'Mosul Is Now Hell': Civil War Fears Become Reality in Iraq

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Iraqis at a checkpoint near the Iraqi city of Arbil on Tuesday. Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki ordered a state of emergency for the entire country. (Credit: Safin Hamed/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

Published on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 by Common Dreams - Jon Queally, staff writer

Eleven years after US invasion, mass exodus follows violent assault on nation's second largest city

The entire nation of Iraq is under a declared state of emergency on Tuesday after a military assault by Sunni insurgents overpowered government soldiers in the northern city of Mosul.

As the Iraq Army retreated, reports indicate that the anti-government militias have seized military bases and prisons in the city, releasing more than a thousand prisoners who were held.

The Guardian reports that Iraqi government officials in Mosul "say the city is now effectively in the hands of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a group inspired by al-Qaida that has remained in control of parts of Falluja and Ramadi for the past six months."

“Mosul now is like hell. It’s up in flames and death is everywhere," said Amina Ibrahim, a resident of the city who spoke with a Reuters reporter as she fled north from the city with her children.

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Visionaries Imagine a New York City 'Designed for Free Speech'

Published on Monday, June 9, 2014 by Common Dreams - Sarah Lazare, staff writer

From 'People's Pulpits' in Times Square to an 'Urban Atlas' in Harlem, designers transform places for 'public participation'

 

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Pop-Up Sound Garden by Gabriella D’Angelo (Image: Designing for Free Speech)

"What does a space for free speech look and feel and sound like?"

This is the question that artists, performers, and architects are taking on in an ongoing design competition and exhibition, organized by Theatrum Mundi and the American Institute of Architects—New York, in which participants "propose architectural or performative designs (temporary or permanent) that transform spaces in New York City into places for public 'demonstration'" and free speech.

This concept, while not new in a city with a vibrant history of protest and organizing, has unearthed a trove of proposals that are sure to add to New York's struggle over what constitutes free speech and who gets to participate.

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Human Rights Watch: Israeli Shooting of Teens a 'War Crime'

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Rights group says evidence shows protesters who posed no threat were shot with live ammunition.

Published on Monday, June 9, 2014 by Common DreamsAndrea Germanos, staff writer

Nadim Nawareh and Mohammed Salameh, both 17* years old, were marking the Nakba or "catastrophe" by participating in a demonstration near the Ofer military prison in the West Bank city of Beitunia when they were fatally shot. Another teen, 15-year-old Mohammad Abdullah Hussein al-Azzeh, was also wounded in the incident.

Evidence obtained by HRW refutes claims by the Israeli military that it had only used rubber bullets, not live fire, to shoot at the demonstrators.

The group's findings, which are based on the wounds to the teens, as well as unedited video footage and eyewitness accounts, show the teens posed no imminent threat, making the use of the live fire in violation of the Israeli military's own rules as well as international law.b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-06-10-at-5.51.24-PM.png

"The willful killing of civilians by Israeli security forces as part of the occupation is a war crime," Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director for HRW, said in a statement issued Monday.

"The Israeli military’s claim that its forces didn’t shoot any live ammunition on May 15 does not stand up to scrutiny," Whitson said.

Additionally, an eyewitness told the rights group that the Israeli forces shot rubber bullets at rescuers as they were evacuating Nawareh.

The event sparked international condemnation when CCTV video footage of the shooting was obtained and circulated by Defense for Children International — Palestine.

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Repeace Is Anonymous. Does Anonymous Repeace?

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You're all looking for ways to beat the corrupted establishment. Anonymous resonates because it has that sense of atonement that people long for. We want to beat the machine and expose its incredible crimes, hold accountable the culprits of fraud and theft, death and mass murder.

Anonymous has broken through the firewalls of many corporations and governments, exposed huge crimes. However, we don't seem yet to be able to break through the thick wall that money has built, and Anonymous' heroes have been arrested and jailed. Alternative media and journalists shy away from supporting Anonymous because the state has successfully framed Anonymous as "an illegal organization of hackers". They see it as a phenomenon that attracts the young generations. Well, don't mess with our youth. Our youth knows what the criminals have done to our world and they wish to reclaim it. The power is there. We just need to find synergistic ways to channel it.

While you look for new reasons and ways to make your voice heard and hold accountable the criminal elite, you may want to look at the reasons you already have, the facts that already create alternative power, specially if they are innocent and can't be arrested. You of all people know the power of an idea... Don't you?

repeace.com .. a Repeacer is already anonymous, according to the principles of the vision. All activist, the 99% are all fighting social injustices and all kinds of conflicts already, hence they realize peace. They have been practicing, realizing peace all along, not only the antiwar advocates. This idea hides pure social leverage and unity. Can you see it? Also Repeacer does not forgive and does not forget. We just have an alternative approach to the whole idea. Instead of protesting, we wish to gather all of you behind 3 pledges. Those are voices... yours! We wish to reclaim the narrative of how things work in the U.S. and in other countries as well. We believe that Anonymous realizes peace/repeaces already, according to our vision.

