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Index October 2007

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Spasenija Moro – Croatia

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Linked with Center for Peace, Nonviolence and Human Rights, and with Global Partnership for the Prevention of armed conflict GPPAC.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “My engagement in peace activities is based on an effort and a wish to bring about real changes in the manner of thinking by opening a dialogue between the parties in conflict”.

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Spasenija Moro – Croatia

She works for the Center for Peace, Nonviolence, and Human Rights (named on sourcewatch.org).

When the booming announcement of war in the last decade disrupted the peaceful and stable rhythm of her life, Spasenija Moro did not abandon her optimism. She believed that war could not really happen in the former Yugoslavia. She believed in peaceful solutions for all problems.

Though she knew little about the techniques of nonviolent communication, by nature she was inclined to peaceful solutions. She missed social engagements and places for interaction that could be an alternative to war as a means to changing local society.

The war began for her personally in the most painful way. Since she had never been actively involved in politics, she could not understand politicians’ behavior. She believed that all of them were humanists and that they were socially engaged and sensitive people who would put the general-well being before anything else. Which for her meant solving the accumulating problems of the humiliated, oppressed, and degraded.

She started to talk openly about the injustice and repression that had taken place after World War II. All the problems that earlier had been swept under the carpet now flared up as a threatening fire that could consume the entire region.

Advancing signs of war affected her deeply. She did not want to accept war as a solution to the conflict, but her voice in the wilderness, could not stop the floods of anger and hate rolling in, together with sounds of tanks and explosions. That painful confrontation with the destruction of physical and mental systems made her feel empty inside.

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Mina Ahadi – Iran

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Linked with National Secular Society NSS.

Mina Ahadi (born 1956) is an Iranian Communist political activist and current member of the Central Committee and Politburo of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran. She is the main figure of the International Committee against executions and International Committee against stoning. She is also a member of the German Central Council of Ex-Muslims. Mina Ahadi was born in Abhar, Iran to an Iranian Azeri family. Her husband, who was also a political activist, was executed on the date of the couple’s anniversary. His execution became her motivation to fight against capital punishment. She is currently living and working in Germany and recently helped to gain the freedom of Nazanin Fateh in Iran. Due to death-threats against her, she has been living under police protection from the moment of her public appearance as the chairwoman of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims. On 20 October 2007 she was awarded the Secularist of the Year prize by the UK’s National Secular Society. She is the mother of two daughters. (full text).

Die offizielle Webseite von Mina Agadi, in persian & auf deutsch.

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Mina Ahadi – Iran

She says: “The only way is to apply sanctions to countries with the death penalty … According to Amnesty International, the number of minors sentenced to the death penalty reached 71. However, I have data which says that 250 teenagers, including 17 citizens of Afghanistan, were sentenced to the death penalty in Iranian prisons”. (full text).

Mina was spokeswoman of the International Campaign in Defense of Women’s Rights in Iran. She has been invited by Amnesty international several times to attend their annual meetings and address their members. She is a well- known figure in the movement for women’s rights and has had many interviews with leading newspapers and TV programs in Europe. (full text).

Video: Mina Ahadi, 8 march, women’s right, Islam veil, hejab hijab, 19.17 min., March 9, 2007.

Video ‘Secularist of the Year presentation, 2007′, part 1, 9.59 min., and part 2, 9.59 min., and part 3, 10.11 min.

See all her videos on Google video-search.

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Vijay Prashad – India & USA

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Linked with The Nuke Deal Is Dead.

He says: “The clash of civilization is a tired approach to the contradictions that we face, as is Benjamin Barber’s Jihad vs. McWorld (Tariq Ali’s book from Verso The Clash of Fundamentalisms will take the piss out of this approach, I’m sure). My own sense, and I’ve actually worked this out in a book for Leftword called War Against the Planet (released in Calcutta in the first week of Feb. 2002) is that we are in a condition of McJihad, where the forces of capitalist globalization and those of retro-Islam and retro-Hinduism and retro-Christianity seem to emerge from the very same flat approach to our current political, economic and social crises. Whereas the fat cats and the running dogs sap the ability of people to transform their rights into reality, the forces of McJihad offer tired eschatological visions of a heavenly future (the American Dream, Paradise) that is without a program for actual social change. Which brings us to polyculturalism: Firstly, we need to get out of the idea that the “West” is the fount of all that is good in the world, that it is the place from which all reason and justice comes. Secondly, we need to see that the world as formed by interconnections between that zone known as the “West” and the vast Rest, and that the cultures that we see in motion around us are dynamically generated by the various and complex interactions, which later are denied in bad faith in the service of nationalism. So, these two facets of polyculturalism may, I think, help us think out of the rhetoric of Good and Evil, Us and Them, etc. … (full interview text).

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Vijay Prashad – USA

Vijay Prashad is Professor and Director of International Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, Ct. His most recent books are The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World (New Press, November 2006) and (with Teo Ballve) Dispatches from Latin America: Experiments Against Neoliberalism (South End Press, October 2006). He is the author of ten other books, including two chosen by the Village Voice as books of the year (Karma of Brown Folk, 2000; Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting, 2001). He is on the board of the Center for Third World Organizing, United For a Fair Economy, and the National Priorities Project. He writes a monthly column for Frontline, India, and occasionally for Counterpunch.
See whole text here.

Read him in books and articles: his newest book The Darker Nations, A People’s History of the Third World (New Press People’s History), by Vijay Prashad (Author), Howard Zinn (Series Editor); ; A Perilous Way to Socialism, Dec. 16/17, 2006; Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting, Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity, by Vijay Prashad, Beacon Press, November 2001, 256 pages; The Karma of Brown Folk, by Vijay Prashad, University of Minnesota Press, 248 pages; Cindy Sheehan’s Tragedy is Real, The Rosa Parks of the Anti-War Movement; – see also his publications on amazon; on ZNet Commentaries; on Google book-search; on Googles blog-search; on Google Scholar-search.

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James Bovard – USA

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Linked with Are Presidents Entitled to Kill Foreigners?
with The Future of Freedom Foundation FFF, and with Breaking Down an Innocent Man.

James Bovard, who serves as a policy advisor to The Future of Freedom Foundation, is a frequent contributor to Playboy, American Spectator, and Investor’s Business Daily. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Reader’s Digest, New Republic, Washington Post, Washington Times, and Newsweek … (full bio at FFF).

He writes: Tens of thousands of innocent Americans are stopped each month at police checkpoints that treat every driver as a criminal. These checkpoints, supposedly started to target drunk drivers, have expanded to give police more intrusive power over citizens in many areas. The demonization of alcohol is leading to a growing nullification of the constitutional rights of anyone suspected of drinking — or anyone who might have had a drink anytime recently. In 1925, the Supreme Court declared. It would be intolerable and unreasonable if a prohibition agent were authorized to stop every automobile on the chance of finding liquor, and thus subject all persons lawfully using the highways to the inconvenience and indignity of such a search. But as the 20th century progressed, judges and prosecutors gained a more rarefied understanding of the Bill of Rights … (full very long text of October 26, 2007).

