Posts Tagged ‘media’
By Andrew Malcolm, LA Times.com
March 21, 2010
The Democratic administration of Barack Obama, who denounced his predecessor, George W. Bush, as the most secretive in history, is now denying more Freedom of Information Act requests than the Republican did.
Transparency and openness were so important to the new president that on his first full day in office, he dispatched a much-publicized memo saying: “All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open government. The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA.”
One of the exemptions allowed to deny Freedom of Information requests has been used by the Obama administration 70,779 times in its first year; the same exemption was used 47,395 times in Bush’s final budget year.
An Associated Press examination of 17 major agencies’ handling of FOIA requests found denials 466,872 times, an increase of nearly 50% from the 2008 fiscal year under Bush.
As Ed Morrissey notes on the blog Hot Air, during a time of war and terrorist threats, any government can justify not releasing some sensitive information. And true, Obama had previously been a legislator, not an executive.
But why make such a big campaign deal over a previous administration’s secrecy when you’re going to end up being even more secretive?
On March 16 to mark annual Sunshine Week, designed to promote openness in government, Obama applauded himself by issuing a statement:
“As Sunshine Week begins, I want to applaud everyone who has worked to increase transparency in government and recommit my administration to be the most open and transparent ever.”
However, a new study out March 15 by George Washington University’s National Security Archive finds less than one-third of the 90 federal agencies that process such FOIA requests have made significant changes in their procedures since Obama’s 2009 memo.
So, a day later, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel sent out yet another memo. Since the agencies ignored the memo from the president, they’ll all snap to when the staffer’s note arrives, don’t you think?
Top of the Ticket, The Times’ blog on national politics ( www.latimes.com/ ticket), is a blend of commentary, analysis and news. This is a selection from the last week.
On May 5th, Cinco de Mayo, 2010, 200,000 people took to the streets in Athens in a general strike.
First, the background, then the May 5th update…
After the Greek Riots
A few bullets fired by a cop and a kid lying dead on the street. Cities burn for weeks. For the spectacle-hungry media machine, the story begins and ends here. All else, before and after, is void.
Follow the corporate media and the Greek revolt died a long, long time ago. What’s happening in Greece at the moment? What’s the revolt’s legacy, where did all that energy go? Why should you care, screams the media machine, haven’t you heard? The revolt has died. And, even more importantly, The King is dead!
Back on the ground, of course, the revolt is far from dead. Its legacy is very much alive, getting inscribed deeper day after day. The police, having ridden itself from the burden of neutrality, can openly cooperate with fascist thugs, who feel confident enough to throw molotov cocktails against demonstrators in solidarity with undocumented migrants (Athens, July 8). Undocumented migrants, in turn, are explicitly the aim of the most recent wave of state repression: “First we’ll go for the migrants, then for the anarchists”, as the minister of public order so eloquently put it. Even he seems to be unable to catch up with the events: the only December demonstrator still in prison is held (still without trial) precisely because he is an anarchist and therefore consists “a threat to democracy” (wording of the court of misdemeanours, Athens, July 8).
The greek state seems conscious in that it cannot take another revolt of the size of December’s – and determined in not allowing this to happen.
Under this wave of repression, solidarity links are more important than ever. Armed with the experience of December, with the certainty that the return to normality is not option. Armed with a belief in a more just world – and not much else. Democracy has chosen its enemies: The migrants, the anarchists, all the outsiders unable or unwilling to fall back in line.
Having reported on December’s revolt and its immediate aftermath, this blog will now go on to cover everyday life in Greece as it is today. Expect eye-witness reports from everyday struggles, from the demonstrations in Athens (mostly) and in other cities across the country. Reports on the hunger strike of Thodoros Iliopoulos, the last prisoner of the revolt.
Please don’t expect any “impartial” reports (as if these could ever exist). This is an anarchist take on the situation in the country. A democracy that wages war on migrants and anarchists; a democracy armed with fascist thugs, with molotov cocktails and hand grenades; a democracy producing the silent death of the concentration camp (a silence reproduced and amplified by the media machine) is a democracy worth fighting against. Let’s make some noise.
(below is the “about” section of this blog as it went live on December 8, 2008 – two days after Alexis’ assassination).
On the night of December 6th, police shot 15-year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in cold blood in the Eksarhia district of Athens. Since that night, Athens and tens of other greek cities have been burning.
