In the United States militarized police forces across the country continue the shut down the occupation of public spaces by protesters. Recent weeks have seen the aressts of hundreds of people. The scattered protesters have reverted to organizing and hit and run tactics. So this weeks major stories have takne place in the courts and Congress.
If one incident can be pointed to as a spark for this global revolt it is the Wikileaks release of secret documents exposing massive governmet corruption. One of the sources of these documents allegedly was US army soldier Bradley Manning. This week saw the beginings of his military trial and we present a story from TruthOut.org.
The Trial of Bradley Manning – Rule of Law or Rule of Intimidation, Retaliation and Retribution
Saturday 17 December 2011 by: Ann Wright, War Is A Crime | News Analysis
“Bradley Manning has been imprisoned for 19 months, since May, 2010, without a trial. Yesterday, December 16, 2011, an Article 32 hearing began at Fort Meade, Maryland, in which an investigating officer will determine whether there is sufficient evidence of the crimes with which the military has charged him for the case to be referred to a General court-martial.
In July, 2010, Manning was charged with transferring classified information onto his personal computer and communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source. 22 more crimes were charged in March 2011, including “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense. Defense Department prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty. In April, 2011, Manning was found fit to face a court martial.”
To read the entire story click here.
Meanwhile in the US Congress two parties that can’t seem to pass anything that helps the average American are working furiously to pass legislation to control the Internet. Which has been a valuable tool for helping to connect people in the worldwide struggle. From The Intel Hub written by Madison Ruppert
In Less than 24 Hours Congress Could Vote to Change the Internet Forever
“Tomorrow the House Judiciary Committee is going to vote on H.R.3261, the Stop Online Privacy Act, or SOPA for short. As I have previously outlined, this legislation would destroy the internet as we know it and severely impinge on free speech and the spread of information.
If this passes committee, which all indications say it likely will, it could be voted on by the whole of the House of Representatives at any time.
Individuals and corporations both large and small are stepping up to fight back against the draconian SOPA legislation and the Senate’s sister legislation, the PROTECT IP Act.”
To read the entire post click here.
And they continue their march towards implementing martial law without calling it that. No instead they hide these laws as provisions inside something called “National Defense Authorization Act “. It was passed this week in Congress and awaits President Obama’s signature. Who at one time said he would veto the law has as per usual folded. This report is from Consortium News written by Ray McGovern
Battlefield America: Is Gitmo in Your Future?
“Ambiguous but alarming new wording, which is tucked into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and was just passed by the Senate, is reminiscent of the “extraordinary measures” introduced by the Nazis after they took power in 1933.
And the relative lack of reaction so far calls to mind the oddly calm indifference with which most Germans watched the erosion of the rights that had been guaranteed by their own Constitution. As one German writer observed, “With sheepish submissiveness we watched it unfold, as if from a box at the theater.”
The writer was Sebastian Haffner (real name Raimond Pretzel), a young German lawyer worried at what he saw in 1933 in Berlin, but helpless to stop it since, as he put it, the German people “collectively and limply collapsed, yielded and capitulated.”
“The result of this millionfold nervous breakdown,” wrote Haffner at the time, “is the unified nation, ready for anything, that is today the nightmare of the rest of the world.” Not a happy analogy.”
To read the entire post click here.
Meanwhile in Egypt which was one of the early victories the people’s revolt we are seeing just how hard it can be to maintain freedoms won. Associated Press in Cairo guardian.co.uk, Sunday 18 December 2011 05.16 EST
Egypt clashes continue into third day as army cracks down
“Troops and protesters are clashing for the third straight day in Cairo, pelting each other with rocks in skirmishes near parliament in the heart of the Egyptian capital.
At least 10 protesters have been killed and 441 wounded in the three days of violence which began when one of several hundred peaceful protesters staging a sit-in outside the cabinet offices was detained and beaten by troops. The protesters are demanding that the nation’s ruling military immediately step down.
Sunday’s clashes are taking place as unofficial results from a second round of voting in parliamentary elections show the continued dominance of Islamist parties at the polls. The third and final round of voting is slated for next month.
On Saturday, troops pulled women across the pavement by their hair, knocking off their headscarves. Young activists were kicked in the head until they lay motionless in Tahrir Square, Cairo.
Unfazed by TV cameras catching every move, Egypt‘s military took a dramatically heavier hand to crush protests against its rule.”
To read the whole story click here.
And in Russia the ruling oligarcy has seen people rise up following the latest fixed elections. Mass protests have been broken up and the pro democracy leaders imprisoned. Here is a story about a hunger strike by one of those leaders now in jail. This story by Tom Parfitt also from guardian.co.uk, Saturday 17 December
Vladimir Putin’s persecution campaign targets protest couple
“It is 10am and the tatty apartment blocks of southern Moscow are still shrouded in winter darkness as a slender young woman hurries towards the metro.
Black-haired, in jeans and a thin leather jacket, this is Anastasiya Udaltsova, one of the leaders of the civil protests that have swept across Russia, bringing tens of thousands of demonstrators on to the streets to express their disgust at rigged elections earlier this month.
Udaltsova, 33, is rushing to meet friends to drum up support for a new rally that will take place in Moscow on Saturday. She and the other organisers – including the hugely popular anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny and the veteran oppositionist Boris Nemtsov – are now exposed to the full hostile glare of the state.
Her husband, also a protest leader, is in jail and has embarked on a hunger strike in protest at the allegedly trumped-up charges, while Udaltsova is left alone to care for their two children.
On 10 December an estimated 40,000 people gathered in the centre of Moscow in the largest demonstration against the rule of Vladimir Putin after videos of ballot-stuffing and other falsifications by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party spread across the internet.”
To read the entire post click here.
Even China has proven that it cannont forever hold it’s people down as that country has seen uprisings. This report is from Business Week posted by Dan Beucke .