24 Oct

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


Refugees and migrants queue for processing before police move in at the start of a week-long operation to raze camp in northern France

(earlier), (now)

France begins operation to clear Calais refugee camp

People queue outside a hangar where they will be sorted into groups and put on buses for shelters across France, as part of the full evacuation of the Calais refugee camp.

People queue outside a hangar where they will be sorted into groups and put on buses for shelters across France. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty

Leila de Lima tells the Guardian she fears for her own life after challenging president on a mission to wipe out drug dealers

Family and friends grieve as they pay their last respects to alleged drug user Robert Manuel Jnr who was killed by police during an operation. There are calls for President Rodrigo Duterte to be investigate dover his war on drugs which has claimed more than 3800 lives.

Family and friends grieve as they pay their last respects to alleged drug user Robert Manuel Jnr who was killed by police during an operation. There are calls for President Rodrigo Duterte to be investigated over his war on drugs which has claimed more than 3,800 lives. Photograph: Aaron Favila/AP

A leading member of the Philippines’ senate has called for an international criminal investigation into the country’s president in an effort to stop a vicious war on drugs that has killed more than 3,800 people since June.

Senator Leila de Lima, a human rights advocate and former justice secretary, has told the Guardian that foreign intervention was the only hope of putting an end to “state-inspired” extrajudicial murders that have terrorised parts of the population since president Rodrigo Duterte came to power four months ago.

In an interview De Lima urged world leaders to consider sanctions and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague to launch an investigation into Duterte and those who worked for him.

“It [ICC] should start to think about investigating already or doing an inquiry into the killings as crimes against humanity,” she said.

The senator fears for her own life after she was ousted last month as chair of an inquiry looking into the vigilante death squads targeting drug dealers and users, and her address and mobile number were made public.

“For a few weeks after that I was unable to go home, I slept in other places although I was able to sneak into my house from time to time, so I felt like a thief in the night in my own home,” she said.

“The more unfortunate thing is that ever since they publicised my cellphone number I did receive a lot, almost 2,000, of hate messages and death threats.”

De Lima has become the nemesis of Duterte, who swept to power in May on a mandate to enforce zero tolerance on drugs-related crime. He denies any links to extrajudicial murder, but critics say his inflammatory rhetoric has unleashed a wave of violence.

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Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte likens himself to Hitler – video

The Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte appears to compare himself to Hitler saying he would “be happy to slaughter” three million drug addicts in his war on crime. “If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have…,” he says, pausing and pointing to himself. Duterte was speaking during a press conference in his home city of Davao

Writer and activist, and ex-husband of Jane Fonda, became forever linked with Chicago seven trial of anti-Vietnam war protesters

Tom Hayden

Tom Hayden served on the California assembly for almost 20 years as a progressive force on issues such as education and the environment. Photograph: Roberts/BEI/BEI/Shutterstock

The 1960s anti-war activist Tom Hayden, whose name became forever linked with the celebrated Chicago seven trial, Vietnam war protests and his ex-wife, actor Jane Fonda, has died aged 76.

Hayden died on Sunday after a long illness, said his wife, Barbara Williams. He had a stroke in 2015.

Once denounced as a traitor by his detractors, he won election to the California assembly and senate where he served for almost two decades as a progressive force on issues such as education and the environment. He was the only one of the radical Chicago seven defendants to win such distinction in the mainstream political world.

He was an enduring voice against war and spent his later years as a prolific writer and lecturer advocating for reform of US political institutions.

The Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, praised Hayden on Twitter: “A political giant and dear friend has passed. Tom Hayden fought harder for what he believed than just about anyone I have known. RIP, Tom.”

Hayden wrote or edited 19 books, including Reunion, a memoir of his path to protest and a rumination on the political upheavals of the 1960s.

“Rarely, if ever, in American history has a generation begun with higher ideals and experienced greater trauma than those who lived fully the short time from 1960 to 1968,” he wrote.

