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October 31 2011

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Naomi Klein - The Paradox of Crisis - Youtube video ~25min

Uploaded by TransitionTownTotnes on Mar 24, 2011

Looking at the various crises going on around the world, what are the challenges ahead and the opportunities for us as a community? Can we meet these challenges skillfully? World-renowned activist Naomi Klein, author of 'No Logo' and 'The Shock Doctrine', on a rare visit to Totnes, hosts an evening of discussion and participation. All welcome
Reposted bycheg00 cheg00

Egyptian Blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah Detained for 15 Days Pending Military Investigation

Egypt’s veteran blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah (@alaa) was detained today (Sunday, Oct. 30) for 15 days pending investigation after refusing to be interrogated by a military investigator, insisting on his right to be tried before a civil court.

Alaa was called in for investigation last week in light of the Maspiro events in Cairo, where 27 people died and many more were injured after the army cracked down on a Christian-majority demonstration. Alaa was very active in the aftermath of these tragic events, and spent two days at the morgue alongside other activists in solidarity with the victims’ families, while trying to convince them to agree to autopsies and trying to make sure the reports of the autopsies are correctly documented. Alaa wrote a very moving piece of that experience in Al Shorouk newspaper (a translation of which can be found here) in which he repeatedly reminded everyone that solidarity is the way out of any problems in Egypt.

Alaa was in San Francisco when he was called to the investigation last week. His father, veteran human rights lawyer Ahmed Seif El Islam Abdel Fattah, appeared in court and asked for the case to be postponed. Alaa came back to Cairo on Saturday afternoon and appeared in court on Sunday morning. The military prosecutor has filed five charges against him including demonstrating, inciting to demonstrate, assaulting military personnel, destroying public property, and stealing military weapons. Alaa, whose sister Mona Seif (@monasosh) is one of the founders of the No to Military Trials for Civilians group, insisted to be interrogated before a civic judge, especially in light of the fact that the army is facing law suits accusing it as a defendant in the same case, which constitutes a clear conflict of interest. He was detained as a result pending further military investigation.

Alaa has been very active on the blogging scene in Egypt since 2004, when he and his wife Manal Hassan (@manal) started the award-winner blog and aggregator Manal and Alaa’s Bit Bucket ( Both bloggers have been very active online and offline in fighting the old regime in Egypt and making sure cases of corruption and police brutality were broken into traditional media. Alaa was detained before in 2006 for 45 days.

Many believe Alaa’s detention comes as a warning to other bloggers and political activists as another step in a series of violations against freedom of expression committed by the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) in Egypt. Several bloggers were interrogated and/or detained including Asmaa Mahfouz, Hossam El Hamalawy, Loai Nagati, and Maikel Nabil, who has been on a hunger strike since August 22.

The No to Military Trials for Civilians group has published a press release condemning Alaa’s arrest in the strong possible words, and asking for his immediate release, together with the other 12,000 victims of military trials in Egypt, who should at least be retried before a civil court. The group called upon Egyptians to refuse to cooperate with military interrogation and to support the cause of No to Military Trials for Civilians. You can read the press release in its entirety here.

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From my Colorado Street Medic friends: info on chemical weapons and self defense
by Flora Lee Bernard on Sunday, 30 October 2011 at 16:51

There is a lot of bad information circulating around Occupy Denver about chemical weapons and how to treat them. Here are our protocols that we use for Tear Gas and Pepper Spray. Circulate very widely.

Please use this information to prepare yourself and your friends. To run as a Street Medic, please attend a training. You can also attend health and safety classes taught by Street Medics for more in depth education.

Remember that none of these effects are universal. People respond very differently to chemical weapons

ALSO! These weapons are primarily weapons of fear. One of the best things everyone can do is help spread calm to panicking people, walk away from the scene (don't run!) and get people to medics.

There is a lot of bad information and stupid protocol out there. Be aware when you go online or read things.

Being Prepared

  • NEVER wear contacts to a demonstration.

