PROTESTERS, ON RIGHT AND LEFT, PREPARE TO TAKE ON TRUMP

 

US President Donald Trump will get a taste of Israel’s robust democracy next week, with activists preparing to demonstrate on Monday, during his visit.

At least two demonstrations will be taking place Monday. One, taking place in tandem in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, is against Trump, and the other is calling on him to take action against Palestinian incitement.

 

The Almagor Terror Victims’ Organization plans to pitch a tent in Jerusalem’s Independence Park, across from the US Consulate. The tent will be adorned with materials from Palestinian Media Watch showing examples of how the Palestinian Authority incites to terrorism against Israelis on its official media, in its schools, and in the honors it bestows on terrorists, like naming streets and public squares after them.

The request to the police that would allow them to set up the tent was submitted by Hadas Mizrahi, whose husband Baruch Mizrahi, a police officer, was shot by Palestinians near Hebron on Passover eve 2014.

Almagor also sent a letter to Trump this week, signed by over 100 victims of terror and their relatives, which states that they are “concerned about [Trump’s] plans to facilitate direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority prior to any declaration by the latter to halt payments to murderous terrorists… In the past year alone, the PA has paid some $250 million to terrorists, which is nothing short of incitement that motivates Palestinian youth to murder Israelis.”

The organization expressed hope that Trump’s presidency “heralds an opportunity for change,” but said “this change… must also affect the Palestinians. Before there is any dialogue, the Palestinians must demonstrate good faith and show that they are truly willing to change their ways by stopping incitement and halting all payments to terrorists who murdered Israelis, only for being Jews.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has brought up the issue of the PA’s payments to terrorists often in recent months, and there are bills in the US and Israel to block or limit funding to the Palestinians as long as they continue the payments. Trump reportedly mentioned the issue to PA President Mahmoud Abbas when they met in the White House.

Meanwhile, in the same park, an anti-Trump rally is set to take place, with over 150 people signed up on Facebook. The idea was the brainchild of Jacob Fortinsky, who is in Jerusalem studying at the Shalom Hartman Institute on a gap year between high school in New York and college later this year.

Fortinsky had been politically active as a high school student, interning on Capitol Hill, and he felt “removed” watching Trump get elected while he was in Jerusalem.

“What’s going on is unprecedented,” he said Thursday. “I felt a moral imperative to act.”

Fortinsky set up a Facebook event, calling for an event “to show that there are people around the world, both Americans and natives in other countries, who oppose Trump on many of his stances, whether it’s his sinat chinam [baseless hatred] of others, his incompetence, his potential collusion with Russia, and a number of different things.”

“This protest is a manifestation of that opposition,” he explained.

Fortinsky contacted friends on other gap year programs and people he met who were involved in other, recent anti-Trump protests in Israel, who helped him get a police permit to hold the demonstration, and the numbers grew. Democrats Abroad became a sponsor of his event, as well as another one by the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, which was planned in conjunction with the Israeli branch of the pro-Hillary Clinton group Pantsuit Nation, and has nearly 200 attendees registered on Facebook.

Jerusalem City Councilwoman Laura Wharton (Meretz) is expected to speak, as well as a Reform Rabbi, Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kellman.

Fortinsky said: “Next year, I’m going to Harvard, and I have friends there organizing protests, but to me it seemed like an echo chamber, because three-quarters of the students there are liberal. It seems more poignant to do it here, because people seeing the protests are less naturally inclined to oppose trump. There’s potential for it to be more effective.”

In 2013, when then-US president Barack Obama visited Israel, Palestinians and Israelis organized protests against him. Palestinians protested that Obama did not go to former PLO chairman Yasser Arafat’s grave, while students from Ariel University protested that they were not allowed to attend Obama’s speech to Israeli students from every other university in the country.

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US anger after Erdogan guards beat protesters in Washington

WASHINGTON — US officials expressed outrage Wednesday after a “brutal attack” on protesters by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bodyguards cast a dark pall over his visit to Washington.

The Turkish leader on Tuesday negotiated what could have been a fraught White House encounter with President Donald Trump with some success but, as he pursued his Washington visit, chaos erupted.

Under the eyes of shocked American passers-by, a small group of pro-Kurdish protesters who gathered on the US capital’s “Embassy Row” received a taste of the hardline tactics that Erdogan has adopted in his homeland to quell dissent.

Shortly before Erdogan was due to arrive at the Turkish ambassador’s residence, members of his notorious security detail pushed past US police and assaulted the protest group.

Close-up footage shared on social media showed Turkish officials dressed in suits beating and punching people in the crowd and, in at least one case, kicking out at a woman splayed on the ground.

Witnesses at the scene told AFP afterward that Erdogan’s men had provoked the clash, although there had also been violence in the crowd and that at least one pro-government protester had been hurt.

Washington police were initially overwhelmed but quickly drafted in reinforcements, quelling the fight and making two arrests, but not before 11 people including a US officer were hurt.

The attack was an embarrassment for US authorities, who invited Erdogan to meet Trump despite concerns over his government’s increasingly authoritarian clampdown on his domestic media and opposition.

“Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

“We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms.”

The State Department did not say whether any further action would be taken, but Washington, DC police said they were studying footage of the incident and trying to identify suspects.

“Yesterday afternoon we witnessed what appeared to be a brutal attack on peaceful protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence,” a police spokesman said.

“The actions seen outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington DC stand in contrast to the First Amendment rights and principles we work tirelessly to protect every single day.”

The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects the right to free expression.

