powerless and alienated suddenly realising that, with enough numbers and enough courage, they can be unstoppable, that they can take on the edifices of power and win, at least for a little while. The difference is that New Yorkers have achieved this without breaking a single window. The scrupulous non-violence of the Occupy America movement leaves the right-wing press unable to tell a simple story about “feral kids kicking off against the cops”: Instead, the images that have been broadcast around the world are of New York police pepper-spraying young women in the face and peaceful protesters being beaten away from Wall Street while chanting the First Amendment in chorus. On the morning of Friday, October 14, hundreds of thousands watched online as the authorities failed to remove the ordinary, indignant people of the United States from Liberty Plaza. When Americans do symbolic protest, they do it utterly without irony. In one way or another, we are all standing in the shadow of Wall Street. The dignified defiance of the New York occupation has inspired the world, and may yet provide some relief for the weary fighters on the European front of what looks set to be a long and punishing fight against austerity and state repression. The question now, for the occupiers and for everyone else is: What will the 99 per cent do next?

http://www.secaucusnewjersey.org/protesters-marched-to-0ccupy-wall-street-10453.html

Protesters Marched To Wall Street

Protesters of about hundreds of people marched to Wall Street in New York on Saturday to protest greed, corruption and budget cuts. The protesters despite negotiations would still descend to the heart of the global finance to air its grievances. Protesters had planned to stake out Wall Street until their anger over a financial system they say favors the rich and powerful was heard.

Police Blocked Streets But Protesters Went Through

The police blocked all the streets near the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall in LowerManhattan long before the protesters arrived. But the planned protest of Wall Street today was partially thwarted by a police shutdown of nearby streets in New York City. As it turned out, the demonstrators found much of their target off limits on Saturday as the city shut down sections of Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall well before their arrival.

The Aim Of The Protest

According to Bloomberg News, about 1,000 protesters were on site at the start of the protest and a lot more joined in. By noon, many protesters were carrying backpacks and sleeping bags, had gathered near Wall Street to search for a place to camp amid a heavy police presence. The aim of the protest was to get President Obama to establish a commission to end “the influence money has over our represenatives in Washington,” according to the website of Adbusters, a group promoting the event. The protest came as the United States struggles to overcome an economic crisis marked by a huge budget deficit that has triggered cuts in the public service sector while unemployment hovers stubbornly above nine percent.

Protest Was Organized Online & On Twitter

The Next Great Generation blog said the “Occupy Wall Street” protest was “organized online and on Twitter.” “People have a right to protest, and if they want to protest, we’ll be happy to make sure they have locations to do it,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sept. 15 at a press conference. “As long as they do it where other people’s rights are respected, this is the place where people can speak their minds, and that’s what makes New York, New York.”

In this article you learned that protesters of about hundreds of people marched to Wall Street in New York on Saturday to protest greed, corruption and budget cuts. The protest came as the United States struggles to overcome an economic crisis marked by a huge budget deficit that has triggered cuts in the public service sector while unemployment hovers stubbornly above nine percent.

WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation used counterterrorism agents to investigate the Occupy Wall Street movement, including its communications and planning, according to newly disclosed agency records.

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The F.B.I. records show that as early as September 2011, an agent from a counterterrorism task force in New York notified officials of two landmarks in Lower Manhattan — Federal Hall and the Museum of American Finance — “that their building was identified as a point of interest for the Occupy Wall Street.”
That was around the time that Occupy Wall Street activists set up a camp in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, spawning a protest movement across the United States that focused the nation’s attention on issues of income inequality.
In the following months, F.B.I. personnel around the country were routinely involved in exchanging information about the movement with businesses, local law-enforcement agencies and universities.
An October 2011 memo from the bureau’s Jacksonville, Fla., field office was titled Domain Program Management Domestic Terrorist.
The memo said agents discussed “past and upcoming meetings” of the movement, and its spread. It said agents should contact Occupy Wall Street activists to ascertain whether people who attended their events had “violent tendencies.”
The memo said that because of high rates of unemployment, “the movement was spreading throughout Florida and there were several Facebook pages dedicated to specific chapters based on geographical areas.”
The F.B.I. was concerned that the movement would provide “an outlet for a lone offender exploiting the movement for reasons associated with general government dissatisfaction.”
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the F.B.I. has come under criticism for deploying counterterrorism agents to conduct surveillance and gather intelligence on organizations active in environmental, animal-cruelty and poverty issues.
The disclosure of the F.B.I. records comes a little more than a year after the police ousted protesters from Zuccotti Park in November 2011. Law-enforcement agencies undertook similar actions around the country against Occupy Wall Street groups.
Occupy Wall Street has lost much of its visibility since then, but questions remain about how local and federal law-enforcement officials monitored and treated the protesters.
The records were obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a civil-rights organization in Washington, through a Freedom of Information request to the F.B.I. Many parts of the documents were redacted by the bureau.
The records provide one of the first glimpses into how deeply involved federal law-enforcement authorities were in monitoring the activities of the movement, which is sometimes described in extreme terms.
For example, according to a memo written by the F.B.I.’s New York field office in August 2011, bureau personnel met with officials from the New York Stock Exchange to discuss “the planned Anarchist protest titled ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ scheduled for September 17, 2011.”
“The protest appears on Anarchist Web sites and social network pages on the Internet,” the memo said.
It added: “Numerous incidents have occurred in the past which show attempts by Anarchist groups to disrupt, influence, and or shut down normal business operations of financial districts.”
A spokesman for the F.B.I. in Washington cautioned against “drawing conclusions from redacted” documents.
“The F.B.I. recognizes the rights of individuals and groups to engage in constitutionally protected activity,” said the spokesman, Paul Bresson. “While the F.B.I. is obligated to thoroughly investigate any serious allegations involving threats of violence, we do not open investigations based solely on First Amendment activity. In fact, the Department of Justice and the F.B.I.’s own internal guidelines on domestic operations strictly forbid that.”
But Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, said the documents demonstrated that the F.B.I. had acted improperly by gathering information on Americans involved in lawful activities.
“The collection of information on people’s free-speech actions is being entered into unregulated databases, a vast storehouse of information widely disseminated to a range of law-enforcement and, apparently, private entities,” she said. “This is precisely the threat — people do not know when or how it may be used and in what manner.”
The records show little evidence that the members of the movement planned to commit violence. But they do describe a discussion on the Internet “regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement about when it is okay to shoot a police officer” and a law-enforcement meeting held in Des Moines because “there may potentially be an attempt to stop the Iowa Caucuses by people involved in Occupy Iowa.”
There are no references within the documents to agency personnel covertly infiltrating Occupy branches.
The documents indicate, however, that the F.B.I. obtained information from police departments and other law-enforcement agencies that appear to have been gathered by someone observing the protesters as they planned activities.
The documents do not detail recent activities by the F.B.I. involving Occupy Wall Street.
But one activist, Billy Livsey, 48, said two F.B.I. agents visited him in Brooklyn over the summer to question him about planned protests at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., and about plans to celebrate the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street in September.
The agents, Mr. Livsey said, told him they knew he was among a group of people involved in the Occupy Wall Street “direct action” group that distributed information about the movement’s activities.
He said he felt unnerved by the visit.
“It was surprising and troubling to me,” Mr. Livsey said.


Occupy Wall Street activists returned to Zuccotti Park on Thursday to protest trespassing charges against activists who were arrested at New York’s Trinity Church on December 17. The protesters had scaled a fence onto church-owned property after Trinity refused to give them sanctuary following their eviction from Zuccotti at the time. Thursday’s rally was held as part of a campaign to pressure Trinity to drop cooperation with prosecutors ahead of the protesters’ trial next week. A group of New York pastors led a prayer vigil in support.

Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt: “I must take issue with Trinity Church today. I must take issue with their desire to prosecute people for acting in a way that churches and houses of worship [have] acted for centuries. I must take issue with those people, for whatever reason, who have decided that prosecution of free speech and prosecution in the service of human life and human flourishing is a good idea.”

Also speaking at the event on Thursday was the priest, poet and activist, Father Daniel Berrigan.

Father Daniel Berrigan: “Real estate is real when it is in service to the common good. And when people are being served by the real estate, it becomes real once more. We are witnessing, in the case of Trinity, the unreality of real estate out of all control, which is to say, the real estate is growing unreal by playing God, by the way in which it’s trying to be in charge — and failing utterly. One way of putting our project today is to say, we are here to restore the reality to real estate.”


The Occupation of Wall Street, which has successfully and peacefully resisted an eviction attempt by New York police by sheer weight of numbers, has inspired similar occupations across the United States and across the world.

A demonstration which began with a handful of protesters getting pepper-sprayed on the pavements of Manhattan’s financial district has mushroomed into a national phenomenon, with labour unions rushing to offer solidarity and high-profile supporters lending advice and assistance.

After a year of police violence and savage crackdowns on protest across Europe, the injection of energy from across the Atlantic is more than welcome.

