Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What’s happening in Hong Kong?

fireinthehob:

  • The protests are being held in order to achieve universal suffrage in Hong Kong. Although democracy had been promised for 2017 in 2008, China announced this August that Hong Kong people would only be able to vote from a pool of 2-3 specially selected candidates (all of whom would definitely have pro-China sentiments) 
  • University students held a week-long boycott of classes to protest for true democracy in Hong Kong 
  • Today riot police were deployed against peaceful protesters. Equipped in full riot gear the police used pepper spray to deter the protesters, mainly students and youths but also some elderly people have reported being sprayed point blank 
  • It is estimated that over 50,000 people have joined the protest and this number continues to grow
  • This is the largest political protest in Hong Kong since our independence from the UK in 1997 
  • Although the protests remain peaceful, police have now started to use tear gas and have brought out long guns loaded with rubber bullets (there hasn’t yet been a report of any bullets being shot)
  • Over 80 arrests have been made including students as young as 16 for taking part in these protests
  • They are cutting cell phone receptions in the protest area so that people can’t share any information
  • Violence is increasing as police continue to instigate protesters
  • All this comes right before the October 1st celebration of the 65th anniversary of founding of the People’s Republic of China 
  • There are rumours that the PLA (the Chinese army) are going to be brought into the city tonight 

More facts about Hong Kong:

  • We run under a one country, two systems policy with China meaning that we are part of China but have our own government and laws. 
  • Protests for universal suffrage have been held throughout the summer but these are the biggest yet 
  • Anti-China and anti-government sentiments are at their highest levels yet. Survey results showed that 1 in 5 people are thinking of emigrating from the city. 
  • In June, China issued a white paper essentially telling Hong Kong to remember their place and re-asserting their authority over the city

The scenes from the protest look awful. In my 17 years in Hong Kong I’ve never seen anything like it. The world needs to know about this and say something before we get a recurrence of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

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I hope everyone stays safe. Hong Kong stay strong. 

The Tokyo Protest Post has Revived…

aechlys:

Very cool. Thanks, everyone. The main updates are as follows:

-Protests are still being held, especially in Tokyo.
-For a couple of protests they found a guy with a bulldozer to head the march which was nuts and awesome (“bulldoze the facists!” I believe was the purpose)
-Japanese troops are now training for ACTIVE combat with US servicemen (they always did training before with US military but always for support tactics and search and rescue type stuff- never active combat).
-Shinzo Abe copypasted his Hiroshima bombing memorial speech from *last year’s speech* and basically only changed the date which really hurt his image and gave the protestors more ammo to use.
-Shinzo Abe decided to bring a handful of women into his cabinet but a couple of them had early been associated with the Japanese Neo-Nazi Party (I know- go figure) and had taken pictures with their leader which has caused a lot of backlash- protestors are now also officially combatting Japan-wide hate speech and are using this instance as a platform talking point, lamenting the fact that Abe basically back-handed those who wanted a more gender-equal government by hiring shady people for the jobs.
-Protestors have been met with counter-protestors, i.e. the neo-nazi supporters or people who hate Koreans living in the country, etc., and the protestors have taken photos of the police protecting those people while hindering the anti-war/hate speech supporters.

Basically, in true fashion, while the voices have been loud, I’m not sure it’s had a substantial effect on Japanese politics so far. HOWEVER, more and more people are TALKING about the consequences of active warfare for Japan- especially in the school system since the idea is that it is the children who will have to fight for Abe’s ambitions and this has struck a chord. That is at least one bit of progress.

Thanks again to everyone for passing the post around, as all that stuff is still being totally ignored by the media here in Japan.


(original post about the protests can be found here.)

What Exactly is going on in Tokyo Right Now?

aechlys:

Ok kids, listen up. I’m about to explain to you, to the best of my ability, why there are 40,000 people protesting in Tokyo’s Nagata-cho as I type this, why it matters, and why you should be talking about it, too.

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What Started This Protest?

