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What is .. 15 June 2012

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Occupy Wall Street, Total fucking lunatics.
62 comments

From a Guardian gallery of illustrations for The Bloody Chamber

What is left to say?

Maybe it can be stopped but the way things are going, what they don’t get under Clinton (War in Iraq and Afghanistan leading to ever widening war) they get under Bush, what they don’t get under Bush, they get under “the nice black man”, what Slob doesn’t manage to give them (or did not have enough time!) they get under Romney.

Democracy NOW, and I just happened to fall into the show in the middle of the night…

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to a controversial trade pact between the United States and eight Pacific nations that until now has remained largely secret. It’s called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. A chapter from the draft agreement leaked Wednesday outlines how it would allow foreign corporations operating in the United States to appeal key regulations to an international tribunal. The body would have the power to override U.S. law and issue penalties for failure to comply with its rulings.

The agreement is being negotiated by the U.S. trade representative, Ron Kirk, appointed by President Obama. But the newly revealed terms contradict promises Obama made while running for president in 2008. One campaign document read in part, quote, “We will not negotiate bilateral trade agreements that stop the government from protecting the environment, food safety, or the health of its citizens; [or] give greater rights to foreign investors than to U.S. investors.”

AMY GOODMAN: Earlier leaks from the draft Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement exposed how it included rules that could increase the cost of medication and make participating countries adopt restrictive copyright measures.

No one from the U.S. trade representative’s office was able to join us, but in a statement to Democracy Now!, they said, quote, “Nothing in our TPP investment proposal could impair our government’s ability to pursue legitimate, non-discriminatory public interest regulation.”

For more, we’re joined by Lori Wallach, director of the fair trade group Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. The leaked documents were posted on her organization’s website early Wednesday morning.

Lori, welcome to Democracy Now! Explain what the documents show and what this agreement is about.

LORI WALLACH:Well, it’s been branded as a trade agreement, but really it is enforceable corporate global governance. The agreement requires that every signatory country conform all of its laws, regulations and administrative procedures to what are 26 chapters of very comprehensive rules, only two of which have anything to do with trade.

The other 24 chapters set a whole array of corporate new privileges and rights and handcuff governments, limit regulation. So the chapter that leaked—and it’s actually on the website of Citizens Trade Campaign, it’s a national coalition for fair trade—that chapter is the chapter that sets up new rights and privileges for foreign investors, including their right to privately enforce this public treaty by suing our government, raiding our Treasury, over costs of complying with the same policies that all U.S. companies have to comply with. It’s really outrageous.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Lori, there’s been a quite a bit of complaint, even in Congress, about the secretive nature of these continuing negotiations. About 600 or so corporate advisers have access to information that even members of Congress don’t? Could you talk about how that has come about?

LORI WALLACH: Well, this is how you get a text and in a potential agreement that is this outrageous. I mean, this isn’t just a bad trade agreement, this is a one-percenter power tool that could rip up our basic needs and rights. How that happens is the negotiations have been done in total secrecy. So, for two-and-a-half years, until this leak emerged, people have suspected what’s going on, because, as you said, under U.S. law there are 600 official advisers, they have security clearance to see the text, they advise the U.S. position. Meanwhile, the senator, Ron Wyden, who is the chairman of the trade committee in the Senate, the committee with jurisdiction over the TPP, has been denied access to the text, as has his staff, who has security clearance, to a point where this man who has supported agreements like this in the past has filed legislation demanding he have the right to see the agreement that he’s supposed to be having oversight with. He’s on the Intelligence Committee, and he has security clearance, so he can see our nuclear secrets. He just can’t see this corporate bill of rights that is trying to be slipped into effect in the name of being a trade agreement. It’s a very elegant Trojan horse strategy. You brand it one thing, and then you put an agenda that could not survive sunshine into this agreement.

We have been able also to get some of the texts on patents, expanding patents for Big Pharma, jacking up medicine prices. And we have analysis on our website, tradewatch.org, as well as information about how to get involved, because these agreements are a little bit like Dracula. You drag them in the sunshine, and they do not fare well. But all of us, and also across all of the countries involved, there are citizen movements that are basically saying, “This is not in our name. We don’t need global enforceable corporate rights. We need more democracy. We need more accountability.”

