Tuesday, January 31, 2006
  The 7th unit of the Rome Flying Squad
Several times through the past years I met with Mark Covell. The last time was in a quite international setting in London, about six weeks ago. At a small table in a too big hotel we sort of covered Tanzania, Boston-US, Cambodia, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands, by telling eachother stories. Now Mark is at the Diaz-trial, telling about Genova 2001, when the G-8 gathered behind huge fences. He nearly died then. The medical doctors feared for his life. He survived.
Monday, January 23, 2006
  From Culture Smugglers to Dutch minister of extegration
Back from Culture Smugglers in Berlin to The Netherlands. Where the first news from homefront is that our minister of integration has stated that talking Dutch shalt be obliged on the Dutch streets. I wonder what the punishments will be if we curse in Iraqi, or Italian slang, or in clear Spanish yell 'Viva Zapatero!!'?

Dear minister, i have no clue what you're up to, but the skies are very grey in this country. And we don't really need more darkness.
And just to be sure that i did tell you: We love speaking languages. So please do not expand this brandnew proposal to schools, libraries, bars, bakeries or warehouses etc. But sure, if you want to speak only in Dutch and in Dutch only, you can always apply this to your very own living-room and brainwidth space.

Tens of thousands of Dutch-Somali people have left The Netherlands in the last years. They went to the UK. They are the biggest minority in some places. They have a Dutch passport. Because of their numbers they have the right to follow Duch language class in the UK, according the the laws. And they do so with pleasure. Maybe Verdonk should emigrate to the UK as well?

Luckily i met
two wonderful Irani photographers in Berlin: Rana Javadi and Bahman Jalali who spoke best in Persian.
Monday, January 16, 2006
  Women are like teabags
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
The women wore t-shirts calling on Zimbabweans to 'Stop Violence against Women' and also bearing the international symbol for this campaign - an open hand. Whilst marching, the women distributed WOZA's newsletter which included an open letter to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to stop arbitrary arrests of WOZA women.

By noon five women from the Harare protest were in custody at Harare Central Police station. They were assaulted with open palms and baton sticks whilst in detention by officers, including one called Mhondoro. Due to a combination of this assault and refusal of access to lawyers, the women decided to negotiate the payment of ZD $25,000 admission of guilt fines. They were released on this basis at 16:45 pm. In Bulawayo no arrests were recorded although five simultaneous protests had been conducted.

The placard-waving women held aloft placards and banners bearing their messages, including "the strongest man is a woman" and an Eleanor Roosevelt quote, "Women are like teabags. We don't know how strong we are until we are in hot water."
Sunday, January 15, 2006
  Federico Aldrovandi (18 years) died in the hands of Italian police?
In the night of September 24 in Ferrara, Italy a boy of 18 years, Federico Aldrovandi, died in the hands of the police. They left him for five hours on the asphalt, initially hiding the truth to the mother who searched for her son. The police version talked of a call from residents in the zone, alarmed by the strange attitude of the boy, who when arrested collapsed.
If this is true is not known. The police deny responsibility for his death, sustaining that he hurt himself, and died for an overdose of drugs. The toxicology exams reveal that overdose cannot have been the reason for the death of Federico Aldrovandi. The details as described by the medical referees are still not 'officialised' four months after this incident, they talk about numerous signs of violence over his whole body, a wound ruptured on his head, violet colored stripes on his pulses of the handcuffs, and his scrotum smashed.

The mother told that she got Federico’s clothes literally soaked with blood. The news remains unknown for months. Only in these days the silence is broken by a blog of the family who asks for light over the event.

:::::::::::: :: ::::::::::::

The mother's story on the blog: http://federicoaldrovandi.blog.kataweb.it/ (Italian)
Ferrara 2/1/06

Translated in not so smooth English - by me hehh - at Indymedia Italy (scroll down)
Saturday, January 14, 2006
  Minimum standards of democratic rule?
:: Arrivederci democracy ::
By Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, was assistant secretary of Defense from 1993 to 1994.

This week, Russia assumed the presidency of the most prestigious club of the world's leading industrial democracies. But many are questioning not only Russia's fitness to serve as chair but even its qualification for membership in the Group of 8. China, for example, has not been invited to join this group, despite the fact that it has the second-largest economy in the world in purchasing-power parity (third at dollar exchange rates), because it fails the test of democracy.

• Can a state ruled by the nation's wealthiest individual, whose scores of private enterprises depend centrally on state favors, be a member of the G-8? [..]

• Can a state whose leader personally controls all the national television channels legitimately qualify for membership in a club of democracies?

• Should a state whose leader rewrites laws to save himself and his friends from prosecution on corruption charges pass the test on democracy and the rule of law?
• Can a state whose leader forces through changes to the constitution to benefit his party before upcoming elections properly sit at the table alongside Britain, France and the U.S.?

-- Which State is meant here? --
link to the article in the Los Angeles Times
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Actual (usual) Dutch weather facts: grey, rainy, cloudy, cold and wet.
Listening some Viva Zapatero - MP3 - A better world
You know Stone's 'Hidden History of the Korean War'?

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