Tag Archives: violation of human rights

Desmond Tutu Responds to US Attempts to Curb Freedom of Speech

Statement by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on US Efforts to Curb Freedom of Speech

I am writing today to express grave concern about a wave of legislative measures in the United States aimed at punishing and intimidating those who speak their conscience and challenge the human rights violations endured by the Palestinian people. In legislatures in Maryland, New York, Illinois, Florida, and even the United States Congress, bills have been proposed that would either bar funding to academic associations or seek to malign those who have taken a stand against the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

These legislative efforts are in response to a growing international initiative, the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, of which I have long been a supporter. The BDS movement emanates from a call for justice put out by the Palestinian people themselves. It is a Palestinian-led, international nonviolent movement that seeks to force the Israeli government to comply with international law in respect to its treatment of the Palestinian people.

I have supported this movement because it exerts pressure without violence on the State of Israel to create lasting peace for the citizens of Israel and Palestine, peace which most citizens crave. I have witnessed the systematic violence against and humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces. Their humiliation and pain is all too familiar to us South Africans.

In South Africa, we could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the Apartheid regime. My conscience compels me to stand with the Palestinians as they seek to use the same tactics of non-violence to further their efforts to end the oppression associated with the Israeli occupation.

The legislations being proposed in the United States would have made participation in a movement like the one that ended Apartheid in South Africa extremely difficult.

I am also deeply troubled by the rhetoric associated with the promulgation of these bills which I understand, in the instance of Maryland, included testimony comparing the boycott to the actions of the Nazis in Germany. The Nazi Holocaust which resulted in the extermination of millions of Jews is a crime of monstrous proportions. To imply that it is in any way comparable to a nonviolent initiative diminishes the horrific nature of that genocidal and tragic era in our world history.

Whether used in South Africa, the US South, or India, boycotts have resulted in a transformative change that not only brought freedom and justice to the victims but also peace and reconciliation for the oppressors. I strongly oppose any piece of legislation meant to punish or deter individuals from pursuing this transformative aspiration. And I remain forever hopeful that, like the nonviolent efforts that have preceded it, the BDS movement will ultimately become a catalyst for honest peace and reconciliation for all our brothers and sisters, both Palestinian and Israeli, in the Holy Land.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

 

-o-

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Chagos Islanders Still in Limbo

‘What in the World?’ is an Irish series of tv documentaries presented and produced by Peadar King. (See also http://kmfproductions.net) In this episode, Peadar King travels to Mauritius to meet the original inhabitants of the Chagos Islands (Indian Ocean). The Chagos Islanders were secretly and brutally expelled from their homeland by British governments in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to make way for an American military base on the main island of Diego Garcia. For more information and updates on the plight of the Chagossians, please visit the website of the UK Chagos Support Association at http://www.chagossupport.org.uk.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION – GO TO http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/let-the-chagos-islanders-return-home.html

I first posted the following poem in May 2009. I hope you don’t mind a second read.

Rounding Up The Dogs of the Children Who Died of Sadness

Monsters came one day, dressed
in stiff uniforms. They were fed
largely on red meat and so had grown
like giants compared to the islanders.

They scarred the land as they drove,
engines growling like hungry beasts,
churning sand and dust into the terrified
eyes of the children. Those little

Brown arms grew powerless at the sight
of fists clutching the collars of their pets.
Never before had they seen such dark
nightmares. The monsters had come

To gather all the dogs of the island.
They were taken amid screams and cries,
hearts cracking like husked coconuts
flung against jagged rocks.

