Friday, February 18, 2011

Pro-democracy Protests From Iran, Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria to Madison, Wisconsin ?

Bahrain Hospital treating those wounded by Police during protests.
 Police attacking protesters in Bahrain
 Police beating protesters in Iran
 Yemen anti-government protesters attacked by pro- government goons
Above photo pro-democracy anti-government protest inAlgeria

UPDATE: 6:00 PM, Feb. 18, 2011

 Meanwhile in Libya according to Human Rights Watch

the government is using brute force by police and military and "goon squads" to stop protests :

Libya: Security Forces Fire on "Day Of Anger" Demonstrations Government Should Respect Right to Peaceful protest and Investigate Deaths Feb. 17, 2011

The Libyan security forces killed at least 24 protesters and wounded many others in a crackdown on peaceful demonstrations across the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should cease the use of lethal force unless absolutely necessary to protect lives and open an independent investigation into the lethal shootings, Human Rights Watch said.

Hundreds of peaceful protesters took to the streets on February 17, 2011, in Baida, Benghazy, Zenten, Derna, and Ajdabiya. According to multiple witnesses, Libyan security forces shot and killed the demonstrators in efforts to disperse the protests. "The security forces' vicious attacks on peaceful demonstrators lay bare the reality of Muammar Gaddafi's brutality when faced with any internal dissent," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "Libyans should not have to risk their lives to make a stand for their rights as human beings."

Bahrain: Allow Medical Care, Investigate Attacks on Medics Doctors Confirm 4 Dead, Many Wounded at Pearl Roundabout
February 18, 2011 via Human Rights Watch

(Manama) - Bahraini authorities need to ensure that people wounded by riot police have unfettered access to medical assistance, and that medical personnel can carry out their responsibilities without threat of police interference, Human Rights Watch said today. Bahraini security forces must also immediately cease their unlawful use of lethal force against protesters.

also see: Bret Wilkins at Moral Lowground :Anti-Government Protest in Libya; Demonstrations Continue in Yemen, Bahrain & Iran, Feb. 16, 2011

 Protesters of Wisconsin anti-labor law includes first responders such as firefighters whom the uberpatriots love but refuse to pay fair wages or give them well deserved benefits- This is all just part of the double dealing and hypocrisy of the Tea Party Republicans who favor Corporations and the wealthy or well connected elite in America over average American Citizens !!!

Tahrir Square Egypt??? no its Madison Wisconsin

The rights of workers are under attack by the Tea party Republicans in Wisconsin and other states and of course by those on Capitol Hill.
America in need of its own Jasmine style Revolution???

Calls for General Strike in Wisconsin and across USA to defend Workers rights to collective bargaining.
Is America returning to the days when brute force was used to silence workers demands for better salaries, wages, working conditions and job security ???
If the tea Party Republicans and their Christian Taliban partners have their way the past 100 years of labor reforms and legislation will be stripped away almost over night.
Again America is looking more and more like a banana Republic or 3rd world country. Of course this slide into conditions and especially optics resembling those of a failed state goes back in recent history to the failed government response to Hurricane Katrina crisis in New Orleans.
And more recently we saw the federal government falling all over itself to cover-up the magnitude of the short term and long term effects of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf.
BP and the Obama administration appeared to be working together to silence the outrage on the part of American citizens living in the affected areas and controlling the media in a manner comparable to the way these environmental disasters are treated by the government and Big Business in 3rd World countries.
Like other countries such as Pakistan or Egypt Yemen and Bahrain the various parts of the federal government such as the judiciary and legislative and possibly the executive branches appear to be under the control of the elites , the wealthy, Big Business and corporations.
According to the dysfunctional supreme court ignoring the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and over a century of legal decisions Corporations have been designated as being equivalent to any other American citizen with all the rights and privileges afforded to a citizen who happen to be living breathing human beings.
There is something almost indecent about this change which equates Corporate entities with other citizens while the same group backing this decision want to give full rights to a fetus or even a zygot.
There is legislation being pushed through at the state and federal level to make it legal to kill anyone who dares to harm a fetus. So this law could easily be applied to anyone who kills anyone including doctors, nurses who have or who plan to abort a fetus . So Doctor Tiller's murderer could not be prosecuted for 1st degree murder since in his defense he can claim he was in fact trying to stop Dr. Tiller from committing more murders of innocent fetuses.

