Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, our lives are more worth than their profits – Fourth International European Declaration

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The workers’ movement, and all progressive forces, have a duty to resist the Covid-19 Assault, and put forward practical proposals which will work at local, national, and international levels. The full text of a Fourth International Declaration is here : http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article6517 Key extracts are below.

International Viewpoint

Emergency measures

The organizations and activists of the Fourth International in Europe, together with their respective organizations, are in favour of a programme of emergency measures:

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the injection of sufficient means for the mass availability of screening kits, the multiplication of resuscitation beds and respirators. Generalization to the entire population of suitable protective masks and biologic tests is the condition for confinement lifting. Immediate support for democratically controlled production of these means and for non-commercial research for medicines and vaccines against Covid-19.

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Ciúin House Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim – Gombeen State Racism in Ireland

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Donal O’Kelly’s article should be circulated far and wide – Action is Necessary.

Ciúin is a word I love. It’s the Irish word for quiet. It has a peaceful, secure and sleepy feel to it, ideal for a lullabye. Suantraí. Ciúin, ciúin, a stór .. as baby closes her eyes .

Last May I used my facebook page to highlight the fact that Ciúin House Carrick-on-Shannon, the then newly-opened emergency accommodation centre for asylum seekers, had just received 38 male international protection applicants who’d been transferred from Hatch Hall Direct Provision centre in Dublin. Hatch Hall was being converted into a luxury hotel. Ciúin House was accommodating these people on a general basis of two per room. It had a sign and a book in the reception hall that everyone had to sign. The sign said that all residents had to be in their rooms by 10pm nightly.

I met three of the residents on their second evening in Carrick-on-Shannon. I know about the curfew because the men, all in their thirties or thereabouts, wanted to get back to Ciúin House in case there was an unknown penalty for not observing the curfew. I dropped them back at 10pm sharp.

After the facebook post drew a lot of public attention, the curfew was dropped. The owners at first said it was a language misunderstanding, then that the note only referred to not using the washing machine after 10pm. It was neither of those things. It was a curfew. And the owners obviously considered they had a right to impose it.

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Trump Is Toast? Comeback Kid Biden Staggering Into Evil of Two Lessers Saloon?

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The Coronavirus crisis will destroy any chance Donald Trump has of retaining the US presidency this November, for one very simple reason. Driven by …

Trump Is Toast

Ed Moloney thinks he has spotted a silver lining in the CoronaVirus Cloud Haunting the USA.

Comeback Kid Staggers into Evil of Two Lessers Saloon

Trump’s USA Rejects WHO Covid-19 Test Kit – Increases Likely Death and Infection Rate

Not a great deal wrong with that on first view except the Trump-dominated bureaucracy proved incapable of putting that wish into action and so there are not enough US-made test kits to meet the predicted demand. Elsewhere in the world, by sharp contrast, there is no shortage of WHO testing kits, a tribute to the power of international co-operation.

Driven by Trump’s ultra nationalist political world view, the US rejected an international plan for a COVID test kit proposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and decided to plough its own furrow.

The consequence of that will be a huge spike in undiagnosed Coronavirus victims in the USA who will not be treated or even put into quarantine and the numbers of those stricken with the virus, and the deaths that will follow will be proportionately higher. The US, thanks to Trump, will not come out of the Covid crisis unscarred.

A Climbing American Death Rate in the Summer Months?

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Coronavirus has sparked a perfect storm of nationalism and financial speculation – Yanis Varoufakis, Former SYRIZA Finance Minister in Greece – THE GUARDIAN

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Here is a fresh warning about the toxic combination of two different phenomenons – the CoVid-19 Health Crisis and a Financial Money Markets Storm, similar to the 2008 Crash.

The author is Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek Finance Minister sacked from a SYRIZA Government before it surrendered to the Austerians.

See also https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/03/06/coronavirus-is-not-responsible-for-the-fall-of-stock-prices-international-viewpoint-online-socialist-magazine/.

When the air is replete with inflammable materials, any given spark can cause a financial explosion, at any time.

Éric Toussaint of CADTM examines a worldwide stock market collapse.

Eric Toussaint is a historian and political scientist who completed his Ph.D. at the universities of Paris VIII and Liège, is the international spokesperson of the CADTM (Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt) , and sits on the Scientific Council of ATTAC France. 
He is the author of Debt System (2019), Bankocracy (2015); Glance in the Rear View Mirror. Neoliberal Ideology From its Origins to the Present, Haymarket books, Chicago; “Debt, the IMF, and the World Bank, Sixty Questions, Sixty Answers”, Monthly Review Press, New York, 2010. He has published extensively in this field. He is a member of the Fourth International leadership.