Political violence

Police said they had arrested two people for assault and identified them as US residents, 49-year-old Ayten Necmi of New York and 42-year-old Jalal Kheirabadi of Virginia.

US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after speaking to the press in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on May 16, 2017. (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

Social media posts by the two suspects suggest that Necmi is a supporter of Erdogan who came to Washington to celebrate his visit whereas Kheirabadi is a supporter of Kurdish causes.

But the police said they are also working with the US State Department and Secret Service “to identify and hold all suspects” — suggesting that they are seeking to interview Erdogan’s security detail.

News of the clash initially spread slowly in a Washington already transfixed by the scandals dogging the Trump White House and preparations for the president’s first foreign diplomatic tour.

But by Wednesday, senior figures were demanding to know how Turkish-style political violence had been allowed to spread to the leafy streets of Washington’s plush diplomatic neighborhood.

Senior lawmaker Edward Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — who himself ignored a question about the brawl at a media photo opportunity.

“Alarmingly, this behavior is indicative of the broad crackdowns on political activists, journalists and religious freedom in Turkey that have greatly harmed Turkish democracy in recent years,” Royce wrote.

“I ask that you immediately look into this matter and bring all appropriate charges before these individuals leave the United States.”

Erdogan’s party did not immediately respond to the allegations, but pro-government and state-run media in Turkey blamed the incident on supporters of the PKK and YPG Kurdish armed movements.

According to the Anadolu news agency, Erdogan’s guards were forced to intervene after US police took “insufficient security measures” to prevent an illegal demonstration.

The incident was very similar to another in Washington last year when Erdogan’s guards roughed up Kurdish protesters outside the Brookings Institution think tank just before the president arrived.

Venezuela’s anti-government protesters show no signs of backing down

The crisis in Venezuela is only getting worse. On Wednesday, just as on every previous day for the past six weeks, anti-government protests hit various parts of the country. We’re almost getting inured to the images: smoldering barricades arrayed against riot police, security forces launching fusillades of tear gas, bloodied demonstrators being rushed out by volunteer medics.

Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is grimly clinging to power. He recently announced plans to scrap the country’s constitution and implement a new system that would further entrench his rule. His opponents — roused in March when the pro-government supreme court attempted to strip the opposition-dominated legislature of power — seek fresh elections, the release of political prisoners and other concessions. Maduro, the unpopular inheritor of a socialist revolution, shows no sign that he will heed those calls.

“Maduro is trapped in an electoral maze of the regime’s own making,” Phil Gunson of the International Crisis Group wrote last month. “After years of using elections as plebiscites, confident that oil revenue and the charisma of the late strongman Hugo Chávez would always ensure victory, the government can now — with Chávez gone — neither muster the electoral support nor find a convincing reason not to hold a vote.”

And so the protests continue. Dozens have perished in clashes, and hundreds have been injured. A small minority of demonstrators have resorted to violence as Maduro mobilized armed gangs of loyalists, known as “colectivos,” to counter the uprising.

The security forces, my colleagues report, “appear increasingly determined to choke the protest movement with brute force, including the use of copious amounts of tear gas. Several protesters have been killed or severely injured by gas canisters fired into crowds or allegedly dropped from government helicopters. Last week, a young man was injured when he was run over by an armored police vehicle that plowed through a melee.”

In response, protesters have adopted some unusual tactics. Many sport armor and helmets retrofitted from household goods. And, after being confronted by countless rounds of tear gas, some came to the streets Wednesday with a nasty new weapon: fecal matter. According to a Reuters report, some protesters were making “poopootov cocktails” — plastic or glass jars filled with a mix of water and human excrement.

“The kids go out with just stones. That’s their weapon. Now they have another weapon: excrement,” a 51-year-old dentist said to Reuters while preparing containers of feces in her home.

This revolting state of affairs is in part the consequence of a rolling economic crisis and recession. Since Maduro took office in 2013, Venezuela’s economy has cratered, inflation has soared and Venezuelans have endured food shortages and blackouts that shuttered hospitals. As we wrote earlier, whole swaths of the population are reporting acute weight loss and a cutback in their daily meals. This week, the Venezuelan government published shocking new data: The country’s infant mortality rose 30 percent last year, maternal mortality shot up 65 percent and cases of malaria jumped 76 percent.

As Maduro extends the crackdown and even hauls civilians before military tribunals, there’s a growing sense that external pressure is needed to ease the crisis. All eyes are on a meeting of the Organization of American States, or OAS, expected this month, where Venezuela will be at the forefront of the agenda. Maduro has threatened to pull out of the regional alliance, which is headquartered in Washington. If he follows through, it would make Venezuela only the second country after Cuba not to belong to the hemispheric bloc.

“Venezuela is drowning in an economic, financial, social and humanitarian crisis of gigantic proportions,” said Luis Almagro, the secretary-general of the OAS, in a recent interview with Bloomberg News. “There is a dictatorship in Venezuela, and Venezuela needs elections. The only institutional exit for the country is a general election.”

Maduro has seen the erosion of his government’s base, with many of Venezuela’s poor — once uplifted by “chavista” populism — suffering amid the wreckage of a collapsing state. But he may now fear fractures within the ruling party and the waning support of the security services that guarantee his power.

“Maduro’s plans for a new constitution will depend on the continued support of Venezuela’s armed forces,” my colleague Nick Miroff wrote. “It is not clear how the proposal will be received by other members of the ‘chavista’ movement — Chávez loyalists — who have becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the Maduro government’s more radical turn.”