The short answer —> Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed a round-about way of changing Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, which basically states that Japan will never go to war ever again. This constitution was written by US officials in Japan after WW2 and is actually more balanced than America’s own constitution in certain ways (there is equal pay for women, for example). There have been various Nationalist (think Japanese Tea Party-esque displays) public demonstrations supporting Japan having the ability to go to war again- usually subtly, or not so subtly, naming out potential foes such as China and Korea. But none of that compares to what’s going on right now in Nagatacho AGAINST any changes to Article 9. Last Sunday, a man sat himself on top of a bridge in Shinjuku, protested the changes, and then set himself on fire over all this.
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(The man survived. He’s now being sued by the government for damage to public property)

The long, complicated answer —> Japan has had problems with its top government officials for nearly 10 years now. After a long string of PMs resigning, Abe (who was originally one of those resigning PMs) was reelected and has stayed in power this time the longest in the past several years. Until this issue with Article 9 came about, the biggest issue was the Fukushima nuclear plant, which is still hemorrhaging radioactive water to the point where workers have temporarily given up trying to stop it and recently told everyone that they were now ‘purposefully’ dumping contaminated water into the pacific ocean (although now the current plan is to create an “ice wall” - yes “ice wall”- around the affected ground water in an attempt to stop it. Somehow). TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), who owns the plant and has been responsible for the cleanup, has failed repeatedly to do their job and has consistently rejected outside international help for reasons, at this point, that can only be attributed to hurt national pride.

At the beginning of this year, Abe’s administration passed a ‘State Secrets’ law which forbade any publishing of Japanese ‘state secrets’ which conveniently included anything to do with nuclear sciences (this would included Fukushima). Not only is this bill extremely vague, leaving it open for the government to essentially call anything they want a state secret, but as I recall, about three days after this was passed, the news was suddenly reporting that all was well at the nuclear plant.

At the end of LAST year, Abe announced that he purchased some battleships- specifically aircraft carriers- that had actually been seen floating off the coast of different parts of Japan up to a month before they were publicly announced. On a personal note, I have seen those ships, and last month I saw one other as well floating off my local waters. Below is a picture I was able to grab while on the train:
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While the state secrets law riled up academic circles who claimed that the government had just eliminated the right to free speech, it didn’t gain a lot of news coverage and eventually faded away. It might be worth noting here, too, that NHK (Japan’s BBC, essentially) is chaired by government officials- some of whom Abe seems to have personally appointed.

With the state secrets law now in place, which has limited what one has to assume are more ‘negative’ stories and updates about the Fukushima nuclear plant issue (which its admitted failure by the government would oblige Abe to step down as prime minister), we’re brought to the main course- significantly altering/reinterpreting/removing Article 9 of the Japanese constitution:

"The Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution Chapter ii. Renunciation of War Article 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. the right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."



Now, Japan DOES have what is essentially a National Guard, which participates in non-combat efforts in both their own country and abroad, so Japan is not totally helpless here- they’re just confined to their own borders when it comes to personally rolling out ammunition (which happens whenever North Korea makes a missile threat where the path of the missile is supposed to go over Japan- the US military assists in this temporary defense bubble whenever it has to go up).

What Abe wants to do, however, is “reinterpret” this article in a way that allows Japan to expand and use their military like any other respectable country does. That seems fairly reasonable, right? Except that Abe’s chosen route to accomplish this goal is to go around the Democratic process, ignoring the public’s opinions, and holding what are basically closed-door votes amongst a group of people who are already on his side, instead of, say, passing an actual constitutional amendment instead. This has made people angry- people that might agree with having the military restored are angry because of how shadily it’s being done, and people who *don’t* agree are angry because they don’t want Japan to go back to war and they *don’t* like Abe’s tactics.

Then there’s the potential US angle to all this. Paranoia over China seems to have gotten so high that there’s the rather strong theory going around that it was actually the US behind the state secrets bill getting passed and that it’s the US again behind trying to restore military rights to Japan. While that seems like a giant big ball of irony and contradictions, this handy image popped up on Twitter:

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(I’m so sorry- there’s such a rush of info going on right now that I’m not sure where this diagram came from but it makes a point.)

