Video footage: Bahrain’s army open fires on protesters

19 02 2011

Care of wlcentral.

Egyptian Tienanmen?

7 02 2011

The following video has been uploaded to YouTube.  At around 2 minutes it shows a single man walking up to Egyptian police, removing his jacket.  The police shoot him.

The caption reads:

This is why no one will leave Tahrir Square. This is a video from Alexandria, 31/01/2011

The kid was probably angry because his friend was shot, so he walked up to the police, he showed them he had no weapons on him, but they still shot him anyways when he was leaving.

The death toll from the violence had risen to 54 dead and 1,000 injured by 28 January. As of 30 January, Al-Jazeera reported as many as 150 deaths in the protests. As of 29 January, at least 102 people were known to have died, many or most shot. The dead included at least 10 policemen, 3 of whom were killed in Rafah.

Another video documents shocking brutality.

And the world wonders why the Egyptians are angry.

“Collateral Murder”

6 04 2010

Man cooked alive in police custody

14 06 2009

Having been so busy lately I haven’t had the opportunity to keep up to date with what’s happening in Australia and I feel terrible that it took the infamous Mike Gogulski to bring the following article to my attention — not to mention that this happened last year and I completely missed it.

Man ‘cooked’ to death in Australian prison van

SYDNEY (AFP) — The family of an Australian Aboriginal elder who died after being “cooked” in the back of a scorching hot prison van may sue after a coroner branded his treatment inhumane.

A coroner Friday described the treatment of the 46-year-old man as a “disgrace” and inhumane, saying he would ask prosecutors to consider criminal charges over his death from heatstroke in Western Australia in January 2008.

His shirt in this photo reading "Zen - Awakening - Mind", and looking like a terrible menace, we can all rest easier that the criminal Mr. Ward was dispatched promptly by our overlords

The elder, known only as Mr Ward as his first name was withheld for cultural reasons, was transported 360 kilometres (225 miles) to jail in temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 F) in a van with faulty air conditioning.

Ward, who was arrested a day earlier for drink driving, spent four hours in the searing heat between the mining towns of Laverton and Kalgoorlie, suffering third-degree burns where his body touched the metal floor, the inquest heard.

Western Australia Coroner Alastair Hope found that Ward was effectively “cooked” to death and heavily criticised the state prisons department, the private security firm that operated the van and the two guards who escorted Ward.

“It is a disgrace that a prisoner in the 21st century, particularly a prisoner who has not been convicted of any crime, was transported for a long distance in high temperatures in this pod,” Hope said.

The hearing was told that when Ward eventually arrived unconscious at hospital in Kalgoorlie, his body was so hot that staff were unable to cool him down. After an ice bath, which failed to save him, he had a body temperature of 41.7 degrees Celsius as opposed to a normal temperature of 37 degrees Celsius.

Take a look at the photo, Mr Ward was no menace to society and was probably a well respected member of his community.  He died because he was required by the positive law to play his part as the accused in the theatrics of court proceedings for a crime that is not evil by reason but evil by the decree of government.  That is not to say that even if he had been guilty of the typical criminal pass times of pillage and plunder, he would have deserved his fate.  Of course we could take a purely superficial analyses and let blame fall against the guards for their negligence rather then question the very system that put Mr Ward into the back of a police van.

And I can’t help but wonder where was the outrage surrounding this death?  I’m sure that if this event had unfolded with the death of a white man, there would have been outrage from all corners of this continent.

Australia censors Wikileaks?

18 03 2009

Though I’m not hearing it reported anywhere else, so I could very well be wrong, my attention has been brought to the following paragraphs in this article.

An Australian anti-censorship activist submitted the page to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), requesting that they censor it, under their internal guidelines. The activist wished to expose the “slippery scope” of the proposed Mandatory Internet Censorship scheme.

The press release and the list itself have now been placed into the secret Australian government blacklist of “Prohibited Online Content”.

The content on the blacklist is illegal to publish or link to in Australia, with fines of upto[sic] $11,000 a day for contraventions.

The ACMA blacklist is proposed to become the list with which the Australian Government will mandatory block all Australians Internet requests. Presently censorship of access attempts by ISPs is voluntary. The Australian government has faced strong opposition over the scheme, with the Liberal (conservative) and Green (liberal left) opposition parties stating they will vote against it.

So if this is correct, I could be find for doing this.

Doesn’t really seem like much of a crime.  Politically, it has drastic ramifications when a website such as wikileaks is, possibly, ‘banned’ as an ‘evil’ website when most supporters of democracy would demand something similar to ensure transparency.  They’re hardly terrorists.

To explain things in better detail, PrisonPlanet also contained a copy of an article appearing in TheAge.  It’s essential reading to anyone reading this post.  Especially for this quote,

Speaking at a telecommunications conference last week, Senator Conroy urged Australians to have faith in MPs to pass the right legislation.

Despite previously saying his scheme would be expanded to block “refused classification” content that includes sites depicting drug use, sex, crime, cruelty and violence, he said opponents of his plan were spreading “conspiracy theories”.

Speaking of wikileaks, more tragedies befall the organisation.

