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Category Archives: Government Oppression

Congressional Votes | Week of Jan. 24, 2020 – St. Augustine Record

Posted: February 2, 2020 at 6:43 pm

Here's a look at how area members of Congress voted over the previous week.

Here's a look at how area members of Congress voted over the previous week.

Along with this week's roll call votes, the House also passed the Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act (S. 153), to promote veteran involvement in STEM education, computer science, and scientific research; the Global Hope Act (H.R. 5338), to authorize the Secretary of State to pursue public-private partnerships, innovative financing mechanisms, research partnerships, and coordination with international and multilateral organizations to address childhood cancer globally; a bill (H. Res. 752), supporting the rights of the people of Iran to free expression and condemning the Iranian regime for its crackdown on legitimate protests; and the Keeping Girls in School Act (H.R. 2153), to support empowerment, economic security, and educational opportunities for adolescent girls around the world.

There were no key votes in the Senate this week.

House Vote 1:

HOLOCAUST EDUCATION PROGRAMS: House has passed the Never Again Education Act (H.R. 943), sponsored by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., to require the Education Department to award grants for Holocaust education programs at public schools. Maloney said: "Our children are not born with hate in their hearts, and it is up to us to make sure that they never learn it." The vote, on Jan. 27, was 393 yeas to 5 nays.

YEAS: Rutherford R-FL (4th), Waltz R-FL (6th)

House Vote 2:

SUICIDE RESEARCH: The House has passed the Advancing Research to Prevent Suicide Act (H.R. 4704), sponsored by Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, to require the National Science Foundation to issue grants to colleges and universities for funding research that aims to prevent suicide. McAdams said the grants "will contribute to the foundational research that we need to give our mental health professionals the tools to save lives." The vote, on Jan. 27, was 385 yeas to 8 nays.

YEAS: Rutherford R-FL (4th), Waltz R-FL (6th)

House Vote 3:

TIBETAN POLICY: The House has passed the Tibetan Policy and Support Act (H.R. 4331), sponsored by Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Mass., to change a variety of elements of U.S. policy on Tibet and its relationship to China, with the general goals of advancing human rights, religious freedom, and economic development for Tibetans. McGovern called the bill an "important step to strengthen U.S. policy in support of the Tibetan people" in the face of oppression by China's government. The vote, on Jan. 28, was 392 yeas to 22 nays.

YEAS: Rutherford R-FL (4th), Waltz R-FL (6th)

House Vote 4:

CONSUMER CREDIT REPORTS: The House has passed the Comprehensive CREDIT Act (H.R. 3621), sponsored by Rep. Ayanna Presley, D-Mass. Bill measures include a ban on consumer credit reports including information about delinquent or defaulted private education loans taken out by borrowers who meet a standard for loan repayment, restrictions on employee credit checks by employers, and other changes to the formation and use of consumer credit reports. Presley said the measures were needed to "ensure a more equitable and transparent credit reporting system for all." A bill opponent, Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., said the changes "will destroy the accuracy and completeness of consumer credit files. This will lead to a weaker financial system." The vote, on Jan. 29, was 221 yeas to 189 nays.

NAYS: Rutherford R-FL (4th), Waltz R-FL (6th)

House Vote 5:

REGULATING FENTANYL ANALOGUES: The House has passed the Temporary Reauthorization and Study of the Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act (S. 3201), sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. The bill would extend until May 2021 the Drug Enforcement Agency's temporary scheduling order regulating fentanyl-like substances as schedule I drugs. A supporter, Rep. Ann M. Kuster, D-N.H., said the extension would give the federal government "the opportunity to better understand the full range of implications that come with classwide scheduling of these substances" that are a large threat to public health. The vote, on Jan. 29, was 320 yeas to 88 nays.

YEAS: Rutherford R-FL (4th), Waltz R-FL (6th)

House Vote 6:

CONFLICT WITH IRAN: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act (H.R. 550), that would bar spending on military force against Iran in the absence of declaration of war by Congress or specific legal authorization from Congress. Khanna said the amendment sought to avoid a repetition of the unending and very costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. An opponent, Rep. Michael T. McCaul, R-Texas, said it "takes legitimate options off the table for the executive branch. In doing so, it shows America divided in the face of mounting Iranian threats, making our nation less safe." The vote, on Jan. 30, was 228 yeas to 175 nays.

