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Crisis in Iraq

"The only advantage that the US has in the situation is the Islamic State itself. Last time the tribal leadership turned against al Qaeda in Iraq because of their reactionary politics and nihilistic attacks on the Shia and the religious sites. But so far the alliance between the Islamic State, the tribal leaders, and the ex-Baathists has held. Thus, if the United States conducts any air strikes it will be seen as siding with the Shia state against the Sunnis.

Obama’s fallback strategy of partitioning Iraq, which is now the position of America’s unofficial policy journal Stratfor, would destabilize Turkey, Iran, Syria, and several other countries. Like the sorcerer’s apprentice, Washington has conjured up a metastasizing crisis that it cannot control or resolve. 

Hope amidst horror
The United States, its imperial rivals, and all the region’s existing states are all part of the problem and offer no solution for the exploited and oppressed majority. The hope amidst this horror is the long-term revolutionary process triggered by the Arab Spring. That mass uprising showed the way to overcome the toxic combination of imperialism, autocracy, neoliberalism, and sectarianism that is tearing the region apart.”
Full article:-

Revolutionary Eye:- Best history and analysis of the crisis I have read and although Maliki has fallen and bombing has begun,remains entirely relevant.

Former Mexican Student Leader Raul Alvarez Garin Dies

Raul Alvarez Garin, leftist militant and member of the National Strike Committee, was one of the student leaders of the 1968 movement, a tireless social activist who remained with subsequent social movements in Mexico.

The 1968 Committee paid homage to the tireless social activist.

Raul Alvarez Garin, former student leader of the 1968 movement in Mexico, died on Friday at the age of 73. The 1968 Committee, said in a press release that he had passed away in his Coyoacan home at 7 p.m.

The activist, who lost his battle with cancer that began a year ago, was part of the movement that  unleashed days of protest, challenging the Gustavo Diaz Ordaz government. After campus protests erupted at the National School of Physics and Mathematics at the National Polytechnic Institute, Alvarez was a delegate of his department to the National Strike Council, which also included students from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, workers, intellectuals, homemakers, and professionals.  Alvarez was arrested on October 19 following the massacre at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco on October 2, 1968, perpetrated by an alliance of federal security agents, the Mexican army and the Olympic Battalion, a known paramilitary group, where as many as 300 students were killed.

Alvarez survived his imprisonment at the Military Encampment Number One. He was then accused of committing crimes against private property, attacking public transit routes, robbery, guilt by association, inciting a rebellion, stockpiling weapons with intent to injury, which saw him being sent to prison for 16 years during the Luis Echeverria administration. He was held at the old Lecumberri prison, which today is the National General Archive.

“Raul has become an indispensable role model of the struggle. Steady in his reasoning, his studies and his knowledge, led by his example, many movements at various moments throughout social and political life were able to change history,” the 1968 Committee’s Facebook posting read.

In July, Alvarez received the Amalia Solorzano de Cardenas prize for his activism in Mexico City.

Fighting back at Mexico’s Poli

An estimated 40,000 students marched on Mexico City to reject curriculum changes made in the educational plan at one of the country’s biggest public universities.

An estimated 40,000 students of the National Polytechnic Institute swamped the center of Mexico City this Tuesday in what was called a mega-march to reject recent changes to class plans and the curriculum at the public university.

The students, who have been on a nearly one-week strike occupying campuses across the country, call the modifications a “technification”, and reduction in quality of various subject areas. They also protest the removal of certain areas of study. They call for the removal of the general director Yoloxochitl Bustamante Diez, who is now rumored to step down after the pressure created by the march.

"This is a way to reduce the standards and level of our university, they want to reduce it to any other technical school,” explained one of the protesting students.

Students also reject obligatory fees for extracurricular activities, such as arts and sports that have always been free of charge.

“You cannot negotiate ones rights,” decried Carmen Gutierrez, protesting-mother of a student. “Rights need to be fulfilled and the state is obligated to give quality education, that is what counts, they forget that they [the students] have a constitutional right.”

The march arrived around 5:00 p.m. local time at the Interior Ministry building. The students call upon Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong to intervene and implement the list of demands.

