Will Wave Of Action Become Nightmare For The 1%?

 

#RESIST! #ACTIVISM #OCCUPY #WORLDWIDE #WAVEOFACTION #Cookednews

 

Note: We don’t view te #WaveOfAction as a potential last gasp of Occupy.  It is one more series of protests and resistance efforts that will continue no matter how large the #WaveOfAction protests are.  It is up to the people how large the protests are, how creative and how effective.  This is part of the process of building a mass movement — a movement that is much more than the occupy encampments were. 

What will prove to be either the last gasp of the Occupy Movement, or its Renaissance as a social powerhouse, will lie in the success and its embrace of a highly-publicized #WaveOfAction which launches a major 90-day program of protest and resistance on April 4.

The Wave begins, symbolically, on the date of the assassination of Martin Luther King and ends, symbolically, on July the 4th.  It will run from the date of the death of a dream that will not die to the date of the birth of a vision which has yet to be fulfilled.

So, what is the purpose of this ambitious campaign, who is behind it, and what can we expect of it – and of ourselves?  The purpose is stated on its website and is quite clear.

We are a Movement of Movements

“The Worldwide #WaveOfAction begins April 4th and runs through July 4th.

During this three-month cycle, people throughout the world will be protesting corruption, rallying around solutions and taking part in alternative systems. The new paradigm will be on full display.

Studies have proven that it only takes 3.5% of the population taking nonviolent action to create meaningful and positive change. The #WaveOfAction gives all of us who want change a powerful opportunity to #EvolveSociety.

Change-makers all over the world will be engaged at the same time in an unprecedented wave of transformation.”

OK, that sounds acceptable (to most of the 99%, and certainly not the 1%).  Now, who is behind this?

I confess that I can’t say that I have figured that out.  It appears to be nobody.  Or, perhaps everybody.  Or, a coterie of patriots/anarchists/misfits who – such as when Zuccotti Park came to be occupied – are taking it upon themselves to rekindle that Occupy fire.

Word has it that #OWS #Anon and its allies put out a call to action for a World Wide Wave of creative community coordination and collaboration this winter.  There were two organizing conference calls prior to April 4.  One on March 25, and the other on April 2.  (David Degrawis one of the facilitators)

For an organizing call, it attracted verifiable luminaries:  Barbara Max HubbardMarianne WilliamsonRussell BrandKevin ZeesePatricia EllsbergDylan RattiganJohn Perry Barlow, and Lee Camp.  If “you are known by the company you keep,” #WaveOfAction is keeping good company.

Whoever started it, it can be said that occupiers around the world are standing with it, and many called in to declare that support and to announce events they were planning locally.

But, they are coming up against a very familiar foe – themselves.

The Naysayers…and worse

Anyone familiar with Occupy knows that it is rife with the usual suspects:  gripers, snipers and full-blown trolls whose only purpose seems to be that of making sure that “solidarity” will never be had.  “How dare (someone/something) do/be (provide the offense).”  Everything is suspect, and anyone taking a lead roll is to be suspected.

Whether or not this will affect the success of #WaveOfAction will not be known for some time, but the offenders are being put on notice.  Activist and creater of Occu-Evolve,Sumumba Sobukwe, had this to say:

“The Irony of those complaining about this ‘Wave of Action’ is that it will only be a failure if they continue to find fault with EVERYTHING that ‘reeks’ of coordination that might make people move beyond facebook, twitter and other social media ‘activism’ as well as their own silos of causes and interests to actually go out and organize with others in the streets.”

He continues, “When did an ‘occupy’ action ever draw more than a few hundred people that didn’t have unions, grassroots or other groups involved? Who are we fooling here? Occupy has ALWAYS been made up of different groups and individuals, and that’s where the concept of the ’99%’ came closest to being real or at least unifying in theory.”

So, in addition to proving Pogo’s theorem, “We have met the enemy, and they are us,” what other odds militate against the campaign having any major effect?  Let me count the ways:

1. A largely indifferent press.  Activists deride the “MainStream Media” for not paying attention to even the largest of its protests and greatest of its triumphs.  Occupy is hardly alone.  Last year’s March Against Monsanto which attracted a half-million marchers or more worldwide did not find its way into print or broadcast in any meaningful way. (P.S.  Occupy folk helped make that march happen, as well).

