Oct 30, 2020

Francia: Halloween anticoranico sotto Covid

October 30, 2020 0 Comments
Rosa Llorens 29/10/2020

Il passaggio all’orario invernale di quest'anno segna l'ingresso in un'atmosfera particolarmente strana: celebreremo tutti i santi del calendario Charlie? Il 1° novembre sarà il Giorno dei Morti di Covid? La randellata mediatica, in queste settimane prima di Ognissanti, ha stranamente mescolato Covid e Corano.

Tradotto da Fausto Giudice

Non sappiamo più se le persone che incontriamo indossano maschere sanitarie o maschere di Halloween: il nuovo modello per i sordi ha davvero uno scopo terapeutico, o è un contributo ai rituali del Barone Samedi ad Haiti o della Katrina in Messico? Con l'avvicinarsi dell'inverno, le strade diventano decisamente sinistre e i passanti mascherati evocano sempre più spesso la Serata sul Corso Karl Johan di Edvard Munch, dove una sfilata di uomini e donne vestiti di nero, che sembrano aver indossato tutti la stessa pallida maschera di paura e minaccia, pare una parata di morti viventi. I nostri bravi medici ci consigliano giustamente di non avventurarci fuori casa dopo le ore 20, “durante quelle ore di buio in cui si esaltano i poteri” del Covid.


Il governo annuncerà senza dubbio per Ognissanti nuove restrizioni alle nostre libertà - ma non certo misure per aumentare i mezzi degli ospedali. Si potrebbe quindi pensare che, per mancanza di clorochina, che è proibita, il potere voglia venderci la nuova Crociata anticoranica come crociata anticovid, così come nel Medioevo, per combattere la peste, era designato un capro espiatorio. Sottopongo quindi all'attenzione di Olivier Véran [ministro della Sanità] questo modesto contributo nella “guerra” contro il Corano, pardon, il Covid.


Ricetta miracolosa anti-Co-vid/ran: prima di tutto bisogna mettersi sotto la protezione di Santa Bestemmia, insultando l'idolo Mahom con santo zelo. Poi preparate un decotto di caricature di Maometto, che sarà lasciato a macerare per una notte in un grande bicchiere d'acqua (da aromatizzare a piacere: limone, rum, verbena, peperoncino di Espelette...). L'infuso avrà una virtù superiore se lo mettiamo tra due candele che avremo acceso ai piedi delle immagini dei Santi di Fuoco: San Cabu, San Charb e San Wolinski (Qualsiasi decotto preparato il 7 gennaio varrà 300 giorni di indulgenza, pardon, di immunizzazione supplementare). Al mattino, inghiottire a stomaco vuoto mentre si contempla con pietà, in ginocchio, l'ultimo numero (più efficace se fresco e odorante) di Charlie Hebdo; si può, contemporaneamente, se si hanno addominali performanti, calpestare una copia del Corano.


Dopo di che si potrà andare tranquillamente (ma sempre mascherati, non si sa mai), festeggiare Halloween o Ognissanti, ma non più tardi delle 20, e solo nella cerchia familiare (non più di 6 persone). Perché è deciso dal comitato di esperti di Coimbra che lo spettacolo di atti di sacrilegio contro il Corano e l'idolo di Mahom è un segreto infallibile per neutralizzare i poteri di Covid.

Online Violence: The New Front Line for Women Journalists*

October 30, 2020 0 Comments
Julie Posetti 09/24/20

There is a new front line in journalism safety – it is where female journalists sit at the epicentre of risk. 

The digital, psychological and physical safety threats confronting women in journalism are overlapping, converging and inseparable. Where and when they intersect, they can be terrifying - they are also potentially deadly.

The risks requiring identification and examination range from brutal, prolific online harassment and abuse to overt, targeted attacks that frequently involve threats of sexual violence. Increasingly, they also include digital privacy and security breaches that can expose identifying information and exacerbate offline safety threats facing women journalists. Disinformation tactics, like malicious misrepresentation using Artificial Intelligence technologies, are also a feature of the phenomenon. These combined threats can be termed ‘gendered online violence.’ The perpetrators range from individual misogynists and networked mobs seeking to shut women up, through to State-linked disinformation agents aiming to undercut press freedom and chill critical journalism through orchestrated attacks.

That is why the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is partnering with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on a global survey into the incidence and impacts of online violence against women journalists, and effective measures to combat the problem. The survey, launched today, will help us understand the manifestation of online violence in 2020 – in the context of COVID-19 and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

To combat online violence, the scale, types, impacts and intersectional characteristics of the pernicious problem first need to be mapped globally – paying appropriate attention to under-studied developing countries. But being able to describe and understand the problem is just the first step. To respond to it effectively, we need to know what countermeasures are being tested and implemented, how they are (not) working, and what women journalists most need on the front line of this chilling crisis.

How Do Women Journalists Experience Online Violence?

This scourge threatens women journalists around the world, across a range of platforms and digital communities. From news website comments to social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, women in journalism are confronted daily by online violence which follows them from work to home, invading their professional and private spaces. The abuse can be prolific and feel unrelenting. It can inflict psychological injury, cause professional harm, force women out of journalism, and lead to physical violence. It has also been linked to the murder of women journalists.

Regardless of whether or not the women enduring these attacks are reporting from conflict zones, many use terms commonly associated with physical warfare to describe their experiences of online violence, giving us insight into the visceral nature of the harm inflicted. Phrases deployed by the women journalists I’ve interviewed on this theme over the past nine years include: “It's like a low-intense, constant warfare;” “A barrage of hate;” “It’s like a bombardment;” “It feels like trench warfare.” As prolifically trolled Finnish journalist Jessikka Aro has said: “Women are targeted in cyberwars the same way they are in kinetic wars.”