On the same night, up to 10,000 people took the streets of Athens on a spontaneous demonstration, burning and smashing banks, ministries and multinational shops. Ever since, tension has been increasingly escalating: universities are occupied, as are most of the high schools in the country. Barricades are being put up around Athens; clashes with the police are constant.
On Tuesday, 9.12, the funeral of Alexandros is taking place and a general strike is called for Wednesday the 10th – a day both sides are building up for.
The purpose of this blog is to provide up-to-date information on the Greek riots, directly from the streets. Authors are contributing from the Greek cities of Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras.
The updates will be irregular and as frequent as permitted, given the circumstances. The updates will be mostly text-based. Confirmed reports will be presented as such – and so will rumours. We are not journalists and we are not objective; we chose sides in the social war a while ago.
In memory of Alexandros Grigoropoulos.
The struggle of humanity against authority, as always, continues.
May 6, 2010 update
The statement below was issued a few hours ago by the anarchist squat of Skaramanga and Patision in Athens.
The murderers “mourn” their victims
(Regarding today’s tragic death of 3 people)
The enormous strike demonstration which took place today, 5th of May turned into a social outflow of rage. At least 200,000 people of all ages took to the streets (employees and unemployed, in the public and private sector, locals and migrants) attempting, over many hours and in consecutive waves, to surround and to take over the Parliament. The forces of repression came out in full force, to play their familiar role – that is, of the protection of the political and financial authorities. The clashes were hours long and extensive. The political system and its institutions reached a nadir.
However, in the midst of all this, a tragic event that no words can possibly describe took place: 3 people died from infusions at the branch of Marfin Bank on Stadiou Avenue, which was set ablaze.
The state and the entire journalistic riff-raff, without any shame toward the dead or their close ones, spoke from the very first moment about some “murderer-hooded up youths”, trying to take advantage of the event, in order to calm the wave of social rage that had erupted and to recover their authority that had been torn apart; to impose once again a police occupation of the streets, to wipe out sources of social resistance and disobedience against state terrorism and capitalist barbarity. For this reason, during the last few hours the police forces have been marching through the center of Athens, they have conducted hundreds of detentions and they raided – with shootings and stun-grenades – the anarchist occupation “space of united multiform action” on Zaimi street and the “migrant haunt” on Tsamadou Street, causing extensive damage (both these places are in the Exarcheia neighbourhood of Athens). At the same time the threat of a violent police eviction is hanging over the rest of the self-organised spaces (occupations and haunts) after the Prime-ministerial speech which referred to soon-to-come raids for the arrest of the “murderers”.
The governors, governmental officials, their political personnel, the TV-mouthpieces and the salaried hack writers attempt in this way to purify their regime and the criminalise the anarchists and every unpatronised voice of struggle. As if there would ever be the slightest of chances that whoever attacked the bank (provided the official scenario stands) would possibly know there were people inside, and that they would torch it alight regardless. They seem to confuse the people in struggle for themselves: them who without any hesitation hand over the entire society to the deepest pillage and enslaving, who order their praetorians to attack without hesitation and to aim and shoot to kill, them who have lead three people to suicide in the past week alone, due to financial debts. [NOTE: THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POINT. Politicos and corporate CEOs think everyone is like they are: willing to kill for an agenda…. Theirs is the lowest motive possible: avarice. They simply cannot imagine anyone risking their lives or livelihoods for an altruistic goal, such as peace or justice].
The truth is that the real murderer, the real instigator of today’s tragic death of 3 people is “mister” Vgenopoulos, who used the usual employers’ blackmailing (the threat of sacking) and forced his employees to work in the branches of his bank during a day of strike – and even in a branch like the one of Stadiou Avenue, where the strike’s demonstration would pass through. Such blackmailing is known only too well by anyone experiencing the terrorism of salaried slavery on an everyday level. We are awaiting to see what excuses Vgenopoulos will come up with for the relatives of the victims and for the society as a whole – this ultra-capitalist now hinted by some centers of power as the next prime minister in a future “national unity government” that could follow the expected, complete collapse of the political system.
If an unprecedented strike can ever be a murderer…
If an unprecedented demonstration, in an unprecedented crisis, can ever be a murderer…
If open social spaces that are alive and public can ever be murderers…
If the state can impose a curfew and attack demonstrators under the pretext of arresting murderers…
If Vgenopoulos can detain his employees inside a bank – that is, a primary social enemy and target for demonstrators…
…it is because authority, this serial murderer, wants to slaughter upon its birth a revolt which questions the supposed solution of an even harsher attack on society, of an even larger pillage by capital, of an even thirstier sucking of our blood.
