Darcus Howe, a West Indian Writer and Broadcaster with a voice about the riots. Speaking about the mistreatment of youths by police leading to an up-roar and the ignorance of both police and the government.
This is a political and intellectual biography of an important and controversial figure in British race politics. In recent years Darcus Howe has been a high-profile (and not uncontroversial) television journalist, but he also has a long history as a grass-roots activist. He moved to America from Trinidad in the 1960s where he was active in student committees fighting racial segregation. On arrival in Britain in the early 70s he joined the British Black Panthers – the first Black Panther organization outside the US. Here he attracted the attention of Special Branch, was arrested and had to defend himself at the Old Bailey. Over the next decade he was a member of a number of high profile campaigns that took on the National Front and police racism – campaigns which led to a seismic shift in British attitudes to race and culture more generally. The book uses Howe’s dramatic personal history as a lens through which to explore the British civil rights movement in the defining years of the 1970s and 80s. It also links the struggle for racial justice in Britain with the fight for black emancipation in the USA and the anti-colonial movement in the Caribbean. Howe has a unique intellectual position forged through his personal experience and through his interaction with leading black thinkers such as C. L. R. James (his great uncle) and Kwame Ture.
Russia must decide by 2013 what to do with two sunken nuclear submarines in the Barents and Kara seas in order to avoid the potential radioactive pollution of the area, a senior Russian nuclear official said on Monday.
“We must decide as soon as possible whether we will lift these subs or bury them completely on site,” Ivan Kamenskih, deputy general director of Russia’s nuclear corporation Rosatom, told a conference on board the Yamal nuclear icebreaker.
The B-159 (K-159) was a November class nuclear submarine, which sank in the Barents Sea in August 2003, 238 meters down, with nine of her crew and 800 kilograms of spent nuclear fuel, while being moved for dismantling.
The K-27 was an experimental attack submarine built in 1962 and decommissioned in 1979 due to its troublesome nuclear reactors. Her reactor compartment was sealed and the submarine was scuttled in the eastern Kara Sea in 1982 at the depth of 33 meters.
“I think the issue should be resolved in 2012…We must decide on their fate now to make sure that in the future we will not have problems with radioactive pollution of the areas where these subs are located,” Kamenskih said, adding that at present radiation levels at wreckage sites are normal.
The official also said that the wreck of the third sunken submarine, the Komsomolets, will most likely remain at the site of the 1989 accident forever, as the salvage operation will be too costly and dangerous.
The K-278 Komsomolets nuclear submarine sank in the Norwegian Sea on April 7, 1989, south of the Bear Island. The submarine sank with its active reactor and two nuclear warheads on board, and lies at a depth of 1,685 meters.
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — In an apparent vendetta against Jerusalem native Nasser Abu Sanad, the Israeli occupation authorities have arrested four of his sons and are pursuing banishing his wife to Jordan.
His sons, ranging in age from 13 to 18 years, have all been arrested on suspicion of throwing stones at Israeli occupation forces.
Abu Sanad himself spent seven years in Israeli custody and was just recently released.
With regards to his wife Ala al-Hadira, she is wanted by the occupation authorities for allegedly staying in Jerusalem illegally. They seek to exile her to Jordan.
The woman left for Jordan seven years ago to visit her mother but was not allowed to return. A month ago she managed to enter Jerusalem with a visit permit, but after the one-month term ended, she was denied renewal of her stay with her children and husband.
The Israeli Interior Ministry has issued an arrest and deportation warrant against her. Several attempts have been made to apprehend her, but she managed to evade the occupation authorities and gain refuge in areas Palestinian Authority control.
Abu Sanad said the obvious persecution of his family is an act of retaliation against himself and his wife.
AL-KHALIL — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) bulldozed 19 dunums of Palestinian land in Baka’a area to the east of Al-Khalil on Monday in preparation for annexing them to nearby Jewish settlements, local sources said.
They said that the IOF soldiers, accompanied by police and border police forces and civil administration officials raided the area and destroyed part of the irrigation network and confiscated it.
The sources noted that the act was the second of its kind and targeted lands owned by two Palestinian citizens.
