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Archive for the ‘_english’ Category

Wall talk: Berlin speaks to the Middle East

Posted by Pia på onsdag 1 juli 2009

DSC_0232Just stop it.

Posted in bilder, Israel, ockupation, Palestina, _english | Leave a Comment »

Political Helsinki

Posted by Pia på torsdag 23 oktober 2008

I can’t believe that 50 years ago, in the early 21st century, there were people who said that young people don’t care about politics. They said this because some people chose not to vote in elections. They didn’t consider other methods of political activity as anything of value. People dressed up as Smurfs dancing for free public transport, for instance, was seen as vandalism. Making an installation of doors in order to raise awareness about homeless people got the same kind of attention. The picture up on the left is what used to represent politics in these days, the Parliament building and a statue of the first president Ståhlberg. On the right are the official party lists with candidates to choose from, taken back in October 2008. Below are some examples of activity that was considered unnecessary and a little suspicious. This is portrayed by the presence of police cars never far from these manifestations.

Finally, here’s a question for you: out of these two pictures below, pick out the one that shows action seen as an annoyance in the city and that, according to several city officials should be banned?

Posted in demokrati, fattigdom, Finland, människor, mänskliga rättigheter, medborgarjournalistik, media, mysterier, offentliga rum, politik, reklam, samhälle, val, yttrandefrihet, _english | 2 Comments »

Not everything is business, no matter what you say

Posted by Pia på söndag 10 augusti 2008

Airport ads. Few things are funnier. If I had had a spray can in my hand I would have written ”No, you idiot, life is not a curve. If you compare your life to the stock exchange you’re seriously in need of help.”

But maybe there are some twisted individuals out there who see this sign and start thinking about placing money.

Posted in bilder, desperation, flum, kapitalism, livsstil, manipulering, reklam, utveckling, värderingar, _english | 2 Comments »

Shame on Europe

Posted by Pia på onsdag 6 augusti 2008

In the year 2055, I think we will look back at Europe in the beginning of the 21st century with shame. I was ashamed last week when I took a bus from Riga to Warsaw and met a young woman from Moscow. We started talking because she was reading the lyrics of a well-known Swedish song. I asked her about it, and she said she is learning Swedish, she has visited Sweden a couple of times, her boyfriend lives there. She works for a company that sells Russian property mainly to Europeans. Her job includes a lot of travelling in Europe, but last year she couldn’t go meet her European partners for six months, because the French embassy had denied her visa application. ”Why?” I asked. ”Oh, you know, it’s like that. I’m a single Russian woman travelling, they just assume I’m a prostitute”.

I can’t even begin to imagine what it would feel like to have an authority deny me something because they thought I was selling sex. She has just had to get used to it.

Some people would be lucky to ever get a chance. My friend is trying to invite her Ghanan friend to come visit her, and she sent me a link to the rules that apply. She has to go through the Danish embassy and it’s just an absurd mess. If you are from Nigeria, you can’t even theoretically be granted a visa for private visits unless you have a spouse or under-aged children i Denmark. If you are from Congo or Benin, you don’t need any familiar ties to apply. If you’re from Mali you can apply for a tourist visa. If you’re Somalian, you might get a visa to come if a family member just died. Have a look at the one of the web pages yourself.

Posted in EU, fördomar, globalisering, integritet, jämställdhet, människor, migration, orättvisor, resa, Ryssland, turism, _english | 2 Comments »

21st century Europe

Posted by Pia på tisdag 27 maj 2008

Really, I think this picture I took in Zurich on May 1st this year, before actually escaping from tear gas and rubber bullets 20 minutes later, should speak for itself.