AMY GOODMAN: Lori Wallach—

LORI WALLACH: And this agreement is the antithesis.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to read part of the comment we got from the U.S. trade representative’s office when we invited them on today’s show. They wrote, quote, “The Obama Administration has infused unprecedented transparency into the TPP negotiations. We have worked with Members of Congress … [and] invited stakeholders to every round of negotiations where they have given presentations and met with individual negotiating teams. … We are always looking for ways to enhance provisions on transparency and public participation.” Lori Wallach, your comment?

LORI WALLACH: Well, to start with, the idea of transparency of the current negotiators is a one-way mirror. We can basically talk to them and do presentations. But as this leak shows, nothing that the public interest organizations—and it’s a huge array of organizations, from faith groups to consumer groups, environmental, labor—nothing that we have said is now reflected in the U.S. position in this negotiation, which I’m sad to say is the most extreme. I mean, the U.S. is even opposing proposals in this agreement to try and make sure countries have the ability to use financial regulation to ensure financial stability. The U.S. positions don’t reflect what we’ve been saying, but we can talk at them.

But just to put this in perspective, in the last negotiation of a big regional agreement—that was the Free Trade Area of the Americas in the 1990s, 34 countries, very complicated agreement—two years into the negotiation, the entire draft text was published officially by the governments. Here we are, three years into this negotiation with eight countries, and they will not publish a sentence. In fact, it finally leaked that they had signed a special agreement not to release any draft text for four years after negotiations are done—a secrecy agreement on top of the normal secrecy. And when asked, Ron Kirk, the trade representative, why—in the past, the U.S. has sent out draft texts. The WTO, hardly a paradigm of transparency, publishes draft texts. “What the—what’s going on?” he was asked. He said, “Well, in the past, for instance, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, when the text was revealed, we couldn’t finish it.” Now, what sort of indictment is that of what they are doing behind closed doors, that merely allowing the public who will live with the results and Congress to know what’s up is going to somehow derail the plans to lock us in? Because what’s really important to understand about these agreements, it’s not about trade, and it’s like cement. [hmm we really ARE mired in cement! Mcat]Once the cement dries in these agreements, you can’t change the rules, unless all the agreement—all the other countries agree to amend the agreement.

So what we’re talking about with this leaked chapter is literally a parallel system of justice. People have domestic laws and courts, trying to defend our rights and get our needs met. Corporations would have a parallel system of private attorneys, three of them, no conflict-of-interest laws. The U.S. and the other countries would submit themselves to the jurisdiction of this corporate kangaroo court, and these three random attorneys would have the right to order the U.S. government to pay unlimited amounts of our tax dollars to corporations and investors who, A, claim regulatory costs need to be refunded, or, B, are saying they’re not being treated well enough, regardless if the policies they dislike are the exact same ones that apply to all of us. Even under NAFTA’s system, which has some of this, $350 million have already been paid out to corporations by governments, over toxics bans, zoning laws, timber rules. This is a sneaky outrage. And if people actually put a spotlight on it, we can stop it.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: So, Lori, I wanted to ask you—you mentioned the eight nations that are involved in the negotiations. Which nations are they? And also, the issue of the way this is being negotiated, the number could expand dramatically in the future. Can you talk about that?

LORI WALLACH:Well, the reason why it is so incredibly important that this agreement be exposed is this could well be the last agreement that’s negotiated. So, many of your listeners and viewers have been involved in the sneaky way trade agreements have been used by corporations to limit regulation and to foster a race to the bottom since NAFTA. And each of these agreements has gotten bolder, more expansive in its limits on government regulation and in its granting of corporate powers. This one could be the end, because what they intend to do is leave it open, once it’s done, for any other country to join. So, this is an agreement that ultimately could have the whole world in it as a set of binding corporate guarantees of new rights and privileges, enforced with cash sanctions and trade sanctions. It is not an exaggeration to say that the TPP threatens to become a regime of binding global governance, right at the time that the Occupy movement and movements around the world are demanding more power and control. This is the fightback. This is locking in the bad old way plus.

And in addition, the way that the agreement is being negotiated, these rules would require that you not only change all of your existing laws—so good progressive laws would have to be gotten rid of—but that, in the future, you don’t create new laws.