Hayden was there at the start. In 1960, while a student at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, he was involved in the formation of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), then dedicated to desegregating the south. By 1962, when he began drafting the landmark Port Huron Statement, SDS and Hayden were dedicated to changing the world.

“We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably at the world we inherit,” began the statement, which outlined a plan for a revolutionary campus social movement.

Hayden was fond of comparing the student movement that followed to the American revolution and the civil war.

In 1968, he helped organise anti-war demonstrations during the Democratic national convention in Chicago that turned violent and resulted in the notorious Chicago seven trial. It began as the Chicago eight trial, but one defendant, Bobby Seale, was denied the lawyer of his choice and ultimately received a separate trial.

After a circus-like trial, Hayden and three others were convicted of crossing state lines to incite riot. The convictions were later overturned, and an official report deemed the violence “a police riot”.

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The country’s biggest trash-burning facility has been issued with a notice to sue, with local residents complaining of the bad smell and pollution it produces

Detroit, Michigan, takes in garbage to burn at the incinerator from states across the midwest and from Canada.

Detroit, Michigan, takes in garbage to burn at the incinerator from states across the midwest and from Canada. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

At the intersection of two highways just outside downtown Detroit, a hulking relic of the city’s past looms over the skyline: the largest municipal trash incinerator in the US. It’s a facility that has raised concerns of nearby residents since its construction in the 1980s.

And some days, it stinks.

“The odors, if you ride I-94, you get this foul, rotten egg smell,” said Sandra Turner-Handy, who lives about three miles from the facility.

The 59-year-old said her son used to work a block away from the incinerator and said the smell was “constant”. Her granddaughter developed asthma while attending a school near the incinerator, but hasn’t used an inhaler since she graduated and moved away.

The persistent odor and emission of other polluting substances are among 40 alleged Clean Air Act and state violations that have been logged against the company that owns the facility, Detroit Renewable Energy, since March 2015, according to a notice to sue by the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center.

Sandra Turner-Handy

Sandra Turner-Handy: ‘You get this foul, rotten egg smell.’ Photograph: courtesy of the Michigan Environmental Council

“It’s the things that you can’t smell that are the most harmful,” said Turner-Handy. “And how do residents report something that they can’t smell?”

In 2015, the incinerator burned more than 650,000 tons of garbage, according to the notice. And since the beginning of that year, the incinerator has been fined for persistently violating an earlier agreement with the state for alleged state violations.

The law center also said in the filing that the incinerator presents a clear example of an environmental justice problem, as a majority of the trash burnt at the facility is imported from outlying communities, which pay $10 a ton less than Detroit to dispose of garbage.

“In short, Detroit is subsidizing other communities throughout the State of Michigan, the Midwest, and Canada to dispose of its garbage at the Incinerator,” the filing said, with the incinerator “located in a neighborhood that is composed mostly of low-income people of color and is heavily overburdened by air pollution”.

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24 Oct

United States Wars, News and Casualties

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Afghan refugee Gul Bibi Shamra, 3, poses for a picture, while playing with other children in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad,

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Robina Haseeb, age 5. Photo taken near Islamabad

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GUARD: Isis could refocus energy on west if it loses ground in Mosul, warns minister

Rory Stewart tells BBC’s Sunday Politics that losing credibility in the Middle East could cause Isis to seek targets elsewhere

Militants from Islamic State could focus on attacking the west if they are pushed out of Mosul, the international development minister, Rory Stewart, has warned, as his department announced £14m in aid to the embattled Iraqi city.

A large contingent of Iraqi troops has been battling Isis for control of Mosul, which the group has held since 2014.

Stewart told BBC’s Sunday Politics that with 30,000 forces taking on a few thousand Isis fighters, it seemed “overwhelmingly likely” that the Iraqi troops would prevail.

“The Islamic State is all about territory – it’s all about holding state. That’s what makes it different to al-Qaeda … if they lose Mosul that will be a very, very significant blow to their credibility,” Stewart said, warning that this could mean the group seeking targets elsewhere.

