Archive | September 19, 2014

Far from the Delusional World: Turkey’s ‘School of Nature’*

Far from the Delusional World: Turkey’s ‘School of Nature’*

By Ezgi Irmak Yücel

Located in the high reaches of Eski Orhanlı, an abandoned mountain village close to the town of Seferihisar, Doğa Okulu, or School of Nature, is not a regular school. There is no fixed teaching staff, nor is there a curriculum. At Doğa Okulu everyone is nature’s student, re-engaging with the primeval knowledge inherent to natural living by imitating nature itself: experimenting, experiencing and evolving collectively without rigid schedules.

An hour from the Aegean coast in the province of Izmir, Eski Orhanlı looks out over a fertile valley. The climate and soil provide a home to free-growing olive trees and grape vines, as well as the region’s trademark oaks. The village was inhabited for thousands of years before it was vacated in the 1980s, as Eski Orhanlı’s locals decided to constitute a new village in the valley, with better transport access to the fields where they work.

One school replaces another

Eski Orhanlı’s derelict primary school was donated to Doğa Okulu for research purposes. It was restored with help from Doğa Derneği (a prominent Turkish environmental NGO), villagers of the region and Seferihisar‘s municipal government. The very creation of Doğa Okulu turned out to be the first lesson the school offered humankind: volunteers blended ancient crafts with sustainable solutions from the present in order to reconstruct the timeworn building. Doğa Okulu opened its gates in February 2014.

The concrete structure of the old school was replaced with the soil and stones of the village. Power for the school comes from solar panels and crushed olive seeds, or prina. The school’s website refers to the building as “the living building” as it “breathes” through clay plaster. The place where Eski Orhanlı’s children once learned to read and write now hosts workshops, master-apprentice courses and no shortage of conversations. The new residents of Orhanlı train urbanites in crafts such as producing olive oil by hand, using that same olive oil in turn to create natural soap.

Raziye, a Turkish folklorist and a volunteer at Doğa Okulu writes in her blog post:

The residents of Orhanlı continue to produce their own soap. Talking to one of the inhabitants, Aunt Pembe, we decided to do so as well. Now we have learned how to make it, we are also learning essential information about soap. Apparently, one cannot make soap whenever he or she pleases. The appropriate time to produce soap is at the dawn of the summer, spring time and when fall starts to get harsher. Saying “shall the abundance of morning be upon us”, we built a fire early in the morning.

Master-apprentice courses are typically two or three-day events with a wide range of topics. For example, the First Steps into Nature course, running June 20-21, was an introductory course for newbie nature enthusiasts. Attendants came to understand the key points of living in nature, recognizing many of their urban habits as unnatural and unsustainable.

One of the participants in the course, Merve Ozayitgu, tweets:

Orhanlı köyü Doğa Okulu’ndan günaydın!Yerel tohumlardan patlıcan, biber,domates fidelerim ekilip dikilmeyi bekliyor. Good morning from Doğa Okulu, Orhanlı! My aubergine, pepper and tomato seedlings from local seeds are waiting to be planted.

MAGMA, an emerging Turkish geographical magazine, is another key supporter of Doğa Okulu. The magazine’s co-founders Kemal Tayfur and Özcan Yüksek held an evironmentally-themed writing and editing apprenticeship in July.

On social media students of the school pine for the Doğa Okulu experience long after they depart.

Sururi Uras @SururiUras Follow Bu gece hepimizin rüyasındasın Doğa Okulu. Tonight, you are in our dreams, School of Nature.

Other recent courses include one on the production of natural clay plaster and adobe September 5-7, while a course on birdwatching will follow later this autumn.

A hub for activism

Other than re-teaching the life lessons of Anatolia’s ancestors, Doğa Okulu conducts environmentally-focused research projects with the support of Doğa Derneği volunteers and academics. The Seferihisar Natural Heritage Project is one such project, aiming to map the flora and fauna of Seferihisar. Seferihisar’s local government initiated the project March 2013 and since then participants have gathered crucial information about the nature surrounding Seferihisar. A colony of Cory’s shearwater was discovered in gulf of Sığacık, for instance.

