By Caroline Amaral Coutinho email@example.com
Posted: Saturday 24 March 2018 | 11:09:24 PM
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
A black, bisexual woman, born in one of the poorest slums in Rio de Janeiro, Marielle Franco became a symbol of the social struggle in the country after her brutal and mysterious murder on March 14.
Her second death – that of her honor, her principles, and her struggles – was caused by the dissemination of news in the social media, which tries to minimize the importance of the crime against the human rights activist.
One of the so-called fake news defamation stories against Marielle alleges that she married a well-known drug trafficker in the country, Marcinho VP. Others claimed that the counselor was using drugs or that she had had her daughter when she was 16 years old – all fake, as evidenced by several Brazilian data-checking websites.
On an even more sinister occasion, a federal judge at the Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice caused controversy by criticizing Marielle based on the false news that the councilor was voted for by members of the Comando Vermelho faction. The judge said in response to a Facebook post: “The point is that Marielle was not just a fighter”; she was engaged to bandits! She was elected by the Vermelho Command and failed to meet “commitments” made to her supporters.
The Free Brazil Movement, a right-wing opposition group known for disseminating sensationalist information, used the news about the judge’s baseless accusation in a web publication entitled “Federal judge breaks with the PSOL (Marielle’s party) narrative and claims that Marielle was involved with bandits and is a “common corpse”,” with more than 40,000 “likes” before she was killed.
Other representatives of the extreme right also mobilized to spread lies about the representative of the PSOL party (Partido Socialismo y Libertad). Among them, Alberto Fraga, deputy of the “Bancada da Bala” (parliamentary front for the right of access of civilians to bear arms), published last Friday on Twitter an image of defamation with false information about Marielle’s alleged relationship with criminals to question the action of the police in crime. As a result of the criticism, the Member had to withdraw the publication.
But the online lying machine could not contain the manifestations of pain and solidarity with Marielle. The day after her murder, tens of thousands of people from different parts of Brazil, as well as from Portugal and New York, took to the streets in repudiation of what had happened, according to G1 data.
In addition, around 50 members of the European Union’s Human Rights Council requested the suspension of negotiations with the Mercosur economic bloc. and 100 UN entities denounced Brazil for violence against social activists in the country.
Marielle Franco received the fifth most votes as a candidate in the city of Rio de Janeiro from the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL). She was also a sociologist and political leader in the defense of human rights. The councilor was shot dead on the night of Wednesday, March 14, leaving an event on the role of black women in politics.
Many more images may be viewed here:
The march was so big it was impossible to tell at any one point how many there were. If I’d had a helicopter, perhaps… Tens of thousands were reported. Here’s the LA TIMES report:
Tens of thousands gather in downtown Los Angeles for March for Our Lives rally
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke. Here’s a video of his speech:
Follow Their Lead
Young people across America are showing extraordinary leadership in the movement to end gun violence — and it was a privilege to join tens of thousands downtown on Saturday for the March for Our Lives.
We may be hearing lot of talk about the power of the Second Amendment, but our young people are showing how powerful the First Amendment makes us — because they are unstoppable when they speak up and speak out. This day will be written about in the history books, and their children will read about a generation that stood up to the gun lobby and said, ‘Enough is Enough’ and ‘Never Again.’
We are witnessing a new layer of young people, quite massive, being drawn into activity, many for the first time in their lives. And they’re coming out for a very practical and simple reason. These mass shootings and the media’s promotion of these killings have got students afraid for their very lives, and with very good reason! So these young people are acting from the most universal material interest: the right to be alive.
DEMOCRACY NOW covered the entire march. Here’s their four-hour report:
A culture shift is opening up in the country with popular revulsion against violence taking various interesting and surprising new forms. Though posed, for now, as a response to the school massacres, it represents a broader turn against violence, it seems to me. Look at these pleasantly surprising headlines as examples of the shift:
Citigroup Sets Restrictions on Gun Sales by Business Partners
YouTube to Ban Videos Promoting Gun Sales
It’s of course much easier to organize a protest when the authorities are all in favor of what you are doing, as in this case. The cops were on good behavior. I’m sure no one was arrested. A handful of right-wing Trumpsters had a counter-rally, but the protest was well-monitored by its own people. The cops were there, too, but the counter-event was small and basically uneventful. This reflects the evident split among the wealth and powerful who control the United States today.
