Guantanamo torture camp still open


This February 2021 video says about itself:

My Brother’s Keeper has been longlisted for a BAFTA in the category of British Short Film.

Mohamedou Ould Salahi and one of his former guards, Steve Wood, reunite in Mauritania 13 years after last seeing each other, rekindling an unlikely relationship that profoundly changed their lives. Mohamedou was a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay for 14 years. During his incarceration, he was subjected to torture and solitary confinement, but never charged with a crime. His memoir, Guantánamo Diary, became an international bestseller and was adapted into the film, The Mauritanian, starring Tahar Rahim and Jodie Foster.

WHY HASN’T BIDEN LET GITMO PRISONERS GO? Six months into his presidency, Biden’s administration has not released a single person from Guantanamo Bay, even though 11 of the 40 men still there have been cleared for release. It’s been hard to discern exactly what the administration plans to do with Guantanamo — and how fast. [HuffPost]

FIRST GUANTANAMO DETAINEE RELEASED UNDER BIDEN Abdul Latif Nasser ― who was imprisoned without charge at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for 19 years ― was transferred to his home country of Morocco, making him the first detainee to be released from the infamous detention facility under President Joe Biden. Nasser, 56, was cleared for release by an interagency government review board back in 2016. [HuffPost]

Trump gone, his anti-immigrant policies continue


This 13 May 2021 video from the USA says about itself:

Biden Is Flying Migrants Thousands of Miles Just to Send Them Back to Mexico

Biden’s campaign promised change at the US-Mexico border. But since March, the Biden Administration has been systematically flying thousands of migrants attempting to enter the US via the Rio Grande Valley in Texas all the way to San Diego — thousands of miles away — to then expel them to Tijuana. VICE News reports from the border.

IMMIGRATION ARRESTS SOAR UNDER BIDEN The number of immigrants detained by ICE has risen significantly under President Joe Biden, swamping detention centers and private prisons. The influx raises questions about whether detaining so many people is the best way to handle immigration. [BuzzFeed]

Islamophobic massacre in Canada


This 8 June 2021 video from Canada says about itself:

Reaction from the Muslim community as 4 family members killed in London, Ont. vehicular attack

Members of the Muslim community react to the tragedy that occurred Sunday evening in London, Ont., which saw four members of the same family killed when they were struck by a vehicle in what police believe was a targeted act due to their faith.

Three adults and a teenager were killed when they were struck by the vehicle, said Chief Steve Williams on Monday. A child from the same family is in serious, but non-life-threatening condition.

Global News’ Catherine McDonald and Erica Vella report.

DRIVER IN CANADA KILLS 4 IN SUSPECTED ISLAMOPHOBIC ATTACK A Canadian man is accused of hitting five members of a Muslim family who were out for a walk with his car on Sunday night, killing four of them in what police suspect was a premeditated attack motivated by Islamophobia. Police in London, Ontario, have charged a 20-year-old Canadian with first-degree murder. [HuffPost]

Linda Lindas, teenage punk girls band


This 16 June 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

The Linda Lindas are Mila (8), Eloise (11), Lucia (12), and Bela (14).

This 11 August 2019 is called The Linda Lindas – Linda Linda [LIVE]

You can see a bit in these videos that this band of enthusiastic preteen/teenage girl musicians were still learning then … but look at how fantastically they have progressed now that they are two years older! No more need for a guest bass player like in the top video etc.

This 21 May 2021 video is called The Linda Lindas – “Racist, Sexist Boy” (Live at LA Public Library).

Now 10-year-old drummer Mila drums and sings at the same time. Far from easy.

The song is about anti-Asian racism in the USA.

This 21 May 2021 video says about itself:

Official video of punk band, The Linda Lindas, performing a mashup cover of Bikini Kill’s Rebel Girl and The Muffs’ Big Mouth in Moxie 🖤★

Look at that audience, like a sea on a stormy day. Many of them girls in their early teens. A bit reminiscent of this concert in 1980. Some writings depict that age group as stupid musically, incapable of anything but screaming and swooning as manufactured boring boy bands perform. That may be true for some individuals. But it was not true for the whole category in 1980, and it is not true now.