Moreover, the school provides a platform for ecological causes such as Alakır Kardeşliği (Brotherhood of Alakır), which opposes the construction of a giant Hydro Electric Dam in the Alakır Valley.

Ozcan Yuksek of MAGMA tweets against the construction of the dam, indicating the area is legally protected land:

özcan yüksek @ozcanyuksek Alakır 1.Derece Doğal SİT Alanı! Derhal vadideki doğa düşmanı projeler iptal edilsin! Alakır is a 1st degree naturally protected area! This project is against nature and should be cancelled immediately!

Changing the mindset

Some visitors spend months on end at Doğa Okulu. Sevcan Gizem Gürüz writes in her blog post about the beginning of her half year’s experience there.

When I first arrived, I saw children and teenagers working along the river bed on my way to the village. Unlike the people of the city, they were smiling. Some were planting trees, some were collecting garbage [that had fallen into the river]. They wore shalwar and long yellow boots, while I had my brand new jeans on me, red “Converse” shoes underneath…
I decided to collect garbage because I found it difficult to plant trees at the time. I headed for the garbage across the river. With a wisp of courage, a first step…Ooops! My socks were soaked in water. “Whatever,” I thought, taking hold of my phone to immortalize the moment on Instagram. No way! My dog, Roma, who had just seen a cow for the first time in her life was barking continuously. Just as I moved to calm her, I stumbled on a rock and found myself sitting in the cold stream of the river. Oh, no! What is that? My phone swimming next to me? Damn… Apparently, I will need more time to get used to things around here!

I took a deep breath again and exhaled. The first thing I needed to do was get a shalwar and a pair of boots. “I need to be like them,” I said to myself. Now I am thinking… How wrong I was. Them and me… Every deadlock begins with discrimination. There is no discrimination in nature. Everything is one. We are one…

Thanks to the efforts of its local government, Seferihisar became the first place in Turkey to join the Cittaslow/Slow Food movement. Cittaslows are culturally and ecologically protected settlements that aim to shield local environments and culinary traditions from the pervasive nature of globalization. Every week Seferihisar municipality supports local production by facilitating slow food bazaars, where producers sell their products directly to consumers. In order to increase food diversity and quality, there are regional festivals where producers can meet to exchange crops.

Source*

Related Topics:

Al-Biruni’s “Economy of Nature” in Modern Biotechnology

End to Nature’s Greatest Migration on Earth

One Hospital Uses Organic Food as Medicine*

Nature Helps Our Brain Connect!

Restoring Nature: The Craft of the Town Planner

Modern Lifestyles, Thought and the Nature of Alzheimer

Nature Bites Back at GM Corn!*

Forcing Nature to Co-exist with Pharmaceuticals

And Nature Blessed the Tunisian Desert with a New Lake*

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EU Drops Sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank*

EU Drops Sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank*

 

Bank of Iran, in Tehran

A top European court has struck down restrictions imposed by the European Union against the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) on an alleged charge of circumventing US-led sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

In a judgment on Thursday, the Luxembourg-based EU’s Court of Justice said it “annuls…the EU March 23, 2012 [ruling] concerning restrictive measures against Iran in so far as it listed Central Bank of Iran.”

“The reasons relied on are so vague and lacking in detail that the only possible response was in the form of a general denial,” the court ruled on Thursday, adding that “those reasons therefore do not comply with the requirements of the case-law.”

It said the charge levelled against the CBI is

“insufficient in the sense that it does not enable either the applicant or the Court to understand the circumstances which led the [European] Council to consider…to adopt the contested act.”

European Court of Justice

 

The court also ordered the 28-nation European bloc to “bear one half of its own costs and to pay one half of the costs of Central Bank of Iran.”

At the beginning of 2012, the US and EU imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. On October 15, 2012, the EU foreign ministers reached an agreement on another round of sanctions against Iran.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany reached an interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva last November, according to which the six countries accepted to ease sanctions against Iran in return for the Islamic Republic limiting certain aspects of its nuclear activities.

The deal came into effect on January 20 and expired on July 20. The two sides then agreed to extend the duration of the agreement until November 24. The two sides are scheduled to resume talks on Friday to discuss removal of sanctions against Tehran.