Look at his personal blog.

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James Bovard – USA

Listen to his 7 videos: Conference, part 1/7 to 7/7, July 18, 2007. To be found within other videos on his Google video-search.

His publications
on Google scholar-search;
on Google book-search;
on Googe blog-search;
on The Future of Freedom Foundation FFF;
on Lew Rockwell.com;
on amazon;
on wikipedia.

Listen to his longer audio ‘Plundering the People‘ on ‘Foundation for Economic Education’, March 12, 2005.

He says: “Americans’ liberty is perishing beneath the constant growth of government power. Federal, state and local government’s are confiscating citizens’ property, trampling their rights, and decimating their opportunities more than ever before…. American liberty can still be rescued from the encroachments of government. The first step to saving our liberty is to realize how much we have already lost, how we lost it, and how we will continue to lose unless fundamental political changes occur”. (full text).

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Helen John – England

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Resistance toward all militarism has been the most important development that has shaped my personal philosophy. For these life-changing gifts I shall remain eternally grateful”.

She says also: “The so-called Space Based Infra Red System SBIRS is supposed to observe the flight path of all missiles in the world and locate enemy missiles, which can then be shot down by killer missiles. Thus the installation would become a foreward station for the planned missile shield over the United States, together with the US center Fylingdales in Yorkshire, and the US base Thule in Greenland. President Reagan initiated the project under the name Strategic Defense Initiative SDI, and President Bush junior terminated the inconvenient ABM Treaty between the USA and Russia to continue it under the name National Missile Defense NMD. Scientists warn that it will not work purely for reasons of physics. Only a few of the trial tests have been successful so far, and then only because the coordinates of the enemy missile were made known beforehand”.

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Helen John – England

She works for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament CND, and for WoMenwith Hill WwH.

The former midwife Helen John fights in Great Britain with wit and civil disobedience against Star Wars and the world’s largest US espionage center.

On Monday, December 15th, 2003, Helen John is lying on Route A 59, which passes by Menwith Hill in the British county of Yorkshire. Her arms are folded under her head, and she stretches out as if the ice-cold asphalt were an inviting bed. Before and behind her sit or stand two dozen other blockade members, from Yorkshire, London and Manchester, Sweden and Germany. ”Close the base!” they shout, again and again. The US base, identified outside as a ”Royal Air Force” station, is run by the National Security Agency (NSA), the US secret service branch, whose tens of thousands of staff members are responsible for international eavesdropping. The base is part of the ”Echelon” monitoring system which, shrouded in mystery, has been run jointly since 1948 by the US, Great Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, although only the USA has access to all data produced.

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Ermira Mehmeti – Macedonia

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

It is said about her: “Ermira Mehmeti saw the opportunity to help rebuild the country, starting from rebuilding the relations between ordinary people from grassroots level to the top. It was an opportunity she did not miss”.

Vecer, Macedonia: Media boycott against Democratic Union of Integration, by FOCUS News Agency, Sept. 29 2007. Skopje – As a sign of protest against Tuesday’s incidents when in the Macedonian parliament a security guard of the Democratic Union of Integration /DUI/ attacked a journalist of the A1 television channel Lirim Dulovi, all journalists, photo reporters and operators boycotted on Friday the protest staged by the DUI in Skopje under the motto “Stop state violence”, the Macedonian Vecer newspaper writes. What is interesting is that Ahmeti’s party had found out about the media intentions beforehand, and had hard tried to dissuade them. Ahead of the protest DUI Spokesperson Ermira Mehmeti promised to the journalists they would receive an apology and asked them not to leave. Still the media did not give up their intention and left the protest the moment when the latest acts of violence against media representatives were condemned, and the apology was made in Albanian only, the Vecer notes. The newspaper adds Lirim Dulovi had asked through the media DUI leader Ali Ahmeti to publicly condemn the attack. (full text, Sept. 29, 2007).

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Ermira Mehmeti – Macedonia

She works for the Democratic Union for Integration (see them on wikipedia).

Ermira Mehmeti is the spokesperson for the Democratic Union for Integration, which emerged following the 2001 conflict in the country. Its leaders are those who fought for more rights and equal treatment of ethnic Albanians and Macedonians. Ermira is working to bring together youth of the two major communities that were in conflict. Her message is that peace and democracy are the crucial values that can bring the country into Europe, that diversity makes the country stronger and should be the corner stone of this young democracy and that reconciliation must be promoted.

Ermira Mehmeti is the symbol of young and emancipated Albanian women living in Macedonia with clear perspectives on their future. She has become the voice of moderation of the young educated generation of ethnic Albanians living in Macedonia. The myth of the uneducated and primitive Albanian community living in the country was broken as she emerged on the political scene.

Ermira is the daughter of a retired lawyer and a social worker working for the Macedonian Red Cross. Her father was a political prisoner in the times of the Communist regime in the Former Yugoslavia. Her mother has spent her life helping those in need, especially families that need social assistance and children without care.

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Ashanti Alston Omowali – USA

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Linked with Institute for Anarchist Studies IAS.

Ashanti Alston Omowali is an anarchist activist, speaker, and writer, and former member of the Black Panther Party. Even though the party no longer exists, Alston sometimes refers to himself as a Black Panther, and sometimes as “the @narchist Panther”, a term he coined in his popular @narchist Panther Zine series. He was also member of the Black Liberation Army, and spent more than a decade in prison after government forces captured him and the official court system convicted him of armed robbery.

Alston, like most anarchists, disputes the moral issues of property and terms his activity in the BLA “bank expropriation”. Alston is the former northeast coordinator for Critical Resistance, a current co-chair of the National Jericho Movement (to free U.S. political prisoners), a member of pro-Zapatista people-of-color U.S.-based Estación Libre, and is on the board of the Institute for Anarchist Studies … (full text).

See his personal website ‘@narchist Panther‘.

He says: “Either you respect people’s capacities to think for themselves, to govern themselves, to creatively devise their own best ways to make decisions, to be accountable, to relate, problem-solve, break-down isolation and commune in a thousand different ways … OR: you dis-respect them. You dis-respect ALL of us” (on his Homepage).

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Ashanti Alston Omowali – USA

Listen to his video of 2004, 2.03 min. (strange, if you search videos on YouTube or Google with his name, the search-result shows ‘no video found’ !?!).

He says also: “Many classical anarchists regarded anarchism as a body of elemental truths that merely needed to be revealed to the world and believed, people would become anarchists once exposed to the irresistible logic of the idea. This is one of the reasons they tended to be didactic.