Gendered harassment and abuse are key aspects of online violence against journalists. When it first emerged in the early 21st century, it was too often dismissed by media employers and social media companies as something that required acceptance as an “unintended consequence” of online engagement with audiences. Frequently, the responsibility to manage the problem was placed on the targeted women themselves, who were told to “toughen up” and grow a “thicker skin” because it was “only online” and therefore not “real” or “serious.” However, extensive reportage, research and civil society advocacy since 2014 has resulted in the problem and its impacts being widely recognized internationally, including at the UN level, and there are several collaborative initiatives in development designed to support those targeted. But at the same time, online violence has become increasingly complex, widespread and entrenched, posing significant challenges to efforts aimed at effectively countering the problem.

One of the most chilling examples of online violence against a female journalist remains the 2013 case of Caroline Criado Perez in the UK. This is the kind of abuse that she suffered for daring to suggest that literary icon Jane Austen’s head should be on a bank note:

There were threats to mutilate my genitals, threats to slit my throat, to bomb my house, to pistol‑whip me and burn me alive. I was told I would have poles shoved up my vagina, dicks shoved down my throat. I was told I would be begging to die, as a man would ejaculate in my eyeballs. And then they started posting an address linked to me around the Internet. I felt hunted. I felt terrified.

Three Converging Threat Types

There are three converging online threats currently confronting women journalists. They can be identified as follows:

1. Misogynistic harassment and abuse

This includes patterns of targeted, sexualised abuse and harassment, ranging from threats of violence (such as sexual assault, rape and murder) against the women journalists (and their daughters, sisters, mothers, etc.), through to gendered swearing and insults targeting their appearance, sexuality and professionalism which are designed to diminish their confidence and tarnish their reputations. Such abuse can come from individuals, form part of an organic ‘pile on,’ or be a feature of a networked attack driven by misogynistic groups, for example.

2. Orchestrated disinformation campaigns that exploit misogynistic narratives

Women journalists are frequent targets of digital disinformation campaigns, including orchestrated efforts with links to state actors. Disinformation tactics, such as falsely accusing them of professional misconduct, spreading smears about their character designed to damage their personal reputations, and malicious misrepresentation (e.g. ‘deepfake’ porn videos, abusive memes, manipulated images) are typical features of these attacks. The objective is to undermine the journalist’s credibility, embarrass them into retreat, and chill critical journalism.

3. Digital privacy and security threats that increase physical risks associated with online violence

Privacy erosion – a combination of the criminalization of investigative journalism via national security overreach and digital security threats like mass surveillance, device seizure and interception - also heightens the safety threats faced by women journalists in the Digital Age. Methods of attack designed to compromise women journalists’ online privacy, security and safety include malware, hacking, doxxing and spoofing. They escalate the physical threats faced by women journalists because these acts can involve revealing their residential and work addresses, along with their patterns of movement.

Features of Online Violence

Online violence targeting women journalists manifests itself in a variety of ways, but it has a number of common characteristics. These include:
It is networked: Online violence is often organized and orchestrated. It can include State-sponsored ‘sock puppet networks,’ acts of ‘patriotic trolling,’ and involve misogynistic mobs who seed hate campaigns within one fringe network (e.g. 4chan) before pushing it into more mainstream networks.
It radiates: Online violence against women journalists radiates, with women in their families, among their sources and in their online audiences that are also targeted.
It is intimate: In detail and delivery, the threats are personal. They arrive on mobile phone screens first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and they are often highly sexualized.


The Link between Online Violence and Offline Attacks

A new pattern has emerged, connecting online violence campaigns and offline attacks, highlighting the escalating threat levels faced by women journalists globally.

In October 2017, the investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed when a bomb placed under her car detonated close to her home in Malta. She was investigating corruption with ties to the state. Since her death, international NGOs, European parliamentarians and media support organizations have called on the Maltese government to identify and prosecute her killers, amid accusations of impunity. Before she was murdered, Caruana Galizia endured frequent online threats and spoke about being called a ‘witch.’ There were clear gendered aspects to the intimidation she suffered and the impunity that surrounded those threats and preceded her killing.

The pattern of online violence associated with Caruana Galizia’s death is so similar to that being experienced by another high profile target - Philippines-based editor and CEO Maria Ressa - that the murdered journalist’s sons issued a public statement expressing their concerns that Ressa was also at risk of murder when State-sponsored harassment against her rose dramatically in 2020. “This targeted harassment, chillingly similar to that perpetrated against Ressa, created the conditions for Daphne’s murder,” they wrote.

Likewise, the death of the Indian investigative journalist Gauri Lankesh also drew international attention to the risks faced by women journalists openly critical of their own governments, amid calls for their killers to be brought to justice. Lankesh, who was shot dead outside her home, was known for being a critic of right-wing extremism and she was subjected to significant online abuse before her death. In the days after Lankesh’s killing, trolls took to social media to celebrate, describing her as a ‘bitch.’ Again, pointing to the emergence of a pattern, the case of another Indian journalist – Rana Ayyub – led five United Nations special rapporteurs to intervene in her defense following the mass circulation of false information online designed to counter her critical reporting. The independent journalist was on the receiving end of disinformation published on social media, including ‘deepfake’ videos, as well as direct rape and death threats. The UN experts issuing the statement in defence of Ayyub pointed to the murder of Lankesh, and called on India to act to protect Ayyub, stating: “We are highly concerned that the life of Rana Ayyub is at serious risk following these graphic and disturbing threats.”

Recognizing the likelihood of online violence crossing over into the offline world, and underlining the serious mental health impacts of online abuse, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution on the safety of journalists with a particular gender focus, "condemning unequivocally" all "specific attacks on women journalists in the exercise of their work, including sexual and gender-based discrimination and violence, intimidation and harassment, online and offline.”