They charged that the step was meant to evict the farmers out of their land and to annex it to the nearby settlements of Kharsina and Kiryat Arba.
The Baka’a is the most fertile area in the region and its farmers are constantly harassed by Jewish settlers.
In response to the growing Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the Israeli parliament passed an anti-boycott law on 11 July. The law is heavily criticized; for example, Amnesty International denounced the anti-boycott law because it “will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression in Israel.”
Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament, Ahmad Tibi, criticized the law as “a strike against free speech.” in an article. He pledged his support to the BDS movement:
“Because I believe in ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, equal rights for Palestinians and Jews, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees forced from their homes and lands in 1948, I support boycotting — and calling on others to boycott — all Israeli companies that help perpetuate these injustices.”
A few days later, a remarkable warning was published by the Reut Institute, which characterizes itself as “a non-partisan Zionist organization” in a promotional video. Reut mentions in the video its support for strategic decision making processes of the State of Israel which includes advising the Prime Minister’s office, the Ministry of Defense, the Israeli army and the National Security Council..
Reut’s CEO, Roy Keidar and head of Reut’s National Security Team, Eran Shayson, warned on 2 August, that “the greater damage of the boycott law is the controversy forming around it.” They write:
“Indeed, the urgent sense that action must be taken against the de-legitimization phenomenon is both understandable and justified. However, assumptions that the boycott law and other similar laws provide the answer to this challenge, are wrong and may well backfire.”
In February 2010, Reut qualified the actions of the BDS movement as delegitimization of Israel in a report on the urgency to respond to the growing international criticism of Israel’s violations of international law and disrespect of the rights of the Palestinian people. Reut referred in the report to critical voices as “delegitimizers”.
“The effectiveness of Israel’s delegitimizers, who represent a relatively marginal political and societal force in Europe and North America, stems from their ability to engage and mobilize others by blurring the lines with Israel’s critics. They do so by branding Israel as a pariah and ‘apartheid’ state; rallying coalitions around ‘outstanding issues’ such as the ‘Gaza blockade’; making pro-Palestinian activity trendy; and promoting grassroots activities such as boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) as a way to ‘correct Israel’s ways.’”
In addition, Reut wrote:
“The Delegitimization Network aims to supersede the Zionist model with a state that is based on the ‘one person, one vote’ principle by turning Israel into a pariah state and by challenging the moral legitimacy of its authorities and existence.”
Comparison with South Africa
When I interviewed Professor John Dugard, former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in October 2010, I asked him to react to accusations that the BDS movement delegitimizes Israel. He said:
“The BDS actions are delegitimizing Israel. There is no question about that. Obviously Israel is unwilling to accept that, similar to apartheid South Africa, which did want to suppress international sanctions. BDS was at that time effective, largely as a result of international advocacy for [boycott, divestment and] sanctions. It delegitimized the state and ultimately led to change in South Africa.
The comparison between Israel and South Africa is important. The situation is very similar at present. The international community is increasingly critical of Israel, advocating for international [boycott, divestment and] sanctions. It is not surprising that Israel is taking steps to prevent them in the same way the South African government did.”
In February 2010, Reut’s policy advice to Israel was to effectively face the “Delegitimization Network” by embracing a network-based logic and response by “Focusing on the hubs of delegitimization – such as London, Paris, Toronto, Madrid, and the Bay Area – and on undermining its catalysts.” Reut called on the Israeli government to direct substantial resources towards this end.
Attacking the messenger
Reut’s advice to “undermine the catalysts” of the BDS movement is a perfect example of attacking the messenger. A few months after Reut’s advice, The Electronic Intifada and its Dutch donor were fiercely attacked by the NGO Monitor. Ali Abunimah analyzed the reasons behind the attack in his article “Why NGO Monitor is attacking The Electronic Intifada”.
“NGO Monitor’s attack on The Electronic Intifada is part of a well-financed, Israeli-government endorsed effort to silence reporting about and criticism of Israel by attacking so-called “delegitimizers” — those who speak about well-documented human rights abuses, support boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), or promote full equality for Palestinians. Last February, The Electronic Intifada reported that a leading Israeli think-tank had recommended a campaign of “sabotage” against Israel’s critics as a matter of state policy.”