Posted in aktivism, krig, människor, militarism, offentliga rum, polisstat, polisvåld, prekariatet, rädsla, samhälle, värderingar, världssystemet, våld, _english | Leave a Comment »

Mustafa Barghouti: ”Apartheid is to put it mildly”

Posted by Pia på torsdag 15 maj 2008

Remember Annapolis, the last conference supposed to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians in November 2007? Since then, Israeli attacks on Palestinians have risen by 300%. The settlements have expanded eleven times as much as before the conference, there are 50 new checkpoints in the West Bank, and the WALL, which is twice as high as the Berlin wall but is called a ”fence”, is still being built onto more Palestinian land. Actually you can’t say that it separates Palestinians from Israelis, to the most part it separates Palestinians from Palestinians. Like in the town -now open air prison – of Qalqiliya for example, a city that is surrounded by the wall on all sides apart from a gate that is opened by Israeli soldiers, once in the morning, once during the day and finally at 6 pm. Those who get home after that have to sleep outside town. Pregnant women are now leaving town 2-3 weeks before their due dates to avoid having to give birth in front of soldiers standing there with the gate keys in their pockets (which still happens).

These are some of the facts Dr Mustafa Barghouti, a democracy activist, MD and founder of PMRS spoke about as an honour guest in the Finnish commemoration of 60 years since the Nakba. He spoke in the Finnish parliament as well, but apparently there were not many politicians there. It makes me very angry that they don’t bother to listen to this man. The fact that 48 of their counterparts – the Palestinian parliamentarians – are in prison was apparently not reason enough for our politicians to pay attention to this speaker.

They should, though. Because like Barghouti says, security is not a problem for Israel alone. Look at the figures in his presentation in the picture (click!). 45 Palestinians have died for every 1 Israeli since Annapolis. And every Israeli killed is a tragedy, Barghouti assures, while reminding that Palestinian leaders should have the right to demand security for their people just as much as the Israelis do. Who is protecting the people of Gaza, out of whom 165 people have died only because of the siege? Barghouti refers to Israel as an Apartheid state, showing that what is left of the West Bank are mere Bantustans, and stating that there is no real political will for a two-state-solution in Israel. And what makes the situation worse than that in South Africa is not just that this is the longest occupation in recent history, but that the segregation not only affects jobs and education, but even roads. In South Africa, at least everyone could drive on all roads, something that is not allowed for Palestinians in certain West Bank areas.

I am sure of three things, Barghouti wraps up his Helsinki presentation:

  1. The whole community can not stay silent about what is going on. We need to break the information barrier and tell the truth. In media, in schools and organisations.
  2. No matter how unjust this system is, it will not fall by itself. Palestine needs international support, the way Mandela got it (Mandela has by the way uttered that Palestine is the world’s number one moral issue at the moment) and
  3. Whatever sufferings we have to endure, the Palestinians will never surrender and leave.

Posted in aktivism, bilder, citat, Finland, Israel, krig, mänskliga rättigheter, militarism, ockupation, Palestina, _english | Leave a Comment »

Try living a decent life after this

Posted by Pia på lördag 19 april 2008

I can’t believe that in the beginning of the 21st century, the Israeli military could get away with torture and killings of Palestinians. The Independent today reports some testimonies of Israeli soldiers:

[…] using a 10-year-old child to locate and punish a 15-year-old stone-thrower: ”So we got hold of just some Palestinian kid nearby, we knew that he knew who it had been. Let’s say we beat him a little, to put it mildly, until he told us. You know, the way it goes when your mind’s already screwed up, and you have no more patience for Hebron and Arabs and Jews there. ”The kid was really scared, realising we were on to him. We had a commander with us who was a bit of a fanatic. We gave the boy over to this commander, and he really beat the shit out of him … He showed him all kinds of holes in the ground along the way, asking him: ‘Is it here you want to die? Or here?’ The kid goes, ‘No, no!’

Seriously, how you are able to live your adult life when you start it off doing two or three years in the Israeli army, that beats me. And I’m not saying that this is something ALL soldiers do during their service, but the fact that it happens at all!

As one said: ”We did all kinds of experiments to see who could do the best split in Abu Snena. We would put [Palestinians] against the wall, make like we were checking them, and ask them to spread their legs. Spread, spread, spread, it was a game to see who could do it best. Or we would check who can hold his breath for longest. ”Choke them. One guy would come, make like he was checking them, and suddenly start yelling like they said something and choke them … Block their airways; you have to press the adams apple. It’s not pleasant. Look at the watch as you’re doing it, until he passes out. The one who takes longest to faint wins.”