Now, the agreement now includes Australia, Brunei, New Zealand, Singapore, Chile, Peru and Vietnam, as well as the U.S., plus Malaysia has now joined. [as we are best new buddies with the mil AND Our Girl in Myanmar... Mcat] 

 And the agreement includes all of the NAFTA-style privileges that promote offshoring. But more drastically, it has all sorts of new corporate privileges, so the right to extend medicine and seed monopolies to jack up medicine prices, even the right to challenge formularies, medicine prescription group buying plans. For instance, what the Obama administration has put in their health reform bill, they are at the negotiating table behind closed doors trying to kill the right to use for other countries.

Or the financial rules would have just a limit. Countries aren’t allowed to ban risky financial products or services, at the same time that we’re trying to issue regulations under financial reform. And the agreement even meddles with how we spend our local tax dollars. For folks around the country who are doing sweat-free campaigns, who are doing living wage campaigns, green buying campaigns, this agreement says, A, you can’t have local preferences, so no “buy New York” state preference to recycle money back in your state, your tax dollars, no “buy American,” but also conditions like a product has to have recycled content or that that uniform has to be sweat-free. Those kind of conditions can be challenged. It is an incredible corporate power tool. It’s only gotten this far because it’s been secret. And people in the other countries don’t want it either. But our country is the one that’s largely pushing the most radical provisions, which is why it was so important for this text, which everyone can see an analysis of at tradewatch.org, to be made public, to make people aware of what’s really going on.

AMY GOODMAN: Lori, the last round of negotiations on the trade agreement took place in Dallas. While there, Obama’s appointed trade representative, Ron Kirk, spoke at an event for the local business community. The Yes Men took the opportunity to present Kirk, the former mayor of Dallas, with a mock award. This is a clip.

GIT HAVERSALL: Hello. Thank you so much for being here. My name is Git Haversall. And on behalf of the Texas Corporate Power Partnership, we are very, very pleased to announce that the U.S. trade negotiators are the winners of our 2012 Corporate Power Tool Award. I would like to personally thank the negotiators for their relentless efforts. The TPP agreement is shaping up to be a great way for us to maximize our profits, regardless of what the public of this nation or any other nation thinks is right.

AMY GOODMAN: The next round of negotiations on TPP are scheduled over the July 4th holiday weekend. Lori Wallach, can you comment on this? And also, what I assume would be President Obama’s response, if talking behind the scenes, like perhaps tonight when he’s going to be at Sarah Jessica Parker house with—with raising a lot of money—the financial sector is donating $37 million to Mitt Romney so far, the Obama administration’s haul, $4.8 million—that even his own Wall Street supporters are going over to Romney right now, so he would say he is doing better than Romney would in trying to take on these guys.

LORI WALLACH: I think that, for President Obama, there are two scenarios. One is, he has not been on top of what these negotiators are doing. [oh puhleese  -  Mcat]  This really has been under the radar. It’s so important that the text finally came out, because it sends a warning to Congress, to the public, etc., and that basically he’s got negotiators on the loose. They are many of the same people who during the Clinton administration got us into NAFTA, that recycled back into the trade negotiating team. The other alternative explanation is just the money one, which is, it is the case that this is an agreement the 1 percent loves. This is sort of one-percenter fantasy. It’s not just that on the margins and in national governments you have to keep fighting with all your money and lobbying to try and get what you want; this would lock it in for the future, indefinitely.

AMY GOODMAN: Lori Wallach, we want to thank you very much for being with us, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. And we will continue to watch this.

This is Democracy Now! When we come back, whistleblower Jesselyn Radack on what a number in Congress are calling national security leaks. Stay with us.

Floating 4 April 2012

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Occupy Wall Street, Total fucking lunatics.
56 comments

Hainan, China: A man takes a dip in a river in Qionghai | Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

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Of course, the news around here led off, after Arlington and points south and east of Dallas, with the Yahoo lay offs (2,000 – with notices coming today).

And, what was right next?

Pay is going up on Wall St.

They’re cheering I am sure as the rest of the nation, or much of it, just slogs on.

Occupy! 15 February 2012

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, California / Pacific Coast, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, NORCOM, Occupy Wall Street.
91 comments

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Passing on food from local food kitchens in Athens. Those who work at the kitchens says there are always new people who show up. | Agence France Presse

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The photo is from a gallery attached to an article at der Spiegel… the close of the article:

[T]he psychologist Eleni Bekiari knows what dark thoughts the crisis and its consequences have brought to Athenians. She staffs Klimaka’s telephone number “1018.” It is a 24-hour suicide hotline, and its statistics are clear. In 2010, there were about 2,500 calls made to the number. In 2011, there were twice as many. “Most of those who call us are women,” she says. “On the other hand, it’s usually the men who end up taking their lives.”