China, as many of you may know, has been relentlessly heckling neighboring countries such as Japan, Korea, and The Philipenes over who has rights over tiny islands (some of them literally just rocks jutting out of the sea) that nobody lives on. Even the largest of these islands (Japan was particularly riled up over an island it has dubbed “Takeshima”) are uninhabited except for wild goats. Japan has unfortunately taken the bait over what has been a magnificently farcical dispute and decided to engage China over these useless islands. At the height of the Takeshima dispute, NHK took to telling you the weather for the island with the regular forecasts (remember- nobody there but wild goats), and airing documentaries about the occasional Tokugawa-era fishermen who used to camp out for the day to fish there before going home again. One of these, which I caught, consisted of nothing but old guys sitting around talking while background footage perpetually looped showing nothing but these goats frolicking around on the rocky terrain of the island. That one went on for at least an hour. It was, in a word, ridiculous. So while China has even started going so far as trying to “reinforce” its claims and even “create” new islands by dumping sand in the ocean, Japan hasn’t exactly been mature about the situation either.
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(“Stop war!” “Protect Peace!”)

Basically, guys……I could go on, but it would probably just end up going in one big circle. Maybe I’ve not presented this the best way possible, and I truly do apologize for that, but hopefully this has helped to explain a few things. What I will say, though, is that after everything I’ve mentioned above, things have piled up so badly and so messily that for at least the second night in a row, 10,000, and now reports say around 40,000 people have taken to protesting outside government offices in Tokyo, and other smaller demonstrations have taken place in at least Osaka and Nagasaki as well. They’re fed up, they’re chanting for Shinzo Abe to leave Article 9 alone and to resign. They’re calling him a facist. They’re mocking him with Nazi symbols. Japan- today’s Japanese- which is a people of almost bottomless patience and calm and who will go out of their way so that you never have to feel awkward or uncomfortable about anything- these people are out there and they’re fed up. They’re doing these things which are radical for them because they don’t want this to happen. And the media here is in such an iron grip that the guy who set himself on fire on Sunday in Shibuya and these protestors are lucky to get even a brief mention on the nightly news. 40,000+ people out there. And they need more people to spread the word.
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ALL PROTEST IMAGES (**EXCEPT for the individual being carted off by police- that one came from a friend who does not wish to be named) USED WITH PERMISSION AND BELONG TO @KjeldDuits AND @asianskys ON TWITTER. These two people are on the ground posting live updates so go follow them for more info and even more pictures.


****UPDATE POST 9/27/14 :: >CLICK HERE<

Saturday, September 27, 2014
allcreatures:


Alaa, an ambulance driver, spends about $4 on meat everyday to feed about 150 abandoned cats in Masaken Hanano, a neigbourhood in Aleppo that has been abandoned because of shelling from forces loyal to Syria’s president Bashar Al-Assad on it. Alaa said that he has been feeding and taking care of the cats for over 2 months.

Picture: REUTERS/Hosam Katan (via Pictures of the day: 25 September 2014 - Telegraph)

allcreatures:

Alaa, an ambulance driver, spends about $4 on meat everyday to feed about 150 abandoned cats in Masaken Hanano, a neigbourhood in Aleppo that has been abandoned because of shelling from forces loyal to Syria’s president Bashar Al-Assad on it. Alaa said that he has been feeding and taking care of the cats for over 2 months.

Picture: REUTERS/Hosam Katan (via Pictures of the day: 25 September 2014 - Telegraph)

Monday, September 22, 2014

queeerkat:

Cameron Domadgee

  • Indigenous Australian 
  • Arrested for being drunk
  • killed in police custody
  • eye witness says he saw officer Chris Hurley beating him with his fist, saying "you had enough Mr. Doomadgee. You want some more?"
  • police station footage shows Cameron  screaming in pain for hours until he passed away in his cell of internal bleeding
  • All officers present at the police station that evening had a BBQ, at which events of the day were discussed and statements to protect Hurley were prepared
  • Hurley said that he and Cameron “tripped” and “fell” as they were entering the police station, causing Cameron’s internal damage and death
  • the Palm Island police force, the very people who set out to protect Chris Hurley were the ones asked to carry out the investigation of Cameron’s death
  • A member of Cameron’s family said "if [Chris Hurley] fell on top of Cameron, why did he have a black eye and a bruised jaw?"
  • Coroner found that Cameron had suffered from multiple broken ribs and his liver destroyed, being cleaved almost in two over the top of his spine
  • Hurley had faced complaints previously from the members of the indigenous community on Palm Island, he had shown violence and extreme prejudice toward the people he was supposed to protect.
  • When the Indigenous community heard of Hurley’s actions and the subsequent actions of cooperation by the police force of Palm Island, the people of Palm Island had a riot, furious that a member of their community had been killed by a white police officer with no ramifications against him what so ever
  •  The riot was publicised more than Cameron Doomadgee’s murder had been and the public eye was focused on the “destructive” nature of the Indigenous people of Palm Island, and not the murder committed by Chris Hurley and the entirety of the Palm Islan police force.
  • Hurley was cleared of all charges (even manslaughter and assault charges) despite the heavy load of evidence that was weighed against him, and the entire Queensland police force came out in support of a man who murdered a human being
  • the only eye witness, an Indigenous man, was not asked to speak or give evidence at any point throughout the investigation
  • Chris Hurley had the charges removed from his work record, received time off with pay and was allowed to return to his position of power within a matter of months