In the meantime, protesters will keep turning out in the streets of the country’s divided cities. Thankfully, it’s not all ugly. Wuilly Moisés Arteaga, a violin-playing dissident, became a viral sensation when he was filmed playing strains of the national anthem as rocks and tear gas canisters fell around him. He has since repeated the act.

“People sing the anthem, listen to my music, and are reminded that Venezuela is a country that is worth loving,” Arteaga said in a recent interview with The Washington Post. “I was not afraid in that moment. My goal was to create an atmosphere of hope.”

“Anti-Racist” Protesters Segregate Themselves; Use White Students as a Buffer for the Police

http://www.renegadetribune.com/anti-racist-protestors-segregate-use-white-students-buffer-police/

 

Renegade Editor’s Note: The anti-racists anti-Whites have gone so far overboard these days that normal people, who wouldn’t even consider themselves pro-White, have come to realize the absurd double standards and blatant discrimination against White people. I have seen a dramatic increase in the number of journalists writing about these issues, corresponding with a growing readership hungry for honest reporting.

By Daniel Lang of The Daily Sheeple

The most ironic thing about the far-left these days, is that for all their talk about ending racism, they’re the ones who spend the most time dividing us by race. While most normal people are going about their lives, not paying any attention to the racial differences of their peers, it’s leftists who see racism around every corner and demand that we focus on our differences rather than what we have in common.

So it’s no surprise when this results in behaviour that sounds an awful lot like the racism these people are supposedly trying to stop. Take for instance, a student protest that occurred last Thursday at the Claremont McKenna College.

The students were organized by the “ShutDown Anti-BlackFascists,” Facebook group, in an effort to stifle a guest speaker by the name of Heather MacDonald (a conservative author who believes that there is a war on cops). The protesters managed to force Heather to cut her speech short and flee to an auditorium where her speech was then live-streamed. Hiram E. Chodosh, the president of the college, stated that “In the end, the effort to silence her voice effectively amplified it to a much larger audience.”

Leftist students shutting down free speech isn’t anything new at this point. What’s exceptional about this incident, is how the protest wound up being segregated. The organizers of the protest ordered the white students to the front, to act as a buffer between black students and the police. In a Facebook post made prior to the event, ShutDown Anti-Black Fascists instructed white students on what their role would be during the protest:

“For white accomplices: Please keep in mind that your role at this protest, aside from acting in solidarity with POC students at the 5Cs, particularly Black students, is to serve as a buffer between students of color and the police. That means, if the police come, it is imperative that you stay at the protest with fellow accomplices and engage with cops should it come to that…It is very important that there are white bodies at the action–please show up yourself for the entire duration of the event or if not have friends who can be trusted to go in your place.”

I wonder what this would look like if the racial roles were reversed? I think we have an answer, courtesy of South Park. (Language Warning)


This article originally appeared on The Daily Sheeple. Image credit.

 

How protesters plan to get under Trump’s skin wherever he goes

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Saturday evening march will begin at Trump Plaza, a high-rise apartment building. President Trump actually hasn’t owned the place since 1991. Fine. It still has the name. It’s a good place to start.

From there, the marchers will head south, walking along the Intracoastal Waterway that separates West Palm Beach from ritzy Palm Beach island. They’ll stop, on police orders, when they reach the bridge.

And then, the plan is to wave signs and glowsticks. The hope is that they’ll be visible across the dark water and the great green lawn of the club, from up in the private apartment that is now the “winter White House.”

If Trump sees those green lights, then he’ll know that his critics have followed him home.

“He is a part-time resident here, and we want to make sure people know his values are not our values,“ said Alex Newell Taylor, 34, an organizer of Saturday’s march. She said thousands are expected.

This is the reality of Trump’s honeymoon-free presidency.

Having sought to create unprecedented disruption in Washington, his critics will now seek to bring unprecedented disruption to his life as president — including demonstrations that follow him when he travels, and protests that will dog his businesses even when he doesn’t.

Already this week, Trump — the most unpopular new president in modern times — cancelled a trip to visit Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee, where local groups had planned to protest his appearance; the White House said the protests were not the reason.

And, around the business empire that Trump still owns, his critics treat each location as an avatar for the president.

There have been small gestures of pique: lipstick graffiti on the sign at Trump’s golf course in Los Angeles, and a plan for a mass mooning of his hotel in Chicago. There have also been more organized efforts to take time and money away from family businesses — a boycott of stores selling Ivanka Trump’s clothes and a campaign to flood Trump businesses with calls demanding that the president divest from his holdings.

For Trump’s opponents, these demonstrations are a way to change his behavior by denting the president’s own self-image, as a popular man with a successful business.

The risk, for them, is that protests meant to shame Trump will consume energy that could be used to beat him by winning elections and swaying votes in Congress.

Protest “gets under his skin,” said Michael Skolnik, a filmmaker and prominent liberal organizer in New York, who supports this sort of protest. He hoped that, somehow, getting under the president’s skin might turn out to be a good long-term political strategy.

“What if Trump can’t come out of bed for four days? That could happen,” Skolnik said.

In his later days, George W. Bush faced protests outside his Texas ranch, from people opposed to the Iraq War. On his travels, President Obama sometimes faced demonstrations from liberals, pushing him to do more on immigration or the environment.

But neither one faced organized protest movements at the start of their presidency, condemning the president across multiple policy areas. Trump does.

It began the day after his inauguration, when more than 1 million marched in “Women’s Marches” in Washington and around the country and globe. It continued the following weekend, when thousands of people gathered at airports to protest Trump’s executive order on immigration, which barred refugees and all visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries.

