Archive | April 11, 2015

Australians Rally against Kicking the Indigenous off their Own Land*

Australians Rally against Kicking the Indigenous off their Own Land*

Thousands of protesters rallied in Australia’s two largest cities Friday against government plans to forcefully shut down Indigenous communities.

Indigenous elder and activist Jenny Munro said the rallies were a “call to arms” to all Australians.

“This is about the community being made aware about the truth of what goes on in this country,” she told progressive news website New Matilda.

Munro joined thousands of other protesters in Sydney who marched from Belmore Park to the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy. In a statement issued online, march organizers said they were both frustrated by plans to redevelop the Block – a chunk of the suburb of Redfern earmarked for affordable Indigenous housing.

Activists say the very organization charged with providing affordable housing – the Aboriginal Housing Authority (AHC) – is now trying to gentrify the area with commercial office blocks and student accommodation at the expense of Indigenous residents.

However, march organizers said Indigenous communities aren’t just being “broken up” in Redfern, but rather across all of Australia.

“We will be marching in solidarity with brothers and sisters in (Western Australia) staring down the imminent threat of withdrawal of essential services to once again force Aboriginal people off their lands,” they stated.

A second march against the proposed closures also took place in Melbourne. The rally began near Flinders Street station, where protesters held a traditional smoking ceremony.

As many as 150 remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia could be scuttled after both the state and federal government claimed they couldn’t afford to provide municipal services.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has backed the decision, arguing Indigenous Australians living in remote areas are living a taxpayer-funded “lifestyle.”

Comment: Who invaded who?

Speaking to teleSUR earlier this month, Indigenous community organizer Jodie Bell warned wholesale community closures isn’t just about cost-cutting.

“It’s about assimilation – many non-Indigenous people cannot fathom or understand the Indigenous connection to country,” Bell told teleSUR.

“And because they do not understand it, they trivialize it and think they are helping people by moving them off country.”

Bell also dismissed Abbott’s characterization of remote communities as a “lifestyle choice,” explaining,

“Our spiritual and cultural life is intricately linked with our country.”

“We have fought hard in the past 30 years to regain the ability to live in our country following years of displacement as a result of government policies,” Bell said.

“We will not move, we cannot move.”


Related Topics:

Australia Discontinues Services to the People Whose Land It Took*

Yeah.. Dumping nuclear waste on Indigenous Australian Land Would Increase their Living Standards*

Australia: When Recognition Means the End for the Indigenous

Australia: Deceit by Assimilation!

Australia’s Eugenics Agenda *

Evict 120 Bedouins from their own Land and Build a Trash Dump Instead*

Sisi’s offer of Kicking People out of their Own Land Welcomed by Israel*

Canada Forcing the Indigenous to Give Up their Land*

A Ruling that Highlights Indigenous Love of the Land and Canada’s Destruction of It*

Senegal Farmers Tell Transnational Corporations to get off their Land*

Tanzanian Maasai Villagers Win Fight for Information about Land-Grabs and Forced Eviction*

Land-Grabbing: Targeting the Sioux Indian Reservation*

The Guaraní Continue the Fight for their Land and Human Rights*

This is what TPP Looks Like: World Bank Demands Argentina Pay French Company*

This is what TPP Looks Like: World Bank Demands Argentina Pay French Company*

Argentina’s finance minister Axel Kicillof announced that his government will appeal the recent ruling by the World Bank that Argentina has to pay US$405 million in damages to French company Suez.

Economy minister Axel Kicillof announced on Friday that his government will appeal the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes’ (ICSID) ruling that orders Argentina to pay US$405 million to the French company Suez, who saw their contract for water and drainage provision cancelled in 2006.

Kicillof said Argentina had terminated the contract due to inadequate investments by Suez’s subsidiary Aguas Argentinas and the firm’s failure to honour its contractual obligations.

“We are going to appeal the ruling,” Kicillof told reporters.

“The ICSID did not recognize moral damages or compensation (for Argentina).”

