Following a brutal and horrific battle between Japanese and US forces which claimed the lives of approximately one third of Okinawa’s population, Okinawa has been forced to house American militarism up until this day. Approximately 20 percent of the Okinawan mainland is used to house US military bases. Military crimes are commonplace and many of them are of a grave and violent nature. Between 2009 and 2011 alone, 188 crimes resulting in injury or death were reported as being committed by military personnel whilst on duty. This number does not take into account other grave criminal action committed by military forces or crimes that for one reason or another go unreported, nor does it take into account crimes committed by officers who are not on duty. These crimes committed by military personnel whilst on duty involve gang rape, murder, assault and burglaries. Considering the Okinawa mainland is a dense island of small proportions with a population the size of one quarter of New Zealand’s, it is clear that any single criminal act will have a disastrous effect on the Okinawan community as a whole. The fact that so many crimes are committed by military personnel in such a small amount of time is telling of the adverse effect that military presence in Okinawa has on the human rights of the Okinawan people. [Read more...]
The Syrian civil war has come about as a response to the rule of Bashar al-Assad who succeeded his father in the year 2000, coming into presidency with strong support of the people and with aspirations of democracy and secularism. However, as his presidency unfolded, not much changed for the Syrian people. The economy was still strongly controlled by the authorities and any signs of uprising or Arab Spring type movements were not met “democratically”.
This crackdown began by heavy monitoring of the internet, which led to nationwide detainment, torturing and killing of political dissidents. The official civil war didn’t begin until early 2011. Many people, inspired by the Arab Spring, felt it was time to protest for reform and demanded Assad resign. The regime was met with the biggest protests in decades – their response was to mow these unarmed protesters down right across the country. [Read more...]
40 00 people took to the streets to protest against nuclear plants and Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo on October 13. Kenji Kunitomi from the Japan Revolutionary Communist League prepared this report for Socialist Review.
Right-wing nationalist Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe claims radiation from Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactor is perfectly under control at his presentation speech to the International Olympic Committee general assembly in Buenos Aires on September 7.
Ths shameless assertion by Abe is completely false. Highly radiation-contaminated water is massively leaking into the soil and sea everyday, and both TEPCO and the government could nothing to control Fukushima nuclear disaster.
150,000 residents who have had to evacuate from the nuclear disaster are have not been able to return to their hometown. Their life conditions are very bad and government policies to support those affected are totally insufficient.
In this situation, the LDP-led ultra-right nationalist and neo-liberal Abe government has been very eager to reactivate nuclear reactors — all 50 of Japan’s nuclear reactors are now stopped — and to accelerate export projects of nuclear plants. The Abe government, supported by big capitalists, believes that without nuclear power Japanese capitalism will not survive under the very critical situation global capitalism finds itself in currently. [Read more...]
Over 150 thousand were killed, hundreds of thousands injured and disabled, millions of people displaced inside and outside Syria. Cities, villages, and neighborhoods were destroyed fully or partially, using all sorts of weapons, including warplanes, scud missiles, bombs, and tanks, all paid for by the sweat and blood of the Syrian people. This was under the pretext of defending the homeland and achieving military balance with Israel (whose occupation of Syrian land is, in fact, being protected by the Syrian regime, which failed to reply to any of its continuing aggressions).
Yet, despite the enormous losses mentioned above, befalling all Syrians, and the calamity inflicted on them, no international organization or major country – or a lesser one – felt the need to provide practical solidarity or support the Syrians in their struggle for their most basic rights, human dignity, and social justice. [Read more...]
Sixty years ago, on the 17th of August 1953, Hector Larsen, the resident commissioner of Niue, was murdered. Larsen’s rule over the people of Niue – he had been commissioner for a decade at his death – was “by most accounts,” as a Radio New Zealand documentary from 2009 puts it, “not just paternalistic but brutal.” The radical historian Dick Scott wrote a book about the incident – Would a Good Man Die?- and depicts Larsen’s death as a symbol of New Zealand-Niuean relations. The three young Niueans responsible for Larsen’s death felt “they were ridding their land of a tyrant.”
This might seem like old history, a misunderstanding from a past era. But the involvement of New Zealand imperialism, alongside Australia, in meddling with, dominating, and interfering with the peoples of the Pacific continues. [Read more...]
