Dutch soldiers killed unarmed people, government lied


This Dutch regional Drenthe province TV video says about itself (translated):

Torrent of bullets killed train hijackers at De Punt

Nov 30. 2013

De Punt – The train hijacking at De Punt in 1977 ended indeed in a hailstorm of bullets. This appears from secret documents from the National Archives, which daily De Volkskrant has seen.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Van Agt informed parliament incorrectly about train hijacking

Today, 11:37

Dries van Agt, then Minister of Justice, has misinformed parliament in 1977 on the termination of the train hijacking at De Punt [in Drenthe province; by South Moluccans]. This says Ard van der Steur, Minister of Security and Justice.

But according to Van der Steur he does not know whether Van Agt briefed parliament deliberately incorrectly when he said that no unarmed hijacker was shot.

The Parliamentary Committee for Security and Justice has today discussed the results of a study that Van der Steur’s predecessor Opstelten has commissioned about the end of the train hijacking. When marines ended the hijacking in 1977 six of the nine hijackers were killed. Also two hostages were killed.

Executed

This archive research shows, according to Opstelten, that killed hijackers were not executed, as claimed by the relatives of the hijackers. They rely on documents that have recently been released. These include the autopsy reports and a report of the Forensic Laboratory. Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld of the relatives has meanwhile held the government liable.

The study did make it clear that Justice Minister Van Agt misinformed parliament in 1977 on a number of points. He then suggested in a debate that the marines had not fired any shots at hijackers who did not resist with weapons. The investigation revealed that at least the killed female hijacker had no weapon.

National anthem

According to Van der Steur that was clear already then, so the House was informed factually inaccurately, says the minister. But the question is whether Van Agt has done this deliberately. “Perhaps he based himself on false information,” says Van der Steur.

For the MPs Jeroen Recourt (PvdA) and Harry van Bommel (SP) it does not matter whether Van Agt misinformed parliament consciously or not. “As a minister, he was responsible. He has whitewashed the case”, said Recourt.

After the meeting in parliament some relatives in the public gallery sang the Moluccan national anthem.

In this music video you can hear the Moluccan anthem Maluku Tanah Airku.

Soul singer Percy Sledge dies


This music video from the USA is called Percy Sledge – When a Man Loves a Woman.

From the BBC today:

Soul singer Percy Sledge dies aged 73

US soul singer Percy Sledge, famed for his song When a Man Loves a Woman, has died aged 73.

Steve Green from talent agency Artists International Management Inc confirmed to the BBC that he died at his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday.

“He was one of my first acts, he was a terrific person and you don’t find that in this business very often,” said Green. “He was truly a standout.”

Sledge had surgery for liver cancer in January 2014 but soon resumed touring.

Sledge’s debut single When a Man Loves a Woman reached the top 10 twice in the UK and topped the US Billboard chart for two weeks in 1966, when it also got to number four in the UK chart.

During an interview for the the 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals, he recalled his first recording of it.

“When I came into the studio, I was shaking like a leaf. I was scared,” he said, adding that it was the “same melody that I sang when I was out in the fields. I just wailed out in the woods and let the echo come back to me”
.
‘Signed away the rights’

He told BBC Radio 6 Music‘s Craig Charles in a 2011 interview that he came up with the melody for When A Man Loves A Woman, but signed away the rights of the song to Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright, because “I didn’t know any better”.

“I had the melody in my mind so I gave that song to them,” he said, adding they then created the lyrics.

Sledge did not contest the agreement, saying: “I felt like if God fixed it in my mouth to give it to them I won’t change anything about it.

“I’m satisfied with what I wrote but I cut my kids out of so much because I gave it to someone else – I just wasn’t thinking.”

BBC Radio 2 DJ Tony Blackburn was among those paying tribute on Twitter, and said: “Sad to hear that Percy Sledge has died. I wonder how many times I’ve played When A Man Loves A Woman. RIP.”

Musician Bootsy Collins paid tribute on his Facebook page with the words: “Just lost another legend funkateers, Mr Percy Sledge.”

Paul Gambacini told the BBC that When a Man Loves a Woman was “one of the all time classic songs”.

“This was the essence of soul, dripping with feeling. It never had a time, it was in a world of its own, so it was timeless,” he added.

The track reached number two when it was re-released in the UK in 1987 after appearing in Oliver Stone’s film Platoon, and was featured in several other films such as The Big Chill, The Crying Game and a 1994 Meg Ryan drama named after the song itself. It was also the soundtrack to a Levis advert in 1987.

‘Transcendent moment’

It was the first US number one recorded at Alabama’s Muscle Shoals studio, where Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones would later record.

The track also scored a first gold disc for Atlantic Records, whose executive Jerry Wexler called the song “a transcendent moment” and “a holy love hymn.”

It remained Sledge’s biggest hit and helped sustain a long touring career in the US, Europe and South Africa, averaging 100 performances a year. His other chart successes included Warm and Tender Love, It Tears Me Up and Take Time to Know Her.