  1. A police force dedicated to crushing public dissent.  Naaaah, that can’t be happening here in America, right?  That’s what you find in Russia, or Egypt, or China.  Thank God that “to serve and protect” applies to citizens in the street and peaceful protestors, yes?  Here’s a retired cop who has a word or two on that, Captain Ray Harris. Oh, and not to forget Cecily McMillan’s experience with the Boys in Blue which finds her at risk of jail time for resisting their abuse.
  2. Elected officials.  One would think that people who are elected to represent us willactually represent us, and that they will be at the front of any parade or protest demanding justice and protecting civil liberties.  Think again.  If you ain’t got the money (and few occupiers/activists do), they ain’t got the time. And, if their party can’t co-opt your movement for their betterment, they’ll be the first to applaud authorities who arrest you. Hell, they will demand that force be used.
  3. The 1%.  You can be certain that the #WaveOfAction will be countered by a #FloodOfMoney spent to discredit its work and mission.  Did I mention Fox?  CNN?  Stay tuned and see how money talks.

So, I leave it to you, the reader.  Will this be a “Wave,” or a “Wave Goodbye” on the part of Occupy and its brother and sister causes?  Will you listen to the detractors within and the enemies without and surrender to the impossible forces against you?

Or, will you take comfort in your own, amazing numbers and brilliance and continue to fight the good fight as so many have before you in America’s history. You are the dream that Martin referred to, and the nightmare that the 1% are waking up to.

When you realize that, the others in the 3.5% of the population will as well.  Won’t that be exciting.

     

#www #WaveOfAction Worldwide Wave Launch Gatherings – The People REVOLT

#WaveOfAction 4-4-14 ~ 7-4-14 #Cookednews

Now that you’ve seen The People REVOLT in Tunisia, Turkey, Spain, Egypt, Brazil and the Ukraine, tell me what will happen on the streets

On April 4th, we will launch the first phase of the Worldwide Wave of Action by gathering at Zuccotti Park and former occupation sites throughout the world to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  At 6:05pm CT, the time of his assassination, we will host vigil ceremonies and resurrect his spirit of nonviolent direct action.

People with opinions across the political spectrum are invited to unite and find common ground against corruption. We will overcome divide and conquer propaganda by forming communities of support and compassion. Together we will fight for freedom and begin engaging in a relentless campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience. People will pledge to take part in whatever tactics they are interested in throughout a sustained three-month cycle.  Here’s a basic list of tactics…

> Mass gatherings, demonstrations;
> Marches, parades;
> Flash mobs, swarms;
> Shutdown harmful corporate and governmental operations;
> Worker Strikes;
> Hunger strikes;
> Sit-ins;
> Strategic defaults, debt strikes;
> Foreclosure prevention;
> Boycotting corrupt corporations;
> Move your money out of the big banks and the stock market;
> Use alternative currencies and economic systems;
> Cancel your cable television and support independent media;
> Use independent online tools that don’t sell your info / protect privacy;
> Online civil disobedience, Anonymous operations;
> Leak information on corruption;
> Use alternative energy;
> Build urban and hydroponic farms, or get your food from them;
> Support local businesses;
> Join local community organizations;
> Take part in food banks and help develop community support systems;
> Start or join intentional and autonomous communities;
> Experiment with new governing systems, Liquid Democracy;
> Host teach-ins;
> Organize socially conscious events;
> Make conscious media;
> Guerrilla postering, messages on money;
> Help inspiring groups and organizations spread their message;
> Random acts of kindness and compassion;
> Mass meditations, prayer sessions and spiritual actions.

You know what you can do to play a part. Do whatever you feel inspired to do. Amplify what you are already doing. Think about what you are willing to do to be the change we urgently need to see in the world, and then do it.

We look forward to seeing you in action!

Organize a Worldwide Wave launch gathering in your hometown and post the details here

#WaveOfAction #WakeUp #cookednews #www #WaveOfAction #privacy

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Adidas against sexual tourism: it’s the request of Brazilian Tourism Board for the next Wold Cup 2014

#NotBuyingIt #Cookednews

How very original. Adidas released–and has now pulled–these two new t-shirts to promote the upcoming World Cup in Brazil. Get it? Because Brazilian women are oh-so-sexy and obviously exist for your viewing pleasure. In fact, you can go ahead and think of the entire country as–literally–one big piece of ass.