On Thursday afternoon, Oscar Kamau Kingara, director of the Kenyan based Oscar legal aid Foundation, and its programme coordinator, John Paul Oulo, were both shot dead at close range in their car less than a mile from President Kibaki’s residence. The two were on their way to a meeting at the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights.

Both had been investigating extra-judicial assassinations by the Kenyan Police. Part of their work forms the basis of the “Cry of Blood” report Wikileaks released on November 1 last year and subsequent follow ups, including a UN indictment last month.

Since 2007 the Oscar foundation has documented 6,452 “enforced disappearances” by police and 1,721 extra-judicial killings.

The murders come just two weeks after United Nations Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial killings Professor Philip Alston called on on Kenya’s Attorney General and Police Commissioner to be sacked.

The murder of Oscar Kamau Kingara and John Paul Oulo

The murder of Oscar Kamau Kingara and John Paul Oulo

On 18 February 2009, the Oscar Foundation presented its findings for use in a parliamentary debate.

The Oscar Foundation vehicle was blocked by a minibus and a Mitsubishi Pajero vehicle, both of which had been following them along State house road. Several men were in the two vehicles. Two men got out, approached the vehicle of Oscar Kamau Kingara and John Paul Oulu, and shot them through the windows at close range.

According to eyewitnesses, the driver of the minibus was in police uniform whilst the other men were wearing suits. The closest eyewitness to the incident was shot in the leg and later taken away by policemen.

A coalition of civil society organizations released a statement blaming police for the murders.

“These were very decent men who had done more work than anybody in examining police killings,” said Cyprian Nyamwamu, the executive director of the National Convention Executive Council, a non-governmental organization advocating social and economic reform. “I have no doubt that is why they were killed.

Though it probably doesn’t mean much coming from myself, given that I’m of little influence or status, my sympathies go out to the families of these men.

You may read the rest here.


11 02 2009

Just yesterday I was forced to suffer a fool on the bus.  He yammered on to his audience about his existence in the way people who his character do, discussing things from his former cars to getting pissed.  Needless to say, the words this man used were putrid and offended right to the core as the subject of his conversation gave an insight to his character that can only be described as some blend of evil and stupid.  And I have yet still to work out the exact portions.

During the long trip, another in this man’s company cracked a racist joke.  I was lead to the assumption that based on the man’s accent he was native to the state of Queensland.  As conversation does, it went backwards and forwards for a while on the subject of indigenous Australians, and while my attention had been caught by the words of the second man, it was the first that left the mark.

This man, evidently from Tasmania, began discussing the indigenous population of of his native state and his comments on the subject went something along the lines of,

“We didn’t quite push out all the Aborigines out of Tasmania when we first got there.  There are still some left.  We didn’t do a good enough job.  We should have pushed them all off the cliffs when we had the chance.  That way there’d be no more black people around.  Could you imagine that?  Maybe we should just shoot them so that there would be no more black people around, no more.”

This is all fairly accurate though I admit I’m can’t quite remember whether he suggested executing these people with bullets or through some other method, but the image and impact of these words remains the same. The amazing thing, is that this guy laughed after saying such words and I was sorely tempted to turn around and propose that if he really wanted to shoot someone, he should do the rest of us a favour and start with himself.  But after tallying up all the reasons in my mind why what this man was saying was wrong, and all the reasons why I would feel entirely justified in punching him in the face, I turned back into the second part of the conversation which had turned to the bush fires in Victoria.

For those that don’t know, Victoria was turned into a tinderbox with the extreme heat wave over that lasted over two weeks and has since gone up in flames, taken something towards 300 people with it.  It is truly a tragedy, and while my sympathies goes out to those affected by such a disaster, I should probably return to the topic at hand; the conversation.

It seems the Tasmanian man, and his fellows had been discussing the fires, particularly the one that claimed the most life and had been lit by an arsonist.  Each had taken their turn to curse whomever this arsonist was with a string of profanity and then agreed upon a certain descriptive word that made me prick up my ears.  They called this firebug, “evil” and suggested that he should be shot.  Another one of their companions who had evidently studied law or worked in the police or the courts — pretty much “worked in government” — began explaining the possible sentencing for the arsonist when he had been caught, which inevitably ended up being, “life.”  However, that did not interest me.  My mind lingered back towards the use of the word “evil” and the unanimous condemning of an act that cost human life, yet when only minutes before, these same characters had been laughing at a similar act but also proposed that such an act should be deliberately carried out against a minority.

Needless to say, I could not believe how it did not occur to these people that they were advocating murder and yet simultaneously condemning it.  Their cognitive dissonance must be so huge, so massive, that I wonder how they are able to sleep at night with their brain in such stress.  The Orwellian doublethink of the whole thing just took me back and I had to get off that bus.  I could not have stayed there with those people any longer, even if it meant waiting for the next bus.

Indeed, through this post their conversation will have been recorded publicly so that their words may stand testament to the doublethink of our time.  I’d even be willing to wager that these same men would have been those who celebrated Australia Day wearing a blue singlet, having a BBQ and waving — or wearing — an Australian flag.

Doesn’t it make you proud to be Australian?

I also suggest reading this article discussing the massacre of Tasmanian Aborigines to add an extra dimension to the whole episode.


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