Yanis Varoufakis, Former SYRIZA Finance Minister in Greece

Nationalism and speculation have seldom had a better opportunity to combine forces as the one riding today on the coattails of Covid-19, known as the coronavirus. When Covid-19 leapfrogged from China to Italy, even ardent Europeanists normally appreciative of open borders joined the deafening calls to end freedom of movement across Europe’s national borders – a longstanding demand of nationalists. Meanwhile, the money men speculating on government debt are performing a classic flight from Italian to German government bonds, seeking the financial safety that only the continent’s hegemon can offer during any crisis. As if in a bid to remind us of the great contradiction of our times, Covid-19 is illuminating gloriously the freedom of money to transcend a borderless financial universe while humans remain as fenced in as ever.

Coronavirus has sparked a perfect storm of nationalism and financial speculation – THE GUARDIAN

https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2020/03/09/coronavirus-has-sparked-a-perfect-storm-of-nationalism-and-financial-speculation-the-guardian/
— Read on www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2020/03/09/coronavirus-has-sparked-a-perfect-storm-of-nationalism-and-financial-speculation-the-guardian/

Dubai ruler organised kidnapping of his children, UK court rules | World news | The Guardian

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The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is an international criminal. Perhaps he will be the next monarch visiting President Michael D Higgins of Ireland in the Phoenix Park. It is time to stop grovelling to Royal Parasites. Read the rest of this entry »

History is Being Made – Radical Left TD’s in Ireland Co-operate to drive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael out of a Dublin Government for the First Time Ever

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Every Dublin Government since the foundation of the Irish State in 1921 has been run by either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael. In years to come, tell them you were part of history – On the streets for a Left Government : Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, 1.00pm, March 7 2020.

From Paul Murphy TD :

Today saw an important development in the fight for an alternative government, excluding Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. RISE and People Before Profit have come together with three other left-wing TDs, Joan Collins, Catherine Connolly and Thomas Pringle, to negotiate together for an alternative government to be formed. We have come up with a common political programme, which amongst many other things includes a rent freeze and rent controls to bring rents down, a return of the pension age to 65, pay equality for all public sector workers, an increase in the minimum wage to €15 and free, green and frequent public transport as part of a plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Paul Murphy TD, RISE, Dublin South-West

Many people have asked – how could this happen? Surely the numbers are not there for such a government? Establishment TDs and media commentators have trotted out the phrase that the first rule of politics is to know how to count! But politics is about much much more than counting who is in the Dáil – real change is always driven from below.

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Plain Speaking About Torture – Ireland’s Hooded Men Betrayed

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Hooded Men

On Tuesday March 20 2018 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decided that in August 1971, during an Internment Operation in the six counties of Northern Ireland, the British State did not torture a group of “Hooded Men”.  In plain language the ECHR says the British State did not, in this instance, deliberately inflict pain on captive persons.

Is that credible?  Consider this :

Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband Linked With Torture in Sri Lanka

Gareth Pierce is a distinguished human rights lawyer who helped free Irish people wrongly convicted by the British government. She wrote: “Torture is the deliberate infliction of pain by a state on captive persons. It is prohibited and so is the use of its product. The UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment emphasises that there are no exceptional circumstances at all justifying its use” According to Pierce, the British, during the Mandate period in Palestine, in Kenya and Northern Ireland mastered the art of the “lesser” tradition of stress torture, forced standing, forced sitting and choking with water, exposure to extremes of heat and cold, and suspension. “These tortures were clean and allowed for plausible denial not because they are less painful, but because they leave less of a visible mark.” Nonetheless, these tortures produce agonising muscle pain. The kidneys eventually shut down.

Amnesty International describes what the British State did to the Hooded Men in 1971 :

Amnesty International comments on a “disappointing” ruling

The detained men were interned in 1971, and subjected to sustained interrogation by the British Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary, involving the ‘five techniques’ of hooding, stress positions, white noise, sleep deprivation, and deprivation of food and water. These were combined with physical assaults and death threats, which the Court did not consider in its 1978 ruling.

Amnesty International’s full statement is, as Oscar Wilde might say, disappointing.

This ECHR ruling is careless – those six judges who left the British State off the hook don’t even know what torture looks like.

The surviving hooded men will not give up. Why should they? They were tortured.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by tomasoflatharta

Mar 20, 2018 at 11:51 pm