And it’s not just that these tees play on sexist, racist stereotypes of exotic Latina women. ‘Looking to score?’ is not just a hypothetical play on words here. While there’s little evidence to support the oft-repeated myth that sex trafficking increases around large sporting events, sex tourism is popular in Brazil and there are concerns that the flood of tourist that the World Cup attracts will exacerbate the problem of child sex trafficking in the country. The head of the Brazilian Tourism Board Flávio Dino was not pleased. ‘We don’t accept that the World Cup be used for illegal practices, like so-called sexual tourism,’ he told O Globo. ‘We ask that Adidas put a stop to the sale of these products.’

Thankfully, they promptly did.

(H/t @Kelleyk43Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

Adidas said the shirts would not be sold anymore, adding in a statement that they were from a limited edition that was only on sale in the United States.

#OccupyWomen#NotBuyingIt,#Adidas,#World#CookedNews#WorldCup

A dark day in Europe Statement of Foreign Policy 2014, on Ukraine

#Kiev #Sochi2014 #Ukraine

It is a dark day in Europe. On the streets of one of our capitals, people are being killed. Their demands were simple and natural: democracy, reforms and European cooperation. Their desire was, for a long time, the desire expressed by the entire Ukrainian nation. And this was why we in the European Union, through the Eastern Partnership, opened the door to cooperation, trade, reforms and integration.

We did so because we too were convinced that this was in the interests not only of Ukraine, but of the whole of Europe. But let us be clear about what happened. Last summer, Russia launched a single-minded pressure offensive to make Ukraine deviate from its chosen course. Brutal trade barriers were combined with open threats. And a wavering leadership in Ukraine gave in.

But when they gave in, it was seen as a betrayal by all those people who had hoped for a better future. The European flag flew in Maidan Square as a symbol of the desire for a better future. People wanted to move forwards alongside the rest of Europe – not backwards towards the all too well-known. Without those threats from Moscow and the wavering in Kiev, Ukraine could today have been clearly on its way to a better future.

The International Monetary Fund, with support from us all, was prepared to offer an economic assistance and reform programme. And the door to European political cooperation, and the political solidarity that goes along with it, had been opened.

Not all of the problems had been resolved. But Ukraine was, with broad European and international support, clearly on a path to a better future. But this future of European cooperation was a future that powerful forces did not want to see. And that is where the responsibility for the killings on the streets of Kiev clearly and ultimately lies.

Today, President Yanukovych has blood on his hands. And I am afraid that the path he has now taken will lead to even more suffering and violence. He was the only one who could have prevented the killing – by extending a hand of genuine cooperation to the democratic opposition.

Instead they were shown a fist. People have been shot dead with live ammunition. Peaceful demonstrators. But police officers and others have also been harmed in the violence that broke out. I am afraid that Ukraine is now heading for dark times. The crisis in the country will become deeper and longer. I am deeply concerned.

But the outcome of the violence will be precarious and short-lived. It will die away like a storm on the steppes. What has happened, and is happening, in Ukraine also demonstrates the power of the European dream. A Europe of peace and freedom and cooperation.

And sooner or later, it will triumph in Ukraine too.

Statement
Ministry for Foreign Affairs 19 February 2014
Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs Sweden

Contact
Erik Zsiga
Press Secretary to Carl Bildt
+46 72 573 91 30
email to Erik Zsiga

#Ukraine #euromaidan#Kiev,  #CookedNews

Mauro Biani su Svizzera e immigrati

Mauro Biani su Svizzera e immigrati #Cookednews

Gli svizzeri hanno approvato un referendum ‘contro l’immigrazione di massa’: i sì hanno raggiunto il 50,3%. Lo ha riferito l’agenzia di stampa svizzera Ats.

L’iniziativa ‘Contro l’immigrazione di massa’ approvata oggi di stretta di misura in Svizzera vuole limitare i permessi di dimora per stranieri con ‘tetti massimi annuali e contingenti annuali’ applicabili a tutti i permessi per stranieri, inclusi i cittadini dell’Ue, i frontalieri e i richiedenti asilo.

Di seguito i principali passaggi del testo approvato.