The dominant mass media (NY Times, LA Times, NPR, etc) are all enthusiastic about these mobilizations. They hope to steer them into support for electing Democrats in the fall. Given the absence of any broad left electoral alternative to the two dominant parties, that strategy probably will prove effective, certainly in the short term.
This kind of comment by some government officials and the enthusiastic reporting we see in the dominant media means that the parameters for discussion of these issues is now broader, much broader than it’s ever been. And that follows the stream of shootings at schools in the US which seem to be on hold, for the moment.
After the ‘March for Our Lives,’ Student Activists Focus on Midterm Elections
Organizers of the movement for stricter gun laws plan to travel across the U.S. and register young voters for November elections
It’s quite striking, to see the way the dominant media is more and more openly partisan in its support for the Democrats and in its red-baiting campaign against Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. So who do the Trumpsters watch? I guess FOX NEWS, RUSH LIMBAUGH and the like. I rarely look at such media. But there are millions of people who do get their news through such vehicles, and, as Trump’s election demonstrated, many of them do get out and vote.
Particularly impressive was the care and consciousness with which the organizers made sure to include Black Lives Matter and other Black activists to speak prominently from the platform, in Washington, and in other cities. And they understood the importance of preventing efforts to pit Black against white in the movement against gun violence.
When asked what the biggest mistake the media had made in covering the Parkland students’ work, student leader David Hogg told Axios, “Not giving black students a voice. My school is about 25% black, but the way we’re covered doesn’t reflect that.” (According to the Broward County School District’s website, around 40% of the students who attend schools in the district are black. Individual school statistics were not available for MSD on Broward County’s website.)
There’s a long history of black teenagers fighting for gun control as part of the Black Lives Matter movement’s efforts to draw attention to police brutality. Activists like Kenidra Woods, Nza-Ari Khepra, Clifton Kinnie, and Parkland student Nick Joseph have been working on the issue in Parkland, Chicago, and Ferguson, Missouri. And they have wisdom to share from their time as activists.
While I didn’t see any literature from the MARCH FOR OUR LIVES in Spanish, the event was very favorably reported in LA OPINION, our local Spanish-language daily here in Los Angeles, as well as in HOY, the free paper which the LA TIMES gives out to compete with LA OPINION. Here’s an example, one of many:
THOUSANDS MARCH FOR GUN CONTROL IN CALIFORNIA
Miles de personas marchan en California a favor del control de armas
Los participantes pidieron medidas efectivas para evitar que más gente siga muriendo en tiroteos
Six of the most powerful orators at the March for Our Lives
Another element which hasn’t been explored much, in the English-language media, is the ethnicity of the best-known of the young student leaders, Emma González, though it is beginning to be discussed in the Spanish-language media. Some of these profiles are sympathetic, others very hostile.
As well as in the Cuban media at home on the island.
Never again! The students’ cry against guns in the United States!
The pro-gun right-wing is starting to attack this anti-violence movement and its leadership.
No, Emma Gonzalez Isn’t Tearing Up the Constitution in That Viral Video
Fake photo of Parkland shooting survivor tearing up US constitution is spread online:
Whatever the reasons, a decline in gun culture in this country can only be a good thing for society. Some stores which have sold guns in the past are beginning to have second thoughts. Some have stopped selling guns. For them, perhaps, because changing attitudes make it bad for business. Examples:
Citigroup Sets Restrictions on Gun Sales by Business Partners
Whatever the reasons, a decline in gun culture in this country can only be a good thing for society.
The historic gun culture (cowboys, John Wayne, etc.) of this country, whose founders and subsequent rulers have kept control through violence since the country’s foundation. It can’t be ended in a day or a week or a year. Profound social change is necessary to make that possible. But every step we can take now is a move in the right direction.
Ask yourself, does any private citizen need an AR-I5 at home? Such a device has nothing to do with self-defense. It’s ONLY purpose is to kill people.
Below you will find some photos I took, mostly at the march on Saturday, a few Sunday morning of some posters I’d picked up at the end, and the front pages of the Sunday NY TIMES and LA TIMES. For years I’ve made it a practice at such demonstrations to collect discarded posters to donate to the Center for the Study of Political Graphics.
