Posts tagged ‘London’

August 23, 2018

For the Bahrainis, Bahrain was Never Independent

by mkleit

Bahrain is passing through what is called in the Arab state as “the week of independence”, where several celebrations occur there in memory of the departure of the British mandate on the 16th of August 1971, yet for the Bahrainis, independence isn’t solely about getting rid of the “White man”, especially with the on-going protests calling for regime change still taking place since 2011.

Bahrain is the smallest Arab state in the Middle East and North African region; it’s situated between the shores of Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran as an archipelago, an extremely strategic one considering its great oil resources that made this small monarchy influential on the world stage.

 

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Bahrain is the smallest Arab state, located in the Persian gulf between two Middle Eastern superpowers Iran and Saudi Arabia

 

 

Like their cousins to the West, the Saudis, the Bahraini monarchs are keen to impose stability to their regime and state, even if it means imprisoning opposition leaders and activists, prosecuting journalists and banning foreign media outlets from entering the country, or lobbying in international conferences and gatherings against their own people, and here the people are the ones who demand regime change.

On the 14th of February 2011, during the globally known “Arab Spring” uprisings, more than half of the 1.4 million Bahrainis took the streets to demand democratic and regime change, as well as socio-economic reforms that include giving just rights for the Shia majority in the country, which make up around 60% of the general dominant Muslim population there.

 

Infograph about Human Rights violations in Bahrain during the month of April 2018 (Arabic)

The Khalifa monarchy that’s ruling Bahrain nowadays has ascended the throne since 1783 during what was called the “Hakimmiyah” era of rule, where Ahmad bin Mohamad bin Khalifa took control of the oil-rich island. It was then transformed to an Emirate rule in 1971, and then a Kingdom in 2002; with all these years being ruled by solely one family, the Khalifas.

Though the current protests (that erupted in 2011) are not the first ones against the monarchy in Bahrain, yet they have taken the fight to a global stage, where several countries and international organizations have condemned the treatment of detainees and oppression of protests in Bahrain, that the opposition has been maintaining peaceful ones so far.

 

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Banner lifted during protest in London against Bahraini authorities’ murder of activists

 

 

The authorities and security personnel, most of whom are non-Bahrainis, with the help of Saudi forces known as “Jazira Shield”, have been brutally detaining activists and journalists like Nabeel Rajab who denounced the Saudi-led war on Yemen on Twitter, imprisoning opposition leaders such as religious cleric Ali Salman, head of al Wifaq organization, which is a prominent opposition front, as well as imposing a siege on Diraz town for over a year after locals blocked the way in front of security forces who wanted to apprehend the Shia’s of Bahraini’s “Pope” Sheikh Issa Kassem.

The siege has rendered Diraz scarce of water supplies and food. It was missing from the world map after several internet blackouts to ban besieged citizens from communicating with the outside world. Above all that, the 81 years old leading Shia cleric’s health deteriorated due to several ailments, while the authorities turned a blind eye to his predicament.

 

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Banner during protest in London against the prosecution of prominent Shia cleric Issa Kassem

 

After several negotiations and the interference of humanitarian parties and international players, Sheikh Kassem was moved to a hospital in London to receive treatment; yet his case was one of thousands of cases where the Bahraini authorities deny those who oppose it the needed medical attention, especially those who are imprisoned there.

One recent example is Hasan Moushayme’, a leading opposition activist in Bahrain in his 70’s, suffering from diabetes and other illnesses, and has been imprisoned for months without receiving proper medical treatment. His son, Ali, has been going through a hunger strike for the past three weeks, demanding proper medical treatment for his father and all of the detainees in Bahraini prisons.

 

 

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Banner during a protest in Bahrain pleaing for the aid of prominent activist Hasan Moushayme’

 

Ali has been attacked by an unknown individual while sleeping during his sit-in in front of the Bahraini embassy in London, and has been witnessing several attempts to bar him from continuing his strike, that also demands granting the detainees their legal and humanitarian rights.