MILITARY JUDGE Col. Denise Lind found Pfc. Bradley Manning guilty of almost every charge leveled against him for his role as a military whistle-blower–but not guilty of the most serious charge of “aiding the enemy.”
While the outcome on the “aiding the enemy” charge is seen by supporters as a victory, Manning, who released classified documents and video to the muckraking WikiLeaks website, still faces as many as 136 years in prison on 19 other charges, including six counts of violating the Espionage Act and five counts of stealing government property.
The sentencing phase of the trial will begin on July 31 and is expected to take at least a month before Lind rules. But Manning will almost certainly spend most of the rest of his life behind bars–unless pressure is brought to bear on the military to relent. [Read more...]
Whatever crimes the Brotherhood has committed against the people and against the Copts in defence of its power in the name of religion, we do not give army chief Al-Sisi our authority. We will not go into the streets on Friday offering a blank cheque to commit massacres.
If Al-Sisi has the legal means to do what he wants, why is he calling people into the streets? What he wants is a popular referendum on assuming the role of Caesar and the law will not deter him.
Yes, the Brotherhood caused the masses to suffer during the period of their rule, and today we see the return of terrorist acts in Sinai, Al-Arish, and attacks against the people living in Maniyal and al-Nahda.
Yet the army does not need “permission” to deal with terrorist acts, it has the legal means to do that and more. But it does want more, it wants a popular mobilisation behind it in order to increase the cohesion of the state and the ruling class behind its leadership.
It wants to wipe out one of the most important features of the revolution so far, which is the masses’ consciousness of the repressive role of the state apparatus and its intense hostility to towards them. [Read more...]
“WHAT HAPPENED on June 30 was, without the slightest doubt, the historic beginning of a new wave of the Egyptian revolution, the largest since January 2011. The number of people who demonstrated on that legendary day is estimated to exceed 17 million citizens, something unprecedented in history.
The significance of this surpasses any participation by old regime remnants, or the apparent support of the army and police. Mass demonstrations of millions are exceedingly rare events in human history, and their effect on the consciousness and confidence of the populace in themselves, and in their power to change the course of history, transcend the limitations of the slogans raised and the political alternatives put forward.”
That is the statement put forwards by the Revolutionary Socialists of Egypt. Protests on June 30th forced the military to pre-empt the movement and oust Morsi from power. Mainstream media outlets have almost exclusively focused upon the military’s role, making it quite easy to forget the self-activity of the masses, those seventeen million people who marched on June 30th.
There is a revolution still unfolding in Egypt. Everyone who is serious about politics and change should be following the events in Egypt as closely as they can. It isn’t a topic to be approached dryly, like some distant historical event. It is a living, breathing revolution that is happening right now. [Read more...]
“Open season [...] after a verdict like this”: that’s how Gary Younge describes the situation. “Let it be noted that on this day, Saturday 13 July 2013, it was still deemed legal in the US to chase and then shoot dead an unarmed young black man on his way home from the store because you didn’t like the look of him.”
Protests drawing in tens of thousands are taking place across the United States, expressing outrage at the acquittal of a racist killer. The verdict has been passed on American racism.
Mana on campus called a snap action outside the US High Commission in Auckland this evening, and we were proud to stand in solidarity with all those protesting this criminal injustice in the United States and abroad.
US socialist Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor ends her response to the acquittal with these powerful words from Martin Luther King:
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
A confrontation between Egyptian soldiers and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood calling for ousted President Mohamed Morsi to be returned to power left more than 50 demonstrators dead in the early morning hours of July 8, according to news reports. The killings come after a week of upheaval that started with perhaps the largest demonstration in world history when an estimated 17 million Egyptians took to the streets on June 30 to demand that then-President Morsi resign, followed by the military intervening to topple Morsi’s government, name an interim president and promise new elections.
On July 9, the Revolutionary Socialists of Egypt published a statement responding to the killings of Brotherhood members and analyzing both the role of the military, which ruled Egypt via the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) between Hosni Mubarak’s downfall in February 2011 and Morsi’s election one year ago–and the record of the Muslim Brotherhood since the revolution and while in power during the last year.