.يولد جميع الناس أحرارا متساوين في الكرامة والحقوق. وقد وهبوا عقلا وضميرا وعليهم أن يعامل بعضهم بعضا بروح الإخاء‎
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Friday, July 27, 2007

Razzia against refugees in Oujda (Morocco)

Using the opportunity of the summer vacation when the Oujda university students are not present, Moroccan security forces carried out a raid on the campus, which has served as a space to live for the migrants for quite some time, in the early morning of 26 July 2007. This searching and raid action was very vigorous and the biggest of its kind since the well-known incidents of Ceuta and Melilla. More than 450 persons have been arrested.

Big razzia against refugees in Oujda (Morocco)

Using the opportunity of the summer vacation when the Oujda university students are not present, Moroccan security forces carried out a raid on the campus, which has served as a space to live for the migrants for quite some time, in the early morning of 26 July 2007. This searching and raid action was very vigorous and the biggest of its kind since the well-known incidents of Ceuta and Melilla. More than 450 persons have been arrested.
According to the information from some migrants who could escape and Morrocans living near the campus, police, military and supporting forces surrounded the migrants around 4 o'clock in the morning, arresting, maltreating and beating them down in a brutal and violent manner with straps and batons made of hard rubber. Then they took them and made them enter their police vehicles.
The migrants fleed from the campus towards the neighbouring forest, chased by police forces and their dogs. The security forces passed over the refugees' camp with a bulldozer. They destroyed and burned down everything that was there. Everyone is now talking about several persons injured, but up to now their exact number is not clear yet.

The police continue to do patrols on the campus and in the neighbouring quarters, looking for migrants.

At the moment this report is sent, information is coming in that a first group of migrants were made to enter two police cars at the police station. There is no doubt that they are going to be taken to the Algerian border.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Police Attack Oaxaca’s Alternative Guelaguetza

One Person Confirmed Dead, 62 Detained, Disappearances

On July 16th in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, a confrontation between the APPO (Popular Assembly of The Peoples of Oaxaca) and security forces of the State of Oaxaca as well as Federal Preventive Police has left at least one movement participant dead as a result of police violence, at least 62 detained, and an unknown number of people disappeared.

According to an APPO press statement released the same day, the police launched “a broad offense” against the people of Oaxaca who were celebrating an alternative Guelaguetza. The APPO announced two days previous that it would hold an alternative cultural festival in the main Guelaguetza auditorium, located in the Fortin Mountain outside of the city.

Federal Preventive Police and State police surrounded the perimeter of the Guelaguetza auditorium in order to prevent people from entering the festival. A caravan heading to the festival, tailed by 10,000 people, arrived to the auditorium, and in that moment the police attacked the crowd with tear gas, rocks, sticks, and explosive projectiles. People retreated, and the police advanced, beating and arresting people. Three photographers were reported to have been beaten. Countless others were tossed into the back of police pick up trucks with serious injuries.

Video, Lunes del Cerro, by Mal de Ojo TV: part I | part II

For the moment the state and the municipal police continue a citywide operation in the streets of Oaxaca City, detaining people in the open. The military are reported to have surrounded the city on the highways.

Several people are reported to be in grave conditions, and police apparently apprehended injured festival participants and APPO supporters while they were transported by the red cross to receive medical attention.

There are reports that the detained are suffering torture and constant beatings at the hands of the state and federal police.

Emeterio Merino Cruz Vazquez, the one confirmed fatality from police violence, was killed from impact from a unidentified explosive projectile fired by police, which split his intestines open.

The alternative Guelaguetza was planned by the APPO in response to the government co-optation of the cultural festival that reflects indigenous tradition through dance. The movement charges that the festival has been made into a spectacle for tourists for years, and that the “official” Guelaguetza is an economic excursion on the part of multinational corporations and Ulises Ruiz, the state Governor targeted by the Oaxaca popular uprising. Last year, in actions against the official Guelaguetza, members.