…it is because the future of the revolt does not include politicians and bosses, police and mass media.
… it is because behind their much-advertised “only” solution, there is a solution that does not speak of development rates and unemployment but rather, it speaks of solidarity, self-organising and human relationships.
When asking who are the murderers of life, of freedom, of dignity, the ferments of authority and capital, they and their tuft hunters only need to take a look at their own selves. Today and every day.
HANDS OFF FREE SOCIAL SPACES
IT IS THE STATE AND THE CAPITALISTS WHO ARE THE MURDERERS, TERRORISTS AND CRIMINALS
EVERYONE TO THE STREETS
from the open assembly of the evening of 5/5/2010
______________________ China Rose’s Comment _____________________
No one involved in the general strike action wanted to kill bystanders. The purpose of anarchism is to take actions to save lives by fighting for social change. The bank management knew that. They also knew that the bank should have been shut down, and that if their employees got hurt, anarchists would be blamed. Can anyone doubt that they are capable of deliberately putting their employees in harm’s way, of being willing to sacrifice their employees lives? Particularly for a political message? EMPLOYERS do this EVERY DAY. This is the nature of capitalism.
Two examples: Look at Massey Energy and BP in the US.
Massey Energy was cited for mine safety violations continuously. They sneered at the regulations, and refused to put safety controls in place. They didn’t give a DAMN about the lives of their faithful employees. Now, over 30 miners are dead, suffocated or burned to death underground.
BP operated an offshore drilling rig without adhering to safety standards or preparing for the possibility of an oil spill. When the rig blew up, their employees were blown to bits. People’s lives throughout the entire Gulf region have been ruined, along with a precious ecosystem and all its animals. The suffering caused by this massive oil spill is beyond measure.
These corporations — and ALL corporations — refuse to even protect their own employees. They are victimizing entire regions for ugly profit. Every day. They lie, cheat, connive, manipulate, steal and kill — for profit. They are the world’s greatest criminal syndicates, and banks enable them to thrive. Banks are parasites that feed off the work and sweat of everyday people. They will do anything to stop journalists, whistleblowers or activists who are becoming too effective. They murder with impunity — regularly. That is what corporations DO. That’s what the state does.
The state’s job is to protect and defend corporations. They’ll dispatch police and military by the tens of thousands to enforce corporate rape and plunder. They’ll rob and kill their owns citizens to perpetuate corporate dominance and murder innocent people in other countries by the millions to expand their empires.
BANKS AND CORPORATIONS — and their GOVERNMENT FLUNKIES AND WHORES KILLED THOSE 3 BANK EMPLOYEES. They will continue to kill UNLESS STOPPED.
US Soldier in WikiLeaks Video: I Relive this Every Day
By Bill Van Auken, wsws.org
28 April 2010
Iraq war veteran Ethan McCord, who is seen running with an Iraqi child in his arms in the video posted by WikiLeaks of a July 2007 massacre of civilians in Baghdad, talked to the World Socialist
Web Site about the impact of this and similar experiences in Iraq. The video, which records the shocking deaths of at least 12 individuals including two Iraqi journalists employed by Reuters, has
been viewed more than 6 million times on the Internet. [US soldiers Josh Stieber and McCord wrote a] “Letter of Reconciliation” to the Iraqi people taking responsibility for their role in this incident
and other acts of violence. Both soldiers deployed to Iraq in 2007 and left the Army last year. In the letter, McCord and Stieber said, “…we acknowledge our part in the deaths and injuries of your
loved ones.” They insisted that “the acts depicted in this video are everyday occurrences of this war: this is the nature of how US-led wars are carried out in this region.”
The night before giving speaking to the WSWS, Ethan McCord had learned that the widow of one of the dozen men killed — the father of the two children he tried to rescue — had forgiven him and
Stieber for their role in the incident. Ahlam Abdelhussein Tuman, 33, told the Times of London: “I can accept their apology, because they saved my children and if it were not for them, maybe my
two little children would be dead.” Her husband, Saleh Mutashar Tuman, had arrived on the scene of the carnage caused by a US Apache helicopter firing into a crowed and attempted to aid the
wounded. The helicopter opened fire again, killing him and at least one wounded man and wounding his two children, who were sitting in his van. The widow urged the two former soldiers to
continue to speak out. “I would like the American people and the whole world to understand what happened here in Iraq. We lost our country and our lives were destroyed.”
