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Linksunten.indymedia.org, the main independent media website in Germany, was banned by the German government's Ministry of Interior on August 25. Maintaining the website and using its logo are now considered criminal offenses in the country. Linksunten volunteers are also being prosecuted as a "club," which means that administrators are considered responsible for everything that has been published. Administrators are also being accused of being members of a terrorist association. This represents a new step in the repression in Europe. The last time something of this significance occurred was in 1995, when the German central power banned the newspaper "Radikal", which sparked demonstrations all over the country.
On August 25, the German government raided and shut down Linksunten Indymedia, an integral part of the global Independent Media Center network, and the most widely used German-language platform for radical politics and organizing. In Freiburg, riot police seized computers and harassed those they accuse of maintaining the site, justifying their actions on the grounds that the alleged administrators constitute an illegal organization intent on destroying the German Constitution. This represents a massive escalation in state repression against what the authorities call “left-wing extremism,” disingenuously suggesting an equivalence between those who seek to build communities beyond the reach of state violence and Neo-Nazis organizing to carry out attacks and murders.
Thu Aug 17 2017 (Updated 09/02/17)
Military Exercises in Korea Considered Act of War
As tensions ramp up between the U.S. and North Korea, speakers at a rally in San Francisco on August 15 called for the halting of US/South Korea military exercises along the Korean Peninsula. The annual war games are scheduled to be held starting August 21 and coincide with North Korea's threat to Guam. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea) views the joint exercises as continued acts of war, as there was never a signed peace treaty at the end of the Korean War in 1953. On August 28, in response to the United States and South Korean war games, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has launched an unarmed missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean.
The hunger striking Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons suspended their hunger strike on May 27 at dawn, after a 20-hour session of talks between the Israeli Prison Authority and imprisoned legislator Marwan Barghouthi and other senior political prisoners. Issa Qaraqe, the head of the Palestinian Detainees’ Committee, and Qaddoura Fares, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, said in a press release that the detainees reached an agreement with the Israeli authorities regarding their demands and officially suspended their strike. “A substantial transformation has been achieved by this strike,” Qaraqe declared.
Ongoing clashes erupted across the occupied West Bank on April 28 in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners who entered the 12th day of a hunger strike. Palestinians are calling it the Day of Rage. Israeli forces fired tear-gas bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets and live fire, during the clashes, which broke out following Friday prayers in cities, villages and refugee camps in various districts of the West Bank. Numerous Palestinians were injured. Detainees started their hunger strike on April 17th, which also marks the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, demanding basic, internationally-guaranteed rights.
Mon Apr 24 2017 (Updated 04/26/17)
Free Speech Radio News to Shut Down
Long a go-to news source for community and independent radio stations across the country, Free Speech Radio News (FSRN) will permanently shut down at the end of April. For seventeen years, FSRN has broadcast stories documenting repression and corruption while highlighting the individuals, campaigns and movements working to bring about a more just and equitable society. Paul Riismandel writes: The loss of FSRN is truly tragic. FSRN has been dedicated to truly grassroots reporting that emphasizes local voices on the ground, with a focus on social justice.
Tue Apr 4 2017 (Updated 04/05/17)
West Bank Marks 41st Anniversary of Land Day
Land Day was marked with demonstrations in memory of the seizure of 21 thousand dunams of land in Al-Jalil, Al-Muthalth and Al-Naqab on March 30, 1976. Palestinians protested the Israeli apartheid wall, attempted to plant olive trees on stolen land, and called for the release of political prisoners held by Israel. Scores were injured by Israelis with rubber-coated bullets and tear gas. Israeli occupation violations against Palestinians continue. Israel has seized more than 85% of the total area of historical land of Palestine. Arabs comprise 48% of the total population, but are able to utilize only 15% of the land.
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