 

Editor’s note:  Well, this verdict was no surprise. The case never had any merit, nor did the Press TV bans, but the EU’s version of AIPAC was able to get them passed anyway as a no-lose deal. It would take years to get them overturned, and they were in place doing the damage they wanted… no dummies they.

I was surprised that the court only awarded half the Iranian bank’s legal costs, and the EU half their own. What’s up with that? Who is going to pay the other half? And because the verdict was so strong on its being an abusive case, this is once again an opportunity to get on the table the immunity cover which just invites abuse like this.

I don’t see a mention of “damages” at all. This is the problem with having an EU in the first place. You can have a 51% majority rigged up on a vote, and they drag the others along against their will. Added to that, there is no legal accountability absent the NSA giving us the intercept tape as to how much those that herded the bill through were paid by “interested parties”.

With the rest of the sanctions hopefully coming off this fall, Iran cannot punish the insider countries that did this because they have the whole EU screening them. If individual countries had made their own decisions about it, then Iran could selectively choose not to business with the conspirator ones. Then the respective business community could deal with their politicians and/or the Jewish Lobby if they chose, or even could.

That is another story, about the political terrorism those folks practice, and they have been getting away with way too long. We have a long record of corruption, with government institutions being used to punish ideological opponents at the taxpayers’ expense, to the point of its being considered something that only “smart people” have a right to do… Jim W. Dean ]

Source*

Related Topics:

Iran’s Central Bank

Egypt Blocking Iran Humanitarian Aid to Palestine*

Iran: Where the Wise Dare Not Play Fools

Russia Signs Historic $20 Billion Iran Oil Deal*

Iran: U.S.-Backed Terrorist Group Out to Make WWIII a Reality*

Reporter May be Jailed for Revealing the CIA Truth Behind Iran Plot*

Obama Declares New Sanctions (Act Of War) Against Iran By Executive Order

Looking for a False Flag to Start War on Iran!

Iran Sends Aid Despite Trade War Against It!*

Iran Sells Clean Fusion-Based Electricity Across South Asia‏

Reflection on Islam, Liberty and Development IV

Rothschild’s Summit Fine-tuning Capitalism into Global Economic Tyranny*

Accusations of Rigged Scottish Referendum*

Accusations of Rigged Scottish Referendum*

TAP

In Glasgow, “Police are investigating ten cases of electoral fraud.”

Voters turned up at polling stations to find that people had already voted using their names.

Police officers have remove the ballot papers concerned.

The papers were from 10 different boxes across Glasgow, and not concentrated in one area.

In Dundee, a fire alarm led to the evacuation of the building where the vote was being counted. http://www.mirror.co.uk

In Dundee, a strong YES area, the count was suspended twice due to fire alarms.
The turnout in the strong YES area of Dundee was 78.8%, which is lower than the 85% turnout in Scotland as a whole

In Dundee, ‘Yes’ ballot papers were spotted on a ‘No’ table.

A male vote counter “tampering with ballots by marking crosses on ballot papers in the Edinburgh polling station.” Videos Claim Vote rigging.

The turnout in the strong YES area of Glasgow was 75%, which is lower than the 85% turnout in Scotland as a whole.

The county known as Clackmannanshire was expected to vote YES. But it was announced that NO had got 54% of the vote in Clackmannanshire.

Scottish independence: Yes County votes No

http://aanirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/vote-fraud-in-scottish-referendum.html

TAP – They can rig a referendum easy as spit.  What use would a referendum on the EU be?  The Irish YES to Lisbon was rigged.  This was rigged.  Parliamentary elections are tampered with heavily.  How the hell can we work a democratic solution to the world’s evils?

Gordon adds –

How the media shafted the people of Scotland.

Journalists in their gilded circles are woefully out of touch with popular sentiment and shamefully slur any desire for change.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/16/media-shafted-people-scotland-journalists

Source*

Metro reports:

A video of a female vote counter appearing to place Yes votes in the No pile at a polling station has led to allegations by Scottish nationalists that the independence referendum was rigged.Supporters of Scottish independence on social media – dubbed ‘Cybernats’ – have claimed that the video, taken at a Dundee polling station, and an image of a Clackmannanshire counting table show evidence that there was foul play in the election process.

