2011-08-21 Former WikiLeaks spokesman destroyed unreleased files

Rough translation, apologies. Original at Der Spiegel

Former Wikileaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg claims to have destroyed more than 3,500 unpublished files that had been sent from unknown informants and are now apparently lost irrevocably. These are documents which were stored until the late summer of 2010 on the Wikileaks server and were taken by a group including Domscheit-Berg upon their leaving the organization. Domscheit-Berg has “in the last days shredded” the files “to ensure that the sources are not compromised,” said Domscheit-Berg. He said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could not guarantee a safe handling of the material. In the data base was among other things, the so-called “no-fly list” of the U.S. government, on which the names of suspects were listed, which are prohibited from entering an aircraft. Assange said the material would also have insider information from 20 right-wing organizations. Domscheit-Berg would not confirm that. Assange had been asking him to return the data since early this year.

Previous WL Central coverage here.

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2011-08-13 Human Rights News

Current news of any violations, legal progress, setbacks or other news in human rights as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Syria: Assad continues to ignore the UN security council, the Arab League, the governments of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and almost everyone else, killing at least 90 civilians this week, for a total of almost 2000 since the protests began in March.

United States: A US federal appeals court ruled on August 8 that former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld had no immunity against being sued personally by US citizens Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel who allege torture at the hands of US troops. Last week, a US district judge in Washington ruled separately that a former American military contractor who also claims he was tortured in Iraq could sue Mr Rumsfeld. A lawyer for Mr Rumsfeld said the decision “puts American soldiers at risk”. Further appeals by the US justice department to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals or to the US Supreme Court are possible.

On July 12, Human Rights Watch produced an extensive report entitled Getting Away with Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees.

Carol Rosenberg covers the rehearsals for Guantanamo trials.

Cageprisoners reports A New York judge has declined to force an investigation into whether an Army psychologist developed abusive interrogation techniques for Guantánamo Bay detainees and should be stripped of his license.

Charles Graner, who was convicted of leading his six-member team in the sexual humiliation of naked prisoners as documented in the Abu Ghraib photos, was released after serving more than six-and-a-half years of a 10-year sentence.

Kyrgyzstan: Osmonjon Khalmurzaev, a Russian citizen, died two days after being released from police custody where he was allegedly tortured, Human Rights Watch reports.“Khalmurzaev’s torture and death show the chilling consequences that can result from total impunity for law enforcement officials who use torture for investigation or personal enrichment.” the family’s lawyer stated.

England: UK Prime Minister David Cameron supports plans by estate councils to evict familes from council housing if one member was involved in rioting, in addition to imposingharsh sentencing within the legal system. There are reports of an eviction which has already been served to a family which includes an 18 year old who has been only charged (not convicted) of burglary and violent disorder. The family also includes an eight year old girl. Other evictions reportedly include the family of a 12-year-old boy photographed stealing a £7.49 bottle of wine.

Cameron is also considering restrictions on social media websites, disrupting the use of cell phones services, messaging services or social networking tools, banning or removing face coverings, using the army to help quell riots and the use of water cannon and dye sprays.

Iran: The Committee to Protect Journalists reports “In recent days, Iranian authorities increased a prominent journalist’s prison term by two years and arrested a critical journalist who had just finished serving a prison sentence. Other journalists have suffered from declining health as a result of substandard conditions, extended periods in solitary confinement, and intentional abuse, according to news reports.

2011-08-13 Protests around the world

Syria:

  • The Local Co-ordination Committees say 7-8 people have been killed across Syria so far today: 4 in Homs, 1 in Hama, 1 in Daraya and 1 or 2 in Latakia. Shooting continues.
  • This video reportedly shows Bashar al Assad’s picture taken down and destroyed at Syrian Airlines international sites.
  • Friday’s death toll is being reported as 23.
  • This video shows a funeral in Douma, where five people, including a young woman, were reported killed by government forces on Friday. The crowd is being estimated at “tens of thousands” by Al Jazeera.
  • Thousands are still being arrested.
  • Tanks entered Lataika and heavy artillery was being reported there.
  • Turkey isn’t ruling out international intervention in Syria if the Bashar al-Assad regime doesn’t stop using violence against its own people, a Turkish official told the Hürriyet Daily News on Friday.

 

Israel: 25,000 assemble in Haifa, 20,000 people fill Rager Boulevard in Be’er Sheva, in Afula, some 15,000 people gather, more than 1,500 people march down the city’s main street in Eilat. Haaretz reports. It was the first time in nearly a month that Tel Aviv did not hold a march. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in other cities throughout Israel, with 8,000 demonstrating in Modi’in, 7,000 in Netanya, 5,000 in Petah Tikva, 3,500 in Hod Hasharon, 2,500 in Ramat Hasharon, 2,000 in Rosh Pina, 1,500 in Rishon Letzion, 1,500 in Eilat, 1,500 in Dimona and 1,500 in Nahariya.

Yemen: Hundreds of thousands protested in Sana, and at least 17 other cities and towns,the largest turnout since President Ali Abdullah Saleh left a hospital in Saudi Arabia, where he was recovering from wounds suffered in a June attack on his palace compound, and signaled he intends to return home soon.