This 22 May 2021 video says about itself:

Teen punk rockers, The Linda Lindas, are going viral with their original song “Racist Sexist Boy.”

Stop Israel-Palestinian war, protest report


This video from Israel is called 27.7.2014 Tel Aviv: 5000 protest assault on Gaza.

By Adam Keller of the peace movement in Israel:

The storm which Netanyahu unleashed

May 12, 2021 – 10.00 PM

Yesterday morning (Tuesday) we woke up with the news of twenty-one Palestinians killed in Gaza, nine of them minors, and two Israeli women killed in Ashkelon (one of them; it later turned out, was a migrant worker from India, and since then, the death toll on both sides more than doubled). Then came the email which I was expecting. Noa Levy of Hadash sent out an urgent call for emergency protests in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, A second message, from the Forum of Israeli and Palestinian Bereaved Families and Combatants for Peace, endorsed the Hadash call and added a Haifa protest venue initiated by the Haifa Women for Women Center. “The government is playing with fire – all of us get burned! In a desperate attempt to cling to power, Netanyahu is dragging us into war, into killing and suffering and pain for both peoples. Stop the escalation! Cease the fire! Stop the expulsion of families from Sheikh Jarrah, stop the police rampage in East Jerusalem. There can be no peace and no quiet as long as the West Bank lives under occupation and Gaza suffers a suffocating siege. The solution: an end to the occupation, an end to the siege of Gaza, and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We all deserve to live in freedom and security. The time to act is now!”

And so, there were several hours of frantic work at the computer and phone, spreading the message by Facebook and Whatsapp to all who waited for such a call on such a day. And then taking the bus to Tel Aviv. The Kugel Boulevard, main Holon thoroughfare on which all buses to Tel Aviv travel, had its completely normal daily bustle. On King George Street in Tel Aviv, there were already several hundred people gathered outside the Likud Party headquarters. Among them, familiar faces, the determined minority of Israelis who always show up on such days, as in 2014 and 2009.. “Stop the fire, stop the bloodshed!” chanted several hundred throats. And “On both sides of the border / Children want to live!” and “Sheikh Jarrah, don’t despair / We will end the occupation yet!” and also “Gaza, Gaza, don’t despair / We will end the siege yet!” and “Netanyahu, Netanyahu / The Dock at the Hague waits for you!”.

Dispersal, and a vague feeling of frustration. But what more could we have done? Perhaps we would have felt more satisfied to be violently dispersed and spend the night in detention – but here, unlike other locations, the police did not interfere with the demonstration. There were only two bored police officers watching from the side. Our favorite vegan eatery was nearby, so we went in. Everything was just like any other evening out in downtown Tel Aviv, it felt a bit strange to have life as usual while terrible things happen elsewhere.

The air raid alarms wailed just after we paid our bill and started walking. We went into a nearby big pharmacy. The pharmacy staff were quietly efficient – “Over here, turn left, the basement stairs are there”. About a hundred people – staff and clients and everyone who happened to be on the street – crowded in. Even in the basement, we could clearly hear the explosions in the sky. “Are these the missiles themselves, or the interceptors?” wondered an old woman. Another old woman said “Don’t worry, dear, if this goes on we will all learn to know which is which”.

After a quarter of an hour we thought it was over and everybody emerged and started again down the street – and then the air raid siren sounded again. This time we went into the basement of a private house with very friendly young people who offered to let us stay the night. “You can stay here, no need to risk going out again, we have spare beds”.

I must say that up to that point it still felt like a bit of a game. I realize now that we shared the arrogant illusion of most Israelis that the Iron Dome missiles were giving us virtually complete protection. But as we were huddling in the second basement of the evening, the phone rang: “Are you OK? Good to hear your voice, I heard of the burned bus in Holon, I was so worried!” “I am in Tel Aviv, what bus is that?” A quick look at the news websites showed the Kugel Boulevard where we had passed just three hours before. It was a war zone, flames and scattered debris everywhere, and the skeleton of a completely burned bus in the middle. It was reported that the driver heard the alarm, stopped the bus and told everybody to run just a minute before the bus was hit.