Online violence against female journalists is a core tactic designed to belittle, humiliate, discredit, induce fear, cause retreat, undermine accountability journalism and chill the active participation of women journalists, their sources and audiences in public debate. This amounts to an attack on media freedom, encompassing the public’s right to access information, and it cannot afford to be normalized as a tolerable aspect of online discourse, nor ‘audience -engaged’ journalism.

About the ICFJ-UNESCO Action Research Project and How to Participate

The survey we’re launching today was produced in collaboration with the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) at the University of Sheffield. It is part of an ongoing UNESCO-ICFJ study into online violence against women journalists, involving a multidisciplinary international consortium of academic and civil society researchers (ranging from those involved in journalism studies, to political scientists and computer scientists).

Together, we are mapping the problem as it manifests in 15 countries: Brazil, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and the United States. In parallel we are producing three novel case studies on prolifically targeted women journalists, combining Natural Language Processing (NLP) – a research method that combines linguistics, computer science, and Artificial Intelligence – to analyze perpetrator networks and the characteristics of the abusive content, alongside deep-dive interviews with the women at the receiving end of online violence.

Our objectives include:
Mapping the scale and breadth of the problem internationally - especially in the under-studied Global South. 
Establishing how patterns of online violence against women journalists vary around the world. 
Examining how women journalists experience online violence in an intersectional way. For example, are the impacts more serious when they are from a specific racial group, or identify as LGBTQI? 
Assessing the effectiveness of attempts to address the crisis. 
Making recommendations to the UN, governments, industry, civil society organizations and technology companies for more effective ways to counter the problem


We are supported in our work by project partners the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), the Dart Center Asia Pacific, and the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT).

You can participate in our survey by contacting:

ICFJ: Dr. Julie Posetti (jposetti@icfj.org) or Fatima Bahja (fbahja@icfj.org) UNESCO: Saorla McCabe (s.mccabe@unesco.org) or Theresa Chorbacher (t.chorbacher@unesco.org)

Note:

If you've found this content distressing or difficult to discuss, you're not alone. There are resources available to help. Start by exploring the resources from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, and please seek psychological support if needed.

*This article draws on a keynote address the author gave to the Oslo Safety of Journalists conference - in November 2019 - titled The New Frontline: Female Journalists at the Intersection of Converging Digital Age Threats. It also includes content from a book chapter of the same title, written for a forthcoming anthology on peace and conflict reporting to be published by Routledge, and edited by Prof. Kristen Skare Orgeret.

Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author; they are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization

Oct 27, 2020

Bridget Ohabuche, afrofemminista nel paese di Dante e Beatrice

October 27, 2020 0 Comments
Nathalie Galesne 26/10/2020

Non parlate di determinazione a Bridget Ohabuche, lei la respira come l'aria e la trasforma subito in energia. 

Appena sbarcata in italia, a 19 anni, questa giovane nigeriana, fondatrice del collettivo afrofemminista Nwanyi in Italia (1), deve innanzitutto affrontare suo padre che vuole che si sposi. Lei rifiuta, resiste, si iscrive all'Università di Padova dove ottiene una laurea in Scienze Politiche e Relazioni internazionali.

Tradotto da Silvana Fioresi

Bridget non sta mai ferma e soprattutto ha una gran voglia di scoprire e capire la realtà italiana: lavora come mediatrice, interprete, operatrice sociale in diverse città della penisola: Venezia, Padova, Torino, Catania, Siracusa, poi parte a vivere per un po' all'estero. Dopo torna in Italia e sceglie la Città eterna per riprendere gli studi di legge.

Ciò che l'ha portata a impegnarsi per l'afrofemminismo è un processo lento, talvolta doloroso, legato in modo inestricabile ai suoi primi anni in Italia. Pur evitando ogni tipo di vittimismo, Bridget non utilizza mezzi termini quando parla delle sue prime umiliazioni, in primo luogo all'Università: «Avevo scelto un corso sulla violenza sulle donne, e la prof mi ha posto delle domande, davanti a tutto l'anfiteatro, che indicavano chiaramente che mi considerava come una vittima della prostituzione. Il fatto di essere nera e la mia nazionalità mi rinchiudevano senza appello in questa immagine stereotipata. Sono rientrata a casa e ho pianto».

La ragazza decide allora di fare delle ricerche sulla vita delle donne africane in Piemonte. Il suo lavoro di mediatrice è ideale per indagare su di loro, ascoltare le loro storie, capire le loro esperienze. «Esiste un vero problema di considerazione e di percezione della donna nera in Italia, dove il razzismo è incosciente e sistemico. Bisogna decolonizzare le mentalità, decodificare e decostruire gli stereotipi e i comportamenti se vogliamo batterci contro l'esclusione delle donne nere», spiega.

Ma gli stereotipi hanno la pelle dura e anche nell'ambito dell'antiviolenza in cui lavora come operatrice sociale, Bridget incontra numerose barriere: «Nei centri dove ho lavorato non c'era nessuna dimensione multiculturale, mi ricordo ancora di una donna che era stata super scioccata che fosse stata una nera ad occuparsi di lei. Infatti dovevo lavorare esclusivamente con delle vittime della tratta e non con delle italiane vittime di violenza.»