South Korea: Continuing the labour protests related to the mass layoffs at Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction, the 4th Hope Riders, a festival in which people around the country ride down to the Youngdo shipyard to show solidarity and support to the crane protester Kim Jinsuk, launches in Seoul on the 27th August. The protest of Kim Jinsukenters its 219th day.

United States: Anonymous has a message for the people of San Francisco. “The Bay Area Rapid Transit has made the conscious decision of ordering various cell phone companies to terminate services for the downtown area inhibiting those in the area from using cell phones – even in the case of an emergency.” They are organizing a peaceful protest at Civic Center station on Monday, August 15th at 5pm. They are calling for non-violence and requesting that people bring and use cameras. They are requesting that people outside of San Francisco, show solidarity by using black fax, email bombs, and phone calls to the BART Board of Directors. Tomorrow, Sunday – August 14, 2011 at High Noon Pacific Time we, Anonymous – will remove from the internet the web site of BART located at www.bart.gov for exactly six hours. That’s twice as long as they shut off the cell phones for. BART decided to cut off your communications and now we will flood theirs. Follow #OpBart on Twitter.

US Day of Rage is posting video guidelines for non-violent civil disobedience in the leadup to their September 17 protests.

Chile: In response to the ongoing student led protests for free and equal education in Chile, Government spokesman Andres Chadwick says Chile “is not going to be governed from the street.” Students have been marching for over two months and are asking for a referendum.

China: Thousands of people in Qianxi County, Guizhou province smashed ten vehicles and torched another five, said Xinhua, China’s state news agency. According to Reuters, “China saw almost 90,000 such “mass incidents” of riots, protests, mass petitions and other acts of unrest in 2009, according to a 2011 study by two scholars from Nankai University in north China. Some estimates go even higher.” “In fact, China has riots more serious than England’s every week,” said one Weibo comment.

Egypt: Brief clashes between protesters and security broke out in an otherwise peaceful demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square where a few hundred people gathered on Friday to protest the continuing military rule.

2011-08-10 A Battle 115ft Above the Ground, part 2: Dismissal Is Murder

2011-08-10 A Battle 115ft Above the Ground, part 2: Dismissal Is Murder

Submitted by paragranum on Thu, 08/11/2011 – 05:17

Dismissal Is Murder: The united battle for labour rights as mass dismissals and violent police crackdown storm in South Korea

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Candles in balloons with the hope for a ‘World With No Layoffs’ in the festival-demonstration ‘The Hope Riders’

A total of 742 people participated in the first Hope Riders. Then the second Hope Riders had above 10,000 people gathering, which ended up being 15,000 people in the third Hope Riders on 31st of July, this year.

Slowly and reluctantly, opposition party politicians started to ride the bus together. Tireless protests have been planned across the country by other victims of unfair mass dismissals to show solidarity with the battle 115ft above the ground. The scale and range of participants grew to a huge movement which no one had previously anticipated. Some mainstream media and politicians coined the term ‘The Violent Third Party’ to collectively refer to the protesters showing solidarity to Kim Jinsuk, who now has stayed over 200 days on top of the 85th crane of Hanjin’s Youngdo shipyard in Busan.

In fact, the ‘Violent Third Party’ was not the third party player at all; the battle 115ft above the ground doesn’t merely expose the persecution of labor rights nor is it solely a fight against the decision of the Hanjin labor union leaders in June, who signed an agreement to accept the mass dismissal with provisions.

Dismissal Is Murder: the Beginning –
The protest of Ssangyong Motors laid-off workers and the bloodshed in the name of public authority

1. Outline : 77 days of fighting against mass dismissal

In May 2009, Ssangyong Motors, one of the largest auto companies of South Korea with over 100 multinational agencies abroad, submitted application forms on laying off 2,405 workers. The trade union declared a general strike against the unilateral mass dismissal in the name of ‘financial difficulties’.

Ssangyong hit back with a lockout and sending blackmail to the workers to get them to register as a voluntary resignation. Several workers died from cerebral hemorrhage and heart attack.

Workers occupied a main factory in Pyeongtaek and started a sit-in demonstration, which would become a 77 days of a harsh fight and one of the bloodiest persecutions of workers in South Korea’s labor history.

On the 15th of July, Ssangyong started to completely block journalists from reporting the scene.

On the 16th of July, MBC news agency exposed a shocking joint plan of Ssangyong-police to ‘hunt out’ the workers demonstrating inside the Pyeongtaek factory. The leaked documents revealed that the two considered spraying incapacitating agents and flying helicopters all-night to deprive the workers of sleep.

Ssangyong blocked food and water entering into the factory, which it confirmed in the press conference in 20th July. It also blocked doctors from entering into the factory to cure the rotting foot of a worker suffering from diabetes and other workers wounded from liquid teargas poured from helicopters.

The battles started to become deadly fights, with armed police and Ssangyong’s hired private thugs in police uniform jointly acting in unrestrained violence to the demonstrators to ‘repress the deforcement’ beginning in 5th August, 4:00 a.m.