However, the conspiracy theory was quickly dismissed by vote counters while exasperated commentators told No voters to ‘get a grip’, with one remarking ‘this is Scotland, not Sudan.’

The backlash from nationalists in the wake of the No vote is hardly surprising given the increasing hostilities in the run-up to the referendum.

News of voters being threatened, reporters needing security and politicians receiving death threats has marred the campaigns in the last week.

Officials at the referendum count in Glasgow are investigating 10 cases of suspected electoral fraud relating to possible cases of impersonation, where people pretend to be another person who hadn’t voted yet.

‘I think that’s a daft thing to do,’ said SNP Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie.

‘The ballot papers have been identified, they will be taken away and fingerprinted, the police will do their job and I’m sure whoever has done it will be caught and sentenced.’

Related Topics:

When You Can’t See the Woods for the Trees, Laugh*

For the People, to the Scots*

How Blair Conspired with Whitehall for Ownership of Scottish Oil Fields*

‘You Are Not a Loan’*

‘You Are Not a Loan’*

By Nadia Prupis

As Occupy Wall Street marked its third anniversary on Wednesday, one offshoot group, Rolling Jubilee, made a historic achievement as the collective bought and abolished nearly $4 million in debt owed by thousands of students.

Rolling Jubilee, a project of Occupy Wall Street’s Strike Debt movement, acquired debt incurred by students of Everest College, one of the operations of Corinthian Colleges (CCI), an umbrella company of for-profit schools, and paid for it at a discounted rate, clearing a total of $3.85 million from the collective debt of 2,761 people.

“Debt is the tie that binds the 99 percent, whether you are a student delinquent on your student loans or a parent struggling to pay healthcare bills,” said Strike Debt activist Ann Larson.

“Being forced into debt for basic social services is a systemic problem and the only solution is to respond collectively to create a new, equitable economy.”

Corinthian Colleges—and by extension, Everest—is facing multiple federal fraud investigations, as well as a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for its predatory lending practices, as roughly 90 percent of its funding comes from federal student loans, Rolling Jubilee said.

These schemes are not unique to CCI. As one investigation discovered in 2012, 30 for-profit college companies used more than 41 percent of those subsidies, like the Pell Grant, for marketing and profits, with only 17 percent going to actual instruction.

Facing financial collapse, CCI announced in July that it may shut down or sell off its campuses to other for-profit college systems, which would leave approximately 72,000 students without degrees and out of their tuition money.

Further fueling Rolling Jubilee’s mission against Everest is CCI’s method of targeting low-income students, most often from minority backgrounds and areas where community college access is limited, the group said.

“Recruiters see low income students as easy prey, and the marketing is targeted to exploit their precarious circumstances,”

Rolling Jubilee said in its announcement Wednesday. “Race, class, and gender markers are used to appeal to their dreams and their economic desperation.”

The group added:

The California Attorney General found that CCI targeted single parents close to the poverty level, a demographic that company recruiters described as “isolated,” “impatient,” individuals with “low self-esteem,” who are “stuck” and “unable to see and plan well for the future.”

Throw in the false advertising about job opportunities, the lies about job placement, the high rates of withdrawal and default, and you have a perfect recipe for turning the American Dream into the American Scam.

Rolling Jubilee supplemented its move by announcing the launch of the Debt Collective initiative, which will “create a platform for organization, advocacy and resistance by debtors.”

“The Debt Collective will challenge the 1 percent creditor class by empowering members to renegotiate, resist, and refuse unfair debts

while advocating for real solutions including free education and universal health care,” said Thomas Gokey, an organizer with the project.

“Rolling Jubilee was intended to be a spark and not a solution, and our long-term aim has always been to transform personal grievances into collective political action by helping people realize that they are not ‘a loan,’” the group said. “Debt collectives, effectively debtors’ unions, are the next stage.”

While the $4 million sum seems small in comparison to the $1 trillion owed by American students, the gesture is meant to expose the operational methods of debt, Gokey told the Guardian.

“The Rolling Jubilee is a tactic and a valuable one because it exposes how debt operates,” Gokey said. “It punches a hole through the morality of debt, through this idea that you owe X amount of dollars that the 1% says you owe. In reality, that debt is worth significantly less.”