“There is a serious risk that as it gets squeezed in the Middle East it is going to try and pop up somewhere else, and that could include attacks in Europe and the United States, and they’ve made it clear the

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REU: Turkish army says hits Islamic State, Kurdish YPG targets in Syria

Turkey’s military struck dozens of Islamic State and Kurdish YPG militia targets in Syria over the last 24 hours, depriving both groups of the ability to move around, the army said on Monday, as its operation there entered a third month.

Backed by Turkish tanks, special forces and air strikes, rebels fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army crossed into northern Syria on Aug. 24 and took control of the border town of Jarablus from Islamic State largely unopposed.

In the latest moves in the operation, dubbed “Euphrates Shield”, strikes by “fire support vehicles” hit 27 Islamic State targets and 19 belonging to the YPG, leaving both groups “without maneuvering capacity”, the written statement said.

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REU: Iraqi Kurds claim capture of town in advance on Mosul

Kurdish fighters said they had taken the town of Bashiqa near Mosul from Islamic State on Sunday as coalition forces pressed their offensive against the jihadists’ last stronghold in Iraq.

Masoud Barzani, President of the Iraqi Kurdish region, told U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter that the Kurds had succeeded in liberating Bashiqa from Islamic State.

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters told reporters at the scene that they had entered Bashiqa. Journalists were not being allowed into the town, which lies 12 km (8 miles) northeast of Mosul.

The offensive to take Mosul, by Iraqi and Kurdish forces backed by a U.S.-led coalition, is expected to become the biggest battle in the country since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

The capture of Bashiqa, if confirmed, would mark the removal of one more obstacle on the road to the northern city.

The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, said his own information – while limited – “suggests that President Barzani is right, that there has been a considerable success at Bashiqa”.

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REU: Russia says ‘humanitarian pause’ in Syria’s Aleppo ended on Saturday – agencies

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said an “humanitarian pause” in air strikes on Syria’s Aleppo had ended on Saturday and Moscow was not currently considering a return to the ceasefire, Russian news agencies reported.

Ryabkov said further extensions of the ceasefire would depend on the actions of opposition fighters on the ground.

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REU: Battle for Mosul can shape or break Iraq further

It has taken two years of training a demoralized army, backed up by the air cover and special forces of the world’s greatest powers, for Iraq to mount an offensive to recapture Mosul from Islamic State.

Almost week into the U.S.-led onslaught, many of those running the campaign say the battle to retake the city could be long and hard. But they have also identified what they think is a chink in the jihadists’ armor.

If local fighters in Mosul can be persuaded to drop their allegiance to Islamic State, there is a chance that the battle can be brought to a more speedy conclusion, and that could have major implications for the future of Iraq.

Against a background of splits and rebellions in the Islamic State ranks in Mosul, some opposing commanders believe that a successful attempt to win over those local fighters could mean the battle lasts only weeks rather than months.

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IraqiNews: ISIS arrests 5 former Imams in Mosul on sedition charges

 Nineveh – The Islamic State group arrested five former Imams in the city of Mosul on charges of sedition, Iraqi media outlets reported…

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 Anbar – Mayor of Rutba district in Anbar province, Imad al-Dulaimi, announced on Sunday, that the ISIS attacked the district from three axes,…

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Kirkuk – Kirkuk Police Directorate announced on Sunday, that the joint Iraqi forces managed to kill five members of the ISIS, who tried…

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Nineveh – Al Sumaria News reported on Sunday, that Peshmerga forces recaptured the main road linking between the city of Mosul and Bashiqa…

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MoD reacts towards Taliban’s drone video showing Helmand suicide attack

The Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan (MoD) reacted towards Taliban’s drone video which purportedly shows an attack on a security forces base in southern Helmand province. MoD spokesman Dawlat Waziri said the enemies of the country are attempting to hide their defeat by publishing such videos. He said the Afghan army forces have not detected

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Islamabad reportedly asked Taliban to join peace talks or leave Pakistan

The Taliban leaders based in Pakistan have reportedly been asked to join peace talks or leave the country along with the family members. “The squeeze is continuing on them [the Taliban] and some have already left, or [are] leaving the country,” a senior Pakistani official told VOA in background interview. According to the report, the