It continued this past week, as the administration was consumed by the chaos that the loosely drafted immigration order set off. In New York City, for instance, hundreds of bodega markets owned by Yemeni Americans closed to protest the same order on Thursday.

“You know how Yellowstone National Park is built on one of the world’s biggest volcanos?” said Ben Wikler, the Washington director for MoveOn.org, a liberal activist group. “It feels like that just exploded in terms of grassroots energy.”

Trump himself has dismissed these protests — operating on the theory that he doesn’t need these protestors to like him and that their anger might actually help him by pushing others closer to Trump. On Twitter, for instance, the president cast the Women’s March as a massive outpouring of sour grapes.

“Was under the impression that we just had an election!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Why didn’t these people vote?”

On Friday — after a pair of violent protests on college campuses where conservative provocateurs were invited to talk — Trump seemed to lump these small groups of unruly protestors in with the rest of his critics from the other events.

“Professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters are proving the point of the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” he wrote, though there is no evidence that any significant number of demonstrators are being paid.

Saturday night’s protest near Mar-a-Lago will be a test of what’s next: on a Saturday night, with no election in sight, can organizers raise a crowd merely to haunt Trump from across the water?

The organizers think so. They expect thousands..

“The traditional way of looking at these Facebook events is to look at the number of RSVPs and cut it in half,” Newell Taylor said. But the last few weeks have shown that anti- Trump events are different, she said. They always get bigger than you expect. “With this Trump situation, it’s, ‘Take the number of RSVPs, and double it.’”

Around the country, other groups have directed their unhappiness toward Trump at his business empire, which he still effectively owns, though Trump says he’s given over management to his executives and two eldest sons.

“I am scoping it out right now,” said a woman snapping photos of the sign outside Trump’s golf club in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., near Los Angeles. She gave her name only as “Diane,” and said she was scouting the site for a protest

“People are pissed and feel they can’t do anything, but we want to hit him where it hurts,” she said. “I don’t think he wants people near his businesses. We want to hit him where it hurts most, his money.” On an earlier day, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department took a report for vandalism — somebody crossed out “Trump” on the sign with lipstick, and wrote a Spanish swear word instead.

Others were more organized about their efforts.

One group, called “Grab Your Wallet,” was started in October after The Washington Post obtained a 2005 video in which Trump bragged about groping women during a taping of “Access Hollywood.”

Shannon Coulter, who helps lead the group, said she had a visceral reaction after that when she encountered Ivanka Trump-branded items while shopping. Ivanka Trump had continued to campaign for her father after the tape’s release.

“I kind of had [Trump’s] words ringing in my ears,” she said. She helped launch a boycott campaign, which has grown to include more than 60 companies — ranging from the Trump Organization’s own hotels and golf courses to business that carry Ivanka Trump merchandise to businesses whose leaders supported Trump during the election.

Coulter said her Facebook group has more than 11,000 people connected to it. What they want, she said, was to “shop the stores we love with a clear conscience, and without any bad memories.”

Now, three businesses that her group targeted for boycotts have severed or loosened their connections to the Trumps. Nordstrom said it would stop selling Ivanka Trump merchandise, Nieman Marcus stopped selling her jewelry on its website and he chief executive of Uber, the ride-share company, pulled out of Trump’s business advisory council.

Another campaign offers Trump’s critics a more direct — but possibly less productive — way to respond to Trump.

It lets them call up one of his companies at random and complain to whomever answers the phone.

“Until he divests, these [businesses] are embassies of the White House,” said Scott Goodstein, the founder of Creative Majority PAC. He also runs Revolution Messaging, the Washington firm that actually set up the system.

Their system connects callers to one of 30 Trump business phone numbers. It could be a hotel front desk. It could be a restaurant. Goodstein says they encourage callers to “have fun with it.” For instance, if a restaurant employee offers to help make a reservation, one might say: “I have a reservation — that Donald Trump is not taking this job seriously.”

Since this effort started in December, the PAC says it has facilitated 33,000 phone calls, and has been blocked by 51 different Trump Organization phone numbers. He said it’s having the desired effect, squeezing Trump’s business in a way that would squeeze the man himself.

“It’s definitely having an effect on Trump’s businesses,” Goodstein said. “And I’m sure that President Trump will know that this act of dissension is taking place.”

But Alan Garten, chief legal officer for the Trump Organization, said in a telephone interview that the phone calls had not interfered with the business. And even if they did, he said, Trump would not know about it because has resigned from his management roles.

“There’s a complete separation,” Garten said. “He may read [about] it in the newspaper, that I don’t know.”

Fahrenthold reported from Washington. Sandhya Somashekhar and Wesley Lowery in Washington and Bill Dauber in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., also contributed to this report.

Stop shipments of live animals to Israel for slaughter, protesters urge court

An estimated 2,500 Israelis braved unusually cold weather in Tel Aviv Saturday night to send a message to the agriculture minister, the country’s two biggest meat companies and the Supreme Court: Stop shipping live animals to Israel for slaughter.

On Wednesday, Supreme Court justices will discuss a petition against live shipments lodged in November 2015 by the animal rights groups Anonymous and Let the Animals Live. It is not known whether they will reach an immediate decision.

In 2016, 571,972 heads of sheep and cattle arrived at Israeli ports from Europe and Australia – nearly double the number for 2015 (292,274), according to Agriculture Ministry figures.

More than 30 percent came from Australia – the biggest live animal exporter in the world — on journeys that take up to three weeks, with the remainder arriving from Eastern Europe and Portugal.

Ships resembling multi-story parking lots carry from 1,000 to 20,000 cattle, or 100,000 sheep, or a combination.