Greece traditionally has one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, but the increase has been dramatic. Since the beginning of the crisis, the suicide rate has almost doubled. In 2011, there were almost six suicides per 100,000 citizens. When the callers to the suicide hotline are asked for their reasons for suicidal thoughts, Bekiari says, they often answer with two words: the crisis.

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Madman sent me this… it’s cheering:

02/12/2012

http://www.occupytheegt.org/

For Immediate Release

February 11, 2012

Longshore workers name Occupy Movement as crucial in
settlement with EGT

Coordinated action by West Coast Occupys proves effective as
ILWU Local 21 ratifies contract

Longview, WA – On Friday, members of the ILWU and the labor community named the Occupy Movement as key to the settlement reached Thursday between ILWU Local 21 and the Export Grain Terminal (EGT). The contract finally provides for the use of ILWU labor in the grain terminal at the Port of Longview.

After staging the December 12 port shutdowns in solidarity with Local 21, the West Coast Occupy Movement planned coordinated action together with labor allies for a land and water blockade of the EGT ship in Longview, should it attempt to use scab labor to load. Occupys in states where EGT’s parent company Bunge has its growth and operations were also planning actions against the company on the day of the arrival of the ship.

“This is a victory for Occupy in their involvement in forcing negotiations. Make no mistake – the solidarity and organization between the Occupy Movement and the Longshoremen won this contract,” said Jack Mulcahy, ILWU officer with Local 8. “The mobilization of the Occupy Movement across the country, particularly in Oakland, Portland, Seattle, and Longview were a critical element in bringing EGT to the bargaining table and forcing a settlement with ILWU local 21.”

“West Coast Occupys had already demonstrated their ability to stage such a blockade by shutting down ports along the West Coast on December 12th, as well as the Port of Oakland on November 2nd,” said Anthony Leviege, ILWU Local 10 in Oakland. The Occupy Movement shut down ports in order to express solidarity with port truckers and Local 21, as well as responding to a nationally-coordinated eviction campaign against Occupy.

Negotiations progressed to the point where Longshore workers began loading the merchant vessel Full Sources on Tuesday. “When any company ruptures jurisdiction it is a threat to the entire union. The union jobs wouldn’t be back in Longview if it weren’t for Occupy. It’s a win for the entire class of workers in the Occupy Movement in demonstrating their organizational skills,” said Leviege.

“It is clear that the port shutdowns on November 2nd and December 12th, and the impending mobilization in Longview, is what made EGT come to the table. When Governor Gregoire intervened a year ago nothing was settled – non-ILWU workers were still working in the port. It wasn’t until rank and file and Occupy planned a mass convergence to blockade the ship that EGT suddenly had the impetus to negotiate.” Said Clarence Thomas, an officer of ILWU Local 10. “Labor can no longer win victories against the employers without the community. It must include a broad-based Movement. The strategy and tactics employed by the occupy Movement in conjunction with rank and file ILWU members confirm that the past militant traditions of the ILWU are still effective against the employers today.”

EGT itself made evident the company’s concern about Occupy’s role in the conflict in the January 27 settlement agreement: “The ILWU Entities shall issue a written notice to The Daily News and the general public, including the Occupy Movement, informing them of this settlement and urging them to cease and desist from any actions[...].”

“The Occupy Movement and rank-and-file unionists both within and outside of our ranks have forced the company to settle, but this is not over,” says Jess Kincaid of Occupy Portland. “Occupy doesn’t sign contracts. We have not entered into any agreements with EGT, nor do we intend to do so. EGT and its parent company Bunge bribe the government for military escorts, use slave labor in Brazil and systematically avoid contributing anything to our social safety net in the US or abroad. There is no ethic here beyond putting money back in the pocket of the 1% at the cost of working people and thesustainability of the earth.”

“It was the brave action of members of Local 21 blocking thetrain tracks this past summer that inspired the solidarity of the Occupy Movement up and down the West Coast and around the country. It was not until Occupy joined together with Local 21 and its labor allies that the company returned to the table. Governor Gregoire did nothing but let EGT raid Longshore Jurisdiction until Occupy responded to the call for support,” said Paul Nipper of Occupy Longview.