Fortunately the lived practice of the anarchist movement is much richer than that. Few ‘convert’ in such a way: it is much more common for people to embrace anarchism slowly, as they discover that it is relevant to their lived experience and amenable to their own insights and concerns.

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Jamal Saadeddine Ibrahim – Egypt

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Linked with The American Muslim TAM, and with the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy.

He is Deputy for Kafr Al Sheikh, Egypt, Member of the Egyptian Peopl’s Assembly.

Websites and text in arabic language: Saadeddine Ibrahim; Arab Observers – Islam and Politics; Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy CSID.

Civil-Political Rights (scroll down): … The case of Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a prominent Egyptian sociologist and director of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies can be viewed as a “critical test” of American policy on civil rights in the Arab world for two reasons – he holds duel
Egyptian and American citizenship, and his Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies once received funding from NED. If ever there was a political prisoner who should have met American conditions for contentious public diplomacy, it is Ibrahim … (full text, ).

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Jamal Saadeddine Ibrahim – Egypt

He works for the Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy CSID.

In return, US officials, including President Bush himself, set about to express their rejection of domestic conditions in Egypt, including instances such as the arrest and trial of some political activists, as in the cases of Dr. Ayman Nour at present, and, formerly, Saadeddine Ibrahim. (full long text, Oct. 17, 2007).

Egypt Update, 03 July 2007, by Pieter Koekenbier.

Egypt’s jailing of American-Egyptian civil-society activist Saad Eddine Ibrahim triggered condemnation from Western governments, international media, and human-rights groups, but the Egyptian press showed little sympathy for the 62-year-old academic’s plight. (full text, Dec. 2001).
CONFERENCE CSID, August 27, 2007: aAs you know, we just organized our 6th Annual conference on April 22-23 at the Marriott Wardman hotel in Washington, DC. The conference was attended by over 200 participants from many countries, including Turkey, the Philippines, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, the UK, and of course the US. Keynote speakers included … Saadeddine Ibrahim, from Egypt … (full text, May 6, 2005).

Look at: The American Muslim TAM, and: Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism.

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Rebecca MacKinnon – USA

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Linked with The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.

Rebecca MacKinnon (born 1969) is a former CNN journalist who headed the CNN bureaus in Beijing and later in Tokyo, before leaving television to become a blogger and co-founder of Global Voices Online. She is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Center and lives in Hong Kong. From 2004-06 she was a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (full text).

Watch her video: Video: Rebecca MacKinnon on Online Journalism, Oct. 16, 2007.

Read: Thomas Friedman gets the middle finger in the Middle Kingdom, Sept. 9, 2007.

Find Rebecca MacKinnon’s Google video-search.

Listen to her audio on CDN.

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Rebecca MacKinnon – USA

Look at her personal blog.

Read: Chinese Cell Phone Breaches North Korean Hermit Kingdom, February 3rd, 2005.

DIGITAL AGE – Are Bloggers as Trustworthy as Mainstream Media? by R. MacKinno, 28.54 min., 26.03.2006.

She says (about China and the internet): There’s a real contradiction that’s difficult to explain to the West and the outside world about China and about the Internet. On the one hand, you have a lot of efforts – and fairly successful efforts – to control content on the Internet and control what people can access, yet on the other hand, you have this contradiction that at the same time the space for conversation thanks to the Internet has grown tremendously in China”, MacKinnon told the Foreign Correspondents Club. (full text, Sep 27, 2007).

Read: Hong Kong, GV Editor Oiwan Lam faces court battle over Flickr photo, by Rebecca MacKinnon, July 16th, 2007.

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María Luisa Navarro Garrido – Venezuela

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “I admired the courage of the women and my love for nature grew. I discovered my capacity to confront situations and I pledged my life to the struggles of the people”.

She says also: “I feel a passionate love for life, especially for day-to-day life. Daily life is a crucial reference point for educational projects. We decide our strategies and projects around it. What does this means specifically? We place ourselves within this daily life with its routines and its unforeseen circumstances”.

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María Luisa Navarro Garrido – Venezuela

She works for the Sisters of the Sacred Heart 1), and for the Community Center for Popular Promotion (not on the web).

“I am a woman that had two births, I was born and re-born”, explains María Luisa Navarro Garrido. The first birth was to her parents in Madrid, Spain, on May 3rd, 1942. The second one, the re-birth, was after her personal decision to live among the Venezuelan people and was reaffirmed when she was given Venezuelan citizenship in 1990.

“Onto my Spanish roots the Venezuelan sap was engraved and that generated in me a great sympathy towards multicultural society and a special love for Bolivar’s people and for the people of Don Quixote”.

She was born in a home full of women; her father was the only man. They told her about his disappointed face when he knew that he had another girl. Nevertheless, she remembers, “he could not hide his fondness for his four littler girls”.

Along with her sisters she had experienced, since the beginning of her life, the very special sensibility of being a woman. “We were very close and we supported and defended each other in all life situations.

Another special experience was to be born in an artisan’s home. My mother sewed. She made all our clothes during our lives, even my sister’s wedding dress. My father painted pictures that touched me, and I helped him by mixing the colors in his palette for him to create landscapes, portraits, seascapes and still forms of life. They also contributed to the newspaper La Rioja. My mother wrote stories and my father illustrated them”.

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Irom Sharmila Chanu – India

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Irom Chanu Sharmila (born 1970), also known as Sharmila Chanu, is an Indian woman activist of Meitei Manipuri heritage, known for her campaign against the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, colloquially known as the AFSPA. Manipur was, like many other princely states, annexed by the Indian Union in 1949 under disputed circumstances; there have been sporadic separatist movements since. Chanu has been on a hunger strike demanding the repeal of the AFSPA, on November 2, 2000, after soldiers of the Indian Paramilitary Assam Rifles allegedly killed ten young Meitei men in Malom. Three days later, police arrested Sharmila on charges of “attempted suicide”, suicide or attempted suicide being unlawful under Indian laws, and she was later transferred to judicial custody. (full text).

Imphal – Irom Sharmila Chanu – the “Iron Lady” who has been taking up fast-unto-death agitation since the year 2000 against the Armed Forces Special Power Act AFSPA), has decided to publish her 6 poems for the general public today … (full text, October 16, 2007).