Posted in åsiktsyttrande, bojkott, brott & straff, citat, Israel, krig, Palestina, våld, _english | 2 Comments »

Water wars and some satire

Posted by Pia på lördag 12 april 2008

In the year 2055, Fredde thinks he will say: Can’t believe that 50 years ago, in 2005, there was pure water. Certainly we won’t have to wait 50 years before water becomes the new oil, politically and economically speaking. The New Scientist reports today: ”As Barcelona runs out of water, Spain has been forced to consider importing water from France by boat. It is the latest example of the growing struggle for water around the world – the ”water wars”.

The difference between oil and water is that all people need one of them to live, not the other. I remember being told that the cost of granting pure water to all the world’s poor would cost as much as the Europeans spend on ice cream one average summer. How can it be so hard to take these issues seriously? As a comparison, imagine how much political energy is used to ensure that petrol is distributed to all the engines of the world. The cars have rights that people don’t have.

The tip of the day is for Finnish-speakers, satirical Lehti is Finland’s best equivalent to The Onion. Today the issue is what to do with the beggars in Helsinki, (right-wing politician Ben Zyskowicz has actually proposed banning begging, as this would ”send the beggars a clear message”) Lehti suggests an old method tested in the 20th century, proposed by the ”architecht bureau Himmler, Heydrich & Eichmann” called the final solution. The opposers of this are said to be ”liberal and mainly gay”.

Posted in ekonomi, konsumtion, media, _english | 5 Comments »

The hateful religion of hating Muslims

Posted by Pia på tisdag 1 april 2008

The best comment I have read about the idiotic Fitna ”movie” is that of Ali Eteraz:

”The rest of the film is a mixture of conflating the most painful and heart-wrenching images from terror-strikes with extremist imams, in an effort to turn the entirety of Islam into a demonic edifice. This is neither new, nor interesting. It is a facile trick for facile minds. Cartoons show more a more subtle grasp of the human condition. Focusing in more specifically, the film appears to be nothing more than a screed by a nativist. Anti-immigrant demagogues exist in every society, from Arab to American. Their sole job is to belittle and antagonize the mostly poor immigrants and stultify and romanticize their country’s own history.”


”If Wilders really wanted to expose Islamism — the entire legacy of 20th century ideological Islam — he would start with how the French Suez Canal Company funded the Muslim Brotherhood’s first mosque. […]. Or Wilders would have tried to begin some criminal proceeding in the international criminal courts against those men who came up with the genius idea of encouraging disaffected Arab youth into going into Afghanistan and then gave them $1 billion in machine guns, bombs and stinger missiles to play with.”

I recommend reading all of the entry.

Relaterat: Forum för Frihet, Al Andalus, Rawia Morra

Posted in bojkott, citat, desperation, film, imperialism, manipulering, människor, rasism, religion, våld, _english | 2 Comments »

Dalai Lama, the terrorist

Posted by Pia på söndag 16 mars 2008

In the year 2055, Niklas thinks we will say: I can’t believe that 50 years ago, in 2005, China was still no military superpower. I think people who say that politics shouldn’t be mixed with the Olympic games are either ignorant or calculating. The news today is that Chinese officials blame Dalai Lama, who is supposedly ordering insurgents to take to the streets. And when you think about it, why shouldn’t China say exactly that? If the USA, Russia and Israel can play the ”terrorist” card and get away with anything from torturing to starving to killing people who have the wrong ideas or live in the wrong place, why shouldn’t China do it?

But the ignorant or calculating sports fans can relax. Chinese officials assures that the Olympic torch relay plans through Tibet have been proceeding very smoothly and according to schedule. Phew. Source: Guardian

Posted in aktivism, demokrati, imperialism, Kina, mänskliga rättigheter, ockupation, sport, Tibet, våld, _english | 3 Comments »