Bridget si rivolge allora verso il movimento femminista: «Mi sfogavo sul mio blog, ma non mi bastava, allora ho cercato un gruppo femminista.» Ma a Non una di meno (il principale movimento femminista della penisola), ancora una volta le sue attese sono deluse ed è l'amarezza che ha il sopravvento: «Non mi sono sentita a mio agio, ho sentito una distanza, un sentimento di esclusione e di inferiorità, una mancanza di complicità, la paura di sbagliarmi». Siamo lontani dalla sororità rivendicata dalle femministe. «Ho avuto l'impressione, aggiunge Bridget, che non ero al posto giusto in questo movimento. È difficile anche sentire delle italiane parlare della tua realtà di donna nera al posto tuo, o anche farti sentire che non sei una priorità nella loro agenda». (2)

Eppure, nel corso delle sue peregrinazioni, Bridget fa degli incontri importanti, delle amicizie si legano con altre ragazze afroitaliane. Cominciano cosi' ad organizzarsi: creano un gruppo online di donne nere. La loro volontà è di radunare e «di unire senza categorizzazioni» afrodiscendenti, italiane nere, africane residenti in Italia, per combattere il razzismo, il classismo e il sessismo profondamente radicati nella società italiana. Nel 2019 nasce il collettivo afrofemminista Nwanyi e si riunisce un anno dopo a Roma: «Vogliamo uscire da questo sistema di disparità e da questa situazione di invisibilità, precisa Bridget. Nei fatti, subiamo una tripla discriminazione: discriminazione di genere in quanto donne nelle culture africana e italiana, discriminazione razzista in quanto nere in Italia. Ecco perché rivendichiamo il concetto di intersezionalità, come uno strumento antirazzista e antisessista efficace».

Cosi' questa attivista super impegnata si batte su tutti i fronti: anima dei dibattiti online ritrasmessi sulla pagina Facebook di Nwanyi in cui delle giovani donne nere esprimono la loro sensibilità, la loro identità multiple e la loro implicazione per cambiare le mentalità italiane. Bridget inoltre scrive regolarmente per diverse riviste: il suo ultimo articolo comparso su Voci globali sulla repressione contro la comunità LGBTQ+ in Africa è particolarmente documentato (3). In gennaio 2021 s'imbarcherà per il tour afrofemminista che attraverserà lo stivale. Una decina di tappe sono previste a Milano, Torino, Padova, Bergamo, Verona, Bologna, Firenze, Roma, Napoli, Cosenza. Si parlerà certo di questioni afrofemministe, ma anche di gastronomia e di musica.

In un paese dove la giurisdizione è incapace di riconoscere i giovani di origine straniera, che sono nati (e) o cresciuti (e) sul suo territorio, come suoi propri figli, e soprattutto come cittadini di diritto, c'è ancora molta strada da fare (4). Bridget era ovviamente nella tribuna di Piazza dei Santi Apostoli a Roma, il 3 ottobre scorso (giornata dedicata alle vittime dell'immigrazione) per denunciare le politiche antimigratorie: dall'aberrante chiusura dei porti italiani da parte del populista Matteo Salvini agli accordi firmati dal Primo ministro Giuseppe Conte con la Libia.

Quel giorno era presente una bella fetta di questa Italia variopinta che invoca l'articolo 3 della costituzione per ottenere finalmente la nazionalità italiana: « Tutti i cittadini hanno lo stesso diritto alla dignità sociale e sono uguali davanti alla legge, senza distinzione di sesso, di razza, di lingua, di religione, di opinione politica...» Nell'attesa, la società civile si organizza: nel paese di Dante e di Beatrice gli immaginari e le diversità sono vicini, a volte confluiscono, l'Italia di domani è in cammino!

Note

(1) Nwanyi significa «donna» in lingua igbo e "donna appassionata/sbruffona [detto in salvinese]" in dialetto urbano inglese delle città dove vivono nigeriani, in Gran Bretagna e in America del Nord.

(2) Da segnalare diverse iniziative significative come il colloquio sull'afrofemminismo organizzato in febbraio 2018 alla Casa Internazionale delle donne di Roma da Nibi (Neri Italiani, Black Italians), o ancora questi incontri sull'afrofemminismo che si sono tenuti al Museo Maxxi di Roma.

(3) Genere e omossessualità in Africa : leggi e culture contro i diritti, articolo di Bridget Ohabuche apparso su Voci globali, giornale online fondato dieci anni fa per raccontare storie e fatti poco coperti dai media generici italiani.



(4) Da leggere il dossier di Federica Araco sul razzismo in Italia (in francese)

Egon Krenz zum Fall Diogo: „Über einen Neonazi-Mord wäre ich informiert worden“

October 27, 2020 0 Comments
Anja Reich - Jenni Roth 26/10/2020

Als der DDR-Vertragsarbeiter Manuel Diogo 1986 starb, war Egon Krenz Honeckers Stellvertreter. Im Interview erklärt er, warum er glaubt, dass es ein Unfall war.

Berlin-Im Juni 1986 kam der mosambikanische DDR-Vertragsarbeiter Manuel Diogo ums Leben. Die DDR-Behörden stellten fest, dass es ein Unfall war. Der Historiker Harry Waibel und der MDR behaupten heute, Diogo sei von einer Bande Neonazis ermordet worden, und die Staatssicherheit hätte das vertuscht. Als die Staatsanwaltschaft Potsdam im Juni dieses Jahres ankündigte, den Fall neu aufzurollen, begann die Berliner Zeitung mit eigenen Recherchen, die unter dem Titel „Wie aus einem tragischen Unfall ein brutaler Neonazi-Mord wurde“ veröffentlicht wurden. Am Rande dieser Recherchen tauchte immer wieder die Frage auf: Wie antifaschistisch war die DDR? Hätte die Staatssicherheit einen Neonazi-Mord verheimlichen können? Und wenn ja, warum? Darüber sprachen wir mit Egon Krenz, damals Stellvertreter Erich Honeckers im Staatsrat und im Politbüro der SED.

Herr Krenz, kennen Sie den Fall Diogo?

Ich habe erst später durch die Medien davon erfahren. Damals nicht. Ein Mord, noch dazu ein rassistischer, wäre in der DDR ein besonderes Vorkommnis gewesen. Ich wäre auf jeden Fall informiert worden und hätte es mir auch bis heute gemerkt.

Warum wären Sie informiert worden?

