Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Latin America shows why ecocide must be an international crime

Every state has an interest in prosecuting those who destroy our planet – we must ensure there are no ‘safe havens’

By Rodrigo Lledó. Published 5-21-2024 by openDemocracy

A lithium mine in Chile Photo: Reinhard Jahn/CC

Before leaving power in 1990, Chilean general and dictator Augusto Pinochet created a legal framework that guaranteed him absolute impunity. It didn’t work. He was arrested on charges of genocide and terrorism in London in 1998 by order of the Spanish justice system and, upon his return to Chile, finally had to face justice.

Years later, I had the opportunity to lead a team of public lawyers trying nearly 900 cases of crimes against humanity during the Chilean dictatorship. Though Pinochet was already dead, his accomplices had to be duly judged. But decades after his rule, human rights continue to be routinely violated in Latin America, often for defending the environment.

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Israel’s war on Gaza could spark protests that shape entire region

While media focus is on pro-Palestine protests in the US, anger in North Africa and Western Asia could boil over

By Paul Rogers. Published 5-8-2024 by openDemocracy

Iraqi cleric Sadr mobilizes thousands at Baghdad pro-Palestinian rally. Screenshot: YouTube

Though many analysts feared an uncontrolled military escalation between Israel and Iran last month, this seems to have been avoided for now at least. Many states across the world are, however, witnessing a political escalation – not least those in North Africa and West Asia, which are often overlooked in conversations about protest.

The United States is the most obvious example of state-level controversy. Pro-Palestine protests and occupations are taking place at university campuses across the country – many of which have been met by violent police-led actions – as people take issue with Joe Biden’s enabling Israel in its horrific seven-month assault on Gaza.

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US Reportedly Working to Stop ICC From Issuing Arrest Warrant for Netanyahu

“There is absolutely no reason for Biden to be involved in this,” said one analyst. “But once again, Biden steps in to protect Netanyahu from the consequences of the war crimes he commits.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 4-28-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: YouTube

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly growing increasingly concerned that the International Criminal Court is preparing to issue arrest warrants for him and other top government officials for committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

The Times of Israel reported Sunday that the Israeli government, in partnership with the U.S., is “making a concerted effort to head off” possible arrest warrants from the ICC, which first launched its war crimes investigation in the occupied Palestinian territories in 2021.

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‘The Opposite of Leadership’: US Vetoes Palestine’s UN Membership

Palestine’s permanent observer at the United Nations said the resolution’s failure “will not break our will, and it will not defeat our determination.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 4-18-2024 by Common Dreams

Robert A. Wood, deputy permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations, vetoes Palestine’s U.N. membership during the Security Council meeting on April 18, 2024. (Photo: Manuel Elías/United Nations)

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration on Thursday used the country’s veto power at the United Nations Security Council to block Palestine’s bid to become a full member of the U.N.

While 12 nations voted in favor of Palestinian membership and two abstained, the United States is one of five countries—along with China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom—who have veto authority at the Security Council.

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US Pariah Status Grows as Finland Resumes UNRWA Funding

“Collectively punishing millions of Palestinians over allegations concerning a few individuals is never acceptable,” said one campaigner. “Other E.U. member states must follow.”

BY Brett Wilkins. Published 3-22-2024 by Common Dreams

An UNRWA staffer holds a traumatized Palestinian baby in Gaza on March 13, 2023. (Photo: UNRWA/Facebook)

As the United States doubled down on banning funds for the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, Finland said Friday that it would resume contributions to the lifesaving organization in an implicit rebuke of unsubstantiated Israeli claims—reportedly extracted via torture—that staff members were involved in the October 7 attacks.

Finnish Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio announced during a press conference that the country’s €5 million ($5.4 million) annual contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) would be reinstated, with 10% of the funding reserved for “risk management.”