Police Dispatched As Democratic Lawmakers Flee Wisconsin Huffington Post Feb. 17, 2011

Wisconsin Democrats on Thursday fled the statehouse in an effort to prevent legislators from reaching a quorum and passing a bill put forth by Gov. Scott Walker (R), which would cripple the collective bargaining rights of public unions.

The move produced a frantic political drama, as state troopers were reportedly sent out to find the fleeing lawmakers and Walker hinted that the National Guard would be called in to fill the void left by protesting union workers.

One Democratic senator told the Associated Press that he and his fleeing colleagues are currently in Illinois.

Their flight further heightened the drama that has surrounded the Wisconsin statehouse this week. On Wednesday there were an estimated 30,000 peacefully rallying in front of the state capitol building, and on Thursday an estimated 25,000 turned out.

Madison public schools are closed for the second day running, as teachers call in sick and students walk out.

Wisconsin is a stronghold of the labor movement -- the birthplace of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, one of the nation's largest labor unions -- with a long history of successful battles for workers' rights. This is part of the reason the pushback to Walker's bill has been so strong. It's also why, if the bill does pass, the precedent it sets for other conservative governors looking to go after collective bargaining rights is so powerful.

"The attacks on public-sector public bargaining rights are extremely ferocious, and the outcome depends on the magnitude of the fight back," Cornell Professor of Labor Relations Rebecca Givan said. "Other governors are closely watching."

If the bill is passed, Givan said, wages will be frozen and benefits will be slashed. The one flexibility Walker's bill offers for collective bargaining, the ability to bargain over wages, is, in Givan's view, practically meaningless.

"They can bargain over wages but only up to the Consumer Price Index -- that's barely bargaining," she said. "That's just 'we're going to go for scraps.'"

The bill cannot be passed if there is not a single Democrat in the chamber. But even if one is rounded up, and the bill passes the senate, protesters won't stop fighting.

When asked what would happen if the bill goes through, Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin state AFL-CIO, couldn't say. "All I can do is say what the emotion is, what the feelings are," he said. "There are thousands of good and committed people who are not going to let go of this thing. As far as what's going to happen on Monday, I'm not sure. But I can tell you one thing: there's going to be people reacting to this until it turns around."

Wisc. Governor Makes a Threat to Sic the National Guard on Union Workers
If the National Guard is called out in Wisconsin, workers across the country should take a page from Egypt and go out on a general strike." by mike Elk Via, February 16, 2011

Last week, Wisconsin's Republican governor Scott Walker threatened to use the National Guard if his state's public employees go on strike in response to his proposal to strip them of the right to bargain collectively.

By merely mentioning the possibility of deploying the Guard to prevent a strike, Governor Walker has threatened to militarize the attack on unions. The 150-year history of the American labor movement shows that such moves often lead to the deaths of union members.

Some observers claim that Governor Walker was merely “alerting the National Guard” in order to take over Wisconsin's correctional facilities if the prison unions went out on strike. However, such preparation could have been made in private without risking the criticism Walker has received since raising the issue. By announcing it publicly, Walker was attempting to intimidate unions with the threat of force; his militarization is creating a toxic climate of fear and violence in which an inspired right-wing nutjob might feel justified attacking union members.

It is important to grasp the role of violent intimidation by both the state and privately run militias in order to understand why Governor’s Walker’s attack is such a troubling move in a democracy.

Assessing a Changing Arab World with MIT Professor Noam Chomsky & Al Jazeera's Marwan

Egyptian Protests Police & Military Shoot to Kill Orders Aljazeera Cairo

Bahrain Police & Military beat up Doctors and nurses who were volunteering to give aid to protesters

Wafaq demands probe into Bahrain deaths -Law & order must apply to all including police and the military who have been brutally attacking non-violent protesters.

At a news conference for the Wafaq political party, MP Jasim Husain Ali called for an investigation into the military crack down that resulted in the deaths of several protesters.

News Bulletin - 1935GMT update Aljazeera
Bahrain , Yemen

Bahrain - Protests - February 17 2011

Bahrain protests continue Aljazeera

and so it goes,

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