Australia is, and always has been extremely racist. These so called “terrorist threats” is just white Australia reinforcing the fact that we are a country being led by white supremacy. The sooner people figure this out the better. 

(the use of this mans name has been approved by his family in order to spread awareness of the ever-growing racism within Australia and its law enforcement)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

thrownrockisad4:

petemaximoff:

just so you know what is going on in my country right now:

  • votes came in for independence 45% yes 55% no
  • media very “”no”” centred and bias
  • unionists are now attacking yes voters
  • a seventeen year old girl has been stabbed
  • they are burning our saltire giving nazi salutes
  • our first minister resigns

please signal boost this 

Okay, so, I’m a Scot (and I voted Yes and was utterly gutted that the vote went the way it did) but - whilst, yes, there was a bit of a stramash that went on for a few hours, involving a pretty small number of people in Glasgow city centre (and another, smaller, one in Dundee) last night, the have actually been NO reports of any stabbings, there is no civil unrest and we do not need any signal boosting of this nature. The few that fell to violence appear to have been thugs looking for a fight, not anyone actually protesting or making any kind of reasonable political statement.

What we DO need is time to let ourselves draw back together, to capitalise on the EXTRAORDINARY level of political engagement we have - 84.6% of eligible voters voted, including 16 & 17 year olds who were allowed to vote for the first time - and continue the conversations we’ve all been having for years now - including many, many people who have never really felt politics were something that affected them - and for ALL of US to move FORWARD to build up our nation (within the UK) into something we are ALL JUSTIFIABLY proud of (and hopefully make sure that the UK government now delivers on the promises it made - what you CAN SIGNAL BOOST PLEASE is this petition: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/promise-for-Scotland#petition that requests that they do that)

Friday, September 19, 2014
pag-asaharibon:

not-your-asian-fantasy:

Early Feminism in the PhilippinesThe Philippines has been noted as having one of the smallest gender disparities in the world. The gender gap has been closed in both health and education; the country has had two female presidents (Corazon Aquino from 1986-1992 and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from 2001-2010); and had its first woman Supreme Court justice (Cecilia Muñoz Palma in 1973) before the United States had one (Sandra Day O’Connor in 1981). These achievements reflect a long history of efforts by women to involve themselves equally in governance as well as in society.

