Compiled by Dick Bennett for Culture of Peace 5-22-11
READER SUPPORTED NEWS offers a daily report on the
RSN Special Coverage: Rocking the Cradle http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/330-131/4961-rocking-the-cradle
As the wave of pro-democracy, self-determination protests spread across the cradle of civilization, Reader Supported News will bring you the latest updates with uncensored and uncompromising coverage.
Here are examples from the 20th and 21st.
Syrian Protests Draw Deadly Fire
21 May 11
Syrian security forces have killed at least 34 people, including an 11-year-old boy, according to witnesses, in the latest crackdown on anti-government protests. Twelve people were killed in the central city of
Homs, while 15 died in the town of Maaret al-Naaman, located near the western city of , activists said. Idlib
Two protesters were shot in the southern region of Deraa, one person was shot in the
Damascus suburb of Daraya and one in the port city of . Two more died in the eastern town of Latakia Deir Ezzor and one person killed in the central town of . The dead in Hama included two boys, named as Aiham al-Ahmad, 11, and 16-year-old Ahmad Bakr, witnesses said. Homs
The attack took place after officers drove police cars into a crowd of about 2,000 demonstrators in an attempt to disperse them, a second witness said. After hitting several protesters, one of the cars crashed into a wall, prompting the officers to jump out and open fire. Four other protesters were also killed, while at least seven others were wounded. READ MORE http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/05/201152013723847215.html http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/330-131/4961-rocking-the-cradle
Dorothy Parvaz: Inside
's Secret Prisons Syria
20 May 11
I was standing in two fist-sized pools of smeared, sticky blood, trying to sort out why there were seven angry Syrians yelling at me. Only one of them - who I came to know as Mr Shut Up during my three days in a detention center, where so many Syrians 'disappeared' are being kept - spoke English.
Watching them searching my bags, and observing the set of handcuffs hanging from the bunk bed wedged behind the desk in the middle of the room, I guessed that I was being arrested - or, at the very least, processed for detention. "Why are you doing this?" I asked. "Shut up! SHUT UP!" said Mr Shut Up.
I'd arrived there moments before, dragged by a handful of hair from a car where I'd been wedged between two armed men. They'd tried to convince me that they were taking me to my hotel, but, of course, I knew that there was no way plain-clothed security personnel would be kind enough to escort me to my accommodation. READ MORE http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/05/2011518184325620380.html
Medea Benjamin | Obama, Follow Your Own Advice on Non-Violence
20 May 11
Given that President Obama daily authorizes the firing of hellfire missiles and the dropping of cluster bombs in places such as
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, it was awful odd seeing him wax eloquent this week about the "moral force of non-violence" in places like Egypt and . But there he was, the commander-in-chief of the largest empire in history, praising the power of peaceful protest in countries with repressive leaders backed by his own administration. Tunisia
Were we unfamiliar with his actual policies - more than doubling the troops in
Afghanistan, dramatically escalating a deadly drone war in Pakistan and unilaterally bombing for peace in - it might have been inspiring to hear a major head of state reject violence as a means to political ends. Instead, we almost choked on the hypocrisy. Libya
Cast beforehand as a major address on the Middle East, what President Obama offered with his speech on Thursday was nothing more than a reprisal of his 2009 address in Cairo: a lot of rhetoric about US support for peace and freedom in the region contradicted by the actual - and bipartisan - US policy over the past half-century of supporting ruthless authoritarian regimes. Yet even for all his talk of human rights and how he "will not tolerate aggression across borders" - yes, a US president said this - Obama didn't even feign concern about Saudi Arabia's repressive regime invading neighboring Bahrain to put down a pro-democracy movement there. In fact, the words "
" were never uttered. READ MORE http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/267-33/6003-obama-follow-your-own-advice-on-non-violence Saudi Arabia
AND A LETTER FROM AI
From: Amnesty International USA [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2011 3:47 PM To: Sue Skidmore
Subject: Mobilize for
Syrian authorities have sent a deadly message to human rights activists in their country – stop the protests or we will kill.
Defend the right to peaceful protest with your gift to Amnesty International.
The death toll in
since mid-March is 580 and rising. Hundreds more have been arrested, many held incommunicado and at serious risk of torture. Syria
Despite promises of reform, the Syrian government continues to engage in acts of violence and other abuses against its people, including shooting live bullets directly into protests and funeral processions.
Defend the right to free speech in
and the world over with a gift to Amnesty International. Syria
The Syrian people have shown incredible resolve and remarkable bravery. They continue to speak out despite grave risks to their lives and liberty.
During a March protest, prominent pro-reform demonstrator Suheir al-Atassi was violently dragged away by her hair and arrested. Upon her April 3 release, she continued to demand reform. She is now in hiding.
Haytham al-Maleh, a veteran human rights lawyer and former prisoner of conscience, received death threats on his Facebook page, yet he spoke out recently on Al Jazeera television. He has been forced underground.
Human rights activists Hind al-Labwani, age 23, and Omar al-Labwani, age 19, both went into hiding after security forces threatened to arrest them. Their father, Kamal al-Labwani, is a prisoner of conscience who is currently serving a 12-year prison term.
Join Amnesty in calling for an end to the siege against the Syrian people - sign our petition to stop the bloodshed, then make a donation to Amnesty.
Protestors must be allowed to voice their opinions in safety.
AND NOAM CHOMSKY ON US AND DEMOCRATIC UPRISINGS
Noam Chomsky, Democracy Now!
"Speaking at the 25th anniversary celebration of the national media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky analyzes the US response to the popular uprisings sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. 'Across the [Middle East], an overwhelming majority of the population regards the
as the main threat to their interests,' Chomsky says. 'The reason is very simple ... Plainly, the United States and its allies are not going to want governments which are responsive to the will of the people. If that happens, not only will the US not control the region, but it will be thrown out.'" US
READ MORE http://readersupportednews.org/off-site-opinion-section/133-133/5928-arab-springs-threat-to-western-colonialism