There are good reasons to be watching what’s happening in Lower Manhattan right now. The idea of Wall Street as the heart of a global financial system whose collapse threatens the future of human civilisation is as important as the space itself, and while this is no Tahrir Square – the occupiers are hardly storming the skyscrapers above them – the brash symbolism of the protest is hard to ignore.

At the demonstration on London’s Westminster bridge last weekend, I was handed flyers reading “We are the 99 per cent”. As Britain gears up for a fresh wave of student demonstrations beginning on November 9, the mantra of the Occupy America movement, somewhere between an cry of rage and a threat, has begun to resonate around the world.

What does it mean?

As a slogan, “We are the 99 per cent” is inclusive to the point of inarticulacy. It is neither a demand nor an ideology, simply a statement of numbers. While intended to set the majority of ordinary citizens against the elite “one per cent” who, it is alleged, own and control most of the world’s wealth, the slogan has been criticised for its formlessness: Does it mean: “We are the 99 per cent, and we’re here to take back the money you stole?” Does it mean: ”We are the 99 per cent, and we will be pleased to serve you dinner whilst you confiscate our homes?” Does it simply mean “we are the 99 percent, and we’re screwed?”

It means none of these things: The slogan is a statistic, a simple statement of majority. “We are the 99 per cent,” it says. “Why aren’t we represented?”

At their heart, these protests are about democracy. They are about the crisis of representative democracy taking place across the world, as party politics consistently places the interests of business above the interests of society.

Police in New York have arrested about 70 people, as Occupy Wall Street protesters moved to Times Square.
Forty-five were detained in the square, with another 24 held for alleged trespassing at a branch of Citibank in Washington Square Park.
The protests came on a day of worldwide protests against austerity and what protesters call corporate greed.
At least 70 people were injured after a peaceful rally in the Italian capital Rome descended into street battles.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called the violence a “worrying signal” and said the perpetrators “must be found and punished”.
Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno blamed the violence on “a few thousand thugs from all over Italy, and possibly from all over Europe, who infiltrated the demonstration”.

Series of rallies

Organisers of the New York march from Zannotti Park in Lower Manhattan to Times Square said about 5,000 people took part.
Police arrest woman in Times Square 15 October 2011Polilce made 45 arrests in Times Square alone
Protesters chanted: “We got sold out, banks got bailed out” and “All day, all week, occupy Wall Street.”
There were also protests in a number of other US cities, including 5,000 people who rallied outside City Hall in Los Angeles and 2,000 who marched in Pittsburgh.
The New York protests began on 17 September with a small group of activists and have swelled to include several thousand people at times, from many walks of life.

Festive

The Rome protests began when tens of thousands of people gathered under anti-austerity banners, close to the ruins of the Colosseum.
However militants dressed in black, some of them wearing balaclavas and crash helmets, soon appeared in the crowd and began attacking property.
Cars were burnt, and cash dispensers, banks and shops were attacked, with windows smashed.
A huge rally in Madrid had a more festive atmosphere.
Tens of thousands of people filled the Puerta del Sol Square on Saturday evening, the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford reports from the Spanish capital.
Rally in Madrid's Puerta del Sol 15 October 2011Madrid was one of several European cities to see large-scale protests on Saturday
People of all ages, from pensioners to children, and many of the young unemployed, filled the square, where the “Indignant” movement was launched in May.
In Portugal, 20,000 marched in Lisbon and a similar number in Oporto.
In Greece, about 2,000 people rallied outside parliament in Athens and a similar number reportedly turned out in the second city, Thessaloniki.
At least 1,000 people demonstrated in London’s financial district but were prevented by police from reaching the Stock Exchange, and five arrests were made.
About 500 protesters spent the night camped outside St Paul’s cathedral
Protests were also held in a number of cities across Asia.

This morning may turn out to be the “Millbank moment” for the “Occupy America” movement. When union activists arrived to swell the numbers defending Liberty Plaza, prompting the city authorities to back down from their planned eviction, reports from the occupation were wild with triumphant energy, and the chanting of: “All day, all week, occupy Wall Street!” is probably still going on right now. What I saw and heard in Liberty Plaza when I visited was the same shocked excitement I saw in London almost a year ago, when student demonstrators smashed into the headquarters of the party in government at Millbank: It was young people who have spent their entire lives feeling powerless and alienated suddenly realising that, with enough numbers and enough courage, they can be unstoppable, that they can take on the edifices of power and win, at least for a little while. The difference is that New Yorkers have achieved this without breaking a single window. The scrupulous non-violence of the Occupy America movement leaves the right-wing press unable to tell a simple story about “feral kids kicking off against the cops”: Instead, the images that have been broadcast around the world are of New York police pepper-spraying young women in the face and peaceful protesters being beaten away from Wall Street while chanting the First Amendment in chorus. On the morning of Friday, October 14, hundreds of thousands watched online as the authorities failed to remove the ordinary, indignant people of the United States from Liberty Plaza. When Americans do symbolic protest, they do it utterly without irony. In one way or another, we are all standing in the shadow of Wall Street. The dignified defiance of the New York occupation has inspired the world, and may yet provide some relief for the weary fighters on the European front of what looks set to be a long and punishing fight against austerity and state repression. The question now, for the occupiers and for everyone else is: What will the 99 per cent do next?

http://www.secaucusnewjersey.org/protesters-marched-to-0ccupy-wall-street-10453.html

Protesters Marched To Wall Street

Protesters of about hundreds of people marched to Wall Street in New York on Saturday to protest greed, corruption and budget cuts. The protesters despite negotiations would still descend to the heart of the global finance to air its grievances. Protesters had planned to stake out Wall Street until their anger over a financial system they say favors the rich and powerful was heard.

Police Blocked Streets But Protesters Went Through

The police blocked all the streets near the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall in LowerManhattan long before the protesters arrived. But the planned protest of Wall Street today was partially thwarted by a police shutdown of nearby streets in New York City. As it turned out, the demonstrators found much of their target off limits on Saturday as the city shut down sections of Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall well before their arrival.

The Aim Of The Protest

According to Bloomberg News, about 1,000 protesters were on site at the start of the protest and a lot more joined in. By noon, many protesters were carrying backpacks and sleeping bags, had gathered near Wall Street to search for a place to camp amid a heavy police presence. The aim of the protest was to get President Obama to establish a commission to end “the influence money has over our represenatives in Washington,” according to the website of Adbusters, a group promoting the event. The protest came as the United States struggles to overcome an economic crisis marked by a huge budget deficit that has triggered cuts in the public service sector while unemployment hovers stubbornly above nine percent.

Protest Was Organized Online & On Twitter

The Next Great Generation blog said the “Occupy Wall Street” protest was “organized online and on Twitter.” “People have a right to protest, and if they want to protest, we’ll be happy to make sure they have locations to do it,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sept. 15 at a press conference. “As long as they do it where other people’s rights are respected, this is the place where people can speak their minds, and that’s what makes New York, New York.”

In this article you learned that protesters of about hundreds of people marched to Wall Street in New York on Saturday to protest greed, corruption and budget cuts. The protest came as the United States struggles to overcome an economic crisis marked by a huge budget deficit that has triggered cuts in the public service sector while unemployment hovers stubbornly above nine percent.

Tlatelolco, 2 de octubre de 1968

Benditos los que olvidan, aunque tropiecen con la misma piedra Nietzsche El movimiento de México 68 se inserto en un contexto mundial de luchas sociales surgidas y recreadas de las universidades luego de vivirse un periodo de bonanza económica por … Continue reading

Benditos los que olvidan, aunque tropiecen con la misma piedra

Nietzsche

Foto : Armando Lenin Salgado. Estas imágenes pertenecen al archivo del fotografo Armando Lenin Salgado, quien en octubre de 1968 trabajaba para la revista Sucesos. Salgado cubrio varios de los mitines y marchas del movimiento estudiantil y aunque no estuvo en el mitin de la Plaza de las Tres Culturas el 2 de octubre, al día siguiente recorrio la explanada.

El movimiento de México 68 se inserto en un contexto mundial de luchas sociales surgidas y recreadas de las universidades luego de vivirse un periodo de bonanza económica por la Posguerra, 50 años despues nos encontramos en una mayor crisis en la que el despertar de una conciencia social es la unica esperanza.

La intolerancia, el autoritarismo, y la pasividad de la población, permitieron que se diera el trágico suceso de 1968, en Tlatelolco. A diferencia de otros países latinoamericanos que están saldando las cuentas de la represión durante la guerra fría, México sigue sin dilucidar la matanza de Tlatelolco.

Click to view slideshow.

La tarde del 2 de octubre de 1968, un día después de la salida del ejército de los campus de la UNAM y del IPN, miles de personas se reunieron en la Plaza de las Tres Culturas en Tlatelolco.

Mientras tanto, el ejército vigilaba, como en todas las manifestaciones anteriores, que no hubiera disturbios, principalmente porque el gobierno tenía temor de que fuera asaltada la Torre de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores.