Once in Israel, the animals are loaded onto trucks for journeys that can take hours to slaughterhouses or to pre-slaughter fattening facilities.

Protest in Tel Aviv against live animal imports, January 28, 2017, ( Revital Topiol)

At the rally, actress and animal activist Yarden Segal read excerpts from the testimony of Australian vet Lynn Simpson, who served as the official on-board vet for 57 live export journeys, including to Israel.

Simpson submitted a harsh, confidential report on live shipments to an Australian government steering committee in late 2012. The department accidentally uploaded the report to its website, and weeks later, Simpson was fired, on the grounds — according to the Australian Broadcasting Company — that the livestock industry did not want to work with her anymore.

Simpson had reported that the space given to each animal was so small that the animals could not lie down and rest. Those that could were often smothered or trampled. Many cattle suffered serious leg problems as the result of standing for long periods on bare metal or bitumen decks. Photographs she took showed animals covered in excrement.

Livestock on Live Export ship from Australia (Lynn Simpson)

“In stormy seas, waves would break into the ship and sweep animals out to sea,” Segal read, “while others sustained injuries such as broken necks and legs after being thrust against the bars of their enclosures.”

During one passage, freezing waves threw sheep around like “rag dolls.” Thousands were suffocated under others and hundreds died of hypothermia within hours.

When the ships reach the Red Sea area, the biggest threat is the high humidity and heat, Segal went on. The animals start competing to get close to the fans, Simpson’s testimony reads. “The stronger ones climb over the weaker ones and when they are exhausted, they collapse, lose consciousness and die.”

“One day, we had a full shipment like this. We lost them one after another. They fell around us as if someone had shot them in the head. But there wasn’t a single bullet. As soon as they fell on the deck, we would drag them out and I would slit their throats out of mercy. Those that would have survived such heat stress would have died a slow death within a week from kidney failure. Lambs literally started cooking from the inside, the temperature of their bodies reaching 47 degrees Celsius (116.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The team was forced to throw carcasses into the sea. Legs pull off as you try to drag out a body and it just falls apart.”

Protest in Tel Aviv against live animal imports, January 28, 2017, ( Revital Topiol)

In a Times of Israel blog posted in September, Simpson said, “When I’ve been in Israel after delivering live cattle, I have seen meat in butcher shops with injection marks that run deep into the flesh. The bruising is indicative of the types of injection guns we use on the ships; the spread of the bruise is indicative of how deep the main concentration of medication has spread. The color of the bruise indicative of recent injection, hence such meat poses a high drug residue risk. Consumption of such residue has serious ramifications.”

“There have been no changes in the guidelines since Simpson was fired,” lawyer Yossi Wolfson, representing the animal rights groups before the Supreme Court, told The Times of Israel.

“The calves that arrive are covered in dried excrement and the bodies floating off the coast tell the story. There is also no disagreement, and every expert will agree, that these shipments inherently cause suffering.”

If in the past, high Israeli import taxes and stringent limits on the quantity of imported chilled meat made live exports – which started in the 1990’s — more economically competitive, import tax cuts and the opening of the meat market to Poland and Latin America last year changed the rules of the game, he said.

And if chilled meat slaughtered in Israel stayed on supermarket shelves for six weeks, sometimes even longer, it could be shipped the three weeks to Israel from Australia, Wolfson added.

Cattle on Live Export ship from Australia (Courtesy Dr. Lynn Simpson)

The Australian agriculture ministry determines that livestock mortality has to be reported if it is higher than 2 per cent for sheep and goats or over 1 per cent for cattle on a trip of more than 10 days. That means that the deaths of up to 100 cattle or 200 sheep out of every 10,000 of their kind on a shipment to Israel are not deemed “reportable mortality events.”

A statement from Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture said a ministry supervisor or a government vet had to be present at the arrival of every shipment to check the consignment, the state of the animals, the conditions of the ship (most shipments are by sea) or the airplane and the unloading conditions. If defects are discovered in the consignment, the ministry turns for clarification to the authorities in the exporting countries.

“For example, recently, the ministry stopped live shipments by air after a consignment from Hungary was discovered to have an irregular mortality rate as well as deviation from ministry regulations on animal cruelty. The ban will remain until there has been a full investigation of the conditions that lead to the unusual mortality of the animals.”

Livestock on Live Export ship from Australia (Lynn Simpson)

In addition, the ministry was working to increase the import of meat to Israel, which would certainly lead to a reduction in shipments of live calves, the statement went on. Officials were looking into the possibility of extending the shelf life of imported chilled meat so that imports from South American and other countries could be increased and chilled meat prices bought down.

Furthermore, the statement said, the ministry had pushed for approval of regulations for the transport of animals within Israel, which include reducing transport time as well as providing shelter from rain, ventilation, cooling and relief from overcrowding.

“The regulations prohibit transporting animals who are injured, tied up, hoisted, or otherwise gripped in cruel ways during loading (such as being hoisted by the head or the horns) and also forbid the use of force or electric shocks (with the exception of reasonable force).”

“The ministry calls on the public to report any suspicion of animal cruelty,” the statement concluded.

A spokeswoman for the Tnuva company said, “The subject is being discussed in court and therefore we are prevented from responding.”

MK Tamar Zandberg (left) at protest in Tel Aviv against live animal imports, January 28, 2017 (Ruty Benziman)

Two years ago, lawmakers Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) and Miki Zohar (Likud) proposed legislation to halt the shipments and submitted it for a vote in July, when Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) asked them to wait and to let him try to bring the numbers of live shipment animals down.