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Irom Sharmila Chanu – India

She says: “Although the State may think so, I am in no mood for suicide. In any case, if I were a suicide-monger, how could we talk like this? I have no other choice but fasting” … and: “I had gone there (to Malom) to attend a meeting. The meeting was towards planning a peace rally that would be held in a few days. I was very shocked to see the dead bodies on the front pages of the newspapers. That strengthened me to step on this very threshold of death. Because there was no other means to stop further violations by the armed forces against innocent people. I thought then, that the peace rally would be meaningless for me. Unless I were to do something to change the situation” … and: “I realise my task is a tough one. But I must endure. I must be patient. That happy day will come some day. If I’m still alive. Until then, I must be patient. (My time was over, and my crew and I were preparing to leave, when Sharmila stopped us.) Will you help me? I would like to read about the life-history of Nelson Mandela. I have no idea about his life. Will you send me a book about him? It is full of restrictions here. Make sure you address it to the security ward. If not, I may not recieve it” … (full interview).

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U Win Tin – Burma

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U Win Tin (born March 12, 1929) is being held prisoner in Burma / Myanmar because of his senior position in the National League for Democracy (NLD) and for his writings. Arrested in July 1989, he has spent the last 17 years in prison. U Win Tin is serving a 20-year sentence on charges including “anti-government propaganda.”

One of the reasons for his detention is his attempt to inform the United Nations of ongoing human rights violations in Burmese prisons. At 76 years of age, he is in a poor state of health, exacerbated by his treatment in prison, which has included torture, inadequate access to medical treatment, being held in a cell designed for military dogs, without bedding, and being deprived of food and water for long periods of time … (full text wikipedia, last modified 3 January 2007).

He writes: “As long as the black stripes on the yellow background are vividly painted, the tiger is still a tiger” … (full text).

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U Win Tin – Burma

Read: One photographer killed and six journalists in jail: Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association condemn the poor state of press freedom, Sept. 25, 2007.

Recently, on August 18, 2007, a public meeting was held in New Delhi under the aegis of the Convention for the Restoration of Democracy in Burma to reiterate solidarity with the struggle for democracy in Burma and demand the immediate release of veteran Burmese journalist, U Win Tin … (full text, Sept. 26, 2007).

Read: TIMELINE – 45 years of resistance and repression in Myanmar, Sept. 27, 2007.

U Win Tin, a journalist, was for years editor-in-chief of a Mandalay-based newspaper called Hanthawaddy, until it was shut down by General Ne Win for running too many articles critical of his regime. In 1988 he established, briefly, the Burmese Writers’ Association; from the beginning he was a leading figure in the National League for Democracy, and an important adviser to Suu Kyi. For these crimes, and ostensibly for harbouring a girl who had had an illegal abortion, he was sentenced to 20 years; he has now been imprisoned for 18, since 1989.

He too has gone to great lengths to keep writing, making ink out of brick powder from the walls of his cell, writing with a pen made from a bamboo mat; now 77 years old, he has, according to PEN, had two heart attacks, lost most of his teeth, and is suffering from diabetes, spondylitis, and a hernia. (Guardian, Oct. 12, 2007).

Read: South Block’s Indifference to Burma’s Struggle for Democracy, Oct. 5, 2007.

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María Esther Ruiz Ortega – Honduras

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Without women’s participation, peace is impossible to reach. For centuries men have gone to war and the result is chaos. We all need another world. If we live on equal terms, with mutual respect, solidarity, harmony and justice, we shall be building it. And such a world will be a peaceful world”.

She says also: “I worked in a tobacco factory and on Sundays I washed clothes in the stream. I took refuge in God, in religion, because like all human beings I needed something more in my life. That made me a very religious girl. I worked in the tobacco factory until I was 17. I had a pair of sandals made of rubber, a dress to go to mass in and two dresses to wear to work. (I washed one of them and wore the other.) In that way I lived out my youth”.

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María Esther Ruiz Ortega – Honduras

She works for La Nueva Esperanza / The New Hope Women’s Association (not named in the web).

And she says: “My father was a rural teacher and my mother a housewife. My father became an alcoholic, which led to the domestic violence that I experienced during my childhood. He ill-treated my mother both physically and psychologically. I could not stand it, so when I was only four years old I took my little dress and went away to live with my grand mother and my aunt. And I think that was the beginning. That marked the way”. The one who is speaking is María Esther Ruiz, a feminist from rural Honduras, born in Casa Quemada, a community in the administrative district of Santa Bárbara, in the Northwest of the country.

María Ester was a silent girl and for that reason her mother thought she was mentally retarded and decided to not send her to school. But her father, who was a good reader, registered her at school when she was nine years old. Shortly afterwards, in 1959, he was murdered for being an activist member of the Liberal Party.

“My mother and my three sisters and brothers moved into my grand mother’s house where I was already living. Two years after my father’s death, my mother began a new relationship and went to live with her partner”. So at 11 years old, María Esther had to become a ‘mother’ taking care of her three brothers and sisters and also her grand mother. The old aunt was already dead.

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Nosandla Malindi – South Africa

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Linked with DELTA Development Education and Leadership Teams in Action.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “If rural women can build their self-confidence and learn coping mechanisms, they can become self-reliant and independent instead of depending on their male partners. Rural life would be manageable”.

Read: DELTA, Women Leaders Arise from African Soil.

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Nosandla Malindi – South Africa

She works for the Development Education Leadership Teams in Action DELTA.

Nosandla Malindi was born in 1960. She has diplomas in business counseling and democratic development. Nosandla is trainer and coordinator of Development Education Leadership Teams in Action (Delta) in Libode, an organization that empowers women from grassroots communities to participate and hold leadership positions in decision-making in South Africa.

Delta started in 1992 as a project of the Catholic Welfare Development (CWD). In 1995 it became independent from CWD. Delta has been empowering women in the urban and rural areas in the Western Cape. Nosandla has been a learner and staff from the time of its inception.

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Kurt Julius Goldstein – Germany (1914 – 2007)

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Kurt Julius Goldstein and Peter Gingold, the Auschwitz survivors named as plaintiffs in the litigation against the Bush family, are 91 and 89 years of age respectively. Mr. Goldstein claims to have mined the coal for Consolidated Silesian Steel – coal that fueled furnaces where armaments were made, coal transformed into oil, gasoline and airplane fuel for IG Farben that due to patent arrangements benefited the German war effort, coal for trains to transport Jews to the camp, and coal for the ovens to burn them after they were gassed. Mr. Goldstein said from his hotel room in New York, “Genocide is not forgivable and cannot be swept under the rug.” (full text, scroll down to ‘The Bush/Nazi Connection’).

German photo-gallery.

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Kurt Julius Goldstein – Germany (1914 – 2007)

Kurt Julius Goldstein (November 3, 1914 – September 24, 2007), who survived the Auschwitz death camp and went on to play a prominent role in fighting racism and anti-Semitism, has died, the International Auschwitz Committee said Tuesday. He was 93 …

… Born into a Jewish merchant family in 1914, Goldstein later joined Germany’s Communist Party and was forced out of the country when the Nazis came to power in 1933. He fled to Palestine, then went to fight in an international brigade in the Spanish Civil War. When that war ended in 1939, Goldstein was arrested and later handed to the Nazis, who sent him to Auschwitz. After World War II, Goldstein settled in communist East Germany, where he worked until 1978 as the director of a leading public broadcaster. During those years he also worked for the International Auschwitz Committee, maintaining contact with survivors on both sides of the Iron Curtain and reaching out to young people. (full text).