Por su parte, miembros del Batallón Olimpia (cuyos integrantes iban vestidos de civiles con un pañuelo o guante blanco en la mano izquierda) se infiltraban en la manifestación hasta llegar al edificio “Chihuahua” donde se encontraban los oradores del movimiento y varios periodistas.

Primera conferencia de prensa convocada por el Consejo de Huelga de la UNAM el 5 de octubre.

Cerca de las seis de la tarde, casi finalizado el evento, un helicóptero sobrevoló la plaza del cual se dispararon bengalas, presumiblemente, como señal para que los francotiradores del Batallón Olimpia apostados en el edificio “Chihuahua” abrieran fuego en contra de los manifestantes y militares que resguardaban el lugar, para hacerles creer a estos últimos, que los estudiantes eran los agresores.8 Los militares en su intento de defenderse, repelieron “la agresión de los estudiantes“, pero ante la confusión, los disparos no fueron dirigidos contra sus agresores, sino hacia la multitud de manifestantes que se encontraban en la plaza de Tlatelolco.

Muchos manifestantes que lograron escapar del tiroteo se escondieron en algunos departamentos de los edificios aledaños, pero esto no detuvo al ejército, que sin orden judicial, irrumpieron a cada uno de los departamentos de todos los edificios de lo que conforma la Unidad Tlatelolco, para capturar a los manifestantes.

Aún se desconoce la cifra exacta de los muertos y heridos.9 El gobierno mexicano manifestó en 1968 que fueron sólo 20 muertos, tres años más tarde, la escritora Elena Poniatowska, en su libro La noche de Tlatelolco publicó la entrevista de una madre que buscó entre los cadáveres a su hijo y reveló que por lo menos había contado 65 cadáveres en un solo lugar.10

Jorge Castañeda en su artículo “Los 68 del 68“, publicado el 30 de agosto de 2006 en el periódico Reforma escribió:

De acuerdo con el informe histórico, en la Plaza de las Tres Culturas murieron ?cabalísticamente? 68 estudiantes y un soldado…”. Y todo uso de la fuerza pública se empezó automáticamente a asimilar al 68, pero al 68 magnificado: al de los 500, no al de los 68. Todo uso de la fuerza se volvió una masacre en potencia…”

México Desgraciado

Es importante subrayar y recordar que el año de 1968 fue de rebeldía en todo el mundo, no solamente en México. Tampoco fue sólo 1968, sino toda la década de los sesenta fue liberadora. No solo fue la lucha política en las calles, en las plazas y las escuelas, también fue (sobre todo) la batalla cultural de los jóvenes y las mujeres por romper contra la sociedad tradicional autoritaria y opresiva de los gobiernos, los empresarios, el clero, la familia, la escuela y el partido. La década de los sesenta fue una revolución cultural y política en los EEUU, en Francia, Alemania, Checoslovaquia; tanto en el mundo capitalista como al interior del llamado bloque socialista. Y en esa revolución fueron los jóvenes (los de la etapa más revolucionaria y transformadora de la vida) los que comenzaron a echar abajo el pensamiento y comportamiento viejo y tradicional. ¡Viva los hipies, los Beatles y los Rolling, la sicodelia, el amor libre, la libertad!

Sartre y su existencialismo, el Che y su humanismo, China y su maoísmo, Bakunin y su anarquismo y el filósofo crítico Marcuse, se convirtieron en bandera de los jóvenes luchadores sociales de entonces. “Prohibido prohibir” significó la plena libertad que iba unida a la “conciencia de la necesidad” de Marx. Los que militábamos en partidos marxistas radicalizados y pasábamos de los 25 años hacíamos esfuerzos por entender a aquellos jóvenes que dejaban sus hogares para organizar sus comunas, que rompían con su trabajo y sus ingresos para laborar en colectividad, que luchaban contra el consumismo y gritaban que había que hacer el amor y no la guerra y que con su guitarra, su pintura, su folklorismo y su rock, pensaban que podrían derrotar el capitalismo hipócrita y destructor de la humanidad. Si bien los acontecimientos políticos fueron los más difundidos, la revolución cultural fue la transformación real.

Editorial Clío. Es de la Serie “México Siglo XX: Gustavo Díaz Ordaz”

Este documental reúne la totalidad de los testimonios cinematográficos que se conocen sobre el trágico suceso del 2 de octubre de 1968; identifica a jefes militares y de fuerzas especiales que participaron en los hechos y presenta un claro panorama del complot que marcó un hito en la historia de México.

Tlaltelolco, es la continuación de una persistente búsqueda de claves que explican la matanza de la Plaza de las Tres Culturas. Destacan en este minucioso trabajo la identificación del esquema represivo puesto en marcha por el gobierno del Presidente Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, a artir del 28 de agosto de ese año; un revelador documento del embajador estadounidense en México, Fulton Freeman, que aporta sólidos indicios acerca de la intervención de Washington en el conflicto, y las sorprendentes evidencias en torno a la actuación de francotiradores desde el edificio sede de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación.

En 1998 canalseisdejulio inició una investigación acerca del operativo militar que provocó la matanza del 2 de octubre del 68 en Tlaltelolco.

Producto de esa primera aproximación es el documental ‘Batallón Olimpia’. Dos años más tarde el mismo equipo produjo ‘Operación Galeana’, un video filme que profundizó la indagación sobre el mismo tema.

Ahora, en una coproducción con ‘La Jornada’, se presenta el documental ‘Tlaltelolco, las claves de la masacre’ como la conclusión de esta ardua investigación.

Puedes comprar el DVD en:
http://www.canalseisdejulio.org/1/content/tlatelolco-las-claves-de-la-masacre

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Movimiento_de_1968_en_M%C3%A9xico

TESTIMONIO DE UN EXMILITAR

Mario Alberto Sierra

Cuando llegamos había poca gente, como al diez para la cinco ya había 5 mil o 6 mil personas, y cuando empezó el mitin a las 5:10 ya había entre 8 mil y 10 mil asistentes. Sentíamos un ambiente raro y le sugerí al sargento Gama que nos moviéramos a una de las esquinas de la plaza, cerca del edificio Chihuahua.Alrededor de la plaza estaban las tanquetas del 12 Regimiento de Caballería Motorizada, que habían llegado de Puebla para el desfile del 16 de septiembre y que se quedaron en la ciudad. Escobar Alemany le contó después que desde esos vehículos se disparó indiscriminadamente contra la fachada del Chihuahua.La plaza era una ratonera, y el edificio Chihuahua, la trampa. Le dije a Gama que nos colocáramos en la orillita. A las 6:10 vio salir las luces de bengala del helicóptero militar que ya llevaba su quinta ronda sobre la plaza. Salieron del helicóptero, fueron tres luces: dos verdes y una roja. Eran luces especiales que se sueltan y alumbran como un arcoiris. Nosotros no sabíamos nada, no teníamos ninguna instrucción. Inmediatamente se escuchó un disparo y a la distancia no supimos de dónde venía, pero fue de pistola. Luego otros cinco o seis disparos.Vi a un francotirador en el techo de la iglesia. Hubo otros disparos desde el edificio del ISSSTE. La imagen de la gente moviéndose era extraña, era como cuando el trigo se mece hacia donde lo lleva el viento. Así se movió la gente buscando una salida en sentido contrario de donde venían los disparos.

Dice que al día siguiente, 3 de octubre, se levantaron tarde porque no habían tocado la diana. No había casi nadie en las instalaciones militares. Mientras estaban desayunando los llamaron para ordenarles que regresaran a Tlatelolco en el camión militar que transportaría a mediodía el rancho para los soldados.

[Al siguiente día] ¿Qué vimos? Era como una zona de guerra. Había un silencio especial, pesado, se podía agarrar. Le dije a Gama: ‘¿Cuánto apuestas a que De Flon nos dice que por qué no estuvimos en el mitin?’ Gama me dijo ‘cómo crees’, pero dicho y hecho: Nos lo reclamó, como si hubiéramos tenido que estar muertos, heridos o detenidos para probarlo. Tuvimos que explicarle lo que nos pasó.En la plaza había basura, ropa, manchas de sangre tapadas con periódico, sangre aún fresca mezclada con agua. Había llovido.