– ‘La Svizzera gestisce autonomamente l’immigrazione degli stranieri. Il numero di permessi di dimora per stranieri in Svizzera è limitato da tetti massimi annuali e contingenti annuali. I tetti massimi valgono per tutti i permessi rilasciati in virtù del diritto degli stranieri, settore dell’asilo incluso. Il diritto al soggiorno duraturo, al ricongiungimento familiare e alle prestazioni sociali può essere limitato’.

– ‘I tetti massimi annuali e i contingenti annuali per gli stranieri che esercitano un’attività lucrativa devono essere stabiliti in funzione degli interessi globali dell’economia svizzera e nel rispetto del principio di preferenza agli Svizzeri; essi devono comprendere anche i frontalieri. Criteri determinanti per il rilascio del permesso di dimora sono in particolare la domanda di un datore di lavoro, la capacità d’integrazione e una base esistenziale sufficiente e autonoma. Non possono essere conclusi trattati internazionali che contraddicono al presente articolo’.

– I trattati internazionali che contraddicono all’articolo ‘devono essere rinegoziati e adeguati entro tre anni dall’accettazione di detto articolo da parte del Popolo e dei Cantoni’.

La Commissione europea ‘si rammarica del fatto che un’iniziativa per l’introduzione di limiti quantitativi all’immigrazione sia stata approvata. Questo va contro il principio della libera circolazione delle persone tra l’Ue e la Svizzera’. Così la Commissione Ue commenta l’esito del referendum svizzero che limita l’immigrazione di massa.

I risultati definitivi sono giunti al termine di un testa a testa che ha tenuto con il fiato sospeso il Paese per tutto il pomeriggio. L’iniziativa, promossa dal partito di destra ed antieuropeista dell’Unione democratica di centro (Udc/Svp) chiede la reintroduzione di tetti massimi e contingenti per l’immigrazione di stranieri. Ponendo in pericolo gli accordi di libera circolazione con l’Unione europea, la maggior parte dei quali dovranno verosimilmente essere rinegoziati. Secondo i dati definitivi, l’iniziativa l’ha spuntata con sole 19.516 schede, ottenendo 1.463.954 voti favorevoli, contro 1.444.438 voti contrari. A schierarsi a favore un totale di 17 cantoni, tra cui il Ticino con la più alta percentuale di Sì (68,17%). Nove i cantoni contrari.

SVIZZERA: 8 MLN ABITANTI, STRANIERI AL 23,3% – SCHEDA

Al centro dell’Europa, ma non membro dell’Unione europea, la Svizzera – che oggi ha reintrodotto con un voto popolare le quote sull’immigrazione – ospita una popolazione straniera pari al 23,3 % degli 8 milioni di abitanti del Paese. Tra gli immigrati, gli italiani sono tra i piu’ numerosi. A fine aprile 2013 la Svizzera contava infatti 1.846.500 stranieri domiciliati (57.175 in più rispetto all’anno precedente), due terzi dei quali provenivano da Stati dell’Unione europea e dell’Associazione europea di libero scambio (Efta), secondo le statistiche ufficiali.

I gruppi più cospicui sono quelli degli Italiani (circa 290mila) e dei tedeschi (piu’ di 280mila), ciascuno dei quali con una quota del 16%, seguiti dai portoghesi (13%). Dall’introduzione dell’Accordo sulla libera circolazione delle persone con l’Ue, nel 2002, il bilancio migratorio è stato particolarmente importante con la Germania (circa 16.100 persone all’anno) e il Portogallo (circa 8.700 persone all’anno), ma il maggior aumento del numero d’immigrati tra il 2011 e il 2012 è stato osservato tra le persone provenienti dai Paesi dell’Europa meridionale, ovvero da Grecia (+44,8%), Spagna (+36,2%) e Italia (+28,1%). La Svizzera ed il suo benessere economico attirano inoltre molti frontalieri dai Paesi confinanti ed in particolare da Germania (56.920), la Francia (145mila) e l’Italia, oltre 65mila quasi tutti in Ticino. La manodopera straniera è considerata un elemento importante del mercato del lavoro svizzero ed i lavoratori stranieri svolgono un ruolo importante nel settore secondario.