Ich war Honeckers Stellvertreter. Sie können ganz sicher sein, von einem Mord durch Neonazis hätte ich sogar nachts erfahren. Für besondere Vorkommnisse, und dies wäre eines gewesen, gab es eine Meldepflicht bis zum Partei- und Staatschef der DDR. In diesem konkreten Fall hätten die Ministerien des Inneren und für Staatssicherheit, die zuständige SED-Bezirksleitung und der Rat des Bezirkes, die Deutsche Reichsbahn und schließlich die Staatsanwaltschaft davon erfahren und nach oben gemeldet. Undenkbar, dass Erich Honecker, der unter den Nazis zehn Jahre im Gefängnis saß, mich nicht beauftragt hätte, so einen Vorfall auszuwerten. Undenkbar auch, dass Hermann Axen, der im Politbüro für Außenpolitik zuständig war, dem die SS einst die Häftlingsnummer 58787 eingebrannt hatte, eine Vertuschung mitgetragen hätte.

Sie erinnern sich heute noch an die Nummer?

Ja, Axen war in den Konzentrationslagern Auschwitz und Buchenwald. An warmen Sommertagen trug er auf Sitzungen des Politbüros gerne kurzärmlige Polohemden. Da war die Nummer zu sehen, ich habe sie nicht vergessen.

Könnte ein Mord nicht aber genau deswegen verschwiegen worden sein: Weil es eben in der DDR keine Neonazi-Banden geben durfte?

Das ist eine Nachwende-Deutung, die ich nicht teile. Die Unterstellung, dass nicht sein kann, was nicht sein darf, trifft hier nicht zu. Warum hätten wir einen rassistischen Mord unter den Teppich kehren sollen! Bekundungen von Glaubens-, Rassen- und Völkerhass wurden in der DDR als Verbrechen geahndet. Das war Verfassungsgrundsatz.

Hätte die Stasi den Mord in den Akten verschweigen können?

Adhesión al respaldo del proyecto de acto legislativo que prohíbe los transgénicos en Colombia

October 27, 2020 0 Comments
Autores varios 26/10/2020

Las organizaciones sociales respaldamos el proyecto de acto legislativo que prohíbe los transgénicos en Colombia.

Las tecnologías transgénicas no son sólo inseguras, imprecisas e incontrolables, y por tanto peligrosas, sino también insuficientes y en muchos casos inútiles. Los cultivos transgénicos no han aumentado rendimientos, ni disminuido el uso de agrotóxicos (al revés), y mucho menos han ayudado a aliviar el hambre del mundo. Han enriquecido y empoderado aún más a unas cuantas corporaciones y latifundistas”. Elena Alvarez-Buylla.

En el año 2020 se presentó por segunda vez, en la Cámara de representantes, el proyecto de acto legislativo que busca modificar el artículo 81 de la Constitución Política Colombiana, para prohibir el ingreso, producción, comercialización y exportación de semillas genéticamente modificadas. Esta propuesta no se opone al desarrollo tecnológico, sino que propone una estrategia de desarrollo sostenible y coherente con la biodiversidad de nuestro país.

Esta biodiversidad, sin embargo, es muchas veces desconocida y poco valorada. Colombia, por ejemplo, es un importante centro de origen y diversidad de maíces nativos y criollos en el mundo, con más de 30 razas diferentes. Las comunidades étnicas y campesinas han conservado cientos de variedades criollas en sus territorios, que son el fundamento de su cultura, sus sistemas tradicionales de producción y su soberanía alimentaria. Para estas comunidades, los maíces transgénicos representan el riesgo de perder sus variedades criollas, al ser contaminadas por los maíces genéticamente modificados (GM). Existen evidencias de la contaminación causada por estos maíces GM y las autoridades competentes de la Bioseguridad -como el ICA-, no han tomado las medidas necesarias para prevenir dicha contaminación.

Las semillas criollas y nativas deben protegerse como un bien común de la nación y de los pueblos, como lo han entendido muchas comunidades que están declarando sus territorios libres de transgénicos. La propuesta de que Colombia sea un Territorio Libre de Transgénicos apunta a garantizar la soberanía alimentaria, la salud de su población y la conservación de toda la riqueza de biodiversidad que existe en nuestro territorio.

En el mundo, diversas organizaciones y científicos han cuestionado los organismos transgénicos por sus efectos adversos sobre el ambiente, la salud humana y animal, y los impactos socioeconómicos negativos entre los agricultores. Son ampliamente conocidas las enormes incertidumbres sobre la seguridad de estas tecnologías transgénicas. Muchos "estudios científicos" que defienden los transgénicos y su seguridad, no mencionan que han sido financiados por las mismas empresas que los promueven, lo que evidencia un conflicto de intereses.

Algunos gobiernos y la sociedad civil, han planteado que sobre estas tecnologías se debe aplicar el Principio de Precaución hasta que se pueda realmente demostrar que estas tecnologías no generan impactos negativos en el ambiente, la salud y la economía. Así, 19 países de Europa y varios de América Latina han prohibido o declarado moratorias a la introducción de transgénicos -es el caso de Perú, país que en la última semana extendió su restricción al ingreso de transgénicos por 15 años más, para proteger su amplia biodiversidad-.

Al dar una mirada al uso de transgénicos en el mundo se observa que no contribuyen a garantizar una alimentación saludable y diversa. A nivel comercial, la industria se ha concentrado en la producción de cuatro cultivos: soya, maíz, algodón y canola, que ocupan el 99% de las áreas sembradas. La modificación genética de los organismos a nivel comercial en agricultura se ha centrado en dos tipos: Cultivos Tolerantes a Herbicidas (TH) y Cultivos Bt. Los cultivos tolerantes a herbicidas permiten a los grandes productores generar mayores ganancias económicas al reducir el uso de mano de obra, pero se ha incrementado el uso de herbicidas, contrario a lo que afirman los defensores de estas tecnologías. La toxicidad de los herbicidas causa la contaminación de fuentes de agua y del suelo, y afectaciones a la salud de las poblaciones rurales, como se ha evidenciado en los países del Cono Sur.