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9 ISIS militants killed in air and ground raids in East of Afghanistan

At least 9 loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in separate operations in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. The provincial government media office in a statement said at least 4 militants were killed during an operation by the Afghan forces in Pacher Agam district. In the meantime,

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Iraq Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians


Recent Casualties

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. Warrant Officer Travis R. Tamayo, 32, of Brownsville, Texas, died Sept. 16 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in a non-combat-related incident. The incident is under investigation. Tamayo was assigned to the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Iraq Occupation Confirmed U.S Casualties – Since June 1, 2009

Afghanistan Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians


Recent Casualties

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced today the death of one soldier and one Department of Army civilian employee who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Sgt. Douglas J. Riney, 26, of Fairview, Illinois, and Michael G. Sauro, 40, of McAlester, Oklahoma, died Oct. 20 in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds received from encountering hostile enemy forces.

Riney was assigned to the Support Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Sauro was assigned to the Defense Ammunition Center, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, McAlester, Oklahoma.

Staff Sgt. Adam S. Thomas, 31, of Takoma Park, Maryland, died Oct. 4 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, from injuries caused by an improvised explosive device that exploded during dismounted operations. The incident is under investigation.

Afghanistan Occupation Confirmed U.S Casualties – Since June 1, 2009

PTSD: National Center for PTSD

PTSD Care for Veterans, Military, and Families

23 Oct

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


Despite UNESCO resolution: Israeli settlers continue entering Al-Aqsa, daily

PNN/ Jerusalem/
Some 135 Israeli settlers on Sunday morning have entered the yards of Al-Aqsa mosque compound even with the UNESCO announcing it a purely Islamic site.

The settlers, going into the mosque in small groups and heavily guarded by special Israeli forces, entered it from the Mughrabi gate.

Right-wing Israeli organizations called by intensification of settler break-ins into Al-Aqsa, especially during Jewish holidays, to “confirm” the Jewishness of the place, especially after the UNESCO resolution, which called the proclaimed Temple Mount with its Islamic name, Al-Aqsa mosque and Al-Haram Al-Sharif.

 According to Israeli narrative, the site is considered Judaism’s holiest site. In Islam, it counts as the first Qiblah (direction) and third holiest place.

The initial vote was held one week ago, where 26 countries abstained from the vote, including Serbia and Turkmenistan, while 24 countries supported the initiative and six voted against it.

Three days later, UNESCO said it might hold a new vote after Mexico had changed its position. However, upon receiving heavy criticism, UNESCO decided to call off the new vote while Mexico made an official statement announcing its changed position.

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For decades, children from Réunion island in the Indian Ocean were removed to repopulate rural areas of France

Jessie Moenner

Jessie Moenner, pictured in the Réunion capital, was one of many hundreds of children taken from their families to live in France. Photograph: Vidhi Doshi

Jean-Thierry Cheyroux, 56, doesn’t remember his mother’s face or the name of the road he lived on as a child, but when he sees the volcanoes from the aircraft window, for the first time in decades he feels at home. The last time he made this journey was in 1967; he was seven years old and flying in the opposite direction – from Réunion Island, where he was born, to France, where he now lives.

“I remember being on that plane as a child, and being so scared that I was crying. The stewardess had to take me to see the cockpit to calm me down,” he recalls now in a park in the capital, Saint-Denis, less than an hour’s drive from his childhood home.

His older sister, Jessie Moenner, sitting next to him, adds: “He was crying and screaming because he wanted to jump off the plane. He didn’t want to go to France.”

Cheyroux and his two sisters were among more than 2,000 children removed from the tropical island between 1963 and 1982 as part of a French government programme to repopulate increasingly deserted areas of rural postwar France. Cheyroux now believes he was forcibly taken from his mother, Marie-Thérese Abrousse, who had three children out of wedlock and was trying to raise them alone in the impoverished neighbourhood of Coeur-Saignant.