Jim 17.Jul.2007 16:38

The writer of this article failed to mention that APPO set fire to cars and busses, that they tried to burn down a hotel.

The police did not attack APPO, APPO attacked the police. As a resident of Oaxaca I have been watching APPO/police interactions the only time that you don't see police patrolling Oaxaca is when APPO is marching.

Yes, I agree that Ruiz needs to go but it seems to fail to understand that APPO is out of control. The fact that APPO is a human right organization does not give the license to not report the truth.

AUDIO de oaxaca

Julio 2007:
Transmisiones de Radio por internet en emergencia desde Oaxaca, tras nueva masacre

escucha la Comuna radial transmitiendo en vivo desde oaxaca

* Radio Disturbio

* Radio Plantón

* Radio Escopeta

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Hungarian politician comes out

Szetey Gabor, a member of Hungary's Socialist Party, has broken convention by becoming the first governing politician in Hungary to come out as gay.

Gabor stepped from the closet Thursday night as he opened the 12th Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Film and Cultural Festival in Budapest.

Gabor said in his speech: "I am the personnel state secretary of the government of the Republic of Hungary. I believe in God, love, freedom and equality. I am Hungarian and European. I am an economist and a personnel leader. I am a partner, a friend, sometimes an opponent. And I am gay."

His announcement came on the same day as junior coalition member the Alliance of Free Democrats announced it will ask for same-sex unions to be legalized.

He has been working as a state secretary at the prime minister's office since last July. His inspirational announcement provoked a terse response from his peers. Tibor Navracsics, parliamentary caucus leader of main right-of-center opposition party Fidesz, said his party considered Gabor's sexuality a private matter.

The 38-year-old politician admitted it took him 28 years to accept his sexuality. It was a topic he was unable to discuss with his now deceased mother.

Gabor hopes his public coming out will make it easier for other Hungarians to do the same. He is the second Hungarian politician to come out publicly after Klara Ungar, a member of the liberal party SZDSZ.

Hungary is one of the more progressive Eastern European countries, but while Budapest has a functioning gay scene, the country still has a long way to go.

Common-law same-sex marriage was approved by the country's parliament by a wide margin in May 1996. This is best described as a halfway house to same-sex marriage. Inheritance, widow's pension and immigrant rights are possible but not automatic.

Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany avoided firm answers when asked by reporters Wednesday whether Socialists supported the introduction of registered life partnerships.

"One of the most delicate social questions is how we adapt to changes," Gyurcsany said.

Hungary is the host country of the forthcoming Mr. Gay Europe contest and the Olympic Games for Transgender in 2007.

Hungary: Anti-Gay Protesters Throw Eggs, Smoke Bombs At Budapest Gay Rights Marchers

Several hundred skinheads and right-wing activists threw rotten eggs and smoke bombs at people participating in a gay rights parade in Hungary's capital Saturday.

Police detained several of the protesters and tried to disperse the rest, some of whom threw beer bottles at police. No injuries were reported.

Members of the Movement For A Better Hungary and the Hungarian National Front said they were angry about two recent developments.

On Thursday, Gabor Szetey, a state secretary in the prime minister's office, announced he was gay while the smaller party in the Socialist-led ruling coalition said it would seek to legalize gay marriages.

Some 2,000 people participated in Saturday's march, which took place over several kilometers, from Heroes' Square to the foot of one of the bridges over the Danube River.

Violence at Croatian Gay Pride march

ZAGREB - Police said they arrested eight people on Saturday after violence marred a Gay Pride march through the centre of the Croatian capital Zagreb.

Organisers said more than 20 marchers had been the target of homophobic attacks. "Around 10 people were hurt, with two needing medical treatment," Marko Jurcic, one of the organisers, told AFP.

Italian senator Gianpaolo Silvestri was in one of the groups attacked, but was unhurt, Jurcic said.

Police said the eight arrests were for threatening behaviour towards the marchers.

"Five of them were carrying what appeared to be Molotov cocktails, but the contents of the bottles they were carrying has yet to be analysed," police spokesman Marina Burazer said.

Earlier, around 200 homosexuals braved the jeers of onlookers to take part in the annual Gay Pride march through Zagreb to back demands for gay rights.

The marchers were protected by almost as many police as they made their way through the city centre, jeered and taunted by around 20 youths.

The leaders of the city's gay and lesbian association said they faced rejection, discrimination, job dismissals and physical assault in Croatia, whose population of 4.4 million is nearly 90 percent Roman Catholic.

The Croatian parliament passed legislation giving limited recognition for same-sex unions in 2003.

Robo-toilets proposed to stop 'gay' cruising

Mayor: 'Homosexuals ... engaging in sex, anonymous sex, illegal sex'

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle says his city has a problem with "homosexual activity" in public restrooms and he has a plan to stop it – robotic toilets that allow occupants to stay inside for only a short time before the door automatically opens.

"We're trying to provide a family environment where people can take their children who need to use the bathroom without having to worry about a couple of men in there engaged in a sex act," Naugle told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The $250,000 self-cleaning robo-johns have been installed in San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta and New York. The modular units play music and can be accessed for a fee or for free, depending on each city's policies.

Fort Lauderdale police officials said male sex in public restrooms is no longer a problem, but Naugle insists the practice persists and has used recent public meetings and e-mails to constituents to raise the issue.

Public restrooms are pickup places for "homosexuals. ... They're engaging in sex, anonymous sex, illegal sex," he said.

Naugle said the proposed location for the city's first experimental unit is "the rainbow parking lot" at a local beach considered by some to be the area's "gay beach."

"The homosexual newspaper said it's the 'gay parking lot.' That's not me saying that," Naugle told the Sun-Sentinel, "that's what they said. I don't use the word 'gay.' I use the word 'homosexual.' Most of them aren't gay. They're unhappy."

Dean Trantalis, an openly homosexual former member of the City Commission who served with Naugle for three years, welcomes the restrooms at the beach but said the decision should not be made based on whether they will be used for sexual activity.

"I'm not an expert on public toilet sex," said Trantalis, "but there are those who would say one minute would be enough. Or 30 seconds."

If approved by the City Commission, the timed toilets will be paid for with property-tax funds.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Cat survives 3 weeks crossing ocean

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A cat whose owners thought was lost spent nearly three weeks crossing the Pacific Ocean in a shipping container with no food or water—and appears to be just fine.

The voyage began after Pamela Escamilla lost sight of her 3-year-old calico, Spice, while packing a huge container with household goods in Waikoloa Village, Hawaii.

The container was shipped June 15 to Southern California. Escamilla, 39, and her husband couldn't find the cat before taking their flight and asked neighbors in Hawaii to call if Spice returned.

While the Escamillas feared the worst, Spice spent 18 days in the pitch-black container without food or water as it crossed the Pacific before arriving at the San Bernardino home of Escamilla's parents on Tuesday.

"We really thought that cat was going to be dead," said Edward Gardner, Escamilla's father.

When Escamilla opened the container, she and family members huddled around her noticed fluffs of cat hair on the floor.

They started removing items, and Escamilla climbed into the container to search.

"I saw (Spice) poke her head out from behind some bicycles, and I started to scream," said Escamilla. She gently picked up the cat and went to the veterinarian, who said the feline's prognosis was good.

"It's always a good day when the cat's alive," said Escamilla. "We didn't know what we would find."

Spice's kidneys had shrunk and her bowels were backed up, but she managed to get some food and water down at the vet, Escamilla said. The vet gave the Escamillas a soup recipe for Spice made of chicken broth and marrow. The vet said: "That's a calico for you, they have a survival instinct."