 

Occupy 12 January 2012

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Occupy Wall Street, Pan Arab Revolt - 2011, Viva La Revolucion!.
60 comments

A monkey on a young boy’s shoulder during an eviction from Uruguay Square in Asuncion, Paraguay. A large group of the Ava Guarani ethnic group have been occupying the square for the past seven months, demanding the right to land | Jorge Saenz/AP

Face-off 5 January 2012

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Occupy Wall Street, Pan Arab Revolt - 2011, Viva La Revolucion!.
18 comments

Sitra, Bahrain: An anti-regime protester gestures as he faces riot police during a protest | Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

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Be interesting to watch and see, if 2012 isn’t just a year of the protest and protester, but a full frontal face-off.

Athens 7 December 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Greece, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Occupy Wall Street, Pan Arab Revolt - 2011, Viva La Revolucion!.
54 comments


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The Dark And Beautiful Graffiti Of Athens’ Disaffected Youth | Milos Bicanski – Getty

From a gallery at Business Insider

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Stamina 3 December 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Occupy Wall Street.
65 comments


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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US: an Occupy Philly protester sits outside her tent before a 5pm deadline to clear the encampment | Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

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The streets 23 November 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Egypt, Occupy Wall Street, Pan Arab Revolt - 2011, Viva La Revolucion!, WAR!.
64 comments


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Egypt protests: Tahrir Square violence enters fifth day –
Egyptian police have fired teargas at protesters during a fifth consecutive day of unrest in Cairo. At least 35 people have been killed since 21 November in the crackdown by security forces on demonstrators, who are demanding that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces transfers power to a civilian government.

Protesters attempt to get rid of a teargas canister - Tara Todras-Whitehill/AP

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Uncrushable 22 November 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Egypt, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Occupy Wall Street, Pan Arab Revolt - 2011, Viva La Revolucion!, WAR!.
47 comments

From a so wonderful gallery of Occupy poster art at the Guardian.  Occupy Penang, Occupy Arkansas, Occupy Las Vegas (that place is REALLY in trouble), Toronto, Canberra, of course London…. one mocking the dreadful, commercial poster of Obama in 2008… on and on it goes.

 So hard to pick, but finally of course, OWS had to lead the day:


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Occupy Wall Street – Photograph: Buzzfeed.com

I don’t think they can crush it. Tho obviously they have only just begun to try.

In that vein as I was reading this very good piece, I wondered if one could ever  retrieve the other Martin, not Martin of the dream speech (much less that travesty, as I call it, Three Gorges Dam Martin)… but a more complex version.

November 22, 2011

 
 
Are We Going to Hell?

Violence Goes to College

by VIJAY PRASHAD

Before the assassin’s bullet cut him down, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., had been preparing his sermon for Atlanta’s Ebeneezer Baptist Church. The sermon was called “Why America May Go to Hell.” The theme of the sermon was simple, that the failure to address the acute social crisis in the country had already begun to lead to dangerous violence. A protest in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, on behalf of striking sanitation workers led to mayhem. King escaped from what he had thought would be a non-violent march and remarked, “We live in a sick nation. Maybe we just have to admit that the day of violence is here, and maybe we have to just give up and let violence take its course.”

Such a statement is unusual in King’s repertoire, which is mainly positive and hopeful. By 1968, the carefully wrought counter-revolution to the liberation movements would soon make its appearance. The most dramatic instances were the assassinations of the standard-bearers of liberalism (King in April, Robert F. Kennedy in June). Less dramatic would be the shooting of college students, busy fighting the remnants of segregation and refusing to go shoot at the Vietnamese. Little remembered now is the killing of students on February 8, 1968, when South Carolina’s highway patrol officers shot and killed Delano Middleton, Henry Smith and Samuel Hammond as they tried to protest a segregated bowling alley in Orangeburg. No longer was the violence to come from below. It was more likely to come from above, to be the violence of the counter-revolution. 

Campus militancy reached its highest point perhaps by the spring of 1969, when about a third of most students participated in one way or another in the demonstrations. It was in this context that California’s Governor Ronald Reagan said of the students, “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with. No more appeasement.” On May 4, 1970, four lay dead in Ohio (Jeffery Miller, Allison Krause, William Schroeder and Sandra Scheuer – average age 19 years and 6 months). Reagan got his bloodbath.