In a failed water-privatization scheme, Suez had originally demanded a settlement of US$1.2 billion due to breach of contract.

“That company had to go. The order agrees with us, that’s why it only recognizes a third of what they asked. They only considered US$405 million, which is the amount invested in development. It’s a defeat for the company, but we are going to appeal anyway,” Kicillof stated.

Based in Washington DC and operating under the World Bank, the ICSID is comprised of special legal tribunals that moderate disputes between international investors and national governments.

The latest ruling comes more than a year after the government was forced to pay US$500 million to pay private corporations at the ICSID through bonds.

Since the ICSID was created, South American countries have made up 27% of all arbitration cases.

Bolivia (2007), Ecuador (2010), and Venezuela (2012) have all abandoned their ICSID contracts. 

Argentina is currently the country with highest number of pending cases.

As an alternative to the ICSID the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) is currently reviewing a proposal to establish a regional arbitration centre, which would analyze and propose mechanisms to reform arbitration proceedings.


Related Topics:

Corporation vs. State: Sweeping TPP Powers Strip Sovereignty*

Detroit: Your World under TPP*

Argentina: Activists Brings Monsanto Plant to a Halt*

Argentina Refuses to be Dragged to its Knees by the U.S.*

What Obama Didn’t get from Argentina Rothschild Will get*

Bolivia Bans Partnerships with Multinationals*

Free Housing for Student Volunteers in Senior Home*

Free Housing for Student Volunteers in Senior Home*

The rise of so-called neo-liberal education (corporatization of ‘education’) is breeding self-depreciation as seeking a ‘sugar daddy’ (prostitution) becomes the latest solution of some struggling students in the U.S. and U.K.

In the Netherlands a win-win situation helps students with free accommodation.

A special program at a Netherlands retirement home is offering young people free apartments on site, in exchange for spending 30 hours a month helping its residents with computers, email, shopping, and other chores.

The initiative was designed two years ago after the facility’s director, Gea Sijpkes, after a college student complained to him about his school’s poor housing conditions.

In exchange for a nicer place to rest his head, rent-free, that student now participates in numerous activities with the grateful residents, including celebrating birthdays, and offers the seniors companionship when they are sick. He is currently joined by five other program participants, who are also students.

“The students bring the outside world in, there is lots of warmth in the contact,” Sijpkes told PBS NewsHour.

With similar inter-generational initiatives springing up in Cleveland, Ohio and Lyons, France, we’re hoping this brilliant new trend soon becomes an international classic.


Related Topics:

Students Loan Strike against for Profit Colleges*

For Profit University of Phoenix Loses Half its Students*

Canada: 75,000 Students Strike Back*

Against Spain’s Gag Law: The First Hologram Protest in History*

Against Spain’s Gag Law: The First Hologram Protest in History*

People across the world took part in a unique protest against the Spanish law that limits the rights of the public to rally. No one attended the virtual march, but holograms of protesters were projected outside parliament in Madrid instead.

Activists have recently launched a petition against the Citizen Safety Law, which has been called the “gag law” by opposition groups and the media, saying it “restricts citizens’ liberties, and criminalizes their right to protest.”

“To respond to this injustice” activists behind the “Hologramas para la Libertad” movement said they “saw the need to carry out a different kind of protest that would allow our demands to become unstoppable: the first hologram protest in history.”

The draconian law, which was passed in the lower house of parliament in December, gives sweeping powers to the authorities. It makes it illegal to protest outside government buildings, insult police officers or refuse to show identification documents. On top of that, there’s also a €600 fine for showing a lack of respect to anyone in uniform, while the photographing or filming of police officers, where they could be put in danger, will incur a €30,000 fine.

From now on the government can basically prohibit any protest if it fears order would be disrupted. People have to seek permission from the authorities to protest publicly. Any unauthorized protests outside buildings that provide basic services to the community will incur a fine of up to €600,000 ($746,000).

This covers a huge number of buildings, from universities to hospitals. The measure has been slammed by the international community in recent months since it breaks international and EU laws.