In 2013, Rolling Jubilee bought and cleared $13.5 million in medical debt and $1.2 million in personal debt for thousands of Americans, using donated funds to obtain and pay off the portfolio of dues.

Source*

Related Topics:

The History of Your Enslavement

U.K. Students Beaten & Arrested in Protests*

U.K. Students Have Won the Battle But Not the War

Occupy World: Mass Student Protest Turns into a Nation’s Struggle for Identity

U.K. Students Out in Numbers

Only 8, but He Raised $20,000 So Fellow Students Could Eat Lunch*

Egypt: Torturing University Students*

Schools to Monitor Students Social Media Posts*

A Student Embraces the Spanish Youth Revolution

Even in the US Teachers Pay out of their Pocket for their Students*

Germany’s Legacy of Genocide in Namibia*

Germany’s Legacy of Genocide in Namibia*

By Andre Vltchek

How outrageous, how heartbreaking, how truly grotesque! Windhoek City – the capital of Namibia – is, at one extreme full of flowers and Mediterranean-style villas, and at the other, it is nothing more than a tremendous slum without water or electricity.

And in between, there is the town centre– with its Germanic orderly feel, boasting ‘colonial architecture’, including Protestant churches and commemorative plaques mourning those brave German men, women and children, those martyrs, who died during the uprisings and wars conducted by local indigenous people.

The most divisive and absurd of those memorials is the so-called “Equestrian Monument”, more commonly known as “The Horse” or under its German original names, Reiterdenkmal and Südwester Reiter (Rider of South-West). It is a statue inaugurated on 27 January 1912, which was the birthday of the German emperor Wilhelm II. The monument “honors the soldiers and civilians that died on the German side of the Herero and Namaqua ‘War’ of 1904–1907’”.

That ‘war’ was not really a war; it was nothing more than genocide, a holocaust.

And Namibia was a prelude to what German Nazis later tried to implement on European soil.

A European expert working for the UN, my friend, speaks, like almost everyone here, passionately, but without daring to reveal her name:

The first concentration camps on earth were built in this part of Africa… They were built by the British Empire in South Africa and by Germans here, in Namibia. Shark Island on the coast was the first concentration camp in Namibia, used to murder the Nama people, but now it is just a tourist destination – you would never guess that there were people exterminated there. Here in the centre of Windhoek, there was another extermination camp; right on the spot where “The Horse” originally stood.”

“The Horse” was recently removed from its original location, and placed in the courtyard of the old wing of The National Museum, together with some of the most outrageous commemorative plaques, glorifying German actions in this part of the world. Nothing was destroyed, instead just taken away from prime locations.

Their blood waters our freedom

Where “The Horse” stood, there now stands a proud anti-colonialist statue, that of a man and a woman with broken shackles, which declares, “Their Blood Waters Our Freedom”.

***

A visit to those German genocidal relics is ‘an absolute must’ for countless Central European tourists that descend every day on Namibia. I followed several of these groups, listening to their conversations. Among these people, there appears to be no remorse, and almost no soul-searching: just snapshots, posing in front of the monuments and racist insignias, pub-style/beer jokes at places where entire cultures and nations were exterminated!

Central European, German-speaking tourists in Windhoek, appear to be lobotomized, and totally emotionless. And so are many of the descendants of those German ‘genocidal pioneers’. Encountering them is like déjà vu; it brings back memories of the years when I was fighting against the German Nazi colony, ‘Colonia Dignidad’ in Chile; or when I was investigating the atrocities and links, of the German Nazi community in Paraguay to several South American fascist regimes that had been implanted and maintained by the West.

And now the German community in Namibia is protesting the removal of “The Horse”. It is indignant. And this community is still powerful, even omnipotent, here in Namibia.

Almost nobody calls the ‘events’ that took place here, by their rightful names, of holocaust or genocide. Everything in Namibia is ‘sensitive’.

But even according to the BBC:

“In 1985, a UN report classified the events as an attempt to exterminate the Herero and Nama peoples of South-West Africa, and therefore the earliest attempted genocide in the 20th Century.”