FUENTE

TESTIMONIO DE LA FAMILIA DE UNA DE LAS VÍCTIMAS

Diana Rivera es hermana de una de las víctimas de Tlatelolco, su hermano Guillermo (Chomy) era un adolescente de 15 años en el momento de ser abatido y muerto por tres impactos de bala. Asistió al mitin de Tlatelolco sin pertenecer a ninguna organización.Ella también se dirigía hacia allí: «Sin embargo, ya no pudimos entrar a la plaza. Los soldados habían bloqueado la zona y nosotros nos quedamos atrás de los tanques. Unos jóvenes que huían nos dijeron: “Están matando a todo mundo”. No había necesidad de que nos lo dijeran; nosotros escuchábamos los disparos y olíamos la pólvora.Pensamos en ese momento que la represión era más selectiva, que sólo se disparaba contra los dirigentes. No imaginábamos que el tiroteo fuera contra el grueso del mitin». Su hermano cayó herido de muerte tras los primeros disparos, supieron que lo habían trasladado a un hospital militar y que allí falleció, persiguieron a la ambulancia que transportaba el cadáver: «Aquella persecución fue una pesadilla, no sabíamos adónde llevaban el cuerpo.Seguimos a la ambulancia que entró finalmente al edificio del Servicio Médico Forense. Allí vi una de las cosas más espantosas de mi vida: las planchas eran insuficientes, por lo que estaban repletas de cadáveres amontonados, unos encima de otros. Había cuerpos de niños, de niñas, de mujeres embarazadas… Habría algunos 200 cadáveres de gente masacrada. La misma escena cuya foto vi después publicada en la revista ¿Por qué?, que dirigía Mario Menéndez. Esa foto yo la viví. Yo vi esa escena».

… nos dijeron que solamente podíamos sacar el cadáver de mi hermano si testimoniábamos, en el acta de defunción, que había muerto por otra causa…No nos quedó más alternativa que dejar asentado que mi hermano murió por otras causas, ahorita ya ni recuerdo cuáles…Diana considera que será imposible investigar los hechos basándose en actas ministeriales o en certificados de defunción, puesto que en aquel entonces los familiares fueron obligados a poner otras causas de las muertes. «Más que por las actas, la investigación tendría que guiarse por testimonios de los familiares de las víctimas. Pero entre nosotros nunca hubo contacto. No había esa conciencia del derecho que hay ahora.

FUENTE

MÁS TESTIMONIOS

Florencio López Osuna

Llévatelo, y a la primera pendejada, te lo chingas, fue lo último que escuchó antes de que lo bajaran, a empellones, del tercero al segundo piso del edificio Chihuahua.Había sido el primer orador del mitin y fue el único de la lista de tres comisionados para hablar esa tarde en nombre del Consejo Nacional de Huelga —los otros eran David Vega y Eduardo Valle—, que alcanzó a pronunciar su discurso.Yo estaba en el centro de la tribuna. Cuando comenzaron los disparos, me di la vuelta, y, dando la espalda a la plaza, vi que el tercer piso se había llenado de gente que, después supe, era del Batallón Olimpia. Eran jóvenes como nosotros. Algunos traían una fusca en la mano; otros cargaban metralleta. Todos traían un guante blanco. A unos pasos de donde estaba, David (Vega) forcejeaba por el micrófono con uno del Batallón Olimpia, al que se le salió un tiro.Los del batallón les dieron tres instrucciones: ‘Todos a la pared, todos al suelo y al que alce la cabeza se lo lleva la chingada’. Mientras tanto, un tipo alto, fornido, con gabardina, disparaba contra la multitud.

López Osuna permaneció de pie; durante segundos, pegado al barandal del tercer piso, pudo ver cómo se formaba un remolino en la plaza, la gente se movía como una ola de mar. En ese momento, uno de los agentes lo tumbó al piso, cayéndole encima.

A los que estábamos en el tercer piso nos dividieron: A unos los subieron al cuarto piso y a otros nos bajaron al segundo. Yo fui de estos últimos. Un tipo que estaba acostado con nosotros nos decía en qué turno debíamos arrastrarnos. A unos pasos de ahí, había otro tipo en cuclillas. Era el que mandaba. Todavía lo recuerdo: patilludo, orejón. Cuando tocó mi turno, el que estaba acostado le dijo a su jefe: ‘Éste fue orador en el mitin’. Entonces, me jalaron, me mentaron la madre. Ahí empezaron los chingadazos.

René Manning

Cuando empezó la balacera, estábamos viendo por una pequeña ventana, apena cabían dos personas para observar. Fernando vio que por el lado izquierdo, por donde estaba el cine Tlatelolco, y por el lado de Reforma, comenzaron a entrar los soldados. Yo me fijé en el helicóptero, cuando arrojó las luces de bengala: una roja y dos verdes.En el balcón que estaba debajo, a mi izquierda, donde estaban los líderes hablando, vi cuando un hombre de guante blanco agarró a uno del cabello, le puso la pistola en la sien y le disparó… Yo lo vi. Ése fue el primer disparo que escuché y entonces comenzaron a entrar los soldados a la plaza. Entraron abriendo fuego contra la gente que estaba en la explanada. Después entraron una o dos tanquetas disparando contra el edificio Chihuahua. Fernando me jaló y nos fuimos hacia atrás, en ese momento entró una ráfaga de la tanqueta exactamente en el departamento. Rompieron las tuberías y el departamento comenzó a inundarse. Nos fuimos a la última recámara. Ahí nos mantuvimos hasta las cuatro de la madrugada.

Enrique Espinoza Villegas

Estaba en la Preparatoria 5 y era activista. Tenía 19 años y no participé en el Comité de Huelga. El 2 de octubre quise estar en el tercer piso del Chihuahua porque allí iban a estar otros amigos.Llevé a mi madre, pero la dejé en la explanada y me subí. Cuando estaba hablando Socrátes (Amado Campos Lemus) empezó el tiroteo y quise bajar por mi madre, pero ya no me dejaron. Me detuvieron los del guante blanco, que comenzaron a dispararle a la gente.Había dos niños de secundaria que, cuando vieron que los del guante blanco disparaban contra la gente, se les aventaron. Ahí mismo los mataron. Primero les dispararon y en el suelo los golpearon con las cachas de las pistolas. Iban con suéter café.Con tristeza y remordimiento recuerda que no pudo ayudar a su madre Esther Villegas, a la que también se la llevaron los soldados. Ella estaba en las escaleras, alcancé a agarrarla, pero me detuvieron. Me llevaron a un departamento del tercer piso, donde estaban Luis González de Alba, Cabeza de Vaca, Sócrates y La Tita. Allí el policía del sombrero que aparece en las fotos era el que nos quitaba las pertenencias a todos los detenidos.

Pero después Enrique y González de Alba fueron llevados a otro departamento: Allí me quise escapar, vi un guante blanco tirado y traté de ponérmelo, haciéndome pasar por uno de ellos. Con los ojos Luis me decía que no, pero yo tenía miedo y quería escaparme para ir por mi madre, a la que también habían golpeado. Se dieron cuenta porque el guante rechinó cuando quise ponérmelo, me golpearon hasta que perdí el conocimiento. Creo que uno de ellos mismos me salvó porque les pidió que ya no me siguieran golpeando. Cuando desperté me bajaron a la entrada del edificio, donde nos tomaron la foto a un lado del elevador. Yo estoy de espaldas, soy el más alto.

Cuenta que en el Campo Militar Numero Uno nos llevaron a las galeras con camas de metal. Nos despertaban a la media noche y nos decían que nos iban a fusilar. Había ferrocarrileros, trabajadores del banco, estudiantes. Me golpeaban mucho, la tortura también era psicológica. Sacaban gente y se oían tiros, todos temblaban. Nunca vi que regresaban.

Ahí vi a Nazar Haro, varias veces fue a entrevistarnos, casi siempre a la medianoche o en la madrugada. Llegaba con sombrero y gabardina blanca, nos ponía bajo una lámpara y nos preguntaba: ‘¿Qué andabas haciendo, eres estudiante, del Comité, conoces a los líderes?’. No me golpeó, me hice pasar como trabajador de Aurrerá, estaba muy asustado. Me tomaban fotos mientras me interrogaban, huellas digitales de todos los dedos de las manos. Me parecían eternos, con preguntas insistentes.

FUENTE

Todo es posible en la paz, lema de los Juegos Olimpicos

Sólo restaban 10 días para el inicio de la justa deportiva mundial. El tiempo estaba, paradójicamente, en contra de la paz. En la imagen, avenida 20 de Noviembre, Zócalo capitalino FOTO Archivo General de la Nación. Fondo Hermanos Mayo

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2007/10/02/2deoctubre.php

Casi 40 años y no se olvidaEl Fotógrafo de GobernaciónLife en español Las filmacionesLa noche de TlatelolcoEl ABC del 68


El ABC del 68

canalseisdejulio

Retrato de una generación

Dedicado a los jóvenes

Original de los protagonistas

“Para la historia…”

Otros imprescindibles  

http://web1.taringa.net/posts/info/7310639/2-de-octubre-no-se-olvida_.html

Olimpiada de México 1968

http://sobrehistoria.com/tlatelolco-matanza-estudiantil-en-mexico-68/

Aquel año se celebraba la Olimpiada de México 1968, pero la inquietud internacional iba en aumento: se vivían los peores momentos de la Guerra de Vietnam, pocos meses antes había ocurrido la trágica Primavera de Praga, cuando los tanques soviéticos entraron en la capital checa; en París, los estudiantes se habían levantado, el racismo en Sudáfrica alcanzaba su apogeo, y México vivía una fuerte inestabilidad interna producto de las malas condiciones económicas que atravesaban. El 27 de agosto de aquel año, más de 200.000 estudiantes marchaban por el centro de Ciudad de México, y se instalaron en el Zócalo, una plaza central del Distrito Federal. Al día siguiente, la policía local reprimió la revuelta.