2. Police crackdown: The War

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Armed police landing on the roof of the Pyeongtaek factory.

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Armed police beating defenseless workers on the 5th of August. The police force resorted to unrestrained violence in arresting the workers including stabbing with blades of police shields and kicking and beating with batons while police helicopters sprayed liquid teargas and water cannons.

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Injured worker fell off of the factory due to the violent crackdown

According to the inspection report by Korean Federation of Medical Groups for Health Rights, liquid teargas widely poured on the laid-off protesters by police helicopters contained a high concentration of dichloromethane. Dichloromethane is recorded as a second level carcinogen which is readily absorbed through the skin, an asphyxiant, and it causes CNS(Central Nervous System) depression according to MSDS (material safety data sheets), a globally used system categorizing safety information on chemicals. The report also noted that one sample taken from the ‘battleground’ was able to melt styrofoam and vinyl, and some protestors showedsigns of burns.

The police arrested 96 workers among the ‘hunted out’ from the factory, despite the severe wounds of some workers, including broken bones and fatal cuts.

3. How the Dismissal becomes Murder: Fifteen laid-off workers have died since the repression

Fifteen laid-off workers have died since the deadly battle. Among them six committed suicide. According to a report published by Workers’ Institution for Occupational and Environmental Health(WIOEH) in 2011, more than half of the laid-off workers showed PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). 80% of the participants turned out to have been suffering from major depression after the event.

Ssangyong refused to compensate, and filed a damage suit against the trade union members. It also showed no sign of meeting the formal agreement that it had with the trade union in August of 2009, which promises reinstatements of the workers who are on ‘unpaid leave of absence’, as soon as the company revives and enough production supplies are secured.

“Dismissal Is Murder” has become a universal slogan since the ‘war’, whenever workers fight against unfair mass layoffs and corporations’ blunt crushing of labor rights.

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Hanjin is not an exception, and the number of its victims of mass dismissal in the name of ‘financial difficulties’ since 2007 totaled over 3,000 in South Korea, while the number of deaths due to industrial accidents since 2007 totaled over 30 in the Philippines’ Subic Bay.

Press Conference at the return of CEO Cho from ‘Traveling abroad’

Cho Namho, the CEO of Hanjin (HHIC, Hanjin Heavy Industries and Constructions) was absent at a hearing conducted in the National Assembly opened to question the unfair layoffs and allegations of tax evasion at the time he constructed the Subic shipyard. The official cause for the absence was that he was ‘traveling abroad’. He finally arrived in South Korea yesterday, and held a press conference in which he arrived with a helicopter. Police blocked the demonstrators comprised of people and laid-off workers from the press conference site.

Cho stated that Hanjin would donate billions of wons to the Busan (where Youngdo shipyard is located) and to the education of the children of the laid-off workers, restricted to those who would accept the dismissal and ‘voluntarily resign’. Despite the promise of the huge donation, he still insisted that the layoff was inevitable due to the ‘financial difficulties’.

Peaceful progress of the 3rd Hope Riders and planning the 4th Hope Riders

The 3rd Hope Riders, a third festival in which people around the country ride down to the Youngdo shipyard to show solidarity and support to the crane protester Kim Jinsuk, ended peacefully with less violence compared to the 2nd. Although armed police blocked people from reaching the 85th crane, people gathered in a place not far from there and started the festival. The all-night festival composed of public remarks of workers exposing misconduct from various corporations to famous labor rights activists’ speeches. Small rock concerts held as well.

As soon as the press conference announced the official plan of the 4th Hope Riders, arrest warrants were quickly filed to the project team. The official tweeter tweeted the right answer to it: “The Hope Bus not the project team; it’s fueled with the will of people.”

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The 4th Hope Riders launches in Seoul, 27th August.

2011-08-01 United States Day of Rage and Occupy Wall Street #usdor #occupywallstreet

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One citizen. One dollar. One vote.

The US Day of Rage, a movement launched on March 10 of this year, appears to be taking off with the anger and frustration surrounding the ongoing debt crises this week. The movement describes itself as an“assymetrical self organizing political movement of ordinary citizens”, believes in non-violence and principles before parties (they are not affiliated with any political organization) and is volunteer only. They encourage individual state, city, and federal demonstrations to be autonomous, except in matters affecting the whole.

Tomorrow is the first US Day of Rage protest, in Tennessee. “I have an army of teens who will help me….good kids wanting to do something about all this,” said Tennessee Organizer Lara Jennings. More states are organizing every day. Currently, Kansas, Tennessee, Idaho (September 16 Day of Rage), Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Seattle, Portland and Oregon are officially planning protests, and on September 17 the #occupywallstreet protest is scheduled to create an encampment protest at what is seen by many to be the epicentre of the problem. This is being planned here on reddit as well as Twitter. The official Twitter account is announcing all of the upcoming events and has just announced 8/2 at 4:30pm Gather at the Charging Bull (Bowling Green Park) Logistics for #Sept17 #OccupyWallStreet.

Some sites are encouraging occupation of financial districts around the world on the same day.