. . . . .

There is a gallery of photos of the Occupy Librairies too…. In the closer shots, clearly showing uncracked spines and crisp covers, I see lots of new books. IMO people were, in an appreciable measure, donating newly purchased books to the libraries.


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London
‘Will Hutton’s The State We’re In is shelved alongside Subcomandante Marcos’s Zapatista Stories, Dean Koontz’s The Husband piled on top of Brian Friel’s Translations’ … the Occupy London library at St Paul’s Cathedral
– Photograph: Richard Lea

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In highly peevish news, some people are still stuck on what women do.  And does it have, you know, VALUE.  Because of course what women do for the cause must be vetted.  Must be found to have value.

Lordy.

Wintering 20 November 2011

Posted by marisacat in Egypt, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, la vie en rose, Occupy Wall Street, Pan Arab Revolt - 2011.
73 comments


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Flamingos gather on the coast of Nea Kios, in Nafplio, southern Greece. Flamingos use this particular wetland as a resting place during their migration south in the winter [Evangelos Bougiotis/EPA]

Angry Arab pops up with this today:

Israeli solidarity with the Egyptian (nude) Blogger

 
I don’t want to send that message directly to them so I will send it here. I read that a few Israeli women stripped nude in solidarity with the Egyptian blogger who stripped nude. Why do Israelis intrude into our lives? Why do you get into areas in which you are clearly uninvited and in which you are clearly unwelcome? You are such a bothersome presence. Arabs have made it very clear that they (unlike the tyrants that you like) don’t like you and don’t want you in their midst. It is none of your business what Arabs do and don’t do. Spare us your act of solidarity when you are racists who everyday in your live you take advantage of the racist system that Zionist set up for you. We don’t need your silly and fake solidarity. You are not invited to our lives and our activities. You are such an unwanted presence. Take your solidarity and go away. And stop intruding on every aspect of our lives. After we liberate Palestine, and when you are forced to live in a system based on equality (after we subject you to the same military rule that you imposed on the Arabs inside Israel), you may engage in solidarity but even then it won’t be wanted. You really are without dignity when you know full well that Arabs don’t want to do anything with you, and you keep acting like you are invited to our parties, uprisings, lives and events.
 

Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil at 7:26 AM

 

Oh No. Whooops.  NO. As far as I am concerned, and not knowing preciselyWHO the women are on the Israeli side, but they may most certainly stripe nude if they wish, in sympathy, support, solidarity, identification, whatever is the motivation, with the Eqyptian blogger.  Who is herself responding to repression of women under the conservative Salafi rules… and in fact in other posts Angry Arab writes of the increasing conservative Orthodox religious, on the Jewish side!, imposing separation of the sexes on public buses (women to the rear of the bus) and elsewhere. 

Perhaps the Israeli women are thinking, oh I don’t know, BROADLY.

I think it is bad business to tell women what to do, what they may or may not do, to lecture them.

Everybody is allowed personal autonomy, I don’t care how politicised a situation or a country is…. if it practicises apartheid or not.

He seems a tad obsessed:

I disagree with my feminist comrades

 
I disagree with Sara and other other feminist comrades at Nasawiyya who I so admire and support. It seems to me that there are so many other issues that women have to worry about in our region (and beyond) to be distracted by this sensational act by one person. If the issue is about sexual liberation and challenging the taboos of religion and state, I am all for it. But this is too shallow an act (and may even echo too many other Western shallow acts) to be taken seriously as a feminist act. Yes, of course, we need to denounce the various reactionary and right-wing voices of condemnation. But the pictures were also circulated for cheap titillation, which I guess is fine if people want to do that. But the feminist movement has other more important priorities to be reduced (or caricatured) by the exhibitionism of one woman (or man). Comrade Khodor (a progressive Lebanese) wrote a letter to `Alya’. I keep wanting to avoid this issue which is filling the pages in Arabic and English but I feel it keeps following me. There are so many other important issues. I am more worried about the status of Tunisian women after the victory of An-Nahdar: and about Western endorsement of misogynistic regime in the GCC countries. These are more serious threats to women and their freedoms, it seems to me.
 

Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil at 8:26 AM

Pity he can’t see, it is all part of a whole.  Hell it is all part of  a whole with the long suffering and, for many years now, striking Eqyptian cotton workers.
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