“In the meantime, the opposite has happened,” Zandberg told The Times of Israel. “The numbers have just increased.”

“I think we have to expand the public, parliamentary and legal struggle to stop these shocking shipments altogether. We’re talking about tens of thousands of animals crammed into ships, sick and wounded, in insufferable veterinary conditions, just to be taken off the ships in a cruel way and taken to their deaths. I don’t think you have to be a vegetarian to be shocked by the images. This has to stop.”

MK Sharren Haskel (Likud) said, “The struggle for animals is the struggle for humanity and compassion that is within all of us. The purpose of the live shipments was to bring down the prices of meat in Israel, but the absurd thing is that in practice, the prices haven’t gone down and in the meantime, horrific abuse is being carried out on tens of thousands of animals every month.”

Protesters Rally for Refugees Detained at JFK After Trump’s Anti-Muslim Executive Order

 

Concerned citizens are protesting the detention of Iraqi visa-holders at JFK International Airport in New York while a Muslim congressman calls for “mass rallies” to protest Donald Trump’s ban on Syrian refugees and all travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries.

RELATED: Trump brings shame to U.S. with policy based on fear

Demonstrators massed outside the Queens airport’s arrivals area Saturday afternoon after quickly organizing a protest on social media, with another planned demonstration scheduled for 6 p.m. Protesters held sings reading “No ban, no wall” and “Refugees welcome,” according to NBC New York. “Today is the beginning of a long opposition from us, and our neighbors all over the country,” organizer Jacki Esposito said.

Speakers are expected this evening when protesters demonstrate outside JFK to “put action behind words…to hold a vigil and rally against the detentions,” according to a Facebook group that is organizing opposition. “No ban, no wall, sanctuary for all,” its page reads. A separate page created to support the JFK protest reads, “We cannot stand by and let Trump turn our country into a fascist, unconstitutional haven of hate, ignorance, racism and religious homogeny.”

Meanwhile, Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota told the New York Times Saturday that “Trump must be stopped,” as he called for protests around the country.

“It’s time for people to get active, to get involved, to vote and to organize…people power is what we have at our disposal to make him stop. We need mass rallies. We need them all over the country. We need them in Texas. We need them in D.C. We need them in Minnesota,” Ellison told the Times.

Make the Road New York, an immigrant rights group, is monitoring the detainee situation at JFK Airport. Javier H. Valdes, co-executive director of the organization, said in a statement: “What is happening at JFK International Airport right now is an affront to American values. This harkens back to a previous dark episode in our nation’s history when we turned away Jewish refugees seeking safe harbor from the horrors of Nazism. I will not and cannot stand idly by as the Trump administration begins repeating such unconscionable acts.”

Up to a dozen refugees were detained at JFK Saturday, according to the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School, in response to Trump’s order banning all travel from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days as well as a four-month halt of all refugee admissions. One of the detainees, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, a former U.S. Army translator, has since been released but was held despite holding a valid visa. The Department of Homeland Security confirmed Saturday that Trump’s order extends to those with green cards—legal, permanent residents of the United States.

A lawsuit filed on behalf of Darweesh and a second Iraqi, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, has been filed in federal court in Brooklyn, challenging the executive order on constitutional grounds. The suit alleges the order violates the Constitution’s due process clause by eliminating their ability to apply for asylum, and discriminates them on the basis of their nationality, violating the equal protection clause.

Trump has wide latitude to set limits on immigration when it’s in the national interest. However, legal experts say he cannot choose one class of immigrants over another based on ethnicity or religion. Although the order does not specify religions, Trump has said he was acting to help Christians in Syria. “There were comments during the campaign that focused very much on religion as the target,” Hiroshi Motomura, an immigration expert at the UCLA School of Law, told Reuters.

In Trump’s America, ‘Felony Riot’ Charges Against Inauguration Protesters Signal Dangerous Wave of Repression

More than 200 people who were mass-arrested at the Washington, D.C. protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump have been hit with felony riot charges that are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Those picked up in the sweep—including legal observers and journalists—had their phones, cameras and other personal belongings confiscated as evidence, a lawyer confirmed to AlterNet.

Demonstrators warn that the crackdown signals a new wave of repression against the protesters, whose mass mobilization was met with riot police violence, National Guard and Department of Homeland Security deployments, heavy surveillance and law enforcement snipers positioned on rooftops.

“These charges are absolutely horrifying. They are just trying to stop any resistance to the Trump administration,” Samantha Miller, an organizer with the Disrupt J20 Collective, told AlterNet. “Many of these demonstrators were showing rage and fear of what’s coming. It’s going to take a lot more than asking nicely to create change and stop the threats from the Trump administration.”

The vast majority of the roughly 230 people who were kettled and mass-arrested at the anti-capitalist bloc during Friday’s protests have been charged under the felony riot act, said Mark Goldstone, a National Lawyers Guild-affiliated attorney who has defended protesters in Washington, D.C. for more than 30 years. Washington, D.C. authorities put this number at 217. Goldstone confirmed to AlterNet that legal observers and journalists were among those detained in the sweep, explaining that, throughout his career in Washington, D.C., he has never seen mass charges of this kind.

Jeffrey Light, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer who provided legal support to the Disrupt J20 Collective, agreed with this assessment. “I have been representing protesters for 13 years now, and I have never seen felony rioting charges in Washington, D.C. It is not one of the standard laws that they tend to use. This is unusual. It is rare to use that charge.”

“Across the board, all phones and cameras are being held as evidence, and they are also detaining gloves and cell phone chargers as evidence,” said Light. “They are giving people their wallets back generally, but that’s it. It is extremely troubling.”