  • Dress in layers

  • Wear sunscreen regularly every day year-round, especially in Colorado. Oil-free is best, but in Colorado particularly it is always better to wear sunscreen rather than be exposed to chemical weapons on a sunburn

  • Wear closed toed shoes that are broken in with socks

  • Do not wear dangling earrings. Take out facial piercings

  • Bring a change of clothing (at least a shirt) sealed in a plastic bag

  • Do not bring animals to a demonstration

  • Be aware that there are additional health risks posed to children, elders, people with chronic medical problems (like asthma, COPD and heart conditions) and those that are pregnant. Street Medics strongly encourage these groups of people to avoid scenes with potential for chemical weapons (i.e. police are holding them, in riot gear, etc)

Tear Gas

Deployed by canisters which are fired or thrown in grenades into a crowd. These canisters are also full of smoke. Sometimes they will have BBs and other projectiles mixed in. Tear Gas is not commonly used in busy urban areas, especially in Denver, as it lingers in the air for prolonged periods. The effects of tear gas diminish drastically once you move away from the gas.


  • Irritation: eyes, skin, mucous membranes

  • Breathing trouble

  • Nausea & vomiting

  • Panic

  • Damage to the eyes (if you are wearing contacts)

Tear gas can have long terms side effects such as flu-like symptoms, disruption to menstrual cycles and other complications.

Pepper Spray

Deployment: A foam or liquid fired from canisters, guns that look like super-soakers, swabbed onto the skin (done in prisons/jails, sit-ins and tree sits) and pepper balls (paint balls filled with concentrated powdered capsaicin)


  • Panic

  • Burning

  • Nausea

  • Breathing problems

Eye and Respiratory Protection

Eyes: Swim goggles with rubber seals and no foam will protect eyes sufficiently. Do not wear contacts even if you have eye protection!

Respiratory: A bandana soaked in apple cider vinegar and sealed in a ziploc bag is the easiest protection to wear. Tie this over the mouth and nose when you suspect weapons will be deployed. Wearing a dry bandana underneath can make the smell more tolerable. These are relatively short acting, so once weapons are deployed, make an exit. A respirator with N95 Chemical Particulate filters can be found at most hardware stores and will also work. Note: Respirators do not work if you have facial hair.

Gas Masks: Make sure your mask does not have glass lenses, as these will shatter and damage the eye. Gas masks are hot and hard to wear. If you get a gas mask, practice putting it on until you can do so smoothly and running in it. See if you can seriously wear one for prolonged periods of time.

What To Do

  • Evacuate the area. Walk. Encourage others to walk.

  • Find a medic or someone that can do an eye wash.

  • Do not rub your eyes.

Eye washes

Eye washes are a forceful flush of water in the eyes. We use the squeezable bike water bottles (NOT drinking water bottles.) NEVER use anything but water for eye washes. WATER ONLY. Street Medics can teach you how to do an eye wash. Do not touch your face or rub your eyes.

You may hear about using something called LAW (liquid antacid and water) for pepper spray in eyes. Many medic collective have success with LAW. However, there are specific risks and instructions for making and using LAW. Unless you have received this training, use WATER ONLY


Washing skin with castile soap is the best way to get chemical weapons off. Wash so that water runs away from the eyes and use cold water.


After being exposed to chemical weapons, it is important to remember that there will be a residue remaining on your clothing long after you are actually exposed to the chemicals. If you enter and sort of closed space while wearing contaminated clothing, the residue from your clothes will contaminate the room.

How to properly decontaminate:

  1. As soon as possible, and before entering an uncontaminated area, remove any exposed clothing and any other articles that may have been contaminated, tightly seal them in a plastic bag, and mark the bag “contaminated”.

  2. Shower in the coldest water you can possibly stand, scrubbing with soap. Do not use warm/hot water and do not take a bath.