México era la ciudad ideal, por su próxima organización de los Juegos Olímpicos y convertirse así en un buen foco publicitario, para mostrar los desacuerdos, no sólo con la política interna del gobierno federal, sino con la inestabilidad mundial. Pero México y su Gobierno no estaba dispuesto a convertirse en un foco de revueltas precisamente en unas fechas tan señaladas. Las revueltas se sucedieron, y en Septiembre, mandó al ejército ocupar el Campus Universitario produciendo decenas de heridos entre los estudiantes. Ya, en esa represión, se habló de que había habido decenas de muertos, y que la policía los había incinerado para ocultar las pruebas al Mundo. Aún así, las protestas continuaban a ritmo creciente, mientras los participantes de todos los países del mundo iban llegando a la capital.

El 2 de Octubre, en la plaza de Tlatelolco o de las Tres Culturas, se congregaron casi 50.000 estudiantes. Pero no hicieron sino caer en una emboscada, pues de todas las calles convergentes, aparecieron las fuerzas del ejército, rodeando la plaza. Se disparó una bengala… y la matanza comenzó.

Los soldados empezaron a disparar indiscriminadamente contra los allí presentes, mientras los estudiantes huían aterrorizados. Casi 400 estudiantes murieron aquel día, y más de mil resultaron heridos de gravedad. Se quemaron gran parte de los cadáveres y los heridos fueron llevados a hospitales militares para ocultar la Verdad. Ya de noche, los bomberos y la policía se encargaron, con chorros de agua a presión, de lavar todas las huellas del magnicidio en aquella plaza, dejándola impoluta para la mañana siguiente.

Tantos años después, aún no se sabe de dónde partieron las órdenes. El presidente mexicano de aquellos momentos, Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, al parecer pidió la presencia militar en la plaza, pero fue el Comando Supremo de las Fuerzas Armadas quien ordenó el fuego. Todos los documentos de aquella matanza se quemaron o no aparecen. El presidente mexicano, Díaz Ordaz, ya murió; su sucesor, Echevarría, dice no saber nada. Sólo ciertos documentos de la CIA, el FBI, la Casa Blanca y el Pentágono, parecen arrojar algo de luz sobre el asunto:

– El Pentágono había enviado durante 1968 a México expertos en luchas antisubversivas para enseñar a los militares mexicanos.

– Hay documentos en los que Echevarría, Secretario de Gobernación durante el Gobierno de Díaz Ordaz, y sucesor en la Presidencia del mismo, indicó a la CIA que la situación se controlaría en poco tiempo.

– Según la CIA, el Gobierno mexicano había arreglado con algunos de los lideres estudiantiles una falsa acusación por la que dirigentes políticos contrarios al Gobierno eran los que andaban detrás de las revueltas estudiantiles.

Se han contabilizado cuatrocientos muertos, ateniéndose a las cartas de denuncias de desapariciones de decenas de madres, pero nunca podrá llegarse a saber la cifra exacta de aquel desastre. Desde entonces, cada 2 de octubre, en la plaza, estas madres se manifiestan portando las fotos de sus hijos desaparecidos al grito de:

“¡Vivos los tuvimos! ¡Vivos los queremos!” 

http://www.lafogata.org/mexico/mexico1.htm

http://arqmontecristo.blogspot.com/2010/10/2-de-octubre-no-se-olvida.html

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB180/

http://gatopardo.blogia.com/2008/100201-la-matanza-de-tlatelolco-del-2-de-octubre-de-1968.-informe-femospp.php

http://navegarsobreeloceano.blogspot.com/2010/10/tlatelolco-y-el-2-de-octubre-entre-el.html

http://ecatepec.blogia.com/2007/100203-2-de-octubre-no-se-olvida.php#.Toc7cxn73hg.facebook

http://lagalletabi.blogspot.com/2010/10/2-de-octubre-no-se-olvida.html

http://tlatelolco1968.camacho.com.mx/viven.html

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movimiento_de_1968_en_M%C3%A9xico

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tlatelolco_massacre

http://laberintodepiedra.blogspot.com/2011/10/mexico-68.html

Vivieron para contarlo

Florencio López Osuna era dirigente de la Escuela Superior de Economía del IPN en el 68 y actualmente es subdirector de la Voca 5. Es el que aparece en la portada de la revista, la semana pasada.

Llévatelo, y a la primera pendejada, te lo chingas, fue lo último que escuchó antes de que lo bajaran, a empellones, del tercero al segundo piso del edificio Chihuahua.

Había sido el primer orador del mitin y fue el único de la lista de tres comisionados para hablar esa tarde en nombre del Consejo Nacional de Huelga —los otros eran David Vega y Eduardo Valle—, que alcanzó a pronunciar su discurso.

Originario del municipio de Concordia, Sinaloa, le había tocado hablar de la situación del movimiento estudiantil, que se extendía por todo el país, y anunciar que se suspendía la programada marcha al Casco de Santo Tomás.

Yo estaba en el centro de la tribuna. Cuando comenzaron los disparos, me di la vuelta, y, dando la espalda a la plaza, vi que el tercer piso se había llenado de gente que, después supe, era del Batallón Olimpia. Eran jóvenes como nosotros. Algunos traían una fusca en la mano; otros cargaban metralleta. Todos traían un guante blanco. A unos pasos de donde estaba, David (Vega) forcejeaba por el micrófono con uno del Batallón Olimpia, al que se le salió un tiro.

Los del batallón les dieron tres instrucciones: ‘Todos a la pared, todos al suelo y al que alce la cabeza se lo lleva la chingada’. Mientras tanto, un tipo alto, fornido, con gabardina, disparaba contra la multitud.

López Osuna permaneció de pie; durante segundos, pegado al barandal del tercer piso, pudo ver cómo se formaba un remolino en la plaza, la gente se movía como una ola de mar. En ese momento, uno de los agentes lo tumbó al piso, cayéndole encima.

A los que estábamos en el tercer piso nos dividieron: A unos los subieron al cuarto piso y a otros nos bajaron al segundo. Yo fui de estos últimos. Un tipo que estaba acostado con nosotros nos decía en qué turno debíamos arrastrarnos. A unos pasos de ahí, había otro tipo en cuclillas. Era el que mandaba. Todavía lo recuerdo: patilludo, orejón. Cuando tocó mi turno, el que estaba acostado le dijo a su jefe: ‘Éste fue orador en el mitin’. Entonces, me jalaron, me mentaron la madre. Ahí empezaron los chingadazos.

Por acuerdo de una asamblea, López Osuna acudió armado a Tlatelolco, igual que otros de sus compañeros.

Hay que pensar qué momento estábamos viviendo: Nuestras escuelas eran ametralladas constantemente, había que tener con qué defenderse. Cuando estaba en el suelo, en lo único que pensaba era en cómo deshacerme de la pistola. El tipo patilludo me ordenó: ‘Ven acá’. Me estaba apuntando con una pistola. Y entonces pensé que era prudente informarle que estaba armado. El tipo se descontroló. Empezó a catearme desesperadamente, hasta que me encontró el arma. Me pegó con la pistola en la boca y empecé a sangrar. Y le dijo a uno de sus compañeros: ‘Llévatelo, y a la primera pendejada, chíngatelo’.

En el segundo piso le quitaron el cinturón y, a diferencia de otros estudiantes, le amarraron las manos hacia atrás. Su ropa fue cediendo a los jalones. Sólo permanecieron en su lugar los calzones mojados. La chamarra y la camiseta quedaron colgadas de los antebrazos, atoradas en la atadura de las manos.

Ya bajo custodia del Ejército, con la cara sangrando, lo pasaron bajo los chorros de agua que escurrían del edificio. Había que lavarle la cara para poderlo fotografiar.

Al llegar al Campo Militar Número Uno, donde permaneció hasta su reclusión en Lecumberri, la versión oficial sobre la pistola se había transformado. Éste traía una ametralladora, acusó un militar. Sólo alcancé a decir: ‘No es cierto, era una 380, y no la disparé’.

Luis González de Alba era representante de la Facultad de Psicología de la UNAM en el 68. Actualmente es escritor y periodista.

Las fotos son la constatación, la absoluta evidencia, de lo que los líderes del movimiento del 68 venimos diciendo desde hace más de 30 años: que la masacre de Tlatelolco la comenzaron hombres vestidos de civil con un guante blanco en la mano izquierda y una pistola en la derecha. Así lo declaramos en el Ministerio Público desde entonces, así lo declaramos después en cuantos medios pudimos, yo lo he dicho en todos los medios en donde he estado. Bueno, aquí está la constatación, fue así exactamente como lo relatamos.