Search Results for “Kurt Julius Goldstein” on YouTube.
… A year later, the Spanish Civil War erupted and many German Communists volunteered to fight: Goldstein soon joined them.[1] When the Second Spanish Republic collapsed in early 1939, Goldstein escaped across the border into France.[1] As return to Germany was impossible, he was interned and held in Camp Vernet (Dept. Ariege/France). Once France fell, his situation became perilous but it was three years before he was detected by the Vichy French authorities and deported to Germany. On arrival, he was sent to Auschwitz Concentration Camp, where he worked in the coal pits for 30 months.

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Hollman Felipe Morris – Colombia

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Linked with The Narco News Bulletin.

Listen to the 2.55 minutes spanish Interview, of 07.02.2006, with Hollman Morris on the website of Amnesty International, and its english transcript: Colombia is the world’s third most dangerous country for a journalist to work in according to Reporters Without Borders and New York’s Committee to Protect Journalists. Because of this, Colombian journalists censor themselves. They censor themselves in key issues: drug dealing, the armed conflict, human rights and corruption. Journalists in Colombia are giving up investigating and reporting on those issues because they run the risk of being threaten, killed or having to leave the country, as was my case. In June, the 24th of June if I remember correctly, when we were doing a documentary for the BBC in Putumayo, President Alvaro Uribe said that we knew in advance of an attack committed by the FARC in the Putumayo region, that we made deals with the guerrillas and that we had alliances with them. We denied it and even President Uribe had to denied it hours later President Uribe publicized those lies in all media outlets in Colombia. His retraction only appeared on a website, which didn’t have much publicity. In Colombia these kind of accusations and stigmatizations, particularly when I had received threats 15 days before, cost people’s lives. In Colombia people are killed for that. As long as President Alvaro Uribe doesn’t rectify his accusations properly, his words will cause me trouble. The bodyguards that the government gives me are worthless if the President himself says that I deal with the guerrillas. He puts my life in danger with those irresponsible accusations.

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Hollman Felipe Morris – Colombia

Hollman Morris, producer of the broadcast “ContravÌa” on public channel Canal Uno, a leading expert on the armed conflict and very critical of the government of Alvaro Uribe, received new death threats by e-mail on 27 September. The anonymous writers accused him of being a “guerillero” and an “anti-patriot”. His picture marked with a cross and the words “for very soon” figured on the heading of the message. Morris’s programme has not been broadcast on the first channel for the past two months, because of lack of funds. (full text).

Press targeted with threats, assaults and boycotts in run-up to regional elections. (full text, 28 September 2007).

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Robin M. Coupland – England

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Linked with Weekly Ethical Reflection, with Centre for the Study of Human Rights, and with The Missing.

He writes: ” … Today, analysis of any war, rebellion or massacre tends to focus on political motives, who is the guilty party or on the kinds of weapons used. However, when the story extends to the victims, somehow rational argument gets lost to sentiment. If we witness directly acts of armed violence and their effects, logic deserts us; there is something about armed violence that is so profoundly shocking, or dare I say exciting, that it defies objective analysis. Perhaps this is as it should be but if we can look past what shocks us, there sits a health issue like all others – for it is undoubtedly a health issue for the victims – and this invites a preventive approach” … (full text).

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Robin M. Coupland – England

Robin M Coupland is the adviser on armed violence and the effects of weapons for the International Committee of the Red Cross. He joined the ICRC in 1987 and worked as a field surgeon in Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Angola, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan. He has developed a health-oriented approach to a variety of issues relating to the design and use of weapons. A graduate of the Cambridge University School of Clinical Medicine, UK, he trained as a surgeon at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and University College Hospital, London. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1985.

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Elisabeth Reusse-Decrey – Switzerland

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Linked with Geneva Call, and with Fight against Landmines.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “For successful commitment, confident enthusiasm overcomes a lack of time and money”.

She says also: “I let my convictions speak for me, but that also means that when a negotiation breaks down I am hurt because it means my convictions could not overcome the problem. To be engaged with the heart means that setbacks are also felt with the heart”.

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Elisabeth Reusse-Decrey – Switzerland

She works for Geneva Call.

Elisabeth Reusse-Decrey started Geneva Call in 1998 as an independent, humanitarian non-governmental organization (NGO) to complement the work of the Ottawa Treaty to ban landmines by States. At that time, she was a member of the Geneva Parliament (chosen to be its President in 2000-2001) who was most active in disarmament and peace issues.

In 1995, she became involved in the Swiss Campaign Against Mines and was sensitized to the human destruction caused by mines from her vantage point as a professional physiotherapist.

The purpose of Geneva Call is to engage armed non-state actors (NSAs) to renounce the use of landmines and to respect humanitarian norms. Since the Ottawa Treaty only deals with States, she developed a Deed of Commitment that NSAs can sign to show their willingness to destroy stockpiles and renounce using mines.

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Sunila Abeysekera – Sri Lanka

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Defying threats to her life, as UN award-winning Sri Lankan human rights activist she has brought abuses in Sri Lanka to the attention of the international community. (UNESCO).

She says: “I always hope for peace. That hope is what gives me the energy to continue with the work that I do. Even if I don’t see it achieved in my lifetime, I have to continue working for peace and justice in Sri Lanka because that is what my children and future generations who live on this beautiful island will inherit. I don’t believe that people are inherently violent or war-like. I know that it is a wide range of economic and social and political factors that push people to war and to conflict. I believe that as rational and humane beings we have the potential to create structures of non-violent forms of resolving conflict and of living together in harmony”. (full interview text).

And she says: “The human rights framework has enabled us to engage in most times constructive and sometimes very frustrating conversation with organizations like the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, that focuses on the protection of refugees and people who are displaced as a consequence of conflict”. (full text).

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Sunila Abeysekera – Sri Lanka

According to a recent United Nations study, Sri Lanka is the country with the second highest number of disappeared people in the world. And yet there seems to be hardly any debate within the country about human rights violations. Why is this? (full text).

Sunila Abeysekera, executive director of the Sri Lankan rights group INFORM statement to the UNHRC, the number of disappearances and targeted killings in Nepal had dropped dramatically after the U.N. field office was set up there, argued more transparency in Sri Lanka would help much more than short visits from overseas officials and called for UN monitors to Sri Lanka. (full text).

Read: Sri Lanka’s Humanitarian Crisis discussed in Swiss seminar.

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Mandira Sharma – Nepal

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Linked with The Advocacy Forum, and with Arnold Tsunga – Zimbabwe.