“If you are a person you can not express yourself freely, you can only do that here if you become a hologram,” a woman in the video released by the “Hologramas para la Libertad” said.

In February protesters got together in Madrid, as those demonstrating against a government decision to stiffen penalties for unauthorized demos blew whistles and banged drums before marching towards a square in the center of the capital. The organizers of the protests called for demonstrators to take to the streets in 20 other cities around Spain, AFP reported.

In December, marches took place in 30 cities around the country, with opponents of the law saying the draconian measure will take Spain back to the days of General Franco’s dictatorship.


Related Topics:

Popular Resistance against Privatization Delivers Results in Spain*

Protesting has Gone Flamenco, in Spain at Least*

1.8mn Catalonians Rally for Independence from Spain*

Spain to Use the Military Where U.K. Used Emotional Blackmail to Stop Secession*

Spanish Independence and the Re-colonization of Southern Europe*

Spanish Police also getting Training from Israel*

Spain to Tax Bank Deposits*

Spanish Judge Makes Bank President and Former IMF Chief Pay for Financial Crimes*

Corruption Charges in the Wind for Spanish Ruling Party Members*

Canada: 75,000 Students Strike Back*

For Profit University of Phoenix Loses Half its Students*

Obama Anaesthetizing Black Resistance*

Thousands Rally Across Canada against New Anti-Terror Law*

$1.6mn for Wrongful Imprisonment*

$1.6mn for Wrongful Imprisonment*

If this happens when many of us are under the notion that law and justice is in place, how many more will be wrongfully imprisoned under a paranoid pathocratic policed state?

Two men have been awarded more than $1.6 million in compensation for their wrongful convictions of murder and death sentences in 1975, and decades spent in prison.

The death sentences for the murder of Cleveland businessman Harry Franks were handed down in 1975 for three people: Wiley Bridgeman, Kwame Ajamu and Ricky Jackson. The sentences were later commuted to life in jail.

The case was destroyed when the key witness, who was 13 years old in 1975, recanted on his testimony, AP reported.
Ajamu – who was called Ronnie Bridgeman in 1975 – was released in 2003 after 27 years in prison. Wiley Bridgeman and Jackson were freed in November 2014 after nearly four decades behind bars.

As a compensation for wrongful imprisonment, the Ohio Court of Claims ordered to give $1.6 million to Wiley Bridgeman, now 60, and Kwame Ajamu, 57.

The sum includes damages: about $969,000 for Bridgeman and $647,000 for Ajamu, according to the court.

The sums also include compensation for years of lost salaries, the men’s attorneys Terry Gilbert and David Mills said, adding up to about $51,000 for each year spent behind bars and without work.

Gilbert said that no money can bring back the decades in prison, and the men deserve more, but added: “The state has limits on what they pay.”

He added: “But obviously they are grateful to have some resources to start their lives again.”

Last month, Ricky Jackson, now 58, was awarded over $1 million in compensation.

Dan Tierney, a spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, said the ruling is to be reviewed Monday.


Related Topics:

Obama’s Policed State

Why I Will Never, Ever, Go Back to the United States

Librarians Gagged and Threatened with Prison under the Patriot Act*

The Cuban Five are Free After 16 years Wrongful Imprisonment*

Imprisoned for Thought Crime*

Death from Vaccinosis and an Imprisoned Father*

Ex CIA Operative, Victim of Child Trafficking, and Political Prisoner in U.S.*

Guantanamo Prison Guard Converts to Islam*

Being Driven Insane, Mentally Ill Children Kept in U.K. Prisons*

State Terrorists Re-Write the Script on the Man they Once Branded a Terrorist*

Citizens Reclaim their Town from Corrupt Cops

Call the Cops at Your Peril*

Get Out of Jail Free Card for Cop Involved in 100+ Tortures of Black Men*

U.S. Killer Cops get Further Training in Israel*

Doing the Netanyahu: A Russian fighter jet Intercepts U.S. Reconnaissance, but U.S. Accuses Russia*

