by Peter Gorman, World War 4 Report
More than 100 women detained at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, Texas, went on a hunger strike in late October that lasted nearly two weeks, protesting the length of time they are being held before their amnesty cases are heard. It has since become a rolling hunger strike, with units of 40-50 women participating two or three days at a time and then another unit taking over. It is unknown how many of the center's units are participating in the rolling hunger strike.
The Hutto Detention center has been problematic for years, both when it was a regular jail, and more recently as an alien detention center. Hutto is run by private prison profiteers Corrections Corporation of America. It was a medium level men's prison until 2006, when it was revamped and utilized as a family detention center, housing women and their children who had applied for political asylum. The revamping meant paintings on the walls, and little children in prison uniforms, and cell doors locked for 12 hours at night while the incarcerated mothers and children waited for their cases to be heard.
The 'War on Terror' and its New Supporters
by Leila Al Shami
Its now been five weeks since Russia began its bombing campaign in support of the fascist regime in Syria, transforming a struggle against domestic tyranny into resistance against foreign invasion and occupation. The discourse used to justify Russia's intervention is just an extension of the "War on Terror." The Americans invaded and occupied Iraq and Afghanistan on the pretext of "fighting terrorism," thus creating more terrorism and extremism, and now the Russians and Iranians are doing the same in Syria. The difference is that many of those who vocally opposed the first war on terror now remain silent or actively support this latest incarnation.
Of course "terrorism" is a blanket term which the Syrian regime employs against any dissent. And the main targets of Russia's imperialist adventures have not been the Daesh (ISIS) fascists. Instead Russia's military might is directed at Syria's resistance militias and civilians living in liberated zones which have become death camps under the state's scorched earth tactics and crippling blockades. It's the working class suburbs and rural districts of Hama and Idlib, those that raged so fiercely against the regime, that are today being pounded by Russian airstrikes. The people attacked in Homs are those who defeated Daesh a year ago.
by Nava Thakuria, World War 4 Report
Northeast India's Assam state is still simmering with the latest wave of protests that erupted after the Indian government's initiative to protect the status of religious minorities from Bangladesh and Pakistan who have taken shelter within India's borders. Most of Assam's civil society groups are presently on the streets expressing resentment over the Centre's move.
However, a forum of like-minded individuals has also come forward to support the asylum-seekers. The forum is calling for a concrete refugee policy by New Delhi—something the government has avoided for many years.
But the issue breaks down in surprising ways. Supporters of the refugees often appeal to the pan-Hindu identity politics espoused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Those protesting the new policy include Assam's indigenous peoples, both suspicious of Hindu nationalism and fearful of being overwhelmed in their own territory.
From Guantánamo Bay to Putin's Prisons
by Aisha Maniar, One Small Window
Rasul Kudaev, a Russian national from the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic (KBR) in the North Caucasus region, has spent almost all of the 21st century behind bars in prisons on three different continents—yet no substantive evidence has ever been produced to link him to any criminal offense. On December 23, 2014, he was convicted in Russia's longest-running contemporary criminal case, a show trial lasting over nine years. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Afghan & US Detention
In 2001, then aged 23, Rasul Kudaev left home to study Islam in Pakistan. Travelling via Afghanistan, after the outbreak of the war that year with the US and allied forces, he was captured by the Northern Alliance. In a prisoner uprising in November 2001, he sustained a bullet wound to his right hip; due to inadequate medical attention ever since, the bullet remains lodged there, making it difficult for him to walk and causes him frequent pain.
He was sold to the US military who held him at the Kandahar detention center, before being taken to Guantánamo Bay in mid-February 2002. The US accused him of being a member of an Uzbek militant group and fighting for the Taliban but he was quickly deemed to have no "valuable or tactically exploitable" information of use to the US military, or affiliation to the Taliban. He was cleared for release by the end of that year.
Interview with a Young Kurdish Revolutionary
by Eleanor Finley, Institute for Social Ecology
In the last year, the small Syrian city of Kobane and its gender-liberated, stateless revolution has captured the attention of Leftists across the world. The following interview was conducted with Sherhad Naaima, a young revolutionary from Kobane and a student of Ocalan's thinking. It offers a brief account of his experiences as well as some reflections on the Rojava Revolution, social ecology, and Turkey's recent betrayal of the Kurdish Movement.
What was it like growing up in West Kurdistan? What does your family do?
I was born in 1991 to a Kurdish family in a village outside of Kobane. Kobane is a part of the Aleppo Governorate in Syria. My father is a worker, but he could not find a job in Kobane, so my family traveled to Damascus. There I studied English literature at Damascus University and my eldest brother became a journalist. But once the war and violence sparked, we left our studies and returned to our village.
Is the Army Turning a Blind Eye to Murder?
by Jason Gutierrez, IRIN
MANILA — Has the Philippine army been in cahoots with armed groups accused of murdering civilians in the southern region of Mindanao? That's the focus of an investigation the government has finally agreed to undertake.
Responding to pressure inside and outside the country, including from the United Nations, the government said on September 22 that it would probe the killings of three indigenous rights activists earlier this month. Now, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has said the investigation will be broadened to look into the wider roles of paramilitaries and their supporters.
An Interview with Bill Weinberg
by Andy Heintz, Balkan Witness
Bill Weinberg has worked vigorously, through his World War 4 Report website (started after 9-11), to tell the stories of progressive forces in the Middle East— like the Rojava Kurds in northern Syria, the Local Coordination Committees that helped spark the Syrian revolution, the labor unions in the Iraqi oil-fields, and the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq.
Reminiscent of George Orwell's outraged and morally precise criticisms of leftist supporters of Joseph Stalin, Weinberg has no patience for so-called leftists who champion war criminals as anti-imperialist heroes because they happen to be enemies of the United States. On this subject, and the lack of leftist support for progressives struggling against dictatorships and jihadist groups in foreign countries, Weinberg’s anger scorches the page.
Questioning US Support for Tokyo's National Security Moves
by Craig Martin, Jurist
On August 30, tens of thousands of Japanese citizens demonstrated outside of the Diet (parliament), and in other cities across Japan, protesting against draft national security legislation that would expand the permissible operations of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF). The bills are the culmination of an effort by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to expand Japan's role in international collective security efforts. To do so, however, the government has sought to "reinterpret" Japan's constitutional limits on the use of military force, in a manner that circumvents the formal constitutional amendment process, and thereby undermines the rule of law and constitutionalism in Japan.
It is this process as much as the substance of the bills that has provoked the protests and triggered a constitutional crisis in Japan. Yet these developments have been largely welcomed in US policy circles. The objectives may be in America's short-term interest, but a deeper understanding of the issues and a longer-term perspective would caution against US endorsement of this illegitimate process.