Can you explain why you and Josh Stieber wrote the “Letter of Reconciliation” to the Iraqi people?
We originally wanted it to go to the family members of those involved that day in the WikiLeaks video. Then in turn we wanted it to be more along the lines of to all Iraqi people as well. We wanted
the Iraqi people to know that not everybody sees them as being dehumanized and that there are plenty of Americans and other people who care for them as human beings and wish for them to live
long and happy lives and don’t agree with the war and the policies behind it. I just found out last night that the letter was shown to the family, the children and the mother as well. She has forgiven
myself and Josh and is very happy to see the work that Josh and I are doing. There was a London Times reporter who went there to see what they felt about the letter. And there is one comment from
the mother that she could forgive me because if it wasn’t for me her children might be dead.
That must make you feel pretty good.
Definitely, but it doesn’t stop there for me or for Josh. We are definitely going to continue speaking out on this and do everything we can to have our voices heard about the policies, the rules of
engagement and the war. As well, we are hoping to set up a trust fund for the children, as we know that they’ve had a pretty rough life afterward due to the injuries and whatnot. Hopefully, it will get
them some medical care.
Could you describe the events of that day and what your platoon was doing?
It was much like many of the days in Iraq. The neighborhood we were in was pretty volatile; at least it was on the rise, with IED emplacements and with our platoons being shot at with RPGs and
sniper fire. We didn’t know who was attacking us. It was never actually really clear, at least in my eyes, who the supposed “enemy” was. We were conducting what were called knock-and-searches,
where we would knock on the doors of the homes and search for documents pertaining to militias or any weapons they weren’t supposed to have or any bomb-making materials. We didn’t really
find anything at all. We were getting ready to wrap up at about one o’clock in the afternoon. We started to funnel into an alleyway and started to take small arms fire from rooftops from AK-47s. We
didn’t know what was happening with the Apache helicopters. They were attached to us from another unit to watch over us for this mission, which was called “Ranger Dominance.” We could hear
them open fire, but those of us who were on the ground, outside of the vehicles, had no idea what was taking place. We couldn’t hear the radio chatter and we were pretty caught up in our own
situation. When that situation was neutralized, we were told to walk up onto the scene. I was one of about six soldiers who were dismounted to first arrive on the scene.
What did you see when you got there?
It was pretty much absolute carnage. I had never seen anybody shot by a 30-millimeter round before, and frankly don’t ever want to see that again. It almost seemed unreal, like something out of a
bad B-horror movie. When these rounds hit you they kind of explode — people with their heads half-off, their insides hanging out of their bodies, limbs missing. I did see two RPGs on the scene as
well as a few AK-47s. But then I heard the cries of a child. They weren’t necessarily cries of agony, but more like the cries of a small child who was scared out of her mind. So I ran up to the van
where the cries were coming from. You can actually see in the scenes from the video where another soldier and I come up to the driver and the passenger sides of the van. The soldier I was with, as
soon as he saw the children, turned around, started vomiting and ran. He didn’t want any part of that scene with the children anymore. What I saw when I looked inside the van was a small girl,
about three or four years old. She had a belly wound and glass in her hair and eyes. Next to her was a boy about seven or eight years old who had a wound to the right side of the head. He was laying
half on the floorboard and half on the bench. I presumed he was dead; he wasn’t moving. Next to him was who I presumed was the father. He was hunched over sideways, almost in a protective
way, trying to protect his children. And you could tell that he had taken a 30-millimeter round to the chest. I pretty much knew that he was deceased. I grabbed the little girl and yelled for a medic.
Me and the medic ran into the houses behind where the van crashed to check whether there were any other wounds. I was trying to take as much glass out of her eyes as I could. We dressed the
wound and then the medic ran the girl to the Bradley. You can hear in the video where he says, “there’s nothing else I can do here; we need to evacuate the child.” I then went back outside and went
to the van. I don’t know why. I thought both of them were dead, but something told me to go back. That’s when I saw the boy move with what appeared to be a labored breath. So I stated screaming,
“The boy’s alive.” I grabbed him and cradled him in my arms and kept telling him, “Don’t die, don’t die.” He opened his eyes, looked up at me. I told him, “It’s OK, I have you.” His eyes rolled
back into his head, and I kept telling him, “It’s OK, I’ve got you.” I ran up to the Bradley and placed him inside. My platoon leader was standing there at the time, and he yelled at me for doing what
I did. He told me to “stop worrying about these motherfucking kids and start worrying about pulling security.” So after that I went up and pulled security on a rooftop.