“She cleaned houses for white people on the island,” Moenner recalls. “She had dark skin and almond eyes. She was very secretive. She was a woman who had suffered a lot.”

The people of Réunion are descendants of slaves brought there by French colonisers to work on sugar plantations. The island is a departement, essentially an overseas territory of France. In the 1960s, the MP for Réunion, Michel Debré, set up a scheme to move children from the island to mainland France. His government promised islanders that their children would be sent to the best schools and be adopted by loving, rich French parents who could provide for them in a way that most creole people could not. Residents of Réunion spoke of the red government trucks that would roam the streets after school picking up children; and parents being forced to initial or fingerprint papers that they couldn’t read.

Cheyroux’s return to the island last week and his search for answers coincided with the first meeting of a committee appointed by the French government to document the stories of Réunion’s lost generation, almost 15 years after the scandal was brought to light by Jean-Jacques Martial, who tried to sue the French government for €1bn in 2002 for “kidnapping and sequestration of minors, roundup and deportation”.

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Thousands of leaflets are distributed in camp telling people to leave as charities warn of danger to children there

French police post the official document that announces the dismantling of the ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais. Closing the camp is expected to take a week.

French police post the official document that announces the dismantling of the ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais. Closing the camp is expected to take a week. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

French authorities are expected to start demolishing the refugee camp at Calais early on Monday despite concerns about the safety of children and vulnerable adults living there.

Sixty buses are due to remove 3,000 people to accommodation centres across France, with the exercise to be repeated again on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thousands of leaflets are being distributed in the camp this weekend, telling those living there that they must leave.

The planned demolition comes despite British charities and MPs telling the French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, they have “very serious worries” about the security and wellbeing of many of the thousands of people – including an estimated 1,300 unaccompanied children – living in the camp.

“We fear that the resources currently being deployed and the proposed responses are insufficient to ensure the effective protection of the most vulnerable, notably unaccompanied children,” said a letter from signatories including Save the Children, the Refugee Council and the International Rescue Committee UK, as well as 60 MPs and several peers. The letter said there was a lack of clear information from French authorities about the future of the camp’s inhabitants.

The letter asks for all unaccompanied minors to be found shelter before the demolition starts, for a designated “safe zone” to be created in the camp during the dismantlement, and that anyone eligible to join family in Britain be identified.

Unicef UK’s deputy executive director Lily Caprani said: “Once the demolition starts there are no second chances. If it results in a single child going missing, or forces them into the hands of smugglers and traffickers, then we will have failed them.”

Closing the camp is expected to take a week.

Cazeneuve has pledged that all remaining migrants at the site will be given “dignified” shelter after the camp is cleared.

The first child refugees from Calais arrived in the UK on Saturday night under a government promise to help unaccompanied minors announced in May, and more are expected to follow on Sunday.

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Donald Trump is a vile misogynist – but he’s not the only one

Victory for Hillary Clinton will not be enough to defeat the torrent of sexism unleashed by this US presidential campaign
Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally on 21 October.
Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on 21 October. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

By Jonathan Freedland

Four years ago Mitt Romney became a global laughing stock when he talked proudly about “binders full of women”. It was a funny phrase, no doubt about it. But watch the clip now, and it’s hard not to feel sympathy for the hapless Romney. He was recalling his spell as governor of Massachusetts and his discovery on taking office that too many senior posts were filled by men. He told his aides to encourage more female applicants, and they duly returned with “binders full of women”, a move that eventually led Romney to have the most gender-balanced senior team of all 50 US state governors. But he worded it badly, so he became an object of derision.

How long ago that seems now. While the 2012 campaign’s idea of a sexist outrage was a poor turn of phrase hinting at tokenism and condescension, 2016 has seen the nominee of a major party exposed as a perpetrator of sexual assault. Recorded on tape admitting that his modus operandi is to force himself on women, push his tongue down their throats without their consent and to “grab them by the pussy”, Donald Trump has since been confronted by at least 10 women who have testified that this was indeed his method – and that what he said into that hot mic in 2005 was the truth.