NAYS: Rutherford R-FL (4th), Waltz R-FL (6th)

House Vote 7:

REPEALING IRAQ WAR AUTHORIZATION: The House has passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act (H.R. 550), that would repeal the 2002 law that authorized the war with Iraq. Lee called the 2002 authorization outdated and unnecessary, and said "not only is it not needed for any current counterterrorism operations, but repealing it would have absolutely no impact on the administration's ongoing military operations." An amendment opponent, Rep. Michael T. McCaul, R-Texas, said repealing the 2002 authorization without a new authorization for counterterrorism actions "endangers not only the United States' national security, but our coalition partners, most notably, Iraq." The vote, on Jan. 30, was 236 yeas to 166 nays.

NAYS: Rutherford R-FL (4th), Waltz R-FL (6th)

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Congressional Votes | Week of Jan. 24, 2020 - St. Augustine Record

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Berry Tramel: Flair describes the life and times of the late Laker superstar Kobe Bryant – Oklahoman.com

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Kobe was a mesmerizing figure. Even the league itself was transfixed and aware of the financial bonanza he provided. Long before the NBA showed its cards and declined to take a stand on Chinese government oppression, in hopes of keeping Chinese money flowing, the NBA stuck by Kobe when he was charged with rape after a 2003 incident in Eagle, Colorado.

The accuser eventually declined to cooperate with authorities, Kobe settled out of court, his reputation took only a momentary hit and the NBA continued to reap the jackpot of having Kobe as the leagues most riveting player.

Even at age 37, Kobes flair didnt waver. His final season, 2015-16, was a farewell tour around the league, and he scored 60 points in his final game, April 13, 2016.

Kobes enchantment continued upon NBA retirement. He stayed above the basketball fray to which so many former superstars succumb. He turned a $6 million sports-drink investment to a $200 million windfall. His production company won an Academy Award for a basketball short film.

That explains Kobe Bryant best. A prom date with a Hollywood starlet before he ever got to the Lakers; an Oscar after he left the Lakers. And all kinds of basketball largess in between.

Kobe was great with the media oh man, what a world it would be if Westbrook had taken his press conference tips from Kobe and from all reports great with fans.

He had a great smile and a warm personality and didnt make enemies, except on the court. Kobe was both accessible and untouchable; he put himself in vulnerable positions but remained Teflon.

He is the embodiment of the star-driven nature of the basketball league that made him famous, and now hes gone, at age 41, a life lived with flair.

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As long as Palestine remains oppressed, the world is devoid of justice – Daily Sabah

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The Islamic world experienced a short respite during World War II and the Cold War; however, today's chaotic global scene has once again reverted the region's conditions to the pre-World War I environment.

Currently, the struggle for independence and freedom for Muslim countries around the world has once again emerged, leading to region-wide regression. Iranian hostility topped with general anxiety worldwide have led countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to partner with Israel. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have requested U.S. support due to the regional problems.

Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the so-called Middle East peace plan, which he coined the "Deal of the Century," alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Statements by Trump regarding the current state and future of Palestine reflected a typical Trump style. In other words, they were unstable and far from reality.

The plan projects Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. In addition, Palestine is given four years to meet certain conditions to become a conditional independent state. In other words, Trump's plan is to make Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel. This one-sided, unrealistic so-called Middle East peace plan has delighted the Israeli government and outraged Palestinians.

This attitude of the U.S. also risked the possibility of peace between Israel and Palestine and thus became the determinant of the deadlock in Palestine. Trump has threatened the people of the region directly and the people of the world indirectly by saying this plan is the last opportunity for Palestinians and that if it is not accepted, it will have consequences, without mentioning the political framework that has no benefits for Palestinians.

Palestine is located in a geographical region open to all scenarios, and Israel's claim on Jerusalem is not new. Divided by the U.N. in 1947, followed by Israel declaring its independence as a state a year later, Palestine has since tried to work with Washington to protect its future. As the Israeli territory on the map grew over the years, the Palestinian region on the map became smaller and smaller.

Since the 1950s, Palestine's cause has been on the minds of Arab rulers, who motivated their people with the image of Palestine. However, Arab rulers have betrayed the Palestinians' plight, though Arabs still hold Palestine close to their hearts.

Israel and the U.S., portraying themselves as the protectors of democracy and human rights, are trying to occupy the region in line with their own interests on the grounds that they will protect Palestine and the Palestinian people, and they constantly apply tyranny to the people of the region.

On the other hand, the Palestinian people continue to struggle against the pressure and sanctions. Palestine's struggle is an example to the world.

Turkey, which has supported Palestinians strong stand against the statements of the U.S. and has staunchly stood behind the Palestinian people during their struggle for independence, has also been a target of Israel's attacks and reactions.

