Gaza Emergency

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gaza-children has posted an article about the emergency situation in Gaza due to water access restrictions:

More than 90 percent of the Gaza Strip’s water is undrinkable. The rest is quickly running out. A combination of factors is rapidly depriving the population of this most basic of needs. RT investigated day-to-day life under these conditions.
Just one fresh water source exists today, according to the locals – a coastal aquifer beneath the ground that is shared with Israel and Egypt. But Gaza is situated downstream from Israel, and Palestinians accuse the Jewish state of using the situation to its advantage, employing water deprivation as a tactic against the civilian population.

The grim water statistics are part of a recent UN report on Gaza, which says the strip will become uninhabitable by 2020. A number of reasons compound the problems, according to the document by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). […]

The UN says that 500,000 people have been displaced in Gaza as a result of last year’s IDF operation alone. More than 20,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed, and 148 schools and 15 hospitals and 45 primary health-care centers were severely damaged. Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

But worse still is when the populace is deprived of the prime source of life – water. Without it, no reconstruction and no rebuilding of lives can take place. Medicine, sanitation, hygiene and crucial facilities that depend on water all suffer. […]

“We can’t drink it, cook with it, or wash in the kitchen with it… we are forced to buy all the clean water separately,” said Umm Ibrahim Amna Abdel’al, as she stood in her kitchen, little more four bare cement walls and a sink. […]

The woman went on to describe how “tiny kids suffer from cramps and colic” – a syndrome commonly associated with stomach infections.

“See my hand?” she pointed to the irritated skin on her palm. “It is because of the salty water. I have a skin infection. The water is full of salt. It is like sewage.”

And salt isn’t the only problem. The water coming into homes is also full of nitrate – a carcinogenic. The levels rose even higher last year, during Israel’s bombardment of sewage pipes and clean water pipes. Now, the two chemicals have mixed.

But even though the water is filthy, Gazans pay an exorbitantly [high price] for it.

Elkhafif [Mahmoud Elkhafif, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s special coordinator for assistance to the Palestinian people] put it bluntly: “Gaza suffers a catastrophic issue with water quality and water supply. And it’s a shame on the world that they are still watching this.

Unless the situation is resolved, the Strip stands on the brink of a full-scale humanitarian catastrophe much greater than any airstrikes can cause.

Bear witness, and weep. All this, because the Palestinian people will not capitulate to the psychopaths that run Israel and the other countries of the Western world.

A Gruelling Month

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Well, it’s been a tough month of August this year. Due to personal circumstances, I haven’t had as much time to keep up with the news, but today I noticed this ‘wonderful’ item (heavy sarcasm): Thousands call for action as Indian community council ‘orders’ rape and public humiliation of two sisters

Over 60,000 people signed an Amnesty International UK’s petition demanding the government intervene in the case of two Indian sisters sentenced to rape and humiliation for their brother’s deed by a local council dominated by a higher caste.
An unelected all-male council from a village in India’s Baghpat district handed down the ruling on July 30, ordering Meenakshi Kumari, 23, and her sister, 15, to be raped as well as paraded naked with blackened faces.The council deemed this an appropriate punishment for their brother’s elopement with a married woman from the higher Jat caste. The brother, known as Ravi, is reportedly from the Dalit caste, which is India’s lowest, formerly known as the “untouchables.” He ran away with his beloved despite fears of retribution.

“Nothing could justify this abhorrent punishment. It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it’s against the law. Demand that the local authorities intervene immediately,” Amnesty International said, calling on people worldwide to sign their petition to persuade the Indian government to intervene.

You can sign the petition here.


Fasting for Peace

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Today, on the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, the UK group Trident Ploughshares are beginning a four-day fast and protest campaign against nuclear weapons as part of remembering the terrible, unnecessary destruction of life that took place at the end of WWII. The protests will take place until the 9th of August, the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki.

Although I think protesting against nuclear weapons in general is kind of pointless, the protests can provide a focus on the larger context – the war crimes committed by the United States at the end of WWII – and so are worth considering in that respect.

If you feel like fasting in solidarity with them, details about their campaign are available on the Trident Ploughshares website.

Sandra Bland – Victim of Psychopaths

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Joe Quinn over at highlights some important information regarding Sandra Bland’s murder in Waller County, Texas:

But the real questions here are why Bland was imprisoned at all. Why wasn’t she taken to a police station, charged and then released with a date for a court hearing? Why was she placed in a cell on her own rather with other detainees? Capt. Brian Cantrell of the Waller County Sheriff’s Office has stated that she was placed in a cell alone because she was deemed a “high risk” to the safety of others based on the nature of the charge against her. As we have seen however, the charge against her – “assaulting a public official” – is entirely bogus as it relates to Bland’s possible threat to other inmates. Bland was justifiably angry at the trooper; for anyone to suggest that this translates to her being a danger to other civilians is an obvious manipulation to justify placing Bland in a cell on her own. […]

