Author Michael Parenti challenges his audience to learn about and advocate free speech in the face of oppression. From the origins of the Bill of Rights up to today’s challenges by the FBI and other government entities, Parenti says, it is essential to stand up for one’s rights. He spoke at an event sponsored by the South Bay Committee Against Political Repression.
Tadesse is a 28-year-old Ethiopian from the capital, Addis Ababa. Like thousands of others he took part in demonstrations over the last three years, and together with family members, refused to pledge support for the Ethiopian government. Such displays of political dissent led to him being repeatedly imprisoned, tortured and cruelly mistreated. Now safe in Europe, he is in physical pain and psychological anguish as a result of the barbaric way he was treated in prison.
Under relentless popular pressure the Ethiopian Prime-Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has been forced to resign, other members of the government are expected to follow. In his resignation speech he acknowledged that, ”unrest and a political crisis have led to the loss of lives and displacement of many,” Reuters reports. ‘Loss of lives’ of innocent Ethiopians at the hands of TPLF security personnel to be clear. “I see my resignation as vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy.”
Have you noticed that it’s no longer PC Dixon of Dock Green who mediates the relationship between the state and its citizens as he goes about his beat in your neighbourhood? Instead, it’s a Kevlar-armoured, video-monitored, taser-equipped, drone-surveilled, spit-masked supplied soldier, straight out of Star Wars, who now staggers along under the weight of an industrialized capitalism, visibly physically disconnected from the citizens they monitor by their bullet-proof uniforms, that more resemble a rack of tools in your local hardware store than the Bobby on the beat.
Since November 2015 unprecedented protests have been taking place in Ethiopia: angry and frustrated at the widespread abuse of human rights and the centralization of power in the hands of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) tens of thousands have taken to the streets. The ruling party’s response to this democratic outpouring has been consistently violent; hundreds have been killed and beaten by security forces, tens of thousands arrested and imprisoned.
In an attempt to distract attention from unprecedented protests and widespread discontent, the Ethiopian Government has engineered a series of violent ethnic conflicts in the country. The regime blames regional parliaments and historic territorial grievances for the unrest, but Ethiopians at home and abroad lay the responsibility firmly at the door of the ruling party who, it’s claimed, are manipulating events.
At Trump’s inauguration, around 200 protesters and journalists were mass arrested and now face up to 70 years in prison on baseless charges. Many other legal assaults on civil liberties are in the works around the country, from treating anti-fascists as “domestic terrorists”, to legislation protecting drivers who run over peaceful marchers.
Alex Vitale, author of The End of Policing and Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing & Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College, discusses the origins of modern policing and how to prevent law enforcement from stripping away citizens’ rights. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the expansion of police powers.
https://democracynow.org – Barcelona’s Mayor Ada Colau is calling for Spain to remove thousands of state police who have been deployed to Catalonia ahead of tonight’s expected declaration of independence by regional President Carles Puigdemont, possibly triggering intervention by Spanish forces. We speak with WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, who has been advising those pushing to secede on how to communicate securely even as the state pushes back.
On September 16-17 a major national gathering was held in Washington, D.C. called the People’s Congress of Resistance, a broad and diverse coalition of organizers and community leaders formed to build the class-struggle wing of the anti-Trump movement.
Scan the mainstream media for news about Ethiopia and discover headline after headline describing the country’s economic successes: double-digit economic growth, foreign investment and aspirations to become a middle-income country by 2030. Ethiopia, we are told, is a functioning democracy, an African tiger economy and an important ally of Western governments.
On Reality Asserts Itself, former NSA senior executive Mr. Drake and host Paul Jay talk about the “dark state” and how 9/11 opens up disturbing questions about power, who we are, who’s in charge and the secret subversion of the U.S. constitution.