En cuanto al texto que se publicó en Proceso también la semana pasada, dice que no está de acuerdo en que las fotos muestran la perfecta coordinación entre las fuerzas armadas y los grupos paramilitares:

Lo que demuestran es la absoluta falta de coordinación entre el Batallón Olimpia y el Ejército regular, que es lo que siempre he venido diciendo.

El grito ‘Batallón Olimpia no dispa-ren’ es el grito del Olimpia al Ejército: ‘Somos el Batallón Olimpia, no nos disparen a nosotros’. Esto demuestra que no tenían ni siquiera un radio, ésa es la prueba de la falta de coordinación: grupos diferentes del Ejército que están comprometidos en una misma operación militar se comunican de distintas formas, pero nunca a gritos, eso sí resulta absolutamente aberrante.

Recuerda el testimonio del fotógrafo de Paris Match: Dice que se encontraba en el edificio Chihuahua, en el tercer piso, tirado en el suelo, rodeado de gente que tenía un guante blanco en la mano, y que estaban también tirados en el suelo. ¿Qué hacían los del Olimpia tirados en el suelo? Ellos eran los que llegaron a comenzar los disparos, ellos eran los armados. Estaban tirados en el suelo porque el Ejército vio los fogonazos y dijo: ¡Son los estudiantes quienes nos están disparando! Y respondieron al fuego, y fueron avanzando, disparando hacia arriba, no hacia la gente. No estoy tratando de hacer el elogio del Ejército, quiero simplemente poner las cosas en su justo término, si estamos pidiendo justicia, que haya justicia, y no que cada quien le aumente la tinta en donde le guste.

Si el Ejército que tenía rodeada toda la plaza hubiera llegado disparándole a la gente, no queda nadie vivo. ¡Nadie! Y no hubiéramos tenido 30 o 40 muertos, que son los que están en la estela que levantaron en uno de los aniversarios con el nombre de los muertos, o los 100 o 200 que se han dicho, hubiera sido ¡todo el mundo! Pero el Ejército no llegó así, llegó el Olimpia a detenernos a nosotros, y aquí están las fotos de Proceso, ésa es su gran importancia, ¡ahí están las fotos! Exactamente como los describimos: hombres de pelo cortado estilo militar, muchachos de aspecto atlético, en lo general jóvenes, con un guante blanco, y los que no traían el guante blanco, traían un pañuelo blanco, que no hay en las fotos, pero había algunos con un pañuelo blanco. Ahí está demostrado.

Recuerda que en ninguna de las actas que ellos levantaron, las autoridades permitieron que se constatara la presencia del Batallón Olimpia. Pero, paradójicamente, el dato se les escapó en sus declaraciones a los militares que resultaron heridos.

El teniente Sergio Alejandro Aguilar Lucero, del Batallón Olimpia, en el Hospital Militar, declaró: ‘Soy miembro del Batallón Olimpia que fue conformado para salvaguardar las instalaciones olímpicas, y nos dieron orden para venir hoy por la tarde del 2 de octubre. Vestidos de civil nos identificaron con un guante blanco en la mano izquierda’. Lo mismo dijo el capitán Ernesto Morales Soto.

Agrega: Con estas fotografías queda perfectamente comprobada la participación de ese grupo paramilitar, exactamente como lo dijimos nosotros. Ahora, ¿quién lo envió, cómo fue la orden? Todo apunta a Luis Echeverría, no hay más. ¿Quién planeó la trampa? Tuvo que ser Echeverría, nadie más que él y el presidente Gustavo Díaz Ordaz tenían ese poder. Yo, con toda la infinita antipatía que siento hacia Díaz Ordaz, creo que no fue él, porque si hubiera sido, él entonces sí habríamos tenido una operación bien coordinada, porque viene desde el presidente. Pero como es algo chueco, que ni el presidente debe enterarse, quien lo hizo fue el secretario de Gobernación, por eso se dio sin coordinación.

Sobre su detención, recuerda: Lo único que padecí fue frío. Como se ve en la foto, estoy sin camisa; los pantalones no son míos, eran de un niño, me llegaban apenas debajo de la rodilla. La camisa ni siquiera entró. A todos nos habían quitado la ropa, fui golpeado en la nuca por un policía.

René Manning era músico en 1968 y hoy es dueño de un negocio de arte y diseño en Hermosillo, Sonora:

Era ya de madrugada. Estábamos en el cuarto piso del edificio Chihuahua; nos separaron: por una escalera hombres y por la otra mujeres. Estaba empapado porque las tuberías del departamento estaban rotas por las balas. Nos tomaron fotos a cada uno de los que íbamos bajando. Me fijé que el fotógrafo tenía dos o tres personas que le cambiaban la cámara, por los rollos.

Ese día, René y su amigo Fernando Leyva habían llegado al edificio Chihuahua para reunirse con dos muchachas que habían conocido en el café cantante Dos más Dos, de la Zona Rosa, donde tocaba el grupo Los Schippys, que ellos integraban con José Luis Liera.

No recuerdo el número del departamento, pero estábamos visitando a dos muchachas, una de ellas vivía ahí, la otra era de Mexicali. Nos tocó la mala suerte, dice en entrevista telefónica desde Hermosillo.

Cuando empezó la balacera, estábamos viendo por una pequeña ventana, apena cabían dos personas para observar. Fernando vio que por el lado izquierdo, por donde estaba el cine Tlatelolco, y por el lado de Reforma, comenzaron a entrar los soldados. Yo me fijé en el helicóptero, cuando arrojó las luces de bengala: una roja y dos verdes.

En el balcón que estaba debajo, a mi izquierda, donde estaban los líderes hablando, vi cuando un hombre de guante blanco agarró a uno del cabello, le puso la pistola en la sien y le disparó… Yo lo vi. Ése fue el primer disparo que escuché y entonces comenzaron a entrar los soldados a la plaza. Entraron abriendo fuego contra la gente que estaba en la explanada. Después entraron una o dos tanquetas disparando contra el edificio Chihuahua. Fernando me jaló y nos fuimos hacia atrás, en ese momento entró una ráfaga de la tanqueta exactamente en el departamento. Rompieron las tuberías y el departamento comenzó a inundarse. Nos fuimos a la última recámara. Ahí nos mantuvimos hasta las cuatro de la madrugada.

Antes habían tocado la puerta unos muchachos que decían que por favor abrieran porque los iban a matar. Les pedimos que no abrieran porque podría ser una trampa, que podían entrar los soldados o policías y nos mataban. Pero insistieron tanto que abrimos y entraron unos cinco estudiantes, que traían paquetes de volantes en contra del gobierno, que escondieron debajo de los colchones.

Finalmente volvieron a tocar la puerta, pidieron que se abriera, que nada iba a pasar. A la tercera vez gritaron que si no abríamos lo iban a hacer a balazos. Entraron como cinco, con lámparas muy grandes y preguntaron cuántos vivían en el departamento. Pidieron que salieran los miembros de la familia. Yo salí al último porque no encontraba una de mis muletas. Padezco polio desde los nueve meses.

Los que entraron llevaban el guante blanco. Cuando ya nos bajaron y nos detuvieron para tomar las fotos, al lado derecho de la escalera había varios cadáveres apilados, en la salida. Un soldado me dijo que no siguiera volteando, y de reojo alcancé ver los cadáveres uno encima de otro, estaban semidesnudos.

Antes de subirlos a los camiones, les quitaron toda la ropa, las agujetas de los zapatos y los cinturones. Así nos subimos al camión, con la ropa echa rollo. Íbamos amontonados. Nos llevaron al amanecer al Campo Militar Número Uno. Nos pusieron en unos dormitorios con literas de lámina. Lo ficharon, pero no lo torturaron como a su amigo Fernando, que estaba en otro galerón. Me preguntaron nombre, edad y de dónde era originario. No te decían absolutamente nada, sólo sacaban la hoja y fírmale.

Baltazar Doro Guadarrama fue activista de la Escuela Superior de Ingeniería Mecánica. Hoy se dedica a la venta de compresoras.

Fue uno de los estudiantes que se refugió en el departamento donde estaba Manning, quien la semana pasada apareció en la televisión. Aclara que no era el cuarto, sino el quinto piso del edificio Chihuahua y que desde el departamento 504, que era de su tía y donde vivía su prima Susana Ruiz —que en las fotos sale cubriéndose el rostro—, jamás se hubiera podido ver la ejecución que Manning sostiene haber visto.

Susana vivía en el quinto piso, en el departamento 504, donde nos refugiamos como 25 personas, entre ellos Pablo Gómez, Eduardo Valle, Anselmo Muñoz Juárez y Félix Hernández, cuando empezó la balacera. Yo repartía propaganda. Ese día iba a subir a la parte alta del edificio para soltar un globo lleno de propaganda y pasé al tercer piso para que me ayudaran, cuando comenzó el traqueteo.