In this regard, Palestine and Turkey are similar and understand each other very well. Turkey has refused to remain silent regarding Israel's aggression and has declared it will never allow the legitimization of Israel's persecution and occupation. Turkey continues to proudly support the Palestinian people today and has not hesitated to announce its support to the world. In the end, Ankara knows peace will only be achieved by ending the invasive policies in the Middle East. Therefore, Turkey's support is very important for Palestinians.

The world has continuously faced war and oppression, and these pressures continue to increase. The world has now become a place of persecution and injustice, a trend that needs to be reversed immediately.

In this sense, Palestine is the world's womb and Trump's Palestine declaration is not acceptable because it simply promotes occupation.

In the end, as long as Palestine remains oppressed, there is no justice in the world.

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Remember the Influence of Socialism on Martin Luther King Jr’s Legacy – Common Dreams

Posted: at 6:43 pm

King believed humanity could achieve a "higher synthesis" that rose above the social relations of capitalism and communism.

"Black self-determination was seen by the ruling class as a great communist conspiracy."

The annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday is politically meaningless because it is defined by the very power structure that assassinated both his physical life and his radical legacy. To this day, King is remembered by most Americans as the "I Have a Dream" figure who sought peaceful coexistence with a racist power structure also known as the United States government. This narrative has not only benefited the ruling class and the privileges of white Americans but also the Black misleadership class which utilizes King's sanitized legacy as a cover of legitimacy for their political service to the bourgeoisie. It should come as no surprise, then, that the historical moment from which King's work arose has also been distorted by the U.S. ruling class. While publications such as Teen Vogueand public intellectuals likeCornel Westhave brought attention to King's anti-war and anti-capitalist history, fewer have analyzed the importance of socialism in shaping the trajectory of King's politics.

King did not identify as a socialist in Marxian terms. By the end of his life, King was criticizing the triple evils of militarism, racism, and materialism. However, he didn't see the communist movement led by the Soviet Union as the answer to Black America's ills. Instead, King retained a moral and spiritual commitment to equality. He believed humanity could achieve a"higher synthesis"that rose above the social relations of capitalism and communism. The police occupation of poor Black communities at home and the U.S. military occupation of Vietnam abroad compelled King to demand an end to U.S. militarism and to organize the Poor People's Campaign for economic justice.

"The Black misleadership class utilizes King's sanitized legacy as a cover of legitimacy for their political service to the bourgeoisie."

While King didn't embrace communism, his politics were profoundly influenced by the struggle for socialism, domestically and abroad. Most bourgeois historians of the so-called "Civil Rights" era leave out the pesky fact that a war between socialism and capitalism was occurring simultaneously with the Black struggle against Jim Crow white supremacy in the U.S. mainland. Martin Luther King Jr. visited Ghana to celebrate the African nation's independence from Britain in 1957 and met with itsopenly socialist leader, Kwame Nkrumah.National liberation movements throughout Africa and the Third World were receiving aid from the Soviet Union and China to win independence. On the opposite side, the U.S. was engaged in an all-out war on the socialists wherever they resided. This war began with the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1918 and included the use of a two nuclear bombs during World War II, themurder of millions in a military invasion of Korea, and the open threat to drop another nuclear bomb on China for its assistance to socialist resistance on the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. ruling class was extremely concerned that the Black struggle to overturn Jim Crow in the U.S. mainland would seek alliances with the socialist, largely non-white movement abroad. This led King and the rest of the Black movement to become targets in the U.S. government's anti-communist crusade. Black self-determination was seen by the ruling class as a great communist conspiracy that threatened to bring the socialist politics of the Soviet Union to the U.S.' doorstep. Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, Claudia Jones, and several other Black intellectuals and organizers wereblacklisted as agents of Moscowand terrorized by the state for their refusal to align with the predations of American capitalism. The ruling class was so concerned about the influence of anti-colonial and socialist movements abroad that theState Department hired Jazz artists such as Louis Armstrongto travel to newly independent nations on the African continent to promote the U.S.' so-called commitment to racial equality.

"King and the rest of the Black movement became targets in the U.S. government's anti-communist crusade."

COINTELPRO's counterinsurgency warfare against communists and revolutionaries of all kinds really intensified at height of the Cold War in the 1950s, not in the 1960s and 1970s as commonly assumed. U.S. imperialism had every right to fear the influence of socialism. The Soviet Union, China, and Cuba all espoused internationalism as a critical aspect of their socialist projects. Paul Robeson famously remarked that he felt no racial prejudice duringhis trip to the Soviet Union.China provided asylum to Black activistRobert Williams in 1966.A real possibility existed for socialist countries and the Black liberation movement to develop internationalist relationships, much to the chagrin of the American Empire.