-o-


How to Kill with a Paintball Gun: an International High Seas Musical for the Benefit of the Israeli Offensive Force (a not so new arm)

How to Kill with a Paintball Gun: an International High Seas Musical
for the Benefit of the Israeli Offensive Force (a not so new arm)


“The activists were armed with knives, scissors, pepper spray and guns.”
He said he was armed only with a paintball rifle. “It was a civilian
paintball gun that any 12-year-old can play with,” he said. “I saw my
friends on the deck spitting blood.”
A soldier identified only as a sergeant interviewed
after the massacre in international waters, 31 May 2010

Make bloody certain you only carry a paintball gun
As you descend from the heavens, or a helicopter,
Landing on the deck with images of Peter Pan
In your head twirling, because you can never

Know when the passengers of a ship you are boarding
Without permission might not be willing
To give just all the world’s hugs and kisses
To give just what your world misses

A paintball gun is all you need
A paintball gun is all you need

Sing with me, all of you still rappelling down from the heavens

A paintball gun is all you need
A paintball gun is all you need

Come on now, don’t be shy, to the top of your voices

A paintball gun is all you need
A paintball gun is all you need

Be bloody ready with your paintball gun brothers
Tell the passengers to open their mouths wide
Be bloody ready with your paintball gun brothers
Aim well, not too low and not too high

A paintball gun is all you need
A paintball gun is all you need

Point your toes brothers
Let’s shock and awe

So no one ever forgets
Such magnificent pirouettes

Now flood those bloody mouths with paint
Go ahead, can’t you hear them begging

A paintball gun is all you need
A paintball gun is all you need

BANG!

-o-


Elders Condemn Israel’s Actions

The Elders group of past and present world leaders, including former South African president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, on Monday condemned as “completely inexcusable” the deadly Israeli attack on a flotilla carrying aid for Gaza.

…”This tragic incident should draw the world’s attention to the terrible suffering of Gaza’s 1.5 million people, half of whom are children under the age of 18,” the group said.

How to Kill with a Paintball Gun: an International Musical

for the Benefit of the Israeli Offensive Force (a not so new arm)

“The activists were armed with knives, scissors, pepper spray and guns.”

He said he was armed only with a paintball rifle. “It was a civilian

paintball gun that any 12-year-old can play with,” he said. “I saw my

friends on the deck spitting blood.”

A soldier identified only as a sergeant interviewed

after the massacre in international waters, 31 May 2010

Make bloody certain you only carry a paintball gun

As you descend from the heavens, or a helicopter,

Landing on the deck with images of Peter Pan

In your head twirling, because you can never

Know when the passengers of a ship you are boarding

Without permission might not be willing

To give just all the world’s hugs and kisses

To give just what your world misses

A paintball gun is all you need

A paintball gun is all you need

Sing with me, all of you still rappeling down from the heavens

A paintball gun is all you need

A paintball gun is all you need

Come on now, don’t be shy, to the top of your voices

A paintball gun is all you need

A paintball gun is all you need

Be bloody ready with your paintball gun brothers

Tell the passengers to open their mouths wide

Be bloody ready with your paintball gun brothers

Aim well, not too low and not too high

A paintball gun is all you need

A paintball gun is all you need

Point your toes brothers

Let’s shock and awe

So no one ever forgets

Such magnificent pirouettes

Now flood those bloody mouths with paint

Go ahead, can’t you hear them begging

A paintball gun is all you need

A paintball gun is all you need

BANG!

-o-


Murderers! Kidnappers! Thieves!



Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country’s siege on Gaza.

Up to 16 people were killed and more than 30 people injured when Israeli troops stormed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, the Israeli Army Radio said.

The flotilla was attacked when it was 65km off the Gaza coast.

Footage from the flotilla’s lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

The Israeli Army Radio said soldiers opened fire “after confronting those on board carrying sharp objects”.

Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the ships.

They also said the ships were now being towed to the Israeli town of Haifa, instead of Ashdod to avoid waiting journalists.

FROM ALJAZEERA


Monsters 1: Unmanned Drone

Its heartbeat is not human.
Its gaze is cold, distant.
It flies above the clouds,
even in daylight, almost without sound.

It keeps its brain in a box
far away from its victims.
It listens to voices
in different frequencies,
voices of the soon to be dead.

Its presence is forever denied
even as it leaves
a trail of death and destruction.

Pray it does not hear
your most silent whisper.

-o-

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