But we didn’t need to hear that recording to know Trump is an aggressive misogynist. His serial outrages are well known.He has called women dogs and pigs; he humiliated the winner of his Miss Universe beauty pageant for gaining weight, forcing her to exercise in front of the cameras; he rates women’s bodies out of 10; he dismissed Republican rival Carla Fiorina on the grounds that no one would vote for “that face”; he suggested TV anchor Megyn Kelly was hostile because “she had blood coming out of her wherever”. Even when seeking to rebut the charges of sexual assault, he couldn’t help himself. His defence amounted to: “Have you seen what these women look like? I don’t think so.”

This is such a swift degeneration from the public mores that America and the wider world had arrived at – and which had seemed steady and settled – that it can be hard to take in. It’s not that long ago that George W Bush received a global, and deserved, scolding for the unsolicited shoulder massage he fleetingly administered to Angela Merkel, which triggered a recoil reflex she could not conceal. Now you have a succession of credible accusers saying a would-be president thinks nothing of seizing women by the genitals.

As Michelle Obama put it in perhaps the most powerful speech of the presidential campaign: “We thought all of that was ancient history, didn’t we?”

Of course, that was a comforting delusion. You only have to read a fraction of the accusations of appalling sexual harassment and abuse of power levelled at Roger Ailes – the former overlord of Fox News, now reborn as an adviser to (who else?) Donald Trump – to know that such behaviour never stopped. Glance at the experiences shared online by EverydaySexism or under the notokay hashtag, and you know that men abusing women did not end in the 1970s.

Nevertheless the standard society set for itself aimed higher. Publicly, it deemed certain behaviour and attitudes unacceptable. Of course, the new standard was not always respected. But the line was drawn in a new place.

This is what Trump threatens. The way he both talks and acts seeks to roll back those 25 years of progress, sanctioning language and conduct that many had hoped was banished. The hope is that, if the polls are right and Trump is crushed next month, this will come to be seen as an aberration, allowing America to return to the more civil, more respectful habits it thought it had entrenched. The gloomier prospect is that the painstaking work of the last generation will have to be done all over again.

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22 Oct

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


Globally, last year was the deadliest on record for environmental campaigners. States and investors must take steps to tackle this human rights crisis

Lenca indigenous women protest against the murder of Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres

Lenca indigenous women protest against the murder of the Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres in March 2016. Photograph: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

The author is UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders

As demand for food, fuel and commodities cranks up pressure on land, companies are all too often striking deals with state officials without the consent of the people who live on it. But the stakes are high for anyone who tries to resist this pressure. Last year was the deadliest on record in terms of defending land, forests and rivers against industries like mining, hydro-electricity, agribusiness and logging. According to Global Witness, more than three people were killed each week in 2015 by police, private security or hired assassins.

At the UN general assembly on Friday, I will present a report setting out the vital steps that governments, companies and investors must take to tackle and end this hidden crisis.

Attacks on human rights defenders are a global problem, playing out across continents. It is a cruel irony that the men and women who are brave enough to fight for the protection of our planet are being assailed, threatened or criminalised. Governments rarely investigate the murders of environmental defenders or punish those responsible.

Take Michelle Campos, for example. She says her father, grandfather and school teacher were executed in front of their family and friends in an attack that drove 3,000 indigenous Filipinos from their homes. All three had protested against the destructive impact of mining on their land. Rich in coal, gold and nickel, the region of Mindanao in the Philippines is one of the most dangerous places in the world for environmental activism, with 25 deaths in 2015 alone.

A new approach is needed, to tackle the root causes of the problem rather than its symptoms. Once a project is under way it can be hard to dampen disputes over land and the environment. Authorities and businesses are eager to see a return on their investment and wield more power than local communities, who are often marginalised in the first place.

My report advocates a preventative approach, one that puts communities at the centre of decisions about the use of their land. Consulting people at the outset will make them less likely to encounter threats further down the line. Their input and expertise will shape projects, making them more sustainable, less destructive and ultimately more profitable for the communities, businesses and states involved, as tensions and violence are prevented.