On 21 October 2012, The Globe and Mail reported:

“In the bush and scrub of central Namibia, the descendants of the surviving Herero live in squalid shacks and tiny plots of land. Next door, the descendants of German settlers still own vast properties of 20,000 hectares or more. It’s a contrast that infuriates many Herero, fuelling a new radicalism here.

Every year the Herero hold solemn ceremonies to remember the first genocide of history’s bloodiest century, when German troops drove them into the desert to die, annihilating 80 per cent of their population through starvation, thirst, and slave labor in concentration camps. The Nama, a smaller ethnic group, lost half of their population from the same persecution.

New research suggests that the German racial genocide in Namibia from 1904 to 1908 was a significant influence on the Nazis in the Second World War. Many of the key elements of Nazi ideology – from racial science and eugenics, to the theory of Lebensraum (creating “living space” through colonization) – were promoted by German military veterans and scientists who had begun their careers in South-West Africa, now Namibia, during the genocide…”

“The Namibian delegation attended a service in Berlin.” 2011 (Associated Press)

The Namibian government is still negotiating the return (from Germany) of all skulls of the local people, which were used in German laboratories and by German scientists to prove the superiority of the white race. German colonialists decapitated Herero and Nama people, and at least 300 heads were transported to German laboratories for ‘scientific research’. Many were ‘discovered’ in the Medical History Museum of the Charite hospital in Berlin, and at Freiburg University.

Germany never officially apologized for its crimes against humanity in what it used to call German South-West Africa. It did not pay reparations.

Germany’s holocaust in ‘South-West Africa’ is, among other things, a proof that the common Western theory about how German Nazism came to existence before the WWII was totally wrong. According to that theory, after the WWI, defeater and humiliated Germany got radicalized and ‘reacted’ monstrously to its condition.

But in reality, before and during the Second World War, Germany simply decided to behave in Europe exactly as it was behaving in its colonies, for many decades.

***

There are Robert Mugabe and Fidel Castro Streets in the centre of Windhoek. And there is that tremendous National Museum, commemorating the national-liberation struggle and the role of the heroic Cuban and North Korean troops in their fight against Western-supported apartheid.

Cuba and North Korea fighting for freedom of Namibia.

Bizarrely, German pre-Nazi/WWII monuments and insignias literally rub their shoulders alongside those great liberation struggle tributes.

Divisions are shocking: ideological, racial, social.

In Namibia, there is segregation on an enormous scale, everywhere.

This is how most of Namibians live

While neighboring South Africa is moving rapidly away from racial segregation, introducing countless social policies, including free medical care, education and social housing, Namibia remains one of the most segregated countries on earth, with great private services for the rich, and almost nothing for the poor majority.

“Apartheid was even worse here than in South Africa”, I am told by my friend from the United Nations.

“And until now… You go to Katutura, and you see who is living there, they are all local people there, all black. Katutura literally means ‘We have no place to stay’. 50% of the people in this city defecate in the open. Sanitation is totally disastrous. Then you go to Swakop city, on the shore, and it is like seeing Germany recreated in Africa. You also see, there, shops with Nazi keepsakes. Some Nazis, who escaped Europe, came to Windhoek, to Swakop and other towns. In Swakop, men march periodically, in replicas of Nazi uniforms.”

***

Katutura is where the black people were moved to, during apartheid.

My friend, a ‘colored’ Namibian, who fought for the independence of his own country and of Angola, drove me to that outrageous slum which seems to host a substantial amount of the capital’s population, with mostly no access to basic sanitation or electricity.

He has also chosen to remain anonymous, as he has explained, in order to protect his lovely family. To speak up here, unlike in South Africa, which may, these days, be one of the freest and most outspoken places on earth, can be extremely dangerous. But he clarifies further:

“In Namibia, it is very rare for people who used to suffer, to speak about it publicly. In South Africa, everyone speaks. In Angola, everyone speaks… But not here.”

Then he continues:

“What we can see in Namibia is that many German people are still in control of big business. They are ruling the country. They have hunting farms and other huge estates and enterprises. Germans bring money to Namibia, but it stays with them, and it consolidates their power – it does not reach the majority. You cannot even imagine, how much local people working on their farms, are suffering. It is still like slavery. But it is all hushed up here.”