The hand-printed document shows Bland confirming she had previously attempted suicide due to a miscarriage. A typed summary of Bland’s responses however shows the response to “Attempted suicide?” as “no.” The reason for the discrepancy is unclear. An inmate with a previous suicide attempt is routinely put on suicide watch and monitored every 10-20 minutes. Placing such a person in solitary confinement in a cell with a large plastic bag is also highly irregular. […]

Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis stated that “looking at the autopsy results and toxicology, it appears she swallowed a large quantity of marijuana or smoked it in the jail.” This conflicts with the fact that there was no report of marijuana being found on Bland when she was booked into Waller County jail. It’s standard procedure for a prisoner to be extensively searched prior to being placed in a jail cell. The idea that a large quantity of marijuana would have been missed as part of this search, or that she could have smoked it during the 3 days she was incarcerated without jail personnel knowing, is implausible. […]

There’s then a gap in the footage — from 7:18 to 7:24 a.m. From 7:34 to 9:07 a.m., the video shows no movement in or out of cell 95. Or, to put it another way, the video camera recorded nothing since it is motion-activated. […]

Citing preliminary autopsy results that show no sign of a violent struggle, Waller County prosecutor Warren Diepraam said that the cause of Sandra Bland’s death was hanging; the manner of her death was suicide. Yet this conclusion fails to consider the relative ease with which a person can be incapacitated without a struggle and then ‘suicided’. After about 48 hours, chloroform, for example, is no longer present in a human body.

Although her funeral has been held, her family will surely continue the investigation.

Police State USA Redux

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So, you know how I just mentioned police in the US were reaching new lows? It seems pretty clear now that the police force there is infested with psychopaths:

FBI to probe death of black activist found hanging in Texas cell


The FBI has been asked to join the Texas Rangers in an investigation into how a routine traffic stop led to the arrest of an African-American activist – and how three days later she was found hanging dead [in her] cell.
The investigation comes after the sudden death of 28-year-old Sandra Bland. Request for FBI assistance came from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Bland, an activist with the Black Lives Matter movement, was found hanging in her jail cell Monday morning. The Waller County Sheriff’s Office said she was “not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation.” Although CPR was immediately performed, Bland was pronounced dead shortly after.

Bland was arrested after she had been pulled over by police during a routine traffic stop on Friday, July 10 in Prairie View, Texas, about 60 miles northwest of Houston.

Police said she failed to signal when changing lanes. During the stop, police said Bland became argumentative, uncooperative and combative. They also claimed she was arrested because she had assaulted a public servant.

However, a bystander’s video from a portion of the arrest shows no confrontation. Instead it shows two police officers pinning Bland to the ground, where she is heard arguing with them. […]

The video shows one officer leaving her to go to his police car, and telling the bystander to stop filming, which he does not. Then the video shows the officer returning to Bland, handcuffing her, and the two officers picking her up and dragging her to the police vehicle.

Bland was kept in Waller County jail over the weekend, but on Monday, July 13 she was discovered hanging from the ceiling of her cell by a noose made from a trash bag.

Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith said video from the hall shows no one had gone into Bland’s cell before her death.

Family and friends of Bland said they are stunned by the news and that she would never hurt herself. They said she had been in good spirits and looking forward to starting a new job in the state. Bland was also known as a passionate social justice activist with the Black Lives Matter movement. The Bland family, who live in Chicago, where Sandra was from, have retained legal counsel to investigate her death. They are confident that she was murdered.

“How did a traffic violation end in death? What happened in that jail?” Bland’s friend LaNitra Dean told The Huffington Post. “What happened in that jail? That’s on everyone’s mind.

Even Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said he thought the circumstances of her death were strange.

“I will admit it is strange someone who had everything going for her would have taken her own life,” he told NBC affiliate KPRC in Houston. “That’s why it’s very important a thorough investigation is done and that we get a good picture of what Ms. Bland was going through the last four or five days of her life.”

“If there is something nefarious, or if there was some foul play involved, we’ll get to the bottom of that,” he said.

According to the Guardian, Sheriff Smith has a checkered history and is known for being a racist. He was suspended for two weeks without pay in 2007 when serving as Chief of Police in Hempstead, and ordered to take anger management classes. Smith was also placed on a six-month probation after returning to work, after it was learned he had “manhandled a black suspect” and exhibited “racist behavior.”

In 2008, the Houston Chronicle reported that Smith was fired as police chief after more accusations had surfaced, including accounts of young African-Americans being humiliatingly strip-searched. Later that year, Smith was elected as Waller County’s sheriff. He was re-elected in 2012, the same month James Howell, a 29-year old inmate, was found hanging in his cell at the Waller County jail in an apparent suicide.

The death is now being investigated as a murder.


Police State USA

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Police in America are reaching new lows, with an officer in Arizona arresting a naked woman after entering her home illegally.

If you want a quote that really gets to the crux of the matter of how these thugs think, you need look no further than:

“When a cop shows up, you’re not the one in charge; I don’t care if it is your house,” he [the officer] is heard saying.

As Bill Hicks said:

Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again. Here. Here’s American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed, America. Here is American Gladiators. Here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their fucking skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go, America! You are free… to do as we tell you! You are free… to do as we tell you.