Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi ventures outside Myanmar for the first time in 24 years on Tuesday in an unmistakable display of confidence in the liberalisation taking shape in her country after five decades of military rule.(...more)
Monday, 28 May 2012
This week, two totally different cases saw real progress towards resolution due to persistence, focus on achievable results and the use of nonviolent means. Palestinian prisoners and supporters of their just and reasonable requests in Palestine, the Arab world, and the international community saw a successful resolution of their demands. The end of administrative detentions was the aim when Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi began the protests with a pair of hunger strikes followed by Thaer Halahla and Bilal Diab. This was followed by 1,600 prisoners demanding the end of solitary confinement, permission for family visits especially for Gaza families denied such visits since 2007 and agreement to allow prisoners to follow up educational pursuits. Thousands of prisoners refrained from eating for over 28 days while the administrative detainees went into their third month of a dangerous hunger strike. The selfless action of the prisoners touched people around the world who began numerous campaigns on social media and in front of UN agencies, and other forms of protests. In Amman, 15 young people, including two women, started their own hunger strike in a tent outside the Professional Associations Complex. They were especially supportive of over two dozen Jordanians in Israeli prisons, including Abdullah Barghouthi. The image of these supporters wearing light brown outfits resembling the prisoners’ uniforms went viral on line as they exchanged their own pictures with a faceless, brown-wearing sketch. Government officials in Jordan, Egypt, the U.S. and the EU, as well as the secretary general of the UN, were forced to take a stand and pressure the Israelis to accept the demands and use international standards for incarceration. The end was an Egyptian government-brokered deal that responded to most demands by Palestinian prisoners.(...more)
An escalation of violence in Syria, as well as the enfeebled UN cease-fire, have revived the tactics of civil, peaceful resistance among many of Syria’s democracy activists. Nonviolent means may be their ultimate force.(...more)
JERUSALEM — The deal that ended the Palestinian prisoners’ mass hunger strike not only headed off a confrontation with Israel, but also proved the growing success of the Palestinian strategy of non-violent protest.
The agreement, signed just hours before Nakba Day, when Palestinians mourn the “catastrophe” that befell them in the war that accompanied Israel’s independence in 1948, provided a happy ending for local, regional and international players.(...more)
Documentary-maker John Pilger has returned to a subject that can’t be revived often enough: the grotesque untruth of “weapons of mass destruction”: a cloudy concept, eagerly amplified and lent credibility by credulous and submissive journalists who, after 9/11, lost their nerve en masse. Pilger’s contention is that on Afghanistan, on Iraq and on Israel and the Palestinian territories, the mainstream media simply take the official line.(...more)