Las malezas se han tornado resistentes a estos herbicidas, especialmente al glifosato y se han vuelto un problema incontrolable. Cuando las tecnologías ya no funcionan, las empresas desarrollan nuevos transgénicos a los cuales los agricultores deben aplicar grandes cantidades de agrotóxicos.

Para el caso de Colombia se tienen los cultivos Bt de maíz y algodón, los cuales producen una toxina que controla plagas de lepidópteros. Pasadas dos décadas de haber sido introducidos en el mundo, se conoce que en muchas regiones donde se utilizan ampliamente estos tipos de maíz y algodón, las plagas se han tornado resistentes a la Toxina Bt, por lo que los agricultores tienen que utilizar grandes cantidades de insecticidas. En este sentido la Agencia de Protección Ambiental – EPA de Estados Unidos busca su eliminación en 5 años. También se ha encontrado que la toxina Bt puede afectar otros insectos beneficiosos y a las abejas.

En cuanto al maíz tolerante a herbicidas, aunque genera mayor rentabilidad a los grandes agricultores, en varias regiones del país muchos han fracasado, debido a las semillas de mala calidad que han comprado a las empresas. Este fue el caso en el Espinal, (Tolima) cuyos agricultores de maíz GM perdieron en 2014 el 75% de la cosecha. También en Campoalegre, Huila, en 2016 los agricultores perdieron el 90% de la cosecha. En estos casos las empresas y el ICA evadieron su responsabilidad frente al fracaso de esta tecnología, indicando que los problemas fueron causados por variaciones climáticas o mal manejo de la tecnología por parte de los agricultores.

Algunos sectores han insistido que los transgénicos son la solución al agro en Colombia. Sin embargo, pasados 15 años de su uso en el país, han tenido poca acogida. Respecto al algodón, por ejemplo, Monsanto vendió a los agricultores semillas de mala calidad, lo que los hizo fracasar económicamente con este cultivo; para 2018 solo se sembraron 12.000 hectáreas en el país, por lo que su cultivo casi desaparece.

El gobierno nacional se ha enfocado en promover la agricultura industrial basada en la innovación tecnológica, la productividad, la eficiencia y la competitividad como paradigma del desarrollo del campo. Promover una agricultura basada en transgénicos es un despropósito: por un lado, niega el conocimiento de los agricultores tradicionales para garantizar alimentos sanos, suficiente y variados; por otro hace caso omiso de los pobres resultados y las falsas promesas por parte de las empresas y sus centros de investigación.

Contrario a lo que plantean los científicos de la agroindustria, la Agricultura Campesina, Familiar y Comunitaria ha demostrado ser más eficiente y sostenible que la agricultura industrial, pues provee más del 70% de la alimentación en tan solo el 19% del área agrícola del país. Hoy, más que antes, la crisis que generó la pandemia, puso en evidencia la necesidad de garantizar la soberanía alimentaria.

Para recuperar la autonomía alimentaria, Colombia debe hacer una transición de la importación masiva de alimentos —como el maíz y la soya transgénicas—, hacia la producción nacional sustentada por la agricultura agroecológica campesina, familiar y comunitaria, que proteja los bienes comunes de la agrobiodiversidad y garanticen la autonomía alimentaria.

Las organizaciones sociales y locales reiteramos la relevancia de prohibir las semillas y cultivos transgénicos en Colombia, mediante el Acto Legislativo que actualmente cursa en el Congreso de la República. Ya conocidos los impactos adversos generados por los cultivos de maíz y algodón transgénico, y su fracaso en varias regiones del país, tenemos la responsabilidad de proteger el ambiente, la agricultura local y la economía de las y los agricultores. Hay que decir, también, que la normatividad de bioseguridad vigente en el país no protege nuestra agrobiodiversidad, la producción agrícola nacional, ni la salud de sus ciudadanos y ciudadanas.



“ . . . Strange all this Difference should be ‘Twixt Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee.”

October 27, 2020 0 Comments
William Hanna

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” 

H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), American journalist, essayist, satirist, cultural critic, and scholar of American English, On Politics: A Carnival of Buncom

The realisation of Henry Mencken’s prediction became glaringly apparent when on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, in the US presidential election, 62,984,828 Americans voted for Donald Trump: a semi-illiterate and repugnant reprobate with undeniably deplorable sexist, racist, and xenophobic tendencies. Since then, hundreds of mental heath professionals have described him as suffering from a mental pervasive disorder characterised by aggression, egomania, cheating, grandiosity, instability, lying, narcissism, self-interest, and stealing. 

During his first — and hopefully last — term in office, Trump has managed to make over 20,000 — and still counting — blatantly false and misleading claims; has pursued self-enriching policies and unabashed nepotism; has corrupted government institutions such as the Department of Justice and in the process destroyed the concept of a just democracy; has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear pact, and terminated DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — which protected some 800,000 young unauthorised immigrants from deportation; has abandoned many other treaties and agreements including defence pacts with Western allies and thereby undermined the credibility of the US; has audaciously belittled other nations and referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and an assortment of African nations as being “shithole countries”; has made the US the laughingstock of a world in urgent need of critical thinking and moral leadership to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic; and has confirmed he is a populist demagogue preying on voter disaffection while stoking racist rage and vicious violence by fanning the flames of the class divisions and political polarisation that continue to debunk the illusion of an “American Dream.”