According to a class-action lawsuit filed by Light on Friday, those picked up in the sweep and hit with felony riot charges already endured abuse at the hands of the police. “Our class action lawsuit charges that the police were rounding up everyone on the street without warning and putting them under arrest and using excessive force,” said Light. “There were a number of weapons we haven’t seen Washington, D.C. police use in recent memory, flash bang grenades and tear gas. In addition to chemical irritants, they were assaulting people with batons. They were beating people.”

Those kettled by police were forced to wait for hours in the street and on school buses, many of them going untreated for injuries, say supporters. “They are trying to set a tone to chill further demos of this nature, and I don’t think it’s going to work,” Bob Hayes, a Washington, D.C. resident who is helping coordinate legal support, told AlterNet. “They are trying to put pressure on individuals to collaborate with the investigations.”

Light emphasized that, while the riot felony charges are new, the mass arrests are not. Acting DC Police Chief Peter Newsham, who oversaw this weekend’s crackdown, was the assistant police chief who presided over another mass arrest more than a decade ago. In the fall of 2002, the Metropolitan police department mass arrested hundreds of people at a World Bank protest in Washington, D.C.’s Pershing Park and hogtied them for up to 24 hours while in detention, before dropping all charges. In a 2015 settlement, the city was forced to pay $2.2 million to nearly 400 protesters.

Newsham, who ordered the mass arrests in 2002, oversaw the police crackdown against inauguration protesters.

Friday’s crackdown came as mass protests erupted across Washington, D.C. and the world, overshadowing the inauguration of Donald Trump, who rose to power on a tide of white nationalism and fascism. On Friday morning, social movements including the Movement for Black Lives and groups centering Muslim, Jewish and immigrant resistance, converged at 14 different “security” checkpoints, to shut down, slow and disrupt the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump. “We stand in solidarity with everyone who challenges oppression in all of its forms, everywhere around the world, in favor of dignity, self-determination, and defending our collective well-being,” reads a statement from the anti-capitalist, anti-fascist bloc circulated ahead of Friday’s protests.

Those arrested in Washington, D.C. faced an outpouring of public support. Ryan Harvey, an activist and musician with Firebrand Records, told AlterNet that hundreds gathered outside the jail on Saturday to show their support for those being released. “Every time people came out, the crowd would cheer and chant,” with the term “anticapitalista” an oft-repeated refrain. “For many, it was like a surprise birthday party, and their faces lit up. Street medics were on-scene, and many supporters brought food, clothes, coffee, tea and water.”

Harvey emphasized that the support is important because it “defends the rights of these people to fight against fascism” and “combats the narrative that there is something more problematic about their protest than their is about the inauguration.”

Washington, D.C. residents say that the state violence on display this weekend extends far beyond the individuals hit with felony riot charges.

“A mother carrying her toddler was pepper sprayed in the face,” said Miller. “An elder from Standing Rock was sprayed in her face. A woman with crutches tried to intervene, and she was sprayed.”

“We faced the Department of Homeland Security, the National Guard, riot police, surveillance, snipers on rooftops, and Trump supporters,” Darakshan Raja, founder of the Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum and co-director of the Washington Peace Center, told AlterNet. “Just to walk around and see that, have them watch you as a target.”

“For weeks, the ‘alt right’ has been attacking us,” Raja continued. “They have sent death threats to the protesters of J20, attacked our organizations, reported us for false things to the city government, harassed all our partners, including the spaces we are housed. Their violence against us can’t be lost in this moment.”

Sarah Lazare is a staff writer for AlterNet. A former staff writer for Common Dreams, she coedited the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahlazare.

Here’s how the anti-Trump protests played out in Washington during the inauguration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – America’s political divisions turned violent on Washington’s streets during U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, as black-clad anti-establishment activists set fires and clashed with police, while Trump supporters cheered the new chief executive.

Hundreds of protesters with varying agendas marched through downtown, and some groups clashed with police, throwing rocks and bottles, which police responded to with tear gas and concussion grenades. A helicopter hovered low overhead.

At one flash point, a protester hurled an object through the passenger window of a police van, which sped away in reverse as demonstrators cheered. Earlier, activists wearing masks used chunks of pavement and baseball bats to shatter the windows of a Bank of America branch and a McDonald’s outlet, all symbols of American capitalism.

Inauguration protestsProtestors throw rocks at police during a protest near the inauguration of President Donald Trump in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017. Reuters / Bryan Woolston

Multiple vehicles were set on fire, including a black limousine and a television truck. A knot of people dragged garbage cans into a street a few blocks from the White House and set them ablaze, later throwing a red cap bearing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan into the flames.

Police said at least 217 people were arrested and six officers were injured in scuffles with activists. The people arrested would be held overnight before making court appearances on Saturday, Peter Newsham, interim chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, told a news conference. Newsham added that police would continue to monitor security around the night’s celebrations.

Friday’s protests played out just blocks from Pennsylvania Avenue, where New York businessman-turned-Republican politician Trump took part in the traditional parade a newly sworn in president takes from the U.S. Capitol to the White House.

The various protest groups scattered around the city chanted anti-Trump slogans and carried signs with slogans including “Trump is not president” and “Make Racists Afraid Again.”

“Trump is not going to be stopped at the top, he’s going to be stopped from the bottom, from people rising up,” said Ben Allen, a 69-year-old retired teacher from San Francisco. “We support the right of everybody in this country, no matter what nationality, what religion, the color of their skin, to be respected as a human being, and this guy doesn’t respect anybody.”