The song found new life in 1991 when Michael Bolton’s cover of the song topped the Billboard chart.

Before his music career, Sledge worked in the cotton fields around his hometown of Leighton in northwest Alabama, before taking a job as a hospital nurse in the early 1960s.

A patient heard him singing while he worked and recommended him to record producer Quin Ivy.

The singer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 and was a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife and children.

See also here.

Reggae musician Mista Majah P against homophobia


This reggae music video says about itself:

Maverick Mista Majah P “Closet Is Open” LGBT Community Music Video

13 October 2013

Maverick Mista Majah P breaking the taboo in reggae, telling gays that it is OK to be yourself, no more hiding, come out of the closet, be who you are, be happy.

By Will Stone in Britain:

Reggae star’s LGBT rights stand hailed

Friday 10th April 2015

A JAMAICAN singer was hailed by LGBT rights activists yesterday for his lone voice attacking the homophobic “murder music” of his reggae peers through song.

Mista Majah P has relaunched a two-part music video for [his] single Karma, which attacks the homophobic songs of top dancehall singers like Bounty Killer and Buju Banton.

Many artists in the genre are notorious for their anti-gay lyrics and beliefs, with Shabba Ranks infamous for once stating that LGBT people should be crucified.

Majah P’s music turns the tables on them with lyrics warning that they will reap the hate and violence they sow and suggesting that they could be homosexual themselves, uncomfortable with their own sexuality.

His lyrics have also appealed to parents not to reject their LGBT children, spoken out against gay bullying and in support of same-sex marriage and adoption rights.

Human rights lobbyist Peter Tatchell said: “Such lyrics are unprecedented in the hard-man world of Jamaican reggae and dancehall music, where eight of the best known performers have, for over a decade, made homophobic murder music a staple part of their repertoire — variously inciting and glorifying the shooting, burning, hanging and drowning of LGBT people.”

Since releasing his pro-gay music, California-based Majah P has received numerous death threats and has been warned to not return to Jamaica.

He said: “As long as there are homophobic people, hatred, bigotry, death and no equal rights for the LGBT community I will continue to use my talent and speak out about injustice.

“I’m seeking to challenge ignorance and reach out to gay people.”

He is working on [his] third album Gays Belong In Heaven Too.

This music video from Italy says about itself:

For the first time in Italy, reggae music takes a stance against homophobia. Luciano and The Jah Messenjah Band came out in support of gay rights and the 2009 national LGBT Gay Pride to be held in Genova, Italy on 27 June 2009. The concert took place on the international day against homophobia (17 May) drawing a crowd of 3-500 revellers. Special guest: Carrol Thompson.

USA: Hateful Bigot Mike Huckabee Totally Fails At Basic Civics In Long, Idiotic, Anti-Gay Rant: here.

Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa banned for criticism of Kiev government


This music video is called Valentina Lisitsa – Moonlight Sonata Op.27 No.2 Mov.1,2,3 (Beethoven).

By Roger Jordan in Canada:

Toronto Symphony bans pianist critical of Kiev regime

9 April 2015

Under pressure from right-wing Ukrainian-Canadian groups, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) removed Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa as the featured soloist at two Toronto concerts that were to be held this week. The TSO sought to replace Lisitsa with another pianist, but after a public outcry simply cancelled the concerts.

An internationally recognized pianist who has played with major orchestras in North America and Europe and has a large online following, Lisitsa has drawn the ire of the right wing because she has challenged their false narrative about the “democratic” character of the pro-western Kiev regime.

In Twitter postings stretching back to the weeks following the US-German-orchestrated, fascist-led coup that drove Ukraine’s elected president from office, Lisitsa been heavily critical of the Kiev regime. She has denounced it for its rampant corruption, ties to Nazi sympathizers like the Right Sector, and mistreatment of the Russian minority, and for the brutal war it has waged against the pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.

The cancellation of Lisitsa’s performances of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is a brazen act of political censorship.

The management of the TSO, one of the country’s leading cultural institutions, initially sought to cover up why it had cancelled Lisitsa’s performances. It simply said she was no longer available to play in Toronto and had been replaced.

Only after Lisitsa revealed that she had been dumped from the TSO program and instructed by management not to reveal why did TSO President Jeff Melanson acknowledge that the cancellation was due to pressure from Ukrainian nationalists.

Melanson justified the decision by citing “ongoing accusations” from ”Ukrainian media outlets” that Lisitsa has used “deeply offensive language.” In an attempt to intimidate the musician, the TSO had previously forwarded Lisitsa a letter from a prominent lawyer at the country’s largest law firm, Borden Ladner Gervais, that said she could be denied entry into Canada under section 319 of Canada’s criminal code, which makes the “willful promotion of hatred” illegal.

The TSO’s actions threaten artistic freedom and freedom of speech and have ominous implications for musicians and artists everywhere. As Cara Zwibel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association put it in comments to the CBC, “I think there is a problem with the message that this sends to artists that they may have trouble getting jobs or keeping jobs if they express views that are unpopular or controversial.”