Did you face further repercussions for what you did that day?
After coming back to the FOB [forward operating base], nobody really talked about what had happened that day. Everybody went to their rooms; they were tired. Some of them went to make phone
calls. And I was in my room because I had to clean the blood off of my IBA [body armor] and my uniform — the blood from these children. And I was having a flood of emotions and having a real
hard time dealing with having seen children this way, as I’m sure most caring human beings would. So I went to see a staff sergeant who was in my chain of command and told him I needed to see
mental health about what was going on in my head. He told me to “quit being a pussy” and to “suck it up and be a soldier.” He told me that if I wanted to go to mental health, there would
be repercussions, one of them being labeled a “malingerer,” which is actually a crime in the US Army. For fear of that happening to me, I in turn went back to my room and tried to bottle up as much
emotion as I could and pretty much just suck it up and drive on.
You had another nine months or more still to go in your tour then?
That’s right. It was a pretty long time with having to deal with the emotions, not only of that, but of many other days. What happened then was not an isolated incident. Stuff like that
happens on a daily basis in Iraq.
Are there other incidents that took place in the following months of your tour that bear this out?
Yes. Our rules of engagement were changing on an almost daily basis. But we had a pretty gung-ho commander, who decided that because we were getting hit by IEDs a lot, there would be a new
battalion SOP [standard operating procedure]. He goes, “If someone in your line gets hit with an IED, 360 rotational fire. You kill every motherfucker on the street.” Myself and Josh and a lot
of other soldiers were just sitting there looking at each other like, “Are you kidding me? You want us to kill women and children on the street?” And you couldn’t just disobey orders to shoot, because
they could just make your life hell in Iraq. So like with myself, I would shoot up into the roof of a building instead of down on the ground toward civilians. But I’ve seen it many times, where people
are just walking down the street and an IED goes off and the troops open fire and kill them.
During this period were you conscious that you were suffering from post-traumatic stress?
Yes I knew, because I would be angry at everyone and everything and at myself even more. I would watch movies and listen to music as much as possible just to escape reality. I didn’t really talk to
many people. The other problem I had is that before the incident shown in the WikiLeaks video, I was the gung-ho soldier. I thought I was going over there to do the greater good. I thought my job
over there was to protect the Iraqi people and that this was a job with honor and courage and duty. I was hit by an IED within two weeks of my being in Iraq. And I didn’t understand why people
were throwing rocks at us, why I was being shot at and why we’re being blown up, when I have it in my head that I was here to help these people. But the first real serious doubt, where I could no
longer justify to myself being in Iraq or serving in the Army, was on that day in July 2007.
How did you come to join the military?
I had always wanted to be in the military, even as a child. My grandfather and my uncles were military. Then September 11 happened, and I decided it was my duty as an American to join the
military, so that’s what I did in 2002. I joined the Navy. In 2005, when the Army had what they called “Operation Blue to Green,” pulling sailors and airmen into the Army with bigger bonuses, I
made a lateral transfer. I had pretty much had it in my head that I was going to make a career out of the military. But going to Iraq and dealing with the Army completely changed my outlook.
What was your reaction when you saw the WikiLeaks video?
Shock. I had dropped my children off at school one morning, came home and turned on MSNBC, and there I am running across the screen carrying a child. I knew immediately it was me. I know
the scene. It is burned into my head. I relive it almost every day. It was just a shock that that it was up there, and it angered me. I was angry because it was in my face again. I had actually started to
get a little bit better before the tape was released. I wasn’t thinking about it as often; it was getting a little bit easier to go to sleep. But then everything that I had buried and pushed away came
bubbling back to the surface. And the nightmares began again, the anger, the feeling of being used. It all came back. It wasn’t a good feeling; it was like a huge slap in the face.
Do you think that the way you were told to forget about the kids and suck it up is indicative of the general culture in the military?
Yes, there is such a stigma placed on soldiers seeking mental health. It’s like you’re showing a huge sign of weakness for needing to speak about things or for seeking help even for getting to sleep.