While Osorio Chong read aloud in front of the masses of demonstrators their list of 10 demands, no commitments were made. The authorities announced that they will respond to the demands this Friday.​

Things that could only happen in a Hong Kong protest

Tear gas, pepper spray, feelings of anger and betrayal, crowds forced to run from riot police… and yet the protests retain that uniquely Hong Kong character.

Reporters and Hong Kong residents have shared their most surreal and charming experiences on the streets.

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Doing your homework

Perhaps it isn’t actually anarchic but it is definitely one of the biggest protests in Hong Kong for years. And yet students - some of whom were at the vanguard of this movement - find time to sit down and do their homework. Richard Frost for Bloomberg News tweeted this picture of children doing just that.

imageStudents doing their homework in Hong Kong’s street protest
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Apologising for the barricade you put up

An entrance to the Causeway Bay MTR station was barricaded and emblazoned with signs shouting out for democracy. In the middle was a small cardboard sign - also written by the protesters: “Sorry for the inconvenience.”


Hong Kong resident Collier Nogues, who took the picture, said it is “characteristic of the feeling everywhere I went this afternoon. Generous, polite.”

 Always apologise for putting up a barricade and blocking access
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Deploying ancient arts of self defence with an umbrella

The humblest and most domestic of props became a protest icon after it was transformed into a shield against pepper spray and tear gas. The picture of a sole protester wielding his umbrella against the tear gas went viral online on Monday.

And when it began to rain on Tuesday, it was put to its secondary use as protection in wet weather. Residents also tweeted that protesters were distributing raincoats in Mong Kok. Police say umbrellas were also used by some protesters to threaten officers during Sunday night’s unrest.

imageHow to deploy an umbrella in self defence

The BBC has explained how the humble umbrella became a HK protest symbol.

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Concern for how fragrant fellow protesters are

Hong-Kong-based journalist Tom Grundy tweeted this picture of a protester proffering free shirt-fresheners. At times the temperature has been sweltering and amid the crowds things are bound to get a little bit sweaty.

imageShirt freshener anyone?

And while on the streets with the protesters, the BBC’s Martin Yip witnessed volunteer armies spraying people with water to keep them cool and fresh.

Armies of water-sprayers cool things down in Causeway Bay
(Click source at bottom of post to see video)

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Keeping off the well cut grass lawn when asked by a cardboard sign

A picture on the live page of the South China Morning Post showed a sea of protesters who it noted had parted for the grass courtyard where Hong Kong’s cenotaph is located. Protesters still obeyed signs telling them to keep off the grass at the monument, putting the “civil” into civil disobedience.

"Despite the crowds around the war memorial in Central, not one person is standing or sitting on the grass. There’s a new cardboard sign over the usual sign telling people not to go on the grass," the Hong Kong-based paper wrote.

image  File picture of Hong Kong’s war memorial outside the old legislative council building - protesters stayed off the grass
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Being the tidiest protesters on the block

The BBC’s Saira Asher reports on how diligently the protesters cleared up after themselves. “The morning is being spent mostly removing rubbish left over from last night’s huge crowd. Students are picking up cigarette butts and plastic bottles, others are distributing breakfast buns. That is why those on the street are being called ‘the politest protesters’ by some on social media.”


Recycling has also been organised by those on the streets. Many agree that the world hasn’t seen organised and tidy protests quite like this before.

This is echoed by the South China Morning Post in its live page when it wrote of a bizarre incident in Causeway Bay where a man pelted protesters with rotten eggs, telling them to “go back to class and stop blocking the roads”. Protesters reportedly responded by cleaning up the mess.

Litter collection and recycling has been organised by those on the streets

Most witnesses agree that despite the clashes on Sunday night and the sheer anger at China’s decision to restrict who can run to be Hong Kong’s leader, the mood on the streets is largely peaceful and generous. There have been incidents of commuters and angry local residents exhorting protesters to give up and leave - a reminder that not all of Hong Kong’s residents agree with the demonstrations.

But for the moment it looks as if the Hong Kong protesters will keep on tidying up, creating lanes to enable smooth passage, doing their homework and of course making the demands they see as crucial to the future of Hong Kong.


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