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‘North Sea Fossil Free’: Activists in 6 Countries Protest ‘Unhinged’ Oil and Gas Development

“Going full steam ahead with new North Sea oil and gas is a sure fire route to the worst climate scenarios,” one campaigner said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 3-16-2024 by Common Dreams

The “oil slicks” performance artist group demonstrates the impacts of a potential oil spill on Scotland’s Moray Firth as part of a North Sea-wide day of action on March 16, 2024. Photo: Extinction Rebellion Scotland/X

Climate activists in six North Sea countries came together on Saturday to carry out acts of civil disobedience in protest of their governments’ continued fossil fuel development.

Demonstrators in the United KingdomNorway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands blockaded roads, ports, and refineries; dropped banners; and held solidarity concerts as part of the North Sea Fossil Free campaign to demand that their governments align their plans for the shared body of water with the Paris agreement goal of limiting global heating to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.

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Xenophobic Rumors About Stabbing Attack Fuel Far-Right Riots in Dublin

“We saw last night in Dublin a consequence of politicians spending years demonizing immigrants,” said one critic.

By Julia Conley. Published 11-24-2023 by Common Dreams

Dublin, on November 23, 2023. Photo: Dr. Eli David/X

Irish authorities on Friday condemned a far-right, anti-immigrant faction that rapidly spread rumors about the perpetrator of a violent knife attack in Dublin and ultimately tore through the streets of Ireland’s capital Thursday night, setting cars and buses on fire and smashing storefront windows.

The country was shocked Thursday by a mid-day stabbing attack on three young children—including a five-year-old girl who sustained serious injuries—and a woman who were reportedly on their way to a daycare facility when a man assaulted them.

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‘Biggest Ever Global Strike Against Amazon’ Kicks Off on Black Friday

“This day of action grows every year because the movement to hold Amazon accountable keeps getting bigger and stronger,” said the head of UNI Global Union.

By Jake Johnson. Published 11-24-2023 by Common Dreams

Amazon workers and allies take part in a “Make Amazon Pay” day of action on November 24, 2023. (Photo: Global Justice Now)

Amazon workers and allies in dozens of countries around the world took to the streets Friday to protest the e-commerce behemoth’s atrocious working conditions, low pay, union busting, tax dodging, and inaction on planet-warming emissions.

The “Make Amazon Pay” strikes and rallies coincided with Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year and one of Amazon’s most profitable. Amazon workers across the globe—in ever-larger numbers—have been walking off the job on Black Friday for years to demand better treatment from the $1.5 trillion company.

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On Nagasaki Anniversary, UN Chief Warns ‘Humanity Now Confronts a New Arms Race’

“We will not sit idly by as nuclear-armed states race to create even more dangerous weapons,” he said, calling for abolishing such arms.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 8-9-2023 by Common Dreams

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. Photo: UNclimatechange/flickr/CC

Nearly eight decades after the United States dropped an atomic bomb codenamed “Fat Man” on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday was among the voices around the world renewing calls for eliminating nuclear weapons.

In a message to the Nagasaki Peace Memorial on the 78th anniversary of the 1945 bombing, Guterres said that “this ceremony is an opportunity to remember a moment of unmatched horror for humanity.”

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Rights Groups Blast UK Bill to Ban Public Bodies From Boycotting Israel

Civil society critics argue the proposal threatens “freedom of expression, and the ability of public bodies and democratic institutions to spend, invest, and trade ethically in line with international law and human rights.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-19-2023 by Common Dreams

A Palestine Solidarity Campaign rally outside Downing Street in 2016. Photo: Alisdare Hickson/flickr/CC

Advocacy organizations raised the alarm on Monday as a bill to ban local councils and universities in the United Kingdom from boycotting Israel over human rights abuses was introduced in the U.K. Parliament.

The Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Billtabled by Michael Gove, the Conservative secretary of state for leveling up, housing, and communities—aims to “prevent public bodies from being influenced by political or moral disapproval of foreign states when taking certain economic decisions, subject to certain exceptions.”

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