Friday, July 6, 2007

World Bank Official Linked to Opus Dei 'Fought' Contraception

Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi)

A senior World Bank official with alleged links to Opus Dei reportedly removed all references to contraception in the bank's program for Madagascar.
Media reports indicate that El Salvadorean, Juan Jose Daboub, ordered staff to remove all references to family planning from its country assistance program document for Madagascar.
Specific targets relating to contraception were also deleted from the document. The original draft committed the Bank to work to increase contraception uptake from 14 per cent in 2004 to 20 per cent; the final document contained no goal.
Mr Daboub was appointed by the World Bank president, Paul Wolfowitz, and has been the focus of opposition from bank staff.
In the past, the World Bank has championed the sexual and reproductive rights of women. Wolfowitz is being accused of undermining the bank's commitment to women's health by appointing the El Salvadorian Catholic.
Mr Daboub's intervention was reportedly revealed through a leaked email from the country program co-ordinator at the bank, Lilia Burunciuc, who warned that the absence of family planning policies would be a problem because Madagascar had specifically asked for them. Mr Daboub has defended himself, saying the bank's policies had not changed, and Mr Wolfowitz also said there was no change.
Mr Daboub is the former finance minister of El Salvador and a member of the Arena party, which is close to the Catholic church. It is said he is a member of Opus Dei.

Nigeria: Mend Ends Truce With FG - Five Oil Workers Kidnapped

Vanguard (Lagos)
5 July 2007
Hector Igbikiowubo, George Onah & Jimitota Onoyume - Port Harcourt

THE Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), yesterday, announced the end of its month-long suspension of attacks on oil installations in the area, called to allow talks with the new government.
Simultaneously, militants attacked rig two in Soku community, belonging to Shell and abducted five expatriate workers: a Venezuelan, two New Zealanders, an Australian and a Lebanese.
"We have decided to put an end to the truce," the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said in an email.
The group announced the truce on June 3, but said it would resume attacks after a month if certain conditions were not met.
These include the release of two detained Niger Delta separatist leaders, Mujahid Asari Dokubo, jailed since 2005, and Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the former governor of Bayelsa State.
Asari Dokubo was released by the Federal High Court, Abuja on June 14 for "health reasons", but MEND spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, said in the email: "After the release of Asari, nothing else has happened."
There were now "more serious" issues which "foster militancy" in the oil-rich region, the statement said, "such as the theft of our resources and the enslavement of the people of the delta.
"The military has continued to murder unarmed civilians with impunity and there are countless indigenes of the delta still in jail without trial. We cannot afford to remain silent in the face of all this," it said.
The truce was called soon after President Umaru Yar'Adua took power on May 29. MEND said it wanted to give the new administration time to work towards a "just peace" in the Niger Delta.
"So far, we have little cause to think that Yar'Adua will be entirely different from the previous government. It is too early for him to be trusted," Jomo Gbomo said.
The Rivers State police command confirmed the latest abduction, saying the affected persons were picked up along the waterways of Soku Community in the early hours of the day.
Contacted, a high-ranking official of MEND, who gave his name as Comrade Johnson Dagger-Point said: "When the government is ready to talk with us, we will be ready to listen. What they are talking about now is certainly not about the sufferings in the creeks, fishing ports, villages and our towns.
Dagger-Point's identity could not be verified because his phone number was not displayed but he, however, warned that the "demands of MEND to the Federal Government have not been fully met. Until these demands are fully met, we shall continue to wage war against the government to the end."

He did not disclose what the outstanding demands were but simply said: "We will not repeat ourselves any more."
A security source told Vanguard that the Joint Task Force (JTF) team had deployed gun boats in the area. This was coming barely a day after two Naval personnel reportedly met their end on the high sea in the hands of a dreaded cult group. According to the Director, Navy Information, Captain Obiora Medani, the militants in about 12 speed boats opened fire on a single Naval boat. He said two of his men had been missing since after the attack
This was coming a few days after the visit of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to the state to specifically appeal to militants to cease hostilities in the region for meaningful development to be recorded in the area.