I was expecting a little bit more from the post and was suprised a few of these Filipinas were left out:
Gabriela Silang a revolutionary – a representation of female bravery – who fought against Spanish colonialism in the 18th century. Silang was a contrast to the chaste and religiously devout image of the Filipino lady as portrayed by Jose Rizal through his Spanish-language novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. 
Clemencia Lopez became the first Filipino to enter the White House and the first to testify before a U.S. Senate hearing as a representative of her subjugated people.
Sofia Reyes de Veyra an educator, social worker and first secretary and co-founder (with Mary E. Coleman) of Asociacion Feminista Filipina, the first women’s club in the Philippines. Its establishment in June 1905 marked the start of the Feminist Movement in the country. She also organized the Manila Women’s Club which later became the nucleus of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs. This federation was in the forefront of the campaign to give women the right to vote and other rights. The women of the Philippines won these rights in 1931.
Dr. Carol Pagaduan-Araullo an UP cum laude graduate, medical doctor, 2012 UP Distinguished Alumni awardee and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) chairperson. While Dr. Araullo was UP Student Council vice chairman and an activist imprisoned for opposing martial law.
Unabridged version of Hercules, California Councilmember Myrna de Vera’s speech, delivered during the 2012 Filipina Women’s Network’s 100 Most Influential Filipina Women of the US
Philippines was ranked 3rd highest in Asia Pacific region for gender equality according to the Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement report released by global financial firm MasterCard. Yet there’s still PH laws that are unfair to women.
Articles 
Filipinas who were first in PH history
I Am… Woman: Historic Filipinas
#SexTalk: Who is the Filipina of today?
Sampaguita Girl: The Pinay Activist Timeline
Women play key role in PH peace process
VIDEO: Where does the Filipino woman stand today?
Of race and gender clashes: Do women rise above labels?
'Breaking the Silence': The truth about abortion
Defending Filipino women from stereotypes
Importing, exporting stereotypes: How do global Pinays cope?
Barbara Jane Reyes: Virtual Blog Tour, Is Pinay Lit a Genre, and Tagging Others
Books
Denise Cruz’s Transpacific Femininities: The Making of the Modern Filipina
Mina Roces’ Women’s Movements and the Filipina 1986-2008
Melinda L. de Jesús’ Pinay Power: Peminist Critical Theory (reprinted this year)
chidtalk’s recommendations
A systems approach to improving maternal health in the Philippines by Dale Huntington, Eduardo Banzon, and Zenaida Dy Recidoro
Does Feminism Have to Address Race? by Latoya Peterson
Early Feminism in the Philippines by Athena Lydia Casambre and Steven Rood
Feminism and race in the Philippines
Feminism and the present image of Filipino women
Filipiniana: Philippine Women’s Studies
News From the Tropics: Is there Feminism in the Philippines?
Philippines: Feminists Converse on Social Movement Building
The changing role of women in Philippine society by Cicely Richard
The changing role of women in Philippine society by G. Fitzsimmon
The changing role of women in Philippine society by Zakiya Mahomed
Tumblr posts
chidtalk’s post on Filipin@s and Feminism
pinoy-culture’s 10 Kickass Pilipina Warriors in History That You Probably Never Heard Of

pag-asaharibon:

not-your-asian-fantasy:

Early Feminism in the Philippines

The Philippines has been noted as having one of the smallest gender disparities in the world. The gender gap has been closed in both health and education; the country has had two female presidents (Corazon Aquino from 1986-1992 and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from 2001-2010); and had its first woman Supreme Court justice (Cecilia Muñoz Palma in 1973) before the United States had one (Sandra Day O’Connor in 1981). These achievements reflect a long history of efforts by women to involve themselves equally in governance as well as in society.

I was expecting a little bit more from the post and was suprised a few of these Filipinas were left out:

  • Gabriela Silang a revolutionary – a representation of female bravery – who fought against Spanish colonialism in the 18th century. Silang was a contrast to the chaste and religiously devout image of the Filipino lady as portrayed by Jose Rizal through his Spanish-language novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo
  • Clemencia Lopez became the first Filipino to enter the White House and the first to testify before a U.S. Senate hearing as a representative of her subjugated people.
  • Sofia Reyes de Veyra an educator, social worker and first secretary and co-founder (with Mary E. Coleman) of Asociacion Feminista Filipinathe first women’s club in the Philippines. Its establishment in June 1905 marked the start of the Feminist Movement in the country. She also organized the Manila Women’s Club which later became the nucleus of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs. This federation was in the forefront of the campaign to give women the right to vote and other rights. The women of the Philippines won these rights in 1931.
  • Dr. Carol Pagaduan-Araullo an UP cum laude graduate, medical doctor, 2012 UP Distinguished Alumni awardee and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) chairperson. While Dr. Araullo was UP Student Council vice chairman and an activist imprisoned for opposing martial law.

Unabridged version of Hercules, California Councilmember Myrna de Vera’s speech, delivered during the 2012 Filipina Women’s Network’s 100 Most Influential Filipina Women of the US

Philippines was ranked 3rd highest in Asia Pacific region for gender equality according to the Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement report released by global financial firm MasterCard. Yet there’s still PH laws that are unfair to women.

Articles 

Books

chidtalk’s recommendations

Tumblr posts

wocinsolidarity:

owning-my-truth:

femanarchoinfidel:

I disagree! The US has nothing to gain! As far as I know there is not a whole lot of oil in Liberia. It could be that the outbreak is actually just THAT BAD and the US wants to help somebody.

I’ve gotten a ridiculous number of responses to this post saying the above. All screaming out variations of the following:

"What does the US have to gain!?"