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Contrary to the assumptions of former FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, Black revolutionaries were not attracted to socialism because they were dupes of Moscow orculturally programmed to seek a "Black messiah."The world socialist movement not only demonstrated to Black Americans and all oppressed peoples that white capitalist rule could be successfully overthrown but also that a new and more favorable system could replace it. Conditions for workers and peasants in the socialist bloc greatly improved under the direction of a planned economy. In China, for example, a peasant class which was largely landless, illiterate, and prone to premature death prior to 1949saw immense gainsin public health, land ownership, and gender equality after the revolution overthrew the rule of the landlord class and its foreign sponsors. As scholarsRobin Kelly and Betty Eschexplain, the world socialist movement resided in the non-white world and provided Black revolutionaries a successful model for asserting self-determination in the belly of the imperial beast.

"A real possibility existed for socialist countries and the Black liberation movement to develop internationalist relationships."

We don't hear much about socialism when the period of Martin Luther King's political life is discussed in the United States. Yet it is clear that the world socialist movement made a deep impact on King's political trajectory. The genocidal U.S. war in Vietnam, which was largely a war to suppress a socialist revolution, led King to make the following remarks in his speech,Beyond Vietnam:

"These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wombs of a frail world new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. 'The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.' We in the West must support these revolutions."

Martin Luther King's anti-war stance is an example of how socialism was a radicalizing force in the Black political movement and vice versa. Vietnamese revolutionary and first elected president Ho Chi Minh wrotean essay about the lynching of Black Americansin 1924 during his travels to the United States. Chairman Mao Tse-Tung of China wrote a statement of support to Black Americaafter King's assassination.The Black struggle for self-determination was as inspirational to the world socialist movement as the world socialist movement was to the Black left.

Many believe that the U.S. government assassinated King because of his decision to oppose the U.S. war on socialist Vietnam abroad. King spent over a decade under close surveillance by the FBI and other intelligence agenciesbeginning in 1955.A civil court in 1998 ruled that various U.S. government agencies were involved in King's murder. The role of the U.S. government in King's murder has been suppressed with the same ferocity that the role socialism in the political life of Dr. King has been erased from the U.S. ruling class' version of "Black History."

"The Black struggle for self-determination was as inspirational to the world socialist movement as the world socialist movement was to the Black left."

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the weakening of the socialist bloc beginning in the 1990s left Black Americans and other oppressed peoples with few allies around the world. Even worse, two generations of neoliberal decay and the development of a Black misleadership class in the United States moved politics in the U.S. markedly to the right over the same period. The decline of socialism around the world coincided with the expansion of endless war, mass incarceration, and austerity. These policies disproportionately targeted Black lives and in many ways were designed to destroy them. The sanitization of King's legacy has always been meant to reinforce the policy of annihilation that U.S. imperialism has set forth for Black America and the world's oppressed peoples at large.

Still, the so-called "liberal left" imagination is more concerned with anti-communism in the form of Russiagate than with the concerns of Black life. The United States' capitalist empire has no room for King's real legacy, as its treatment of Bernie Sanders makes clear. Sanders' economic agenda most closely resembles King's class politics by the end of his life. The Lords of Capital are fully committed to suppressing Sanders with the understanding that if the word "socialism" continues to gain popularity, then more people, especially Black people, may be inclined to explore and emulate King's radical legacy. To combat the opportunism of the lords of capital and their minions in the political class, we must popularize King's radical legacy and revive the politics of socialism and internationalism which animated it. As Fred Hampton famously said, "Socialism is the people. If you are afraid of socialism, then you are afraid of yourself."

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In President Ram Nath Kovinds address, spotlight on Citizenship Act and a jibe at Pakistan – Hindustan Times

Posted: at 6:43 pm

President Ram Nath Kovind spoke about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA in his address to both Houses of Parliament marking the beginning of the budget session on Friday.

In the times after Partition, Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi had said that those Hindus and Sikhs who dont want to stay in Pakistan, can come to India. It is the duty of the government of India to give them a normal life. I am happy that both Houses of Parliament passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act to fulfill the dreams of those who built our country, the President said.

The treasury benches in the Lok Sabha welcomed this statement with many parliamentarians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah (who piloted the bill in Parliament) thumping theirs desks in appreciation.