It’s a remarkable institution which collects and mounts theme-based exhibitions of political protest posters. I’ve turned over many more since my first donation of about a thousand posters some 20 years ago. You can, AND SHOULD, donate any old posters (young ones also accepted). US residents can even get a tax deduction. More importantly, if you have posters and they are sitting in the garage not being seen by anyone, they could get mildewed and eventually will only be good to be thrown out. Check them out here: http://www.politicalgraphics.org/
Los Angeles, California
March 26, 2018
The following pictures were almost entirely taken by me on a Samsung Galaxy S7 cell phone. A few with me were taken by people at the march who kindly took pictures of me with other people. I hope you will enjoy these images. There are twenty-eight.
By Juventud Rebelde firstname.lastname@example.org
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
WASHINGTON, March 24.- Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Washington and 800 other U.S. cities on Saturday in a massive protest called the March for Our Lives, in protest against continued acts of armed violence in schools and public places across the country.
The New York Times emphasized that the protesters marched “outraged by a recent massacre in a South Florida school and energized by the students who survived… demanding action against armed violence.
The largest and most influential marches took place in Washington, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, and Houston.
In Parkland, Florida, where a former student killed 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a firearm, the tragedy that triggered the march, less than a mile from where the shooting occurred, participants chanted, “Enough is enough! and “Stop it!».
In Washington, many posters called for “Never again!”. “Books, not guns,” said one of the banners in New York’s Central Park, where Paul McCartney remembered his friend John Lennon, who died in that city, a victim of gun violence.
Participants in the March for Our Lives call for changes in laws that up until now allow for the relatively easy purchase of weapons, as well as a ban on the sale of automatic rifles and increased security controls in schools.
The influential National Rifle Association (NRA) has a great weight on U.S. lawmakers who have refused to change the laws.
In Washington, protesters marched with photographs of students and teachers killed in school shootings and chanted slogans like “No more guns! and “No more NRA!” reported the British BBC.
About 69 percent of Americans believe firearms laws should be tightened, according to a new Associated Press and Public Affairs Research Center poll.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
Author: Gabriela Ávila Gómez | email@example.com
20 March 2018 21:03:48
Place of birth: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date of birth: 27 July 1979
Date of Death: March 14, 2018
Occupation at the time of her death: Sociologist and councillor in Rio de Janeiro
Political affiliation: Socialism and Freedom Party
Alma Mater: Catholic University PUC and Federal University Fluminense (master’s degree)
Photo: Taken from TN.COM
“Another murder of a young person who may enter the Military Police account. Matheus Melo was leaving the church. How many more will it take for this to end?” That was the last message on the social networking site Twitter from Rio de Janeiro city councilor Marielle Franco, who paradoxically became the next victim just 24 hours later.
Criticizing the military intervention ordered a month ago by the de facto president, Michel Temer, the activist had emerged from an act of defense for black women and was riding in a car when the shooting began.
According to the Brazilian daily O Globo, the goal was to reach the councilor, who was shot five times. The driver also died in the accident and only one of the advisors who accompanied her survived.
The event caused a stir in Brazil, as she was a woman respected and admired by Brazilians for being a fervent advocate for social causes. There have been several marches and mobilizations called by political parties and social movements under the slogans “Luto e luta” (Mourning becomes fighting), “Murdering police, they will not silence us” or “Warrior woman who died for the people”. Demonstrations were also held in Argentina.
Marielle Franco was a woman, young, black, a favela woman, but she managed to make all these elements – still discriminatory for many – her driving force in the struggle, and from every possible platform she dedicated herself to raising her voice against racism, machismo and the abuses committed by the police in Rio de Janeiro.
The activist was born and raised in La Maré, one of the most violent slum complexes in Rio. At the age of 18 she became pregnant and dropped out of school, but later she attended night classes. Thanks to a scholarship, she obtained a degree in Sociology from the Catholic University PUC, one of the most prestigious in the country. She also held a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Federal University of Fluminense.
One of the events that marked her in her youth and that defined her later line of work was the death of her best friend due to a stray bullet in the Maré; this led her to work on the denunciation of violence within the favelas.