"Don’t you know that most people in the military are mechanics and logistical support, so there are only a few infantry and this isn’t an invasion!”

"Miltaries all around the world do this and the US has the biggest military so this makes sense!"

"Most of the troops are actually aid workers!!!"

"What about China!!?!?!!!"

All of this even as we know that there are more than 3,000 US troops being deployed to the region.

Let me just start with this:

Sub-Saharan African nations with a US Military Presence before the current ebola crisis (Image Credit: Washington Post via Mic).

13 African countries stretching across the continent and the number is rising with each passing year.

It is crucial to remember that the charter for AFRICOM (United States Africa Command) is explicitly to “advance U.S. national security interests.” So you’re going to sit here and tell me that 3,000 US troops being sent under this charter are there for altruistic purposes even as they set up a new military command in Liberia?  That this is not connected to the long history of military interventions, occupations and proxy wars the US has conducted from Mali to Libya and Somalia with catastrophic results? 

As Nick Turse stated in this great article on The Nation about “America’s Proxy Wars in Africa

Washington is increasingly involved in the growing wars for West and Central Africa. And just about every move it has made in the region thus far has helped spread conflict and chaos, while contributing to African destabilization. 

We saw this when the “US-backed uprising in Libya, for instance, helped spawn hundreds of militias that have increasingly caused chaos in that country” (x). Many of those militias and arm stores in Libya then spread throughout the region, including to Mali where Islamic militants co-opted a Tuareg resistance movement and seized wide swaths of the country’s north. The crisis only accelerated after a Malian military commander, who had been trained and mentored by US armed forces from 2004 to 2010, overthrew the democratically elected government in a military coup. Afterwards, the US and French swooped in to “restabilize” the situation they had caused and fight back the Islamic militants in Mali. This ”intervention caused a veritable terror diaspora that helped lead to attacks in Algeria, Niger and Libya, without resolving Mali’s underlying instability”(x).

We have seen this before with #BringBackOurGirls as well, and it only takes just a bit of digging to see how the US government shamelessly exploits humanitarian crises to advance its neo-imperialistic aims in African countries. Years before the tragic mass kidnappings of more than 200 Nigerian girls in Chibok by Boko Haram, the US Congress issued a report, “Boko Haram: Emerging Threat to the US Homeland" where they stated:

The rising threat of Boko Haram presents the United States an opportunity to expand diplomatic and military engagement with both Abuja and Nigerian Muslims in the north

This is in addition to open references to Nigeria’s oil wealth as a driving concern for them. The US had also been pressuring Nigeria for years to establish a military presence and AFRICOM military command in Nigeria, and so when the tragedy in Chibok happened (which has still not been resolved months later), the US pounced to put boots on the ground in Nigeria and (more) drones in our skies. Again, this has been a transparent goal from the highest levels of the US government since at least 2009

#KONY2012 was also used as a pretext to send more US troops into African countries, who have found nothing in the last 2 years. In fact for some time they were officially not even looking for Joseph Kony anymore but have used #KONY2012 to justify a continuing military presence which has now given the US license to expand its military presence this year with even more troops in Uganda, Central African Republic, South Sudan, and the DRC (x). 

So I am stunned when I see such obtuse responses like the above, which cling to some dream of the US military industrial complex as altruistic in any way shape or form, especially when, as I will say yet again, AFRICOM (United States Africa Command) explicitly states that it is in these countries to “advance U.S. national security interests.”

As Jumoke Balogun writes in his incredible piece, “Dear Americans, Your Hashtags Won’t #BringBackOurGirls. You Might Actually Be Making Things Worse" for CompareAfrique :

In 2013 alone, AFRICOM carried out a total of 546 “military activities,”which is an average of one and half military missions a day. While we don’t know much about the purpose of these activities, keep in mind that AFRICOM’s mission is to “advance U.S. national security interests.”

And advancing they are. According to one report, in 2013, American troops entered and advanced American interests in Niger, Uganda, Ghana, Malawi, Burundi, Mauritania, South Africa, Chad, Togo, Cameroon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Lesotho, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and South Sudan.