Watch l CAA fulfilled Gandhis dream: President Kovind; opposition creates ruckus

All of us know that minorities have been facing oppression in Pakistan over the years. The recent incident in Nankana Sahib is a proof. It is our duty to let the whole world know what is really happening in Pakistan. I condemn the oppression of minorities in Pakistan and urge the international community to take notice, the President further said, which was again given a thumbs up by the government. Some Opposition members, however, raised slogans during the address.

President Kovind further said, The government has made provisions to ensure that the culture of those living in the Northeast is not impacted due to CAA.

The CAA seeks to fast-track citizenship to persecuted minorities from three neighbouring countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It lists six religious minorities and leaves out Muslims which has given rise to protests all across the country.

The protesters have accused the government of dividing the country on religious line with the act. But the Centre has maintained that the CAA will have no impact on the Muslims living in India, and has refused to scrap the law.

The most vehement protests were launched in the Northeast where the native population feared a demographic change due to influx of migrants from Bangladesh. But the government included most of the northeastern states under Inner Line Permit (ILP) to assure the region that their cultural identity will be protected. The ILP is an official travel document issued by state government to allow inward travel of a citizen. It is applicable in protected states.

The first phase of the budget session will conclude on February 11, while the second part of the session will begin from March 2 and end on April 3.

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Amnesty International Highlights Ongoing Oppression Of Govt Critics – – VOA Khmer

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PHNOM PENH

More than two years after the main opposition party was dissolved and independent media were shuttered, rights group Amnesty International said civil and political rights, and press freedom in Cambodia remain severely constrained.

In a report released January 30, Amnesty International said activists and critics of Cambodias long-time Prime Minister Hun Sen continued to face harassment and intimidation through misuse of the justice system.

The group, which works to promote human rights and democratic values, also pointed to the harassment of journalists, which they said has led to self-censorship in the media.

Severe restrictions on the right to freedom of expression perpetuated a culture of fear and self-censorship among Cambodias few remaining independent journalists and media outlets, the report said.

A 2017 government crackdown saw the arrest of opposition leader Kem Sokha, the closure of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and the shuttering of independent newspaper The Cambodia Daily and radio broadcaster Radio Free Asia.

Kem Sokha is currently on trial for treason, a case condemned widely by human rights groups.

Hun Sen, whose party won all parliamentary seats in what observers have called a sham election in 2018, last November deployed the military and pressured countries in ASEAN to prevent the return of opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who is in self-exile in France.

Dozens of grassroots opposition supporters have been arrested, the report noted, especially in the weeks leading up to the Sam Rainsys attempted return to Cambodia last November. At least 80 activists and opposition members were arrested, only to be released on bail later.

The harassment, intimidation and arbitrary arrest of supporters of the CNRP intensified throughout the year, culminating in a major crackdown related to the potential return to Cambodia of acting CNRP president Sam Rainsy on 9 November, it stated.

Government spokesperson Phay Siphan called the report baseless and said its authors were outside Cambodia and therefore unable to witness firsthand the improvement of human rights and peace in Cambodia.

The report is based on their ideas; it does not follow the professional reporting methods, Siphan said.

The report came just two weeks after a similar report from Human Rights Watch, which stated similar concerns. Reacting to that report a government spokesperson Chin Malin said the human rights group wanted to take revenge against Cambodia, though failing to elaborate on his accusation.

Am Sam Ath, monitoring manager at rights group Licadho, said that the report was projecting an accurate assessment of Cambodias human rights situation.

If we look at reality, what they have raised since 2017 until now, there is a lot of truth to that, he said.

The reports findings also showed that there was heightened surveillance of people and groups, considered to be pro-opposition, as was evident at the grassroots level.

Outspoken NGOs were subjected to unlawful surveillance, threats and intimidation by police and local authorities, the report said.

Routine NGO events, such as workshops, continued to be shut down despite the revocation of a ministerial regulation that required prior permission for such events.

The European Commission has been investigating Cambodias human right situation and can potentially suspend critical trade preferences next month if it finds no improvements in the countrys rights record.

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Dissenting with Faiz: How ‘Hum Dekhenge’ has been adapted in protests across India – The News Minute

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These songs have become a battlecry for protesters to express their dissent against a government that's not listening to their voices.

When these high mountains of tyranny and oppression turn to fluff and evaporate, and we oppressed, beneath our feet, will have this earth shiver, shake and beat

Irrespective of the language in which these lines are sung - be it its Urdu original or in its Tamil, Malayalam or Kannada translated versions - its meaning is one that resonates with the spirit of rebellion. These lines are from Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmad Faizs soul-stirring Urdu poem Hum Dekhenge translated in English by writer Maniza Naqvi.

While the poem itself was written in Pakistan in 1979 and published in 1981, its usage in 2020 in India comes as a testament to the people's persistent dissent against a government that's not listening to their voices.Across the country, anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protesters are using this poem set to tune, sometimes translating it into their own language, to express the spirit of their protest, repeating We shall see in defiance.

'Hum Dekhenge' was first sung by students in anti-CAA protests at IIT Kanpur earlier this month, and has turned into a battlecry since then. On January 9, at Town Hall in Bengaluru, singers MD Pallavi and Bindhu Malini performed the Kannada version of 'Hum Dekhenge'. A small crowd joined them. The song was translated by Kannada poet and writer Mamta Sagar, following the Bhojpuri version that was done a few days earlier.

'Hum Dekhenge' by Faiz is a powerful nazm (poetry style) in the Urdu language. The poems refrain We shall see is an expression of hope that the people will one day witness the end of oppression and cruelty, and was composed in protest against Muhammad Zia-ul-Haqs oppressive rule in Pakistan.

Theatre person A Mangai who worked on the Tamil version tells TNM that when she began working on the translation, the strangeness of the situation was more apparent.

It is strange that a protest song in Pakistan in Zias regime, when it was declared an Islamic State, feels relevant today. The way protest songs travel across the border is ironic, she explains. Pakistani Ghazal singer Iqbal Bano had sung this poem when there was a ban imposed on Faizs poems by General Zia-ul-Haq.

Tamil Nadu has a very unique history of nationalism, always at loggerheads with the Centre on Hindi imposition. When we started translating 'Hum Dekhenge', we could see a lot of echoes of this tradition (in poetry) in history, she continues, referring to VallalarsThiruvarutpa, a compilation of his teaching on universal love and peace, and Bharathis poems. There is that tradition that runs across borders and what we have done is to just invoke it and make it relevant, she adds.

Mangai worked with her daughter, academician and activist Ponni, on the translation of the song since the latter was acquainted with it from her college days. Ponni has been in Delhi from her college days and 'Hum Dekhenge' is part of all the protests there. She has sung it and was in tune with that song already. She is also friends with Urdu speaking scholars and she got in touch with her friend Dr Kyla Pasha, aPakistani Urdu poet who knew Faiz. Shes now teaching in the US and so we called her to understand the nuances of the song, she adds.

Singer-composer Bindhu Malini, who had performed the song in Kannada and Tamil along with MD Pallavi in Kannada and Anjana in Tamil respectively, says, I always felt that the translations are not meant to showcase talent or art. It is more of a contribution and a response, an artistic expression that is meant to be spread.

The video of the Tamil song was released in Chennai on January 24 during which singer Anjana performed it to an audience.

The Malayalam version of Hum Dekhenge was worked upon, keeping in mind the human chain demonstration planned in Kerala for Republic Day on January 26 by the Left Democratic Front (LDF).

The song translated by Santosh Perali was rendered by Revathy and Arun Kumar. A video showing powerful visuals from protests across the country was put together by Jerin James Joe and was widely shared by many.

Prahas, who was part of the team that worked on the translation, says, We took some liberties with respect to the translation and this song is now being used by the Malayalam diaspora across the world.The song was worked upon for about 10 days before it could be performed and released right in time for the demonstration."

In Telugu, theres another popular song thats doing the rounds. 'Bella Ciao', a popular Italian protest song in folk style, which later became the anthem against fascism, is the war cry used by people in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Written and performed by members of the Food Sovereignty Alliance, India, the tune of 'Bella Ciao was chosen for this song called 'Vekuvai Vastamu!' since the song is about a fascist regime. The words were written to call out the threat to the Constitution of India and to uphold it, says Madhoo, one of the members.

First released on December 23, 2019 the song was performed at Sangareddy district and also in Hyderabad at LaMakaan.

The song that was written in just half an hour calls for justice, fraternity, liberty, and equality.Our anger, our song, We shall sing till you get out it begins.

The basic concept is CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act). The anger of the person becomes the tune and we shall keep singing until you get out is what the first line means. For Ciao ciao in Italian weve used po po' in Telugu meaning 'get out', explains Madhoo.

The team that also praises Tamil rapper Arivus latest song Sanda Seivom is now working on translating 'Hum Dekhenge' in Telugu.

Journalist Sugata Srinivasaraju, who worked on the Kannada version of the Bella Ciao song, says it was an impulsive response to the Telugu version.