“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” 

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)



While the general consensus of opinion may be that getting Tweedle-Dum out of the White House is essential for restoring the “normality” required to heal the traumatised American psyche, the reality is that electing Tweedle-Dee as the next US President will do little if anything to improve the situation, and the transformation of the “American Dream” into haunting nightmare will only accelerate. Replacing a 73 year-old corpulent and corrupt curmudgeon with a soon-to-be 78 year-old doddering and delirious Democrat — infamous for his “hands-on” lurking proximity to women — will neither alleviate the plight of millions of Americans struggling with poverty and dependent on government food assistance https://bit.ly/31Dx5s6, nor be of much benefit to the rest of humanity apart from Israel which as a result of having a debilitating stranglehold on Congress — courtesy of voracious pro-Israel lobby groups — is annually bilking $3.8 billion from tax paying Americans which helps to finance its ongoing criminal ethnic cleansing and land grabbing occupation of Palestine https://bit.ly/3m8CiQG.



Though the US has been in serious decline since its ill-fated and illegal launching of the Iraq War, the Trump presidency has accelerated the process and electing him for another term would — on the basis of his performance so far — result in diminished prosperity, restrict opportunities for current and future generations, increase racist and xenophobic sentiments while eroding the rights of African Americans and Latinos, lead to the complete evisceration of democracy, and further undermine the extent of Washington’s prestige and influence abroad. 



Alternatively, while a Joe Biden presidency may provide Americans with a veneer of apparent sanity and elicit a huge sigh of relief from most people in the world, the thrust of America’s desire for global domination and morally degenerate conduct will remain unchanged with some 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories overseas https://bit.ly/2J4Tl83 while Britain, France, and Russia combined have only about 50; will continue adding to the more than 20 million people it has already killed in some 40 “victim nations” since World War Two; will with its flawed concept of “American exceptionalism” presume to interfere in the affairs of other nations either politically or with military interventions as was the case in the 2003 Iraq War which Joe Biden wholeheartedly supported; will accommodate the military industrial complex’s desire for endless wars with a Department of Defence budget estimated at $636 billion; will in the meantime spend only $66.6 billion on education so that half of the nation’s adults cannot read a book written at the 8th-grade level; and will continue trading in death and destruction with conventional weapons sales to some 170 countries which between 2002 and 2018 amounted to more than $200 billion.



So irrespective of whether the American people choose Tweedle-Dum or Tweedle-Dee for their next president, the reality is that neither of them — in the twilight of their lives — has the necessary moral fortitude or basic physical capabilities to reverse the self-destructive tendency of the American psyche and the decline of an America that can never be made “Great Again.”



“Washington is not merely the most complete police state since Stalinism, but also a threat to the entire world. The hubris and arrogance of Washington, combined with Washington's huge supply of weapons of mass destruction, make Washington the greatest threat that has ever existed to all life on the planet. Washington is the enemy of all humanity.”

Paul Craig Roberts, American economist and author. 



William Hanna is a London-based freelance writer on democracy and human rights and author of the recently published book, The Grim Reaper. Further information including book reviews, articles, sample chapters, videos, and contact details at: 

Oct 21, 2020

U.S. fighting on behalf of Israel: ex- Israeli author Gilad Atzmon

October 21, 2020 0 Comments
Mohammad Mazhari 20/10/2020

TEHRAN – Ex- Israeli author believes that the U.S. is fighting on behalf of Israel, citing imposition of sanctions on other countries by Washington and sacrificing young American soldiers in the wars as examples.

"America is willing to sacrifice its young soldiers and national interests and even its economy for Israel," Gilad Atzmon, who was born in a Jewish family in Israel and grew up in Jerusalem al-Quds, tells the Tehran Times.

Atzmon, who now lives in Britain, also says, "Israeli pressure groups seem to believe that they are actually more powerful and certainly more important than the American constitution." 
The following is the text of the interview:

Numerous human rights bodies have slammed Western countries' arms trade with Israel. What is your comment?

For decades, Israel has been selling killing machines to the most oppressive regimes around the world, and this shouldn't be surprising, as Israel itself is at the forefront of the list of oppressive regimes.

Embarrassed by the Israeli government's current arming of Azerbaijan in its war with Armenia, Holocaust scholar Israel W. Charny penned an article for The Times of Israel titled: Would Israel sell a used drone to a Hitler? Charny admits in his piece that Israel's conduct is fundamentally unethical. He ends his commentary writing, "to my Armenian colleagues and friends, I can only say that as a Jew and as an Israeli, I am mortified – and angry."

I would think that if Israel's leading genocide historian allows himself to admit in an Israeli nationalist outlet that the Jewish State is profiting from the non-ethical arms trade, the rest of us should be entitled to engage with this topic freely and to use every possible platform to denounce Israel or anyone else from profiting from non-ethical practices.

The issues go well beyond Israel's arms trade. A few days ago, we learned from the Jewish Press about a Bipartisan bill in America that would give Israel a say on the Middle East (West Asia) arms sales. The bill "would require the President to consult with the Israeli government to ensure concerns are settled." If the bill passes, the USA military-industrial complex trade would be dependent on Israeli consent. 

How great is the Zionist and Jewish lobbies' influence in the United States, and how can this status quo change?

The facts regarding Israel's immense influence and the Jewish Lobby in the USA and other Western countries have been established for a while. One can refer to The Israeli Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, a detailed study by two of the most influential American social scientists (Prof. John Mearsheimer & Prof. Stephen Walt). Another leading American political scientist admired by a generation of academics who also covered the topic is, of course, Prof James Petras, in his book The Power of Israel in the United States.

What can be done about the well-documented domination of AIPAC? I would like to believe that the most effective method to approach this topic would be to point squarely at the Lobby and its corrosive impact: this entails pointing the finger at the wars the USA fights on behalf of Israel, the sanctions that the USA mounts for Israel, the fact that America is willing to sacrifice its young soldiers and national interests and even its economy for Israel. Theoretically speaking, American citizens are entitled to voice such criticisms as freedom of speech is enshrined in their constitution's first amendment. Israeli pressure groups seem to believe that they are actually more powerful and certainly more important than the American constitution. A few months ago, we learned that Right-wing activists attempted to spread new laws across Republican-controlled states that would suppress criticism on Israel's public university campuses and its occupation of Palestinian territory.