There’s fear of being chastised or being made fun of. So you end up self-medicating on alcohol. And as you probably know, alcohol is a depressant and just makes it worse. I was self-medicating
when I came home, and I was hospitalized in a mental institute by the Army because of my problems with PTSD and self-medication. There were many times when I felt that I could no longer take
what was going on in my head and the best thing for me to do would be to put a bullet in my head. But each time I thought about that, I would look at the pictures of my children and think back
on that day and how the father of those children was taken away and how horrible it must be for them. And if I were to do that, I would be putting my children in the same position.
Do you think that the pressure to bury these problems is driven by a fear that if you are allowed to question your own experiences, it can call into question the nature of the war itself?
I was not able to talk about it, not able to get answers to like how I was feeling about this, why were we doing this, what are we doing here? It was just straight up, “You’re going to do this, and
you’re going to shut up about it.” Soldiers aren’t mindless drones. They have feelings. They have emotions. You can’t just make them go out and do something without telling them, this is why we’re
doing it. And the pressure just builds up. You hear in the video the Apache helicopter crew saying some things that are pretty heart-wrenching and cold. I’m guilty of it too. We all are. It’s kind of a
coping mechanism. You feel bad at the time for what you did and you take those emotions and push them down. That’s what the Army teaches you to do, just push them down. And in a sense it
works. It helps you get through the hard times. But unfortunately, there’s no outlet for that anymore, once you get out of the Army. When you get back home, there’s no one to joke around with,
nobody you can talk to about these instances. What happens to that soldier? He’s going to blow up. And when he blows up, more than likely it’s going to be on his family, his close friends
or on himself. So I think that’s why soldiers end up killing themselves.
So a terrible price is being paid for this war in the US itself?
Yes, I feel that just as the Iraqis, the soldiers are victims of this war as well. Like we say in our letter to the Iraqis, the government is ignoring them and it is also ignoring us. Instead of people
being upset at a few soldiers in a video who were doing what they were trained to do, I think people need to be more upset at the system that trained these soldiers.
They are doing exactly what the Army wants them to do. Getting angry and calling these soldiers names and saying how callous and cold-hearted they are isn’t going to change the
What do you think drives this system? Why are they sent to do this?
As far as the hidden agenda behind the war, I couldn’t even begin to guess what that is. I do know that the system is being driven by some people with pretty low morals and values, and they attempt
to instill those values in the soldiers. But the people who are driving the system don’t have to deal with the repercussions. It’s the American people who have to deal with them. They’re the ones who
have to deal with all of these soldiers who come back from war, have no outlets and blow up. I still live with this every day. When I close my eyes I see what happened that day and many other
days like a slide show in my head. The smells come back to me. The cries of the children come back to me. The people driving this big war machine, they don’t have to deal with this.
They live in their $36 million mansions and sleep well at night.
Were you hopeful that with the 2008 election these kinds of things would be brought to a halt. Were you disappointed that they have continued and escalated?
I am not part of any party. Was I hopeful? Yes. Was I surprised that we are still there? No. I’m not surprised at all. There’s something else lying underneath there. It’s not Republican or
Democrat; it’s money. There’s something else lying underneath it where Republicans and Democrats together want to keep us in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I am hopeful that the video and our speaking out will help. There’s the old adage that war is hell, but I don’t think people really understand just what a hell war is. Until you see it first-hand, you
don’t really know what’s going on. Like I said, this video shows you an every-day occurrence in Iraq, and I can only assume, in Afghanistan. So I hope people wake up and see the actual hells of
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A thoughtful essay from comic Michael Ian Black on “Coco activism”…
via Norma Rae.
“Just picked up your letter. Very glad to hear from you. I was concerned that I hadn’t heard anything since your last letter. Despite the media blackout, which is a disgrace, this is turning out to be a really spectacular triumph, I think, and it’s hard to express properly my admiration and respect for those who are directly engaged. It has to be a shot in the arm for the people in Gaza, and might stir up some opposition to the dictatorship in Egypt, which is exposing its brutality daily — to everyone except the US media (hope it’s better elsewhere). And I think a lot of people are going to come back home really invigorated. Good luck in what lies ahead. Noam.” (Reference for text: Message from Noam Chomsky to the Viva Palestina convoy members on their way to Gaza. Photo: Viva Palestina.) — Palestine Chronicle post