Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Other Items (Seymour Hersh on Democracy Now! today)

For the fifth day in a row, Nepalis on Tuesday defied a curfew imposed by their king. And for the sixth day in a row, Nepalis here in the capital defied a ban on political rallies the king had imposed. As violent pro-democracy demonstrations mounted, questions mounted, too, about the very authority of the palace.
Reports of violence poured in as protests organized by Nepal's seven largest political parties and supported by Maoist rebels continued in a bid to restore parliamentary rule.
In the Gongobu section of the capital on Tuesday, a crowd of thousands burned down a police post.

The above is from Tilak P. Pokharel and Somini Sengupta's "Injuries Mount as Demonstrators Battle With Police in Nepal" in this morning's New York Times and, also from the paper,
Erika notes this section from Adam Liptak's "Judges Set Hurdles for Lethal Injection:"

Unlike the earlier methods, lethal injections appear to mimic medical procedures and so require doctors' participation, said Kenneth Baum, a doctor and lawyer who supports the medical oversight of executions. "If the process is medicalized," Dr. Baum said, "you must have physicians playing a central role in the execution chamber and in analyzing the protocols."
But the American Medical Association's ethics code forbids doctors to perform an array of acts at executions, including prescribing the drugs, supervising prison personnel, selecting intravenous sites, placing intravenous lines, administering the injections and pronouncing death.
The code is not legally binding, and doctors in many states have participated in executions, often anonymously. In the recent California case, however, doctors willing to participate in the execution could not be located in time.

Mia notes Larry Polk's "Loud, Hard, Soft and Quit" (CounterPunch):

When we reached the final destination, City Hall, a street was blocked off on either end by a phalanx of police dressed in full riot gear. They had their face shields down and their batons poised. There were at least twenty policemen on horses.
On this street, five Anglos with anti-immigration signs were privy to full police protection. The crowd stopped to view the scene. But as we drew closer, to see the militaristic outpost more than anything, we were pushed further away while we watched the hand-full of counter-protesters leaving their designated protest area and moving amongst the police officers dressed in riot gear.
I always think of Howard Zinn's quote in these situations about the myth of neutrality concerning "peace-keeping forces" and activism. I stepped up to the row of riot gear policemen and ask for the officer in charge. They said he wasn't there. I urged several of the officers to enforce the anti-protest area as a few them were rushing to the railing and inciting the crowd. This is when one policeman forcefully pushed my left arm with the baton and the officer beside him told me that I was going to be the first one arrested because I was "talking too much."
About this time, a few plastic water bottles came sailing through the air, landing mostly around the counter-protesters. A van pulled up and another phalanx of police in riot gear filed out. They had weapons that looked like paint ball guns. Someone said it was pepper spray. They were ready to infiltrate the crowd when the officer in command showed up and had the counter-protesters move back to their designated area. The police with paint ball/pepper spray guns retreated and the officers on horses lined up in between the riot gear police. They were facing the crowd and ready to go to work.

On the above. Diana noted a thrown water bottle and the batons but she didn't see the riot gear. Billie and others in the area (it may have depended upon what wave you were in) did see riot gear. But, as Mia points out, press reports she's read have made a point to ignore that detail. So what's happening there? That was Mia's question. I think a lot of people are "reporting" from wire reports and possibly that's a detail that wasn't included. Mia read it and said she was wondering about noting it because she hadn't read of riot gear but then she saw the batons mentioned and since Diana had noted that, she figured she'd toss it out there. There was riot gear. In addition to Billie's photos that will run in the gina & krista round-robin, Dallas is among the members who have noted the riot gear clad police. Gina's written this morning to say that nineteen members who participated in the protest are taking part in the roundtable for Friday's round-robin. She says that they can still squeeze in "a few more" if someone wants to participate but they're doing the roundtable Thursday evening so you need to let them know today. You can e-mail either Gina or Krista and note "Dallas roundtable" in the subject heading of your e-mail.

Remember to listen, watch or read (transcripts) Democracy Now! today:

* We speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. In his latest article in the New Yorker, Hersh cites defense officials saying the Bush administration has drawn up elaborate plans to use tactical weapons against Iranian nuclear sites.

Yesterday, Democracy Now! reported on this:

Eighth Grader Commits Suicide After Being Threatened by School Official With Jail Time for Organizing Walkouts
An eighth grader in California killed himself two weeks ago after being threatened by a school official for participating in the student immigrant rights walkouts. Anthony Soltero, 14, died after he shot himself in the head on March 30th. We speak with the attorney representing Soltero's mother.

Micah notes that Wakeup Call reported on the story this morning and had comments from the mother. If you missed it, you can hear it at the Wakeup Call site or via the WBAI archives.

Zach notes, on KPFA today at three EST, two Central and noon Pacific:

Against the Grain
Interview with KPFA historian, Matthew Lasar about his latest book, Uneasy Listening.

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