L’esito era già previsto sul filo del rasoio per il referendum ‘Contro l’immigrazione di massa‘. Globalmente, la Svizzera francofona ha tendenzialmente votato contro l’iniziativa, mentre in Ticino e nei Cantoni di lingua tedesca la maggioranza ha votato a favore.

Schulz, populisti sfrutteranno no a immigrazione – Un sì alla quote sugli immigrati comunitari in Svizzera ”rischia di essere sfruttato” dai populisti in vista delle elezioni europee di fine maggio. Lo teme il presidente del Parlamento europeo, Martin Schulz, che lo ha detto in una intervista pubblicata oggi dal domenicale svizzero NZZ am Sonntag, citata dal Financial Times online. ‘Temo che un sì in Svizzera possa scatenare un nuovo dibattito sulla libera circolazione delle persone in seno alla Ue’, aggiunge il candidato alla presidenza della Commissione europea. L’Ft ricorda ricorda che un eurodeputato conservatore britannico, David Campbell Bannermann, ha chiesto la definizione di quorte da ogni singolo paese comunitario se la Gran Bretagna deciderà di lasciare l’Unione nel 2017.

Bocciato testo su finanziamento privato aborto  – E’ stato ufficialmente bocciato dagli svizzeri il referendum sull’aborto: l’iniziativa, che chiedeva che l’interruzione di gravidanza e l’embrio-riduzione non siano più coperte dall’assicurazione obbligatoria di base, è stata bocciata da una maggioranza dei cantoni. Secondo le proiezioni almeno il 70% dei votanti ha respinto il testo. Il governo svizzero e la maggioranza del parlamento avevano raccomandato di respingere l’iniziativa. Intitolata ‘Il finanziamento dell’aborto è una questione privata’ era stata promossa da un comitato interpartitico, composto essenzialmente di cristiani conservatori.

 #CookedNewsSvizzera

Stop Violence Against Women: a global policy on sex work

Shepard Fairey for Amnesty

Amnesty International is currently in the process of considering a global policy on sex work.

We have been aware of the need to develop our thinking on this issue for a while, informed by work on our Stop Violence Against Women campaign, and then on poverty and human rights. Both campaigns highlighted gaps in our policies as they relate to the human rights of sex workers.

For these reasons, our International research headquarters (the International Secretariat) undertook a study of the issue and has proposed a draft policy for consultation.

The draft policy proposes the decriminalisation of activities relating to the buying or selling of consensual sex between adults, on the basis that this is the best means to protect the rights of sex workers and ensure that these individuals receive adequate medical care, legal assistance and police protection.

However, we acknowledge that these issues are complex and opinion is polarised. Proponents of different policy responses invoke core human rights principles in justifying their positions. As a human rights organisation, we therefore think it is important to consider our position in this debate.

We value debate and have not yet endorsed any particular position.

The final decision on the policy will be made by the movement’s International Board informed by the consultation undertaken by Amnesty offices around the world.

There are more than 50 national sections of Amnesty worldwide, of which Amnesty UK is one.

Ultimately, Amnesty UK’s position will be determined by our members and so we are encouraging all Amnesty UK members to take part in the debate.

To do so please email swc@amnesty.org.uk with your membership details and full postal address and we will send you the consultation documents. Alternatively, you may write to us with your membership details at the address below. Please state your membership details and full postal address in any communications:

Consultation on sex work
c/o Chief Executive’s Office
Amnesty International UK
Human Rights Action Centre
17-25 New Inn Yard
London
EC2A 3EA

The deadline for consultation is 21 March 2014.

Amnesty UK members will have a further opportunity to discuss the issue at our Annual General Meeting on 12-13 April 2014, and will vote to decide on our position as a section of Amnesty, which we will then represent at the global decision-making bodies of Amnesty.

Anti-censorship feminists question why only some forms of sexist communication (namely sexually arousing/explicit ones) should be banned, while not advocating bans against equally misogynist public discourse. Susie Bright notes, “It’s a far different criticism to note that porn is sexist. So are all commercial media. That’s like tasting several glasses of salt water and insisting only one of them is salty. The difference with porn is that it is people fucking, and we live in a world that cannot tolerate that image in public.’

http://www.sexworkeurope.org/sites/default/files/userfiles/files/join/il_manifesto.pdf (in italiano)

#CookedNews, #WomenInPower#women’s expressions sexuality,

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The prisoners of conscience of Sochi2014

Russian activist Yevgeny Vitishko

The re-arrest today of yet another environmental activist in Russia’s Krasnodar region where the Sochi Winter Olympic Games will open on 7 February, as well as his brief detention along with five colleagues last night, are more evidence of growing efforts to clamp down on civil society ahead of the Games, Amnesty International said.