In its criticism of the boycott law, Reut writes that the law applies to Israel while the “delegitimization campaign is global, primarily operating beyond Israel’s borders.” Therefore the law cannot stop the global BDS movement. In addition, Reut identifies the controversy forming around the boycott law as a danger, creating divisions in “the Israeli camp” at a time where unity is needed.
Indeed, the Israeli boycott law is an attack on freedom of expression, and as such another example of Israel’s disrespect for basic human rights. It would have been very disturbing if this law was docilely accepted.
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Under heavy police protection, Jewish settlers for the second day are provocatively roaming the Islamic Al-Aqsa Mosque as they mark Tisha B’Av, in memory of the destruction of the alleged Temple.
Since 7am Tuesday, police have been seeing that Jews enter the mosque through the Mughrabi gate in back-to-back small groups in numbers larger than those who entered the mosque a day earlier.
The intruders have been roaming in the mosque’s courtyards and prayer areas as Israeli police have threatened to prosecute and eject any Muslims who approach them. Reports show that Muslims observing I’tikaf at the mosque have even been forced out.
Turmoil has enveloped the Muslim worshipers, and they have responded to the provocation by chanting “God is greater” in the faces of the intruders.
Israeli Radio has reported that two Jerusalem natives have been arrested for resisting the settler invasion.
On Monday, some one thousand Jewish settlers have flooded the streets of Jerusalem calling for the imposition of Israeli sovereignty over Al-Aqsa Mosque, called by Jews as the Temple Mount.
Among those who joined the march as it heads for the Buraq Square (Western Wall) are Israeli Knesset members Michael Ben-Ari and Aryeh Eldad, from the rightist National Union party.
Many public facilities have been closed and life has been disrupted as the Jews fast and hold prayers according to a variety of Jewish traditions.
According to Jews, the first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC and again by the Romans in 70 CE.
Meanwhile, Muslims are marking the holy month of Ramadan with fasts and prayers in Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest in Islamic tradition.
In a statement, Palestinian MP Salim Salama condemned the Jewish invasion of Al-Aqsa Mosque, warning that the acts served as a prelude to dividing Al-Aqsa Mosque as had been done to the the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Al-Khalil.
He called on worshipers to remain stationed in the mosque to defend it and to block repeated attempts by Jews to intrude and desecrate it.
British Home Secretary Theresa May has threatened the use water cannons and even military force to quell widespread protests in London against power abuse by police.
As the British capital witnessed the third night of spreading violence and the evident loss of police control over several parts of London, May said that officers would be allowed to use water cannons.
The decision was soon backed by Former London mayor Ken Livingstone, who believes that police must be allowed to use ‘the weapon’ to disperse protesters. Livingstone said, “The issue of water cannon would be very useful given the level of arson we are seeing here.”
The riot-control weapon that shoots a high-pressure stream of water was employed to control mass protests in Northern Ireland.
May also insisted that in case the police fail to regain control of London streets, the government will consider the option of deploying military forces throughout the city.
Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP and former Army officer, asked the Home Secretary to use water cannons to control the violence that has spread across the capital.
“I find it strange that we are willing to use this sort of measures against the Irish yet when Englishmen step out of line and behave in this atrocious and appalling way, we are happy to mollycoddle them,” said Mercer.
“If the police want cannon then they should be allowed to use them. I have used water cannon myself and I found them extremely effective,” he said.
Several other figures also urged the Home Office to apply the so-called anti-riot weapon, claiming that in some cases cannon use was necessary.
Met Police said in a statement that they used armoured vehicles to push back London protesters on the third night of spreading unrest in London.
Commander Christine Jones, said, “We are using tactics flexibly to respond to the disorder we are still seeing in different areas of the capital. Anyone involved in criminality should be under no illusion that we will pursue you. We have been making arrests all evening and have a team working during the night examining CCTV images. We will follow up evidence in the coming days in order to bring anyone else responsible for criminal acts to justice.”