It was impulsive. We heard the Telugu version of 'Bella Ciao' doing the rounds, and we thought it was infectious. The children enjoyed it, and the next day, we found that they were humming it at the breakfast table. So my wife Rosy D'Souza and I began writing the lyrics. The lyrics are independent of the original 'Bella Ciao', we only used the tune as a starting point for our context, he says.

(With inputs from Alithea, Charan and Cris)

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This govt is cruel, takes away blankets, uses police to oppress women: Former Governor – The Indian Express

Posted: at 6:43 pm

By: Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: January 31, 2020 6:17:45 am Former Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi said, hey are taking away blankets from them, oppressing them by using police to harass them. (Source: PTI)

Former Governor of Uttar Pradesh Aziz Qureshi on Thursday visited Ghanta Ghar in Lucknow where women have been protesting against the new citizenship law and proposed NRC for the last two weeks, and extended his support to them.

Slamming the government for bringing in the contentious law, Qureshi told mediapersons, I am here to support the women, to stand by them, to fight the oppression faced by them. The government is cruel. They are taking away blankets from them, oppressing them by using police to harass them.

People in this government dont know the stature of women. Their leaders have used derogatory words for women. Time will give them a slap and leave them ashamed, Qureshi, who was also the Governor of Uttarakhand and Mizoram, added.

Asked about Union Home Minister Amit Shahs assurance that CAA will not affect Indian citizens, he said, All the Census programmes that have happened, have they ever asked where a persons father was born, or where their grandfather was born. If no, then why dont they remove it and do it the way it has been done till now for years.

They have drafted forms and have made columns. They have passed the Bill because they have an enmity with the Nehru-Gandhi family. They are gambling with this to fight off that danger (Gandhi family). It will not work, he added.

Calling the enactment of new citizenship law as the foundation for Hindu Rashtra, he said, At every step, they (BJP leaders) talk about Pakistan, surgical strike. At every step, they want to create an atmosphere against Muslims. They played the religion card, but it failed. The people of this country dont want religion, they want bread and employment, education, houses and health, he added.

Police notice to 100 women protesters, telling them to vacate

* Police on Thursday issued notices to 100 women protesters taking part in the sit-in at Ghanta Ghar since January 17, asking them to vacate the protest site. We have asked them to vacate the protest site keeping in mind Section 144 of the CrPC being in place in the state, said Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Vikas Chandra Tripathi.

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This govt is cruel, takes away blankets, uses police to oppress women: Former Governor - The Indian Express

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Will the Second Amendment protect us from the US military? – Fabius Maximus website

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Summary:Will the Second Amendment protect us from the US military, as so many gun owners believe? Is that why the Founders put it in the Constitution? What does it do for us today?

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The right to bear arms has been justified for centuries by many reasons in Britain and America. Perhaps the reasoning that had the greatest influence on the Founders was described in a note by Professor Eugene Volokh (UCLA Law School).

William Blackstones Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in 1765, was widely read in the Colonies, and is generally seen as having exerted immense influence on the Framers vision of the rights of Englishmen. Blackstones description of the right comes in his discussions of the rights of the subject. He begins by talking about three absolute rights personal security, personal liberty, and private property and then goes on to discuss five auxiliary rights

The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law. Which is also declared by the same statute and is indeed a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.

[T]o vindicate [the three primary rights], when actually violated or attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next, to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and, lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence.

Blackstone was a judge and professor. His dreamy views on the role of guns in the defense of liberty are interesting, but for more practical thinking we should turn to people with actual experience. Such as James Madison, father of the Constitution.

In 1774, Madison served on his local Committee of Safety, a pro-revolution group that oversaw the local militia. In 1775, he was commissioned as the colonel of the Orange County militia, serving as its second-in-command. In 1776, he was elected to the Fifth Virginia Convention which declared Virginias independence, wrote its Constitution and Declaration of Rights. He then served in Virginias House of Delegates until elected to its Council of State. Elected to Congress in 1779, he served there through the rest of the war. This is a man who saw the operation of a successful revolution, and understood that it requires not just participants willing to risk their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor but organization.

In The Federalist Papers #46, James Madison discusses the role of guns in a Republic. His explanation is quite different from anything the NRA says, and points to the great weakness of Americas citizens today.

The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition. The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed, if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger.

That the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterrupted succession of men ready to betray both; that the traitors should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to everyone more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism.

Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger.

The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one-hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than 25 or 30 thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.

It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.