***

German church with racist depiction of history and Fidel Street.

“Sprechen Sie Deutch?” A black Namibian man intercepts me, as I am walking down the Fidel Castro Street.

“I do, but I would rather not, here”, I explain.

“But why not?” He grins at me. “You know… It is not only them… Germans… I grew up; I was educated, in East Germany during our fight for independence. And my friend that you see over there – he was flown to Czechoslovakia and he went to school there. Communist countries did so much for us, for the Africans: Cuba, North Korea, Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and East Germany. We are so grateful!”

“Yes”, I say. “But it is over, isn’t it? Czechoslovakia, East Germany… They joined the imperialists, the rulers. They exchanged ideals for iPads.”

“Yes”, he said. “But one day… who knows… things could be different, again.”

Yes, definitely, I think. But most likely not in Europe…

***

At the new and lavish National Museum in Windhoek, I salute the Namibian and foreign fighters against apartheid – those who struggled and died for freedom, and the independence of Africa.

Then, I descended to the “Goethe Institute”, the German cultural centre, a colonial building surrounded by barbed wire.

There, a local starlet is loudly rehearsing for something called ‘a night under the stars’, or something of that sentimental, over-sugary pop nature. These are basically evenings designed to bring together the pampered international crowd and those ‘feel-good-about-life’ local elites.

I ask the starlet, whether this institute is trying to address the most painful issues of the past and present, all connected to Germany, of course.

She is black but she speaks and behaves like a German. She gives me a huge and pre-fabricated smile:

“At Goethe we don’t want that… We are trying to get away from all this (meaning colonial and segregation issues). We are just trying to get Germans and Namibians together, you know…”

I later peek at those Namibians who are being brought together with the Germans. No Katutura here, naturally…

And for some reason, what came to my mind is a conversation I had, on the phone, many years ago, with one of the editors of the German magazine, Der Stern, after I offered him my findings and photos from Nazi Colonia Dignidad in Chile. He said: “Oh, Colonia Dignidad! Hahaha! Never again, ja?”

***

One evening I eat at Angolan/Portuguese restaurant in Windhoek, O Portuga; an institution known for its great food and mixed crowd. What an evening, what a place!

After dinner, I dive into German ‘Andy’s Bar’, a nearby place that was described to me as “An institution, which not even a black or a colored person from the embassies or the UN would dare to enter”.

The Beer is flat, but the conversation of the local crowd is extremely ‘sharp’. Patrons are freely giving black Namibians names of local farm animals. Their spite is open and sincere. I listen, I understand. Eventually I leave.

I catch a taxi, driven by a corpulent black man. The radio is blasting and I hear the socialist, anti-imperialist lyrics of ‘Ndilimani’, a brilliant local political band.

It is now well past midnight, and despite the warnings from all those ‘well-meaning Germans’ that I met in Windhoek, I feel much safer in this taxi than in Andy’s Bar and in so many other similar institutions.

“Is this country really governed by Marxist SWAPO?” I wonder aloud.

“No way”, the driver points back, towards the bar. “’They’ never left. ‘They’ are still controlling the country. The revolution is not over.”

I tell him that I am beginning to understand what drove Robert Mugabe mad and angry, in Zimbabwe. The driver nods. I push my seat back, and make it recline.

“It is all fucked up”, I say.

The driver thinks for a while, but then replies, using almost the same words as the man who spoke to me on Fidel Castro Street: “Yes, brother, yes! But one day… who knows… things could be different, again.”

Source*

Related Topics:

UK to Pay £20m compensation to Mau Mau Victims*

From Liberation to Re-enslavement

Somalia a Failed State by Courtesy of the State Department and CIA*

France is Broke, but Still Reaping from the Colonial Tax!*

Franco-Zionist Decimation of Algeria*

Colonial France out for Niger’s Uranium*

Rothschilds’ Glencore South Sudan Oil Grab

Rabbi Admits Jewish Role in the African Slave Trade*

Israel admits to Birth Controlling Ethiopian Women*

The Imperial Vultures to Gather for the U.S.-Africa Summit*

Zionists Swindling all the Way into Sub-Saharan Africa*

What Does Ebola, Gas and Oil Have in Common?*

Nazism Back in Europe