Manning estaba en el departamento, y cuando nos sacaron me venía protegiendo con él para no ser golpeado tan fuerte, lo ayudaba a caminar. Cuando nos llevaron al segundo piso platiqué con algunos del Batallón Olimpia y nos dijeron que fueron traídos del norte para un operativo, pero nunca les enteraron de la masacre.

Pero todo estaba planeado. Cuando llegamos al edificio Chihuahua, en la parte baja había muchísimos militares vestidos de civil formados, los identificamos plenamente, pero no creímos que fuera a haber una represión tan brutal. Estaba en el tercer piso cuando entraron disparando los agentes policiacos. Eran agentes, algunos estaban en cuclillas, ésos fueron los que comenzaron a tirar hacia abajo, desde la bardita del piso tres. Yo lo vi, no me lo platicaron.

En el departamento 504 se refugiaron hasta las 11 de la noche, cuando los sacaron los del Batallón Olimpia —no a las cuatro de la mañana, como dice Manning—, y de ahí nos llevaron a otro departamento en el segundo piso, que estaba vacío… Después de que nos tomaron la fotografía, nos sacaron por el corredor que va hacia la calle de Eulalia Guzmán, donde estaban los camiones del Ejército. Pero antes de llegar se produjo una segunda balacera y los que nos llevaban, de manera cobarde, se escudaron con nosotros. Después nos metieron a una guardería, nos acostaron y como juego pasaban encima de nosotros corriendo.

En Eulalia Guzmán o Manuel González nos subieron a los camiones y nos llevaron al Campo Militar, por todo Reforma. Allá nos tuvieron en una crujía, hasta el 11 de octubre en la noche, cuando nos soltaron por el Toreo de Cuatro Caminos.

Nos alimentaron muy bien, pero en la noche se oían disparos y algunos de los que nos vigilaron decían que estaban formando ‘cuadro’, que estaban matando a algunos, entre ellos a Cabeza de Vaca.

Enrique Espinoza Villegas era estudiante de la Preparatoria 5, y ahora trabaja para una comunidad de Zacatecas:

Estaba en la Preparatoria 5 y era activista. Tenía 19 años y no participé en el Comité de Huelga. El 2 de octubre quise estar en el tercer piso del Chihuahua porque allí iban a estar otros amigos.

Llevé a mi madre, pero la dejé en la explanada y me subí. Cuando estaba hablando Socrátes (Amado Campos Lemus) empezó el tiroteo y quise bajar por mi madre, pero ya no me dejaron. Me detuvieron los del guante blanco, que comenzaron a dispararle a la gente.

Había dos niños de secundaria que, cuando vieron que los del guante blanco disparaban contra la gente, se les aventaron. Ahí mismo los mataron. Primero les dispararon y en el suelo los golpearon con las cachas de las pistolas. Iban con suéter café.

Con tristeza y remordimiento recuerda que no pudo ayudar a su madre Esther Villegas, a la que también se la llevaron los soldados. Ella estaba en las escaleras, alcancé a agarrarla, pero me detuvieron. Me llevaron a un departamento del tercer piso, donde estaban Luis González de Alba, Cabeza de Vaca, Sócrates y La Tita. Allí el policía del sombrero que aparece en las fotos era el que nos quitaba las pertenencias a todos los detenidos.

Pero después Enrique y González de Alba fueron llevados a otro departamento: Allí me quise escapar, vi un guante blanco tirado y traté de ponérmelo, haciéndome pasar por uno de ellos. Con los ojos Luis me decía que no, pero yo tenía miedo y quería escaparme para ir por mi madre, a la que también habían golpeado. Se dieron cuenta porque el guante rechinó cuando quise ponérmelo, me golpearon hasta que perdí el conocimiento. Creo que uno de ellos mismos me salvó porque les pidió que ya no me siguieran golpeando. Cuando desperté me bajaron a la entrada del edificio, donde nos tomaron la foto a un lado del elevador. Yo estoy de espaldas, soy el más alto.

Cuenta que en el Campo Militar Numero Uno nos llevaron a las galeras con camas de metal. Nos despertaban a la media noche y nos decían que nos iban a fusilar. Había ferrocarrileros, trabajadores del banco, estudiantes. Me golpeaban mucho, la tortura también era psicológica. Sacaban gente y se oían tiros, todos temblaban. Nunca vi que regresaban.

Ahí vi a Nazar Haro, varias veces fue a entrevistarnos, casi siempre a la medianoche o en la madrugada. Llegaba con sombrero y gabardina blanca, nos ponía bajo una lámpara y nos preguntaba: ‘¿Qué andabas haciendo, eres estudiante, del Comité, conoces a los líderes?’. No me golpeó, me hice pasar como trabajador de Aurrerá, estaba muy asustado. Me tomaban fotos mientras me interrogaban, huellas digitales de todos los dedos de las manos. Me parecían eternos, con preguntas insistentes.

La vivencia fue muy fuerte, tengo secuelas, me hice un tipo tímido e introvertido. Incluso me perdí por un tiempo, usé drogas en una comuna hippy, era una manera de fugarme; intenté regresar a la escuela pero ya no pude; llegué hasta el quinto año de medicina en la UNAM. Luego fui a la ENAH a estudiar historia.

Trabajó como ayudante administrativo del gobernador de Zacatecas Arturo Romo. Ahora trabajo en la comunidad muy pobre de Concepción del Oro, en servicios de salud, ayudando a la gente.

“Un soldado avisó a mi familia”

José Manuel Monroy fue activista de la Facultad de Ciencias de la UNAM y hoy es consultor de informática:

Estaba en el primer año de la carrera de Física, en la Facultad de Ciencias, y ese día me tocó llevar a Tlatelolco a Oriana Falacci, con un profesor de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras.

Estábamos en el balcón viendo hacia la plaza cuando comenzaron los disparos. La verdad, no me di cuenta de dónde venían los tiros, pero sí recuerdo haber visto que los soldados avanzaban hacia la plaza. Quise salir, pero la escalera ya estaba tomada por el Batallón Olimpia.

Estuvimos tirados un buen rato en el piso, había muchos heridos. Aquello se estaba inundando. Pecho a tierra, me bajaron al segundo piso y me metieron a un departamento con otros. Me quitaron la ropa y me golpearon en el estómago varias veces.

Serían como las 11 de la noche cuando nos sacaron del departamento y nos bajaron. Yo iba descalzo, en calzones. Me subieron al camión militar, de los cabellos; el piso estaba lleno de vidrios. En el camino los soldados nos daban culatazos y nos fueron amenazando.

En el Campo Militar Número Uno estuve 15 días, en una celda aislada. Mi familia se enteró de que estaba ahí porque un soldado les avisó. Del campo militar me sacaron en la última camada con Gilberto Guevara Niebla y me llevaron a Lecumberri, donde estuve en las crujías H y C. De ahí salí el 24 de diciembre de 1968, con la primera camada de liberados, y regresé a terminar la carrera a la Universidad.

Jesús Gutiérrez Lugo fue activista de la ESIME y ahora ejerce la ingeniería:

“Cursaba el primer año de la carrera. No era miembro de la dirigencia, porque nuestro representante en el CNH era Felix Hernández Gamundi. Más bien era miembro de base del movimiento.

“El 2 de octubre llegué como a las cuatro y media de la tarde con un amigo y compañero de carrera, Marco Antonio Santillán. Subimos al tercer piso por curiosidad, queríamos ver a los oradores.

“Cuando empezó la balacera subimos al cuarto piso y luego tratamos de bajar. Ya no pudimos. Todo pasó muy rápido. Nos apresó un agente de guante blanco y nos metieron a un departamento con unas 30 personas más. Estábamos tirados en el suelo y las balas entraban por las ventanas. Horas después nos sacaron los agentes del guante blanco. Recuerdo que escurría agua color marrón de la escaleras, pero no vi muertos.

“Nos llevaron al Campo Militar Número Uno y nos detuvieron una semana. Al segundo o tercer día nos llevaron con alguien que parecía un agente del Ministerio Público, quien nos interrogó. Nos preguntaba de dónde habíamos sacado las armas. Nos sacaron fotos y nos tomaron las huellas digitales. No sé si quedé fichado, porque cuando pedí mi primer trabajo solicité una carta de antecedentes penales y no salió nada.

“Recuerdo que cuando nos sacaron, éramos como 300 o 400. Un general nos tiró un rollo sobre la defensa de la patria y luego nos dejaron ir”.

concerns of the working and middle classes

This year has witnessed a global wave of social and political turmoil and instability, with masses of people pouring into the real and virtual streets: the Arab Spring; riots in London; Israel’s middle-class protests against high housing prices and an inflationary squeeze on living standards; protesting Chilean students; the destruction in Germany of the expensive cars of “fat cats”; India’s movement against corruption; mounting unhappiness with corruption and inequality in China; and now the “Occupy Wall Street” movement in New York and across the United States.