In 2006, she became parliamentary assistant to Marcelo Freixo, He was an emblematic deputy who fought terror unfounded by militias in the favelas. Years later, Franco headed the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights and Citizenship of the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro.
At the time of her death, Franco was a member of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL), and on this political platform she became the fifth most votes for municipal legislator in 2016.
Both the councilor and the PSOL were among the biggest critics of the military intervention ordered by Temer.
In this context, Franco became the rapporteur of a commission set up in the Rio municipal chamber to report on possible abuses committed by the military in this intervention.
She gained respect and admiration for the ideas she promoted: that of a greater presence of women, especially black women, in politics, the defence of human rights and her denunciations of the abuses committed under the pretext of stopping the violence in Rio.
In the palace of the Municipal Chamber, where the activist’s remains were veiled, the steps were covered with flowers and banners.
Many organizations and personalities around the world have called on the Brazilian authorities to explain this brutal act, which they describe as a “political assassination”.
In the midst of the investigation, based on the hypothesis of premeditated murder, it emerged that the ammunition that ended Marielle Franco’s life was part of lots sold to the Federal Police of Brasilia in 2006. This fact that opens another discussion and raises the question: was it the activist murdered by the police?
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
According to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the surprise announcement of a summit in May between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to address the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula marks a “historic milestone” on the road to peace in the region.
Through a presidential spokesperson, Moon declared this through the South Korean delegation that traveled to Washington after the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang, after the U.S. president agreed to hold the meeting proposed by Kim.
The German and Japanese governments described the event as “a success story of international pressure,” but were cautious in describing the likely consequences of such a meeting.
For their part, China and Russia, both powers with veto power in the UN Security Council, reasoned that this is “a step in the right direction”, after advocating a diplomatic solution to the conflict throughout last year. This was in open contradiction to Washington’s position, which led to the imposing of sanctions against North Korea and even to agitation for the military option.
Beijing, Pyongyang’s main ally in the region, said through a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry that the proposed major meeting is a way out of the conflict by means of a “double suspension”, in which Seoul and Washington would have to stop their military maneuvers in exchange for North Korea stopping its nuclear tests.
It is no secret to anyone that South Korea is full of people, including leaders, who object to their country’s neocolonial relationship with the United States. Many people even admire, although they do not applaud, the North Korea’s extreme defense of national sovereignty in the context of its tense relations with the US superpower. They deplore the contrasting situation of a virtual occupation of South Korea.
The invitation extended by the President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to a dialogue would be the first meeting in history between the leaders of the United States and North Korea. It includes the offer to suspend the testing of weapons and the discussion of issues related to the North Korean nuclear program.
With Trump’s acceptance, the inter-Korean thaw of the Winter Olympics, the announcement of the summit in April, and now the dialogue at the highest level are closed. This is in stark contrast with the climax of the escalation that until last year confronted Kim and Trump. It raised tensions in the region and the world following Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests that led to heavy UN Security Council sanctions on Washington’s initiative.
It is clear that if Kim’s meeting with Trump is held in May after the inter-Korean summit, humanity will have taken a significant step towards a serious and complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Many factors and people who have contributed to this goal must be recognized, including the role played by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who will be in power for a year in May. He has made efforts to bring the country closer to its northern neighbor ever since he took office. South Korea is practically a gigantic US military base. Washington has no less than 30,000 troops of its own in an extremely tense relationship with North Korea. Using its status as the world’s only superpower, the United States systematically threatens the DPRK with all kinds of international sanctions.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that the South Korean leader, perhaps the main driving force behind the rapprochement between Washington and Pyongyang, invited Trump to support the effort. He predicted that “he [Trump] will receive praise from the people, not only from the two Koreas but also from those who want peace throughout the world for accepting Kim Jong-un’s invitation,” according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap
What did not fit in well with the peace-friendly environment on the Korean peninsula was the announcement by the South Korean Ministry of Defense that the United States and South Korea will conduct new military exercises on April 1.
However, anyone who objectively analyzes developments on the Korean peninsula in the light of history’s lessons will have to recognize that the unshakable firmness of its principles with which the Korean communists have defended the independence of this Asian nation as the only way to curb the unbridled appetites of U.S. imperialism today.
March 26, 2018.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator