African war refugee cyclist wins Paralympic gold metal

Daniel Abraham Gebru wins gold medal

Daniel Abraham Gebru was born in Eritrea, 31 years ago. When he was a teenager, he took up cycling, which is popular in Eritrea. Ethiopian soldiers used to attack Eritrea. They imprisoned Daniel’s father, a merchant. Daniel’s father died in an Ethiopian prison. Daniel Abraham Gebru fled this war when he was fifteen years old. His mother managed to escape from the Ethiopian soldiers, but it took thirteen years for Daniel to find her again.

Daniel went to the Netherlands. He succeeded in making it in the Dutch injured people’s road cycling team for the Paralympics in Brazil.

At the Paralympics time trial, he was fourth. Just short of a bronze medal.

Today, the road race. There was a breakaway group of three cyclists, including Daniel Abraham Gebru. At the final part, just before the finish line, Gebru was unable to keep up with the two other cyclists any longer.

However, these two other cyclists collided and fell. Daniel Abraham Gebru was able to ride around the fallen cyclists. He won the Paralympics gold medal.

Paralympics spectators boo Brazilian coup president Temer

This video says about itself:

Brazil: Temer booed at Independence Day Parade and at Paralympics

8 September 2016

There were jeers from protesters on Wednesday as Michel Temer arrived to take part in his first Independence Day Parade as Brazil’s President.

In office for a week, after Dilma Rousseff‘s removal, national celebrations should have been a happy occasion for the conservative politician, coinciding with the start of Brazil hosting the Paralympic Games.

But not even the presence of Paralympic athletes in the parade in Brasilia could deflect from the discontent being expressed in the capital and beyond.

Read more here.

At the recent Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, spectators booed Brazilian coup president Temer at the opening ceremony. So, Temer did not dare to go to the closing ceremony.

Maybe he thought spectators at the Paralympics, which started in Rio yesterday, would be more uncritical about corrupt politicians.

However, United States weekly Newsweek reports:

Rio Paralympics 2016: Brazil President Michel Temer Booed at Opening Ceremony

The jeers came a day after impeached former president Dilma Rousseff left office.

By Jack Moore on 9/8/16 at 9:12 AM

Brazilians jeered their new President Michel Temer on Wednesday as he attended an Independence Day rally in Brasilia and the opening ceremony of the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The events were the first official gatherings that Temer had attended since becoming the country’s president on August 31 after Dilma Rousseff was impeached and removed from office …

And it has already started badly for her replacement. Not only because of the jeers as he opened the games, but also fresh protests around the country.

Thousands of protesters descended on almost a dozen Brazilian cities to call for change, with chants such as “Temer Out” and “Usurper” among the calls. Tens of thousands turned out in Sao Paulo, according to organizers, with a smaller gathering of 600 in the country’s capital, Brasilia.

Paralympics tickets are cheaper than for the Olympics, so more not so well off Brazilians are able to attend.

Like at the Olympics, there is also a refugee team at the Paralympics. Syrian swimmer Ibrahim Al Hussein carried its flag. He used to swim in the Euphrates river. His father was a swimming coach. When Al Hussein tried to help another civilian injured in the war in Syria, he lost a leg in the bloody violence. He fled to Turkey, then to Greece, in his wheelchair on a dinghy across the Mediterranean.

Al Hussein, 27, was thrust into the spotlight during the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay, when he carried the torch in Athens, Greece, where he is currently living and training with the help of the Hellenic Paralympic Committee. He will compete in the 50m and 100m freestyle S10 (provisional) as a leg amputee in Rio.

Argentine blind footballer to Paralympics

This video says about itself:

3 June 2016

Meet Silvio Melo, the “blind Lionel Messi“, captain of Argentina’s Murciélagos (Bats) Fútbol Club team, who are hoping to win gold at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics.

Bahraini torture prince now Syrian ‘humanitarian’

I don’t often quote the Bahrain News Agency, the mouthpiece of an absolute monarchy which tortures, gasses, and shoots its citizens fighting peacefully for democracy.

But now I will do so. With this item:

HH Shaikh Nasser Provides Bahrain’s Aids for Syrian Refugees in Turkey

05 : 54 PM – 24/11/2012

Bahraini torture prince His Highness Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa and the Turkish-Syrian border, photo Bahrain News Agency

Manama, November 24th (BNA) – Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Charity Organization, His Highness Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa received the representative of the Turkish Premiership Muhammet Donmez, in presence of the Director of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Turkey, Carol Bøjer.

The mouthpiece of the dictatorial Bahraini royal dynasty omits that His Highness Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa is not only Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Charity Organization; but also chairman of the Bahraini Olympic Committee. As such, he presided and presides over the torture of Bahraini citizens, including Bahraini Olympic and Paralympic athletes; in which His Royal Highness himself participated.

The meeting was also in the presence of the Secretary-General of the Royal Charity Organization, Dr. Mustafa Al Sayed and Bahrain’s Ambassador to Turkey Ibrahim Yusuf.

It was under the directives of His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa that HH Shaikh Nasser provided Bahrain’s aids for the Syrian refugees in Turkey.

So His Royal torturing Highness is interested in the bloody war going on along the Syrian-Turkish border. For humanitarian reasons? Does His Royal torturing Highness shed tears, other than crocodile tears, about the human tragedies of the refugees?

Very more probably, His Royal torturing Highness wants to help the CIA, NATO, Turkish warmongers, the Qatari absolute monarchy, and the Saudi absolute monarchy in “humanitarian” bloodshed, with as its result a Sunni sectarian, Al-Qaedaish, dictatorship in Syria, rather similar to the Bahraini regime.

On this occasion, HH Shaikh Nasser said that he was honored to express thanks and appreciation for the Honorary President of the Royal Charity Organization, His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa for his continuous humanitarian initiatives to help the needy and provide relief to the afflicted.

HH Shaikh Nasser also said that HM the King’s directives also came out of the distinctive brotherly relations which bond Bahrain with Turkey, pointing out that Bahrain’s aids were for the Syrian refugees who fled from Syria to Turkey due to the situation in their country, so the aids were to relief their sufferings.

The head of Bahrain’s main opposition group says backers will resume street protests in a direct challenge to a government ban on political gatherings: here.

British disabled anti-Atos fight continues

This video from England is called DPAC and UK uncut team target Paralympics sponsor ATOS.

By Dave Sewell in Britain:

Tue 23 Oct 2012

Atos documents reveal the chaos behind Tory benefit reforms

Protests are having an impact on Atos Healthcare, the private firm paid by the government to test whether people are “disabled enough” to receive benefits.

Bungling officials at the Department for Work and Pensions have put confidential documents online. They reveal fears that the firm’s noxious reputation and nature of its tests will see it struggle to recruit enough healthcare professionals.

The tender forms for Atos’s bid to assess for the new personal independence payment benefit (PIP) refer repeatedly to these concerns.

Top of the list of risks in its risk assessment is the danger that “HPs [healthcare professionals] decide that they do not want to participate in PIP”. The cause is described as “adverse publicity”.

That’ll be all the protests—such as the high-profile week of action against Atos’ sponsorship of the Paralympic Games.

Elsewhere the tender document acknowledges that “experience shows us that the key reasons staff leave are job content, job variety and salary”.

That’s hardly surprising given the testimonies of disabled people who were reduced to tears by the assessments that make up Atos workers’ job content.

Just last month former Atos nurse Joyce Drummond publicly apologised for her time at the company. She, like many others, quit the job because of the stress of “having to trick sick people out of their benefit”.


One way around this problem has been deskilling. Many disabled people have been shocked to see the decisions of their GPs ignored by Atos staff who are not doctors.

The PIP tender document reveals Atos’ plans to hire just nine doctors for the whole south of England. And they plan to hire just ten for the whole of Scotland and the north of England.

Most of the assessments will be carried out by hundreds of physiotherapists. Atos lists “availability,” “cost” and “the desire for this work” among the reasons for this balance.

The other part of its damage limitation strategy seems to be to shamelessly fib. The document boasts of a “successful record of engagement” with groups representating disabled people—including Disabled People Against Cuts (Dpac), the group behind most of the protests against Atos.

On the TUC demo last Saturday Paula, a Dpac campaigner from Kent, described Atos’s claim as “an absolute lie”.

“They want to undermine us, to play divide and conquer, while people are dying,” she told Socialist Worker. “We’ve lost 1,200 so far—and that’s before the new PIP benefit, the bedroom tax and all the other cuts that are to come.”

Paula was one of hundreds of Dpac activists blocking the road at Marble Arch after the TUC demonstration in London last Saturday.

‘DISABLED people and their families are struggling to make ends meet and feel increasingly nervous about the future’, warned Disability UK on Monday: here.

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Atos anti-disabled corporation goes nuclear

This video from Britain is called Disabled people protest against Atos role in Paralympics.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Don’t let Atos near nuclear, Greens warn

Friday 05 October 2012

The Green Party attacked the appointment of controversial “fit for work” firm Atos to run nuclear industry IT systems today as “foolhardy in the extreme.”

Atos has been criticised repeatedly for its controversial role policing the government’s back-to-work scheme, with people wrongly having their benefits slashed and being forced into employment despite being too ill to work.

The firm also has a chequered history regarding previous government contracts.

In 2008 Atos was subject to a government inquiry after it lost sensitive data along with passwords and user names for the Department of Work and Pensions computer systems.

And earlier this year the head of the UK Borders Agency said that Atos was responsible for major disruptions in the Agency’s IT systems, causing “significant delays and hardship” for those applying for in-country visas.

But in a press statement the firm announced today that it had secured responsibility for the delivery of “significant aspects of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority‘s (NDA’s) IT services.”

The five-year, £140 million contract covers Sellafield, Magnox, National Nuclear Laboratories and Low Level Waste Repository.

Responding to the announcement Green Party environment spokeswoman Penny Kemp told the Star: “We are astounded at this government’s ability to employ companies which have been shown to be incompetent.

“This is the very company which assessed terminally ill people as fit to work and has happily helped the government slash benefits from the most vulnerable in our society.

“To trust them with the nuclear operation is foolhardy in the extreme.”

Atos said it anticipated that bringing “a diverse range of IT services into this arrangement” would deliver up to 30 per cent savings across the contracted services.

Atos UK and Ireland CEO Ursula Morgenstern said: “This is an extremely important contract for Atos and we are delighted to be at the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the NDA estate.”

Nuclear workers’ union Prospect representative Jez Stewart said: “Any efficiencies to be made through the more effective use of technology would be welcome. But if Atos is seeking to make savings at the expense of staff we need to see a convincing business case to back their claims.”

The firm running Sellafield nuclear power station is to be prosecuted over allegations that it sent bags of low-level radioactive waste to a nearby landfill site, it was confirmed today: here.

More Paralympics TV viewers

This video says about itself:

Dutch paralympic tennis player Esther Vergeer talks to Erin McLaughlin about the rising popularity of paralympic sports.

Translated from Dutch news agency ANP:

Dutch NOS TV looks back contentedly on the broadcasts about the Paralympic Games. Their daily Paralympic magazine on Netherlands 1 TV averaged nearly 650,000 viewers. This is a doubling of the figures of the games of four years ago, says the broadcaster.

“Our biggest compliment is the criticism that we actually should have broadcast more of the Paralympic Games” says NOS director Jan de Jong.

British Conservatives attack Paralympians

This video is called David Beckham tries out blind football with Paralympic GB hopefuls.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Paralympians speak out on benefit cuts

Equality: Britain’s Paralympians may have put on a brave face for the Games but some slammed the Con-Dem cabinet’s attacks on disability benefits at today’s closing ceremony

Team GB footballer Keryn Seal was among several who told the Sunday Mirror that he relied on a £70-a-week allowance to get to training and get his children to school.

“I can’t understand why the government would dream of taking this money away from us,” he said.

Paralympics spectators boo British Conservative Chancellor

This video from Britain says about itself:

George Osborne Gets Booed Handing Medals at the Paralympic Athletics Medal Ceremony.

By George Eaton in Britain:

George Osborne booed at the Paralympic Games

Chancellor greeted with boos as he awards medals for the men’s 400m

03 September

He commented at the weekend that it was “no surprise” that he was unpopular but George Osborne still probably wasn’t expecting to be greeted by a chorus of boos when he presented the medals for the men’s 400m at the Paralympic Games.

See also here.

Labour leader Ed Miliband praised the thousands of Paralympic spectators today who booed failed Chancellor George Osborne this week: here.

British anti-disabled police brutality

This video from Britain is called DWP disability protest.

By Will Stone in London, England:

Met accused of Department for Work and Pensions protest brutality

Sunday 02 September 2012

Police were accused today of viciously attacking disabled protesters who peacefully occupied the Department for Work and Pensions, fracturing a wheelchair user’s shoulder and breaking another’s chair.

Campaigners occupied the department’s building in Tothill Street, Westminster, on Friday before being joined by hundreds more, concluding a week-long protest against Atos Healthcare to coincide with the opening of the Paralympic Games.

Desperate Met officers formed a line to prevent further protesters entering the building while others negotiated the exit of those already inside.

They resorted to “excessive and unnecessary” force and begun pushing the crowd resulting in the fracture of wheelchair user Patrick Lynch’s shoulder, damaging another’s chair and breaking a man’s glasses, Disabled People Against Cuts claim.

Campaigners say that another protester was tipped out of his wheelchair.

Mr Lynch said: “The police officer involved was a thug and a bully, not fit to wear the uniform. If he hadn’t been in the police he would be facing charges of assault.”

Demonstrators then began chanting “We all live in a fascist regime” to the tune of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.

A 31-year-old man was arrested for breach of the peace and obstructing police.

He was taken into custody and has been bailed to return in late October.

DPAC spokeswoman Maud Wilkinson said: “What happened is regrettable.

“Taken in the context of the week of action this was an isolated incident. But disabled people will not stop organising and mobilising the resistance to the brutal attack on disabled people being perpetrated by the Con-Dem government.”

Those occupying the DWP foyer left voluntarily at the end of the protest and the demonstration ended without further incident.

Protesters rail against Atos: here.

Police in Brighton have been accused of “kettling” a group of demonstrators during this weekend’s Gay Pride event in the city: here.

Incidences of police brutality have risen rapidly in the UK in the last year. According to the statistics supplied by the police themselves, violence and deaths at the hands of police officers have both seen a marked increase: here.

USA: More than 20 years after the videotaped assault on Rodney King supposedly spurred reform in the Los Angeles Police Department, three videos have surfaced depicting beatings and death at the hands of the police: here.