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Recipro City, An Economy Founded On The Principle Of Reciprocation

Buckminster Fuller famous quote says:

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You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

We agree. A new system is what Reciprocity offers in actio. Reciprocity is totally repeacing! Check this out.

From their site: An economy founded on the principle of reciprocation, creates a free flow of goods and services, in a harmonious, healing and sustainable way.

Recipro City is founded on the idea that through reciprocation we can bypass the need to participate in, and support, a corrupt and failing financial system.

I believe we can still get all our needs met by sharing and exchanging, gifting and contributing. When we share freely of our belongings, our time, our talents and our abilities, we don't need that system, near as much as it needs us.

Everyone has stuff laying around that they don't use, want or need.... but not everyone has money. You can exchange those things, for other things, in my store. Check out the photo album of current inventory to get an idea of what I have to offer. There is a constantly changing selection of items, from original art to gently used books and music, to crystals and hand made jewelry, clothing, household items, baby stuff..... on and on...

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An Assault from Obama’s Escalating War on Journalism

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Published on Thursday, May 29, 2014 | Common Dreams by Norman Solomon

In a memoir published this year, the CIA’s former top legal officer John Rizzo says that on the last day of 2005 a panicky White House tried to figure out how to prevent the distribution of a book by New York Times reporter James Risen. Officials were upset because Risen’s book, State of War, exposed what -- in his words -- “may have been one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA.”

The book told of a bungled CIA attempt to set back Iran’s nuclear program in 2000 by supplying the Iranian government with flawed blueprints for nuclear-bomb design. The CIA’s tactic might have actually aided Iranian nuclear development.

When a bootlegged copy of State of War reached the National Security Council, a frantic meeting convened in the Situation Room, according to Rizzo. “As best anyone could tell, the books were printed in bulk and stacked somewhere in warehouses.” The aspiring censors hit a wall. “We arrived at a rueful consensus: game over as far as any realistic possibility to keep the book, and the classified information in it, from getting out.”

But more than eight years later, the Obama White House is seeking a different form of retribution. The people running the current administration don’t want to pulp the book -- they want to put its author in jail.

The Obama administration is insisting that Risen name his confidential source -- or face imprisonment. Risen says he won’t capitulate.

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The New Face of Social Activism. ~ Stephanie Renaud

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This article was written by freelance writer Stephanie Renaud and published on ElephantJournal

The hippies used to say “Give peace a chance”.

Truth is they were—and continue to be—right. Peace is the way to go.

So many of us see the value in a peaceful world. The trouble is, “peace” can mean as many different things as there are people to interpret the word. Peace could become a movement, as formidable as Occupy and as tenacious as Idle No More, if we allowed ourselves to consider a new approach.

This is where Repeace comes in.

The three driving principles of the Repeace movement:

1. I will support businesses that focus on sustainable, local products and services, not on buying influence.

2. I will support politicians that are accountable to me, not corporations/private interests.

3. I will support countries that promote and defend Freedom of Expression. (this includes gender, sexual orientation, religious practice, among many other issues of human equity.)

These are simple principles.

The drive behind them is compassion for our fellow human, a force that can and will change the world, and the power of united people to overcome any political and financial adversity with which they are faced.

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The official new Queen of Austria Wins Eurovision Song Contest 2014

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If you don't merit it, you don't win a song contest as a man dressed like a beautiful woman with a full beard. And winning she did.

Ex Princess and Empress of Austria Sissy may rise from the ashes knowing that tonight, Austria's image is officially overthrown by the victory of a drag queen sporting a full blown deep dark beard. "Rise like a Phoenix" is the title of Conchita Wurst winning song, that was declared winner even before all European nations' votes were in.

With the words “This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are — we are unity and we are unstoppable.” Conchita Wurst (translated Conchita Sausage), Austrian provoking drag queen wins the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.

"I created this bearded lady to show the world that you can do whatever you want," said Wurst, the drag persona of 25-year-old Austrian singer Tom Neuwirth, at a recent press conference in Copenhagen. "If you're not hurting anyone you can do whatever you like with your life and, it's so cheesy, but we've only got one (life)," she added.

"Rise like a Phoenix" is not just a beautiful ballade that reminds us of a James Bond movie's ending song, it's also the reflection on the current Zeitgeist. Who has to rise from the ashes and look at the devastation that has been wrecked upon humanity: Humans? Workers? Students? customers? Democracy? Peace?

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