Doing the Netanyahu: A Russian fighter jet Intercepts U.S. Reconnaissance, but U.S. Accuses Russia*

RC-135 U.S. reconnaissance aircraft (Reuters//U.S. Air Force)

RC-135 U.S. reconnaissance aircraft (Reuters//U.S. Air Force)

An American RC-135U reconnaissance aircraft was buzzed by a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet over the Baltic Sea near Russia’s Kaliningrad Region, according to the Pentagon, which accused the Russian pilot of coming dangerously close to the US aircraft.

“On the morning of April 7, a US RC-135U, flying a routine route in international airspace, was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 Flanker in an unsafe and unprofessional manner,” the Washington Free Beacon (WFB) cited Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen M. Lainez as saying.

“The United States is raising this incident with Russia in the appropriate diplomatic and official channels,” she added.

The official said that a Russian Su-27 (NATO designation – Flanker) passed within a half-dozen meters of the unarmed reconnaissance aircraft, whereas the Sukhoi’s wingspan is 14.7 meters. The Pentagon spokeswoman dubbed the behavior of Russian pilot “reckless” and endangering the safety of the RC-135 crew.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said that the interception was launched after “Russian air defense radars spotted an unidentified air target over the Baltic Sea making steady progress toward the national border.” The aircraft had its transponder turned off, Konashenkov said.

The Sukhoi Su-27 dispatched to intercept the target identified it as a US Air Force reconnaissance aircraft RC-135U and reported the aircraft’s type and tail number to headquarters. After the Su-27 made several fly-bys around the spy plane, the RC-135U altered course and moved away from Russian border.

No emergency situation was reported during the fly-by of the American reconnaissance aircraft,” Konashenkov said.


Comment: The trouble is, does the U.S. know what the proper channels are, and how to apply them?

Related Topics:

U.S. on Russia’s Borders Trying to Provoke War*

The Earthquake that Stopped Before Hitting Ukraine and Russian Borders*

The Zionist Holocaust of 66 Million Russians*

Before We Lose it, which of His Bounties Would You Deny?

Aogashima Island

In an instant an active volcano can spew molten lava over a neighbouring village incinerating everything in its path and all of its inhabitants—a sure and sudden death. Evidently, the villagers on Aogashima Island—who reside inside of an active volcano—see this as a challenge, not a threat.

The volcano last erupted in the 18th century, killing nearly half the population and forcing the remaining inhabitants to leave the island for almost 50 years. The volcano is still active.

Located 360 kilometres from mainland Japan, this remote island inhabited by only 200 people relies on the volcano’s geothermic heat to support their village. The heat from the volcano is used to cook their food and produce their main export: Hingya salt. Villagers live off the land, eating the bounty of fish and mountain vegetables indigenous to the island.

Their food is cooked by placing their meals in the ground and letting the volcanic heat steam cook them. The salt is made by evaporating three tons of sea water on volcanic ground, which produces 90kg of salt. The properties of the salt are said to have restorative powers and is used in their food and in lotions.

Mount Roraima in Venezuela

Mount Roraima/Tepuy Roraima and Cerro Roraima is the highest of the Pakaraima mountain chain in South America. “Roroi” in the Pemon Indian language means blue-green and “ma” means great

Tepuy is a Pemon Indian word meaning “house of the gods”.

Mount Roraima geological formation dates back to over two billion years. Roraima’s vast plateau of a 31 sq. km at the summit has strange and gnarled rocks, that formed when the African and American continents were pulled apart as a part of the continental drift. Surrounded by three countries Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana it is the highest mountain in Guyana, but Venezuela and Brazil have higher mountains. Its shape is defined by 400 meter tall cliffs on all sides.

It is the source of many rivers of Guyana, the Amazon and the Orinoco. The almost daily rain has bequeathed it with a unique ecosystem both animals and plants.

