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Center Column Archives
May 15th marked 63 years since the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe). In 1948, more than 750,000 Palestinians were permanently displaced, with more than 500 Palestinian villages depopulated and destroyed. In San Francisco, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, and across the globe, Palestinians and solidarity activists commemorated the Nakba. In the West Bank and Gaza, thousands took to the streets to demand an end the occupation. Israeli forces responded with live gunfire killing at least 16 protesters and injuring hundreds.
Japan's Chubu Electric Power Company started shutting down its nuclear power plant in Hamaoka, approximately 100 miles southwest of Tokyo, this week. On May 6th, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan made public his directive for the company to suspend its operation. His announcement came just hours before an anti-nuclear power demonstration of 10,000 people in Tokyo. On the same day, activists rallied in solidarity with their Japanese counterparts in front of the Japanese consulate in San Francisco.
During the past month, Palestinian youth protested to call for internal unity. On April 27th, Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation draft agreement with hope to end a four-year internal unrest in the Palestinian Territories. Both parties agreed, under Egyptian supervision, to form a transitional government soon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the draft agreement and the U.S. has threatened to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority.
The Internationalist Platform for Resistance and Self-Initiative Weaving Autonomies (PIRATA) organized a brigade for the observation and documentation of the violation of the rights of native peoples in the municipality of Santiago Xanica, Oaxaca, México. The brigade traveled through the municipality from March 14 to March 21, 2011. The task that the International Brigade set for itself has been to listen, understand, relate, and make public what is happening in the community of Santiago Xanica.
Residents of the West Bank village of Ni'lin, along with a number of internationals and Israeli peace activists, held their weekly Friday demonstration on March 18th and commemorated the second anniversary of the shooting of San Francisco Bay Area activist Tristan Anderson. Protesters also commemorated the eighth anniversary of the killing of Rachel Corrie in Gaza while she was trying to prevent an Israeli bulldozer from demolishing Palestinian houses.
London, UK: Following months of demonstrations, occupations of town halls and other buildings, road blockades and widespread campaigning, a national protest against the cuts to social spending and for the alternatives is taking place on Saturday, March 26th
. Hundreds of thousands are expected to march in London's biggest street mobilization since the anti-war march of 2003. Locally, the US Uncut San Francisco team has called for a demonstration on the same day starting at 10:30am at an unnamed bank near the 24th St. BART station.
Weeks after a giant tsunami engulfed Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. is still struggling to bring the radiation crisis under control. Radiation has seeped into the soil and seawater and made its way into produce, raw milk and tap water. The Japanese government has admitted that its safeguards were insufficient to protect the nuclear plant. Radiation levels have increased in 15 US states from the nuclear disaster in Japan.