Tuesday, April 5, 2011

News Blast

Back after several weeks (sorry to keep you waiting), check these out:
Libya:
After ongoing air strikes, destroying Gaddafi's armored units and air power, the resistance movement made painstaking gains Westward. But Gaddafi has been pushing back in a series of offensives. The resistance movement cannot seems to hold towns. In one incident an armored vehicle entered a town and it took two hours of small arms fire to force the vehicle out. Such scenarios indicate the uncertain power of the resistance movement.

The resistance itself, in early stages expelled british foreign secret service agents, but there are reports of US, CIA operation which have been on the ground for weeks. This raises question of how legitimate the resistance is, but undoubtedly for many in Libya the conditions were bad enough to revolt. But what remains uncertain is if they can win against Gaddafi's armor and even if they do, what will stop this from becoming just another propped up dictator or stump government for US interests.

Hungary:
"On March 1st, uniformed members of the vigilante group Civil Guard (Szebb Jövőért Polgárőr Egyesület), an offshoot of the dreaded Magyar Garda, took control of a Romani neighbourhood in the village of Gyöngyöspata. They set up two checkpoints at the entrance to the neighbourhood and formed a human chain around the houses of Romani residents. The Civil Guard are supported by the right-wing Jobbik party, and now intend to set up chapters in other towns in Hungary, to expand their patrols.

The European Roma Rights Centre, Amnesty International and Human Rights First sent a letter urging Hungarian authorities to intervene and protect the Romani residents of Gyöngyöspata from the intimidation and harassment they have been subjected to by the vigilante organisation, Szebb Jövőért Polgárőr Egyesület (Civil Guard Association for a Better Future), since 1 March. The Szebb Jövőért Polgárőr Egyesület patrols have been supported by the far-right political party Jobbik, which organised a march of thousands through the village in black military uniform on 6 March. According to the ERRC’s monitoring, there were at least 48 attacks against Roma in Hungary between 2008 and 2010, which resulted in at least 9 deaths. The presence of anti-Roma vigilante groups in Roma neighbourhoods adds to growing inter-ethnic tensions and fuels a climate of violence.

The ERRC called for Hungarian authorities to fulfil their domestic and international human rights obligations in Gyöngyöspata, to intervene immediately to ensure the situation does not escalate into physical violence and to protect the Roma from intimidation and harassment."-IMC

Mexico:
"The Wixarika (Huichol) indigenous people of central west México walk 500 km to the sacred land of Wirikuta, where according to legend, the sun was born. Here, they collect jíkuri (peyote), carry out rituals of purification and come into communion with their gods, who give them blessings and guidance. In this way, they conserve their culture, maintain harmony with nature, and uphold a thousand-year-old tradition.

...A Site of Cultural and Historic Heritage and an Area under Ecological Conservation”; in the year 2000 the protected area was expanded to 140 thousand hectares; and in 2001 it was declared a Sacred Natural Site by UNESCO. There is also a bird sanctuary in Wirikuta. In spite of this, it is currently under siege by First Majestic Silver, a Vancouver-based mining company that paid 3 million dollars to obtain 22 mining concessions in the area.

Majestic Silver’s intentions to reinitiate mining activities in the area. Where the Wixarika people see sacred beauty and the fountain of life, Keith Neumeyer – president and CEO of First Majestic Silver – sees an opportunity to further enrich himself and his company’s shareholders. With state-of-the-art technologies, he hopes to reopen old mines, exploit previously undetected veins of minerals, and squeeze out the last remaining traces of silver from tailings left behind by others. There are promises of job creation and social corporate responsibility, but the jobs are both dangerous and ephemeral. Moreover, it is not entirely clear how cyanide and other noxious substances could possibly be contained.

In Mexico, protected areas and environmental laws are often sidestepped in order to facilitate the activities of national and transnational corporations. The problem, though, is not just one of weak environmental legislation and corruption in Mexico; the Canadian government is also responsible, refusing to regulate resource-extraction companies operating outside of the country."-UDW

Wisconsin:
While the Republican state legislature passed a bill banning the right of collective bargaining, a county circuit court judge Maryann Sumi. This is a short stop, owing to procedure, but may lead to legal battle- "she plans to hold a full hearing on a lawsuit that accuses Republican lawmakers of violating the Wisconsin open meeting requirements to push through the bill"-NY Times.

It seems to be a rule that governments become corrupt, unless held by the people and the natural course of events is for the people to rise up in resistance the corruption. As with Hungarian neighborhood, the state of Wisconsin, or within the nation of Mexico, there is a standard appeal to the system of 'justice' however tattered it may be and if justice will not be done, then the people will rise, as with Libya. But in the case of libya, there is little organized leadership to ask for assistance, so any air strikes seem to be imposed from outside and this raises questions about the legitimacy of the resistance to either sustain itself or be an independent movement.

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with the growing resistance movements across the world, in a call for the right of self determination.

Thanks to:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barry-lando/secret-history-of-the-lib_b_844277.html
http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/africa/libya-live-blog-april-2
http://www.indymedia.org/en/2011/03/946952.shtml
http://upsidedownworld.org/main/mexico-archives-79/2981-sacred-indigenous-site-in-mexico-threatened-by-canadian-mining-company
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/19/us/19wisconsin.html

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