 Igor Kharchenko of the Russian NGO Environmental Watch for North Caucasus (Ecologicheskaya Vakhta po Severnomu Kavkazu) is currently being held by police in Krasnodar, the regional capital, where they had arrived ahead of the Olympic torch relay. He was arrested today under the pretext that his car had been ‘involved in a crime’, shortly after three masked men had smashed in the front and back windows of the vehicle.

‘Just days away from the official opening of the Sochi Winter Olympics, the Russian authorities are using every trick in the book to muzzle freedom of expression and silence dissenting voices,’ said Sergei Nikitin, Director of Amnesty International’s Moscow Office.

Kharchenko is one of six activists from Environmental Watch who were also detained last night for several hours in Krasnodar before being released. They felt compelled to scrap plans for a Sochi launch of their report exposing environmental damage caused by the construction ahead of the Games.

Their detention came the same day that their fellow environmentalist Yevgeny Vitishko was arrested in the Krasnodar Region city of Tuapse and sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention, purportedly for swearing in public.

‘This spate of harassment of civil society activists bodes ill for the coming weeks, and raises fears that the Sochi Games will be a human rights-free zone. Even more troubling is what will happen to Russian activists after the Olympic medals are handed out and the international attention fades,’ said Sergei Nikitin.

‘Silencing civil society does nothing to increase security around the Sochi Games and instead broadcasts to the world how the Russian authorities are failing spectacularly to uphold and protect international human rights standards.

As the start of the Sochi Winter Olympics comes closer, harassment against civil society activists has intensified, Amnesty International said today after the arrest of an environmentalist for allegedly swearing in public.

Yevgeny Vitishko was arrested today in Tuapse, part of the Sochi area where the Games will take place. He has been reportedly charged with ‘petty hooliganism‘, allegedly for swearing previously at a bus stop. At a court hearing today he was sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention.

‘Vitishko’s name has now become synonymous with harassment of civil society activists in the run-up to Sochi Games. Vitishko and his friends have been trying to expose environmental violations during the preparation of the Sochi Olympics. For this they are being punished. By trying to lock him up as a ‘petty hooligan’ the authorities are trying to gag him,’ said Denis Krivosheev, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Programme Director.

‘The concern is what will happen to civil society after the closure of the Olympics after the international focus moves away.’

Yevgeny Vitishko and his fellow activists have been actively involved in protests regarding the deforestation and illegal construction and fencing in areas of protected forest around Sochi.

In 2012, he received a suspended sentence in connection with an environmental protest. Last December, a court in Tuapse ruled that he should serve three years in prison for violating a curfew associated with the suspended sentence. His appeal hearing was reportedly scheduled for 22 February 2014, but now all information regarding it has been conspicuously removed from the court’s website.

Amnesty International has already raised concern about his unfair trial which resulted in a court decision to send him to prison colony for three years. His arrest comes as he is awaiting his appeal hearing.

Vitishko’s supporters fear that he will be held in custody until the day of his appeal under administrative charges, and then be sent to a prison colony.

Rights groups have accused Russian officials of harassing activists and journalists in the Sochi area, detaining them on trumped-up charges.

The Olympics are projected to cost $51 billion, or more than every other Winter Olympics combined. The high price tag is being blamed on Sochi being extremely ill-suited to host an Olympics and rampant corruption.

On Wednesday, Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina were set to make their first public appearance in the United States after being released from a Russian prison (23dec.). They were scheduled to speak at a Brooklyn concert organized by the human rights advocacy group and featuring stars such as Madonna.

Alekhina said she wants Americans to look beyond the grandeur of the projects and buildings of the games.

‘They are foreign objects in Russia,’ she said. ‘The only thing that connects Russia to these objects is taxpayers’ money, which has been stolen and has been used to build these Olympic objects.’

