(UCBerkeleyEvents) Host Harry Kreisler welcomes writer and journalist Tariq Ali for a discussion of Pakistan and it relations with the United States. He places the present crisis in its historical context exploring the origins of the Pakistani state, the failure to forge a national identity, the inability and unwillingness of Pakistani leaders to address the country’s poverty and inequality, and the role of the military in the country’s spiral toward violence and disunity. In this context, Tariq Ali highlights the significance of the U.S. relationship throughout Pakistan’s history and he analyzes current US policy and it implications for stability in the region.
(guardian.co.uk) Protest groups claim Facebook has taken down dozens of pages in a purge of activists’ accounts
Activists are claiming that dozens of politically linked Facebook accounts have been removed or suspended by the company in the last 12 hours.
The list of suspended pages include those for the anti cuts group UK Uncut, and pages that were created by students during last December’s university occupations.
A list posted on the UCL occupation blog site says the Goldsmiths Fights Back, Slade Occupation, Open Brikbeck, and Tower Hamlet Greens pages as no longer functioning.
It is not yet known how many websites have been affected in total or why they are not working. Facebook is currently looking into the issue.
Guy Aitchison, 26, an administrator for one of the non-functioning pages said, “I woke up this morning to find that a lot of the groups we’d been using for anti-cuts activity had disappeared. The timing of it seems suspicious given a general political crackdown because of the royal wedding.”
“It seems that dozens of other groups have also been affected, including some of the local UK Uncut groups.”
Earlier, it was reported that the Metropolitan police had invoked special powers to deter anarchists in central London ahead of the royal wedding.
Police threw a section 60 cordon around the whole of the royal wedding zone on Friday morning to respond to anarchists masking up at a small gathering in Soho Square in central London.
The section 60 order allows police officers to stop and search anyone without discretion. The police also imposed section 60a, which gives them the power to remove masks and balaclavas from anyone within the area.
Scotland Yard said the decision was made after individuals were seen putting on masks in Soho Square where a group of anarchists had gathered.
The Guardian is awaiting a comment from Facebook.
(freedompress.org.uk) After the raids on squats and social centres in London this morning [see here] ahead of the Royal wedding, and Brighton earlier in the week, the police this evening have arrested at least three people we know of as a precaution against trouble at tomorrow’s royal wedding. Chris Knight, the outspoken and eccentric academic who has been providing the press with much of the coverage against the royal wedding, [see here] is one along with two others.
Another, known affectionately as The Executioner because of his habit of wearing a full executioners costume on anti-monarchist demonstrations, was arrested for apparently ‘conspiracy to cause a breach of the peace’. Given that breach of the peace is a situation rather than a criminal act, it will be hard for the police to justify detaining someone in prison for the duration of the royal wedding on such a basis.
Breach of the peace has been defined in law as needing to be ‘imminent’ to legally justify holding someone against their will. As far as we are aware no-one has been charged with a criminal act.
The raids this morning of several squatted social centres around London provided no evidence that anything was being planned by any anarchists for the royal wedding. The pre-emptive arrests tonight of known individuals seems to be the second phase of a political policing operation to ensure the ceremony passes off without opposition.
(anonnews.org) Sony’s Playstation Network, its online service for Playstation 3 and its Playstation Portable consoles, suffered from a major outage today; which is on going as of this writting. According to Son’ys blog, the interruption in service may last into the long weekend – for at least another “full day or two”. Sony released a statement through its EU blog, saying that the network outage may be a result of “targeted behaviour by an outside party”, brining in the possibility of cyberattacks. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the message has since been removed.
While it could be the case that other Anons have acted by themselves AnonOps wa not related to this incident and takes no responsiblity for it. A more likely explination is that Sony is taking advantage of Anonymous’ previous ill-will towards the company to distract users from the fact the outage is accutally an internal problem with the companies servers.
Sony is incompetent.
(Democracy Now!) Military officials have announced alleged whistleblower U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, who is suspected of leaking classified U.S. documents to WikiLeaks, has been cleared to be held as a medium security prisoner at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he was just transferred. Up until last week, Manning was held in 23-hour a day solitary confinement at a Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia. His treatment at Quantico was condemned by Amnesty International and led to a probe by a torture expert at the United Nations. We speak to Salon.com legal blogger and constitutional law attorney Glenn Greenwald, who revealed in December that Manning was being subjected to detention conditions likely to inflict long-term psychological injuries.
(Huffington Post) Has Wisconsin finally come to Arizona?
In an extraordinary uprising at the Tucson Unified School District board meeting last night, Ethnic Studies/Mexican American Studies (MAS) students chained themselves to the board members chairs and derailed the introduction of a controversial resolutionthat would have terminated their acclaimed program’s core curriculum accreditation.
“Just like the people of Wisconsin took a stand and said ‘enough is enough’, the youth of Tucson are standing up and letting it be known that they are fed up with these attacks on their education and on their future,” said Sal Baldenegro, Jr., a TUSD Ethnic Studies alum and member of the Southern Arizona Unity Coalition. “They have been under relentless assault by Tom Horne, John Huppenthal, and by the Arizona State Legislature, and they have had enough.”
Popular Tucson blogger and activist David Abie Morales called it a “field trip for civics and democracy in action.”
“Nobody was listening to us, especially the board,” said MAS high school student and UNIDOS activist Lisette Cota. “We were fed up. It may have been drastic but the only way was to chain ourselves to the boards’ chairs.”
While hundreds of supporters packed the district meeting room in a celebratory fashion, nine MAS students and UNIDOS activists defied security officers and literally took over the board members’ places minutes before the meeting was scheduled to begin.
“I’m very moved by their passion and commitment to maintain these courses and curriculum,” said MAS teacher Sally Rusk. “They’re brilliant. This is not a one-time event. It looks like they’re not going to stop until they have an impact on this decision.”