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Tens of thousands of prisoners across the country withheld their labor – for which they are paid as little as 17 cents an hour – in support of inmates’ rights

A solidarity demonstration at Merced jail on 15 October for a nationwide strike of prison inmates.

A solidarity demonstration at Merced jail on 15 October for a nationwide strike of prison inmates. Photograph: IWOC

Richard Castillo has not yet been convicted of the crime – evading police in a vehicle – of which he stands accused.

But he has been imprisoned since February 2013, including 12 months in solitary confinement. He still has a bullet lodged in his leg from being shot during his arrest, and his hand was broken in 10 places in a raid by guards on his accommodation block in June.

His son, who turned 10 a few days after his father was imprisoned, is now nearly 14. His four-year-old daughter cries for her father every day, his wife Victoria said.

On 9 September – the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison riot – Castillo joined tens of thousands of prisoners across the country in a general strike for inmates’ rights, especially against forced labor, which protesters describe as tantamount to modern-day slavery.

The strike involved inmates in dozens of prisons in 22 states across the country, according to the Incarcerated Workers’ Organizing Committee (IWOC), who helped organize the strike, and was coordinated using prison visits by family members and advocates and on illicit calls between inmates at different prisons on smuggled cellphones.

Another inmate who joined the strike was Tony. He spoke to the Guardian over a contraband cellphone from a South Carolina correctional facility, on the condition that his real name and the name of the prison not be used for fear of retribution by prison guards.

Tony described himself as “part of the prison resistance movement”.

“Restoring prisoners’ human rights – that’s our objective,” he said. Before going on strike lost him the position, he worked as a wood-scraper, making chairs and tables. At his prison, Tony said, prisoners are forced to work for no pay, sometimes in unsafe conditions – handling chemicals or sawing wood without goggles or the correct masks.

Working conditions can be unsafe, and there is no compensation in case of injury. When woodshop workers asked for face masks to protect their lungs against the sawdust, they were given cheap paper surgical masks, Tony said.

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Deia Schlosberg and Lindsey Grayzel face felony charges that first amendment advocates say are part of a growing number of attacks on freedom of the press

Lindsey Grayzel, an independent film-maker from Portland, Oregon, was arrested and jailed on 11 October while filming at a pipeline protest in Washington state.

Lindsey Grayzel, an independent film-maker from Portland, Oregon, was arrested and jailed on 11 October while filming at a pipeline protest in Washington state. Photograph: Ben Grayzel

Two documentary film-makers are facing decades in prison for recording US oil pipeline protests, with serious felony charges that first amendment advocates say are part of a growing number of attacks on freedom of the press.

The controversial prosecutions of Deia Schlosberg and Lindsey Grayzel are moving forward after a judge in North Dakota rejected “riot” charges filed against Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman for her high-profile reporting at the Dakota Access pipeline protests.

But authorities in other parts of North Dakota and in Washington state have continued to target other film-makers over their recent reporting on similar demonstrations, raising concerns that the lesser-known journalists are not getting the same kind of public support and national attention.

Schlosberg, a New York-based film-maker, is facing three felony conspiracy charges for filming protesters on 11 October at a TransCanada Keystone Pipeline site in Pembina County in North Dakota, with prosecutors alleging that she was “recruited to record the criminal activity”.

The 36-year-old – who produced a documentary called How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change – could face 45 years in prison. US whistleblower Edward Snowden recently tweeted his support of Schlosberg, writing: “This reporter is being prosecuted for covering the North Dakota oil protests. For reference, I face a mere 30 years.”

Photo published for Documentary Filmmaker Faces Up to 45 Years in Prison for Covering Pipeline Protest - The Ring of...

Documentary Filmmaker Faces Up to 45 Years in Prison for Covering Pipeline Protest – The Ring of…

In the same week that activist and celebrity Shailene Woodley was arrested while protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, a documentary producer was arrested at yet another pipeline protest and charged…

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