While these protests have no unified theme, they express in different ways the serious concerns of the world’s working and middle classes about their prospects in the face of the growing concentration of power among economic, financial, and political elites. The causes of their concern are clear enough: high unemployment and underemployment in advanced and emerging economies; inadequate skills and education for young people and workers to compete in a globalised world; resentment against corruption, including legalised forms like lobbying; and a sharp rise in income and wealth inequality in advanced and fast-growing emerging-market economies.

Of course, the malaise that so many people feel cannot be reduced to one factor. For example, the rise in inequality has many causes: the addition of 2.3 billion Chinese and Indians to the global labour force, which is reducing the jobs and wages of unskilled blue-collar and off-shorable white-collar workers in advanced economies; skill-biased technological change; winner-take-all effects; early emergence of income and wealth disparities in rapidly growing, previously low-income economies; and less progressive taxation.

The increase in private- and public-sector leverage and the related asset and credit bubbles are partly the result of inequality. Mediocre income growth for everyone but the rich in the last few decades opened a gap between incomes and spending aspirations. In Anglo-Saxon countries, the response was to democratise credit – via financial liberalisation – thereby fuelling a rise in private debt as households borrowed to make up the difference. In Europe, the gap was filled by public services – free education, health care, etc. – that were not fully financed by taxes, fuelling public deficits and debt. In both cases, debt levels eventually became unsustainable.

Firms in advanced economies are now cutting jobs, owing to inadequate final demand, which has led to excess capacity, and to uncertainty about future demand. But cutting jobs weakens final demand further, because it reduces labour income and increases inequality. Because a firm’s labour costs are someone else’s labour income and demand, what is individually rational for one firm is destructive in the aggregate.

The result is that free markets don’t generate enough final demand. In the US, for example, slashing labour costs has sharply reduced the share of labour income in GDP. With credit exhausted, the effects on aggregate demand of decades of redistribution of income and wealth – from labour to capital, from wages to profits, from poor to rich, and from households to corporate firms – have become severe, owing to the lower marginal propensity of firms/capital owners/rich households to spend.

The problem is not new. Karl Marx oversold socialism, but he was right in claiming that globalisation, unfettered financial capitalism, and redistribution of income and wealth from labour to capital could lead capitalism to self-destruct. As he argued, unregulated capitalism can lead to regular bouts of over-capacity, under-consumption, and the recurrence of destructive financial crises, fuelled by credit bubbles and asset-price booms and busts.

Even before the Great Depression, Europe’s enlightened “bourgeois” classes recognised that, to avoid revolution, workers’ rights needed to be protected, wage and labour conditions improved, and a welfare state created to redistribute wealth and finance public goods – education, health care, and a social safety net. The push towards a modern welfare state accelerated after the Great Depression, when the state took on the responsibility for macroeconomic stabilisation – a role that required the maintenance of a large middle class by widening the provision of public goods through progressive taxation of incomes and wealth and fostering economic opportunity for all.

Thus, the rise of the social-welfare state was a response (often of market-oriented liberal democracies) to the threat of popular revolutions, socialism, and communism as the frequency and severity of economic and financial crises increased. Three decades of relative social and economic stability then ensued, from the late 1940’s until the mid-1970’s, a period when inequality fell sharply and median incomes grew rapidly.

Some of the lessons about the need for prudential regulation of the financial system were lost in the Reagan-Thatcher era, when the appetite for massive deregulation was created in part by the flaws in Europe’s social-welfare model. Those flaws were reflected in yawning fiscal deficits, regulatory overkill, and a lack of economic dynamism that led to sclerotic growth then and the eurozone’s sovereign-debt crisis now.

But the laissez-faire Anglo-Saxon model has also now failed miserably. To stabilise market-oriented economies requires a return to the right balance between markets and provision of public goods. That means moving away from both the Anglo-Saxon model of unregulated markets and the continental European model of deficit-driven welfare states. Even an alternative “Asian” growth model – if there really is one – has not prevented a rise in inequality in China, India, and elsewhere.

Any economic model that does not properly address inequality will eventually face a crisis of legitimacy. Unless the relative economic roles of the market and the state are rebalanced, the protests of 2011 will become more severe, with social and political instability eventually harming long-term economic growth and welfare.

Nouriel Roubini is Chairman of Roubini Global Economics, Professor of Economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University, and co-author of the book Crisis Economics.

Occupy Wall Street

This year has witnessed a global wave of social and political turmoil and instability, with masses of people pouring into the real and virtual streets: the Arab Spring; riots in London; Israel’s middle-class protests against high housing prices and an inflationary squeeze on living standards; protesting Chilean students; the destruction in Germany of the expensive cars of “fat cats”; India’s movement against corruption; mounting unhappiness with corruption and inequality in China; and now the “Occupy Wall Street” movement in New York and across the United States.

While these protests have no unified theme, they express in different ways the serious concerns of the world’s working and middle classes about their prospects in the face of the growing concentration of power among economic, financial, and political elites. The causes of their concern are clear enough: high unemployment and underemployment in advanced and emerging economies; inadequate skills and education for young people and workers to compete in a globalised world; resentment against corruption, including legalised forms like lobbying; and a sharp rise in income and wealth inequality in advanced and fast-growing emerging-market economies.

Of course, the malaise that so many people feel cannot be reduced to one factor. For example, the rise in inequality has many causes: the addition of 2.3 billion Chinese and Indians to the global labour force, which is reducing the jobs and wages of unskilled blue-collar and off-shorable white-collar workers in advanced economies; skill-biased technological change; winner-take-all effects; early emergence of income and wealth disparities in rapidly growing, previously low-income economies; and less progressive taxation.

The increase in private- and public-sector leverage and the related asset and credit bubbles are partly the result of inequality. Mediocre income growth for everyone but the rich in the last few decades opened a gap between incomes and spending aspirations. In Anglo-Saxon countries, the response was to democratise credit – via financial liberalisation – thereby fuelling a rise in private debt as households borrowed to make up the difference. In Europe, the gap was filled by public services – free education, health care, etc. – that were not fully financed by taxes, fuelling public deficits and debt. In both cases, debt levels eventually became unsustainable.

Firms in advanced economies are now cutting jobs, owing to inadequate final demand, which has led to excess capacity, and to uncertainty about future demand. But cutting jobs weakens final demand further, because it reduces labour income and increases inequality. Because a firm’s labour costs are someone else’s labour income and demand, what is individually rational for one firm is destructive in the aggregate.

The result is that free markets don’t generate enough final demand. In the US, for example, slashing labour costs has sharply reduced the share of labour income in GDP. With credit exhausted, the effects on aggregate demand of decades of redistribution of income and wealth – from labour to capital, from wages to profits, from poor to rich, and from households to corporate firms – have become severe, owing to the lower marginal propensity of firms/capital owners/rich households to spend.

The problem is not new. Karl Marx oversold socialism, but he was right in claiming that globalisation, unfettered financial capitalism, and redistribution of income and wealth from labour to capital could lead capitalism to self-destruct. As he argued, unregulated capitalism can lead to regular bouts of over-capacity, under-consumption, and the recurrence of destructive financial crises, fuelled by credit bubbles and asset-price booms and busts.

Even before the Great Depression, Europe’s enlightened “bourgeois” classes recognised that, to avoid revolution, workers’ rights needed to be protected, wage and labour conditions improved, and a welfare state created to redistribute wealth and finance public goods – education, health care, and a social safety net. The push towards a modern welfare state accelerated after the Great Depression, when the state took on the responsibility for macroeconomic stabilisation – a role that required the maintenance of a large middle class by widening the provision of public goods through progressive taxation of incomes and wealth and fostering economic opportunity for all.

Thus, the rise of the social-welfare state was a response (often of market-oriented liberal democracies) to the threat of popular revolutions, socialism, and communism as the frequency and severity of economic and financial crises increased. Three decades of relative social and economic stability then ensued, from the late 1940’s until the mid-1970’s, a period when inequality fell sharply and median incomes grew rapidly.

Some of the lessons about the need for prudential regulation of the financial system were lost in the Reagan-Thatcher era, when the appetite for massive deregulation was created in part by the flaws in Europe’s social-welfare model. Those flaws were reflected in yawning fiscal deficits, regulatory overkill, and a lack of economic dynamism that led to sclerotic growth then and the eurozone’s sovereign-debt crisis now.

But the laissez-faire Anglo-Saxon model has also now failed miserably. To stabilise market-oriented economies requires a return to the right balance between markets and provision of public goods. That means moving away from both the Anglo-Saxon model of unregulated markets and the continental European model of deficit-driven welfare states. Even an alternative “Asian” growth model – if there really is one – has not prevented a rise in inequality in China, India, and elsewhere.

Any economic model that does not properly address inequality will eventually face a crisis of legitimacy. Unless the relative economic roles of the market and the state are rebalanced, the protests of 2011 will become more severe, with social and political instability eventually harming long-term economic growth and welfare.

Nouriel Roubini is Chairman of Roubini Global Economics, Professor of Economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University, and co-author of the book Crisis Economics.

Occupy Wall Street