Perhaps we should have taken the young people’s offer and stayed the night with them. Getting back home was a long and weary experience. The main roads were blocked by the police, and we saw ambulances and fire trucks rushing forward. The bus from Tel Aviv let us off a long way from home and there were no taxis to be had in the whole of Holon, so there was a very long and weary trudging through dark empty streets. At home I had a whatsapp exchange with an old friend. “Stay alert, this night is not yet over” she wrote. “The government is sure to order a strong retaliation for this attack on Tel Aviv, and the Palestinians will want to retaliate for the retaliation”. She was completely right. After 3.00 PM there was a very long series of alarms, one after the other. The explosions were more vague and seemed a long distance off. This time they were aiming at the Ben Gurion Airport.

One of the missiles had fallen on a hut in Lod (Lydda), and killed a fifty year old man and his teen daughter. It later turned out that they were Arabs, that they had lived in an “unrecognized” neighborhood where no building permits are issued, and that this prevented them from building a more solid structure which could have saved their lives.

And so here we are, with the conflict escalating and the death toll rising ever more steeply. And I should recapitulate, at least briefly, how we got to this.

Last Friday – just five days ago, though it seems like an eternity – public attention in Israel was totally riveted to the complicated dance of party politics. Prime Minister Netanyahu, facing three serious corruption charges at the Jerusalem District Court, had just failed in his efforts to form a new cabinet. The mandate passed to the oppositional “Block of Change”, whose leaders embarked on delicate negotiations aimed at forming a very heterogeneous government coalition comprising right-wing. left-wing and center parties, which have virtually nothing in common except the wish to see the last of Netanyahu. We had very mixed feelings about it, especially since the intended new Prime Minister Naftali Bennet is, if anything, more right-wing than Netanyahu. Still, the new government would have very strong mechanisms of “mutual veto” in place that would prevent Bennet from doing too much harm – though the same would also prevent the new government from doing much good, either. And this government would be the very first in Israeli history to rely on an Arab party for its parliamentary majority (other than the Rabin Government in 1995, whose tenure was cut short by the PM being assassinated).

Anyway, there were very concrete plans to have the new cabinet ready for parliamentary approval by Tuesday, May 11 (yesterday). The anti-corruption demonstrators who have been demonstrating every week outside the Prime Minister’s residence were joking about when the movers will arrive to take away the Netanyahu family furniture. But Netanyahu had other irons in the fire.

First, there was the planned expulsion of hundreds of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarach neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Dozens of them were due to be expelled within days and extreme right settlers were going to enter into their vacated homes. Protests in Sheikh Jarach and elsewhere in East Jerusalem met brutal police repression. Then, protests spread to the Haram A Sharif (Temple Mount) compound, and so did the police repression. Police started to shoot “rubber” bullets directly into demonstrators’ faces, causing them to lose eyes – at least two of them losing both eyes and becoming blind for the rest of their lives. Footage of the police breaking into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site and a place considered even by secular Palestinians as a major part of their national heritage, spread widely through the social networks, escalating the protests. And then there was the plan to have thousands of radical young settlers hold the provocative “Dance of the Flags” right through the Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, chanting their habitual racist slogans. The police and government reiterated hour after hour that the “Dance of the Flags” would take place as scheduled. And it was then that Hamas in Gaza threatened to retaliate for the attack on the Palestinians of Jerusalem, and the government declared that it would not bend to “the ultimatums of terrorists”. And at the very last moment the “Dance” was cancelled – but it was too late. At 6.00 PM the salvo of seven Hamas rockets at the outskirts of Jerusalem – which in fact caused no casualties or damage, but which precipitated the Israeli deadly retaliation on Gaza. .