(From Human Rights Watch): The Royal Nepali Army engaged in killing noncombatants, torturing prisoners, and illegally detaining more than 1,200 Nepalis, gaining Nepal the sorry distinction of having the highest number of reported “disappearances” in the world … (full text).

Human Rights Watch Honors Global Rights Defenders, Lawyers from Nepal and Zimbabwe, Fight for Rights of Powerless, October 11, 2007 – Two courageous Human Rights Lawyers, from Zimbabwe and Nepal, have been chosen to receive the prestigious Human Rights Defender Awards, Human Rights Watch said today. The awards will be presented at dinners in London, Munich, Hamburg, and Geneva in November … (full text).

She says: “Human beings do not have the right to kill another human being, nobody has that right, you have the right to do only good things. Sometimes, I think that I have the right to do the same as they did to my father. My father was chopped into 14 pieces and his body was put in a burlap. We did not even get to see him. They started chopping from his legs. I want to chop them into 14 pieces, but I guess I don’t have that right” … (full text).

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Mandira Sharma – Nepal

In 2001, Mandira Sharma helped found the Advocacy Forum, a Nepali NGO that has played a crucial role in defending the rights of Nepali people caught in the brutal civil war between Maoist insurgents and the Nepali government. Mandira has focused on achieving accountability for abuses committed by both sides during the fighting. She and her staff of 21 lawyers at her organization filed lawsuits on behalf of victims of torture by government forces, investigated cases of deaths in government custody, and filed numerous habeas corpus petitions to free prisoners illegally detained by the government. Even under constant pressure and harassment, Mandira led the call for the release of thousands of child soldiers believed to be among Maoist troops … (full text).

Read: gender dimensions of the people’s war, International Commission of Jurists.

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Min Sun – China

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Care for the livelihood of the common people + Care for the ecology + Care for history = Care for our future”.

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Min Sun – China

She works for the magazine Camellia, Humanistic Geography.

Sun Min comes from a family of teachers who trace their ancestry to the cadets at Jiangwu Hall in Yunnan Province during the 1911 revolution. After graduating from senior high school, she lived and worked in a production team in a village for three years learning about rural society and the livelihood of peasants in China.

After high school Sun continued her studies in the Chinese Department in Yunnan University. She then worked in a cultural department in Yunnan Province and started her research work in the mountain areas. Her investigation includes the socio-history, customs and oral histories of the ethnic minorities in Yunnan Province.

One of the key findings of her study was that tradition is integrally linked with the land and civilization of a people. With the onslaught of economic development Sun Min used her magazine Camellia-Human Geography to address issues of environmental damage, loss of tradition etc. Concern for the livelihood of the common people and ecology and respect for history along with her conscience are the guiding principles for Sun as a researcher and writer.

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Maria Inês Gomes Rodrigues Fontinha – Portugal

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Linked with O Ninho, with human trafficking.org, and with How to Fight (Human) Trafficking.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “To build peace, it is necessary to combat war and all its faces: poverty, prejudice, exclusion, unemployment, despair, HIV/AIDS”.

Read: Prostituição Sexualidade e Sida – Inês Fontinha – Sociologia – Instituto de Ciências Sociais e Políticas da UTL, O Ninho – Lisboa.

She says also: “Lost women, women who took the easy way”, that is how people used to call prostitutes in Madeira Island, where Inês Fontinha was born. “In my generation, those women had to face a great deal of prejudice. It was a problem nobody would talk about. Women were always seen as the guilty ones”.

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Maria Inês Gomes Rodrigues Fontinha – Portugal

She works for the European Federation for the Eradication of Prostitution (FEDIP), and for O Ninho.

The social scientist Inês Fontinha (born 1943) has been fighting the sexual exploitation of women for over 30 years. In the beginning, she supported Portuguese prostitutes through her work for the non-governmental organization O Ninho (The Nest). Years later, she also started to combat sexual trafficking in children, young and adult women. In 1992, she founded the European Federation for the Eradication of Prostitution (FEDIP), a network in several European countries against this crime.

At the beginning of the 1960s, Inês had recently graduated in Social Science, and was invited by a lawyer friend to visit “O Ninho.” The organization, founded in Portugal in 1967 to support young prostitutes, followed the example and was named after a French organization created in 1936. “My friend used to be a volunteer, teaching the women how to read and write”.

When she first met the sex workers, Inês realized their “way” was not “easy” at all. “I saw the suffering in their faces. I heard their stories and decided to understand, through them, that unknown world I had ignored until then.”

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Parshuram Rai – Nepal

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Linked with The Centre for Environment and Food Security CEFS, with Hot Spot of NREGA corruption in Orissa (India), with Rural Job Scam – Survey Report on Implementation of NREGA in Orissa, with India International Centre, and with Invisible Genocide Of The Poor.

Parshuram Tamang, a member of the Call of the Earth Steering Committee, is a Professor of Economics at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu in Nepal. Born on 18 February 1952, Parshuram is of Tamang descent from the eastern part of the region – the Tamang people being one of the largest indigenous populations in Nepal.

He writes: “The idea of Second Green Revolution seems to me an old poison in an old bottle with a new label on it. It will kill farmers and destroy family farms at very large scale with “high efficiency”. This is a blueprint for loot, plunder and pillage of not only farmers but entire rural India” … (full long text, 21 February, 2006).

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Parshuram Rai – Nepal

Read: Nepalese News and Thoughts (only in Hindu script).

Letter to Prime Minister, 3rd September 2007. Dear Pradhanmantri ji, I am writing this letter to you as my last attempt to bring to your notice that it is not the epidemic of cholera but cancer of corruption that is killing hundreds of Adivasis in Orissa’s KBK (Kalahandi- Bolangir- Koraput) region. It may appear as a sweeping and cynical statement. However, I have come to this disturbing conclusion after spending 5 months of sleepless nights and restless days in uncovering the interlinkages between corruption and abject poverty in the KBK region of Orissa … (full text).

He is a human and democratic rights activist and is also one of the leading architects for indigenous movements in both Nepal and Asia. Over the past 30 years his efforts have been instrumental in the:

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Aung Myo Min – Burma (in Thailand)

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Linked with ILGA International Lesbians and Gay Association, with Latest News about Burma, and with UNHRC resolves Burma to allow Paulo Sergio Special Rapporteur.

First to disambiguate: there seems also exist a H E Brig-Gen Aung Myo Min, Deputy Minister for Education, Head of Delegation of the Union of Myanmar, and also U Aung Myo Min, an executive with the government’s mass-movement body, the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) in the western delta region. To me it seems there are three different persons.

