Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Continued protests, continued political stalemate

Marwan Ibrahim (AFP) reports at least 800 Iraqis have protested today in Falljua and 200 in Kirkuk with calls for jobs and "better basic services" leading the demands which also includ "civil freedoms' and corruption. Ibrahim notes, "Angry Iraqis staged violent demonstrations last summer in several southern cities over power rationing as temperatures reached 54 degrees Celsius (130 Fahrenheit)." DPA adds that signs also carried the message "No to arbitrary arrests."

The continued protests in Iraq have led Nouri to speechify. Al Rafidayn reports he is calling for the protesters to be heard. That's nothing. It was two Fridays ago when clerics called for respect for the protesters. As usual, Nouri half-assed follows while others lead. Al Mada reports that Nouri met with Ayad Allawi last night and that Nouri characterizes the meeting as positive. Allawi also met with KRG President Masoud Barzani and supposedly committees are going to be formed to . . . well do something. Supposedly to keep the promises made to end the political stalemate.

Sunday was supposed to be the vote on Iraq's vice presidents. It didn't take place. Al Mada reports that the Kurdish bloc in Parliament is claiming that vote will take place next week. These are the vice presidents of the new government. The new government that was voted on March 7, 2010. Do you get what protesters are calling for Parliament's wages to be cut?

As noted Sunday, the issue is a fourth vice president. Jalal Talabani supports a fourth. For some reason, the Parliament is fine with three but not with four. Apparently they don't have enough place settings? It's hard to read the report or the one by Al Rafidayn and not be left with the impression that the objection to four is that the fourth is a woman.

Al Rafidayn reports on so-called 'honor' killings such as the 49-year-old father 'forced' to kill his 'unpure' daughter -- the sixteen-year-old daughter he raped. And he raped her for a long period of time. The mother tried to stop it but that didn't stop a thing. Then it was time for 'religion' and 'holy' and the 'religious' man 'had to' kill his daughter because of 'her actions.' We may go into that story further in the snapshot today.

We'll close with this from World Can't Wait's "Smart Cellphones and Dumb Laws: Will Your Cellphone Make You a Criminal?:"

The Rising Wave of Repression Against Documenting Dissent and Police Misconduct

Friday, February 18, 2011 at 7pm
In CHICAGO at Tom Robinson Gallery (2416 North Avenue)

Forum with Gregory Koger, Chris Drew and their attorneys Jed Stone and Mark Weinberg. Both Gregory and Chris have been arrested for recording public acts of political dissent.

As cellphone video recording becomes easier and more popular, police and prosecutors are taking increasingly repressive steps to counteract the ability of everyday people - as well as independent and citizen journalists - to document police misconduct, political protest, and newsworthy events. Are you in danger of arrest, even a felony conviction, for pulling your cellphone out in public places to record the police, acts of political protest, or newsworthy events?

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