The largest system of caves in the world of quartz was discovered, Cueva Ojos de Cristal, translates to mean “The Cave of the Crystal Eye.” At length the cave stretches almost 11 km, descending to a depth of 72 meters below the surface. It is also unique in that it has 18 outputs. In the cave, scientists have discovered cave drawings depicting the unusual animals and humans, only vaguely resembling humans.

Once impenetrable to all but the Pemon indigenous people, Roraima is sacred ground for the Pemons and a spiritual symbol for many other Venezuelans. The Pemon still live in the land of their ancestors. They awake to the morning mist enshrouding those otherworldly flat-topped mountains, the tallest of which is called Roraima, and take their evening bath in the rivers that flow, crystalline and icy, through each and every village. Only Pemon are allowed to live within its borders, and only Pemon may serve as guides to the natural wonders Angel Falls and Mt. Roraima.

But how long will the Pemon have to wait to see their land on paper?

Lisa is not optimistic. “These are virgin territories of great wealth, both in the sense of biodiversity and endemic species, but also in minerals; gold and diamonds,” she said, suggesting that the land’s exorbitant value is what makes the government so cautious.

“It’s also a border zone,” she reminds me, “which means even more bureaucratic red tape.”

The area borders British Guyana in the East and Brazil in the South, and the Pemon race extends beyond both those borders. Lisa herself is from British Guyana, and speaks English fluently, as well as Spanish and her native Taurepan. Brazilian Pemon are known as Macuxi – Venuezuelanlysis

Antelope Canyon in Arizona, U.S.

A quarter of a mile long and 50 feet high, Antelope Canyon in Arizona is on the Navajo Indian Reservation. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tse’ bighanilini, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Upper Antelope is at about 4,000 feet elevation and the canyon walls rise 120 feet above the streambed. Located within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation, the forces of water, wind, and climate extremes over millions of years combined to create the array of shapes and colours. During rain storms, water collects in a basin above the slot canyon. When the basin overflows, it forms a flash flood that rushes through the canyon carving shapes of sandstone which is essentially petrified sand dunes. With each succeeding flood, carvings of new shapes and polishing of existing formations gradually occur.

According to local Navajos, who have lived here for some time, the canyon and the LeChee area were places where cattle grazed in winter. To older Navajos, entering a place like Antelope Canyon was like entering a cathedral. They would probably pause before going in, to be in the right frame of mind and prepare for protection and respect. This would also allow them to leave with an uplifted feeling of what Mother Nature has to offer, and to be in harmony with something greater than themselves. It was, and is, a spiritual experience. –

the Navajo also used the canyon as a place to hide. When Kit Carson brought his cavalry to round up the Navajo and march them to Fort Sumner in the 1860s, some of the people hid in Antelope Canyon and adjacent areas, shared Navajo tour guide Leonard Nez with Indiancountry

Fingal’s Cave, Scotland

In Celtic Fingal’s Cave is known as Uamh-Binn, meaning “cave of melody”, due to the lovely sounds made by echoes of waves crashing inside. Fingal is a character of Irish mythology, the giant who built the Giant’s Causeway.

Fingal’s Cave is a 270-foot-deep, 72-foot-tall sea caveEntirely volcanic island, the many caves are formed from basalt columns which can also be found in the Giant’s Causeway and Rathlin island in Northern Ireland. The legend holds that they were the end pieces of a bridge built by the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (a.k.a. Finn McCool) to Scotland where he was to fight Benandonner, his gigantic Scottish rival. Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill. And what is myth but a fragment of truth. The legend, which connects the two structures, is true in that both the Giant’s Causeway and Fingal’s Cave were created by the same ancient lava flow, which may have at one time formed a “bridge” between the two sites.

Staffa, Old Norse for “Stave or Pillar is one of the smallest islands in the Southern Hebrides was once inhabited in the 1700s by 16 people. It became part of the Ulva Estate but it was sold in 1777 and via several owners it was donated to the National Trust of Scotland by Jock Elliott from New York in 1986. Staffa is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It’s more famous visitors included Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth an English poet, classical composer Mendelssohn, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Jules Verne Pink Floyd and Dr David Livingstone.