The U.S. military conducted 128 separate “military activities” in 28 African countries between June and December of 2013. These are in conjunction to U.S. led drone operations which are occurring in Northern Nigeria  and  Somalia. There are also counter-terrorism outposts in Djibouti and Niger and covert bases in Ethiopia and the Seychelles 

The US imperial project is in full swing in African countries, and is expanding across the globe with US forces re-entering the Philippines, a former colony of ours where we committed a genocide and countless war crimes, and many other countries. You don’t have to have oil to be a target (although that helps paint a target on your back)—it’s ultimately about power at the end of the day and the enshrinement of US hegemonic power and military dominance of the globe. 

So when you see 3,000 more troops entering an African country to “advance US national security interests,” take a second, go on Google for 2 seconds and see the tremendous plethora of information that is out there showing how these are craven neo-imperialistic campaigns to expand the US military industrial complex even if they are under a “humanitarian” cover like we see with the ebola crisis. There is no such thing as “no strings attached” with the US government, and it will take decades to undo the damage caused by these neo-imperialistic crusader campaigns by the US that we are watching play out in slow motion today.

OOP

Thursday, September 18, 2014
elionking:

mapsontheweb:

Every country that has declared independence from the U.K./Great Britain

Never dawned on me that USA is one of only two countries to get its independence before the 20th century. None of the rest of these are even a century old in terms of independence

elionking:

mapsontheweb:

Every country that has declared independence from the U.K./Great Britain

Never dawned on me that USA is one of only two countries to get its independence before the 20th century. None of the rest of these are even a century old in terms of independence

(Source: globalpost.com)

madotsukies:

shinyumbre0n:

PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THIS.

This Thursday, Scotland votes for its independence.

The BBC is trying to report that Yes to Independence is losing. They’re using photos to imply our gatherings are tiny and insignificant instead of the many photos like those above. They’re reporting that an anti-independence march by the Orange Order (think the KKK with more British flags) was a peaceful pro-union family march. They have been caught editing clips to discredit our First Minister.

There is a protest outside BBC headquarters right now. They are claiming there are a maximum of 350 protesters.

Watch for yourself. There are far more people outside their offices right now and they are being ignored and misreported.

We need to be seen. The only way we’ve been able to disseminate accurate information has been through social media. The media we rely on to spread unbiased information is lying to us, trying to suppress us.

PLEASE SHARE. PLEASE TALK ABOUT THIS. WE NEED OUR VOICES TO BE HEARD.

this website is very american-centric. please, we need to be heard. please pay attention.

this is a whole country’s FUTURE.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

ayellowbirds:

dr-archeville:

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Scottish Independence [x]

Scotland is about to vote on whether to secede from the UK.
There are solid arguments on both sides.
But none of that makes bagpipes good to listen to…or does it?

“There are legitimate reasons for Scotland to want to govern itself.  For instance, it’s a predominantly liberal country which has frequently been governed by a conservative U.K. government, and seldom has that divide been more pronounced than right now, when the UK’s prime minister is David Cameron.”

I caught the bulk of this in the cafe next to the library while on break last night, and I was dying at the bit about the symbols of Scotland.

distant-traveller:

Airglow ripples over Tibet

Why would the sky look like a giant target? Airglow. Following a giant thunderstorm over Bangladesh in late April, giant circular ripples of glowing air appeared over Tibet, China, as pictured above. The unusual pattern is created by atmospheric gravity waves, waves of alternating air pressure that can grow with height as the air thins, in this case about 90 kilometers up. Unlike auroras powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction. More typically seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.

Image credit &amp; copyright: Jeff Dai

distant-traveller:

Airglow ripples over Tibet

Why would the sky look like a giant target? Airglow. Following a giant thunderstorm over Bangladesh in late April, giant circular ripples of glowing air appeared over Tibet, China, as pictured above. The unusual pattern is created by atmospheric gravity waves, waves of alternating air pressure that can grow with height as the air thins, in this case about 90 kilometers up. Unlike auroras powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction. More typically seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.

Image credit & copyright: Jeff Dai

(Source: apod.nasa.gov)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

muchymozzarella:

satsukikiryiun:

yahoonewsphotos:

Monsoon triggers landslides and floods in India and Pakistan

Landslides and flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains have killed nearly 300 people in large swaths of northern India and Pakistan, officials said Sunday.

Five days of incessant rains in Indian-controlled Kashmir have left at least 120 people dead in the region’s worst flooding in more than five decades, submerging hundreds of villages and triggering landslides, officials said. In neighboring Pakistan, more than 160 people have died and thousands of homes have collapsed, with an official saying the situation was becoming a “national emergency.”

