“For the past few days, peaceful Turkish citizens have been protesting the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park, one of the few green areas left in the center of Istanbul. The plan by the Erdogan-run AKP government is to build a large shopping center instead, benefitting his own interests and filling his own pockets.
What started with a mere 100 protestors turned into tens of thousands over the course of a few days. People camped out in the park, sang songs, read books, danced. I was there yesterday and it was heartwarming.
Prime Minister Erdogan made a public announcement two days ago stating, ‘We have made up our minds’, and that nothing will stop his plans to destroy the park.
He subsequently ordered his police forces to attack protestors in the park using water cannons and tear gas without warning in the early hours of the morning. This has been happening for the past two days, and continues as I write these words. Tents were burned as people slept in them, innocent citizens were dragged away and had tear gas sprayed directly into their faces, kicked and punched where they were on the ground. Bystanders on their way to work also got sprayed. The center of Istanbul is now a war-zone.
Innocent people are being attacked, injured and hospitalised There are unofficial reports of one person being dead with his ID confiscated by officials (an eerie replay of the May 1 attacks when an innocent young girl was put into a coma due to tear gas attacks. This girl was later labeled by the government as a terrorist)
This has become a matter about more than just saving trees. This has always been about more than that. This is an ‘I can do whatever I damn well want’, fascist mentality that not only heavily suppresses but openly attacks its own people.
To make matters worse, media channels are being censored so as not to display the news.
#direngeziparki is now the 2nd worldwide trending topic on Twitter.
As our friends overseas, we need your help. Send this message to everyone you know. Amnesty International has already announced it condemns the use of excessive force against the protestors, and has called on the Turkish police to stop the use of violence, and to respect the protestors’ rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. But it hasn’t helped.
The protests have and will continue despite the abuse but it needs all the attention it can get, especially considering Turkish news channels heavily alter and misrepresent the nature of what is actually occurring in the heart of Istanbul.
Please create awareness internationally about our plight, or matters are going to get much, much worse. We want all international media channels - soclal and mass - to report this news.
Please help us to share this message and stop Erdogan’s ruthless, inhumane acts. In a never-ending series of human rights abuses that have occurred under his leadership, this is the last straw.”
Many of you soon-to-be college graduates are determined to make the world a better place. Some of you are choosing careers in public service or joining nonprofits or volunteering in your communities.
But many of you are cynical about politics. You see the system as inherently corrupt. You doubt real progress is possible.
“What chance do we have against the Koch brothers and the other billionaires?” you’ve asked me. “How can we fight against Monsanto, Boeing, JP Morgan, and Bank of America? They buy elections. They run America.”
Let me remind you: Cynicism is a self-fulfilling prophesy. You have no chance if you assume you have no chance.
“But it was different when you graduated,” you say. “The sixties were a time of social progress.”
You don’t know your history.
A woman hitting a skinhead with her handbag, Sweden, 1985 by Hans Runesson. The woman was reportedly a concentration camp survivor.
ladies, non binary folks, and gentlemen I hereby declare this one of the best post in all of the world
Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism released their annual report on American journalism this week. The report paints a bleak picture of the news landscape, citing “a continued erosion of news reporting resources” and detailing “a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands.” You can view the full report online.
On Slate, Matthew Yglesias counters the findings of the report. He argues, “American news media has never been in better shape. That’s just common sense. Almost anything you’d want to know about any subject is available at your fingertips.” He criticizes The State of the News Media Report for focusing on the challenges related to monetizing digital content and selling ads and ignoring the variety and depth of news available today online.
FJP: On our ever expanding reading list.
Ten years ago this week, the United States invaded Iraq. These two stories by James Fallows are essential to understanding the consequences of that decision.
The Fifty-First State (Nov. 2002): Months before the invasion began, Fallows warned of the difficult responsibilities America would face as an occupying power. Was the U.S. prepared for a long-term relationship?
Bush’s Lost Year (Oct. 2004): “As a political matter, whether the United States is now safer or more vulnerable is of course ferociously controversial. That the war was necessary—and beneficial—is the Bush Administration’s central claim. That it was not is the central claim of its critics. But among national-security professionals there is surprisingly little controversy. Except for those in government and in the opinion industries whose job it is to defend the Administration’s record, they tend to see America’s response to 9/11 as a catastrophe.”
Like most of those in Argentina, he is a soccer fan, his favorite team being the underdog San Lorenzo squad. Known for his outreach to the country’s poor, he gave up a palace for a small apartment, rode public transportation instead of a chauffeur-driven car and cooked his own meals.
The new pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (pronounced ber-GOAL-io), 76, will be called Francis. Chosen Wednesday by a gathering of Roman Catholic cardinals, he is in some ways a history-making pontiff, the first from the Jesuit order and the first pope from Latin America.
But Cardinal Bergoglio is also a conventional choice, a theological conservative of Italian ancestry who vigorously backs Vatican positions on abortion, gay marriage, the ordination of women and other major issues — leading to heated clashes with Argentina’s current left-leaning president.
He was less energetic, however, when it came to standing up to Argentina’s military dictatorship during the 1970s as the country was consumed by a conflict between right and left that became known as the Dirty War. As many as 30,000 people were disappeared, tortured or killed by the dictatorship, and he has been accused of knowing about the abuses and failing to do enough to stop them.
Despite the criticism, many here praise Cardinal Bergoglio — who likes the more humble title of Father Jorge — as a passionate defender of the poor and disenfranchised.
In 2001 he surprised the staff of Muñiz Hospital in Buenos Aires, asking for a jar of water, which he used to wash the feet of 12 patients hospitalized with complications from the virus that causes AIDS. He then kissed their feet, telling reporters that “society forgets the sick and the poor.” More recently, in September 2012, he scolded priests in Buenos Aires who refused to baptize the children of unwed mothers. “No to hypocrisy,” he said at the time of the priests. “They are the ones who separate the people of God from salvation.”
Though he is averse to liberation theology, which he views as hopelessly tainted with Marxist ideology, Cardinal Bergoglio has emphasized outreach to the impoverished, and as cardinal of Buenos Aires he has overseen increased social services and evangelization in the slums."
March 11, 1965. Twelve protestors stage a sit-in demonstration at the White House in relation to civil rights.