national liberation

Cuba and Venezuela condemned on November 11 the repression by Moroccan forces against Sahrawi people in El-Aaiun, the Venezuelan News Agency (AVN) said that day.

Cuban and Venezuela’s ambassadors to Algeria, Hector Michel Mujica and Eumelio Caballero, condemned the attack by Morrocco, which is illegally occupying Western Sahara. The ambassadors are also the accredited diplomatic representatives of their nations to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), the independence of which is being denied by Morocco.

World renowned novelist and global justice activist Arundhati Roy is facing escalating threats of violence in India because of her support for justice in Kashmir — the disputed region partitioned between India and Pakistan and occupied by military forces in the area India controls.

Roy faced sedition charges for comments she made about Kashmir at a public meeting in October. The government has since indicated it would not pursue the charge.

The National Popular Resistance Front of Honduras (FNRP) received the annual International Herbert Anaya Human Rights Prize in El Salvador, awarded by human rights organisations. The FNRP struggles against the US-backed Honduran dictatorship that came to power in a military coup last year.

Gloria Anaya, the oldest daughter of the slain human rights activist for whom the award is named, told Prensa Latina the award ceremony took place during the closing of the Seventh International Congress on Human Rights at the University of El Salvador.

Men in uniform, mainly young soldiers holding AK 47 rifles, are seen all around northern Sri Lanka, from Mannar in north-west to Mullaitivu, the last battlefield in the north-east. In Mullaitivu, there are said to be more soldiers than civilians.

This is the situation in the largely Tamil north of the island one-and-a-half-years after the end of the Sri Lankan Army’s war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed by the SLA in the last months of the conflict.

More than 100 Palestine solidarity activists gathered in Melbourne over October 29-31 for Australia's first national BDS conference.

Palestinian civil society groups called for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel five years ago. The BDS campaign demands an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the dismantlement of the separation wall in the West Bank, equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

When a newly established group, Australians for Tamil Rights, began advertising a protest titled “Sri Lanka: Massacre of Tamils is just not cricket”, anti-Tamil Sinhalese went wild on Facebook with a campaign of vitriolic abuse. Most of the abusers denied that there had ever been a massacre of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Despite the internet campaign against the November 3 protest, it went ahead outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground where Sri Lanka and Australia played a 20-20 cricket match.

One of the Sri Lankan cricketers, Ajantha Mendis, is a former artillery gunner in the Sri Lankan army.

"A Jewish majority in a solely Jewish state necessitates perpetual discrimination against the Palestinians”, Anna Baltzer, a Jewish-American award-winning speaker for human rights in the Middle East, told an audience of 100 at the Queensland Parliamentary Annexe on October 27.

Baltzer is an author, former Fulbright scholar and granddaughter of Holocaust refugees. She has lived and worked in the West Bank, and has contributed to four upcoming books on the Palestinian struggle.

Anna Baltzer is a US activist who worked in Palestine with the International Women's Peace Service documenting human rights abuses. She is author of Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories.

Boats — an enemy evoked by major Australian political parties to win elections — have become a symbol of international resistance to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

This is particularly the case since Israeli commandos attacked an aid flotilla headed for Gaza in May, killing nine people.

With this in mind, the Berlin Coalition for Gaza (BCG) launched a one-boat “flotilla” through an inner-city Berlin canal on October 15.

“History was made early today on the other side of the world”, said Grant Morgan, an Auckland-based organiser of the Kia Ora Gaza convoy bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza in defiance of Israel’s siege. Kia Ora is a six-person New Zealand team that has joined the Viva Palestina covoy.

“The vicious Israeli siege of Gaza has been broken by an international aid convoy of 400 volunteers from 30 countries driving 150 vehicles carrying vital medical supplies worth NZ$7 million.”

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