 

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London-based Bahraini activist Ali Moushayme’ during his first days of hunger strike in front of Bahraini embassy in London, demanding medical care to his father and thousands of other prisoners in Bahraini detention centers

 

With all this going on, the UK has been granting “legitimacy” to all of Bahrain’s actions against its citizens proceeding in security training programs and opening a military base in the Arab island. The UK has not condemned the assaults on activists and journalists in Bahrain ever since the uprising erupted in 2011, but money and interest speak louder than human rights violations.

 

 

 

January 30, 2012

Occupy Movement Insights from Jeanine Mollof and Patrizia Bertini (via Media Diplomat)

by mkleit

Jeanine Mollof:  The ‘Occupy’ movement does have multiple goals which can be confusing. Among those varied goals–one clear message does come through–they want the public to realize that our political system has been hijacked and is fraudulent. Furthermore, they want that same public to enter not only the discussion but the ‘fray’ itself. Bluntly put, the ‘Occupy’ movement is attempting to push discussion, planning and eventual action into the streets where anyone can join and fight for democracy. Because our political system has been so compromised, democracy no longer exists in any meaningful way in the US. I suspect that the ultimate goal of ‘Occupy’ is to build up to a massive GENERAL STRIKE of most workers in the US until we have our rights restored, (that includes political, economic and healthcare). It may be clumsy, but no one was listening to progressives until these kids began ‘Occupy.’ Now, the Occupy movement consists of people from diverse ages and backgrounds. If you want to know more, then ‘google,’ the Occupy Wall Street group or google some alternative groups such as the ANSWER Coalition with David Swanson.
Just some casual thoughts.

PS: These kids realized that if they had clearly enunciated goals and leaders the corporatists would have an easier time destroying this movement in its infancy. Anyway, why should they have to explain every goal like a formal position paper when the puppet leaders of our fraudulent duopoly (Dems and GOP) are never pressed to do the same beyond the intellectual pablum of slogans like …”Yes We Can” or “No More Taxes.” When will any of us demand more from stenographers like Wolf Blitzer?

Sorry for the inconvenience, we're trying to change the world - http://theblogofprogress.com

Patrizia Bertini:  I have been around the OccupyLSX in London before it has taken the streets and observed and supported [the never born] ‘Occupy Italy’ . Let me add few more inputs.
The whole movement is seen much more as a western take on the Arab Spring – it’s the recognition that the capitalistic system as transformed from the ’70s with all the deregulations, has created a sick social and economic system.

It’s a global movement, the first ever global protest in history – it has started with the very first revolt in Western Sahara (few month before the Tunisian guy set himself on fire) as a struggle for freedom and independence and it moved to Western societies, where the social systems were failing one after the other.
Western society also needed freedom and independence, though the ‘enemy’ were well different – it was not a tyranny as in the case of the Arab Spring, but a whole global economical system.

People are very diverse – each of them brings their own bits to the protest, but the whole movement, globally, has few very common points:
1. elaborate on the current global economical and social system – if the capitalism as meant and conducted until the 70s proved to reduce social gaps, after the deregulations and the globalization in name of profit and the exploitation of developing countries, the system increased the gap up to what we have today [and this justifies the 99% slogan];

1. Since the financial and social system failed, protesters try to put more attention on social needs and on sustainable progress. And by sustainable they mean that progress and society should not exploit and take advantage of developing countries or weak social classes. And sustainability also involves the environment and in fact the whole movement has a strong attention on global warming, recycling and green politics (they often do guerilla gardening action in cities).

1. Hence all the number of activities which are meant to promote the social debate, change the agenda, ask for more equality, for a system which is not the communist-style system, rather than an ‘evolved capitalistic system’.

It’s a much more complex reality than the ‘no tax’ slogans. It’s not about taxes, it’s about seeing how society has failed in its social aims, admitting that globalisation, as used just to increase the profits, it’s only damaging the planet, the economies and the society.
It’s a fascinating movement, because it’s global.

I stop it here – but I did 2 interviews with the guys in London using a rather peculiar investigative technique if you are curious – Ollie and Helen will surprise you – http://legoviews.com/2011/12/10/the-occupy-movement-the-light-and-fluid-warrior/ and http://legoviews.com/2011/11/30/helen-goodbye-yellow-brick-road/

Insights taken from Media Diplomat Group (LinkedIn)

MediaDiplomat  

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