And now, a bit more than 48 hours later, here we are, in the midst of an escalating war, the Israeli Air Force destroying high rise buildings in Gaza and proudly announcing the “elimination” of senior Hamas activists – but unable to hinder the Palestinians’ ability to go on shooting rockets. And relations between Jews and Arabs, fellow citizens of Israel, have descended to unprecedented depths of inter-communal violence. In Lod, the police declared a night curfew “to stop the rampaging Arabs” but Arab inhabitants refuse to abide and are involved in violent confrontations with police around a local mosque. And in Bat Yam and Tiberias, mobs of extreme right Jews are assaulting random Arabs and smashing up Arab-owned shops. And repeated again and again in the media is the government’s total refusal to make a ceasefire. “No, no, no ceasefire – we must teach Hamas a lesson!”

Of course no ceasefire. Why should Netanyahu want a ceasefire? Every day in which the shooting continues is one more day of keeping that dreaded movers’ truck away from the Prime Minister’s Residence, one more day of keeping power in his own hands. If there was concrete proof that Netanyahu did it all consciously and deliberately, it would make up criminal charges far more serious than those he is facing at the District Court of Jerusalem. But any such evidence is probably classified Top Secret and would only be published fifty years from now. So, we can’t prove that he did it deliberately, though there can be little doubt about it. We can only end the war and immediately afterwards get rid of him.

Perhaps what is happening now will shake President Biden out of the attitude of keeping a low profile on |Israel and the Palestinians? After all, all this mess had fallen on his desk with quite a loud clatter.

Anti-Semitism among Florida pro-Batista Cuban Americans


Anti-Semitic graffiti in Miami, Florida, USA

An interesting 27 April 2021 article by Jordan Levin in the USA. Though maybe it talks too much about people of Latin American ancestry in general, while in fact, anti-Semitism is especially a problem among the part of Cuban Americans who prefer the pre-1959 Batista dictatorship in Cuba, supported by the CIA, to the post-1959 situation.

Some quotes:

Antisemitism rises among Hispanic Miami’s right wing

The graffiti messages scrawled around Miami in March, on the eve of Passover and Holocaust Remembrance Day, were shocking: “The Jews are the Problem” “Zionism is Satanism.”

Most ominously in this city filled with Cubans … was this one: “Communism is Judaism.”

The phrase echoed a trend towards antisemitism in Miami’s right-wing Hispanic political circles that have come to dominate this bellwether city:

•In 2018 Miami-based Radio Television Marti, the federally funded broadcaster of anti-Communist messaging to Cuba, ran a report blaming Soros for orchestrating the 2008 financial collapse, and supporting narco-terrorism and Cuban schemes. … the report was exposed and denounced as antisemitic in 2019.

•Last year, Libre, a 40-page Spanish-language insert published by a longtime right-wing Cuban exile activist and filled with racist, extremist opinion pieces, was distributed in El Nuevo Herald, the Miami Herald’s sister paper, for 32 weeks. The op-eds said Black Lives Matter was worse than the Nazis, called out Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg as Jews, and compared American Jews to Cubans brainwashed by communism. Following public backlash, El Nuevo Herald’s managing editor resigned and the Miami Herald’s publisher and executive editor lost her position as publisher.

•Last October a group of over 150 parents, including Vince Lago, the recently-elected mayor of the prosperous municipality of Coral Gables, the former speaker of the Florida House, and other prominent figures, sent a letter to an elite private Catholic girls school, castigating it for launching an anti-racism program in response to numerous reports of racism among students and faculty. The letter cited the malign influence of “Cultural Marxism” and the Frankfurt School, parroting a conspiracy theory that blames progressive U.S. social and racial justice movements on German Jewish scholars who fled the Nazis. …

But Rivero says he frequently encountered “Jews are communists” and other antisemitic posts in conservative Cuban social media groups during 2020, as well as death threats from Trump supporters. …

Antisemitism rose across the U.S. during the Trump administration.

But the insular nature of Miami’s Hispanic community, particularly among a conservative Cuban faction that has reversed a years-long moderating trend to become politically dominant again, appears to be magnifying that tilt here, while making it more acceptable for leaders to ignore or even encourage the slide towards prejudice.

