How Somalia’s Fishermen Became ‘Pirates’


By Ishaan Tharoor, Time Magazine | Chebucto | Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Since 1991, Somalia’s 3,330 km (2,000 miles) of coastline — the longest in continental Africa — has been pillaged by foreign vessels. An estimated $300 million worth of seafood is stolen from the Somalia’s coastline each year by the real pirates, which include France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Spain, Taiwan, and the U.S. Belize and Honduras allow their flags to be used by ships that are evading European Union regulations on fishing for tuna and shark.

Poland Government: We Were Wrong, We Will Not Ratify ACTA


By Alice Trudelle, Warsaw Business Journal | By Staff, The Slovenia Times | Haiti Chery. “I was wrong,” — said Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk earlier today while announcing that he wrote to his party not to back ACTA in the EU Parliament in its current form. Slovenian Education Minister Radovan Zerjav said “This agreement is obviously not a matter of understanding, but of major misunderstanding,” but the editors of say that this is an effort to downplay a debate tomorrow on ACTA. A protest by Anonymous is underway. UPDATED with original Polish and Slovenian articles.

Massive Worldwide Anti-ACTA Protests


By Pat Pilcher, NZH Staff, AFP via New Zealand Herald | AP via | You Tube | Haiti Chery. Hundreds of thousands demonstrated against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on Saturday Feb 11th across four continents. The secretive agreement signed by EU members on Jan 26th has not yet been ratified by the European Parliament. So far, protests have forced the prime ministers of Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Latvia to reconsider the agreement, but they have not yet dismissed it. The protesters are calling for their countries to kill the agreement, and short of this, for the EU Parliament to do so. Background on ACTA and protest videos included. UPDATE Feb 15th: Bulgaria and the Netherlands table ACTA; Lithuanian Minister of Justice condemns ACTA as being about protection of industry instead of protection of inventors and authors. UPDATE Feb 28th: anti-ACTA petition with over 2 million signatures delivered to European Parliament.

Act Up Against ACTA Saturday Feb 11th


By Staff, Access Now | YouTube | Haiti Chery. Protests against ACTA will take place worldwide on Saturday February 11th. Over 1.75 million people have signed a petition against ACTA that is expected to get the endorsement of more than 2 million. Information about petition and protests. UPDATE Feb 11th: Videos of some of the protests. Over 2 million signatures.

ACTA Ratification Suspended in Poland


By Staff (ps, PAP, IAR), TOK FM | Edited by Haiti Chery. “Unless all the questions are explained, the ratification process for ACTA will be suspended, and we cannot exclude the fact that the final decision might be a lack of acceptance for this contract.” – Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. UPDATE Feb 6th: Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas has also suspended the ratification of ACTA.

ACTA Not Yet International Law | French MEP Quits in Protest


By Olivia Solon, Wired | Kader Arif, European MP Socialists & Democrats of the EU, Translated from the French by Dady Chery for Haiti Chery. “As the rapporteur on this text, I also faced unprecedented maneuvers from the right of the Parliament to impose an accelerated schedule to pass the agreement as rapidly as possible and before the public was alerted….” – Kader Arif, French MEP. It is not over. ACTA will not become law if the European Parliament is prevented from making it so in June 2012. (What you can do and English translation of full statement from Kader Arif included.) UPDATE Feb 3, 2012: ACTA ratification suspended in Poland.

Pirate Party: a Global Civil Rights Movement


By Helen Pidd, The Guardian | PP International | Wikipedia. “I think this is really the last chance we have to change attitudes and listen to the 99%.” – Virag Kaufer, Deputy from Hungarian party Lehet Más a Politika (LMP, Politics Can Be Different) rooted in green and anti-globalization movements. Currently Pirate Parties are in place or being formed in over 50 countries. See Principles of Pirate Party (included).

Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail


By Martin Luther King Jr, In: Why We Can’t Wait (Harper & Row, N.Y., 1963) | Charles Moore, Photos | Estate of Martin Luther King Jr, Statement by Clergymen | Assembled by Haiti Chery. “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice….” – MLK

EU Transaction Tax in Law by Year End

Robin Hood tax campaigners demonstrate outside the Treasury in London. MEPs have voted for a 0.05% levy on financial transactions, which could go towards fighting global poverty and climate change. Photograph: Martin Argles

By Harry Wilson, The Telegraph | Guardian (photo) | Richard Curtis and Bill Nighy, You Tube (video). The European Union is set to move ahead with plans for a financial transaction tax — also called the Robin Hood Tax — by the end of the year, despite opposition from Britain and Sweden. (Very funny video)

Christmas Without Jesus: Birth of the Unconquered Sun


By Staff, Essortment | Edited by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Christmas’ origins can be traced back to winter solstice celebrations like the Babylonian Feast of the Son of Isis, Roman Saturnalia, and birthday of Pagan sun god Mithras. In 350 Pope Julius I picked Mithras’ December 25 birthday as the date to celebrate Christ’s birth, although he was probably born in September. Hearty celebrations of the rebirth of the unconquered Sun!

Cranes Overstay Their Welcome as Weather Grows Warmer


By Julio Godoy, IPS | Tierramérica. Common cranes normally migrated in September from their spring and summer habitat in Europe to spend the autumn and winter in northern Africa. But climate change is altering their natural migratory patterns, sparking conflicts between farmers and environmentalists. (English | Spanish)

Britain Unites With Smaller Countries to Block US Bid to Legalise Cluster Bombs

By Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian. Cluster bomb manufacturers Israel, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and U.S. pushed for the use of ‘bomblets’ that often maim and kill civilians. Their backers included France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Australia; but they failed to get an international agreement approving the continued use of cluster bombs.

Deaths of U.S. Immigration Detainees, ACLU Reports


By Staff, Granma | By Will Matthews, ACLU. In the last eight years, 126 undocumented immigrants have died while in detention centers operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities. Complete ACLU detention report included.