The TSO’s banning of Lisitsa represents a cowardly capitulation to reactionary political forces—forces that enjoy the strong backing of the Conservative government of Stephen Harper.

Protests against Lisitsa’s appearance came from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), a right-wing organization that purports to represent Canada’s large Ukrainian diaspora community. Heavily influenced by extreme Ukrainian nationalism, the UCC is virulently anti-communist and anti-Russian. Some of its affiliates were founded by veterans of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), which collaborated with the Nazis in World War II, including in the mass extermination of Jews, and many continue to venerate OUN leader Stepan Bandera.

Lisitsa has for some time been a target of the Ukrainian right because she has rejected the Western-backed propaganda that the Ukraine crisis has been caused by Russian aggression. Her concerts have repeatedly become the occasion for protests by Ukrainian nationalist groups. Last September, the EuroMaidan Press website published an appeal for supporters to join them in calling for a boycott of Lisitsa’s concerts in Pittsburgh.

The TSO’s ban will encourage these right-wing elements to go after Lisitsa elsewhere, as well as other artists who take a critical position towards the pro-western Kiev regime.

So as to ostracize Lisitsa, her Ukrainian nationalist opponents have labelled her a stooge of Russian president Vladimir Putin. This is a slur. What they object to is her heartfelt challenge to their false narrative.

As Lisitsa explained in the Facebook posting announcing the TSO’s banning, she initially had great hopes that what she terms the “Maidan Revolution” would end the domination of Ukraine by a corrupt oligarchy, but these hopes were quickly dashed.

“I was so proud of my people!” wrote Lisitsa. “But the ruling class doesn’t let go easily. They managed to cunningly channel away the anger, to direct it to other, often imaginable, enemies—and worse, to turn people upon themselves. Year later, we have the same rich people remaining in power, misery and poverty everywhere, dozens of thousands killed, over a million of refugees.”

In her statement, Lisitsa explains that she felt she could not remain silent as “the country of my birth, of my childhood, of my first falling in love…was sliding ever faster in to the abyss. Children die under bombs, old ladies die of starvation, people burned alive”.

She said that she has been seeking to expose the abuses going on in Ukraine, particularly against the Russian-speaking minority. “I took to Twitter in order to get the other side of the story heard, the one you never see in the mainstream media.

“To give you just one example: one of my feats was to confront French fashion magazine Elle who published a glowing cover story about women in Ukrainian army. After the research I have shown to the magazine in my Twitter posts that the ‘cover girl’ they have chosen to show was in fact a horrible person, open Neo-Nazi, racist, anti-Semite who boasted of murdering civilians for fun! The magazine issued a written public apology.”

The ability of the UCC and its supporters to aggressively target those hostile to its right-wing positions is made possible thanks to the close collaboration they enjoy with the Canadian government and more generally the unanimous support the ruling class and political elite have given to the US-NATO drive to transform Ukraine into a Western satellite.

Canada has been one of the most outspoken supporters of the Kiev regime since the February 2014 coup and is participating in the build-up of NATO forces on Russia’s borders.

The Harper government is supplying non-lethal military aid to the Ukrainian army. But it is also facilitating the supply of weapons, including guns and drones, to the Ukrainian army and aligned ultra-nationalist and fascist militias through the UCC and its Army SOS organization. Two Conservative MPs attended a recent Army SOS fundraising event in Toronto that raised more than $50,000 to be spent on arms and military gear (see “Canada helping arm Kiev regime to fight Ukrainian civil war“).

At a UCC gathering in Toronto on February 22, Conservative immigration minister Chris Alexander delivered an inflammatory speech in which he gave the government’s full backing for an aggressive course towards Russia. He called the conflict with Russia “the biggest issue facing the world today,” stressed that “ every option” is “on the table” in regards to defeating Putin—a euphemism for all-out war with Russia—and said there was “no scenario” for peace and security for this world” that does not involve defeating Russia in Ukraine.

Such are the sentiments being encouraged by the Harper government among its far right allies in the UCC, and it is in this context that the targeting of Lisitsa must be seen. Anyone who questions the official narrative of the Ukraine crisis is to be demonized as a supporter of Putin and Russian aggression.

That the TSO has bowed to this campaign is a disturbing development. Under conditions in which democratic rights are under sustained attack, the TSO has made it clear that it is willing to sacrifice the rights of freedom of speech and artistic freedom to meet the demands of the Canadian ruling class and its far right allies.

The justification the TSO has provided for its decision could hardly have been more hypocritical. The TSO statement read, “As one of Canada’s most important cultural institutions, our priority must remain on being a stage for the world’s great works of music, and not for opinions that some believe to be deeply offensive.”

The TSO has not merely provided a platform for groups defending the reactionary politics of the Kiev regime, including the persecution of Ukraine’s Russian minority. Its capitulation to the censorship demands of the UCC has strengthened precisely those forces pushing for the US and its allies to intervene militarily in Ukraine against Russia, a move that threatens to trigger an all-out conflict between the major powers.