  3. Wash contaminated clothes in a harsh detergent, dumping them straight from the sealed bag into the washing machine.

After exposure to chemical weapons, be sure to drink a lot of water. Be aware that these weapons contain chemicals that can have lasting health issues. Eating healthy foods (leafy greens, grains), avoiding drugs/alcohol and being more health conscious after an action can help you recover faster.

A few important things to remember in general:

  1. If you are hurt or need a medic and can walk, please come to our marked treatment areas or approach us

  2. If you cannot move or see someone that cannot move, yell "MEDIC"

  3. Many people have valuable training in medicine, but Street Medic trainings use specific and time tested methods for protest specific injuries. Please do not represent yourself as a street medic or intervene in Street Medic treatments. We would be happy to do a bridge training so you can run with us or help set up a role for you if you contact us in advance.

— Via Joe Brown at oAnth - Diaspora* | info on chemical weapons and self defense | 2011-10-31
Reposted by99percent 99percent

October 30 2011

Egypt: Blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah Detained for 15 Days

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Activist and blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah has been detained for 15 days, after refusing to be interrogated by the Military Prosecutor, in protest against its legitimacy.

He appeared at the Military Prosecutor, along with fellow activist Bahaa Saber, today as supporters gathered outside, denouncing military trials. Since January 28, more than 12,000 civilians have been tried by military courts in Egypt. Abd El Fattah has since been transferred to prison, while Saber will soon be released.

Both activists were imprisoned in 2006 under Hosni Mubarak's regime.

Sharif Kouddous notes:

@sharifkouddous: Unbelievable. @alaa and Bahaa get 15 days detention sparking outrage from supporters outside

Bahaa Saber, left, and Alaa Abd El Fattah outside the court earlier today. Photo by Sharif Kouddous

Lawyer Gamal Eid tweets the allegations against Alaa, Bahaa and Mina Daniel, who was killed in the October 9 Maspero massacre. He writes [ar]:

الاتهامات الموجهة للنشطاء: التحريض التجمهر والاستيلاء على سلاح للقوات المسلحة ، واتلاف منشأت عسكرية

@gamaleid: The activists are accused of: instigating gatherings, overtaking the armed forces weapons and damaging military equipment

He adds:

علاء سيف رفض التحقيق من النيابة العسكرية باعتبارها تابعة للجيش ، والجيش نفسه متهم في الجريمة وبالتلي لا يجوز لمتهم ان يحقق مع متهم أخ

@gamaleid: Alaa Seif refused to be interrogated by the Military Prosecutor because it is part of the army and the army itself is accused in the crime. It is illegal for an accused to interrogate another accused party

Alaa's sister Mona Seif notes [ar]:

علاء و بهاء موقفهم كان قوي لأنهم رفضوا يعترفوا بشرعية النيابة العسكرية

@Monasosh: Alaa and Bahaa's stance was strong because they refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the military prosecutor.

Mohamed Abdelfattah reacts:

@mfatta7: Salutations to the courage of @alaa as he refuses 2b interrogated by the military authority he is actually accusing.

Jonathan Rashad adds:

@JonathanRashad: It's kind of ironic to see @alaa facing mil prosecution fall 2011 when his sister @Monasosh has been fighting mil trials since spring 2011.

And Jonathan Moremi asks:

@Jonamorem: What about the promise not to try civilians in front of military court anymore, Tantawi? Is lying all #SCAF can do? #FreeAlaa #noMilTrials

Along with many others, Gigi Ibrahim is livid Daniel is among those accused. She tweets:

@Gsquare86: They killed Mina Daniel and he is dead and they are charging him of “inciting violence” ?!!! #WTF #SCAF has gone metal

At the time this post was published, Bahaa Saber was still being interrogated.

Mona Seif tweeted [ar]:

بهاء صابر لسة التحقيق معاه مأخلصش
@Monasosh: Bahaa Saber is still being interrogated. He is not done yet.

Further Reading:

Egyptian Blogger's Summons Adds Fuel to Campaign Against Military Trials

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

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