No politician condemned the antisemitic graffiti. The signatories on the Catholic school letter, which was covered by the Miami Herald and the Miami New Times, defended their calls to abandon teaching about racism.

“The idea that equality and racial equity are rooted in a socialist Jewish group – that’s ridiculous,” said Billy Corben, the Jewish filmmaker lambasted by the Miami commissioner, who first exposed the letter on Twitter. “You cannot minimize the impact of these very powerful and influential policymakers who have signed this letter.”

Jessica Landsberg, a young political operative who has worked on several local campaigns, and whose father is Jewish and mother is Cuban, was disturbed by the “communism is Judaism” and other anti-Semitic graffiti – and frustrated no one denounced it.

“That there’s no conversation that long after the Holocaust antisemitism is alive in a city with one of the largest Jewish populations is disappointing,” said Landsberg, 23. “The graffiti is just the latest thing. I’ve been repeating for the last few years that antisemitism is not just alive but on the rise.” …

Perez and Soibel emphasize that they do not believe most of Miami’s Hispanics are antisemitic. But because Hispanics, and Cubans in particular, dominate politics in Miami-Dade and are so influential in Florida, and in U.S. foreign policy in Latin America, a shift in attitude towards Jews here has the potential for much wider influence.

Brazilian Bolsonaro’s lethal COVID-19 policies


This 28 April 2021 video says about itself:

Brazilian Senate opens inquiry into Bolsonaro’s COVID handling

Brazil‘s Senate has opened an inquiry into President Jair Bolsonaro’s government handling of the pandemic as the country reports nearly 400,000 deaths from coronavirus this week.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed COVID-19’s seriousness, railed against lockdowns and presided over an inept vaccination campaign.

Brazil has the world’s second-highest death toll from the virus after the United States.

The probe could hurt the president‘s chances of being re-elected in next year’s polls.

Al Jazeera’s Monica Yanakiew reports from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

INDIA’S COVID-19 DEATH TOLL TOPS 200,000 India reported a single-day record 3,293 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the country’s total fatalities to 201,187, as the world’s second-most populous country endures its darkest chapter of the pandemic yet. The surge of new infections is tearing through dense cities and rural areas alike and overwhelming the health care system. [AP]

COVID-19 can affect the brain. New clues hint at how. Anxiety, depression and strokes can occur after infection, leaving experts to determine how the virus affects the brain: here.

Racist vandalism and killing in the USA


This 2015 video from the USA is called Islamic Society of Fargo/Moorhead Hosts Open House.

FBI INVESTIGATES MOSQUE VANDALISM The FBI is investigating hate messages found vandalized on a mosque that sits on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota. The Moorhead Fargo Islamic Center was spray-painted with anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic and racist messages during Ramadan. [HuffPost]

FAMILY: POLICE ‘EXECUTED’ N.C. MAN Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man killed by deputies in North Carolina, was shot in the back of the head and had his hands on his car steering wheel when they opened fire, attorneys for his family said. His death on Wednesday led to nightly protests and demands for justice in the town of Elizabeth City. Seven deputies are on leave pending investigation. [AP]

ANDREW BROWN JR. AUTOPSY REPORT RELEASED Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man killed by deputies in North Carolina, was shot five times, including in the back of the head, according to an independent autopsy report. A judge will consider today whether to make body camera footage public. [AP]

LINDSEY GRAHAM: ‘NO’ SYSTEMIC RACISM HERE Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on “Fox News Sunday” systemic racism doesn’t exist in the U.S., pointing to the elections of former President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris to back up his claim. The ensuing online criticism of that statement was swift and fierce. [HuffPost]

FEDS LAUNCH LOUISVILLE POLICE PROBE The Justice Department is opening a probe into policing in Louisville, Kentucky, over the March 2020 death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot to death by police during a raid at her home, Attorney General Merrick Garland said. Garland has said there is not yet equal justice under the law and promised to bring a critical eye to racism and legal issues when he took the job. [AP]