Executive director of the Human Rights Education Institute of Burma, is a 1993 graduate of the Human Rights Advocate Program at Columbia University. He is the first openly gay man among the democratic movement of Burma and has received numerous international awards for his human rights work and lesbigay work, including the 1999 Felipa De Souza award by the IGLHRC and Honour of Courage award from the San Francisco City Board. He has been integrating LGBT rights into the mainstream human rights through HRE awareness activities and involving in the drafting process of the future constitution of Burma. (ilg.org).

Aung Myo Min, director of Human Rights Education Institute of Burma, said: “the use of child soldiers in Burma is rampant not only in the Burmese military but also in ethnic armed rebel groups”. (full text).

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Aung Myo Min – Burma (in Thailand)

He says also: “The (tody’) demands are exactly the same (as 1988): freedom, democracy but the main difference is that today the whole world has been following the events in the streets. This was not the case in 1988. We had then no way of communicating to the outside world what was happening. At the moment the demonstrations are better organised, the media is better informed and there is an awareness of what this Junta is doing. In 1988 it was the students who led the uprising while today it is the monks … The multinationals should leave the country. They pretend to help the population but in reality they are only keeping the Generals in power. It is these economic partnerships that are allowing the Junta to buy arms from neighbouring countries. The foreign investors should really leave. (full text).

Aung Myo Min also pointed out using the name of ‘Human Opportunities’ instead of ‘Human Rights’ was a human rights abuse excluding the rights concerning government duties in Universal Human Rights Declaration. (full text).

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Elmar Altvater – Germany

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Linked with Attac weist Versuch zurück, jede Kritik unter Gewaltverdacht zu stellen, and with SOCIALIST POLITICS AND THE CRISIS OF MARXISM.

He says (about Heiligendamm): ” … Increasingly, the G8 has come to show the strength of opposition to globalization and the desire of many people to see an alternative form of globalization to what we have at the moment. This year the issue of climate change will be particularly important, because it is threatening the survival of mankind. I don’t think we can expect the G8 to really take into account the seriousness of this problem. It is an issue that the anti-globalization movement has to put on the agenda, as a worldwide movement. Otherwise, all we will see are more statements on climate change, but nothing will come from them. (full text, May 18, 2007).

Er sagt: “Der Kapitalismus, davon bin ich … überzeugt, kann nicht durch einen ‘endogenen’ Verfall zugrundegehen; nur ein äußerer Stoß von extremer Heftigkeit im Verein mit einer glaubwürdigen Alternative könnte seinen Zusammenbruch bewirken…”. (full text).
Elmar Altvater – Germany

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Bio on wikipedia: Elmar Altvater (born 24 August 1938) was Professor of Political Science at the Otto-Suhr-Institute of the Free University of Berlin, before retiring on 30 September 2004. He continues to work at the Institute, and to publish articles and books.

As a student, Altvater studied economics and sociology in Munich, and attained a doctorate with a dissertation on “Environmental Problems in the Soviet Union”. At the Otto-Suhr-Institute, he was active in socialist research groups, working with among others Klaus Busch, Wolfgang Schoeller and Frank Seelow, and he gained fame as one of Germany’s most important Marxist philosophers, who strongly influenced the political and economic theory of the 1968 generation of radicals.

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Walter Kempowski – Germany

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Berlin – One of Germany’s most important contemporary authors, Walter Kempowski, died early Friday at the age of 78, his publisher said. Kempowski, who established himself as a bestselling author and a chronicler of the German middle class, had been suffering from intestinal cancer. He is best known for his series of novels called German Chronicles and the monumental Echolot (Echo Sounder), a collection of documents reflecting the reality of life during World War II. German government spokesman Thomas Steg described Kempowski as “one of the most prominent authors in the German language”. Kempowski’s first success as an author was the autobiographical novel Tadelloser und Wolff, in which he describes his youth in Nazi Germany from the viewpoint of a well-off middle class family …

(full text).See his website, in english. Und auch seine deutschen Internet-Seiten.

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Walter Kempowski – Germany (1929 – 2007)

He said: ” … I’m a participant of the post-war era. I paid the price for the sins of others. My family did nothing awful. My father helped a few Jews escape to Sweden. But he was no hero. Nor was my mother” … (full interview text).

Find: his books on Literaturarchiv; on wikipedia (scroll down); on Google book-search; about him on Google scholar-search, and on Google blog-search; and his publications on his own english website, und auch sein Werkverzeichnis auf der deutschsprachigen Internetseite.

Walter Kempowski is one of north Germany’s greatest writers. Apart from his novels, one of the works which has brought him great renown, is a collection of documents reflecting the reality of life during the Second World War. The title he gives to these works is “Echolot” – echo sounder – as he probes into the past. In his house in the north German countryside, Kempowski is surrounded by thousands of letters and documents he has collected over the years. Among them are diaries, letters, photographs and postcards – most of which come from ordinary people. He bought some of them in second-hand bookshops and on market stalls, while many more are sent to him as unsolicited material. In some respects, he has become the keeper of the national memory. His main work charts five weeks in 1943, when the tide of war was turning against the Germans in Stalingrad. Each week is represented by dozens of quotes from people from all walks of life … (full text).

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Maggiorina Balbuena – Paraguay

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “When I was just 18 years old I went for the first time to Asunción, the capital of the country, trying to escape from the extreme poverty that afflicted the farming community. In Asunción I worked as a maid in the houses of important families, and I was able to see another reality. Then I began to ask myself why my family was so poor while other people had such a good life. Like many other young girls there, I suffered the consequences of being uprooted”.

She says also: “With my parents agreement I moved to the district of Misiones. There, with the help of an uncle who was a catholic priest, I entered the Catholic Agrarian Youth (JAC), where I became one of the leaders. This organisation was a wing of the famous Agrarian League that tried to provide the rural communities with new forms of production based on community work. Three months later this militancy took me to jail”.

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Sorry, I can not find any photo showing the person of Maggiorina Balbuena, Paraguay.

She works for the National Coordination of Organizations of Female Peasants and Indigenous Women.

Maggiorina Balbuena used to get up at four o’clock every morning, and by the pale light that shone from a homemade night light, she prepared the few implements that she would take to school. She dressed in threadbare overalls. That was her uniform. She had no shoes on her feet. She walked miles to the small, rural school in the Karanday’ty Colony (Karanday: Totora. A plant similar to a palm tree- Karanday’ty: Palm grove).

Today known as Genaro Romero, part of the city of Coronel Oviedo (Coronel Oviedo: the most important city of the Caaguazú district due to its economic development).

This was Maggie’s routine, the routine of a fighter like few others. She fought for the cause of the Paraguayan farmers. The routine was repeated every day except at sowing and harvest times when she worked on the farm wearing her hat made of pirí (Pirí: rush, reed, a plant of high canes that once dried are used as the raw material for handcraft work. Hat pirí: a handmade Paraguayan hat). She was born into a family of farmers from a rural community located in one of the most inhospitable wooded zones of Paraguay. She grew up with the green colour of the fields and she lived with the twin evils of poverty and exclusion.

