La Tarcoteca

La Tarcoteca

miércoles, 17 de mayo de 2017

Stop #NATO Action Days May 21 – 26 in #Brussels 2017

Source - Stop #NATO Action Days May 21 – 26 in #Brussels | Enough is Enough! 11.5.2017

On May 24th and 25th, NATO leaders will be present in Brussels for an important NATO summit and for the inauguration of their new headquarters. Donald Trump, the President of the United States, has announced that new many billions will be spent on the military, and he urges Europe to do so too. The rise of defense budgets up to 2% of the Gross Domestic Product will undoubtedly be one of the most important topics on this summit meeting. We resist. We don’t want more money for war! We want investments in education, health, job creation and solidarity. We publish the call for international actions against the NATO Summit in Brussels from May 21 until May 26, 2017.

Submitted to Enough is Enough
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing them for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
Invest in peace, not war
This year’s NATO summit will be US President Donald Trump’s first. It will be held in May at NATO’s brand new headquarters in Brussels, a city that hosts both NATO and the European Union – two institutions that co-operate closely on their military policies.
NATO and its member states participate in illegal wars and military interventions, from Yugoslavia to Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. They contribute massively to international instability, fuelling the arms race and militarization. NATO remains committed to humanity’s biggest threat: nuclear weapons.
From summit to summit, NATO perpetuates, enforces and extends its policy of war and domination.
And the world shows us the consequences: entire countries devastated; millions turned into refugees, facing terrible suffering and even death; environmental disaster; an increase in violent extremism and terrorism; military tension and confrontation; nuclear weapons proliferation and the increasing risk of a nuclear war.
And in response to these appalling consequences, NATO pursues yet more militarism and war:
  • All NATO member states are required to increase their military budgets, to 2% of GDP. At a time of economic crisis and austerity, that means stealing more money from social needs, education, justice, international development and environmental protection budgets – all of which are essential to build a more peaceful and stable world.
  • NATO member states will have to spend 20% of their defence budgets on military equipment: warships, war planes, drones, bombs, technology and more. The powerful armaments lobby rubs its hands in anticipation. By fuelling the arms race, NATO makes a mockery of diplomatic mechanisms for conflict resolution.
  • NATO is escalating tensions with Russia, deploying troops and weapons at its border and installing a missile defence system. All this boosts military development and prevents the construction of peaceful relations and mutually beneficial understanding.
  • NATO and its member states multiply interventions outside their territory and increase their presence through worldwide partnerships and ‘coalitions of the willing’. They enlarge their economic, political and military domination, instead of investing politically and financially in the UN to achieve its goal of a peaceful, secure world.
  • NATO extends its nuclear policies as a supreme ‘guarantee’ for the allies’ security, notwithstanding the fact that the majority of countries in the world are negotiating a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. In the meantime, US nuclear weapons in Europe – under the guise of NATO – are being modernised at a cost of many tens of billions of dollars.
We don’t want EU militarisation or the creation of a European superpower, as increasingly promoted by the EU leadership. Military closure of European borders is not the answer to the challenges of migration. Refugees are welcome.
NATO is the world’s most aggressive war machine. We urgently need a peace and sustainable development. We call on all peace-loving people and organisations to join the protests against the NATO Summit, in Brussels and worldwide. Let’s put pressure on our governments to invest in social welfare, not in war.
Our demand to our governments is clear: we must leave NATO and NATO must be dissolved.
Sign the call? Send an e-mail to
More information and the programm of the action days:

viernes, 12 de mayo de 2017

Why the Alt-Right Are So Weak : And Why They’re Becoming So Dangerous

Source - CrimethInc. : Why the Alt-Right Are So Weak : And Why They’re Becoming So Dangerous 17.4.2017
Spanis translation: Por qué la derecha alternativa es tan débil. Y por qué se está volviendo tan peligrosa | 9.5.2017

On April 15, “alt-right” supporters of Donald Trump invaded Berkeley, physically attacking people in the name of white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and nationalism while the police looked on. A large number of them were outright fascists who had converged from around the United States in hopes of creating an advertisement for right-wing violence. Finally, the Trump regime is getting the street cadre it needs to graduate to the next stage of fascism. Setting aside disingenuous arguments that the best way to support free speech is to promote totalitarian ideas, we have to ask ourselves—who are these people? Why are they attracted to fascism? And how do we stop this phenomenon from spreading?

Why do oppressed people side with tyranny?

When you find yourself on the receiving end of oppression, there are three ways you can respond. The first is to make common cause with others who are also experiencing oppression in order to defend and expand spaces of freedom and autonomy. This probably means working with people who are worse off than you, as they are more likely to revolt than those whose lives are more comfortable. Choosing this approach requires courage, humility, and a certain amount of risk tolerance.

The second option is to knuckle under and accept your lot. This is what most people do in the US: they slog through their routines under the watchful eyes of bosses, police patrols, surveillance cameras, NSA employees, and Facebook networks in a world that accords them less and less freedom. However, this strategy is becoming increasingly untenable as the various crises of our time intensify.

The third and final option is to identify with your oppressors, embracing their agenda and projecting your agency onto them. The more powerful they become, the more powerful you feel. As a strategy to improve your life, this has nothing to recommend it: associating your interests with those who hold power over you can only worsen your situation. But for those who lack strength of character, who are so desperate for a respite from their feelings of powerlessness that they are willing to go on giving up power in return for it, this option can be seductive.

This explains how millions of poor people could rally behind a billionaire. Having given up on gaining any real power in their own lives, all that remains to them is to participate willingly in their own oppression—and to assist their oppressors in wielding power over others.

They are the fan-boys of tyranny. In return for serving as lackeys and bootlickers, they hope to bully others in the way that they themselves are bullied. They do this free of charge—they don’t even warrant a paid position at the bottom of the official hierarchy. They are the ideal underlings: craven and submissive towards those in authority, cruel and abusive towards themselves and others.

Their identification with those in power is always a kind of cosplay: they can only be a pathetic imitation of the tyrants they look up to. They ape the Spartans, the Romans, the Nazis, who themselves were pathetic imitations of an idealized image of manhood, mere cogs in a military machine. All who prostrate themselves before abstract ideals rather than valuing real existing humanity in all its diversity are condemned to despise themselves.

Although bullies can appear to be powerful, everything they do to wield power only disempowers them. To have real power, you have to be based in a community that supports you in freely disposing of your potential as you see fit, which requires building meaningful ties with those who are different from you. Bullies give up on this, relying on force in their relations with others rather than interchanging care. Lacking any sense of self-worth, having given up on accomplishing anything meaningful to enrich others’ lives or their own, the only form of pride that remains to fascists is membership in an abstract category. They do not consider themselves valuable as individuals, but only as citizens, white people, “Western chauvinists,” members of a gang. This is the consolation prize of identity, reserved for weak individuals who feel that they have no value on their own merits.

This consolation prize does not come cheaply. To obtain it, they have to crush everything beautiful in themselves, everything that renders them capable of empathy or creativity. They must contort their sexuality. They have to memorize mantras of entitlement—for those who benefit from unfair advantages, however slightly, are always nagged by the sneaking suspicion that they do not deserve what they have. They have to work hard not to identify with others, not to recognize themselves in those who are different from them, not to stand out as unique.

This sort of self-policing is a full-time job. Rendering themselves helpless and weak before their overlords, they imagine they are rooting out weakness. Destroying everything in themselves that could render them capable of freedom, they imagine they are defending their freedom. Rendering relations of mutual trust impossible, they tell themselves they are protecting their communities.

At the bottom of all their sadism, we find a fundamental masochism. To justify their behavior, they need to be on the receiving end of violence. They must be at once master race and underdog, torturer and victim. Carrying out genocides, they protest that they are the ones targeted for genocide. Wracked with self-loathing, on some level they must genuinely desire to be exterminated for the exterminations they hope to carry out.

In fact, it is their own leaders who are victimizing them—think of all the Nazis who died carrying out orders for Adolf Hitler, and all the money pouring into the pockets of savvy businessmen like Donald Trump at the expense of the suckers who support them. Above all, they are victimizing themselves, giving up their agency in return for the addictive experience of being a cog in the machinery of violence.

To protect themselves from recognizing this, they require external threats. Where such threats do not exist, they must be created. This is the meaning of the Muslim Ban, for example: it is intended to create outsiders, to provoke them into reciprocal violence. Bullies who offer nothing of value to humanity can only hope that some symmetrical threat can make them look good by comparison. If ISIS did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it; Islamophobic violence is intended to accomplish precisely this.

These goons are of great use to the authorities. They can carry out attacks that the state is not yet able to, intimidating those who might otherwise rebel. They distract from the institutionalized violence of the state, which is still the cause of most of the oppression that takes place in our society. Above all, they enable the authorities to portray themselves as neutral keepers of the peace. Yet in clashes between fascists and those who oppose them, the police are anything but neutral. This explains why we saw a large number of unmasked fascists attacking masked demonstrators in Berkeley: those who defend themselves against rising fascism must conceal their identities so the police do not charge them with criminal activity, while unmasked fascists are free to assault people with knives and guns without fear of police intervention.

At a time when so many people feel powerless—both because the unfair advantages they used to have are eroding and because life is becoming more difficult for all but a few wealthy people—to be given a free hand to take out their frustration on those weaker than themselves is seductive indeed. This is what Trump, Putin, le Pen, Erdogan, and other aspiring despots are hoping poor people will do with their resentment. If they can create a feedback loop in which the more oppression is inflicted on people, the more people identify with them, their power will be secure forever.

So what do we do? How do we fight against the spread of fascism?

First, we have to make sure that it is impossible for fascists to experience the thrill of wielding power over others. To promote fascism to the poor and angry, fascists have to be able to demonstrate that they can offer the cheap pleasure of bullying people. If they are able to create advertisements for oppressive violence, they stand to gain tremendous numbers. This is why it is of paramount importance that we confront and defeat fascists whenever they try to take the streets, and that we do so by any means necessary.

This is not a battle we can afford to stand aside from. If we do not prioritize this now, we will pay a grievous price later.

More importantly, however, we have to solve the problems that produce the fascist mentality in the first place. In response to widespread poverty, powerlessness, and isolation, we have to show that it is possible to work together across different lines of identity, we have to propose collective solutions to the problems of our time and pose effective resistance to those who would take away our freedom. Otherwise, without any viable alternatives, people will continue to gravitate to fascism.

Finally, above all, we have to spread another set of values, another set of desires. To oppose fascism, we must resist the temptation to respond reactively to others’ violence, to militarize ourselves, to build symmetrical machines of war. When we resist, we should do so in ways that undermine the very foundations on which fascist narratives are constructed. We should become more compassionate, more creative, more unique and romantic and outrageous. In place of essentialist ways of conceiving selfhood, we have to celebrate difference and change within and between us; in place of authoritarian notions about government, we have to cultivate a profound collective hunger for freedom.

If we can do these things, neither fascist street violence nor state oppression will be able to stem the tide of change. Good luck, dear friends.

Published 2017-04-17

lunes, 1 de mayo de 2017

Britannia Titanic – “UK Surveillance State More Suited to Dictatorship Than a Democracy”

Source - Britannia Titanic – “UK Surveillance State More Suited to Dictatorship Than a Democracy” | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization 27.4.2017

Until the revelations of Edward Snowden emerged just a few years back in 2013, British citizens had no idea as to the level of state surveillance they were subjected to. The government, without due process, debate or permission installed a massive taxpayer funded spying system via its domestic agency GCHQ, to tap into internet cables and build an enormous and detailed database of the communications of every man, woman and child in the country with little to no legal oversight. An ID system is no longer relevant, they have far more information than an ID card could ever store.

GCHQ’s 360 degree full spectrum bulk collection data system was constructed in brazen and arrogant defiance of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Britain’s parliament never debated or approved this massive construction programme as it would for any national infrastructure project. Every phone call, no matter the device is recorded, every image, website visited, personal details such as medical and financial records, contacts, everything private to you is no longer private.
Under just one of dozens of surveillance programmes, one was called “Optic Nerve” that captured millions of images via webcams, illegally taken and stored. An undisclosed number, but estimated to be around one fifth of the population were images that were “compromising in nature” including that of naked young children in their homes and intimate images between consenting adults. The government were found to have acted illegally for 17 years. These were crimes and no-one was prosecuted. The standard response by government is the need for ‘national security’.
And let’s not forget, terrorism is fundamentally a politically generated problem. Britain has been complicit in the destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and the ongoing crisis in Syria – all of which are in now in total chaos and all of which are the real breeding grounds for terrorism. No amount of internet surveillance on our own people will deal with that but the British people are now paying the price for that in more ways then one.
Although no-one truly knows the costs of UK state surveillance systems over its own population, it is estimated that the cost to the taxpayer just for the storage of all this data exceeds £20 million a month. And whilst GCHQ’s individual budget isn’t public knowledge, its funding comes from the Single Intelligence Account (SIA), which by all accounts has now reached something in the order (£18 billion as at 2015) £20 billion plus.
One can only guess that provision for GCHQ’s funding is exponentially increasing in an age of austerity where the NHS is in chaos, emergency services such as the fire-brigade and ambulance services to name just two are being stripped bare or privatised. People are dying at the hands of the state and yet we are told there is no money to pay for these vital services. And yet the taxpayer is still funding bank-bailouts, wars in far-off lands that pose zero threat to national security and a new architecture of state surveillance constructed that would make the East German Stasi blush three decades ago.
The government, both Labour and Tory, never had the intention of informing the country of the sheer scale of state surveillance, and it will continue to utilise illegal programmes irrespective of the law because it is only care of whistleblowers that we find out in the first place, now themselves the target of new legislation to silence them and the journalists who report these crimes.
Now we find, according to a report by civil liberties watchdog Big Brother Watch, that many secondary schools in England and Wales have installed  ‘Classroom Management Software’ not just in devices owned by the schools but by the pupils themselves.
Most English and Welsh secondary schools have installed software that apparently allows teachers to continually monitor their students’ internet activity. Most schools have failed in any way to inform the youngsters parents that they are being watched. No permission is asked of pupils.
In addition, through Freedom of Information requests the best guesstimate of the 8.2 million attending school was that 6 million were on a biometric database of some sort starting from the age of just four – and that was 10 years ago. By now one would expect that number to be close to 100% with facial recognition and other more recent technologies.
Why is Britain’s society under so much suspicion by its own government? The UK has one of the lowest homicide rates and ranked in the bottom quarter globally. The UK lies just inside the top third for terrorism deaths but still the number is exceedingly low. In fact, you are more likely to die by tripping over your underwear than die by the hand of a crazed terrorist. According the the annual Peace Index, Britain even ranks inside the top one third for its overall ‘peacefulness’. For all of this, Britain’s quite peaceful people are under permanent suspicion by its own government.
But Britain does excel in some crimes. Take for instance the banking industry. Some of the biggest frauds in history have been facilitated by Britain’s biggest banks. They have facilitated the world biggest money laundering activities of the worlds biggest narcotics dealers, human traffickers, modern slavery, arms dealers, despots and dictators – much of which has left hundreds of thousands dead in their countries embattled by such crimes. The state has not gone after these Armani suited mobsters working in glass towers and living in London’s penthouses.
Amnesty International and Saferworld, both members of the Control Arms coalition have rightly accused the UK Government for breaking national, EU and international laws and policy by supplying weapons to nations whose human rights abuses and war crimes are prolific and well documented. No arrests here either.
And here is some commentary of those attempting to keep your civil liberties and human rights in place whilst you watch these fundamental rights being salami sliced away by a paranoid state who surely have much to hide from you, the law-abiding taxpayer.
Renate Samson, the chief executive of Big Brother Watch, said:
The passing of (investigatory powers bill) these laws has fundamentally changed the face of surveillance in this country. None of us online are now guaranteed the right to communicate privately and, most importantly, securely.”
Jim Killock, the executive director of Open Rights Group, said:
The UK now has a surveillance law that is more suited to a dictatorship than a democracy. The state has unprecedented powers to monitor and analyse UK citizens’ communications regardless of whether we are suspected of any criminal activity.
Rebecca Vincent, UK Bureau Director, Reporters Without Borders:
Amber Rudd’s comments are yet another example of this government sacrificing freedom of expression, the right to privacy, and other human rights in the name of security, and contribute to a very worrying trend of increasing attacks on press freedom in the UK in recent months. The ability to communicate securely is essential for investigative journalists, their sources, and whistleblowers. Eliminating encryption tools would have a broad chilling effect, and would serve as another damaging blow to investigative journalism in the UK.
Thomas Hughes, Executive Director, ARTICLE 19:
Any discussions of a framework through which the security services can access our communications must be transparent. Knee-jerk political statements and rushed through deals are at best unhelpful at protecting our civil liberties and at worst a dangerous threat to them. The government risks eroding our freedoms at a time when it is alluding to a desire to protect them.”
David Anderson’s government-commissioned report in 2015 concluded that current surveillance legislation in the UK is “undemocratic, unnecessary, and—in the long run—intolerable,” and recommended that it be replaced with a new comprehensive law that is both transparent and proportionate, which did not happen. Indeed, in just two years Anderson’s worst fears have already materialised.
All of these civil liberty and human rights experts and activists know that this is not the way to manage a modern, progressive, outward looking nation fit for the 21st century – it’s a sinking ship full of paranoid salivating wolves looking to keep control of its unsuspecting flock.
Whilst reading this article it should have become apparent to you that YOU are under suspicion of being a criminal. And as it turns out you either are right now or will be. Don’t Pat your dog on the head. Don’t feed a homeless person a sandwich out of either sympathy or pity. Don’t feed a pigeon in the park. Don’t throw a busker a few pence and god-forbid that you should try and pull the wool over the eyes of the local authority to get your child into a better school, or decide to join a protest group like Greenpeace out of concern for the environment – then you would be in very serious trouble, because all of these ‘crimes’ are of ‘national security’ interest aren’t they! Ask yourself this question. Why exactly does my government treat me like this?
Look back into history and you might find some uncomfortable answers.