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Center Column Archives
UPDATE July 19th:
The MV Juliano was detained in Crete by Greek authorities who refuse to let the boat sail. The last remaining Flotilla II boat, the French boat Dignite/Al Karama, was stopped by the Israeli navy
about 40 miles off of the coast of Gaza.
The 2011 Stay Human Freedom Flotilla has faced repeated threats and admonishments from the U.S. and Israeli governments, the pullout of the Turkish contingent, meddling from Zionist law firms, sabotage to the propellers of the Greek and Irish boats by underwater divers, and an order from the Greek government banning the flotilla from embarking on the journey to Gaza from Greece. At this point, it remains uncertain how many boats will be able to set sail for Gaza.
On the morning of June 16th, the front pages of Spanish newspapers carried stories of demonstrators for democracy performing acts of violence. Amateur footage exposed that police infiltration was to blame, but YouTube blacked out some of the videos because they allegedly violated the privacy of the infiltrators. The incident happened just days before an announced nationwide protest against economical austerity measures to be imposed by the government.
Exarchia is known throughout Athens as the center of social struggles. This densely packed neighborhood has a reputation as being anti-establishment and is home to students, anarchists, artists, and leftists of all stripes. A month of nationwide rioting was sparked in December 2008 when a 15 year-old local high school student and anarchist was shot and killed by police near Exarchia Square. Most Athenians hate the police, and when this young boy was murdered the whole country exploded. On the corner where Alexis was shot, his mother has mounted a memorial plaque which has his photo as well as an inscription in Greek.
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.