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Madeeha Gauhar – Pakistan

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Linked with The Ajoka Theatre.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “By starting Ajoka Theatre during the strictest period of martial law, Madeeha Gauhar created an outlet for human rights activism at a time when other avenues had been blocked”.

She says also: “Some of the other prominent street and stage plays by Ajoka include Kala Qanoon which revolves around the Hudood Ordinance; Kala Meda Bhes which deals with a real-life incident in Sindh where a woman was exchanged for an ox and Dukhini which portrays the practice of women trafficking by deceiving Bangladeshi women living in rural areas to come to Pakistan” … (full text).

Find her on Google blog-search.

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Madeeha Gauhar – Pakistan

She works for the Ajoka Theatre.

If alternative theatre is today a vibrant form of political expression in Pakistan, a large share of the credit goes to Ajoka Theatre and its founder, Madeeha Gauhar, a trained theatre director and human rights activist. Led by Madeeha for over 20 years, Ajoka has been, and continues to be, an integral part of the struggle for a secular, democratic, humane, just, and egalitarian Pakistan.

Madeeha, a lecturer at a girl’s college and an activist for women’s rights, decided to start Ajoka at a time when all avenues for political expression were blocked in Pakistan. The group was born in 1983, during the repressive military regime of Zia-ul-Haq, and began modestly, operating out of the homes of its members and with money raised from personal contributions and donations by activist supporters and audiences.

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Florence Aubenas – Belgium

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Florence Aubenas (born February 6, 1961 in Brussels) is a Belgian journalist, who worked until 2006 for the French newspaper Liberation. She was taken hostage on January 5, 2005, in Iraq along with her translator Hussein Hanoun Al-Saadi. Ms Aubenas travelled to Baghdad last December, and went missing with her Iraqi interpreter Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi on 5 January 2005. Little is known about their captivity … On March 1, 2005, a video tape was found in Iraq, in which Aubenas asked for help. She spoke English and declared she was in bad health. In the end of the 26-second video, she mentioned the name of Didier Julia. The French authorities and Florence Aubenas’ family were given another video (on CD-ROM) a week earlier. Florence and Hussein were freed on June 11, 2005. (full text).

She says: “When you live through something so public, it becomes a communal story. People who recognize me, congratulate me, it’s a little funny. Was I really a hero? For me, a hero is someone who leads a fight, gloriously, with a firm stand. I didn’t fight for anything. I was captured, held and delivered. I was an object” … and: “I might savor my coffee more in the morning, but when it comes to the big issues, I don’t see life any differently”. (full text).

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Florence Aubenas – Belgium

She works for the french journal ‘Liberation‘.

In the course of a 19-year career with the daily Liberation, she has covered many conflicts – including those in Rwanda, Kosovo and Afghanistan. She is a great professional who is used to danger zones, Liberation newsroom chief Antonie de Gaudemar told AFP news agency. Another colleague described her as plucky but not reckless … (full text).

She says also: “I had no stratagems, no tricks. You are simply obliged to put up with it, you have no choice” … and: “Baghdad is at the heart of the major issues of our time. For a foreign correspondent it is a dream to be there” … (full text).

Aubenas, a veteran war correspondent for the daily newspaper “Libération”, and Hanoun al-Saadi were abducted on 5 January by unidentified individuals. Dozens of European media organisations and journalists, including 150 news media executives and editors, rallied to support Aubenas and Hanoun al-Saadi and raise awareness of the kidnappings. Hanoun al-Saadi was reunited with his family in Baghdad shortly after his release, while Aubenas arrived home in France on 12 June. (full text).

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José Gabriel Condorcanqui alias Túpac Amaru II – Peru (1742 – 1781)

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Linked with UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and with Articles for Indigenous Peoples on our blogs.

Túpac Amaru II (b. March 19, 1742 in Tinta, Cusco, Peru – executed in Cusco May 18, 1781) — born José Gabriel Condorcanqui Noguera — was the leader of an indigenous uprising in 1780 against the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Although unsuccessful, he later became a mythical figure in the Peruvian struggle for independence and indigenous rights movement and an inspiration to a myriad of causes in Peru. He should not be confused with Tupac Katari who led a similar uprising in the region now called Bolivia at the same time … (full text).

Read: NGOs, Intellectual Property Rights and Multilateral Institutions; and THE XVIII CENTURY; and The Túpac Amaru Rebellion in Peru, 1780-81.

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José Gabriel Condorcanqui alias Túpac Amaru II – Peru (1742 – 1781)

The today’s representant and general co-ordinator of the Indian Movement Tupaj Amaru is Lazaro Pary Anagua, Bolivia, accredited observer at UNGE, CH-1217 Meyrin 1, Switzerland, Tel: +41 22 7347612, Fax: +41 22 7347617, email.

José Gabriel Condorcanqui’s Bio:

No other rebellion in the American colonies was quite so menacing for Spanish interests in America as this one. Despite the fact that in a certain sense it had been announced beforehand, it took the colonial authorities by surprise, and this oversight helped the movement to acquire sizable dimensions. (full text).

Submitted statements:

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Marie Lisette Talate – Mauritius

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Linked with The UK Chagos Support Association, and with the Chagos Refugees Group. Also linked with UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and with Articles for Indigenous Peoples on our blogs.
She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Literacy is important to the people’s struggles but resilience is key for any nation to survive”.

She says also: “Depuis mon arrivée à Maurice, j’ai été de toutes les luttes, manifestations et grèves de la faim… J’ai même fait de la prison. J’ai beaucoup souffert. Mais je ne regrette rien, car aujourd’hui on commence à récolter les fruits de notre lutte”.

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Marie Lisette Talate – Mauritius

She works for the Chagos Refugees Group.

The Chagossians’ journey to Mauritius was brutal and inhuman. They were packed like sardines in a tin. “Their situation seemed to me very similar to that of Africans shipped to America as slaves. There were 150 passengers on a boat meant for fourty to fifty people, with little food or ventilation.

In Mauritius Marie Lisette Talate and her fellow Chagossians lived, and continue to live, in the worst conditions with no sewerage, drainage, electricity and water.

The area is infested with rats, mosquitoes and cockroaches. Survival in Mauritius is extremely difficult for the Chagossians. There have never been jobs, welfare services for them.

Marie Lisette Talate is a stalwart and a front-runner in human rights. She got involved in community mobilization and established community based anti-discrimination demonstrations and campaigns. She fought the British injustices unswervingly from 1973 until 2002. One of the most outstanding protest campaigns that she led was one that took two weeks on Port-Louis Street outside the British High Commission in 2000.

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