POLICE KNEELED ON MAN’S BACK BEFORE HE DIED Police released footage of the events leading to the death of Mario Gonzalez, a 26-year-old Latino man in Alameda, California, showing officers kneeling on the man’s back and shoulder until he became unresponsive. The video contradicts officials’ original account of the confrontation. Three officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. [HuffPost]

ASSAILANT SOUGHT IN VICIOUS NYC ATTACK OF ASIAN MAN A 61-year-old Asian man is in critical condition after police in New York City said he was knocked to the ground and kicked multiple times in his head in a disturbing attack that comes just weeks after a similar assault on an Asian American woman near Times Square. Surveillance video shows the suspect attacking Yao Pan Ma on Friday night then casually walking away. [HuffPost]

Black Minnesota man killed by police, again


This 12 April 2021 video from Minnesota, USA is called Brooklyn Center Police Fire Tear Gas On People Protesting Daunte Wright’s Death

FRESH UNREST NEAR MINNEAPOLIS Police fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop just outside Minneapolis on Sunday, inflaming tensions in the region again while former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial over the death of George Floyd last year. The police shooting of Daunte Wright, 20, in the city of Brooklyn Center, sparked large protests. [HuffPost]

CONVICTION WAS AN ANOMALY Each year, police shoot and kill roughly 1,000 people. But from early 2005 to June 2019, only 104 non-federal law enforcement officers were arrested on murder or manslaughter charges related to an on-duty shooting, and only 35 were convicted of a crime. Chauvin’s conviction was an anomaly. [HuffPost]

TEEN GIRL IN OHIO KILLED BY POLICE A teenage girl was shot dead by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday afternoon, about the same time that a jury in Minneapolis was returning guilty verdicts against Chauvin. Family members of the victim identified the girl as a “loving” and “sweet” teenager named Ma’Khia Bryant. [HuffPost]

COPS KEEP KILLING BLACK PEOPLE AFTER CHAUVIN VERDICT Police officers in Ohio, California and North Carolina have killed Black people since former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, a grim list of deaths at police hands that keeps growing. [AP]

MINNESOTA POLICE HARASS JOURNALISTS AT PROTESTS Minnesota police aggressively arrested a CNN producer and assaulted multiple other members of the press covering protests over the police shooting of Daunte Wright last week, according to an attorney representing dozens of news outlets. Some journalists also reported being harassed and intimidated by police. [HuffPost]

Anticipating mass protests over the summary execution of 13-year-old Adam Toledo by Chicago police on March 29, prosecutors from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, city officials and local media are seeking to portray the boy as a hardened gang member, justifying the police murder. Despite these attempts to shift blame away from the Chicago Police Department (CPD), Toledo’s death has shed further light on the lawlessness and brutality that characterize police operations in working class neighborhoods: here.

‘ASSASSINATION’ IN CHICAGO Chicago’s police oversight group released footage of an officer fatally shooting a 13-year-old boy more than two weeks ago. Police said the shooting followed an “armed confrontation” with Adam Toledo, but video footage showed no gun in the boy’s hand and that he complied by putting his hands up. “If you’re shooting an unarmed child with his hands in the air, it is an assassination,” Adeena Weiss-Ortiz, the Toledo family’s attorney, said. [HuffPost]

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos kills workers


This 4 April 2021 video from the USA says about itself:

Jeff Bezos‘ Culture of Utter Psychopathy Puts Profits Before Lives

Status Coup’s Jordan Chariton shares original reporting he’s done with the Brown family, where one sister, Poushawn, has died after being required to administer COVID tests to other Amazon workers, and another sister, Christina, was met with concern for the Amazon vehicle and not herself when icy conditions flipped her delivery van. This points to a culture of psychopathy at Amazon that starts from the top.

This 4 April 2021 video from the USA says about itself:

Amazon‘s SHOCKING Culture of FEAR Harms Efforts to Unionize

Independent journalist Tina-Desiree Berg of District 34 (interviews Amazon workers who detail efforts to unionize, but also a culture of fear and a feeling of being very replaceable among the Staten Island Team.