Daily Report

Trade unionists imprisoned in Eritrea

The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) is requesting international support for a campaign to free three imprisoned trade union leaders in Eritrea. Tewelde Ghebremedhin, chair of Eritrea's IUF-affiliated food and beverage workers' federation, and Minase Andezion, secretary of the textile and leather workers' federation, were arrested by security police on March 30 and remain in detention. They were detained at the offices of the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers. On April 9, police arrested Habtom Weldemicael, who heads the Coca-Cola Workers Union and is a member of the food and beverage workers' federation executive. According to some reports, Weldemicael was urging an industrial action to protest the catastrophic decline in workers' living standards. The three are being held incommunicado and without charges beyond the legal 48 hours within which detainees must be brought before a magistrate. Reports indicate that they are being held in a secret security prison in Asmara.

Weinberg vs. "self-haters": you decide

There is a vigorous if not always civil debate going on in WW4's weblog over the Israel lobby. See here, and here.

Part of the debate is over referring to the US Congress as "Israeli occupied territory" or "Likud occupied territory." WW4 Report editor Weinberg maintains that referring to Congress as "Israeli occupied territory" is anti-Semitic. According to Wikipedia, "Zionist Occupied Government," also known as "ZOG," is neo-Nazi terminology:

The term is believed to derive from the text "Welcome to ZOG-World", written by the American neo-Nazi Eric Thomson in 1976. It appears to have first been brought to widespread attention in a December 27, 1984 article in the New York Times about robberies committed in California and Washington state by a white supremacist group, The Order. According to the newspaper, the crimes "were conducted to raise money for a war upon the United States Government, which the group calls "ZOG," or Zionist Occupation Government."

Neo-Nazis crash Holocaust commemoration

Among the commemorations around the world of the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany was a memorial service at Boston's Faneuil Hall marking the liberation of the death camps. Around 20 members of a neo-Nazi group from Arkansas called White Revolution travelled all the way to Massachusetts to protest the May 8 memorial. They marched through Boston's streets without a permit, and waved Jew-hating placards and slabs of ham outside the hall. While the memorial organizers, including Boston's Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Mayor Thomas M. Menino, urged attendees to ignore the Nazi rabble, hundreds of anti-racist counter-protesters took to the streets. (Boston Herald, May 9) There were some scuffles, and two arrests--a Black counter-protester and a white Nazi-symp, who apparently traded blows. There were a few minor injuries, including a Jewish high school student from Brookline who received a gash above his eye from a police baton. (Boston Herald again)

Cuban terrorist seeks refuge in U.S.

Luis Posada Carriles couldn't have been too happy to see his face on the front page of the New York Times yesterday ("Case of Cuban Exile Could Test the U.S. Definition of Terrorist," May 9). The anti-Castro extremist, who is linked to a long trail of murder and terror throughout the hemisphere, "sneaked back into Florida six weeks ago in an effort to seek political asylum for having served as a cold war soldier on the payroll of the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1960s," according to his attorney. Venezuela is seeking to extdradite him for blowing up a Cuban airliner, and even a retired FBI counter-terrorism specialist quoted by the Times (Carter Cornick) said Posada was "up to his eyeballs" in planning the attack. Just last week, Venezuela's Supreme Court ruled that as "the author or accomplice of homicide, he must be extradited and judged."

Death in Bogota Mayday violence

The Spanish anarchist website A Las Barricadas reports that Nicolás Neira Alvarez, a 15-year-old student who was marching with an anarchist contingent May 1 in Bogota when it was attacked by the riot police, has died of injuries sustained that day. Nicolas died on the sixth in the hospital, after five days in a coma.

Immigrant girls released

Positive developments are reported in the case of two Muslim immigrant girls in New York City detained following spurious suspicion of plotting suicide attacks. Reports the NY Times May 7:

UN rejects Cuban call for Gitmo probe

Did anyone catch this one? What a shame the EU wimped out...

On April 21 the United Nations Commission on Human Rights voted 22-8 with 23 abstentions against a resolution proposed by Cuba for the organization to investigate charges of human rights abuses against some 500 Muslim and Mideastern prisoners the US is holding at its naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The commission then unanimously passed a resolution to designate a special rapporteur to monitor human rights violations carried out in the name of the "war against terrorism"; this resolution was introduced by Mexico, which had also backed the Cuban resolution. The votes occurred on the next-to-last day of the commission's annual meeting in Geneva.

Haiti: cops kill five in demo

Hey, anyone remember Haiti?

At least five Haitians were killed on April 27 in an exchange of fire between police and demonstrators during a march in Port-au-Prince. Police agents, many wearing black cloth masks over their faces, were seen firing at demonstrators, and five bodies lay on the street afterward, some with wounds in the back; several others were injured. Both sides accused the other of shooting first. Gunfire broke out just after the demonstrators passed a headquarters building for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The protesters were calling for the return of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the release of imprisoned members of his administration and an end to political persecution by the interim government. (Haiti Support Group News Briefs, April 27 from Reuters)

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