Saturday, May 11, 2013

12-05-11 Tel Aviv: Major demonstration, "gov, corporations - crime organization"


After a small but loud demonstration on Thursday night in front of Minister of Treasury home, there were several simultaneous demonstrations in Tel Aviv tonight. A small demonstration took place in front of the home of Minister of Natural Resources (against privatization of gas, other resources to tycoons), an unplanned sit-in blocked one of the main traffic entrances to Tel Aviv (some arrests were made).

The main demonstration marched along some 2 miles in the center of Tel Aviv, main avenues were closed to traffic. The most commonly heard chant was "gov, corporations - crime organization".

Other highlights:
* soccer tune, "oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh - what a corrupt government",
* famous Reb Nahman hassidic song, " the main thing is not to be afraid at all..."
* vendetta masked Anonymous members were marching near police, one carrying a large Anonymous flag...
* video taping police from a few feet away is no problem in Israel...

The mood was friendly and jubilant, non violent. Police were courteous, in regular uniform, no riot police gear, a couple of helicopters in the air.

Media reported "thousand" (Haaretz), "12 thousands" (Ynet). In my estimate the crowd was 100,000-200,000 (total pop ~7m). I could never see the entire mass of protesters. Last week's celebration of the Tel Aviv team winning championship was reported as 100,000. This was definitely a larger crowd.

And were are the people of the US, where the situation is by far more dire? Watching TV? Playing online? Scared shitless by deadly violent, oppressive law enforcement!

13-05-12 Beyond GITMO - solitary confinement in the US


Russell "Maroon' Shoatz Files Lawsuit Protesting 22 Consecutive Years in Solitary Confinement 

Earlier this week, on Wednesday, May 8, lawyers for Russell "Maroon' Shoatz filed a federal lawsuit regarding his placement in solitary confinement for over 22 consecutive years. The written complaint, directed at Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel and the Superintendents of SCI-Greene, where Shoatz was last held, and SCI-Mahanoy, where he was transferred to on March 28, 2013.


And here is what American Friends Service Committee says:

Recent history of isolation

Beginning in the early 1970s, prison and jail administrators at the federal, state, and local level have relied increasingly on isolation and segregation to control men, women, and youth in their custody.
In 1985 there were a handful of control units across the county. Today an estimated 44 states have supermax facilities confining more than 30,000 people. Prisoners are often confined for months or even years, with some spending more than 25 years in segregated prison settings. As with the overall prison population, people of color are disproportionately represented in isolation units.
(AFSC's Justice Visions Briefing Paper, Prison Inside the Prison provides a more complete history.)
Complete AFSC report:
The "Angola Three" are the most notorious case of solitary confinement in the US today:

Angola Three

The Angola Three are three men, Robert Hillary King (born Robert King Wilkerson), Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace, who were put in solitary confinement for decades in Angola PrisonLouisiana after the death of a prison guard.