By now, the USA is practically functioning as a remote and subservient Israeli satellite. I am unable to identify any genuine political force in the USA that can change this anytime soon. I do not see anyone within American politics who is willing to tackle the matter. But the American people, like the Brits and the French, are no fools; they see it all.

Though Israel is violating and defying international law on a daily basis, its Western supporters and allies continue to support these actions or at least turn a blind eye to them. How do you assess this double standard?

In general, it's a good practice not to overestimate people's intelligence. But Israel and its Lobby make the opposite mistake; they tend to believe that people are far stupider than they are.

People do see what is going on, and the general discomfort with Israel and its Lobby is growing rapidly. People do notice Israeli criminality; they also notice their politicians on all levels operating as foreign agents for a criminal state. Israel and The Lobby interpret this rise of awareness as “growing anti-Semitism,” but this is hyperbole. A general mass awareness has surfaced. The Israelis and The Lobby know that once you see the full picture, you can't just un-see it. In that respect, Israel is facing a wall of silent resistance, and the consequences of this reality are unpredictable.

It is fascinating to observe the tsunami of mass protests that we see within Israel against Netanyahu and institutional corruption. The Israelis, or at least many of them, are also tired of themselves being themselves. In line with Jewish history, it is possible that it will actually be the Jews who bring their current empire down. As far as I can tell, they are better at that battle than anyone else. 

How do the Western countries exploit the issue of human rights to implement their policies? And how do they politicize human rights?

Human rights issues are close to our hearts. We don't like to see abuse of others; we hate discrimination; we are appalled by the racism of any kind. Seemingly, some were clever enough to attach barcodes to these genuine universal and ethical feelings. As things stand, human rights matters have morphed into a profitable industry. Many human rights campaigns are funded by elements that are themselves dedicated to human rights abusers. 

Since the Palestinian struggle is close to my heart, it took me little time to find out that while the BDS movement was receiving money from George Soros' Open Society Institute, BDS changed its goal statement and practically gave up on the Palestinian Right of Return.

In 2012 the BDS National Committee in Ramallah made a crucial change to its goal statement. It changed the wording of its original (June 2005) mission statement from "demanding that Israel end its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands" to demanding that Israel end "its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967*" My attempt to find out who introduced this change revealed that this new wording first appeared in Omar Barghouti's 2011 book, 'BDS: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights' (page 6).

It seems that since 2011, The BDS National Committee basically abandoned the most precious Palestinian right—it drifted away from the commitment to land occupied since 1948 and limited its struggle to the liberation of lands occupied in 1967. Further attempts to clarify who made the change and what process revealed that this significant change was made in a clandestine manner appeared only in English. It has never appeared in Arabic or any other language. It is evident that the change took place behind the backs of the Palestinian people. Despite BDS' claim to be a 'civil society' representing more than 170 Palestinian organizations, Palestinians were totally unaware of the BDS National Committee's compromise of their mission. 

Further investigation revealed that BDS—like most Palestinian NGOs—was funded by George Soros' Open Society Institute. In 2013 I was asked to review a book titled Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, by Sarah Schulman. It was Schulman who resolved the mysterious change in the BDS goal statement. In her search for funding for a young Palestinian Queer USA tour in support of BDS, Schulman wrote that she was advised to approach George Soros' Open Society Institute. The following account may leave you flabbergasted, as it did me:
"A former ACT UP staffer who worked for the Open Society Institute, George Soros' foundation, suggested that I file an application therefor funding for the tour. When I did so, it turned out that the person on the other end had known me from when we both attended Hunter [College] High School in New York in the 1970s. He forwarded the application to the institute's office in Amman, Jordan, and I had an amazing one-hour conversation with Hanan Rabani, its director of the Women's and Gender program for the Middle East (West Asia) region. Hanan told me that this tour would give great visibility to autonomous queer organizations in the region. That it would inspire queer Arabs—especially in Egypt.

For that reason, she said, funding for the tour should come from the Amman office" (Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, by Sarah Schulman p. 108).

Here is clear and embarrassing evidence of a crude intervention made by George Soros' institute in an attempt to shape Arab and Islamic culture and political life. We also learn about the manner in which Soros' Open Society Institute introduces gay and queer politics to the region. Apparently, money for a tour promoting Palestine and BDS is traveling from Soros' Open Society to Jordan and then back to the USA.

This makes it clear why BDS had "good reason" to remain silent regarding its funding sources. After all, being funded directly or indirectly by a liberal Zionist philanthropist, a man who also funded the openly Zionist J Street and was invested in Israeli companies in the West Bank, is indeed embarrassing. But the meaning of it is rather devastating. The discourse of the solidarity of the oppressed is shaped by the oppressor's sensitivities who fund the oppressed's movement. We see this in the Palestine solidarity movement; we saw the same thing in Occupy Wall Street and currently in some BLM activity segments. Instead of genuinely caring for the oppressed, human rights and solidarity movements often morph into policing forces that dedicate themselves to controlling the so-called opposition.

The case of the language of BDS has a good ending. However, Omar Barghouti didn't change the words printed in his book, where he bluntly compromised on occupied land demands on behalf of the Palestinian people. The BDS movement eventually changed its goal statement once again. It now resembles the original 2005 statement opposing the occupation of ALL Arab Land.

Why doesn't Israel accept the idea of a nuclear-free zone in the region?

The real meaning of thinking yourself chosen is attributing a unique sense of impunity to yourself and no one else. In real politics, this means that your Jewish state is the only nuclear power in the region, your Air Force is the only one to fly F-35s, your army is not committed to any recognized ethical standards, your military industry trades with the darkest regimes around. Try to imagine a world where everyone believes themselves to be chosen.