Alekhina called on President Barack Obama to increase pressure on Russia over alleged human rights abuses, and said she and Tolokonnikova are handing over a petition to Putin to help ‘end this bullshit.’

‘Aren’t you sick of it all, Putin?’ Tolokonnikova asked.

International response to prior calls to boycott the games has garnered some largely symbolic gestures. Obama included three openly gay athletes in the official U.S. delegation to the Sochi Winter Olympics in a rebuke of Putin’s anti-gay laws. And Norwegian Health Minister Bent Høie said he is taking his male spouse to the opening ceremony. But twelve peaceful protesters remain incarcerated after police arrested them at the anti-Putin demonstrations in Moscow two years ago, the pair from Pussy Riot said.

Now that the band is an icon for the struggle against human rights abuses in Putin’s Russia, the two women said it will also act for the rights of prisoners in the United States.

Tolokonnikova and Alekhina said they plan to visit prisons and meet with nonprofit organizations to learn about the issue of solitary confinement in the U.S. ‘We’re very interested in the fact of how NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) in the U.S. work and collaborate with penitentiary institutions,’ Alekhina said. ‘One of our main goals is to exchange experience.’

‘Pussy Riot inspired a new generation of activists around the world, Samir Goswami, managing director of the Amnesty International USA program Individuals and Communities at Risk said, adding that their supporters followed in the footsteps of those who helped Amnesty International obtain the release of some 44,000 prisoners since its international inception in 1961.

‘Pussy Riot were street performers,’ he said. At the subway, on the streets, they would call on people to take their rights seriously. ‘There are street performers in the U.S. whom we pass every day, but we don’t realize that they can help elevate human rights to the global conversation.’

‘They found a lot of support from folks in the U.S., especially from Russia’s diaspora community in Brooklyn, who called passionately for their release,’ Goswami said. ‘But they’re also learning about the prison conditions in the U.S. and plan on doing some research here.’

Kremlin Suspends Questioned Reform of Wildlife Reserves. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to amend recent environmental legislation that critics said could allow for real estate development in Russia’s protected territories. A law passed in December allows for the downgrading of any of the 102 Russian wildlife reserves to natural parks, where construction is permitted under certain conditions.

The law, which passed quickly through parliament, caused outcry from eco-activists, who said it could be exploited to build commercial real estate in wildlife reserves.

Krasnodar is a city located in the Southern Russia based on the Kuban River situated 80 kilometers away to the North East of the Black sea port. The prevailing political stability and the numerous administrative efforts taken by the regional administration has made the Krasnodar region one of the most favorable investment destinations in Russia.

More than 60 countries have investment cooperation in this region and 773 companies having foreign capital are already part of the regions economy. Majority of the FDI coming in this region is mainly concentrated on food industries, woodworking and fuel.

To finance venues and apartments in the Caucasus Mountains and along Sochi’s coast, state-owned Vnesheconombank, known as VEB, lent $7.4 billion to a who’s who of Russia’s elite. Among the biggest loan recipients are companies controlled byVladimir Potanin, chief executive of OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest nickel producer. Joining him are Oleg Deripaska, chief executive of United Co. Rusal, the No. 1 aluminum company; Alexey Miller, chief of state-controlled gas provider OAO Gazprom; and German Gref, chief of state-controlled OAO Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank.


http://www.amnesty.org/

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#secretprojectrevolution a 17-minute film directed by Madonna and Steven Klein

#SECRETPROJECTREVOLUTION on #CookedNews

#Secretprojectrevolution is a 17-minute film directed by Madonna and Steven Klein. The film launches Art For Freedom, a global initiative to further freedom of expression, created by Madonna, curated by VICE, and distributed by BitTorrent.

Art For Freedom encourages the world to express their personal meaning of freedom and revolution in the form of video, music, poetry, and photography. Join the revolution by uploading original artwork to ArtForFreedom.com or tagging original posts #artforfreedom.

secretprojectrevolution, plus bonus content including VICE‘s interview with Madonna (http://youtu.be/4U93frWrToI) and a handwritten message from Madonna and Steven Klein, is available to the public for free download exclusively at BitTorrent Bundle.

Join The Revolution here: http://www.ArtForFreedom.com
Download BitTorrent Bundle here: http://bit.ly/1e3TrVH
Subscribe to VICE: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE

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