Rescuers in both countries were using helicopters and boats to try to reach tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes as floodwaters rose and submerged many villages. (AP)

Find more news related pictures on our photo galleries page.

hey guys, i would really appreciate if you could take the time to read and raise awareness abt the floods in kashmir. they have been devastating, and the death toll has climbed to over 400 by now. many people are still in need of rescuing

you can read more here:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/11/kashmir-monsoon-floods-million-displace-pakistan-india-aid

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-29137789

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/floodfuryhitsjk/jammu-and-kashmir-floods-in-50-pictures-a-look-at-the-extent-of-horrific-flooding-in-the-state/article1-1262377.aspx

and if youre able, please consider donating:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/jammu-and-kashmir-floods-care-today-fund-donations/1/381781.html

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/09/08/indians-publish-cries-for-help-and-calls-for-donations-on-twitter-as-deadly-flooding-hits-jammu-and-kashmir/

send money and supplies, tell your friends and family, blog abt it, help in any way you can

HERE WE GO OKAY GUYS

Storms like this batter many parts of Asia all the time and it’s terrible and scary and EVERYBODY NEEDS TO HELP OUT

stardust-rain:

stardust-rain:

sometimes tumblr’s US-centric social justice makes me so fucking frustrated. Right now sweden’s third biggest party are literally neo-nazis and our elections couldn’t even get onto trending tags today, goddamit.

Okay, so the post is gaining notes and people are confused, so to explain what the hell is going on: 

image

Swedish elections held were on last Sunday, 14th September. We’ve had a right-leaning government the past eight years and after this there will be a change of power. The new party, Socialdemocrats (S) gained a total of 31% percent. The old party, Moderaterna (M) gained 21%. 

Sverigedemokraterna (SD) gained a total of 12.9%. Their policy is racist, Islamophobic, anti-immigration, anti-refugee, anti-diversity, anti-LGBT+, and anti-feminist. Basically, they tick every box on the douchebag lottery.

If you’re here to argue that they’re ~not actually~ Nazis: 1) Fuck you. 2) Fuck the horse the you rode in on. 3) I hope you get stepped on by a moose, you ignorant asswipe. 

  1.  they literally started as neo nazis. They have used a Neo-Nazi movement as campaign slogans,
  2. party members have assaulted immigrants with iron pipes (tw for racialised violence),
  3. worn Nazi symbols 
  4. supported and helped build Neo-Nazi group SvP.

There’s probably more, but I don’t have links on hand. 

They’ve been having rallies and demonstrations all over Sweden, and people have shown up just to turn their back on them and protest (this post explains it better). 

In the 2010 elections, SD were pretty much considered no better than neo-Nazis and only got 5.7% votes - it put them in 6th place and was just enough to get them into parliament. In the elections before that, they got about 2.9%. In the past four years, they’ve grown exponentially in Sweden.

They’ve also run extremely extensive PR campaigns, appealing to the youth, kicking out members “exposed” of being racist, (note: these members often end up in SvP) and picking up buzzwords from the Socialdemocrats’ ideology. 

29% of votes they gained this year were from swing voters who previously voted M,  and the biggest gain have been in the south, in small towns and the countryside:

image

This is not something that’s just going on in Sweden. Europe has seen an influx of extreme-right parties over the last decade or so, often thinly disguised as a party that puts ‘traditional values’ and ‘national interest’ first.

In Greece and Hungary they’ve already been in power. In Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Finland France and UK, extreme-right-wing parties have been voted into the EU. 

Because here’s the thing: we’ve forgotten what it looks like. We’ve gotten to the point where we’ve turned Nazism into a cartoonish lampoon of goose-stepping, uniforms and moral lessons that “we’ll never be like them~”, ignoring the fact nationalism is not as cut-and-dry two ends of an extreme but exists on a scale.

People have been apologising for SD’s actions for a while now because they’re not considered “extremist enough” to be neo-Nazis, because they don’t share the same beliefs, because they’ve “publicly denounced” SvP. 

But the same people still get hurt. Still SD has the institutional and systematic power and privilege to oppress, degrade and humiliate people of colour, which they already have done. Stop making excuses for them. Stop making leeways for right-wing-extremists because that is how they gain tract. 

Please spread this.