Inauguration ProtestsPolice stand near a limousine which was set ablaze during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the inauguration in Washington, D.C., U.S., on January 20, 2017. Reuters / Adrees Latif

‘Didn’t expect violence’

Trump supporter Ryan Shiring, 21, stood nervously with a group of friends near a pile of smoldering trash cans.

“We thought there would be protests but we didn’t expect violence,” said Shiring, a college student from Hartford, Connecticut. “We were hoping for a completely peaceful transfer of power.”

Democratic officials, including Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, condemned the violence.

The U.S. Secret Service, Washington police and other law enforcement agencies had about 28,000 officers in place to secure a roughly three-square-mile (7.8 square km) of the city.

Trump, a former reality TV star, angered many liberal Americans during his stunningly successful campaign with demeaning comments on women and immigrants. Hisinauguration speech was a populist and nationalist rallying cry.

Protesters and police said the black-clad violent activists were acting independently of organized opposition to Trump.

Inauguration ProtestsProtesters block an entry point before the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017. Reuters / Bryan Woolston

The Disrupt J20 group on Twitter said its anger was not directed only at Trump, and that it would also have demonstrated had Democrat Hillary Clinton won the election last November.

Not far from the White House, Bob Hrifko, a member of the Bikers for Trump group, said he was struck in the face with an aluminum chair when he tried to intervene in a scuffle involving police and protesters.

“We need more order. This ain’t right,” said Hrifko, who was bleeding from a cut under his eye.

The number of people who turned out for the midday swearing-in ceremony in the rain appeared to be significantly smaller than the estimated 2 million who attended Democrat Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009. Overhead video of the National Mall showed sections of the white matting laid down to protect the grass were largely empty.

The city’s Metro subway system reported ridership levels as of 11 a.m. (1600 GMT) at less than half of what was seen in 2013 or 2009 and roughly on par with George W. Bush’s second inauguration in 2005.

Inauguration protestsProtesters chain themselves to an entry point prior at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017. Reuters / Bryan Woolston

Sympathy protests were held around the nation and the world, in cities including Los Angeles, Tokyo and London. But in Moscow, Russians hoping Trump will usher in a new era of detente with their country celebrated his inauguration.

In Washington, David Guthrie, a long-haired, bearded, 36-year-old from South Bend, Indiana, stood stark naked on a street corner with an obscenity and “Trump” written on his buttocks in black magic marker.

As he stood, he was pepper sprayed by police, but stood with his eyes clenched, saying he wanted to prompt “a national conversation on the illegitimacy of the Trump presidency.”

“I need a shower,” he said, as fellow protesters helped him walk away, wrapped in a silver blanket.

(Additional reporting by Ian Simpson David Lawder, Joel Schectman, Mike Stone, Matt Spetalnick, and Phil Stewart; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Paul Simao and Grant McCool)

Read the original article on Reuters. Copyright 2017. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

North Dakota GOP Lawmaker Proposes Bill That Would Let Motorists Run Over Pipeline Protesters (GOOD!!!)

As Donald Trump takes office, pushing a wave of explicitly authoritarian federal policies and practices, Republican leaders at every level are following suit. The latest example is North Dakota lawmaker Keith Kempenich, who has introduced a bill that would let drivers who run down protesters blocking roads and other thoroughfares go scott free.

The $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, which would span 1,100 miles and include Sioux land at the Standing Rock reservation, was halted in December after months of high-profile protests. Kempenich, who spoke to the Bismark Tribune, candidly admitted that he created the legislation in response to protests against the pipeline project.

“It’s shifting the burden of proof from the motor vehicle driver to the pedestrian,” Kempenich told the newspaper. The state representative went on to justify his bill, which would allow motorists to potentially maim or kill protesters using a vehicle—thousands of pounds of fast-moving metal—but complained that protesters are “intentionally putting themselves in danger.”

Kempenich says his bill, which is in opposition to the United States Constitution and its First Amendment-granted rights of free speech, is the result of his mother-in-law being inconvenienced while driving through protests. The lawmaker cited an instance when, as his mother-in-law drove past a long line of cars parked along the shoulder of the road, a protester jumped in front of her car waving a sign. It seems just as likely that the protester emerged from a blind spot created by the stationary cars, as can happen in any situation where parked vehicles create a visual barrier. It’s impossible to say definitively, since neither Kempenich nor any of the other six Republican sponsors of the bill—Michael Brandenburg, Vernon Laning, Bill Oliver, Karen Rohr, Dwight Cook and Donald Schaible—were there at the time.

“It’s shocking to see legislation that allows for people to literally be killed for exercising their right to protest in a public space,” Tara Houska, a Native activist who works with environmental organization Honor the Earth, told NBC News. “These [bills] are meant to criminalize the protests with no real concern for constitutional law.”

If you’d like to reach out to Kempenich to express your thoughts and feelings on the proposed legislation, his contact information is available on his website.

Rep. Keith Kempenich (via ND.gov)

This isn’t the first time in recent months that GOP legislators have tried to push aggressively anti-free speech laws. In Washington State, Republican Senator Doug Ericksen has proposed a law that would create “a new crime of economic terrorism” which could allow for the arrest and prosecution of any protesters who “block transportation and commerce, cause property damage, threaten jobs and put public safety at risk.”

Ericksen is likely well aware of the fact that “blocking commerce” succinctly describes pretty much every protest ever. Republican Representative Kathy Lohmer of Stillwater, Minnesota, is floating a bill that further criminalizes and penalizes protesting on freeways. Lohmer’s legislation would increase fines from $1,000 to $3,000 and raise jail time from 90 days to a full year.