Madison describes the well-regulated militia mentioned in the Second Amendment.

People, ideas and hardware, in that order! The late John R. Boyd (Colonel, USAF) in A Discourse on Winning and Losing (unpublished), August 1987.

Madison understood that organization is the primary defense of a free people against oppression. Not tactics or guns but people are the key. The Federalist Papers were written for citizens who love liberty and were willing to stand together in its defense organizing when necessary into leaders and followers for collective action. This combination of spirit and good organization brought us victory in 1783. Spirit is one of the most-used words in The Federalist Papers (114 times).

Spirit and organization allowed scores of colonies to liberate themselves from European masters after WWII. Some of those insurgent groups had guns when they began, some did not. All had the desire for liberty and the willingness to pay for it. And they often paid for it with rivers of their own blood.

An armed citizenry makes a rebellion easier. But an unorganized but armed citizenry probably is easily defeated in a rebellion. In our world, getting guns is the easy part. Recruiting and organizing are the difficult parts of building an insurgency.

Unfortunately, we no longer live in Madisons America. All of his key assumptions for the Second Amendment have been broken.

I shoot 50 rounds a week (when my schedule allows), and so know many gun owners. Quite a few believe that their guns defend our liberty. Few are politically active (other than supporting the NRA). They are willing to kill for liberty, but not donate money or time for it. Is that sad or pitiful?

There is a deeper problem. We appear to have lost our capacity for collective action. Instead many Americans dream of individual saviors. This is a change from teamwork and powerful institutions that in the past populated not just our history books but also our legends. Such as Marvel Comics SHIELD,E. E. Smiths Triplanetary, Robert HeinleinsSpace Patrol,U.N.C.L.E. (as in The Man From), and Star Fleet (in the Star Trek stories), andSpectrum(in theCaptain ScarletTV series).

No longer. During the late 1960s and especially the 1970s we became alienated from our institutions. Organizations that should have led us into the future,like NASA, failed us. We learned that institutions which should protect us, such as the FBI and CIA, were often criminal oppressors. Institutions that we admired, like the military, often displayed gross incompetence.Now organizations most often appear in fiction as irrelevant, inept, or evil.

So our mythical heroes fight their enemies alone, with a partner, or as part of a small group (the ubiquitous Scooby Gangs, unrelated people who inexplicably bond into tight groups). This makes these stories useful entertainment to our rulers, for whom our collective action is their worst nightmare. (See more about this here.)

Many gun owners live this dream in their fantasies. Using their gun as a Lone Ranger, not as a private in the Minutemen. No matter how many guns one has, or how big the caliber, an individual alone is just a target before the power and organization of the governments law enforcement and military forces. Operating alone they are just miscreants to be picked off one by one.

Only together are we are strong and together we probably do not need guns to maintain our liberty.

What can we do to reform the Republic without guns?See suggestions at Reforming America: Steps to a New Politics.

Ideas!For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and filmsat Amazon. Also, see a story about our future:Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

If you liked this post,like us on Facebookandfollow us on Twitter. See all postsabout gun violence and regulation, and especially these

See reviews of these books:Dont just mourn. Remember what we know about guns.

For something different, seeLiving with Guns: A Liberals Case for the Second Amendment

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Will the Second Amendment protect us from the US military? - Fabius Maximus website

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Tanzania’s Paul Makonda barred from US for rights ‘violations’ – The Citizen Daily

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By AFP

A leading Tanzanian politician who launched a crackdown on homosexuality has been banned from visiting the United States, the US State Department said.

In a statement dated Friday, the US said the sanctions on Paul Christian Makonda, the Regional Commissioner of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's economic capital, come amid Washington's growing concerns about basic freedoms in the East African nation.

"These actions against Paul Christian Makonda underscore our concern with human rights violations and abuses in Tanzania," the statement read.

Both Makonda and his wife, Mary Felix Massenge, are now barred from visiting the US.

"The Department of State is publicly designating Paul Christian Makonda... due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights, which include the flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of persons," the statement read.

"He has also been implicated in oppression of the political opposition, crackdowns on freedom of expression and association, and the targeting of marginalised individuals."

In October 2018, Makonda announced a project to hunt down homosexuals.

President John Magufuli later distanced himself from this initiative, explaining that it did not reflect the views of his government.

But it comes amid rising criticism of Magufuli by watchdogs for his human rights record.

"The United States remains deeply concerned over deteriorating respect for human rights and rule of law in Tanzania," the statement read.

"We call on the Tanzanian government to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression, association, and the right of peaceful assembly," it added.

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