Credit: Jim Richardson of National Geographic

The slow cooling second layer of basalt formulated predominantly hexagonal columns which form the faces and walls of the principal caves. The lava contracted into prismatic columns. The columns typically have three to eight sides, six being most common.

The 1765 Works of Ossian, son of Fingal by James MacPherson was compiled oral legends and manuscripts gathered throughout the Scottish Highlands.   This was during the enforcement of the British Act of Proscription that made virtually everything of Highland culture illegal and punishable by “transportation”.

Pamukkale, Turkey

Below Hierapolis once frequented by Queen Cleopatra, sits Pamukkale is from the Turkish Pamuk which means ‘cotton’.

The white calcite shelves look like ice, but they overrun with warm, mineral-rich waters on the mountain above the village – the so-called ‘Cotton Castle’ The illusion of snow is actually travertine, a type of limestone created by a rapid precipitation of calcium bicarbonate originating from hot springs.

The pools fill up when naturally occurring hot water bubbles up from under the ground. As it reaches the surface, the water percolates through a layer of limestone, dissolving  calcium into the hot water. By the time the water reaches the surface, it’s chalky white with dissolved calcium, or more technically calcite (CaCO3), from the limestone.

For every 250 litres of water that flow downwards, 2.2 grams of calcium is deposited. In time, this process resulted in the formation of real stalactites, giving the region a white wintery look. Therefore, this unique place looks like a natural fortress of ice, although the water temperature reaches 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit).

Pamukkale has been appreciated for over two millennia and yet still remain a little known wonder of the world. Thousands of years ago earthquakes, which are common in Turkey, created fractures that allowed powerful hot springs to bring water rich in calcium carbonate to the surface.

The mineral deposits come from Cal Mountain’s rich spring waters and volcanic springs that were saved since thousand years. The water runs down the travertine and fills them up. The Sacred Pool’s calcium-magnesium sulfate waters are said to help treat a host of ailments including heart diseases, hypertension, rheumatism and skin problems. Drinking the water is good for the kidneys and digestive maladies. The curative waters are but one feature of the spa complex.

The Turkish government stepped in to prevent the site from being totally destroyed. The hotels were subsequently torn down and vehicles were stopped from driving on the site.  Tourists are now limited to certain areas, and kept off the most fragile parts of the travertines.

To keep the travertine white and to prevent crush and damage on them, in 1997 it was forbidden to walk on them and the water is allowed to reach the terraces periodically according to weekly watering schedule. But it is possible to walk on the south part of the travertine with naked foot. Turks living there, and especially those who take care for the park, keep a close eye to pollution and basic hygiene rules.

Gyokusendo Caves – Okinawa, Japan

Approximately 5 km (3.1 miles) long, only 890 metres (973 yards) Gyokusendo Cave was first known locally and made public in 1967 when it when a student group from a Japanese university stumbled upon it. Primarily limestone the reflective waters of the river courses through the cave. The stalactites and stalagmites have been forming over the past 300,000 years. With over a million fragile stalactites hanging from the ceiling, loud noises that cause vibrations can make the stalactites fall.

There are small waterfalls that feed the river, and much wildlife including fish, bats, insects and reptiles. As the second-largest cave system in Japan Gyokusendo has over 800 meters of passageways open to the public. It

The Gyokusendo/Illuminated Cave is a favourite place for divers because of the crystal clear waters and the illumination caused by water reflection. Gyokusendo is a large underground cave and body of water located underneath the city of Nanjo in Okinawa that has become a part of the amusement park Okinawa World.

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The People and the Crystal Cave…

Rujm el-Hirri: The Stonehenge of Syria

Easter Island: The Eyes of God Have Bodies!

The Secret Caves of Giza

Our Beautiful Earth!

Traveling Helps the Brain Connect!

Heavenly Signs: I Can See Four Rainbows…